March 28, 2009
The next visit with other bloggers takes us over to wendy... She is a great writer with wonderful ideas... so after you read the interview, go over and check her blog out...
1. So why is Clay Perry your favorite blog to read?
Favorite is a strong word. I do love to read this blog. I lived many years in the south and reading Clay’s posts brings back memories for me. I love the interviews Clay does. Brilliant questions that make the interviewee think for answers. I may regret saying that. Let’s see..
2. When you were seventeen, or thereabouts, what did you imagine your life would be like now?
At 17, except for the cash my ‘single mom’ mother could help me with, I had gotten myself into an out-of-state college and worked and was on my own so I’m not sure what I thought. I always knew I’d be a mom, though. I just didn’t know the whats and wheres of it all. I have never looked that far ahead my entire life; a few years ahead maybe at best. I just always seem to take life as it comes at me, dodging at times and hopping on for the ride at others. I have always thought we should plan for what we’d like to happen, but realize that life may indeed have something else in store. It usually does.
3. What is the one moment from your early childhood that you drift back to in thought most often?
One moment is hard. I lived in 9 different towns in 6 different states before I was in the 5th grade (not an army brat, just a brat in a mobile family) so there are many moments I think about. But there is one I am fond of I can share: My parents owned a bakery in Independence, Missouri when I was 6. The bakery was next door to the Truman Library; Harry Truman, the president. Truman died that December and I remember the funeral ceremony they had for him there. They shot cannons and had a band, and I could see it on the TV inside the bakery and then run outside onto the sidewalk and see the exact same thing happening right there. That was pretty cool for a 6 year old.
4. What is your opinion of organized religion?
Short answer, not for it. I have such a deep respect for people and their beliefs. I just don’t think we should segregate ourselves based on those beliefs. I was raised in a Christian, regular-church-going home. As an adult I wanted to ‘get it right’ for myself and I spent many years researching and studying religion. If you really want to know in any depth what I think about organized religion, email me, we’ll talk.
5. If you decided to run for president, did so, and won, what would your platform consist of?
Taking care of ourselves. We are constantly trying to impose and impress the rest of the world with our democracy and politics, we need to switch the focus back to us and get back on track for our own well being. A country is a business. It’s time to put some money back into the business and implement a stock repurchase; stabilize our assets and protect ourselves from hostile takeover.
6. If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
My answer is not going to be conventional. (If the question were: whose brain would you like to pick, I’d pick someone who I could Q & A with. But that’s not the question. ) When I eat dinner with someone I want it to be fun, not about business, enjoyable with good conversation about anything and everything they want to talk about, with someone who feels the same way and is nice to look at. By those criteria, my answer is Matt. Plus he can take me home if I drink too much.
7. Favorite movie?
You are mean, Clay. You have read my blog and know I have a hard time picking a favorite movie. But for you I will. Bull Durham: for many reasons, none of which will probably make any sense. I don’t make sense usually.
8. Describe what you would consider to be your perfect day...
It’s warm, not hot, in the 60s, perhaps; blue skies, partly cloudy so the sun goes behind them just often enough that you remember to appreciate the warmth when it’s not behind them; a light breeze is blowing. As long as we are not working, we don’t need to think about things that need to be done, and get outside to walk or take a drive; anything we do on a day like that is perfect.
9. If you could have everyone on the planet listen to you at the same time for one minute, what would you say?
Choice of words Clay: I’m not sure they would listen. They might hear me, but to listen takes more than ears. Nonetheless I would say something like this: We are all the same. We all love. We all hope. We all dream. The things we love and hope and dream are different. We are all the same. We should not hate anything about each other, ever. Disagree, yes. Never hate.
10. Given your life as it is right now, what one word would best sum it all up?
March 24, 2009
March 23, 2009
Third times the charm... On our third visit to the secret fishing spot we finally caught that huge fish we had been feeding worms for two days!!! James was so excited he couldn't wait to get home and show his mom...
March 21, 2009
March 20, 2009
Next in line with a blogger interview is Lauren photographer extraordinaire...
1. So why is Clay Perry your favorite blog to read?
Cley kan right good. Seriously, because I know he's full of stories and knows just how to tell them. I'd let him write my life story.
2. What early life influence do you attribute your current lifestyle to?
I bet it was pop culture even then. Living in the same house as my aunt and grandparents has probably instilled some kind of family values somewhere. I also think being the middle child made me more prone to going with the flow of things and not getting bent out of shape easily.
3. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
One time I was jerked out of sleep by the sound of one of my cats trying to shimmy open my bedroom door. There was no cat in front of the door or behind it, and as I walked away from the door it pushed open on its own. I think my cat Sparks was trying to let me know it was ok that he got put to sleep. Or it could've been a crazy poltergeist. I'm just banking on it being my cat so I'm not sitting awake all night holding a bible, some holy water, and a blankie.
4. Having worked in retail for many years, what is your worst customer story?
Oh. Where to begin? Should I tell of a stack of cds by a guy named James Morrison artfully displayed on the counter, and the resulting idiocy? One lady said "Isn't James Morrison the lead singer of Morrissey?" Another lady said "is that Jim Morrison from the doors?" After I told her "no, he's someone with the same name" she said he should be sued for false advertising. Then there's lady trying on bras in the lingerie section of Kmart. Or the former CVS employee who had some girl he knew fill a shopping cart with stuff and both were too drunk to think about the parking lot full of cops she pushed the cart full of stolen goods into. None of these are the worst though, I suppose. I remember them fondly. The worst ones are stupid angry people and I've managed to store them away in one scary lump in my subconscious. They're better forgotten.
5. When did you realize that you had a talent for photography and do you intend to pursue it as a career?
I wasn't aware I was good enough for people to pay for. With an infant it's hard to do things. My photography centers around him at the moment. When it's nicer outside, who knows? I can justify sitting outside on a street corner selling prints by saying he needs the fresh air.
6. Given the current state of the geopolitical standing of the globe, how do you think we should best handle the situation with Iran having nuclear capabilities?
Don't ask me. I am the Ostrich. Goo goo ga joo.
7. What one thing about your life would you most like to change?
The answer to this all depends on how I'm feeling when you ask. Sure, there's a lot I'd like to go back and do with the knowledge I have now. I'd spend more time making memories my uncle Steve and my great grandma and my Grandma Hill. These people are ghostly type memories, if anything at all and that saddens me like you wouldn't believe. I'd like to have met Steve earlier, but I think if I had changed things then, I wouldn't have the life I have now. And things are pretty good right now.
8. Favorite movie?
I cannot pick one favorite, but I will tell you to go see Coraline. In 3D if you're able. Anything Neil Gaiman is involved with is pretty good.
9. Being a new mother, how has this influenced your outlook on life?
I try not to sweat the bad small stuff and I try to inhale every solitary second of the good small stuff. I talk more about poop than I ever have in my life. In our little family sleep has become more valuable than cigarettes and handsome boys in prison.
10. Given your life as it stands at this moment, what one word do you feel would best sum it all up?
Crowded, but a nice, warm, fuzzy kind of crowded.
March 19, 2009
March 16, 2009
A piece of basswood I received for Christmas and carved yesterday.. I tried to make it tree like.. I think it looks like a cypress stump... just over twelve inches tall, stained with "light cedar" and "dark redwood"
March 15, 2009
Rarely do I remember dreams... When I do it's generally just snippets that make no sense. I have little interest in dream interpretation, and when you begin to discuss dreams, that always seems to be the direction that is taken.
Last night I had a dream of flying. It started in the backyard of my mother's house. There was a pulley configuration set into the gutter that runs the length of the back of the house. A long cable ran from the pulley to me. I was standing in the yard and began to run back and forth, all to the tune of ben taylor. When I had made several passes through the yard I began to take the same path in the air, it was a joyous thing. I felt like a kid on a ride at at a theme park. It was dark and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the stars were ridiculously bright as I continued to hold onto the cable and ride the pulley back and forth across the yard. I began to slowly turn flips and hold on, laughing and enjoying the experience. As I rode the pathway, gaining altitude, I decided to let go and head out over the trees.
There was nothing more gracious, I soared above the trees and stayed just even with tops. I went for several miles and saw nothing but trees and night sky as I turned over and over, first looking through the trees, then staring up at the sky as I would flip over. The air was wet with the coming Spring and smelled heavily of honeysuckle.
Some time passed and I continued to explore, enjoying the sight of familiar places from a different vantage point. No people on the ground seemed to notice me as I made my way around town. Once through town I made my way back north thinking of looking around Atlanta, when I spotted a fire in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by black trees, there was a clearing that had a huge fire set in its center and several people gathered around it, I decided to investigate.
As I closed in I began to see who these people were. Everyone from my past that has passed away. They seemed to be sitting silently waiting for me to approach them. The air turned cold as I landed just outside the light of the fire and they were all bundled against the frigid temperatures. They shot me glances as I walked into the group and took what was obviously a seat left vacant for me.
I had the overwhelming feeling that what was about to take place would be very similar to an elementary school visit to the principals office. Once I was in place a cousin near my age stood and began to explain what this was.
