Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Drawing

First off, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

As for the above drawing, well, I guess all I can say is that there isn't any blood! Yay!

Somehow, somewhere, through some literature I was reading, I came across a creature that I'd never heard of before: the pygmy hippopotamus! When I discovered that such an animal exists, I just knew I had to include it in a drawing. So, that hippo creature you see in the drawing, well, it's not a baby hippo, it's a pygmy hippo. You needed to know that.

And let me promise you one thing. I promise you, promise you from the depths of my soul, that one day I will have a pygmy hippo for a pet. The day I get this pygmy hippopotamus will be the greatest day of my life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Drawing. Music Stuff. Deadliest Catch.

Newer version of the drawing (I simplified things just a little bit)...

Older version...

This is another drawing based on one of my childhood memories. In the drawing, I'm the kid wearing the weird, bear-hoodie thingy (it was in style in those days, in fact, I think it still is).

So, sometimes I'd get together with my buddies, and we'd venture out into the nearby desert. Every once in a while we'd manage to catch eyeball snakes. It was pretty cool. The blind-looking mini-polar bear wearing the red glasses, his name was Baxter, he was especially fascinated with the eyeball snakes. Unfortunately, he got eaten by an eyeball snake on one of our trips. That was kind of a let down.

I could easily write more about my childhood, but I'd like to write about some other topics.

Music Stuff
I have a couple music things I'd like to mention. One of my friends is a great composer. He crafts wonderful amazing songs, and he records everything on his own which I think is super cool. If you get a chance, please check his songs out. Here is a link to his work. I'm sure you will enjoy his music, it's amazing!

I also have another friend (who'dda thunkit!), his name is Dawen Wang, and he is trying to win a music competition. He is a GREAT singer, and he needs votes. So if you can, go to this site and listen to his song and vote for him! If he gets enough votes he will get his song played on the radio! And that will be a huge step for him in his quest to conquer the world.

TV Stuff
In other news, I started watching this show on tv, it's called the Deadliest Catch. It's quite a great show, all about people who go fishing in the Bering Sea. The footage is very impressive... fishing in those waters near Alaska seems like a very dangerous business. Although, I haven't seen any sharks so far, which means the fishing can't be all that dangerous. And now that I think about it, I haven't even seen any crocodiles, nor any barracudas. Nor the most dangerous of all the sea creatures, a creature named Shamu, better known as the killer whale that always has first degree murder on its mind. And I haven't even seen a measly electric eel on this show. I guess this program isn't as scary as I initially thought. Doesn't quite live up to the title. These fisherman mostly spend their time catching crab, and I gotta say, I stopped being scared of that creature when I turned 19, so the fear factor just isn't there for me. Well, I guess if I try hard enough I can be scared of a crab.

In spite of the lack of sharks, crocodiles, and other such dangerous creatures, the Deadliest Catch is good, I recommend watching it. So, if you are ever bored and want to watch people fishing on tv in your spare time, this show is for you. It's on the Discovery Channel.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mini Magic 8-Ball Meme

I was tagged by Tara... so here goes:

8 Random Facts About Me

I broke my hip... the day before my 13th birthday. I'd tell you about it, but it's kind of a long story.

I love celebrity news (but you already knew this). The latest celebrity news that made me laugh: Britney Spears deplanes due to a lack of leather seats. How awesome is that?!! The answer, of course, is ridiculously awesome.

When I was younger, I had recurring nightmares about the witch from Sleeping Beauty.

I usually read the Economist before going to bed. That way, instead of having nightmares about witches, my nightmares will be about rising interest rates, terrorism, inflation, nuclear proliferation, Iraq, collapsing 3rd world economies, global warming, stock market crashes, or the rising US trade deficit. Sometimes, instead of reading the Economist before bed, I'll read something like People Magazine, just to mix things up. That causes me to have nightmares about celebrity fashion faux pas. And let me tell you, those are the most frightening nightmares of all...

