Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Draw Me Like One Of Your French Girls

It's been a while since I shared more portraits, so here's a new batch for your eyeballs. Previous collections can be viewed here, here, and here.


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As always, you can get your own custom portrait via the link below!


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Antisocial Network

I'm a little sick of Facebook. At this point I think everyone's a bit tired of Facebook but we can't pry ourselves away from it because then we'd be cavemen. Or rather, cavepeople, to be gender neutral. This is 2011 after all.

Instead, we complain about Facebook, usually on Facebook, and I'm more than happy to join in the discord. I've compiled a list of ten common occurrences that bother me about Facebook and I'd like to share them with you.

1. "Caught Off Guard" Photos

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I see this all the time in my news feed and I'm baffled by it. These photos pop up and I just have so many questions. What are you girls looking at? How are the vertebrae in your necks not snapping like twigs?

I blame Paris Hilton for this one. Actually, I blame Paris Hilton for about 90% of the world's problems (famine, global warming, the NBA lockout, the list goes on).

2. Duck Lips

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I know, I know. Everyone and their grandmother has harped on the duck lips phenomenon, but it bears repeating because it remains a problem. It's still happening. How is it still happening? Why aren't we as a society funneling trillions of dollars into educating our young people against this habit? I have it on good authority that making duck lips causes face cancer. So what if there's no medical proof to back up that claim? Do you really want to risk it? I didn't think so.

3. The Apparition

This one is understandable to an extent, though no less tragic. It's when people take photos of themselves but push the levels in Photoshop to the extreme, and what's left is a white floating mass with eyeballs and a mouth. Michael Jackson utilized this tactic fulltime in later years. I'm guessing its purpose is to hide the imperfections in one's face, but the end result is anything but an improvement. It's the opposite of an improvement. An unprovement? Nonprovement? Yeah, nonprovement. That's a word.

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4. English as a Foreign Language

I have a friend who frequently makes the argument that language evolves, but I'd like to know when Internet jargon became an acceptable form of communication outside the realm of sexting your boyfriend during fourth period. It's gotten so bad that on occasion I'll have a difficult time making sense of certain status updates because they're so riddled with shorthanded phrases and netspeak. At some point they stop sounding human altogether, instead resembling an alien with a feeble grasp on the language of Earthlings.

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5. Woe is Me

Social networking has understandably become a part of our day-to-day lives, and thus aspects of our lives play out online. However, I grow weary of watching arguments unfold in real time on my wall. True, on occasion I get a kick out of seeing two of my friends quarrel; they'll hurl insults back and forth about who's a bigger bitch or who's the Mayor of Slutburg this week, but when my friends take to Facebook to passive aggressively whine about their lives, I want to throw in the towel and do something drastic like unplug my router and go read a book.

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22 replies later, I'll learn she was upset because her mom got her the wrong flavor of frozen yogurt from Pinkberry, and wish I could get back that 90 seconds of my life I wasted reading that thread.

6. The Racist Redneck Cousin

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We all have one of these on our friends list. You can't remove them or else you'll get an angry email from Aunt Susan about why you unfriended her son. It's best to ignore them completely.

7. The Facebook Gamer

For a long time I forgot Farmville even existed because I had all mentions of it blocked, but a few weeks ago my account went screwy and I started receiving notifications about it again. I readjusted my settings, but it made me wonder about farming simulations. I can't for the life of me understand the appeal of Farmville. My grandparents had a ranch when I was a kid and I can tell you firsthand that farm life is boring as hell. Why would you want to simulate something like that on the Internet?

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And why stop at farming? Why not play a game where you wash little pixelated dishes all day? Extra points for scraping old lasagna off that oven pan!

8. The "Real" Gamer

I'm sort of anal retentive about what shows up on my personal Facebook feed. Should I inadvertently share a Yahoo news link without realizing it, I have a conniption fit and my whole week is ruined. I nearly died the day I realized I'd accidentally set my Playstation 3 to share trophy updates on my profile as I received them in-game. Personally I don't feel the need to share the fact that I spent Saturday night training my dark elf to Level Infinity, but that's just me.

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9. The Proud Parent

I'm at that age where some of my friends are having babies, and for the most part I genuinely enjoy seeing updates about their kids. But on occasion a friend will go overboard with the baby pictures and start setting up what I imagine they think are adorable photo shoots.

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I want to tell them that when they do this, Anne Geddes takes a shovel, digs a hole in her backyard, and lays down in it, just so she can roll over in her grave.

