Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Difference Between Men and Women

I was hanging out at my local watering hole, the Lone Palm, the other night, and started talking to a young woman named Bethany.

She was drinking a glass of water - it was late, and wisely, she had switched over from the spirited drink to the hydrating drink in anticipation of the morning after the night before. She asked what I was drinking.

"It's a French martini." She stared at me, the martini glass, and at me again. "What's a French martini?" she asked, with a hint of dubiousness in her voice. "It's a classic drink actually - pineapple juice, Chambord, vodka. Maybe a hint of lemon." Perhaps appreciating the combination, she then asked, "Well, you know what they say about martinis, right?" Quizzickly, I said, "No, actually, what do they say about martinis?" At this point, her friend, a tall red-haired gentleman with a neatly trimmed beard and haircut had wandered over. "Well," Bethany continued, "One is not enought, and three are two many." I laughed, as did her friend.

"But," I pointed out, "you realize that you're trying to tell this to me, a guy. I think I can appreciate a third breast, maybe even a fourth." Her face twitched subtlely, as if she had just stopped her eyes from rolling up. She turned to her friend, "well, what do you think about martinis being like breasts." He thought for a moment, "Three breasts - I can work with that." This time Bethany's eyes DID roll. "OK, I get it. This saying doesn't work for guys."

I was surprised to discover that this saying about the martini has been attributed to Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist... though frankly, I'm surprised that the saying isn't as old as, say, vermouth. Curiously, this also brought to mind the French idea that the perfect breast will fit into a champagne coupe - supposedly the coupe was modelled after the breasts of Marie Antoinette, and the dance troupe Folies Bergere used such a comparison for choosing their dancers.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Art Opening Reception for José Arenas, Philip Hua and.... Marta!

The other evening, I attended a first-Thursday reception for American Pastiche: Choose Your Own Adventure - Jose Arenas | Phillip Hua at Hang Art Gallery in San Francisco. Jose is one of my fantastic art teachers at Foothill College, and I rather like his work. The exhibition web site is here.

Amid the hustle and bustle, the schmoozing and networking, I happened to notice these two girls, completely absorbed in the creative process, perhaps inspired by everything going on around them, perhaps indifferent to it all.

I was captivated by their focus and dedication to their drawing. There's something pure about childish exploration.Many kids possess a single-mindedness and dexterity of engagement that many of us lose as we mature into adults. This is why it's often said that children make the best scientists, and why their artwork contains an élan that is elusive to many adults.

I was not the only one to notice this. The woman talking to these exciting new artists runs the Hang gallery (DJ Harmon, I believe). Well, she has a keen eye for emerging talent, and it made perfect sense to introduce the San Francisco art scene to the works of these two young ladies during this First Thursday event.

The drawing that's going up, is labelled "Marta, age 4 1/2. (NFS)." The collection of this evening's output from these two exciting new artists can be found here and also here and here