Thots and observations about Jim
By Jim Watson
A better idea for a greener Edmond community dog park
Edmond, Oklahoma, has a very popular and large dog park on 33rd Street, east of Boulevard. It is so large that most dogs stay in one or two areas to socialize and play. And it is so popular that the Parks Department has had a hard time keeping grass growing - it is usually just dirt and, sometimes, mud. Sometimes, there are dust storms in Oklahoma's wind. One effort made has been to periodically fence off a small section that is then seeded and watered.
Here's another solution: Divide the large park into two parks.
Complete story with more info and photos.
Please return your seat to its upright position
A former student, Matt, works at the AmericanAirlines maintenance facility in Tulsa. He messaged that he could get some seats for free. I didn't even debate the merits, I immediately responded, Yes, I want some. I drove from OKC to Tulsa to pick them up, and we had a fun pizza lunch with some other former students. I got the triple because I thought it would be cool to have the middle seat in coach, an icon of uncomfortable air travel, but they turned out to be too big an awkward to git in my house. So, I disassemble the 3 and created a single seat:
Full story and photos.
One night recently, Jim had a chip on his shoulder
I hate it when this happens. Just spite and anger. But I flicked it off, dipped it in salsa and ate it - then, everything was okay.
My first computer
Back in the 1980s, I was facing the daunting task of writing a doctoral dissertation. I had been using an electric typewriter for my grad school papers, cutting and pasting with scissors and tape and retyping the page. It was time to get a better machine - one that could save my work and allow easier manipulation of text. I perused the options and settled on the Atari 800 in 1983 - during the very time period that Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin were developing the Macintosh computer. The Atari 800 was highly rated in reviews. You could add memory boards to boost the capacity to 58K ram! A variety of cartridges were available for games, and productivity functions. I explored options for designing layouts and manipulating and placing text, none of which was in the manuals. I was asked to present some of the layout and text formatting tips to the Computing Science department at the University of North Texas. It was so early in the chronology of desktop publishing that guidelines hadn't yet been established for graphic design.
The Atari computer served me well through graduate school, but upon graduation in 1987, I upgraded to Apple products.
Christmas trip to Texas
From the LBJ Library. Above: view of downtown. Below: the stadium, high-rise student housing, and the UT Tower.
The road trip was a brief but enriching cultural journey:
1. Bureau of Engraving & Printing, where 60% of all bills are printed, Ft. Worth
2. Norman Bel Geddes exhibit, Ransom Center, Austin
3. LBJ Library, new exhibits, Austin
4. Posters of Paris, Art Nouveau, Dallas Museum of Art
5. Perot Museum of Science and Nature
And a great Christmas: quality time with all 4 nieces and nephews, the families, and good friends; 2 days in Austin; 3 days in Dallas (with snow); over-the-top Christmas lights; abundant food feasts; and only a few presents (for a minimalist, this is truly worthy of praise).
My new favorite addictive iPad game
Objective: Connect same-colored dots and fill in the entire gameboard. Visually stunning, well programmed, simple to learn, and very addictive. For the iPad and the iPhone. Download here
Scenes from June trip to New York City
A War of 1812 circular fort with the skyline above. The esplanade along Governor's Island.
The skyline of lower Manhattan. 1 World Trade Center reaching up and to its right, 5 World Trade Center under construction.
Through the windows at the Museum of Modern Art. South Cove in Battery Park City. The WTC Sphere with the new 1WTC tower rising in the back. MiB headquarters is the solid building with the US flag.
A great trip to Texas
Austin Town Lake was filled with rowers.
Wildflowers along Barton Creek in Austin
The San Antonio river during a soft rain.
The Bonfire Memorial at Texas A & M. This memorial is very well done - every element has appropriate rationale and appears to be well thought out.
The George Bush Library (not the dumb Bush - that will open in Dallas in a few years) on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station.
The home and law office cabin of Sam Houston in Huntsville.
Shrimpy's in Madisonville TX - some of the best seafood anywhere, and it's in a trailer park. So rural Texas.
An appropriate Texas dinner - the State Meal: chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, pecan pie for dessert, and iced tea to drink. At The Farmhouse in Huntsville.
