A self-portrait

I did this a day or two ago
using red carbon copy paper,
which I didn’t even know existed.


I created four versions of my self portrait and will be compiling all four into one piece, using old Communist propaganda posters from China and Russia as inspiration. My materials included plain white drawing paper and red carbon paper.¹

I was walking around Beijing about twelve years ago and came across a wonderful neighborhood with a beautiful lake, a bridge across the water, and many old buildings. It was . The area hadn’t been gentrified and overtaken with high-rises. This was the Beijing of old, back when it had charm and character.

I was walking along marveling at the sights when I came upon a man selling old propaganda posters. There was a big stack of them piled up. On top was Mao urging his countrymen to do whatever. It was iconic imagery. I wish I had bought it.

I wish I had spent more time there, looking through the old Chinese posters. But I was already loaded down with stuff, including a few ink paintings from an art school. And I was tired. Later, we learned it was probably a scam, the art school sale, but the art was relatively cheap. But they were experts at drawing us in and then parting us from our money. I’d like to think that I am more aware and savvy now.


1. For anyone who wants to learn more about carbon paper, read about it at Wikipedia.


A sketch of great-great grandpa circa 1870



I drew it during the latest music jam session at the Path with Art office. I did it with a simple ballpoint pen. Art is therapeutic. Drawing this piece certainly was.

I am still trying to figure out what’s with his jacket. Was this the style of the day? Musta been. What was the fabric? Who made it? His mother? His wife? Did he have a tailor?


Happy 100th birthday, Grandpa Hill!

He was born 100 years ago today,
in 1918, the year of the Great War
& the deadly influenza epidemic.


I’ve written some free verse about him, which I submitted to a book project to be published later this year along with a pastel drawing of him. Hopefully both will be included in the final publication. It is up to the discretion of the editor.


“A Wrinkle in Time was like a longer, fanicer Teletubbies episode with more expensive special effects, and Oprah as the sun baby.”

Some of these quotes, reviewing A Wrinkle in Time in 140 characters, just crack me up.

Here are two more:

The Oprah

The Oprah Winfrey Show, but for children and stoners. I’m kind of surprised that no one made this before now!”

Rousseau? Genevan?

“‘ Before the age of reason, the child receives images, not ideas.’—Rousseau, Genevan”

A reference to French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, born in Geneva.


“I do not trust doctors and I am very skeptical about all medical appointments and diagnoses.” You & me both.


A woman in Britain has lost almost all of her limbs after a hospital failed to properly diagnosis and treat her.

Sadly, I am in a similar position. Doctors have not been able to answer why I am suffering from various conditions. I go through cycles of infection and lethargy. But no one has been able to explain why or what’s causing it.

They have diagnosed me with inflammatory bowel disease, lymphedema, rheumatoid arthritis in my elbows and knees, and esophagitis. The inflammation in my esophagus appears to be under control with a medication. But the others are not.

I’ve read about this woman’s case. She had sepsis, parts of her body tissue dying off from lack of blood flow, then gangrene, then blood infection. So disturbing that professionals can miss such dangerous symptoms. And she has paid dearly for it.

Obviously, fearful of the attention and potential litigation, the hospital administration have formally apologized. What good are apologies? This woman has lost her limbs! Her legs! And any trust she had in doctors and nurses.


Tree pollen has activated my hyperreactive immune system



I’m thankful for little, white pills.


I just don’t know what to say. If I was Merkel I’d be releasing DNA analysis stat.



That’s Hitler’s mother in the top middle. Those eyes. Wow. What a conspiracy theory.


Wouldn’t surprise me if a few of my ancestors were deemed heretics & burned at the stake

Burning people at the stake was often a popular pastime for church leaders.

Today I learned that Dante, the writer, was condemned to death by Pope Boniface VIII. His most famous work is The Divine Comedy. Dante was strangely also a politician, which I didn’t know, and somehow became ensnared in political intrigue, so the pope and the powers behind the church decided to off him. He avoided death by living in exile, but he never saw his wife again, sadly. This all went down in the year 1302.

More than two hundred years later, burning people ISIS-style, was still popular. It is odd to think how barbaric humanity has been for so long. The Islamic State savages are only perpetuating a mindset that has plagued us since the dawn of man.

In 1528, a man named Balthasar Hubmaier, an Anabaptist leader, was burned at the stake in Vienna. He was the author of one of the earliest arguments for religious toleration, in addition to writings against Lutherans and Zwinglians. But he was deemed a heretic by a Roman Catholic court.

Thankfully, most of us moved on from this nonsense.