Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mask Designs

Well, it has been a while since I have put anything up and I thought now was a great time to post something because there is a Mask Design contest being held by a gifted individual Kenn Osborn. Look him up on he has great stuff. Here's a link

Anyway, I have a few designs I have come up with and will be entering them in said contest. I have decided there is almost no better place to show these design ideas than right here on the blog so have fun looking at them.

First we have a mask I had Kenn make already. It's a falcon mask for a character I am creating.

Next is a mask I drew that incorporates some pretty cool stuff. It would use some layering and would also have a veil/shroud that could extend down to the chest if so desired. The bottom of the cross would be around the bottom of the chin but the leather part of the mask would not completely cover the face so that's why I put a shroud on it. It's my Templar mask:

Next is a Midnight Masquerade mask that would look pretty good on a girl. Sort of alluring and mysterious. It is a scene of the night sky with some feathers for an accent.

Then I made a nice bright sunshiny one. This would be either a Sunflower or a Daisy depending on the color scheme. I think this one would be very fun to wear.

These next two pictures go together. I thought about what would make a fun mask, and keep a flair of uniqueness and I thought about this: each of the suits of the face cards; spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. Now, I drew each symbol as the whole mask but I also thought it would be cool to make all of them be on one mask, or make a crown for that matter. It could be the poker crown that the weekly champion could keep until the next game. I don't know, I don't play poker, but it was a thought. Or with the masks you'd have an automatic poker face! ok ok, I'll stop, here they are.

I think this next one is really cool. It's a Fleur De Lis and I love it.

ok, for some reason all the pictures since the fleur de lis won't upload right side up, i'll try another post.

Well, it refuses to be right side up, but whatever.
I went nuts on the next one, wondering how I could possibly get any more unique. And then I thought about what time it was, and then I thought about clocks and watches, and then about Switzerland and those amazing time pieces they have and how intricate the gears are, and then i came up with this mask.

This next one wouldn't upload right either, blast. It's a snake head, and I liked the tooling on my falcon mask and it made me think about scales like a snake.

And I made another one that is a bit more sinister.

I had thought a tree one would be cool with vines or a snake curled around it, and then Kenn started making those. Haha, oh well, but I still like the vine/snake idea so I drew one.

I like Harlequin style masks, I think they are pretty cool, so I made one of those too.

And finally, I thought about St. Patrick's day. This one should bring some good luck.

There we go. Those are my masks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wheels and Deals

So, I love longboarding.

I got a longboard last year and I have had a ton of fun with it. This first board of mine is a Sector 9 Carbon Trilam Spoontail. The deck is comprised of 5 plies of maple sandwiched between layers of fiberglass with a carbon fiber 'X' running down the board. It came with Gullwing Charger trucks (black) and Race formula Nineball wheels with greaseball bearings.

My second board I started making a couple months later with a friend and we got 47" decks online and started coming up with ideas on how to paint them and what kinds of trucks and wheels to put on them. It was a lot of fun planning and getting everything. We both went with Randall II 180mm trucks, his were raw mine are black coated, and ABEC 11 Gumballs for the wheels with Bones Reds bearings. My friend got done painting and grip taping way before I did. He stained his deck a mahogany color and then put a double stripe down the length of the board in a green that matched the wheels. I liked the color and planned my own design. I wanted to leave the wood color the same and then made a single stripe that ran the length of the board flaring at both ends. I outlined the green stripe with a thin line of black on both sides and coated it all with a sealer. It looked way good and I was proud. I just needed to find a place I could get clear grip tape in long enough pieces so I wouldn't have a seam in the tape.

