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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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Happy Samhain! -er- Happy Halloween! I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday!
WHAT IM WEARING:
Monday, October 30, 2006
Today, I had a pre-scheduled day off. On my day off I went down to the Board of Elections and I bought a new coat. Well, they were not selling coats at the Board of Elections I had to get that elsewhere....
Anyway, the reason I went down to the Board of Elections on Fayette Street was so that I could vote in next months general election via absentee ballot. I wanted to do this because as I have written numerous times I do not feel comfortable using the Diebold made voting machines. They leave no paper trail and anyone can hack into them and put in whatever results that wanted.
While requesting a ballot I was surprised at how simple the procedure was. All I had to do was fill out a card then a woman behind the desk gave me a paper ballot for my district. Instead of mailing it in I decided to fill it out right in the office. They had these carboard boxes on a long table that served as makeshift voting booths. I pulled up a chair and sat crouched under a box. I quickly noticed that the ballot had to filled out with a number two pencil. Luckily, there were plenty of number two pencils on the table. It was just like those tests you had to take in public school. To select a candidate all you had to do was fill in a circle with your number two pencil.
Overall, I feel good about who I voted for. I also feel relieved that I will not have to rush home after work to vote. Its already been done. One thing I noticed while at the Board of Election was that there seemed to be an awful lot of people in there requesting absentee ballots. It was nice to see that I was not the only one who did not trust the machines.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Today, I did a lot of things. I went to Church, the library, and visited my father.
The big horror story of the day is that the numbers on my pedometer got accidently erased. I believe that somehow while I was reaching for change in my pocket I accidently erased my total daily stats. I sleep with my pedometer on and only take it off when I shower. Anyway, the last number of steps I recall seeing before I left from my fathers house was around 9000 steps. So you can just imagine how horrified I was when I got home and saw numbers much lower than I previously saw.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The events leading up to my seeing Three Sisters at Center Stage were somewhat surreal. So surreal that I will have to bench my review of the play for sometime later next week.
Anyway, the really big shocking event of Saturday occured when I woke up and turned on my trusty lime green, late 90's, cute as hell iMac. When I turned it on all I got was a grey screen and a flashing folder that would intermittently flash a question mark. I had no idea what was going on. The computer was working just fine last night. I feared the worse. The worse would be that my Mac after several years of devoted service had finally gotten a virus. After calling around I found out that this was not true. The problem was that for some reason my computer was failing to recognize its own hard drive. I put this problem down to age. My computer had only about 128 of memory. The computer was near the end of its life. In a since it had developed Alzheimers.
Since I have been saving up money for some time to buy a new computer. I took it as a sign to finally do it.
I went to the Mac Store at the Towson Town Center and picked up a new Mac. The reason I bought a Mac is because I am a bit of a Mac snob. I can not imagine why anyone would want to buy a virus infested Windows based computer. Besides my last Mac lasted for such a long time and Macs rule!
My new computer is a MacBook. I have always wanted a laptop and now I have it. In fact I am typing this very entry while sitting in my bed.
The other reason I picked up this computer was that they were having a sale in the store. You got a free printer with the purchase of a computer. The printer I selected is a printer/scanner/copier combo. I feel great!
I suppose next week I will go back to the store and see if they can fix the problem I am having with the hard drive on my iMac. I would really like to transfer some of my iTunes files to my new computer.
I have to admit that I am bit afraid to do this because at the store they would not give me a price estimate. They told me that they would have to see the computer first before they could calculate the cost. I hope that the cost will not be in the range of my new MacBook. I still have a few songs on my old computer that I did not bother to burn to disk.
Friday, October 27, 2006
This morning I felt frustrated while listening to NPR. They did a story where a Sudanese cell phone mogul named, Mo Ibrahim, was doing something good. He will be giving away a vast amount of money to an African leader who stays clean and does not become corrupt. The reason for my frustration was that NPR never said what cell phone company he owns. Everytime they do a story on Bill Gates they can not help but mention that he runs Microsoft. But this African mogul and the company he owns remain nameless....
Later today I have something to look forward. I see the first show of my 06/O7 season subscription at Center Stage. The show I will be seeing tonight is Three Sisters. I hope it will be good.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I woke up this morning at 3am with a horrible pain in my right leg. There was nothing I could do for it but slather on some Rite Aid arthritis cream. I do not have arthritis or anything. The reason I have the arthritis cream is that a couple of years ago I had a twisted ankle and noticed that the ingedients in the cream were similar to those in a more expensive pain reliever. I suppose that the reason for the pain was that either I was sleeping in a bad position or I need to add more dairy to my diet.
