Feb 8 2011

how many of you stayed home today? [day 257]

The day after the Super Bowl is apparently the most missed day at work for hangovers.  The Dallas Morning News ran this article in a Super Bowl special excerpt.  There’s a website that will give you good excuses so you can miss work if you’ve partied too hard.  Seriously?  The newspaper is posting ways to lie to your boss?  So let’s say the employees of the DMN read this and call in sick.  I think they should all get a paid day off for lying, as suggested by their employer.  How about scheduling a vacation day is you plan to get smashed?  Or maybe just have one or two beers instead?  I just find it somewhat disturbing that the news would tell people to lie.  Sad.


Dec 7 2010

helping the homeless stay warm [day 194]

Thanksgiving day, we brought many coats and blankets to Dallas to pass out to the homeless people living there, trying to stay warm.  Even though there was a lot of food, many said they had already eaten, as everyone gives out food on Thanksgiving.  They were there for the coats and blankets.  There’s a huge need, as there are thousands of homeless in Dallas.

If you’re in the Frisco area, we’ll be going again on December 18th.  Please give me any extra adult size coats and any extra blankets you have in your home and I’ll get them down to Dallas.  I will come pick them up at your house if you need me to.  Thanks to all who helped with this load.  It filled up the back of my car.  :)


Nov 2 2010

a college degree in zombies and lady gaga? [day 159]

Zombies 101: Okay, this is for real.   The University of Baltimore is offering a new class, a class on zombies.  The class will study America’s fascination with zombie movies and pop culture.  The class will watch 16 classic zombie films, read zombie comics and their final project is to create their ideal zombie flick.

The University of Baltimore is not the first to have this type of class.  A college in Illinois and one in Iowa did something similar.  I’m all about studying pop culture, as I do it, I just don’t have a college credit for it.

Lady Gaga Intermediate: Yep, she’s now the focal point of a college course at the University of South Carolina.  The only point.  A class fully dedicated to the study of Lady Gaga.  The professor starting this wants to explore what makes a person famous and what superstardom means in today’s culture.  Here’s the course description: “The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga.”

Again, it’s good to study pop culture, and I’m not opposed to the study of specific people or groups, but I think we should expand our realm of analyzation.  Instead of one case study, why not look at 5 or 6 of them?  Make it more of a pop culture class versus studying one situation.  That would be like ditching psychology classes and having a class only on Pavlov or Phineas Gage.  There’s a lot to be learned from them, but a whole semester?

Cultural Issues Class: Now this is a class where all of this could fall under a logical heading and allow the study of culture.  Some say we are still in the post modern era but I think it’s time for a new era.  I have no idea what to call it or how to even identify all of the details of what that might look like.  The closest I can come is a word I made up.

Excessable: [ex-ses-uh-buhl]  The materialism excess in our current culture and how readily accessible it is. [see the art collection excessable]

Finding and Photographing Creepy Dolls: Yes, I’m starting my own class.  It is the study of our cultural obsession with plastic, lifeless beings that we love as children and abandon as grown ups.  We will concentrate on where these dolls live, how to find them, strange displays and how to photograph them in their own abandoned environments.  Here are some of the photographs we will look at and analyze.  Classes will begin in December and you must have your own camera and transportation.

Jody Wissing is a professor of doll and mannequin creepology in the Dallas area and has extensive experience locating and photographing these plastic inanimate creations.

Continue reading


Sep 27 2010

just updates [day 123]

Just a few updates today, no rants.  😉

Birthdays.

My son’s birthday is next week.  We shopped on eBay for gifts or I told him he can have some money to spend.  He doesn’t want a party, but just a barbecue with some of his neighborhood friends.  Other than a few Lego things, there’s really not much he wants.

My friend, who’s in the hospital for a while, had a birthday yesterday.  I went to see her, but I didn’t bring a card or a gift.  I told her I would take her out to dinner for her birthday as soon as she could go.  The birthday dinner thing seems to be the best thing.  You get to spend time with your friends, share a good meal and have some great memories.

Helping the homeless.

I went to an orientation for Our Calling.  This organization, started by Wayne Walker, is quite an impressive operation in helping homeless and broken people.  There are many ways to help people through Our Calling, from serving people in person to financial and donations.  I sat for a little while with a man named Jeff, who is now clean, off the streets after many years and is out there helping others.  His comment to us was, “… thank you for helping me, because now I can go out and help others.”  Check it out if you have a minute.

I can’t end this section without also mentioning our local homeless shelter, The Samaritan Inn.  Suburban homelessness exists, only it’s more difficult to see since they aren’t hanging out under bridges or panhandling in our downtown areas.  Our suffering economy (as opposed to the economists that need to make it sound like everything is stable and improving) has severely increased the homeless population over the past few years.

If you’re in the Frisco area and have any desire to work with these organizations, I’m starting a Go Group (through Preston Trail Community Church) that focuses on helping the homeless.  Join me!

Tires.

I’m probably going to need tires on my 14 year old SUV before this challenge is up.  I’m starting to look on eBay and craigslist, however that is going to require me to know way more about tires than I ever wanted to know.  I’ll keep you posted on this one.

BTW.

I’m past the 1/3 mark for the year!  Time is flying…


Jun 2 2010

the challenge: day 6 & day 7 [materialism & a project for kids]

I’m back home from my trip to Mexico and back into my much too busy routine. I don’t have any shopping challenges to report, however I am uncomfortable with my very comfortable life.

There is one thing I’ve been thinking about, and that’s how this challenge will affect my kids. I’m trying to teach them that materialism is not good, while the life lessons they’re learning in our society are sending the opposite, and quite powerful message that materialism is very good. Last night we sat out on our rickety old trampoline (in the rain) and talked about what we’re passionate about. My boys are 9 and 10 years old, so the discussion itself was a bit of a challenge.

I decided to give them each a summer project. The project will allow me to teach them some of my design skills, while teaching them to help people and encourage others to do the same. They are both to choose a topic, do a journalistic photo shoot and create a video. They will have to storyboard it and blog during the process. Honestly, they’re viewing it as summer homework. Hopefully they won’t see it that way once we get into it. I’m such an abusive parent! LOL

Cole is doing his project on The New U.S. Army, a new non-violent army. Joe is doing his with a comic book style superhero named God’s Host. And me? I will be helping them and doing the 8 million other things I have in my head. This morning I’m looking for a homeless retreat in Dallas and planning a new type of recycling program. Yes, there’s much to do in this world… shopping is not on the list.