Stand Tall [Poem]

Live this life,
Make it stand tall
Live this dream,
Never think small
Pursue this path,
To whatever end
Be ensnared in Love,
In the time you spend.

Do not tarry,
Do not wait,
Step through your fears and past the Gate
There I shall see you, my good friend
Up around the corner, just around the bend.
From star to star, waxing and waning light
Cherishing our dreams,
Setting them free to take flight.

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Bright Desire [Poem]

Catch Fire,
Bright Desire.
Little Flame,
Never the Same.
Sun Flower,
Light Power.
Self Light,
Mind’s Flight.
Catch the Sun,
Born to Run.
Chase the Dream,
Catch a Moon Beam.
Stop. Listen. Feel.
Your Heart Beat.
Be Complete.

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Soul Wanderings [Poem]

Where does one go
Between the ebb and flow
Betwixt wasted days and sleepless nights?

Where does the soul wander
When one stops to ponder
When a spirit takes its lonely flight?

All of these dreams
Threads between seams
A fog of wisps and wishes

We chase our destination
Or fall to procrastination
As we hurry and wait

In the end, the failings are a grace
Since we cannot control the pace
For that is what is needed

To Grow
To Change
To Rearrange

The Tapestry
And Scaffolding

Of One’s Mind.

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Pieces of Life [Poem]

Pieces of life
Corners of strife
Family and friends
I may never see again
Wistful sounds of children playing
Promises failed and empty sayings
Regrets of the past
A tunnel of sad years
Finding smiles that bridged the fears
Laughing with companions through the gap
Waiting no more and escaping traps
Although I am happy to see the sun at last
Yet there are things I am glad of in the past
The souls and spirits I have loved from then
The triumphs and falls in the monstrous den
Still I love how the wind howls and sings
With the rain falls and the growth it brings

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To fear
To clutch one’s cold heart
To flee from dreams created
Destiny derailed,
In a mental jail
Responsibility therefore abated

To face oneself
To embrace or be averted
Make a stand,
Determine to land
Or see one’s nature perverted

Stop waiting for a perfect shard
Of intrinsic glory
When acts of failure
Fashioned and tailored
Are the greatest part of the story

Do not ponder overmuch,
Do not wait any more
Plunge on into your icy beating heart
Allow it its part
And see what is in store

You’ll see its not so bad
And certainly less sad
Than waiting for the false monsters to take you.
For time races with fate
And fate is part of glory

Fear is but enticement
To whistle along with the rest of your story

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Of bad poetry and happy writing

I have a little hobby I sometimes indulge in, which is bad poetry.  You see, I love words, how they jumble and tumble, how letters and phrases look. There is an art to them, and I find it personally interesting that our minds can take letters and pictures and interpret them on a mental level.

Sometimes, when I am not really thinking, a snippet of a thought runs my way. I have a word or three, certainly not more than a rudimentary phrase. And I like to see where it goes.

So I a have decided to post some of my bad poetry.  I proclaim no literary training whatsoever.  I just go with what I feel.  People that know poetry will no doubt cringe at my lack of form, poor knowledge of poetry in general.

On the other hand, I would rather be a bad poet or artist than no artist at all.  So I’ll be posting some of my scribbles in a bit.

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I decided to go out today for a walk at my local park to combat my pot pelly, who’s girth has reached such circumference as to have the gravitational pull of Jupiter.   As I was consoling and giving myself a little pat on the back that I finally got myself up and out to do something about my rotund little body, about halfway through my journey I encountered a young pregnant woman, shuffling up the path towards me. She looked very pregnant (around 8 months into her maternal journey I later found out), looking quite distressed.  She asked me if I could help her, since she left her cell phone at home and needed to call her friends.   In my mind, I made a smidgeon of a calculation of the risks, but truthfully, I’m more than a bit of a pushover, I didn’t want a miscarriage on my hands, and I have a bit of a hero complex, so I readily agreed to help her.

It turned out she couldn’t get a hold of her friends, who she was travelling in a car with when it broke down.  For some reason, she told me she was self-conscious of people staring at her, so decided to go on a walk and leave them.  This was starting to sound kind of strange, but I thought, well, I might as well help her to get her somewhere to get something to eat, since she wasn’t from this area.  She looked pretty far along, so I thought get her at least to a convenience store, in air conditioning, and somewhere she could rest.

At the convenience store, she still couldn’t get a hold of people, so eventually we took a gamble, and she had a friend across  the town that lived in an RV and said she would be safe with him for the time being.  And so  I took her there, and bid my farewells.  And I must say, not a moment too soon for me. And I’ll tell you why.

I was glad to help her, and I was keenly interested in her story.  What I heard though was so full of stress and drama.   I felt sad and repulsed at the same time, but I kept it inside and stayed positive on the outside.

