December 05, 2015

Walnuts



Fact.

Poor Generic George didn't even make it through his first comic. Better luck next time.

Green skies and blue grass are a bit disconcerting.

November 22, 2015

Spirit Talk: Dal and Vi



Hey.

I just published a new tab/page, and I'm just replicating it as a blog post here:

This is a FAQ and character page! It contains a brief introduction to Spirit Talk and the two main characters, Dal and Vi.


Q. What is Spirit Talk?
A. It is the extremely stupid name I gave my little comic.


Q. What is the premise of this comic?
A. The premise... Well, the gimmick is that both characters are actually in the Afterlife. I haven't thought of a good name for what they are – they're not ghosts – although judging by the title, I'd say they're spirits.


Q. Who are the characters?
A. Excellent question! Check it out:

This is Dal
Dal is a newly minted spirit. Before they died, they were an employee at the local pet shop and lived on the tenth floor of an apartment building optimistically named "The Lily Pad". They died very recently, and they are being mentored by – 

Vi!
Vi is a spirit veteran. She's been around for too long and has even forgotten her own past. She seems a bit bonkers to casual onlookers, but she knows the Afterlife inside and out. Her eyes, which look a lot like triplets in NMR spectra, are a result of her time there. I don't actually know much about her yet.


Q. What's up with calling Dal "they"?
A. Another excellent question! You're doing so well :) Dal identifies as non-binary and prefers they/them/their pronouns. If you want to find out more about non-binary gender, you can check out this website: http://nonbinary.org/wiki/Nonbinary_gender



Q. How did Dal identify before figuring out they were non-binary?
A. Whoa, rude. Also, I don't know.


Q. Dal looks a bit like you. Are they an autobiographical character?
A. Honestly, no. There's a bit of me in both characters, but Dal is based mainly on a couple of friends, which is why earlier depictions of them (Dal) had hair that looked more like whipped cream peaks than just porcupine spikes. Porcupine spikes are easier to draw consistently though, so...


Q. Who is Vi based on?
A. Again, a couple other friends (and myself, I guess). I wanted to give better representation to different body types, so I gave Vi some wicked curves, which can be better seen when she's standing. Also, we're all fans of cats, and that's the reason why Vi mentions kittens or cats nearly every other strip.


Q. Are you non-binary?
A. Mum? Is that you? And no, I am not. I identify as female, but I don't mind being misgendered in the real world (okay, I mind a little). As long as I am confident in how I identify, it doesn't (really) matter. This varies from person to person though, so I can't speak for anyone else.

November 20, 2015

Spirit Talk: Cheese



Hey.

"Cheese" is the name of this comic, and I forgot to put that into the title panel. It's based on a comment my friend made in our last D&D session. Click the pictures to enlarge.








November 13, 2015

Translation 4 Dummies



Hey.

messy sketchy
There is a translation professor here who is like the strict, dry, hysterically funny British father nobody wants to disappoint.

My friend wanted to see him drawn as a mouse with little spectacles perched on his snout. I added the elephant students who are scared of him.

October 31, 2015

More About a Cat



Hey.
True story.

Happy Halloween! Or Samhain, or whatever.

I just found out that my previous post was the 100th! That's so many!

I talked to the vice-dean of the science faculty, and he told me to talk to Nadia and either get more information/proof or ask her to talk to him. I won't see her until our next class together, which will be in November.

October 24, 2015

Spirit Talk: Cat



*Pets Aggressively*

October 17, 2015

Spirit Talk: The Afterlife



More from Dal and Vi! They're in the Afterlife right now, and enjoying every moment of it.

October 10, 2015

Spirit Talk: Short Vignettes By A Fake Apath



Hey.

Vi and Dal are back! in pencil form. They may be back next week too!
Whoa, updates galore!

Short Vignettes By A Fake Apath

Short Vignette 1.

I walked to work today, coffee in one hand and umbrella in the other. I waited, beside a rusty dolphin rusted into the rusty pole, for the lights to change. The dolphin was complete---tail, dorsal fin, everything---but its mouth, its beak, was too plump.

I wonder, I thought. I wonder what it would be like to be eaten by that mouth.

Too plump, and too toothless, and too soft.

It wouldn't hurt; its mouth would flop all around me. Maybe tickle me. But it wouldn't break me. This is a squishy dolphin.

The lights changed.


Short Vignette 2.

There was a skunk waddling towards me. Keeping one eye on it, I crossed the street immediately.

The skunk didn't notice me until it heard my feet pattering away from it. Keeping one eye on me, it retraced its steps in a panic.

We each breathed a sigh of relief as the other passed.


Short Vignette 3.

