The Oscars

You know, I haven’t cared about the Oscars for more years than I care to remember. Like pretty much all award programs, they are more politics and positioning than actual rewards for achievement.

The only slight surprise was that Martin Scorsese didn’t win, but then, that has a certain amount of post-predictability to it, too. “Oh, they’re all expecting that we’ll give it to him this year. Well, let’s just prove what mavericks we are, and dash their expectations! We’re so fresh and original–let’s give ourselves an award!”

Now that I think about it, I’m getting really, really bored with movies in general. They’ve become so much a product, and so interchangable with one another, that the choice to just not watch–and not care–is already half-way made. You’ve got your powerful, emotional drama, your wacky, high-concept comedy, your explosive special effects extravaganza. Year after year, they shuffle the cliches and the casting and dump the results in the multiplex.

The choice of what to watch these days is like the choice between fast food places. There are slight differences, but ultimately you’re getting something mass-produced by bored hirelings.

Bah, I say. Bah.

Paint Blog III: Reflections in a green pepper

Well, the day of dread has arrived, as I began to add white to the largely green and yellow areas. The first attempt was pretty bad, and sad to relate, I didn’t photograph it. The photo below shows what it looked like when that first white attempt was improved a bit.

Pat the bunny.

Only it wasn’t improved too much. Can you see the bunny? I could. I had to…eliminate the bunny. The bunny had to go.

Too many bunnies, not enough mittens.

Not much of a bunny. Then, we decided to add some shadows. We did this by mixing raw umber with whatevertheheck green we’d been using all along.

The coming of the Shadows.

And then some more shadows. More shadows and more. The area in the mid-lower left looks like some struggling trapped thing. Struggling trapped things are pretty cool items to have in a painting, especially if it’s one of my paintings. In fact, that’s about the only role available in my work.

As on a darkling plain.

This is a somewhat darker image, perhaps a bit closer to the actual canvas appearance.

A Shot in the Dark.

Though maybe not. It’s probably somewhere between the two extremes. I can’t remember any more. I just can’t remember.

Paint Blog II: Crest of February

Question: What’s wrong with this picture?


If you say, “Well, you painted it, for one thing,” you can go to the head of the class, but you’re probably not going to get any supper young man.

If, on the other hand you say, “There aren’t any black outlines in the real world,” that’s much more what I had in mind.

How do we fix this? Like so:

Personal cheese holster.

Notice the difference? If you say, “Sure–you ruined it,” you’re bucking to get no dessert either young man.

The rest of you might be saying to yourself, “That still looks like there’s a black line there,” to which I say, “Ha ha, you’re talking to yourself.” Then, I point out that it’s actually just the shadow from a paint ridge. Here’s another picture, taken from a different angle, to show that I speak the truth.


I added some boards and poles or something to the lower part of the painting. It really looks like someone needs to clean up in there. Here’s a painting of how it kind of looks. This is way overexposed to show the detail. Also, there’s reflection from the top of the canvas, because I didn’t notice it while taking the picture.

Tomorrow's recipe: Chicken.

Here’s a photo showing more like what it looks like in real life. Notice how you can’t really see anything. That’s the tricky part. Also: the same reflection in the upper part. That’s right! I didn’t notice it a second time. I’m on my way to that swell prize.

Trying to learn PHP is tough.

The Book Nearest You

An exercise via Paul Denton, who in turn got it from a whole chain of sources, which finally slammed into a dead end.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

My result:

“Parkinson’s disease has some interesting links with depression–not only do many of my Parkinson’s patients have depression, but nearly all of them look depressed, because of their mask-like faces and slow movements.”

from The Midnight Disease, by Alice W. Flaherty, 2004.

Pass it on….

When there’s Remake Fever in the Blood…

Yesterday, James Lileks posted some pictures from an old film noir, showing portraits of an actor who went on to famous, near iconic status for a character he later played on TV.

I knew who he was right away, but it struck me also how much the pictures looked like Gary Sinise, who is still very much with us.

Remake Fever currently has Hollywood in its icy grip, so it’s possible someone may be thinking of remaking that television series, with the original characters played by different actors.

Gary Sinise would seem perfect for the role of Chief Medical Officer.

Can I have money for thinking of this?

Quiet Place

Here’s a quick (unfinished) painting that I knocked out in a couple of sessions because both PaintBlog II and III are boring me.

Some quiet cold place.  Click to open in a new window.

There’s nothing much here as you can see. But it’s kind of nice in its own dark way.