So I’m going through boxes, closets and drawers to purge the unwanted, unused and ignored. As I do this I am, as suspected, running across things that I new were there, just didn’t know exactly were.

Like the very, very short story of Mowana-Winky. It’s on hotel paper from the Inn of Chicago. I don’t remember the conference, but know I was there. It was back in 1993 or 1994, cross my heart! Somewhere around there, anyway. And if some of you reading this, read my blog regularly. You will see a pattern or theme that runs through my life.

Maybe this will be this year’s National Novel Writing Month project.

Mowana-Winky lived in the jungle, with not a care in the world. Life was very simple. Nothing controlled Mowana-Winky. A day would begin with a stretch. Since no real duties go with the days events, hunger is the only guideline to action. Unless of course… it’s raining. The rain cleans and refreshes. Mowana-Winky liked rain. It was assurance that things were normal. And, time to laze away. The one aspect of Mowana-Winky’s life that was of the utmost importance was – the ocean. Being in the water calmed and put Mawana-Winky at ease. Water is a life force, a source of all potential. What was it about the water that drew Mowana-Winky? Something deep in the soul, in the unconscious. A mystery but a comfort.

don't speak...don't speak!

move on

I think about what I want to say. What I could say. I actually write down much of what I want to say. But don’t often put it out for consumption. Otherwise, this blog would be enormous. And because, I realize that it’s not about me. Hasn’t been and never will be. So I can’t or shouldn’t say anything, won’t say anything. I just move on.

Stuff happens all around me and may happen around me. Most of the time having nothing to do with me and doesn’t affect me. Unless I let it. Even if maybe it was said about me. It’s my life, and I have some bit of control over that. If it is negative in nature or accusatory, I have to believe it’s a fear in the other. And again has nothing to do with me. So I move on.

I have to admit, I have been lucky to not hear a lot of negative things about me. Who knows how much is out there that I haven’t heard. But I think I can count on one hand a couple things back a few years. But they were baseless, pointless and really had nothing to do with me upon analysis. So I moved on.

In my last job a situation came up and I was trying my very best to maintain an open and democratic environment. I want to work in a fair and democratic place. So I tried to give everyone the opportunity to air their grievance, put it on the table and turn things around. To give everyone involve the opportunity to feel that they were being heard and that I would be making no assumptions. They were all going to get equal time to say what they thought, what they needed and what they heard. I think what they didn’t expect was that they were going to do this at the same time at the same table. I wasn’t going to take one word over another. I don’t play that, “he said, she said” game. In this case, “she said, she said”. I thought, to have the opportunity for all to be heard was a good idea. I was wrong. Long story short, I was called a bully. Move on?

I have to admit this one hit me like nothing had in a very long time. And I admit I’m not sure I have entirely moved on from that. I’m still learning from it. It still stings like nothing before. Well stings a bit like something about 22 years ago.

“Don’t bully me!” Bully? Was I a bully? And for several weeks I was a mess. I let it make me a mess. Weeks later I heard an apology. But still to this day, don’t know where that came from. I’ll move on.

It’s a battle that I’ve never wanted or had any inclination to take on, but is before me more than I care to acknowledge, this judgmental way of thinking. And, full confession I have caught myself, ashamedly, participating in negative banter. Even as I have done it I cringe and feel awful. Immediate remorse. Because in all these cases it was my downfall or faults that made me say these things. It is a fear, an inadequacy that makes me pass judgment on others. It has nothing to do with the person to which I referenced. This is about me. So I move on.

It’s the judgment; it’s the disrespect and the conditions that are set by someone for how they believe life should happen or how another should live. Approval, with conditions. Love with conditions. The level of mean is out of control. At least by my definition it is. I hear it on the news from and about people I don’t know. I hear it from people I know. I have to move on.

People making statements or judgments about others. Some based on factual information other times petty, petty history. It’s a cancer, bad energy, bad karma and tiresome. Move on.

The digs, the small jabs about someone, how they do or don’t do things. An assumption of what they may or may not have done. What they have said or may have said. How they treat others or how they are treated. It’s time to move on.

What does this accomplish? What does putting down or degrading anyone accomplish? In my opinion, it can’t do anything to the person that the comment is about. But it says something about the person saying it. Do they hear these accusatory, judgmental, mean things that they say. In that media space it stays forever. And might be heard. Comments in an email to someone about someone else are there forever and might be read. And you slowly but surely chip away at your soul. What is accomplished with the incessant need to belittle, degrade and pass judgment? Again, what does it accomplish? I’m asking, what does it accomplish?! If they have to continue to regurgitate the past, over and over again, won’t it eat at the core of the person saying it? Is it time to move on?

What is so desperate about their life that they just can’t let go? What has this other person or persons done to them that they can’t move on? Have they ruined their life? Changed the course of their life? Are they living a life in the gutter? Do they not have things? Have they lost things? No? Move on.

