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28th-Jun-2017 09:29 am - Beauty Standards
Fred and Ginger Dance
This is from a 1966 issue of "Co-ed" magazine:

I'm confused by the whole thing, really, but in particular: points 4 and 5.
No large breasts in a bikini?
Looking "all legs" is a negative thing?

Boy, beauty standards surely have shifted.

Also, middle finger guns out to THIS. All the nope. Fuck that. Fuck them. 
27th-Jun-2017 01:22 pm - Compulsively Making
Monkey kisses
Once upon a time, as I was sculpting a Play-Doh forest--one of many over the years--during a conference call, my co-worker called me "irrepressibly creative". I'm always doodling or sculpting or making something.

I'm not a good drawer/painter, generally, but I tend to be able to carve out little artsy-craftsy niches and once I find a thing I like, I like to refine it, do a lot of it, and drive my interest into the ground.

When I do a thing, I really like to exhaust it, y'know?
Might as well, I'm already in that mode. The supplies are already there.

It becomes a compulsion, of sorts.

Hence all the felt.

I procured my Grandpa's old 2 1/4 inch button maker (nothing fancy, just a hand-press) and I already had stacks of my grandma's old magazines from the 60s.

So my latest project has been button making with vintage images and phrases. Part of the challenge is finding the phrases within the old magazines. I think I'd be easier to just make up my own and print them out, but it's not as fun. So it's become a Thing.


I didn't post some of the saucier ones in there. There is a lot of innuendo. I haven't exhausted my interest yet, so on I go. I don't have any use for dozens and dozens of buttons, but I'll probably keep a few and then sell the rest on etsy (how much would one charge? $3?) or trade them for other peoples' quirky art-adjacent stuff, or even just give them away to friends who want them.

It's so weird. I don't know why I do this kind of thing. It seems oddly obsessive. In a way it feels very much like these Things, these various Projects, are a way of meditating or balancing out my mental health. I don't know that that's far off.

This entry was originally posted at http://pen-grunt.dreamwidth.org/507404.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
22nd-Jun-2017 09:43 am - Good Housekeeping Colored Glasses
Fred and Ginger Dance
As part of a new experiment/project, I've been making some buttons using my grandma's old vintage magazines and my grandpa's old button maker.

Looking at magazines from the 50s and 60s, it IS easy to sigh and sigh and sigh and say, "Oh, look how pretty and SIMPLE everything was then. Wasn't it just better? Don't you wish we could go to there again?" There--a place I've never been and that didn't exist.

Enough mid-century-modern will do that to a person. It's worth noting that going into about 1969 it starts to feel more like a dystopic hell of dark wood paneling and pre-soiled-looking shag carpeting and dicey propositions of male advertising executives trying to commercialize on women's lib while simultaneously enforcing the roles of mother-wife (and if you MUST have a job...sigh...).

But looking at all the prim pictures of pretty, unharried, early 60s mothers whose only goal is to provide the best for their angelic children and be the social center of the home is tantalizing. You only have to come up with new meal ideas (have you tried the onion-fish-pimento loaf? Your family will say "that's different!") and decorate your home in a tasteful-yet-distinctive way (the vinyl-asbestos tile is easy to clean, and comes in so many gay patterns!), and think of ways to entertain and quietly suffocate (the homemaker of the year in 1969 was a Minnesota woman from Brooklyn Center whose husband was a Greyhound driver--gone for 15-20 days at a time, missing all the births of their children....of which there were 6 boys...can you feel the silent cry for valium in the tension of her perfect homemaker smile?)...

I mean, not for me--that kind of thing would make me go out of my skull in a hot minute (but think how clean my house would be if I had kids at school for 8 hours and zero responsibilities aside from keeping the house clean? SO MANY PICTURES of shirt-waisted women reading by the pool in their suburban ramblers.) One could not keep up with the standard. Hence the lifestyle magazines always giving the white-washed picture of a glistening life. Hence the push to make yourself more. Be prettier. Reduce. Douche. Do more with less. Get the perfect coif. Change your coif. Be just unhappy enough with the imperfection of your life to buy this and this and this to get closer to a fly trapped in amber on a magazine page--a second of perfection captured for eternity.

