Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Extra pieces and parts

Remember Gemini, the two-faced cat?

Introducing Lucky One, the 6-legged, two penised dog...

Puppy has six legs, two wangs
Malaysia Star Submitted by: SweetSpot "A puppy with two extra legs and a second penis is drawing curious stares at a temple in Pandamaran town near here. The puppy, found by a temple caretaker at the entrance on Thursday morning, is being cared for by the temple committee. Kwang Sung Temple committee member Tee Kim Huat said the caretaker saw the white puppy with dark brown patches sleeping at the temple entrance at 7am." ... “He lifted the canine to place it elsewhere and was shocked to see that the puppy had six legs! Not only that, the male puppy also had an extra penis,” said Tee. [With picture of what a six-legged double-wanged dog looks like.]
Read article...

Other dogs say he should have been called Lucky Two.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A zebra swallowtail in the wild!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Speaking of cats

This boggles the mind. The picture plays with your head. I likeeeee.

From The Daily Rotten:
Kitty cat has two heads, four eyes
GOP News Submitted by: Jelika "A newborn kitten recently entered the world with two faces and, hopefully, at least nine lives. Gemini was born Sunday with two mouths, two tongues, two noses and four eyes."
Read article...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

For your responding pleasure

It took me a while to believe that it wasn't spam, but I don't know how an inauthentic URL could contain as the address. No, I didn't check Urban Legends and I really hate Urban Legends-using trumping people, so don't go there.

The survey:

The explanation:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting an important academic study regarding weblogs. We are investigating the role of weblogs in the lives of their authors. Does your weblog make you more connected to the rest of society? Does it increase your chances of getting a job or finding information that you are looking for? To answer these questions, which are very important to our research, we ask for your help.

This is not a commercial marketing survey, but scholarly research to be used in academic publications such as journals, conferences and books. By participating in this study you will be assisting scientific research and contributing to a better understanding of how weblogs are influencing people's lives. We would like you to please fill out our short survey (about 15 minutes or less, on average).

My input:
It seems that they sent invitations to 5000 random bloggers. They request additional involvement from other bloggers, although the results from the anointed will be tabulated separately.

Ha! I'm an MIT Annointed! (Just let me believe it, huh?)

It was a simple survey taking links from your own blog and getting you to characterize them. Pretty painless.

It wasn't rocket science.

Ha! Get it? It wasn't rocket science.

(Me alone = idiot. My son's at his dad's and P won't be back for a few days. My 'likes to do stuff alone' self is needing company!)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Delivering a moving spirit

Took J to see Howl's Moving Castle (86%, Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) yesterday at my second favorite local indie theater. I chose Howl's as opposed to the Shark Boy/Lava Girl (22%, Rotten) thing that came out this weekend.

Anticipated quality - that and J has been a Hayao Miyazaki (96%, Fresh) junkie since he was three when he saw an ad on TV for Kiki's Delivery Service (100%, Fresh.) That was all she wrote. I had to order it online when I finally found it. He watched it day in, day out for weeks. He loves Japanese animation.

Of course, when Spirited Away (98%, Fresh) came out, we saw that in the theaters. It was much scarier than I had anticipated, but it was so rich in its beauty that I think it rates first in animation, all time.

Even P's daughter loves Spirited Away; I was rather impressed to see it in her DVD collection last year.

I must have caught the preview for Howl's when I was at this indie theater by myself seeing Kung Fu Shuffle. J had not heard of Howl's, so was less than interested until I said it's from the Kiki people. He also lucked into seeing a preview on tv just yesterday morning at his dad's, so that gave it an in.

The English version has some great favs as voices: Emily Mortimer (the attention/affirmation seeking naked actress in Lovely and Amazing), Christian Bale, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, and Billy Crystal.

I wish we'd gotten the English version. Instead, I was floored. We got the subtitled Japanese version.

Major bummer... in this case.

Do you know how tedious it is reading a movie with quickly changing subtitles to a kid who is actually old enough to be interested in the plot, but not old enough to keep up with the fast text?

Well, it's a pain. Literally. My neck still hurts today from scootching down in the seat and leaning over to whisper the lines to J.

I don't want slaving to subtitles to taint my opinion of Howl's, but I sure appreciated Spirited Away and Kiki's much better. I am Americo-centric without a doubt.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Put to good use

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Closer to pseudo greatness

Have you ever heard of D.avid A.llen C.oe?

