LaDuca's Works

A glimpse into the mind of me

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow, glorious snow!

Well, lets make it official everyone, it has snowed and it has snowed very well! December is often a very exciting month with the holidays approaching and the idea that maybe this year I can finally make an awesome snowman! Its also a time where staying inside all nice and toasty, wrapped in your favorite blanket, sipping hot chocolate, and watching Christmas movies makes for an amazing evening. Now, do that with friends and family and you have yourself a dream come true. This is often a time where I like to sit on down late at night when everyone's asleep and write my thoughts and feelings. (Tonight I have some killer Christmas Songs from random awesome Christmas movies such as Home Alone and Christmas Vacation playing)

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you live in the Midwest like I do you have no choice but to deal with the snow. You can curse at it and make it your enemy, but that won't stop it from coming. You can wish yourself somewhere else and say how much you hate this time of year, but the bottom line is that the snow is coming with or without you, so maybe you should try and make the best of the situation. I was talking to a friend earlier tonight about all the snow. She mentioned to me how she had to shovel and how she hopes its the last time it snows for the year. (Trust me, she lives in Wisconsin and she knows what she is in for.) I chuckled and then remarked, yeah but think of the snowmen you can build with all that snow! Its all about taking something that obviously isn't the greatest thing to do but needs to be done and then reminding yourself that there are things out there you can do that are fun! Go sledding, build a snowman, write your name in the snow without water, and if your very brave, drop down to your undies, run outside, jump into the snow and run back inside! The last one is something I made sure to do before I moved back to Chicago from Madison. It was crazy but I felt alive, truly alive and ready to take on anything. I laugh about it now and that's what's important to me. I remember one year here in Chicago a group of us went sledding. I told my friends that it's smart to put plastic bags on over your socks and under your shoes so your feet stay dry. Well, one of my friends wasn't listening and when we got to the hill she put the bags on, but she put them on wrong. She put the bags on over her shoes, which made for some really awesome entertainment.

What I am getting around to say, in a very confused and rambling sort of way, is that make the best of all situations. If you want to stay in and watch movies all night, I say do it! As long as you are sure you are happy! Invite people over and make a party out of it! If you want to act like a kid and play in the snow, go for it! You're never to old to be silly! When walking down the street try and catch snowflakes in your mouth! Make sure you watch where your going though because you don't want to end up with two black eyes by walking into a pole.

Here is a short list of things you can do this holiday season to have some fun!

-Build a snowman
-Take a horse carriage around the park
-Go sledding
-Go to the zoo! They have awesome lights and hot chocolate and roasted almonds!
-Drive around your town and look at Christmas lights (people take time to put them up so you can at least take time to look at them)
-Go get pie with friends or family
-Watch a sappy Christmas movie that makes you feel like you want to hug someone (I suggest Love Actually, followed by Christmas Shoes on Hallmark Channel)
-Finish all your shopping early and go people watch at the mall with a starbucks coffee (the stress will be gone but you will feel awesome!)
-Take your picture with Santa (I suggest going to the Bass Pro Shop for this because its different than most places)
-Go ice skating
-Snuggle with loved ones, friends or family
-Make sure you tell people you love them and never leave angry (the weather is bad and you never want something to happen to someone when you left on a bad note)
-Help people shovel
-Help a stranger who is stuck in the snow (Madison you were awesome for this always bailing me out!)

Go for it! Have fun and laugh, your allowed to this holiday season. Don't be a grinch or a scrooge because being happy is contagious and people will remember you for it.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rush Rush Rush Rush

