Thanksgiving & Nothingness
It is the day after Thanksgiving and I am at an impasse. The question is weather to join the throngs of shoppers out there, spending... or just continue the chilling out at home. There is now a brief stretch of open time ahead... work will resume on Monday, but here it is Friday morning.
One of my constant concerns is the lack of time just like this - time. And when I get it, I am usually reluctant and at the same time eager to fill it up with some strange activity. Such minor concerns I have in life...

Waking up in Montgomery
Yep, I woke up in Montgomery Alabama this morning.
In a brand new apartment, that goes with my brand new job!
I will start teaching art at Alabama State University on Aug 12.
Goodbye andrew College, and good luck.

My girls are still asleep.
They wore themselves out yesterday at the pool while the moving men and I lugged stuff up the 3 flights to the apartment.
Actually stina's back went out yesterday while she was packing boxes so if she had tried to help I would have been really mad about it.

Montgomery seems to be a growing city, shopping places everywhere, We have a comic book store, a coffee shop, 2 grocery stores and a sushi resteraunt at our nearest intersection ...and an Applebee's! That is just slightly less that we had access to in the whole town of Eufaula.

For the next 4 months to a year I'll be in this apartment for most of the weekdays - while teaching. I'll be seeing the girls - driving home or they will come here - on the weekends. And the new project will be getting rid of extra stuff. We have too much accumulated stuff. A lot of it is toys & treasures... and movies... and art supply stuff... that I have accumulated over the years.
But that is the American way after all. "Have more stuff!" Hell yes I will thank you. The comic book stores (more than one in town!) in close proximity are going to be hard to avoid on a regular basis.

The problem of the day: We have coffee maker and freshly brewed coffee, we have milk and some breakfast stuff, but we have no sugar.
We forgot it!
The question is, is it worth 3 flights of stairs and a short drive at 7:42 AM to get a sweet cup of coffee?
...well, yea I guess it is.
If that is the toughest decision I have to make today everything is going to be just fine.


I found out tonight that a very good old friend of mine has gone and died.
Cancer is the culprit.

It had been years since we had spoken,
just lost touch over time.
We knew what state he was living in, had an idea of the City, 
and just assumed we would get together at some point in the future and carry on just like we used to.
Chris was one of those amazing, energetic, fun-loving, troublemaking friends that wasjust one hell of a good guy to know.

It's hard not to think about all the time that has passed since we last spoke, how he must have been doing, 
...maybe he was not that willing to be talking to people about his cancer,
maybe losing touch was not so acciental... 

Regardless of speculation, it is a hard thing to take.

a good person gone, 
in real life

Cheers to that crazy bald-headed Irishman
listening to that damned 'Eek-a mouse' reggae music that only he liked,
keeping me out all night drinking bushmills and eating pancakes on one of the very first nights of my marriage 
- and causing quite a problem for the newfound domesticity I might add.

I just wish we could have been there for him, or done something, 
yea, he might not have wanted any pity, or to be seen at less than full power,
but still...
he was a friend,
and he will be missed.

It is one thiing to speculate about death, 
but when it really comes down 
that shit is hard to take.

The trouble with optimism...
Damn it,

Apparently I am one of these folks cursed with an 'even keel.' 
By that I mean I don't get pissed off much. I don't get all hatefull. 

I have in the past, for consecutive years at a time, been both pissed and hatefull and I guess I just got to the point where it seemed pointless to waste my energy on hating things that I was powerless to control.

What is the saying: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
(every time I think of that I hear Sinead O'conner saying it - ironic that,) 

There is always something negative you can come up with to promote more negativity,
but why bother. 

Feeling do get hurt,
things do go badly sometimes,
but some people will just hold on to every negative event and re-live it in order to negate anything potentially positive and meaningful. 

I know that people get emotionaly scarred and have things that can mess them up for a long time afterwards,
and yea it's scary to want to be treated in a special way... to maybe get your feelings hurt...
but why piss ice water on every good intention just because you don't want to possibly be disappointed?

why not try to enjoy life? ...instead of focusing on any negative event in the past that could be used to limit ones potential enjoyment of the present, because you "don't want to be disappointed so nevermind..."
that's the disappointment.

...sounds like somebody needs to see 'Harold and Maude' again.

been a while...
It seems like every few months (years) I will have these random moments of clarity where I become temporarily able to assess my situation... to get a look at what the hell is going on - just with my own little universe, before getting caught up in acting it out again. 
Today may be one of those days.

The family and I took a nice little walk into downtown Eufaula after lunch and bought some junk food to munch as we walked through the neighborhood back home. Very 'small town" friendly all the way.

While we were out the mailman brought a disturbing letter about my wife's insurance - premium going up by about $100 in March.   
Well shit. There goes an otherwise splendid evening.

We came in and got right down to researching insurance stuff online. What a drag. 

I looked up a couple of sites... and wound up here. 

Glad to see the world just keeps on rolling around, glad 'Nat' is still making art (hey kid, hang in there), 
glad I am not the only one sucked into a game that I should be making art instead of playing (currently I am a fool for Age of Mythology, it is just a damn shame, but I do enjoy it so).

