Saturday, August 30, 2008


It's funny, getting older. It has been a bit of a while since the new tattoo wave surfaced, with it now cresting and reaching such epic proportions that I feel like a kind of pariah in my boring undyed skin. When I was a kid it was the odd World War II sailor, with anchors and long limbed ladies gracing their forearms that would sport ink. Usually by the time I saw it, the design would have decimated into a barely recognizable blur.

Anyway it seemed like only yesterday that I was making snide comments about my generation entering the old age home with cavalry lines of identical biceps bearing identical barbed wire and maori designs. Well, time marching on as it is won to do, when I was on the shuttle from the Vegas Airport last week, I sat next to an aging peroxide stripper/ alcoholic octogenarian who had some weird vedic affair twining down her arm. And I thought oh shit, if my generation is truly in charge maybe we are in deep shit.

Now this lady pictured above with said image purloined from some newly found tattoo website, her bold visage evokes a whole new series of questions, maybe we sail directly past piss off mommy and daddy and instead either land on colonize a new planet and speak a new language all the way to maybe fuck you all, I just don't give a shit. I am no psychologist and I don't even play one on the radio, but I think I will bet on major alienation issues. But as a liberal libertarian ( a very rare bird or so it seems) by god I celebrate all of your rights to color yourselves up with every crayon you can find in the box.

But give it some consideration please. You are sending very clear signals about your aesthetic taste. I suggest doing something unique. I think that flames have now flamed. We snobs are very judgmental about bad art. Remember that just because you can do something doesn't mean that you necessarily should do something. All that great calligraphy on your neck just might throw a wrench in your plans to eventually join that snooty country club. Reassess that epidermal rembrandt after a day or two of proper sleep and nutrition, and no alcohol, this is important.

Might be bothered by my jewish genetic coding. Torah wags its punitive finger at defiling the human temple. But hey,, when did I start following the rules?

The Call - Everywhere I Go

Probably my favorite 80's voice - underrated band.

The Stylistics

Gotta love this...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

Well, I don't know what this means in regards to the hotly contested eskimo vote, but the Republican choice seems to me to be a hail mary fourth quarter move of desperation. At the risk of sounding really mean and misogynist, we're talking about staring down the russkies, not baking cookies for the glee club. Maybe this is a last minute move of desperation to woo the distaff set already embittered by Hillary's slide. Very good looking, obviously very fertile, but...

Barack Obama Campaign Spokesman Bill Burton responds to John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate:

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same."

Need I say, she is a lot hotter than Biden?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Evie Sands - 1969

More Evie

Evie Sands - I Can't Let Go

Amazing Talent. I just discovered her stuff and she totally blows me away. Shred guitar player too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lucinda Williams - World Without Tears (live)

The Stranglers

"Greetings from Sin City"

Vegas Electric © 2008 Robert Sommers

Leslie and I got back from Vegas last night at about 1:30 in the morning. We were trapped in a traffic jam at the Venetian Parking Garage for over an hour and missed our scheduled flight to Ontario. We were on the 12th floor and descended every single level down at about a twenty minute clip. Totally exhausted today and ready to beat it home for a nap.

This was the twice yearly fashion week extravaganza for my wife, with me along as the cute arm piece. The place as usual, was teeming with gorgeous models and a generous helping of skin. The wackiness of previous years had been mellowed a little, thankfully a few less tattoos and mohawks. The preening hipster men in the biz are kind of nauseating for me, as well as the gangster thugs with the large sunglasses. Leslie managed to secure a palatial penthouse suite at the Palms, an incredible room, with views to Utah and beyond.

The Palms is a strange hotel, with an average age demographic of about 20 and many of the kids seeming to play parts that they had maybe recently viewed on reality television. I played at my favorite Casino, the Venetian and was frankly, on fire. I killed just about every hand the first day, and any machine I gently caressed gladly surrendered its earthly treasure. I can humbly attest that I may have one of the highest winning percentages there over the years of any gambler. I am solely a blackjack player and am often asked how I do it and its not really counting, its just the vibes, man. An older Jewish guy from Oceanside with a prosthetic leg, Lenny Silverman and I, sat, laughed and bs'd our way to some decent sized stacks and I left about 5 g's ahead.

