A Certain Lack of Focus

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Phone Pic 01-31-08

I stacked a bunch of game piece trains and thought it was worthy of a picture for some reason.trainsI enjoy balancing things on top of each other. These were more difficult than they look because the tops are rounded. I do like the bright colors and how orange the table surface looks in the background, but other than that I can't really defend the artistic merits of the photo.

I'm starting to feel more rested and somewhat healthy. I'll try to get back into posting daily drawings tomorrow.

Picturing Matt

alienSome of you may have noticed that pictures I post on this site with Matt in them do not actually show his face. That's at his request, because Matt would prefer that his photograph not appear on the web. I can understand this. Obviously I have my own photo on the web, have made a conscious decision to do so. As an aspiring artist and writer I need to market myself, and I believe part of that is having my image available.

For reasons of his own, Matt doesn't want his photo online but as he does intend to publish, and in some ways, also needs to market himself, he would like to have some kind of image associated with himself. mackmattHe came up with a rather clever compromise I think, by asking David Mack to draw a picture of him. David Mack is best known as the writer and illustrator of the popular Kabuki series of graphic novels which are some of the most beautiful comics I've ever seen. I mean, ever. Mack did a quick $20 sketch and agreed to let Matt use it as the image for his websites. Matt is currently using it as his blog "photo." I suppose this might get more complicated later on when Matt does start publishing, but then again, maybe not. David Mack seems pretty laid back and is also one of the nicest artists I've met at a Comic Book convention.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guest Phone Pic 01-30-08

This picture was taken by Kim of A Study in Contrasts.
treesShe says, "I took it while on a walk this fall... I thought it was interesting to see which parts of the tree trunks dried first, and which remained wet, after the rain."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Lots sick, no blog today. Come back tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Holy Politics Batman!

WOW! Did anyone else hear the endorsement in tonight's Democratic response to the State of the Union??? Towards the end of her speech, Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of the State of Kansas, said: "We are tired of leaders who rather than asking what we can do for our country, ask nothing of us at all."

wowNow this isn't particularly shocking rhetoric, after all Kennedy is still one of the most loved presidents of all time (yes I know some people hate him), and those are referencing some of his most famous words. If it weren't for the timing I'd say it was a pretty typical comment.

But in politics EVERYTHING is intentional and because of today's endorsement from Ted Kennedy and, even more key, yesterday's Op-Ed by Caroline Kennedy entitled, you ready for this? A President Like My Father (!!!), Barack Obama is at this moment, more than any other, connected to J.F.K. in the minds of Americans.

I'm a little floored by this. Does anyone else think this is huge, or am I reading too much into this?

*Photo and transcript from CBS but NPR is still my favorite.

UPDATE: HA! NPR says the same thing. Look slightly past halfway down. I rock.

Beneath the Sink

Yesterday Peter of the Kultrasten Gallery commented that he couldn't see the "face" in my drain photo so I promised to illustrate it for him:drainface

The face I saw was a partial silhouette of a boy. Peter saw something else and was inspired to illustrate what lives beneath my sink (or all sinks). machineGo check it out on his blog, it's in Swedish (I think) so I have no idea what any of the commentary says, but he's got some wonderful drawings and Peter speaks English as well (as you've seen in comments) so I'm sure he'd love for you to drop him a line (all bloggers love comments!).

After seeing Peter's illustrations I was inspired myself to wonder what might live beneath my sink. My first rough sketch turned into more of a mechanical musing, which unfortunately is not my strong point (need more practice). It might be fun in the future to expand a theoretical hydraulic system for raising and lowering the plug. I really do love mechanical/industrial heavy drawings, particularly when they're mixed with organic elements and characters (think H R Giger or some of the art of the Matrix) so it's really a shame that I don't do more of it.

Anyway, once I abandoned that, I decided to just go for what kind of critter might live there and came up with a mixture of an octopus, a worm and a centipede:critter

Stalking the Election

obamaFor the last few years I've been a bit obsessive about elections. Ok, specifically, since 2004. In 2006, I was so excited about the prospect of Republicans getting the boot that as the evening results came in I sat by my computer on an election website, hitting refresh every ten seconds, and listening to the radio for any new results (no TV). When Ohio voted in a Democratic senator, I ran into the other room where Matt was on a conference call and waved around a piece of paper where I'd written in sharpie: "Ohio is a BLUE state!"