Think about the goodness of people. Think that people for the most part do the best that they can. Know that your best is not pointing out the worst in others. And that each person, large or small, big or tall does things in their own way to try to make a happy life. And what does it matter to anyone else? We are not other people. We are who we are at this very moment. No more, no less. So I think we can move on.

I don’t think anyone knows how to navigate life, really. So we all make mistakes, we all say things that we regret or had no context for saying. But out of fear we say it. I say please MOVE ON!

I live a pretty decent life. Ok, so I don’t have a job right now. My cushion is now gone. If I have to I can sell my car and go for a bit longer. And if it really gets bad I can put my condo on the market. As long as unemployment lasts I at least know that I can keep that current. I could digress and go deeper, but I’ll move on.

Here’s the thing. I can’t nor do I want listen to or hear anything negative or derogatory about anyone. No one. Friends, family and or foe. I realize it’s asking a lot. I just can’t do it. So, to use an old phrase, “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t’ say it.” Speak of others as you hope they speak of you. I had a Great Grandmother who saw only the goodness in everyone. If only I could capture a fraction of that. If another’s life or way of life is disagreeable to you, leaving you the need to list their faults. I will not be listening. I’m moving on.

Colette & Augi
This is Colette with Augi, he’s two. And this is the look on her face 99% of the time. I’ll be aligning myself closely with my friend Colette. At just 36 she has had a busy couple of months. Since April, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, located her birth mother who passed away last year. Found 3 half brothers and 3 Aunts. She has had six chemo treatments, with two more to go. She will meet her brothers, aunts and her biological father this weekend. All that, BAR NONE she is the most positive person I know, on a scale of 1-10, she’s about a 28. A friend that I’m not sure I have the right to have. But I’m hanging with her and her family. Who to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a negative, mean thing about anyone. They amaze me everyday, Colette, Michael, Sophia and Augi, in how they move through life. I’m with them.

I’m moving on.

don't speak...don't speak!

this is how it should be…

Sometimes, without knowing it friends know just when and what to post. Thanks Joy, this is perfect.

Kuroshio Sea – 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world – (song is Please don’t go by Barcelona)

this needs no further comment…

Posted via web from jgx’s posterous

creative don't speak...don't speak!

agree ~ disagree

There were about 25 at Souk on Tuesday, to talk about the recent perceived misstep by the city to get some help “refreshing” the cities website. Designers, agencies, associations, writers, theatre and a guy from the city! I was very glad he was there. But not the person or persons we wanted for the conversation. And while disappointed the invited city officials who invited the design community to enter a contest to win the honor of changing the way looks, couldn’t make it. I wasn’t surprised.

As a community, we have before us a unique opportunity. That with the right wit, savvy and controlled passion we can generate and create great change. Just because this strikes at the core of what we do and how we survive, does not mean that in one quickly pulled together meeting we would be ready and prepared to educate those that we deem in desperate need of education.

I’m not a web designer or developer. But I’ve found jobs for a few here and there. With this statement from the letter alone;

The fact that the contest winner or winners will receive one year of recognition on every page of the over 140,000 City web pages and all the additional web traffic that will generate in search engine optimization and brand recognition for the winner is a highly valuable commodity. PortlandOnline receives about 2.5 million hits per month.

It seems, (an assumption on my part) that they might not truly understand SEO and how that may or may not translate to measurable ROI for the “contest” winner. Yes, 2.5 million is a lot. But who is behind those 2.5 million hits? What percentage is thinking, while I’m looking for that carpool info or affordable housing, I’ll check out the design and maybe have the team that did this do a site for me.

Actually, if I had the cash and a business that I needed a site for, I wouldn’t be interested in someone who does work for the city or government. Unless I was a city or government. I’d go to sites that I liked or had similar concept and product and approach them. Now they might be the agency who “refreshed” the cities site. But PortlandOnline is not where I would go to find talent.

A contest is what my classmates did in art school to get their design up on a billboard in Kansas City. Actually, that had a cash prize with it as well. Point is, it was a “student” contest.

Some great stuff came from this roundtable last night. Someone who wasn’t there at the meeting Tweeted, that we shouldn’t care. I disagree, I think we should. So I said, “who cares? We should all care, it’s principle. No one’s work should be procured via contest.” They responded back, “I’d say you shouldn’t speak for others. if a pro, student, amateur wants to do the #portlandonline site they are free to (do it free). I disagree. I like the idea of a larger conversation that has engaged many who are speaking together.

