Monday, December 9, 2019

Spooky rain

It rained all day, and still is, which in itself is fine. This particular rain wasn't fun to get caught out in, though. It was one of those high wind, heavy rain storms which―as I've mentioned previously―mean that you can't win for losing as far as umbrellas go. My umbrella survives, but only because I benched it even when it meant getting wet.

On the bright side, I just heard a wind gust a few minutes ago that sounds like the musical saw on this song.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Felt bad

It recently came to my attention while watching Evil (which I like so far), that the Muppets are appearing in ads for some-or-another new toy from Facebook. In fact these ads are the only time for now anyone is going to see them on a regular basis. This does not make me happy. I doubt very much it would make Jim Henson happy. If he's in a good place now I imagine their trying to keep it from him. Or failing that, keep his mind off of it.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


One of the less visible of my little quirks is my reaction to wheat pennies. Those are the one-cent coins with two sheaves of wheat on the obverse, surrounding some art nouveau text. They were minted from 1909 to 1958, so from early Taft to late Ike.

I tend to hold onto them for as long as I can, not using them to even out change until every other penny is gone. Is this because I like to maintain a physical link to the past? Or is it an experiment to see how long I can keep them jingling in my pocket? Probably a bit of both.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Winter hams it up

I guess this is what you'd call a nor'easter? The storm started sometime Sunday afternoon and ended sometime this afternoon (meaning Tuesday.) Snow sometimes turning to rain, but definitely with the accent on snow. It's a little bit of a hassle in that it's harder to get around, and certainly was yesterday. Mainly because the streets and sidewalks get slippery in unexpected places. But the good thing about the accumulation being slow is that places weren't forced to close.

Sunday, December 1, 2019


From Irving Sandler's Art of the Postmodern Era on Philip Guston:
But the new pictures were "self-portraits...I perceive myself behind the hood...In this new dream of violence I if I were living with the Klan. What do they do afterwards? Or before? Smoke, drink, sit around their rooms (light bulbs, furniture, wooden floors), patrol empty streets, dumb, melancholy, guilty, fearful, remorseful, reassuring one another? Why couldn't some be artists and paint one another?" The Klansmen pictures are funny, but they possess a strong element of self-loathing. Guston's father, a Russian immigrant ragpicker, had committed suicide by hanging when Guston was ten years old―it was the boy who found him― a traumatic experience, which is when he most likely identified with the lynchings perpetrated by the KKK.
Obviously Guston, a Ukrainian-Jewish-American painter born in Canada, would not have gotten the warmest of welcomes from the real Klan. And if his sentimentalized portrait of them above was at all sincere, any amount of close observation would have disabused him of it. But the childhood trauma Sandler alludes to paid off in a later trauma. Guston had been a confirmed and successful abstract artist up until the late 1960s. The sudden need he felt to put real objects and real (if cartoonishly exaggerated) people into his pictures was just wrong by the theories he heard and subscribed to. It was, in a way, a painful break, but also something he needed to do. This difficulty lends an urgency to his work, a compelling one.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Crystal clarity

So yesterday I had Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. A good time was had by all, I think. Good food, relaxed conversation.

A few different things played on the TV set during the times that people were paying attention to it. I saw the early parts of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What's freaky is that it's one of them newfangled plasma TV's, and seeing an old movie in such high definition was a little disorienting. Like, were all these people trapped behind glass? Still, from what I saw I can attest that the movie holds up pretty well even before Gene Wilder joins the fun. Although of course he always helps.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pre-Turkey Day

Thanksgiving week tends to be an effectively short one, maybe even down to two days. That is, a lot of us work or "work" up until Wednesday, but Wednesday is pretty chill, without even much pressure to look busy. It's nice.

Then there's people who work in supermarkets, in which case forget everything I just said.