Well, I officialy began working again today! And it ate me up…

Most of the kids were cool, but of course being a sub, and a new sub at that, they all tried to push the limits. And who can blame them. Still, it was hectic to say the least, but I’m learning. And to top it all off, I locked my keys in my car. Yay me.

Either way, tomorrow is another day and another chance to do better. For now, it’s time to sleep!

It’s been nearly two months since I’ve written a blog, so I figure I should catch up on everything that I usually write about.

To start with, I got my car fully operational again. Thanks in part to my brother, and my mechanic for teaching me what I know, we got it torn apart and put back together, and now it runs like a champ.

Also, I got a job teaching kids how to be awesome! I now work for Bridges after school program of Carmichael, CA! It’s definitely going to be a new experience for me, but I’m looking forward to it, to say the least.

The Book Cover series! Has been put on hold… In light of pursuing a bigger project, I put my painting aside for a while. Not forever, I do plan on returning to it some time, just not any time soon.

And finally…

I’ve decided to write a book! Yes, you’ve read that correctly. I am writing a book. That is why my paintings have been put on the back burner. It’s going to be a long process, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for such a long time, and there’s no time like the present.

Wish me luck friends!

Learning to carve a turkey

So, I’m going to sound really old when I say this, but when I was a kid Thanksgiving was probably the day I most looked forward to. What’s going on with Thanksgiving these days? It’s like it doesn’t exist any more. Christmas music and Santa are now present an accounted for right after Halloween passes, Black Friday shopping now starts at nine o’clock Thanksgiving night, and I haven’t for the life of me seen a single finger paint turkey that the children make in years. It’s like Thanksgiving has lost all meaning.

Well, for me one fact still holds true: That the magic little time between All Hallow’s Eve and Christmas lies a time when we should all stop for a moment, and count our blessings. In these hard times, it’s difficult for those of us that actually have things pretty good to remember how decent our lives actually are. I’m very thankful to have a house to live in, food on the table, an amazing family, and a great group of friends. There’s a significant amount of people right now who can say that they don’t have at least one of those things.

And despite all the hard times, and the fact that Thanksgiving seems to be disappearing a little more year by year, one thing still brings me a little joy in this brisk November month: Watching those of us that do have, give back to those who might not.

Every year my church holds a Thanksgiving feast. We get up early, set the tables, prepare the food, and serve anyone and everyone who might come through the doors. Nobody is excluded.

Preparing to serve.

It’s something that my mother and I, along with some of the great friends I mentioned earlier have been doing for years. It’s something I think about a lot. Something that we should be doing all the time. It might mean getting up at six in the morning, but it’s worth it in the end. There’s a happiness I feel as I pile turkey on to a plate and watch it get served to a family, knowing that they might not have a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

But it’s also a tradition. One that I love and plan on sticking to for as long as I possibly can. Nothing can describe the feeling that I get when I see my community coming together, showing one another that we do indeed care for each other. It’s something I would be more than willing to work all day for, and something that I am proud to be a part of.
The community.
It’s not something that I expect everyone to be a part of, or to enjoy. It’s not even something that I expect people to want to do. But it is great to see that there are still people out there that are willing to give. People that don’t mind sacrificing a Saturday to help out their fellow man. People that believe in doing good, just for the sake of doing good. Not because they will be rewarded, but because it’s the right thing to do. And in these times, I can’t help but to think that when we come together as a collective to give back to our community, we are in our own right giving thanks. And that’s what it’s all about right?

It’s a Tuesday afternoon, I’ve got nothing to do, and it’s the perfect time for me to paint! If only…

Here’s the problem: every time I get half way through one piece, I have to stop for some reason and start another. I currently have three different canvses laying out with the backround painted on because I can’t, for some reason, seem to move on from there.

I’ve tried everything to shake the block too: putting on some of my favorite music, stuffing my face with cinnamon rolls, smoking a cigarette (Yes, I know. “But you quit smoking!” You don’t have to say it.), even taking a break to read a book and stimulate my mind.

Perhaps Tuesdays aren’t a good day to paint? Or, perhaps I’m making excuses.

So, tell me, how do you move past your mental blocks? Be it writing, creative, etc…

It had already been a long, hard day at work and now I sat, stuck at one of the busiest interstate on-ramps in the city. It was the third time my car had died, the third time I had blocked traffic, the third time in a day that I had been cussed out and flipped off by so many people I didn’t know. It was frustrating to say the least.

The first two times a few friends jumped my battery, and followed me, hoping that my car had enough life to make it to their shop on the other side of the freeway. The third time, they had left me to go get the part I needed, and I had to be pushed into a KFC parking lot by Austin Police. So there I sat, not an idea about what I should do, upset from my long day, and waiting for my mechanic to find me.

The dark clouds literally started rolling in.

Finally my friend and mechanic, John, showed up. He was truly a saving grace. Not only did he know what the problem was, he had it taken care of in about twenty minutes, took the time to explain to me why it happened in the first place, and he even bought me some chicken.

And the dark clouds literally rolled away.

My bad day that had me so angry had gotten better so quickly. John had solved just about every problem I had, and then he did something I didn’t expect: He offered for me to come work with him at his shop when I could, so I could learn more about cars, mechanics, and what to do in a situation like the one I was in. I would’ve been stupid to not accept.

It took that moment for me to realise something I should’ve understood a long time before: Sometimes bad things do happen for good reasons. We just need to have faith that we will find the good, and understand why we needed the bad to get us there.

That day was one of the most challenging days I’ve been through. My patience was tried plenty of times, and I was worried to say the least. I couldn’t imagine at that time the day would provide for me a wealth of information, and a growing friendship. In the end, that one bad day would prove to be worth the good months that followed, and I couldn’t be more thankful that it happened.

What’s up WordPress readers? I just wanted to drop an update on my book cover series:

I’m up to seven books now from the two I started with!

The list now includes:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
To Kill a Mockingbird
Cannery Row
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Silent Assassin
Ham On Rye

And one more that I’m going to leave unnamed because I plan on giving it to someone who might be reading this.

In addition to a few suggestions I got from the blog, and from a few friends and my book loving sister, I emailed my local used book store, Beatnik books and wil be meetin with some of the staff for more ideas! I’m rather excited about that, because not only will it help my current project, but Beatnik also takes part in Roseville’s Third Saturday Art Walk, where they help local artists display their work, and I hope to one day be a part of that.

That being said, I can still use more suggestions!

So tell me, what are you reading now? What’s your favorite book? Who’s your favorite author?