24 September 2008

Don't give me E-balls. Even if they are german.

The germans, we have discovered in times-gone-by of gratuitous procrastination at the Brick office, have a great affection for Little Britain. Or so says youtube, anyhow. And why, by gum, wouldn't they. It's bloody fantastic.
Though today, after using the expression Don't give me E-balls! in an email, the proverbial procrastinatory gauntlet was thrown down: E-balls in german. Translated. If i'm so clever as I seem to think.
I confess, I had to approach the dear old Langenschiedt on this one. But find the answer I did.
E-Hoden. Pronounced Eh-H-oh-den.
Literal translation: “E-testicles”
I’m a bloody great Genius. Hallo, Mein Name ist Stefanie, ich bin aus Kanada, ich spreche Englisch, Franzozisch, und ein bisschen Deutsch.
Ja, aber nein, aber ja, aber nein, WAS FUR ANSEHST DU MIR? GIBT MIR NICHTS E-HODEN!

Helvetica, german acuity, and rump-watching.

I have finally finally gotten to see Helvetica, this most Excellent documentary. It has, until now, been perpetually out. I've tried to rent it like, four times, and finally started checking in daily to catch it upon its return. Its perpetual absence, though, excites me, in some subversive way, that normal human beings have some strange predilection for a documentary about a typeface.
Anyhow. I must say the highlight of the documentary was one dedicated fellow named Erik Spiekermann, who confesses that his love of type is a disease, and likely a mortal one, and definitely disturbing. "Other people look at bottles of wine and girls' bottoms, I look at type"
I was watching the doc with the german subtitles turned on, and would like to point out that girls' bottoms is in fact one word in german (aren't they efficient): Frauenhintern. Commenting on this in one of my aforementioned gratuitous emails today, I was asked, then, what the word is for mens' bottoms. THAT WAS MY FIRST QUESTION, I had to confess. But I couldn’t look it up, I mean how does one look it up? Under men? Under bottoms? I could surmise that it might be Männerhintern oder männlicheEsel (manly ass, literally translated). But here we are. It's like the unfortunate (or very fortunate) truth that there is no antonym for misogyny.

By the way.
I’m so clever they moved me up three levels in my german class last night. No Joke. I had to call and organize this morning a formal switch, after an earnest post-class discussion where I nervously confessed that I felt a bit too comfortable with telling people my name, where I come from, and what language I speak over and over again, and would we get much further?
The teacher agreed that I should check with the administrator and revise accordingly.
Who knew my ten year old german would loiter so tenaciously in what really is an overused and exhausted brain?
Must have been the MännlicheEsel.

23 September 2008

On hearing the drawing through the pimply monologues.

So all this blogging will not regain momentum until i get this BLOODY.BOOK finished. But eine moment, bitte, a moment of respite. Partially in celebration of the fact that after four and a half hours today of Tearing My Hair out, washing and re-washing my dishes, assaulting friends and colleagues with countless useless emails (yeah, sorry about that), negotiating my way through some funny german podcasts (more on that to come), and setting up strange dioramas with my comforter and travel trunk to recreate a dress climbing out of open luggage, i finally sat. I resigned myself to the blank page. The fucker. This last page, last drawing, is in fact the first (ironically) page of Teatime part 2 and it has been staring, nay, sniggering at me for weeks. WEEKS. Today is my second go at it, a new piece of illustration board, as I finally had to concede that my first final was unclear rubbish.

Anyhow. I got into it. Somehow I did. Four hours later, and now what stares at me is an optimistic work-in-progress, rather sensible, relatively competent rendering, and (thanking the ten tiny toes of Christ) NOT in need of being completely erased and redone over and over and OVER again.
I am writing all this useless information, dear reader(s) so you will... nay, not feel my pain, as part of the pain of having a whimsical and useless trade like illustration is that noone else can feel your pain. There is no help to be garnered. No colleague who can say, "oh, just move that widget a bit to the right" and suddenly the drawing/story is back up and functioning.
I am writing this so that if ever in the universe more than a dozen or so people see these little books of mine, instead of uttering the usual "you are so lucky to be an artist", or "what FUN it must be", you will know, or have some indication, anyhow, that it is not only as frustrating as any other job on earth, but it is as unsure of itself (and hence as awkward and painful) as a pimply teenage virgin on a first date who has not realized yet that a world exists beyond his own, and one must therefore engage in Conversation, not monologues.
The above is a good analogy, in fact, 'coz, as with most things on earth, everything goes better when you listen to the task at hand. In this case the drawing. Flakey as it may sound, the drawing has more important things to say than I ever do, and were I to shut up for a minute, I might save myself alot of time and frustration. Just let it have it's way, already. It has my best interests at heart.
Alright. Enough whinging. Onwards to lighter bloggy topics. Woop!

18 September 2008

my german class.

How much do I love saying mundane things to complete strangers in foreign languages. HOW MUCH.

Oh yes. Welcome to my new blog.