Saturday, September 29, 2007

Internet Fix

Only a few years ago, though it seems much longer, and maybe it was much longer, perhaps it was five years ago or more, I swore I would never, never, never become addicted to the internet such that it very nearly ruled my life.

It very nearly rules my life. Tomorrow I leave the apartment here and will lose high speed internet whilst I stay with my parents temporarily. My options appear to be wireless air cards, some satellite hook up, or dial-up. Archaic, that last one, I must admit now, he who was not going to be attached to "on the line" (as my Mom says). The problem with any option is that I only need it for a month before I leave for LA, where I suspect nowhere is without high speed internet connections of some sort. I am mildly panicked. :/

In any event, I still have my laptop, and thank whatever you or I believe in for the iPhone, but website updates may be difficult. I'll figure it out.

Meanwhile I have to remove my current USB device (there's a connection right behind my left ear, seems to have grown in between not planning to go online and living there). Tonight my role is external memory device.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Update and Localized Geekiness

Okay, so, first, I'm really excited because the iPhone of Gabriel just downloaded an update and it contains the first official new button, the iTunes button, so now when I'm out and about at a WiFi hotspot, I can go to the store on my phone and download songs. Yes, I'm that excited. Right now my battery is low, so I can't go shopping until I detach from the computer with a bit more juice. Plus, I can just shop online while connected, but, it's the idea.

(Originally this was to be posted as Generalized Geekiness but I realized since it was iPhone centric that was not correct.)

And...I realized while driving to Starbucks today that, for the contest, I will post all the entries soon after I receive them, so everyone can see the fun and glorious creations. I have seen a preview for one design already and it has me super excited!

Also those who nagged me, even though you can use Ricë as an excuse, well, I better see designs and stories from you, that's for sure! ;) I have all your names and, when it's time for Saint Nicolas to show up, you better believe I'll be forwarding those names to him, good or bad!

The Official 2007 Halloween Contest

Now posted on the front page at Follow the flickering pumpkin to find out what's been brewing in my head for this Halloween Season!

If you have any questions email me via the links provided there or on the front page of my website. But if you want any specifics about Eve, well, read the contest, you'll have to come up with them yourself! ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What KatyDid

Ok, I'm normally a non violent person. Frankly I've never been in an actual fight, and even if I threaten sometimes to climb up larg(er) people and WHOMP! their heads, I really don't do it. Never have. (WHOMP! doesn't really approximate, even vaguely, the sound I make while demonstrating the potential climbing/punching scenario, I guess it's more like TOOOMP! but hard to translate really without demonstration.)

So, not violent. I even try to get along with insects. Not in the Buddhist sort of harm nothing way, which has been a theme for the past few days, but just because I often think, hey, they didn't ask me to move into their land and take over. Never mind that I don't know where humans, as a whole, are supposed to go. I guess we were here too, but, suppose that in reality we should collectively shirk civilization and go back to living naked in the woods or wherever where, yeah, the insects would then have a better chance of biting, stinging, foraging on us. Possibly in many, many places we don't want to be stung or foraged on/in, by insects at least.

In fact, in another incarnation, I labeled myself the Ant Messiah, because I often, at work, the labor job thingy, would dispense bits of Doritos and lard laced Little Debbie desserts to the ants underfoot, expecting that they were going home and talking about the first coming of this great being who gave them...well, essentially large doses of cholesterol. Guess they really didn't need to thank me too thoroughly.

I often wondered what would happen to them as we displaced their intricate worlds, pouring concrete and building a freaking massive house on their stable plains. I even recall going to great pains to be self critical when I obliterated and I mean ZAP! obliterated one of the ant minions for crawling up my pants leg and biting his or her messiah. I am an angry god.

As I said, I'm not typically violent, and try to be good to insects even. I don't kill the black spiders that live inside because they kill flies, and they're kind of cute. And I don't kill Daddy Long Legs because, sheesh, don't you know, that's bad luck, and besides, they're really cool, I think. Especially since they could kill you with their toxic selves but just can't because they're too small. I bet they made up the "bad luck to kill 'em" stuff just to fool us. Good for them.

