Friday, March 30, 2012


   Any reader of this blog will recognize the photos of Marianna Rothen. She's been supplying me with blog babeage for quite some time. And as most of you know I rarely go to the city anymore. But a M. Rothen show at Hendershot Gallery 195 Chrystie St, NYC is one of the very few reasons I will tighten the wire holding the back door of the Neon shut and head south for the evening. Add to that, Shewho's installation of the Golub/Spero headstone out at some Brooklyn cemetery and I could not avoid the trip.
   My timing was perfect. I left the mountain at noon and was pulling up to Shewho's place in Brooklyn at 1:45pm. I never hit a bit of traffic. We headed for the cemetery.  All was going well until we got totally lost trying to locate the headstone. I have a love/hate relationship with cemeteries. I own one, and am in the process of trying to buy another.....but they generally creep me out. When I get lost in them I start to twitch. Finally we found Leon and Nancy's resting place and the stone was beautiful...understated....and heartfelt. Shewho did good. Some pics and back in the car.
    We grabbed a bite, did a little shopping and ended up at FREEMANS, a nice little bar in a back alley. In this city of millions, who walks in but my neighbor Diamond Dave and wife Irish Liz. Of all the gin joints....... The evening was off to a great start. Slick and Levi were supposed to drive down with me but begged off to stick to the mountain and "work". Let me just tell you boys- You think MO David North has beautiful women at openings? Hendershot for a Rothen show is a very close second. A couple of shots of whiskey and a few beers and I knew I had to either jump ship and head north or dig in for the night. We chose the former. An easy ride out and Shewho and I were snuggled in front of the woodstove by 10:30pm, no worse for the wear. Why I don't do this more often? I have no idea.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

KRISTAN KOHL @ THE BARn Opening May 26, 2012 6-8pm


Saturday, March 24, 2012


Friday, March 23, 2012


   The hype surrounding the new teen movie HUNGER GAMES is juxtaposed nicely with the real life teen tragedy of the black kid in Florida shot down by a Hispanic, self proclaimed neighborhood watch dog. Citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground' law, the one in pursuit actually claims self-defense and is not arrested. Baffling any sense of logic, the shooter goes free. I gather from the TV spots for HUNGER GAMES- really good looking, sexy white kids, who know how to handle a bow, kill each other as entertainment for the rest of us. I'm all for that. What i don't want is this cultic fascination with this movie  driving the youth to pick up archery, ultimately fucking up my deer hunt. All I need is girls in tight ripped t-shirts, and dark eye makeup skulking around during the rut.
   But back to the real world. Never one to shy from the concealed carry, the good people of the State of Florida are all packing. Black, White or Hispanic, old or young, it is so easy to get a carry permit in the sunshine state that the most surprising thing is that this doesn't happen twice a week. The claim of self defense rises to comic proportions. A pending case has a mother and son claiming self defense as a deaf- mute kid tried to boost the family jet ski. The mom claimed he said "I have a gun". The son put him down with the 12 ga. Guess he mumbled something in obvious fear for his life.
   If the law was properly applied the pursued Black kid would have been totally justified in pulling his gun and defending himself from the deadly force of the pursuing neighborhood watch dog. But all he had was a cell phone and some Skittles. Arming the populace and telling them all you have to do is claim  self defense in order to blow someone away sounds like a pitch for a teen movie. When the one you are chasing turns and confronts you, your obvious adrenelin fueled state breeds fear- green light. You're legal! Be nice if they could implant one of those red turkey buttons that pop when it's done, just to make sure you are really afraid. Steady..... squeeze......... don't jerk the trigger...........breathe......... fire! Sounds like a great movie. Too bad it's real life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


   I'm not one to complain when it comes to any of the above. I may not have much of a career but when it comes to good family, a group of eclectically diverse, young and old friends, and even a lawyer  I can deal with.....I'm a blessed man. Sure I have my problems with certain individuals (I'm not naming names) from each of these groups, but as a whole I'm good. Just the other day I went to pick up my mail and was surprised to receive a shirt sized box from my knife throwing, martini swilling, West Virginia lawyer. Opening it at home, I dug into the many layers of newspaper to discover a fine "Cherry Classic" custom slate turkey call, accompanied by a short note- "Mike, Spring gobbler season is almost here. I thought you may find the enclosed useful in your attempt to bring a nice Tom into range. Good luck! Yourlawyer." Nice.
    In these days of emails, texts, tweets, chirps and other sources of clipped communication, when was the last time you received a letter, let alone a gift in the mail? Of course Milawyer is more than just legal counsel. Brother of Savage Lynch, son of Beaver and Georgia, I grew up with him and he is one of my oldest and closest friends. But now he has shot to the tippy top of that list. The old man used to do such things. Out of the blue he would send a business associate or hunting buddy a bent barreled rifle (for shooting around a tree) or pile of elephant crap disguised as Gram's cinnamon buns. Other times he would just enclose some corny cartoon ripped from the morning paper, with a posted attached- "In humor truth."  I can't tell you how happy it made me feel to receive such communiques from my father. Milawyer has picked up the torch.
    So all you readers, friend and family alike, take note. Good friends, good brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins, girlfriends -past and present, (all my aunts and uncles are dead and mom gets a bye), send me a gift if you want to get on my good side. It doesn't have to be expensive or a big deal. Any little old heart felt thingy will do. My address is PO box 671 Glen Wild, NY 12738. I love you all....but as you can see, some more than others.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012



