Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Your Mother IS Watching









I recently had a discussion with some friends (who don’t have children) about the electronic monitoring available now a days on your children. I was a little surprised at their response.

I was explaining to them how I can check my child’s grades daily. I can see what assignments were given and what score was received on each individual paper. I can see if they were absent from class.  I can set it up so that I can be notified via email if my child gets under a certain grade. I can also monitor his lunch account and see what he ate for lunch. Amazing huh!

My friend said, "well isn’t this a little much? To check daily? How does your child feel about this? Isn’t this invasion of privacy"?

So I took a few moments to think over these things, that honestly I have never really thought about and just considered it “the norm”.

Is it really an invasion of privacy? I am the parent/legal guardian, right! So don’t I deserve to be able to monitor my child? I have every right. Don’t I?

So the more I thought about this, it reminded me of what a school counselor once said to me about my daughter, when she was struggling thru school. He said “whose grades are they”? “Yours or Hers”? At that time, I did not agree with him, it actually pissed me off. My thought was what freakin help are YOU!!!
I do believe that parents need to take an active role in their childs life. At the very least to help guide them in areas they are not knowledgeable enough to make their own decisions yet.

I think with my control freak issues and the easy availability of being able to “check in” on your kid, have  allowed things to get a little out of control, on my part.

I have not ever asked my child how this makes him feel. I just thought I was doing the right thing in helping make sure he was on the right track.

I think after this recent revelation I will cut back a little (seriously, do you think I would not monitor at all????) and maybe not ask him daily about homework.

It is after all his life, his future, and he needs to be the one held accountable for his decisions made.

Harsh? Not really. It is something he will need to learn in life anyways, why not now?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JUST FOR FUN?


Seriously, who came up with that saying? WTF

Cause really, Are “sports” just for fun?

I’m pretty sure the people who actually say its “just for fun”, don’t have a competitive bone in their body.
I’m big on definitions, so here they are.

Just for Fun: Something that provides enjoyment or amusement; to behave in a playful or joking way.

Competitive: Wanting to achieve more than others; wanting to beat others; being aggressive & ambitious.

Now sometimes you can be competitive and have fun, but normally that is only when you are winning. If you’re losing however, you won’t be playful or joking around. LMAO
Or
If you are on an adult coed team and your having a beer or two during the game.
Now that is a good time. I however don’t recommend this for anyone under the age of 21. ; )
Even then if you are a competitive person, you still have a hard time just letting loose and having fun.


I’m sure that most kids started off initially playing “just for fun”. But as they get older, I’d say about 6 years old, is when this change happens. Either you are competitive or you are not.

Anyone who thinks you can mix the two together is just crazy.

What is the reason behind a competitive sport? I know that I have said this before. The biggest reason for playing a competitive sport is to get noticed, in order to get a college scholarship, and the experiences that you just cant get from playing on a “just for fun” team.

You will never get noticed by a scout if you are playing for a recreational team.

I’m not saying that one is better than the other; it really comes down to what you want for your kid. However, if your kid has a competitive nature, then you should at least give them the chance they deserve.

I can tell you its hard work, having a kid in a competitive sport, but you owe it to your child to be willing to do what you can to help your child be successful.


Isn’t that what it is really about? Your child’s happiness?

Monday, September 28, 2009

On your Own Night


Going back in time. I will never  forget as a kid being forced to not only eat horrible crap for dinner but, if you refused to eat it or clean your plate you didn’t get to leave the dinner table. You could end up sitting there sometimes for hours. Then if you didn’t eat before bedtime, you would go to bed hungry and then it would be brought back out for breakfast the next morning to eat COLD. Yuck!




After a time my sister and I started throwing it under the table (back then we had the dark brown shag carpet) sometimes the cat or dog would eat it, sometimes it would just pile up under the table.