You know...the more things change, the more they stay the same. We still get images of that picture-perfect life; gleaming modernist condos--all chrome and exposed ductwork, a cherubic baby on a strategically placed, suspiciously white, sheepskin rug overlooking a view of Manhattan or Chicago or Minneapolis or or or... The trends have changed but the message is the same. The pictures have changed, but the deception of the veneer is the same.

Life is so much messier and imperfect and nuanced than an impeccably groomed brick rambler with Eames chairs tended by a young mother with salon set wave in her gleaming platinum-dyed bob. The people who look back and say--"I wish we could go there again"--aren't remembering that "there" never existed outside of the glossy pages. But somehow real memories of drama and trauma and pain and dirt and the sloppy business of life (and the racism, sexism, classism....the stifling patriarchal construction pushing down women and squeezing the life out of men) have been supplanted by rosy perfection.

But it's hard not to look at all the loveliness and want it.

This entry was originally posted at http://pen-grunt.dreamwidth.org/506731.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
20th-Jun-2017 11:29 am - Early Crushes
Fred and Ginger Dance
I had a moment of self-realization/rembemerance this weekend, digging out DVDs to see what is appropriate for N and what will have to wait a few years. I pulled out "Secret of Nimh" and casually mentioned to D: "Oh my gosh, Justin was one of my first crushes."

A rat. An animated rat.
But he was a smart and heroic rat!

For reference:

I've heard this is really common. Especially in little-little kids. And truly, it was more his character/role/voice that I liked. (And I was having crushes at, what, age 4? I don't even think I knew what it meant, I just knew that I liked watching certain male characters in a strong way.)

Other early-early crushes include:

Wesley from The Princess Bride (this one was STRONG and long-lasting and I had very complicated feelings about the torture scenes)
Wesley Crusher from Star Trek, TNG (super common among kids my age who watched ST:TNG)

I wish I could think of more. I'm sure I had other animated crushes, too, but none come to mind immediately.

Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap.
I had weird fatherish feelings about Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie. Like mostly he was in "dad" category, but sometimes not? 
6th-Jun-2017 11:52 am - Entertain...
Monkey kisses
I'm in that awkward space where I have to pay attention, yet I have nothing to do-do. I just have to be ready to react. I'm bored out of my skull.

I can't work--my computer is the prompter.

Entertain meeee. There are only so many selfie filters I can try out on d.
Monkey kisses
I'm in focus-mode. (Well, not NOW, obviously, but I just sent a draft off, so I get a few minutes before I return to my other script and make it good again. The brain must break or break.)

So I'm listening to music, which can put me in a bit of a focus-trance. If I don't have it it's fine, too, but it can help late at night.

My music of choice is Tom Waits. And I'm always surprised, for how truly prolific and popular he is, that very few people I know have heard of his stuff. Granted, I only heard of him because I had an ex boyfriend who used to play his music while we were at his apartment. I'm also surprised, among those who HAVE heard of Tom Waits, how many people dislike his voice.

Which, admittedly, is gravelly and harsh in spots. Sometimes it's just plain weird. But I like it anyway. Except Ice Cream Man. But that's more about the asinine lyrics than the vocal stylings. It's his Idiot Wind. A song I can't stand among so many others I love.

Which brings me to....

I was probably primed for liking Tom Waits by liking Bob Dylan. Which I only liked because my sister liked him first and brought him to me.

And of course I only liked Leonard Cohen because I liked both Tom and Bob first. It all contributed.

I have a friend who complains about Rufus Wainright's voice every time he is mentioned. I can see her point, but I don't mind it. I was probably primed by Tom for that one. Or maybe by Van Morrison--who I find truly irksome vocally, but I can't resist him anyway.

It's funny to think of how the music that is important to us BECAME important to us. So often it was hearing it in a moment of emotional resonance and having it forever intertwined with that event. Or someone brought it to us. Or we went on a quest to find music like X.

Maybe it's different, now, in the age of spotify and pandora--when the variety is less finite and higher quality than on the radio. You can let an algorithm take you by the hand and show you x other songs with an acoustic guitar and a major key with blah blah blah. All that you love can be all that you own. Maybe it's less meaningful, but more fun. I'm not sure. I was never so musically attached that I spun over it for hours. I know people for whom music has real and deep meaning--all music.

