Monday, March 29, 2010

Are you an Ace, a Rimmer, or an Arthur Kade? (the eye of the beholder is mostly in your mind)

After first impressions, a person's looks have so much to do with attitude that a person's face can actually can see them differently if their personality is strong enough.

I remember when I was about 17 and was in a church group for a short while (parents thought it might make me quit being such a pain in the ass or something...) and a new guy was introduced to the group about 3 weeks after I got there. My first thought was how absolutely ugly he was. I remember thinking I really didn't want to have to keep looking at him, and that the group I didn't want to be in just got worse. But within two weeks every girl wanted him, including me. He was confident, funny, knew how to compliment others in a sincere way, he knew how to look you in the eye, and how to make you feel at ease. Then I couldn't figure out why I thought he was ugly in the first place. I stared and stared and couldn't see it.

Perception of looks going from bad to "Hey behby!" happened other times in my life but never to that degree. I am actually glad that shock of awareness happened when I was about that age because it taught me to pay closer attention to the person and not be so damn shallow.

It works in the opposite way as well though! You can have a personality or attitude so vapid or vile that good looks become a Picasso painting. "Bedroom eyes" become the hooded eyes of an idiot. "A Grecian nose" becomes enormous and crooked. " Thick curly hair" becomes a greasy rat's nest that you notice is thinning in the back. The face becomes misshapen: chin too big, lips uneven, ears too small...all because the person is a nasty bugger. A prime example:

Arthur Kade spends most of his time hyping his (absolutely unwarranted) self-worth in hopes of finding some actual worth from it. He spends the rest of his time tearing down the looks of others and glorifying his own. He has a rating scale for women, from 3 - 10 and uses it endlessly (his misogyny is overwhelming)...if you are below a 6 don't even talk to him, if you are below a 3, I think he runs away screaming or tries to get you fired from your job as a waitress (he has twice said women were too ugly to serve him food) . Despite his insistence to the contrary, he is not funny, he has no acting talent (but plans to have an Oscar within the next two years?), does not live a fabulous celebrity lifestyle, but he streams his 'greatness' out on his blog and youtube like a broken gutter. People from all walks of life, age groups, genders, religions and political affiliations [who have been lead to his site through various means like this one here] seem to agree on one thing at least...Arthur is an ugly person once he starts typing or opens his mouth. (the spit problem doesn't help either)

[adendum: One of Kade's self-quote inanities went up a few days after I first posted this as a link on legowig--
"“If Arthur Kade was a gutter, he would drain brilliance”…Arthur Kade…04/02/10"  He does pay attention.]

-The first impression of Arthur-

-How I now see Arthur-

Most people, when they first stumble across him, think he is a joke or an elaborate put-on, because no one could be that bad. But he has been doing this for over a year, day in and out, so even if it started out as an act he would be pretty whack-a-fucking-doodle by now.

Has anyone seen "Red Dwarf" -- the English sci/fi comedy series? There is a perfect example of this personality-looks effect in that show. Chris Barrie plays Arnold Rimmer; a sniveling, cowardly, desperate, narcissistic creep. But he also plays Ace in a few episodes -- Rimmer's other self from an alternate reality. Ace is dashing, kind, caring, brave, thoughtful, and an all around good guy. It is more than a clothing change and hair-length difference that have you wanting to be with one, and to hit the other.

Anyhow, I am not trying to drum up more hate for Kade because any attention is better than no attention at all in his twisted mind. But I do want it to be a cautionary tale/thought of hope that "Pretty really IS as pretty does."

Learning How to Drive Photoshop CS4

I have got to figure out how to use Photoshop CS4! I was desperate to get it after years of using Photoshop Elements mostly because I wanted to have control over shadows, bevels and to have a pen tool...but now that I have it, I realize that I have no clue how to make it go. ACK!

It was a Christmas present and has been sitting there for 3 months waiting for me to do something with it. Every time I try it refuses to do what I want. (so I simply pull up Elements instead) Relearning something that looks familiar but is totally different is beyond frustrating!!

