September 30, 2008

Joe Sorren: Painting in Progress

Sometime during college my friend introduced me to Joe Sorren. I've been fascinated by Sorren's art ever since and check his website infrequently to see his new work (and drool over it, wishing I had the talent and patience to paint like him). This evening I stopped by his blog and found that he has a 'Painting in Progress' series for his painting 'The Overture.'

I've never had the privilege of seeing one of Sorren's pieces in person, but even from the online photos you can tell that each of his paintings is incredibly detailed and multi-layered. This series proves that theory and gives a glimpse into Sorren's process. Absolutely fascinating.

Painting in Progress

September 29, 2008

Our Naked Neighbor

The roomie and I are walking toward our cul de sac after a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. The sun is setting and the temperature is just right. We met a few new dogs (and their owners) during our walk and we've been discussing the perfect size for a dog.

While we were out we saw our apartment manager, who lives in the same cul de sac with her husband and three sons.
As we draw closer to our home we notice her three-year-old son running out of their house. No one is running behind him or after him.

"Whaaaat?" I ask.

"Is he?" she asks.

"Oh my stars..."

"Oh my goodness..."

He's naked. Butt naked. And running down the street.

He gets closer and announces his intentions.

"I'm looking for my mom and brother..."

He keeps running and we suggest that he wait for her, but he'll have none of it. So we watch him as he runs past us to his mom, about 30 yards behind us, in all his naked glory.

Children are a blessing from God.

The end.

September 16, 2008

Conference Time

I'm headed to Oklahoma City for MinistryCom--a conference for people who work in church communications. The last time I went to a conference was my junior year in college when I attended one in New York City for journalism students. I'm sure the sites in OKC will be just as glamorous as those in NYC.

I'll be keeping my eye out for blog entry ideas. Not just at the conference, of course (although getting that many ministry workers in one place has to be a breeding ground for such things), but also at the airport and out and about Oklahoma City.

I'm not going to lie, though. At first we (my coworkers and I) weren't sure we wanted to attend. But then we saw that Jon Acuff, writer of Stuff Christians Like, is one of the keynote speakers and we signed up immediately. I already have several requests to bring back Skittles.

Stay tuned!

September 13, 2008

You Never Really Grow Up

I remember as a kid feeling frustrated because no one takes you seriously―you're just a kid, after all. And when you're nine or ten years old, you dream of the day when you're an adult. You can do big, important, grownup things. Like stay up past your bedtime. Heck, you didn't even have to have a bedtime―you can stay up as late as you want.

As a child I dreamed of being respect
ed and taken seriously when I made proclamations or observations about the world or life or the frequency of bathing that is really necessary. But among the many things they don't tell you about adulthood, one of the most disappointing is that this never happens. Once you become an “adult” (whenever that is, exactly), people do not start respecting you or treating you as an equal.

You see, we never really grow up and we never really leave high school.

I remember going to school and being baffled at the behavior and lack of respect I saw in other students. They disrespected teachers or professors by talking or sleeping class. They disrespected
pastors by reading a book during sermons. Or they disrespect each other by talking about or making fun of each other.

The only difference between adults and kids or teens is that adults are much more sly about it. They use their age or professional title as an excuse to trample over a person. Or perhaps they assume that someone else couldn't possibly make a wise decision without their input.

I guess the simplest way of explaining it is that people view you through glasses that are shaded by the amount of pride or arrogance they have. The more pride, the darker the glasses. Eventually it becomes so dark that all they can see is their own reflection in the glasses. When they can't see you for the person worthy of respect that you are, they only see their own desires.

When you have training or a degree or natural ability in something, and you try to explain an aspect of this subject to someone with dark glasses―it doesn't matter. It doesn't mat
ter that despite your low place on the totem pole of life, you actually know some things and have skills they don't. All they see is what they want to see. I guess a lot of people only need an opinion about something to consider themselves an expert.

Perhaps I was expecting too much of people when I thought they'd respect each other. Perhaps I was expecting too much of people when I thought they'd love and treat others as they want to be loved and treated.


On a completely different note, I was browsing CNN last night and thought for a second that I had gone back in time:

September 10, 2008

Building Character Through Ridiculous Chores

Sometimes I wonder if kids still have chores these days. I’m sure some kids do, but if television shows are any indication (and television shows always present life just as it is…), then the vast majority of children have never done a chore in their life.

My brother and I used to have this chart on the refrigerator that would let us know what chores we had to do, and if we did them all we’d get an allowance. I’m pretty sure I was never paid my allowance and my parents still owe me, with interest, approximately $20,354.54. Or they could just buy me a MacBook Pro and we’d call it even. A white one with the Adobe CreativeSuite.

The chart was a pre-made one with normal chores (make the bed, do the dishes, feed the pet, etc.). But my parents had other chores they added to this. Among these chores was perhaps the most ridiculous task ever devised by a parent in the whole world forever and ever, amen.

Our house had (still has, in fact) a magnolia tree. Naturally, the branches on a magnolia tree begin about one foot above the ground. Since this tree was near a path and a door we used regularly, the prior owners had cut all the branches about seven or eight feet up the trunk. Said tree was in a natural area (meaning it was surrounded by pine straw and azalea bushes…no grass).

Apparently my parents were of the school that torturous chores build character. You know what else builds character? Bending over until your back feels like it’s going to fall off and all that will be left of you is a head and legs. Not a pretty picture.

With these beliefs in mind, my parents made it a chore that my brother and I would pick up the fallen magnolia leaves from the natural area. I’m sorry, what did you just say? Yes, I said that they made us pick up leaves—from a tree—in the natural area. What else goes in a natural area besides leaves?

After we picked up the leaves, we had to move all the pine straw so they were at perfectly straight 90 degree angles with the porch. I kid.

So we divided the area in half and I promise you my “half” was actually my “two-thirds.” But then, I was the younger sibling, so I was always the victim. I’m pretty sure my lower back is sore to this day because of this “chore.”