GJ Willis' Art Notes
The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.
I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.
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Sunday, February 29, 2004
Yesterday, I saw Sweeney Todd at Center Stage. This was the first Sondheim musical I’ve ever seen. I’ve often seen him lauded in musical theater circles but have never seen anything he’s written until now. Overall, Sweeney Todd was ok. It wasn’t exactly the feel good musical of the century. I found it a bit dark for my tastes. I’ll post a more well thought out review of it a little later in the week.
Two plays I’d like to see that are currently running at other local theatres are Proof and The Producers. Proof is running at Everyman Theatre until March 6, 2004. The Producers is playing at the newly renovated Hippodrome Theatre until March 14, 2004. The Hippodrome is practically in my hood. I really want to get tickets there. However, from the crowd I see gathering there it appears to be a high class joint. My one hope this week is to be able to attain cheap seats for either of these shows. Most likely I’ll end up seeing Proof.
Thursday, February, 26, 2004
Yikes!! I just heard that Howard Stern has been pulled from all the Clear Channel Stations he’s on. However, he’s still safe in Baltimore on Infinity Broadcast owned Live 105.7 I doubt that Mel will pull the plug on his golden goose. Then again it’s hard to say in the climate that were in.
On a side note, I feel horrible for admitting this but, I find myself getting aroused whenever I look at how much money Mel makes, his bonus’ stock options and all. Is that wrong so? I guess I’m a closeted gold digger. I’m against marriage for myself only if he’s close to having more money than God.
Anyway, this whole Stern suspension episode is ironic in a way because Clear Channel is responsible for that laughing hyena on DC 101, Elliot in the Morning. On the hyena’s show you can regularly hear cuss words being slipped out on air. So I suppose that Clear Channel feels that sexual/racial innuendo is more damaging to hear than actual foul language. Verrrry Interesting.
These are scary times in which we live. First Bush wanting to ban gay marriages, then the Christ movie, and now Stern being pulled off the radio in 6 states. All I want to know is how long before the Taliban shows up?
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Today The Passion of the Christ opens up. Ironically enough (Yea, right!) on Ash Wednesday. I suppose I would feel differently about this opening up on Ash Wednesday if I heard that Mel Gibson would be donating the proceeds of this movie to charity. First off, I don’t pretend to be a Bible scholar. I’ve never been to a church on a Sunday a day in my life. I’m Wiccan and my family originates from the West Indies. No, I’ve never performed any voodoo. I have nothing against Christianity or Christians. Like the song goes, Jesus is all right with me.
On a side note, Gibson was raised by an anti-semetic kook, Hutton Gibson. His father has made claims that Vatican II was a ploy by the Jews also he says that all of his children are behind him. Also Mel Gibson belongs to a kooky extremist Catholic sect that does not follow Vatican II and has all of their services in Latin.
I don’t know if the Christ movie is anti-semetic or not I’ve never seen it. However, if you look at all of the things his father has said to the press over the years coupled with Gibson’s extremist Catholic beliefs. It kind of makes you feel, I don’t know....
Things I hate about a movie I’ve never seen. I hate the title of the movie. Why not call it the Passion ”of” Christ instead of the Passion of ”the” Christ? I find using ”the” in a way disrespectful. It’s putting Christ on the level of a borderline megalomaniacal twit like “the” Donald aka Donald Trump. I mean he’s Christ, no “the” needed! What did I miss something? Was there another guy named Christ mentioned in the bible? I think not! My other gripe, is that the movie’s not in English it’s in Aramaic with subtitles. This I feel is overkill. Let’s see the movie is directed by an American, (Gibson never gave up his American citizenship when his family moved to Australia in the 60’s) and stars and an American. Also I hate that Jim Caviezel is playing Jesus. Caviezel has been in lousy movie after lousy movie.
I find it weird that people are going to a Hollywood movie, to get religion. I mean if you want religion go to church! I mean has anyone ever been saved while watching Mel Gibson movies like Lethal Weapons? I don’t recall anyone ever yelling out, “Hallelujah, I see the error of my ways. I’m coming back home to Jesus! Lord have Mercy!!” as Murtaugh blows away another bad guy.
