Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another post about TV... but with drawings!

I finally got The Mister to watch an episode of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge with me last night.  Which quickly turned into watching TWO episodes of JHCSC last night with The Mister.  And I don't want to be all "I told you so," but I've been trying to get him to sit down and watch that show with me for like, well maybe a week.   Because I KNEW!  Come on, it's a show that mixes art/puppetry with electronic engineering.  How is that not the best show that's ever existed for a couple like us?

So far, we're both really glad that Tina is gone.  What is she doing with her life besides being a whiny poster-child for the focus-challenged?

The only problem is that now I have last night's episode on the DVR and I don't feel like I can watch it until the Mister comes home and is all caught up with me.

Meanwhile, I've had ideas stuck in my head because last night, just before we went to sleep, the Mister said "you would rock at JHCSC."*

Thus, instead of visions of sugarplums dancing through my head as I drifted off to sleep, I sketched out my entries into some of my favorite creature briefs already given (not last night's, because as we've already covered, I can't watch that one yet.)  Since I need to get into better practice with my tablet, I figured, what better opportunity?

EPISODE 1:  Peter Brooke mentors the Creature Designers into building the full-bodied puppet of a never-before-seen sea creature.

The Hoarder Crab - on STILTS! (why didn't anyone use stilts?!)
The puppeteer's arms are in first set of legs, his/her legs in back set of legs.  And the second set of legs are attached to the arms across from them so they move opposite each other.  
Claws are of lightweight material, rest against the front arms, and are mechanized to open & close.  Eyes remote-control to turn 180* for vision.  

*not pictured* I’d attach a bunch of ocean debris on his back with moss and old rope.  As he shuffles through the ocean, he collects things to “decorate” his shell to make him more attractive to a mate.  (make sure there’s a fork/dinglehopper on there for Ariel)*
I also debated how cool it would look to have a paint job like he was see-through - many deep sea creatures just don't have pigment in their skin/shells, because why bother if nothing will ever see it?  Buuuuuut then I figured I probably would have run out of time to do all that.

Episode 4:  Peter Brooke mentors the Creature Designers when they create a fantasy creature that has been slain and returns to life as a hunting trophymounted on the wall at the Wizard's Mansion. The slain fantasy creature must be made from an animal foam mold which will be given to the Mold Makers to have the molds made for the slain creature. The project must include puppetry with some mechanisms in it which must be performed on the Wizard's Mansion set with the hunting trophy explaining how it ended up in this fate.
Antioch the Foogerman.  Ferocious beast guarding the front gate of the castle garden.  Can snarl, blink, and move his ears.  Horns would are curly-goat like for no reason other than looking more intimidating.  Scaly texture as protective armor around temples and under neck.  Voice is a little like “Dug” from Up. Loyal to the end, never leaves his post.  Saw a bunny near the magic turnips and ran after it.  Turned out to be the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python.  Growls at any mention of bunnies or squirrels, birds, etc.  Really wishes he could lick his butt.  Really wishes he knew where his butt went.

I'm not even going to pretend that this personality isn't 100% based upon Mac.

Episode 5:  John Criswell mentors the Creature Creators where they create a large-scale believable creature that has real movement while running their ideas with teams' appointed puppeteers. They will also use UV paint to make it glow in the dark as part of a way to bring it to life in the dark. The large-scale creatures will be performed in the black light room.
Floating Nightmare Squid.
Puppeteer one would carry the backpack and be in charge of the two “squid” legs in front via a pole with cables attached to the ends of the arrows.  puppeteer two would be behind the squid operating the UMBRELLA that all the other legs are attached to.  Infrastructure of the legs would be constructed to curl up a bit as they open and straighten as they close (like the tail that the dinosaur Josh and Lex made, except thinner)  inside of legs would be white and bright as a defense mechanism/ scaring off predators and alerting other squids of danger, ala white-tail deer.  accents of red , and should time allow, an lighted eye that changes color from red to yellow depending upon mood.  A risk, I know, because the stage is set for an above water scene.  Go big or go home I say!

Have you ever thought you would be a fantastic contestant on a competition show?  
Which show and why?  Tell me in the comments!

*that's really sweet of him ot say because I have 0 understanding of how 'servos' work.   But I could make some really kick ass creatures that don't move.  Or maybe I should just learn how servos work.  Practical knowledge? No.  Fun knowledge? YES.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Running with Roo

The snow has gone away(!)  Here's hoping that it stays gone for a bit, but lord knows I'm not about to waste the sun while it is here.

