Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Idiot's Guide to Jastin

I went to see a friend whom I’ll call “Jastin.” I had already heard that Jastin was a big reader so I was not surprised when I saw that he had a large library. However, I was surprised that all of the books looked the same. They were all yellow and black paper back books. Upon closer examination I realized the books where all different, vastly different in some cases. A small selection of titles follows: French for Dummies, Photoshop for Dummies, “Shakespeare for Dummies,” “Sailing for Dummies.” Eventually I found in a less conspicuous bookshelf some different books. When I tell you some of the titles you will understand, as I did, why they weren’t out in the open. These books were orange and had titles such as “The Idiot’s Guide to Mathematics,” “The Idiots Guide to Relationships” and “The Idiot’s Guide to Puppetry.” Jastin was understandably embarrassed about these guides for idiots. I wonder if Jastin started with the idiot guides and worked his way up to the books for dummies. I had never realized until then what low self-esteem Jastin has.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

short term birthday

My entire Albuquerque family picked me up at the airport this evening. All three of them. Robert’s wife and mother-in-law walked into the house first so when Robert and I walked in people were already home. Robert smiled and laughed and said, “ what a treat.” Very happy to see his wife after so many seconds, he gave her a hug and asked, “is it my birthday?”
Short term memory can be fun if you think its your birthday.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Back from Deutchland

We just got back from Germany and, regrettably, we had no Internet access so I was unable to write. For now I will mention that, while photographing a forest at night, I fell in a hole. There is reason to believe the hole was an airshaft for one of Hitler’s bunkers. It was dark though and the only evidence of the hole was the fact that I fell in it. My ribs met a log to break my fall. Due to a nagging cough I was reminded of my recently bruised ribs for the rest of the trip. I fear this reminder may last a few more days.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Chicago USA

Chicago: snowing. Me: sick. New Catalogue: flying to Munich tonight.
I like being able to refer to me, Luke, Ryan and Joel with a title. It’s like being in a gang.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Injustice at the bookstore

I was in a bookstore when I came across, of all things, a book. I picked it up and a woman about 15 feet away said, “Sir.” I thought she had mistaken me for an employee and was going to ask a question but when I looked her way she said, in a perturbed tone, “That’s mine.” I said, “I’m sorry,” and put the book down. She gave me a dirty look and an almost imperceptible nod. It was the kind of reaction I would have expected had I walked into her house and started browsing her personal library. I had to respond. I said, “You’ll want to be careful bringing books into a bookstore, you might loose them among the other books - sort of like bringing trees into a forest. Also, someone might think you stole it.” Then she tried to explain that she didn’t bring the book, she was going to buy it. I told her I knew what she meant and that I was just repaying her rudeness with smart-aleck remarks.

The fall-out from her rudeness was that it put me in a bad mood and ruined my bookstore experience. I wish I really had said that stuff instead of walking away, seething.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

If I were French I'd be speaking in French

this is an audio post - click to play

I will attempt to transcribe Robert’s monologue. Listen and read along:

"I have a different [?]. To working in exactly from the from the papers. That gets us now probably to a hundred hundred photos color for five hundred photos [not sure] uh if you were to do it that way it would be very long maybe miles and he deals he could go in and do the practice dress for hey any step I’ve been working on it goes a little like this you could get in there and he turns out to be this man – that’s right, two mens we had the most fun or the only fun having there for a long time I drop ya from the head of a – Well I can when I get my breathing and all those things go from there’s name for names and names of kinds of things that are happening, we wouldn’t know what they ‘re talking about but if I were French I’d be in speaking French on stage. Um, through the h-h-he keeps looking back to see how close he is to who? I don’t know who is. I tried all this morning to – remember when we were cutting the guts out of the magazine and reassembled it? It's-it's what I’m trying to do here with with this because I’m the kind of acoustics we were in that cabin, oh, see I can’t say I don’t know why I’m blaming myself but is like but but its damaging me I can’t get do the job my job’s [garbled] you look over here and these two [?] have been taken off."

I was not sure where to put punctuation. When in doubt I left it out. This is the kind of discussion we have sometimes when Robert has to go to the bathroom. It can be rather one-sided. When he refers to "he," he is referring to his reflection. Robert noticed that every time he looks at "him" "he" looks back at Robert. And I believe the "who" is my reflection.
I just tried to listen and read along but I couldn't veiw the text and listen at the same time. One might open a new window and view on one window and listen on the other.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The contents of my pockets

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
This is what was in my pockets by the end of the day. I could have made it look like more by emptying my wallet and coin purse. Next time you make fun of cargo pants think of this image.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Kangaroo Rat

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.

