Archive for December, 2014

I’m Engaged

I hadn’t heard from Mike for about a week. I assumed he went away with his partner for the holiday. Yesterday he sent me a text: “I’m engaged”. It’s been radio silence ever since. I wonder if there will be a prenup.

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Off The Hook

Tom and Sheila hosted a solstice party on Sunday night. As usual, their party was a lot of fun. Devil’s Food catered most of the food. The shrimp and pork belly skewers were beyond delicious. The booze flowed all night. The guys enjoyed cigars on the terrace while huddled around the chiminea. A musician sat at the Steinway and banged out a mix of the blues and holiday tunes. Mame was holding court in family room with a small group of guests enjoying the warmth of the fireplace. The party was a small intimate crowd of interesting people from the arts and various professions.

Mame invited me to a Christmas Eve gathering thrown by a friend and to her house on Christmas. Mame and her husband, Jim, throw their doors open to anyone who is in town on Christmas day.

On Monday, I talked with my mother about my options for visiting. Amazingly, I could get frequent flier seats on United and arrive on Christmas morning, or drive, and arrive late Friday night. My mother asked me not to travel as she would rather I visit in late spring or early summer. She didn’t have to tell me twice. I’m now off the hook for visiting but have no plans for the holiday. I guess I’ll be spending time with Mame and Jim.

On an unrelated topic, I was going to see Ricky Ricardo for the second time tonight but he cancelled due to a cold. I think we’ll get together after Christmas.

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Auntie Mame Has Talent

I finally made it to Auntie Mame’s show last night. I was pleasantly surprised at quality of the work and the presentation. Auntie Mame does mosaics which can often be kitschy and border more on craft than art. Her expertly executed mosaics displayed a creative color palate and were exquisitely framed. Auntie Mame is clearly a talented and gifted artist.

I saw Kara’s Range Rover parked in front of her gallery but she was nowhere in sight, which, in a way, was a good thing. I didn’t need to get distracted as I wanted to take in a few gallery shows before they closed.

I made the gallery rounds (Santa Fe Street, Navajo Street and RiNo) but only saw one other show that struck a chord. Pirate is showing works by two Denver based Mongolian painters, Tsogo Mijid and Ganbaatar Choimbol. The artists received their initial training in Mongolia which explains some of the images in their work. I was drawn to a number of paintings in the show but I need to exercise some restraint when it comes to buying art. I think these guys are two artists to keep an eye on. It was good to see some diversity in local art community.

There’s a group show at Spark which has some great works by Joyce Coco, Leo Franco, Kate McGuinness and Debra Jang to name a few. Ice Cube also has a group show with a number of great works. My favorite was a small painting by Karen Roehl whose work I have admired for a while.

It was a quick romp through the galleries which got me home before ten. The galleries were empty given most people were probably celebrating at holiday parties. I’ll be on art hiatus until January.

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A Generous Gift

Mr. N, the new neighbor across the street, popped over yesterday to tell me they will be visiting family in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur for the next two weeks. Mr. N asked me to wheel their trash bin to the curb on trash day. Mr. N showed his appreciation by giving me two tickets to a Nuggets’ game in an envelope.

I opened the envelope this morning to check the date of the game only to discover the 5th row tickets cost $160.00 each. I was stunned by the generous gift. I had no idea basketball tickets were so expensive. I don’t follow the Nuggets so I’ve never been to a game. I guess I’m out of touch with the cost of professional sporting event tickets. I only go when I’m given tickets since I’d rather spend my money on other forms of entertainment. Mr. N also included a free parking pass which was the crowing jewel on the gift. I just need to find a pal to go with me.

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Help Has Arrived

The senior leadership team finally woke up and realized the group I work in has been downsized to point of being inefficient. There are days I have nothing to do because of process bottlenecks. I’m under contract so I get paid regardless if I have anything to do. The company is bringing back contactors whose contracts were cancelled along with a couple of employees who took a voluntary separation package.

Miss Z is back on short term contract. She is probably one of the most intelligent people I have ever met in the workforce. The problem is she knows it and can often be condescending and rude. Julie, a former employee, is back as a contractor. She’s the second most intelligent person I have worked with. Julie is kind and compassionate which makes her a dream to work with. Nasty Nann, another former employee, is back as a contractor. I’m guessing her new career raising poultry did go well. I’m hoping Nann has a new attitude or else she will reclaim her title as biggest bitch in the office. That’s a title that’s remained unassigned since Nann left. Finally, the Russian is back under a new contract as a software engineer. He’s like the bumbling professor. He often gets confused and makes a lot of mistakes but he’s easy to get along with.

