Tomorrow I'm going under the surgeon's knife - for my teeth. I'm getting a root planing on my lower jaw, a procedure that involves cutting the gums to scrape away the tartar and plaque at the bottoms of my teeth. If that sounds unpleasant, at least it's under partial sedation. Then I have to stay in bed and eat nothing but soup and applesauce. And contemplate my tiny, misshapen, high-maintenance teeth. Damn you, bad genes!
Since I probably won't be in any mood to do anything, I'm gonna lay low here for a few days. Wish me luck.
Hermit Crab Chronicles
Last Sunday morning, we found this dried-up thing hanging out of the shell of our pet hermit crab. We thought it died, but then we looked inside the shell and found a smaller, pinker crab hiding inside. It shed its skin! With a sigh of relief, we separated the crab from its two cagemates so that it could eat its own discarded skin (eww!) in peace. We've had these crabs for two years now, but this is the first time we've seen one shed its skin. Kewl.
The Postal Service
Yesterday, I was doing one of my usual runs to the post office when something unusual happened. I was driving up to one of the metered parking spots and noticed some papers lying in the street. It appeared that someone bought lots of postage stamps in various amounts (likely $50-100 worth), then drove off and forgot about them. I parked my car in the nearest spot to investigate, but at the same time some guy on a bike was riding by. Before I could get out of the car, the guy casually rode over to the stamps, stuck them in his backpack, and rode off. Needless to say, the stamps probably didn't belong to him - and I didn't see him inside the post office returning them later on. Should I have confronted him? The thing is, I probably would have done the same thing and kept the stamps for myself. Had the stamps included a receipt, I would have returned them all to the post office — but it still makes me feel awful to think that my first impulse was "Ooh, goody - free stamps!"
Triffids B Gone
Oh, hello. Sorry for the lack of updates here. I've been doing some tinkering on scrubbles' archived pages so that everything finally looks consistent. Before this, all my pages from 2000 still had the appearance of redesign #1 from (cough) four years ago. Now the entire archives have the look of redesign #2.1, which ought to keep me moderately happy until I undertake a redesign #3 (soon, I hope).
Other than that, I'm stuck in the summer blahs. Working at home gives one lots of freedom, but there are trade-offs. In order to feel like I'm at a normal job, I try to dress in a presentable manner. Just for myself. But it's too hot to sit around the house that way, so by four in the afternoon I'm back in t-shirt and boxers and feeling empty because I didn't accomplish much that day, except pet the cat. Typical day.
Image comes from Vintage Paperbacks and Digests—a new one for me.
Bisbee and Points South
I made a little page
showing photos and commentary from our trip to Southwestern Arizona last February. Enjoy!
Dude, We're Getting a Dell
Our old TV just kicked the bucket. The 11-year-old Sony was one of the last few remaining appliances from my first apartment, along with a little Sanyo microwave which is, amazingly, still going strong. We were watching a 'Cheap Seats' last night and suddenly, "Pop!" The picture went black. All attempts at revival failed and it was pronounced dead at approximately 7:45 p.m. We got a small replacement TV later that night (a little Sanyo, natch). It'll keep us occupied until our real
TV arrives -- a Dell 30" LCD system
. That should be nice, but I'll always have a place in my heart for the old Sony, a television so heavy and clunky that it nearly fell off its wooden stand a few times. R.I.P.
Sale of the Century
For the first time, we participated in the neighborhood garage sale over the weekend. Don't know if I'll do it again. For one, I'm not a morning person and lugging a bunch of junk out to the driveway at 6:30 a.m. is not fun. Then there's the special breed of yard sale shoppers who show up early and try to take advantage of the fact that most everything hasn't been displayed or priced yet. The first hour was a flurry of activity, the second hour had a few brisk sales, then we spent the final three hours of the sale sitting around noticing how the neighbor across the street was getting far more customers than us. By the end of the day, we had sunburned necks and a modest profit from selling roughly a third of our junk. OK, but not great.
Things that sold: new hand-embroidered towels from my grandmother, VHS movies, bottom half of a mannequin, fake Eero Saarinen tulip chair, old cell phone, '80s combo cd holder/halogen lamp.
Things that didn't sell: drafting table, '50s melamine dinnerware, VHS blank cassettes, glassware, complete Mac IIci system ($20!), CD jewel boxes, board games, fast food toys.
According to my Amazon.com associates account, I earned $9.99 in referral fees during the first quarter of 2005. The first quarter of 2005 just ended yesterday. The minimum amount Amazon will pay to its affiliates each quarter: $10. Damn!!
Please, somebody cheer me up and buy something at Amazon.
I Didn't Do It
Comments are temporarily unavailable around here -- "Internal Server Error". I have no idea why that is so; I didn't change settings or anything. You'll have to sit tight until this is fixed, sorry!
A Triscuit A Tasket
We had fun watching the Oscards last night, even if the pageant-style nominee lineups and the handing out awards from the audience thing was a little weird. If the producers really wanted to save time, I have a good idea - let Robin Williams stay home. Jeez, what a ham. No, the big success of the night were my appetizers. I made up several plates of Triscuits
topped with five variants of yummies. Each kind was named after the night's Best Picture nominees:
- Aviator Apple and Swiss
- Finding Neverland Cream Cheese and Caviar
- Million Dollar Baby Bratwurst and Melted Cheddar
- Ray Rockin' Cold Crab Salad
- Sideways Swiss and Pear
At our Oscar party (guests: me and Christopher), they were a hit -- Two Thumbs Up! I'd like to thank Nabisco for making such a fine product, and my publicist.
