Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Esperance, Western Australia

Watching it all from our place

By Vic Midyett

On our way from South Australia back to our home base of Bunbury, Western Australia, after three years away as "gray nomads," Shirley & I stopped at Esperance for a few days.

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Monday with Characters

Edited by Morris Dean

James Knudsen, in the garden
You're probably thinking, “enough with the bugs already!” But, this fellow... fella, I suspect it's a she, charmed me. She has made her home in the patch of mint off the back porch that has been there since my youth. And if you're wondering about the orientation of the picture, that's how I snapped it. Praying mantis' seem to enjoy hanging around upside down. They really do move in a three-dimensional way, forward/back, right/left, up/down. At some point this mantis decided, via her well-developed, binocular, stereoscopic vision, that I was nothing to be concerned about and started cleaning her forelimbs. That's what the camera has captured here.
    Now, someday, it is my dream to observe one of these master predators capturing its prey. But I hope it's not one of these. Maybe it's a sign of global warming, but I have never seen this species of butterfly before. Anyone out there recognize it?

    Fall does seem to be on the horizon. And suddenly I realize that I've never written a Fourth Saturday piece about football. Like how many decades it's been since my Miami Dolphins won a Super Bowl! I must go shape young minds now. May your September be all septs.
André Duvall, in the Ozarks
Early last month I visited the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas. In addition to spending time in the historic downtown of Eureka Springs, I decided to find a hiking trail that I had not yet explored. I selected the Lost Valley trail, between Arkansas Scenic Highways 21 and 7 near the Buffalo National River in Newton County. Nestled between a large slope on the west and towering bluffs on the east, this trail is now one of my favorites in the state. There is ample shade for the entire length of this heavily forested trek, making it an ideal choice if you are wanting to avoid the sun in the hottest days of Arkansas summer. The sunlight passing through the translucent canopy of tree leaves created an especially beautiful and memorable visual display, perhaps because the land rose gently on the west side, allowing me to see green light pouring from a very high angle on the sides of the trail.
    Awaiting hikers at the end of the trail is Eden Falls. Because it had not rained in the last several days, the waterfall was not flowing at full force, as pictured below. However, the light trickling of water had its own special appeal. The area around the waterfall and the pond below it was mostly in the shade, but sunlight poured into a small circular area where the sprinkles from the waterfall bounce off the rocks, gleaming like diamonds. The reduced amount of water also allowed me to see the luscious moss growing in the shady part of the waterfall. The moss is obscured by water when the falls are flowing at full force.

    Beyond the falls, Eden Cave awaits those who are willing to stoop down and venture into the darkness with a flashlight (or two). The mouth of the cave is located near the top of the waterfall. Within a few feet of entering the cave, the refreshing breeze of what felt like an outdoor air-conditioner greeted me, accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature before I was even completely inside. The cave eventually opens up into a large room containing another waterfall, which cannot be seen without a flashlight.
    In addition to Eden Cave, whose tour is unguided, I took a guided tour of Mystic Caverns, located on Highway 7 near Marble Falls. It is always incredible to think in cave years when viewing the natural artistry of cave formations: the "young" stalactites the width of soda straws are 500 years old on average, and the much larger formations took thousand of years to form. They are extremely fragile, easily broken by someone's trying to snap them (something that happened regularly by the cave's first explorers, who sold the calcite deposits), and their growth is easily stopped by the oils of human hands.
Kyle Garza, in curricula
I've begun my fourth year teaching. This time around it will be 8th grade English, middle school debate, and something we call "Academic Tech," which is essentially a course on how to survive in school with technology competence required of you.
    I've also begun my readings for my two fall courses towards my MA: a Philosophy of Religion course and a Medieval Culture and Philosophy course. I've been reading Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. I never knew what Cartesian philosophy was before these readings. Soon I'll be thumbing through Pascal and Nietzsche too. This semester will be great because I'll finally be able to say not "I've heard of him" but "I've read him!"
Geoffrey Dean, in Salt Lake City
For the past month I have been living for the first time in Salt Lake City and learning more about this part of the country. Our apartment is near the Utah Capitol Building in the north of the city, in the Marmalade District, where Apricot and Quince streets (and maybe some others) are named after the imported fruit trees that early residents planted.
    Last week I solved the mystery of the carillon music that I was hearing, emanating from somewhere nearby, every weekday at 8am. It turns out the carillon is in the Capitol Building, but is automated rather than played by an actual carillonneur such as SLC resident Joey Brink, a recent Yale graduate and an active carillon recitalist who has played the grand carillon of St. Rombouts in Mechelen, Belgium, the birthplace of this instrument.

