Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bugs on Skin Again

 

 

More tattoo designs. This time, I focused more on the transparency of the wings. I chose not to have the cicada in flight so it won’t be confused for other insects.

cicada1cicada2

Started with a template. From here, we can add more details, colour, or filters.

cicada4  cicada5

cicada3cicada6

cicada7cicada8

cicada9cicada10

cicada11   cicada12

 

Yay cicadas!

 

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Lesbians and their sex

sexy

Just saw Blue is the Warmest Colour and it broke my heart. The past couple of months, with none of my regular shows on the air, I’ve been catching on films that I really should be watching, you know, movies that are meant to nurture the soul and make me a more cultured individual. Sorry, Fast and the Furious series. Just saw Room 237 too and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Most of these movies, due to the hard subject and the fact that it requires subtitles, often have me watching them all by myself. Which is unfortunate, really. I regret not having the same taste in movies as my wife.

Going back to Blue is the Warmest Colour, I’m surprised at the backlash the movie is getting due to its portrayal of lesbian sex, how it’s unrealistic and heteronormative. Well, I find that this is quite a common criticism of all lesbian sex in film, be it normal movies or the X-rated kind. I often hear that sex is often portrayed from a male point of view and that it is based more on fantasy than on anything else. Well, I’m sorry for all the lesbians out there, but I really think this is the problem with all sex in general not just for lesbian sex. I don’t really buy the notion that lesbian sex is this mystical thing that men just don’t have a grasp of what it truly is. I’m sure they’ll know if they asked (if men truly cared about real lesbian sex, that is). Men would know lots of things if they asked and if they truly cared about it (insert pleasing women in bed quip right here). It’s just that realistic sex, be it homosexual or not, maybe is just not that interesting when portrayed realistically.

Sex is rarely portrayed realistically on film. And if it is, it is often either so ugly that is deemed raw and controversial (like the ugliness of rape), or so normal that the players are either criticized or praised for showing off their less than ideal bodies (like the portrayal of sex in Girls). So yes, I forgive Blue is the Warmest Colour for the inaccurate depiction of sex. It is just a film after all.

And to the people at Posture Magazine. The way these lovely women reacted to the film. I’m sure that that’s how a lot of heterosexual people would react to watching heterosexual sex, whether it be from a major Hollywood film or a gonzo flick, when they are in polite company. Personally, when I see something, I’ll find some things hot, some things impossible, some things doable, and some things I’d want to do but I’m sure my significant other would never let me do. We’re not all that different, ladies.

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Insects and Tattoos

Been designing/brainstorming tattoos for a friend. Looking at cicadas.

cicada

Start out with a watercolor/ink wash.

cicada_b

Bumped up the colors.

cicada_b_pixel

Pixelize it.

cicada_b_pixel_small1

Pixelize it some more.

Just a start. Still drawing/painting/thinking.

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Ideas Cages Fired by Former Beatle

Bird_cage

I dreamt Sir Paul McCartney fired me for failing to properly proofread a book. That book being the encyclopedia, specifically the book under M. Granted, I assume I must’ve learned quite about from topics under A to M, but I woke up quite the sting, being fired by a knight and former Beatle.

2014 so far: I lost one of my clients because his company will no longer pay for my services. He admits that my services are far too costly to be coming out of his pocket so that was it. Just like that, I’m $400 a month poorer. Doctors also found that my right thyroid is a bit enlarged, so I’m being observed for hyperthyroidism or malignant cysts. So far, the bloodwork says everything is normal, but my cholesterol is a bit high. Ugh, not a great year. Though I’m not really at my most optimistic since I update my Website on Mondays.

IDEA: If this has been done before, let me know. Viewer/player/reader receives an envelope containing three articles: a newspaper article, an initial autopsy, and an interview from a witness. Five questions about the information follows. Getting four questions right leads to another envelope with more information (maybe another report from a different precinct, a detective agency, etc.). This leads to five more questions, etc. where the difficulty is raised and the person is not just asked to repeat facts but to piece together information. Getting questions wrong and not getting the next envelope leads to the wrong person getting arrested and the perpetrator getting away. The last question is who did it and what happened.

I’m thinking of cases similar to the Elisa Lam case, where a Canadian student was found drowned in a hotel water tank with no evidence of foul play and with footage of her talking to an invisible stranger in the hotel elevator.

So far, the idea sounds like a fun thing to do in a classroom. Students get together in groups, gets to discuss the facts, then answer the questions. They get them right, then they move on, etc. I’m wondering if there’s a way that would make the chore of answering questions a little more fun so that the viewer/player/reader doesn’t have to be confined in a classroom. The Letters of John and Abigail Adams (http://www.amazon.com/The-Letters-John-Abigail-Adams/dp/0142437115) sounds like a good template… perhaps mixed with a bit of Choose Your Own Adventure, but I don’t know how that would all work.

Just trying to find a way to write creatively and perhaps turn that idea into a product.

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Travelocity, “Allen,” and the mysterious Elroy Lobo

Tentacular

Don’t do it! DON’T DO IT! Don’t book that flight with Travelocity!

It’s been a couple of months, but I finally gave up with Travelocity. They messed up my vacation last year and I’ve been waiting for some sort of resolution afterwards, but have received none. Well, here’s the story:

I booked a trip to Canada on Travelocity. A month before the trip, I got an e-mail from them saying that one of the flights got cancelled and we had to re-book. Re-booking had us changing our whole itinerary which forced us to transfer in Detroit, something which I was trying to avoid. They blamed Korean Air for the cancelled flight. I trusted the customer service representative on the phone, a heavily-accented man named “Allen,” and went along with it.

