Let’s Talk Graphic Novels

I know a whole lot about a few things, not that it has done me a whole lot of good being able to quote and/or extemporize on the glories of early american science fiction or why “Galapagos” by Kurt Vonnegut is so relevant today. I could teach a class on Science Fiction and Fantasy. This makes me either really annoying, and irritating when talking about books or absolutely fascinating because I am so picky. I am going with fascinating here. Don’t burst my bubble. I am wicked smaht in this one thing.

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I started to get bored. I thought to my self, “self why don’t you branch out and learn something new.” Get wicked smaht in another branch of the literature tree.  I thought graphic novels. Yay! Then I thought. LISTS! ALL THE BOOK LISTS! I can lord my love of the highlighter and crossing stuff off with reading cool books. SCORE! Then I looked around and made sure no one else was looking and gave myself the highest of fives.

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Of Course I have a list semi-prepared, because what is life if you don’t have direction and they aren’t picture books. Get that crap out of your head. I have included the first thirty off of my list because typing is hard. I actually have 100 on the list.  You can find a full list here. According to goodreads I have read a cool 60 of the 100.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/210.Best_Graphic_Novels

  1. Watchman by Alan Moore (Mr. Moore tends to be on here a lot.)
  2. The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2) by Art Spiegelman  
  3. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  4. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi 
  5. Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1) by Neil Gaiman (God you are beautiful Neil)
  6. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (The Dark Knight Saga, #1)
    by Frank Miller
  7. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
  8. Saga, Vol. 1 (Saga, #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (My favorite I think)
  9. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned (Y: The Last Man, #1) 
    by Brian K. Vaughan 
  10. Blankets 
    by Craig Thompson 
  11. Batman: Year One
    by Frank Miller
  12. Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile 
    by Bill Willingham 
  13. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye 
    by Robert Kirkman 
  14. Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life 
    by Bryan Lee O’Malley 
  15. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic 
    by Alison Bechdel 
  16. Bone: The Complete Edition 
    by Jeff Smith 
  17. Sin City, Vol. 1: The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, #1) 
    by Frank Miller 
  18. Batman: The Long Halloween
    by Jeph Loeb
  19. Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas 
    by Garth Ennis 
  20. Ghost World
    by Daniel Clowes
  21. Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)
    by Tsugumi Ohba
  22. Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street (Transmetropolitan, #1) 
    by Warren Ellis
  23. From Hell
    by Alan Moore
  24. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 
    by Alan Moore
  25. The Arrival 
    by Shaun Tan 
  26. Batman: Arkham Asylum – A Serious House on Serious Earth
    by Grant Morrison
  27. Black Hole 
    by Charles Burns 
  28. American Born Chinese 
    by Gene Luen Yang (Goodreads Author) 
  29. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft 
    by Joe Hill (Goodreads Author) 
  30. Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction (Hellboy, #1) 
    by Mike Mignola 

I don’t tend to read the first book in a series, because no fun. I try to read the whole thing. Some are better than others like any piece of literature. I love this particular list because it runs the gamut in terms of story type. Autobiographical to high fantasy.

I also want to make sure I say it out loud that I don’t actually believe I will be any kind of expert on graphic novels after finishing this list. Seriously. It’s a place to start and a direction to take.

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My god. It has been a year.

I enjoy this. I enjoy writing. How did I get out of the habit of writing, of attempting to connect with people? Your answer is as good as mine. I want to say. “Life.” But god that sounds so trite. The fact of the matter is that I got out of the habit of doing just about anything in 2017. Anything but being a mom drone. That also sounds trite.

Normally at the start of the year, I look back on the previous year with a mixture of happiness, and hopefulness. I set out large lofty goals for myself, rarely meet them completely and learn a bunch in the process. It wasn’t that way this last year. I entered 2018 not actually able to remember if I had done anything of note the entire year. That is not to say that I hadn’t built anything, learned anything, or read anything. It just seemed all so inconsequential. It took my husband sitting down with me and recounting some of my adventures for me to recall anything, and my reaction of, “so.” For me to figure out that maybe something is wrong in the mental or happiness department.