    I’ve also slowly figured out the logic of the way SLC’s streets are numbered, emanating (sorry, had to use this word again) from Temple Square. Apparently this particular application of the grid system was Joseph Smith’s idea, implemented by Brigham Young. At first I assumed that the Smith’s grocery store chain, the local equivalent of Kroger’s, and Smith’s Ballpark, home of the SLC Bees, were also named after Joseph Smith, but no, that one is Dee Smith.
    Bees and beehives are big here because “deseret,” the word for honeybee found in the Book of Mormon, was the name for the huge state that Young tried to have approved by Congress in 1849, when California also applied for statehood. US president Zachary Taylor’s counterproposal would have combined UT and CA into an even huger territory! Even after the Utah territory was ratified by Congress, attempts continued to establish a state of Deseret, but the native American name Utah stuck when the territory was granted statehood in 1896.
Jim Rix, in search of Eros
My research project, ErosMe, detailed in my article for "Thirst Satyrday for Eros” this coming Saturday will, with your help, get to the bottom of a very important erotic issue with deep undertones. I was blown away by Cherry Bang and her enthusiastic willingness to participate in my research.
Ralph Earle, remembering aboard ship
The First Girl I Ever Kissed

We met in a dark bar drinking Grasshoppers
or was it Brandy Alexanders, bound for Europe
on the S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam. She said she wanted me
but I wasn’t sure. Your mother kisses you.
Some day, your wife does.

A few nights later, I was sitting in the bow
trying to make time with her older friend.
During the day, tired of pretending to be eighteen,
we commanded a game room nook whose jukebox
moaned “Be My Baby” and “Mountain of Love.”

