Sunday, December 20, 2009

Drawn To You

Here are some pen and ink plant studies from my drawing 1 class.

pen and ink plant study

pen and ink plant study

Here is my final project I talked about in a previous post.

the EYE Drawing I
click images for larger view

If you remember, we had to create a creature of land, sea or air from our imagination using plants as the texture for the creatures skin/body as well as to include an anatomical bone somewhere in it. Don't ask me what the names are of the plants I used. I only know that one of them is a gingko (if you can find it). And the bone is the coccyx. I can't help it. I find humor in that bone, because I've fallen on it a lot in life, I guess.

My teacher seemed to like, what I will refer to as, "The EYE". She asked what my thought process was for it. Long story short, I wanted a winged creature coming out of a picture frame which was floating above the ocean, but in the end it kind of morphed into this all-seeing eye rising from the sea.

Here is my initial sketch where the idea of the picture frame might be a bit more apparent...or not.

final project sketch

See, the waves are coming out of the frame, which is blank, because I was basically stuck for an idea. I guess I'm not a natural in the creature department. Backgrounds don't seem to be a problem, though. =)

After all that, I am happy to report that I received an "A" in the class and I can't wait for drawing 2 next semester.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drawing To A Close

The semester is just about over. I have to study for my final exam in Public Speaking, which is Monday. I've never been so happy to be finished with a class.

Now, for my drawing class? I was sad that class had to end. BUT. I'll be happily returning to the same disheveled art room in January for Drawing 2.

Here are some of the figure studies I did.

figure study
These are all the demure poses. You can go to my flickr page to see some full monty's.

figure study

figure study

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter is Coming

It's close to that time of year again and Dad is making Christmas Trees. I think these are to take up to Northern Virginia for some neighborhood event.

UPDATE: Per my sister, It's for a Kris Kindle Market at the Doener Bistro.

ANOTHER UPDATE (since my sister can't spell): It's actually Christkindlmarket. If you are anywhere near Leesburg, VA the next three Saturdays [Dec 5, 12, 19], please check out the events at the Doener Bistro.

Are these cute or are these cute?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pen & Ink, I Think I've Found True Love

Last week we started working with Pen & Ink. What a way to end the semester. This is by far my favorite medium for drawing. Here are a few of the drawings I did last night. The Jug and book were drawn from a handout we were given. Do you know what the other two are? No, they are not chickens or insects. They are two different views of a vertebra from some animal. Which animal, I do not know. I forgot what the professor said. I should have taken a picture of it. It's pretty small, about 2-3 inches. I tried a quick search on-line, but couldn't find it. If anyone can figure it out, let me know.

Our final exam project is to create a new creature of land or sea in pen & ink using only plant life (leaves, branches, flowers, etc.) as the texture of its outer layers. We also have to insert a protruding bone somewhere.

Interesting? Confusing? Scary? Maybe a little. I already have a background in mind for my creature. Now I just have to search my imagination to create this strange new species. Some no-no's were: NO Fairies (sorry Maria). NO Angels. NO mermaids. And most importantly, NO "cute". 

We have until the end of the semester to finish it. We saw a slide show last night of previous student work with examples of what she does and doesn't want. This is going to be fun.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, Dee. ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Force Is Strong With This One

After my last post about seeing Star Wars in Concert this past weekend, it seems the force is still with me. Last night, after dropping off a friend who I dragged to see Paranormal Activity [more on that later], I found myself driving behind a car with vanity plates that said "JEDIKNT". I took a cell phone, picture, but being rainy and dark outside, it didn't come out. Still, it was a pretty cool coincidence.

So, just now, this very moment, as I'm yet again at Panera, I'm sitting at the window and this compact car pulls into the parking lot. I literally laughed out loud when I saw, on the hood of this pink-haired girl's car, a portrait of Yoda, with his name written above his head. She had a dent in the hood of her car, and in order to make lemons into lemonade, she painted a Yoda on the dent. What a creative use of The Force.


I was too lazy to run outside and take a better picture. Not two minutes later, the pink-haired girl walked back to her car and I banged on the window to try to get her attention and give her the thumbs up. I know, geek. She didn't hear me banging anyway, and was gone, just like that.