Kangaroo rats

Yesterday I went to the Bosque del Apache to see the cranes. I was told they would be there through November yet they were still there December 4th. (Which only strengthens my assertion that Sand-hill cranes do not use the same calendar that we use). I also saw Ruby-crowned kinglets, Loggerhead shrikes, seven Bald eagles, and thousands of Snow geese.
On the way home I decided to try another route to see more of this great state. I took highway 60 west from Socorro to highway 167 through the Alamo Navajo Reservation. Soon after the Reservation the road turned to dirt. I thought about turning back but thought I could use a little adventure and decided to keep going. After maybe 45 minutes I reached patches of snow on the road. Soon after that it got dark. I drove and drove for hours. I passed one building, a barn, but saw no houses. Three trucks passed since hitting the dirt road but no cars. When the trucks passed I wondered if the driver thought I was crazy for driving a Ford Taurus on this road. Eventually I reached a fork in the road and chose the left or “wrong” fork. The road descended, yet for some reason the snow increased. I could see the lights of a town ahead and knew that I would soon hit pavement. I drove a few miles and the town never seemed to get any closer. But the road did get muddier. The mud was getting deeper and deeper and the Taurus was fishtailing. The car didn’t just fishtail a couple times, it continually fish-tailed. I figured I had better turn around but I was afraid if I stopped I would be stuck in the mud. Eventually I had to stop and I did get stuck. I rocked the care back and forth and was soon unstuck and heading back up the muddy, snowy hill. It started to rain, which is good for mud but bad for people driving two-wheel drive vehicles that don’t want to get stuck in mud. To my surprise, I saw headlights coming up behind me. I stopped when I reached the fork again and waited for the vehicle, which turned out to be another truck. The people in the truck, a man and woman on their way to the reservation, pointed me in the right direction. A few miles later I hit pavement, sort of. It was deffinately paved at some point. I had a choice to go left or right and again I chose the left or “wrong” direction. But, on the bright side, I saw several kangaroo rats. The rats made the whole trip worth while, as rats often do. I turned around and was soon on Intersate 40 heading back to Albuquerque.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Robert's "friend"

Robert, the rest of my extended New Mexico family, and I went to an art opening at the University of New Mexico. As usual, Robert had to attend to his bladder. On the way out of the bathroom he saw his reflection. He said, “There’s my friend.” I said good-bye to his “friend” and he did too. Then Robert asked me if I knew that guy. He told me that he’s the guy who holds up the big mirror. Funny that he knows it’s a mirror but doesn’t know that he is the guy in the mirror. He told me that he is a great guy and funny. Then he said, “He lives . . .he lives . . . I wonder how he got here?”

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Taffy and friends

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Here is Taffy with Photo in the forground and Pixel in the driveway.


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
I have been getting thousands of requests to see Taffy. Pretty isn't she?

Cry baby

You know that feeling just before you start to cry? I do and that’s how I know when to fight it – make it go away. Do not suppose that I have been crying because of any sadness in my life. I mentioned a few days ago crying during the Ramones movie. Tonight I cried when Chas Tennenbaum said to Royal, "I’ve had a tough year.” And Royal said, “I know you have son.” I cried yesterday while listening to commentary on NPR about Bob Hope’s USO tours. The part that made me teary was when the commentator said that they ended every show with Silent Night. Silent Night is no mere Christmas carol. I couldn’t tell you what Silent Night is beyond a mere Christmas carol but I just tried to sing the first verse and started to tear up. The time that I cried the most tears recently was during an interview on the radio. The interviewee was a man who had made a film in which people read the last letter from their loved ones before dying in Iraq. The one that really got to me was a wife reading a “just in case” letter that her husband wrote before he died. It was a good-bye to his three-year-old son. I had to let the tears flow while listening to that or die too.
By now you may have noticed that all of my crying episodes are caused from Movies and Radio. So be it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Getting paid

Robert gave me two dollars today. I feel a little ashamed but I already spent over half of it. When he handed me the money he asked, “will this be enough.” I told him it was just right.

