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Saturday, March 29, 2003

"Monk, I need a monk!"

Well, now that I've got a little more free time.... you want to know what kept me up until 6am this morning?.... Yeah, yeah, I know, Age of Kings is addicting..... So smite me. [grin]

There's just something about little computer-generated medieval troops running around trying to outsmart the opponent in war. It's a great game,... one that I finally have a little time to enjoy. ...Although, I probably shouldn't have stayed up until 6am today to play it. Oh well, at least I wasn't losing.... right? A stalemate doesn't count negatively does it? ... [grin].

Have a great weekend!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

"Weekend Update: My freedoms... upheld by our troops."

Last Sunday I went to an Academy Awards Oscar Party hosted by one of the film producers for "Bound to Come Around". (For those of you new to this blog, 'Bound to Come Around' is an independant feature film being shot and produced here in Milwaukee.).... Overall, this event was an enjoyable one. I got to chat with a couple friends I had not seen in quite some time, socialized with some new ones, and got to know a few of my fellow cast members a little better. (I even met a very talented Milwaukee musician -- apparently a friend of the producer -- who has toured in the past with the country music group Brooks and Dunn! ... Pretty cool, considering my love for country music!) ...

Though a relatively informal event, it did provide a nice break from my rather busy schedule lately, and that I was game for.

One of those projects that has been keeping my schedule rather busy lately, has actually been a commissioned artwork for a client, a small company by the name of MasterVisions. They do artistic etchings on glass and mirror surfaces. I was asked to put together a piece for them that they hope to use in an upcoming promotion, as well as add to their growing line of specialized products. I actually just recently finished the piece this week and sent it off in the mail, so I'll have to keep you updated when the promotion goes into effect. I can certainly say this though, I liked the final result from my end, and I'm very eager to see my first major commissioned work go into production!

Unfortuantely, though, there is a darker note lingering behind the enjoyment these past few days have afforded me....

While I've been working on this commissioned artwork, I've had the news on -- news, as in the round the clock cable network reporting from the Coalition frontlines. I've been watching/listening to it for hours while I drew. In some ways it feels a little strange living through a war. Granted I am half a world away from the battle lines, but to know that as I go about my daily life here at home, quietly having the time to draw or socialize, over in Iraq there are some 300,000 Coalition troops risking death every day.

It feels a little odd. Perhaps it's becasue I'm only 23 years old, and unlike some of the older generations in this country, this is only the second real war I have seen my country fight in my lifetime. And even this, so far, pales in comparision to say the Vietnam War, or even WWII. It does, however, give me an even greater respect for the troops fighting this war.... especially as many of them are my age or younger. It could just as soon have been me over there.

I do pray, though, for the safe return of those troops. In my opinion, I still think we have a noble cause. However, when I put the whole conflict into perspective, and see those guys younger than me risking death, doing something I don't think I would have the strength to do myself, I certainly hope the cause turns out to be a quick one, and one with a successful conclusion. War, no matter how justified, is still war. And war claims lives.

Let's not forget that while we go about our daily lives, enjoying what we do, our military fights to uphold our right to live those lives, and the right for those oppressed to do likewise. I'm proud to be able to draw, share my talents, and enjoy the company of friends, but as I do those things, I remember too that it's a freedom. And, as is sometimes the case, freedoms must be upheld with stronger actions than words.

In support of freedom,

Your ever-musing and happily blogging friend,

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Sunday, March 23, 2003

"In support of the war: Have you forgotten?."

Darryl Worley
"Have You Forgotten?"

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down.
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start preaching
Let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for

Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?

I've been hearing this country song on the radio a lot lately. I guess it's climbing the charts rather rapidly, especially considering the war the United States in in right now... (You can listen to it here at Dreamworks Nashville).... or purchase it here.

Is this war just? Is it wrong? That's for you to determine.... This is a free country afterall. As for me though, I support this war. We've backed down before when we should have stood our ground and done away with the injustice. Now it's time that we finish what we started back in the Gulf War. The real shame is that we waited this long to do it.

My thoughts and prayers are with our troops over in the desert. I'm not thrilled that they have to be there, but I'm behind them while they are. God speed. May they come back safely, and if some do have to give their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom, may they not be forgotten.

