Archive for July, 2020

Who’s The Father?

My neighborhood is populated with a number of psychiatric professionals. Two houses away, a psychiatrist and her lawyer husband live in one of the historic houses with their adult daughter. When their daughter was in college she went off the rails. The police were at the house to enforce a mental health warrant. The daughter fled in her jeep driving over lawns and crashing into trash cans. She was apprehended when her Jeep was disabled. The daughter was taken away and was not seen for almost a year. I’m not really sure what happened as I only have polite conversations with her parents and my source of information is the neighborhood gossips.

There’s an unwritten rule in the neighborhood that one does not bring up the daughter in conversations with her parents. I’ve been at neighborhood dinners and parties attended by the parents. Conversation always centers on topics like recent trips or stays at one of their other houses. Nothing personal is ever revealed.

Ever since the daughter’s return she has not worked. It has been at least 15 years since the incident. The daughter used to walk the family dog several times a day holding a tea cup. In the past few months she walks alone but always with a tea cup or water bottle. She walks several times a day. She will not engage in conversation and will go out of her way to avoid other neighbors. In late spring I noticed she stopped wearing a bra, which, was not hard to notice given her ample bust. I also noticed she started putting on weight. It is now very apparent she is pregnant.

Oh, holy hell! How is this going to go down? The woman doesn’t seem to be able to participate in the usual social interactions. How is she going to raise a child? How did she get pregnant? I know how she got pregnant. I don’t know how she met a man to get intimate with in order to get pregnant. I do hope she wasn’t sexually assaulted. The only time she seems to leave the house is to walk. She doesn’t drive. Did she get seduced by the man from the pool service or one of the guys from the lawn mowing service? I’m guessing she’ll live at home with the baby. Her parents are in their 70’s so I suspect they will hire nannies to care for the child if the child is not put up for adoption.

It seems like a hot mess. I wonder if there will be a baby shower.

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Meeting an Icon

Friday night I had dinner with Bart before checking out two gallery openings. Over dinner, Bart told me how he planned to kill himself when he was in architecture school. While sitting across from Bart listening to the story of his dark days I studied his handsome face with its model-worthy perfect symmetry and jaw line so sharp it could probably cut paper. Bart is crippled with shyness along with having body image issues. I’ve known him for two or more years yet he’s now just opening up to me.

After dinner, we stopped by the Martha Daniel’s opening an Urban Mud, an art gallery and ceramic studio. Until a recent move to Palm Springs, Martha was one of the pillars of the Denver Art Community. Her innovative work is in the collection of several museums and has earned her an international following. She has cult-like status among artists here. The opening did not disappoint. I was able to introduce myself and have a short conversation with Martha over a video link to her home in Palm Springs. She was warm and welcoming as she explained her process and quest for unique materials to incorporate into her work. I felt honored to speak with Marth. I have seen her work for years but never had privilege of meeting this icon until Friday night.

After Urban Mud, Bart and I stopped by a few other galleries but nothing compared to the artistic mastery of Martha Daniels. We ended the night with a drink at Trade, one of the local gay watering holes. We had to sign in for contact tracing. Patrons had to remain at their socially-distanced tables while the wait staff served drinks. A mask had to be worn if you left the table to use the facilities. It’s the new reality of bar life in the age of COVID-19. We stayed for about an hour before calling it a night.

Martha Daniels, Red Nuke VII, hand built, fire glazed, lacquered clay, 2019, $10,000.

Martha Daniels, Balanced Fruits, hand built, fired clay, painted with auto body lacquers and coated with clear lacquer, 2020, $1,500.

Martha Daniels, Materia Matrix VI, hand built, fired, painted, lacquered individual open clay cubes of varying sizes, mounted in a painted welded steel frame, 2020, $2,500.

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A Good Thing

I saw my infectious disease doctor today. She informed me that the infection and death rates for HIV+ positive people is in line with the general population rates. People living with HIV don’t seem to be at a greater risk, unless they have one of the other conditions, which, places them in a higher risk category. And that is a good thing!

