Sunday, July 11, 2021

Being an Artist

 Earlier tonight I was watching 60 Minutes (in summer everything is a rerun), and one of the stories was about Colson Whitehead.  I've never read any of his books, but apparently he is a successful author-received a couple of Pulitzers, sold a lot of his novels, so pretty successful by any standards.  He is married to a literary agent, which is a useful situation I'm sure, and both appear on camera as part of the piece.  She describes learning that his routine in life was to write a novel, get it out, then write another novel, get it out, then write another novel, and get it out, etc.  What about now- time to write another novel.  This author's life sounded very familiar to me.  I write no books, but my art can serve the same purpose.  All my mature work is based on narrative, on things I have seen or experienced. In that sense, we work much in the same way, as his books are often based on historical or contemporary events that he read about or experienced.  Adapted as writing, changed as needed to be more suitable to his literary style, but based on what he has experienced, and that sounds a lot like what I do.  His latest book (the process often takes years to be finished) took from a story about a reform school in Florida where some bad things happened.  

Like I said, much of my work is based on what I have seen. A speech therapist from my job in Hackensack came to my MA show in Montclair, which was mostly about experiences I knew from that job.  Her observation was that my work told stories that people with that experience would know, but probably forgot.  Luckily I never forget anything.  (nothing personal revealed- we have rules about that)  I worked that field for many more years, but found other things to make are about. My Fourth of July piece was very specifically about new experiences every day, my saints and Ecclesiastes pieces are very much my interpretations of books I had read, the supermarket prints are about experiences I have had, my formal portraits (not the figure studies that have been about leaning how to draw bodies) all tell stories- either about the subject, or use the model to tell a story I have experienced.  My prints about local landmarks that have since been eliminated from existence are telling stories about things I remembered that are gone now. I have made work about other jobs I have had, or the country in general.

What comes next remains to be seen here, but once I get started, it will fit the pattern. 

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Print Work part 2

 Yesterday I was asked a common enough question, what kind of art do I make?  In fact, I mentioned this concept in my last post.  (what brought this on yesterday was that I was wearing an art themed t-shirt- my speech therapist, like my physical therapist, is a big fan of my vintage t-shirts) What I told her was that I make art about whatever I feel like, even if there is no known market for it.  This blog can prove that if one feels like reading back to 2007.  

I am planning a new piece and am still gathering source material.  (that also came up yesterday, an email from another former woodcut student, inquiring about what I was up to)  But I am still not fully recovered from my surgery, so I am working my way back, just as the galleries are working their way back from Covid. 

While I am still without a regular job, I am doing other things.  Last week I started a project related to my print experience, printing an edition for someone who isn't capable anymore.  When my assistant and me both ran out of gas, we stopped at 4 good proofs (and two I considered substandard) out of 6 requested.  I was paid for the whole job, despite my efforts to delay that until the job was done, but I have enough pride of workmanship that I was determined to finish it.  The next day I had available was today, so that became my plan for the afternoon. 

The triple digits we had last week have ended, but some heat has come back- heat indexes were close to 100 degrees today.  Luckily my host/assistant has AC in her house.  I got there just a little past the planned time (the hot weather always brings a lot of visitors to these beach towns, and the roads were full), but was lucky to get a spot almost in front of her house, so bringing in print supplies didn't take long. And then we started right up.  

With only two proofs left to do, I was determined to take a little more time and make sure they looked good.  It took about two hours, but the prints did look good to my eye, and my assistant, who is her best friend.  And I learned that the creator of the two lino plates will be coming back to New Jersey late next week, escaping the really unpleasant heat of the west coast, so she will see for herself.  Last week I had intended to take photos with my phone, but I was so caught up in printing that I didn't even think of it, so you'll have to do without again this time. 