Monday, March 19, 2012



   Although Osterhout is almost purely Dutch, I do have Irish blood coursing through my veins on both sides. It's mainly the Protestant "Orange" variety. Family rumor has it one grandmother was arrested for waving an orange flag during a St. Paddy's Day parade in Newburgh and another distant matriarch was burnt at the stake back in the old country, for being a witch. Probably one of the first artist Ostis. So it only seems right that I celebrate March 17th in some way. The problem being is I see this holiday as something akin to New Year's Eve- for tourists. I don't dye my beard green (or orange) and spend 12 hours at Dutch's getting plastered. Leave that to the lite weights. What I do is every year make a leprechan catcher and try to grab one of the little fuckers. Sometimes it's as simple as a box held up with a stick, with a string attached. A bottle of Guinness or a U.S. work visa is always good for bait. This year I was rooting around in a bungalow colony and I came across what looked to be the real deal- an actual catcher. It was a large screened, funnel shaped object with a handle attached. What else COULD it be?
    Now the deal is it's like the rut- not just March 17th, but a week or more either side of it can land you one. I've seen 'em, but never been able to get ahold of one. This year was different. Of course it helps to be drunk. For some reason this seems to bring the little fellers in. No problem. Last night I emptied whatever alcohol was laying around the house into my mouth, shouldered the catcher, and went out into the globally warmed, star lit night. Perfect weather for the hunt. Trouble was the luck 'o the Dutch just wasn't with me. I caught Spooky Cat, two opossums, and what looks like poison ivy-  but no little green man. By midnight I'd given up. I crawled in the nest and slept like a baby.
   Then around dawn I heard scratching up on the roof. Years ago I'd been plagued by flying squirrels coming and going in my eaves like drunk disco divas. It was the same obnoxious, inconsiderate slamming of doors and toenail scrapping I'd experienced before. But then I thought......maybe....... I crept down the ladder, located my catcher, not even bothering to put on my pants.....opened the front door and....goddammit if there wasn't what I'd spent the night hunting. The catcher swooped down on his head and I HAD HIM! I couldn't believe my luck. Then I looked out across the lawn and here came Ray Gilkey, purring like nothing had happened. Around 10 am the phone rang. It was the tax assessor informing me that he was lowering my assessment $20,000. The day is young. I set the LGM on the deck and counted my lucky stars.  This could turn everything around.      

Saturday, March 17, 2012


  Not that Ray. Far as I know he's still where we planted him, across the field from the Dennistons, by the waterfall, next to his uncle Andrew Jackson (not that Andrew Jackson). No, the Ray Gilkey I'm referring to is the former Boots, my cat. Ray is the favorite of all my cats. There's the drooling, snorting, neurotic and mean Nicole, the meowing, needy Spooky Cat and the new ragged, falling apart, skittish Mr. Kitty. All have there own particular charm, but Ray is the rock. He's the only one I let inside at night. But like all roommates, we can have our difficulties co-habitating.
    The other night I had just laid out a nice plate of black beans on my coffee table. Then, distracted for a minute by the ringing phone, I turned to see Ray on his back legs, nose almost in my plate. I barked and swatted. Ray ran for the safety of the wood box. The rest of the evening was tense. Rayed eyeballed me from the back of the stove. I glared back. I honestly can't remember whether I let him stay in or exiled him to the woods. All I know is I was very disappointed in his behavior and was giving him the silent treatment.
   Now I'm not one of those cat people who fawns over his charges. The cats and I have an understanding.  I feed them most mornings and they basically leave me alone. I assume they catch a mouse now and then. No pressure on either side. Compared to the other three Ray is a regal beast. He likes to be petted, but doesn't demand it. He's good with kids. I have no idea how old he is, but he looks to be getting on. It's no big deal for any of these critters to be gone from the premises for a couple of days, but they always show up eventually. Ray has a particular habit of silently following me into the church and getting locked in. So if I don't see him at morning chow I check the church. This time the church was empty. He's been gone for 3 or 4 days now and I'm getting worried.
   I hate to think that the last interaction Ray and I had was in anger.  Over the years I've had some good cats- the dog like Monkey Balls, Itchy, Bitchy and Twitchy (all true to their names), the iconic Cali, the bald assed Paris....but I think Ray is the best of the bunch. He may be off at the neighbor's teaching me a lesson. I don't know. But if anybody sees a big orange cat wandering around with a chip on his shoulder just let him know i'm sorry i yelled. We can work it out. Come home Ray. I miss you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012




