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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:45pm on 20/04/2011 under ,

Due to some life things my April got disrupted. SO! The focus month of nails is going to be TWO months, April and May. Because I want to be able to, y’know, focus on it. And I had to skip my mani one week, for the first time in about a year? Which indicated the amount of disruption happening, since I am more regular about doing my nails than I am about washing my hair.

But there are things and there will be pretties. Into May! For now, see this test wheel and know that the final set I did is soooo much hotter.

Flocked nails: test wheel

And I’m posting the Audacity Gambit—the first half of the longform story I did in January, on Sundays at 9pm PST. Evening fairytales. All sections can be found here.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 08:49am on 31/12/2010 under , ,

One thing I can acknowledge, despite the persistent strands of self-doubt I am slowly cutting away: I can teach myself any art or craft technique and make something halfway decent with it if I want to. I’m not going to be a genius at it, necessarily, but I can do it. Even back when I was just a painter I was interested in the process, which is most likely why I didn’t stay just a painter for long—and I was doing film photography, emphasis on darkroom work, and theatre and whatever else too, anyway, so moot point, I guess. I totally have a kryptonite though, if it involves electricity (like soft circuit work, even), I can’t do it. That stuff is mostly magic and dragon breath to me.

I like making things, seeing how things are made and cobbling together ways to do it myself. I collect techniques, so if I ever need a certain thing I can do it myself. The problem is, I like all those things I’ve learned to do, but there’s so much more I want to learn and make. Nor is cluttering my brain up with a million how-tos conducive to being able to focus on one thing. Or weaving it all together into something. Because I still get a niggling feeling left over from ancient days that maybe I should be creating a body of work.

So. What better time than a fresh new year to sort that shit out? As long as I can handle it, I’m going to devote one month to a media or process. Here’s a bulleted breakdown:

  • I’m not planning out beforehand which thing to focus on, so the inevitable urge to Do This Other Thing can guide what the next month’s focus will be.
  • If I haven’t devoted a month to it yet, I don’t do it. So even if I get a crazy hankering for process E, but are only up to B, no luck, it’s got to wait.
  • If I have devoted a month to it, it can work itself into what I’m focusing on that month, in moderation. But it can’t be stand alone, the process has got to flow into the current focus.
  • Nails continue as normal, ditto the airbrush, because I use that on my nails. I’d die of shame if I didn’t do my nails every week.
  • Taking snapshots of things I saw or made continues as normal, because that’s like breathing. Doing specific photography projects is not included in this pass. I can devote a month to that.

The idea of just focusing on one process or media is so freeing. I could dedicate a whole month to learning something new and feel no guilt that I’m not doing five other techniques. I could do this for longer than a year, probably. But I’ve learned never to go crazy with long term plans, because who knows what Thing will rear its head and complicate matters.

Alright then.

January, FYI, is going to be fiction writing (so, no obsessively researched fashion posts, etc). I have some goals which are none of your business, but I do have previously written stories I’ll be posting once a week in the interim. I’m not going to bore you with my personal realisations regarding submitting work for publication, but nobody liked any of the stories except me and Chase. And since this is my blog, that is enough for me.


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:14pm on 20/11/2010 under ,

I’ve been doing stuff and things, but it is far more important for you to hear this insane message left on our answering machine:

It’s from some sort of hell

We get faxes to our phone a lot (we’ve a landline) but this is beyond that.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 02:24pm on 13/10/2010 under , , , , , ,

After the total concert cockblock, we ended up going to Scissor Sisters the next week. It was an amazing show (I did a nail for it) and it answered the question that’s been in the back of my mind for ages, “Would I like clubbing?” Answer: YES. They made us work for the encore, came out with a costume change and right at the climax of the last song the ceiling exploded confetti and it was essentially magic. Drifting down, among the little tissue paper and mylar bits, were three dollar bills (ha) with a q-code on the back that goes to Perfection.

There’s been a kick to ramp up creating, making and being, which has been overwhelming but awesome. Chase has added a bunch of amazing stuff to his site. Things that have been sitting in my sketchbook for ages are getting done, like the Black Metal Eyelashes.

