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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Saturday, April 30, 2005
Yesterday, I went to the BSO pops concert. The show featured Doo-Wop music. In addition to seeing the concert I was curious to find out who the old guy that I usually sit next to was going out with. It seems as though every time I see a show he’s with a different woman. It now appears that he’s settled on one. This is the second time that he’s taken her to a concert. I wonder if I’ll see them again at the next show or if he’ll be taking out another woman? I swear this guy is like a major geriatric playa.
The concert overall was ok. I was entertained. The only weak spot I saw was the group of 20somethings who had the audacity to call themselves, The Marvelletes. True, the majority of the groups were filled with non original members. But for some reason the fake Marvelletes made me see red. I think it was around the time just before they went into a song and said, “Do any of you remember 1962?” My only thought was that none of them were even born in 1962! They were obvious fakes!
The first act of the evening was The Coaster. They were pretty good. None of the performers on stage as The Coasters looked old enough to be the original members. They did a good job of not reminding me that they were fakes. No one on stage shouted out, “Hey, remember 1959?” The 40something lead singer of The Coasters also served as the emcee of the evening. He did a very good job of keeping things light and upbeat.
The second act of the evening were the fake version ofThe Marvelettes. I believe I’ve already made my feelings clear about those three hacks. They all wore red sequined dresses and none of their shoes matched. Yes, I admit I hated them for being so young. They could have at least hired people in their forties. I feel if someone is in there forties then at least you could have the illusion of the possibility that they might have gotten a face lift and are actually in their 60’s or even 70’s. Those women weren’t woman they were girls. They were probably all born in the 80’s.
The third act of the evening were The Orioles . The Orioles were the only act where I can say that almost all the original members were present. Every last one of them had grey hair, except one. It brought a tear to my eye to see them perform. The Orioles have been together since the late 40’s. I wonder if The Rolling Stones will all be performing together for their 50th Anniversary like The Orioles?
The final act of the night was The Drifters. The Drifters did a very good job. Like the majority of acts that performed tonight they did some of the songs of other groups and singers to stretch out time. A glaring song they did that was not their own was Stand By Me (Ben E. King).
At the end of the show all the groups except the Orioles got on stage and sang a song called Stand Up America. According to the lead singer of the Coasters all the groups got together and recorded it along with The Platters in response to 9-11.
After seeing an evening of faux groups it makes me wonder, what is to prevent someone after I die from going around claiming to be me? I wonder if I can officially sanction someone to pretend to be me after I’m dead?
Friday, April 29, 2005
MORNING COMMUTE: This morning I caught the #2 bus. The driver had his baseball cap pulled jauntily to the side. I don’t know why but I found this unacceptable for an MTA employee. I guess he wanted to look hip and came off at least to me as looking silly, especially at his age. If he were younger and didn’t work for the MTA I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.
WHAT I’M WEARING:Today, I have on a rainbow waffle knit turtle neck, blue jeans, and blue suede shoes
Thursday, April 28, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: The Bus Window
This morning it was brutally cold outside. The first thing he did when he got on the bus was open the window as wide as it could go. I hate when people do this!! I feel that the only reason they do it is to annoy other passengers.
I’ve noticed that people who engage in this behavior tend to look angry and have a defiant look on their face. Their expression seems to say, “Yeah that’s right! I opened the damned window what you gonna do about it!” They have a look to them as if they’re itching for a fight. Of course no one on the bus ever confronts them or asks them to close the window because it’s freezing outside.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
GOOD NEWS: Poster up on the web!
I got an email from Scotty today. He got the poster and describes it as being unique. I’m surprised he didn’t tell me it was lost in the mail.
Overall, this was the most ambitious poster that I have ever done. It probably won’t sell for much. It does’nt look very conventional. In fact it looks downright hideous looking. I don’t care. I had fun doing it.
The poster is basically, a giant collage. I usually do smaller collages for the mail art that I send out. I thought it would be fun to try and attempt to do one on a larger scale.
If you are curious about the hideous poster I did, you can slick over to the Soweboarts website. The one I did is naturally labeled, Gail Willis.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Todays, driver of the #1 bus bore a striking resemblance to r&b singer, Eve. The light rail train and it’s corresponding shuttle bus were both on time.
