Finally sold a painting! Have had about 10 paintings hanging in a swanky bar downtown for six months now. Got an email asking if the piece was for sale, conversed via email and settled on a price. And then comes the drama.

Told the bar owner’s assistant that I sold the piece. She was mildly upset because when we hung all the paintings six months ago, she had expressed interest and (may have stated outright) that she wanted to buy the piece for herself/ the bar. But I had totally forgotten about that. When I got the email asking if the work was for sale, I was more concerned about coming up with a price.

Today the owner of the bar called me and asked if I would reconsider the sale. He was (somehow) under the impression that his assistant had already paid me and the bar owned the piece. I told him I would feel pretty crummy backing out of the deal; the buyer had literally just sent the check in the mail. I gave him her number and suggested he plead his case to her. I haven’t heard back from anyone.

I feel terrible about how things have transpired.  My main takeaway here is be sure to communicate better with others. I could have avoided this whole mess if I had consulted the owner and/or his assistant first.

Next time I’ll have a plan on how to properly sell work.


Touting the Twofer

I love my library. I love that I can borrow books, music cd’s, movies, and magazines. So much information available for free and all I have to do is return it on time. What a deal! The best part is there’s a branch not far from where I run most often. So I will run to the library to pick up or drop off items – literally running an errand. That was one of my first “Twofers.”

A few months ago, I started doing hot yoga, aka Bikram. My right knee felt weak and I asked one of the instructors for advice on how to strengthen it. He suggested trying the Cr***fit workouts at the Hollywood Park location. Since it’s part of my yoga membership, I figured I’d give it a try.

I went a few times, and it was actually “fun.” It certainly wasn’t as aggro as I imagined it would be. (But that’s probably because it’s a beginner’s class.) It was like going to the gym, but instead of having to figure out what to work on, someone tells me what to do and I try to do it. I liked that aspect very much and kept going back.

It takes about a half hour to drive to the location, so I decided to put that drive time to use. I started listening to my Thai language audio tapes. I don’t know how well it works since I’m half paying attention (since I’m driving) but I’m going to keep at it.

So the yoga studio is next door, and I would always see everyone in there practicing. It eventually occurred to me that I ought to try a Twofer. I was concerned I would be too tired to do an hour thirty in the hot room, but decided to give it a try. It was tough at first (and still is) but I got through it. It’s not so bad and now I look at he Cr***fit workout as a warmup to the hot yoga. The best part is I don’t have to think about when to go to yoga, at minimum, I go Tuesday and Thursday.

Today, I’m going to do a new Twofer- running to Yoga. The Huebner studio is only about 4.5 miles from my house, so that should be a pretty easy run. The weather today is perfect: cool and sunny. Once I get some new tires on my bike, I think riding to yoga would be another great Twofer option.

I use Strava to log my miles, and recently started taking Instagrams during runs – another Twofer! – and I’ll include those when I get back.


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Another Painting “Well—”


15″ x 21″. The girl is painted with an asphalt based roofing adhesive.

I had used a material like this before, and really liked how dark it seemed. It was a bit hard to work with, as it wasn’t thinning very well. It took awhile to figure out how to make it work. It was fun trying something new, I will def be using the material again.

Don’t think it is as successful as the previous painting. I put in the text before finishing the face appropriately, and don’t want to go back in to rework it. But it’s nice to bang out another little piece, especially a semi-experimental one.

The frame is scrap molding that I had just the right amount of. It’s all rough looking, I’m not sure if that roughness should be fixed or not. Likely it will not be. :)


No. Freaking. Way.

Absolutely ridiculous ginormous pizza. With all the toppings, of course.
Absolutely ridiculous ginormous pizza. With all the toppings, of course.

This might be what’s wrong with America; we live for the spectacle.

My older sister (on the left) is in town visiting for a week. So the other night, she and my other sister (on the right) and my dad (wearing sunglasses indoors at night – no, he isn’t blind) and I (white hat) went to Big Lou’s Pizza. We’d never been there before and since they were featured on Man Vs Food, we thought it would be fun to check it out.

The place was packed. While waiting in line, we debated on what size to get. For reasons mainly of a touristic nature, we settled on the impractically large 42″ pie. With all the toppings, of course. The cost for this monster pizza and four drinks? $95.53, which did not include the tip.

We were seated and eagerly awaited our order. I noticed that the guy that brings the pizza out has a spotter that clears the way to the table. Several other tables had ordered the 42″er as well. We got our hopes up every time we saw the guys hauling out a pie. Then our waiter brought us these long rectangular platters for our pizza, and then let us know ours was coming out shortly. When the pizza finally arrived, our table was just barely able to accommodate it.

