My muses have up and left for winter holiday and decided not to tell me when they'll be back. Flighty wenches, that lot. Regardless, they left me with their yippy pet that's incessitantly droning on past my bedtime.
Otherwise, I'm stupidly busy and I love you but I can't talk right now.
Cause I'm so busy, today I'm declaring this "One Word Comment Day." So give me a word in the comments. First thing that comes to mind summing up everything in your world or just maybe a word you've been wanting to use lately but have had no place for. Just one word only. The more random the better. All of you who don't ever comment should play.
I would send the monkeys to bed but they are currently charting starcharts on the living room ceiling and swear that they've found life. Truly, this must be of use to someone in the scientific community. Also, I'm not sure if I should be concerned if the life in my ceiling is moving.
When the time came to reclaim it's prize, all the deep azure eye could see was a flurry of shaking fibers, bundled together in an immovable mass and altogether impossible to pluck from it's protective nautilus.
I had a dream last night that was probably the most unnerving, explicit dream I've ever had. So much so that I can't repeat it's contents for fear of being accused of something crazy. It is poignant, but right now I just want it to go away.
Goawaygoawaygoawaygoaway. GO AWAY!
Unlike other nightmares, I didn't wake from this one paralyzed or paranoid. I wanted to throw up and cry. But I couldn't. I still feel like something might send me over the edge. In the end, it was the worst kind of loneliness, not that I was alone, but that there was nothing left for me with anyone.
The most I can say is that I don't really want any human touch for a few days.
Maybe I'll come back to it if it continues to haunt me but for now I'm trying to think happy thoughts to expel it.
Without warning I see it come, the plumber takes a leap and I know with a sole grinding punctuation it will land squarely to flatten me into squishy goomba paste. It's not the same as being assaulted in a way that allows me room to recover or defend myself. It's not like someone hurling cows and chickens over the wall that I can run away from, or at least devise a plan. It just doesn't matter what you do. There is no escaping the wrath of the stomp.
Usually after the stomping, I gather up what's left and try to make it home where I put myself together the best I can, but I'm basically down for the rest of the night. The next day I'm usually fine. Someone has hit the reset button and I've popped back into play. Until the next time when I blindly march onward.
Stomp. Reset. Repeat.
The stomping is never about work or friends or relationships, or even heavy world issues. It consistently involves my time with the boys. It doesn't happen all the time. For the most part, it's a good routine we've got that let's me still see them equally even though they don't stay with me but one night a week. Even with sit down explanations and reminders of love for them, I often wonder how much all the separation of mom and dad affects them. Sometimes it just doesn't feel right putting them to bed, singing them goodnight in another house and then coming back to my cave.
Usually the beginning of stomping days begin with a Homework Meltdown. After an hour of play to "unwind" from school, it's an unpredictable thing whether or not the Elder Monkey will be into his reading and writing or whether he'll have the grace of Godzilla. Mad as hell and once again we have to rebuild Tokyo in the aftermath.
And then there's Lord of the Toy, much like the quest for the One Ring but much more screaming and bitemarks. It will magically flip from a hobbit and elf team up one minute to the quibbling rage of orcs in an instant. I usually have to ride in and claim it for myself until peace has returned to the land.
I try to keep my cool, I put monkeys in time out, I take things away, I do what it takes. Then I remember, they are six and five and that means they are out see how far they can push things. Every parent needs a break from their kids, it's not selfish, it's simply burn out prevention. All those natural things that come with raising kids.
I try to ask what's wrong. It's always "Nothing." I know it's a great big nothing that at it's root is confusion about why we aren't together.
It's on these days of the stomping, when there are tears and nothing will console, that for a split second I twitch and wonder if I did the right thing in the long run. If perhaps trying to at least live together would have been the best solution. It never lasts very long but I still think it.
Stomped I tell you. I must now look for something to rub this footprint off my forehead. Damn plumbers.
Today I was invited by my ex-wife to spend the day with her and the Younger Monkey mingling with some the other species at the Lowry Park Zoo. It was lots of fun, especially when we found out we could feed our child to the giraffes. (Only costs two tokens!) It didn't work because apparently he's seen Curious George enough that he's tight with his jungle homeys. They were all like, come here and we'll show you what we can do with my absurdly long tongue.
I took many, many pictures. Here are a few. Clicky to make biggy:
Later, the younger monkey wanted to take a rhinoceros home but I'm not sure that would have gone over too well with the neighbors. He gets this notion from my ex-wife who also wished to have real live pandas when she was his age and also now. I'm not certain, but I believe they were plotting to take the baby elephant home.
While we were enthused to reconnect the young one back to his people, the only actual monkeys, unfortunately, were lazy and uncooperative or were eating things out of each others butts. While this behavior is not uncommon and understandably in vogue amongst wild folk it's not something we necessarily wish him to start doing in his nightly tribal ritual. There was lots of rear end action going on all around that's all I could get for a view of the manatees.