"Apath, let me die with dignity above all else," she told me. "In my line of work, I see family members forcing their loved ones to cling to life by their fingernails. I take care of patients who are unable to control their bodily functions, and I clean their never-healing bed sores and wounds. It's horrific and horrible and disheartening; so, if you have to choose between forcing me to live and letting me die, always let me die."

"That," I said, "would not go over well with the rest of the family --- but since you're telling me to do it, I will always try my best. And, for the record, I hope you would do the same for me."

"Promise," she said.

"Promise," I said.


Short Vignette 4.

With a blink and a click, the lights went out. Rumbles of dismay rose from the cubicles and hung in the air like storm clouds. The office workers had lost all their unsaved work.

Blink. My laptop was no longer charging, but it was still on. I saved my documents.

Click. I shut my laptop and placed it in the bag. The manager was shouting something about leaving work early. I sat until he was finished.

With a rustling sound that swelled like an ocean wave, we rose from our ergonomic office chairs. Then, we went out.

October 03, 2015

Story Time!



Hey.

A snippet of an actual note I took in class.

It's been ages since my last update! September was pretty crazy, so my brain's a bit fried.

Story Time!

From my translation professor, on smoking:

"If you're a child and one of your parents smoke, you're screwed. My father would send me out---I could barely walk at that age---to buy his cigarettes for him at the corner store. There would be some money left over to buy a stick of gum or some candy.

"He didn't even start smoking until he joined the US Army. In World War 2, cigarettes were included in their rations; soldiers were rationed two packs a day to keep them awake during their night shifts. He'd never smoked before that.

"In the army, he used to patrol a field at night, and watch for movement. His instructions were to shoot on sight, but if you were patrolling with a lit cigarette all the time, wouldn't your enemies see it?

"Anyway, I always thought it was a bit of an oxymoron, the phrase 'US Army Intelligence'."

August 29, 2015

The Village



Hey.

I kept saying I would do backgrounds for more comic strips, but I only finished two. Here's one of them.

I haven't been feeling particularly motivated to update lately (mostly because I don't have any good ideas), so here's a filler episode in the madcap dramedy series that is this blog.

Spoiler alert: these are just a bunch of photos I took eight years ago when I visited my dad's village in China. I distinctly remember that the people living there were super excited because they had just installed a new water pump.








Have a lovely day!

August 13, 2015

Super Busy



Hey.

I've been busy getting ready to get back to Ottawa on Saturday, so here's another quick edition of Cringeworthy Things People Have Said On the Internet. Today, we have this:



"At least 50 people are dead, and over 700 are injured; is it really the time to call out a spelling mistake?"

Yikes.

*****

In other news, my father does not tenderise his meat before overcooking it, so we're eating pork chops with a dry, brick-like texture. Not horrible, in the grand scheme of things (see Facebook post above), but still vaguely unpleasant.

August 08, 2015

Shout-Out



Hey.

Huge shout-out to T for reading this blog regularly. Happy belated birthday! I'd asked Julian for the date four months ago, and I should have written it down, but I vaguely remember him saying it was sometime around now. Possibly yesterday.

July 25, 2015

Dino Egg Oatmeal Commandos and Bison Selfies



Hey.

Three a.m. weed whacker
Three a.m. gobsmacker
Run like hell after
The three a.m. weed whacker

No comic. I'm working on backgrounds, which is turning out to be more labour-intensive than I'd originally planned. Instead, I have a fake album cover for my fake band, 'Dino Egg Oatmeal Commandos', and the first verse of our fake single, 'Weed Whacker Vigilante'.

*****

This is going to end up a bit like the Toast's Link Roundup, wherein a bunch of links to interesting articles are posted, except my links are much less serious.

Speaking of the Toast, here's an article extolling the simple elegance in the newspaper headlines of yore. Witness:


Amazing.

(Also, don't forget to read the comments. Those Toasties are sharp as knives.)

*****


Check out this hysterical interview in which Sarah Miller talks about her new "book" Bison Selfies with Terry Gross. Here's a screenshot of what may possibly be the greatest thing I've seen all week:


At first, I thought she meant Björk was playing the bison like an instrument, but then I realised she meant Björk was playing the part of the bison. Obviously, this means Björk has the ability to play any role we throw her way, including tectonic plates, potatoes, and herself.

*****

The new Supergirl's already been leaked (to lukewarm reviews, I'm told), but you should take a behind-the-scenes look at it here:



Melissa Benoist is a sweetheart and her enthusiasm is palpable and I'm equal parts excited and wary because DC's track record with female superheroes is kinda spotty.

*****

Finally, here's an anti-smoking ad from the FDA that made me giggle.



*****

Have a smashing week!