My meanings are just symbiotic memories.

So anyway. I'm listening to Tom Waits and focusing and occasionally my focus is peppered by fond recollection. It's more distracting than I'd like. Time to switch to classical.

This entry was originally posted at http://pen-grunt.dreamwidth.org/504877.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
17th-May-2017 01:03 pm - Plantation Pine
Shirley Temple--whoa
It would have been nice if the color paint I needed to paint the flag of Wakanda, home of the Black Panther, weren't called "Plantation Pine".

I kid you not.
Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 12.59.02 PM

I mean. I'm sure they didn't mean it THAT way. But.

I got "evergreen" and "leaf" instead.
16th-May-2017 02:00 pm - 'Merican Gods
Monkey kisses
I've been watching American Gods. I like it, and it's interesting to watch having read the book vs. watching with D who has *not* read the book.

Some observations about the show, and then some things about Gaiman.


  • Shadow doesn't look how I pictured him when I read the book. This isn't an uncommon phenomenon with book-to-visual media, for sure. I have no issues with the Shadow they have, but I thought he was less...fit and more just...big. The actor is seriously buff, but isn't *huge*, whereas you got the impression that the Shadow of the book was both fit (sure, prison fitness and all) and bulky.

  • I keep getting Gabriel Byrne and Ian McShane mixed up. As in: if you asked me who played Mr. Wednesday, 9/10 times I'd tell you it was Gabriel Byrne. (It is Ian McShane.)

  • It's fairly faithful so far, though I've only watched 2 episodes. The little changes and additions and fill-in material seem true to book as well.

And let's talk about that. Because I've heard a fair amount of "I didn't really love the book, but...the show seems good." And you know what? The book suffers from what I find to be Neil Gaiman's perpetual thing (issue? problem? clearly it's not either): His creativity outstrips his writing. So I WANT to like his writing and give him a lot more credit than he maybe deserves in my mind.

Terry Gilliam is another person who has this thing--the ideas are SO GOOD and the execution doesn't hold up the ideas.

Don't get me wrong, Gaiman's creativity and ideas are off the charts. He's wildly creative. But he's a middling writer. Maybe not middling--better than that. Simple? I don't know.

I mean, a great writer with no creativity writes technical manuals, so, I think this is the spot you want to be in vs. technical purgatory.

I don't have the creativity of Gaiman and I can't speak to my writing ability, but when I read Gaiman's stuff it seems like he could be doing a lot more with it. The ideas write checks that his writing can't always cash (except, you know, literally as he is clearly successful and cashing all the checks). Things seem unfinished, unpacked, undeveloped--but the raw idea is SO GOOD.

This seems harsh, because I do enjoy a lot of Gaiman. Lots of people do. But I look at his stuff and go: With a little practice in creativity, I could write that. And I don't think that about everyone. Certainly when I unpack Kundera or look at Marquez the writing is *impressive* and intimidating. I could *never* write like that.

BUT: all this makes for excellent source material. So the show is great and it deserves to be. It will probably be one of those rare examples of "show/movie-better-than-book" for me.

This entry was originally posted at http://pen-grunt.dreamwidth.org/502546.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
5th-May-2017 11:46 am - Payoff
Monkey kisses
You guys.

My work is hella tough sometimes.

But I cannot tell you how amazing it is when 4500 people roar with laughter at your joke.

Sometimes I'm awesome. My feeling on this might change from moment to moment, but this moment is good.
30th-Apr-2017 11:26 pm - Delay
Monkey kisses
I'm having a hell of a time getting myself you pack tonight. Packing for work travel is rote. Routine. It's even a little pleasurable; I love ticking off the check boxes in my brain after acquiring all necessary objects. This shirt for Monday, this dress for Tuesday...

But I keep delaying.

Because I know the next 5 days are going to be a stressful sort of hell. I can't stop it. I can't make it better. I just have to go through it.

So many things, you just have to go through.

No stopping this train. Morning comes whether I pack or not. Better pack.
27th-Mar-2017 02:05 pm - South Florida
Monkey kisses
My boss, gushing about South Florida: You can get things here that you can't get anywhere else! Cuban cigars! Fresh mangos!

