Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A window into my developing brain

I was digging through some boxes in an obsessed blitz to get rid of all the crap I’ve accumulated over the years when I came across a trove of old drawing pads. I’ll share some of their contents without further ado, for they represent a nostalgic progression of my youthful evolution. Click for a close up.

This is Whirlwind. I created him when I was 13 years old. My reflexive analysis is that he represents apparently what I wanted at 13: power, muscles, and sharp fingernails. He’s also a clear rip off of an Image Comics character that I was reading at the time.
Fast forward later that year, and you’ll find my aspirations on steroids. (Yes, that is a bloody heart in his hand) I can’t remember if I named him or not, so I’ll just call him “Asshole” for now.
Four years later, I had evidently not grown.
By 18, I had left superheroes and monsters behind for my cult leader Maynard James Keenan of the band Tool . . .
 . . . and the talentless goddess Shirley Manson of the band ironically called Garbage.
This is my father. We bore a striking resemblance when we were 19.
At 22, I took my first and last art class. It was okay, I guess. I learned a couple cool techniques, like covering paper with charcoal and drawing with an eraser. Never thought of that before.
This last one was drawn with a stump of charcoal. I had never sketched anything without using a single line before. Never thought of that before either.

I'm sure you noticed they're all in pencil or charcoal. I don't remember owning a single set of Crayons as a kid and as a result, I never learned to use color. I also wanted to learn the piano but that was even more expensive than Crayons. Goddamned limiting properties of money. Anyway, I've tried paints, and color pencils, and Crayons. Still working on those skills. I'm sure you also noticed that most of them are unfinished. I can't explain that one, but to this day, I still leave a lot of my artwork unfinished. It's a special occasion when I'm finished and completely satisfied with one.

I have stacks of other drawings and even some from when I was in elementary school but I can’t find them. Those are cool. It’s interesting to see how your mind interpreted your environment when you were still half-wild and without concern. Oh, Life, how you’ve changed us all.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Provisional words to distract you from the fact that I have absolutely nothing to say OR Favicons.

Ah, satisfaction. I finally figured out how to put my goddamned pig face into my URL. Notice how I referred to the thumbnail as a “goddamned pig face” and not the common name which it goes by? YOU figure it out, jerks. It’s not like it’s hard. I’m just a moron. In fact, there are much smarter people than me who actually write moron interface so dopes like me can scratch their monkey heads until a eureka moment dawns over their little horizons and they brag-blog about it. BOO-yakasha!
In other news, I’m still trying to update my “Testimonials” page every Wednesday and I’m having a great deal of personal amusement in doing so. I’d like to thank, among others, Rachel Maddow, Kim Jong-Il, Mel Gibson, Rod Blagojevich, and the reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan for their kind words. That being said, I have no idea if anyone’s reading their reviews and there’s nothing sadder than a man gut laughing at his own humor, alone on a Saturday night. I don’t quite know how to remedy that but I am now taking creative suggestions.

Until I think of something better,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The nature of my nature

Attention people. I am hereby announcing a new interest: sailing. See, since I’ve proven unsuccessful in life and will eventually be naturally selected off the planet (a painful, painful truth), I decided some time ago to simply abandon society one day and walk with beasts until I burn out and die. True story. I await only a single catalyst, which I won't name here. There's no need for alarm. This isn't a confession of suicide or anything. On the contrary, it seems like a much better way to live than to be perpetually feeling my way through an ever changing maze. In fact, I’m kind of glad these past few years have been such a struggle. If they hadn’t been, God only knows how long I’d be blindly chasing the American Dream. Perhaps I’d have never realized its controlling effect.

My recent trip to Big Bend was a kind of trial run for how I’d fare in the most extreme conditions and to my dismay, it proved even more treacherous than expected. I don’t mind not living to 80 but I most certainly don’t want to croak in my 30s, which is what would have happened if I’d needed to hunt and gather and scare away big animals that wanted to eat me every day.

So sailing.

I can’t think of anything more wild. The ocean makes so much sense now. It was an undesirable place for me when wanderlust first struck my heart. I was barely a man and people and ignorance weren’t so upsetting for me then because I was a part of it. I first arrived in Canada at the age of 20, a solo high school dropout, an American statistic, unknowingly becoming self-aware. The world outside of the United States never crossed my mind so you can trust me when I say that I was the worst of ambassadors but I had charm and a pretty sweet vocabulary from all the fiction I’d read in lieu of school books. Traveling taught me as much as I learned in college the following years. “I wake to sleep and take my waking slow/I learn by going where I have to go” so says Roethke. So say I.

Having a community is no longer the necessity I need fulfilled as I did at 20, and I finally appreciate my unusual interests and the complementary nature of solitude. I used to think I was just degrading out of American norms that I couldn’t fit into and in a way I suppose that’s true. But those norms are sedentary and such inaction blobs us into diabetes and heart disease, xenophobic fascism, and an ignorant fury that sounds loudest: freedom, freedom, freedom. It’s all for you. I could handle it all if there wasn’t such a quiet despair storming in my mind. At least I can see it. So many people never understand their discontent and are dragged to the end of their days unwilling to let go of all that was left unaccomplished. I can’t have that.

Since I know nothing of sailing, it’s going to take some time to get acquainted. I invite any of you to email me links or book suggestions if you've got 'em. In the meantime, I think I’ll stroll through a few more national parks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amazing puppet update

Folks, I have nothing to say, but since I haven’t said anything in a while, I thought I’d update you on the puppet project I’ve been lazily working on.

First, let me say that I will not be performing with this thing. I regard ventriloquists as dumbshit hacks and I have no interested in joining their ranks. There seems to be some confusion about that.

Second, it’s unlikely I’ll finish this by Halloween, which was my original reason for even starting, but that’s okay ‘cause I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process.

Third, rather than take a bunch of pictures of the thing and its parts, I’ve uploaded a second video starring the sexiest man alive, me. If any of you comment on how rigid and uncomfortable I appear to be on camera, I will choke you unconscious.

Fourth, for those of you who remember my little art project from last year, fear not. The puppet is office/child/elderly/pet friendly. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Friday was a day of loss. First, my favorite coffeeshop suddenly closed shop and left me streamlined to a Starbucksian limbo. I haunt around three places in my little comfort bubble and 360 Primo has been one of them for several years. The coffee was perfect, too. But now it’s closed, and no matter how much I want things to remain the same, they change. In retrospect, I see it now. There was a point a few weeks back when the owner’s and the baristas’ attitudes toward me became strangely friendly. One of them even called me by name, though I’ve never given it to anyone there. I’m still figuring out the psychology behind that.

Second, a friend of mine finally succumbed to her struggle with pancreatic cancer. Her name was Janelle Dupont. We tutored writing together at Austin Community College for the past few years. The last time I had seen her was several months ago. Her skin had turned completely yellow by the time my shift ended and she never returned to work. It’s important to understand that I call few people “friend” so to lose one of them . . . stings. Janelle was good people. She was someone I listened to and learned from and whom I wish I’d been around more as a developing man. I loved her mind and I valued her insight and embraced her influence. She will be missed, by me and by many others.

The world turns. Know what I mean?
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