September 25, 2012

The Kiss.

Do you know The Kiss, by Rodin? Locked in luminous white marble for all eternity, these lovers seem not to mind.

Au contraire! They're completely absorbed in their embrace, oblivious to onlookers. I almost felt like a voyeur as I drew them.

You might say that drawing statues is not strictly 'life drawing', but with Rodin, they do feel alive to me.

It's helpful that statues don't move around too much.

But you never know with Rodin.

I went to the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia with my mom. It's a collection of many of his sculptures mainly in bronze and marble. I loved it there; I loved the tranquility, the thoughtful balance between aggression and tenderness in every gesture. Go see it.

September 24, 2012

My Mom.

I don't always draw stick figures...sometimes I like to sketch. This is a drawing of my mom.

We went on a little trip together, just mom and me, in Philadelphia. I looked after her a bit, and even though I'm now fifty, she cuddled me and said I was still her baby...

My mom is the one who encouraged me to draw when I was little. The story goes that when I was two, she tried to draw on my drawing; apparently I grabbed the crayon out of her hand and pushed her away.

It's been three months since my Grandmother died. We mustn't hesitate to spend time with those we love.

September 22, 2012

Philly - TOON swag.

I went to Philadelphia. It was awesome. While I was there I met some of my Twitter friends.

Pic by the Cavanaugh's bartender.

I couldn't resist doing a little toon swag.

#UsGuys connection Jeff Belonger kindly organized the meetup - he runs MyPhillyAlive, a great resource if you want to find out what's going on in Philadelphia. Jeff updates it regularly and his passion for the city is infectious.

Jeff is fairly gregarious and tends to move around a lot.

Stealth photo by The Artistic Dork, AKA Mike.

But Gigi posed beautifully. She may have been frozen in terror, but it didn't show. I know the wondrous Gigi Peterkin from the Montreal #140Conf. She had me and The Huz doubled over with her witty repartee so seeing her again was a bonus.

Keep your eye on Gigi, for she's up to some amazing stuff, and is set to speak at the upcoming PodCamp.

And Mike Meulstee - also known as The Artistic Dork. Actually meeting/hugging Mike in person was one of the highlights of my trip.

We've been friends for a few years now - there's some people you just like to hang out with on Twitter and he's one of them - we finally got to meet IRL. Mike specializes in custom design and illustration for the web, he has an impressive portfolio and is also a kickass DrawSomething player.

I did lots of other stuff in Philadelphia, and I'll tell you about it later. But for now, please be satisfied with this:

Gonna fly now...tourists do crazy things right?

September 17, 2012

The First NonCon.

"Any questions...?"

I dunno about you, but I'm always terrified to ask my question at the end of a conference panel. My heart starts pounding, my mouth gets dry and I feel kinda dizzy.

And the questions that do get answered never have a chance to evolve into stimulating discussion. The three panels I attended at BlogHer12 all felt like they ended too soon.

Whelp. The very first ever Aiming Low NonCon is being launched October 12-13.
Their concept for panels is truly inclusive - they're calling them Roundtables*.
*Tables may not be perfectly round.

A session will have three tables running simultaneously on the same topic, each with its own leader. The Roundtable leader guides the discussion with the smaller group. You don't have to wait until the end to ask your question and the discussion can evolve organically.

Then they switch tables.

So you get to talk with each of the leaders and it gives you a more rounded spectrum of info on the topic.

Big, big conferences can be intimidating. But not the NonCon - here's the typical Aiming Low personality profile:

The NonCon has been thoughtfully programmed with the attendee in mind. Go to the NonCon and you'll get maximum take-away in blogging know-how, and hanging out with top bloggers who truly know their stuff. Chances are you'll also make friends for life.

The first NonCon is free; it's taking place in freaking paradise - seriously, check out the Callaway Gardens in Georgia. There's special rates for the NonCon, and The Huz is coming with me cuz it's so pretty. Well that, and the fact that James Brown was from around there.

I'll be the Opening 8 AM. Don't let my pyjamas fool you - I'll be wide awake.

The Closing Keynote is none other than Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman.

I hear Friday night will have a super-hero themed costume party (my idea, naturellement). No promises but FUQMAN may make an appearance with the Maid of AWsum.

Space is limited! Register here.

September 12, 2012

Getting back to school.

I asked the 12 year old boy for a back-to-school quote. All he would say is:

"It sucks to go back. Period."

But I know that secretly he's loving the math.

Never let your schooling get in the way of your education, that's what I always say.

September 9, 2012

The UNICORN, the UNIVERSE and boots.

I am ignorant.

I'm the first one to admit it. I'm fabulously ignorant about most things (although I do know a bit about animation and....itchy bums). But, I honestly wonder about other people.

Like, do you really believe that if you sneeze and fart at the same time, a vacuum will be created within your body and that you will actually die? I was idly wondering this whilst chatting with @cosmicgirlie about Google+ when the subject of 'Unicorns' came up. It rattled around with the other thoughts in my brain, marinated momentarily in the briny bowl of inspiration and suddenly morphed into the following question:

What happens if a Unicorn sneezes and farts at the same time?

