Thursday, August 30, 2012

Four Bits From A Two Bit Brain

Got a kitten last week. I'm thinking about having it registered as a cat when he gets older. I've begun working on his accreditation logo.

Having things in order is a life lived correctly. Here; the peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Pop Art. Nuff said.

The Interrobang. Invented in the 70's, it is a combination of an exclamation mark and a question mark to convey surprised questions. Never quite caught on...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Randisms Project

Doing simple can be the hardest thing to do because our natural tendency is to try to include as much as possible in order to have our message understood. Things like design by committee or client with an idea or can we add logos of all our partners can complicate designs. In short, simple can be a very elusive animal. The ironic thing is when you can do something simple it stands out from the clutter. And all that other stuff you could have thrown in can be accomplished by a call to action (to a web site, etc.) to find out more. It's even more effective because by this time they're motivated.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.

In the past couple of weeks here on Rand's Place I've been featuring a few posts of quotes I hadn't said yet (mostly to have fun and entertain visitors). In conversation over at Facebook one of my friends, Kristy Ewing of Ewing Creative coined the term Randisms. The thought came to me that this might be a good personal project for me. Something new. Something that would allow me to flex the simple muscle. Thus, the new Tumblr site Randisms was born. I wanted it to be a separate entity, apart from Rand's Place. One with new rules.

So. Here is my challenge:
1) Black and white, 2) One message per, 3) One font and one format (11" X 17") that people can print, 4) No notes of explanation apart from a brief one under the site title, 5) The subject is life, with a bit of humor, topical observations and philosophy thrown in, 6) Every post does not have to make sense, 7) No posting schedule but whenever time and the thought strikes, (that can mean both verbal diarrhea and constipation in any period of time), 8) Try to keep the message fresh and people engaged, and above all 9) Trial and error is perfectly fine.

Wish me luck! Follow along if you're so inclined. Click here to witness my pain.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Born To Be Borned

Su-Chin: "All babies want to get borned. All babies want to-- (Juno runs past her out of the clinic) God appreciates your miracle!"
~ from the movie Juno, 2007, Michael Cera, Ellen Page

I remember being borned. At least I vividly remember the slap. And I remember going, "Whoa, what the hell was that for? I'm out a single bloody second and I get a friggin' slap? For nothing?" I then asked to be put back inside.

But you can't go back. Nor can you just stand in the doorway and stick out a hand to see if it's raining or not and then decide to do the whole thing later. There is a sequence of science involved. Water has broke and dilation has occurred and that's that. There are muscles involved and behind them a screaming woman. Out you go. One just has to make the best of it. And I've been spending the intervening years taking that lesson to heart. No womb envy here. I was born to be borned. Bring on the pain.

Actually in retrospect I should have thanked the doc for that slap as it prepared me for the future. I grew up in the generation that still got spankings (This'll hurt me more than it will hurt you), got punched in the arm just to show it didn't hurt (Hit me harder, go on), got kicked in the shins by little girls with sharp pointy shoes (and cooties), and was even given the strap in public school (Don't tell mom). A friend of mine who got the strap regularly said if you plucked out some hairs and laid them across your palm before you got the strap they would cause the palms to bleed and you could sue the school board. But I didn't. I took it. Because that's what you did. You took your hits.

Don't get me wrong, life's not all one big slap in the fanny. From the moment you are born you find out there are things like breasts and ice cream and Foghorn Leghorn cartoons and you get better at ducking and running and you go, oh, okay, fair 'nuff. You go to school, make friends, sing stupid songs while sitting in a circle on the floor, learn how to conform and smoke cigarettes, spend some time in detention and they let you out in the world to sink or swim. You figure you'll be happy if you end up at the end of the day having more good things happen than bad.

It's a whole batch of mashed potatoes (with horns).

And ain't that the truth.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Experimentation Is Reflection

To take a look into another dimension... take a moment and add more time... devise the transition between reflection and emotion...

...a few for you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Unsaid Quotes

"Falling down is the first thing they tell you not to do in Walking School. then they tell you, "That's all you need to know. Class dismissed."

"Never buy a blow up doll if it's ticking."

"Is it okay to ask you a question or would you prefer only statements so you can correct me with your prissy face?"

