mind expanding nonsense

Archive for January, 2012

Learn to Draw

As you may have noticed, I’ve been featuring a lot of my drawings lately.  Typical responses (from those not totally disgusted by ’em) are:  “How talented”, or “I wish that I could draw”.  Well, you can, and I’m gonna give you a little tutorial so you to can draw just like Hansi.

When I was a kid in the fifties, my first learn to draw book was “Learn to Draw” by Jon Gnagy.  It was a step by step book on how to end up drawing like him.  He even had a TV show where you could draw along with him.  My other source of inspiration was  the inside of matchbook covers, where there was often an illustration for you to copy, send in with some money, and if good enough, win some sort of scholarship.  I was too busy playing with fire back then to pursue that one; usually ended up burning the whole matchbook up.   [ How many matches in a matchbook?  20…the same number as  in a pack of cigarettes.  What a co-inky-dink].

So let’s get stared.  First, get yourself a pencil and some paper.  Second, and here’s the most important part, get yourself properly medicated.  How on earth are ya gonna draw at your best if not medicated?  When I was fighting crime and had a “mental health” caseload, my mentally ill probationers functioned only as well as their medication compliance.  So if proper medication will keep a schizophrenic on the right side of the law, proper medication can also help ya  learn to draw.  [Cool slogan , sounds like something Jessie Jackson would say, flawed logic notwithstanding]. That’s my little secret to artistic success.  So, assuming you’ve just gotten highly slightly medicated, close your eyes, conjure up a vision of your choice (they just happen naturally with the right medication) and copy it.   That’s what I do.

Listening to good music while drawing is also important.  If you’re into classic rock, stay with Led Zeppelin, and try to avoid Black Sabbath.  Ozzy gives me the creeps when medicated, and I get so paranoid listening to him that my visions kinda stray over to the dark side.

Pen and ink vs. pencil.  That’s were ya gotta make a choice of medium.  The medium you chose, and don’t confuse medium with small, large or extra-large, effects the look and outcome of your drawing.  The first three of mine were done in ink (tends to show up better), while the one over there    >>> is a pencil drawing.  Can ya see the difference?  Well I can’t either to tell the truth, but pencil gives ya a softer line, And, you can erase it easily when ya screw-up, as I occasionally do.

Well boys and girls, it’s a simple as that.  Just close your eyes, wait till ya see something really strange, then draw it as fast as you can before you forget.  And before ya know it, you too will be filling your blog with wonderful illustrations from a rich fantasy life.   Sure beats politics.

Serving Up A Couple Of Hot Ones

In my ongoing schizophrenic attempt to decide if this should be a humor blog vs. a straight-up art blog, I present for public consummation consumption, a couple of my latest hallucinations.  I’m dieting right now.  Wonder if that had any influence on the subject matter?

OK…I know; everything is totally out of proportion, but that’s one of the perks ya get when drawing in an altered mind state. Also, in America, bigger is always better and more is what we depend upon; unless of course you’re a Tea Party Republican and it comes to government, then less is always more.   And furthermore, I don’t have any life models to draw from; none of this stuff ever prances around my living-room. I call her “Submarine Sandwich Lady”, and I was sure hoping that she’d stop by my house, cause I had the munchies.  Actually I’m starving. Sugar-pea pods , as healthy and beneficial as they are, just ain’t as satisfying as Sub loaded with greasy-ass cold cuts and cheese _ hold the olives.

A Couple a Visions


I’ve Been Callistafied

I guess it’s no big secret,  but I’ve got a bad case of the Hots for Republican women.  I mean, menopausal and all, Sarah Palin is a fox.  And Michelle Bachmann, while crazy as a loon, still isn’t ugly, and provides me with a rich fantasy life which usually includes  lots of leather and whips.

Well Adios girls, ol’ Hansi been Callista-fied.  I’m smitten with Newt’s #3, Callista Gingich.  In fact, I think I got it so bad that I may have to register as a Callistaphile.  I don’t want this post to sound too much like a good old country 4 H contest where young aspiring future farmers parade their trophy livestock in front of everybody to see who’s got the best one,  but that little lamb of Newt’s…Ewe-eeee, does she look fine, in a high maintenance sort of way, and is certainly finer than any of the other GOP spousal herd.  I know I couldn’t afford what Newt has.  [We’ll talk about what he likes (as if that ain’t obvious) latter.]

