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My friends, the great experiment...

http://www.brassandsteam.com

A very crude website for some very lovely artwork--I'll tinker with it more when I have time.

But yes, this is what all the fuss has been about--a steampunk tarot deck, designed by me, drawn by others. Steamcon will be a test bed to see how much the idea resonates (mostly by how well the prints sell :P). Hopefully things will go well and I'll start work on the next step--getting serious funding and approaching a publisher for interest in the idea. If everything tanks...well, it will have been an expensive experiment. But at least I'll have taken a risk and tried something different--something awesome and big. ;)

To do list

Steamcon is coming up, and I'll be showing off the first fruits of my Secret Project in their art show (look, I'm even on the art show page!) Having helped winterjaye prepare for a show or two gives me a leg up over a true first-timer, but I'm still feeling the time crunch looming--especially since I have to do this around my regular jobs. And because, well, I've never done anything this ambitious before. :P But, for my reference, here's what needs doing:

1) Get large prints made for hanging (1/6 done)
2) Get small prints made for selling in printshop (and maybe J's vendor table)--need 50-100 total, depending on how popular I think the pieces will be
3) Buy bags & backer boards for small prints
4) Acquire matting for large prints (Done! It's good to have friends ;>)
5) Matte large prints and prep for hanging at the art show (actual framing is outside the scope of this project, though maybe I'll work out a deal with J should someone buy the large prints and want them framed...)
6) Type up tags for hanging pieces and prints
7) Get website in at least a semblance of order (this will be the actual launch of a potential business, after all--need to have /something/ for folks to look at after the con is over...)
8) Make fliers to direct people to art show & dealer table
9) Make business cards

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's quite a bit even so. :P Good thing it's only Tuesday...

Writer's Block: Teacher of the year

Have you ever had a teacher who made a profound difference in your life? How did they influence and/or inspire you?


This one's easy--Mr. Carp (Karp?), my 4th grade teacher. The first thing that struck me was his height--he was taller even than my Dad, who is about 6'4". The second was his sense of humor--he was having a good time teaching, and he wanted you to as well. Once he "called in sick," and we were listening to the substitute teacher at the start of the day when a closet door slammed open, and out came a guy in a gorilla suit. Everyone freaked, but of course it was our "sick" teacher. ;) After terrorizing us he went down the walkway to the other classrooms, heh.

He's also the guy who taught me chess and cribbage--though his lessons about an organized workspace didn't take. Once when I asked him if I could play chess he told me to stand to one side of my desk, and dumped out the (very messy) contents onto the floor. "No, I don't think so," he replied calmly, while I hung my head in shame. :P

Other times he'd have us all lying down on beanbags in the dark, listening to music--and there wasn't any giggling or furtive goofing off, we all just listened--he had that kind of respect from the other students, I think.

I accidentally called him "Dad" a few times--I don't recall doing that with any of my other male teachers (though I guess I didn't have that many until high school). I was profoundly disappointed I couldn't have him my 5th grade year, but we stayed in touch until I transferred to a new school. Later I found out my folks specifically requested him, and I'm glad they went to the effort!

[Home] Bathroom Remodel

My master bath needs work--specifically, the shower stall needs new tile (and a new door, and new shower pan probably, and might as well replace the showerhead while we're at it :P). That's the thing that needs to happen, and the current goal of my savings account (unless I find a good deal on a plasma TV first :P).

But while looking at what needs to be done, I looked at the rest of the bathroom, and what can be done there as well. Current targets of musing areunder this cut:Collapse )

Death in the family

Last week I got a call from my Dad--actually, he called twice while I was on a conference call, which is unusual for him (if I don't answer he usually just leaves a snarky message and goes about his business). Even before I called him back I figured the news wasn't going to be good--sure enough, he was calling to tell me that my last grandparent, my grandma (his mom) had died earlier that morning in the care facility she'd been living at the last few months.