Pray for our troops, and pray that Saddam's tyranical regime is thoroughly dismantled.

In support of our troops,

Your blogging friend,

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Thursday, March 20, 2003

"Hitch your wagon to a hurricane."

Toby Keith
"Gimme 8 Seconds"

I got a good bull roped, I got a brand new bell.
I got a hot rod pick up truck she can really set sail.
Pushing that red line gotta make that show,
Gonna meet my buddies at the rodeo.

Just drew myself a mean old bull
We're all smelling money 'cause the jackpot's full.
He's got fire in his belly and he turns back quick,
Son this big devil's got a bag of tricks.

Gimme 8 more seconds, Gimme one more shot.
Gimme hell below, Gimme strength on top.
You gotta be crazy, gotta be insane
to hitch your Wagon to a hurricane.

Gonna wrap my rope around my gloves real tight,
I'm dropping my hooks down and I'm ready to ride.
Say a little prayer give a nod and go,
stay clean in the Middle 'till I hear that whistle blow.

Gimme 8 more seconds, Gimme one more shot.
Gimme hell below, Gimme strength on top.
You gotta be crazy, gotta be insane
to hitch your Wagon to a hurricane.

Yeah hitch your wagon to a hurricane.

Although this country song is about the rodeo, it seems as though it could fit in quite nicely when it comes to describing the energy, drive, and passion needed to follow your own dreams. You gotta get on that bucking bronco of a dream, hold on tight, and ride it to the end. In the process, you gotta take a major risk, and like the cowboy on the bull, there's a lot on the line. Ride it to the end and find success, or fall off and have to start all over from the begining.

Like many country songs I've come across lately, I think this one has definitely made it onto my list of favorites. I found a link online where you can 'sample' the song. The recording is a little grainy, but if you're interested, give it a listen. Turn up those speakers... And let me know what you think.

"Gimme 8 Seconds"
(opens directly to music/audio file; courtesy
(No copyright infringement intended.)

Oh, and just a quick note.... A short audio sample has also been added to the previous blog post, "Free Fall".

Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

"Resolution: Time to JUMP."

A few days ago, Sunday morning to be exact, a new motivation hit me. Perhaps it was a renewed sense of vigor, maybe it was just a realization, I really don't know. But, whatever it was, it manifested itself as an invigorating motivator -- a motivator to try something new on a number of fronts.

What I mean by this is, my life is at a standstill right now, and there are things I've grown accustomed to, and have chosen to live with. I've forced myself to be comfortable in life where I am right now, but I think I staying where I am will wear me down and break my spirit. I am already feeling that breakdown increasing. I can't let it win. Fighting the breakdown will be a major challenge, but I really don't want to remain at a standstill forever.

I've been thinking lately, maybe this status I am in in life right now is God's way of saying, "Jon, get out there, and JUMP! To help you do so, I'm going to give you a little nudge.... You need work on taking risks. Until you step outside your box of familiarity, and take those major risks, success will come at a slow plodding pace. The incentive is there.... just JUMP. I have great things in store for you, I will be there beside you through it all, but I need you to learn to JUMP first. Then, I will show you where I want you to go."

Part of me really doesn't want to jump. I fear the unknown out there. That's probably why I have stayed relatively close to my box of familiarity. I guess I just have to work on that trust factor and just jump.... fear and all. They say, "the only way to overcome your fears, is to face them head on." I guess that's what I am going to have to do.

So, this week has already been the begining of that. An art career seems outside of my grasp. Ok, mabe it's time to pull my acting passion off the back burner and run more actively with that instead. I've already made contacts for some new professional headshots. I'm starting to look at more auditions. I'm renewing that passion for the stage, the screen, and all of that adrenaline rush that an actor craves. I've gotta jump.... what better way to do it!

Ok, so... what about this job at Barnes and Noble that I am growing to dislike more and more each day? What becomes of it. I want to just rebel and quit, however logic says, 'Stay strong. Endure it. Leaving now, with no other prospects, would be foolish. You would lose your measly source of income.'.... Ok... "Lord, give me the strength to endure."....

