Finally back on track!

Okay, so last year's major move among other things sent me right off the rails, but I've finally got my head screwed on straight and am back in the game. I've found in the past that usually all it takes is the right inspiration and thankfully my friend Joe provided just that. He kept reminding me that I'd suggested doing a bacchanalia piece with him as Dionysus. I knew he had the costume, and it felt right. Also, I have to say that this might end up being the quintessential Photognome image ever created. We'll see. So here's step one. "Joe's Hen House" part 1.
Captain Artboy

Lucky Shot

BeautifullyLitThe reason I carry my camera around everywhere is that I never know when I'm going to happen upon perfect painting reference. Took the ArtMobile in for detailing this afternoon. This young woman was also having her car detailed. Over the course of a two hour wait, her nose never left that book. Turned out to be Anna Karenina and she was about two thirds through and entirely absorbed. Anyone who knows me knows how much I appreciate the sight of an attractive woman engaged in interesting pursuits, but I have to say that this kind of scene excites me the most. If she had been reading Dan Brown, I probably wouldn't have been as intrigued, but Tolstoy?!? She had no way of knowing that she was so well lit, and that an artist would happen by. I smell a painting in the making.
Captain Artboy

Scattershot Spam

I'm always amused, and a little confused when I get an e-mail notification that someone commented on a three year old Livejournal post with Russian spam. What's that about?
Captain Artboy

Stuck in a hole...

I feel like I've been stuck in a hole for three months now. All I want is to focus solely on these new paintings and an upcoming show. Painting however, requires vast amounts of the aforementioned focus and the insanity of the last few months has made that impossible. I'm not used to being one of those people that always seems to end up on the downside, but that's how I've felt.
First we found out that we were two far underwater and the bank was going to take the loft. I was broken hearted, but we decided to just cut our losses and move on. We found a perfectly nice townhome apartment and were all set to move last November. Then the people who were due to end their lease decided to stay 'til the end of the year, so we got to celebrate the holidays in a mostly packed up house. Luckily, the bank, who probably realized that they were about to get stuck with a giant unsellable loft decided to postpone the foreclosure until January. On Sunday, January 6th, I woke to the worse pain I've ever felt. Absolute agony. I thought my appendix was bursting or my kidneys were finally shutting down from years of Scotch abuse. Four hours, two delightful morphine drips and a cat scan later, the verdict was in. Kidney stone. Now, I've heard stories about kidney stones and everyone tends to focus on the pain of passing the stone through the urethra. What they don't talk about is the absolute agony experienced during the stone's slow trip from the kidney to the bladder. No kidding; women who've had kidney stones and also borne children say that the pain of kidney stones is worse. They sent me home with pain meds which worked pretty well, but on the 15th, just as I was starting to draw at a caricature gig, the stone began to move big time. I had taken two hydrocodones and told the client that I needed a few minutes to collect myself and would be right back. 45 minutes later I was still curled in a ball on the floor in a bathroom stall, trying not to cry. I was barely able to call Christopher to come and get me. The emergency room docs had told me that I'd probably pass the stone in a few days, but was now nine days in and still suffering. The next day I made an appointment with a urologist and spent the next Friday morning with her. (she was alarmingly hot for a urologist. Seriously) After an x-ray, an ultrasound, blood work, etc...she could find no trace of the stone. Her best guess was that the Tuesday night episode was the stone moving into my bladder and that I probably passed it with no notice. Apparently, that happens too. The stone could break up so much during it's long trip that you can pass it with no notice. Hopefully that's true. There's still a 10% chance that it's still in my bladder. Last Saturday was moving day. You don't pull up 17 years of roots and comfortably settle into a new place overnight. All I want is to get settled into a new living routine and get back to work. I crave a lack of distraction. 

John Carter

I remember the first time I saw the trailer. Only a few seconds of imagery and I was muttering to myself, "John Carter...Oh shit, they're doing a John Carter movie!" I also recall realizing, in that instant, that I was going to have to explain to my wife, sitting next to me in the theater, the significance of that statement. In retrospect, that probably sums up the movie's failure. If you're not someone like me, who's entire life has been buried in pop/geek culture, why would you even possess the faintest inkling of John Carter? Why would you care?
Anyway, the movie got such bad press and abysmal reviews, so I didn't see it. Even though Joe, who's opinion I generally trust (the new Spiderman movie being the only blot on his resume) gave it a huge thumbs up, I refrained.
Today, while channel surfing, I happened upon the movie and decided to watch a bit. Before I knew it, I'd watched the entire second half and was sorry it was over. Tonight I caught it from the beginning and have to say "Damn!" It's seriously one of the most flat out entertaining sci-fi renditions I've ever seen. Now I'm sorry I didn't see it in the theater.

So here it is...

