Tag Archives: update

Making Art and Obsessing Over Red Pandas

April 17, 2022

Creativity / Culture and Society

The other night, I told my partner MaxZine that his spirit animal was a red panda. Not knowing what one looked like, he said I was being ridiculous, and then I showed him a picture of one.

He did not disagree.

Of course, HOW COULD HE? They might be THE CUTEST furry animals on the planet, like ever. Ugh. SO. DAMN. CUTE.

My lock screen on my phone currently uses this image:

Apparently, this is how red pandas often sleep—slumped on their stomachs on a tree branch with their legs dangling away. CUTENESS OVERLOAD. I just can’t.

On a more sobering note, these adorable creatures are actually high up on the global endangered species list with less than 10,000 of them existing in the wild. A loss of natural habitat due to deforestation, an increase in human population, and various extenuating circumstances appear to be the cause of these diminishing returns. A concerted effort carried out by numerous zoos and wildlife agencies around the world to breed them in captivity is currently in motion.

When I am not fighting the urge to watch red panda videos on YouTube, I’ve been making art.

  1. Piano

Daily work continues on the piano. I am learning a Beethoven piece in addition to tweaking (and practicing) several of my own original songs. I am also working on my own interpretation of another classic Beethoven piece that I want to film for my channel.

2. Drawing

Over on “The Facebook” (aka the Zuckerberg evil empire), I have been posting weekly thankfulness posts. I draw something for which I am thankful, and then I post the drawing on my FB feed. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the proceedings from this last week’s drawing.

A pencil draft of the seahorse.

Brush pens for the win.

The finished drawing.

3. Photography

Since spring is now firmly upon us, I took my camera along on my walk the other day. There was no shortage of splendor to behold. Here are some photos from that lovely excursion:

A red dead nettle which is neither dead nor fully red.

I love the textures and patterns on tiny leaves.

The darling buds of spring

4. Video and Film

I spent a lot of time over the last week editing video for an event that I filmed recently. It will probably be released some time in late May or June, but I loved how it turned out. (More on that later.)

Lastly, I present to you a side-by-side comparison of my partner and a red panda. Of course, one does not need to look like a particular animal for it to be one’s spirit animal, but in this case, why the heck not?

Thanks for stopping by!

Returning to the Wild

April 10, 2022

Culture and Society


It’s been a few months since I last posted here on my blog. I decided to take a break last fall to focus my energy on a big project. That undertaking extended through the winter and ended about three weeks ago. I raised my body out of that subterranean depth only to return now above ground and fully intact, as far as I can tell.

This return feels more like being a polar bear waking from hibernation at the wrong season—squinting at the brightness of the sun and sneezing miserably. I should have woken up much sooner, but alas, tardiness must be a better friend than absence.

I come back to this space wondering what I want to say. Over the last couple of years, I indulged in lots of book reviews and thoughtful posts about my reading practices. Right now, I am not certain that I want to continue along that path.

Through the foreseeable future, I will keep this space open to any topic that stirs my interest, and I will spend a lot of posts thinking aloud about how I am building a life for myself as an active artist—with the pitfalls of self-doubt and the triumph of accomplishment beckoning to me in their own irrepressible ways.

There is, of course, a purpose that shapes the foundation of this blog. I want to be a good writer. I have been a writer all of my life within various art forms such as essays, short stories, poetry, song lyrics, and film scripts. As with any craft, one can only improve by doing the work as often and as consistently as possible.

I want to write whatever comes to mind about my life, art, and culture, and it is time to do so. I have a lot to say.

I invite you, dear reader, to join me again in this place. The doors are now open. There’s lots of natural light for you and elephants to roam freely. I have made plenty of space for them and you to stay.


Staying Home Update #4

August 10, 2020

Creativity / Culture and Society / Reading Books

It’s been a minute since I’ve written about how I am actually doing as the Coronavirus continues to ravage the US. The obvious setbacks that we are all experiencing are ever-present in my life. I stay at home over 95% of my time, with the exception of getting groceries from the supermarket and the farmer’s market once a week as well as dropping off our household trash and recycling. This means that visiting friends and family, working on a film project with other people, or something as mundane as going to a movie theater to see a big-budget film are simply out of the question.

To delve deeper, I released a short film on my Youtube channel last month that conveys my emotional state since the lockdown began last March.

Here is “The Summer Inside”:

Yes, I am feeling all of what this film communicates, but beyond this low-grade, ongoing depression (and anxiety), my world has opened up in different ways:

  • I have had more time to devote to learning how to play a new musical instrument. Every day, I’ve been learning something new on my ukulele. I never thought that I would enjoy this so much!
  • I have had more time to make my films. As of today, I have filmed, edited, and released 18 short films on my Youtube channel since Easter back in April. I’ve lost count of how many hours of filming and editing this has taken up! I’ve learned so much, and I’ve become a more capable filmmaker in the process.
  • I have been working toward building a personal system of daily actions in my life that addresses self-care and what I need to cultivate for my creative work to keep growing. Specifically, I’ve been reframing my workflow and optimizing each step of the work that I do in the interest feeling healthier, stronger, and more fulfilled.
  • I have been exercising consistently every day. This reaps so many benefits.
  • I have been reading very good books.

As limiting as sheltering in place has been, I have carved out these small ways to keep developing my life. None of this is easy, by the way. All of the above has involved lots of trial and error, research, and fighting doubt, which is one of my longstanding foes.

Like the rest of the world, I have no idea when everything will return to being like it once was. Maybe the world has changed permanently, for better or worse, because of all this. I know that I will continue to nurture the small amount of good that is growing out of this experience. I want to figure out how I can sustain all of this even when Covid-19 someday settles down and the world starts to open back up again.

Until then, I will read my books, write for this blog, create my short films, meander daily on our long driveway in the woods at a slow but purposeful pace, play my piano, strum my ukulele, sing, enjoy fresh veggies from our garden, and keep myself and my loved ones as safe as I can.

Life, in whatever form, pushes forward. In my own way, I am doing the same.

Incidentally, my newest film release, which describes colonialism, is out right now. Have a look at it right here: