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Showing posts from February, 2011

from the ashes

"from the ashes" mixed media collage on canvas gregory a. milinovich
as i've already recently mentioned, i was approached about whether i would donate a collage or two to an auction being held by a church in which i have several friends who are doing some great ministry to young people in new jersey.  i agreed, and when i found out that the theme was going to be about new life or rebirth, i was instantly inspired and knew that i wanted to do something original rather than just donate one of my old collages. hit the orange "keep reading" link below to read more and see more pics of this collage.

saturday song: pilgrim

for today's saturday song, i give you steve earle and the del mccoury band singing a song called "pilgrim" from their 1999 album the mountain.  the song features several guest vocalists including emmylou harris, sam bush and john hartford among others. 

i love steve earle.  to me, if america had a singing prophet, he would sound just like steve earle.  not dylan...not springsteen...but steve earle.  it may be too much twang for some of you, but to me it sounds like the voice of this land.

and i chose this song this morning because it reminds us that this is ultimately not our home.  we are just passing through.  augustine famously said, "our hearts are restless until they rest in you," and mr. earle is essentially saying the same thing here, in his own gritty way.  we are pilgrims, and while this isn't our home, we are never really alone, either. 

enjoy.

sing like it's spring

it's still winter.  as much as that 65 degree day we had last week tried to tease me into thinking that it's not, it is very clearly still winter.  it's cold.  it's bitter cold.  it's gray.  it's dark.  it's snowy.  i want it to be spring, but it isn't spring.  it's still winter. 

but today as i was fighting against the morning chill, walking jack to school, i heard something.  you know what i heard?  birdsong.  and not just one, either.  this wasn't just one confused bird, back early from it's southern vacation.  no, this was a whole host of morning singer/worm-getters. 

  it certainly doesn't feel like spring.  but as i focused on the little green blades of spring flowers knifing their way through the frozen earth, and listened to the cacophony of bird songs, i realized that nature is acting like it's spring.

and this reminded me of something.  i remember when i was in high school i was struggling with the practice of spiritual di…

kids say the darndest things, toy story 3 edition

-my kids continue to say the most hilarious thing.  we recently watched toy story 3 on dvd, and when it was over, my 3-year old was playing with his toys singing one line over and over again ad infinitum.  but it wasn't "you've got a friend in me."  nope.  instead it was, "you've got the ham in me." 

that's right.  you've got the ham in me.  in his best randy newman voice.  and then the other day it somehow morphed into "you've got the humble ham in me."  i don't know how the ham got be so humble, but what i do know is that i might be in the middle of a pastoral counseling session and my brain will suddenly start singing to itself, "you've got the humble ham in me," as if this was perfectly normal.  this is how kids turn your brains to mush so that they can take advantage of you when they are teenagers. 

-jackson, on the other hand, who is now 6, doesn't say as many cute things anymore, choosing instead to …

our icy jester

yesterday i woke up and wrote of impending spring. 
then i got dressed, went outside and made this guy with my children:

i suppose we could call him the last sentinel of winter, but that not only seems a little pretentious, but also a little premature.  winter may still have some more up her sleeve.  so, rather than curse her persistence and her over-stayed welcome, we made a "cat in the hat" snowman as a kind of a farce; a snowy court-jester if you will. 


do you see us, winter?  we aren't bothered by your persistent assault.  we are smiling.  we are still smiling at you, winter.  now, go away.

spring is almost here (it's just buried under snow again)

o foul weather, you draconian devil!  on friday i was getting out the porch chairs and the lathering on the banana boat tanning oil, now i'm putting on my longjohns to go out and shovel several inches of snow.  while you were busy teasing us and meddling with our tender hopes, i was busy noticing these tiny little signposts, pointing towards redemption.  but now, you've tightened the wintry noose with a frozen white cord.  but i will remember that


but now, you've tightened the wintry noose with a frozen white cord. still, i will remember that underneath that dastardly blanket lies these heralds of hope, a green, enduring trumpet song that will not be muted.  so, sing, you heralds!  play your great green marches!  make the music that announces birth and life and victory!  spring will come, she will!


herald - (hair-uhld) - n. 1. a person or thing who announces important news

saturday song: just breathe

after a week where breathing was sometimes difficult and at other times seemed to be about all i could manage, this song took on new meaning.  also, it reminds us to tell the ones we love that we love them.  plus, i really like it. 

