Saturday, June 30, 2012

To Practice Any Art . . .

you said it kurt
In the past 9 or 10 months I have been working on combining flat space with 3-Dimensional space in my art work, which has pushed me to work on developing abstract pieces and works with strong repetition of form. As you saw from my post On To the Bedroom! I recently created a large abstract painting to go in my bedroom. I combined a lot of elements and different applications of the paint to come up with a work that I really enjoy.

Just this past week I completed another abstract work in which I added the element of symbols (in this case: words). I used a line from a poem of mine and translated it into 4 different languages, rewriting the line over and over. I would tell what it says, but, well as I was told recently after receiving a message in Spanish (that utterly confused Google Translate) just enjoy the text for what it is: symbols. Maybe that isn't how that person actually meant it, but what matters more is how I took it (and ran with it, and eventually came to the idea for this piece I am showing you today).

This leads me to my final point before the painting reveal. Let things in your world inspire you. I feel that so many of my peers get caught up in using their internal eye only, putting down only their deep, personal thoughts. Be inspired and stirred up by what is around you! I don't mean making hundreds of propaganda posters for whichever presidential candidate you will vote for this upcoming election . . . but I do believe that when you let the world around you soak in a bit more, that internal eye sees a lot more. It's like stirring up the debris at the bottom of water: maybe you can't see as far down any longer but you can see a lot more that was hidden in that water now. 

I'm actually reminded of a verse, Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. I honestly have no idea what that means and have been pondering it for some time, but was repeating it over and over to myself as I wrote this post. So do what you will with it, and enjoy my painting:

all taped off before the final touches! 

Thought on Inspiration: Do one thing everyday that scares you. Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, June 29, 2012

Baseball and Women

First of all, I'm giving a shout out to my best friend, Evan, for his twenty second birthday! Check out his blog about spending time in Akron, Ohio this summer. I'm really sorry I missed this birthday, but I'm sure we can find time to celebrate it in true twenty-year-old style when I return.

I know I let y'all down by not posting yesterday, but I promise I will post Sunday to make up for it. The truth is, I spent the whole of yesterday on my way to Dallas to go see a Texas Rangers game. They played the Detroit Tigers and won 13 to 9. The best part to me though was having my new camera to capture all the merriment so I could share it!

I really love three subjects (that I can think of) in photography: people who are normally ignored in society, interactions between people, and abandoned things.

Robert also would have been included in this picture if my arm was longer

I really loved her hair and hat

We went on a great night: dollar hotdog night! However, we didn't sit in the all-you-can-eat section as one of my new friends suggested we should.
Robert and I with our Overly Attached Girlfriend Faces

thank God for baseball pants. . .
Nicole and I practicing our duck faces

... was going to show them what's up

the pitch . . . 

. . . the slam
 Baseball Life Quote (apply liberally): Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in. - Casey Stengel

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shoot Her!

For my birthday my brother gave me an awesome camera... and I freaking love it, so now you will have to put up with my showing off the pictures of lame stuff I have taken in the past 3 days. The good news though is you can now expect good pictures on here and not just crap from my phone!

Click to see instructions!

And now for the star of the show: my kitten, Don Quixote.

Quotes about photography:

If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time. - Robert Doisneau

My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person. - Andy Warhol (have I mentioned that I hate Warhol? This quote pretty much sums up why)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Enchanté Moi

Life is confusing and often times angering, so I write poetry to deal with it instead of slapping people. Generally speaking I write my blog about the ups, and I write my poetry about the downs. I don't know why it works out that way for me, because I know plenty of people who write poetry about the butterflies and trees of life but it's just not me.

A tip on how to read these: I write poetry like prose, as in you shouldn't pause at line breaks but only at punctuation. I usually want my line breaks instead to give emphasis to meaning or feeling of a word or phrase.


I've always valued integrity
but have only just realized
it's always been the lack thereof
that's driven me from other guys.
I tell you that you've got it
and you just bat your eyes;
I never thought we'd be here
where you force what you want under disguise.
You can't set me free,
but you can make me despise
your efforts to give me what I have.
You've let the water rise,
covering everything you want to show,
but no matter how you try, you can't devise
a plan to actually not care.
At some point you also will realize
how much you like being with someone with integrity.


She let life wash over her
like a huge tidal wave
and as the ocean held
her body and choked her lungs
she could die happy
because she didn't have to fight it.

Please Hear Me

Over and through
I repeat it in my thoughts
I shape it with my tongue.
Words I long to
whisper in your mind.
Words I mean
to do to you, as they have to me.
But how might they be mailed
or conveyed through the wire?
So instead they are willed
to your wintered
Enchanté moi.

