Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So, remember that time...

I'm waiting for my picture I took on my new phone to make its way to my e-mail so that I can download it to my computer so that I can upload it to here. Joke's on the blogiverse... It's like not even a good picture. But it's a photo of what I'm working on. Well, it's a photo of my hand actually. I'm doing a painting for my friend's wedding. They're doing an exhibit in conjunction with their wedding. I'm pretty stoked. Shit, if anyone can make it all work out it's these two. My friend's been through a shitstorm, and he's been held up by this wonderful woman who I don't know well, but who I love because of what I intuit about her. Oh, I think I sent my picture to somewhere else. O.k. I fixed where it got sent to. Here it is.
I know, it's just a hand. Burn! A dirty hand! That's what you waited for!


So my kid left me (again) yesterday/today. He went to Albuquerque for an internship. This was his first time flying as a real human (he was a tiny baby the first time, so it doesn't count). I was so nervous. I pretended I wasn't, but I was so nervous. I gave him so many tips.
  • Don't tell anyone you're only 18.
  • Read the NSA guidelines.
  • OMG, don't say you were born in Canada.
  • Pack your pepper spray in your checked bag. (He did not do this - this infuriates me! You are allowed to do this!)
  • Tell everyone that this is your first time flying so that they feel sorry for you and provide you with extra love.
So many things not packed. So many things unsaid. How do you do this? How do you just chuck your kid out at the curb and say "Good fucking luck! Don't take drugs! Stand up for yourself! Don't let people use you!" Holy shit! It's too much for a mother to absorb. It takes several days. And so many beers. He sent me a photo of his "furnished" room with his "bed"... God...

But he says he loves it there. He is ready for this. This stuff of adulthood. I am absolutely not ready. But I am trying to be ready. And I am preparing for it to happen again with the next one. The next child. God...

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day... It's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good."

My kids are really good kids. Like REALLY good kids. How did this happen?
  • Maybe because they saw struggle.
  • And they saw joy. 
  • And pain. 
  • And laughter through the pain. 
  • And more laughter because that's all there was. 
  • And coping. 
  • And more struggle, but not not defeat.
  • Never defeat because they are capable of reaching the stars despite everything.
  • We believed in them. We believe in them. They can do anything. They can do all things.
If you can do anything for your children, it's to simply drink beers while they go take over the world. Stay out of their way. Send some money if you can. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you are so proud of them. Drink beers so that you don't tell them that it's all too hard. That people are mostly shitty. Let them think otherwise.

Let them touch stars.

While your hands shake.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Red Skies At Night

The boys.

Just me and the dog tonight. It’s weird. So when’s the last time we hung out here? I guess it’s been a little bit, right? Let’s do some updates.

  • The dog is less than 48 hours from a good ol’ fashioned ball snippin’. As I type this he is VIOLENTLY humping my leg. AND farting. I am not even kidding. Talk about the worse date EVER! At least in the top ten. That’s sad
  • I picked up the remnants of a failed dream last week. As much as I loved the idea, I do not have time to effectively stock an antiques case. I suppose we’ll put this one on the back burner for now. Is it self-destructive that I was secretly hoping one of the dolls in the case (on the left) would magically come back to me? So I lost a tiny bit of money. Totally worth it!
  • I GOT A FUCKING iPHONE!!! Part of me feels like a sell-out, but I am truly a better person because of my phone purchase. The phone makes me more confident. The phone makes me feel like part of a wolf pack. I have Instagram. I can play a fishing game. I can look things up anywhere. I can watch a video. I can ask it if there’s a Noodles in Grandview. And there’s at least one hundred things I don’t even know it can do yet. Game changer. I should do a blog post JUST on my iPhone. 
  • Job is going o.k. Wallace had a show opening last night. To say that it was successful would pretty much be an understatement. Oh, you might not know this… Wallace has a BUILDING-SIZED mural of one of his paintings (on a building- duh) in the Short North. Do I sound a little jealous? Maybe it’s because I am a little jealous. Just kidding. Maybe?
So in the morning when I’m in the shower I have tons of ideas for blog items, but at nighttime, right before I go watch the Hulu I have beer ideas for blog items. I promise I’ll be more attentive to your needs (like you care). I’ve been really S.A.D. lately. Gloomy winter = depressing blog posts that I quickly delete. It’s getting better. Red skies at night! O.k., well not TONIGHT, but soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ripping the Throat Out of 2014!

You said a mouthful, Winston!
So here we are again, my friends. Another year down the ol' crapper. Were you successful in achieving all of your 2013 hopes and dreams? I hopes and dreams that you at least came close. It's important to make goals, you know. But REALISTIC goals. I believe that you should make ten goals every year and then hope to accomplish HALF of them. I think that would be nice. And half is way better than none! That's MATH!

