Archive for March, 2018

The Color Of Spring


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I met Petal in 1978 when my boyfriend, who worked at Gucci, deemed that my wardrobe needed upgrading. My stoner attire was no longer acceptable. The boyfriend asked me to meet him for lunch at Plaza Frontenac. Instead of going to lunch, I was taken walked down the mall to see Petal at Neiman Marcus. Petal was short with dark wavy hair. She was a little overweight but her stylish clothes accentuated her assets and downplayed her flaws. Her hairstyle and make-up gave her an air of chic sophistication. The boyfriend had told Petal I was coming in so she had pulled a rack of clothes for me. I was soon in the dressing room trying on clothes. I had never been in store that had such fancy dressing rooms. Petal made me come out of the dressing room to show her each outfit. She would either say “Darling, that looks divine on you!” or “Darling, that’s not working.” Nobody had ever called me darling before. It felt really strange but I complied with Petal’s directions. An hour later, I was leaving Neiman’s with $800.00 worth of clothes charged to a newly open store account. My head was spinning. I had spent the equivalent of four months of rent on clothes. I had never spent that much money on clothes. I didn’t have nice clothes growing up. I had Catholic school uniforms and two outfits for church. It felt oddly gratifying to have nice clothes even though I was in financial shock. It was the start of a life-long addiction to buying exspensive clothes and dressing well. Petal became my personal shopper at Neiman Marcus. I owe part of my sense of style to Petal who taught me how to dress.

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Epic Times Ahead

Earlier today, I was reading the comments on a Romeo Void video (Never Say Never) I was watching on YouTube. One commenter stated the song reminded her of high school, which were the best times of her life (1982-86). I’m guessing the commenter was now around 50. It struck me that in the last 32 years, her life never again achieved the greatness she experienced in high school. She peaked in high school. How sad is that?

By contrast, my Catholic high school years (1970-75) were some of the worst years of my life. I was shy and geeky. I was tall and weighed about 120 pounds. It was the start of my body image problems. The school social order was ruled by the jocks and the cheerleaders. I was deathly afraid of being picked on so I kept a low profile and never made a lot of friends. I was an honor roll student but hung out with the stoners, most of whom were one bad grade from being expelled. I never felt like I fit in with any group. I was isolated in a crowd every day.

College was much better. I lived at home while attending the state school in town. It was a commuter school so I was not stuck in a school environment all day. I attended classes in the morning and worked at a Target like store at night. I still hung out with the stoners while avoiding the fraternity house scene. One Saturday night, a girl I met through my best friend took me to a bar with her alleged boyfriend. It turned out to be a gay bar. I found my people. Looking back, I guess she probably figured it out before I did. Even though I found my people, I felt out of place. I didn’t look like the guys in the bar with their fancy clothes and hip hairstyles. I looked like a stoner with shoulder length hair and rock concert clothes. With the help of my first boyfriend, I transformed into one of those guys in the bar.

I consider that night to be the start of my life. I’ve had really great times and some really dark times. That’s how life is. I was never the best looking guy in the room but I managed to turn a few heads in my day. I’ve loved and been loved. I’ve also lost love twice. Once to death and once to another man. Even though I’m 61 and single, life is good. I still feel there are some really epic times ahead.

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Signs Of Change


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I’m Marching

I’ll be attending Denver’s March For Our Lives this afternoon. The march starts at 2 and wraps up a 5. I’m meeting friends and coworkers at the March after attending an art workshop at Mai Wyn’s gallery. It should be an epic afternoon. I’m sure I’ll tear up a few times.

I’ve written before about protesting with Act-Up in the 1980s. Silence = Death was used to focus attention on the AIDS crisis. The same slogan could be used today. Make your voice known or the gun laws will never change. The kids will not be silenced. The kids have motivated people to protest. The kids will be voting. Change is coming. Are you marching?

