Friday, February 25, 2005

I'm not like you, but I still like you

Today, Luke and I were told that we weren’t like other Americans. I think it was meant as a compliment. If you are reading this and you are American, sorry.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Nightlife in Munich

10:00 pm in Munich. I am trying to stay up for a while longer in an attempt to avoid waking up at 2:00 am. Luke is sleeping. Our room has 4 beds, a bathtub, a chandelier, 4 beds and a bathtub. The bathtub is not in the bathroom. It is on a platform in the room. Why a bathtub in the room you might ask? For bathing, I would say. I took a bath this afternoon and fell asleep almost immediately. I woke up and the water had cooled down a bit. My fingertips looked like white raisins. (For some reason I want to continue, “ . . . but they still tasted like fingers and . . ." etc.)
On the plane, soon after sitting down, the only other passenger in my row said, “Excuse me sir? Were are you from?” I told him I lived in New Mexico. He asked if I’d ever been to Germany. I told him that I had. Then he asked, “Are all the women beautiful there?” I told him there are plenty. “Because if the ones I’ve seen so far are any indication . . . even some of the older ones are attractive.” Then he asked me about the nightlife. I had to confess that I had only been to G-town (that’s what the cool kids call Germany) once and only for a few days out in the country. It was better than saying, “I don’t know nothing about no night life as I am a tea totaling, early to bed, late to rise, bird watching so and so,” which of course was my only other option. Except for this one: “You mean when you sit in your hotel room with your buddy who is sleeping with all his clothes on while you write junk on the computer? That nightlife? Its pretty good.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Four More Hours in the USA

I am uncomfortable asking for things – phone numbers, money, favors, help, beverages. Asking with a confident tone like, “Hey can you get me that number and while you’re at it bring me a pair of scissors, a cup of coffee and help me with the dishes. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it,” beats my method: “Hi. I, um, can you, you said that your friend – this is Jon - knew how to draw horses? Well, if, um, maybe you could call her or I could ‘cause I need, well, we need one, a horse drawing or at least a lesson in horse drawing but if you’re busy its okay we can find someone else. I’m sorry.” That’s the way I do it. This is what’s on my mind hours before leaving the country.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Good night, Chicago

It is 1:00 AM Chicago time. Unfortunately I am in Chicago and I am awake. Luke and I have been working on images for various projects since I arrived this afternoon. We have come to the realization that we are running out of time for the Prague Biennial. Tomorrow we are going to Germany, which will cut into our printing, framing etc. time. Yet it will also allow us to take pictures of stuff in Germany that will be in the show. Too tired - afraid I might not make sense. Good night.

And Dave and Allison gave birth to native New Yorker named Louie Kevin. He weighed in at 4 lbs or maybe 10 lbs and was somewhere around 15 to 30 inches long I bet. I haven’t gotten the details yet. Dave only says, "He’s good looking and skinny.”

Friday, February 18, 2005

I am stupid after all

While at the airport I reached for Pam’s suitcase and hit a woman in the leg with it. The woman said, “Thanks for the bruise.” I said sorry but then realized that she didn’t mean “thanks” and the remark was meant to be rude. I said, “I’ll pay for it.” (I don’t know what that means either.) She told me she was here on a ski vacation and something about not liking me hitting her in the leg. I told her she could have moved. Pam and I waited a while longer overhearing snippets from the woman telling strangers how I hit her leg with a suitcase. During that time, I saw a man barely miss her with his golf clubs. Finally Pam found her skis and we started to leave. The woman said, “Asshole,” as I walked by. I continued a couple more steps then turned around. I told her that I am not a mean guy and it was an accident. She said, “You are an asshole.” I told that I am not and was going to tell her that I have character witnesses but she interrupted and said, “Yes, you are an asshole. She told Pam that she is an asshole and that she hopes she “bites it on the slopes.” I stood very close to her, put my face almost against her face, and screamed and expletive that rhymes with yuck foo. She hit me with a few spastic slaps in the face, which was understandable. It was understandable because an angry man was screaming in her face. Then she said, “That proves you’re stupid.” So it has been proven.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The problem with writing about two unrelated subjects is coming up with a title

Soon, in about an hour, I am heading to the airport to pick up Pam. She is flying in from Boston to go cross-country skiing with me. She and I are both headed to Europe next week. I am going back to Germany with Luke on business and she is going to London for a grad school interview. I am very excited for her.
And in other news, Dave and Allison are having (or had) a baby. Dave’s email put it this way, “we are in labor.” This kid will be born in New York, which is cool.