My question is Why? Why does this happen? I know that I am not the only kid this has ever happen to. Is it a power thing? IDK


Over time and having kids of my own. I have tried to learn from my childhood. The rule at our house is that you have to try it at least once, if you don’t like it then we never fix it again. I know some people might say this is crazy letting the kids dictate what kind of meals we have, but I really feel like there are so many other things to battle about and what they eat is not a battle I want to do.


Now your probably thinking that I just let them eat crap. Well, your wrong I don’t.

There are a million healthy things out there to eat. You just have to do the research. So I buy what I know they will eat. We always try new things, and I have them help me in the kitchen.

Then there is no battle.

Here is something that my kids really love. We didn’t start this until they were in middle school. So that they were old enough to do it by themselves.


We have on “your own nights”. You ask, what are “on your own nights”? Well let me tell you, they are the greatest invention ever!!!!


Mostly we have these on the nights we have games. We hardly have time on those nights for bathing, homework , and laundry. So we started “on your own nights”.


On your own night” is where, everyone gets to pick and fix their own dinner. Woo Hoo!!!!

Of course when we go to the store everyone gets to pick their one special thing. Then that is what they will fix for themselves on the “on your own night".


The kids love it. Plus it helps teach them how to be self sufficient. What a deal!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Electronic World


Now that the fall season of tv shows are finally on. OMG, there are too many to watch. So I find myself recording everything. Of course I get to watch 1 or 2 while I am recording 4. Now that just seems like craziness right? My husband asked me last night, when did I plan to actually watch these shows I recorded?

In the electronic world of today. Between texting, tweeting, game systems,  blogging, and internet all available at our finger tips its hard to take a step back and think "do we really need all this in our life to be happy"? I find it hard to tell my son to sit and do homework and stay off the xbox when I am eating my dinner in front of the TV.

Hyprocrit right?

It's easy to get caught up in all the commercials for all the new shows. When it's really so much better to sit & read a book or play family board games or walk your dog.. But instead I sit glued to the TV. Not wanting to miss any of the drama /action happening right in front of my face.

I have allowed my children to sit in front of the TV to eat their Breakfast & dinner. It started when they were little, you plant them in front of the TV with a "snack" while you fix dinner. Then it just goes down hill from there.

How sad is that, because I have allowed myself to get so caught up in electronics I have set a terrible example for my children.  I personally spend way too much time on the computer as well.

Recently our home computer crashed and the x box 360 died.  You would be amazed at how crazy it made everyone in our household. You would have thought something major had happened here. For two whole weeks both systems were down. After the initial shock & some cranky days, we all got used to not having them and went on to do other things. It was actually kinda nice.

I made a decision right then that we would as a family try to spend less time on the computer, and the game systems. So far my son really hasn't been on his xbox and my daughter hasnt been on FB much.
My husband hasn't even been playing any on-line poker.

So maybe this little break from the electronic world was just what our family needed?

Maybe It was a sign?

So I won't question the sign, instead I will  accept it with open arms.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Was this suppose to be My life........................


Sometimes when I get stressed out about "life".  I close my eyes and I picture myself on the beach by the pier and I'm watching the waves roll in.  I can feel the spray of the ocean water on my face. I can smell the salty fresh air.

I lived in California for a short time  when I was younger(5 years) . So I often think back to when I lived there and life was simple.


So this is what I do when I cant take the overwhelming stress of too much multi tasking.


I often think.  This wasnt suppose to be my life. How did I get here? Was I really suppose to be a mom? Was I suppose to be a soccer mom? Was this really suppose to be the job I would end up with? or was I suppose to be someone else? IDK.

Maybe its because my kids are older now or just maybe its because I have been a mom since the age of 21. I have spent most of my life being a parent. Im certainly not resentful that I have been a parent this whole time. I love my kids and they are amazing.

But I wonder sometimes now that they are closer to having their "own" lives, about all the
"What If's. Soon I will have alot of free time on my hands. I'm not sure what I will do with all that "free" time. So it makes me stop and think about life. Where I am now, where I have been, and where am I going. Where do I wanna be?

