Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hodgepodge Rambling

Ya know, this week has been hell for me and I've been an emotional wreck for reasons that those who care to read this already know, so I'll spare the details.

Can you believe I cried when I watched the "Heffalump Movie?" That part where the Heffalump says it wants it's momma after Pooh and friends capture it. I know. I know. This is a kids' movie built around a lesson in racial tolerance, but still, I started bawling. It didn't help that the Heffalump was British and had an adorable reedy baby voice with a name like "Lumpy" either.

A friend of mine got hug from Jeordie White last week at a NIN meet and greet. She enthusiastically wrote: "His hair smells so nice!" I laughed at her and then remembered that I cried during the Heffalump Movie so I stopped. There's a distinct reason why I don't like NIN fans in general and that statement above sums it up. I suppose people take different trivial memories back with them after events such as these. For instance, I remember Trent's eye color and the fact that he had a scrape on his right hand, but noting that Jeordie's hair smells nice? Doesn't that sounds like a detail a guy would come up with, or perhaps a psycho stalker? The funny thing is that when I pressed her for more information on the meet and greet itself, she couldn't remember anything remotely interesting except that Trent really does smell like Old Spice as the legendary Meathead claims (or a Koala bear as my Australian buddy offered at some point) and Alessando smelled like clean laundry (which I can confirm, oddly). She didn't provide any olfactory details on the other two, thank God.... Should a gal like this be a perfumer or something?

I asked her about the concert and she said that venue reeked of cigarettes and beer. Go figure.

On a totally different note, I've decided that that often, because of the way I look, or perhaps my lack of eloquence (probably a combination of both) rarely do people take me seriously. I have a lisp and pretty much suffer from stress induced anomia, so I have to think incredibly hard and concentrate before I speak especially around clients. Give me a break, I'm good with numbers! Not a good combo (at least I'm not the president though). Almost daily some one on the bus asks me what classes I'm taking and when I calmly explain that I'm a programmer for the university, they don't believe me. I could dress up in frumpish clothing from places such as Petite Sophisticate to convey the fact that I'm almost 30, but I'm just not ready to give in---not yet. Besides the guys my age wear flip flops, jeans and wrinkly T-shirts. Why can't I?

Related irk... most people at the office are shocked that I took all the pics in my cube. The usual reply upon clarification: "But don't you do jewelry?" Are people really that flat and boring that they only have 1 talent?

My feet are cold. It's rainy out and I was sloshing through puddles on my way to the post office earlier. I'm bloated and uncomfortable all due to eating 2 breakfast tacos. Bleh. Not ideal working conditions, I must say!

Did you know that I have 3 friends who have major issues with tapioca? It's true. Usually it is the texture but I think one of them says she doesn't like it because they look like eyeballs. Okay.

I have a big gash on my wrist due to Hippo freaking out and scratching me when I was playing "catch and toture with snuggles" the other day. It's funny. I felt this emotion close to disappointment when she did that. You should know better! It won't scar, but it is pretty gross looking. One of my co-workers asked: "Did you get so sick of your boss that you wanted to end your life?" That's so distasteful, let me tell you. Then again, this guy thinks that classical vocal training is for rising pop stars. WTF?

Going to Vegas in a couple of days. I'm sorta excited, but I wish it were later in the month since I'm busy right now. We're seeing several shows, but I'm actually looking forward to the Hoover Dam tour the most. :) I only just now figured out how super highways are built.

Geeze, this post is about as incoherent as my speech!

Friday, March 17, 2006

San Antonio Public Library

2005. The funny story behind this is that I took it the morning before the NIN concert in San Antonio and there was a steady stream of fans going in and out of this place checking their e-mail in the public computers. I don't want to stereotype, but ya know, almost everyone was wearing a black T-shirt, jeans, military pants or plaid skirt, and some type of boots...including me sadly. I'm sure from above we all looked like a colony of ants.

This building is magnificent in its modern architecture. Every angle is interesting to look at inside and out.