My favorite art, from a particular culture and period of time, is Flemish art from the 14-15th century.

The last movie I saw in theaters was Hot Fuzz. I liked it. But I liked Shaun of the Dead more.

My favorite sport is basketball. My favorite player, other than a Phoenix Suns' player, is Gilbert Arenas.

I'd like to visit India someday.

I tag anybody who wants to do this!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Saw a Lizard. Patterns in Nature. Deadly Squirrels. Paris Hilton. Georges Brassens.

Something very important happened the other day. I saw a lizard. I was so sure you wouldn't believe me that I took a picture (the one above). It's a cool little creature, in my opinion, and I like the diamondy pattern on its skin. I hope it doesn't get eaten by a snake.

Speaking of patterns...

I love how nature is made of patterns, very different sorts of patterns, like color patterns, patterns based on shape and form, textural patterns, sound patterns, patterns in movement... and these patterns can be seen in everything, like branches, weather, stars, leaves, grass, animals, clouds, rain, water, trees, etc., etc. I remember someone telling me that paintings of nature were nice and everything, but that really, the truest way to capture nature was through music. And when I look at the natural world, and I see all those patterns, what that person told me made a lot of sense, but at the same time, there really isn't any way to capture the complexity and beauty of the natural world (which is kind of obvious!)...

So, I think we established the fact that I think nature is pretty cool. But it can be pretty evil too. For instance, did you hear about the killer squirrels in Denver? Contrary to those first images that pop into your mind, these squirrels aren't walking around with machetes chopping peoples' heads off. No, the truth is much more terrible. Turns out, these killer squirrels have the plague, aka, the Black Death, and they can transfer it to humans!!! I always knew squirrels were evil, and this evidence only further proves how right I am in fearing these evil, demonic, Black Death giving creatures...

In other news, I was watching one of my favorite channels, E, and I learned that Paris' jail sentence has been reduced to 23 days! I'm not sure how I feel about that... I have to admit, I'm very curious, I'd like to see how much money she's going to be able to be make from her jail stint. Somehow, every thing she does makes her richer.

Lastly, I'm gonna post another French song, Aupres de Mon Arbre by Georges Brassens. It's one of my favorites, very cool song, hope you enjoy it...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thoughts. Another Drawing.

I've been posting lots of drawings of late. Sorry, it's kind of repetitive, but I promise I will get around to writing about really interesting things, like Paris Hilton, Herman Melville, and the NBA playoffs.

Although there are ups and downs with my illness, overall I'm able to create more than I could before. I couldn't even come up with ideas or think about creating a while back, my mind was too groggy and in too much pain... And I still get pain sometimes, but it's not as bad as before, and that makes life much much easier. And I feel sooo much stronger than before, especially my mental strength, I've never felt so mentally strong in my life. This illness is a bitch, but it's teaching me a lot of things, in all sorts of ways...

And sure, I'm still very limited, leaving the house is tough, this illness is lasting a heckuva long time, but I feel everything is trending upwards, that's what counts, so I just try and stay focused on the good, I focus on what I can do, I focus on the good things in life, and I know I'm going to will myself to full recovery.

As for this drawing, it represents an adventure I went on, back in the 80's. You might be wondering which person/creature I am? Well, I'm the little prairie dog thingy, ya know, the one holding onto the big dog's ear... It's weird, I don't remember much from that period of time, it's sorta hard even remembering what it was like being a prairie dog. I mean, I think I had good times, I remember eating plants and staring at the sky and thinking about the limits of the universe and wondering whether nothing can really exist, and if nothing exists, doesn't nothing have to be something? As a prairie dog, I struggled with these mind-boggling thoughts and questions. Ultimately, I realized all the answers lay within my prairie dog soul.

And drugs. Drugs gave me a lot of answers too.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Drawing. Brigitte Bardot.

