Thursday, July 17, 2008

Muddy penguins playing Tetris

CHAPTER ONE: Hot In The City
While it has been summer as far as the calendar is concerned for quite some time, the weather hasn't quite gotten the message. Yesterday proved to be one of the first day to actually provide us with summerlike temps and humidities. The sun was unavoidable, the mercury went over 90, and the dew point was in the upper 60's. The air had just a hint of heaviness to it that made you really feel that it was there. The cicadas were buzzing in the trees, and if you looked far enough down the street, you could watch the cars disappear into the heat shimmer. Yup. Finally summer in Illinois.

CHAPTER TWO: If At First You Fail, By All Means, Be Sure To Fail Again
I should have known better than to try and split my focus when working on an art project. I happened to be out in the garage working on my current tiki project, when the daughter of the Actress came wandering in. She was bored because her friend wasn't able to play, so I guess I made a somewhat acceptable second choice. Story of my life where women are involved. Anyway , as kids are fond of doing, when they see you engaged in a particular activity, then instantly want to participate in the same thing. Ergo, as I happened to be carving at that moment, she wanted to carve too.
Now, you must understand that this is not a hideously unusual occurence on my street. If your garage door happens to be up, you are fair game for anyone to do an unscheduled drop in visit. Also, as I had entertained both of the Actress' kids on numerous occasions, they aren't shy about making themselves at home in my garage. Most of the time I can manage to set up another station so that they can have a space where they can participate in whatever I happen to be doing on a relatively safe, controlled scale. Wood carving had been a previous activity for both of the kids, so this request was not overly odd by any degree.
The problem arose when I had an attack of unfocused/lazy/stupid/irritatedness. To get her set up with a safe carving station, I would have had to move all the chisels that I was currently using out of the way. I had them neatly arranged on a towel at the end of the workbench so that I could grab whatever one I needed, and they wouldn't be banging against one another. So, rather than take a moment to move the chisels somewhere else, I opted to leave them where they were and secure her blank in the bech vise. That would be the large, heavy, steel bench vise. This proved to be mistake #1.
I then compounded this mistake by not taking the time to go over to the tool chest and find one of the lower quality, but still serviceable chisels that are in the drawer with the files. I made the decision, mostly because I was in a hurry to get back to what I was doing before I lost my train of thought, to hand her one of the chisels on the work bench. Take note: that was mistake #2. The end result was that she managed to whack that chisel into the jaws of the vice and install a couple of good sized chips in the cutting edge. Needless to say, this did not serve to make me dance around with glee. The reason I did not dance around with glee is that I am very bad at sharpening things. So, when I do get a decent edge on something (especially my carving chisels), I do my best to keep it neat and sharp. My estimate was that the damage to that blade will take me at least half an hour to fix. Or more. Still, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't be mad at her, since was just using what I had given her to use in the setting I had provided. Crap. One more thing that was completely my fault. This reluctant acceptance of my own stupidity lead almost directly to mistake #3.
Mistake #3 came about while I was busy beating myself up about being stupid enough to let her use one of my good carving chisels. While explaining to her that the chisel was basically 'broken' for now, I set it off to one side and HANDED HER ANOTHER ONE OF MY GOOD CHISELS!! THis one was eventually dropped onto the concrete floor, thereby guaranteeing that I would have at least anothe half hour of trying to correct the damage to this other chisel as well. Shortly after that she went home, leaving me to contemplate the cost of my stupidity.

CHAPTER THREE: I Shall Call Him 'Woody'
Speaking of carving, the current big scale tiki keeps getting closer to completion. Right now, the main focus is on cleaning up the lines that have already been laid in and matching/evening out the depths and angles of the cuts. The headdress design hasn't been finalized, but as I am running out of other things to do, I will have to settle on something relatively soon. The back seems to be a bit too blank to me, but that would be another design decision I will have to make in the near to immediate future. The majority of the actual face is done and ready for sanding. So, maybe another month or so until I have a completed piece. Or at least a month or so till I set my estimated date of completion back another moth or so. Etc, etc, etc.

I am also working on the second sketch in what I have decided to call the 'Bluegirl ' series. This one I actually like enough to ink in completely to get a better sense of how it holds together. After that, I'll lay in some test colors to try and find a good palette for when I take it to paint. Don't know if I should gesso some of the heavier paper I have and see how that works with the ink brushes. As far as the ink brushes go, I really prefer the Pentel ones, but it seems that no one in town carries them. Right now I'm using the Bienfang ones that I got at VCB, mostly because that' s what I could easily get my hands on. I am not running all the way out to freakin Hobby Lobby for a $5 ink brush. Now, if I happen to find myself at Hobby Lobby, you can damn sure bet that I'm gonna stock up though.
So far, aside from not being really thrilled with the way the paper is wicking up the ink (which could very well be a technique issue on my part) I like the composition of this second sketch. I may actually have a chance to use some or the iridescent inks that I picked up a while ago. I think the blue would work, and I know they had a nice magenta shade that I didn't buy the last time I was there. I'll save the green and yellow for another project. Or just another variant of this project. Either way, I am so upset now. That means I will just have to make a run to the art department. I. Am. So. Heartbroken. About. That.
The only somewhat pissy part about this series is that my muse for the series has gone missing on me.

