Monday, March 31, 2008

Great Find!

I found this poster at Goodwill yesterday. I'm not sure if it's original from the 70's or a reprint but I do know it's worth more than the $7 I got it for. It also doesn't hurt that Johns is one of my favorite artists. If anyone out there in the blogosphere knows anything about this print, let me know. I don't usually find cool stuff at the thrift stores but this was a great find!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon R. Green
"Welcome to the Nightside, that secret square mile located in the dark heart of London where the sun never rises and people can fraternize with every myth and monster imaginable. John Taylor is a P.I. with the special ability to locate anyone or anything. The Unnatural Inquirer, the Nightside's most notorious gossip rag, has offered him a million pounds to find a DVD purported to contain an actual recording of the afterlife. John doesn't know if it's true, but someone-or something-thinks so, and will stop at nothing to possess the disc."*
I really like Green's Nightside series. That said, this one was weak. Not as weak as my least favorite (Something from the Nightside) but pretty weak. Still it was an enjoyable and easy read. Since the story arc of the Lilith War ended there hasn't been another large arc started. He did okay without it last time around with Hell to Pay but this time the book suffers. He does hint around that something may be brewing but nothing decisive is given away as to when it might hit the fan. So, a pleasant if not totally satisfying respite in larger picture that is the Nightside.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This morning as I left my apartment for my quick walk to work I noticed 2 helicopters hovering over the neighborhood. As I got closer to the theatre I discovered that a garbage truck had smashed into a tree at the corner of 85th and Palatine. There were emergency vehicles and garbage trucks (to see if their buddy was alright) parked all over the place and N. 85th was shut down. The guy was still trapped in the cab and they were trying to get him out. After 90 minutes they pulled him out. I understand he has a broken leg and will be fine. Apparently the truck's axle broke and he lost control. To see pics and read the official news story, go here.
What a mess!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Down on the Corner

Last night, Sarah and I had just turned the lights out to begin our slumber when all of a sudden there came the sound of a horrendous crash thru the window. Two cars had decided to see who would win in a contest of speed and contact. The little red one lost. She ended up with her car sitting on top of a fire hydrant and a trip to the ER via ambulance. Very exciting for nearly midnight.
We live on the corner of a fairly busy intersection. We see our fair share of accidents from the windows of our third floor apartment although nothing beats the sensation of hearing one thru the window when we're in bed. I usually sit there for a moment and try to decide if it's real or I dreamt it. Not Sarah. She jumps out of bed as if someone threw a tarantula on her. Last night I thought she was going to springboard the cat across the room. There's nothing worse than sleeping with an accident watching rubbernecker.
The worst accident we saw was across the street at Mr. Fix-It's house. He's the guy with umpteen kids who's always adding on to the house or something. At this point, he had just finished putting up a wooden fence. It had taken him ages to build the thing. Well, not too long after he finished some lady ran a guy off the road and he ended up with the front end of his car up on the wall and thru Mr. Fix-It's new fence. The funny thing was as people walked or drove by we heard more than one of them say, "What a shame. He just finished that fence." Well, you'll be happy to know that Mr. Fix-It has restored the fence albeit with a big boulder on the corner protecting the area that was damaged before.
Who needs TV with this kind of drama outside the window.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Robin Trower - Day of the Eagle

I checked this DVD out of the library. At 63, Robin Trower is still going strong. Us old guys can still rock!