Mary and I also discussed some other print projects while I was there.  There may be another paying job,  print related, but that will wait until I have more time.  On her own, Mary has been working on establishing an art/print center in the JSAC building in Ocean Grove.  She owns a small roller press, lots of equipment, a giant sink basin with a holder I built for her a few years ago (see above), and she's thinking at her age it might be best to find it a home outside her house- a place close enough that she could access it when she wanted to.  She's willing to donate all this to the JSAC in exchange for them putting it to educational use.   She sees this as especially important because as part of a print show she organized a few years ago she was hoping to do some educational things with local schools, and learned to her dismay that Asbury Park has ended all art programs in their schools.  She had some meetings already with the director of our building and she was impressed enough with the presentation to discuss it and even show Mary a possible space this could happen.  This will take a long time, but organizing the program will take a long time, too, so this is not a bad thing.  And it's always nice to have a goal.  I'll update this space as I come to know more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Print Work

Most of the time I am making prints that I want to make, and I have devoted a lot of time in recent years to teaching, whether it be in a college classroom or in a workshop. But once in a while it is straight art for cash, using my skills to make a profit.  That could be commissioned work, or it could be pure labor.  Today was more the latter.  My most loyal student's oldest friend hired me to produce an edition of relief prints, pulled from linoleum plates.  The plates, paper, ink, and a press were provided.  The rest was to come from me.  

I've done this kind of thing before.  Several years ago a college student hired me to pull editions of 4 blocks (lino, wood, and MDF) for a show she had coming but due to an injury would be unable to do the task. At first she wanted large editions of each, then I explained to her what it would cost to make all those  prints, and it became 7 of each.  Since a press would speed that up, I brought Molly onto the project, which resulted in her getting almost half the money, but we got it done in a single day.  This time it was only 3 each of two linoleum plates, and I did it at the home of a former student who lived in Bradley Beach, and was able to have her small press moved downstairs.  Molly was not involved.   A price was negotiated with the artist, and a date negotiated with my student.

Today was the day.  I had my printmaking go bag sorted and in the car, and got up there on time.  She had everything ready, and air conditioning, which is very important today, as we are in a bit of a heat wave right now.  I started by making a template, a large sheet of paper on which I marked the size and shapes of the paper and plates, to make it easier to line everything up consistently, which is expected with editions.  Paper was sorted and marked.  Mary had a new can of Outlaw Black, a quality oil ink I have worked with before.  One thing I wasn't sure of was the paper.  It was a Japanese paper, with one side very smooth, and one more natural.  Which side to print on?  No clue given.  I decided to go with the inside of the roll, which was the smooth side.  I didn't like it, so I tried one on the rougher side.  Liked that better and decided to go that way.  Just then the friend called and I was able to ask her.  She said she didn't care. Rough it would be.

So we ended up with 4 copies of the first print.  Later prints went much faster, as the block had a bit of ink on it from the earlier prints.  Then we jumped into the 2nd print.  As with the first one, that first proof was the toughest.   The second was better, but the paper had shifted ever so slightly at initial application, and I decided it didn't meet the standards.  I had prepared 6 sheets of print paper, which we had used to that point.  My assistant was getting tired, and my back was starting to tire, so we decided to clean up and call it a day.  I took most stuff home, but left a few things there, as well as all her stuff.  Two more prints  to go. We have no real deadline here, so waiting a few more days won't hurt.  Driving home it was so hot I did something unusual- I actually put on my car's air conditioner.

Also got news that her friend may be coming back. She lives in Portland, which is having an even worse heat wave than we are, like 115 degrees and up, and no one has an air conditioner.  Her family put her up in a hotel, but it might be cheaper to fly back here and hang out with her friend in NJ.  Meanwhile, I'll set up another date to finish this one that is started.  No photo available today, as my camera is probably still in storage.  I'll try to come up with something for the next print session.  