The Retired Art Educator of the Year
Well, what a hoot - At the recent Annual Conference of the Oklahoma Art Education Association, Jim Watson received the above honor. The awards chair, Eric, is on the left in the photo. The conference was at OU and it was fun to see former students and fellow teaching colleagues.
My first reaction was, How does one excel at retirement? Sleep late and wear mismatched socks? But, then I realized the award was due to my activities since retiring: I accepted a 1-year full-time position at OSU to cover for a colleague who took an emergency leave of absence, I still teach the History of Graphic Design at OSU, and I am still involved with the Department of Design at UCO.
Why I stop at stop signs
I don't stop at a stop sign just because there is some red and white paint on a piece of metal. It doesn't even matter that its in the shape of an octagon. I choose to stop there:
1. To avoid the hassle of being pulled over and paying for a ticket.
2. To avoid hurting people.
3. To minimize damage to the car and paying for car repair
4. It's easier than closely checking for cops and other cars.
This list was prompted by seeing several people get stuck at stop signs in our naberhood during the blizzards. If they hadn't stopped (there was no other traffic), they could have glided right on. I suspect these were Foxies, people who are trained to obey and not think for themselves: "Its a stop sign - I have to stop."
Took a walk in the naberhood and came across this sign.
The dogs in NYC
Manhattan in the car while driving from OKC to NYC Isn't she a regal bitch?
Leslie fell in love with the dogs in the dogpark. As did others - they got quite a bit of attention and affection.
While purging files and fotos, I found this note from my high school art teacher, Ms. Hudson. She heavily influenced my teaching philosophy, as evidenced by her suggestions - Think and contemplate. Have a reason for everything. Be critical.
Snowwoman and snowman in the park down the street, Edmond, Oklahoma
My sentiments exactly
When i was Chair of the Department of Design, one of the tasks i enjoyed the least was having to write Strategic Plans (redundant words to begin with - a strategy and a plan are the same thing). We spent a disproportionate amount of time preparing reports for an administration that didn't know nor care what we really did. The university bureaucracy would have us write reports and fill out forms that had little-to-no value. Once, i had to call a meeting with the Design faculty and the admin to present the SSCI report - a huge paper that discusses our procedures for planning. The VP asked me to detail the ways in which i involved the faculty in the preparation of the report. I told him that i didn't involve the faculty at all - i saw nothing in the SSCI that would help faculty do a better job in the classroom and i wouldn't be so inconsiderate as to ask them to help with a useless report (no one in Admin read the entire thing or used it to improve teaching at the university). The poster above is from the Baltimore Print Studios of a quote from Herb Kelleher, the guiding force behind Southwest Airlines, a lean company that makes profits while other airlines lose money. Herb is a doer.
24 hours of a heart ordeal
On the plane from NYC to OKC my heart wildly palpitated, just like that of a frat boy inside the Lace Strip Club on 8th Avenue, just north of 42nd Street (ask for Lana). I decided not to tell the flite crew - I was afraid they'd overreact and land the plane somewhere in Indiana and piss off a bunch of sleepy passengers. I turned up the cool air, drank a cup of water and sweated it out. I carefully drove home, stayed about 5 minutes, and then drove to the Edmond Hospital Emergency Room. Checked in at 12:30a and went through numerous tests (EKG, chest x-ray, heart enzymes, ultrasound, etc.) My heart rate was way out of range - too rapid and too irregular. They got me all wired up, IVed, oxygenated, and drugged; I was able to get to sleep about 4a. I was awakened (and startled) for the next few hours by a variety of nurses conducting more tests, taking blood pressure, and adjusting the IV. I enjoyed some good heart-healthy food, visited with friends, and watched the OSU and OU football games. At about 3:30p in the afternoon, my heart got back to normal - medical phrase: my heart 'converted to a sinus rhythm'. Turns out there was an electrical glitch in the system and weird signals had been sent to my heart. A nurse came into the room at about 8:00 that night and told me I could go home soon. What a relief. I was discharged about 9p that night and went home to rest. All okay now but some scary moments on the plane and in the ER. I am awed by and grateful for the technology, wisdom, and experience of the medical profession. i October 11
Update: Had a consultation with my doctor who had reviewed all the test results and the notes from the cardiologist. Verdict: my heart is very healthy. This was apparently a fluke occurrence based on a variety of factors that coincided and caused wrong electrical signals to be sent to the heart.
