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buddha · is

String theory, ancient wisdom and my spot in between.

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I wasn't up early,
Dawn Over San Francisco.
I was getting home from work.
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"Thank you for your interest in the Front of House Staff at The Walt Disney Family Museum. We have reviewed your resume and are interested in having you continue in our hiring process..."

I can picture myself working in a restored/repurposed 1890's army base even if it means dressing as Minnie.
I hope they don't want me to dress as Minnie.
I wonder what the pay rate is to dress as Minnie.
I could totally dress as Minnie.

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Until I can find respectable work in a city/state with 11% unemployment I may as well volunteer my time.
I don't have the energy anymore to take up causes of the down trodden or abused as I did once so long ago so I decided to offer myself to the things that make me happy.
So far, it's been the world of art, yesterday it branched out into gardening.

I offered myself to the Zoo when we first arrived, they have Zoo cleanup (and boy, it needs it) but only accept a few people to help.
I was too far down the list, thanks for my interest, goodbye.

SFMOMA has all the folks with free time it can handle, so each volunteer position is a limited run and you have to sign paperwork freeing them of any liability should you be injured and a waver stating that this stint gives you no leg up in future volunteerism or employment.
During the Kentridge Opera with SFMOMA I got to tear tickets one night and be a seating usher another.
Each other offer I've made to posted volunteer positions has recieved the 'maybe next time, keep trying' reply.
The deYoung has been my godsend, welcoming me every Friday night to answer questions about tickets and memberships, checking all manner of things into the coat/parcel check, to discreetly point out the direction to the nearest restrooms and, when asked, offer my opinion on the most important pieces to see in the museum.

Then came TUT.
The boy King gutted the volunteer program, bringing a paid staff to check parcels (no coats... just wear them inside...) to click a counter for the number of visitors.
I feel mostly useless there now,left with practically only one thing to do.
"The restrooms are ahead, to the left of the large Gerhard Richter photograph."
A pause.
"To the left of the giant polka dot photo, you really can't miss them."

Last week I received an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
The deYoung needed 10 volunteers to help with garden clean up!
Technically, like the SFMOMA sketch group made me a collected artist in their collection, this means I had the chance to do some gardening in Golden Gate Park!!!

A dream come true.

A Simple Stalk of Gunnera Tinctoria.

Mostly it was heavy lifting, we filled five truck loads of compostable garden materials, pulled weeds and brought the end of summer look back under control.
My Day as Tom Sawyer.

As great as I felt in the beginning of the day, the day ended with crazed sadness and unfortunate realities.

The under reported murders (my opinion) and mass shootings of the teenages in the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv made for a weekend of heavy reflection for me, so when I heard there was a candle light procession being held close by Monday night I walked down to take part.
Congregation Sha'ar Zahav.
It was probably too early in the day to start, 5:30 pm, and the crowd skewed heavily toward the local congregation's members but I felt a personal need to be involved.
Walking with a candle in San Francisco is quite a powerful metaphor.

Half way between the Temple and the SF LGBT Center I heard a news reporter tell his cameraman, "There's been a MUNI crash nearby, they want us there..." and so, a MUNI crash trumps gay murder, even in San Francisco.
We said (translated: I read phonetically...) Kaddish Yatom, I felt community and I felt as 'better' as I was going to knowing that somewhere a coward was reflecting on what he believes to be a powerful act.