.... But I am making very serious preparations to leave that job. However, while I am still there, I am adopting a more opinionated approach. I will make my concerns known to my supervisors. I will play hardball. I've been lining their pockets at my expense, time to turn the tables a bit.... tactfully of course. ... [grin].

It seems Milwaukee, though my hometown ( technically, though, I did spend half my childhood up in Minneapolis, MN), is not going to be my residence forever. I've been giving serious thought lately to considering a move to either Chicago (though not my favorite city), or the major move to California. I need a change in life. I need to jump. A change of scenery may have to enter the picture sooner than I though. Honestly, I haven't made any plans yet, but, considering them is the first step.

So, my thoughts have once again filled with very serious concerns. My life is at a standstill.... I just need to cast off my box of familiarity, and JUMP. ... Challenge only makes a person stronger right? My biggest fear in life IS that challenge. ...

..."Lord, teach me to trust you more. Remind me that when I DO jump.... you are there to cushion the fall."

Have a blessed Wednesday, and by all means, feel free to stay tuned here, as I make that jump. This time I must. To remain standing still would be the death of me.

Until next time,

Your blogging friend,

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Monday, March 17, 2003

"Free Fall."

Montgomery Gentry
"Free Fall"

I slept straight through to eight a.m.
That same old lame alarm clock excuse just ain't gonna work again
Well, I had a Marlboro for breakfast on the way out the door
That's the third day this month I had too many the night before
And judging from the past
It won't be the last

It's a free fall
When your back's against the wall
When you hit rock bottom and the bottom drops out
How's a man supposed to stand tall
Well the high life ain't my life
I can't walk a line and I damn sure ain't gonna crawl
Just living in a free fall

With a shovel in my hand and a hammer in my head
Right about now I can think of a thousand things I'd rather do instead
But I'm digging this hole for my dignity
I think I've finally come to understand workin' for the Man ain't workin' for me
I can only take so much
My only way to go is up

From a free fall
When your back's against the wall
When you hit rock bottom and the bottom drops out
How's a man supposed to stand tall
Well the high life ain't my life
I can't walk a line and I damn sure ain't gonna crawl
Living in a free fall

It's a free fall
When your back's against the wall
When you hit rock bottom and the bottom drops out
How's a man supposed to stand tall
Well the high life ain't my life
I can't walk a line and I damn sure ain't gonna crawl
Just living in a free fall
Free fall

I've been listening to this recent country song over and over again this morning. I like it. Sums a lot of things up in my life lately....

Here's a short audio sample of "Free Fall". (Audio sample, courtesy of


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Sunday, March 16, 2003

"Nashville Star."

Ok, I'll admit it once again, I am a definite country boy trapped in the city.... Well, ok, not trapped, I rather like it here.... but, "Country Boy", oh, heck yeah!....

This evening, I sat down and watched Nashville Star. I'm hooked! Seriously. You can most certainly bet that I'll be tuning in every Saturday night, for the next couple of weeks, to see another round of competition and watch as the competition is dwindled down by one. There's some phenominal musical talent in this competition. I certainly don't envy the judges their task. And, it'll be a tough one, there's certainly no doubt about that!

For those of you unfamiliar with what Nashville Star is, it's the newest 'star search' show on the USA Network (cable channel). It's somewhat similar to "American Idol" (though FAR better, in my opinion!), and deals strictly with country music talent... no Pop, no Rap... just good 'ole Country. The way it should be actually!.... [grin]. ... Each week one of eleven remaining finalists is eliminated following a round of performances, and when the final winner is announced, he/she will recieve a record contract from SONY and will be produced by Country music legend Clint Black.... Not a bad goal to shoot for! ...[smile]

....Oh, and for the record, as far as my vote is concerned, it's actually firmly cemented with the talented Jamey Garner! ...[grin].

Check it out sometime, and don't be surprised if you see me reference the show here in the future. I'm a 'Country Boy'... It's my duty, remember. ...[grin]

Have a blessed Sunday, and until next time....

Your happily blogging Country friend,

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Thursday, March 13, 2003

"Thirteen hours of sleep, and an abandoned church."

Monday and Tuesday were long days at work. They weren't entirely dull and uneventful, but they weren't extremely exciting either. They were just typical long eight hour days standing behind the sales register....