I decided to ditch the treadmill today and go for a run outdoors.  I also decided to take Mac, which is not so much because I wanted to have a running buddy, as I couldn't handle the pouty-puppy eyes that stared me down as soon as I put on sneakers and touched the car keys.  So, to the park we went.

You know how they say that pet-owners start to resemble their pooches after a while?  I realized today on our 3-mile "run," that I might not LOOK like Mac (I could never be so lucky to master his perfectly sculpted eye-brows), I certainly run like him.  To that effect, here's a look into Mac-a-Roo's mind for today's run.  A thought-train which was reflected in my own mind with *almost* 100% frightening mirror-like accuracy.

The Pump-Up.  
Alright, it's go-time.  Got my gear on (his running harness, so he doesn't choke himself on the end of the leash with his collar) and I'm READY.  The weather is perfect, not too hot, not too cold, a little bit of wind,  I'm gonna run the CRAP out of this run.

The Warm-Up.
Check me out, other running path users.  I know I look like a professional.  I got my head in the game.  I'm about to run like a Greyhound in a minute, just wait.  Gotta stretch out the hammies walking briskly for a tick first.

Official Go-Time.
Yes!  Running!  I'm RUNNING over here.  I got this.  I feel GREAT.  I could do this forEVER.
Well, I could definitely do this for a few minutes.
...I can do this until that sign up ahead.
OH GOD okay.  Okay.  I made it to the sign.  Let's just walk a bit, I am le tired.  Good first push.

The decision to do "Interval-Running" instead of just a straight jog.
Yeah, yeah perfect.  There are like people who say doing spurts of intense stuff is the best way to fat-burn, right?  Right.  I'll just walk until that bridge, then we can run by those kids, because they're loud, and that makes me nervous.

The Second Interval.
Okay yeah, we're good, we're going again.  Love it.  Perfect.  Feels good.  Except this harness.  When did this get so snug?  Man, winter was cruel to me.  It's in my armpits and it's rubbing, UGH.  It's fine, just ignore it.  Armpit. Armpit. Armpit. Armpit.  Noooooo I can't.  I'm done running until you fix it mom.  Stop goading me on, I don't wanna go to the next sign, I wanna stop.  Take off the harness and carry it for me.

De-Gearing (I took off my sweatshirt and tied his harness into it around my waist).
So much better.  See me shake off?  That's how uncomfortable I was.  It's 100% why I wasn't running to my fullest potential there.  Next interval I'm gonna crush it.

Interval Number Three.
You see that dude with the punky little dog?  He doesn't see us yet.  We have to run past him, because we're better than him, and we have to prove it by running past him and around the bend until he can't see that we've stopped running.  Then he'll think we've been running all along.  We can do that.  Yes.  Here we go.
Haha, see the punk-dog is barking at me.  I'm better than that.  I don't bark.

When we stop running no more than 10 feet after passing the punky little dog that "we are better than" so he can emergency-poop right there and force the poor dude with the punky dog to drag his angry pooch past us right after we *just* passed him.  
I'm so embarrassed.  I hope I don't fart.  I always fart when I feel nervous.

When Mac audibly farts as I bend down to pick up after him.
How dare that man with the punky dog laugh at me.  Or wait, he was probably laughing because he assumed that was mom who just ripped one*.  As long as he's not laughing with me then.

When we turn around because we're certainly not going to follow the man who thinks mom just farted like a grenade after her dog dropped a deuce as big as his punky little dog.
Well, we probably ran like 10 miles already anyway, I mean, I feel like we did.

Interval number four.
Heeeey mom I feel great!  Like a load has been lifted!  Wait, did I toot again?  Oh, no, there's just a hole in the poop bag.  Oh, we're running to that garbage can up there?  That's doable.
Oh, we're going to SPRINT to the garbage can before something falls out?  I... I'm gonna hang back here at the very end of my leash and make people think you're abusively dragging me down this path.

When all the loud kids we ran past before start judging mom because she looks like she's heartlessly dragging her exhausted dog toward a garbage can.
Look how nice these kids are, mom!  I wish you would pet me like they do.

Interval number five.  
I don't even feel tired anymore, this is great.  I bet we can do this for longer than any of the other intervals.  Oh yeah.  IS THAT A SQUIRREL?

Walking... kind of.
Noooo mom we left a squirrel back there!  We must go back so I can smell everything, there may be crucial clues to how I can catch a squirrel!

Interval number six.
Wait, we're still gonna keep this running thing going?  Like, half speed though mom.  Seriously, I'm not even gonna break a trot - you're going to have to keep pace with me.  Slow down.  You know you wanted to slow down.