Let's see how I did...
  1. I did not continue the "Don't Have Children, Get a Dog!" campaign. Not in a formal way. I DO continue to preach to those within my reach however. And it's something that I remain passionate about. Some day...
  2. I did not come close to writing a book. I DID however become obsessed with the most inspirational writer ever. I will continue to read and read and read. We'll call that research.
  3. Work out for at least 30 minutes a week? That's a cheat because my job is pretty physical and I'm hyperactive. So we'll say that's a YES.
  4. I don't think I went to the doctor, but I DID go to the dentist. 
  5. I didn't make a funeral slide show, but I DO think the person I've put in charge of my funeral will come through for me if this is still left hanging.
  6. I didn't create an urn, but I HAVE been saving supplies. I have a whole bag of my own hair! That's progress!
  7. OMG, I DID find another pair of work pants! SCORE!
  8. Score again! I DID start working a second job! 
  9. Etsy still down. Probably for forever. Probably whatever.
  10. Fix one thing around my house? Dave is working on the roof and he got some scary trees cut back. That counts BIG TIME!
So all-in-all, not bad! My motto last year was "AIM LOW!" I think that helped me retain a bit of the ol' self-esteem.

On to 2014! Let's make ten more and see what sticks! My motto this year is "Aim For Stuff That You Should Be Doing Anyway!"
  1. This first one is easy: SEE EVERY FILM MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY HAS EVER BEEN IN! I've seen a few of them about a dozen times, but I'm going to make it my personal goal to see every last one of them. I'm going to start with Tiptoes. HOW have I NOT seen this yet?
  2. I'd like to do something media-significant with my new dog (see above). That little fucker is cute as allgetout. He should probably be a model. Or at least the star of a comic. People lose their shit over internet stuff with animals. Perhaps it should be MY animal?
  3. Break even with my antique biz. Honestly, this is the funnest hobby ever. If I just DON'T LOSE LOTS O' MONEY I will be so happy. So far, so good. Good-ish.
  4. Keep up with all of the weird smells in my house. Be vigilant with finding aromatic resources. When the "big thaw" approaches, figure out the basement mold situation.
  5. Get life insurance. Someone who talks about dying EVERY DAY should have more than the work-appointed life insurance that would barely pay off the credit card debt. What a dead asshole I would be.
  6. On that note, finally finish and pay for my will on LegalZoom. I'm so sorry if you're reading this Mom. I still haven't done it. I bet my sister hasn't yet either. If I hurry, I can beat her. Then you'll love me more?
  7. Eat three servings of vegetables a week. That aren't pickled somethingorother. Or that aren't lettuceoniontomato. Three is the magic number.
  8. Buy all new socks. Like ALL new. Like I can keep a pair or two, but OMG, ALL NEW! ALL NEW SOCKS! 
  9. See something mind-blowing. I got to see the Quay Brothers introduce their new films two years in a row. That was pretty awesome. This year I want to see something that makes my head explode.
  10. Be more grateful. I have so much to be thankful for. I'd like to figure out how to turn my gratitude into something more tangible. What would that look like? Let's think about that.
Things that I've accomplished that WEREN'T on last year's resolution list were to experiment with making a tiny video and THIS. I didn't even know these were going to exist when I wrote my list last year. Both things I'm happy about (even though the video was difficult and turned out awful).

What are some things YOU would like to accomplish this year? It's good to make goals. It's even better to share them. You can do it!

Or at least HALF do it! Go you!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

All I Want For Christmas Is A Fresh Start

statue of baby Jesus, c. 1685
The birth of that tiny, holy baby has me all wrapped up in the idea of new beginnings.

"What would an 'old beginning' look like? Do you even need to say 'new beginnings'? Wouldn't the 'new' be implied?"

"I don't know. People say 'new beginnings', don't they? OMG, just let me get back to my fucking story! You're ruining everything!"

As I was saying, a new beginning, like a baby being brought into the world to cleanse humanity of its iniquities*. A new lens in which to view an arduous road ahead. A new outlook to shoo away the grey clouds that have hovered over my existence for the last 2+ months.

Fifty Shades of Grey clouds, to be exact.

So my next door neighbor who I talk to over our fence about shitty men and divorce and whatnot told me to "hold on, I have something you might like to borrow!". She came back seconds later with the three-book set of Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm all like "uh.... thanks!" I was currently reading Nineteen Eighty-Four and hating every minute of it. Like I started really hating George Orwell**. I thought if he were alive today he'd be a 40-year-old skateboarder who stood for things I normally roll my eyes at. I finished the book though because I can't not finish a book. Honestly, after Orwell, I was so pissed at "real books" that I was eager to read Fifty Shades. Shit, I read all the Twilights, and this was supposed to be like the same thing with some kinky shit. I was down.

