Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus. I know they say you were actually born during the Hebrew harvest time, but whatever. Happy birthday.

Christmas was a Great Morning. Really. Seth proclaimed it, "The Berst Christmas Ever," and obviously that made my morning. Especially since, apparently, Seth and Melissa had the "talk" about the philosophical nature of Santa Claus vs. the actual physical nature of said jolly old elf. So Seth understood that it was going to be a tight Christmas, but was completely understanding by the time Christmas day got here.

In spite of the fact that we all had less to spend this year, the kids were thrilled. And honestly, their hauls of loot were virtually indistinguishable from any other year; the items were just smaller.

Willow received a Snoopy Snow Cone machine (yes, old school, I know, thank you), about 10 princess-type Disney/Barbie dolls, a baby doll, 3 princess movies, the Thumbellina movie, a "Princess Willow" figurine, two books, a stuffed monkey and clothes.

Seth hauled in a Yoda backpack, the last 4 Harry Potter books, a homemade play sword, a real squire's court sword w/ sheath, two pirate water pistols, a stuffed rabbit, a "Seth the Brave Knight" action figure on horseback, a walking stick, a few action figures, a few Transformers, "How to Eat Fried Worms" the movie, and the Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl DS games.

We went to mom and dad's for lunch. After lunch, we all unwrapped presents. We had a good time together. It didn't feel rushed, and we all seemed to enjoy ourselves. There was no family tension or drama. The kids got tons of clothes. and some outdoor toys and movies they'd been wanting.

After that I took the kids to Melissa; we met in Turbeville as usual. There the kids gave me their presents to me; Seth gave me a huge "Dad" pen, and Willow gave me a cool Chinese dragon figurine that matches the two horses I already have.

Yeah, it was a good day. The kids were happy, so I'm happy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Love Can Kiss My White Scot-Irish Bahookey

When I was a kid, the grown ladies around me always told me I was going to be a "heartbreaker" one day. The more time goes by - the more relationships I've been in - this seems more and more like some cruel antebellum curse or malign prophecy on their part.

Don't get the wrong impression here...I'm not a guy who gets requests for dates all the time, or even regularly. I'm not bombarded with ladies who want to spend time with the design monkey. But with me, as I'm sure it is with everybody, sometimes the stars line up in a way that seems right enough for further investigation of someone who wanders across my path.

I don't like hurting people, especially women that I let myself get close to. It's starting to seem like after the divorce, my efforts are futile to do anything other than leave a short swathe of hurt or disappointed women behind me.

Why do I keep bouncing from one woman to the next? B/c of this notion I have of a woman out there that is my ideal match. My one, my soul mate, my happily ever frickin' after - whatever you want to call it, she's it.

But I started wondering last week, is this most sacred of quests the noble and worthwhile undertaking that I have always seen it as? Yes, it's just dating, and maybe some ladies fall too hard too fast for me - but if there's nothing really wrong with a woman but I'm just not feeling the "one" vibe or something doesn't feel right and I get out of the just seems like there might be an increasingly thin line between my notions of the perfect woman for me and a non-existent fairy tale (or clinical insanity, take your pick.) Could I be happy if I'd just settle down and let myself be?

Let's be honest...prolly not.

Then I'm ex and I relied on the initial feelings of love to carry us through, and it didn't. We should have thought through things more before settling. Two wonderful kids, sure. But a true match we were not. So maybe I'm justified here.

Either way, I'm taking a break. Maybe a really long one. I don't know right now. My dad always told me never to say what I'll never do. So I'm not. I'm just saying that love, fate, the stars, Venus, Cupid, whoever or whatever can kiss my Scot-Irish bahookey for a while, b/c I'm tired of dating. Finding the next (and hopefully last) Mrs. Shane McElveen is not a game to me, and it's painful every time it doesn't work out...whether I acknowledge that or not when I'm ending it.

So yeah, I'm out of the dating circuit for a while. I think. Unless someone irresistible and incredibly persuasive comes along. Not that anyone cares, but since when did I ever write these things for you people? LOL.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Armored Bears and Inner Questions

I decided weeks ago that I'm going to watch The Golden Compass. To be frank, it looks like a really good movie; I'm just not convinced it's a kids' movie.