Anyhow, a few days ago Earl and Ricë were over taking pictures of the swanky pad before I began taking it apart. (Sadly it is very apart now.) They were out on the balcony, and it's fairly well known amongst those I know that I had a pretty dang nice container garden there this year. I'd describe it, but a picture might be better (or a few pictures):

Those were earlier in the Spring. I remember when I went to LA and returned everything was blooming like mad. In fact my Mom had care of the garden right in its prime, and got to see all the blooms almost in perfect timing, which is nicely ironic since she seems to have a black thumb. Actually I think it's the oil companies having ruined the well water at her house, and given decent water, or vaguely decent water as Midland's water might be called, she could grow things.

So, everything growing in my garden grew well, in any event. I even raised the Bells of Ireland from seeds, and I've been waiting years to do that successfully. They are now gone, but they did well for a first try.

Point being, this was a nice container garden if I do say so myself. And one point of pride was a rose bush I bought, one which thrives, according to the info, in mild climates. We are not a mild climate, but this year has been mild, so the rose bush did well. While I love roses and rose bushes, I'm not mad about them continually, and they typically require their own set of rules. But this bush was named Rhapsody in Blue, and I've always been a sucker for that Gershwin piece, so I bought the plant, it grew, and it blossomed.

Okay...Earl and Ricë were over and seated near my purple basil plant, another point of pride, raised from seeds, and used in a number of culinary creations this year, from Mom's watermelon with feta and basil leaves, to Earl's perfect execution of my conceptual bread/tomato/basil/mozarella open faced toasted sandwiches.

Honestly I will try not to digress any more!

Earl and Ricë were seated by the basil and noticed a green grasshoppery thing on it. My immediate reaction was to grab the bug and smash it, like the ant, to oblivion. I thought I had knocked it lifeless a few days before. But Ricë wondered if it was not a benevolent, aphid eating creature. I wondered as well, despite the fact that the basil had holes spotted throughout the plant. After all, the bastard aphids had been attacking my oleander all summer long, and it has been a long battle.

Fair enough on the non katydidcide I thought. I also believed I had heard they were helpful, and that some other evil insect had trespassed and dined on my plant goodies. I let the katydid live.

Tonight, while watering the garden, as it is the last thing to go, I noticed the katydid was back. On the beloved rosebush. The mild climate rosebush that had rhapsodised in blue all summer. The katydid was munching away, not on leaves, but on the tender, as yet unopened flower buds. Exposed to the night sky were the chewed layers underneath the green sheath. What's worse is the katydid apparently needed to eat a few bites from every bud. Every bud! Like a greedy kid who takes one bite out of every sandwich on a serving plate so that his or her cooties can claim to own all the food.

The evidence.

So I grabbed at the katydid but it jumped away. It would have been a pulpish green mass otherwise. I went to get more water, and upon returning the katydid was back. Again I tried a grab and smash, and truthfully I don't know where the damn bug went this time.

It will likely return. Too tempting, no doubt, this green and bluish purple and white oasis in the vast wasteland of West Texas Apartment Balconies. Even better, its owner frets about potential past and post life consequences.

But why the rose bush, the fragile rose bush? So much other stuff to eat.

That katydid better enjoy the rest of its mealtime without running into me. Soon the garden will disperse to other homes, and the fine dining experience will end there at least. And if we cross paths again, Buddha or no Buddha (they can all turn their heads,) this is gonna be one slime patch of an insect.

Or else, the Ant Messiah might be resurrected, and call upon his ant worshippers to seek, attack and destroy the lone katydid.

Little Debbie snack cakes shall then rain upon my faithful!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still moving.

Don't have much time for art or writing right now, though I am making the Starbucks time, and getting ready to edit Keith's mermaid tattoo in Corel. I also have to do a logo for my sister and I want soooo much to continue on the paper doll trek.

But all is on hold until I get everything re situated. I have until Monday, so plenty of time, but that doesn't alleviate the frustration.