Two interesting Star Wars references in less than 24 hours. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Open The Floodgates...and May The Force Be With You

The Nor'Easter is kicking our butts here on the East Coast and our office is closed today. I am sitting in Panera as I still have no internet connection in my new condo. My new condo, which might just be under water when I return. Who knows?

I thought I'd share with you one of the most awesome experiences I've ever had. This past weekend I brought my 75 year old mother, my sister and my niece (uber fan) to see Star Wars in Concert!  What the heck is Star Wars in Concert, you ask? It's just what it sounds like, except much better. Scenes from all six Star Wars films are projected on a gigantor screen while the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, along with a full choir, performs many of the key moments in John Williams' amazing soundtrack. Plus! Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in all six films, narrates the entire event.

Now, I knew my niece had a Princess Leia costume, which she wore last year on a college band trip to NYC, but I didn't know if she'd want to dress up for this event. I was up for anything, and to my great surprise, my sister had a whole stash of homemade Star Wars costumes that she'd made over the years for my niece and nephew. The four of us decided to go for it, not knowing (or caring) if we'd be the only ones in the entire arena nerdy enough to suit up in Star Wars gear. So, as it turned out, my niece would be Leia, I would be her mother, Queen Amidala, Mom would be my son and Leia's brother, Luke Skywalker, and my sister would be Luke's mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who you may affectionately know as Old Ben. My niece was most excited to wear her newly purchased Princess Leia buns for the first time. I had to do a little convincing to get her to go for accuracy with the hair parted down the middle. Of course, she was glad she did it afterward.

Can I just say that we felt like actual Kings and Queens when we walked into that venue? We were a freaking hit. Everyone was asking to take our picture. Especially our Leia, who was pretty much a dead ringer, if only a bit on the tall side compared to the real Princess, played by the petite, Carrie Fisher. There were quite a few kids dressed up as mini Luke's and mini Darth Vaders, who all wanted pictures with us.

While getting swept up on all the fame and glory, the show was actually starting and we had to rush all the way around the arena to make it to our seats. And once we did, the magic of Star Wars happened. It was an amazing evening of lights and music and heartfelt narration. I was tearful at several points in the evening. Something about a live orchestra just does that to me, ever since I first saw my oldest brother playing upright bass in the high school orchestra.

If you have a chance to make it to this event, I suggest you do so. And it's best appreciated if you dress up, too. Oh, and afterward, they had a wonderful exhibit of Star Wars memorabilia that we, thankfully, quickly made our way through so as to get the requisite shots before being shooed away by the popo at closing.

Please check out all our fab pictures of us getting ready and receiving all the adulation at the event here at my niece's page and then read her own blog post about our evening: Are My Buns Straight? With a title like that, you know it has to be good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's New?

What's new with me? I bought a condo, that's one thing. I am so excited to decorate a place of my very own. There are mounds of boxes to be unpacked, but first I have certain tasks to be completed. Last night I made a mess in the kitchen. Can you guess what's going on in the picture above? If not, I'll be talking more about it at a later date.
For now, let's talk about Drawing class. I have quite a few drawings to post but first, let's see what I walked into last Thursday night.

These two young men in my class felt compelled to make an art installation with our easels, making them look to me like they are marching in a circle. Please excuse the fuzzy picture, as I was laughing while snapping the camera phone. They are looking pretty serious in the picture, but really, they were anything but.

I was so taken by the "easel cages" that I didn't even notice the stools and tables all lined up around the room.  Usually, the floor is never even visible in this room, as it is a jumble of easels, stools, and tables.

Here the guys become part of the installation.

See? Isn't art fun?

Friday, October 23, 2009

self portrait II

Yesterday we did another self portrait (No, I didn't get a haircut. My hair was up in a clip).

This time we used the reductive process. Using an x-acto knife or scissors, we scraped charcoal onto the surface of the paper and spread it around with a cloth. Then, we used an eraser to create the highlighted areas of our face and went back in with charcoal for the shadows and white conte crayon to add back the brightest highlights. It's harder to get as much detail this way, but I really enjoyed the process.