Like learning to drive in Ireland after driving in the states for 14 years. It took me two months to get the nerve up to try to drive, and that resulted in the three other people in the car constantly yelling to watch out for the wall. Most roads in Ireland are lined with old stone walls which is pretty, but it leaves no room for error. The thing I discovered is that you drive with a subconscious space around you, knowing the width of the car, and when that is suddenly reversed your mind refuses to care. Shifting with a different hand is fine (and fortunately the pedals are in the same order), but relearning that 'personal space' is fuckaking hard. I finally did it though.

[It also wouldn't have been as hard if the roads were even a foot wider, and were clearly marked, and people stayed on their own side of the road, and drove like they were sane, and there weren't so many tractors to get around -- and when I least expected it -- going around a corner to find a flock of sheep/herd of cows, or people throwing a lead ball down the road at clumps of grass. ...I hold onto the steering wheel with a death grip in Ireland even though you don't see the cows or sheep so often anymore.]

That is what I have to do with CS4...relearn what I have been doing for years. I *really* don't want to go through feeling so lost (ie: where the hell is the paint bucket?), but on the bright side, unlike with driving, I don't have to take an absurdly hard test when I am done.*


*Note to the Irish government...your driving test is ridiculous. It has almost nothing to do with driving in real life conditions, so as soon as the test is passed [over half fail the first time as you know, and I would guess a quarter fail the second test as well] people go back to driving any way they feel comfortable, as did I. Unfortunately "comfort" for many people in Ireland seems to mean things like driving 35 mph [when you can go 50 mph] in the middle of the road [why why WHY?].

You need some sort of formal driver's education here, in school, or for free some other way to be sure that people understand the basics. Having terrible drivers teach their children how to drive is absurd, yet that is the way it is done here, and it shows.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hypnogogial's Steampunk(ish) Death Ray (pew pew pew)

I am not a steampunk artist as much as I love the look of it, as I only found the genre' fairly recently and my mind doesn't often come up with a steampunk idea. (I am more of a surreal/fantasy thinker)

If you put steampunk into google images, you will see a lot of two kinds of things: Goggles and guns...ray guns mostly. (pew pew) I decided the ray gun idea was worth giving a go after I came across a cheap Chinese nerf-like gun for 2 euros that I could take apart. (it is almost impossible to work on something with moving parts if you can't take it to pieces and put it back together again.)

It took me two weeks to do. There were a lot of mistakes to undo (don't use stove black, it doesn't completely dry) and a lot of "humm, nah, maybe" going on. The amount of two part epoxy I used was astounding really (I love that stuff)...there were three colors of spray paint (not all spray paints are alike, the white base coat went all crinkly when it dried -- panic! Sand paper -- pfew!) and mixed acrylic paint put on by hand to get the rusty look, coppery look and the cast iron look of the grip. Of course there was also a lot of 'things' I stuck on. Jewelery findings, painted paper, an old spring bracelet, copper thumb tack, grommets, bone beads, leather...the 'ray emitter' is a small drawer pull.

I forgot to take a picture of the gun before I did anything to it, but when I realized how much I was changing it, I took a picture so the original color could be seen on the inside because once was done it wouldn't come apart again (really do love that glue).

-paint and glue can disguise anything-



-finished and ready to blast away Morlock's who wander too close-

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3 guesses what it is and what you do with it...

King Edward VII of England, or Bertie as most people know him, had a slew of mistresses and a favorite brothel in Paris where this pretty piece of furniture was part of his favorite room, and is now on display. The Daily Mail (where I got this photo from) doesn’t seem to be able to picture how it could possibly be used. Personally I think it is quite obvious, but that might just say more about me than the Daily Mail. "The way in which Bertie used the chair has been lost in the mists of time." Not really.

If I didn't know better, I would think this would look cool in my living room. That would be embarrassing.

Jetlag and the Creative Mind

Luckily I don’t have a job because: 1) I have a problem with authority if it doesn’t make sense in what it is demanding. 2) I wouldn’t be able to keep saying “I am going off to the states for a month, again, see ya!” 3) It takes me over a month to regain any normal kind of sleep pattern when I get back to Ireland.

