Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


Tomorrow night I'll be doing some live painting at the Mr. History with Humans, Answer Team, and The Author and the Illustrator show at the Riot Room. It's going to be so much fun! I haven't zoned out to music while painting for a while and I'm really looking forward to playing on the great big board I have ready for the event.

Then Thursday I'm going out of town to visit some friends, so I'll be taking a break from the blog until I get back. Expect to hear from me September 1st - if I have my shit together - or the 6th, if I don't.


I have lots of exciting things planned for the blog, like an interview with a local artist, a review of an adorable Korean dramedy I recently fell in love with, and the launch of my line of feather earrings, just to name a few.


Don't miss me too much! ;)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Video Is a Total (Drug) Trip

Screenshot from the video embedded below

I had a proper post planned for today, but I am so freaking exhausted that I'm just gonna leave you with a trippy South American music video that has all the energy I don't. Enjoy!


(Click here to see embedded video)

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

"While I Was Young and Hot"


I was on Central Standard for the second time yesterday, so I expected the host, Jabulani, to remember me. So when I showed up and he started asking me a bunch of air quality questions, I was wondering... "WTF? Is he screwing with me?! What's going on here? Why does he care what I think about air quality?"


But then I remembered that Andrea, the producer of Central Standard, told me the person on before me would be talking about air quality. So I asked him if that's what he thought I was there to talk about. He said, "yeah, I only have one guest today." But then once I told him who I was he suddenly recognized me and, I guessed, remembered I would be on the show that day.

It was very silly.

I had to wait for the first 40 minutes of the show to be over before I was ushered into the room with all the vaguely intimidating microphones. Then I finally got to hear the audio montage that Andrea had made after recording at my 365 finale. It was so much fun hearing what everyone had to say about the project. :)

Then Jabulani jumped into asking me questions. I had no idea what he was going to ask beforehand, so it felt like flying by the seat of my pants. (He'd coached me a bit last time I was on, but I guess he didn't have time to do it on this occasion because of the mix-up). But I think I managed to answer coherently, so if you missed it, I hope you'll take a listen (cause if you don't, the title of this post won't make any sense):


Oh! And I also have to mention that local blogger @tips4tips bought me a Flickr Pro account, so now you can see ALL of my 365 self-portraits there!! Hooray! :D

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cleaver, CARES & Central Standard


I'm excited to hear Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II speak tonight about the importance of mentoring at-risk youth. This is the second public event of the KC Metro CARES Mentoring Movement, where you may remember I am a board member. This is extra exciting as this is our first event after receiving our official federal 501c3 status! If you're interested in this event, you can RSVP here.



My other exciting bit of news is that the KCUR show, Central Standard, finally found a place in their line-up for me to talk about my 365 Self-Portrait project! I was on the show once before with a panel of other bloggers, but this time I get my very own segment!! I will be on tomorrow morning around 10 am. I hope you're able to tune in, but if not, I'll be sure to post a link to it on Thursday.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

2 Novel Approaches to Fairy Tales

Image via Lantern Hollow

I grew up reading fairy and folk stories and I get a special glee out of reading stories that take their inspiration from them. Some of the awesome ones I've been reading lately are:

Entwined by Heather Dixon
Dixon's story is based on the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses, whose dance shoes are always ruined in the morning, though the girls never seem to leave their rooms. Azalea, the oldest princess, must take care of her little sisters after their mother dies and their father goes off to war, leaving them in mourning, with even the windows of their castle shrouded in black.

But pockets of magic from an evil king still exist within the castle, and Azalea finds a magic tunnel leading them to an evening dance hall where "The Keeper" lives as a spirit and can produce magical balls for the girls to enjoy.

Everything seems well until their father returns an d is enraged at their dancing, which breaks the code of mourning. He invites men to come find their secret, which many use as a guise to flirt with the princesses. Azelea is forced to deal with this suitors while Keeper grows more and more demanding of her, requiring that she find the magical device stopping him from realizing his full power.

