Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

A sneak peak at an upcoming shirt designed by Wendy that hit the press this afternoon

Today’s edition of USA Today had a big article about a professor’s “last lecture” from Carnegie Mellon. These talks from out-going faculty have since been renamed “Journeys.” They are about sharing one’s experience and ideas.

This particular professor, Randy Pausch, has pancreatic cancer and though currently healthy, his time is limited in view of statistics. Yet his speech wasn’t about disease, it was about achieving dreams.

These bullet points from pale in comparison to the talk, but here goes:

  • Never underestimate the importance of having fun.
  • No one is pure evil. Find the best in everybody. Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.
  • Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
  • It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.
  • We can’t change the cards we’re dealt, just how we play the hand.

There’s a bit in the video about “selling something worthwhile” which references education, but it doesn’t boil down well out of context. It is about making and doing things that matter. Good stuff.

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liberty

Tax season

I’m somewhat taken aback by all the places that have these promotional… things outside their business to attract customers. These things work, I’m sure. Likely more than those putrid neon signs that I need to accept as acceptable in the new MySpace era of design.

Not pictured: the people that are hired to wear sandwich boards–or worse–dress up in rented costumes outside these establishments and wave to passing traffic. One apartment complex by my own apartment complex has this person that wears a different costume every day: a bunny, a hippy, Uncle Sam. Always holding a plastic corrugated board that says, “#1 Apartments” or “Free Rent for the first month.”

I’m not sure what disturbs me most, but perhaps it is that these things might be a reminder of the bigger issue: lack of business out there, or lack of good jobs.

Current music: Coconut Records “Its Not You Its Me”

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036

Kismet

Five years ago yesterday, I started keeping a journal online.

There were no images, just words. That first entry was particularly pondersome. It was a heavy year emotionally, economically.

The following April I would start including a photo for most days—formatted in an arbitrary rectangle so it would fit on the screen with some thoughts.

Thirty-six years ago today I was born.

The cast of characters is largely the same. Some folks have moved on, moved around, got hitched, started families. I closed up shop from the initial dot-boom and free-floated for a while, shacked up with a fella I adore, started a new company with friends that has a nice balance of pixels and elbow grease.

So things are good on this birthday.

Today at the studio, my friends presented me with this Charley Harper print that accompanied his definitive monograph.

It is number 036.

Kismet.

I like that there’s that leading zero in the print number. If life continues to be this rich, thanks to those around me far and near, I hope to use that extra character in my own numbering.

A hat tip to everyone reading this and following along. It’s time for cake.

Current music: Growing “In the Shadow of the Mountain”

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overprocessed

compensating for poor exposure and blasting out the image (this, of a truck trailer)

Walked into a store this evening to pick up twine and a USB cable. End up staring at bargain bins of holiday DVDs. I don’t need these.

A mother yells at kids while carrying conversation on her mobile phone.

Every customer and employee seems unhappy. I can’t stop wondering about them.

The holiday music is interrupted by calls for more cashiers to man the checkouts.

I leave with string, a pack of gum, and forget the cable.

Perhaps this mental fog is a side effect of loss. Two folks I’d met only virtually died this past weekend. One after a battle with cancer, another unexpected.

I take pause while reading online. Condolences scroll by, yet linger—burned on to the screen and making everything more important.

It’s not enough to be reminded to live better or care more for the ones we love.

There is so much noise.

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Nothing is fixed or permanent

(insert Sanford & Son theme) Stoplight on the main drag in Hamilton, OH

Well I didn’t quite hit every day of the month with a journal entry—I mean, blog entry.

But after Project Menswear last night, I went to the bed exhausted from their challenge. I didn’t actually sleep right away as I was rolling over a to-do list in my head. It’s that time of year when everything ratchets up a notch and gift-guilt rears its head.

On gifts for others, I much prefer wisdom inspired by Leslie Harpold. In this instance, “When you come across something you know would be perfect for someone else, buy it for them.” I do that for the most part. The true joy is finding the right box and squaring off the wrapping paper just right before securing it with tape.

I’m a harder nut to crack with the gifts I’ve been told. I tend to pick up the frivolous things for myself without delay when economically feasible. Can’t imagine waiting for, say, Super Mario Galaxy another day more than necessary.

For the longest time I thought I was a horrible candidate for Buddhism due to my craving and collection of physical things. According to my studies through google searches, as long as these things don’t make me suffer, I’m okay. I think.

When I really knit my brow trying to figure out what I want, it always comes back to time. This does not mean a clock, I have several, and one of them is fancy and projects time on the ceiling in such an annoying way that I moved it to the guest bedroom.

Current music: Jim Croce “You Don’t Message Around with Jim”

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Again with the colors

Is this the golden section of the year?

Today was meaty.

So was yesterday, but that seems so long ago.

