Phasing It In Slowly

Hey!

So. It’s been an interesting week. First off can I just say I looked at my blog and saw that it said 397 FOLLOWERS, which I have to research because…. holy crap, where did that come from?!?! Maybe it’s a glitch. Not sure. But if it’s true… thank you!!!

I chopped some more hair off.

…and added some red to it.

J broke his tibia AND fibia.

I celebrated turning 31 by kicking it with some of my favorite drag queens (the food was awesome as well).

So… yeah. The past ten days have been kind of a whirlwind. Between regular work, my sickness and taking care of J, there’s also been a lot of work on my part being put in toward my event planning company, Cupcake Coordination. Things are going well, it’s just been hectic. It’s for the best though – things are going well.

That’s what’s up with me. Somewhere in there I managed to sleep a little bit and keep telling myself that tonight will be the night I’m in bed by 830. Mmm, sleep.

What’s up with you?

Pigment Monster – November 4, 2011

Shoutout! I’m honored to say that next week, drunkbunny gets to be a part of a Pigment Monster show. Low-key and chill, just the way I like. You can also check Pigment Monster out on Facebook. It’s headed up by the VERY talented Alex Julian.

Friday, 11.4.11 – 5 to 11pm
3176 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92104 · Home Brews & Gardens

Free alcohol. Food vendors.
Live music and performers.
Musicians, performers, admirers, live artists, supporters, art collectors, and promoters welcome.
Artists, vendors and musicians will get a +1.
Dogs okay.
Not located in a bar or a club.

Click to check out some shots from the last event:

Please come visit and have a beverage with me! 🙂

How To Draw A Perfect Tree

I’ve been sketching way more often lately, which is proving to be simultaneously exhausting and relaxing. It feels nearly theraputic, especially when things need to be shaded with a mechanical pencil. It’s exhausting when you realize there are more ideas in your head than hours in the day it will require to get them all down. Part of my work lately has been just to practice the technique of getting things on paper as they are in real life.

I'm lucky to have several good areas in the house suitable for artwork.

It’s tough, because normally if I don’t get things down right on the first try, I’ll toss it. But there is plenty to practice with. You don’t have to have a model or anything, really, you just look around.

My west-facing window.


My east-facing window.

I found Urban Sketchers recently and want to improve a bit before submitting anything to them, but it’s my goal to become part of that group. Step 1 is feeling confident enough to submit something, so this means more practice. It was very hard for me to realize at first how much patience is needed. Having always felt like a patient person, it seemed like merely a matter of waiting and suddenly I’d be able to draw just as I planned. The thing is… the pictures in your mind won’t magically appear on paper the way they should without some help.

This is a practice piece that I hope to turn into a mural on the side of a friend's house.

This is a tree I can see from my bedroom window.

“A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.”

I’ve known for a long time that my drawing skills, when it comes to photo-realism, need polishing (to say it nicely). The problem is that the following tends to happen just as my sketching is about to start. I’ll sit down, paper and tools all ready, pick up a pencil, draw a line, frantically erase, then realize there is TOO MUCH TO DRAW. Panic sets in. Mentally berating myself, why even bother trying? It’s ridiculous. Look at the complexities of that brick, what are you even thinking trying to make this look like anything? Why are you even pretending you can do something? Your art sucks. You suck. You’re terrible at this. Just pack up your stuff, go home and read a book.

Except the last book I read was called “The Zen of Seeing”, which basically tells you to quietly send your inner FailVoice packing, and pick up your freaking pencil already. If you don’t draw it, you can’t fix it. Who cares if your geranium looks nothing like a geranium? The point is you wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t have that creative drive in there, and that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It may sound cheesy but it’s true.

My biggest problem is the fear that I’m essentially making a mockery of everything I attempt to draw, if it’s something from real life. My afternoon today was spent in Balboa Park, one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in this city. There are a few paintings in my mind that will be centered around how certain things look in Balboa Park, so it seemed like a good idea to familiarize myself with the landscape by sketching.

