Browsing Category:


Not Dead Yet

Posted in Music, Travel

Phile Collins

M and I were in Minneapolis last weekend to see Phil Collins at Target Center. Tickets went on sale while we were on our honeymoon, so I had been preparing for this show for over five months. I’m happy to say Phil did not disappoint.

Without sounding too melodramatic, this show was a near religious experience. I was a little irritated before the show started. I’m getting crotchety in my old age, and I hate trying to navigate the mass of people at events like this. Once the lights went down and the music started, all that washed away and I actually became a little emotional. For the next couple of hours, I was in the House of Collins. Just look at this setlist:

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
Another Day in Paradise
I Missed Again
Hang in Long Enough
Throwing It All Away (Genesis song)
Follow You Follow Me (Genesis song)
Can’t Turn Back the Years
Who Said I Would
Separate Lives
You’ll Be in My Heart
Drum Trio
Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
You Know What I Mean
In the Air Tonight
You Can’t Hurry Love
Dance Into the Light
Invisible Touch (Genesis song)
Easy Lover

Take Me Home

The only song I wished he would have played that I know he still plays was “Don’t Lose My Number.” If I could hear any song from his deeper cuts, it would have been “I Cannot Believe It’s True.” Three Genesis songs more than made up for those two omissions, however.

Not Dead Yet

October 25, 2018

January Musings

Posted in Art, My Life, Travel

Hubert Robert

Stair and Fountain in the Park of a Roman Villa
Hubert Robert (France, Paris, 1733-1808)
France, circa 1770
Oil on canvas

I was lucky enough to get out to San Jose and Los Angeles last weekend for a quick visit with a friend. It was a whirlwind trip, but well worth it.

While I was in LA, we stopped by LACMA so I could see my favorite painting, Stair and Fountain in the Park of a Roman Villa by Hubert Robert. I honestly never thought I’d ever see it again in person. I will admit to feeling a little emotional when walking into the room where it hangs. I don’t know how anyone’s breath can’t be taken away when they’re confronted by it. LACMA did a good job in placing it. I would never have expected a painting so large to be in the room it’s in. It’s also the first thing you see when you turn into the room, so the majesty of it is only intensified.

Idle Hands…
We’re already over halfway through January! M and I have been extremely busy since the new year began. While it’s been great when counting down the days till the wedding, I think we’re both looking forward to a little breathing room in the next few weeks. Hopefully we’ll get caught up on some of the stuff we’ve been missing as of late (Goldbergs! Brooklyn 99!).

I just finished a four week oil painting class and while it wasn’t what I was expecting in terms of instruction, I did enjoy the studio time and pointers I picked up here and there. I like the fluidity of oil, but I wonder if I’m just better suited to acrylics. I’ve been able to establish something of a style in acrylics, while my oil work looks flat and smudgy, if that makes sense. I know there’s a steeper learning curve with oils, so I’ll keep working.

Let’s Talk About the Weather
Probably my least favorite thing going on right now, the weather in Saint Louis has been ludicrous. I was really looking forward to a nice, mild, winter after spending seven years up north. We’ve had some beautiful days here and there, but it’s been much too cold for much too long. I’m becoming desperate for spring and everything it entails. Only a couple of months to go!

I’m Hungry
I’ve been really trying to limit my caloric intake since 2018 began. It’s been hard because we’ve been busy, but I’ve managed to chip away at weight loss. I’ve also started using a step workout program, taking 5-10 here and there throughout the day to get my heart going. I’m hoping January is the setup, February is the ramp up, and March is the power through to April. I’ll be happy with wherever I end up on the Big Day if I can put in the effort consistently over the next two months. The only downside is my diet, so I find I’m hungry a lot, which makes me a bit more irritable then I usually am, lol.

January 18, 2018

Up in the trees

Posted in Art, Travel


M and I were out in the San Jose/San Fransisco area last weekend visiting a friend. While I typically stick to populated areas of consumerism on my travels, this time I wanted to get out into a nature area or two to see if I could find inspiration for future paintings (which, again, is the subject of a future post).

We took a trip out to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Friday before heading to Santa Cruz. While the size of the redwoods was extremely impressive, it was the undergrowth that drew my attention. Apparently redwoods are protected, so you can’t remove them when they fall. You can cut out portions where humans would walk, but otherwise, they just lay there. This leads to gnarly exposed root structures and genuinely exciting compositions on the forest floor. The sunlight shining through the breaks in standing redwoods and the intense pine smell add to the environment, making it an almost magical experience at times.

If you couldn’t tell, I was extremely impressed with the park. We barely scratched the surface of what Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has to offer, but even in the short hike we made, I now have enough inspiration for a number of future paintings.


June 7, 2017

LA cliff notes

Posted in Art, Friends, Travel


That’s me in front of Hubert Robert’s, Stair and Fountain in the Park of a Roman Villa at LACMA last month. It’s an impressive work, and I was not expecting to be quite so big. I turned the corner and BAM!, there it was. It was definitely one of my favorite pieces I saw at LACMA that day.

So what’s new? Nothing much. LA was great despite all of my friends having something going on. Jesse is a new father, Abe’s wife was in a terrible accident the week before I arrived, and my buddy Blake was suffering from some hardcore allergies. Despite all of that, good times were had. I appreciate their willingness to fit me despite the complications.

I didn’t get around to as many places as I would normally have on one of my standard trips, but I did manage to go to Anime Jungle in Little Tokyo, and both LACMA and The Getty. It’s probably good I didn’t get around much, because I spent a LOT of money in Anime Jungle. I’m still on my anime/manga/jrpg kick, so it was like heaven to be in there.

I had been to The Getty that last time I visited, but not to LACMA. To be honest, I did’t remember much of The Getty, so it was like a new experience this time as well. Both museums have some great art on display, but I’d give the edge to LACMA.

I had Korean BBQ for the first time. They bring raw meat to your table and you cook it there. It was great! We pretty much gorged ourselves. Blake joked he’d have to eat vegetarian for a few days after to balance everything out.

My friend Tobes from Calgary surprised me by showing up the first night I was in town. She was in LA for a few days after seeing the Flames play in Anaheim. It was the perfect storm, because neither one of us planned to be there at the same time. It was great catching up with her.


Since I’ve been back, I’ve been struggling with my interests. Really, I’ve been struggling with them for a while now, but it’s been amplified since I returned. I want to do more to break out of the routine I’ve established over the last six years living in Minnesota again. It’s hard to actually do something with my time, instead of sitting around all weekend playing video games.

I’ve taken up the traditional pen and paper journal again. Like here, I don’t write as often as I’d like, but it’s been nice to go through the physical process of writing. I’m hoping I can continue that regularly.

March 15, 2016

The German Countryside

Posted in Deutschland, Travel

This is probably one of the more epic shots of the German countryside I took while on our way to Salzburg. It’s amazing to me that villages like this exist. Sure, I’ve seen and been through small towns in the US, and they are impressive. This kind of thing though, living at the foot of the Bavarian alps, is a wonder I thought I’d never get to see.

If you’ve ever watched Heimat, you’d understand my fascination. Throughout the series, Edgar Reitz routinely cuts in shots of the German countryside at various point in the season. It’s this I really wanted to see at some point while we were in Germany. So it was an added bonus for me when we took our day trips. I got to see quite a bit of the area outside of Munich, and it only made my interest to go back even greater. I’d really like to explore the area outside of Hamburg when we go next spring.

June 20, 2013