People, you can not expect to find religion or be saved by watching a movie. Read your bibles! Go to church! Yes, I know this might sound odd for a pagan to be saying. However, as a Wiccan we do not believe in proselytizing or going around and saying my religion is better than yours. Frankly, I feel that if you're a Christian, be a Christian. Go to church, read your bibles, avoid this movie, at least until it comes out at the local barber shop or if you don’t live near a black barber shop then wait till it comes out cable ..... Me? I’ll probably rent it when it comes out on Netflix, maybe double bill it with Scorces’ The Last Temptation of Christ.
p>Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Today I heard the most asinine thing ever, Bush’s proposal to start a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriages. This is so transparently homophobic and divisive that I’m speechless. Let’s see what am I as a voter most worried about in the world, job losses, health care costs, the economy, the war in Iraq, or gay marriages.
The economy continues to lag, and the president’s own spotty military history is back in the news, in sharp contrast to John Kerry’s record as a decorated Vietnam War hero and this is all Bush can come up with to fight back? This whole issue makes Republicans appear mean and backward-looking. They look like morality police peeking inside people’s bedroom’s. This blatantly divisive tactic to me is reason 1002 why the Shrub must be voted out of office. This whole thing reeks of desperation on the part of the Republican Party.
First off there shouldn’t be any of that half assed legal union stuff or whatever they call it. The term legal union reeks of 50’s era separate but equal terminology. Gays should have the right to be married with a marriage license issued from city hall or wherever you get marriage licenses from. They should have the right to be married and miserable like the majority of married people in America are.
To all those married folks and religious zealots out there who feel that gay marriages some how ruins the sanctity of marriage I say get a divorce or don’t get married if you feel that way. It’s obvious to me that you are the type of person who’s itching for any reason to end your marriage. It’s like saying that if blacks can do it then it ruins everything. You know if you feel that way then you’re a racist. No, I don’t want to hear how your best friend is black, or that you like rap music. You are a racist. If you feel that if gays get married then it ruins everything. If you feel that way then you are homophobic. No, I don’t want to hear how you like to watch Will and Grace or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. You are homophobic.
In my opinion this all started on February 4, 2004 when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that gay couples must be given the right to marry. I applaud the Massachusetts court decision as well as San Francisco’s recent rush to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I say if you want to ruin your life straight or gay and get married go for it!
Monday, February 23, 2004
Last night I only got about 3-4 hours of sleep. I was 5 minutes late for work and everything. I barely remember what I did at work today. So forgive me if this sounds groggy. The reason for my sleepless night was due to the fact that I under estimated the amount of time it would take me to work with my hair. If you haven't figured it out by now I’m Black. Every 2-3 weeks I re-twist my hair. Basically, my hair is locked but I like to wear it in twists. Maybe one day I’ll wear it out in it’s natural dread locked state. Anyway, I thought it would take me just an hour to twist my hair but it took well over that amount of time. I guess my hair must be in it’s growing stage. Anyway....
What was I going to write about? Ah, yes....Ralph Nader’s run for the Presidency. First off I voted for Nader in the last Presidential election. Why did I do this you ask? I wanted Nader to be able to get funding for the Green Party. Mainly, I didn't like how he was treated during the campaign. They would not let him participate in debates. Also I didn't like Gore’s attitude of running away from and avoiding being linked with one of the most successful men who has ever held office in the late 20th Century, Bill Clinton. Yes, Clinton cheated on Hillary with a pudgy intern. This action I feel did not warrant him being treated as thought he were the bogeyman? If Gore had embraced his legacy in the Clinton White house more often during his campaign I would have felt comfortable voting for him. He seemed by his actions to be agreeing with those Republicans who go on and on about how Clinton ruined America. Thus it gave me the feeling that Nader was correct when he said that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party were one in the same.