To Worship or Not to Worship

Here's one for all of you with an opinion either way. If you have one, I'd like to hear it. I know how I feel but I am hearing how others feel and the arguments are interesting on both sides.
I am now in a band called Midlife Chrysler. I haven't been with them long, perhaps 4 weeks of rehearsals. We have a couple of possible gigs coming up and one of them is to play for the Celebrate Recovery meeting at church. We wouldn't be playing our typical rock tunes but a set of worship songs. Now, here comes the meat of the debate.
Most of you know I used to be a minister, most recently a worship leader. But things went sour at that church and I was "let go." It wasn't the only thing that lead to my current "crisis of faith" but it was a major factor. To make a long story short, I don't believe like I used to. Heck, there are some days I don't believe at all. It's a daily wrestling match. But belief or unbelief, I don't really love God anymore so I don't worship. As a worship leader, I took the subject of worship very seriously. I know, for the most part, what it's for and what it's all about and I know that I don't have it in me to sing praises to God. Sure, I could fake it and I'd be darn convincing but that's not me. I like to operate from a place of authenticity even if it means being a pain in the butt. So, I have chosen not to worship. Now, I have lead worship once or twice since that time but it didn't feel right so I stopped. Folks tell me that I am a gifted worship leader which doesn't help me in the struggle. I have no doubt that I was a gifted leader when my faith was intact but I don't want to be encouraged for faking it.
So, do I do the worship gig with the band or not? I have been honest with them and I have had a chance to dialogue a little bit with them but we haven't had a full blown discussion. My position is one of not wanting to get up and fake it. Others have the position of who among us is worthy to lead worship in the first place. We all have our stuff that gets in the way and God doesn't need you to get cleaned up before you come to Him. Others say I might find my way back to God if I'll just start singing. Maybe. I understand most if not all of the arguments. It's a tug-of-war that I've struggled with a long time. The last church we attended had an atheist playing bass. That would have never happened if I were in leadership back in the day. We always believed that those leading worship should at least be attempting a relationship with God. But who's to say that letting an atheist play bass in the worship band is a bad thing? So, you see my struggle. I go back and forth on the issues.
I know this entry is a confusing mess but hopefully you understood the point I was trying to make. If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it. You can leave it in the comments or, if it's really lengthy, shoot me an email. I welcome all arguments.


"14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era. Because the Colony is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx. Will must free his father--is he also about to ignite a revolution?"*
This book came highly recommended by a friend so I wanted to like it. Truth be told, I stopped reading at 350 pages. I should have stopped sooner. Nothing much happened in the book. Sue me but I like for things to happen in a story. And, to be honest, I didn't like the characters. Now, I've been seeing lots of comparisons to Harry Potter about this book. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sure, there are similarities in the basic plot but the writing is nowhere near the quality of Rowling's. Rowling's chapters are laced with action, character development, humor, and juicy clues that drive you toward the end. Tunnels leads you down into a tunnel with nothing but a dead end.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Grieving Game

I have been wondering what's wrong with me lately and I think I may have hit on something. I am grieving but not just in the obvious ways.
I am still grieving the loss of Max. I have always been a sensitive soul when it comes to animals and I fall in love with them way too deeply. Animals are just so awesome. They give love and never betray us. Max was more than a pet to me. He was a companion. He is gone and I miss him terribly. I think this grief over Max has given me insight into my grieving over other losses as well. I think I am grieving over the loss of many things in my life right now. For some reason they are all crashing in on me at this moment and it's very difficult to deal with it.
- As friend Jeff always says, "I've always wanted to be a big deal." When he says it I understand where he's coming from. I have always wanted that too. Not necessarily in a big celebrity kind of way but I've just wanted people to know my work and respect it. In the past, I have had some great opportunities to feel like a big deal. In the past few years, this hasn't happened and I guess I miss the feeling. I know it's not true but I feel like I have lapsed into being a nobody. I am a hugely talented guy but I feel as thought I am dwelling in the shadows, eclipsed by the more "me" oriented talent that travel with a light over their heads. I don't crave the spotlight but I do like to have a candle lit in my honor from time to time.
- I am also grieving the loss of friendships. I grieve that my closest, dearest friends are so far away from me and I don't talk to them or see them nearly enough. I grieve over the fact that making new friends is tough, partially because people aren't as friendly here in the NW but partly because I am less trusting. I suppose you could say I am also grieving my ability to trust. I have been betrayed in some mighty big ways and it has scarred me. I grieve the fact that I can't open up to people who want to enter my life. I want to open up but I honestly don't know how anymore. It feels too much like opening a wound so that someone can rub dirt in it. I want friends, need them but I don't know how to get back to the place where I know how to have them. Another obstacle in this area is that my concept of friendship is so much higher than most folks. I want deep, lasting friendships filled with meaningful encounters and deep conversations. I don't do shallow and refuse to play that game. At this point in my life I don't need any more aquaintances. I need Proverbs 17:17 friends.
- Last but not least, I grieve the loss of my relationship with God. At this point, I flip-flop between belief and disbelief and it's left a hole in my life. Many of the opportunities to use my talents are wrapped up in the issue of faith. I enjoy singing but I can't lead worship anymore. Sure, I could get up and fake it but that's not the kind of person I am. I can't be false like that. So, I don't do it because I don't want to sing love songs to God because right now I don't love Him. But I do miss the relationship.
I can't properly express everything that I am feeling. I don't have the words. But I am glad to know that it's grief I am experiencing. Perhaps by giving it a name I can learn how to deal with it.

