Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Out Sick

I've got a killer cold folks so I'll be back when I've conquered it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Anti-Valentine's Day

I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. I adore romance, but I think it's bullshit to have a day dedicated to proving you love whomever you love when it's something you should be showing them every day of the year...

Plus, V-Day is my mom's birthday, and as she's one of the least loving people I know [at least as far as being demonstrative goes], it always seemed like a cruel joke the Universe was playing on me.

Poor May, so many issues because mommy didn't love her.

(P.S. When I speak in third person, I'm normally mocking myself, or at least rolling my eyes).

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Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Arrangement

One of the things I've been doing with my time since I've been unemployed (going on one month now... eek!) has been cleaning, uncluttering, reorganizing and rearranging my apartment. And rearranging and rearranging... It's a shotgun apartment, meaning it's set up like a big hallway with walls to divide the space into rooms, and I've had the darndest time coming up with a pleasing layout. And I definitely wasn't able to find a good way to make the space work well for entertaining.

So when my friend Neathasha (pronounced just like “Natasha”) called me up one day and told me she'd had a dream about coming over and rearranging my furniture, I was like, “heck, yes woman!” Neathasha is great... we became friends because we draw nipples the same way and and then it turned out we had a bunch more in common too. She's also an artist, so I was excited to get her creative take on our stupid apartment.

Yesterday, she came over and took a look at all I had throughout my apartment, and turned stuff around in the first two rooms (basically, all the entertaining space) into a beautiful arrangement that makes it inviting in a way it's never been. I can't believe how nice it looks!

Room 1

Room 2

(I'd show you the "before" pictures, but we forgot to take any until we were already moving stuff, so they're more like "during" pictures... and therefore not very good reference).

Related post:
Wordless Wednesday: At Home with May & Family

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Rapunzel Re-Revisited

So Jen Blatherson took issue with my Rapunzel story, saying that she still relied on a male character to help her out. I asked her if she could come up with a different version and she totally did!

Her story starts:

At a young age, a small girl named Rapunzel was locked away in a tower. She had committed no crime besides being young, fair, and innocent. Her Guardian, an old, shrewish and secretive woman, put Rapunzel in the top most room of the tall tower which had no doors and only one tiny window through which Rapunzel watched the world pass her by. Her only reprieve was when her Guardian came to visit her. The old woman would stand at the base of the tower and call “Rapunzel, Rapenzel, let your hair down!” In answer Rapunzel would uncoil her most valuable asset, her long straight hair. She would unwind the yards-long twist that bound the top of her head until it reached the ground and the old woman would climb up and into the window.

The old woman, her Guardian, would visit her every few days, bringing food and any other amenities that Rapunzel might need. For the first few years Rapunzel was just happy for a chance to talk to her, to talk to another person, to hear about the world outside. However, as time went by she became more and more restless. She yearned for a chance to see the towns and people that she only glimpsed from her window. One day she got up the courage to ask her Guardian if she could go out, just for a while. The old woman was furious. She provided Rapunzel with everything she might need and kept her safe, and more importantly, innocent, up in her high tower. Once her temper had cooled she felt badly for how she had scolded her dear, sweet, naïve Rapunzel. So when she next came to visit she brought with her a lovely loom for Rapunzel to learn to weave on, so that the girl would keep occupied and not dream of the outside.
To read the rest, click here. I loved the way she ended it!

Related post:
Feminist Fairy Tale: Rapunzel Revisited

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Story of the Magical Cephalopods

My first sketch of a cephalopod... and another lil guy.

I've been painting magical cephalopods for a while now, and sketching them even longer (after stealing the idea out of What It Is by Lynda Barry). They captivated me because 1) they're cute and silly and make me smile and 2) they were mysterious because I couldn't come up with a story about them.... and I can make up a story about anything. In fact, one part of my brain that thinks almost exclusively in color, symbol and emotion is always making up stories in the back of my head while I'm scurrying around doing stuff.

