Monday, August 31, 2015

Feeling Old? Here Are Some Buildings As Old As Civilization

Seriously only barely making one blog post per week but that doesn't mean I can't bore you with shit I find endlessly fascinating. Another data point that may be of interest: The worst I feel, the more I fucking curse.


Earliest carbon dating for this site is about 4800 BC, out-dating the oldest Egyptian pyramid by 2000 years. Just so you know, this is how we was living just shy of 5000 years ago.

Gobekli Tepe

The digging guys-- who I have a romance all about if only I can get the freaking 1980's romance OUT OF MY DAMNED HEAD AND ONTO THE PAGE-- have dated this dig to about  7550 BC or so. My hypothetical romance dig dates long before this Gobekli Tepe. Don't worry. I'm not trying to change pre-history. Just trying to get some boomchicka wow wow in with the fascinating history of prehistoric digs. Also, my make-believe dig is in Eastern United States. A long way away from where this real site is in Turkey.

The Tumulus of Bougon or, even better, The Necropolis of Bougon

The earliest of these buildings has been dated to about 4800 BC and was found stuffed full of skeletons. More excavations in the French town of Bougon revealed even more building filled with skeletons. And arrowheads, broken pottery and beads. Which leads me to believe that the prehistoric French built sturdier houses for bones and garbage than they did for the living.

Saint-Michel Tumulus

See? Another tumulus in France that survived from pre-history. Also filled with dead people. And don't be fooled like I was. This ancient burial mound is near Carnac, which is on the other side of France from Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. Mound Saint Michel, Mont Saint Michel-- easy to get them confused. 

See? Easily confused!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Totally And Completely Blocked

Can't write. It's killing me. Gotta do it but words coming not at all. Imagine scene in head many times then words on paper go. But this not happening. Instead only pictures for paint. Romance and blog fall to wayside. I paint picture of  dinosaur.

"Rawr" say T-Rex, "Asteroid destroy whole world. Michele no can write few ten thousand word. Michele be destroyed my asteroid!"

Michele now go stare at blank screen. Write maybe one hundred word. No word come. Michele wait for asteroid.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In Which I Pay Tribute To 80's Romance Couple

It has been hot as balls stuck to thighs around here. Today is either the fourth or fifth day over 95 degrees. When it gets this hot, the tiny little electric fan on the computer table is very little use to me or my computer. What I end up doing is sitting down, sweating profusely after 5 minutes-- especially underboob, imagine I'm dying of heat stroke doing the strenuous exercise of moving my fingers across the keyboard and heading back upstairs to the only air conditioned room in the house. Trouble is, I can't write up there in the bedroom. The writing computer is the desktop downstairs. Upstairs is my Fire and my paints.

I hear that there are people who write novels on their Kindle Fire. To them I say, "How the fuck, dudes?" I can't even write a passable YouTube comment on my Fire.  What I can do upstair, however, is paint. Right on my bed. Drives my husband batty. Here's a painting called Help!:

Yesterday I was feeling specially guilty for not adding to the 2,000 words I've typed so far. That's out of about 15,000 I need to finish this thing off. But I was thinking about 80s Romance. Problem was, I wasn't thinking about the hard crap I'm trying to get down now. It's really boring, early character and situation set-up that's bogging me down. Instead I was thinking of the ending missing chapters with the homina-homina bowchickie-wow wow. So I painted this:

There was more wanted to impart to you all today but the sweat has dripped from my eyelash directly into my eye and now my eyeball is on fire like the rest of my sweltering body. I hear there is a cooler front making its way to us here in the Baked Apple. We should be getting some relief by Thursday night. I will be seeking relief right now by going upstairs where I won't die.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Space As I Promised

Space painting is fun and easy. You should do it. Really. Here is a lovely young lady to show you a fast and easy way to paint nebulae.

I tried this technique painting the bug nebula. Some call it the butterfly nebula but scientists call it bug and so will I. Here is a picture of the bug nebula taken by NASA:

You can see why some call it the butterfly nebula. Anyway, here is my terrible rendition of the bug nebula:

The green was supposed to be underneath the pink and red but the pink and red did not have the covering power. Still, so much fun to paint.

I also painted the Milky Way. I did not use the lovely Empathy Film's technique. I did sort of a free-hand, off the top of my head type dealie and was very proud of myself when two separate people knew it was the Milky Way on sight.