So-So Friday

Well, it wasn't entirely good because (and I knew it would happen) the jeep died again and I had to have it towed this time. It was the starter. Luckily our mechanic fixed it mucho pronto and we were able to head over to the church to see the Stations of the Cross.
This year our church asked artists in the church to interpret the different stations. Sarah and I both contributed. When we got there, we entered not knowing what to expect but it turned out great. It truly was experiential, a sacred space. The art is amazing. Artists and (by their admission) non-artists alike put their best foot forward and created some great pieces. The combination of art, artist's statements, lighting, and music really is quite effective. We forgot to take our camera but hopefully others will share their photos with me so I can share them with you.
Great job everyone! We have raised the bar yet another rung.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Weird Day, Weird Week

This morning, I go to start the jeep and it's sluggish and almost won't start. I try it a few more times and it starts working fine. I drive to work and try it again once I've stopped and it won't do anything. So, I go to work hoping I can start it later to take it to the mechanic. Well, it starts but just barely so I take it to the mechanic. Once I get it there, it won't not start. He shakes his head and says if we can't duplicate the problem he doesn't know what to fix. I drive it home and it's been starting fine ever since. I don't get it.
To top all that off, I've been having trouble with my GERD. The last couple of days I've been experiencing major discomfort and hardly slept at all last night. I'm wondering if it's something I ate or if I need to fast to purge my system again. I'm going to drink lots of water, eat light and if it's not better by Monday I'll fast for a day.
I'll be glad when this week from hell is over.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feeling Better

A bit better today. It helped that I came home from work and made art. Still alot on my mind and what to do about it but I feel lighter today. Making art does that for me.

I Hate You, Visual Art

Here's an entertaining rant about visual arts in Seattle. I agree with some of what he says but, truthfully, I don't know as much about the arts scene in Seattle as I would like. So far, I've only been able to crack into the coffee shop/art boutique market. I hope to be able to show in some galleries before too long but who knows if I'll be able to crack that nut. Art communities are very cliquish (a word?) in general. You're either in or you're not. I'm not.
I did get a new show yesterday. It's in Queen Anne, a neighborhood I haven't shown in yet. I am now booked solid thru the first part of September.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sick and Tired