Tuesday I was asked by a co-worker if I could cover another full shift on Wednesday, a day B&N had scheduled to give me off. I hesitated but then said yes, realizing that my paycheck would be a little bit larger if I did take the offer. I laughed silently at my luck (counter to the growingly stringent wishes of Barnes and Noble) and went in to work on Wednesday, giving my co-worker the much-needed day off so she could satisfy her previously conflicting needs. Unfortunately, that meant that on Tuesday I worked my regular evening shift, getting home early Wednesday, and then had to be back into work by 9pm later that morning.

Of course, as you can guess, that meant that by the time I got home after work early Wednesday evening, I was feeling rather tired. I had dinner, and went to bed early (meaning about 10:30 pm). As luck would have it, it was then that I entered the wonderful, yet always unusual world of the uncontious mind. Apparently, a tired mind and body tends to be most creative when it comes to dreaming.

Within this creative mental state (dream), I found myself in need of a new residence. I was no longer able to live in my present apartment in Milwaukee for some reason or another, so, I packed up my things and moved to some undisclosed small country town somewhere. Here I began a less than fruitful search for a new place to live.

As luck would have it, my sister (now recently married to Noah, her present real-life fiance) had also moved to this town. They had purchased a lovely country house on a quaint little residential street, and were getting settled into their new life. My sister somehow got wind that I was in town looking for a place to live, so, she tracked me down, and suggested an unusual option to me...

See, further down the street from where she and Noah lived, there sat, set back from the street and in a small grove of ancient trees, an old abandoned church. It was anything at all fancy, but rather an old faded and somewhat dingy clapboard building, complete with all the typical features of an early 1900's Christian place of worship. It also hadn't been used for anything in years (...however, I did find it odd that the grass surrounding the building was nicely mowed.). The exterior facade was in desperate need of cleaning, and had taken on a grungy, grey, dilapadated, and severely weather-beaten look. Meanwhile, the interior, seemingly more expansive than it appeared on the outside, was just as bad, severely littered with dust and debris from all those years of neglect. In short, this old church was a dingy eyesore on a quaint little residential street of nicely tended homes.

Well, strangely enough, this is where my sister suggested I move in. She kept insisting that since no one even cared about this building, it would be the perfect place for me to inhabit. Apparently she assumed that would also mean the town would literally give me free use of the building. In exchange for giving the building a use, the town apparently would not require any taxes from me. So, oddly, after careful deliberation, I decided to move in and make this old ruin my new home.

The strange thing about my new home, though, was that I didn't go nuts cleaning and repairing it. I chose to live in it as-is. Sure, I swept up some of the debris, put a new lock on the big old oak door in the front, and moved all my personal belongings into this church, but I didn't enact the much-needed upkeep on the place. It still looked as diapadated as when I first moved in. It was almost as though I appreciated the building's old appearance. I seemed to be content to live in a building that looked as though it could collapse at any moment.

Still, no one else in town really seemed to care, though they did recognize this old building as a home now. I rarely had visitors enter the building itself, but there were times that a number of friends in town did come over and we all grilled out on the 'front yard' under the shade of those massive old trees. I seemed very happy in this new home.

Years passed, and very little came of my life other than being the inhabitant of this old church. I guess I did have some kind of job in town, and people did came to know me as a friendly, kind, and unfortunately always single guy, but beyond my new home, nothing seemed to carry a whole lot of weight in my life. I had many friends, and was a normal citizen of this country town.... but I never married. I never chose to move into a 'real' house, I never grew tired of living in the ruins of an old clapboard church, and I never seemed to complain (even when the roof leaked in the rain). Yet, through it all, my life was a happy one.

I grew old, and, when I was about to die (of natural causes I assume),.... I woke up and found myself once again in my own bed, in my own well-kept apartment in Milwaukee, and surrounded by the things reflecting my real life. Yet, when I was dreaming that old church, those big old ancient trees, that small town, and that feeling of complete contentment with my life, seemed so real.

It makes me wonder sometimes, where do dreams like this come from? It is some random intersecting point of various anonymous threads of thought being jumbled together into one concrete story?.... Or is it something more, something greater -- something that somehow holds some kind of greater meaning to our own personal lives?

