Category Archives: Cooking

The Passion Of Mythic Gods

Wow a morning and afternoon completely free with nothing scheduled!!!  It feels like months since I have had a window like this open.  The only thing I have to get done today is my posting for the day on here.  The ground outside is now frozen and winter in Montana becomes very slow for business that allows me time to focus on my creative endeavors.  This is the time of year I get to shut myself into the studio and just focus.  Shooting and the website will become the heart of what I do all winter.  I love to make soups in the winter and fill the space with savory smells and invite others into the space to work on new concepts and ideas.  I haven’t even had a chance to think about where I want to go next.  I know the website will become a major focus as we begin to hone and refine it.   I have begun to order some new books on male nude art, with a focus on painting.  I have now proven myself as a photographer and now need to focus on images that get more to the heart of who I am.  Topics I am most interested in are Greek and Roman mythology and I see how powerful its influence has been on so many other artists.  What is it about these images that are so deeply connect to us?  Is it the classic beauty or the actual myth that tugs at our heart that we want to identify with?  I am particularly drawn to the theme of Orpheus, the idealism of intoxicating music that lulls us and being so captivated by another that he is willing to risk going to hell in order to retrieve it.  It has been in my head for years and how we tell this story is not entirely clear yet, but is worthy of exploration.  I am quite surprised that this is a story that has not been reworked for cinema.  The theme is universal and captivating.  It seems we all live in an era of loss, a time where we all search for desire and to be connected to something we want to love.  We forget how beautiful and poetic life becomes as we begin to build barriers to encase and surround ourselves.  I know I have.  It seems life becomes more of a struggle just to maintain a normal existence.  The theme of loss of a part of oneself and what we need to do the recover it fascinates me and basically has become the primary focus of this year.  As an aging man, I want and need to revisit what was once vital to my youth.  But is seems the darkness of life surrounds and often shrouds us locking us into a protective barrier that we often cannot overcome and so we become stuck in a place we may not necessarily be comfortable or even happy.  Though I have lived a creative life most of my adult life has remained hidden behind this curtain.  Now that I have reached this place of comfort and security within my own self I begin to ponder, why did it take me so long to get here?  What was I really so afraid of for so long that held me back?  My life has certainly not been easy, but then I know neither has anyone else.  I am beginning to think our plight is to struggle with finding meaningful existence, yet I remember a time when I was so idealistic and my dreams wider then the ocean.  Now I have crossed those oceans and the idealistic dreams are back.  But it feels there is a huge hole or gap in the middle of my life filled with loss fueled by uncertainly and loss.   I think this erodes at the core of our self-expression and breeds doubt.  I think it is the mythology of hero that surpass the insurmountable odds that become so iconic and perhaps this is what mysteriously draws us to emulate them.  It’s defiantly worth of the exploration.

Into the Wild

I am writing this morning from a remote cabin at 57,000 on top of a mountain in Northern Idaho.  Glenn had been planning this weekend for months and I said once I got the website up I would go.  We took the weekend off and come over to visit our friends Forrest and Beth and their black lab Sprocket in a small mining town called Mullan, just over the mountains and the Montana-Idaho border.  We then proceeded to a cabin in the mountains miles above Wallace.  Their place is very rustic and I was not sure that we would even make it to the destination.  The higher we went the deeper the snow got until we reached the cabin and the snow level was about a foot deep.  The cabin, more a pole lodge, so far is only covered by exterior sheeting and was very raw within.  It has a little wood stove in the center of the room that we instantly fired up and within a half hour could no longer see our breaths.  I put a pot on the stove and made a hearty chicken stew with carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms flavored with tarragon, a pinch of basil, and rosemary.  It turned out fantastic for my first time of cooking an old fashioned wood stove.

We ate, drank, and chatted and watched the world around us envelop into a secluded darkness and the one gas lantern they had seem to fail us.  Then we all climbed to a loft to sleep.  There was a draft of snow and ice particles blowing through the cracks, which Forrest tired to seal before we went to bed.  I drifted in and out of consciousness as Forrest got up throughout the night to feed the fire.  At one point that fire had gone out and I hunkered deeper into my bed, snuggling closer to Glenn for warmth as a draft that felt good when I first went to bed now chilled the core of my body.  In the wilderness the night seems eternal as I kept waking up looking for some signs of daylight.  The morning came early gradually illuminating the outline of the open rafters barley above my head.

I was the first one up because I wanted to watch how the light began to fill the valleys far below us.  As rustic as it all seemed it really awoke a side of myself I have completely forgotten.  It reminded me of my youth and growing up on the ranch.  It feels like the ongoing theme of this week has been a return to simplicity and a greater connection to my natural heritage.  Although the website is a culmination of my existence, it is my connection to the future as I move into the future.  Today I am stripped on all the essentials of a modern life, no running water, no electricity, dependent on the life my computer laptop battery, now running in the red.  Here we are against our own elements.  There is something poetic about the sound of the snow smattering against the side of the building, of not working from the moment I rise to well after midnight each night.  We must exist only within the expanse of the natural day.

