Thursday, August 31, 2006

Spanky McButterbritches

From the sketchbook. A juvenile offender from my days as a youth counselor. I can't remember his name, but boy did he smell bad.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sketchbook Of The Damned

Here are the first two entries in my new sketchbook. I always begin a new book by noting the date on the first page. But this time, continuing the trend I had started with acknowledging my parents' anniversary, I found that I was still a day-off. After I had written, what I believed to be, the date at the top of the page, a student peered over my shoulder and pointed out my oversight. By taking a closer look at the two-page spread (by clicking on it to enlarge it), you can see the misery I put myself through whenever I have committed a mistake to paper with ink. The Baby Bird is the little twit who won't let me forget it anytime soon. At times, he haunts me in my sleep. I'll now forever associate this particular sketchbook with the notion that I have the wrong date on the first page. Thanks, Baby Bird.

On a side note, I try to include wise words by the philosopher William Miguel Tamatoe throughout my scribblings. The front inside cover is no exception.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's Only A Flesh Wound

Study for acrylic painting (from my sketchbook).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Bird Lady

This was requested by Leslie. Unfortunately, of all the millions of times I drew old Birdy over the course of the past few years, I can only find her in only one of my sketchbooks. Sorry, Leslie!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Goin' To Sturgis

Judy And The Eliminator

Today is my parents' wedding anniversary.

The way that Mom and Dad met is quite fascinating. Dad was a night security guard at Colorado Women's Correctional Facility. My father towered over the inmates and terrified them by his hulking presence and, it was because of this, that he was given the nickname "The Eliminator." Dad began his tour of duty at Colorado Women's Correctional Facility on November 22, 1961--two years to the day before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Six years later, Mom was sentenced to a twenty-two year stretch for Second Degree Murder. It was here that the two met, fell in love, and married in the prison chapel. Because Mom was an inmate, Dad was forced to resign from his position.

To this very day, the Eliminator will tell you "I'm glad I did it."

Mom gave birth to my older brother, Matt, while still serving time. Over two years later, she was granted parole while she was seven months pregnant with me. Jeff was born two years after that, on the "outside." Today, they're still happily married with their three sons, three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. Be sure and wish them a happy anniversary here.

Monday, August 21, 2006


For whatever reason, I was unable to upload any images to Blogger last night or this morning. Right now, 10pm, is the first chance I've had to try again since this morning. The mixed media image above is called "Boogie Session" and is inspired by the 1970s television series, What's Happening!!, as well as Cooley High, the film that preceded it.

Anyway, the weekend went well. The surprise birthday party for Brandon that several of us had planned ended up backfiring when Brandon came home to his apartment an hour early. Fortunately, the only people there were Paige, Brent and myself. It was pretty obvious what was going on, what with all the food and music. Since we weren't expecting any guests for another fifteen minutes, I came up with the idea of hiding Brandon in his bedroom. I insisted that "somebody is going to be surprised tonight. Even if it's not the guest of honor."

As guests began to arrive, Brandon sat in his bathroom, with the door locked, drinking from a can of Hamm's. The plan was that we were going to all stand in the living room, facing the front door, with our backs conveniently to Brandon's bedroom. The new plan, however, was that instead of Brandon walking in through his front door to the surpise of several of his closest friends waiting for him, he would come out of his bedroom to the shock of those very people.

I told Brandon I would turn on his current favorite song--"Slick As Snails" by Robert Pollard, and that would be his cue to enter.

He did.

And the people were surprised.

And then we bumped Wu Tang all night.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay With A Mullet

Illustration from a children's book that was never meant-to-be.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brandon Bailey's Lord Of The Dance

I can’t really say when I met Brandon Bailey. The furthest back that my mind can reach is when he would come in to talk to the Flatscreen during one of our graphic design classes at JCCC. He had this routine down for most of the semester and we soon began to hang out in the same circles.

I definitely can remember the first time we ever hung out alone together. To say the least, it wasn’t the best of experiences. One evening, I was at home getting ready to put a Swanson TV Dinner into the oven when my phone rang. It was Flatscreen, trying to rally the troops together for a night out on the town. I asked what was on the agenda, only to discover that Brandon had scored some tickets to Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance, which was playing for four nights at the Uptown Theater. It had been sold out for weeks and, as it turns out, Brandon had pulled some strings and gotten his hands on some seats.