Whatever it is that causes those intensely real journeys into the subcontious mind, perhaps we'll never really be able to know. But I will say something for that experience (and those that have come before), each time I awake back into this reality, I am well-rested and feeling thoroughly refreshed -- ready for a new day.

In this case, I was asleep for thirteen hours, and still, even after a warm shower, lunch, and a waking four hours, elements of this dream still seem so vivid in my memory. Strange, yes. But, then again, perhaps God's creation will never really have the answers we often muse upon. Maybe it won't be until I am chatting in heaven that I finally learn, ...dreams are perhaps a small part of what's left over from the time when the human mind was capable of so much more -- a time when sin had only begun to erode God's wonderful creation. But hey, who knows. I guess I'll just have to wait until heaven to find out, right.... [contented sigh].

Well, have a wonderful end of the week all, and you are more than welcome to leave a comment or two. Maybe we both can muse upon the nature of dreams. I know it interests me somewhat. [grin].

Until next time,

Your happily musing friend,

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003

"Quote: Pending War."

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
- George Bernard Shaw

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

"The Art That Surrounds Me."

Well, it's early morning on Sunday as I write this,... amost 2 am to be exact. I guess I'm still up. Much is on my mind lately.'s been an interesting weekend so far though.

Friday I was told not to come in to work, as is usual lately. I went in anyway to pick up my much-needed weekly paycheck. Apparently this weekend, Barnes and Noble is displaying the artwork of area Milwaukee students all over the store -- an art show of sorts (Although, I was also told that it has the secondary purpose of bringing more prospective sales into the store, and frankly, I find that a little underhanded and demeaning of the artists to be honest.).... I took a look at some of the work on display while I was in there, and there seem to be some nice up-and-coming young artists here in Milwaukee. It's too bad their wonderful art display this weekend has a 'hidden agenda.'

After my business at work was completed, I decided to grab a bite to eat in the food court. It just so happened that I discovered that the 2003 Milwaukee County Zoological Society's Endangered Animals Art Competition was on display near there. I took a look at the artwork, and was impressed with some of the pieces. Apparently today was 'Art Day' at the mall... [chuckle]

I guess this year was the first year too that they were no longer accepting college art applications. It's just elementary and high school youth this year. I'm guessing the younger aged artists offer a greater degree of competition. I can live with that. Ironically, back in 1999, when I was still a sophomore in college, I entered this very same competition on the college level, and co-won first place with this graphite portrait of an endangered bald eagle! ....

...I still try to keep tabs on when the display goes up each year. Although I'll no longer be able to see any artwork displayed from the collegiate level, it's nice to see the artistic fruits of Milwaukee's younger youth. [smile]

Friday wasn't the only day of art so far this weekend though.... So was Saturday. Scott came into town for a visit, and we spend Saturday visiting with his sister Diana on campus. Now, she's a Junior this year, but the intruiging part of that is that she is an art major as I was. She and I have a lot in common. Interesting enough though, she has a major interest in photography, and while Scott and I were there, we got to see some of her work.

She actually does her own dark room developing, so she's able to add that artistic flair to her photographs. So far she's built up an amazing portfolio ranging from object/people studies, to some senior portraits, to even a set of professional actor headshots. I'll be honest, I've already gotten some recent headshots taken by another friend photographer, but considering how impressed I am with Diana's photography skills, I may have to get another batch, by her, to my collection.... She's good, very good, and good enough that I'm seriously thinking of having HER photography skills promote MY acting skills! ...[smile].

...And who says I'm not networking among people I know as I currently job search? Shame on you! ... [grin]

But, ...enough writing for now. I know you'll all miss my musings, but hey, you'll have to wait until tomarrow! I'm tired. My pillow calleth. Besides, someone can only take so much art talk, right? .... Ha! I could talk about art all day!.... ([whispers]: that's why I'm going to bed...). ... [sarcastic chuckle]

Until tomarrow,

Your happily musing friend,

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Friday, March 07, 2003

"That which reminds us."

You know, the mind is a very powerful thing. It seems, even the simplest of stimuli can bring back a wonderful collection of memories. In fact, that's exactly what my mind ended up doing today, Thursday.