Had a decent flight to Canada but really didn’t enjoy my lengthy stay in Detroit International. There’s a couple of jokes about Detroit that could be made, but we should all just move on.

The day before my trip back to Seoul, I decided to check my iPhone app which tracks my flights. I noticed that the last flight of my itinerary (on Asiana) was missing. This was odd because it’s the day before my flight and I didn’t receive any messages from Travelocity. I decided to call customer service, and lo and behold, I get to speak with “Allen” again. After being on hold several times, he tells me that Asiana cancelled the flight and I had to stay overnight in Tokyo to catch the next flight. And since I would be staying the night, I had to book a hotel, but I shouldn’t worry because since Asiana cancelled the flight, they would be covering my expenses no problem. Actually, I was more annoyed that I was missing a day at work and that I was told about the cancelled flight just a day ahead. Still, I went along with “Allen” since they already had my money (“No refunds!”) and I really had no choice at the moment.

I arrived in Tokyo and went to the Asiana kiosk. The representative looked at the records of their correspondence with Travelocity and it showed that they repeatedly tried to confirm the booking with Travelocity but for some reason Travelocity just simply didn’t respond to them. The flight wasn’t cancelled, Travelocity just didn’t confirm my booking either due to ignorance or ineptitude. So I was forced to stay in a hotel because it was too late to get in the flight. And since Asiana didn’t drop the ball and they have proof that it was indeed Travelocity that caused the problems, I should settle my hotel bill with them.

I stayed in the most boring hotel in Tokyo. Roomy but boring, nothing around but a 7-Eleven, the airport, and other airport hotels.

The next day, I arrived in Seoul and sent a message to Travelocity recounting the incident along with the proof Asiana agents gave me. I also requested for compensation for grievance and missing a day at work. I got a message saying that I should send my complaint to another Travelocity address.

I sent my complaint to the other address, and then I got a canned response saying my business was valuable and that they’re looking into it. In the meantime, I should send my complaint to the address I sent my first message to. I did and I waited. A month later, I asked for a follow-up and I got a canned response. No explanation, nothing.

Last week, I sent another message and here’s part of the response I got from a customer service rep named Elroy Lobo, probably a bot:

“Please be advised that we have made a sincere effort to address the issues brought to our attention. We assure you that no attempt was made to trivialize or disregard your comments and observations. While we understand your position, we feel that our resolution was fair and equitable.”

WHAT RESOLUTION? WHAT WAS FAIR AND EQUITABLE?

I could be angrier, but weeks have passed since the incident and I only lost a couple of hundred dollars. I’ve read horror stories online of people losing thousands, and not just normal trips, but significant trips like honey moons or group vacations. It makes me wonder however if that is standard operating procedure for Travelocity. Mess up people’s flights, have them send their complaints to various addresses for weeks, then finally have them give up as their tempers cool. It’s actually funny how the Better Business Bureau has Travelocity at an A+ rating when thousands of stories online are more horrible than mine. It’s probably because ratings and reviews have to be vetted not only by BBB but the business itself… which kinda makes the review process worthless.

In any case. Don’t do it. Save yourself the hassle and don’t book with Travelocity. Elroy Lobo, I know you don’t exist. I hope you catch a computer virus. And to all the “Allen”s I talked to, I hope you’re proud of what your doing, messing up people’s vacations and making First World life just a tad bit miserable.

Each time I have spare time, I try hard not to crank call “Allen” and make his life miserable, and for that, I feel like a saint. Living a good life is the best revenge, but annoying the heck out of “Allen” would really hit the spot right now.

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Morning Commute

Biker_flame

This is probably one of the most normal looking statues I made. Yay for normalcy!

Speaking of normalcy, life is back to normal. No more holiday stuff, so I’m just trying to recover from everything. Rest a bit, stay home for a while, save a bit of money, etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to rest much lately. Been busy with work and everything that I haven’t had much time to make art. I’m not really having a great start with my resolution of making more art.

Odd thing, I spent the morning talking about suicide with a couple of people I haven’t seen since last year. Our first conversation for 2014 was about suicide and how Koreans love to hang themselves, jump off bridges, stop trains, and suffocate in cars. I guess it all stems from highly stressful living and the stigma of going to a shrink. In this country, most people would only go to a shrink if they have “mental problems,” and stress, depression, and anxiety aren’t considered mental problems. This is akin to General Patton slapping and belittling “shell shocked” soldiers and telling them to suck it up. I can’t stress enough how valuable psychologists are and how they’ve helped me sort through my issues. I’m not an expert, but I’m sure South Koreans would see their suicide rate go down once going to the shrink becomes an accepted norm instead of being a source of stigma.

Going down the morbid route, one of the people I was talking to suggested that jumping in front of trains is one of the most popular forms of suicide in the country (happens once a week) because it’s relatively quick, as opposed to jumping off a building which takes half a minute, or drowning which could take longer. It’s the reason why the Seoul subway lines now have gates installed to prevent jumpers. Unfortunately, some people think this only increased the number of incidents of bridge jumpers, and some people would travel outside the city for the sole purpose of jumping at an unguarded subway track. Ironic. Travel an hour outside the city for a quick death.

I always thought that suicide should take a long time. It should take a week at least. That’s the way I would do it. Go to a country where you can easily get drugs. Party with drugs and prostitutes for a week. You’re going to die anyway, so might as well go out happy and check a few things off your bucket list. Who knows? Maybe you’ll change your mind in the process. Then after a week, pick a nice hotel, a really expensive one that won’t be driven out of business by the news of someone dying there. Continue partying, or just shoot a lethal amount of drugs in a tub.

Wow, that was a downer. I really should just make art instead of writing depressing things. Why the heck were we talking about suicide on a Monday morning?

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