What was, what is, what will be.

I had one of those “deep” conversations with a friend the other day. And I started thinking. And that’s never a good thing.

But still, I started thinking. I looked back over the almighty shoulder and started browsing through some of my most precious memories. She asked me if I miss my family – living with mom and dad, that is. Please do remember that I’m 25, soon going on 26 and that’s downright scary. I’m in my “remembering adolescence” phase; it’s like a werewolf cycle, only it comes around just once a year, right before I change digits.  I never really get to the same conclusion, not for two years in a row. Back when I was 20, I didn’t miss the sweet sixteen, not for a second. I was 20, I considered myself a grown-up and had high expectations from myself and from everyone around me. I didn’t miss being a teenager, being told what to do or depending on my parents’ approval. I didn’t miss the fights, the nights spent with my eyes glued to the computer, headphones shoved in my ears, listening to angry “F*** You” music (i.e. Puddle of Mudd, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Rancid etc.), waiting for my dad to just pass out from all the liquor and for my mom to finally stop crying and just go to bed. I didn’t miss the drama nor did I miss being pushed around. I was a young artist, I had a bunch of wild dreams and kept telling myself that I’d make them all come true. It never crossed my mind that I might just be downright stupid and incomplete.

When I turned 23, I missed it all. I would’ve given everything to go back there. As nasty as it got sometimes, it was ten times better than what I was going through. Nothing could beat the comfort of my own home – even though it wasn’t literally my home, we paid rent. But hey, at least someone else took care of the bills. I could easily focus on school, art and writing, though I never got around to giving it my 300%. I didn’t like the heartbreak, the nights I spent tossing and turning and crying over a douchebag who wasn’t even half as awesome as I truly was. But hey, I was 23, a chick and I was in love – and God did it hurt! I missed adolescence, when heartbreak was as common as the common cold itself. You got it on Wednesday and you were over it by the weekend. That’s how I remembered my first crush and all that coming-of-age high school drama crap. I missed staying at home with my parents, worrying only about my grades or about how I’d get away with all the ditching and smoking behind the school building. I missed spending time on the balcony, listening to my angry “F*** You” music, feeling sorry for myself and for my joke of a family – but at least those were productive times; I painted a lot of good stuff back then. Of course, thanks to daddy, I’ve got nothing to show for.

When I turned 25, I didn’t even know for sure if I missed my teenage years or not. That time of my life was a pretty decisive landmark in the shaping of my present self – it’s the same for everybody else, but I took it personally so it meant a whole lot more. Sweet sixteen was like the moment when B.C. turned to A.D., according to the universal calendar.

But I’m turning 26 soon. And I’m still thinking. And it’s still a bad thing, look at what I end up doing when I get to thinking. I blog, for Christ’s sake. And yes, I do miss some of those teenage years – but just moments of it. The most important moments, that is. Those rare nights when dad came home less drunk than usual – or apparently sober (boy he fooled me a couple of times!); we’d sit on the couch, I’d tell him about my crappy day, he’d give me a decent foot rub and I’d go to bed with a smile on my face; I’d spent my afternoons in my room, listening to my angry “F*** You” music, testing new techniques with pastel chalk, water and hairspray; I’d spend hours in front of that easel, until I’d realize that my back hurt too much, so I’d put the easel away and I’d continue painting directly on my lap; my pants would obviously get messed up and my mom would yell at me for that. I’d get angry and try hard to ignore the rants. By the end of the day, she’d fix me dinner and she’d fall asleep while watching one of her cheap soap operas. I remember that she truly enjoyed defending those shows, insisting that what she was watching was of much higher quality than that “daytime” crap. Hah…

Yes, I miss those moments. I miss hanging out with my friends on weekends. I miss ditching school and seeking refuge in the Irish pub, playing darts, munching on pizza and giving poetry a shot. We actually tried to start our own Dead Poets’ Society. My dear friend Cassy must still have a copy of that particular notebook. I’d love to read it again and marvel at our ingenuous and basically virgin brains.

I don’t miss the family part. Not all of it, anyway. I miss some bits of it. The good ones. I’m very picky, I know, but they’re my memories and I choose to do whatever I please with them. I’ve tossed the bad ones away – I got my experience out of them, there’s no use keeping them around anymore.

