Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dear Cool Kids.....

Dear Cool Kids----
We need to talk.  Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time together, but this week, something happened that bothers me.  In one of my classes, I overheard some of you discussing another student.  I get it….she just isn’t *that* cool.  …..at least not as cool as you…..but the truth is, I’ve sat next to her too and she a much better draftsman than most of us….not to mention she’s incredibly smart AND has a delightful sense of humor albeit a bit quirky.  Many of my favorite people are introverted and some are even a tad socially awkward…..and it will stay that way.  Truth be told, even I haven’t always been as “cool” as I might seem.  Sure, I blend in pretty well.  I studied you “cool kids,” read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People” (twice), and bought a bunch of clothes at Banana Republic……it’s like “cool kid” camo….and it works pretty well.  …..and whilst I’m over the childish games, I will not stand by and watch you behave this way towards others.  She and anyone else who has been spoken about this way have an open invitation to sit near me…..in any class…..and I promise to always stand up for them in life.
Sincerely,
e

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Find the MONK(e)

Check it out!!!  There is a MONK(e) on this guy's shirt!.....AND the message is excellent.

: - )



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hypothetically Speaking

Let us suppose I had something to say. Better yet let's suppose I had something to say that was worth hearing or at least not a complete waste of your time.

Wouldn't that be something? Of course it would. And something is certainly better than nothing, at least in this case, so let's run with this assumption; if only for a moment.

I think it safe to say that this post would address some situation or experience common to most. A relatively serious topic but told with a pinch of absurdity and the kind of humor that makes a tough pill easier to swallow. Perhaps an amusing life story from my own experience will serve to illustrate the point and create a sense of camaraderie betwixt author and reader as we bond over our common plight.

And then we'll end with a moment of insight, again presented with just the right amount of hilarity, which allows you to carry a lighter more humorous perspective on the topic into your daily life, you're welcome for that, thus rendering your life generally improved if only in the most minor of fashions.

Yeah... That'd be great...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's in a word?

The power of words is astounding.  There are some words I loathe listening to, some I like listening to, some I love listening to, and some I long to listen to again.  Some words are binding, some are frivolous, and some are laughable……but alas they all have meaning.  …..but it’s written words I love the most.  From love letters on little scrolls and contracts to*real* mail in my mailbox and tiny notes on yellow post-its….I love them all.  …...but journaling may be my favorite.  My journals are a beautiful review of yesterday’s thoughts in the world one must in live today.  ….there are times I wonder *why*  am  where I am, but to be able to see God’s hand placing me exactly where I am today through the pages of yesterday and yesteryear’s journals is amazing.  My own words on paper, written thoughtfully and with conviction in moments of clarity often answer that *why.*  They help me to recognize God’s infallibility and remain courageous in the midst of adversity.  Sure things change, even written words, regardless of how *binding* they seem, are often broken…..but that’s the fallibility of mankind….it’s free choice at its finest….and it’s part of the beauty we reserve as human beings.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Naked Truth

I’m back to figure drawing this semester….and whilst my perspective is far better than it used to be, it’s still a bit off.  I *could* of course say it is on purpose and be a self-proclaimed “Picasso”……yet this hardly holds water.  After all, Picasso was painting photo-realistically as a teen…..and I’m still trying to get beyond stick figures at the age of 30. 

 ……so here I present to you my interpretation…..or misinterpretation as it may be…..of the human figure.


My grandmother has always stated that in art “One must know the rules in order to break the rules.”  ….which I suppose is kind of like “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?”  …..so if you don’t *know* the rules, is it even possible to “break” them?  Just sayin’…..

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sit Down and Row

Crew season is cranking back up.  …..and I can’t quite escape the call of the water.  I’m stoked and yet baffled as to how this is going to fit into my schedule…..oh-well….I’ll sort the details out later.
During the first practice of last semester as I sat tottering precariously in the boat learning to row, I recalled the story of Jesus sending his disciples out to sea.  The boats of Jesus’ day were equipped with oars, much like ours…..and I imagine that even without The Weather Channel, Jesus still knew that storm was coming…..after all….he was God.  Yet he sent his disciples out to row anyway.  …..a test of sorts? .....maybe.  …..and with Jesus out of sight and the waves out of control, the disciples got scared…..yet his instructions were clear: “Sit Down and Row……I’ll meet you on the other side.”  In our boats even prematurely pulling an oar in can upset the boat and puts the safety of the entire crew in jeopardy…..I can’t help but wonder if one of the disciples might have done the same thing.