“We figured we’d all humor him and go,” Flatscreen explained, “He really doesn’t have any friends and he told me that the tickets are on him.”

“Lord Of The Dance?” I asked, as I eased the Swanson into the oven and began to muster up my best phony cough, “Well, I’m not feeling well.” This was in 1999, by the way, before I was married and didn’t have a family as an excuse to not go anywhere.

“Balderdash!” Flatscreen replied, “We’ll be over in an hour to pick you up. Wear clean socks.” Click.

An hour later, Brandon pulled into the parking lot outside my second floor apartment in his Jeep and honked the horn. He was noticeably by himself. I climbed into the front seat and was met with a smile. He was wearing an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt.

“Another Michael Flatley fan, eh?” he said as he offered me his hand.

I shrugged and asked him where Flatscreen and the rest of the gang were. “Are they meeting us there?” That’s when he explained that he only possessed two tickets and that Flatscreen was going to go, but insisted I get his seat since I was, apparently, a “big fan.”

Flatscreen did it to me again. I’d been had. Not only was I stuck with this Abercrombie-wearing Jeep driver all night, but also he actually asked me for the $240 for the ticket. Sure, he was a nice enough guy, but I only knew him from little ten-minute increments in an Illustration Techniques class. I suppose I can make the best of it. And how long is this play? Or whatever the hell it is. Brandon pulled out onto the highway.

“Have you heard the new Dave Matthews CD yet?” he inquired as he fed the disc into his player, “it’s even better than ‘Under The Table And Dreaming.’”

The first notes of the record’s opening track pounded through the Panasonic speakers as Brandon punched the gas and we began our descent into Hell. I cringed at the thought of what lie ahead of me. I began to count the minutes until I would see Flatscreen again and I would feel my hands around his skinny neck.

Yes, the ride out to the Uptown was awful. Yes, the show itself was the most torturing thing I had ever had to sit through. Yes, the after party that we found our way to later on was brutal. Yes, the dancer that Brandon picked up and took home that night was not the most attractive of fellows. And, yes, I was upset for my having to pay for a cab ride home from Independence. But despite all this, Brandon has actually become one of my closest and best friends. I think back to that spring night in 1999 and I can’t help but laugh. What a couple of crazy guys we were.

I still give him grief about that night. He’s changed so much since then, trading in his bi-curious lifestyle for an exclusive interest in the opposite sex and his Lord Of The Dance for The Jesus & Mary Chain. But the best part about him is how we all like to make stuff up about him and he’ll just laugh and let people believe whatever they want to. That’s one thing that makes him such a great guy. He rolls with the punches, just like I did on that fateful spring night in 1999. Drop him an email and wish him a happy twenty-ninth birthday, or leave him a comment right here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eric, The Perverted Elvis Impersonator

Today is the twenty-ninth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. I wanted to write a tribute, but am short on time as Audrey is busy screaming for her carrots. I'll make this brief.

The disturbing-looking character to the left is Eric. He's the Elvis impersonator that I met while I was with a group of friends on a historical pilgrimage to Graceland back in 1997. My five-day experience with him is long and fascinating. However, it's not for this forum and I encourage any regular readers to take me out for a beer sometime for the full story. In the meantime, enjoy his portrait.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Audrey And Thomas

Yesterday was my first day of work, which made it Audrey's first day at day care. After months of meeting with, and running away from, well-intentioned-but-not-too-trustworthy-of-potential day care providers, we were relieved to have discovered that our friend, Laura, would be staying home to take care of their infant son, Thomas, and was looking for other children to watch as well. This situation works out even more to our advantage in that Laura, a teacher ("retired teacher?") will be providing day care exclusively for educators, which means that my hours home from work will also be Audrey's hours away from day care. I've also known Laura's husband, Chad, for several years, and they're good people. Lisa and I really feel like we struck gold on this deal.

Last night, Laura sent Lisa and me a photo of Audrey and her pal, Thomas, enjoying each other's company. Another cute moment in the world of, what is, my online journal.

Tomorrow, back to the drawings!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bob Ross On The Toilet

From a 1995 sketchbook.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pig Hammers

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Beautiful People Vs. The Sore Losers

Here you will very rarely read any comments that pertain to, or endorse, any type of celebrity. Tom Waits doesn’t count as a “celebrity” due to his enormous cult following. Nor do artists or the occasional graphic designer. Leonardo seems to be going through a wave of popularity as of late, and you may hear about him here from time to time. But none of these people that I have mentioned would be considered a worthy topic on Access Hollywood. And if you get right down to it, neither is "Da Vinci," as the world seems to refer to him.

