November 15, 2021
September 21, 2021
September 13, 2021
Today is quite a day,
Happy to see it,
Wish he could too.
August 3, 2021
July 20, 2021
July 8, 2021
June 11, 2021
June 4, 2021
June 2, 2021
May 20, 2021
This museum-quality print was created from a 60” x 40” acrylic on canvas commissioned by my dear friend Jay, to honor his gone-too-soon brother, Stevie, a lover of Chicago, City Hall, and Jay’s six faithful labs, specifically painted for the walls at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles.
For those of you familiar with Chicago, you probably recognize most of the landmarks within, including the centerpiece of the painting, The Picasso sculpture prominently situated in the middle of Daley Plaza, where City Hall is located. As a kid born and reared in Chicago (we soon moved to Colorado when I was 6), one of my first memories is of playing on Picasso’s giant sculpture.
I dreamily recall being enamored with not just its seemingly familiar alieness, but also its massive slide, which made that spectacular form awesomely functional as well. As such, it was a welcoming early entry into the world of art that I now try to spend most of my time in. Hopefully that spirit of whimsical accessibility is conveyed in my own homage; certainly the labs surrounding the statue are filled with amused enchantment.
Granted, I couldn’t figure out how to extend a functional slide out of the painting, but hopefully it will help to extend a little moment of joy to anyone staying at the Ronald McDonald House in L.A., a brief respite from the most difficult of fights. To be sure, it’s a small respite, but it’s something, and that’s something. And with every print sold, that something grows. So head to adpock.shop to help spread a little joy, and hopefully receive some too!
April 21, 2021
The piece above was made with love and healing vibes for the kids and families that stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, so they can have something joyful to look at, and hopefully be inspired to believe that if pigs can fly, then they can get better.
As a middle aged man, I wouldn’t want to jinx my future self by saying the painting this print is based on is my masterpiece, but it’s certainly the best I’ve done yet. Granted, with all the time, energy, and love I put into it, I’d be pretty upset if it wasn’t.
The funny thing is, the painting wasn’t even my idea in the first place. My dear friend Kerri was talking with her rad Uncle Jay about what to do for his amazing wife Melanie’s big birthday, and they came up with the idea to create some art for the newly remodeled Ronald McDonald House, which Jay and Melanie hugely support. And since there wasn’t enough art on the walls, that seemed like a good place to start.
Not sure if I’m Kerri’s only artist friend, but I’m definitely her oldest, so she convinced Jay I was the man for the job. Now she just had to convince me I was capable of taking all the animals I’d been creating separately and putting them together into one big piece.
Which now seems like a great idea -- with sea creatures, land creatures, and sky creatures (including one soaring pig) all taking their proper places in the 6’ x 6’ triptych -- but at first I was quite daunted by the prospect. See, I’m not a trained painter, and had never worked on anything so big. Heck, I still feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants everytime I start a project (though I do have some weird innate confidence in the fanciness of said pants).
So flying was apparently always a theme. And I have drawn a lot of birds in my life. And pigs flying are on the first and last page of my MFA thesis script (which has since morphed into a novella, if you’re interested in publishing it). So perhaps this piece was waiting for me to paint it all along?
However it unfolded, I’m extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity, and for the faith that Kerri and Jay had in me to see it through, especially since I had so many doubts myself. In the end though, it was thinking of those kids that forced me to overcome those doubts. Every step of the way I was motivated by them, fighting for their lives, while hoping that my spirit could help in the smallest way to aid them in that fight. That’s why I’m sure it’s the best thing I’ve done yet, because I didn’t do it alone.
With Kerri and Jay's prodding and help, I had a run of 20 beautiful prints made from the piece, the first professional prints made from my work (which was a whole ‘nother learning curve). If you'd like one, you could also aid in that fight, as a portion of each print sold at adpock.shop goes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
February 19, 2021
Would that he could, but Alan could not. The world just felt too heavy to move. An anchor. A man of the world, perhaps once, now sunken by it.
Would that he could get up, but Alan had enough of rising. Enough fighting. Enough difficulty. And now the path of least resistance led nowhere.
Was it just laziness? To believe nowhere and everywhere are the same place?
If he couldn’t positively imagine himself rising from the couch, how could he put such an optimistic spin on his current, nowhere yet everywhere state? Who did he think he was? Buddha?
Even Buddha created his own happiness, his own rationalizations. Nirvana is but a state of mind after all.
But how practical is nirvana, given his current state of blasé? He really just wants to have fun. Which can only be done if everyone around him is having fun. Can fun even be if no one's around to have it?
