urbpan: (dandelion)
So, much of 2016 was terrible. I won't go into why, you either agree with me or you think the chicago cubs are more important than america. So much death and heartbreak, and my response has been to drink way too much, eat garbage, and scroll down my tumblr page with a dead look in my eyes. In an effort to become a healthy productive member of the Resistance, I am making this post to remind myself that creativity is the animating force of humanity, and that making an effort to be creative--even if that output is terrible, and much of it will be--will make me feel like a better human.

BLOGGING: if I can get god damned photobucket to work, I'll resume taking pictures of urban nature and dogs and public art and other things that make me happy, and post them here. And tumblr and probably facebook too.

NATURE WALKS: This continues to be vital--get out there, take pictures, talk to people about what we're seeing, blog about it, watch the seasons change, drink in life and nature.

PODCASTS: I kind of have two now: Species of Least Concern, which is about urban nature and such, and Doc Talks, which is conversations with my dad. I have other ideas too, the limiting factors are my own damn laziness, and the fact that it costs money to upload and store these things. I'm on soundcloud at the moment.

MUSIC: I love music and I wish I made some. It's kind of easy to make on GarageBand. It will be terrible, but I should just do it. No one needs to hear it. I'm better at coming up with titles than anything else--two songs that need to be written include "Kill the Nazis" and "White People Get Your Shit Together."

CLAY: My most persistent fantasies involve making stuff out of clay--I have an airy comfortable studio, Alexis throws beautiful pots and vases, and I make monsters to stick on them. I do not have a studio or a wheel, but I do have a box of Sculpey and I should get back to making monsters with it.

BATTLE VEST: I have no need for a battle vest, a piece of denim armor covered in buttons, patches, spikes, and bones. And yet I keep making one, in my imagination. I blame @KatieAaberg. I have a shit ton of patches and buttons, all I need is the vest and the ability to sew. It would be good to know how to sew. It would be fun to resume collecting bones, too.

Other things: I dunno. I'm writing this with an overcaffeinated brain during a break at work. The above items were making my mind itch, but I'm sure there's other stuff that I want to be creative with that I'm not thinking of right now. Also I ran out of anti-depressants two days ago so I should probably deal with that.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Where were we? Oh yes, the 98 meter pyramid on the bank of the Mississippi in the city of Memphis Tennessee. It's a sporting goods store.

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My friend Miss Lasko-Gross drew this amazing pen and ink portrait of Gigi the gorilla and donated to AAZK for us to auction off.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Kids' sleepy couch time in Vermont.

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Kiwi tracks.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Someone pointed out to me that Disney's Animal Kingdom is more of a theme park than a zoo. It's true--the park is divided into Asia and Africa (and dinosaur) sections with lots of cultural architecture and signs like this one. Just not much information about the animals. And most of the animals are a little hard to find.

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urbpan: (dandelion)
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My dear friend Jason Eckhardt happens to be an amazing and award-winning illustrator. He generously drew and donated this rhino illustration to be auctioned at our Bowling for Rhinos event! If you would like to bid on it, register for the event and come by--it's in Malden Massachusetts this Thursday evening, so plan accordingly if you are in Australia or Toronto or something. Go here to register: http://www.zoonewengland.org/szevents#rhinos

If you just want to help us out, feel free to chip in a few bucks--all the money goes directly to help protect rhino habitat in Africa and Indonesia. Go here to donate: https://www.crowdrise.com/aazkznebfr
urbpan: (dandelion)
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I was in a line in the Post Office when my eyes drifted up the wall to this mural. First I noticed the pilgrims dancing in a circle--seemed frivolous for puritans. Then I noticed the hairstyles of the men without head coverings, are those anachronistic? I guess I don't know anything about hairstyles of the colonists, but I assumed everyone just let it grow long and stuffed it in a hat.

More interesting perhaps is the story of the mural itself. Painted in 1936 by W. Lester Stevens, it hearkens back to the New Deal, when the US government took such an interest in putting citizens to work that it literally hired artists to paint murals. It seems so alien to today's world. If you suggested such a thing these days you'd be condemned as a communist.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Arr! or something. I told my dad he needs a bandana and a hoop earring and we could make a lot of friends in Florida.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Jim may not be too excited about his portrait, but Alex liked it. It's by a fantastic artist who happens to be a friend as well, Mark Reusch

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urbpan: (dandelion)
Okay, so I finished that year long project in only 22 months. I don't have a specific blog project in mind to replace it, but I do have a whole long list of crazy ideas, plans and goals for 2014:

On Sunday morning, I led an Urban Nature Walk (post forthcoming) that was enjoyable, but I didn't have the answers to a lot of questions--questions that I was asking myself even! I'm thinking that for 2014 I will write up a curriculum, a coherent list of places to visit for walks that logically lead from one to another. That will give me time to research them ahead of time and look a little more like I know what I'm talking about.

On Sunday afternoon I went to the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, where I ran into old friends from my comic book days, and met the creator of Bird and Moon comics (SO AWESOME). I've been getting some pressure from some friends about getting my old comic anthology back in publication, perhaps with a kickstarter-funded greatest hits collection. I will at the very least talk to my art director about what it takes to publish a comic book in this day and age and figure out if the idea is plausible. Also start a tumblr for it and maybe make some buttons.

Next year happens to include my 10th wedding anniversary, and I am planning for us to take a trip to California to celebrate.

I haven't been to the Doctor in a couple years, and I haven't been to a dentist in a couple decades. Now that we all have Obamacare I should probably take care of that.

Assuming I continue to be the president of our local chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (a likely bet) I'm thinking of applying for scholarships to go to the national conference in Orlando; to justify the scholarships I would need to come up with a presentation on zoo pest control that I could do in front of a room full of zookeepers who are much more well educated and much more gung-ho than I am. *Gulp*

What else? Oh yeah, I wanted to give myself an art assignment, like doing a painting once a week or something. And I wanted to make more beer, and drink less. All this stuff occurred to me this morning when I was at peak caffeination, which isn't really sustainable. I guess I need to prioritize all this stuff and plot out a schedule and take things a little at a time so that it doesn't seem horribly overwhelming.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Working on a flyer for our latest zookeeper association fundraiser!

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Prospect Park continued to be lovely.

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I went to Kiki's house for her birthday, these are the two pictures I took of the event. First, a mantisfly.

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And the bathroom, which features a painting of Cleopatra the pygmy hippo.
urbpan: (dandelion)
I will be closing this machine soon and reopening it in about 19 hours at my in-laws' house in the Lesser Antilles. I am a lucky bastard for so many reasons, too many to list, too many to express coherently.

If you haven't felt it from me lately let me lay it on you: Thanks.

drawn by Guilherme from São Paulo, enabled by selflessportrait.com
urbpan: (dandelion)
Giant pinned beetle! This is at the monstrous mountaintop Getty Center. We walked through and looked at some of the art, but we were really more interested in the grounds of the place, which are well worth the 15 dollar parking. (15 dollar parking, but free train ride, museum admission, and admission to the grounds!)

more Getty, some bladerunner )
urbpan: (dandelion)

These six demon faces are actually the hind ends of six different crane fly larvae. Chen Young is the new Hieronymus Bosch.


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