Thinking about marriage

Scan_20160223A bond between two people.  I confess, I am tired of hearing how very much work it is to be married.  I’ve found it to be relatively easy.  Whenever it becomes work, all I need do is remember what a pain it was being single, and suddenly Mark’s idiosyncrasies are quite tolerable.

My mother has rejoined the single life, living alone in an apartment.  I try to be there for her often.  I remember what it’s like never to have anyone right there for easy conversation.  No one there to laugh at a joke, call you out on your own stupidity, or compliment a meal, an outfit, or a job well done.  No one to answer simple questions, to give opinions, to date.  It’s not easy without someone who wants to go out to dinner with you, will go to that wedding with you, will escort you to bosses’ dinners, baseball games, any outing, no matter how exciting or mundane.

I’d love to tell you I never get annoyed with married life, I do.  But actually it’s nice to have someone other than myself at which to be annoyed.  We can share blame, share praise, share income, share meals, share pets, share the load.

Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally long for some quiet time.  That doesn’t last, though.  When he is gone, it isn’t long before I’m wishing he’ll come back.

Maybe it’s because I found the right person, or because we are both pretty easy-going, marriage is something that works very well for me.

Walk

Scan_20160316I’m convinced that one of the best things you can do for yourself is get outside and take a walk.  It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but if you can get just a little exercise, and a little sunlight on your skin and in your eyes, it will go a long way to improving attitude.  It’s very difficult to do in winter, especially if you work, you’re never home during the daylight hours.  Now that it’s spring, get out there and see if it doesn’t make you feel better!

Daylight Savings Time

Scan_20160311 (2)Daylight Savings Time.  I know, it’s a pain in the butt.  Twice a year, reset your clocks, and try to live with an hour less/an hour more sleep.  Here’s a couple of facts.  We get about 15 hours of daylight in summer at its height.  We get about 9 in the depths of winter.  Right now, for us in the Midwest, in June the sun comes up around 6 and sets around 9.  If we didn’t go on DST it would come up around 5 and set around 8.  Because we run our lives by the clock, that puts some of the coveted daylight before most of us head for work, and it was, at one point, decided we wanted our daylight after our work day.  Keep in mind, the Indians and the farmers, folks that don’t rely on clocks, are likely to get up with the sun, so their internal clock changes slowly, instead of the big hour change we get twice a year.  Now if we stayed on DST, and skipped standard time, that means in winter our daylight hours would be more like 10 to 6 instead of 9 to 5.  This was tried once, and it meant kids waiting for school buses in total darkness, feeling like the middle of the night.  Now, I’m not asking you to agree, I’m just trying to point out some of the thinking behind the time change.  Mostly, if you are dead set against DST, you should know what it will be like without it.

But here is the real point I want to make.  Let’s not look at DST in terms of whether it is good or bad, let’s see it as a fact of life.  Because, right now it is, and this country has bigger issues to worry about.  According to experts, those that succeed in life, those that get further, those that live longer, do so by learning to adapt to change.  It can be big change, like living in country where a war breaks out, or ordinary change, like moving, or a new baby, a new boss, any change can throw you into a tail spin.  Adapting to change makes you a better survivor.  So don’t think about DST as an evil, think of it as training. Search your ninja soul and see if you can’t conquer DST in a day instead of an entire crabby week.  Take action, do some relaxation, learn to cope with a little less sleep, go to be earlier, prepare for  it, do whatever helps, but make it a training session instead of an evil cast upon you by outside sources.  You can do it!!

Consider the source

Scan_20160213 (2)A common phrase, and one that I believe is losing it’s meaning.  I’ve recently seen articles on Facebook with some very disparaging remarks, claiming politicians and other celebrities have said some racist and/or truly awful things.  These links are met with many, many comments, horrified at the targeted person for saying such awful things.  It seems fewer and fewer folks look to see where the link came form.  Certainly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that if the source is “The Onion” or “Satira Tribune” there is a strong possibility (actually a certainty) that the story is apocryphal.   If there is one helpful thing you could do for facebook, it would be to take just a second or two to google the source of the thing you feel you must share, and see if there is any truth to it.  I know the “fake news” is a huge thing right now, but we all seem very willing to believe anything, and it doesn’t take much to check a source, check with Snopes, and see if something at least has somewhat of a foundation in truth.  Please don’t tell me “Well, he/she could have said that!” or “It sounds like something he/she would say!”  That doesn’t count, you should only get blamed for the actual things you say and do, not the things you could have said and done.  If you see a post with numbers and percentages about who does what or how many of something do these people have, how much crime, guns, chewing gum, whatever, it’s pretty easy to check a few sources and see if there is any truth to it.  Just do a quick check before you click.

Blind Contour Drawing

If you want to teach yourself to draw, a good start is blind contour drawing.  This is where you put pen (or pencil) to paper and then you don’t look at the paper again.  You concentrate on the subject, and follow the contours of your subject with your eyes.  As you follow along you try to follow with your hand on the paper.  It teaches you patience and hand to eye coordination.  You never get realistic results, you are just working on technique.  You do get interesting results, though.  You won’t capture a likeness, but you can capture an essence, kind of the soul of the subject.  It’s a tough exercise, though, you have to fight your urge to look at the paper or to erase.  I found the best time to do blind contour drawings is in a dark club watching a band.  It’s too dark to see what you are drawing, so you can’t peak, and musical instruments are fun to draw.  Last night Mark and I saw Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys at the Ark, and these are the drawings I made.blind drawing-1 blind drawing 2