Friday, March 29, 2013

Saturday Night Soup for the Soul (44)

here is this round of dreams tracking my shattered personality (pretty sure it was shattered by trauma in childhood) that I have had – for YEARS now – a series of dreams where I live in multiple places – each sort of a compartment that exists in a fixed point in my life that I can jump between crossing time and space.   This decade’s long dream series that seem so real when I am having the dream.

The first dream was a real feel good one in that I was at some professional conference with people I work with.  All the people I have ever worked with were unified and together.  It seemed so nice that some event had finally brought all of them together and I was very happy at this.

 I remember that at one point a collection of Brits from Walker (software company in San Francisco that I worked for from 1984 to 1999) were getting Jolly on Brew and began singing rounds of Donavon songs.  One particular person, Neil Robertson, was especially full spirited.  He had a sort of “pudding basin” haircut in the dream.  His hair was strawberry blond.  He looked a bit daft in the haircut (a bit of Dumb and Dumber) even though in real life he is super smart.   My eyes caught his as he sang in joviality.

It was nice to finally have the people – all the people – that I have ever worked with together.

So last night (the second dream) saw me returning once again to a former home that in the dream, as always, I somehow still live in concurrently to all the other homes I still live in. 

I was walking in late summer dry heat in a semi residential area along a road in a mythical place called “Guadalupe Del Sol Canyon” which was close to the Sunset District of San Francisco.  I was with someone named Marilyn - my oldest friend from age twelve and who I touched bases with in the past three months only to learn she is mentally ill.  We came to what I believed to be my house in San Francisco – address 1226 which is my current house number and was not my San Francisco house number.

I opened a garage door that gave me access to an interior courtyard (in the dream, did not exist in real life).  Everything seemed repainted in bright enamel hues and changed.  Then I realized it was not my home after all – and that I still had a ways to go. 

This house was now an inn with a restaurant and outdoor patio. People were seated drinking, eating lite lunches in the dry heat, overlooking a valley filled with shimmering golden grass.  Looked a bit like the Napa Valley.  Or Los Gatos where Marilyn once had a connection (her dad still lives there and I drove thru it last summer).  I went to the gate having to push through people who were trying to come into the establishment to do business.

I walked across the valley and Marilyn could not keep up with me despite my trying to keep her with me and on track crossing the valley.  I wanted to guide her to safety.  However, I lost her. 

I looked across the wide valley and saw others, but she was not among them.  Oh well…  Then I saw a man holding a dog that looked more like a large fox.  The dog had been bit by something.  I surmised that Rattlesnakes could be in the hot dry grass.  The man reached me.  His dog (no longer looking like a fox) was okay and had not been bit. He put the dog down to continue the same direction I was going to my San Francisco home.

Gesturing to the vast valley before us (and the houses I had started the dream with on the far side) I told him “This valley was once a prehistoric lake bed

Bad news

On a Tuesday night (Jan 22, 2013) I had a terrible pain in my left temple as I tried to go to sleep.  I have been battling this terrible cold that has spread up here that goes into your lungs (had that all last week – thought I would crack my ribs coughing) then up into you sinus area.  All day long I had had flashing pains throughout my teeth and jaw.  Have had that before and even TWICE gone to the dentist only to have nothing found in regards to my teeth.

So I thought that was it (sinusitis).   Yet something very odd was happening that I have never experienced before.  The area on the side of my face was both hot and cold at once.

In the middle of the night I got up to pee.  I suddenly realized I had no balance and my legs were not responding correctly – notably the right one.  That woke me up big time fearing I could fall.  When I got up in the morning it seemed even worse.  Put in the morning eye drops which always feel cold (hold over from Lasik eye surgery is dry eyes).  The right eye was normal (felt cold).  But the left eye drops felt like hot water.  Was bizarre.  Sort of scary.

Walking down stairs was weird.  It was as if my right leg was now six inches longer than it used to be and was therefore reaching the stair before it SHOULD have been reaching the stair.  I know that sounds crazy but that is as accurate a description as I can write.   I knew something was definitely wrong and not in a good way.