Health Care Reform update: the final bill for the 21 hours in the hospital is over $17,000. I witnessed the inefficiency of health care - no one had any incentive to save money, I have received 24 sheets of invoice documents and 6 separate bills - one of which came 3 months after the hospital stay. I hope health care reform will address administrative inefficiency and unnecessary charges. October 15
Me and some drunk passerby, club patron, or vice cop - I just don't remember. Curiously, it looks like we're singing something. Jim taking a short nap on 42nd Street.
To respond to numerous requests for more information about the Lace strip club in New York City (8th Avenue, just north of 42nd Street):
• Yes, you might get special treatment if you mention my name. That can range from a waived cover charge to a stud discount in one of the back rooms. However, if you do mention my name, be aware that they know me only as Rod Thrustenberger.
• In the reference above, I mistyped - Lace is not a strip club, its a Gentleman's Club or Gentlemen's Club (its spelled both ways on the signs in the foto). As far as I can tell, a Gentlemen's Club is just a strip club with better cocktail glasses.
• Please keep in mind, I was there only to assess the design of the Lace logo (as seen on the awning canopy in the foto). Anything I know about what goes on inside is only from stories I've read and heard. BTW: the logo is awesomely superb. I think.
While in New York City for fall break, I spent several hours at the Museum of Modern Art. I took a break at the Terrace Cafe on the fifth floor and looking out on a spectacular fall day in Manhattan. I had a lunch of bread, coffee, and organic deviled eggs: black caviar, pickled red onions, and herb creme fraiche. I don't usually eat caviar (hardly ever) but I love deviled eggs and splurged on this. They were delicious. I ate all but one before I decided I better get a picture of a caviar deviled egg. The foto on the right is how I stacked my dishes for the server.
I had gone out to eat with a group of nice people. Apparently, each of us had been trained to not take the last piece of food. Shown is our plate of cheese and fruit appetizers with one small bite of each item left on the plate. Jill then cut each of these pieces in half, so there would be no more 'last pieces'. So, we each could eat another bit of appetizer (we even took turns going around the table).
Monday morning, the mail arrived and included a package from the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. Inside was a plaque and letter stating that I had been nominated and won an award - Golden Apple Outstanding Educator of the Year - from the 2008-09 DSVC National Student Show and Conference. I'm not real sure how it happened but I am very grateful to the students who nominated me. It is a nice finale to the year of teaching full-time at OSU.
Purged the house and office and it feels so good to get rid of crap. More info
Manhattan (the dog) got sick in Manhattan (the city). Months ago she chewed off her collar and apparently swallowed a few pieces. Those pieces eventually wound up in her intestine where they bunched up and blocked her intestine completely. She spent a day and nite vomiting bile. She didn't drink nor eat for about 30 hours. I took her to the vet at 7:59 (it opened at 8:00) and they began a long process of assessment - x-rays, ultrasound, and finally, surgery to remove the blockages. The surgeon cut into her stomach and two places in her intestine. She was away from home from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. I was frightened that something would happen to her as something happened to Austin, my first greyhound who died while undergoing surgery. But, all went well. I went to visit her in the hospital a couple of times, just two subway stops from my naberhood. I also wanted her to feel a sense of familiarity and comfort. I was very impressed with the vet in Battery Park City, the surgeons at the hospital, and the staff in both places. Everyone was very caring, competent, and professional. A tough experience that I am glad is over. We now have a week of a special diet, rest, and healing. The fotos below are of the animal hospital in Tribeca, just south of Canal Street. i June 7 2009
