Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Death: My Love

Every birthday, for the last 5 years, I have made the same wish before blowing out my candles. I make SURE I always have candles to blow out and I never told anyone what that wish was, incase it wouldn't come true if I did. This year however, I decided I would not make that wish. See, this wish, which was always the same, was "please, let Spit live one more year". Spit was my dog, I have had her sense I was 21. This past year she became very sick. She has been crippled with a neurological disorder and went on medication that extended her mobility some what for the past 6 months. However, for the past month and a half she has gotten progressivly worse, and I had to help her walk, eat, drink, got out side, go potty, everything. So I decided I would not wish for another year, and I would just wish that she will have an easy way out. Well, today, two days before I was to make that wish, she passed away, at home, in the bedroom, with us and our other dogs sleeping next to her, and even tho its fucking killing me, I am so grateful that she went out on her own. No rushing her to the vet, no deciding when the time is right to put her to sleep, no having her die in my arms after giving her that shot. No leaving her in some sterile cold vet hospital. Now I just have to wait to pick up her ashes. Fuck I am going to miss her.

Monday, June 6, 2011

You Gotta See It: River's Edge

An oldie but goody! I was shocked to discover just how many people have not seen this movie. It was released in 1986, and stars Keanu Reeves as a burnout rocker type, Crispin Glover as the speed freak, and Dennis Hopper as the one legged, schizophrenic, blowup doll girlfriend having pot head. The movie is about this dude John (Daniel Roebuck) who strangles his girlfriend by the river, and leaves her naked corpse just laying there. He then goes to school and tells his friends but they don't believe him, so he takes them to see the body. Everyone is very unemotonal and dismissive about the whole thing initially, except for Crispin Glovers character Layne, who takes it upon himself to help out John, because of friendship loyalty. He then takes John to the crazy biker's house to hide out. John feels a connection with the biker, Feck, because Feck has always claimed that he is hiding out after murdering his wife. Feck however, disgrees.

I am not gonna go any further becasue I would spoil it, but there is also a side plot dealing with Matt's (Keanu) little brother being a total delinquent, and Matt hooking up with Laynes girlfriend. The whole point of this movie was to show how modern (well 80's) teenagers are so disconnected and desensitized that a friend being murdered, and even actually seeing her body, doesn't mean shit.
 The weird thing about this movie is that it was based on a true life incident that took place in Milpitas, California. However, Hollywood did change it A LOT, the fact that some psycho killed a girl and showed off her body remains true. For two days students went out and viewed the body, even when the cops were tipped off and and were on scene, packed cars of teenagers were still pulling up. Most students claimed they thought the body was a hoax, but nonetheless, only two people came forward. It has also been said that the murderer, was mentally challenged, and suffered daily beatings and bullying at school, and even tried to kill his mother once. He was not part of any scene, or even dated the girl he murdered.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Herstory: Witch Hunt

In the 15th century the church declared that all witches were part of a huge satanic conspiracy, and so began the period referred to as the “Burning Times”, which lasted until 18th century. During this time hundreds of thousands of people were murdered and torture in the name of “God”. Ironic because The church had for a long time denied the existence of witches and magic and even thinking that witchcraft could exist was heretical, but as soon as the church began to portray the witch as a slave to the devil and rumors began to spread that Jews, lepers, Muslims, and/or witches were conspiring to destroy Christianity by the use of poisons and magic. Then the bubonic plague came and the rumors got worse and then centered entirely on witches…the hunt was on and this new persecution of witchcraft allowed the church to prolong the profitability of the inquisition. Since anyone could be accused of witchcraft, a whole new group of people opened up to accusation and prosecution, and witch-hunts became big business. Witch hunters confiscate the property of the “witch” and divided it three ways; the church, the state treasury, and the inquisitors. The state kept prisoners accounts to cover costs of incarceration, trail, and execution. The victims were charged for the ropes that bound them and the wood that burned them. Each torture procedure also carried its own fees. If the “witch” was rich, after their execution, it was customary for a big banquet to be held for the officials funded by the deceased. The inquisitors made out the most, however. They did not have to pay taxes on what was confiscated, nor did they have to keep records of the confiscated properties. This gave them opportunity to acquire mass amounts of wealth that was never documented.
So what could brand one a witch? First there are the sexual crimes, for example…a women “witch” may “manipulate” a man’s mind to passion...what the hell does that mean? Well, say a man gets busted fucking, raping, or having an affair with a woman he shouldn’t be messing with, well she must be a witch! She made him do it! Kill her. Also, sterility and impotence were the work of the female witch as well as contraception, abortion, homosexuality and masturbation.