I have given up trying to force myself into Irish time and people simply ask me how lagged I still am no matter how long it has been since my trip to the states – they know me well enough by now here. (It doesn’t help that late-night TV is really good on the east side of the Atlantic Ocean either.)

When I go to the states I pretty much fall into regular hours immediately. (Meaning: awake during most of the day and asleep most of the night.) No effort needed. I have heatedly argued this with several people and had several others absolutely agree with me that going west is easy and going east screws you over severely. Who’s with me here? So I tend to be a night dweller in Ireland and a day dweller in the States.

When I am working on an art project, I get most creative after midnight no matter where I am. There is an interesting and cloistered energy working when it is dark and quiet outside and you know no one is going to interrupt. When you have a creative flow going there is nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than to have the flow broken. It can be so hard to get back. It is hard to start in the first place, for me anyway.

I have a few things that have happened in my life that have subconsciously enforced this work pattern. One was an architecture design class in college. It was more about design as a concept than architecture per se’, but during that semester, I found myself working feverishly in the a.m. more and more often. It was the most demanding class I have ever taken and the most interesting. I lost 14 lbs. Another student got a divorce, and several had to drop out because of the pressure. (tears in class happened on several occasions)

I only took the class as an elective but I got into the spirit of it, got an ‘A’, and an invitation to join the Architecture Department. (which I declined…one semester of that I could handle, but no more. There was a 24-hour restaurant near the college and if you went in after 1:00 a.m. basically the only people in there were architecture students and drunk students who were hungry.) No way! ‘Ambition’ is not my middle name. The woman who got a divorce did take them up on the offer but I don’t think she stayed in the department for more than a year. Who knew you had to live like a med student to design a building?

The other thing that happened was I set up a jewelry studio in my garage a few years later (I have training in several kinds of media but was a jewelry/metal-work student when I finally got my degree) and had a neighbor who didn’t understand boundaries. How many ways can you say “Leave me alone!”? A hundred ways. A thousand. When a person thinks they are more important than your ‘little hobby’, it is devastating. I ended up hiding in my own house. I stayed out of the garage, didn’t answer the phone or door after a month of constant interruptions.

That was actually scary looking back. It was quite a while ago, but it stays with me even today. I am fiercely territorial and my time is my own now. Many people think of me as a hermit for my lack of social interactions which is fine with me. I am actually very friendly and can talk to absolutely anyone about almost anything (except sports…don’t even bring sports up), but my extroversion is by choice.

I understand completely when artists become reclusive or writers cut-off contact. Creativity is a ‘job’ for some, but for most I think it is ephemeral. It doesn’t come easily to throw yourself into a project, even when it is in your blood, if you have to think and rethink and brood and consider before you know you will spend a lot of effort on something. Once you have made the decision, it takes over your life till the particular project is done. When you are in ‘the zone’, only the pizza delivery guy is welcome.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If it wasn't for the spiders, I would love a hobbit house!

I had some ideas for small drawings about fantasy houses and decided to make them to give to my sister (who is a mortgage consultant). The titles on the pieces are about the size of normal letter writing so the biggest one of these is about 3" x 4". I don't know why I don't do more of them.

[click on any picture for larger image]

I have to have a little rant, then maybe a little 'lie-down'

I am an American who married an Irish person, and though I had no intentions of ending up in Ireland until retirement (or just perhaps a nice cottage somewhere for summer vacations), I ended up living in Ireland 18 years ago quite suddenly. It has been 'interesting' -- often not in a good way. At any rate, about 5 years ago when economic times were better for everyone, I extorted a small house in the states (in Portland Oregon) out of my husband.

I needed a part of the states I could call home before I completely lost my mind and just left to save my sanity. Portland is where my mom lives and I love that city! I spend about 4 months through-out the year in Portland, but the rest of the time I am in Ireland.

One thing that drives me up the wall more than anything about Ireland: broadband is rare, and as I live about 5 miles from the nearest town, (17 miles from the nearest city), I don't have it. I can't get it. I have fantasies about torturing what ever politician is keeping Ireland a second world country this way (all of them probably). I am on dial-up most of the time. (can you tell I am now throwing things and screaming?)

