Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sinus Disease

Yes, I am the lucky winner of inflammation/infection of the sinuses. My doc says it's something I will struggle with for the rest of my days. There's no cure. I'm in good company though. The internet says there are 35 million Americans that suffer from this. What a huge club!
I am going to try different things as we go along to see what helps. The first course is three weeks of antibiotics. May help, may not. Next up would be a trip to an allergist. The last resort is surgery. I've heard mixed things about it so I'm for the last resort as well. I just did a little looking around and found a site that mentioned pulsatile irrigation. They sell machines that help clean out your sinuses with saline. It might be something I try in the future. Who knows.
The good news is that when I'm on antibiotics my stomach doesn't act up. Maybe whatever's down there will get killed by 21 days worth of drugs. We'll see.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Boy Mickey

The poor guy. He's not been feeling well due to his chemo the last few days. Tonight he's struggling with gas/reflux that we think is related to the chemo. During chemo, he likes to go on the porch and munch on catnip right off the plant. I'm sure it helps settle his stomach. Beyond that, he's doing well. The vet said she would be surprised if he lived a year once the chemo began. He passed a year in July and continues to do pretty well. We sure love the little poop. He's a good boy.


Go Fly A Kite

This afternoon we decided to spend some time at the beach. It was a super nice day and we don't know how many more of those we'll get so we thought we'd take advantage. We took our new beach chairs that Sarah's parents gave us. They have canopies that fold up and over. Very nice.
We were joined at the beach by friends Adam and Heather and were surprised that Adam's parents were visiting from Florida. They also brought their sweet dog Butterbean. I went back to the jeep for a blanket for everyone to sit on and while there I remembered that we had a kite in the back that we'd never used so I grabbed it. There were tons of folks flying kites today so I thought I'd give it a go. It only took a few minutes to get ready and it was flying in no time.
After our relaxing time with the wind and waves, we went to our friend's house for a wonderful meal. Great food...absolutely. Now I am tired and will retire soon. Sarah and I are both off tomorrow so it should be a pretty lazy day other than I have to go have a CT scan done on my sinuses.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman: 1925-2008

He left us some great movies and a delicious salad dressing. A life well lived.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Hallowindow!

This is way early but it's so cool I couldn't resist.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reefer is My Friend

Here is a response to the Worst Worship Ever video I posted a while back. Some people just have nothing better to do.

Gay Clay, Yay or Nay?

Many were shocked this week when Clay Aiken told the world he was gay. Okay, maybe a few people were shocked. Okay, none. Are you happy now?
Anyway, I found out this morning that CCM singer Ray Boltz outed himself a while back but is continuing to sing CCM music...mostly at gay churches. He says God made him that way while conservative Christians scream, "Not!" Same old story.
I don't come down solidly on either side of this argument. I'm not riding the fence, I just don't have any easy answers. I do know that gay people are still people and should be treated as such. Do unto others and all that stuff, you know? It may have been easy for me to condemn homosexuality in the past but that was before I found myself surrounded by gay and lesbian friends. We've talked. I've been honest with them and they have been honest with me. The lines of communication are open and that's a good thing.
I guess the hardest part of all this is God's part in it all. Christians say homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals who have come to terms with it say that God must have made them that way. Like I said, no easy answers. What I do know is that I had one friend who is deceased now that told me he would have done anything in the world to not be gay. He begged God to fix him. He dated girls trying to put those feelings away. Eventually he felt he had to reconcile himself to it all. Unfortunately that meant he felt like he had to distance himself from all of his friends at the time. Us. We didn't know why he disappeared from our lives, we just knew he disappeared. I didn't find the answers until years later when our friendship was rekindled. He pulled away from us because he feared our reaction if we ever found out who he really was. I felt ashamed when he told me that because in my heart of hearts I was afraid he was right. So, in the last couple of years before his death we were friends again. We talked about the gay stuff sometimes, other times we just talked of fun times in the past or music or whatever. He was my friend and that's what friends do.
The one thing he talked about that disturbed me the most (and still does) was that he begged God to take away his feelings of homosexuality. He told me he wanted to get married, have kids, a house with a white picket fence, etc...but he got to a point where he couldn't deny who he was any longer. So, I ask you...why didn't God help my friend? Why didn't God help Ray Boltz when he asked God to help him with his homosexuality? Again I say, no easy answers. Many will respond to this by saying, "There is no God." I don't even want to think about what conservatives might say. All I'm saying is that I'm perplexed by the whole thing. I'm just going to continue loving my friends. That's all I know to do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
"The "true story" behind Alice in Wonderland! Princess Alyss Heart is brutally cast out of Wonderland by her vicious Aunt Redd, who beheads Alyss' mother (Off with her head, she cries!) and begins to rule over Wonderland with an iron fist. Alyss escapes from Wonderland and is exiled to another world entirely--Victorian London--where she is adopted into a new family, renamed Alice, and befriended by Lewis Carroll. At age 20 she returns to Wonderland to battle Redd, reclaim the throne, and lead Wonderland into its next golden age of imagination."*
I really enjoyed this book (thanks Becca) and plan on reading the sequel Seeing Redd as soon as I can get it from the library. I believe this is the most enjoyable YA novel I've read beyond the Harry Potter books. I find that I'm disappointed in most YA books because they dumb things down too much or they try to fill them with cool imagery and mood but there's no story. I found this book to be very imaginative (which it should be because it's all about imagination) and quite fun. Like in the HP books, the dangers presented are very real. You realize as you are reading that there is a very good chance someone you like in the book is going to perish before the story ends. Last but not least, I really liked the spin on the Alice in Wonderland story. Can't wait to see what happens in the next book.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Guy