I happen to live in a solidly Democratic state. Maryland, is the land of the yellow dog Democrats. We’d rather vote for a yellow dog for President than a Republican. Ours was among the few states that wasn’t a part of the Reagan Revolution. We solidly voted against his Presidency not once but twice. So I knew going into the voting booth that Maryland was unequivocally for Gore no matter who I voted for. Therefore my vote for Nader was not in anyway a vote for that evil retarded chimp, Bush. Gore would win Maryland no matter who I voted for. Guess what ladies and gentlemen Gore won Maryland. Gore won the Presidency. Bush stole the Presidency with aide of the Republican packed Supreme Court and his brother the Governor of the People’s Banana Republic of Florida.
One word, Vietnam. I feel it highly ironic that Bush who went AWOL during his National Guard stateside service is continually pushing our servicemen and women into a war that is being fought over nothing. I have yet to see any proof of weapons of mass destruction and feel that I never will. This was a war started solely for vanities sake.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
With the Alphasmart 3000 I could just type away then download it to my computer, no transcribing required! All in all I’d rather have this than a bulky energy wasting notebook computer.
From what I read the Alphasmart runs on ordinary AA batteries that you can buy anywhere. It is designed to be energy efficient. The AA batteries you bought from Walmart or Rite Aid last up to 30 hours in the Alphasmart! Also, it’s nearly indestructible. It was originally designed for learning disabled students but a number of writers have adopted it as an affordable, portable writing tool. Since I have a horrible tendency to drop things this is definitely a selling point for me. I have to say that I’d rather have the Alphasmart 3000 than it’s latest update the Alphasmart Dana.
The updated and very expensive version has palm pilot capabilities, and lasts up to 700 hours on the AA batteries. I know that if I got the Dana very little writing would be accomplished. I’d be checking e-mail and playing games instead of working on my writing.
So my second mission is to save up to buy an Alphasmart 3000. Oh, before I forget Alphasmart has a loaner program where they will send you an Alphasmart for free to try out for 2 weeks. I’m thinking about doing this but would rather wait until I have my money saved up before I tried it out because I know in the end, I'M GONNA BUY IT!!!!
Friday, February 20, 2004
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
I did something possibly brilliant or stupid this weekend. I listed more of my
Friday, February 6, 2004
Despite, the horrible morning start the greatest tragedy today was that I missed Trent Dawson in Center Stage’s production of The Miser. I absolutely adore Trent on As the World Turns where he plays Henry Coleman, the lovable con man. This show makes his second appearance at Center Stage this year. I had previously seen him earlier in the season in Misalliance.
I really wanted to make it out to the show tonight but I feared I would catch a cold. My feet were still wet when I got home from work and it’s still raining outside. My sidewalk is still icy. I fear catching another cold. Who knows maybe Trent will grace the stage with his presence later in the season?
Friday, January, 30, 2004
Today since I have a three day weekend I thought I’d do the near impossible, enter all my comic books in a spreadsheet so that I can track their values. This will be the scariest task I have ever undertaken bar none. I’ve collected comic books since I was a kid. The two oldest comic books I have are Star Wars issue 5 and a Six Million Dollar Man from the 70’s. I have god knows how many comics stored away in boxes in the upper shelves of my closet. So this weekend I will attempt to gather and list them all then go back to all my Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and find and list there values through the years.
The two most valuable books I have are issue 1 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I got it because I liked the quirky title. The other comic I have that is valuable is issue 2 of the X-Files. The series I’ve always collected have been Batman, and the X-Men. I’m not a died in the wool fan of the X-Men but I do admit that when I was a kid I wanted to be Storm. That’s right, I wanted to dye my hair white and everything. The only shocking thing I have to confess about the X-Men is that I’ve never seen the X-Men movies and as an adult I buy them purely for financial reasons. I mean those babies literally make money overnight.
The only comic book I actually read from time to time is Batman because, well, he’s the Dark Knight, and he’s cool. Throughout the years I have accumulated a steady collection of the Punisher, and She-Hulk comics. I have the Punisher because when I first read it I was shocked. I mean this guy did not play. It was the most ultra-violent comic book I have ever read. I have a lot of She-Hulk’s because I liked her when she was a member of The Avengers.