I am sure these are normal questions for someone my age, right? Sometimes I think I wouldnt change anything. and other times I think that I made alot of wrong choices. I know everyone always says (I even tell my own children) that you learn from your mistakes.

But my life now is the opposite of what I think my life would have been,  had I chose some different paths. I'm not a unhappy person. I actually have a great life and a wonderful family. But that never stops me from wondering "What If".

Gods Plan, I suppose.


But don't you ever wonder "what if"?????????

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Smell of DEATH


During one of my sons driving lessons, we were in the parking lot (near our home but kinda off in a wooded area) driving round and round and round in circles. Because I have yet to feel comfortable enough to allow my son to drive around any where near there are other cars. I mean come on he is driving my "new car".


So anyways I started to smell something that didn't smell good. Like something dead and rotting. I have a very sensitive nose. Unfortunately, I can smell everything.


So now this smell has completely pre-occupied my thoughts. I think it is all those crimes shows I watch.

So I ask my son to pull over by the trees/bushes, so that I can get out and take a look. At this point I have been going on and on about the what if's . So he pulls over and I get out and start walking and sniffing. Trying to figure out where this freakin smell is coming from. As I am walking back and forth near the edge of the trees (because , there is no freakin way I am actually getting in the trees/wooded area. ) my germy tendencies are in super high alert and all I can think about now is ticks, spiders, and posion ivy.  So I try and lean in and take a look.  However, from the distance I am standing you really can't see much. But I can tell there is no trash around so it has to be a dead "something". Right?

At this point I have a million scenarios going thru my mind as to what it could possibly be and goosebumps running down the back of my neck.  IF  it is a dead person, I have now trampled all over a possible crime scene. OMG!!!!!


As I am walking, and sniffing I'm telling all this to my son who just looks over at me with this  are you freakin serious look ???? and says "can we just finish my driving lesson now" !

So we finish the driving and start to head home and my sons says, he can't wait until he has his permit and he can drive around on the regular roads so that we don't ever have to drive back over here again.

Is he freaked out or just tired of listening to his obsessed mother go on and on and on????
IDK

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MOOG- The destructor


Ok, I lied when I said I only had two dogs. Really I have two dogs and my daughter has a dog. "MOOG", the destructor. This dog was given to my daughter (note: you should never give a pet as a gift to anyone!) by her boyfriend. It was suppose to be a replacement dog, for when they moved in together.  Anticipating that I would not give up the chihuahua. That was suppose to be my daughters but, some how became mine.   Anyways, so this new dog was suppose to be a chihuahua also.
However, it is more like a mini penn and a chihuahua mix.

Regardless this dog is a handfull. It is like no other dog I have ever seen. Let me back up at this point to say that before "Moog" came along, her boyfriend had also bought her a cat. No, I'm not freakin kidding. So at the time, that put the talley of animals in my household  at 2 cats 3 dogs. OMG!!!

So when things in the basement (which is where my daughter lives) started to get torn up, we thought it was the cat. Because the cat would knock things off and then the dog would tear them up. They had a whole Tag Team thing going on.

So I finally convience my daughter to give the darn cat back to him and let it stay at his parents house. This is only fair right? Since he bought the cat in the first place. Also, during this time there was alot of drama going on about the cat having to go AWAY.

So finally after the cat is gone. The dog seems to still be getting ahold of "stuff" and tearing it up. and when I say "stuff" what I really mean is, a whole box of push pins, super glue, birth control pills, carpet, wood baby gate, sharpies, sofa cushion, down bedspread, shoes and multiple other paper items. But the real topper was last week the dog chewed thru her sheets and mattress right down to the springs.

What confuses me is everything is put up. I don't know how the dog is getting ahold of these things. As of now the dog is being put in a kennel during the day, in order to try and minimize the destruction while we are gone.