It took a while, a few months actually, for me to even paint the board, and a few more to find a shop with clear grip tape. I finally heard tell of a shop in the area that had a good supply of everything so I wanted to check it out. I was awestruck when I walked in, there was a ton of different types of boards and clothing and everything that makes a shop like that great. I asked about the tape and they showed me their supply. What I really wanted to know was could they tape it up right then? That way I could start riding it without fear of my feet slipping off. They said they could and I got my board from my car and brought it in. I had it put together so they took the trucks off and started getting the tape ready, but the guy didn't wipe off the deck like I asked him to. I had been doing a little cruising and there was dirt and stuff on the surface that I really didn't want embalmed under the tape for me to see forever. He went to get a cloth to wipe the deck and then got ready to put on the tape. The tape was applied and the excess cut off and then he offered to put it all back together. I was in a hurry to go shooting and everyone was waiting on me so I didn't need him to take any longer, I said no but he said he could do it really quick. I relented and said not to tighten anything as one truck needed to go on the front because it compensated for a flaw in the mounting holes. If he got it wrong I would have that much more work when I got home. You see, there was a 50% chance he would get it right, but according to that "one" theory: if there's a chance you can get it wrong it's most likely to come out that way. Of course that's what he did, and I again said to not tighten anything all the way down. He did. Actually he did more than tighten things, he sunk a screw halfway through the board. I did a little venting at that and he loosened the drill (I like to hand tighten everything so I know exactly how tight it is) and he sunk the next screw even deeper. I freaked a little and he very carefully finished up.

Well now, I am not a happy camper and I write a letter to the owner detailing my frustrations. The owner calls me and we meet, I show him the board and he offers to help fix it with some counter sunk washers. He also offered to get me a board in his shop for cost instead of retail. That's sweet. I got a Loaded Dervish for $60 off the board and then I got Paris 180mm trucks and Orangatang Durian wheels with Diamond bearings.

I'm pretty happy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Avoid a void

Since 'Shutter Effect' and my great blossoming hopes for the future I have been rocked by the frailties of good fortune and brought to my knees by betrayal and misdirection. Though, it isn't as bad as all that. I won't go in to any details but you start to realize how small the top of a mountain is once you slip off. And once you slip off, the scenery quickly changes and your focus is no longer on the landscape's breathtaking expanse but on the grating sharpness of the pummeling decent. When you open yourself up and take down your defenses you become very vulnerable, but that can be a very good thing, a very building and anchoring thing when you allow someone else to enter into your heart. However, we fear becoming vulnerable because we don't know if we will be lucky enough to have a positive outcome. It seems more often than not we are introduced to disappointment and heartache. Sometimes I get really frustrated that I can't seem to catch a break, and when it feels like I do, it's just another slippery precipice looking to throw my footing and welcome me into jagged arms, predictable, constant.

Detachment is a good friend. It doesn't hurt if you can't feel it. So I let go of my emotions, got rid of my concern, and banished my thoughts.

In nature there is a balance, an inescapable equilibrium that maintains the functions of the ecosystem. With every shift and change there is an adjustment in some other part that fills the void or answers the need. When scientists felt there were too many wolves in a particular area and recommended killing most of them off there was a drastic and actually devastating increase in the herbivore population, including deer for example. A threat, previously unconsidered, came to light: overgrazing of ranch-lands and the starvation of many domesticated livestock. A void had been created and it would have to be filled. Because it was not a natural shift the effects were drastic and would threaten many aspects of the local ecosystem. The resulting overpopulation of herbivores led to an increase of predators, and then with limited food supply and increased threat from predators, the herbivore population dwindled. Without prey the predator population struggled as well, and after a period of flailing its arms, nature regained balance having filled the void.

I am worried about this flux in my own life. I was close to what I wanted, and it was ripped away. I now have a void in a relatively vulnerable place, and I wonder what will come by to fill it. My defenses are up again but they are a little battered. They are also extremely weak against one particular force, so I have had to keep my distance or my defenses will fall. I want to keep this friend of mine, I want things to be normal, but first I need to be safe, balanced. Balance is hard when you are unevenly weighted. I can't be balanced around her, she would fill the void too easily, too quickly.

