Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Silliest Rant Ever

Oh my God I’m posting again?  What?  But you barely had time to read/think about reading but then never really get around to reading my last post!  I know.  Sorry.  Here’s why:

1. I’m going to start a rumor that my best friend, Liz, (read two posts ago) is going to do a guest post on this very blog!  HOMG you guys!

(If I seem crazy or “silly” as the title of this post suggests, it is only because I am really tired but I’m at that point in being tired where you suddenly feel really wired.  Yes that rhymed.)

2. I have a sort of rant, but it’s more like a cautionary snail

about how technology could actually be screwing us over.  But instead of ranting at you guys, which would be really boring and preachy, I decided to do it in the most ridiculous way possible.  I might actually sacrifice the ability to make sense for the sheer purpose of keeping my readers entertained.  So I’m gonna just throw words at you and then some completely random pictures to break up the blocks of text.  Like this one:

So I just got done watching this movie called The Artist.  You might have heard of it.  It won the Academy Award for best picture or some shit.  But the only reason I watched it was because there was this cute little Jack Russel Terrier in it and next to Great Danes, those little fuzzballs are my favorite breed of dog.  So I watched the movie and for those who don’t know, it’s about a silent film star who gets shunted aside for the new TALKIES that everyone is…talking about.  Yeah, I just decided to go with it.  So anyway, the movie was good and I’d recommend it because that dog (his name is Uggie and he’s got a book coming out) is so cute!  And the other stuff as well.  PICTURE TIME

So I got to thinking about newer technology and how that screwed the main character, George, over.  (I really shouldn’t have split up “screwed over” but rewriting is for people who have slept recently!)  For the record, I don’t think it was wrong that people made “talking pictures,” but if you think about it, George was punished for sticking with something “old” that was working pretty well for him.  This demonstrates how fixated our culture (even in the late 1920s and early 1930s) is on the next bigger, better thing.  New toys!  Shiny new toys!  So no one gives a thought about the book stores that are closing because their shiny new Kindle is showing them shiny new words on a screen!  Remember Borders guys?  It was a bookstore once.  It’s gone now.  Gone.

So, yes, we are losing quite a bit to technology.  And this does affect me because everyone is like “Self publishing is the way to go” and “eBooks are going to replace printed books soon,” and I’m gonna dig my heels in for as long as I can.  Why?  Because first of all, Kindles are great.  I have one.  But they aren’t books.  When I’m reading, I often flip back and forth through the book, rereading something for clarification, skipping ahead to see how many pages are left in the chapter while still holding my place with my thumb.  You can’t do that with a Kindle.  At least you can’t yet, and I’m not entirely sure people should work on fixing that.  Plus, books have this wonderful smell.  I’m not kidding.  They smell great, and the feel of that tiny breeze that wafts across your face as you flip through them…that’s an experience that a computer can’t give you.

But there’s another reason why technology isn’t always better and that’s because it does things like put entire companies out of business.  (No I’m not sure that Borders went out of business because of eBooks, but those couldn’t have helped.)  I’m not convinced that enough jobs will be created in the New Technology Industry to balance out the ones that are lost in the Old Smelly Books Industry.  Publishing companies are turning more and more to ePublishing, turning down more and more query letters from hopeful authors because the competition is fierce, and the demand for new, published, printed books is lowering.  And it shouldn’t!  I’ve actually been saying this for years, but because I’m not famous, no one has actually heard me say it outside of my immediate family: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  Just because you can make a bomb that wipes out entire continents doesn’t mean you should.  Just because you can replace all printed books with a tiny, glowing rectangle doesn’t mean you should.  People are so caught up in advancing technology that they don’t stop to think that maybe they’re forcing other people who work in other areas to take steps backward.  Suddenly people are running to catch up.  Meanwhile you’ve got automatic grocery store check out, ATMs, eBooks, robotic secretaries who say, “For English, please press one.”  We are long overdue for a picture.

