I just gotta be me….no matter who it bothers…even if it’s Colonel Sanders

Writings from the "Cuff'

“A lot of learned men think people really are the food they’ve eaten.” – Colonel Sanders

fixing.the.sidewalk

“Fixing the Sidewalk” ©2013, Robert Redus

I really do love religion….and not because I believe in it…but because of how it has convinced so many people that “Doing Right” is just a part of being religious and since we opted in at the top of the food chain and morality chain…by definition it gives us a right over just about anything we want to be in charge of….not to mention in the midst of a war…God is on “Our” side…not theirs…even though they think God is on “their” side… what are they thinking…

though if God is on both sides….doesn’t that seem like overusing the word “Check”….

for as “smart” as we are and for as much that has been used and implemented in the name of religion…regardless of the religion…we are not very forgiving…nor are we accepting…understanding…empathetic…compassionate…loving…caring…or anything that even remotely resembles the concept of…LOVE…which call me crazy…but I think religion is brewed in that ideology…sort of…

Some people believe that the earth and all of it’s creatures were given to us by God for our use…to do with what we want and to exploit it to the point of no return…which is where we sit today…this is one of the bumper stickers on my truck:

bumper

I mean really…what if Jesus really does show up and is just nothing here but a smoldering heap of what used to be the planet….there’s nobody to save…this is surely a WTF moment….

Global warming…no global warming…GMO’s no GMO’s…God…Allah….A bucket of Original KFC….all of these are just the distractions…Bob Dylan said….not necessarily with regard to the actual weather….”You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”…and in this case he’s correct..eat a tomato from Walmart….looks like a tomato….red…crunchy…tasteless…and less of a tomato than a tomato should really be….the food we eat is not what it really is described as….the west coast has been polluted by the Fukashima disaster…and it ain’t going away…Cattle are the new canary in the mine….so to speak….take a gander …..if it looks scary….it’s because it is….and Point of No Return…. means just that…adios…hasta la vista….bien camino….

really….take a deep breath of the air around where you live…have a few glasses of water direct from the tap….maybe some fast food…get a blood panel….cheat on your spouse a little more….squeeze as much money as you can from everything you touch…buy more shit…lie more about who you are not what you do to prove who you really are….pretend help is a few cans in a bag at Thanksgiving….keep thinking…”Get a job” to the guy on the corner asking for money….and realize you…me…all of us have played a huge part in making the landscape….look like this….really…just take a look at which way the wind blows…the smoke from the tower….should tell you something…

Our blue recycled container arrived today….I’m quivering with anticipation….and loathing that I am going to fill it up with useless packaging that was designed so I’d buy the product…via visual appeal…and it doesn’t really have to be that way…so my goal is not to fill it…which means I have to continually buy products that don’t rely on how they want me to see it….

We are in a bit of a fix….I like the bumper sticker I’ve seen on a few cars… “Jesus Saves”….well now more than ever is the time for a little bit more than a little bit of saving to happen…

Clearly if people will just open their eyes…get rid of the need to be right bullshit… the sanctimonious attitude….and the idea that someday things are going to be fine….because it said so somewhere….here is the truth…..Colonel Sanders just might be one of the living dead…

so pray hard my little pretties…and hope you are here for the show down…and if not…have coke and a smile….

“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.” Henny Youngman

7.1.13…The lasting effects and knowledge of June….2013

First Day of the Month, Last Day of the Month

cause I dont worry

“Cause I Don’t Worry” ©2013, Robert Redus

“I’m not out to convince anybody of anything.”

I’ve not revisited the “First of the Month”…honestly in a few months maybe even….well…over a year…in order for the first of the month to have some value…there must be a connection to the end of the previous month…don’t ask me why…but it just seems a sort of…”foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone”…sort of progression… I have to say in all honesty…I prefer writing about what I learned in the month just finished rather than…what I think I’m going to learn in the month…ahead…seems so cryptic…

well here is the…where I’ve been…in other words the gripping thoughts and the skinny for June 2013…the month that has led me to this morning of writing about…my expectations if you will…for July…

