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Monday, April 6, 2020

High Art Home

Yes this is an abso-stunning, creative house design BUT does it, honestly now, look like anyone could/would live here? This is Staircase House in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. OK, I say that I can't feature the joint occupied BUT, now that I think on it, I could totally live AND paint here. I’d need handrails on that staircase for houseplants though. PLUS a shitton more of that greenery and a dozen+ indoor trees.

I’m also WAY digging House 77 by dIONISO LAB in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal. (below left)

Bunny Lane
And Riverside House in Suginami City, Tokyo by Kota Mizuishi looks like it’s right up my Valhalla neighborhood's wee lot size alley.

Have ya noticed that upscale, designer houses are rarely photographed with signs of real inhabitant's stuff laying about?

When furniture IS shown it’s almost never comfy chairs and couches in nice, easy to clean fabrics and colors. Nope! The chairs LOOK slick but, also, desperately uncomfortable and the couches are, generally, sans arms Dunno ‘bout you but I just can’t get all happy, cozy on a couch without nice, low-slung arm action. Also too, seating is usually in black or, more often, white. Who the fuck would ever buy a white couch? Do they not have pets or kids? Are they superheroes of grace – never spilling so much as a raindrop’s worth of red wine?

I  totally get it. Really I do. These residences (AKA homes for the rich) are being displayed as works of art (which they really are). This isn’t your neighborhood realtor trying to sell a dwelling to one of us poor peasants. I imagine all these joints had buyers with buckos well before the architect's pencil hit paper and the first shovel of dirt was dug.

These are pristine objets d'art – museum pieces – NOT homes where anyone would actually live. OK, folks who’re a damn sight tidier, less slovenly than me will live there. 

Also too, if you’re the sort who can afford a high end, creative architecture firm to design and build your family digs, it’s mega doubtful you’re gonna let the paparazzi in to snap pics AFTER you’ve moved in and hung the family pics. Oh please! That’s just NOT done.

And then there’s Bunny Lane in Bernardsville, New Jersey. It was cooked up by Industrial Zombie, a screamingly inventive New Jersey design, engineering and manufacturing concern.

Bunny Lane is a traditional 19th century cottage within a much larger, industrial, shipping container-ish structure. It’s WILD, though it looks much more like an exhibit I’d explore at Mass MoCA than someplace I’d wanna live. Still, within the interior cottage, there’s color and comfortable looking chairs.

Along the same ferociously imaginative line is the Joshua Tree Residence by Whitaker Studio of London.

There are other shipping container homes which seem more on an actual I-could-live-here scale. Like Six Oaks in Felton, California, Container House in Nederland, Colorado and, especially, the Lakeside Cottage in Lakeside, California. This one is a single bed/ bath home and just 800 square feet  – slightly smaller than Valhalla. SURE, I’m always wanting endless amounts of space for painting BIG canvases (and three or four at a time too) BUT I don’t want to clean a 2,000+ square foot spread and I sure as fuck don’t want to pay the heating bill or property tax on a joint that size.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The horrah, the horrah!

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
~ Stephen King

Possibly it's time to reread The Shining?
Never attribute to malevolence what is merely due to incompetence.
~ Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

There is nothing as pitiful as a politician who is deficient in relaying untruths.
~ Stewart Stafford

Take the current resident of the White House (PLEASE!). That parasitical pool of diseased, diarrheal giant rodent shit is so blindingly stupid – can’t even keep his own lies straight.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
~ Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Which brings me to Tomás Sánchez, a Cuban painter, whose beautiful work inspires mondo peace and calm.

I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.
~ Robert Bloch, Psycho 

I haven't been out of the house, 'cept for a couple short walks, since last Monday. Today I've GOT to get out, even if just for a drive through the Blue Hills. My brain is starting to go all flashing red lights, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, DANGER.

A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope.
~ Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

I need hope. I need to have at least a smidgen of confidence that we will survive.

One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. 
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack Up

In this time of seemingly endless quarantine, what can I do to keep from drowning in a sea of despair? I’m painting, knitting, doing my PT exercises. Today it’ll be less chilly AND the sun may peak out from behind the clouds. I can go for a nice, exhausting, long walk.

We NEED to get rid of the pResident Evil, his carbuncularly corrupt cabinet, Moscow Mitch and every other reprobate Republi/Fascist currently abusing their role (that’d be all of ‘em, don’cha know).
Striking resemblance, no?

Vote-by-mail is the way to go so, OF COURSE, the party of rotted bungholes (and their brain atrophied Dear Leader, Captain Chaos) oppose it.

While rules vary somewhat state to state, 33 states and the District of Columbia currently collect ballots by mail or permit “no excuse” absentee voting, in which people can vote absentee for any reason. Colorado, Washington State and Oregon have all-mail elections.
A bill by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the former presidential candidate, would require that all states offered a mail-in or drop-off paper ballot option if 25 percent of states declared a state of emergency related to the coronavirus or another infectious disease or natural disaster, and that requests for a ballot could be made electronically.