July 18, 2015

Spirit Talk 3: Vi



Hey.

If you thought either Vi or I would be above poop jokes...

Vi's name hadn't been mentioned so far.

The inconsistencies between panels are making me sad, but I have resolved to do better next strip. I'm also going to stick with three panels if I can, since everything's so tiny with four.

It might be too small to see in the third panel, but poor Dal :( And it seems like the more I draw them, the more Dal's hair looks like a mullet.

Or the Sydney Opera House.

Also, Zellers doesn't appear to have gotten around to taking out its computers yet.

July 14, 2015

Spirit Talk 2: Dal's Pockets



Hey.

I'd wanted to show a whole storyline in the Tim Horton's background, but figured that a couple thousand panels of talking heads would be too boring. Also, is that character development I see there?

Against all expectations, here is a second strip. In case you didn't notice, I really, really can't draw my characters consistently. Hopefully, this will improve with time.

One thing that always seems to pop up when my friends talk about clothing is the lack of pockets in womens' jeans -- the general consensus being that pocketless/shallow-pocketed clothes should burn in hell (click the comic [with the "Nuevos pantalones" obvi] to see the whole thing) forever.

July 11, 2015

Spirit Talk 1: Dal



Hey.

Tim Horton's doesn't sell foot-longs, so I'm not sure why the guy's eating one.
It's a chicken salad sandwich, in case you were wondering.

The strip's super tiny, so you'll have to click to expand it. Even then, you might not see everything. I didn't plan it out very well.

I'm not a dedicated comic artist, so I'm not sure how many of these I'll do. They're tentatively named "Spirit Talk", and they focus on Dal and Vi. If I continue this long enough, the strips might even form a coherent storyline, so here's hoping.

July 04, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume Four



Lady Music Saturdays are a countdown to Veruca Salt's new LP, 'Ghost Notes', to be released on July 10, 2015. Join our host, Tory Stevenson, as she navigates through as many musical genres as she can, introducing female artists to her faithful audience of five.


UPDATE: We (aka those who pre-ordered) got the CD early! Huzzah!

Hey.

It's not really Saturday anymore, but whatever. This is the last installment (huzzah!), so it's ending on a...

Well, it's ending on a correct note.

Rock
If you thought I wouldn't put Veruca Salt down for this, you would be sadly mistaken. Sure, their new LP hasn't dropped yet, but based on the new tracks from their YouTube channel (also available as instant grat tracks on their PledgeMusic site), it should be at least as good as their first album.

Here's their newest video for 'Laughing in the Sugar Bowl', complete with imagery from their first singles:



And as a bonus, here's their video for 'Shutterbug', which I really like because they use actual props to bounce and spin and pedal around:



Honourable Mention: Jeen O'Brien is one of those behind-the-scene people who writes music for everyone in the industry, from Ruby Gloom (yes, the cartoon) to Great Big Sea (yes, the band). She's Canadian, relatively unknown, and just released a deluxe edition of her album 'Tourist', which you can hear on SoundCloud. Her voice is a little different -- not sure if it's just the way she records it or what -- but it works really well with some good, growly guitars. Y'all should check it out.

Also, remember to support Canadian artists.

June 30, 2015

The Black Widow Spider




Hey.

Can you tell I'm excited about Veruca Salt?

The Pride parade was on Sunday, and I had a lot of fun there. Met good people, ate good food, all the good stuff. May every Pride improve upon this.

I read a "shower thought" the other day that wondered if sleeping is our natural state, and if the time we spend awake is for gathering imagery for our dreams.

Moving on...


The Black Widow Spider
Or
the Black and Red Spider who Just Wanted Tea; her Cogitations on the Matter; and her Observations of the Surrounding World.


My dear friend Prudence died the other day.

"Listen, Ethel," she said shortly before the event, "I've got a funny feeling."

"That's very nice," I said. "Are you coming over for tea later?"

June 27, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume Three + General Updates



Lady Music Saturdays are a countdown to Veruca Salt's new LP, 'Ghost Notes', to be released on July 10, 2015. Join our host, Tory Stevenson, as she navigates through as many musical genres as she can, introducing female artists to her faithful audience of five.


Hey.

I'm sure you've all heard that the US Supreme Court ruled all same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. A fitting end to Pride Month, I think. In another (very brief) edition of "Let's Not Talk About...", let's not talk about Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomson and their blatant batshittery.

Speaking of Pride, today's the second last day of Pride Week in Toronto, and the Dyke March is happening at some point (this afternoon, I think). Tomorrow is the big parade and the closing ceremony, which sounds super exciting. And even if it's not, I'm at least glad that John Tory participated in the flag-raising ceremony. As far as Conservative candidates went, he was the best.