I was cleaning out the closet yesterday, me and closets don't you know. I realized I have amassed a rather extensive collection of shoes. Lots of boots. I posted some on my MySpace page before, but, last night I lined everyone up by the wall and...yeah.

Lotta shoes.

Then I was washing and folding shirts. Okay, okay, also picking them up from piles in the closet. I already explained the "theatrical" nature of closets in my mind, so leave me alone already.

Shirts and pants. It's possible that I am a clothes horse, especially if I confess that there are a ton more shirts, some suits, etc. still hanging in the closet.

Okay, stay tuned, I hope to announce something soon. A contest. There, I said it, so I may have to follow through.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cutie Pie

As noted in the comment, the beautiful cat in question was indeed Cutie Pie. I thought so, but wasn't completely sure, and I didn't want the other cats to read the blog and think I was a dolt.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two-Faced (for Ricë)

Re: Saying Goodbye to Gabe's Super Hero Action Figures

Your favorite is two face, Batman's foe. Once upon a time he was the stunningly handsome district attorney Harvey Dent. A horrible accident disfigured half of his body, and he's had two personalities since then. On the one hand, half of him is still the handsome D.A. (dapper suit and all). On the other hand, he is a horrible monster, and wears purple and acid green (I'm making no judgments there, actually in the comic he usually wears a plaid suit on that side, since plaid is evil).

When he is being villainous he can sometimes be talked back into the handsome Harvey Dent persona, and vice versa. He typically carries a coin with him, one side is flawless, the other scratched. Often he flips it to decide whether he'll do something horribly wicked (even more wicked than wearing plaid, mwah-haha) or something fairly decent.

In the first Batman film, directed by Tim Burton, Billy Dee Willians played Harvey Dent, and scuttlebut was that he had a contract to eventually play Two Face. But many cool rumory things like that--John Malkovich rumored as the Riddler, Patrick Stewart rumored as Mr. Freeze, a Catwoman feature with Michelle Pfeiffer reprising and continuing the role--never were to be after Tim Burton no longer helmed the franchise following Batman Returns. Seems that the ungodly amount of money Returns made was not commensurate with the ungodly amount of money the first film made, so they gave the third film to Joel Schumacher (sp?) who is not a favorite director of mine, and he put bat-nipples on the costumes. He also did really silly things with Batgirl, who is one of my favorite heroes on the feminine side of things, and very nearly my favorite given both genders.

They've already redone the franchise, with Batman Returns starring Christian Bale. Believe it or not, I still haven't seen it. But the sequel is coming soon enough, with Heath Ledger as a very scary Joker. And I don't think they're going to Brokeback Mountain.

Alas, though, Billy Dee Williams we may never see as Two-Face. We will have to settle for Lando Calrissian.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moving Art, Moving Me

Well, for the past few days I have been packing stuff in my apartment and getting ready to move back into my room at my parents' house for a few weeks while I get ready to head for Los Angeles. This move has been a long tine in the planning, though, to be sure, most of the action typically has occurred in my head.

A few years ago, I think three this past June, I went to LA to visit a friend, Vanessa, though it was also to have some time alone and to clear my head. I was still recovering from a sort of open heart extrication (the other L word, the Love one--that's another story for another time).

Back to the trip--I have a real problem with new things. Given that Vanessa's apartment was a few steps from Venice Beach, at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Speedway if I recall correctly, I told myself "you are the biggest chicken on the planet if you don't take advantage of this offer." So I booked the flight, made my way out west, and spent 7 days falling in a different type of love.

Something about the vibe. I didn't expect it. I expected to go, see the beach, then return home. But, the minute my feet hit the warm sand, and I heard the ocean surf, and I smelled that slightly raunchy, heady, raucous smell, I felt connected. Felt like home. Not to mention the Starry, Starry Night mural that always guided me to the right street and the right apartment.