This is my latest drawing. It's based on another one of my childhood memories, back when my dad used to drive me around on his Harley Davidson. Those were the good ol' days...

This drawing is also slightly inspired by the following video, Brigitte Bardot singing 'Harley Davidson.' I only recently discovered this song, and I LOVE it!

A Shipwreck. My Adventures on Borneo.

I just finished reading The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, a story by Edgar Allan Poe. If you've read it, let me know what you thought of it, that story sure gets crazy near the end...

Part of the story is about a shipwreck. Reading those parts about the shipwreck brought back a lot of my own memories, from many many years ago, when I experienced my own misadenture at sea.

At the time, I was a wee lad of 12 years. I was idealistic, full of life and vigor, not yet hardened by reality and the onslaught of failure after failure that I would later experience in my adult life...

So, here's the story... two of my friends and I had decided to set out on a sailing voyage. I remember that first day, moments before we set out on our adventure. The sun was yellow and the sky was blue, and the clouds weren't in the sky but if they had been in the sky they would've been white. The butterflies fluttered about, drunken sailors sat on the beach and talked to each other, bragging about the previous night's debauchery (whorehouse stuff I guess). There were also hilarious knife wielding squirrels who patrolled the beach, stealing tourists' sandwiches at knifepoint. And there were lovers laying on the sand, curled together in blankets, condoms littered about them...

It was a beautiful day.

But my friends and I didn't have time to contemplate this beauty, we wanted to go on our adventure. We quickly clambered onto a catamaran, and set off into the ocean. I remember one distinct fact, the ocean was very blue. I also remember seeing a floating horse's head, it seemed like a bad omen, but at the same time, it reminded me of that movie, The Godfather, and I thought that was pretty freakin' cool. So, other than the floating horse's head, for the first hour or two, everything went well.

And then our boat flipped over.

My two buddies and I managed to cling onto the flipped over catamaran. We didn't panic. We were only 20 miles from shore. Although none of us was older than 14 years old, and none of us had any experience with the sea, well, we weren't worried. One of my buddies even wore an eyepatch, it made him seem tough and wise, and for some reason that eyepatch made us feel better about the situation. I also had a knife with me, it was my lucky knife. I called my lucky knife "Lucky." We were relieved that I had brought the knife along, Lord knows that Lucky could really come in handy. Unfortunately, when I checked my pocket to grab my knife, I realized the pocket was empty. Lucky had fallen out and had probably sunk to the bottom of the ocean. This was hugely disappointing. My lucky knife was no good to anyone now, well, maybe Lucky would fall into the hands of some ocean dwelling creature, like an electric eel or crab or octopus. And maybe the creature that found Lucky would use the knife for something good, like sharpening their teeth or cracking open an oyster.

As we looked down into the blue depths of the vast ocean, already disappointed by the loss of my knife, a terrible realization came upon us. We were in shark infested waters. And not just any kind of shark. These parts were infested with tiger sharks, the worst shark of them all. Now, you probably already know this, but I am afraid of sharks. Specially tiger sharks. Think about it, a tiger is already scary enough, right? And a shark, well there's nothing scarier! But to have a tiger combined with a shark, well, there's only one word for that: ridiculous.

In the end, we were lucky, we didn't get eaten by tigers, sharks, or tiger sharks. We magically drifted 3,000 miles, finally finding ourselves off the coast of Borneo, where we were saved by a group of fisherman just off the island's perimeter. Our shipwreck adventure had ended. But our adventures didn't end there, because once on the island of Borneo, we experienced many marvelous, crazy, and dangerous adventures. But, as I'm sure you already know, I wrote a novel about those adventures. And just in case you haven't heard of my novel, it's called: The Adventures I Had One Time on the Island of Borneo and Pygmie Elephants Kinda Freak Me Out But Tiger Sharks Are Worse I Guess So I Try To Put My Fear of The Pygmie Elephants In a Proper Context. It's a very good book, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

First Time.