There was a bench that seemed like it would be comfortable, until the sun came out and made things too warm. It was donated by a Miss Daisy Thompkins, which struck me as oddly humorous.

It was just me and Miss Daisy, for a little bit.

Regrouped myself on a bench under the trellis that seemed like the view I needed, finished my tall-iced-skinny-vanilla-latte, prepped everything and took a look around. It was time to start.

Except I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

All the plans and inspiration went out the window and my InnerFailVoice started asking me what I thought I was doing here exactly. Trying to draw? Who cares if there are 500 branches on an evergreen tree – you aren’t about to sketch a single one, so just give it up now. You won’t do it justice. You’ll make it worse, you’ll wreck EVERYTHING. Just go home.

You see, everything around me was awesome… and why did I want to go wrecking that by trying to draw? How can anyone take the beauty of this and explain it, express it just by putting lines on paper?

Look.



There isn’t much to say except that I almost started to cry. It took me a minute or ten, then something from Mr. Franck’s book came back to me: “After my eye calmed down, my hand was able to draw“. The wording may not be exact, but it’s the same feeling. He went on to say that if you’re trying to draw buildings, those same buildings were once drawings themselves. You just take a deep breath, stop looking, and start SEEING.

I took a breath. I thought back to PTI and remembered all the things that Bove taught me. How each line you make compresses the fibers in the paper. How to do contour line drawings, perspective stuff, how to basically give a crap about what you’re putting on paper – a lot of things. Hell, he once made me a ring just because I asked for one, and it was a serious bummer when I lost it… so he made me another one that I’ve been wearing since 2001. I’ll keep wearing it because it reminds me that he was the best art instructor ever, and it looks like he’s still doing well (good for him). 🙂 For any of you in the Western PA area that are into art or jewelery/metalworking, Jim Bove is the man.

I digress; sorry. Was worth it though.

Anyway, sketching happened and took about two hours. The entire time my mental dialogue consisted of convincing myself to look at a line, then draw it – not try to draw the whole trellis at once.

A random person asked me what I was drawing, then as they looked (while I explained my dire need for a straight edge), they said: “Oh! That’s not too bad at all.” It made me realize that you can’t draw one tree before you draw a thousand.

Speaking of trees, a little seedpod fluttered down to join me. It was cute. 🙂

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re wondering about the part where I give a tutorial on how to draw a perfect tree. You may have figured out that’s not going to happen, because there is no such thing as a perfect tree, even in real life. You just look, and then you start seeing.

Don’t forget the most important step though: getting started.

I Know It’s Football Season And I Kind Of Don’t Care

Good morning!

It’s a sunny 10AM and my coffee was delicious. Thank you for asking.

One of my favorite things about my house is how quiet it is – a far cry from the never NOT busy Mission Beach Boardwalk; my old neighborhood. The thought of how I had the opportunity to live oceanfront for six years and very rarely enjoy it will haunt me for the rest of my life. Moving forward: we’re down a little-used street – a dead end off a “No Through Street” kind of area. The neighborhood, while not the best, is essentially VERY quiet. You’ll hear the sounds of dogs barking, cars peeling out, traffic waves (like the ocean, but a little less methodical), wind, people faintly chatting, landscaping tools, the strains of occasional music, gunfire, the hum (and sometimes roar) of a plane or jet.

We live near the airport – not quite in the flight path (there is NO WAY I could do that) – and also near a sheriff’s gun range. Several times every day there is that unmistakable sound of a plane with dropping altitude, and what sounds like fireworks. Both of these sounds were prevalent in my childhood (there was a gun range nearby as well) so it all feels very familiar and as-it-should-be. Noises that happen are generally never right in my ear; they’re far enough to create a nice sense of Things Happening and not This Place Being Too Goddamn Noisy. If things were quieter, it would be weird. There would be the feeling that everyone on the outside could hear everything on the inside, and no one wants that.