The bottom right grayish area is what the charcoal first looks like when you spread it on. I really like the eraser marks all around the outline of my head. It looks like an etching. Well, I guess it is etching in a way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

self portrait

No, this is definitely not the skeleton picture I was supposed to post Friday. That crappy cell phone picture really came out bad, so you'll just have to look at my crappy cell phone picture of a self portrait for now.

Those of you that don't know me will just have to trust me when I say that everyone in class said it looks just like me. And it's probably pretty fitting for Halloween right now with that scary look on my face. ;)DESCRIPTION

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Here is my attempt at drawing a Skeleton. It was not fun at all. Too complicated trying to get every bone in the right place. But then, I bet if I didn't try so hard, it wouldn't even matter. Would it?

Friday, October 16, 2009

No Bones About It

We had to draw this young lady last night. I will post my feeble attempt later tonight.

If anyone noticed, I haven't posted a drawing in a while. The last few classes were all about 1 point and 2 point perspective, vanishing points, horizon lines, etc. Pretty cool stuff that I remember from 20 years ago. It is relatively easy stuff. Then, Tuesday night we had to draw several boxes on a table. Of course, you can't use the perspective you learned, because your vanishing points would be way off the page, so you basically have to wing it. Who knew drawing boxes would be so difficult? You draw a bottle and no one really notices right away if it's off a little, but with a box, it's instantly apparent when something's not right. It was a frustrating night.  At least it was for me. So far that was my least favorite day in class.


Foo's random curiosities: Why is it that we call it Northern Virginia and they call it Upstate New York? Upstate Virginia? Northern New York? Doesn't sound right, does it?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Class Critique

Back for more Drawing class.

I really would like to take a picture of everyone's individual work. I love the point in class, after about 2 hours of drawing, that we put them all together for a critique.  It's pretty amazing to see things from everyone elses perspective.

Teacher said my objects are slightly leaning to one side. Also, she said the draping was really nice on the lower left and then she said, "As I walk up to it, I lose it." Meaning, everything falls apart? It stinks? Who knows. I figure I'm more impressionistic in my attack. Meaning, it's a mess up close, but if you stand back? Not too bad. And if you take a cell phone picture? Even better. I have no idea why my coffee cup is so much taller than the real one, though. hm. Teacher didn't even mention that.
charcoal/white conte crayon on drawing paper

*click on pictures for larger views

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Drapery

We were "drawing the drapes" again last night. (No Mom, this is not a t-shirt.)

I was not feeling it this time either, but I try not to think about it too much anymore and just jump right in and get busy. I must say, it actually looks pretty good in a cell phone picture. It's a nice little mess in real life, though. There is one young lady in my class who's style I love and she is so hard on herself; the sign of a great talent if you ask me. It's usually the ones that think they are good, who in reality suck. ha.

charcoal/white conte crayon on drawing paper

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Swing Time

I had to post about my evening with Mom & Dad. Great weather and great music (Mom & Dad's era).

Yes, I was sans camera but did have my cell phone.

Riverwalk at Yorktown, Virginia

Mom & Dad gettin' their groove on. (Center couple, white shirt & coral shirt)

Um. Is it bad that I really love this last cell phone picture? I don't think I could have done much better with a real camera. I love the moody water color effect.

While I was watching my parents and all the other "golden" couples dancing their jitter bugs and cha cha's to the music of their era, I just had to wonder about something...

What kind of dances are couples of my generation (80's child) going to do when we are in our golden years? Bump and grind? Head banging? Moshing? Well, that would all look pretty silly, wouldn't it? Plus, we'd put our backs out at the first pelvic thrust, get dizzy and fall over trying to head bang, and think of the broken hips from moshing!

We sure didn't learn any dances that we could carry over with us into our twilight years. It really seems that true partner dancing flew out the window in the late 80's/early 90's. You either gyrated (I would say "hump" but my parents read my blog. Hi Mom & Dad!) all up and down your partner, thrashed about in your own little bubble or tried your best to knock everyone else to the ground and make them bleed.

The couple was nevermore.

Where are the steps you have to learn? Where is the (RIP Patrick Swayze) "Lock your frame"? Makes me wish I grew up back in the days of swing dancing. Shoot, I'd even take disco!