"Is it such a crime to put toes into finger bowls? The maître d' seemed to think so. So, I asked for a toe bowl. He said they didn't have any. "And you call this a classy joint," I said."

"From the Can't Understand File: Talking to people on the phone while naked never seemed to be an issue. Why would it be on Skype?"

"Yesterday I hadn't seen the kitten for a while so I went looking for him just to make sure he was okay. From the guest bed upstairs he looked up at me and said, "You okay?"

"I wouldn't mind having more stilted conversations but I'm afraid of heights."

"When I was very young I thought it rude to look at French dressing in the refrigerator."

"I had a working title for a project once but it took too many coffee breaks."

"If existential angst is the anxiety of the meaninglessness of existence, then existential bliss must be the relief of knowing no matter how poorly you do, it's all meaningless."

"I saw a nude mannequin in a shop window but it really wasn't naked. I inquired and they told me it was wearing an invisible outfit. I tried to buy one but they couldn't find it in my size."

"I tried tap dancing once but the faucets kept breaking."

"I don't really care what kind of shape I'm in, but if I get to pick I'd say diamond shape. Then I could go into the glass cutting business."

And now for a word from your local sponsor: 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ever Dream Of Dating A Tangerine?

Hi there! I'm Honey Tangerine. Oh how to begin? I'm SO embarrassed. I'm basically a shy person and this is my first time posting on a dating site. Here are a few shots of me (fully clothed) in various poses.

I am looking to find my forever friend. I'm looking for a casual relationship first, maybe a few fruit bowl nights to begin. Maybe a few cocktails. Maybe more later.

About me: I am smaller than your average orange so if you like 'em compact – I'm for you! I am firm to slightly soft, and my complexion is a perfect pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves. Once we get to know each other I'm real easy to peel. Sorry, I don't mean anything sexual by this, it's just a natural thing.

My reason for placing this ad? I've been in a few sour relationships and have seen the effects of those and would like to meet my ideal true love before I just decide to dry up and seek the compost.

Us of the murcott variety love to party and make a great centerpiece. We're real fun in the kitchen and do a mean salad, dessert and main course. Our ancestors date originally from Tangier, a seaport in Morocco, but we have lived all over and our kind is known to be very hearty (so you won't have to worry about health care costs). My family has been in North America for quite a while, our immigration in 1883 was sponsored by a missionary, Rev. Barrington, coming from China. How great is that? We ain't no slouch academically neither. We're into studies for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

I'm looking for a fun person for nights out with lotsa muscle to squeeze me tight. You must like Tangerine Dream, that song from Led Zeppelin and deplore oranges, lemons, limes and all other citrus posers. (How many times did you leave one of those in a lunchbox or dangling from a cocktail glass?) I ain't no garnish and they have no umphhhh. We tangerines are full of taste, fun, have an impromptu savoir faire, and we're a lot sweeter too.

Drop me a line if you think we might have something in common... I love you already,



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quotes I Haven't Said (Yet), II (2, or Two, or Deux)

"So, I met some seedless grapes today. They were talking about artificial insemination..."

"Is it okay to out-troduce yourself to someone you never should have been introduced to?"

"I used to enjoy light reading but the bright bulb kept burning my eyeballs so I had to give it up."

"If I had six arms and someone cut off four I'd be the very same person I am today."

"Is it still called housebound if you decide not to leave the house for eleven months?"

"Once I had a client who became apathetic so I booked him for a client service appointment. Turns out he just needed a salad oil change."

"After years of experimentation I've decided I prefer my cocktails stirred and not shaken. It's hard keeping it in the glass and I got tired of wiping martinis off my ceiling."

"I'm glad lemons don't have lips because they'd probably be all yellow and sour and puckered up and who wants that?"

"Is it okay to sing Hail to the Chief if it's just snowing lightly?"

"I have two positions; you're right and I'm probably wrong and I'm wrong and you're probably right."

"She had a voice that could make your eyes bleed and a breath that could strip wallpaper. Being her exact opposite, I was attracted."

"I break the ice with people by saying, "You know, you and I are the only two good looking people here." It helps if you're ugly, they are too and it's all so totally ironic."

"I often have brief conversations with inanimate objects. I'm always right because I understand how they are. I am the microwave whisperer."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Tantalizing World of Pizza

"Oh say can you see, a combination for three."