Getting back to the car. 
ROLL DOWN THE WINDOWS!  We both smell like sweat and gross and we must let that smell out into the world so everyone else can know we made an amazing effort to run today!

There you have it.  3 miles later (maybe 1.5 of which we actually ran) we're back to the grind at home.  Or at least I am, Mac is sleeping.  Which is something I wish I was doing, because I am apparently exactly like my dog.

Do you have any similarities to your pets? 
Tell me about them in the comments!

*You all know I am not above using bodily humor to get a chuckle here, but I assure you in this instance, it was truly the dog who ripped a fart, not me.  No matter what the dude with the punky little dog thinks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm just gonna leave this here.

Snow.  I know I live in Michigan, but I feel like Mid-April is around the time where I'm allowed to start whining about snow still existing on the ground.

Mac and Bub concur.

I've been trying to push the winter away - I went out and raked the whole yard last week in the like, three days we didn't have snow.  Two days ago I put out the summer patio furniture.  I'm sure freezing is good for our sun umbrella.

At the same time, I've been trying to find some good things indoors to keep me from going nuts like Mac and Bub.  Top five options for not going stir crazy?

1.  Chinzy Competition TV Shows.  My favorites:  RuPaul's Drag Race and Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge.  Thank goodness for DVRs.  Do you watch either of these?  Who are you rooting for?  Tell me in the comments!*

I'm amazing and accomplished.  
2.  The library's crazy awesome selection of children's movies and video games.  There's something oddly satisfying about completing something.  Even something REALLY insanely simple, like a Pok√©mon game that was made for ages 5-8.  But. 100% completion, yo.

3.  Cleaning out the house.  Y'all, The Mister and I have a LOT of crap.  Actually, most of it isn't crap, but we have SO MUCH of it in this tiny house that we don't hardly use any of it... we just found random spaces to cram it where it collects dust.  And since we're looking at moving in the next... well I don't know, soon... I'd like to get rid of as much of the un-used stuff as possible before I have to YET AGAIN put all the things in boxes.

4.  The library's crazy awesome check out system!  I can log in online anytime and request holds, check my due dates, renew check outs, search their whole selection and even request new books they don't have.

I know this is pretty typical of libraries everywhere now, but I never cease to be amazed at how far this system has come since I learned how to look through those little drawers with Dewey Decimal numbers on them in grade school.

I've recently decided to read everything Christopher Moore has ever written, and so far that's been fun.  (He wrote a book titled Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend.  HOW DO YOU NOT IMMEDIATELY READ THAT?)  Also the Vlogbrothers are starting up a book club and I'm super down with that.

5.  Tanning.  Because everyone gets one vice, and at least mine ups my serotonin levels with a side of skin cancer.

What do you do to ward off the winter blues?  
You know the drill - hit that comment button!

*I haven't seen enough of JHCSC to really get a feel for who I want to win, but RPDR?  I'm team Bianca y'all.  I heart her.  SO MUCH.  (Courtney Act can come in second.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chumming the waters

This little piggy went to market
is for a diaper party/ pig roast invite!

I've been swamped lately with the stationery design business - great problem to have!

I've also been enjoying an interesting learning curve to do this gig.  I have two major revelations so far:
1.  I've learned enough about printing standards and stationery paper options that I now HATE my own wedding invitations.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up re-designing what The Mister and I sent out because I just can't stand how amateur they look compared to the work I'm doing now.

Have you ever been super proud of something only to look back 
at it later with more wisdom and realize that it's way subpar work?  
Tell me in the comments!
2.  There are definite seasons in this business. Right now?  We're in full-swing of BABY SEASON.  Which has been a super fun change of pace from the Bride season that seems to be slowing down for now.  

I have such plans to keep the clients rolling in, and sooner or later I might actually get the chance to make those plans happen.  I want to start doing more fun printables to put on the website, and listing good resources.  Things that can happen... as soon as I remember what my administrator password to is... ha.

Until then I thought I'd share some of the recent designs keeping me busy here today. 

This was the first draft to a wedding invitation inspired by the couple's love of international flair - these ended up getting printed on sparkly paper so the golds all glinted a bit.  LOVE.
I can't tell you how in LOVE I am with this trend - 
baby shower invites including an insert requesting a book for baby instead of a card.  
I can't take credit for that little rhyme, but I will use it every chance I get!