Zhu, from the blog Correr es Mi Destino, is very awesome (and she's French too, that probably explains her awesomeness! :). She sent me an interview... basically, there's a list of things, and I'm supposed to explain my first experience of each thing... I think you'll understand when you read...

1- First memory
Most of my first memories are from the time period I lived in Germany. At the time, I was in pre-pre school or something of that nature. So, I was in class, and I was passing my bottle back and forth with some other little kid. The teacher lady wasn't happy that me and this kid were throwing my bottle around, and without warning she swooped down upon us and confiscated my bottle. I was utterly horrified and shocked. I needed that bottle for inner peace and happiness, and to have it taken away, and to have it taken away with such brute force, well, that was tough. I still haven't gotten over that incident. I suffer to this day.

2- First injury
My first major injury occurred when I was 5 years old. We were in France at the time, and I can't remember all the details, but for some reason I ran across the street without really paying attention. A car ended up hitting me and running over and breaking my leg. It was painful, that much I remember.

I spent a great portion of my recovery period playing with tiny model cars, racing them around, crashing them together, facing them off in death matches, it was really quite awesome and fun. Ironic too, I suppose...

The picture under this paragraph is a of a scar I have on my right elbow. It's my favorite scar. Back when I lived in Chicago, I took a tumble down the rickety back stairwell of my apartment building, and my arm broke through a window (thank God it wasn't my head!). The glass broke, and cut a huge jagged gash on my elbow. I also got cut on my hand and wrist. Luckily the glass didn't cut any major tendons or veins, but I was bleeding like crazy, almost passed out... Cooooooll!

3- First lie
When I was younger, I messed with my sister a lot. One time, I convinced her that mom and dad had been eaten by spiders. I told her that under no circumstances should she leave our room because the spiders were all over the house, and they would eat her as well. My sister was freaked out beyond belief, it was hilarious (my poor little sister, I was really awful back then!)! Unfortunately, my plan backfired... my sister ran out of our room and burst into my parents' room and woke them up (it was early morning).

In the end, there were no spiders. There was no death. But there was punishment for me.

4- First person you admired in your life
Hmmm, hard to say, I remember admiring lots of my family... I also really admired Bugs Bunny, I thought he was pretty great.

5- First time drunk
Many, many years ago!!!!

6- First failure
Has to be centered around sports. Playing on a soccer team and losing at a young age, that was my first dose of failure I suppose.

7- First success
I remember winning some swim competition when I was young. It wasn't my first success, nor was it anything major, but I thought it was pretty damn cool for some reason. I still have the medal somewhere.

8- First trip abroad
I was moving to different countries pretty much since I was born, so in that sense I'm lucky, I've always gotten to travel!

9- First concert
Seeing Sebadoh in concert! That was an awesome awesome concert. They played very loud.

10- First thing you do when you get up...
Eat some toast. Skim the paper. Most importantly, I check the celebrity gossip section :)

Guest Post by Mariana: Movie Review of "The Remains of the Day"

So, I'd like to introduce you all to Mariana, she runs a wonderful blog called Gatochy's Blog. She usually posts about a variety of subjects, she always has interesting ideas, and she loves art, film, music... Today, she is writing a guest post here at my blog, it is a review of the movie "The Remains of the Day." Enjoy!

I accidentally caught a glimpse of 1993's "The Remains of the Day" on tv, and it made me realize a) why I hate it, and b) why Anthony Hopkins was picked to play Hannibal, the cold, psychotic criminal who eats people without raising his heart beat.

In "The Remains..." he's a stiff upper lip butler who works in a big mansion, and he has lots of employees under his charge, namely his own father and Emma Thompson, who is the housekeeper. In the IMDB page his character is defined as "A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years before World War II (and) realizes too late how misguided his loyalty has been." But that is so misleading. There is no supressed emotion here -- there is no emotion here. Sacrificing his humanity or common decency is not something that was ever asked of him, or something that simply came with the job. He chose to do away with them all on his own because he genuinely didn't need them. He's a silent, quiet monster.