First and foremost this year we bought a house. That is fucking huge. I am trying to curb my cursing a bit, but I can think of no other word that describes the immensity of purchasing a house. It is very very large undertaking. First paperwork. All the paper that has every been printed out since the Guttenberg Bible needs to be signed, notarized, viewed, corrected, then re-signed. Then then the moving in process, which I jokingly said that I was done and was going to set everything on fire. I didn’t, obviously. But I learned a lesson that I have way to much crap. More on that later. Our house is an odd shape. It is a great house, but very long. Kinda like a giant hallway with bedrooms attached. Trying to figure out how to decorate and move our family in has been a challenge. Plus, I am a designer. I hate saying that. It makes me feel all uncomfortable inside and awkward. But, I am a trained in architecture and worked in the field for ten years. If something is off design wise it makes me physically uncomfortable. So couple that with new house and I have set myself off to have about 8k pins on Pinterest of things I want to do.

I have overwhelmed the crap out of myself.

I also have a three-year old. Which means I cannot get anything completed ever.

Couple my inability to get anything done, my wish for all the pretty things, and my penchant for anxiety and depression.. well you get the idea. I have pretty much fried my brain.

So here I am a year later, older and maybe a touch wiser. I have started a soul clean out of sorts. I am not connecting this to the new year or anything else. There needs to be a change and no calendar is going to tell me that it is too late or early to get it done. I think that simplification is in order. I have started purging and reevaluation of things that actually don’t hold value to me. Do I want to look at it, touch it. If the house was on fire, would I grab it? This has nothing to do with pets or family. Just the tactile belongings one surrounds themselves with. Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Does it add value to my life? Not much does when you boil things down to the bare minimum of things. So far I have concluded a few things. I don’t want to buy clothing that doesn’t want to make me spin around in a mirror. I have too much clothing to start with, and I end up wearing nothing but yoga pants and t-shirts. Neither of which make me feel great. But that is another adventure for another day. I have too much hair care, and facial products. Our bathroom is small and has very little storage. Time to pare down.

I need to figure out what real things and pursuits mean the most to me, and go after them. I think I have spun my wheels to long. Here is what I have so far:

  1. Things that I love:
    1. My antique kimono
    2. My necklace from my sister April.
    3. My books (maybe not all. But certainly my Dr. Seuss and pop up book collection)
  2. Things that bring me immense joy
    1. Gardening
    2. Art (both doing and looking at)
    3. Reading books

I’m going to start from there. See where I go. I already deleted about 8k pins in one fail swoop of cathartic soul cleaning.

Lets Talk Christmas Trees

I love a good strange Christmas tree. Strange in the sense that this is not a typical red and green affair, but something different. To me Christmas trees are an opportunity to get creative, and shout “This is me!” Let that freak flag fly. My freak flag is covered in glitter and peacock feathers. To me, not only should Christmas trees be an expression of the families motto, but they should be as large as humanly possible. Covered with as many lights, and glitter as the tree can hold up and not fall over. Ever see Christmas Vacation? This movie is my holiday spiritual animal.

YAAAS! These are my people.

I think when I get around to decorating outside it will be the same thing. A little lovely, a little batshit insane and allllllll the lights that the power grid can handle. And lasers. Definitely lasers. Maybe a set of reindeer with a santa that throws glitter at passerbys.

Dat drop yo..

This is a roundabout way of coming around to my personal christmas tree. My tree is a curated and sculpted ode to the loveliness of all that is peacock. I love peacocks. They are loud and noisy and kinda prissy. Them with all their feathers and loud squawking.

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I am a badass of the bird world.  Did you see my feathers?

It is my own personal work of art. It is my christmas “thing.” I also have a tiny little christmas tree that sits on the table that holds all the ornaments that would look gauche on my already ridiculous gauche tree. I am looking at you “Christmas Story” Lamp ornament. FRA- GI-LE.

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Give me a pink bird, or give me death.

 

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I have two, wreaths on this tree. Count them TWO. One as a kinda topper, and the other that is at eye level. One day I will have two large trees. One giant ten foot monstrosity, and maybe another dedicated to candy, or hummingbirds, or the desert. I dunno. But it is going to happen. Get yourself a giant tree and let that flag fly.

Highfalutinhobo@gmail.com

Tales from the tabler household.

Mmmmm raw bacon. Just needs a cardboard shovel and a nice chianti

“I was at the grocery store tonight. I’d had chicken fingers for dinner, but that didn’t quite do the trick: felt kinda snackish, figured some cold cuts would about hit the spot. Looked at my options, wasn’t feelin’ the salami or the prosciutto, so I grabbed something that looked kinda bacon-y.  
Driving home, opened up my treat. Looked rather oilier than I had anticipated. Didn’t want to try and eat it with my fingers, but didn’t have anything really handy. So I tore a corner off of my chicken fingers box and used it for a kind of makeshift spoon.
Got home, snack finished. Looked again at the packaging. “Diced Pancetta.” Despite sitting – literally – between the salami and the prosciutto, it is not pre-cooked.
Turns out, my proudest moment is *not* the night I ate an entire package of diced raw bacon with a goddamn cardboard shovel. Somehow, the fact that it wasn’t just bacon, but fancy imported Italian bacon, isn’t helping. On the other hand, the cardboard shovel’s previous life as a fast food wrapper *does* make it a little worse.
All of this is a long way of saying that I can now be reached at highfalutinhobo@gmail.com.”