Let's see...
It's been a busy week but nothing earth-shattering to talk about. It's a dreary, rainy Seattle day which indicates that summer is over and fall is starting. We had a very short summer this year. After last year's long winter that makes me very sad to see the summer go. I love fall but I hope it's not a totally rainy, dreary one. I hope we see some nice days of crisp weather with the sun peeking thru the changing leaves.
That is all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Angel - Feelin' Right

I listened to a podcast today and they had an interview with Frank Dimino, former lead singer of Angel. Now, I have to admit, I used to listen to these guys. I had their albums and everything. We always saw them as the polar opposites of Kiss. Both bands were on the same label so I'm sure they were marketed that way. So, a blast from the past from those halcyon, halcyon days.
You have to give a band props for using the word "halcyon" in a song. C'mon.

Worst Worship Ever?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
"When Anne Lamott was twenty-five, her father died after a long struggle with brain cancer. Over the next few years she herself began to suffer from an overwhelming sense of desperation and fear which she tried to suppress with alcohol and pills. Although she was managing to write and publish successful novels at the time, it was clear that her life was spinning out of control. In Traveling Mercies, a memoir that sparkles with wry wit and compassion, she now writes about this dark period of her life, and of her turn--to her own great surprise--to the community of Christian faith and love she found in a neighborhood church called St. Andrew.
In a book that will be cherished by anyone who has pursued a spiritual search down all sorts of unlikely paths, grieved at the death of friends, or felt bewildered at the challenges that daily life presents to love and courage, Anne Lamott presents a wise and often humorous account of living in faith."*
I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Lamott definitely seems like my kind of person...rebellious, edgy, weird...and I thought I would like her take on faith. Sometimes I did but most of the time I was just depressed by the circumstances of her life. See, this is why I read fiction...to escape all that. I get a dose of real life every day and I find it refreshing to escape into movies, reading, my art, etc. Especially right before bed (when I read) because it allows me to shut down my brain and actually go to sleep. So, no more non-fiction before bed. I want to sleep, not think.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Richard Wright: 1943 - 2008


Today, I woke up with a guitar transition from There Goes Another Love Song by the Outlaws in my head. It took me a while to figure out what song it was because it was just the guitar part running over and over again. Finally, the chorus jumped in and I had it but I had to look up on the internet who the song was by. I'll bet I haven't heard that song in years. I know I don't have a recording of it. Where does this stuff come from? It's just weird.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It was such a nice day today so Sarah and I headed to Fremont to stroll the Market and other interesting shops. We made a big loop today. On our travels we met up with thousands of people walking for Breast Cancer and we even stopped by to see the Troll. I found an old Scrabble board for Sarah at the Market and I finally found a pair of work jeans at Goodwill on the way home. A nice, lazy Sunday kind of thing to do.
I put up a few pics from this and last night's strolls over at my photo site. Check it out.


I decided to take a couple of shots of my studio space. I inhabit the corner you see. The rest of the room is filled with my wife's work table, bookshelves, computer desk and closet. It's jam packed.
If you look closely next to the wastebasket you'll see a white and grey furball. That's our cat Mickey sleeping in the sun wherever he can find it. The second shot is a closeup of my pile of scraps...stuff I've cut out and piled for future use in my art.
One day I hope to have a larger studio. That is, as my wife says, the dream and the vision. Something to work towards.

Cat Nap

We wish our cat Mickey would learn to relax.

Ballard Art Walk

Last night, we ventured out to see Sarah's work at Secret Garden Bookstore in Ballard. We invited the arts group from church and Phyllis showed up so we wandered the other venues of Ballard. I've really enjoyed visiting BallardWorks and Sev Shoon these last two times. We also stopped by Monster Art and Clothing, a new, hip art boutique. To cap off the evening we stopped by Building C to see what was new with some of our fave local artists. They didn't disappoint. After that, Phyllis came over and we chatted away until bedtime. A fun evening.


