Thursday, June 30, 2005

La Caricatura en Mexico eh???

Here's an interesting news item that would fall under the heading of "controversial". These are some new stamps issued recently in Mexico.

Hmmm... Hard core.

There are understandably many folks on this side o' the border though are quite upset about these postage pics, most notably the
Rev. Jesse Jackson. The word in Mexico is that these stamps are in homage to a very popular Mexican cartoon character who was first created and published in the early 1940's.

I have read in some articles where it has been implied that they find him no more offensive than this popular American cartoon character who first appeared in 1953...


Happy Birthday David

Today is Thursday, June 30, 2005. My brother David was born on this day in 1963. I wish him a Happy Birthday! And, as I often do now here to celebrate people's birthdays, I have found a strange collection of images from the web which all have one thing in common - 1963...
Happy Birthday David....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Keep driving! KEEP DRIVING!!!

Alas, I have been amiss in my posting for the last few days. First, there was the weekend, and then the Monday of recuperation after the weekend, Tuesday, and now, Wednesday.
I've enjoyed all of the last few days thoroughly, but for the sake of recap, I'll list some of the highlights (in no particular order) so that I can catch up to Wednesday. Some of these items may have images ( which are floating around willy nilly until I learn how to use the "blogger image upload" tool properly). Here goes...
  1. Weekend visit from Michael and Lisa ( see image taken by me with my cell phone while lounging on beach)
  2. Dogfish Head Beer
  3. A Bucket O' Thraser's Fries
  4. Violent Thunderstorms
  5. Cranium
  6. Margarita's
  7. French Jazz
  8. Mandy's new niece!
  9. Rescuing formerly bad paintings
  10. Great art discussions
  11. Amazing TAROT sessions
  12. Half-price burgers at Irish Eyes
  13. Boardwalk trek with fog

That's about most of it, I'm still a tad bit fuzzy this morning so I may have left some out. I did however want to close with this....

I discovered this craziness on Ebay this morning. This is an old postcard from my hometown. I'm guessing form the looks of it that this may be from the 1930's. They must have been around for quite some time because I have vague recollections of this place from the late 1960's/early 70's when we moved to BG.

I remember the disturbing display of country hams in the window. I may have even been in this macabre transparent vault of petrified flesh. I remember the acrid smoky scent of hundreds of glistening smoked pig carcasses gently swaying in the air from creaky oily ropes like a wind chime from hell. And the flies..oh God the flies!!!

According to the card, it happens to be the "largest country ham display" in the USA. This leads me to many questions....

If it really is the largest display of it's kind in the US, does that mean that there were others who just couldn't quite cut the mustard (ahem) with their display? If so, why did they not just add that one more country ham to the collection to create a true country ham display rivalry?

Why would anyone build such a gruesome collection in the first place, and then decide to build a motel to honor it? From the imagery on the card, there appears to be no business at the motel.

Perhaps this was too creepy even for road weary drivers of the 1930's passing through lil' ol' Bowling Green, KY. I can hear the conversation now...

"Look, honey, finally, there appears to be some sort of motel up ahead"
"Oh thank God. I'm exhausted"
"Wait a second...What? What the...?! Oh my God, no... Keep driving! KEEP DRIVING!!!"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Ahhh...Sunny and 84.....

Today is Friday and even though as a self-employed professional artist I don't have a traditional 9 to 5 job per se (technically - I guess, every day is like Friday), I still enjoy that liberating feeling of freedom that comes with the recognition of the start of the weekend. So, I find myself being less cerebral and more fun loving on Fridays. Today will be no exception.

I have one of my closest friends and his wonderful wife coming in tonight to stay the weekend with George and I, and I am really looking forward to that. We’ll spend a lot of the time talking about art and new ideas, over eating and drinking, and we’ll probably spend some time at the beach tomorrow where the weather is supposed to be sunny and 84. Ahhhhh….

Now, George and I also plan to take them to the Funland Arcade on the Boardwalk where we will stand in line with a bunch of sweaty kids to ride this...

I can’t tell you how much fun that is! I love these old ride through Haunted Mansions. I read somewhere where this was once voted one of the Top Ten in the US. You can read more about it here.

Now. Speaking of creepy things, George and I and our friend Michael watched this flick last Wednesday evening.