Nyuk nyuk nyuk

Tales from the tabler household.

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“Look daddy! Every time a bell rings a daughter accidentally nails her daddy in the nuts.”

My husbands poor poor family jewels..

“I was sitting on the couch, the other day, while Vivian was playing in the living room. She ran up to me, between my knees, like she usually does when she’s getting ready to crawl in my lap, but she stopped short.

“Daddy! Hi!”
“Hi! Hi, Vivian!”
“Ouch! Ouch!”

I look around – she does say “ouch” when she gets an owie, but she says “ouch” for a lot of other reasons that I haven’t figured out yet.

“What’sa matter, sweetie?”
“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”
“You OK? You alright”
“Ouch! Ouch!”
“What’s ouch, sweetie?”

All of a sudden, she winds up and W H A M. Knee in the groin.

“Hi! Ouch!”
“… seriously, kid? Did you get sick of Sesame Street and switch over to Three Stooges while no one was looking?”
“Oh no!”
“I think you mean ‘nyuk nyuk nyuk.'”

3 months!

Wow it has been three months since my last post.. slacker! Got out of the habit of writing, than didn’t feel like I had anything remotely interesting to write about. So what have I been up to? Well aside from running screaming from political posts on facebook, I have been making a busy book for my kid. “Why,” you ask?  I have no idea, aside from the fact that I like felt. Yay felt! A material that has really no other use than making crazy busy books that will entertain my kid for a few mins. Plus they have the added bonus of allowing me to exercise my incredibly geeky self.. hello Star Wars, Dr, Who, and Firefly pages. I might even throw in an incredible lieutenant Riker beard page. Seriously, have you seen that mans beard? It needs an instagram..


I kid, I kid, that’s Data.

 


He is looking majestically into the ether, as it looks back upon him and gives him a head nod for his amazing beard.

 

Anywho back to our regularly schedule blog post.

Here are some of the recent pages I have been creating. No theme really just seeing things on Pinterest I like and saying to myself, “Yo, I can do that.” Well not really with the “yo.” I’m not cool.


 

If there is any interest I’ll make How-tos and I will keep update on my progress on these. It is fun because I can let my inner geek out.

Feeling a little drab!! Must add flowers

Not much to actually say here, I have needed to do something creative, so I made a flower basket. Picked up a few things from goodwilland tore them apart. Joanns is having a sale on spring flowers, 75% off. Woot woot. Here is the result. 

Lego My Table

“Lego, however, is always opened and then left lying around so adults have something to tread on when they are prowling around the house at two in the morning, in bare feet, looking for the source of a noise.” 

― Jeremy Clarkson, And Another Thing

I got bored. A few nights ago I was feeling all sorts of restless. I needed to do something, and I have a whole lot of projects staring me in the face. I got project guilt. All these cool things begging to be crafted, and I would rather watch reruns of supernatural. Team Dean! I forced myself to trot, yes trot, into the garage and start one of the pieces of furniture I have piled up in there. Anything. 


Backstory time. I was playing with this brand new stencil I got at Joanns. It’s purdy, I thought would this be lovely on my lack table from Ikea. Oh I only have latex paint? No worries, it should work out fine. It did not work out in any sort of fine. Latex paint, although lovely looks like shit when used with a stencil. Ladies and gentlemen, the more you know. I am also lazy as well as bored, so I neither wanted to sand or scrape the paint off. Enter jigsaw! I found this lovely broken Lego table top at goodwill for a whole four bucks. It needed some loving… And um legs. No legs, no problem! I’ll just sort of Frankenstein them together, and it shall me my masterpiece. My kid will dig it, and I got rid of a piece of furniture that has been looking at me for months. Go me! 

I hate you latex stained lack table. You vex me.
 

Four dollars!! Worth every penny!
Underside.
Top attached, kinda ugly but functional! stupid latex paint.
My ugly duckling phase.
I’m so pretty, and people love me. They really really love me.