Ever been there? Ever felt so down you just wished you could disappear? I'm there.
I guess having to put Max to sleep triggered it but some other things happening over the weekend didn't help the situation. I have no one to blame for this but myself. I am ashamed of myself for my selfish thoughts, jealousies and insecurity.
Life is hard right now. I wish vacation wasn't a month away. I could use it right now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Yes, today is my wife's 38th birthday. She is a St. Patty's Day baby. She says it took her years before she realized it wasn't all about her. To celebrate we have invited a bunch of friends over to the apartment for frivolity and food. I was going to make it a surprise but after our ordeal with Max I felt she needed something to look forward to.
Speaking of Max, it gets a little better everyday but we really do miss him alot. He was such a huge part of our lives. Bedtime is the hardest because we both had a routine of checking on him and spending time with him before we retired. We've shed more than our fair share of tears, so much so that our eyes hurt constantly. Why do we let those little short-lived furballs dig into our hearts so deeply?
Anyway...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SARAH! I love you and hope to spend many, many more birthdays/St. Patty's Days with you!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Our Max is gone. We had to put him to sleep a little while ago. His health had been travelling downhill for quite a while now but we just kept hoping that he would snap back or that he would pass peacefully in his sleep. Anything to keep us from having to make that difficult decision. But after talking with the vet we decided it was time to give him peace from his pain. And it was so hard. Sarah and I are not doing well. We both loved him so much.
His chair is empty now and we don't know what to do with ourselves. I know the pain will pass but we're raw right now. The simple truth is Max hasn't truly been himself for a while. He grew old very fast. I remember being to pick him up and hold him like a baby but I haven't been able to do that for several months because of the arthritis in his back. When my cat Trinity died 3 months after moving out here, Max seemed to sense that I needed him and he was truly my buddy ever since. Sarah actually knew I was the "one" because of Max. Max was very skittish and when we first met she told me that I might never see him. Well, the first day we met he came out and I was able to scratch his head. The second weekend I went to see Sarah, she went to a meeting at church and when she came home Max was sitting in my lap while we watched a movie. Most people didn't know he existed because he always hid but he loved me almost from day one.
He was a good kitty and we are going to miss him alot.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dave Stevens: 1955 - 2008


Blasphemy by Douglas Preston
"The world's biggest supercollider, locked in an Arizona mountain, was built to reveal the secrets of the very moment of creation: the Big Bang itself. The Torus is the most expensive machine ever created by humankind, run by the world's most powerful supercomputer. It is the brainchild of Nobel Laureate William North Hazelius. Will the Torus divulge the mysteries of the creation of the universe? Or will it, as some predict, suck the earth into a mini black hole? Or is the Torus a Satanic attempt, as a powerful televangelist decries, to challenge God Almighty on the very throne of Heaven? Twelve scientists under the leadership of Hazelius are sent to the remote mountain to turn it on, and what they discover must be hidden from the world at all costs. Wyman Ford, ex-monk and CIA operative, is tapped to wrest their secret, a secret that will either destroy the world…or save it. The countdown begins…"*
This is a pretty good story. It starts slow and is slow to ramp up but once it gets there it's fairly interesting. I can't say much about the plot without spoiling the read. Let's just say it's a science vs. religion story with a bit of a twist. I'm glad I liked it. Preston, with his writing partner Lincoln Childs, used to be one of my favorite authors but their last several books have left me cold.

Do Over

"I would probably choose not to slave away as a pastor for a church and actually find something that like makes some money and lets me travel."

This is the answer given by one man on the Weekend America podcast when asked what he would do if he were given a do over. I can relate.
If I were given a do over I would continue my art education/career instead of forking into becoming a minister. Seminary was tough. I've never been as lonely as I was at seminary because it was a lonely experienced in the midst of a sea of people. That's the worst kind. I went through some really bad depression while I was at seminary. Then, I graduate and eventually become a minister only to be treated like crap, lied about, lied to, used up, chewed up and spit out by the very people I was trying to serve. For a while there I thought I could make a difference. I thought I could be a catalyst for change in the way we do church. I thought I could use my creative talents for God. I guess I was wrong.
The only problem with this scenario is I would miss out on meeting some pretty awesome people including my wife Sarah. So, chalk this up to a cathartic writing exercise inspired by a random question on a radio program. Then again, if I could go back and do it over with the knowledge of future events, I could find Sarah earlier. That could work.
What would you do over?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Do Watch
My Kid Could Paint That - An interesting flick concerning a supposed 4-year-old child prodigy in the medium of painting. By the end of the movie you're not sure if she's a prodigy or if her parents are pulling one over on you. I still can't make up my mind what I think.
Don't Watch
Beowulf - Oh my goodness. What were they thinking? First of all, they should have just filmed it live-action. CGI is not to the point where it can render humans successfully. They look like they're made of wax. Second of all, when big B strips naked to battle Grendel and strikes poses with candlesticks and the like hiding his attributes, Sarah and I just laughed ourselves silly. It's ridiculous. The movie Beowulf and Grendel starring Gerard Butler isn't great but it's better than this piece of dragon poo.