But I know one thing for sure – the kind of thing that you can disprove with science and I still wouldn’t care. I’m part of a very important generation. I’m part of that moment when humanity decided to take a second look in the mirror and say “Hey, there’s something wrong about this picture. But instead of going out of my way to fix it, I’ll just channel it into something that I’m good at. I’ll write. I’ll paint. I’ll play the guitar. I’ll do something about myself without putting myself down!”. Maybe it sounds complicated to you, but to us… it was an exhilarating moment. The day we decided that we weren’t kids anymore but we didn’t qualify as adults, either. The day we realized that we walked that very fine line between child and adult – that niche which, if handled in a smart way, could open some kickass doors.

Of course, very few of us got that far. Some settled for the boring office job, the moderately priced car and the one week holiday at the seaside every year. Others didn’t make it past 18. And some, but just a few, got to where they are today by constantly adding tiny bricks of experience to the majestic towers that they are, watching down on the rest of the world. I could have the audacity to say that I’m one of them, but I don’t really qualify as a tower, as I move around a lot. But I guess I’m somewhere in between. I’m still walking a fine line between everything that I was, everything that I am and everything that I could be.

And I gotta hand it to myself, it’s not as easy as it might sound.

So yes, I miss being a teenager, but down to a point. Yes, I look forward to reaching other important landmarks in my timeline, such as marriage, kids, the C.E.O. plate on my office door and so on… but down to a point. Yes, I’m enjoying every second of my present existence. But sadly, down to a point. Like I was saying, I’ve been thinking.

I’m a mess by nature. Born in the 80’s, raised through the 90’s, emancipated through the 00’s. 25 years of going back and forth through every single corner of the world and every single corner of my head.

What I do know for sure after 25 years on Earth is that I don’t want the motherlode of happiness. I want drops of it, on a daily basis. Just enough to keep me going. Enough to make it worth while getting out of bed in the morning and enough to put a smile on my face as I go to bed at night. I want my +1, my favorite stuff, my dream job and my reasons to escape to a remote island once in a while. I want the whole pack, the good and the bad. Otherwise it wouldn’t be that much fun.

And what, you didn’t see this picture coming? *sighs*

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Irony, humanity’s dearest friend

While growing up, I’ve always wondered who this Murphy fellow was. I kept hearing about Murphy’s law, but I’ve never bothered to look into it. My irony bible was a large panel posted in my favorite Irish pub, with the title “Murphy’s Drinking Laws”, so you might notice when it was that I’ve actually started to understand the true perversity of the Universe.

They say the name comes from Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab, who felt the need to express his opinion about a technician’s incompetence regarding a malfunctioning strap transducer: “If there is any way to do it wrong, he will.” – well, at least that’s what George E. Nichols said in Arthur Bloch’s book, “Murphy’s Law and Other Reasons Why Things Go Wrong”, published in 1977. This is as close as anyone got to theorizing irony, through Murphy’s Law.

Seeing as I now sound smart enough to continue my rant about irony (thank you, Wikipedia), I can only say that if anyone was ever brave enough to compile an encyclopedia of cases where irony has played its part better than Jack Nicholson played Jack Torrance in “The Shining”, I’d probably earn a couple of pages in it, at least.

As much as we hate to admit it, anything that can go wrong is most likely to actually go wrong.

  “And this is just an hors d’oeuvres from life’s gigantic plate of irony.”

It’s not a reason to panic, though. Resigning ourselves with the potentially disastrous outcome is a much healthier way to cope with it, if it comes to pass. Like the guy in Alanis Morissette’s song: “And as the plane crashed down, he thought <<Well isn’t this nice…>>”. Humanity has its rich history of tasting irony’s bitter slaps on the face and it will continue to experience it because, well, we’re helpless before it.