Update: Rug 2 – Me 0

I think I am beginning to actually hate this rug. I didn’t take a picture because.. Shame. The rug now looks like wine was spilled on it and it was cleaned with a sham wow. I thought I would try purple, you know, new and exciting. Goes great with teal. The rug laughed at me and slapped me across the face with a tassel. I have spent more on dye now than I had on the actual rug itself. All I want is an over dyed rug.. Seriously it isn’t rocket surgery, Is it?

This is the Project that wouldn’t end..

I decided one of my four black 2 x 6 expedits need a makeover. A facelift. A refresh. A cheap coating of “makeup” that will go better with my seaside meets modern meets turquoise explosion in my living room. Expedits are wonderful and very versatile furniture from IKEA. You can pretty much do anything with them, but they have a very specific look and can look very cluttered if you use all the compartments.

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This  is what the original looks like.We have five of them, my hubby likes cubbies.

I have been wracking my brain for some time trying to figure out what to do with a very modest budget and this. I have, like, a gazillion pins. I have an entire pin board dedicated to what to do with bookcases. It is really important in our household. We live in 1000 square feet and have a lot of crap. I also have an aversion to clutter, but I like stuff. Go figure. Thus starts the great furniture redo.

I am going to start by apologizing. I didn’t catch the very beginning of this project like I wish I had on film. I found on IKEA Hackers dimensions for creating doors for an expedit. Door Link The plywood called for 39cm X 79.5cm. Which works out to roughly 15.35 x 31.29. I winged it and had a sheet of plywood that was faced with pine cut to 15.5″ x 31.25″.  It worked out just fine size wise. Because this is a project with a strict budget and I am a picky person in terms of design, I wanted a modern feel but not modern pricing. I found a box of cedar shims at Home Depot for 4.99 and loved the shape and different wood patterns. I decided to place them horizontally using wood glue and clamps. Shims are at a 45 degree angle, so it gave the doors a really interesting texture.

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You will have to sort through the box of wood to find pieces that work. But for 4.99 what the hell.

Once all the shims were glued into place, I used snippers to cut the ends so that they were flush with the edge of the board. I then hit them with a sander and some natural stain to bring out all the imperfections and wood differences.

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Not stained yet, but at least it is all glued. 

The doors are finally taking shape. Now to attack the Expedit itself.

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I seriously dislike the varnish crap that comes on IKEA furniture.

I love teal. It is kinda an obsession. I have a lot of teal crap in my house because of it. I thought, “Let’s paint it teal. It will be easy!” Right. Here are my tried and true steps for painting IKEA furniture.

  1. Buy half a dozen cans of spray paint that is meant to be sprayed on plastic. Price = 25.00$
  2. Get a bottle of wine. Price = 6.00$
  3. Drink half the bottle of wine.  Price = Half my liver.
  4. Proceed to sanding the ever living shit out of every surface you intend to paint. Price = offended my neighbors with the cursing.
  5. Sand some more. price = more neighbors pissed. Dog is looking at me weird.
  6. Drink more wine. Price = Other half of liver.
  7. Wipe down excess residue from the sanding. I like windex for this. Don’t ask me why.
  8. Apply safety equipment. Get a ventilator because these fumes make you stupid. Price = 15.00
  9. Spray spray spray.
    1. I tend to like light coats. They stick better.
    2. Do not spray during super humid weather. See how there are chunks missing from the paint. That is because it was too humid and did not stick.
  10. For this unit I went through 6 cans of paint over the course of 2 weeks. With some light sanding in between due to weather problems.
  11. Go to home depot and purchase a heavy duty water based shellac. This is important, as it helps keep things from chipping. Price = 12.99 Worth every penny.
  12. Apply copious coats of shellac.
  13. Let Dry.

I used spray paint in this project, but a good paint with a built in primer works also. Just remember to shellac the hell out of it and you will be fine.

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Don’t mind the paper under the right leg. My floor is stupendously off kilter. 
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Metal door catch. Looks easy to install.  right.. 

Here are the doors stained and attached with hinges and magnetic clasps. I would write more about how to do that, but it took me 3 hours and I am sure I did it incorrectly. I was just happy that the doors opened and closed effectively. The feet were purchased at home depot for 4.50 apiece. I attached them over a seam. Be gentle with the legs. IKEA furniture is hollow on the outside so not incredibly strong for drilling and such. Also, the hinges need to be attached to the inside instead of the outside. This due to once again the outside being hollow.

If you are up for a challenge, IKEA furniture is a real pain in the ass, but it looks nice afterwards.