Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DZ Fantasy Feature

I just got featured on DZ Fantasy's blog. Check it out!

In other good news, my boss gave me an extra day off! That's exciting because I get to spend some more time at my parent's and with some friends.

Today's favorites from Etsy!

Jupita makes some awesome bracelets out of beads and recycled Starbucks gift cards.

I really like Coffee Talk and I adore Star(bucks) in Her Eyes.
Maybe it's mostly because I adore the artwork on most Starbucks brochures, pamphlets, & gift cards, but I'm also a fan of the way Jupita cuts them up and there certainly is an art to how she strings them together with other beads.
And while I have never held one in my hand the quality looks stellar.

Lily Queen also has some lovely jewelry. I don't know if it's the most unique stuff I've seen around, but I just think it's put together beautifully.

I adore the clasp on the Berry Bracelet. And these Toffee Drop Earrings manage to be orginal and elegant at the same time. My absolute favorite, the one I would buy if I actually had extra money (oh how I wish I had extra money!) is this beautiful Flying Across the Lawn Bracelet.

She has TWO in stock which I find immensely comforting.

That Silly Girl is somewhat limited in her selection, but I love the Amy Butler Lotus Pouch. A little bit Retro, a little bit Modern. A lot orange. Just great all together really. So many things that look 70s also look tacky, but this looks 70s to me and it looks really, really class as well.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Mostly I'm not doing anything interesting on my vacation. I draw, watch movies and put up with my sibling's Fable obsession.

Last night Holly, Bethy & I went to see Valkyrie. We were out so late that I nearly suggested Bethy and I skip Sunday School because I was so tired. I wish we had, the whole thing was more than usually frustrating.

Tommorow, Bethy and I are going shopping because a beloved aunt sent us gift cards to Barne's & Noble. Bliss.

I've also been spending a fair amount of time promoting my etsy store because...well I'd like to sell things. But promoting it has also made me realizing how HARD it is to get exposure, so in the interest of helping others, here are a few of my current favorites:

The Pair A Birds makes lovely (and pricey) prints that I adore. The style is just amazing. I might be a little bit jealous - actually.
My favorites are Orson and Melba in the Field of Marshmallows, Ruby, and Poison Ivy.

I love the Whirl Ring by Rafya. I love the color and it just seems unique. The beauty of handmade. The "whirl" is made of cold clay (I have no idea what that is) but the base is adjustable. And $12 is a pretty sweet price.

The only reason I'm mentioning Faeried Treasures in this post is that I feel confident that the impressive lady who makes them will make more should the items I adore be bought up. If I did not believe this I would hide it from you all.
I think these little owl earrings are the cutest ever. Forget that owls are a fad - I would love them no matter what (and so should you!). These are actually made of vintage beads and come in a variety of colors.
I also love these In the Tall Trees earrings. They're so elegant!

That's it for today. I don't want to be overwhelming, but I do think I'll keep posting my favorites. Not many people read my blog, but some exposure is better than none - I think.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas and all that jazz

Christmas came and went, everyone loved their gifts, hurray and fun times.

It was a dvd Christmas at our house. My brother got The Empirers New Groove, the tenth season of Stargate, and I, Robot. My dad got the 3rd season of Star Trek, the first of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Get Smart.

We enjoy our sci-fi here.

Bethy gave Daniel a binary clock just to solidfy his nerd status.

I've mostly just been relaxing. I took a quiz on teen slang (I'm the coolest mom ever! Now if I only had kids!) and I've been posting on the etsy boards to try and increase my page views (and sales). I'm going to be featured on next week, so that's a plus!

Bethy and Holly both have to work so it's kinda slow around here, but on the up side, I got 10 1/2 hours of sleep last night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wave Jumping

My latest drawing. I did the actual line work while I was on the cruise, but I've only just now finished it up. The girl's swimsuit was inspired by one of the little girls on the boat, but sadly there was no wave jumping during the cruise. That was my one let down about the beach. I love to swim in the ocean.

Also, I've posted a new card on Etsy, so check it out!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Greeting Cards and Fun Stuff like that

My new Etsy shop is up at - I'm excited about it. Tell your family and friends. And, any feedback you have would be appreciated because I'm new at this and I don't know what the heck I'm doing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Etsy Shop Name?

I'm getting ready to set up my online card shop. I'm having trouble deciding what to name it though. I'm thinking that my current log on name of "littlecynicism" (which under etsy would also be my shop name) is not such a good pick. For one thing, my drawings aren't cynical at all. People usually coo things like "sweet", "dear" or "precious". For another, I've found that most people can't type the word cynicism correctly more than 5 times out of ten.

So, I know I should have my own ideas, but I'm kinda unsure.

Just to be clear, anything along the lines of "Melody's Art & Cards" or "Designs by Melody" is not going to happen. The trouble is coming up with something unique...but not so unique that people can't remember it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Shopping

It's that time of year when everyone expects you to get them stuff, so it's time for another shopping post by me. Last year's posst continue to get the most hits out of anything I write. Not all that surprising.

