Archive for May, 2011

A bunch of stuff.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

1. I’ve seen some neat things in my travels around the city recently. Bryant Park is getting its annual overhaul (plants go here, skate rink goes into storage, lawn gets rolled out, etc.) In the area where they keep the lawn mowers and rakes, I noticed that it is guarded by a similiar owl to the one that hangs out at the Herald Square park near my job. Here’s the owl guarding my park at work:

And here’s the owl guarding the fertilizer and lawn chairs.

He’s right at eye level. I have ignored the bible’s teachings and thought about stealing this guy many a time. However, I suspect that he is bronze and therefore very heavy, and also getting arrested and going to Riker’s Island for attempted owl theft, then getting shoved in a cell with someone who has a stellar collection of human heads in their fridge, that does not appeal to me. So Mr. Owl gets to stay there…for now.

2. There’s a store on my route to work called Zara and they have these rad chrome ants in their window display. They’re big and they’re shiny and they’re awesome.

3. There’s this ad on the Metro-North for The Weather Channel that is just awful. First of all, the wording is ridiculous.

Here are the words on the ad:

At the Weather Channel,
we’re delivering more than just the weather.
We’re connecting people with their passions.
The ultimate-lifestyle-media brand,
on tv, online and on mobile…
connect here.

Okay, first of all, no. You can try to get all deep and whatnot, but you’re just there to tell me if it rains. That’s it. Sometimes the people in advertising take themselves waaaaaay to seriously. Yes rain? No rain? That’s is all there is. Stop it.

Second, that lady’s face is TERRIFYING. If you look long enough, it looks like she has a deformed mouth with two rows of teeth, like a freakin’ shark. Also, could she open her mouth a little wider? What is she doing, trying out for The Mummy movie? Here, look for yourself:

Would you like some charts? I bet you would.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

And here they are, for your chart-reading enjoyment.

Chris Hardwick.

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I am a big fan of a standup comedian named Chris Hardwick. Chris, in addition to being a delightful standup arteeste, hosts a variety of shows on G4 and has a website ( and has a podcast that I listen to and apparently has written a book and talks at comic-cons, etc. I found out that he was performing on Friday (yay!) in Brooklyn (boo!), so I bought tickets for Cricket and m’self and we trundled off to deep dark Hipsterville to enjoy comedy. I wanted a good seat, so I got there at 5:39 p.m. (doors opened at 6:30). Aaaaaand I was the only person there. Like, the only person on the whole block. In fact, since this was in the heart of Hipsterville (everyone, and I mean EVERYONE I passed had one or some of these: a fedora; a beard; tight pants that ended way too high on the leg; a bicycle; argyle; dorky glasses; a guitar; stupid hair; a sullen expression) I could not find the theater because there was no sign or indication of its location. When I eventually found the damn place, I parked myself outside and immediately regretted getting there so early since the building next door was a seafood supply warehouse and, every time the wind shifted, an odor of “rotting clams in the sun” wafted past me. Eventually other Hardwick fans showed up and I was pleased that they were total stereotypes of the gamer/computer nerds: pudgy, dorky people who were somewhat uncomfortable in their skin and therefore stood around poking their fingers at their iPhones/Droids. Even though I would classify myself as an art/animal nerd, I felt like these were “my people”.

