Posts Tagged ‘video


as you do (adventures in eating and viewing)

it seems that anymore our “adventures” always involve eating and viewing. yesterday was no exception.

we headed up the freeway to the bluff park/museum district  in long beach (405 north to 7th, over to junipero and left to ocean blvd. and left again, down two blocks and left again, and right where we parked on 2nd in front of a stunning craftsman residence (we believe circa 1912 — 1914. some houses had ‘historical markers’ designated this house or that one a “_____” or a “______”. to have read them correctly, we would have had to trespass and in these days of concealed carry, the last thing you need is an armed resident greeting you with the barrel of a gun while you satisfy your need to know. but i digress.)

i think this house suits him, don't you?

i think this house suits him, don’t you?

after some oohing and aahing over the merits of living in a historic home, m. & i tottered over to the long beach museum’s outdoor cafe, claire’s, where we met up with his ex, a., who was ‘in town’ (which means agoura hills) from chicago visiting his sister; long beach being the halfway point between us. m. & i have been together for 34 years, so that should give you an idea of our relative ages…a bunch of old men.

oceanside at claire's.

oceanside at claire’s.

we had a lovely brunch at claire’s, even though we left the “br” out of our menu selections and settled to a person on the “unch” parts. turkey club on pumpernickel, tuna salad (grilled rare and sliced thin over baby greens), and claire’s cobb salad, with freshly grilled chicken breast, gorgonzola, avocado, bacon, baby field greens, hard-boiled egg, and mustard vinaigrette. finished with a flourish of banana bread pudding.


but to the ‘viewing’ — i can honestly say, m. & i don’t need a museum to be in ‘viewing’ mode. we are of a mind to find the beauty (and the ugly) of our surroundings and to frame each ‘view’ with commentary and perceptive understanding, citing references to other ‘views’ and admitting honestly that “i don’t believe i’ve ever seen anything quite like that.” our storehouse of references inexhaustible it seems, thank the god of mental facility. although admittedly, there’s sometimes a moment of silence as one of us waits for the other’s file retrieval system to kick into gear.


we were fascinated and captivated by the works of terry braunstein, who explored time, memory, and feminism in carefully constructed collages, installations, and photography.

collage by terry braunstein at the long beach museum of art.

“who is she? dancing to kerouac” a collage by terry braunstein at the long beach museum of art.

we took the elevator up to the second floor in deference to m. and viewed a handful of examples from the museum’s permanent collection before we fell into the barbara strasen exhibit, “layer by layer”.

i have to say, it was a bit confusing at first. the work is complex and reminded me of the pattern & decoration movement of the late ’70s and early ’80s, so to sort through all of the dense imagery took some visual adjustment, but once you fell under her spell (not too trite, is that?) you could begin to understand and appreciate the journey she was taking you on. her use of lentricular lenses was particularly fascinating. i believe her commentary on the overload of images we are subjected to each and every day was precise and revelatory. we all enjoyed her work immensely.

possibly the most fab of all the homes we saw.

possibly the most fab of all the homes we saw.

the museum is small, so an hour later we were back out on the street and walking the avenues of bluff park. many of the homes had been fully renovated and brought back to (or maintained) their original glory, but there were a few that could’ve done with a coat of paint and a bit of tidying up–said the gay man. (i hate stereotypes, don’t you? but really, it is a marker, don’t you agree, that gay man like to prettify their surroundings? i’m sure there’s the exception to every rule…but none who would admit it.)

who wouldn't want to live in a neigborhood with a honor library?

who wouldn’t want to live in a neigborhood with a honor library?

we decided that even though it was suggested that everyone in the neighborhood helped maintain the ‘neighborhood book swap’, the reality was that the owners of the home this cart and sign sat in front of did all the heavy lifting. still and all, a sign of community such as this, is a blessed thing in our world today.

hollywood regency plopped into the middle of arts & crafts--perfection!

hollywood regency plopped into the middle of arts & crafts–perfection!

we plotzed when we saw this hollywood regency home cheek and jowl next to a queen anne on one side and a greene & greene on the other. <3!

and finally...

and finally…

i’ll leave you with our favorite of all of the homes we saw yesterday. if you look closely, you’ll see me waving to you from the second story window on the left.



a week of self-portraits: tuesday


a brief history of john baldessari

see also: baldessari, baldessari, and baldessari (not necessarily in that order.)