I guess it’s the hair.  Yeah it’s got to be the hair…’helmet hair’  I think it’s called.  And she’s been placed into it real well.  I’ve never heard her say a word on TV, but that don’t mean she doesn’t know how to use her mouth.  [keep your minds clean].

Well, Callista Louise Bisek was born in Wisconsin in 1966.  Was class valedictorian at Whitehall Memorial High School and graduated cum laude from Luther College in 1988 (even though she was Roman Catholic).  That’s some smart gal!  From 1988 to 2005, she worked as a staffer in the US House of Representatives on the Agricultural committee.  It was during this time that Newt, while indulging  in a liberal experiment with open marriage, apparently first started putting the staff to Miss Bisek.   [Come on now, you know I couldn’t leave that one untouched].

I guess what I like about her, besides being a 45 year old ‘hottie’, is the power she might have over the old Newtster. Now here’s some bi-partisan truth:  All men are pigs and think with their dicks; and brother Gingrich is a man after my own heart.  But does cheatin’ on #2 with future #3 have any reflection on a man’s character and what he might do as the most powerful man on earth: President of the United States?   Why HELL NO!

Newt just traded up to a newer model, and anyway it’s all the Medias fault, and that includes all you liberal bloggers too.  Newt is sticking with his conservative principals and only buying what he can afford.  Lavish maybe, but no deficit spending when it comes to poontang.

I think maybe I’m getting myself into trouble here.  I’m gonna catch hell for this one.  I think I better put on my foil lined Callista helmet and get back to La La land.

Grow Your Own

Sounds like some sixties druggie talk about growing your own dope.  Maybe, and this post is gonna be about horticulture and growing plants that are beneficial to one’s well-being, but this isn’t about that.  I’m talkin’ bout growing your own food and gardening.

I’ve been an avid organic gardener since the early 70’s.  Read a lot of Rodale books and have been into it ever since.   Living off one’s garden and home grown produce is a trip.  Ever notice the difference between a store-bought tomato and a fresh just picked one?  Even gets trippier when your have orange, green and purple tomatoes too.  And now, even in winter, going out and eating sugar pod peas right off the bush is a delight ( picture above).  Pull a carrot and I’m in heaven.

OK, I’m lucky.  I live in Southern California, fifty miles north of L A, by the coast (Pacific to be exact) in a Mediterranean climate where we rarely get frosts.  And did I mention,  my house sits on what used to be, and is right next door, prime agricultural land.   So, take what I say with a grain of salt to anyone who is freezing their ass off in a colder climate.  Anyway, it’s summer for everyone in the southern hemisphere.

I was over at a buddies house just the other day; he too is an avid gardener.  We were checking out his garden, and while munching on some kale, marveled how we were both able to eat directly from the garden. [How profound]. It’s really not that hard to do.  You just got to do a little research and a whole lot of paying attention (that’s the hard part for me).

The coolest thing about gardening, besides being able to act like an animal and get down on all fours and eat stuff right off the bush, is getting into how things work.  I mean, what makes things really happen, and discovering the growth patterns of different plants.  What nutrients they need, what conditions are necessary to make them thrive.  Kinda like Weird Science, or getting a chemistry set when you were a kid; except now I’m not so much into blowing stuff up.  [Yep, those are tomatoes, still on the vine in mid January].

It even gets better when it actually starts to work, and things start growing.  But ya gotta wait, just can’t eat seedlings, that’s why they invented sprouts and sprouting [growing stuff in a mason jar].  Nope, you want your plants to grow up and be all they can be.  So you got to encourage them with some water, plenty of sunlight [provided from Above] and fertilizer.  Fertilizer is what plants like to eat, and they prefer stuff like manure and compost.  Don’t think “eating shit”, but rather…well I guess they do eat shit, and maybe that’s why I like plants so much: we both have the same kinda jobs.

Anyway, after providing the garden with cradle to grave socialism, it’s time to reap the profits, cash in, and start eating.  Eating something that is/was recently alive; like what carnivores do, but instead of eating living beings, eating living plants,  who everybody knows have no souls, is a taste treat: fresh produce is also another name for it. But eating out of the garden isn’t just sticking a bunch of green stuff in your mouth and listening to it scream.  Nope, now it’s time for some Weird Science [like Mr Wizard did] in the kitchen.  Let me see, “what can I do with Swiss chard?”   What happens when ya do that is ya start getting into the seasonal  cycles of the calendar and eat what’s in season, when in season.  The grocery stores fool us into thinking that you can get any-kind of produce when ya want.  Ain’t necessarily so.  Not if you’re growing your own. There be no zucchini in my garden now.