"Tonight we have come to you during a time preset for discussion of things that have left a feeling of anger and exhaustion in their wake." To say the least I felt intrigued, yet at the same time I felt slightly worried. He had a look about him of a tired traveler, wrapped against the bite of cold weather. Indeed, as I looked around the group of familiar faces they all looked very serious and rather careworn. He stoked the fire a bit and searched the other peoples eyes before walking toward me and sitting on a bench that was suddenly there. He adjusted his clothing after he sat down and stared into my eyes, Leaning forward, he continued.
"There were times in the past when I came to you to ask advice on matters I deemed important. It is time for me to return the favor... Over the years you have watched as those around you have moved through life losing and gaining in their kind. The core of this moment in your existence finds matters relating to these same thoughts weighing heavy on your mind. I am here to let you know that these things have a direction and course that must be followed and is designed to achieve outcomes that are important for each in turn." There were murmurs moving through those gathered at these words, they seemed to be voicing agreement as if it was the simplest and safest way forward.
My voice sounded strangely distant as I said, "The tribulations and designs of those around me mean little to my existence, their problems are their own to deal with"
"Exactly my point." He stood and walked around the bench to the fire and warmed his hands.. Looking suddenly amused he cut his eyes toward me and said, "Do you think that your opinion in these matters is important enough to give them time?"
"Well my friend, you are wrong."
"Give them time, ponder the situations, yet let them have no hold on you."
"If they are to have no hold on me, why give them time? So that I may learn from them? What do I have to learn from situations such as this?"
He laughed out loud, carrying me back through time to places and days long past, when forts and explosions were the order of the day. Summer sweat and noise were the things important to me then... not much else. I sat lost in memories from my childhood, his laughter intertwined with the visions and morphed into the soundtrack of my life. I saw all the things laid out before me that I had done, thought and witnessed. Then I began to worry....
"Have no fear.. you aren't going to die." His voice was amused as he read the thought in my mind. "What you have to learn from this is what not to do..."
The laughter rang out from all around the fire and changed over to the sound of the crackling of the wood as the flames licked the way through their hidden pathways in the logs. I felt a bit uncomfortable and adjusted myself, waiting on some sort of admonishment for my actions. That moment never came.
"Everything is simple." He continued... "Nothing is or has to be complicated, machinations always show themselves for what they are, a waste of time... people that give themselves over to anger, jealously and pettiness live that way and eventually die that way. There exists for them a constant battle and weariness in their lives. They label themselves victims while not seeing the complete bullshit they bring about. For them life is pain, yet they don't know why. Life is actually very simple and there is no reason not to enjoy it. It's all music."
"What do I do about it?"
"Just live.. don't talk about it, never discuss what it is that you want to do, just simply act on it. You don't have a long time here, enjoy what is while you can."
"Exactly how long do I have here?"
"As long as you do."
He laughed again.. "There is very little that actually changes with time."
Many things were Then said as I listened.
I sat for a moment and pondered what I had heard.. Then decided that I should be on my way. I walked back to the edge of the clearing. When I passed close by him I couldn't resist.. I leaned in and said, "What happens when you die?"
He smirked a little and said, "Nothing."
When I awoke this morning I felt profoundly moved. I wrote this out and couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to post it. Obviously I did.. Seventeen hours after I wrote it... several more things were heard around that fire, but this was the only portion of the exchange that I shall ever repeat.
March 11, 2009
Continuing in my series of interviews with other bloggers... Today we shall visit Witch Hollow Primitives . Once you're finished reading the interview, go check out her sites, her work is wonderful...
1. So why is Clay Perry your favorite blog?
Hmmm...did I say that?
2. How did you become interested in the type of artwork that you do?
I have always loved art since I was very little, I was always creating something with whatever I had. I would have to say my biggest influence for my love of art comes from my grandmother Christina Maria. She was from the old country (Italy). I think thats where my love of primitives comes from. My love of Halloween has always been a strong influence as well, that time of year is magickal to me. Many Halloween artists always seem to inspire me as well as nature, and the beauty in the things around it.
3. What early influence do you think has attributed to your current lifestyle?
Do I have a lifestyle lol? I lead a pretty boring life it would seem to most. I guess music was a huge influence and that has kept me young at heart. To feel some of the most powerful words put to music causes the soul to stir and that helps me to create.
4. Do you miss working in construction, and have you found the skills you picked up in that experience helpful to your current artistic endeavors?
Funny enough I do miss working construction. Like art I guess you look at a concrete floor you just poured as your canvas and when you drive by it later you say, "I did that". I am constantly building something and it does tie in with the handcrafts I do so yes, it has helped greatly. It also widened my vocabulary to work with men.