It’s October now though, magically, and that means Sundays are for Sports. Mainly football. Specifically Steelers football – and if it’s not football, it’s hockey. This is what happens when you live with someone who is a die-hard Pittsburgh Fan. Personally I don’t love football in the preseason or even early regular season. I start paying attention around my birthday (January 10th, woop woop), because prior to that my focus is set on Halloween, then set on NOT focusing on Thanksgiving or Christmas. The beginning of November marks the start of my two least favorite months of the year. January is my birthday, February has both my husband and good friend’s birthdays, March is my niece-in-law’s birthday, April is now my wedding anniversary, and May is our anniversary of being together. Thanksgiving is only good because it means hanging out with people who cook like it’s their job, and Christmas Season is awful because of how you get shunned if you don’t want to buy presents. Those are tangents for another time, much like how my ten-year anniversary of living in Sandy Eggo was August 19th and I was busy being hella sick. (It’s still kind of awesome though. Okay, REALLY awesome.)

The point to all these words is that I know it’s football season, and I kind of don’t care.

This will probably never be me. Probably.

Yes, my heart roots for the Steelers and the Penguins because that’s just how it is (shoutout to the hometown!!), but football season has been ingrained in my mind with a bad flavor of Really Loud Noise and Obscenities. There are lots of memories that are acquainted with BAND!, one of my favorite things ever, but when your house is filled with Couch Coaching, it’s different. Not saying he isn’t good at sports or doesn’t know what he’s talking about (he is and he does), but my one hope is that he realizes that the people on TV (or the radio, or the internet) can’t hear him. Their actions and decisions will not be swayed by being louder.

Does that make me a bandwagon fan? A fair-weather fan? Not particularly. I just don’t have enough interest in football (or sports in general) to get me pumped up about it. I don’t play fantasy teams, I don’t follow the stats. Sometimes I’ll watch ESPN if it’s on, but I’ll never actively look for the channel. If any of my favorite teams are in the playoffs, then I’ll get excited, but my excitement really only spans mid-November to late February. It’s cool by me to tune in partially through the third quarter or even the last quarter of a game (ESPECIALLY during early season games). I have no problem heading out to the zoo, beach or park on a Sunday during football season because it will be EMPTY out there. It’s great!

One of the main reasons it sucked to live on the boardwalk was because of the sports fans that lived in very close proximity to me. Close enough to where it felt like my house was a bar EVERY DAY. None of them cheered for any of the teams on my interest list, which wouldn’t have made it much better, but at least might have made things a little more tolerable.

Oh, it’s also Chai Latte And Scarf season, or at least it would be if it wasn’t 76° outside.

Anyway, here’s a photo from what I’m pretty sure were ALL of the seniors in band for that year. That’s me in front because In Front is how I roll. It’s how all short people roll, and yes that pose was my own impromptu choice. Dunt dunt dunt!

Bucket List Checkbox: Obtained

I’ve been making notes throughout the week when an idea for a post strikes me, and trying hard to not force a post. The plan for the evening was to come over here and talk about debt or exercise or my cat or post a sketch or something. Speaking of debt, remember how my other post was about trying to get out, right? Well, one version of my commute takes me past Spreckels, and I totally almost hit some pedestrians because of the marquee:

Immediately the words came out of my mouth: “Oh HELL yeah!” There wasn’t anyone in the car, but the people I nearly crushed in the crosswalk probably heard me. My one-sided conversation in the car on the way home (a regular occurrence) was trying to figure out how to explain to Jason, in a reasonable decibel, that this was a mandatory event. If he didn’t want to go, then he’d just get to hear about how great it was, because it wasn’t an option for me to not go.