I'll start off by plugging the Etsy shop of my friend Crystal aka indiglow84.

Crystal makes her own felted beads, the necklace and earring set pictured also feature some nice antique beads. I also especially like this necklace with green felted beads with tiny sea shells, but of course the butterfly necklace is lovely too, so I'd really recommend any of them.

Of course if you like the felted style there is plenty out there for the clinically insane...

I've not linked to them because the likelihood of anyone wanting to purchase them...

She's not selling them on Etsy right now, but Crystal also makes some cute magnets. I can only assume that she'll be selling them at the craft fair (December 6th!).

Pretend for a second that felt is the theme for this post, because I think that these felt trivets I saw on are awesome. They come as a set of four (in one color).

I'm also a fan of the Bow Lovely Wristlet Clutch from Fred Flare. I'm always a fan of wrislets because my friends seem to boycott purses. Since my purse is huge I end up holding their keys, ids & whatnot. If only they owned one of these (or any) wristlets they could carry it all themselves without feeling so weighed down! I love all things Hello Kitty and so do both of my sisters, so I consider these vinyl Hello Kitties from Urban Outfitters would make an adorable addition to any gift. And at $8 each - so affordable! My one complaint is that you can't choose which one you get, which almost ensures that I will get the one that is least adorable.

Still obsessed with trees, so I think this 100% post consumer recycled material journal with unlined paper - is amazing. The cover's made out of cherry wood!

Continuing the tree obsession - this Little Birch Jewelry Stand (also from Urban Outfitters) is all natural looking (except not, because it's metal).


Saturday, November 22, 2008


I've had a bad week. In four days I've been in two car wrecks.

The first one was decidedly not my fault. The second was a slide off.

Most of the backroads were ok, so I decided to go the short way. I don't know what I was thinking. I shouldn't have risked it in any case. But I did. And I was fine...until I wasn't.

That last road was a sheet of ice and I was only going about 20 mph, but all of a sudden I was also going through a barbed wire fence. Normally when things like that happen you see it in slow-mo. Like the in the movies. This time all I remember is that one second I was on the road in complete control of the truck and the next I was plowing through a fence. There's no in between. It happened that fast.

It's always a weird feeling to me when disaster hits. Because it feels as if my world should be ending. I should be miserable. I should be hysterical. But I'm usually, almost always, quite calm.

I had to work myself up to cry, because I knew I should cry. Because I knew it was awful.

The Amish guy, whose fence was bobbing around in the air, was really nice about the whole thing. Really nice. Like, unfathomably. I just want you to understand how nice he was. There was nothing strained about it. He wasn't angry. The niceness wasn't out of obligation. It wasn't strained. And when he told me not to worry about replacing it, he meant it. It was weird, kids, but oh-so welcome.

I called the office and told them what had happened. It was so completely surreal. People do not have lives like this. Not unless they're me.

One of my co-workers sent her husband out to check out me. He let me know that I should call the cops, since there was property damage. Then my boss came out and sat with me while I waited for police and the actual dismay over what had happened sunk in.

It was a pretty depressing day. I'm not normally sad a lot. I know I don't strike people as being uber happy, but normally I am happy. The lack of happy was almost as bad as anything else that happened. I was so worn out by it that I went to bed around 8 pm and slept for 12 hours!

Today was much better. For some reason walking around in the hidious cold for a couple hours today felt really good and the movie Twilight was not nearly as awful as I thought it would be. I...actually enjoyed it.

I hate what happened, it makes me feel like a terrible person. I hate the amount of money involved and I hate that I broke something. But I can't change it now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Night Time Snow

My latest card design. At first I didn't think I was going to like this one as well, but now I think it might be my favorite of the three.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today was sort of non-descript. I designed ads, I fixed photos.

Then I left work and slammed into an old lady running a light.

At first I thought that she just drove off, but it turns out that she slammed into a barbed wire fence. Another lady and two cars of teenagers pulled over to see if I was ok. They'd all seen the lady pull out in front of me and been afraid they were going to hit too. They all agreed to stay and tell the police what they'd seen and they were good company while we waited for the police to arrive.

The policeman was very nice, but he wouldn't let me drive my car away. Might have been something to do with the panel hanging off of it. I'm really hoping it isn't totaled, but I won't know that for a day or two.

My arm hurts, but I think it's just jarred a bit. We'll see how well I feel tommorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sad Day

I've been lusting after the Nikon D40 ever since I heard it was coming on the market. I had decided to buy one on Black Friday if I could find a good price. I was browsing online to see what a D40 would go for right now and I came across one that cost $333 on
I saw good reviews for them on another site so I decided to go for it. I bought a warranty for another $60 and received a confirmation e-mail.

The next afternoon I was woken up from a much needed nap by one of their sales reps confirming my order. He confirmed my address and then tried to tell me that the battery that comes with the Nikon D40 only lasts for 10 minutes. I would need to buy a 1 hour battery for $59 or a 4 hour battery for $89.

