Monday, January 30, 2012

Cultural Differences

I know what yer thinking, "Anne's gone soft. She's writing a feel-good post about how we all need to get along" And I would say this "You're wrong. I'm writing a post about how I married a foreigner. And about how one of the differences in our cultures drives me bat-shit crazy."  And what would that difference be? Arguing. The Hubby just doesn't know how to do it in the correct manner. I'm not saying he's not a fighter.

Yeah, I like Bruce. Do you wanna make something of it? Well do ya?

No, Hubby can go toe-to-toe with me. I wouldn't have been attracted to him in the first place if he wasn't tough. I've a right bloody temper and I needed a man that wouldn't back down in a fight.

What hubby didn't understand was that for many Irish people, a good fight is in reality, a mating ritual. And if done properly, should always end in a good shag.

Further, there are certain "rules of engagement" that he was simply unaware of. Certain "mechanics" were involved in having a successful argument and he had no feckin' clue what those were. He'd start out just fine, with us yelling at each other and both of us working up a good head of steam. It was after the initial yelling began, that he made his most grevious errors.

For instance, he had no idea what the proper response was when I stormed off  and began slamming doors and cursing under my breath. The man actually thought that meant he should try to calm me down. Wrong.

This was his cue to go to his local and STAY THERE for a few hours. This would give me time to yell myself out and, depending on how badly he'd screwed up in the first place,

to break some dishes. And it was  this single error that always led me to do the most dreadful thing that an Irishwoman can do to a man....

Go silent. Now this is a tricky one to deal with. Why even the most skilled of all Irishman have difficulty knowing how to maneuver around this one. For reasons, I could never understand, Hubby thought my silence meant that I wanted to talk about my feelings. Wrong. He'd actually come at me head on with this insane idea. I remember thinking to myself "Did he get this crazy idea from watching American romance movies?" or "Did his mother teach him this shite?"  Some of you men out there are thinking to yourselves "I like it when she goes silent. I get some peace finally." Well you're lying to yourselves and ya know it. None of you can stand it, not for long and not for as long as an Irishwoman is willing to do it. Just ask Hubby, he'll tell ya.

And since we're on the topic of cultures anyway, there's something I'd like to say to some wargamers that I follow whose native tongue is not English. I have installed a translator on my page to help us better communicate with one another.  You will find it at the top of my page on the right. This, Sam, is my way of saying "Thank You"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Am I Just A Number?

Since January 1'st of this year my blog has grown. I've had 3,885 pageviews in 27 days, have tripled the number of followers and receive 50 or more comments per post. Why and how did this happen? It happened because I decided to "grow my blog" and I became concerned with my blogs "statistics".

There is an upside and a downside to this. The upside is that I've got to meet some very nice new people, that I otherwise never have met. Also, I have a drive to create. Drawing, photography, verse and comedy are what I do best and having people to share these things with is wonderful. The downside is quite simply "the numbers" and my increasing obsession with them.

This is something I'm ashamed of and I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm too tired and it's not what I came here to do. I miss the days when my blog was "small" (in comparison to many blogs, it is still small) and I knew every person that commented, had read all their posts and profiles and thought about who they were as real people and wanted to get to know them better. There's no time for that now and it saddens me.

The upshot is this. I'm not going to try to grow this blog for a long while. I'm going to slow down, continue to turn out quality work and take the time to get to know the nice people who take the time to leave a comment on this wee bit o' blog.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clash Of The Titans

This is the face of a woman who loves wargames.

I say this because fer fucks just look at me, I'm a girl. Does this look like the face of a blood-thirsty warrior to you? Well it is.  Currently, my favorite period of history is WWII and specifically the Pacific Theatre. There are two reasons for this. One is that I'm living in the States right now and the only person who will really spend time with me is a WWII vet who was amongst the men who stormed those beaches.  The other reason is that this gent and I have something in common. I lived in the Philippines for a few years, outside of Clark Air Base, with Mount Pinatubo sitting in my backyard (before it erupted). And so I'm familiar with Luzon Island and fond of the people. Now you might ask "Anne, what were you doing in the PI?" And I would say "I'm not going to tell ya. Let's save that story for another day."

