Little lines/ Why do I like grey?

I went for a great run this morning in the Whittier hills. I went up some steep stuff, and got really tired and sweaty, and it felt really good. Sunday afternoon, I spent a long time on the internet trying to get a sub job but to no avail. Usually they come on my phone, but it was drying out. So I was feeling kind of depressed, like I'd wasted a whole day. It was great to get out this morning and go for a long time in semi-nature. And there was no one else there! Except a guy who was sleeping in his car in the parking lot, a guy that I thought was dead.

After running I climbed back up one of the hills with my portable easel (thanks to Cindy) and painted this painting.

Its not all that great. I definitely can't paint little lines for some reason. All of my paintings seem to have the same grey background. I think grey (yes, with and "e") might be my favorite color. Since I was little, I've liked grey days. One of my favorite G.I. Joe's was this guy wearing a grey camouflage snow-suit thing.  For a while, I had a super-hero persona named Grey-Man. I don't know what his powers were, but he wore all grey.


I don't think too much

I have something to confess. My brain is sometimes in stupid mode. Pretty often actually. Its not very disciplined. Its like a dog that you didn't train when it was young, so it runs all over the place with its tongue hanging out while you're trying to call it. Or just laying there in the sun outside when you're trying to take it for a walk.

I'm going to get a buzz when I go home for Thanksgiving. I think about my hair way to much. Thats about the stupidest thing to think about. It makes me a little bit sick to think about how much I think about it. I feel successful if I think my hair looks good, and I feel stupid if it doesn't. So I'm going to cut it off again because when its so short, you don't have to worry at all, because there's nothing to change.

I'm Mr. Nostalgic though, and thats going to be a little hard for me. Welcome to my crazy mind, but I often think things like "Oh, I had this hair when such and such happened." I guess I didn't need the word "but" in that sentence. I do the same with clothes. Even washing them. Sometimes after being home, I put off washing clothes for a long time, because I think "Oh, the last time I washed these pants was at home" and I don't want to wash any of home off. So I don't want to cut my hair off, because it has some good memories in it, but I think I've got to. Its part of moving on too. Huhhmmmm.


The sharper sword is sharper than the pen

This is my third time re-writing this blog. I like starting and finishing things more than I like the middle.

I wrote about substitute teaching the first two times. I'll summarize: thats going well, but probably due more to teachers leaving good lessons, and having well-behaved kids than to my prowess as a pedagog.

Now I'd like to write about something else, but I'm not sure what.

Actually, while writing the above sentence, I was thinking "I'm going to write about fantasy," but I kept writing it anyway. I was even thinking about writing these two sentences.

I started reading fantasy books when I was little. Actually, it was probably my parents reading them to me first; Narnia and Anthropos, and the Magic Bicycle series. Although the bicycle one isn't really fantasy is it.

I started reading on my own, and for having always prided myself on being a reader, I think most of my life I've been a bit behind. I didn't read Redwall until Jr. High, and the Lord of the Rings until well into High School. As a sophomore in college I started Harry Potter.

Other than the Wheel of Time series, and shorter things like The Once and Future King, thats about all the fantasy I've read actually. Its weird, because I like the genre a lot. I don't know what it is, the magic, and running around in the woods, and swords or weapons made out of sticks and rocks. I guess similarly to a lot of other people, I just like escaping into it, or the excitement, or something. I've even tried to write my own a couple of times, but it never works. I get a couple of chapters in, and thats it.

Well, all that to say, I want some new fantasy book to read. Preferably a series that I could start. Maybe its a waste of my time, but I think its better than watching TV or hanging around on the internet. Maybe not better than blogging though.


The Magic of the Wizard's Dream

You never know when you'll come across something that will change your life. Maybe this will be it for you.

That's Saruman from The Lord of the Rings if you didn't know.


Nests of wool

Inside of a thick, leathery jacket, was a dense warm wooly liner. In the middle of the liner was one small pocket. And inside that pocket was a tiny little feathery bird. He liked it there in his improvised nest, where he had been placed by a large rough hand. It was warm and dark, and he was sleepy.
He was a brown little bird with dappled feathers and his feet tucked up under his round belly. His dark eye was blinking between half-open and fully closed. His peewee head, covered with closely packed sleek feathers was tilted just a little to one side. His body was surrounded by the thick wool that was more comfortable to him than any home he had ever made or found in the dark, rainy world outside. He was a happy bird now.
But was he free?


Old Mr. Grampit's Gold

Mr. Grampit had two favorite things to do with his money. Buy sausages, which he would cook to perfection over an open fire in back of his shed; and bury it. He liked to dig a small hole somewhere on his small lot, always in a new place, and put the golden coins down deep in the ground. 
Mr. Grampit had few friends. Some called him miserly, some stingy, some just unfriendly or rude. He whenever he would go into town to the market, people tended to avoid him. He was hunch backed, and usually his eyes never looked up, they just systematically swept the floor, so it didn't really bother him that they tried not to look at him. Some people might gaze down because they're afraid to look others in the eye, but not Mr. Grampit. He had spent so much time gazing at the ground that it had become habit to him. The expression on his face was always hungry, and excited.

Oop, time to go.


