Sunday, October 31, 2010

GUEST POST: October's Bloggerstock

In honor of the last day of October, and also because I am awesome,  Bloggerstock is taking place!  So here is the guest post I've been given by Nicole!  If you want to check out the guest post I did, take a look over at Kick Her Right in the Habit!  You can read my post here!


Thanks to a lovely things called Bloggerstock, Catherine has allowed me to coopt her blog for the day. Every month, Bloggerstock creates a giant blog ring wherein we all write guest posts for one another on a given theme. The lovely Lily from Is it too early for a martini? is gracing my blog with her awesomeness. I signed up this month without really considering the theme. For Halloween, they have asked us to write something "spooky." They want scary stories, but anyone who isn't awesome enough to write a scary story can just talk about a Halloween costume.

I am terrible at scary stories. I apologize from the get-go if you were eagerly awaiting some awesome horror story. Maybe Catherine delivered something magical like that in her Bloggerstock post, but you will not find it here. Unless, that is, you find ridiculous homemade Halloween costumes terrifying. In which case, I definitely have some gems for you.

Recently on my own blog I have been talking about what a weird kid I was. In elementary school I was fairly well-liked so it took me a little while to put it together and realize that I was a strange child. Halloween helped me figure it out. In kindergarten I, along with every 5-year-old girl in 1993, dressed up as Jasmine. Never mind the fact that I am a pale blonde-haired-blue-eyed child who will never look anything like Jasmine. I had awesome Jasmine pajamas that I wore as my costume. This was vastly inferior to many of the other more elaborate Jasmine costumes. In first grade I was a more generic princess. I was so excited to get to wear this fantastic sparkly skirt that had belonged to my older cousin who, in my 7-year-old mind, was just the coolest person to walk the face of the earth. Again, though, it was clear that my princess costume was a bit lacking.

This one of the first moments that I realized I was never going to excel in at anything conventional. Even among quirky seven-year-olds, I was stand-out quirky. Also, my school gave out prizes for awesome Halloween costumes (this practice was discontinued after I graduated because it was deemed bad for kids' self-esteem.) I realized that Halloween was totally something I could and should be good at.

So in the second grade, I was a spooky tree. I distinctly recall patronizing adults asking me if I was a tree, and responding full of righteous indignation that I was, in fact, "A spooky tree." There was so little respect for my artistic vision. Shameful. I was so unspeakably proud of that brown piece of foam, even though I obviously did none of the actual assembly work for this glorious costume.

My mom was like a fucking magician when it came to this stuff. I think that same year my older brother was a haunted house. My mom actually built a doll-house-esque haunted house with a body-hole in the middle. I think her crowning achievement came a year or two later with my little brother's Gameboy Color costume. Not only was the Gameboy awesome, she made him an equally stellar Toad costume to wear while inside the Gameboy. I think the only problem I have with that costume was the fact that it was too good. It looked store-bought and lacked some of that home-made character.
I only managed to claim second place with my Spooky Tree. I think I lost out to a Raggedy Anne doll. Regardless, it was clear to me that this business of Halloween was more in line with my skill set. In subsequent years I would dress up as a painting and a book.

In the fifth grade my class decided to do a theme thing. Since the whole class voted to do this, our class would be marching in the Halloween parade separately from the other fifth grade classes. (I'm not sure I have made it clear how seriously my elementary school took Halloween. We were upper-middle-class Valley kids. A substantial chunk of our parents - mine not included - made their living doing Hollywood's grunt work.) This meant that I had to either participate in the theme or not march at all.

It also meant that I could kiss my prize goodbye. If I couldn't march, I couldn't be eligible. Even if I did, we were all matching so it wasn't like I stood a chance. This was devastating news for me. I lived for that contest. Elementary school kids aren't actually as inventive as people like to give them credit for, so it wasn't really that difficult to win a prize, since most kids dress up as different variations of the same five or six things. Difficulty wasn't the point. The point was that I was being rewarded for being different. This was huge in my world.

My mom realized how distressed this made me and found me a compromise. It wouldn't get me a prize, but it would satisfy my obsessive need to be different (which, as I mentioned last week, changed a bit the following year). Instead of dressing up like a soldier (which was our theme) like everyone else, we would do a Private Benjamin take on it. She bought me a large camouflage tank top and took in the sides so that it became a dress. It was pretty damn cute and I was a fierce-looking ten year old.

