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JOB Cigarette Papers Prints

These are images from a book I loved as a child. The prints are poster sized, and the book came to me via my dad, who owned a wholesale grocery company when I was growing up and who got it from a tobacco company salesman. Almost all my dad's customers owned small convenience stores, so he carried tobacco products in addition to groceries. Growing up, I got all kinds of tobacco swag, like the Benson & Hedges compilation tape. Anyway, I gave some of the images titles, as you can see. I've placed the titles next to the images to which they correspond.

Front Cover First page

Print 1 Print 2

"Clea Patra" I titled the previous image as a child

"Cinderella" The title I gave the previous image as a child

"Princess" Title I gave the previous image as a child

"Lady" The title I gave the previous image as a child

"Lady Godiva" Title of the previous image

"True Love" Title I gave the previous image as a child

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And here's what I put on the back cover, shown larger for effect:

Clancy Ratliff's Book with Beautiful Pictures in It

Apparently girls could peek in the book. Perhaps I was concerned with the privacy of the painted ladies. At any rate, I still really like that book, and I'm tempted to frame one or more of the prints and hang them in my house and/or office. Which one is your favorite? I don't like either of the images of the men.size=l

My first-ever lolcat

Inspired by Mike:

My first lolcat

By the way: lolcatz for the uninitiated.


Sometime late this afternoon, the baby cardinals fledged. It's stupid, but I'm so sad about it. I can't believe they grew up and left so quickly. I got some footage of them earlier today; this is the best video, though it's not all that great:

Uploaded by culturecat

I wish I could just see them flying around so I'd know they're okay. [Edited to add: or hopping around, as I've now read they apparently do "to gain strength and coordination."]

Friday Random Ten, plus cardinals and Bedford blog

1. Don't Let It Bring You Down -- Annie Lennox
2. Come Rain or Come Shine -- Liza Minnelli
3. I've Got You Under My Skin -- Diana Krall
4. Do Your Duty -- Bessie Smith
5. Twisted -- Joni Mitchell
6. In the Quiet Morning -- Joan Baez
7. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat -- Joni Mitchell
8. What's Going On -- Marvin Gaye
9. Young Love -- Air Supply [I knew it!]
10. Freshmen -- The Verve Pipe

Finally, everyone should check out and contribute to Talk 20, a blog set up by Bedford/St. Martin's for responses to Todd Taylor's documentary Take 20.

Two language conventions I detest

1. Scare quotes. Yeah, I know they're there to set off the discourse you would reject or want to parody, but they're overused, and there's something just so timid, weak, frumpy, and middlebrow about them. I think a lot of people use them in a lazy way, as if to say, "That's not the word I would have used..." How about instead, you just use the word you would have used, mmkay? Maybe we could do some experimentation with setting off the discourse we would reject, perhaps with the use of the more dismissive strikethrough. With desktop publishing affordances nowadays, why not?

2. The word writings. No, no. Writing is not a count noun, or shouldn't be, anyway: Gee whiz, I did three writings yesterday! Even if you don't want to commit to a genre by substituting the word essays, or poems, plays, stories, or papers, writing -- the singular -- will do just fine. Observe: I was disturbed by his writing. You can use it as a collective noun without losing the meaning, and it sounds far less awkward.


This little cardinal family is right outside our kitchen window. Here I was able to catch the babies while mama and papa were out getting food:


Visual DNA


Got tagged by Joanna to answer the question that's going around: "What are five things I do every day to contribute to my success?"

1. Review active projects. This is in keeping with the GTD philosophy. I use Nozbe liberally.

2. Think about all the work that other colleagues are probably doing right now. I'm very competitive, and if I remind myself that other people are working and if I slack off, I'm going to fall behind, I get really motivated.

3. Do crafty, creative stuff. It's a kind of wax-on, wax-off for my mind, a way to think nonverbally that complements all the verbal work I have to do. The craftiness includes playing around with media (images, video, and audio), cooking, knitting, making soaps and bath salts, and tinkering with jewelry -- making new jewelry out of vintage jewelry using needle-nose pliers, a drill, and a vice.

4. Spend time with my husband.

5. Evaluate objectively the stakes of whatever it is I'm stressed out about. Sometimes I blow things out of proportion and devote more time to tasks than I should.

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