I hope its not sacrilegious

What do you think of this picture? What did the artist intend us to feel?



I was searching for disneyland horticulture, because I got some pine-cones from the Grand Californian hotel in downtown disney, and this is what I found:

"The Christmas tree in Town Square is hand-picked by the Disneyland Horticultural department from the pine forests of Mt. Shasta in Northern California. The 60-foot tree takes two weeks to decorate and is covered with 4,000 colorful lights and over 2,800 ornaments."
Here's the website.

I just thought that was exciting. I guess that shows that Northern California trees make the best Christmas trees in the entire world. Because disney really could pick from anywhere.


Why save?

I've been reading a book called The Irresistible Revolution. Its mostly about helping the poor, and living like the early church. I recommend it. Its really challenging. One of the themes in it, and so something I've been thinking about is, why don't we actually do what Jesus says? He says a lot of stuff that we definitely aren't doing.

Just for an example, I was thinking about saving money. We accept that as a general principle, saving money is a good thing to do, even an admirable or virtuous thing to do. It sure is logical, and prudent. But is it what we're actually supposed to do?

Luke 12:13-21 has a parable that Jesus tells about a rich man who builds big barns, stores up food, and then says "now I'll just eat, drink and be merry." Then God says to him "You fool, tonight you're going to die, then who will get all the things you stored up?" It ends with Jesus telling the moral: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

I don't know, maybe I'm reading it wrong. It could be that Jesus is saying don't store up unless you're ALSO giving a lot to God. But I think it is really talking about trusting God to provide every day, because in the very next part, Jesus says the stuff about not worrying because God also provides for the ravens and the lilies.

Can you imagine not having a savings account? What if every month, instead of putting money away for retirement, we just gave away everything we didn't need, and trusted God that even if we lost our jobs or couldn't work, he would still provide? Can you imagine getting to the end of that life and thinking "oh, nuts, I shouldn't have given that money away, I should have saved it." I think we'd be really happy at that point, not worried about what to do. And chances are, if we lived like that, we'd probably have people to take care of us in our old age.

In that book, I found this website that seems like a neat deal. relationaltithe.com I haven't explored it much, but I think its people helping each other out of their surplus. There's other things too, like groups that all put money in a collective pot to sort of be their shared health insurance. I recommend the book. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.


Already written in fate

Actually, this is already written in facebook in the Sprunger Cousins group, but I thought I'd put it here to, just in case.

It is very too bad we don't have more options. I watched the debate last night, and frankly, I feel like either way I vote will be trying to get the lesser of two evils. Not that they're entirely evil.

A while back I was solidly going to vote for McCain because of the abortion thing, and I also liked his stance on immigration (he's for making it easier.) I thought he had good character. But then I read more about him and I'm not too sure about that. He got a divorce from his first wife because he was sleeping around with his second wife. Some of his interviews make him seem like a real big jerk. Like this one (albeit it comes from a liberalish magazine.) Click here for the article! I just figured out how to make a link!

I definitely don't like Obama's stance on abortion however, and I'm not sure he has enough experience. But he certainly has more than Sarah Palin, who would be president if John McCain died in office. I'm actually not a fan of Palin in general as a V.P.
As far as the economy goes, I don't know enough to know which candidate's ideas are better. But McCain's seem closer to what we've got right now, and that seems to encourage greed with the higher ups.

All that to say, if I had to vote right now, I think I'd go Obama. I never thought I'd say that, but right now it seems like the right thing to do. Even though its left.


An interview with dinosaurs

I'm growing some plants in my "back yard." Right now I've got bamboo, an avacado tree, and some morning glories. Is that how you spell any of those words? They're all dificult.

The bamboo I've been growing for over a year. I dug it out of the ground where it was growing under a neighbor's fence. It took a while to get started, but now its starting to grow almost quickly. Not quite. I'm really into bamboo though.

The avacado tree is really fun. I got the idea from my grandma. I bought an avocado, and then suspended the seed in a cup of water using toothpicks stuck in it. After a few weeks it sprouted roots and then a stem out the top. Now its about a foot hight outside in a pot, with 5 big leaves.

The morning glories I got from Kristin as seeds. They grew as a vine, and wound their way around my bamboo plants to climb up to the sun. The flowers only open once each, but they're really really pretty.


Trimming Nails and Surviving

There's two different kind of trimming nails. The first are the kind that you use to tack down the trimming around the top and bottom of cupboards in your house. These are usually short with very small heads that can be hidden easily with a little putty or paint. The second kind is when you cut your finger-nails. I know the english in this post is a little bit messed up, but thats alright.
Would you rather touch someone else's feet, or have them touch yours?

I'm starting to plan for the U.S. going down the drain. I'm going to somehow bike out of Southern California, and probably end up in Northern California with my parents, or bring them with me to Oregon to Jill and Andy's. There we can steal from all the orchards that are around, or maybe get jobs working in one of them in exchange for food. 
Oregon has a lot more potential for growing things than where I live in southern California. It definitely grows more food per capita than down here. Thats what I'm counting on to survive. It might be good for us all if we don't have electricity for at least a few years.


One time only

This will be the only time that I post on here most likely.