These escalators cross over each other and form a frame around the central piece of artwork...a massive glass sculpture consisting of hundred of meticulosly hand blown components by the artist Dale Chihuly. Shafts of light from the upper rafters pour down onto this piece and send sparkles all over the interior of the library:

You don't even realize how large this thing is until you get to the top floor. It spans 3 stories and I was I was better able to catch the light:

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Old Painting "Lehren" and Old Pic "Red Room"

Watercolor, conte crayon and oil pastel on canvas. 1994, I think. Can't remember.
This is an example of why I don't do portraits that are meant to be realistic looking. I remember one of my art professor (Jarvis Ulrich) once told me "If you're obsessed with realism, maybe you ought to do photography." Course, next semester another art professor (M. R. Charles) told me "a good photographer is able to bend realism."

1999. @ the TxUnion east stair well.

So, there you go.

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Old Painting "Red Tree"

Water color and oil pastel. 8x10 inches. 1992.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

4 years already and the jealous cat

As I am typing right now I have got the wost case of hives EVER. The welts have banned together with their fellow contry men and are migrating across my nose bridge in order to merge with the cluster colony that decided to reside on my right cheek. I've also got the Popeye look at the moment where my left eye is fushed shut by the enormous hive sitting on my lid. This all started during a colleague's code review (not what cuased it though) and I must say, there's nothing more nerve wracking than having one's boss stare at you every now and then to see if you still look like a purple spotted monster. My face is on fire and it ain't because I'm hot, baby. But, that's not what this post is about...

March 9th was our 4 year wedding anniversary. As a gift, Darling Husband cleaned the house including the stove and the icky kitchen sink. When I mean clean, I mean clean. I remember peering down into the trash disposal and thinking huh. It is chrome down in there.He also gave me a dozen pink roses except I had to discover them as I walked around the house. As it is tradition to get one rose per year we've been married, the 1st four made sense. I wanted to take pics of them, but then my husband screamed "Om take pics upstairs!!!!" I asked why. He answered: "Just TAKE PICS UP STAIRS!!!!"

OK. The man wants me to take pics up stairs. I quickly figured out there was more to my gift. When I found the 5th rose I mentioned that we had only been married 4 years. He answered with "Well, they do come in dozens after all..."

"Do they come cheaper that way?" I asked. To which he replied: "You say the most romantic things."

Anyhow, he was being romantic and I thought it was sweet of him (I have to admit cleaning the house was a more impressive gift). Here we are smootching:

I also got 2 pieces of Sacher Torte from La Madaline and a new chromatic tuner for the harp. Yay! After arranging the flowers in a vase, I made several failed attempts at having my cat pose with them. Here's one:

What is up with Hippo? I swear she looks pissed that I made her stand next to the flowers. They're invading my space! Hmph!
What you can't see is my husband's hand firmly planted on her rump so that she doesn't run off.

While some people take a bazillion pictures of their kids, we do so with our cats. We have 3: Genghis (brown tabby), Molly (Ragdoll mix), and Hippo (Siamese Ragdoll mix). Genghis is Travis's cat. He raised her since she was a kitten, so naturally I'm seen as competition. She has her "quiet time" with Travis each evening where she nuzzles his beard. She's been doing this every night for her entire life. If I happen to be in the room, she'll stare me down until I leave. If Travis is away and I'm the only one sleeping in the room she'll make it a point to sleep in the laundry room far away from me. Sarah highly suggests that I should watch my back lest she murders me in the middle of the night. I can't help but feel a little rejected...or nervous. You never know, jealous kitty might be more willing to scratch my eyeballs out as each happy year of marriage goes by.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gallery of Tacky Rings Found on Ebay pt. 2

As long as there is E-bay, there will always be tacky items. My item of choice to fixate on: rings. It's such a simple piece of adornment and yet so universal in nature. It can be a symbol of un-ending commitment, a glimmer of social status, a small token of affection... Basically, whatever the hell you'd like to it be. Whatever the symbol, there will always be a multitude of ways to showcase it. And because people's styles are often subjective, there are more than a fair share of rings with questionable taste. Let's tred down this path again. Shall we?