Let’s go back to April 14th 1912. Yes, you know where I’m going with this. The largest ship of its time and its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. They called it “Unsinkable” (which brings me to this little ad that I just had to bring up, because I’m nasty), yet it went down with the grace of an elephant tiptoeing through a porcelain factory. One of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century is also a perfect illustration of irony, all because of an oversized icicle. But the whole “unsinkable ship sank on its first voyage” wasn’t the entire plate of “Oh yes it happened!”. It turns out that 14 years before the Titanic took its nose dive, Morgan Robertson published a novel called “Futility”, featuring a large-ass boat called “The Titan” that sank on the 15th of April. It featured three propellers, 3000 passengers, a small amount of lifeboats and the starboard collision with an iceberg while on its voyage from New York to England. The Titanic featured three propellers, around 2200 passengers, the same small amount of lifeboats and the starboard collision with an iceberg while on its voyage from England to New York.

  “Don’t worry, babe, there’s no way we’ll be THAT unfortunate! It was just a book!”

We can also go way back when the Romans practically ruled the world and say hello to Marcus Licinius Crassus, who got his own taste of irony. He was a renowned general with a shitload of money and gold, just enough to fund armies and invasions. His luck ran out and the Parthians defeated him. You’re probably wondering where this is going. Well, the Parthians knew their way around building and preserving empires, so when this guy decided to plunder their lands, they said “Hell, no!” and not only did they bring his armies down, they executed Crassus as punishment for his greed. They poured molten gold down his throat.

  “Judging by the look on his face, I think he saw it coming.”

I’m pretty sure that millions of people have perished and will continue to do so under irony’s tender touch. Some of the most famous deaths include Hans Steininger, the guy with the longest beard in the world, who got caught in a fire, tripped on his beard, broke his neck and died; Bobby Leach kicked some serious ass as a famous daredevil, having managed to even navigate the Niagara Falls, but then he slipped on a banana peel, broke his leg and later died of gangrene; let’s not forget Franz Reichelt, the lunatic who was convinced that his tailored “pre-Batman” costume would help him fly off the Eiffel Tower, yet the cameras only managed to record him plunging towards his own death; Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize for her theory on radioactivity but she also won a deadly case of aplastic anemia that proved irony right, once again. I could go on forever but I’m pretty sure I’ve brought you down enough.

 “Or maybe not.”

Most of you know who Steve Irwin was. I’m also pretty sure that most of you, like me, grew up watching him on Animal Planet as he wrestled with crocodiles while laughing in the camera and telling us not to try this at home. Our most dangerous approach to his kind of action were probably the backyard lizards that left us their tails as souvenirs, so we loved Steve Irwin and some of us dreamed of growing up to be just like him. I remember my dad telling me that this guy was nuts and that one day, one of those crocs would be the end of him. I would like to take this moment and say “In your face, dad!”. Most of us probably thought the same thing, that a crocodile would be the end of Steve Irwin, while some of us secretly hoped that he’d live to be 80 going on 100. Until that blasted stingray decided to call it a night and end him. A stingray. Not a brown snake (which is just one of the many poisonous things that one can find in Steve’s homeland), not an alligator or angry crocodile, but a stingray.

  “Though they shouldn’t be underestimated, stingrays rarely attack. Otherwise this photo would be slightly different.”

For as long as we can remember, man has laughed in the face of irony and got bitchslapped every time. Haven’t you noticed that whenever you’re late, the red light tends to be all “in-your-face”? Or that it starts raining only after you take your car out all sparkly and shiny from the car wash? Or how a truck drives through a puddle and turns you into a Dalmatian only when you put on those cool white clothes for the interview of your life?

Well, I’ve had my own share of ironic moments. My favorite part is when I spend months looking for a job, and when I finally find one (that is probably not exactly what I wanted but, hey, it’s better than nothing) contracts start pouring in like I’m the most precious asset on this side of the globe. Every time that I’ve said “This time, it will be better!” it was always the same. Or worse. We’re all experiencing the bittersweet twists of irony. It’s by our side 24/7, just waiting for one of us to defy it, to say “Heck, what can go wrong?”.

Don’t ever ask that. Don’t ever think that nothing can go wrong but also don’t ever let yourself be brought down by the idea that anything can go wrong. We are not invincible and every single action that we perform is recorded with an opposite outcome in irony’s memory, just waiting to be used against us whenever we wish to defy it.

It’s not like I’m being a pessimist here. I don’t believe in the “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong” theory. I do, however, believe that if anything can go wrong, well, it might just go wrong. It might not make much sense to you, but I’m just trying to be an optimist without pissing irony off, so ambiguous statements are required. It might be spying on us this right now. Shhhh.

