Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If you wanted that girl across from you to get up and leave...
or perhaps the man in uniform to move his left hand...
or maybe the old lady to suddenly stare at you for no reason, while you were staring at her...
or that guy sleeping to suddenly role over...

Just start drawing them. It's sure to happen within 30 seconds.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Why God made France

-Gothic Architecture
-John Calvin
-Victor Hugo
-Arthurian Legend
-to give the english something to dislike

Flying bananas

So I went to the C-Store to fax a transcript request, and while I was filling out a form, a banana fell on me from the bowl next to my head. Needless to say, it surprised me.


(I frequently say 'holy cow' or just 'holy')

The ladies working there were sure I was going to say 'Holy Shit', and that I held my tongue, which brought them endless joy somehow. They promised me that they would remember me, and ridicule me everytime they see me.


first day of class

This morning I woke up and took a shower. I then foolishly decided to get dressed in the bathroom.

...And I slipped and took a chunk of flesh off my knee.
And so, I was late to class, and 17$ poorer from docter fees.

But at least it was funny, and not to painful.

But now I just realized that Community Colleges don't automatically send transcripts.....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Les Miserables

"Yet why did I allow that man
To touch my soul and teach me love?
He treated me like any other
He gave me his trust
He called me brother
My life he claims for God above
Can such things be?
For I had come to hate the world
This world that always hated me
Take an eye for an eye!
Turn your heart into stone!
This is all I have lived for!
This is all I have known!
One word from him and I'd be back
Beneath the lash, upon the rack
Instead he offers me my freedom
I feel my shame inside me like a knife
He told me that I have a soul,
How does he know?
What spirit comes to move my life?
Is there another way to go?"

-Jean Valjean

Nothing moves me like the Les Miserables musical.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Well, I'm back! In College Station, that is. It's been too long. I moved in to the Walton 'Commune' last night. The 'commune' is a floor (4 rooms) of walton that me and 7 other christian guys are sharing. Should be fun. So far I definitely like living on campus.

We just set up a large (seven feet tall) bookshelf, that I bought at Half Price books on sunday.

Yesterday when I was moving in, smoke started pouring out of a car in the parking lot. Soon you could see that it was on fire. People began to move their cars away from it. By the time the fire truck arrived the entire hood was engulfed in flame. We were sure that it was going to explode. Thank God, the firemen arrived before it reached the gas tank.

On a lighter note, It's nice to be up here a few days before school starts. I needed a break.

I have a great schedule this semester:

Architecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays, History on MWF morning. Gives me time for a job, and hopefully day study time.

Over all this should be a good semester. Yay!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

On reading and seeing, and not sleeping

Time for a blog, even though there is not time.

Night before last, I was restless, I went for a bike-ride and prayed. Both good things to do when restless.

Last night I was restful, I rode my bike to the park and read"A Hedonistic Defence of literature" in the Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken. That is a thoroughly good book. The book to have on the subject of Christian Poetics and Aesthetics. With contributions by Lewis and Tolkien, George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Conner and Dorathy Sayers, Brian Godawa and Peter Leithart, Francis Schaefer and Gene Edward Vieth. As well as countless others I had never heard of.

Actually I read half the essay in the bath, and half at the park. I love to read in the bath.

After that, I came home and ate some great spinach soup my mother made, then a bit later, at sunset, rode my bike to the beach (1/2 a mile away) and watched the moon and the sunset from a long pier. I like this peir, because it goes way out into the bay, about 100 yards, and turns to an L shape at the end, and their is never anyone on it in the evenings.

I love to lay down on the railing and put my head over the side and watch the sky upside down. If you wait a while and can imagine that you are looking down into the sky, it changes where you are. It becomes truly alien and new. (here's an image I found online and flipped over:)

I think when you do that, you can actually see the sky (or anything else) more truly, because it is unfamiliar. In learning to draw, the main work is learning how to truly see what is there by unlearning all the preconceptions and visual shorthand that our brain imposes on the world around us. One of the first exercises in any drawing class is drawing a famous drawing upside down where you don't know what it is. Only then can you truly see what it looks like instead of what it means. I also had fun looking upside down at the trees as I floated down the Guadalupe last weekend. Trees are so odd when you look at them that way, and so are splashes. Reminds me of what Tolkien said in On Fairy Stories:

"We should look at green again and be startled anew (but not blinded) by blue and yellow and red. We should meet the centaur and the dragon, and then perhaps suddenly behold, like ancient shepherds, sheep, and dogs, and horses--and wolves. This recovery fairy-stories help us to make."

