Archive for July, 2016

Ash And Wax On Canvas

We’re in the dog days of summer. Wishing the relentless heat would subside while not wanting an early arrival of frost and snow.

Mack and I went to the art museum last night for the final Friday of the month program. We weren’t keen on the program so we toured the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit. It was my third time to see the exhibit. It was just as fresh as the first time. I’d go back a fourth time if Cindi and Dianne would go with me. It would be fun to discuss the exhibit with them given both are artists.

We wandered through the gift shop where I found some note cards and DVDs on sale for buck each. I’m a museum member so I got an additional twenty percent off. (I felt like the lady who writes the Finally Becoming Me blog because she is always finding an incredible bargain.)

The sky was stunningly beautiful when we left the museum. I did my best to capture it’s drama but my picture fell a little short.


After the Museum, we stopped at the opening at Core. I saw this painting which is done with ash and wax on canvas. The artist, Donny Dixon, actually sets the canvas on fire. I found it reminiscent of Jasper John’s Target paintings.


And with that the evening was over. There was only one gallery opening last night. I dropped Mack off at his apartment and drove home. I took a bath and went to bed.

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Full Circle

When my contract was not renewed at the end of March, my job responsibilities were reassigned to company employees in Ireland. The company has now decided to move the work to India. The contractors who will be doing the work in India are employed by the consulting company that manages my contract. The entire team of company employees in Ireland are losing their jobs. The work has come full circle.

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Vivienne Westwood has done it again. A description of a t-shirt from her website:

For Autumn/Winter 2016-17, the Politicians R Criminal t-shirt comes with Vivienne’s campaign against Bankers, Giants (Businesses) and Criminals (Politicians) ironically printed as a 50’s film still on a tonal, fading Joker Roulette. The roulette game artwork, related to the play “Faust” from Goethe in which the main character Faust sold his soul to the devil, shows an abstract view of the financial system where only the banks are winning.

Check it out. It’s only $180.

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The Caretaker

I met Paddy’s mother, stepfather and niece on Sunday. Paddy’s mother and stepfather are recovering drug addicts. Paddy moved them to Denver when they were homeless in California. He paid for their stays in rehab. Both have been clean for many years. They now live in Reno, Nevada. Paddy’s stepfather looks like a former drug addict, or maybe he just looks haggard because cancer is killing him. You would never know Paddy’s mother was in recovery. She’s pretty, has a great haircut, and is warm and welcoming. Paddy’s nine-year-old niece was also along for the ride. She seems to adore Paddy.

Paddy’s friend, Erin, a lawyer, joined the group along with Joan, a friend of Paddy’s mother who works at a 7-11. Paddy’s mother works at Walmart while his stepfather recently quit his job at Home Depot due to his illness.

Paddy’s mother, stepfather and Joan are clear example of what happens to people who don’t pursue a trade or higher education. They end up working at Walmarts and 7-11’s living paycheck to paycheck. They talk of struggling to make ends meet but then want to show off their latest tattoo. It’s a matter of priorities. They rather get new ink than pay the electric bill.

I didn’t say a lot during brunch. I chose to sit back and observe the conversation and interactions. Erin was very articulate along with having perfect manners. It was clear she was an educated woman. Paddy’s family and Joan were not used to being in such a nice restaurant (Dazzle is nice but it’s not a four star establishment). They were amazed the waitress refolded their napkins when they went back to buffet for seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths. They considered Red Lobster to be a fancy restaurant.

Paddy picked up the tab for brunch. I offered to help pay but Paddy refused. Paddy’s unemployed stepfather told me pay the tip but didn’t bother to offer to help pay. Erin and I split the tip on the $300 tab.

Paddy not only paid for brunch but he has been paying for everything while his family have been visiting, including their airfare. His family seems to have no problem accepting Paddy’s generosity. I felt like they are moochers. Paddy’s parents gave him a less than desirable childhood. They used drugs from the time Paddy was in second grade until they want to rehab when he was in his mid-twenties. As a child, there were many times when the utilities were shut off and there was no food. Paddy’s biological father still uses drugs. Paddy’s stepfather has no relationship with his children. They want nothing to do with him even though they know he’s dying. He’s done irreparable damage to the relationship with his children. Imagine that!

Paddy is a self-made man along with being the caretaker for his family. He makes a lot of money which allows him to help his family. His family always needs something. Paddy raised himself. He knew he had to find a career that would pay well and college was not in the cards. He’s one of the top stylists in this town. He knows how to market and build a business. I’m so proud of Paddy. His life could have been a completer disaster.