I don’t know if everybody does this, but if I like a product that someone is making that they spend their own money on and give away for free (like podcasts) I often send them something. You know, a “thanks for making this, please continue to do so” kind of thing. So I brought a card with some money in it and a print of my pirate tugboat drawing. The show was terrific, and except for the girl sitting next to me who smelled like she had rolled around in dry cat food, it was a great experience. Afterwards, you could go and meet Chris, so a big ole line formed and I waited my turn to say hello and give him my baggie with the stuff in it. Now, I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I hate being in this situation. I call it the 100% situation. The person you want to meet, the person you admire, he or she has 100% control of the situation. You already know how cool or interesting they are. They need to prove nothing. YOU, on the other hand, have exactly two seconds to not appear boring or crazy or weird. You have zero percent control. And no matter what I do in this moment, I give the impression of being “off”. Always. ALWAYS.* When I got to the front of the line, I just tried to be gracious. I think I gave the impression of being soft in the head, which is better than being a stalker or whatever (“I need a snippet of your hair to finish my doll!!!”). Chris gave me a hug and thanked me for being there, he could not have been sweeter. I actually felt a little odd hugging him because…you know when you watch men on TV, you assume they’re about six feet tall. And then you see them in person and you’re like, whoa, not what I expected. Chris is about 5′ 7″, but he has the proportions of a much taller man, which means he has a small head and a thin frame and itty-bitty hands. He is what my mother would call “fine-boned”. When I hugged him, I was scared I would crush him like a wee robin in my hand. But no one was smothered, he got my package, all was well. Here’s a picture of him all normal-like:

And here’s a picture of him dressed as Princess Leia.

*An example of me meeting important people and failing: At my old company, there were two elevator bays – one that went to all the floors, and one for the executives to go straight to their floor. I, being a peasant, rode on the all-floors elevator. One day, the CEO of all of North America gets on with me. Just him and me, all alone in that tiny enclosed space. I was so nervous I would say something stupid to him (“Ha ha! Your skin has some damage, I see. Is that from teenage acne, or smallpox, perhaps?”) that I turned around and shoved my face into the corner, Blair Witch-style. No joke. I have no idea what he thought I was doing. I must have looked insane. Not good with the first impressions, I am.

I don’t know what you’re doing right now…

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

…but you need to be reading this website.

I love this man. He’s a designer with some serious snarky snark. I only wish I had the steel gonads to write the responses he does. Here are my favorites:



Artists who I think are outstanding.

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I’m constantly on the prowl for new and exciting illustrators and artists, mainly because I feel like I am perpetually inundated with crappy stuff, so when I see something that stands out from the crowd of mundacity, I get excited and I feel the need to share it with others. Here are two of them.

El Mac is a street artist, predominantly focused on portraits, who does the most amazing work with spray paint. We are all familiar with the typical ways spray paint is used and we’ve all seen some stellar graffiti work. What makes El Mac different is the way he handles gradations by layering the spray over and over in arcs until it reaches the tone he’s trying to achieve. I’ve never seen anything like it. Also, he often works in conjunction with another artist, I don’t know his name, who does these calligraphic elements all around the El Mac faces. It’s a terrific collaboration.

And his phenomenal tonal work is equally impressive in his fine art. He does these painted portraits with a brush and a limited palette of colors. El Mac makes these lines and swirls and by using different thickness of brush stroke he carves light and dark out of the surface. It reminds me of those sand paintings by Tibetan monks – the patience and the precision. And it looks like he freehands quite a bit, which blows my mind.

And the other artist is Audrey Kawasaki. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about her before. I am a huge fan. HUGE. I love her work. She does paintings on wood, using both a glazing of oil paints and occasionally colored pencils, often allowing the grain of the wood to show through. Most of her images include a sleepy-looking nymphet with natural elements around her in some way. There’s a great deal of art nouveau influence and traditional Japanese art in there, but it’s a style all her own.

I will never ever ever own any of her work for two reasons: one, every time she has a exhibition, her work is snapped up long before it opens, and two, since it is so popular, it goes for insanely high prices. So I must enjoy Audrey’s work from a distance. Sigh.

Jessica and the not-particularly-great 24 hours.

Friday, May 13th, 2011

I’m not having a stellar time over here in Jessicaville. One of the things that have gone wrong in the last 24 hours: My entrails and I are having differences of opinions. I would like them to work, they would like to take a hiatus from their appointed tasks and re-watch all of seasons of The West Wing. Hopefully we can come to a reconciliation at some point. Until then it means I have to eat things like gruel and porridge, basically things that look like clinical depression in a bowl. I grow weary of weak tea.

