Monthly Archives: May 2012

Too Hot to Do Jack

Okay, so I have a lot of crazy theories.

Crazy, as in not based in science, but in my own conjecture, observations and knee-jerk reactions–still, I figure, observation can be a powerful thing. A few of my favorite crack-pot theories (the list is by no means exhaustive):

Japanese men ever only pass on the XY chromosome and can thus only father male children. (Ask me about this theory sometime. It sounds crazy, but I’ve SEEN it!)

Despite there being a higher level of precipitation in Munich than in any other German city, there is a Germany-wide accepted fallacy that Munich has a wonderful, warm and long summer. I believe this rumor was propagated specifically by Big Beer Garden, whose tendrils are all over the Bavarian countryside.

And last but not least:

Maybe it’s the weather–it’s nice out, so people develop a fuck-it attitude, but warm countries can never seem to get their shit together. On average, they seem to be doing worse than cold/cooler countries.

Now, before anyone calls me a racist, I’ll point out that 1. My observation is applicable to geographical locations and not specific races/nationalities. 2. It is not iron-cast: Singapore is very successful and a tropical country. Russia has frozen testicles littering her streets and there is much poverty. Mongolia (north) is doing worse than China (more South). But there is a definite trend. Look here in Europe, currently: Greece, Italy, Croatia–great weather and economic poop. In contrast, Germany, Norway, Sweden? Weather sucks ass and the economy and infrastructure is purring smoothly.

The US south has always been more economically dodgy than the US North (and then there’s extra dodgy Mexico and extra got-it-together Canada. I mean, they don’t even look their doors, eh??) Africa… the whole continent is warm, the whole continent is not doing so great in economic terms. Asia too–the more tropical countries seem to be struggling.

Anyway, so I’ve had this theory for a while and I thought today I’d  try to find if there was any scientific basis for it at all, and it turns out I’ve been trying to reinvent the wheel ~_~ and this trend is one that has been being pondered for hundreds of years. Montesquieu was one of the first to describe the phenomenon in the 18th century and since then, there have been a couple explanations for it, including:

-Temperate/colder countries had a much more favorable area in which to evolve from a hunting/gathering society to a farming society. Temperate areas also offer a much wider range of cultivatable plants and animals.

-Because of these advantages, temperate countries were then in a position to grow faster, exchange ideas better and then exploit and colonize areas such as Africa and parts of Asia. Once a country is ahead, it tends to stay ahead. Once a country is behind, it is hard to push ahead again…

-Temperate areas have less instances of debilitating diseases, such as malaria, which make certain livestock more or less impossible to keep.

and even

-Regular, yearly frost apparently has a rejuvenating effect on soil and makes it more fertile.

According to a recent study done by MIT, a one degree increase in temperature corresponded to a 1.1% decrease in GDP (a 3% decrease is already considered recession, so 1.1% is rather significant.) Countries were AC is not in widespread use suffer the most when the temperature rises…

Just some strange food for thought.

Drawing Flowers

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Nymphaea – Lotus flower

nepenthes - pitcher plant

nepenthes – pitcher plant

To outline or not to outline, that, my moofs, is the question.

I’m not sure about these sketches. I tried to experiment and go for a bolder outline, hoping for that ties-the-room-together look… [Also tried to draw some plants I like, but that's another story...]

Whenever I see other people use precise black outline in their drawings, it looks great to me. Whenever I use it, I think it looks… mmmm. Stiff? Kind of dead?

Like I just want to get out a very sharp little pencil and make lines all over everything…. Contrast with this:

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Portrait of Death as a young man

This style here… this feels natural to me. There’s a lot of fucked up little lines and smudges everywhere… it’s not super precise. I like that–I think it can be a nice way to draw. However! Dammit, sometimes I’d like to draw the other way, the really nice everything is precise and where it should be way.

Mmm >< (::growl of discontent::)

‘e-reader?! I hardly even know her!’

So how do y’all feel about e-readers? Nooks, Kindles, call-them-what-you-wills?

What? Shy crowd? Don’t want to say? All right. I’ll go first. That’s cool, I’ll toss the first stone.

I hate them.
No, I fucking hate them.
Mmm, maybe that’s wrong, maybe ‘hate’ is too strong a word to be applied to such a sleek little piece of technology–it’s more that I think they’re evil. Deep, dark, uber-evil, the kind of evil that comes about only once in a century, like if you could bend the laws of physics and biology as we know them and get Joseph Stalin and Jeffrey Dahmer to procreate and an e-reader would be the result of that unholy union type of evil.

Now, before any of my gentle readers start getting the hairs on the backs of their necks in a rise, rest assured: I hate the e-reader. Not the e-reader user. I used to feel an abject pity whenever I saw otherwise perfectly normal looking people using e-readers, but then the Venn-diagram circle labeled ‘e-reader user’ and the Venn diagram circle labeled ‘people I love’ started to overlap more or less completely, until I’ve been forced to redress my views.

