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April 25, 2007

A Muckity-Muck of Activity

Well, I'm always bemoaning the fact that the blog that matthew has totally taken over and called his own is way more popular than this one, the one I tend to with less and less care as I become more and more demoralized. However, it has recently been pointed out to me that I have 1. more fun quizzes than theBarnstorming and 2. fewer three-syllable words that require looking up. I call this "user-friendly".

But, in an effort to compete today, I will offer 0 (zero) fun quizzes and many more perplexing three-syllable words.

In case you were wondering about what's been going on these last few eternities, it has been a lot. I left you on the eve of our revelling with the literary elite at WC's Humor and Satire Festival. Well, it turns out we did meet George Saunders, so I got to personally thank him for soundly rejecting matthew from Syracuse. And, now I have a new crush. Not only is George Saunders a hilarious, thoughtful, awesome and great writer, but he is perhaps the nicest, humblest, kindest man I have ever met in my entire life (including Ghandi, who taught me the Vulcan nerve pinch at a peace rally in Delhi, and Pope John Paul I, who frantically splashed me with holy water as he saw me approaching him asking for alms). The man is great. A new personal hero. We chatted for a while, exchanged signatures, and then matthew and I retreated to swoon in private.

Here is matthew, eavesdropping on GS and Jonathan Ames, who were doubtless conferring on the next great American novel.

So, meeting GS was perhaps the highlight of matthew's life, and I bear no grudge playing second fiddle to someone so awesome. I suggest you buy back good karma by purchasing all of his books - the good will surely come back around.

Also, while we were not getting all googly over GS, we were interacting with some crazy inflatables by performance artist Pat Oleszko. I got to crawl out of a vagina, and matthew got to pinch some nipples.

Truth be told, I don't think the pleasure was all ours.

So - once our fun was had, it was truly time to buckle down and prepare for our reading of "The Town that Fooled the British" (heretofore TTTFTB). The fact is, as of Sunday the 15, only three of the 30-odd drawings were complete. We needed to present, with 50 limited edition copies, on Friday the 20th. This was bad news. But news I had been fully aware of for, say, about 2 months. So, I started drawing and painting like a maniac.

There's really a lot more pictures than that, but I thought you might get bored. This is probably where I should throw in a fun quiz to keep your attention, but I'm not going to lower myself to such shenanigans. Instead, I will point out how lowbrow my materials: tin foil palette and old yogurt container for my water.

This makes me feel like a real artist. A suffering one, with no money, who persists in the face of whatever three-syllable word the opposite of privilege is.

So, anyway - I finished with all the images on Friday around 8 am after working a full 72 hours with only 4 hours sleep. It was a remarkable, heroic feat, much like climbing Mt. Everest - and also inexplicably foolish (much like climbing Mt. Everest). My penchant for procrastination has never brought me so low. Because, even after I finished with the images, they had to be put in the document and printed and trimmed and bound and everything. Luckily matthew took over and I got to sleep another two hours before matthew roused me with the awesomely terrifying cloud of the 5 o'clock deadline looming over his head. Working in marital harmony, we were able to finish binding the books exactly 3 minutes before we were to walk out the door. It was a small modern miracle, and I have a word in to the Pope for my future canonization.

So, we headed down to St. Michaels in the dizzying swoon of sleep deprivation, and somehow managed to complete the reading without putting ourselves to sleep. It went over well, with people chuckling in the right places - so we were pretty happy with it. Our friends Jim and Jill were generous enough to buy us dessert afterwards, and I confess, I greedily consumed Jill's leftover shrimp scampi without passing Go - I think I was in caloric withdrawal, since I needed more than usual to be up that long. At least, that's what I'd like to think was the reason for my horrifying manners.

Next day, I slept till 3 and then headed off to Baltimore with mom to see the Blue Man Group.

It was pretty great, though the seats we got (thanks Maryland Public Television fund drive) kind of stunk. They were way off to the side, so most of what the actual blue men were doing was lost on us. But, of course, I discovered a new crush (I'm being terribly girly lately, aren't I? yech!) - the drummer for the backup band. Well, either one of them, really. They were, in short, f*ing amazing. I've never seen someone run in place, jump up and down, and play kick-ass drums all at the same time, for 2 straight hours. If I hadn't been with my mom, I probably would thrown some underwear up there or something. Thank god for moms, eh? I'm sure that's what that guy was thinking too.

Sunday our new combination washer/dryer arrived - yes, one machine does it all! It took us four hours to hook it up because we didn't have the right fittings and dad had to go back to the hardware store 4 times before he got it right (and the fourth time took 2 hours).

