27 February 2009

courtesy of Em and Lo.

"One should avoid asking oneself, "What would my mother think of this arrangement?" And one should definitely avoid asking one's mother, "Mom, what do you think of this arrangement?"

25 February 2009

Banned Together.

Yes. Dear Reader(s). It is not news that I have been to many book launches in my time. They are funny animals. I love them, but that is because, frequently to always, I love (Love!) the people involved in them, either writing, producing, or promoting said books. 
I do find them a bit incongruous with my nature, the actual reading parts that is, as I am a pretty traditional reader as it were (alone, in the comfy chair, with the book). I don't like being read to, I can't register the words properly, I feel like I'm being cheated somehow, can't tell you why.
Tonight I went to a reading sponsored by PEN of books that have been banned. Banned Banned books. And Derek McCormack read from Are you there God, It's Me, Margaret and Michael Helm read from Charlotte's Web and Dennis Lee (BLESS HIM) read from his own highly offensive children's poem about murder and cannibalism (Lizzie's Lion), and other passages included the talking asshole passage from Naked Lunch (YES) and the opening page of Lolita, and I.Was.Enraptured. 

Years ago I had a boyfriend who had some excessive addictions. And when the shit hit the proverbial fan, he pointed out to me that porn and booze would always be there for him, while I could not  make the same guarantee.
And he was right. He treated me like shit, and I dumped his ass less than a month after that disagreement. 
To this day though, this comes up in my mind. I had No argument for it. I have No argument for it. It was utterly impossible to prove him wrong. (Nor did I want to, really. You treat someone like shit, they dump you. Simple math. Sad and simple math.)

Every so often I worry about arguments like this though. About mathematics like this.
Why, you might ask? Why, dear reader(s)?

'Coz Books don't dump you.  

'coz ya never know.

So the New Model Circus Army has invited me to spin with them next week, and the people who asked them to perform put out some sort of press release, and when we received it today, it was rather funny to note that the photos they had were in fact of us, from our Nuit Blanche performance. Well, except for this stray shot of me, which was, oddly enough, from a Kensington jam. I don't even have ANY idea who took this, or when.
But, dear reader(s), it is FIRE. FIRE, FIRE, FIRE. There are few better things on earth.

24 February 2009

From Harpers Weekly

Some Republican governors said they would refuse stimulus aid that required their states to expand unemployment insurance. "If Republican governors do not want this money," said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association," Democratic governors will put it to good use." Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele announced an"off the hook" Republican publicity campaign, targeting "urban-suburban hip-hop settings." "We need to uptick our image with everyone," he said, "including one-armed midgets."

nothing noble or important lasts forever.

I finally have a chance (and the determination) to post this extraordinary link and it has been apanthropinized. PANTS!

21 February 2009

To be in Europe, perchance in Angoulême

Words to live by, courtesy of the Editors

...It breaks when you don't force it
It breaks when you don't try
It breaks if you don't force it
It breaks if you don't try...

And in today's news.

Or rather, what didn't make today's news, but really should have:

Baby meerkats!

Also of note in the New York Times:
Career Options for Ex-Wall Street Workers : Among other choices, a laid-off financial district worker could begin to give tours as a tour guide.

Reverse Cheerleaders.

The Best People You Could Ever Hope For. Ever.
No word of a lie.

18 February 2009

Cheesy but true.

"Hope is a thing with feathers and no brain."

Rapunzel's Dilemna

(don't like it any more: have taken it down. Back to the proverbial drawing board)

One of my favourite paintings ever is a painting that Dali did of his wife Gala's back. That's all it is. Nothing's melting, there are no weird creatures, no surreal landscape...it's him staring at his wife's back (or so one assumes, as he is not in the canvas) while she looks off into the distance. I find it utterly captivating. 
And he was another one, this Dali, who was excruciatingly accurate in his rendering skill, at some point, and then got on with it.
The above from the Fairy Tales series, with a modest attempt to render a simple back myself.
I'm trying to take a few more process photos of drawings these days, but it never seems to work. There's no "half-way done". This is 3/4 done (well, maybe 2/3 done); I guess that will serve. 
I will likely destroy it when I add colour, as with the rest, so you saw it here last, folks. (The original is bigger, so all the lovely white space got cropped out in the scan, and I had to scan it in two pieces even, so hence the blurry middle.)

