Yesterday we skied in the woods with Jeff Munson and Mary Kaye. Today it was 67 degrees so everything was melting. We took a walk on the dry roads and spotted this sign. I now have a backlog of 43 signs to post in the Refrigerator Signs section.
Our neighbor, Leo, is a sprightly 91. His typewriter died a few years back and he became very frustrated that no one would repair it. Everyone told him to get a computer so he finally bought a new Dell with his grandson’s help. He is able to email but he keeps getting confused as to what happens in his email package and what happens in his browser. He got an offer in the mail to subscribe to Consumer Reports but he had to register online. So Peggi and I helped him through that process.
Leo keeps his computer in the basement by his wood stove and he shuts it off after using it. So when we go over to help, we have to sit through his lengthy boot process. His grandson has all kinds of virus software running even though Leo has no files on his computer. Leo worries about viruses and he doesn’t even know what they are.
We turned on the printer to print the confirmation of his transaction with Consumer Reports but the only thing that came out was a letter to an old friend that he wrote a few weeks ago. The print dialog box was backed up with old jobs so we tried to delete them and squeeze our page out but there was one file in the queue that we could not delete. Peggi worked on this for about ten minutes and then the Consumer Reports page timed out so we gave up. Leo told us that last week he got so frustrated he was going to take a pick ax to his computer. He asked, “Who invented this thing?” We laughed. He went to shut down his machine and looked up at us. “That’s another thing. Why do I go to ‘Start’ to shut this thing down?”
Leo was a dentist and he still has a dentistry chair in his basement. And on the wall near his computer he has this painting from 1952 that a patient of his did in exchange for a break on a tooth extraction. Leo told us that the patient painted himself as the dentist holding his tooth. The patient’s name was Frans Schmanke and he based this painting on a Frans Hals painting. Leo said he hung the painting in his office but he had to take it down because his patients didn’t like it.
The first thing I remember about Shawn Irons is him driving some sort of mobile home thing that he had rented for us to do a couple of out of town dates. We were on the New York State Thruway playing some sort game and laughing when he got pulled over. He was doing ninety and didn’t even know it. As the cop approached our vehicle, Shawn turned toward us and said, “I don’t have my license. Can someone let me borrow theirs?” There was total silence.
He printed up Personal Effects business cards with his name on them and then told us he wanted to manage the band. He had no managerial experience or managerial skills but he had a mischievous smile and lots of energy. Martin Edic described him as a “big character” and he was a ball to be around. We hear Shawn died in his sleep last week in San Jose.
Here is Peggi driving our neighbor’s leaf picker upper. She had to wake up at four this morning and drink the second half of her MoviPrep. The doctor’s office was cozy. I brought the paper and then moved on to some of the reading material that they had there like “Diseases of the Liver” and “W, The Biggest Issue Ever!”.
The routine procedure went well and her doctor told her that he would see her again in ten years. We drove directly to Golden Dynasty and had Chinese food. Peggi ordered General Tsang Soy but still under the influence of her narcotic, it came out “General Chang Choy”. Her fortune was, “There is beauty in simplicity”. It was about seventy degrees when we got home so we went out to rake leaves. Peggi had instructions not to drive or operate machinery and not to make any major decisions. She broke the first rule and the night is still young.
Before Christmas I stopped in this women’s clothing store near Starbucks called Avenue. I saw a brown hooded sweatshirt that I thought Peggi would like but they only had one size. It looked like it might fit so I bought it. When she tried it on at Christmas it was to big and we finally got around to returning it.
Peggi saw this sign on the way in that said “for women size 14 plus”. She asked a clerk if they had anything under size 14 and she said, “No”. A large women standing nearby said, “You’re just too teeny, tiny”. As we stood in line to get our money back it couldn’t have been more obvious that this was a plus sized store. We were marveling at the size of the clerks behind the counter and the other customers.
The sweatshirt was only $14 bucks. We walked over to another store called AJ Wright where everything they sell is marked down or discounted and Peggi found a sweater that she liked for $7. On the way home we went by the Dollar Store and Peggi told me she stopped in there before Christmas and someone had just puked so she left. It seems like the whole world is a flea market these days.
Peggi is preparing her insides for inspection. So it was no nuts or fruit with seeds today. We spent some time discussing whether or not that would include apples and pears and figured that they would be OK. She made lentil soup in the Crock Pot and we took that over to her mom’s apartment where we ate in front of 60 Minutes. Roger Clemens told Mike Wallace that he didn’t use steroids. Tomorrow it’s all liquids, the three tablets and the liter of MoviPrep.
It is possible to enjoy a perfectly good pizza pie without cheese being involved. Jeff Munson and Mary Kay proved this last night at their holiday party in Scottsville. He made at least fifteen pizzas. We sampled one with walnuts and spinach and went crazy for this one with arugula, figs and shrimp. Jeff suggests marinating the shrimp and figs for a couple of hours in olive oil, garlic and vinegar (Chinese Rice and Balsamic). Peggi had a cholesterol problem but got it under control by staying away from butter and cheese. Her doctor doubted that it would be possible to bring her levels down with diet but she did. And her doctor was at the party last night.
We were talking to one of Jeff’s neighbors and he told us that he grew orchids in a climate controlled greenhouse next door. So we took a tour of his place and Bob Mahoney snapped this shot on his new cell phone.
We knocked off a quote for a website for a dance troupe in Detroit this morning. We had promised it last week but we never got to it. Peggi put the turkey in the oven and then headed out to pick up her mom. I watched for the little pecker to pop out. It’s a free range turkey that never ate meat. The label says it has 70% less fat. I don’t think of turkey as having much fat to begin with. We bought it at Palermo’s Italian Market on Culver.
