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2006-07-24 @ 12:34 a.m.
37 ways to spell viagra

Today when I opened my e-mails, I found 37 out of 39 of them had the word “viagra” in one form or another. Is someone trying to tell me something? Of course I think all those bastards sending them to are trying to fool me. They keep spelling it all different ways like “Viazga”, “Viakra”, “Veeagra”, “V1-agra”, “Veezgreea”, like thats really going to fool me. And yes, I realize they’re trying to get it by the supposed filter on my e-mail service, but when I made the recent leap to my more expensive broadband cable service, I also left behind a perfectly fine filtering service at AOL. With AOL, I could open up this link and type in all the words I didn’t want on the subject line of an e-mail, like Viagra, Rolex watches, OEM software, mortgage offer, lemur porn. But with my new one I can’t. Does that make any sense to you? You pay more money and get less service? Oh sure, I can now watch videos of girls extolling the virtues of their vibrators out in a public park to a cool 1970’s tune, but I’m also totally inundated by viagra ads promising such things as this recent one which said, “And you’ll be able to touch your forehead with your penis!!”

And the reason for that would be....?

My weekend was really sedate, which is to say....there were no murders. My damn key did get stuck in my car door again. Grrr! It took me a good 15 minutes to pry the damn thing out. So I immediately went to the store afterwards and got some WD-40 which I think I will keep with me. And I might even go to a Subaru dealer and ask them what the hell is going on and see if I can get a actual car key made rather than those flimsy hardware store copies I’ve been using. I mean if the lock is sticking now, in the summertime, how is it going to be when its 10 degrees below zero this winter?

It did rain all day Saturday so I stayed in and watched an interesting documentary about artist Ray Johnson called “How to Draw a Bunny”. He was a pretty weird dude who was in the 1960’s art scene with Andy Warhol. He was never really super successful, but his thing was, creating unusual collages and mailing them to people. He did thousands and thousands of them. He eventually committed suicide on Friday the 13th and when the police went to his house to look for a suicide note, he had no furniture. It was just all his artwork and canvases stacked everywhere.

Sound like anyone you know, witty? Its starting to. I’m getting more and more of my artwork leaning up against walls and stacked under tables. Its getting really crowded. Fortunately Guardcat hasn’t started using any of them as scratching posts yet, so that’s good.

Today turned out to be a much better day than this last week, weather-wise. It finally cooled down and wasn’t so oppressively humid, so I headed over to a big outdoor antique show in a local park. I had no intention of buying anything. I just wanted to be outdoors and walk around and I’ve always enjoyed antiques. In fact, about 16 years ago my mom and I actually rented a space together in an antique store in Oregon for a couple of months. We had moved up there and noticed that there were so many antique stores everywhere. And that everything was so incredibly cheap compared to California. So we just started going nuts buying stuff.

At the time I was collecting Fiestaware and Bauerware and any other funky 1950’s kitchen stuff. So we’d go out to 10-15 antique stores a day from Salem over to the coast and get all these fabulous deals. Like in California you’d pay $10 for a Fiestaware dish, but in Oregon, you’d get it for $1 or $2. I was ecstatic! So on this one trip I bought like 35 pieces of Fiesta and Bauer. It was great!

We eventually decided to rent a space in this large local antique store. At first I really enjoyed setting up the space. It looked really cute. My mom and I intermingled our stuff, although we had distinctive price tags so we’d know who sold what. But unfortunately, we didn’t sell much. And also people started stealing stuff. And the people renting us the space, didn’t give a rat’s ass. They said that sometimes people would set stuff down in other parts of the store. So we’d go looking for it but we never found it. So we finally just shut down in about 3 months, since we weren’t making any money and stuff we truly liked was getting stolen. And I still have most of my Fiestaware and Bauer.

So I decided today’s trek through the antique show would concentrate solely on artwork. And it was pretty interesting. There was more than you would have thought. Lithographs. Photos. Art on postcards. Old paintings. Newer paintings. Landscapes. Portraits. I even spotted a rather large nude. I’m also always on the lookout for frames, but unfortunately everything was pretty expensive. But even the frames were interesting. A lot of very old ornate frames. Some hand carved wooden ones. Gold ones. Some in perfect condition. Some crumbling.

What I found interesting though, was how many less-than--perfect paintings were framed with price tags of $75-$100. I mean there were some really amateurish landscape paintings with dabs of orange paint for Fall leaves. Blue straight lines for water. Really awful stuff and I was standing there thinking, wow, somebody actually bought those things, hung them in their living rooms for 25 years and are now selling them? My work is at least as good as that, if not better.

So after the key-stuck-in-the-lock episode at the antique show parking lot, I finally got home and did another painting. I haven’t painted out on my porch in more than a month because of the Garden Hacker guy, who’s always skittering around down below like some psychotic cockroach. Although in the last 10 days or so, I’ve been trying to ignore him. I’ve changed where I park my car. I changed my route to my car. I carry my pepper spray. I don’t even look up when I know he’s staring down at me from his apartment door. And since doing all this, he’s backed off a bit. I actually think his manic episode is waning, which is a happy thing for all of us, because he hasn’t been working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week like he was previously. He’s only outside like 8 hours a day. And the piles of plant refuse out front isn’t 15 feet tall like it was before. Its only a mere 1-2 feet. So waiting him out, rather than moving from an apartment I really like, has worked out.

So when I got home I went out on my porch to paint, because I didn’t see or hear him anywhere and I really wanted to paint since it was so nice out. Unfortunately the painting is rather large and doesn’t even begin to fit on my scanner, but I think it might be the best thing I’ve done. Its a copy of a Diego Rivera painting of a Mexican man carrying a basket of flowers. Its a very pretty and colorful image.

I also did something I never did before. I made a template. I wanted to make the shape of the man and the basket the right size and shape, so I took the painting in my Diego Rivera book to Kinko’s and blew up the image 200% and then cut it out and traced it onto the canvas with a white pencil, which I had already painted last night. Is that cheating? Maybe a little, but I just used the outside shape only. Everything else is mine. And it turned out really great and I’m really proud of it. I definitely think I will be taking it into “A”s this week and maybe see if he wants to put it up in his office for sale. But only if I can keep up my nerve.

But how petty and ridiculous is the Garden Hacker Guy? I had been out painting for over two hours and he walked by. He didn’t see me walking down towards the east end of the apartments, but when he walked back he saw me. What do you think he did? Now, remember, he hasn’t been doing any hacky hacky stuff around my apartment for several weeks. He immediately went back to his apartment and came back and started hacking at the hedge right under my porch. Coincidental? I think not. He was just being a passive aggressive dickhead. Sigh!

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