Today we're here to look at how things are going in the 2nd Annual Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge. More specifically we're here to look at how things are shaping up point-wise between two rival gamers Ray and Angry. (aka Fran). Currently Ray, a married man, is ahead of Angry, a man with a girlfriend. As a married man, Ray has an unfair advantage. He can tell his wife to bugger off and she won't mind and he's already got automatic responses to questions like "Do I look fat in this?" installed in his brain. So he spends more time painting and less time in the dog house than his rival.  Angry on the other hand has a girlfriend and you can't tell a girlfriend to bugger off, they just won't tolerate it. Why Angry may not even have mastered phrases like "You look great for a woman your age" or "No, you look skinny in those pants", which may put him into hot water, reducing the amount of time he has to paint.

As a fan of their rivalry, I felt compelled to make a comic about it, And here it is.

Personally I think Angry should get a couple hundred handicap points for having a girlfriend, but Ray disagrees. So let's put this thing to the vote. What do you think? Should Angry get handicap points, and if so, how many? (Now this vote won't  make a feckin' bit of difference, but play along, humour me). And remember, I may be a girl, but I'm a blood-thirsty one and I carry a gun. (it's legal here!).

Monday, January 23, 2012

She Was Naked When I Found Her

I know what yer thinking "It's Boobies day at Anne's place."  And I would say "No it's not, it's about creating fantasy warriors from pictures of naked women that just happen to be lying around my place." And no, it's not my porn this time, it's my husbands porn. 

Most little girls grew up playing with dolls and daydreaming about being a princess. Not me,. I was born on a farm in rural Ireland in the early 1960's and when I say "born on a farm" I mean that literally. I spent my time mucking out dirty stalls and playing with boys. My best friend in the whole world was named Michael and we spent our time playing rugby in the mud and playing at being soldiers. I climbed trees (someone had to be the sniper) and one summer we built a fort from wood we stole from building sites. Once I was given a baby doll for Christmas. I decapitated her, pretending she'd been captured by the Japanese and beheaded with a Samurai sword. Then I hung her by the hair from the rail of the bunkbed. My parents were horrified.

Recently I discovered that I have a knack for drawing things using MSPaint. And I said to myself "Anne, you can finally draw a picture of the warrior woman you wanted to be when you were a little girl."  So I downloaded a trial version of Corel paint to see if I could use it  in place of MSPaint and make her more life-like.
And here she is.

I did her in oils, so that I could use diffent brushes and techniques to get diffent textures. I used a thick opaque brush to do all the metallics and everything from dry brushes, to wet brushes to detail brushes to fan brushes to do the rest.  And because some arsemonkey asked me if the pic I did of Bersercules was "scanned", I've included a cropped close-up so you can see my paint strokes.

She started out as a nude, and that allowed me to dress her any way I wanted to. I traced an outline from a picture, scanned that into my computer and took it into Corel Paint. And yes, I know she has blue hair, but there's a reason for that and if you don't know it, I'm not going to tell you.

All this leads up to the second purpose of this post and that is wargames. I follow quite a few of the wargame pages on Blogger and my two favorites are The Angry Lurker (by Angry) and Don't Throw A 1 (by Ray). The work on both of these pages is top-notch, but there's also the friendly rivalry between Angry and Ray which is fun to watch.  And right now there is a big competition going on called The 2nd Annual Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge.  Currently Ray is beating Angry and the two of them are engaging in verbal smackdowns and it's so funny that I decided to make an MSPaint comic about them. They've both seen it and asked me if I would post it. So I'm going to be posting that on Wednesday. If you don't follow these guys you might want to stop in and have a look at their pages so that you can understand my post on Wednesday.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hubby Will Never Be Better

I'm going to be uncharacteristically serious tonight. I greatly appreciate the concern expressed by some of you about the well-being of my husband.  My husband is chronically ill and he will never recover. There is no getting better, there is only a long, slow deterioration ahead. I am not going to go into details that would violate his privacy, but the primary damage is to his spinal cord in the thoracic region. He walks, but only just. The nerves that exit the spinal cord innervate a great number of peripheral systems and he has experienced loss of function in some of those systems. The remaining damage is inoperable. There is further, ongoing deterioration in the cervical spine. This is the area of the spinal cord that controls primary functions such as respiration. At this time, cervical surgery is not being considered. It may become unavoidable in the future.