Little Swimmer

She swims around
with a tiny pink Speedo lifevest strapped
around her teeny ribcage.
Dark skin,
dark hair,
dark eyes.
She is beautiful
at the age of three.
As her father instructs
her, she splashes hard
against the water,
singing in a little, strong voice
with words of her Indian heritage.
Little eyes are alive with joy.
Lovely woven gold
earrings struggle to shine
as brightly as she.
Golden glints
from the sun
strain to be as rich
as she.
Then she's slipping the smallest sandals
on as her mom helps her
into a light pink robe.
She stands
for a moment
between her makers,
sipping a water
sized for her hand
with the hood of her robe pulled up.
She looks as
the world's smallest boxer
between her trainers
after her best workout of the year:
confidence is her robe,
the Word is her water,
love are her jewels.
And though she is little,
she is fierce.

So Difficult To Tell Me You Love Me

The days when I get the most angry
at you are the nights
when I cry to God,
asking “What is so wrong with me
that no one can love me
Prayers like these
have always made me cry
and this day is no exception.
I want to give up on you.
10 days without your voice.
No letters at all.
You won't even be my friend
and yet for some reason the little voice
within me keeps crying out:
“he'll come back . . .
if he could just keep seeing how much you love him . . .
he'll come back . . .
if you can just keep showing him your love.”
But I'm beginning to hate that little voice.
I'm beginning to hate thinking of you.
But you've already yelled the same at me
so I know you wouldn't care even if you knew.
You've been happy to hurt me and I've been loyal.
You've been quick to cut me out and I've worn your clothes.
You have taken off my necklace
and I have carried the miles between us.
What have I to show for it now?
A month-old letter
marked Return To Sender
that might end up being my last to you.
I wish everything to be the last to you,
but only God and time
will tell whether the little voice crying out within me
will be snuffed by your big thumb.

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Good For the Soul

Ozark National Forest was definitely worth the trip. For the drive up my brother and I used scenic route 7 up to our camp site at Alum Cove where there is a very large natural bridge, several caves, and large rock formations. We had also stopped at a few scenic lookouts along the way and hiked a short portion of trail where I had the first snake spotting of the trip. At all of our stops the first day there were multiple dried up creeks or standing water were flowing water should have been. Arkansas is once again dying for rain. There were burn ban signs up everywhere we went.

on the natural bridge at Alum Cove, Ozark National Forest

this was quite a common sight: riverbed with no river

Alum Cove

Alum Cove

Alum Cove

early morning tent

my favorite part about sleeping out was the early morning sunlight waking me up (with a chorus of very loud birds)

For the second day of hiking we took 16 over to 23, and then headed down 309 to bring us to Mt. Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas. This place was freaking packed. The trails seemed very tourist friendly and there was a giant lodge built not far from Signal Hill (the highest point). After walking the Signal Hill loop, with various occurrences such as my pack's strap breaking and spotting a solitary deer tromping around not 200ft from the trail, we headed toward the cliffs on the backside of the nearby lodge.

Signal Hill Trail to Highpoint

Mount Magazine Signal Hill, Highest Point in Arkansas: Elevation 2,759ft

After these hikes, which probably only amounted to around 3 miles, we were spent, which is more understandable taking into consideration the 95+ degree heat. So we got in the car and head down to the Cossatot River. This was the most fun stop we made. There are giant shards of rock jutting diagonally from a semi-swiftly moving river, rows upon rows of rock with large rock walls on either side. We spent our time jumping from rock to rock and climbing them down the river for probably a quarter mile until we came to an open area where we swam with a few other guests, if you will.

At this point we were really tired, had baked in the sun for hours upon hours, and were getting annoyed with ourselves for not being able to quit singing What's Up (if you get a kick out of everything about the 90s, you should definitely watch the video).

a lone rock in the Cossatot River

Go for a nature walk, it's good for you!

Thoughts on nature: Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. - John Muir

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pack It In!

White Rock Mountain, Ozark National Forest

I have never packed a backpack quite like this before, so I took the time Thursday night to document exactly how I put together my pack in the hopes that I will can look back and see what I did right or wrong, and in the hopes that someone reading this knows how to do it and will give me tips and constructive criticism (hint, hint: that is you, please!). Nevertheless, here is my somewhat educated guess on how to pack my crap together for a 3 day hiking trip.

1.hand towel 
2.mess kit (2 undies, 2 tops, 1 pair of shorts) 
5.wet wipes 
6.toothbrush and paste 
7.non-existent number 
8.LED lantern 
10.waterproof electronics bag, first aid kit for 1, LED flashlight 
11.chapstick, deodorant, comb, bug spray and dry shampoo 
13.sleeping bag 
 Items to be packed in the morning: toilet paper, matches, and firestarter.
i'm pleased by the simplest things, like this nifty spot to put your ID on the pack

I stuffed all of my granola bars into one box.

after standing this up inside of the pack I realized just how large the thing could expand to...

most websites recommend only taking along clean socks and simply washing the rest of your clothing as needed, however, I'm just taking the dang clothes.

the all-important water... and the all-heavy

lots of extra room left for my pack-in-morning items

I struggled for a while with attaching my sleeping bag to the top of the pack... then I simply laid it all down and everything was easier.

by the time you're reading this, I will have become well aware of what I could have done better with my packing and what items I wish I had brought.

Thoughts on camping: The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition. - Dave Barry
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