The other common crime associated with witches was the power to affect people’s health. Not only causing health problems, but they also healed them. The superstitions of whole villages, supported by the church, viewed the use of herbs and medicines as being the evil arts and those who used these skills of being in cahoots with the devil. So then, Healers,  who were abortionists, nurses, counselors, pharmacists, and midwives were all accused of witch craft. These people used painkillers, digestive aids, and inflammatory agents, had skills to abort fetuses, educate woman about birth control, and eased the pains of labor with ergot, which is still used to this day in the labor process. The relieving of labor pains was especially seen as heretical because the church believed labor pains were punishment and they must be suffered. The church also believed sickness came from sin, and suffering was punishment. Healers used knowledge of medicinal herbs and were more affordable and effective then church licensed physicians, who had also, just so happened, came into existence during this period of time. Coincidence?   

Before this time, the church stood in the way of the development of medicine as a profession, but once they discovered they could control it and only allow it to develop within their terms, then they sanctioned their own team of male doctors that were nowhere near as good as women healers. These crazy fucking doctors believed in the “Temperaments of Men”, believing health was determined by the mix of the four humors or fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile in the body.  Doctors tried to change the imbalance of these fluids by puking, purging and bleeding. They looked upon surgery as a degrading job so those skills were left to others to perform. They studied medicine neither on patients nor by experimentation, unlike the Healers who understood the body’s muscle and bone structure as well as the use of herbs and drugs. Needless to say, the church murdered many healers during this time, and in turn many remedies and cures that had been passed down through the generations also died. Another reason why Catholicism is suspect, and I am Atheist.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Art?: The Venus

In the mid 1800’s, some asshole archeologist found an ivory statue of a nude females torso from the Paleolithic period. He named his discovery the "Immodest Venus", and it was the first of over 100 female figurines archeologist have unearthed from all over Europe. Figures made in one area have been found across thousands of miles, through different regions, and groups of people.  And because they all depict women, and they all are generically labeled “Venus Figures”, they were all lumped together and thought to be mobile porn for the hordes of nomadic prehistoric men while on great mammoth hunts. Such bullshit. First off Prehistoric nomadic groups hunted with nets, there is no way some dudes with spears can take down a fucking mammoth. It would take a whole clan or tribe, men and women, young and old, working together to hunt. But dumb ass historians love this image of primeval monkey men hooting and hollering, waving spears, and jerking off to carved figurines of tits and vulva's. They also thought humans during this period couldn’t have hunted with nets because weaving hadn’t been invented yet, even though the evidence was right in front of them, behold! You know all those “Venus” figures that everyone was so into because of the tits and ass, well many of those statues were wearing weaved adornments and no one even noticed! Fucking Idiots! One of these even wears a skirt of twisted strings, which was a known symbol of fertility in later eras of human history.

I must also point out that all of these figures are different and these differences seem to be portraying the stages of life or fertility. There are figures that are obviously pregnant and in VARIOUS stages of the reproductive cycle: non-pregnant as well as women in the various stages of pregnancy, then there are the ones who are prepubescent, and finally there are the ones who seem to be portraying either completely abstracted emphasis on a woman’s reproductive aspects, or merely a woman who does not fit the "perfect" body type. So… were these sculptures more logically used as form of ritualistic story telling then perhaps…. masturbation?  Maybe to illustrate the cycles of a woman’s life, in relation to fertility or perhaps they were used in female initiation rites.  Maybe that would explain those figures with possible fertility skirts and why “Venus” figures usually show traces of red ochre pigment, symbolizing menstrual blood. I am just so sick of the assumption that ancient societies were all  patriarchal. I think it is narrowed minded and sexist. Most tribal societies are not patriarchal, and most cultures identify with a supreme female persona, the Great Mother. Perhaps these figures are a personified earth mother, changing like the seasons and were used for worship as well as magic. They do show their widest distribution precisely at a time when environmental and ecological conditions would have been the most unpredictable and unstable.  During such a period, mother worship or earth worship may have been very important. 