Also reminds me of a Lewis quote from my favorite non-fiction work of his :
"I believe in God like I believe in the sun rise. Not because I can see it, but because I can see all that it touches. "
- the Weight of Glory

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The news is out!

What happens when you translate starwars into Chinese and then back into English? That. Some how 'I'm on the jedi council' gets translated: I was just made by the Presbyterian Church.

A coincidence? I don't think so!
Thanks to Peter Chattaway for enlightening me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rural Ruins

" is a photo journal wherein you may show and share what ruins you find in your rural wanderings...old estates, junkyards, cemeteries, roadside altars, farms, abandoned vehicles, ruined rural oddities of every type shall be appreciated"

I've got to find some ruins...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stranger than fiction.

After reading about a movie by that title last night, I was thinking about that today at work

Truth is stranger than fiction, because God is a better writer then man. Truth is stranger then fiction because God is has all Authority, and hence he is a better Author.

On a similar line, I was reading an article by Doug Wilson in an old Tabletalk (I borrowed some old ones from my grand-mother). The article is called 'Out of Nothing' into the Liturgy, he says:

"True "creaturely" creativity of any kind (aesthetic, liturgical,etc) must therefore come from acknowledging that God is the only one who is creative ex nihilo. Those who lose their lives for Christ's sake will find them. In the same, way those who abandon all hope of autonomous creativity amaze the world with their creativity. The one who is creative is the one who knows he cannot be."

That must be one of the reasons why Tolkien is so amazing. He starts out not as creator, but as sub-creator, knowing we can only "make still by the law in which were made" to quote his poem.

This also must be why so much modern art is so amazingly bad. It seeks to make ex nihilo. In visual art, it refuses to representational, and use the visual language that God made. In music, it refuses to submit to the order God created, wanting to create ex nihilo, all that is left is noise. (Reminds me of the two poets in Chesterton's the Man who was Thursday, the poet of order and the poet of chaos.) In architecture though, the modernist can work hard to make buildings look like their about to fall down, but thankfully they can't escape working around God's physical laws and landscape. Even if you try, you can't construct a deconstructivist building.

Back to the topic, the strangest truth that hit me today was that I'll be back at college station in about a week!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Morality Dream.

Night before last I had a dream that I still remember fragments of.
I was somewhere in Corpus Christi walking on the sidewalk when I found an electric scooter.
I took it. It didn't seem wrong. I was convinced I wasn't stealing.

Later, after riding it around for a while, I had stopped and talked to someone in what I vaguely remember as the Surf museum, and coming to the conviction that I had stolen the scooter. Or that it was stealing to take it even though it was abandoned. I remember feeling guilty. Later I remember something about trying to give it back to who ever had owned it, but not being able to or something.

Saint Boniface

"For the Saxons, the oak of Thor was holy, taboo, and threatening. Boniface called it kindling."
-Peter J. Leithart, Against Christianity

Boniface was a missionary to Saxon pagans in the 8th century. He cut down their sacred oak and built a church before their eyes.

St Anne's Pub has a great little biography of Boniface in this issue on Enemies. (8th line down)

I rediscovered that Leithart quote in the midst of many other great quotes in Ben House's post 'Advancing Toward Medievalism' More great stuff.

And once again I have quoted Leithart, linked you to St Anne's Pub , and said Ben House's blog is cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


So basically, yesterday on my lunch break I changed the password from Calculus to Vectors (my mouse pad is my cal book) so that my dear siblings would not get on it. I told my mom the password as I left.

I come home. Sit down at my computer; Type Vectors.

"I'm sorry, did you forget your password?"
No, I didn't

So, I try every misspelling, every typo, every double key stroke, etc.

for a long long time.

I almost went insane.
But, I went to google on my brother's Computer, and found a program that promises to tell me the password. So I'm going to give it a try. Hopefully it works, I can't image what the password will be....
Update: 2 hours later and 25 dollars poorer, I now have my password.

vectores !!!
AAARRRGG. And I don't even have a spanish bone in my body. Well, maybe Portuguese. Seriously, what was I thinking when I typed that in twice?

