Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, and Hallelujah

The Head and The Heart’s Sounds Like Hallelujah makes me want to run away to Portland, meet a nice, pretentious, bearded hipster intellectual, and drive around in my Prius with him in a haze of sweet awesomness. His voice totally rocks my world and takes me to a serene, wonderful place. Score one up for The Head and The Heart. It has been playing on a loop all week in my head, and I never want it to go away.

And speaking of hallelujah, listen to Jeff Buckley being amazing. Is there anything in life that is more beautiful than Jeff Buckley singing this song? Just in case you were wondering, the answer is a stern no.

Oh, and here's Ryan Adam's take on hallelujah. He makes it kickin'. However, the original version is not on YouTube, so you'll have to settle for this slowed down live version. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 11 - 16

I am halfway through the challenge and haven't missed a day yet. Granted, I haven't been 100% happy to get started every night, but as a whole, this has been a lot of fun so far.
Day 11: Turning Point In Your Life

I've had a lot of turning points in my life. In high school, finding an interest in photography was a great time for me. It was fun and I was pretty good at it. I miss the hours locked away in the darkroom, tricking people to smell stop bath, and the mystery in taking photographs and having to wait to see how they turned out.

Day 12: Most Recent Accomplishment

I have always wanted to learn to play guitar. I tried when I was younger, but it chewed up my fingers and I gave up far too easily. Last April, I started taking lessons and I'm happy to say that I can now play a bit of guitar. I'm not amazing, but I can make something that halfway resembles music. This is one of my guitars. It’s a purplish Fender.

Day 13: Comic

I'm not sure if I was supposed to design a comic or draw my favorite one. I chose the latter. If I could only name one thing that resembles what it is like being in my brain, I would suggest reading some Calvin and Hobbes.

Day 14: Favorite Fairy Tale

I had a hard time deciding which fairy tale was my favorite, but I went with Grimm's Cinderella. In the traditional story, Cinderella doesn;t have a fairy god mother. Sadly, her mother died and she planted a hazel tree on her grave. When she was upset, she went to the tree and a white bird landed on the branches above her and granted her wishes. I find the bird more magical and interesting than Prince Charming.

Day 15: Family Picture

I wish that I was having a better painting day. One day, I'm going to try this day again and work on a better portrait.

Day 16: Inspiration

Color inspires me. I love opening a box of paint, picking out a random color, and then just seeing where it takes me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 3 - 10

I'm 10 days into this challenge and having to pull from the creativity pool on a daily basis isn't always that easy. A couple of days, I really hated the prompts. One day, I just didn't feel like it. The good part is that I'm sticking with it. There is a great sense of pride in being able to flip through my journal and see the progress. While most of the drawings/paintings aren’t very beautiful, there is something beautiful about the sustained effort.

Day 3: Favorite Food

Avocados have been my favorite food for a really long time. Growing up, a special treat in my household was avocado slices and tomatoes with salt and pepper. It is still one of my favorite treats.

Day 4: Favorite Place

I have lots of favorite places, but one of the most interesting is Central Park. It is magical and fun. While walking in it, you can get lost and see celebrities, castles, and a whole slew of other things you would never imagine in New York City.

I drew this sketch from a photograph back in April of last year. I've always been very fond of it.

So, I painted it. It reminds me of  Holden Caulfield. Whenever, I'm in NYC, I think of Holden and the ducks. I love playing out that idea of adventure. However, I do try to skip that whole committed part at the end.

Day 5: Best Friend

I have a great family that I love and friends that I care about, but I don't really have a best friend. So, I decided to cheat and say the thing that is always there for me. This is pretty much the ugliest, most ridiculous portrayal of  music ever, but I'm posting it anyway. This would be my failure day. I tried to recreate the way that my vinyl looks on the shelves in the background. I sorta wish that I had just skipped everything else. *Shame*

Day 6:  Favorite Book Character (Can't be a movie)

This day was fun. I dug into the box of my books and came up with a few of my favorites.

Max from Where the Wild Things Are - I always read and enjoyed Maurice Sendak's books growing up. In college, I saw an art exhibit of his work and have been a true fan ever since.

There's No Such Thing as a Dragon was always one of my favorite books. Thanks to books, I want a pet monkey, a dragon, a trip to Hogwarts, and the title of Queen of All Wild Things.

Day 7: Favorite Word

I'm not sure that this is my favorite word, but it is my favorite Pulp song. Same difference really.

Day 8: Favorite Animated Character

Naaaaaaaarf. Hands down, Pinky is my favorite animated character. His laugh still doubles me over with the giggles.

Day 9: Favorite TV Show

Once Upon a Time isn't really my favorite TV show (It has been Buffy The Vampire Slayer since the first second I saw it in 1997), but I really enjoyed watching it over the weekend and was pretty (*spoiler alert*) heartbroken when they killed The Huntsman. So, I played around with a photo of him.

Day 10: Favorite Candy

I have had some serious Smarties induced sugar highs in my life. It is goooood.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Very Unhappy Blue Monday to You...

A scientist somewhere (probably Finland or Norway) figured out an equation for the most depressing day of the year, which always seems to fall on a Monday in January. This is Blue Monday. Apparently, the scientist was also a New Order fan. For 2012, it's tomorrow, January 23. In all honesty, mine was last week, so either his equation is off or I'm just ahead of the curve. Yeah, me.

To celebrate... well, more to commiserate, I made this lovely, dark New Wave inspired mix to get you through the day. 