I've been working through a story about a Black Widow Spider, and I'm very close to finishing it! What do you think spiders dream about?

Here's a conversation I had with my mum after I killed a little moth while apologising profusely to it --

Tory (T): Hey mum.

Tory's Mum (TM): [is busy watching Chinese/Korean/Thai dramas]

T: Do you ever feel bad when you kill bugs?

TM: [non-committal] Mmm. [is busy watching Chinese/Korean/Thai dramas]

T: Because I always feel bad when I kill bugs.

TM: [steadfastly ignores Tory while trying to watch her dramas]

T: Does that leave hope for me?
[in a high pitched voice; pretends to be Tory's Mum] Hope of what?
[reverts to normal voice] Of my final re-transformation from India-rubber back to flesh.

TM: [steadfastly ignores Tory while trying to watch her dramas]



Okay, that's about it for updates. Onwards to the music!

*****

June 20, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume Two



Lady Music Saturdays are a countdown to Veruca Salt's new LP, 'Ghost Notes', to be released on July 10, 2015. Join our host, Tory Stevenson, as she navigates through as many musical genres as she can, introducing female artists to her faithful audience of five.

Hey.

After this, it's two lists down, two to go. Also, three-quarters of the way through this list, I was struck by the overwhelming number of... well, Caucasian artists I'd chosen (excepting The Bullitts, of course, but he's just an Honourable Mention). You probably haven't noticed, since I haven't posted any photos, but still -- representation matters. I'll try to remedy this over the next couple weeks.

June 13, 2015

Lady Music Saturdays: Volume One



Hey.

No picture today -- there are a billion links and stuff below.

Ladies and gents, this is a long, rather uninteresting post. If you're up for some new music though, please continue reading.

In anticipation of Veruca Salt's new LP after their 18 year hiatus -- 9 years, if you count a Nina-less Veruca Salt as Veruca Salt -- I'm counting down with 'Lady Music Saturdays', in which I strive to suggest artists -- not necessarily new, but always a little different -- for as many genres as I can think of, until July 10 (release date!). Like the name suggests, female artists are featured, because they make up about 90% of my music collection, and because Nina and Louise are on speaking terms again. Please feel free to agree or disagree with anything I list.

Today, we are featuring Adult Contemporary Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Classical, and Country/Folk/Roots/etc. As an added bonus, all the artists I chose happen to be Canadian (just for today, I think). Support Canadian musicians, y'all.

June 09, 2015

Things We Are Not Discussing



Hey.

The illustrious Jordan Hall telling it like it is.

June 06, 2015

Two Anecdotes



Hey.

One of two waterfalls at the World Trade Centre Memorial site.

Went on a small break, travelled to Manhattan with the family for five days. It was fun.

*****

I have a couple quick stories today; one about Jehovah's Witnesses, and the other about my friend's friend's cat.

The Witnesses came to our flat, knocked on the door. I answered.

"Hello," they said. "Would you like a pamphlet?"

"Uh, sure," I replied. I heard Julian come downstairs. I took the pamphlet. They waved at Julian, peeking around the doorway.

"What are your names?"

"Terra," Julian said quickly. I frowned at him. It was his default alias, so I ran with it.

"Alice," I said.

"It's very nice to meet you," the Witnesses said. "Have a nice day."

"You too."

A month or so passed. We mostly forgot about them, and they came knocking every once in a while with their pamphlets. Julian and I read them and had a couple laughs.

One day, our friend Mitch came over for a Dungeons & Dragons session. He's completely blind, so Julian had to pick him up early at the bus stop and take him to our flat. Julian and I were both out that day, so Mitch hung around on his own. Of course, the Jehovah's Witnesses came knocking again.

"Hello," they said, "are Alice and Terra here?"

"Who?" Mitch asked.

They repeated their question.

Obviously, we'd never told Mitch about those aliases. He was smart enough, however, to recognise that Julian and I had probably messed with these people before.

"Nobody by those names lives here," he said.

"Are you sure?"

"Yep," he said. Then, "to fuck with them even more" (his words), he added, "I've been living here for two years. By myself."

The Jehovah's Witnesses were either freaked out, or they realised that they were being played, since they never returned to our flat after that.

*****

My friend Gail (she was the one who told me about the Christianity-spreaders in Korea as well) told me this story about her friend Melissa.

Melissa was driving on a mountain road one day when she saw a little, abandoned kitten on the side of the road. Feeling bad for passing it by, she picked it up and drove back home.

She took her kitten-rearing very seriously. She cleaned it, gave it a litter box and toys, and she fed it. And fed it. And fed it.