If I told you that these books were a huge waste of my time I'd be a liarliarpantsonfire. I'm a girl. I enjoy this shit. But three books?! OMFG, I am so glad that I am now over and done with this business. Dave bought me the 2013 re-issued FIRST NOVEL that Harlan Ellison ever wrote. THAT I am eager to devour. I also bought a small Kindle with my 2nd job Christmas Amazon gift card (thanks Activity Connection!!!) with which I will soon download the entire library of Sandman comics. And think about my new beginnings.


*If you read this post before today, the 29th, you would have read "inEquities", and you would have thought, "What a moron!" Maybe you came back to see if I fixed it? But you have probably already told all your friends what a dumbass I am.

**I also really hated Animal Farm.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our new dog, Winston, in the roughed-out background of one of my shadow boxes for The Columbus Museum of Art's Wonder Room project. Notice his enormous Johnson.

A few weeks have past since I last typed at you. It seems like forever. I think you might have grown a an inch? Maybe a little more? While we're on the subject of your appearance, you look good. Like REALLY good. Remind me to ask you about your regimen. It's apparently working well for you. Seriously.

I have been workingworkingworking 9 to 5 then 5 to 9. For like a while now. And you'd think I would say no to a few things. But no. Some things are hard to say no to. It's o.k. I like to stay busy. I just read on some Facebook link this thing where people say what they regret most on their deathbeds, and I think one was something like, "I wish I didn't work so hard." I think one of mine might be, "I didn't say yes to enough things." Some people are just wired weird.

But it's hard on those close to me. Saying yes to other things means saying no to important things. Family things. It tears me in two. I feel selfish. There is no win/win. There's sort of like an uncomfortable smile like in a group photo and a tarnished trophy. Neither seem worthwhile or valuable. But I can't stop myself. If I had a dime for every time I said, "After _______ I promise I'll be less busy." then I'd have a big container full of dimes. I life-size container. A heavy, heavy life-size container full of crappy dimes.

GARRRRHHHHH! And of course a fucking Radiohead song comes on while I'm typing this. And here's me without something sharp.

Just kidding.

OMG, we got a puppy!!! Not just any puppy. It's the cutest puppy in the whole world of puppies. I'm not a dog person, so I can make this judgement. Our puppy is the cutest. It's a Boston Terrier/French Bulldog mix. Which makes it the most perfect dog that is not a Pomeranian. And for whatever reason, he has a really large penis. I think that makes him like a superhero dog. Did you know that puppies like to pee and/or poop in heating vents? I just recently discovered this. Also, the best toy for a puppy? A Swiffer. You can clean while your puppy bites and/or rides on this cleaning supply. Who knew?

O.k., so one of the projects that has made me a crazy person for the last month is this commission for the Columbus Museum of Art's Wonder Room. I created two shadow boxes that will be installed in their interactive area for the next three years. And while that might sound impressive, it's actually 100% nepotism that allowed me to obtain this gig. But holy shit, this had been the NUMBER ONE MOST DIFFICULT PROJECT I HAVE EVER WORKED ON! You just cannot sketch a concept for this kind of work. I really felt close to my hero, Michael deMeng, during this process. He always mentions that he likes to just dump out all of his bits and pieces during the fabrication of his work. I couldn't really figure out any other way to do this. You know what sucks for a large-scale project such as this? Working on your dining room table. BUT IT'S FINISHED!!! It makes our dining room look so clean now! I am supposed to tell people that they can't come to see the Wonder Room until January 1st unless they are members. You'd think that there'd be some event to link you to for a project of this scale? Not at this time however. But the opening is this Saturday. But just for members. That much I am aware of?

Hey, this has gone on for a while. Who wants to read a bunch of stupid information in one post? Not you! You have more growing to do! Next post will be funnier I think. Thank you for being so patient. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Advice To Young Adults

Empty Nest

So lately I feel like every time I talk to my college kid I'm desperately pelting him with last minute advice that might not ever have been given or that might not have stuck. I just don't know. It feels so random. "DON'T SMOKE CRACK!" Or, "DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH!" Desperate doesn't even come close. You send these kids out unto the world and hope that they don't fuck up. You are helplessly helpless. Tied. All you can do is say rosaries and think, "Don't fuck up! DON'T FUCK UP!" Some things that I've pelted MY kid with seem to apply to most kids. Maybe YOUR kid?