An awesomely dark twist on what was originally a light-hearted tale, Entwined was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Azalea is a highly sympathetic character and its easy to get caught up in her misadventures.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Marillier's novel takes its inspiration from the 6 Swans, in which a young princess must stay silent until she weaves shirts (out of painful material) for her 6 brothers who have been turned to swans. The first Marillier novel I read, Seer of Sevenwaters, takes place in the same universe and two of the brothers appear in that - which is what turned me on to reading the original story of the swan brothers.

Daughter of the Forest is told from the princess's point of view. Sorcha is raised more by her brothers than by her parents (her father absent with war and politics, her mother dead [of course]), and establishes a reputation for herself as a healer in her community before she's reached the age of 13.

When her father remarries, the woman turns her brothers into swans and Sorcha runs away. She encounters the fairy queen who tells her how to reverse the spell, and so begins Sorcha's difficult endeavor. She lives alone in a cave until she is raped by two men who find her there.

Then she leaves on the journey that eventually takes her in the path of one of her father's enemies who takes her home to his castle, certain that she has information regarding his lost brother's fate. Twists and turns in the politics lead to Sorcha being tried as a witch while her enemy/protector is gone searching for his brother.

This was also rather dark (Sorcha is physically and mentally scarred by her rape for much of the book), but the original story is too, so it was inevitable that any story based on it would be dark as well. Sorcha's ability to telepathically communicate with some of her brothers (when they're in human form) and her ability as a healer add unique dimensions to the original princess character. I also like how Sorcha was written as a tomboy who'd rather run around in the woods than sew.


I also have to give an honorable mention to the Fables comic book series created by Bill Willingham. They use all sorts of fairy tales and folklore from around the world to create a story about exiles fables who live in New York where they took refuge as "the Adversary" took dominion of all their fairy tale lands. I haven't read a single part of the series that I didn't like, though I'm not through all of the ones they've made so far.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

365 Self-Portrait Project Wrap-Up

Day 365 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project
(click this or any image to see larger size)

Oh. my. god! The finale for my 365 project was so much fun! Lots of friends showed up to help (despite FB doing all it could to confuse ppl about what time we were meeting!) and Andrea from Central Standard came to record what everyone had to say. (By the way, my reappearance on the show has been bumped to a later date where they can spend more time on my story).
Day 3 of my 365 Self-Portrait project

It was incredible to think back to a year ago when Kris from The Yellow Brick Road Trip challenged me to start this project. Back then, I felt very shy in front of the camera and I had a difficult time posing if anyone tried watching me. I just felt so ridiculous!

Day 20 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

Eventually, though, I started warming up and poses and ideas started flowing more easily, until at the end of this project I was not only able to act ridiculous with an audience, but I had a bunch of friends posing with me!

Day 38 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

Knowing I'd be sharing my pictures with friends as well as strangers on the internets has dramatically shaped how I photographed myself. As I told a friend a while ago, if I had done this project purely for myself, I would have shot lots of pictures of myself in the nude, as well as close-ups on bruises, hairy armpits, and other unflattering pictures. It would have been a way to look at parts of myself that I couldn't easily see during the normal course of a day.

Day 42 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

But with the audience in mind, I wanted to put out the most fun and original collection of images I could imagine into existence. It led me to dress up more often and to be more playful about what I wore. I searched out any location I was in for prime photo ops, and tried to do something different every day.
Day 76 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

It was interesting to observe that the more I did this project, the more I genuinely appreciated myself for who I am and became more patient and accepting of others. I was surprised to observe that days where I felt the least creative and wouldn't have done anything artistic except I had to were some of the days that created the most evocative images in my entire project.

Day 173 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

I'll keep you up-to-date on the Central Standard show info as it progresses, and I hope to announce a gallery show for these images at a future date... that's something I'll be working on. (You can see many of my self-portraits on Flickr, but since I'm not a pro member, only 200 of them show up.)

Day 201 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

Thanks to everyone who supported me in this project, especially those who showed up for the last photo! You rock :)

Day 250 of my 365 Self-Portrait Project

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