Wednesday, July 26, 2006


What is Art?

There has been some confusion about the Jason Thompson Direct Art Series and what it is exactly. The limited edition Jason Thompson Direct Art Series are the pieces of art that you receive in the mail in September, November, and August to remind you that it is time to give to the OWU Annual Fund and offers you compelling reasons to do so. These complementary pieces of art are designed right here on campus and sent to you free of charge- our gift to you for graduating from here, or being a parent of a student here, or just for being awesome.

Now I know what you must be thinking- "These things cannot be free- they're fabulous! I hang them up on my wall for everyone to see!"- but they are. All we ask is that you send a donation to the Ohio Wesleyan Annual Fund to support the current operating budget of the University. How much you send is your choice. What a deal!

Collecting the Jason Thompson Direct Art Series is a lot like collecting Hallmark Christmas ornaments series. You can't miss one- my mom has bought the Victorian House set every year since 1984- and you can get all of the 2006-07 Direct Art Series just by opening up your mailboxes! The first will be coming in late August.

Vacation at Work Week
Today in the office is comparable to the movie Home Alone: there is no one here except me, so I have run of the place. I've been jumping all over the place, sitting at my boss's desk, answering her calls, ordering things off the Internet with my OWU credit card, and other great stuff like just getting up and not combing my hair. All right, I'm not the only person in the office, but I am the lone representative of the Annual Fund, making me de facto Acting Interim Director of Annual Giving. I think I'm going to change that title to "Supreme Dictator and Commander of Annual Giving for a Specific Period of Time." In fact, this week, most of the Development staff has been gone, so I've been calling this week "Jason's Vacation at Work Week" with today being the culmination of the festivities with "Jason and Mary Lou's Super Fun Casual Wednesday."

Because the Vice President returns from his journeys tomorrow, Mary Lou will no longer be Acting ViP of UR ("UR" stands for University Relations. I think that "Acting ViP of UR" sounded like something from the "Lord of the Rings" or "Labyrinth"- starring David Bowie- which made me laugh*), so Jason's Vacation at Work Week will really only be three days, but what a great three days it has been.

* You may ask "Jason, what makes you laugh? The 'ViP of UR' thing or the Labyrinth/Bowie reference? Neither is very funny..." The answer to this question is... both. The Lord of the Rings thing is funny because of people take fantasy too far and actually think of names like the "ViP of UR" for themselves and dress up like their favorite characters and then go out in public to watch the movie!

The Labyrinth/Bowie thing is funny solely on the fact that it is funny. Look at this picture- now that is funny. I mean, they actually dressed like this and took these pictures on purpose...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


The Count Down Begins. . .

Today marks the first day of production of the 2006-07 Jason Thompson Direct Art Series. I am premiering this news in the Annual Fund blog- I'm not sure if the blog's server will be able to handle the traffic that this news will generate to the site- but you, the loyal readers, are the first to know. Feel free to tell your friends.

The target mailing date for this mailing is August 21, meaning that the piece needs to be completed and to the printer by August 7. About five minutes ago I realized that August 7 is only 12 working days away. This means with all of the meetings, other work, and this blog, combined with my propensity for procrastination, I have about a day and a half to get the mailing done. This year, my goal is to get the mailings to the printer ON TIME, which would be a major accomplishment for me.

I better start generating some ideas. I am NOT going to use the Bishop on the fall mailing- I've already promised myself that. I need to branch out; last year was my Bishop Phase (much like Picassos's Absinthe Phase). Spread your wings and fly, little bird!

But do not fret, Direct Art mail collectors, for I will have the piece done and into your hands. Then you can frame the piece and put it on the wall next to pictures of your dog and family, which is where it deserves to be. Talent likes this only comes so often; Van Gogh, Monet, da Vinci, Thompson.

Yet Another Rant(s)
It's time for a needless rant, and what a better place for me to air out my personal life than on a public blog for the Ohio Wesleyan Annual Fund to a bunch of unknown readers? None that I can think of, so here we go:

Rant #1: Last night, in my financial accounting class, we had our first test. I studied my arse off the past couple of weeks in preparation for said test, cancelling plans and putting off everything in my life. I was feeling extremely confident about my chances of doing well; that is, until the professor handed out the test. I swear to you that it could have been written completely in the long lost language used by the Aztecs and that would have made more sense to me.

Grad school is hard.

