Category Archives: Commentary

Finding the right motivation to keep in shape

Tying in my goals to be in shape with my passions is the most successful thing I’ve done so far.

The problem with gyms…and running…and diets…and…

The Rock at the Gym

Like most adult Americans, I’ve tried dozens of strategies to get my body healthy. Most attempts end in a climactic pizza-for-breakfast fest.

My first good attempt was Body for Life, a “12 Weeks to Change Your Life” strategy. You know the type: the weight-loss program where you see before and after pics of people that look too amazing to be true, except they are true?

I followed the program. Lost twenty pounds! And then life got busy, and I went right back to where I was before.

Dang.

Eating at the Gym

Next, Continue reading

An Unexpected Blessing of Marriage

Places in my mind that I had to work so hard to keep empty before marriage evolve in a surprising way now that I’m hitched.

Born and raised a good ol’ M’armon

Growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. the Mormons), I had to follow super strict rules.

Among those rules, perhaps the hardest was The Law of Chastity: No pornography, no masturbation, no sex before marriage, and keep those thoughts in your brain super squeaky clean.

That last one in particular–clean thoughts–for an imaginative young boy: that was a doozey. Continue reading

How I spent the last 7 hours of my life spraying down my computer with bleach

You’d think I’d know better by now. But nope, true story.

1. I’ve got this great idea for a post!

Excited Guy Meme

Hey, I’ve got some interesting information I’d like to post. There’s this thing happening right now on the web and I can record it with some screen-capture software. Then I’ll make a meme out of it and post it on the web. It’ll be great! Everyone will share it and I’ll have contributed to the gentrification of The Internet.

2. Gotta get that screen-recording software running

Work Hard meme

So, I’ll need to install some software to make this thing. What was the name of that software I used years and years ago? Camtasia? Is that it? Ahh, yeah. It worked great back then. Let’s install it.

3. Hmm, could something be wrong with this installation? Nahhh.

When You Go Too Fast meme

Hmm, last time I was installing this I don’t remember the software asking me over and over again if I “AGREE” to installing this stuff. Doesn’t it just have to ask me “once” if I agree?

Oh well. I’ve used this stuff before and it worked great, so let’s keep moving.

Intermission

Titanic meets Michael Bay explosions meme

4. I’ve made a terrible mistake

computer virus meme

…Why is my computer now flooding with biki babes and product suggestions? Shouldn’t it be recording?

It couldn’t be that I…a comfortable computer user…who even knows a little bit of Javascript and CSS…it couldn’t be that anyone such as me…so smart as I am…could…dang…

5. Sttaahhhhhp! Please!

Madly Typing Cat meme

5. The only solution

Burning Computer meme

And we’ll purge this part of my hard drive…and this part…and this part…. Minor detour. Should only take…oh…all night or so to fix.

Hours and hours later…

6. Good to go again…

Semi Missing a Wheel on the highway meme

There we go. I just had to run eighteen full-system scans, download three types of malware removal, and spend $60 on software. There’s only a few programs that are permanently uninstallable, due to problems with the computer registry, and I can still access most of my documents folder. That’ll do. So, let’s write that blog post…

7. Meanwhile…deep within the belly of my computer…

Evil Witch Hiding meme…I won’t be up all night thinking about what might still be lurking in the belly of my desktop beast…really, I won’t…

 

A quick lesson in how to be me on the phone

Image of pastor exclaiming B-E-U-S

If, for any reason in the course of our friendship, you have to answer the phone and pretend to be me, here’s a quick tutorial.

Nice lady on the phone

“Okay…I’ve got your address for this application here, and now I just need your name.”

“It’s Bryan…spelled with a “Y”…and last name is Beus. That’s “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

*sound of the keyboard clacking*

“Okay, I’ve got Brian Bues [pronounces it “Bauze”]. “B” “U” “E” “S”?”

“Nope. Beus. That’s “B” as in Boy. “E” as in Edward. “U” as in Uncle. “S” as in Sam.

Beus. “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

“Okay. Brian B-E-U-S.”

“Correct. And you got the “Y” in Bryan?”

*keyboard clacking*

“Oh…yes…Bryan Beus [Bause]…”

“Great.”

“Okay, and can I get your email?”

**Thinks to myself: I should probably get a different email…**

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

On Turning Imperfect People Into Heroes

All real-life heroes are human. When we make them into something more, do we also play with tyranny?

The most beautiful words ever written

In the years leading up to the War of Independence politics in Philadelphia were at their height. Congress argued at each others’ throats, wary of the idea that the legislators with whom they negotiated today could be military commanders on the opposing team tomorrow.

Amidst all of it, Thomas Jefferson said next to nothing. Rather, he listened, asked questions, and avoided taking any particular stance.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

As the political fervor grew to the point of open war John Adams requested that Jefferson pick a side. Jefferson stated he was for Independence. Adams then said to Jefferson words to this effect: Continue reading

Picture of Denali

Dealing with Frustration

If you ever meander through the history of my blog, you find that the last few years of relative silence have been a departure from basically…everything.

 Sometimes, there’s just not much of a silver lining. And that’s okay.