Me: Never-before-seen strains of herpes!

Oh Florida.
1st-Mar-2017 09:10 am - Coffee Shop Talk
Monkey kisses
I'm working at a coffee shop today because my car is broken and my child is at home. It's impossible to work with her around, right now ("Mommy! Moooooommmy!").

Sitting beside me are 4 elderly adults engaging in political conversation. They are so gentle and kind about their displeasure with Trump and their defense of Obama. It's heartening to hear.

ETA: One of them just referred to Paul Ryan as "That creepy little Eddie Munster." I couldn't help laughing. I apologized for eavesdropping.
28th-Feb-2017 10:23 pm - Up and down
Wild Thing
My boss randomly gave me a $50 Amazon gift card today for writing a script that the client gushed over.

And then my car broke down on the way home and my toddler was -such- a toddler tonight.

I have no vehicle (Derrick is fixing out right now. A belt broke), but I can buy a book or something.
14th-Feb-2017 01:38 pm - Toddler survival tactics
Monkey kisses
Nadia, stroking the side of my face: "Oh mommy. So cute my mommy."

Just when you're about to sell them to the gypsies...
17th-Jan-2017 11:08 am - Fail
Monkey kisses
With all the crafting, some of it is bound to turn out kind of...not how I'd want it to.

I did a Frida Kahlo and it turned out like this:
Now, part of the issue is that there's a shadow under her brow from the way it's lit.
But...there's something not right about it. And it's in the face. I think the jaw is too rounded, maybe, too.

I'm disappointed in it. It's especially disappointing because the flower embroidery took for-ev-er. It sucks to work a long time on something and have it not turn out as you'd hoped.

(It's based on this picture.)
15th-Jan-2017 10:38 pm - Fin
Monkey kisses
Show over. So tired.

We had big plans to go out to a nice dinner and get a drink or two. Because BOY HOWDY has this been a hell of a show.
But we got done at 2:30ish and after a little lunch:

Me, at 4:12: (Emoticons of drinks) tonight?
Boss, at 4:58: YES!
Me, at 6:22: I fell asleep.
Boss, at 7:26: Me too.
Me, at 8:30: I think we missed our shot.

We're across the street from a great steakhouse, but since it's Sunday night, everything closes at 9. It's deeply unfair after such a long, arduous week.

Room service again if I'm hungry, I guess.

The room service here is good, but I was getting tired of paying $70 per meal. (That's...without any alcoholic beverage.)
8th-Jan-2017 12:50 pm - Flakes
Monkey kisses
Because my clients are complete flakes, they neglected to tell us that--despite what was contracted--they were unavailable for rehearsals on Wednesday, the day before the show.

So we have to rehearse Tuesday.
We were scheduled to get in Tuesday evening.

This has been, as one might predict, problematic.

So I leave tomorrow morning instead. Time to do all the things tonight.

This show. Um. Man. Let's hope I get out of it sane.
4th-Jan-2017 01:25 pm - Hobby-heavy
Monkey kisses
I get consumed by things.

I get ideas and I actually do them and then I REALLY do them. It doesn't matter if they're insignificant or big or somewhere in between. Scanning pictures, making things, cleaning...re-organizing...whatever. I generally follow through.

So I started an Etsy Shop with the patterns for some of the felt crafts I've been making. And I've added to it.

I've designed more patterns--stuff that I want to see or think is cool.

Then I started a blog to detail some of the patterns/techniques/etc.

Because I have SO MUCH TIME, right? (I do not. I don't know where I'm getting the time save for never sleeping. When I get on a tear about something...I really just want to do it. Sleep is for those without projects, and I love having a project.)

And even though it's all very slapped together and quick and dirty...I did a thing. Boy-howdy. It's a good thing I never got into drugs, man. When I do a thing, I DO it.

I might be insane.

Oh, and I have two big shows this month.

Definitely insane.
15th-Dec-2016 04:47 pm - Lfl
Monkey kisses
I really want to put up a little free library. It would be a great thing in my neighborhood.

I was driving by some earlier this week. There are often progressive, inclusive yard signs in LFL house yards too.

Come to think of it...I've never seen a LFL in the same yard as a Trump sign.

Funny, that.
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