bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2013-04-20 12:24 pm

Even so, went through it in about a day and a half

Each year, around my birthday, I allow myself one box of cereal. This year it’s wheat Chex, because I live an exciting life.

Even though we break the “no-grain” rule with some regularity, simply not having specific foods (like: cereal, loaves of bread and, as of this year, tortillas) in the house has gone such a long way to prevent too-easy meals and snacks from being relied on. It creates a space where new food habits are built.

A special bonus is that we’ve effectively stripped all my comfort-binging foods from the house. This simultaneously prevents me from indulging and sneakily re-teaches my insides what “full” and “too much” are. So when I give myself the gift of enjoying a box of cereal for my birthday I’m very aware of not only how awesome and deliciously textured it is, but when it’s time to stop refilling the bowl.

Yearly box of cereal is a lesson and a reward.

And, since I’ll have gone through this box rather quickly, nonetheless, I also am very aware why I don’t keep it around. It’s like seeing an ex at a social function. Sure, you get along pretty well and look at how you both avoid Those Topics and yeah, it’d be nice to bang again but outside of that controlled environment you know it would end in tears and torn-out weaves.

So yeah, cereal knows exactly how I like it but can choke its opinions on politics, y’know?

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2013-03-13 10:46 pm

I’m not going anywhere yet, I’m still here

I never actually wanted to live in Portland. I just knew it’d be a better choice. Like I knew it was a better choice to wait longer and save more before moving to L.A., even if it meant Chase moved down there a couple years before I did.

I think the last time I was in California I was 16. Maybe even 15. Somewhere around then my dad’s family stopped being my family and there was no reason to go south. If you’ve grown up in Oregon, California is sort of looked down on. That’s where the rich live and they don’t know how to drive and they move up here and steal our land and you can’t bring fruit with you forgodssakes.

Like anything adults looked askance at, California gained an aura of the forbidden. Not that I didn’t shit-talk it, which Chase straightened out pretty quickly. He did it the same way he made me stop making fun of Led Zeppelin: by making me actually listen to them. He told me about where he grew up, south of San Diego, and I added to my childhood memories of Northern California campgrounds and the overwhelming maze of San Francisco. California became a place, instead of an idea.

It’s the opposite of everywhere I’ve ever lived, dense populations, desert and south, beaches not coasts. When Chase and I drive through the country around where we used to live I look at the trees and the dense, black-green coastal range, wondering what life will be like without them. I don’t think I’ll miss the trees. There are plenty of trees.

There’s a lot of hate for Southern California, as though it were a bizzaro-world Pacific Northwest and therefore a nemesis. It’s too different, too crowded, too hot, too expensive (though rent-wise, really, it’s about the same). I have to justify my plans to semi-strangers and hope that they see the deadness in my eyes and stop wondering why I just don’t like it here.

I had a conversation once with someone about why he was in New York and why I wanted to move to L.A. It really came down to wanting to live somewhere you’d like to live when the world ends.

escape

Not that I expect the world/society to cinematically end in the place of my choosing, but really, the thesis is sound. I’d be pretty bummed if it turned out I never got to leave the PNW. Sure, I think it’s a great spot for post-apocalyptic fiction, but not for me.

 

I lied. California is still an idea. Hasn’t it always been? It’s a world of artifice, but everyone is in on the construction, their imaginations and dreams as much a part of the skeleton as poured concrete and palm trees.

I think there are two kinds of people, at least as far as this exercise goes. There are the ones who read West’s The Day of the Locust and think “god, what a terrible place.” And then others read that short, sharp story and feel a noose tighten around their guts, dragging at them.

Here’s the thing. I could settle comfortably in the PNW or I could push myself and struggle and grow in L.A. I’d rather fail than settle. And—this is crazy—if, after some years I find that I long to once more reside in the verdant, motherly and non-judgemental embrace of where I grew up, I could always move back. It happens.

 

It probably won’t.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2013-01-15 08:02 pm

I mean, everyone pronounced it “gime” as a kid, right?

The summer after freshman year at college I lived on campus, renting a dorm room for a stupidly high amount of money. My roommate was a member of the wrestling team (as much as I loved There’s A Girl In My Hammerlock, I never understood the weirdness of females on wrestling teams, every school I’ve been to had a skilled number of ladies who wrestled) and we went to the gym together. Every day.

We alternated upper and lower body circuits, she’d out-lift me for upper but she ended up hurting herself trying to match me for lower. Every evening we’d go on a two mile run. I loved it. I’ve always been a closet jock, physical activity is super fun for me and lifting stokes the fires of my machismo.

When we still lived in the suburbs and I had a four hour public transit commute, I donated enough to the university to get a “free” gym membership to their student facilities, which weren’t fantastic (the setup was still the same as that summer I went every day) but I was also paying way less than if it was a real gym. Besides, all I wanted from it was access to an elliptical machine.