In Portland, I have the fastest broadband outside of a commercial line, the internet is always on and it is cheaper than what I pay for my dial-up time on the internet in Ireland. (sigh) In Ireland, I give up on any website that takes too long to load if I don't know that it will be worth the wait (any page where the words aren't showing after 2 minutes and doesn't promise to be really "interesting"...bye-bye.) A 1 minute video takes 10 minutes to show the whole way through! I know I am whining and I don't care. When I say Ireland sucks, take this into consideration.

When I put up pictures or artwork, understand this is why the size or resolution isn't the best. 200 kb takes 5 minutes to attach to blogspot for some reason. On the plus side, my blog loads really quickly.

For now, that's about it. If I continue I might pop a vein or start drinking (might do the latter anyway...)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Other people's children are boring, but my cat is fascinating. No, really!

I decided to hit the "Next Blog" link up there to see what came up, and kept doing so till I came up against a "this blog is private" where the choice for "Next Blog" stopped. I started over again from my blog and found that "Next Blog" is randomly generated rather than that the list of blogs is linear. (just FYI, though I am sure everybody but me knew that already)

From this experiment, I have learned something about most blogspot blogs: if you have a child you need to set one up (evidently) because that is what the majority of them are about. I don't have any kids, but in the spirit of the thing, here is a picture of one of my cats instead...

-This is Gana, sweet or scary, depending on her mood (just like me!)-

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not not NOT steampunk! (not jewelery either)

Datamancer (all around cool guy) sent this link out in twitter. I am sorry to who ever lovingly made this, but seriously? [click on photo for larger image]

What or who is a "Hypnogogial"?

It is nearly impossible to come up with a unique username (just mine, no one else's) that also fits me personally in some way that matters to me. After switching my blogger name around several times, I am going to stick with Hypnogogial because I am tired of trying to be clever and googling possibilities that invariably are taken by some other clever wit.

What I've chosen doesn’t quite make sense because it isn’t a real word. It is hypnogogia with an ‘l’ stuck on. Now you (might regrettably) ask, what is hypnogogia? Adjective: Of, relating to, or occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding or coming out of sleep: hypnogogic hallucinations. (That definition is a bit of a lie, it is only preceding sleep but I use it for both, and it used to mean both.)

Yes, but WHAT is it? You go to wake up, and see something in the room that shouldn’t be there. What a laugh-riot that is let me tell you. It took me decades to learn to stop immediately screaming. Now instead, I tell off whatever I see. (I will sometimes have long rants if I keep being awoken, because I am fed up and really really tired)

After about 20 seconds the spiders, the fuzzy balls of light, the hooded figures, the robot thingamajig, or rats running upside down along the rafters, (what ever craziness is confronting me) fades away, but that is long enough to completely freak out (thank you so VERY much adrenalin). Fortunately it doesn’t happen that often...anymore. It has given me an interesting outlook on what reality is though, and as an artist it has given me more than a few of my darker ideas.

Once again let me apologize to all those I have woken up in such a fashion. At least now my sister laughs about it, especially after the one night when I told her I was screaming because there was a pixie sitting on the foot of the bed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I have a victorian end table this would look PERFECT on!

I LOVE steampunk objects! Too simply put, Steampunk is Jules Verne-esque altered art, clothing, props and 'devices'. Dark wood, brass, copper and cast iron are the favored elements, and often gears are used in the decoration even when there is no reason (which makes a few serious steampunkers crazy evidently. "If it is not mechanical, why by the 9 hells would it have gears?").

I don't remember how I stumbled across steampunk in the first place, but I have spent many hours simply going through google images marveling at one object after another (and snorting derisively at a few...I may talk about craftsmanship at a later date) One object became my favorite: Datamancer's Steampunk Laptop. Photos of it are always what I show people as the prime example of the genre'.

I have a twitter account that I rarely use or look at, but I follow Datamancer on it. Just the other day I logged on after months of ignoring it, and he tweeted about a 'steampunk object' that had got it completely wrong. (so very wrong that I am still laughing) Realizing he was around at the moment, I tweeted to him that I thought his laptop was the best steampunk object ever, and did it still work? He tweeted that it does but it needs a new battery and power source.

