Comfort those closest, entertain the rest.
Read (and loved) Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like An Artist. Doing a variation of his family tree idea - these are the guys I’m being influenced by right now. “How great cloud of witnesses,” as it were…

Read (and loved) Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like An Artist. Doing a variation of his family tree idea - these are the guys I’m being influenced by right now. “How great cloud of witnesses,” as it were…

Meeting People You Admire - continued

Some time ago, I made a post about my recently devised goal to shake hands with people I admire. At the time I had met:

The Avett Brothers


And Alton Brown


In the last three weeks I’ve been able to knock a couple more off the list. Namely:


Comic writer, Matt Fraction, the story of which I detail in a post a little further down this page


And then, on Saturday, I was able to meet author Donald Miller

Miller was speaking at a local church and Sara and I waited around afterwards to meet him. Miller is a great writer and a seemingly neat guy. He writes a lot about growing up without a father and so his writing has meant a lot to Sara. She told me after we left that she wanted to say a lot more to Miller than she did, but was afraid she’d break into tears.

We thanked him for his writings and I thanked him specifically for some of the things he’s written about politics. He signed a book for us and posed for a picture. It was really nice.

So, the tally at present:

The Avett Brothers
Alton Brown
Matt Fraction
Donald Miller
Anthony Bourdain
Joel McHale

I’m also considering adding a few more names. This isn’t the kind of list that should ever really be complete, I think.

I saw an artist do this and really liked the idea.  Something about seeing the things that influence you all in one place.  There’s not much new on here if you know me - these are things that I enjoy, but that also influence me.

-Casanova is my favorite comic book at this point in my life.  It’s one of the most visually interesting books being published these days, it has an actual point of view, and you can feel the love Fraction and the twins put into the book.  It makes me want to create something that is uniquely me.

-Good Eats inspires me with it’s pure inventiveness.  A cooking show that uses science to explain food preparation should be really boring, but Alton Brown has created the most unique cooking show ever with Good Eats.  The show is also a primer on clear storytelling.

-No Reservations feels like art.  It’s a television show that follows a romantic old curmudgeon as he eats and drinks his way around the world but it feels like art.  That’s quite a trick.

-Donald Miller communicates about a divisive topic (faith) in a way that is accessible, authentic-feeling, and interesting.  We should all be so talented.  

-Paul Pope is a futurist, an artist, and a thinker.  He can apply those skills to stories about super heroes or to stories about girls and make you want to read both.

-The Soup appeals to me because I like it’s sense of  humor, it’s simply done, and it follows a deadline similar to the ones I work under.

-Sunday Valley is a local band.  Their music is very distinctly Kentucky.  It’s rock/country/blues that’s firmly rooted in the past.  I like the idea of three great players taking something old and putting their own stamp on it.

-Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has been out since summer, but over the last few days, re-watching it on DVD, I’ve started to fall in love with it visually.  

After making this, I realized I need to start being influenced by some graphic designers.

I saw an artist do this and really liked the idea. Something about seeing the things that influence you all in one place. There’s not much new on here if you know me - these are things that I enjoy, but that also influence me.

-Casanova is my favorite comic book at this point in my life. It’s one of the most visually interesting books being published these days, it has an actual point of view, and you can feel the love Fraction and the twins put into the book. It makes me want to create something that is uniquely me.

-Good Eats inspires me with it’s pure inventiveness. A cooking show that uses science to explain food preparation should be really boring, but Alton Brown has created the most unique cooking show ever with Good Eats. The show is also a primer on clear storytelling.

-No Reservations feels like art. It’s a television show that follows a romantic old curmudgeon as he eats and drinks his way around the world but it feels like art. That’s quite a trick.

-Donald Miller communicates about a divisive topic (faith) in a way that is accessible, authentic-feeling, and interesting. We should all be so talented.

-Paul Pope is a futurist, an artist, and a thinker. He can apply those skills to stories about super heroes or to stories about girls and make you want to read both.

-The Soup appeals to me because I like it’s sense of humor, it’s simply done, and it follows a deadline similar to the ones I work under.

-Sunday Valley is a local band. Their music is very distinctly Kentucky. It’s rock/country/blues that’s firmly rooted in the past. I like the idea of three great players taking something old and putting their own stamp on it.

-Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has been out since summer, but over the last few days, re-watching it on DVD, I’ve started to fall in love with it visually.

After making this, I realized I need to start being influenced by some graphic designers.

The real Voice is stiller and smaller and seems to know, without confusion, the difference between right and wrong and the subtle delineation between the beautiful and the profane. It’s not an agitated Voice, but ever patient as though it approves a million false starts. The Voice I am talking about is a deep water of calming wisdom that says, Hold your tongue; don’t talk about that person that way; forgive ,the friend you haven’t talked to; don’t look at that woman as a possession; I want to show you the sunset; look and see how short life is and how your troubles are not worth worrying about; buy that bottle of wine and call your friend and see if he can get together, because, remember, he was supposed to have that conversation with his daughter, and you should ask him about it.
So as I was writing my novel, and as my character did what he wanted, I became more and more aware that somebody was writing me. So I started listening to the Voice, or rather, I started calling it the Voice and admitting there was a Writer. I admitted something other than me was showing a better way. And when I did this, I realized the Voice, the Writer who was not me, was trying to make a better story, a more meaningful series of experiences I could live through. By Donald Miller
A Million Miles In A Thousand Years

Donald Miller On Obama

Just read a really interesting interview with Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and one of my personal heroes, all about why he’s voting for Obama. I’m posting some highlights, but I think it’s worth going to this link and reading the whole thing if you’ve been involved in any discussions about how a person’s Christian faith affects their voting in the coming election. I’m not putting these forward as my thoughts. These are Don’s. Maybe I agree with them, maybe I don’t. That’s not the point. The point is that here’s an opportunity for you to read some comments from a thoughtful, committed Christian on a challenging topic. Enjoy!

On the issue of abortion, he is the only candidate who has a plan to reduce the number of abortions. John McCain’s only plan is the same old trick: say that you are pro life and offer no plan at all other than to criminalize abortion. I simply think that plan hasn’t worked, and we have to face that fact and look for other ways to make progress.


I do wish Obama were pro-life. His plan to reduce the rate of abortion is a great step for the party, but I also wish he would defend the unborn to a greater degree.


Today on the news I heard a pastor say you could not possibly be a Christian and vote for Barack Obama. I cringed when I heard it, because yesterday in Colorado I met with about thirty African-American pastors who love Jesus and know Jesus, who will be voting for Barack. I wondered what they might think when they hear something like that, an angry white man telling them they do not know Jesus, and that they are going to hell.


Many of my friends will vote for McCain, and members of my family too. But it doesn’t matter to me. Family comes first, and so do friends. When I’m on my deathbed, Barack Obama and John McCain won’t be there, but my friends and family will. So they come first, and they are more important.

weekend

Friday - Bought a copy of Donald Miller’s new book, To Own A Dragon. Don’t let the title fool you. It’s not a stupid Lord of The Rings fantasy book. It’s his observations on growing up without a father. It’s really good so far. Went to Lawrenceburg after that to see the nephews. Here are two things my 3 year old nephew said, “Don’t call me a weirdo!” and “No deal!”

Saturday - Ate one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a while at Alfalfa’s with Sara. Their fried potatoes are remarkably just like my late grandmother’s. After that went to CD Central for their 11th anniversary sale. Bought Sara the new Catpower and I did a blind buy on a band called the Avett Brothers. I was not disapointed. That night tried to go with Jennifer and Mike to see Inside Man. We couldn’t get four seats together, though, so we got a refund and rented Domino instead. I thought it was decent. The Domino meets Jesus scene was a little stupid - but Jesus was played by Tom Waits, so it gets a pass based on that.

Sunday - Was awoken at 2:45 am by BP, James, and Ian, making a drunk call. Bastards. Had a nice day at church - Sara was featured in a video that focused on her life at Crossroads over the past couple of years. She did really great. A lady told her she had a “hot little body.” Decided after church we would make empanadas for the first time ever. They turned out really good - except we used canned chicken and I thought you could tell.

I’ve never been a big fan of those blogs that feature some guy telling you what he does every day, but it appears I’m becoming that which I hate. Here are some other things that I hate that I’m becoming: fat, goth, a myspace fanatic, a cat lover, the Colonel. Just kidding. I’m none of those things and NEVER WILL BE!