Thursday, November 28, 2013

Word of the Day: Fuliginous

I thought it would be a fun exercise to draw a Word of the Day (from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary) in a way that reflects the meaning or feeling of that word. I enjoy language and words, and the English language is vast and there’s a ton of words that I don’t know what they mean (let alone exist).

For the month of December I’m going to try and draw each Word of the Day everyday. Because this is just an exercise, I’m going to limit my drawing time to one hour maximum (and if I’m honest, it’ll likely be less than that on average). So some words may look a bit more finished than others, although all will look quite rough. I don’t have any rules for drawing the word; it can be a mix of typography and pictures; I can add notes or thoughts—basically I can do whatever I feel like doing within my limited time frame.

I chose “fuliginous” as an example word because it had a fairly easy and tangible meaning (and one that wasn’t too difficult to draw). Once December starts I won’t have a choice, and will randomly be assigned a word—and some words will likely be easier to draw then others. My plan is to build up a week’s worth of words and post it on the weekend. I think (or rather hope) it’ll be a fun daily exercise…but only time will tell.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good and Easy Cook Book

At an estate sale (different than the one I got the letterpress letters at), I found an old Betty Crocker cookbook from 1954, where the focus was on cooking easy and delicious meals. I thought the cover was cute and I liked the simple illustrations throughout the inside of the book as well…so I bought it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Letterpress Letters

Recently I went to an estate sale that had a lot of paper goods (e.g. old books, magazines, posters and other paper paraphernalia), as well as old designer items. I’m sure it was pretty picked over by the time I got there, but I did get some wooden letterpress letters that I thought were cute.

There letterpress letters were in boxes that were pretty grimy; there was a layer of dust and ink residue on the letters (so my hands were rather black by the time I was through handling them). There were different sizes of letters, some fairly small (around an inch high), while others were larger (around four inches high). So it was difficult to find letters in the same height, and there was definitely a surplus of certain letters, while others were practically non-existent.

My main plan was to have the letters “X” and “O”, but somewhere along the way (after I’d paid for them), I lost my “O.” [Pause.] Super lame. Oh well. [Sigh.]

In addition, I picked up a metal letterpress piece. There were boxes of these too, likely for advertisement (I saw logos and vintage clip art). I picked out a discount stamp that I thought was pretty cute. Once again, I don’t need any of this stuff, but I do think they’re interesting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

No Fishing Zone

Fishing for compliments is a sport that never seems to satisfy because you’re angling for compliments that might not otherwise be given. That coerced compliment doesn’t mean much; it basically means that the other person was nice enough to verbally give you what you want to hear…it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.

When someone is obviously fishing for a compliment, my natural inclination is not to give it. Maybe that sounds cold, but if I give a compliment under emotional duress then it just reinforces to that person that fishing for compliments gets them results (and then they’re more likely to repeat this fishing expedition with me in the future). And I’m not interested in giving compliments when they’re not freely given.

Compliments shouldn’t be sought out, they should be unexpected surprises; something out of the blue that is true and sincere. Because when you fish for compliments, you’re fishing in shallow waters, and anything you catch probably lacks substance. And really, doesn’t that fishing seem like a lot of work just to pull out a compliment from another? It’s just better all-around for that fish to jump right out of the water and directly into your hands with no effort from you at all…now that’s my kind of fishing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Give Them My Best

One social nicety I’ve never really cared about giving or receiving is the “give them my best” message. Every so often someone will tell me that so-and-so gives me “their best” and I never have a response to that other than “okay, thanks.” I mean we don’t go around wishing people the worst; so it kind of goes with out saying that people generally want the best for others.

Sometimes someone will tell me to give this message of goodwill to another and I nod and say “okay”…but I’m lying; I don’t relay that message. No one knows one way or another if I give that message, and to me it’s an unnecessary message. It’s like getting a generic “thinking of you” card with a signature; there’s no personalization to the message, just a somewhat thoughtful yet bland gesture.

To me, this gesture of goodwill is a throwback to when people didn’t have direct means of communication (I’m thinking Laura Ingalls’ time when people lived miles apart). When people were unable to call others on the phone (let alone email), so having a third-party relay messages made more sense (because that actually would be the quickest way to give another their regards).

But now we do have many means of communication, so anyone can give anyone else “their best” without someone else (e.g. me) being in the middle of it. I’m not a message board to give and retrieve messages (and let’s be honest, I’m a terribly unreliable message board at that). So if you want to give someone your best, then go ahead and do it directly to that person and cut the middleman out.