Through him I saw the dark side of comic book collecting and knew I did not want to go back there to a world of obsessive compulsive collecting. It was a relationship filled with mistrust and anxiety. I had books he wanted (autographed) and he had books I wanted. “You don’t want me you want my comic book collection don’t you! I’ve seen the way you were eying my Archie meets the Punisher comics! Back I say back!! That’s right I have a Spawn issue 1 autographed by Todd McFarland top that baby!”
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Today, there was a miserable snow/rain mix outside. Thus, I was late for work. Only about 6 people from my department showed up. I don’t know why but I just felt angry as they showed up one by one. I was hoping that by coming in today I would get a free vacation or personal day. They do that from time to time if x-amount of people don’t show up for work. I was angry when Jai showed up then Brian showed then Keisha had the audacity to show up grrrrr!!
I thought I’d have a peaceful laid back day hanging with the snow crew Lisa, Deborah, Arnold, and the old Dave-ster. But no!! Keisha and Brian had to show up ruining my day. Ughhh! Those meddling conscientious co-workers ruining my possible free personal or vacation day!!! I’m sorry I had a Scooby-Doo moment right there. You know the part in the show where the villain is foiled and always without fail rails about, “Those meddling kids!” Well that’s how I felt folks, “Those blasted faithful co-workers!”
Here’s the part everyone is dying to know the celebrities these co-workers most resemble, Lisa looks like, a young Melissa Gilbert. I’ve already said in a previous post that Deborah looks like Marla Gibbs. Dave, who is Brian’s supervisor looks kind of like the guy who plays Agent Smith in the Matrix movies who looks like Elrond, the Elf King in the Lord of the Rings movies. Yes, I know that both roles are played by the same guy, Hugo Weaving, and Dave looks kind of like him. Every time I see Dave I think to myself there goes the Elf King. What does the Elf King want? Oh my god the Elf King is laughing! Who amongst you has upset the Elf King?
As I’ve said in a previous post Brian, my supervisor, looks like Mr. Clean. I’ve already said that Jai the most cheerful woman on the planet looks like Rosalind Chao. The celebrity Keisha most resembles is recording artist Tweet with much shorter hair.
Today was notable because I heard Arnold laugh out loud. I can’t recall ever hearing Arnold laugh before. I’ve seen him smile but never heard him actually laugh out loud. It was very infectious. I wonder what makes him laugh? The celebrity Arnold most resembles is character actor, Larry Drake. Drake is the guy who used to play Benny, the retarded,....uh mentally impaired, assistant on LA Law. He also played Darkman and Dr. Giggles. Sometimes I think maybe Arnold has Asperger’s Syndrome like I do but then again what do I know? I guess I’ll never know for sure because you can’t go up to someone and ask, “Hey, do you have Asperger’s Syndrome, or are you just one step closer to going postal, because I asked you this stupid inane question?”
Tuesday, January 26, 2004
There was a snowstorm outside this morning. I took the day off of work. I got a lot of work done on some mail art I’m working on. I hope to be able to send it out on Friday.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Today my work schedule is permanently switched to the one I’ve always wanted. The reason it was switched was because Brian was annoyed that I was the only one working two different schedules. The majority, heck, all of the people who were doing that schedule dropped out, except me. So now I work Monday and Friday until 1:15 in the afternoon. The rest of the week I work until 4:30 in the evening. I love this schedule! Now I don’t have to leave out early for doctor’s appointments. I can just make them on either Mondays or Fridays. Oh, Joy! Oh, Rapture!
Monday, January 19, 2004
I tried to join friendster.com. I mainly tried to do this because I was on cold medicine and thought it would be fun. It’s amazing the things I’ll try to do while zonked out on cold medicine. I’m sure that everyone in the entire universe knows that in order to really join friendster you have to have friends who are willing to join along with you. It’s kind of like Amway or multi-level marketing 21st century style. Needless to say I invited everyone in my e-mail address book to join. No one replied. So I’m friendless on friendster.