Monday, July 25, 2016

HANDLE YOUR SHIT



Before I left on my camping trip, we had a project to wrap up.
 It was a fairly easy project consisting of a bar height long table and some stage/seating.
The steel arrow towel rack was a result from me sitting on my toilet looking at the back of my bathroom door and realizing that we have a rack that holds 2 towels while there are 3 of us living here.
 Truth be told, I don't want my son drying his face with a towel that I dry my balls with.
I send him to private school, feed him organic food, keep him dressed well, and ensure his toy collection is on point, yet allow him to use a towel that has visited my ass crack? Well, that doesn't make any sense.
 I had no idea what I was going to make when I got to the shop, but I had to make something interesting to a 6 year old so that he would actually use it, otherwise the 3rd towel would live on the floor.
 Sometimes you need to step back, take a moment, and just make shit right.
The front brakes on my truck were wonky....for almost a year. Every time I got in my truck I cringed when I had to apply the brakes...for a year. What a dumb ass way to start my day. I made every excuse in the world to not get them fixed up until the week before I was going to drive across state lines to go camping.
It took a total of 2.5 hours to get them fixed and free my mind.
 These 2 little scenarios prompted a massive change in my life.
Handle your shit. Don't talk about it, don't bitch about it, don't avoid it, just handle YOUR shit.
 It's a rewarding experience, and your life becomes less cluttered.
For me, less brain clutter means more room for creativity and a better opportunity to be in your moments.
 It's kind of like the way we build at the shop. We usually start with the hard shit just to get it out of the way so that the journey to completion is a pleasant one.
 In my earlier blog posts I had talked about overcoming fears. I can attest that winning my battle over fear has changed my life. I see the potential for positive change in this new battle of handling shit as it comes up instead of running from it.
 We're all damaged goods, some more than others, but in my opinion, if I can acknowledge problems within myself, then I can damn sure fix those problems.
 If you came to me and said "damn, this heroin addiction is causing me some real problems", well, we can now cross off all the things that you blame your woes on regularly, such as, my wife, my job, my kids, my car, property taxes, the weather etc. We can ascertain that all the things that you feel are dragging you down most likely aren't the problem because you were able to recognize that heroin was your problem...so you should probably start by fixing that.
 Probably not the greatest of analogies, but you get my point.
I will now present a analogy to you on how by changing your perspective, this new battle becomes easier...
Every day I come home from the shop, go in the fridge, grab a bottle of Virgils orange dreamsickle soda, go out on the back porch, kick off my boots, and stare at a bag of garbage that needs to be taken to the trash can. I have spent years cursing that bag of garbage, asking the universe "why do I have to take this bag of garbage to the can every goddamn day of my life?!" Until it dawned on me....that's just what the fuck you have to do. It's a part of your day like wiping your ass or drinking water. You are a family of 3, you are going to produce at least a bag of garbage a day, and you will take that bag and place it in the receptacle until the day you fuckin die. And just like that, it's no longer a big deal, or a subject to bitch about.
 Recognize it, accept it, fix it, and move on.
The formula works.