I detest the idea of celebrity. It takes me back to high school, where I wanted nothing more than to escape due to the over hype of the beautiful people and sports heroes. Is my life that shallow and boring that I need to validate my existence by giving into the idle gossip and the goings-on of my fellow classmates? But what causes a marginally talented person to achieve celebrity status? It's all beauty. Look at all the famous singers out there who can barely carry a tune. And if they're not really that beautiful, they certainly fit into what society has deemed as such. I mean have you ever actually looked at Paris Hilton --who happens to be the perfect example of a celebrity who's famous for being famous? And because she’s considered “beautiful,” everybody wants a piece of her. It's the American Way. Beauty leads to popularity and popularity leads to commerce.

It was the philosopher, William Tamatoe (1888-1981), who once said “(t)here is nothing more irrelevant to me than what the Larry Hagmans and the Valerie Bertinellis of the world are doing with their free time right now.” If Dr. Tamatoe were alive today, I would hate to be stuck next to him on a Greyhound bus. He would not only be frustrated by all the "news worthy" celebrity inspired stories that bombard us on real news programs, but also the current craze of "regular people" wanting to reach celebrity status through the use of reality television. What is it about being famous that makes people behave like raving lunatics? It all goes back to high school, where one "average" person would roll over on their best friend in a heartbeat for the chance of achieving popularity. Did we learn nothing from Can't Buy Me Love? At the rate that the world is seeing new "celebrities" due to reality television, I predict that, by the time Audrey is my age, the world population of these people will outnumber the “regular” people by over half. This overabundance has done the unthinkable in the sense that it has forced us, as a society, to limit each person's fifteen minutes of fame to a mere six minutes. It's enough to make Andy Warhol roll over in his grave.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Kort Twins

I remember the first time I ever met the Kort Twins. I can't recall the exact date, but it's safe to say it was in 2000. Lisa and I had just gotten married. That much I can tell you. But it was at the Hurricane in Westport. That was back when the Hurricane actually had good live music and you were paying money at the door to see people on stage and not drunken fratboys starting fights on the patio to the sound of some bad disco song. Don't get me wrong, the drunken fratboys have always been around, but those were the days where they took backseat to that live music. It was the night of a particular Man Or Astroman? show. In case you don't know Man Or Astroman?, they're basically a four-man postmodern surf band from the future. I had taken Tony and the Flatscreen out with me and we were going to be meeting Ramsey and his new girlfriend that night. Before the band took the stage, Ramsey walked in with a pair of girls who looked somewhat like one another. I've always been intrigued by the idea of identical twins and, by that time, had only befriended one other pair--Zach and Josh Baze (aka, The Baze Twins). Sure, I'd known plenty of twin siblings, but IDENTICAL twins siblings? Mindblowing. Can they read each other's thoughts? When one sneezes, does the other feel it? If they both die of natural causes, will it be at the exact same moment? Or three minutes apart from one another? Ramsey introduced his girlfriend, Rachel, and her sister, Ellie. We hit it off and became fast friends.

The Korts have been through a lot over the years and it's safe to say they've grown up before my very eyes. Ellie, who had pretty much stayed out of trouble her entire life, had a short scuff with the law when she was convicted of grand theft auto back in 2002. She ended up getting her charge reduced to that of "criminal mischief," and was sentenced to four months in prison. During that time, Lisa and I went to visit her every Sunday. If Ellie's dealings were shady, than Rachel's ended up being a bit more public, as she became the very first cast member to be voted off the island on the third season of Survivor. Today, they share a house in Prairie Village and are making honest livings as graphic designers.

Today is their thirtieth birthday. Take a moment out of your busy day and give them a shout out on me.

Three Brothers

Matt and Jeff are my two best friends. This weekend, we're getting together to take The Old Man out for a much belated Father's Day gift to the Jack Stack BBQ. I smile at the prospect of this and find that I'm just as excited about the fellowship as I am the barbecued carcass that will eventually lie before me. And I know that they feel the same way.