Amazingly enough the dog has not died or gotten sick from any of the stuff he has eaten.

Now you can imagine my thoughts on the dog by this point. If it were me , I would have dropped the dog off at the pound after the first destroyed item. But........... since my daughter is a big animal lover, I have tried to be paitent and understanding. I have even tried to reason with my daughter about finding a new home for her. Sounds good RIGHT? No, of course not.

So for the time being until my daughter moves out, Moog the destroyer still lives at our house. and continues to chew items up daily.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Family Table


Dinner time should be, when you come together with family. It used to be at our house. Once upon a long time ago. When my children were babies. My children are not grown adults, but they are teenagers. The age when spending time with your family is out of the question, if you ask them.

I miss those times now. When the whole family ate at the dinner table together. Each family memeber helped out with setting the table or bringing the food over.

We had the neatest placemats (something strangely enough was often a dinner topic) anyways, every night at dinner we used to do the 1-10 game.

If your not familar with it, in this game each person shares on a scale from
1-10 how was their day and why.  Even if you have had a really crappy day and weren't really feeling like being social, you had to share. (sometimes this was the best cure for having a bad day). My husband and I would always say that we were having a # 5 day. The kids would ask us why it was just such an average day. "Didn't anything exciting happen to you today"?

How do you tell a small child that once you become an adult and have to work all day that not much exciting happens.

As time goes by and they grow up, our table has now been reduced to the place where we dump all our mail, back packs, and soccer cleats but is no longer the place where we all come to eat together .

Sadly enough as they grow up, they are too busy to eat at home because they have their own job, or because of soccer practice or because this is the only night your home in a week and you want to watch your favorite tv show. 

It then becomes "on your own night" 5 days a week.

Currently, our table is now housing a 1000 piece puzzle. In hopes that we may come together at least long enough to put your "1 puzzle piece quota" in place.






Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tinkerbell Sketch Card

Something I did for Maria, a long time friend of mine.

QUEEN of Random thoughts

My friends always tell me that I am the queen of random thoughts.


But I cant help it.


I know that it can drive people crazy for my lack of not completely following the conversation, and while I also have that blank look on my face. DUH


It is NOT that what they are saying is not interesting. I just have too many things rolling around in my head at one time.


Isnt this part of being a parent?

You know, like when you have asked your kid "have you brushed your teeth yet"?  all the while you were standing right there watching them 20 minutes. So you child looks at you like your crazy.


And so here it is the random thought for the day..................................

Whats up with all the bees? They have been everywhere lately. Worse than in years past.

Are these the Africanized Honey Bee, more popularly known as the "killer" bee?

Have the "killer" bees made their way to us already?

The Map of Africanized Bee Migration in US doesnt show them in our area yet.

So whats Up with all the freakin BEES?



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Morning drive in without coffee.....................


I'm driving, weaving in and out of traffic, why you ask????

Because of all the freakin slow ass drivers that insist on driving in the fast lane, but only going 65. WTF??????

I'm pretty sure everyone took the same drivers test, did they not ? 
And what does it say???

To move to the right if you want to drive like a freakin turtle!!!!!! OMG

Yes, I have NOT had my morning coffee yet, but...............

As I am weaving in and out of the slow  traffic I am going thru the plays and screw ups from the soccer game of the night before. ( like as if I was the soccer coach, which yes I know that I am NOT)

But it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see where the problem is. So why does the coach not express this to them at practice and make them work on the areas they are lacking?????

This is where my frustration comes in, all that hard work and all that we have gone thru and done to prepare for H.S. to find out that most of the kids that made the team played rec ball.  My kid could of sat on his ass all summer and still made the team. Now how pathetic is that?

I honestly have to say that my son has learned more and gained more from playing with a club team than he will from playing on his H.S. school team. 

