Archive for the ‘Blah blah’ Category
Age is a funny thing. I am 43, but I don’t feel it. I have some grey hair in my beard, but I’ve got a full head of hair, I have no children, and I live an artist’s life. Then something happens, and I feel 73. My girlfriend and I were at a wedding reception on Saturday night. All going well. Looking as sharp as can be hoped for in a black suit, white shirt, and black tie. (I can do weddings, funerals, and reservoir dogs in this combo.)
We drank some, and they had tacos. The reception was being held in the house of the groom’s parents. It had a garden with a tent and stuff. Inside the house on the ground floor was a bathroom, with a pink drawing of a woman on it. Ladies loo. Upstairs were two. Another for women, one for dudes.
Now, I had been drinking, but in moderation. If I drove a car I would’ve been over the limit, but I could walk and basically do stuff in a non-slurring, non-stumbling state. I’d been to the toilet. And as I left the room, saw an old lady (the groom’s grandmother) coming out of one of the other upstairs rooms. She was tiny. Grey hair, grey skin, grey pyjamas. She looked at me, I smiled, she didn’t smile back.
I continued looking at her as I walked down the stairs. She shuffled at a snail’s pace towards the bathroom. In my head, I joked with myself that maybe she was a ghost. Poor old dear, shuffling along dead slow. I came to the bend in the stairs where each step goes from being a rectangle to a wedge and, still looking up, felt that one of my feet wasn’t where it should be: it wasn’t touching a step.
Time, that cliche, slowed down. I’m going to fall, I thought. My other foot lost its grip. I am falling, I thought. I saw people stood near the bottom of the stairs. I am falling down some stairs. I was very conscious of that thought. This is happening. I went head first. Shoulders, hips, knees hitting each step. Somehow I did a half twist before coming to the bottom of the stairs. I lay on my back. I looked up at men in suits and women in dresses looking down at me. Everything below my hips was still there, laying on the steps. I could get up, just cos I couldn’t use my legs to stand. I was a bit dazed. A couple of fellas grabbed my arms and pulled me up. They and the women asked if I was okay. “Si, todo bien. Gracias.” A woman looked concerned and asked again. “Si, si.”
I went back to the table where my girlfriend was sat. I told her about it. And then I felt old. And like a child at the same time. Old, because when you hear of old people breaking hips or arms, they always talk about it like they are annoyed at their failing bodies or the stupidity of the incident that lead to the injury. Young, because I had tore a hole in my suit trousers. Not since school days have I had a hole in my trousers (aside from, y’know, grungy jean holes). That memory of getting a hole in the trousers of your school uniform and dreading showing your mum after school.
I pulled up my trouser leg, women (naturally) swooned at the sight of such delightful pale English flesh, and saw a two-inch gash. I say “gash,” but I’d just skinned my knee and shin. The middle finger on my non-writing hand hurt. But no actual damage, apart from to my ego.
All I’m left with is some ruined trousers, a feeling of stupidity, and the fear that an old lady that looks like a ghost is chuckling to herself about that dumb English fucker who fell down the stairs.
Pink faces, megarider bus pass
Screaming child, judgemental passengers
Grim arses, shapeless clothes
£2.00 a day, hot Lincolnshire sausage rolls
Polish delicatessen, international goods
Please do not abuse our staff
Neck tattoos, shaved head, Super Dry
Pink hair dye, imitation Uggs
Latte or pot of tea for one
Fuck off you cunt, pint of Batemans
Ham and cheese panini, free wi-fi
Charity sweets and cheese sticks
Gym/fitness opportunity, to let
Chewing bubbly, reading All About Soaps
It’ll be a couple of minutes, duck
Red dry skin, it’s fucking cold (sounds like “code”)
“Couldn’t” sounds like “cunt”
Fat leggings, beer belly in LCFC grey sweatshirt
E-cigs and roll-ups, beautiful cathedral
It’s been a while. For reasons I’m not gonna go into, it’s been an odd couple of months. I moved out of my apartment, went back to the UK for a couple of months, had a nice wee trip to Barcelona, and did a lot of drawing. Now I’m back in Mexico City, living in a hotel until I find a new place to live.
But, while it was nice to do all of that drawing, I was a bit lazy and only put them up on Twitter, Facebook, and occasionally on my Tumblr (which is predominantly about baseball, so don’t get your hopes up too much).