But damn do I hate those stupid little readers.

I know what you’re thinking.

You need to stop being such a goddamn technophobe! Hey man, love the message, not the vessel–e-readers are helping bring more information to people faster and cheaper than ever before! You know all those people who always said they would love to read Moby Dick, they would love nothing more than to read Moby Dick, but such a whale of a book, and their purses are already filled chock with their fat-free joghurt and their sun-screen and their puny t-rex arms simply can’t handle holding a book of that magnitude in front of their face for so long, but now with the e-reader, Moby Dick, War and Peace–Infinite Jest! These 1000 page plus old and modern classics are now easily accessible on the morning commute, the beach towel or the exercise machine! If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, books and library fees are so expensive, that’s why I don’t read, well now, literature has never been easier or cheaper to access! You can buy the complete works of Balzac, all 3 million of them, for a fraction of what it would cost to buy each book.

And I say, I don’t care. That’s exactly what I hate about it, this convenience for convenience’s sake. Reading huge works of literature shouldn’t BE easy. It is a multi-sensory experience–you suffer toting that book around as your mind suffers–You gather the books year after year like a water-shrew honing in on its prey–you reach redemption on several levels that have now been reduced to a flat, one dimensional reading/buying experience, so impersonal, so convenient, so sterile. So ugh.

Even if that was true, well, think about the trees!

Pardon my French, but fuck the trees. Fuck them long and fuck them hard and don’t call them back the next morning either. Listen, I like trees as much as any other city dweller, but e-readers are strangling the book industry as we know it and I will never forgive them for that, trees or no. Never. Ever. ever.

But that’s progress. Industries rise and industries fall.

Progress can kiss my ass.

Why are you fighting it? This kind of streamlining is happening all over the entertainment industry–not just with books, but look at movies. Music! What about the glorious age of Vinyl, now gone forever?

I never owned a record.

But you surely remember CDs and the horrible sweet-sour ordeal that was Making a Mixed Tape.. Hey…do you own an mp3 player now?

::gets shifty eyed:: Maybe I do and maybe I don’t. Kind of a red herring, isn’t it, old friend?

Oho, so it’s all fine to go after the e-reader for being instant gratification and cheap and bullshit, but what about mp3 players and the music industry? Can’t you remember those days not so far behind when you would wait patiently for your favorite artist to release their newest CD, after you had agonizingly collected all of the few singles they were ready to release on the radio onto mixed tapes? Do you recall the anticipation of removing the shrink wrap from the case–how it clung to your fingers, so annoying back then, so charming now in memory–the loving inspectigation of the cover art, the examination of the lyrics sheet as you lay against the shag carpet burrowing into your back while the songs burrowed into your mind, one, two, three listens to soak in the whole album, well, what about that? Now you can have 1000 albums at your fingertips; you can have any version of any song at any moment–and what about the due that goes to the artist? Oh sure, that’s different, because the record industry is all cutthroat assholes and Lady Gaga needs another champagne filled swimming pool like she needs a second butthole, but what about all the middle and smallclass singers and stars who really did hurt after people decided they couldn’t be bothered to buy the CDs they loved, let alone only liked, and everyone started pulling their music off of Napster, and Grooveshark, and secret torrents, and some people, some people who I won’t point to, oh what the hell, here I go a-pointing, some people have been listening to music almost exclusively off of You Tube for the last two years?!

What about that?! Huh? What about that?

Hey, hey! I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite, I just fucking hate the e-reader, okay…?

~_~

Funky Zeit! Mit Words!

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‘Life doesn’t make sense, so how can I draw pictures that make sense?’ ~_~

Speaking of things that don’t make sense:

“This book is like a spaceship with no recognizable components, no rivets or bolts, no entry points, no way to take it apart. It is very shiny, and it has no discernible flaws. If you could somehow smash it into smaller pieces, there would certainly be no way to put it back together again. It simply is.”

Dave Eggers, in the foreword to ‘Infinite Jest’

Lady and Gentlemen Moofs, I am no longer just thinking about reading ‘Infinite Jest‘, I am no longer just having ‘Infinite Jest’ watch me pee (like Satan does) from the highest shelf of my bathroom random-shelf-thingie–I have picked the book up, all 1000-ish frightening, nonsensical pages of it, and I have finally dived in.