At the bottom of the page, I tried out an Amazon MP3 clips widget, so you guys will have to let me know how it works. And if you know of any better way to post a playable mixtape, please let me know. Anyway, enjoy.
  Blue Monday 2012 Mix
  1. New Order - Blue Monday
  2. The Killers - Shadowplay
  3. Depeche Mode - Corrupt
  4. Violent Femmes - Color Me Once
  5. The Cure - 10:15 Saturday Night
  6. Joy Division - Transmission
  7. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Arabian Knights
  8. Echo & The Bunnymen - People Are Strange
  9. The Sisters Of Mercy - Lucretia My Reflection
  10. The Glove - Mouth To Mouth
  11. The Cure - Let's Go To Bed (Live Version)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge

A few months back, I saw on a blog a 30 Day Drawing Challenge. It sounded like fun. I wanted to do it right away, but for random reasons, I've been putting it off.

Last week, I challenged myself to paint for seven days straight. It ended up helping me through a difficult week. So, this weekend, I started this challenge. It looks like most people drop out after a few days, but my goal is do all 30 days (no skipping days or dragging it out for 45 days). I'll post the drawing/painting on Instagram (@sughadust) every day and then add them here once a week. I don't expect them to be great, but there is something amazing about showing up on the page every day. I'm excited to see what comes out of it a month from now.
Here are my first two days:

Day 1: Yourself

Day 2: Favorite Animal

Friday, January 13, 2012

Music for all the drama and chaos...

I know that Blue Monday (aka the most depressing day of the year) isn’t until January 23rd this year, but this week is giving it a real run for its money. Everything has been especially dramatic and chaotic, which probably really means that I’m the one who has been dramatic and chaotic.

I cried at my desk. It was just a couple of those big fat tears that stubbornly leak out when you’re super frustrated, but I haven’t done that in a very long time. I blame the following: the end of vacation, starting up a new exercise regime, suddenly eating healthy and taking my vitamins, big changes at work, and my normal malaise.

As always... Music saves. Music soothes. Music gives me perspective and balance. This week, music has been especially important to me. The following songs in particular.

The Head and The Heart - Down in the Valley

This song feels familiar and homey to me. His voice sounds like an old friend and it makes me nostalgic. Once I listen to the song, I repeat it about 50 times because I just can’t bear to stop listening.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know

Just about every station that I listen to on Sirius has been playing this song lately. During lunch, I listened to it on Alt Nation and then flipped over to Spectrum and listened again without any complaints. There is something mysterious yet emotionally close about this song. It sucks me in. However, the video is annoyingly pretentious... just close your eyes and listen.

Ryan Adams - Lucky Now

Ryan Adam's music is either absolutely amazing (La Cienega Just Smiled, Come Pick Me Up, Crazy About You, Nuclear, etc. ) or just sorta eh. The eh moments are great to put on the record player and let them go, but the amazing stuff just takes me over, consumes me, and rips at my heart. I guess that I should be thankful that it's not all amazing. Anyway, he pretty much always finds his way on to all of my mix tapes (aka playlists, but I like the sound of mix tapes better). This song is phenomenal. It is beautiful, emotional, and a little gritty. It is exactly what I love about Ryan Adams.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

“Share a smoke, Make a joke...”

Nothing makes me feel so full of teen angst, ready to car dance, flirt with boys, and be generally silly as the Violent Femmes. See below for my real teen angst. You know that you're super jealous of my awesome high-water pants with those rockin' Airwalks.

Violent Femmes - Add It Up

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year, Pickin', Joey Jeremiah, and Hulu

Welcome to 2012! I would love to be able to write that I used my vacation time doing something wonderful and life changing, but that really didn't happen. After the year that I've had, I was more than happy to kick back into some serious nada. I hung out with my family, contemplated buying a condo or a house (decided against it), played games on my iPad, shopped, and spent far too many hours watching television.

I  addicted to American Pickers. I love the idea of a show where you get to nosy around in other people's piles of junk. In high school, I would help my friends organize their rooms because I loved to organize anything. Honestly, I think it was also because I was nosy. I also love the idea of repurposing things.  Ironically, I immediately followed up my little marathon by going out and buying some new stuff. Yeah, me.

I have been waxing on for months about how I'm going to cancel my cable after the first of the year. I live in a neighborhood that is limited to one provider and my bill for basic is $100+ a month. It is expensive and since I got it, I've spent far too much time in front of the television.  I feel guilty if I don't watch everything that I dvr'd. So, over my break, I tried Hulu Plus.

Thanks to Hulu, I got completed obsessed with watching vintage Degrassi (amazingly awesome Canadian mellow drama about the trials of adolescence). I loved this show growing up. I would scour PBS every Sunday afternoon to catch episodes and swoon over Joey Jeremiah and giggle at their super-duper Canadian accents. It's been a fun watch.

I'm on the fence about Hulu Plus. I’m so used to Netflix and my DVR that the commercials feel excessive to me. I wish they had a more expensive option where you didn’t have to see them.

It makes me laugh at how the commercials are so inappropriately paired. During Degrassi, I saw ads for Invisalign Teen (that girl needs to be kicked for being a nasty snot), beer (Stella Artois and Budlight pitbull guy that makes me want to vomit), Pepto (to help deal with that awful Budlight pitbull guy), and home pregnancy tests. Just add a commercial about the best place for the under 16 set to get their boob jobs done and it is just like watching a MTV reality show.

As a side note, my dear Google, your Chrome commercial with the screaming southern girl and the idiot with the green nail polish makes me want to switch back to Internet Explorer.

Anyway, I'm not great at making resolutions. After 11 days off of work and sleeping until noon, I'm going to need all of my vices to make it through the first week back.