A Con, a Podcast, and an Album (none of which are mine)

How ya doing, Internet?  

Long time no talkie.  My bad on that, by the way; due to some apartment-hunting nonsense and uncontrollable delays, I've been living out of boxes and suitcases in my mother's office since mid November, which makes most attempts at staying organized end up in failure and sadness.  

In any event, here's a few things I've been doing!

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This already happened!  A couple weeks ago, in fact.  And it was awesome!  FWA is one of the more casual, "fun" cons I used to go to, and I was very sad to miss it last year (TL:DR version - the Life-altering-stuff-that-wont-be-elaborated-on happened right during dealer's sign-ups for 2013, and I was... well... distracted). Didn't have a ton of new stuff sadly, though it was more of a chance for me to see so many familiar faces - and NEW faces - from year's past, and remind myself that I don't just throw what I do into a void where nobody cares.  YOU care! Or at least, I hope you do... right?

...Right. I was talking about the con.  

Jon also accompanied me for his first furry con in almost 10 years (his prior one, and first one ever, was also MY first one, in Canada.  RIP, CACE!)  Jon is what you may call my new "gentleman companion."  He seemed to enjoy it.  I mean, he was pulling out a small flask to freshen up his coffee periodically throughout the day, but that's fine.  He's 30.  You can do things like that when you're 30, just so long as you don't go and try to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.  Nowhere in those warnings does it mention "conversing with furries".

In any event, the con was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of positive feedback about BPD coming back.*  And as an added bonus, I made just enough to be able to pay off all my taxes for the year so I don't have to be dragged away kicking and screaming by the IRS!  Joy!!

That leads us to the next thing....

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My dear friends Kevin and Ursula allowed Jon and I to crash with them on the way to and from Atlanta, a welcomed half-way break from what would have otherwise been a 14 hour drive from our starting point in New Jersey.  On the return trip, we were invited/tricked into doing their podcast "Kevin & Ursula Eat Cheap".  I had been on the show once previously, back in November of 2012, and I'm not exactly sure why I did it again other than the fact that I love Ursula and Kevin and I'm a glutton for punishment.  And bad food aparently.  Jon joined us as well, and being he's heavily strict on a Paleo/Primal diet, it was rather interesting.  There was angry ranting about things.  I won't tell you what.  You'll just have to listen.



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This last thing isn't a thing that's happening to me. I'm not involved in any way.  But it does involve something - or rather, someone - that I have strong opinions about, so I hope you can excuse me for a bit of ranting.

In case you don't know, I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan.  I'm of a generation that grew up with his music; granted,  I'm young enough that I just barely missed the "Thriller" era, but my first videogame memories are playing "Moonwalker" at a friend's house, and I remember seeing "Captain EO" at Disney World as a young child when it was still relatively new.  I was more of a casual appreciator until the mid-90's "HIStory" album came out, when I became well and truly obsessed, which also happened to be my awkward & formative teen years.

I won't go into a lot of detail, but I'll just say that Michael & his music really helped get through a lot of things and informed a lot about who I am and the values that I hold. He meant more to me than just an entertainer, and when he died it pretty much ripped a giant black hole into my gut that very little else could possibly fill.  (You're allowed to roll your eyes if you want; it won't change anything on my end, but if it'll make you feel better than I'll allow it.)

Anyway, there's a new album of music coming out in May, called "Xscape".  From what I've been reading, they've taken a bunch of tracks (8 I believe) from unfinished songs Michael had recorded finished vocals for over the decades of his life, and given them to various producers to "contemporise" them.  I don't follow many MJ fan boards so my gauge of his fan response is based on the MJ pinners I follow on Pinterest, but most of them are of the mindset of "OMG CAN'T WAIT!!!"

I'm sort of torn.  Part of me really does want to hear new music from Michael, and is curious about these songs, some of which could have been originally recorded in the 80s or later.  But the word "contemporise" scares me, particularly since these producers, some of which I don't think have ever worked with Michael, don't know or share his musical vision.  The final songs will, at best, be parodies of a Michael Jackson song; they'll be what that producer things a MJ song "should" sound like, which could be in a totally wrong direction from where Michael would have wanted it to go.  And given Michael was very picky about the quality of the content he put out, he might not have wanted ANY of this material to get out.  