I promised myself that I'd start writing in this journal again, but I've been ducking it. Truth be told, there were a few factors that directly led to my posting here less.
The first was that when I began this blog, my website was hosted by Ipowerweb and I had stashed most of my uploaded pics in a file on their server. Each pic was linked to that file. I switched to a while back, but was still paying Ipower in order to not lose the pic file. At some point I forgot to renew the account and most of my pics disappeared. I could have spent countless hours re-uploading the pics from my desktop, but couldn't find the time and frankly found the idea of reconstituting so many years of blog entries too depressing.
The second was that my wife's best friend in the world somehow discovered this journal and began to check it regularly, looking for pics of CJ. One of the things I like about LJ is how truly private it can be. LJ doesn't have the inherent privacy issues that say, a Facebook or Blogger site has. You can write whatever you like and only a handful of carefully selected people can read it. Thanks to that, I was always comfortable venting about personal issues, and occasionally those issues centered on my marriage. It's not a good idea to vent about a fight with your wife with her best friend looking over your shoulder.
The third bit is about how I've been in a profoundly depressed funk owing to recent events and looming change. Now let me be clear; No one is dying of anything and no one is getting divorced,(not yet anyway) but things are about to change. The short of it is, we're losing the loft.
Maria and I started dating just before the Olympics in 1996. A (thankfully) very close friend of ours was hired to take photos of the Paralympic's closing fireworks display from the vantage point of the William Oliver building in downtown Atlanta and had invited a bunch of us to enjoy a picnic dinner with her while she worked. That was the night we learned that there were loft apartments available just a stones throw from work. I toured the Metropolitan (across the street from the William Oliver) the next day, and ended up renting the top floor unit. The unit wasn't exactly built for comfort, but it did have one irresistable feature. You couldn't get onto the roof without going through my unit. I lived in that unit for three happy years until Maria and I decided to get married. She had rented the large two bedroom just downstairs from me and when the building went condo, buying hers seemed like the best option. This was before the intown condo boom began and they weren't sure anyone would willingly buy, so they offered us an insider price that was too good to pass up. At the same time, the insurance inspectors came around and decided to seal off my roof access, so my unit lost all it's appeal. We bought Maria's unit, got married, and a few years later did a re-fi and got the place next door. This was during a housing bubble that hadn't yet burst, so in an ongoing effort to merge two spaces into one, we began borrowing on our loan to cover incremental renovations. We were earnestly engaged in building a home.
I never questioned our decisions regarding the loft. Many of our friends often remarked that out loft "felt" like a home, not just an investment property. We'd been married about four years when, while browsing old photo albums, we came across this pic;
We were dumbstruck to realize that not only was this the very first photo we'd ever taken together, but that our future home was over our left shoulders. Because of this, I've always clung to the silly belief that we were destined to live here. Hence, my attachment.
Within the walls of this space we've lived, loved, gained and lost. We've sighed and screamed. We laid the foundations of a huge life which we shared with friends and family and finally conceived a perfect son. In 2007 we had this shot taken after putting on a neighborhood festival just two blocks away;
All of the refinancing and digging into debt wasn't an issue before 2008. Our agreement was always that Maria would be the chief bread winner. She wanted to climb the corporate ladder. I wanted to pursue art, which to say the least, guarantees no reliable fiscal cushion. Handshakes were exchanged and agreements struck. Everything was going fine until 2008. CJ was born and almost immediately upon returning from maternity leave, Maria was laid off. The housing bubble had burst and Wall Street had effectively torpedoed the world economy.
Maria is an alpha female to the nth degree, so naturally she'd be fine. She set up a website, started freelance consulting and has been doing fine. Unfortunately, it seems that two freelancers are not even remotely up to handling the cost of maintaining a place as expensive as ours.
The bank is going to foreclose on us just after the new year. We're moving into a three bedroom town home apartment on the other side of the park.(at least we'll still be downtowners)



I more or less abandoned this blog a while back. Facebook is such an easy, cheap mistress. Marriage and fatherhood don't often allow one the level of thoughtful contemplation that I'd hoped to share here. Seriously, if you happen to enjoy the ability to complete a coherent thought, marriage and parenting are not for you.
That being said, owing to some very serious and rather looming upheaval regarding our lifestyle, along with the fact that I'm concerned about the number of empty Scotch bottles in the trash bin at the end of each week, I'm attempting to make an effort to modify my habits.
I've been reading a book called "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Great read. Very intriguing. The idea is to identify the self destructive habit, identify the reward and exchange the destructive habit for a healthy one while still achieving the same reward. That's an admittedly simplistic summation, but basically correct.
Since my son was born and I found myself no longer free to nocturnally(sp?) socialize as much as I'd like, I found myself working late in the studio and sipping Scotch. Over the past few years, the habit has become too easy and now I've developed myself a bit of a problem. I wouldn't go so far as to declare that I'm an alcoholic, and frankly I'll never give up alcohol entirely, but I need to get back to the guy I used to be. Mr. Moderation. In my single days, I wasn't immune to the occasional bender, but generally speaking I was the guy who always knew to stop just before I'd gone too far.
I want to be that guy again, so I think that making a habit of writing in this blog again will be a useful and healthy tool. Let's see how it goes...