But, I'm thankful to have it back. lets you make a boot disk, that finds the passwords which then must be decoded at their website, for free in 2 days, or now for 10 pounds. Unfortunately I couldn't wait, I needed it for work.

I had to run to HEB to get floppy disks, and I bought CDs back up my computer just in case this happens again.

Thank you God!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Right now I'm reading the Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I read Crime & Punishment last year, and I listened to Notes from the Underground this summer.

He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

According to Doug Jones, Nietchze said Dostoevesky was the only christian that he learned any thing about psychology from.

I recently stumbled upon Ben House's blog, he quotes this of Dostoevsky after reading a book on Atheists:

"But the dark powers of this book are overthrown by the arrival of a hero. De Lubac says, Marx was not yet dead, and Nietzsche had not yet written his most searing books, when another man, another disturbing but more truly prophetic genius, announced the victory of God in the human soul, and his eternal resurrection. De Lubac's hero is also one of mine: the novelist Dostoevsky."
-His 'Summer Reading' blogpost

He then talk about Lewis and Chesterton, very interesting

my dream last night

Last night I had a dream, and I remember it. It's the first memorable dream I've had in a while, and was very good.

I was at my grandparents house in San Antonio, when my brother came in from the backyard asking me to help him fix the fence. He informed me that he was playing swords and accidentally knocked it down. So I go outside, and it turns out he was 'playing swords' with an 8 foot landscape timber, and had somehow destroyed a good portion of a their large wooden fence.

At this point, I was suddenly, unknowingly and naturally in the harry potter universe. So I was going to fix it by magic. (this is one of the only movie/book dreams I've had, I always used to envy my friends for having them). So anyway somehow their were these creatures where the broken fence was, and for some reason I had to turn them into something else. At this point I remember looking at a diagram in a book of one creature gradually turning into another. I remember looking over my shoulder and talking to a girl that could have been one of my sisters or Hermione or both. Anyway I am quite sure that this diagram was in the dream because right before I went to bed I was looking at a book on figure drawing, that had step by step drawings of a human figure. Any way I remember saying something that ended in California something, and I had said it wrong, and the creatures had turned into one small green dragon (the size of a hippo) with a longish neck. So it was chasing me (or us) around the yard (this probably came from being around my sisters horses). Thinking of it now, it seems like it would have been very scary, but it didn't seem all that bad then. I remember something about gates, like trying to keep it on one side of a fence or something. It kind of cuts off there. I think my alarm was going off. So I hit snooze, and then I remember something about looking through a large bookshelf with large and old books. And finding a book by Lewis I had never heard of. It was about 12 by 18 inches in a slip case, very old, perhaps to old for C.S. Lewis. Then I think I woke up.

I felt very rested when I woke. That probably was because I got to sleep late yesterday. Anyway, that's my dream.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Fat Giraffe

This is an image made by Thomas Mangold. I am so thankful God made giraffes skinny, and not fat.

Harry Potter

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last week. I must say, though I love many books much more then the Harry Potter series, the end of that book moved me tremendously. The last time I remember being that emotionally involved with a fictional character was when I had a wild crush on a character in Stuart Little about 12 years ago. (no comments, please)

That aside, there is a great article in defense of Harry at, not to mention some good articles on art. Jerram Bars of the Francis Schaeffer institute talks about how John Calvin encouraged people to read the ancient pagan authors: "Calvin said on another occasion that it is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to deny that pagan writers like Plato wrote many things that are true and helpful"

Also, my favorite St. Anne's Pub , has a very interesting review of John Granger's Finding God in Harry Potter , which you can find in their 'On Tap' section:

Interestingly, J.K. Rowling is a Presbyterian, and a member of the Church of Scotland. Anyway, sounds like a very good book. Also while browsing Rowling's Website, I found she is a fan of Dorothy Sayers and Jane Austin. Interesting.

The emperors new clothes

Both of these two pieces are by Pablo Picasso, one is a painting, the other is the emperor's new clothes.

Picasso himself said as much, though modernist tend to ignore it:

"From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The 'refined,' the rich, the professional 'do-nothings', the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand old meaning of the word: Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown--a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest."

That is so sad. I have never encountered something so like the emporer's new clothes story then this.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


painted a wall
painted a wall for you
oh what a thing to do
and it was all yellow

This afternoon I painted a large wall yellow. It made me thankful that God made other colors too:

It also made me thankful that God made other people besides me. I get on my nerves.