Why is it that life seems to be flying by at some ridiculous speed? I am often reminded by my parents that this is only natural and life only seems to pick up speed the older one gets. Well, I have to say, and I am sure I am not the only person out there, but that truly is not cool. I don't like the feeling of theses flashes and glimpses of the present swiftly flying by only to be reveled as the past. I want to talk about it. I want to talk to everyone involved in my life and those who only are involved by these words on my blog. I want to tell you that there maybe is an option out there that will allow you to slow life down. The option is truly a challenge for I am having the hardest time wrapping my noggin around the thought, the idea, the answer.
Usually life speeds by because we find ourselves so very busy. Trust me, we all have very important lives and rarely find time for ourselves let alone anyone out side our immediate radius. "Yeah but that's life, right?" I would say usually that is life, one congested moment after the next. There's barely even enough time to appreciate the moment before the next one rushes onto the stage and steals the glory! But maybe, maybe we can try something. Take a deep breath.....shhh, relax and just listen to your breathing. If your not at work or somewhere public, try closing your eyes for a moment while your doing this exercise. (I suggest you keep your eyes open at work or you might get fired for napping on the job and definitely keep your eyes open in public because some people might nab your wallet!)
Did you feel that? I did, I felt it....time seemed to slow down slightly. Amazing! That works, but lets face it, we cannot go through life with our eyes closed taking deep breaths all the time, so how do we make this work for us without keeping our eyes shut? Well, here are a few simple ideas, some are better than the others though, I assure you.
Suggestion 1: This is the first thing I did to try to slow down time in my life. Take an ordinary kitchen timer. (One of those ones that you wind to a certain time). Set that for 15 minutes and place it on the kitchen table. Make sure the tv is off and there is no radio on, basically all distractions put away from you. With that settled light a candle and place it in front of the timer. Turn the lights off and sit down. Clear you mind but keep your eyes open, but still blink, dont want your eyes drying out. the flame for the 15 minutes. Just sit there at your table in the darkened room and watch the dancing flame bounce back and forth in the hypnotic dance. When the fifteen minutes pass you are done with this suggestion.
What did you feel? Time slowed down as well and this time you kept your eyes open. You might have found yourself at first thinking, "man this is stupid." But after awhile that thought left and you felt relaxed and things slowed down.
Suggestion 2: After I did suggestion one I was happy that I was able to slow down time without closing my eyes, but I had to focus on a dancing flame, how do I go beyond that? The next idea I had was that I should go for a walk. First and foremost I make sure I have proper id and a cell phone on me just in case of an emergency. I do not bring my head phones, I do not bring an agenda, I just bring my legs for walking. I walk outside and I do not speed walk, I do not walk like i have a purpose, I just walk. After what felt like forever, I found myself near my house again only to realize that once again I slowed down time but without shutting my eyes or watching a flame. I have slowed down life just by slowing my walking and not have a schedule.
Where is this blog going Dan? I mean, i appreciate the suggestions but lets wrap it up here because this seems to be dragging on. Well then, maybe I succeeded here by slowing down your life just enough for you to realize that something that is actually pretty short in writing felt like it has been taking forever! =) HAHAHA

Lets face it, sometimes we just need to slow ourselves down and take everything in. Appreciate things that most people overlook because they are rushing around. Take a detour next time your out driving and look at the christmas lights people put up! Get lost and then try to find yourself. Slow down because life goes by fast enough for us to be forcing things to go faster. Please, for your own health, relax and take some personal time for yourself. It will do some wonders and maybe you will feel like a refreshed person with tons of time on their hands.

