Saturday, December 25, 2004

Between visiting friends, attending art gallery openings, and sketching at a figure drawing workshop, I spend a lot of time in the North Park neighborhood. In the middle of the community stands a green water tower that I find engaging. When I was there a few weeks ago I took some pictures.

I've wanted to paint it for a while. So that I would better understand it I painted a study (oil, 12"x16"). I modified the scale to make the tower appear more imposing.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Kim flew into San Diego and we enjoyed a whirlwind weekend, accompanied by clear and perfect weather. We began Saturday by grabbing lunch at Cass Street Bar and Grill, and then went on a casual drive through San Diego neighborhoods like Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Old Town, and Mission Hills. We paused on Harbor Island to take in the views of Coronado Island and its namesake bridge, downtown San Diego, and the mountains beyond.

In the evening we saw the movie Sideways, which I enjoyed immensely. The perfect parts humor and humanity. It had a lot of elements that resonated for me. I'm a huge fan of Alexander Payne's two previous movies, About Schmidt and Election (I felt the later was a perfectly directed and sadly overlooked movie). I love mood pieces, governed by tone, of which I consider some of my all time favorite movies: Leaving Las Vegas, Garden State, and Lost in Translation. Again a great movie.

Sunday afternoon Kim and I went for a walk downtown, along the bay. The USS Midway is parked at the Navy Pier and has been transformed into a floating museum. Despite its enormous size, it's still hard to fathom living aboard for six month stretches of time. It would be an entirely different life.

Around 5pm, Sunday night, I got a call from my friend Tom. I've known him since I was in junior high -- he was the same class year as my younger sister. He called to tell me that his Denver based band, Devotchka, was in town and playing in a few hours at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. He put Kim and I on the guest list. I felt quite special going to the club's ticket window and telling the attendant that I was on the guest list. It was a first for me. Speaking of firsts, there are many firsts that you remember throughout your lifetime. The first time you get laid. The first time you kill a man. And the first time you see Devotchka live. They put on an amazing show. A unique band that you gotta catch in concert. You ain't seen nothin' like it. I found myself mesmerized and awed and desperately wishing I could play the violin.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I left my apartment Saturday morning to perfectly clear skies with unlimited visibility. The ocean and hillsides looked beautiful bathed in unfiltered sunlight. The weather was fantastic. I drove through an enchantingly clear San Diego morning to attend figure drawing workshop.

In the late evening I went outside to take my trash to the dumpster. A thick and eerie fog had enveloped everything, impairing visibility past 50 feet. The mist hung in the air like a visceral entity. On the late night news I saw that the airport had to cancel flights.

A long time ago I read Stephen King's haunting short story, "The Mist." It involved a fog that consumed a small town and a group of people found themselves trapped in a grocery store. Anyone that stepped outside quickly met their demise via vicious animal attack, including a pterodactyl.

Whenever I'm immersed in fog I immediately conjure up that story. It adds an atmospherical mystique to the experience. I'm not sure if I'd like the story to come true or not. On one hand it would suck to be eaten by a large monster. On the other hand, I'd really like to see a pterodactyl.