If You See One Of These… RUN!

So, this week Kyle had to do a persuasive presentation for school. He decided to talk about the “world’s most fearless (and aggressive) animal”  — the Honey Badger. His persuasion title was “If you see a Honey Badger — RUN!”. I was shocked and am now convinced that if you see one, you should probably run. Here’s a paraphrased version of his presentation for you. Prepare yourself.

“Today I’m here to tell you about the Honey Badger. Let me warn you, it may love honey but it’s no Winnie the Pooh. So let’s imagine you’re just walking along and you see one of these.

“You think it’s cool, so you stop and smile and check it out. But now, he’s got his eye on you!

“And boy is he mad!

“My advice? RUN! And here’s why…

“Reason #1: Even though it’s only the size of a medium dog, it’s been known to fight lions, wildebeests, water-buffalos, and people — and win!

“JUST RUN AWAY!

“Reason #2: It has thick, loose skin so it’s hard to kill with even a machete!  Even if a lion were to bite it in the back, it can turn around in its skin and keep attacking!

“JUST RUN AWAY!

“Reason #3: It likes to snack on the world’s most poisonous scorpions and snakes like King Cobras and Adders. No big deal… And if it does get bit it can just sleep it off like a bad hangover (Okay I’ll admit it, I added that part).

“JUST RUN AWAY!

“So if you see a Honey Badger, don’t just stand there. RUN AWAY!”

I’m proud to report that he got an A+ on his presentation.

P.S. If you see a Honey Badger, what are you going to do?

Help One Another Like Birds Of A Feather

Seth Fitts bird drawing

Artwork by Seth Fitts

Blank. So much potential. So much work to be done. Gah!

That’s how I feel sometimes before starting a new piece. It can be a daunting feeling, and sometimes I have no idea what to do or where to start. Luckily, the beauty of art is that there are so many places to draw inspiration and motivation from. Here’s a preview of a talented artist from down in Peach country whose simple, yet allusive work has been so energizing for me lately.

Crow Listen Bird Painting Seth Fitts

Seth Fitts Bird Painting

Seth Fitts Bird Painting

He doesn’t just draw birds, I promise…

Fox Painting by Seth Fitts

See!

P.S. Check out more great stuff at www.sethfitts.com.

*All rights to artworks belong to Seth Fitts

Why I Haven’t Changed The World Yet

Tired, Cat, Sleep, Funny

"Tired" by Zemex of DeviantART

I find that as the day progresses I become more and more ambitious. By nighttime of each day, I am ready to change the world. Unfortunately, I’m also ready to go to bed.

Of course…

P.S. This picture is so cool!

Ways I’ve Become Like My Parents: #1

Parents, Old, Father, Mother, Wedding

By Hamster-ltd of DeviantART

“Is anyone using this light?”

“Are you watching the T.V. downstairs?”

“Alright, that’s long enough. Get out of the shower.”

 

Ugh, my dad was a frugal man. Always saving money at the expense of my laziness. I hated it. Though it was for different reasons, you could say my dad was years ahead of the “Go Green” movement. “A penny found is a penny earned” was practically one of our family golden rules. I’ll spare you the rest of his “A penny lost…” adage. It wasn’t pretty.

I always told my dad that he was being absurd, and that I would never make my kids do things like unplug the toaster after each use. At that time, I was in the I-know-everything-and-my-parents-are-stupid stage. Now I get it.

Irony is a trick of time I guess because now I find myself saying the same things. I’m always telling Kyle that the fridge is for food — not cooling down. Have no worries though, I don’t go so far as to have a “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” policy. In short, I’ve realized money looks a lot different when it’s yours. That’s part of growing up I guess.

P.S. Have you become like your parents at all in ways you never thought you would?

How To Make The Best Decisions

Sweet, Sweet Art To My Ears

Artwork by Katie Barron

Awhile back, shortly after moving here, I found an excellent stretch of road in the heart of Columbus, Ohio called the “Short North”. There are art galleries galore, upscale bistros, bustling brasseries, quaint antique shops, and so much more. All in one place! If you ever visit Columbus, it’s a must. Especially during an event called “gallery hop” (which occurs the first Saturday of every month). Every time I go it is an adventure.

You know how you get excited when you find a gem of a new song? And how it’s an even sweeter feeling when you find the song before anyone else has heard of it?

Well let me tell you, that same feeling applies to finding artists. Recently, in a small, somewhat obscure gallery, I saw the work of Katie Barron. It blew me away. It’s a little feminine for my usual tastes, but the talent and potential are undeniable. She’s only my age (20) and in school, so I figure that’s why she is still one of the best kept secrets in the Columbus art community.

I haven’t met her, but after seeing her work I’m going to say she’s a pretty magnificent person. I hope you think so too.

*All rights to artworks belong to Katie Barron

Post Script: Visit artworkofkatiebarron.tumblr.com to see so much more.

Help The Homeless?

Bearded Man by DawnAllynnStock of deviantART

“Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.” That’s how I feel sometimes.

“When I see a homeless man standing by the road, I can’t look him in the eye. He says he’s homeless. His frazzled hair and scribbled sign are convincing, but his designer jacket is suspicious. I say I’m not in a position to help. My wallet supports me, but my conscience defeats my rationalizing. I can’t look him in the eye because I don’t know which of us is lying.”

