Tag Archives: vesuvio

marie antoinette and captain cool.

i recently wrote a post about the fish who live in a tank at the art store where i work.

i just learned the names of the fish that existed before i was first hired there (around nine months ago).

the fish have been named as follows ::


Bob Ross

Iggy Pop

Sargent Pepper

Sheena (from a song by The Ramones)

Lady Gaga

Michael Jackson

Larry (for reasons i cannot disclose)

celebrity names, yes – with the exception of Larry. only Liberace and Michael Jackson remain. since my last post about this fish tank, we lost another member of our aquatic family. we lost Larry the snail. my co-worker went to clean the tank one day only to discover that Larry the snail was no longer there. his shell was, but his body was missing. given Liberace’s past behavior, we have hereby assumed that she ate Larry. she must have sucked him up whole, in one bite, like a piece of sushi. had she thrown him from the tank (like we assume she had done with Lady Gaga), Larry would have very likely met the same fate as Lady Gaga. that fate being the sole of my shoe, stepping and slipping and crushing the soul on the floor.

today i am writing about two more celebrity named people i have just recently met. actual people, not fish.

marie antoinette is a lady who cruises around north beach. she may or may not be homeless. she’s told me that she is, but due to the cleanliness of her clothing and the new looking shopping bags that i’ve seen her cart around, i’m unsure. i ran into her tonight on my way home. she recognized me and had even remembered my name – which i had not expected. she’s harmless. she’s kind. she talks a lot, maybe too much. but she’s very sweet and well intentioned. tonight, she was walking towards me. i still have a crutch under one arm and she was wearing a neck brace. she stopped to give me a high five. a “we’re both crippled!” high five. she remembered my name, once again claimed she was homeless, and shoved this poster into my arms. this poster is old. a silk screened poster of a show that Elvis Presley once played here in san francisco. i stared at it long and hard, lifting my jaw from the pavement. “where.. where.. where did you.. uh.. find this ?”

apparently she got it from a friend, who got it from another friend, and so on. i know silk screens. i may not be an expert in antiques, but this poster looks like the real deal, like an original. i asked her over and over again if she was sure she wanted to give it to me. she said that she had no use for it and insisted that i take it. i couldn’t turn it down. she asked for “a couple bucks,” which i gave her, and she moved along. when i got home, i investigated this poster and its origins. and i actually think this thing is from 1969, the date on the poster. awesome ? YES.

and now for Captain Cool. no, it’s not the name of a celebrity, but i think he’s kind of a celebrity here in north beach. i think he may have suffered from throat cancer. or something close. he’s got one of those voice boxes that requires him to press some flesh covered button on his throat to speak. he wears tiny round wire framed black lens sunglasses, a tall top hat, a velvet coat, and tall leather boots that reach the top of his knees. yes, he is just as amazing as he sounds.

several weeks ago i was in Vesuvio on my lunch break. Vesuvio is an incredibly old bar, but the reason i go there on nearly every lunch break is because you are welcome to bring your own lunch (a cheap bagel, in my case) and you don’t need to purchase alcohol. if you’re me, you buy a cheap mug of peppermint tea and spend your hour lunch break drawing or writing. i now know the staff there well enough that i rarely even pay for my tea. i throw a couple bucks down as a tip for my tea and sit in a cozy and comfortably lit booth to write or draw for around fifty minutes. it’s a wonderful way to spend a lunch break.

on one such lunch break, i was seated near Captain Cool. i’d never met him before, but had seen him there on the regular, always sipping on a pint of guiness. (i asked him his name. he said it was Patrick, but that everyone called him Captain Cool. he said there was a story to explain that, but he’d save it for another time.) i was embroidering the image of a budweiser can when he approached me. he leaned towards my table and asked me (with his voice box throat) if i was a seamstress, to which i replied, “no. no. i use embroidery like i use paint. as you can see.. this is not well cross stitched or straight.” to which he replied that he was looking for someone to sew some patches onto some jackets he has. again, i informed him that i am a sloppy seamstress. straight lines are beyond me, with or without a sewing machine.

he stared at my cross-stitching and declared, “but what you have here is perfect. i like those imperfections. that’s exactly what i would want.” so i agreed. i gave him my email address. he said he wouldn’t be needing my services for quite some time, but would be in touch when the time came. that same day, i met a friend at Vesuvio after work. Captain Cool happened to be there, i nodded at him and he nodded back at me. the next thing i know ? the waitress came to me with two shot glasses filled with whiskey. she said, “Captain Cool wanted to buy you this round.”

thanks, Captain Cool. thanks, Marie Antoinette.

you certainly know how to make a girl feel loved.