I kind of blew it off. But now I’m a bit annoyed and confused by the statement, “I shouldn’t speak for others”? Well, “I” wasn’t really speaking for others, I was indirectly conveying the tone of the dialogue I thought I heard that we had earlier in the evening. I’m not going to sit back and let the talent that I know have their work devalued because someone doesn’t understand the value of it. I don’t understand that kind of thinking? Or how there is a difference in “speaking out”? They were using the hashtag #portlandonline so had to have been following the conversation? Should I not care? Should only they speak and not me or anyone else? Still confused…

I don’t claim to know anything or have the answers. But to take any talent, designer, architect, barista, factory worker, engineer and make light of what they do by asking them to participate in a contest?

Grabbing a comment from the Rick Turoczy's blog,

“To borrow a point from @Mattg (on Twitter), you don’t see the city asking for volunteers to fill in pot holes, do you? Would that be acceptable to you?”

To me? No, but then I shouldn’t speak for other’s. I’ll be quiet now. Maybe.

don't speak...don't speak!

the mighty are roaring

And if you doubt they are mighty?

I could add more but I’d be here a while!

Once upon a time.   2002 to be exact.  I worked for a small creative staffing agency and represented several Designer’s in the community, print and web.  At this agency we tried very hard to keep people working when everything tanked after 9/11, and every marketing and design team was being cut.  
A client called asking for  “junior” web designer.  In my world that was code for, someone cheap.  So I grabbed a very talented printed designer who had web experience and told him the scenario.  Asked if he had interest.  He was.  
I submitted him with resume and credentials to the client.  They like my candidate and said that another agency had someone about $10 less an hour.  Could I match that rate.   I said no.  The client then proceeded to say, well you know the economy is down and people need work, you can’t come down on your rate?  Again, I said no.  A downturn in the economy does not make things cheaper.  I was not going to de-value the talent by lowering the rate.  Anymore than another company is going to deep discount their cars or shoes because the economy is bad.  I encouraged them to go with the other agency.  
Yes, the economy was bad, yes a lot of people needed work.  But that did not mean that all of a sudden you got things for free.  Or half price.  To retain the value of anything you have to retain the value!  
From where I sit, creatives get asked to do a lot on spec or for free.  An interesting question here;
@Mattg (on Twitter), you don’t see the city asking for volunteers to fill in pot holes, do you? Would that to be acceptable to you?
This is still brewing…I’ll be back later on this topic.  In the meantime read the links above!!

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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don't speak...don't speak!


I’m attempting to expand the length of the novel I started for National Write a Novel Month last November, The Uncurious Adventures of Knod Knowingly.  I didn’t hit the 50,000 words, but think maybe I will before I attempt to start a new one this November.  Maybe I’m crazy? Maybe it’s lazy?  I have no idea what I’ll write about this time around.  I had that Knod character in my head for a couple years when last November rolled around.  Well, there is Mowana Winkey who has been in my head longer.  I’m not 100%, but I think she might have been a monkey?  And I know as much about her as I did about Knod.  Anyway,

I’ve taken to going to Island Cafe on Hayden Island to write.  Since Knod’s story takes place on an island, my thinking is sitting on a float on the water might help.  It has, some.  But as I read back through to make sure that I’m not repeating events I come across sections that I have no memory of writing?  

Like this from page 22 & 23.

The trees around the lake were perfectly matched in height and color.  So it created an almost cover for the lake, like a wall.  It didn’t keep out any of the animals but it felt like a curtain and you could almost imaging that it was your own room or even better you very own lake.  That didn’t happen very often.  It was a popular place.  It was the smallest on the island so it didn’t attract a lot of people.

As the other boys swam and dove into the water, Knod laid back on the edge of the lake.  It was just warm enough that the sun felt good on your skin, but you didn’t get hot.  He closed his eyes and even though everyone was making noise, calling back and forth to each other, Knod nodded off.

He felt warm and light.  He could just barely hear everyone at the lake.  Their voiced echoed off in the distance and he couldn’t make out what they were saying.  He walked through a crowd of people somewhere.  He felt like he was in a place he should know but it didn’t look like anyplace he had ever been.  The women were dressed in very shiny dresses with large buttons and many color’s.  Some had feathers in their hair or hat’s on.  Some of the hats seemed as big around as the moon if you looked up at it at night.  The men had on suits and their hair was slicked back and shiny.  Their skin looked tight.  Just like his dad’s face would look right after he shaved.  They kept moving in all directions and paid no attention to Knod.  Knod seemed to be able to move around and through them without getting in the way or brushing up against anyone.  There were about a hundred conversations going on.  Or at least that’s what it seemed like.  Everyone was talking, but he couldn’t make out what anyone was saying.  He didn’t yet see anyone that he knew or even looked familiar.  Then as he made his way to the other side of the room, the people changed and the room was smaller.  There were less people and they seemed to see Knod as he walked through them.  He still didn’t see anyone he knew.  He was too shy to talk to anyone or ask who they were.  He thought maybe they would ask him who he was.  