Where is it at? In The Midst Of Abject Failure.

I recently read something that was posted in a place of business by a person of not insignificant professional standing and success which caused me great pain. The post read, "there is alot of nice people in the world". If this doesn't pain you then reading the rest of this post may be time you could better spend elsewhere. Perhaps in an intro level English course. Ok; so maybe that's a bit harsh... But only a little bit. It was all I could do not to correct the grammar and use of an imaginary word. I mean how hard is it to write, "there are a lot of nice people in the world". Sadly etiquette dictated that I hold both tongue and red pen; leaving the offending pseudo sentence intact.

And then; as is often the case my pride in a superior level of grammatical prowess was laid low when in response to being asked to acquire an item for a coworker I asked, "where is it at", thus uttering one of the vilest curses known to grammar. I ended a sentence with a preposition. And with a preposition which was entirely superfluous. Though this was several days past the shame haunts me; even now robbing me of sleep and playing endlessly through my mind ; a nightmare I can't escape.

My cohort recently brought up the issue of imperfection, especially as it relates to the use of language, and apparently she's no the only one suffering this affliction. We can only hope that it won't become a chronic condition lest the blog suffer.

After all it'd be really alloying if the posts was full of error and missspeilings with run on sentences and it's punctuation all messed up well just hope that doesn't happen cause how pathetic would that be.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Someone is sending me flowers!!!

Winter has been mild so far this year…..I speak hesitantly of course as we aren’t out of the woods yet.  It was around this time last year that Jack Frost & his cronies dumped more than 10” on snow on us …..and as if one storm wasn’t enough, he came back a few weeks later & did it again.  The blessing was that I spent those days curled up with my books, my art, and my God alone in a quiet place.  The fireplace crackled and problems were solved by a long soak in the tub. 

Our lives have seasons too and a period of “winter” began in my life around that same time, although it didn’t dissipate until long after the snow had melted and I’d stowed my sweaters for colder days.  Yet in God’s own and mysteriously magical way, he began melting the coldness in my heart as he sent flowers to me week after week.  The flowers began in late February as the crocuses poked through the mulch.  ….and the festival of flowers continued. 




Each new flower filled a special corner in my heart that felt so broken and empty.  The spring of my life broke a few months later and I am thankful to once again live in the bliss that only summertime can provide. 
You are here for a reason; BLOOM!.....despite the conditions.
Less than four weeks now before the spring bulbs will begin popping up!  Enjoy….God is sending you flowers too!


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Phone On My Last Camera

In this day and age (Friday the thirteenth day of January in the year of our Lord 2012; to be specific) it is exceptionally common for those of us living in so called "first world" (an expression I'm not really sure is accurate in the case of the United States as our founding is predated by the founding of just about every other country that exists making us more like the last world... Unless this is one of those the first shall be last and the last shall be first things... But I digress... As usual.) countries to posess electronic devices possessed with such a plethora of functions that they put a Swiss army knife to shame. In the course of a recent conversation with my illustrious co-author I made reference to "the phone on my last camera" (both of which were only marginally useful at best and have now been replaced with a superior camera that came equipped with a equally superior phone) now this was an unintentional reversal of the device's roles but it raised an interesting question. If the device contains within its whole a selection of discrete functions otherwise available as standalone devices than which component of the aggregate becomes the primary defining feature. Most, I suspect, would argue that the device's defining feature is that component which the manufacturer names as primary. In the case of my current camera the manufacturer, Apple, has left little question as to what they consider the defining characteristic. After all it's called an iPhone not an iCamera. By as my references to the device indicate this is not a view I'm certain I share. Certainly the device operates as a perfectly competent phone, and this functionality was key in my decision to purchase the device, but as I have begun using my "iPhone" I find that the phone is far from the most commonly utilized function. if you haven't figured it out by now the camera see a lot more use than the phone. As do the internet browser, banking apps, and bible. It has also become my favorite board game. So why if the phone is not the function of primary use; should it be the function of primary definition. Personally I think I have a camera with a great phone. Maybe a you have an internet browser which came conveniently equipped with a phone or maybe you have a phone with some other function. Either way I refuse to be confined by some one else's view of how I should view my device. After all a flashlight that can surf the internet and video conference with my brother in Germany is way cooler than a phone with a camera.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Gift....

