Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home [Archive]

Originally posted on Aug 30, 2011
Well, I think this year’s ECT went really well despite the impending Ragnarok that was Hurricane Irene. I was able to pull off everything I needed to pull off with a few hitches (like not bringing a sledge to the hammer toss) but the new Firewyrm game went well despite the flaws of it’s freshman run. I had fun without very much drama at all for the first time in several years.
It was fun to see who did and didn't recognize the Trolls I drew for the Hammer Toss and I was completely psyched when my kinsman walloped the target with a 65′+ toss. I wish I had it on video.
What I was most worried and concerned about tho was the horn stein I designed for Laerad’s Thor Ve. I am generally a horrible judge of my own work and I always feel that what I do isn't good enough. I was happy to see that they liked it.

Now that I know how to do this, it won’t take me 6 months to make something similar. So far the only things I've been very proud of before external validation are my ability to snag my stunning girlfriend, my cartoons that degrade people I don’t like and the hammers that I make. I guess this tells me I should make more hammers. I’m still going to keep it close, only giving them to people I know and maybe at ECT next year. I do feel the need to expand to sand casting and lost wax, but I’ll use what works.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cthgooglhu [Archive]

Originally Posted July 15, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Orleans Part Five [Archive]

Originally Posted on Jul 10, 2011
Our last dinner in New Orleans was eaten at Coop’s. Sure as shit the food was great and the servers were kinda dicks, but that’s their reputation. I ate a fantastic blackened red-fish while our waiter/bartender kicked a couple out for bringing in a drink from the outside. The place was tiny and the kitchen wasn't much more than a dude on a charcoal grill but you couldn't know it’s authenticity. It was a good thing we got there when we did because by the time we left there was a line to get in that went halfway down the block.
From there we headed back to Frenchman Street and The Spotted Cat. This time we got there before too much of a crowd and chatted with the bartender a bit, drank some shots and local beer while the bands played. The Panorama Jazz Band was quite awesome but quickly got crowded, and a little Fratty, so we moved on to another Jazz bar. It was a really classy place, we didn't really fit in, so after a drink we moved on again. This time to d.b.a.
The band playing was called The UnNaturals. Awesome psychobilly band who covered Horton Heat, The Tornadoes and even did an instrumental rockabilly cover of Holiday In Cambodia. They played flawlessly and viciously with the only vocals being the occasional scream from the bass player. I thought I tipped them $5, but the guitar player came up to me, shook my hand and thanked me for my tip, so I may have drunkenly slipped a 20. It’s all good.
Now I don’t like fruity, coffee or chocolate beer at all, but The Evil Queen was drinking an unbelievable Youngs Double Chocolate Stout that tasted like a fucking chocolate milkshake. D.b.a also had absinthe on the drinks list so I ordered a Kubler. The bartender poured me a straight double shot into a plastic cup. Not wanting to seem like too much of a snob I asked for a glass of ice water as well and went my merry way. It fucked me up, but again, it’s all good.
The next band was o.k. but we moved on. We stayed out a little longer, heading to Dominion again for a short bit, then calling it an evening because we had an early flight to get home.
It was sad to leave. We were wiped and spent yet content on some level. We ate, drank and were merry. Not wanting to speak for everyone else, I can honestly say that I’ve come back with some great memories and a whole lot of inspiration.
I’m positive we will go again and I highly recommend New Orleans to everyone who travels.  There is a whole lot more to it than just Bourbon Street (though you should do Bourbon Street once in your life). I’m just glad I didn’t have to chloroform The Evil Queen to get her on the plane…or did I?
My main intention for this trip was to make The Evil Queen’s 30th birthday the best it could be. Happily, I came back with more. As life tragically returns to normal and the drudgery sets back in I hold on to that spark of inspiration hoping that I can yet achieve something artistically relevant. I leave you with some of that magic of the city…the food..


Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Orleans Part Four [Archive]

Originally posted on Jul 9, 2011

On Saturday we were able to sleep in. No tour or plans aside from a serious need to recover. Slowly we wrangled ourselves together and went to Eat for brunch. All of the food looked and tasted great, from the Eggs Dauphine and Dumaine to the Fried Green Tomatoes. I, myself, could not resist the Chicken and Waffles. The only thing it lacked was real maple syrup, but I am the son of a sugaring family and am richly spoiled by the real thing. It was the first time I’ve ever had grits, and I guess I could eat them again.

All of us went out with no real plan, or maybe the girls had a plan and I just obliviously went along. Some more shopping and perusing was done as we walked through many antique, novelty, voodoo and book shops.