She was 22, and her mother was a drug addict and died from heart failure from complications of the drug use.  She swore she didn’t take drugs, which may have been true, but I don’t know. She did seem troubled.  I do know she was very stressed, full of guilt (her grandmother and uncle blamed her for the stress that killed their daughter/sister), she also was jobless, didn’t have a boyfriend/husband to help, a dropout and had 2 other children.  She was living out of hotels with her friends, whom she got in arguments with, or her family, who she also argued with.  I was very nice to her, told her that she was still young, that she shouldn’t live with guilt and also that once she had her child, she could get eventually get a job and if she was diligent things would work out and be ok.

But statistically, in my head, I knew this was someone who, unless she let go of her guilt, got herself away from people dragging her down, and applied herself, that she was going to be a statistic and a drag on herself and society.

I was nice to her, but in my head I wanted to say “STOP HAVING BABIES!”, “STOP BLAMING YOURSELF!” “START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY!” and understand, even if you have a bad life, you have to OWN IT, UNDERSTAND IT, AND PLAN FOR A WAY OUT.

During the time I  was in the company of this young woman, really little more than a girl by years, and felt a combination of empathy for a fellow human being, repulsion about what she had become and what she may become, sadness that she is doomed, wanting to help but also wanting to get away as fast as possible.  All of this I purposely ignored while trying to get her somewhere safe.

I don’t believe in auras, bad mojo or any of that.  But wow, I could feel just crazy amounts of negative emotion, loss, pain, obliviousness, but mostly confusion from a woman who didn’t know what to do, who to be, and how to pull herself up.

I tried to tell her, without telling her.   It’s not my business, and also I could only give her understanding, not lectures in the short time I knew her.   Also, all life lessons can’t be learned from someone else.  They have to be learned from experience.  She has to experience all of the things she is in full.  She needs to understand, and then get so sick of her life she resolves to change it.  She’ll either emerge from it a strong self-sufficient woman, scared but undaunted or (what I fear), just a broken person.

I dropped her off, and once clear, I messaged the people again she tried to contact and told her where she was and what I knew of her status.  They finally replied, but in the end I was glad they didn’t again once I gave my message, I admit it.   I have been near that sort of thing people with train wrecks for lives, in the distant past.  And I wanted none of it, the baggage of a person’s life just coming apart at the seams.

And yet I still hope for her.  I love a story about comebacks and redemption.  That is my fantasy, and I want it to be true, desperately, and I realized today I want it for others, not just myself.  As I looked at her, I knew that was her choice, not mine.  If she just could have made better choices as a teenager.  People can pull themselves out of terrible backgrounds, even worse than hers.   But her chances were few because she had to make mature choices when she was too young for most people to make them.  The older one starts making good choices, the harder it is to atone for the bad ones.

In the end analysis, she is most likely to fail, and although her faults as an adult are hers, I can’t help but think of what could have happened if she was raised in a in a happier home when she was young.  If she could have been taken away from the familial mess she was conceived in, she might not have become what she was, which will in all likelihood, continue to perpetuate.  I hope that she makes the right choices in her life and I am terribly wrong in my analysis of this human life.

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Burn, baby burn

It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. I have learned a lot, and things are going well. My quest to stay in California has gone well. I have been promoted twice at my job, and have learned my strengths (I love helping people), and been working on my weaknesses (working in a tech profession with no prior training had and still has a huge learning curve). I have, through it all, embraced a workaholic attitude that has allowed me to survive, and then thrive with what I do.  My wife is also doing well in her career. So in many ways, we have succeeded past those first steps in our brave new world.

And yet, while I am happier than I ever was back east (or as I call it, the Old Country), I still find my life lacking in some ways. I sacrificed my overall health and free time (at first my necessity, now by habit), and I am a chubby dude nowadays, which is still strange since I was once very athletic. Also, bearing more to this blog, my art suffered greatly.

As an artist, if you don’t do art in some way, it comes out in other outlets. In random scribbles. In jokes, and writings and emails. It needs a way out. This can only serve as more like a pressure release, with no direction to it, evaporating into the wind. Now, after such a long time of no direction, I come face to face with the exasperation and fear of trying to create art. It’s like taking a great leap into a chasm. Looking at the chasm brings forth excitement, wonderment, and fear. And if I don’t leap, ultimately disappointment.

The fear of being an artist is sometimes not the fear of can you do the art (though in the beginning that happens after a long hiatus). It’s what may happen if you dedicate yourself to this practice, this craft, this euphoric witchery when it overtakes you. You feel alive, and being alive, truly alive is exciting and scary. Creating art at its finest sweeps you into something you aren’t quite sure you have control of. It’s like you are steering a ship, but the winds of your mind, if you are brave enough to follow, will take you places you never thought possible. And it’s fun. You lose sleep, your heart and mind run like crazy when you try to sleep. Its like you are caught in a great fire that is your spirit raging and lighting your synapses. It makes you young again, that fire. And so, whenever I draw again, I have to ask myself, do I want that? And I must say: Burn baby. Burn.

