Monday, May 28, 2012

Ship Breaker

Another of those books where I wonder if it got slapped with a YA label simply because of the age of the main characters. There's violence on par with The Hunger Games, possibly even exceeding THG, as, unlike with Katniss, these characters aren't horrified by their potential for violent acts, violence is part of who they are, part of their daily lives. Regardless of whether I think it's miscategorized or not, it's still an excellent, quick, read. There's nothing all that deep to it, but it still doesn't feel like fluff. It definitely snags you up into the story immediately, and races along without pause... it could've been a one-day-read, had I not had to do that whole Sleep Thing, so it got stretched into two days instead.

The realism of the post-environmental-apocalypse world in which they dwell was quite nice. There's no need for explanation or backstory, really... if you watch the news, you know how things got to be the way they are. (Global warming, anyone?) The cultures and societies that have built themselves up afterwards make sense as well. While little of the story actually involves ship-breaking, since the action quickly moves from there, what little you do see is both interesting and, in a way, horrific, as ship-breaking yards exist in reality, scattered around the globe.

I particularly enjoyed the specific location/setting along the Gulf coast, as it's one I'm familiar with in real life, having grown up there, but that's just an added personal bonus. Who doesn't enjoy when stories set in areas that are known to them?

You can read more about the book here...

Friday, May 25, 2012

And the Winners Are....

Okay, let's clear one thing up, first: If you expect me to be punctual, even with something as simple as a random drawing, please allow me to disabuse you of the notion! I'm the worst at procratinating/getting distracted.

We have a very good friend who's in town, Nandra (that'd be her in the green in the middle, with the pre-party crew), who turned 50, and who is moving to Dublin, so we had to have a combo bday/going away party for her. And then recuperate from said party.

I even broke out my Hooker Heels for the dancing. You can't tell in the pic, but they're 1) tall, and 2) spikey. I suffered more the next day from those than from any imbibing, I believe. It's been a while since I danced for hours (okay, until sunrise) in heels. Ouch. I remember why it happens infrequently!

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.
Sad to see her go, as she's been a part of our lives for 15+ years now, but I'm happy she decided on Dublin instead of Tokyo (her other option) as I see trips to Ireland in our future! While Tokyo would be interesting, Ireland holds a lot more appeal for me.

Anyways, the winners are (insert drum roll here)...

For the shrine...
and for the 4x4 painting...

If y'all will drop me an email with your info, I'll get those in the mail to you!

It looks like we're gearing up for another scorching summer here. Last year we broke all kinds of records, and given that it's in the mid-90's this week (norm is mid-80's), it's not boding well. On the plus side, it means lots of mid-day time spent inside, where I can be in the studio.

There may also be some dancing around to Roisin at some point. (minus heels) It feels like that kind of day.

Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Complete and Utter Randomness

First off, thanks going out to Amy for putting together the blog crawl! Met lots of nifty folks, and I think it has given me a kick in the pants as far as keeping my blog updated.

Anyhoooo.... randomness!

This little guy is cute, but he needs to go away. Bird seed is expensive, and he throws 3/4's of it on the ground as he rummages around, filling those little cheek pouches up. Plus, the birds aren't that happy with him, as you can see.

Per request from my friend Carol, one of several of my Old Skool Boyfriends. I need to start scanning them.

A gift from a friend, several years ago. I forget their names now, but they were quite famous in their time. And now it's going to bug me, trying to remember.

Cat in a box. I was going to throw the box away, but now I can't bring myself to do so, as both cats love it so much. When one is already in there, the other will walk up, and look at the one inside with great disdain.

Another But is it Art WIP... "Urban Legends." I need to break out the sewing machine soon so I can start moving these on to their next phase.

Meet Randall, who came to live with me in Tennessee. He was made with a lot of love and weirdness by Sharon Dorsey. You can check out more of her weirdness over at her blog.
I love him, though some in our household find him a little creepy, apparently.

Okay, if you read, you need to read this book. Seriously. Especially if you were That Weird Kid in school. It's categorized as "young adult/fantasy" but it's so much more than that. It was sent to me as a birthday gift from a friend last week, and I picked it up one night with the intent of just getting a taste of it... and ended up having to set it down hours later so I could get some sleep. (Coincidentally, it just won the Nebula Award for Best Novel on sunday)

"Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead."

All righty, that's all the randomness for now! Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Together Now

Okay, so Amy wants us to toot our own horns on these posts, but I have to tell the truth. I have no horn to toot. See, when I was about 8 or 9, I joined band class. I'm not sure why, even, besides maybe to get out of P.E. I didn't have any particular interest in music... at that point, I hadn't even bought my first cassette. (I was 12 when that happened, and it was Janet Jackson's Control, followed by Petshop Boys' Please, which probably should have been a tip-off to my parents about my orientation)

Anyways, so I decided I was going to play the clarinet. I quickly discovered that there were some things almost as bad as being forced to play football in the south Texas sun. Namely, trying to produce something akin to music from a clarinet. After months of never moving from the shameful Last Chair, and irritating every cat within hearing-range, I "accidentally" dropped my horn case in the middle of the road on the way home from school, and never looked back.

So yeah, no horns here.

That's okay, though, I discovered my talents lay in other areas.

Oh, I should introduce myself, I suppose, since I don't know a lot of the folks coming to this lil' partay. I'm Judah, and I tend to make goofy faces when taking pictures, as evidenced below. I can't help it, it just happens.