We had planned to check out The Jazz Museum, but that didn’t seem to exist yet/anymore. Then we were going to take a lovely ride on a Street Car along The Mississippi to The Aquarium but the rail wasn’t working.
It was pretty damned hot but we moseyed on down to the Aquarium on foot. Muppet took a detour and went to Jackson Square to draw. After a short while in the aquarium Man’s Ruin and Hangman left to back to the room or somewhere…maybe for Beignets.
The Evil Queen and I stayed for a while longer as we kept finding more and more places in the aquarium to see. It didn’t seem that big from the outside, but it really was quite expansive on the inside.

We spent a lot of time there, ate a quick salad and noticed that the place was clearing out. At that point we noticed that the otter, who was sleeping when the crowd watched him, was happily playing with his toys now that he could have some peace and quiet.

Godsbedamned, I thought I’d finish this in part 4. To be continued after a montage of drunken royalty…

I’d like to think she’s happy. What do you think?


Friday, July 8, 2011

New Orleans Part Three [Archive]

Originally Posted Jul 8, 2011

We had breakfast in the morning at Cafe Du Monde (and I think that Man’s Ruin went there at least once a day for Beignets, possibly twice a day). A little while later we moved on to our afternoon Cemetery Tour. Again, we had a great tour guide who offered actual insight into the city and her people in addition to just the history of the above ground tombs. According to the guide, when the deceased were buried underground, the Mississippi would just wash them back up and they’d have a merry ole time on Bourbon Street with everyone else.  So, they built permanent family crypts which house generations of the dead, keeping them all together, sealed away, not corpse surfing through the French Quarter..
And, yes, even Nicolas fucking Cage has a plot here, all gaudy and out of place. I do believe that when someone becomes rich and famous, they lose all ability to relate to reality (Random note: the guy to the left there was much like every magickal person we've ever met. Just wasn't sure if he was hitting on me or the Evil Queen).
The tour ended at the grave of Marie Laveau, the Queen Of Voodoo. It was a very obviously well visited grave full of offerings and well intentioned desecration. My Evil Queen left her an offering and we were off.
By this point the heat and sun in the open cemetery was taking its toll. Many of the shots taken were random snapping as we walked as I couldn't really see the screen or focus much.

Doesn't she look oddly comfortable amongst the dead?
We headed back to the French Quarter and did some moseying around the shops and sites for a bit. We stopped at the Beauregard-Keyes House which was home to Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and author Frances Parkinson Keyes. It was then time to head back to the room, hit the pool and change for dinner.
On the way back to the Oliver House The Evil Queen bought a new sundress and I got myself a nifty new shirt. A shower and a change into unsweaty clothes and we were off to The Official Dinner For The Evil Queen’s Inauguration Birthday Dinner.
The ladies all looked rather lovely as we headed off to The Court Of Two Sisters. At first it seemed like a wonderful idea to have dinner in the courtyard but the heat did get me down a bit while sitting out there. Luckily there was a canopy of vines above us that did keep the sun at bay. I do suggest that when travelling to New Orleans, don’t go in the summer. That is unless you really, really like the heat…a lot.

Again, dinner was fantastic. It was topped only by the food at The Alpine. I had an amazing Trout Amandine with a BBQ Shrimp appetizer. The service there was unmatched and I really felt that the place was far too good for me. We toasted The Evil Queen’s birthday with glasses of wine and ate like impoverished peasants in a royal hall.
After dinner we decided to abandon the Bourbon Street area and head down to Frenchman Street. The clubs on Frenchman were much less touristy than the glaring bars on Bourbon St and were bursting with live bands. We first went to The Spotted Cat and listened to a couple of amazing bands. The first was an Olde Time/Blues band with just 3 guys. One was on a worn down, stand up bass, the second on vocals and harmonica and the third on a resonator guitar that was wonderfully beat to shit. After them was played an awesome swing band called The New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings. We were nearly trampled by the bad dancers, but the really good dancers had an awesome sense of spacial awareness that bordered on preternatural. Feet would stomp millimeters from mine and arms would swing up into my face always missing me.
From there we ended out night at Dominion, a dark and striking Goth/Industrial club. As much as the sites and sounds of jazz are great, there is a certain comfort to finding a place that feels like home. They had an awesome music selection and the girls danced away while Hangman and I creeped on them from a shadowy corner. I was happy drinking the local beer all night, Abita Amber (or TurboDog if they had it) which just felt like the right thing to do.
I do love watching The Evil Queen Dance, but we were all a bit distracted by a local patron who was also dancing…in short, self caressing bursts, by himself, in front of a mirror. The dude looked like of like the love child of Doctor Who’s Tom Baker and Silence Of The Lambs’ Buffalo Bill in the intermediate stage of a sex change operation. He was obviously a tortured soul publicly expressing his pain. And it was quite painful.
To be continued…