I have been having fun in my ward, not worrying about trying too hard to fix things yet. And then I met someone for the first time three weeks ago, and really started to get to know her two weeks ago, who has lived less than three minutes away from me for the last eleven years. Funny how you can know your world so well, and still not know it. I think she's really cool, and I like that I feel like we've been friends for months when it's only been weeks. I'm not sure how I feel about things at the moment, but I am a little worried that I am unconsciously trying to fill my void. I guess that's not a bad thing, I just don't want to be going about things the wrong way, or trying to make things happen when I should be less concerned.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shutter Effect

Have you ever been looking into the night sky, or maybe someone's eyes, or down an inviting country lane, and suddenly get lost in its depth, its unpredictable serenity, sent out into the incredible and unimaginable future only to be captured back into the present before you comprehend the scene? I have.

At times I have this deep ache, a very real and lovely longing for intangible futures. I see things for a moment, like specters, dancing and calling me, showing me memories of things I have never seen, and though I also see that they are not in my near future, they are there somewhere, playing hide and seek in time. I think the ache is akin to that feeling you got at the center of your heart the first time you left home for a week, and you missed your room and your parents, and even your pesky, snotty, bratty, wonderful siblings. You were probably seven or eight, and it may have been some sort of camp with your church or school, and it was fun, but it wasn't home.

This next analogy only works if you have seen cameras other than the digital kind. When a film camera takes a picture, there is a shutter that opens for just a fraction of a second, and in that moment the image is captured on the film. You can even duplicate this type of effect yourself with your own eyes. Just close your eyes for a while and then open them and quickly close them again (this will work best if you are looking out a window where there is a lot of light and contrast) and the image will seem to linger for a couple heartbeats. The longing I speak of is kind of like this, I am just minding my business living life and then, in a brilliant and fleeting flash, I see the expanse of the universe, its image and emotion burned into the retina of my soul, and the ache, while intense for a moment, slowly fades and I am left to myself wondering.

I wonder at the feelings I get when this happens, the feeling that what I saw was home. It feels like that's where I belong, not here, not in the small struggles I face today, but there, where my heart is full and my experiences rich, and my family, not my current family only, my own family, is close and our bonds strong. How is it that I can be homesick for a home I don't yet have? Things stir in me that I don't understand, my heart feels broken for not being there in that glimpse of forever, feels weak and unsuited for the task, hungry for company. It's hard to explain. I need deeper words, or to be able to write with emotion as my text instead of these clumsy symbols. So inadequate are these tools sometimes. I feel I understand what God meant when He said He speaks according to our understanding, using the language of man's comprehension.

I feel that these glimpses into the eternities, into the mind and will of God, are for us encouragements to help us on our way, to show us that there is more, to keep us from sitting still, to make sure we still dream. The breath leaves us for a moment and our hearts expand in the attempt to fully embrace the scene, and the ache comes when we find that our hearts are not yet big enough, but are hungry to become so. And the vision fades, leaving us hopeful, longing.

I want it. I don't know exactly how to get there, but I know a few of the steps. I don't know what to do all the time and I make things harder sometimes. But for now, I will enjoy the journey, the company of friends, the lessons I learn, and the joys I gain.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Star

I can't believe how excited I am about my recent discovery. I'm pretty sure that if I had a million dollars, shameless amounts would be spent on Converse All Stars. I have always loved these shoes, and they have become quite the status symbol these days, but the reason for my rekindled interest is that you can build your own shoes by using the converse website. It's pretty easy: and then you just go to build your own.
I made a couple different designs myself:
Black and lime green

And my personal favorite: Waldo

I think this one would match my waldo outfit nicely.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I love when it rains. It rained today for like five minutes and looked like the world was going to end for all the water being dumped, but then it was over and moved on. I missed most of it because I looked out the window and saw dark clouds, looked away and then looked back out the window three minutes later and the rain was drowning everything it could get its hands on. Then the sun came out. I love when the sun comes out.