5. Have you ever seen a ghost?
Real or fictitious?
6. How does being a mother impact your art work?
Gives me very little time to get anything done, but I have always worked best under stress. Kids make you look at things differently. When you see things from a childs perspective it makes you see the honesty and purity in the world that is scantly present these days. I couldn't imagine my life without them, so my art I think would wane as well.
7. What is your opinion of current events in the middle east?
I have no opinion on the middle east, I have a hard enough time watching the 10 o'clock news let alone know whats going on anywhere other than my studio.
8. Favorite food?
I love a wide variety of foods, but absolutly Italian would have to be my fav. I hear baby is the other white meat I might have one of those to try if she doesn't stay out of my paintbrushes.
9. If you could create the optimum living experience for yourself right now, what would it be like?
Far from Illinois I know that. I would probably venture out of the country, Ireland or Italy to find my roots. We need to be a country of more "just being" rather than the constant "doing".
10. Given your life, the way it is right now, what one word do you feel would best sum it all up?
There isn't one word really, I guess beautiful disaster.
March 08, 2009
I constantly tell my kids stories about life around here, what growing up in this place was like.... In telling these stories I often relay stories that I have heard from my father. One such story involved a rock.... And today that rock came back to life for my kids...
James, Patrick and I were out and about on the Kawasaki mule. We had taken a ride over to the old chimney that stands where a plantation once existed. During the ride I began to tell them about all the things around here that are hidden from view, but hold a deeper meaning and connection to our own past. James, Patrick, and I stopped to check out the chimney. We crawled all over it and checked out the stones that were piled next to it. Foundation stones and bits of the chimney are my guess. When I was around nine or ten myself, I spent some rather interesting lost afternoons poking around there with a metal detector. I located several interesting items.. Horse shoes, nails, bullets, hinges, forks, knives, tons of things... I kept them in two old paper grocery sacks I had gotten from my mother, for years they sat in my closet. When Julie and I were married I tossed all the stuff out..
Pretty bad move...
I told them about how the land all around here is terraced. It was done when this was all plantation, so the crops would not wash away in the rain as it's very hilly here. I showed them the chimney and we talked about what it must have been like when the place was in full swing. Crops, barns, livestock... I then dug into my own education and reading experiences telling them about life on a southern plantation, and the truth about slaves in the region. It must have been something to see. We also stopped to check out an old tree some beaver had set in to a while back.
James and I began to talk about what it would be like to be an archaeologist like Dr. Grant from Jurassic Park. Hey.. he's five... So the wheels began to turn in my mind and I thought of something that we could investigate in true Dr. Alan Grant style, minus the dinosaurs of course...
I told him that we would undertake our own dig..
I began to tell him a story of how granddaddy had left a piece of his history here. There was a huge rock near a stand of holly close to my grandparents house. When my dad was around ten to twelve, 1945 to 1947, he carved his initials in the rock while they were playing... The specific reasons behind this are still a bit of a mystery....
I knew the approximate location of the rock so we ran home, loaded up on all the required equipment archaeologists should have, brushes, dustpans, a compass, a knife, a gun, and a little composition book for notes... We traveled over to the area of the rock and began our search. After a little while I located it and the dig began in earnest. The weather cooperated being a rather perfect sunny day with low humidity. We worked up a sweat as we cleared the rock of pine straw and moss. When several areas of the rock were uncovered and we were failing in our attempts, we were ready to accept defeat and head home in low spirits. Then James suddenly asked, "What's that dad?"...
It was a deep groove cut into the rock.. That was it!!! We both grew in excitement as we began to uncover it. We were tossing moss and straw like two old prospectors running across a new vein of gold in a mine thought to be tapped out... Dirty, sweaty smiles mixed with laughter punctuated the uncovering process.. We brushed the dirt away as best we could and James began to take notes. I ran back to the mule and got the camera. We spent the next hour or so making notes, taking measurements, and snapping pictures for further analysis. If you can't tell, the initials are DP for Delmos Perry.. my dad.
I talked to his brother a little while ago, my uncle Thomas. I asked him if he remembered the details surrounding my dad carving in the rock. He said, "Lord god Clay, that was so long ago and we were always into so much stuff, there ain't no telling what was going on that day..."
We had a really good time uncovering a bit of the past this afternoon.. To learn about and see the evidence of the malfeasance of their granddaddy is pretty cool to say the least.. It gave me valuable time with the kids and a good reason to get them out of the house. And I always love the opportunity to tell them stories from their own past, because if I don't.. nobody will.... And those stories are just too damn good to go unrepeated...
