mumblings and ramblings

ratan is not amused

Browsing Posts published by Ratan X

In an attempt to artificially inflate my post count (and avoid angry political blogging), I want to start two new features. This one, called “Song of the Day” and maybe a second one called “Eye Candy of the Day.” Tomorrow the two will overlap, and if you look at tomorrow’s new release schedule, you will know why.

Today I will post two songs. The first one is Crocodiles “I Wanna Kill” I think we’ve all been there a time or two.

This song has been compared to Jesus and Mary Chain’s Head On more times than I can count. Honestly, I still don’t hear it. The drum machine has a similar pattern to it, but the melody of this song feels a lot stronger to me. Yes, I love the Mary Chain but most of Automatic left me cold, Head On included.

Instead, the song reminds me a lot of the classic Crystals track “Then He Kissed Me,” even moreso after I heard this excellent version by Asobi Seksu

sketchbook, etc

[click image to imbiggen]

The real kicker is I’ve had that book for about 5 or 6 years now. I tried (unsuccessfully) to create a Las Almejas comic strip way back when, but I’m kinda glad that installment never took off. I shall try it again. That book is the “Getting Started” volume in the How to Draw Manga collection. This means you’ll find a lot of tutorials that say things like “Draw a circle here, a triangle there, a square here, fill in a few small details and VOILA! Instant catgirl!”

That sketchbook is a few years old as well, but mostly empty. I bought it originally for journaling, but the paper was so scratchy that I filed it away in my drawer “just in case…” Now it will be known as the “Manga Monstrosities” sketchbook since I’m pretty sure most of my creations will be pretty far from kawaii, at least initially.

Not to sound too much like Patrick Bateman, but the pencil is a Pentel Drafting Pencil in 0.5mm lead size. I’d imagine this would be the perfect diameter of lead to use. 0.7 or 0.9 would probably be too thick (though I have those models of that pencil as well).

The pen is a Sakura Micro Pigma pen in the 0.25mm line width. I’ve used many of these in different colors and line widths over the years. That one is black. It’s extremely permanent (as in, if you get that ink in your clothing it is never coming out, no matter what you put on it), so that is obviously for tracing over the pencil sketch.

Of course, before I can do that, I have to sketch something first.

Oh, and maybe in the next day or so I’ll post a rough draft of the LA story I’m writing at the moment. It’s coming together pretty well, just slow.

Because I spend too much time reading webcomics. Yes, it’s true. Here are two very funny entries in the sexy comedy genre that I recently discovered:

I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space

And another lesbian pirate adventure called Boobs Ahoy.

Both are as campy and funny as you’d expect. Neither are porn, but Boobs Ahoy is often NSFW. Unless you work in a fun office that isn’t uptight about this sort of thing.

Of course, if you want all out cartoon porn, and kinda freaky cartoon porn at that, you can’t go wrong with the classic strip Sexy Losers. There is even a suicide girl lurking around there. Bonus!

OK, leaving computer for pen and composition book….

Now!

NOW…

No…. maybe…..

NOW?

Should Obama and Grandma Botox get their way, this is what we’re headed for.

Suffering from brain cancer, Kent Pankow was literally forced to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. for lifesaving surgery — at a cost to family and friends of $106,000 — after the health-care system in Alberta left him hanging in bureaucratic limbo for 16 crucial days, his tumour meanwhile migrating to an unreachable part of the brain, while it dithered over his case file, ultimately deciding he was not surgery worthy.

Death panels? What death panels? I ain’t see no death panels here, no sir.

But wait, there is more!

continue reading…

I’m lazy. Plain and simple. Often times I get great pleasure out of creative writing, but I hate to do it. I can’t really explain it. Trying to rip myself away from the computer, a good book/manga, the PS3, whatever to write down words often seems like too great a burden. As if after working all day the last thing I want to do is write. And because of this laziness I often find my stories about 95% snappy dialogue and 5% boring, stilted descriptions of their surroundings.

For anybody who wants to become a writer this is bad. Really bad. Most professionals will tell you that a good writer will spend hours a day honing his or her craft. Of course, anybody with a real job is not able to do this. Hell, even college professors often have to take time off to finish a book project, and they only work 12 hours a week, 8 months a year. For us 40 hour a week Joes and Janes, the profession of writing is probably not meant to be. Not that it’s impossible, just not always feasible.

These days even reading is becoming less and less of a sure thing. I still read blogs and the newspaper, but actual books? Short stories are OK, but sometimes a real, honest-to-God book is hard to read. I blame the emergence of image boards and a rapidly increasing love for manga for my brain turning to mush. But what a fun mush it is.

How does this tie in with my lack of writing motivation? Simple. My main characters I have been working on now for X number of years, Las Almejas, have many interesting stories to tell. Yes, I’ll break everybody’s heart and admit they don’t actually exist. I am not the manager of a hot, all girl grindcore band. Not now or ever. I’ve had many ideas go down the memory hole because I didn’t write them down when they were still fresh. And many more are going down the memory hole because I cannot draw.