I live on 67 acres in the backwoods of Tennessee (as in it's 45 minutes to the nearest city) with my partner of 15 years, Charlie, and our dog Ajakx Einstein. (A.K.A. "World's Smartest Dog") We're in the process of building our home entirely by hand, which is both rewarding and sometimes frustrating.

All righty, intros are done, so on with the (non)horn-tooting!

I like animals a lot. Like, a LOT a lot. Our home is full of them, most of them rescues of one sort or another. There's Coco the conure, Larry the lizard, the aforementioned Ajakx, the cats Una and Decimal Decimator, and numerous fish. Those are just the regulars. I also work with several no-kill shelters, so the number of dogs can range from 1 to 10 (or more). It feels really swell to take in an abused, neglected, dog that's scared of people or angry, and work with them until they turn into big, slobbery, love-givers.

I LOVELOVELOVE comic books. They make me happy. I've read them since I was a little kid, and I think they help me maintain some of my kid-ness. Which anyone who knows me can tell you, I've maintained a lot of. I like that about myself.

My favorite book is Uncanny X-Men, and my two favorite characters are Rogue and Storm, pictured above. (and no, Rogue isn't a big meanie, she'd been possessed, obviously... duh) As a kid, I SOOOO desperately wanted either a white stripe or a white mohawk. As an adult, I frequently have a white mohawk.

Anyways, I "blame" comics for my love of art. They're what made me first pick up a pencil and start drawing.

I spend a lot of my time in the gardens that surround our home. If I'm not reading or making art, I'm in the garden, oftentimes taking pictures of the stuff there. Like my outdoor reading spot.

Or the bugs that reside in the garden, of which there are plenty.

I make art of all sorts. I'm a little A.D.D. in that regard, which I think is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing, but mostly a good thing. "Art dolls" are a particular love, and one I return to time and again.

I also paint. I used to paint a lot, but took a break for many years, mainly because I travel for work, and have just started getting back into it the last couple of years.

I play in the ever-popular "found object" mixed media realms as well. It gives me a reason to pick up rusty things off the ground and pile them up in drawers.

I sew... though my skills in that area are minimal and mostly self-taught. Some day I'll learn the finer details, but probably not any time soon!

Right now, I'm working on a series of mixed media (in the most literal sense... they consist of collage, sewn elements, wood, metal, paint, ink and other stuff) pieces called "But is it Art" playing with that tired old argument about "art vs pornography." See, I'm also sex-positive. I hate that our culture has created such shame and disgust around the most natural of acts. Much like breathing, eating, shitting, and dying, it's the one thing that everyone does. Or most everyone. I think. I hope.

I like that one of my "missions" in life is to get people to stop feeling guilty about their bodies. Whatever their shape or size, whatever you do or don't do with it, it's an amazing, beautiful thing... celebrate it!

These are still WIPs... eventually they'll be sewn onto fabric or canvas and altered even further.

I like that I encourage others to make art, and not to judge themselves or belittle themselves. We're ALL artists. Each and every single one of us. It doesn't matter if "all" you can draw is a stick figure... you're still an artist!

All righty, that's all for now... off to meet some of the other folks in this lil' partay!
Everyone enjoy the start of their weekend! That's an order from Ms Jackson.

Oh! And the giveaways! Just leave a comment, and on monday I'll do a drawing for the winners of a shrine, and a little 4x4 painting! (see previous post for an example of the shrine... it won't be that exact one, but one made just for you... you can even send me a theme if you want! Or leave it up to me, your choice!)

Oh #2! If you just happened to stop by here and *aren't* one of the party-goers, stop by Amy's blog to check out the fun she's put together!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All Together Now Partay!

Stop by this weekend for a little partay.

Learn fun and interesting things about yours truly!

Win something!
Maybe a little shrine, like this one... Blood Danced
Click the link/button/thingie to learn more, and maybe be tempted to join in!

All Together Now

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Uh Oh, Four Oh

It's true. As of midnight last night, I've officially become an adult. Or something.

Funny, I don't feel that different. I mean, my knees started popping last year, my hip aching the year before, so....

Anyways, this is what I looked like last week, during the middle of our annual gathering, which is quite similar to what I look like today. Actually, it's exactly what I look like today.

Having a pretty quiet birthday, as Charlie just finished up a 30-hour flight from Mumbai yesterday, and he's a little pooped out, shall we say.  Apparently I'm not the only one who isn't as young as they used to be. There's going to be a mid-week movie/dinner date, but that's about it as far as celebrations go.

But who needs celebrations when you get a personal shout-out from Loretta Jenkins herself? Seriously, you should watch it. Even without the shout-out, it's worth seeing. Seriously.

Or when you get nifty gifts in the mail from the one and only Jen Worden... the photo doesn't do it justice, I have to say.

In other news, been working on the new bug paintings, as well as the "But is it Art" series... They're up there, above. Obviously. Apparently, in my dotage, I keep forgetting to insert photos *before* typing.

Well hmn...

I'd thought I was going to do a big ol' birthday post, but my energy is waning rapidly. That could be the effects of the vast quantities of peach cobbler consumed earlier wearing off finally. Or setting in. Depends how you look at it, I suppose.

Anyhoo, it's been good, it's been real... here's to 40!

Oh, but look! First Passionflower bloom of the year!

I need to get some more color into this part of the garden. While it's lush and full, it all kind of blends into a giant green blob.

Okay, now I'm done.