Pussy Got Me Dizzay
Another thing we've been dealing with lately -- our cat, Eames
, has been diagnosed as diabetic. The problem began when we came back from vacation and found that kitty's box was a big mess, resulting in mud prints and cat dirt all over the house. We also noticed he was constantly drinking, even from the toilet. Diabetes is pretty common in older cats, so it's not too big of a deal; we just have to adjust to a new diet, no table scraps, and administering insulin shots twice daily. I have an aversion to needles, but Eames doesn't seem to mind. Good cat.
Gone for a Little Bit
I'm going off on holiday this week. Posting will resume 'round the 18th. See you!
Took some time today to update those pesky old copyright years on my portfolio
. While there, I added a couple of manga logos
I designed for Viz - Whistle!
and Eyeshield 21. Whistle!
is already out, while the football-themed Eyeshield 21
has a special preview in this month's Shonen Jump
It's interesting, when I tell people that part of my freelance duties include reinterpreting Japanese comic book logos into English, they smile and cock their heads and say "Oh?" as if the thought never entered into their heads. Well, somebody has to do that! It's fun work, and I get to put my Adobe Illustrator skills into overdrive.
The Cassias Are In Bloom Again
It's a good time to be a flower in Phoenix. Yesterday, I went out in our yard and snapped some photos of the early blooms that resulted from heavier than usual rainfall this winter. You can view them in a Flickr gallery here
. The extra rain also produced lots of weeds, but I didn't take any photos of those.
Things I Like Right Now
- Nice weather.
- Downloading a great mashup of whistling moments from various songs posted at Boing Boing.
- Safeway brand mint chocolate cookies (sort of a Girl Scout Thin Mint on steroids), served cold.
- Grooving to two mellow early '70s albums on iTunes -- The Carpenters' A Song for You and The Free Design's One by One. Both of these have fantastic musicianship, a warm, expansive sound, and surprisingly funky moments.
- Watching early Knots Landing reruns Saturday nights on the Soapnet channel. They're just starting with the 1982-83 season, back when the drama was relatively subtle and the actors were more approachable. Michelle Lee rocked on that show.
- Realizing that, with the above three items, I must be a middle-aged woman trapped in a man's body.
- Watching the first season Pee Wee's Playhouse DVDs and appreciating the subversive casting. I'm talking about the late Shirley Stoler, Rubenesque star of cult movies Seven Beauties and The Honeymoon Killers, slumming around as nosy neighbor Mrs. Steve. She's fantastic. Too bad they dumped her (and sexy lifeguard Tito) for season 2.
- Renting a DVD called Hits of R.D. Burman and seeing the visuals with some of my fave Bollywood songs. So far, this disc has its share of goofy moments -- like the glittery jewel heist scene/disco number that appears to have been influenced by Donna Summer's "I Feel Love".
- Playing The Sims Makin' Magic just to transform the Sims' family pets into humans.
Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By
Bear with me while I'm going through some weblog problems. It appears that all of my 2005 entries are not being archived (individual, monthly and category). Also, rebuilding pages in Moveable Type always brings up "internal server error" messages. I'm gonna try upgrading to MT 4.13 and see if that works. Ciao!
Let's All Go to the Stør
Last Saturday, we did something I've been wanting to do for awhile: trek over to the brand new Ikea
store located in nearby Tempe. Now, I know it's somewhat fashionable to bash Ikea with its shoddy craftsmanship, baffling stores, and non-existent customer service. But I'm not going there. You have to understand that I've been waiting for a place that sells affordable, modern furnishings for a long, long
time. Eleven years ago, when I had my first apartment in suburban Chandler AZ, local furniture options were very limited. One had a choice between Southwestern, Country Puke, neo Colonial, or bland chunky oak pieces which appeared to have been carted off a TV sitcom set. The only vaguely forward looking stuff was the hideous black-tubing-and-glass stuff favored by drug dealers. Faced with these choices, I ended up buying everything at Target (which was nowhere near as design-conscious then as it is today).
Anyway, the Ikea wasn't an entirely pleasant experience. The place was completely mobbed with broods of jabbering white suburbanites - like something out of Dante, but with tasteful blonde-wood furnishings. I never felt so cattle-like as when we had to follow the arrows around the showroom with everyone else (naturally, me and Christopher started at the end and mainly swam upstream). Hoping to grab a bite at the restaurant, we immediately turned away after seeing the long, long, long line. The sheer amount of stuff on display was overwhelming, until we studied it up close and found half the items sport "temporarily
understocked oversold" tags. We had our sights set on their Makiger TV unit - and there it was, in stock! Along the way, we picked up some other neat weirdly named things: three Prekär vases for $3.99, a Tove bedding set, and a Mil floor lamp. I loved their lighting in particular, some of which appeared influenced by funky '60s Italian design. Beautiful items all, but there's an unintended side effect: now that our TV unit is at home and assembled, the neighboring old bookshelf looks mighty dowdy. I'll have to head back someday and get some matching Magiker shelves (and sample the restaurant). But not on a Saturday. Never on a Saturday.