Clearly I have stumbled upon something truly magical here.

And while I'm on the subject of Unicorns, please copy and paste this sentence into the comments below:

"I would like to see a drawing of JC riding a Unicorn, wearing nothing but these Chocolate Lucky Boots from @CountryOutfittr." 

Or you could just click HERE to tweet it.

Before you accuse me of being sneaky, just remember this could be a win/win/win situation. I would get the boots, you would get to see the drawing, and Country Outfitter would get some social media attention. I have no idea how much attention, and probably they don't actually need my help in the attention department. I suppose it's possible that they don't care a jot whether or not I do a drawing of myself riding a Unicorn wearing nothing but those kickass boots....

But still! It's worth a shot, right?

I will be the Opening Keynote at the Oct. 12-13 Aiming Low NonCon in beautiful Georgia! Register here.

September 7, 2012

How to check for pinWORMS.

WARNING: Yeah, well if you don’t already have kids you may never want them after you read this. 

A couple of years ago an old friend of mine came to town with his three year old son. He was newly divorced and just wrapping his head around parenting by himself week-on/week-off. They stayed with us cuz we’re fairly close, having grown up together.

After dinner, all our kids had their baths and we started to put them to bed.

“Daddy! My bum is itchy!”

My friend's son was squirming all around and trying to give his lil’ bot-bot a good scratching inside his pyjamas.

I said to my friend, “Maybe the boy has worms?”

“NO WAY!” His response was immediate and full of certainty. “I checked, and there’s NO worms. My kid is CLEAN. And perfect in every way.”

Hmmm. Ok, but the boy was plainly suffering from something, and apparently had been suffering for weeks months quite some time.

So I put it to my friend that maybe he needed to check again.

The little boy stopped his squirming and his daddy ‘checked’ by merely glancing at his son’s bumhole.

I’m like, “Dude, that’s not how you check for pinworms! You need to really look.”

My friend slowly turned towards me. I watched his expression morph from confusion to fear, fear to horror, and horror to intense pleading.

“Sheesh! Alrighty," I caved, "I'll show you how, but no matter what you see, it’s super important not to react with disgust. You must remain calm”. He nodded.

I went and got towel, a flashlight and a magnifying glass. I explained to the little boy that there might be some tiny worms living inside his bum and that was tickling him when they wiggled around. I asked him to just lie there all relaxed on the towel and then push, as if he was going to do a poo. He loved that idea. I trained the flash light on the little pinkie and told him to go for it.

Note: This is what you might see if you were a pinworm.

The kid was amazing! He pushed until he was red in the face, giggling the whole time. His father and I looked on through the magnifying glass.

“C'mon push! Just a little more…”

And there it was: The Seething White Mass…

My friend was looking very pale indeed but he said nothing.

His boy wanted to see one of the worms – so we took one on a tissue to show him. He was fascinated by this tiny white wriggler that had come out of his bumhole. But we told him that those worms didn’t belong in his bum and he had to have some medicine to make them leave. So we put the tissue in the loo and let him flush it away.

I washed my hands, put the boy back in the bath and sent my friend to the pharmacy to get medicine for pinworms. He was there and back in record time.

But he was walking kinda funny.

UPDATE - August 23, 2013.
This post was honored with a Voice Of The Year Award at BlogHer '13. Queen Latifah was the emcee (she totally photobombed me backstage) ...and this is me reading the story in front of thousands of people:

Now go wash your hands.

September 6, 2012

My home.

Politics? Not usually something I engage in publically. But since Pauline Marois’ historic victory in the 2012 Québec Provincial Elections, this image has persisted in my mind's eye:

The election campaign, the results, and the fatal shooting at the Parti Québécois celebration rally left me with some lingering thoughts and feelings.
  1. I’m reasonably bilingual and I like it. 
  2. Language issues remain divisive for some folks. But those who speak with violence ne parlent pas pour moi
  3. Although I don’t consider myself a separatist, I love living in Québec. I especially love Montreal, peu importe ma langue maternelle.  
  4. Honestly... I’m no longer certain what it means to me to be Canadian since Harper was elected as Prime Minister. The Canada I loved feels like it's disintegrating.
  5. Some Canadians outside of Québec seem to have a peculiar idea about what it’s like to live here.
  6. The first people that lived in this land spoke neither French nor English. 
The Fleur-de-lys in the drawing is an emblem from the Québec flag. Did you know that “quebec” is originally a Mi’kmaq word? It means “strait”. I live here; it's my home.

September 3, 2012

#PickleWeasel survey contest WINNERS!

There were 63 entries into the Pickle Weasel App Survey & Contest. Amazeballs! 
Our random number generator picked two numbers as our prize winners. But in case you didn't win, you can still gaze at this drawing.

Look familiar...?

And here's the winners:

Jason @TechyDad
Sydney @momof1kid

CONGRATULATIONS KIDS. You each win this mug set. DM me your deets.

The irresistible Pickle Weasel mugs are for sale in my Zazzle Shop.

Thanks for being patient with all this stuff about the new app. Back to regular programming tomorrow.