This morning I again walked part of the way to the light rail station. Then to my amazement the #20 bus pulled up again with the female living dead driver. I knew that it would be best not to take the bus. However, I could not help myself. I got on the bus knowing that despite being on time there would be a distinct possibility that the bus would make me late. Again, to my amazement the bus made it to my usual stop on time. I did not have to make a run for the train.
I do not know if this was a fluke or if the night of the living dead driver has mended her ways. All I know is that I will walk until I see a bus.
WHAT IM WEARING:
I am getting close to replacing my pair of walking shoes. The reason they have to be replaced is, according to various books on walking for fitness, I have read you are supposed to replace your shoes every 300 to 600 miles. I believe I am closing in on 300 miles.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
This morning I almost missed my train. This happened because I walked part of the way to the light rail station. This was completely unplanned. I got on the #20 bus as soon as I saw it. I got on it because it is rare that I see it when it supposed to come. I hopped on the bus not knowing it was the driver who always makes me late. The driver kind of looks like a black older version of Morticia from The Adams Family. I almost wonder if she sleeps in a coffin.
Anyway, as soon as I got off the bus driven by the undead looking woman I made a run for it. I had to do this because it was the only way I could get to my train before it pulled off. I was out of breathe gasping for air when I got within a few steps of the train. The light rail driver said over his intercom to me, "If you want this train you better step up!" So I had no choice but to step up my pace to get the train. Looking back, it was nice of him to wait for me. Other light rail drivers would have pulled off and not said a damn thing.
I was so out of breathe that when I finally got on the train I only had energy enough to plop down on the entryway steps and gasp for air. I ran for about 2 and a half blocks! This I believe is the farthest I have ever ran in my life.
In the end everything worked out. I made it to work on time. However, I will have to make a mental note to avoid taking the bus and stick to walking. I swear that zombie looking driver always makes me late even on the rare occasions that she is on time!
WHAT IM WEARING:
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I am starting to sniffle a lot in the morning. I think it might be time to start switch over to bathing at night. You see I like to change the time of day I bathe according to the season. In the summer and spring I usually wash up in the morning and in the winter I bathe at night. I wonder if I am the only person in the world who changes the time of day they wash up according to the season?
The reason I do this is because I feel that since in the spring/summer its warm outside it would not matter much if my skin is not entirely dry. I wash in the evening during fall/winter so that my skin would have more time to dry. You do not want to leave out the house in cold weather with half damp skin. Doing this I feel would put one at greater risk to catch a cold. I have not one iota of science to back this up. Despite this I feel its a pretty good system.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Monday, October 23, 2006
I feel it sad to report that this morning I was late for work. Despite this small set back it was a a very productive day.
After work I headed down to the main library where I picked up some art books as well as a couple of books on cd. I had not been to the library since last spring.
Because of this as I was checking out my books the elderly librarian who was tending the desk asked me if I had anything with my address on it. The only thing I could find was my pill bottle for Metformin.
When she read the label to find my name and address she immediately knew what they were for. Her eyes literally sparkled with recognition. She then asked me how many I have to take a day. I told her three a day. She told me that I was lucky. Which makes me wonder how did she mean that I was lucky? What is the norm for diabetics to take? How many did she have to take a day? Or did she mean that I was lucky that I was diagnosed early as opposed to late in life like the majority of patients are.
Then she went on to tell me that almost everyone in her family over 60 had diabetes. I did not know quiet how to respond to this as she was clearly much older than me. I was clearly much younger than her and had a disorder where the majority of patients are senior citizens.
Maybe, I should have told her that a lot of my aunts as well as my late mother had diabetes. They also were diagnosed in there 60's. Then maybe I should have told that my sister was diagnosed realitively early (40something) with diabetes. Since we both have a family history of diabetes we could be considered on a fast track for ultra thorough blood sugar testing. Then again who knows maybe if someone was dilligently testing my aunts and my mothers blood sugar they might have noticed irregularities in there 30's and 40's instead of there 60's.
