Friday, April 27, 2012

My Newest Addiction

 This is the image that started it all, folks. 

My little sister told me about this game, Draw Something. She said it was really fun and that I should download it. I'm not usually a phone user, let alone an app user. It took me a while to remember to look it up and give it a try. But when I did, it appealed to me right away. I like to draw, I like to guess what other people are drawing, and I like the constraint of using my finger and a very small phone screen to get the job done.
No, seriously. 

I started out with three colors and stick figures, but it wasn't long before I was "earning" more colors and adding more detail. That picture of the Joker is the first drawing where I actually took my time. It was fun to create something kind of good in a few minutes with my finger on a 3.5 inch display. And it didn't take long for me to realize that I had a problem. I probably play this game at least 5 times a day. 

Of course, the game has bugs. And the word selection repeats, so I have drawn a lot of words multiple times. Sometimes it is fun, because you want a chance to improve upon your last drawing or try making it a different way. But sometimes it is tedious because you get sick of drawing the same thing over and over again.    
It is interesting to compare a few of my multiples side by side. 
Can you guess what these are? I bet you can. They didn't take long to draw.  They are in the 30 second-1 minute range.
These took a little longer.  I'd say 1-3 minutes. Man it is hard to get the details right on such a small picture.
With your finger. 
I actually looked these up on Google Images first (except for the "symphony" which I also normally accompany with a picture of a chocolate bar) just so that I wouldn't get lost. I don't do that often. But if I'm going to spend perhaps more than 3 minutes drawing something, I want it to be legit. 

This next picture is one of my favorites. I didn't even try to get that look on Taylor's face, but it happened. This is why I love using my finger on a small surface. Crazy things happen. Sometimes you have to erase those crazy things 5 times, but when you get a good one, it's fun.   

How else do you draw Kanye West?
I know I'm bragging, but remember, that is what this blog is for. This next drawing is the pinnacle. I cannot top it. I will never be able to draw anything better than this on my phone. It is all downhill from here. I actually found out while doodling you can run out of time, or "ink" as they call it. I had to finish the other two characters pretty quickly. I had to draw more than Captain Jack, because I was going for the actor, not the character.

So that's it folks.  I should probably put myself on a technology fast.  Seriously.
I have a problem.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let me sum up...

Much has happened in the last month or so. I don't want to forget that I actually do things other than play Draw Something on my phone, so here is a run down with a little bit of commentary.

March 17th was St. Patrick's Day. It was also the day that one of Asher's "best cousins" was baptized. I was asked to lead the music, which I happily did. I also made a bunch of green bow ties for my nephews. It was fun.

The next weekend Dan and I saw a preview of the Hunger Games on Thursday, Seussical the Musical on Friday, and then on Saturday we took the kids to the Renaissance Festival. I thought the movie was good, but I could have made it even better with a few tweaks (remember, I'm narcissistic and studying screen writing), Seussical was fun and all my friends were fantastic, and the Renaissance Festival was... interesting. In a good way.

I had never been to a Renaissance Faire before. The one here in Arizona is HUGE. There are a million shows happening on a million stages all at once. (Ok, you got me. That was a hyperbole. It is more like seven or eight shows going on at once.) And lots of vendors were selling things. There were a plethora of people dressed up eating turkey legs and getting drunk. And there were animals to observe, rides for the kids, and jousting. Jousting. We took the kids to a show called Three Guys and some drums. Asher loves drums, which is weird because he hates every other loud noise. Gwen on the other hand covered her ears the whole show, but she didn't complain. We tried to take them to some kind of pirate show, but the jokes were all dirty and bad (the no talent kind of bad) so we left that one and crashed an acrobat exhibition. All I could think while watching them was "I could probably do that. It reminds me of movement class in college." They were mostly just juggling and balancing. The last show we saw before heading back home was the jousting tournament. The kids both loved it. And I thought it was really interesting. They are all dressed up and acting, but they are also actually jousting and competing. The guy on the black horse was our guy. They split sections of the arena and tell you who to cheer for. Our guy was presented like a villain, but he won almost everything. And when he would win a medal, he picked a child from the audience to bestow the prize upon, so he couldn't have been that bad. After the excitement of watching horses, Gwen met a fairy who put glitter on her arm. Then Gwen fell asleep in her stroller. That was our cue to leave.

Dan and I decided that we should make a documentary about Renaissance festivals. I mean, the traffic to get there was terrible, the place was packed, the culture is so strong and different, and I have not had that much fun people watching in a long time. I kept thinking "Where did these people come from?" We ate lunch on the lawn next to a half naked boy with long ratty hair who looked like Mowgli from the Jungle Book eating meat with his hands and his mother who was wearing a short skirt and sitting cross-legged. (That was a run-on sentence, I know.) There were 50 year old men wearing full Renaissance outfits with gusto and plump older women wearing corsets. I saw a group of young goth hispanics dressed up like dark fairies. And the people who worked there... now that is even more of a mystery. How do you get a job JOUSTING? How do you even learn that skill? And the acrobat trio looked to be about my age. They said that they travel around from Faire to Faire. How did they get started with that? I am so curious as to how this whole culture began and why is appeals to so many people. PS... I don't consider myself very "hot" right now, but in the fifteen seconds I was away from my family I was hit on by the guy selling pretzels. He looked like he was maybe 20 years old. It completely took me off guard because I am old and probably 30 pounds heavier than him. However, I did not notice a lot of particularly attractive people around, so I suppose at the Festival a 5 becomes a 10, if you know what I mean. I wonder how different an experience it is for single ladies in corsets. Hmmm...

Anyway! April 8th was Easter. We dyed eggs the night before, and Asher was way more amazed and happy than I expected. And Gwen tried to drink the dye because it was Kool-aid. (For reals, but with no sugar, so it smelled good but tasted gross.) I think both kids enjoyed the egg hunt in our house on Sunday more than they would have if they had not had a similar egg hunt for Asher's preschool a few days earlier. They practiced hiding eggs at home for each other, so they totally knew what to do. And they were so happy with their baskets of bubbles, M&Ms and coloring books. Of course we also went to church and I sang in the choir. I don't want my kids thinking that Easter is all about candy and a big scary bunny. We rounded out the evening with dinner at the Stecks. It was the best.

The following Wednesday we were invited to the zoo by the Martin family down the street. They have a zoo pass, so I only had to pay for Asher. This was my first time at the Phoenix zoo. I thought it was nice. The animals always seemed far away, but maybe that is because they have more land. (The only other zoo I have experienced is Santa Barbara, and it is quite small.) The kids thought the animals were cool, but they were happiest at the zoo play ground. And they had an ok time at the petting zoo. They are both a little terrified of animals, but those goats were pretty catatonic, so my kids approached with caution and got a kick (not a real one) out of brushing them. Asher wanted to be in the stroller most of the time, and Gwen wanted to run around. I got a work out for the day. And really, it was fantastic weather and we had a nice time.

Besides all this, Asher is continuing to love preschool, Gwen and I (and Asher once) attended a great music class for a few weeks, and we have been living life: baking bread, playing games, doing favors, teaching, and trying our best from day to day. Gwen is loving her fake kitchen right now, but is not so excited about real food. Asher has discovered (quite by accident- I swear I didn't teach him) his love for The Phantom of the Opera song. He lip synchs and acts it out with me, per his request. Dan is working from home again but for the same company, and I am trying to start an adventure in podcasting with my friend Stephanie. Stay tuned.