Saturday, January 31, 2009

"I Never Drink Anything Stronger than Gin for Breakfast"*

(I know, hardly the words you'd expect to find on this blog....)

The day didn't start out too fabulously as J10X & I got up at the crack of dawn so we could trek down to New London and hang a print in the Hygienic 'Salon des Independants' art show. So, I girded my loins, slapped my face on and bundled up for the inevitable 10th circle of hell that is the line outside the Hygienic Art Gallery

Well, instead of the ridiculously long line we expected to see at 7:30 in the morning (like last time), we didn't see anyone. So, I thought perhaps we were too early (and me without my morning cuppa!), but we got there at exactly the right time- there were about 10 artists and various Hygienic (hygienic?) personnel about. So we skipped in, hung my print (Cranky, I think it's exactly where your piece had been hung the year you submitted that gorgeous car photo) and I looked at the posters being offered.....hmmm, my piece didn't make it as a poster...oh, well, that's a bit of a bummer. Oh, look at the t-shirts- holy crap, my poster is the t-shirt for this year! Well, that's cool!

So, J10X scarfed up a couple of t-shirts and we headed off to the State Street Diner, but on the way stopped to chat with Peter Crowley who has a gorgeous 'political porn' piece in the show. The diner was blissfuly near-empty, and we had standard diner fare for eats.

Well, so far, so good! Fed & happy, we decided to jet down to the Book Barn for their annual Big Sale - 30% of of everything! As it was just 9am when we arrived at the Book Barn Downtown, (home to books, guinea pigs, turtles and an enormous cat named Frank), we missed the crowds again. I scored a bunch of good stuff, as did J10X - those of you who are into retro cars need to ask J10X what he scored! One of the treasures I found was a lovely little book of *WC Fields' quotes....and Jim Miller, who is the real gem of the Book Barn. You just have to appreciate a person whose remark on J10X's lunatic cellphone ring was 'That sounds like the sped-up version of Torgo's theme song from "Manos, Hands of Fate"....

What a perfect morning! And it'll only get better....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot Pot and Hot Rock

Happy (Chinese) New Year, Everyone!

J10X , Marko & I celebrated a little early by going to our friend Hsin-yi's house for her & her husband Chris' fabulously fun New Year's party. They have a lovely older house (built in 1901) in New London that was just crammed with people! Hsin created a cocktail for the evening (lychee 'martini') that I quickly & obscenely dubbed the Testini. It was all about the lychees....

The fantastic food was hot pot - I've heard Tony Bourdain touting this for years as a quintessential Asian comfort food, and I've always been dying to try it. They had seafood, meat & (thankfully) vegetarian hot pots set up. Hot Pot is basically a kind of broth fondue in which you cook the various elements. I had fried taro, watercress, rice noodles and various other veggies - so delicious, and you make your own 'sauce' with the condiments, such as a type of barbecue sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and I scored the big bottle of hot sauce from Hsin's mom for the table. It was a bit of a juggle 'n' squeeze to get around the table, but very fun.

So, after feasting & drinking far too many Testinis, we headed over to Groton to Rosie's Cantina to see the fantastic Cobra-Matics! The opening band was Brokedown Serenade, who were a very new (as in rough around the edges) rock/rockabilly band. The Cobra-Matics were awesome, as always, playing their very snappy mix of rockabilly, swing & blues. I scored two hugs from the Colonel (awww) and we picked up their new CD - go get it! The Colonel told me he sold a bunch of equipment & things to put it out, and his heart is really into this band- he can't say enough nice things about his band mates, which is just super cool to hear. They sound great, look good, wear matching suits onstage and all have terrific posture.

The only irritating portion of this show was some total idiot who didn't get that I really didn't want to dance. And then he must have thought if he got in my face & told me we were pussies for not dancing, that maybe I'd find that charming. But before I could tell this guy I was going to kick his fucking head in, my hero, J10X stepped in and told the guy to leave us alone. This resulted in J10X getting a death threat (!!) from this guy, who didn't look like he could punch his way out of a paper bag. Well, there wasn't a fight, but it was close...

Hey-ey, neighbor,
'Gansett is good for you
Hey, Narragansett,
Rhode Island's famous brew!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Queen's Random Movie Reviews

Tales of Despereaux- J10X, Miss Wendy and I saw this at 10am on a Saturday with cold popcorn as breakfast - I'm not sure if this has influenced my opinion of this movie. The art & animation were glorious – but that’s about it for a positive comment on this movie. Drab, boring, rehashed story, unimaginative characters & ‘plot.’ Seriously, after the ass-kicking princesses in the ‘Shrek’ franchise, who is interested in the bland, blonde (of course), non-entity that serves in the ‘Princess’ role? Not many of the 3-10 years olds who I saw this movie with (of course, most of them also enjoyed the far, far more entertaining ‘Madagascar 2’ a lot more.) Oh, and the other ridiculous female character was not a princess, so she was not blonde, not thin, and was easily manipulated. There were also many overtones of ‘you’re must be a good person if you’re attractive/cute, and a bad one if you’re not’ – not the sort of philosophy I would want to impress on a child. If you’re an animation geek, go for it. Rating: minus 5 crowns out of 5.

Get Smart– This was far better than I thought it would be and fun. I was a big fan of the show when they used to show it on Nick at Nite and my expectations for the movie were not high, so I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t impressed by Anne Hathaway, but Steve Carell channeled Peter Sellers in several scenes (the dancing scene comes to mind) as well as giving his own tweak to the character of Maxwell Smart. Alan Arkin, a perennial fave of mine, was wonderful in his hysterical, screamy, I’m-in-charge-and-I’m-kicking-ass way. An enjoyable no-brainer movie. Rating: 3 crowns out of 5.

Deathrace – Gritty, incredibly violent, cars, guns, prison violence, Jason Statham shirtless with that killer bod, adrenaline-pumping goodness. Phew. A fine remake of the Roger Corman classic ‘Deathrace 2000.’ Rating: 5 gazillion crowns for Statham, 2.5 crowns for the movie out of 5.

Burn After Reading – I thoroughly enjoyed this movie right up to the end. WTF?! Rating: 5 crowns out of 5.

War, Inc. – John Cusack doing what he does best – dark political satire that is smart, sharp & funny. The story was developed from Naomi Klein’s reports from Baghdad and really skewers the Bush admin’s policies, politics and the whole military-industrial complex that runs them. For some odd reason, there was a little bit o' romance in this flick that didn't do much for it, but the rest of the movie made up for that. Rating: 4 crowns out of 5.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Giving Myself Props....

...for being given and seeking the opportunities to contribute to the New London music and arts community.

I submitted two ideas for the fabulous Hygienic Arts lollapalooza that takes place every January- it's the 30th year- and they selected one of my designs! Not only am I shocked, but tickled pink!

So feast (or roll, your choice) your eyes on my brilliance here:

Have a big, fat guess which one was chosen..... No matter, the other will become a tasteful woodcut print!

A few weeks before, The Suicide Dolls asked me to create a CD cover for the CD single that will be released with other bands' CD singles during the Hygienic Rock Fix: Ruck 'n' Rule thingamabob. Part of that was pulled out of my nether regions and the other half of it was a sketch done quite some time ago:

So, there you have it....

(and stay tuned for more Raven & Wombat Tea Party goodness coming soon via Cafepress & Zazzle! Bison Power!)