Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is Art?

I made a person today. His name is Sven Obsequio. This counts as creativity, right?

Thanks to Amanda for the idea. That's what an online dating service gets when they spam a listserve -- spam in their membership.

Oh, and Sven got an e-mail from them stating that his profile would be featured for an entire month on their main page. With luck, Sven will be engaged by the end of summer!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flashback: Plastic Man

In an effort to appease the masses, here's a drawing I did ten years ago for an online contest to recreate silver age comic covers. Silver age comics were known for having one or more characters exclaiming something, often to the reader -- which is what I was going for here. Other silver age elements include: having the threatened hero positioned dramatically in the foreground while the villain looks on in the back; images and events that never occur in the pages of the story; and the sidekick/friend betraying the title character.

I didn't win the competition, but I remember having fun putting this together. I didn't participate in art contests very often. One unfortunate choice I made was to scan this in as a bitmap (I don't have an original JPEG version), so the resolution is kind of funky.

And, yes, this is definitely a Simpsons reference.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dreams: The Nightmare Manifests in Reality

Most of the details of this dream escape me. I'm sitting in my parents' old condo in Renton, Washington, watching a fictional film about a plague that's overtaking the planet. Apparently the disease is spread by domesticated animals, as there are long lines of people with their pets, waiting to be inspected by a team of veterinarians in a warehouse that operates as a makeshift animal hospital/quarantine. Depending on the animals' conditions, different series of tests are performed, each set done by a different vet.

The only specific owner/pet we see is a dark-haired woman in her 30s cuddling a small, black and white kitten. She's very upset by her surroundings and attempts to undermine the system by skipping immediately to a second set of tests (I'm not sure why this was a logical thing to do, except that it seemed apparent that by doing so she felt she was rescuing her animal), but the doctors swarm her in a flurried attempt to maintain order. The now-detained woman screams and cries as the film cuts between her kitten's inspection and her hysterical face.

The dream turns suddenly nightmarish as the film cuts to a second warehouse full of infected civilians. It seems that the only way to keep the disease from spreading is to eliminate the sick and burn their corpses. Each victim is tied to a support shaft in the large building and are told that they will be administered a lethal injection that will allow them to pass painlessly.

This is a cold lie.

The sickness is so contagious that the demand is too high for the necessary chemicals to be distributed worldwide. Instead, the bound victims curiously watch as some sort of liquid is sprayed at their feet by a man with a chemical sprayer. They soon begin to realize what it is when a second man begins to follow him with a short-range flame thrower, torching the applied fluid one person at a time. Within a matter of minutes the entire warehouse is aflame, the people covered in bright-hot fire and delivering ear-ringing screams.

At this point of the movie I turn my head and wince, feeling very upset at what I'm seeing. I realize that, although this is fictional, mass-burnings of the living have occurred as recent as 65 years ago, and being shown what it would be like is highly disturbing. I don't know why I don't just turn it off, because I can still hear the screaming.

Then I wake up, but I'm still asleep. That's right, it's a dream-within-a-dream scenario. I'm still in my parents' old condo, but its layout has changed quite a bit. I can hear my folks and my brother in the other room talking about me and how I've been asleep all day. I drunkenly roll around in my covers a bit, but am then startled by two large house cats sitting on the window sill above my bed. As soon as I make eye contact with them, they casually jump down on top of me, unsheathing their claws as they do so, which sting quite a bit. One of the cats is fat and dark gray, the other is a reddish-brown and muscular.

Unaware that my parents had been owning cats since our last one died a couple years ago (in real life), I observe them with a sensation of paranoia. Strange cats disturbing my rest -- which involved dreams about plague-carrying kittens? Another oddity I note is that they still have their claws. My parents are big advocates of declawing house cats (as long as they are not allowed outside).

I turn my attention to a large television next to my bed that is showing an episode of "The Simpsons." As I watch, my mother enters the bedroom wearing Sunday attire and I think to myself that she looks lovely with her makeup and hair done the way she has it. She says that she and Dad are going out, kisses me on the forehead and leaves.

Aware that my attention has wandered, the cats then start rough-housing with me, scratching and biting at my arms and throat!

I then wake up, for reals this time. At least, that's the last thing I can remember from my dream. What's freakish is that this morning, immediately after I awoke from all this, I went to my laptop and checked my e-mail. My friend Club Narwhal was online, and her G-Chat status message was this link. Imagine waking up and starting your day off by seeing THIS:

Cats in wigs are scary all on their own... but given the activities in my subconscious over the hour or so before that, my sense of fear was severely heightened!


  • I have been watching episodes and clips of "The Simpsons" this week.
  • I think I was thinking about the Renton condo within the last couple of days...
  • Isn't it crazy that I had a movie within a dream within a dream? I mean, "watching" the movie isn't the best way to describe it. For the most part, I was IN the movie as an observer, and was only aware of the movie's TV-limited existence when I turned my head away.
  • That's seriously all I've got. I have no idea what the scary movie comes from, nor the aversion to cats. I actually am normally a fan of felines, but they sincerely creeped me out this morning.
Maybe Sarah Stevenson is justified in her phobia.

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