Sharing is Caring

Have you ever had a teacher that you say has changed your life?…or maybe a teacher you compared to Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus?

Well I have one such teacher in my past*. Let’s call her Miss K. (ps Miss K even looks a little like Miss Frizzle). After four years of having not gotten to talk to her I…well, talked to her. I had gotten her current number after meeting with a friend from the school I went to when I lived with my dad and called her that same day. It was awkward at first because I didn’t introduce myself until after I thoroughly apologized for calling so late. However, after we both got over the shock of finally getting to talk after all these years we started talking about books.

I’m not sure if I told you all this before, but my Gila Bend education did not lead me to a whole lot of reading (except for some hard working and dedicated teachers that I had the pleasure of being taught by every now and then throughout my time in Gila Bend). I had always longed to be a book worm but I never really pushed it too hard on myself (mostly because I read a whole crap ton of newspaper comics). When I was in Miss K’s class she loaded us up with books, and for the first time I found myself with every spare moment I could manage greedily gluing my nose to the inside of a book. I even missed one of my bus stops by over 4 miles and ended up getting lost and having to walk about a mile to the nearest bus stop in the opposite direction…but that’s a story for another time.

Point being, I was in heaven, and Miss K. was the angel of literary light. She was there for me in other ways, as well, but that’s all very personal and I’m not willing to get that close with you, internet. Anyway, Miss K. also had this 6th sense about finding books for her students. And, towards the end of the year, when our final projects were about to begin, she approached me with a very terrific book that she told me she had been saving for a student that could make it their own. This book was called Twenty-One BallloonsIt’s a marvelous tale that captured my imagination. And what’s more, the project was perfect for me to take my imagination and run with it.

You know those books that are “field-guides” to fun things like wands, fairies, dragons and such. Well, Miss K’s final project was for us to make one of these based off the book of our choosing (except me…Miss K. had known this book would be perfect). If you read the book you will understand…in fact. If you read the book, email me and I will elaborate more on what I did. It was fun and very interactive.

The focus here is on Miss K. She not only taught us to read books, but she taught us to experience them. And for that, I am grateful. Moral of the story is:

When you read a book, don’t just read it. Learn about the author and what they were doing when they wrote the book, comprehensively read the book, and ponder it…because authors are artists, and, like in paintings, every stroke/word is intentional.

I would have more to say if I didn’t have so much to do tomorrow morning. Have a good night, all.

Sleepily yours,

Sicily

*…not just one but this story is about one particular teacher and putting it in those words sounds more dramatic.

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All That Glitters is Grime

What a wonderful time I had

I don’t remember if I told you this, but I had planned to spend my Spring Break in New York with my beloved aunt. Well, guess what, I did, and it’s over with, and I had a lovely time with it all. Instead of recalling the events that took place in this trip I shall make a list. I’m not sure if they are in order but It was all grand. Once my beloved aunt puts the pictures on FaceBook then I shall post them here…on this very post.