The day job is kind of like a constant dull ache. Not bad really, especially this ea where I seem to have settled in to the routine of it well enough to be able to leave most of my work at work on weekends such as this. Nothing to do that has to get done by Monday, just research on things I am interested in. It could be so much worse...
which is of course, the proper outlook on life.

A friend of ours stopped through on the way back home to Nashville the other day,
recommended that we see "The Secret" and take it to heart.
I have not seen it yet but I believe it is all about the power of positive visualization - The"whatever you think is what you get" philosophy - you know: focus on what you want, not what you don't want...
The hard part is remembering to think right. 

and love the loved ones better

and make more art.

Speaking of making more art;
I spent a good piece of the morning researching the procedure for this old academic drawing exercise called a sight-size drawing. In particular there are a series of drawings that it used to be standard art school practice for students to copy - exactly.
I am really interested in the process - and the idea of a specific method od art instruction in general, but I cant help wondering if I am obsessing on the technical side and not exploring that mystical, crazy, inspirational - content side of art enough. 

All that is left is to make more art

peace out,
from a moment of clarity,



At the end of the day
...everything is all right.

No I have not had as much time to do art as I could have, or would like to have had, but I I did have some.

The first coat of un-necessary porch painting is done, actually it was almost nice flinging a brush around for a few hours in the Alabama summertime heat, even though now I have a blister on my middle finger and a big toe that had the circulation cut off for a bit too long -that is troubling.

My disconcerted emotional situation has smoothed itself out with time. Petty irritations always seem so big when they are new. After a couple of days they are pretty meaningless, not forgotten, but not worth holding a grudge about either.

My daughter is still having trouble figuring out how to interact with a kitten properly. She got a big yelling at and time out for holding the thing up by an arm and flinging it to the floor. The kitten is just as happy as can be (considering). It bounces back and commences to frolicking and chasing imaginary stuff all about. It has not bit or scratched hard yet, and I'm just waiting for it ti teach my daughter a lesson about when to let go of wriggling little critters in distress.

I had been beating myself up about not drawing/painting as much as I possibly could. I've decided that every day is asking too much with a life to live as well, I'm going to update my sketchbook at least twice a week, more if I've got the stuff. No need to stress myself out as long as I am steady working and making progress.

11:35 and all is well.
I've even got a horror movie cued up in the dvd player to fall asleep to.

Life is good.

weekend update
Friday 23 – Went to School in the AM and did the talk to a recruit for year after next over lunch, thanks Admissions office. Gave a tour of the art digs and sweated like a pig as I explained the art scholarship and looked at the child’s excuse for artwork. They don’t teach them much of anything at the high school level.
My wife has got the idea that the porches should be repainted, and so that is the new project. I got a little bit of drawing in, in the evening after babysitting and painting when I got home from school.
I’m still trying to recover from her recent ‘just taking shit out on me because I’m here’ episode. I don’t like it. I’ll have to start engaging in the argument instead of taking it in the name of being understanding. If it bothers me so much, I owe it to myself to say something about it or just shut up.
Hanna is having a very hard time learning how to handle a little kitty. She carries it every way but safely. And she envies all the crazy acrobatic feats that it performs and wants to be able to do them too. We don’t want Kiki (the kitty) to become afraid of Hanna or for her to smash, stomp, choke, or otherwise beat the kitty to a pulp. S So Hanna ends up getting in trouble, mostly for not stopping, after we tell her to stop. Nothing serious, but the quantity of offences is extremely high (today anyway). Hopefully she will learn and not get frustrated or pissed off about it. She can’t win.

Recent Movies:
Memoirs of a Geisha, - after having read the book there were some issues with its condensation that made for a normal length film, but left out a lot of the more interesting characters and events from the book.
It was great to see Michelle Kwan in a new movie (even without fighting).

The Cave – watched and paid attention this time. It remains an entertaining creature feature with a good bodycount, lots of perilous adventure, creepy monsters and no excessive gore, too dark to see it anyway.

Saturday 6/24
I am up early this morning, after a night of vivid imagination and slight insomnia. I’ve been lying in bed listening to my current audiobook since 3:00 AM.(Prior Bad Acts by Tammi Hoag) Hanna woke up soggy in the diaper around 1:00AM and coughing at 2-something. After hooking her up with a dry bottom and some of the new medicine we got for her I could not fall completely back to sleep. I’m sure I’ll conk out later from fatigue. Maybe I’ll nap with her.
Stina got out of bed around 6:00 and went straight out to paint the side porch. She’s out there now (7:45) and I’m thinking I should go start painting the porch in front of my studio (blocking myself from entering until the paint dries).
Looks like we’re going to need two coats for everything, possibly a slightly darker color as well, it’s close though.
What ever will we do today? It might be a nice day to hit the beach. It will probably be hot as hell though, and as I said, now we’ve got all this painting to do.

Sunday 6/25
I woke up this morning not knowing what day it was. Stumbled to the kitchen for coffee around 7:00 and caught a glimpse of Stina out working in the yard already.

