Friday, October 31, 2008

Functioning Artoholic

So I quit making art about a year ago. I always tell people that it was for this reason or that reason but in reality it was because I was tired of making a mess in my house and then having to clean it up. I had already scaled down the size of things I was working on, going from door-sized charcoal drawings down to little foot-square collages that I could make while I was watching Project Runway. I liked the encouragement Tim Gunn offered me! I made it work. And then a gluestick got stuck to the sofa and that was, as they say, that.

But I was cleaning up my computer desktop yesterday and ran across something that surprised me...for the past year or maybe more, I've been doing these little illustrations for at the behest of my friend Karen who owns it. Most of them are computer-generated, though there are a lot of hand drawn things that get scanned and then manipulated in the box. It was weird opening them all up and looking at them together because with maybe two exceptions - the Ethel Merman one and the teacup - they look like work I would have done anyway!I'm pleased at how many of them reflect my personal aesthetic even though they were created to illustrate someone else's idea. Maybe I'm an illustrator!

So I didn't give up making art after all, I guess. It was surprising how many of them there were. Anyway, here's some of that, along with a couple that got rejected by mean Karen.

(Oh and everthing's ©DG Strong and I am just bored enough to sue you and burn your house down if you steal from me, bitches.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reunited and it Feels So Good!

Last night I had dinner with an old friend. Not a friend who is old but someone I've known longer than almost anyone I still speak to. But the funny thing is we hadn't spoken in like fifteen years. Maybe even longer. I acted like a jerk once and anyone who knows me knows I am not really an apologizer so the jerkiness stood uncorrected forever. And then out of the blue she emailed me and she didn't make me apologize and then we went to dinner and now it's like I have my old best friend back! It's like magic. Or AA where they make you make amends but you still get to drink! Best of both worlds! But I do know she reads this so I really do apologize for being a jerk.

Now our mutual best friend Jeff can talk about us in front of each other, which he couldn't do before and I think that has been making him crazy for fifteen years.

And Sarah's a camper so now I can quit bothering everyone else in my life with my constant "would you like to go camping?" inquiries. You're all off the hook!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Well since all the newspapers are publishing their presidential endorsements this weekend, I might as well do mine since I'm way more influential than that tired old Washington Post: Vote for Barack Obama. Oh, and you can just save your dissenting opinion - while America is a democracy, my blog most assuredly is not and I'll just delete any comments I don't agree's my Bush-iest quality. I told you everything would be different after the Revolution!

I've had this Obama sticker on my car for almost eighteen months...EIGHTEEN MONTHS! I've had it on there so long I had to buy it from Cafe Press; there weren't any Obama stickers way back then! That seems so crazy now, to think back about who seemed the more likely candidate at different times: Edwards (remember him?), Hillary, hmmm, whoever those other people were. Early on - beyond the eighteen months - I was a devoted Hillary supporter but even then I thought Obama's rightness was truly the better choice, even if it meant the party's eventual Election Day loss. So I switched allegiances and for once, I might have backed the right horse!

Over the months since, I've endured a little bit of heckling - one guy stood by my car in a parking lot and waited for me to come out of a shop just so he could call me a "nigger-lover." Another time, a woman in a car flagged me down at a red-light to tell me Barack Obama was going to drive America to ruin. That'd be a short trip, I thought, considering the ruins the current administration's left it in. But instead I said "why don't you just fuck off?" because that's just the type of guy I am. I know what you're thinking: this sort of abuse practically makes me the Rosa Parks of 40+ white guys...and I completely agree.

I early voted today. I pressed the Obama button with pride and glee, thrilled that for once I wasn't voting for the lesser of two evils - I was voting for a truly great candidate, one with vision, principles and a wife who can still move her face. A candidate who still believes there's such a thing as social justice and economic fairness and a woman's right to choose what happens in her own womb. A candidate who doesn't rely on Joe the Plumber horse-shit to make his point because he can make his point without using manufactured metaphors. I live in Tennessee and I harbor no illusions about the Volunteer State turning blue anytime soon. But there were long lines and more African-Americans than I've ever noticed before. So who knows what that means. But I'm hopeful that it signals an end to this brutal, ignorant, scare-tactic era run by a murderous, venal, dishonest handful of money-grubbers and that I can once again live in a country I'm proud of rather than one I'm too poor to move away from.

Don't be a dick: Vote Obama.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Birthday: Joshua Tree National Park

I spent my birthday last Friday wandering around (in some cases literally) and driving through Joshua Tree National Park. It's a pretty amazing place. My friend Carol and I got up pretty early, had a fifty-dollar breakfast in Palm Springs (that's the only kind they have there, actually), picked up our rental car and drove forty miles to the little-used Cottonwood Springs entrance. Palm Springs does a lot of things well, but promote nearby Joshua Tree isn't one of them. Virtually NO mention of the park in any of the promotional literature scattered throughout the whole town. NONE. Which explains why this nearby entrance is little-used, I guess.

We had decided to do a pretty good-sized desert hike, the Lost Palms Oasis hike at 8 miles. When we got there, we learned it was really only 6.8 but still: that's a long walk in the god-forsaken desert. We handled it with aplomb, mainly because it never got above 90 and was pleasantly breezy most of the time. Sand sand sand, ocotillo, sand. Oh look a rock. Lizard. Sand, cactusy thing. OOO a rock. And then ta-da, oasis. Then all of that backwards.

We then left that section of the park, the Colorado desert part, and went to the Mojave part which was like visiting Mars. Thirty degrees cooler and alien-looking. Lots of photos like this. 247 of them, actually. I sort of wish we'd hiked in this part rather than the hotter part but eh, what can you do. Then we committed some felonies and stole some joshua tree seed pods. Ha ha, eat it, Park Service.

It was a pretty cool place. Crappy gift shop, though, and if you're keeping score this year that's a LOT of crappy National Park gift shoppes. I really do need to just go up there to DC and get the Dept of the Interior t-shirts in order. It's shameful how awful most of them are.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2008 Vacation No. 249

Off to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park for sun and fun and lots of hiking, sightseeing, and mini-bar abuse. See you next week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Same View, Different Subject

I was just going through my digital photo library and it seems a LOT of crazy stuff happens outside my office window, though it's not all people fornicating. This picture is from a few months ago. I hope he's not dead.

And one day, this happened.

It's like going to the movies! Sex, death, stunts.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sex and the City

Well here's something you don't see every day! The view from my office window just moments ago (NSFW, unless you work in a porno factory, which you might, I guess):

Look closely! The gentleman on top was borderline homeless. The lady on the bottom was a business lady in a suit. And that used to be the library! ON ROSA PARKS BOULEVARD. When they were done, they looked up and saw us all looking and taking pictures and waving and they ran off top speed. And here's the best part: he was wearing a shirt that said KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS.

Only one word will suffice, I think. C-L-A-S-S-Y.

Update: after looking at some of the pics other people took, we think we have deduced that the "lady" in question seems to be wearing a hotel uniform of some sort. So we're going to go into the two nearby hotels (we think it's the less-fancy one) and look at her all sideways like we know something.