Subterranean by James Rollins
In this, Rollin's first novel, a team of scientists investigate a labyrinth of caverns discovered beneath the ice of Antarctica. Of course, everything that can go wrong does which is why these adventure stories are so fun. I had read this one before and have been a Rollins fan until he started writing a series that can best be described as Da Vinci Code meets National Treasure meets Tom Clancy. I wish he would return to the adventure stories he wrote at the beginning of his career. Fun stuff. This one is a light, fast read but enjoyable. A beach read if you will.

Mr. Fooster Travelling on a Whim by Tom Corwin and Craig Frazier
In this book, Mr. Fooster sets out on a series of walks and let's his imagination soar. I heard about this book on a podcast and decided to give it a try. The story is whimsical but the underlying message is take time to open your eyes and really see the world around you...and use your imagination. You just might have some fun. I didn't like the illustrations. I would have preferred some truly imaginative paintings but all they offer up is some sepia toned line drawings.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Snowblind by Ace Frehley.

The randomness continues.

conCERNed II

I just listened to a podcast examining the Large Hadron Collider. Scientists are confident it's safe since the earth is bombarded constantly with the exact same type of effects...and we're still here. Of course, they explained further but most of it was over my head. I'm not worried. Do you know how many times in my lifetime there's been a threat to the safety of mankind? Let's see. Flu pandemic, killer bees, killer mosquitoes, avian flu, ebola, nuclear war, meteors, space junk, etc. Not to mention local threats of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and the like.
So, in the immortal words of Alfred E. Neuman I say, "What, me worry?"

Friday, September 12, 2008


I just received an email from a prominent collage artist asking me if I want to be part of a book featuring "over 40 of the top collage artists working today." 
I, of course, said yes. I won't share any more until I know more. But this is exciting I think.
Isn't it?

Is This For Real?

Who will care for your pets after the rapture? Check it out for yourselves here.

Sick and Tired

I am a little sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am going to finish out the course of antibiotics and, if I'm not feeling better, I am going to talk to the doc about referring me to an ENT or an allergist. As for the soreness in my neck which is giving me headaches which is, I think, connected with my posture when I sleep, I believe I am going to make an appointment w/ a chiropractor in the near future.
This past Wednesday, I saw the eye doctor. My distance vision is better than it used to be but my reading vision is worse. I'll be getting new glasses as soon as I can afford to. On the positive side, the doc said my eyes are a tad dry but healthy nonetheless.
So, with all this in mind, it's no surprise that the song in my head when I woke up this morning was Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu by Johnny Rivers.
The unconscious mind is a scary and wonderful place.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Have you been keeping up with the news about the new Large Hadron Collider at CERN? Some folks think it might create a black hole and destroy the world. What do you think?
I've read a great book a couple of times over the years dealing with the firing up of a Collider. In the story, they turn it on and everybody in the world jumps several years into the future for a few minutes. As you can guess, it wreaks havoc on the world in many different ways. The book is FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer. 
I don't find that I'm too concerned over the whole deal. It's totally out of my control to do anything about it. I do find it interesting that no extreme groups have tried to do anything about it. It seems to me if someone radical enough thought someone was going to turn on a machine that would destroy the world, they just might try to stop it. Kinda like Jake Busey's character in the movie Contact. Creepy. 

Hello Again

We had a great time reconnecting with the Lansford/Waechter clan last night. We ate, told stories from the past, caught up on new stuff and just had a nice, laid back evening. Ernie and Jennifer live smack dab in the middle of downtown Kirkland, a neigborhood we haven't explored. They were running late due to traffic so we explored the area a little bit. Eventually we'll go back and spend more time. It seems like a cool, little neighborhood. And it's right near the water...a plus in my book!

The song running thru my head this morning? Hello Again by Neil Diamond. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I've gotta rethink this whole process. I don't want to fill my blog up with all these short daily entries. Maybe I need to do it in an Excel file or something. I guess I could start a blog dedicated to that but I already have too many as it is. So, I dunno. It may return in some form. I gotta figure it out.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Headlines That Pop!

"Madonna dedicates "Like A Virgin" to Pope in Rome"

Things like this make me laugh. I'm not a fan but that girl's got chutzpah!


Today's morning song is

King of the World by Toto

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Today's song is

Pour Out My Heart by Brian Doerksen

I'm sure this song is on my brain because we plan to do it in worship in a few weeks and I have band practice tonight. It's Sunday so I guess it's appropriate that I have a praise song on my mind. Weird how the mind works.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

6 Degrees of Separation?

Mary from Twilight (one of the galleries I show in) came to the show at Lustre the other night. We got to chat a bit and I asked her about a weird reference to Robin Williams that appeared on their website recently. As it turns out, while Williams was here filming a movie a few weeks ago, (he was sighted in neighborhoods surrounding ours numerous times) he paid a visit to Twilight's Market location and bought about $800 worth of stuff. None of the Twilight gals were there that day, only an intern working their first day. Also, since I know it was preying on your mind, Williams didn't buy any of my stuff. SIGH. But he was in the same room with my art so that should count for something, shouldn't it? Shouldn't it?