When I returned, probably for a year I spent the days at work (mostly manual labor back then) looking into the sky whenever a plane would fly over, wondering where it was coming from and more importantly, if it was headed for LA. Movies with the beach would generate that all too infrequent rush of endorphins. The Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series came out around that time, and sure enough, the coastline of Paradise Island looked familiar...Malibu. Makes sense. I named my car Eden, partially because that was the direction I felt I was going.

I don't know what happened, I guess time, but the thought became more distant, the thought of moving there. Fears crept in. They usually do. I thought I might move back to Dallas, even though, visiting again after California, it didn't feel as right as I once thought it did.

I thought about Austin for a while. I still don't know about Austin, I visited it for the second (but first adult) time with a complete ass-hole, so perceptions are a bit warped.

Then this past June I visited San Diego then returned to LA. Things were a little different on this trip. I had a travelling companion. I was slightly exhausted as well. It was freakin' cold. Okay, not freakin' cold, it was a wee bit chilly. I wasn't expecting it, and besides, the sun kept hiding behind clouds. But the truth is, I still felt great there. I felt more secure. I wandered the streets and the almost entirely Bohemian Venice Boardwalk with no worry. It still fits. So far.

So, that's where I'm moving. I want to be happy there. I also want a better place for my art. I'm not sure exactly how to find where I need to be with that, but, there's part of the challenge.

I've often, in the past, boxed myself in. It's easy to do in West Texas, to create escapes. For example, an apartment almost overflowing with primary and secondary hued caped and uncaped crusaders in miniature, plastic hits of pure elation. (An apartment with cool decor as well, just ask around.) Hell, creating those escapes is essential to living anything close to a good, creative life here, and it is possible.

But the box has kept me limited. No matter what I put in the box, there are still defined limits, and, often in Midland, at least for me, when the Sky's the Limit is touted, I very often think the sky has an end, no matter how high, and you are (I am) limited.

Put the joint down, I'm not talking about getting high. What am I gonna do with you!?

Again the fear can keep me within those boundaries. Not that I think portions of the fear, and the self doubt, won't follow me to LA, I'm not that naive. What I think, though, is that I'll be better positioned to deal with them and use them while there. It's a sort of freedom I felt.

But if Los Angeles is not the place for me, I'll find another place, the right one. That's not a pre-emptive defeatist attitude, though. For the longest time I thought this was it, do or die, California, Los Angeles, the ocean and me, and if I failed (whatever failure is, I don't even know in this case) I'd have to jump off the pier and feed the fishies.

Nah. I like Aquaman but I can't breathe underwater, and breathing is good. :)

That's why all the tiny plastic heroes and villains are currently boxed and ready to go. We are temporarily trading places, they in the box, me out of the box.

Oh, but it's not temporary. They'll be out soon enough, in a new space, then maybe a newer, sunnier space. As for me, no matter where "outside the box" takes me, I'm not going to climb back inside.

Now, as a bonus, Becky gave me permission to post Sarah's picture, so, here she is cutting out paper dolls...

Sarah cuts out Jack, I think. I believe she chose one of the smaller pages to cut, always up for a challenge, and so talented, that one is. I can't remember which of the beautiful Freeman-Zachery cats is in her lap.

Friday, September 14, 2007

At the Car Wash

No, get that song out of your head. It's fun, it's happenin' and stylish with a 70's sort of groove, good beat, non straight white boy rhythm, but it's not my story.

Today was supposed to be productive. The intent was to clear out some old furniture from my room at my parents' house, that was the manual labor part of the day, and it went fine. Well, the old mattress and box springs were deemed too worn out to donate to Salvation Army, lest they think we were merely using them in lieu of the dump. And the mattress was wiggly as all get out, and harder than it should have been to put in temporary storage. But, we managed to get all the large furniture pieces moved, Mom and I.

So I took a nap, while listening to a new "Songs of Almodovar" CD, because I'm overdosing on Almodovar lately (Live Flesh, Laws of Desire, The Matador, Volver, more on the way). Anyhow, light snooze followed by waking lethargy (naps: a good idea in theory, but not always well executed in reality).

