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So on my Tumblr blog I’ve been posting some pictures and thoughts (mostly because the iPhone app makes it stupidly easy – get on the damn ball, Blogger) and I thought I’d share one here.
Yeah, that’s what my iPhone sees 90% of the time around these parts. It’s sad, really. I can think of a thousand things that I really want to do, in my brain. But when my body looks around at where it is, it tells my brain to shut the fuck up and flip the channel.
I swear one of these days I’ll just jettison most of the cooky, hair-brained ideas I have and settle on one thing to concentrate on. Be nice, eh?
I’ve fallen off. Off the earth, it seems.
I’m constantly writing “boy, haven’t written much in this space”, and I’m tired of it. And I think I’ve figured out why – there’s no focus.
It’s hard to share thoughts when your thoughts are so scattered. By the time I finish writing this, I’ll think of something else to write about… and after a while, I won’t write about anything, really.
So I think a change is in order. Look to this space for news in the future. The short future, I hope.
But no promises.
I hate Forrest Gump.
Do you know why?
Because it may very well be one of the most perfect movies ever made, and makes me sob like a baby through the entire film.
It’s brilliant, and I only wish I to be capable of such beauty at some point in my life.
It has been quite a long time since I have written anything in this space. It has been quite a long time since I felt compelled to share with the world some thoughts. It has been quite a long time since I was crying in joy in the middle of a long workday.
But then there is today.
I don’t care who you are, or what your beliefs are, or who your vote went to, today is momentous. It is one of those moments that will define our era and which we will speak about for years to come – where were you when the first black President was sworn in?
But there is more to it than that for many Americans – according to the vote on November 4th last year, for many, many Americans. It is a day that marks the departure of what many of us consider the root of most of our ills. Fighting a war on two fronts, economy in ruins, jobs down, damaged reputation overseas and general distrust of our government – all seeds of dissent.
America as a concept seemed failing. Americans are perceived as fat, angry, warmongering and lazy. Any American would feel right in being defensive. Something needed to be done. And in the depths of such feelings, such anger and despair, where small changes would mean much, something extraordinary has happened to us.
Instead of improving the status quo by degrees, or making small political shifts, we changed the entire game. We elected a young, radical, energetic, untested black man. Why? Why would we do that? Why jeopardize losing more by changing so much?
Because Barack Obama told us he was turning this car around.
I have a son. He is 10 months old. He will be almost 5 years old by the time the next term of the Presidency begins. I hope that he is almost 9 by the time Barack Obama leaves office. His most formative years, some of the most important years of his life, where he will be taught the values and morals he will carry his entire life, will be during an political era that I am proud to say I was a part of.
It is no secret that I was not a supporter of George W. Bush. It is no secret that, at the end, many people were displeased with our 43rd President. That’s nothing new – often Presidential approval waxes and wanes throughout an administration. What bothered me more, however, was the feeling that W. just didn’t care anymore. Our President shut off about 2 years ago, and let the problems, the issues, the wars, the death and the economic collapse just continue to worsen, day by day. It is that attitude, that status quo that is so against the American spirit.
Conservatives would disagree, most likely. They would say that W. was a true American, and embodied American values. But I must dissent – the true American spirit is rebellion and change. We are steeped in it. It is the genesis of our country. We march to the beat of our own drummer, and change what we feel to be wrong. It is part of our culture, our lives, even our Constitution.
So we are along for the ride. We are pulling hard at the wheel. We are turning around together. And we are happy to do so.
And I just wanted to mark this day with some words. Something to read in the future and remember the feeling. Something for my children to look at in years to come. Something for their children to wonder at decades hence.
It is inspiring. And I feel inspired. I hope you do, too.
I know I’m not usually the guy that likes this kind of stuff, but I must admit that Andy Sandberg tickles me. Plus, this video has “in my pants” in the title, as well.
I watched this, and then I… well, you’ll find out.
It’s ok… Molly Simms has that effect on me, too.
I’ve wondered this many times and have, as yet, not found the answer: how do you come up with that one great idea?
You know, that idea you’ve been looking for, that’s going to excite you, get your blood pumping and make you work, work, work and, more importantly, finish?
I don’t know the formula for coming up with the idea, but I think I’ve found the process. You just keep going. You write, you paint, you build, you film, you sculpt – whatever it is, until you finish. And if it sucks, you start over. And you keep doing it until you finally come up with something you are happy with.
So, Peter. Get your ass moving.
Some more I’m looking forward to… now, let’s see if I actually get to the theater at all.
Oh, and I can’t forget Gran Torino with Clint, which I’m looking forward to above all.