Example: his father is sick, and dies in his bed while a dinner party is going on. It's up to Emma to see Anthony in private to give him the bad news. His retort goes something like: "I see" or "I understand". How about "Hmmm" eh, Anthony? Emma asks him if he would like to see the body. Anthony says he's busy now, girlfriend, he'll see it laters. He uses the word perhaps, perhaps later. Perhaps? You mean there's a chance he may choose to not see his father later in the day? Remember she is not exactly inviting him for tea and scones. Saying not at this very moment, thank you, perhaps later, is not the apropriate response.

Now Emma is in the horrible position of having to ask Anthony for permission to close his father's eyes, to which Anthony acquiesces. Put yourself in her shoes: here you are, working in a household, and someone dies. All of a sudden it's up to you to touch a dead body, to close the eyes of this man who is essentially a stranger to you, like so many other to-do items on your list: clean the stairways, wash the dishes, close Anthony's dead father's eyes.... Not cool, Anthony, not cool. But Anthony is all, yes please Emma, if you would be so kind, because I am rather busy right now as you can see, I don't have time to see my father for the last time. You'd think there were no other employees who could stand around looking stiff in his place. It's not that it was necessary to ask that of Emma, or that he had any right to do so, he simply doesn't care about people.

For me this character just goes to prove you don't have to be a raving lunatic who eats people to be creepy. Just being this cold, autistic, shockingly inappropriate person is more than enough. Remember the butler in "The Shining"? He was another one. All he had to do was stand there talking about how he had corrrrrrected his wife and kids and he made you shiver to the bone.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Create a Conspiracy About Duckbill Platypuses and Their Desire To Take Over the World Day

I was visiting Tara's blog, and I learned what day today is!!! It's create a conspiracy about duckbill platypuses and their desire to take over the world day!

So, let me tell you a story, a perfectly true story. The veracity of this story is unquestionable (since it's coming from me, duh!). But first a warning: this story I'm about to tell you, well, this story is not suitable for children or people with heart problems. This story is frightening, shocking, apocalyptic, mind-jarring, and it's all about my encounters with a duckbill platypus(es).

On to the story...

I was visiting the doctor's office 2 weeks ago. It was a normal sunny day outside, but as I walked into the office, something wasn't right (and it wasn't the fact that a fat rabbit was tugging at my shirt sleeve asking me for a carrot and 6 dollars for the bus, while also trying to sell me a baggy full of marijuana). Trying to ignore the rabbit, I scanned the room. I noticed an elderly couple, sitting, waiting for their appointment. They seemed normal enough.

The receptionist waved to me with a smile, I waved hi back... but still, something, something was wrong. Then, as my eyes scanned the room, I saw IT. Two creatures sitting in the corner of the room. Duckbill platypuses. These two duckbill platypuses were quietly sitting and reading waiting room magazines. One of the creatures was reading People magazine, the other was reading Gun and Ammo magazine. Not only was the one platypus reading People magazine, but it was the latest issue, the one I wanted to read. Damn that hideous creature.

I tried to play it cool. I quietly sauntered over to the pair and surreptitiously tried to grab the People magazine away from the platypus in a kind/gentle/sneaky manner. But the platypus wasn't falling for my sneakiness, and yanked the magazine away from my prying hands. The creature snarled at me and threatened me with its stinger... "Whoah," I said, as I started to back away slowly, "whoah now, I just wanted to see what issue of People magazine that was. Ok?"

That's when they called my name. It was my turn to see the doctor.

