Sunday, May 27, 2012


Enjoy your Memorial Day, whatever it is that you do.

I spent the weekend mostly indoors, and well, it was what it was. I don't feel spectacular, and I was thinking maybe Monday I'd make a doctor's appointment, and then remembered it was Memorial Day, and just kind of sighed.

It wasn't an entirely lost weekend. Somewhere, somehow between sleeping and eating, there was some art created. Yeah, there was some cheesy bread and cheeseburgers and orange sherbet and cheesecake and chicken nuggets and potato salad, and a lot of Dr. Pepper. It was one of those kinds of weekends... plus I caught up on the last 5 episodes of Revenge while I was working at the computer.

Anyway, I worked on the fantasy butterfly series, because for no reason other than it occurred to me to do it — I designed a couple new sets of wings and then went through the process of converting new sketches into fully finished images.

So, in addition to the majestics, the swallowtails (okay, so maybe those are a little less fantasy), the duchesses, and the fairywings — now there are the angels and the cyphers (and eventually the gliders and that new one that I finished this morning that I haven't named yet).


 the yet unclassified fantasy species...

And, of course, I have 2 more sets of butterfly templates that I have yet to fully work through. Maybe this week? Maybe not. I've never been one of those plan things in advance people...

Anyway, to all the United States peeps — have a nice holiday, and the rest of you — enjoy Monday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan!

Evidently today is Bob Dylan's birthday. Now, I'm not a relative or an acquaintance, nor have I ever even stood in the same city block as the man (yes, I shamefully admit I have never seen him in concert either)... but I have enjoyed my fair share of Bob Dylan's music.

So, Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan!
We'll just pretend like we're having cake.

I probably first knowingly heard a Bob Dylan song by watching a rerun of "Fame" back when they used to show reruns of fame at like 4pm on UHF channels (which, if you have never owned a television that did not operate via remote control you may not be familiar with). I'm sure the cast of Fame was protesting something serious (yes, I'm being sarcastic) - anyway, someone was sitting on a lunch table with a guitar singing "Blowin' in the Wind." (At least that's how I remember it).

Before that, I think I only knew of Bob Dylan via parody - you know, things that sound like Bob Dylan singing - which, you know, isn't like smooth jazz...

I believe my second encounter was via an 8-track tape. If memory serves me correct it was "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan." You know, the album that "Blowin' in the Wind" is on. I'm not sure I ever made it all the way through the 8-track, because quite frankly as a 12-year-old Styx's "The Grand Illusion" was a more palatable 8-track...

My first real "Dylan" musical encounter actually came via Dr. Demento. He played "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" on his show... and that was probably also the first time I ever went to the library (how antiquated) and looked up anything about communism...

Somewhere around the age of sixteen I think I bought "Greatest Hits 3." I think I bought it for "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Tangled Up In Blue." I was more interested in buying the Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull catalogs at the time, so, while every teenager is required to know a little rock history, well, priorities... It was via that album that I became very fond of "Changing of the Guards" and "The Groom's Still Waiting At the Alter."

When I went off to college, I bought "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" and I was mostly interested in "Mr. Tambourine Man" — albeit not for off-beat drug references, but because I really liked the line:
Though you might hear laughin', spinnin' swingin' madly across the sun
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'
 I have a propensity for just liking a line of a song...

Anyway, around the year 2000 I finally bought "Blonde on Blonde." I remember bringing it home and popping it in the cassette player and not really feeling compelled to sit through an entire song... and I say this as someone who will listen to Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull albums all the way through.  It took a really long time for that album to grow on me.  But eventually I became very fond of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," "Visions of JoHanna" and "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands."

Next came "Blood on the Tracks" and "The Bootleg Series: Vol. 1-3." The Bootleg Series, as it turns out - was the only album that "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" had ever occurred on, and thus I had to own it. I've heard that Dylan isn't a fan of those Bootleg series albums - but I really love that one, particularly disc 2. It was probably via that album that I started to subsequently buy the rest of the Bob Dylan catalog...

Needless to say, I own more Dylan albums than I've actually listened to. I bought "Modern Times" when it came out, but still haven't exactly gotten around to listening to it some 7 years later... I'll get around to it someday.  I mean, hell, the man recorded 34 studio albums — that's a lot of music, plus the 13 live albums and all the compilations... plus, at 71 years of age — he does have 39 years on me.

