Sunday, November 25, 2012

End of the Rainbow

That's my house at the end of the rainbow.  Get it?  Awesome.  I love my home.  I love to be here.

And here come some insufferably droll details about my life.

I spent Saturday at the studio and got in a game of 40K.  At least half a one.  I am furiously fastidious about keeping up on Inquiries emails and it's all caught up.  Josh the art director was in to write up his weekly report for the art department.  We went to the local grocery store for some sushi for lunch.

Saturday night my wife and I went to see Life of Pi.  We got there about fifteen minutes before the movie started and still needed to grab something to eat.  We had some teriyaki chicken on a bed of rice and some sushi.  Oddly, both are items that appear in the movie in one form or another.

We got some popcorn, Junior Mints (for me), Reese's Pieces (for her, she puts them in the popcorn).  I like butter, she likes plain so I always tell the person to do half and half.  It's a fun contest-- that we both verbally try to convince the attendant to do one or the other.  This time the counter-girl caved to my wishes and gave some hearty splorgs of butter on there.

Life of Pi is a really good story.  You've got to really relax and enjoy the story, symbolism, and awesome imagery.  It's a visual treat, but has a really long work-up to the actual main part of the story.  However, it's all worth it.  I class it as a "bed time" movie.  Something peaceful and with a methodical pace.  Just sit back and enjoy.  It's very cosmic.  Just my kind of thing.

But don't expect an action film.

There is this one scene with sharks in the water and a tiger on the boat.  That made me cringe.  I was pulling my legs reflexively up off the floor.  I feel like Pi in my life.  I am accepting of a lot of religions.  I see a truth beneath all of them.  That's what's interesting to me.  Belief is the fundamental power that drives it all.  I believe my reality is a reflection of my own soul.

Night time.  Driving home on the freeway with my lovely wife.  It's like a little pod world with just the two of us in it.  Then home to put the kids to bed.  A life of bliss and peace.  We're still eating Thanksgiving leftovers.  There are now the makings for turkey and cranberry sandwiches one of my faves.  Bored yet?  Of course you are.  But wait there's more!

I'm feeling a little autumn tickle in my throat so Tamie tended me with essential oils.  Some peppermint oil does the trick.  I'm drinking a lot of fluids.  I got to be in peak form for the coming week.  I'm eating mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and green olives for breakfast, lunch and dinner and loving every second of it.  Sunday morning I slept in to like 8am which was pretty sweet.  We got the family ready for church (again, I don't think I'm a particularly good person) which was ... well church.  A bit of peace and I get to see some friends from the neighborhood.

Once home I took a delicious nap, playing some Napoleon Hill on youtube like a sweet lullaby for my soul.

Right now at this moment I am in my study in my PJs watching Voyager on my laptop, the air purifier softly gurgling in the background.  The kids come in now and again to be with me.  Yup, life is pretty sweet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Message from the Hive

A few weeks back, Willow caught a ladybug and had it with her throughout church.

I'd like to make the public disclaimer that you often hear on this channel: I make no special claim to virtue.  I have faults and problems like any other man.  I am sympathetic to people with vices and flaws.  I am not telling anyone how to live.  I am only opening a window to my own life.

So, what's going on in Shawn-land?  Family life is bliss as always.  I get home and it's a place of warmth and happiness.  I credit my lovely wife who is mother, cook, nurse and home-maker.  She is a superb nurturer.  She is incredibly easy to get along with.  She has given me nothing except happiness all the days of my life.

Tamie has decorated the house in a Thanksgiving theme: pumpkins and corn sheaves on the front porch, and a little thanksgiving scene on the dining room table.  This year we're just staying home.  It's unlikely that any extended family will be over, which suits me just fine this year.  Just keeping it simple.

Seed of Equivalent Benefit
Costco has come to Spanish Fork.  We love Costco.  However, it moved right next to the local grocery store, Maceys.  Our beloved local shop has always been clean, well-run and happy.  It's a local institution.  I was worried that the Big Box might run them out of business.  We're careful to direct the maximum business there and reserve only specialty purchases for Costco.  However, it seems that Macey's is now busier than ever.  At least time and a half.  Tamie says the increased business is just the holidays which is possible.  I think that Costco is actually drawing in so many people that Maceys is getting the runoff.

