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Archive for the ‘my life’ Category

Back to Normal

Friday night was not as exciting as last Friday.  While I did hit the galleries, I didn’t have a conversation with a stoned socialite/fashionista or get invited to any parties.  It was simply a night about the art and conversations with artists.  I ended the night with a slice of bacon and potato pizza at Pie Hole followed by donuts from Voodoo Donuts.

Here are a few favorites selections.

Deja Vu, an installation by Bug at Pirate Contemporary Art.

Jen Starling, Free Agent of the Sublime, charcoal collage, 2022, Pirate Contemporary Art.

Lisa von Koch, These Troublesome Times, India ink on panel, Edge Gallery.

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Reuniting With Friends

On Friday night, I found myself standing in one of the high-end, commercial galleries in the Gold Triangle admiring an $11,000 painting.  I was tapped on the shoulder by Will, a photographer I had not seen since the pandemic started.  We got caught up while taking in the new offerings hung in the cavernous gallery space.  Will informed me our mutual friend, Brenda, was having an opening at a coffee shop on South Broadway.  Plans were made to check out Brenda’s new work after we visited with other people we knew in the gallery.  Soon I was in a conversation with Terry, who is a 78-year-old fashionista as well as a fixture on the gallery scene.  She was wearing a vintage, black Comme des Garçons jumpsuit over a long-sleeve, printed, sheer Vivienne Tam top which gave her upper body the illusion of being fully tattooed. As usual, Terry was stoned.  Our conversation was all over the board, from her first acid trip at age 30 to the five high schools her son attended.  If anything, conversations with Terry are always entertaining. Her husband, who always rocks a casual blazer over a t-shirt is a man of few words but evokes a cool downtown vibe.

As Will and I were leaving the gallery, we ran into Phil, who is another friend I hadn’t seen since the pandemic started.  After a brief chat, we agreed to stop back at the gallery to rendezvous with Phil before heading to a party Terry had invited us to at a cannabis marketing firm’s office in the Arts District on Santa Fe.

Having an art opening at a coffee house is problematic at best.  The regular patrons were enjoying beverages and light fare while socializing with friends or working on laptops. The art patrons were trying to view the art.  It was an awkward mix.  Brenda had one piece in the group show.  Will and I sat outside with Brenda while she filled us in on her life.  In May, Brenda’s girlfriend broke up with her, she lost her job and moved out of her apartment all in the span of two weeks.  She packed four suitcases and hit the road.  Everything else was placed in storage.  Brenda has been to India for an art residency, New York, Portland, Mexico and a few other places.  She booked one-way flights as she never knew when she would return to Denver.  Brenda couch surfs with a friend when she’s in town.  She’s halfway through a year of nomadic art life allowing fate to take her where she needs to be.

Will and I left Brenda with other friends and headed back to the gallery.  Phil was just leaving as we arrived. We caravanned over to the party which had an interesting mix of people of all ages.  A local indie-type band finished their set shortly after we arrived.  Ten minutes later, Terry and her husband headed to another party in RiNo leaving us at party where we knew no one.  We hung out for a while.  Will and Phil talked about dating younger women as it’s too hard to date older women. It seems women their ages (53 and 49) are not willing to do the things they want to do.  It was an enlightening conversation.  I was intrigued listening to the challenges of being a straight daddy.  When the guys finished their second beer it was time to meet Brenda at the Art Bar back in the Golden Triangle.  The guys wanted me to come for a quick drink, but I knew better.  There’s no such thing as a quick drink with Brenda.  She would most probably arrive with an entourage who would start ordering food and drinks.  Brenda has a way of wanting you to stay at the party.  I bid adieu to the guys and headed home.

Once home, I settled in with Netflix.  I watched the first episode of Chef’s Table: Pizza. I learned Chris Bianco’s Phoenix pizzeria offers what critics deem to be the best pies in the world.  Who knew the best pizza is in Phoenix?  Next up was the first episode of my cousin’s new series, Phrogging: Hider in My House, which is a true crime drama airing on Lifetime.  Not the best thing to watch before bed but certainly compelling if you favor crime thrillers.

What at night! I thought I would have a quick look at a gallery opening but the universe had other plans for me.  Friday night turned out to be the highlight of my weekend.

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A Multimedia Evening

Miss Y texted on Friday afternoon.  I saw her briefly at the Pride Parade in June as her contingent marched by.  She said she would be in touch.  We hadn’t hung out in over a year. Life got in the way until Friday.  Miss Y wanted to accompany me if I was venturing out to the galleries.  I called her to firm up plans for meeting on her side of town.  In the brief conversation, I learned her transgendered niece committed suicide a few weeks ago.  Her family was devasted. Her niece was finishing her Ph.D. in a college town in Kansas and somehow lost the will to live.  I warned Miss Y I was planning on stopping by a gallery to see her ex-husband’s latest work.  She was up for seeing her ex. Time seems to have partially healed the wounds of divorce.