Anyway, of all of the Dylan albums I have ever bought — "Desire" is my favorite, hands down. I enjoy "Isis," "Mozambique," "Romance in Durango," and "Black Diamond Bay." But for purely selfish reasons, my favorite Dylan song of all is "Sara." I know it's about his ex-wife... but it's still (phonetically) my name, and really, my favorite of all the 'Sarah' songs.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan! Thanks for the music.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Sometimes it feels like there is a dark cloud that follows me around... yeah, sorry, that's the best analogy I have.
I imagine that people visit this blog for something light or whimsical or pretty or entertaining or because it happened to pop up in your reading list or something. And right now I just don't have any of that in me.

Truth be told, it's been kind of a dark week. The kind of week where I'd just like to crawl into bed and not have to bother to get up or put on presentable clothes or go to work or run errands or do housework. Ironically, every time I go to bed, I wake up after 5-6 hours, and then I'm wide awake - in that I'm a bit of a zombie on less than 8 hours of sleep. I finally broke out the sominex a week ago, and let's just say I woke up feeling like zombie to the power of zombie... but I did sleep for like 8 hours uninterrupted. You know, and then woke up in a fog.

The bluebird babies died last week.
That was hard. They shouldn't have died, but those fucking invasive european house sparrows were in the yard - and they took over the nest and killed the babies.

I knew something wasn't right when I stood at the window and peered into the backyard with the binoculars and neither the male or female bluebird were going in and out of the nest box... and sure enough, the baby birds were dead...

So, since the sparrows thought they were going to use the other nest box after killing the bluebird babies, I destroyed their nest.

The bluebirds have left, and for days the male sparrow has sat out there in the yard calling and calling for a female.

European house sparrows have the most annoying call of any bird short of robins or starlings. And even though the weather is in the seventies and eighties - I can't bear to sit in the house and listen to the god damned bird that murdered my baby bluebirds sitting out there in the yard calling out for a mate...

So, the trap went up in the box. I hope to cease to hear that noise soon.
In North America — European house sparrows are an alien invasive species. They were brought here by morons, and once here - they never leave. They don't migrate, they just kill off our natural species. I despise european house sparrows.
The nest in the early stages... before the hatchlings were killed.

Anyway, I'd like to open the windows and let in some fresh air. And hopefully that time will come again soon.

In the mean time, the house wren has taken up residence in the nest box in the front yard.
House wrens are notoriously chatty little birds. So, all day the male and female are out there singing up a storm (it sounds like this). Wrens are a little better at fighting back against nest predation than the bluebirds, firstly because they build their nest out of sticks instead of grasses. When I go out and check the nest boxes and I find them filled with sticks — I know there's a wren in the area. Wrens are also smaller - so while they can easily maneuver through their mess of sticks, nest box predators cannot.

So, I guess, at least I still have the wrens... the wiley crazy chatty wrens. Well, that and there seems to be a cardinal nesting in the yard as well.

The ruby-throated hummingbirds have also returned, at least I've seen a male around the yard. I went out to get the mail last week and happened to look up at the defunct tv antenna, and yes, high up there that little bird was perched - surveying the yard, and probably waiting for me to go back indoors. Of course, I promptly made up a batch of what I will refer to sardonically as bird kool-aid. Hummingbird food is 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup of sugar. Boil the water, dissolve the sugar, let it cook and put it out in a feeder.

Of course, so I rush outside with the feeder - but my hummingbird is more interested in some annuals, the coral bells, and the weigela bush.
Of course, eventually, the backyard should be filled with the sound of tiny hummingbird cries as they return North in order to fight over the ample amount of food in the feeder on the back porch...

Birds... what territorial little creatures.

Anyway, hopefully my metaphorical dark cloud lifts soon... I'm tired of this funk.

Friday, May 18, 2012

plum aurora alchemy

My favorite color is always going to be violet. It was my first favorite color. It's probably why I secretly rooted for a lot of the villains in all those delightful products that were marketed my way as a child. EviLyn was my favorite He-Man character. I mean, look at her purple outfit, plus she had magic powers... and then there was Sour Grapes from the Strawberry Shortcake franchise. Not only did she wear a purple dress, she also had purple hair and a purple snake. That's a lot of purple. To be fair, I also liked Raspberry Tart - I mean, she wore purple, and had purple hair in boing-boing curls.
Clash was my favorite character on Jem and the Hollograms - mostly because of her awesome purple hair. She was one of the villains, but that didn't matter to me...

Anyway, I like violet or purple.  I sit here typing this on my computer where the "wallpaper" on the screen is violet.  The clock above my desk is violet. I have a violet stapler, a violet trash can, a violet lamp... I buy a lot of stuff just because it's violet.  Oddly enough, most of my clothes are green or black.