Monday, July 11, 2016

CLIMBING OUT OF THE SHIT HOLE



We recently had a company contract us to build them a rolling rustic bar.
 We knocked one out for them and they loved it. The day after it was delivered, I got an email from them asking if we could make another one, but they would like it to fold up. Um...sure we can...I think.
 A lot of you that read my blog or follow our work are pretty versed in the fact that we mostly make big, ridiculously heavy pieces. That's what we like, that's what we do, it's kind of a take it or leave it mentality on our part.
 Why the fuck not try to go off the reservation? Lighter, mobile, efficient...those are 3 words that never appear in our mission statement, so yeah...let's do it.
 Zack murdered the engineering of the hinges.
We spent a good amount of time asking GOOGLE to figure it out for us, instead GOOGLE failed us.
You couldn't use a regular old hinge because the middle shelf folds down, so the sides need to pop out a bit when folding in.
 Zack modified some regular hinges to accommodate our clearance requirement.
It was refreshing to work on a piece that was going to be trial and error. Even more refreshing is the fact that it worked, and worked well.
 Travel into the unknown, get out of your comfort zone, and it's easy to discover that you're bigger than you thought you were.
 We don't get to work outside of the box as much as we used to or as much as we'd like to. We do the work presented to us.
 My high from this folding bar was cut short after watching a video on my phone, of a police officer murdering a restrained man.
 I can't speculate on the reason, or the cause, or any justifications for that murder. All I know is what I saw and what I saw was a murder.
 I was disturbed that I could watch a snuff film on my phone.
We have become so desensitized to murder, that I can watch a video of a man take a barrage of bullets in his chest at point blank range, and then proceed to eat my sandwich and banana.
 We are a nation in constant division that has been crippled by greed.
If you look at our entire society, it's just one big constant argument.
 Here's an example...let's say a video surfaces of a child getting eaten by an alligator.
That would be a horrible, tragic event to take place. The loss of a young life. We can all agree on that right?
 Instead of it being a horrible tragic event, we're gonna go into all the facts that take away from a young childs life being cut short. We're gonna ask....where were the parents? Did the alligator have a history of eating children? Did you know the father recently farted on a bus? We should ban all alligators from the water. Alligator proof swim suits are now mandated for children under 4.
 All that bullshit and not one of us, myself included, can tell you that childs name.
I know that Alton guys name though, ya know why????
 He's no longer a man that got murdered...he's a fucking Hashtag.
How sick of a society have we become?
 How easily distracted have we become?
 How utterly calloused have we become to the loss of human life.
We LOVE and LONG to be divided.
 Black-white, gay-straight, legal-illegal, right wing-left wing, we beg to be divided like a little bird that begs it's mother to vomit food into it's mouth
 While we're all so busy justifying our race, or sexual orientation, or trying to figure out which bathroom to take a shit in, we have 2 diabolical people neck and neck to run our failing country, our water supply is being poisoned, our food supply is being poisoned, people are being taxed out of their homes, mayors are covering up murders to get elected, schools are being closed in shitty neighborhoods while new ones are being built in wealthy areas and the list goes on.
 While we're being divided and distracted, THEY are disassembling our humanity.
Friday night Max plays soccer.
 The soccer games are held in a beautiful park that is back dropped by the Chicago skyline.
We were sitting on a blanket in the grass, Max's game was over and we were staying to watch his cousins game.
 We had a pizza delivered to the park, and the scene was the most beautiful thing I've seen, Children playing, a cool breeze, beautiful sun setting, parents chatting, vendors selling happiness on a stick, and the soundtrack was the laughter of children.
 For a brief moment, I had hope for humanity.
The scene at this park was out of a movie but it was very fucking real.
 Right here, right now everyone in this park is fucking happy (except for that little girl who just ate shit on her bike, but she's gonna be allright).
 So, it is possible, there is hope.
  The truth is...Max kinda sucks at soccer, but on Tuesday and Friday's, everything is RIGHT with the world...for a few hours.
 I want RIGHT with the world. I want it for me, for my kid, for you.
I want it for cops, for blacks, for whites, for gay people, for alligators, for illegals, for Muslims.
 It all stems from us.
How are we going to navigate a conversation, how are we going to accept and embrace our differences, how are we going to stand united in the face of evil, how are we going to help our fellow man even when we don't profit from it, how are we going to agree to disagree, how are we going to refuse to be distracted and focus on what's real and what's right, and the big question is...how are we going to re discover exactly what RIGHT is?
 My answer is...baby steps.
Make little changes in yourself, and pray those changes spread like wildfire.
 Embrace what makes you happy and share it.
If we haven't bottomed out yet, let's put the brakes on and begin our ascent out of this shit hole that we've all had a hand in digging.