Monday, June 21, 2021

More Ocean Grove Business


As we move through June I realize that I may have a woodcut class coming up soon.  I am scheduled to teach a second session class at the JSAC in woodcut printmaking, and as a reminder I've been getting the general emails going out on the subject.  I taught two sections of woodcut in that place back in 2019, the last time classes were offered there, or probably any other place, thanks to Covid 19.  But things are starting to get back to normal, and that includes a bunch of classes this summer.  All I have heard is that the watercolor class is full, and other classes are filling fast.  (the above photos are from one I taught back in 2019)  I recently inventoried and cleaned out the tote bag I was keeping print supplies in, in my car.  Further car cleaning turned up a bag with cans of ink that I thought was lost or in storage, so that is good to have.   What I didn't know yet was if there would be a class at all, and my email question was ignored, so I decided to go ask myself. After my weekly speech therapy appointment, I took the ride up route 35 to Neptune.  Unfortunately, it was decided to close 35 and divert us to another road going in the opposite direction, so it took a little while to get to my destination.  

I found Nichole and got the latest, which was while most classes were filling, mine was one of those still with no signed up students.  We have another week to go before the deadline, so we are hoping for the best. No class means I can delay the acquisition of a new saw for a little while. We also talked a little about Mary Lane's plan to donate a press and tools to the building, but it may be a while before she can come up with a plan to do so. Although the building still seems pretty empty, the phone list that was published last week shows almost no vacancies.  

Went to my Studio to see what I could find there, as the books and prints I used to bring to classes (if there is a class) are mostly in storage and I'm unlikely to see them in the next week.  As I expected, lots of blocks are available to show as examples, and a few prints.  My mother suggested that I see if the library has any print books of the famous artists, so I may do that tomorrow, online of course.

While still in the basement I ran across Bobby Duncan, one of our longtime tenants. (his class is also empty right now) He has also had a lot of illness, worse than me, but is making a recovery himself.  Besides the work he does for the building, he also is a professional artist, often working on commission.  Today he told me about one thing keeping him busy these days, a giant mural inside a warehouse/garage of the Circus Drive-In, so we had a new subject to talk about.

He mentioned a fondness for the Soft Shell Crab sandwich, which I made part of the subject of print I did a few years ago.  

After that, I headed home. I always have something to do there as well.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Ocean Grove Business


Today involved some things around Ocean Grove, even though I never set foot in the town, or left my own.  I was being treated to lunch by East Coast and West Coast Marys, the former a woodcut student of mine, the latter one of her oldest friends, as well as her collaborator in the East vs West print show we had a few years ago.  The lunch was a belated thank you for my help with that show.  And I did provide a lot of help.  I set up the original show at the Boatworks, making the original connection with then director Rebecca.  I helped East Coast Mary create the written proposal and helped with hanging suggestions.  When the BAC turned over their staff and the show proposers were looking for a new venue, I hooked them up with Nichole at the Jersey Shore Arts Center, where I have had a Studio for more than a decade, and the director was looking for shows.  I was part of meetings, and assisted with the hanging of the show.  Plus I had a few prints in it, helping to fill wall space.  Lots of other things as well.   I hadn't heard from my student for a long time, and wasn't sure if she was even still around, so I was glad to hear from her last week. 

Eventually they settled on a plan to pick me up where I'm living now and take me out to my local choice of place for lunch.  As part of it we would be discussing some print related projects they were interested in.  Creating potential conflict was that West Coast Mary was heading back to Portland in less than a week.  They pulled up to the house as expected, I got in the car, and gave them some options, from which they chose Squan Tavern, a local Italian place that has decent food.   Was there a few times with family during my convalescence in their house, and had some take out, so it's the restaurant I know best these days.  They both went for full pasta dishes and very much enjoyed them.  I had a nice sausage and peppers sandwich, which I knew would be large and tasty, plus not too expensive.