So, while I have a favorite color, not everything is that color.  For instance, this is my office / living room / studio (when it was cleaned up some time ago):
So, while violet is my favorite, it isn't the one and only color for everything. Although, clearly, the carpet is purple. :D

Anyway, I have no qualms about other colors, or using them.

Color theory was one of those classes I had fun with in college. Not just because Vincent Castagnacci was the Prof, but because color was something I always had fun with. BTW, Castagnacci was like my favorite professor ever, even if I did occasionally refer to him as Satan, which was meant as a sardonic compliment, considering my childhood of casually rooting for the villains in cartoons... That, and Castagnacci didn't accept any sort of crap or half-ass anything, plus he had a New York swagger... it was the perfect escape from the pasty Ann Arbor vibe of organic this and that.

Anyway, I enjoy color. And I enjoy playing with color. I happen to be fond of that painting — plum aurora alchemy.  Apparently, according to the info on the back of the painting, I made it on 8 January 2011, which was a Saturday. And I probably did like 20 paintings that day, because that's simply how I paint. 

The painting is mostly just color. And considering the colors that it's made from - it could have been a total crapshoot. Dark purple, fluorescent red, orange, sky blue, dark pea green, and a smidge of yellow - via someone else's application or technique - that could have been an entirely different image.  I don't paint squares or shapes or lines or splotches or blocks.  I just paint with color.  And completely arbitrarily - albeit my color choices are often outside the box - I paint with color in such a fashion that the image is implicitly a landscape.  Green at the bottom does it every time. Of course, the horizontal nature of the application of color aids in implicating a landscape. If the paint had been moved up or down or in spotches or spots or blocks or something - then maybe it would be different.

What I'm saying - is that while my color choices are somewhat random based simply on what paint I have sitting around when I'm painting, they aren't that random.  And that artistically, I know what color of paint interfaces with what other colors of paint.  There is orange paint in that picture that is mixed on the surface of the illustration board directly with sky blue paint. Think about that for a moment: orange + sky blue, what does that =? Is it mud? I guess it might be, but it is and it isn't - because if the whole image was saturated color, then there would be no contrast. Or the orange would just sit next to the blue and the stark contrast would just be obvious.

But it's not like I pondered that before I spent 7 minutes putting the paint on the illustration board on some chilly Saturday in January a year ago.  It just happened because my use of color is the accumulation of all the things I know about it and how it occurs in paint.

I didn't carefully calculate every line or blotch of paint, not consciously. I did it because it was there to do while simultaneously being inherent, which I know sounds like a lot of polysyllabic gobbeldygook.  I think paintings are there for the visual, not necessarily a dissertation of words. Some people differ on that ideology, but then, one size never fits all.  And the accumulation of all the things that lead one person to make whatever they make based on the materials they have at hand isn't going to be a ubiquitous experience for all people. In other words, my paintings - color choices, application, style, and subject matter are the accumulation and expression of my experiences, and like favorite cartoon characters or colors - they aren't for everyone.
I like this little snippet of the painting. The graphic shows it at about 3X the size it is in reality - but look at all those colors - mixed and separate and coagulated, random and smeared, but moving in a direction based on application and technique.  For a painting that is technically nothing but color and situational pigment - there's a lot going on there.

It's not all neat and compartmentalized; nor is it demure and polite and subdued.  But in the end it's just a painting that I made one day in January based on the paint that I possessed at the time and what I felt like putting on my illustration board... and it's available somewhere out there on the internet, sometimes...

Life is full of random choices and decisions that materialize into things.
So be adventurous.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

the dream about the house...

Often times I awake from sleep via my beeping alarm clock. Yes, I am a Luddite, and I actually do have an alarm clock.
 (And yes, I buy lotto tickets...)
I hear that nowadays the kids use their cell phones for everything. I don't have one, so, yeah, I have an actual alarm clock. And yes, that blue piece of plastic often dictates the end of happy fun sleepy time.

Anyway, often times I awake from my slumber and have utterly no recollection of what I dreamt.  Today was not one of those days. Today I had the dream about the house.

The "dream about the house" is fairly mundane. It always takes place in what was formerly my mother's bedroom in her childhood home (a.k.a. Grandma Duda's house).  From what I recall, my Grandfather built / refurbished the upstairs of the house (in the nineteen sixties). So, it had these acrylic tiles on the floor that sort of looked like wood and plastic at the same time, and square acoustical tiles on the ceiling.  And because it was a converted upstairs - some of the walls were slanted (like this) to match the shape of the roof. Plus, the extraneous area around the sides was the attic, so there were these door panels in the walls that led to these little storage areas.

