I am wiser now, you know….

NotesI was recently in a meeting that required a bit less of my focus than usual (it was mostly about departments I’m not in, for once), which gave me time to write particularly detailed notes about the parts that *were* relevant. Of course, I use the term “write” loosely here. There are about 24 words total, mostly names and abbreviations and abbreviated names. The rest is better represented by this little rectangle of madness here.

The bee and the playing bear cubs were for teamwork, the hairdryer-looking BEEP machine was my best guess at how a device we’re supposed to be getting soon will look, the key was a reminder about a key I had, the other image in an Exciting Splash! outline was a new procedure I wanted to remember, the question about themes in random Spanish was because I got bored with English (yes, it bugs me slightly now that the question mark is going the wrong way), I honestly don’t remember what the PDF thing was about, and the fox was during a lull when I didn’t have anything to jot down. The paramecium-looking thing creeping up to the left of the key is actually part of an eye for a Pacific-Northwest-style image I was copying off someone’s coffee cup; the rest is out of frame. It wound up looking more like the front of one of our city buses (and a paramecium), but then again I was actually paying attention to the meeting.

So what I’m saying is, I still don’t know how to take notes, but I guess these mostly work at least? At least I wasn’t taking minutes. That fell to our resident Organized Person (let me just add that there are some situations and social circles where *I* am the resident Organized Person, and that’s just wildly discombobulating for me).

In other news, I just spent an agonizing amount of time ordering a fleece blanket. IT’S HARD, OKAY. You have to look at sizes and materials and reviews and patterns and colors and then you have to flail your arms around a bit and give up on all that because there’s one with Serenity on it and if you buy it along with a bookbag (and haven’t you kept saying you need a bookbag?!) you get 20% off your order. I didn’t even spend twenty minutes agonizing over the optimum products-in-cart combination to maximize the value of the site discounts! Of course, in my attempt to be impulsive I wound up inadvertently skipping over something that would have saved me an actual significant amount of money, so I had to negate the impulsiveness by spending about half an hour going back and fixing that. This is what you get for messing with the formula.

That said, I had bigger hurdles than that to jump before I could hit “checkout.” I find it really difficult to buy things with art stamped/drawn on them when I, in fact, make things with art stamped/drawn on them myself. Why can’t I just make myself something for free-or-at-least-less? It might not look quite as good and it might take more work, but if I really want to pay less it’s better than just using (insert available cheap/free piece of garbage), isn’t it? Would I rather have [cheap garbage] if it’s so much trouble? Hm? AM I A LAZY BUM WHO DECORATES WITH GARBAGE? WELL?

I lost that argument when it came to wall decorations, which is why I have the three cutout families of fantasy beasts. Other times I just say, YES, I AM A LAZY BUM, GET OVER IT which is why I still just leave my phone in the bedroom instead of either fixing or replacing the wall clock that broke several months ago. But I have Christmas money right now, and I might as well splurge on something wildly impractical like a winter blanket and a replacement bookbag.

What can I say, I like to live on the edge.

Do not go gentle…

NightfuryNight Fury, anyone?

Okay, actually you can’t have it. It’s going on a friend’s wall or mine, depending on whose decor it suits better. I definitely have a bit of a problem when it comes to making these little cutout dudes; I was all set to make a prototype Toothless out of scrap paper but wound up with Toothless, a random wyvern, and two rather large wolves. I just can’t leave a piece of paper that has more animals left in it, apparently. I don’t even need more for my wall, it has three families of mythical beasts as it is.

It’s just so much EASIER than either drawing or sculpting something — since you can just cut bits out it’s more “malleable” than the average 2D sketch, but it’s still a flat picture so you don’t need to worry about that pesky 3rd dimension. Plus, you don’t need to worry about any details, colors, light direction, etc. etc. It’s like the artistic version of pudding.

Mmm, pudding.

But anyhow, returning from that minor distraction, it can be pretty tough to convince myself to put down the tiny scissors and go back to my Real Art, just as it’s tough when I buy a gallon of milk to stop myself from just making half of it into pudding and calling it a day. A fridge full of pudding would be super-easy, but then you have a fridge full of pudding and you realize how freakin’ boring pudding is after four days or so of nothing else for dessert. You realize a terrible mistake has been made. You could have used that milk for biscuits! Scones! Waffles! Cereal! Instead you made 20 servings of pudding and mac-n-cheese, and the days ahead look very bleak indeed.

I don’t remember where I was going with this metaphor, except it’s reminded me that I may be out of milk again.

Anyhow, I need to get to work is what I’m saying. Before I sink into the soft pudding of despair and forget how to hold a pencil.

Uh…

Happy holidays?

Wrong lever!

EF

Not a drawing, again — well, not a “real” one at least — and not even the drawing I’m referring to with this drawing.

Wait, what?

Well, okay, basically I’m drawing pictures for everyone at work again, but they’re kind of pictures OF everyone at work. And I don’t exactly want to post pictures (however generic) of my actual co-workers on the internet. So I made a special bonus For Display Only version for the one staffperson who isn’t getting a present from me — me!

