Someone asked me to draw the new president, so here's my go at it. As you can see, he's pretty happy there in the Oval Office. I remember eight years ago drawing President Obama, and I suppose I will keep up the habit next time around. No commentary regarding America's choice, at least not yet. He's a very entertaining character, I will say that.
It was a big day in the United States today. A new president stands at the helm, promising productivity, success, opportunity. The world watches. Yesterday my son and I, along with about 20 other merit scholars, had the opportunity to meet the man who led the team of scientists that landed the latest rover on Mars. He gave a lecture downtown and I took off the morning off to join. The arena was packed with people wanting to hear the details of the accomplishment, and the scientist shared his experiences and the importance of having and fostering curiosity.
And another storm system moves into Fresno this week! Last year we enjoyed El Niño as it brought lots of water to the valley, but I don't know if anyone expected to get as much rain as we've had this year. This is a scene I pass every day on my way home from work. The sky was great, with pockets of blue poking between enormous billowy masses of white and gray.
We're getting tons of rain in California, and here in the valley that's a good thing, as long as we can keep some of it for later. They say a lot of it runs into the ocean. The local mountains got a huge dump of snow. Very happy to have a 3-day weekend, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr.
I just keep drawing Vincent for some reason. I think it's because he inspires so many of us in our pursuits of art. Who knows. He definitely had a part in my returning to drawing a few years ago. I would wander around in museums, aimlessly gawking here and there, until suddenly I'd find myself in a room with some of his paintings. I didn't want to leave. I could just stare at those paintings forever. There was something behind each one, a passion you just didn't see in so many other paintings. Every now and then I find another artist who captivates in a similar way. It's what drives us all, I think, to keep at it.
Down the street we have a Grocery Outlet, and I love to shop there. You can't always find what you're looking for, but there's always more than you'd expect. The best part is at the checkout. The checker always says something like, "You paid $42, and you saved $62." I guess they keep track of what every other store is selling their products for, because somehow they always know. You leave the store feeling like you've saved all this money, so I usually say, "That's great! I think I'll go out to eat with all the money I saved." They don't usually think that's very funny, but I say it anyway.
Just my reaction to hyper consumerism today...where the customer experiences frustration from having too many choices and ends up just going home and making his own coffee. When we lived in Germany, we would fly back to the States for visits and I remember standing in the cereal aisle, which seemed to go on for miles, paralyzed because there were just too many options. Of course, it was the same response I had encountering the yoghurt aisle or cheese aisle in a French grocery store. Americans love having options. Somehow it makes us feel like we are unique, when in fact we all just want some caffeine to wake us up.
A little scene today to remember my year in South Korea. It was 1987, my last year in the army. My weekends were spent traveling by train to as many villages and cities I could, wandering the streets and tasting the foods; developing a taste for travel that would stay with me the rest of my life. Korea was particularly important to me, as it is where my faith in God was renewed.