Went to work wondering what I should do.   Mind was normal working on Excel VBA code and SQL.  At a late lunch I called a consulting nurse and said “I think I may either have a sinus infection or have had a mini stroke last night”.  After I told her what I wrote above and after 5 minutes of answering her questions she advised me to go to ER via ambulance immediately. She did not want me driving.  I DEFINITLY did not want to be in an ambulance so called my boss to see if she would take me (she was in a meeting) so called roommate.  He came and took me.

Arrived during a total hospital lock down due to armed threat (husband or boyfriend of a nurse with a gun).  Got in.  Had EKG, blood, urine, mental and physical tests and Cat Scan.  All had normal results.  Blood pressure got down to 124/72 which is amazing considering I weigh 280. 

My roommate kept complaining at what an imposition it was on his life to have to take me there and wait.  I told him to go home (I wish I had driven myself) and made a mental note about this for future reference.

So they did a MRI scan which is a strange process.  Seven scans lasting from 2 to 7 minutes apiece where you have to be 100% motionless.  I sneezed during # 6 (2 minute one) and had to redo it.  Then comes an IV of some stuff that allows them to see leaks or blockages followed by  two more scans of 3.5 and 2 minutes respectively.

Then came more waiting.  Heard an African America elderly mother or grand mother and her adult daughter/granddaughter in the waiting cube across from me.  The daughter had done something that related to her now being in ER.  She was told by someone on the ER Staff that she needed a counselor follow up.  Grandma agreed.  She had a test for cervix cancer (routine?). 

I overheard the mother/grandma told her that “some family member had been talking to Satin”.  One of them kept flatulating very loudly, way wet and messy sounding.

After that I rapidly started to get dressed as I wanted now to leave and be home.  Those people left, and a mother and a screaming baby came in.  She and someone else had each given the baby Tylenol and thought the baby may OD or die.   She was 16 (I overheard her birth date and the baby’s birthdate from late last year) and was 15 when the baby was born.   Hispanic.   The dose turns out was totally okay for the baby.  Thank god she came and it was okay.

Finally my Doctor came in with MRI results.  No infection but a narrowing of an artery in my left temple area.  This one feeds brain area that controls body sensation of heat and cold (hence the HOT and COLD sensation at the same time and the HOT sensation of eye drops).  My cholesterol is good so this mini stroke event could be congenital (my dad had this) or a combination of factors.

Next step I go to see a neurologist to see what he wants to advise me to do next.  Earliest available appointment is in April… In the mean time I have cut out anything bad from my diet, take an aspirin a day and stay active walking (they said that I have the worst job I could have – sitting and experiencing stress).

Something I have not mentioned: Something has seemed off, not right, up in my head for about three years.  Hard to describe but I think I have felt something of this condition now for three years.  Stay tuned.  

And if I die - goodbye and good luck to you all. 
And now let us break bread and share Saturday Night Soup.

1. Chanting Buddha's Holy Name is what it says it is.  Thank you Robert Ho for once sending this to me.  I treasure your memory and miss you.

All of this makes it's way into this week's soup. You can get your bowl of Saturday Night Soup by clicking the jukebox.

"Isidro on the Patio"

I painted this from memory, of Isidro on the backyard patio, against the house wall.

"Isiro On The Patio"
20" x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas

Over and Out,TONY

PS to T-Bird:
I'm surprised at how many people wrote with glowing praise about this painting. The email I read right before yours said "God was in your hands, your paints and your canvas during this painting". For me, it's just another painting. But here it is for you, supersized..........

PS: to Tony: I think God had his hands in his pants thinking of thes rocking hot latin man you painted.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Signs of Spring: 2010 Edition (2)

Rhododendron Grace Seabrook

Rhododendron Gletschernacht (Glacier Night)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Flowers in the Hot Tub"

This is the first time I've painted on linen, instead of canvas. And I decided I like canvas better. This painting contains full frontal nudity, so whoever it was that reported me to AOL two months ago, for emailing an image of the last nude I painted, you might want to delete this email and the attached file. This is:

"Flowers In The Hot Tub"
16" x 20"
Acrylic on Linen

Not a Pornography Distributor, TONY

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"The Three Palm Trees"

In my front yard, I have three large, 60 year old Palm Trees, that dominate the front of my house. They are called "Jelly Fruit Palms" because the apricot-looking fruit on them is sweet and is used by some to make jam.

