Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tutto è Tranquillo e Placido


This past weekend at the John Cleary Gallery we had our first exhibition opening of the year, featuring the work of San Diego photographer, David Fokos.  

David Fokos on Plum TV from clifford reese on Vimeo.


Though I deal with our photographers through email and over the phone on a daily basis it is often a bit nerve-wracking actually meeting the artists (especially during an opening) for no other reason than I want to make sure that they are pleased with the hanging, lighting, labeling, etc.  -- it is kinda my job after all.


Morning Rings

Morning Rings, Study #3, Boston, Massachusetts, 1997


Catherine had forewarned me that David emerged out of an engineering background, and I would have been a bit more surprised had his first comment, after the requisite introductory small talk mind you, not been something along the lines of:  “Okay, everything looks great and now I’m going to make small tweaks to just about everything.”  But that’s the thing: I welcome the criticism because A.) who better to perfect it than the artist himself and B.) it allows me to do a better job next time. 


foggy night3

Foggy Night, Stafford, Texas, 2005   Taken near Catherine’s home when David was visiting for a past exhibition


Especially instructive was the lighting process, and if you come to the gallery then you can see how fabulous these pieces look in the right light… for as lovely as they look here on the interwebs, no pixilation can properly compare to the real thing.


fresh snow3

Fresh Snow, Chilmark, Massachusetts, 2007 – something Houston, TX (currently at 78 degrees) will not be seeing for quite some time


Just as we change the front of the gallery for every new exhibition, so do we try to rotate the photographs throughout the rest of the gallery as well.  When Catherine told me the large Renate Aller piece was coming down behind my desk in favor of three of David’s smaller pieces I requested that perhaps I could chose one of them, for selfish reasons only, natch.  Regular blog followers might remember seeing David’s work in a previous post from last year where I talked of first seeing his work, and I now have the opportunity to live with this piece behind me for the next month!  I LOVE THIS JOB!



“Nightwatch, Port Townsend, Washington, 2002"”  I miss you, my dear Mason!


David was also accompanied by his wife, Barbarella (@divabarbarella), AKA: my newest favorite person ever in the whole world. Typically I have about two “new favorite people ever in the whole world” per year… looks like the rest of y’all are going to have to try an awfully lot harder during 2012. Barbarella, a long time columnist for the San Diego Reader, regular NBC/KNSD “News in the Morning” contributor, socialite and TEDx emcee extraordinaire—among other fabulously not-so-hidden talents—is basically a San Diego (and now Houston) celebrity.  Check out her most recent piece, “The Pointy Ball Game” from The Reader about being in Houston during a Texans game and enjoy this interview with Maestro Jahja Ling of the San Diego Symphony from her “5 Questions With Barbarella” series:


Needless to say, David and Barbarella, Catherine and the rest of the after-opening gang were the perfect antidote to a stressful day – oh, by the way I got profanity spewed at me for the first time by a client earlier in the afternoon and spent the entire evening with what I think might have been a migraine– and though the time was brief it was quite the extraordinary evening and one I shant forget for some time. “Shant”’s a word, right?

As you can tell from the lack of personal shots, in all of the tizzy of the evening I forgot to take one single picture with anyone.  Looks like I’ll be heading to San Diego sometime soon!!


Artist: W.A. Mozart / Album: Le Nozze di Figaro

Thursday, January 19, 2012



It has widely been reported this morning that our very own Gov. Rick Perry will be dropping out of the presidential race today.  In honor (?) I thought I’d repost a couple of pictures and their respective captions from the Things That Are Less Steep Than Rick Perry's Drop In The Polls article I've seen floating around.


“The Matterhorn, an icon of the Swiss Alps, seems to be mother nature's perfect illustration of Rick Perry's South Carolina numbers. It starts out so tall, so majestic, but what goes up must ultimately come down.”



Roller Coaster

“New York's Coney Island Cyclone. This iconic roller coaster was built in New York in the late 1920s. And the name fits Perry's campaign: fast, rickety and a lot of fun along the way. Except for him”



Falling Star

“A wish on a shooting star might be the Texas governor's best shot at becoming president in this election cycle. South Carolina probably isn't.”




“Hang 10, Rick! We're guessing Perry's more the land-locked type, but even these big swells are mellower than Perry's plummet in the South Carolina polls.”




“Like this life-size brontosaurus, Perry's campaign started out larger than life. But where things stand today, Perry's campaign down south is going the way of the dinosaurs. (Who we're sure roamed Earth only a few thousands years ago.)”


“Remember the Alamo, Rick. But don't check out the roof - it might bum you out.”


Artist: Florence and the Machine / Album: Lungs

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays


I was awoken yesterday morning at the crack of dawn (9:00 am—it was my day off) by the perpetual booming of thunder and offhandedly checked the weather report for Houston to discover a GIANT RED DOT headed right for Houston.  Now, mind you, I love nothing more than staying in, wrapped up in a blanket, to watch movies in the rain.  That was… until I got this text message from Catherine:

Catherine: Uh, this is Robert’s Carpet.  If you go out, will you swing by the gallery?  If you don’t, no worries. If it floods, then it does.  Ugh.