It was really great to finally be able to tell him I love his work (even though I had to gush in 140 characters or less)! You should see the rest of what he has done. "Warehouse 13" used one of his keyboards on Artie's desk...I recognized it immediately. One of these days I will get on the waiting list to have one of his keyboards made for myself.

The question I asked him is the one drawback to giving certain technology the steampunk treatment though. (or covering it with diamonds) Computers quickly become out-dated or go wonky all too easily...laptop #4 at my fingers right now. Still, Datamancer, when ever you get tired of looking at your clockwork masterpiece because it is just collecting dust, send it to me and I will give it a place of honor! Working or not, it is a piece of art.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I wonder(land)...

It has been pointed out to me that my favorite word is "interesting". It's a judgment call of course, one person's 'wow!' is another person's 'what the hell is that?' -- but I use it often. Colorful to perfectly dark tones, wonderfully insane, wickedly awesome, dream-like or meta-reality, eye-catching confections that are out of place, tastes weird but nice, sounds odd but strikes a chord you want to hear more of, it is a positive downer or a twisted saccharine's strangeness that isn't completely comfortable or overly threatening. "Interesting" is something I head toward, even if I have no idea what is around the corner.

The first book I read on my own, picked up and started reading without any prodding, was "Alice in Wonderland" and I personally see a connection. I wonder how the first chosen books of others relate to them as adults -- what their favorite word is or what they seek out. [Discuss amongst yourself]

Lost had better know where it is going!

"Lost" has taken a huge amount of my time over the last few weeks as ideas keep coming regarding possible meanings and misdirections. Everything is wrapping up and the real hints are finally coming in. Time to look back over what has gone before and to brush up on spirituality and metaphysics, with a pinch of science.

I have spent the last week, especially, reading more wikipedia pages and lostwiki pages than I will admit. I have more biblical, esoteric, and mythological knowledge now than ever in my life (soon to be forgotten because there is just too much of it) trying to find the key and say "ah HA!" before the finale. Of course it is a waste of time if they decided to fabricate their own mythology, or to "pull a Twin Peaks".

A Twin Peaks ending will cause unbelievable rage in me. This has been my biggest worry since I started following the twisted plot in Lost and began trying to unravel it. Those of you old enough may remember David Lynch's enigmatic TV series and may be having the same concerns. Seasons of trying to pull it apart and put it back together only to end up with the most ridiculous ending ever. A drunken writer's night of "Quick, think of *anything* that can possibly explain the last two years." and the show was done. Everything was left at loose ends, and I felt scammed. Damn you David Lynch!!! Laura Palmer was killed by her father who was possessed by some being named Bob -- but WHO exactly was Bob, what about the backwards speaking dwarf, what about David Duchovney in drag and what about every other frizizzling thing that made no sense?! I even bought the book "Laura Palmer's Diary" looking for answers. Nope, not helpful. This is why, outside of soap operas, you don't want script writers to make it up as they go along.

-The Evil Bob: Spirit/Demon/Multiple Personality or Something-

The writers of "Lost" insist there has been a plot and plan all along though, and there had better be because "We are Legion". (no, not Anonymous... I am talking about the millions of viewers who will go demonic if the ending is hackneyed) I will be able to handle it if the Lost writers have come up with their own idea of "Life, The Universe and Everything" (42!) but if they do, it had better be good.

-Lost Number Sequence Lest We Manage to Forget It-

I refuse to chose what the point to all this is because...I don't have to?

Is the blog still here?

It is...good! (I couldn't even remember the url, I kid you not) I set it up in the early part of 2009 to be able to help a friend through the process of setting one up, and couldn't think of what to do with mine after I had it.

What is the theme or point here? After much thought and inaction and more thinking and more inaction (plus a few blog posts up and deleted over the last year), I have decided not to have a theme OR point and will blahb about what is interesting me, or what seems worth words. Maybe a central theme will develop over time, but, you know, I really like options.

Yay! (a decision not to decide is made) Now I might actually use this space. Until I get a handle on the HTML business though, don't expect any bloggy slickness. (and expect frequent changes. You aren't loosing your DID just look different a second ago.)