July 2003

Well, I was gonna post something yesterday about Loki’s return from the vet–they’re upping his dosage again, and he’s sulking and lethargic after having blood drawn eight times, but otherwise should be okay–but we lost power. Again.

We lost power night before last for about an hour, but it wasn’t bad, since it was light enough outside for twenty minutes for me to get “The Fool” inked, and then we went and saw “Terminator 3” which was an solid example of the Terminator type. Much car chasing and crashing and exploding and shooting. Many obligatory terminator-on-the-roof scenes, continued attempts to stop the end of the world, all that good stuff. Hating time travel as I do, I really like how they do it in the Terminator universe. “Paradox? What paradox? We don’t need no stinkin’ causality loops!” You go back in time, feel free to make any changes you like. With a shotgun. It’s balm for the time-travel-weary soul.

My one complaint–skip this paragraph if you hate spoilers–was that at one point, they foil the evil Terminatrix by turning on a particle accellerator which generates a gigantic magnetic field that sucks her metal cleavage into the wall and eventually melts her, while the hero and heroine stand around gawking. And I watch this going “What, none of you have fillings? Nobody’s got any change in their pocket, or metal zippers on their pants?” Oh, well.

So anyway, we got back from that, the power was back on, everything was hunky-dory. Then last night, round 8 ‘o clock, a huge monsoon came in just as I was about to start work on the Page of Wands card, the power flickers a few times, then goes the way of the dodo. So we light some candles and wait.

And wait. And wait. And finally go to bed, with most of the night lost to workin’. Sometime in the hot, muggy, disgusting night, the power came back on. Evidentally I sat up, whacked James, and said “The power’s on!” so he went around turning on lights and resetting the server and all that. I remember none of this. All I know is that today I got waaaaay too much to do, since we leave for Trinoc tomorrow morning.

Another day, another…something or other.

Been busy today getting illos done for an RPG client–hopefully once I’ve digested a bit and my post-pizza lethargy is gone, I’ll be able to finally start crackin’ on the Wombat Fool. (One wonders if this is the opposite of the arrogant wombat that we all despise.) Got the final go-ahead on another cover, too, so that’s always a relief.

Loki’s at the vet overnight tonight–now that he’s been on insulin for a month, they figure he’s stable enough to get the definitive blood glucose curve done. While I’m glad to get it done–he definitely needs more insulin, and in fact has developed something called “diabetic neuroapathy” in the last week or two, which makes him very clumsy and prone to walking on his hocks–I feel bad for the poor guy. (The neuroapathy will go away once the diabetes is under control, but for the moment he wipes out on jumps a lot.) I’m never quite sure how much brain there is in that tiny cat noggin. I know he’s capable of some basic associations–he knows where the litter box is, he knows that carpet bombing = scolding, he hates car rides (which usually mean the vet) he’s an expert on Sounds Associated In Any Way With Food, he knows that the scrape of a certain tin can opening means that he will spend the next few minutes in a catnip-induced euphoria…but I don’t know how much complex reasoning he can do. Can he extrapolate from eight years of past experience that no matter how long he’s at the vet, I always come and get him? Or does he think that every time I leave him at the vet, he’s been abandoned? (James claims that the cat is so dumb that he forgets us completely when we go away for the weekend, and so far as Loki’s concerned, it’s a brand new Ursula that comes back. I generally attempt to thump him for saying this.)

But anyway, he’ll be back tomorrow, so even if he suffers some existential feline despair, it won’t last long. And the vet is almost painfully nice–you can’t help but like anyone who attempts to explain–speaking to the cat, which had attached himself to my hip like an unholy combination of leech and bowling ball–that he has a disease and they just wanna help him get better, so they’re gonna have a slumber party and won’t that be FUN, etc, etc, while I attempted to detach him. While I’m fairly sure I’m anthromorphizing here, I coulda sworn that the cat met my eyes briefly during the phrase “slumber party” with a look of profound disgust. Possibly he was afraid he’d be asked to do another cat’s nails.

And now, to go paint. Again.

Well, despite grabbing matboard instead of illo board, The Hermit got done. You can watercolor on matboard, but it’s wretchedly unforgiving–behaves rather like markers, actually. Takes an eternity to dry. I kept shoving it out on the balcony to bake.

I actually kinda like it. It’s very very simple, but not without charm.

Next, the Fool and Mystic Lungfish!

Still arting.

Must art.