In conclusion…I don’t know.  Think about the technology you’re using.  I’m not against it, mind.  I’ve got a smart phone just like eeeeverybody else, and I do like it, but…just…it’s not always the greatest thing.  And we’re so spoiled nowadays, people.  And we’re hypocrites, too.  Robots taking over the world.  It’s a cliche.  Yet we seem to be working as hard as we can to get there, all the while fearing the day that The Matrix or I, Robot becomes a reality.  All of this creating and no time to breathe.  Even God is said to have rested, right?

End rant.

Word of the Day: Soapbox (n) – an improvised platform, as one on a street, from which a speaker delivers an informal speech, an appeal, or political harangue.

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Writer’s Block, the Comic

A few notes.  One, another grammatical pet peeve of mine.  It’s short, so don’t worry.

It is amazing how the simple addition of an extra letter can change the meaning of a word so drastically.  I talked before about every day and everyday, and those don’t even have any difference in their lettering – only in the addition or deletion of a space.  Today, for your benefit and my sanity, I am going to quickly illuminate the difference between the words “Lightning” and “Lightening.”

LIGHTNING, no E, is the weather.  Here is Lightning illustrated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Recently, in I think two different sample manuscripts I was reading, the word “Lightening” was used to refer to the weather pattern illustrated above.  I haven’t illustrated “Lightening” for you, namely because the first definition that came up on Dictionary.com was this one:

Lightening (n) – the descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity, occurring toward the end of pregnancy, changing the contour of the abdomen and facilitating breathing by lessening pressure under the diaphragm.
So you can see why I didn’t want to draw that.  The word can also describe a progression from dark to light, or from heavy to light.  In any case, it is NOT used to describe the flashy electricity that comes from the sky when the weather gods have been angered.  Please don’t throw an E in where it doesn’t belonge!
Next, a quick note.  In drawing my best friend in my previous post, I realized that I had put her in a stance that I always draw her in – arms crossed, glaring out at the world as if she’s daring someone to cross her.  In thinking about this, I had to wonder why I always give my drawings of her that particular position, when I know her to be a very kind, witty person.  I felt the need to explain myself here because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression.  So I’ll say this: Liz does not suffer fools gladly.  But she is still a wonderful person to get to know.  The reason I draw her that way is that, in my mind, she has always been the stalwart warrior.  Someone who does not easily bend or break.  Someone who is assured of her own convictions, but still very open to new possibilities – studies, research, discoveries, whatever you may call it.  For that reason, I draw her in a warrior’s pose.  Just thought I’d let you know.
Finally, I’ve decided to take on a more serious cartooning endeavor in the form of a semi-regular comic strip entitled Writer’s Block.  And, before you ask, no this does not mean you’ll be seeing less of Mini Bex.  The strip will be included at the bottoms of blog posts, not on a separate page or website or another blog.  It will just be for fun, something you can glance at like you would a strip in the morning paper.  I’ll include the first strip I’ve drawn here in this post (Click to enlarge).  I hope you like it.
That’s all for now!

Word of the Day: Stalwart (adj) – strong and brave; valiant.

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Out of Context and into a New One

So I have this best friend, that I might have mentioned once or twice in the past.  The only instances I remember are from like…one of my first ever posts, which I refuse to link to because I like to pretend that part of my life never happened, and this post here.  Anyway, her name is Liz.  Here’s a picture of us together:

As she is currently residing in Scotland, where she is attending university, she requested that I put her in some form of Tartan.  I have never drawn Tartan before, so I apologize if it looks a bit sloppy.  That might be why she looks so perturbed in that picture.  Anyway, you might have noticed that we are two very different people…

But despite our differences, and my slightly longer right arm (how did that happen?), we have some hilarious conversations.  Usually on Skype or Facebook.  And I thought to myself that we could make some interesting poetry out of the things that Liz and I have said to each other over the past couple months.  You can guess what I did.  Below you will find eighteen poems composed solely of things that we have said to each other on Facebook chat.  Now I know I’ve said before that I don’t particularly like poetry.  In fact, if you clicked onto the post that I linked to above, you already know my opinion on the matter.  But I must say that this project was really fun to take on, and I thought the results were so amusing that they just had to be shared.  So here you go:

#1
Surgically removing the vocal cords it is then
It’d be amazeballs if you could do that
I am kind of a nerd, remember
 
#2
An Italian girl with the last name Ferrari. Priceless
I am kind of a nerd, remember
 
#3
I have a little bit of pride for my country right now. It’ll pass I’m sure
Anyone?  Anyone?
I’m not going to pretend I know where North Dakota is
Lots of English speakers don’t seem to know English
Whatever it was, I’m sure they deserved it
 
#4
I might have a puppy
Maybe the gophers are her true friends
I shan’t tell you
 
#5
My bladder insists I recognize its needs as valid
Are you a zombie?
No, obviously that predated being a responsible adult
 
#6
I don’t believe that this tiny Chinese girl is twenty
She just executed a perfect double shoe string flip into a backwards turkey somersault
Triple Deluxe Assassination Flips
A picture needed to happen
 
#7
So how’s you? Alive, which is good
It’s all the steroids
Amerrca has the best ‘roids
Yoga is dangerous bidniss
 
#8
How’s he feeling about being a real man?
Apparently he proposed with a ring from a toy store
Not being pregnant is pretty awesome
 
#9
Mittens Romney is running for president
I hope you ask the lunch’s permission first
After we fuck it
 
#10
Greetings from Slightly Less Pathetic-Ville
I wish an eerie fog hadn’t just descended over the city
Maybe when they give women the right to vote and foreigners the right to be treated as equals, things will change
They don’t even have pizza
 
#11
Silence? What’s that? Can I talk through it?
I thought I was all about hyperbole
Chocolate chip EVERYTHING exists
The house smelled so badly of smoke, I thought it might be on fire
 
#12
You seemed to want to talk
Just as an aside really
I was exhausted and angry
I realized I didn’t have to be that mean
Were you mean?
Don’t feel bad because it was hilarious
 
#13
We hope to satisfy you
Poor unpaid Romanian slave
I would like to return a pair of jeans I got in the mail today
Clearly our friendship is over
If they don’t understand the sarcasm then surely they’ll not understand what I’m asking for
Yet again
Clearly our friendship is over
 
#14
We’re not representing your brilliant new RomCom
I lost my virginity at Hebrew School
Either psychotically creepy or psychotically cute
The world may never know
That’d be the weirdest thing to brag about
 
#15
The time left in our lives is ticking away
Steal that idea and make it good
I wish I could
I don’t like being busy and important
I don’t think anything will come of this
I hate the word “job.” Also “money.” Also “what” and “are” and “you” and “going” and “to do” and “to make”
But I have my own ideas to make good
 
The time left in our lives is ticking away
Those people try to outrun the wind
Like a moth to skinny jeans
My brain is a toddler
I think you made a wrong turn somewhere in your life
I’m sorry mum, I’d love to visit, but I’ve been enslaved
Smiley faces are always offending you
 
The time left in our lives is ticking away
It kinda feels like you’re not allowed to be an idiot anymore
All the better for having sex with random strangers
Watching Batman cartoons indeed
I’m glad you’re finally fulfilled
Should I be flattered?
Things are looking up already
 
The time left in our lives is ticking away
Towards what or from what, I don’t know
Find a way to not be bored
Like maybe trying to be blue
If you’re ever here and not having illegal amounts of sex
Yes I am, and no I won’t
 
The time left in our lives is ticking away
Death is hilarious
Clearly the work of masters
 
#16
Oh, he is the sweetest of sweethearts
He asked what the definition of a party was, and I said it was him
He didn’t tell me what happened
He’s a stupidly fast learner
He thinks he’s funny sometimes. It’s cute
He surprised me, and I can sustain myself for weeks on the memory of seeing him there in my kitchen
He’s going to be in my future even if I have to drag him there kicking and screaming
 
#17
JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED
I thought I was all about hyperbole
UNLESS YOU’RE ME
Oh, he is the sweetest of sweethearts
WHICH YOU’RE NOT
If you’re ever here and not having illegal amounts of sex
YOU’RE A HEATHEN
 