As you know, I've set a goal to take control of my own mind: to choose my own thoughts and feelings.  This has been a greater challenge than I ever thought.  Oddly, by making a positive change I actually had crushing episodes of despair for months on end.  I think they are gone now.  I suppose it's like withdrawal symptoms.  I was accustomed to allowing and accepting negative thoughts, dwelling on pessimistic scenarios, so when I stopped there was like a series of mental shockwaves.  I call it "mind puking".  Your mind has barf out old concepts and superstitions.

The last few weeks I have stepped up my efforts.  I have focused on critical times of the day, namely just waking up and just going to sleep.  This where there is overlap with the subconscious mind.  It is a creative state where intuition, fears and hopes are brought to the fore.  I don't let my mind just wander during these times anymore.  I purposely choose what I am going to think.  I play out in my mind how I want things to go during the day.  Not just that, but I emotionalize these images with happiness and peace.  I can only describe it as Love.  I love my image.  I see on the movie screen of my mind how the studio will look when it's finished, what workers and clients will say and do, and in short how everything can go right that day.

I also take care to choose music and video that will be uplifting.  Things that I like, that bring me peace.  I have accepted as my responsibility to be happy, to choose my own feelings.  "You're going to have ups and downs"  Maybe not true.  I've found that if I choose happiness, and keep my spirits up water-tight, that events will actually go my way.

I am still without a car.  I gave mine away to a young couple and the Universe has yet to replace it with my desired one (a 2012 Chevy Equinoxe, black).  However, a blessing has come into my life because of it.  My wife drives me to work and I get to be with her when otherwise I would just slip out early.  I love this time.

A morning ritual in the car is that I make a list of six things that could go right today.  Today X is going to happen.  I create an expectation in my mind.  I call the shot.

All that said I still have a long ways to go.  I'm still not to critical mass yet.

Saturday night there was a Young Women's presentation at the church where the girls presented talents and projects.  So, my thirteen year old daughter got up there, and without apology or explanation belted out a song she "had been working on".  There was a palpable cringe from the audience.  It was off-key like Klingon opera.  And it went on for a while.  As she finished my heart swelled with pride and satisfaction.  I realized that she was her father's daughter.  Instead of wincing and low-talking like most of the other girls she just marched up there like she owned the joint, no self-consciousness.  Just like me.  What I lack in talent I make up for in volume (both kinds).  Persistence and out-goingness are the hallmarks of success and McKenna has picked that up in spades.  I love that girl.  She's a good person.

Well, that's it for me. I hope that all who read this will be bless-ed this season.

This is a pic that I took when we were up at Snowbird in September.  This is one location that we scouted for the 2013 Valhalla season.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pure as Snow

Here's what is making me happy today.  Good for watching rain or snow out the window.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Definiteness of Purpose

As usual I got a lot going on.  First, the presidential election.  Not really a choice.  The "Imperialist/Statist" party won again for the thirtieth time in a row.  I just wrote in Ron Paul.  This has no effect on how Utah swings in the Electoral College.

I'm pretty burned after what happened at the Republican National Convention.  The pre-determined results are read from a teleprompter.

So, for the time being I'm just concentrating on family and work.  Just letting it rest with politics for a bit while I get my bearings and figure out what to do next.  Sorry folks, I've realized recently how blargh it is to talk politics in polite company.  But a blog is the right forum I think.

My father-in-law was in town this last week which meant my "study" was displaced out of the guest room.  It's nice to have relatives over.  You'd think I'd mind, but I don't.

It's Sunday right now.  I'm in bed with my lovely wife watching Hulu.  We like Alphas.  Also, "Going Postal" a Terry Pratchett movie came on to Netflix.  I love that series.  I've read a few of the books, but haven't done much fiction reading recently.