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and so forth.

i’ve got quite a few things a-happening these days and they seem to be all good. which is entirely awesome.

first of all. the whole ‘home situation’ seems to have settled down. we have two new people living here and we all get along like a house on fire. perhaps the most important part of our getting along is the fact that we all have a good sense of humor.. and if you live with me, that’s key. if you do not understand or appreciate my sick, twisted, perverse, and entirely sarcastic sense of humor – well, we are bound to fail as friends and bound to struggle as roommates. so, as it stands, we can all dish it out just as much as we can take it. thanks be to god.

secondly, my job is on the up and up. if you are unfamiliar with my place of employment, here’s the run down. i work as a clerk for Artist and Craftsman Supply. we are technically a ‘chain’ store (merely because we’ve got over twelve stores nation wide), but we are far more like a family than some corporate nonsense (p.s. you should find us and ‘like’ us on facebook). we have, as of this morning, just signed a lease for a new space which is about two and a half times the size of our current underground-window-lacking location. the painting for the new space starts within the next week and i really could not be more excited about it. and you have to understand, painting the new space is not some Home Depot endeavor where we pick just the right shade of mauve pink for the walls. it’s basically a paint can free for all (with structure, naturally). our walls are multicolored works of art and i am stoked to be a part of it. show up in your finest pair of Dickies, dip your paint roller into some twenty different pans of color, and go ape sh*t on the walls. and i’m getting paid to do this. did i already tell you how much i love my job ?

as for my own endeavors. i have a painting i have just completed for this project called El Travo Callabo. wherein, five or so artists work on one wood panel. i paint on it, then ship it to the next artist. who, in turn, ships it to the next artist. and so on, until all is complete. there are eight or so panels in total that artists are working on around the country. once all is said and done, they will be exhibited in several different cities. here in San Francisco. i believe also in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and perhaps other cities as well. i was lucky enough to begin panel number eight and i made a painting of a mouse. a dead mouse. a mouse that my roommates found under our fridge last week while they were deep cleaning the kitchen. a mouse clutching a peanut. the photograph was so endearing i had to convert it into a painting. meet :: “under our fridge.”

i’m also taking place in a show at The Cinch (see piece below – apologies for crap photo). a gay bar on polk street. or perhaps i should call it a drag bar. regardless, my ever so talented friend and co-worker, Nick, has put together this fundraiser called Cancer is a Drag. yes, he’s very clever. Diane Arbus (my favorite photographer) inspired the piece below (from a photograph she took in the sixties). i am delivering the piece to Nick tomorrow and it will be on a wall for the next month or so.

“filling the void”

in addition. i will have a painting up at Modern Eden in June (see the elephant below – again, apologies for crap photo) and will have an entire wall to myself in July at a favorite place of mine called ‘Vesuvio.’ it’s a bar. it’s a coffee shop. it’s an art house. it’s all of the above and i am very excited to have my work on the walls there. it’s located on Columbus Avenue at Broadway (on Jack Kerouac Alley). it’s an amazing little joint and once i have pictures of the work i’ve chosen to exhibit, i will share.

“what gives?”

i’m trying to think of a funny story to tell you because, to be entirely honest, i feel like that’s the main appeal of my blog these days. and although i find pretty much everything amusing most of the time, i have nothing to share at the moment. nothing noteworthy at least. i’m currently listening to the George Baker Selection’s Little Green Bag from Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ it’s the song from their opening sequence and it’s amazing. i’ll share a funny story soon, but in the mean time ? i should probably catch my forty winks because i have a long week ahead of me.

[wood burning and acrylic on wood panel][acrylic and spray paint on glass][acrylic and pen on wood panel]


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