East Coast Mary had mentioned in emails that she was interested in water based color inks and using them.  I have almost no experience in this area, but I can figure it out.  The question is whether she should take my upcoming class at Ocean Grove, or hire me as independent teacher to work with her on it.  West Coast Mary has two blocks that need to be printed, but at 87 and not as physically fit as she was in the past, was looking to get small editions made. That much I knew before today. I've done the print for hire thing in the past, but it's been a while.  I tried looking up my old email communications related to that time, but I don't seem to have access to that account these days. 

However, there was a lot more to be learned.  The blocks turned out to be linoleum, not a problem. And she is willing to leave them for her friend to ship to her later, so we don't have an immediate deadline, which is a big help.  She has paper, a Japanese style, which can tear easily if hand printed, but I didn't know if I would have a press available.  (Molly has a large roller press that we used for the last such job back in 2012, but I would have to excavate a lot of Molly's stuff just to get to the press and she would expect a big cut of the money made, so that's not my preferred option.)  Ink may already be available, and that and paper are big expenses, so that will bring the cost down.  There is no BAT, but she showed me some images of what she wants and discussed it with me, so I can probably do without them. 

East Coast Mary lives locally, so there is no immediate deadline on her color project.  Whether she would take my class or want to work with me independently was still up in air, and is partly dependent on if the class even runs.  What I learned today is that she is considering donating a lot of her printmaking equipment to the JSAC, in exchange for her (and me) being able to use it when needed.  Putting it in my individual space can't happen- Molly fills just about every square foot with things she doesn't want to get rid of. (see above photo as an example)  When visitors to the space comment on how messy and cluttered the place is, she just claims it is part of her working method, while finding other places in the building to actually work.  Another thing I learned is that she and Mary have a meeting with Nichole tomorrow, where they can discuss if there is such a place in the building, or to at least put the idea into her head. Another thing I learned today is that the Mary's are planning another show, and are looking for a space.  I don't know what space is available for either a print studio or a gallery show, but Nichole would know better than anyone, so the meeting tomorrow may be productive.  West Coast Mary may also want to donate some tools and equipment, which may help the deal.   I'll find out in the near future.  

I will have to give a lot of thought to all these things, and do some calculations.  In the short term, I was able to provide some ink information to East Coast Mary by email.  Turns out I know a lot about relief ink, having used it so much the past 30 years or so.  I have a bunch of print friends who have made deals in recent years to have special ink made to their standards, but also sold to the general public.  Some of these could figure into these projects. 

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Time to get to work


I haven't started any new work in a long time, which is mostly because of the brain surgery and recovery process.  Recovery is still going on, and probably will for quite a while, but I can walk fairly well now with a cane, have permission to drive, have my car as fixed up as it can be at its age, am done with my most time consuming therapy, and have had a few ideas, some of which relate to the events of the past 6 months.  So this seems as good a time as any to get something started.

Nothing on the schedule for today, and rent was due on the studio, so it seemed a good day to start the process.  My parents had a doctor's appointment to keep them busy, but I had no problem getting myself ready.  I'm going to save the details for the future, but I will say now that it will be in the vein of the piece shown above.  A New Year for America was the first of my pieces that combined many small pieces (which may have been separate prints in some earlier series) into one large print.  Since there is one overall message, it works.  This, and a follow up, Employee. were both 36" wide by 24" tall, fairly large by my standards.  I kept them black and white to make the combination easier to put together, and more logical as a composition.  Eventually this was followed by History of Art, which turned the print on its side to make it 36" high by 24" wide, but that was planned for color, and cut as such.  This new piece will use the same idea of combining many stories into one landscape, and the horizontal idea, but go back to black and white, be mostly an interior, and be at a smaller size- planned at 18" x 24".  Still a good sized print and will have a lot to see, but a little easier to print and frame.  I have been doing sketches of items and spaces that are expected to be part of this piece for a few weeks.