Everyone was on vacation.
One night I started climbing bulkheads
for a better view. Halfway up
the radar mast, I watched fickle
moonlight stipple the slick ocean.
Tom Lowe, behind last photo
The spire in the photograph below sat atop the offices of the Presbytery of San Francisco before the building was torn down for apartments – which violate the area's zoning: three stories higher than anything else in the block!
Last Sunset 
Chuck Smythe, off for a backpack
My wife’s arm has almost healed. Life is getting much simpler.
    Long ago I rode the train shown in the video below down from a backpack in Arthur’s Pass. It was raining two inches an hour, and had been for four days. Those were the days....And I’m off for a backpack in the Madison Range. With rain, no doubt. And grizz.
The Midyetts, back in Bunbury
Well, after three years wandering around the country, Shirley and I are finally back in Bunbury. We reached Busselton, 52 km south of Bunbury, about August 20, and stayed there for a few days while we talked with my sister, Anita, about where we would stay until the house we had been going to stay in becomes available. Anita said we could stay at her place, so we planned to drive on to Bunbury one day last week, but the forecast for heavy rain prompted us to go a day earlier. The sunshine was beautiful that day.
    So...now we are settled at Anita's, with our caravan parked in her front yard, at a bit of an angle, but I maneuvered it onto a relatively level spot that will suffice. We are staying in her spare room, constructed of tile and brick.
.
The house we left three years ago is an example of a brick & tile home
    There sure is a lot of room in a house! Our world isn't 20 feet long anymore. It's weird having to walk so far to get to a door going outside!
The Rogers, back in Costa Rica
We were in the US for 5 weeks. So part of August was spent lying around my daughter’s swimming pool. For any of you that have taken off on vacation for more than two weeks, you know that upon your return you find nothing got done while you were away – you walk in and there it is just as you left it. So I've been playing catch up.
    August 15 was Mother’s Day here in CR. We went up on the hill and had a cook out with all the Mothers. It is a holiday here and schools, banks and so on are closed.
Paul Clark, aka motomynd, still vending from Eclectic World
The knife shown in August's "First Monday" column was made somewhere between the years 1200 and 1900, but no one can tell for sure when, so it is hard to sell for any real value. The problem is that most knives like that have been made by the same families since the time of Genghis Khan, and they make them today using almost exactly the same techniques and materials they used 800 years ago. In some cases they are actually using the same tools that have been in the family for several hundred years. A few years ago you could stop just about anywhere in Mongolia and buy all you wanted for 20 bucks each. And even now a silly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure from 1988 will sell for more than such a knife. Go figure.
Jill Auditori, working for downtown Mebane
We won’t fly you to the moon, but we will take you on a trip around the world in 180 minutes! You don’t even have to pack a bag to visit the 16 countries that will be represented by Destination Downtown Mebane businesses on September 4th. The first 150 visitors will receive a souvenir passport that will direct you to the participating locations. So please join us and experience foreign refreshments, music, decor, and languages for the evening! FMI downtownmebane.com.
Sharon Stoner, in swimming weather
Finally Jacksonville received some nice hot weather. 90° to 100° but apparently I'm the only one who loves the heat. Unfortunately, today the temperature dropped to 85° with cool breezes all day.
    Yes, it is a lovely day. No humidity, but no direct sun, and I am continually removing leaves from the pool.

    Oh, the hard life of a retired person who can do whatever they want whenever they want!
    Oh yeah, that's me.
Siegfried, recovered
    Siegfried is happy to be allowed to go into the yard unsupervised again, free to run and cavort and mess about. And we're happy for him. Unfortunately, before that freedom was recommended by his doctor, he contracted a severe urinary tract infection, for which a 14-day course of antibiotics was prescribed, along with the instructions to try to get Siegfried to drink more water, or more often, and to go pee every two hours (except over night). Because he was still on the leash, the instructions called on us to go out with him more often too. We, of course, were glad to do it. After two weeks, his urine tested 100% free of blood and pathogens. 'Sbeen a rough mid-year for Siegfried!

Morris Dean, off caffeine (virtually)
    I conferred with my doctor about my heart palpitations reported last month. The report sent her by the company that provides the 2-week heart monitors was quite detailed and identified my palpitations as symptoms of supraventricular tachycardia – "a rapid heart rhythm originating at or above the atrioventricular node." The report identified all of the irregularities over the 13-day period I was monitored. The episodes were barely more than the five or six I noticed and made a note of in their diary, and only one was lengthy - going on for about five seconds at a rate of about 160 beats per minute.
    My doctor seems to have been right in letting me know exactly four weeks earlier (by way of a telephone call from her nurse) that I should stop drinking stimulants, such as coffee (that hasn't been decaffeinated). I resisted that for almost two weeks, but only because I wasn't given sufficient information on the phone. As a possible result, during that period I noticed a significant increase in the number of incidents I was observing - even several on the same day for several days. So, about two weeks after the nurse called me, I started making only one cup of coffee (in the French press we use), for my wife, and, on the first two days I even poured out the extra coffee. On the third day, however, and ever since, I started having the extra swallow or two (sometimes three) "for my morale." The result seems to confirm, if only circumstantially, that the caffeine stimulation may indeed have been the main (or at least a significant) contributor, for I have had very few "incidents" subsequently. Fortunately, I didn't have any "withdrawal symptoms" from virtually stopping drinking coffee. No headaches or anything like that.
    Of course, tea and chocolate and colas also contain caffeine. And my doctor reiterated that insufficient sleep can also provoke the body into producing the stimulant adrenaline.