Here goes...

Be funny, or at least be someone who laughs. 
Jesus, I went to a potluck at a hipster house one night. There were a couple of dozen people there. They were all talking about fracking or Republicans or some shit so I made a joke. You would have thought I took a big shit right there on the floor. It was like the commercial where everyone stops talking and looks at the smart dude who knows how to invest (ironic, because these people would probably hate that this reference involves investing). They had NO time for my humor. There was just "too much suffering in the world" for someone to make jest. I just could not wait to get the fuck out of there.

BE FUNNY! Be VERY funny. Life is so short. You could die tomorrow. Yes, you. Be the guy who made people laugh, not the guy who bummed everyone out at every public appearance. There will always be suffering. Be funny to the people around you today. Bring light. BE light. Even if you are feeling dark inside, you can be light for others. Do that. And if you are not someone who is naturally funny... laugh at those who are. Surround yourself in light.

Take chances.
I was originally going to call this, "Don't be a pussy!" Take a risk! Get good at failing! Fail a lot! Succeed occasionally. Just. Keep. Trying!!! Don't take no for an answer. Tip a table over if needed. Ask, ask, ask. It's true that "The worst they can say is no." Your ego will get bruised, but know that those that take chances are far more awesome than those who never tried. And know that failing is how great people have gotten to be great. Be great!

Don't be an asshole.
Believe in what you believe with all of your soul. But don't be an asshole. There will be a lot of people who don't understand you. There will be a lot of people who don't agree with you. There will be some people who will persecute you. Let them have their opinion. Yes, they are wrong. Yes, they do things we do not agree with, but we most likely will never change them. Should we take opportunities to educate? Sure, but be respectful. And if anyone ever physically hurts you, tell your mother. She will take care of them.

Pretend you care.
Be a good listener. Even if you truly don't care. Even if the person has told you the same story a dozen times. They need someone to listen. It is a very simple task that is worth a great deal to a person in need. You will be that person at some point. Be present for others.

Don't be a burden.
OMG, please be the one who occasionally buys coffee for a friend. Don't always be the guy with no money. You know what? Your parents would much rather transfer funds to your account than allow you to constantly scam off your friends. I speak for all parents.

Take some fucking initiative.
So you have a job. If you ask constantly, "What do you want me to do now?" your employers will hate you. I'm guessing by your first week you will have a pretty good handle on what gets done at your job. Show up and do that. And if you have time left THEN ask, "What else can I do?" You want to know how to piss off your employers? By having them constantly find shit for you to do. You know what would be nice? Looking around and finding stuff that might be helpful. The sink is gross. Clean it. The office supplies need restocking. Find out where they are kept and restock them. That stuff.

Manage your shit.
Don't wait for your parents to stalk your bank statements to notice that you have $1.34 in your checking account. Fix that shit. Or better yet, don't let that shit get to that state. If you don't have the money, don't buy it. It's not hard. You got into college, you should at least know that you can't get a tall mocha with $1.34. And you should clean your room. Like right now.

Stop scamming on crazies.
For the love of all things holy, stop dating people who need therapists. I mean, we all "need" therapists, but we don't all NEED therapists. Mothers just want their babies to be in stable relationships. We worry. You are too good for... Well, for everyone.

Call your fucking mother!
Remember when your step father bought you a new phone for graduation and jokingly said, "Call your mother!" And then you never called your mother? Our hearts break easily. Call your mother.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Spare Time

Geez, so we went shopping. I had some stuff to get.

"Do people usually make a shopping list for the antique store?"

"I had specific items I was looking for. I made a list. I put the located items in a basket. I went to check out."

BUT this time there was a sign on one of the cases by the cash register that said, "FOR RENT".


Out of curiosity, I asked the guy how much. He said $25 a month.

HOLY SHIT! I was paying nearly that much for World of Warcraft back in the day (a few months ago)! So I could do what I do in my house in a public space for only $25 a month? That's like a hobby price. And there's a possibility that I could make a buck?

We went to have wieners to think it over then doubled back to pay the first month's rent.

Within the first week I've made enough for a couple of bags of groceries! And I love it!

PLEASE come visit the case! I know that sounds lame, "visit the case!" But it will slowly morph into a carefully curated, super tiny space filled with items that are selected to create a creepy Americana aesthetic for your home. I sell toys, dolls, collectibles, taxidermy items, oddities, and of course, puppets. You know, things you need!

I'll be adding periodic updates with cool-ass shit that's going in the case! This week I'm adding a puppet, a frog skeleton encased in resin, an ashtray (in amazing condition!) made out of an alligator paw, and a street map of Columbus from the 1960's.