Spurred on by its getting linked
on MetaFilter, I finally got time to do a long-overdue update for The Joyce Compton Shrine
this week. One of her movies, an RKO programmer called The Villain Still Pursued Her
, was surprisingly released as a budget DVD just after Christmas. I'm hoping to see this parody of early movie melodramas soon. Interesting that supporting players Compton and Buster Keaton are pictured on the cover instead of the leads.
A Note from Twinkletoes
Hope everyone's holiday shopping is going swell. I've got everyone pretty much under control - except for my nephew. What would a good gift for a 2-1/2 year old boy? I'd like to get him something stimulating and creative, non gender-specific, not too expensive or commercial. Something hip! Maybe I'll get him a set of building blocks. Blocks are good.
Now with More Sha-La-La
Just completed the Winter 2004 scrubbles.net mix - Oohay!
collects obscure '60s goodies downloaded mostly off the Yahoo groups Spectropop
and Tweedlee Dum's Drive-In
. This is going out to some of my online pals as a very cheap Xmas gift; if anybody wants one, let me know.
Speaking of gifts, I wanna thank my friend Brad for sending along Tim Biskup's 100 Paintings as a belated birthday present. Thanks! Biskup's genius with the paintbrush can bee sampled at his website.
Me and Christopher just exchanged lovey gifts in anticipation of our 10th anniversary (wha? we've known each other for ten years
??) this Monday. I gave him In the Mood For Love
and this Taschen 20th Century Design day-to-day calendar
. He gave me The Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 2
. Looks like we're in for a fun weekend!
Happiness Is ...
Earlier today, I had a business appointment in nearby Tempe. Since it was a gorgeous cold and cloudy day, I decided to walk around downtown and head to my favorite funky little used book store. This particular place specializes in cool art and design volumes, and with this visit I was delighted to find that they're thriving despite the creeping gentrification of the surrounding area (a Border's just opened across the street). Even better, they had a mint condition copy of Japanese Modern: Graphic Design Between the Wars
. This gorgeous paperback was part of Chronicle
's excellent Art Deco Series by Steven Heller, which came out in the '90s and unfortunately faded out of print by decade's end. I'm on my way toward collecting them all, but used copies of these books don't come up often. The Japanese one is by far the rarest ('til now the cheapest I've found it online was sixty bucks). Amazingly, this store had every single book in the series at affordable prices. So, here's to funky little used book stores!
Last night I dreamt that, when logging into the scrubbles.net control panel, I found that spammers had not only left thousands of comments, they started making new entries
touting lame-o online casinos and perscription drugs. Eek!! It never fails. I spend lots of time on projects, then they haunt me in my dreams. A few nights ago, after some heavy Sims playing, I dreamt that a Sim house that was lovingly built from scratch was slowly filling with water. I was frantically trying to stop it while, one by one, my Sim family drowned to death. The kids died first (because they're shorter), then the adults. Don't know what that means.
Related: The Sim Murder Page
I'm 36 years old today. Hooray for birthdays! Honestly, I love being in my 30s. I have the freedom and responsibility of an adult and the childlike ability to be a connoisseur of crappy TV sitcoms and sweetened breakfast cereals. Best of both worlds.
For my birthday weekend, we're attending a performance by Kathy Griffin tomorrow night in Scottsdale. If you've ever seen her standup special The D-List, you know how hilariously catty she can be. This appearance benefits Body Positive and happens to be sponsored by the company Christopher works at. Naturally, as soon as I heard about this I bugged C. to pull strings and get us tickets. And it worked! Can't wait.
Tuesday the 5th
I made myself some nachos for lunch and sat down to watch some TCM in my boxers. Caught a 1928 Vitaphone short subject with an all-girl band called The Injenues
. They played stuff like "Tiger Rag" and "Shakin' the Blues Away" with a chorus of banjos; idly wondered if any of the members are still alive. Returned to the computer. Sorry, people, sometimes my days are very boring
Last night we attended a fun lecture with Simpsons writer/producer Mike Reiss
at our local college. Lots of frank talk about the show's production, his own screwy life and where the show is heading (full speed ahead on the movie). One interesting tidbit was that the character of Mr. Bergstrom from the season 2 classic Lisa's Substitute
was physically modeled after him. It's true! He also said the best character he created was Troy McClure, the worst celebrity guest was Oprah Winfrey ("That woman has the hugest head I've ever seen."), and his best gag was Sherri Bobbins getting sucked into the airplane engine at the end of her episode
. And he called President Bush "Satan ... with a learning disability."
After the talk, we went home and watch the Lost premiere - so I guess people getting sucked into airplane engines was the theme of the night.
Ain't it cute? This is the black kitten that we rescued from our backyard. He was trapped in a tiny wedge of space between our fence and the neighbor's fence, surrounded by prickly pear pieces and mewling like mad. Christopher fashioned a lasso out of rope, then we pulled him out by the neck. He was frightened but otherwise seemed healthy - and noisy! We brought him inside, tried to get it to drink some water, and called the Humane Society's animal rescue van. Poor baby. I felt a little better when the AHS girl arrived and said the kitty looked okay and will likely be adopted out to a loving family. It was at just the right age to be weaned off its mama. That kitten sure had lung power - I could still hear it meowing away from across the street, just before the animal rescue vehicle drove him away to his new life.