SIGHT OF THE DAY: THE STAR WARS CUBICLE
By early mid morning he had taken all of the things down. I was surprised to see that the Lego playset ofDarth Vader and Emperor Palpatine on his throne were gone from off his monitor. They have been there since... well since, a very, very, very, very, very, very, long time. I guess he felt a little too embarrassed to keep them around since earlier in the day his cubicle was turned into Star Wars central.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Monday, April 25, 2005
When I transferred to the light rail there were fourteen people aboard train not including me. This is the most people I have encountered on the train since I part of the light rail was discontinued for constructuion. I even saw the woman that I dubbed the makeup monster. I wonder what happened this morning to put so many people on the light rail?
ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE DAY: Sowebo Poster Completed and Returned!!!
Instead, to protect my artwork against the wind I placed it in two white trash bags. This did no good because three small sections of the diamond like purse strap that was glued to the poster fell off. Luckily, I went out armed with a bottle of glue in case such an emergency should occur on a windy day like today.
I first noticed as I was waiting for the #10 bus that the diamond like studs were missing somewhere inside the two plastic bags. A man named Charles whom I’d never met before that day, saw my predicament and helped me. I thought it was neat that he was humming the theme to Mighty Mouse, (Here, I come to save the day!) as he helped me. He told me that he was on his way to work when he saw me. He was carrying a big lunch pail with him. The only thing he wanted in exchange for helping me were cigarettes. Unfortunately, I don’t smoke. I’m a bit paranoid about engaging in any type of activity that might result in cancer. As I’ve written before, both sets of my grandmothers died of cancer as did all of my aunts on my father’s side of the family.
However, it just so happened that beside me on the bench was a pack of cigarettes. The only question was were they empty or still full? As luck would have it they were full. I gave them to Charles and he gleefully lit up. He even asked for my phone number, unfortunately, neither of us had a pen. It was likekismet I tell you! Then again, maybe I’ve watched one too many romantic comedies.......
The reason why I wanted to turn the poster in a day earlier than it was due is because I get off late in the evening on Tuesdays. There was a Baltimore Songwriters’ Association meeting being held at the Creative Alliance on the evening I dropped the poster off. I was told earlier in the day by a woman I spoke with on the phone that it would be ok to turn it in during the songwriters meeting.
When I made it to the CA I didn’t take much note if anyone was at front desk or not. I simply followed the signs on the outside wall of the building that led to the BSA meeting. Someone from the BSA let me in and I dropped off my poster that was still wet with glue from where I had to replace the three diamond like studs. I hope that they do not fall off on the night...
All in all I feel glad that the poster is off my hands. I hope that Scotty does not run into any trouble photographing it. I also hope that one day I will run into Charles again. Hopefully, the next time I see Charles he would have given up the cancer sticks.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I spent five hours and 56 minutes down loading updates for Jaguar just so that I can give Internet Explorer the boot and use Safari instead.
The version of Jaguar I downloaded 10.2.8 The version I was previously running was 10.2 with no additional extensions.
Throughout the day I had to diligently stay by the computer making sure that the internet connection was never broken.
I’ve noticed that OS X will break connection without giving you a warning that goes beep beep. A silent screen pops up instead.
I wish there was a way to program it so that when a system pop up window comes up you get some kind of an attention sound like you did with previous incarnations of their operating systems.
Then again for all I know there could be way to turn that mechanism on. I just have to find it....
Friday, April 22, 2005
I had a scheduled day off from work. I took it to celebrate Earth Day and to work on my Sowebo Poster. I still have no idea what I’m going to do. Throughout the week I’ve been doing sketches of possible ideas. I suppose I’ll come up with a clearer idea by tomorrow.
All I did today was glue down a border. I wanted to make sure I had a straight border. I noticed that on the poster I made last year the border was anything but straight.
Also I really like the border that came with the poster this year. Who ever did it, did a fantastic job. It wasn’t as busy looking as the ones in previous years. The design was crisp and clean and not too frou frou. In my opinion this is the best border yet! You can actually incorporate the border in your artwork with out it taking over the work.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: 4/20
A lot of Morning Shows had 4/20 themes yesterday inviting the guys from High Times and NORMAL to express their views. The only thing I learned was that there are numerous theories about how 4/20 gained significance or derived it’s name.
First off I have to let you know that I’m a square. I’ve never smoked pot. I don’t drink either. Also I’m not a Republican or a Religious Conservative. I’m just a tragically unhip black wall flower.
Even though I’ve never smoked the wacky tobacky, I’m all for legalization of marijuana. I feel pot smokers are basically harmless. I’ve never heard of hard core pot smoker breaking into someones house to get money for there next high. That’s usually the problem you run into with crack or heroin addicts. Crack and heroin are two drugs which I feel should never be legalized.