Help has arrived just in time for the department to close down for week during the holidays. The senior executives may have awaken but their timing sucks.

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Lena Needs Money

An email from Lena popped into my inbox today. We’ve had no contact for months. It wasn’t a personal email as it was addressed to “everyone” and had an extensive distribution list. The email announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund a line dog toys the manufacturing company Lena co-owns wants to launch. Really? No contact for months and you want me to pledge money to support your company. If she had called and shared her business plan I may have been willing help. I wish her the best but I’m passing.

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Meeting New People

Charles, an artist who sold me a few paintings, invited me to a holiday cocktail party on Saturday night. I convinced Fritz to go as my plus one in case the party was a dud. The evening turned out to be blast. I ran into Peter, an artist I follow, and his girlfriend, Holly. Peter just got picked up by Walker Fine Art and will part of the January opening. There was an interesting mix of young professionals and artists. The guests included a guy who makes custom pinball machines, a sculptor, a fashion photographer, a food stylist, owners of a high-end mid-century furniture store, a woodworker, a PR maven, a female long distance runner and a couple of engineers. The food was tasty and the liquor flowed all night. I only knew four of the guests but everyone was warm and friendly. I had interesting conversations all night. I enjoyed meeting new people from different walks of life. It was a most entertaining evening. Charles and his wife know how to host a great party.

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No. 6 Artist Paint Brush

One would think a man of a certain age would do some necessary grooming before showing up for a meet and greet. Especially if the coffee date was arranged two days prior. Well, the guy I met yesterday didn’t. He needs to go online and learn how to trim nose and ear hair. It looked like he had two no. 6 artist paint brushes sticking out of his nose. He was sitting with his back to the afternoon sun which backlit his half inch long ear hairs. I like a hairy man but they need to keep some of their hair under control. Check, please!

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Plans Interrupted

I had the best intentions of hitting a bunch of a galleries last night. I had a list of openings and a plan of attack. My first stop was going to be Core so I could check out Auntie Mame’s opening. I never made it.

Traffic was still a bitch even though I left the house at seven. I’m guessing the holiday parade downtown was a partially responsible for the heavy traffic. The galleries on Santa Fe had luminarias in place along the sidewalk which created a festive holiday atmosphere. I managed to find a parking spot in the lot across from Kara’s gallery. Kara’s gallery was open so I stopped in to say hello. That was a detour that killed my strategy for the night. I never made it to Auntie Mame’s opening. I didn’t leave Kara’s gallery until almost midnight.

Kara was having a conversation with two artist when I arrived. One guy was a collage artist who will be curating the next show at Kara’s gallery. The other was a potter I met many years ago though Cindi when she had a studio on Santa Fe. Kara pulled me into the conversation so I decided to stay a while.

The collage artist soon left to head over to RiNo. Kara, Jim, the potter, and I pulled up chairs in the back of gallery to continue the conversation. It was a slow night so most of the foot traffic was a block or two south of the gallery. Kara offered wine and light snacks which was the catalyst for settling in for a good gab. I having too good of a time to leave. Kara is a charismatic person who can guide a conversation down many paths. Jim, a mid-fifties gay man, had recently left a twenty-one year relationship so we traded war stories about online dating. Seems we shared many similar experiences, especially the bait and switch.

The night seemed to fly by. Kara had too much to drink so she texted her hubby to let him know she was going to spend the night in her upstairs studio which has a couch to crash on along with a bathroom and a small kitchen stocked with essentials. Jim stayed to make sure Kara got settled while I bid adieu.

I missed the openings but it was a night I’ll remember for a long time. I need to find time this weekend to stop by Core to check out Auntie Mame’s work. Perhaps I’ll stop by after the meet and greet I have this afternoon.

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My Date With Ricky Ricardo

I had a meet and greet last night that turned into having dinner. It was like being on a date with Ricky Ricardo (Do you remember I Love Lucy?). J has a Puerto Rican father and a Mexican mother. He was raised in San Juan but lived in Mexico City before moving to Denver. At times, J’s accent is a bit had to understand especially when he talks fast. J is a few years younger than me which was a relief given the last bait and switch I encountered. I had a nice time so this one may get a second act.

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