The Day of the Worms

Today was for the worms, whatever that means.

Endless mist, rainy sunshine, moist earth. Mud is everywhere--on sidewalks on cars on buses on the skirts and pants and shoes of those who walk too close to the curb. Yes, today is a day for worms.

I think too hard.

I don't freelance.

Instead, I stay awake until 2:30 a.m. listening to Florence and the Machine while sketching some sort of bohemian costume for apolitically-correct version of "Rapunzel." My arms twitch as the lyrics propel themselves from my $10 speakers. My right hand is marinated in lead, my tracing paper with smudges.

"Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father..."

I thought I was pretty fantastic, but the truth is that I was wearing Charlie Brown boxer shorts and binging on Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups while sitting cross-legged on my desk chair.

I am being just as lame this evening, only I'm wearing a magenta-colored sundress (despite the downpour) and masticating a banana, which is much healthier than the five pounds of processed "peanut butter" I ate over the weekend.

It's supposed to rain here the next few days. I don't mind it being dreary, but I do miss the sunsets in the evenings. The rain makes me miss home, where I typically curl up on the couch and watch the windows slowly fog up. I wasn't able to cuddle up with my polka-dotted comforter today, however.


No, I had three final projects due today, and graduation tickets to pick up. It was a busy day that had me traipsing between my residence hall and the Memorial Mall. I traipsed a funny little dance in order to avoid the twisting squiggling wriggling writhing worms on the cracked pavement.

My umbrella was discooperative.

And, yes, I am fully aware that "discooperative" is not a real word. I have a fetish for made-up words such as "confusement" and "congree." It's a hobby of mine. My inspiration? The lovely Galinda/Glinda from "Wicked." (Words include "confusifying" and "disgusticified.")

Anyway, back to the discooperative umbrella.

Unbound, my umbrella is a raven with a broken wing. The skeletal framing is delicate; the thin fabric yields to the wind. Like a spiderweb, it collects minuscule drops of water. Before I enter a building, I shake them off, thrust the umbrella in a downward motion just as I drain water from chip brushes in the scene shop. When I close it, I handle it as if it were a bat; a wet bat with a broken wing. It is grotesque.

I don't find worms appalling. Not live ones, anyway. Just ones that are dead, fried, petrified. Plastered to the sidewalk days after the sky opens. Death to non-arthropods. I no longer dance to avoid them, but stroll atop their corpses.

It's still raining out. Hours later, it is still raining. The worms are probably still twisting squiggling wriggling writhing, though they should be sleeping.

It is dark, their day is over.

I'm Not Lost, Just Unemployed

I love to color. And by "I love to color," I literally mean "I love to color." (You may use all the crayons in the box, Samantha Jones, but I am damn good at staying in the lines.) My mother actually sent me a Garfield-themed coloring book and new crayons in a package recently. I was ecstatic; giddy for new crayons and a stress relief.

Stress, as of late, has been quite the theme. Not only am I attempting to wrap up the school year, but I am also graduating. That means I am in need of a job. And, as the boyfriend is also graduating, that means he needs a job.

In fact, the boyfriend was on campus Tuesday. Though I would like to believe that my quirky face (read: dimples and an uneven "fang") were what he desperately needed to see, I know that the main reason he visited campus was far from personal. Rather, he was at a job fair.

I, too, had a job fair Tuesday. Conveniently, it was located in the ballroom next to the ballroom in which the boyfriend's career fair was being held. I shuffled between the fairs, bored with the number of financial institutions and retailers.

"I'm bored," I said, twisting my red heels.

A. smiled. "You're bored?"

"Ye-ah. Bored. I did give my resume to a company I will never work for, though. CLAIMS? Why the heck would I work in claims?"

"Why did you give them your resume, then?"

"They asked, but only after I said I was comfortable with relocating," I answered ironically.

A. smiled, looking around his scantily-populated fair.

Sadly, the boyfriend didn't have much luck, as many of the educational institutions present were not hiring for the position he is seeking. Referring to the "struggling economy" and the unemployment rate of people our age, the boyfriend mentioned that we are the "Lost Generation."

