ART : "Yardsy"

     You can have your pre-fab garden gnomes. I'd rather have some weird thing made out of junk, any day.

     So here is "Yardsy." When I was supposed to be cleaning up and consolidating stuff in our back yard, I got distracted with cinderblock and old pots, and this happened.

COMICS : "Poison"

This one is really deep, and I figure college professors will probably start calling me, asking if they can include this in their classes.

COMICS : "Buttwing & Her Lip Gloss"

Here's a little Buttwing from me to you...

COMICS : "Heenie 2017"

All of a sudden I felt like drawing Heenie again, after a looooong time.

COLORING PAGE RAGE progress

So I've done four of these so far. Feel free to share.

COLORING PAGE RAGE

Feel free to print out and color to your heart's content! Share with friends and family! Having a kid's birthday party? Well, here's your cheap, fun activity!

WOMEN'S MARCH OC!

Anthony and Mom and I went to the march in downtown Santa Ana, carpooled with my awesome fellow library tech Erika, and met up with another former coworker. TONS of people. Inspiring and thrilling. I love chanting and yelling and smiling at strangers because we know we support each other and are willing to be vocal about it.

HOW BIG DO YOU WANT THE VAGINA PRINTED, MISS?

     The library is open for an hour and 40 minutes before school starts on "late start" days. This is a LOOONG stretch of time with anywhere from 30 to 70 kids in here, doing various things. Usually the last 15 minutes before the bell rings is devoted to massive print jobs shuttling through our one little black & white printer, and my one color printer in the back room. During that rush you can hear the printer literally groaning with effort, paper after paper scraping it raw on the way out.

     This morning these two nice little girls showed up, obviously their first visit to the library. They seemed very young and timid, probably 9th grade. They only spoke Spanish, and were trying to find out how to print, and how much it cost, etc. Luckily, as is usually the case, there was another student nearby who jumped in to help as translator. 

     Turns out the two new girls needed COLOR printing, which involves an extra step (emailing or "sharing" via Google Docs), which turned out to be difficult to explain, even with the help of Awesome Translator Girl. We had them pull up the pictures they needed printed, and Translator Girl tried to help them email the pics to me. Part of my mind registered what the pictures were, but I was in total practical mode, since there were about 10 other kids lining up at the counter while we were trying to help these poor new girls.

     Our first attempt failed, and in my panic as more and more kids were lining up at the main counter, I logged out of my own computer at my desk, and just had the girls use that. We had them log in and pull up the pictures they needed printed in color. When the "print preview" popped up, Translator Girl asked the two timid girls if that was indeed the way they needed the pictures printed. As we all stood there around my desk, staring at the computer screen, I realized that the pictures were giant full-color diagrams of:

 1) THE VAGINA

2) THE PENIS

3) MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

4) FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

     But like I said, that line at the library counter wasn't getting any shorter, and shit needed to get done. So I was like, "Is that it? Is that how you want these printed?"

     The timid girls indicated that no, they actually needed each picture printed on a separate sheet. So then I had to take over completely and save the vagina, the penis, and the pics of their respective environs to my computer, then insert them into a word doc, each in glorious full-color on its own page.

     Finally when the pages were printed, I ran into the back room to grab them from the color printer, then dashed back out to the desk where there were now about a million kids all waiting for various things. I got the attention of the two timid girls and held up THE VAGINA, THE PENIS, THE MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM, and THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM.

     "Is this right? Is this how you wanted them?" I asked.

     After they paid and left, I gave Translator Girl several good behavior raffle tickets we use here as part of a rewards system.

     Hopefully the two timid new girls won't be so humiliated by the experience that they never return to the library.

HOW TO LOOK TERRIBLE IN PHOTOS : Lesson 1

     I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I am somewhat of a master at looking as shitty, fat, and lame in photographs as is humanly possible.

     And now, I'm finally ready to start sharing my secrets with you!

     See this nice picture of me and my awesome friends (note: their faces have been anonymized because I have not obtained signed legal permission forms from them) from the junior high school I worked at for 12 years:

 

     I'm second from the left. I look terrible here, thank you for noticing, but now let's tighten our focus.

     I'm partially behind two other people, but I still made the most of my terribleness. Let's examine the details and tricks...

     Part of what makes me look so huge is the slight angle at which I'm standing:

     If I'd been facing the camera directly, or standing completely sideways, perhaps-- Oh, fuck it, who am I kidding?

     As we zoom in, let's examine the hair and the forehead:

     I made sure to stand so that I was mostly in shadow, except for a ray of sun blasting down at the very top of my head, where my hair is bleached blond, which gives the effect that my hair is possibly thinning or patchy. It's a trick of lighting, but most effective.

I also kept raking my hair back, to expose the absurdly broad expanse of my shiny, sweaty forehead. This creates a blinding confusion of high sweaty forehead and frizzy-looking bleached hair, possible patchy, so that you aren't sure which blurs are forehead, and which are hair. But it's all bad. If I had let my hair fall even partly across my forehead, it would have been less harsh. But I am ever vigilant in making sure all photos of me are gross.

     Let's move on to what should be the jaw & neck area. As you study the image below, can you say for sure where torso blob meets head blob? Can you locate a jawline?

     On America's Next Top Model, Tyra always admonishes the models to "find the light." By using the opposite tactic here, I have managed to obscure any hint of definition. Keep your head at a soft weird angle with your neck and torso, and make sure no light finds any planes you might have on your face. This will create a grey wash of shadow, like a London pea soup fog to render all trace of jaw and neckline invisible.

     BONUS TIP: Notice the extra-wide neck of the oversize T-Shirt I'm wearing. Combined with the wash of shadow, this adds to the illusion (or harsh truth?) of "snowman physique."

(Snowman Physique: head like a ball plopped on top of other bigger ball. Not relegated to winter.)

     Now for the cheeks:

     Am I a chipmunk? Have I stuffed my cheeks with food? It certainly looks that way! But in reality it's only a squinty-eyed puff-cheeked smile that turns my head into a pear. A very large, very ripe pear.

     As an exercise, try watching yourself smile in a mirror. Smile as big as you can, to create as much distortion as possible. Make sure it's asymmetrical, and hard to tell if your eyes are open or not. Got it? THAT'S your photo smile! ;)

     Finally- the stomach! Where does it end, right?! I mean, look at that:

     There are several factors in play here. 

     One is the slight angle of my stance.

     Another is the fact that I'm standing just behind two people, making sure that neither the left side nor the right side of my form are visible.

     And notice you can't see either of my arms. I could have at least held my right arm down at my side, to create a boundary to my girth. But with both arms seemingly missing, it's just all stomach/waist/torso/mystery.

     Well, that's enough for now. I hope you were taking notes. If you are diligent and practice these tips, you too can turn every photograph into a major disappointment for all involved!

Summer Vacation Art

     So I just thought I'd share some of the art pieces I've done since I've been on vacation this summer. I go back to work on July 18th. But I'm trying not to think too much about that. I love my job in the high school library, but there will be some hefty challenges as soon as we all get back. New library management software system (Atriuum), new textbooks to process, Registration to prepare for, etc. So for now, ART!

     We've also been doing stuff like having hardwood veneer flooring installed in our living room and hallway, and two new ceiling fans, and planting new stuff in the back yard. And on the 4th of July we set off a shit-load of legal fireworks in front of our driveway, alongside our cul-de-sac neighbors who were setting off clearly ILLEGAL giant scary fireworks. It was thrilling!