The explanation for the drawing above is not as simple as it appears to be. For the past several years, I've been obsessed with the line-drawn studies of Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. Picasso, who had grown to be an accomplished artist throughout his career, found that he had advanced enough as an artist and began to study the simple line drawings of young school children. I always found the artwork of young people to be quite fascinating and one of my main reasons for returning to school in order to work with them. There's something very innocent and primitive about the artwork of a person who can only mimic what they see, but not yet possess the skill to "properly" execute it. Even more important is that we are all artists, but it's not until we reach a certain age or social status where we lose sight of this. Any trained artist could tell you how hard it is to return to your inner-child and try to create premature work such as this. Putting away all of life's experiences and getting to the core of a young observer of life is so much harder than it looks or sounds. But it wasn't until I read the biography of Paul Klee, by Gualteiri Di San Lazzaro, that I began the studies for "Three Brothers," which is is a series of line drawings done in a similar fashion to the one above. Whether or not it's ever meant to become a painting or a print remains to be seen. The idea stems from something Lisa says to people. When someone who's never met Matt or Jeff asks how different or similar the three of us are, Lisa tells them that "Mark is a little like Matt, and a little like Jeff. But Matt and Jeff are like night and day." And it's true. People who meet Matt and Jeff have a hard time believing that they're brothers. I'd like to think I'm the link that holds the three of us together. If you look at the line drawing above, chances are you can find me in the middle.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Why Ask Why? (Project Sketches)

I was recently contacted by Greg Humphrey, the Regional Art Director of Sears, for some drawings as part of an upcoming ad campaign. As part of their merger with K-Mart, the company is kickstarting a new clothing line titled "Why Ask Why?" The premise is that it's aimed toward the meterosexual and will feature, basically, women's fashions for men. I've worked up some rough thumbnail sketches that I've taken the liberty of posting here. As Greg has explained to me, WAW? is something that has already been previewed on both coasts and promises to be the "fashion hit" for the 2007 Spring line. Until then, have a look at my sketches and be sure and click on each one to get a better view. Enjoy!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Old Tom

If you see me this weekend, you may notice a dark cloud hanging over my head. There's a simple explanation for this. It's called my obsession with music. To be more specific, it's my devotion to the man called Tom Waits. "Man?" They say he was born in the back of a taxi cab. He sleeps hanging upside down in a broom closet. The neighborhood children fear him. They dare each other to run to the front door of his old house and stand for as long as possible before the the sheer anxiety of being up there drives them away. In case you've never heard Old Tom (as I like to refer to him), he bangs out captivatingly beautiful music on an old piano, barking like an overzealous sea lion in heat and shaking his fist at an invisible presence above him. His voice sounds like it was left in a glass of rusty alcohol all night, only to be placed back into his head like a pair of old dentures. So if you want to call him a "man," that's perfectly fine because it's been determined that there's really no other pre-existing classification for Old Tom.

Now you might ask why I'm blaming one of my primary contemporary artistic influences on this dark cloud above me (the one you'll see this weekend, I can assure you). He's playing two shows within driving distance this weekend. In the decade I've been obsessed with Old Tom, he's played in the States only a handful of times. Of this handful of times, they've been shows that have been announced very shortly beforehand, and on either the right or left coasts. I know what you're thinking "road trip." Well, yeah, but Old Tom's shows sell out so fast that it's never been a possibility. The closest I ever came was back in 1995. I was with my friend, Ernest, hammering out a screenplay at his uncle's secluded cabin right outside Boulder, Colorado. Two days before we were to depart, we were having dinner at a Subway in Boulder when we overheard one of the locals mention the Tom Waits show at one of the pubs in town. Our ears perked up, as we had both just began listening to--and obsessing over-- Old Tom. And it was a Midwest show, which was unheard of. I promptly asked the native if there were still tickets available. He told me that he wasn't sure, but the show was "Saturday night" (it was a Friday at the time) and that the owner of the pub often has extra tickets leftover. We left our footlong meatball sandwiches behind and jumped into Ernest's truck. After directions from a gas station attendant just blocks away (did you read that, Lisa? "Directions") we arrived at the small pub, giddy with anticipation (don't let Old Tom know I used the word "giddy." He would never let me live it down), only to find that the show was the following Saturday. There was no way we could stay out another week, as we both had our jobs waiting for us back in Kansas City. So I promised myself I would never let the opportunity to see Old Tom perform slip through my fingers again.