Kyle and I have been keeping up with the latest on Japan. Which is likely one of the most well documented catastrophes ever. It’s hard to watch without pulling all that is yours a little closer. Kyle gives me an inquisitive glance every time a commercial asking for relief donations comes up. His heart for others impresses me, but oddly annoys me too. Makes me feel like a selfish prick in comparison because I don’t respond to those requests for aid.

“We can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t have the money! Stop asking about it!”

See, I feel like a jerk about it. There’s just so many reasons not to donate. I have to look out for us first. And a lot of these foundations waste so much of the money on unnecessary practices so that only a small percentage of your donation actually helps. And some aid programs are fake. So I keep telling myself anyway. The guilt of inaction doesn’t go away though.

It’s not just Japan though. There’s a tragedy standing just a block away in every direction it seems. The homeless man laying in front of Starbucks. The single mother with two kids with no incoming child support. The little kid walking down the street in sagging pants during school hours. You know what I’m talking about.

Is it better to be naive and think your money is helping another when actually it’s not? Or to be suspicious and withhold your aid not knowing whether it could help or not?

I don’t think it’s right that I should expect others to help on my behalf. I’m also not a big fan of those who only believe in “creating awareness” for something. Who of us are unaware of the problems around us? Throwing money at problems seems ineffective too. So what’s left? Action, I guess.

You better yourself best through bettering others.

P.S. Do you ever think about this?

Think Therapy

Matthew 3:16

It’s not often I draw/paint something for myself. Since I don’t plan to sell or gift this piece I thought I’d share it. Took about an hour and a half and was done with an HB pencil (I apologize for the quality, I only have a mediocre scanner to use).

Some people think best while they cook, others while they jog, and others still while listening to music. Drawing is my think therapy. A little of what I thought about during this one:

***

“I’ll wager that damn near 80% of you believe in God; I’ll also wager that less than 20% of you will when this semester ends. Welcome to Philosophy 210.”

The professor waited. Some students walked out. Some smiled. I waited.

Quite an introduction. Especially for a class I was taking as a GEC my freshman year. I never spoke during that class. Listening was more important (as it usually is).

There was never a dull moment in that class. If you ever want to rile a lot of people up, say something about God (either way works).

A particularly impassioned point of view was that “religion is ignorant.” With little at stake (I hardly ever went to church growing up, but didn’t dislike it), I felt myself to be an impartial judge of the topic. What did I learn after hearing both sides bicker to exhaustion? A lot of people are ignorant.

For Heaven’s sake, have reasonable reasons for your beliefs. Whatever they may be.

Only occasionally growing up did we attend church. When we did, it was almost never willingly (who wants to get up at 7:30 a.m. on the weekend?). However, I never regretted the days I did go. There was just something about it I liked. I don’t see the ignorance in associating with good people.

Kyle and I went last Sunday. Maybe we’ll go again soon. Maybe not.

Post Script: I figure my professor probably won his wager.

Tell The World

My mom once told me this story.

A woman stood next to the statue of “David” (by none other than Michelangelo) and listened to the remarks of passersby and admirers. They muttered and exclaimed many things you might expect. She noted, however, that the best comment was by a small child. He approached the statue, observed it discerningly, then stated promptly, “We must tell the world about this.”

You change the world by helping others notice the world.

Post Script: I just thought you should know it too.

Magic Moments

Some mornings I wake up in a bitter mood. I hate that. I always know it’s one of those days when I sit up in bed and my poster of Einstein, across the room, sticking his tongue out doesn’t make me smile. It’s one of my most prized possessions. My mom and I modified the poster to give him a red clown nose and oversized glasses (for extra charm of course). I got my artsy tendencies from her. It reminds me of her because she was always quoting Einstein’s opinion that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” My dad disagreed.

Today started as one of those morose mornings. It was somehow sprinkling from an alabaster sky. Which made my decision, for reasons I cannot remember, to take a walk even more surprising. Stepping outside was regrettable; the cold drizzle was distressing as I was still half asleep (cold and tired don’t mix for me). I was just wandering along with my chin to my chest, occasionally glancing forward, feeling sorry for myself. It has been hard, especially those instances of nostalgia. But then something caught my eye, and thank God it did.

It was a version of the poster above stapled to a telephone line post (it’s amazing that you can find just about anything on Google after seeing it elsewhere). I had seen it some time ago before, but at this moment it really meant something to me.

Every once in awhile it works out that you see something at just the right time that you can relate to it at that moment more than any other. It astounds me every time it happens. It makes me feel like maybe something greater is guiding me. Maybe I was supposed to uncharacteristically take a walk and see that poster.

This phenomenon is one reason I love the potential of art. Art can create that moment for someone. The idea, the composition, the emotion, the time, and the place all come together to create magic. Better magic than even Disney can imitate. That magic can change people. Without that potential, art is just a passive pastime that serves no one.

I’m usually sulky and lazy on my bitter morning days, but this one was different. The way I see it, I’m luckier than 98% of all of mankind throughout all of history. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself with a number like that.

Post Script: You and I are luckier than we know. Let’s live like it.