Sunday, December 04, 2011

We're Having a 'Needy Morning' Here.

If you have pets - or I imagine kids can be pretty awesome at this too sometimes - I'm sure you've encountered a 'needy morning.' It's when you and your significant other just want to sleep in. Because it's a weekend, and that's just what you do. But your child/pet/needy family member just wants attention. To be loved, to snuggle in that way that really isn't relaxing, but more a balancing act for how many circus clowns fit on a bed. Or in Mac's case, the needy morning comes in the form of pacing from my side of the bed to Fiance's, over and over, as his nails clack on the hardwood floors with every step. At each end of his pace, he'll stick his very cold nose in your face (because he's tall enough to be just the right height for that) and heave a ridiculous, dog-food scented sigh/ cry for attention. Thus, this house has been awake since roughly 7AM. On a Sunday. For the record - as if you couldn't tell - I am not a morning person. (and I don't like coco pops. so we're just stuck)

Fiance almost always gives up sooner than I. This doesn't by any means make him weaker, it actually makes him smarter. Because as soon as he gives up, and gets up, he can go to his office and shut the door and be productive. I have been trying, since 7AM, to fight the good fight; to be sleeping. And I have failed because without Fiance filling the space, Mac has room to get on the bed and attempt to dig me out of the covers while whining straight into my ear.

Yelling at him is futile - he's not doing something wrong, per-say. Yelling wouldn't make his nails stop clacking on the floor every time he took a step. Instead, this morning has been full of horrible passive-aggressive little phrases, where you say something absolutely vile but it's in that sing song voice that the dog wants to hear because it means you love him. And it makes you feel slightly better to get these thoughts off your chest. The last one I whispered right in his floppy little ear, right before giving up the good fight and coming downstairs to blog at 9:30, was some approximation of this:

I'm gonna rip your toes off one by one until you just have quiet little stumps to walk on. Yes I am. Yes I am. You're gonna be the cutest little stump dog ever.

Yep. That's a proud moment in my life - threatening to rip my dog's toes off in exchange for just an hour more to sleep. Thank goodness Mac will never understand the meaning of these words.
So I gave up, got up, and came down here to blog, as previously mentioned. And as soon as I plunked down on the couch and flipped open the computer, NEEDY MORNING 2: THE NEEDINATING began. So I'm actually typing this a full hour after my intended start time, since it took that long to convince Mac that he has fulfilled his role of lap dog for the day.

Love meeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

I'm curious, what do you do on your needy mornings? Do you have a trick I missed? Or would you just like to commiserate with me? I'm open to both.

On that subject of kids and pets, friends, I have a one-time offer for you, that comes with a story. Read on dear readers, READ ON.

Yesterday was Fiance's company Christmas party (You may be amused to hear that it was outside, and most people wore t-shirts. To a Christmas party in December. Whatever, I laughed). It was a fun time, and I was very grateful to the wives there who were kind enough to welcome me to their table, and speak slowly to me, repeat things a thousand times, and even speak a little English with me. Hospitable isn't a good enough word, them's good people yo.

Being a Christmas party, Fiance and I got to be a part of two Mexican Christmas traditions: Tamales, and the piñata.

Tamale. Which should be the Spanish word for amazing. I don't know why it's not.

I love how piñata's work here. You line up all the kids, smallest to tallest. Each kid is armed with the stick for five swings. And then the next kid goes. The instant the "kill-swing" connects, and the candy flies, all the kids make a mad free-for all to grab as many sweets as their chubby little fingers can grasp. They give these candies to nearby parents for safe-keeping, and then the swinging starts back up. It doesn't matter if the candy's gone, everyone takes their 5 swings at the piñata, and everyone gets a round of applause when they're done. I don't know, something about the way this reinforces the importance of taking turns, and letting little ones go first, and... it's just more than the greed that I think seems to permeate this kind of activity in the States. (Sorry, it's true, and you know it.) Check it out:

See, the little one goes first and at the end of her turn she's excited to have gone, not upset that she has to give the stick back. And a few minutes later, the bigger kids get to go - which is fun because they move the piñata around to make it harder. And actually, by the time this dude was swinging, the candy had already been dumped, he was just happy to take his turn. Kinda cool, eh?

Long story short, the party was a lot of fun and we had a good time. While we were there, I busted out my handy-dandy... sketch book, and took to drawing the little kids around me. By the end of the shindig, I was pretty popular with the school-age kids, who all wanted their picture drawn, AND, they wanted to practice their English lessons with the native English speaker. Which was pretty cute, and good practice both for my language skills and my drawing skills.

That last one, I was trying to make a joke about how he kept stealing chips (totopos) so I was attempting to write, "The Chip Bandit." But I spelled the Spanish word for Bandit (Bandido) so poorly that they thought I was trying to write "The Blessed Chips," or "The Chip Blesser" So that's what we ended with because the mom seemed so elated at that phrase.

And that got me to thinking - why don't I draw like that that more often? Or more specifically (because I am, in fact, from the US, where money talks) why am I not doing this for money? After all, I have a (defunct at the moment, soon to be reopened) etsy monster. I need to get on that. Which, dear readers, is where you come in - because I need a little help.

Would you like a FREE caricature of your child or pet?

I'll take the first three commenters who would like a caricature/ sketch of their child, and the first three that would like a caricature/ sketch of their pet.

Here's the catch: I'm giving these away for free because I need some samples to put up in my Etsy monster listing for when I ultimately sell custom caricatures. So really, the price of you getting a sketch of your kid is not so much money, but me putting it up online, next to an actual picture of your kid, for the world to see if my skills are something they'll pay money for.

You will receive from me, the original 5.5 x 8.5"
sketch of your child's/ pet's head/shoulders (this is actually called a bust, but I felt weird saying you'll get a sketch of your kid's bust. CREEP),
a caricature of his/her/its whole self,
which will be on archival quality sketch paper (60lb fine tooth, if you're that much of a paper nerd), drawn with graphite.

If you are in the US, I'll ship it to you while I'm home visiting over the Christmas holiday (AKA - know this is either not a Christmas present, or it's not going to come on time to be a punctual Christmas present), and if you're in Mexico I'll get it to you the next time I see you / have Fiance bring it to you. The examples I've posted here from the party are to give you some idea of what you're getting yourself into, but you should keep in mind that I'll be spending legitimate time on these - not the 10 rushed minutes I spent on each of these.

HIT ME UP. Comments link is right below here. Those little green words that say " comments" CLICK THAT.


Jamie said...

I don't have a kid for you to sketch, but would happily volunteer my kitty Crookshanks for a portrait subject!


Nicole said...

We can volunteer our little (not really) monster pup :)

Kp said...

Excellent! Thanks ladies - Crookshanks and Stout are in. I'll hit you both up on the book of faces for details.

Rikki said...

I don't have children (obviously) but if you still want to do another one, I would love to have one done for my best friends' kids! Let me know if you still have a space available :-)

I know she won't mind them being used on Etsy. Either way, I'll probably purchase one. Your sketches are freaking darling.

Hannah whistler said...

A bust of Linnea and I would be great!

Kp said...

Rikki, Hannah - you're one and two on the people sketches list. I'll e-mail you both (facebook?) with some info in a tick here) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You could sketch my dog 'Bentley' and my daughter's cat 'Pookie'. We can negogiate price :)

Kp said...

I feel like this may be construed as reverse Nepotism, but I'm pretty sure we can work something out with this Pookie/Bentley combo. ;)