Monday, April 29, 2013

Gays on Sports Teams, What About the Locker Room?

I'm perplexed.

Let me get this out, front and center, before I continue. I have nothing against gays. I just don't care one way or the other about any individual's sexual orientation. Doesn't personally effect me. So don't even try to twist my words. I don't care if you are hetero, homo, bio or solo.

Okay that all addressed, here is what's got me perplexed. This kid coming out of college, Alan Gendreau of Middle Tennessee State, a kicker looking for a spot on an NFL team via the draft. I've not done a lot research on the matter. I understand he is a fine kicker, but kickers don't often get picked up in the draft. But what if he did get drafted? What do you do with the shower/locker room situation?

Okay, the gays might say, well it is no big deal he's not into the straight guys so don't worry about it. But do you really know? He likes guys, that is the definition. You can't just throw a straight women into the mix and say, "ah shucks she's not interested in you, don't worry about it"   She likes guys by definition.

Is it a matter that the larger percent aren't interested in the smaller percent that should be the criteria? As in the rest of the players, aren't gay and have no interest in the gay guy so don't worry about it. But with one women and a bunch of guys it matters. What if that one women were gay? Does it matter still, cause you know she's got no interest in definition.

What if the larger numbers were gay guys and one hetero? Does it matter then? What about on female sports teams, where I understand there is more openly gay players. Let's say half the girls are gay the other half are straight. Half could be, by definition, interested in the other half, but it is a bunch of women so does it matter now? I've never heard of separate locker rooms in women sports.

How do you rectify it all? Why are men and women locker rooms separate now? And bathrooms, why separate? Isn't it based on the sexual interest of one group for the other? If the sexual interest of men and women toward other men and women is not going to be the deciding factor of how you segregate a locker room then why the hell does it matter whether we are talking about sports teams or society in general? Right now there are gay and straight guys standing next to one another pissing into a urinal or even a trough.

What the hell does this all mean? "dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.", to quote Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters",

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What is the Destination? Am I on the Right Path? The Mysteries of My Life.

It's one of those weekends with nothing scheduled, the weather is crappy and my mind wonders. Yea, you've read these wondering thoughts before: minimalism or simplify my life, change direction, boost readership here, how to make money doing something else, live on a boat, live without a home, join the Peace Corp and etc.

I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and just wondered around for 4 hours. Up and down the aisles. I didn't have any particular objective or thing I was looking for, was just letting the titles jump out at me and see what happened. Well, that isn't completely true, I was curious if there were any books about purging your life of everything. There wasn't, or none that obvious.

I don't know why this theme intrigues me, but I partly think it stems from the realization from backpacking that I can survive with very little, and I'm surrounded by stuff I've accumulated over nearly 50 years (yea I've got stuff stuck away from early childhood). Not that any room or area of my home is cluttered looking, quite to the contrary. I do have a large home (6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and 9 TVs) and we use them all regularly accept the spare bedroom which is only there for guest, normally family, and then only my wife's family.

The thought crosses my mind occasionally, when I'm away from the house, if the house burned down is there anything I'd really miss or not be able to replace. As long as nothing living was killed, I can't think of anything. There seem to be all sorts of blogs (Becoming Minimalist) on the subject of minimizing your life, jumping ship, pursuing your "passion", so I guess I'm not alone in this regard. Just no books it seems.  The blogs get huge traffic though.

Blog I did pick up a few books on blogging to see what they had to say about increasing traffic.
If you've been a reader of this blog prior to today you might notice some changes. Mostly accidental as I changed the layout and lost my last layout cause I didn't think to save it. But now I've added some "gadgets" suggested to improve your ability to follow me. Also going forward I will create better file names for the images I upload. I didn't realize the search engine spiders see those and I've always named files so I know what they are on my computer. Not so you can find what you are looking for. Stupid me.

An idea did cross my mind that I may add another section to this blog. My working image of the idea is "Sidebars". Discussion about things that I specifically enjoy. Things other people of the same ilk may enjoy reading. Things that are not so much about my mindless dribble and doodles but more niche in nature.  I have some seedling ideas of subjects: backpacking, scotch/bourbon/beer, cigars, being cheap, and personal financial planning.

The financial planning thing may throw you, but that (shhh, keep this on the low down) is what I do during the day.  I enjoy the helping people part of it, and have often said I'd do it for free but my life won't let me, but I hate the aspect of it that I have to worry about making a buck from doing it.  I've considered writing a book on the subject, mostly because what I've realized is all the currently high profile talking heads (Susie Orman, Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard, Terry Savage) on the subject don't say anything different than what I say, but they get paid huge amounts and I just spout the gospel for peanuts.  Over and over and over again.  Rather than doing a repeat performance all my life, put it into words and just pass it out and consider it done.

So you can see I'm once again all over the board.  It is only by looking back that you can realize how far you've come, and yet it is today that you so badly want to know how it will look from the future.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boobs and Ethnicity - How Not To Be Offensive

The other day I was starting an illustration for a project I got hired to do.  As I as doing it, I realized the context was appropriate to include some ethnic diversity.  Okay, let's stop with the politically correct beating around the bush.  I felt I needed to add some blacks and Hispanic/Mexicans to properly represent the subject matter.

Look, I'm a white male.  Admittedly, not on purpose, but I tend to draw white males unless there is a specific reason not to.  As with most cartoons the characters are representations of people.  And the short hand of cartooning is to use easily recognizable clues to represent whatever you are are drawing.   So therefore cartoonist obviously use stereo types, but doing so could run afoul of individual sensitivities, and I'm not by nature a mean person who wants to hurt anyone.  I'm really a sensitive guy even though I lean to the side of, "stop being such a cry baby and get some thicker skin".

So, what is my issue?  Well first it was what is the most appropriate way to illustrate a black person in a black and white drawing. Do I focus on the hair and not color the skin?  Do I address the hair and skin color, but than how do I shade them?  Is it appropriate then to put dark white boy like hair with dark face to illustrate a Mexican?  And an Asian, straight white boy hair colored black, some shading of the skin and narrow eyes?  They are all obvious stereo typing clues that should be easily identifiable, but since I'm just a white boy do I not see what could obviously be misinterpreted as offensive?

As all this ethnic diversity crap is bouncing around in my head, on Linked In one of the groups I follow a member post a question about: "why do women cartoonist/illustrator gravitate more towards books/magazine illustration work rather than comic strip/editorial/greeting cards."  This was the poster's observation.   All the other members of the group were able to point out individuals that didn't fit the premise of the question and of course that would be the case.  As is often said generalities don't apply to everyone.

This got me to thinking of a few women cartoonist that did or do strip and panel cartoons and it quickly dawned on me all the women characters don't have boobs.
by Cathy Guisewite
Roz Chast
Elly from For Better or For Worse,
by Lynn Johnson

Or at least not any boobs that most real life women wouldn't of been contemplating an implant.  So my simple conclusion is that women cartoonist don't like to draw boobs, and hence in order to avoid drawing boobs, they gravitate towards children's books and magazine illustrating where the need to draw boobs regularly isn't as likely.

Again me as a white male I guess I tend to exaggerate the boobs to make sure there is some identifiable difference between the boys and girls.  Otherwise my girls might wind up looking like a a bunch of butch dikes. (Which there is nothing wrong with that if I needed a butch dike to illustrate my subject).

Monday, April 15, 2013

No Money Coming From My Butt

It is true I do not have money coming out of my butt, contrary to my kid's belief.   Not that I wouldn't like money coming from any orifice, including my butt.   Kids will absolutely drain you dry.  At every turn they want something or need something.

Now I've never been one to hand over anything they ask for, no matter how much they beg and I make a very distinct effort to impress upon them the NEED versus WANT reality of the world.  Lately it seems like there is just a lot of needs.  Like, Christ, could school lunches be anymore expensive.  They spend more a week on lunch then I ever did when I worked out of the house.  Really, and the variety of choices they get in the school cafeteria.  Whatever happened to give 'um a soy-beef burger or a square piece of cheese pizza.  Throw in 7 tater tots and call it a day.  Sports are a completely other subject and why the hell I'm expected to pay to play and pay to watch is beyond me.

Both my sons have become clothes horses.  You'd think they lived with the fucking Bushes at Kennybunkport  (I know it is misspelled I don't feel looking it up so fire me).  Every time I turn around one or the other of them is hounding their poor mother (literally poor along with me) about some piece of clothing they feel they have to have.   Luckily they are leaning toward the "prep" look and not some freaky emo skinny jean or other warped fashion statement.  Now to my wife's credit, she hits Ebay and if she can find what they think they need she get it for pennies on the dollar.  While I shop at the local Goodwill.  Which you can find some bargains if you have time to rummage. I even accepted some of my older son's hand me downs.  He out grew them.  (he's starting to get dunlap disease).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day Dreams, Night Dreams and Distractions

I find myself lately having these great, profound thoughts but never at the time I'm sitting in front of my computer where I can blog.  By the time I get here I'm a blank slate, and can't stir up any random, insightful things to talk about.

Maybe that is good for you.  Maybe it is better for me that I'm not harboring all these seemingly frustrated feelings and negative energy.  Or maybe I have just become "comfortably numb", like a frog in a pot on the stove.  Rib-it!

I do know this week I felt completely disorganized and found it even harder to take on task that I really didn't want to, like paperwork.  God I hate the paperwork side of what I do.  When I close a deal I almost can't enjoy the victory because I know I have a butt load of forms to fill out and chase down signatures.

I felt more creative this week but have restrained from embracing the feeling in an effort to attempt to focus on what task are paying the bills right now.  Oh, that struggle continues.  I thought I could allocate a few hours a day to the cartooning day dream, but find the real world sloshing over into my fantasy world.

I have had some really bizarrely realistic dreams the past several nights.   Dreams that I wake up from and wonder whether they are some sort of premonition.  One involved an end of the world scenario and my anxiety over trying to keep from getting shot, and finding my own guns while being cornered in my house where, of all people, my sister has staged a drug induced, hippy sit in with her friends.  (she is not a hippy or druggie and I haven't spoke to or seen her in years)  Last night's dream I went to visit an old girl friend for a Saturday, (which would require a flight) and the entire visit was complicated by her and her husband constantly moving locations of sitting that would put where I was sitting out of proper conversational alignment.  Things like I'd have plant or TV in my line of sight.  It was as if I wasn't wanted.  This was all interrupted by a smoke detector that decided at 4am its' battery was low and started that incessant "tweet" every 30 seconds.  I finally realized what it was.  Got up and took it out of the ceiling.  Went back to bed and the dream continued...I couldn't stop it.

Well that is more writing than I thought I had in me.  I've got to hop.  Saturday spring clean up lawn chores await.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Ever Tell Your Wife She Is Getting Fat.

1st Panel: Husband: I'm gonna get you up in the morning for a walk.
Wife: Why?

2nd Panel: Husband: If you don't get some exercise you're gonna keep getting fat.

3rd Panel: Husband: Well that's some kind of gratitude.  
(also considered "Give me a second to rephrase that.")

I made this quick doodle the other day then I wasted many hours trying to pull into Photoshop and manipulate it  My thought was I'd change it to non-photo blue and ink it, or ink it in PS.  Ah, not so much.  Trying to ink in PS is still a coordination issue, hand - eye and lack of practice.  The non photo blue idea, although may work but it was a hassle cause I can't print out to a format larger than a piece of copy paper.