"Earth, we have landed. Not a drink in sight. Please send beer."

"Comes with 3 toppings; First gear, second gear and third gear."

"We never give up on a day-old pizza if there's a way to save it."

It all began with a single tomato, brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century. No one knows who did this but by the late 18th century, it was common for folks around Naples to add tomato to their yeast-based flat bread, and so the pizza was born. Soon pizza became a thriving industry as visitors to Naples came to scoff down the local specialty.

Pizza was first brought to North America in the late 19th Century by Italian immigrants. Before the 1940s, pizza consumption was limited mostly to Italian immigrants and their descendants. The international breakthrough came after World War II. Allied troops occupying Italy, weary of their rations, were constantly on the lookout for good food. They discovered the pizzeria, and local bakers were hard-pressed to satisfy the demand from the soldiers. The American troops involved in the Italian campaign took their appreciation for the dish back home, touted by "veterans ranging from the lowliest private to Dwight D. Eisenhower".

Finally, this 1957 show on Canadian television turned the tables. Pizza was here to stay.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quotes I Haven't Said (Yet)

"I once wanted to fast to rid my body of impurities, but I was too slow."

"I'm a full inch short of how tall I used to be so I called Lost and Found. They said they'd give me a call if someone turns it in."

"I never look at exclamation marks because I got a few bad ones in high school."

"You may not have got that last one. I wrote it above your head. Look up."

"I'm training my car. I've taught it to speak when I hit the top button of this device twice. It tries to lock me out. That's why I have the second button. The third button is for when I want it to party."

"I support illustrators who want to regulate the height of straw in illustrations so no one draws the short one."

"I never watch So You Think You Can Dance because I don't."

"If I was made of butter and you were made of bread, well, we wouldn't starve, anyway."

"I'm a good sport. And just outside this room is my Hall of Fame."

"Christmas time is when my clocks run too slow."

"I had a threesome once. There was me, my ego and her. I won't do that again. My ego kept getting in the way."

"I bought a box of meatless chicken yesterday. It was empty. All you had to do was add chicken."

"I watched the French Connection today. Now I feel like one with the language."

"My doctor was going to send me to a Neurologist to have my head examined. It's all uncharted territory. Maybe she should sent me to a cartographer instead. They wouldn't get lost."

"Once I could sing so high the neighbors a mile down the road called to ask me to keep it down. So I became a baritone."

"You asked me to forget all about it but I couldn't remember what it was so I couldn't. Sorry."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

It would be nice if we could grow frogs from seeds. Green thumbs would have a new meaning. Kermit could grow himself. I did try to once but all I got was potatoes, which were nice but didn't hop around much. If you're looking for a pet that you don't have to walk but has a nice personality, I'd recommend a potato.

You may have noticed I like this David Shrigley font. I noticed it once on a post and it said just write him a nice note and he'd send it to you for free. So I did. The title of my email was "A nice note." David Shrigley is a pretty well known artist from Glasgow who I like. But the font came from a fellow named Andy. I wonder if David knows Andy has his font. Maybe they're friends and have tea together. (Write to me if you want it. I don't think Andy would mind.)

I've just invented a new official position. Holder of the Caca. You may address this person as "Your Cacaness". They would live in a place called the Cacancy. Their job is to stink up a room where people have gathered as quickly as possible. That way people go home, have a nice bath and be good mothers and fathers and neighbors and friends.

I think we need a position like this.

I had to change my sheets today. They were starting to complain. There's nothing worse than complaining sheets. So my policy is, every time my sheets complain I change them. Here is a picture of the new sheets. You don't hear them complaining. No siree bob.

It was three o'clock when I took this photo. I wanted proof.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Enter The Great Thingy Hunt

Announcing the launch of The Great Thingy Hunt. To qualify to enter, first you must have lost it and second you must want to find it. You must have had in your hand one moment and then it was gone the next. You had it and then maybe the phone rang and then some women were talking to you on the television about female menopause products and then Norris was freaking out about his toothbrush being contaminated by touching Tracy's. Then you went to find it and couldn't find it anywhere. And you need it.