What the hell is this? A crab? A romantacized scrotum? According to the description, this was a custom made ring--which was obviously promptly posted by the recipient onto e-bay after she saw how it turned out. I'm sure the designer thought the ideas of the two hearts was cute, and it may have worked out if they didn't function as earrings for that poor center stone.

She wanted it with a cherry on top, so the jeweler had to oblige. I guess he figured he's throw in a tower as well. What really gets to me is the diamond shag surrounding the top lip of the tower. It reminds me of someone living atop a high apartment airing out their carpets.

These were the party favors they handed out at the last Republican National Convention.

Once again, I have to emphasize that bigger is not always better. It really doesn't matter that this is a 59.8 ct Emerald. It is still ugly. There it is. Just sitting there in its plain glorified uglyness. I don't think the stone is even translucent.

Eeeeewwwwww! "genuine diamonds" Just because it is carbon does not mean it is diamond. Really, why bother? I think the jeweler just reached into a can of industrial abrasives and mounted them on this ugly and gaudy ring. This is the type of ring someone wears when they want to try to impress people but can't afford to.

This ring also works great as an appetizer. This must be an example of a jeweler with rudimentary setting skills. It's as if all the stones were speared onto a toothpick.

And just because you are capable of mounting something, doesn't mean you ought to! The starting bid for this ring was rediculously high because the stone is a fine specimen of amber. Why, there's an entire ant colony trapped in there I'm sure.

I come from the planet Zogg. Bring me to your leader...

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U...
Works great as a bottle opener as well

I just don't get this one. They look like they are gathering together for tea and crumpets, or something. The sad thing is that those rubies are actually quite nice.

Behold! The levitating rock!

This looks like crumpled aluminum foil to me. Then again, fixating on that yellow streak, it sure reminds me of the old adage "Don't eat the yellow snow." This isn't quite as awful as the gold plated poopie ring from pt. 1, but it is pretty close.

This poor topaz is so big that the jeweler had to make a diamond seatbelt to hold it in.

Sure. We understand you couldn't afford a huge diamond. There's no shame in that, but don't try to compensate by mounting it on a huge setting!

As someone put it so eloquently on the diamondtalk forum: What a waste of diamonds and labor. Indeed. I'm sure the bench jeweler wanted to shoot himself after this one. I know I would.

Related Link: Gallery of Tacky Rings Found on Ebay Part 1


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

another dolphin update

I'm telling you, my brother has a fetish for dolphins. I can't seem to escape dolphin references either. I remember the last time my friend Shizuka was over at my place and I was telling her about my fear of flying over large bodies of water. She replied matter of factly with: "Don't worry. If the plane crashed into the ocean, dolphins will save you."

Why? Because they feel the indebted to help out their admirer's sis for fear that he may stop singing ballads about their brethren?

Anyhow, here's a pic from my bro's myspace account:

Indeed those are Seaweed and Weeseed in the flesh. What the hell are they doing? I think it's kinda cute that his pink guitar pick sorta resembles a heart.

I suppose the page is balanced out with the plethora of hot "wimmins" that comprise of his friends list, but still, that whole dolphin thing just confuses me. I feel mildly guilty buying him "Dexter" years ago as a birthday present. It's a BIG dolphin that squeeks when you squish it. It's like giving syringes to a heroin addict, but I digress.

Anyhow, from his account, there's a lovely diddy called "2 Dolphins" that he wrote, composed and performed. Heh. Mind you, he's a phenominally good guitar player and he's the one I inhereted all my gear from. His voice is not bad, really. However, I do wonder if he and Jack Black were separated at birth. Here are the lovely lyrics which contain the ever classic line my dolphins don't talk shit about me:

2 Dolphins

You will notice
on my MySpace there are two little dolphins
for you to see.
And you may wonder why I adore them
so much...so much...so much!!!!!

My dolphins don't talk shit about me
when I'm not around
My dolphins don't lie to me
They just let me
love...and love.....and love.....them
And kiss.....and kiss....and kiss them
Share my love
Yes they do

My dolphins are so wonderful
If only they had tits
And beautiful eyes
If only they were human
If only they were...you....

