Tag Archives: Parks and Recreation

[Judge Perd is not a judge.]

3. An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison

“A Memoir of Moods and Madness” and a stone cold classic for anyone interested in mental health, An Unquiet Mind is also an engaging read. Jamison’s experience with manic behavior was extremely interesting to me – her description of running rather endlessly around a parking lot during the process of earning her degree and using “we’re psych students” as the reason when questioned stood out in particular. It sort of suits the trope of going into psychiatry because one has psychological issues, but, that doesn’t have to be true. It’s very possible to ignore your own symptoms regardless of what you’re learning about or what level of professional development you’ve achieved. Brains are tricksy.

One thing to remember while reading An Unquiet Mind is that, especially if you don’t have anyone to catch you or clean up the giant mess you may have made while manic, this is definitely not an instructional manual for what to do if you are also experiencing manic or depressive episodes. It’s a memoir, and it has helpful examples, but it is not a self-help manual. You may recognize yourself, you may end up being a little envious of some of the things Jamison has gotten to do, you may not even care about getting to stay in England for long periods of time to write (I miss it). It always amuses me that I know the struggle to publish as an academic writer exists, but when you read material from people who have ended up with published work, when they discuss writing their proposals it’s just like a given that it’s going to happen- of course it did, but, somebody should write in one of their failed projects too, give the folks at home something to relate to on the other side because there’s a lot of failed academics out there who probably assumed their work was going to get published too… (Full disclosure, I am not an academic writer. I’ve just seen a lot of stressed out academics as a librarian and I’m guessing not all of them had a streamlined path to publish their research. And I’ve read or skimmed a crapload of extremely dry articles, so I wonder if the academic writers with stronger writing voices are getting shafted.)

Twiglet, a stone cold classic anchor pig.

Twiglet, a stone cold classic anchor pig.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Review, Writing

Teenage Romance Ruins Area Lives.

52. Don’t Look Behind You – Lois Duncan

Teenagers, man. They ruin everything with their intense need to connect with each other. Especially the April in this book. If she was April Ludgate, she would have been excited about the possibilities of escaping into the Federal Witness Security Program and insisted on being called something ridiculously amazing. Instead, she is written very realistically (you could always trust Lois for that, RIP damn it) as a teenager that just can’t let go of her old life, including her boyfriend Steve, even when he starts dating someone else after she abruptly disappears. Previously April risks her entire family’s life to get in touch with that unfaithful Steve and it TOTALLY isn’t worth it…which was only a surprise to April. Seriously. This imaginary family is lucky this story didn’t take place during the time of the internet.

Horace and Ozma demonstrate the "I love you/I know" principle. If Ozma had to go into Wit Sec, I doubt she'd bother sending random notes to Horace; she'd definitely try to get them to change her last name to "Snakehole," though.

Horace and Ozma demonstrate the “I love you/I know” principle. If Ozma had to go into Wit Sec, I doubt she’d bother sending random notes to Horace; she’d definitely try to get them to change her last name to “Snakehole,” though.

Mixtape:

1. Let Me On Out – The Raveonettes
2. Shake Me Down – Cage the Elephant
3. Birthday Boy – Ween
4. R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys
5. Pretty Girls Make Graves – The Smiths
6. Do You Love Me? – Electric Six
7. So Young – Suede
8.  Loaded – Primal Scream
9. One-Dimensional Steve – Dick Valentine
10. Hoax the System – Corrections House
11. Pretty When You Cry – VAST
12. Trophy – Bat for Lashes
13. Evil Love – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
14. Baby Bitch – Ween
15. Cheryl vs. Darryl – Electric Six
16. Prayer to God – Shellac
17. Safely Down the Road – The Ettes

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Review, Writing, YA Megamix Summer

Gotta have you on my wall, ’cause-

I love skulls. And bones. At one point I was tempted to call this blog Guinea Pigs, Books, and Skulls because those are the three things that I’m interested in artistically, but at that point I didn’t think I was going to feature my paintings on this blog- Ha.

The four paintings below are going to be available for sale at Wizard World Madison April 8-9-10 ( my profile on the Wizard World site ).

The star painting, I also have prints of my Bye Bye, Li'l Sebastian design.

The star painting of the most important mini-horse skull. I also have prints of my Bye Bye, Li’l Sebastian design.

 

My signature piece, Guinea Pigs are for Life. Now one person can also have a guinea pig skull painting (I kept the first one I did) and about six people can have guinea pig skull prints. Sometimes I don't have very many available because printing is not always a sure thing when you do it all by hand.

My signature image, Guinea Pigs are for Life. Now one person can also have a guinea pig skull painting (I kept the first one I did) and about six people can have guinea pig skull prints – sometimes I don’t have very many available because printing is not always a sure thing when you do it all by hand.

 

This is what a Columbian Ground Squirrel's skull looks like...when I paint it.

This is what a Columbian Ground Squirrel’s skull looks like…when I paint it.

