Dec 22, 2010

Three wise men came from the East seeking free WiFi.

Dec 19, 2010

Dec 14, 2010

Same table as the previous drawing with different people.

Dec 10, 2010

People working on their laptops.

Dec 5, 2010

Elderly woman at the library

Dec 3, 2010

Nov 29, 2010

Woman wearing a jacket

Nov 25, 2010

A not very interesting guy

Nov 22, 2010

Nov 15, 2010

Nov 13, 2010

Nov 7, 2010

off topic: Hockey and Fried Chicken Fingers

Three long weeks passed before I saw Flutter again. Of course this bothered me, as well as our sporadic and infrequent contact. I was annoyed with her, but when she emailed and invited me to the Rangers vs. Chicago game at Madison Square Garden, all was forgotten and I came running like a puppy.

She met me on Monday after work. I watched her arrival through the glass doors, strolling right out of an episode of LA Law. She was a bit tense from work. I carried her laptop for her. When Flutter handed the tickets to the attendant at the turnstile, he joked at me boisterously. "How do you do it? I keep wanting a beautiful woman to take me to a Rangers game but it never happens!"

The game was great even though I have no interest in hockey. We sat in the stands and chatted and kissed and held hands. We speculated on what our impressions of each other might have been had we met in college. We talked about relationships. She told me that I'm a very warm person. At the intermission, we went to the concession stand and ordered fried chicken fingers and fries. Back in the stands we discussed her friend who is in an unhappy relationship and only sees her boyfriend once or twice a month. I agreed that it wasn't often enough and is too distant. I'm not sure if she saw my subtext.

At the end of the evening, I saw her off at her train. Lots of kissing on the platform while waiting. "I hope I see you soon" I said and she nodded enthusiastically.


I haven't heard from her since Tuesday and I am still skeptical and very cautious. As much as I want it, I have this intuitive feeling we aren't going to end up together. For some reason I can't picture us together in a normal relationship.

Nov 6, 2010

Nov 5, 2010

off topic: More on Flutter

Flutter came back into the picture via the site. On a Saturday evening in early October I checked my computer generated matches and one of them was a very cute doe eyed attorney. I immediately consulted Snafugirl and asked if I should email Flutter now that she is single. Snafugirl's answer was an emphatic "NO" and so I resolved to be strong.

The next day Flutter clicked to indicate interest in my profile and sent me icebreaker questions. It was odd contacting one another like strangers on a dating site since we already had a bit of history. My resolve crumbled and I sent a direct email the next day. Snafugirl had suggested making her wait 2 days ("Make the chick work for it a bit") but I couldn't wait that long. Flutter and I made plans and met the following week for dinner.

At dinner she was very polite and business-like but eventually we were able to talk openly about where things were at with us and about my concerns. I told her how I was cautious and that I had been upset by how things ended. I had a lot of questions which she answered candidly and openly. She told me about the relationship with the man that she had chosen over me. It turns out that she and the other man had been going through a similar emotional journey since they had both lost a parent recently (with Flutter it happened last year). It created a strong bond for them early on. She later discovered he had complicated issues which led to their mid-summer breakup.

I am still cautious, and there is an odd layer of unreality to our little story. However, I clearly remember what she told me– that she knew how strong my feelings for her were and she did not take that lightly. That if she'd known what she later found out about the other man, she would have picked me instead.

We said goodbye in the rain.

Nov 3, 2010

Two people at the cafe

Nov 1, 2010

off topic: The Return of Flutter

Back in the spring I wrote about Flutter, an almost love story that skidded off course and went over a cliff:

Boy meets girl
Boy has great 1st date with girl and begins falling for her
Boy has even better 2nd date with girl and continues falling for her
Boy has great 3rd date and things feel like they are really going well
Things inexplicably end with girl
Aftermath and crap summer

Recently there was an unexpected plot twist. I found myself standing on Sixth Avenue during a thunderstorm, kissing Flutter. She held her jacket above her head with both hands and looked at me with her doe eyes as she leaned in to me.

I am not sure if it's a jinx to write about it before things are more certain, but it's nice to be seeing her again.

More on this later. It involves hockey and fried chicken fingers.

Oct 28, 2010

Folks at the cafe.