So I go to the back room and wait a couple minutes for the doctor. Finally there is a knock at the door and the doctor enters the room. But I notice there is something odd about him. He isn't his usual 5'10 height, he is more like 3'5, midget height. How very odd. And he has grown a duckbill, and instead of skin, he is covered with brown fur. I'm beginning to think something is up, something weird and sinister, and yet, I want to attribute these weird changes that I'm seeing to the massive quantities of opium I'm smoking day in and day out... but I just don't know.

So, my doctor, or at least, this creature whom I assume is my doctor, speaks up, and says, "How's it going Sebastien?"

"Fine," I says.

"Well, even though you say you are 'fine,' let me inject you with a new super medecine. It's called Super Medecine," he says.

"Will it get me high?" I ask.

"Yup yup," he says, "and it's good for you."

"Yummy," I reply.

He opens the cabinetry, and pulls out a needle full of the super medeciney stuff. The liquid in the needle is a greenish color, and it's softly glowing. How pretty... and before I know it, he's injected the stuff into a vein in my arm. Wow!... not as good as heroin, but really, it's got a pretty good kick.

Moments afterward, the doctor (platypus?) starts laughing demonically. This isn't a good sign. With my razor sharp thinking, I quickly realize something has gone terribly wrong. My innards start to twist and turn, my body is feeling weird, rubbery, furry. I feel like I'm shrinking, and maybe even growing a bill. These weird changes happen for several minutes, and then I start feeling normal again, except more midgety, and furry, and I'm feeling slightly evil. I feel a new desire in my body, a desire to take over the world. The doctor, still in the room with me, quietly rifles through the cabinetry and finds a mirror, which he hands to me. I look into the mirror, and with utter horror/happiness (I'm not sure which), I realize I've turned into a duckbill platypus, and I want to take over the world.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Paris Hilton: Going to Jail...

Paris Hilton is headed to the slammer. Really. Truly. No lie. I promise this isn't any of my usual chicanery.

She is going to jail for, get this: 45 days! I know, I know, that's a lot of hard time to serve. I feel sorry for her, but you know who I feel really truly sorry for? Us. The public, the regular folks, you and me, people whose joy absolutely hinges on witnessing her celebrity antics day in and day out.

Paris will be ok. She will be able to entertain herself in jail, I dunno, probably by counting money or snorting coke or doing something awesome like that. But us, how, just how in the hell are we going to entertain ourselves during her jail time? We've always relied on Paris for entertainment, for joy, for happiness. And unlike Paris, we don't have millions of dollars that we can spend our time counting, nor do we have bags of coke lying around. Actually, I did have bags of coke lying around a while back, but my dog found the bags and flushed them down the toilet. That's what I get for owning a German Shepherd, a goddamn crime-fighting superhero police dog...

And you know what the saddest part of all this is? We never truly appreciated how blessed we were when Paris was free and out of jail, able to entertain us with her constant antics, day in and day out, 24/7. We became jaded and blasé, dare I say, we almost had TOO much Paris (but really, we all know that that's impossible!). So, for those 45 days that Paris is locked up, we will come to appreciate her greatness, we will never again take her antics for granted...

And I'm trying to tell myself that there is a glimmer of hope, that I will make it through those 45 days of no Paris. But when I dig deep down inside, I realize, I'm just lying to myself, there really is no hope. We are all going to suffer. I'm scared... and I don't have any coke... I'm sooo screwed.

Well, I'm gonna post a video, it might mitigate your suffering... it's a fun little clip of Anna Karina dancing around, it's really quite great...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Drawing of My First Fishing Experience

The drawing pictured above shows my father and me, right after a fishing experience (my first time fishing actually!). Can you believe it, my first time fishing, and I caught a shark! and my dad caught a salmony sorta fish (with his bare hook no less!).

Although, I must admit, I'm a little embarrassed by this picture. I'm looking kinda fat. I remember, back then, all the little polar bear kids really gave me hell for my weight. They were terribly cruel. But I'm not fat nor a polar bear anymore. Cool.

What was your first fishing experience like? Did you catch a shark? swordfish? Moby Duck?