I'm a visual person (duh) so I find it easier to process election results with charts and maps, and side by side comparisons. Yesterday, after finding out that Obama beat Hillary in South Carolina (boy did he ever!) I was looking around for some visual explanation of what exactly it meant, and preferably, for a reminder of the past few primaries and which of them actually mattered (anyone else finding this year's election more than usually confusing with all these primaries that don't count because they're too early etc?). I looked on MSN, where I spend more time than I'd like to admit, and CNN and couldn't find much, I mean, I know it must be there SOMEWHERE but I couldn't seem to run across that.

Haven't any of these news sites heard of ease of usability? People do want election specific results (I can't be the only one) and a page dedicated to that is expected. Maybe they even have one and I just couldn't find it. But seriously? I could have designed a much better path to election results.

nprmapSo finally it occurred to me to check NPR's website, the site I'd haunted in 2006 and the station I'd been listening to. They had *gasp* a page dedicated to the election and, wait for it, graphs, maps and yes, side by side comparisons. I gotta say I'm a little disappointed in CNN. I'd always considered them the basic, unbiased source for finding out what's going on, but lately they've been getting more rating hungry, using fearmongering that would make Bush jealous, and apparently, giving a lower quality of information. I've trusted NPR since I started listening to it, but I always think of NPR as focusing on more human interest, unusual, slightly off the beaten path stories, with news news taking only about half the attention. You know, stories on cow farmer struggles in Wyoming and the high level theoretical discoveries by some Canadian physicist VS. weather, war and ELECTIONS. A bit more widely spread is what I'm saying. So that NPR's site is that much more effective and easy to use is, while commendable for NPR, kinda pathetic of CNN. Anyway.

What I'm really getting at is the long awaited announcement that npr.org/ is now the OFFICIAL ELECTION WEBSITE of Meagan B. Call and Hades Arrow Incorporated (there's not really any incorporated, it's just me). I Meagan Call do endorse NPR. I know the suspense has been killing you.

*Images from NPR... possibly illegal but I'm ENDORSING them, to all five of my readers, hello! Right, anyway I'll take them down if someone (someone from NPR that is) asks me.

Phone Pic 01-28-08

This picture was taken shortly before my car was towed away.
car-cicleOk, I realize this is probably not exciting to anyone native to the Midwest (or other cold parts for that matter) but I've never seen an icicle fused to both an overhanging (car, house or whatever) and the ground. I'm easily amused.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pop culture multiplied

harrypotterI just read an interesting article over at MSN (originally published in Esquire) by Chuck Klosterman about the future effects of pop culture, specifically the future effects of Harry Potter. The article is called "Death By Harry Potter."

It was a good quick read, basically speculating on how his life could potentially be lessened by the fact that he has no interest in Harry Potter. He sites examples of people today who completely miss jokes about Star Wars or the Beatles. There is a difference, he says, in knowing what something is about but not caring, and in entirely missing what's going on. Klosterman's point revolves around the idea that eventually the world will be run by Harry Potter fans, and that by not being one of them he won't understand the world they've structured. My favorite quote from the article: "It is probably to my long-term financial benefit to read Harry Potter books; ignoring them is like not investing in my 401(k)." (Klosterman is paid by Esquire to study trends such as Harry Potter.)

starwarsThe article is funny, and is probably true to an extent. The weakness in his argument, I think, is that similar trends come about every generation, and Klosterman will not be any more out of touch than aging adults who ignore such trends every time. Star Wars is a good example, as is Lord of the Rings, because both are experiences which swept up both children and adults, as with Harry Potter. But not everyone was swept up, and I don't think they were necessarily harmed by it.

Then again, for the people who missed the boat on Star Wars and LotR, paying attention probably wasn't part of their career. Maybe it's not as much of a global issue as Klosterman would like us to believe, but it's probably a legitimate problem for him!