This brings me to, in my opinion, the coolest example of these statuettes…
It is actually the oldest example of pottery in the world.  She is called the Black Venus.  The kiln used to make her was also found, which was littered with thousands of pieces of baked broken clay.  The Venus as well as other broken figures shows that wet pottery was placed in the hottest part of the fire, deliberately causing them to explode, perhaps by a Paleolithic shaman, who used these images of beasts and women in hunting and fertility rites. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

LOVE: Espresso

Because of the budget living we've had to do, I haven't been able to spurge on espresso beans or whipped cream, however, with our finances looking a little better now, I am able (right this second) to have my first espresso in 3 months! I ALMOST forgot how much I love these little cups of joy (aka Cafe Con Panna). Its like yuppie speed. Oh wait, that's addy...or maybe adderall is like the yuppie crack where as an espresso is like yuppie cocaine...hmmmm....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Art?: Vector Art RePurpose

I had a crash course in Adobe Illustrator Vector art while I was in college. I wasn't a graphic arts major so i only had to take graphic design I, so i only learned the rudimentary basics, but i still love to make them. Vector art technically means computer made images or graphics that use vectors, or paths which are "defined by points, lines, and curves that are represented by mathematical equations". Or, as it applies to a computer program such as Illustrator, you make layers of shapes in colors to crate an image, it reminds me of printmaking actually. like the way stencils are made, building up the colors on different layers, or silk screening, or multicolor block printing. It also creates a kind of "paint by numbers effect".  The really cool thing about this is you can cheat and build the layers on photographs. However, even though you are cheating, these pieces take incredible amounts of time to create, depending on how detailed you want to be. I found this tutorial I thought would be a good first try for beginners at doing vector art, you can turn any picture into a Lichtenstein type of painting.

Recently I have been repurposing my vector art for use at the library where I work. The first one I used was a picture of a friend I turned into a succubus, I sized it and turned it black and white for use on a hand-out paranormal booklist for the Young Adult collection.

I also created a poster to jazz up some blank wall space in the YA area. I used a portrait I made in vector art of me and Shaun. I changed our faces some, simplified it a little, added some text, deleted the bottles and added a book. VoilĂ ! A poster to go with the "graffiti/street" theme of the library's teen area.

Monday, May 23, 2011

You Gotta See It: The Horde

Netflix has had this movie The Horde as a "watch it now" for a while, but I just got around to watching it last week. Its a french film and of course I was drawn to it because it was a zombie movie, but after having just watch the Canadian zombie film Autumn which was a total let down, as well as recently watching another french zombie flick Mutants, which was actually really cool, I was kinda preparing myself for anything going into it. Thankfully i was blown away! The characters are great, ranging from gypsy like crooked cops set out for revenge, Nigerian drug lords, a short street tough scar faced coke head scrappy dude, a flashback having Vietnam vet, and psycho pregnant woman who will rip the throat outta anyone who gets in her way. This film focused on the action aspect of a pure zombie take over, and all of these mismatched characters making there way down (and out of) a huge housing development , as well as some personal character developments and inner drama thrown in in-between the pure ass kicking scenes, just enough development to keep you wondering who would make it out and who wouldn't, and who would totally flip the fuck out. This film also has the potential of creating some VERY iconic awesome scenes, like this one, to be remembered up there with the other great classic scenes from zombie movie history.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Art?: Disasters of War

Goya is a very strange guy. I don't really know what to think of him, of all the artists that have ever intrigued me, it is his head, I wish I could have looked into, especially in his later years. My favorite work by him is part of his disasters of war. I actually have a print of it framed, and have wanted it tattooed on me for a very very long time.

I had to revisit this post, feeling that it should have been more developed, after all Goya did deserve that at least. RIGHT? I think everyone should visit this site and view the "virtual  house" of Goya. Click on each of the paintings to enlarge, and move about the room. Then read about them here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Slightly Greenish Thumb: Jade Plant

A couple weeks ago I attended the annual plant sale in Suffolk, at the armory. Not only did i get my photo taken by a reporter (personal plug), I also picked up this Jade Plant for a freakin' dollar! I couldn't believe it. I had one once, like 10 years ago, but it became ravished with parasites, this time however, I am on the look out for those little bastards!

