Thursday, January 26, 2012

Samantha Channels 1975 - 2012

There have been many times when people have said "They're not real friends. It's just online." Now, I've known this is baloney for a long time, but sometimes you get poked by the reality of knowing and not "knowing" people you meet online.

I have never met Samantha. In fact, I've never really even chatted with her online either, merely shared a "like" and a comment every once in a while. She was only a Facebook friend, after all. I'd met Samantha fairly soon after I was diagnosed. I had been searching for any support group I could find and found her through some Facebook group or another. The rest is littered with cliches like 'struggle' and 'brave' and 'heartrending'. She inspired me with her strength, and her family's strength and loyalty made me smile, reminded me of my own.

Samantha had a particularly ravenous cancer - melanoma. She had been fighting tooth and nail when I met her and continued fighting, even as the news kept getting worse and worse. Through numerous chemo treatments to clinical trials, she didn't quit, though you could see in her regular updates that she was struggling and tired.

I found out about her passing pretty late. Mostly because I'm not the best FB friend. I'm bad about going past the update page, but I did notice I hadn't seen an update lately and I knew that it meant the worst. I procrastinated, like with everything else and now I feel like the worst kind of friend.

Goodbye, Samantha. Peace in that unwanted but much needed rest. You might not have been a "real" friend, but you meant a lot to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sh*t Stupid People Say

“Now you are making gross assumptions about myself and Cris. You have absolutely no idea what was going through my head when I wrote the post.”

I think this wins the award for the most unintentionally ironic statement ever.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

As Expected

Once I realized that comments on Miss Lying Liar's blog were moderated, I knew there was no way she would publish my comment. I was hoping she might, seeing as there were already some negative comments in the "article" before I found it. I suspect that she decided to moderate her comments after the initial backlash to her attempt at journalism.

The face of inanity 

Once I posted my own blog response, since I knew she would ignore my comment on her blog, I figured that she would either shut up and hide or totally lose her mind and go on a rant about terrorist left wing goons.

Turns out I was half right. She not only ignored my reply, both on her blog and in Facebook (I messaged her my response so she wouldn't miss it), but she removed her blog post altogether, without comment. On the one hand, her hateful and false "article" is no longer being read, which is a good thing, on the other hand, I think her experience over the article might have pushed her over to full-on nutso Tea Party idiot. Her very next post was about squishing "Occupy pimples" and other fun sentiments.

In case you were wondering, I only provided one link and that to the now-dead article. I'd rather not give her any readers or any clicks to make money off of. That being said, don't let me stop you from exercising your right to free speech. I'm sure she'll understand. Me, I think I'm blocked from commenting.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everyone Is Cured Sooner Or Later

I'm not sure why, but when one side is yelling about corruption in government and the other side is yelling about corruption in government - there is a serious disconnect when we are yelling at each other.

Each and every one of us should go to our state official's website. Mayor, Governor, Senator, President, doesn't matter. Tell them, not these stupid and blind fools, so blind they can't see the bars they're fighting to make stronger.

Of course, you could always phone or mail them. No, mail to help the post office. cool.

Friday, January 20, 2012

...from a good safe distance

After my old WoW guildmaster, Niq, AKA Danny Evarts, introduced me to a few people who had seen my 99% pic, I've been getting questions about my art. So, yay. I thought I'd post a list of links to my stuff online. I won't be able to get them all but I'm going to focus on paintings to narrow it down a bit.

Social links first:

Original art and prints. I have a few options as people have expressed preferences: - original artwork - Prints on paper and giclee (canvas prints) - Posters and prints - Posters and prints

Since this particular piece got so much attention, here's a link to my Cafepress shop: - Posters, prints and cards. - Posters and prints. - Prints and Giclee. - My home page. As always, it needs updating.

Lost Keys

Not really. Sold them. Sold it - one key.
The old Nissan I'd had sitting in my driveway, wavering between trying to fix it and needing money. Money won and Car-With-No-Name is gone.

Later that morning, as I'm driving to finally get a tire for the one I'd had a nail in since November (thanks Wendy! but bills came first), I see a pristine (to my eyes, anyway) Nissan Altima just like mine, same color, clean, a silver ghost riding ahead of me.

Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.
My buddy with a potential job offer in Miami called to talk about it. Most likely head to an interview if I get a positive response to my resume and samples. We shall see.

On to better things! I had saved one of these links before my surgery and stumbled across a second one last week, now I can't find that first one. For the morbidly curious like myself:

****Be Warned! These are pictures of surgery.****

Not my surgery, but similar to my surgery. The main difference seems to be, aside from the location of the cancer, which required the removal of part of the jaw, there is no pec-flap procedure done that I can see.
Again, not fun, not cool if you are at all squeamish. Also one more reason why I feel lucky.

If I were in his place, I'd probably still feel lucky, considering how much more debilitating it could have been. I still worry about a recurrence and losing my ability to eat during treatment. The titanium jaw looks extremely fragile and painful, though, and he seems to have a lot of nerve damage.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Damien Hirst 1965 - 2012

Controversial artist, Damien Hirst, has passed away:

"Damien Steven Hirst, the world's richest artist ($332 million according to Britain's Sunday Times), full-time businessman, part time art-collector, sometime restaurateur, P.T. Barnum imitator, and most famous member of the Young British Artists (or YBAs), a creative covey who came to prominence in the 1990s, died last Thursday, January 12, in New York following complications from acute diverticulitis.."

Apparently this columnist wasn't a fan. He continues:

"...brought on by a swinishly speculative, grossly cynical, intellectually constipated effort to pinch out 11 concurrent exhibitions of rehashed expensive crap. He was 46."