Kids, what battery costs $89? Why would Nikon make such a battery? Even being only semi-conscious, this seemed outrageous. I told the fellow so and he insisted that if I found a lower price they would match it and that he could put my order on hold for me until I was sure I wanted to order.

I browsed online and found many replacement batteries for the Nikon to be as low as $13.99, but the clincher for me was when I asked on a Nikon D40/D60 Flickr Group and I got 25 variations on this reply,
"[Broadway Photo is] a scam. The D40 battery is the best in all the camera lines. You can get a D40 battery for cheap on ebay.

Their scam is well reknown, offer a camera cheap, then require a confirmation call. That is where they either say the camera comes without battery and charger, or hard sell you into expensive add ons that you don't want or need. If you refuse to buy, then your camera is put on back order forever. If you cancel they charge you a "restock fee"."

They also pointed me to resellerratings where I discovered that 9 out of 10 people had terrible experiences with Broadway Photo and at least one person had their credit card number used fraudulently soon after their order was placed.

A few people got camera's in good condition after being firm with the salesperson. But most people who went through with their order from Broadway Photo got immitations or their camera was "back ordered" (one person called in pretending to be someone else and discovered that they had 36 of that camera in stock!).

After my innitial findings of cheap, long lasting batteries for the Nikon D40, around every corner - I called Broadway Photo. I hung up after being on hold for about two millenia (or ten minutes, but still kids).

Then I e-mailed Broadway Photo and let them know that I was not impressed with their company and was considering canceling my order. That $333 was just soooo tempting though that I idn't want to cancel just yet (I did not mention that, I told them I could get it almost as cheap elsewhere...and I can, just they're probably a scam too).

But after seeing and hearing from my new Flickr friends I knew I had to give up on the wildly cheap price and resign myself to paying whatever moderately cheap price comes along on Black Friday.

I called a few minutes ago and told the Broadway Rep I wanted to cancel my order.
"Ok!" he yelled cheerfully over the insane amount of noise in the background, "Would you mind telling me why you want to cancel?"

I explained the discrepencey between their battery prices and every one else's battery prices.

The smug Indian (supposedly this company exists in New York, but I heard no evidence of this) wanted to know where I had gotten my information. He thought he had me, I could hear in his voice that he thought I didn't know anything about anything (after all, if I did why would I be buying from them?). I told him I talked to other Nikon D40 users and that they said the battery that came with their D40 lasted for hours and hours. They didn't have to buy theirs seperately and when they did it didn't cost any old $59 either!

"Hahaha," he cackled, "But they paid $499 for theirs didn't they! Even with the battery you'll save $70!"

"But the batteries don't cost that much. I checked. I can buy the same thing for $20."

I couldn't understand the next bit, so finally I just interuppted and said, "Sir, I know it is a scam. You're trying to sell me some cheap piece of crap. I want to cancel my order."

Then he was an angry Indian. He told me that they weren't a scam and that I needed to check all my facts before I started accussing anyone of anything. I was about to reply that he needed to improve his customer service, but he snapped, "Your order is canceled. Goodbye!" You'll just have to imagine the tone. It wasn't friendly.

So, now I'm feeling a little depressed. I thought I could buy a camera and buy some boots to comabt the snow in, but now it seems I will have to choose...and I know boots should win, but kids I SO want that camera.

My new Flickr friends suggested I buy my camera from B&H, Adorama, or Amazon - but those would be refurbished. On reseller ratings got mostly good reviews and they're selling for $419 brandnew, plus they'll throw in a free 4 gig card. Maybe I'll buy from them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holdays are delicious

Actually, I'm not all that big a fan of gingerbread. I like my sweets sweet. But, while I'm more of a sugar cookie girl, I like the idea of gingerbread.

I think I usually draw my people by themselves lately. It used to be I drew a lot of people together. One of my favorite things to draw was a whole crowd of people at a fair or the mall or skating rink. But lately they've been on their own. It's sort of understood that the person they're smiling at is just off the page, but even so...maybe I'll try putting a bunch of people together in my next card piece. Family togetherness and all that.

I'm going to try and print at least these two designs this next week. I'll be selling stuff at a little holiday craft fair on December 6 (get in touch if you want details, there should be a lot of good vendors) and hopefully getting up on in the next week or so.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good morning, to you

Yesterday I was in such a pathetic mood. I just didn't care at all about my work. I think I was just too tired to care. I was trying to get through my day without an energy drink, which I did, but it was not a good day to give that a go. So this morning I've had two full nights of sleep in a row and I had an energy drink and thankfully I'm actually excited about designing ads today. Good thing too because we're doing a special section for a local sale and the ads are all full color and different sizes than we normally do so they're pretty much adorable and it would just be such a shame to be apathetoc about that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Winter Wonder Girl

I'm designing my own Christmas cards. This is number one. I know it has nothing to do with Christmas actually...but honestly I can't do justice to angels or the nativity scene and the idea of drawing a bunch of children around a Christmas tree is a little nauseating, though maybe I'll give it a go one of these days.