Which brings me to the present day. When it was announced that Old Tom would be playing eight dates in the United States, I noticed that the closest performances would be in Chicago and Tennessee. Tennessee would be the only real possibility since it was on a weekend. As a matter of fact, there are two Tennessee shows--tonight and tomorrow night. I called Brandon to see what he thought of the idea of a road trip. Never one to turn down live music OR a traveling experience, he agreed that it would be a necessary task. So it was settled. Tickets were going on sale the following Friday and one of us would try to get tickets to the Memphis show (tonight) and the other would try to get tickets to the Nashville show (tomorrow). The odds of both of us getting tickets were slim but we figured if it ended up happening, we would try to make both shows. I even had Lisa's blessing.

You, the reader: "Mark, please get to the point of it all. What does 'Old Tom' have to do with that annoying cloud above you?"

Yeah, yeah. So I'm not going to see Old Tom afterall. This decision was mine and mine alone. As you might remember from the pilot episode of Bored Beyond Belief, I mentioned that I spent the entire summer looking for a job. Well, I woke up very early in the morning before the tickets were to go on sale, ridden with anxiety. You know how it is when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep and are haunted with the problems or 'what if's' of your present life and it seems even darker and hopeless? Well, I got to thinking of all the reasons I shouldn't go. First two things were my family and the money. Is it fair to Lisa and Audrey if I just up and get a ticket (or two) to a show in another state? Where I'll have to get a motel room, gas and dining on TOP of the money I paid for the ticket in the first place? Then I got to thinking about when I became old enough to be able to drop everything and go see some band in another state somewhere, but even though I was an "adult" and able to do such things, I would really be acting like a kid if I did it now, what with my responsibilities around here and all. Once again, adulthood rears its ugly head. So I got out of bed, came into the office and emailed Brandon, hours before he would get the message. I told him that Old Tom came to me the night before and reminded me that I wasn't 25 years old anymore. Brandon got back to me later on in the morning, telling me that it was cool with him whatever I decided I wanted to do. He would support me either way and that he realized how huge of a decision this was for me. Besides, I already had my final road-trip-to-see-a-show already. Back in December, about three weeks before Audrey was born, Brandon and I dropped everything to drive out to Chicago to see MF Doom in a rare hiphop performance at an Irish pub, The Abbey. I took that trip, with the promise to myself that it would be my last for a while. So Brandon pointed this out and it somehow made it a little easier for me. I had actually made those plans with the intention of not doing it again for a while.

So in conclusion, if you see me this weekend, you're going to see my dark cloud above me. But you're also going to see me listening to nothing but Old Tom on my iPod. And, like Brandon pointed out, Old Tom's still got a few good years left in him. He'll be around again. And then there'll be three of us going instead of two--me, him and Audrey.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Searching For Danny Tanner

I swear to you all that this blog is not going to end up being some ABC Family comedy. It just so happens that my second entry, again, revolves around our seven-month-old daughter, Audrey. I was hoping I could go a little darker or avant garde today. But considering what I'm about to write about, you--the reader--will get an equal helping of both. If you will, the best of both worlds (i.e. "cute" vs. "avant garde").

Audrey has been going through some speech patterns as of late. Throughout the past few months she's moved from staring at us like a deer in headlights, to forcing her entire fist into her mouth, to screaming at the top of her lungs for no apparent reason, to trying to sound out actual noises. For a while, her catch phrase was the letter B. "BUH BUH BUH" is what we were hearing constantly for a few weeks. It drove us mad and we dreamt about enormous B's who would come into our room at night and take us away. Now, she's working on her D noises. "DAH DAH DAH" is now what we hear at all times. And it's more so when she's looking directly at one of us. She's not sitting in the stroller, screaming the B noises to a wall like she did back in the day. Now, when we're having up close face time, she'll look directly at me and say "DAH DAH DAH." Actually, I should really be writing it in lower-case, because she's not even yelling it anymore. So now it's like "dah dah dah." Regardless of if she's trying to communicate with us, sounding out her speech pattern as part of her cognitive development, or just rambling on about nothing like her old man does, Lisa and I both have our own theories as to why she's doing this.