Dating. And Internet.

I was born in 1985. That means I know what an audio cassette looks like and that the Backstreet Boys were really freakin’ awesome back in the 90’s. That also means that I was there when they invented the cell phone and I struggled with the horrible beeping noise of a dial-up connection.

I was a teenager in the early 00’s, so I got most of my notions about boys and girls from the ravishing 90’s and my brother – maybe not the best sources, but hey, I had to learn from somewhere, right?

I knew for sure that when a guy liked a girl, he’d toss and turn for nights until he’d gather up the courage to ask her out on a date, buy her flowers or concert tickets. I knew that a girl had to leave signs for the guy to pick up on – those details that make a difference, that determine the guy to proceed with his “courting ritual” or to give it up. All those coming of age movies impacted our lives more than we could ever imagine, we all secretly yearned to end up with the girl. Most of us didn’t, because life tends to do that.

  “As pictured, Life toying with tiny humans.”

As the years went by, the value of real life interactions began to drop significantly. The Internet went on from the century’s most amazing invention to a fluffy Gremlin – we knew it was just a matter of time before someone dropped some water on it and turned it into the monster that it is today. Because the Internet, in its present form, is a monster, a social monster that desecrated the human interaction and reduced it to instant messengers, tweets and social networks.

Our entire lives revolve around certain websites. We keep in touch with our family and friends through Facebook, follow the news on Twitter and videochat with people on YM, Skype or AIM. We spend more time clicking on the “Like” and “Share” buttons than we do on actually improving our relationships with the people around us.

   “The Internet.”

I’ve only come to abhor this phenomenon recently. I’ve been so sucked into it that I didn’t even notice it. Back in the good old days, hooking up went something like this:

 “Hi, I like you, wanna go out sometime?”

Nowadays, hooking up seems to be more like this:

“Nancy Stark wants to be friends on Facebook.”

Back in the good old days, all a guy needed was a single red rose and a lot of guts to show up at her doorstep and take her out on a date. Nowadays, the guy’s main weapons are the “Like” and “Comment” buttons.

Facebook is a wonderful thing, no doubt about it, but it can be a horrible nightmare as well. Sure, you meet a lot of people, but how many of you have the courage to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger without sounding like idiots or premium stalkers? I, for one, admit that I suck at meeting people on Facebook. I can’t do it. I can’t approach a complete stranger and say “Hey, just making conversation here, how are you?”. It feels wrong. Yet some of my close friends have successfully hooked up and even married off Facebook.

“Tracy Stark changed her relationship status. Tracy Stark is Married.”

Am I getting slow and old while the rest of the world continues to race towards permanently hiding behind keyboards? We put in more efforts to look good on our Facebook pages than we do on doing our jobs right – and if you think I’m wrong, how many of you don’t have access to social networks and messenger applications at work?

“Oh, all of you.”

The problem is that this Internet (and particularly Facebook) addicted society has managed to damage my own perception of the world and the way I approach people. I’m now stuck with twisting and turning over hundreds of possible ways of talking to a complete stranger, just because I find him interesting. That’s probably because I still believe in the “dinner and a movie” thing instead of copy-pasting links of love songs via AIM.

Social networks have also opened up a whole new black hole in the social interaction process. The Internet (and those classic chatrooms, for example) was very useful for people who had trouble connecting with other people in real life. I’ve heard of and met couples that hooked up on the Internet and got along so great that they’re still together, some of them even married. But you see, back when the Internet was just a baby, all a person had to do was say “Hi” and strike up a conversation. Facebook killed that too. With the ridiculous amount of perverts and well… idiots who shouldn’t be allowed to even touch a computer, it just gets more and more difficult to separate normal people from stalkers.

“He might look normal, but Wes Craven made movies about guys like him.”

So what the hell is going on? Where is this all headed?

What will our life be like, ten years from now? Theaters filled with people who are too busy with their Blackberry’s to actually watch “Wicked”? The death of social skills and the peak of social networks? Where’s the adrenalin of actually going up to someone and saying “Hi, I like you!” without getting the pepper spray treatment?

I’m honestly terrified as I realize that I don’t know much about how everybody else does it.

