A parliament of librarians…?

So, the library got a new book about owls, which means I am looking at ALL THE OWLS instead of vacuuming or doing dishes or whatever (but don’t worry, they’re not still dishes from that last blog post).

It made me think of the whole periodically-popular fad of listing collective nouns — “official” or otherwise — for various living things that one typically does not think of as needing a group name. The beloved “shush” or “hush” as a group of librarians always bugs me, for reasons that are probably obvious. “Parliament” for owls seemed a little lackluster since it’s used for rooks as well. I do like a “raft” of ducklings, but that’s really neither here nor there…

A related conversation also made me decide that if libraries had an official bird, it should probably be owls. After all, library staff and owls have a lot in common.

Owl1

They seem to be silently judging you even when they’re (probably) not

Owl2

They can look wise just by sitting there

Owl3

They basically have eyes in the back of their heads

Owl4

They’re curious

Owl5

And they’re serious and quiet … except for all the times they’re not

So, my second conclusion was that if owls and rooks can go by the same group name (side note: “terms of venery” is a super fun phrase that I know now), a gathering of librarians and a gathering of owls ought to be able to be called the same thing, whatever that may be.

I do rather like a “stare,” which is listed as another term for a group of owls, but that’s only slightly more flattering than “shush,” really. Of course, a parliament of librarians sounds appropriately imposing ….

Finally, my new favorite species of owl as of right now is the Buffy Fish Owl, and not just because it’s inexplicably named Buffy (not Buff or Buff-Colored, mind you, but Buffy) or because the scientific name Bubo ketupu is adorable and sounds like something from the Super Mario world … but because, look at this face:

Ketupu

That is some expert-level owl-ing, right there. Only the most owl of owls could manage to look that calmly, steadfastly unimpressed with the photographer, the weather, and life all at once in a still image. I’m not sure even a cat could match this, except maybe a damp Persian. Some of them do look a lot like damp Persian cats, actually. Anyhow, rock on Buffy Owl, you are a fabulous feathermop and you know it. I will try to capture this expression for my own use the next time I am asked to suggest a good library book for a hypothetical child aged 5-11 who has no interests.

The wonderful thing about Tiggers…

Flashback Friday, I guess? December … 25th or 26th I suppose, 2002, which would make me a preteen with a brand-new sketch book for Christmas.

I like to think I’ve improved a little since then, but it was on this drawing of Tigger (due partly to the huge 14×17 paper I had to work with) that I first started paying proper attention to how a tabby cat’s markings — especially around the eyes — looked instead of just drawing random tiger stripes and stamping an “M” on the forehead. I think of this drawing and its companion (of his frenemy Mittens, the one *without* white paws … it’s a long story) any time I add a decorative eye stripe to a fantasy creature, like the pair in Harmony (which incidentally was drawn on the same sketch pad). Mittens’ sketch was more accurate and complete, because Tig would always be running around or hiding under things, but that smirk is all him.

Tiggy

You weren’t mine, Tiggy (though is a cat ever anyone’s but his own?), but you were a good kitty. I’m sure Mittens will be delighted to see you….

It’s too darn hot…

…so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Well, medium and surly more like, but you know what they say about blog posts resembling their owners. (That’s pets, you say? Eh, potato tomato.) It’s 91 with a heat index near 100, I think it’s unreasonable to expect anyone to be pleasant (though, kudos to those who manage anyhow).

So.

TWO. THOUSAND. SIX. TEEN. (SIDE RANT: WHEN SOMEONE IS READING OFF A LONG NUMBER FOR YOU AND ARBITRARILY CHUNKS SOME INTO NUMBERS INSTEAD OF DIGITS SO YOU WRITE OUT A SIX AND THEN REALIZE YOU NEED A ONE IN FRONT OF IT. WHYYYY.)

I know people kind of say this about every year, or they have been for a while at least, but c’mon 2016. You kind of suck. And it’s not just all the awful things people do and say to other people, it’s a bunch of completely unpredictable other things that just decided to happen at the same time because why not. As of 2015 I’d never even really considered attending a funeral, because in all that time nobody particularly close to me had died. In 2016 I had myself checking when/if services were being held for three different people within a month. And anyone with a face, pretty much, will have gotten at least the Cliffs Notes of all the less-personal unpleasant news from the year so far. I kind of want to just go live somewhere utterly unremarkable, that nobody’s ever heard of and nobody’s fighting over. But of course, that still wouldn’t help my friends and family who live in the actual real world.

