The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Searching the Skies for a Sign of Life...

I'm in one of those weird places where I feel like I need to do something purposeful, find something meaningful. I have the entire internet and my artistic talents at my disposal...

...and yet I find nothing, do nothing. Does this ever happen to you?

Maybe it's because my shoulder has been hurting me (a suspected work-related injury). Maybe it's just a natural coming down after a natural high from the weekend (I am terribly, hopelessly in love with my boyfriend). Maybe it's because I saw the Kerry sisters on friggin' Larry King Live being forced to answer innane questions about their father's campaign ("Was it like a roller coaster?"). Maybe it's other things...

Did you know that the most important news in America today was the fact that there was a really bad fight at a basketball game
the other night? It's kind of funny in a way, the commentary about the decadent players having lost touch with their fans, and then the fear that the fans have begun to act as unruly as their "role models." (Mind you, this is all hearsay. The actual commentaries might be different.) It seems that many things in America are fucked up right now, some sort of culture war. But surely there were other things just as important going on today?

It's also November, you know. Thanksgiving is on Thursday. And yet, I am hard pressed to find a reason to wear my sweaters. Granted, I live in Florida, but I remember the Novembers of my youth in Ormond Beach, and it certainly seems to me that it used to be colder earlier. My greatest wish in elementary school was to have a pool party for my mid-October birthday, and my parents' caveat was always "it may just be too cold honey." Often it was, and when it wasn't too cold it was still pretty chilly. What happened? Where did my cold weather go?

Global warming is one of those big scaries that I can't do anything about but feel guilty. Do you realize that by building suburbia we have created a nation completely dependent on automobiles? I thought that this was just the way of things, but then I've found that a lot of things that I thought were "just the way of things" have actually been open to debate and criticism all along. I feel as though I have been asleep sometimes. At others I feel guilty for not pulling my head out of the sand...

And yet, there is some really great music out there right now... I have discovered a website called Accuradio, which has multiple channels of streaming audio, whatever your fancy. I started out listening to "Brit Rock," but there was some sort of issue with it (never figured out what it was) and I started listening to the Indie Rock channel, "High Fidelity." I have never heard so much creative and diverse music in one place ever. Sure it repeats bands and songs, but you can skip them! You can even block a few bands from your playlist, ensuring that you'll never hear that goddam Queens of the Stone Age song ever. (Yeah, I'm one of the five people out there that don't really care for QOTSA that much. Mike, however, loves them.) And, if that wasn't enough, A Perfect Circle released a remix album/video dvd. I don't understand what the fuck is up with those damned Bikini Bandits (looks like one of those "we degrade women but it's okay because it's funny" schemes to me...), but the music transcends their "Metal" image. (Metal may not be the right word, but a lot of their t-shirts and thongs and general imagery makes me think of nothing else...) APC is some of the most beautiful stuff I've heard since Nine Inch Nails. Speaking of which...isn't it time they put out another album?

It looks like there are reasons for living after all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Girl In Black UPDATE 11-17-04 (Miss Rose Gets Honest)

So yeah, it's been about a month since I've updated now I think... Sorry about that.

To be honest, I've been rethinking whether I'm going to keep up with The Girl In Black in the same way or even at all.

Before the election, I was going to spruce it up a little. Maybe add a panel or two. Maybe try color. (I dunno, something to make it less flat. I'm not so much into the high contrast flatness anymore.)

Now? I'm not sure. Drawing comics has been put on my mental back burner. Sure, it's fun, but it's not where my mind is... I'm just not feeling it inside the way that I think I should be. This is part of why I am so terrible about updating. I don't usually do things unless I feel driven. And what I feel driven to do right now is to use my creative talents for social and political "good." Like, drive up to D.C. and offer my skills to an organization in line with my beliefs and in need of some graphic designing and marketing.


Anyway, I want to do something. I love creating art, I love the process. I take pride in my work when it's done. But my so-far unresolveable conflict is that I need to do something more meaningful to me (or purposeful to someone else), and whatever I end up actually doing for myself usually turns out to be pretty mediocre and just plain ol' "cute" in a way that means "boring and uninteresting." Sometimes I even feel like I have to do "comics" because I got a degree in Sequential Art and I have to put my degree to good use.

I don't really feel that way about my art shows. When I created my art show material, I was inspired. I was writing visual poetry. It was new and exciting!

And, like the self-defeatist I am, I have never really put any of my art show material on any website I've had. I fully intend on changing that. And then if people don't like it or think that it's mediocre or they just don't get it, they can piss off because I did something I believed in. ;-)

Oops, my lunch break is way over. Maybe more thoughts later... I've been getting into music again (thank the Goddess).


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A Fun Distraction

So there's this website that makes awesome t-shirts, www.sharpastoast.com, and Mike's bought a couple of them. My favorite thus far I believe is the one that states "Chester A. Arthur is Totally A. Awesome!" I decided I wanted one of my own, or to see what they had in girly shirts anyway.

Alas! Their selection of women's shirts left me disappointed. No "Keep it Coolidge" for me. So I decided to be proactive and write to the man himself, J. L. Toast. What follows is my letter, and Mister Toast's incredibly prompt and polite response. Good times were had by all I believe, and I just may get my shirts after all!

