Thursday, April 29, 2004

In Dallas the water tastes like a swamp. It’s horrible and inescapable. When you take a shower or wash your face, you can smell the water. One of my rules regarding tap water – and I have few – is that it shouldn’t have perceptible odor. And it most definitely shouldn’t have an aftertaste. This unbearable taste creates a problem when you go to a restaurant – deciding on a beverage becomes an impossible task. You can’t drink the water, so you look for other options. You soon realize the invasiveness of the problem. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You know that your neighbor is a pod person. You escape him thinking that you’re safe, only to discover that he influenced others and now everyone surrounding you is a pod person too, and they all approach with their menacing, unrelenting saunter. You obviously can’t drink iced tea or lemonade. Oh, I’ll go with soda, you say? Nope. They water down the soda with the Satan-spawn H2O. Mixed drinks? Not if they’re made with ice. So what does that leave?


Aaaah, beer. Sitting in a Bennigan’s at the Galeria Mall, the kind waitress that called me dear, honey, and sweetheart throughout my meal asked what I wanted to drink. “I’ll have a Guiness, please.” She asked me if I had a Unicard. No, I replied. She then explained to me that since this area of Dallas was a dry county that she couldn’t technically serve alcohol, but there was a loophole that allowed me to drink if I filled out a Unicard permit and had it on record. She brought me the form and said that the restaurant would pay the application fee. Yes, in order to drink beer in Dallas as to escape the wretched water, I had to fill out paperwork.

I have neither a sensitive nor picky palette, but I just couldn’t deal with the taste. It astounded me that there wasn’t a revolt in the city over the water. I was curious if I was the only one aware of it. I went online and did a few searches. I found a recipe that said if you were making this recipe in Dallas during the summer months, you needed to use bottled water due to the “off taste” the water acquired.

The reason the water acquired this taste? During the summer months the algae levels in the lakes grew dramatically.

Dallas… it’s called a filter.
Last night I returned from a four day business trip in Dallas. I flew out early Sunday morning so that I could arrive in time to visit the Dallas Museum of Art. I have a fancy membership to the San Diego Museum of Art that allows me to visit seventeen other art museums in the Western U.S for free. The irony is that it would actually be cheaper to just pay the normal admission fee to each museum then what the fancy membership costs. Anyway, to alleviate the magnitude of my poor accounting practices, I feel a deep need to visit the museums when I can.

The Dallas Museum of Art had some great stuff and an interesting layout. It had five floors arranged in a cascading stair-step pattern where one flowed down onto the next. I say this with reluctance -- since I'm an artist I feel inclined to embrace all art forms -- but I hate square paintings. I loathe them. Every time I see a Mark Rothko painting with a description hanging nearby about its deep symbolism and metaphor I have a visceral reaction that makes me want to shake museum directors worldwide and tell them how they all have had the wool pulled over their eyes. The one exception to the square paintings comes from the artist Piet Mondrian. I enjoy his squares. However I seem to enjoy them more upon seeing his wonderful landscape and figurative work that preceeded the squares. The DMA had a nice collection of both.

Across the street I visited the Nasher Sculpture Center. The entrance fee was $10, which for an art museum is on the very high side, but upon entering I found that it was definitely worth it. The featured exhibit was Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier. A great collection. I'm not very good at internalizing sculpture, but the museum had so many engaging pieces laid out wonderfully in internal galleries and an outside garden that it made the attraction easy and instantenous. They also had some Giacometti sculptures which are always whimsical and intriguing. He's one of my faves.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Been keeping busy. I've been painting, drawing, and writing a lot. I recently purchased some toys that have enabled my creative productivity. I bought the scriptwriting software, Final Draft, whose slick instant formatting have made the flow from head to typing hands run without pause. Due to the odd death of my old printer, I picked up a new one that I love. It's a Canon i860 and it's been helpful in printing out digital photos that allows me to use them as a reference for paintings and drawings. I've never had a printer that could create photo-lab equivalent 4x6" pictures, and now having that ability has opened up a floodgate.

Kim visited over Easter weekend and along with friends, we went and saw Anya Marina give a great show at Lestat's Coffee house. Since we arrived early, we decided to visit a nearby bar beforehand, The Ould Sod. Sitting in a lounge semi-circle booth, we talked about possibly hitting a karaoke bar at the end of the evening. Almost on cue, the music grew louder and a woman's voice was heard on a microphone announcing the start of karaoke. It was all very serendipitous. After hearing an impressive rendition of Jack and Diane, we returned to Lestat's to hear Anya perform.

In the times between painting and events, I've attended different art gallery openings in the area. A lot of good art is happening out there.