The last thing the librarian asked me as I was about to leave was, was I any relation to Bruce? Wow! I had not heard that since high school. So I laughed as I said no. The Bruce in question she was asking about was actor, Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis was recently in town filming a sequel to Die Hard.WHAT IM WEARING:
Sunday, October 22, 2006
This morning I tried to walk over to Church. However, I started off too late. I would have been 40 minutes late. So instead of walking in at 11:40 I decided to walk over to the Walters Art Museum. The art gallery is just about a block or so from my Church.
The Walters had a big exhibition onGustave Courbet and the modern landscape. I am not into landscapes. Despite this I thought that perhaps seeing it would inspire me to paint more. Over all the one thing that I noticed about the exhibit was that Courbet had the tendency to paint the same picture over again. I wonder if other visitors to the exhibit noticed that some of the painting were duplicates of the same area painted from a different point of view.
Since I am not into landscapes I did not feel overly motivated to start painting them. However, I do now feel that it is ok to revisit old subject matters like Courbet did.
As for the other 2nd or was it the 3rd floor or maybe even the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Walters I have to say that I felt very uncomfortable. It seemed as though it was filled with a zillion paintings of Jesus, Mary, or the Passion. I suppose if you were Catholic or something like that you would have loved that floor. But I just got a headache. It was like, "Oh Christ, look another Jesus painting!"
I felt more cheered up when I made it over to the museum's Hacker House. The Hacker House features Asian Art, thus not a single crucified Jesus or Jesus and Mary in sight. Yippee!
I suppose another reason I felt comfortable in that section is that I do a lot of yoga and have a passing interest in Indian mythology. So it was comforting to see images of Buddah, Shiva, Ganesha, and Parvati. Seeing images of them did not bum me out in the least.
Then before I knew it it was near closing time for the museum. I could not believe it I was there since 11:40 am! By the way the museum closes at 5pm.
The last floor I visited was the 4th floor. I made it there around 4:45. The 4th floor contained 19th century art.
So as you can imagine I was rushing to see everything on that floor before the museum closed. I was surprised while on that floor to see some art by Pre-Raphaelite artists. The Pre-Raphaelite movement is my all time favourite. The movement occured during the Victorian era. The one Pre-Raphaelite artist that I was surprised to find at The Walters was Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema. I have a big ass book featuring his paintings. The man was a genius. I never knew that there was a genuine Alma-Tadema in Baltimore. I suppose I will have to make another trip to The Walters to visit the Alma Tadema paintings to see if I can gain insight into how he painted. It was difficult to really study anything because the museum was about to close.
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Today, I took my brand new Sierra Club backpack out for a test drive. It has been years since I have worn a backpack. I used to well, I still own a green Sierra Club backpack. I like it a lot because it was very durable. I hope that the red bag is as durable as he green one was.
Also, I have reached a milestone! I have been walking for 20 weeks. Well, I have been recording my steps with a pedometer for 20 weeks.
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Friday, October 20, 2006
This morning I heard my downstairs neighbors up and about. This is highly unusual. I usually get up around 4AM. I wonder if I woke them or if they had somewhere to go early in the morning.
Anyway, also this morning I walked down to the light rail station. I am surprised that I caught the train on time. You see this was the latest that I ever started off on my morning walk.
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I am feeling a billion times better than I did yesterday. This morning I walked all the way down the light rail station. I even stopped off at the 7 Eleven to buy an energy drink.
CONCERN THAT DOES NOT CONCERN ME
This situation makes me wonder how the people who habitually flee to their cars during lunch will handle this. They will be virtually shut ins. This makes me wonder if the week that our department is using the shuttle will there be an usually large amount of people calling out lest they have to take the shuttle bus?
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Today, I returned back to work after being out sick for two days. I ended up walking halfway to the light rail station then I saw a bus coming so I got on. After I got off the bus I ended up running to catch the train. I felt like throwing up. I suppose this was too much activity for me after being virtual immobile for the past few days. Also contributing to the sickly feeling was that I took my medicine on an empty stomach. You see for the couple of years I have been talking Metformin three times a day. On the label it clearly states not to take it on an empty stomach.
Throughout the train ride over to work I had this awful ache I could not decide if it was my stomach that was aching or I had to use the bathroom very bad. I was doubled over with pain throughout the entire ride. Luckily, since I always carry Pepto Bismol with me I swigged it down. Unfortunately the Pepto Bismol did little to relieve my symptoms.