Les and I found a pretty incredible restaurant that I had researched on the internet for dinner. Rosemary's is located about 5 miles out on Sahara and Cimmaron and was fantastic. I am going to blog about it on the Fallbrook Gastronomic blog. Phenomenal twice baked parmesan souffle. Outrageous meal, mostly locals. Honed staff.

We got back to the Palms and watched the Kennedy's speak at the convention and I fell out. Speaking of politics, I wore my Obama pin for the whole show and had great response, even from people you would never expect. Methinks people are ready for a change.

Yesterday I escorted my wife to the WIN show and then decided to revisit the scene of the crime at the Venetian. Bad decision. I found a dealer, Andrea, who decided it was her mission to teach me proper Blackjack strategy. After being trained by my father, one of the greatest players in the world, thirty years ago, I neither sought or welcomed her input which not only put me in a foul mood but eventually robbed about half my stack. I extricated myself from this harpies clutches just in time to almost redeem myself, ending up down about 8 somoleans from the previous days high. Whew! When you are in a hole its usually a good idea to stop digging but I thought that I might get back by way of China or something...

Ended up glad to be home in the middle of night, glad to be met by my loving dogs. I have come to the office today able to stare at some bills but without the requisite strength to actually pay any of them.

Speaking for my wife, I want to extend our thanks and appreciation for all the responses and condolences to her father's passing. It means a lot.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marvin Gellman 1929-2008 R.I.P.

Trampas © 2008 Robert Sommers

The conquering art dealer returns from the steppes and finds that his world has shifted and a major character has been shuffled out of the deck. My wife's father, Marv, has passed away after a lightning quick strike of acute leukemia. Barely a month top to bottom. My wife did a prodigious job of keeping it together in the midst of the greatest adversity, as did her brother and Mom. Moved my Mother in law into a new space in a matter of days and basically dealt. With everything. In a flicker the light gets turned off and we stand shaken and amazed.

Marv was a stand up guy who stood by my mother in law for over 50 years, the last 20 or so through her incredibly grueling bout with Multiple Sclerosis. He was in love with her until the day he died and I think was continuously seeking her approval. Sometimes he received it. They, like many of us, occasionally performed the dark dance but underneath it loved each other intensely and raised two amazingly decent and wonderful children.

Marv was a man's man and always viewed me with a touch of suspicion. I am an independent sort and didn't always do things the way he might have. We made our peace grudgingly and eventually learned to really enjoy and commiserate. He had a great genuine and hearty laugh and loved to be delighted by life. He liked cards and cognac, loved his friend Emil, his dogs and most of all his wife and children, who he was immensely and rightfully proud of. He made shopping an Olympic event. He was one of the greatest retailers ever and could read the activity in a mall like no one else's business.

The man liked a clean car. Paragon of personal grooming. Played the sax and trumpet in Detroit. World War II vet - M.P. Loved Stan Kenton. Owned a sailboat. Owned a winery in France for a sip.

Don't have a lot more to say. I got a chance to say good bye before I left and told him that he was a good father in law. Which he was. We would often banish ourselves to his office to escape the shrapnel and both felt a kinship that eclipsed our bristly exteriors.

Raise a toast to a good man, Marvin Gellman! A guy who knew how to enjoy life. L' Chaim!

If you feel the inclination, make a donation in his honor to the wonderful folks at San Diego Hospice.