    She also gave me a printout titled, "Supraventricular Tachycardia: After Your Visit - Your Care Instructions." Of special interest to me is the statement that "your doctor may suggest that you try vagal maneuvers." She didn't suggest this, but my wife was curious what "vagal maneuvers" were. They are actions intended to slow the heart rate and to convert to sinus [normal] rhythm. "Vagal" refers to the vagus nerve, which can be involved when you're straining to have a bowel movement and as a result begin to feel light-headed – something I occasionally experience. Vagal maneuvers include: holding your breath, bearing down as though having a bowel movement [see above], or attempting exhalation against a closed airway (the "Valsalva maneuver" – usually done by closing one's mouth and pinching one's nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon). Somehow, I hope I don't have another long-lasting palpitation indicating that I maybe should try this.
    My doctor kindly agreed to an interview for "Ask Wednesday" ["Whitman Reardon, MD on medical doctoring," November 21, 2012].

My wife baked me a blueberry pie.

Copyright © 2014 by Morris Dean

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fifth Saturday Fiction

Chapter 16. Santa Teresa, from the novel Boystown

By Ed Rogers

[The first-person narrator is James Hamilton, a Vietnam draft dodger and entrepreneur. In this chapter he’s flying with his friend Jay, who sometimes flies for the C.I.A., to pick up product and distribute cash. Previous excerpt, "The Hippie Experience," published here on March 15.]

Behind us the demons wrought hell on earth, but once again the jaws of death hadn’t closed fast enough. The night sky was clear and beautiful. I looked at Jay—his shirt was black from the sweat. My own shirt clung to me and sweat ran down my back, and the top of my jeans felt wet. “I’ll bet we lost ten pounds fighting that damn storm.”

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

What if today's papers and news stories read:
In Chiapas and Palestine armed soldiers threw down their arms, ripped off their uniforms and returned to their homes convinced they were wasting their time serving someone else's interests. Finding themselves unprotected para-military groups and assailants did the same in an unexpected act of self-esteem and love for humanity. There was confusion and bliss among many, the Zapatista and Palestinian people continued their daily work of reconstruction. Around the world belligerent armies follow the example, perplexed as to why they had waited so long when their heart was telling them all along what was the right thing to do.
    We can propose a vision, yes? –Francisco Javier Herrera Brambila

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thor's Day: Where the spirit lives

Bilingual dream work

By Ralph Earle








How we struggle to frame our dreams
in language not entirely familiar, dreams
of finding the way by car to the gathering,
or rolling secretly off a train
headed to the wrong town.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

How can I amicably deal with my unbearable neighbors?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by ADVICE...you DID expect that...didn’t you?]

My neighbors are making my life unbearable! They play loud music, especially on weekends, and they are always bar-b-cuing and the smoke comes over to my garden, making sitting outside very unpleasant. They are a young family with four children under 12. I know it’s hard keeping them all amused, but my husband and I are in our 60s and want a quieter life. We’ve already been there, done it, and wear the T-shirt, if you know what I mean!
    How can I approach the subject without causing an issue? We have been neighbors for five years, and up until the past summer we never had any cross words. –Neighbor


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Posthumously speaking 2

European Cityscape (detail)
Paintings out of longing

By Mary Alice Condley (1925-2007)

[Editor's Note: The three paintings shown today are in the collections of the artist's grandson Stephen Denham & granddaughter Jo Condley Snyder. We thank them for permission to use them.
    Four paintings in the collections of granddaughter Dianne Condley Kapigian and great granddaughter Rayanne Kapigian were shown on July 15.
]


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fourth Monday Susan Speaks

My stepdad

By Susan C. Price

My stepdad, Lou, was dying. He had entered the Intensive Care Unit one day ago. His assigned nurse, Gene, was short, red-headed, and male. Dad and Gene appreciated each other’s sense of humor and for some reason, Gene had indicated he was gay. Lou had no problem with this. ( I was relieved. Dad’s supervision of African American’s in the war had left him uncharacteristically prejudiced.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Review: The Assets (TV)