Boy, that's a classic in the making, let me tell ya. Definitely a hit for all oceanographers around the world. Maybe SeaWorld will buy the rights to the song and my brother can quit his boring job. Here's the mp3:

Monday, March 06, 2006

Freshwater Pearl bracelet and Purple pendant

I made the double row freshwater pearl bracelet this weekend. The clasp is sterling sliver and has a amethyst cab in the middle.

The freshwater pearl necklace was a gift from my mother and I added a pendant as an enhancer. The pendant consists of a handmade bead that took me 45 mintues to flame work. Ugh. It's not perfect either since I smeared the black when encasing it, but I still love it and it is one of the biggest beads I've made to date. The tassles are made out of seedbeads and austrian crystal. Now, where can I wear this????

The pearls don't quite match since the ones in the necklace are a little more rose colored are are more oblong than the ones in the bracelet, but I don't mind too much.

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This is a crucifix I made for my friend's husband. The prayer beads are a dark green jade. The Hail Mary beads are bi-colored hand made glass in red and navy. The crucifix itself is made out of pewter. I linked everything together with 18 gague non-tarnishing sterling silver wire (the kind that Darice isn't making anynore...Whaaaa!)

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Damn taxes and "sugar and spice" Trent

Ugh. This weekend was rough. First of all, I've decided that I really am old. Staying up past 10 was close to an impossibility for my husband and I. I remember back when I was a college kiddo, parties started at around 10:30 pm and didn't end until dawn. However, the real badge of adulthood is having to do freaking taxes.

I was appauled to find out that we owed yet another couple grand. What is up with that? We were extra careful to make sure we claimed as few exemptions as possible this year, gave to various charities, AND we each have IRAs, but nope, it didn't make one freaking difference compared to last year. Last year, we were shocked to have to owe so much since we just bought a house and a car, but my participation in contract work was what really screwed us over. I should point out that the particular type of form I needed to use wasn't mentioned in our software package, hence I got fined on top of the extra hundreds of dollars I owed for miscalculating. Even worse, they charged me freaking interest for taking their sweet sorry ass time 6 months after the time we turned in the taxes. Arrrrgh!

There's no excuse this time around. Hmph. What kills me most is when you read up on exemptions on the IRS website, they admit that the forumla for withholdings just doesn't work when both spouses are working and one should just expect to pay up. Go figure.

Now, both our dads have this amazing ability to cheat on taxes. "It's completely legal" my dad often says. True, however, he sure is bending the rules. I've got the creativity to do it, but my husband is so freaking afraid of getting audited that he is incredibly heasitant to write off anything. Seriously, we would not have highspeed internet if it wasn't for work. Our new printer? Shit, that's work related...never mind that I use it to print out CD labels every now and then.

Speaking of CDs, I made two of them for my friend Jodi who is a college DJ in Amherst, MA the other day. There's was an interesting radio show called "The Ongoing History of New Music" by Alan Cross a couple of months ago and I managed to get a nice rip of it. The subject matter: Nine Inch Nails. Most of the content I already knew, but it was still entertaining nonetheless. It was a good primer on the history of my favorite musician of all time and I figured that Jodi (who is a new fan) would benefit. What I liked was that the guy played some songs that weren't in high circulation like "Right Where It Belongs" from the new album as well as pre-NIN era and live bootleg tracks. I fleshed out the breaks in the radio show with some of my favorite NIN tunes and packaged everthing up for her. I also got carried away with the cover art. Since the show was sorta divided into the whole "old Trent" vs. "New Trent" theme, I went with it.

