Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Dream - Fast Food & The Cookie Monster

I recently had a dream. The dream showed me as this extremely fat little boy walking down the street carrying all kinds of fast food. Cheeseburgers, french fries, pizzas, frosted cakes, candy and so on. I wobbled down the street with chocolate smeared all over my face. I was a very happy little boy. This street was bright with all kinds of fast food places. I could see Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, and a variety of Candy Factories. Then the sky suddenly became grey and all the fast food stores started to close one by one. I became upset. While I was standing there, someone threw a cookie in my face and I started to cry. I looked to see who it was and it was the "Cookie Monster". He started to throw more cookies at me. So I tried to runaway from him. The Cookie Monster's laugh was very deep and disturbing. It really scared me. It was also hard for me to run due to all the fast food I was carrying and being over weight. I cried and cried as these cookies were being hurdled at me. He was just too fast for me to lose him. I started to hear someone call my name so I looked in that direction and it was "Oscar the Grouch". He was waving for me to come his way. So I ran towards him. He was living in a garbage can on top of a heap of garbage, as they were mostly black garbage bags. As I started to climb the garbage towards the top, "Oscar the Grouch" was holding a garbage can lid for a shield deflecting the cookies away from me. I was still crying and gripping my fast food. I couldn't fit inside the garbage can so I had to get rid of some of my food. I finally made it inside his home and I was safe. Oscar the Grouch's interior home was dark and full of black garbage bags. As I cried he started to comfort me in his arms and said I will be alright, there, there...

What's really strange is when my girlfriend Jennifer showed me the newspaper two days after this dream. There was a picture of "Cookie Monster" standing in front of a large cheeseburger in the Valley R&R section of The Forum Newspaper. The hair on the back of my neck stood up! The article was about junk food and childhood obesity.

I have been struggling with my weight this past year. Last winter I got up to around 190 pounds like every winter but I'm now down to 173 pounds. I'm still over weight. I should be 155 to 160 pounds for my height 5'7". I'm eating better and taking longer walks. Drinking a lot of water rather then sugar filled drinks which has made a small impact on me. In today's society, fast food is everywhere we go. Children are the targets for most fast food target markets. Sometimes I give in and buy a cheeseburger or something full of sugar. I also have a fear of being extremely obese. This dream was very real to me. It was a wake up call to stop eating all of that crap and live a better healthier life.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Michael Jackson Era

In 1982,Michael Jackson had the number one top selling album, "Thriller". I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. That year I was in middle school. My grandmother bought me the red jacket that Michael Jackson wore including the sparkling white glove and all. I was so excited to wear it during school which was at Hans Christian Anderson Middle School in South Minneapolis. I wanted to impress my friends and all of the girls that I had crushes on. I believe my grandmother purchased the red jacket at K-mart. As soon as I received the jacket, I went to my bedroom and tried it on. I thought it was so cool! I was very thankful for my grandma to buy it for me. I just had to put on my Walkman head phones and play the "Beat It" song to complete the image. When I played the song, I ended up busting up my bedroom with a plastic bat and doing kung-fu kicks and chops. I think I was imagining I was beating up gangsters in the streets as seen in the music video. I even looked in the mirror and I thought I was pretty darn cool. I took walks to the parks and to the local stores just so I could show off my red jacket. I couldn't wait to wear it to school. I even slept with it on a few times.

Monday morning finally came around and it was time to go to school. I was extremely excited to wear my red jacket to school. I woke up and immediately washed up and ate my breakfast. I quickly packed up my red jacket in a brown paper bag and out the door I went without saying good-bye to anyone. I waited at the school bus stop and all I could imagine was what I will look like when I walked into my class room while the "Beat It" song was playing. As soon as I got to school, I went around the back of the school instead of entering in through the front doors in order to put on my red jacket and walkman head phones. I decided to go without the sparkling white glove because I thought it was too much, so I threw it away. I was ready! I started the "Beat It" song and walked into the school. I was warmly greeted by my teacher and fellow students. I could see the expression on some of the students with a awe and amazement. But soon everything came down to a grinding stop. There were three other students wearing the same red jacket! Then my teacher got a look at my coolness and confiscated my walkman. The students with the other jackets thought it was cool that we all had the same red jacket. I sat down at my desk and started working on my school work with feelings of anger and disappointment. I remember I was so mad that I had pushed my pencil down so hard I broke the lead and pencil. When I returned home after school, I rolled up my red jacket and threw it in the back of my closet to never see the light of day again.

Now that I think about that time I was this "Bushy Headed Short Little Boy" who just wanted to be cool and unique. I'm somewhat embarrassed about that time but I can still laugh about it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


As far back as I can remember when I was a small boy, I've always been a perfectionist. When I made a mess or a mistake with household chores, homework and my artwork, I became very upset and frustrated. It bothered me a lot. Everything had to be perfect from what I did or what I made. I didn't expect people around me to be perfect. It was myself who I had to tend with. It was especially hard for me to play in the sand box with my friends. The sand made me feel dirty. So I stayed away from it. In grade school, my spelling was very good. Every word was perfectly within the graph lines. My writing and reading was also very exceptional. My teachers would often ask me if I wrote my homework as my father or grandmother would receive calls from the school to ask if I really did my homework. As time went by, my teachers knew I really was the one doing the spelling and writing my homework. They thought my spelling was too perfect and told me to loosen up and my school work would get done faster. I did and it frustrated me. My spelling and writing had to be perfect! When it was time for art class, which was my favorite class of all, my art teacher, Mr.John Donia would encourage me to finish my artwork. I'd want to throw it away if I made a small mistake and I think he knew that. Most of the time I did very well with my artwork and school work.

