Tag Archives: blogging

Christmas is right around the corner…

So I’ve been thinking about last Christmas and my blogging the 25 days of Christmas.   If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a link to the book I made from the blog entries, which are on this blog.  I’m already blogging everyday for a year on trashsociety.com, with my no retail shopping challenge.  So here’s the big question.  Should I blog this year for Christmas?

Take the poll on the right >

I’m leaning toward continuing to blog on my trash society site.  As much as I love it, it takes a lot of time.  In addition to blogging the challenge, I’m adding ideas for different types of gift giving using my no retail shopping restrictions.  Restrictions is a harsh word, so you can substitute ‘choices’ or ‘ideas’.

Thoughts?


the book is DONE!

Here’s a preview…


3 days until Christmas…

Three days until Christmas really means only one more day to get all of my work done.  This year we have Christmas eve and Christmas eve, eve services.  Yikes!  Short blog today?  Probably not.  😉

Last night, someone found by blog with the search words ‘why do people choose chaos’.  I doubt they found the answer to that question here, as I choose to embrace it, but now I’m pondering the question.

First, what is chaos?  Let’s take a look at the definition.  It is defined as ‘a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.’  Synonyms: disarray, jumble, turmoil.  Antonyms: order, peace, calm. Or in other words, my writing style?  Well…

So do people chose chaos, or is chaos a result of human actions?  Is it something that we’re born into, and on some level, will always have to react with accordingly?  I believe life itself contains chaos, and from what I see, an abundant quantity of it.  I do believe we can choose our own level of participation though.  Now I’m not talking about a person just choosing to be disorganized and live in a messy house, I’m talking about cultural chaos.  The chaos that results from masses of people coexisting on this planet, the development of our interactions and the outcome of our participation in society.

Cultural chaos is not only having too many choices, but the expectation that we are to participate in all of them on some level.  Since this is the 25 days of Christmas blog, let’s look at Christmas chaos.  Before I do that, I want to share a conversation I had yesterday with a couple of coworkers.

This little guy was sitting on the desk, inside a plastic bag, smiling at me.  Of course I took him out to play with him, and I also got him a car to ride.  Zoom, zoom!  Peppermint wheels!  I’m glad Sonic still believes in peppermint wheels.  (see Jody’s List from 2 days ago for the reference)

As a few us us were talking, someone said, “It’s the Wal-Mart symbol.”  I immediately argued that Wal-Mart cannot own the smiley face, as it’s a representation of happiness in the 70’s.  Can anyone copyright a smiley?  One person in the room asked, “Somebody designed it, don’t they own the rights to it?”

The answer is yes.  Harvey Ball designed it and owns rights to it, and as you would expect, Wal-mart and their high priced attorneys tried to claim ownership.  In 2008 they lost… or did they?

If we see the smiley and consciously or subconsciously think of shopping and happy prices at Wallyworld, mission accomplished, right?  It hurts me that this symbol of happiness makes people think about a money hungry retail giant.  They might not legally own the smiley face, but make no mistake about it, they do own it.

Now, back to Christmas chaos, which by the way, is just a more specific form of cultural chaos.  Why do you do all of the things you do at Christmas time?  Because you want to?  Because you feel you have to?  Maybe because you’ve been doing it this way for so long, it’s a programmed holiday response?  Is it a tradition?  I recently heard about a child asking her mom what a tradition is.  The mom answered, “It’s something that was started long ago, things we still do today, but we don’t like to do them.”  So why?  Christmas chaos is the fusion of many old customs and countless new practices.  We try so desperately to hang on to something magical from the past and try fiercely to make it work in the present, all the while adding new things, creating a new framework of chaos every year.

Adbusters magazine, a radical, yet thought provoking publication, or as they call themselves, a journal of the mental environment, addressed the christmas chaos in one of their issues a few years ago.  They encouraged people to not buy anything for Christmas and to remember the real meaning of Christmas.  Here’s an image from the article…

The article encouraged people to do a ‘Jesus Walk’, cut out the Jesus face and walk around with it at shopping malls.  They also asked people to photocopy the ‘Garbage Christ’ image and tape it up in any public location they could.  Now, I realize this is radical, and being an activist would be considered reverse chaos.  I  also know some people might find this offensive, but is it anymore offensive than celebrating Christmas without Christ in it?  That’s celebrating the ‘mas’, or mass.

