Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today was the last day of Clay the barista at Espresso Metro. His sticker portrait is the higher green one on the right.

Besides my usual Foodstuffs illustration, the art editor of the News and Review asked me to illustrate a piece called "Sacramento: where trends come to die." The picture shows such trends as the faux-hawk, cupcake bakeries, wine bars, the Posh Spice haircut, and 80s-style leggings.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Imagine a ten-year-old boy that has a real helmet from World War One! This one has a little cartoon bomb insignia, indicating that the wearer was a sapper (bomb defuser). The boy also has a straw boater from 1906 and several real pith helmets.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

This collection of tuba mouthpieces belongs to a man who also has spent the last several years installing a commercial-grade analog projector in his living room. It originally sold for $25k, but he stole it for $4k. He'll be able to use it again as soon as he repairs the wire that a rat chewed through.
He also has a screen that goes up and down automatically. In fact, it goes down when you turn off the bathroom fan. Something to do with relays.
A customer of mine got this painting in Bahrain while serving in the Navy. Apparently there are quite a number of Christians in Bahrain. The nun herself is rendered quite skillfully in a thin layer of paint, while the brick wall is done in a fairly aggressive impasto. I wouldn't be surprised if two different artists worked on this painting.
The customer couldn't tell me if this depicted a specific saint. Anyone know?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

As we often do, we went to the Ollings for Christmas dinner. Denise (right) made a huge batch of chicken mole with wild rice.
Chris Harvey, my old friend from junior high, sent me this amazing Happy New Year image.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Espresso Metro was not only open on Christmas, the employees were fighting over getting shifts that day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I devised a great way to paint the halos (haloes?) on the saint paintings. They end up looking precise but not too precise.
Joan looked like a snow princess at Espresso Metro this morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

This customer built a creche on top of the piano, backed by a quilt that her sister made. The star fabric has little grommets over some of the stars with LEDs in them.
From a local Japanese supermarket, the famous curry of Vermont.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nina Weiss had a painting residency recently and got to work in this nice studio.
John Cornacchia gave me a ping pong paddle for Christmas and has set up a table next to his house. Ping pong is not exercise but it sure is fun!
A local light display. The angel on the chimney has wings that flap.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A message in the window of Tower Cigar.
I was at a customer's house when I saw this grey tabby walk on to the lawn. He then proceeded to pee on my car.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We got this magnetic noteboard as a kitchen-warming present. Rachel and I gradually added more and more rabbits, and then she finished it off with a crocodile at the bottom right.
I saw this in a church... part of an art show. These figures, made out of horseshoes, form the Cowspel Band.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rachel and Jennifer made a wonderful scrapbook for my birthday. It contains memories contributed by friends and family from childhood to today. Rachel did the layout, including illustrations like the cover drawing in the style of Hirschfeld. Amy and David also made a video.
We had our holiday party Saturday and it was our best ever. There was a huge turnout. We had carol singing for the first time in years. Elaine and Perry led a stellar rendition of "Happy Birthday" before I blew out the candles on a delicious Freeport Bakery cake.
Patti Page concert 12/16/07
Click on thumbnail to see all photos
I played for Patti Page today. She still has it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Just like last time Rachel came home, the first thing we did was get Chicago pizza from Zelda's. This waitress was feeling the Christmas vibe. (Curmudgeon at the bar: "I wish I'd brought my scissors.")
The woman who bought one of my paintings from the last VOX show is buying two more, including this one.
My mother and brother Jon (above, left) are visiting from Philadelphia. Jon and I are going to the gym every morning and playing racquetball.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This guy had the most presents I've ever seen under a Christmas tree. And I've seen a lot of Christmas trees.
This is Doreen and me at the Unitarian Church. The concert went great. I really like the people in the choir. And of course I like all the old (and I do mean old) lefties in the Unitarian Church. A few of them are my tuning customers.

Our Christmas Newsletter

Voted best Christmas newsletter at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1892.
click here to read the whole thing

Monday, December 10, 2007

I get a lot of emails about penis enlargement...

...but this is my favorite ever.

"Your girl does not want to jazz it with you along of your male machine size."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This is a band playing at the VOX closing party. I ended up selling a painting to one of the other artists.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

As I do every year, I volunteered to wrap presents for Christmas Promise. As always, they had an amazing number of donated gifts. Here is a room full of kids' bikes.
I agreed to play piano for the City College choir on Sunday. ("Am I your last call?") In return, Doreen agreed to give me a kiss. When she dropped off the music, it included this drawing.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The last of the paintings that I'm going to be showing at Vox this weekend.
All the Christmas decorations are up at Tower Cafe. Here is Jennifer looking at the menu.
I found this card in a piano I tuned yesterday... I remember him well. When I first started out he was one of the old-timers. A fine old gentleman who also played the bass.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thai fish

We ate at a neighborhood Thai restaurant that has a big fish tank. Last time we were there it had a gigantic eel-like fish that ate goldfish. This time it was gone and the waiter told us that it had jumped out of the tank and died. Now there was a small fish that amusingly would follow your finger along the glass (see video).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I played at a memorial service where hundreds of people placed lit candles in sand. Afterwards, many of them, like this young man, took pictures of the candles on their cell phones.
This is the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville, where I saw the Second City touring company. It was their "Dysfunctional Family Holiday Show."
"Every family comes from a different tradition... but whether you call it Hannukah, Kwaanza, or Ramadan, it's still Christmas."
This was the fifth time I'd seen Second City and they never disappoint. They are my favorite performing group.
And here's another saint painting.
Here's a new painting I like, maybe called "Couple 1".

Friday, November 30, 2007

This customer has an extensive collection of Disney figurines.
DMV finally sent me the stickers to replace the ones that got stolen.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We got a Barbie catalog today. This pirate Barbie is $174.
I love the jokes that Taco Bell has on its taco sauce packets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This tree appears to be about fifteen feet tall. To decorate the top, they roll it over to the second-floor balcony.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm going to be playing (with John Skinner) for Joan Rivers on January 19. She's performing at an Indian casino near Woodland. All we have to do is play her on and off: two songs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rachel holding the "greatest pickle ever." (Musical theatre buffs: it reminds me of the smallest Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In a storefront in Old Sacramento that opens onto an alley, I found a record/antiques store that has old pinball machines, including this one, Toledo, that I used to play as a kid. Still two games for a quarter.
This girl seems quite happy to be denying me parking validation. A little passive-aggressive, I'd say.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I played with the John Skinner Band at the city Christmas tree lighting. Very disorganized and spontaneous but fun. The mayor was there, two local radio celebrities, and popular a capella group the Edlos. It got quite cold when the sun went down.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It sounds dirty but it isn't

Robin dropped in unannounced and helped with the cooking. Here she is buttering the turkey.
Rachel's new iPod cover. The other side is clear plastic so thin that you can control the wheel through it.