Hey wow. I didn’t expect people to respond to that last post since I haven’t written anything here in over a year. It’s cool to see that there is still a community going.
So thanks for the advice, but a five year long creative block is not so easily broken. Maybe I did do what I “should” do, but in the process I flushed my greatest talent down the toilet. I chose between going to SCAD and going to GA Tech and I choose the practical route. A lot of this decision had to do with the economic struggles I’ve seen my family go through. I didn’t want to repeat their mistakes. So now I’ve done it. I’ve achieved material wealth, but I feel totally unfulfilled. I really wish I’d given myself a change to succeed in the place that I felt was my calling. I’m honestly ashamed and embarrassed about my decision and that’s why I can’t put pencil to paper any more. It feels like a joke… some sad sickly twisted pale shadow of what could have been.
It probably would be a good idea to submit to an art show although all my pieces would be at least 5 years old. I took some pictures of my best stuff and I’ll e-mail them to the organizers.
I do have some creative outlets. I do improv comedy with two local organizations (JaCKPie and Dad’s Garage). I run the Black Box Improv Festival. I run AtlantaImprov.com. But improv is really more of a distraction than a creative outlet. The main goal is to be funny, not express your deepest emotions. Given the fact that improv is not all that fulfilling for me, one might wonder why I delicate so much time to it. I guess it’s the laughter. It keeps me balanced. I haven’t felt seriously depressed since I started improvising. But for that to be my sole outlet is kind of like restricting my diet to nothing but caffeine and sugar. I need a balanced diet. And my day job… well, that’s like eating plain oatmeal. I spend at least an hour out of every day at work staring off into space. I don’t necessarily hate it. Honestly I think it would be hard for me to find a better company to work for in my field, but it’s not the life I envisioned for myself. And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I could find a better job, but even then would I feel any more fulfilled? It would probably be more like adding some cinnamon and sugar to the oatmeal – still not a balanced diet.
You may think I’m selfish. Why should I be so fortunate as to be allowed to fulfill my dreams when so may are never even given the chance? When so many can be relatively happy without what I consider a balanced diet? Let’s think about art for a moment. Art is very distinctly a human characteristic. No other animal on this plant creates it and not only do we create it, we surround ourselves with it – from the music we listen to the décor of our houses to the clothes we wear to the cars we drive to the billboards we see to the architecture of our buildings to the pictures on the very money we spend… we are swimming in a sea of art! At some point in human history, we, as a species, developed this propensity for art and it has propelled us to build empires. That same drive exists in me and you, but there is a genetic leash. That is why Beethoven was a musician, Picasso was a painter, Jordan was an athlete, and Shakespeare was a playwright. Had they switched professions, none of them would have been as successful as they were. I am an artist and I knew it from a very young age. Although I have sustenance I am not satisfied. I need to create in order to have all the fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and meats I require to be fulfilled.
And in the end what really kills me isn't the fact that I didn't succeed in the profession I felt was my calling, it's that I never even gave myself the chance to succeed.
May. 28th, 2008 @ 05:10 pm
I've had a creative block for years now. It's been one long steady decline. No more writting, poetry, drawing, painting.... I don't even read or listen to music any more. It's like the Nothing came and swallowed up my Fantasia, leaving me a souless husk of what I once was.
I wonder how many other people feel that way. I'm sure there are plenty. My compass for determining the cause of this creative drout seem off, but my suspicions turn me to all the resposibilities I've gained as an adult. They're nothing extra ordinary - bills, taxes, loan payments, job... or maybe its my education - all the flexing of the logical left brain at GA Tech drained the strength from my normally overactive creative left brain.
Either way, the path I'm on continues to further ring the creative juices from my body. I wish I could do something to stop this transformation... something extreme -- like change my identity and move to an island in the South Pasific. Instead I get up every morning, look in the mirror and recognize my reflection less and less each time.