Every week or so, she sent updates and photos to her friends. "Look how big 'Big Boy' (it sounds better in Korean?) is getting!"

"Melissa," one of her friends said, "that... is a very large cat."

"I know," she said, "he's getting very heavy."

Melissa was not very bright.

She had to take her cat to the vet one day (I forget what for -- Gail told me this a long time ago). The vet glanced at Big Boy, and said, "Miss, that is not a cat. That is a mountain lion."

Melissa had to give her mountain lion to a place with better accommodations. Her little apartment wasn't large enough to house it, and it was illegal to keep mountain lions as pets anyway. It's a little unfortunate though, since there was probably some sort of emotional bond between them, but I guess it was for the best.

May 26, 2015

The Paper Towel Piece



Hey.

A screenshot of a brilliant movie idea. Taken back when Ellen Page was naming other people's dogs on Twitter.

It's been a while since I've done anything with inanimate objects. This isn't a story I wrote for this blog specifically; it was for my Submissions box on Tumblr. I figured no one would send me submissions, and thus would never take the time to read the guidelines.

Anyway.

The story's pretty similar to my duct tape and Band-Aid® stories in terms of characterisation and plot.


The Paper Towel Piece

Once upon a time, there was a piece of paper towel. It was made out of 90% recycled paper, and it was proud of this. "I'm more environmentally friendly than you," it bragged to its non-post-consumer-waste-manufactured counterparts, who merely shrugged (as paper towels do) and waited in their comfortable, 2-ply, perforated rolls.

The paper towel rectangle, along with the rest of its kin in the same package, was eventually taken and put into a paper towel dispenser. 'This is it,' it thought. 'Soon, they'll witness my superiority!'

It felt itself being pulled out of the dispenser. Its time had come! It felt wetness soaking into it, and was about to pat itself on the back for a job well done, when it heard:

"Man, these paper towels suck so much. Why does our school keep buying this brown shit when it doesn't even work?"

"Yeah, I know! It just spreads shit around! I swear to God, it's anti-absorbent. Like, it doesn't clean up spills, it makes them bigger."

"Whatever man. Grab that white roll in the closet. Good thing M. LaChance keeps one around."

And so, the paper towel rectangle learned the disappointing truth.

The end.

May 23, 2015

Late



Hey.

Found this picture on my laptop. Don't know who the original artist is; thought it was appropriate for today's subject.

Didn't update Tuesday; spent the past week or so at other people's houses without my laptop. I came back to over 80 emails in my inbox, and it made me want to scream.

Anyway, just a little blurb about my mother's childhood for today, since she used to live in Hong Kong back when things were... different. Half of this conversation took place in Cantonese, so parts have been translated.

My Mother's Family

"Mum," I said, "tell me about your childhood. Anything interesting?"

"No," she replied, "not really."

"Well then just tell me about your life."

"It's pretty boring. We used to live in a stone house. Then, we moved to a wooden house, in one of the poorer areas (she didn't specify where, she literally said "poor-people area"). Your grandfather gambled a lot. He gambled all his wages away, so we had to move. After that, he managed to stop."

I asked her where she went to school.

"My brothers and I went to private school. My father worked two jobs -- as a streetcleaner, then, because some of the garbage he picked up was saleable, he would resell whatever he picked up -- and he put us through school. We were too stupid, didn't do well enough on our tests, to get into publicly-funded schools."

"Then what?"

"Then I went to nursing school*."

"Tell me about your mum. Did she work?"

"She didn't work until I was in middle school. Then, she worked at a perfumery, bottling perfumes.

"She's amazing (or "formidable", this was a little harder to translate). If she had learned to read better -- she was nearly illiterate -- she could have done great things. Her memory was incredible -- she only ever had to see or do things once and she would remember everything. If I ever touched the flowers or disarranged the house in any way, she would come home, see it, and beat the lights out of me. I remember once, I accidentally burned the sleeve of my new jacket** while cooking. My mother beat me like crazy after that."

My aunt, washing the dishes laughed sympathetically. "You're lucky you even got to go to school," she said. "We had to work because we didn't have money. And I met your mother a few times, back in Hong Kong. She had a sharp tongue, complained about a lot."

"She is very smart," my mum said. "She lives in welfare housing now, with my older brother and his wife."


* There is more to the story, but she didn't elaborate in this conversation. Basically, she had to choose between arts and science in school, and she chose science. She told me that she really should have chosen arts, because she was much better at those subjects, but she chose science because she was young and stupid***

** This jacket, transliterated as "meen lap" from Cantonese, is a super warm, down-stuffed [overstuffed], silk-encased affair. They're very expensive.

