Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Writing and a Passion

I have a dirty little secret, ok, not so dirty, but what does this organic farming, homeschooling, recycling, wholesome mama do for herself to get away, to relax, to recharge? I don't shop, I don't have oodles of cool clothes, I don't drip in jewellery, we DO have lots of books, we own one car and a huge monster gas guzzling farm truck, ok and a tractor or 3, ok ok and we love skiing which is a huge money guzzler....liking that word guzzling tonight. Oh, and yah, I have an ACDC habit, I love going to their concerts.....
Every Friday nite is Mommy time. And I head out to a local poker game - sometimes with hubby sometimes he stays at home..... A guy and a garage and 32 or so players, 4 tables, a $30 buy in and a tournament that can last up to 7 or 8 hours, and if you're knocked out, well there's a cash game to join. It's low stakes pleasure poker. For me. There are some there that take it very seriously and there's even a webpage.
It's the webpage for the group I want to write about. It's amazing. I don't mean in its poker content, I mean in the writing this group of guys put together. Three or four of them have their own sections to write articles on.
The guys I play with come from every which way - real estate agents, retired firemen, heavy duty equipment operators, carpenters, painters, electricians, landscapers, drywallers, business owners, salesmen, lawyers, roofers and the ladies are a secretary, a server, a mom, a saleswoman, a lab tech, a social worker off the top of my head.
All walks of life...but the most striking is the writing. The best writing doesn't come from the best educated.
After reading one article on the page I asked the writer about his education and schooling - ok not so bluntly, I tried to be tactful, always a toughie for me. I said something like, "So did you like writing in school?" The answer? "I have a grade 8 education."
My answer...
So here's a guy, owns a successful roofing business, found poker about 5 years ago, immersed himself in poker, reading, theory, statistics and found his passion. He plays a lot of live and online games and is a money making player. He goes to Vegas 2 or 3 times a year and comes home successful. I've seen his online stats. He found his passion. PASSION. He writes about his passion, successfully. His stories are fun to read and well put together. His grammar sometimes sux, but who cares, the communication is all that counts.
Another guy, the lawyer, writes boring stupid crap.
Now there's a new guy. Tat's up the ying yang, skull cap, tough face, nice guy, but HOLY SH!T, his writing rocks . The stories are shocking, but cohesive. I get a gut reaction from his stories. He's only written two, but I can hardly wait for more. And the next time I sit beside him I'm gonna ask some subtle questions.....
The system failed these guys, or did it?
These guys are the reason I'm unschooling my kids....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Crafting Responsibly

So I have all these super cool crafting supplies in the house for the kids to build super cool and neat o pictures and etc. And they do. And I end up with STACKS of super cool neat o non recyclable crafts. In days gone by there was no "crafting" to craft (Like the walmart crafting supplyeverythingforyoukits) In days gone past everything had a point -A needlework "Sampler" was someone practising their stitches in order to make clothes later on, a scarf - someone practising knitting, a carved something - practising carpentry skills (and neat gifts/skills a la Mose in "Amish in the City"), my point is 'crafting' was to practice skills needed in the future. I want to steer my kids into crafts and projects that have some use, or build some skill (other than I can glue like crazy!) so I don't end up with a bunch more garbage to throw in the landfill.
The two big boys love coloring right now....they make geometric colorful pics. And turn them into bookmarks and cards, ok! I realize painting is a childhood rite of passage and I'm fine with breaking out the paints and making a mess.....but where do we draw the line? I notice a lot of blogs I follow already craft responsibly with neat stuff made from well neat stuff - Why do I end up with piles and piles of drawn on paper, glued on paper and etc....I expect it's pretty normal, but I'm feeling guilty about our landfill.....
I'm being pretty cynical as expressing oneselves with crafts and art is a great outlet but I want to be practical about what we are doing to our environment......
Having said this hubby is finishing our basement and was using some self leveling cement. August took the extra and poured it into the bottom of a 4L plastic milk jug
and then dropped some coins into it. Hoping they'd stay on the surface. They sank, quickly. I laughed and said "In 10,000 years some archaeologist is going to bang those coins out of there and wonder what in the heck you were doing!" He liked that!