Maybe I'm being overdramatic. This is a common (probably even trite) experience. Afterall, I'm a lucky guy. I'm young. I'm pulling down 50k. I'm living in a country that has the world's largest GDP when I could've been born a helpless child in a war torn country begging for my next meal.
Still on the seldom ocassions I do take the time to ask myself how I'm feeling, this emptiness comes tumbling out.
1,000 years ago in London, the life expectancy was 25. 1,000 years before that it was only 18.
Life expectancy for those born in 1900 in the United States was 47 years. At the end of the century it was 77 years, an increase of 57%
I just finished watching this extraordinary program on PBS called The Boomer Century
. It focused on how over the past half century, society has had to shift around the Baby Boomer Generation. For someone whose been feeling incredibly confused about his role in society, it gave me a much better understanding of why things are the way they are. The program took the viewer from the idealized values and conformity of the 1950's to our modern life full of endless choices and then on to what may possibly lie ahead. I'll just hit a few highlights and to let you draw some conclusions of your own.
The feminist movement's gift has been a generation of fathers that are closer to their children.
Middlessance is the awkward transition between middle age and old age. This new transitional period has been brought on by our increased life span.
Germany became the first nation in the world to adopt an old-age social insurance program in 1889, designed by Germany's Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. It was set at 65. When put in perspective with modern life expectancy, it would be like giving retirement benefits at 97, however most retirment benifts still kick in at 65.
Unless this traditionally selfish Boomer generation begins to pay off it's debt and develop a system to deal with the comin health care crisis, the coming generations will suffer under it's enormous burden. (I found this website full of scary stuff - The Coming Crash
The combination of the sexual and feminist revolutions, increased life expectancy, and the self-empowering ideals of the Boomer generation have resulted in the growing failure of traditional marriage. This new trend most negatively affects the children of divorced parents.
The biggest thing that I've come to understand better is why romantic relationships don't last. For the most part, I've held true to the ideals of a hopeless romantic. Yes, I too dream of having kids with my wife in my nice suburban home. However, by looking into the past at my failed relationships and by looking to a very uncertain future, I am realizing just how unlikely and unwise that all is.
- There are two particular good reasons not to have children
- This country has a very unstable financial future. A stock market crash seem almost emanate.
- There is a very real potential for overpopulation on a global scale. This crisis threats to strain the natural resources to a breaking point.
- People just aren't willing to put forth the effort into relationships in order to make them work for the long term. Not that I begrudge people for that. Society has simply changed. It is easier to be independent rather than co-dependant. Hopefully our ideals will also adjust accordingly, because right now they are definitely antiquated and trying to adhere to them can cause a lot of heart ache.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. I need to prepare for my trip to the Latin American Sale Meeting tomorrow in Ft. Lauderdale. I'd love to hear other people's comments on these subjects.
work hard, study hard
save save save save
buzz buzz buzz
buzz buzz buzz
war war war war
the housing market
Korea Iraq Iran
buzz buzz buzz
sex drugs GOD!
what it take to be a good person
when there is no black and white.
A glodal perspective
within an indiviual life.
I wrote this list earlier today:In my new life I will...
take multi-vitamin each day.
go to the gym everyday before work.
bush and floss my teeth before bed.
show up to work on time.
try to meet new people.
eat a bowl of frosted mini-wheats for breakfast.
not drink too much.
save 10% of my income.
Tommorrow I move into my new apartment.
On a recently aired program of THE INFINITE MIND
on the topic of satisfaction, I heard this:Host:
I want to ask each of you what you'd recommend to our listeners that they might do to increase there level of satisfaction with their lives.
Dr. Berry Schwatz:
Develop realistic expectations about how good the result of decisions will be. Choose when to choose. Be willing to give up choice in certain areas of life. Ask your friend what restaurant to go to or what digital camera to buy. Don't feel the need always to present your self with options and then figure out which option to choose. Make non-reversible decisions rather than always wanting to keep your options open. And regret decisions less.