Months before I heard about the third book in the series, where the heroic kids team up with "fallen angels" in a parallel universe from our own to kill this senile old evil god figure. To be honest, this bothered me b/c it sounded a bit like Satanist philosophy to me. As a Christian who's about to be re-baptised on the same day my son is baptised, this is something that I have to question. This was amid the flurry of opinions from all sorts of viewpoints that I was getting, as my friends range from militantly agnostic to mystics to right-wing Christians.

I did a fair amount of research. I mean honestly I don't think an atheist is going to leave his ideals - his beliefs - out of his books. No one does. Stephen King doesn't. C.S. Lewis didn't. Tolkien didn't. They all injected at least a bit of themselves into their stories.

I think it's only fair for everyone to get their soapbox in America. It's what our country is about. I'm not a boycotter. I don't believe for a second that God hates homeosexuals. In fact, I think anyone who holds up a "god hates fags" banners should have "Ichabod" stamped over their church door, b/c they've failed to teach the love of God and Christ in that place...they have lowered themselves to a philosophy of hatred and intolerance.

Let's face it, Christians. Society tolerates our ideas as much as we tolerate "the world." I for one don't mind hearing a man's allegorical objections to the Catholic Church. I'm not Catholic. But I do value their traditions, and I think that children's books shouldn't have to be toned down due to religious content in order for a movie to be made.

If you're going to write about topics denouncing things I think they should books for teens and abults, not younger. Kids need time to be kids before they have to worry about all this crap. All these varied viewpoints about God. And for a child to even have to consider having their soul torn away from them, even in a fantasy context, or to be forced to slay a tormenting creator that should be loving and aiding them as a father/mother becomes horror. It becomes an unfair, dark thing for a child to have to ponder. I'm not trying to make anyone out to be a villain here, I just personally think it was over the edge.

Do I think that God is offended? I don't know the mind of God; I merely perceive glimpses. Just like all of us who believe in God. I think God is love. Sure he gets offended, sad, angry, lonely...I think he probably feels a lot of things about it. But atheism isn't new to God. Neither is allegory. Neither is fantasy. Or this crazy "free will" thing that He invented. You know, right before He took a day off and took some pain killers from the massive headache he likely got thinking about all the damn necessary trouble that "free will" was going to cause this world. Don't get me wrong. I like being my own person; thinking for myself. If God had made us all automatons, we never would have truly lived. And part of living is accepting others and their views, and living with the consequences of our own actions. I've been a crusading "uber-Christian" in the past. I don't ever want to take that approach again. To denounce people and hurt them; drive them away. And I won't. But I also won't stop believing the things that make me who I am.

I'm rambling...all this opinion hurling is making me tired. I'm going to wrap this up.

So I'll be watching The Golden Compass. And likely any other movie they make. B/c I do value other thoughts, and I want to hear them. And b/c my faith in what I personally belive is firm.
but my children won't be watching it yet. Not until I think they're ready to handle it. Right now, just the mention of a kid's soul being separated from her makes my son cry out in horror and dismay...I'm not OK with that. I'm tired of other people telling me what my children should and shouldn't watch or can handle and should be experiencing. I'm not a fool...I'll decide that for myself. And so should you.

If I've offended any of my friends or loved ones of any belief, it wasn't my intention. No one has been singled out here in my thoughts while writing this. Maybe you think I'm over-reacting here over a stupid movie, but honestly I wrote this blog for myself...not for you. I'm only doing what I think is best for my kids. And honestly, that's all any Christian is doing. That's all any agnostic or atheist is doing. That's all any parent, of any faith, is doing. Maybe we should ask the children how they feel about it. They probably have a great deal more wisdom on the subject than any of us do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rewind to crappy job from 1999

Overheard by the Design Monkey at a past job - 1999:

Director of 1999 job: (interviewing Shane) So tell me Shane, if I looked at the back of your car, what stickers would I see there?
Shane: (nervously) Um...well...there's the one that says "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter", the one that says, "Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me", the one that says, "Hookt Awn Fonix Werked Fer Meeh"...
Director: So, Shane, I hear you're a computer guru! We have some computer issues around here that need looking into. I was thinking we could make that part of your job!
Shane: (imagining a monkey trying to make love to a coconut, and seeing how it relates to his current situation) Greeeeaaaat.