So, Thursday evening of spring break, 8:10p, March 19 2009, I was wandering around Times Square. I had gone to get a ticket to 39 Steps, a funny comedy; I decided not to and, instead, just walked around with the flow of the crowds. I went into the Marriott hotel to use the bathroom. When I came out, there was a small crowd across 45th Street, right at the end of Shubert Alley, next to a couple of Broadway theaters. Several men held shoulder mounted video cameras and others had some 35mm cameras with pretty good-sized lens. I stopped to see what was going on. Two of the people in the crowd moved towards me and stood right in front of me, within inches. I was a bit baffled. I looked at their faces. One was Matthew Broderick. The other was Sarah Jessica Parker, his wife. I looked down at her scalp - she is a short woman. They both looked sad. There were a few other people near us that I recognized. Very familiar faces, including her mother, Vanessa Redgrave. Then it occurred to me what was likely going on. They were friends of Natasha Richardson who had just died. As I learned later that night, the lights of Broadway theaters were dimmed for one minute in honor of the actress. This group was standing at the best place in Manhattan to see the most theaters. There are about 6 or 8 theaters within sight of the spot where we were. I suspect the lights were dimmed while I was inside the Marriott. Then a tall man came up and hugged Sarah (is it Sarah or Sarah Jessica?) She whispered, "Thank you, Liam. How are you?" Liam Neeson, Natasha's husband. He, too, was sad. "15 years." He kept saying, fifteen years - they were married in 1994. The crowd of celebs took turns hugging and kissing him. One of the well-known faces asked him what he was going to do now. He said he was going to an Irish bar and get a drink. "You know, a traditional Irish wake." Broderick asked him where. He wasn't sure. This was going on all around me. I just stood still, right in the middle while we were circled by the photographers. The footage was aired on the news later that night. With one goofy looking Okie right in the middle. One videographer bumped over and around me - probably hoping that I would move. I didn't. I was tempted to pull out my iPhone and snap some pictures but I didn't want to look like the other tourists around who were sticking their phone cameras into our circle. Liam gave a few more hugs then walked off down Shubert Alley with a friend. The photographers didn't follow him. They left him alone.
This is a foto of St. Mergerie, sitting reverently on my dashboard. She is the Patron Saint of Freeway On-ramps. I pray to her each time I am entering a freeway and about to merge into the traffic (while driving a car). She clears a path and provides great peace of mind for me. When I first saw this statuette at a dollar store in Dallas, I assumed it was entitled, 'Do these painted flowers make my face look fat?' I soon learned her true calling. I keep this delicately painted icon right on the dash, both as a reminder to have faith in her power and also so she has a clear view of traffic. Hail St. Mergerie.
TravelPants at the Wes Watkins New Product Fair: I wore a pair of the dark blue prototype pants to demonstrate to visitors to the table and the judges. The pants were awarded a check for $100 and the morning fair at OSU was a lot of fun - saw some other great products and met some neat inventive people.
I am confused by the name, Little Bo Peep. Did Mr. & Mrs. Peep name their tiny daughter 'Bo' or did they name her 'Little Bo'? Is Bo even a good name for a girl? The Peeps? See, this kind of stuff baffles me. Here it is 2:30 in the morning and I'm awake and confused by this name (and why would anyone name someone Humpty Dumpty). I checked online to find out how to contact the Peeps (I thought I would just ask them why they chose that name) but could only find businesses named Peeps. One was an insurance agency and the other was a restaurant in Florida - Le Peep.
Homecoming at Oklahoma State University
TOP: Walkaround on Friday evening. University Avenue was closed to traffic and it filled up with hundreds of people, food booths, vendors, photos of Pistol Pete at Theta Pond, and more - it was like the state fair or a carnival without rides. The highlight is viewing the elaborate animated and pomped house decorations at 12 fraternity houses. Earlier in the week, I helped judge the sign competition on the Library Lawn and the same theme was carried out on the HouseDecs.
BOTTOM LEFT: At the front deck of a pita shop on the Washington Strip, I stopped off to get a beer. I got to chatting and joking around with the guy selling the beer. When he needed to go get more beer to put in the tub, he left me in charge of selling beer. Cool, I can do that. What I wasn't prepared for was the line of people that would periodically form. I would reach in the tub of ice to get their beer, check IDs when necessary, open it with the opener, take their money, and make change. I just stuffed wads of bills in my pocket. When he got back, he counted up the money I had in my pocket - it was about $130. It was a lot of fun.