Not like that. Would that Alan could live in that moment…
But it doesn’t last. It never has. A necessary law of nature?
Alan supposed nirvana superseded that law.
So maybe that’s what he’s really seeking after all?
But to find as much, he’s probably going to have to rise.
July 3, 2020
June 11, 2020
Finally do that hard work,
Topple the systems and symbols,
That fuel this hate,
May 18, 2020
May 5, 2020
April 20, 2020
April 9, 2020
No, we'll just skip it this year I guess, and look forward to going over to our lovely, generous friends Kerri and John's place, like we always do, as was this year's initial plan; indeed, the matzoh ball soup above was meant to be the evite art for the affair.
Yes, our friends put on quite the fiesta... for a seder. We say a few prayers, tell old stories, and celebrate life with a ton of delicious food and amazing wines — at least four glasses worth, as the good book commands.
Really though, without friends and family, the story's kind of stale, and its lessons seem pretty damn harsh. And the prayers are all nebulously connected to this God character I don't have a great relationship with at the moment. Okay, it was fading long ago, but still, my gentile wife and I didn't make last night in quarantine any different than the rest.
Today, instead of feeling hungover and desperately in need of leavened greasy bread, I just viscerally feel that lack of different, as though something fundamentally the same is missing. Without those times to look forward to, without loved ones to surround ourselves with and recount the stories that got us around the table in the first place... well, it almost makes me lose my appetite.
But we Jews know a thing or two about maintaining an appetite, and surviving plagues, as the Passover story reminds us. Thank God, as of this writing, my friends and family are still eating. Still drinking. Still sending and receiving love.
I know that not everyone can say the same, so I'll do my best to remain grateful, and realize I'm not exactly skipping any meals in isolation. That with distance, our bond shall grow stronger. And hopefully, if God and COVID-19 should see fit, we'll all celebrate together again next year, in Jerusalem, no doubt.
April 1, 2020
March 22, 2020
March 12, 2020
January 24, 2020
October 15, 2019
September 24, 2019
September 11, 2019
September 9, 2019
August 20, 2019
August 12, 2019
August 6, 2019
July 25, 2019
He was the alpha.
The pride of the family.
March 27, 2019
March 25, 2019
August 3, 2018
June 25, 2018
May 10, 2018
He's right here,
April 27, 2018
Right there, so close…
We’re just floating anyways.
All's light in all,
April 18, 2018
August 15, 2017
May 5, 2017
Billy bolts awake with a frown. Nothing like a worry alarm clock. He doesn’t mean to feel uneasy. But feelings have a way.
Physically speaking, waking is just hard. Particularly for one who dreams so deeply.
Fido, on the other hand, chomps the marrow at the bit, runs circles around the dining room table, leash in mouth.
Against such waking instincts, Billy rises. He puts on his pants. First one leg, then the next. Like many a great man, though not many a great Scott!
He slips on his shoes. Grabs the leash and poop bags. After some effort to slow down Fido’s circuitous sprint, Billy finally affixes his leash.
Which means it’s go time. Fido calmly takes his place next to his master, dutiful as a soldier.
They give each other that “go time” look, and hit the street in search of coffee.
Not two doors down, they spy The Scowler. You’d think two people and two dogs who see each other every day could at least do something to acknowledge as much. But that stopped long ago; she can’t be bothered to even scowl at Fido and Billy anymore.
The Wall Lady is a little better. She at least reacts to the duo, even if only to turn her back and build a human wall between her and her little rat dog, whose eyes roll back in his head as his little rat mouth froths with Fido-hating vitriol.
Fido doesn’t react, though, just keeps bopping towards Savanna, the barista with the dog treats.
Billy follows, though he’s sure Fido would like the little rat dog, if they could just get a second to sniff each other’s cute little doggie butts.
Billy gets lost in Fido’s swaying hips for a spell. Has there ever been a cuter butt in all the land?
“Who’s the goodest boy, Fido?”
Fido barks, though Billy can’t be sure if it’s a response or a warning about the oncoming gardener, blowing the grounds of the Mariposa apartment complex. Billy instinctively bows to the man.
The gardener is deeply involved in his blowing though, and doesn’t return Billy’s nod of recognition. But at least he stops billowing city dust in their general direction.
Billy walks on, thinking about home, where leaf blowers are as uncommon as people who don’t say good morning.
Homesick Billy snaps to in time to yank Fido away from crapping all over the gardener’s handiwork.
