Timed Entry

Bart and I hit two gallery openings Friday night.  We had 20 minutes at the first gallery and 30 minutes at the second.  The art was stellar but having to make reservations with specific end times takes most of the fun out of the openings.  Sadly, socializing has to be kept to minimum if you want to take in the offerings.  Socializing is a large part of the enjoyment of the evening.  Even though socializing has to be curtailed, the art is still there to refresh our souls and inspire.  One has to thank the galleries for persevering in a pandemic and keeping the tradition alive, even though it has changed. Eventually, the pandemic will be under control and life on the gallery circuit will hopefully return to it’s former glory.

Meghan Wilbar, Storm at Sunset, oil on panel, 30 x 48, Michael Warren Contemporary Art.
Angela Beloian, Intrastellar Fall, spray enamel and paint pen on panel, 30 x 24, Walker Fine Art.

A Magical Day

Sioux Passage Park image found online

For the last few days I’ve been thinking back to a sunny afternoon I spent after school in Sioux Passage Park on one of last days of my final semester of Catholic high school in 1975.  I remember the warm sun shining on my face while being reclined on a grassy hill side watching the clouds move across the sky.  Passing a joint amongst my band of friends who were outcasts of the high school hierarchy. 

It was a perfect carefree spring day.  One of the last enjoyable days before the humid brutality of a hot Midwest summer started.  I had the day off from my after-school job of manning the fry station at Jack in the Box.  I had no homework.  I didn’t have to study as I had already taken the final exams in my AP classes.  I only had to show up at school those last few days.  I had no pressing responsibilities.

I was perched on the edge of the ravine which separated my high school days from the rest of my life. One of the last days of freedom.  I would soon be forced to become an adult and care for myself, pay for college and a car.

Over the years, I managed to educate myself, find a job, build a career, come out, find and lose love a number of times, travel and accumulate assets.  Now I live alone in a pandemic, in a country torn apart by political divide and racism.  In the distant future, I’ll be entering the phase of life meant for enjoyment after a years of hard work.  Life hardly seems enjoyable.  Every day brings unprecedented political and social events along with warnings of future unrest and violence. Is it any wonder I keep thinking of those pleasant memories of that magical day before I actually had to be an adult?  Or did it simply seem magical because I was stoned?

With Denver being moved back down to level orange on the Covid-19 Dial, Bart and I met for dinner and a gallery romp.  The commercial galleries will slowly start their winter season next weekend.  The Co-ops were on the roster for the evening. 

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the Santa Fe Arts district. The restaurant was sparsely populated making it was easy to land a table.  I hadn’t seen Bart for a few weeks so we got caught up over chips and salsa.  Bart donned two masks every time the waiter approached the table.  When I questioned him about this he told me he was fearful of catching the virus in the restaurant environment.  I thought this was ridiculous given his recent play date and told him so.  Last Saturday night, Bart had hooked up with a businessman at one of the swank boutique hotels in Cherry Creek.  If anything, the waiter and I should be wary of him.  Bart argued the guy was clean-cut and was staying at an upscale hotel.  How could a highly-educated man think a clean-cut guy in a high-end hotel lowered the risk of catching the virus?  I’ve learned you can’t win arguments like this with Bart.  They will just go on and on.  I let it drop. We left a 40% tip and headed out west to the Co-ops.

All evening, conversations centered on the recent political unrest in the Capitol.  The art crowd is generally liberal and not supportive of the outgoing administration.  I just wanted to look at art.  I wanted a diversion from the chaos of the week which had been relentlessly discussed and dissected on the 24-hour news cycle.  I finally found my salvation at Pirate Contemporary Art’s annual Member’s Show.  The presentation did not disappoint.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Peter Yumi, Two Lovers Contemplating The Future, charcoal, acrylic paint and silk screen, $1,500.
Vinni Alfonso, People are Places, acrylic on canvas, price not listed.
Jen Starling, Solo Conga Line, oil on panel, 2020, $1,500.
Louis Recchia, The Pensive Artist, oil on canvas, 2020, $1,200.

