Sunday 28 December 2008
Struggling to make interesting art for fearful clients who insist on the familiar (read: inert) is infinitely less painful with old movies running in the background. The soundtrack for half of my work time is music, but most of the rest is set to the dialog and noise of classic film. Peter Cook's disinterested delivery of, "You fill me with inertia," in the classic Drimble Wedge & The Vegetations scene from Bedazzled while finishing the mockup that is so good it will be rejected out of hand makes me realize why the chemically imbalanced believe their televisions are speaking directly to them.
Lots of good mail from good fellow designers. Listen up: The compromises we make for clients increase with every dive the economy takes— plummeting in direct proportion is client taste. Contrary to the myopic (and, ultimately self-serving) pronouncements of the weberati, if you build it well and beautifully and socratically, they really aren't going to come with anything other than a meaningless award or two. So, make the compromises and complain, if you want. Just pay the bills and take care of your own shit. And, don't, DON'T rely on the sacred cows' generosity or loyalty for your direction or livelihood. Your best interest is not what they're looking out for— that would be your original ideas, observations and hard work. Keep them for yourself and your own clients, and be very very careful about selecting from the jobs they toss to you like chum during financial crises— the nature of hamsters is that there's never enough choice food in their overstuffed little cheeks.
The kid's in Atlanta for the end of Hannukkah with Richard's brother and his family. We're delighted that he's made this first trip out of Maine all by himself, and his absence is felt. But, man oh man, do we love being naked in our own house, alone. It's like a weeklong honeymoon, which is fitting since our anniversary is this coming Tuesday. Speaking of, what am I doing writing to you when I could be hanging with Hottie McHusband? -Leigh
Monday 08 December 2008
Beauty Kill: For 30 years, Clinique's no-frills "balanced makeup base" in porcelain beige (mixed 50/50 with moisturizer) has been the foundation of my all-occasion meet-the-world face. Balling like an ugly baby at the movies? No streaks and no reds; just kissable cheeks. Sweating like Richard Simmons at the club til 4am? No residuals; just a healthy glow. Waking after a night of libidinous contortions that would make the Jim Rose Sideshow Circus send a talent scout? Just juicy skin and too-many-to-count questions like, "How do you look so beautiful in the morning?". Not to mention the times I know my glow's made my ex's bite their knuckles after running into me when they refused to disappear off of the face of the earth after our breakups.
It's sheer, dewy, has NO scent, fits my skin regardless of what kind of chemicals my body is producing (or ingesting), and never makes a mess. It just works— from teens through tumultuous 20s, distressing 30s and now, inching closer to 50. In 30 years, brief flirtations with other (including Clinique's own "improved") foundations clogged, stained, muddied, ruddied, streaked, dried, smeared or made me look like I was auditioning for an anchor position on cable news. And now, the rat bastards are discontinuing the color and probably the foundation altogether. So, what's a chain-smoking, sun-avoiding KKK nightmare (Russian & German Jew, Creole black, Choctaw, and coon-ass cracker) supposed to put on her face, now?
On a happier note, my mad crush on librarians is only matched by the one I harbor for accordion playing mamas. If you haven't had enough big, salty, cinematic lushness with the new Mad Maggies CD (and who has?), get yourself on over to their shop and snag a special Accordion Babes Calendar & CD set including tracks from each of the monthly squeezers and a calendar that will make all your friends jealous. -Leigh
Tuesday 02 December 2008
Grateful days blended into one— our first Thanksgiving weekend in Maine that did not revolve around the mannerless simpleton who held our schedule hostage until the last minute just because she could. Liberation! Not even the power outages most of Tuesday and Wednesday could dilute the gratitude. Photos of the love are over at flickr.
My beautiful man spent most of yesterday in voir dire for jury duty. He was dismissed when asked if he would be prejudiced toward a man who caused grievous damage when he shook his own baby. I already knew he was not that man's peer. I think the sadness of the case seeped into our night and was as responsible for the tears as much as Antony's astonishing performance during Berlin, which we finally watched. Beautiful, dark, haunting and exactly as the album (my favorite by Lou Reed) felt in my head these past 35 years. I'll never again take the piss out of all the sad bastard reunion tours, again— well, at least not if produced by Julian Schnabel.
In keeping with the theme of parental horrors: The Baby P case has revealed that child welfare agencies are more harmful than helpful to children at risk; a new Department of Family and Protective Services report says that infants and adults shouldn't share a bed, and; the Nebraska legislature has discovered that many parents find they're not ready for the job. Okay, then. I suppose just blinking is an inappropriate response, here?
Working late into these wee hours, but made the time to add some Frightened Rabbit to soundsmacked for you. Wishing Good Arms for all of us. Send your words to keep me company. -Leigh
Friday 28 November 2008
Muslims do not do this. The animals with guns and bombs who are terrorizing, maiming and killing innocent strangers in the name of a god are not Muslims. They are animals with guns and bombs. My prayers are in Mumbai, this morning, but especially with the Muslims who will surely be blamed by the ignorant for the actions of psychopaths.
It's more than a little disconcerting referring to this day as "Black Friday" in consideration of the dire economic crisis we're facing at the moment. I keep picturing people who barely make enough money to survive as it is going into crippling debt to buy useless crap just before they're laid off and lose their homes because they can't make the mortgage. I'm as distracted by shiny things as you are. Let's just look, this year. We don't need to own them. I'll send you pictures of things I see and you can do the same for me. Every eMail will be like a new present. Oh, and all you wingnuts who get up at 3am to get to the 4am "door buster" sales on curling irons, you should probably pick up a cigarette lighter converter for those new appliances, because you're going to be living in your car by Spring.
A dreadful Guardian style piece on Eartha Kitt took down a long time idol of mine (yes, Julie Newmar is hot, but she's no Eartha Kitt Catwoman). Could those photos be any worse? Her "pieces of me" and their accompanying snippets of trite more depressing? Even the Emmy looks tired, and we've already been to the distracted by shiny things place. Someone at the Guardian got a digital camera and typewriter as an early Christmas present, methinks. I can hear the conversation, now. Hack: "I'm bored. You never talk to me anymore. You're always working for the Guardian." Hack's significant other: "Here. You're a journalist, now. Go take some pictures and write some captions and we'll put it in the Style section." Bastards.
Thanksgiving was as peaceful as I'd hoped. Dinner at our place with friends was relaxed and comfortable. Richard, Yusuf and I worked until 4:00am due to power outages in our 3rd-worldish infrastructure until 10pm the night before. That's okay. I caught up on all of my back issues of The New Yorker and we all actually talked for a couple of days. Yes, I said, "talked." A short family visit to Winterport after lunch and the quiet drive back was lovely. Not half as lovely as the evening alone with my beautiful man. Grateful days. How were yours? -Leigh
Tuesday 25 November 2008
Yes, I'm a bit late on this one, but, happy day, anyway: "When I'm older I'm going to look back and say I went to Barack Obama Elementary School." [Teonte Jackson, fifth-grader]. Hempstead, Long Island's smart students renamed their school. Obama's legacy isn't going to be restricted to these shores: Antigua's highest peak will shortly be renamed Mount Obama. Now, can we ask Bush & Co. to leave early? Please? I'm astounded at the unadulterated hope in the face of the Bush regime's global economic crisis that's about to smack us down so hard our grandchildren are going to reel from it. By "us," of course, I mean anyone who's not a bailed out board member or executive.
Just so you don't get too comfy, have another slice of life in the wilderness: more disgrace in the great state of Maine as police investigate KKK signs along hiking and bike trails. Ironically, Maine's cities have been ranked among the nation's safest. For whom, exactly, I couldn't tell you. I'm still trying to figure out how to wear kevlar without donning one of those LL Bean Michelin Man coats of which the downeast ladies are so fond. Speaking of, do us all a favor and give yourself the once-over in a mirror before you leave the house, okay? And, it's back to work I go. Bye, ho. -Leigh
Sunday 23 November 2008
Immersion in Eugenio Recuenco's work is kind of like watching the entire Twin Peaks 2-season box set in a single weekend— everything and everyone around you seems to be hiding a sinister underbelly. Perfect inspiration for holiday communications for my clients. On balance, finally watched Kung Fu Panda and loved it even more than expected. Now, thanks to a brilliant trailer, I have to wait another year to see Monsters Vs. Aliens on DVD. You bastards. Too bad current straight movies starring 3 dimensional people aren't half as good as animated films of late. Finally, loaded up soundsmacked with more Descendents for the lovely and talented pedantic romantic just because. Here comes a short work week. -Leigh
Thursday 20 November 2008
Snapped this shot of the Maine-iac in front of me as I was leaving the island to head into town for supplies yesterday afternoon. And, you thought I was exaggerating, didn't you? Those requests for kevlar vests and tazers are heartfelt and sincere, baby. (Make sure you read the comments attached to the linked article to get a real picture of our neighbors.)
Paying bills and making the card and letter list are intertwined this week, all the while fantasies of escaping to London's new rough luxe and the Christian Dior and Chinese Artists exhibition in Beijing with my man for our 2nd wedding anniversary (nearly 8 years together!) dancing in my head. Unless we can make the couch fly, we're going to be curled up on our island entertaining friends or watching movies, playing backgammon and listening to music while the kid visits relatives in Atlanta (our holiday present to him). His increasing independence, his continual present to us. And, we haven't even started with the Thanksgiving thing.
Working on the final elements of the new Eric Hopkins site and some flash loveliness for Davis Polk. Will link you when finished. Short and sweet, today— more over the weekend. -Leigh
Monday 17 November 2008
Feeling elated about Jordan Gruver's $2.5m verdict against the Klan, won by the Southern Poverty Law Center on Friday in Meade County, Kentucky. Gruver was 16 in July of 2006 when he was brutally attacked by IKA klanspussies, Jarred R. Hensley (24, of Cincinnati) and Andrew R. Watkins (26, of Louisville) on a recruiting drive at a county fair in Brandenburg, KY. Particularly satisfying is the tattoo on the big fat head of IKA's Imperial Wizard, Ron Edwards: "FUCK THE S.P.L.C." I wonder if it will throb as he's writing the checks?
Nice to watch you go down, IKA. One down, 887 hate groups to go. Hate groups in our country have seen a 48 percent rise since 2000 thanks to anti-immigrant rhetoric spewed by politicians and media pundits who promote bias against Latinos [stat from the SPLC's The Year in Hate]. That would be the same country that now has a black president.
Before you start ragging on all of my southern brothers and sisters, three things: 1) I am from the south; 2) The Southern Poverty Law Center is based in Montgomery, AL and is staffed by a predominately southern crew, and; 3) I live on an island in Maine, just about as far north as you can get within the US where a) "in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into 'The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool,' saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. 'Let's hope we have a winner,' said the sign." [c/o The Guardian] and, b) "Police are investigating two incidents in which black figures were left hanging by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island the day after Barack Obama won the presidential election." [c/o American Muslim]
So, my elation about Jordan Gruver's case is tempered by remembering that only a little more than half the country voted for the most competent, inspiring and uniting presidential candidate we've seen in my lifetime. In my opinion, what that means is that only a little less than half the country are hatefully, deliberately and willfully stupid. And, I live among them. So do you. Sleep tight. -Leigh
Saturday 15 November 2008
Just finished watching the first episodes of State Of Play and am again simultaneously delighted to my soul with the excellence of British drama, and sickened to my heart at the dreadful, shameful state of American television. If you snag State Of Play on Netflix, make sure you get both discs or you'll kick yourself.
A smart man (whose The Nappy Diatribe column I've been following since I found him on Twitter) made me cry, yesterday, but in a good way. This is why we love Humanity Critic. The way he makes us laugh helps, too. Speaking of men who bring the funny, this account of an attempt to collect a debt made everyone in our house laugh so hard it hurt. Link via regular read, weirdsmobile.
In response to SMD: Living outside of the web dev fray leaves the eyes open to the navel gazing myopia of the sacred cows and experts. Listen to your elder web states(wo)men and pay attention to their wise words, but please don't take yourself as seriously as they do themselves. For the most part, they're self-obsessed old curmudgeons who (a) will criticize anything new for which they or their tiny circle jerk of "friends" can't take creative or discovery credit, (b) are constantly seeking approval and praise with an infantile fervor, and (c) will smack you down if you so much as breathe a word about the reality of communication design in the real world for clients with actual budget constraints and needs that don't quite meet the lofty goals of the weberatti. Just keep going. Don't let them stop you. You love your work, I love your work, and so do your clients. You inspire me, and that's saying something, these days. Added Wild Beasts to soundsmacked to lull your own Fuddy out of Duddiness. Geezerly yours, -Leigh
Friday 14 November 2008
Planning our finances over the next few months is not exactly the kind of holiday prep I'd hoped for this year. I'm thinking that it might be a lovely idea to just send cards and letters to everyone and donate to some organizations that will spend the small amount of money left in the budget on infinitely more helpful things than cheap trinkets in expensive paper and bows. These are my picks, but I'd like to hear from you about others before the checks go out:
More over the weekend. -Leigh
Thursday 13 November 2008
For the first time in years, I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving at our place. We'll be cooking together all Wednesday night, hopefully with David, who'll most likely be flying in from Puerto Rico. We're having an early lunch with the people who love us enough to share the gratitude at our table in our little house that my friend, Jenna (who's bringing her man and her sister) and my mother (now gone daddy gone) dubbed a hug. Later, we're off to my in-laws (his Dad's) for only slightly stilted drinks and afters. It's going to be a drama-free family thing, and I can't wait.
Skip this paragraph of parental sap, if such things nauseate you (as they do me): Yusuf is buying his first car tomorrow— with his own money that he saved over the summer. We gave him Richard's old Chevy truck and if he can drive that cantankerous contraption (and he has for the past year), he can drive anything. It's probably going to be a Honda Civic he's had his eye on, and when he realizes he can now drive for more than a few miles without having to stop at a gas station, he's going to be really pissed at us. Even more so when he realizes that small cars handle better and are way quieter. It must be so hard to be our kid. Not that I'm snickering. Much.
Found these free ObamaBats so you can add our new President to your art. Like this fat fashion flickr group that's inspired to make a "What Are You Wearing?" section for such a pretty face (coming as soon as I set up my tripod). Listening to The Twilight Sad this week and liking so much I dropped one of their songs into soundsmacked. Added 4 heavily notated pictures of the office for Gail to my photostream this week, plus a last look at the black beauty, so have at it. Good morning! -Leigh
Tuesday 11 November 2008
Veterans (or Armistice or Remembrance) Day is a holiday from work for most. We're supposed to be using this down time to honor the men and women who sacrificed and died for our countries in times of war, great and small. I just can't seem to get it up. All I can think of are the 97,084 civillian casualties of the war we started in Iraq, and the 400k+ dead and 2.5m+ "misplaced" in Darfur. I want my friends, their kids, spouses and parents to come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, now. I want all of the people who are lost, displaced, evicted and mourning to have a home, now. Some things last too long a time. These are my prayers, today. -Leigh
Monday 10 November 2008
Am positively obsessed with the Shiba Inu puppies playing and sleeping live at ustream. Have been keeping them in a small window as I work and find myself wondering where little green collar guy is or what's going to happen when they get too big for the little bed where they play and sleep. Leigh needs to get a life, me thinks.
Had to give my baby up in trade for an infinitely more socially acceptable and financially viable little non-badass ride. There is not a reliable or skilled mechanic within 100 miles of our island. I tried 5 and Daddy another 3. All flaked completely after leaving baby with them for up to 10 days at a time, mumbled vaguely like Boomhauer without ever answering a single question satisfactorily, or just plain ripped us off (fuck you, Merchant Auto in Hancock). Thankfully, the utterly wonderful Bruce at Wing Auto in Brewer, Maine who traded with me will be using parts of baby to restore a 1946 Continental (It's to die for), so her heart will beat on.
Really wanted to trade for a behind-loving, mint condition, charcoal/pearl grey 2001 Lincoln Presidential Town Car Cartier L with extended wheel base, individual climate controls, stock Alpine CD changer, leather interior, sun roof, alloy wheels and just read the review for more. With the depression looming, thought it would be best to drive off the lot owning a vehicle outright— no car notes. So, now, my ride's a black 1996 Nissan Maxima whose most exciting feature is its enlarged cup holder. I'm officially a new member of the auto hoi polloi. Man, does my big ass miss that Lincoln suspension.
With that, I'll leave you a little smack and a few prayers for good sleep, if you can indeed sleep in this morning. Gotta save something for tomorrow... -Leigh
Friday 07 November 2008 [wee hours]
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me. 3 years after the disheartening Katrina response— the last straw for this already fed up round the way girl, at any rate— the hope that kept me updating this site has returned. Congratulations, fellow electorate. Now that I know at least half of you are not wearing hats full of crazy, here comes the nonsense. Sweet dreams. -Leigh