I’ve seen too many peoples lives destroyed by those two drugs for me to say it’s ok to legalize *all* drugs. Norway has had pot legal for many years and to the best of my knowledge they’ve never run into any serious problems because of it. If anything it would bring in extra revenue for the government. Well, that’s all I have to say about 4/20....
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The bus and light rail were both on time this morning. It’s 62’ outside. The weatherman said it’s possible that it will get into the 90’s later today.
CONCERN OF THE DAY: The Creepy Man
One day a couple of years ago I came home a little earlier than usual and I saw him rushing to set up his stuff on the steps. This made me think that maybe he’s sitting there watching my every move and wasn’t just out there casually reading a book.
When ever I see him I feel uncomfortable. I feel as though he’s silently stalking me. Then again he could just be innocently reading a book. I don't know for sure. The only thing I know is that this year I’ll set up my security alarm. If the folks downstairs have one set up why can’t I?
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
I got on the 1# bus marked Ft McHenry. The driver said, “Hello!” to me but not to the other passengers. I found this very odd.
INTEREST OF THE DAY: VIRGIN RADIO
I think it would be neat if I won tickets for the concert sponsored by Nokia. The only problem would be how to redeem my tickets and make it over to the UK for the concert?
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a royal blue short sleeve shirt and a stripped cotton jacket along with blue slacks and blue suede shoes. It’s supposed to get up to 80’ today. I feel dressed for the occasion.
Monday, April 18, 2005
When I was waiting for the light rail train I saw a man casually jogging on the light rail track. I suppose he had a death wish of some sort. He was dressed all in black. He wore a black sweatshirt, pants, gloves, and knit cap. The celebrity he most resembled was Peter Hornsby from 30something who happens to look like tennis legend Bjorn Borg.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Wow! Today, I was playing around with iTunes. I bought 6 songs in the iTunes store.
The first song I downloaded was Desmond Dekkars’ The Israelites. The next songs I bought in order were, Gary Glitter’s, Rock N’ Roll Part 2, Joseph Arthur’s, Even Tho, and Los Lobos’, Good Morning Atzalan.
Then I tried to find this old Santana song that I love. The problem was I could’nt remember the title. Throughout the song it sounded like the guy was singing, “I’m waiting.” Thinking I had had found the right song I downloaded, Waiting. I listened in horror as I realized it was the wrong song. Then I found the one I wanted, called, Winning. I quickly found out that in the song the guy was in actuality singing, “I’m winning”, not, “I’m waiting”.
Right now I’m wondering if they have a way you can preview songs on iTunes before you download them. I’d hate to relive another Santana experience.
I suppose I might also get an iPod any day now. The one I think I’ll get is called an iPod Shuffle. I want to get this particular model because it’s more in my price range. The iPod Shuffle runs for about a hundred bucks. The other models are about 200 to 300 bucks. The reason for the price discrepancy is that they have more memory on them. The one I want stores about 250 songs. This doesn’t bother me none. I believe with an iPod you can add or delete songs you become bored with. If not then I guess I’d better look into getting a pricier model.
Also today, I was listening to internet radio on iTunes. I found this really great NY station that plays a large mix of music from the 50’s on to today. Oddly enough, it has a British announcer. I believe it’s called NYPS or the New York Power Station. I also was listening to my all time favorite station , Music from the Blue Light.
OS X rules!!!
Saturday, April 16, 2005
I got my copy of Macromedia Flash 5 yesterday! In addition to that I finally got and installed Mac OS X. The version I have isn’t the latest. I have Jaguar or 10.2 And wouldn’t you know Macintosh is coming up with even newer version of OS X. OS X 10.3 or Tiger. No wonder I got this copy so cheap!
After installing it, it took me a while to figure out how to get back on the internet. Just to let you know how long it took me. I started installing everything around 9pm and didn’t finish up until 3am in the morning.
Friday, April 15, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: Taxes
However, as always I owed on my Maryland taxes. I had to pay about $163. Maryland has the reputation for being amongst the most over taxed states in the union.
All I can say now is that I hope that I don’t get audited for taking deductions on my school loans and charitable contributions. Last year I gave $10 a month to WYPR. I did this because I knew that at the end of year they would mail me a statement. I feel it’s better this way because there’s a written record on both ends of how much money I donated to them. I think I may add WTMD> on to my $10 a month donation club.
I tend to donate money every year to certain organizations but am unsure if they are tax deductible.
