Nov 29, 2006
I traveled a lot the last few years and for the first time it's been a bit of a problem. The reason is simple. George W Bush. Americans have such a bad reputation overseas now. Every time I speak someone wants to know if I am an american. I always get that same disapproving gaze. This has never happened before in my entire life. We only have to suffer for two more years, then he and Cheney are gone. Anyway I figured out a good move to get around the bad situation. Now when someone from overseas asks me if I am american, I say "No. I'm from new york." They always seem pleased. It's as if I'm from a country separate from middle america. So next time you're in Belgium or Spain and someone asks in that, George Bush hating kind of way, "are you american?" Just say No. I'm from new york and you'll probably make a new friend.
Nov 27, 2006
Whenever Yun and I travel to see her parents in Maryland, I always have grandious dreams of getting out and doing tons of sketches in suburbia. But the opposite always happens, nothing. We were there for four days over thanksgiving and I managed one drawing. They live close to washington D.C. but I never seem to get there either. At this point I realize I will never really get much drawing done when visiting family. Well on the bright side of things, I did get to do one.
I am going to reveal one of my tricks of doing this blog thing. Whenever I have free time, I sit down and write as many blogs as I can. Usually I have about twenty five ready and waiting to go. This way there is no pressure to try and think up something at the last minute. I publish three or four a week, so that way I am covered for a month and a half in advance. The only downside is that my blogs are not current to what is happening to me on the day I run them. But only I know that. Here are a few old drawings I haven't posted yet.
Nov 22, 2006
Yun and I redecorated our apartment. We own about twenty buddahs. They range in size from quite large to tiny. I grouped them all together on a table. It looks very striking. When I sit in my livingroom I have many buddahs staring at me. Here are a few that I've drawn.
Nov 17, 2006
Me and the wife were going to move to Brooklyn. (it never happened but I told that story in my last post). So I had been busy boxing everything up and bubble wrapping my millions of paintings. I had to force myself to get out of the house and go do a drawing. The stage restaurant is in the east village. It's right next to the off broadway theatre where Stomp is playing. Everyone coming out said the same thing. "You really captured the cook." People I know in the neighborhood would stop by to say hello and see my latest creation.
Nov 16, 2006
Yun and I bought a new apartment in Brooklyn. We spent a few weeks searching neighborhoods and looking at different places. There was an old factory that was converted into condos. It has views of all of manhattan. It's amazing. I boxed up our entire apartment. I bubble wrapped every painting and framed piece of art. Then I found someone to rent our apartment. I proceeded to paint the entire apartment for our new tenent. I had new air conditioning units installed. I basically broke my ass. One small problem. After our bid was accepted and we got the perspectus, our lawyer didn't like the deal. I won't go into the problems here but I can tell you my back was upset. The whole thing fell apart. Then I had to unpack everyhthing and put it all back together. But at least my apartment got painted. We rearranged everything so our old apartment seems like a new apartment but my aching back knows better. We are going to wait a while before we look again. Ouch.
No one speaks english in Beijing. I really liked that about the place. It's almost too easy to get around europe these days. Yun and I took a bus from the airport which dumped us in the middle of nowhere. No one on the street could help us get to our hotel. Blank stares from everyone, cabdrivers, cyclos. Finally we hit on someone who pointed us in the right direction. When we would leave our hotel there was someone there to translate to the driver where we wanted to go. Then for our return to the hotel we had a card with directions in chinese for the cabbie. So we really didn't have a problem getting around. Because Yun is korean, people were always trying to speak to her in chinese. She would say she doesn't speak chinese. People seemed to always be upset with her as if she could speak their language. They seemed to feel she was a chinese american snob or something. We could never quite figure it out. We had a ball regardless.
Nov 9, 2006
George W. is desperate to try to save his failed legacy. He needs a surge in the polls. So he is dumping the top war generals who were in charge of his fiasco. He wants to make it appear like he is coming up with a new strategy. What George is really about to do is escalate the war. General Casey and the other scapegoats were not in favor of this dumb tactic because there's no way it will work. We just had an election in which the american people gave the president a mandate. Start withdrawing troops and get the hell out of the middle of their civil war. The civil war his blundering created, I might ad. The band, The Who, have a song called "won't get fooled again". There is a line in the song that says, "meet the new boss, just the same as the old boss". Bush wants us to believe he is doing something different by bringing in some new bosses. So while George W. stays the course, I for one won't be fooled again.
The 2008 olympics are going to be in Beijing. As a result the chinese are fixing the city up like mad. Maybe fixing it up too much. When Yun and I went to famous sites like the forbidden city and the temple of heaven, we were stunned. They must have brought in thousands of painters. They had restored everything to look like the day it was built. Every mural, every elaborate design, every square inch of every building and temple were all newly painted. It was so amazing it hurt my eyes to even look at it. There are new buildings and hotels going up everywhere. But I feel they are knocking down too much of the old. The old little alleyways that wind and crisscross around Beijing are so captivating and mysterious you could spend a lifetime exploring them. The government wants them torn down immediately. Ouch.
I love the above ground trains in Tokyo. They are super punctual. It seems one arrives every two minutes. There is a kind of musical bing bong sound that happens when a train is about to arrive. I really love this sound. I can't really describe it properly. I wish I could buy a cd of it. I've been to Tokyo many times. It's nice to travel to such a foreign city and already know it like the back of your hand. I love looking out of the windows of the above ground trains and seeing the craziness that is Japan. That place rocks.
Nov 4, 2006
When I was on my friend Pat's farm I built a frame for one of my cardboard paintings. It's titled, "preemptive strike." A painting of Robin, the boy wonder. Anyway I wanted to glue real bullets around the inside of the box. So I called my friend Pat and asked if he could get me some bullets to use on it. I also needed various sizes. Pat said "no problem." He said he bought them and took them down to the local post office to send them to me. That's where we ran into a snag. Neither of us realized it's against the law to mail ammo through the US mail. Who knew? Pat said they were not going to arrest him but he had to come pick up his boxes of bullets. He said you are allowed to ship them fedex. That's good to know. Hopefully I'll get them soon and can finally finish my groovy piece.
Nov 2, 2006
GW is deciding what the new course in Iraq will be. Only problem is, he's the dude who screwed up the last thousand important decisions that had to be made. The whole world has spoken. It's over, let's get out. He's about to tell us, we are all wrong. He knows better. More troops. Try to save his legacy. Stall for time until he and Cheney are out of office. Blame it on someone else. Now we have to watch this fiasco too. Will these last two horrible years please be over quickly. I'm not sure the world can withstand it.
We all know that Starbucks and McDonalds are the two businesses that stick out all over the planet. I've been all over the world and I cringe whenever I see one of these joints. And I cringe even worse when I see that they are full of people. But the weirdest thing is that there are two other businesses that are in every square inch of the earth. KFC and 7eleven. Of all the millions and millions of businesses in the world why are these two stink bombs all over the place? There is nothing worse than being in the outback of Australia or a little alley way in Beijing or a small little mountain village in Austria and spotting a KFC. I would never go into one of these places in my neighborhood never mind overseas. I'd rather support the small local merchants.