Arthur Lee And Love - Alone Again Or

Johnny and Tommy Cash- Do What You Do Well/Six White Horses


Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Story So Far

The trip to New Mexico has been entertaining, if nothing else. I learned shortly before I took off Wednesday morning that I had to stop off in Palm Springs and deliver a painting so I took the 10 freeway instead of my normal route on the 40. I dropped over the beautiful pass at Anza into Palm Desert and met my client. My first portent that the trip was going to be an unusual one was soon to arrive. As I carried the large canvas in, I suddenly felt an excruciating bite on my leg. I looked down and his Queensland Heeler mix had securely fastened his sharp incisors to my calf muscle. I looked down in bewilderment. My client, who is a wonderful guy, was totally apologetic and explained that the dog was a bit of a head case. I was just hoping that said head case had all of his vaccinations, but principally his rabies shot. I hoofed over to Walmart and bought peroxide and a medicated bandage and applied them in the parking lot. My friend Dave suggested that I buy a Sirius Radio so I checked out the electronics department but found out that they really aren't portable enough to go in rental trucks without FM ports. Say I have to wait for new technology, I guess.

I continued on my merry way, with my leg throbbing and morphing into a panoply of pretty shades and chromas and headed towards Phoenix to stay with my friend's Steve and Sue. Went out to my wife's favorite sushi bar anywhere and tried some pretty exotic and tasty fare. We went up to my buddies deck where he had the most powerful set of binoculars I have ever seen mounted and checked out another old friend, the moon (which had never looked so close!).

The next morning, after a nice hike, I set off again on the 17 North towards Flag, which is one on my favorite places in the world and a place I will likely live one day. I feel so spiritually alive and connected there with the deep green Coconino Forests and the powerful cumulus cloud formations. Really love the downtown as well and the vibe of the people. I always think its a short hop up there from Phoenix but it's really two hours. I passed through gorgeous Verde Valleys and I reminded myself that one day I want to explore the area more fully.

When I headed out of Flagstaff I noticed that there were cops stopping cars every few miles. Jackbooted stormtrooper cops had several trunks open and were giving them the twice over with drug sniffing dogs. I nervously continued and the trip was pretty uneventful for about four hours when I had the sudden urge for a nature call. Eschewing the stinky rest stops I prefer to secure my bladder release on a lonely freeway off ramp amidst the natural elements and deisel exhaust as god intended. Then I decided to have a small attitude adjustment myself. I had a momentary thought that maybe the vibes weren't exactly right and thought through a few possible scenarios to my cerebral revamping but boldly plunged on ahead...Within 30 seconds of takeoff my engine light suddenly started flashing wildly and the engine lost all compression. Luckily I espied a gas station t the bottom of the grade and coasted in - only to find that it would be closed for a week or so. I called the rental company and they suggested that I wait a while and try to nurse it to Gallup. I started the van up and drove to a nearbye trading post on the road to Ganado. I bought a little road food and water from the absolutely gorgeous young girl. Bought the Navajo Independent newspaper which I haven't had a chance to read yet and wondered hopefully if my brief respite would reverse whatever strange course my sojourn appeared to be taking me. Wow, it had been decades since I had had a bad trip! The internal polarity reversal did seem to work, at least for the balance of the trip, which ended in a mad dash to the Fedex in Albuquerque to pick up some paintings before they closed.

My friend who bought the painting called and emailed several times, extremely apologetic and contrite and let me know that his partner suggested that my newfound canine pal and literal blood brother was obeying a deep seated atavistic command relating to his genetic penchant for sheep herding and I felt better knowing that I could simulate a stray ewe and help him better tap in to his inner commands to herd.

I checked into the Marriot, which was undergoing some sort of internal audit with all the regional jefes in attendance. I decided to try the in hotel restaurant, which was simply awful. I had a calamari appetizer with chiles on it and thought about calling the local gendarmes and having the chef arrested for inpersonating a cook. The asian stir fry was even worse. One of the General Managers stopped by and asked me how I liked the meal. I told him that he didn't want to know and he said he did, so I let him have the full cosmic power in true Sommers fashion with typical exaggeration and he eventually tore up the check.

Show setup and early opening was yesterday - sold some good things, generally exceeded expectations and all was going pretty swimmingly until about six o'clock when the sky opened up and water starting pouring out from the ceiling into my booth. I did a quick tabulation on the hundreds of thousands of dollars I had festooned on the walls of my space and started pulling things out of harms way. Finally waded through ankle deep water for the two or so blocks to my car, socks and shoes completely soaked and grateful that I bought a spare pair. Steve and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant, decided it was too clean and fancy and found a dive near bye with excellent fare, vegetable crepes and Clay pot chicken - yum!