Not an asset to ABC

By Morris Dean

ABC started running its series The Assets early in January. My wife and I watched the first two episodes and loved the program, which is based on the career of CIA analyst Aldrich Ames and how he was identified as the mole who had sold lethal information to the Soviets in the 1980s. The CIA officers who encouraged and led the investigation, Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille, wrote the book, Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames, on which the series is based.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fourth Saturday's Loneliest Liberal: In praise of Augusts

Then & now

By James Knudsen

August is here! I suppose it’s everywhere else too, but here in the San Joaquin Valley it means we are enjoying the last days of summer and some of us are getting the new school year underway. I am currently in the second week of the Fall 2014 semester at Fresno City College. It wasn’t always this way.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Some more on Ferguson: "In Ferguson the violence of the state created the violence of the street." Excerpt:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thor's Day: Biblical guidance

One of the author's favorite scenes,
looking down from Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Thank you, Bible scholars

By Craig Johnson

I'm writing to thank Opinion Page Bible scholars for educating us regarding God's law. I share their wisdom with as many people as possible. For example, when someone defends the homosexual lifestyle, I remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly declares it an abomination. End of debate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Why announce no column today?

Well, it's like this

By Morris Dean

A few days ago, I was talking with Susan C. Price about scheduling her upcoming "Ask Susan" columns, of which I have four ready to go. I told her I didn't have anything else for "Ask Wednesday" right now, so I guessed I'd just run those four starting today for four consecutive Wednesdays. No problem...except that I hated to just use 'em all up all that, especially since we don't have any additional questions in stock for her. (You could help with that, you know.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Coober Pedy (Part 4)

A miner's tale

By George Kountouris

[Sequel to "Down in the mines"]

[Foreword from Vic Midyett: We met George in his retail store in Coober Pedy, which he opens in the afternoons after spending the morning at his mine site. His wife and kids live in Adelaide, where they have another retail store. The Kountouris' website is called "Opal Now"; it is still under construction, with more product pictures coming soon.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Third Monday Musing

Interlude

By Morris Dean

This column's regular host, Eric Meub, is taking a pause from musing. In the interim, we'll be using his Third Monday slot for whatever other musings might come along, keeping the slot readily available for Eric's brand of musings whenever he's ready to start again. We all look forward to his return.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Review: Labor Day

Love's labor not lost

By Morris Dean

"Labor Day" (2013, directed by Jason Reitman, starring Kate Winslet & Josh Brolin) afforded my wife and me a satisfying movie-watching experience for Friday night, courtesy of our local library.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Third Saturday Fiction

Excerpts from Chapters 20-25 from the novel Death Mask

By Steve Glossin

[Bob Tilden and his old boss Bill Holden are in Saudi Arabia, on the trail of the mysterious, fabulously wealthy collector – The Egyptian – believed to have purchased relics stolen from the grave of Tupac Amaru, the Last Inca....]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fish for Friday

Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014)
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

The Daily Show website is doing a special on remembering Robin Williams, with a link to his recent appearances with Jon Stewart.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thor's Day: A love ethic in practice

Celebrating life by helping others

By Joel Kleinberg

Years ago I decided to make people's lives happier, not harder. So I decided I'd never write letters of complaint, but rather I'd write "the boss" only to compliment exceptional service. Here is one of many notes written over the years that can serve as a format for yours:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Donna Carney on dog rescue and transport

The Schnauzer contingent of the Carney Family
[click to enlarge]
Work from the heart

Edited by Morris Dean

Donna Carney and her husband have been helping with dog rescue in the area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they live, for the last couple of years. My wife and I learned about their work when we visited them in April – and were able to spend some happy time around their ménage of four miniature Schnauzers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Coober Pedy (Part 3)

Down in the mines

By Vic Midyett

[Sequel to "Looking around the town"]

We visited one of the opal mines that are open to the public. It wasn't in use anymore, but they try real hard to sell you the opals they have in their showroom. Their income depends on allowing tourists to wander around underground looking at all the corridors the miners made when hunting the gem.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Second Monday Music: An amateur opera

No, the reviewer, not the opera!