Then it was off to wash Eden. Eden is my baby girl, 2005 (first year of one of the best redesigns ever in my opinion) Mustang, Redfire Metallic, for those who don't know. I love her. I feel extremely lucky to be driving the exact car, color, make, everything I wanted, and she even has a few more things that I didn't even feel the need to have, but she has 'em and it's cool. (I can change the back light colors on her gauges...I call it "Pacific Blue" right now.)

In other words I LOVE baby girl, and she usually gets a really good bath weekly. But the past weekend it rained, and I have to wait until the mud/caliche combo dries at my parents' before I wash her, otherwise it's pointless. So she went two weeks without a scrubbing, and today was catch up, with an extra good wash planned.

I drove up to the usual place, parked, locked Eden, and went to the bill changer. I inserted a couple of dollars and got the quarters in return. Then I inserted a brand new dollar bill, and the machine spit it back out, numerous times. I thought these machines loved crisp new dollars best of all, but maybe it thought "too clean, gotta be fake." Anyhow I put another, older dollar in and the changer ate it up and spit quarters at me. So I crumpled a couple of the newer dollars, flattened them again, and sure enough, the machine finally liked them. Well, mostly, it wasn't having one of them. But I thought at last I had enough quarters to thoroughly wash Eden.

So the washing went pretty well, but turns out I wanted one more "round" of rinsing. (In case it's not readily apparent, this is self washing, I don't let anyone else wash Eden, no drive throughs, mind you.) So I went back and tried the newish but crumpled a bit dollar, and the machine said "nope." So I crumpled it again, more wrinkles, and the machine said "yep, that's a real one" and yay, I got the quarters, finished with an extra good spot free rinse (almost spot free I should say) and was ready to go vacuum her interior.

But, at the place I usually wash her, the vacuum stalls are tiny. You can't open the door all the way, and I don't even think you could open it to the partial point without hitting the brick wall. And if you pull too far forward, you are in the 7-11 parking lot beside the car wash, and cars are there and you'd hem them in. Way too complicated.

So I back out, figuring I'd just head somewhere else, and it's good to drive and let the air dry Eden, and then I can spot clean when I get back home. However, as I was backing out, a small dust cloud, dust devil, something, blows right in her redfire metallic, wet, path. So I look out the passenger window and it's hazy, because as you guessed, a film of dust is covering said window, same for that entire side of the car.


I pulled back into a washing stall, and used my vacuum quarters to rinse off this new round of instant dust. I thought it would work just to use the spot free, but as I drove off, I realized Eden's hood looked like a fiery Martian landscape, with rivulets of dusty mud all over. Grrr.

Fine, time to go somewhere that didn't have bedeviling dust devils. I went to the old place I used to wash Eden but had given up on since the various selections there rarely all work, and besides, it's more expensive, which doesn't bother me except I waste money waiting for the things to work and they don't and I swear then I'll never, ever go back there.

But I drive up, into a stall, and that bill changing machine loves my money it seems, especially loves a five dollar bill. This changer eats it readily "yummy, used five" it thinks, and spits out my change. (It does not always love my money, though).

Theory: money is like fine cheese to bill changers, better with age and if it's stinky?

I do a round of high pressure rinse, wax and then spot free rinse. All is well. Pavement is all around so dust devils be damned to your dust hell. Wait...this may be dust hell...that explains it.

Anyhow, I drove to the extra wide vacuuming berths, where I can open Eden's door all the way, and get in there with the vacuum. I drop a quarter in the slot. It gets stuck. Seems to be stuck in something that's like a pre-quarter slot, so I figure another quarter will send it down the shoot. Nope, the other quarter gets stuck. Great. I try to dislodge it with my key, in or out at this point I don't care where the quarter ends up as long as it's a credit or in my pocket, at which point the totality of this entire exercise made me think I'd better stop before my key got sucked in there or something.

I politely drive to the next stall, where that machine likes my quarters and my business, and I suck the dirt out of Eden's interior. Didn't take a lot of time or effort, only the driver's side had much debris. I finally finished my car wash adventure.