No relation, btw


For those of you unfamiliar with the vicinity of Robert’s Carpet to the gallery… let’s have Senor GoogleMaps help us out a bit, shall we?


Yup, that would be 358 feet


Being five minutes away from the gallery means that it’s easy easy to get there if need be, and when I got to the parking lot I was greeted by what I am affectionately referring to as the “Tiny Charybdis of Richmont Square”:

If you listen you can hear it’s twin on the other side of the lot!



Luckily everything was dry as a bone in the gallery and no last minute art saving had to be done. I later read in an article on that over 7,000 people (that would be the entire population of my hometown, Crockett, mind you) were without power in Fort Bend County alone and that the rain came so quickly that in just ten minutes 1.6 inches of water fell, leading to a total of 6.3 inches in 12 hours.  This picture I saw floating around on facebook just about sums it up.


Artist: The Carpenters / Album: Classics, Volume 1

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Close to the Border Line


This recent story on the Norwegian butter shortage reminded me of a story that Vera, my host mother in Belgium this summer, told me when crossing the border into the Netherlands for our trip to Maastricht.


Vera explained to us when crossing the border that women from Belgium used to go to the Netherlands and smuggle back butter (apparently it was some good shiz back then).  In order to do so they would sew secret pockets in their dresses and once the police figured out they would stop the women and “detain them for questioning” in a really really hot room.  That way, if the women actually were smuggling contrabuerre then it would melt fairly quickly into their clothes… otherwise, if there was no liquid butter to be found after a couple of minutes, they would be set free!. Oh you crafty, cholesterol hating Dutch!!


Artist: Billy Joel / Album: Glass Houses

Sunday, January 1, 2012



I haven’t exactly been the best at staying on top of some of my posting in the recent months, so we’re going to call this portion of the blog the “holiday leftovers” – which in no way diminishes their importance btw!  We all know that leftovers are buh-mazing.

Thanksgiving Visit with Jan:

Back during Thanksgiving I had my annual Jan Reynolds Ingersoll visit!!!  In fact, she even came to church to hear me sing that Sunday morning because I had a solo! (Read about the experience on her blog here).  And, if you know anything about a visit to see Jan then you know to expect a couple of things:

Blurry photo of the two of us / An action shot with some kind of weapon / Me, posing with a giant stuffed animal

  IMG-20111120-00283  IMG-20111120-00280  2011-11-20 16.43.25

And lest we forget – an appearance from our good friends Feral and Domesticated Cougar (this time in holiday attire!):

2011-11-20 16.37.53  2011-07-16 19.31.26



Christmas Eve Shrimp Dinner with Will:

Before the two Christmas Eve services at my church I again had the pleasure of joining Will and his family for their annual shrimp dinner. I even got to catch up with my favorite misunderstood Christmas curmudgeons!  (This year I was doubly lucky because I also got to see them all again on my drive home from Crockett back to Houston after Christmas!)

2011-12-24 16.21.58  PART_1325451167647



Sid Becomes the Pied Piper Once Again:

When Hannah was visiting recently after Christmas, her dad, my uncle Sid, came over to the city for the day to help dress shop for Hannah’s junior voice recital in February.  In the car to dinner I showed him my clarinet I had taken from Crockett and he couldn’t wait to play it when we got back to my apartment later!  (Too bad the ol’ gem needs a bit of work to it).  At any rate… it was the first time he’d picked one up in years!

2011-12-30 21.02.45

Proof for the grandparents!


Sugar and Spice… :

No good leftover meal is complete without a second (or third) helping of those holiday pies, cookies, cakes, random sugar packets you have lying around the house just begging to be finished before they spoil.  And by spoil I mean someone else eats them. Regular blog readers will know of my undying love for anything Speculoos, and this Christmas totes delivered!!  Mallory’s dad had traveled recently to the Netherlands and was kind enough to bring me back, in addition to the yearly Maersk butter cookies, a jar of the ONLY FOUND IN EUROPE crunchy spread! Not to leave Mallory high and dry on the Speculoos front—here she is with her giant cookie!

lotus_pate_speculoos_crunchy_360gr  387436_10100276972022733_9202154_45746417_325755165_n


Mom managed to join the fray and somehow found me a whole CASE of the German equivalent of Speculoos.  What the WHAAAAAT!!!

2011-12-26 16.43.35

And now… FOOD COMA!


Artist: No Doubt / Album: Everything in Time

Mean Monsoon



As only Bubble herself can explain it:


I’ll be spending the day doing Absolutely Nothing while catching up on Absolutely Fabulous before the premier of their newest specials in the next couple of weeks!

Edie and Joseph S01E05  Edie and Joseph S02E04

Eddy Monsoon and I hanging out in episode five of series one and episode four of series two


Artist: Dan Auerbach / Album: Keep It Hid