Ironically, I love presents and happen to think that the nativity would be the main point of Christmas, but I hate snow. Still, the snow is pretty and while I'm not so puritanical that I believe religious imagery to be putting up idols I'm not sure that I care for the idea of a cartoon Jesus. So snow it is. Besides, when you have snow you can have cute coats and hats and gloves! And this way if I miss Christmas (as I am all too likely to do) they can just be nice wintery cards. Wintery cards are good too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

DuVal St.

My however many greats uncle was Daniel DuVal. He was the first governor of Florida. Hence DuVal County at the top of Florida and DuVal St. at the bottom (in Key West).

I'm sitting in the Bad Ass Coffee shop on DuVal St. enjoying the palm trees and the pleasant weather. I'm moving down here some day kids. Maybe not to Key West, but to Florida.

I love the architecture & the plant life it makes me homesick for plaes I've never lived. I don't remember my family's homes in Cocoa or Melbourne. I remember the beach and my absolute fear of the waves. I remember cutting my foot on shards of broken pottery, burning my hands on our electric stove, and my terror of the Pirates of the Carribean ride in Disney world.

My happy memories of Florida come later on our two week vacations to visit Indialantic (The Blueberry Muffin has the absolute best breakfast of anywhere), Melbourne (good antiquing if you know where to go), and Miami (scary, scary, scary - we were never allowed outdoors alone!).

It's nice to have this break. It may be warm in Indiana, but this is bliss.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Musical Motels

I'm sitting in a hotel room finishing up the movie "Titanic" - probably not appropriate viewing the night before you're supposed to be boarding a large boat. On the other hand, I somehow doubt we'll encounter many ice-burgs in the Caribbean.

Robin and I are spending tonight in Miami and tomorrow we board our cruise. We are not at Ocean Surf, the hotel we had reservations at. We are almost positive that told us there would be a shuttle from the airport to the Ocean Surf hotel. As a point of fact - there is no shuttle. Not to that hotel.

Instead we hopped a shuttle to a surprisingly nice Days Inn. I was sad at first because I couldn't see my relatives in Miami, but as my aunt was stuck in an early voting line all day I suppose I wouldn't have seen her anyhow. My mother also informed me that she read an online review of the Ocean Surf hotel which proclaimed it to be like sleeping in a dorm room with rough sheets, a hair on every pillow and surly staff.

So maybe it's all for the best.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Greeting Cards by Melody

My cards finally got printed today. They turned out really well so I think I might draw up some Christmas cards for myself too. Eventually I'd like to sell these on Etsy, but before I can do that I need to get my printer to commit to a faster turn around time...and I need to figure out how to best ship them.

Maybe I'll think about that after the cruise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ooh Expo!

After hiking through the woods a couple dozen times this weekend I was a bit worried about how I would hold up at the Graph Expo today. I shouldn't have worried. By the time we got to the McCormick Center I was already giddy.

Being the sole representative of my company at the expo might have made me feel really grown up...except for my "business casual" attire of a hoody & jeans...and the fact that my objective for the expo was to grab as many freebies as possible.

So mostly it was like college, except that being with people from our split off company I sometimes had to actually listen to what vendors were saying. But that was fun too because I got to play pretend and act like maybe I actually knew what was going on. Even more amusing was when I actually did!

The only sad moment in my day was when we were driving up to the center and I thought about how funny it would be if I ran into Prof. Davis with a new group of graphic design majors going to their first expo. Oh yeah. That can't happen.

The rest of the day was, literally, a bunch of giggles. Leslie and I laughed. All. Day. Long.
I don't know the last time was that I've laughed so much. All the other attendees looked serious and bored the whole time. We laughed about ev-er-y-thing. Vendors, freebies, other attendees, demonstrations. All funny.

And I did get a ton of cool freebies. Mostly posters, but I got a nice pen, a usb-multi-port, a bag & some spiffy die-cuts too. A lot of the posters I had no interest in because mostly they were just pictures of pretty, often scantily clad, women. Could it be because most expo attendees are men? But towards the end we visited the HP booth and, whatever HP lacks in service (it's a lot) they make up in posters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

right now

Just a random office doodle. I colored it a bit. Just for kicks.

Today was a good day. I think doodles help my mood.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ft. Wayne is Not My Friend

After I graduated college my parents moved from the house I grew up in out into the middle of nowhere. For a long time it was simply impossible for me to visit without first getting lost somewhere in the middle of Indiana.

Since my youngest sister, Bethy, goes to school in Ft. Wayne I usually pick her up the way and she usually had to endure a couple hours of, "No wait, maybe this road is the one that...oh, is Muncie on our way there?" No. Muncie is not.

I've been pretty good about it this past year though. We usually make it back in record time.
This weekend was not one of those times. When I got to her school we talked for...too long...about the school's looming demise. Then my sister announced that she had library books to return. "Ok we'll stop by the campus li- oh, the Ft. Wayne library. Oh it's close and easy to find well o-" No children. Close may describe the library, but easy to find. No.

