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I know you’ve already marked your calendar and blocked off the evening of Saturday, October 22nd to be at Nick’s with us (because poetry movies, y’all), so I’m pleased to announce that tickets for Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2016 are now up and ready for you at the Doublebunny Store. You can grab yours right here!
We’re planning a super fun night for the festival this year – Tony Brown and Melissa Mitchell will be hosting again,* and there will be TONS of fantastic films screened. Awards are going out in seven categories this year: Best Overall Production (natch), Best Sound/Music, Best Animated, Best Smartphone, Best Under One Minute, Best Valentine, and, and, AND! Omg, folks, we got enough entries this year that the Shoots! Youth Prize is finally going to be a real thing!** There will also be fancy dresses and photo opportunities and delicious food and drinks and, of course, popcorn.
In the meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be over here getting the trophies set up – I’ll be the one with the inky hands, holding court with a bunch of paper bunnies. There will probably be movies on in the background – you’ll be able to find me by following the sound of the spaceships ~.o
*Have you seen this power couple all dressed to the nines?? Omg: GLAMOUROUS.
**This is the third year we put out a call for entries for Shoots!, and the first time we received any entries at all – and we got TEN! I am over the moon, y’all.
Everyone in Worcester knows about Turtle Boy. And if you’ve visited Worcester, chances are someone took you to go see Turtle Boy while you were here. On the edge of Central Common is the statue of a boy -ahem- riding* a giant sea turtle. It’s actually a fountain, not currently functional, but, hey, we’re having a water thing right now. The statue, also known as the Burnside Fountain, was commissioned after a gift of $5,ooo was given to the city from Harriet F Burnside in memory of her father. Over the years it has become kind of a mascot to the city. Its official name is Boy With Turtle.** Of interest: somene tried to steal it in 2004.** Where were they going to put it??***
Anyway. In conversation with Molly about the fountain on the Common, I was given the heads-up about another statue in Worcester featuring sea life and a young man, and this one is awe inspiring in an altogether different way. Boy With A Dolphin by David Wynne resides in the courtyard at One Chestnut Place, and it pains me a little that it’s tucked away so well. This fountain (yes, it’s a fountain too!) is a true beauty.
Audrey and I went one rainy afternoon to see for ourselves. For the record, neither of us recommend sneaking past the orange barrier (in our defense, we found it ajar when we were there****) – we went and took some footage so you don’t have to wait until it’s officially open again to get a good look.
*You know what? I keep tryping a joke in here and then deleting it after feeling grimy as soon as the words land. You decide for yourself if there’s a good quip to be made. I can’t make it.
**A moment, please. I’m having a Wes Anderson moment.
***This amuses me to no end. The statue is twelve feet wide, and five feet tall. Did the thieves arrive with a vehicle or were they going to hijack it on foot? Were they going to stuff it in the back of a pickup truck and drive away? I retain an image in my head of two giddy (possiby drunken) bros dragging the thing down the sidewalk to a double-parked somewhat beat-up hatchback. That’s probably not the way it happened (I don’t even know if they got it off the base – this is conjecture, y’all. I maintain a rich interior life), but I like to think of it that way.
****This it the stuff that keeps me up at night (giggling). Would it have become a lawn ornament (surrounded by a bevvy of little gnomes in little red hats)? A roof topper (perhaps with a little weather vane atop it)? Also, having once seen the underworkings of a fire hydrant (once upon a time at a bbq in Dallas – but that’s a story for another time), I’m pretty sure there are pipes involved that would make mounting the thing a Pinterest project from hell.
*****Please forgive us, for we are lovers of public art, and so it felt like a speakeasy invitation: Psst – wanna see some ahhht?
WooT! We have a fine beginning for the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival trailer – this is the first draft, the proof of concept, if you will, that Audrey (best intern EVAR) and I cooked up today on the repurposed rig. 180 frames, I think.
Next I want to adjust the color and contrast, and crop out the messy stuff on the left and top. Tomorrow is All Photoshop All Day. Please send good thoughts – xoxo
I can tell it all in one sentence: upgrade the hardware.
