Thursday, May 20, 2010

fred tomaselli

I am actually away from Mad City right now, back east for a little family & friend time as well as my college reunion. It can be a bit challenging to find quality stuff to do around my hometown area, so I dragged my dad over to Saratoga today to check out the Tang Art Museum at Skidmore College. I was just hoping for some moderately entertaining artwork, and maybe a better sandwich in downtown Saratoga than I could get around Hagaman, but instead got walloped by a case of serendipity.

The Tang museum is actually kind of stunning, especially for its location on the campus of a fairly small liberal arts college. The building is beautiful, and the quality of the exhibitions blew me away. On the ground floor, an exhibition of senior thesis work by Skidmore art students that definitely paid credit to the art program there. And upstairs, an amazing exhibit of work by Fred Tomaselli, who I'd never heard of before. I've admitted in the past that I'm no art critic, so you won't be getting any sharp analytical insights of his art here or even a biographical review. But let me just say that from the brief amount I've read, too much emphasis is put on Tomaselli's technique. He uses actual leaves, fungi, pills, and other organic material in his work, under a layer of resin that he then paints over. The effect is interesting up close, but what really blew me away was the incredible detail of his art, as well as the brilliant thought behind it. Of the paintings I saw, my favorite was probably "Expulsion," an obvious reference to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, rendered in anatomic detail, seem to be pushed away by a swirling vortex emitting beams of energy, which up close are comprised of drawings of songbirds, flowers, tiny sea creatures, pills, and other random objects.

This was one of the few occasions I could remember of actually feeling enraptured by an artwork. The last time was about a year ago, when I took my dad to Williamstown and discovered an exhibit of Julie Mehretu's work at the Williams College art museum. I mean, I still hate Williams, but I now love Julie Mehretu. And Fred Tomaselli. And yes, I did have a good sandwich in Saratoga. And the weather today was awesome.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

if i were a mariner ...

If I were a member of the Seattle Mariners, I'd probably hang out with Ichiro Suzuki the most. He's pretty much my favorite Mariner, of all time. The thing I like about him is that he makes the most of his physical skills, and he's just a very well-rounded player. Take his defense: he can catch, and he can throw. But he's also a great hitter, too. It's not his fault that the Mariners aren't generating enough runs this year - they need to get a couple sluggers to drive him in when he gets on as the lead-off hitter.

I don't know how good his English is now; but he's been playing with the Mariners for like 10 years, so I figure he knows enough to hang out with in the dugout and talk about music and movies and stuff like that. I also love Japanese food! We'd probably spend a lot of time talking about good Japanese restaurants around Seattle.

I might talk to Junior a bit, but I don't think I'd hang out with him that much. I think Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, and I was totally stoked when the M's picked him up in the off-season. But I don't know enough about him personally to say whether I'd hang out with him a lot. Same goes for Felix Hernandez. I also get the sense that Felix and I wouldn't have much in common. But I'm pretty sure that Ichiro and I would get along great.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the weather

What the HELL is going on with the weather in Mad City? Gusty winds! Rain! High temps in the 50's? This is not what I signed up for when I moved here. Dammit,we're almost halfway through May! Summer's right around the corner. So we should be getting pre-summer type conditions. But instead, it snowed in northern Wisconsin just a few days ago. I live in southern Wisconsin, but even so ...

All I want is to be able to ride my motorcycle to work. Is that too much to ask? Jesus H. Christ ...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Man, I like broccoli. I had some with my dinner just the other night! It tasted good, real good. And not only that, but good for you. Or should I say, good for me ...

Some other thoughts about broccoli:
- I like Chinese broccoli, too.
- Anyone out there into old James Bond movies, like me? The producer of the old James Bond movies was Albert Broccoli, which is kind of a funny name. But apparently, back in the 19th century, his Italian forefathers either had a hand in developing broccoli or brought it from Italy to America. So his name's not so funny after all.
- Remember when George Bush Sr. spoke out against broccoli? That was so unnecessary. And meanwhile, he liked to put crushed Butterfingers on top of his cereal at breakfast. What an ass ...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

my two cents, part III

One thing you *won't* catch me complaining about is the weather this time of year, around Mad City. Here's what we've got right now: temps 60's to 70's, light winds, sunshine. Also, all the snow trees are still in bloom. They've been blooming for a couple weeks now, and the leaves are out, so it probably won't last much longer. But right now, those blossoms ... a feast for the eye and the nostril! You go for a jog in the evening, and it's like the very air around you is lightly perfumed. Lovely, just lovely ...