Showing posts from January, 2012

The Ten Dollar Check Out

I saw Mission Impossible 4 tonight with my son. It was amazing. Great action, riveting plot and lots of technology and special effects. It's one of those movies that is best experienced on the big screen. (Most movies are, but action thrillers even more so.) Lots of explosions, perilous falling scenes and gunfire. Was most of it far-fetched? Of course. But that's why we go to the movies. Escape. Total, pure escapism. I'm glad I took the time to see it, especially with my son, Ben. It seems I'd fallen into my winter routine funk and was reminded of it by my wife. One dark winter day seems to blend into the next. I know as well as my wife,  that all work and no play makes Jim a dull boy. When she mentioned doing something to shake it up, I thought about taking Ben somewhere. It's been a while since we did a boy's night, so I checked into a hockey game. The   Milwaukee Admirals game had no good tickets left, so I opted for a movie instead. MI4 it was. When I s

Draw Like an Egyptian

We got some great news today from my daughters school. She had entered a piece of her artwork in a competition set by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers .  Her piece (above) was a self-portrait done with pastels. There were a few thousand from the state and her piece was selected as one of the Gold Key winners. This is a pretty significant achievement given the number of entries. She was excited, but in typical Sarah form, she is humble about it. Like many of her achievements, I am more excited than her. Part of what I admire about it is that I have never been good at art. I used to love to draw football players until someone pointed out that their head was pointed in one direction and their feet in another. They looked like Egyptian glyphs if you know what I mean. My players were " Walking like an Egyptian. " When the friend pointed this out to me, it kind of ruined my love of drawing. To top it off, he was able to draw football players and make them look real. Re

The Breakfast Club

I had breakfast at Blues Egg with a couple of close friends this morning. The food was great as was the company. As a trio, we're going to try and make it a monthly thing, getting together and talking about life. All three of us have been in Bible Studies and/or some sort of men's group in the past and while they have all been relatively good experiences, when all was said and done, we didn't come away with any close true friends. We've got friends who we see at church or who we respect, but none that we would call buds. It's not to say that those groups don't build those kinds of relationships, I'm just saying that none of us had that kind of luck. None of us are the types to call each other a couple times a week, as we're not big phone people. We will frequently text during a football game we're watching or attending, but that's about as personal as we get. (It's a guy thing). We're all busy and trying our best to be loyal spouses,

It's a Free For All!

Last Friday night was an event called the AllWriters' Friday Night Free-For-All . It is an event held quarterly at the writing studio that is free to the public. It features short readings from 4 different students, namely poetry, memoir, short story and novel. There were also readings from Kathie and Michael Giorgio at this particular event in recognition of the studio's 7th anniversary. Kathie has done a wonderful job at building a successful creative writing business that has even weathered the current recession we're experiencing. I'm not one who particularly likes public speaking, but was asked by the Director to do a reading from my memoir I'm working on. I was honored to be asked, so picked a story about one of our foibles at a canoe launch in the BWCA. I was a bit nervous going in, but for some strange reason, not as nervous as I've been in the past. I got up and read my 12 minutes worth and it went off without a hitch. Judging from the crowd's rea

Looking Up

The start of a new year is always a time of reflection and renewal for me. As part of my annual tradition, I do a purge of my closet and dressers to rid myself of clothes that I haven't worn in the last year. It also gives me some much needed space in my closet and dresser. More than anything though it gives me the satisfaction of "lightening." The older I get, the less I think I need. This is despite the fact that the "want" never seems to cease. It seems you can't outgrow selfishness. I had an interesting chat with a friend after writing class last night. She is a relatively new friend that shares several common tragic threads with me. We seem to connect because of what we've been through, yet each of us is determined not to let our tragedies define us. Life is too short to not look forward or to let something horrible from your past stifle your future. Anyhow she is a kindred spirit and we've had some great conversations. Last night we talked