Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Note on the Super Bowl

Seriously? People aren't excited about the Super Bowl this weekend?

Well, I am. I can't wait see the advertisements Steelers play.

Really though. I am ready to see both. I live in that sort of world. (The one were TV commercials and TV programming rate about equal on my interest gauge)

Advertising Age reports
Blog mentions of the phrase "Super Bowl ads" appear to be running at least 20% below the rate they were at the same time last year
I think that they are just counting their hits too soon. Give the blogosphere some time. We are excited about those Super Bowl ads this Sunday. So there. Take that.

I'll have a full post on my faves after the broadcast. I know you'll wait in anticipation. I want to hear your favorites too, so make sure you tune in.

And if you have to go to the bathroom, for goodness sakes, don't go during a commercial!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Your sweater is so...furry

Well, it is an interesting concept, but um, disturbing, at the same time. The newest craze seems to be sweaters--made out of your pet.

If you love Fluffy, then you'd probably love to WEAR Fluffy too, right?

Ihabitots presents: Make a Sweater From Your Pet's Fur.
Danelle German, a professional cat groomer based in Simpsonville, S.C, was troubled by the large amounts of fur she would dispose of after grooming clients’ Persians and Angoras. Her solution? Spin the fur into yarn. Then you can knit the yarn into warm, cozy creations (cute little sweaters, mittens, hats, you name it). Can’t you just imagine grandma knitting your little one a sweater made from Mr. Buttons?

I personally think Emily C's cat (with fat little cheeks) would look quite nice as pair of mittons. And Emily W. could knit them. hahaha.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not THAT e-card.

One e-card you don't ever want to get. Nooo, it's not happy birthday. Nooo, it's not get well soon. Nooo, it's not congratulations. It's hey, sorry, but I may have given you syphilis, and I don't see you often enough in my real life to tell you in person. Have a nice day. The newest thing in e-greeting cards appears to be a nifty little one that notifies all your 'friends' that they might have been exposed to an infection.

From the NYT:
The e-card, which allows the sender to select the disease involved and includes links to public health sites and services, is part of that strategy.

“Notifying the person exposed to a sexually transmitted infection is the critical piece in preventing further spread.”
Ummmm, I don't even know where to start with the problems with this sort of service from In Spot. Not that I'm not against the spread of disease, but sometimes I have to wonder if I am the only one concerned that our society needs oops-I-gave-you-an-STD e-cards?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Star Studded Sunday

Last Sunday I attended the pre-inaugural concert that boasted of a boat-load of stars. The list of expected stars kept on growing and growing as the day approached. The most fun part of the afternoon was questioning "and who's gonna be next?"

It was a little cold and lot of standing, but fun regardless. The theme was We Are One. The complete star list was as follows: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Caleb Green, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, Bettye Lavette, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, U2, Usher,, Stevie Wonder, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashley Judd, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, Laura Linney, George Lopez, Kal Penn, Marisa Tomei, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Tiger Woods.

Despite it being an inauguration concert and all, someone needs to explain to me why Garth Brooks got to sing 3 solo songs while other artists were paired up in rather...unusual combinations. Take for example, Shakira with Stevie Wonder and Usher. Huh? Those three? Together? I wonder who was the dude who got say, "yeah, and let's group together a latin singer, motown/blues singer, and a hip hop artist." Not that they didn't do a good job. I'd just like to have seen a little more Shakira and whole lot less of Garth. But, hey, that is just my opinion.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


If you can make it, vendors can sell it...and Obamafy it.

You can't even imagine all the different products vendors were selling on inauguration week along the streets of DC. For starters, there were the classic buttons, t-shirts, posters, and hats. But those don't even touch upon the more absurd products I saw being sold among the streets. There were vendors peddling Obama perfume body spray (with catchy slogans like "I smell change"), Obama boas, Obama condoms, Obama puppets (creepy), Obama bling, Obama sandwhiches, and Obama dolls among other Obamarific goods. What craziness.

We were joking that next they were going to sell Obama Chia Pets. But, oh wait, they actually do!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration 2009

Yes, I went to the inauguration.

Yes, the city of Washington DC was a mad-house.

Yes, I woke up at 5 AM and stood out in the freezing cold for hours upon hours.

Yes, there were so many people on the mall that we huddled in front of a jumbo-tron near the Washington Monument and still could hardly see.

Yes, Obama looked like an ant way up at the capital when he messed up took his oath of office.

Yes, I went to the inauguration of the 44th president of United States.

Even if I had to do it all again, I still would've gone. This is the first presidential inauguration that I've ever witnessed in person and I doubt it will be my last.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Way With Words

Today I had the unique opportunity to meet with two White House high-level speechwriters through one of the graduates of my program at UMD. It was so exciting to hear their take on what it is like to work for the both Bush administrations and the McCain-Palin campaign to name a few.

