Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Beach please...

Quick check-in.
My brother saw a painting somewhere, took a picture of it, and requested I re-create it.

Thusly...


It's becoming a thing.
Likely hard to discern at this state, but it's a overhead view of a beach. As if shot straight down from a drone/quadcopter. Waves lapping up. Beach-goers with blankets and umbrellas. Surfers wading out. Palm trees.

I have no idea who the original artist was. Also don't really know what the medium was. The picture my bro sent looked like a painting that was printed on a canvas with some vague craquelure effect on it. A bit strange.

So I'm using acrylics in a watercolor-ish manner. Multiple transparent layers, glazes, starting messy and becoming more careful as I progress. I've never painted something quite this big before. Not as my own piece alone at least. I've done smaller parts of big murals. But this sucker is 60x40. Bananas for scale in the first shot. Lol. It comes up to my eyes.

Trying to only do one layer every couple of days to keep my fingers from freaking out. Doing okay so far.

Cracked up watching the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympics. In one of the first video montages there are a bunch of overhead shots exactly like this one. Funny coincidence.

Also got an idea for a Project for Awesome Art contribution.
More on that later.

Picked a few of the first burgundy beans out of our garden yesterday.
Yay, veg!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

One leetle Weedle...


Yesterday, I left the house for Pokemon Go.

I have strong feelings about augmented reality being the standard of the future.
It seems inevitable to me that a digital or virtual reality will interface with reality reality more and more.
And I like it.
There is an issue of access for now, the requirement of a device to participate.
But the potential is what I find inspiring.

During the recent ugly month I started reading Harry Potter again. A distraction from intermittent panics. When PokeGo started taking over in the form of strangers meeting, in odd places, at odd hours, to participate in a world that would normally be hidden... all I could think of was how Harry Potter begins. With strangers, part of a normally secret world, congregating at street corners, landmarks, parks, and community centers, to communicate, discuss, and celebrate their apparent freedom from a terrorizing maniac.
There will always be people who will take wonderful things and use them to cause harm, as is and will be the case with Go.
But fuck 'em.
The positivity, the cooperation, the sun and exercise and enthusiastic mutual interest shared by many... seems like that's exactly what we need right now.

I woke to the fresh news of the Bastille Day horror in Nice.

If we will have atrocities like these as a new normal in the west.
I hope we can have a new normal of a positively augmented community.
Even if it's for silly things.
Silly is good.

Friday, July 8, 2016

An ugly month...


Backyard geraniums from May.

I wanted to start with flowers.

Something pretty to look at while I write.

Christina Grimmie was shot dead by some lunatic after her concert on June 10th. In front of her brother. I didn't follow her closely, but I follow and participate in a wide range of Youtube channels/communities. And I felt ill.

Two days later Pulse happened. 49 people killed and many wounded while having a great time at a gay club in Orlando. During Pride month. And that made me flee from news because I was trying to avoid a panic attack. But caught enough of a news blurb about the horror of first responders coming on the scene to the eerie sound of the victims cell phones ringing together as their loved ones desperately tried to find out if they were okay.
And that triggered some bad panics, which meant the typical of little eating, no sleeping, black hole of pain in the chest for days.

In the midst of this JYJ's Yoochun was accused of sexually assaulting a woman.
Shock and dismay.
Then another accuser and another and another and another and...
We're at 5 or 6 now, spanning over the last couple years. Looks like a pattern.  TRIGGER WARNING. They all worked at adult entertainment bars, he lured them into a bathroom 'so they could talk', locked the door, and assaulted/raped them, except for one (the 5th) who came forward with the same story, but that she fought back so hard he let her go eventually. /TW

The news reporting on this case has been totally ridiculous and irresponsible mind you. Lots of misinformation and conflicting reports. The investigation is ongoing. Suffice it to say here that I think he won't be charged with anything, but I side with the victims.

Already ailing from the Orlando panic attacks, this properly drained the life out of me.

Then Anton Yelchin was killed by his own car in a terrible freak accident. He is/was my favorite part of the new Star Trek reboots. Like I would literally tune in if the first movie was airing on TV just for his parts then watch something else. By all indications was an extremely talented young actor with huge potential and adored by everyone he worked with. Seemed like a real genuine fellow.

Then the significant terror attacks that made news here. Turkey, Afghanistan, Bangladesh... all the escalation during Ramadan and Eid.

And Brexit.

And nutcase Trump.

And Clinton being exonerated despite so much shit and apparently Chelsea Manning recently attempted suicide.

Then Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in rapid succession...

And I barely want to look at the fire fight, sniper fire, fucking whatever is happening in Dallas after the protests right now. 5 officers killed.

...

None of these things are equivalent, of course. Each their own kind of horror and nightmare.
I kept wanting to write something, but felt I needed to wait for my own health until there was some kind of reprieve... which never came.

Purely selfish grief. I'm in no line of fire or blast radius or losing family members or getting assaulted. But I feel a little bit like I did after 9/11. Numb and anxious trying to keep it together with that footage on TV in class all day every day during the week. I remember taking a shower that next weekend and just falling apart. Exhausted tears.