Seems kinda weird to me, in a way, that I’ve inadvertently been sucked into that world of online stuff. Flip Flop Flyin’ and this blog used to be so important in my life, but now, they both seem to be at the bottom of the pile with regard to where people see my stuff. Partly that’s my own fault (see the last couple of months), party, it just seems to be the way things have evolved; Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are where people go. But, I’m not gonna abandon the blog or the site. I would much rather abandon the other things, but that’d be cutting my nose off to spite my face.
Anyway, part of the reason it’s taken so long to start clearing the backlog of stuff and putting it up here and on FFF is because there’s so much, and dealing with it all became more and more of a chore with every passing day. But, now I will begin.
This first chunk of stuff is a few iPad drawings I did in early December before I went back to the UK, and all of the drawings I’ve done on my iPod between then and now.
Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
Not far from my apartment, this is painted on a wall
Tourism advertising loves a word inside a word, it would seem.
There’s Totally London, the I Amsterdam one, and one I’ve seen on the subway recently, Morelos. (Morelos, by the way, is a state not very far south of Mexico City.) The “Morelos es” (Morelos is) thing is a bit of a stretch, with the “e” and “s” not being next to each other, but hey-ho.
I’m looking forward to the day Scunthorpe uses this idea for their tourism ads.
Found this in a deep folder yesterday. Apparently, this Adobe ImageReady GIF was created on 3 August, 2004. I have no memory of making it. I have a vague memory of that kinda big-block-head figure, but the animation itself: nothing.
I was stood outside Chetumal airport yesterday afternoon, under a wee roof while it was raining, thundering, and lightninging. A beetle or something was walking across the pedestrian crossing. I was rooting for him/her. I filmed it. (Video shot in portrait orientation to annoy those people who like to yell about such stuff.)
I get anxious sometimes. I get anxious about appointments, things that have to happen at a certain time. I’m gonna be flying through the air inside an aeroplane on Tuesday and I’ve been anxious about it for about a week. Will I wake up in time to get to the airport? Will all possible taxi drivers suddenly disappear from the streets of Mexico City? Will someone checking my passport suddenly notice on their computer that I’m wanted for a crime I didn’t commit in Zanzibar?
Last Monday, I saw a friend on Facebook mention that they wanted to go and see Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk? Huh? Kraftwerk!? In Mexico City? A quick look at the Twitter feed of the venue, and yes indeed, tickets go on sale on Friday. Kraftwerk! In 3D! Oh my gosh! Oh my. Okay, erm, let’s double check that. Yes, indeed. Tickets on sale Friday. Through the Master of Tickets and at the box office. What time? Type-y type-y click. Midday. Noon. 12pm. Friday. Because the Master of Tickets’ Web site, rather stupidly, does not accept non-Mexican credit cards, that meant I’d have to go to the venue.
Tuesday morning: niggly stress about getting tickets. Kraftwerk, my favourite active group in the whole wide world. (Gets felt tip out and writes COMPUTER LIEBE in computer-y letters on my rucksack.) Wednesday and Thursday went by, wondering what time I should leave my flat. Box office opens at noon, it’s a relatively small venue (probably about 2,000-ish people), better get there early.
How early, though. This is where I have to balance things in my head: how much do I want to see Kraftwerk (a lot) vs. how much do I want to stand around doing nothing (not much). The second of those involved trying to calculate how quickly it would sell out. How popular are Kraftwerk here? I don’t really know. Best to assume “very.”
So I set my alarm for 9am. Woke up at 6.30am, slightly panicky that I’d overslept. Left the house at 10, got to the venue at 10.30. Only a couple of people stood outside. Sweet, I thought, got time to go and get a coffee. Spoke to the dude stood outside and he told me the queue was actually around the corner. So, it’s not just the couple of people, then. Went around the corner, and there are about 30 people in a line.
I asked the guy at the back of the line if it was the queue for Kraftwerk tickets. He said yes. (Because, what else would it be?) I put my headphones on and listened to an episode of This American Life. Another guy asked me the question I’d asked the guy in front of me. Someone else asked him the same question. And on it went, further and further down the street. In the end, there were 100 or so people there.
The guy in front of me was joined by a friend. They stood there watching YouTube clips of Kraftwerk on a mobile phone. One of them said a few words in German. It was kinda cute. I resisted the temptation to correct his bad German.
My neck and shoulders were tight. Completely tense and stressed about the 30 people in front of me. Would they be quick enough for the show to not sell out via the Ticketmaster site before I got to the front? I weighed that against the likelihood that the majority of those people would be paying with cash, cos if they had credit cards, they’d be using the Ticketmaster site themselves.
Inside a building next to where I was queuing, workmen were cutting wood. There was that smell of burning wood being cut with an electric-powered saw of some kind. I’d not eaten before leaving the flat, so that smell went into my nose and straight into my belly and gurgled and made me feel grim.