Today was a chance to get up to the Studio. First item- leave the rent check for Molly, as I had promised her by email I would.  Second, see if Nichole was in (and with her door open I could) and discuss a few loose ends regarding my summer woodcut class.  I quickly learned that I will be covered by the building's insurance and won't need my own (that's good- will save me a bit of money), and gave her the  official letter she had asked for to give the board.  So far so good.  Except that she informed me that so far no one had signed up the July woodcut class.  She's hoping that promotion of the first session will bring more people to exposure to the second session, and I hope so as well.  But this was what I expected, and why I wan't too upset that I wasn't also given a June session.

On my first trip in I had brought in my saber saw, which had been in the back of my car, in its box, since the last time I used it, which may have been last fall.  But I knew I also needed a yardstick before I did anything else, so I decided to make my next trip outside.  I had one other task outside the building- get a slice of pizza across the street. This meant a walk across our parking lot, down to the corner, across the road, and though the shopping plaza parking lot.  This last part was the most dangerous part, as people like to use the parking lot for racing, so one must take a careful look before stepping forward. But I have known this for many years, so I was fine.   What I feared most was also true- many employees go there on their lunch breaks, and in that 12 o'clock hour the place was packed.  But we all engaged in voluntary social distancing, and we all got served.  Took care walking back across the parking lot and street, so that was again survived.  The slice of pizza served as both a drawing prop for my new piece and today's lunch. 

Then my luck finally failed.  I pulled out my saber saw, found it even still had a blade in it, got one of Molly's plugged in extension cords, and plugged in the saw.  But it didn't start running. Tried the other extension cord, but same result.  Took the saw over and plugged it directly into the wall, but still no action.  Changed the blade, tried again, same result.  This saw just wasn't going to work and I knew of no reason why.  Other than the saw's age- it was used when it was given to me, and I had been using it since I was in Carbondale in the early 90's.  That will have to be dealt with soon.  

By then I had been there a few hours and decided to call it a day.  But I had gotten things done, learned a few things, found some more postcards and a disc I thought was missing, and had driven my car more than I had in a long time, so on the whole, not a bad day.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

2021 Tournament of Art ends

 This year's art tournament has been a strange thing to say the least.  The schedule that is, organized in an unusual way.  But the games have gone on, and the fate of my 4 teams was resolved last night.  What was surprising was that the first one out was the one I expected to last the longest- Illinois. As a number  one seed, I expected better, but it was out in the second round, to Loyola Chicago, from my Missouri Valley Conference.   LSU also lost in that round, but they were only an 8 seed, so not as much a surprise.  

Villanova made it into the round of 16, before going down to Baylor.  My last hope was Syracuse, who lost in the round of 8, more than I expected of them.  But they were the last for me for this year.  All that is left is for me to wait until next year.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

2021 Tournament of Art part 2

 Because of Covid, the basketball has been played on a different schedule than last year, but the first round of games is now all done. All four of my teams won their games and will be moving on.  

Otherwise there have been some surprises.  Ohio State got knocked out in their first round game against  Oral Roberts, which messed up my brackets pretty good. All the other upsets I got wrong (either predicting them or not predicting them, were just one and dones in my bracket, so not a big deal.  My teams don't play again until next week, so there will be no new news for a while.

Friday, March 19, 2021

St Joseph's Day

 St Joseph's Day has come around again, one of the holidays we celebrate here at Studio Arrabbiata.  Still no camera, so we will have to settle for file photo, but boy do I have a lot of photos saved on my computer.  Traditional food here is a zeppole filled with cannoli cream, usually with chocolate chips as well.  My mother planned to go out for some and asked me and my father what we would prefer- cannoli (ricotta plus sugar), custard, or whipped cream (I've had all three and none are really bad).  I prefer the first, my father was hoping for the second one.