In case any one is taking score here are the organizations I give donations to every year; Amnesty International, NOW (National Organization For Women), Planned Parenthood, American Friends Service Committee, American Humanist Association, American Diabetes Association, Center Stage, the BSO, the Sierra Club, Chase Brexton Health Services, GMHC, Broadway Cares, Habitat for Humanity, and the Democratic National Committee.
As you can see from the above list, I’m basically a garden variety bleeding heart liberal...and damned proud of it!
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Thursday, April 14, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: The Blue Bracelet
The reason for my discomfort was because of something I noticed he was wearing. He was wearing a blue Cure Autism Now bracelet.
I’m sure he was wearing it in solidarity for his brother in law’s daughter who’s autistic. I recall him telling us about it a couple of years ago when her parents were doing fundraising for a bicycle race or something or other.
Seeing the bracelet prominently on display during the review made me wonder if he knew that I’m autistic. This was a silly thought because I’ve never told anyone at work about my disorder. I don’t feel it’s necessary. They are probably well aware of the fact that I’m a very odd duck. Why compound the issue by giving them a name for the condition I have? Besides the majority of people out there think that autism is a psychiatric disorder and are not aware of the fact that it is a genetic neurological disorder. From what I’ve read on various message boards adults with mild autism who have come out at work about their disorder are often times ostracized and quickly downsized out of a job.
In retrospect I’m sure he was wearing the bracelet because it might have been Autism Awareness Month or Week. I’m not quiet sure which or when those events take place. I don’t keep up on that type of thing.
In all likelihood I’m sure he wasn’t purposely wearing it because he was giving a yearly review to an autistic worker.
However, despite my reasoning, I have to say, that was the most uncomfortable review I ever sat through. Throughout the review I kept wondering does he or does he not know...
WHAT I’M WEARING:
I think I may do a retread of the picture that’s up on the main page of my website. I like the colour scheme idea of black, powder blue, and pink. Then again I may just change my mind all together and do something entirely different...
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: My Yearly Job Review and Star Wars
Also just after my supervisor told me he had completed my yearly review, I was taken aback when he noticed the Star Wars Episode III poster I have up. No where on it does it say Star Wars. To give you a better description it; it has Anakin and Obi Wan with crossed swords and there all these flames around them. I assume that this is the battle where Anakin falls into a fiery pit and later becomes Darth Vader.
I felt it was a very stealth poster. No normal personal looking at would say or think I was a Star Wars geek.
All in all it’s a pretty neat poster, it’s holographic and shiny. I got it in the mail from Target.
After he mentioned the poster he told me he was going to the big Star Wars convention in Indianapolis next week. I’m not too surprised by this. He has a couple of Star Wars things around his cubicle. He camps out at Walmart when new Star Wars dvd’s come out. I’m sure he’ll be at the movies on opening day. He’s the most diligent Star Wars fan I’ve ever run across.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
It’s colder than usual this morning. It’s in the 40’s. The high today is supposed to get into the 60’s. This is a major switch from the summer like weather we had last week and over the weekend. It appears that Spring has finally sprung.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Monday, April 11, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: Ms USA Beauty Pageant:
The only thing I can say is that I hope that the Donald shows up. I would really like to get a picture of him on my digital camera. Also I want to know if his hair looks real and natural in person.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Friday, April 08, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: WILL I GET FLASH 5?
After recently running across a web site where Flash was used to animate 20 second synopsis of movies I became re-interested in the possibilities of animation. The name of the web site is called Angry Alien.
I also found it neat that the female animator who’s responsible for the site is around my age and she started at around the same time I did. Also she was never an art major in school.
I see it all as a fresh DIY attitude. You know if you want to do something you have to Do It Yourself.
I know that in all likelihood I will never be hired by an animation studio. They tend to hire young male grads straight out of school. Me? I’m a woman vastly approaching middle age.
In the end I hope to either win it on eBay or find a web site that specializes in older discs for Macintosh computers.
I know, Flash 5 isn’t the latest Flash product, Flash MX is. However, Flash MX costs mucho dineros. So, thus I’ll settle for Flash 5 until the replacement for Flash MX comes along. When that happens I’ll plunck down my ducats for Flash MX.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Thursday, April 07, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: PAINTING FOR NO REASON
Despite the fact that the piece will not be in MAP’s Out of Order Show I’m happy that I completed it. In fact it was kind of nice to paint for no reason. Albeit, that’s what I do almost everyday.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: Spring Art Projects
I think I’ll even buck tradition this year and actually go to the Out of Order Show. If my painting doesn’t sell, then who cares?
I also found another art opportunity with Maryland Public Television. This year they will be holding a charity art auction.