*Images link to wherever I got them from

Quick Robot

Quick as in the amount of time I spent on the sketch, not the actual speed of the robot. I don't think this robot would move very fast.robot1I did this with a 6h pencil because that's all I had in my pencil case at the time. I tried to put a bit more pressure on the more confident lines, but unfortunately the scanner didn't pick up some of the lighter parts. It doesn't make too much of a difference, mostly it's just annoying.

Phone pic 01-26-08

I knew the moon had a face, but I didn't realize my drain did.sinkfaceBy the way... the sink is not super grimy, it's just a stone basin.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rigging It

I realize this has nothing to do with design, or art, or writing, or, directly, my life, but I've been musing about the Kenyon elections a bit lately. When I first heard about the riots, the deaths, I was mostly just sad because Kenya is one of the only countries in Africa that's generally safe and stable. Shame. The more I heard about it the more I was dismayed, thinking why do they have to turn to violence, is this really something worth dying for?

goreThen I checked myself and wondered why I was so skeptical. What does it say about me, that I think they're overreacting? This is America, right? We're supposed to stand for justice and democracy and everyone's vote counting, but in 2000, when Gore won the popular vote, we all (and by all I mean people who weren't all into Bush obviously) bitched a bunch and got on with our lives. That alone isn't even that bad, really. The electoral college decided it was for the best to go with Bush, and Gore decided not to fight the decision. It was a little shady, but all more or less legal. What IS bad though, is that there were many many allegations of rigged elections. Rigged voting machines, corrupt voting officials, and again, we bitched about it and then forgot it. Why not? We were comfortable.

So in 2004 when the same thing happened again, only worse, what did we do? The same thing obviously. Kerry didn't even come as close as Gore, but there were definitely some illegal things going on. Not even left wing conspiracy theory illegal things, but obviously illegal. Here in Ohio we saw some of the worst examples. In the greyer areas were voters being discouraged from voting, being turned away or intentionally misdirected. voteThen in the "obviously shite" category were things like the CEO of Diebold promising to deliver Ohio to Bush, and Blackwell bragging about doing the same thing. WTF? And we did NOTHING, nothing but bitch and moan and threaten to move to Canada.

It's starting to piss me off that the media is condemning Raila Odinga for NOT requesting that his followers turn away from violence. He said in an interview, "there is no peace without justice," it's a commonly said phrase and it's TRUE. I realize in Kenya there's more to the story. Allegations of genocide and tribal feuding complicate the story and make it all the more tragic. If the allegations are true they clearly need to be addressed. And honestly, I don't even pretend to understand exactly what's going on over there. But if there's one thing we shouldn't be condemning, it's rioting over rigged elections. Maybe we should be condemning ourselves for not rioting.

flagThere is a (possibly) Ben Franklin quote that's been thrown around a lot lately: "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." Whether Franklin said it or not, it's a great quote. In this case, I think we can substitute Liberty with Rights, and Security with comfort, and we've got the basic state of most Americans. We won't fight for our rights, for our VOTE because it doesn't threaten our comfort.

We're too damn comfortable. Maybe if we were a little closer to death and instability on any given day we'd have a better understanding of their relative value. What's happening in Kenya could never happen in the US, but it's not because our government is too well protected with checks and balances, it's not because we're free enough from corruption, it's because we're too lazy to do anything more than complain.

I ask myself: Am I willing to risk my life because our elections were rigged? I know the answer. I'll watch someone take my ballot and spit on it and tear it into pieces, then I'll go home and tell my friends about it, and about how disgraceful it is. I've always considered myself someone who would stand up for what I believed in. But when I get right down to it, I missed the boat. The time to fight has already come, and the truth is I'm not willing to die for my rights. I don't deserve them. None of us do.

*Pics linked to sources

Tales and Legends: Thorns

I've posted this image before, not as a drawing of the day, but to illustrate a point.thornsBut even though you've maybe seen it before, I thought this drawing fit this week's Illustration Friday theme too well to pass up. The theme is "Tales and Legends" and since this drawing was inspired by Sleeping Beauty I thought I'd throw it in the mix. This time at least, it's a larger version, so I'm SORT of giving you something new. Tomorrow, I promise, something that's actually new.

