Saturday, January 30, 2021

"Puzzles and the "County Fair"...


Good "gray, potentially wet" Saturday Morning, y'all.

There's a song by Joe Walsh called, "County Fair." It's not one of those knock down, kick ass, get your blood moving type of songs he is known for. It's a song about puzzles that don't get finished.

I have quite a few friends that enjoy solving puzzles and do it rather successfully. I'm impressed. I am impressed because I can no longer sit that long to complete one.
Yesterday, I was posting back and forth to a friend that I've never met about someone we both knew and worked with all through the late eighties and nineties. I got into it enough to pull down my Daily Planner from those years in an attempt to ascertain times, places and names.
It was a trip to read and reminisce just like it was when I found those dainty prayer books the other day. It kinda sends you to another place, ya know? I mustah had ten books out on the table trying to sort out the pieces of my life and oh, so many others.
I never did find when we last worked on a presentation but the planner's telephone directory in the back of the book no longer had his contact information under the letter "B." in 1993. Although I had the pleasure of "reeling in those years" tying one job after another smiling at all the "peripherals" I eventually gave up any further research and had to let those old pieces remain unsolved.
Gone, in a way, yet not forgotten... We do remember the good times, don't we?
Later in the evening, I found out that another high school alum had passed away. That's three gone in less than one month. In a way, those pieces will never fit. I will probably never attempt to make them fit...
First introspective cup!

Copyright 2011/ Ben Bensen III

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

"Just A Four Hour Sketch"...

A four hour sketch...

Good "wacko" Wednesday, all bodies.
Finishing my first cup to the mellow sounds of "Mitch Miller Does Joe Walsh" while waiting for the ax to fall in Washington, D.C.
I might need a stiff brandy for a third cup.
Last night, my Vietnam vet artist friend called from the San Francisco area to see how I'm doing with Therese, Covid and government. I told him that he's no more discombobulated than anyone else and I proved it by trying to explain Facebook's photo inset policy... which is counter intuitive. Had about a hour's worth of hilarity.
I think he'll be okay.
My SoCal pal will be calling soon and I hope I don't have to talk him off the precipice... ha!
Yesterday afternoon, with the help of a scotch on the rocks and a whole lotta James Gang played over and over again, I decided to go "Craig Nelson" on myself by trying to paint a picture in sixty or so minutes.
Craig, one of my teachers at Art Center, does a demo in oil every Friday afternoon around 1pm CST. When I remember to check him out I always learn something.
Anyway, I barely got the drawing done in that time, but undaunted, I dove right back into the oils. I actually forgot how intense Cad Red Light is... Whoa!
Well, one hour passed, then another, and then another... Okay, okay, screw Craig 'cuz this is getting to be too much like work.
I found myself cutting lines with a straight edge even though that's not the idea. Once I paint a straight line, everything else will have to tighten up and it will take me four days instead of what was getting close to four hours.
Maybe the subject matter might have been a bit too intense for a quick study that I'll probably never go back into with changes.
Regardless how it looked, four hours was my limit. I walked out, turned out the light, had one more libation to watch Disney's "Cinderella."

Included with the painting is the original sketch I created from the Helen Guillet concert...

And, a photo I took which I used to make some additions.

Time to flip over to the B side of "Mitch Miller Does Joe Walsh"...

... and have another Cup 'O Courage!

Copyright 2021/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, January 18, 2021

"Just Another Melancholy Monday!"

Good days, good times!

Good "miserable" Monday Morning, y'all.

Not really.
It's a gorgeous morning. The contrast of the icy blue grass in the shadows against the glow of the sun is worth getting out of bed for. Admittedly, a cup of coffee, at first, helps!
Looking out our nook window passed the frozen bird bath I noticed a sapsucker hopping up our maple tree in a rather circuitous way. That's a way of recognizing them even if you cannot get a good look at them.
I started to vacuum the house when the Saints game came on. Lord knows it needs it. But, I just didn't want the season to end in the way I envisioned it. And, I envisioned it correctly.
Never mind the third game in one season jinx. They just seemed flat. The gadget play was fun but gadget plays are a definite indiction. No need for more analysis. Like all other "WhoDats" I just feel bad for Brees!
I realized that the game was gonna last well into the Radiators closing night at Tipitinas. I purchased a three day pass, so maybe I can cash in on that third night since it was all on virtual TV.
In hindsight, playing Tips without the usual raucous crowd in analogous to playing in the Superdome with only a few fans in attendance.
Still, I felt they were tired and going through the motions. Never mind their incredible musicianship. It is par excellence. I think they missed the boat by not being more engaging with the albeit virtual audience.
More about the concert later, I suppose since I fancy myself a "rock critic!"
Second "Martin Luther King Day" cup!

Copyright 2021/ Ben BensenIII

Friday, January 1, 2021

Friends Help Ease Into The New Year...

Good "New Year's Day" Friday, y'all.
I had a good day yesterday meeting, by chance, some friends I haven't seen in a while. One guy, Ricky McCubbin, singled me out as I walked out of The Fat Spoon in Covington. We were both covered with our masks on so I don't know how he recognized me. Ricky called me "Benny" so I knew he was from way back, but it wasn't until he told me who he was that I got it.
Naturally, we spent another half an hour catching up on the forty plus years that has passed us. The dude knows everyone in this town, I swear!
Shaking my head in disbelief, and with a full belly, I headed out to get some things accomplished. At the Mandeville Walmart I bumped into... actually, she bumped into me, Tanya Dischler. She looked too good and well dressed to be grocery shopping, so we talked instead.
We should've just put the baskets away and stopped by a Starbucks to continue our many topics. I don't believe I seen Tanya in over a year. Funny how we take such things for granted. When I had a gym membership at the Pelican Health Club, I'd see her just about every other day!
We joked about her sons concern and living alone with the pandemic. She said they suggested she wear one of those medical alert buttons on a necklace and the first thing I thought was, "it's gotta be fashionable!" Ha!
As we continued yapping and laughing away, clogging up shoppers in the produce center with those oversized grocery carts, in pops Kelly Fortier. I caught her zooming on by so I didn't say hello.
Twenty minutes later, she stops to say hello and then zooms by us with her booty amazed that Tanya and I were still partying in the produce section. We finally pulled ourselves away vowing to continue our conversation later... maybe next week.
Checking out of the store, a woman passed by me staring the whole time. There was, I'm sure a bright smile behind the mask because her bright blue eyes twinkled in a way that said I know you from somewhere.
As with my friend, Ricky, there's this momentary fog in your brain that just doesn't seem to comprehend what your eyes already know...
"Hey dummy, wake up... We know this person!"
And, we did, that is; my brain and my eyes did.
"Wait, she said, I think that I know you from... "
"Uh... yeh, but um... where?
I don't know if she was just being coy or too shy, but for sure, I felt like I needed a third cup!
"Your Ben and I'm...
But before she could say her name, I blurted out, "Julie Lemaire!"
From that point on we chatted for a few minutes reminiscing our times with our mothers at the Mandeville Senior Center. She was a retired nurse that came every Wednesday to take the vitals of every patron that passed through the doors.
My mom so enjoyed Julie's mom's companionship that when "Dot" died, I just had to paint a portrait of her for Julie. It sure doesn't feel like it was that long ago. She invited me to become one of her Facebook friends, so now it won't be so long between chats.
She was telling me that she's taking classes to be re-certified to help administer vaccines in the coming months. I think she's feeling good about that!
On my way back to Folsom, I stopped by an Office Depot to replace 2020 with 2021 though I'm not too thrilled about it.
Finally, a second cup!
Copyright Ben Bensen III/2021