Ah well, I'll just have to find myself a man who is willing to put on his dancing shoes and cut a rug with me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Draw the drapes Amelia Bedilia!

For those that need an Amelia Bedelia refresher, she's the "literal-minded housekeeper".

draping in pencil

I was not feeling this assignment when we began tonight, but once I stepped back from the drawing (2 solid hours later), it actually looked pretty good. This drawing was with pencil. We get to draw it with charcoal next class. Man that stuff is messy. One girl in my class said she wraps her charcoal up with a piece of cloth. No way I could do that. But then, she has a light touch...unlike me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feels good to be creative.

I'm a student again. This time it's for real. I've taken a course here and there in the past couple of years after receiving an associates degree in Commercial Art in ninetee-{cough,mumble,cough}-inety three, but now it's with the intention of boosting my not so great GPA. I have hopes of (dreams of) going to a university. What do I want to take there? My mind goes from one subject to the next. Film, fine arts, theatre, computer arts. I can't decide. I'm just going to take classes that I love (and those that I need, i.e. the speech class) and have faith that one thing will lead to another and a path will open up before me. 

I'd like to share what I'm learning (and loving) in Drawing class. It feels really good to be creative again and to realize how much more fun it is to draw now than the first time around. Now, I am not so uptight about the fact that I'm not perfect at it. I'm just doing my best, which, I must say, is better than I thought I was capable.

pencil shading

charcoal still  life

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What I've been doing

a little joy every Tues and Thurs night.

#4 09.08.09

update: Here is the drawing with more detail to see the cross hatching.

cross hatching

Thursday, August 13, 2009

John Hughes: My Teen Savior. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

{Sorry, I forgot to post this yesterday}

Welcome to part IV of my homage to filmmaker, John Hughes, who passed away last Thursday, August 6th:

Ferris Bueller's Day OffI was already in love with Matthew Broderick long before his excellent performance as Ferris Beuller. I first fell for him in 'Max Dugan Returns', then 'Wargames' and best of all, Ladyhawke. Oh, man, did I have a crush on him, and it just got worse with Ferris Bueller.

Ferris is a smart and creative high school senior who really doesn't want to go to school today. So, he cooks up this elaborate scheme to fool his parents and the suspicious Dean of Students, Ed Rooney (masterfully played by Jeffrey Jones) into thinking he's incredibly sick and will stay in bed all day.

Ferris' best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), who actually is home sick (implied to be psychosomatic?) has finally been persuaded by Ferris to come enjoy the day with him. They then hatch a plan to get Ferris' girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), out of class so she, too, can join them. (Do I even have to mention Ben Stein here? "Bueller? Bueller?")

Ferris is a charmer. And, I could definitely relate to his sister Jeanie's (Jennifer Grey before Dirty Dancing fame), to put it lightly, "frustration" with her brother, yet again, pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. I have a charmer of a brother, too, who I always felt got away with murder. But, yeah, in the end, I guess I would also defend him against the evil Dean of Students if I had too. "Family before school officials", that's what I always say.

When Ferris and Cameron succeed in springing Sloane from the school, the three of them set off for a whirlwind day of adventure, which started with "borrowing" Cameron's father's pristine vintage ferrari and just gets better from there.

I love how Ferris actually talks to the us, the audience, throughout the film:

Ferris: [to the camera, after tricking his parents into believing he's sick] Incredible, one of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second. [opens blinds to reveal a beautiful spring day]

Ferris: How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this? [begins fiddling with electronics to fake his voice]

Ferris: This is my ninth sick day this semester. It's pretty tough coming up with new illnesses. If I go for ten, I'm probably going to have to barf up a lung, so I better make this one count.

This movie is just fun, fun, fun. Sure, I could get serious and thoughtful about "Cameron's" (Alan Ruck) emotional maturation at the end of the movie and how he learned to stand up for himself against his (never seen) overbearing father, but I don't really want to. I just want this to be a movie about a day in the life of three kids. A day that, if it happened to me, would be something I would look back on for the rest of my life as a magical moment in time. I have a few days (and nights) of (mostly) innocent mischief from my past that I look back on fondly, too. It's good to have days like that. We play by the rules most of our lives, so it's good to play hooky from our responsibilities once in a while.

