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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Everything You Have Seen Here Has Been an Illusion

Good Wednesday afternoon, everyone!  Not too much going on here.  I have a couple days off work so I've just been sleeping in, having leisurely cups of coffee in front of the computer by the window, running a few errands, and trying to do a few sketches here and there.  This one is an idea for my friend Alissa's next tattoo.  She already has the fleur de lis on her inner wrist and wanted to get the famous flying birds image from Le Petit Prince on the same arm.  I thought it'd be cool to connect the two by having the prince jumping off of the fleur de lis.  She texted me a picture of a style that she liked so I just decided to draw it out.


I watched The Illusionist (2006) last night.  Edward Norton (Fight Club, The Italian Job, Moonrise Kingdom) is a turn of the century magician in Vienna.  He has traveled the world picking up tricks and magic, then returns and catches the attention of his childhood friend, the Duchess Sophie, played by Jessica Biel (7th Heaven, Justin Timberlake's wife).  They pick up their forbidden love where they left off, which is even more complicated now as she is intended for the evil Crown Prince, played by the always-a-villain Rufus Sewell (A Knight's Tale, The Legend of Zorro, The Holiday).  Meanwhile, the always-delightful supporting character actor Paul Giamatti (Love & Mercy, John Adams), as the Chief Inspector, is trying to figure out the mystery, not just the magician's mysteries, but the mystery of murder and intrigue within the love-triangle and the Crown Prince's evil plans.


Like most magician movies, it really wants you to question what is real and what is a trick, but this movie doesn't dwell on that.  It's more about the love story.  When it came out in 2006, my friend Katherine and I saw a commercial for a movie about magicians and murder and whatnot and decided we really wanted to see it.  The problem was that neither of us could remember what it was called so when we saw The Illusionist was coming out we just assumed this was it.  When this movie did not match the tone of the commercial, or star Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, we knew we were wrong.  That movie was called The Prestige, and came out later that year.  Both are good, and are quite different from one another.  Maybe I'll watch that one next.

(photo by e.hunt, and collected from ntesla)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When the Waterless Waters Rise

I started reading a new book the other night: Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale.  In college I read another one by her, The Year of the Flood, and quite enjoyed it.  This one though is her most well-known and acclaimed.  Like The Flood, it is set in a futuristic dystopia, focusing on a woman's experience through the harsh, but at that point regular, reality and everyday life.  Survival is a big theme.


Seventy pages in, I still like The Flood better.  Both are set in totalitarian worlds that don't seem that farfetched, but the way they got there is different in both.  Handmaid hasn't really explained why the world is the way it is yet, but Flood was much more focused on the environmental destruction and sicknesses of humankind.  I remember there being much more detail and imagery in that book, although Handmaid seems a little more closer to our current reality, like it could actually happen in the future.  

Both are well-written and it's nice to be reading again.  Ever since reading books for high school and analyzing them into the ground, I've lost interest in reading books for pleasure.  I've read a few here and there (the Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings, Chocolat, and a couple others), but it's never been an enjoyable hobby like it was when I was growing up.  Maybe this will start a new trend for me.

(photo by e.hunt)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dayscape

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  It has been a busy last couple weeks for me.  Two Sundays ago we celebrated Mom's birthday with a festive Mexican soup dinner.  I worked a long shift at work, came home and changed, then went straight home to join everyone.  The dinner was delicious and Mom enjoyed her presents.  Happy late Birthday, Mama Bear!



We've had some rather odd weather the last week.  One day it's in the high sixties, the next day it flurry-snows!  While it's been nice to not have to bundle up every time I go outside, I'm still holding out for some more snow.  It's also been nice to open my windows and let in some fresh air.


I've also been spending some time with the old charcoal and pastel sets.  I started with a portrait of Princess Leia as sort of a warmup exercise.  You know, get back in the habit of charcoal drawing again.  Next up, I decided to draw another great fictional female character, Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings.  This time I decided to add a little color.  I've always thought Peter Jackson was a little reserved and traditional in his portrayals of the fantasy races.  Doesn't she look better with blue hair?!


Neither of them are perfect, or really look like the actresses, but they were fun to do and a great way to get used to drawing with charcoal and chalk again.  I'd like to do a full color one next, maybe a landscape!

Other than that I've just been working, doing a bit of homework here and there, and going home for dinner every few nights.  A couple days ago Mom surprised me with a nice series of wave prints she found online!  You know me: anything with waves and I'm sold!  You can't see it in the picture, but they're actually made with newspaper clippings.  I still have to get some frames, but they look great on the wall above my bed.


(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Winter White Mood Board

I was going through the blog circuit today and one of my newer follows (The Clothes Horse) recently did a February Mood Board post and I thought it was a cool idea that I'd like to try.  Hers was red and pink themed, because you know, Valentine's Day, but I think I might do a Winter White theme.  Even though we've had the most mild winter I can remember (HELLO CLIMATE CHANGE-DENIERS), I'm thinking there's going to be at least one snowy day before the season is out.  Here's hoping!