Meanwhile, the Elder Monkey opted to head to a football game with the Grandparents. I am told that, while they played dismally, he enjoyed himself enough to come home adorning a mini Buc's jersey. Somehow I believe this desire to attend was inspired when, earlier in the week, he somehow psychically tuned in football on my television with no antenna. I can only speculate what is next as he then began to watch golf and found it equally as interesting.
Somewhere between my early childhood and now, I abandoned the notion of god.
Adam has posted some videos regarding the latest dysfunctional relationship between religion and science. I went to write a comment there about all of this and try as I might to be clear and concise, I am caught once again in my spin cycle of wanting be spiritual, yet not believing in a spirit or a soul. Wishing for that union of what we think we feel and what is actual.
I highly respect anyone that can happily settle on one camp or another, on something called a "truth". Ultimately, it all boils down to the quest for proof and how much we are willing to believe without fully understanding. If endeavoring on that journey is to define whether things like honesty and integrity are worth pursuing, then I am traveling that path in circles. I am in constant contact with those at opposite ends, those who have had an experience that to them qualifies as god at work and those who are succint in proving this to be a random incident. Either way, isn't is about accepting which of those ways is acceptable?
While redefining this perspective is one of the most valuable things I think I've done as an adult, I wish above all, I knew how to get out of that perpetual depression that comes from it. I know that it must be a necessity otherwise we would not have joyful times to balance it out. But it still saps the life from me.
I watch as how those around me who are looking for a purpose either flounder with apathy or blaze headstrong with conviction. The battlefield of intellectual warfare rarely brings me any conclusion or solace when it comes to all those so called higher things. I would like to think I am not ignorant. I would to think I am a rational being working towards the ends that should be met. And yet, I never know the definition of a given truth.
For whatever reason, it is unrelenting. The more I think, the more I withdraw, the more I fail. The more I act on impulse, the more my senses become alive, the more I progress. So I tip that balance that is between them and wait for the next upswing or downfall.
Some let it consume their life, as it did for me once upon a time, to the point of an unresponsive zombie. I wondered why god let it happen. I wondered why man will keep going. I wondered how I came to where I am now. I know about me and it seems that's the best I can do.
Now if you'll excuse me, the only wonder that I wish to have tonight is the kind where I marvel at the fact that I can play games with my children, call my mom, eat my dinner. And tell people I love them even though I don't have to know what that means.
It's always best to make things yourself. Except if your homemade lightsaber would look more like a flashlight with bling than the $8 Target one. And at what point do we learn that it's "lightsaber" and not "lifesaver"?
Never assume anything about the character of your kids until they've been given the ultimate choice: money or candy. In a head scratching role reversal, the Younger Monkey opted gleefully for the spoonful of pennies and the Elder Monkey went for licorice treats.
Sometimes your Mr. Incredible man boobs can get in the way when trying stand on your head.
A Darth Vader wedgie utilizes the deepest unseen aspects of the dark side of the force. And never will be again unless you want some time out.
Okay, what do you say? Younger Monkey: "Thank you so much!" No, baby, what do you say first. "Trick-or-Treat!" (Maybe they are trained a little too well...)
So what did you like best this year? Elder Monkey: "I liked when daddy's silly friend came over and gave us glow sticks and then I ran him through with them because I am evil. That was fun." Younger Monkey: Eee ee aaa oooo...zzzzzzzzzz...
It's the only time of year that you wake up with an unknown bright blue sticky substance on your floor the next morning and you don't question it OR pass the blame on sugar-high monkeys.
I suspect the giant pile of crap on my living room table. So now I get to become a magician and pull a vanishing act with it before Friday. I'm thinking of sending it all to a poor starving college student. Otherwise I'll just end up with a reenactment of Speed 3: Revenge of Willy Wonka.
People usually know my coming out story by now. My identity takes on far more forms than just being gay, but this blog will always have it's roots in my coming out. Secret Simon was born out of the will to BE born whether acceptance prevailed or not.
These days I find it's not something I dwell on. For me I count my blessings every day that it was swift and it's sting was minimal, like finding a splinter, perhaps stuck in your chest and working it's way to your heart. Had that thorn continued it's path I can't even imagine what damage it would have done. It had to come out.
I do look through those first few months every now and then to remind myself it all actually happened and I'm not dreaming. I keep things intact here as it seems I still will always find some kind of audience, as there will always be those who are inextricably stuck in their own closet. That's why I keep this around. That's why I came back to it instead of scrapping the whole thing.
Today I proclaim that I have no qualms about telling you who I am, without mountains of explanation or a prepared statement. The why is quite simple. The rest is just a long and often told history.