“We’re not saying to get rid of all polling places by any means,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “It’s just that the more people we can get to vote this way, the better off this is.”  (source)
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
~ Clarence Darrow

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Cabin Fever, episode 5,000,000,021...or so

Yes, it’s another episode of OH MY GOD, THIS CABIN FEVER’S GONNA KILL ME IF THE TRUMP PLAGUE DOESN’T GET ME FIRST! Remember mes amis, I've been out of action (more or less) since my January 10th giant not-so-magic bean surgery.

Yes, I’ve got stuff to do, to keep me engaged and entertained here at home BUT I want to go for a damn walk. Even without Trump’s Disease, I haven't been able to go out. It’s been windy as hell the last few days AND bleakly wet and stormy. This ain’t no la-la-la-lovely, light April showers rousing the May flowers shit. Nope, this has been a week of cold, violent gusts with water balloons (sans rubbery wrapper) cascading down from a cruel grey, mocking sky.

I’d mall walk but, oh yeah, the joint’s shut in order to inhibit the spread of that lethal (to those of us with banjaxed immune systems) Trump Virus.

It occurred to me yesterday that Princess Boob Job Barbie hasn’t been in the news lately. No more staged happy family photo ops or cute Mom suggestions? No Unqualified Idiot “Bring Your Stupid Daughter to Work Day“ pics? No more tweets and Instagrams showing us her utter lack of language comprehension?

 Does she now, finally, get that she’s nothing more than a rich, bleach blonde, pneumatic joke? Doubt it.

I’d like to see FAR less of her husband, Super Failure Boy. Jar-Jar’s stupid, fucking, brain damaged father-in-law seems to think Boy Blunder can solve ALL probs smoothly, easily and in a way that makes Fat Donny look good.

Yeah, only in his deranged, delusional and pathologically dimwitted excuse for a brain.
With the federal medical supply stockpile rapidly dwindling, the Crown Prince of Failing Upwards decided to redefine said stockpile as the Trump family’s personal playpen, with goodies to be dispensed according to whim and asskissery. The creepy little freak even doctored the official website after the fact to reflect his lie/mistake, because cut-rate Orwell is just how this administrations rolls, muthafuckas. (source)
 Go read the rest of Shower Cap's post. He'll make you laugh while you sob and worry that the dry cough you've had for the past day and a half means you've got the plague.

Also a life (like, say...MINE) and STAY AT HOME!!!

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Art Challenge

Sir John Everett Millais – Ophelia
Inspired by the Instagram account, tussenkunstenquarantaine (Between Art and Quarantine), the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have both issued challenges on their Twitter and Shoutyface accounts. You've just GOT to check these out! I'm posting just a few of my faves here.
Winged Victory (the BEST...of course!)
 On the ChicagoNow blog, Getting More From Les, are COVID-19 themed haikus written by him and his audience. Here are just a few – go to Getting More From Les for...emmm...MORE.

Yes we still work here

Corners echo with shadows

Of what is to come.
Tom Brady moves

From Patriots to Jaguars

No one gives a damn

From Dr. Andy Curtis in Canada:
Played God today
No respirator for you
So, so, so sorry
Caitlin Blunnie
Kely Rin
Check out these Asian illustrators and photographers who are protesting the fucked up C-19 inspired anti-Asian racism on Instagram.
Emiliano Ponzi  is an illustrator based in Milan. The Washington Post hired him to draw and write about daily life in Milan during the coronavirus lockdown. This post includes his illustrations as well as interviews with three friends. They're in lockdown too – in Milan, Brooklyn and Paris.

He asks the NYC friend “Are you just waiting for this to be over, or are you starting to get used to it?" Her answer “I am waiting to get used to it.”

Yeah, I can totally relate. Loved these interviews!
 ARTnews has an article up about the impact this shutdown, all the museums and galleries being closed, has on art handlers sehr important background worker bees in the big ART universe.

And then there’s my tiny world of freelance graphic design and layout. In the last three weeks, I’ve had precisely two hours of work and there's nothing on the horizon. Granted, I’m spending less cabbage now. Can’t go out ‘cept for groceries and meds so Bix (who gets 40 miles per gallon!) is using way less fuel. We’re not eating out (or even getting take out) anymore. The weather's getting less cold so heating bills are decreasing. I've found a whole bunch of free book sites and I'm not out of art supplies YET.

I can weather this storm but not endlessly.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Well Informed vs. Sane

Last night our Republican governor (who is not as desperately, myopically dimwitted and greedheaded as other Republi/Fascist Govs) extended the don’t-go-out-‘cept-for-essentials order through May 4th. 