So as I said, that is the story so far, we are supposed to get rain all weekend and I am trying not to think about the potential pack out nightmare sunday afternoon. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Stan was kind enough to send the following link This is a pretty amazing tool for constellation watching. You can dial in Navajo, Norse or other assorted cultural constellation choices including that old favorite, Greek. Check it out and play with it - tricky but you will figure it out!

go to the link and select your OS...(MAC or Windows)

In the configuration bar, the one that looks like a box wrench, along the lower left tool bar, select Location along the top of the submenu and choose a geographical area near where you on the map. Just needs to be close.
Choose Guereins as a Landscape to begin with, so you can see where the horizon is, and then, when it is dark out, you can drag the horizon left and right until you have come to a view that lines up to where you are looking....make sure you have selected Cardinal Points (the four pointed star) in the lower tool bar, which tells you your N,S,E,W orientation.
On my computer, the time sets itself automatically. Also, go to Rendering in the same submenu, and click on Constellations Lines, Planets, Nubulas, and the last four, the Ground, Atmoshere, Cardinal Pts, and Fog.
Select the first three items, or any combo, along the bottom tool bar, to get an idea of the constellations and the planets.

Tighten Up

Friday, August 1, 2008

Catch a bull at four

I am starting to feel like a painter who can never sell any of his work. (as long as he is alive, that is) Working in the blog vacuum, listening to my voice echo into forlorn and cavernous cyberspace. Hey I know, people have lives, don't really have time for what my friend Doug Garn in New York characterizes as my mindless rambling. So I will hereby as of this moment stop caring if you read or respond to my daily blog offering. See if you don't miss my witty entendres and crisp razor sharp insight. I'll show you...

I had an opportunity to put ads up on the site again this week but jerked them at the last second. It looked crass, they might even follow the scant readership around and institute some draconian form of editorial control and you know we just can't have that. And I don't need the money ( do I dare say that in this current economy?) I don't even have a hit counter but have received messages from a diverse and steady stream of readership and I thank you for your support and forbearance. Ricardo in Thailand even told me that the writing is getting better and you know how hard it is to get a compliment out of him...

I actually got linked to on the Crooks and Liars website this week. My lost sister in Virginia e-mailed me that she was suitably impressed. I like Crooks and Liars because I like Howie Klein putting music on the site like I do on this here blast.

Its been a bitter week for Leslie and I. Her father has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and has been moved into hospice so we have been making daily trips to San Diego. One of the fastest progressions they have ever seen and we are probably talking weeks. Neuropathic pain in all extremities and in and out of coherence.

Its sticky and icky out, kind of feels like Chicago and I woke up grumpy. I have to leave wednesday for Albuquerque and Santa Fe for too long a trip and my guitar playing sucks right now. I have to find a way to kill a week in between the shows. My space at the ethno show is a little bigger than a shoebox but I should shut up because business has been really good and I need to learn to chill.

Just came back from the lab for a pro time blood test and I am waiting til I get back from the trip for the dreaded cholesterol check as I do not like the Statins - they mess with my body.

I started a new food blog and a dining blog with a bunch of friends who plan on going out to nice restaurants periodically

I am in the market for a new laptop but will probably wait for the new macbook release next month as I think they are going to get cheaper. I want to be able to write on the road.

People tell me I look leaner after my two months without red meat but I still cant recognize the porcine blimp I see in the side profile in the mirror. It's like seeing a picture of the misshapen back of your head or hearing a recording of your voice that sounds like a foreign impostor. Who the hell is that fat pig? Leslie mentioned last week that vertical stripes were not appropriate at the moment because my gargantuan stomach is causing the verticality's to go convex.

I think I am close to needing a real vacation. If I come to Thailand, Shawn, are you going to ignore me?