Now, let there be no doubt, this was a lame film ( though it began as mildly interesting, it quickly degraded into total crap). Nevertheless, there were some intriguing ideas that the film arose about life after death and communication with such. Now, as anyone who has known me for many years will tell you, I, along with several of my family members, have always had a strong connection to the metaphysical. I grew up in a house full of spirits (NOT always fun), unexplained phenomena, psychic dreams and the like. George is convinced that I am actually a warlock o sorts (as a matter of fact, I will be casting a spell later this afternoon - but I digress).

This film deals with EVP (Electric Voice Phenomena) and ITC (Instrumental Transcommunication ). These are both technical terms for voice messages and imagery sent to us form the departed. On one level, it is fascinating, on the other - it is desperately creepy and I (at 40 years of age) was heavily creeped out by some online studies I did of both enough to flee a darkened room the other night and to loose about 3 hours of sleep. So, click on some of the links regarding this topic at your own risk.

The only reason that I ordered the film from Netflicks was that George told me several years ago that his grandfather had told him that one night after his wife had died (George’s grandmother) that he received a phone call from her she spoke just a few words to him. They must have been very moving words because according to George, it was a life altering experience for his Grandfather.

Now, I was always familiar with EVP’s ( recordings of messages supposedly form the other side - you can find several here : ). But the examples I have heard were usually quite murky and I always thought that one really had to stretch the imagination to make out what was supposedly being said.

However, I did find one website which was very thorough and had some amazing items on it, that did indeed creep me out to the extreme and fascinate at the same time. For example, this “spirit” image that appeared on a woman’s television screen of her father that died in 1987.

Like I said, if you get creeped out by such things, visit at your own risk. It is fascinating though. Of course, the whole thing could be bunk, but there is a nagging sensation that I get that leads me to believe that it isn’t.

You can check out the site here:

Make sure and check out the link labeled “Doc Mueller in lifetime and in spirit” where you can click on an audio link to hear a full phone conversation recorded between a man and a departed spirit!! WARING: the recording goes beyond the valley of hyper-creepy in my book, so again, listen at your discretion.

I would be very interested to hear what others think of these links as well. Feel free to leave comments. I’m frankly not sure what to believe.

So, off the creepy and back to the Friday fun: Check out this hilarious website when you get a chance, entitled “The Museum Of Bad Art”. It’s self-explanatory. Click on this example to visit…

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"You ain't heard nothin' yet!"

The AFI released a new list of all time great movie quotes entitled "100 Years...100 Movie Quotes". I'm not sure why they choose that title as the earliest quote on the list is from 1927's The Jazz Singer ("Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!").

I'm not a big fan of these lists usually because they are so subjective, but overall, I think this is a rather well made list and it is certainly entertaining.

One of my favorite's from the list at #9 is from
All About Eve ("Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.")

I only say this because it happens to be one of my favorite films. If you like "behind the scenes" stories, and classic films, check out All About All About Eve : The Complete Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Bitchiest Film Ever Made! by Sam Staggs. Excellent book.

So here is a link to the list AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIE QUOTES

It actually is fun to read, I remember being a kid playing with my brother trying to do our best Charlton Heston impersonations with the movie quote at #77 on the list...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right

Ahhhh. Summer. It is here. At long last. So, this morning I went to the beach and walked the 2 mile boardwalk for some morning exercise. It was lovely as you can see here.

Plus, I now have my official "Summer" haircut o' de season!

I'll let it grow back all summer.
I also found this interesting list of "Summer" songs online. I liked this list, and it seems appropriate for today.


Also, as a closing note for today, I just want to say Kudos to Tom Cruise for standing up against those idiots behind the asinine "reality" and "punk'd" shows! I don’t take kindly to such cultural life-force sucking “entertainment” which, in my opinion, only helps to keep those Americans who enjoy such drivel as stupid and unenlightened as a bucket of gravel. So - Good for you Tom. The guy was a jerk.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Summer. Summer. Summer!

I had a very busy Monday overall, but I got quite a bit accomplished.

BUT first, I want to wish my wonderful brother, Nicholas - HAPPY BIRTHDAY who was born on this day in 1978.

I remember very clearly that afternoon when my parents went to the hospital. My brother David and I were playing with a neon blue frisbee in the street in front of our house.

The weather was warm and sunny. I was 13 and my brother was 15. Seems like yesterday, but alas it was 27 years ago.....

The reason it was warm was because it was the day before the first day of SUMMER - which occurs on June 21st I think...