I’ve got some hip issues that mean running on pavement is not the best thing for me anymore, but the elliptical? I can sprint on that fucker. The joint issues I was having then went away and then we moved to the city. That was great. I could walk to work (about three miles round trip), keeping up a level of activity. I walk really fast, enough to sweat and probably at a speed just below a jog if I could figure out what a jog is.

Then my work moved and it was back to the bus. So I figured out a commute that got me three miles walking, with some bus in between. But the weather got shitty, my job got more administrative and more often than not I was walking just a mile and a half. And apparently that combination of things was enough to bring back the joint issues. So I did my PT and after I’d finished all my sessions my other damn leg started being slow to react and other terrifying things. Ooh, plus my shoulder was getting pretty fucked for no reason. Good times.

So I finally did something I’ve always wanted to do. I crunched some money numbers and joined a gym. I picked Snap Fitness because there is one close to where I work, they have no start fee and my insurance gave me a slight discount on the monthly payments, which were already cheap.

For the price of taking Chase to dinner once a month, I can go to the gym every dang day instead (but probs 3x a week).

The branch I go to is owned by an adorable young couple, I have 24 hour access, I could go on and on about how the whole thing is laid out the same way you would a gym on a space ship and the only bummer is they don’t have overnight lockers. But mostly? They have machines that adjust to my size with useful pictures of proper form and what stretch to do. They have an assisted chin up machine which holy mother of everything. And they have elliptical machines.

The first day I limped to the gym and could only do 15 of the standard 20 minutes I like to do. Lowest level. The machines were easier and I could at least be proud of myself for maintaining good form, going slow and still doing a number of sets and reps that I find acceptable. That was about a week ago. I’ve gone three times since as my plan is to go on my Monday/Wednesday/Friday equivalents after work.

Picture 2

Yesterday I ran easy for a full 20 minutes and the four minute cool down, I can probably up the level next week. I’ve gone up weight on the machines to an amount I won’t tell you but is almost a third my weight. I’m not limping, stairs aren’t terrifying, my shoulder still hurts but in the way that means it’s getting better. I’m not 100% but shit, I’m close.

What the sweet fuck? I mean really. That’s not a lot of work for an amazing amount of progress. One of my co-workers called the gym my vice (mind you, I had been saying that after the gym I get Starbucks and then have a cigarette because I like to live the lives I saw on TV when I was young) and you know, for me it is, in the best way. I’m even eating the cursed mana of bananas or yoghurt after the gym so my muscles don’t get sad. I hate both those things so much I swear out loud while consuming them. It makes me so damned happy to work out and I don’t really know why, but since I get all sorts of positive rewards for it, I’m not complaining.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2013-01-02 08:35 pm

Hey, 2012 happened, what?!

I tend to feel like I don’t make enough or do enough creative work. Compared to the output I used to do, I don’t. I try to remind myself that it’s okay! I work a fulfilling, creative job and sleep more and am pretty much happy. But it bums me out, especially since so many folks I know are constantly pumping out notable, awesome work. So when I sat down with my Flickr archive for this year (because Flickr has been my memory bank for years now), I didn’t expect much. This was the year I stopped doing focus months, I mean, how much could I have done?

Turns out? A decent amount.

January
Focus month: Branding Ma-Mé. I built and did the branding work for a friend’s site. It was super fun and I got paid for it! I like making other people’s ideas because I just like making stuff more than thinking of what to make.

Non-focus things made:
• I painted a painting that I then slid behind a bookcase, because I couldn’t throw it away, but why keep it?
• A TARDIS piñata for a dear friend. This has been re-Pinned on Pinterest about a million times.
Tardis piñata

 

February
Focus month: Airbrush! I have an airbrush and love it, but spent this month really learning it.

Non-focus things made:
Rebuilt arbour in yard.
• Murder-wall anniversary present for Chase.
Anniversary present, murder wall

 

March
Focus month: Mending & old work. Cleaned a bunch of stuff, got rid of a bunch of stuff, a really great feeling.

Non-focus things made:
• I did get a wig that is now my web avatar wig. God, I love this fake hair.
• Wrote a short-short.
Finished serialising the first draft of The Audacity Gambit.

 

April
Focus month: Chase’s show production, in which I showed you nothing.

Non-focus things made:
• Nothin. But I did start using Instagram.
Found my balloons and pump.

 

May
Focus month: Embroidery. Which was fun, but not a lot produced.

Non-focus things made:
• Taught myself eggshell veneer.
First try ay eggshell veneer, not terrible.

 

June
Focus Month: Another writing month. Editing The Audacity Gambit and working on the second book!