Civilization creates icons of all sorts, placing in our subconscious, the type and location of where they want you to participate in their piece of the chaos.  I don’t want people or large companies dictating what I do and why I do it.  Yes, we have brains and we have to respond, but we don’t have to be clones of society.  They create chaos that we can choose to be a part of or we can learn to coexist with in a healthy way.

Chaos is a really deep subject and I can only hope to scratch a tiny, barely noticable mark on the surface of it in it on a daily blog.  You’ve heard the saying if you can’t beat them, join them?  Chaos exisits, whether we like it or not.  I don’t know if the person searching for the chaos answer was looking for this answer.  In my mind, the answer?  I think it’s ‘comfort zone’.  We choose chaos because it’s what we know and it’s comfortable, even if we don’t like it.  This Christmas, you can beat the chaos, join the chaos, make fun of the chaos or embrace the chaos.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Even if it’s just a little bit, baby steps are good.  Try it.  You can always return to the chaos, if you choose to do so.


4 days until Christmas…

A friend of mine had a very interesting question for me yesterday.  He asked, “Would you still be blogging everyday if you were married?”  My reaction at that moment was yes, probably, but the process might look a little different.  I might just be blogging random stories, and would not have made the 25 day Christmas commitment.  I walked away and didn’t think much about it.

Yesterday was busy, at work in the morning, then a photo shoot scheduled for the afternoon and more work in the evening.  My Sunday afternoon photo shoots usually consist of driving to small towns and looking for abandoned houses with a group of people.  Yesterday, I photographed a band called Moving Colors.  They rock the house everywhere they play and I really enjoyed doing the shoot.  We did some silhouettes behind the big screen, what a blast!

After I left the shoot, I had to run to the bookstore to find some Luke 2 images for a video.  As I was on my way there, having a small amount of time for personal reflection, I couldn’t help thinking about the question again.  Why did he ask that?  Curiosity got the best of me, I had to email him and find out.  I typed it at a stoplight, not while driving… just for the record.

I went to dinner with a friend, one whom needed a break as badly as I did, and had some nice ‘down time’.  Through the course of our conversation, it was apparent to me that nobody gets enough personal time or down time, especially during the Christmas season.  I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but certainly there has to be some holiday balance.  Where?  I have no idea.

I’m intrigued by the name Moving Colors.  I forgot to ask how they came up with the name.  As I look at it, it’s very descriptive of the way I see things in my world.  Life moves so quickly, it sometimes looks like a blur of colors in a time-lapse video.  The name is obviously based on their incredible talent and I’m quite sure, has nothing to do with a fast paced life.

I received a reply to my email, “…when you are married one tends to process life issues out loud with their spouse.  Since you don’t have one right now you seem to be processing life in your blogs.”  I had never really thought about it that way.  Hmm.  More food for thought.

Trying to live this Christmas more outside myself has been an extraordinary experience.  Spending time doing things for others, not for myself, is just an awe-inspiring way to spend time.  I plan to do this well into next year, not stopping after the Christmas season.  As Jim Johnson said in his message yesterday about living upside-down, we tend to forget the changes we have made to live differently and go back to the same daily grind.  Next year at this time, we’ll start the whole process over again.  Jim suggested we leave a Christmas item out of storage this year to remind us of our promised change.  Being the weird artist type that I am, I already do that, so I’ll have to choose something different that my usual Christmas lights.  Maybe an ornament.  One for me and one for each of my kids.

To answer the blogging question, honestly, I really don’t know what would be different.  I don’t really have a definite answer.  I might be blogging, I might not.  Blogging might be a substitute for adult conversation and relationships.  It might be a daily cure for loneliness.  It might be just for fun.  It might be my down time.  It might be a place for me to express my humorous and complex viewpoints on life.  Whatever it is, God is involved in it.  Maybe I don’t need to leave anything out of the Christmas box.  My blog might be the thing I need to remember the changes I have made.  I suppose I should read my blog every so often throughout the year so the tinselectomy changes don’t fade away.


blogging

In my efforts to me more culturally relevant, I set up my new blog! Welcome!

moblogging seminar

me, jerod and randy


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