Wednesday, April 30, 2008

tales from the interrobang department

Here are some items which made me go "?!" when I went through the dusty Astridica archive recently. (Yes, in between shoots and web designery, I'm still going through bales of drawings and writing I've done from several years ago.)

Why is this dinosaur so woebegone? He's cute, though.

And now: some terrible poetry. I dimly recall having had a conversation with someone about writing the worst poem ever, and I was so inspired (if that's the correct term), I actually dared myself to have a go.

My Humble Demise, or Digestible Requiem (written 2001 or thereabouts)

I would like to be
Buried in an urn
To be inconveniently
Left on your coffee table

In the event that
I should spill, well,
Let the dog good-naturedly
Lick my remains

Then barf me up
On your prized petunias
For you to discover
When you're back from the supermarket

Who is the "you" in this poem? Why would I ever want to suffer such a fate, and inflict injury upon a poor, well-meaning dog? And for that matter, what do I have against this person's prized petunias? I LIKE petunias! All very peculiar.

I hereby dare you, dear reader, to post some terrible poetry of your own in the comments section; all I ask is that it had better be short (20 lines or fewer), at the very least. This could be spectacularly bad, and I mean that in the best possible way. Or spectacularly boring, if no one has the nerve to post anything.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Egad! They went thataway.

Man, I sure love this whole trip down Memory Lane I've been taking over the past day or so; I've done some rotten writing and drawing, but I've also done some fun stuff, too. (Well, fun for me, anyway.)

What is the Astridica aesthetic, exactly? Perhaps this several-years-old list I found in my collection today, dusted off and slightly amended just now, may help clarify things:

- Top hats (better if worn by female, best if female is below age of 13)

- Summer rainstorms (best if noisy)

- Urns

- Tureens

- Bellows, pokers, other assorted fireplace paraphernalia

- Obsessive penmanship

- Boating parties, if somebody remembers a ukulele

- Seances

- Extreme croquet

- Player pianos with rainbow-colored keys

- Beanies with propellers

- The word "knickerbocker," but not actual knickerbockers

- Antimacassars

- Fezzes

- Handlebar mustachios

- Turbans

- Tandem bicycles

- Nickelodeons

- Decoupage

- Parrots who play chess better than you

- Monocles

- Large, hand-held fans

- Feather boas in unseemly colors

- Seamstress dummy torsos

- Hundreds of Chinese lanterns crammed into a tiny space

- Typewriters, pre-1950s, used as planters

Yes, it's official: I am the walking version of a Bennigan's wall. I may be the clichéd version of kooky, but it keeps me amused. ::curtsies::

Pennyfarthing Girl, and an homage to William Carlos Williams

Pennyfarthing Girl

Pennyfarthing Girl, in color

Why does she have only one leg? I have no idea. It's a doodle from several years ago, for goodness' sake! (I erased the original notes around her.)

Moving right along, here's a birthday poem I found that I wrote to a friend eons ago (with apologies to William Carlos Williams):

this is just to say

i remembered
your birthday
quite soon

and which
you were probably
to ignore

forgive me
i think you're snazzy
so sweet
and not so decrepit

Friday, April 18, 2008

random Friday

Regarding Madonna:
Wasn't she attractive because she was playing dress-up? Wasn't she Susan in that movie? Wasn't that truly her own screen success? When she was an underdog, someone who didn't fit in, as opposed to a superstar giving dictation?

This is an interesting article, and I happen to agree with the whole thing. And in case you're wondering, Madonna fascinates me for many reasons: she's a strong woman, she's the empress of personal PR, she had bags of style, and she's a fellow UMichigan alumna. Whoo, Madonna! But I still prefer the original version of her, where she was rocking that 80s-street-urchin look.

Death to Argyle A depressing concept, since I love argyle, but this is a fun site nonetheless.

Also: somebody asked me today for more "gothic" artwork since she mentioned her boss might want me to design a gothic logo. I scratched my head for a while, since I'm not really gothic, but Rainbow Gothic. Mary Engelbreit on acid, y'know? Anyway, I went through all my old doodles, scanned a few things and e-mailed them, then thought Hey, why not put them here, too?

I drew this on a napkin with a crayon provided by the restaurant. Date and restaurant unremembered.

Who's Darryl? Why is he leering like that? And what on earth possessed him to get that crazy flattop haircut? These matters have been lost in the sands of time.