Old news
We had a visit Monday afternoon from a cute little flea infested grey eyed kitten. Tuesday morning it was gone. We didn’t really want another cat, but…it was so cute and friendly… and I spent quite a bit of time picking fleas off the dang thing already. It was infested.
We ended the day leaving it outside and saying that if it was still around the next day we would bring it in.

Apparently there is some kind of strange helpless animal connection that I have, particularly with lost kittens, and it is even more profound when they find me. In a pet store, like we were in just last Sunday, I dont worry about the little critters and have no inclination to take anything home. But when one shows up at the house, yalping for a friend, I have a really hard time leaving them on their own.

So, We woke up Tuesday morning wondering what happened to the kitten overnight. There was no sign of it. Stina looked around in the morning and was in and out of doors doing yard stuff all day. At some point I decided to head out to the studio, still thinking about the kitty, and when I got to the door I heard a faint little yalp. Kitty was sitting in the ivy under a tree in the back yard.
I decided enough with the hesitating, its a young life at stake and we're just playing around, so I took it out to the vet, got it de-flead, checked up, and it's first round of shots out of the way. It's a little girl with no problems and a really fine attitude.
I had been down on myself about not acting when I needed to and I saw it as a major blow to the gods of procrastination to get all the kitten issues taken care of.

Wednesday 6/21
‘Sleepin in the Devil’s Bed’
This morning started off with good wishes and intentions. The plan was that I would get a good chunk for artwork out in the studio, but I should have known better. It was a set-up.
I am often hesitant to spend too much time working in the studio. As an artist that just makes no sense. I’m lucky enough to actually have a studio in the first place, and then to be hesitant about being in it…
The horrible truth is that there is always a guilt trip waiting for me when I emerge. Lw will spend her time busting her ass out in the yard for hours on end, whatever the reasons she is compelled to do that, I have no problem with it. I'll even help if she asks. But yesterday she informed me that she shouldn't have to ask. I guess I'm still way behind on manifesting psychic powers, and that pisses her off too.

My problem is that I have been trying to get more and more painting done in less time, and unfortunately, like yard work, there is always more to do. The big difference is that I get a lot of shit for everything that I didn’t do while I was busy working on my art.

I told myself that I would just be honest in these writings and I’m trying, but I just hate the bitching and the accusations from out of the blue. Especially at the end of a day in the studio, when I'm in a good mood about having finally gotten some painting done. That really sucks.

Thank God for cute little kitties.
Hanna Mae, pictured above holding kitty in a death grip, has agreed that Kiki will be an acceptable name for the critter. She didn't like any of the names we suggested to her, and when asked what a good name for the kitten would be she would only suggest "Boy" or "Girl."

Glad that is cleared up.

(no subject)
Ah yes,
Happy Father’s Day to me.
It was a fine day indeed. My lovely wife initiated an afternoon ride up to the big town Columbus, GA to do some shopping and sushi eating. It was a fine day. My little daughter was a good girl at least 90% of the time and…we all enjoyed ourselves and got toys.
My gift was a sack containing a card, 1 can of honey roasted nuts, 1 bag of BBQ pork rinds, a little portable speaker system for my ipod, a 6 of Heineken, and a certificate awarding me a day of solitude. The woman knows what I like.

Unfortunately, fool that I am, I had forgot that today was fathers day and scheduled a meeting with an art student for 10:00AM Georgia time, that’s 9:00 here in Alabama. I had to cut out first thing in the morning to be there, even though the student was not.
I should have known. And really it was not so bad taking a morning drive, listening to the end of Memoirs of a Geisha. I so wanted to finish that damn audiobook. Coming home from Columbus this afternoon I finally reached the end of it. It was interesting, with lots of amusing analogies (like a pile of rocks in an earthquake) but it went on for a little too long. It was a good story that will probably make for a very long and boring film. I’m sure that we’ll see it at some point regardless.

Anyway, I have been posting art over on and had originally planned to spend today working on some paintings and drawings… oh well, maybe tomorrow.
Summertime is here after all.
I’m done with teaching for a couple of months.

I’d like to take some workshops or something over the summer, but I can do just as well working in isolation, if I actually make the time for my art.
That is the hardest thing about it.


(no subject)
Good morning,
let me get a little coffee in me and I'll be allright.

Yesterday there was a big party for the 2-10 year old set, wayout in the country south of town. I had originally planned to let wife and kid go and spend the time alone working on some painting and drawing that I need want to get done.
When I made it home from my last day of summer school teaching I found that more art-organizational issues had come up and as the official "Mr. President/Chair/Whatever I had to be the cooler. Unfortunately, school always has recruiting issues (I work at a small 2-year college in southern Georgia that some have described as the "best kept secret" in the area. That is not a good thing, especially for the purposes of recruiting new students.

I got home and got on the phone like a good fearless leader, but as party-time approached my lovely wife gave me a subtle hint or two that she wanted me to go too. And with my daughter all dressed up in her party duds I had to give in.

...oops, I'm off to fix come technical difficulties my wife has discovered,



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