*Click on the image for an even larger version.

Phone pic 01-25-08

I think this is a picture of my friend Kim (one of them... there are two Kims) dancing at an 80s bar.danceWhat I was doing at an 80s bar is another question entirely, but I DID get to ride a mechanical bull. I just like this photo because it looks like a painting.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Have you ever noticed that if you look at the word "newsprint" upside down it kinda looks like "New Sprint?" Coincidence, or phone company conspiracy? You decide.

Car Sadness

My car broke. It's been acting funny for a little while but it finally decided this afternoon that it had had enough. I can't really blame it considering it was something like 16 degrees. I wouldn't run in that either.

carLast night as I was driving home from North Olmsted the "check engine" light came on while I was on the highway. I've had a lot of electric troubles with the current car so mostly it just made me sigh, rather than freak out and panic like the first few times my "check engine" light has come on. The engine didn't seem to be doing anything weird, so I kept an eye on the light to make sure it didn't start flashing and continued home.

But my car's been making some really funky noises ever since the last snow storm. At first I thought it was just ice in the wheel-well since the noises seemed to come up mostly when I was turning. Then, as the snow thawed and the possibility of my having missed a chunk of ice somewhere melted, I remembered the last time I was having similar noises. This was again after a big snow storm, the rock shield below my car had been knocked partially loose (which may or may not have been because I parked at a 45 degree angle when the rest of the lot was full) and was grinding on something. I made a note to call Bill (my mechanic) to see if it could wait, but kept forgetting about it.

Only then the noises started occurring randomly, occasionally but not necessarily in connection with turning. Sometimes it started making weird whirring noises when I was accelerating. Sometimes when I was slowing down, and sometimes when I wasn't doing anything at all. Weirder still, my car started deciding to rev up the engine and knock around for no apparent reason when I first started the car and was idling while I put my seat belt.

keysSo all in all my car has been extremely unhappy lately, and definitely due for a doctor's visit. I've just been hoping it could hold out till the next oil change because, seriously, the mechanic is 40 minutes away and I JUST got it serviced. Annoying.

It couldn't. My car STARTED just fine when I went to go to Youngstown this afternoon, unfortunately it immediately turned itself right back off. Several times. And just to add insult to injury I was flustered enough that I then locked my keys in the car which is just brilliant. On the other hand, this is the first time I've locked my keys in my car, so at least it was a time when the car was not running, and furthermore, wasn't going anywhere anyway. So bright side to everything, right?

Book people

These are some stick people drawings I did for a book project as an undergrad.bookinsideWhile doing some cleaning I ran across this book, which I'd completely forgotten about. I took an "artist's book and papermaking" class, I think it was my junior year. We had to make a journal (actually we had to make several journals), this one just in paper. These are some of the stick figure people I've mentioned that I've been doing for ages and I thought you might want to see an older example. I like the one sitting by the star. Then I decided to stick another little stick guy on the inside, on the last page (not a real page, the page that's glued to the cover).

Phone pic 01-24-08

OK, I may have posted this picture somewhere before, but I think it's worth being posted twice.
rosegoblinThis is technically a vase I saw at a cheap Chinese restaurant (good though) in DC. Clearly though, when it's not serving its function as a vase, it's a goblin.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dreaming of fiction

neilNeil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers. I've read interviews with him and one of the things I find interesting is how much his writing philosophy differs from mine. Specifically how he looks at inspiration.

Someone asked him if he got inspiration from his dreams, and I was surprised that he said never. He claims that dreams are too fragmented, too anti-story to make a story out of.

I get what he's saying. I'll wake up from a dream and think: this would make the best story ever, and sometimes I'll write it down. Then I'll look at it later and think, huh? But even though it doesn't come in pre-packaged story format, dreams have provided me some of my best story ideas. And when I've already got a story going, I'll wake up in the middle of a particularly screwed up dream and suddenly have the missing element. What I wonder is if Gaiman is just reluctant to talk about dreams because inspiration is such a tricky subject.