I'll go with hers first. Lisa is married to the idea of the cognitive development theory, pointing out that the D sound is the next logical one after the B sound. It makes sense. She's just a little kid and not old enough to be able to necessarily tie words together with elements from her life. Or is she? This is where my theory comes in. I believe that Audrey is so enthralled with the world around her, that she's actually found a connection to a specific art movement (or non-art movement *wink!*). What's she saying when she exclaims "dah dah dah?" The answer is obvious: she's talking about the post World War One art movement of Dada.

For you philistines out there, I'll turn to Wikipedia to clear it all up for you:
According to its proponents, Dada was not art, it was "anti-art". For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with aesthetics, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art were to have at least an implicit or latent message, Dada strove to have no meaning, interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer. If art is to appeal to sensibilities, Dada is to offend. It is perhaps then ironic that Dada became an influential movement in modern art. Dada became a commentary on order and the carnage they believed it wreaked. Through this rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics they hoped to destroy traditional culture and aesthetics.
According to Tristan Tzara, "God and my toothbrush are Dada, and New Yorkers can be Dada too, if they are not already." A reviewer from the American Art News stated that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man." Art historians have described Dada as being, in large part, "in reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide."Years later, Dada artists described the movement as "a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path. [It was] a systematic work of destruction and demoralization...In the end it became nothing but an act of sacrilege."Dada was "a revolt against a world that was capable of unspeakable horrors."Reason and logic had led people into the horrors of war; the only route to salvation was to reject logic and embrace anarchy and the irrational.

To put my theory to the test, I have enlisted the aid of the the piece shown above. It's Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" sculpture and, because I have no access to it, I've resorted in taking Audrey into the bathroom multiple times throughout the day to stare at the toilet. It may not be Duchamp, but I hope it can still give her an understanding of this artform that she's evidently obsessed with.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Okay, so I started a blog...

Okay, so I went and started a blog. Why? A few reasons. I'll start with the most pathetic: being stuck at home all summer, I felt myself constantly drawn to the affections of my Macintosh G4. Not that being a stay-at-home dad isn't awesome...for the first week. But I go from being in school full-time for two years and, at the same time, working whatever odd jobs I had throughout that period, to staring at a bald-headed kid all day. Don't get me wrong, she's awesome. And I love being a dad. And she's got one hell of a personality. And I would rather be "stuck at home" with her all day, than without her. But she poops. And she also throws up sometimes. And she needs to be fed with a spoon. And she doesn't like to eat at Papa Keno's. But she does seem to like my music (I think she's mistaking Tom Waits for the Cookie Monster, but at least she's listening to him). But, back to this whole obsession with the computer thing. I remember when the internet first came around in the late nineties. I was with my friend, Beau, at the offices of the JCCC Campus Ledger, where he was the residing cartoonist. I just remember being amazed by all the information at my whim, and exclaiming to him that "I'll never be bored again." And why would I be? Think of something, put it in Google, and read everything there is to read about it (fact or fiction). Well, like all things, the internet has become something that's part of our daily lives and we now take it for granted. It's like a toy you got when a you were a little kid. You promised yourself that you would never, ever get tired of that Indiana Jones action figure. And, what happens three months later? The fascination has worn off. Well, after five months of being home with Audrey, I would have given anything for my old Indiana Jones action figure.

Anyway, you'll find that I ramble quite a bit, as there's nobody around to stop me from doing so.

This summer, I was hoping to dedicate to finding work in the field of art education, as well as freelance graphic design. Five months and numerous applications later, I'm still without a teaching job. I did, however, rope a position as a paraprofessional at the Shawnee Mission School District. I figured if there was any one school district that I would want to do any non-teaching work for, it would be SMSD. Afterall, they have the best benefits, best pay and best fine arts department in all of the KC area. This way, I'll already be working for the district when an Art position does open up. As for freelance, throughout the shameless self promotion, and despite the occasional bouts of depression, I was able to obtain a steady contract illustration job for a local clothing company. Oh yeah, and I've been working part-time at Michaels in the framing department, puttin' that Bachelor Degree in Art to good use. It's not that many hours a week, but it gets me out of the house on some evenings and weekends. The irony is that this all happened within the past couple of weeks--i.e. the END of the summer. The other irony is that I'm starting this blog at the same time...when I no longer have any time to write in it.

Being a slave to my computer, I found myself drawn to checking emails, other people's blogs and message boards about every five minutes. All of this with Audrey in my lap, trying to wipe snot on the keyboard. So I figured, why not put something out there myself. And it'll give me a chance to post stuff from my sketchbook.