BOTTOM RIGHTS: At the football game on Saturday. A beautiful day for college football. Some good plays and good action. OSU beat the Baylor Bears and moved up in the BCS ranking the next day from #8 to #6.
Every year the AIGA, the national organization for design, awards medals to outstanding individuals and firms that have made a significant contribution to design. Another award given is for AIGA Fellows - I was nominated by the Oklahoma chapter and participated in the 2008 The AIGA Design Legends Gala in New York City in September 2008.
Links: Info on the Gala, the Fellows, Jim's page
Held at the Chelsea Piers, with Hudson Bay and New Jersey in the background. Socializing before dinner.
Posters and prints for the silent auction. I won a print by Deborah Sussman of her graphics program for the LA Olympics in 1984 and a print by Clement Mok, one of the evening's medal recipients. The dinner with speakers and presentations.
The Fellow awards. The Fellows.
Drove from Oklahoma to New York City again, for the fourth time. This trip, however, I had two dogs - Vegas and Manhattan. I broke the trip into 3 days instead of 2 since neither dog really likes traveling in the car and their sedation pills were good for only 8 hours (its a 24 hour trip). We stayed in our usual cities of Effingham IL and Washington PA - both towns with great history and plenty of travel amenities. But I barely remember the drive because I was listening to an audiobook, iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It about Steve Wozniak, the brains behind Apple computer. It is a fascinating read (or listen). I highly recommend it. Woz is a problem solver, strives to make things better, and seeks clarity and efficiency; thus, he's a designer - of the premier kind. He covers his career at Hewlett-Packard working on calculators, the Homebrew Computer Club, the beginning of Apple with Steve Jobs, his airplane crash, the US Festival, the first universal remote control, and more. The book is $3.00 on Amazon.
I have turned off the ringer on my landline phone at home. I have a recorded message that just says "I don't answer this phone anymore. Please call me on my cell." I had reached my lifetime quota of tolerating telemarketing spiels. I was never quite comfortable with hanging up on a sales rep so I would sit through the scripted pitch. But no more. Its also quite nice to not hear the phone ring at home anymore.
The fall 2007 History of Graphic Design class dressed up for Halloween - in a truly scary costume - Dr. Watson's uniform. What a hoot.
The City of Edmond opened a new hike/bike trail a block from my house. It starts at Fink Park (that's really the name of the park) and winds along a creek, behind Target and Lowe's and over to Hafer Park. I walk the dogs there almost every day.
So I was walking somewhere in New York and saw a slogan or title that said - 'Power Up'. It occurred to me that Power Up backwards spells Pure Wop. Now, I'm not real sure what Pure Wop is (or even wop that isn't pure) but there must be some cosmic connection there. Power Up to Pure Wop. Maybe like 'give someone a wop upside the head'. And a powerful wop, at that. Just something to think about.
I also wonder if, somewhere in the universe, there is a woman named Pam Yawbus. Google found no such name. But Pam Yawbus is Subway Map backwards. That just can't be a coincidence. I suspect it is some sort of code used by transit workers (or the Yawbus family while in New York). There is likely some deeper meaning that is just not obvious to us mere mortals. More shit to think about.
People were talking behind me at the skeptics conference in Las Vegas. It was distracting, rude, and inconsiderate. Without thinking, I wanted to glare at them, hush them, or walk up to them and ask them to keep it down. I wanted to control those around me to suit me. Yikes. How disgusting. Instead, I thought more deeply and realized my life would be better (and theirs) if I just accepted what was happening, adapted to the new environment, and turned my attention back to the conference speaker. Those previously annoying voices now just became part of the environment, like air conditioning noise, coughs, rustling of papers, and scooting of chairs. That makes so much more sense. I felt so much better. Why, I wondered, was I conditioned to try to control so much around me? Seeking some control is normal and healthy for survival. Seeking to change threatening situations or those that impair good things from happening for the society is probably good. But there's a limit. Sometimes it makes the most sense to just accept, adapt, and move on.