I just can’t “Poke” a complete stranger, no matter how much I might like him. I just can’t “Comment” on a guy’s photo just because I want to make him notice me (on the Internet, for Christ’s sake, this isn’t even happening in real life, it’s happening behind a computer screen). I don’t know how other people can do it.

I’m grateful for everything that the Internet has to offer (with minor exceptions, such as Rebecca Black and the “Leave Britney Alone” guy), but I have to admit that it will slowly kill my social skills if I continue to play by its ever-changing rules. I know that you’re all pretty much aware of all of this. I also know that most of you are just afraid to admit it. So instead of doing so, you might as well use the damn “Like” button. Thank you.

Interlude.

I would like to apologize for my absence, but since life has its funny ways, I have to play along.

I’ve finally started work, so my perspective has gained new territories which I’m exploring quietly, one step at a time.

I’m off to sleep now, I’ve survived quite the weekend and I’m looking at five hours of sleep before I can resume a normal schedule.

So I’m leaving you with a song that I’m simply in love with. And I promise to return with good materials, sometime in the very near future.

All I can say is that I finally feel alive.

Romantic Comedies are Lies

This particular type of movies has been around since the beginning of cinema. It all pretty much started with Ernst Lubitsch, the one often credited as “the pioneer of romantic comedies”. He was pretty much the first to feed us with the sweetest of lies: love conquers all. He’s had some of the world’s greatest actors to give life to his deceiving characters: Carol Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper and so on. He made us believe that not only do opposites attract but they actually have a shot at a life together.

Just so you know, Lubitsch was not the only filthy liar around, because then came the fifties and more romantic comedies began to infect the screens everywhere. We had Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, married, in love yet going against each other in court in “Adam’s Rib”, Kim Novak cast a spell on Jimmy Stewart in “Bell Book and Candle”, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe got into “Monkey Business”, Doris Day practically killed us softly with gems like “Pillow Talk” and “Calamity Jane”, George Cukor kept throwing his funny love stories at us, one after the other until the day he died. I could go on forever but I’m already getting depressed because now I realize why I’m such an idiot when it comes to men: I’ve seen all of these movies and so much more. So much more…

And yes, watching romantic comedies at a very young age does tend to manipulate your perception of the world around you, especially if you’ve already been fed with the Disney Classics. That’s why the first love always hurts so much, because these cinema masterpieces make you crave for things that don’t come so easily and they never really come when you’re ten years old and still making your Barbie kiss Ken. Nothing lasts forever, not even Barbie and Ken.

“Like what, you never saw this coming?”

But cinema didn’t stop the lies in the sixties. Oh no, they kept writing and producing the same bullshit premises over and over until the 90’s came around and the romantic comedy was literally reborn. Of course, they changed the characters a bit, they tried to make them seem more human and less “Hollywood”. The 90’s were great for romantic comedies, if you stop and think about it. We had Richard Gere falling in love with a prostitute Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”, Helen Hunt fell in love with a douchebag played by Jack Nicholson in “As Good as It Gets”, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fell in love over the radio in “Sleepless in Seattle”, then Meg Ryan fell in love with Tom Hanks all over again over the internet in “You’ve Got M@il”, then Julia Roberts fell in love with Richard Gere again in “Runaway Bride”, then Hugh Grant put aside his cup of tea and wooed Andie MacDowell in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and Julia Roberts in “Notting Hill”, then Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles brought Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” back to life in the high school version called “Ten Things I Hate About You” (quick pause to mention that I’ve read the script and it was better than the movie; that, my friends, says a lot about the execution) and so on and so f***ing forth. I’ll stop now before I get diabetes.

“Thank you, Julia. Roberts.”

But I’m not done yet! I’ve barely skimmed through the 90’s! Did you think that that was it? Oh no, my friend, the romantic comedy didn’t stop there, it just got bigger, better and worse at the same time. The 21st century allowed cinema to dig even deeper inside the woman’s psyche, as it is proven that women are most of the demographic here.