I had a very pleasant yesterday, when I gave my very first lecture to a group of librarians on simple design techniques. They were not mean to me and had good questions, it was all lovely. I got home where my computer was in sleep mode. I wiggled the mouse and tapped the spacebar and wiggled the mouse and tapped the spacebar and…nothing. So I shut it down, gave it ten seconds and turned it back on again, where it promptly went into sleep mode and could not be roused. I then looked around for seven dwarves because clearly I’m sharing my home with Sleeping Beauty (B’doom CHING! I’m funny!). I called Cricket and informed him of my woes, so after work he came over and took the side off my Tower of Power, tinkered around in there, and sadly informed my that my hard drive has Teh Computer Deaths. So until my new hard drive arrives in a week, I have a sculptural element in the corner of my bedroom. The screen, it taunts me with its blackness. “I could play music or surf the web, buuuuuuuuut I don’t think I will. Neener neener.”

Finally, I came back to work today to hear a tale that chills me to the very core. Here is the story as told to me. Upstairs, an employee came into their office to find a poopy smell and two hefty piles of crap on the floor. I was like, WTF?!?? I mean, I’ve seen the rats outside the building and they are big, but really? When the employee called office services, they found out that we have bedbug-sniffing dogs that come through here, and one of them must have just let it all out in the office. All my co-workers were like, Oh isn’t that just a hoot? NO. IT IS NOT A HOOT. I don’t want to have to deal with that kind of thing, EVER. If I wanted a job where large animals took dumps in my workplace, I would have become a park ranger. I am not a park ranger. I am a graphic designer. NO LARGE DOGS CRAPPING IN MY OFFICE.

Also, allergies.

The pirate tugboat in all its glory.

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Check it out, peoples! I scanned the pirate tugboat in and here ya go. Finished. Hooray and yay.


Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I saw the Ghostbusters movie for the first time last night. Sadly, it was terrible. Like, really, really awful. I think the problem was that I saw it when I was too old. If I had been thirteen or so I would have probably been okay with its many tragic flaws (which I will go into momentarily). This is the same problem I had with Star Wars. My first time seeing Star Wars was when it was in the theaters in 1997. I was 20 years old. I didn’t like the first one, I slept through most of the second one, and I didn’t bother to see the third. I won’t go into why I didn’t care for the Star Wars trilogy *cough* atrociousdialog *cough* but I think Ghostbusters is the same situation. Okay, my thoughts on Ghostbusters, both positive and negative thoughts.

1. THE MOST WOODEN DELIVERY OF LINES EVER DELIVERED, EVER. I know Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd can act, I’ve seen them do it. Not in this film, though. I’ve seen pornos with better acting than this.

2. So. Much. Smoking. I won’t lie, I loved it. I had a big ole nostalgic moment to films where you could smoke and drink and not worry about, “The children, oh God, who will think of the children!!!!” I don’t smoke, but if your characters are down-and-out social outcasts, bring on the ciggies.

3. I want the Ghostbusters car/ambulance/hearse/whatever. Also, I want to live in an abandoned fire station in New York. Someone needs to get on that.

4. What the hell is with the dogs and the gatekeeper and the keymaster and that stupid David Bowie deity? It’s confusing and dumb and no ancient religion would be so sloppy.

5. The apocalypse being brought about by Mr. Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is kinda rad.

6. Exactly what was the point of the fourth man coming in in the middle of the movie and joining the band? He doesn’t add anything. He doesn’t bring anything that hasn’t already been broughtened. Was it to appeal to a broader audience? I don’t understand the point of his character. If anyone can help me with this, I’d appreciate it.

6. Oh. stop-motion animation, how I both love and hate you. Sigh. Could you not have gotten Jim Henson to make you some terrifying puppets instead of those choppy-movement puppets a la Clash of the Titans? I bet if you’d given him a ring he would’ve helped you out.

I’ve been told repeatedly that I have to see the Indiana Jones trilogy, and I don’t think I ever will. Every time I see a recent classic I’m disappointed. I’ve seen the scene with the golden idol and the bag of sand, I’ve seen the sword vs. gun scene, I’ve seen the rolling rock-ball scene, and I’ve seen the Nazis going from solids to liquids. I think I’m good.