Saw Martin Short on Broadway in Fame Becomes Me. I have never laughed harder nor longer in my life and, depressingly, I don't think I will ever laugh this hard again. For me and comedy, its now all downhill. At one point, I was about to leave and go to the lobby to stop laughing - I was making myself ill from laughing so much.
Not sure what it means - this is just a neat picture of my notepad, pen, and glasses by a cup of coffee and a glare from the north-facing windows overlooking NYU on Houston Street. Shot at Aroma, a coffee shop in SoHo.
Spent a great weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My nephew, Jimmy, was being initiated into the Sigma Chi Fraternity on Saturday morning. His father (my brother) and I are both members of Sigma Chi (we were also each presidents of our respective chapters). I arrived on campus Friday afternoon, walked the campus a bit, had lunch in the Union, then spent the afternoon doing research on Fay Jones, a renowned practitioner and proponent of organic architecture. His most famous project is the Thorncrown Chapel outside of Eureka Springs. Mr. Jones had donated his collection of drawings, plans, models, and personal slide collection to the U of A library. Housed in the Special Collections, the Fay Jones Papers are an incredible resource and Ellen and Greta were extremely helpful and kind - allowing me to peruse the database of images, look thru drawings and photograph the models. It was a lot of fun. I even stopped in briefly at Greta's going-away reception later that evening. I also had the pleasure of meeting Fay Jones' 92-year-old teacher and the founder of the Architecture program at UA, John Williams. Later, I met up with my brother at the historic Inn at Carnall Hall on campus. A former women's dormitory, it is now a delightful inn. We had a drink in rocking chairs on the porch and then drove around Fayetteville, seeing and photoing Jones sites including his home, office, and structures he designed. Dinner was at the strip of campus hangouts.
Foto: me, nephew Jimmy, and brother Steve at the fraternity house
In the evening we walked across the street from the hotel to join in the evening initiation event. Jimmy did not know we were in town, yet. Saturday morning after breakfast, we walked back over to the Sigma Chi house for the Initiation Ceremony. It was a real treat. It was verbatim to what I had experienced in 1969. As president, I had to recite (some from memory) much of the ceremony. Floods of memories came back. My brother put the fraternity pin on his son while I stood next to him. It was a great morning, meeting the brothers in Arkansas and reliving great college days.
Two months and 5 days, 66 days total - my summer in New York City is coming to a close - for the moment. This has been one of the best summers of my life. It ranks right up there with the 4 summers that I worked at Six Flags as a Ride Operator and the summer when I was 8 or 12 and I slept in my underwear so that in the morning I could simply step into my shorts (that were on the floor next to the bed) and a tee-shirt. I was ready to go play with my friends all day. Interrupted only by my mother calling me in for lunch and by my father who, after dark, came outside to tell us that "tomorrow would be another day" and to come in and get ready for bed. This summer, 2006, was as good as that. Even though my mom didn't prepare my lunch and my dad didn't remind me when to go to bed. But still, they are responsible for my being able to enjoy this summer so much.
I sure do put a lot of trust in strangers. The Interstate is full of people I never met who are in control of huge powerful machines that can cause havoc if not maintained and manipulated properly. All of these other people were trusting that I, too, was operating my hard driving machine (not that, I mean the car) in a safe manner. There are so many opportunities for accidental encounters that could be dangerous - I'm amazed there aren't more wrecks.
Basically, I am a pacifist. I prefer not to kill. I'll even catch bugs and release them outside rather than squash them. I am opposed to the death penalty and to aborting fetuses. But, as much as I strive to love all creatures, I absolutely hate mosquitoes, yes - hate, detest, abhor. They are miserable little creatures. I enjoy killing them. I can't find any positive value to the planet from these damn things. I do not understand why Noah did not swat that one pair of mosquitoes when he had the chance and save all the rest of us from the misery of bites and malaria. Damn you, Noah.
