Monthly Archives: December 2007

HOW-TO make an Aquaman playmat.

aquamanmat

I took a piece of cardboard, cut it to the size of a regulation playmat, wrapped my favorite orange shirt around it, tucked it carefully, and taped it down.  PONY!

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Forty Seventh Question of the Day.

tentpic1

(Best Prank of the Year.)

As the year winds down, we start to reflect.  Here are a handful of mine:

Best Sports Moment:
Tomas Vokoun traded to the Florida Panthers. We have not had such a true leader in Miami since Pudge.
Best Movie Moment:
Yet to come. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army began filming and previews in 2007.
Best Material Moment:
I qualified for a real BMW lease and drove away with a yellow and black Mini Cooper showing 4 miles on the odometer.
Best Personal Moment:
My youngest child graduated high school.  Major milestone for the win.
Best Vs. System moment:
The Mulletman returned to the spotlight, and found a format that made him Tier One again.

What made the cut for your Best of 2007?

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Thursday Thirteen: Secrets of the Tarot.

2swords 2wands 2disks 2cups

(The wild deuces of the Rider Waite traditional deck from http://facade.com/tarot/)

Tarot cards are a little set of symbols that have brought big fun to my life.  Their origin is a bit hazy, and the controversy surrounding them is plain crazy, but they are undoubtedly one of the premiere sources for distilled archetypes of the human condition.  Today I will give you a short introduction in 13 chunks.

1. Tarot uses numbers as symbols.  The twos I used for the opening illustration for example?  Well, what does a two feel like to you?  A relationship?  A difficult decision?  A matched pair?  Every number is charged with a parallel meaning, and every individual can figure it out in a personal way.

2. Swords are thoughts.  We think, therefore we are.  Our mental faculties often get the better of us.  The swords of Tarot focus on the immaterial, cold, calculating processes of the brain.

3. Wands are impulses.  We are willful creatures.  We want.  We have urges.  We enforce our power over others.  We dominate the world around us.  The wands bring our hammer down.

4. Disks are physical.  We are born of the Earth, and we return to the Earth, and in between we play with stuff.  Material blessings and curses are represented by disks.

5. Cups are feelings.  We get swept away by emotion.  The cup is full, the cup is empty, and our heart washes back and forth along with it.

6.  As a basic set of symbols, Tarot can be customized.  One of my favorite decks is the William Blake Tarot, by Ed Buryn.  Ed is the coolest of people, he used to live here in Miami, and he translated the traditional suits like this: Swords = Science.  Wands = Poetry.  Disks = Painting.  Cups = Music.

7.  There are some exquisite decks out there.  We adore the artistic interpretation involved in an original version of the Tarot, and every year there are whole new sets of eye candy to wallow in while we randomize the symbols into timeless truths.

8.  Tarot is copyright free.  I like this one a whole lot.  Whoever invented Tarot did it before the age of greed.  And it turned into the 52 card deck of playing cards we use for Poker and Crazy Eights, which is also copyright free.  Lovely.

9.  Someday I will create my own version.  It may not happen soon, or it may be my next project, but I will complete the exercise.  Maybe a superhero version, maybe modern movies, maybe pure metaphysical symbolism.  When it grabs me and sweeps me away, it will be done.

10.  Tarot creates a new profound poetry every time we spread the cards.  We don’t use it to tell the future or to uncover secrets.  We use it for customized interpretations of our place in the Universe.  It is a set of symbols that combines to speak.  Like everything else in life, you can hear it as a wonderful song or as incohesive noise.

11.  Tarot gives people an excuse to believe in magick.  You fake it until you make it.  And then it is as real as anything else.

12.  Tarot trains the brain to see symbolism in every phenomenon.  I love living like that.  Imagine what it would be like to receive enlightened wisdom from a random rock on the side of the road.  There is deep meaning all around us, since all meaning comes from within.

13.  Tarot gave me something to Thirteen!  The number 13 card of the Major Arcana in Tarot is about fresh starts.  Since it is the last entry on today’s list, I guess I better go figure out what I can start up brand new for the first time.   If it is something I can share with you, I will use it for next week’s Thursday Thirteen.  See you then.

theartcard 

That’s the 14, sometimes called Art.  Create your own translation from one dimension to another, number it to thirteen, post it on Thursday, and link it here: http://thursdaythirteen.com/

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Forty Sixth Question of the Day.

wrapping

(Awesome 80’s holiday cheer found at http://aquamanshrine.blogspot.com/)

What did the superheroes bring you this year?

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Merry Christmas!

xmasloveparty

That’s what it looked like in our house.  From ours to yours, we wish you the Merriest.  Christmas.  Ever.

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Last Day of School + Winter Solstice = Pandemonium.

maddiemagick

(Maddie Magick, by Greg Land, from Upper Deck’s Vs. System, the best trading card game in the history of mankind.)