“No, not these…”

The ‘00’s brought us a new batch of pretty faces to associate with romantic comedies. Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Josh Hartnett, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Grant (what, you thought he’d quit after the 90’s? F*** no.) and so on and so forth and so on and so forth. We had the control-freak chick fall in love with the “I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck” Irishman. We had bright and sweet titles like “Leap Year”, “40 Days and 40 Nights”, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “Casanova”, “Two Weeks’ Notice”, “The Princess Diaries 2”, “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, “The Proposal”, “The Wedding Planner” – all best served with a large batch of chocolate and tissues, because that’s what women watch when they’re sad, lonely or simply dumped by their significant other. That’s what women watch at any other time too. Because it is in our nature to dream. And we start doing this at a very young age.

We’re constantly told about the first crush, the first kiss, the first love, the first everything. Well, almost everything. Nobody prepares us for the first heartbreak. Nobody tells us that men are also human. Our mothers tell us to look for men that are smart, handsome, rich and with a sense of humor. That’s our biggest problem: nobody teaches us how to spot the difference between an overachieving asshole and a decent guy.

“Douche. Live with it!”

Romantic comedies are to blame, in fact. Our society used to indoctrinate us with the idea that “the richer, the better”, “the more cultivated, the better”, “the harder working, the better”, “the prettier, the better”. People had standards when it came to choosing a significant other. They didn’t settle for less and they always thought about their own future before jumping in. But then romantic comedies came along and everything just went horribly wrong. All of a sudden, they started telling us that a poor yet beautiful girl can settle with a poor guy just because she loves him – but nobody mentioned the mortgage, the low wage, the high cost of living in general. The poor girl could also fall in love for the prince/rich guy and the prince/rich guy would marry her and they would live happily ever after because that’s what it usually says in the movies, but they forgot to mention his family, his own expectations, her impression of what being married to a rich guy would be like as opposed to what it really was like, his hot secretary included. The beautiful girl COULD fall in love with the ugly guy, they’d be married and live happily ever after and they’d even have a pair of average looking babies. But nobody mentioned the name calling from the guys at work or the hesitation of introducing your loved one to your beautiful and pretentious parents.

“Mom, he’s the right one for me, I know it!”

Romantic comedies just make it all seem so fluffy and possible that we never stop to wonder if it can actually happen or if it’s best left on screen. The setting itself is pretty much idealized – he’s a wealthy pediatrician, she’s a wedding planner who can afford Gucci shoes but can’t afford better furniture, he’s a company manager, she’s a lawyer, he’s a rich consultant, she owns a pastry shop… oh come on, for Christ’s sake, nobody’s going to show us a love story between the garbage guy and the cleaning lady from the fifth floor. In the romantic comedy universe teachers are not poor, they own pretty nifty houses with back yards and they are unaffected by government teachers’ benefit cuts. All women are beautiful and all men are to die for. It’s what Hollywood does best to keep our hopes high. Everyone who’s ever had an influence in our upbringing (parents, TV, teachers) forgot to mention that there’s a completely different thing out here.

“Bullshit.”

They forgot to mention the bank loans, the price increase on gas and food, the extra pounds after pregnancy – which reminds me, they made pregnancy look like the funniest nine months with a quick montage that left out the back aches or the constant trips to the bathroom to pee. They made it look like true love really does conquer all.

Well it doesn’t. He might love you and you might love him. And you might live happily ever after. But he might also not be willing to take this step with you. He might cheat on you and even dump your ass two years after the wedding. He might do that even after you have his children and you’re no longer good for the “singles” market because of an illegal amount of stretch marks. Things can go down, and they can go down badly. He might not even ever bother to see that you actually exist. You might as well spend the next five years sobbing and sighing over him while he goes on to marry the hot PR with big boobs and a Corvette.

My intention is not to disappoint you, nor to feed you lies. I’m only describing the woman’s nature to have more faith in romantic comedies and their happy endings rather than in real life. Because in real life, shit stinks and you can’t sweep it under the rug. In real life we’re often too busy providing for ourselves to actually notice that there’s someone next to us. In real life we dream about the perfect relationship while we continue to manually destroy the ones we already have.

The romantic comedy does not portray the real human nature. It idealizes every single notion about love and it spices it up with memorable statements.

I mean, really, how many of us don’t dream to hear “Shut up, you had me at HELLO!”?

“Oh come oooooon!”