Tucked in my shirt and drove to Cincinnati this morning. Great colors along the way… Just being those dozens of minutes south makes a difference. Pulled over more than once, some glimpses below.

Ate a good lunch and headed back to the studio, considering grays: fabrics, inks.

Stopped by the grocery and the produce department was saturated.

Threw a thick red steak on the Foreman. It came out perfect.

Now the soup’s on the stove. Forecast suggests it’ll pair nicely with tomorrow.

Good idea for a weather site might not be just what to wear, but what to eat. Be cool if it’s like, totally, local.

PhotosSlideshow with a few snapshots of autumn, some old, many new

Current music: Color By Numbers “The Transitions”

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strawberries and strikes

I did not take this picture

I got this note in the email box yesterday, and I have to say it brightened the morning:

(reprinted with permission, links added by me)

I first took notice of your work when I bought your Tim Gunn shirt off Ebay. I think you had a link, which I then followed and came upon your photos. The pink toy Martian in a garden sticks in my mind. I love the way you frame your pictures and how they are of mostly inanimate objects. I have since bought your hairdo shirts as well. The other day, I was walking down the street, when I saw two perfect strawberries that had been abandoned on a cement parking stopper. I took a picture. (above) I’m a member of the WGA and since we’re on strike and I can’t do any real writing, I thought I’d write to you and say, hey. Well done. Keep up the good work.

It’s nice because I seldom take a step back and consider what I’m doing here, who’s reading it, and what they see. I never realized that, indeed I do, focus on inanimate objects. That’s worth a post on its own, but tis late.

But the thing that sticks is that someone’s fighting to get paid for their work, and took the time to say ‘hey.’

Maybe you’re aware of the writers’ strike. Maybe you haven’t seen this video by some of the writers behind The Office. It’s worth the 3 minutes and 15 seconds. But all this interconnectedness, this ability for us to read, hear, and share perspectives; it’s going to change things. I hope it changes them for the good, posthaste.

And to my unknown writer out in what I figure is LA or NY, thank you for entertaining me.

Her response when I asked to share her photo and note: “Sure, no problem. Glad you liked the picture, when I showed it to others they were like, ‘Huh?'”

(insert grin, a hopeful one)

Current music: Jude “I Know”

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mental wrestling with ratios

autumn leaves are dropping fast in these parts, and this photo is barely related to my ramblings below


Been thinking about the golden ratio lately.

The recent post about Radiohead’s latest album by Puddlegum might have started my mental wandering.

The piece is very well bunk, but a fun read in conspiracy theory mindset. This bit from the comments in particular pulled out a detail I hadn’t noticed:

The album title can be heard in the backing vocals of Reckoner. But, did anyone notice the IN RAAAAAAAIN IN RAAAAAAAIN IN RAAAAAAAINNNNN IN RAAAAAAAIN IN RAAAAAAAINBOWS starts precisely at the albums golden section?

(sidenote: I’m super enjoying the whole In Rainbows album)

A few days later I’m reading this article about the Vignellis (hat tip to Swissmiss for that one)

Once I stopped drooling over the photo of this extraordinary design duo’s apartment, I noted the sidebar lists their “peak” from 1965 to 1985.

This bothered me because I’d like to think the husband and wife team are still crafting stellar work. But maybe there’s something to it. Maybe we find a sweet spot in life where all cylinders are firing in properly and the result is the height of our craft.

I figure it possible to be elastic as well, growing or shrinking according to lifespan.

Or, it’s malarkey and I need to let it go.

Current music: My Morning Jacket “Golden”

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Henry’s Birthday

Getting ready to blow out the candles

Birthday party for Dan’s nephew on Sunday.

Nice enough weather, leaning to the hot side as the perspiration stains on my shirt would attest.

At some point I realized I forgot how old I was (and almost pulled out the driver’s license to verify). This happens from time to time and with more frequency as the calendar flips.

I’m going to be 36 this year.

Thirty-six and I still catch myself feeling a bit clueless about things in general.

All of a sudden it seemed reasonable to assume that all the older folks I looked to for answers growing up had no better understanding of life than I did.

Just making things up as we go along.

Extra snapshot: Another photo from the party

Current music: Duo 505 “Facing It”

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Simply there

semi related: toothbrushes and razors

“You haven’t found love recently?” she asked.

My gut response, “No.”

Upon reflection, that answer warrants explanation.

I’ve always known love. It was never lost.

From childhood my parents were there, supportive of any endeavor and quick to offer guidance. In school I developed friendships that still stand. Though we have taken very different paths in life, we can agree on the basic tenet: I really care about your well-being. This continued through college, into the workplace and to this day.

Perhaps I bandy about the term ‘love’ too loosely, but to me, it’s a simple matter of compassion and personal interest.

It is simply there.