back in the saddle

well, it's friday morning and, i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack in the saddle again, to quote that quirky american idol judge. 

seriously, though: it's good to be back.  i am sitting here with a cup of coffee, my first cup of coffee since monday morning, which means people who know me well will either (a) think the apocalypse is upon us, or (2) realize just how sick i was.  i was just not myself. 

more good news:  it's going to be in the sixties today here in central pennsylvania.  sorry al gore, but i have to be thankful for this one.  any sign that spring may be near, even if it's just a tease, is more than welcome.  i saw the grass in my front yard for the first time in more than a month. 

you'd think i would have more to say after being bed-ridden for 3 days, but, well, i was just lying in bed, so, not much to say.  you might assume that i had some time to think while the clock slowly ticked away the soundtrack to my sickness, and you'd be right.  here's what i…

102.1

this has been me since tuesday morning.  that's why you haven't heard from me.  i'm going to the doctor in about an hour to try and see if it's just the flu or something else.  we'll see.  blech.

valentines day 2011

to my bride,
happy valentine's day, sweetheart.  i pray you know how grateful i am for you; how much i adore you; and how much i need you, not just on this one day, but each and every day, and that it wouldn't be my words only that say this, but my actions, also.  and when i fail at this, as i often do, i thank you for understanding, for trusting, and for loving me in spite of it.  you are my beloved valentine, this day and everyday. 
all of me, greg.
ps.  remember when we starred in "Titanic?"  that was awesome.

saturday song: i and love and you

for today's saturday song, i thought you might enjoy one of my favoritist songs.  it's called "i and love and you" by the avett brothers.  i love it.  maybe you will, too.

to my kids: what i love about you #744

everyday is full of moments.  not just minutes - that's just the passage of time - but moments.  and in those occasions when i'm not too distracted or tired or irritable or preoccupied to miss them, i get to experience them.  and i am always the richer for it.  i firmly believe that we miss 90% of our lives because we are too preoccupied with the other 10%.  these moments just pass us by, unnoticed, unclaimed, uncelebrated.  unless.  unless we seize them and examine them.  and enjoy them. 

when it comes to my children...well, i am always the richer when i find a way to enjoy them.  and i mostly fail at documenting them.  they pass by, often barely noticed, into my subconscious where i may never recognize them again.  i hate that.  i want to write them all down.  i want to put it all on film.  i want to declare it to the world: my life is amazing!  i am so blessed! 

and so i keep blogging. 

and i keep wanting to make sure i let my kids know how much i adore them.  so, i keep…

new collage: agents wanted

now that football season is over, i have turned some attention back to collage-making.  i'm currently working on one about new life/birth/creation that will be a gift to some friends who will be doing a fundraising auction event to raise some money for their church and ministries.  i love being able to do stuff like that, and i'm having a ton of fun getting back into the glue and paint, so i'm glad they asked me to do it! 

so i thought i'd take this thursday as an opportunity to share with you a collage i made a few months ago:

"agents wanted" mixed media collage on hardcover book binding gregory a. milinovich

and just for the fun of it, can i get some captions for this picture:


have a most amazing day!

give it a thumbs up

as i was looking at my camera to see what pictures i have on there that i haven't posted yet, i came across these from sunday's super bowl.  i have sort of blocked most of that day out of my mind, as much as possible anyway, so i forgot about these. 
but just look at that kid up there.  what a cutie.  wearing his worn out troy polamalu jersey.  with smilin' hines in the background.  giving us the "thumbs up!"  and it reminds me that the joy isn't just in the final outcome, but in the journey. 
i mean, we know that to be true in our lives, right?  it's like when i used to collect baseball cards.  in 1987 i would save up my money into little 40-cent increments so i could make the trek through my backyard, along the creek, up the hill and past the car dealership to the mini-mart to buy a pack of topps baseball cards.  i thought i wanted certain players.  i think i was really interested in rickey henderson, nolan ryan, don mattingly, and especially anyone wit…

the end.

sigh. 

this is not a pittsburgh steelers blog, but, for the most part, you probably haven't been able to determine that from the content over the last 6-8 weeks.  during the season i like to write about the steelers once or twice or even three times a week, but during the end of this last season and the playoff run, i got really into it, and wrote about them almost exclusively.  for those of you who don't care about football, or don't especially like the steelers, thanks for putting up with me. 