I'm starting a new feature on the Renzntzman blog today. It's called AM FM. Nearly every morning I wake up with a song in my head. Sometimes it stays with me for a while, other times it fades away pretty quickly. I thought it might be fun to track this phenomena, see if any songs repeat, if any patterns emerge, etc. I may also relate dreams that accompany the music if I can remember them. Most mornings, it's just a song. Today's AM FM song was...

Morph the Cat by Donald Fagan

...and the dream that came with it is gone. Just like most mornings, the remnants of a song is all that remains. So, tune in daily (if I can remember to do it) and see what music is in noggin when I wake up.
Because I know you have nothing better to do. 

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just Stuff

A couple of things...
- My parents sold their house! They were actually away on vacation when it sold. They close next week and then have to be out in 30 days. They are going to move their stuff into the workshop/garage they've built on their property in Holt and live in one of my Uncle Terry's trailers
until the house is built. This is so great. Now I won't have to worry about them as much when a hurricane goes thru because they'll be in a safer location. 
- I started antibiotics today in the hopes that it will clear up my sinus problems. I really do hope this does it. I've been miserable since at least April with this stuff. Oh, and I'm going to the eye doctor this week to see how bad my eyes have gotten. Such a joy getting old. 

Art at Lustre

The opening at Lustre Communications was last night. It was quite the party. It's a great space and pictures don't do it justice. A ton of people turned out including a small group of our friends. The food and drink were excellent. Marshall and I kept threatening to hijack the shrimp tray.
Art was everywhere in the space. My stuff was in a studio off to the side so we ended up hanging out in there most of the night. That was a good thing since the music got louder and louder as the night progressed and it was easier to carry on a conversation in that little room. I only met one of the other artists, Ethan, but had some great conversations with him and others who stopped by to look at my stuff. According to Tim, Lustre's main man, I've sold several pieces. That's always a good thing.
Thanks to everyone who came by to support me and my art. I appreciate it. It seems like every opening gets a little bigger and a little better. Onward and upward.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bill Melendez: 1916 - 2008

What would childhood be without the Peanuts cartoons lovingly created by this man. I am 46 and I still consider Halloween and Christmas incomplete unless I can watch those Peanut specials. Thank you, Bill!

Art Opening Tonight!

If you're in downtown Seattle tonight, stop by Lustre Communications (110 Union St. Suite 510) for a massive grand opening and art reception. Tim at Lustre told me expects up to 400 people to show up. There will be food and drink and great art by me and some other of Seattle's finest artists. It starts at 5 and ends at midnight. Sarah and I are planning on showing up sometime around 5:30.
While you're down there you might as well take advantage of the First Thursday stuff too. Free admission to the Seattle Art Museum, Sci Fi Hall of Fame, EMP and more. But make sure you some by and see me too.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jerry Reed: 1937 - 2008

I loved Jerry Reed. He was a funny man and a great guitar player. I remember seeing him live at the Pensacola Interstate Fair when I was a kid. And I loved him in Smokey and the Bandit. Heck, the band I was a part of in SC did a cover of Amos Moses. So long, Jerry.


Stinger by Robert R. McCammon
This book, not one of RRM's best, involves the tale of a small Texas town under siege by an alien bounty hunter on the trail of his prey. It's been sitting on my shelf for years. RRM has written some of my favorite books including Swan Song and Boy's Life. This book, however, will not be on the faves list. It was just okay for me. I found the setting irritating. I don't like Texas much and this town sounded like the backside of Texas. Yuck. There was not a single character in the whole book I cared about which hurt the story alot. Folks were getting killed right and left and I didn't really care. The plot was very 80's. I could picture the movie playing out in my head as one of those really bad but fun alien movies from the 80's like Night of the Creeps or Night of the Comet. It could have worked that way and been a cult classic today. As it stands now, it's just a mediocre book from a writer who has grown beyond that now. Thank goodness.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Non-Labor Day

It's been a pretty lazy day around here. I woke up early and started on laundry. Sarah was up half the night not feeling well so she slept in. I spent part of the morning getting us a room lined up for our trip to Friday Harbor in Oct. It worked out for us to get away for 3 nights so we're taking it. We've not been to the San Juan Islands before. I'm looking forward to it.
I've also spent part of the day in correspondence with some old friends who now live out here. They've been here since March and we had no idea. Their daughter and family is visiting next week so the timing has worked out perfectly. I'm really looking forward to seeing them all.
So, that's about it. Sarah has to go back to work tomorrow but I'm off until Wednesday. I'm going to spend the whole day tomorrow working on art.