This is only day 17 of the stay-at-home new normal and, I’ll tell you wut, I’m already needing to expand my creative outlets so I don’t spend all day reading the news and political blogs or checking into Shoutyface and Twitter. 

Yes, my desire to stay well informed is having a pitched battle with my efforts to stay sane.

So, waddya know, I’ve taken up knitting once again. I haven’t hoisted the ol’ needles and yarn since just after The Amazing Bob’s too soon, devastating departure.

Mind you, I’m NO knitting pro – not by ANY metric. In point of fact, I’m the dropped stitch queen and still need to google how to bind off.

For me, knitting’s not about creating a garment. It’s about the pretty colors of yarn, their pacifying textures and the repetitive, calming needle action. It’s a form of meditation.

Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.
~ Elizabeth Zimmerman
I’ve also begun an additional two paintings (for those keeping score, I've now got four in different states of development). I‘ll run out of canvas, paper and paint before this is all over – I just know it! I wonder if Utrecht delivers...

April 14 is the predicted peak for COVID 19 here in Massachusetts. It’s anticipated that 7,503 hospital beds will be needed – there are, currently, just 4,848 available. 

A fellow Nf2 friend’s tumor clearing surgery has been put off from mid April to July. I imagine, if she had a Godzilla sized beastie, (like me) they wouldn’t reschedule. Still, that they ARE bumping brain surgeries says to me that Mass General is taking this seriously – way more than Preznint Calamity Clown and his sycophantic stooges and cult of morons

Try as he might to now prepare the country and figure out an excuse for massive casualties potentially on a scale not seen since World War II, Trump’s own statements and failure to take action cannot be entirely erased from memory. He would like us to think “some people” just thought we could “ride this out,” but not him! Well, he actually was the one who told us it would all disappear one day. Trump would like us to think that 100,000 to 240,000 (the range of the administration’s own projected casualties) would be a stunning achievement for him because doing nothing would have resulted in many more deaths. (source)
On this past Monday, here in the Bay State, the total number of people who'd succumbed stood at 56. By Wednesday, just yesterday – two measly days later, there were 122 dead.

Yesterday Ten and I went down to Trader Joe’s in an attempt to buy just a few little necessities. TJ’s is taking the social distancing orders WAY more seriously than our local Stop&Shop. For starters, it looks like they’re only permitting a certain small number of shoppers in store at a time. Like with our fave weed emporium, there was a line to get in with 6-12 feet between each person.

Annoying yes BUT what isn't in these Trump Plague days? Still, very good to see.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Staying Sane is HAAAAAARD!

While we’re all busy trying to stay alive and sane, the Orange Asshole is stealing land from the Wampanoags, trying to get genetically engineered crops planted on wildlife refuges throughout the southeast AND his BFF, Moscow Mitch tried to sneak in some heinous abortion banning language into the Trump Plague relief package.

Just FY-fucking-I, abortion IS an important part of healthcare. If I had ever gotten up the spout, the subsequent radical hormone explosions would have fucked me (and my crop of brain and spine tumors) up to the utterly disabled max (if it didn’t kill me right off). An abortion would mitigate the damage and, ya know, save my motherfucking life.

Also too, NO one thinks “gee, it’s a nice day, I think I’ll go have an abortion.” Even for Vagina Americans whose lives AREN’T at serious risk, this is a heavy, deep, WAY fucking difficult decision.

Never forget – these supposed "pro-life” fascists aren’t concerned about you or your fetus. Nope, this is about control. It’s about enforced, government sanctioned inequality. It’s about that horror-show band of murderous hypocritical, asshole’s stratospheric insecurity.

I’m sure there’s more ratfuckery currently afoot. After all, that’s the Trump Republican Party’s only talent.

What’s their precious Dear Leader, that syphilitic, suppurating carbuncle focused on in his near daily LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, I’M THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER!!! “press briefings?”

His ratings. I strongly suspect that he REALLY does think the world is just one big “reality” teevee show and he’s, of course, the STAR. This would, at least, explain the humongous amount of makeup he slops on but NOT his extreme lack of talent in its application.

Meanwhile, in Sanityville – joining Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren is my new hero – Yamiche Alcindor. The VERY delicate (and otherwise mentally banjaxed) Odious Orange Asshole has a prob with her doing her job well. Shocking? Well....NO.

What am I doing to maintain sanity and remain amongst the living in this Trump fueled crazy dangerous world?

Yesterday, though rain-free, was windy as all hell here in Valhalla so an outdoor bean soothing walky was a nonstarter. Instead, Ten and I went down to Target so’s I could get a new book – Janet Evanovich's The Big Kahuna. Not deep but, I may have mentioned this already, I’m ALL about escapist type literature. Ya know wut? I am THIS close to reading nada but dime novels and pulp mags.