However, true to form, I freaked out on the actual day of the march. In an incident that foretold a pink-polo-shirt debacle the following year, my mom basically told me that I no choice but to march in the dress. I vaguely recall one of my classmates offering me a pair of khaki pants that I could wear. It would have looked fairly stupid, but maybe less defiant than the dress.

Unlike the pink-polo-shirt episode, I'm not really positive about the tears or the level of anxiety. I do, however, distinctly recall my mom telling me that I would regret it if I didn't march in the dress. I would not, however, regret marching in the dress.

And while I know how I felt after marching in the parade with the dress, I know she was at least right about that outcome. I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment for having gone ahead and marched in my cute dress. And all of the other little girls asked me where I got my cute dress because they all wanted one too.

So my childhood struggles were not actually spooky, but they were filled with life lessons. Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays because of everything that it represents to me. In college I joined my school's annual productions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This, again, embodies all of this self-expression, dare-to-be-different awesomeness that makes Halloween such a great holiday. The first year that I participated was a personal test; it was liberating for somebody plagued with body image issues to be able to walk around campus in a corset and fishnets. Stone cold sober.

Halloween is amazing because it is the one time of the year where we are all actively encouraged to step outside of ourselves for a little while. My second year in Rocky Horror I was upgraded from tranny to Riff Raff. (1) This is a male role. (2) He's on of the few people who wears clothing for most of the show. (3) This meant I had to actually sing solos (!!!). Now that I had gotten all comfortable with running around in lingerie I had to put my clothes back on...It was big terrifying step for me in its own right, having nothing to do with the wearing or not-wearing of clothing. I had to push myself (and the ears of our poor audience), and I was grateful for it, because that's what Halloween is all about.

So in the interest of leaving you with something a little spooky, BEHOLD:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have Nothing Special Today...

Sorry, folks.  My circumstances have very seriously changed over the last few days, and I've basically got 6 weeks to get a job, get my act together, and start supporting myself, instead of relying on my parents for money to live and eat.

The result of this is that I am looking for a job.  Also, I have added a few ads to my blog.  I'm really sorry, guys, but I wanted to test out the earning potential of them, and frankly every little bit helps.

I've added on ad bar on the bottom of the side column, one in the footer, and I've also included ads in my feed.  I promise not to make my site completely overwhelmed with them.  You will NOT be seeing ads on every single post.  Or any posts, if I can help it!  I've also reduced the content on the side bar to make it a bit lighter in response to this extra bit of advertising.

Sorry I have nothing super special to post today.  You will just have to be satisfied with the knowledge that I am getting a super special GUEST POST on Sunday, October 31st.  I am participating in Bloggerstock (there's a badge in the sidebar if you're curious), and will be receiving a guest post, while I am writing a guest post for somebody else!  It's going to be lots of fun!

In addition, I was wondering if it would be worth the time and effort to set up a store for my blog... Maybe put together an art book, screen some images on a few tote bags or t-shirts.... Would it  be worth the time and money?  Would you guys be interested?  I don't want you to think I'm selling out...because that's not my goal.  I intend to continue producing quality posts on an (almost) daily basis, and I don't intend to go crazy advertising anything I make.  Right now I just want to gauge your reactions and opinions.  I'm not even sure if I have a solid enough (or large enough) reader-base for such an effort to be worth my time.

That is all.

As always, Dear Readers, I <3 you. ^_^

Regular posts will return tomorrow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bear vs. Shark (part 2)

Last time, on Bear Vs. Shark, shark charged in, grabbing bear's paw for the first blood.  Bear hit shark on the nose, making him dazed and confused.  Then bear leaped in for the kill.  If you missed the picture version of this, check out part one here.

Now for the startling conclusion....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bear vs. Shark (part 1)

The eternal struggle. The never-ending battle. The unanswerable question. Who will triumph?

It seems like an impossible question to answer, but I have put some thought into it, and I think I can safely say that I know the answer.  In a situation where both contenders are in relatively shallow water, enough for the shark, but not enough to overwhelm the bear, with some sort of rock or island large enough for the bear to stand on, but not enough for the bear to feel safe from the shark, the answer truly is clear.