I have no idea who reads this anymore. But if even one person is able to find their gumption, one lost soul who feels he has no cause, I hope through reading these words that they are helpful and hopeful. They make it worth all of this. If this often scared little boy can do something of this sort, I'll bet you can too.
Attention all ye with a camera and will be alive in approximately two days!
On Thursday, it will be Oct. 12th. In accordance with the international "12 of 12" photo project started by the fab Chad Darnell, this means I shall attempt to produce 12 pictures of events throughout the day, but in my own particular (or is that peculiar) miluex.
I have yet to decide whether I'll be sketching or being a mad scientist with photos. But you can see the set I did in May: 12 of 12...
Firstly, you will love your child. You don't have much choice in that. If you think you do, don't become a parent.
Secondly, you will not always like your child. You will even be angry with your child sometimes. But you will still love them and you will work it out in a rational way. If you think you can't do this, don't become a parent.
Thridly, you will get tired. A lot. Some of us may look like we're depressed, but we're not. Really we're just tired. Most of us have two jobs after all, one of which is used to pay for the other.
Sometimes this happens because things happen in the middle of the night. You like to have time to yourself but it ends up being after the kids have gone to bed. And then you don't get as much sleep as you should anyway.
Sometimes this is why when your autistic younger monkey decides at 1 in the morning to wake the dead out of you with unconsolable wailing at the top of his vocal chords and your elder monkey is clinging to you because you think someone has come into your house, attacking your children, hiding in the shadows waiting for slumber to set in again to make it's move...
You will not sleep because you can't. You will be tired because the your younger monkey wants to sleep in his blanket with you all night. You will be sick because you are allergic to his blanket and you can't breathe. You will be angry at the people who aren't there in your house but still scare you anyway. You will be irritated when morning rolls around and your kids are wide awake but you are not.
And you will still love your child. If you can do this, be a parent. We need more of your kind.
I got an email a bit ago from another Simon who conducts surveys and interviews among the blogging world, hence the Bloggasm.
Since he was kind enough to include my response in his latest about mapping diversity in the blogosphere, please have a look see and ponder it yourself. What I appreciate about this is the analytical nature of wanting to do something of this sort, and his observations, including self imposed flaws.
Astute minds will notice I was a total flummox last week, as I unexpectedly became preoccupied with something that wasn't sketching. According to my light meter the needle is pointing deeply into the brighter side. This is probably why my eyes still need time to adjust, so please pardon me if I temporarily stumble around and step on toes a la Gene Kelly with an umbrella.
You know all of them. Even when they are miniscule, sometimes when they are forgotten, often when they belong to others, and especially when they are grand. Lately I've found myself retreating back to you, Simon, to give you some more.
Sometimes, I accidentally fall over little treasures that I want to keep for myself. And I think, "You know, Simon would love this." I want to lie down with those things and feel their pulse. And hope that it lasts one second more. Or hope that it dies quickly so you can get on with other things.
I know now of people who are wondrous and broken at the same time. When you begin to filet your dreams at the expense of pursuing them does it really make it worth it anymore? I try too hard to make people like you, to prove something to only one stubborn skeptic, to show that yes in fact, I am not a coward, I will do what I do even if I lose.
Some people have assumed your guise and are wearing your shoes. I see you walking among them. They know the things you know. But they don't know each other. I feel worlds are starting to collide.
I know now that you and I will still always be brothers in arms, dear Simon. Let me know if you've anything to impart. I'm listening.
I've yet to have a regular nights sleep on a Friday night. Actually, I've not had a regular nights sleep in a few months due to working at home but on Friday nights it's not entirely my fault.
I wander around the house from couch number one to half-couch number two to the bed to the floor and back again, as monkeys follow the migration path to evict me from one snooze station to another. It's always a tag team operation as well. They've got this search and destroy homing pattern, a psychic bond that tells the other where to find them for maximum effect while stumbling through slumberland. For some reason they think that I am flexible enough to squish like a memory-foam pillow.
Not that I blame them really. My house is just downright uncomfortable at times. It's pretty tiny. Not Japanese apartment size mind you but still not much room for error. As newborn monkeys are able to fit in the crook of one's arm, while thoughts are not intentionally, "What shelf can we stuff the kids into at night?", space wasn't an issue then. (No we didn't stuff the monkeys into closet shelves. They did that later on their own.)
Currently, though, they don't have their own room at the moment. And they are getting bigger. Upon their exodus, their room has become a mass grave of old toys, clothes and boxes of stuff. When I came out of my closet, their room morphed into the closet that funneled in all manner of everybody's unwanted things. This made sense because their room basically is the size of a walk-in closet. I'm not sure I could fit a bunk bed in there even if I wanted to.