Notice anything different here? I was tweaking the style sheet on this site, and suddenly my weblog content is stretched out to the right side of the browser. This has always been a problem, but it was fixed by containing the weblog content in its own table. Not anymore. For some reason, it affects only the scrubbles.net main index and not archived pages. Arrgh.
In the meantime, I've switched stuff around as a temporary fix. I know it looks clumsy, but at least you can read everything this way. Would any CSS or Moveable Type experts out there know why weblog content would stretch itself to the right side?
It appears that, while I was cleaning out spam comments, I accidentally deleted some legit comments left recently. Sorry 'bout that. Feel free to comment again, if you want!
To cut down on spam, I set up some commenting rules. Anything left on a post that's more than two weeks old gets moderated first. Also, using certain keywords will instantly block a comment. But don't worry -- as long as you don't mention specific pharmaceutical products or gambling activities, you should be fine.
Yeah, But Will It Work?
Just installed Moveable Type
3.11, and boy are my arms tired (ba dum dump). Seriously, what a long, involving, exhausting experience. Everything is up and running now, I hope. Gotta finish my Hostess Snoballs and finally enjoy the long weekend ...
Animals Need Super Absorbancy, Too
Yesterday we did our good deed and donated several boxes of towels to the Humane Society. It was nice, but sad. We didn't get anywhere near the area where pets are offered to prospective owners, but I heard dog barks and couldn't help thinking how much longer those animals have to live. Somebody else was there unloading the dog they had for a year. Sad. Anyway, if you have excess towels or blankets, your local Humane Society would sure appreciate them.
Hey. Sorry for the long time between updates. I want to point out something that's been keeping me busy:
This is the logo for Whistle!, a new soccer-themed manga series from VIZ
. If you look at the cover of the latest Shonen Jump
magazine (issue #21, available at Safeway and Wal-Mart), you can see it right there on the cover. Pretty cool! Maybe Cartoon Network will bring the animated version
over here someday - and my logo will be on television.
In other news, Christopher just bought me a new iPod. Or more accurately, one of the older iPods that Apple is phasing out. We got a great deal at Amazon on the 15GB one. Not that I'd need all that space - it took nearly a whole year for me to fill just half of my old 10GB model. I guess I don't want my entire music collection on there, you know? C. will get the old iPod, which we loaded with 18 days' worth of vintage Jack Benny radio programs. A great arrangement for both of us!
Disgusting Skin Stuff
Today we went to a dermatologist and I finally had my skin tags
removed. With Christopher's help in arranging the appointment, about 20 of these harmless but disgusting little growths were systematically burnt off my neck, shoulders, armpits and eyelids. Gross. If you don't have skin tags - be very, very thankful.
Today is the birthday of my sweetie, Christopher. Happy birthday! Make his day by purchasing a copy of Mama Cat
. At Amazon
. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Four Years Already?
Scrubbles is four years old today. If it was president, it would be serving out its first term. If it was a high school student, it would be graduated and preparing for college (or the swing shift at Burger King). Back in July 2000, this was the first thing I wrote:
Welcome to my blog.
Some rules are in order here.
My first rule is to never use the word "blog" again. I don't like that word. It conjures up images of some vaguely unappetizing snack of the future, to be eaten with Slurm. Yuck.
My second rule is to always be different, readable, fun and interesting. Most pages of this type are too self-absorbed, whiny and clique-ish. If you're looking for more of that, go somewhere else. This page will have a few links, but will also be content filled and nutritious, too!
And I stuck with it, even if I'm not quite as prolific now as I was then. The so-called blogosphere has grown so much, this place comes across like a quaint country cottage surrounded by skyscrapers. But I'm happy that scrubbles still has a measure of uniqueness in a crowded field, and I'm going to keep on truckin' with this thing as long as there's diverting enough stuff out there to comment on.
Of Local Interest
Today we took a little field trip to WaterWorks at Arizona Falls
. It's basically a water treatment plant that has been refashioned into a public-friendly gathering spot, with soothing waterfalls, paths, rocks and benches. In some spots, you can look down into the canal at fish swimming around. Fun. The place is at Indian School Road east of 56th Street in Phoenix.
The Monster That Ate My Inbox
I've been under Spam attack lately. Not a huge problem normally, but now I'm getting hundreds of messages a day from the same "person". I want to know what this accomplishes, besides annoying the hell out of me. All have the same four subject lines, the same empty emails with the same 12K attatchment, repeating, repeating. Just today, I've gotten 1,193 messages and counting from this joker. I figure since they're all coming from the same address, I can have my webhost block them, right? Guess I'll find out next week - due to a "staffing shortage", they won't be able to answer tech support queries until Monday. Until then, the ambush continues ...
In a fit of boredom, I've categorized every blog entry made in the past year. Now all posts sharing the same subject matter have their own archived pages (and let me warn ya, those are big-ass pages). The categories:
- movies on big or little screens.
- weblogs, computers and other online doings.
- personal stories from my past.