The funny thing was that when I was working on the "Later Years" CD, I really agonized over what pics to put on there. It's no secret that a bunch of photographers are photoshopping the hell out of Trent these days. Frankly, there's no need to. He looks fine, but somehow people just want him to look exactly the same as he did in the Downward Spiral era. I'm not going to argue that he wasn't absolutely beautiful back then, but he was also my age (gosh, a little younger even). I like a man who ages gracefully and doesn't mind getting older. And maybe he doesn't mind, but the photographers sure do. I suppose a light touch up on the crows feet is okay every now and then, but when his characteristic chasm in the middle of his brow ridge dissappears, you know they've gone too far. The man is in his 40's for God's sake. He will not have the complexion of a baby's ass. I didn't even know that Mr. Reznor had a light smattering of freckles across his nose bridge until I met him in person. At the same time, unless it is a live action concert pic where he's sweaty, grimy and buzzed cut, there are so freaking few press pics of him that I actually like that don't ooze too much machismo or look like a fucking perfume ad. What I'm saying was that I had a hard time finding something easy on the eyes, mellow and honest that still looked like Trent in his 40s...with nice hair.

However, the real issue came up when I made the CD art itself:

My husband: I don't like that pic. He looks like a kitten. Soft and fluffy and sugar and spice like. (pointing at the CD1--young Trent)

I suppose it does look like butterflies and stars are about to fly out of his ass. Either that or he's the good witch of the west saving viewiers from MTV.

He's almost cuter than you. That's just, er, wrong. *cough* I'm gonna go finish taxes now...

I can't quite figure out what is wrong with that pic, but it was the youngest face shot I had in high enough of a resolution that would work. Furthermore, I wanted a complimentary color to the predominant greens of CD #2. That meant either going with red or dark pink. Well, dark pink won. (I'm a little obsessive with color theory). However, I think it's his eyes that get to me the most in that pic, especially compared to the image on CD #2. Yes, they're pretty. That's a given, but he seems so much more alert and enthusiastic. Not as jaded seeming. Makes me wonder if he's suffering burn out at times.

Although I'm sure he never does his own taxes.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Engrish and NIN

Totally old news, but I have these images on my computer and I don't think I ever posted them, so I figured here is a good place. I ordered the Japanese import version of "With Teeth" a while ago and although the CD was nice and all (Oooooh. Smooth paper. Celophane wrapping.) I was most amused by the mailer itself and the bonuses. First of all, the outside packaging just seemed really, um, organic. One would have thought I was being sent a rare orchid builb or perhaps some smoked salmon, but no, it's just a CD:

Yes, give the warmth of NIN earth tones to our life...huh?

I also got a nice post card from the person who packed and mailed the item to me:

If you look closely at the bottom, you'll see what caught my eye. I have no idea what coffee beans have to do with Nine Inch Nails except that Trent drinks coffee. Black apparently.

And then here's the fold out that was inside the CD case itself. Basically liner notes:

The actual English popped out of course. It's a good mantra to blurt out at people I don't like. These notes don't appear on the US version of With Teeth.

In other news, poor Trent is really sick. Sounds like the flu. He's cancelled a ton of shows and I'm utterly amazed this is the only time he's been really ill throughout the tour. How the hell does he do it? Traveling, city to city, not really knowing where you are exactly until you get there. Supposedly you can't poop on a tour bus either. Although, I would guess it wouldn't be an issue considering how constipated one would be on a diet of Hard Rock Cafe cusine.

If I were a rockstar an illness would be the perfect reason for me not to hold any meet and greets. All those germ bag fans breathing on you, wanting hugs and kisses, etc.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Some Jewelry Sets

The secret ingredient? Shrinky Dinks! Shrinky Dinks make the best charms because you can pretty much draw whatever the hell you want on them. After shrinking the detail looks especially impressive. These were posted in the LJ several months ago, but I think they belong here. They were all made for a charity benefit for my friends' preemie.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Redesigning my Sapphire Ring

This is my original wedding set: 1.25 ct emerald cut blue Kashmir sapphire with .5ctw trillants on the side set in platinum. It's a pretty design, but the diamonds are awful, a lot of drama was associated with it and I've seen many other people with the same ring. The wedding band is my grandmother's, by the way. Any design ideas for resetting this?

I was thinking of taking out this center stone from my right hand ring:

and finding a loose princess stone that matched so I can create a new setting with princess sides. Not sure though.

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