It's also had squirrels dig through the ceiling, cryptic messages drawn on the walls, and inside the closet within a closet a warped wall from when the toilet flooded over in the next room over. I'm sure there is peanut butter toast hidden in various places throughout, although I can't prove it. Yet. It's probably what is holding it together.
This room is also missing the doorknob. It fell off with a clunk. As such, I dubbed it, The Black Hole, shut the door tight with one of those ominous vaccuous suction noises that prophets may hear and didn't open it for a good year. Every once in a while I peer into The Black Hole and make sure there aren't vagrants that have set up camp.
On a side note, in typical Saturday morning fashion I awoke to the end of a dream that involved a dog we used to call Misty but instead turned into one that looked like Benji but was called Dingle as she wanted out the back door to go pee and chase the polar bear dog that ran on two legs and repeatedly knocked over my fence.
I'm not sure if this has to do with the fact that this morning I also awoke in the bed that was soaked in... something that did not come from my skin. Or my body for that matter.
I think I shall be breaking open the forbidden seal to The Black Hole soon. If you pray, now is the time, my brethren.
click to enlarge No. 22/1000: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Finish Being the newly appointed chief lamplighter seemed like it should be an easy task to Vivianne; until she realized that there was no one she could hire who would do her job for her.
Some of you probably have been wondering what's with the sudden insurgence of art around here.
I was sitting there a few weeks ago on my birthday, and started in on a sketch. Having just turned 29, and realizing there was only one year left until I change the tens digit in that number, when a tingly sensation started to form. The one I get when I'm about to start something illogically large scale.
I've decided that by my next birthday, that being August 15th of 2007, wherein I will turn 30 years old, I will have completed 1000 of the daily sketches between now and then. I know that I can do this.
Now here's the part that's still all wrinkly but maybe you can help me iron it out some.
Many of you gracious souls out there have been inquiring about obtaining prints of your very own of the art that has been presented here. At this time, for my own ethical reasons, the only way I can go about justifying this in my mind is to donate all profits for something like this to charitable endeavors. I feel as though, with a project this large and the range of time involved that there must be some way to give back.
I have three inital ideas:
1) Make individual runs of prints as limited numbered sets and either auction them or set up a store where they may be bought for a donation.
2) Invite other artist bloggers to do a "sketch-a-thon" where once a month we would all sit down and draw all day for a specific cause, to raise awareness and funds.
3) At the end of the year, when all is said and done, collect the art into a book and have it's proceeds continue to give back.
I think this can work. However, the world of non-profits and charities are vast and as much as my mind tells me to give it all away, I remain indecisive as to where these things should go. I have some leads, and while I'm searching, I humbly request your feedback on any causes that might dig this particular idea and help run with it.
If you have any thoughts, by all means, please email me.
I love adding the German prefix über to things to make them wonderful. I use it too much.
Since I am not always the smartest little gomo, I used the Wikipedia to look up über to make sure I was using it correctly and whether or not it had the umlaut. And also to gather as many trivial facts as possible about it.
Under the slang section it says:
Its also a name for a friend that you think is sexy.
Therefore, proceed immediately to This Boy Elroy to hear me as a guest on der ÜberAdam's podcast, where we go on and on about all things that reveal we are actually 12 year old boys who have fooled everybody. Or have just fooled ourselves into thinking we've done so.
PS. I think this has made me regress several years. Is it only funny to me that Übermensch = "homo superior"?
click to enlarge No. 21/1000 : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Finish Upon spotting his destination, the fibers in his wings, the ones that attached to his backbone and ran through to his fingers and toes, twitched feverishly as they hummed in unison, "Three, Two, One..."
So. It would only make sense that when they were at church tonight and it was time for everybody to sing uplifting praise and worship songs to our Lord God, Younger Monkey stands up and with a determination that would make Joan Jett proud, belts out "I Love Rock & Roll" as loud as possible, knowing every word and movement to the wonderment of everyone in the building.
Fortunately, I'm told it was hilarious and stupendous and she just wanted to thank me for my handywork. Allow me to say I have not laughed so hard since...okay, since the last time he did something like that.
click to enlarge No. 20/1000: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Finish Shoes made for speed and sound will wander by themselves when left to their own devices. -------- PS. I think I want me some red shoes. They're kung-fu, baby.
Things are spinning, Pitching, flailing, grinding Round and round and round But once I get my bearings back You'll surely be the first to know The spot I've come back down.
So somebody must have whacked me over the head with a Rickenbacker because I've got this idea that is manifesting through the interdimensional portal that has formed in my brain but is taking it's sweet time. I'm sure you can relate.
It does involve all this sketchery I have been indulging in of late and will make some people quite happy.
I even have some more real blog posts, you remember the kind that involve words, but currently they are in one of those BIG jumbley puzzles you find in the newspaper so I'll get back to you once I've got it sorted.