January 30, 2007

Being Lectured At

Went to an interesting talk the other day by Josh Shenk, the author of Lincoln's Melancholy and the new director of the Lit House at WC. Before the talk I had to sit there surrounded by buzzing coeds and find something to get lost in - so I did a little doodle (a drawing doodle, not that other kind of doodle)

and observed the amazing effects of light on a venetian blind. Dazzling.

I just had those pics, so I thought I'd post them.
They were actually done/taken the same day as all the snow, as was this one

of my happy hubby. It might be my favoritest picture of him ever (only one chin!). The light was just all whacky that day, and it did nice things, to venetian blinds and to my man. If you took away the beard, the crazy hair, the glasses and the classy imac, you might be able to see why I fell for him.

Then again, maybe not.

Posted by ribbu at 01:03 AM

September 11, 2006

Faculty Meeting

Today I had my first faculty meeting. Unlike staff meeting, it was very interesting and entertaining. I guess it goes without saying that professors are good lecturers (or ought to be, anyway) but I have to hand it to the faculty here at WC, they put on a good show. The new dean was my favorite, I could just listen to him talk numbers all day. Seriously. He's damn good at it. There were also new faculty introductions to be made, and I had to stand and wave to everyone. Not for very long, but it came at a moment when I wasn't expecting it, so I ended up waving my sketchbook instead of my hand, which, I suppose, could be seen as unprofessional. Luckily, it was a forgiving bunch.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing (to me, anyway) about entering into this circle of academia (however tenuously (or tenure-ously?) (or, rather, non-tenure-ously) it may be) is how little I was previously aware that faculty are, like, real live human beings. I thought this would be a dry, stifled, uninspiring bureaucratic event, but these people were almost downright rowdy. And funny! And loveable! Even the registrar! Perhaps this is unique to WC, but I tell you, I had some battles with the registrar when I was in school. There was a great deal of affection for everyone in the room, and though I imagine there must surely be a lot of politics that goes on that I'm not aware of, it was a really nice community to feel (marginally) a part of. To celebrate, I doodled a little bit.

Afterwards there was a great feast at the president's house, which was so yummilicious I got two heaping helpings of desserts, and embarrassed the whole art department with my gluttony. The president sat at our table and turned out to be a very nice man. After meeting him at the all-campus picnic and asking him weird questions about what it's like to live in a house that belongs to someone else, I'm glad to have re-established myself as the person who eats twelve desserts instead of the person who asks weird questions about your house.

Sometimes it's nice to be human. It's a pretty good excuse for being an idiot.

Posted by ribbu at 09:54 PM | Comments (2)

June 07, 2006

Foiled Again!

Alright everyone. Thanks to those of you who voted, yet again, on another miserable effort by yours truly. I scored a whopping 1.7 out of 5, which, according to my excellent math skillz (cross-multiplying, etc) is basically a 34%. For those of you who have been out of school for a while, that translates to an E. Or, in some places, an F which stands for FAIL. So, needless to say, I don't think that anyone is going to be printing this t-shirt, in spite of all of your efforts. I should probably just give up on making you register for all these things already! I comfort myself by insisting that obviously the people who voted on my shirt were mostly pimply-faced high school kids who like pictures of skulls or boobies on their t-shirts. (Actually, I totally love the boobies).

Well, the good news is, I've gotten another job (who needs t-shirts when you've got a job, right?). I'm doing some illustrations for our alumni magazine for an article about the administrative offices there being a sort of incubator for college presidents. It's eerily like the other article I illustrated about CEOs of insurance companies being nurtured from within. Anyway, the art director working on it clearly is not overly excited about the article (she insists on always referring to it with the adjectives "rather dry", "long" and "too long") but thinks I can inject a little bit of excitement into it. I hope so. I've got some sketches done so far but can't upload yet - sorry, I'm at work right now, waiting for pdfs to get processed.

The other news is that this art director told me that she described my work to a friend so: "It's like if Ralph Steadman had a sex change and a partial lobotomy!*" I can't tell if that's a compliment or not, except that I love Ralph Steadman. I'm pretty sure that Ralph Steadman would hate the comparison, and maybe say that I am copying his style (everyone else does). I've had a bit of a dilemma about that, but think, ultimately, that I don't really draw like Steadman, I just use the same tools and have a sort of dark sense of humor. And since so few people seem to use those particular tools, everyone thinks that if it's messy and scratchy and blotchy, I must just be stealing from him. So, whatever. I mean, frankly, he's just in a league of his own. Like Picasso. If I'm going to remind people of someone, it may as well be the best.

