Big fluffy white wet ones. Not cold enough yet for the more dry goodness, but I'm not near a mountain, so it doesn't really matter. For some reason, however, every time it snows my first reaction is always to check the texture and assess its ski-ability. Champagne pow makes me happier than wet cotton, but if its white and falling from the sky, its proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy, and that's the point of snow, at the end of the day. I went for an out-of-the-way walk to the grocery store for nothing at all that I needed just because it was falling.

Friday was slammed with work from home, then I was supposed to see End of Men with Mars but it turned into us meeting up with Jay at the pig - I haven't been there since the last time I was hanging out with the both of them. A few drinks turned into dinner and drinks turned into Dave's appreciation party for Jay for getting me promoted, so the night cost me a few hundred more than I normally plan for on a night out with Jay, but I owed it to him. I think.

Saturday was hanging with Jon, AM, Angie, and her friend Julia who came down with her for the day. Kind of a rotating mix of who hung with who when, but it was a good day. Any day you end up at Ulysses is a good day, even if you end up there with a splitting headache. Don't get those hardly ever.

Today was church, where my pen ran out of ink at the start of the sermon, which I H.A.T.E.. Writing is how I listen. Then it was like TWELVE (count 'em) kids at Senior High which was just plain scraping the awesome off your awesome boots.

But it was also kind of sad.

Ever since I've decided its time to go, it seems like most of my experiences here are both poignantly sad and yet filled with portent of a very necessary change. Everything just feels like its telling me that its my time to move on. I feel like I'll be back, somehow, someday. And I feel like I don't want it to be over just yet. But I also feel like the city is almost ready to wish me farewell - for now. I think I needed it to be saying that to me.

I guess I haven't blogged it yet, but I didn't really talk to many people about it til this past weekend - I've updated the resume and have been applying to a number of different international relief organizations. I particularly want to get involved with relief efforts for the refugees of the genocide in Darfur, which would likely involve a move to Chad. I've found a few positions that sound like good matches for my skill set, and I'm really praying that God will open up the right door at the right time.

And for the first time in my life, I really feel a strong desire to go to a new place and do a new thing. Mind you, I'm not claiming its the guidance from God I've been seeking for so long - for all I know this could be a terrible decision - but I am saying that I really, really want to do this. I want to help people.

I'm sick of helping American corporations make money. I'm even a little tired of America itself, I think. I want to go somewhere else for a while. I want to get rid of a bunch of my stuff, throw the rest in a storage unit, and just leave. I want to help people.

And speaking of wants, I don't know if I'll ever fall in love, but I'd at least like, just once, to have a nice long walk in the snow with a girl that appreciates God's goodness in frozen form as much as I psychotically do.

And that's my best shot at a female form, at least from waist up. I don't know what I like about it in particular so much as the fact that I just feel that I got it as right as a pencil ever could have. The subject will remain unidentified, but I reiterate: this one caught the moment perfectly - perhaps better than anything else I've ever drawn. (Same deal, full size .jpg if you click on it - I think it looks even better close up)


For some stupid reason, when life gets tough, I get creative. I have no idea why, but its only in the downers that I seem to play my guitar plenty, begin putting together new book sketch-outs, pull out some of the old sculpting stuff, and, when its really all hit the fan, start drawing again.

Did all of my best drawing back after college. It was the closest I ever came to doing some good human form sketches, and one or two shots at actual faces, which to my dying day will be the hardest thing in existence to draw accurately.

I've drawn a few of pieces since that time but nothing (save one, perhaps) of any significance. Until this Fall. We were somewhere on our trip to Greece and someone mentioned something in passing about how great it would be if Robbie could do some paintings of some of the wonderful sights we were seeing. Now let it be known that I will not go near paint, because I have only lowly lead-sketching skills, and even those are rough and untrained. But, the thought occurred to me at the time that I might put a couple small pieces together for both the 'rents and the 2 sisters for Christmas. I wasn't seeing anything that they seemed to like that either a) they weren't already buying for themselves or b) I didn't see as a good fit for a gift from me, and so I thought combining a little of my time and (arguably) talent with the Greek countryside / infrastructre might make for nice Christmas gifts.

Things weren't really going rough come the trip to Greece, but I did have a formidable new project on the horizon which has since lived up to its formidity, along with everything else that transpired in the last few months. So, although I wasn't planning to be in a state to draw well, there I found myself. In retrospect, perhaps that was part of what led me to where I am now. That's rather beside the point now, though.

A couple of weeks ago I finally threw a bunch of my work, old and new, into a portfolio and took it by Cregan's office to scan it all for posterity. And you are now the benefactor of this effort, in both this and subsequent posts, to follow.

This one is the Acropolis at Rhodes, off of a picture I took facing towards it from the west, along the side of the road up from town that Joey and I were motorbiking up. The sun was behind the clouds as it set in the afternoon, and it didn't really come out how I would have liked because in the end, the clouds are shaded and the sky isn't, and it really should be the reverse. Even though the sunlight was coming in from behind the clouds in the picture, the sky behind it was such a deep blue that the clouds really became brilliantly white, and everything in the foreground (trees, Acropolis, ground, etc.) all had a contrast of almost completely dark, from the angle we were facing it. That said, I think it still came out alright, with the color scheme flip for everything that isn't on the ground. This is Mom and Dad's present, mounted in a nice frame (not pictured).