By Chuck Smythe

[Editor's Note: Chuck did say in his most recent character update: “Want an amateur opera review?”]

I recently attended a performance of The Marriage of Figaro at Colorado’s Central City Opera. This was, if I recall rightly, only about the eighth opera I’ve ever attended. I hope you will be entertained by the impressions of a neophyte. The location alone makes this an Experience. Central City was one of the richest of Colorado’s gold rush towns.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Review: A Most Wanted Man, Lucy, and Begin Again

2½ summer films worth seeing

By Jonathan Price

My last summer film review [July 20] apparently was a downer for some readers, who concluded I was turned off on the films I saw, and that none of them were worth seeing, which was not my point, but I’ll try not to be so opaque in this review of three films that opened recently, and each of which is definitely worth seeing, with some minor reservations about the third: A Most Wanted Man, Lucy, and Begin Again.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Second Saturday's Sonnet

Bottom

By Eric Meub


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Why bother getting out of bed? It’s not
As if we’re here in season: covered pool
And lounge chairs stacked like firewood as a rule.
I say resort, you think forsaken spot.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Robert Reich observes that what someone is paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society: "Work and Worth." Excerpt:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thor's Day: A Christian-atheist conversation, Part 2

About Christianity’s non-“holy days”

By Kyle Garza & Morris Dean

[Sequel to “About animal rights]

Kyle: Morris, you claimed in this column on June 5 (“Value experience for its own sake: It’s an art”) that a second flaw of Christianity is that it devalues experience that doesn’t occur on the “holy days.” You wrote that it implicitly demotes days that aren’t sabbaths (or Saint’s days, or other religious holidays) to a lesser status.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

How can I stop lying?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by ADVICE...you DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I keep telling lies! I can’t help myself, I’ve always done it – even as a small boy. But now that I’m in my thirties it’s becoming a big problem!
    I lie about trivial things like how many sugars I’ve put in someone’s coffee, and I tell serious lies with regards to work, like having had an appointment with a client when I haven’t! It’s only a matter of time before I can’t cover my tracks and will be fired. I have changed jobs every two to three years because of this but I’ve now met a wonderful girl and want to settle down, get married, and have a family.
    So far I haven’t lied to her but I’m sure I will in time if I don’t get help. –Not Lying


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Coober Pedy (Part 2)

Looking around the town

By Vic Midyett

[Sequel to "The opal capital of the world"]

We began to explore and found an underground Greek Serbian orthodox church dug out by the Greek community many years ago, probably in the 1950s, and, as we were given to understand, mostly built by Italians. It is still an active church:

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Monday with Characters

Edited by Morris Dean

The Rogers, going with the odds
Sorry I left you believing Janie had Parkinson's Disease. We were told a couple of months ago by our neurologist in Costa Rica that she didn't have PD, and we wanted to wait until we saw our doctor in the States and she had an MRI before sharing that happy news.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Review: Winged Migration

In memoriam the birds that didn't made it

By Morris Dean

Our local public library system doesn't have the two Disneynature films The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (2008) or Wings of Life (2011), which I mentioned in my July 6 review of Earth and Oceans. But it does have the 2001 documentary Winged Migration (directed by Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats, and Jacques Perrin, having no affiliation with Disney), which showcases the immense journeys routinely made by birds during their migrations. And it's a beautiful, eerie film.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thirst Satyrday for Eros: Visual images

How are they erotic?

By Susan C. Price

I don't personally see any of my drawings as erotic, they are just about the shapes and light and dark and what I can see. Well, when a model is facing their crotch to me, I draw what I can see. We rarely get male models, unfortunately.