It seemed easy on map quest. But in reality Map Quest doesn't seem to understand that a one way street...well it only goes one way. Makes it hard to turn onto if you need to go the opposite way. Then there was the fact that the roads did not actually intersect where Map Quest said they did.

Eventually we got out of Ft. Wayne, but not before I took the wrong road trying to leave.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is your boyfriend a soldier

Ok, way back I posted about my roommate's boyfriend being a soldier and the shirt I designed. Well, that shirt hasn't been printed, but at cafepress I now have available a whole host of shirts, hoodies, mugs, stickers, buttons, pins & so forth. There are two designs,"My boyfriend is a Soldier" & "My Boyfriend is in the Army".

Because of the way that cafepress is set up I have to set up different shops for each design - so this should be, well interesting. But, given the excessive number of people who are dating boys in the armed forces I think that at least some people will be interested in buying my stuff. My actual art work might be a bit harder to sell.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In today's news

A while back I posted about a lady sentenced to public humiliation for stealing from Wal-mart.
She had to hold up a sign proclaiming her theft.

It's happened again. Except this guy rammed his car into a close gate while drunk. He has to hold up a sign saying, "I was stupid."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is not my life

Currently trying to come up with a logo for column in the mag. You know, I think unpaid writers may be the most pretentious people in the world?

Now, I don't use this word lightly as I think that it is mainly abused by pretentious unpaid writers (it's right up there with misanthropic, which is fun to say but shouldn't pop up nearly as often as it does), but it fits.

Note that this is not about paid writers. These people have to actually work to come up with something that pleases their client or boss, just like the rest of us. Because when the paid writer receives their work back with red ink all over it they can ramble all they want about compromising the integrity of their work, but to receive payment they will make those changes.

The unpaid writer has no reason to not ramble. And ramble they will. Frequently about inane topics such as who they handed a safety pin to twenty years ago or, in fits of absurd superciliousness, quoting themselves.

But it doesn't end there. One ill fated day they will send you an e-mail suggesting that they need their own logo and a column header three inches high.

Since all we pay our writers is the ego boost of seeing their name in print I suppose this is something akin to a raise in pay.So perhaps this could all be solved by handing our writers a couple of dollars every month. Just as long as we never pay them by the word.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Star light, star bright

I don't exactly get bored in meetings, but my hands need something to do. And, somehow when I'm thinking about something other than drawing, I draw better. I do some of my best sketching in work meetings or church (while I'm also taking notes).

I also like to sketch while I'm watching tv, but that doesn't take much thought and it also involves looking at the screen so the quality level varies.

Of course sometimes I do delightful drawings when nothing much is going on, so maybe the difference is all in my head. It probably has nothing to do with my setting and everything to do with something silly like what I ate the night before.

At work I draw illustrations for a collection of stories we're printing. Those can be quite hard. The office is great for designing advertisements, but not so conducive to illustrating. Lately I've been having a hard time doing quality work on those illustrations.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Summer Glow and Corporate Greed

I went tanning for the second time today. Each time I was told completely different things about what I should try as a new tanner, but I took today's advice do I know which one is right?

The whole thing with Malibu Tanning, I'll tell you why Malibu Tanning is evil:

In January I signed up for the Malibu Tanning VIP membership. I was told that you sign up for three months of unlimited tanning, $20 each month. It was a wedding expo and my friend was getting married, so I thought it would be nice to be tan for her wedding. The nice, tan girl at the Malibu Tanning booth told me they would need my credit card number then in order to get the deal, but that I could come in to any Malibu Tanning and activate my account any time in February.

I never came in and figured that since it was not activated I wasn't being charged. Now, I should check my bank statements closer, I should. But I didn't notice until much later that I had been charged every month for a service I'd never activated.

When I called I went through a lot of rigmarole with unfriendly people...only to find out that Malibu Tanning has a policy against refunding people for services that they haven't used.

Because kids, because I could have come into Malibu Tanning and used the service I did not know I had at any time. It's not Malibu Tanning's Fault

I can't find the contract I signed. Legally Malibu Tanning may be in the clear - and certainly the amount isn't worth hiring a lawyer over. But, if Malibu Tanning had even the ethics of Wal-mart, they would have refunded the money they took...for a service I was never provided.

Malibu Tanning would not lose out by refunding my money, because they never provided any service. Not once. But evidently getting something for nothing appeals to the owner of Malibu Tanning.

I begrudgingly offered two months of unlimited tanning "free". Two months when I paid for seven. I pressed farther and got three.

When I complained that lady on the phone kept saying, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her it was unethical, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her I'd be informing all my friends that Malibu Tanning enjoys cheating people out of their hard earned money, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her that she knew perfectly well it was unethical and that if it were her she wouldn't be taking any lousy three months when she'd paid for seven, she paused, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

In the end I took the three. I don't suggest that anyone do business with Malibu Tanning. I will be writing to the owner and describing my experience. I'll post the contact info when I find it, in case anyone reading this has also had a bad experience with Malibu Tanning.

When I went in to Malibu Tanning a couple weeks ago my roommate came with me. She had also bought the VIP plan, but they'd stopped charging her after a couple of months so she stopped going in.