I get home, I research tickets. The first option is “VIP”. For a laugh, my selection was for 2 VIP tickets – just to see the ludicrous cost and what constituted “VIP”, exactly. Here is what that entails:

VIP Packages include : (1) VIP Seating Ticket – Ticket exclusively located within the first 5 rows, Exclusive access to post-show reception meet & greet with Anthony Bourdain. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres at reception. Limited edition Anthony Bourdain poster (numbered exclusive to ticket packages). Limited edition VIP tour meet & greet laminate.

Anyway, when you’re in debt, the reasonable thing to do is to stay far away from researching (let alone purchasing) some $175-each tickets to anything like that, which is exactly why Jason and I both have VIP TICKETS TO IT AND WE’RE SITTING IN ROW D ORCHESTRA PIT AND WE GET TO MEET ANTHONY NO BIG DEAL RIGHT.

I'M DOING THIS RIGHT NOW BUT WITH LOTS OF LOUD SQUEEEEE

It’s very hard for me not to start calling everyone in my phone to shout the news, because none of my friends – except maybe Ivonne – would get as excited as me. Except she’s in Jersey and already met him, so at least she knows. Bucket list indeed!!!

For those of you who don’t understand, this past post of mine kind of sums it up.

Jason will be going with me, because I bought us both tickets. So while it’s super cool that we’ll get to experience that together, this means that any overt fangirlism is going to seriously need to be kept in check. He knows I’m excited, but I don’t think he …understands. Past people that have been on my “Need to Meet” list have included: Art Alexakis, Dave Navarro and Mike Ness.

I met Art. He was kind of an asshole.
I’ve never met Dave in person, but we emailed back and forth a few times in the late 90’s. He was very nice.
I almost met Mike. He seemed nice; waved at me, gave a smile. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him.

I have never had the full experience of meeting someone like this.

Bourdain has basically changed my entire life so there’s that.

After Googling – and talking with – some people who have met him, everyone has great things to say about the guy. This is like … next level excitement. I mean, what am I going to say to him? Please don’t let me stutter. Or faint. Or get sick the day before. :(( Maybe I’ll invite him to the Sod, haha!

Oh lord, what am I going to *wear*?!?!

Okay, I need to go do some deep breathing and think about how much $$ I just put onto my credit card but OMFG WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Wind Chill Factor Is A Lie

The weather forecast for my area says it’s currently 79°, feels like: 80° and will hit a high of 81°. When the low showed 64° for later in the week I seriously did a fist-pump. But the whole “feels like” thing gets me every time. It’s eight degrees out? Throw a little wind chill in and it feels like two! TWO DEGREES. I’d honestly rather it be cool than hot though (forever), because once you get past “feels like 73°” it just hops right into “Body Feels Like A Big Ol Bloated Whale Filled With Sadness”.

This will be a rambling post because I got all sorts of nauseous this morning and came home early from work. It sucked, specifically the part where the nausea happened. Stupid, STUPID heat sensitivity. Stupid me for getting a hot white mocha which contains two things that really don’t help: caffeine and dairy. And probably the “hot” part didn’t help either.

But I will give myself a high five for getting up at 0530, driving to the beach, and getting in a solid half hour of yoga. That gave me plenty of time to get prepped for work, and I was at the office at the time I usually wake up. Unfortunately the heat kicked my butt and I lasted only an hour in the failing AC before calling it a day and using up some of my precious PTO. I really want to go back to the beach, because the thought of splashing around in the nice cool Pacific sounds amazing… but it’s probably not a good idea to go in tomorrow with a sunburn. Maybe later tonight.

Speaking of the beach, I just saw [ and it reminded me of all things good about the beach. Yes, that’s my comment on the bottom. This morning – despite someone driving for several miles in front of me with HORRIBLE exhaust, despite all the trash that was on/near the beach (so sad and gross) – I realized my life is awesome. Even on the bad days, it’s great. I appreciate every moment. While actually living at the beach ceased to be fun, luck threw me a good hand and allowed me to work and live VERY close by. All the zen flavor without the hassle (and expense) of living directly on the boardwalk.