I had a good day. I went into Relief Society after church and one girl had made cookies, so I went up to her and asked, "May I please have a cookie?" to which she replied cordially, "Yes you may." I reached for one of the enticing morsels and right as I pick it up she says, "Oh you might like this one better," pointing to a different and equally appealing cookie. I couldn't really see any difference between the quality at first but I was primarily concerned that I had already handled one of the cookies and it might be rude of me to put it back in favor of the other. I expressed this reservation and graciously she said, "Looks like you'll have to have both and see which one you like better!" I could not have asked for more kindness, after all most of the women had only received one cookie, and here I was, an intruder, getting two! I felt very special. I like feeling special, and it's something we don't do for each other enough. I'm going to try to make others feel special more often because they deserve to get surprised. I don't really know anyone that detests feeling happy, and pleased about life/things/themselves. At least I don't associate with them.

Yesterday, speaking of surprises, I got off work and wanted to surprise a friend of mine, so I found an excuse to head that direction. Luckily for me I had forgotten my sunglasses at another friend's house in the area so I had the excuse, I just needed a surprise. Flowers are always great, especially if you're surprising a girl, which was my intention, so I stopped at a flower shop along the way and picked some up, all the while enjoying the excitement of being a surpriser. I got them into my car, turned on the AC, aimed the vents at the flowers, and drove toward my destination. I was a little torn, did I want her to be there? Hmm... if she's there that could be fun to see the look on her face, but it could also be fun to leave them there and let her come home to them. Well, either way would be fun so I went on my way rife with anticipation.

I parked and carried the flowers up to her house to find her father outside working on some projects. Prior to him looking up I wondered about the rather conspicuous bundle in my hand and whether I could make it look simple and natural, like I always carried flowers with me where ever I went. I don't know that I was successful, but he didn't seem bothered by their presence, and I asked if my intended recipient was at home. I strangely hoped for both answers. He told me that she was actually in southern Utah and wouldn't be home until Wednesday-ish.

Ever watch a pack of five year olds attack those dollar store bubbles? My bubble was among those not high enough off the ground to survive the onslaught. I was a little let down having talked to her the day before and not knowing that she was planning on being absent for several days and having my plans to surprise her, turn around and surprise me. So I left them with her dad, and he promised he would feed and water them so they would be alive when she got home.


A friend of mine wrote on her facebook page that she needed something to do. I needed something to do too so I asked if she wanted to go get a frosty with me and that it would be a half hour commitment. I don't like usurping people when they just feel like doing a little bit of something. It's pretty fun to just do stuff out of nowhere. It was good for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Remember biology in school? Ever seen a bug's clear, discarded shell? Seen a snake shed it's skin? All signs of growth. Creepy, disturbing signs of growth. Spiders, like other exoskeleton types, (of course excluding snakes, they are vertebrates) are limited in size by their exteriors, trapped, as it were, inside themselves. They get bigger inside than their outsides will allow and something has to give or they will suffer, and really, who likes to suffer? Not me.

Could have fooled you, eh? Yeah, could have fooled me too. I say I don't like to suffer, but I always seem to stop myself from doing what I really want to, so I get all cramped up and start wishing things were different. I don't make sense to myself at times, I doubt I make a lot of sense to others, but if you have any really great observations you feel would be helpful feel free to share them with me. I'd appreciate it.

Ever read "The Dawn Treader" by C.S. Lewis? Eustace Scrubb is a brat and he gets turned into a dragon, and learns things. Then he wants to be in his own body, but the only way to do that, Aslan says, is to tear off the exterior. Eustace tries a few times but even though it hurts and he's using his dragon claws and tearing as hard as he can, it's not enough. Aslan has to use his "king of beasts" claws, and trust me, they're huge, sharp, and cut very deep. The pain was excrutiating, but finally Eustace was once again himself, albeit sore and humbled.