Five minutes before noon, a venue employee summoned the people at the front of the queue to form the queue right close to the ticket windows. A fat man in a McCain-Palin t-shirt walked by. The first people went up. Then another pair, then more. One, two, three, four, I counted the heads in front of me. Eight of them. Two windows, thus I’m gonna be at a window in four people’s time. Then two people left the queue. One of them was on the phone, and, I assume, someone he knew had Internetted some tickets.
I got the money out of my wallet and held it in my hand inside my trouser pocket. Front of the queue. Security guy waved his arm towards one of the windows. “Dos, por favor.” And as simple as that, the stress left my shoulders, and I’ll be going to see Kraftwerk again in March. Of course, in the few days before the concert I’ll start stressing again, wondering if I’m gonna get stuck behind a tall person. Will the 3D glasses fit okay over my regular specs? What if I lose the tickets on the way? My brain, man. Fucking useless.
I took the covers of the three self-titled colour albums by Weezer (The Blue Album, 1994; The Green Album, 2001; The Red Album, 2008) and changed the opacity of each depending on how much I like them: Red gets 10%, Green gets 35%, Blue gets 100%.
Also, looking at the RGB colour values, with the top amount of colour being 255, I turned the above percentages into comparative amounts of R, G, and B: R-26, G-89, B-255. This is colour those values produce:
This is a photograph I took at a friend’s house in Oregon in 2008. I was looking through my photos the other day, skimming through quickly, and as I passed this one, it kinda said “favela” and “Kowloon Walled City,” so I dragged it into the Brushes app on my iPad and drew apartments on top of the chopped fire wood.
More finger painting here.
In April 2005, my then-girlfriend and I went to Denmark. While we were there, we went to Legoland, and I bought this keyring. I’ve had it in my pocket pretty much every day since then. This is how worn and smooth a Lego brick looks after eight-and-a-half years in my pockets.
The man who created the Toblerone was called Theodor Tobler. The “-one” part of the name has a boring reason for being there, but I like to think he was just a Swiss chocolatier with a healthy ego and after creating it, was singing to himself, (in English for some reason):
Theodor Tobler is Number One!
Theodor Tobler is Number One!
Number One! Number One!
Tobler One! Tobler One!
Shortlist of the possible titles for an MC Hammer album, one of which was eventually chosen.
• Hey Hammer, Would You Like To See My Kittens?
• What Are You Doing, Hammer?
• Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
• Please Hammer, Stop!
• Oh My God, Hammer, No!
• Hello, Police? Hurry! Hammer Is Hurting ‘Em
• Yes, Officer. I Came Home With My Kittens At 6.30 P.M. And He Just Went Crazy
• Thank You, Officer. I Will Stay At My Mother’s Tonight.
Go here (Wikipedia page on train horns) and play all 10 embedded audios players at once.
It’s a nice experience.
For quite a while, there’s been this thing in the back of my brain. I like looking at complicated road interchanges. The most obvious examples of which (mostly because there are photos on Wikipedia) are the Gravelly Hill Interchange in Brimingham, England and the Tom Moreland Interchange near Atlanta, Georgia. Here’s photos of those interchanges, taken from Wikipedia:
The thing I have in my head is trying to imagine such an interchange with four roads where one could drive and change direction to each of the cardinal and ordinal directions of the other roads; that is, if you are on a road travelling north, you could change directing and go northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest.
Why is this interesting? I dunno, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about. But it’s a fine example of why I feel the need to do infographics and organise information. What goes on inside my brain is a big fucking mess. It’s a rubbish dump. And this specific thought, about creating an image of these interchanges demonstrates that brain junk quite well.
Last night, I was messing about with the Paper app on my iPad, drawing each of the off-ramps that would be needed to change to every direction. This is what that looks like:
When I finished drawing that, I was kinda happy, but knew that it’d make more sense if I tidied it up in Photoshop. So that’s what I did this morning. But in the process of drawing it neatly (making sure each road was straight, the same width, had a different shade to denote the height off the ground, and had a border that would aid seeing where the roads overlap or meet), I noticed that I’d been thinking about it in a way too complicated way. The solution for the cardinal and ordinal junction was ridiculously simple: a big roundabout:
Normally, when I do an infographic, it’s the topic that interests me, and I want that information to be clear so I can understand it better. But doing this interchange, it’s shown me that taking something out of my brain is cathartic; it untangles the cables behind the back of the TV. And understanding things—sometimes things that don’t actually matter—is very pleasant for my brain.