And, really, when you watch this movie, how can you not get a little vicarious joy out of watching a kid take over a parade to lip sync to "Danke Schoen" and The Beatles' "Twist & Shout" while everyone within a 1 mile radius breaks out in dance? How can that not make you feel warm and fuzzy?

Oh! And who could forget the Yello song "Oh Yeah". I believe this was the first instance of this song being used on a movie soundtrack. According to it's wiki page, it was subsequently used in The Secret of My Succe$s, Teen Wolf, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She's Out of Control, and K-9, among others.

I still have a 45 (that would be a record, as in vinyl) from a promotion for the movie with two songs from the movie, "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men and "I'm Afraid" by Blue Room. I'm pretty sure it came with some other ephemera, but I don't think I have that anymore. [If I do, it's probably sandwiched somewhere in the pages of my high school yearbook.]

Here are some favorite quotes:

Grace, played by Edie McClurg, speaking to her boss Ed Rooney:

Grace : Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.


Ferris: Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we'd be in gym?

Ferris: Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond.

Ferris: Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. 

Ultimately, I believe Ferris' actions stem from the fact that:
Ferris: I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?

...and again speaking to the audience:
Ferris: I do have a test today, that wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car.

Ferris: Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

Come back tomorrow for Part V: "Some Kind of Wonderful"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Hughes: My Teen Savior. Pretty In Pink

This is part III of my homage to filmmaker, John Hughes, who passed away Thursday, August 6th:

Pretty In PinkThe ultimate revenge is to live a happy life...

....and to get the rich guy and piss off all his a-hole rich kid friends, right?

Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) does just that in "Pretty In Pink".

New Wave girl, Andie is not a "richie" and doesn't care to fit in with the popular kids who ridicule her on a daily basis. Just like the rest of the kids on the outer rim, Andie just wants to be accepted for who she is. Unfortunately, she is also ashamed of her family situation. Her mother skipped town and her father is jobless and depressed, leaving Andie to take over as "woman of the house" and sole bread winner. She's dealing with adult issues when she should really only be worrying about homework and boys. Two boys in particular. Duckie her best friend, who secretly loves her, and Blane, the "richie" she's got a crush on. And that, my friends, is where the drama starts.

First, let's talk about the fashion of Andie. Oh, how I loved her style, for which I'm certain Ringwald had plenty of input. I so wanted to be Andie. I loved her pink shabby chic (was that term even invented yet?) bedroom, her clothes, her pink car, and even the hip record store, Trax, where she worked. I mean, this girl was so very cool to me and, I'm sure, millions of teens around the world. How could James Spader's preppie bad-boy character, Steff, NOT want her? She's a smart girl with self respect who doesn't fall for his lines or his fancy car. Of course, this is probably what makes Andie all the more desirable to a privileged guy like Steff. For teenage girls around the world it was an inspiration to watch. If anything, it taught us to have respect for ourselves and hold out for a good guy like Blane.

Yes, I know Blane (Andrew McCarthy) was the rich kid with a heart of gold. He really liked Andie as she was. He wasn't like his friend, Steff, who only wanted Andie so he could add another notch to his belt. I know all this, but to this day, I think Blane was too much of a wimp. There was really nothing there to explain why Andie would have a crush on him. And really, I don't remember any boys in my high school dressing up like Don Johnson in Miami Vice, but if they did, I wouldn't have given them a second look. Definitely not my style.

Now, Jon Cryer's character, Duckie? I can't say enough about Duckie. He was a stand out character that changed the face of teen movies for me. Probably the first time I realized that geek guys were cool. He had awesome quirky style. He was witty. He was funny. He was smart. And, he worshipped the ground Andie walked on. How could she not end up with him in the end? Yes, that's right. Did you know the original ending had Andie end up with Duckie? Seems that test audiences didn't like that so they changed it. When I think about it, this might explain my ho-hum feelings about Blane. See, I knew in my gut that she was supposed to end up with Duckie. I don't know about you, but I would love to see it as originally intended. Maybe it's on the DVD.* I'll have to check this out further.

