anime, goodness, martial arts

Oh, Yoshimi

I’m addicted to a new (old) song: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots part 1, by The Flaming Lips.  It’s a hilarious, adorable, excellent song, and it’s about me!  Get it?  I’m a black belt, I defend my man with my awesome karate skills, and I might as well be Asian (what with all the food, anime, manga, martial arts stuff I do).  Bam.  I’m thinking the pink robots are a metaphor for something.  Ex-girlfriends maybe?

workin’ for the citeh

goodness, humor

MS Paint, my first love

My coworker (let’s call her Hollywood Coworker for her constant mention of how she used to “work in the industry,” and watches a lot of TV) often laments (read: hates) being older than the college students we’re inevitably surrounded by (working on a college campus and all), and the other day was no different.  I told her how a lot of my childhood drawings were done on MS Paint, and showed her my favorite new drawing tool: crayon!  She complained about how she used to use actual crayon, and how it’s so much better (having never used MS Paint).  So I decided to show her the ropes.  Then this happened:

“Ok, guess what I’m drawing.”

that’s it

“… alligator.”


Seriously, how did she know?  This cracked me up.  OH LIFE.

UPDATE: This website dedicated to using MS Paint is adorable.


For the sake of beauty

It’s easy to see why the art of painting on gold leaf fascinates people.  The arresting juxtaposition of matte color on a warm, reflective surface, the opulence, the sheer size of the Japanese folding screens painted in this fashion… it’s worth while to pause and enjoy, to let your eyes rest on something beautiful for a while.

Suzuki Kiitsu “Morning Glories”


Etsy photo of the day

a self portrait of Van Dyck. same hair!

I love Etsy.  It’s basically an online craft market, and who wouldn’t love that?

This crown (and its photo) caught my eye today.  At first I laughed and silently ridiculed it, but the fact is, this fantastic photo resembles Renaissance (especially Flemish) portraiture so closely (even her face type is typical of that era of portraiture), that I actually really enjoy it.  For just $30, this crown (Neptune’s Crown, as it’s called on the site) can be yours.  Lucky you.


goodness, martial arts, work

Creepy and awesome

Kids are amazing.  The stuff that comes out of their minds is so free form and astonishing sometimes.  I recently got a drawing from a girl I teach at Karate Job of a T-rex on a blimp.  That’s right: a dinosaur riding on a blimp, which also had teeth and eyes, and fire coming out the back of it.

I pointed out the amazing art of David Devries, who turned children’s drawings of nightmares into horrible, incredible works of art.  Now there’s a company doing something similar, but far more friendly (and profitable, I hope): they’re taking children’s drawings and turning them into toys.  What a fantastic idea!  It also serves as a reminder of the kind of nightmare fuel that kids think of all my themselves.  Creepy and awesome.

my favorite

badness, goodness, life

Oh, Imaginary Thing, please protect me from this other Imaginary Thing

faith's all, CHILL, I GOT THIS

What I love (read: despise) about religion is that it claims to be the only cure for a problem it creates.  That’s like stealing everyone’s light bulbs, then “helpfully” selling them flashlights.

Leave it to the Flemish painters of the 16th century to illustrate this idea perfectly.  Check out this drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck, entitled “Man Protected By the Shield of Faith.”

As if the devil (whose penis is a forked tongue, and knees are capped with beast heads, because being the devil isn’t enough, apparently you really have to illustrate it with messed up genitalia and patellas) isn’t a fabrication of the very faith that claims to protect man from him.  Without religion, faith and the devil disappear, and this illustration becomes a drawing of a man playing a game of “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”

But then, without  the talent of Flemish artists to freak us out, and religion to freak them out, we wouldn’t have paintings like this one by Joos van Cleve, where Jesus is totally ripped and wearing a Superman cape while squashing some poor fat putti (tiny pudgy angel kids).  I recall from my art history classes (which I loved) that Jesus is often depicted as physically fit when placed in a Last Judgement scene, which this is.  Still hilarious, though.  “He died for your sins, then went to Gold’s gym to pump iron and check out the ladies on the treadmills.”

meanwhile, everyone in the foreground is all, WTF WHY DID WE BRING OUR BED SHEETS TO THE APOCALYPSE FML

badness, goodness, life

Nightmare on paper

There’s an artist named David Devries who takes children’s drawings of monsters and redraws them to look more realistic.  It’s a super cool idea, and I like the execution.  I almost feel like he’s too true to the kids’ drawings, though.  Kids draw ideas, representations of what they see in their minds.  They can’t draw exactly what they see, but when something is tall, they draw it thin and long, that kind of thing.  I think a little artistic license would be fun for this guy’s project.

I had a recurring nightmare growing up in which I would hide at the end of a narrow outdoor hallway.  There’s nowhere to hide though, so I just crouched down on the floor and made myself as small as possible while keeping my feet under me and my eyes up in case I needed to run (to where?  I was trapped).  I usually dreamed vividly, so the fact that this dream was always in black and white is probably why it stuck with me.  At the end of this hall/alleyway, is a street where people are walking by, going about their day.  But of course, they’re not really people.  They’re long, gangly, black figures with long snout-faces.  They were indistinguishable from each other.

Being a Communist state or whatever, everyone had to conform.  I was clearly not conforming, because I wasn’t a Snout-Face, which is why I had to hide.  Naturally one of them spotted me and came after me.  And he brought friends.  They came marching down the alley with a swift, chilling grace that made panic set fire to my insides, and woke me up.

There really is no way to describe how purely fear is felt in a nightmare.  It’s just terrifying.  Luckily, we’ve all had that experience, so we don’t need to find the words to explain it.