After I got off the train and walked over to work. On this walk I ended up slidding into some mud. Somehow I did not feel bad about. In fact I felt quiet excited about it. Sliding and falling made me feel so alive! I was no longer in my sick bed I was out and about! As soon as I got into work I tried to clean off my pants as best as I could. The majority of the mud was on the left side of my pants. I'm afraid I did not do as good a job as I could have because I could not spend my entire shift in the ladies room cleaning my pants. Overall, I feel good about how the day turned out.
The only problem I had was that the front door to my apartment building is not working properly again. I wonder what causes this to happen. I swear it seems every few months the lock starts to act funky. Anyway, I called the landlord to alert him to this problem. Hopefully, the issue will be solved by the time I get home. Overall, like James Brown says, I FEEL GOOD!!!
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I can feel my illness waning a bit. This is good but I'll miss the anathema to food I felt through the illness. If I could keep that feeling up I could be really, really thin. Just like a super model! Oh, well lets face it that's simply not realistic. Afterall, you need food to survive....
Monday, October 16, 2006
Im still sick. I have no idea what I have. I have no appetite and its hard to keep food down. I think I might have a stomach virus or stomach flu.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Today, I was pretty much in denial of what was going on. I felt woozy and out of it all day. I even found it difficult to keep up with the womens figure skating match that was on. And I LOVE figure skating! I figured I'd chug down some Pepto Bismol and that would get rid of everything. I should have known that when the Pepto Bismol did nothing to relieve the woozy sickly feeling which I assumed was just nauseau that maybe I was sick with fever. I knew for sure a couple of hours later when I saw my dinner, lunch, and breakfast in the toilet bowl. Its never a good sign when you can't keep down food.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Today, is Friday the 13th! Eeek!! The only strange thing that happened was that as I was waiting for the train I saw several fire trucks and rescue trucks go by with sirens blaring. I wonder what the emergency was at 6:09 in the morning?
This morning I walked down to the light rail station. I did this mainly because yesterday I found myself uttering aloud as I waited for the bus, "Why am I doing this?" The bus that I take seems to never be on time. I know its best to walk but its easier to just wait for the bus. I feel like Charlie Brown with the football constantly thinking that this time it will be different but it never is. So here on I pledge to walk to light rail station instead of wait for a bus that is always without fail late.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The mysterious jacket is still on my desk. I wonder if its owner notices that her jacket has gone missing?
WHAT IM WEARING:
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Today, I was late for work. I took the bus instead of walking down to the light rail station. I could not help it I was feeling rather slovenly this morning. Just as I walked off the bus and towards the station I saw my train roll by. I knew I should have walked to the station!
The above photo is not the actual jacket. In fact I have no idea other than size and make of the jacket as to what it looks like unfolded.
THE MYSTERIOUS DENIM JACKET
It was a size 14 denim jacket made by the Sag Harbor Jeans Co. According to its label it was comprised of 98% cotton and 2% spandex. It would have been futile for me to claim it as my own as I wear a size 24. Besides if I claimed it as mine then that would be stealing. And, well..... stealing is against the law.
All in all I suppose someone must have left it on my desk yesterday and forgot about it. I kept waiting and waiting all day for someone to come by and claim it. Then toward the end of the day I got used to it being there. It was like a denim desk pal. I almost didn’t want it to go.
Me and that jacket have been through a lot of adventures today. We lived through the signings of various pieces of paperwork, a re-inking of a date stamper, and not to mention a major stapler crisis. Ahhh, the times me and that jacket had!
Alas, I know maybe by tomorrow its owner will come by to claim it. And to that day I say, Au Revoir My Denim Jacket Buddy! May Your Owner Never Forget You.... Because I Never Will!
WHAT IM WEARING:
Monday, October 09, 2006
I was out walking around Baltimore when I saw this site in a store window. Its a sculpture of a giant cat with a real live dog. The dog was running around inside the window barking at passerbys. I had to take a photo of this ironic site.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Today, I accomplished a lot. I went to Church, visited my father, and did the laundry.
I had not been to church since last month. One striking change is that they are now allowing the children and youth to join the adults in worship for fifteen minutes at the beginning of service. Afterwards they are dismissed to their Sunday school classes. They all seem very well behaved so I have no idea why this has not been the policy before. On further reading I learned that it was a long held custom for them to stay for about fifteen minutes before the start of service. I wonder what were the circumstances that led to them changing the policy then returning to it again? I have only attended this church for about two years so I am not exactly in the know about their policies.
When church was over I took the bus over to visit my father.