10 Things I learned in June:

  1. There are a lot of people who buy a lot of pretty pointless…stuff…
  2. Bee stings are much different from what I expected…
  3. There is always something that has to happen before that something that really matters happens…
  4. I’m completely and utterly done with thinking that #3 is true and has to occur…
  5. Writing is much more liberating than I remember…
  6. Israeli food is the same as Middle Eastern food..so I understand the conflict even less…
  7. At art shows…people generally ask the same…4 questions…and tell me the same…3 storie… about themselves…
  8. Success for me is finding someone who is equally as excited about selling my stuff as I am excited about making it…
  9. At 56 I don’t need/want excuses…
  10. Sometimes it is just easier to nod than to say anything….maybe utter a couple of “hmm’s” …but remain for the most part…quiet

So there you have it…June in a nutshell!

July is going to have to wait….I have 30 more days to see what transpires…

see you then…

“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire  to work towards getting it.”

January 24, 2013, Please don’t repeat yourself, Please don’t repeat yourself, Please don’t repeat yourself…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

wandering

“Wandering” ©2011, Robert Redus

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” – Albert Einstein

Today is really no different from any other day…but more different from any other day I will experience…as much as I love the riddle of living…I also like getting to the point…saying what need be said…getting it out there and over with…being able to say ….”NEXT”…closing one..opening another….scanning the fine print…seeing where it all goes….and hopefully not revisiting the same folder…

The ability to repeat one’s self…redo the process…is much like bulimia….Bulimia is an illness…typically defined by binge eating and purging…the old….in and out so to speak…when we repeat one of our processes….we take in what we clearly know to be something we think we know a great deal about….we then realize at some point (HOPEFULLY)…that there was a reason we opted out of this process and that reason was a good enough one to swear on a stack of bibles…needles in the eye…pinky swear…and  on dear old mom’s grave…to never repeat again….but we never see that until we are often right in the middle of saying…. “How the fuck did I get here…again”…and it may very well be the 5th time we’ve had this conversation….

Now it’s not stupidity….mind you that causes this….it’s this idea that doing the same thing over again with a slightly different approach is going to make all of the difference…(It’s maybe what you were forgetting the last time out)…it is also seeing what was and thinking what was is so much better than what can be….you know….the anticipation of death is far worse than death itself….but anyway…combine…“That back there is much better than this up here and what can be”….. with… “I just forgot to add the baking soda, and really, seriously…it would have been perfect”….sort of thinking…and you have the makings for the ideal bulimic life in every way…less the eating disorder…

My father was notorious for saying the last place he lived was the best place he lived…he could conjure up all of the great things about the place…shout all of the things that made it ideal…the perfect place…utopia…nirvana….heaven on earth….yet whisper the faults…his complaints…the people he couldn’t stand…everything about the place that aided in his decision of which moving company to call…..Mayflower or Bekins….and why you ask…simple:

HE CHOSE TO FORGET ABOUT ALL OF THE STUFF THAT DID NOT MAKE IT:

  • ideal
  • the perfect place
  • utopia
  • nirvana
  • heaven on earth

AND FOCUS ON THE STUFF THAT MADE IT:

  • ideal
  • the perfect place
  • utopia
  • nirvana
  • heaven on earth

And the flaw?????….clearly the flaw is as obvious as the problem….

We often think

  1. I didn’t give it, him, her, them, us, there, those,  a chance
  2. I really didn’t apply myself as much as I could have with it, him, her, them, us, there, those
  3. There is opportunity with it, him, her, them, us, there, those,  I just overlooked it
  4. I’m going to really make it different with me, it, him, her, them, us, there, those
  5. I will ________and__________and_______and_______and______to make it work…this time
  6. I just didn’t try with it, him, her, them, us, there, those
  7. I know how good it, him, her, them, us, there, those,…is/are

“There” might be geography…place…living….relationship….love…job….blah blah blah….well here is my bit of advice and my personal mantra these days:

“If I am not doing what I want to be doing where I am, I will not do it where I am going”

every time/anytime  I say out loud…because I do talk out loud a great deal to myself:

“when I get _______. I am going to open up a trout ranch”…I then ask myself, (again out loud)…. “Are you actively pursuing your ‘Trout Ranch’ right here and now?”….and it’s pretty simple…if the answer is “Yes, as a matter of fact I am and in a big way”obviously trout ranching is a big part of my life and it’s something I will continue to pursue with fervor….yet if I answer, “No, I’m not really involved in ‘Trout Ranching’ just yet.”…that in-turn…leads to another question…which is….“Are you blowing smoke out of your ass or is ‘Trout Ranching” really important?” If YES to the smoke from my ass question, I won’t do it anyway and it is a distraction…I spit say a few made up incantations….and it is gone…no more smoke…while if YES it is important…time for the old BEN FRANKLIN ‘T’….basically dividing a piece of paper in half…..write  Pros to Trout Farming in 1 column and the Cons to Trout Farming in the other…over a couple of days write the pros and cons down….a few weighting decisions and by weeks end…I have an answer….I will or will not be a trout farmer… taadaa……

so live how you want…repeat as often as you want….but…..each time you cry  for what you’ve already cried over…before…it seems kind of like a waste of good tears…cry over something new…big…enormous…monumental….something that could really affect you in a big way…just as long as it doesn’t have “Felony” attached to it….

“History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living.”

520. May 7th…Mullets…Light Sabers….and Beatle Boots…hmm…Trendy…yes trendy…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“How to Attach New Light Saber to Existing Handle”

“Got a case of dynamite, I could hold out here all night” – Donald Fagan

I was madly in love with a girl in high school that wore turquoise eye shadow…to the point I probably loved her more than life itself…although to my dismay…she wasn’t even aware…we shared the same planet let alone I had some interest in her…I admired her from afar…I think though it truly was the eye shadow that did it for me…bright turquoise…I can’t really tell you anything else about her but that…not even what she looked like…and I probably couldn’t have then either…so…”more than life itself”…perhaps I’m exaggerating…

where I grew up…in the low deserts of west Texas…the 1960’s sort of passed us by or more so was thrown from the car window like what was left of a partial eaten burger and fries…the 1970’s were no different…and I suspect every decade since then has just been…the same burger…being thrown from a newer car…

I recall a kid came to school before we were required to wear uniforms…(frankly I think it was his outfit that made the uniforms a mandatory feature at the parish school)…but nevertheless…he appeared with burnt orange wide corduroy pants…a belt filled with 2 rows of holes…and very wide…a green and purple polka-dotted shirt…and to top the outfit off..he wore a “Dickie”…(as it was winter)….for those of you who’ve no idea what a Dickie is…it sort of like an unreal turtle neck…it’s the turtle neck…with out all of the rest of the shirt…sleeves…front and back…all that go with a normal pull over your head turtle neck…he was also wearing a large medallion…with an enormous linked chain…something that Earth Wind and Fire…would envy on any given day…oh and he had on “Beatle Boots”…something I knew right then I needed…wanted and would basically give my life for…or significant body parts… to have….

shortly after this event…we were wearing blue uniforms with dark blue sweaters…and a Parish patch over our hearts…and either white slip on “Keds” deck shoes…or lace up tennis shoes…we were styling…no doubt….

I don’t know if this kid knew he was an innovator…an imposter….a subversive…or just a snappy dresser….but I’d guess he wore small round purple lens sunglasses and said “Far Out” and “Groovy”….a great deal…more than I ever did…matter of fact I’m certain he did….as I rarely said those 2 words and when I did…I looked both directions…don’t know why…..

I’ve always liked trends…just never been able to be a part of them…and I’m not sure why…a part of me…really wants to dive right into it…yet the other part of me insists we wait…and every time I see a trend…I think of that kid in school…and I wonder if what he did was spectacular or just another one of the lemmings jumping over the edge…and if maybe he has been a trend follower all of his life…pictures of him in angel flights and platform shoes…others of him getting back to nature…short hair long hair…no hair…more hair less hair…every trend possible that doesn’t or maybe does say…”Don’t do this one…OK?”…and what’s he doing now…I don’t think there are many trends for middle aged  men…sure…younger women…convertibles….money…golf…but middle age is middle age…

I really like this part of life…there is something about just being who I am that is as trendy as it’s going to be…oh sure I still dream of a girl friend that wears turquoise eye shadow…but not everyday…and I seldom look at the auctions on eBay selling “vintage Beatle boots”…but I know they are there…I never did get a pair of them…and by the time I could buy them for myself…they were done…and I didn’t really miss them…I think I was starting to like Stan Getz then…

here is a great site for a trend we all know….maybe have had (I did…)…but rarely admit…enjoy….and please…Rate My Mullet