That is very sad! I know not all H.S. are like this. Which is why this is so dissapointing. I expected so much more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Spookytown pin-ups by other artists

Here are a couple of more nice pin-ups that other artists have done of Spookytown characters for me. Both of them of Emma this time and both international.

First up is a really cute piece by Jennie Wood, an artist from across the pond, south of London, if I remember correctly. I love the style of this one, really quirky and it has a lot of personality. She's said she's also sending a me a another piece made with, as she says, "actual pens and painty stuff!" I'm definitely looking forward to that. You can check out more of her work here.
The second piece is by Steve Coffin, a Canadian comic book writer and artist whose name you might recognize from this blog. I did two pin-ups for him in the past. One for his comic Lutu - Warrior of the North and the other for Kung Fu Engine. I love the atmospheric feel to this one, with the fog effect. I get a great Scooby-Doo vibe off of it. Check out Steve here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sweet T's

Here's an another image I recently did for Tesar's. This is his wife, who does desserts for the restaurant. I'm not sure, but I think she might be getting her own place as well. I could be wrong.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Doodle: Noname guy

I paint this guy just for fun. Painter, 4 hours, no ref.

Book Recommendation


Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin. If you've never heard of him, you should definitely look him up. Especially if 1. You like illustration and 2. World War II stuff fascinates you. I fall squarely into both categories.

The book is published by Fantagraphics and it's a really nicely done 2 hardback, slipcase set. Here's a description from their website...

Here, for the first time, Fantagraphics Books brings together Mauldin's complete works from 1940 through the end of the war. This collection of over 600 cartoons, most never before reprinted, is more than the record of a great artist: it is an essential chronicle of America's citizen-soldiers from peace through war to victory.

Bill Mauldin knew war because he was in it. He had created his characters, Willie and Joe, at age 18, before Pearl Harbor, while training with the 45th Infantry Division and cartooning part-time for the camp newspaper. His brilliant send-ups of officers were pure infantry, and the men loved it.


I've had this on my Amazon Wishlist for a while now. A big thanks to my buddy Randy for giving me the heads up that this was available at Half Price Books this weekend, during their 20% off sale. $65.00 set, HFB price $20.00 and 20% off. Awesome, awesome deal. Now, if I can just get his biography for such a great price.

New Speedpaintings

Recently I got a new wacom tablet, so I just want to paint on my little laptop all day long. Here are two new ones I did in painter. Usually I only work with Oils/Flat oil, on one layer, 'cause this makes me feel like working on real canvas with real brushes. No erasing, no undo.

30 min, photo ref

4 hours, photo ref

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Update

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted, which is lame. I know I get disappointed when I go to the blogs that I regularly haunt and there are no updates. "What? No new post?", I protest in my head. So here's at least a little something about what is going on in my uninteresting (at least to people other than myself) life.

Mainly, I've been busy with freelance stuff. I wish I had time to take a break (as you can see from the "tired eyes" photo), but I do like having work, so I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm thankful for it. I've been doing more things for Tesars Modern Steak and Seafood. Designing labels for different sauce bottles, typesetting some online menus, another illustration, this time of his wife. Bunch of fun stuff. Also, I've been extremely busy doing illustrations for a relationship book that's coming out soon. I did the cover and so far I've done over 60 images and there are still a whole bunch more for me to do. I don't even know what the final count will be. I'm excited to see the finished piece.

I've still been pretty good about working on Spookytown. I did miss a day or two on my "must work daily on Spookytown" New Year's resolution. Hopefully in a month or so I'll post about my progress. Also in comic book related news, I'll be contributing a page to David Hopkins' "One Night Stand" project. It's similar to his "Mine All Mine" anthology that I also participated in. One writer, one broad topic, multiple artists, one page each. This theme is "casual encounters". I eagerly look forward to it.

Also, the big goings-on at the Slayton headquarters is Jackie Bear turning 1 year old. It's hard for me to believe, but it's true. I posted a bunch of photos from his big bash.

That's all I got, later for you.