Dr. David Myers:
Just to mention two or three points here... One is aerobic exercise turns out to be a powerful antidote to mild depression and anxiety. I would also advocate placing greater priority on close relationships; investing in those relationships that matter; nurture them just as we nurture our careers and our bank accounts; recognising, however, that our dispositions, even our happiness is on something of a genetic leash. And so there is no easy panacea for happiness.
I found this very interesting and if youdo as well, I recommend you listen to the progam on-line.
The least disgusting, yet the most unpleasant symptom - the fever - past last night, but I'm still ridiculously congested. Wouldn't you know that this flu/cold waited to strike during the brief period where I don't have insurance. But I'm looking forward to my new job. The 30% salary increase can't hurt. Recent changes: new job at TOTO USA
, new apartment just south oh of ATL, Mom and sister are moving back to Texas with out my step-dad, became VP/Tresure of The Basement Theatre, and (supposedly) finally put an end to my on again off again relationship with my ex-girlfriend. Honestly, I needed this transition. I was pretty unhappy. I joined Blockbuster On-line and have been watching the First season of Six Feet Under. Good Stuff... This weekend I'll be in North Carolina at the Dirty South Improv Festival. It'll be my forth time attending this event. For the past two days, there has been water flowing up out of the earth and down the streets between apartments in my complex. Tonight 's low is 23 degrees... It will be no fun to drive on that ice in the morning. Hopefully, they will fix this water main break soon and without having to turn off my water off too long.
Every weekday, a single ear bud pumps NPR station WABE and/or New Talk WSB into the auditory center of my brain as I sit in the best posture I can muster and click away on my CAD machine. I sometime worry I'll get an ear infection - maybe I should switch to a headphones... or would that be to uncomfortable? I protect the world from polluted rivers, poisoned water, and burning building just to name a few of the hazards I work to prevent. Mom and dad are proud. My apartment stays clean. Everything in it's place. Although, I do not vacuum or wash my dishes and clothing nearly as often as I should. I bought a GPS navigation system, but it loses satellites reception more often the I find agreeable. I'm going to return that little cutting edge piece of technology form whence it came - Amazon.com. I'll watch President Bush address the nation tonight and carefully listen to see if he uses the word "surge." Yesterday, I watched NOVA Science Now. It was an incredibly interesting show. If you are anorexic cover your ear for this next part. New studies indicate that you can dramatically increase your life span by reducing your caloric intake by 30-40% and yes! the space elevator is possible. For better or worse, here is to inescapable, always useful technology and one last good bye to Crese, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Astraea, Hebe, Iris, Flora, Metis, Hygiea, Parthenope, Victoria, Egeria, Irene, Eunomia, and lastly but not least Pluto.
Dec. 3rd, 2006 @ 11:59 pm
Well so much for my previous statements recommitting myself to this journal... Anyway, it's definitely been a weekend worthy of an entry. First off, the artistic director of our theatre at GA Tech had a sudden heart attack and passed away on Friday. I didn't know him on a personal level, but have worked with him closely producing my festival the passed three years and when I was production manager of the theatre's improv troupe. Needless to say he was a great guy and will be sorely missed. I immediately think of my grandmother's passing. As you may know, I wasn't raised in a traditional family. Until my mother remarried when I was ten, I had mostly been raised by my grandmother and aunt. Without getting into too much history... When my grandmother died thirteen years ago, certain numbness came over me that has never completely washed away. When I was delivered this recent news, I felt nothing. I remembered the time my family spent waiting as my grandmother lied in a coma for weeks after her stroke. Similarly, I felt nothing. I tried to force myself to mourn; forced myself to cry... I put on a show to prove to myself that I cared, but I didn't. I guess I'm still broken in that way - "emotionally unavailable."