First 100 hundred pages:

1. I don’t know wtf is going on. (Oh well, not really addicted to ‘clarity’ as it were….)

What concerned me more is that

2. All these words keep coming up that I don’t know. 0_0

Quick! How many of these words do you know?

lapidary
fantods
thoracic
atavistic (I word I feel I SHOULD know, but alas, don’t)
ideation
hypocapnia
dipsomania

[Answers:

lapidary: A cutter, polisher and engraver of precious stones.

fantods: A state of irritability or tension. Syn: fidgets

thoracic: Chest (as in thoracic or chest cavity)

atavistic: Recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination. Syn: throwback

ideation: The capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas, exp. suicidal ideation

hypocapnia: A deficiency of carbon dioxide in the blood.

dipsomania: An uncontrollable craving for alcoholic liquors.

Definitions taken from Merriam-Webster Online ^^]

And I’ll keep y’all posted on ‘Jest’… my goal is to have this brick under my belt by the end of the month…

Illu Frito – White Wedding

White Wedding – You may now kiss the bride…

The topic for this week’s Illustration Friday was ‘Hitched’ and I have an idea that 80 % of the people thought of something marri-age oriented. I know I did… The colors are a lot more vibrant on the original, but they looked like absolute poop when I scanned them, so I had to mute it down a bit, but there it is… a white wedding in a spring field (or a cyclone, as this scan would have it.) [I didn't draw all the wedding clothes, I'm sorry, I don't like drawing clothes... ]

And, moofs? Anything interesting going on in your neck of the woods?

Not much here, except that the Munich spring was officially welcomed last weekend (or was it two weekends ago? Time is going by like a motherfucker.) Spring in Munich does not start, incidentally, when a groundhog pokes his head out of his hole; when a certain flower deigns to burst forth its bloom, or when a certain bird is seen circling in the sky. It’s officially spring here in Munich when you go down to the Isar river and have your first picnic, and as you innocuously roast your wienies and clink your beers, you look up and spot a crazy Japanese man running around the shores wearing a black mankini ala Borat. The front barely covers his junk; the back flosses up his high, tight butt, he runs up and down the shores while tens, perhaps even hundreds of people whip out their camera phones and take a picture. Women squeal, men shake their heads or grin knowingly and then, and only when you have spotted the crazy man can you can sit back with a smile on your lips, thinking, ahh. Spring.

It has finally come to Munich.

The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul…

…is over.

Yeehaw, it’s spring.

Dear Alexandre S, I draw pretty picture of you, we get married now, k? Haha, silly Moof, you’re not a Mormon!

So, I’m done being a whiny little bitch–thank god, I was starting to annoy the frig out of myself. Back to drawing. This was an experiment in pastels and charcoal, two mediums I’ve always been a little scared of, because they’re pretty messy and unforgiving and I’ve got youngish person’s palsy. But I think Mr. Szymtko turned out pretty okay… I’d marry him. If I wasn’t already in a lifelong union. And if he couldn’t do better than me. ::sigh:: Universe, why you put all these obstacles in the way of my love?!

In other mews: It’s The Worst Idea Ever, but I did it anyway, checked out one of those stupid parenting websites on what my kid should be doing now that he’s passed twelve months. And here it is!

Starting to walk: Nope.
Starting to talk: Haha. Nope.
Starting to feed himself with a spoon: 0_0 Are these people nuts?? Why don’t I just put a friggin’ chainsaw in his hand and be done with it?
Getting really freaked out when we leave him, because he loves us and knows by now that he’s dependent on us: Ahaha, I have yet to witness (–) care that we leave–I think when he sees us leaving, he secretly hopes that these clowns are not his parents and that once we go, the king and queen will finally step out of the shadows and restore him to his rightful place as Crown Prince…

So what, he’s not doing a lot of things on that list, does that mean my beautiful little (–) is …slow, or something? Mais non, mon ami! Behold the skillz they seemed to have overlooked for their little compilation…

Gourmet: I think my kid might be the world’s youngest foodie. He just turned one year, but he eats Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian… I believe he senses that if he doesn’t love these foods, I will throw him in the river and start over. Ha. Ha. If anyone from Child Services is reading this, that’s a JOKE. Please don’t come knock on my door and try to take my kid away from me.

Parkour (for the uninitiated, it’s the French martial art of running away and (–) has a brown belt in it).

Sleeper: One year old and he’s sleeping through the night. Praise the Lord!

Flirter: Equal opportunity flirter. Man, woman, young, old. Does not matter to (–). I think if you can make a crusty German cop smile and get all goofy, that shows some serious skill. He does this thing where he looks at the person from the side, then drops his head and smiles up at them with just the right mixture of coy and shy… Makes them melt and I roll my eyes thinking, oh please. He’s NEVER smiled at me like that–probably because he knows I’m up to his bag of tricks. ‘Mark my words’ a good friend of ours exclaimed, while at our favorite Mexican watering hole (Joe Penis). ‘When he’s older, that kid’s going to get so much @#(%@#, you’re going to weep.’

(–) waved his quesadilla and nenned his ascent.

O_O