When she went to buy a package (I didn't think she should, but she wanted to keep me company) she was old that Malibu Tanning had been charging her card for the past several months and it was about to be sent to collections. Malibu Tanning hadn't been able to actually charge the card because it had been reported lost or stolen. But they kept charging a lost or stolen card.

Her case is stronger than mine. She wasn't paid up so she never would have been able to use the service those months that they've charged her for. Malibu Tanning's argument with me was that I technically could have - even if I was hindered by knowledge. They wouldn't have let her use their service - so she shouldn't be charged.

And that kids, is why - if you're going to tan - you shouldn't choose Malibu Tanning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Freedom of Speech?

We all know that Freedom of Speech has come to include pole dancing and porn, evidently it doesn't include misinformation or even divisive information - not if it's about Senator Barrack Obama.

I'm researching as I write, but I think it would be hard to fake a video like this one - I'm pretty sure that actually is a clip of the St. Louis evening news.

This blog has the same video, but with quotes and statistics.

If you're concerned you can easily find contact info for St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce & St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch.

I believe my roommate is putting together a somewhat more balanced and thoughtful article on her blog. Trying to include both sides and what-not. Personally, I think that the news clip itself sounds menacing - forget what the commentators have to add.

Over at ABC News, Jake Tapper thinks Republicans are over-reacting.
He says,

Gov. Matt Blunt, on official state stationery, said, “What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment."

None of the prosecutors or sheriffs on the "Truth Squad" have said they'd use their law enforcement powers as part of their task as "Truth Squad" members.

But on the news it sure sounded like they'd be using their law enforcement powers. He goes on to quote Bob McCulloch,

"I don't know what charge anybody could be talking about there is no such thing; libel is a civil matter entirely," McCulloch said. "What I said was if it is a lie I'll call somebody on it and say that's a lie; tell us the truth. That gets morphed by those with these very sinister motives," the prosecutor said. He added, "It's morphed into 'they are trying to intimidate people into not talking.'"

It didn't take a lot of morphing. It's what it sounds like.

Mr. Tapper quotes reporter John Mills as saying,

"in the retelling of the story, it got out of control. If they think a group has put out a misleading ad, they’re basically going to call a press conference and say the ad is misleading," Mills told the News-Leader yesterday. "I’m sure the Republicans would do the same thing."

Press conferences are lovely and I'm all for Obama having as many press conferences as he needs. But I agree with the Governor that it sounds like these people would be using their power to tell people what they can & cannot say.

Well, The Sarah Conner Chronicles is coming on, so I'll just let you kids make up your minds on your own. If you want more info you can easily just google "Truth Squad" & "Obama".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This Day

I used to do a lot of journaling. It's very good for figuring out what's going on in my head.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debatable Debates

I'm watching the candidate debate right now.

I'm pretty pleased with what McCain has to say, but I think it would be more interesting if I had someone to watch it with. I'm recording it, so maybe I'll turn down the volume and read a book!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doodle, doodles everywhere

My weekend projects.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The colored lights brightly shine

I got pulled over this morning for going 17 over the speed limit. I explained to the officer that it was actually only 10 (well it was) and that's all he wrote me up for. Then he gave me a number I could call and if I say I want to "work something out" evidently the ticket will not get put on my record. I kinda envisioned picking up trash on the side of the road and that sounded wretched, but if it got me out of paying for a ticket I'd go for it. When I told the story at work I found out that actually they want MORE money for it to not go on my record. Extortion?

Friday, August 29, 2008

"So you're insane"
"That's what being young and single is for, right?"

My roommate and I are about to do something absurd.

No specifics, but let me say that it will involve approximately 36 hours of driving and we're not really stopping anywhere.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Suitable Suitors?

That guy called again last night.

Just as a guide for men everywhere, here are some topics you should NOT bring up when calling a girl for the first or, indeed, the second time.

1. Your sex life, or lack there of. At some point this becomes important, but not the first time I talk to you.

2. The sex life of anyone you know. Or anyone you don't know. Really, sex just isn't a good "getting to know you" topic.

3. Lack of money, lack of job, lack of education.
If it comes up, it comes up, but for heaven's sake don't go out of your way to tell a girl that you have nothing to offer.

4. Do not have a conversation about how you don't know how to have a conversation. You may think you're excusing that reacurring awkward lull, but you're really just confirming my suspicions that your thoughts are not worth voicing, much less listening to.

5. Please do not ask the girl if you're annoying her. If she's polite in any sense of the word she cannot tell you the truth.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm always jealous of people who have these beautiful friends who are willing to pose for photos, seemingly, all the time. My friends mostly refuse point blank.

That's why I spend two & a half hours photographing one of the highschool students tonight. She loves to pose and I'm desperate for people to let me take their photo, so it's pretty much perfect. She brought along extra outfits to change into and everything! So much fun.

On another note,

I'm much too tired to explain fully why Malibu Tanning is a bad company. But since Malibu Tanning is all too happy to take my money and provide nothing in return - I am compelled to mention that Malibu Tanning is in want of a conscience, as often as possible.