Authors are always asked where they get their ideas. It's one of the most common questions because people think, if I could just get ideas like that, I could be there. But inspiration is hard for writers to talk about because I think mostly we don't KNOW where we get our ideas. They're just there and then we're turning them into stories. So authors make up bullshit answers or sidestep the question. I think I know the answer though, and it's that ideas come from freaking everywhere. The reason it's so hard to define the where is because there's no particular where, ideas are as common as air. The only difficult part of getting an idea is holding on to it. I think most people don't recognize good ideas. Or bad ideas for that matter. Any time you think "what if this..." that's an idea, but most people let the thought go before it can develop. I think that's where ideas come from. It's not the ideas that's difficult, it's the execution.

*Image linked to IMDB.

Fire (again)

Continued from yesterday.
fireI actually do like the color version better. I think I like the colors better than the drawing. Oh well.

Phone pic 01-23-08

Yes, I still play with my food (and silverware).faceThis picture is from Matt and my favorite Indian Restaurant (or one of them) called India Garden in Lakewood. Try the Aloo Saag... it's wonderful. Actually everything's wonderful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The topic of the week on Sugar Frosted Goodness is "fire." I drew this, thinking about the birth of the star...
fireI'll put some color in tomorrow depending on how I'm feeling. It looks more like DNA than fire, plus the face makes me think of a comic I've seen somewhere else rather than my own style. I dunno, we'll see. I like it just enough that if I ever get around to submitting stuff to White Wolf I'll probably include it just because it fits one of their formats. I'll claim it's Changling or something, I think that fits. Click on the image for a larger version.

The power of words

I ran across an article on MSN the other day that I found interesting. It talked about how using different words in real estate ads effected the time it took for a house to sell and the final sale amount.houseI don't find it surprising that words can have an effect on these things, what I do find surprising is how much of an effect they can have. Just including the word "landscaping" for example, makes a house sell (statistically) 20% faster than other properties, and sell for 6% more. That's a pretty impressive difference. yardOf course, as the article points out, just adding in the word landscaping won't help at all if there's not actually any landscaping, but it's interesting that mentioning it can have such an impact.

Other words and phrases had negative effects or mixed effects. It shouldn't be too surprising that describing yourself as a "motivated" buyer is likely to drop the selling price by an average of 8%, but I was surprised to learn that it slowed the house sale by 30%. Defining a house as a good rental property, an income line, was even worse, slowing the sale by a whooping 60% and docking the price by 9%. Some terms, such as "handyman special" lowered the price but also sped the sale.

adWhen I look at real estate ads, I assume the description is bullshit. Subjective terms such as "beautiful" can't be called false advertising, so the only price in tacking it onto the ad is the paper's word count. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that positive words help a place sell (for more) while negative ideas (even dressed up in positive sounding jargon) hamper a sale. I'm just surprised that many people are buying it (the description, not the house). So what I've really learned in reading this article is that I've got a few years to figure out how to get my apartment style condo some "beautiful landscaping."

*picture's from flickr, linked.

Phone Pic 01-22-08

This photo is from my trip to DC last fall.writingThe light was coming from inside a building, with the letters cut out to shine through onto the sidewalk. It looked REALLY cool.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coffee Sketching

Here's a quick sketch from Saturday after my Vindicator meeting.
coffeeBack to normal blogging tomorrow (Matt and I have been taking full advantage of the holiday weekend).

Phone pic 01-21-08

I don't remember taking this picture but I still find it a bit intimidating. There's something about being stuck behind a huge piece of construction equipment that's a little scary.truckIs anyone else ever afraid that the cement truck is going to dump cement all over you?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Phone pic 01-20-08

I was trying to get a picture of this guy's license plate because "Ascii" is a computer term and I thought Matt might get a kick out of it (I did obviously).
asciiWhile I did managed to get the plate, I was more interested in the effect of the lights in the final image. Looks kinda sci-fi or something. Cool note: Every light in this picture is red because I got it in just that second before ours turned green.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Phone pic 01-19-08

Here's a couple pictures of a rather cool carved pumpkin from the Lucky Noodle in Eugene.pumpkinpumpkinI'll be out all day so I probably won't have a chance to post again today. Have a great Saturday.