I Have a Dream

Okay, I’ll tell you my dreams, for without our dreams what do we have? Or, “for it is our dreams that separate us from the animals,” which, if you’ve ever had a pet, you know is not true. My dog is lying on the floor dreaming right now. Night before last I dreamt I was running through someone’s yard and suddenly noticed about twenty Rottweillers sleepily looking at me. I turned around and hopped a fence into another yard marked, “Retarded Rottweilers.” I was not sure if I was better off with the retarded Rottweilers or the normal ones. There was another yard, which seemed the safest, marked, “Young Rottweilers.” I jumped into that yard. Then a German Shepard jumped from the retarded Rottweiler yard into the young Rottweiler yard. The G. Shepard scared me but ran passed me to the house to tell the owners about my trespassing. So I ran away. I woke up before I got home – or maybe waking up is the only real way home . . .
Dream number 2:
I dreamt that I returned a phone call from my friend Chuck, but when he answered I wouldn’t say anything.
I tell you these dreams because they are true.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day

Today was Robert’s acupuncture day, and like last time he fell asleep instantly. But that didn’t stop him from talking loudly and clearly. He was talking about (or to?) a doctor. I quickly jumped up from my reading and put my hand on his shoulder. I wanted to make sure he didn’t move with all those needles sticking in him. Robert said, “If you take your hand off me, you’ll see that I am sleeping…” Of course, I took my hand off of him. He continued, “and consistent.” For a while I let him hold my hand, which he squeezed with his iron grip.
It's hard to tell, with a man like Robert, and by that I mean a demented man, if a given therapy is working. He didn't know why we are at the doctor and when we were done he said, "Where are we?" He also said, "I would have liked to have seen the doctor some more." He seemed more "with it" after the acupuncture. But then he seems more with it one day and less with it the next. Or should I say more out of it? Which would an optimist say?

Midget Racer

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
This is the sketch of the new painting I'm working on. It is called "Midget Racer." It is a mid 1930's, alcohol burning, racing Evinrude outboard motor. The fact that it burns alcohol is not important for the piece. The painting is purely a excercise in aesthetics. I have a similar motor. It is a late 1920's, gas and oil burning, Johnson polluter.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Dog Fight

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Taffy and Gypsy got in a fight. Taffy was eating Gypsy's food and I saw them nose-to-nose in the food dish. It took a minute to register what was about to happen and when it finally did register I said, "Look at those dogs." That's when all heck broke loose. Even the puppies were snarling and barking. The fight was broken up before a real victor could be chosen. I am confident that – never mind; It's water under the bridge. This fight wasn't sanctioned. Taffy does all right in official fights.


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Even though Robert's memory is such that he cannot remember if he is buttoning or unbuttoning a shirt, he remembers to make one of these assemblages every day. Note the use of the cosmetics mirror and the magnifying glass. There is also a red and black sock in the basket.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Last night, while on the Stairmaster, I overheard a conversation between two women. They were both on treadmills talking about cartoons. One said she did not like cartoons. The other said, “Really? Sooby-Doo was good. Well, I like mysteries.”

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Our Morning Walk

Our Morning Walk
Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
This is Robert and Gypsy on our morning walk. Taffy and I are behind the camera.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Now that I have built a worm bin, I feel like a can do anything.


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
Now I'm totally into worm farming or vermiculture. It's my passion really. This pile of wood is soon going to be made into a worm composting bin.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Good Robert Givith and . . .

This morning, I woke up and Robert walked in wearing his bathrobe. He said, “Sleepin’?” I said yes. He said, “I’ll tuck you in,” and he did. It’s the only time I remember ever really being tucked in. He tucked all around the edges and then he did the feet. At last he gave my foot a little shake and said, “Well, I gotta get some shoes,” and left the room. Often when he is almost completely undressed he’ll say he needs shoes. He’ll stand in front of me in his boxers and a t-shirt and say, “I don’t have any shoes.” And I’ll say, “Or pants,” or, “You sure don’t,” or, “Shoes don’t really go with that outfit.”
But my point is, starting the day with Robert tucking me in made me feel so good. Until I walked into the kitchen and Robert was trying to be helpful by putting the lid back on the garbage can (which is not easy for him by the way). I knew that the person who took the lid off wanted it off because the person was preparing to empty the trash. So I took the lid from Robert. Just then the person walked in and saw me standing with the lid in my hands and said, “I was going to empty that JON,” And he or she grabbed the lid out of my hand. I cannot write in a tone as huffy as the original. I felt like the guy who walks in on a murder scene and picks up the gun just as the cops arrive. With a few words this person erased the wonderful feeling given to me by Robert. So I bought this person a peach turnover.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Sunday

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.