I was called off work, meaning I was not needed to go in (as is usually typical of Thursdays), so I had the day off. I ended up hanging around my apartment doing various odds and ends, most of them on the computer. Before long, I found myself going through my once again growing collection of favorite music, much of which has been acquired from various sources. Two particular songs I came across (or found, depending upon the case) brought certain emotions to the surface....

Do you remember the Pop group, Venga Boys?....

Back when I was a freshman in college (1998), I was experiencing that whole, 'wow, I really love college!' sort of thing. I loved being off on my own. I was living in the WLC dorms (then B-first floor, now the science labs), I was the little guy on campus, still building a new group of friends, rooming with Matt (and, at the time, annoyed with his girlfriend Sara, who ironically is now his wife), and generally just starting to fit into my new surroundings. ...

...But, one of the things I loved best about my freshman year was getting used to the plethora of events and opportunities the campus offered to it's students. One was the regular dances (despite the fact that I usually just sat there and watched and listened rather than danced)... For some strange reason, the then huge Venga Boys hits, "Boom Boom Boom Boom", and "The Vengabus" became personal favorites, ...and, strangely, still are today. Whenever I listen to them, I am brought back to 1998, when I was but an 18 year old college freshman, enjoying my new 'status' in life. The Venga Boys may have completely disappeared from the music charts now five years later, but strangely it's those songs that have become a memory trigger to that wonderful Freshman year.

But it wasn't only the Venga Boys music that I found triggering emotions today. I also came across the 1995, "Mr. Holland's Opus," film version of the Gershwin musical composition, "Someone To Watch Over Me."... I happened to finally find it online and so I grabbed it while I still could. It's actually the version sung by the character of Rowena Morgan (Jean Louisa Kelly). I still really don't know what it is about the song, but for some reason, that version has just became a personal favorite. Maybe it's her voice... Maybe it's the lyrics of the song, I don't know. But I will say this, as far as I'm concerned, that's one beautiful song!

There were other songs I found and listened to as well, but none with the same emotional impact as those two selections. It truely is interesting what can trigger the mind and bring you back to bygone memories. The mind is indeed a powerful thing!

When this evening came around, I decided to stick with my string of memory-inducing endeavors. I pulled out the taped-from-television copy of my previous most recent film acting experience, "In the Net". Sure I may have only been an extra in that one, but I was a very involved extra, popping up all over the place in the background. I think what I remember most about that particular film-acting experience, though, was the effort I ended up putting into my many persona's (different characters). I never got to say any lines in the script, but I got the chance to once again work in front of the camera, experience a few days on a set, and observe the many workings of a bonafide film production. That will always stick in my mind as one of my most valuable experiences in acting, no matter what may yet come my way in the future. ....

...Besides, it was kind of fun to see the finished film again, and know the little details behind the story/filming that very few others even know about! ... [happy grin].

Now, though, with a day of happy reflection behind me, I head off to bed. Tomarrow will be a new day, and who knows, maybe a few years down the road something will trigger my mind and remind me of my present station in life. You never know. Kind of an interesting thought though if you think about it. .... [grin].

Well, have a wonderful day all, and until next time,

Your happily reflecting friend,

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Wednesday, March 05, 2003

"Tuesday: To yawn is human...."

Tuesday was one of those days no one really wants to be at work. It was one of those days where nothing was happening, literally. There were hardly any people in the store, so, yawns were quite frequent as I stood at my register trying to think of something to do to keep me occupied.

I glanced through nearby books, most of which really didn't interest me. I paced back and forth, probably wearing a hole in the carpet. I even wracked my brain for ideas for non-work related projects. And, of course, I kept glancing out the window behind me to watch the snow fall and blanket the expansive parking lot. To be honest, it was probably the snow that kept people at home.... and me bored at work in the first place.

Then, thankfully, when it seemed as though I would fall asleep to the soft classical music playing throught the store, or scream outloud from the pain of the thoroughly annoying Indian music (...that shrill semi-musical instrament typical of music from India), I came across something to keep me busy -- check on book orders in the system.

Did you know, there are a lot of celebrity names and contact info in the B&N database? Yes indeed. Some of those names probably do belong to the appropriate celebrities, but as an employee of B&N, I am sworn to leave that information in the system. ... Of course, it was intruiging though just to occupy my boredom and see what names matched. Hey, we all read books don't we? ... [grin].