“If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn’t be a human being, you’d be a game show host.” – Gabriel Heatter

465. January 3rd…What’s all of the Voodoo in your… “Creative Process?”…

Art and my thoughts about being an artist, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Rail” 2011

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” – Saul Bellow

I awakened yesterday morning to a question that had been pressing heavy…I suppose…on my mind…a question of the heart that posed itself…for my mind to unravel…seems issues of thinking should be delegated to the brain…those of the heart…left to the heart…

I’d like to think that everything I know is completely wrong…that I have been misinformed over these 50 plus years…that my opinions…were developed from a manual that was a close up drawing from the original schematic of a propane powered refrigerator…or maybe a microscopic view of the inside of a banana peel…or even the final exam of…professional bull fighter training school…

I often wonder if what I think…aligns with what I feel and how fast or slow my heart beats…if on those days I am skipping due to happiness…my heart….is sitting in a swing hanging from some oak tree in the deep south…while Suzy cream cheese…gently rocks us back and forth…and on those days with less happiness…is my heart huddled by a dumpster…drinking “mad dog”…wrapped in a dirty magazine…and we’re billigerant…and I laugh…outloud…

John Cage has a set of 10 rules for students and teachers…and after all…aren’t we always a student/teacher…my favorite rule is…RULE EIGHT: “Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.”…indeed they are… John…here lies the perfect example of a the brain/heart disconnect…

perhaps the literal brain heart/disconnect…that one associated with post operative heart surgery is not the one…I am addressing…rather the fictitious one…you know that one…the one that often thinks impulsively …the same one that dials their phone number at 3am to just tell them you were thinking about them…yeah that one…

as artists rule #8 is serious…otherwise it’s like eating soup with a knife…

to create requires a shifting of gears into a mode that when being done has little thought to it…there seems to be a place that the mind sits back…puts its feet up and lets somebody else drive…that somebody else moves from place to place perhaps intoxicated in the moment…engrossed to a degree that thought is missing…absent…temporarily…everything is on a creative auto pilot…and placement appears effortless….everything has found…place…how it relates and adjust to everything else…and somehow there is a symbiosis…a cohesion that has taken place…that when the trance is lifted and you’ve put your clothes back on… may very well not be seen until it comes time to analyze….

the analyzing process requires thought…and not very much free objective thinking is involved…there are cannons…that need be met…protocol…and conformity…even if the work strives for non-conformity…and chaos…all of the Art 101…info that was tattooed on art students…to make certain they could get form…line…function…blah blah blah…and of course knew who Caravaggio was….and why we should like him…analyzing involves time…thicker skin and the ability to slap yourself across the face while looking in the mirror…see a little truth about the work…pedal a little backwards and be okay with it…pass the work on for further analyzation… see…RULE ONE: “Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while”….

I’m interested…in how you create…the way you set it up and your thoughts on your process of creativity and analysis…feel free to share them…thanks…

“It’s useless to play lullabies for those who cannot sleep.” – John Cage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

464. January 1st, 2011…A New Day…New Year and all that stuff that goes…with it…

Uncategorized

“Words” 2011

“If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?” Harvey Fierstein

so here we sit…a brand new day…of the brand new year….that’s pretty exciting…

I don’t make resolutions…as I see them to be a great deal like haircuts…I have to have them a few times a year rather than once…for obvious reasons…I like the idea of resolutions…but to store all of that up and wait to put them into practice…on one day…well…honestly doesn’t seem very practical…reasonable…possible or likely…not to mention the pressure and anxiety associated with the entire idea behind it…