"The Three Palm Trees"18" x 40"
Acrylic on Canvas

Jellyiciously yours,TONY

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Seven Arrows"

I’ve been painting Saint Sebastian for 15 years now and this is one of the latest in my series. It is one of three paintings of him I created this month.
He was known as the Patron Protector against the Plague, and I’m not sure if that’s why he is now unofficially the Saint of gays, who adopted him as their Protector against AIDS. I suspect though it’s because since the Renaissance artists have been painting him younger and younger, cuter and cuter, and more and more nude. I’m sure all of this infuriates the Catholic church, which makes me even more inspired to paint him.

“Seven Arrows”16” x 20”
Copperleaf, Acrylic on Canvas

An Ex-Catholic,

PS: I (T-Bird) just bought this painting for my new office. With Tony's permission, I am making an unspoiled large format JPG available for you to use as a desktop wallpaper. Click Sebastian to open a new window revealing the large format image.

"Don't Forget to Say Wheee"

This is the 73rd and final painting I completed in 2008. I'm glad the year is over. When I was explaining to a Buddhist friend of mine how hard 2008 was for me, he drew me a little picture of a bird flying with a bubble saying "Don't Forget To Say 'Wheeee".

I took it to mean that I shouldn't appreciate the opportunity and time I have, no matter where the journey leads me, and how hard it may be. That drawing stuck with me, and found it's way as my subject for this final painting of 2008.
"Don't Forget To Say Wheeeee"
24" x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas
Happy 2009, TONY

Mountain Peek Bicep Boy

"Adam and Yves"

This painting is along the lines of my "Adam and Steve" series, but since I've already used the that title for one of paintings, this is "Adam and Yves". I'm sure my listening to the recent news of the California Supreme Court hearing the case to strike out the dreadful Prop 8, caused the topic of gay marriage to find it's way back into my psyche and manifest itself in this painting.

"Adam And Yves"
24" x 24"
Acrylic on Canvas

Love Is Love,  Tony

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"The Gardener"

I have never censored any nude imagery I’ve painted and sent via my emails, but thought I would send this Censored-For-FaceBook version of this painting.  This is my first oil painting of the year and it is near-life-size, but it’s a bit discouraging to spend so much time and effort on every inch of the painting only to have people fixate solely on the small 2” x 6” part of the painting that makes up the genital area. 
If you’d like to see the uncensored version, let me know and I will send it to you.  
 “The Gardener”
Oil on Canvas
30” x 70”

Happy Gardening,

PS: Thank god I just say "No" to Facebook.  Here is Tony's lovely lovely.

Saturday Night Soup (40)

The Return of the King
G'evening to you all. Letters are something that is rapidly dying. You have no idea how it used to be. Once upon a time, everything connected with the postal system: pens, paper, stamps, writing (the verb), desks, mailmen (and now women), post offices, post marks, envelopes, stationary, and the art of the mail box: all things were highly iconic and therefore fair game (and a rich source at that) as topics to include in all the arts (visual, written, and audio).

I see people, going day after day to their mailbox, hoping to find a letter from their true love, or word from a beloved one who was far away, or heartbreaking news, all such things and more contained in a letter box. Every letter was special. Now? We have cheap and instantly disposable email. It arrives and vanishes without leaving a trace (well, let us not get into the NSA), like empty, nutritionless calories.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought that death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
(From "The Waste Land" (1922)

What shall future generations read when they want to know something of the past, and of those who lived it? Letters are the richest source of material for biographers seeking to understand the life and times of those who came before today. Tomorrow, there will be nothing for them, or for anyone to read. Today the mail box is reduced to being a box for bills and junk circulars. I have 1000’s of memories of everything related to this topic going back to earliest childhood. The anticipation and the excitement, the heartbreak and the tears. Cards from Grandparents, an older sister, from a favorite Aunt, and from my mother when I got older and moved out onto my own.

If the masses of people of today actually had to make the effort to compose, ponder, write, review, revise and rewrite. And then print, put into an envelope, select a stamp (ohmygod: selecting a stamp is a topic in itself) and waddle to the nearest mail box and mail it, 99.9999% of messages would not be sent.