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Compromised Data

I received a letter from Morgan Stanley advising me that my person account information may have been compromised. Morgan Stanley decommissioned computer equipment in two data centers in 2016. They contracted with at third party vendor to remove the data from the devices. Guess what didn’t happen? Morgan Stanley is offering credit monitoring and fraud detection for 24 months. Aren’t you amazed by the investment bank’s benevolence given the incident happened 4 years ago? It’s a shame they didn’t do their due diligence before the bank compromised the assets of its clients. It’s also a shame it took the bank so long to notify their clients.

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Retail Therapy

Friday night was the highlight of my weekend. I spent most of Saturday running errands. I had dinner by myself at home before wasting the rest of the evening watching Lucifer on Netflix.

I felt rather sad on Sunday. I did what I normally do when I’m sad. I buy myself things. I headed to Cherry Creek mall. I bought a pair of glasses at Warby Parker before stopping in the Tesla showroom for a look. After Tesla, I wandered into J. Crew. I scored at J. Crew. A pair of $98 jeans for $20, along with two shirts, one for $5.20 and the other for $19.20. Feeling lucky, I popped into the Gap, which tends to carry a lot of merchandise I deem too young for me, such as skinny jeans. I bought a blue cotton military-inspired jacked with a hidden hood for $9.22. The jacket was originally $128. I also bought three masks for $8.66. I did all of this before noon. I was able to leave the mall before Neiman Marcus opened, which, undoubtedly, saved me a lot of money. All of the mall patrons were wearing masks with the exception of a few people enjoying beverages at the Starbucks kiosk. My final expense was a $2 parking charge to exit the mall. I left the mall with a short-term retail high.

I had lunch at home before heading to the gym. There was a very heated argument over masks between a mask-wearing member and one not wearing a mask. The gym management did nothing to diffuse the situation even though masks are required at all times. Thankfully, neither man peed on the floor. After the gym I baked cookies before heating up leftovers for dinner. I wasted the rest of the evening watching Lucifer. I managed to keep the sadness at bay.

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Did you see the news story this weekend about the woman who peed on the floor of a Verizon store after being told to leave for not wearing a mask? What the hell is wrong with this woman? Peeing on the store’s floor! Why did this woman think that was acceptable behavior? Who raised this woman? I hope social media shames this woman into home confinement. Sadly, I bet the people in her camp will make her out be a social martyr. She’ll be a poster girl for what is wrong with our country. Her story of persecution will be picked up by President’s reelection campaign fundraising operation. Just like that gun-waiving couple in St. Louis are being used by the campaign. I wonder if she will be remorseful if she gets sick.

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Art & Gays

I had dinner with WM last night at a restaurant near his house. After dinner I took WM to an art gallery opening. On the drive to the gallery, WM told me about a killing he made on a stock sale this week. He only held the stock for six weeks but made an obscene amount of money when he sold the asset. Why did I pick up the dinner check?

The gallery had a small and intimate crowd as opposed to the pre-COVID-19 days of packed openings. The gallery was only allowing 8 patrons in every half hour to comply with Denver’s social distancing rules. Reservations had to be made in advance. Masks were required. The gallery patrons were mostly art collectors or friends of the artists. The art collectors were mainly gay male couples, which, is not unexpected given the gallery is owned by a gay male couple.

It turns out WM also knows the gallery owners from a running group they used to belong to. A mini reunion took place when we arrived. WM had not seen the owners for several years and I had not been in the gallery since COVID-19 arrived.

WM didn’t like the art I liked. We both agreed on a sculpture WM is considering buying for his backyard, which, is being re-landscaped. One of WM’s friends had been in the gallery earlier and purchased a sculpture and a few other smaller pieces. WM is going to consult with his art-collector friend on the sculpture before sealing the deal. The sculpture is simple and understated yet makes a bold statement. The sculpture would look great in WB’s back yard.

After the gallery opening, I hung out at WB’s house for a while before heading home. It was a most enjoyable evening.