In order to enter your hunt it must be something that is currently missing, or something that had been missing but is no longer so, no silly fictional or gross-out hunts will be allowed. Register your hunt here and the best, most interesting tale of sleuthing will win. There's no prizes except for bragging rights and you get to display the hunt logo on your web or facebook page with the words "I won The Great Thingy Hunt." In order to win you must tell us where you finally found it, whatever it was and the methods you used to do so. It would add to the mystery if you do not state what your thingy specifically is but it would help if you could tell us what it means to you and why you must find it.

Urban dictionary defines thingy as "a something, a thingymajig, a watchamacalit, a doo dad, a habba whatsa, a do hickey..." All are equal in the eyes of the judges of this official hunt and qualify for registration.

Judges decisions are arbitrary and final.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

You Talkin' To Me?

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, 1976

"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here..." ~ Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver, 1976. Robert Di Nero. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Paul Schrader.
Explorations have lead me in a rather unexpected direction. As a fan of old films, iconic moments, and the magic of the cinema; these illustrations have been a labor of love. And I thought I'd share.

Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, 1939
The characters, of course, are not real: they are flickers on the screen that rivet your brain to a train wreck so much so you can't look away; mesmerized and at times, yes titillated. We don't care. Because real to us is standing for an hour waiting for a bus, being regularly verbally abused by the lady at the pizza take-out counter, paying bills, wondering if you're overly fat, worrying about those you love and can't do anything to help.

Jackie Gleason in The Hustler, 1961
Pathos, passion, drama. What we relate to in performances are periods that surprise us, garner feelings that we didn't know we had, things that don't make sense but they do somehow, seeing happy endings or sad endings both deservedly or undeservedly won, sharing a moment with others who have an imperfect life but not having to do anything because the whole thing is written down in advance (like fate) and the ending is there and it has nothing to do with you. There is solace in that. And trust. Trust that what you're watching may mess with your mind to get your juices flowing but won't do any permanent damage. In fact, certain fictional moments become... indelible.

Because on some level of our consciousness, they talk to us.


For those interested, this is the reference for the De Niro illustration. I have no idea where it originated. I'd be pleased to accredit it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Penciling You In

Think of a pencil as a symbol of the power of the creative mind. It is the potential inherent in what can be written or drawn and it's representative of knowledge and art; having been born for use by academics and artists.

Contrary to common talk, pencils have never been made with lead, but with graphite. Chemistry was in its infancy back in sixteenth century Cumbria, England and the first discovery was thought to be a form of lead. In fact, tales about getting lead poisoning from pencils comes from lead in the paint that adorned the early pencil and not the graphite.

When you grow up in an industry there are certain things that you see used so often that they lose the power of their original greatness. Words and phrases, symbols and images are "done to death". And the art/design/advertising industry is not exempt. We call these things that have been overused and mistreated to the point of exhaustion clichés (and images, visual clichés) even though those outside the industry may not recognize them to be. Trending in the age of social media has exasperated this so much so that what was hot one hour is totally lame the next. (Most, it must be admitted, are worthy of this fate.)

So of course I had to pick the lowly pencil to feature today. Some would say they have been misused throughout generations of designers for everything from logos to publication covers to illustrations, icons, t-shirts, boxer shorts and those magnets you put on your fridge. Along the way they have fallen out of favor by the design elite as an image solution only used by the mindless, and used poorly.

But others might say that the pencil became clichéd simply because of its inherent power. That when a solution presents itself as an effective alternative that involves their use, one shouldn't automatically exempt it because its been abused so many times in the past. The wisest amongst us might say, well maybe it just hasn't been used properly, maybe it's time it reclaimed its former glory.

Like you and me. We've been poorly used in the past and we're grateful when someone doesn't chuck us out immediately when we come to mind. Even if you haven't been abused, imagine you were a pencil and someone said, "Oh, we can't use a pencil, they're meaningless now." How would you feel?

In this age of trending, perhaps we're ready to throw out too much. Anyway, hope you find something interesting in today's images. I took the photo last night and shaped it into something that marries the words to the visuals in a way that completes a thought. Hope they serve to boost the image of the pencil to something above a throwaway cliché.

And I hope pencils everywhere feel a bit better about themselves.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mister Discombobulated

Friday, August 3, 2012


A bit of playtime here.
Please don't take offense.
Things may be sticky now.
But (with surgery), all will be past tense.

Half expecting Spiderman to call...