BTW- go check out the site. There's some really awesome, one-of-a-kind shirts that I can practically guarantee you no one else you know will have. No, I'm not getting paid for this. (I'm not even getting a free t-shirt out of this.)


Dear Mister Toast,

I am a great fan of your wearable dramas! My lover looks quite smart in the shirts he has already purchased from your find establishment.

However, I am terribly distressed with the trend of women’s apparel for sale on your website. I have noticed that all of the shirts lovingly crafted for the female form feature statements that I personally do not wish to make. I appreciate the shirts, I honestly do, but why must they all feature some type of stereotypically “girly” idea such as cute fluffy animals or a “tough-but-cute” statement such as “Heartless”? Where is the women’s t-shirt proclaiming the awesomeness of Chester A. Arthur? The tank top version of “Keepin’ it Coolidge”? Dare I ask that you assume that those female customers who insist on a t-shirt properly fitted for their shape have eyes only for free puppies and not for the wondrous humor of our former presidents or the horrors of Mister Tooth Decay?

I will say, though, that if you have done the marketing research and found that the majority of your female customers that purchase women’s style t-shirts honestly do prefer their meager selection as opposed to the veritable “unisex” smorgasbord you present to all who have no sizeable bust or hips, my hat goes off to you as I am a fellow marketing professional and I wholeheartedly believe in the use of market research to guide one’s sales strategy.

But I really would like to purchase at least one women’s t-shirt featuring one of our former presidents as I am quite the history enthusiast. That, and I would very much like some wearable drama of my very own.

Sincerely,

Miss Rose Crowe (the Fabulous)


Dear Miss Rose Crowe,

Your letter reminds of an idea I had last week upon watching people use their teeth to pull out the antennas of their cell phones. Why not flavor the antennas artificially? Maybe a mint? How suprising and refreshing would that be! But sadly, most people I told told this idea to laughed at me twice. The point is, sometimes logic has no place in the marketplace.
You pointed out a truism: girls tend to prefer pink bunnies, et. al.
HOWEVER, I am finding that my core customer is not a fan of pink bunnies, but rather Mr. Arthur, Mr. Coolidge, and the War of 1812. In any buisness, young and old, it takers time to define your niche customer. I think your letter has pushed me closer to realizing who that core customer is. To this end, I thank thee.

Miss Rose, I can offer some ray of hope: our Presidential shirts have done quite well. As they do better, then we would consider breaking out into a version for ladies. Perhaps by the holidays. I will remember your pleas and make it due congress to see to it that you get as you wish. To this task I undertake the uptmost dilligence.

Please thank you male-friend for wearing my shirt with pride. And please tell your five cousins about my fine website.

Will
See
You
In
Fon Du Lac,

JL TOAST


Saturday, November 06, 2004

And So, We Inherit The Wind...

So it's been a while. When did I last post? Oh. Right.

All of that busy-ness I was writing about, the buzz and hum, the excitement. It's all gone now. The big room where all of the desks and volunteers were is empty and hollow now. A few signs and pieces of furniture are all that's left sitting around. I've only been in there once since the election, and for the five minutes I was there it was the saddest place in the world.

Mike's been helping with the cleanup, and he's had to be in there every single day since the election. Shattered doesn't even begin to cover his state of mind.

Did the Dole campaign feel this distraught when Clinton won in '96?

I didn't want America to be the global bully it has become. Apparently half the country thinks we should be. Do I belong here? The only hope I have is that approximately half of the country agrees with me.

And that Barack Obama won by a landslide in Illinois.

Besides, this country has suffered much corruption and dissent (submitted for your approval: the Civil War, the Depression, the Vietnam Era, Reganomics). We've survived, and life has gone on. We will survive this too, and I will be part of the fight. So despite all of my feverish election night plans to move to Canada (or Europe), I know I have to stay in America. I have to stay and fight for what I believe is just and fair.

Just not in Florida.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Election Day Eve...

Sorry I haven't updated yet. I do have some strips, and they are kinda funny and cute. I've just been really tired for the past week. I've also been intent on bringing my darling boyfriend food and company in the evenings, as he has been trapped in the tech closet at Kerry HQ for the past few weeks. Boy did I feel guilty about being away from home for so long. (My cats are also pretty damn needy too.)

It's really exciting though. In an exhausting way. I'm sitting in the tech closet right now actually, and the buzz of volunteers and staffers at this late hour is fascinating. Every time I come in here it's a hub of activity that never ceases. I am truly awed and humbled.

As a reward for their hard work, the Kerry staffers were invited to greet the man himself when his plane touched down at OIA the other night. I got to go along too, and had the privilidge of taking this photo...

I have met a lot of neat people, however briefly, during these past few months. So many people have transplanted to Orlando, inspired to make a difference. I've met people from Texas, Alaska, Massachussetts, Georgia, as well as a few locals too! All inspired to work hard to get one man elected into office. You want to feel like you haven't done anything with your life? Hang out in a campaign HQ.

Well, it's getting pretty late, and I'm still tired. I'm hoping for a freakin' landslide tomorrow night. I'm thinking that we've got another "Dewey Defeats Truman" situation on our hands. I'm hoping that my country won't let me down.
 
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