Really, it was that simple. And, really, yes, it did cost money. But because the cost of more ink v. the cost of a new printer, which comes with some ink, and a scanner, to boot, made the difference negligible, I’m just not down that much from the starting line. My beloved Canoscan no longer sits to my right, and Our Man Cub has inherited my old printer, because to replace the scanner, I decided to go with a printer/scanner combo that also prints on dvds.*
And then I pushed buttons and tweaked settings for, like, three days until the scanner did what I wanted it to do. I still have a little bit of foolery to commit in order to print discs in a program other than the one that came with the printer,** but printing to paper is doing quite well (settings matter, sister!) In fact, I like it enough that I’ll be printing the Doublebunny holiday cards in-house this year.
So all’s well in the office today, and the paper being pushed is pretty paper. The engine can, friends. The engine can.
*Yes! I can make dvds now! Turns out that, well, you pretty much get what you pay for with this stuff. It was a shame that the free program that came with 7 won’t burn the disc, but, on the other hand, it’s also pretty wonderful to work with a program that has options. I chose Nero Video in the end, and it made a rather lovely product, relatively in budget, even.
**One bit of disappointment with Nero is that its label maker program does not print right. I’m hoping it’s a setting – I have some screwing around to do.
This is the process: You get it wrong. You make adjustments. You get it wrong. You make adjustments. You get it wrong. You get lucky and see something that you didn’t see before, or you make a connection all of a sudden. Something different turns up wrong. You make adjustments.
And eventually, you not only get it right, but you understand how to do it right. And further down the road, you get good at it. Far down the road, you can even claim some mastery.
It’s the process. The process is probably law. Sister Corita Kent knew about the process. When she put together her rules for the Immaculate Heart College Art Department, number 7 was:
“The only rule is work.
IF YOU WORK IT WILL LEAD TO SOMETHING.
IT’S THE PEOPLE WHO DO ALL OF THE WORK ALL THE TIME
WHO EVENTUALLY CATCH ON TO THINGS.”
It doesn’t say anything in there about sussing out printer issues, but that’s likely because she was all about the letterpress.* If she had been a computer user, I’m 100% sure that there would be something specific about the printer.
So! Our Man Cub is back from the wilds of Florida, at last! I was thinking that while he was away, visiting with the grands for a week, that, having the whole desk to myself (we share a desk, yanno), I would be able to get lots of things done,* right? I was going to take advantage of quiet space and lack of distraction,** and Do Work. But that didn’t happen. I mostly missed the Cub, worked a bunch of hours at the museum, and came home to watch a bunch of Warehouse 13 episodes on Netflix. In the dark, because it was too hot to have the lights on.*** While eating carryout.
Over the week I did, tho get to some stuff! For one thing, Dearest Will and I got to take in the Zentangle exhibit in Whitinsville on Friday at the Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery in the front offices of Alternatives Unlimited. Which was a wonderful after-work date. We came home with the book from the show (all proceeds from book sales go back to Alternatives Unlimited, to boot), and tons of inspiration.
Also, I finally got around to trying out gelatin prints! I’ve been fascinated with this form since running across Linda Germain’s site† a few months ago, and dearly wanting to try it out. And so I did. So here’s how it went in my kitchen –
(x-posted to the Poets Asylum)
And they’re beautiful! Check out these babies –
We’ll be selling them at the Sunday reading (you know about the Poets Asylum reading, right? ‘Cos it’s been around for, like, 14 years, and if you haven’t been, you should totally come check it out) starting this weekend. If you’re out of town and would like one (or two, or three, or five, or ten), you can order one from the Doublebunny Press store – we’ll mail it right to your mailbox.
4″ round, vinyl, $3 each (+shipping and handling for mailing, natch), with all profits going to defray hotel and registration costs associated with getting the 2013 Worcester Slam team to NPS in August. And it almost goes without saying that one of these will totally fancy up whatever you put it on.
Ok, so I’ve been awol for a couple weeks, right? Here’s the scoop (anti-scoop, maybe?) – I’m working on a project that I can’t talk about just yet (it will be revealed over the weekend, and then I can talk about it), and it’s just killing me. I’ve actually been picking away at this for about a month now (ok, almost two months), and it’s all I want to talk about, but I can’t, so instead I haven’t been talking about much of anything. Except the day-to-day business of being around here, natch, and that doesn’t feel really blogworthy. But then I realized that, indeed, things are happening. So let me tell you about things that are happening (that I can talk about)!
