Tag Archives: ramblings

The Storm Before The Calm Before The Storm

Quick update on the happenings in this season of Beus-family change, and riffs on wisdom from Mike Rowe

Tearing it up the second it all comes together

Couldn’t even explain it if I tried

This year is truly a season of change, and I am learning more about letting go, and going with the flow.

Since last I wrote on the blog, one thing after another that I thought would happen has tumbled away.

My career directions changed, yet again.

We moved apartments, and then moved apartments, and then moved apartments again.

We changed cities.

We changed jobs.

We changed, and changed.

Nimble Pointed Horizon

If we go back to January 1st, 2017, my life then is mostly unrecognizable.

Go back to April 2015, and I was essentially an entirely different person (well, on a surface level).

Go back to December 2014, and I’m almost surprised that guy and I have the same name. Continue reading

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience, Part 3

Bringing together the thoughts from my last two posts concerning Compound Interest. Here is Part I, and here is Part II.

“Those guys that can do amazing things didn’t start like that…”

This is Greg.

Greg Manchess painting away

Greg Manchess. He’s an amazing painter, and an even more amazingly nice guy. I’m lucky enough to be able to call him a friend.

He’s received just about every award there is at The New York Society of Illustrators, and I don’t want to jinx him…but…let’s just say…there are many of us who will be surprised if he doesn’t wind up in the Hall of Fame, someday.

For two years I lived in New York, hanging around Greg weekly while working as an assistant to his agent.

Greg was kind enough to pass on a lot of little bits of wisdom to me, and one in particular fixed in my mind.

The topic?

Well, you can probably guess, but I’ll give you a chance to figure it out.

We were talking about the young guys who are so talented. I think I was expressing my frustration with how Jason Chan–who is my same age–grew so fast with art, while I had to struggle a lot more for technical progress.

Greg’s response stuck with me. Continue reading

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience – Part 2

Last week we briefly went over the current events surrounding the surprising rise of cryptocurrencies. This week, we talk about Compound Interest a little more, away from the cryptocurrency market.

Eleventh Grade, High School Calculus, Mr. Shaw

“And the saddest part…really, the truly tragic, unbelievable thing is…”

Mr. Shaw pauses, shaking his head.

I sit on the front left row, across from my math teacher. He wears shabby black pants, a clean-pressed maroon polo shirt, and horn-rimmed spectacles. The shelves of our math room are littered with graffiti-filled textbooks.

Hanging on the wall right next to me is one of Mr. Shaw’s quirky prized possessions: a piece of paper filled down to the last millimeter, front and back, with microscopic notes. Every mathematical formula one can think of is written on it.

It is the leftovers of a procrastinating student who was allowed one page of notes for a test, and took it as a challenge to bring essentially the entire textbook on this scrap of paper.

Mr. Shaw has the page framed in a gold-trimmed picture case and protected behind glass. As young students in Mr. Shaw’s class, all we see in the crammed notes is a funny chance to laugh at ourselves over our desperate natures on test days, nothing more.

Today, though in his typical kind humor, Mr. Shaw is staring at the chalkboard with an unusual amount of frustration. He growls at us, “…Really, no matter how many times I say it…each and every year…not a single one of you listens.” And he bites his upper lip till the skin turns pale. Continue reading

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience – Part 1

Watching the unbelievable explosion of the miracle, “cryptocurrency”, this last month was beautiful, and there’s far more to it than just the “overnight billionaires.”

bitcoin

The “Tipping Point” just flipped: digital money is in our future

If you have not already, very soon you will be hearing about the shift that just happened in the world of finance.

In fact, you will likely hear about it year after year from now into forever.

We don’t understand yet what exactly is happening, but we do know is that the world just changed, forever.

To explain, let me take you back in time, all the way to 2009. Continue reading

“Literally,” literally, spinning my wheels

Sometimes it feels like things just never change.

Sittin’ on my duff, doin’ homewerk

One month ago, back in the state of Utah, this was my all-day hangout spot.

My little hangout

My spot in Utah looked like this. Nothin’ fancy

I sit there…my eyes peeled to my (large) monitor across the room…

…my legs sprawled out…

…while I work on homework n’ stuff.

That homework, by the way, is all great material: Dickens, Tennyson, Pope, and Mallory…

I don’t mind it, or even the assignments.

But the sticky part is that it’s for an English teaching certificate.

All this work just for a little piece of paper that says I can teach? Ya.

Man, is it tough to be in your mid-thirties going back to school.

Just sit and sit…head against the wall…the only movement is typing on the keyboard.

The lack of physical motion sometimes makes me feel like I’m not getting anywhere.

I already feel capable of doing work to be paid for this! Not the other way around!

Gr-rrr. Continue reading

Just the memory, please. Thank you very much.