Postage stamps

After sending something priority mail today, the clerk asked if I needed any stamps. I told her I was trying to see if there were any commemoratives that I liked. I asked, “What are the ones with the woman holding the baby.” She reached for very recognizable Christmas stamps of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. I told her that I meant the other stamps with the mother holding the baby. The sheet I was looking at depicted an African American mother holding her baby. The stamps warned people to test early for sickle cell anemia. I can’t imagine referring to the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus as “that woman holding the baby.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Good night Robert

I am back in Albuquerque. Robert did not seem to notice that I had even gone anywhere. A few moments ago, as I was writing about the yellow rubber-band around my wrist, I heard Robert talking (he has been in bed for a couple hours by now). The talking got progressively louder and, for some reason, I got chills. I am not scared of him at all but for some reason I get nervous when I hear him up and about at night. The quick cure for my nerves is to go talk to him, which is what I did. I said, “Do you have to go to the bathroom?” No response except a crooked grin. “Do you have to go pee pee?” To this he smiled, laughed and said, “That’s funny.” It turns out he did have to pee. And, happily, he went back to bed on his own afterword and is currently snoring loudly. Good night Robert.


I wear one of Lance Armstrong’s yellow bracelets. I like seeing the yellow bracelets around. I saw at least three at O’Hare Airport last night. John Kerry wears one. Prince William wears one. My best friend’s girlfriend’s sister and her cousin each wear one. Lance Armstrong, Tom Brokaw and Cheryl Crow all wear them. It is really a rubber band that says “LIVESTRONG,” on it. I am not normally one who appreciates affirmations. Nor have I ever worn an emblem to support any particular group of people until now. Cancer people, I support you. I have worn an AIDS ribbon on AIDS awareness day. When someone offers to pin an AIDS ribbon on your shirt, how do you say no? “Um, thanks but I don’t wear ribbons. Keep it.” But the truth is, I am just as concerned with AIDS as I am with cancer. But until AIDS can get a spokes model as powerful as Lance Armstrong - not to mention a fashion accessory better than a ribbon – I’ll stick with the trendy bracelet.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Donna, I found the picture.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Phone

To my friends who called me from California: Sorry I was so - what is the word? - lame on the phone. Because I sounded destracted, Jason asked if I was surfing porn while we talked. No. I was looking at bike parts. I used to be famous for my unenthusiastic phone conversations. I have a letter that three friends wrote together re-enacting past phone calls. The letter is in the form of a cartoon. I do not remember what it said but it was something like:
Me: “fine.”
(Pause while waiting for me to say more)
Me: “yep.”
Me: “yea, you’d think so but I can’t think of anything at the moment.”
Me: “yep.”
He: “That’s something.” (the enthusiasm has left his voice.)
Me: “yea.”
He: “Okay, talk to you later.”
Me: ”bye.”
We both hang up our phones.
He: Jesus. Now I'm depressed.
Me: "HEY, guess who called!?. . ."

But now I think you will find my phone conversations exciting and perhaps even titillating at times.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


I am in chicago and Sister did recognize me. In fact, she is sitting at my feet trying to get into my lap. Only girls who recognize me do that.
It is snowing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

My loss, your gain

I was not sure if I should write about this, but bad news is part of life and avoiding it does not make it go away. I lost 75 million dollars in the New Mexico Sate Lottery last week. It might have been 83 million. Of course I am devastated. When I found out I drove around Albuquerque with no destination in mind; I just knew I did not want to go home and face my family. You may find this hard to believe but this is not the first time this has happened. The previous loss was in Illinois and the stakes were higher - much higher. The actual number has since left my head but I can tell you it was more than 100 million. You would think I would learn my lesson. Not so. But if you learn anything from this cautionary tale perhaps my losses will not be in vain.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
I am headed to Chicago for a week to see this dog. Her name is Sister. I haven't seen her since June so I hope she remembers me.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

My Bike

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.

I just figured out how to post photos.