We met at the co-ops in Lakewood.  Our first stop was Core New Art Space to see Julie Vaught’s new show, which is a multimedia presentation mostly consisting of pictures taken by an iPhone and manipulated in a software program.  The piece is a commentary on abusive relationships and the journey to survive after one escapes.  A few of the photos feature a topless woman.  The artist is a single mother of 2 as well as a teacher in a local public school district.  Someone complained to the district superintendent because, in their misguided opinion, the piece was about supporting a BDSM lifestyle.  Clearly, the complainer does not understand what a BDSM lifestyle is because there was nothing in the presentation that represented BDSM.  The school board deemed Julie was simply exercising her First Amendment rights.  It’s a powerful display.  One needs to read the included text as there is no artist statement. 

We stopped in all the galleries in the building.  Edge gallery also has a multimedia presentation.  This one stopped us in our tracks.  The gallery artists each contributed to the show which is a commentary on relentlessly escalating gun violence.  Part of the installation is a mockup of a classroom amid a gun violence episode.  Miss Y fled the gallery. I understood her action when I saw the classroom. Her niece shot herself with a handgun. This is very a powerful exhibit, but it will undoubtedly upset many people.

The final stop of the night was Pirate Contemporary Art for yet another multimedia installation.  Catalyst 2,000,000 is based on a previous installation and performance by the artist, Charles Livingston, which comments on how a repeated action is intended to create a meditative state.  The installation includes a series of stark mono-prints which are expertly done.  A sole performance will take place next Friday night.

After Pirate, Miss Y and I chatted in the parking lot.  Her relationship with T is going well.  They went through several rocky patches but have gotten into a grove that suits them.  Miss Y is happy.  She’s been unemployed for a year but has a promising interview next week.  We made the usual promises of staying in touch along with doing future gallery tours together.  We’ll see if life gets in the way again.

As I drove back into the city on the 6th Avenue highway, I was treated to a spectacular lightning show from an approaching summer storm which would soon consume most of the city.  The dark cloudy sky was continuously lit up by the lightning, which reminded me of an abstract fireworks display.  One last multimedia presentation for the night.  I managed to pull into my garage just as the first few raindrops began to fall.  The cat magically appeared by the French doors in the family room.  I let the cat in leaving the door open to enjoy a cool breeze from the downpour outside.  I continued to binge Kleo on Netflix.  The cat sooned joined me on the sofa after he refreshed himself with food and drink.

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On Sunday afternoon, I took Double A to the annual Summer Art Market hosted by the Art Students League.  I thought the art fair would be something fun to do.  We spent a few hours at the fair then headed for drinks at a bar on South Broadway. 

JP joined us soon after we arrived at the bar.  He has one last round of chemo before his next scan to determine if he will need radiation.  JP was in a good mood.  He’s looking for a second home in the high country and is planning on going on a cruise in 2023.  I have to admire his positive attitude.

Soon it was time for JP to leave for a dinner engagement.  Double A and I decided to walk down the street in search of dinner.  As we left the bar, Mike pulled up in his Bentley with Jed, a mutual acquaintance of ours.  The four of us headed to an Italian restaurant in Englewood for dinner. 

While at dinner, which was mediocre at best, Mike was texted by a friend letting him know Monkeypox vaccines were being given out at Trade, a local leather/fetish bar.  After dinner, Mike dropped Jed, Double A and I off at our cars.  Mike headed home to feed his dog while the rest of us went to Trade for vaccines. 

While Trade was packed, there was no line for vaccines.  Within a few minutes we filled out the paperwork and were vaccinated.  Kurt arrived just after I got my shot.  I hadn’t seen him for years.  He’s still handsome but in need of a good grooming as usual.  Kurt told me Carol, a friend who was a fixture on the scene for many years, has moved back to San Diego from Sidney.  A few years ago, Carol moved back to Australia after ending a bitter, years-long custody battle for her son.  I’m sure she’ll be visiting Denver soon.

After our shots we decided to check out the bar crowd.  The bar was hosting a fetish event with a robust crowd along with vendors selling a variety of goods.  We watched a guy getting flogged while another man was spanked with thick wooden paddle.  The bar patrons were attired in various types of dress or undress.  A number of men were simply wearing jockstraps, which is not unusual at Trade.

It was getting late for a school night, so we headed home.  What a day! We went from fine art to flogging in a matter of hours.

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Cashing In?

Bruce offered to buy my house for almost $1.8m more than I paid for it.  He thinks he can spend a couple of hundred thousand on renovations and make a $500k profit in a matter of months.  I told him I would not sell unless he met all my terms which included a cash sale, no inspections or appraisals, along with the option to rent the house for six months after closing for $1,000 a month. 

I started looking for a new place to live.  I looked in my city of birth to be closer to family.  I found a four bedroom, 3.5 bath, 4,400 sq. ft. house on an acre lot for $899k (the house in the previous post).  A bargain compared to what houses cost in Denver.  Given the profit I would make on my house I could easily buy this house and a second home in Santa Fe.  I looked online in Santa Fe which has a booming housing market.  Cindi wants me to buy a house with a casita so she can rent it from me.  She’s carrying the note on her warehouse so while she has monthly income she doesn’t have the funds needed for a down payment on a house. And she doesn’t want to cash in her stock holdings to buy a house.  I didn’t ask what happened to the large down payment she received.  