17 February 2009

A tea holder for a drafting table.

I googled to no avail, but would that Not be Awesome? 
I will freely give away this patent if someone will make me one.

Sweet GOD.

Happy ending!

For my "Fairy Tales" series.
I just came up with it, whilst drinking tea in the sun in my window, with uncharacteristic slowness.
I can barely believe it.
Now let's just see if the drawings will agree with me.

The lake, Maurice Sendak, Picasso.

So the other day I went down to the lake to sit and celebrate (the day, the lake, and sitting too.)
They have these concrete barriers out in the lake, about 800 ft out into the water, I don't know what they are called or why they are out there. They are ugly, and the effect they have is odd; all of the water from shore to barrier is frozen, at least on the surface. It's not moving, for some reason it's not reflective either, it's just wretchedly staid. 
Beyond the barriers, however, the water laps as usual, it gleams, it moves, etc. So the key to the view is going long, obviously.
For whatever reason, I found myself thinking about Maurice Sendak and Picasso. And how their early artwork (like, at age 14, in Picasso's case) was so painstakingly accurate, and how they must have cared a very great deal about drawing, and how their later works are so spontaneous and magical and fun. 
They were following a dedicated practise of learning to do something well, nay, perfectly, and then something magical happened. SOMETHING happened, and they lost their obsession with accuracy. And suddenly there was so much room. WHAT?!?! WHAT HAPPENED?!? And where do I get in line?

15 February 2009

My favourite thing about this drawing

(or detail thereof) is that I was listening to Garbage, Ladytron, and Rage against the Machine whilst doing it. 
That's right, dear reader(s).
Fuck you I won't do what you tell me. 

14 February 2009

Tell Me WHY

I don't go dancing, like, EVERY NIGHT EVER.

13 February 2009

13 years later, and what does it all really mean?

...choir in the yard
in the house next door
where a grandma brought
some songs from the shore

six foot girl gonna sweat when she dig
stand close to the fire

when they light the pig
standing in her chinos shirt pulled off clean
gotta tattooed tit say number 13
viva don't want no blue eyes

la loma
i want brown eyes
i'm in a state, i'm in a state...

It's all happening in Scotland.

Baby otter takes walk in mailbag, drinks milk from a byro pen, and is being handfed 15pounds (the currency not the weight) worth of salmon a day. Now THAT is the life.

12 February 2009

I have a Very Interesting Life.

In 2006, I went to Coney Island for the first time, and got completely obsessed with photo reference there, as it was the most carnivalesque of carnivalescent places I had hitherto been to. I took 191 photos, and I decided I must be a Loon, as I would likely never need said reference, and couldn't possibly finish that many drawings in a lifetime.
TODAY, I was searching through my picture reference library, for reference, and found Absolutely What I Was Looking For. The Perfect Picture. In this very sub-file.
I am not going to post said Perfect Picture (because I'm drawing from it, you wingnut), but I am going to post these, 'coz they are interesting and cool. 
As am I. 
Interesting and cool.

Don't shoot me.

Birds (well, Oscars) of a feather:

(I Love the Brighton Pier the very most in the entire world. 
The Coney Island pier was, however, an admirable runner-up.)

With its well-aged inhabitants.

I am So tempted to preface the next photo with a great big WTF. 
If I were a person who used green dancing banana emoticons and the like, I would preface the following photo with a Great Big W.T.F. 
IF i was that sort of person.
But I'm interesting and cool.

my love was like a dead dead rose.

I have this new years resolution to try to get rid of things with the same frequency as I seem to acquire them. (I define "things" as anything from groceries to scraps of paper with random thoughts on them to rough drafts of drawings I can't bear to throw out, to movie ticket stubs, which I also can't bear to throw out)
Today's chosen offal was one dead rose, tied up in string. 
Yes. It does sound like the saddest thing to toss out a rose, until you know that the rose was in fact given to me dead (not dried, just dead). 
At the time I didn't (want to?) notice this and put it in water in an empty wine bottle, and less than 20 minutes later as we all sat around talking, the petals started to drop off onto the table, one after the other, in rapid succession. Feeling slightly embarrassed (I had been very excited to receive said rose), I exclaimed "That will never do!" and tied string around it to keep the petals intact.
And then, a few months later, I finally got it.