Night for now

The Secret of life

Shhhh, can you keep a secret....I know the secret of life. Now I know what your thinking, pshhh how did this person acquire such valuable information? Let me tell you, I saw it in a movie, I have heard it in a song, and I have seen it all my life. It wasn't until I put it all together that I realized that there isn't much more to life than this answer. Before I get to telling you this awesome answer I want to talk about a whole bunch of little things, simple things that move life along.
Sometimes life grows overwhelming, out of control, or even unpredictable. There are often times when we all find ourselves scratching our heads and wondering...How! or Why! How could this happen? How can I fix this? Why me? These are questions that we all face, we all ponder as we scratch our head trying to figure out the next step? Baby steps? or taking a long stride and just hope that where your foot lands will be safe? Regardless of either of these approaches (there is no right or wrong step) there is always going to be something you can appreciate. I know that sounds crazy! I mean, lets say you took a giant stride forward only to end up in a deep puddle. How in the world is there something to appreciate from that? What good can come from getting your foot soaking wet and cold? The little things I suppose. Take in stride the idea that you still have one dry foot! I bet that thought didn't even cross your mind! Take in consideration that your foot will eventually dry and you will find your next step regardless. All I am trying to say is that you should always try and see things from a different perspective, maybe a simpler perspective.
Why am I talking about such craziness! Well I started thinking about all of this after watching the Christmas Carol and realizing that here is this man, a terrible awful man that treats everyone with little to no respect because he is so involved in himself. Even when he sees Marley he blames some spoiled meat instead of the fact that maybe someone's reaching out to help him. Then it hit me even harder! This story is not only brilliant, but I am pretty sure everyone can take something from it. I took that it is never to late to change. Scrooge put both feet in a puddle for many many years yet he found himself stepping forward eventually, drying his shoes and finding what he was looking for. It was the simple things in life, the little things that eased his pain ultimately. I can't say I blame him to be honest because he actually found the secret of life.
Oh man, did you just read that! I almost gave the secret of life away, man that would have been bad and a giveaway. Maybe by now you have already figured out what that secret is, or have some idea what that secret might be. Take a look around your life. Look at your friends, your family, or someone close to you. There is something there that is unconditional for the most part. Its love. Yeah, I said It's corny and cheesy and awesome and powerful. Wars have been fought, hearts have been broken, life has been created with this notion of love. Scrooge found it when he was visited by the three ghost and was shown how people viewed him. Regardless of how rotten he might have been to his nephew or Bob, they still toasted to his health.
So keep that in mind, the thought of how awesome love is because if all else fails in life, there are people who love you, even if you don't know it. So this holiday season, spread that secret around...lets try and not make it a secret! That is what everyone needs to do! Donate to a shelter, work on a food drive, hug, wave, smile, and kiss the people you love! Spread this secret this holiday season and remember all the little things while your spreading your love around!

Happy holidays

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What's the odd season all about?

I have often preached on and on about how valuable the holiday season truly is to families and not because of the gifts that are often exchanged between loved ones, but because of the memories created that will always stand strong in your mind. So what is this all about then? Why do we do such strange rituals or have such odd traditions but once a year? Yes, the idea of Christmas goes back a very long time and has always had some religious background, but is that still true to this day? Is the idea of religion the main reason people get together? Well, I cannot answer for everyone in the world because that would be ridiculous of me, but, I can explain what this seasons all about from my point of view.
I remember when I was a young kid and I spent tons of time flipping through those huge catalogs circling what toys I wanted. It was the high light of my December because I knew that Santa would try his hardest to get those gifts that i wanted under my tree. That lasted for a very long time but as I got older I began to change and see Christmas as something different. I no longer needed or those expensive toys or crazy electronics, but what i really wanted was to spend time with my family. With everyone that means the most to me. As I live my life now, a little older and a little wiser my family has grown. I am married with amazing new brothers and sisters. The Christmas season has arrived because all i ever want to do is hang out with them, be around them, sing Christmas songs with words changed so everyone gets the giggles. I want to see the twinkle in everyone's eyes because I know that this is truly the gift. The memories they are forming right now will last a life time. They always last a life time because those memories are what's truly important. I may not remember what toy or new electronic I received three Christmas's ago, but I will remember laughing and dancing and singing with the family. I will remember going to the Holiday Magic at the Zoo and walking aimlessly around the mall. I suppose what I am trying to say is that there is so much more to the holidays then materialistic needs. Maybe this season you can look into your heart and realize this also, if you haven't already. Instead of buying the fanciest outfit maybe you can take some extra money and place it into one of those very friendly Salvation Army tins. Maybe you can give gifts to someone less fortune and smile about it not because you know your supposed to help the less fortunate, but because you truly want to help them and your heart goes out to them.
So I say, on this holiday season, take some time and call your family, see your family, laugh, live and love your family. Remember the special moments, the little moments, the moments that truly make up the holiday spirit. Watch a christmas movie, listen to christmas music, drive around and look at lights and go for pie afterwards. These are all amazing ideas that can help spread the holiday cheer.
So yes, this is what this holiday means to me. I am genuinely grateful for my friends and family and I hope you are as well.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Beginnings