I was sitting at the Border's Books on 59th and Lexington (I had just come from seeing the Frank Gehry collection of jewelry at Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue). I was watching people meander around the store when one person approached this narrow passage, stood on the floor, and the floor moved. First it moved her forward about two feet (her feet didn't move) and then - and I'm not making this up - the floor she was standing on began to move up at an angle, like a staircase but she didn't have to climb the steps. By golly, she just stood there. What a great invention that is. You stand on the floor, don't move, and the floor takes you up to the next level. You just stand there. Holy cow. What's next - a small room that goes straight up and down?
The other day, I got inside a machine that I store at my house in a special room. I sat in a comfortable adjustable chair and by moving my feet and arms this machine smoothly transported me to wherever I guided it to go. I sat in a lounge chair, in a climate-controlled environment, and listened to music on a custom sound system of songs that I had programmed earlier. I was quite comfortable and without having to exert much energy, I was transported to stores and restaurants, all in a matter of minutes. I call this amazing machine my PTU, Personal Transit Unit. What a great age we live in. We no longer have to walk or ride a horse to get around.
FOUL - that's the new acronym i have created for my life. Foul. It stands for fat, old, ugly, and lazy. I find it very liberating. People don't expect as much from someone who is fat, old, ugly, and lazy (or just foul). With lowered expectations comes less disappointment. I no longer have to be concerned with my weight, my appearance, or how long i stay in bed napping and reading the newspaper.
I realized I am no longer 'getting old'. I am old. Yep, it happened while I wasn't looking. Out of the blue, Pow. Just like that. If I had been given some advance notice I might have done something about it. Or maybe not. But, sure enuf, I'm old. But its okay. I can now get by with a lot more stuff - I can bitch and gripe about current events and politics; exude any manner of bodily noises; display cranky behavior; get up and walk away from any function without reason; forget birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates; pepper conversations with terms such as proctology, urology, probing, and colonoscopy; and dress myself without caring - polyester is now acceptable, my socks don't need to match, and mixing conflicting patterns is expected.
I just authorized the euthanasia of my dog, Dallas. I signed one form. Now I wonder - why is it socially acceptable and even encouraged that we euthanize our pets to end their suffering, yet it is illegal to show the same respect and consideration for our human friends? Is it because we are more sensitive to our pets needs? Is it partly because we don't compromise any religious values killing pets? I don't know, but this makes me more sympathetic to the cause of allowing terminally ill people to die with dignity at their own choosing.
Showing the credits for a movie after the movie has begun is like putting a picture behind text in a print ad. Its annoying - if the director wants me to get into the picture, don't interrupt with stuff to read - stuff that I don't need or even want to read. And if the director wants me to read these credits, don't interrupt them with dialogue, visuals, or plot. I came to see a movie. Boosting the egos of the production crew and stars is useless. Let me just watch the movie. If I really care or want to know who the cinematographer, costume designer, or grip was, I'll sit through the credits at the end.
Last Wensday evening, I was brutally attacked by a kitchen cabinet door. I had left it open earlier in the day. I got home after dark and was running from/with the dogs and thru the kitchen when, Wham, the dang door attacked. It was ruthless. It showed no mercy - even seemed to enjoy the victory. I was KO'd. Truly a surprise attack since we had been, so I thought, on very peaceful terms before this vicious incident. I thought, "Wow, what was that?" I had walked thru here for over 10 years and never had an incident. I had to steady myself for a moment. The dogs were smirking. But I don't blame them. I feel certain they did not set this up. No, this was clearly some conspiracy of a hate crime perpetrated by cabinetry in the kitchen. To show my superior military and problem solving skills, I duct-taped the door shut. It probably didn't need to be, but I wanted to make clear who was the stronger opponent. I snuck up on it with a strip of tape ready and slammed it shut before it knew what was happening. Thank God for duct tape. It is how guys repair anything. Women talk and cry, we grab the tape. Some men even keep one roll by the bed, one in the car, and one at work. I'm convinced there were would be less divorce and marital strife if couples would agree to use duct tape more freely and, well, to install urinals in the bathroom. Men will never put the seat back down, get used to it ladies; but a urinal would mean the toilet seat would never again be an issue of marital discord (or cohabitation discord). Women could even duct tape the seat down. Men would respect and honor that.