Duane stopped by and helped me shoot a new batch of paintings. He works for Lowel Light in Brooklyn and he set up four Tota lights, balanced the white point and set up a manual exposure with his Sony Cybershot V3. They came out pretty good but it will take me a bit to crop them and adjust the levels. When work was done we kicked back with a dvd of a 2002 live performance of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. I have an 8-track of that thing out in the garage that I want to put on eBay some day. Peggi walked in with her mom. My brother and his family are in town from New Jersey and they are headed over here for dinner. My parents will be here too, so with Duane that will be eleven. We put the extra leaf in the table.
We were at a party at Richard Edic’s last night and I was talking to Sheryl about about Neil Young. The conversation strayed into the joys of winter and she was telling me how much she liked the coziness of it all. I like the winter too. I can’t get anything done in the summer.
We took a walk in the woods today and came across an area where there was a concentration of deer footprints and ground with no snow. There was a pretty big tuft of deer hair (or is it fur?) and blood spots mixed in with the snow. It looked like a fight scene. Maybe it was rough sex. On our way back we saw a buck with a rack wandering by himself and he appeared to be limping. We built a couple of snowmen in the front yard and Peggi headed out to make pecan pies with her mom. She is going to stop by Wegmans and pick up some of those whole wheat pie shells that don’t have any trans fat in them. I’m headed down to the basement to paint.
Our next door neighbor, Leo, was featured on the local news last night. I was sitting right here at my desk when they shot the footage yesterday. You can see our house in the background of one of the outdoor scenes.
We left 4D early to do a little Xmas shopping. Our first stop was Barnes & Noble. Last time we were there we were trying to decide between two calenders and and we mistakenly came home with both. So we returned that and picked up “Into The wild” and “Mademoiselle Boleyn” for Peggi and a $12 “Expressionism” art book and a book on Ornette Coleman for me. First things first. We bought a large print version of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and a Puccini opera for my mother-in-law and started talking about where we would eat.
We headed for Aladdin’s Natural Eatery but stopped at Eastern Mountain Sports on the way out of the parking lot. We tried on those things you wear around your ankles and lower leg so the snow doesn’t go down your shoes. They are made of GORE-TEX and they cost $69. We had a hard time finding the right size. Large was right for me in the length but I couldn’t draw them tight enough at the top for them to stay up. In fact I pulled one string so tight it broke. We walked around the store with them on and then decided to leave without them. It felt great not having them wrapped around my legs. We stopped next door at this place that just had their Grand Opening called Stein-Mart. There was hardly anyone there and they were already having a “Clearance Sale”.
We headed in the direction of home and stopped at Target to pick up a Tangoes game for my sister-in-law and a Nascar hat for our nephew. The Nascar hat was so ugly we couldn’t buy it so picked out an Elmer Fudd style hat for him. We stopped at the Thai place across the street from the Irondequoit Mall and ordered “Evil Jungle” (a spicy tofu and vegetables dish) and Sesame chicken. We had a twenty minute wait so we decided to get a drink next door at La Trattoria D’Abruzzo. We love this place and have eatin here many times. It was Christmas time and I had a headache so I suggested a gin and tonic. The bar tender made them strong I think. We don’t usually order mixed drinks. We were chatting with her and then Giustino, the chef and owner sat down for a glass of wine. They had a number of cancellations because of the snow and it was sort of slow. Giustino bought us another drink. It was in front of us before we could turn it down. Our Thai food was cold by the time we got back there.
We went to the RoCo Members Show last night. Each member gets to submit one piece and it always manages to be a good show and a fun event. Anne Havens submitted a beautiful artist’s book and read it. We found a quote there attributed to E.D. (Emily Dickinson) that read, “Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it”. Wow.
On the way over to RoCo we stopped at Book Smart Studio where two RIT students were showing their thesis work. I really loved Jessica Marquez’s “A Naturual History”. She took profile shots of her extended family and fine tuned them in Photoshop so the detail of the features remained in the silouetted images. She coated the balnk pages of old books with something that allowed her to print her photos on these pages. They look like something she found in an attic. They require close examination and are exquisite!
After the galleries we stopped by Bill and Geri’s to see their renovation project. We bought Molson Ice 40 ouncer for $3 at the Twelve Corners Quickstop and watched a Heart reunion in high def on VH1.
These guys were waltzing around our neighborhood. We are headed out to LA for Thanksgiving in the Hollywood Hills. My wife’s sister will be doing the bird but the turkey is always my least favorite part of this meal. My favorite part used to be the stuffing but I now I like the Brussels sprouts if they are on the menu. I really don’t care for football either but I am thankful for the harvest.
I first met Brad Fox in high school. His father had paint by number clown paintings all over the house. Brad’s parents were getting a divorce and they were trying to figure out what was up with their son. They had Brad take a bunch of tests and one of the questions was, “Who is Faust?” “What does that have to do with intelligence?” Brad would ask. I didn’t know who Faust was either and I never found out until I saw F.W. Murnau’s 1926 formerly silent film, Faust, with music by the Willem Breuker. This is a match made in heaven. Willem Breuker Kollektief has been to Rochester at least ten times in the past. Willem can’t travel with the band anymore because of his heath but his band sounded fantastic in the Bop Shop atrium last week.
Their next stop was the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House where they were performing the score to Faust live. I wasn’t able to make that show so I bought the dvd of the movie from the band. The movie is incredibly rich looking for an old black and white. The set designs are stunning. The short ceilings and small doors frame the actors like a fanciful puppet show. The special effects are dreamlike and artful. This movie is timeless and holds up to anything made today. Willem Breuker’s score covers a lot of ground and is equally timeless. The band is so musically fluent, they are able to turn on a dime and keep up with the devil in the midst of the plague and a metaphysical conflict between good and evil.