Clearly there's no song for that experience. If so you'd be annoyed with it and turn it off, you can't dance to that, it has an irregular beat and no rhythm. Beyond that, the song would have already cost about twenty bucks. That's a hefty mark up for an un-danceable single. Which reminds me of my iTunes story...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If I don't post these I'll be crucified...

or maybe that was circumcised. I dunno. All I know is here are some pics from an afternoon of art and play, as Ricë, Sarah, Becky and I cut out some of the "things" I have mentioned earlier, so even if I'm not going to say what the things are yet, it will probably be apparent.

The following may contain brief nudity, and possibly briefs:

The start. No one is liberated from his or her white space prison, yet.

Here Ricë works on cutting one of Saint Clare's pages. Ricë would have cut out one of the male figures, but I didn't have a large, black male member...of the League or with. Make that "with which to play."

Becky works on Jack's page. Jack apparently really likes Starbucks coffee frappathings. Becky likes Jack, so I think they'd get along nicely. Both are slightly out of touch with reality, in a really good way. ;)

I would put a picture of Sarah here, but I didn't get her or her Mom's permission to post her pictures, and I'm sensitive about that, so I'll hold off for the moment. But I can't wait for said permission because I've already mentioned what will happen if these pictures aren't blogged soon.

Hammer, snip, hammer, snip.

Here are a few pictures as the afternoon progressed, and bits of cut paper, bodies and accessories were spread all over the table.

Becky and Sarah had to leave because Becky was meeting with the Knitting Guild, a rag tag group of knitters who gather with their needles periodically and fight crime in numerous ways. There's nothing quite like a member of the Knitting Guild, needles drawn, going after a ne'er do well. I'm sure if necessary, they could repair the fabric of society David and Keith ripped apart. But then again, we're quite happy with those rips. :)

(I'm kidding, you know. They don't really fight crime. But isn't it a great visual? And as David pointed out at the Universitarian Assembly in his "lay service" (hehe) the fabric of society didn't rip. I am, of course, referring to their legal marriage in Canda.)

I digress, but I already warned you about that back in the first post.

Anyhow, after Becky and Sarah left, Ricë continued cutting and I joined her.

Here Ricë continues to cut, and I join her, but you can't see me because I was taking the picture. No, I wasn't cutting and taking the picture. I can multi task, but multi tasking with sharp objects can be dangerous.

Then a bit of wickedness ensued, as Ricë forced, forced I say, me to put some of the cut outs in poses that happened to end up like the one to the left.

She's very wicked, after all, she wants the Wicked Wiccan tattooed on her arm, so you honestly don't think I would do this on my own, do you?

As if a mask could protect the identities of anyone involved.

So St. Clare had to come whip things into shape.

But, all silliness aside it was a productive exercise in creativity, because, I left with a number of good ideas, a number of problems to solve that would not have been readily apparent without a group dynamic (a test run if you will) and most importantly (though right now my head is swimming with too much info) 3,546 variations on the theme for present and future reference.

For now though, I have to figure out the best way to make the paper dolls (oh, I said it finally, that's what the things are) 1) with clothes on thinner paper, stands and bodies and accessories on thicker paper 2) on paper that is non smearing, bruising, archival yet retains brilliant color 3) with some sort of stands to allow maximum play. Oh and also so that accessories can be held and sometimes, whenever possible, shared.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Jack Bits

A tease. I didn't scan the naughty bits.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I needed to wash some stuff this morning, which invariably means finally emptying the dryer of its contents so the new wash can go in there and, if said new wash can stay without becoming wrinkly, it will stay in the dryer until the next wash, repeating the process. Not that it takes a long time to retrieve freshly dried items, I'm just usually headed somewhere by the time the drying process begins and, upon my return, I have forgotten about the stuff in the dryer. Or gone to bed. Or both.