CHAPTER FIVE: Excuse me, I Think You Have My Stapler....
Work. As thrilled as I am to have a job in this black sucking vortex of Hell that is our economy, at the moment it is giving me quite a headache. I think that's all I really care to say about it at the moment.

CHAPTER SIX: Logged Out, For Good
I am at no more, for any of you who may have cared or noticed. I figure that I have had this post going for long enough that I can start weeding out some of the other sites I have been attached to. I have just to damn many passwords, user ID's, and crap like that to keep track of. And when it takes you about an hour just to do a basic check of all the social networking sites that you belong to, it's time to cut back a bit. Up next on the delete list: Livejournal, and some other one I can't remember the name of at the moment. I thnk I'll hang on to the Facebook account for a while so I can keep tabs on Dharmagirl for a while.

CHAPTER SEVEN: And Now, These Words From Our Sponsor
Time seems to be a problem for most people, and I am no exception in that regard. TV and the computer seem to be sucking up greater and greater sized chunks of my time, which lead me to ask myself a rather bizarre question the other day. Which takes top priority:art or exercise? On the surface it seemed to be a legitimate question. Time is indeed a finite quantity, so you are required to make choices as to what your priorities will be at any given moment. The weird part for me was that watching reruns of Cash Cab and Deadliest Catch never even made it to the table for consideration of dismissal. When you take that into account, it does tend to make the original question seem ridiculous in it's narrowness of focus. Oh, and if you can't figure out what it is that I intend to do in this situation, feel free to dope slap yourself into unconsciousness.

CHAPTER EIGHT: Buy Now, Pay Later...
The general frustration level I am feeling with things at work has been nudging me in the direction of wanting to indulge my craving to acquire a bunch of new stuff. The fact that I have a couple of unused gift cards from work really isn't helpful. It would be real easy to blow a few hundred on new kilts and related accessories. Tiki Farm has some way cool new stuff, as well as a few older things that I wouldn't mind adding to my collection. Could toss a couple three hundred there, too. New board games? Forget it. I could mow through a few hundred and not even blink when it come to games. So, you may well ask, what's the issue? I would imagine that it's the same issue that a lot of you are also wrestling with right now: I have no freakin money! And to top it off, while I was in the midst of making plans for spending money that I don't really have (did I mention I wouldn't mind stocking up on art supplies?), I blew a hole in the exhaust system on my car. Since the police around here don't take kindly to people driving cars around that sound like dune buggies, I'm left with trying to figure out how to pay for that repair.
The lesson here, because I have yet to find a silver lining in all this, could be that I should be working with the stuff I have here presently, rather than just making pointless additions to my stuff in order to satisfy a momentary agitation. Boy, doesn't that sound adult of me. I do think that I need to refine my focus a bit and pay more attention to the things that are more meaningful, and less expensive, to me. More art, more reading, and more writing adds up to less TV and computer. No big secret there.

CHAPTER NINE: On Screen: "Chaos Theory"
Seem to have hit a run of just so-so small scale and independent films lately. I'm not sure if this one falls into that category or not. Told as an extended flashback, this is the story of a time management expert (mild-mannered, of course), whose world gets turned upside down as a result of missing the ferry one day. Life changing complications and hilarity ensue. Well, maybe not hilarity. "Dan In Real Life" had hilarity. This would be more humuorous, I guess. If forced to try and cram this movie into a category, I think I would go with the 'Wouldn't Be Afraid To Watch It With A Mixed Group Of Relatives' category. Or, perhaps it could also fit into the category of 'Safe Date Movie'.

CHAPTER TEN: Murphy's Law
Well, it seems like my day off on Friday may not end up being as relaxing as I'd want it to be.
My car is scheduled to go in to Motor Works to get the exhaust fixed, and now I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, too. Should be lots and lots of fun.
Little did I realize when I had written the above, just how true it would end up being. In the midst of lunch, we were informed that Pinklady's dad was having a heart attack. Fortunately, it wound up being untrue, but not before he got a helicopter ride, and all the local troops were mobilized to Rockford. The exact cause of his problems has yet to be determined, but we hope to have more information by this time tomorrow.

Still haven't figured out why the hell my watch keeps shorting out.

* I ordered a pizza via the internet this week. That may be the pinnacle of laziness in my life.

* Manscaping: good. Razor bumps: bad.

* Heat of summer makes for extra stinky dog poop can. Take my word for it.

* It's been great to hear from the Amazon again. Just hope her work situation resolves itself soon.

* The Giant's project is moving along quite well. Recording the WAV files is going smoothly, and once that's done, then I can start the editing process.

* If I stop putting money into my 401K for a while, since the market is in the tank, I can increase my cash flow somewhat. Of course, then the government will tax that extra income. Seems like I lose money either way.

* Congrats to Kittyluv on her new morning workout routine!

* Good luck to Dhawk as she prepares to migrate southward once again.

* Not even a hundred miles on the bike yet this summer. I am so disgusted with that.

* Royal blue, red, hot pink, aqua- what doesn't look good on my muse?

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