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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Source of Art



Guest post by my daughter,  written May, 2012, with a picture of her children


The Source of Art

Twelve years ago today on May 15, 2000 is when I first laid eyes on my future husband, Matt. We worked in the same company, but I worked in the Austin office and he worked in the London office. He had flown into Austin to train us on the company’s proprietary software. Other than Matt, I was the first one into the office that morning. We worked in a large, open-plan room with low-rise cubicles and the room was always dark because the programmers preferred for the lights to be off. He was sitting at a desk off in the corner working at a computer, his face lit up by the computer monitor in the dark room.
Two days later, I had a massive crush on him and two months later we were dating. And one year later we were married.
So May 15 is an auspicious day for me. It’s a day of love and beginnings. So, today is the official day that I begin writing as a career — truly begin. No more waltzing with fear and hiding from fate. I start work today.
And I’ve been conducting a postmortem in my head of all my past failed attempts. I can create brilliant small vignettes — little snippets of a story that read like poetry and carry deep meaning. But whenever I try to write an entire book, it reads, at best, like an 8th-grader’s attempt at fiction. The kernel of the story holds promise, but the surrounding prose drags it down into the realm of the novice, lacking clever timing and meaningful metaphor.
And why is this? My conclusion is that the failed attempts at an entire book have never come from my soul. Now, we can sit here and debate whether we even have souls or not, but the truth of the matter is, every artist creates from a personal and sacred spot deep inside of them. And when someone creates from this place of true emotion and lived experience, the resulting art has a life and an impact. Its beauty resonates outside of and separate from the artist.
And I think, when I’m forcing myself to just write through a story, that I’m not writing from that sacred spot. And the resulting story leaves the reader without an experience.
So, I’ll try to write from that sacred place. The story may be jumbled and it may meander untethered, but at least it will be true. And it certainly can’t be any worse than my past attempts.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Family values for men only

As a conservative Republican I believe in family values. Society is based on the family unit, without this basic foundation our country will fail. This is why I had to talk with the wife. A few nights ago she was late getting home from work, she had been forced into some overtime. Family values come before any silly little job and as soon as she arrived home, I demanded.
“Where is my dinner? Why is my house dirty? When are you going to finish washing my shirts?”
OK, maybe I had a little too much to drink, but she is a democrat and simply misunderstands the sanctity of family values. I had read that more women are the major “bread winner” for an increasing number of families. This is not my fault; I’ve been looking for a job! There is just not a big demand for creationist science teachers. Sure, I haven’t finished high school, but I read the bible most days. Then I found she was taking free birth control pills from the government, using my tax dollars for her entertainment! Oh yes, they take taxes out of my unemployment check. Tax, tax, tax, that is what democrats do, then they give my taxes away to the takers. I really hate those 47% of takers that pay no taxes.
We have to fix this soon, or America will be doomed, like Sweden. So called free medicine, free Obama phones (Glen Beck told me Obummer got the idea from Sweden), free food stamps (Yea, I get food stamps, but I’m a white American), all of this paid by the few hard working rich people. Well … if it wasn’t for the rich people, where would we keep the money? Huh? Can’t answer that one cans ya? Democrats never can when confronted with facts, oh no, they just start sprouting nonsense research from those atheist parasite scientist. You know all those (so called educated) socialist indoctrinating our college kids, teaching them “liberal arts” and stuff. Enough said!
So the wife just got up at left me, for no reason at all! I was trying to help her, trying to show her the right of it all. Now I’m back at church, praying for God to send me a new Good Wife. I hope she makes more money too.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The fate of Mankind

Short term gain which then leads to long term pain, humans are not unique in this behavior, this seems the basic behavioral pattern of all life. I think this may be the major reason for the extinction of most species. Sure, there is the occasional meteor or pandemic virus, but most of the time a species will do themselves in. We are no more intelligent than bacteria, the greatest risk to humans are other humans. Those who do not believe in human caused climate change believe that we are doomed by the 47% of takers, in either case it is humans destroying human society. This might be a discouraging view, but if I understand correctly, there will be survivors, werewolves and vampires have an excellent chance of making it. Plus smatterings of human like species, such as trolls, elves and dwarfs. Magic is real.
The future will be a Lord of the Rings like world, only better and more magical. Science is magic and magic is real, for it is written, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. If there was ever a magic species, it is humans. All humans I know will believe six impossibly magic things, usually before breakfast. Here in America we have a capital city, Washington, DC, were magic is a daily occurrence, a stroke of the pen creates vast money, a flutter of lips creates truth, a talking point creates war without danger, whereas a wave of the hand can create new scandals. A true home for the Wizard of Oz, complete with the wicked witch of the east and flying monkeys. Some short term gain, plus a little magic, equals long term pain … for the other guy, for it is written, “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace”. Magic is real.
We have the magic of the free market, Wall Street (where most of the vampires live), is the gravitational center of money. A place where water flows up hill and the regular honest guy can become rich. Free market magic (which must never be threatened by taxation), a system working with the Washington magic to create wealth without risk, banks without loss, for it is written, “A penny saved is a waste of time”. Magic is real.
The magic of Hollywood is the best. A place where the middle class lives well, have excellent health with prefect teeth, and the bad guy always loses. Hollywood is my fountain of knowledge, for this is how I know of werewolves and vampires, with the ending always happy. In the near future (or perhaps it was long ago and far away), we will (or did) zip between the stars, meet aliens that had conquered Empires, then falling to the first human starship captain with a ray gun. The only real threat to spacefaring humans is other spacefaring humans, this can take several episodes to resolve. I am not worried, the good guys always win. In Hollywood all the recent college graduates get great jobs and beautiful mates. Best of all, cars never break down, there are no flat tires. For it is written, "Attention spans are getting shorter, and sincerity is over rated". Magic is real.
If not for all this magic, I would be very worried about our species’ future.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sunrise at the lake