Overweight Coworker: I had some of those WOW o'lean chips last night; I stayed on the toilet all night...
Jerk Coworker: Oh yeah? Well how many bags did you eat?
Overweight Coworker: up yours, ass-holio.
Jerk Coworker: (chuckling) Tee pee! So, was it grand rapids or a little episode of the dropsy lumps?
Overweight Coworker: Dude, it was diarrhea. I really don't want to go into the consistency.
Jerk Coworker: I'll bet it had those weird nutter beans and the maizey corn chowders in it, too!
Overweight Coworker: Oh sweet lord, I just tasted bile. You need to shut the hell up. (throws stapler at jerk)
Jerk Coworker: Ow! (runs, cackling)

(Shane is sitting in enclosed cubicle taking a broken printer apart. A nearby denizen of the cube farm approaches.)
Coworker: What are you doing?
Shane: Taking apart this broken printer.
Coworker: Can you fix it?
Shane: (laughing) I sincerely doubt it. (a loose spring flies to the right of Shane's face) Huh...interesting...
Coworker: aren't you wasting your time?
Shane: Absolutely.
Coworker: Am I missing something?
Shane: (to himself, whispering) Don't answer...too easy...
Coworker: Huh?
Shane: Listen. Management told me to try to fix the printer, b/c I "couldn't mess it up worse than it already was." B/c some shmoozing good ol' boy pushed me as a "computer and graphics guru" when I showed up for an interview. So by the time I'm hired, everyone thinks I'm a fricking computer hardware expert. Well, as you can see, I am clearly not a printer technician. Which, last time I checked, sounded nothing like "Graphic Designer." But hey, it's a paycheck. (turns and continues to break printer)
Coworker: So, when were you going to get to your clients today?
Shane: When I'm done.
Coworker: Well when do...
Shane: Either take it up with the supervisor or go do your job and see how much to make out the check to the poor reflicted man whose mom is cashing those checks to play the poker machines...for. Grrrr. (turns back around)
(Coworker whistles and walks away.)

Shane: (driving down Chesterfield county backroads to clients' homes) God, please don't let me die in some sad parody of Deliverance and Slingblade rolled into one. Thank you. Amen. Mmmm hmmm. Thank I'll get me some french fried taters after'n I deliver this `ere check, mmmm hmmmm. OK, come on, God, that was funny.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I hear you.

Sharp and deadly

Weaving through the under

You stalk me

Seek me

Know me

Near me...

Hear me.

Fear of the slithering

Night approaching



Warping coils of darkness

Through this glass

Darkly do I rebuke my Enemy.

Winding and infinite

To flee is to er

I fear you, but succumb

I know you, but forget

Your weakness.

I feel your descent

Your darkness



Covers me

And I fail in my fear.


Dripping maw

I stumble

And you are upon me, Enemy

Warm, wet

Damp fear

Penetrates my senses

Urges flood them.



I am humbled

By your lack of power

Over me

Through this mirror I rebuke my Enemy...


I've gotten questions/comments about the whole "Darkness" nickname thing, so here's the official explanation:

My friend & roommate Gary used to watch a lot of Dave Chapelle's show, and there were skits on there about Eddie Murphy's brother, Charlie Murphy. They called him "Darkness" b/c at the time he was the blackest man in Hollywood b4 Wesley Snipes showed up.

I am the blackest white man Gary knows in several ways, so he calls me "Darkness" as a joke, but I thought it applied, so I kinda like it. It's a joke, folks. I'm not trying to become Satan's love child or anything, I promise. {:)>

Shout out to Charlie Murphy,
The Monkey

So-Called "Christian" Chain Letters

This is a rant.

This rant, my dear sweet children, is going to be about so-called "Christian" chain emails - You know what I'm talking about..."If you love Jesus you'll pass this on - he who is ashamed of Christ, Christ will be ashamed of in Heaven!"

You all know what I'm talking about and who I'm talking to: The folks who invent and pass along any deceitful and offensive chain email containing the idea that Jesus himself will ignore you if you don't forward an EMAIL to 15 or more people?!, so...lemme see if I got this straight here. Jesus...loves me enough to go through years on Earth learning what it's like to feel human pain, lust, longing, joy, fear, personal victories and failures...

