I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Archive for May 2009

Splish Splash..

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So Mike has been in town and yesterday he, I, his friend Karen, and Lolita took ourselves off to five hours of liquid satisfaction at Spa Castle. Bliss is a well placed jet of water. If you’re a New York resident or planning a visit, make your host take you there: it’s like a civilized water park with immaculate saunas and a decent food court thrown in. You can get baked eggs. One note though: bring a change of clothes, because you end up so clean that putting your old duds on at the end of it can be a bit of a let down.

We also had two fantastic meals: before we submerged ourselves we had a very civilized brunch with Thor at good. And on the way home we joined Jason and Sue at SriPraPhai (sorry Dan, I know we should have called you), which has expanded and remodeled and yet was still as delicious as ever. Then J was so very kind as to offer Mike and I a ride back to my place, where a not too disgruntled Lehigh awaited her evening walk. There was a little canoodling, and then the Sandman showed up for a three-way.

You could say I was satisfied.

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May 31, 2009 at 11:01 am

Hooray for visitors…

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Especially hot ones!

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May 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

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Pop Culture knows what I want….

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These days, there are two billboard images that give me that special warm feeling down below to the point that I’ve bean developing a couple of crushlets.

Firstly, I’m not much into medical play, but I’ve been hypnotized by the above picture of sneering butch medi-dommme Edie Falco in her new series. Since I don’t have Showtime, I’ll have to just content myself with sighing every time I pass the shot from the campaign, like I did yesterday when a double decker bus passed by with Edie’s steely blondness shrinkwrapped around it, two stories tall.

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Secondly, I’m spending time on the subway wishing I was the guy who gave Zach Galifianakis that sexy shiner and then stole his pants. Just so I could be the one he came staggering up to to make it all better. I’ll admit to indulging in dirty thoughts about him since I saw him as The Snuggler on Tim and Eric Awesome Show. He just looks so pretty hurt.

Luckily I have a guest this weekend, so all this excess energy has somewhere to go!

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May 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I’ve been filing…

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…like someone who likes to file.

It took almost two months, but I’ve managed to get my work desk from this to the state you see above. And that doesn’t mean that I just shoved the stacks off camera, either: with some stellar assistance from someone here in the office, I’ve managed to break the files down into manageable bits and set up a system that I think will be much more useful to me over the next years.

And today, Mom dropped by the office with Rhubarb bread pudding that my sister made. How cool are they?

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May 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm

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Meet and meet again

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It’s one of those meeting days at work, where we’re going from one long meeting to the next. In between I have the attention span of a gnat. At least my desk is getting closer to being cleaned off and the file system on my computer is more in order. Every few minutes I pic something off the desk and file it or toss it away. And then I click on one of the tabs on my browser and waste more time. Then I cone back to this page and type another sentence. Like that last one.

All of this feels far from working in the studio. And while I’ve been making small steps in that direction, there’s a lot of distance yet to travel.

After a glowing weekend, the chill has come over the weather here: a bit rainy and about twenty degrees cooler.

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May 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm

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Angry? Blame Hiram Johnson…

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“In 1911, Johnson and the Progressives added initiative, referendum, and recall to the state government, giving California a degree of direct democracy unmatched by any other U.S. state.”

It seems clear that Johnson believed that direct democracy could counter the machinations of entrenched special interests (in his day, mostly industrial trusts). What he could not have foreseen was the rise of a professional ballot initiative industry, one that succeeds fiscally whether or not it succeeds at the polls and thus has a vested interest in introducing ballot measures every election cycle. Thus, the California constitution is now hostage to the whims of single issue fundraisers and out of state interests, a group that now functions as an unelected shadow legislature.

I don’t blame the “fundies” for making valid use of a system to further their interests, however much I disagree with those interests. It also seems that the California State Supreme Court shares my dislike of the initiative process as a vehicle for deciding matters of basic human rights, but as was stated in their opinion: “our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution. Our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.” The constitution as it currently exists allows for such actions, and it is at the constitutional level that the problem needs to be tackled.