While at the bookstore I overheard a woman say, “Oh my God, now I’m getting a headache.” Then she said, “I hope I’m not getting sick.” Then she sneezed. She was straightening out the books. I walked by her and at the moment that I was closest to her she kissed her hand and pressed it to the portrait of Lance Armstrong on the cover of “It’s Not About the Bike.” I’ve never seen a store clerk kiss the merchandise.

And I bought a book. I bet this book has never been kissed. It looks like it is 30 years old. As you can see, the color is an old fashioned green – yes - that shade of green has been out of style for tens of years. A sample of Mr. Smith’s writing will make clear why I bought the book. From the introduction: “All birds are happy and freely tell you so. They’re the best of friends to cultivate and, with birds, that’s fairly easy to do.”
He refers to the birds as his friends. His oldest friend is the Meadowlark.

This morning I figured out how the puppies kill birds. They sneak up on the bird feeder and then suddenly bark (they do not gradually bark). This startles the birds so that occasionally one will hit the window and fall, stunned, to the ground. That’s when the puppies go for the kill. Did I mention that when I try to remove a bird from a puppy mouth the puppy will quickly swallow it? And did I also mention that the puppy will then throw up the bird? And then the puppy eats the bird again.

Go Niners!

I had a good title a minute ago

Robert is the master of the non sequitur. For example, Taffy licked a horse poop and I asked her to stop. Robert laughed and I said, “She likes to eat horse poop.” Robert said, “I didn’t realize they had so many, but the first one was beautiful.” Earlier I handed him a Russian olive, which he held in his open hand. He ignored the olive and described the color and the lines of his hand. “The groove is wonderful. . .” “It’s pink.” He said more describing his hand, but my short term memory, although much better than Robert’s, isn’t good enough to recall.

And for you birders or people fond of coincidences:
Sally, my sister, called from Seattle to tell me about a hawk or falcon that had just flown in front of her with a critter in its talon. We both thought it might be a Cooper’s hawk. As I was describing the distinguishing characteristics of the Cooper’s hawk one flew in front of me and landed in a tree; this one also had a critter, a sparrow, in it’s talon.

P.S. My dark eyebrows in my cartoon self portrait makes me look like Peter Gallagher - which I don't.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Another Assemblage

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
This is another one. He is looking over my shoulder now and recognized this stuff in the picture and asked if I have seen the one he made.

Daily Assemblage

Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.

Robert creates an assmblage every morning with the materials readily available in the bathroom. This is one of them. I like the addition of the socks.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Originally uploaded by Jonathansadler.
I joined the Jewish Community Center to use their gym. Tonight as I was getting into my gym clothes I noticed I was wearing this shirt. I case you do not recognize the lady it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is very unpopular with the Jews. I do not really know that, but I felt silly nevertheless. On the other hand it feels good, for once, not being the only circumcised guy in the locker room.


Today I took Robert to acupuncture. He was so good. The “doctor” asked if he would be able to sit still and I said he’ll probably fall asleep. He had to lie on his side and immediately fell asleep. He snored and talked and twitched while I watched him for 25 minutes. As long as I have known him, Robert has been an active sleeper; twice he sat up but I put my hand on his shoulder and told him he had to lie still for a little while longer. He said, “That’s right you said that,” and went right back to sleep. Doctor Jason (which is a westernization of his Chinese name, Jishun) seemed to get a kick out of Robert. Afterward, Robert wanted to know what he needed to know about what happened or what was happening – not sure which, maybe both. I assured him that it was a simple trip to a doctor to try and relieve some of his back-pain. Then we went to a coffee shop called Starbucks (I suppose it’s a reference to Battlestar Galactica) where he was still curious about his role in all of this and what this place has to do with us. “It’s all very mysterious,” he said. He's right.