I DID get a bit of exercise with a fast stroll around the vast, budget emporium AND, by simply leaving the house, we get a smidge of vitamin D sunshine. Yea us. Apart from this, I’m attempting to stay chilled/NOT panic, paint more, do my PT and eat less.

We WILL survive.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Distraction Lessons

This past weekend, Jen, Oni and I watched Terminator: Dark Fate and it was exactly what I needed. Not a perfect movie by any means but it was fun, scary (and NOT in a Trump’s-so-stupendously-incompetent-we’ll-be-lucky-to survive kind of a way) and awesome+ to see Linda Hamilton looking good but, more importantly, looking her age. She’s one year older than me and an inspiration to keep on with my strength building workouts.

Other born-at-the-right-timers? Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone who are all stunning BUT def look like they’ve had work done. That IS their right as wealthy celebs – also, as babe-type stars, unfair as it is, it’s part of their fight to remain appealing and relevant.

I get it but, since I’m not inclined – financially or otherwise – to have cosmetic surgery or wear makeup, I don’t see them as examples of attainable or even covetable old broadness.


I’ll never be Linda Hamilton thin and that’s AOK. I can, however, be strong, confident, in the best shape this rickety bod’s capable of and NOT a pushover. Alright, this is as much about fortitude, tenacity and all that as it is about having toned, muscular arms.

Back at all things Terminatory – The last in the series that I saw was T2: Judgment Day (and the teevee series) so I found Dark Fate pretty confusing at first. In this version, Sarah Connor’s son dies at the hands of the T-800 (Schwarzenegger) so he’s not around to save the world from this timeline’s Skynet, Legion.

I want – NO – I NEED arms like this!
Sarah, despite her son’s devastating death, hangs in like the abso-fab, badass warrior she is. An unknown helper (the T-800 model who’s since retired from terminating and grown a conscience) tipped her off that Daniella Ramos is destined to be a significant player in machine world’s apocalyptic defeat. There’s a Rev-9 Term model coming back from the future to take Dani out. Dani needs a serious assist.

Sarah saves her and her cyber enhanced soldier/minder, Grace. The race and battle for survival is now ON.

So, there are three superhero-esque (but very human) women fighting AND triumphing over evil. YES! Better yet, the young woman who will save mankind from the murderous machines is Mexican. That is just a beautiful fuck you to pResident Stupid on Steroids.

Now, of course, I want to see all the ones I’ve missed even though Sarah Connor isn’t in them  – T3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys.

Sarah Connor is an example of how I can get through this current national nightmare. Be brave. Be patient. Don’t be a dickwad. Help others. Also too, be kind...dammit!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Was This Really Necessary?

I noticed in this morning’s headlines that the bin-brained orange Hell-beast who is, astoundingly, our prez, has announced that the federal guidance on social distancing” will continue through April.

I only mention it, you fat fluorescent, empathy-devoid, narcissistic slug trail, but the vast majority of us are WAY the fuck ahead of you.

The only states that are fully open for biz AND virus spreading are Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Dakota, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. Funny, stunning even //snark// –  how these very red states (though Arizona will be blue after this next election) are doing fuck all to protect their citizens from the Trump Plague. It appears their Republi/Fascist governors are actually stupid enough to believe every lie puked out of 45’s ugly gob.

Ya know?

Now, on top of the dozens of people who've died in Trump’s concentration camps (and the thousand+ children torn away from their parents), there are 2,500 Americans dead from COVID 19. What would that number be had The Stupidest Man on the Planet NOT disbanded the National Security Council’s pandemic unit? How many fewer deaths would there be if Disgracful Donnie had read and followed the NSC pandemic playbook? How many fewer Americans would be dead if he hadn’t called this killer virus a hoax cooked up by the Dems?

Also too, I guess this means the Republi/Fascists have sacked all that “pro-life" bullshit, huh? The masks are off.

Ya know where I’d like to be right now, if travel was possible?

I’d be in Berlin having lunchie at Mogg – a beluga lentil sammich on dark rye with a nice Bloody Mary. After that I’d head over to the Bosch Visions Alive exhibit.

OR I’d be in Stromness, a wee town, north of Scotland, on the Orkney Mainland. I’d hit the Scapa Flow Restaurant for their Orkney scallops dish. Afterwards I’d stop in at the Pier Arts Center to take in their current show.

OR I’d be in Amsterdam, wandering along the canals, lunching at Sumo – a sushi joint, followed by drinkies at Melkweg before taking in a bit of Van Gogh.

Possibly I’d be in the middle of nowhere on the Isle of Skye, just watching the sheep wander by.

Or in Vienna for a grand tour of their myriad AWESOME museums.

OR I’d just be across the street sipping my coffee, watching the wee waves roll in whilst NOT fearing  every passerby is a potential COVID 19 carrier.

Shit did NOT need to be like this.