Yet Sony insists on mining his corpse for as much profit as they can squeeze out, insisting all the while "Michael was always a valued friend to us" (which I could go on a rant for days about how that statement is pretty much bullshit, but I'll spare you).  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and doesn't fill me with a lot of enthusiasm over paying money for this.

If I could guarantee that 100% of the money I paid for the album went to his 3 kids, I'd do it.  But I can't, so... I don't know.  Like I said, very torn.

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So we have a brief con report, a link to a podcast about bad food, and a probably too-long opinion piece about a new Michael Jackson that isn't really a Michael Jackson album.  All in all, a good blog post, I think.  ^_^

I'll be back into doing more regular posts soon.  I missed these talks.  With you.  I hope you'll join me next time.  And I hope that didn't sound as creepy as I think it did.

I'll be going now. ;^_^

-Lizzy B.


*YES IT'S COMING BACK!  I had preview pages at the con and everything!  I don't wanna spoil too much here too early so I'll just say LONG FORM FULL COLOR 30 PAGES and let that simmer in your brain pot.  I am excite. OH YES.

Three Furries, Two Badges (plus a Job Rant)

Oh man, guys. I feel like I gotta be real with you. I don't wanna sound like a whiner, but man.... oh MAN....

I've got a new job at a local hospital, in their Electronic Medical Records department.  Sounds really important and official, right? Well, let me assure you that it's not nearly as interesting as it sounds. I basically sit in front of a computer, scanning pages from medical charts and sorting the files into folders.  For 8 hours. Now, It's not really that difficult, being I've dealt with computers for the majority of my life and know my way around, inside & out of a scanner. And the people I work with are all really nice and it's great to not be stuck all alone all day every day. However, the job itself is soul-suckingly boring and I hate it.  

The unfortunate thing right now is that I don't have a choice.  I needed some kind of steady income, as my commission income is unpredictable month-to-month, and forces me to spend all of my time doing one-off pieces for others and no time to get back to working on my own projects (like COMICS).  The catch is, now I come home so mentally drained that the last thing I want to do, after sitting for 8 hours in front of a computer doing work, is to come home and do MORE work, even if it is "fun" work.  

I miss drawing. I miss making comics. I miss having FUN doing this. I'm hoping that this is just me getting used to having a steady job after being self-employed for over 2 years.  If not, well... this IS just a temp thing. So we shall see. ;^_^ Let's hope I can get a new plan well in motion by then! 

In other more BETTER news.... Here's some things I did!  Hooray, things!

This first badge was done as a half-commission, half-favor.  One of my fans, who goes by "BrightTail", needed to raise money to help his cat with some health issues, and asked me if he could have an "auction" for a badge commission from me, with all the proceeds going to his kitty. I don't do things like this that often, but BT has been great to me in the past, and is one of my more vocal, chatty followers on twitter, so I decided to help him out.  Blackfoot was the highest bidder, and the above badge is his reward! It will print out to 4" x 6", and was done entirely in photoshop.

This next badge is easily the most complicated one I've ever done.  I've done badges with characters who have multiple heads or limbs, and a few simple ones with 2 versions of the same character (usually a male & female), but this is the first one I've done with 2 fully detailed characters.  The commissioner was fairly specific about how he wanted it, particularly when it came to D'Nae's body type, but it ended up being one of my better badges, if not my best. ^_^  If the buyer doesn't LOVE it, I admit I may cry a little. Ha! This one was also done digitally, and will print just about 6" square.

In case you are curious, at the moment I am NOT taking new work!  I want to make sure I finish everything I currently have before I accept new work.  I have no idea how long that will be, especially given my work situation explained above, but if/when I take new work, I will post about it here.  So if you're interested, save your pennies and keep an eye on this space!  

-Lizzy B.