Thursday, April 25, 2013

Handshake of Doom

When you go through very hard times in your life it is sometimes comforting to lash out at those around you, even if you barely know them.

There is a man that I am acquainted with.  Yes, in the real world, not just online.  He is not a friend or anyone I've spent any amount of time with but we have worked on a project or two together.

Out of the blue today he began sending me long notes criticizing how I write emails, what I write in emails, and daring to use the word "homosexuality" when asking the group in the email chain a question about homosexuality.  His emails were very polite but hard and filled with emotional subtext.  I think of it like a person shaking another person's hand but trying as hard as he can to break a bone in the process.

Clearly, this was misdirected at me.  I wasn't at fault in anything but he needed a target to vent his emotions on.  Something is going on in his life and somehow lashing out at me made him feel better.  I've done it before, I admit.  It feels good to feel like you are teaching someone something.  The sad part comes when you realize that it was really an attempt to feel better about yourself at another person's expense.

There was a time I was a terror when it came to email confrontation.  I trolled and tantrumed with the worst of them.  Hopefully I am better in my balding years.

If you are feeling small or inadequate, please take a few deep breaths, go for a walk, visit with a friend and stay off the keyboard for a while.  People will think better of you and not so many feelings will be hurt.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

SeARTle Meet Up and Playing With the Big Girls

Today I went to the SeARTle art meet up in Seattle.  I didn't know anyone and nearly made an excuse not to go several times.  I'm still very shy in spite of my outgoing persona.  I have trouble meeting new people.  Once I do I'm fine but getting my foot in the door is sometimes the hardest thing.

I don't spend enough time with adults though.  I volunteer at the school and teach Cub Scouts and our house is the nexus of the neighborhood where all the kids come to play.  So I try to force myself into adult activities in order to maintain my tenuous link to the adult world and my own sanity.

The meet up was actually pretty fun.  I was greeted at the door by name.  People recognized me from my self portrait userpic.  I settled in at a table and finished working on an artist trading card (ATC) that I had started the night before.  Pretty soon conversations started and then people (almost all women) began pulling out their art media and showing me all the cool things they can do with them.  I learned all about beeswax and watercolor pencils and liquid graphite and gel press and shrink film and watched some amazing people make very awesome art.  I finished 3 cards while I was there.  I'll have to post them tomorrow since the pictures are on my phone.

I hung out with women the entire time.  There was one other man there and he was busy in another room mostly.  After an hour or so the wine bottles got opened and the gals got fun.  I don't drink but really enjoyed watching them get tipsy and silly and how it affected their art (pretty well actually).

It was a great time, over too quickly.  Here are some cards that I made over the last 2 days.  I'll post more tomorrow.  They are all 2.5 x 3.5 inches on bristol paper.  They are mostly Prismacolor markers with some acrylic painthighlights on a few.

A big brown bear

This was my name tag, hung on a ribbon around my neck

An orca pod

a seagull

the Space Needle

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lord of the Nerds

[Nerd Rant]  Over the last week I've been engaged by no less than 3 people, one of which was a stranger (the cook at Hot Iron Mongolian Grill) on the topic of eagles in the Lord of the Rings.  I don't start the conversations.  I don't join them when I hear them, yet somehow my opinion is always asked.  This is only the movies of course.  No one bothers with the books anymore.

Okay boys, here is the simple of it.  Gandalf did not let Frodo and Sam ride the eagles into Mordor and save the whole dangerous trip because Sauron was watching everything with his giant phallic eye.  At the end of the movie they have to have a massive suicidal battle in front of the Black Gate for the sole purpose of turning Sauron's eye away from the hobbits as they closed in on the lava.  So flying them in at the start of the movie would have resulted in an eagle or 2 being chow for the Lord of the Nazgul and his boy band.  Sauron could tell where the One Ring was when it was in the open.  Frodo could not have avoided him.

So the idea that it was a plothole is just silly.  There are so many better plotholes to foam at the mouth about.

"But they could have distracted Sauron just like they did at the end of the movie."  NO!  Bad Nerd!  Watch your movie.  They only way they could get to the gate at all to cause the distraction was by defeating the main orc army in Gondor.  Sauron wasn't paying close attention.    The orcs didn't give the heroes any choice in the battle either so don't pull some card about them avoiding the invading army.

"So why didn't the eagles get killed when they saved Frodo and Sam at the end of the movie?"  Oy!  Bad guy army crushed.  Sauron's tower went crashity crash.  No more giant eye looming over them.  Also Frodo no longer had the brilliant ring shaped magical strobe light strapped to his neck that kept getting the Big Bad's attention in the first place.

People of the world, please enjoy your movies how you want and rant and foam all you want.  Just stop randomly dragging me into your conversations.  Eventually I will stop nodding and being quiet and actually start talking.  Woe unto you.
[/end NERD RANT]

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home, Art, Cubs


My wife has been sick at home for the last week.  She finally dragged herself in yesterday.  I feel bad that she has been so miserable but I'm glad to have the house to myself again.  It seems small of me, I know.  I have just gotten so much more done  than most of the week.


Saturday I am hoping to attend the SeaARTle meetup with many of the ATC folks that I trade with.  I enjoy making artist trading cards and it will be a good chance to see folks I have never met in real life before.

I want to get a bunch of drawings done in advance of the meetup for trading and showing.  I should probably get on that.

I've been doing a lot more figure drawing lately.  I'm also hosting a beginner nude art card swap.  New swappers are welcome.


I am excited that we are gearing up for our first Pack camping trip in May.  One of the big failings of our Pack is that they haven't been camping in about 5 years from what I've been told.  That all changes now.  The new leadership team is excited and motivated to get the kids into the outdoors as much as possible.

Our current year ends on June 15.  At that point Caleb will graduate from being a Wolf to a Bear.  I have begun planning the next year's worth of activities and it looks like it is going to be amazing.  There are a lot of fun achievements in the Bear Handbook.