Take my surviving family as an example. Not a one of them who are younger than I have ever mailed me a card: birthday, Christmas, Easter, Halloween. Not a one. They are all too fat, too lazy; too uncaring of anything that is not fast food for the soul. Human lard bucketresses (they are all lazy females) who cannot compose a few simple sentences, put them to paper, seal it into an envelope, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and walk to a mail box. Those older than I, and those departed all knew the fine art of letter writing. I am the surviving person in my family to retain this capacity. Those who are younger than I, are all marooned permanently on the living room sofa of death, watching TV.

I shed tears for those generations not yet born, for in their perceived richness of 24/7 digital distractions, there shall be concealed a deafening silence, and an abject and terrible poverty. I know (well, I do not “know”, I can only assume and believe, rightly or wrongly that I “know”) that some of you understand this topic. After all, you are still old school, and send real cards, complete with hand chosen stickers and appliqu├ęs, and hand made touches. I keep one such three dimensional “smiley face candy” envelope jewel from one of you on my monitor. If you are reading this, know that I treasure it.
People have remarked to me that I leave “content rich” messages on other people’s blogs. I do try earnestly to practice what I preach, and to put my heart and soul into my words and actions, in all things. It is this very trait that renders Facebook an exercise in futility for me. Facebook is all quick and easy cheap ass candy sprinkles (sugar and chemical dye). It is also a devious scam for your entire life to be monitored, tallied, and then sold to corporate and political crap sacks. and to like-minded sleazy diseased c*nts. Ann Coulter, for example (though rumor has it she is a twisted self hating Tranny). Facebook is not conducive to people such as me. By the reality of FB, I need to die and to go away. This I shall do someday.

And when I am gone (by “I”, I do not literally mean me, I am speaking of my generation, the last people who remember how life was once lived on earth) you (ditto, not “you” who is reading this, but instead all people who have never experienced anything analog and real, that you can hold in your hand, or make from scratch) will find yourself unexpectedly missing me terribly. You shall find yourselves experiencing an awful and crippling disconnectedness one day.
Now let us trot back to the topic of the analog postal system. I have seen photographic essays on mailboxes - both B&W and colour. Such studies in image go back many decades (some even predating my latest half century incarnation here).

Last night as I was walking I saw a scene that my mind captured as a photographic essay. Picture this:
  • A brightly coloured shopping center
  • People milling about
  • A “Nordstrom’s Rack” (it is an outlet mall)
  • A “Justice for Girls” shop
  • And some hideous shop that only carried pink junk for girls and their mothers, who want to wallow 24/7 in a world grotesquely over-populated by saccharine fairy princesses, and unicorns with cheesy ass ribbons.

And there, in the middle of this scene, sat three extremely hot teenage boys. Very handsome and varied in hair color and skin complexion. Sort of looking like three Abercrombie & F. models.

And the three friends were each glued to their phones starring into them, not talking to one another, or reacting to anything around them. I took a mental photograph, wishing instead that I had had a camera. I would have had no problem asking them their permission to shoot a pic, telling them to just keep doing what they were doing. I like finding the truth in all things. And therein was truth on display. The truth about the age in which we live.

On my next two laps around the mall (it is a .6 mile circular ring) the three remained unchanged – still glued to the phones, in silence. Finally on lap three they were walking, two still glued to their phones. The third one was looking at me, noticing that I was looking at them. He had the oddest, almost sad expression. He was the blond one, with blue eyes. And his slightly detached sadness was haunting to me. Again, I wish I had the moment forever captured on film.

1. Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 (Movement two) Melancholic inclinations. Obviously there is a strong current of melancholia in this soup. I therefore have chosen one of my favorite melancholic pieces of music. Russian, by dear Tchaikovsky, and is the second movement of the only official "Homosexual" symphony (his fourth symphony). His coded letters refer to "it", and the secret cypher discovered after he died tell us what "it" is. I featured the first movement in a different soup that you can find HERE.

I am off to take a bath. Thank you all who read this, for your being you. For those who do not read this, I offer Matthew 7:6. Me.

You can get your bowl of Saturday Night Soul for the Soul by clicking the jukebox.