Full disclosure- there was a possibility of snow today, so she went out on Thursday, one day early. And what she found was cannoli cream, ones looking like what you see above, except garnished with a thin slice of candied orange peel, a common thing on these. I decided to go ahead and eat it last night, as filled pastry sometimes isn't so good the next day.  Had half, decided I liked it, and just ate the other half. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

2021 Tournament of Art

 Last year Covid shut down the NCAA basketball tournament, so I couldn't have my annual art school tournament, but this year they found a way to hold most of the games, so the art goes on as well.  Same rules as before- a school that I have an art connection to (such as an exhibition) that is also in the NCAA basketball tournament this year is my ticket to this alternate dance.

My highest one this year is Illinois, which is a #1 seed in the midwest bracket.  I had a big show there in 1994 when the 2D section at SIU was invited to show work in the main gallery at Champaign-Urbana.  It was decided by the department that I would be showing my not quite finished Fourth of July piece on a large brick wall in the gallery.  Word had gotten around both schools.  (It was also decided by the department that I would be on the food committee for our school and not the hanging committee, as baking was highly regarded,) My solution was to mount them on foam core, then mount the big pieces of foam core on the wall using double sided sticky strips.  This proved advantageous when I arrived and discovered that my wall had outlet boxes. power strips, and other things that made attaching the large flat pieces of foam core difficult. Solution- cut out pieces of my original grid, and place then in other parts of my large format piece.  In the later MFA show, it was all on a massive wood construction and each day stayed put.

Meanwhile, I have Villanova (1997 exhibition of two saints as part of the Art & Religion exhibition), #5 out of the South, and like Illinois a highly respected team, though many have doubts since they have lost one of their best players.  How it will go for them we will see next week. 

After that I have a #8 seed from the east- LSU, where I had a group folio displayed in 2006.  Don't really know much about them, but websites think highly of them.  These 8-9 games are very hard to predict, can easily go either way.

Finally, an 11 seed from the midwest, Syracuse, where I had 3 pieces in an invitational show back in 2005.  Another program I know little about this year.

Games begin in a few days, assuming players remain Covid free.  If not, it could be a whole different tournament.


My sister-in-law came by to do some hair trims today, which meant the whole family came over.  The oldest daughter is the one who took my drawing class yesterday and something not unexpected happened- she had another shoe drawing to show me.  One thing I found long ago was that if people drew shoes in my class, it was not unusual for them to draw more shoes on their own when they got home.  My theory  is that the shoes they did in my class was the first drawing they had done since they were a kid, probably the first formal drawing they had done since they were a kid, and possibly the first time they had gotten any drawing instruction, and they were excited to learn they could actually draw something and have it look like the subject. Once had a student in my Intro class bring back a shoe drawing she had been working on for a few weeks, which she was very proud of, and her mother was very pleased, and they planned to frame it at the end of the semester.  Best thing she had ever done she claimed. On two occasions I had adult visitors come to classes to evaluate my teaching.  Two different classes,  but each time it happened that I was doing the shoe project that night.  I gave each a shoe and a piece of paper so they could participate.  Neither was an artist (it's sometimes done that way), but both took to it, praising my way of teaching the subject, and one emailed me that she went home and immediately started drawing more shoes.  I had given no homework, but some people can't stop with the shoes. In my niece's case, she draws a lot, but I don't know if anyone ever told her how to do the things I recommended, but she was trying it. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Back to School


For the first time in months, I had teaching to do this morning.  My brother had suggested paying off some of my debt to him (moving related) by giving his daughter some drawing lessons.  Since teaching drawing is something I have done for years, seemed a good idea. Plus, I had seen her work and I knew she was no worse than some of the college students I was used to, and possibly better that some.  And we could both use some practice.

I've taught drawing many times (the above photo is from one of my 2D classes from years ago) so I had a plan.  In college, drawing was often part of 2D design, or Basic Drawing, or Introduction to Art, things I have probably covered at least 25 times, so I knew what I was doing, and it always starts with shoes.   This was how my first art class began in the 1980's, and it still works. However this was not college, so the format was more like the adult school class I taught a few times in Ocean Grove last year. Started with the shoes then, too. They sit still and work for free.