A castle might be nice, though. A big, damp, chilly castle that’s basically a glorified primitive campsite, but possibly with wyverns. Grumpy wyverns I can make grumpy faces at, and they’ll grumpy right back, like a big scaly owl.

Yeah.

I could bring everyone I know and cram them in various spare towers and the wyverns could heat the place, I guess, if you’re into the whole not-constantly-having-the-sniffles lifestyle.

This grumpy-guts I drew in the blissfully air-conditioned public library during a 96-degree day that really wasn’t good for anything but reading (The Tygrine Cat, which is out of print but I got on interlibrary loan all the way from Abilene, TX, because libraries are amazing) and drawing. But I don’t even know how wings work, it just … I guess I didn’t fly enough kites as a child or something, because I cannot wrap my head around these things, but they’re folded anyhow so that’s okay.

So, look upon this Scale-Owl and forget your woes. Grumpy Wyvern wants you to be happy, believe it or not. But cheer up fast, because if you take too long it gets impatient and eats you.

Grumpdragon2

Who’s That Patreon?

It was suggested that I create a Patreon account. It was also suggested I blog conversations I have with people. Due to these two suggestions, I present to you The Conversation Where Someone Suggested A Patreon Account And We Also Mentioned This Blog Post (plus a Meta Metapod for how self-referential this all is):

Meta

(I have used the super-secret special codename CAT here, but am not conversing with an actual cat, though some days this is not immediately obvious even in context. The other super-secret codename is SISSY but honestly it is not very secret and I may have gotten it from an eight year old)

ME: …Okay, name two animals! [stops, thinks of how I would respond to this] But don’t assign names to two animals, just actually give me two animal names.
CAT: Okay…
ME: I need something to draw for my blog tonight, I’ve been putting it off.
SISSY: A HORSE AND A DRAGON.
ME: …A horse and a dragon? Okay… that’s kind of a Qilin  … [starts] Or like a kelpie maybe. I STILL NEED ONE FROM YOU THOUGH.
CAT: Um … two animals … uh…
ME: I’m not grading you.
CAT: [SISSY] and a bird.
ME: >:-(
CAT: …
ME: [SISSY] AND A BIRD.
CAT: …
ME: That’s …Fine. But first horsedragon.

[LATER, after a brief INTERLUDE in which I accidentally drew a NINETALES while working on HORSEDRAGON]

ME: [SISSY] AND A BIRD.
CAT: Fine, a mouse and a bird.
ME: Mousebird. Okay … I can do that. [starts] Ursula Vernon did … well no, that was a rat with wings, except she called it a metaphorical pigeon… [is definitely muttering inaudibly at this point]

[THIS IS NOT A REAL CONVERSATIONAL INTERLUDE I JUST COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHERE ELSE TO PUT THE DRAWING I ENDED UP WITH]

Horsedragon

CAT: So, do you make money from your blogs?
ME: No, I make some money from my art though.
CAT: Do you have a Patreon?
ME: Ummm … no, I was gonna get an account but that was right around when it got hacked so I didn’t. And then I forgot to do it later. I should probably do that.
CAT: Yeah.

So like, it was ALMOST suggested I guess? Anyhow, it really is one of about 20 things I have on my “I should probably do that….” list. Putting more of my drawings up on RedBubble, and organizing RedBubble better, are two of those, but Patreon seemed easier so I went with that tonight.

Then it turned out I actually had to fill things out and write stuff and edit images to be roughly 1600×400 px and not know how to make a profile image and … maybe RedBubble would have been a more relaxing use of my evening. But it’s started now, and maybe I’ll actually make it respectable over the weekend (which is actually Thursday and Friday for me). I’M WRITING THIS HERE SO I ACTUALLY HAVE TO DO IT INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT OFF LIKE THE DISHES.

(darn, now I also have to do the dishes)

Also, Patreon sounds like an Eeveelution, so here is a bonus speed-drawing that is the embodiment of the element of money I guess:

Patreon