I simply call this "Luna." I think it was meant to be part of a logo which never happened. I still like it, though, especially the frighteningly blank eyes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm a-leavin' on a jet plane

So, my parents just left town after a week-long stay, and then I went to an art gallery, and then I want to a tiki party, and then I discussed futurism with learned people while simultaneously walking a dog, and then I did laundry, which is why it's taken me a long time to get back to people over e-mail. Yes, I have been ignoring people, but take comfort in knowing that it's not personal; I've chosen to ignore everybody! Whoopie! Better yet, I get to ignore everybody some more, because I'll be out of town through Wednesday night on a tech scout. I won't be off-grid, so I'll still be checking e-mails, but if you're expecting a Proustian reply from me, you'll probably have to keep waiting until Thursday. Feel free to develop another hobby in the meantime to occupy you; I hear that philology is a rewarding way to go. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, check this instead:

"Independent," Webbie feat. Li'l Boosie and Li'l Phat
The embedding was disabled on this video, but don't let that stop you from admiring this WHOO KICKASS WHOO song anyway. I discovered it earlier today, riding around L.A. in killer traffic and flipping around various radio stations, and I've decided it needs to be my new theme song (as opposed to my previous theme song). (Okay, just kidding about that last one.) I normally avoid rap/hip-hop things, since so many of them seem to prominently feature the concept of beating up women who disagree with you, so I definitely took notice when this popped up, in between the endless rounds of Mariah Carey crooning about hunting you down if you post pornographic footage of her on YouTube.

Speaking of which, am I alone in being pleasantly surprised by how awesomely campy her video is? It made me laugh uproariously in parts, but I was laughing with the video, not at it. Love the cinematography (ooh, shiny!), production design (ooh, shiny!), Mariah's ability to geek out adorably (ooh, shiny!), and the guy (ooh, nerdy!). Love love LOVE the guy, even if his character is cartoony to the point of making me squirm -- at least the actor is a good sport, and hey, he got to reenact the famous 9 1/2 Weeks fridge scene with Mariah Carey! Not a bad anecdote for him to tell the ol' grandkids.

Some more fun:

The tall guy in the back with the dark glasses, projecting a vaguely Art Garfunkel vibe, is a former student of mine (and talented filmmaker) named Matt. Apparently, he enjoyed an 80s night which featured some excellent souvenir photography, and I am totally eating my heart out that I wouldn't know the first thing about looking this glamorous. Aren't these folks amazing? They look like candy, for pete's sake, especially that sassy gal with the blue bow! Gosh.

Kent (ooh, shiny!) alerted me to this, and it is the ultimate mind worm. IT'S DEVOURING MY SWEET, DELICIOUS BRAINS, RENDERING ME INCAPABLE OF SETTLING DOWN UNTIL I GET TO EMULATE THIS CHOREOGRAPHY IN MY LOCAL ALBERTSONS. I originally suggested Ralphs, but Kent was all adamant (hee! Adam Ant!) about Albertsons, and I appreciate that he clearly devoted serious thought to the matter.

And finally:

I don't know if this was shot with the Phantom HD, but HOT DIGGETY if this isn't The Most Gloriously Pointless Use of Slo-Mo for Commercial Purposes Ever.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Yihal! And a merry Rickrollmas to you, too.

So, His Royal Hottness in a Fez Kent Holle just e-mailed me some splendid YouTubery, with the warning of "Rick Rolling" on the YouTube front page. What, I wondered, is Rick Rolling, besides a catchy pseudonym for a lounge musician?

Two minutes later and with Urban Dictionary to the rescue, I felt a peculiar mixture of shame regarding my prior ignorance, and pride that I'm not sufficiently geeky to know about Rickrolling in the first place. Does this emotion have a name? If not, I'd like to introduce the term 'yihal,' which is a handy acronym for Yes, I Have a Life. Depending on how you say 'yihal,' it can either convey pride ("Yihal! I've still never seen goatse!") or shame ("Yihal, I can't believe I missed the whole LonelyGirl15 thing"). Said in a neutral fashion on its own, 'yihal' can simply mean simultaneous shame and pride about one's lack of popcult knowledge.


And by the way, what on earth is wrong with liking 80s-era Rick Astley? Yes, he seemed like an awfully sweet boy, but aren't awfully sweet boys allowed to croon soulfully from time to time? Are they not people like the rest of us? When you prick them, do they not bleed? Let us not demand our pound of flesh of Rick Astley, folks; let him be. Yihal, and I think Astley had it going on for a 21 year old. He had great hair, for example.

Moral of this tale: ain't no Rickrolling on The Astrid Frontier today. Go in peace.