Frankly, as a child, those attic doors scared me shitless. I was glad that the bed in my mother's old room was pushed up against the door there. Because I had been in the little attic area next to it, and irrationally as a child - there was a garden gnome statue somewhere in that house and I was convinced that it was evil or possessed or something and was going to come and get me in my sleep via that attic door. Obviously, I would hear the sound of the bed sliding across the floor tiles and at least be able to wake and scream like a banshee before the gnome got me!

You know, I slept through thunderstorms, but that gnome I would hear. Logic and children's fears have very little to do with each other. ; )

Anyway: the dream about the house.  It involves that back bedroom, except instead of it being the back bedroom it always turns into this giant open space via that attic door - like the ball room from "The Shining." Except it isn't a ballroom it's usually a giant restaurant (like an Olive Garden) but it's always decorated in this eighties style with very square yellow table tops and red and turquoise colored accents... and it's always filled with people, including my dead grandparents, specifically Grandma and Grandpa Duda (except they're very much alive). I have no idea why they're always there, I mean, I suppose technically, it is their house...

So, yes, I had the dream about the house. Except this time it was different. It was Grandma Duda's house, but someone had redecorated it, and I couldn't find the staircase leading upstairs. The staircase in their actual home was accessible via a doorway in the dining room. Well, I thought I finally found the doorway, but when I opened the door there was just another door that opened from the opposite side, and when I opened that door there was simply another door, and each door was smaller than the previous door, and I continued to open them even though I was thinking "this is completely pointless because by the time one of these actually opens to something besides another door - the hole is going to be so small that only a Barbie Doll would fit through here..."

Yes, I said all that stuff to get to that point, which isn't so much a point and yet it is. There are people who very much believe that dreams are symbolic or metaphoric or the human mind solving problems in an inexplicable way... When I have the dream about the house - I always remember being in the fantasy restaurant room, but I never have any recollection of what went on there with all those people. I just remember 'being there.'

So, I woke up from a recurring dream that failed to follow the script of all its previous incarnations, and I was struck by that difference. Metaphorically, I have no idea what the restaurant room really means, but tonight, I couldn't even go upstairs... I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Anyway, in real life - I've been working on a project for a while. I realized some time ago that I had stopped drawing people. I drew birds and trees and flowers and clotheslines and the occasional insect and more birds and trees and flowers... but not people. And that isn't to say that I stopped drawing people entirely. In fact, I have a couple sketchbooks just of drawings of figures or girls. It wasn't that I didn't draw people - I just never turned those drawings into illustrations.

I think that's because there's something 'safe' about animals and trees and flowers (and even clotheslines). No one really looks at an illustration of a bird and asks "who is that?" It might be some specific kind of bird, but it's not like I had to personally know the bird to justify drawing a picture of it, or then explain the bird's "story."

People are different. People are somehow more specific and have names and favorite things and likes and dislikes and stories... People - particularly when they're not someone you know in real life - are characters.

And I've been working on my sketchbooks with the drawings of people... although I don't really think that's why I had the dream about the house with the alternate ending. Yes, sometimes logical and metaphorical connections are tenuous and inexact.
Just in case anyone wondered what I was blathering on about - that's one of my sketches.  The yet undecided part of the project is how I'm going to convert the sketch to an illustration. Do I want to go through the process of scans and blue pages and inking and filling? Or do I want to do something different? And what's the rest of the picture? Sketches are a staring point, but the actual finished illustration is a journey and a destination...

As for that dream? Grandpa Duda did appear and he was remodeling the house (in spite of the fact that he died in 2004). And I finally found the door to the staircase that goes upstairs, but the dream ended before I got around to wandering up there... and it wasn't via my alarm clock. I simply woke up, as today was my day off so there was no reason to set an alarm.

Oh, and those are some more sketches... every time the work weeks ends and my days off occur I think to myself about all the sketching and drawing and illustrating I could be doing. And then usually very little of it gets done. Sketching always seems to happen when it is least planned...

Anyway, sweet dreams, and have a pleasant weekend, and hopefully if the architect in your dreams moves your metaphorical staircase - you figure out the solution to whatever the problem was.
; )

Sunday, May 6, 2012

long rambling post

I wonder sometimes why I bother to write blog entries. Is there really a point to it?
Not to insult whoever it is that comments on my blog, and wow, yes, those are sparse, but is anyone really reading this because they want to?