10. The Stalker

Perhaps the most unsettling of all is the Facebook stalker. They come in many forms. They might be an overzealous ex, or maybe a doting aunt who just got AOL. They like all your status updates, they comment on everything, and offer unwarranted advice on your each and every trivial action.

I can't help but imagine what it would be like if that sort of behavior took place in real life.

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Sometimes I lay awake at night and imagine how nice it would feel to delete my Facebook altogether. I fantasize about how freeing it would be, and resolve to delete my account first thing in the morning. Then I wake up, decide against my prior decision, and instead sign up for Tumblr and Spotify, even though I don't understand either one. Because this is America, and I'm pretty sure the Bill of Rights states that it's a man's inalienable right to complain about Facebook on a daily basis if he so chooses. In fact, if I recall correctly, the Founding Fathers declared independence because Great Britain had set up a firewall to block Facebook. That's a fact. I read that in the same magazine that said making duck lips causes face cancer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ferrets

It was probably my junior year of high school and I was at my first real party. I'd never even touched alcohol before, but for some reason I'd decided tonight was the night. I was going to cut loose. I was going to channel the ghost of Orson Welles. I was going to GO. NUTS.

Like an idiot, I wasted no time in knocking back the brew, oblivious to my rapidly increasing inebriation. I began to lose control of my voice modulation, and by 10:30 PM I might as well been shouting, "Hey, everyone! This is obviously my first party ever! And man, do I love Natural Ice!”

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Of course, being a naive teenager, I had no idea that life has consequences (which, in all honesty, is a concept I grapple with to this day). Sometimes the flipside to overindulging manifests in the form of your peers thinking you're an obnoxious moron (because you probably are), but more often it arrives in the form of projectile vomit (but I'll get to that later). At some point during the night, enough people had complained about the loud idiot in the Nine Inch Nails t-shirt that the hostess of the party had to take action. She confiscated my half full cups of beer, chaperoned my drunk ass into her bedroom, and directed me to play with her pet ferrets while I sobered up enough rejoin the civilized masses.

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I rolled around with the animals for a few minutes but quickly lost steam. In spite of the ferrets' dizzying novelty, or perhaps because of it, it became clear to me that I was in no shape to be communing with animals, let alone humans.

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In fact, I was in no shape to be conscious. I promptly passed out face first into the girl's bed, completely oblivious to the curious creatures scampering across my back and chewing on my hair.

I don't know how long I slept there, but it was not restful sleep. I awoke a little while later, delirious and confused, groggily cognizant of the sound of the party still raging in the other room. As I struggled to sit up, something suddenly became very clear to me.

I am going to barf.

I am going to barf immediately.

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I leapt out of bed and booked it to the bathroom down the hall, which was of course occupied by teenagers smoking meth, or banging each other, or playing Magic: The Gathering, or whatever it is that teenagers do. A quick survey of the second floor bathroom proved that it was likewise locked and in use. Panic took hold. I lumbered back into the bedroom, the vomit rising, and I knew I'm out of options. I had no choice but to let loose in the corner of the room.

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I spewed forth a great, heaping mass of cheap beer, stomach acid, and bits of public school cafeteria tacos. With my belly (and soul) purged, I could do nothing more than crawl back into bed, curl into the fetal position, and cry myself quietly back to sleep.

It wasn't long before I woke up for a second time. The party outside had died down to a dull roar. As I slowly became aware of my surroundings, I realized I could hear something in the room. It was a faint sound, foreign and yet still somehow familiar. My eyes could barely focus, so I strained my ears to listen.

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Whatever it was, it was coming directly from the corner where I'd puked. I struggled to sit up, and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I witnessed a downright horrifying site.

Ferrets.

Ferrets eating vomit.

Ferrets eating MY vomit.

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Suddenly lucid and aware of the massive party foul I'd just commited, I was instantly consumed with one simple concept: escape. I had to get the hell out of here, move to Montreal, and change my name to Ferdinand. Nobody could know of my crime. Thankfully I was on the ground floor, so I scurried to the window and scrambled out of the house.

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As I shambled along in the dark, thoughts of drunk ferrets consumed me. All I could hope was that my furry friends had finished off their dinner, destroying any evidence of my terrible mistake.

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That was the first and last time alcohol ever touched my lips.

Ok, that's a lie. But I did learn to monitor myself better. 

Well, slightly better. 

Maybe.