I love SUMMER. Very much I do. I think it will be a lovely SUMMER and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.

I also am very pleased that today was the day that I finally completed this portrait commission that I have spent the last 2 1/2 weeks working on

I can't go into much detail about it except that all three are housemates, 2 are lovers and one has terminal cancer. It was that one with the cancer who commissioned the work as a gift for the other two. I find that very touching and glad to be a part of the process...

Friday, June 17, 2005

"I once shook hands with Pat Boone, and my whole right side sobered up." - Dean Martin

Guess who was born today 88 years ago?

None other than the ultra-suave Dean Martin! I must admit that I am a Dean Martin fan. I think that he had the smoothest voice (Return To Me, That's Amore, Innamorata. And when you see images or films from his youthful days, you understand why he was such a ladies man.

From my lifetime, I remember him as a child on variety TV specials and Holiday shows. Unfortunately at that time he was well on his way to becoming a parody of himself. Massive consumption of alcohol was rampant in the late 60's/eary 70's. (The next time you happen to catch a rerun of this fabulous show

Pay attention to how many times booze enters into the script "I'll have a single, no - a double, no better make that a quaddruple!"

Though, I have read that the whole lovable alcoholic thing was a character that he made up and that he didn't really drink any more than the next guy back then. Though, by then his ultra-cool and lounge'lucious days as a bonafide member of the original "Rat Pack" were behind him.

Nevertheless, when he was it, he was it. Happy B-Day Dino!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Going up, she said, uh huh....

This morning when I stopped in a small convenience store up the street for an overpriced bottle of water to take with me on my power walk up and down the boardwalk ( 2 miles total), I heard an old song that I hadn't heard in ages which took me all the way back to my 13th year.

For a number of reasons, I have always viewed that year as a pivotal turning point in my life. That was the year that I left boyhood behind and started taking the first few steps down the path that has brought me to where I am today and on the path that I still tread. So, when I hear music from that year, I automatically get reminiscent. The song was “Heaven On The 7th Floor” by Paul Nicholas , which I still love and will hopefully still find a way to move my body to even when I’m a very old man.


Heaven On The 7th Floor

Going up, she said, uh huh
Just as we had started
To climb together, hoo, hoo

Looking up, I said
Hey, look, umm
Maybe I could see you tonight
And she said, never

Thought I was out of luck
But ten seconds later
Somehow we got stuck
In that elevator, woo

Heaven on the 7th floor
(Ha ha ha ha ha)
Heaven on the 7th floor
(I wanna tell you)
I`ve never been so high before

So don`t you rescue me
Never set me free
Hey, hey, hey

We`re alone, I said, oh yeah
Looks like we could
Be here all night together
Hoo, hoo

There`s a phone, she said, uh huh
You`d better have us out
In five minutes time, whatever

Please could you make it ten
I told the operator
I`m having so much fun
In this elevator

Heaven on the 7th floor
Heaven on the 7th floor
(I`m up in Heaven and I)
I`ve never been so high before
So don`t you rescue me
Never set me free
Hey, hey, hey
I`m in Heaven

I`m in Heaven
Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo
Heaven, hoo, hoo, hoo

And as the Muzak played
Sooner or later I knew
We`d fall in love in the elevator

Heaven on the 7th floor
Heaven on the 7th floor
Heaven on the 7th floor
Heaven on the 7th floor
I`ve never been so high before
So don`t you rescue me
Never set me free
Hey, hey, hey

Heaven on the 7th floor
Heaven on the 7th floor......

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cross my palm with silver

I've had a rather difficult time focusing on things that I want to focus on today for some reason. It matters not. I do know that I have had it with MJJ, Tom and Katie, skinny Lindsay, missing grads, Chilean earthquakes, Chinese flashfloods and more.

So - in order to touch base with my sanity, I have decided to post an image that I came across online today that comes from the wonderful land of the Surreal - where I love to stroll on occasion.

Make of this what you will and please take note on how much the little fortune telling creature sealed in the glass box looks like GW in Granny drag complete with tightly curled silver wig......

Monday, June 13, 2005


First, before I go into the complete story of the of this last week. I have a GRAND WTF??!! that I must share ( with a tip o' de hat to for turning me onto it). Let me start by stating sychronistically enough, that a few days ago I was having a discussion with someone about how terribly close, in my opinion, the US (under the current Bush leadership) is coming to becoming a fascist state.

