So all of Thanksgiving week and even up to today I have been stressing out and feeling over anxious about the future. Usually I am a man that takes life one day at a time, making sure I wake up and do the best I can each and every day. So this last week I have been out of character to say the least.
This week I forgot that I am at the age(25-35… like I am not that old but I am not that young age) where life can be at its most unstable, and chaotic stage. I suppose for one week the uncertainty of life and all its challenges got the better of me. Furthermore, I forgot that I am a man with my own path, with my own goals, and the people in my life can either support and be a part of that or not, but either way it is my life. I was feeling guilty and unproductive simply because I took a semester off from school leaving me at home during the day while the majority of my friends and family were doing something productive(work, school, etc) I have always been a man that gets anxious when I am not busy doing something I feel is productive, and I suppose for the first time in a long time I have been in a position where I haven’t been as busy as usual, which had been a good thing for a little while. But now I am excited to get back to school and get back to work in general.
This leads me to my goals, I am excited about them, they are realistic and attainable:
1. Finish College with a degree in Art History and a teaching credential
2. Begin teaching at the lower level(high school, junior high, or elementary)
3. Continue to help expand and build Proxart into the successful company it is already becoming
4. Continue to expand my role at Impact Basketball(coach more players/teams, more training, take on more administrative duties)
5. While teaching, pursue a Masters degree in Art Education
6. Pursue a doctorate in Art History
I do have other things I want to see some success in(my own artwork, the band I play in etc) but school, Impact, and Proxart are my top career priorities. I have forgotten lately that I have wanted to teach since I was 16(when I started coaching) and I love being a student and learning, and I have been missing that, I think that is why I have been down lately. There are some lofty academic goals up there, maybe I won’t be able to meet them, but the last 5 years or so I have had a serious thirst for learning and knowledge, and to a certain extent it has been in my nature to be curious, to question everything and to share what I have learned with others, and to want to learn in general(even though I haven’t always been the best student growing up).
So why am I sharing all of this on a public blog? Because as the title suggests it is therapeutic, writing on this blog helps me conclude this last week as if it were a chapter in my life coming to an end.
But I will admit that this post is also a request for help and support. I have many great friends and family members in my life that have been beyond supportive through the many phases of my life, and I ask and hope that continues. As independent as I can be and think I am, I have never been a man that can really face the world totally alone(because I really never have been alone). So I guess I am basically asking for help in anyway, it may be words of encouragement or motivation, it may be helping me with some of the specifics of the goals written above. In the end it may just mean being there in times of adversity, or just being there in general.
To conclude I look forward to facing the challenges and adversity that lie ahead, both as an individual and with my friends and family. And if you are reading this you have to be one or the other so I thank you for being in my life and I look forward to you being around as I take this journey through the world.
A blog article I wrote for Proxart on Black Friday:
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, the symbolic holiday of giving thanks for the people in our lives as well as what we have in our lives in general. But it seems that with each year the focus and attention is shifting from the traditional holiday of thanks and giving to this new holiday that focuses on consuming and the bottom financial line that is sweeping suburban malls across the nation. I am of course speaking of the now infamous “Black Friday”; the special day after Thanksgiving where mega deals on everything from appliances to clothing brings out millions of shoppers looking to take advantage of these deals.
Now those who know me know I can easily turn this article into some kind of politically fueled rant(as I usually do). But this isn’t going to be an attack on capitalism or consumerism, but a proposal to merely think about the day before a little bit more and perhaps even merge the spirit of Thanksgiving with the opportunities laid out before us on Black Friday. Simply said I ask that we do not forget and yes even take the time to thank the following for really making this day possible:
1. The troops and military personnel that defend the opportunity to experience the holidays the way we do.
2. The people at the stores providing the opportunity to take advantage of the discounted merchandise, i.e. the person at the cash register at Sears, the barista at Starbucks, the security at the mall, or anyone that is willing to put in the hard work necessary to make “Black Friday” possible(being a Black Friday worker and perhaps again someday I know that it really does take significant work to prepare for and execute this day)
So seriously, if you see a military service member today, go up to them, shake their hand and say thank you, that’s all you need to do to make their day a little brighter. Same goes with the retail warriors previously mentioned, be a little nicer today, take the time to thank them, especially if they are doing their job well and doing what they can to make your shopping experience better. These people make up a good portion of what still represents the special greatness of this country. And all I ask for this Thanksgiving and this Black Friday and even for the upcoming holidays in a month, is that we do our best to to make their days a little better, or at least a little bit easier to manage.