Went to see Juno tonight. I'll probably do a review later, for now I'll just say that I enjoyed it. I spent most of the day hunting down shelves so I can finally finish putting my studio space in order (I HOPE). They are built and sitting in the middle of the kitchen. Technically it's tomorrow so I'm gunna give up on actually having a blog post today.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Phone pic 01-18-08

You can find some of the weirdest looking stuff in the produce section of your local grocery store.food

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Does anyone know what happened to my background image? WTF blogger? I know it's not a problem with the image, because it's an image in my flickr account and I just checked it. And it's loading other images from my flickr account just fine, so it doesn't seem to be a problem with flickr. That leaves something changed in the code, which I'm too lazy to check just now. Why would my code change? Hmm? Anyone? Blogger? Bueller?


This week's Illustration Friday word was: Stitch.
stitchI'm sure a whole bunch of people did something along these lines, I've even seen a few similar already, but this is what I had in my mind from the start and I couldn't seem to think of anything better. Unoriginal or not, I'm relatively happy with the result.

Stuff It

knickersLast night after fencing I was talking to my brother and he pointed out something about fencing bags. They're STUPID.

The typical fencing bag contains 3-5 weapons (in our case epees) a mask, several body cords, shoes and glove. Most fencers also shove in their uniform, knickers (you may giggle here) and jacket, underarm protector (which is hardly ever used but required for competition) and if you're female, a chest protector on top of everything else. A smart fencer (which I am not in this respect) will also have a fencing tool kit, extra parts (tip screws, tips, springs etc) a granola bar (or five), and Gatorade or a water bottle. I like to throw in a bar of ivory soap because I pretend that it keeps it from smelling to bad (eventually the stench will always win).

bagsYou can get a cheap fencing bag for about $20. These are small with a single main compartment and not really intended to carry anything but weapons, although I've seen people manage to shove in other things. Sometimes they have a side compartment for body cords. Like most bags which are designed specifically for fencing, these bags are cloth or vinyl. The cheap bags have no hard parts, so without weapons inside they can be crumpled up into a ball. They are kind of wedge shaped, and carried over the shoulder so the heavy thicker part, which contains the grip and bell-guard part of the weapon, hangs towards the bottom. Since these can't hold much, they don't put much strain on the back, but that's not much of a consolation since you've got to get another bag to carry the rest of your crap. An alternate cheap design is symmetrical, either tubular or "lumpy." These hold a bit more since you can alternate the direction of the weapons and shove a mask or so in the edges, but they can get heavy and often don't hold up all that well (though I'm here to tell you, my soft lumpy ND bag still doesn't have so much as a hole after eight years).

bagNicer bags have a hard bottom and have wheels on one side. The bag itself is still cloth or vinyl. These start at around a hundred but can get into the three hundreds (or more). Top of the line bags have two long main compartments, three smaller side pockets, and often come with a smaller long bag that straps on top (which is in my humble opinion totally useless) that is intended to be used to carry just a couple weapons around at a time. I got a $150-200 bag in high school. I got it at the end of the season (so I got a good bag for the price) and it was a name brand, so theoretically decent quality, but after only a year it had some decent tears in it. In all fairness, this probably wasn't the maker's fault; when you travel a few times a year with a soft bag that has hard metal objects in it, being handled by well... I don't think it's necessary to go off on bag handlers (that's an entirely different post), it's not that surprising how quickly a bag's gunna show wear and tear. In fact I think the wheeled bags are more likely to show the wear, because they have cloth attached to wood, which is easily strained, as opposed to all cloth, which just moves with the bumps (then the stuff inside gets to show the wear instead). Nonetheless, $200 is a lot to pay for something that's going to have holes in it after a year. The cheaper bags will go even faster. They're also bulkier than the soft ones which gets to be a pain in the ass when you can't use the wheels.

stuffThe biggest problem though is that, while the side pockets are good for all the little crap you carry, the inside compartments aren't really well designed for anything else. You have two compartments, but the only thing that really fits them properly is your weapons (and that's debatable due to the weird shape). The mask gets shoved in, usually with a bell guard or two in the back so it can fit, the shoes are shoved on top, and if the fencer forgets the consequences (rusty blades and rust stripes on the fabric) the uniform and glove are often tossed on top as well. If you remember, the 2nd compartment can be used for the uniform and other sweaty and wet stuff, but it all lumps up awkwardly because it's a long space for not long things. All in all it's an uncomfortable set up, not good for equipment, and frustrating to use.