The truth is, I always imagined a Las Almejas cartoon. Kind of like an R-rated Josie and the Pussycats. I also imagined a comic book, a movie and probably a line of figurines that will poke your eye out. The original series, circa early 2001, would have been heavy on the shock value and light on the humor. The characters circa 2010 would be darkly humorous, slice-of-life type stuff, with lots of “fan service” elements. Ands lots of godless grindcore music. Maybe even a bit of political satire if the story calls for it.

So, why post this here and now? This is me thinking out loud. Probably unknowingly making a call of sorts to anybody who might want to help draw a few stories of these girls. Their design isn’t 100% finished yet, though I obviously can picture them in my mind. I’m cheap, so the pay will probably be shit. No, not really. Stories will most likely get posted to the main site on this domain. I’d rather keep it local than put it on KeenSpot, or a service like that. I can’t imagine most stories lasting more than 5 or 6 pages. 4 panels each. I’m minimalist, yo.
continue reading…

Weather here has been crazy today. I’ve never seen snow as early as October, and neither has my mother. Trees are down on the road, it’s still snowing outside, and the power keeps going off, but thankfully only for a few seconds.

I was supposed to have a meeting with my advisor about classes next semester, but not in this weather. I’m staying in at least until state road does their job.

Last night I dreamt I was staying at a hotel in a foreign city. In the distance I could see an amusement park, the pirate ship to be exact. Except it was one of those that went all the way upside down.

Anyway, the strange thing about it was before the ride ended, one random person would be ejected from their seat, to fly across the park.

I was terrified of this, being a smart man, but my idiot cousin was there and just HAD to ride it. He called me a pussy and a pansy along with a few other words because I’d not ride it, but I didn’t want to take the chance I’d fly across the park, only to land on concrete.

But as I watched close up from the sidelines, I noticed that the people flying through the air was only a projected image. In reality the rider would “only” fall from the ride onto mats below the ride.

Of course, this could still kill you, so I didn’t get on, and sadly my cousin wasn’t the one to fall. After the ride he seemed more upset than I did.

Ann Coulter/Janeane Garofalo slash!

Actually, I’m shocked somebody hasn’t done this yet. You’d think that with the thousands of porn page online, SOMEBODY out there would write this. It’d certainly be better and more interesting than Britney/Xtina slash. And even though I was once an avid reader, the whole Buffy/Faith slash thing is getting old in a hurry as well. Actually, it was old five years ago, but I digress.

Since I either bought or downloaded (legit, of course) a lot of good music this year, I thought I would let you kids know what I have been digging this year.

Here are the ten best, in alphabetical order, albums that I heard this year.

  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Take Them On On Your Own
  • Broken Social Scene – You Lost It In People
  • Dressy Bessy
  • New Pornographers – Electric Version
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves – The New Romance
  • Raveonettes – Chain Gang Of Love
  • Spiritualized – Amazing Grace
  • Starflyer 59 – Old
  • Strokes – Room On Fire
  • White Stripes – Elephant

A few other things I bought or downloaded (again, legit downloads only! ha ha) that was damn cool too:

  • Blur – Think Tank
  • Cat Power – You Are Free
  • Kathleen Edwards – Failer
  • Guided By Voices – Earthquake Glue
  • Libertines – Up The Bracket

And although the album it was on kinda sucked, “Restraining Order Blues” by the eels is the best love song of this year, or any year.

I usually don’t tell other people about my dreams, but last night’s was really odd.

I dreamt a fictitious uncle of mine had died, and I was at his giant New England mansion for the funeral. A seemingly narcissist and one who had invented some sort of special beer, his house was plastered with portraits and pictures and of him with many celebrities, including every president from FDR to GWB. Also on the wall was a letter in which he expresses regret that the pilot of the fatal Buddy Holly, Richie Vallens and Big Bopper flight was drunk on his brew.

Funniest moment was running into Willow Rosenberg. Not Alyson Hannigan, but Willow. She was dressed in her fuzzy pink sweater she wore in Doppelgangland. Of course, me being me and her being her, I grabbed her and hugged her. Which sort of horrified her. “Hugs are better when you’re ready for them,” she said.

Other moments I vaguely remember include a helicopter procession with the body to the cemetery. For some reason this uncle was scared of driving and would only go places in helicopters, including his final resting spot it seems. Ironically, I remember not wanting to get in, since I have a fear of flying, including, or especially, in helicopters.

There was also some moment where I took a bunch of food at the buffet (buffet at a funeral?) home in a tupperware container, which embarrassed the man’s children. That’s all I remember.

I am writing to you from the year 2000. A man came up to me today and offered me a ride in a time machine. I could either go 10 years into the future, or 100 years into the past. What should I choose?

Anyway, the year 2000 is pretty darn good. This new fangled “blog” thing is really new, fresh and awesome, but something tells me it’ll be staler than day old diapers come 2010. Hmmm…