I think of him as the Ji.mmy Buf.fet of middle old fashioned country music. He's a cousin in style of Wa.ylon Jenni.ngs, M.erle Hagga.rd, etc. I'm not a big fan of what I consider modern "pop country," but I love this 1970s edgy style. They lose their women and cry in their beers.

Ex and I were slated to see DAC many years ago and the fucking concert was cancelled.

See, the headliner, W.illie Ne.lson, fell off his bike and broke his thumb that week. I figure he was stoned.

Ex was brokenhearted about not seeing Willie, as was I, but I was especially aching to see DAC.

You may have heard his "Perfect County and Western Song" You Never Even Call Me By My Name.

Tonight I will get as close as I've ever been to seeing him. P and I are seeing one of DAC's main songwriters, who is a singer and stand up comedian in his own right. He's been P's favorite for years and we just recently realized how he cross pollinates with DAC.

It is kinda scary to have these same tastes, but it makes us a compatible couple. Ha!

Besides namedropping mainstream Outlaws (see above singers and lump them together) music, DAC is largely known for stuff that is so raunchy, nasty, vile (and sometimes, unfortunately, racist) that it isn't available for sale in the US. Ex got a copy whileoverseas. P, Mr. Download-All-The-Livelong Day, has his set of trashy songs put together of late.

Such as:
Itty Bitty Titties
Cum Stains on the Pillow
If That Ain't Country... it'll harelip the Pope [this one is mainstream, believe it or not]

I wish I could remember all the titles. They're sick. Sick haha lyrics, usually, to the effect of, Fuck me one more time before you leave me - you don't even have to move - I'll be really fast.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Planning ahead, kinda

Long and boring entry today unless you care about an anal, indecisive artist...

I plan to paint en plein air beginning in a few weeks. I should have good 3 hour blocks for painting in this waterside, kinda touristy yet relatively quiet town. I want to paint one each day.

Preparing for one's first en plein air expedition is no small feat.

One needs an easel. I have an awkward, heavy French one like this, which I've never used.

One needs a stool. I found one much like this at a camping store.

One needs something solid to paint on. This one is tricky. I have large and small boards, the large I use for classes/larger paper and the small is new and not yet used.

One needs a surface. This is tricky again. Oils and canvases are tough, b/c you're returning to your car with wet paintings. Pastels are tough, b/c the paintings are fragile and easily smeared. They have to be transported and stored with care.

But how?

I am trying to solve this two-fold, using these Koool Bind pads/folders some days and these hard boards (but I'm not sure about protecting them after painting) on other days.

And you also need to get supplies to the site . There are many ways to transport pastel sticks, most very expensive. You can get the easel/box combo set for almost $500, or one a little less expensive at $360, or you can get the custom-ish wooden box (pochade/guerilla Box or Open Box M) that attaches to a regular tripod for say $300, or you can have a separate wooden briefcase-ish box.

I am going with the latter.

B/c I really hate the French easel, I have toiled with the idea of buying a more modern easel combo thing; there is one that is less expensive than the above one. There are also lots of simple, light easels for $50 or so. With the lighter easel, however, you have a less sturdy set up in the field - wind can be a real issue, so there's a trade off on weight and ease of transport. And if the easel doesn't have an attached box thingie, then you have to figure a way to get stuff out to the site and, once there, to have some sort of table substitute, b/c it is too hard on the back to store all the supplies on the ground.

Further, b/c I really do hate the French easel, I have debated the logic of investing in accessories/time to beef up something I know I don't like. See, they have very small drawers that don't hold much. The philosophy is that you should pare down stuff well enough that you don't need a bunch more space. Hooey, says me, the owner of Stanley, now Fat Stanley, as he is mighty full. I have too much crap, anal pack rat that I am.

By French easel accessories, I mean a couple things. There's this contraption that converts the unyielding, heavy French easel into an unyielding, heavy backpack encumbered by lots of straps that take lots of time to rig and un-rig, precious time when one is fighting the clock outdoors. Or this contraption, which converts the French easel into a rolling luggage cart that wouldn't make it across a bumpy field.

I got clever on this one, crafting my own accessory in seconds. Instead of buying a backpack thing, I am faking it, me, the backpack loving chick. On the top end of the easel are two D-rings toard each corner; the other end has one in the middle. I am stringing a luggage strap from each of the D-rings on the top end and joining them in the D-ring on the bottom end. Voila! Instant backpack for no bucks. [I just found this version - it is similar to what I made, but it is on a half-sized easel.] Yes, unyielding and heavy, but, unlike the store-bought fancy version that has big straps securing it, mine will convert to an easel very quickly at set up. Yeah, for free.