* you don't have to read this complete link, but I love the hilarious conclusion he comes to about psychiatry at the end of the page. This is what happens when they just let anybody onto the internet. Ah, free speech. You gotta love it.

Posted by ribbu at 03:54 PM | Comments (5)

May 23, 2006

Now, That's a FIRE!

I drove over to Home Depot the other day to get some of those ugly drop ceiling tiles to replace some broken ones in the basement. I pull into the parking lot (it's one of those ridiculously long and windy parking lots that has so much landscaping that there are like fifty unnecessary stop signs and lots of really high speed bumps for people like me who need to get to Home Depot like right now) and notice a huge billowing ball of black smoke. It seems there is a truck on fire. A pickup truck. That is just innocently sitting in the parking lot burning like an inferno.

The weirdest part about it was how people were just pouring out of the woodwork to stare. I felt like I was in Night of the Living Dead. No one was especially animated - just slowly converging from all corners of the parking lot like they were being called by the siren song of the dying pickup.

I'm curious to hear what exactly happened. Some poor guy was probably in the Home Depot picking out toilet seats when he heard over the loudpeaker "Attention - will the owner of the blue pickup truck with Maryland license plate M07923 please return to the parking lot. Your truck is on fire."

At any rate, I went in to get my ceiling tiles and had to wait for about twenty minutes while the sales clerk tried to find out how much they cost ($2.67). By the time I left, there was no evidence of the fire, the truck, or the zombies. Was it but a dream?


And, sorry for the low-budget drawing. I'm image processing at work, and have to be mildly attentive while keeping my eyes from bleeding. Post-its were the most convenient solution.

Posted by ribbu at 12:14 PM | Comments (2)

April 11, 2006

Is this Your Dream House?

Another staff meeting, another doodle.
This started out as a tall rectangle, and then the more I got anxious about how much work everyone needs to get done at work, the more immense my estate became. Now, mind you, this isn't my dream house. I'm not interested in fountains, too many rooms, a swimming pool, cypresses, topiaries, birdbaths (well, maybe birdbaths) or sheep next door, but I tell you, my subconcious was working overtime to get this dream house drawn up for somebody. Whoever would like to claim it, please do. I might send it to you, free of charge, to give to your architect for ideas.

oh, and please don't let this entry distract you from the very important voting that is going on below. Currently, I have a tie going on, and that's just not going to do.

Posted by ribbu at 11:30 PM | Comments (2)

March 19, 2006

I love Robert E. Lee

Not this one (I confess to only know what this article has to say about him - I was not paying attention in 6th grade, which I think is the last time I learned anything about him)(though, I linked to this page mostly because I love the "disputed neutrality" icon and explanation). No, for some reason they named a park after him in Baltimore. Better Robert E. Lee than Charles Manson, I guess. Anyways, it's a lovely place to take the dog for a walk on a brisk sunday morning. I found a nice little path that runs along the little stream there, that doesn't have a lot of traffic on it and reminds me of Ratty's home (except for the lovely english countryside in the background).

Posted by ribbu at 01:14 PM

December 09, 2005

Being Sinister

So, all of you must know that I'm left handed. I used to wind up my toys backwards and break them as soon as I got them. It's a curse. I had to use the ridiculous green-handled scissors in second grade instead of the regular plain silver ones (though I got over that fast - who wants to be a green-handled outcast? Not me! I learned how to use the slick right-handed ones, right quick!) and could only get the egg beater to work if I held it upside-down. So, to pass the time in staff meeting, I've taken to retrying my hand at being right-handed. THe nice thing is, I've got extremely low expectations, so when things come out looking like anything, it's very exciting.

I have found that being right-handed gives me a lot of latitude in drawing - looser lines (even looser!) and always a mysterious start. I just scribble in loops until something starts to come out of it. What fun!

More fun than staff meeting, or green-handled scissors, anyway.

Posted by ribbu at 08:22 AM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2005

Drive Me

I don't know what it is about staff meetings, but they get me into nervous fits and exhaust me. I have started learning to while away the hours doodling with one ear while listening for my particular accounts with the other. It's a skill that doesn't come easily to me, who is naturally the engrossed sort. I found a book of illustration from Quebec, or some such thing, with this guy Bruce Roberts in it (he doesn't seem to have his own website, and he's not this Bruce Roberts) - anyhoo - I just love his work. I wish I could find a more reliable place to find it.

So - that kept me busy too.

Posted by ribbu at 08:49 AM