Today, I spent sometime with my father and it was utterly miserable. A few weeks ago I told him I wouldn't give him any more money and I've actually stuck to it. That man deserves nothing from me. He was never there for me and his situation is his own fault. I honestly wish he'd disappear again so I could stop being disgusted by him. I picked him up in Bankhead, his latest place of temporary residence and one of Atlanta's worst neighborhoods. There were people all over the streets, staring, trying to walk up to my car, yelling at me as I passed by. Every other house had its window bordered up... Scary place. As I pretended to listen to my father carry on about his latest string of bad luck, I took him to pick up one of his bags from a strange house on Clermont Rd. and then to a bush next to the old Home Depot off of Sidney Markus where he'd hidden more of his stuff in plastic bags. Then we spent three hours trying to track down a guy that owed my dad $240. When we finally found him, he said he'd give the money to my dad on the 10th. As I took my dad back to Bankhead, he again asked me to borrow money and I refused. After all, over the passed year I've already "lent" him $1000's and nothing has come of it. So in case you've ever wondered, that's what it's like to have a crack head for a dad. If you asked me why I even bother at all with him, I couldn't give you a straight answer.
If you can imagine, there is yet another topic which weighs even heavier on my mind than anything I've mentioned above, but it's too personal to mention here. Is it any wonder I'm "emotionally unavailable." I really feel like I just want to crawl in to a hole until it all goes away, but that not a realistic solution. However it may explain why I haven't been very social lately. Not that I've been particularly depressed or anything. I've enjoyed my solitude. There are just times I wish I didn't have such deep seeded issues when it comes to dealing with people. I wish I could be more relaxed and open and more capable of developing longer lasting relationships with my friend instead of pushing them away so often. I supposed now that I'm realizing I've got these problem I can start trying to fix them... knowing half the battle, right? Unfortunately, I have a very bad memory.
I've never consider myself to be a natural leader. I feel uncomfortable when people follow me. I am more of a loner - seldomly chasing trends or trying to please others. I suppose this stems from being an only child and having few (if any) friends through out my boyhood. I was moved from school to school every year or so, never developing any permanent bonds with anyone. Even the people I consider to be my parents changed a few times. As I get older, I see how overly valued independent thinking is. People flock to independent thinkers and I often find myself in leadership positions. I've always enjoyed challenges to pass the time that is my life, but now I see myself as taking on too much. I've got people pulling at me in this direction and that... I feel over whelmed, as though I'm losing myself trying to please too many people. I often think of moving away, starting new in a place where I can once again be anonymous, but would that be continuing that same unhealthy learned behavior of avoiding any sense of permanence. I find myself thinking a lot about what I value the most - is it my relationship with my siginifigant other? is it improv comedy? my family? my friends? my career? my independence? ... I need to make some life decisions soon, so that I can have focus and direction instead of spreading my self too thin, try to do too much.
Today, I've been sick - allergies and sinus infection. I feel quite horrible, but It's given me the time to shrug off my responsibilities for one day and just think - what do I want to do with my life? not an uncommon question, but one I feel is closing in on me.
Improv has made me happy. It has been a constantly stabilizing force for someone who can otherwise be somewhat manic depressive. Laughter is the best medicine, right? but it leaves me unsatisfied. Similar to the way an anti-depressant can change your personality in unwanted ways, so has my obsession with improv comedy changed me. I don't leisurely write, read, paint, or draw anymore. If I were to dedicate my life to improv, what would be the ends be compared to worldly travelers, political figures, and solders of fortune? On the whole, improv just isn't that important and restricts my self-expression to a punchline.
All the other questions I've been prodding myself with are much more personal and should be left to a more private forum, but I think you get the gist. You might glean from this writing that I'm a tortured soul, but in reality I've just got a lot on my mind. I tend to write when I'm contemplative and/or melancholy. I hope all is well with all of you out there and I apologize if I haven't given you enough of the attention you surely deserve.