"Stop picking your nose and stop fidgeting so I can finish my drawing!" I shouted at her.

Okay I didn't say it but I thought it.

Oct 25, 2010

Man at the cafe.

Haven't posted in a while but I've still been drawing, just not very well. I'm finishing up on a painting and as usual, the drawing part of my brain tightened up. I don't know why this happens.

Oct 13, 2010

Three people at the cafe.

Oct 7, 2010

Oct 5, 2010

Laptop guy at the cafe.

Oct 3, 2010

Asleep at the Brooklyn Library.

Sep 30, 2010

I've drawn this guy so many times.

Sep 28, 2010

Sep 26, 2010

Man at the park reading Maxim magazine.

It bothers me when guys who are not in shape wear open arm tanktop type shirts. They seem to be the only ones wearing these shirts.

Sep 24, 2010

Sep 19, 2010

Sep 14, 2010

A woman studying at the cafe.

Today I was thinking about the lifespan of a typical blog. A lot of blogs seem to die out after a certain amount of time. There is nothing wrong with it as it seems quite natural that a creative endeavor should have a finite lifespan, with a beginning, middle and end. It made me wonder how long this blog will continue. If nothing else it keeps me in practice and sharpens my drawing skills.

Sep 9, 2010

Man sleeping at Bryant Park

Sep 7, 2010

Sep 5, 2010

Two girls at the playground.

Sep 3, 2010

Man at the cafe. I've drawn this guy a few times.

Aug 31, 2010

Woman and child at the playground.

Aug 28, 2010

off topic: Blogger Secret Santa

Lifebeginsat30ty had the great idea of a Blogger Secret Santa where each participant writes on topics picked by another participating blogger.

Here's my topics:

1.  If you could change your profession or be anything else, what would it be?

If I could be anything else, and provided I had the ability, I'd be a surgeon. I once read an article entitled The Boy Behind the Mask, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature about an ace team of surgeons who performed an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous procedure to reconstruct the face of a boy born severely deformed. What I admire about the surgeons in the article is they do something that helps others and is meaningful and challenging. To be in a profession where one has certainty of that profession's importance and purpose within society is an enviable thing. The article is quite long, but absolutely riveting.

2.  You've just scored a big job, you've been commissioned to do a portrait of a famous actress, one you can't take your eyes off of.  Who is it and how does the face to face time play out.

Kate Winslet. I'd have her sit for a short session and photograph her, then work up the painting based on that. Then I'd have her sit again for the final stages the painting. It would be a portrait, 3/4 view with a dark background and luminous light. I would really focus on her eyes, since that is what I find most captivating about her. I don't think I would talk to her though, beyond necessary pleasantries. I prefer to see celebs through the filter of the media. I'm not so interested in meeting any of them personally. Maybe it's because I don't think I'd be able to relate to their reality since I live a rather ordinary life.

Or, I'd want to paint Salma Hayek, in the style of a Varga pinup girl. But then again maybe not. I wouldn't be able to concentrate and I'd want to ask her why she married that old French dude.

3.  Write a letter to your future wife. Tell her what it is about her you love and what it is you promise to always/never do.

Wow, that is a stumper.

This reminds me of a friend who, when she was a college student, wrote letters to her unknown future husband. Many years later when she married, she showed her husband the letters. He appreciated them, but I think she was a little disappointed that it didn't play out quite the way she envisioned it. She was an avid reader of romance books and in her future relationship she wanted to have the witty banter of a Nora Roberts book. She wasn't naive, however. Deep down, she knew it was not realistic to expect this and was keenly aware of how disappointing people can be. But she was a true romantic at heart.

I'm going to beg off this last topic, as I'm a tad superstitious. I don't want to presume to know with certainty whether circumstances and events will play out in my life that way. Poop.

Aug 27, 2010

Aug 25, 2010

A completely uninspiring guy at the cafe.

Aug 18, 2010

A semi-regular at the cafe. I don't like to draw him because he constantly picks his nose while reading. I would have chosen a different subject but there wasn't much available that night.