And then he allows himself to be dragged all over Judea by cruel Romans and his OWN people...

Only then to be beaten will studded, spiked flails, meat and blood spewing from his open wounds...

And then subjected to the most CRUEL and AWFUL TORTURE invented by mankind...

Fed vinegar, crying out to the God that sent him here to experience all this on my behalf....

Because He loves me.

But only if I forward this email to 15 people? LOL. Please. You know what, folks? If you believe that, then you have just reduced all that I just said to a joke.

And I hope you realize what it's doing to those of us who take our personal faith in our God more seriously than a stupid forward button.

I mean...WHAT?! Was I asleep through that part of Sunday School? Because my Dad is a preacher, folks! I was there every Sunday! Maybe what we're ashamed of, boys and girls, is the fact that you guys are actually taking these god-awful goofy wastes of KB space seriously enough to share them with us! B/c folks...I've read the Bible. The old school prophets and saints write a whole lot better than what you're passing off.

The drivel that you are passing off as faith demeans the faith of myself and my brothers and sisters. It reduces my personal, loving God of Grace and Truth to a pointless chain email, or bulletin, or what the web ever...and I resent it DEEPLY. Who gave you the right to judge people in such a careless way? Certainly not the Jesus I believe in; He would tell you that only God will judge each of us.

Your attempts at digitized religious indignation anger me. How DARE you question beliefs I have held dearly all my life because I did not forward someone's bland poetry? Thank you all for reducing a worldwide religion to a series of retarded chain mails that no one takes seriously any longer.

Wait, I apologize. I suppose you do.

Why don't you try stepping out of your Christian support group and talk to someone you don't know? Maybe even a *gasp* GAY person! God forbid you might like them. Get along with them. Find a common ground. Share each others' experience instead of hating each other because you never tried to step past the outer layers of your divided societies and really SEE each other as HUMAN BEINGS.

Jesus ate with whores and tax collectors. The least you could do is stand up from behind your computer, go out to your car with the fish sticker, and go meet some people and try to love them instead of passing judgement and hellfire on them from your lofty roller chair.

I'm Carey Shane McElveen, and I am a believer in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But not this watered down pseudo-Christianity, and not Uber-Christianity. And not your stupid, hopped up chain hate mails. I suggest you think very hard very soon about your beliefs and you make sure what you're doing is for God and not yourself. I suggest you make that Jesus that you rail on about - with cute pictures of doves and waving baptismal water - your own personal Jesus. Then I suggest you get a life and grow some compassion before you open your mouth about MY GOD again.

Whether you pass this along or keep it to yourself, Jesus is going to love you either way. Remember that, people. I may be mad enough to choke the stupid out of you right now, but thankfully, I'm not God.

And neither are the folks who write your bland Jesus emails.

Have a great night, and please read and think before you speak or forward. Think about how you are making others feel when you spew your judgements in the office.

Think. Love one another. Treat one another as you would like to be treated. Pray.

Good night.

a love note for no one

This is for you. Maybe one day you'll read this, and you'll know it was meant for you. Maybe that's too much for me to hope in the grand scheme of things.

But then again, maybe it's not.

I sit here and I think about you sometimes...what you might look like, your smile...the way you might look at me when I make you laugh. A look that would ignite a heart whose embers faded to ash long ago. The thought that one day we will find each other keeps the old heart from growing too cold - so cold that I stop caring.

I think about all the things we could do together; how we'd whisper stupid things to each other in the theater before the movie...or argue over which god-awful thing to rent next...or drive somewhere we've never been just so we can say we went, b/c road trips are fun and it's about the journey...or lie in the cool grass in the dead of night, watching stars twinkle and fade in that oddly comforting Stygian dark as you lay your head on my chest...

And in the meantime I try to find a way to do more than exist...a way to not desire you in my life...a way to forget that knowing you would make me better, b/c just wanting to know you and love you makes me a better man. I live my daily live, trying to improve myself - trying to be the best person I can be and realizing how much of a journey this life is...

