Art. Sex. Vitruvian Drawing Group. Sean. 7.31.14

Tonight’s drawing:
Sean-7-31-14

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Art. Sex. NDG. July 29. Model: Adam.

I run a drawing group in Washington DC in which naked men draw other naked men. 

Yes. And its fun too.

For more info about the group go to ndg-dc.blogspot.com

Tonight’s drawings:

IMG_20140729_235213_536~2 IMG_20140729_235147_524~2 IMG_20140729_235136_408~2

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Politics. Life, Death, Family and Pets. 07.27.14

Yesterday was a good day. Looking at it by the amount of time it takes to travel from just outside of Washington DC, into the heart of Chester County, Pennsylvania, I spent a little over a quarter of the day behind the wheel of my tiny, teensy, tiny little car listening to music on the Spotify, as the radio dial has become the hard slog of woe, depression, agony, war, pestilence and death. Knowing that it exists in the world is one thing. Being bathed in it day after day is a drain on the soul. Listening sucks the joy out of every possible moment. So instead, Spotify and SoundCloud and gorgeous tonal landscapes and music from old movies and childhood serve as the backdrop to rolling fields of corn and soybeans, old trees pushing forth waves and crests of greens from light to the deepest almost blackly blue-greens.  

Most folks take i-95 and zip past a lot of stuff in the mad rush to get from A to B and pound the steering wheel and stop and go behind the brake-lights, and curse the tolls that pay to keep the roads in a constant state of tearing down to build up to tear down the roads. 

I too will take those interstates to get past the bigger cities, with all the noise and the lack of green and the crowing people all scrabbling hard for an inch of space, slammed up against each other in the life struggle. 

My favorite part of the journey is when I take my exit from the interstate, past all the big box stores and people stuffing their big cars with more kids and more food and more of more, onto the turnings where stores get fewer, and the roads get narrower, and the trees grow and knit their green canopy into vast cathedrals of dappled tunnels.  Four lane roads drop down to two, air condition turns off and windows open to catch the smell of the woods, dank and loamy and musty. Fresh air and life teams outside the windows as I wind my way past the regular folks, people who have lived in those little houses for years, up the street from the biker bars and diners and sleepy little businesses that don’t have names up on the internet, big marketing campaigns, and two for one deals.  Just a few hours from city life is the other side of America, watching the fast-moving on the TV they might watch on occasion, but most are too busy tending the fields, working their gardens, raising their kids,  going to summer country fairs to spark in the moonlight and eat greasy treats by the garish lights. Amusement rides held together with spit and a promise. Old firefighters with eyes that have seen more than their mouths will tell, directing folks into fallowed fields to park.

On past them and into the dark and the woods, and over the Conowingo Dam (now sponsored by some big faceless energy company.) I pass by the sign that I’ll pass again on my way home, wondering why they fixed most of the neon, but never seem to got around to fixing the ascenders on both the “N” letters. Past the big concrete with high water and sluices on one side, and a big valley of scrub brush and boulders and hard scrabble on the other. Past “Fisherman’s Park” on the lee side of the damn where I spent childhood weekends on stolen time with my father, scrabbling over rocks with my little Zebco fishing rod, impaling worms with my hook and trying not to draw blood, as tetanus shots when money was tight could push our teetering family into a crisis. Catching sunnies and trout. There was a time when we could eat them. After hearing of Peach Bottom and Three Mile Island, we threw the little wounded soldiers back into the river after we caught them and then eventually just stopped fishing altogether. 

Past more fields and old stone houses and deep woods and valleys until the sides of what once were farm hills begin to be dotted with the steady march of McMansions, 10 bedroom houses pushed heel to toe against one another so millionaires can look out their bathroom windows into the bathrooms of the house next door. Under the overpass, beyond the ever-present Walmart and parade of strip malls, past the monument to a long-dead family of polluters and baby-rapers and their lovely “Fountain Festival”, beyond the valleys of the warehouses where we put the infirm, and the criminals, and onto West Chester. 

