Suprisingly productive day…got a Digger done, got the frogs online, got a layout for a page of Fans! done (those take awhile) and working on the first pass of a physical painting.

And I swept the deck, which was covered in bits of tree and maple seeds and pollen-encrusted doodads.

There was so much pollen, in fact, that by the end, my mouth was dry and gritty with chartreuse gunk (not that it was chartreuse at that point, but y’know.) I could feel the grit.

And since I know what pollen IS, this naturally left me with the unavoidable and disturbing feeling that I had somehow accidentally performed oral sex on a tree.

I like to think I’m a reasonably well adjusted individual, but some things are just wrong.

More frogs from my current spate of physical media madness! My studio is wall-to-wall canvases/boards covered in splatters at the moment. They’ve sort’ve wandered from “trying to make concrete” to “random abstract” backgrounds, and whether the frogs are chameleons or transparent, I’ve no idea. But I’m fine w’ dat.

http://yerf.com/vernursu/redprintfrog.jpg
Full size, it’s only 5 x 5, since I’m trying to do small originals for inexpensive sale at Cons–they come for the big art, they can afford the small art, etc. (God, sometimes I hate all the marketing that goes into art. I just wanna paint, man!)

http://yerf.com/vernursu/yellowblotfrog.jpg
12 x 12, acrylic on board. I don’t know, something about the black blots appeals me.

These guys will presumably be going to Anthrocon, unless someone buys them first.

Today, branching out from the frogs, and into a weird little hooded horse thing with a cardinal…

Bastard squirrels chewed a hole in the bottom of my finch sock, dumping it all on the ground.

They don’t even LIKE thistle seed, they just want to piss me off! *grumble* Now I gotta go get seed to refill it…I’m too in love with the goldfinches not to…

In other news, a mere four hours remaining on what may be the last two originals that’ll be auctioned off until after the summer con rush!

http://www.furbid.ws/cgi-bin/auction.pl?alluser&Ursulav

Not the End of Males, Damnit

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0421_040421_whoneedsmales.html

So they managed to make a mouse out’ve mouse eggs, by tricking an immature mouse egg into thinking that maybe its a sperm by turning off the trigger gene that keeps it from actin’ all sperm-like. (This is obviously playing fast and loose with the details, but bear with me a moment.)

This is a neat trick. It’s cool. That was some serious tinkering, and I’m impressed that they got it to work. It’s not exactly spontaneous parthogenesis, but it’s probably the best you’re gonna coax out of a mammal. It took some effort.

And immediately, everybody goes to “OH MY GOD! Men will be obsolete!” Even the article is reported in that vein, and ends by reassuring the readers that no, the success rate is so low that men won’t be obsolete for awhile yet.

This makes Ursula roll her eyes wildly, and get an urge to gnaw on the drywall. I mean, good lord. How fragile does the media think the male ego is, that they have to devote half the page to proclaiming “But men are special too!” presumably to prevent droves of men leaping off bridges now that their sperm is superfluous and they have no further worth to the world?

It’s like Spike TV. I’m not a guy, but if I was, I’d be mildly offended that I was supposed to be that inane.

There are all sorts of reasonable and interesting tacts one could take for the uses of this research, assuming they got the success rate up there–treatments for infertile couples, conservation of species light on the males, to say nothing of lesbian couples. Why leap immediately to getting rid of men? Sensationalism is fine and good in its place, but on science reporting, I expect a little more restraint. Really. (I don’t usually get it, mind you, but I continue to expect it.)

You’d think there were people out there who’s sole claim to fame was their ability to knock up the other sex or something…

Holy Spring, Batman!

Spring is just unbelievable.

Yesterday morning, I had about given up on my attempts to grow scarlet morning glories, nasturtiums, chinese lantern and scarlet runner beans from seed. Nothin’ goin’ on in the peat pots. Like a slightly soggy sahara. I bought some nasturium last weekend, in fact, because of how non-sprouting the thing had been for weeks on end. (I love nasturiums. I don’t eat the flowers, I just love them. I don’t know why.)

I go out today, and the scarlet runner beans are two inches tall, (and it was bare dirt before!) the morning glories are above ground, and even those recalcitrant nasturiums have made an appearance. Because of this, I will probably have an insane glut of nasturiums. This is fine by me. There’s a whole yard of poor soil that nasturtiums can be very happy in.

Spring amazes me.

The fact that in not quite four years in office, Bush has taken over 500 days of vacation makes me froth. That’s over a year out of office! Clinton, whatever one may think of him, took 152 in eight years! My god!

Then again, given my general feelings on Bush, maybe the fact that he spends less time behind the reins is a good thing…if only he’d take Cheney with him….

Well, that bit of obligatory quarterly griping aside, here’s the concrete froggy!

http://yerf.com/vernursu/concretefrog.jpg

He’s acrylic 18 x 24 on masonite. I was pretty pleased with the texture–it’s not quite where I want the concrete to be yet, but it’s starting to get there. It’s a nice background texture, anyhow, and makes me want to go vaguely Brom and do Weird Creepy Characters On Concrete, which I haven’t done for quite awhile. I wonder what my Weird Characters would look like now…I wonder if an unholy synthesis of Brom and Christiansen is possible, let alone wise.

Since there are three canvases/boards on the floor of my studio in various stages of the concrete treatment, there’ll probably be more variations on this theme. Gotta get those originals out for cons somehow!

I woke this morning thinking “Beewoks! Half Ewok, half bee!”

…yeah.

That’s about the only excitement so far today. I’ve been practicing painting concrete in real media rather than my digital technique. It’s comin’ out pretty well so far–got it to work on masonite, now we’ll see if I can do it on canvas. And I’m displaying standard Ursula thinking–Neat texture, not sure what to do with it? Slap a frog on it, of course! So there will be a coupla concrete frogs forthcoming, I think. Can hardly ever go wrong with frogs.

The goldfinches have found the finch sock! God, I’m so excited! They’re so..vivid. The house finch–or purple finch, I’m not sure how to tell the difference, without two of ’em together in a line-up–is grumpy and tries to chase them off, but the goldfinches just hang out on a branch a few feet away and wait for him to get over it.

Also saw something that I think was an Eastern Towhee–had the red and black and white, with dark red eyes.

Gardening and birding. Yeah, I’m a wild woman.

Ursula vs. Satan, with optional demonic clown heads

Sheesh. Had a terrible nightmare last night.

Thing is, it wasn’t about things that I am generally scared of. A standard nightmare for ME involves zombies attacking the house (which is not particularly scary in and of itself) but which forces us to move again (very scary) and meanwhile my teeth are falling out but the only dentists have been eaten by zombies (terrifying.) This wasn’t. Most of the things in the dream made the waking Ursula go “Oh, fer cryin’ out loud, I’ve coughed up scarier crap than that!” but nevertheless, at the time it was pretty freaky.
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