We recently gave away essentially everything we own. Here’s a brief account of what it was like to give up the the part that was most precious to me.

Good heavens, but where did they all come from?

I have loads of drawings–almost two decades worth of “favorites” that I thought worth saving.

Piles and piles of drawings

A small sample of the drawings I owned.

For seventeen years, every time the stack of drawings on my studio desk would build up to around a hundred pages, I would throw away most, but quickly thumb through to keep just “the best ones.”

Sometimes I kept a drawing because I thought I might enjoy the inspiration later.

Other times it was because it held some idea I thought worth making into a finished piece.

Or, I was proud of the skill development represented.

And, of course, my art instructors encouraged me to keep them so that I could observe my progress over time.

It’s a thing we artists do.

In fact, once, when I met with the famous James Christensen, he showed me several shelves full of sketchbooks. They were marvelous.

A tree trunk of drawings

Whatever the impetus, the result was that I had many sacred tubs of scribbles.

Each time I moved apartments I lugged these things around, laughing to myself that they were, in a way, giant tree trunks (paper comes from wood, you know).

The person holding the other end of my 200 lb. tub was usually too busy gasping for air to do more than politely smile at my metaphor. 

But, I suppose now I should say, “I had loads of drawings.”

They’re all gone. Continue reading

Yet a Little More: Gratitude in Action!

A study in how life is easier when we have a perspective of gratitude.

Oh, my beloved memory foam chair

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. It can make all the difference, so they say.

Right now we’re moving to a new state.

And I have this chair that I love, love, love.

My fancy studio chair

My fancy studio chair

Brand new, this chair would cost $1200.

Has a bazillion little doohickey adjustments to support your back…

…It’s made of memory foam…

Oh so nice.

And What?

Also, I have something else.

Well, my wife has something else, and I am soooooooooo lucky to have my wife.

So, I “have” something else in proxy through her.

Fat Cat - Kitty Door

Enter Jack, our big-boned cat

A large, snuggly, and sometimes ornery cat.

My wife LOVES this cat, whose name is Jack. And I am SO happy that Jack makes her happy.

(Are you picking up that I am not normally fond of pets? Continue reading

Patterns in the Leaves

Brass tacks on storytelling in the Beus world.

Vroom, vroom, vroom…

“So, what’s new, Beus? Whatchu been up to lately?”

When I’m working out calculus on my master’s degree my mind be like…

“Hmm…I bet I could use this program solver to feed a string of literature prose as a data graph to use for network analysis in comparing tropes across different periods of classic literature.” 

Made of Math

The urge to create is a beast–even when doing logic! It must be let out!

Obey the Fist! Invader Zim

What am I up to, creatively, you might ask? Continue reading

Yukon, Ho!

The aftermath of all those fun vicissitudes–a part II blog post, if you will–and a voice from something deeper.

I simply owe too much

With all of those vicissitudes I mentioned in the last post (catch up here!), I’ve had to ask myself why it is I like creative endeavors and whether or not I want to keep doing it.

Definitely, yes. I’m in it for the Love.

Thrown Out The Tower - For Love

There are too many good memories in my life of finding myself as a tweenager, teenager, and “twenty-ager” through reading beautiful stories that made me want to be a better person.

I can’t live with myself if I’m not at least trying to contribute something to this never ending story that we as a human race create.

The Never Ending Story

I simply owe too much.

Just make a new plan, Stan

This is how things are unfolding. (But I make no promises that it will stay this way!) Continue reading

Roller Coaster - Mr Bean

Those Fun Vicissitudes of Life

The dust is settling, and I have chance now to reflect and think about what I could have done better.

Those Fun Vicissitudes of Life

The last two years were a season for change.

I was fortunate enough to marry the love of my life. Hooray!

Bryan and Amanda Beus

We found out we would not be able to have children naturally… 🙁 Booo.

Thumbs Down - Gladiator

After six years of toil, I finished writing and illustrating my first novel! Hooray!

Westly - Book Jacket

At the same time, my eyesight got so bad that, for awhile, I could not see the hand in front of my face. 🙁 Booo.

Thumbs Down - Sandler

We decided that in light of all the change, that I should seek new career skills, and I started an MBA with Carnegie Mellon. Hooray!Elmo - Happy Dance

And with taking a break from art and drawing all day, my eyesight has mostly returned. Hooray!

Happy Dance

And, on our last try at IVF (in vitro fertilization), we became pregnant! Hooray!

Happy Dance - Ellen Show

We found out the gender: It’s a boy! Hooray!

Little Rascals - Oh Boy

Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Why is it so hard to be grateful?

Funny how things go up and down. I’ve had a good chance to learn to be grateful, but at times, I admit, I’ve really, really struggled with this. Continue reading