Returning to the storage accessory idea above, there's the carrying art supplies (vs. carrying easel) accessory and desire for one I mentioned above. Besides for the pochade-type boxes I mentioned, there's the other boxes lovingly called the French Mistress and the French Companion. (I think wine, pastries, and good head should come along with these new friends.)
These things simply open up flat and rest on the open drawer of the French easel. They're wooden like the easel, so awkward and heavy. As such, tho, they're good for carrying soft pastels safely once foam inserts are purchased and sized. (Nothing is easy with this process. Everything brings on another DIY project and more cost.)

One additional accessory... I am declining on the umbrella for now. They make a painter float like a butterfly even more probable. Solid ground, no broken or lost pastels.

So, my big expense with all this, after much toil, reading, and research, is the French Companion for storing stuff. I figure it'll be easier to carry on location and it is versatile enough that if I invest in another easel, I'll still be able to use it. It isn't too big and heavy, but it should carry a lot.

But I'm not finished. I am sweating delivery, probably b/c I want this stuff so much.

In summary, the have done/to do lists include:

purchased the paper notebooks (paper plus storage, but soft mounting) and the pastel boards (painting surface plus mounting, but no storage).

finding and sizing foam for the inside of the French Companion and for the bottom storage of the French easel.

cutting some foam core to use to secure paintings on the easel and to separate the finished paintings.

These many things coming together will facilitate whether I'll be able to paint outside for a few days and to see if I even like painting outside enough to continue it.

I wonder if Monet went through all this?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Let them voyeur and then let them compete

From Dave Berry, of all places....

New evidence regarding sperm competition: Rivals spur men to produce better sperm
15:56 08 June 2005 news service
Rachel Nowak, Melbourne

Men who view pornographic images of two men and a woman produce better-quality sperm than men viewing pornographic images of just women, an Australian study reveals.

The finding suggests that humans may be capable of subconsciously increasing semen quality when faced with the possibility that their sperm will have to outrun those of other men in a woman’s reproductive tract.

In samples from men who viewed the images containing the two men and a woman - the “sperm-competition” images - 52% of the sperm were motile. This compared with 49% sperm motility in the men who viewed the images of women only ...

But there was also a seemingly contradictory finding. Men who viewed the sperm-competition images had fewer sperm in their ejaculate: 61 million per millilitre compared to 77 million per millilitre for the men who viewed the female-only images. More studies are needed to explain this finding.

“It’s a fascinating study. The effect is obviously immediate. This suggests that something [in the body] can be adjusted very, very quickly,” says Jon Evans of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, who studies sperm competition in guppy fish.

The findings might suggest ways to improve the quality of sperm during fertility treatment.

Ya know, I'm just glad to hear about a pro-infertility study these days (obviously not American) that doesn't involve whackos and snowflake babies... well, until porno is outlawed, that is.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Clay? Grass? Clover? It's all the same.

Explaining his upcoming transition to grass courts and Wimbolden after his 24 straight victories on clay the past few weeks,'"I like a lot play in grass,'' Na.dal said in his fractured English.'

Sweet Cheeks, lots of us do. Lots of us would with you, too.

Probably my g'ma would, too. She used to sing...

Roll me over in the clover
Do it again...

which I just learned is actually this (and this and this), mentioning thighs, sticks, inches, and shoving... in that charming old fashioned way.

Remember G'ma was the proprietor of a tourist town bar for 40 years.

Too bad Sweet Thang Na.dal would be underaged.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Dreaming of tennis all day....

The phone woke me up this morning. Yeah, it was supposed to be a sleep in day w/J at his father's and me not going to P's until this afternoon. Why does that never work?


The fucking taped spam call interrupted a dream I was having about Rafael Na.dal, the Mallorcan (did I ever mention my summer on Mallorca? perky brown titties - I'll leave it at that) in Tomorrow's French Open final. My dream was cozy and cuddly, b/c I am not a cradle robber even in my subconscious, I guess. Shoot.

Rafael beat Roger Fede.rer handily yesterday, quite a feat. (Fe.derer is #1 and as smooth as pudding.) Rafael has been on a roll, winning his last 4 tournaments. Incredible. Yesterday's semi-final fell on his 19th birthday. Nice present to self!

Look at the beat Fed.erer link if only to see this kid's bicep. It's all good, except perhaps his booty clam diggers. Who dresses these people? Is Serena in his house, too?

Tomorrow's final will be a youthful Latin babe-fest. Argentina's Mar.iano Pue.rta, who actually dresses like a tennis player, doesn't stand a chance, but it'll be FUN to watch.