So not knowing about these adorkable glowy-eyed guys was incredibly intriguing. The more I painted them, the more I wanted to paint them. So I did some research on cephalapods (i.e. I went to wikipedia) and found the above kick-ass picture, which inspired the two most recent [cephalopod] paintings of mine.

The orange guy, who, in my opinion, looks like an alien or a pope or an alien pope, was the one who told me the story of the cephalopods. I was sitting around staring at him after I'd finished the painting, taking in all the good feeling of the colors and the movement and the shiny eyes and ::poof:: the cephalopod story was in my head. It went like this:

The magical cephalopods are an ancient alien race that's been on Earth for eons after leaving their homeworld for unknown reasons. They've been frozen in the Artic and Antartic ice until recently, when the warming of the oceans has released/awakened them. Now they're floating around going “what's up with all this crap in our ecosystem?” and they're atomizing the trash in the ocean, cleaning it up so they can have a habitable home again.

I told this to some friends of mine and one remarked that it was like Scientology, Captain Planet and H.P. Lovecraft mixed up. Which I found pretty amusing.

Anyway, this is how I entertain myself.

Related post:
Wordless Wednesday: Magical Cephalopods

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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Chronicles of Shoulder Cat

It's no secret that my littlest cat, Inky, is my favorite. He's just so darn cute all the time, it's impossible to resist. Of course, I had no way of knowing this when my friend @jacaphene called me up many moons ago, saying she was in Maryville with a friend who was moving at the U-Haul place. There was a stray kitten there that the woman working there was feeding cupcakes to and planning to throw back out in the cold once night fell.

Inky, the day he was found, with Jacaphene in her car

Jacaphene being the animal lover that she was wanted to help, but she didn't want to take the kitten to the local shelter since they kill unadopted animals. Instead, she called me up and begged me {seriously, I didn't want another cat and Matt DEFINITELY didn't} to adopt this cat. I was hard to persuade until the kitten decided to speak up for himself and start meowling pathetically. Of course, I melted and started convincing Matt we needed another cat since Frederick didn't like playing with Pinky anymore and Pinky was bored...

And a few hours later Jacaphene brought Inky home to us. He was so cute and cuddly and he had spent the entire ride sleeping on her shoulders. He is also the most talkative cat I've ever met! Chrips and growls and all sorts of long and short meows, this guy's got a very loud opinion on everything. Plus, he was playful to a ridiculous level, which made him lots of fun and entertaining.

He's still the most ridiculous and cute and entertaining of our cats. Everything he does, from drinking water out of the bathtub to being convinced that our dryer rack is his plaything is always so freaking cute I think my head's going to explode.

He trained us how to make him jump in arcs against a wall following the laser pointer. But we trained him to be a kitty stole. Ever since Jacaphene told us Inky rode down on her shoulders, we wanted to turn him into our shoulder cat. So we would always pick him up and lay him across our shoulders.

Sometimes he'd stay there for a while, sometimes he wouldn't. Eventually we figured out that he liked it better if we were moving, so we'd stay on the move and Inky would stay interested. When we stopped, he normally jumped down.

Since I've been home so much more these past three weeks, the cats, but especially Inky, have gotten more clingy with me. Pinky, who normally never gave me the time of day, suddenly wants to sleep on my lap all the time. Inky and Frederick, who also weren't overly cuddly cats, will now walk up to me to cuddle of their own volition. The cats would curl up with me before only when I was already asleep (with very rare exceptions).

Now they actually want to be around me when I'm awake for more than to feed and entertain them. It's nifty.

But the day I knew for sure that Inky was totally becoming my bitch is when he started staying on my shoulders when I wasn't walking around. And to prove that it really happened, I took a video of him sitting on my shoulders as I'm drawing:

[Click here for embedded video]

(I was drawing scales on a mermaid's tale in case you're wondering.)

Anyway, long story short: I'm totally in love with this cat.