- anything that doesn't fit into the other categories (which is to say plenty
- books, magazines, comics and other media.
- design, illustration, architecture, and the arts.
- stuff about this weblog or from my own life.
Some of the posts overlap into other categories, but that's okay.
To Do List
(A guest post from Eames)
1. Sleep in hallway.
2. Splash a stomachful of partially digested Kit 'N Kaboodle onto the wall, the floor, the fan, the tablecloth, and the windowsill.
3. Drink water.
3. Solicit pets from master.
3. Sleep on Matt's bed.
Portrait of Joan
I always look forward to Vanity Fair
's yearly Hollywood Issue for the articles on vintage movies and movie stars. The latest edition
has a long article (not online, drat!) on the making of the 1959 Joan Crawford kitschfest The Best of Everything
Speaking of Joan, the living room of our pal Joe boasts a huge framed painting of her. It looks to be from the same era as 'Best;' amazing in its detail. I don't know whether it was a movie prop, fan art, or something from Miss Crawford's own estate. Click below for a photo.
Priscilla Has Left the Building
The Oscars. Here's a subject that I would have written about earlier had it not been for the marathon dentist office visit I had today (four hours and only a copy of "Cooking Light" magazine for company). A single night later, it seems dated. Oh well. We just watched it to dish and have fun. Occasionally we have outbursts. "Oh my God, Priscilla Presley has gotten so fat!" said Christopher, pointing at an audience member who sorta resembled a bloated, matronly Priscilla from 1988. That wasn't Priscilla. No way. I went online and I all found was this piece
from Awful Plastic Surgery
. No documented evidence that Ms. Presley attended the Academy Awards has been found thus far.
As for the rest of the show, yawn. Low Culture's recap from a dog
had more entertainment value.
M&C's California Redwoods Adventure
- yep, we finally have a website about our vacation. I'm no photographer, but the pics of the Snoopy's Gift Shop window and moss on a stump came out pretty good.
I started a little side blog here at scrubbles - "The Remainder Table." Scroll way down to the right and it's there. This is where I will share miscellaneous interesting links that don't need the full blog entry treatment. No hyperlinks or comments or archiving here. As soon as they number a dozen or so, oldest links will be removed when new ones are added.
The concept of "side blogs" has really taken off in the past year. How often mine will be updated, time will tell ...
Our California Adventure
Our vacation is over and done. While we aimed to have fun, the main purpose of this trip was to scout out Northern Californian places to move. Where we went --
- Stimulating, chaotic, dense, expensive. The only way we could safely live here is if one of us had some cushy job at a major corporation. Once I arrived, however, it was easy to see its charms. Our gracious hosts were Beth and Eric, who showed us their lovely house, then took us out for a late lunch of French crepes. Then we went to Amoeba records
and the SF Giant Robot
store for some cool shopping. As we drove over the Golden Gate that night, I saw the most beautiful sight of the trip: a full moon over the bay, glittering city to the right, our destination to the left.
- I re-saw the underrated Smile
recently, a film that makes kitschy mid-70s Santa Rosa look like The Dorkiest Place on Earth. Luckily, it's not that dismal. We visited the Charles M. Schulz Museum
and checked out the funky storefronts in the railroad district. There was also a hulking old mall that looked interesting. The soulless car dealers and chain stores along the highway didn't get as much scrutiny. A livable, if indistinct, place.
) - I was looking forward to Eureka, but once I arrived it seemed a little blah, not quite clean enough, down on its luck. You don't get any sense that it's near an ocean. BUT the people were great, the Old Town district was gorgeous, and some of the circa-1930s homes were the most affordable ones we found. A tossup.
) - Fantastic. As soon as we saw the funky little shops, the cute central park, and the exceedingly courteous drivers we wanted to live here. Arcata is a progressive college town (the only U.S. community to openly defy the Patriot Act) with a casual atmosphere. Housing was a little pricey, however.
) - This was our number one pick. Tiny, gorgeous cliffside village with beaches to walk to. I would dearly love to live here. Probably too expensive, though. The population is only 311 - does that look like a town that has any need to grow?
- Two different towns right next to each other. Ferndale is all pretty Victorian houses, spic-and-span like out of a storybook. Lovely, if somewhat rural. Fortuna was the polar opposite of Arcata - dingy and dull, with a dispiriting air of oppressiveness.
South San Francisco
- Loved it! While there, we visited Christopher's friend Joe. Joe owns a fantastic '50s home with vaulted ceilings and gobs of modern collectibles. Nice guy. This area seemed suburban, but fresh and clean and near enough to the city. I would love to live there. Actually, I want Joe's house. And I want to work at Pixar
Scrubbles On Vacation
Vintage Northern Redwoods postcards
. We will be off to that area for a week. Posting here will resume after that. See ya!
No Rugrats, Please
I'm planning a little holiday in Northern California next week. Would anybody have hotel suggestions for Santa Rosa and the Eureka/Arcata area? We're looking for nice, affordable places that would NOT attract the "families with several noisy kids" crowd.
Did a little internal maintenance here and updated my portfolio
. Included are some new CD covers
, two recent illustrations
created for Mindjack.com
, and a batch of travel banners
I did while at the Republic. Those banners are among of the most creatively satisfying work I did there. They came out great, had blessedly little interference from management and thus made it to print almost entirely intact.