It’s time to wake up, girls. It’s time to stop dreaming about meeting a doppelganger of Chris Pine and it’s time to start accepting and loving the ones around you for who they are. So what if you’re experiencing new feelings for the guy who serves you coffee every morning at your favorite café? Who says he has to be a rich and successful surgeon to make you happy? Go ahead, love whoever you want and live your own life, just remember that every decision that you make will point you in a particular direction.

If you’re looking for a rich, handsome, smart and funny man, you’re delusional. But if you’re just looking for someone to love because you can already provide for yourself, then you might actually have a shot at a decent amount of happiness. Just remember that people change and that the man you love today might not be there for you tomorrow. Individualism is totally underrated and underappreciated.

“And so was the movie <<Blind Dating>>. *sigh*”

Some new stuff.

No context, just supergirls.

 

Comic Books – with love.

I’ve been a rabid fan of the comic books for as long as I can remember. The XMen are still my favorites. Particularly Rogue.

Back in art school I’d fallen madly in love with Royo’s artwork as far as the comic books were concerned. Of course, Royo had done illustrations for Penthouse, not comic books, but his artistic genius gave the world something far more powerful and more profound – his warrior women. So take the comic book frenzy and mix it up with some twisted Royo fantasy and you’re most likely to have created the most amazing thing.

I got restocked on how-to’s on comic book characters and I’ve started working on some today. A little bit of motion, a little bit of tight sexy outfits… you know, the usual. I think I’ll take my chance on a male action hero tomorrow, I wonder if I can still do them. Of course I can, I’m kidding, I just need to practice. Blogging is cool for me, it’s like self-therapy. I keep talking to myself and everything is better. It doesn’t really matter if anyone else reads this, this is my playground and right now I’m about to show off some comic book material.

You’ll probably notice that there’s a Rogue lookalike in there. It’s actually one of my takes on my favorite girl. I’ll have to get a serious pen though, the tiniest of brushes is no match for my trembling fingers, dammit.

Peacock feathers

 

I’m in my peacock feather phase, I’m sorry. Or was, until yesterday. Today I went all Ancient Greek and warrior chick combined. I’m on a drug and it’s called… bah, nevermind, your face will melt off if you try it.

Strike a pose. Come on, Vogue!

 

I got my claws on a very heavy but delightful Vogue catalogue. It has everything I need in order to do some serious fashion illustrations (or more like exercises, remember: practice practice practice!) and even some character artwork.

I went to Siena yesterday (actually 20 km away from Siena, in a small but gorgeous town). Ten hours on about 9 trains for just fours hours of human interaction. I saw my adoptive grandmama and made her happy with my artsy things. I shook hands on the agrotourism summer job, and I can’t wait to get started. I saw the resort and I have to tell you, it’s incredibly beautiful.

Imagine this 14th century palazzo with 14 apartments, completely renovated and redecorated – with a lot of its original materials too. The massive stone and brick walls, the light brown window frames, the pool, the emerald valley and hills that surround it. There’s lavander in the garden, there are mimosas blooming all around the place – and I swear that there is not one scent that can defeat the magic of a mimosa in early spring. Your nostrils are immediately titilated and your senses run around, unable to regain themselves. The palazzo is built on a massive stone platform and you can see it clearly while taking a skinny dip in the pool on any given day. Heh.

Spending a week in that place would be the perfect therapy for anyone. It would also be perfect for writers who seek peace, quiet and inspiration. The latter is literally oozing out of every single pebble, stick and blade of grass.

Trenitalia sort of sucks but they’re better than other trains that I’ve had the misfortune to experience. The really fast and cool ones are sucky for a particular reason: you get on, you take your seat, you feel like you’re in business class because it’s all so nice and clean, and there’s a voice on the speaker that welcomes you aboard and tells you that in a few minutes a hostess will bring around a cart filled with refreshments, sparkling wine, mineral water and a vast selection of Italy’s best snacks and sweets. That makes your mouth dry for a little sparkly but also watery in anticipation of their pastry wonders. And the reason why it’s sucky is because that bloody cart never comes around. They’re lying pricks. Three times I’ve been on one of the cool and fast trains, and three times I have been mislead by the nice voice on the speaker. The only person that DID come by after the speaker announcement was always the nice lady who checked our tickets. Now that’s sucky.