A few doors down, Fido finishes up his business when a very deliberate, neon-shoed jogger comes huffing uphill. Billy alertly moves Fido out of the way, then tips his usual “hello, my fellow man” metaphorical cap.
Alas, his fellow man seems very intent on his breathing and doesn’t notice. Apparently, the warm glow stops at his shoes.
Further down the hill, Billy and his dog finally reach “The Crossing.” He is sure one, if not both of them will someday die here.
Not today, though, as Billy only has to eye down one yield-neglecting car before the crosswalk safely opens up. Of course, the driver doesn’t even notice Billy’s death stare.
They cross the street and walk into The Coffee Shop. Their timing couldn’t be worse. Obviously, the CrossFit class next door just ended, because as many yoga outfits fill the painfully long line as business outfits.
Or are they wearing yoga pants to work these days?
The line moves at a molasses-soaked snail’s pace. But not Savanna, she flies around like Ms. Pac-Man on level 141, too busy to acknowledge Billy, or even Fido, her supposed “guy.”
When they reach the front of the line, Savanna plops down Billy’s regular big drip, then notes it in the book. Forget about the fact that Billy was feeling adventurous today and thinking about trying an americano, or something else that might maintain more suitable heat.
Savanna quickly moves onto the next CrossFitter, though. Maybe tomorrow, thinks Billy, as he grabs his lukewarm big drip, wary of the lengthening line, and his place so uncomfortably in front.
He thanks Savanna, and moves on, but she’s enveloped in steam and noise, and doesn’t hear him.
And Fido still wants his good boy treat.
“Come on, Boy. Savanna is busy, she’ll get you two treats tomorrow.”
Billy pulls the forlorn, stubborn, and ultimately heartbroken mutt out of line, out the door, and back to the big bad, treatless world.
Fido and Billy head somberly back up the hill. Now that Billy’s hands are properly full, Fido feels compelled to take another morning constitutional.
Billy drops off the bagged remnants of such in the bus stop trash can, trying his best not to allow bag nor can to make any contact with hand nor coffee cup.
The big Zippy-the-Pinhead-looking fella waiting at the bus stop side-glances Billy, who instinctively smiles. But Zippy goes right back to staring ahead a thousand yards, failing to return Billy’s smile.
Perhaps he’s downwind of the garbage pail and not feeling very smiley.
They walk on. As Billy so often does, he recalls The Pretenders’ “Middle of the Road”. Sings softly to himself, “I got a smile for everyone I meet.”
Lotta good it does, he thinks.
At the top of the hill, almost home, a dark-dressed, dark-sunglassed, scowling realtor struggles with an “Open House” sign. She can’t seem to align it as perfectly as her meticulous eye demands.
Considering her laser focus, obvious ignorance of Billy, and today’s track record, his smile doesn’t initially come out. But Chrissie Hynde sings to the ether, and Billy greets the back of the realtor’s head with a smile just the same.
At least he’s not surprised when she doesn’t smile back. Though he’s still a bit dejected.
But she’s got business to attend to. He can admire that. Perhaps Billy’s own business should be more pressing. Perhaps his debts might seem a bit less severe if he cracked his own whip a little harder.
At least then he’d get down to work, instead of just thinking about how much of his soul he’d lose that day while doing it.
Not that he’s complaining; the value of a paycheck he won’t deny. But there must be something greater to do with his life than slinging bullshit for bullshit artists, who may or may not be nefarius.
Not exactly soul-feeding stuff. So how could Billy genuinely expect people to smile back at him, if his own smile felt forced?
Lost in thought, Bill looks down to find Fido nosing his thigh, indicating for him to look up.
A bolt of sunshine blazes through the clouds, sublimely kissing their lucky shoulders.
“Thanks, pal, good looking out.”
Together, man and dog absorb the splendor.
Who knows how long the rays work their magic, when a high-pitched greeting snaps the spell.
Billy recognizes it sonically somewhere between Alvin and Theodore.
A little girl, June -- running ahead of her mom, name still unknown, both staples along Billy and Fido's morning path -- looks upon sun-worshipping man and dog, and smiles hugely, a mirror to that celestial orb.
Billy looks down; June looks up. They nod in acceptance of each other -- two souls blessed by the same sun.
It makes the little girl’s grin burst, like she's seeing just how big she can actually smile.
Enveloped so, Billy becomes the smile, fills with its exuberance. Exhales his own.
June runs along just as quickly as she came, leaving Billy and Fido glowing in her wake.
Heaven knows, Billy can feel that beam all the way home. All the way through the day, right on through Fido’s afternoon walk.