Despite these changes, the portfolio still needs some additional design examples. The trouble is, these designs are from the paper and I'm still harboring bad memories of working there.
The Object Acquisition Project: A Series
Below is the outside of a vintage Disneyland fold-out postcard folder, sent to Miss Marilyn Gibler of Lombard, IL in August of 1956. Miss Gibler undoubtedly reacted with joy (and maybe a little jealousy) as she opened the piece and saw brightly colored photos of attractions such as the Pirate Ship
and the Astro-Jets
. It was the first scan on my new HP Scanjet 4600
. I've never had my own scanner before, and this is one gorgeous, elegant piece of machinery that will get tons of use. It's model-thin and can be stored vertically on a bookshelf.
Speaking of vintage Disneyana, I just won two eBay auctions - a Disneyland Vacationland magazine
from 1967 and a lot of old Disneyland Hotel paper ephemera
. Very cool, and surprising. I hardly ever win anything on eBay.
I got sick last night. Chills, sore throat, sleeplessness, blocked sinuses, the whole bit. Though last night was extremely unpleasant, I felt better today. I like getting sick occasionally because it puts me in a strange frame of mind. Sounds are louder, lights are brighter, hot tea feels better.
Enough of that. For today's linky goodness, I recommend the NYT Magazine tribute
to Katharine Hepburn (via GreenCine Daily
) and Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli
'Mama Cat' Redux
Shameless Self Promotion Alert:
Our new book, Mama Cat, is now available at amazon.com
. They have Christopher's name wrong and mine's completely left out, but it's there. Indybook.com
is another website where you can get a copy. Also, I've added a few items to the Mama Cat store
Our DirecTivo unit is coming. We got our call from DirecTV, and our installation is scheduled for January 3rd. The wait will be over!
Merry Christmas, everyone.
The Day the Plip Plops Stopped
Earlier this week, something happened in our house. Something of the worst magnatude. It's so horrible that I can barely summon up the courage to type it.
The TiVo died.
I was sitting there using it, and the remote stopped responding. Then the unit turned itself off. Multiple attempts at reviving it only resulted in a screen that said "Just one minute more ... " for hours on end. A call to TiVo's tech support confirmed the worst - dead. Only thirteen months old, too. TiVo offered to send us a replacement for $99, but we passed - choosing instead to get the DirecTV/TiVo combo unit installed for the same price. We called DirecTV and - horrors! - they were out of the units. So we got put on the waiting list (DirecTV knocked $25 off the price for our troubles) and will have to muddle through a TiVoless existence for what may become months.
I'm already feeling the effects. Waiting through commercial breaks is excruciating. I use the idle time to learn stuff. Like, did you know that BBC America only has about five commercials that they rotate all the time? But I'm not complaining. Being without something will make one appreciate it more when it comes. If sharecroppers could do it during the Depression, so can we!
20 Things About This Time Of Year
In order of tolerance:
1. The angle of sunlight in December.
2. Old movies that aren't about Christmas, but have holiday scenes in them (All That Heaven Allows
; Remember the Night
3. "Skating" by Vince Guaraldi.
4. Bubble lights
5. Exotic ornaments at Cost Plus World Market.
6. Being able to use a fireplace in Phoenix.
7. The artificial log commercial with live penguins building a fire. Cute!
8. "2000 Miles"
by the Pretenders.
9. Holiday themed graphics on Starbucks cups.
10. The evocative opening lyrics of "Silver Bells" ("City sidewalks, busy sidewalks/Dressed in holiday style").
11. Making a garland with popcorn and Froot Loops.
12. The loneliness of a Salvation Army bell ringer.
13. Covering only the bottom half of a large tree with lights.
14. That "Christmas Day" song with annoying quasi-Caribbean sound.
15. White pointsetttias.
16. Hand-decorated sweatshirts on middle aged women.
17. Spray-on flocking.
18. Obligation gifts (candles, wine, baskets, etc.).
19. Candy canes. I have yet to witness someone who likes to eat a candy cane.
20. Bratty children.
Occasionally I check the Daypop Top Weblogs
. Lately I've noticed that this weblog is bouncing around the lower rungs of the Daypop score list. Scrubbles also appeared on the list last summer, scaling up to #50 at one point before disappearing - not that I'm keeping track or anything. According to them, "high Daypop Scoring weblogs confer more weight or importance to weblogs that they link to." I don't understand what that means, but whoo hoo I'm #89!
Campus Cutie Rarities
An update to my oft-neglected Campus Cuties
site - Other Campus Cuties
now includes photos of the super-rare Cuties not pictured in the main portion. They all recently went up on eBay in separate lots, but I couldn't get them since the dealer set ridiculously high reserves on them. Nevertheless, three of them each sold for $50 (gulp!).
Cooking With Soup
Here's a good idea for a Thanksgiving dessert. Today I baked a tomato soup cake (recipe here
) from a 1970 edition of Campbell's classic 'Cooking with Soup' cookbook. It's a delicious spice cake. According to them, "some women win blue ribbons with tomato soup cakes, others bake them as holiday gifts." How true!