Thrift Store Score: Guardian Statue

Came cross this wooden statue,I think it is a Thailand guardian statue, at the local CHKD, and had to have it. Even though I spent 10 bucks on it AND it's nose it broken off, I think it's the shit! I just wish i had another one...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Slightly Greenish Thumb: The Snake Plant

I really wish I had the space for a garden, but until we move into to a place with an actual yard, I have to focus on houseplants. I have a history of killing most pants, because I forget to water them, or in the case of my poor aloe plant (which is recovering nicely) I watered it too much. I even bought one of those water globe things, but if one tends to forget to water their plants, then why the hell would one remember to fill their water globe? Anyway......In light of my forgetfulness, I like to choose plants that are practically idiot proof. Like this "Snake Plant" or by its fancy name: Sansevieria trifasciata. This plant can be neglected as fuck, and still look good. It can be kept in low light, and in the winter it can go months with no water. It is also one of the best plants to improve indoor air quality. It grows really tall, and it also blooms, tho mine hasn't yet..... and the color of this plant is soooo freaking striking!!! So if your green thumb is mostly brown, but you want a house plant, get one of these, for real.

Fashion Victim: Feather Fetish

I have a new addiction, FEATHER EARRINGS!!! I came across this beauty supply store by my house that has the most amazing collection of huge 80's looking jewelry, including these hot pink AND polka dot feather earrings, and the simple black ones with beads. I think they really pop against the trashy bleach blond hair I am sportin' nowadays. The cool thing about this store, all their earnings are only a buck or two. GIMME GIMME GIMME...GIMME SOME MORE!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Craft Time: Picture Frame Tray

 I decided I wanted a tray top for my burgundy cow print beanbag ottoman, so it could function as a table and not just as a foot rest or seat. However, instead of buying one, I thought I could make one cheap and easy. So I ripped an old art print from an old book I found at a dump, put it in an old frame I got from a thrift store for a dollar, screwed on some drawer pulls I got at a discount at Lowes (20 cent each) and created this awesome tray. Total price: about a dollar fifty!

Thrift Store Score: Maidens Downfall

I found this really cool Orchids of Hawaii hula girl mug and bought it as a present for my best friend. Orchids of Hawaii (OOH) was a restaurant supply company based in the Bronx with most of it's items manufactured in Japan, and later Taiwan. I believe this mug is from the late 70's. It was featured in the OOH bartenders guide advertising drinks such as the "Love Potion" and "Maidens Downfall".

Art?: I Thought I Saw A...

Sometimes the most horrific things can be so visually stunning they become beautiful. I found this mutilated bird on a driveway. It was missing the lower section of its body, one of it's organs was laid beside it's head, and it's severed wing was a few inches away. I thought it would make a lovely picture.

Craft Time: Shrooms for the Livingroom

I found these really cool retro looking ceramic tiles at a thrift store and thought they would make awesome coasters. I hot glued fabric strips on the back to cushion them and to protect the table tops. Four custom made coasters cost me only 2 bucks!

Thrift Store Score: Brass and Marbles

I found these awesome Fisher "Jewel Trays"  in a little country thrift store in the outskirts of Suffolk. They were patented in the 30's and i think served as ashtrays, coasters, and tip trays at bars or restaurants. They are hammered brass with marbles around the edge. I have seen these priced individually anywhere from 20 bucks and up, depending on the color and types of marbles used. I got these as a set for 2 bucks! SCORE!!!!! They look awesome with the rest of my brass collection, which is mostly stuff from India, China, and Japan.

Ghetto Dessert: Fucking GO-NUTS

Being poor forces you to be creative sometimes. I am a sugar addict, and being on a budget means no money wasted on sugary junk food, sigh..... however, I was able to make these fried bisquick dough balls rolled in powdered sugar, YUMMY!!!! I also made some with a orange sugar glaze that were even better.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

...and so it begins...

Well, this is my first blog.....I have just recently decided it may be fun to create one for all my artsy crafty types of things and just cool shit i come across on a daily......so check back and comment often!