Saturday, September 17, 2011

sitting around doing nothing

which is simply one of my favorite things to be doing in all the world. instead, anna and i worked in the front yard and back garden planting mums and putting down bark making it look like fall is coming. i think we did a fair job, more than fair, and the front and back of the house, garden-wise, looks damn pretty. but then i am biased towards our house as we live in the 1925 california bungalow and it is the sort of house i wished i lived in if i didn't already live here.

if that makes sense. nick and i did some shopping this evening and as we were driving thru mid-town to get back home, this was about 8:15 pm, we passed a couple of night spots, clubs and restaurants, and the streets were packed with partiers out looking for a good time. nick asked if this is THE TOWN. i ask him to explain what he means. THE TOWN as nick defines it is downtown, the center of the city. i say no, this is mid-town, downtown is further on down the street, but, i continued, we live in a very lively part of the city. and, i told nick, we are lucky to live here.

see because i love urban living. okay, my burg ain't no sf, or la, or nyc, but it is plenty lively and big enough for me. and you can't beat the weather. today was gorgeous early fall weather. sun was shining as the high temperature hit the mid 80s. it is the light in northern california that's killer. i've always thought that if the post-impressionist painters witnessed our light they'd fucking die of happiness.

well but so nick and i went to one of those spirit halloween stores, the kind of temporary seasonal shop that sets up in a vacant store. nick was a bit nervous as he is old enough to learn to be frightened by things. there are some scary items in that store such as a life-size animatronic pinhead from the hellraiser films. nick was brave as we explored the store. he even bought himself a thing of blood, liquid candy housed in an i.v. drip bag. as for me i thought the store was indeed terrifying because when i asked the lady behind the counter if they had cd's for sale -- halloween music and soundscapes [i've bought scores of halloween cd's over the years, usually from seasonal halloween shops] -- she said no. they don't sell. no more cd's! that's how the world turns, i guess.

then we hit the local barnes and noble. the only big box bookstore around. c'est la vie. i do remember a time when the only bookstores were local indies before the big box stores put them out of business. now it appears that the big guys can't cut it and the survivors are the little indies. irony of ironies! the reason i wanted to go to b&n is because i still had 35 dollars on a gift certificate and there was a certain art book i've had my eye on for most of the summer. the art book cost 60 bucks and i am normally skittish about paying that much for almost anything. not that i'm a cheapie. i just couldn't justify the expense to myself for myself. but then. . .i splurged. because it was half price with the gift certificate. nick wanted a magazine about model airplanes. that boy is totally into mechanical things. he likes the things that are made and how they are made. don't know where he gets it from. he's naturally good with numbers. i am not. nor can i make or build stuff nor do i care to make or build stuff. nick loves those things that go zoom.

but then the boy just finished his second week of 1st grade. he's got many, many years to discover who he will become. his mother and me are along to guide him and be amazed by him. and we are indeed amazed by him.

the art book, you wonder? nobody's fool by yoshitomo nara. i discovered nara's work in 2000 at the sfmoma. okay, call me a savage, a philistine, whatever. i love pop and pop art. i don't distinguish between high and low arts. the division is artificial and rather silly. but give me a good graphic design over a great painting by, say, jacque louis david any day. well, okay, i won't have to choose pop art or classical works. looking over nara's paintings i am sure that he was influenced by another favorite of mine, phillip guston. there is also a diy aesthetic at play in nara that suits me just fine. in nara that aesthetic is rather warm and inclusive and his pop idioms express a connection with the viewer and their maker that i find lacking in other pop artists. then again, it could be because nara loves punk rock and made a drawing about my favorite band, social distortion. that could be it. whatever the means, nara is my sort of dude.


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