Scully and McConnell had very many intriguing and insightful things to say. They called their speech shop a little "word factory." I was suprised to hear that they collaborate in the writing process from the very begining and then the speech runs through many many hands before being finalized, sometime reaching up to draft number 30. They mentioned at the time they cleaned out their computers there were 10,800 speech drafts saved on the hard drive that are permanently resting in the presidential records.

Wow. That would be the job. Writing speeches for the president.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Framing Venice

I ordered frames from American Frames this summer for some of my artwork. I loved their classic metal frames because their look is so clean and elegant. I first bought merchandise from them per a recommendation from my drawing professor four years ago. As a bonus to cutting your frames to the perfect (sometimes unusual) measurements, they give you a free cut mat to fit your work as well.

My favorite part, by far though, is that you can snap a photo of your artwork, upload it into their website, and see what your painting is going to look like in the frame you want to order even before it arrives at your door. You can even paint the wall behind the makeshift digital image. Yep. That's nice. I'm sold.

I couldn't decide between pewter and brushed silver on the painting above, but in the end, brushed silver looked better. Alas, when it arrived at my door, brushed silver indeed did accent quite well. Thank goodness for easier framing; I hate ruining a good piece of artwork with shoddy frame-work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Make Platitude!"

Quote Unquote
Generate a Barack Obama Quote!

"I think it's time we had a national conversation about the economic downturn. We need to get past all the disease and recognize that we are our own best hope for overcoming man-eating tigers. We need unicorns, not unemployment. Unicorns are our change we can believe it. And we need to have change in the economic downturn."

Generate your Barack Obama quote at

Did I mention I plan on going to the inauguration this Tuesday?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ooo, I made it

Not into stardom, or onto American Idol or anything like that (which coincidentally aired it's first episode last night), but rather, I made a camera case.

I wanted to make a matching laptop, cord, and camera case, but my mom cleared out some of the old clothes in my closest and gave them to Good Will. Therefore, I had no ugly old flannel shirts to cut up and turn into pretty new things. Awww, poor me (and people who received the flannel).

Alas, I still made the case from some scrap material around the house. The sad part is that I sewed it all wrong first and to redo the whole thing. Yes. I am that bad at sewing. But in the end, I suppose the final product isn't that bad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

But I want ALL the figs

I just finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath after ordering it off of Amazon earlier this week! I loved it. One of my new faves. Tracing the psychological journey of young girl coming of age in the mid-twentieth century, The Bell Jar is rich in colorful descriptions and capturing prose. Esther, the protagonist, struggles to make life decisions that ultimately cripple her and send her into a downward spiral of psychosis.

Ahhh, the beauty of a well-crafted metaphor:
"...I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."
Plath's insights into life are disturbingly real.

You have no idea how many times I have considered the same concept in choosing a life-path. If choose to be professor, how can I be an artist? If I choose to be a writer, how can I be a international peace worker? If I choose to be a designer, how can I be a translator? Sigh. We have to choose. We have to be specialists. We can't let the figs plop off the tree.

Fortunately, most are able to grapple with this reality a little better than Plath and her fictional counterpart. Ultimately, I think we find that the figs we do select tend to be quite appealing in their own right. Thank goodness for that.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Icy Red Berries

Have I ever mentioned that I like ice?

I like ice and pretty red berries that pop against a complementry green and white background.

Although, a little Christmasy, I prefer to think wintery instead. Somehow, I feel like there should be horses and sleigh bells lingering behind these holly bushes. I didn't see any though when I was out freezing to death in the sloshy rain. One must suffer for art.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Heart Ice

I ♥ Icy Weather.

Not because it's slippery or slidey. Just because it is so beautiful.

And a great excuse to play with my new camera.

Yay, for icy cold pretty!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tiny People In A Big World

Little People--a tiny street art project
Little handpainted people, left in London to fend for themselves.

First a close up. Then a long shot.

How can you not love this stuff? Beautiful art.

Insightful commentary on urban life and human interaction with our environment.

The blog here: Little People
Or check out the artist's website here: Slinkachu.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dropping Stuff in PA for the New Year

Emily and I went to the festivities in Harrisburg to ring in the New Year. The fireworks were spectacular. I've never seen such a concentrated bunch of sparkling lights in the sky. A+ central PA. I didn't think you had it in you.

Did you realize that Pennsylvania has the weirdest bunch of goofy things that we drop out of the sky every New Years? We've got a pickle, an anchor, a Hershey kiss, a strawberry, two roses, a frog, a stuffed goat, a lollipop, a spring, and a wrench to name a few. My favorite by far though has to be the annual bologna drop. Yep, in Lebanon, because they are famous for their Sweet Lebanon Bologna. Watching a bologna drop out of the sky to bring in the new year seems a little crazy to me. At least they donate all the meat afterward.

Here's a nice listing of how PA kicks every other state's butt when it comes to New Years celebrations. Never been so proud.