It’s official. I am an instructor (professor? teacher? numbskull?) at ITT in Little Rock, AR.
You know, about a month ago, on a whim, I replied to an ad for instructors. I have always wanted to teach, which is part of the reason I am (hoping to be) starting my masters in January. I thought nothing of it at the time, just another attempt to put myself out there and make some contacts.
Shocked, perhaps, when I was contacted by the Dean and asked to come in for an interview. Not to blow my own horn, but I felt like they thought they had struck pay dirt – not terribly easy to find really qualified instructors in design in Arkansas. Big surprise there, I know. And maybe it was a “too good to be true” feeling, as well… until they talked to my references.
I’ve been fortunate, over the years, to work with some really amazing people. Talented, yes, but more than that. I’m still friends and work with someone I went to college with, whom I have known for 16 years – a remarkable man who has evolved so much since I’ve known him, to a place even he himself never wanted to go. Another friend and co-worker who’s trust and (for lack of a better phrase) good-heartedness is so great that, even under terrific strain, is still a joy to converse and work with after over 11 years. And finally, a mentor who’s talent and work-ethic is so strong that his seeming lack of modern computer skills just a few years ago has become a non-issue.
So these three men were my contacts. I was told today by the Dean that, normally, they only ask new instructors to teach 1 class. I was asked to teach not one, not two, but three classes starting December 1st.
So, enough tooting my horn. Needless to say, it’s terribly exciting. Unfortunately, I cannot teach within the Bachelor’s program (as of now), but may in the Associate’s. I feel blessed, though – what better way to build my “next career” as a professor than by starting wherever I am trusted to help. I wouldn’t care if it was a Print Shop certificate program – if they wanted me to teach advanced flatulence, I’d be there.
Actually, there’s an idea…
However, there’s an issue. Not really an issue, more of a realization. I could teach “real-world” stuff with my eyes closed. But these people are funny – they follow a curriculum, and reference books. And if I really want to be able to admit that I am teaching “from the book”, I probably need to read it.
But, like all great artists, once you learn the rules, you can break them.
I hope to be able to bring a real perspective to the classes – it’s all well and good to learn type theory, Indesign controls and mechanical production (all very useful stuff, believe me), but another to learn the whys and wherefores and because thereofs. I must admit, I made that last one up.
At any rate. It’s exciting. It’s going to be taxing. But it’s work – and it’s in my field. And isn’t that the whole ballgame?
Although, I gotta work this flatulence angle…
For those of you that know me as a realist (some would say pessimist, but I digress), it would be a safe assumption to see the title above and expect a sarcastic diatribe to follow. But for one thing, I would agree with you.
The past few days has given me new hope – hope for an America that I have looked for endelessly and have wished for passionately. It’s not just that “my candidate” was chosen to be the 44th President of the United States of America, or that “my party” has taken power in Washington. It’s much more than that.
I’ve often paraphrased a passage from a movie called “With Honors”, starring Joe Pesci. In it, he plays a destitute homeless man living on Harvard’s campus. Discovering a thesis by co-star Brendan Fraser, he is taken in by the young man in exchange for the slow return of the document. Through the course of the film, it is learned that Pesci’s character is more than he seems, and gives a rousing monologue during one of Fraser’s law classes at the Ivy League school.
I tell the story and relate the sentiments often because they are so true, and embody what, in my opinion, is the spirit of our country. When asked what is the beauty of the Constitution, the reply is simple: our founding fathers were smart enough to realize that they didn’t know everything, and therefore created a government that could change itself.
Our founding fathers, though white landowners, and many slaveowners, were in essence liberals. They were radicals. By signing their name to the Declaration of Independence in August 1776 and forging a new nation, they were signing their death certificate, should this “experiment” not work out.
A big ado has been made of the foreign sentiment “how can America elect Bush and then 4 years later elect someone so unlike him?”
But that’s the beauty of America. That’s why immigration to this country is so great. That’s why the “American Dream” is still alive, decades and even centuries after it was born. Though we have stumbled, made terrible mistakes throughout our history we, should we choose, change our ways and repair our errors.
We have, finally, elected a black man to the presidency. And, as John McCain said in his concession speech (where the John McCain I remember re-emerged), the “American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly.”
And that gives me hope. Though I was always proud of my country, the idea of America, today I am proud to be an American. And, as political and sentimental as the catch-phrase has become, I honestly can think of no better way to explain America – no matter what happens, no matter what road we travel down, no matter what mistakes we make, we can always change ourselves, better ourselves and better the world.
Yes we can.