I am writing this in the wee hours while he is sleeping. Since his last hospitalization, the doctors have prescribed medication that heavily sedates him. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because now, for the first time in nine months, my husband does not cry in his sleep.  Nor do we both wake up to the sound of his screaming when he moves the wrong way while sleeping.  "I do not dream now" he says to me. And I ask him "Do you miss it?" And he responds "No, the pain finds me in my sleep and it becomes part of the dream. I never want to dream again" And I cry silently so as not to wake him. This man, whom I love, never wants to dream again.

The medication leaves him somnolent for much of the day and that is difficult. He still plays his guitar every day and studies the Bible. Yes, I said studies the Bible. I, an Irish Catholic, married an American Protestant who has a doctorate in theology. He is not a minister, he is a theologian, there is a difference. We believe in God and that makes us neither ignorant nor weak. I will not compromise my life-long faith in order to conform to progressive ideologies, nor will I apologize for it, nor will I argue it.

I will be out trying to comment on everyone's page Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, it will be business as usual here at O'Leary Air and I will once again be making an arse out of myself on the internet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Laundromat At The Edge Of The Universe

String Theory implies that there may be multiple dimensions existing simultaneously. 

According to the Bosonic Theory there are 26 spacetime dimensions.

The Superstring Theory claims there are 10 dimensions.

Maxwell's Theory or the "Theory of Everything" states rather pompously that there are definitely 11 dimensions.

Riddle me this Batman.  Where in the hell are my socks?

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source traceable to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and you'll wake up with yer head in one dimension and yer arse in another.

I'm probably going to be taking Thursday and Friday off. Hubby isn't doing well and I've a home health care worker coming in to help out. I'll stop in when I can and comment and I may just post a Late Night Edition sometime this weekend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bersercules: Evil Supervillian?

As some of you know, I got myself into a bit of a sticky wicket last week when I issued a challenge to my fellow blogger Bersercules .  The bastard (term of endearment) called my bluff and I had to draw a picture of him in a semi-gay skeletor pose using MS Paint.

So there I was thinking to myself "Holy Christ, I'm fecked, what was I thinking." And then I opened a bottle of gin and the fear left me.  After drinking the second bottle it became clear to me.  Go to Lord Google.  So I went to my trusty laptop and asked "Please Lord Google, show me a picture of Skeletor in a semi-gay pose."  I scrolled down the first page, then the second page, then the third and there were no pictures of Skeletor drawn from behind.  "But I promised everyone I'd have a drawing of Bersercules ass on Monday." I yelled at the dog.  "Please Lord Google, I begged, even a shit drawing by a three year old would make me happy."  Lord Google refused me again.

So I did the only sane thing a person in my condition could do at that moment. Armed only with a trench coat and a fistful of dollars, I headed for the nearest porn shop. I was in a hurry, I had a deadline so I grabbed a shopping cart from the Walmart next-door and threw myself through the door and into the porn shop. "I need naked men and I need them fast!" I yelled at the shopkeeper. I ran through the aisles, scooping piles of porn into the cart as I passed them.

"It's for research." I yelled in the shop-keepers face as I threw a wad of bills at him and ran out the door.  When I got home, I sat down with my pile of porn and began looking. "No, no, no" I said. There were no suitable candidates. So I opened a bottle of tequila and it came to me like a bolt out of the blue "Wrestlers!" So I went back to Lord Google, and lo and behold, there were wrestlers and all of them were built like Skeletor and there were plenty of pictures of them in semi-gay poses.  So I got a piece of paper and a pencil and begen sketching.  After about 5 hours of tearing up sketches and shouting, I'd finally drawn one I thought would work.  I fed that one into the scanner, and took it to MS Paint. 

Three days later, I produced this.

I realized as I was sketching that I could not draw a pose with Bersercules looking back over his shoulder with a come-hither look in his eyes. I couldn't get the perspective right. So I drew this, knowing that I'd be cramped for time and would have to pull something out of my ass that looked like Bersercules crossed with Skeletor. So I did this.

I call him Berserculor, a hybrid of Bersercules and Skeletor. I didn't have time to finish the paintwork on this one. I haven't slept in 24 hours and I've done all I can do. And honestly, I can't take it anymore. Jesus Christ, the first one took hours and hours. I had to paint individual pixels to get the folds on that hood to look right, and I don't even want to talk about the musculator on that bad boy. Forever and a day, I'm tellin' ya.