Watching sunrise at the lake is a quiet, peaceful undertaking best enjoyed from a lawn chair. For decades I watched the sunrise from a car, moving at unreasonable high speeds (my drive to work occurred during the highway patrol shift change), with my contemplation centered on the upcoming day’s work. Coffee woke me up, but sunrise made me alert. I would spend the rest of my day indoors, with conditioned air and artificial lighting, the drive to work at sunrise my only opportunity to note nature. This was the consequence of choosing a career in heavy industrial manufacturing. All this a trade off for a paycheck, which I would use to vacation in natural settings, my biorhythms set for starting the day before sunrise. I have enjoyed sunrise on Caribbean seas, Pacific shores and Rocky mountain tops. Now, in retirement, I can enjoy a sunrise at home.
For the complete sunrise experience one should start at least a half hour before sunrise, the predawn light is when the birds awake. A few tweets and chirps increase and build to greet the new day. Shortly before sunrise the birds flock to the bird feeder and bird bath, the squirrels sleep in, the squirrels will not arrive until after sunrise. The squirrels may be late, but they face a bigger problem, my dog. My dog has a life goal of catching a squirrel, she is eager to welcome them to breakfast. At sunrise the first power boats appear with skiers in tow, a sure sign that it is a weekend.
The long hot days of a Texas summer start with predawn as a comfortable climate, this doesn’t last long, the temperature rises as quick as the sun. The pounding solar radiation heats air and earth, starting the daily summer sea breeze. Due to this sea breeze, the first 100 miles of the coastal plain has about 1 in 8 chance of rain all summer long, if it does rain today, I’ll use it for a nap in the hammock.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Three second rule

Most males accept the validity of “The three second” rule, the belief that if you retrieve a morsel of food from the floor in three seconds or less it is still viable. There is considerable debate as to whether the rule is 3 seconds or 5 seconds, additionally females rarely subscribe to this obviously basic truth about food. This is an important question deserving an unbiased research and report.
The format of the experimental design presented a significant nontrivial challenge, for I was inspecting the disposition of millions upon millions of calories. There are ancillary questions about using your thumb to prevent dropping the food, or if eating over the kitchen sink, does that count as a drop? Rock solid science would be required to convince those females which consider themselves the De Facto arbiters of all things nutritional, based on their education and experience of the subject. Oh, really? Well I know the answer in my gut, the food is unharmed!
This is a constitutional question, for the constitutional guarantee is clearly stated.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Beer, Sports and the pursuit of Slothfulness. (I learned this in a Tea party outreach program)
The female’s denial of the three second rule, their ruthless insistence that good food be destroyed, not to mention the silliness of being seated while eating, all these reasons beg that females be regulated for the greater social good. Clearly the 19th amendment has wrought great damage upon the greatness of America, franchising the female vote is the root of all social evil. This question about the three second rule cannot even be brought before the Supreme Court, not with three female members, as any cynic would say, “the fix is in”.
Fully knowledgeable of the weight of this subject, I set about testing the validity of the three second rule. The first phase was to determine the correct time, three seconds or five seconds? With stop watch in hand I dropped a kolache to the floor, at two seconds the youngest dog snatched the kolache and wolfed it down. I wrote the observation in my note book and repeated the experiment. Now that the dogs were alerted, the kolache never reached the floor. Again I note the observation and then decide to modify the experimental setup by putting the youngest dog outside. On the next experimental trial the oldest dog snagged the kolache at 4 seconds.
I have now found the solid scientific basis of this self justifying conceit about food dropped to any flooring. First point, the time, whether three seconds or five seconds, will be directly correlated to the age of your dog. Second point, with cats the food will be stolen before it can be dropped.
Conclusion: If you can beat the pets to the food, it is still good.