The street where my Grandmother lives is in a constant state of change.  Young professionals with expensive cars and important jobs have discovered the old neighborhoods where the unwanted were pushed. Small two and three story brick houses with oak floors and old brick sidewalks and gardens with gates, presided over by women who have survived their husbands,  with eyes not unlike those firemen, who have seen much that their mouths will not tell. Those gardens are full of plants and trees and herbs that you can’t find anymore. Roses that still have a smell. Hasta plants as big as a small car. Lillies and Iris and plants given as parts of Easter Baskets and birthdays 50 years ago and planted in corners of the gardens have had years to mature and grow with abandon. The ignorant gardner who just comes in and cuts with his weed-wacker destroying years of history, only to find that once he was fired and the garden allowed a chance to heal, only takes a year or so for those old deep roots to come back.

Inside the house, there’s no air conditioning. It makes her cough and turns those quiet aches up to agonies, so she takes to the old ways, wearing a housedress, pulling the blinds, baking very early in the mornings when she did bake to allow the heat to dissipate and not sit on the body like a warm blanket in July. The house is tidy and filled with the curios of past birthdays and holidays. Pictures in frames of relatives who now only seem to gather when a death comes.  

We had one of those deaths a few months ago, when one of my Grandmother’s youngest passed away of Cancer in his throat. He was born with a defect in his heart. Most of our family has one kind or another, but his was a weakness in a part of the muscle that would actually open inside his chest and leak blood. He wasn’t supposed to survive. that’s what the doctors said, but he did. He survived. He went to school and made his family proud. He was going to go to college and did briefly, but as many do, he may have experimented with things left alone and started down a long and harrowing road of dependency. My Grandmother did all she could to be there and to help and support him. Its what you do when you love someone. The dependency was strong. There were group homes and doctors and programs. And one day when the teeth were especially sharp in that dependency, he drank something. Some say it was windex. others say it was rubbing alcohol. All we know is it took most of his sight. 

Now legally blind, there were more programs. These seemed to work better. He got machines to help him work a trade that would magnify things large so he could see them. He was placed in a group home where the support structure was stronger and where he could grow. My grandmother talked to him a few times a day, bought him whatever he needed. cared for him.

And then Cancer set in its teeth. The doctors poked and prodded and experimented as they do. Sometimes those experiments work and remission comes, as it did  for my brother in law. Other times, the Cancer has teeth that are too long and it has its way.  

My dog, Tilly, also has Cancer.  When I bathe her, under her beautiful coat, the lesions grow and spread. I could take her to the vet and have her poked and prodded and filled with all sorts of chemistry meant to battle. To make the Cancer’s long teeth break and hope that its hold will be released. 

I won’t. 

She is 12 years old. Lhasa Apsos live to between 15-20 years sometimes. She would not understand why I’d want to load her in a car and have her hurt over and over and over again in order to try to squeeze a few more years out of her life. I have chosen a different path for her. Its a path where I work from home to keep an eye on her. Its a path where she gets “people-food” more often than she’s supposed to. She likes frozen broccoli and frozen pre-cooked meatballs. She likes cold leftover roasted chicken with a little milk and a bit of chicken broth.  She likes to sleep in my office under the sleep inducing white noise breezes of the oscillating fan, and bark at strangers in her tiny dog dreams, where during the days, she lives to look at me, and tries to protect me in her little dog ways, and asks for tastes of whatever I’m eating, and because she is my little fur-kid, she gets whatever she wants. She is spoiled rotten. 

This is how I choose to let her live out the end of her life. Being near me. Eating whatever she likes, getting good walking time and smelling time in on the good days. Letting her sit in the sun on the deck or sleep on the cool bathroom tile.

