Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fly like an eagle

As usual, we went to the Iowa Star Party over Labor Day Weekend. It was too hot, and then it was too cloudy, and then it was too rainy and windy, but after that, it was perfect. While we were at Whiterock, SOAR released several injured and rehabilitated raptors - two kestrels, two hawks, and an eagle. They took each bird on a walkabout before releasing it. They all passed maybe four feet away from where I stood. Even with just my cell phone camera, I was able to take really sharp pictures.

Brother Eagle was very well behaved, but I could see in his eyes that he was ready to get out of there.


The obvious musical bibelot at this point would be "Fly Like An Eagle", but this song is prettier and more eagle-ish, in my considered opinion. Once again, there is no video to it, so just make your own video with your imagination.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Romance in the air

Today, I got to do something I have never done before. I went to a book launch party. Author Melissa Tagg's first romantic comedy, Made To Last, debuted last weekend, and there was a big shindig in her hometown today. It was a perfect almost-autumn day, so of course I was game for a road trip.

I'm impressed by people who can put together good parties, and this one was a corker. The book centers around a home-repair TV show, and the decorations included ladders, saws, hazard tape, and other Tool Time paraphernalia. There was popcorn, and wheelbarrow full of soft drinks, and an amazing cookie buffet, courtesy of the church ladies who rallied to the call. Of course, fancy lighting always helps with the ambiance.

Melissa's book launch party

On the subject of romance, this song has been in heavy rotation on Sirius Broadway. It's catchy, and has become quite an earworm for me this week. The video ain't much, so just close your eyes and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When genres collide

I should write something witty to support what follows, but words escape me. Is it hilarious? Vulgar? Desperate? Brilliant? You be the judge. But hear it from me, the horn arrangement is smoking hot.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

There she is

Madam Senior Editor advised commanded us in our weekly chat, "Update your blogs this week." So with minutes to spare, I am doing so.

I'm taken aback at how long it has been. Eep. Since then, I have started a new job, working in the administration office for a non-profit. I enjoy the work, the office is clean, comfortable, and younger than me. My co-workers are kind-hearted and fun. The last few months at BigCorpInc were dramatically stressful, and it has been very therapeutic to be in a kinder, gentler, and more local environment.

Tonight, I used blogging as my justification for keeping the TV on and watching Miss America. Don't judge me. I grew up in a state pageant town. Most of the parades I saw as a kid were pageant parades. Even when I was grown, I often watched Miss America with my mother, since it usually occurred during my September visit.

After having been away for a few unmemorable years, Miss America is back in Atlantic City, as it should be, and back on prime time. By the time it got to the final five, I was able to call the winner. Why would you not want to pick the Bollywood dancer? The ginger-haired step dancer would have worked for me, as well, but she did not make it to the finals.

And so, to bed.

I'll try not to stay away so long next time. I even have reasons.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem In Your Pocket Day

Let's see if this works.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Abstracted Minutia

This was a fun exercise. Collect a bunch of little doodads, arrange them, and draw them using different media.

Moving the sofa yielded several of the knickknacks, and it also facilitated a much-needed vacuuming.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Believe it or not, these were all drawn from the same reference photo. Today's theme was "abstracted drawings", and the variation among these proves that point. Pop over to my Flickr to see some other drawings of the same picture, done with stick graphite. (There are also some more figure drawings from yesterday, artfully NSFW,)

We had an "ice day" today. That's like a snow day without snow. Rain falling on cold streets makes a slippery mess. Many churches, including ours, cancelled services, so we hung out at the house. I made pasta, and then kicked it up a notch with chocolate chip cookies. Then I drew. That makes a good day all around.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feel the fear

You've heard the saying, "Feel the fear, and do it anyway"? Yeah, that.

Today's art assignment was ten-minute figure drawing. Even though I'm a prude at heart, I wanted to have the full artist experience, so I browsed both clothed and unclothed models here.

The first picture that said, "Draw me!" appears to be a vintage photo from the flapper era, with the Louise Brooks hair and all. Heck, it may BE Louise Brooks, for all I know. A quick Google search just now indicates that she was not unfamiliar with posing au naturel.

I decided if she could pose it, I could darned well draw it, and I did. Parts of it are a mess (pay no attention to the calves), but parts of it are impressive.

Luckily, I am more enchanted by the good lines than I am annoyed by the bad ones. I was nervous about doing the exercise at all. Just finishing it was a victory, and liking some of it is a wonderful bonus

Even better, it was fun, and I can't wait to do it again.

(Don't know who Louise Brooks was? Look here, and here, and below.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Almost like life

Today I did some 10-second and 30-second gesture drawings of figures. "Figures" is art speak for NEKKID HUMAN BODIES ZOMG!!!

I didn't have any actual nekkid bodies on hand, though, so I used the figures at Posemaniacs. That site uses muscle figures, for lack of a better term, so it's somewhat less shocking to my delicate sensibilities than real people with skin and everything.

This was actually a lot of fun, once I got started. If not for the annoyance of turning the pages in the sketch pad, I'd probably still be doing them.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The weather outside was frightful

DRAW! Day 11: Pencil sketch by chaimann
DRAW! Day 11: Pencil sketch, a photo by chaimann on Flickr.
So I had plenty of indoor time to work on today's drawing. I wanted something that had irregular lines and shadows, and boy, did this crumpled cap meet that requirement.

Parts of it I like, and parts of it remind me that there is still a lot I don't know. I'm cool with that.

And the part over at the far left, the line sticking out from the bill, all crazy-like? That reminds me to check the scanner for cat hair.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't look back

DRAW! Day 8: Blob Animal by chaimann
DRAW! Day 8: Blob Animal, a photo by chaimann on Flickr.
This dude, today's drawing project, appears not to have like whatever he saw when HE looked back.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


DRAW! Day 6: Cheater Blind by chaimann
DRAW! Day 6: Cheater Blind, a photo by chaimann on Flickr.
Today is Day 6 of the three weeks of drawing adventures. For this project, I could draw a person or an animal. Once I thought of owls, I spent more time than I should have, just looking at owl pictures online. This one was titled "Mad Owl", but trust me, there are some that look way scarier.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New year, new look

I was looking at the blog the other day, and decided it was time for a change. So, out with the old staid brown, and in with the new pink and orange and whatever color this is.

I've probably mentioned before, I no longer do New Year's resolutions. That doesn't mean I am immune to the desire to start, or restart, projects during the deep of winter. First up: drawing, every day for three weeks. Today is Day 5, but this picture is from Day 1. These are drawings done with my left (non-dominant) hand.

The car is a cheap piggy bank. When I was in junior high, my mom and I saved coins in this bank to finance a trip to Washington. DC. and the Pennsylvania Dutch country.

When a friend's grandmother died, they brought her collection of stuffed toys to the visitation, and invited visitors to take one. I took the little stuffed lamb. It bleats when you press the "Try Me" spot.

The wooden doohickey is a Turkish spindle. It's a wool thing.