what now? (now that you’ve left me & wherein the author explores the dynamics of the subatomic molecules & those pesky quarks that make up matter, mass & midnight)

there is no difference between night and day.  of course that’s not true.  but i imagine it could be debated (with pro & con — one young man with acne in a short sleeved white shirt & clip-on tie [striped] & his opponent, a young girl with flawless skin & long blond hair & one snaggle tooth — with their 3 x 5 cards crammed with facts, charts & figures supporting their positions.)  wait.  that may have happened.  not that i’m saying it was me, either pro or con.  the fluidity of my consciousness demands that i prevaricate (varicose and the other ‘vari’ words now come to mind, such as variegated, as in that beautiful iris in the north garden that has yet to bloom, but whose spiky leaves are the most brilliant yellow and soft, soft green.)

i am loathe.  that is all.  (certainly not loathsome, although i’m sure there is someone out there, perhaps from my past or my future that may agree or disagree or find my very being, my matter loathsome indeed.  what can i say?  to each his own, “chacun a son goute,” that’s life, right?  you can’t be all things to all people, just as night and day are not different from each other, only to the people experiencing them.)

one can accept the lack of differences or not, but i am loathe to carry on with this obviously losing argument.   implacable.  (again with the words, you know, the ‘plac’ words, that harsh ‘cuh’ sound a slamming door — your lover in a huff over a supposed jape, alleged dig at, impugning his/her/their [the author does not want to be gender-specific so that anyone reading this can relate. –ed.] lily-white character, a madonna, my sainted lover. )

you would not expect either pro or con to actually win this debate, this argument, this folie à deux.   for it is a shared experience, night & day, day & night, is it not?  sharing this psychosis as we do, how could there be differences, one might ask oneself, if one were so inclined.  or even if it were two that were so inclined.   or, for christ’s sake, if a room full of stephen hawkings were so inclined to make the argument in favor of one or the other (night & day.)

neither pro or con will be happy with a draw.  what now?


a day at san onofre

i cleared my mind.

it is only a minute from the roar of the 5 freeway, but once you are standing at the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach, the world (your world, your anxieties, your history) just falls away–like peeling skin (there is pain sometimes.)

you look to the north & you look to the south, the world — this new one — stretches out in front of you.  it would be so easy to just fly off the cliff, a seagull or a pelican (or a marine helicopter; camp pendleton adjoins the south end of the beach) & soar down to the beach & the surf (which you hear now, not the noise of the freeway, but the relentless push & pull of the ocean carried up to you on the wind.)

but wisely, you take the service road down to the sand.  there is another, much steeper staircase (constructed out of the sandstone cliff that i’ve only ever tried once — both down & up — but i get light-headed easily & have avoided it since.)

the wild dill is in full bloom, it’s neon yellow tiny blossoms in sharp contrast to the blue of the ocean & its unusual scent is mixed in with the salty ocean air.  the road down is steep & it is a tough hill to climb back up, but the rewards once you’re down to the sand are immeasurable.

today, at the bottom of the cliffs, i was greeted by yin & yang & thought that it foretold of a harmonious day, which in fact it turned out to be.  once you’re down on the sand, if you look left or if you look right, it seems to be no end in sight, a glorious feeling of freedom enfolds you.

there was also a peace sign laid out with rocks.  i hoped it was a sign of the future.

i took a moment to establish my bearings (the sun as my guide) & to contemplate the beauty of this world (this immediate world, but to be generous, all of the world–that peace sign still on my mind.)

for the past several days the carole king song, “beautiful” has been playing in my mind–i can’t seem to shake it, not that i really want to, but the lyrics, “you’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face & show the world all the love in your heart,” have hit hard, struck a chord if you will (& you will) with me & they seemed embodied right here in front of me, now.

after walking about a half mile to the south, i found as good a place as any to lay my towel & stretch back & let the calm wash over me.

after getting situated, i walked down to the surf line & i looked to the west (straight out to sea) & i looked to the north & to the south & watched the waves wash over my feet & legs (brrr, cold!)

i walked along to the south for a mile or so & then turned back to my plot of sand, laid down with my arms under my head & thought of    nothing.  it felt good.  it is not always easy to think of nothing & it may take you a few tries before you succeed, but i encourage you to give it a go as it is the best way i know of feeling better about, well, just about everything.

someone with more patience than i (now that’s a clear head) had created a grouping of rock sculptures that made me think of la sagrada familia in barcelona (or at the least, of gaudi,) but i accepted their thoughtfulness & sat awhile to contemplate their artistic vision–a multi-media experience, obviously.

later, having exhausted myself from doing nothing (but you know, beauty, the beauty of nature, is exhausting,) i packed up my towel, slipped on my backpack & made the trek back up to my car, the freeway & home feeling as if i’d been gone for a very long time.


social disparity



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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