End of the Century

Am I a pussy for crying during the Ramones movie? I think what brought the tears was the thought of how lucky I was to have seen them back in the 80’s, you know, before they died. Ironically, I saw them at the El Dorado Saloon in Sacramento and it was too crowded to actually see them. At first I could see their reflections in mirrors on the walls but soon the place got too steamed up. Whatching the movie made me wonder what line up I had seen. It could have been as many as three of the original band members or as few as two. What year did Dee Dee start rapping? I am sure Joey (Jeffery Hyman) and Johnny (John Sadler, I mean Cummings) where there. After the movie I felt pumped up, like after seeing Rocky. Remember how you felt after seeing Rocky? You felt ready to fight should the need present itself. You felt a little taller. Not that "End of the Century" is up lifting – everyone dies. Well, three out of the 4 original members die, but I knew this going in. It is like watching a J.F. Kennedy documentary; you know he’s not going to make it. The movie makes fun of other 70’s music like Emerson Lake and Palmer and Gallery, who sang that song, “Oh its so nice to be with you, I love every thing you say and do . . .” I actually have that record but I do not have many of the cool records they mention like the Stooges. While in the theater I entertained thoughts of shooting, with a gun, maybe a .22, my cheesy 70’s records when I got home. I wanted to be cool. But now that I am home and some of the initial excitement has worn off I think I’ll spare them.
You must see this movie. You will not have the visceral emotional response that I had though because I am older than you. I was there man. I lived it.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Why would anyone want a sticker on their truck of a cartoon character peeing on say, a Ford or Chevy insignia? I hate Ford or Chevy as much as the next guy, but that little spiky haired cartoon peeing on things is offensive. In fact, they bother me so much that I bought two for my Ford or Chevy truck so one can pee on the other. It makes me feel good to express my hate for something as I drive. I’ve never been one who’s afraid to wear my politics on my sleeve.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini

The discussion in my immediate circle lately - understandably, considering recent events in the Middle East - is how ugly Yasser Arifat was. I never noticed but the two people I was talking to assured me that he was a very ugly man. I countered that the The Ramones were ugly, particularly Joey. The woman I was talking to said that the Beatles were ugly, especially when they first started. I had to respectfully disagree. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have the opportunity to discuss politics, pop culture and the like with intelligent friends. I think I'd simply perish.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Darwin, Right or Wrong?

Did you happen to see the new National Geographic? The cover says, "Was Darwin Wrong? I was a little worried considering all the talk after the election about the religious right revolution. I looked up the article, which starts with the same headline, "Was Darwin Wrong?" over a photograph of a fancy domesticated pigeon. The next page has the word, "NO," in large, block letters printed next to a photo of a naked mole rat in a beaker. Also, there is a period after the "NO." Whew. So it’s final. What if it had said yes? "Yes, Darwin was wrong. A recent study has shown that God created life on earth exactly as it appears today, 5000 years ago at 9am on a Monday." To me, that would be as exciting (if it were true of course*) as if Area 51 was open to the public and there were flying saucers in the hangers being maintained by aliens.
I wonder what photos would have been used instead of the pigeon and naked mole rat. Maybe Jesus with that exact same pigeon on his shoulder. A pigeon that would be completely helpless in the wild, but Jesus would take care of him.
Now, I have always taken the advice, "Never talk religion or politics with friends," seriously. Until now. But in my defense, I have also always believed that belief in evolution does not negate the existence of God. Nor does it negate the possibility of divine creation. Take Darwin for example. He was a very religious man. He was even planning to be a minister until he found overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution (see The Origin of Species, 1859), and, could not, in clean conscience – I digress. And I lie. Both. The truth is, Charles Darwin was a religious man.

*Not if some religious zealots had taken over National Geographic for their own evil purposes. Not exciting.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Bird List

These are the birds I've seen in New Mexico: Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned hawk, Red-tailed hawk, Sage thrasher, mockingbird, robin, Chihuahuan raven, common raven American crow, house finch, black phoebe, western kingbird, greater pee-we, grey jay, spotted sandpiper, hermit thrush, downy woodpecker, great-tailed grackle, brown-headed cowbird, scrub jay, white-crowned sparrow, black-headed grosbeak, dusky flycatcher, ash throated flycatcher, white-winged dove, Rufus hummingbird, brewer's sparrow, Wilson’s warbler, black-chinned hummingbird, wood duck, snowy egret, cattle egret, mallard, gadwall, coot, pied-billed grebe, hooded merganser, spotted towhee, say's phoebe, roadrunner, swainson's hawk, neotropical cormorant, white pelican, kestrel, logger-head shrike, Canada goose, western tanager, blue grosbeak, American goldfinch, lesser goldfinch, western bluebird, white throated swift, western wood pee-wee, green-tailed towhee, killdeer, turkey vulture, yellow-rumped warbler, MacGillivray's warbler, mourning dove, curve-billed thrasher, red-breasted and white breasted nuthatches, chipping sparrow, Nashville warbler, Buick's wren, snow goose, canyon towhee, Dark-eyed junco (Oregon, pink-sided and grey-headed),sand hill cranes widgeon, ladder-backed woodpecker, American pippit, Osprey, gambels quail, scaled quail, ring-neck pheasant, more or less. Sorry, I got tired of capitalizing.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

TV vs french lessons

Let's say that I watch three hours of television per week. That is not very much considering most people in this country watch at least that much every day. If its true then, that I only watch three hours per week, I would say that I don't watch much TV. But if I studied french three hours per week I would proudly say, "I'm studying french."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Why Cabin?