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Avoiding Conflict

I purposely arrived late for the opening of Drawn To Glamour last night. I knew Perry would be there given she’s a former model and fashion stylist. I have not spoken to her since the last museum opening where we had words. The exhibit was packed with a younger and more stylish crowd than usual. The fashion drawings were superb examples of what’s become a lost art in the age of cell phone cameras and Instagram. I was able to look over the exhibit and avoid Perry thanks to the crowed space. Eventually I’ll need to speak with her about our incident but I’d rather do it in a more private setting. Here’s an overview of the exhibit from the museum website:

Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard presents the award-winning editorial work by artist Jim Howard, a well-respected member of Denver’s fashion community. More than 100 works on paper showcase Howard’s four-decade fashion illustration career, starting with his early advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s, and through the ‘70s and ‘80s when the fashion illustration industry was at its height. The exhibition offers a nostalgic look at fashion trends set by top ready-to-wear designers, high-end fashion retailers, and cosmetic companies.

Neiman Marcus immediately recognized Howard’s talent when he worked as an in-house fashion illustrator and assistant artistic director at its headquarters in Texas. He later moved to New York City to become the artistic director of Franklin Simon and eventually became a freelance artist, remaining in high demand by major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company, and the LA-based retailer Bullocks. These department stores employed Howard to create illustrations for fashion houses, such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent, which were most often published in The New York Times.

In addition, Drawn to Glamour features eight looks from the Denver Art Museum’s fashion collection and four men’s silhouettes on loan from private lenders that capture the essence of some of the most iconic trends of the late ’50s to the early ’80s.

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Drawn To Glamour

Fashion illustration by Jim Howard as seen in the DAM’s Drawn To Glamour exhibit which previewed tonight.

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Adios FB

I deleted my Facebook (FB) account. I only had a handful of friends on FB. I never wanted to have a lot of FB friends. I never understood how a person could have hundreds or thousands of friends on FB. I deleted the account after reading Walter’s post about spring cleaning. It seems like he was ahead of the trend of people deleting their accounts. I had grown tired of the relentless political posts and advertisements. I also didn’t care about posts advising a person had checked into a certain place or business. I never bought into the FB hype. It seemed to be a necessary evil at time I joined. Given the recent revelation of political misdeeds, I no longer wanted to support a social media vehicle produced by an unrepentant corporate entity. Adding to my ire was a statement released by FB lawyer describing the company as a victim. Describing FB as a victim is pure revisionist history whose only intent is to put an uncalled for spin on corporate malfeasance.

I kept my Instagram account even though it is owned by FB. At this time, Instagram does not seem to be caught up in the scandal. This could prove to be a wrong assumption. Again, I only have a handful of followers and only follow a few art related accounts. I don’t follow any account with a large number of followers. I don’t want to be a social influencer and I have no desire to follow a social influencer.

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Another Money Beg

Paddy’s party was one step above a frat house party. He talked a few days before the party about polishing the silver. Who knew Paddy had silver? Turns out he had silver plate, which his stepmother ruined trying to clean with some method she found on the internet. It was paper plates and plastic ware. The food was a mix of appetizers, pizza, eggrolls and corned beef with cabbage.

I only knew four people at the party. Given I’ve known Paddy for almost four years it was odd to see so many guests I did not know. Paddy socializes with many circles so the party was a disjointed mix of people whose common denominator was knowing Paddy.

The last guests departed a little after two in the morning. Paddy ended up staying up all night as his father and stepmother changed their flight to the first one out in the morning. Before leaving for the airport, the money beg happened. Just like their last visit, they hit Paddy up for money. Paddy’s father, who looks like the William H. Macy character Shameless, has been driving without insurance. As a result, his car registration was revoked. Adding to their troubles was a lack of money for food and the pantry was bare. Paddy gave his father a couple a grand for car insurance, registration and food.

Paddy has a relentless need to take care of people. Once again, his family took advantage of this need. At least, that’s my opinion. Paddy sees it differently.

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A Sobering Revelation

I uploaded all of my tax documents for my accountant today. I was waiting for one last 1099. I finally called the investment firm only to be told the fund, which holds my investment, did not declare a dividend, or distribute capital gains for 2017. I wasted weeks waiting for a 1099 that was never going to be sent. I should have checked into it sooner, but lately, I’ve turned procrastination into an art. My accountant called in the late afternoon to discuss the documents he received. He pointed out I paid more in taxes in 2016 than I made in wages in 2017. That was a sobering revelation.

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