A Shift of Consciousness

I have to say I was a bit lost most of yesterday.  The website went up at about 11:30.  Glenn left at 1 pm for a week of UPS training to become a utility driver for peak season to spend the week in Billings.  I went for a long walk along the river to clear my head.  Though the sun was out it was not warm enough the melt the snow dabbled on the pine trees.  The leaves have not completely fallen yet and now there is snow.  It feels like I have been asleep for a very long time and have not really felt the changing of the season this year.  My fall has been inside, focused on a massive project and suddenly my senses are awake and alive again.  I did some light shopping and found some lamb chops at the store.  I love grilled lamb, but never have it because Glenn dislikes it so much. I went home and settled into a lazy afternoon of lounging about wanting to somehow celebrate, but mostly trying to figure out and put into perspective what I have accomplished.  I dabbled on cleaning the website here and there, not wanting to delve to deeply but to savor the unfounded glory.  It was time to see what has happened in the world in the past two months of my absence.  I began to look at fellow artist and what they have been producing.  It seems Facebook has now become a means of tagging and posting and less a means of communication.  And I began to ponder have we all run out of things to say to each other?  Perhaps we are all just becoming more focused.  I tried to watch a movie on Netflix, but it no longer seems to work.  Here one of my greatest passions has somehow imploded itself.  I had shut down getting the discs by mail when they raised the prices and I was so involved in the project, that I wasn’t watching them anyway and only kept the streaming, but had forgotten that it simply doesn’t stream on Sundays.  How could something so brilliant completely destroy the foundation of its livelihood.  I was very resentful at their decision to split the service, but I guess I vote with my dollar and I have said “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”.   The theater world seems the same, Phantom is still running after 22 years with no end in sight, the new musical Pricilla seems to have grown stronger from its initial lukewarm start, and Hugh Jackman is returning in a one man show.  Now there is a talented man who can do it all, he was ever so brilliant in The Boy from Oz as he flashed that big warm smile at me in the 4th row many seasons back.  Avenue Q has down sized and moved to a smaller venue that seems to have revived its longevity.

I spent the afternoon drifting in a universe of my own creation, so near, yet so far from my current existence, drifting in and out of consciousness.  It was almost like I could see myself separating from itself.  Am I am even slightly aware of my own life?  Somehow it doesn’t feel like it.  As I began to realize I was caught in that post partum creation lull that I used to feel at the end of the tour or the jet lag you feel from flying across the ocean west.  I finally understand the meaning of lost in translation.  Oh yes and today it’s that odd shift toward or away from daylight savings time, which I can never figure out, where we are just naturally out of sync with the day.  It feels like my life has come to a stand-still and yet I look back at this year and am astonished by my own accomplishments.  All I can think is it’s time to somehow renew the creative process again.  I am now ready to get back into the studio and shoot something new.


A wet, cold, rainy morning, I got up and began making white bean, sausage, mushroom, and leek soup. I felt like I needed some comfort food this morning and am feeling very isolated and alone. Worked turned into I-phone nightmare hell yesterday as we had to follow and provide documentation of every single delivery and had to make multiple attempts until they were all delivered beyond all reasonable effort. I then managed to come home and completely disable the log in and all access to the new site. I was up half the night with Julian trying to regain entry. This morning I am cold, tired and very despondent so making soup seems to be giving me some comfort. I love to cook and am very creative when it comes to the kitchen. I learned to cook from my grandmother out on the ranch. She was very good cook and actually spent several years cooking for the schools. My grandmother Cyr was a genius when it came to blending foods. It always seemed so simple. She and I would always cook up a storm. My mother on the other hand could not cook at all, but then again she didn’t like food and didn’t like to eat. My mother once made chocolate chip cookies so hard that we couldn’t even eat them. My dad and I went down to the river and began skipping them across the water and they skipped too. She caught us doing it and became so furious she never made cookies again.

When I became a freshman in high school in the late 70’s, about the time Star Wars the original movie was released, I wanted to take home economics. I was already a great cook and doing most of the family meals. But, back then it was a very unmanly thing to do. I was the only boy in the entire history of the school to want to take such a class. But I was adamant and persistent and probably could have taught the class as we learned to make cream puffs and Jell-O salads with fruit of course. Hello, why wasn’t my gay bell going off then? Looking back I was totally gay. Why was it that everyone saw it but me? DENIAL!!!!!!!!! Had no idea, I , what it really meant or that a man could actually have sex or even a relationship with another man. Damn, how naive could I be? I became the manager for the school wrestling team and I remember lust and desire growing out of the locker room, but still nothing. A world of perfection designed for a kid like me and yet no ding, ding, ding. DENIAL!!!!!!!! Just a lot of spoiling the sheets and alone time in the last stall in the bathroom when no one was around. I just needed a role model and not just sneaking off to find my mother’s Playgirl Magazines hidden under her side of the mattress, and I don’t even know how I knew that???? It’s funny and how curious times in our lives become, for something that is so organic and obvious that we just can’t see within ourselves. And people still don’t think we are born this way. Hello, as a kid it doesn’t seem to be an option by choice, but a struggle for resistance. I drove my brother, a year younger out into the country, to get laid for this first time, and waited in the car all the two minutes it took to happen, but for me there was nothing? Damn, DENIAL!!!!!! I cured the fact that I just could not be normal. More time spent alone in the shed behind the house thinking about what I desired and wanted, fearful, lusting, loathing, longing, desperately trying to discover the missing link. At least this has cheered me up this morning and I can laugh thinking back and I get up to stir my big pot of soup.