Once again i find myself faced with another new chapter to life. A chapter that will be filled with uncertainty, hardships, hope, and sometimes failure. Nevertheless, this is something that I am truly grateful for. Call it an early Christmas gift, but it is truly nice to know that I can breath a little easier this December.
Speaking of December, the special time of the year is upon us. A time filled with strangers greeting each other, people extending a helping hand out toward less fortunate, and yes, a time where people find themselves in a world of joy. Though, this could be purely from my perspective for I am a huge fan of Christmas and what it represents. This is the time of year, where I can forget about the rougher parts of my life because I know I will always have a hand to pick me up if I fall down. A time a year where I see more smiling and laughing then any other time. Christmas time is about family, about helping and understanding, and about selflessness. I sometimes forget throughout the year how good I might have it, even though sometimes I see my life with patches of rough spots. As cheesy as this may sound, after watching a few Made for Hallmark Christmas movies I feel an unusual spark deep within my soul wanting to reach out and hug everyone. I suggest that who ever is out there reading this blabbering blog, you try and watch a few. Get yourself past the cheesiness and just enjoy the story. You might find yourself better off after watching and understanding others perspectives.
Well, thanks for listening out there, it has been my pleasure to be heard. I assure you, I will try and keep this up much better than I have in the past. I have a knew perspective on life and I'm hoping that maybe I can shed some of my own upon anyone who is willing to allow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Helping the wife out

So my wife Holly is in the middle of her masters program at North Western. She is a busy chick indeed! So I often ask her what, if any, kind of help I can help her with? She often returns that question with a diagram of whatever she is working on so she can use it in her power point presentation. SURE! I can do that!

Scaried Boy

I drew this boy a little while ago but still like how it turned out. I never put it up on this blog cause i never really put much in terms of drawings on the blog, but that is all changing now!


So I was doodling quickly to try and see what can come of it and this is what came of it! =)

Sketching Again

Yes, I have returned to this familiar venue to once again share with people my thoughts and sometimes opinions. (Hopefully the ladder rarely offends anyone.) Also with this new outlook on this blog I will be adding sketches and other works. Hopefully this will make people smile because in all honesty, that is all I really want to do. So enjoy, respond, share with everyone this journal that I promise to keep flowing.

There is never a rhyme or reason for my drawings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Round We Go

I sit upon,
this merry-go-round,
going up
going down
watching my world
turn all around
watching my youth
fade away
growing older everyday
holding on,
growing weak,
gasping for breath
unable to speak

Then the ride
slows on down
Theres no more time
to go around
When it stops
my turn is done
Its time for the youth
TO have their fun

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be Thankful for Heat

So its winter, something most people dread because of the harsh reality of the bitter cold. Some of us are reminded of this every morning when we must drag ourselves out of our warm and cozy bed to abuse our bodies to such climate of the outside world. I know first hand how this leaves your body to feel. Every morning I wake up all warm and toasty in my flannel covers staring out the window thinking to myself, will today be as cold as yesterday. Why do I even bother asking myself this because I know the answer, yes....yes you fool it will most likely be even colder. So I have to drag myself out of bed and sooner or later I am waking to the Metra and standing in the frigid winds waiting for the train to arrive. When it arrives my body gets to sit in a warm train, which is interesting because since my body has already been tampered with in the cold it doesn't really know how to react to this new found warmth. So it does its best to adjust and as soon as it begins to turn the train pulls into Union Station and I have to walk to work. This whole time I am thinking to myself, man this body can't figure out which knob is hot and which is cold. So when I finally get to the office my body says, "Dan, I am confused, I think I will just stay both hot and cold and you can feel the wrath of being sick!"
It is this thought that crosses my mind every morning that makes me wonder why I even bother showing up to work. Then it hits me, its because money is good and without it I wouldn't even have the comfy cozy flannel sheets that I woke up in.

This brings me to my actual point that I wanted to get to tonight. During this walk I see people who no one else really wants to see. I see these cold tired warn down humans that are treated like they might as well be ghost in this ever so lively world. I wonder how they came to be in their situation and what stories they have to give. I wonder if they used to wake up in flannel sheets ever and think the thoughts that I think every morning. This usually leaves me with a very overwhelming feeling of guilt knowing that I complain about something as sad as my walks from train to work while these poor unfortunate souls must endure the hardships of a bitter reality. So do everyone a favor, do not ignore these people because they are people, just like you and me. Wish them the best, throw your spare change their way, buy someone a hot chocolate while you which them a Merry Christmas and remember that maybe you don't have it nearly as bad as you might imagine....