Thoughts/sensory input are often distorted or misinterpreted when processed in the mind. We remember the unusual, forget the usual. The average human being experiences about 1 million events a month. The odds are great that at least one of those events will be quite weird, unexplainable, beyond one's realm of understanding. Some may see that as a 'miracle', others just understand the law of averages and the inability of the human brain to be able to explain everything it experiences. Rationality can lead to a better, more satisfying, and more fulfilling life.
'Lucky' people see opportunities. If there's a puddle in sidewalk, kids will jump right in (and enjoy it). Adults will not only walk around, but bitch about it as they do. Results come, not from what you say or do, but from what you think, feel, and believe. You need no excuse to feel good.
Celebrate life. Visualize, see it as it is. Then visualize it as better than it is, and work to make that happen. Whatever you focus on feels real. Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. We too often focus on what we're afraid of.
At Disneyland and in LA, I took a walk in Walt's footsteps: houses and early studios. An incredible experience. Walt Disney is one of my role models, a mentor - his imagination, vision, talent, and persuasiveness to get things accomplished. I had been a fan since watching the Disneyland TV show, visiting Disneyland in 1956, watching the Mickey Mouse Club, and enjoying his many movies. So, here I was in LA at the site of his first home (he moved in with an uncle after he moved west from Kansas City) and three blocks down the street was the first storefront studio that he and his brother Roy opened - Disney Bros. Studio. I walked those three blocks twice seeing houses that Walt saw, wondering what his imagination was thinking while he made that walk every day.
In Griffith Park, I saw the carousel where Walt sat and watched his daughters ride in the early 1950s. It was amazing to be in the same spot, almost unchanged, where he was inspired to create Disneyland. I drove the route he probably took from his home to the park.
Value of travel, seeing new places. At times, in LA, I felt out of place - such a different lifestyle. Once I slowed down and sat in a sidewalk cafe overlooking the Venice Beach boardwalk and the beach and the breaking waves; I felt better. This was what travel is about - new input and inspiration from experiences one can't get or won't get at home. - Venice Beach
Disneyland - what a phenomenal place, manufactured to be comfortable, satisfying, and exciting. I enjoyed it on several levels: reminiscing about visiting it for the first time in 1956 with the family - I could spot the locations where we had taken pictures of the three boys; appreciating the attention to detail, storytelling, and craftsmanship of the Disney imagineers; and just having fun. - Anaheim
Spent some time with boring people - made me a bit uncomfortable and sad for them - how one can have so little enthusiasm in this great city.
Really touching to see Yoko Ono up close - we passed each other during intermission. She got up onstage and danced to Give Peace a Chance at the end of the new musical Lennon.
Felt sorta useless until I started doing some serious writing on essays for the website. That was the original intent for having an apartment in NY - inspiration and focus on writing. Now, its happening. It is such a thrill to wait in a hot subway station, anticipating the air conditioned cars but hoping you won't have to stand in a crowd, then looking into the car as it pulls in and seeing three empty seats - room to sit with one on either side for breathing room. Glorious. - New York
Good week in NY. The ICFF - Furniture Fair - was outstanding. Lots of great ideas. I want to get home and put some of them into practice. Felt encouraged about my design sense. Sunset along the Hudson Esplanade made me want to come back in two weeks - the water, boats, joggers, walkers, Statue view. Decided not to. Need to get work done in OK.
It is tuff to leave NY. I rarely feel satisfied or ready to go to Oklahoma. When will I move to NY? I do like being in NY - lots of factors - deaths of friends and parents in Dallas. Replacing hometown of Dallas with new hometown of NYC. Energy and inspiration in NY.
Gettin' into the flow. There is a fluid energy that permeates the city - there is a beat, a rhythm, that should be tapped into. If not, its easy to bump into people, to be a nuisance, to be like a tourist. But, once the rhythm is established and one gets into that groove, once can navigate tight openings in crowds, cross streets without disrupting traffic.
Listening to music on the iPod makes the entire environment seem a bit surreal. Sometimes the music fits the people, the pace, the activity. Sometimes it defies those things. Either way the music puts a unique twist on the reality of the here and now that is going on. - New York
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