Aug 16, 2010

off topic: Summer Inventory


Paintings completed:  3

Pimsleur audio language lessons completed:  14

Bouts with acute viral pneumonia whose
duration lasted longer than two weeks:  1

Exercise workouts missed following recovery from illness:  0

Crushes on beautiful, doe-eyed attorneys
that ended in disappointment:  1

Friends who began new relationships:  7

Pairs of jeans purchased whose price exceeded 250 dollars:  2

Dates been on:  4
Resulting prospects:  0

Thought about ex:  500+

Listened to "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama:  20+

Severity of mid-life crisis (scale of 1-10):  9.3

Overall satisfaction with summer (scale of 1-10):  1.7


Just a few more weeks and the summer of 2010 will be over...

Aug 10, 2010

Aug 8, 2010

Aug 6, 2010

A girl reading at the playground

Aug 4, 2010

An elderly woman at the sketchy playground

Aug 2, 2010

A woman at Bryant Park

Jul 29, 2010

Woman at Bryant Park.

Jul 27, 2010

A girl at Bryant Park

Jul 24, 2010

Jul 21, 2010

The last time I saw her was October 13 of last year. We broke up the year prior, then tentatively began seeing each other the following summer. During our visits I felt the ever present uncertainty of how long we might continue.

I was in Montreal with her for a long weekend. On the last morning of my visit, we embraced before she left for work. I was to leave her apartment an hour later and fly back to New York. She hugged me in the entrance of her apartment and said she would miss me. When she closed the door after her, I looked around at the quiet apartment– at the unmade bed, the books on her shelf, the tiny cosmetics bottles in the bathroom. The contents of the small apartment merged into a hallucination of our life together as a married couple, a life that existed in a different reality.

If I had known that was the last time I would see her, perhaps I would have held her a moment longer and a bit tighter that morning. I want to go back and visit myself at that time and say something, perhaps offer some advice based on the nine months that followed. I don't know what I would say, though.

Jul 19, 2010

An elderly couple at the park. Not a good drawing.

I wondered if, when they first met, they knew that they would be together in old age.

While drawing the scene, I was reminded of another elderly couple I saw on a bus in San Francisco 14 years ago.

It was a sunny spring day and I sat behind them as the bus passed Golden Gate park. Sitting near the front of the bus were two young women of about twenty who seemed to be dressed for hiking in the mountains– flannel shirts, rugged jeans, no makeup, hair pulled back. Both wore thick, heavy hiking boots. The girl closest to us was the one I remember. She was extraordinarily beautiful. She had a chilling beauty that warped the immediate space around her. Imagine a 20-year old Grace Kelly in hiking clothes. Flawless skin, perfect high cheekbones. Her eyes were limpid pools of intense blue. She spoke to her companion in a European language I couldn't identify. The elderly couple was looking at the girls too. I looked away. Desire is the root of all suffering, according to Buddha.

The girls left at the next stop. The elderly man turned to his wife and commented.

"Clunky boots those girls were wearing," he said.

"God, she was absolutely beautiful!" the elderly woman exclaimed.

"Oh I wasn't looking. I just noticed the big boots."

"How could you not notice?" she said grinning at him with a knowing twinkle in her eye. "Shame on you."

He grinned back at her and I saw that they were flirting. I thought about what it must be like to still be so delighted with each other at such an advanced age, after many years together. Thinking about them makes me feel a combination of hope and sadness.

Jul 17, 2010

A drawing of an older man at the library.

I drew this after reading some statistics in a book on aging. By the time they are my age, 88% of men and 91% of women have been married.

As a child, I was somewhere in the middle of the statistical bell curve in terms of abilities. Not the smartest in class but definitely not the dumbest. Not the fastest runner but definitely not the slowest. Not terribly exceptional at anything (except music, but that's a whole other story) but able to get by.

I know that I tried harder than other kids at a lot of things. For example, in my childhood swim class I was the only one who could swim the entire length of the pool underwater. I was of average swimming ability and average lung capacity so the only reason I was able to do it was I just tried harder. Under water, as you complete three quarters of the length of the pool, you want to go up for air. But I just pushed through that feeling and kept swimming until I touched the wall.

The point is, I tried my best at something trivial like swimming the length of a pool underwater and I was able to do better than average. I don't know why am I so far down on the bell curve with something as important as finding a mate.

Jul 15, 2010

At the sketchy playground.

Jul 13, 2010

Woman at the plaza on 51st St.