Probably not news to you, it still comes as a shock to me, that I’m not perfect.
Just Kidding!
....about the "shocking" part....
Brene Brown refers to “imperfection” as a “gift”…..and whilst I rarely feel like saying “thank you”, I have discovered that I’m “gifted” in some ways….Speiling being one of them.  To the core I am a creative person and sometimes this attribute displays itself in grand grammatical faux pas.  Over the last few weeks, I have been photographing the "I Believe..." project…..and although I seem to catch the spelling & grammar errors of others, I am incapable of proof reading my own board.  Blast!  I present the following as proof:

....if you can not figure out what the "problem" is with the one on the lower left, read not further....stop what you are doing immediately & go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I have however, come up with three possible solutions for said issue:
1.)    Spring for a chalkboard complete with a grammar checking app.  I’ve looked into this and it seems these are not available on the market.  ……silly me….. I thought there was an app for EVERYTHING.

2.)    Hire a red pen wielding English major.  That pretty much summarizes the answer to the age old question, “What can one do with a BA in English?” 

3.)    Hire a Scribe.  Some when posed with the question of who the first person they would hire if they were independently wealthy would answer: a maid or a butler or a personal trainer or even a cabana boy…..but personally, I would like a scribe.   That’s right, a guy with a notebook and a pen to just follow me around a take notes on all the ridiculous things I think up.   If you too are in the market for a scribe, try: www.societyofscribes.org  ….no really….it exists.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stepping Out of the Proverbial Circle

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
It’s time to step up and step out of the proverbial circle!  I’m pretty sure there’s quick sand in the circle anyway…..too much time there and you’re sure to be stuck for good…..and that would be bad.


Say farewell to the miry, murky abyss of yesterday or yesteryears regrets.  To BUSY?  We all are! …..get over yourself.  Think the world won’t go on without your presence?  …..It has been for somewhere between 4000 & misc billions of years (depending on beliefs)…..and will do so tomorrow.  No one ever made a mark without coloring outside the lines, grab your brush and throw paint. Life is a canvas you can’t afford to leave blank.  Canvases that look like everyone else’s will be discarded without thought…..it’s only those who paint and live boldly that will be remembered for eternity.

To The Full: Or, Life As It Should Be

Daring the distillation of delusion and dream drege the depths of despair and desire dividing the deceased from their death and dissolve dismay discovering

Passion powerful and profound practicing principle and patience persistently pursuing present potential purging the pain of a poisoned past

Sets sail on sapphire seas soaring swiftly storm chased and serpent faced surviving the swells safely seperated from sabotage of soul spirit stabbing skyward eyes set

Forward forgoing the flailing of fury a focused fervor forges ahead forming friendships fixed in faith and fellowship a future assured no fear of failure or famine

Hunger for hope and healing now wholly satisfied a heroic heart battles the hidden horror of hoarded hatred halting a harrowing decent here a haven claimed on holy hill now home of him

Redeemed...

My thoughts on life as it ought to be lived. More to come.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Polka Dot Rebellion

The tallented Hillora Lang wrote a poem about my rockin' polka dotted shoes.....Check it out......HERE!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hiding.....

