New Background Image Backstory

I realize that, typically, a background image may not stir a huge amount of excitement or warrant a particular mention, but I want to take a moment to highlight the change in the background image on my blog.

The new image is this:

Last spring, between the pandemic, family struggles, and work challenges, every day felt like another impossible battle to survive in a raging, dark sea. At one particularly low moment, I had a vision of a tiny, distant lighthouse, battered by stormy seas all around, but grounded, firm, and bright. Not a very unique concept, perhaps, but in the moment it reminded me that I have a foundation that can withstand any storm. I quickly sketched the idea, the lighthouse surrounded by huge crashing waves, and set the drawing next to my monitors as a reminder that even in the hardest moments, I had a guide and a refuge. Continue Reading >>

Chalk-Colored Fence

I admit, chalk-colored fence doesn’t have quite the same ring as stained-glass window; and it doesn’t have the gravity and weight of a real stained-glass window…

2010-12-26 France Vacation 18
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dharma_for_one/5458742148

…but masking tape, chalk, and an open section of fence can combine into a pretty fun and, in places, attractive work of art.

First I masking-taped the fence. It took a long time. If I were to do it again, I’d probably try to make a picture of something, rather than just random shapes.

Then Benji and I started coloring it in. Continue Reading >>

Passing Time

As a culture, we sure do value efficiency. Why do a thing slowly when you could do it faster? At work, we constantly tout efficiency as one of the major selling points for many of the new features: “Do this task faster and more efficiently than ever!” (No, we never use exclamation points. Never.)

But there’s no recovering efficiently. I learned this when I was recovering from pneumonia. The first time I got pneumonia, in December 2016, I tried to push through to resume my normal activities as soon as possible. Months later, I still coughed and struggled. Continue Reading >>

Art Milestone

Why am I posting a picture of what you know most be one of zillions of Benji’s art projects? Well, first, you’d be right if you guessed that we get rather snowed under with art. However, this one stands out for a few reasons:

  • Benji instigated it entirely himself. Normally, I have to set aside time and cajole him into scribbling randomly for like 5 minutes, after which he wants to go back to playing trains. This time, he pulled out most of the supplies himself and started on his own, only bringing me in when adult help was required.
  • The ideas were almost entirely his own. The design is entirelyhis-a solar system, not surprisingly-and I merely made suggestions for what materials to use (I supplied all the different tapes and the glitter glue). Previously, I’ve always told him what our project will be. This time the creativity came from himself.
  • He wanted to use art to represent something, and figured out a way to do it using the materials at hand. And stuck with it with good focus the entire time, no getting distracted.
  • Continue Reading >>

    Imaginary Airplane Indicator Lights

    A while ago Benji got really into warning and indicator lights in the car, and then we started noticing warnings everywhere. Today he asked about airplane warning lights, and we started brainstorming possible lights. I drew little icons, Benji colored them, I cut them out, and there you go: the Airplane Warning Light Game was born. The airplane flies and then an indicator comes on – oh no!

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    My favorite: "Running into a pillow indicator"

    “Silverware,” an art installation by B. Ferguson

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    The artist rejects our outdated, imperialistic, and deeply bourgeois sorting methodology. His arrangement speaks to the desire within all human beings for freedom – of expression, of choice, of speech, and, ultimately, to determine one’s own destiny, unconstrained by the rigid mores imposed externally by society. With this installation the artist expands upon this theme using the epitome of banal, everyday objects – common flatware – juxtaposing their very ubiquity and normalcy with the jarring use of chaos and disarray to express rejection of confining, societally-imposed strictures even within the larger cultural dialogue.