Terribly exciting, I know, but whilst retrieving the dry stuff in preparation for the new wash-that-will-be-dried today I noticed something I thought was odd. The contents of the dryer was mostly socks, a few terrycloth rags, but mostly socks. As I pulled the socks from the dryer, only one sock was not turned inside out. Now, I don't remember taking the socks off like that because it would have annoyed me, I hate the feel of socks peeling off backwards, must be a childhood thing, plus it ruins the elastic at the top, I think. I also don't remember putting them in the wash like that. In fact, it would have annoyed me, I think, as I would have thought "you'll have to turn them all right side out while you're retrieving these socks seven days later when you need to wash something else." (My mind thinks in Jane Austen, stilted type dialogue, I guess.)

You bet it annoyed me. It added a few minutes to the task, minutes I should have been using to fix Saint Francis' toes, or give him something new to wear, or else minutes I should have been surfing around the Internet pretending something new was there to thrill me. But instead I wasted time turning socks right side out.

Thus I'm forced to conclude there was some odd cosmic conflagration which bent time and space, and, rather than enveloping my socks in that special dimension where missing socks go, instead managed to turn all but one of my socks wrong side out. Of this I am certain.

If only the conflagration would have returned my missing black socks, and I'm not talking about the odd pair here or there. I'm definitely talking about whole packages of black socks turning up missing, though gradually (they're insidious that way, of course). I don't know what it is, but, there must be yet another special dimension for them. Only the ancient black socks, those going threadbare, seem to stick around.

Now the new wash has finished and, since the dryer is empty at least for the moment, the contents, sheets, will go tumbling. They are too large and knowledgeable about theoretical quantum physics to turn up missing. So far.

Friday, September 7, 2007

New but Familiar Dialogue

Earlier today I posted a new creative essay on the writing page. It deals with how some ideas start and where they end. Here's a direct link to "Tracking the Creative Impulse."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tech Block

Today and late last night into early today (linearity be damned) I've been working on some new things. They require the use of Corel Draw and images I have created some time ago, the full body Saints and Infidels seen on the animation pages. Now, that's quite a process, editing nodes on the vector drawings, changing shapes and colors, etc. But I find it very rewarding. I can turn my drawings into clean, clear forms and then, because they are vectors, I'm not limited to a particular size (as long as I make sure I scale correctly, etc.).

Ok, that's really technical. It doesn't seem like the most fun I could have in an evening, until I'm finished and I get to print them out, at which time the results are always just too much fun. However, last night some tech frustrations got in the way. I hate when that happens; I could go full steam ahead if some problems were just instantly solvable. But part of the process in creating something inevitably involves trial and error. Were it a large painting, it would be the continuous process of reinventing brush strokes to suit whatever you are feeling at the moment. Since it's intuitive and immediate, I never notice the frustration as much.

But in the case of what I'm working on now, the roadblocks aren't intuitive, they are real. As in, which photo paper prints best, won't fade, creates crisp colors, will be waterproof and sturdy enough, and won't smudge when I hold things to cut them. So, I thought some higher priced stuff that claimed not to fade would work splendidly. Well, the colors were great, but the print outs smudge. I consulted the packing info and it says something about not framing printed items for 7 days or so. Yikes, like after I print something I am just dying to see take life outside of computer pixels, I have enough patience to wait 7 days. It's not going to happen. At least not while I'm still playing.

So I tried another paper that Ricë gave me, and it's sturdier, but because I printed it on the "other papers" setting, I think the little hp Photosmart printer I'm using got haughty and decided "other papers" meant "do not put the rich tones on this one." So it's a little grayer than I'd like. Directly (my Nene always said "directly") I'll print one with this heavier paper using the premium paper settings. In any event, the figure I cut out from that duller printing did fantastically, no smudges, so if I can get the jewel tones printed on that, it may be the answer.

