You Won’t Have Nixon to Drink Around Any More

So we’re in Riverside Saturday night for an art opening (next door to the museum where Our Beloved Hamster was photographed), and after everybody’s done celebrating The Artist (and — ahem — his Book Designer, whom The Artist christened “Norwegian Jim” many years ago, which was quickly shortened to “Nojo”), the crew heads down the block to the Mission Inn, a swanky pile that was the destination back in the day when Angelinos took the train east to feel good about their wealth.

We’ve gotten shitfaced at the Mission Inn before, but it had been a dozen years, and we completely forgot about the exclusive Presidential Lounge, where, it is told, if you take in more than you can handle, Richard Nixon’s eyes start following you around the room.


Who is the Artist? Do tell, please. (And can you explain about your reference to the photographing of Our Blessed Hamster? Wha? Clearly I’m clueless about something important.)

@lynnlightfoot: Ed Beardsley. I’d link to the exhibition, but the museum is still running its website off Filemaker, and it’s down right now.

And the Hamster? You’re looking at it. It was the mascot when I geeked at the museum.

@lynnlightfoot: Or, to be more specific

UC-Riverside’s California Museum of Photography, where I geeked at the fin de millennium. (Ed founded the museum around 1970.) We had a “digital studio” on the top floor, chock full o’ screaming Apple G4’s, where students and kids were invited to create digital movies.

One day, somebody — I don’t think it was me — brought a battery hamster into the joint, and we adopted it as our mascot. Later, I was running a “webcam day” for the museum, and posed with the hamster in front of an iMac. Fast-forward a few years, when blog commenting begins, and I cropped that shot for my avatar.

(Not shown: Me to the left, wearing 3-D red/blue glasses. The museum has a substantial collection of historic stereographs.)

Saturday’s opening in the art gallery next door was for an exhibition of Ed’s paintings. I designed two book catalogs for the exhibition, one of which was a very elaborate year-long project. So I got to bask in some reflected glory, humble-bragging my way through the evening.

With under six hours to go, here’s my list for debate bingo:

$2 trillion
refers to troops stationed in countries like Germany
name-checks specific regions of Afghanistan or Pakistan
Osama bin Laden
refers to “red line” multiple times in single answer
one-on-one negotiations with Iran
Ambassador Stevens
Arab Spring/Winter
Muslim Brotherhood
Hamas and Hezbollah
refers to AQAP or other Al Qaeda affiliate
places China’s defense spending in context (e.g., 2% of GDP)
ticks off names of Pacific Rim allies
name-checks General Dempsey or other high-ranking officer
uses CENTCOM or other jargony acronym
refers to commanders, troops, or boots “on the ground”
refers to civil rights abuses or women’s rights in another country
anecdote about soldier he met or heard from
refers to having lived abroad
Russia = number one geopolitical foe
Assad = reformer
apology tour

I’m trying to tamp down my expectations, which are currently somewhere between “serious schooling” and “absolute bloodbath.”

@mellbell: Magreb (AQAP is so 2008).

I think Amb. Stephens will be off limits, by name, at least to Romney. Hopey’s met the family, so “Chris” will earn two fingers of your finest.


Finally, a speedball for each of us should the contender slip up and say “President Osama” or “Obama Bin Laden”.

@flypaper: Biden did call him Bibi in the veep debate, but I don’t see Obama or Romney going there.

@nojo: Many thanks for the info. (I have always wondered about your avatar, and now I know.) I’ll keep an eye out for your catalogs. There are several interesting things going on this semester at IU’s Art Museum; next time I’m there, I’ll see if the art library has your catalogs.

Oops, I see belatedly that when I first inquired I called Our Beloved Hamster by the wrong adjective of praise and veneration

@mellbell: You girls and your specificity! It’s adorable.

@nojo: Congrats. I just hope there’re no pictures of fuckwads like that… what’s his name? The one with the face you just want to punch? Mike Lee! I just hope there weren’t any pictures of him around. Or Millard Fillmore. Or Stan Getz.

@lynnlightfoot: Hamsters are the evil spawn of Satan. On the other hand, I planted 400 bulbs today (with a little help: picture me in a bath chair waving a stick) with another 300 to go.

I’m Mitt Romney®. I’ll say anything. Speaking of which have we seen that Tebowing has been copyrighted? What next? Sport socks and lube?

@lynnlightfoot: I’ll keep an eye out for your catalogs.

They were both short runs, and both immediately sold out. (Ed has lots of friends in the international arts community…) But I’m hearing chatter about a proper publisher picking up one or both, so we’ll see what happens.

And then there’s the one I’m doing as an iPad app. But that’s not done yet.

@Benedick: You’ll have to punch him in the back.

Heck, while I’m having fun…

Monsieur Souris

Ecce Homo

Downtown Riverside

These are all iPhone 5 panorama shots — you sweep the phone left to right, and the pieces are automatically stitched together. (Which means, if something’s moving, you get amusing effects…)

“Monsieur Souris” is a collection of paintings on cloth, with an elaborate story tying them together. The book version treats them as “found objects”, facing the “author’s” sketchbooks. (The cloth paintings are twenty years old or more; Ed spent the past year devising the “sketchbooks” in Photoshop.)

“Ecce Homo” is a collection of Ed’s recent paintings, inspired by George Grosz.

And the last shot is outdoors on Riverside’s downtown mall — the photography museum at right (CMP), and the gallery to the right of that. A block to the left is the Mission Inn — you can barely see its tower peeking out the trees.

The original pans are a lot larger — the new iPhone is fun!

@nojo: Awesome!! Finally. the geeks rule.

Plus, that hot hunk in the jeans. Just throwin it out there but do you happen to know if he’s available? I’m guessing he plays for our team because – duh – but he so looks like he would be into motel wrasslin.

@DElurker: Really? Shit. Don’t read Where White Men Fear To Tread unless you want to hate him and don’t already. I’m conflicted.

@Benedick: Spring is going to be wonderful at your place, clearly. How lucky you are to have someone to plant 700 (!) bulbs at your behest. The only year I planted anything approaching that many bulbs I had bursitis for months afterward. What kinds of bulbs are they?

@lynnlightfoot: I have a young woman come to dig and plant bulbs for which I pay her. But I planted a lot yesterday now that my foot is almost healed. It was one of God’s better days. I planted pale yellow and pink Darwins and double Angèliques, and white tulips along with black (Queen of the Night) and black fringed parrot. I put in a lot of Thalia, my fave daffodil, if you don’t know them them they look rather like white jonquils, extremely elegant and scented. I also put in a double daffodil with a pinkish cup to mix in with the tulips. Then there were alliums and snowdrops. I have a couple of hundred Dutch Master daffodils to plant this week and might buy a couple of hundred more. I try to plant about 1000 bulbs a year. The tulips don’t often come back but the daffodils are looking beautiful. I have a lot of room so 200 bulbs don’t make much of an impact.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment