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(no subject) [Dec. 17th, 2011|04:51 pm]
I've been doing what I'm vain enough to think of as some rather fantastic painting over the past few weeks. Lots of model-work, a process which is rapidly zeroing out my bank account. Not entirely sure what I'm going to do about that. Give handjobs at the bus station, maybe.
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(no subject) [Dec. 3rd, 2011|06:49 pm]
"I've just been remembering that line of yours from a little earlier; it really knocked me back to reality", said my model, as he positioned himself in a carefully-arranged awkward sprawl on the model stand. I stood nearby, holding his AR15; the rifle would be going in-frame with him when he found his own position, a match--I hoped--for the pixellated desert-camo Marine fatigues he wore.

"What line was that?"

He had arrived a bit early, and we had chatted a bit while I got things in the studio arranged. The model seems an excellent fellow, twenty-three and just out of the service as of August. This is the second day of our project, and at some point I asked him if his back was stiff from the previous day. "It's not too bad."

"Well, we can fit in some longer breaks, or whatever."

"Nah, I'm used to holding uncomfortable positions for long periods."

"I'm sure that's true. But let's extend the breaks if your back is hurting, since I am not the Corps."
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Shouting at Speakers [Nov. 11th, 2011|12:06 am]
One of my facebook friends put up a post about how pleased she is that some Occupy folks in South Carolina stood up during a speech of Michelle Bachmann's and started speaking & chanting until she was driven from the podium. I would be perfectly happy if Bachmann left the national stage, never to return, but that sort of thuggish behavior sickens me, and to applaud it sickens me as well.

Congratulations, facebook friend; you have thugs on your side who are willing to disrupt civil events rather than let someone they disagree with speak. How pleasant that must be for you.
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(no subject) [Oct. 17th, 2011|04:16 pm]
Back from visiting in Boston and painting in Atlanta, I hopped back in the saddle that evening--a pleasant show of energy that's mostly been lacking since I finished at the Academy.

I should be having some models coming in fairly soon, too, which will be welcome indeed; I just warned one of them that if he doesn't bring an ipod, he's going to be force to endure my perverse love of sea shanties. Arrr!
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(no subject) [Oct. 7th, 2011|01:38 am]
Sharing a bottle of cloudy, unfiltered sake with friends. Max refills my glass 'til the liquor runs over my fingers. I'm fond of the stuff, its subtle, starchy flavors perfect for the sad contemplation of the moon on a winters night.

I recall, vaguely, a jar of sake I ordered in a sushi joint in London, a year and a half ago. They brought the jar to my table in a bamboo box, ostentatiously filled it right there til the liquid overflowed the ceramic jug and puddled at the bottom of the box. Perhaps I'd not remember the restaurant so well, had I not returned there two nights later with a very nice lad with whom I crossed paths.
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The Long Game [Sep. 22nd, 2011|02:31 pm]
Megan McArdle quotes herself in her post Is Irish Austerity Paying Dividends?:

Related thoughts: whatever events unfold, a lot of pundits who insist on treating whatever has happened in the last five minutes as if they were the final events of the crisis, are going to look like idiots. If Spain ends up in the same place as Ireland, the virulent arguments over Irish austerity are going to look rather silly in retrospect; if Europe's banking system is badly compromised, the model of economic crisis that centers around American bank regulation and monetary policy will be severely compromised; and so forth. Pundits and regulators should both be playing the long game.

I find these twin compulsions deeply bizarre: first that one must have an opinion ready on any given topic, and secondly, that it must be the definitive opinion. Perhaps it is forgivable in terms of metaphysical questions--although, I rather think, usually dangerous--but when it's on an empirical topic, what madness compels a person to chain themselves down to a model when events are unfolding?
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(no subject) [Sep. 22nd, 2011|12:26 am]
I have no strong opinion about Troy Davis's execution. I do, however, have a strong opinion about the following:

Stop talking about how the US is the only country in the first world that uses capital punishment. It is, first of all, irrelevant to the normative question; secondly, it's false, as Japan and South Korea do as well; and thirdly, if we assume that popularity is really relevant to the moral question, I submit that counting nations is a dumb way to compare, and a comparison of populations is rather more sensible.
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(no subject) [Sep. 21st, 2011|12:28 am]
I talked with my gallerist today. As it happens, a client has a painting out on trial--that is to say, the gallerist has a check in hand, and the client has the painting to try hanging it on their wall before making a final decision. It sounds like an optimistic situation to me, but obviously, it still might not come off.

The piece in question is a fairly large figure-painting. If it sells, it'll be the most expensive single item I've sold in my career, and will bring me rather closer to the next unofficial milestone I have floating in my head: selling a piece for somewhere in the five figures. If it doesn't sell now... well, it will later, and I tighten my belt in the meantime.

I'll be sorry to see it go, though, if it does; I'm fond of the painting, fond of the model, fond of the memories, and some days my links to that Academy that chewed me up seem tenuous.
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(no subject) [Sep. 18th, 2011|09:35 pm]
I feel a little bad for replying to the following facebook post:

is bad news for orchids, as a trusting friend will discover on return from holiday tomorrow. Come on, orchids, *please* wake up. *Please* stop being that awful brown colour... :'(

with this:

In this parable, the orchids represent life in the mortal realm (recalling, of course Psalm 103, "the wind passeth over it, and it is gone.") The 'return from holiday' is a traditional figure for departure from the temporal world, and should thusly be considered to indicate the end of life, and the necessity to face the creator in judgement. Again, here, the metaphor of the orchid comes in to play as, although the flowers appear beautiful while "on holiday" from one's eternal place, they are revealed to be, like a whited sepulcher, an improper object of love. In summation, this parable may be considered well within the bounds of traditional Augustinian thought, and a conventional warning against misdirecting one's affections towards secondary goods.
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Passports [Sep. 17th, 2011|02:02 pm]
Observing that my passport would be expiring fairly soon, I sent it in to have it renewed. The new one arrived yesterday. I hadn't quite realized it would feel a bit mournful to see this stiff-covered fresh thing.

The old one was rather crumpled, covered with various stickers I had never bothered removing--from Northwest Air for some reason, from a company that got me a chinese visa. Inside, two visas from Japan, one as a college student, one as a 'specialist in humanities'. Two from Italy, so cheaply made and prone to peeling off the pages that they were a source of constant suspicion for the teutonic border control agents at Frankfurt. One for China, one for Sweden.

Assorted stickers from Japan, certifying that I had the right to leave and return. Entry-and-exit stamps for Mongolia and the UK. A set of additional pages, sewn in at the embassy in Stockholm--unnecessary, as it happened, since I never got a stamp in them, but had filled every square of every page in the initial section. Overfilled, when we consider the Italians had a habit of just stamping the book where ever they felt the urge.
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