Thursday, July 30, 2009

Done with summer school and sick as a...kitty?

I hab a rudny node. And me heed is swoled up with mucous. But you don't want to hear about all that. I used up all my sick leave a couple of weeks ago, so I'm forced to be sick at work, which is always weird. Cold meds will make you feel like you're on another planet. Somebody asked me where the photocopier was and I said "Okay." It's the kind of illness that isn't debilitating; just makes you tired and want to take a nippy nap. Especially when I know that my cat is at home laying in bed with his little fuzzy belly up and his paws making biscuits in his sleep while he emits loud rumbly purrs of comfort coupled with little trills of true bliss at being a cat taking a nap. Bastard. But, I did attend my last class of summer school this morning. Actually, it was just a meeting with my professor, so he could look over the body of my work from the course and tell me what he thought of my progress and what grade he thought I deserved. It was a good meeting and he seemed to think I did well for a beginner at screenprinting, but he had the obligatory art professor conversation with me that I've come to dread. Here it is: "You've obviously got skill, and the ability to execute the assignments. Now what you need to think about is what is in your deepest soul that you want to bring forth and express through your work." OMG BARF. That crap kills me. Forgive me if I sound like I can't take instruction, because I can, and my prof even said he liked that he didn't have to push me to do things and take chances. The thing is, I have lived 33 years on this planet, and been all around this world, and I have literally worked hard to turn into a person that could be proud of theirself, and I resent it when someone suggests that I am not imbuing everything I do in LIFE with myself. My deepest self. It's like they want you to freak out and say that you were abused and start drawing crazy biz or espouse a weird ideology and channel ancient cultures or some off-the-wall crap and I am just being ME and I don't feel like I need to force some shit that is coming from my fabulously talented fingers naturally. So that's the rub of art school. Someone always has an opinion, and that's fine. But one must keep in mind that art is the most subjective of concepts and no one can know what you're thinking. It's like when someone writes a bio on a "real" artist, one that's dead, and tells you that they just know that that fish head is a metaphor for the economy, and probably the color used in the sky represents the loss of innocence. Dude, case in point; Magritte was just trying to freak you out. If I had said to my professor this morning "I was just trying to freak you out" he would have scoffed and asked me what I was really feeling in my deepest soul. Poo, I say. I will do whatever shallow crap I want and it will be beautiful. And, maybe, it won't be shallow. And maybe, after I'm dead, some little girl will go to the National Gallery and look hard at my work and think "I will do that someday!", like I did, and she won't be trying to decide if the dog is supposed to mean my teacher used to hit me with a ruler.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I think you should know...

Look. I know this blog is mostly about movies I like, tigers, cats, and names thereof, and nominally my personal life. There has also been a wee hedgehog. But I was just looking at AnimalTracks on MSN (good animewel pics if you like that kind of thing) and I saw this little bugger. His mom was killed in Mexico, and he and his three little brothers were brought to a Nature Guy to be bottle fed until they can go out and do Dillo-ey stuff in the wild. He wants you to know about him. And I happen to be privy to a little info concerning his more interesting factoids, so I thought to share them with my reader(s). There is only one type of armadillo that lives in the Estados Unidos. He's a Nine Banded Armadillo, referring to the number of plates on his shell. He can roll up in a ball to protect himself, but more often, he will escape into a thorn patch, or burrow down into the soft sand. He is known to jump when startled, and can jump like 4 feet in the air, sometimes 6! No kidding. He jumps when he sees a car, which doesn't help, but rather increases impact. He also needs to swim sometimes, but since his armor would make him sink, he knows how to inflate his intestines with air. No fooling. He (or she, as the case may be) always gives birth to four genetically identical quadruplets with every pregnancy. Amazing, indeed. He also, unfortunately, is one of the only animals that scientists can use to study the disease leprosy, because he can catch it, more's the pity. He likes to dig, and eat invertebrates; like ants and grubs and whatnot. He was also found in larger sizes back in the day, when children used to use him for a beast of burden. For reals. Now go out and spread the word. An armadillo isn't just the subject of unseemly roadkill jokes, he's a fascinating creature. And proof that no matter how oogly an adult version looks, the baby one is almost always cute.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I know you missed me, and probably Ralph Macchio, too.

Well, where have I been? BUSY, that's what. I had visiting relatives, two trips to the beach, an afternoon of musical theater featuring German schoolchildren doing nasty things, fireworks, a little more family tragedy (no, I prefer not to comment), screenprinting despite a lack of skill, and a lot of math homework. And this weekend, I'm going on a much anticipated ACTUAL vacation to Ohio to see P-Funk, feat. George Clinton, one of the best acts in showbusiness. See, all the other stuff I've been up to has been squeezed out of weekends and holidays. This is a bona fide, see-you-next-Tuesday four day weekend with all kinds of debauchery in store. And I needs it, let me tell you. Times is hard, man. Times is hard. WHICH brings me to the subject, namely the fantastic cinematic jaunt known as Crossroads. NOT WITH BRITNEY. 'Nuf said. It features Eugene (Ralph), or "Lightning Boy" as he comes to be called, a classical guitar student at Julliard, who longs to be a bluesman, and Blind Dog Willie Brown, an old man in a rest home who Eugene figures can help him learn a lost song from back in the day. Willie (Joe Seneca) demands he be "sprung" from the old folks' joint, and Eugene complies. They hightail it to Mississippi, and Eugene thinks it's so he can learn the blues life, but what he doesn't know is that Willie made a deal with the devil at the crossroads way back when, and now he wants to break the contract. Yes, the devil. Or Legba. Or Ol' Scratch. On the way they pick up a saucy runaway played by Jamie Gertz, and tangle with all kinds of rough folk, until Eugene, or "Lightnin' Boy", is forced to participate in a guitar duel against the devil's proxy, (played by the virtuoso Steve Vai, of badass eighties fame) in a fight for Willie's soul. This final scene has a chicken dancing lady, which I can't even describe properly. And there's a another scene before the end wherein Lightnin' and Willie are obliged to play in a juke joint for money. One of my favorite lines is in that scene; something to the effect of "That's Willie Brown! I used to watch him when I was tiny!" and there's quite a bit of fabulous repartee between young and old in the film. I read somewhere on the net that some fool thought the movie pretty much crap until the duel at the end. To him or her, I'd like to quote Scratch's assistant in the movie, as said to Willie Brown: Ain't got no chance Blind Dog. You SOLD your soul. You goin' down, all the way down. Hell hounds on your trail boy, hell hounds on your trail.
Oh my goodness, it doesn't get much better than a line like that. Once again, 'nuf said.