"We're the only generation since the Industrial Revolution that isn't going to make more than our predecessors."

I couldn't provide a cohesive answer. Rather, I remained quiet, answering only that I would earn more than my parents, ultimately, because neither one of them has a college degree.

Indeed, the Industrial Revolution made me think of the 1800s, which made me think of the Restoration, which made me think of the Civil War, which made me think of World War I, which made me think of the "real" "Lost Generation."

Used to refer to the generation that "came of age" during World War I, the "Lost Generation" was, in a way, coined by Gertrude Stein. In fact, she was in the process of telling Ernest Hemingway a story about her mechanic, and ended the conversation by saying, "That is what you are. That's what you all are ... All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation."

Good old Gertrude. Just one. Just one. Just one. A rose is a rose is rose is a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about-woman? Unlike Faulkner, whose writing--let's be honest--can barf rainbows all over my crappy day, you torture my soul. Reading "Tender Buttons" is almost as good as your dog rolling around in the feces-covered pasture on the other side of the fence. Reading "As I Lay Dying" is almost as good as Klonopine.

What would really make me happy, though, is finding a job. There are people I graduated with who already have a job. Who already purchased a house with a large mortgage. Who are already married and/or have children.

Me? I will have student loans the size of a small mortgage. I will also have a Garfield-themed coloring book. Just one Garfield-themed coloring book, though. Just one.

Just one.
Just one.
Just one.

Austen & LED Architecture

I was looking at Ben Day dots the other day and came across an interesting photo of LED lights.

Distracted, I looked at other images of interesting LED architecture. They gave me quite an excuse to avoid writing my style project for my Jane Austen class.

Speaking of Jane Austen, my roommate and I had the following conversation Monday, when I was trying to finish my project.

"Sooooo," Eva began, drawing out the word as she reclined on the futon. "I know you really like Jane Austen."

"Shut up, Eva," I said flatly. My back faced her, for I was at my computer desk, my usual position. I flipped through the Austen tome a friend had bought me years back as a fake Christmas present.

"What is that?" Eva asked.

I turned. "This?" I held up the 1000-plus-page anthology. Eva nodded. "It's my Austen book," I said. "Every single frickin' novel."

Eva giggled. "Ooooh, I bet you love that. The more Austen, the merrier."

"Shut up, Eva," I said, turning back to my computer screen, where I was attempting to write my own Austenian-inspired prose.

"You know what, Dawn? When you graduate, I am going to mail you some Austen, because I know you love her so much. I know you'll want to hear from me, and that someday, you'll just feel like some Jane Austen. Like, 'Wow, you know what I haven't read in awhile? Jane Austen! I think I'm in the mood for some eighteenth-century prose. I am so glad Eva mailed this to me."

"I will send you a pipe bomb."

Eva exploded in laughter as I grinned.

Oh, Austen; I do not wish to find pleasure in her company. It saves me the trouble of liking her.

Ben-Day Dots

I was doing research for Stage Makeup earlier this week when I came across Roy Lichtenstein's work. If you don't know who he is, Lichtenstein was an American pop artist whose work was exhibited alongside his peers, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. His artwork was inspired by old-fashioned comics, which resulted in parodied humor, primary colors, small dots and onomatopoeias.

The yellow hair is quite striking. It is the most noticeable; however, it is also evident that this woman's face, neck and shoulders are covered with small red dots. Old comic books were often pixel-ized like this. The dots themselves are called "Ben-Day" dots and, in comic books, were created using the overlay of process colors in order to create shading. The dots are notorious for being the same size and of an equal distribution. They give the image somewhat of an industrial look. Therefore, I was surprised when I found the images below.

If you most know, many of the women in the images Lichtenstein created are crying. What I love are the bold black lines that create the outline of the face and lips. What makes the makeup, however, are the dots. I'm actually thinking of doing this for Halloween come fall. It would take some time, but the end result would be worth it.

Inspired by the Ben-Day dots, I found many more examples of things that reminded me of them.

... and back to Lichtenstein's work ...
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