Throwing out said flower was not the challenge, it was tracking down all the petally shards that had broken up and scattered throughout my box of paper nostalgia distinctly annoying.

10 February 2009

A life less ordinary.

Ever timely. Yes.
Thank you, Levellers.

You got nothin' on me Naughty Lola.

Well read, frequently cynical, not fat.
Write for details.

Because I will probably never re-read facebook.

(at 21:22, on 09 February) - (Kathryn) thought Bunty Cutler couldn't possibly be the real name of a real author, but was wrong about that.

(at 21:27, on 09 February)
I want my name to be Bunty Cutler. Of course, meeting someone dyslexic could be more offensive than I'm willing to risk on a daily basis. At least in the morning.

08 February 2009


I do not want to have to apologize (out loud, to myself, or above all to strangers) for wanting to live an extraordinary life, or for wanting to share it, or for being little to no help with people who feel or act (or don't act, as the case may be) otherwise.

07 February 2009

Nostalgia for illegal substances and profound poetry.

Grabbed a journal randomly from my shelf, to alleviate glum. 
Opened randomly, and started reading.
Saturday 10 February 1996. 
OF COURSE. This same weekend of the year, 13 years ago. And you, dear reader(s), get to hear about what I was doing on that fateful day, because I can't figure out what to do with myself at this very moment.

Intensely Profound Poetry.
(written by stef lenk, London, England, and a rather large block of smoked hashish*.)

lost a lightbulb in my nose
broken shoelace, funny toes
now i need to sew my feet
aren't those rubber eggplants neat?

runny nose and scrummy worm.
grandpa's body in an urn
spider web and cornwalls eye
take one last look lay down to die.

here i sit with pen in hand
reaching to a far out land
with cursive scrunched up ropes of ink
i sit me down and start to think.

(* and no. FBI, I no longer smoke hashish [or anything, for that matter], and if you ask me about 1996 I'll tell you I made this up.)

This ALMOST made me feel better.


In yesterday's news.

Nothing but bad. Couldn't selvage a bloody thing. Cases in point:
Fifty pupils in a school in Wiltshire have been suspended for going on strike to play in the snow.WHY?!?!? WHY suspended?!? How often does England get Snow, fer Gods'sakes?

The teenagers, from Nova Hreod school in Swindon, refused to leave the playing field after their morning break on Wednesday. They have been suspended until Monday. Julie Tridgell, the school's headteacher, said she was forced to take a tough response because the strike's ringleaders were encouraging others to miss class to play. It was just a poor excuse for bad behaviour, she said.

(I wonder what Miz Tridgell would say if she knew 35 year old canadian women play in snow when they should be doing sundry administrative tasks on a daily basis.)

A "phantom goat" is seen after it was captured Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 in Paterson, N.J. by an animal control officer. The animal had eluded capture for 12 days, causing dozens of people to call 911 with goat sightings along the north Jersey city's riverbanks.

( Since WHEN is ambling along a city riverbank a crime?!?)

Closer to home, one stef lenk, 35, from Toronto, Ontario, occasionally employed for large companies that couldn't give a shit, was in a superlatively bad mood. Unanswered calls from Canadian Geographic for an invoice now 2.5 months overdue (illustration ALREADY PUBLISHED) reached 3. Her last (next) week's work at the CeeBeeCee was cancelled without any notice, much to the pending chagrin of her bank account. 
It seems that lenk only got news of this cancellation last night around 8pm, when a co-worker came to deposit his pencil box behind her monitor, stating that he would be resuming his post there come Monday. 
She said "Mais au contraire, monsieur! I have one more week!" but was then proven wrong with a quick gander at the schedules by the photocopier. 
Watching said news with its never-ending tally of the downward economic spiral and pending employment doom for most all citizenry of our country did not help.
While the above forecast will perhaps bode well for lenk in the drawing department, heavy skepticism and a hibernatory nature are coming in from the east, putting into effect well-worn cynicism and an inability to concentrate. Stay tuned for more on this as the month of February progresses.