Rant #2: Prior to my test, when I was packing up to leave OWU and head to class to take the Test-From-Hades, I realized that I had absolutely no idea where my car keys were. I was tearing my office apart looking for them and getting a little perturbed (if by "perturbed" you mean cursing loudly and often) when I recognized that I had probably locked them in my car.

I car pool to work with the Annual Fund Director Donna Burtch '79 (who demands that we call her "Director Burtch" or "Captain Annual Fund." This has nothing to do with this story, just a side-note) and had driven to her home to meet her in the morning. She called her kids, who reported that I had indeed locked my keys in the car. Donna (or Captain Annual Fund), being the thoughtful individual she is, said I could borrow her van to drive down to take my test. I was/am grateful for her generosity, as I would have missed the Test Created From Pure Evil.

After class (which ends at 9:48 p.m.), I was walking out of class with a group of people, which included an attractive woman, talking about the test. As we were walking through the parking lot, the group dissipated as people went to their cars. Soon, it was just me and the attractive woman, with whom I had never spoken prior to that moment, when we came upon a light green Toyota Siena that I was driving. It was a horrifying moment, one that will stay with me the rest of my life.

While I was in no way flirting with this woman, I felt defensive and I instantly started telling the story about locking the keys in my car, etc., etc.- probably in a very fast, very high-pitched voice. I realized that a 26-year-old guy driving a light green Toyota Siena is probably not what women are looking for these days. She kind of looked at me sideways with an awkward laugh and walked away.

I'm sure she was thinking something like the following.

I don't really feel like I "carpe diem-ed" the moment. In fact, I really just gave up, went home, sat on the couch and played a game of "Destroy All Humans" on Playstation while I wallowed in self-pity.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Happy New Fiscal Year's

(You better read this one quick before someone makes me take it down)

While everyone else was cooking out and watching fireworks last week, here at Ohio Wesleyan we were celebrating our favorite holiday, July 1 or New Fiscal Years. It was quite the soiree; it has taken us a full week to get everything clean, remove all of the farm animals from the building, and able to get Evan Corns '59 and Jack McKinnie '54 to get the lamp shades off of their heads.

Ah yes, the New Fiscal Years celebration, marking the end of the 2005-06 fiscal year and the beginning of the 2006-07 year. Late on New Fiscal Year's Eve, I was laying down with a killer headache on the Monnet Room couch- who knew that Dr. Huddleston was a limbo master?- when the Ohio Wesleyan Annual Fund Garden Gnome, Floyd (he is kind of like the Tooth Fairy, but male, unable to fly and kind of fat, and has the Bishop's face) came to me to let me know the Annual Fund's New Fiscal Year's resolutions (I know this is weird, but I couldn't make this up). He said to me:

"Jason Thompson, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, on this, New Fiscal Year's Day 2006-07, I, Floyd, the Annual Fund Garden Gnome, make the following resolutions:

  1. The Annual Fund will gain weight. Yes, this year, I will raise my goal from $3.8 million to $4 million. In a time when being skinny is fashionable, I will hearken back to the days when more was better.
  2. The Annual Fund will go out of its way to make life easier on its friends. I mean this: this isn't just fluff coming out of my mouth. I will make the gift process easier on my friends, the donors. I want them to like hearing more me, not be annoyed.
  3. I, Floyd, the Annual Fund Garden Gnome, decree that you, Jason Thompson, will put more thought into the Annual Fund blog. I mean, seriously, how much crap can you write and still call it work and say it is Annual Fund-related? C'mon."

"But Floyd," I said, "this is all fine and dandy, but no one is going to believe that you actually appeared to me, let alone told me all of this great stuff. How will I prove that you exist?"

"Because I have brought you one of my senior pictures, young Jason. Now go to sleep." Then he punched me in the face and ran out of the door.

The next thing I knew, I woke up and it was daylight. I rubbed my eyes and Mr. McKinnie was already making Sauerkraut balls in the Mowry kitchen for lunch. I knew that no one would believe about Floyd, the Annual Fund Garden Gnome and the Annual Fund resolutions. No way, that is, until I found this picture on the coffee table beside the couch...

Grammar Issues
I have received some comments about typos and grammatical errors on this blog. See, the thing is, while I am a writer and I do know how to edit, this blog is a more stream-of-consciousness babbling from my mind to keyboard to the screen to the blog. If it was contrived, then it wouldn't be as interesting for you and for me. Besides, this blog is read all over the world, and if I can help some little German boy with his English grammar by misplacing a comma or misuse of the "affect," than I've done just a little bit more in the name of education, and that is what OWU is all about.

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