Black metal lashes: spikesouttake1

I’m embroidering again, and not being very good about documenting it, the latest big piece has a happy home and lots of snaps of my obsessive detail. The idea of showing my work at these things called “galleries” isn’t as hateful to me as it has been in the past, I’m dipping a toe in cautiously. The kitchen sink creature, in its tiny gross glory, packed itself down to Bloomington, Indiana, to be part of the opening show at Paper Crane Gallery.

I’m at a point where I feel like I can be “this is who I am,” not worrying so much about making others uncomfortable, or keeping things in my head. It is most probs because the people I share my heart with are all terrible, wonderful people who are in concert with me as to when a round of high-fives need to be served. And who totally approve of my leering about in padded bra and soft-packed pants in an attempt to present androgyny as a smorgasbord of choice.

Here’s something I did this week that made me proud:

I commute by bus and lightrail, about 1.5-2 hours, depending. As a small person I have to sometimes remain vigilant about my space. I don’t expect much, just, y’know, the space that I and my bag (slung in front so it doesn’t hit people unawares) take up. Some folks—let’s not call them yuppies, that would be mean—tend to exist only for themselves and will ooze into your standing or seated space with their elbows and bags and coats.

Due to some malfunction, my full train of commuters had to disembark and squeeze onto the next train behind. Which, sighs, but such is commuting life. So we all find space and stand and I luck out with a pole to hold onto instead of a strap, most of which are a little to high for me. Commuters continue to pack on at each stop.

I realise that the man next to me is taking up more space as time goes on, shifting about, resettling his bag so it swings into people, things that are hard to explain if you’ve never commuted on a full train. In short: being a dick. Resting my arm across the top of my bag, I go into my defensive commuting posture. I am not taking up more space, but attempts to take my space result in an elbow to the back. Which, totally happens. And the guy? Does not care. I was little more than a post to rest against. The drone of a bathroom remodel conversation continues.

Staring into space with loathing for my fellow man, I realise the jerk’s bag is open. And I did not spit in it, though I thought about it. Instead, tucking arms in and trying not to fall as the train hit curves, I pulled a pen and paper from my pockets and wrote a note—”Just because you’re white, male and middle class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the space you take up on public transit.” I folded the note and slipped it into his bag, where it nestled next to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

So I’m learning to be comfortable in my happiness. But I will not be complacent.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:23pm on 03/09/2010 under , , , , , ,

I’ve been blogging for work, helping Chase with his art book and reading the crap out of City of Roses which has been crazy fun, and everything is ramping up to busy season again, so here’s a quick dump o’ stuff:

Best of W, a couple of spreads

Nails did: 14/07/10, just the planets

Ooh casting


Nails did: 19/08/10, Jaws 2

Paring down sketchbooks!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:23pm on 04/06/2010 under , , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 03:25pm on 26/04/2010 under , , ,

I really need to learn to stop telling people that I’m Palestinian. It invariably creates questions and conversations at times when I’d much rather just be reading while waiting for the bus or train. Do real Jewish people get asked by strangers with unsettling regularity for confirmation of their stereotypical genetic markers?

I have never had someone react quite the way a woman at my morning bus stop did last Monday, however. Here, let me set it up:

Every workday I walk from home in the old residential area of town to one our more ridiculous bus stops. Situated in front of a Plaid Pantry, the area’s answer to the 7-11, this stop sees the passage of innumerable drunks, commuting children, people getting off graveyard shifts and so on. There’s a coffee kiosk behind it, run by Wayne, one of the more endearing Canadian-Americans I know. He’ll be putting out a-board signs with the day’s specials as I walk up, or shortly after, and we always wish each other good morning. I meander a couple of yards past the bus shelter so I can finish my cigarette and start in on the day’s read while keeping a clear view of the road through the cherry trees.

It’s nice. It is routine. I won’t be home for another ten or eleven hours and I like my handful of minutes sitting there, enjoying the morning. I will give people cigarettes and lights and talk about the weather with Wayne, but I fiercely treasure those moments of quiet where it is just me and my book and a raucous group of birds across the street.

But Monday. Monday when I walk up to the stop I hear Wayne interacting with an overly cheerful lady. Being a crazy ray of sunshine himself he barely falters as she learns his northern origins and shouts “God Bless Canada!”