So I guess I'm just writing all this to simply tell one person, "Hi. My name's Shane. I've been waiting to meet you my whole life. If you're you...the one for me, that is...I hope to hear from you soon. I hope I'm not wrong in believing that one of us will start figuring things out before it's too late.

But until that day when we meet, take care of yourself and know that every day that passes, I miss you more.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On Relationships & My First Marriage

I'm sitting here, wondering why I'm in the mood to publish my life online before a bunch of strangers - and honestly I'm ever more baffled by the fact that anyone would want to read it. Am I deluding myself into thinking that there is some secret fan base out there that secretly worships my hidden talent of bringing the mundane experiences of my humdrum existence to these magic screens that we all sit transfixed in from of while we should be working or sleeping?

Anyway, I can only continue to wonder if this whole sporadic endeavor is only for me, or if someone out there aside from curious friends (and possibly my future curious children) will feel any need to read this...maybe it's like Oniyagi says, and I'm writing all this in hopes that some fair maiden out there in the far reaches of the internet will read these words and be transfixed by them, falling helplessly in love with my irresistible personality.

Riiight. Anyway, speaking of love, I'm going to take this opportunity to comment on the first love of my life, just in case wife #2 (no offense intended, Darling) is gathering info on yours truly in order to launch her future romantic invasion into my quiet, unassuming life.

Man, I'm deluded.

Anyway, I married my first love...we met in college. Married in 1997, and had two beautiful kids together. Seth is now 9, smart-mouthed like both his parents and his Poppie, and the most loving, talented, sweet-hearted boy I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Willow is 4 (going on 16), and is a precocious little princess. A diva, if you will. I used to wonder if 4-year-olds can actually BE divas - trust me folks, they can. But she is also curious, imaginative, affectionate, and full of life and love. These kids have truly been a blessing to my life, and I'll always be thankful for them.

After 8 years of marriage, my wife and I separated and then divorced. I still have partial custody of my children (every other weekend). It was incredibly hard for a long time...I realize that is such a trite understatement of the truth. No one can understand the difficulty of divorce until they've gone through it themselves, and as much pain as we parents go through in the process, we'll never really grasp the pain the kids go through. Every situation is different, and every situation is HARD.

Anyway, two years after my separation (the divorce occured early this year), I think I'm on the road to being ready to meet a lady who truly is my match, "soul mate," or what-have-you. I've had a few ladies comment that they don't understand why I'm still single. Well, first off, it hasn't been that long since I wasn't. LOL. Secondly, I'm still working through my own issues here. Lastly, I have a lot of quirks that the ladies would have to get used to. Maybe I'll blog a list of them soon for your amusement. And, you know, for the future Mrs. McElveen. Hey baby. ;)

Of Useless Sporting Goods & Brilliant Authors

So yeah, I'm a 30-year-old Harry Potter fan. I knew I could no longer avoid complete acceptance when I bought a pair of Quidditch goggles - not for my 9-year-old son, mind you (although he has relocated the goggles to his room), but for yours truly. Why, you may ask? Could you have possibly made a more useless $12 purchase?

All I can say is that it was all about the love. I've been digging on the Potter (or as some proclaim, I have been a "Potterhead") since 1999. I read the first book in the breakroom of a printing building, and I nearly spit my sandwiches every day as I roared laughing at the every flavored beans and all of the other subtly enchanting humor and detail that the wizarding world had to offer.

Then I started listening to the audio books. They were incredible; Jim Dale's seemingly endless supply of voices added a richness to the already amazing books. I cannot count the number of times I have checked out those books on CD and listened to them. Through the years they are among few series' that have remained fresh and exciting for me.

I have to say that I gained an all-new respect for J.K. Rowling after finished the final book. I cried, got mad, threw the book, forgave her, picked the book up, and continued on through the parts that were hardest to read...but oh how the story tied itself into a beautiful, nearly seamless tapestry that completed her story so well. The final installment of the Harry Potter series not only perfectly completed her grand work, in my eyes her attention to detail and care for every character in her created literary universe made her series into a masterpiece.

Besides, my son is planning to be Harry Potter decked out in in his Quidditch uniform for Halloween, so it wasn't a complete waste of my $12...silly muggles.

They Aren't Just For Old Peeps Any More...