I wrote a poem in that last entry. I haven't written a poem in so long... I've always felt that art should be selfish, otherwise it becomes tainted with what you think other people want you to create instead of what truly comes from within. I've felt like I've had writer's block for a while now and I suppose it's because I've felt guilty for being selfish. I spend a lot of time on stage now-a-days, perfoming in improv comedy show - an artform that requires an audience to exist. It has somewhat changed my opinion of what art is - selfish or selfless, audience orientated or masterbatory, it's human expression; it's what we do and how we communicate. I recently watched one of the most facinating programs I've ever seen. It is called How Art Made the World
. The tagline is "the epic story of how humans made art and how art made us human." It really made me realize how narrow minded I had been. Body percings, bill bords, cave paintings, clothing, sit coms, buildings, music, storytelling, the dollar bill... it's all art and it's quite inescapable. We use it to persuade, lie, worship, record history, instruct, humiliate... etc. So, I'm trying to write, draw, and paint again without fear of expection and it's a good feeling.art
- Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
- The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
- The study of these activities.
- The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
- High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
- A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
- A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
- A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
- A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
- Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
- Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: “Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice” (Joyce Carol Oates).
- arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
- Artful contrivance; cunning.
- Printing. Illustrative material.
Subject to the rules of the dismal science.
All alone in here.
Think I've lost the will to be creative.
focus on career.
All around the world we're getting closer
to entropic disorder.
Give into the fear.
I don't want to be robot.
I don't want be a tool.
These global economics,
I think they're kind of cruel.
But I feel so incidental
like there's nothing I can do.
With all the time and space,
here and now is nothing new.
It's an absurd world.
Ah, the therapeutic nature of writing... been a while, hasn't it? Hmmmm, it's like catching up with a good friend I haven't seen it far too long.
Hello. Oh, yes I've been fine. I'm dating someone now. Yes, we're even living together, although she'll be moving back on campus soon to start her Fall semester. It's been interesting living with my significant other for the first time. I can't say we haven't had our arguments, but it's been interesting... I graduated from college and got a job. Yeah, I've been there almost a year now. I'm not sure I quite fit in. I never picture myself sitting in a cubicle everyday and it seems like everyone there is really conservative. Not the type of people I'd ever hang around with otherwise. But it does bring in the Benjamin's and I do have quite a bit of college debt to pay off... I've still been doing a lot of improv over at the Basement Theatre and occasionally with the group back at GA Tech - mostly limited to doing shows and directing workshops. And there's my festival. Check out AtlantaImprov.com
. I built that site with my own two hand. No, I don't really draw or paint anymore... too bad isn't it. For that matter, I don't really do much leisure reading or writing either... how weird is that? It seem as though those were the things that used to define me. I have been running, getting back in shape. I hope to do a 5K road race soon. My goal is to get my time under 21:00, maybe even 20:00... I'm going to be going on a road trip soon - going back to Texas for the Out of Bounds Improv Festival. It should be fun. Well, I've got to go. It's really late. I just can't get to sleep, but I'm going to try.
It was strange today
when my father asked me
for money to buy food,
and told him I had none,
as though he were
some common vagrant
off the dirty streets.
My father, a Palistian,
who grew up in Kuwait,
and came to America
for an education
but instead got a son.
He sat in my car next to me
and staired with eyes
as green as my own,
five broken teeth in his head,
the left half of his face
swollen from infection,
and clothes that reaked of stale cigarttes
It disgussed me.
I can recall as a child
riding in my father's taxi.
I would throw his cigarettes
out the widow as soon as
they were unattended.
I hated his habits.
He cheated on my mother
and she took it,
but it was his insesant drug use
and her concern for me
that caused their divorse.
I was too yougn to remember.
To me my father was always
a ghostly phantom.
Here for a while with
lame excuses of
bureaucratic red tape,
double crossing friends,
Then vanished without a word.
Yet there he sat beside me,
real as could be with a face
that seemed a sickly twisted
version of my own,
tugging at me again,
a bad roommate,
a city on the decline...
and I said no,
and left him to his sad hotel room.
When in a moment of passion, in an attempt to create something beautiful we do something stupid, can we chalk it up to youth?
When we grow older do we forget the reasons for these foolish things? Do we forget how to love, how to hurt, or how to cry? As our old hearts slowly turn into tougher stuff, does the numbness finally develop a sense of permanence?