I’ve written about my own feelings regarding the question of gay marriage before. I still don’t believe in it personally, but of course believe that if a right is extended to some citizens of a nation it should be extended to all. The lesson of Hiram Johnson is that even the acts of self termed progressives can produce results far beyond their intention.

The real task in front of Californians is to find some way to balance Johnson’s ideals of direct democracy with some mechanism to prevent the continuing cynical abuse of of the initiative system.

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May 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Softee is as Softee does…

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So yesterday Thor came over to help me contend with the forces of It-which-must-not-be-named (the laundry), which caused us to have many trips into the sunshine of my neighborhood. He was a valiant Wash Warrior. And then, at the very moment that we were bringing in the last folded loads, we heard the tinkle of the ice cream truck a block away. I’m not lying when I say that I saw six-year old Thor pop out when I assured him that yes the truck was coming and yes we could have ice cream. So determined was he that I walked the clothes upstairs while he waited in the street below, looking down the block to make sure the truck didn’t swerve around the corner at the last minute. When I came back downstairs Mister Softee was just pulling up and Thor bought me a cola float and himself the weird Spongebob treat he’s holding here. We sat out on the stoop and chatted with my neighbors for a bit while cooling down. Afterward, Thor reminded me of his touching entry where he wrote about how important the ice cream truck was for him growing up. Reading it again made me understand his determination, and reminded me of how lucky I am to know him.

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May 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

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The back of Gary Wills’ head….

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Another year, and another graduation at Bard. As the chair of my program, it’s my responsibility to read out the names of the students who are graduating from my program, so that they can walk on to the stage and receive their handshake and diploma from the the president of the college. It’s a corny thing, but I enjoy it every year, and even though all of our classes take place in New York City, I always pester the students to make the trip upstate for the event. I don’t like reading the words “in absentia”, I tell them, attempting to lower my brows menacingly. This year it worked and they all came up, bringing along some family members and looking as adorable as adults can.

I had some mother hen moments, trying to herd them from spot to spot, get them all lined up and into their regalia. I know, embarrassing.

The speaker was New York’s Governor, David Patterson. We’ve been getting the politicians lately. He came off as personable, a bit self deprecating, and seemed to connect with the students. The speech was a mess however, veering from personal anecdote to interesting historical nuggets to what seemed to be a pledge to develop state-wide high speed rail. I’m all for infrastructure, but as a talk to the community it all seemed a little cobbled together. My over feeling was, here’s a good guy, who has some ideas, and is a bit at sea. It was better however than the over produced pre-campaign speech Bloomberg subjected us to a couple of years ago.

Later in the ceremony, an undergraduate seized the mic, and attempted to protest something. Not so unusual for a Bard graduation actually, but the rant, while it did disrupt the procedings for a bit, was also classic Bard: Long on passion and painfully short on preparation: once he had the mic, it was clear that he had no notes about what he wanted to say and began stumbling along a number of tangents. The overall gist seemed to be that the school was an institution that enforced normalcy and unthinking conformity just like so many others, and that graduating seniors had simply acquiesced to that process. But really what happened was him starting to try to say something, being heckled, losing the thread and then starting over. Leon (Bard’s President) even stepped forward at one point to quiet the crowd and give him an additional chance, but he couldn’t get out whatever his point was. He finally left the stage in frustration. It was heartbreaking in a way, because he had gotten so close, was at the center of attention, and then blew it.

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May 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

I’m not a wedding photographer…

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But someplace up in the great white north this fantastic pair of people have just now tied the broom, or jumped the knot, or rumpled the chuppa or whatever. I couldn’t make it there to wish them my best in person, but if I had been there I would have raised a glass and said: “Bear, Jay, I wish you many, many years of making merry mayhem together.”

Love you guys.

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May 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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Graduation Day….

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Time to head upstate to Bard and get my robe on!

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May 23, 2009 at 5:46 am

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