My niece, Alexis, appears to have recovered from the stroke she had a couple of weeks ago. I kind of feel sorry for her. She had a breast cancer scare when she turned 21. Then gestational diabetes and now a stroke. I can not believe that someone so rail thin can have these many health issues at such a young age. Its all so sad....
As far as I can tell she and her 10 month old baby girl, Blessyn, are doing well. I must say Blessyn has to be the cutest baby in all the world! And her cousin, Shay is the cutest first grader in all the world!
My father is also doing fine. He was surprised when I gave him the 400 minute phone card. He already had 10.5 minutes left on his TracFone. We both tried to calculate how many hours he now had on his TracFone. The new total minutes on his phone is 410.5 The best we could come up with was well over six hours.
I had to leave from my fathers house earlier than usual because I wanted to make it home before the laundromat closed. I had wanted to do my laundry last Saturday but could not because I realized that I was out of laundry detergent. So instead of doing laundry last Saturday I was in the supermarket buying food and laundry detergent.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Today, I took the light rail train over to Wegmans supermarket. I love shopping there. The only problem is that once I get inside the store I have to fight the urge to want to flee. It seems that every time I shop there usually once a month on a Saturday afternoon the place is packed. Also to me there aisles seem unusually small. Other than that I can usually find what I want even obscure items I like, like St. Claires Organics candies in Lemon Tart or Organic Cinnamon Snaps!
You know walking through Wegmans small aisles makes me long for the more amply spaced aisles at Shoppers Food Warehouse. Sadly, I have not visited Shoppers Food Warehouse since the MTA changed bus schedules last fall. I must make it a point to return there before the year is out....
Also since I was in Hunt Valley I headed over to Walmart to buy my father a card for his phone. My sister telephoned me earlier in the week to tell me that he had run out of minutes on his phone card.
I ended up buying him a 400 minute phone card for his TracFone. I wanted to do this because it seemed like he ran out of minutes every five seconds. I know that the main reason for this is because being the nice guy that he is he most likely loaned the phone to my sister or nephew whenever they needed a phone.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Friday, October 06, 2006
Oh, No! I just found out that, Senator Mark Foley, in addition to being an alledged kid toucher is also a Scientologist or just extremely friendly with them. It appears that in 2003 the Scientologist threw him a big fundraiser. Also shockingly, the rehab center he is attending is run by Scientologist!. This story is getting weirder and weirder by the moment...
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Today, I walked to the light rail station and I also walked for about fifteen minutes during my lunch break. Also I got up to 3 miles yesterday! This is the farthest I have walked while not watching a TV show!
WHAT IM WEARING
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I am outraged by the Senator Mark Foley controversy. I am outraged that he, of all people, was the co-chair for the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children! And there he was exploiting and coming on to young teenage male pages. The man appears to have been a child predator guarding the playground.
I also can not get over the fact that he helped write the very laws that he broke! The whole thing is Sick, Sick, Sick! To just think that he is a representative of the party that purports family values is outrageous!
WHAT IM WEARING:
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
This morning I ttok the bus to the light rail station instead o walking. Hopefully, I will make up the deficit by walking during my lunch break. I have not walked during my lunch break in quiet a while. Recently, I have gotten in a bit of a groove at work where I feel comfortable taking a complete lunch break as opposed to a short one.
This has to be the single most funniest music video I have seen. It's David Hassellhoff parodying himself in a cheesy music video. It's all simply brilliant in a twisted sort of way. Hey, Don't Hassel the Hoff!!
WHAT I'M WEARING:
Monday, October 02, 2006
This morning I took the bus instead of walking to the light rail station. I hope that this does not turn into a regular Monday habit. Anyway, despite doing this I was on time for work.
As far as work is concerned almost all the computers were down. That is almost everyones computer except mine. Also at work I am not sure if they hired a new guy for the evening shift or if it is the same person with a radically different haircut? I do not know the persons name so I will not ask if they are new or the same person. I suppose I will stay perplexed until I can figure out if it is a new person or not.
AMISH SCHOOL SHOOTING
My image of the Amish was shaped by the Harrison Ford / Kelly McGillis film Witness. For a brief moment after watching the film I wanted to be Amish. I like that they wore black sometimes teamed up with purple or blue. Then I realized that there was no such thing as black Amish people.
WHAT IM WEARING:
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Its the first day of October! To get in gear for the upcoming Day Light Savings Time on October 28th I slept in.