For now, I'll just have to be happy that Andie made it to the prom and showed those "richies" who's boss.

Come back tomorrow for part IV: Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

*No, I don't have any of these films on DVD. I do, however, have my very own original VHS recordings I made oh-so-many years ago. You remember don't you? Back then we would set the VCR to EP (extended play) in order to cram three movies onto one VHS tape? Yeah, I thought you would. Well, I still have all those tapes from my youth. Yes, that means I still have a VCR, too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

John Hughes Tribute That You Must Read. If You Have A Heart.

I was going to wait until I completed my own homage, but I couldn't hold out any longer.

Saturday morning, when I started getting my thoughts together for my homage to John Hughes, I saw that one of my favorite bloggers, writer Ken Levine(M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, among others), had just posted a new blog entry titled My Tribute To John Hughes (by someone else).

Of course, I had to stop what I was doing and take a look.

Allow me to quote Mr. Levine:

"I'm sure you've seen and read a gazillion tributes by now. So I want to share something different. This is a blog post by a fan who wrote Hughes a letter and became a pen pal. In this touching account of that relationship you'll hear his own words and see his actual handwriting."

I clicked over to the post he was referring to and started reading the account of Alison Byrne Fields. The first thing I thought was, "What a pushy kid she was?". Well, I'm glad I kept reading. It just reassured me that I wasn't being silly for doing my own homage to John Hughes. He really was a special man.

You can read that tribute here: Sincerely, John Hughes

photo property of We'll Know When We Get There
You can listen to Alison Byrne Fields being interviewed on NPR.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

John Hughes: My Teen Savior. The Breakfast Club

I'm continuing my personal homage to the films of John Hughes, who passed away Thursday, August 6th.

The Breakfast ClubThis is, for me, the best of Hughes' teen films. He had me from the opening with the following screen caption:

"And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds;are immune to your consultations, they are quite aware of what they are going through." -David Bowie

Five high school kids have Saturday detention, and from the start, each character's perspective is revealed to us as their not-so-happy parents drop them off. Well, except for John Bender (Judd Nelson), who arrives alone, fittingly, by foot.

The setting, in the school's library, where most of the action takes place, is just closed off enough to remind one of the isolation each teen feels in their own worlds. The only other characters they interact with through the rest of the movie being Mr. Vernon the detention teacher, played by Paul Gleason, and Carl the janitor, played by John Kapelos.

I loved every word uttered in this film. Every scene was played with truth by each actor. Even Paul Gleason was on the money with his characterization of the vile Mr. Vernon. I hated him from the depths of my being the moment he stepped onto the screen and pitied his small mind by the end.

Of all John Hughes' characters, in all his films, Ally Sheedy's character, Allison, ("the basket case") is the one I most identify with. The funny thing is I never realized it until years later. No, I wasn't a klepto or a pathological liar, and my parents never neglected me. BUT, I did hide my face behind my hair, wore big, baggy clothes/dresses that hid my figure, and most importantly, didn't care if I was different from everyone else or if I stood out like a sore thumb. I actually relished being different, even odd. I'm kind of proud of that now. I never wanted to look or act like everyone else. I never had the desire to "fit in".

I must admit, though, that when Allison blossoms with the help of Claire (Molly Ringwald), and attracts the attention of Andrew (Emilio Estevez), my teenage heart melted. I felt a ray of hope that the same thing might actually happen to me. Though, I would have much rather gained the attention of misunderstood bad-boy, John Bender (Judd Nelson).

John Hughes wrote some of the best dialogue that millions of fans find themselves quoting to this day. Most of the best lines, I think, are given to bad-boy Bender, of course.

Here are just a few that I love:

Bender comparing brainy Brian's academic clubs to what Claire describes as her more "social" clubs:
Bender: So it's sort of social. Demented and sad, but social, right?
Bender to Mr. Vernon:
Bender: How come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up, we'll all get up, IT'LL BE ANARCHY!

Bender to Brian:
Bender: But face it, you're a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.