 Recently i told my mom I was not only building stuff for my client Diamond Dave, but was in fact selecting and buying furniture for the place. "Well...." mom noted proudly in her measured tone, "that makes you an interior decorator." Damn! She was right. So, embracing my new job title, I donned a purple bow tie and some pointy shoes and headed for ye old shoppes. I don't have much of a shopping gene, so I enlisted the mad mid-century modern skills of Shewho. She's hard wired to sniff out anything with a honey finish or wrought iron leg from the 50 yards. I swept out the old truck and we hit the road.
    A couple of years back people up here in the mountains were giving away 50's furniture, focusing on attaching the big price tags to primitive and "shabby chic" crap that the city people were snatching up. Those days are gone. The reality tv storage shed and picker shows, along with the internet have screwed up everything for us pro-shoppers. Still, there are bargains to be had if you put on the miles. We headed up rt. 209 and found a place with some chrome and leather chairs that would look great next to the glass coffee table. As I pulled out the cash the man asked if I was a dealer? "I'm an interior guy....ahhhhh.......contractor....." Shewho was giggling so hard she almost bit her tongue. As soon as the words interior decorator were formed they stuck in my throat, sweat beaded on my brow, and I backtracked like a mentally deficient oaf. Back in the truck Shewo couldn't stop laughing at my inability to own my new title. The bow tie and pointy shoes just didn't compensate for my hillbilly beard and Indian killer lineage. I'd have to work on my delivery.
   By week's end we'll have all the seating necessary for the BARn. A little Craigslist surfing, a visit to Sal @ his TIN CAN TRADING POST in Callicoon and we had enough bar stools and chairs to make any "Bow tie Willey" proud. DD is happy. I'm happy. My mom is soooooo proud. And as far as I know Shewho is still laughing and printing up business cards- WAY TOO GAY INTERIOR DECORATORS. I'd say something with a nice flourishing seriff font and maybe some embossing, on a buff card stock. Ooooooooooooo.



Thursday, March 8, 2012




   It started with my boot laces. I don't know about you, but I'm rough on boots. If they last a year I'm lucky. So I usually don't worry about laces. But my latest pair of boots have actually outlasted my laces. And I'm about 9 months in. About 2 months ago I went to the store and purchased a brand new set of golden heavy duty boot laces. The front of my boots now resemble a briar patch of knots. I think the new laces started breaking within the first week. OK, it's a little thing. But wait....there's more.
    I've been working at Diamond Dave's gaying up his hang out THE BARn. I had this idea for a bar front that consists of closet rod sliced like 3/4 inch hot dogs, laid out on a sheet of plywood every inch and a quarter. Get the picture? After cutting up close to 50 feet of rod I sent DD's side kick Pigpen Rothman to get more. Twenty or so slices into the new rod and I discovered my pattern was going awry. I measured the rod. 1 inch and 5/16. JESUSFUCKINGCHRIST! A sixteenth makes a difference. I removed what I had to, mixed it up a little and salvaged the piece. Disaster averted. No help from Home Depot.
At the end of the day I went home disgusted, opened a beer and made myself a dinner of cocktail olives on rye bread. Reaching for the olives i tipped over my beer, dumping it into my fuzzy slipper.
   Today I bought a pack of 2 inch nails for my trim nailer. I went to load the gun and discovered that the nails would not fit. I checked the package. Same gauge. Same make. I measured the nails- 2 inch and 1/16! You can't fit two pounds of shit into a one pound sack. I could go on. The new sandpaper won't stick to the sander. The packaged mop head that is supposed to come with two little plastic nuts only contains one. I think I already touched on the design flaw of my Anti- Monkey Butt wipes top. It's still a painful memory.
  Today I came home made another olive sandwich and once again spilled my last beer, soaking my last joint, spilling it into my other slipper.

   Maybe it's me. But I don't think so. It used to be just electronics that you always ended up taking back to the store. The first TV, computer, stereo, DVD player never works. You have to factor in the gas it takes to get to the store, then home, then back to the store, then back home.... you get the idea. But nowadays it's everything. As I spear my last olive I examine it closely, glistening on the tip of my steak knife. It doesn't look right. Has the whole jar been bad? I don't feel so good. Oh, did I mention facebook changed the shit around so it pretty much sucks worse than it ever did. A couple of days ago i deactivated my account. Facebook- the new MySpace. I can't take it anymore. As I tie my boots I can feel the feeble braid give way once again. Where's the duct tape?