Below is a simulation of how this encounter might play out....

Can the shark regain his composure?  Was entering the water a mistake for the bear?  Who will draw blood next????

(Sorry guys, these drawings just take a lot longer to do than people drawings.  I'll finish it up tomorrow!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Dog is Also Cute When She's Playing

I have had a few people express a desire to see more of Sophie the Dog.  So here is a recent video I took, just for you, dear readers!  She is playing chase with me. Kinda. lol. Enjoy!

Toes are Totally Awesome

We all have opinions about our bodies.  Some of us like how we look.  Some of us hate how we look.  Some of us just want to change a few things.  Some of us want to change everything.  This is simply the way things are.

I have found that it boosts my self-esteem to focus on one body part, and appreciate it for what it does and how it looks.  I am here today to tell you all, dear readers, that toes are totally awesome.

Specifically, MY toes are totally awesome.

First of all, I have all 10 of them!  Nothing is more satisfying than having a completed set!
Also, when I feel like spoiling them, I can give my toes some jewelry!
I like to be nice to my toes, since they are so useful.  They are SUPER IMPORTANT for weight-bearing, thrust, and balance.  Without my toes, I probably couldn't walk!
I use my clippers to keep them nicely trimmed.
Sometimes, I take them to a salon and get a pedicure for them!
It is lots of fun to pamper my toes.  And they sure do deserve it!

I think we should all take some time to appreciate our toes.  They may be one of the smallest parts of our bodies, but they are very important!  You might even say they deserve a medal!

Image "Liberated" from Sister's Blog

So everyone remember to share the love, and pamper their toes today!  I know I will!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things That I'm Addicted to...

I have what my doctor calls an "addictive personality."  This means that I am easily addicted to things that I find entertaining....or really just about anything new.  I have found that my life, during the free-time, is a series of addictions.

As it happens, I have found that there are a few specific addictions that have outlasted temporary status, and become long-lasting fixations.  These are the things that I focus on in my free time.  The things that demand my attention.  The things that I can become completely absorbed in, regardless of the time I have spent on them recently, or how long I have been away from that particular obsession  hobby.

So here is a list of the things that I am most addicted to.
  • Puppies - Because who could resist that face?  I think those of you who have been around here long enough know just how much I love Sophie, my dog.  Even if she is kinda stupid....
Sister's Puppy, Lily
  • Blogging - I can't actually say that this is one of my long-lasting obsessions that I keep coming back to....I haven't been doing this kind of blog long enough to know for sure....but it's definitely not my first venture into writing.  Or into blogging.

  • Video Games - These are definitely an obsession that I mess with.  I know that I've said that working screens turn men into zombies..... but as it turns out, they turn me into a zombie also.  My game of choice varies quite a bit, but there is always a game that I'm likely to play on any given day.
  • SyFy and Anime TV series - These change from time to time, but Fiance and I own every single Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis episode there is on dvd.  We also own all of Andromeda.  Plus a plethora of anime's....including Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragonball Z, Witchblade..... I'm obsessed, people.  Not to mention all the shows available for free through Hulu.
  • Polka Dots - This is easily my favorite pattern ever.  If I have more than one of something, you can bet that at least one of them is covered in polka dots.  Even my blog background, which I made myself, has a kind of polka dot look to it.  I just can't help myself.
  • Cookies - This one is obvious.  Quite frankly, how could I NOT be addicted to cookies?  I was a big fan of the Cookie Monster for a very long least until they messed with him so that he'd be more "healthy."
  • Dinosaurs - These are my favorite creatures of all time.  They are also lots of fun to draw!  Here are just a few of the drawings I've already done of them!

  • Fancy Classic-Looking Books - If you have a nice thick, heavy, book that is leather-bound with built-in ribbon bookmarks and gold-edged pages, you can bet that I want to buy it from you!  I think that the look of a bunch of those kinds of books lined up on a shelf or fireplace mantle is so classy.  I am just addicted to it.
  • Cooking - I love cooking.  Cooking desserts, cooking entrees, cooking rolls, cooking pasta, cooking pizzas.....LOVE it.  One year spent in a kitchen-less dorm was all my inner housewife needed to roar its ugly head and insist on kitchen access on a regular basis.