BBC top 100 novels list, they also claim that most people have read no more than 6 of these titles. I am glad to know I have read more than 6. There is still so many on this list that I want to read… I have read the novels in bold. What have your read?
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien 3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling 5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 6 The Bible 7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - read some, but not others… 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot 21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell 22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald 23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis 34 Emma - Jane Austen 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden 40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez 44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy. 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan 51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel 52 Dune - Frank Herbert 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth. 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon 57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov 63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt 64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson 75 Ulysses - James Joyce 76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome 78 Germinal - Emile Zola 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray 80 Possession - AS Byatt. 81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell 83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry 87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole 96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
People use the term “friend” like it’s disposable. It has become an empty word in a society struggling to connect (even though we can connect more thanks to the Internet). What exactly does it mean to be a friend these days? Are we “friends” on Facebook? Do we hang out only in social situations?…
My 700th tumblr post is an op-ed I wrote for the Fall 2010 issue of Proxart Magazine:
In the course of human history and evolution, art, for the most part, has been very structured with a uniformed code of what is accepted and what is not. Only at the end of the 19th century did we begin to see the break down of the rules of classical painting, sculpture, and design; in other words, relatively speaking, diversity and individuality in art is a very new concept, and we as a species and society are still trying to handle and even make up new rules to replace the old rules, because we all pretend that we actually prefer and even crave the ordinary, mundane, and routine.
But I believe people inside and outside of the art world aren’t really trying to hard to find a new uniformed standard of what is good art and what is not because we secretly(or not so secretly) actually prefer and definitely crave diversity, randomness, and disorder. Even outside analyzing art we can see how levels of predictability, or lack there of, effect everything about who we are. Surprises and random dates tend to seem more romantic than when things are planned. We love giving gifts for birthdays and holidays because of the surprise factor, and even during sudden disasters or tragedies we become more human because of what we feel when things are thrown into our lives without warning.
To bring it back to how this effects how we view and absorb art, it probably become more obvious at this point why we seem to be more attracted to shock art or styles in general that are uncommon. It is because we like to be surprised, we like things that are different, and even though we as a species, in general, fear the unknown, we also can be attracted or drawn to it.
So to bring it back even further to how this related with the relationship between suburbia and art(because that’s what this is all about right?) Perhaps the main reason why they seem to clash the way they do is because it becomes a fight between diversity and uniformity. On the surface it just seems that a uniformed suburban society can not be a breeding ground for a real diverse group of artists or creative minds. But it seems that in actuality, that suburbia is no different than any other cultural in environments in the sense that it can only limit our desire for diversity and creativity if we let it. As this is the last thing you will read in this issue I think we can both agree that we have proven this time around that there are a diverse and highly creative group of artists working the same way that artists from the city would work.
And finally this leads me to that challenge I always lay down to readers: Don’t be afraid to be original, don’t be afraid to create in an original way. Diversity is vital to art and society, therefore we must embrace the people who are willing to be themselves and not be fearful of being a little different from time to time.
It was All Hallows Eve, I remember when this day used to more relevant to me, dressing up and getting tons of candy just no longer seemed very appealing to me. But this Halloween, this particular day, now has significance… it will be remembered; but not for the traditions of this dark holiday like the costumes, the treats, and the twisted celebrations. It will be remembered because of old horror films, tea, and conversation.