Front and Back to a Baby Shower for a mama who decorated the nursery with elephants.  
I'm really pleased with how the rain/chevron pattern came out.
 What's the coolest/ cutest/ best piece of baby related stationery you've ever gotten?  
(baby shower / diaper party / baby announcements / birthday parties / etc)
Hit that comment button and tell me about it!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Guys.  The Mister gets up ridiculously early.

I'm not even saying that as an anti-morning person.  I feel pretty confident that even if you like getting up in the morning, 4AM is not what you consider to be the proper time for that.

He gets up at that time and works out, which is even more crazy to me (mad props for that kind of dedication).  And the last few days he's asked me to get up and make him breakfast while he does that working out thing.

My body resisted this fiercely.  So fiercely, in fact, that I "made breakfast" four or five times before I even got out of bed.

This Dog Shame is probably more successful
at breakfast cooking than a 4am me.
I knew I needed to get up and put an egg in a frying pan for my husband.  So that's what I did.  In my groggy half-awake haze, I went downstairs and put the entire egg in the frying pan.  I pulled hard boiled egg out of the frying pan a few minutes later and left it on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in my groggy half-awake haze I
  went downstairs and greased the pan with some pine-scented candle wax.  I cracked in the eggs and a few minutes later I scooped out a perfectly cooked egg and left if on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in a groggy half-awake haze I went downstairs and found he had already made himself eggs and left them out on the counter for himself.  Then I went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in a groggy half-awake haze I went downstairs and made eggs but nothing was memorable about the experience.  I left it on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up for ... a few hours later... and realized that if I had managed to actually get out of my head and get out of bed to make eggs for my husband's breakfast, there was a very real possibility that I either served a luke-warm raw egg in it's shell or eggs in candle wax.

Turns out I had managed to make reasonable eggs at some point.  Husband was pleased.  but now it's time for a nap.

When you have something you need to do as soon as you get out of bed, 
do you ever dream about it?  Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Breaking Band

Wedding Rings.  Open question to the peanut gallery:
Did you get your wedding band soldered to your engagement band?  
Why or why not?
Seriously, hit that comment button, I'm curious.

There are many an online forum devoted to how great an idea it is to join those two rings which are totally reasonable and logical: It keeps sets from independently moving away from how they're supposed to sit on each other.  It keeps them strong.  It keeps them snug on your finger.

All that said, I have not soldered mine together.  I'd like to say I have a GREAT reason for this.  Here is what I could come up with the last time The Mister asked me if I was going to get them stuck together and I vehemently said "ACK! NO!"
1.  I like them separate.

I don't know why.  Maybe it's the power that comes with avoiding conceding to the permanence.  No no, not like that - I am permanently married to The Mister and that is good.  But if I keep the rings separate then I still have the choice to solder them together or not.  If I solder them they are permanently joined and that's it.  I like the option.  The freedom to choose like a real, live 'Murican.

Plus then I have two rings instead of one.  Like when you tell a little kid you'll trade them a nickel for five pennies and they can't grasp that it is the same.

So two rings. Great for me... and then my wedding band broke.  And I had to go to The Mister and be all bottom lip quivering and hold it -split on the bottom- up to him like Rafiki holding up Simba, asking for him to take it back to the jeweler and get it fixed.  And one more time he asks me "okay so NOW it might be a good time to get it soldered to your engagement ring."  Which he said because he is smart and logical.

And you know what?  This time I had a totally reasonable, grown up answer.

[Because he is a good husband it has been fixed and I still have two rings.]

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April Fools? NO! I'm back y'all.

What would sound better to y'all:  I spend the next few posts apologizing for dropping off the side of the blog-planet, or I pretend that I never skipped a beat and just go back to posting a few times a week and call it good?

You could tell me in the comments, but I already kinda decided I'm going to be all "my bad, sh*t got cray cray" right here, evaluate where I'm at and where I want to go, and go back to the regularly scheduled broadcast.

Sound good?  I like how I'm asking as if anyone is still in this cricket-field of a readership.  But if you are: 
My bad, Sh*t got cray cray.

Mac: Also still unaware of how
 to dog when there are ducks near.
Let's take a quick inventory of our usual cast of characters, shall we?
KpMcD - Ended my time at the preschool.  Doing FINvites 3/4-time, and house-wifing it the rest of the time.  Loving that.
CMcD - Still has about a million life-altering big (and awesome) things on his plate.  We will of course talk about those things in due time.  Still happily married to little old me. 
Bubba Gato - will turn 8 next month, still wins every night's game of tag, wearing a larger size harness for his outdoor trips because his Garfield impression continues to grow stronger.
Mac Dog - Officially 5 years old.  Still amazing, still keeping me sane.  Still loses every night's game of tag.  

