Archive for January, 2014

Why Are You Carrying That Empty Cup?…

January 27, 2014

I’ve kept tight-lipped about this for far too long so the time is finally here. Regular readers may remember this post about how movie and tv makers use stand-ins for the backs of actors’ heads in the infamous over-the-shoulder shots. I have since trained myself with limited success to not dwell on the foreground blur that’s supposed to be the actual actor in the scene only to transfer my observational skills to the most bothersome of all movie and tv nonsense… the EMPTY to-go coffee cup…

togocup

First off, we’ve all come to know the manner in which a cardboard cup acts when it either has a liquid in it or is empty. I, personally, have 55 years of this experience. Now that I’ve started noticing more and am completely unable to ignore it anymore, I don’t think I’ve ever seen movie of tv show that has the to-go cup with any liquid in it. Consequently, the scene breaks down because even the best actors can’t make the empty cup they hold to their mouth or set on the table look like it has liquid in it. I’ve even seen scenes where the actor takes the “last” swig and finishes the drink only to later pick the “now empty EMPTY cup” up and take a sip as though it were full again… continuity problems. I don’t really understand this problem as putting a couple ounces of water in the cup would not mean any more expense, would not present a hazard on the set if spilled and wouldn’t be something with alcohol or caffeine in it that would alter the performance. Last but not least, it’s disposable and it would be nice if every now and then the cup was handmade. Enough of that, how about the weather… please please please stop with the polar vortex. If I hear it called that again my head’s gonna explode… reminds me of weapons of mass destruction or trickle down economics. I know it’s not sexy but it’s just cold weather and it is nothing compared to what Shackleton and his crew endured. On the up side, we had enough snow in Kentucky that was packy enough to make a snowman…

sofiaandbaila

This is one of the few occasions where Sofia allows me to take her picture anymore. The cold weather is hindering some progress in other areas, namely delivery of things from distant locations and as far as clay work is concerned I cannot use my garden hose to rinse clay from my sieve. Meanwhile, I’m making a bunch of cups. Here’s some shots…

greenware

greenware

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Don’t Steal From JOM!…

January 1, 2014

Esta el 1 de Enero. I must agree with all the people (and apparently there were thousands and thousands) on twitter who are amazed that the United States is 2014 years old. Whew! I can’t believe we made it… hell, that’s almost as long as the earth has existed. Talk about narcissism, wow. I can’t believe also that somehow the United States got the world to use our country’s inception to mark their years by as well as ours. Along the same lines, I feel I must relay some holiday stories… of course the only reason I’m calling them holiday stories is because they happened in late December, nothing else. My friend and I have been frequenting a Thai restaurant for lunch periodically over the past year and (as I always do) I find something I like and settle on that item from the menu. The point being that we’ve been enough times over the year to have gotten all the wait staff to wait on us and the order always goes the same way. We order the dish and the wait-person asks how hot we want it. The scale is 0-5. My friend always says 0 and I always say 5. So a week or so ago we get a waitress that we’ve had several times and we order and it gets to the question and my friend says 0 and I say 5. She looks at me and says “you can go higher than 5 if you want”. At this juncture, I have to admit that I fell for it. I immediately perked up thinking to myself… hmmm, I wonder if it goes to 10 and how nice and hot that would be. So I ask, “how high can I go?” Inimitably, she says, “as high as you want”. Wow! Of course she is oblivious to the fact that this is the epitome of nonsense. I say, “how about 50,000?”. Apparently, this was too subtle as she giggles dismissively, turns and walks off. I guess I could belabor the point and parse the various layers of nonsense but I’ll leave it at that. On to the bank. I received a check from the xmas sale and it’s made out to JIM GOTTUSO… all caps. My deposit slip also has my name on it… JIM GOTTUSO, all caps too. The check was printed (on a printer) and upon closer inspection it was originally printed and said JO GOTTUSO and afterward someone took a pen and made the O into and I and added an M. So I endorse the back of the check dutifully ignoring my belief that signatures are such a bunch of horse shite altogether and present docs to the teller. So she looks at the deposit slip and flips the check over and pauses. She has a confused look on her face and I say, “What’s the problem?” “Well, it’s just that the name after ‘Pay To The Order Of’ has been changed.” I haven’t grasped the level of absurdity yet and say “well, my last name is spelled correctly which is unusual and you can see that it’s exactly the same as on my deposit slip.” She says, “yeah, but it says JOM”. So with all the non-sarcastic-ness that I can muster I say, “I have never in my whole life met someone named Jom have you?” “Well no.” she says. But she keeps staring at it and I finally say, “what would you like me to do?” She says, “on the back of the check above where you’ve endorsed it, you need to endorse it with the wrong name”. At this point I haven’t even broached the subject that it originally said JO not JOM and if I’m gonna endorse it with the original wrong name it should be JO not JOM so I tell her to look closely at the M and see that it was printed by hand along with the I that’s written over the O. She gets even more flustered and calls the manager over. I’m thinking, oh great she’ll clear it all up. The teller explains the whole thing (rather poorly I might add) and the manager says to the teller, “you’re right and you’ve done everything correctly”. She then turns to me and says that I need to endorse above the original endorsement with the wrong name. Then she leaves. I ask the teller, “what’ll happen if I just leave it the way it is?”. She says it might get kicked back. So… the endorsement detectives have spoiled my efforts at fraud. You see although I have never actually met another person with my last name (other than a very few relatives) and have only ever heard of very few Gottusos (actually only 1 before the wonder we know as FaceCrap… I mean book) the bank teller did prevent me from finding a man (in Louisville) named Jom Gottuso, stealing his check from a ceramic sale, endorsing incorrectly and depositing his money in my bank. Poor Jom… but it’s a good thing he’s being looked out for. And then there’s this…

subaru1

subaru

Can’t really do justice to explaining this wonderful occurrence but suffice to say I was behind this young dude, not going very fast and without a blinker he decided to take a U-Turn into a waiting area in front of the water company’s parking lot. In addition to not using the blinker, he swung wide right before turning left (which looked like he was turning right onto the road across from the water company). As he swung back across both lanes of the road he all but stopped before actually leaving the road so that when he had almost stopped, his front end was blocking the oncoming lane and his rear end was blocking my lane… and I skidded but not in advance enough to not hit him…

accident

I tried to explain to him as we waited for the police (that didn’t come) that the only two explanations for what happened were the one I just mentioned and that he was innocently making a left turn and I just sped up and rammed his driver’s side door. He swore it was the latter. Now I’ll admit that I’ve often been behind people and fantasized about ramming into them but of course, I’ve never done that. That’s enough of that. In other news I received a letter from a painter who informed me that my pot that he had purchased was now the subject of a recent painting…

painting

So there ya go, my bowl is in a painting. If you get a hankerin’, here’s Mr. Gary Drake’s website. Here’s some pots that came out of my last firing…

bowl

vase

vase