Jeff Healey: 1966-2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Someday My Prints Will Sell!

I heard from Emily at Trabant this morning. It seems that 9 of my prints have sold. That's pretty great. The show's only been up a week. Let's hope the next 3 weeks yield similar results.

Blog Backtracking

Every once in a while I like to look back at past entries in my blog. I usually go back annually...for example, to March. Sometimes it's quite interesting to see what was up back then. A couple of coincidences popped up. Last March I watched a documentary about architect Frank Gehry. Just the other day I heard a podcast report about a guy who has written a book calling Gehry a hack. Last March I read the book Deep Storm by Lincoln Child. This year I am reading the book Blasphemy by Child's writing partner Douglas Preston. In March 2 years ago Sarah and I got an annual pass for the Argosy Cruises. All this month I've been thinking that we should do that again. I even mentioned it out loud to Sarah the other day. Funny little coincidences.
Go back to March 2 years ago and you'll also see blog entries about our wedding and honeymoon. I guess with all the craziness I didn't get around to blogging about it until March. (We were married Feb. 19) Also in March is Sarah's birthday. This year is one of the first times she hasn't had a tech rehearsal or something on that day that is work related. Unfortunately her birthday is on a Monday so I guess she'll have to work. But we'll find some way of celebrating. No worries.
If you're a blogger with several years worth of entries under your belt, you should do a little time travelling and see what you were up to in the past. It can be quite enlightening and entertaining.

Vatican Lists New Sins

Read 'em and weep, children.

"Thou shalt not create clones of thyself nor shalt thou throw rubbish on the ground whilst thou doest it nor shalt thy clone throw rubbish on the ground but thou shalt throw thy clone on the rubbish heap for his flesh is false."

You go, Pope!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Jobs I've Had

There just hasn't been much to write about lately so I will regale you with the various jobs I've had over the years. I got the idea to do this from another blog so blame them. Here we go!

Stock Boy at Winn Dixie - This was the first job I ever had and I was fired after 2 weeks. Why? I don't know but the managers nephew was working there the next day. Go figure. I hated it anyway.

Print Studio Assistant - While I was at the Memphis College of Art I did a work/study by assisting in the printmaking studio. I manned the studio a couple of nights a week and I also assisted during the basic printmaking class. Most nights there wasn't much to do. The students at that college had a non-existent work ethic. I showed up the first day of class with all my stuff ready to work. They all told me, "We don't do anything on the first day." I said, "I do." Needless to say I wasn't very popular. The printmaking teacher hated me. I got called into the office once for having a bad attitude. (can they do that in college?) I left after the first semester.

Screen Printer - Perfect job for an artist, right? Wrong! The boss was a nice guy but not a good businessman. That place nearly went under about twice a week. I'll never forget the time we were there all night printing thousands of shirts for Hooters on one manual press. Ahhh! I can't believe I worked there for 2 years. I heard he sold the place after I left.

Performer - While at seminary I performed with The Company, a touring drama team. During the year it was only for school credit but during the summer it was paid. After graduation I spent a year with Face to Face, a touring drama team based out of Birmingham, AL.

Minister of Youth - My first church staff job out of seminary I was lucky enough to land a great gig working with a super pastor. Unfortunately the honeymoon ended quickly. The pastor (a wonderful guy!) lost his wife and remarried a woman who was divorced (because her husband was a pastor and cheated on her with his secretary). The church had a conniption about that and he eventually left. After he left they started picking on me so I got the hell out of dodge. Too bad. It was a nice church with a lot of potential. Too bad they let a few bad apples run the joint.

Minster of Arts and Worship - I joined up with this new church start and morphed into the job over a bit of time. It was fun for a while but turned sour toward the end. I was "let go" and my ministry days were over. There's just too much shit you have to put up with when you work for a church.