My uncle’s life ended with tubes and fear and beeping machines and pain, and poisons pumped through the body in hopes of breaking the Cancer down.  The doctors finally let him go to hospice care where he soon passed away. He was my grandmother’s anchor and focus of her life for years. There was a funeral at which my eldest brother showed up. My eldest brother always shows up at every funeral and is always the last to leave the wake. He always sits close to the front of the church. One of my other Uncles gives a sermon that grates upon my nerves and I am thankful that I arrived late and missed most of it. There is a man who died young in a box in the front of the church, and all my Uncle can think to bang-on about is whether the grieving people have attended church enough and have been “Saved.”  Funerals are supposed to be about solace for the living. They shouldn’t be a commercial to “come on down and get your Jezis on.”  The funeral ends and those closest to the deceased are allowed to leave first, so they can prepare for the procession to the graveyard. As a person who tends to avoid funerals completely, I spy a chance, slip out the door, give my mother a hug, open the door while they are still waiting to load the coffin into the hearse, and reach in and give my Grandmother a hug. I don’t bother with too many words. They all ring hollow in that emptiness that death leaves behind. 

Then I escape. 

I don’t want to go to a wake and look into the faces of the people who really were not there for my Grandmother’s lonely battles she fought alongside my uncle with dependency and illness. They were all there now once he’s dead to show their faces and bask in the glory of their own righteousness. There were those in the family who helped. I don’t wish to be unfair to them. One of my aunts in particular called several times a day to check on my Grandmother, picked her up to wind her way around the grocery store she likes. Not the one closest to the house, the one where she likes to go. Others stopped by to check on my Grandmother. To offer solace and a listening ear. But most of those shining faces in their funeral finest didn’t. 

As for me, I visit her a few times a year, like yesterday’s visit. I go up to visit with her and listen. We don’t really talk about the pain. We don’t have to. Its in the room, peering out from the picture frames, lurking in the corners attached to things she bought for her son. Instead we talk about her plants. Those outside the window growing to try to get in. Those inside the house thriving in the windows. She clips me a few pieces of a Jade tree that is threatening to tumble off its ledge and a spider plant that sends its shoots up the inside of the blinds.  I pick up my Christmas present. She bought it months ago, and when I was up around the holidays, she was deep in the fight for her son and was not receiving guests. I left her gift with my sister to be dropped off on another day when she was feeling more up to being around people and spent my time visiting with my mother. 

My grandmother and I talk about food. We talk about how she used to make cream puffs.  She made the cooked dough (choux pastry), but does not call it by that “fancy name.” She works from an old cookbook given to her by my grandpa’s mom. My grandmother and her mother didn’t see eye to eye on some things, so the learning of how to cook came from the mother-in-law and apparently she was a formidable cook. She passed her skills on to my Grandmother in hopes that she would keep her son fed and happy. Because there was love, my Grandmother took to the task. She cooked. She made cakes and pies and candy. She baked fresh bread everyday. She cold-canned the produce that came from my Grandfather’s many gardens that dotted the landscape around West Chester. She raised and fed 12 children out of that tiny 3-bedroom house. 

She doesn’t cook as much any more. Cancer set in its teeth to her too, likely through those heavy metals trapped in the clothes of her husband that she faithfully washed for him from the work he did in the steel mills of Coatesville. Metals that land on the skin and burrow their way in. Metals that see your DNA and decide they do not like its symmetry one bit and choose to step in and corrupt it with their own and leave scars that turn to growths that turn to Cancer.  So the doctors asked her to sacrifice her breasts to save her live and she complied.  And with bared teeth and nails, fought her husband’s Cancer until he died. The scar tissue tightened and made it hard for her to use the tools she loves to make her treats and so she makes smaller simpler meals. My cousins ask her to try to make her cakes again. We walk through her tiny by today’s standards kitchen. Its not the same as it used to be. There was a fire and it burned. Contractors came from the insurance company and gutted the room and took a lot of things that survived the fire, but they chose to take them anyway. They sent in builders to replace the kitchen, but rather than do the job right, they cut corners, and didn’t bother to finish some of the flooring under the cabinets, so the cold comes up drafty through the cracks and makes her arthritis set its teeth in deeper with its nagging pain. The kitchen holds a faded joy for her now and she spends very little time there, passing the tools like a person passes dusty trophies in an old museum.