I’m definitely getting really punchy now, trying to come up with stuff for the Trinoc show–for some reason, little watercolors of wombat-themed tarot seem like a brilliant idea, and so I’m scribbling out roughs, based mostly on the ‘ol Rider-Waite deck. The best so far is the wombat Fool, accompanied by the Mystical Lungfish. (The symbolism of the lungfish, of course, is readily apparent to any Secret Master of the Golden Dawn, and the rest of you shouldn’t be mucking about with Mystic Lungfish anyway. You could put an eye out.) The wombat hermit is also not without it’s charm. If I get tired of wombats, there’s always other beasties. Sheep. Numbats. Capybara. Dragons. I dunno.

Will it sell? Probably not. But you never know. Weirder things have happened. And at this point, I’ll be happy just to fill boards.

Did cook up this acrylic of a Frog Plover which will go in the show as well. If I get seriously motivated, I may try to do the Gryf-frog, but I’ve already got two frogs, and I should probably have some variety. Oh, and in case anyone missed it, a href=”http://vcl.ctrl-c.liu.se/vcl/Artists/Ursula-Vernon/grindylows.jpg”>Two Little Grindylows inspired in equal parts by Harry Potter and “The Scar.” They’re anthroviperfish. Because viperfish are cool.

It’s official.

I have Con Crud.

Hmm, that sounds like something you’d catch from a toilet seat–“What is it, doc?” “Well, son, you have con crud…your tongue’s growing blue fuzz, your liver’s the size of a basketball, and your genitals are going to wither and fall off.”–but it’s actually just a sore-throat-and-snorfling cocktail acquired from exposure to nearly 2000 individuals, at least one of which had to have something.

Oddly enough, this the first plague I’ve had in a year or two. The nice thing about working at home is that you’re exposed to very few diseases–when I worked in an office, as soon as somebody got the Hacking Death, we all had it in a week. These days, nothin’. So, given my slacker immune system, con crud was probably inevitable. At first I thought it was the sore throat from talking for hours (something I generally don’t do, but it’s hard to make a sale in mime) for days on end, but it’s gotten worse, and teamed up with my sinuses, alas.

James, the joke in our Shadowrun group went, is a classic dwarf in modern dress (short, barrel-chested, bearded, good with mechanical equipment, ironclad work ethic.) He also has the classic dwarvish immunity to disease, which means that I could have the Black Death and he’d still be wandering around the house humming “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho,” and possibly getting vague urges to swing a pick-axe. Oh, well. At least I can send him out for chicken noodle soup.

You know it’s late and you’ve been creating under the gun waaaay too much lately when gryf-frogs suddenly seem like a great idea. I blame lyosha.

By the way, I would like to acknowledge to the universe and everything that James was fabulous during the whole Con, and did not so much as bat an eyelash, even when the fursuit parade went by. Couldn’t have done it without him. He ran off prints, he hung art, he manned the table when I needed to hit the bathroom or was piled up with sketchbooks. He was the one who goaded me into the wombat self-portrait. He was a comrade in adversity when the guys in the room next door thought the door between our rooms was the bathroom and began hammering on it and yelling about his need to piss. At 2 AM. And damn, it’s nice to have someone that you can exchange a brief, wordless, oh-my-god-did-you-see-what-just-walked-by glance with occasionally. As much for some of the denizens of Philadelphia as for the people wearing fox heads and “Got Yiff?” T-shirts, mind you.

Paint, paint, paint…

Working on painting of grindylows. They’re a sort of legendary water demon. I just read two books that had them in it–a rather sanitized Harry Potter version, and demonic extradimensional mermen in “The Scar.” Decided to paint a version, which wound up looking vaugely like anthro-viperfish. I’ll probably take LE prints of it to Trinoc, although I’m not sure if anyone wants a giant print of spikey-toothed viperfish beasts on their wall. But you never know.

Did roughs for a frog-plover and a weird pair of chickeny beasties, one of which is offering the other an ice-cream with a fly on top. Assuming my sanity holds, they’ll become an acrylic and a watercolor, respectively, as I attempt to claw together enough stuff to fill my art show slot at Trinoc.
More random Anthrocon tidbits, including sketchbook synopsises. Synopsi? Whatever.

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later…

Injected Loki while James held his head and called him “fatbag” in affectionate tones, gave him his treat, and went to put the plastic cap back on the disposable needle, which proceeded to go through the plastic, and into my thumb. It was more of an oblique slice than a puncture, I let it bleed to flush out any stray Loki-bits, and it’s so shallow that it closed up in a matter of seconds, but I am left wondering if trace amounts of insulin and whatever evil lurks in the subcutaneous lard of a Loki will cause me to…oh, I dunno…mutate into Obese Diabetic Catwoman! Fear my awesome power to generate undreamt-of odors! Flee before my high-speed superwaddle!

Well, maybe not…

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