 

The skull of the other mammal I'm regularly associated with, the squirrel. I made its teeth less scary in this painting than the teeth featured in Night of the Squirrels.

The skull of the other mammal I’m regularly associated with, the squirrel. I made its teeth less scary in this painting than the teeth featured in Night of the Squirrels.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels

Tea towel-palooza

So, this one time, in order to make things to sell at Wizard World Madison – my profile on the Wizard World site – I decided that I should do a massive amount of screen printing in one day and I deemed that day “Tea Towelpalooza,” the results of this lunacy are displayed below. I will be bringing all the successful prints I finished that day to Wizard World Madison on April 8-9-10, and as I am a big fan of unusual kitchen things (especially novelty tea towels, ever since I didn’t buy a Nick Cave tea towel the first time I ever saw one at a show in Manchester in 2005 – Never again will I refrain from buying a Nick Cave tea towel! No more regrets!), thirtyish of those successful prints are on tea towels.

This is the end of having available space in my living room until the prints dried.

This is the end of having available space in my living room until the prints dried.

 

That's right, it's Parks and Rec fan art tea towels. I do love a skull or a mini-horse, and this has both; so, Bye bye, Li'l Sebastian, you're 5000 candles in the wind and this is my tribute.

That’s right, it’s Parks and Rec fan art tea towels. I do love a skull or a mini-horse, and this design I created has both; so, Bye bye, Li’l Sebastian, you’re 5000 candles in the wind and this is my tribute.

 

I hand painted in the red side of every pair of 3-D glasses. It was meticulous. I will never do it again. David Tennant is a major super awesome guest at Wizard World Madison, so I hope he likes my guinea pig parody of his turn as Doctor Who.

I hand painted in the red side of every pair of 3-D glasses. It was meticulous. I will never do it again. David Tennant is a major super awesome guest at Wizard World Madison, so I hope he enjoys my guinea pig parody of his turn as Doctor Who.

And here's Danger Crumples in red as Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. Putting a fez on Danger was impossible to resist. He also has a bow tie.

And here’s Danger Crumples in red and blue as Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor. Putting a fez on Danger was impossible to resist. He also has a bow tie.

 

The dissolving of the Danger Whos. I will only print these images once - some of them went badly and I had to re-paint my screen filler and print them again, but, there's still a serious level of singularity in that these hand pulled prints and tea towels are going to be available at Wizard World Madison first and it may be the only time my hand pulled, hand packaged versions of them will be available.

The dissolving of the Danger Whos. I will only print these images once – some of them went badly and I had to re-paint my screen filler and print them again, but, there’s still a serious level of singularity in that these hand pulled prints and tea towels are going to be available at Wizard World Madison first and it may be the only time my hand pulled, hand packaged versions of them will be available. Also, I know it’s weird to see my human kitchen. I’m a person who displays a still packaged coffee cup for squirrels. I’m not going to open it and make them coffee, I barely know how to make coffee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m just going to pretend he’s playing that saxophone for Daryl Dixon.

Welcome to YA Megamix Summer the Return!! This summer I’m not even going to pretend that I will stick to the Point Horror/Thriller imprint, even though I love it so; instead, I’ll be sticking to my Year of the Ladies only reviewing books by women rules, which isn’t very hard. Just like last summer, the track listing will make one sixty minute mixtape – and I made the first one extra hard to duplicate unless you received Electric Six’s Mimicry and Memories project by shoving money at them like I did. Sorry? Anyway…

40. Graveyard Moon – Carol Gorman

Sax solo! Occasionally I read a book that has a scene that stands out so much that I can’t help but forget a large amount of what happened in the story. In the case of Graveyard Moon, that scene is Miles’ sax solo. I’m going to go ahead and retroactively claim that I named my character Miles (of Schad, Miles, and Hirsch the “dude” saying sort of Greek chorus in Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, and the perpetually forthcoming Night of the Squirrels) after Miles in Graveyard Moon because of the sax solo. It does not really happen organically – Miles is not in the school band, he doesn’t frequent jazz clubs, and he is not Duke Silver, he’s the town outcast (of course) – it happens because Kelly the main character asks him if he played for Darryl, and then asks him to play for her. It is so bizarrely fantastic and ridiculous that I could barely stand reading about it. And that is what I have chosen to share from Graveyard Moon, the teenage murder mystery. Also, I really enjoy Carol Gorman’s writing. Damnit, sax solo, you’re killing me.

Murderface and Pickles demonstrate the ways to respond to an impromptu sax solo – hiding… or surprise.

Murderface and Pickles demonstrate the ways to respond to an impromptu sax solo – hiding… or surprise.