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Art and Commerce

I attended an opening at Space Gallery last night. The event required a reservation for one of three time slots to avoid overcrowding and to allow for social distancing. I believe fifty people were allowed per time slot. I was there for less than hour but the cavernous gallery had plenty of space to enjoy the art and avoid other patrons. Everyone wore a mask. Food and drinks were not served. For me, the highlight of the show was Jeff Wenzel’s large-format abstract paintings. Jeff presented a new body of work which did not disappoint. He also had small works on paper at a reasonable price point. Not being able to layout six grand for a painting was motivation to snap up one of his paper paintings. I was able to justify the purchase by viewing it as helping to get the local artistic economy back on track. I also received a letter this week from the IRS informing me an audit of my tax return resulted in a three grand refund. I decided to pay it forward. It’s a win/win/win for Jeff, the gallery and me.

After Space, I headed west to check out two openings at the co-ops. I encountered sparse, socially-distant crowds. A few pieces were interesting but overall it was lacking.

I headed home after the co-ops. I took a walk around the neighborhood. At a recently completed renovation I saw a car in the driveway with the door open. It was before ten and the house was light up like birthday cake for a septuagenarian. I ran the bell. I introduced myself to the new neighbor before telling her about the car door. A socially polite conversation followed. I could see the house looked stunning on the inside of the stone-clad French country farmhouse which used to be a red-brick colonial. I can’t image what the renovation cost.

Soon I back at home watching a bit of Netflix before heading to bed.

Jeff Wenzel, Mother Load, mixed media on wood, 68 x 80, $10,000.

Jeff Wenzel, High Ball, mixed media on wood, 48 x 36, $5,000.

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Brunch With Cindi

Cindi texted on Friday afternoon to let me know she was in Colorado staying with her old neighbors in a canyon west of Denver. I knew at some point this month she would be leaving the family ranch in Montana and driving back to New Mexico. I thought she would give me a heads-up a few days in advance but that’s how Cindi rolls sometimes. She invited me to dinner on Friday night but I had plans. Yesterday, she invited me to dinner but I had plans with WM. I met Cindi for brunch at restaurant near WM’s house. I found out last night that WM also knows Cindi.

WM was having brunch with a friend when we arrived. After introductions and greetings were made, Cindi and I sat down at our table and ordered food. It was good to see her. Cindi looked great. The emotional turmoil of dealing with a crime scene clean-up and restoration is behind her. She’s looking forward to getting back in the studio. She’s planning on staying at the family’s house on Canyon Road instead of returning to her friend’s ranch outside of Santa Fe. She’ll be in Santa Fe for two weeks before flying to Michigan for two weeks. Then she heads back to Montana for her brother’s memorial service. Cindi hopes to settle into a new permanent residence when she returns to Santa Fe in September.

WM and his friend stopped by our table as they were leaving. Cindi showed WM a few pictures of her new work. WM could use some decent art in his house as most of his walls are bare. WM found a few pieces he liked. Cindi proposed a commission which WM thought was a good idea. WM is going to meet with Cindi when he’s in Santa Fe in September to finalize the commission details. It’s a win/win for both.

After brunch, Cindi was headed to Sephora for mascara. Sadly, her favorite brand isn’t sold in a small town in Montana. She resorted to using a less desirable brand from the local drug store. I joked that she’s the most glamorous homeless woman in Santa Fe before bidding her adieu.

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Entertaining For Now

I had dinner with WM last night at El Five, a tapas restaurant in the Highlands neighborhood. The restaurant has a commanding view of downtown, which we enjoyed while having a most delicious dinner. We shared a variety of tapas, one of which was a very tasty rabbit dish. At one point I almost chocked on my food when WB started a sentence with “When I was talking to Corey Gardner last week”. (Cory Gardner is a Republican senator who is up for re-election in November). WB talks with most of the local politicians on a regular basis for professional reason. Our conversation briefly detoured to politics. WB had no kind words for our gay Governor, Jared Polis. I steered the conversation to other topics. Overall it was a most enjoyable time. WB is easy to talk with and always seem to be up for an adventure. WB had three drinks with dinner so I drove his Tesla back to his house. I should say the Telsa and I drove back to WB’s house as WB wanted me to experience to self-driving mode. Giving total control to a car was bit scary. The car is another sweet drive and is unbelievably fast. The rest of the evening was spent watching Netflix and cuddling in his media room. WB threw me out around ten as he had been up very early to go hiking. WB may not be Mr. Right but he is entertaining.

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