The next installment of interviews with other bloggers finds us at solid snake...
1. So why is Clay Perry your favorite blog to read?
If I don't say yes all my freedoms as a teenager will be stripped from me.
2. What is the worst thing about highschool so far?
Do I have to say just one? Bad food, obnoxious jocks, and, probably the worst, the stupid pot heads who think they are above everyone else.
3. Have you ever seen a UFO?
Do any other cryptic beings count? I am sure I have seen a few around here somewhere....
4. Favorite movie?
Dark Knight...only because it features Two-Face.
5. What do you think would be the best answer to the Palestinian situation?
I don't think I can give you an informed answer to this question, because I don't know enough about the situation.
6. What is your favorite part of the day?
The time when I lay down to sleep. Because then you cam dream whatever kind of day you want. The mind has no limitations.
7. What do you think of our current President?
I would have preferred McCain, but it is too late to whine now.
8. Have you ever considered writing your own comic book?
Yeah, I just can't find a good artist to draw out my ideas for free.
9. What do you think is the best gaming system on the market?
Definitely the Sony PlayStation 3.
10. Given your life as it stands at this moment, what one word would best sum it all up?
Neutral, not in any particular mood.
March 07, 2009
Near eighty degrees... sunshine.. must go to the park... even though we live in the woods...
A little park in town... a good distraction from a ridiculous winter...
March 02, 2009
Continuing the series of interviews with other bloggers - next in line... The angry Georgian
1. So why is Clay Perry your favorite blog?
I like reading about the adventures of a four year old soldier / secret agent / cowboy / professional hide-and-seeker. Wood carving is also an interest of mine, even though I am not the least bit good. I've only carved reliefs in scraps of 4x4's before. Not to mention you're very well written.
2. What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
Nothing really scares me, per se. If I had to nail it down, I would have to say the time in Colorado when I was out walking with a friend through a field in the dark looking for her brother and his girlfriend. She took off running and I followed her, but I was fat and couldn't run to save my life. This overwhelming sense of dread came over me and I looked behind me to see a man standing in the middle of the field. He was as black as black could be and I knew he was there for me. Hey, I think I'll put that in my book!
3. What influence do you attribute your current lifestyle to?
I don't know that I can attribute my lifestyle to any one particular influence. Where I am at is the direct result of the decisions I have made over the years and it just so happens that where I am is where I just ended up.
4. Where is your favorite place to go in Georgia, and why?
I'd have to say Blood Mountain up on 129 outside of Cleveland. It's the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. And the view is stunning. It's a great place to go and just be alone. I like to find a spot a little ways off the trail and just sit down for a while and take in all the purity of nature.
5. When did you first start writing your blog, and for what reason?
I believe my first post was in early 2007. I wanted a public forum to bitch about everything I thought was wrong with the world and where I could engage in my general smart-assedness. It's evolved into more over time and now I hardly bitch about anything anymore.
6. Favorite movie?
My favorites change as new ones come out. I don't have any one specific all-time favorite as some people do. If I were to give a movie such a title, I think I would say Braveheart.
7. Is there anything in your past that you would change, and why?
I would have participated in more physical activities and tried to live a healthier lifestyle in my teenage years and twenties. Thirty-plus years of junk food and soft drinks combined with a very sedentary lifestyle have definitely taken their toll on my body. I wish I could trade it in. Also, I would have joined the Marines out of high school like I should have. I was very anti-authority back then and refused to enlist. I had a change of heart when I was twenty-seven and by that time it was too late. It's ironic if you think about it. When I was able to enlist I wouldn't, and now that I want to enlist I can't. I should have done it when I didn't have health problems.
8. What was the worst customer service experience you ever had?
Several years ago I had an attorney steal money out of my bank account after I had given them my info. I was naive then. I stopped payment on the check numbers and they just created new ones. When I called the bank to find out why they were allowed to do that, I got a we advise our account holders to never give their account numbers to anyone for any reason reply. Even though I had done what I needed to do on my end, they allowed them to fraudulently take money from my bank account and all I got was a "tough shit" from Bank of America. Because of that, they will never get another dime of my money as long as I live.
9. What would you do with the money if you were given one million dollars tax free?
I would dole it out in $25,000 increments to various investments and live off the interest. And I would, of course, take a very long vacation.
10. Given your life as it is at this moment, what one word best sums it all up?
March 01, 2009
we decided to go for a ride in the kawasaki mule.. this shot is from the driveway..
It's not that big of a deal to most of the country... but it rarely snows here.. so we will enjoy it... this video is from when it first started this morning..