Here's where I point out that photographs of space paintings are non-representational. At least mine are. Some paintings look lovely in real life but take horrible pictures. Some are pieces of crap IRL but photograph beautifully. I could not get a good picture of The Milky Way to save my life. But this picture of the very, very bad painting of aurora borealis does not at all convey how awful this painting really is.

This painting is worse than paint-over bad. It's burn the canvas bad.

I was waiting until I had the whole solar system down before I made a Space entry, but as I have mentioned, painting has fallen by the wayside while I struggle with getting down perhaps a grand total of 15,000 words in a very simple story. From Monday until right now at this very moment, I have gotten down 1872 words. I know because Word very helpfully mocks me with this fact every time I open it.

Now on to the solar system-- my second and third paintings ever were the sun and the moon. Don't remember which order. They came out nice. I must say, I've gotten much better at blending my shading since I did the moon. Still, I kinda like the stark rings around it.

Since then I've been having astrological problems with my space paintings. Take Mars for example.

I painted stars in the shadowed part of the planet, as if you can see stars through Mars. It took me quite a while to figure out why, although my Mars came out pretty well, there was something very off about this painting.

My lack of an astrophysiology degree again rears it's stupid-ass head with Jupiter and Io.

It was supposed to be Jupiter and a very distant Neptune (why Neptune and not Saturn? Because I don't know how to paint rings), only that isn't distant at all. In fact, it's too close to Jupiter to be Io. Actually it is to close to Jupiter to live and far, far too large.  What do I know about proportion and perspective? Apparently, about as much as I know about astrophysics.

As is evidenced by my Neptune's Moon.

What gave me the silly idea that it would be cloudy on Neptune's moon? This time I'm giving myself an out. Triton does have a thin nitrogen and methane atmosphere. So that explains the haze.

That's it. I don't know when I'll finish the solar system. After another 13,000 words AND I learn how to paint planetary rings.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Creativity Is Zero-Sum For Me So Therefore: Trees

When I was a child I wrote. A lot. Didn't write for other people to see because that would be embarrassing, but I had notebooks and loose papers and snippets of stories all over the place. This continued well into my young adulthood. I got over being embarrassed and thought, hey! wouldn't it be nice if someone paid me for this? And that's when I realized nobody cared.

In my regular adulthood I discovered mosaic. This is where I found I had a love for boxes. If there was a plain box within eye sight, that shit was going to get covered in tesserae. I didn't write much, though. But I did make a beautiful mosaic box where we keep my deceased brother-in-law.

About ten years ago, my son gave me a how-to book, a set of tools and a box of beads and I started making jewelry. I love making jewelry and still make some on occasion. Right now, in my head, I have a pair of earrings inspired by my painting Honeybear.

Yeup, that's right. I no longer make heaps of jewelry because I started painting. A lot. I don't seem to do anything in moderation. In my computer I have folders just for tree and space paintings which I was going to share here once I painted all the planets and painted the perfect tree.

Well, now I'm writing again. From scratch and not re-doing old stuff. Which means the painting has fallen by the wayside and I may never get my perfect tree. So I'm sharing me tree folder with you now.

We'll do them in the order they were painted and see if I've made any progress.

My first painted trees. I watched a tutorial by Angela Anderson and painted them. Not bad, I thought.

But I wanted to paint a realistic tree, so watched a lesson by Clive and did this practice tree.

Night of the Triffids (yes, that's supposed to be a walking tree) is actually me trying to figure out changing the value of a color using white and black paint. The base color is Ultramarine Blue.

The secret to Paper Birch is masking tape.

I really enjoy painting backgrounds. So much so that I don't want to ruin my background by painting over it. But this worked out well. I call it Tangletree. You Xanth readers will know what I'm talking about.

Now for a tree with leaves. Had a nice, stormy background. The grass is terrible and I was going for a wind-tossed look. Getting a little bit closer to the perfect tree.

Oh well, now we are a few steps back from the perfect tree. The canopy is far, far too small and didn't know how to correct it, so I named it Stunted Cherry.

Tomorrow I'll do my space folder, which is chock full of really terrible paintings. And some cool ones too. If you'll excuse me, I'll now go back to banging my head against a Word blank page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If You Are of a Certain Age, Can I Ask You Some Questions?

When I was a small child, the United States was going through a crazy phase. My abuela, who raised me, was pretty Old World. She wasn't about to answer these questions. So they stuck with me all these years. Perhaps an anonymous internet reader who is familiar with those olden, crazy times can answer a few of them.

