Sunday, December 26, 2010

Russian Themed Box

The person this was made for, studies Russian history as a hobby. Images on this box include, Russian stamp, Tolstoy, Cossack man & woman, the Kremlin, Russian imperial eagle.

Box was made on 12/24/10

Odds and Ends "Alice" Box

Handmade gift box. I covered a small box in chess board pattern paper,along with illustrations from Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland". Illustrations were hand cut from a durable, 30% recycled paper, and colored by hand using Prismacolor Premier colored pencils.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Is Your Hero A Republican or A Democrat?

   Are you going to vote in the up coming elections and encourage others to do the same? Does voting excite you? Why?

   I have trouble finding a reason why we vote for those among us, whose main goal is to increase the power and size of a governing body that is broken. At the same time, these elected few, criminalize our personal freedoms and take money from our paychecks.  Which candidate is going to change this? They all say they will and we love hoping they will because we're too damn busy working and buying shit at Wal-Mart to get up there and do it ourselves.

   We tend to vote not so much because we think candidate "X" is a revolutionary who will get the government out of our way, but more so, we vote for "X" because we are terrified, if candidate "Y" gets elected things will be so much worse. If we look at the big picture, it doesn't  matter which party gets elected. When a republican is elected taxes still go up, certain personal freedoms are made illegal, violent wars are still waged (at home and abroad), the education system continues to decline and the power of the government grows and grows. When a Democrat is elected taxes still go up, certain personal freedoms are made illegal, violent wars are still waged (at home and abroad), the education system continues to decline and the power of the government grows and grows. For an example click here.

   If we step back, we can see,  that what we have been voting for, is a bully who we can admire as he takes our lunch money and punishes us when we don't pay up. A bully who tells us what toys we can have, and what games we can play. He does however promise to protect us from the other bullies and from ourselves. Since we are so inferior and cannot make intelligent decisions, our bully will tell us who is bad and who is good. That way we don't get confused by other thoughts and perspectives, because these new thoughts might lead to sympathizing with the "bad" guys.

   As we know, the "bad" guys don't give our bully their lunch money and play games that our bully does not like. A lot of the bad guy's games do not revolve around lunch money so they are for "losers". It's only a matter of time before the "losers" get their asses kicked and shoved in a locker. Why even risk trying some new games or new toys?

   What if two bullies took your toy and passed it back and forth over your head? Would you run back and forth with tears in your eyes, begging each one to please give it back, all while the rest of the kids watched? No, you walk away. Have some pride, fuck the toy(not literally), they're just going to take it away again and give it back and so on. It's not worth it.

   If it doesn't matter whether a Republican or a Democrat ends up in the White House, and a third party vote is dismissed by most citizens as throwing away our vote, then what do we do?  We can refuse to participate in the theatrical drama known as the illusion of choice . We can stop watching the campaigns to find out who's going to do this, who said that, which one goes to church, and  which one smoked pot. We can empower ourselves, and lessen the imagined need for government intervention.  Imagine if we spent the same amount of time educating ourselves and volunteering, as we do listening to politicians and defending "our" candidate's policies. We can teach ourselves and others how to be more confident as individual citizens, we can volunteer to change our communities instead of asking the government. We can get to know our neighbors and help each other fix what's broken instead of relying on the government. Empower yourself, don't outsource your power to a system that makes decisions based on securing it's own power and prosperity.

   The more we rely on ourselves and our neighbors for help and advancement, the less significant the government will become. Volunteering on even the smallest levels will empower us and show each other that WE can do it ourselves. There are a few political parties that reflect this idea, The Green Party  being one of them, but until the corporate backed Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are seen for what they are, new parties will not stand a chance.
   If you want to make a difference instead of standing in the corral with a bunch of livestock, then start reading websites on personal freedom, and volunteering. As we help ourselves and our neighbors,  we will watch and feel our power grow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Perfection Is For Losers

In the past few weeks I have been trying to piece together the actions and ideas that have lead me to where I am right now. As with anybody it's a growing list, but I did realize a very big roadblock that had been keeping me from experiencing my life the way I wanted to. It had made me fearful of criticism for trying something new or different, even though I thought I would enjoy it. The thing that had been stopping me all this time was perfectionism.
                      By definition "perfect" is an adjective used to describe something that is without any flaws, defects or short comings. I mean come on that can't be used to describe anything accurately, including the universe. I had been under the impression anything I did that fell short of perfection was a failure. Even more devastating, was I had thought it had to be perfect the first time I did something, regardless if I had ever even tried it in the past.

                         For reasons due to some misunderstandings between teachers, parents and myself, criticism had become the ultimate fear. To avoid criticism I decided perfection was the only way to go and so the story unfolds. This lead me to avoid failure at all cost (which I failed at miserably), which caused a chain reaction of missed opportunities and experiences.

             I had set a goal for myself that was unattainable and Ironically set myself up for constant failure. I had set this goal in all aspects of life from education to personal relationships and couldn't be happy with anything less. Now I always pictured famous, successful, happy people as perfectionist but then I realized they have mastered (not perfected) the art of "good enough". What if every inventor or writer or artist kept changing and adding and subtracting until his/her master piece was absolutely flawless in all way before releasing it to the public to avoid criticism? Wow what would a world of perfectionist be like? I can think of two words boring and non-productive.

                           This revelation made me realize most of my unfinished projects were that way because I saw them as less than perfect so I abandoned them to start fresh on my next piece of perfection and the cycle went on.The fallacy of perfection can kill motivation and enthusiasm and severely limit creativity. In my opinion motivation, enthusiasm, and creativity are the three greatest treasures we can have or bring out in someone else so I put together some of the negative side effects of being a perfectionist and a few imperfect tips on ways to help yourself or someone you know break free of the great oppressor known as perfectionism.

  • Completion is more important than perfection, accept that there will always be mistakes and move on.
  • Nothing has ever been perfect nor will it ever be, so be happy instead of perfect.
  • Failure can be a great educator. 
  • Aim for "good enough" to be successful.
  • Most time it's ourselves imposing perfection on our work not our co-workers.
  • Failures are what made modern medicine(not to be confused with health care) what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.
  • Try failing on purpose on small scales.
  • Look at some of the the most popular ideas and philosophies in the world today, they cause war, hate, fear and slow the progress of humanity (obviously not perfect) but those ideas are blindly followed without question.
So many of our systems, dogmas and scientific theories are taught and accepted as perfect and without flaw. Why do we not challenge and question these ideas as a society? In my opinion it's a fear of being wrong and public criticism, for going against the grain. Right now top scientists are pursuing better medicine and technology through old fashioned trial and error without the crippling fear of criticism and loss of employment. They have this luxury because the organizations that employ them know failure is an educator. This blog is a catalyst in the pursuit of better ideas and actions by ordinary men and women  through failure. By publicly revealing our own failures and what we have learned we can slowly chip away at the stigma and negativity associated with failure. We as a community no longer  give up on trying to better ourselves and the systems that bind us because of criticism or failure, we can learn by example what works and what doesn't.

This blog is dedicated to the pursuit of better ideas and actions by ordinary men and women through failure. Historical and modern attempts of change that have failed even on the smallest scale will be posted and discussed to aid anyone interested in getting past the idea that failure is the ultimate enemy. We will embrace failure and celebrate it as it exposes truths that would otherwise remain hidden.