Let's hear it for platitudes! As the good book says, who needs originality when you've got a puppy? This is the third of three.

Happy end of July! Let's all just survive the next 31 days.

Now playing: Clem Snide - Exercise


That's enough.

You know how it goes. You take a trip somewhere cool, figure fall is just around the bend, and get back home only to find out that you still have the whole month of August to go. And then you cry, or despair in whatever manner seems fitting to you. We've all been there, right?

I'm beginning to think my drawing skills are becoming stodgy. I feel like I hit on a lyrical style in a couple ink and watercolor paintings a few months back, but haven't had much success lately. I am improving with the watercolors, but it seems the compositions lack the vitality I'm striving for. I think I might try ink one more time, and try to remember to focus on shapes rather than lines. I don't know. Maybe I need to bring back cross-hatching. I feel so stagnant. Stupid summer.



My five days off last week were the most legit vacation I've had in at least four years. It felt great to get into the October-like weather of the mountains, and lay around at home for a couple days to boot. I read a lot, painted a lot, basically enjoyed the heck out of life. I don't know if a vacation has ever recharged my batteries quite like this one.

Now playing: NPR - SXSW: Shout Out Louds


Two for the show

My wife needs three 8x8 frames filled for her classroom. Inspirational canines will be the theme. The other two will read, "Listen up, you little turds," and "You're not as special as your mom says you are." It's going to be so great.

It's a little fun, no? (You know, aside from looking a little too much like Danny Gregory's work.)

Unrelatedly, I really really hate summer. When you break into a sweat while eating, that's too hot. When your neighbors all have loud motorcycles and like to drive away at 1 am, that's not cool. When the crazies and the yellers and the fireworks come out into the street at all hours, I start to twitch. I'm hating summer more and more each day. And we're about to plunge headlong into August. Guh.



It was only eleven days, but it felt like forever. There were a couple points where I just plain forgot what my process normally was. I think the work benefited from this, however. It feels really good to get back to what I love to do.


Bigger v. smaller

I've been hearing a lot lately, from different sources, about having a vision for your life. When I get the same message from several directions, it usually means that I need to pay attention. So I have been trying to come up with a big vision.

My wife thinks I should think smaller. I can have a vision for our family, for my street, for my department at work. Whatever. And I'm not discounting the validity of what she's saying, but I feel like I need to start or be part of something BIG. Heck, somebody has to think big. Maybe it's time to spark a Christian art revolution. Maybe it's time to write a book. Who knows?

The point is, when I listen to visionaries talk (or more often read what they said), I get the itch again. In the words of Dane Cook, "I want that. Why not me?"


Vic Ruggiero

I got a few minutes on Thursday to rock this out.

4th of July weekend with a D300

My long weekend in a nutshell:


D300 Glory

Us designers are going on a photo crawl this afternoon, and since my personal camera has about a 30 second battery life, I get to use the company's D300. (Yussssssss...) But first I have to get the hang of such a fancy camera. So here are some practice shots:

More to come, either later today or on Monday.

Butt Fart

Take a good look at him.

This guy is a d-bag. I'm talkin' straight up fiduciary. As a person I wish him nothing but the best, but as a football fan I hope he burns in the unquenchable fires of hell. When he retired, I didn't buy it for a second. Now come the reports that with training camp approaching, he wants back in.

If you were the Packers, that'd be the dumbest move in history. You'd be slapping your presumptive quarterback in the face, bringing back a guy who you can't quite be sure is giving it his all and chucks up far too many bad interceptions, like the one that kept you out of the Super Bowl last year. (Note: I will never stop being happy about that.)

So if he doesn't come back with the Pack, then who? If you'll turn your attention to this article, you'll see that Minnesota comes up on the list.


Sorry, I just vomited a little in my mouth.

First, Tarvaris Jackson is going to be a good quarterback this year. Second, I would be so sick if I one day saw Favre in purple and gold. It would be just wrong on such a deep level. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that if Favre were to lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl (that's a big if for a franchise that hasn't seen the big game in my lifetime), it would tear the hearts out of every football fan in the state of Wisconsin. That makes me smile, and that's putting it mildly.

So for now the saga continues. Stay tuned and try to keep your breakfast down.



I've decided I want to try to hand write a page in my notebook every day (or as many days as I can) leading up to National Novel Writing Month in November. I need to practice fictional narrative, and small snippets seem to suit me well. Today's:

The angle with which the aluminum bat flew at my leg left a nasty bruise just above the back of my right knee. At the moment of impact the only thing I could think of was whether or not I was tough enough to stand in the batter's box long enough to walk in the winning run. I didn't dare inspect the injury for fear of discovering a protruding bone or some other ghastly, disfiguring deformity. It was all I could do to hobble up to the plate and hold the bat up, desperate to keep from shaking. Four pitches, maybe five at most. This pitcher couldn't strike me out to save his life. Visions of bravely stumbling my way down the first base line while my fat teammate trudged home filled my head as the ball came whizzing toward me.