Established and well respected political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt has named 14 characteristics that codify a fascist state. Here are two great links that may enlighten you as to how close we are to living in a fascist state already. Please check these out! You'll need flash for the first one, or if you just wish to read, use the second link.
So - now here is my Super WTF??!! for the week but first my new WTF image...

And here is the WTF - these new posters are currently to be found on Washington DC and Baltimore Metro trains....

I know that I'm probably going to get all kinds of hateful email labeling me "Un-american" - but I'm sorry, these posters SCREAM WTF??!!! Could this poster look any more Orwellian? How much more FEAR can be squeezed into it? Here is characteristic #7 from Dr. Britt's list mentioned above:

"7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses." re-read that and take a long look at the metro poster....

Whew! - must compose now and move on....
I was going to recant my entire story that occupied the majority of my time last week - but frankly, I don't want to spend any more energy on it. Let's just say that I came very close to getting burned on about $30,000 worth of my original work - but that I did finally manage to get my art back after leaping through many hoops and with the involvement of my brilliant attorney and the police. I was lucky - many artists are not. Artists - ALWAYS get signed valid inventories for your work!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

Guess what everybody?? On this day in 1922, the incomparable Judy Garland was born. So - I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the late, great Judy Garland. Now, go rent "A Star Is Born" to experience her pure talent.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Stolen Art...

Some of you may have read a post earlier today reagarding about $30,000 worth of my art work which went "missing" from a design store in Phildadelphia. While this situation is still as of yet, "unresolved" - there were some very interesting and positive developments which I can't quite go into at present that have caused me to delete the earlier post. I will post the entire story however once these devlelopments come more into focus. In the meantime here's a WTF?! for you....

Click on this link: "White House defends editing of climate reports"

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

In Memoriam....

In Memoriam
Anne Bancroft
Sept. 17, 1931 - June 6, 2005
This brilliant actress was one of my favorites. As an artist myself, I had always kept a little spark of hope in my mind that one day I would be able to meet her just to tell her how amazing I thought her work was. Now, she will live on in eternity and on the screen, brightening all that witness her magic. She will be sorely missed.

Friday, June 03, 2005

"I wasn't really naked. I simply didn't have any clothes on."

Though I have much to do today, I couldn't let the day go by without a big birthday celebratory thanks to none other than.....

The incredible Josephine Baker. This woman had an incredible life - born in poverty in St. Louis she rose above her exsistence to become the toast of Paris. Amazing lady, Amazing story. One of my all time favoriet French Torch Songs is her rendition of "J'ai deux amours" (My Two Loves) click here then click on the listen icon next to "J'ai deux amours" ( Track 1) to hear a sample. I listen to French Torch songs often while I paint and I will admit I love Paris ( it was by far the most beautiful city I have ever seen) and one day - I will own a little place there...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Whats that on your head??

The day has almost ended and I’ve yet to place anything witty in my blog. I actually had a good studio day today and met with a client as well. But, while surfing this morning, I did have time to run across this...

Ahh - Wigs - What Fun!!! I love the caption here - “Be anyone in the world with your fashion Wig from Sears!”

For some reason, I just have a hard time placing the words “fashion wig” with “Sears” - but that’s besides the point. Lets see- there are slight visual clues in the background behind the three lasses that give clues as to where “in the world” they may be.

Mysterious Gina seems to have the Leaning Tower of Pisa behind her, cheeky Melissa has Big Ben, and free-spirited Michelle (who it appears enjoys wearing nothing in public but her wig) is from Paris.

Aren’t they all so clever in their wigs! Out of the 3, I guess I would most like to wear the “Gina” wig. It seems sassy yet carefree. Melissa’s wig makes her look like the local librarian assistant who longs for a romantic evening but is too shy to do anything but blink her big vapid eyes at you while she accidentally walks into a stack of old books incurring glares and a tirade of embarrassing “shhhsss” from the entire floor. Michelle’s wig, while alluring, smites of trouble with a capitol T. For one thing, she either likes to roam the streets of Paris completely topless, or she has just been pushed out the front door of an all-night discothèque without her blouse. She also has the look of someone who has just lifted some unfortunate’s wallet. She’s on the lam aright and no French Cop is gonna’ slow her down! Speaking of being on the lam - check out this young ladies wig...

This wig absolutely screams “bank robbery” - does it not? I see this lady as a Patty Hearst-esque good girl gone bad type.