If you ask anyone who knows me well enough, you will find that my biggest fear is getting old. Time will easily change us all past the point of recognition and the different people that we have been in our lives will inevitable be forgotten. If you take this down to an infinitesimal level, you realize that we truly experience birth and death every moment of our existence. So enjoy the person you are today. Savor each and every moment as best you can, because tomorrow, the person you are today will be gone forever.
<td>Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.
More of my favorites...
Mathnawi VI, 1967-1974</td>
The Intellectual is Always Showing Off
Love Has Nothing to Do With the Five Senses
These poems were written close to 800 years ago by a Muslim jurist. Isn't it amazing how the human condition so easily transends time, distance, and culture...
The A/C has been broken in my apartment all weekend and they won't come and fix it until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend. I can't sleep. It's too damned humid! I also have a lot on my mind... .
I feel as though I have been climbing a mountain and I've reached one of its greatest peaks. At times, it has been quite an arduous journey, but I believe I have made the best of it and I have no regrets. Here I stand on this precipice looking down at where I've been and all the places that I have yet to go. Any moment now, I'll to go sailing down the sides of the world one huge leap after another like some Zen Lunatic. It will be an exciting ride and I'm sure at points my muscles will feel as though they are going to give out, but I am not afraid...My goodness, this thing coursing through my veins is amazing!
Humph, now the sun is rising and I’m not sure that I have slept a wink. This won't do at all...
Saturday night - Brazilians in the woods, glow sticks, party crashing, and a healthy amount of drinking... Overall, a most interesting night..
I've been teaching improv classes to kids 9-12 and 7-9 at Georgia Tech's CRC camp. Kids are great; so imaginative. As a friend of mine put it - fresh cement.....untainted...pure hearts.
Nothing much else of interest... got some calls back on my resume. Maybe I'll have a job soon. No worries.
Float on humans...
I am emptiness, I am not different from emptiness, neither is emptiness different from me, indeed, emptiness is me.
~Jack Kerouac, Dharma Bums
walking like a giant crane and
with my x ray eyes i strip you naked
in a tight little world and are you on the list?
stepford wives who are we to complain?
investments and dealers investments and dealers
cold wives and mistresses.
cold wives and sunday papers.
city boys in 1st class
don't know we're born
just know someone else is gonna come and clean it up
born and raised for the job
someone always does
~RADIOHEAD, Wolf at the Door
Hearing: Queens of the Stone Age
For the third time in seven years and after a tough series with the Detroit Pistons
(oh, the drama - imagine the best of seven series is tied 3-3 and going into the fourth quarter of the tie breaking Game 7, the score is a 57-57 tie... that is how close ot was... it came down to a mere 12 minutes of playing time), the San Antonio Spurs
are once again the NBA World Champions
! My sister who is in San Antonio called me. The town is going crazy! None of you people have any idea... except maybe promark420
What a great day! and oh yeah, I'm Woverine, bub... boo ya!
|You scored as Wolverine. Wolverine is a loner, and a skilled fighter. He's got the hots for Jean Grey but a better fit for him would be Storm. He doesn't like to follow orders which pisses Cyclops off. He has terrible memories from the experimentation done on him at Weapon X. Even though he doesn't show it, he loves the X-Men. Powers: Fast healing and adamantium skeleton and claws.|
Most Comprehensive X-Men Personality Quiz
created with QuizFarm.com
Hearing: No Doubt
So I took a 4-day break from running to let my muscles have a rest. Then I run this -
That's 2:13 better than my last time! That's phenomenal... but it probably means I've just previously been holding back.
Hey, thanks to those folks who came out to my last show. I promise the next one will be even better.
And believe or not, until I was 16 I had never been to any other state besides my home state of Texas. Although I had been on a family trip during which we drove all the way to Mexico City. I love driving... Still, I need to get off this continent at some point.create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.
Hearing: Aimme Mann