Sunday, December 21, 2008

Danger Blog

I'm pretty sure this is the first blog I've written while driving. I'm on my way to Indianapolis to pick Lindsey up from the airport. Holy cow, I'd forgotten how cold zero degrees is! At first my car didn't even respond to the turn of my key. It finally began to slowly turn before - much to my relief - actually starting.

Broken trees are everywhere, and a deadly cold gray has enveloped Fort Wayne. Craig windham on NPR just reminded me that this is the first day of winter. Along interstate 69, foot-thick trees look like snapped toothpicks, the gods of the earth appearing to bow in submission to the gods of the air.

Concrete bridges and roads merge with nature, creating a monotone world, save for the occasional green road sign or blue mile marker.

Gusts of wind have their way with me, batting me from side to side as if I were a toy between feline paws. I question the wisdom of continuing to type on this phone with my left thumb, but disregard the thought. My sense of self-preservation has been dulled by thirty months of regret.

Now blowing snow creates the illusion of driving in fog. The gray remains constant, yet the visible world shrinks to just a few dozen yards in every direction.

This long stretch of higway always reminds me of the drive from Cheyenne to Denver. Much of the scenery is nearly identical, though the absence of the Rocky Mountains to my right reminds me I am far from home. I wonder if home is the right word? A case could be made both for and against.

The sun is nowhere to be seen, though the darkening gray tells me it is setting. I come to the realization that I have forgotten my glasses. The drive back tonight will be more difficult because of it.

Three motels, two gas stations, and a McDonald's populate the exit leading to a tiny rural town, nameless in it's obscurity. A sign tells me I am 88 miles from Indy.

I stop typing for several minutes to consider the value - or lack thereof - of writing. It is an inherently selfish act. Oh, maybe not all forms, but certainly this essay. I also realize that my stream-of-consciousness narrative seems to possess an artificially highbrow tone, a voice I dislike reading. Even the self-serving blog has lost its luster.

Oh look, more golden arches ahead... I think I will use their facilities...

Normally I Like Ice

Thursday night we were told to expect a pretty brutal ice storm. I awoke Friday morning to a beautiful sight - snow on the ground, and everything covered in a half inch of ice.

But when I looked out another window, I saw that my trees had all been devastated by the extra weight.

Last night, the wind kicked up and even more limbs have been breaking. It's pretty sad watching my only serene place being injured and disfigured like this. So much so that I'm tempted to go out and babysit what remains, keeping watch over the few branches left unbroken. But it's 1°F outside. And were I to act on instinct, I imagine I'd eventually be found like good ol' Jack Torrance...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Breaking The 4-Month Silence

The most articulate complaint I've received about my failure to blog these last four months has been, "Do you really want 'Golden Poop' to be your blog's swan song?". The short answer is a horrified "No!".

However, other than art and music, there has been little to fill anybody in on.

Regarding art stuff, developing my skills as a tattoo designer and artist has been an amazing challenge this year. Just last week, I was approached with a request to re-create this angel "pretty much as-is, only without the flower, and put her hand in water and have it coming up around her."

I flatly refused. I don't want to be responsible for any more crappy jail-looking tattoos than already exist in the world.

With the negotiated agreement that I could do a redesign as long as the elements all remained the same, I came up with this:

Somewhere along the line I picked up a nickname of "The Tumor Doodler" by some at work. Can't imagine why, unless it's that my cubicle usually looks something like this:

Even since I snapped this photo, my style changed again. You see, I recently discovered the beauty and strength of thick lines (thanks to a new friend who does AMAZING tattoo work). Here's what my legal pad sketches have looked like lately:

Lest you think I only draw tumor-like blobs, I am actually very busy trying to develop a number of art styles. Unfortunately, it feels like I'm going in too many directions at once. But at least I'm creating - there have been many seasons in my life during which I stifled that flow.

And speaking of creative ventures, I made another Christmas song submission (the same contest for which I created "Christmas For A Dragon") last year. I'm a better engineer now, and there were fewer entries this time. However, there are enough great ones to prevent me from thinking I'll be even close to the second-place level I hit last year. (And truth be told, I wrote and recorded it in the two days before it was due, so it's pretty much my own fault.)

Anyway, it's as done as it's going to be. Click the link to hear "Christmas Economy A.D.D.".

That's about all for now. ...And I'll try to make the next four months a little more interesting.