Ever since day one ( and what's this, day 4?) people have been asking me, "why cabin?" Because someday I hope to be writing this on an old Underwood typewriter from a mountain cabin or from the cabin of a boat.
I know of a great little cabin in northern California and there is an old typewriter but I'm not sure its an Underwood. I am sure that its ribbon is dry. I think you need a thoroughly saturated ribbon to write a blog from a typewriter.
I have spent a few nights in the cabin of a boat and it is a perfect, cozy, peaceful and private place. Who wouldn't want to blog from such a place? Every night after a long sail I would make my entry in the ship's blog, "Gale force winds from the northeast. I had her hove-to for most of the afternoon. She lost a thwart. Thank Neptune for the scuppers." Send.
I'm sorry if I lost you with the nautical talk but when you have been sailing for as long as I have, or reading about sailing, okay listening to books on tape about sailing as long as I have you'll understand how easy it is to slip in and out of sailer speak. In fact just the other day while making a u-turn I yelled, "Coming about!" which was not necessary.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Robert's most recent art piece is dated 1943, which might lead one to believe that he has not been a prolific art maker. But one would be mistaken as this last piece was made this morning from the paper plate that had recently held his breakfast. Later I may post a picture of the peice but for now I will attempt a short description. It is a small paper plate encircled with a grapevine pattern. Robert made squiggly lines continued from the vines and wrote "E" and crossed out the E with three slashes, ///, and then
"= FU=
Tales- Test
You : " and then there are some curvey arrows. Along one of the edges he wrote; "Reisklay."

So read out loud it says, E=FU=tales test- you Reisklay.
It sounds smart to me. And it rhymes.

On the back of the paper plate Robert signed his name and dated it, 1943.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


As with most people in the art industry, I have another job other than the blissful creation of my art. I work for a man with dementia. For the purposes of this writing I will call him Robert. Robert is an artist and, by all accounts, brilliant. Unfortunately, I've only known him after dementia, AD. (He is sitting with me right now). In many ways he is like a child except where a child learns knew things Robert unlearns old things. For instance, he often cannot remember how to say he has to go to the bathroom and if I ask, "do you have to go to the bathroom?" he looks at me like I'm speaking in tongues. He still draws from an extensive vocabulary though so he might say, "No, that's not it. I need to defecate," or urinate, or he'll say he needs to take material (an artist word) out of his body. My favorite was when he said "...small brown - some a little bigger," all the while showing me the size and shape with his hands (some round, some oval). Then, patting his butt, he said he needed to get them out. He speaks of these necessities completely soberly and without the slightest embarrassment. When I take him to his room for an afternoon nap he sometimes acts like a really sweet little boy, eagerly hopping into bed, pulling the covers to his chin and closing his eyes, pretending to have fallen asleep really fast. Today he couldn't leave the sight of the mirror. When I asked if he wanted a nap he said yes but, "I have my friend here." I told him that it was his reflection in the mirror and he said, "Yes, the mirror person. He's great, he's funny. He's really interesting." Of course he is Robert, he's you. Then he said that he would sleep way over to one side of the bed to accomodate the mirror person.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I've been growing my hair or my hair has been growing and I haven't been cutting it. It isn't long by any means but there is length which means I have to figure out what to do with it. I tried putting a commercial hair-grooming product in it but I seem to have chosen the wrong one. I was looking for something that would simulate the look that my hair naturally gets after three or more days without washing - which is the case at the moment. The thing about showering is that when I wake up I think to my self "why shower, I am about to go to work and get dirty. I'll shower after work." And often after work I am too tired or lazy so I tell myself I'll shower in the morning. I already mentioned what I tell my self in the morning. I usually only shave after a shower so I could use the length of my beard as a barometer - when it reaches a given length its time to shower. But what should that length be? I do not expect an answer unless you happen to know how fast my facial hair grows. I just figured it out: if my hair looks good I should take a shower. And if my hair looks really good and my scalp itches I should have taken a shower yesterday.