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The Base of the Pyramid

As I get older, I keep discovering, time and time again, there are no shortcuts to the top. Everything has to be earned, one step at a time. Luck isn’t luck, its more like being prepared and open to opportunities.  The latest learning curve in IT has finally come to the point where I am contributing in a manner that is good. I can do my job, and do it fairly well. I come to the point now where I fork off. Do I want to be an incredible AV technician, or a good AV tech and begin the work that I came here to do, to forge a career in art.

The answer, though it pains me on some level is that I must pursue my art.  I have found though that I must work on some other things at the same time. I must work on my base of my life. I am in short, focused on a pyramid scheme.

1 – Sleep – My sleep habits have been awful. Years of swing shifts, over-working, manic bouts of creativity, worrying about my job followed by mind-numbing apathy have destroyed my sleep, my REM cycle. It leaves me duller intellectually than I should be. It stops my drive and creates an apathy from being dull-minded. To this effect, I am now making myself go to sleep within 30 minutes of the same time every night. The results have been great, except when I veer off. I did so last weekend, but not as much.
I now am sketching more, and completing my tasks I have at hand, unless I am too much on the internet

2 – Basic body maintenance. I need to take care of myself.  I have/had slipped into a dull apathy that includes lack of taking care of basic physical things. No, I’m not some crazy guy with 8 inch fingernails that hasn’t taken bath in weeks. But I can get more haircuts and shave a little more, stuff like that. In short, I was starting to not care as much.  Results have been good. I actually am feeling more human and can carry myself with a bit more pride.

3 – More chores around the house.  Making a list, and checking it twice. Instead of waiting for things to pile up, I am actually giving myself a few tasks a day to conquer.  Results have been good in that I don’t feel like I am being crowded by bills. And my wife is starting to appreciate the extra help.  I feel out of helping except on weekends when I was working 12+ hours a day.  Now I only work 10 hours. (I know, I should cut back more….), so I have less of an excuse.  This does make me feel more like an adult again instead of a vagrant worker.

4 – Diet – this has been going not great. But I tasked myself with just writing down what I eat. And truthfully, its very embarrassing. It consists mostly of sugar and high calories. I just got into the habit of wolfing everything down to sate hunger and move to the next project. Acceptable for 19 year old college students. Less so for middle aged adults.  I have noticed I have started eating a bit better these last few days, just because the guilt of writing down all this stuff is disturbing.

5 – Exercise – barely. I’m working my way up this pyramid, I am just starting to exercise. But weighing myself, measurements, and getting tired standing or walking shows its pretty bad. I was once in great shape. Now I’m more like a 265lb egg with man boobs. My only grace is many years of exercise – I know how it works. And what I am doing ain’t it.

6 – My art – oh yeah, that. I have created a sketchbook, and try to do something in it many days, I have some pretty fun ideas, but very little time to execute still. I am still working on eliminating general apathy from sleep deprivation, a little bit of depression (though I won’t admit it from a victim stance, more a fact stance that I need to take care of myself). Some work is being done.  I am for instance writing on this blog and am beginning to re-vamp my website and zazzle store.

7 – I have a list of sites to post to, including this one. I check them off one by one. This has just started.

8 – The pursuit of knowledge. I compiled a short reading list to get started

9 – Training – I still want to do some outside reading and training of my current profession.  It’s a good job, and I don’t want to lose it because of stagnation. I have some more notes, and am looking into pursuing related hobbies like web casting and voice acting.

10. My music – study and play. I love to play and sing. I want to write my songs down and learn some more to break out of stagnation. I do play a fair amount, but I haven’t learned much at last.

11. A big key is stopping my use of the internet for the most part, unless I am looking for inspiration or to produce something. I have become a consumer in entirety, and that needs to change.

I will update a little on this every once in a while. But I want to make this site about art again, about the work, the philosophy and interesting things I learn along the way.  But first thing is first. The base needs to be taken care of.



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Marketing is not such a dirty word after all.

I have been reading books on voice over acting, as I will be making a foray into the business. It’s something I wanted to do for both some extra cashflow as well as someday doing voices for video games and my own animations.

And I found the common thread that always seems to push through the success stories about those careers I admire. It’s this. Talent isn’t enough. It’s not even the primary factor. It’s professionalism, showing up on time and finishing the job. And event more important, it’s marketing, marketing, marketing!  I see it show up about artists. I see it show up about musicians. I saw how important it is in the insurance industry, and Google has entire seminars about personal branding and perception.

I really used to hate this idea. I used to want people to recognize me for my skill, not what I saw was prostrating, begging for money and attention.  I was wrong, or rather I has come to the conclusion it isn’t begging. You are just letting people know you are out there. And since people are easily distracted by life, or other clients, you have to remind them. As much as possible without being rude.  

This isn’t saying not to learn the craft of what you do. You still have to be good. But what sets you apart is how you present yourself and your company. And you have to take yourself seriously, and not dabble. You have to commit, and commit as much as possible.

So the fine artist in me surrenders. No more closeted primadonna. I just have to work and hit the wall until it falls. And after that keep running to the next wall and hit it again while self-promoting my various goods and skills.

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