We took a few photos of us and the pizza. And then we ate. And it was really good pizza. I was keen on the olives they used. They were really olive-y. Likely oil-brined olives, not those cheap flavorless water brined kind. I devoured my first slice in no time and began working on my second. Chewing away at this monsterpiece, I wondered what it would be like to be Adam Richman, the Man in Man Vs Food. He’s always talking about hitting the wall…

And that’s when I hit the wall. After only a slice and a half, I was stuffed. I couldn’t eat any more, the joy had left the food. I was slightly disappointed. I felt I like eating a third slice would have been an accomplishment. Wait, what?!! I know that doesn’t make any sense, but I was high on pizza. My sisters and my dad hit the wall shortly after me. Final tally: my older sister and I downed two slices each, my other sister and my dad a single slice each. Half of the pizza remained intact. We packed it up and took it home.

*   *   *   *   *

So what to make of this? What lessons can be drawn from this experience? How does this relate to running? Does this relate to running?

Actually, yes. It does relate to running. It’s a writing exercise.

Specifically, I am trying to write in a clear and concise manner. Because what’s the point of keeping a blog if I can’t write clearly? How can my stories about running help you if I cannot articulate them? Just like running, or making art, I need to write regularly to get better at it. And sometimes, it’s good to do weird random things that you wouldn’t normally do, like write a little story about ordering a 42″ pizza.

(P.S. Don’t get the anchovies. My sister got them on the side = food poisoning.)

Postcards? Postcards!

Jennie in Chicago
This is probably going to Jennie in Chicago

You might be wondering what postcards have to do with running. It would seem not much. But some of the lessons I’ve learned from running are going to help me get my art back on track.

In my other life, I was a struggling artist. Ever since I graduated, I’d been attempting to make art on my own. I wasn’t part of any art community, and had no peers with whom to commiserate. I was creating in a vaccuum, and for me, that proved difficult. I was a decent painter, but I was always waiting to feel “inspired,” and thus my creative output was really low.

Similarly, it  can be hard to run on your own. Just finding the motivation to run is a constant challenge. But as part of a community of runners, it’s way easier to get motivated because of the support and energy you draw from your peers. Running with others also helps you push yourself harder than if you run alone.

Going to Nick in Hawaii
Going to Nick in Hawaii

I now realize waiting for “inspiration” to create art is, for the most part, utter nonsense. The “secret” to making art is to consistently make it, whether you feel like it or not. Not everything is going to be a masterpiece, but if you keep making stuff – and lots of it – you’re bound to turn out a few winners.

The same holds true for running. You can’t wait till you “feel like” running, you just have to go and run, whether you feel like it or not. And do it consistently. Many times that feeling of wanting to run only happens after you’ve started running. Once you warm up and get the kinks out, and then you realize, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” And if you run often enough, there are bound to be some memorable runs.

*   *   *   *   *

So… what about the postcards?

They aren’t paintings, but the process of making them is similar to how I make my paintings. They’re like a quick and dirty maintenance run. I’ve also thought maybe I should try to bring Running into my art, hence the running themed postcard. Making postcards will allow me to  ease back into painting. If you want to help motivate me, give me your mailing address and I’ll snail mail you your very own postcard!

And here’s another way I’m going to do it: set a realistic achievable 5k art goal. I started a small canvas the other day, and I am going to finish that puppy by the end of the month. That gives me exactly one week to put some paint on canvas. (Actually it’s on board, but whatever.) And since next week is a taper, I don’t have much of an excuse.

It’s crazy, after writing about art and thinking about art, I’m feeling inspired to make some art!

Recipe – Szechwan Slaw


Adapted from the Whole Foods Market Cookbook, an easy to make Asian style slaw that will get you to your RDI of vegetables PDQ.

This is one of my favorite things to make when I feel like I haven’t been eating enough vegetables. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been, which is why I’ve been sick. So do your body good and jam some of this into your gob, post-haste!

*   *   *   *   *

You may not have all the ingredients on hand, but they’re worth getting just for this recipe. This recipe makes quite a bit, so you can halve it your first go around.

The Szechwan Dressing

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/8 cup canola oil

1/8 cup toasted sesame oil

1/8 cup mirin

1 teaspoon Braggs aminos (or tamari)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flake (if you can get a whole pepper and crush it yourself, the heat is much more potent, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

The Slaw

3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

4 scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally

1 large carrot, grated

1/4 pound snow peas, sliced thinly and diagonally

1/8 cup sesame seeds

Prepare the dressing.

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl. Adjust to taste. Set aside.

Prepare the Slaw.

Combine slaw ingredients in a bowl. 15 minutes prior to serving, pour dressing into slaw and toss to mix. Serve.