Non-focus things made:
• Made a sky bison costume for a cat.
• Shot a cover for TAG’s Draft 2 Lulu print.
Shooting The Audacity Gambit draft 2 cover

 

July
Focus month: Animatic. Which got extended, due to summer fun.

Non-focus things made:
Swatched my insane nail polish collection.
• Helped manage my workplace’s move to a new place.
• Made Chase a hell of a cake for his birthday.
Chase's petit fours cake, with the colours and pillars he picked out.

 

August
Focus month: Animatic, still. Which didn’t end how I expected. I decided to stop doing focus months.

Non-focus things made:
• Research for a friend’s Halloween costume.
• Ridiculous Adventure Time/Breaking Bad drawing.
• Modified a department store ball-jointed doll into a dryad.
Dryad Doll outside

 

September
•We bought a car, wtf.
Built rig for San’s cape from Princess Mononoke.
• Wrote lots of TAG book 2
Emily and the hare from book two.

 

October
• Got my first hand tattoos
• Made Princess Mononoke costume.
There. Done with San's cape and hood. Ended up going for attatching hood permanently. #fb

 

November
• Worked on a thing I hope to show you guys soon.
• Made a ridiculous cake
Surf cake

 

December
• Shot photos of cats in both old west and Avedon’s In the American West styles as presents.
Christmas Kitty: Avedon edit Bailey

 

So, a decent amount of things, I think? And through all of it, trying to keep my nails sick.

 

Not a bad 2012, let’s hope for more in 2013!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2012-09-24 10:36 pm
Entry tags:

Chaos

And with that, we went and bought something fancier than we imagined we could.  And got a hell of a deal.

It’s the 2013 Veloster. VELOSTER. From the first time I saw a picture of its stupid face I was taken. Then Chase showed me this banned Dutch commercial:

Yep, it’s got three doors. To fuck with Death.

Somehow, we thought the price we were looking at was for the base model. But it turned out that the car we were looking at online actually had a fancy package that added a crazy nice stereo and a sunroof. And leatherette seats. So we ended up with a car that gets at least 40 miles per gallon on the highway, in a low-moderate price range, that feels like a luxury car inside. And looks like a space ship, a little.

Oh, and there is a touch screen inside?

We named him Jeff.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2012-09-10 09:52 pm

Animatic, some changes. Good ones!

Oh god, I failed this last last two month’s focus.  I did not make an animatic.  Oh, but that’s because I used the paintings I did to make this.

I know it's just a Lulu of a draft, but. #fb

And I spent a bunch of time making this

Dryad Doll outside

And writing like 7,000 words of the sequel to The Audacity Gambit.

Bailey helps me write book two.

And researching how exactly San’s cape in Princess Mononoke works. Talking to Chase about his show, which is now next spring (a good thing!). Being excited with my favourite people about their new house and looking at fridges with them. Watching ALL the Adventure Time and drawing this.

Breaking Bad - Adventure Time

I don’t know if the focus months are necessary any more. The reasons why I needed an outside force to make me stop feeling like I was neglecting things, or leaving things unfinished have eased up. The stress of the commute I used to have is in the past, my brain is sort of coming together, I dunno. but I want to make stuff unbound.

 

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2011-12-31 06:00 pm
Entry tags:

A year of focus months

So, last January I decided to make myself focus on just one area of what I do per month, so I’d stop flailing and bouncing from thing to thing and just get shit did. Overall, I think it worked out well, I had one focus fail and one focus stretch over two months.  But man, life gets busy and I was doing stuff in those those times, just not the focuses.

And really? I moved and wrote a book this year, took a class and made some cool things. I think I rocked it.  Here’s a little rundown:

January: Month of writing. Started The Audacity Gambit and wrote a decent number of short stories, sorted some things out. Probably my most productive month.

February: Month of comics.  Pencilled the pages for a mini comic.  Done while packing to move and doing it finished a long-stagnated project (or getting closer to doing so, I’ve still got to ink the dang thing).

March: Month of sewing (for the home). We moved and I did up our house with little stuff like curtains and kitchen things.

April & May: Month of nails.  This was a total fail.  A lot was happening in my personal life, so I extended the focus through May and then pretty much failed it.  Which is fine. I guess I am human.

June: Month of photography.  Mostly finishing some projects and taking a picture every day that referenced one from my giant Flickr archive. Probably my second most productive month.

July & August: Month of craft room. I cleaned the attic space that I use for my “studio”.  I was taking a class at the time and we were going to shows a lot, so that I got anything done while also having fun is pretty great.

September: Month of optics.  Playing with the various lenses and things that I have, revisiting the goggles and eyepieces I used to do.  Didn’t get as much done as I’d like, but I had fun.