Dear Friends, it is here.  Holiday break!  Nina and I will be channeling the spirit of Madelyn Pryor, immersing ourselves in the transformative fire of our love, until we surface again on December 25th for the family gifting ritual.  All the clocks in the house will be turned off.  Most of the party will not be able to be translated into human language, but I will leave you with a tiny taste of what we will be doing, in music.  This is a little bit of what it sounds like when we get off metaeuphorically and reconnect to the source of all things holy.

I should be able to resume the blog in a few days, but you never know what form I will be taking after she gets done with me.  See you then, have a spectacular solstice.

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Thursday Thirteen: A Trip to Whoville.

cindy

(Cindy glowing, by McFarlane Toys)  

I was surfing around for inspiration this morning when I stumbled upon this:

http://www.neatorama.com/2007/12/18/the-whoville-register-whats-your-grinched-name/

If you love Cindy Lou Who as much as I do, click around in that link and discover what your name would be if you moved next door to her in Whoville.  I translated thirteen people just for fun.  

1. Romantic Rian Fimaru-Who 

That’s me, and the romantic part is dead on accurate.  I also love the fact that “Fimaru” can mean anything I want it to.  I always try to change my definition every day. 

2. Nurse Nina Wattle-poo-Who 

Nina was a Webb before we married, and she has been healing me ever since.  No matter what brings me down and darkens my mood, she is always there to squeeze it out of me with a kiss or a long talk or whatever it takes.  Even when we need to wattle-poo for the full hermetic effect. 

3. Magnificent Mark Funny-goo-Who 

That’s Mark Fidrych, my favorite sports hero.  He was wacky and wonderful and really good for a short while.  Phenomenal talent with a bizarre personality that made the entire baseball world smile for an entire season. 

4. Aggie Alanis Misty-blue-Who 

I actually resisted Alanis Morrisette when she was popular.  Now I respect her as much as any performer ever, especially after seeing the DVD edition of Feast on Scraps.  Highly recommended, the girl is a beast. 

5. Traveling Tom Ripple-blue-Who 

Tom Robbins is the best writer of our generation, in my humble opinion.  I will always marvel at the way he crams four hundred pounds of truth into a simple sentence that causes a laugh and a crap of the pants, out loud. 

6. Zippy Zazzala Quizzle-moo-Who 

Zazzalla Queen Bee may be a fictional comic book character, and her new card may not be very good, but her honey heats the War Paint.  It may never come off the kitchen table. 

7. Paparazzi Pete Sappy-glue-Who 

Pete Swanson is such a random pick.  He was a kitchen manager when Nina and I were cooking at Rainforest Cafe.  He was younger than both of us.  He made the most disgusting and rude remarks as he walked past, but he made them with love and we always laughed our way through the busy shifts.  I wish all bosses could be that cool. 

8. Suave Sister Alice Joseph Misty-blue-Who 

Sister Alice Joseph Moore was a tiny elderly nun that taught some of my Education classes at Barry University.  She looked exactly like Pope John Paul II, but wearing a habit.  She only scolded you if she saw promise, if you were a loser… she would never say a word. 

9. Barkeep Bradley Nitty-noo-Who 

Bradley Nowell was a musical genius, leaving behind perhaps the best hybrid music ever recorded.  Listen to some Sublime today.  You’ll be glad you did. 

10. Gargling Gloria Ewe-Who 

Another great boss, my life is freaking blessed!  Gloria Evans was the best principal I ever had in my 25 year career.  I would walk through an office full of quizzical looks and hear her say: “He’s an art teacher, they are all like that.  Just leave him alone, he will be fine.” 

11. Fancy Friedrich Nimmy-Nammy-Noo-Who 

Friedrich Nietzsche was a monster.  The kind of monster who affects millions of free spirits with his soul.  The kind of monster we need more of.  Check out the film “When Nietzche Wept” for a modern introduction. 

12. Kettledrum Kate Wambam-foo-Who 

Kate Winslet is the bomb.  Thick and luscious and really smart about the roles she picks.  They used to call her “Combat Kate” because she wore army boots and rolled her own cigarettes.  So. Damn. Gorgeous. 

13. Sergeant Steve Bippity-boo-Who 

Stephen Bauman is the best artist I have ever had the pleasure to teach. He may be the best artist I have ever known.  He is so good that he has a collector who buys everything he paints, and sends him all over the world for inspiration.  Steve came to our school addicted to writing on trains and getting arrested for vandalizing property with spray cans.  I argued with him for four years, telling him that graffiti is just like dog piss on a street corner.  Eventually he got it.  He has moved from jail cells in downtown Miami to the Florence Academy of Art.  I will post one of his recent paintings under this thread in the Forty Fifth Question of the Day.  Good times.

And that’s the last Thursday Thirteen before Christmas!  Make your own list and link it to: http://www.thursdaythirteen.com/

Happy Holidays, to one and all.

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