We spend a little more time talking about politics and war and conflicts. Her mind doesn’t show any signs of aging at all. She knows her current events and has opinions about them that aren’t far from my own. We discuss the issue of Race and her view is interesting indeed. She doesn’t want to be called “Black” or “African American.”  She said nobody ever bothered to ask her opinion and as far as she’s concerned, she’s not “Black” like those of much darker skin from Africa, and as she looks across the multi-colored expanse of brown people from Africa and Haiti, and Jamaica and South America, and Cuba, and the rest, that whenever someone asks her when she fills out a form whether she’s “Black,” she says “Do I look Black to you?” 

She’s a light-skinned woman with the lines and curves of a face that have lived a life. She has a willful line between her eyebrows, and eyes like mine and my mothers that find it hard to lie, as our eyes and faces tell truths that our mouths might be too polite to speak. Her hair is close cropped and grey with a wave to it that speaks of another time. She’s a tiny woman, getting ever smaller as age has a way of chipping away at your stature. 

So when asked what Race she would like to choose on forms, she says check “other” and write-in “Human.”

Makes sense to me. When I look around, I don’t really feel like I belong to the group of folks who call themselves “Black” or “African American” either. I’m one of those mixed children like the President of our country. In our “post-racial” society, us mixed folks tended to stand outside of the tribalism that breaks society down along the neat lines of “White” and “Black.”There are liabilities to being “Other.” Groups on either side either shun us or fetishize our unique-ness. – The way our hair doesn’t look like other people’s hair -The way light doesn’t hit us the same way. They ways we try to fit in with any group but are never quite part of that group.

We are outsiders. Outliers.

That separateness and “other-ness” gives a unique perspective on the world. Somewhat detached. Able to see things a bit more clearly because we know we aren’t really invested in that struggle, because neither side really seems to have an interest in claiming us, so we make our own way.

And so I pack my parcels and head for the door after giving her a hug and thank her for taking out her time to see me. I realize that she is still grieving the loss of her boy, but that she was able to dig out for a moment and give me a little of her time is precious. It was a memory this is etched in my mind and so I felt the desire to share it with you today.

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Art. Sex. Vitruvian Drawing Group. 07-24-14. Jeremy.

Learn the rules. Know the rules. Break the rules.

Tonight, when walking around the room, chatting with the artists and looking at the diverse styles of portraying the same figure standing naked in the center of the room, there were some who followed rote and convention and the way they always draw. There is no problem or wrong in seeking the comfort of what you know how to do. There were those who drew not what they saw, but illustrated the story of what they saw in their heads, carried forth from the inspiration of a beautiful naked male form standing there, just for them. There is no problem or wrong in freeing the mind to wander by inspiration, and attempting to capture the fleeting imagined images.

Then there were those who, like me, know the rules of how to draw, how to create a proportional figure, where to place the lines to translate  by the mind into shape, and form, weight and balance. light and darkness. And sometimes, its good to bruise those rules a little. push the limits a little.

Or a lot.

I’ve been bumping into boundaries quite a bit lately and I like some of the safer parts of my work.

But I see those lines I’m supposed to stay inside.

And I’m just itchin’…

Tonight’s drawings…

IMG_20140724_232032_909~2 IMG_20140724_232008_288~2 IMG_20140724_231938_737~2

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Cuisine. Oh no. Really? Really. 07.24.14

I have a secret. 

At least once a month, on my way home from drawing naked men, I stop at McDonald’s.

Yes. The Golden Arches. 

Those people. 

Now that you have judged me for filth, and decided I am one of “them,”  I’m going to beg a courtesy of you. I’m going to ask you to keep reading and I’m hoping you will.

Many people across the United States do not live near farms. Some do. Lots don’t. Most people in this country live nowhere near where their food is grown, and likely do not realize that most of our food in this country comes from a large, mechanized process in which all of the elements of what was formerly called “food” have been processed, and processed, and processed. 