Feel like that right now. Just a little bit. Smaller scale. A similar kind of emotional exhaustion.

Life is so good, generally speaking. The world is on average a much kinder, freer, less-violent, and less painful place to be alive in right now. And my mostly gentle privileged tiny slice of that is vastly better than it is for many.

I suppose it's just the hyper-connectedness of information, which amplifies feelings of helplessness and frustration when there's so little I could possibly do.

Probably stupidly shallow, but Iceland's performance at the Euros was this itty bitty ball of joy through all this. Thanks, Iceland.


Inhale. Exhale.
I'll have to face a very different kind of JYJ music at some point here.
There's just this sickening limbo of not knowing wtf is going on.
Jaejoong has the advantage of military isolation. Junsu is in the middle of his concert tour and very clearly determined to give 1000% to audiences that don't want to dwell on the horror of his bandmate's alleged behavior.
But there's this fear that if Yoochun is completely let off that they'll still promote with him.
They shouldn't. Cut ties. Protect themselves if they have nothing like this to hide.
But what an awful position to put them in. After everything they've been through.
After all the fans did to support them.

Enough on that.

Enough.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A series of unrelated images...

"Using the bones of my adversaries to build a ladder." - Hank Green

My contribution to the little Hank Green Out Of Context project over on tumblr.
Here's the recap post with all the entries.
Super cute!

Happened to see these two mourning doves gettin' it on in the backyard a few weeks ago. Ha! Get a room!

We're gearing up for a garden. Hadn't spent much time out with the birds through the wet winter. A few days ago I noticed one of the Scrub Jays has a bum wing.
Hanging awkwardly. And the poor thing isn't able to fly very well. It was extremely windy the last couple days and I didn't see him. Hopefully get out tomorrow to see if he's around/better.

D:

Took me forever to crack open the Nvidia Shield Tablet replacement after the recall. Just kept putting it off. Then I had all the Windows 10 troubles and didn't want to deal with it. I was planning on rooting it so I could format my SD as internal storage and do all that. It was daunting, so I procrastinated. 

But then there was a huge update around the new year, which integrated everything I would have wanted to do into the Nvidia... no need to root. So that spurred me to get the replacement going.


I've been using it since and it's perfect in every way for my needs. That update freed up an enormous amount of space and made the SD formatting super streamlined and easy. Woo!
I expected the old one to shut off much sooner than it did. It continued to work for like three months until it bricked itself. Thus ended the life of my first tablet. I gave it a ceremonial burial in the 'ship this tablet carefully so it doesn't blow up in transport'  box that Nvidia provided.
Bye, tablet! I barely knew ye!


ONE BERNIE, PLEASE!
The election was already ridiculous, but things have really escalated into madness over the last month. The DNC is totally effed. The fraud, the rigging, the voting problems... it's all gross.

I imagine it will only get worse closer to the convention. I'm appalled by how Clinton is representing herself through all this.

It's going to be Hillary vs. Trump and that's...

... ugh...

... uuuugggghhhhh...

We need election reform, news media reform, all the reform. Good god. It's bad.
I'd like to think Hillary can get a landslide over Trump.
I'm genuinely paranoid this could go very differently.

UUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH.

In happier and vastly more entertaining news, the end of the Premier League season was an absolute delight.
Leicester won by 10 points. No one was touching them.
But the runner-up positions were still in tight contention up to the end. Tottenham, having their best season... ever, could have pulled off 2nd and finished above Arsenal for the first time in 20 years. The rivalry runs so deep that this had Arsenal fans shitting themselves. But then Tottenham choked in their last few games allowing us to gain on them.
It came down to the last game of the season.

Arsenal played Aston Villa (relegated)
Tottenham played Newcastle (relegated)

These games were played simultaneously. Tottenham only needed a draw to hold 2nd.
We had to win.

And beautiful beautiful Newcastle, playing purely for the yucks, absolutely destroyed Tottenham. They even went down to 10 men... and still destroyed Tottenham. 5 - 1.
Each time they scored, Arsenal fans went absolutely nuts, getting the results through social media.
And Arsenal won. 4 - 0.

Thereby, Arsenal popped above Tottenham into 2nd and the 21st St. Totteringham's Day in a row was celebrated like we'd won the damn league ourselves.



IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN! IT'S HAPPENED AGAAAAAIIIIINNNN!
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, IT'S HAPPENED AGGAAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNN!

Being an American who really doesn't care all that much about clubs and their local rivalries...
This was just far too comical to not enjoy in every way.

The narrative. THE NARRATIVE.

This season was so damn strange anyway. Very amusing.
It'll be interesting to see if it gets crazier next season, or if things get back to something more normal.
Euros over the summer though! That'll be fun.
I'm determined to stay relaxed and detached this time so I don't have a total anxiety meltdown like I had during Germany's run for the World Cup.

Gotta be chill.