In the past I brought a giant bag of old shoes (mine) and gave students the choice of take one from the bag, or take one off your own foot.  If they tried to just draw from a photo they pulled up on their smart phone, I put a stop to that.  Real shoes are three dimensional, and photos are already images reduced to two dimensions, so you are already losing a dimension from your source if you are doing that, and a chance to learn a skill.  I'm not even sure if my niece has a cell phone, so we went straight  to selecting a shoe.  (had some women's options from the ones dug from my closet a few weeks ago, which she selected-better anyway)  She had brought a nice set of pencils and stuff, so we were in good shape with supplies. A large pad would have been better, but most of my students at college don't have then on the first day, either, and some never get them.  With last year's covid related problems, we were given instructions not to hold students to materials and let them use what they could get, so I allowed any kind of pad, crayons instead of pastels, etc. Even gave some suggestions online for substituting, something artists have to do a lot.

The shoe lesson is pretty basic, like I said, something I've done many times.  It went well.  I was told I had at most an hour (at college, we have 3-4 hours to fill usually, but I can adapt) We just did the first three types of contour,  the most important ones. As I told my student, this is the starting point of all drawing, and with this tool she could eventually do anything.  From here it's just practice.  Next week we move onto negative space.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Are They Kidding Me?

 My spam box had a bunch of e-mails with the same topic, one that has popped up in the past. All were offering me the chance to make "prints" and other fine art out of other works I had.  Since my medium is carving images into wood, thus making art, they are basically offering to use a computer graphic system to reproduce my handmade work. The equivalent of running off copies on a xerox machine.  All deleted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021



My mother recently pointed out that I haven't posted the blog much lately, which I attribute to not being  in the Studio much lately. But then I realized that this is an important day in the arrabbiata calendar- Mardi Gras.  We do love the spicy food in this Studio, and I did make a huge batch of jambalaya for the occasion.  Cooked it up on Sunday to start making some room in my parent's very crowded refrigerator, and had some that day. And it was good.  But today is the big day, so I packed it up and put it away for a few days.  Now today is the big day, so I put some in a dish, and the microwave quickly bought it up to eating condition. Then go to YouTube and call up some zydeco to set the mood, since all my discs are somewhere in storage.  (some Beau Jocque and Rosie Ledet did the trick)  Jambalaya is one of those things that is better the next day, so this worked out quite well. 

Unfortunately, I still haven't found my camera yet, so above is a file photo from about 6 years ago,  but the new batch looks the same as this one, so you get the idea.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Captured Again

 Normally I follow up my new year's eve posting with New Year's Day talking about plans for the upcoming year.  However, I spent the morning in an ambulance, being hauled back to the hospital. Nothing so serious as last time, a slightly rapid heartbeat which is normal for me. But Mom freaked out and I was on my way.  Spent a long time in the waiting areas of the ER.  Asked for water but they didn't bring any. Spent a long time in an exam room. I was told that they were trying to figure out what was causing my fever. I'm  told that at first they thought it might be meningitis, but after observations, they decided it wasn't that.  Then they were isolating me for COVID, but after yet another test, they cleared me of that.  Then is was just more isolation.  (don't know if then ever decided what it was) In the following days, countless more tests- ultrasounds, CT scans, etc.  I thing there were 4 separate ultrasounds just on my legs.  Hospitals at night can be strange places- noises etc.  I woke up around 9 on Sunday, and every light was on bright.  Figured it was morning.   Got out of bed , started getting ready, and the nurses descended on me.  I told them what I was doing, and they told me to sit on the edge of my bed  for 5 minutes.  And that it was 9 pm the night before.  I've worked a lot of overnight jobs, and in most places they dim the lights at night, especially in places where people are sleeping. Did that and nothing happened.  Sat another 5 and nothing.  Moved over to armchair next to the bed (not even a full stop away).  I still didn't know where I was and why I was being kept. Two days ago I got word I was being released and couldn't get out fast enough.