(Clicking on it takes you to the full size version, which unless you have a computer / monitor setup that I sincerely lust for, your browser is not going to fit. Hint: right click, save as...)


Well its not that I haven't been writing... so much as I haven't been writing here.

Work. Life. Youth Group trips to Young Life camp. Work. Travel. Life.

None of it is a sufficient excuse to free me from the bond of writing I at one point sought to place upon myself. Now, its just work and travel and life...friggin life. Life keeps getting in the way of my attempts to make something of it. And lately life is work and details and vodka and swimming and youth group and reading and whatever.

Its all keeping me from the GRE's and going back to school and throwing caution to the wind and actually submitting another article or two to a big magazine or the Times or whatever. It makes me mad and yet I'm indifferent enough that the anger is only temporary to the moment. Tomorrow I'm going to wake up and only my 6 am call is going to matter, and then my 7:30. The fact that I have calls at these hours speaks to my commitment to change things, or rather, my lack thereof.

So there you have it, some blogging. I stayed up for this.

I never should have gone to college. I should have stuck with skiing, maybe made something of myself with it, maybe had a few knee surgeries...

but at least, with the failure, I would have known that I gave it a shot.


I start to feel like I can’t maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don’t know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?... I don’t know the answer, I know only that I can’t. I don't want any more vicissitudes, I don't want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted. - Elizabeth Wurtzel


Yeah so blog fell by the wayside yet again. I'd say I have hopes of resurrecting the writing in '07 but that would pretty much jinx the whole thing. If I blog even close to what I got out this past year, I'll be doing good.

And so we start a new year, with the same tenor as the majority of last year - whining about my lack of time and inability to find the inspiration for decent writing, so much as pithy, pitiful journaling.

Well, on that note…

Worked the week before the long Christmas weekend in Chicago, and flew back to Cali the Thursday evening of that week. Sis and the grandparents met me at the airport, and I had my Weinerschnitzel rendezvous on the way home, and it was glorious. Friday I worked from Panera, and after my calls I remember deciding to pack it in and start the holiday a little early, thinking "hey I'll find time to get this done during next week at some point." Which never happened, which will make tomorrow a bear - seeing as I do not have the energy or motivation for it this evening.

Back to the weekend. I think we had people over for dinner on Friday night. Joey's piano teacher and his family. This guy is a virtuoso of sorts and Joey's been growing by leaps and bounds - I wish I could have gotten that kind of training instead of my classical one, I could be that classy wine-bar / event pianist I so often wish I was instead of flying to Chicago every week to get more technical.

Saturday we definitely did something. I don't remember what, but probably multiple things. I think maybe I took my shirts to the dry-cleaner and went to Ikea to get frames for my as-yet-unfinished Christmas presents. I think all of this may have been on Friday afternoon, but I'm pretty sure it was Saturday. Who knows.

Sunday was church with the fam, morning and evening. Margy and Jonny got in from their cross-country drive early in the AM and woke up in the afternoon to go to the evening service with us.

Monday was Christmas. I wore an army helmet all day long. This pretty much took care of my annual ruining-of-the-serious-Christmas-pictures tradition. And it felt in-character for the amount of Wolfenstein I was playing with Peter and Joey throughout the day.

Tuesday. Tuesday was Tuesday. That's about all I think I will ever write about that day, for the rest of my life.

Wednesday Jonny and Joey and I headed up into the snowy Sierras and they boarded while I picked up telemark and fell in love with skiing all over again for the very first time, which was pretty much exactly what I needed. Not that I don't love alpine and twin tips and dropping huge sketchy lines and massive cat-tracks and the like, but I distinctly remember sitting on the lift and having a kind of morose "is this as good as it gets?" moment. Granted, it was kind of colored by my getting older and dealing with life situations and a lot of stuff I've had to deal with lately, but the feeling was distinctly related to skiing at that moment, which was a complete first in my life.

And then my heels were set free, and life on snow was new again. I'm really looking forward to getting back on tele's and getting better at it. It’s the hardest discipline on the mountain and I'm excited about the challenge.

We did dinner with the fam at the Mac Grill that night, which although I was really tired and mentally exhausted, was still a good time.

Thursday I was just plain dead, body burning from the new skiing regimen. We all headed up to the grandparents' to meet up with mom's sister and her kids there, my two wonderful cousins that I haven't seen in way too long, who I hope get out to visit me in NYC sometime soon. We older sibs/cousins all took off for a couple beers and smokes (sans cancer for me, thanks) at a bar on the strip in Nevada City after dinner, and stayed there until mom called to tell us we were being rude. Back for more presents and games and then back home, where it was packing for my departure for Dallas on Friday morning.

Which is a whooole nother story…