*** One of my favourite stories from my mum is about how "stupid****" she was when she was very young. She used to ride the bus, look out the window (as one does), and notice that the road and outside environment were passing by very quickly. "I wondered how they made the world outside move to transport us from one place to another," she said, "and I didn't realise that we were the ones moving. I was super confused; in my head, I just had a giant question mark."

****I thought she was brilliant.


... and that's it. Those are all the details my mum volunteered before she got distracted by her Chinese dramas. Stay tuned for my dad's stories. As a totally unrelated side note, Hong Kong has dismal elderly care.

May 16, 2015

Artemis



Hey.

Nicole Stamp as Artemis. Still unfinished and badly coloured, may come back and repost when I'm done. And I think I may have made her look a little too shapeless... but that's how those stupid Greek tunics work! They drape and hide bodies!
It's three in the morning!!! I am quite tired. Phew. Hopefully I won't make any mistakes while posting this.

May 12, 2015

Birthday Party



Hey.

It's a single!

I wanted to finish up the last story with Riley and the old man for today, but I didn't. I'll get around to it at some point.

My friend Sarah is celebrating her birthday, so I recorded a birthday song and drew the album cover above.

May 05, 2015

The Living Food



Hey.

Relatively quick, unfinished sketch of the old man. Picture him leaning on a cane. In other news, I have a person in mind for Riley's drawing (coming up in the fifth story of the series), so that's exciting.

Another tall tale, in which Riley and the old man return for the fourth riveting installment of the Globetrotter Stories. Their thrilling travels will draw to a close on the 12th -- spoiler alert, the fifth and final story is titled Riley and Death, and I'm in the middle of writing it -- so stay tuned!  [Update, December 18, 2015: I never finished it. I'm now working on a different story that should resolve Riley's storyline] Links to the other stories are at the end.


The Living Food

"Hello, and welcome to the Cafeteria Jungle!"

Riley nudged the old man, who was observing a small line of bacon bits marching by.

"What is this place?" she whispered.

"Th' Cafeteria Jungle," he whispered back, "din't ye listen?"

"We're just in some old, overgrown cafeteria!"

"Now then," the tour guide said, "to your left you will see Lardae incessu, or Marching Bacon Bits. Don't worry -- these little guys aren't dangerous, but they are a little salty." She paused. A few group members gave weak chuckles.

May 02, 2015

The Beer Jar: Beerdel Test pt. 4.5 (Pauwel Kwak)



Hey.

A picture I found in my computer of a traffic jam on the 401 --- possibly the Highway of Heroes, but it's been such a long time that I can no longer remember where this is --- due to a truck rollover. Photo credit: (c) 2012 L. Caird.

I am in the process of cleaning out my drafts for this blog, and I'm happy to say that there are posts lined up from now until the 12th -- which, yes, is not that many, but it's nice to have some regular content again.

It has been a long, long time since my last Beerdel Test. It had actually left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, not that anyone was really holding their breath. The following text was languishing in my drafts, and I figured I should at least finish off the Three Belgian Beers.


Pauwel Kwak

This beer was a little baffling. I didn't really end up deciding whether it's a fitting lady's beer or not. If it makes a difference, its bottle is appropriately slim.

A preliminary Google search tells me that this beer should be served in a special glass, but I had neither the means nor method of getting said glass, so I stayed with my (Anabelle's) mason jar.

Take note of this, ladies: the first thing I thought of when I initially took a whiff of the beer was "tomato soup". Subsequent sniffs reinforced the fact that my brain wasn't making me think of something [probably] more nutritious than beer. It smelled like tomato soup.

This, another strong beer, poured much darker and clearer than both of my previous bottles. The label boasted of "an uncomparable belgian [sic] top fermentation beer with a unique taste". If my Translation professor 'has reason', and she usually does, I think a better marketing move would have been to use "incomparable". Bygones. Moving on.

A strong, dark ale that smelled like tomato soup. At first sip, it tasted much more grainy than any other beer I'd reviewed so far - perhaps a plus for ladies? I'm actually not too sure; I'm used to lady beers tasting like nothing. It certainly had a higher alcohol - and thus Caloric - content than any other beer I'd reviewed, at 8.4%.

Honestly, I rather liked it, despite the lack of special glassware and such. The point of the glass is, I think, to allow the beer to aerate during drinking, which is perfectly doable when drinking in small, lady-like sips.

Recommended for adventurous ladies and hipsters who don't actually enjoy hops! I think my search for a lady beer has met with some success, with both this and the Affligem Blond.


April 28, 2015

The House Centipede



Hey.