Most people in this country have never gotten up in the morning, walked into their backyard and down the stairs and around the corner to look into their tomato patch, spied a tomato covered in morning dew, reached out, plucked it off the vine unwashed, put it in their mouth, bit down and had the flavor of a vine-grown, ripe tomato explode on their palette. 

I have. I did it this morning. I have the resources and the knowledge to maintain a tomato patch in the backyard. its a luxury not afforded to many people in today’s world.  There’s seven different kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of tomatillos, and another five kinds of peppers growing, right now in my backyard. I’m not going to tell you about the kitchen herbs in pots, or the ornamental peppers that turned out to actually be edible and so fucking hot, one tiny pea-sized pepper has to be seeded and finely (so tiny, so fine) cut in order to be able to be withstood in two large vegetable omelets. 

What I am going to say is this…

McDonalds is not the devil.

They are a business that employs a whole lot of people trying to make a profit in a business that squeezes them from every direction, and they are big enough to punch the squeezers out and sometimes they do.

That said, they run Ronald McDonald House. 

What’s that?  Its a place where families can stay, most times free of charge while their little kids, some of them with terminal diseases that most folks don’t even hear whispered by their doctors until they have lived long, productive lives, go in for care to attempt to save their lives. That little bit of jingle-change you throw in the cup holder in your car that vibrates as you drive down the road or turn up the base could go in that annoying little slot just under the window where you pay for your food.

Now let’s talk about that person, to whom I handed money to pay for my meal.  She was energetic, and kind. She smiled. She was very polite and very helpful when I asked her to break a $20, and then told her I’d place an order of small french fries so she could break the $20 and not get into trouble for a policy fault. She checked the $20 for the security markers, and gave me my change. I put $10 into the little red slot, and she thanked me very sincerely for assisting a charity.

She, and the other folks at that McDonalds are VERY polite. You know where that comes from?  Training.  A good store rigorously trains its staff to understand that the most important person they meet that day is every. single. customer. We pay their wages. The understanding of that simple tenet is valuable and marks everyone who has ever put on one of those awful shirts and worked in one of those restaurants. It marks everyone who then moves on to better paying jobs in which exemplary customer service is the key to their success, whether they work at a bank, in the military, at a garage, or behind an Executive desk. The experience of being friendly in the face of cranky, work-tired, sometimes unwashed folks who want something to eat changes a person’s outlook and shows you every day that everybody needs to eat.

I eat at McDonalds because recently, they changed their pay policy so they will be paying their employees about $10 per hour (eventually and on average). Why is this important?  If a company as large as McDonalds is willing to hear the idea that maybe the race to the lowest available labor cost is not good business, maybe others will take notice. Some companies, like Costco for example, knew this lesson from their founding and have carried the same idea into their stores today, against the advice of everyone on Wall Street, to pay their employees a wage that would allow the employee to feed themselves, their families, and maybe even have some money left over to buy some of the things sold in the stores where they work.  Paying a fair wage means poor and middle class people have money to spend. That money supports the person, and their family, but it also supports the local economy. People can afford to send their kids to Karate Class. Get their nails and hair done. Buy a few plants for the garden.  Those purchases support the community and create more ability for customers to come back and spend some of that money back at Costco, and in turn increase Costco’s sales. 

McDonalds seems to be willing to give that idea a try. What can it hurt?  People’s tastes are changing and people want to see value for their dollar, but they also want to feel that the food they are eating will not hurt them. People’s tastes are changing too. McDonalds is trying to change gradually so as not to freak out its customers, but lets just say maybe they need to try adding a couple of things to the menu, like whole grain buns, a mayonaise with lime and sriracha, and maybe one or two more cheese choices like provolone or pepper jack instead of just yellow american cheese here in the US. Or maybe some of the other regional choices offered in other countries might need to make an appearance here in the US (like maybe they should have done during World Cup and capitalized on the international coming together of nations around the global passion of fütbol (soccer.)