and now its the end. 

not the end of my steelers-obsession, mind you.  just the end of all the writing and pictures.  the steelers, as you know by now, lost superbowl XLV to the green bay packers, and so what must still be considered a successful season is now over.  caput.  in the books.  fini.  the end.

still, now that the initial shock/pain is starting to dull a bit, i just wanted to say a few things about it to sort of wrap it up and at least give it some closure, for me. 

congrats to the packers

i have some thoughts swirling around my disappointed brain that i would probably like to say at some point, just to tie up the loose ends of the 2010-11 football season, but i just don't have it in me today to delve into all of that.  for now, let me just say that i am happy for the green bay packers, not only because they played the better game and deserved to win, but because they have a great franchise and they are hard not to like.  good for you.  enjoy it!  and let me also add that i am proud as heck of the pittsburgh steelers and the season that they had this year.  i am no less blessed to be a steelers fan after they lose the superbowl than i am when they beat the ravens.  it's all part of the story of the pittsburgh steelers, and it's a story i am helplessly in love with.  i'll have some more thoughts when i don't have to stop every few sentences and collect my self.

it's time

it's time. 

it's time to rise up.  time to run this town.  time to do work.  time to earn it. 

it's time.

everybody needs to just stop talking and get it done. 

the steelers just want it more. 

right here.  right now.  rise up.  get it. 

here we go, steelers. 

here we go.

will it be a miraculous day for this defense?

gameday

it's gameday.  get your game face on.  more from me later as my level of excitement/anticipation gets  jacked up to way past 11 on the dial.

45 thoughts, pictures, links, videos, and other ways to get you pumped for the big game

oh man, i am literally quivering with excitement, and it's still 2 days, 9 hours and 55 minutes until kickoff as i write this.  so, as i watch the hands of the clock creep casually towards kickoff, i thought i'd share with you a few of my thoughts about the game...

I.  i absolutely heart being a steelers fan.  it is unbelievable to be a fan of a team that not only has a consistent winning tradition, but that also continues to behave itself in ways that make you proud.  as an organization of owners, directors, coaches, scouts, trainers, assistants, players, administrators and so forth and so on, alot can go wrong.  and i can't say i approve of every little thing the organization has ever done, but overall, from the choice of which coach to hire, to which players to release, to which contracts to sign and so on, i admire the choices the steelers make and the way they do business.  plus they keep winning in the process.  it is just really fun. 

II.  is there any more intimid…

a groundhog day resolution

whereas it is groundhog day, the day of strange creatures looking for the shadows while humans watch in expectation;

and whereas it is far too near to the end of football season when we will soon enter the sports wilderness;

and whereas troy polamalu was just voted as the 2010 nfl defensive player of the year,

therefore i resolve that you watch this short commercial immediately:

we've had some snow here, like everywhere else this winter, and so yesterday i finally decided to make the best of it with a steelers snowperson.  not content with just throwing a steelers shirt on it, i decided to try and make it look like it's twirling a terrible towel.  it's not perfect, and he looks like he needs a V-8, but it was fun to make and the neighbors came out to take pictures, so i guess that makes it a success.  hey, it's superbowl week!  what can i say?

2010 defensive player of the year

congratulations to troy polamalu, the nfl's 2010 defensive player of the year.  he was awesome this year, and his value goes beyond the statistics in terms of how teams have to prepare for him, how he leads by example, and how he brings a humility and quiet strength to the team.  his value cannot be measured, but it is nice to see it being so publically recognized.  congrats, troy! 

sometimes you just want it more: slideshow

as you have no doubt noticed by now, i've been taking photos from every steelers victory throughout this season and playing with them to create little sports-art cards.  it's completely and totally amateur, but i've had fun doing it, and i've always loved sports photography, so it's been fun to just play with it with tools that are widely available and easy to use. 

you also probably know that i assigned a phrase to this year's steelers team, pointing out that this particular manifestation of the pittsburgh steelers seemed hungry - ravenous even - for another championship.  despite so many odds and unfortunate circumstances, these steelers kept demonstrating a steel will, and so i kept coming back to my phrase: "sometimes you just want it more."  after every victory i would find a way to incorporate this theme with a photograph (or two or three) in addition to the other photos i was playing with.  by the end of the season, i had quite the catalog of …