Tag Archives: inspiration

Sea Change

I’m not sure what’s in the water lately, but tides are changing. People in my life are doing things I never thought they’d do. Marriages for confirmed bachelors, pregnancies for couples who had long espoused the benefits of never having children, new websites, new businesses—hell, even the Bruins winning the Cup is a major shift in the team’s trajectory.

Have you seen the movie, Waiting, with Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long? They work at a Bennigans-style chain restaurant. The movie takes place over one day at work. It’s pretty awful, but it grows on you, especially if you leave Comedy Central on to keep you company while you catch up on some sketches and administrative work and they play the stupid movie four times in one weekend.

Justin “I’m a Mac” Long’s character is trying to decide if he should take an assistant manager position at the restaurant and he gets some spiritual guidance from dishwasher, Chi McBride. Chi explains to Justin how only a few years ago the restaurant was in a downward spiral until Luis Guzman’s character, Radimus, invented the “Penis Showing Game”. Employees started having more fun at work, morale improved, the customers came back, tips went up, it was a spiral of success. Chi tells Justin that when life is not working for you, when you’re in a rut, you need to invent your own “Penis Showing Game,” figuratively, of course.

I look around and I see all these new “Penis Showing Games,” again, figuratively. I’m seeing happy newlyweds, intelligent women with new-found purpose, proud future parents. It’s like the stale, humid air got blown away with a salty, summer breeze. It makes me want to look at my life and identify the ruts and do things differently. If the tides are changing, now would be a good time to polish up my board and paddle out. I wouldn’t want to miss the wave of a lifetime.

Greetings from Title Town, U.S.A.

I am tired. Tired of being admired… sorry, watched Blazing Saddles the other day. Actually, I’m tired from staying up late to watch the Bruins kick some Canuck butt last night. Very sorry if you’re Canadian. I was born in Canada, I like Canadians, but truth be told, the Bruins deserved to win.

Yeah, I said it. If there was karma at play, then it was wearing black and yellow. Trash talk, thuggish behavior and soccer-style theatrics can get you to the playoffs, but if you want to win, you should shut your mouth and play the game.

One of my favorite quotes is from artist Chuck Close, “Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.” I’ve got it on a sticky note on my desk for those days when I am staring at the blank page, overwhelmed. I can’t say that every time I fight through the inertia and write something or design something that it’s brilliant. Quite often it’s crap. But crap is fertilizer for beautiful things, right?

Building this site this week has forced me to go through years of work, PDFs, printed pieces, illustrations, some photography, trying to figure out what to showcase here. Day to day it doesn’t feel like I accomplish much, sometimes it’s all busy work and invoices, but spreading five years of my life on a desk and taking it all in, I’m amazed how it all adds up.

Bruins’ goalie, Timmy Thomas, is a great example of that ethos. He wasn’t always a star player, he put in a lot of time playing for minor league teams, playing in Europe, trying to find his place in hockey. He was 28 before he was signed to the NHL, an old man by hockey standards. But he kept showing up, he just got to work. And last night, at 37, he was the oldest man to ever win the Conn Smythe trophy for Stanley Cup series MVP.

Talk is cheap. Persistence pays. Time to get to work.