If you are able to do it, try growing your own.  Here’s some shots from what’s going on in the garden as of 1-15-12.  These three beds measuring about 4 x 10 feet each, have a southern exposure and get plenty of sunlight all day.

These are a few of the raised beds I have in my backyard.  Lawns are such a waste, but they do hold the dirt down.

In this bed, from left to right: bronze lettuce, buttercup lettuce, carrot seedlings and garlic popping it’s heads above ground….a lone parsley plant in front.  All stuff we eat a lot of.

I cover the beds with netting in order to keep the evil birds from swooping in and gobbling up the tender sprouts.  Bunch goddamned no good freeloading hippies if ya ask me.  And cats!  Those neighborhood cats think my garden is their own private litter box. It’s a Laboratory, Not lavatory!

Where I’m At

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like we live in a constant state of fear.  That’s pretty scary.  And the thing about fear is it’s not usually the present moment we are fearful of, but rather something in the future that we worry might happen.  We might experience fear in the present moment, but not necessarily the scary shit waiting out there to happen.  It’s not a head-trip I want to experience anymore.

What really IS happening for me is being active and doing a lot of gardening.  My lettuce plants aren’t  fearful.  But they do get a little up-tight if aphids or cutworms stop by.   Gardening, growing your own food, is really a trip.  So much so that I’m gonna do a post on it.  It’ll be called, and what else?… “Grow Your Own”.

Spellcheck vs. Skype

Damn You Evil Spell-check

I was talking to my Sister Heidi the other day on Skype. I know “Hansi and Heidi”….how cute… how German!  Anyway she lives in Germany now, and despite going to all the same LA schools I did, even graduating from UCLA, she has slowly lost her command of the mother tongue, but not so much as to spare me a sound lashing with it.  The upbraiding notwithstanding, Skype is a real good way for us to talk to each other for free.  And now that we each popped fifteen bucks (her Euro’s) for a cheapie computer camera, we can also see each other.  Pretty high teck.

She was telling me about how much she likes my blog, and without breaking step or taking a new breathe of air, jumps right in my shit about proof reading the stuff I write. “Don’t you proof read what you right?” “Of coarse” I say. “Kinda”.  She was quick to point out the many grammatical and linguistic errors I often times made. Like writing illegible instead of illegal in one of my pieces. [Big deal. You know what I meant; and like we used to say in the Probation Department: “close enough for government work”]

Now this was humiliating, especially considering that she’s been speaking a whole lot more German than English for the past 40 years. She thinks in German; dreams in German, and hardly sounds like a good ol’ Southern California girl who used to speak our un-accented brand of English so flawlessly. I had to remind her though, that she too was subject to linguistic brain farts. We were once talking about Easter and she meant to say something about the resurrection, but instead called it the…”Re-Erection.” What a Boner! But I knew what she meant, and Hey….same difference. Both refer to bringing something recently dead back to life.

The basic problem for me is relying on Spell-check to do my thinking for me. If it ain’t in red, it must be OK. Not only do I not have to no how to spell. I don’t even half to think. It’s sew much easier. Damn you evil Spell-check! I was subsequently upbraided for my reliance on a machine doing all the work for me. [Actually I do proof read my stuff, but am so well medicated when I do, that by the time I scroll to the bottom of the post, I’ve totally forgotten about any errors I may have noticed….Didn’t want to tell her that].

But here’s the good part, when we went to visit Heidi  September 2010, she used a GPS device called  “Tom Tom” to get us all over Germany, even to Frankenstein’s Castle! (Yep…that’s ol’ Hansi next to the sign; burg means castle in German). This thing was programed with a female voice named “Lisa”. Lisa was very helpful and always polite, but it was fun to hear ol’ Lisa jump in Heidi’s shit when she missed a turn. Lisa was so insistent and merciless in her admonitions, that my sister had to placate Lisa with loving reassurances that Heidi was aware of the transgression, and rectify (good thing I didn’t write rectum by mistake) the matter forthwith. I sure learned a lot of German from Lisa. Got ‘turn right’ and ‘turn left’ down pat.

I guess Heidi is right! Gotta stop relying on a machine. She encouraged me to do my own thinking, and provided examples to highlight the importance of proper punctuation and Capitalization.

“Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse.” she said. And the phrase: Jack said the teacher was an ass. Could mean two very different things depending on punctuation: 1) Jack said,“ the teacher was an ass.” Or 2) “Jack”, said the teacher,“was an ass”

Thank you heidi, for the Help.

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