Hirst is probably most famous for his somewhat iconic "The Physical Impossibility of Death", a large installment/sculpture, essentially a tiger shark floating in formaldehyde. This theme of death and preservation flowed through his work and was a major influence in the visuals for the movie, The Cell, in particular, the scene in which a horse is seemingly sliced into sections that are still disturbingly alive.

The other piece he is most known for is of a human skull encrusted with diamonds. Entitled "For the Love of God" after his mother asked him, "For the love of God, what are you going to do next?". Obviously go big or go home. Dubbed "the most expensive piece of art ever", the real human skull is covered in real diamonds, it created a dual controversy by garnering a huge price at auction which was undoubtedly helped by questions of the skull's origins.

Love the guy or hate him, he left his mark, and that's always the artist's end goal. On a personal note, yeah, he was one year younger than me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Camoulfaged Lunch

Anti-Theft Lunch Bags are zipper bags that have green splotches printed on both sides, making your freshly prepared lunch look spoiled. Don't let a sticky-fingered coworker or schoolyard bully get away with lunch theft again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All We've Ever Had Was Now

Got the results of my latest PET Scan and everything looks good. My white blood cell count is at the low end of normal, there's some "stable" metabolic activity around the surgical site as well as the opposite side of my neck. Doc says that's all normal and she's happy with the results. Which means I'm happy with the results. Two more scans, one every four months and I'm through a year. But we won't look that far ahead.

She was concerned about my neck and the tightness there. Scar tissue and muscle issues and all. She wants to have me continue physical therapy. I mentioned speech therapy and she said she could give me a referral again, but it's most likely an insurance issue still, whether they'd cover it.

The Flaming Lips' "All We Have is Now" (Music Video: Unofficial) from Brent Long on Vimeo.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Where the Wild Things Came To Be

Tate Shots presents a rare video interview with illustrator Maurice Sendak.

"Maurice Sendak, the creative genius behind books such as 'Where the Wild Things Are' and 'In the Night Kitchen', is an illustrator whose work has been seen by millions of people all over the world."

Saturday, January 07, 2012


No, not me. My kid.
I'd get a tattoo if I could ever decide on what I'd want on me forever. I feel like it has to be my drawing, but quite often I'll hate something I've drawn that only a year earlier I thought was awesome.
She wanted something specific, of course, but we'd narrowed it down. A griffin, with eagle's claws up front, in a crouching/stalking pose.

Since I was on vacation, my days were hectic and filled with appointments, and I didn't get to draw the final one until pretty close to her inkin day. She called me to say her artist needed the sketch early, so I put down what I had in mind and finished it up pretty fast. Faster than I'd have liked by a lot, but she loves it and something I drew is... on...her skin...forever...

Brett Barr, at Built 4 Speed Tattoos
did a great job with the color!

We went through all the parent things, "You're going to regret it", "You're going to have a hard time finding a job", all the advice we're supposed to give when big decisions are to be made. I knew they'd be ignored. Her answer was always the trump. "It's my daddy's drawing. I'll never not love it."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Open Letter

Seeing as I am my own editor, I suppose this would be an op-ed piece?

Whatever. I just wanted to say how tired I am of the rush to either extreme. If it's not conservatives crying over how Romney or Perry aren't conservative enough, it's the progressives whining about Obama not being liberal enough. The idea that the place to strive for is on one of the ends of one side of one parties most extreme side is simply insane. In the first place, such a mentality ensures failure, as, by definition, the extreme edges of any party are going to be in the minority, and in the second place, it ignores the fact that the other side of the spectrum are American citizens as well and deserve to have their views represented. The constant roller-coastering of our political environment are destroying us. All this does is create a dynamic where one side strives fiercely to enforce their will on the other side, only to have an equally fierce backlash where we're now wasting time and money just undoing what the other side has done.

I am by no means a Centrist. I'm about as Liberal as they come, but even I can recognize that I should never get everything I want in almost any situation, but especially in the political sense. Yeah, it seems like getting what we want would create a Utopia, and it might - but only for my side or for my beliefs. I can't and shouldn't ignore the fact that there are people who disagree with me. No, they shouldn't get exactly what they want either. The process is supposed to winnow out the crazy extremes and bring us to compromise and "center". The idea that "I'm right and they're wrong" is arrogant and self-centered.

It seems strange and stupid to have to say this, but it seems it needs to besaid on an hourly basis, but this country was built on the idea that everyone is included. E Pluribus Unim - From Many, One. We are suppsed to be united in the idea that we are united. That doesn't mean we have to agree, but it does mean that we have to work together for the good of all of us, not just the side we think are "real Americans". In my opinion, anyone who uses the phrase "Real Americans" is exactly NOT that. People like that are the ones who'd rather see their opponents in prison or exile and their ideas villified and erased. In other words, the same mentailities that we hold up as horrible when other nations like North Korea or Soviet Russia hold them.

Just like in any business or personal negotiations, neither side should leave completely satisfied. Both sides should feel like they gave up something, because we should be giving up something - our egos and our arrogance that we are the ones who hold all the answers. I'm guilty of it at times. I freely admit that, but that doesn't mean that I don't recognize that, even though I'm Liberal and will likely vote Democrat, there are just as many Republicans out there that are my friends, neghbors and family members. Are we really so stupid that we want to crush one side in favor of ours and can't see the dangers inherent in that?

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

It's a misquote of a famous saying, but it still applies. The problem is that people seem to think it only applies to people. It also applies to government and political parties and business leaders and businesses. There is a lot wrong with our system, but this push to the fringes isn't fixing anything, it's merely destroying what's already broken.