Also this year I plan on doing another poster for the SOWEBO Festival. I probably will be submitting some art as I did last year. That is of course if I haven’t been banned or anything...
I haven’t decided if I’m going to participate in Artscape this year. None of the categories that they have up this year really caught my imagination. However, I’d hate not to submit anything. I like to keep my art out there even though no one’s really paying attention to it.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
This morning I got on the #2 bus. It was being driven by a dark skinned woman who wore her hair in a pony tail. The light rail and the light rail shuttle bus were all on time.
CONCERN OF THE DAY: Why’s the Mo Better Man On?
The Mo Better Man is an old guy that has this late night talk show. I used to listen to him when I couldn’t get to sleep at night. It would be mostly senior citizens who would call in to his show. I always found it very entertaining to listen to.
What made it entertaining was the stories that he told. They were always outlandish to the point where you weren’t entirely sure if he was making it all up.
My concern isn’t over the Mo’ Better Man, it’s over what happened to Magic 95’s overnight DJ. Has he been fired? Will the Mo Better Man now become a permanent fixture on Magic 95’s overnights? Or was this all just the result of a one time radio transmitter mishap?
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Monday, April 04, 2005
CONCERN OF THE DAY: Spring Forward
I have a hard time falling to sleep after daylight savings time takes effect. I find myself doing this because I’m afraid that I will oversleep. Also I hate the fact that everything has been moved up an hour. So now I’ll be starting work at what last week was 6:00am this week becomes 7:00am.
I can’t wait for fall to come back so that I can get my extra hour back.
It felt nice when I came into work this morning and looked around at some of my co-workers and noticed that I wasn’t the only person who looked half asleep.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Sunday, April 03, 2005
I’m feeling a lot better today than I was on Friday morning. My cold is almost gone. My fever is gone. I feel like tap dancing! The only thing now is the phlegm...
Since almost every one with a blog and a healthy dose of paranoia has done it. I have a device on this blog that tells me who has visited, how long they’ve stayed, and the key words that brought them here. None of the keywords have been anything salacious or funny. However, the most frequently keyed in words thus far has been Josh Spiegel. I’m simply surprised by the number of hits this blog gets everyday looking for information about the OTL news guy with the funny voice.
I wonder if I could have t-shirts made up at Cafepress that say,”....and I’m Not Joshing You!”? I could make some serious coin...
The only scary visits are those where I’ve noticed that there were no keywords that brought them here or the ones where I’ve noticed that they’ve been reading entry after entry, page after page, all day long.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Even though I’m not a Catholic I mourn the death of Pope John Paul II. I feel that in the end his legacy will be that of a paradox. He fought against communism yet he was resistent to church reform.
His criticism of such dictators as Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Ferdinand Marcos in the Phillippines encouraged opposition movements that eventually brought down those corrupt governments. The Pope’s support of the Solidarity movement in Poland was key in bringing an end to communism in the region he once called home. He was also the first Pope to visit a synagogue and the first to visit the Memorial at Auschwitz.
All in all, I have no idea who will be named Pope John Paul II’s successor. The only thing I do know is that there are two individuals who are frequently named as possibilities, Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Vatican official from Nigeria and Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the archbishop of Milan.
If Arinze succeeds he will make history as the first black Pope. I’m not quiet sure how this would go over in Rome or in the Catholic community.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Friday, April 01, 2005
I didn’t go into work this morning because I’m sick. Sick as a dog. My mother who was from Virginia and would often say colourful things would say, “Sicker than ten dogs.” I have no idea what that means but I can imagine that it means you’re feeling pretty darn sick.
Frankly, I’m surprised by the whole thing. I take massive amounts of vitamin C daily and yet I still get sick.
ANATOMY OF A COLD
Yesterday, at work my nose was running a lot and felt stuffy. All day I felt as though I was wading through oatmeal. Around 9-10am at work yesterday I knew I ought to be home. I had the distinct feeling that I had a fever. Luckily, at work yesterday, we were given the option to leave early. Since I felt, “Sicker than ten dogs.”, I took it. When I got home yesterday afternoon I checked my temperature it was running at 101!
I would have gone into work this morning if it wasn’t for the fact that I couldn’t get to sleep the night before. My nose was stuffy and I found it hard to get to sleep with my mouth open. In total last night I only got about two to three hours sleep.
All in all I think it was best that I stayed home today rather than suffer two days in a row of below standard work due to working with a fever.
In hindsight I still can’t believe I missed the obvious sign of chills on Wednesday! Here’s hoping that I’ll soon be back on the road to recovery.