I mean, I assume someone from HR scrolls through this thing every once in a while to suffer the disappointment that while I occasionally mention that I have a full time job and it is relatively far from my house — otherwise nothing is ever said about who I work for or what I do; much less any sort of juicy gossip or comments or opinions or whatever. 
Like I imagine the HR person thinking: yeah, the blog is a slightly different shade of purple and has more pictures of flowers or trees or some painting of nothing or whatever, but is otherwise about nothing salacious and lacks anything interesting like drunken photos of partying at a bar or treasonous diatribes. Next!

Don't worry, I fucking hate captchas, so, you could actually comment, anonymously, I might add, even if you're secretly from human resources...

But anyway, back to the thought I was having: why am I doing this? I wonder that most of the time when I sit here in front of the computer and try to think of something to write.  I've wasted a goodly amount of time writing things that have never seen the light of day, because for a long time I tried to practice the ideology of "would grandma approve?"

You know, like would I say "fuck" in front of my grandmother? Possibly, accidentally. But my grandmother doesn't have a computer or a smart phone or a tablet or the internet.  And my other grandmother is dead... plus she grew up on a farm in the mountains of PA, so, really, was there anything that I ever would have said that some much more colorful local yolkel hadn't already blistered through? Besides, I was / am fond of all 4 of my grandparents.  And everyone talks out-of-turn (as it were) about other people at some point.

Anyway, I assume my one remaining grandparent isn't reading this. Of course, you're never supposed to assume anything. But really, I do assume that when someone loads this blog and they see a giant block of text they probably make some face and then simply click away... because I do assume that a lot of you are drinking lattes or fancy flavored coffee while sitting in front of your computer (on looking at your phone or tablet) with the thought that some stranger on the internet is going to provide some level of entertainment... and since we're 6 paragraphs in, I assume very few people are actually reading this, because who the hell am I other than some faceless (avatar aside) stranger on the internet.

I was on vacation this week, and other than driving 17 miles to the doctor's office (and that is asinine, considering how many practices exist between my home on the one approved of by my health insurance — if you're American, then I implore you to vote for Democrats).  I probably should have made the appointment 3 months ago, but well, I didn't. I mean, I should have scheduled a teeth cleaning in February, but I didn't get around to that until the end of April... I should also probably floss more, but otherwise the electric toothbrush seems to be working out.

Anyway, skipping over the details, I have been physically ill. It isn't typhoid or lockjaw or shingles or whatever, so, it was just like one of those background nagging kinds of things (and yes, one person's version of nagging may vary wildly from someone else's; most of you probably would have made the appointment a lot sooner). But I work midnights and the doctor is far away — and those are my excuses, besides, maybe it'll just run its course, and I won't need to. Unless you're devoid of hope — I think we all consider that last one as a possibility.

Well, it didn't, and it wasn't going to just run its course... plus, it had started to wake me from my sleep. If you've never worked midnights — sleeping during the day is a chore, and as soon as you lay down there is always some moron vacuuming out their car or operating a leaf blower or a chainsaw or mowing their lawn or acting like poor white trash and doing doughnuts with their truck in the field out behind your house. You know what? That one day in the spring when it rained and you got your truck stuck in the mud? I laughed, a lot, particularly since it happened right behind my house. What would be really funny is if you went out there and your truck was swallowed up into a giant sinkhole. I would probably actually put down the binoculars and walk all the way out to the edge of the back yard and laugh and point and heckle...

Anyway, I don't thrive on less than 8 hours of sleep. I have a co-worker who thinks that like 2 or 3 is acceptable... it isn't. Of course, whenever you talk about sleep with people, the first thing that seems to happen is that they can prove that they need very little sleep and that you're a total pussy for wanting the full 8 hours. You know, shit, even my children sleep less than that. 
Well, congratulations, they're probably going to grow up to be spree killers or axe murderers; their prefrontal cortexes shrinking a bit more with each lost hour of sleep. People need sleep. I prefer mine in 8 hour+ increments, uninterrupted. So, waking up hours before the alarm clock was scheduled to go off was not rocking it. And it's not like I was waking up full of vigor and sprightliness. No, it was more like if "ugh" could encompass a state of being.

I would look at the alarm clock, blearily, and in my head would just let out a loud moaning "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Because even if I curled up in a ball and shut my eyes and thought about nothing, I was awake, and the remainder of my planned sleep was gone.

