Category Archives: The world rocks

New logo

Happy 2013 everyone! I’ve got a few things in store for the next twelve months.

  • benjaminlawless.com is now up and will be where I put poetry-, art- and photography-related news, leaving penciledin.com for my personal commercial work, including book publishing.
  • I’m working on a new version of this site, responsive and with a new logo! The preliminary design and color exploration is below.

preliminary-penciled-in-logos

 

P.S. I had a problem the last few months with WordPress not letting me upload media, giving me a permissions error. I just fixed it thanks to this comment from here:

I deleted the default path for the “Store uploads in this folder” field in “settings/miscellaneous” and put the full path in the “Full URL path to files (optional)” field.

Status update

I’ve been counting my blessings lately. I don’t do it enough.

It’s been a really packed summer. We moved into a new place, a three bedroom house on the same property that we’ve lived the last four years. The move was bittersweet, though. Our dear neighbor and friend passed away after a long bout with cancer, and we inherited her house and a lot of her stuff. The first few weeks moving and living here was a little tough, since we moved into what was essentially a full house, but we’ve made it our home in less time and effort than I thought it would take. And I’m falling more and more in love with the property we’ve been on for four years. It’s almost like a park, with the creek running through the back of the property. I think I changed recently, and thinking about moving to the Bay Area has made me realize how lucky I am here.

Nicole and I are doing great. We share lots of laughter and love.

My sister stayed with us for two weeks on her summer break, and it was wonderful. She is growing up to be a funny, sweet, intelligent and charming young woman. It’s awesome that I have such a great sister and friend.

My brother and his wife moved into a new house. It’s swanky. My brother is okay, for a smelly crazy guy.

I officiated Cat and Aeron Ford’s wedding in mid-August, which was my first time doing anything of the sort. I was nervous. Cat’s one request was that I keep her laughing so much that she couldn’t cry. Basically it meant that I had to trim most of the typical wedding crud from my first few drafts, and actually write something from the heart. And the gut. It was risky but it paid off, and to my benefit, Cat and Aeron still call me a friend.

The next book is coming along swimmingly. Tentative title: “Facts” About Faraway Stars. Of course I know everybody is probably going to call it Maybe There Is Something Poetic About These Fish Anyway, but they’ll probably only call it that to my face. Look for it next Spring.

Before that comes out, the three gents in my writing group and I are releasing a book of mostly new poems before the end of the year. More info on that soon.

I’ve been writing and rewriting and reading like crazy. I’m going to be a featured reader during the upcoming Plein Aire Poetry festival at the end of September. Should be awesome.

Well, my fingers are about to fall off… so hope you’re doing great, too, The Internet. Keep on tubin’.

Clint Howard gets all the good roles

Okay, so this last season, there’s been some great television that ought not to be canceled (and thankfully wasn’t), some amazing television that seemed doomed to be canceled (and was), and some really crappy television that’s fun to watch but should have been canceled (and wasn’t), but then there’s Fringe, which I didn’t expect to love as much as I do. I finally watched the last two episodes from the season tonight, and it was one of the most rewarding season finales of the year. And it’s not just for the following scene, from episode 19, “The Road Not Taken.”

Yes, that’s Clint Howard. Brother of actor/director Ron Howard and child actor from the original Star Trek. Not to mention one of the most prolific tertiary actors of our time. I love the references to the new Star Trek movie. Especially given that the three creators of the show wrote and directed the new Star Trek movie.

Geek on!

Screen Printing Magazine

So, a couple months ago, I was emailed by a representative of Screen Printing Magazine, because they wanted to print an article that combined all of the “7 Steps to Effective Large Format Graphics” that I had written for BIG Images newsletter, as well as one new article that I wrote that answered a particular topic they wanted to address.

Well, yesterday I received a very nice check from them. This makes me a nationally published columnist. I believe that’s one step away from sexy international spy.

This is probably going to net me brownie points…

Today, Nicole has had a bit of a rough day. She had to get up at 6 o’clock this morning in order to be at a field trip for a class she’s T.A.ing. She got back home just in time to hop into work at noon, and currently it’s just after 9pm, and she’s still there. She called a few hours ago to say that a dog was having complications post-op and that she had no idea when she’d be home.

As a society, I feel it’s so easy to blame the bad things that happen to us, instead of recognizing the worth of the person that lives through it. I do it all the time, but I’d like to stop it here.

Nicole is a woman of indomitable spirit, willing to demonstrate a dedication that I can only hope to emulate. The truth is, she didn’t have to sign up for the Teacher’s Aide position, but she did it anyway knowing full well the requirements (and evidently not getting enough of the early morning jaunts when she was a student in the class). Plus I hear she’s a tremendous help at the hospital, putting in hours she would rather be sleeping in. And that’s not the only thing that she carries the torch in without much recompense: teaching swimming at the Elks every summer and putting up with me are two things that come to mind.

Personally, I have never had the opportunity or the will to put that much of myself out there, not without grumbling about it, anyway. I am honored to know that when we have children (which will be a long time from now, mom), the woman I am marrying will be able to pass that quality on to them. It’s a wonderful gift.

I love you, baby. When you get home, if I’m asleep drooling in front of a flickering computer playing Sports Night, wake me up. I’ll heat up your dinner. Oh, and don’t let me forget to get out the chocolate pudding I made.

Well, I done did it now.

Yep. New Years ’08 at midnight. It was quite crazy. I was very nervous. Nicole was very surprised.

You’ll notice in the second photo above, that I was not expecting her to laugh in my face. And I hope she said yes to what I think she did, because I don’t remember actually asking anything that night. It could have been “Oh my gosh, some midgets ran by and clocked me in the knee with a baseball bat. Oh, look what I found! Isn’t this pretty? I think I’m going to keep it all for myself!” Funny thing is, though, she won’t give it back.

Sigh, women.

The right hand finally knows what the left is doing.

10 years ago, my father was struck by a grand maul seizure and a stroke at the same time. Amongst the numerous things it did to his mind and body, he lost complete control of his left side; no feeling, heavily impaired mobility, et cetera. This sucked all the more given he is left handed. When the doctors told him he’d never walk again, in grand Lawless fashion, his response was “like Hell!” Before too long, he was walking pretty darned well.

On Wednesday, he called me to let me know that, for the first time in 10 years, he was washing his hands and actually felt hot water on his left hand. And aside from some pain he felt on his left side a few days prior, this has been a sudden occurrence. When he called, I can describe his mood as nothing but jubilant; he had spent the day celebrating by walking around with a mug of coffee, as well as throwing and catching a ball. I honestly cannot fathom what that must be like — to welcome the use of your body back to your mind, as two long-separated brothers.

This situation has made me realize that I am not someone who believes in miracles — I hadn’t ever known that about myself before. It’s not that I feel offended by people who do believe in miracles, nor do I think them foolish; it’s just that within a quarter-century of my life, I’ve seen some pretty ugly things, and the end of ugliness has always felt more like a return to normalcy, rather than a miraculous occurrence.

My father’s recovery is a miracle, as much as I can tell. And it’s left me dumbfounded. Oh, and most certainly jubilant.