The final reason I eat at McDonalds at least once a month – aclimatization. That may not be a word, but let me explain the concept. If everything you eat is local, grain fed, organic, non GMO, non BGH product, all of it is grown on a planet with interlinked ecological and environmental systems. There are varying levels of contamination in your food. Accept it and move on, regardless of the resources you have, unless you live in a bio-dome, you will be effected by whatever else is in the environment where your food is grown.  Secondly, if my economic circumstances changed, and I lost access to all the wonderful sources of food I have access to now because my means allow it, I’d have to eat regular, mass processed whatever I could afford to scrounge or buy on coupons or stretch my dollars around to purchase. If I don’t occasionally put a dipper into that food pool and take a deep drink, being forced to go back into that food pool if I suffered an economic shock wouldn’t have the best consequences on my body.  It would be like putting economy gasoline in a car that’s built for high octane. The car would likely run, but there would be a whole lot of inefficiency, a whole lot of smelly exhaust, poor energy production, and eventually the systems would clog up.  

But if every once in a while, I put a little economy gas in with the high-test, I might lose a little performance around the edges, but I wouldn’t do massive damage to the car. Small deviations instead of massive shocks. I think the body works the same way and sometimes you have to break from purity just a little to keep from potentially shocking your body in the future.

Same idea behind eating 1 meal at McDonalds out of 90 or so a month prepared with love and attention in my tiny little galley kitchen just outside of Washington DC. 

Now why would I be worried about that?  Well, with all the conflicts we are currently seeing around the world, and the rebirth of some pretty scary diseases that could go global if the wrong combinations of things happened at the same time, its probably not a bad idea to start to prepare for some shocks to our system, because they could happen. 

Easily. and soon.

So, tomorrow I’ll go back to my routine. Tonight, I’ll eat my Quarter pounder, light mayo, extra lettuce, no onion, my order of French Fries (of which I’ll throw away half) and My large Dr. Pepper, of which I’ll also throw away half. 

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Cuisine. Black Bananas can be delicious. 07-20-14

IMG_20140720_130713_306 IMG_20140720_125852_380

 

Well, last night, I went downtown with a friend of mine to a little French Bistro (Bearnaise) after a drink on the deck discussing where to go for dinner. Roasted marrow bones (sounds disgusting, tastes fantastic), Duck Confit, and Frites. Charming and delicious and the service was good. Bartender needs to listen more closely to the waiter when they say Ginger Beer, and make sure he doesn’t tell the wait staff he is out of Orange Bitters in a bar known for its cocktails. Send a runner out to buy more and don’t disappoint your customers. 

The drink was a Gravelly Frenchman (which is how you sound next morning after a few of these) – Serves 2

3 shots from the big end of the shot measure of a good balanced bourbon. Taylor, Bulleit, or Basil Hayden are pretty good. Slice a fresh orange in half and take two thin slices across the wheel for your garnish.  Put some ice in your shaker, put in two droppers full of a good orange bitters. (I like Bittercube), the bourbon, squeeze in both of the leftover halves of orange and a good squirt of blue agave nectar. Shake it until the shaker cools down and starts to hurt you hand a little bit. Strain into two glasses. Open two Reeds Extra Ginger Beers and pour them in. Float the orange wheel on top, and add a couple more drops of orange bitters on top of each of the orange wheels. Sip. Pour in some more ginger beer. Sip. continue until the ginger beer and your drink are gone.

These are good for around 5 O’clock while you are having an animated discussion about where to go to dinner.

Now, on Saturday nights in Washington, the Hipsters go out to the watering holes and stand around in the fashions their maxxed out credit cards have purchased for them, and nurse the same fucking drink for a few hours while chattering and taking up valuable bar and table space. Let’s just say I’m not happy with The Partisan right now. Its a new eatery with connections to Red Apron, a local charcuterie/bolangerie downtown in one of the Tony-ier sections of DC.  My baggy shorts and CK polo shirt likely didn’t get me close enough to bankruptcy to impress the hostess, so NO TABLE FOR YOU OR YOUR FRIEND. BAH. 