It's up and running now, and after a few major leak problems (I solved with my handy-dandy pipe wrench) the thing's whirring away non-stop. I say non-stop because it only takes about 4 articles of clothing at a time, so we pretty much do 4 loads a day. Incidentally, the reviews online are either lovers or haters. Haters hate because it only does a little at a time and takes forever, and lovers love because they're good people. I'm a lover. Love it. I will do my laundry all day and forget about it, and it will be dry when I remember. It's the best.

Monday we decided to be human and go for a walk out by the Sassafrass - it's a new favorite spot, with a bamboo forest down by a little beach. We tried to get Iggy to swim, but apparently she's forgotten what water is.

Matthew, in a bold act of tough love, taught her what to do.

While recognizing that it wasn't that hard not to drown, she preferred to keep all fours on dry ground, and boycotted water sports for the rest of the day.

And, when we returned home, I discovered yet another crush.

Don't tell matthew - it's really a new low for me. My sleep deprivation must have caused some serious brain damage.

Posted by ribbu at 02:50 PM

April 12, 2007

My New Crush

Move over, Beck - because here's my new crush:

So, tonight was the second event of the WC Lit House Humor and Satire Festival. It was a panel titled "Which One is 'Fake' News?" and they were addressing the current trend of fake news shows like Jon Stewart and Colbert etc. (I promise, this has a lot to do with my new crush, I'm getting there...). So, the two panelists were Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times (I did a google image search and this is the first image it came up with - vs. this, which is what he actually looks like (sorry, bad photo, no flash) - there's something to be learned here about the internet, or about truth, or something, but I'm not sure what) and Joe Garden (whose image search came up with this, and so, relieved, I returned to doing all of my doctoral research via google) of The Onion. The moderator of the panel was John Harwood who has some kind of link to WC, but I wasn't clear what. These three gentlemen were smart, entertaining, and inspired in me the desire to be someone who is smart and cares about the news.

But, instead, I ran home to blog about my new crush.

Now, I've always liked The Onion, but I love Joe Garden. There's a whole new level of smart and clever when it isn't written online or in some free "newspaper" that they hand out on every streetcorner, when it just flows forth from someone's mouth like manna. I just love that shit. Luckily, in response to someone's question about how bloggers influence the news, he stated in no uncertain terms that he finds blogging "really boring" so my secret is safe with you. Because I'm really quite sure that blogging about new crushes is probably way off his radar. Now, I don't mean to underappreciate Jim Rutenberg, who was also crushingly smart and charming - but his kind of smarts just mostly makes me feel stupid, while Mr. Garden makes me feel stupid and amused.

I have been asked to do some little drawings/sketches/caricatures for some sort of book/pamphlet/dvd that the Lit House will be producing about the Humor and Satire Festival, so I brought along my sketchbook and came up with this:

Yeah. So, they might be regretting that request.

Anyway - the Humor and Satire Festival is running through the weekend and will feature Stories of the Moth with DMC (YES! of Run DMC!!!) and Jonathan Ames tomorrow night, and Saturday will feature a reading by George Saunders. GEORGE SAUNDERS!!! Who rejected Matthew from grad school with a toss of the application, crushed his hopes, and sent him down this road of misery, bookmaking, and jumping! Yes, we had packed our bags for Syracuse, fully expecting the red carpet treatment (shuttle bus, cheese and crackers, etc) from the English Department, only to be sent packing to this hellhole we call Chestertown. Ah, but what a tragic turn of events. So, this year, instead of me working at some drudgery in the great white north and matthew searching his soul for stories that have endings, we have been spending our time doing drugery here with stories that don't have endings. The best! Thank you George Saunders! Thank you! Anyway, George Saunders is matthew's long-time crush, so I feel okay posting here about Joe Garden.

And, by the way, Joe wants to take over for Conan (who I also, incidentally, love) (but, um, that kind of love that I can't stay up after 11 to satisfy) (you know what I'm talking about, ladies!) when Conan leaves to take over for Leno (whow, am I out of the loop) - so Vote for Joe (I'm too stupid to figure out how, but it must be in there somewhere)!!

Posted by ribbu at 09:07 PM | Comments (1)


I love these ridiculous quizzes. They are a fine waste of time at 1 in the AM when I'm supposed to be finishing up a project that I'm way behind on.
I mostly love this one, because this means my friend Supi thinks I'm hot hot hot.
And I still get to be "a sexy womanizer."

Your results:

You are Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig
Roger Moore
Timothy Dalton
George Lazenby
Pierce Brosnan
Sean Connery
The sixth actor to play Bond in the movies promises to be a more realistic, down to earth and not so perfect James Bond, while still being a sexy womanizer.