All the writing during exams has exacerbated my repetitive strain injury. I wanted to draw a house centipede, but I don't want to hold anything remotely pencil-like for the next month, so here's a microscopy photo that I took in a first year biology lab. The name of the file was "late prophase Lys". Unfortunately, I can no longer remember what "Lys" means.

Finals are over! Let's not think about them anymore.

I have a story -- nothing anthropomorphic or anything, this is entirely personal:

I return to my room after my shower. As I'm slathering on some lotion, I spot a brown smudge on my bedroom wall. Without my glasses, I can't tell what it is, so I lean in for a closer look.

"Please," I say in my head, "please be a spider."

The shape of the smudge doesn't bode well -- it's a lumpy oval, and spiders are generally a) fairly circular, and b) not too irregular -- and thus, I was mentally prepared for the results of my closer inspection:

HOUSE CENTIPEDE.

I cannot impress upon you how much house centipedes -- and earwigs, and silverfish, and ants -- gross me out. In fact, the only bugs I don't mind are spiders, and they're arachnids so they don't count.

My dislike of house centipedes is a little irrational. They just have so many legs, all different sizes. They are predators, so they should keep the silverfish population down, and I (thank God) have never happened upon a nest of them, so I don't have that disturbing image in my mind. Their legs are just squicky.

Back to this particular house centipede: before I can grab my tablet to snap a picture (for posting on Facebook, with an appropriately witty status update expressing my horror), it starts to move. It slips a little, runs further across the wall, then it promptly falls. It eats the floor. It hits the ground with an audible sound, like someone had dropped a pistachio shell. I'm too grossed out, and too busy applying lotion, to check if it's still alive, but I believe it is.

House centipede, if you're still out there, I ask only three things of you:

1. Never be visible again,

2. Eat all the other insects that want to colonise the apartment, and

3. Don't touch me, and DO NOT lay eggs anywhere near me.


I wish you all the best, and I hope our paths never, EVER cross again.

April 11, 2015

Conspiracy Theories That Are 100% Completely Factual



Hey.

Fan art, unfortunately. Four members of the cast of 'Carmilla' -- a webseries that honestly isn't the greatest ever, but is still quite entertaining -- as food products.
From left to right: Natasha Negovanlis as an Eggo waffle, Elise Bauman as Baumann's Real Mayonnaise, Kaitlyn Alexander as Kaitlyn Alexander Keith's IPA, and Sharon Belle as Belledog gin.

Here's a list of conspiracy theories that I have personally confirmed to be the pure, unadulterated truth.

1. John F. Kennedy's second shooter was John F. Kennedy's ghost.

2. Paul McCartney is actually dead. John F. Kennedy's ghost has possessed his body. Paul McCartney, more like Jaul F. McKennedy.

3. Area 51 is actually Jaul F. McKennedy's home base. They have to keep the body fresh somehow.

4. All of the above are just a way for our Reptilian Overlords to control us, because Jaul F. McKennedy is still relevant and affects our everyday lives.

5. Conspiracy theorists are just the Illuminati trying to cover their own butts.

666. Because the Beast.

Edit: Also, posts will be on hold for most of April due to finals. After all that's done, I'll hopefully have recharged enough to deliver, oh Five Regular Readers, the quality content you deserve.

Edit 2: Also also, if you haven't read 'The Food Babe Blogger is Full of Shit' yet, you should check it out. There are a couple things about it I want to point out: 1) Some people have criticised it for its (occasional) profanity, but that doesn't mean the author's points aren't correct; 2) Hari's making herself look bad in the face of media backlash at this point, and it's both extremely sad and just a little funny; and 3) you can't reasonably call someone with (at best) nebulous ties to companies making GMOs a "paid shill" when the person you are defending built her own business on a foundation of lies and useless, overpriced juice cleanses.

April 04, 2015

Easter!



Hey.

Another illustration that made it into my instruction manual project. This informs children what to avoid when seeking transportation to their runaway hideout.

Apologies for the lateness. If you're free, then I hope you're having a lovely weekend! If not, then I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I have a midterm on Tuesday. Yes, it has been pointed out to me that this is stupid and against university policy. No, I haven't complained. There's nothing I want to deal with less than university administration, except maybe bedbugs. Or tapeworms. Or Ted Cruz.

You get the idea.

March 28, 2015

Reflections



Hey.

One of the illustrations that made it into the instruction manual assignment. It's based on a comment Aelis made about finally being able to run 5k.

A dialogue-heavy, chaotic slice-of-life snippet today that reads like fanfiction, I'm rather ashamed to say.

It's honestly pretty dull. I've been slamming against the brick wall of writer's block for a while now, and figured putting something boring up on a public forum might spark some creativity or something.


Reflections

March 21, 2015

Projects Week!