06 February 2009


I think I've been given permission to blog this. I think. It is one of my friend Brendan's pieces. The lighter ones. So lovely.

Hi, Oprah?

36 days. That's right, love, you too can change your life. Or, at the very least, the state of your bedroom floor.

This morning.

There's a moment, that split second when you're cycling down a winter street and the back wheel starts to slide. 
Black ice. Which you know exists, although it's invisible to the eye, or the eye in motion, anyhow. The only way to "see" it is to bike right onto it, which happens, both body and bicycle, with constant and terrible spontaneity.
It's never more than a millionth of a second, but the CLEAREST second. It's amazing in its clarity, actually. Completely untainted. Time somehow crunches because you are able to think the entire thought, despite the speed, EVERY time it happens. 
I know EXACTLY what's going on here, at this VERY moment. EXACTLY. Regarding the Actual Occurence there is no variation. The only relevant questions remaining are "how far will I slide, will it be into oncoming traffic, will people be able (or willing) to stop, will my clothes be intact, how big will the bruises be, and Why the Fuck do I continually insist on biking in a city with no bike paths in the wintertime?"

Yeah. Ain't life a metaphor.

05 February 2009


The first item a few weeks old now, but that airplane that crash landed in the Hudson river, just out of Manhattan, where ALL 155 people SURVIVED. Well they had audio footage of the pilot this evening, and I have never heard a more level-headed human being, discussing how to handle the situation, WHILE it was happening. Listen to it. It is So Amazing.

And today, a 60 year old woman gave birth to twins, after 43 years of trying to conceive. Yes.

Trite but true.

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
Nowhere more evident than when watching someone check their email repeatedly, in a dark room filled with monitors and few others, not the first time, an hour after their shift has ended.
Well put, thank you Henry David Thoreau.

history; blank pages.

So my mum was one of three children, born during the end of the second world war in Germany. Her (real) mum died when she was...three(?) I think, and her father was a prisoner of war in Russia. All three kids were sent to different places when he was presumed dead, my mum to an orphanage. 
Then the war ended, and suddenly he was back, and suddenly he was remarried, and suddenly all three kids got put on trains from all parts of germany to be reunited with their "new" family.

On Wednesday I got to see my cousin KJ, who I don't get to see enough, dammit, as she lives in New York.  But we finally managed it. And out of nowhere, she said "I have a gift for you" and she pulled out this book. It is the single greatest gift EVER. It is from 1950, and belonged to my mum's stepmum, who is now dead.

The translation of this page, this first entry, is (9 November, 1950) "I love my children Erika (my aunt), Hans-Peter (who ran away to France and then killed himself in his early 20s) and Gabi (my mum) deeper and more intimately as each day goes by" 

The rest of the journal is completely empty. 

Albeit not knowing both sides of the story, I was led to believe for years (and won't dismiss quite yet) that she was unaccomodating and unloving towards all of her surrogate children. The book is totally empty. It has a lock on it, a locked book of blank pages.

We decided how cool it would be to surmise what she might have filled the rest of the pages with. 

The best gift Ever.

04 February 2009

Today, working from home.

Blessed home. No monitors, no networks, no petulant directors or writers or researchers or me, no mailbot.
Am also being reminded of how much I love design, and type, and such. LOVE IT.
However, feeling a strange absence from news, seeing as I've been wallowing in such a surfeit of late. So here is some. This picture was stolen (STOLEN) from a special resource (SPECIAL RESOURCE) at work yesterday, of the most ambitious boy scount in the world. Copy:
Andrew Schigelone, 18, of Lincoln Park shows some of the 121 merit badges he earned between February 2002 and December 2008 during a photo shoot in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. Schigelone is an Eagle Scout and a senior at Gabriel Richard High School. Rick Williamson heads the 4,700-member Detroit Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and says no one has earned all 121 badges since its 1910 founding.

I want to find him and marry him.
Sorry, to be clear, I want stop time and then find him, 18 years from now, and marry him. Well, perhaps make sure that he can grow facial hair. Maybe rough him up a bit. Nothing a few bottles of scotch can't help. At least lose the cravat. But the merit badges can stay, by gum.