Renaissance Fair People
Went to the local Renaissance Fair this weekend. This wasn't the big-budget fair but a smaller one put together by local organizations. It was fun. We walked around, ate some icky beef stew in a bread bowl, petted the miniature horses, and watched a belly dancing demonstration. What amazed me was that, aside from the begarbed fair workers, fully half of the attendees were dressed in ornate medieval costumes. As if they've been waiting all year for the opportunity to express their Inner Peasant. They tried real hard to make it authentic, but I don't think there were that many fat people in the Renaissance.
Happy Anniversary Baby
Nine years ago today, me and Christopher met for the first time when we sat next to each other at the theatre. Naturally, we've been inseparable ever since. Happy anniversary!
First Day of the Rest of My Life
This past week was diffucult to get through on the job, but I made it. Everytime I sat down at my desk, my emotions went from completely bored to hyper-emotional. There were several times I'd be sitting there weeping to myself. Still, there was never any doubt I made the right decision. Just about every co-worker I came in contact with said they'd do the same thing if they could. It's been a guiding principal that as soon as people don't treat me with respect, I'm out of there.
All wasn't bittersweet, however. Saturday, I invited some co-workers (including one fellow designer who was let go last summer - and replaced with a manager) over to the house for a tour, then to lunch. We dished, grumbled and laughed at the absurdity of the place. It was very cathartic. If it wasn't for them - and Christopher's loving support - things would have been much tougher. So now it's on to much needed relaxation and figuring out what the next phase in my career will be.
So I marched into the newspaper this morning and delivered a two weeks' notice to my boss. I'll bite my tongue as for the circumstances that led to that decision. My last day there will be November 7th, nearly 11 years to the day since I started there. It will be sad leaving my co-workers, but now I'm looking forward to what's ahead: regrouping, relaxing, and possibly getting a steady freelance thing going. Whatever happens, it's gotta be good.
P.S. Don't worry, scrubbles.net is not going to be affected by this.
Will Speak for Food
Yay! Elizabeth Kawasaki's site
is now live. This is the first web project I've designed for somebody else, and it took months
to complete. Beth is an extremely patient friend who's seeking voiceover work in SanFran. She's very versatile, and especially good at doing the Jeneane Garofolo-like, "cynical yet wise" voice. Note to producers: if Jeneane isn't available, Beth is your gal. I also like her narration and her "sultry" voice. Drop by and give her demos a listen (and give me some feedback on the design!).
Over at Max
's there's an interesting discussion of things you dislike that you shouldn't
. Of course, the reality is that one's likes and dislikes shouldn't be subdivided into "should/shouldn't" categories. Just enjoy what you like and rock on.
But it also got me thinking. What things do you hate? I mean really, really despise? Read on for my musings.
Music Not everything, but there are entire genres I don't understand. Post-1980 country, blues, new age, techno, current teeny pop, and Mexican "oom pa pa" music are some of them.
Weddings A wedding can be a beautiful thing. I have yet to see one. Most of them are tacky showpieces that bring out the most narcisstic, gag-inducing impulses in people.
Mainstream American Movies I believe I could live my entire life without having seen the entire Ben Affleck oveure.
Fragrances, Smelly Objects Don't get me wrong, I use deodorant. Just don't place scented potpourri, candles, and perfumed crap anywhere near my nostrils.
Women Who Obsess About Babies/Giving Birth Memo to the office baby lady: not everyone agrees that the pinnacle of human acheivement is the ability to breed. Please, just stay away from me.
Flip-flops They dig between your toes and make an awful sound. Worse yet, I'm beginning to see them at work (shudder).
Sports I tend to zone out whenever people around me start yakking away about their favorite sports team, for good reason. The whole system is boring, over-commercialized and encourages herdlike behavior.
TV That Everybody Watches But Me Includes The West Wing, Sex in the City, The Osbournes, American Idol, The Sopranos, CSI and everything on the WB. I have a life, thanks.
Holidays that Shouldn't Be Sorry Ma, but Mothers Day was created by the greeting card industry.
A Peek into My Bedroom
This might be of interest to about ten of you, but here are some photos of my rearranged bedroom
in a mac.com gallery. Previously the (small) bedroom had the bed in the middle with dressers and a computer desk jutted up against the bed with no chair. It was very uncomfortable and awkward. This arrangement is much
better. Read on for more!
The photos in detail:
1. Wide view - northeast corner.
2. Wide view - southeast corner.
3. Record hung on the wall. "Come Back to Sorrento" as performed by the Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries. Here's a closeup of the label.
4. Hamper with sock monkey. Kris made this for me in exchange for a cd. He's cute!
5. Top of my dresser. This is becoming the cat's favorite spot, so no breakables up here - just some books, a stuffed Snoopy, and a Japanese bull figurine I found in an antique store.
6. Decorative plastic disc on top of cd holder. Actually, it's a trivet. Christopher found it in a thrift.
7. iMac. Not much to say here.
8. Computer desk shelves with junk, dust. It was only after taking this photo that I realized how dusty this area gets. What you find in addition to all that dust is excess papers, CDs, action figures of Bobby Hill and his dog, a boxed Simpsons watch, a toy bus, and two floss holders.
9. Top shelf of bookshelf. We have a lot of bookshelves in the house, often with books grouped by subject. This one has basically books that don't fit in anywhere else. The top shelf has oversized books and a vintage Ford premium bank.