(photos collected from cheezburger, dsignlabel.nl, freepeople, getmetacos.tumblr, instagram, hercampus, modernandclassy.tumblr, themountainlaurel.tumblr, instagram.com/kjp, instagram.com/jxxy, instagram.com/figbowl, instagram.com/natgeotravel, instagram.com/cntraveler, instagram.com/daughter_of_the_woods,  instagram.com/p/BOfwhN3jzHj/, blog.thedpages, thegiftsoflife.tumblr, and polienne)

Friday, February 3, 2017

There Is So Much Sky

I don't know about any of you, but for me it's been quite the busy week!  On Monday I met up with an old sorority friend who just moved to St. Louis.  We met up at Crushed Red over in Clayton where we had pizza and salad and got all caught up on our lives.  Looking forward to our next hang out!


After that I stopped by Artmart and picked up a little sketchbook to keep by the couch so I can doodle when I'm watching tv.  Next, I drove back to work to complete my training to train new hires!  My boss hired seven or eight new people (we've been short-staffed for a while now) and needed some extra people to help train them all right away.  Plus, I get a $65 bonus for each person that completes the training!!  So far, my two trainees are doing well, and have both mentioned how much they are enjoying the training, so yay.


I've also hung out with the work girls a couple nights this week.  On Monday we met up at TGI Fridays, which happens to be right across the street from my apartment.  Convenient!  It's sort of our after-work-drinks spot.  Last night one of the girls made a bunch of food so we had dinner at her house and watched Deadpool, the non-superhero movie that came out last summer.  As I expected, it was not as good, funny, or innovative as everyone made it out to be.

I have today and tomorrow off work and I am very glad.  Training people is exhausting!  I have a few errands to run, a little apartment cleaning to do, and some homework, but I am just looking forward to relaxing a bit!  Also, how is it already February?!


(photos by e.gerhardt, and e.hunt)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Come Fly With Me, Let's Take Off in the Blue

Guess what?!  I, along with my Mom, Aunt Debby, and a friend of hers, are going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this summer!!  It was originally just going to be the three ladies, but then Mom decided she wanted a friend along as well, and that friend will be me!  I am so excited to be going back to Mexico.




Debby and I went there ten years ago when I was just a little sixteen-year-old junior in high school.  It was my first time out of the country, and the first stamp in my passport.  Fitting that it will also be the last stamp before I have to get a new one.  Ahhh it is going to be a lovely little ten-year reunion.  We will sit by the pool, drink margaritas, eat all the Mexican food, walk along the ocean-side Malacon street, and probably do a little shopping as well.



I need to start picking up a few more hours at work to pay for it all.  Mom found a really nice hotel that also happens to be pretty cheap, and she booked all of our flights at the perfect time; I think they've already gone up by over a hundred dollars!  She's such a good travel agent and now, I can't wait for summer!


(photos by e.hunt)

Watch Out Trumpa the Hutt, The Leia's of the World Are Here

Good morning and happy Monday!  Today is the last day of my mini work vacation, and I have to say, it was a great weekend to be off!  On Saturday Mom and I woke up early and drove downtown to take part in the Women's March on St. Louis, a sister march to the March on D.C.  It turned out to be a worldwide event, with marches taking place on all seven continents, and several million people taking part in the peaceful protest.  It's actually the largest protest march in all of U.S. history.  Pretty cool to have been a part of it.



The coolest part was the range of causes being promoted/protested, and the variety of people in attendance.  I saw people with walkers, people in wheelchairs, black people, asian people, men, women, little kids, and even dogs!  And almost everybody had a homemade sign.  A lot of them were funny anti-Trump puns, and a lot of them had to do with feminist issues, a few were about the environment and saving the earth, several were about immigration policies, LGBT rights, healthcare, and there were also a few Black Lives Matter signs.  There is just so much wrong with our new President and the enabling Republican houses!


Since Saturday, I've seen a few naysaying news articles and Facebook posts from people who think, 'What a bunch of sore losers,' or 'He's our president now so just get over it,' or the classic, 'What a bunch of angry women who just want free birth control and other free stuff.'  If you think this, you are gravely missing the point.

I marched because I believe in all people and think that they deserve the same rights as everyone else.  I think that women deserve to make their own decisions about their bodies and that religious people should be free to practice their own religions without fear or without forcing their beliefs on other people.  I think that America is about more than making business deals and we need to wake up to the fact that trickle-down economics DOES NOT WORK.  Just pick up any history textbook.  I think that politicians need to understand that many people do not receive healthcare benefits from their jobs, but they should still be able to provide insurance for their families without paying an arm and a leg for it.  I think that actual facts should be acknowledged as facts.  None of this "alternative fact" or 'I don't want to believe it so it must not be true.'  I think that if you want abortion to be illegal again, you better make Planned Parenthood even more accessible, and provide every opportunity for birth control and reproductive health, not to mention you better be all for welfare and other outreach programs so that the kids who are born to parents who cannot afford a healthy life for them at least have a chance of doing so.  I think that our newly instated government is headed in a very bad, and very wrong direction, and clearly, I am not the only one who thinks so.


To the naysayers and Trump voters, please realize your own privilege and try to see the world through people's eyes who are different and had different walks of life than you.  Be nice to all people and they will be nice to you.  I hope you all will join me when the next march occurs; it was inspiring, uplifting, and reminded me that there is still a lot of good in the world.


(photos by e.hunt)