A week later, Bruce revised his offer after doing market research, which, he should have done before tossing a number at me.  He reduced his offer by $300k.  It’s still a very attractive offer.  As with all things with Bruce, I don’t expect there will be follow through.  None of his projects have gotten off the ground.  Remember the $1m worth of building lots we selected in the high country?  The land was never purchased.  Then there was the house he was going to scrape in the Highlands west of downtown.  He never put together the investor package so he couldn’t secure financing.  The list goes on.  I doubt he will ever be able to fund a cash purchase.  He always seems to be arguing with his father who controls purse strings now that his mother has died. 

Then I came to my senses.  Do I really want my primary residence in a red state with laws I object to, and political leaders who still believe in the “Big Lie”?  Houses may be a bargain but the politicians in most of the key offices hold beliefs which are diametrically opposed to mine.  Plus my ex lives in this city in a nearby less expensive neighborhood.  Do I really want to run into my ex and his husband at the grocery store?  The climate also sucks.  Hot and humid in the summer while cold and humid in the winter along with the threat of tornados.  While I have family there, I have no friends still living there as I moved away 40 years ago.  Do I really want to start over building friendships? 

I have the luxury of not moving.  I can take my time deciding what to do.  I can avoid capital gains taxes by not moving and renovating my house.  I think I’m simply restless.  I need to figure out why I think moving will solve any of my problems. 

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More of the Same

I haven’t been in a mood to post anything of substance in a while.  I have been completely demoralized by the constant political unrest in our country along with a never ending pandemic and now monkeypox.  In addition, summer has brought relentless heat with very little rain until this week.  I gave up on dating.  Nothing going on in my life really seemed important.  I’ve been doing the usual.  Attending art gallery and museum openings, supporting charity benefits, tending to the garden, going to the gym, hosting house guests and having long dinners with friends.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Just more of the same. 

I often doubt readers can relate to the life I have which is another reason I have not posted.  Do you really want to read about another art opening or an expensive dinner with Bruce?  I feel most people struggle to make ends meet.  I don’t struggle.  Many of my friends don’t struggle.  My neighbors don’t struggle.  Somehow, I ended up in bubble of affluence.  I realize I’m truly blessed given where I started my adult life.

I’ll explain the house picture in the next post.

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Cancel The Jet

I doubt I will be spending a week at Bruce’s boyfriend’s house in the Hamptons this summer.  Bruce’s relationship with the guy is going down in flames faster than the Hindenburg.  I didn’t expect this man to be long-term, but I thought he would be around until fall.

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The New Generation

When I moved into my house many years ago, there was a 16-year-old girl living across the street.  Andrea was a cheerleader and one of the popular kids in her class.  She was also a bit of a wild child.  Fast forward to currently times.  Andrea runs a foundation, is married to a lawyer and has two teen age sons.  Her oldest son, age 14, came out two months ago. 

Yesterday, I attended our Pride Parade with this young man and his mother along with many other family members and a few close friends.  For two and half hours we cheered and clapped as the various groups and floats passed by.  The young man was amazed.  While at the parade, the young man’s friend, also 14, came out to his mother as bisexual.  If that wasn’t enough, a family friend was at the parade with her three teenage daughters.  One daughter has come out as bisexual, and another has started transitioning to male.  It was the first Pride Parade for all of these teenagers.  While not a perfect world, these teenagers have come out in a much more accepting environment with loving parents who take the time find out what they need to do to support their children. 

I felt proud to be an older gay man watching the next generation enjoy their first Pride Parade.  It’s not going to be an easy journey, but many doors have already been opened by the generations who fought the battles before them.  The new generations are being trained to continue the quest for equal rights, and to make sure those rights are not taken away by future Supreme Court decisions.

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Monsoon season has started here.  Rain started in the late afternoon and continued into the evening.  I attended a friend’s art opening in the western suburbs before stopping by Bruce’s Pridefest party.  The rain stopped while I was in the gallery.  Mother Nature rewarded us with a double rainbow over city.  A fitting way to kick off Pride weekend given the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe, which seem to be providing the catalyst for throwing same-sex marriage under the bus next.

I arrived at Bruce’s party a little before 9.  I was the last guest to arrive.  As expected, Bruce’s boyfriend and I were thirty years older than most of the other guests.  The guests were mostly gay men and straight women in smart outfits.  I met the most adorable muscle cub with hair in all the right places.  He, along with his husband, were sporting military type haircuts and masculine dress along with black lace-up platform boots with 8-inch stack heels.  Quite the contradiction!  These guys must have been really short as even with 8-inch heels they were shorter than me. 

I had a cocktail and socialized a bit before heading home.  I passed on playing beer pong.  I was home before 11 and in bed soon after.

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