Let's flash back to Saturday.  After work my wife and I headed to the store and picked up pumpkin pie, whipped cream, bananas and a rotisserie chicken.  Once home we made a miniatures Thanksgiving dinner with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and bread.  Very nice.  Our family life is very close-knit and we get along well together.  I don't know how to describe it.  When I was in my early twenties I got the idea somewhere that marriage and family was a never-ending trial, but I've found nothing like that.  My kids are a never-ending delight.  Even my teenage daughter (can you believe that?) is not hardly trying my patience at all.

Since I have recently been working on maintaining a positive mental attitude, constantly, and working to improve my lot in life with higher and clearer goals, life has become difficult.   By trying to swing up, I sometimes swing down harder than ever before.  So, this last week I was much more methodical.  I don't let my mind wander when I first wake up.  I control my thoughts.  I let my mind dwell on good things.  I do a mental "walk-through" of the day thinking of how things could go right.  Not my usual, but the old fearful Shawn is gone.  I walk as a conqueror through my life. 

Same thing at night.  As my mind winds down and the night grows dark the bogeymen come I do not let my guard down.  I am careful what I watch.  I am careful what I think.  I don't watch dysfunctional TV.  I look for things on youtube that represent things that I desire.  Could be better.  Also, I go to sleep with a two-hour stint of Napoleon Hill

I had a dream that I pulled into a well-tended gas station on a long journey.  Inside everything was clean and shiny and in good order.  Fuel, bathroom, and snacks.  Everything a traveller could need.  The attendant behind the counter turned to me in a crisp orange and brown uniform with a trim paper hat of those same colors.  It was Napoleon Hill.  He said something to me.  "Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve."

Friday a heavy snow fell in Utah Valley.  It was thick, icy and wet.  It broke branches on trees.  From one day as a mild autumn to a hard sub-zero winter.  The cloud cover is heavy and when the moon is behind it the whole scene is lit with a dull yellow light.  At 2am it's surreal to look out the window.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Focus on the Goal, not the Task

Greetings ONE follower of this Blog.

I can't get the pics off my phone or I would have some to post here.  It is Sunday.  If it weren't for Sunday I would run myself into the ground.  But the old habit of resting on Sundays is helping me out.  This personal blog is tough since I devote most of my mental energy to work.  Do I have a personal life?  Not really outside of family.

When I was just out of fourth grade my family relocated to the outback of Alaska where all I had was a giant stack of books to entertain me.  I think that was a pivotal moment for me.  After I returned home I had to be put in advanced classes.  They had to actually invent things to challenge me.  Why is that?  Could having been put back into nature, into a feral state actually been good for me?  I have the idea that classrooms are stifling for growth and creativity.  A bit of heresy to be sure.  I believe that I got more out of playing D&D than I did out of my high school classes.

As you know (you ONE person who follows this blog) I am trying to control my own thoughts and feelings.  I want to create a clear vision for my life, or rather refine the one I already have.  But I've found it's a lot harder than I thought it would be.  A few days ago it occurred to me that I need to structure myself a lot better.  In my fading distance from Mormonism I may have gone too far from... order.  I have to be more careful what I let in my mind, what music I listen to, what movies and TV I watch.  I must create a better structure for myself.

I think it will be greatly beneficial if I get up out of bed right away.  It is during these unfocussed times (laying in bed, in the dark) that I tend to spiral out of control mentally.  I imagine how things could go wrong.  I need some kind of structured vision work, like a personal devotional for fifteen minutes to set the pace for the day.  I believe I am responsible for the way that I think and feel.  Stress and worry create a negative mental state.  That in turn collapses reality into the negative form that I am thinking about.

I need to get serious about this.

In other news, I'm running Star Trek: Voyager as background noise.  This will be the third time through.  Today I did all the prep work on my Dropzone Commander UCM force.  I can't wait to hit the table.

I believe that truth can be found everywhere.  Insight in everything.  There is some truth that I can't quite get at.  I want to know what is really going on.  Or perhaps the truth is that the mind-blank is the very thing that brings things into focus.  Somehow not-knowing is helping me.  It makes life real and difficult.

Lastly, I make my usual disclaimer.  I make no claim to special virtue.  I am not telling anyone how to run their lives.