I wonder if spiders experience pain. If so, I wonder if breaking open their bodies hurts, or if it is a relief to finally get out of the constricting, too small body. However, I don't know that there have ever been any successful interviews of any spiders on this subject, so we may never know. Even if it does hurt to rip off their very own body they do it so they can grow and become better. I feel a little trapped in myself right now, I've been trying to get out for a while, but only recently have I felt that panicky claustrophobic urge to rip myself out of me and grow. The scary thing about taking off my calloused, worn exterior is that I become extremely vulnerable. Just like the butterfly newly escaped from the cocoon, I'm helpless until I can fill my wings with strength. The spider, once freed from it's old carapace, is free to grow but can become more agitated due to its vulnerability. Attitude can be polarized with higher aggression when threatened, in order to feign invulnerability, and an increased timidness until the new outer shell is fully hardened.

The problem is I don't want to get all calloused and hardened. I hate getting hurt, and it has happened a few times more than I want to remember, but I feel like I really need to break out of my shell. I hope you realize the meaning behind that phrase now.

I plan on living my life, not just hoping for life. This is going to suck. It's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see what happens, and I'm a little scared. I'm moving forward, trying new things, trying old things I just haven't done in a while, working on projects, registering for classes, and daring myself to do better.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overthinking 101

So I love telling stories, I love thinking. A lot. I think that for a long time I loved thinking and figuring stuff out so much that I forgot that it's kind of important to live for real.

People have been telling me that I should have a blog.

Blog, that's a funny sort of word, it sounds like bog. Sometimes I get bogged down with my brain trying to give meaning to everything. Ugh.

I have thought about it before and have wondered if maybe it would be fun, or at least therapeutic to write out my thoughts and experiences.

I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. Therefore I have a hard time doing stuff if I am not sure that I can do it right. Thus I fail to do a lot of things. Perfectionism is a disease, like anorexia. It's hard to tell at first that it is a hindrance to life and happiness but it's just so darn easy to keep up once you've started, and the longer you keep it up, the more you think it's helping. Same thing with overthinking. I think it's sort of an excuse for not having confidence to actually deal with life. Instead you just try to think of everything that could possibly happen and most of it ends up being bad so you don't do anything for fear of not getting the one or two things you hope for. Being a ninja you'd think there would be no problem for me to get out and go to town on stuff and fear nothing, that's where I don't make sense.

A few of my closest friends, yes ninjas have friends, have grown to understand me enough to know that I am unlike most people. I think that's intriguing to some. They meet me and are like, "Hmm, just some person." and then after a half hour their eyebrows are kind of fighting eachother and then try to grab their hairline and their brains are trying to find a definition for me, and it doesn't work right away, so to cope they find an opportunity at some point to let me know I'm weird. Thanks, I know.

I have a really big, squishy, deep heart, and that sucks sometimes. Especially when you combine that with my paralyzing perfectionism and overanalyzing nature. Ninjas are sensitive, caring, compassionate, intuitive, shy people. Of course they mask that by killing stuff and being awesome. The qualities they have in public are not pretend, they are definitely qualities they possess, but there are many deep set things no one sees. The main problem for ninjas is that there are very few psychologists who are not afraid of getting cut in half, or who are awesome enough to actually help. So we ninjas are left to ourselves to figure out our issues. Don't worry though, I have made great strides recently.

I realize I am very tired of not living, and watching my happiness walk away down the beach without me. I am sick of looking opportunities in the eyes and fearing irrational things. I want to be who I am deep inside me somewhere. That guy that isn't afraid. What would I do if i wasn't afraid? I bet I would more often skin my knees, and shed tears from failure, but I bet I would succeed more.

What I am most afraid of now is that I have waited too long to fix myself and that some opportunities have forever sunk behind the horizon. I fear that maybe I am giving it my all when whatever it could have been is not all there. I feel like my life is currently a romantic comedy or maybe a comedic romance.

Or maybe just a comedy.

Let's hope it doesn't become a tragedy.

I am pretty sure my thoughts can be found in a couple songs: 'I'm yours' by Jason Mraz and 'Save' by The Rocket Summer.

Oh, and '1, 2, 3, 4' by Plain White T's is also a good one.