I would love to say that in these last two years I have some secret project spawned, some equivalent of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter burst of creativity that occurred shortly after her divorce.

All I have to show, fortunately or unfortunately, is simply a new perspective. I now know what it feels like to spend 13 years straight working for something that you want with every part of your heart, only to have the whole thing get derailed right at the climactic moment.

It’s not the first time it’s happened in human history. I’m told that after an oil spill in Alaska a team of biologists spent $60,000 rehabilitating a sea otter. When the little creature was clean and healthy, they popped champagne on the beach and released it back into the waves.

Thirty seconds later, the little otter made a delicious crude-oil-free meal for a killer whale.

Continue reading

A change in the wind

I’ve been absent from my website for a few months now, mostly out of discouragement and confusion, and I suppose it’s time to figure out how to carry forward.

As mentioned below, I have some problems with my eyes that put a pretty heavy damper on my visual work. In short, looking at things close up for a long time causes me to have severe double vision, motion-sickness, and blurriness. If I were to continue on my previous course of drawing for hours and hours each day, I would eventually go legally blind. For more details, feel free to ask or read my earlier posts.

Before I say anything else though, I do want to again say Thank You to everyone who supports me–both in my creative work and just in general. I really, really appreciate it.

There is one big problem that trumps any other as I make the next decisions. It is that I am, at some point in the future, going to be a father. When that will be, I don’t know, but being a father is more important to me than being an artist or author. And a key ingredient of being a parent is the ability to provide basic necessities.

Since I was 17 I have wanted to be a professional, full-time visual storyteller, and up until January of this year it filled many, if not most, of my waking thoughts.

However, in January the problem with my eyes became too much to ignore; a visual storyteller without reliable eyesight would have a remarkably difficult time providing for his children.

Much as I would love to brazenly persevere as an artist in the full-time, professional, visual creative industry, hoping to make some heroic epic of overcoming impossible odds, I am not going to do so. It is both unbalanced and irresponsible, in my case.

So, for now, I have begun the process of learning another skill set that will enable me to be a reliable provider, even if my eyes go bad. It is a skill set that I hope to use in a way that is as close to the visual storytelling industry as possible, but without putting the strain on my eyes. Come August of this year, I will be an MBA student at Carnegie Mellon, learning the art of teamwork.

So…finally…with all of the above stated, don’t think for a minute that I’m done being a creative person. There are still dozens of outlets of creativity available. Right now, I have finally fulfilled my six-year long wish of finding a good tai chi teacher (the martial art form practiced by Li, my webcomic character) and am practicing daily. There’s also the possibility of creative writing for movies and games. One more thing worth mentioning is that the technology behind virtual reality and augmented reality may provide relief for my eyes, which would enable me to get into 3D drawing and sculpting. I follow this latter option obsessively, and while it is not quite there yet, I believe it’s about three years away.

For now, in summary, I am officially a full-time MBA kind of person, and a part-time/hobbyist artist/author. Bittersweet, and excited for the future.

All this, of course, leaves the question about what I intend to do with my website, and also with my social media accounts.

First of all, if you keep your expectations at zero with me for now, then at least you won’t be disappointed if I never update the website again!

However, seeing as how the actual address of the website here is just my name, I suppose it’s general enough that it should transition into a place to share whatever new adventures await. I’m not sure what the future holds, so it’s impossible to say what will be posted here. It could simply become something like a repository for whatever hobbies I’m up to, or a regular blog with stories, or something else.

Either way, thank you for following along. Good luck and God bless in your story.

034_Oct19_2009

An update

I have frustrating news.
 
I must be getting old.
 
Actually, not only is that to be expected, but I’m really weird in that I don’t mind growing old… But I digress.
 
My eyesight isn’t “just not what it used to be,” but has become very bad! Without my glasses I cannot clearly see anything, and with them I cannot see clearly more than about 15 feet.
 
This is a recent development, slowly progressing over the last six months. I had to stop driving three months ago, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
 
I’m meeting with a specialist in the next few weeks, but until then to save my eyes from permanent damage I have to put a hold on all my personal work. I will still finish teaching my art class at BYU; it doesn’t cause any noticeable strain. But all drawing outside of that is on hold, including my developing comic.
 
Thank you so much for your understanding!
 
For those who know what this refers to: I will happily shave my head if anyone thinks this warrants it. 🙂

Whilom: Update December 11, 2015

A note for those who are following this webcomic launch:
This is really fun, and I’m going to get to a point where it can be a full-time thing. It will take a while–perhaps years.
I intend to keep my promise in doing one comic daily and posting it somewhere online.
However, I’ve learned that all professional comic artists operate around three months ahead of schedule. It’s an absolute necessity for professionals.
Since I’m not going to lower the quality, it would take me over a year to build up that much of a safety buffer if I’m still posting in real time.
So, I’m going to continue posting online daily, but what I’m thinking is that on my permanent outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and bryanbeus.com) I’m going to continue the story on an every-other-day schedule.
In the meantime, for anyone who wants to verify that I’m keeping my promise, I’m going to post to a separate, public location. You’re welcome to check in at any time. bryanbeus.blogspot.com
Once the three month buffer is built up (it will take six months), I’ll move back to posting daily on the permanent outlets.