Who were these people?  Knod remembered a lot of his dreams.  There was almost always someone in the dream that he knew.  Maybe this was where Pop was?  They did all look nice, dressed up like they were going someplace nice.  Like Pop was when he was put into the ground.  He could feel and hear himself starting to ask people if they knew Pop.  Or had they seen Pop?  No on answered.  A few people smiled nicely at him, but no one said anything.  He kept going around the room from one side to the other looking at everyone in the room.  Everyone seemed to be moving in slow motion. 

The room felt soft.  The lights that hung from the ceiling were sparkly and glowing.  Every once in a while someone would new would come into the room, but Knod couldn’t find the door.  He was watching each and every person closely so he could quickly know when someone new came into the room.  If this was where Pop was he didn’t want to miss him.  Pop wouldn’t be expecting him so he wouldn’t know to look for him. 

As he turned around to see the room behind him the room had gotten smaller and there was a new wall.  Knod thought that he was in the middle of the room, but now he was not.  And the crowd was getting smaller.  As he turned back around they also seemed even more different.  They didn’t have on the same clothes.  They didn’t seem to shine as much anymore.  They seemed to have on more practical clothes.  Nice clothes, nice enough for Sunday, but not as nice as before.

Then from way over on the other side of the room he thought he saw someone looking his way and he could hear someone saying his name, “Knod, Knod…Knod!” it got louder and louder.  He tried to make his way to the other side to see who it was.  Was it Pop?  It didn’t sound like it, but then what would Pop sound like here.  Then he realized it was Dek yelling at him to get into the water and he was awake.

Some days I feel I have a way with words.  Other’s … blah, blah, blah.  It’s more of the same.  Feel free to chime in.  I take constructive criticism well.  Although only just a few over 15,000 words, it is further than I’ve ever been.  Maybe it’s a short, not a novel?




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creative don't speak...don't speak!


What is it about the water that I am so drawn to it? I don’t think probably more or less than most maybe. What is it?

I often find myself thinking how peaceful it is under the water. I love sounds, but there is nothing like the sound that is underwater. It’s suspended; it’s void and blank. There is a heavy feel to it. Yet it is calming, natural and mysterious. I think a lot about how to be on the water.

If it were possible to be in the water, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Not in like the “Incredible Mr Limpet” way, just in somehow.
mr. limpet

Being in or around the water you didn’t think about what was going on in your world or the world for that matter. You had to pay attention to the water and what you were doing in it. You have to pay attention, be present. You have to balance and measure your breathing.

It is total escape. It is the avoidance of everything else around you.

It wraps your body in a gentle hug of a cool touch that sometimes turned warm depending on the time of the year and how large a body of water you were in. It would allow you to float, lay back and relax. Dive and let all of the air out of your lungs to listen, listen to nothing. You do have to employee a certain amount of attention. Keeping in mind where you are, the depth and where the surface is. Because no matter how hard you try to float, you might loose your buoyancy. If below, at some point, you have to surface to breathe air.

Since moving to Portland in 1997 and realizing that you can live on the water. I think about it all the time. Some days it feels like if I don’t my life will somehow be short, or cheated of what it is suppose to be. Some days it feels like I want that more than anything.

Back in 2002 or 2003 I read an article that claimed it was water, not oil that was the major cause of war in the Middle East. I don’t have the original article that was in the NY Times. But I did find this at, I don’t know who this is, but he has a post that speaks to this very topic. And there is this post.

But I digress and this makes me very unhappy. They have taken my oasis, my retreat and made it a struggle amongst people.

Breath …. Breath

Okay, back to my original thoughts.

Water – Chinese

Water – Molecule
I kind’a like that! Seems kinda floaty! Thank you Wikipedia!

I think it can be said that I like water, pools, lakes, oceans and rivers. That said, my one fear is drowning. For that very reason you won’t find me white water rafting. And not every time but occasionally crossing over a bridge I think about what I would do on the way down if the bridge collapsed in an effort to not drown? If I survived the impact should I leave the windows up or open them? I’m sure I can find that online.

I grew up in Missouri. The largest body of water was a lake. Two actually. Both about 20 minutes away. I now live in Portland. I cross the Willamette River almost every day. I can sit at Island Café and the water is inches below me. I can sit at my friend Mel’s and look down on the river. If I head west on 26, I’m 84.2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

I don’t drive that 84.2 miles as often as I would like. But I know it’s there, it’s a pretty quick drive. After I saw the ocean for the first time when I was 16, I think from that point that water would have a different meaning for me. I think it made me a bit restless and tentative. I think back now an realize that I drove by or around those two lakes in Missouri more than I thought to be near water.

There is something solitary about it. I’m not saying that I’m seeking solitude. I am fine with it, if it’s on the water.