Being a perfectionist still affects me to this day. In both a positive and negative way. I try to loosen up and be messing with my household as well as my artwork. Those moments only lasted a couple of days. My clothes in my closet and dresser drawers are perfectly folded or hung in order by color. My paint and color pencils are organized in color tones side by side. Some of my prisma color pencil drawings are very detailed and tedious to produce. When I complete a drawing, it's a feeling of satisfaction and a great euphoric pleasure when I complete my work. Most times, I'm amazed at my own work when I don't see it for awhile.

My Friend Jim Rosenquist has been supporting and mentoring my painting for the past two and a half years now. I started painting full-time back in June 2005. Again my perfection has been a major factor in my painting process. Making that transition from color pencils to paint has been hard. I really didn't start painting until 2003 for the first time and that was just off and on again. Teaching myself how to paint has been a slow process. Learning by trial and error has been a learning experience for me. I'm too stubborn to ask for help from any of my artist friends. Although, it would be great if Rosenquist was here to show me some techniques. So I called him last week and asked him If I could come down for a visit so I could learn how to be a proficient painter. He accepted my proposal. He has to look at his schedule first and he'll make time for me this summer or fall. He knows I'm a perfectionist and it's slowing me down. He will teach me how to paint fast and to learn some of his painting techniques. I'm really considering on giving my acrylic paints away and switching to oils. Acrylics are just too hard to blend and that's one of the reasons why it's slowing me down. I recently have been experimenting with oils and they are starting to become easy to blend with. I think oil painting will be promising for my future. I'm confident his teachings will expand my mind in painting. I really want to loosen up and be a faster painter.

I have eleven large paintings built. Three are done and Jim Rosenquist has already purchased two of them. Three more are almost completed. That leaves me with five paintings to go where they are all in different stages of completion. I'm pretty sure they will all be done towards the end of the year,maybe sooner. I look forward to showing them in New York City. Jim Rosenquist has all good intentions for me and keeping me safe. I appreciate all that he has done for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Friday Night Fights

Star Wallowing Bull (1979).

Months before my sister and I moved in with our grandmother, my father was working a lot and making art. He would occasionally go out to the local bars. Which were, Commodores, Mr. Arthur's,and the Corral. Located on Franklyn Avenue in South Minneapolis. These places did not scare me at first until my father came back one night and he was full of blood and swollen up. Someone had beat him up pretty bad. Fawn and I were very hurt and sad to see him like this. Fawn,especially took it hard. I later felt very angry about this and I wanted to find this guy and teach him a lesson. I was only seven or eight years old at the time. One night I woke up and decided to go to the bar to find this guy. So I sneaked out the front door at 12:00 in the morning and I went to my friends houses in the neighborhood and knocked on their bedroom windows to wake them up. Sometimes three or four of us would go. One of them was Nate. He was around my age. He also was Native American. I just don't recall what tribe. Some of us had Big Wheels and some walked to the bars. Mr. Arthur's bar was commonly known as an Indian bar. Always some chaotic,dysfunctional event was going on after the bar closes. We didn't find that out until we got there that late morning when the bar started to close. We were right across the street and I'm surprised the police didn't say anything to us. We seemed to always know someone at the bar. I remember seeing my two auntie's there sometimes. Sandy and Kathy. I always hid behind cars because I didn't want them to see me. I knew they would get upset if they saw me. They were the two closest I had to a mother figure. They were and still am so loving and compassionate to me. I loved them just like I would a mother. I always worried about them being at those bars. I remember one night,seeing my auntie Kathy coming out of the bar. She was wearing a cowboy hat and sun glasses. I thought she looked pretty cool but it was also funny that it was 1:00 in the morning. I still tease my aunties to this day. There seems to be a fight every Friday and Saturday nights. We had made it a routine to go on some of those weekends. Fist fights, hair pulling,scratching which resulted in the police constantly breaking up those fights. There was blood everywhere! We even witnessed a stabbing. I just can't believe us kids were watching all of that. It was so uncivilized and dysfuntional for us. I am 34 years old now, and sadly I realize now how I grew up was not normal.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Dream - Helping Hands

I recently had a dream. I was among the stars floating in space above the earth. It was quite a spectacular,peaceful sight. I was in a glass bubble in the form of a baby. I could see other glass bubbles with other babies in them sleeping. I was bumped by another bubble and I went off course into the earth's atmosphere. I started to fall and it became more rapid as I started to descend more and more. I became engulfed in fire, like a falling metorite. I could see the top of the clouds with flashes of light all over. I think they where thunder storms. I started to cry in the form of a baby. My heart was throbbing with extreme fear. As I passed through the clouds, I did not see land. I only saw the sea. I was coming in too fast and I finally hit the water. As soon as I went under I became the person I'm today,an adult. I was also naked! I started to panic under water. I didn't know which way was up. I finally found my way above the water gasping for air. I couldn't swim. I felt very helpless and I was still panicking. I saw this soccer ball floating in the distant. It was "Wilson" the soccer ball I saw in this movie called "Cast Away" with Tom Hanks. I started to scream for his help, "Help me Wilson! help me!" Over and over. Wilson just floated there with that stupid blood red smile. As I took my last breath,I went under. As I was sinking I saw a bright light below me. This light were people, thousands of them! They grabbed me and took me to the surface. I had a such a sigh of relief and I felt safe. These people where still wearing their clothes and they were chest high out of the water. I felt like I knew these people. They passed me over their heads,above the water for quite awhile to an island of sand. They layed me down on the sandy beach. I managed to get up and I realized I was still naked so I quickly covered myself up with both hands. I was quite embarrassed. These kind people started to wave goodbye and slowly started to descend back into the sea.

My dreams are so entwined with my life. This dream is a recurring fear that I have which is falling and drowning. It may be something that I need to overcome in life.