What many restaurants don’t realize about catering to the young, hip, and broke-ass crowd, is the regular customers actually support your restaurant, or we would if we could ever get a chance to taste the food, are displaced by the younger broke-ass set who aren’t making you money. You probably want to get tables to those buying the expensive drinks and desserts that increase your margins. Consider that next time, and maybe give a wait time and turn your tables faster to get more paying trade in. This is said by two tired looking folks who buy food from your Union Station location, but may shift all of their business up the row to Harvey’s because of a bad experience on a Saturday night, mmmmkay?

That said, next morning, I opened my mouth, and Bourbon Voice came out. It sounds scratchy, and a little French (hence the improvised name for the above referenced cocktail). I was considering laying in bed all day, affecting some French-ness, and considering taking up the nasty habit of smoking Gauloises, when a friend stopped in for coffee and to take away some propane tanklets that were purchased for a camp stove that turned out to be completely wrong for the stove in question.

I had Assam, two kinds of mint, chamomile, and local honey. He had coffee, local milk, sugar, and a nice float of Kentucky Bourbon vanilla extract. I stepped away from my impulse to play Billie Holiday, as she is capable of inducing a deep blue sulk on my part, dialed up Django Reinhardt on Spotify, and went to work on the Sunday Afternoon Experiment.

Today’s experiment (finally. God, would he get on with it, self important bastard) :)  was using some bits and pieces from the cupboard and fridge. I bought some hulled flaxseed a while ago and it sat in my cupboard taunting me with its lovely packaging and ability to get caught in every hard to reach tooth in my mouth. In the fridge were those last three bananas. They went past yellow to black and started to make the fruit flies happy and me extremely unhappy. An egg and an egg yolk, and a cup of whole wheat flour, a little corn starch, and 3-4 teaspoons of sugar, and I had what looks like muffin batter. No muffins. Meh.  So I got out the whisk, added a pinch of salt  and whole milk until the batter looked thin and promising. 

Crepes.  No influence from last night’s dinner or the guitar jangling in the other room. No?

So I heated up the crepe pan, dropped in some peanut oil and threw out the first one (as you almost always have to)  and made some nice but very dark crepes.

Back into the fridge, there’s a roasted chicken (there’s always a roasted chicken in my fridge), so off comes one half of a breast to be shredded between two forks, while a pat of butter and some finely diced shallots work in a little skillet. The shallots brown, the butter bubbles.  In goes a little cream. Stand back. The butter could get excited and try to make you into one of those strange people who draws on their eyebrows each day. Reduce the heat and let the sauce reduce, then toss in that chicken and maybe some fresh herb chiffonade (sp?), (that’s a bunch of fresh herbs balled up tight and run through a bunch of times with a wickedly sharp knife).

I had some leftover tomato salad. I also had an avocado crema (fresh avocado, Crema Salvadorena, a little agave syrup, some key lime juice, and a little greek yogurt, whipped until it looks like one of those facials women buy for $50).  There was the remains of a bottle of champagne, so I had that topped off with triple sec, and a raspberry reduction that was also in the fridge.

I ate, and took obnoxious photos, and bragged on Facebook. You know, like we do. 

And wished there was someone to share it with for about five minutes until I realized that would mean less food for me, and said, “FUCK. ALL. OF. THAT.” and finished my brunch. 

You know us Gays love the Brunch. Yes we do.

Up top are a couple of the obnoxious pictures. 

I’m going for a nap now. :)

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Art. Nudio at Dry Creek. 07-19-2014. James

Little change of pace today.

Decided to have my model (and muse, I guess) in to the the studio today, but rather than working on figurative drawings, I’m practicing on my portraiture.

These were all roughly 30 minute sittings:

I think I did OK, but I need more practice before I pick up brush and easel.

IMG_20140719_180828_378 IMG_20140719_180755_086 IMG_20140719_180723_738 IMG_20140719_152855_611

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