October: Month of illustration.  Making pictures to go with stories I wrote in January.  Though I didn’t get much done this month, I made some things I really liked.

November: Month of changes.  I re-did how I browse the internet after losing Google Reader and prepared the attic space for my sister coming to stay with us for a while.  This is the busy season for me at work, so it was nice to have something that felt like it was getting done.

December: Month of presents. This was fun, though I wish I’d done more for more folks.

Huh.  It felt like I didn’t get much done, but I think I did?  And what I did do was more focused and I felt less guilt over what I wasn’t doing.  I fully plan on continuing this focus month thing. I’m sure that I will make next year even better.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2011-12-20 09:59 pm

Focus on presents: more progress than you’d think

So, my little spreadsheet of gifts is getting ticked and the tree at our friends’ place has several gifts under it.  My kid sister is enjoying her hand-me-down XBox and Chase already got his nutmeg grater and SPICES OF THE ORIENT.  And the handmade presents continue to go. Slowly.

CRW_0123

I am actually kind of pissed that I didn’t think of this gift theme earlier.  Next year? You are all probably getting something like this. (“You” here being “people on my gift list”).  I am super happy how the above two things turned out.

What else? I’ve finished a commission for a friend to give as a present, gave a 1970s Capricorn keychain to a friend who is SUCH a Cap and gave the lady who is my tattooist and friend a gorgeous book of Art Nouveau clip art.  Because she is crazy into arabesques.  Someone I couldn’t think of something for (but who totally deserves something) I just today had an inspiration about.  Gelsey, the present I got done first, got hers early due to the sads, but I’m saving the snaps of what she got until the big image dump later this month/next.

And Chase just picked up the covers for our holiday CDs.  Which I am going to fold until I am sick of, then work on the best crafted present ever until I am sick of it (in a very repetitive stage, right now), then fold some more.  I should be able to get the ones for work done in time for when I last see folks before the holiday and the rest should get mailed out in time for King’s Day.

There are some of you that I love dearly that aren’t getting a physical thing besides the CD this year, but I plan on making up for that next. Or some time when my personal life is a little less hectic.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2011-08-31 01:22 pm

Focus month: the craft room, fin

Well, July’s focus wasn’t entirely a failure. I mean, it mostly was because here I am at the end of August, having just finished the basic goal (to tidy my craft area upstairs so I can actually use it). But I still finished it!

I made slow progress in the earlier part of the month
Slow progress: 1

Slow Progress: 2

But hoorah, now it is done.

Took long enough

I need to vacuum, and there are areas that need to be further broken down and tidied, but the primary issue—having no floor space and just junk everywhere, is done.

And it’s not as though I haven’t been doing other things these past two months. I’ve been going to class at C.O.P.S. and writing ridiculous hyperlinked notes, regularly updating Audacity Gambit and generally enjoying the most pleasant summer in my memory.

I know what next month’s focus will be too. One of the points of this exercise was to hold off working in certain themes until the itch to do so was so strong I’d really be able to focus—instead of flitting around dis or half-interestedly. So I know what I’ll be doing by the end of the year and I know what I’m doing for September. It should be fun.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
2011-07-12 02:16 pm

Focus Month: the craft room

Eek! Kind of far into the month do declare July’s focus, but it’s a (kind of) light one and something that needs to happen. So here goes.

One of the beautiful parts of our apartment is the finished attic space that we’re using as studio area. Problem is, my half has been getting things dumped in it (by me) and has become kind of a super mess.

This is embarassing

So July is all about increasing the usability of that space. I’d like to do a sewing focus month soon, but I can’t until I have space to work in. Side projects will include perfect binding any sketchbook, idea or whatever pages, so I can recycle the rest. I love doing this, it removes so much clutter. I’d thought I’d done them all already, but there were hidden caches of papers and sketchbooks. Oh me.

It’s going to be hard, because I keep wanting to work in the garden, but that’s why it’s this month’s focus!

As it is, focuses for this month and the next will be interesting, as I’m taking classes at C.O.P.S. and there’s readings (theory!) and homework. I’ll probs be posting bits of that here, as I know some of you may dig what we’re learning and doing.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
2011-04-20 10:45 pm

Nails, no really

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.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-12-31 08:49 am

A New Year

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.

Onward.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-11-20 10:14 pm
Entry tags:

In the interim

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.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-10-13 02:24 pm

So much

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 RentBoy.com. 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.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-09-03 10:23 pm

Catch-up

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

Foreground/Background

Nails did: 19/08/10, Jaws 2

Paring down sketchbooks!

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-04-26 03:25 pm

The Christian War

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.

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Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-04-25 02:36 pm

A Better Birthday

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.

bzedan: (Default)
2010-04-02 06:36 pm

Nails/Spring/Done (Catchup)

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.