Being neglected by his parents and growing up poor motivated Paddy to make a better life for himself. He knew he needed to make a lot of money so he could live comfortably and take care of his family. Paddy spends a lot of money on clothes, art, cars, entertainment and dating. I believe he lives well because he had nothing growing up. He’s achieved most of his goals. I think he needs to cut off his family. I also think he needs to start saving money and stop blowing through twenty grand a month. Paddy needs to think about the future.

There is no one to take care of Paddy. There never has been. He’s always taken care of himself. How sad is that?

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Cheaper Labor

After incenting four hundred employees to voluntarily leave the company a few weeks ago, the company is now asking all remaining employees in the United States to take a week off without pay. I’m a contract employee with a fixed price-contract so I don’t have to take a week off. In addition, a number of new employees fresh out of college have shown up. A manager told me the new recruits are making around $5k a month. That’s less than half of what the average employee was making who voluntarily left the company. Out with old and in with a new cheaper worker.

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Meeting The Parents

Last night was a lot of fun. Perry arrived looking like she was dressed by Laura Ashley. The leopard prints were left at home. Perry has so many looks you never know how she’ll look. I guess she learned a few things in her previous careers as an actress, model and fashion editor.

I had good food, saw friends, met new people and had interesting conversations. Both parties were hosted by artists so they were artsy crowds. The evening seemed to fly by. Perry and I were two of the last guests to leave the second party.

Later this morning, I’m meeting Paddy and his mother and stepfather at Dazzle’s Jazz brunch. It should be interesting given I’m a year or two older than Paddy’s mother and stepfather. I’m hoping meeting Paddy’s mother may help me better understand some of Paddy’s life choices. It should be an interesting time.

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Party Time

Paddy’s mother and terminally ill step-father are in town looking for an apartment. I’m not sure why they’re moving here. It seems odd that a person would relocate to another state when they have less than six months to live. There’s more to this story than what Paddy has told me.

Paddy is doing Perry’s hair this afternoon. Later, Perry will be my plus-one for two parties. Both parties are backyard affairs hosted by artists. The temperature is going to be in the high nineties today so I’m hoping for a late afternoon rain storm to cool things down. Monsoon season has returned so we’ve been getting rain almost every afternoon. The parties should make for a festive evening. I’m hoping Perry doesn’t wear her leopard-print silk jump suit again. She’s one of the few people who can pull off an outfit like that but I’m tired of seeing her in it. Sounds like the relentless hot temperatures this week have made me rather bitchy.

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A Sad Tale Of Greed

The breakup of a socially prominent local gay couple is being splashed across social media. There was a significant difference between the incomes and assets of the two men. Together, the men acquired four houses and numerous cars. Both men are in their late fifties. I was one of many who received an email disclosing some of the details of their prenup. It’s a case of marrying well and divorcing better, but not being satisfied with divorcing better, and wanting to divorce extremely well. The man with the lower income is not satisfied with just one house and a new Range Rover. He’s using social media to plead his case and publish salacious details that should be kept private. It’s a sad tale of greed, fast living and a quest to find happiness with material goods while trying to avoiding aging. It’s like a gay version of Valley of the Dolls.

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Disappointment Drive 14

I had a date with a guy last Thursday. It had been six months since my last date. He was a few years older than me along with being in shape and a rather handsome guy. We met at the Denver Art Museum for a tour of the galleries in the Hamilton Building. We had a lot of similar interests. He’s well educated and well read. He has owned several companies and holds six patents. He’s into hiking and other outdoor sports. He designed and built a log cabin in high country. He was a man with many accomplishments.

We had dinner after the museum. The date was going well. The conversation flowed. He was the first guy that I felt a connection with. He was the only guy I’ve dated who I would considering seeing a second time. He seemed to be enjoying himself too.

After I told him I was HIV+, I was moved into the friend column. I understand and accept his decision but it’s a disappointment. At least I found out sooner than later.

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An Unmarried Man

Double A’s family immigrated to the United States from Belfast when he was nineteen. The move was motivated by a desire to escape the violence from civil unrest. Double A has achieved the American Dream. He became a citizen, graduated from college, achieved professional success and is financially sound. He owns two homes along with two cars. He’s had several significant relationships but has been single for about eight years.

Double A has kept in touch with a childhood friend in Belfast. He’s known the guy since he was ten years old. They talk on the phone every Sunday. They have an odd history of never being single at the same time until recently. The guy is visiting Denver for two weeks to see if he wants to move here and develop a relationship with Double A. That’s the basis for my reference to Double A’s mail-order husband in the previous post.

While they have a lot in common, things are not going well. I’m not sure if it’s a case of unrealistic expectations, or, if the guys have become set in their ways. The guy will not be moving to Denver. Double A is counting down the days until the guy returns to Belfast. Double A will continue to be an unmarried man.

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