I think for many people the process of getting to the end of an idea, the paths taken and not taken, to borrow from Frost (and I'm no huge fan, but hey), are not so frustrating. I say that almost rhetorically. The brush stroke comparison works for me there, as I already noted, again the immediacy. But the things (don't you love the nebulous use of "things," but I'm being secretive) I'm working on at the moment are "hand made" items I am trying to make look as mass produced as possible. I realize many artists are trying to avoid the mass produced look at all costs. But I'm having too much fun making things look like unique items that can be picked up at the 5 and dimes (which no longer exist, yeah, I know, but bear with me, I am old enough to have gone to Woolsworth when it was downtown here in Midland).

So, if I can just get the technical aspects worked out, I'm going to be happy with the results. How could I not, they're so cute!?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Already an Update

Well, maybe more of a fine tuning.  It occurred to me that some of the Saints (and one evil doer of evil) appear only occasionally, or in a particular form only occasionally, so I added a Holiday section to the bonus pages.  I even made the cute little present rollover animations myself, because of course I am insane.

Especially since it's 3:18 AM. I should be asleep.  But I finished it.  

The pages are just teasers of course.  The hint of something cool is a wrap, but, not yet available, because I'm just so mysterious and such.  

By the way, stay tuned to this blog for web updates as well as musings.  Or rantings.  Whatever you wanna call it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Say Hello to Mr. Sunshine

Originally I was going to put “the sun is gonna shine anymore” in the description box. The notion comes from a song by way of a movie, the song being “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More” the movie being Truly Madly Deeply. In that film the couple (I won’t give much away, but watch the movie, it’s great) sort of sickeningly sings the song to each other. At that point in the movie, if you are not in a syrupy, lovey dovey mode, you might want to turn it off and go back to self pity and weeping. After all, who wants to see happy people (actors) and then go to bed alone.

There's a really good reason for that scene, though, and probably for (my) reaction to it, a reason that’s clear by the movie’s brilliant and touching ending. Just watch it already, put it on your Netflix. What? You don’t have a Netflix account? All I can say is that it’s one of the best relationships I’ve ever had.

I digress, and I’m a little off the road I started anyhow, but that’s going to happen often, and I’m not going to apologize even though I guess saying that is a bit of an apology. Argh. My brain.

Back on the original path—the song, and my transposition of it. The lyrics start: “Loneliness is a cloak you wear / A deep shade of blue is always there,” then of course the eponymous refrain, “The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore.” So to me, the sun is gonna shine anymore makes sense. It turns the negative into a positive, sort of, with the caveat of "anymore," which might make the casual reader step back, asking, “Is it really going to shine?” (Even if you didn’t casually read and do that exactly, still, it works in my head.)

Notwithstanding the time I had wrapping my brain around the idea of “gonna,” and noting that I disposed of the “ain’t” right away, I couldn’t get past the potential for those same casual readers (droves of you) to think I didn’t know what the heck I was doing with language in that case, never mind the idea was to alter the lyrics to a particular song and make it more positive, with the aforementioned caveat.

Welcome to my world, then. I have a degree in English and a penchant for rearranging the rules and wondering if anyone gets the rearrangement, or if the joke's just mine and then just on me. Works the same for my art as my life and my writing. I seriously tend to be too—serious.

But, like the sun chasing the moon or vice versa, in some Mesoamerican mythical drama, the sun is gonna shine anymore. Without the caveat. Because frame of mind is important for how we perceive the world and, gasp, how the world perceives us. Not that we can exactly control the latter, though we can influence it, but the former, well, we have a handle on that.

It has been a long road for me, this realization, and lately I have been lucky to know a line of people in my life who are lined up to, for lack of more specific terms, kick my ass if I don’t quit Thomas Hardy-ing my existence. Happiness may indeed be the occasional episode in a general drama of pain, but, then again, we can string together the occasional episodes to make a continuous episode of mostly happy. Something like that.

At the very least, it's my newest social experiment. :)

So here, the new blog, the first post, the revamped website, Saints all in a row, room for more avenues of expression and I’ll be damned, not a single shirtless picture of me to be found!

Oh, one more thing. The title of the blog comes from the title of an Air song, reminding me to be a little more cheerful.

Now, go back and check out the website. I’d love to wake up one day and need to buy more bandwidth!