Hey.

From How to Run Away: Tips for the Elderly, written by seniors for seniors: An illustration demonstrating how to not look like you're running away from a long-term care facility.

I have a billion projects due next Monday to Friday, so I'll leave you with a demo illustration for one of them, and a quote from my Protein Structure and Function professor when a panel from the podium extended (that's an actual function of the right side of the podium) into his solar plexus:

"Oh my goodness, that's bizarre."

March 14, 2015

More Mum!



Hey.

Here's a five minute sketch of a guy I saw at the university centre.

More from my mother today! It's all positive Mum, don't worry. Because you totally read this blog.

Anyway.


The Rabbit Charm

Tory's Mum (M): Tory, you need to carry around a rabbit for good luck this year. Because you're a dog.

Tory (T): Thanks Mum. I'll just grab one from --

M: Nope, I'm buying you one.

T: Okay, whatever.

M: I'll mail it to you. Remember, when you get it, you HAVE TO KEEP IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES.

T: Yes Mum.

[FIVE DAYS LATER]

T: (Receives package in the mail. She opens it and immediately calls her Mum.)

M: (Picks up phone.) Hello?

T: Mum, you know that thing you sent me?

M: Yeah.

T: I just got it.

M: Okay. Make sure you have it with you at all times. Do you know where to --

T: It's not a rabbit.

M: What?

T: It's a mouse.

M: WHAT?

T: Yeah.

M: WHAT? ARE YOU SURE?

T: Yes Mum, it has a long tail and short ears and tiny back feet.

M: (Repeats WHAT? ARE YOU SURE IT'S A MOUSE NOT A RABBIT? about 10 times.)

T: (Laughs for three minutes straight.)


The End.

March 07, 2015

Three Drawings



Hey.

An autobiography by Violette Leduc.

Once upon a time, a judge sentenced a petty criminal to make 500 puns.
"Come on," the criminal said, "that's cruel and unusual punishment."

Random man I sketched at the cafeteria.

Tory's Mum: Tory, how much do you weigh?
            Tory: Mum, you don't ask people questions like that.
Tory's Mum: You're my daughter! I have the right to know everything about you!

Complaining about parents is such a juvenile thing, and my mum is wonderful and excellent and lovely, but there is one little quibble I have with her: She wants to know everything about me. "Oh," you might say, "that's kind of sweet. And understandable."

No, it really isn't.

Here are some of the things she wants to know about me:
1. My weight, even though it hasn't changed in four years;
2. The race and biological sex of all my friends;
3. My bank account balance;
4. My bank account password;
5. Etcetera.

My friend Vince at the cafeteria doing his best Van Gogh impression.

Nothing more to say today. I've been insanely busy.

As a side note, there is someone living close by who has the loudest cough ever, and it sounds like he's sneezing, coughing, and retching at the same time, and at first I was concerned, but now it's just annoying.

February 28, 2015

Au Canada, and the Australian Army



Hey.

Five (or three) minute sketch of some girl while we were waiting for the Greyhound. Five minute colouring done during the ride to Ottawa.

The amount of work I need to catch up on both horrifies and repels me, so naturally I will put it off for another half hour.

It's really amazing how over two centimetres of snow automatically delays buses by at least fifteen minutes, up to an hour and a half, in a city where it snows every year.

Anyway.

Something short and sweet today. Unfortunately, I cribbed the majority of it from Lewis Carroll, because I'm not well-versed in history of any kind.


The Australian Army

     The pebbly mass moved fluidly across the keyboard, like sentient, chunky molasses.

       "What... is that?" Riley asked.

       "Army ants," the old man said.

     Riley frowned. "Ew."

     A wall of text began appearing on the laptop screen.

       "Guillaume le Marron, whose clause was written on dried wood pulp, was soon surrendered to by the Heptarchy, who wanted horse chestnuts, and had been of late much accustomed to threading and striking. Edcar and Morwin, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic arch-bonsai of Chestnutbury, found it advisable to go with Castan Aescin to meet Guillaume and offer him the string. Guillaume's chestnut at first was moderate, but the insolence of his Normans..."

     Riley thought this was a little confusing, but decided not to mention it for fear of hurting the ants' feelings, as well as avoiding certain, painful death.

     The old man chuckled. " 'Guillaume le Marron', tha's clever. For ants, tha' is." He pulled a package of chocolate-covered raisins from a pocket. "Want one?"

     Riley looked at the little black candy, then back at the ants. She felt slightly sick. "No, thank you."

     He shrugged and popped a couple into his mouth. "Come on then," he said, "th' koalas are over there."

The end.


The third of the Globetrotter Stories. First, second, and fourth installments.