The trash thing bummed me out though. Really, you can’t throw away your bag of chips when you’re done? Come on. There are containers all over the place to put trash in. Ridiculous. It was probably just worse because of the past holiday weekend though, hopefully.

So that was my morning. I think the early yoga-at-the-beach thing is going to become a habit during the week, because it set a really good tone for the day. You know what else sets a good (summer) tone? This blog post: http://aspenandella.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/its-104-degrees-outside-10-reasons-why-thats-a-good-thing/. Very nice. I have a decent selection of fruit in my fridge right now but no watermelon, and will need to do something about that.

My plan here for the next hour or so is to craft up a fruit-and-cheese plate, grab my favorite book, and go sit in the nice cool bath I’m about to draw.

That's right. I drew it. (in paint, in about 30 seconds.)

Oh yeah! And a Harold update … photos. He seems to be doing okay – any cloudiness in the water just appears to be the standard cloudiness that happens when you leave tap water sitting out for a day.

PS: Why did I never know that Quiet Days in Clichy was a movie? Or had a PERFECT summer soundtrack? GoogleFTW!!! So nice.

It’s almost that time…

…time for PEEPS!!

I don’t even care to eat peeps, but the sugary enthusiasm that so many people gain from eating (or mutilating) them is just infectious. For example, did you know about Peep Jousting?

The messy and largely self-entertaining game, “Peep Jousting” is played with a microwave oven.

This is a game played With A Microwave Oven. How can it not be a winner?

Anyway, in case you want to partake:

One takes two Peeps, and licks the right-hand side of each until sticky. A toothpick is thereby adhered to each Peep, pointing forward like a jousting lance. The Peeps are then set in a microwave, squared off against one another, and heated up. As they expand, the toothpick lances thrust toward each opponent, and the winner is the one that does not pop and deflate (or fizzle and die). Both usually are eaten after the competition, however, regardless who the victor was, calling into question the nature of “winning” in such a circumstance.[1] This folkloric tradition has been noted by the Washington Post. Peeps jousting has also been called such names as “mortal peep fight.”[2]
courtesy of wikipedia, of course.

I was reminded of peeps and various other treats by stumbling around on Vox, running into Serendipity’s blog again. I didn’t realize it was hers until I saw the post about the hot cocoa again. She’s also got a fabulous post about Cheese Etiquette, which I encourage all of you to read and remember.

Speaking of cheese (one of the motives behind this post), I got to hang out with Rupert last night. Our original destination was Dairy Queen, but there is only one within a 20-mile radius, and it closes at 7. Something I found out when getting there at 715. So we found the Golden Spoon (that replaced Ben & Jerry’s in Hillcrest)… it was okay, but no Dairy Queen.

Then we decided to wander across the street to Wine Steals, which was a brilliant choice. We got a flight each (the first glass was high-fivable, the other two were decent but not my favorite), and split a half-board (cheese, olives, meats, bread, olive oil mixed with balsamic, fruits). It was very VERY good times, and I’m going to recommend it to everyone. He was also nice enough to treat me, which made it taste even better. 😉

That joint was so good, by the way, that it makes me want to host bi-monthly wine-and-cheese parties. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult. Why not have a group that hosts it at different locations every few weeks? It’s probably cheaper than going to that place (although we could meet up there if no one wants to have it at their home)… and you could be in your house clothes.

Sounds like a good idea, that means its’ flake factor is in the high percentiles. Let’s hope not. My collaboration of friends has gotten smaller, but more consistent. We shall see.

Anyway, I’m off to finish doing laundry and installing the Sims [complete collection!!!11!]. Yes, it was already installed, but these are the trials we must face when we lose a hard drive. Bastards. Just like the washers & dryers outside… why must they forsake me? Why must they shut off two minutes into their cycle, forcing me to wait and reselect? Why must one of the two dryers smell like mildew, hence making my clothes smell the same? WHY MUST THEY BE A MAGNET FOR TRANSIENT URINE?!?!?!