I’m quite sure that this pistol pakin’ mama is hauling a sawed off shotgun in her purse. Her expression is so - desperate, is it not? What do you think the photographer had in mind when he said “yes, yes that‘s the look” to her? Or perhaps this is an actual freeze-frame close-up photo from a bank robbery from 1969.

Whatever the case, one look at those eye and you know that she would rather blow off the top o’ your head with her uzzi faster than you can say “eat lead” before surrendering to the FBI.

Her particular brand of wig is called the “Modacrylic”. I think in the 60’s, placing the prefix “mod” in front of any word helped to enhance it’s commercial appeal. It’s described as having, “curls, curls, curls for that “moppet” look”. Hmmm. It is also described as fitting “almost any head”. Hmmm…. Perhaps that explains the large and small Modacrylic carrying cases to the left. Or, perhaps one is for the wig, and the other for plastic explosives…..

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Yes - drink fools!! Drink!!!

Now this - this looks like a fun bar - no? I ran across this in the weirdness of cyberspace and I felt immediately drawn to it and felt the need to examine the imagery closely with an artistic eye.

It is clear from the image that the crowd on the left have been at the La Florida for quite some time. The fellow in the foreground appears from his hyper-ruddy complexion to be one tequila shot away from a massive coronary and, based upon the body language of the young lady in the pink, she probably has one eye shut and a glistening stream of drool running out of the corner of her bee-stung lips.

It is obvious that Ponce and his crew have just stumbled in on a fluke. They seem to be much more controlled than those on the left side of the room (who at this point would welcome a burning torch carrying, machete yielding violent mob of Communist revolutionaries with shouts of glee and glass raising - which, when you think about it - loomed in the not so distant future at that point already).

I do feel concern however about what appears to be the female indigenous people member of Ponce’s crew in the right foreground. True, she has been given a glass of booze ( probably by the drunken floozy in pink), but they seem blissfully unaware of the fact that she appears to be on her last leg.

Perhaps she is seconds away from succumbing to the effects of tuberculosis and dysentery brought by Ponce De Leon and his European motley crew. Whatever the case, she certainly has an expression which seems to read “farewell my celebratory friends…”

The bartender perplexes me as well. This card is from the 1930’s before the revolution. His forced maniacal grin belays something more sinister. Perhaps he is thinking, “At last - a meeting of the capitalistic American swine who rape my land and her resources and the father of the enslavement of my people responsible for the strangulation of my country’s culture and pride. Yes - drink fools!! Drink!!! I hear the footsteps of my people taking to the streets 100,000 strong as you pickle your useless brains with the lifeblood Rum of my country!”

I have read online that the “La Florida” was a favorite hangout of Hemingway’s in the 20’s and 30’s and that the bar became famous for certain rum concoctions. The scene above certainly is a far cry from the scenes in postcards POST Castro as seen here….

This bar just doesn’t have the same “joi de vivre” as the “La Florida” In fact, I find this scene depressing. Clearly these folks have been posed in these positions. Or worse yet, perhaps they were enjoying themselves when the Secret Police, the Director General of Tourism and a flunky with a instamatic stormed in and stated “Prepare to pose for the glorification of your country!!”

This would explain the strange grouping here - the transgender with the coiffed wig apprehensively gazing into the eyes of her pimp Manuel and hoping that her cigarette doesn’t burn to her fingertips while posing like a statue for the People’s postcard. The poor African American lady in the turquoise pants and the eldest musician in the back of the room seem paralyzed with fear lest they move one tiny muscle - visions of dank dark cells and vicious guard dogs loom in their minds. Even the clearly inebriated bar maid in the foreground remains perfectly still - though she probably thinks that everyone is playing a drunken version of “red light - green light”. Alas, she’ll be waking up in a Havana prison come morning.

The strangest members of this clan have to be the blind man and his creepy counterpart in the right foreground. The poor blind man could be holding anything placed in his hands by the wiry man with the unhinged grin. Underground Cuban pornographic comics, secret plans to overthrow the government, or a promo piece for “Valley Of The Dolls”. I have a gut feeling that when the inteligesta burst in, the creepy looking fellow stuck whatever he was holding into the nearest blind man’s hands just seconds before the words “FREEZE” rang through the smoky air. Now that’s smart thinking on your feet - totally dishonorable, but smart nevertheless….