1. Was Lyle Waggoner ever funny or was his total purpose standing next to Vicki Lawrence looking classically handsome?

2. Did Little Willie ever go home?

3. Did Peter Lupus ever speak in Mission Impossible?

4. Did you have to buy a pet rock or could you adopt a stray from the street?
5. If you were really hungry, could you eat Baby Alive food?
6. Did Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched all travel Over The Rainbow like Dorothy did?
7. Did grown-up, white, adult males wear plaid Sansabelt pants unironically?
8. Was there a difference between Matchbox and Hot Wheels and did boys do anything with them besides stuff them in their mouths?
9. Was I the only kid freaked out when Samantha re-modeled Darren's face?
10. Loop or Ball?

Do you think you've seen enough of Lyle Waggoner? Have not seen any of Barbara Eden? Here's two bonus pictures for making it to the end of this blog entry.


Monday, August 10, 2015

I Should Be Painting Less and Writing More

80's Romance Couple have been left in the lurch. That's because I find writing difficult when people are around. Painting-- not so much. I don't mean blog writing or Facebook writing or messageboard writing, I can do that around people. Except for the blog writing, those things take no thought at all. Oh, I'm sure the people reading what I write wish I put some thought into it, but no. Pure fingertip diarrhea.

Now hubby has gone back to work and so should I. Painting-- FUN! Writing crappy romance novel-- work. But before I go back to work, lemme show you what I've been doing for fun.

This is Eye Without A Face because, duh! I rather like it. The paint color surrounding the eye is called Flesh. It is not the color of my flesh at all-- and that is after considerable darkening. Those paint makers know some pretty pasty people. 

You do not know how many terrible paintings I can inflict on you. I even have series. One called Space and one called Trees. This is because I paint a lot of space and trees. Many, many of these paintings are very terrible. But that's for another day.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Girls! Girls! Girls!

This entry came about because I recently called someone a Breck Girl and realized she was probably too young to know what I was talking about. So I posted a picture of a 1970's Breck Girl.

Notice her paleness and her long, straight hairiness. This was typical of the Breck Girl. Usually blonde almost always white. There were 300 Breck girls starting in 1936. After a minimum amount of research, I've come to find out there were two black Breck Girls. I've found a picture of one of them.

Notice the lack of long, straight blonde hairiness. Fight the power, black Breck Girl!

This got me thinking about all the "Girls" throughout the last century or so. I went searching for my favorite one, the Mucha Girl. I LOVE art nouveau and Alphonse Mucha painted the (pronounced with a long eeee) art nouveau girls with long, flowing tresses and dresses. Plus flowers. art nouveau was all about stylized nature.

Interestingly enough, Mucha died in 1939, just in time for the Breck Girl to be a thing.

These girls a cute and a little sexy, amirite? Well, they got nothing on the Ziegfeld Girls. This is one from about 1909:

Note her very close to nakedness. I didn't know women could get this naked in 1909. I thought their clothes were permanently hot glued to their bodies. Also, a minimum amount of research tells me the Ziegfeld girls arose from the Florodora Girls.

I knew of the Florodora Girls but didn't know they were a real thing. You see, I watched a whole lot of Our Gang (at the time I watched them, they were called The Little Rascals). In one episode, Our Gang put on a show. Alfalfa sang a terrible rendition of The Barber of Seville and the audience started chanting "We want the Floridories! We want the Floridories!" I didn't know they were chanting for this.

Further minimal research (really, it's amazing what you can find out by typing words into Google) found that the Florodora Girls were in response to The Gibson Girl. Specifically to "loosen her corset". And if a girl ever needed her corset loosened, it was The Gibson Girl.

And here I ran out of Girls. I'm sure there are other types of Girls as they are pretty popular even now. I bet all of them find Jason Momoa pretty hot.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Starts Out Superhero, Ends Up Girlie

This is Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Why the most beautiful man on Earth is playing the lamest super hero to ever have his own comic is a question for the casting gods. How Lisa Bonet escaped the Huxtable rape house and ended up married to him is a story for the romance writers at Penthouse.

Here are a few facts that you didn't know about the most beautiful man on Earth. In 2008 he got into a bar fight with a 21 year old guy on probation. Realizing he could not best him with fisticuffs, the young man decided he could bring him down and ruin his modeling and acting career by smashing Mr. Momoa in the face with his beer glass. After reconstructive surgery and 140 stitches in his face, Jason came back as Khal Drogo.