But I did learn something, never challenge a Canadian. They're wiley.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

O'Leary Tells Boeing To Feck Off

Negotians for the purchase of 200 airplanes by O'Leary Air broke down when the outrageous CEO Anne O'Leary told executives at Boeing to feck off.

When asked by a reporter why the negotiations failed, Ms. O'Leary had this to say, "Those gobshites wanted too much money. I was willing to pay those bastard €2,000.00 for each one of those feckin' planes and with the rate of exchange they'd really be getting $2551.21. And that's a bargain for me." 

Representatives from Boeing responded by saying "She can stick it up her arse!"  Ms. O'Leary countered this statment by saying "First I need a drink, then I'll hold a Press Conference."

Ten hours later, after the last pub in Dublin closed, Ms. Oleary finally showed up. Unable to walk a straight line, the CEO of O'Leary Air was carried to the podium by her Chief Advisor and pet troll, Guido.

"All right ya feckless bastards" she yelled into the microphone, "Because Boeing eff'ed me over, I've had to develop a new plan for growth."

Only the most tenacious or reporters remained in their seats for the remainder of the Conference.

While drinking at Shenanigans Pub, I develped a two pronged plan that I'm certain will increase the profits of my imaginary airline in 2012.

After opening a bottle of gin O'Leary began. "Instead of buying 200 of those expensive planes, I've decided to buy 7,000 used Cessnas instead. And you know what that means?" O'Leary yelled at the press. "That means jobs. I'll be needing pilots to fly these damn planes. And until I can find experienced pilots who are willing to work for me, I'm going to fill those cockpits with my stewardesses."

Members of the press were aghast.

O'Leary finished her gin, opened a bottle of whiskey and continued. "Now strictly speaking, these girls aren't licensed pilots. But they have pretty good aim and I think they can get you where you need to go." At this point Ms. O'Leary seemed confused and could be heard to mutter, "Where the bloody hell am I?"

Grabbing the podium to keep the room from spinning, she continued her presentation. "Now there's only one thing left standing between O'Leary Air and serious financial growth. So I've started a new ad campaign."

"Because there's a slim chance that my rival will survive this vicious attack, I have a back-up plan."

"I just happen to own 25% of the stock in that company and I plan to sell that stock short. That should finish them off and then I'll buy the whole damn airline for €1.00" Ms. O'Leary glared at the press, then continued. "I'm willing to experience short term pain for long term gain."

The press appeared to be perplexed. 

Following this statement the CEO of O'Leary Air passed out. 

Okay folks, I seemed to have gotten myself into a jam. On Tuesday I made the mistake of issuing a threat challenge to fellow blogger Bersercules. Well that bastard (term of endearment) called my bluff. And to make a long story short, I have to draw a picture of him in a semi-gay Skeletor pose.  Now this is going to take me all weekend to draw (the muscalture in those buttocks will take at least 12 hours to draw in MS Paint), so I'm going to post it here on Monday. And if you want to have a snowballs chance in hell of understanding what I'm talking about, you'll need to go look at his Tuesday post.

I'm required to make this promise in writing today so that if I try to back out of this deal, I'll look like an arsemonkey on Monday.

Thanks you for flying O'Leary Air today, I hope you enjoyed the ride. You can leave your comments with the stewardess on the way out. 


Friday, January 6, 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Although it is a New Year, it seems as if many of us have been unable to wipe the stink of 2011 off our shoes. Hardship is everywhere and we all have a story. Today's post is my attempt to lighten our collective load.

This is an instrumental version of Somehwere Over The Rainbow. We recorded this in a studio and it is mixed for headphones. So if you have them, you may want to put them on.

All the photo's in the video were taken by me and edited by me. All the flowers were grown in my own garden.  Hubby plays guitar and bass and that's me on drums. And no, it does not sound like Jeff Becks version, Jeff Becks version sounds like Hubby. Beck heard Hubby play this version in 1979 in a bar in Pheonix AZ, when Hubby was 19 years old. There's an interview out there where Beck talks about how this 19 year old kid influenced his playing. I'm currently scouring Youtube for that video, because I'd like to back up what I'm saying here.

Just listen to the song, look at the pictures and try to remember happy times. It's hell out there, so let's suck the marrow of happiness out of the bones of life while we can. 

