Former President George W. Bush wanted to stop by and say hello.
This blog is reaching the one year mark! The previous year seems to stretch into eternity, with our first humble posts on this blog being posted sometime before the fall of the Roman Empire. While our recent posts have been few and far between, looking back at the abundance (hey, there’s the word I used in the title) of posts we have generated throughout the year instill a sense of pride (but not to a seven deadly sinful level) for all of the work that we have accomplished. We began the year dedicated to posting a drawing and a photo everyday. Rain or snow there was to be something posted. After a few months we realized how intensive this task really was, but we kept on pushing through. When my co-bloginator and I parted continents, we turned our 365 day posting fest into a friendly competition between the artistic goings on in India and the artistic goings on in Iowa. As the semester came to a culmination, posting became increasingly tough cookies. No soft cookie mind you. In honor of approaching the one year mark, and in the giving spirit of the Holiday season, (and I have yet to consult Victoria on this one) I dedicate myself to finishing this year off with a BANG-O.
To get this Christmas Eve post going, here is a series of faces I illustrated on behalf of a new magazine that will be appearing on the University of Iowa campus starting early next year! Check out Verum’s Twitter for more exciting info on this nuclear new mag!
Featured up above from left to right, reading book style: Questlove (of the Roots fame), CyHi the Prynce, J Dilla, Tyler the Creator, Kanye West, and Big Sean
MERRY HOLIDAY SEASON FOLKS!
For those not in the know, Victoria has returned to the states! There shall be a number of committees and meetings to adress the now erroneous blog title.
Please bear with us.
I RESCUED A RATSNAKE WITH MY OWN HANDS. Sort of. Sadly, there is no photographic documentation of myself with the cute lil’ snakey-poo in my arms, but I do have a photograph of Snake Shyam with the snake afterwards! I’ve been meeting with him a few times a week to go on snake runs/ learn interesting facts, but this time he came to the hostel on official business. The kitchen staff at the hostel (who are pretty cool, I might add) discovered this little guy curled up in a basket filled with coconuts down by the compost pile, and flipped their lid. A few shrieks of , NAGARAJA! COBRA! (and, okay, a phone call) later, I knew Snake Shyam would be on his way. I peeked into basket only to see only about an inch of brownish snake that didn’t look anything like a cobra to me. But, when I tried to get closer to see, I was ushered away in fear of some sort of snake attack!
Snake Shyam arrived in Option #2 of his 3 Snakemobiles that I have met so far. The first is a little motorbike decked out with stickers of snakes and specially rigged to place his snake equipment/snake bag on the front, which we take on sunny snake-run days and the third is a van that he uses to take 5 loads of children from the Mysore area to their respective schools every weekday (which includes saturday here) since there isn’t a local schoolbus. I woke up at 6 one morning and went with him, helping load the kids’ backpacks on and off of the little rack on the roof when we arrived. Turns out he’s somewhat of a local hero! Even the cutest mini-Mysorians adore him.
But, on this day, it was raining, and so he took Snakemobile #2: Normal Car Edition.
When he arrived, he saw me right away and shook my hand. After examining the basket himself, he motioned me over, pointed in and winked at me. I was right! It was no cobra at all, just a friendly ratsnake (which, despite the unfriendly sounding name, are nonvenomous and completely harmless). At this point a large number of hostel employees had gathered around to see the supposedly venomous beastie. He smiled instructed me to stick my hand in the basket (he’d shown me before the proper way to gently handle the snake) and pull out the ‘cobra’. Everyone gasped and I carefully extracted it (he was very long!) and it coiled around my arm. Street cred: gained. Here is Shyam with the snake afterward!
oh, and here are two bonus photos of some other reptile pals I met at the zoo!
While in Rajasthan, I embarked with 8 fellow classmates on a brief camel trek! Riding a camel is a bit uncomfortable for the crotchial region (when it galloped: imagine riding a dinosaur made out of needles and fire. Cool, right? Except for your newfound physical androgyny) and makes you feel equally sorry for the tourist-saddled camel carrying your lumpy butt. BUT. Camping in the sand dunes is totally worth it. I may post another post with more nitty gritty soon, but for now: just photos!
Oh, and we got ‘free turbans’ (a sad strip of mesh we were allowed to wrap around our heads). A very bearded Joseph models.
The camels were not allowed to wear turbans.
…and That Person Would Be Me”.
Even though I sit in the comfort of my cozy Iowa City apartment, I have been rather inattentive to our blogtacular endeavor in these recent weeks. Heck, I’ll even go as far to say that I have been pretty inattentive these last few months. There are many possible reasons why I have absconded from the realm of digital posting, deluges of time consuming homework, desires to avoid spending excessive time on the world wide web, my artistic energy being diverted to the creation of paintings, or simple forgetfulness. BUT YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THOSE ARE ALL PALTRY EXCUSES. When it comes to blogular attentiveness, this dude knows that he can do better. So WHAM BAM SLAM, here we go with some comic pages I’ve been working on for my Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Class:
Assignment: Personal Memoir Essay. Format: Comic (personal choice). Content: Escapism through the creation of superhero alter egos. Text: Coming soon.
I thought I would change it up a bit from the scenic beaches of Goa to some strangers I photographed in Mumbai/Bombay. I’m trying to get braver with approaching/ taking photographs of people I don’t know. It’s even more intimidating here trying to ask in my feeble Hindi skills (Kannada, the language of Karnataka, is of little use up north) let alone get permission to put them on the internet. I like to pretend that I’m some kind of photo sneaking superhero documenting the lives of the people, the STRANGER RANGER! But mostly it’s just me trying having nice conversations with people until their comfortable enough for me to take a natural-ish photo of them, though sometimes they just run away laughing.
I think my cape and spandex unitard might have thrown them off.
Okay, so I was actually just wearing leggings and a tshirt. To my credit, with my ghostly pale skin and (often misplaced) unbridled enthusiasm I could be dressed like Ziggy Stardust and I would probably get the same amount of stares. But, amidst the disdainful looks and negatively affirming head wobbling, some people are genuinely really receptive to having their photo taken! Here are three such men from Mumbai. Above is a man who sold me a banana, A friendly mustachioed stranger on the street who stopped to help when I looked lost, and a travel agent who booked me a terribly overpriced bus ticket (which was, sadly, necessary when my train ticket got canceled at the last second!)
I will try to post more frequently until I am caught up on posts, as I’m so behind!