Again it's not really the fault of the makers, the reason this is so awkward is because the equipment itself is oddly shaped and hard to combine. And unlike in more glamorous sports, we can't just pack it all separately and hire a caddy or bat boy to lug it around for us (nothing is not nearly enough pay to do things like that). Tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it) I'll post what I think the ideal fencing bag would be, along with creative solutions that fencers have come up with to make their bags more functional (or at least cheaper).

*The last image is mine. The others are from gofence.com and linked.

Phone pic 01-17-08

I realize this isn't all that inspiring, but...
snowThe snow falling kind of struck me when I went outside the other day and I had to take a picture. It's nowhere near as pretty as the real image was, but it's the best I can do with a camera phone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

University Design

This is a picture from of the University Center at Cleveland State. Though I'm generally not a fan of this type of blocky architecture, I actually really like this building because of all the space and light in the main area. ucThe Vindicator just recently moved from a basement office in this building which was horrid, when I used to do my office hours during the summer, I'd do as much as possible in the open area which is fully equipped with outlets and wireless (the building's wireless is typically spotty in the basement). It's also a nice place to study or read or just hang out and relax, though it gets a bit loud during the time between classes. You just feel so much more free in the space, and more willing to work on things. Ironically it's nicknamed "the cage" because of the resemblance to a bird cage, and also because there are always a number of actual birds that have managed to get themselves stuck inside. rainUnfortunately, this means most of the chairs and tables give testament to the avian residents. Still, I like the space, which almost feels outdoors (very nice on a rainy or snowy day) so I'm a bit sad that it's being torn down. I'm not sure when exactly they'll get around to doing it, but it makes sense: It must be a nightmare to heat in the winter, to cool in the summer, and it's falling apart. The basement office dripped, right into the lights and over the computers so real great. So I understand why they're doing it, but it doesn't mean I'm thrilled about it. Especially when I look around at all the ass-ugly buildings that AREN'T being torn down.

*I got home from fencing late and then it GOT late so this is the extent of my blogging today, which is why it's combined.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wedding STUFF

cakeSo Matt and I are getting married in about ten months. This is wonderful and exciting and slightly terrifying. Not, mind you, terrifying in the "oh gods am I doing the right thing" sense, but rather in the "HOLY SHIT WE HAVE SO MUCH TO DO" sense.

We were supposed to get Save The Dates out before the end of the year. Oops. By all polite wedding schedulers we're probably supposed to have actual invitations out soon. Oops, oops. Half of what we're supposed to do I probably can't even think of.

I was intending to do up a design for Save the Dates today for my drawing, but... I'm in an extremely lazy mood. I'm feeling very blah and apathetic today. It's the new start of a semester, and I'm suddenly (or not so suddenly) horribly sick of being a student. It's not the classes (although I'm thrilled to be on my last one) and it's not the novel, it's just being in school. I'm ready to be OUT. I guess it's about anticipation. Anticipation of actually finishing a novel (and proving to myself that I can), anticipation of not being in school anymore, anticipation of finally being married... added to the enormous amount of stuff I and we need to do between now and then. Has anyone else noticed that the more you have to do, the harder it is to get anything done at all?

*I'm lazy and a horrible person, so I usually don't bother to actually write down credits for photos... I just link them. Today however I'm so impressed with the cake that I want to encourage you to visit this lady's flickr site... she has tons more seriously cool nontraditional wedding cakes. Her user name is PinkCakeBox. I urge you to check it out purely for visual enjoyment.