I think the best way to tie this end up would be to look back at 2013.  Specifically, my post where I wrapped 2012 up and set goals for the new year.  Before I went radio silent at the end of 2013, I had been working on these year-long goals:
  • Paint at least 7 paintings.
  • Feel less adrift in a quarter-life crisis by the end of the year.
  • Grow my garden, specifically, double it.  Maybe add chickens if The Mister comes along on that gravy egg train.
  • Lose more weight. Past the dreaded 29 of 2012. 
  • Double KpQuePasa's numbers.  
How'd I do?
He's even cuter in the
photo reference she sent.
  • Paintings: Check.  Including one I sold through the easy monster of a lovely little pup who looks like an ewok.
  • Less Adrift:  No-go.  I still seem to have no idea where life is taking me, though I'm starting to come to terms with that idea because truly, it's a side-effect of being married to the love of my life and trying to figure out how to navigate life with another person.  In 2013 that meant trying my hand as a professional dog trainer and figuring out that even though it was a super fun job I couldn't handle working retail.  It meant starting an office job at a preschool and quickly getting promoted to a marketing job with the preschool.  It meant putting the house on the market, taking the house off the market, making an offer on another house and getting turned down for that offer.  Know what I did figure out? Blogging acts a bit like an anchor for me, and I missed it.
  • Grow Garden: Check!  Though no chickens.  I've got maybe a week until the ground is ready to start in on McDermott Produce Department 2014.
  • Kept it safe on the fridge all winter.
    Right next to my almost free burrito card.
  • Lose more weight.  Uh... sadly no.  Or yes?  I lost 8 more pounds and then gained all 8 back.  So neutral.  Just have to get back on the "not putting all the carbs in my mouth" train.
  • Double KpQuePasa's numbers.  Yes and no.  Stats for posts stayed roughly the same, which I'm actually happy with considering I got so bad at staying on a schedule.  Got up to 25 Facebook followers, so 11 shy of that part of the goal.  But the Etsy Monster.  I'm up to 14 sales there, so I kicked that goal's ass.   Boom.
And that leaves us with 2014.  I'm a little late to the game on this new-year's thing, but here's what I want to look forward to:

Ninja, ninja RAP.
1.  Art:  Make a greater effort to create for myself. Fulfill a desire to make pretty and functional things.  I'd like to look back on this in 2015 and have at least 4 great, fun creations to share.  I've already got one down for sure (see Left):
Teenage Mutant Ninja Mac-Dog!  The shell is a backpack.  I can't even.

2.  Career:  Come to grips with the idea that The Mister makes me one of the luckiest damn people on the planet.  In many ways.  But for this bullet-point's purpose, that I am able to do what makes me happy instead of what makes me money.  To wit, I think it's time to figure out how to make FINvites my main gig, and integrate that into life as the curator of KpQuePasa.  I have ideas about growing the resources through FINvites, keeping business going strong until or while the "next big thing* comes along."  For the record, it's already going pretty good - good enough to more or less make the fact that I quit at the preschool** a null-and-void point.  

3.  The Dreaded Number: The scale continues to be a torturous jerk.  I actually just read this article and can't help but think that even with a tiny number like 29, it rings pretty true.  Particularly the part about the number.  I never used to be phased by a swing of 5 pounds any direction withinin a week, and now I see 2 pounds of difference between any two days and it festers in the back of my head like that banana you forgot in the back of the fridge three months ago.  In any case, aiming for 13 less pounds by the time 2015 rears it's head, for a grand total of 42 dreaded pounds standing between 2012 and me.
We're talking, like, past the point of banana bread kind of festering.

4.  Home Front: Grow a great garden that gives off enough awesome produce that I can freeze and can a few things come fall.  Get home to Wisconsin at least once this summer.  Manage to catch enough fish in one sitting for a meal while up north.  Sell this tiny, but well-loved house.  So basically, just be perfect.  Right.

There's some saying about aiming high, right?  Let's go for it.  Come with me, won't you?

What's been pasa-ing ("happening," in the most spanglish of terms) in your lives, readers?  
And what goals are you working on?  
Catch me up in the comments!

*I already know what the next big thing is.  Stop mind-guessing; It is not a baby.  I will share it in due time.  Consider this a teaser.

**That just happened, like two weeks ago, and is rather what freed me up enough to come back to KPQP.  Best decision I've made in a while.