By late evening there really wasn't much of a need to keep extra employees on the clock when nothing was happening, so, me and my co-worker at the registers were let go an hour early. Both of us were quite thankful for that actually. Seven hours of boredom standing at a sales register does get rather long and drawn out, but hey, we got paid, and, afterall, that's the whole reason I go into work there in the first place!.... I guess I can certainly handle the yawns, especially if I'm getting paid for them! ... [wide grin]

Have a wonderful day all, and I'll catch you again in a few hours.

Your happily blogging friend,

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Tuesday, March 04, 2003

"Monday: Musings of a guy named Jon."

Well, yesterday was Monday, the start to a new week of work. I pulled a good eight hours standing at the register at Barnes and Noble. It wasn't all that exciting of a day, but it also wasn't as dull as it could have been.... So I guess it qualifies as worth being considered a 'good day.'... [sigh]

Anyway, here's some of the stuff that came to mind during the course of the day:

Did you notice that Monday was a palandrome (or whatever they call it....). Yep, the date was officially 03-03-03. Pretty cool huh! ... (You can tell I'm easily amused, can't you.) ... [chuckle]

I did find out a rather 'startling' thing as I stood at work trying to find something to do... I picked up a few of the Photoshop magazines on the computer magazine rack near the front registers, and paged through them. You know, there's a whole ton of Photoshop techniques I had not realized! Yeah, this means I think I'm going to have to go back into my copy of Photoshop and play around some more in the next few days! I tell you, Photoshop is indeed the pen-ultimate in computer graphics software. Apparently there's never a loss of things you can create with it! .... [is extremely excited] ... Ooooh, the joys of creativity!

Oh, hey, if you're in college, or going into college, you may want to check out this article I found on Yahoo this past weekend. Let's just say, no wonder us college people are poor when we graduate. It must be some kind of conspiracy.... yeah, that's it.... a governmental conspiracy to make us intelligence driven youth truely start from the very bottom and have to work our way up the ladder of success. ... [smile]

Well, time for me to prepare for another day at the registers.

Have a blessed day all, and until later,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Saturday, March 01, 2003

"The quotes of the wise."

Friday I expected to have the day to work on personal projects. I was scheduled as on-call, and so following the trend of the last two months or so, I assumed I would be forced to take the day off. As luck would have it, I listened to the voice on the other end of the phone when I called in and hour before my shift was to start, "...Yeah, Jon, we need you. Come in."

So, I happily went in for a full day of work on Friday. Unfortunately, it was a day full of stress, repeating 'retail phrases' over and over again and again, and an often non-stop stream of customers at the sales register, all of them asking the same question, "How are you doing today?" By the end of my shift, I almost didn't care to respond. By the end of the day I had become a robot caring only about getting out of there. Had I the chance, I would probably have hit the door running.

I'll be getting eight more hours on my next paycheck, so I guess that'll help my pocketbook. However considering the rediculous stresses I had to go through to 'earn' it, I once again wonder, why the heck did I get into retail?.... Oh, yeah, that's right.... I needed an immediate job, and they offered me one. ... [sigh]

But, anyway, moving on to lighter things, there was one interesting that came out of working on Friday. When I first got there, business was slow. Afterall, it was still mid-morning. So, out of boredom at the time, I happened to spot a book displayed on a shelf behind the register. It was a book of quotes. I glanced through it when business was slow, and jotted down a few that I really liked. I actually found that they seemed to keep me sane as I trudged through the muck of a daily routine that has grown way too old. I thought I'd share a selection of them with you -- words of the wise, and optimistic, if you will. You might actually like some of these.

"If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always gotten."
-- a proverb

"Your mind is like a parachute: it works better when it is open."
-- author unknown

"If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words."
-- Chinese proverb

"Your life is an expression of all your thoughts."
-- Marcus Aurelius

"I don't sing becasue I'm happy. I'm happy becasue I sing."
-- William James

"Many of life's failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave it up."
-- Thomas Edison

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first."
-- Mark Twain

And my personal favorite....

"An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pesimist always run to blow it out?"
-- Michel de Saint-Pierre

Have a wonderful weekend all,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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