Well, I figure I should take a few (hundred) steps back here and start off this blog at the beginning; that is, my beginning. I'm going to tell you about one of the most formative elements of this design monkey's life, how it came to be, and what it means to me now. After this blog I could jump all over the place (as we monkeys tend to do in our ADD way), but for now allow me to focus on the beginning of a tiny little monkey with a shaggy black mane...

I was born with a hole in my heart, and underwent open heart surgery at 1 year of age. My heart rate was always slow after that. It wasn't until I was 10 that anything scary happened as a result...

I was in hernia surgery (10 yrs. old) when I went into cardiac arrest. I made it through, but at that point it was decided that a pacemaker would prevent my heart from fluctuating in the future, and would therefore be a good idea.

A lot of people (maybe less in recent years) think that pacemakers are only used for senior citizens. I'm living proof to the contrary. OK, to some of you maybe I am old...hell, when I was a kid I used to think that 25 was ancient...but here I am at 30 and on my 3rd pacemaker.

So anyway at 12 years old I received my first cybernetic (ie. pacemaker) and in like 1997 they were going to replace the pacemaker battery, but realized that pacemaker technology had come so far that they'd just replace the whole shebang. Enter pacemaker #2.

After a few years, pacemaker #2 (or as I like to call it, the Iron Bitch) attempted to leave my body by slowly, painfully moving from the middle of my right pec toward my underarm. Yeah. OW.

So the doctors removed the evil pacemaker, and I received a brand new, shiny 3rd pacemaker. Last year the doctors told the pacemaker to stop doing so much work for my body. The result, I'm happy to say, is that my heart is growing stronger by taking on more responsibility for pumping blood to my entire body, etc.

Now if I can lose this weight, I'll be in good shape (no pun intended).

Matt and Samantha's Wedding

I really want to note; before any more time passes, how awesome Matt and Samantha Broughton's wedding was. I had an awesome time, and it was a pleasure meeting and getting to know both sets of parents and Sam's family from Jersey. I think a good time was had by all, since we ended up having an impromptu party over at one of the cabins after the wedding was over.

For some reason, they actually want me to come back and visit...

The wedding was on July 21, 2007. You can view photos of this awesome wedding by following this link:

Enjoy, kiddies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Enter The Monkey

Monkey's Log...OH MY (yes that was a blatant George Takei reference.) Monkey date...oh. The blog thing probably already logged the monkey date...huh. (scratches head, eats flea)

Fine. I've given in...herein lies the first blog of Shane McElveen, self-proclaimed graphic design monkey and overall nifty human being. And, of course, I have nothing of consequence to write.

About me:

I'm a graphic design monkey. This means that I among the temperamental creative masses to whom corporate America pays an excruciatingly low salary to create artwork. For this meager restitution, I use my God-given abilities and years of accumulated design knowledge to design a varieties of things, from logos to brochures to magazine ads. Just recently I've accepted a new position as Production Coordinator (yes, yes, I know, WTF indeed) which means that am adding HTML, CSS, etc. to my current design skills, thus becoming a Web Designer.

Let's see, what else...I'm a kid at heart, and also have 2 children; a 4-year-old fairy princess (yes, she's a girl, ass...) and a 9-year-old Jedi Knight masta killa. They are awesome kids, and they are a constant source of inspiration to me on countless levels. I'm divorced to their mom, so yes, ladies, I am on the market. (rolls eyes) I'm a geek and a freak, I love movies, and I (gasp) love roleplaying games. That's right, I am a Dungeons and Dragons dork, and proud of it.

Just as a note to the poor souls who end up reading my assplosive mental diarrhea:

I will likely be writing secondary blogs at least once a week about the status of my weight. That's right, I'm a big Fatty McFatterson at 259 frightening lbs. (if I just offended you, I sincerely don't care. Don't read blogs you can't handle and have a nice day!), and I'm finally ready to do something about that. Anyway, read my second blog today for more sad elaboration, speculation, and hopeful eventual emancipation. Heh. I'm starting to sound like the good Rev. Jesse Jackson.

That's it for now; it's a decent beginning. I figure daily situations will lead to more detail on the countless things I've forgotten to mention.

Monkey out,