I’m finding the more we do something the better we get at that something…and the more we do the things that are directly related to that something…well…we get even better…at the original something…so it seems to practice a resolution all year makes a great deal more sense than to take a huge bite out of something that a few seconds into it reveals the impossible nature of the task ahead…gym membership sales increase dramatically in January….for what appears to be the idea that health has somehow become an important issue somewhere around January 1st…and the previous 11 months health was a moderate maybe even nonexistent idea…so back to the more you do the better you get at it idea….maybe the whole resolution thing could sort of finalize itself on January 1st….after say an entire year of healthy living…good quality food…documented weight loss…BP numbers…Hemoglobin A1C …LDL and HDL…tests all well within the “healthy” range….the resolution is then exercised….a trip to the Bali or Paris…or a pair of Peach Face Love Birds…or maybe sleep out in the backyard for a month and not go to work…anything that screams….”Nice”….this has that “reward for action” kind of thing…rather than the “well you lasted 31 days…and you’re eating ice cream out of the carton again…and the finance company is starting to call about the gym memberships“…

Don’t ge me wrong…we don’t need to be rewarded for good behavior…especially when it comes to ourselves…rewarding ourselves for what a great job we did…when we should see the result as some sort of pay off…but we do….

and I know I’d much rather put my ass on the line say…when I’m ready…fit…able…right in my head…to be on the line…ensuring some chance at least of success rather than that I think I should be on the line because January 1st just happened the other day…and I need to be doing something…other than what I have been doing for the last year…

so I guess if I must have a resolution it would be…

Do more of what works and makes me happy…less of what doesn’t…and makes me sad

nebulous….and vague…of course…but something I can strive for…for the entire year…and maybe when I look at the pie chart…December 31st 2011…it’s not cut in equal halves….

the dictionary has many definitions for Resolution…I prefer this one: “reduction to a simpler form

I know what I want…and I am always working towards that…”simpler form“…I’m walking barefoot…now…in cool green grass….oh yeah!!!

I’d be interested in knowing some of your resolutions….have a prosperous and wonderful new year….

“If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.”- Blaise Pascal

415. September 20th…. “It is weight that gives meaning to weightlessness ”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Babe” 2010

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S. Eliot

I’ve thought of the times…I’ve chosen to accept something that I was originally opposed to….and yet  by accepting it…I am in essence saying I will accept contradiction and acknowledge it as now it is Ok to be in my life…..rather than going with the natural confirmation and agreement….that takes most of the bumps out of the road….

I think maybe it’s the …”Some“…is better than the… “None“….mentality….and I suppose in  dealing with hunger and thirst….some is better than none…..seems most everything else outside of that….doesn’t follow that rule…it really translates to…”I’ll get what I can even if it isn’t what I want…for right now“….kind of like the filler in hot dogs….don’t know for what or why….just that it is…..and hopefully when the void is filled with anything…it appears to be the ideal thing…..the only thing…the best thing…..with a little luck…maybe it is…..

sure sitting around and waiting for whatever “IT” might be….to come knocking on the door…doesn’t seem like the likely alternative…and probably isn’t…..as what we want requires we cross the path of that object of desire more than once….yet moving our direction as well…and perhaps at that intersection……the magic may or….may not happen…and often what we don’t get in our lives is really the blessing…..as it may illustrate itself one way…yet appear an entirely different way……

the lack of certainty increases the possibilities of what may happen as well as increase the unknown….”with big risk comes the possibility for big success“….yet trying to achieve that success…via personal compromise….may only bring a fleeting glimpse of the success….as it passes by…and everybody waves from the speeding car…..I’m not suggesting we don’t compromise…..compromise is necessary to make it all work….but to sacrifice a piece of ourselves for the hope of something we don’t want to transpire…..seems like cutting off a finger….just because we’re not planning on using it…..anytime soon……

we strive for the what we know to be the best….how ever we define “The Best“…may be particle board dining room furniture with real fake wood grain from Country Dan’s….or a coffee table by Isamu Noguchi…..but the best is still the best…..and the best for our soul…..hovers there waiting for us to know a truth…..rather than a confetti of uncertainties…..and wavy glass that blurs the vision….while we move forward…. hands in front of us…stepping with uncertainty…and overly cautious….

the answer….any answer is the correct one…..if it is doing what you…me….everybody wants it to do…..even if the truth is questionable….or untrue…..or not even a matter of truth…..

the Tao talks about defining a stream by its componants….yet to identify a particular componant….is impossible…..we can not reach into the water…grasp a piece of “Current” or “Ripple”….and have an answer…..but we can observe the action without the action being a real tangable…something that explains how the stream works….but without any real explanation…..

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” – Lao Tzu