10. Second shelf of bookshelf.
11. Third shelf of bookshelf. I've read about half of these. The black onyx cat was acquired on a trip to Mazatlan.
12. Fourth shelf of bookshelf. Larger books.
13. Bottom two shelves of bookshelf. Also has some very old software packages.
14. Top of small dresser. There's a lot of cute stuff on here (like the circa 1970 kitty bank), but it's all obscured by this plastic 45 container. I have it out there so the cat won't hop on top.
15. Blue containers of CDs. These are waiting to be de-jewel box and placed in folders. The box on top contains special discs that will stay in their packaging.
16. Eames on the bed, with glowing eyes.
The Gift-Giving Finesse of My S.O.
My birthday weekend was a week ago, but I need to do a post on Christopher and his excellent gifts. Gifts from him tend to be vintage and lovingly picked with the recipient's personality in mind. He gave me a mint copy of Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room album
from the '60s. This album comes with a booklet and includes the Tiki Room songs on one side and the Jungle Cruise narration (by the legendary Thurl Ravenscroft
) on the other side. The latter was recorded especially for this album, I believe, since that attraction always had a live narration. Pretty cool as it also has some nifty ersatz-exotica music. He also gave me original booklets from two Museum of Modern art exhibits from the '50s - What Is Modern Design? and The Package. Great stuff!
BTW, Last Christmas, he gave me two rare pieces of Russel Wright aluminum ware - a canape tray and a cheese knife. He also gave me
a book on the making of the 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' TV special. See what I mean?
Adventures in DSL
I need some technical advice. I'm thinking about switching our home connection from modem to DSL, but there's a lot of things I'm still unclear about. Like, how does it work
? What gets installed? I know it involves a land phone line but that's it. Maybe this is a subject - like how hot dogs are made - that I'm better off not knowing about. We are a one Mac/one PC household, will that cause problems? Can we maintain separate email accounts? Do we have to pay the stinkin' phone company more money to use DSL?
The biggest stumbling block in going ahead with this is the expense. Anybody have provider recommendations? We're leaning toward Red Jellyfish, since they're somewhat cheap and they donate part of their profits to protect the rainforest.
I'm on multiple deadlines at work, so updates here may be sporadic. Or, more likely, non-existent. I will be back with a vengeance this weekend.
Scrubbles.net Summer 2003 Sampler
is my newest mix disc - a summer dealie that should have been completed months ago, but oh well. This collection is inspired by A&M Records
, Jonny Delicado
, and the hushed laughter of adults at a Malibu fodue party circa 1969. If anyone wants a trade, let me know.
Bowling and Coffee
It's Christopher's birthday today. We had a fun weekend celebrating. First thing we did yesterday was go bowling at Christown Lanes
. This alley was built around the same time as Christown Mall
with the same freewheeling "jet age" spirit, but unlike the mall it hasn't been remodeled into boringness. I haven't bowled in a while, but it was great and only my still aching right hand regrets it. Later on, we met with Chris (of the regrettably gone Encorswish) and Max (of the fabulous Lots of Co.
) - who was visiting here from Alabama - for a couple hours of Starbucks coffee drinks and fun talk. It was a blast, I'm so glad I got to visit with them. Then we got home out of the crippling Phoenix heat and Christopher recieved his presents: the South Park Season 2
dvd set, a 2004 Peanuts calendar, and a vintage 1940 boxed game - Fibber McGee and the Wistful Vista Mystery - because he loves the old radio show "Fibber McGee and Molly".
Happy Birthday, Christopher!
My Hot Weekend
The previous week has seen record high temps in Phoenix. The resulting weather has transformed me from a normal guy into a sluggish, disoriented, sweaty creature who subsides on nothing but Safeway Select diet root beer. Here's what I did this weekend -- Watched episodes three and four of Six Feet Under
. Watered the lawn. Napped a lot. Had a chicken leg for lunch. I also did some drawings for a secret, upcoming project. It doesn't get any more exciting than that.
Also I've registered the domain name joycecompton.com for a fansite on the definitive "dumb blonde" actress of the 30s and 40s. Right now there's just a splash graphic and the de regeur amazon.com link, but I've collected a ton of interesting stuff to put there in the near future. It will hopefully be the be-all and end-all info source for all things Joyce Compton. For now, you can check out her imdb page, this Classic Images magazine bio, a German fanpage, and her findagrave.com page.
New and (Slightly) Improved
After several weeks of agonizing tooling around, the Moveable Type
-ized scrubbles.net is ready to go. Whew.
The weblog is pretty much the way I want it, but there's still some tweaking to do. I'd like to make the line below the date grey instead of black. The info table to the right was taken from my Blogger template and needs to be redone with CSS. Archive-wise, the old Blogger pages have been reformatted, but not converted to MT (and never will be; too much work). The only entries I brought over from Blogger to MT were the two from earlier in July. By the way, during my hiatus scrubbles.net celebrated its third birthday. Happy birthday to scrubbles!
Scrubbles will be closed for maintenance until next week. In the meantime, I've been picked as a guest editor this month at the terrific groupblog Coudal Partners
- so anything interesting I come across will show up there. See ya!