Manager of Shipping/Receiving - I did this job in Asheville just before moving to Seattle. Sarah and I both landed jobs at A. C. Moore, a craft store on the east coast that I wish we had out here. We worked with a bunch of really cool people. The pay was crap with no benefits but it was fun while it lasted. I hear the company changed hands and now it's not so fun to work there. Alot of folks we knew left.

Custodian - I've done this job alot. I first started doing it at my home church in Pensacola. It was a good flexible job to have and go to college at the same time. The bad part of that job was seeing behind the scenes at church. I saw some ugly stuff.
I did a short gig at a security place in Tallahassee. I used to have to drive out into the country and cut the owner's (a past president of FSU) grass with a tractor. I hated it.
While at seminary I also did the custodian thing. Great low stress job for a stressful place. I worked with some cool guys there. We used to play cards everyday on break. One summer we had a paper plane flying contest in the Williamsburg Room. We were pretty irreverent.
Presently I am a custodian at Taproot Theatre. I am pretty much left alone to do my job which I do wired up to my iPod. The pay and benefits are awesome for a part-time gig and I have time to work on my art when I get home.

That's all I can think of right now. Hopefully I'll think of something brilliant to write about over the next few days so we can dispatch this kind of crap for good.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blog of Note

Scrapiteria, the collage blog that I participate in, was named Blogger's Blog of Note for today. That should bring in alot of new viewers. Thanks Blogger!
Now, how about throwing my individual blogs a bone?

Moses on Drugs?

There's a story circulating that Moses may have been on drugs and that's why he saw things like burning bushes and such. The story is here.
Scientists crack me up. They'll do anything to try and refute the Bible. A while back I heard about some scientist that said that when Jesus walked on water it was probably ice on the frozen lake. I guess it was during one of those subzero cold snaps they have in the middle east.
Don't get me wrong. I am not without my doubts about the Bible myself these days but I'm not about to come up with a bunch of wacky explanations to explain it all away. But then again, it's pretty funny to think about Moses blazing up a doobie.
Now, that's a burning bush!

Monday, March 03, 2008

This Week in Art

This morning I had to get up early (it's my day off!) to go hang my art at Trabant Coffee and Chai in the U-District. It's a pretty big place so I put up 24 originals and left a bunch of prints to sell as well. While I was there I got some good feedback from customers and one fellow who is an installation artist gave me some good advice about hanging in the future.
Unless an opportunity that can't be refused pops up I am going to take April off from hanging shows. We are going on vacation and I want to use a few days to catch my breath and do some new work.
This Saturday night the arts group from our church will be touring the Ballard Art Walk. I hope we have a good turnout. I'm sure it will be fun.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

U. S. Aid Worker Feared Dead

We found out this morning that Cyd Mizell, the kidnapped aid worker in Afghanistan who is the daughter of our former children's minister, is feared murdered. You can read the article here.
We can't help being touched by this situation. Not only are we linked to it via our church but Mizell attended the same seminary (SWBTS) that I did. I have friends and family serving overseas who face these very same dangers on a daily basis.
There will be memorial services in Richmond, VA (linked with the IMB) and Lakewood, WA. Please keep George and Peggy Mizell (the parents) in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Iron Man

Iron Man isn't my favorite superhero but if the movie is as good as the trailer makes it out to's gonna be cool!

Mormon Zombies

A fellow we know who acts at our theatre from time to time is in 2 zombie movies that are in various stages of readiness. One of them, The Book of Zombie, has a trailer that you can watch below. (Warning: Very Graphic) The movie is described this way on their website: A small, sleepy Utah town gets an undead wake-up call when all of the townspeople of Mormon faith suddenly transform into flesh-eating ghouls! Now, a group of "non-believers" unaffected by the mysterious epidemic must band together to survive the night and answer the burning question: How do you kill a Mormon zombie?
How can you lose with a concept like that? My question is, can this morph into a series where we end up with Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, or Buddhist (or pick your favorite religion) Zombies?
Enjoy...if you dare.