They won’t be precisely in this format — that’s going to be a surprise, after all. But this is the basic idea, and finishing this one is a good start to finishing the other 64 or so. I know, I know, I may not have thought this through very well. But I’m doing all the pictures digitally, which will cut down nicely on materials as well as on fretting if I make some small drawing mistake. Yay layers! Yay realistic paintbrushes combined with wildly unrealistic (i.e., functional) eraser function! I love my prismas dearly, but let’s face it: they were made for somewhat loftier goals than this.

In other news, I am organizing the one box of unorganized stuff I took with me to my new bedroom. Everything else is just square things with stuff on them, but this — this is a black hole of disorganization, which I’m slowly attempting to correct with small cardboard boxes and various plastic holders. That’s actually what I’m doing right now, in between adding lines to this blog entry and watching Martin Freeman correct his pronunciation of “lever” on SNL. Which is adorable, by the way. How often do you really get to hear someone correct their accent on the fly, anyhow?

So anyhow, that’s my excuse for a rather content-free post today. Think of it as a refreshing break for the holidays — enjoy!

Lover to lover….

 BlackToRed2

I was pretty psyched when, way back in the olden days of my Intro to Anthropology course, I learned the fun little tidbit about black, white and red being the most basic colors a culture will single out — that if they distinguish any other hues like blue or green or yellow, you can put good money on black, white and red being in the palette too. What can I say, I really like black, white and red.

At first I didn’t really notice that fact, to be honest. When someone asks an English-speaker over like, nine years old to choose a favorite color, it can be a surprisingly tricky proposition, like choosing a favorite number. There are a LOT of colors in the English language, enough that any given person is unlikely to even *know* all of them. Of course, there are the basic “primary” and “secondary” colors (plus the weird inclusion of pink, despite other dilutes like light blue or light … yellow? not really being a thing), which is probably what you’re expected to choose from when asked for a favorite. But what if you like dark red more than dark blue, but light blue more than medium red, and you like pink and medium blue equally? WHAT DO YOU SAY?

My point being, I tended to assign a “favorite” color at random from a shortlist of four or five that I generally preferred depending on mood, context, etc. No one really asks you favorite color combination, though, and if they had I probably would’ve seen a pattern much sooner. Ladybugs, woodcuts, buffalo plaid, and Scar from The Lion King are just a few things I have loved to look at pretty much since I can remember. It was pretty much only when I started having to coordinate shirts and skirts (not bluejeans) for work, over a decade later, that it really clicked: I have a LOT of black, white and red stuff. Next runner-up is dark brown, which is kind of just black + red anyhow.

Now, my summer wardrobe is all over the place. I have stripes, spots, leopard print, flowers, and pretty much Any Solid Color Other than Green. There’s a lot of blue — I look good in blue. But fall and winter, which, let’s face it, is a large portion of the Midwest calendar? Black, white, red, with brown accents. Same for my decor. Above are some thingies I cut out of leftover black paper so I’d have some interesting wall decorations for once. Same for my accessories and knickknacks as well:

BlackToRedThere’s also a reptile/dragon theme, of course — there’s a Charizard keychain in that Pokeball (also that journal-dragon always bothers me, why does he have one bird-foot and one paw on his rear legs?). But also definitely a color theme. Not pictured are my MP3 player (black-and-red — and shaped like a cassette tape, though that’s not strictly relevant), my bed sheets (white fitted, black top, red blanket and pillowcase), my jewelry box (black-and-red ladybugs on a red-and-white gingham-checked background) or the lights I have strung up in the bedroom in lieu of a lamp (black and clear bulbs — Halloween discount merch). There’s enough Other Stuff that it still doesn’t stand out right off as a theme, but aside from the incidental black-and-silver that comes of buying generic appliances, it’s the only real recurring color scheme.

The question of “why” isn’t such an easy one — any more than why we humans often find the warning colors and patterns of poisonous/venomous plants and animals particularly attractive. That just seems like a bad idea all around. But it’s a good balance from the perspective of general color stereotypes — red for energy, black for power, white for calm. It doesn’t work quite as well when you’re trying to make a meal, as I discovered on Thanksgiving this year. The colors aren’t necessarily rare in nature, but that does bring us back to the whole “pretty poison” problem; I wanted an *edible* Thanksgiving dinner. There’s also more red in late summer, which is why I had to freeze this year’s Red Fruit instead of getting fresh ones (for years I’ve had to have a different bird and a different Red Fruit each year. It’s my one ridiculous holiday splurge).

I have to say, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to wear a uniform to work. Especially if it was a color I didn’t like. I did have to wear orange for a while, but honestly I look pretty okay in orange. And it’s almost red. As it is, this time of year most of my co-workers are wearing black and red anyhow, so I wind up blending right in. Between my hair and my clothing choices, children often mistake me for various other staff members anyhow. Let me tell you, it is a bit of an odd sensation when you first realize you are part of the curly-haired *majority* in your department, and will have to find a new way of narrowing things down with patrons in the eternal game of “okay, which staff person are you trying to describe?”

One day I’ll write that book about my job. Frankly, it would work better as a comedy series, or possibly a recurring SNL sketch. Maybe a comic….