More of the Same

The last day of 2020 is behind us, which, I will always remember as a shit stain on humanity’s tighty whities.  My holidays were mostly uneventful.  I bought and shipped a single gift to my father.  He sent a box of food, purchased at a discount food store, along with a holiday card stuffed with cash.  The cash was less than last year so I’m guessing his stock dividends were less this year.  I gave the box of food, which mainly consisted of canned goods and other instant foods, to Jacqueline when she cut my hair two weeks ago.  Her church’s food pantry was in need and the food was nothing I would ever eat unless a nuclear fire storm burned down all grocery stores near me.  Off-brand canned sardines are not a staple of my diet.

I was touched when Bart dropped off a gift and card on Christmas Eve.  The card included a note expressing his gratitude for our friendship, which was uncharacteristic for the normally emotionless Bart.  I didn’t buy Bart a gift as I didn’t think we were exchanging gifts.

Bruce called when he returned from visiting his family with LA.  At the end of our conversation centering on his visit, Bruce told me he loved me and considers me one of his closest friends.  While we are close friends hearing him say he loved me was a little odd.  Bruce told me he would drop off a holiday gift but that has yet to happen. 

New Year’s Eve was uneventful by my choice. Bruce invited me over for an evening of board games before ringing in 2021.  I declined his offer as I didn’t want to be the lone single guy in attendance.  The other quest were two straight couples. 

New Year Day brought a text from Miss J announcing her split from the woman she has been dating since her divorce from her husband.  No details were shared.  The first post-divorce romance rarely lasts so I wasn’t surprised by the news.  I wonder if Miss J will continue to see women or return to men.

A guy I first dated in 2016 (disappointment drive 14) called last night.  He’s been in regular contact since the pandemic started.  He comes and goes in my life.  We’d get together for a nice evening and then he would disappear for months on end.  He’s older than me but still in great shape.  I really enjoy our conversations.  He’s highly intelligent with master degrees in ceramic engineering and biomechanical engineering.  He advised me to wait for the AstraZenica-Oxford vaccine if possible because it used DNA as its platform, and not, RNA like the other two vaccines.  He elaborated as to why this was important, but honestly, most of the explanation was too scientific for my simple mind.  Our conversation, which was the highlight of my day, lasted for over two hours.

I’m off to the gym in a bit for a workout and a little social interaction.  Getting out of the house and seeing people does wonders for my mood.  I need to talk live with another human before settling in for another evening of streaming entertainment.

It’s Gone!

It’s Getting Better

Photograph by Vasjen Katro

It’s getting better. Help in on the way. One day we will look back on 2020 and recall the time we had to wear masks and socially distance.  This is the first time in my life I have been truly inconvenienced unlike my parents who experienced war rationing, financial disaster followed by poverty and hunger.  Wearing a mask and not having holiday celebrations is just a minor blip on the radar.  A good doctor has recommended having an adventure if you can’t have tradition.  My adventure is starting by dropping off a significant check at the youth homeless shelter downtown.  Can you imagine being under 21 and homeless in this climate?  That’s an adventure I don’t wish on anyone.

Nativity Scenes

Do you have a favorite? Or, are these too abstract for you?

Sexy Garage Door

Isn’t this the sexiest garage door you’ve ever seen?  It matches the front door and other wood accents on this house which has been under construction for 18 months.  Everything seems to be custom on the house which helps explain why the project is taking so long to finish.

Kelly Update

Kelly is being laid off at the end of January without a severance.  She’s been looking for other opportunities for the last year but nothing has come to fruition.  Coincidentally, a Private Equity firm is interested in buying her product line and bringing her on in a key role.  This all depends on the sale actually happening.  The last time the company tried to sell her product line the CEO killed the sale at the last minute only to later decide to end sale of the product.  Kelly opened backchannel communications with the PE firm in the hope of securing a new gig.

I think getting laid off will be good for Kelly.  She will leave a toxic work environment where she is underappreciated.  Kelly needs to land a new gig soon.  She’s the primary wage earner.  Also, she has a daughter in college and her son will start college in the fall.  I know there’s a better opportunity for her. 

Another Scrape

Here’s another 1950’s ranch house that’s getting scraped.  The house, which sits on a half-acre, was only marketed as a tear down.  The asking price was $2m.  The property sold rather quickly and has been sitting empty.  I’m guessing the new house will be at least 8,000 sq. ft.