#18
He’s done picking out the livers and leaving them all over the floor
Some people like to believe that’s food
Hot fudge, man.  Hot fudge
Next to steak
Christmas sushi is the best
You stay at home and eat jicama
Your food is against my religion
Why don’t I eat this and nothing else forever?
Maybe I will choose you over food
I hope you’re suitably disgusted
 

Word of the Day: Tartan (n) – a woolen or worsted cloth woven with stripes of different colors and widths crossing at right angles, worn chiefly by the Scottish Highlanders, each clan having its own distinctive plaid.

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Phone Booths! (Telephone Boxes?)

Hello!

Did I complete my phone booths, you ask?  Oh, yes, I did, thus undoing some of the damage from that incredibly stupid thing I did.  Did I permanently damage my back hunching over my computer as I painstakingly added minute details?  Oh, yes…probably.  I’m going to give you the full series at the bottom of this post, including the ones I posted a while back, (it’ll look long, but they’re only pictures, so they go by quickly) but first, two things.

1. A quick segment on how advertisers use wording to make you think they’re offering you something special.

I’m sure you’ve all seen some cheese-based product or another that advertises:

Cheez-Its

Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese does it, too.  As do a number of other products.  I’m pretty sure many of you have also eaten these products, and questioned the veracity of these advertised statements.  I know I have.  But all I want to point out is that these products have “Cheese” in the name (usually).  At least in one form or another, right?  (I suppose “cheez” has been accepted into the English lexicon)  So why should they have to advertise to us that their cheese product is made with cheese?  Shouldn’t we be able to take that for granted?  It just bothers me that, not only do we not already expect cheese products to be made of cheese, but that they sell us this stuff by advertising that the products are made with “real cheese” as if this is an added bonus.  Am I making sense?  It’s like if you grabbed a loaf of bread and it advertised that it’s made with Real Flour!  Shouldn’t that be a given?  I was just about to type that this is “food for thought,” but…puns.  Um…this is just something to think about.  No metaphor there, but you get the message.  I’m only pointing it out to make you think a bit.

#2.  I’ve come across another book I couldn’t finish.

That’s not entirely true – I could finish it, but the sad truth is I really don’t want to.  It didn’t give me any reason to.  I found I honestly don’t care what happens to the characters.  The book is called Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater.  It’s a werewolf book.  I have a thing for werewolf books.  Way back when I was listing my favorite authors and why I love them, I never got around to Patricia Briggs.  She writes my favorite werewolf series.  She’s a great author, she covers really weighty topics in her books, and her main character – Mercedes Thompson – can turn into a coyote at will.  She’s the only non-werewolf in a pack of werewolves, which helps to drive the plot.  Oo, that’s an interesting word: Plot.  You know what I found I was missing in Shiver?  Plot.  That’s not to say there isn’t one – there is.  And it’s well established.  But toward the middle of the book, I felt I only got snippets of plot that were surrounded with too much Love Story (in my opinion), and it honestly bored me.  I got that these characters were in love.  At some point it just felt like I was being beaten over the head with it.  So I decided to stop reading.  Because 208 pages into the 390 page book…well, I’m still not quite sure what’s actually going to be happening.  Not in a mysterious way.  More in a…the plot is taking a backseat to the lovers’ story kind of way.  So…I’m not interested.  There’s very little action.  I like action.  Just my preference.  I’m sure some other people are way into this series (Yes, of course it’s a series), but for me, it’s not happening.  The book is going into the donation pile.

That’s it!  I know, I didn’t do any cartoons today.  Perhaps the phone booths will make up for it.

Word of the Day: Veracity (n) – conformity to truth or fact; accuracy.

#1 – On the Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 – Night Sky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 – In the Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 – Parchment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 5 – Men at Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 – Crumpled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 – Long Distance Call

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 – Primary Colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 – Out of Outline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10 – Waterlogged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11 – Optical Illusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#12 – Collective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#13 – Under the Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#14 – On the Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#15 – Haunted

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