I start in on my book, the back of my neck tracking the cheerful woman’s movements. When you are antisocial, talkative people inspire cold-war levels of paranoia and preparation against learning far too many facts about their pets and their children and their Jesus. I believe I flinched when she called “Morning!” from the shelter of one of the town’s monstrous sequoias. Assuming that I was not her intended target, since I was clearly reading, I ignored her. Totally in vain. “Morning!” she called again.

Against every inner will, politeness took over and I turned, painfully, to regard her. I gave her a “Good morning,” and returned to my book. Taking my words as an invitation to make friends, the woman wandered over to where I sat and began talking at me. I tried my best to look very interested in my book, eyes returning to the page during every pause in her rambling speech.

I couldn’t really tell if she was intoxicated or naturally unaware of social signals. She was engulfed in a red sweatshirt, her hair looking like it had been done the morning before and not touched since, half-matted and the straw blonde of a woman in her forties still trying to overcome mousey brown at home. There was a feather stuck at a wilting angle in her hair, which clashed a little with the crushed orange plastic lei.

When she asked me about the book I was reading I told her it was science fiction. This launched a weird anecdote on her part about Scientology and some gathering in the city her nine year-old daughter had seen. “And she told me she liked what they were talking about, and here’s this little girl who doesn’t know anything and what does that show us?”

A handful of completely inappropriate answers ran through my brain, but I just shrugged. She became more animated.

“It shows that we should be able to pick whatever we want to believe in and nobody should be able to stop us.” Which, okay, I totally agree, but it didn’t really parse in context. Her small comments and conversation continued, to my dismay, hitting on several themes before she asked my name.

“Oh, that is a lovely name,” her level of sincerity was absolute and I wondered what the rest of her hair was doing, since only half of it looked to be in the braid. “It’s from?”

“It’s Irish.” I smiled with my eyes and tried to go back to my book. But she had to tell me how nice it was, the name and so on. Somewhere in there I told her I was a warehouse manager and her soliloquies became tinged with feminism, since I guess that is a job I had to wrest from the hands of some guy.

“So you’re Irish and—what else? You look Jewish.”

I sighed. “I’m Palestinian.” Which is a heavy simplification, but honestly—when you’re evenly mixed ethnically and culturally, it’s easier to just pick what people think you look like. And telling people I’m a kind of Arab tends to make them leave me alone, which was rather not so in this case.

I’d barely finished the last syllable when her eyes welled up, pooling above expertly applied black liner. Her face contorted with pain and I felt myself on the edge of utter confusion.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 02:36pm on 25/04/2010 under , , ,

It’s been my birthday weekend, I’ve got the luck to have been born on St. George’s day, which I’ve noted before.  This year it has been great and kind of whirlwind and a well-timed tax return and long-planned time off have eased the fun.

We got weekend passes to Bridgetown Comedy Festival, which has been amazing overall.  We lucked out with getting totally acme sets from both Marc Maron and Brody Stevens and a solid Never Not Funny podcast taping, among a score of other performances.

A very quick stop in at the Stumptown Comics Fest for a homonym experience and to pick up the first chapbook of The Nintendo History System and something silly for a friend.  There were so many people and it was weird to finally affirm that it was not my scene any more.  If they change venues I may go again and browse the old fashioned way, but it’s not worth my effort to court nerves attempting to find a gem in the chaff when I can get reccs from friends and buy online.

So.  27, solidly in my late twenties.  Nine years in FG, seven with Chase, over two and a half years at my job, near three years since I ended that comic, about a year and a half with the same haircut, painting my nails every week for the past year, writing more regularly for the past six months.

I’m doing okay.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:54pm on 21/04/2010 under , , , , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 06:36pm on 02/04/2010 under , , , , ,

All these boring words.  Not enough pictures!

I’ve been doing my nails every week, but utterly failing to remember to document them.
Nails did: 02/26/10

Our yard is getting springy. I am in love with our rampant dandelions.
Lovely evening light

I keep plugging along at Project Runway Play-Along.
Week 10: fabric pattern wip/done

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.


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