After Brian laments his "F" in shop class:
Bender: Why'd you think it'd be easy?
Brian: Have you seen some of the dopes that take shop?
Bender: I take shop. You must be a f*ckin' idiot!
Brian: I'm a f*ckin' idiot because I can't make a lamp?
Bender: No, you're a genius because you can't make a lamp.
Brian: What do you know about Trigonometry?
Bender: I could care less about Trigonometry.
Brian: Bender, did you know without Trigonometry there'd be no engineering?
Bender: Without lamps, there'd be no light.

Allison, just being Allison:
Allison: You wanna know what I did to get in here? Nothing; I didn't have anything better to do.

Oh, man, I could go on and on with this. Every line in this film is quotable.

It's such a touching portrait of each kid. It was comforting to watch these kids open themselves up to each other. To find that, no matter your family background or which high school clique you belonged to (or didn't belong to), we all have our own issues. All of us. No one comes out of life unscathed, especially from our teen years. Everyone has their own unique back-story. These five kids were brought together and were able, for one afternoon, to see past the stereotypes.

And of course, at the end, we have the required essay to Mr. Vernon, written by Brian on behalf of them all:

Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is...
...a brain...(Brian Johnson)
...and an athlete...(Andrew Clark)
...and a basket case...(Allison Reynolds)
...a princess...(Claire Standish)
...and a criminal...(John Bender)
Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

Come back tomorrow for Part III: Pretty In Pink.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

John Hughes: My Teen Savior. Sixteen Candles

As I'm sure you all know, writer/director John Hughes passed away Thursday. I don't have much to say except to acknowledge how this man's films got me through my teen years.

Let's just take a look back at some of my favorite John Hughes films:

Sixteen Candles
Sam (Molly Ringwald) is excited about her sweet 16 until she realizes her family has completely forgotten her birthday in all the frenzy over her older sister's wedding, which is taking place the following day.

Life is dramatic enough to a teenager. Here, all those hilarious and embarrassing little moments are perfectly illustrated in Sam's interactions with her family. If that isn't enough, things aren't any easier at school, where Sam's day snowballs from one humiliating event to another.

Fortunately, my family never forgot my birthday and I never got felt up by my grandmother, but the rest of Sam's teen angst I could completely relate to and empathize with.

How John Hughes got into the minds of millions of teenaged girls, I don't know, but he nailed it.

The quotes for this movie are endless, as usual for a John Hughes film, so I'll just leave you with this one, which kind of encapsulates the whole movie:

The Geek: [Farmer Ted is in Jake's dad car. Jake just saw he and Caroline kissing] I'm dead.
[the phone rings and he answers it]
The Geek: Hello?
Cliff: Ted, you never called us back. What happened?
The Geek: Look, wheez, I told you not to call me here.
Cliff: Ted, we're dying, what happened?
The Geek: You wanna know what happened? Buy the book! 

Yeah, you wanna know what happens? Watch the movie!

Come back tomorrow for Part II: The Breakfast Club. DESCRIPTION

Monday, July 20, 2009

World Wide Photo Walk

This past Saturday, I participated for the 2nd time in the 2nd annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk, "a social photography event where photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers." Oh, and there are prizes, too.
Governor's Palace
According to their site, last year's photowalk, which was held on August 23, 2008, had:

- 8,324 photographers register for local walks
- 47 Countries had participating cities
- 44 States in the US had Photo Walks
- 36 cities worldwide
- More than 1,017,125 photos were taken on walks that day
This year, Saturday, July 18, more then 32,000 photographers went on photowalks across the globe.
Garden pickets
You can view the photos as participants load them onto the photowalk flickr page at: and watch the main site to see who the winner's are on August 17th.
World Wide Photo Walk - Williamsburg, Virginia
You can check out the rest of my photowalk photos at my flickr page.

Update: Did I forget to mention my photowalk was in Williamsburg, Virginia? Well, it was.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mr. Green Thumb

It was requested of me by my father that I blog specifically about his garden. Last week he was especially happy with his potatoes (which I have since consumed happily).

and here we have some squash [for which he has some weird nickname that I can't even spell]

and here's Mom talking to some trees she's trying to nurse along. I think they actually listen!

They are so cute!

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