More on this and why even Wal-mart loves you more than Malibu Tanning, at a later time.

Goodnight kids.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh, no.

Every once in a while one of my friends decides that I need to date somebody. They know this guy and they think we'd be great together.

The worst example ever is courtesy of my friend Mary. She called me up and told me about this guy, noting that her fiance had adviced against trying to set me up with the person and that if she just couldn't help herself she should at least warn me. Justin, thank-you. I knew then that Mary was with a very smart man.

Having successfully avoided every summer get together that Mary invited me to (Yes Mary, I avoided them), I wasn't about to skip Mary's wedding, but was unafraid because Mary would have much more important things to be thinking about.

My problem is that I'm too optimistic.

I was introduced to a young man comprised entirely of limbs and a foolish grin. Two sentences were sufficient to tell me that a "great personality" was not going to redeem him. I was traumatized, but Justin got to say, "I told you so" before they'd been married a full hour.

So tonight I get a call from a number I don't recognize. I thought it was from a friend whose number changed - but a guy's voice answered. Then I remembered.

One of my friends knows this guy. She gave him my number and evidently everyone he knows has been telling him to call.

I don't know what he looks like. I don't have to. One conversation. One.
I already know that this fellow would drive me up a wall.

Friends, family, boys & girls of all ages - don't set me up with anyone.

I know, I know. I should be giving people more of a chance.
I never know what could happen. Yada, yada, yada.

Kids, I do know what could happen - and homocide is not in my life plan.

My (Roommate's) Boyfriend

I designed this for my roomy. We saw a shirt proclaiming the same message, but it was ugly. Why should having a boyfriend in the army mean she's going to wear an ugly shirt?

Yeah, we couldn't think of a reason either.
It's also available like this:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Driving home I passed a buggy...pulled by a teenage boy.

I really wish I'd had the courage to pull the car over and ask if I could take his picture, because it would have been awesome. But I didn' no picture. I keep telling myself that next time I will stop...but it hasn't happened yet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mini Road Trip

Yesterday afternoon I took off for the midde parts of Indiana.

For a while I drove between cornfields thinking how pretty Indiana farm land is. Those thoughts stopped abruptly when the road turned the gravel and began to lack proper signage. When I got close to my destination my googled directions stopped making sense any left over admiration for the landscape was swept away with a phonecall in which even the people I was trying to get to weren't quite sure of their location. It turns out that they live on a corner of their county - and it connect with another three - which confuses google...and me.

When I arrived my friend, 'Chel, apologized and reminded me that she hasn't lived in Indiana for three years. Her roommate, Sonya, pointed out that in Deleware the roads so as to avoid this sort of confusion.

We went antiquing, which mostly consisted of browsing in one shop that was already closed and another in which the old man kept us an extra half hour talking about nothing and how much we would probably like to escape him.

Dinner was comprised mainly of food that I hate. Fish and sauerkraut. And a layered salad, but I like salad. It was all delicious. The fish was Alaskan Pollock - I have no idea if it was the type or the flavoring or the fact that it was grilled over the fire, but it was so good. The 'kraut was ok because we put slivered almonds on top to kill the bite.

Afterwards we watched 'Chel's brother turn buckets into shrapnel with homemade fireworks while the rest of us gathered around a campfire with a "chimney". A campfire chimney is a hollowed out log that is placed on top of a fire. The suction makes the flames shoot out the top. It's spiffier than it sounds.

Then we burnt a huge pile of tree trimmings and that was pretty much amazing.

It was a good time. Plus, I'm pretty pleased that I was able to talk to everyone easily enough. Normally I do badly with new people, but it was fun.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ooh, sparkly

I just like to mess around with my drawings on the computer. Some day I hope to sell some of my stuff on a site like Etsy or...something...but I'm not really sure what to put on there or what to sell or...anything really. I'm thinking about starting with some cards or something. I think people might be more likely to buy cute notecards than just a cute print. Notecards have a purpose, prints are an indulgance.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I was just taking a quick break from my current illustration and scanning the Relevant news slices when I saw this story about a stamp depicting the American flag with one white stripe too many. I'm not sure how the artist managed to paint her flag this way. As a kid growing up in America I remember painstakingly counting stars and stripes in a futile attempt to depict our nation's flag accurately. How is it possible that Laura Stutzman, a professional artist, didn't take the time?

Since I'm in the middle of illustrating a book full of short stories that are largely from another time and culture than I live in I've been spending a lot of time in online research. My current project (the one I'm taking a break from) is a picture of a tramp eating dinner with a family in the 1930s.

I had no idea what tramps or farming families were wearing at the time, so I googled tramps, 1930, the Great Depression, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Films are great for getting details about another era if there aren't many pictures of the actual period. I like to assume that the costume department at Universal did its homework.

Before that I was working on a story with three women careening down the road in a car in the 1950s, but most of the stories involve Amish, which are easier and harder to depict. Easier, because they haven't changed much in the last 50-70 years, so a photo from last week is often just as good as one from the actual year the story took place. Harder, because I've only been around Amish people for a couple of years and I don't really know the culture.

For example, Amish have different wedding traditions that we do, so if I drew an Amish wedding I'd have some issues (we've already had this problem in advertising).

Half the time I can't figure out if the story is about an Amish family or not so I end up quizzing my boss on Amish customs, traditions, and names to figure out what I should be drawing.

Some of the stories I simply can't draw. Most of them take place on farms, which I have less experience with than I do with either the Amish or the 1930s!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm a regular reader of the Relevant website. I'm also a graphic designer who has a love/hate relationship with threadless. Love, because there are some awesome designs submitted...hate because almost none of them get printed.

So, when I saw RedisWhite advertised on Relevant my first thought was, "Oh good. Another Christian product rip off." And, to be fair, it is just a less awesome, Christianized threadless.

On the other hand, I was impressed with some (some) of the artwork on RedisWhite.

And I have to be all in favor of more opportunities to submit designs and get printed (since nothing good is printed on threadless lately).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Watercolor Seashore

My mom and I did some painting while I was home . It was probably the first time I've painted since I graduated college. Clearly watercolor is not what I'm best at, but I thought I'd post it anyhow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I want to believe

Probably no one reading this blog was an x-files fanatic. I wasn't a fanatic exactly, but I loved that show. Hard to say why since I never believed in aliens or paranormal activity, but my sister and I used to watch it every night.

My best friend love it too. Her mother had recently gone conservative when we found our love for x-files, so there was no watching them on tv, but we rented them from the library on a regular basis. Don't ask me why that was different, I still don't know.

When the first movie came out we didn't see it in theaters. It was 1998 and none of us could drive. Our parents weren't inclined to take us. But afterwards when it came out on video we watched it over and over and over.

It picked up after the show had ended. Scully and Mulder were both with the FBI, but had been separated and assigned to other projects. But of course the X-Files find them.

And Mulder's assertion that, "If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced," rang true.

But the unexpected was what we expected. There were aliens, government conspiracy, abductions, cover-ups and a frantic search for the truth, which would ultimately be covered up again at the end of the movie, so the X-Files could live on.

The movie I went to see last night picked up eight years later with Scully doing unfullfilling work at a religious hospital, where mean clerics thwart her attempts to save a young boy's life. Mulder, mean while is hiding out in his home office with newspaper clippings about the old days.

Not that there's any reason for you to care, but there are spoilers ahead.

The FBI is missing a young agent and declares that they need Mulder to help find her. Well, they're clearly at the end of their rope because they've enlisted the help of a pedophile priest turned psychic and mainly what they want Mulder to do is tell them if the fellow is faking or not. Scully pushes Mulder into doing it and then gets angry when Mulder gets involved.

Somewhere in the movie we find out that Scully and Mulder are living together and had a child who died and, like the dying child in the hospital, is completely irrelevant to the story.

Long story short, the agent was abducted by some Russians who have been kidnapping people and using them for stemcell research.

That's the whole story. Russians and stemcell research. No conspiracy. No aliens. No unknown. No X-Files. Just Russians.

This summer's movie selection gets more depressing all the time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh Ohio

This afternoon my mom sent Bethy and I down to the meet processor's to pick up some beef.
While we waited on our change, Bethy pointed out a sign, "Notice: We no longer accept or process roadkill"


V is for Vacation

I'm home visiting the family. Friday night was traditional crazy story night. Everyone tells everything absurd that has happened to them since the last time I was home.

After that Bethy and I stayed up till two making up crazy stories. Not like we sit around saying, "Ok, once upon a time..." but all of us have the habit of just making up stories when we talk, about what "really" happened or what might happen.

I don't even remember Saturday, we goofed off a bunch I guess. More stories. Daniel always likes to hear stories about when I was little or when he was little. It seems impossible to him that our parents were ever obsessed with computer games or the latest Indiana Jones movie. This time they were more about the trauma he gave me when I was baby-sitting. He doesn't remember, but he's positive his actions were justified.

Sunday... the parent's church. No one ever remembers that I'm out of college there, but then one remembers that I'm out of college in Indiana either.

Our old youth pastor now teaches the college/post college class. He and his wife weren't good youth leaders, but it's hard not to like them as people. The pastor's daughter is easy not to like. She must be nice to some people, because lots of people like her, but whenever I'm there she's incredibly sour.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mary HAD a little lamb

It's time to bid farewell to Mary and her...well I guess the lamb was already gone. The point is, that the person who was hosting the image let their photobucket account expire or deleted it or some silliness of that sort.

Now we have the butterflies...I'm not sure how long they're staying. They are more cheerful than Mary & Co., but for me the most cheerful thing would be if this blasted thing fit the screen right. Sadly I don't know enough about code to make that happen.

So. We'll probably be seeing another change soon.

The Sun & the Sea

I stayed up much too late finishing this, but I'm going on vacation tommorow and I won't be near photoshop for over a week. I just needed to finish.

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