Friday, November 28, 2014

MOONSCREAM 2






My plan to see and feel Munch’s work lingered in limbo until, spontaneously, it erupted in early September, timing coincident with fortuitous relevancy:  Munch painted his first Scream after becoming overwhelmed by a scream of nature inspired by a bloody red September sunset.  

So now I lay horizontal in a cubicle on Virgin’s Upper Class, hurtling through the night to London for onward travel to Oslo; a blur of a day in transfer and motion, and already the next night by the time I descend into that strange city (wrote another notable Norwegian, Knut Hamsun) no one escapes from until it has left its mark.

Through the journey, I contemplated Munch.

Munch had sat at his mother’s bedside at the age of three and watched her cough blood and die from tuberculosis.

Heartbreak doesn’t even begin to describe such a scenario, losing your mother when you need her most.

Eleven years later he watched his older sister, Sophie (who had probably become a mother figure to him), succumb to the same unmerciful disease.

Soon after that, Munch’s younger sister Laura began suffering delusions and hallucinations.  She was diagnosed schizophrenic.

In 1889, when his father passed, Munch wrote in his journal:  I live with the dead.

Munch considered suicide as an option, advocated by his bohemian friends influenced by the philosophies of Nietzsche.  Indeed, he set on a path that nearly had him drink himself to death.

All the while, Munch made so many enemies—usually through drunken binges—that for the last thirty years of his life he called Oslo “my enemies place.”

Munch survived it all:  the sickness and death, the anxiety, alcoholism, his own encounter with insanity, his enemies.  

And he lived to a ripe 80, leaving a legacy that includes a globally iconic image and a museum of his own.  

(Munch had no heirs and hated to part with his paintings, which he regarded as his children.  He left everything—approximately 1200 works of art—to the city of Oslo, which built them a temple.)


Thursday, November 27, 2014

MOONSCREAM 1





Edvard Munch (pronounced moonk) painted Scream, one of the world’s most famous paintings.

Munch was an early expressionist and fauvist, though his genre could have been called emotionalism.  He painted what he truly and very deeply felt, from imagery in his mind, striving through symbolism to reflect the secret life of the soul.

Good art provokes reaction; the truest art elicits emotional response.

Munch was a master at both, baring his soul, ensuring that those who view his paintings actually feel the anxiety and despair he felt.

His own words:  

For as long as I can remember I have suffered from a deep feeling of anxiety, which I have expressed in my art.  Disease, insanity and death were the angels that attended my cradle, and since then have followed me through my life.

Back then, no Valium or Xanax.  Only alcohol.  Munch drank a lot it.

He felt as he painted, painted as he felt.

It had not been done before.

Many who viewed Munch’s paintings could not deal with his honest emotionalism.  For some folks, it was just too unnerving, and highly disturbing.

Munch did not care.  He knew what he was doing and why.  And he also knew he was a great artist.



Friday, November 7, 2014

LESSONS OF THE BAR BIZ: Z






Z is for ZOO.

That's what bars mostly are:  Human zoos.





You've got cougars.












You've got rhinos….


















Lions.











A lot of apes...





















And the occasional jackass.









Saturday, November 1, 2014

HUNTER MOON






The human eye perceives and interprets.

The digital camera simply records.



ALL SAINTS DAY (AFTER THE RAIN)









ALL HALLOWS EVE



Threatening rain


Threatening




M-Bar


Bosom Buddies








"Will it rain?"





Summerland Winery






Lucky's











Rain, at long last





Friday, October 31, 2014

HALLOWEEN MORN IN MOODY MONTECITO






A pair of rustlers, rustling up some treats.



SAMHAIN





Halloween was originally a three-day Celtic festival, commencing All Hallows on the eve of November, which signifies an autumn transition between light and dark, day and night, life and death—and commences the Celtic New Year.  




It was—still is for some—a time to celebrate the dead, remember them, respect them, and hold close all that links you, the sum of your ancestors, to those who delivered you.












On All Hallows Eve, Celts tell stories of those no longer among us—be they relatives, friends, or pets—and celebrate their spirits by bringing out heirlooms and talismans handed down through generations.



Christianity viewed the Celts as pagans and threw up a smokescreen by adopting pagan holy-days as their own, which is why they have All Saints Day on November 1st and why they celebrate Christ’s birthday (a fabricated date) to coincide with the Celtic Winter Solstice.




Salem, MA


The Excorcist steps, Georgetown




Lucky's, Halloweens past






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LESSONS OF THE BAR BIZ: Y






Y is for Yelp.

Yelp, the review company, is aptly named.

Merriam-Webster's definition of yelp:  to utter a sharp quick shrill cry.

The review company Yelp certainly allows shrill crybabies to vent, but takes Merriam-Webster two steps further:

1.  Yelp allows fraudsters to post fake reviews anonymously.

2.  Yelp uses such reviews to coerce (some say extort) restaurants and bars to advertise with them i.e. pay them money to bury fraudulent reviews and highlight good reviews; if you don't pay, they elevate bad reviews.

We have no time at BoHenry’s for scams, and Yelp has proven itself to be one big scam.

Early on, fraudsters attacked us with fake reviews.

We have since encouraged customers to write genuine reviews.

But, truth is, we could care less what’s on Yelp, and we will
never advertise with them.

Some folks reside in a virtual world (Facebook, Yelp, et al), others in the real world.  

We exist in the latter and will endure and survive Yelp's filtered review system and laugh at the crackpots who post fraudulent reviews behind fake names.





SUNSET, STACKY'S SEASIDE, SUMMERLAND






…and Beaver Moon with earthshine.





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LESSONS OF THE BAR BIZ: W






W is for Well.

As in Well Liquor.

This is the generic booze a bartender serves if you do not specify which brand you want.

Always specify.

Never drink the Well.

Why not?

Many bars cut their costs by serving the cheapest crap they can buy as their Well.  It costs them about $6.50 a bottle and is as near as poison to any booze anyone can drink, easily disguised by mixers.

So don’t say, “I’ll have a Margarita.”

Say, “I’ll have a Margarita with Patron Silver.”

Don’t say, “Rum and Coke.”

Say, “Bacardi Rum and Coke.”

When I first bought my bar, most of the Well booze was a brand called Barton.

Never heard of Barton?

For good reason.




When I gave it a good look, I discontinued Barton and replaced it with Gordon’s gin and vodka, and Myer’s rum, low-end but highly acceptable liquor.

It may cost me more, but it’s gratifying not to poison my customers.







Monday, October 27, 2014

LESSONS OF THE BAR BIZ: V






V is for Vodka.

The most over-rated member of the booze family, vodka is odorless and definitely tasteless, without distinctive character.

This is why the market is now overloaded with flavored vodkas for immature drinkers.

Cran-appple, whipped cream and marshmallow are just a few of the flavors making the rounds.

Every once in a while a vendor tries to sneak in a bottle of this crap with an order.

I quickly discover their “error” and demand it be picked up.

Their invariable response:  keep it, gratis.

So there it sits on the shelf and I can hardly sell it for one dollar per shot.


Fortunately, there are many uses for vodka.  Just don’t drink it.





But if you must drink vodka, try 44 North, distilled in Boise the right way, using potatoes, and, coming from Idaho, these are finest potatoes known to mankind.