Hubby is home from hospital and I would like to thank all of you who expressed concern. I will make it to all of your pages by the end of the day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hubby's In Hospital And Keeping Promises

Some of you may know that Hubby underwent spinal surgery in May of last year. Yesterday mid-morning he was admitted to hospital via the ER. As of the writing of this post, I do not know what today or tomorrow will bring. Undoubtedly I will be gone for part of today. If I do not get to your page today, please be patient and take no offense.

However, I made a promise to several bloggers about today's post and I'm going to keep that promise. And besides that I can't feckin' sleep so might as well keep busy. Here goes.

One of my friends here on Blogger goes by the name of PunkChopstick. How do I define Punk? She's witty, she's brilliant, she's beautiful and she'll say anything.  Well at the end of the year, Punk tagged me to answer some questions for her. I decided to answer them using MS Paint. I did the backgrounds using Correl 12 (free thirty day trial!).

Question:  When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?

When that fat bastard stopped believing in me. Arsemonkey.

Question:  When did you stop believing in God and why?

I've never stopped believing in God. I'm a Catholic, it's mandatory.  And why do I still believe in Him?

Because I don't want to spend eternity in hell with a bunch of feckin' lawyers. 

Question:  If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

Men. Did you do it to us on purpose or was it just an accident?

Question:  If wound up on a deserted island and could only have one thing with you, what would it be?

That's a no brainer. My drums.  I've even named my kit. I call him The Beast (yeah after, John Bonham. Wanna make something of it? Do ya?).  He's a real bastard, I tell ya. If I don't give him a daily beating, he threatens to kill me.  He smokes stogies and he drinks whiskey. I love him.

Question:  If you could only have one person with you on the island, who would it be?

I would say John Bonham, but he's dead. So I'm going with Hubby.  Why you ask? Because he's the only person that can put up with my particular brand of shite. Hey, you've read my blog, how long would it take before you wanted to choke the life outta me? A few days? A week? You see my point.

Question: " Would you like to be my friend?"  Punk asks me.

Christ on a crutch, of course I do. You shouldn't even have to ask. Punk's bawdy like me and can also tolerate me. There's no way I'm gonna say no to an offer of friendship with her. 

And now onto part two of this game. I have to pick some bloggers and request that they answer some questions that I've come up with.  Here are my questions.

1.  What celebrity would you most like to shag and why?

2.  In the event of a zombie attack, what politician would you be willing to use as a human shield?

3.  Rate the survivability of at least 3 fellow bloggers if they are attacked by zombies.

4.  If you could reanimate just one dead person from history, who would it be?

5.  Would you be willing to take this person out to a pub? Why or why not?

6.  In the event of a nuclear holocaust, would you be willing to eat cockroaches to survive?

These are the bloggers I've decided to torture tag.

1. Matthew because you're like the younger brother I never had. And as such, I reserve the right to pick on you anytime I want to.

2. Barfly because you're the only American that could drink me under the table.

3. Michelle because somehow we are related. There's no doubt about it. You're so much like me, it's scary. I think my Grandad may have shagged your Grandmother when he visited the States as a young man.

4. Pat because somebody's gotta tag your rhyming ass.

5. B. because you're a new friend I'd like to see become an old friend.

6. Now this one's dicey, because frankly he scares the shit right outta me. Angry because you're my favorite blogger and seeing your face on my page makes being away from home a little easier to bear. Now, if Colin Farrel ever starts blogging, I'll forget I ever knew you.

There you have it. If you any of you don't want to do this I'll hate you forever not be offended. And if you do it, do it because it's fun and not because I asked you to.

Now I'm gonna go catch up on as many of yesterday's blogs as I can. When the phone rings, I'm outta here.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Falling In Lust

It's a primal response, lust. Who amongst us can say they've never indulged in a five minute fantasy when this particular emotion comes calling?  I have such moments and with no intention of following through, I allow my mind to go a' wandering.

My Mind Goes A'  Wandering

Across the space
                                                                              you sit
spread kneed, jeans pulled tight
into vectored angles.

my eyes explore the denim 
worn in all the right place and
my mind goes a'wandering
zippered paths whose teath
feel cold against mine.

Your tongue
forms questions
                                                                           and mine
responds in answeres innocent.

We talk
of things past and present,
then you lean back
                                                                        hands behind head
and my mind goes a'wandering
through a tangle of sheets, of hair
                                                                          of limbs
sweat soaked, entwined.

Reality, rent
I return to tenses present
and from behind veiled eyes say
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