The news, while sad, didn't hit me as hard as when my grandpa died a few years back--she had been steadily declining for some time, and she just gave the impression that she'd had enough--when I jokingly referred to plans a couple years from now, she made it plain she both didn't expect to be around, nor wished to be. Plus, unlike with my grandpa (as a direct result of him, actually), I made sure I stayed in better touch with her, especially these last few years. I even got a chance to fly down and visit her in conjunction with other business in California--the most recent time a few months ago, when my Dad and I went to see her, and I showed her a photo album with some examples of the things I'd gotten up to, and the friends I had made in the process. She never left the house she'd shared with her late husband (she declined to follow her children or her grandchildren when they moved away from LA)--the same house she raised my Dad and his brother in--and I wanted her to see at least a few things outside of Montebello.

So yeah. There weren't nearly as many things left unsaid with her as there were with my grandpa. And while she never left Montebello, there are literally dozens--if not hundreds--of people who also called her grandma over the last 40 years--she babysat so many kids so their parents could work, and then she watched their kids when they grew up. She was loved and taken care of by her extended family--in that regard, I guess I understand why she would stay put.

Good bye, grandma. I will always remember playing with your cats when I visited, first as a child, then as an adult. Thank you for reminding me of "Grandma Shadow" and "Grandma She." I'm sorry we all moved away and I didn't stay in better touch for awhile--though I always enjoyed talking to you on Christmas. I'm sorry for how impatient Dad would get with you sometimes--but he was always there when you needed him, so I hope you saw through his antisocial ways. Thank you for telling me things he never could about his Dad. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to others. Thank you for being a wonderful grandma. I'll miss you--a lot of people will. Be without pain now--I love you, grandma.

HP Lovecraft Film Festival

Who's going? They're not selling tickets yet but I just made my room reservation (had to call the Banfield as their website said they didn't have any rooms during the festival).

http://www.hplfilmfestival.com/

Eye sore

I went in for my yearly eye checkup today. The appointment didn't start off well, as I sat in the waiting room for almost 90 minutes waiting to be seen. Turns out the people at the front desk routed my file to the wrong place, so the people in back didn't know I was there until I said something (about 30-40 minutes in, after I realized they weren't /that/ busy for me to still be waiting). Finally they called me back, and the nice assistant apologized over and over for the wait.

Now I go in every year or so mostly to get my atropine perscription renewed (it's the eyedrop I take every morning so my eye dilates enough to see around the cataract)--the thing about my congenital cataract is that it's stable, so the rest of the appointment is just going through the motions as far as I'm concerned. However, I've become more aware that my eyesight has become a bit worse--nothing dramatic, but it felt like I wasn't seeing around the cataract as well as I usually do (as if the eyedrops weren't working as well as they should).

Turns out the status quo no longer is. :P The cataract is growing finally--I always knew it would someday, this just turns out to be that day. Eventually it will grow big enough that the eyedrops won't be able to dilate my eyes enough to see around it--that's already happening to a minor extent. It's still manageable and there is no crisis, but it does mean I'll most likely finally have surgery to remove it next year. That fills me with anticipation and dread--on the one hand, no more cataract has a bunch of fringe benefits, even if my actual eyesight doesn't end up improving much. On the other hand, it's my one useable eye--if anything does wrong I'm screwed.

So, we'll see what the next year brings--no pun intended. :P

Indulgence

Amazon.com has a new feature--same day delivery. Called Local Express Delivery, it guarantees that, if you live in the right place, and order the right things, you'll get something you ordered in the morning that same afternoon. Like, for example, season 3 of Wild Wild West (because I like listening to vintage scifi while working from home. It's okay, go on and hate me).

Oh, and if you already have Amazon.com Prime, the price is pretty negligible compared to the convenience. Did I mention I signed up for Prime? I may never buy anything from the store again. :P

Outside my comfort zone...

The roomie's kids have arrived--a 9 year old girl, and an 11 year old boy, here for the next three weeks. This is the part I was most nervous about when I invited maskedkitsune to move in with me--I don't mind kids, but I'm also not around them very much. I like my space and I know that kids pretty much trample all over one's "personal bubble." :P

But I also realized that the price of always having my way and not stepping out of my comfort zone was no help with the mortgage, and not helping out a friend who needed a place to stay. And really, in the grand scheme of things, ocassional bouts of chatty children isn't the worst thing in the world. And if one always gets one's way, one never has the chance to overcome a challenge and find out what they're made of.

My, that sounds pretentious. Still true though--IMO, of course. :P
Compiled for a friend, posted here for anyone else who might benefit. Let me be your cautionary tale!Collapse )