Click here to take the James Bond Personality Quiz

I tell you. This quiz really has me pegged.

Even better than the political one that said I was a combination of Hilary Clinton, Ghandi, and Al Sharpton. They'll alway try to nail me to the minority cross if they can.

Posted by ribbu at 01:00 AM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2007

Easter Snowday

Woke up this morning and discovered that we haven't quite gotten out of winter yet, in spite of all the trees blossoming and flowers coming up etc. The tree across the street looked like it had gotten an extra pile of snow dumped on it, compared to the one next to it, when really it was a plum/pear(?) in full blossom and the other was some kind of decorative crabapple still warming up. It was all so pretty I had to go out with the camera asap because I was sure it would all be gone by the afternoon. I was right, but it hasn't really warmed up all that much - in fact, we have the heat on right now.



Forsythia (just for color):

It was nice to see all that color in contrast to the snow.

And, now that I'm thinking about it, how weird is snow? So weird! Wow. Right now I feel like I'm from the Serengeti and have just seen snow for the first time in my middle-class white/asian life. I mean, it just sits there, all white, fluffy and pure, until it melts, and then it's just wet, watery and gone. That's frickin' weird. Really, the only reason I don't believe in god is that nobody could just come up with this shit. The world is so bizarre that I couldn't even try to invent some of the stuff that goes on. Unless, of course, I was all-knowing and all-powerful.

wait a minute...

Posted by ribbu at 11:51 AM

April 05, 2007

Beat, but not Beaten!

Okay, so we got back from painting the mural a whole two days ago, and I'm only now starting to see straight again. It was quite an operation. The gist of it is as follows:

1. left chestertown at 6am to go see matthew's mom in baltimore
2. ate several pounds of good food at our favorite baltimore restaurant, the Golden West Cafe, while recounting torrid library convention tales (matthew's mom), march madness excitement (matthew), and status reports of our dog (me).
3. dropped matthew's mom off at the airport and headed to DC, to meet with our favorite reverend, Chappy D. We're working our way up to believing in god, and hanging out with a dyed-in-the-wool collar-wearer is a damn good start.
4. got to Chappy D's early, and went to our favorite DC bookstore, Politics and Prose, where we dream of someday having our very own books, but in the meantime pore over their collection and buy lots of books that we haven't got time to read.
5. had another two pounds of food with Chappy D at Guapo's (watch out, that link plays CRAAAZY music) while listening to Mexican Klezmer music.
6. headed over to H+F to start the mural at 3pm.
7. Painted till 4am.
8. Slept on the floor of the gallery for three and a half hours.
9. Painted till 2 am.
10. Headed home. I was so tired, but I heroically tried to keep matthew company (he had slept for a few hours after being retired from duty for lack of skillz, yo) for the drive home. I wasn't successful. I remember spending a lot of time giggling about things that really weren't funny at all.
11. Got home at 4:30, went to bed at 5.

Whew! If you would like to hear the whole story, with lots of pictures, head over to theBarnstorming, where matthew has documented it all in excruciating detail.

But, here's the upshot of the whole shebang:

And, I have to say, I think it turned out awesome. Awesomer than I ever could have imagined. I used flat wall paint for all the fill colors and shiny acrylics for the linework, so it has a neat quality in real life. If you're ever over in the area, drop by, have a look, and buy some books.

In the meantime, I will be tending to my sore muscles (my balancing-on-a-ladder muscles) and sleeping like the dead. Actually, not really. Now I have to finish The Town That Fooled the British, like, right now.

What a tough life I have, wah wah wah.

Posted by ribbu at 06:34 PM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2007

Striking Fear in the Heart of Robbi

So - just a quick entry -
I'm leaving for DC this morning, where I will paint mural #2 for Idiots'Books - this one is on a 7'x13' wall that will be above our book display. I will be recreating a panel from For the Love of God, an especially hi-LAR-ious one, the one where Kyle destroys the world like Godzilla.
Since I am a relative newbie in the mural-painting business, I fear that there are likely some tricks to the trade that I don't know about, and only after several days have been spent painting will I realize, for example, that murals look HIDEOUS if you use flat paint on them. Or something like that. So, I'm a little worried.
We'll be camping out in the gallery for the next two days (literally - we've brought sleeping bags and everything) so, it should be good blog fodder, if nothing else.

I just wanted to write this entry before I left, so that once it's over and looks hideous because of x, or y, or z, I can say, "I told you so."

There's a reason why I'm scared. I know there is.

Posted by ribbu at 06:28 AM