Mixtape –
1.    “Tired Eyes” – The Black Angels
2.    “Stop, I’m Already Dead” – Deadboy & the Elephantmen
3.    “Superstition” – The Kills
4.    “Follow You Home” – The Creeps
5.    “Ritual Knife” – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
6.    “Easy Lover” – Electric Six
7.    “So Young” – Suede
8.    “Endless Night” – Graveyard
9.    “Doom and Gloom” – Electric Six
10.    “Chocolate Town” – Ween
11.    “Perennials” – Widowspeak
12.    “Taxidermy” – White Lies
13.    “Somewhere Else to Be” – VAST
14.    “Snakes Are Charmed” – Torche
15.    “Bad Reputation” – Thin Lizzy
16.    “Blood Red Blood” – The Ettes

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Review, YA Megamix Summer

I’m going to type every word I know! Rectangle…America…Megaphone…Monday…Butthole

15. Die for Me – Carol Gorman

My copy of this book is signed to Carol Gorman’s good friend Marilyn. The book is also dedicated to someone named Marilyn. I can’t remember where I got my copy. I’m pretty sure I picked it up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Carol Gorman lived when she wrote it and possibly still does live, but I can’t recall exactly where. That bothers me because I’d like to know how I ended up with the copy of the book that’s signed specifically to the person it’s dedicated to. I have a lot of YA books with their owner’s names in them, and some books I’ve picked up have been signed and weren’t labeled that way, but this is a little more personal and to me, it has the potential to be related to a sad situation like a falling out, a death, or an unfeeling book purge. Hmm. Mysteries.

Carol Gorman is able to do a lot more with a few words than most of the YA thriller writers I’ve read. This book clocks in at 138 pages (damn that’s short) and she’s got subtle clues, characters that feel real enough that I could remember their names throughout the story (Sometimes thrillers just need somebody to be there, you know? Like the murder victim who is quickly lost in the shuffle.), a very realistic motivation for murder, and supernatural tomfoolery. Once an Ouija board is involved, tomfoolery is sure to follow.  Or possession. Die for Me hints a bit at supernatural possibilities, but doesn’t engage and it works nicely because teenagers are gullible and paranoid. Also, there is a lot of driving around and threatening notes composed on a typewriter. Awesome! You have to really know what you want to say to use a typewriter and not end up with whiteout everywhere.

Mixtape 4:

1. First and Last and Always – Sisters of Mercy

2. Heart Attack Kid – Bass Drum of Death

3. Show Me What Your Lights Mean – Electric Six

4. So Many Ways – Morphine

5. Love Me Forever – The Black Angels

6. I Want Your Love – Chromatics

7. Is Vic There – Department S

8. I Hear Satan – Dax Riggs

9. Everything’s Ruined – Faith No More

10. Dirty Eyes (Sex Don’t Sell) – The Raveonettes

11. Down Boy – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

12. Spike Island – The Icarus Line

13. Unnatural Beauty – Electric Six

14. Bad Blood – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

15. Cutt Off – Kasabian

16. Dead Souls – Joy Division

One time Duncan spoke to me in a dream in a very creaky high pitched voice and it messed with me substantially, so my caption isn’t totally anecdotal.

If Duncan was contacted by teenagers via Ouija board, I’m sure she’d mess with them substantially. Or just have them spell out “wheek” over and over. That would be confusing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Review, YA Megamix Summer

I don’t think we’re going to save the community center in this case.

21. April Fools – Richie Tankersley Cusick

Check it out – timeliness! Oooh. That’s probably the last time I come up with something relevant to the month in which it is posted. Mostly because I’ve spent too many words pointing out my timeliness. It’s time to stop. So, April Fools, published via the Point Horror imprint, one of my favorite imprints of all time. The cover has awesome, jagged neon orange relief letters spelling out the title – man, I miss YA having painted covers, kick ass relief lettering, and being distributed in conveniently sized paperbacks. I may have covered these feelings in previous posts…I truly feel them. If I could make raised letters with my silkscreen for my covers, I would, but I don’t have the ink that does that or an appropriate cover subject for that ink yet. Anyway, this is getting less and less reviewy as I keep going, guess I’m distracted by congratulating myself for posting an April themed book in April. The only loser in this is anyone still reading this paragraph – the next one will be relevant, promise.

The story follows a bit of a familiar pattern: a group of teens does something horrific with their car, the one with a conscience watches as terrible retribution starts to happen and gets threatened, the ones without consciences have a bad time (they French fry when they should have pizza’d), and someone else in the story has a secret. A terrible secret. Or was it terrible? I can’t quite remember. Mostly I remember the angst pouring off the Adam character and that many things happened in the dark at his house while the teen with a conscience (Belinda Swanson, no relation to Ron based on her actions) tried to tutor him. It was like Beauty and the Beast without the rose. I think he had a snake. Anyway, having a conscience is definitely a good way to survive these teenage nightmares.

Tale as old as time...stupid teenagers do something stupid.

Belvedere was not intimidated by doll heads. Or stuffed turtles. He conquered stuffed turtles and then posed with his chin up and foot out like a teeny conquistador, as seen in this photo.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Review