Just because things are mundane, doesn’t make them simple…..and  simplicity and complexity are not mutually exclusive…..just sayin’.  Yes, yes here at the “Mundane Life,” we’re usually focused on simple things, although as I mentally explore the “simple things”, I find that at a less superficial level they are the most complex of all. 
I’ve recently become intrigued by what we “hide” behind.  …..titles….beauty….intellect….wealth….strength....success….confidence.… spirituality….anything really.  Sometimes we hide behind more tangible things too like scuba diving or motorcycle riding or sororities or clubs or social media or work to be a part of a “group”….sporting T-shirts and bumper stickers that “group” us into something……a something we use as identification.  
…..many of these are “good”….right? 
Of course!
…..but what if we become so “busy” being these things or even just “appearing” to be these things that we fail to connect with others. 
Sometimes I hide behind my camera…. literally in the sense that it is in front of my face and figuratively as it gives me “something to do” in awkward situations.  I take it everywhere.  …..and I probably won’t stop.  I enjoy telling stories through photography.  I “speak” with my camera as often as I do with a pen.  ….but sometimes I take it along just to have “something to do.”  I’m like Linus with my security blanket.
I’ve also hidden behind drinking.  I’m talking less about alcohol’s mind & emotional numbing properties and more about drinking as a “social activity.”  I’m not making light of the physical struggle some have with alcohol or ignoring the fact that I too have at times escaped in that mindless abyss.  …..but today I’d rather instead draw attention to an aspect of drinking for which there are no “groups.”  
Society is centered on it. 
The phrase “Let’s grab a drink.” is on the tips of tongues.  Sure, sometimes we “Get some coffee” or “Go for a walk”…..but more often we “Meet for a drink.” 
In 2009, I visited a friend in California. He doesn’t drink.  He never has.  His reasons are refreshing….even beautiful…..not the usual judgmental, religious mumbo-jumbo.   He doesn’t sit at home, away from bars and restaurants.  He goes out with friends, listens to bands, and stays out late.  I wondered what he might be seeing that I wasn’t.  
…….I didn’t drink for the next 14 weeks.
The first 4 weeks were the most difficult as I retrained friends. Yet, I continued to do the things I had always done, but without the seemingly “socially required” drink.  I didn’t at all feel depraved in those 14 weeks, but connected more fully…..to others….to the world around me….and even to myself.
 Last year I had two New Year’s resolutions; both were designed to connect me more fully with God.  This year, I want to connect more fully with others.  As symbolic evidence of this commitment, I am once again giving up drinking……until May…..at a minimum.
 “….I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”
– H.D. Thoreau 
……let the journey begin.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year......Same God.....

2011 was a crazy-crazy year with 49 credit hours of school, a half marathon, and a new city added to my Turkey Trot list.  I painted more than 40 painting, took 9000 photographs, and spent 400 hours of studying the Bible.  I traveled through nine states, mailed 500+ pieces of mail, tithed every month (this was last year's resolution), doubled the number of tequila shots I’ve done in my lifetime, joined the rowing crew, and used of 6 tubes of yellow paint.  I’ve moved, made new friends, volunteered, and visited old friends.  Placed 9th in a Road Rally and played bombardier in a flour bombing competition.  I cried most days and laughed on all of them.  I would NEVER choose to go back through this year again, but equally wouldn’t give up the experience of having gone through it.  God has shown in love, mercy, wisdom, and peace……and yet I am sooooooo thankful that 2012 is here.
______________________________
......as much as 2011 tested what I believe, it has also concreated so many things into my mind that I will take into 2012 and every year to follow hereafter.  Through all of it I have become curious as to what other people believe and have launched a project called "I believe..."  The chalkboard you see above is my primary prop.  You (the reader) can look forward to seeing more of "I believe..." in the very near future. : )

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Deck The Halls v. 2.1

What happens to v. 2.0 you ask. My blogger app ate it. Last time I try using an app to write these things. It occurred to me yesterday that I had promised a Christmas card on the day which the card was to celebrate. Clearly I bombed that. I am terribly sorry. But better late than never; as they say. So in order to not miss the holiday season completely and too prevent being more than fashionably late; here is your card.







Merry Christmas all. And since we, as always I mean me, are in the holiday spirit here are some pictures of the finished decorations in my Christmas nook.



The lighting in these is terrible; or as Charles Barkley would say, "turruble, just turruble", but those are my playing card snowflakes hanging above the tree. When we say we're going to deck the halls we mean it. However in the interest of full disclosure I feel I should admit that the halls are really only about 25% decked as I ran out of ribbon long before I ran out of cards.

With Christmas now past and the new year upon us I'm ringing in 2012 with a ringing in my ears courtesy of these guys and gals. Skillet was as always the highlight of the show for our group. With Red also doing their best to make my ears bleed. And a killer performance by Switchfoot; which I was the only one in my group to enjoy because all my friends were apparently tapping into their inner eighty-nine year old woman and couldn't hang until the end of the show. Their loss.

I hope that the new year finds you well and bring you all manner of the extraordinarily mundane. Happy new year! I hope you enjoy it 'cause apparently this is the last one we're getting.