Those were his real dreads in Stargate: Atlantis. When they first hired him, the producers of the show asked Jason to cut off his dreadlocks but he declined. Four seasons in their weight was giving him headaches, so he cut them off. The producers did not like that at all, the fickle bastids.

He named his son Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha. Apparently Lisa Bonet was too dumbfounded by his pecs to object.

Next time I'll do an entry on a person it'll be a hot movie chick, to even out the girlie.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Went To My Favorite Place, Had The Worst Time

Freeport's Nautical Mile is one of my favorite places to go and when Vacation Dany said, "Hey, why don't we get in the car and go to Freeport?" I was all over that shit like fish smell on a five day old catfish. I prepared myself for hours of spending a lot of money to see boats, hear live music and eat seafood-- three out of four things I enjoy doing.

Things started off badly. We parked in the municipal parking lot and wondered at the large gathering of perplexed women at the entrance. They were all gathered around the muni-meter. Muni-meter? We have to pay for parking now? Bummer! Oh but wait, it's only 50 cents an hour with a 14 hour max. Not a problem, I'm all for municipalities making a buck and taking care of business. 50 cents an hour was a very small price to pay. The only problem was was that they lied about the 14 hour max. The crowd around the meter formed because 1) WTF, meters?! and 2) Can I please have more than 2 stinking hours on this ticket, PLEASE!!???

The answer was "No." You can only buy up to 7:30 AND NO MORE! So we set our phone alarm for 7:20 so that we won't get our car towed.

That was frustrating. This calls for immediate ice cream action! Pipps it is.

Homemade ice cream with a nautical theme. Whodathunkit? I ate my Graham Central with relish. Not the condiment relish, the adjective relish. Little did I know that my lactose was just about to get Fred Phelps level intolerant.

We meandered. I didn't get to a shop to buy some cheap sunglasses and we ended up at the Scenic Pier. That's the name. They couldn't come up with anything better. It is pretty scenic.

Did some people watching. Got a shot of the best damned legs on the pier. Eat your hearts out, he's taken.

Also watched about a half a dozen young men move a massive amount of liquor, beer, projection screens and equipment onto this boat:

Party over here!

Spent a lot of time watching people frolic in the water and thinking 

There is one thing I really, really want to do. 

More than anything in the world right now.
And that is. . .

To go to the bathroom.

It took the ice cream less than two hours to do it's evil work. I don't know why the ice cream decided to roil my insides. Perhaps it was the the graham crackers. Perhaps the Central Station. More likely the whipped cream on top added to the mayhem. But I really, really wanted to go to the bathroom in my house where I could be alone. But that was not gonna happen. Also, the alarm went off. It was time to feed the meter.

We walked back down the mile and passed this fun looking place: 

And this sedate looking one

When we got to Otto's I had to stop. They have benches out front I sat and told Dany to PLEASE HURRY!!!!!!

15 minutes later our plan to go back to the fun beach party place were nixed because that's how long it took for Dany to mess with the damn meter. He did wrangle three hours out of it that time. But we weren't walking anywhere. We were going straight into Otto's so that I could BLOW THEIR BATHROOM RIGHT THE FUCK UP!!!!

But Otto's paid me back, big time. Firstly, the clams on a half shell were gritty with sand and pieces of shell.

Me to the waiter: Do you have hot sauce?
Waiter: There is cocktail sauce on the platter.
Me: Do you have hot sauce?
Waiter: Will Tabasco do?
Me: Yes, as that is hot sauce.

Secondly, Dany ordered the catch of the day with green beans and carrots. He was given a floured fillet on a bun with french fries. I ordered a broiled lobster with a baked potato. I did get a lobster.

Me: The catch of the day is a sandwich?
Waiter: That's how it comes.
Me: He ordered vegetables. I ordered a potato.
Waiter: Oh, that kitchen! I'll be right back.

We did get to watch these guys dock right next to the restaurant and get served in their boat. Their waiter was far superior to ours.

Me: Thanks for the potato. Do you usually serve it unopened?
Waiter: Yeah, that's how we do it here.
Me: And with tartar sauce?
Waiter examines the plastic cup he just put in front of me: Oh hey, that is tartar sauce! Oh, that kitchen! I'll be right back.

Also, the lobster was like rubber. You're a sea food restaurant, how do you ruin fucking broiled lobster? The clarified butter did go good on the unopened baked potato. Otto's Sea Grill, I would certainly go back there-- to shit.

Still, always pleasant to walk the mile and see the sights.