Let’s start with the part where I got adopted by a slam team. Nono, I didn’t make it onto a slam team.* The 2013 Worcester Slam Team asked me to be their coach, and I couldn’t be more honored to work with such an osm group of poets. Watching them come together with their writing has been really great. Also, I would love these people, even if they weren’t writing super poems – they’re just really great people, and I love being in their presence. I feel a little gifted, really – two of them are housemates, and three of them are the ladies with whom I meet to write on Monday nights. It’s been lovely to reconnect to the slam while not having to actually compete – totally fun!
And I’ve been working on a scarf thing. So I saw this really sweet scarf on Pinterest, right? All made up of tiny little crocheted hexagons – so dainty! So pretty! And I was hoping for instructions at the pin’s website, but alas, it’s a picture of something that a blogger had just purchased. And I don’t know how to make hexagons. So I started to dig around to learn how to make hexagons, but in the middle of researching** I had this (somewhat related) idea that I could make a scarf from different sized circles.
And, whoa – surprise! This has been the Most Relaxing Thing Evar. See, I have issues with relaxing, across the board. I always feel like I should be doing something.*** And having something to do with my hands while Screwing Off On Purpose (what most people call Relaxing), calms that business down like no other thing. Guilty pleasure admission: I love to watch teevee and do needlework. So I’m making this scarf, and all of yesterday was spent in front of Hulu, watching episodes of comfortable junk-food teevee like Merlin, and crocheting circles. I’m about half way to Scarf, and plan on showing it off like whoa when it’s all done.
So after 22 months at the temp job, I was unceremoniously released with no reason furnished. Maybe they just didn’t want to pay the agency’s fees anymore, who knows. So I packed up. That’s what you do with temp jobs, you pack up and don’t ask questions, and then you call the agency. Within a few hours I had another part-time temp job (not related to my agency), and was answering the email to HR. Also, I came home that afternoon to a note that I had been accepted as an instructor for a night-life class next month. And I had a high school fiction workshop to lead for the next day. I am grateful – I got out of a job I kinda hated, and I had some things lined up, as well as a few days off to manage my emotions and re-do our family budget. The Universe, clearly, is taking good care of me.
So I re-did the family budget, and we’re going to be ok, but it’s going to be super tight until I get some things rolling. The new job has fewer hours than the last job (many fewer, unfortunately), and pays less, but it’s a steady little something, so I’m thrilled. Also, it gives me time to look for another job. While I’m shifting through Monster and Craigslist, tho’, I thought this might be a good time to put out into the Universe and to you, dear reader, some of the things that I’m good at. For example:
♦ I lay out a brilliant chapbook. I can make your poetry gorgeous and ready to sell at readings. I do these at very reasonable rates,* and at the end can either send you a ready-to-print pdf, or assemble and package them up for you in pretty paper so it feels like Christmas when you receive them. I can also lay out a newsletter, set up post- and greeting cards, posters, flyers, cd packages, and other pretty paper things. You can check out my services here.
Valentine’s Day is so weird.
Despite the fact that I love a handful of romantic type things,* I don’t actively pursue a lot of that noise.** For example, I respect LARP, but I don’t do LARP. I don’t wear makeup or get bananas about looking glamorous. I love dragons, but I don’t collect dragon-y stuff. Most of my gardening is of the perennially green or fruiting variety. I do not own a cloak. Basically this: I’m pretty practical. I’ve actually been told*** that I do not have a romantic bone in my body. While I disagree with that statement, I can probably say with some surety that I could count the romantic bones I do have in my body on the fingers of one hand. And so Valentine’s Day is weird to me – all that Hallmark-y pressure!
Dearest Will is totally ok with this (which is probably why we’ve managed to last together, natch). Every time I try to live up to the Valentine’s Day romantic stuff, we end up with a belly full of overcooked steak and a card that I agonized over in Target and still don’t feel right about. So instead, Dearest Will and I have begun to take the holiday as an excuse to do frivolous shopping.† Well, mark the date, sister: this year was the Best Shopping Trip Since the First Time We Visited IKEA.††
I read about Seed to Stem online a couple weeks ago, and nearly peed. And then I realized that it’s really close by, and I got stupid excited – plants, stones, taxidermy? Yes, yes, yes! But that really just doesn’t say enough about the place.