Two blocks away, as I walked home I passed the MUNI crash:
MUNI Crash.
A truly unfortunate accident, but no one died at the hands of a mad man.
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A couple of weeks ago angrytruffle was in town to celebrate her birthday and foodtigerand I had very free form plans to meet her in the afternoon.
San Francisco is small, but getting around isn't what one calls easy when you're coming from, say, the East Bay or from the tip top of Twin Peaks in the middle of the peninsula.
It was decided I would meet foodtiger at the SFMOMA when she reached the city.
Just that morning the museum webpage had announced a guerrilla sketch day on the newly opened roof top sculpture garden
Big Head and Nice Boot.
which would conveniently coincide with our rendezvous.
We could sketch and await word on where to meet.
It's no secret that I love museums, but I feet my own artistic talents lie in three dimensional mediums and in my eye for photographic composition.
I've always felt my two dimensional work to be sad and lacking, but here was free entry to the museum and three cheers for that.
The sketch group that day consisted of the two of us, Ian who works at SFMOMA and was our group leader, two children under the age of 10 and their mom.
I felt no pressure for my sketch to turn out well until the little girl held up her finished work 10 minutes after we began.
While not ultra realistic and true to the sculpture I saw in front of me, it had all the important elements represented AND an amazing Picasso cubist quality I admired and felt envious of.
My own piece was looking out of proportion and I set to it with an eraser.
Drawing is Not My Strongest Suit.
At the end of an hour we set out to meet up in the Haight, have a coffee and snack and to begin our adventure for the afternoon.
A walk through Golden Gate Park and the very closed Conservatory of Flowers and a glass of wine at the deYoung Friday extravaganza before a look about from the 9th floor observation tower.
Photo Op.
We had a great time at dinner in a restaurant called Weird Fish which gets raves in all the papers, but we summed it up as just ok. Their hook, so to speak, is that they offer fish or vegan seitan instead. My own plate of Buffalo Girls, fried seitan in buffalo wing sauce was truly spicy and equally rubbery. I love seitan and hold the preparation accountable.
The weekend was so much fun it was too bad it ended, but then comes the next week...
...and another Sketch Friday at SFMOMA.
SFMOMA Sketchpad.
This time, instead of SFMOMA letterheads Ian passed out museum bookstore sketch pads with the idea that when we finished sketching we would turn them back in and each following week sketchers would pick them up and work with them again, building a library of art inspired by the pieces on show.
This week we were all adults (not that it matters, just as a matter of fact) and our subjects were to be chosen from the collection of Richard Avedon's portraits now on exhibit.
Sketch, erase, sketch, erase, sketch, erase and eventually I felt pretty good about my version of Avedon's Malcolm X
How I Saw How Richard Avedon Saw Malcolm X.
mostly because I turned a figurative corner and he began looking less like Jermaine Jackson and actually favoring Malcolm X...
I turned the sketchbook in at the reception desk on my way out and headed to the deYoung for my volunteer gig, which now comes with a snappy apron!
TUT Apron.
It was Saturday before I had the realization that now, technically, I was a collected artist in the holdings of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
(Don't burst my bubble with semantics, it's collected.)

Turns out, one of the sketchers is also a writer for the SFist (awkwardly named when compared to the Londonist, Austinist, Chicagoist, ect.) who now has a story posted online about the sketch group.
I'm glad my Warhol drawing was added to the story, it felt like I was never going to be happy with how his hand turned out.
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What's up with Joe Jackson's hands?

jaskson hands

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I don't understand carbonation.
Where do the bubbles come from?
Is that creation?
Are we a bubble in a unfathomably larger container of universal ylem?
Is the red shift because we're a sphere in a beer rushing to a yet to be witnessed head?
When you opened a bottle of fizzy mineral water, in that second you crack the seal...
is there a infinitesimal contraction at that crack?
Is there an infinitesimal change in temprature as the bubbles... come to be?


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I See a Skull In the Deninm.
vibrating the air:
William, It Was Really Nothing // Hatful Of Hollow by The Smiths
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Jack and Kevin.

...yay for us, but only some of us...

Do I feel guilty in my personal glee?

We will order the certificate now.
We must have our papers... we will have to show them our papers.
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Book Sale!
Book Sale!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Book Sale!

Some titles I fancy at a glance?
Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island
Flemish Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met and the New Millennium
Egyptian Art at Eton College, Selections from the Myers Museum

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My submissions to this year's Arthouse at the Jones Center 5x7 Auction are as follows:

Africa in Profile, the Lawrence Science Center, Berkeley CA. 2009
Africa, in Profile.


Unspoken. San Francisco CA. 2009
Stop Raining.

Artist's Statement:

My camera was stolen in London.
I only have my cell phone camera.
Sometimes the images turn out well...
but I still wish I had a good camera again.

°When is the right time to offer a beautiful, non traditional vantage point of the African continent as well as planetary heat concentrations? I think the time is right now.

°I would never imagine living in San Francisco and cursing rain, but it is a place to hope for dry. Traveling prepared can be cumbersome but being saturated is uncomfortable for a very long time.
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