I have slept through thunderstorms, tornado warning sirens, more thunderstorms... but all of a sudden I couldn't sleep for more than 5 hours, and when I was awake — I was a freaking zombie. 

So, I just spent 5 days on vacation, and the furthest I went was to the doctor, ironically, not for sleeping pills, but for that thing that I presume kept waking me, otherwise, I guess we have ghost with an irritable personality...

I feel no more rested and relaxed today than I did on day 1 of my vacation. But I did watch a lot of tv and sleep for however long I wanted whenever I wanted, and I got some drawing done, so I guess it wasn't a total zero sum. It wasn't exactly like I had some calculated plan for the five days or something, aside from finally making that doctor's appointment.

I do feel like less of a zombie, but come tonight - the grind just starts again, and I suppose goes on until I finally just drop dead, although mortality isn't one of those things that I spend an awful lot of time thinking about. It's probably why I was never a goth, plus, I like colorful stuff, albeit not necessarily as part of my wardrobe.
I mean, technically, this is me, although, thematically, this is not me. Traveling just ain't my bag. Although I do have an old blue suitcase. Plus, really, if that was me, that plain black t-shirt needs some Pink Floyd graphics smacked on the front of it...

I guess I'm dark and sardonic and maybe a little antisocial, and that isn't fun whimsical light fare for morning coffee... and maybe I had to inadvertently become a sleep deprived zombie to realize that I don't get any joy or delight or simply relish the idea of trying to play against type in order to offend the least amount of people. And my grandmother (living or dead) isn't reading this anyway.

I talk about myself on here (or if you know me online, wherever we are - I talk about myself mostly there too) and I lead a fairly mundane life — aside from making things that look like earthworms in dirt in my spare time...
C'mon, admit it, it's at least nominally humorous, even if it does take some sarcasm to appreciate.  Plus I photographed it outside on the rabbit hutch (which is the closest thing I have to the etsy canard of barnwood).

Anyway, I talk about myself mostly, because it's easy and it's the least argumentative thing.  In many respects I am a character, but I'm an obscure character and who really has strong feelings about me one way or the other? It's not like I'm some anti-women's-lib homophobe like Rick Santorum or something. Seriously, republicans, why do you hate gay marriage and universal healthcare? 
See, when we were just talking about me you could just roll your eyes and yawn, and since you're many many miles away, I'd never notice. But when we talk about stuff — that's when people start to get pissy and annoyed. So, for everyone who had ever taken the time to take a pot-shot or make some glib off-hand remark referencing just how much of me I tend to talk about — that's why. Aside from issues of quantity - me talking about me rarely offended you, and as it turns out - I live a fairly creative carefree life that mostly revolves around such inert things as watching tv, listening to music, occasionally being outraged by brazenly stupid shit, taking photos of flowers and trees and naturey stuff, and mostly making a lot of art that is neither political or offensive; and the rest of the time I'm sleeping or at work.

My pre-vacation illness-induced sleep deprivation zombie experience was the deal breaker. For reasons that were mostly unintentional or accidental or simply the path of circumstances — I realized I was someone that I didn't want to be.  It didn't really take five days of vacation to arrive at that conclusion, nor did I have to travel far to get there.  It simply is what it is.

I'm not a person of absolutes. There are things in life that are constant, and there are far more things in life that are variables.  And probably, mostly, I have tried reasonably hard to succeed at whatever happened to be in front of me... until I tried so hard to get a certain result that I failed to notice that in doing so I was no longer really me — and that's a thought that applies to a number of things.

I am not always a grandma-approved conversationalist, and I'm not an apologist. And the amount of time I've spent trying to offend the least amount of people hasn't really made me happy.

Against my better judgement, I wandered into town in the early morning a couple days ago with my camera to photograph whatever... but I wasn't really in the mood to do it, and my back hurt, and I wasn't feeling stellar, and it was hot out... and really, I just needed to go buy groceries, which I don't like to do when everyone else is out doing it — because working midnights you tend to be buying groceries at 7am when everyone else is asleep or eating breakfast — so the store is like a ghost town... anyway, I took 70 photos, and most of them were crap...
Except this one:
I'm not big into gnomes, nor do I own one... but there was something about this particular random moment in time that amused me.  It's the trite, silly, and downright absurd that generally provides the memorable moments. Plus, it's just about time for me to put on 'people clothes' to go out and buy groceries for the coming work week...

Have a good week and pursue some happiness just because it's something to do.