The paradox is here: the same Trenitalia offers the Intercity train. When you think Intercity you think about something modern and fast, not the rusty old Thomas Train set that showed up on the platform. Once I got on and the train… or whatever that was… started moving, it felt like the platform was moving, not the… uh, train. I have to give them credit for comfort though. The suckier the outside, the more comfy and fluffy on the inside. And guess what! There’s actually a guy who comes around with a cart filled with refreshments, sparkling wine, mineral water and a vast selection of Italy’s best snacks and sweets! He even has a bell, which he rings in front of each compartment. That just left me wondering: do they always take the wrong train or do they always play the wrong message through the speakers?

Either way, ten hours via train is an experience that I do not wish to repeat any time soon. I came home completely zombified and I woke up even worse. I felt like I’d spent those ten hours under the train, not in it, in a continuous accident – one that Van Damme would probably try to prvent with the help of a sexy yet expired actress. A hangover sounds like a better option right now. A tequila, red wine and vodka combined kind of hangover. Hell, a tequila, red wine, vodka AND beer hangover. But no, I’m pretty much just a lousy train wreck.

In spite of that, however, my hands decided that they wanted to paint a little today. So they browsed through the Vogue catalogue, got inspired and came up with two illustrations. More to come tomorrow, when I get the pain out of my body. May you enjoy them.

Deep.

I’ve heard this word one too many times. I’m going to develop an allergy soon.

Seriously, allow me to exemplify.

Situation A:

Dude 1: Dude, did you see “Black Swan”? How was it?

Dude 2: It was deep, man, I’m telling you, so deep!

Situation B:

Dude 1: How about that Journey song?

Dude 2: Yeah, dude, it’s so deep.

Situation C:

Chick 1: So what do you think about James Franco?

Chick 2: Oh God, he’s like… so deep! He’s amazing!

Situation D:

Chick: Have you read “Catcher in the Rye”?

Dude: I’ve tried, but it’s too deep for me.

Unless they’re all crack babies, we have a problem.

Why is it that “deep” is the only word I get when I ask for an opinion about a book, a movie, a band or even a person? What happened to “intense”, “complex”, “exhilarating”, “fascinating”, “profound”… even “profound”!

I know I shouldn’t have such expectations from 90% of the carbon based life forms that I happen to share the species with, but still. Please. “Deep” is not an answer. You can use it once and get away with it, but afterwards it just gets so annoying. A pool can be deep, a Boa feather loving harlot from the red light district can be deep, the sea is deep, the shit that we’re slowly sinking into on a global level is DEEP, even my period pains are deep, but this is just too much.

This word has basically lost its sense, to me anyway. Just the other day someone was telling me that Ke$ha’s music is deep. She didn’t live to provide an argument, but that’s not the issue here. I’m having trouble with the use of the word “deep”. It’s being used excessively and its meaning is being taken lightly. No, lightly doesn’t even begin to cover it. People are pooping on the word “deep” and throwing it around with anything just to sound smarter.

Enough with today’s rant.

Have some more “recuperating art” from your one and only.

There’s a red absinthe ad and something that might work as a Valentine’s Day card. The red absinthe ad came up today, the pink/red things weren’t really supposed to come out like that but I just went with the flow and made up a slogan to go with it: Red Absinthe – Makes your blood cells bubble. The style is pretty much Art Nouveau, watercolor and black ink. You can notice that this girl’s smile is better than yesterday’s girl. Told’ya, progress.

I love red absinthe, a flaming shot of it is pretty much like knocking myself out, with a dash of cinnamon. The good part was that I could never remember much from an absinthe-night, thus no reason to feel embarrassed. My drinking buddies always suffered from the same type of hangover and so we were all just happy not to remember anything and ready to get on with the English breakfast and sturdy deserts needed to get our blood sugar back to normal levels.

The other lady, the creepy one with bloody tears, was inspired from a Royo conception. You could consider the pink things as flowers or just an abstract heart background, whatever you wish. I consider it a proper Valentine’s Day card because my favorite Valentine’s Day card is Happy Tree Friends’ Valentine Giggles. (Click it!)

I’m looking at a five hour train ride to Siena, so I’m blogging while I still can, I’ll come back in shambles and sink DEEP in bed.

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