  • Bronxville Village: Pan-Asian Restaurant + coffee shop that my dear to my dearest aunt
  • Bronx Zoo: RED PANDAS, Playful bears in pond, Got yelled at by a crane, LEMURS (my power spirit :P), Barking angry seal bull and playful small black seal like from Mickey Mouse, Bird that sang a tune I whistled, Big iridescent bird, Free Range Penguins, Tigers Playing Peekabu
  • Cloisters: Hudson River, Medieval stuff GALORE, Scottish Ivory Chess Pieces (disliked by guard), Singing Girls (shooed off by same guard), Guard (I hated him), Lunch in Monk’s Garden, Gold stuff, Art I Studied in a Class (insert lots of happy dancing)
  • Manhattan: Lots of Looking Up, Rockerfeller Center (misspelled on purpose), Lego Store (with mini Rockerfeller Center), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park (don’t enter at night), Toy Store From Big (was closed…sigh), Tiffany’s
  • Beloved Aunt’s Class: Frankenstein, Undergrads, Embarrassed Sicily, Happy Sicily, Intrigued Sicily
  • Greenwich Village: Gluten Free Pizza, Bakery, Cappuccino, COOKIES
  • Grand Central: Lots of Looking Up, Constellations from the Perspective of God, Shimmery Things, Out of Place Apple Store, Boy Gets Shooed Off Stairs
  • Church Group: Wonderful People, Wonderful Food (Daniel Fast Friendly), Wonderful Discussion, Wonderful Prayer
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: ART EVERYWHERE (insert lots of giddy dancing), Fauvism, Impressionism, Minimalism, Pointillism, Joyilism
  • Chocolate Coffee Shop: Lunch, Nutella Hot Coco, Gluten Free Goodies, Packed Lunch, Full Tummy
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (reprised): Souvenirs, Denied Entry (due to food we brought), Egypt, American Landscape Painting (lots of giddy dancing due to seeing paintings I am currently studying), Matisse, REAL LIVE VAN GOGHS, REAL LIVE MONETS, REAL LIVE MANETS, REAL LIVE RENOIRS
  • Once: a beautiful musical that I bought the soundtrack to, Modern Dance, Beautiful People, Beautiful Theatre, a large crowd of people outside the stage door to another theatre, waiting outside to see who it was for 45 minutes, leave, find out Ricky Martin is in Evita, Evita was playing at the theatre the crowd was surrounding, Pub, Nasty Beer I Finish Due to it Being $7, CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE, Nice Waiter, Nice Bouncer Who is Moving to Arizona
  • Metropolitan Opera: Ollie’s Noodles, crazy lady who talked to us about noodles and Egyptian politics, CHICKEN BUN, Beautiful Lobbies, L’Elisir D’Amor, Laughter, Beauty, Folly, Happy Ending, Pretty People, Pretty Fountain, FIRST NEW YORK RAIN, Broadway Street Sign, Fancy Restaurant, Playful Waiter, Deep Discussion, Fun Pictures, Fancy Dessert
  • Central Park: 6 Cardinals (thus the day was dubbed the Day of the Cardinal), Stick, Hard to Find Rock, Man-Made Lake, Beauty, Famous spots, squirrels

There was so much to do, and it was all so lovely. We didn’t complete our list, but I don’t care. I felt like there couldn’t be a more perfect way to spend my first time in New York. 

My beloved aunt is there without me, now. And I wish I could be with her, to keep her company in that lonely city. But I know that all those treasured times are as dear to her as they are to me. Magic binds it to our hearts. The magic that comes from a city that gives willingly of it’s treasured belongings to the poor man and the rich man, alike. A city that has grime and grit, sorrow and broken-ness, but ends every day as a dream. These memories are images of that magic. I am both fearful and grateful for it. Fear because I know what my beloved aunt went through to master that magic, and grateful because it has helped fulfill a dream of mine (a dream I have held since I fist saw James and the Giant Peach).

I must go now, but I leave you with joyful prospects. My final project for one of my studio classes will be of this trip. I’ll share it with you at the end of the semester.

Dreamily yours,

Sicily

The WIN Game

So I made up a wonderful game a few months ago. I think you’re really going to like it.

I call it the WIN Game.

For some pretext, you know how a lot of people have started incorporating “meme-speak” into their everyday conversations. Well, one frequently used, meme-originated word that has become a regular in my immediate group of friends is “WIN.”

During one particularly chatty evening with this group of people, otherwise known as the Knights of Ubiquity, I was feeling especially chipper and silly. And in this silly state I took it upon myself to distribute an imaginary prize every time I felt someone’s wit and humor had earned them a WIN. My friends became increasingly delighted by these prizes, for they began to grow into quite extraordinary and imaginative prizes. The grandeur of the prize was proportionate to the cleverness of the WIN and mini prizes could be accumulated and traded in for bigger ones. Friends could trade prizes with each other and friends could suggest prizes for other individuals. At one point people decided that my prizes were so unique that they designated me the Prize Maker. So if a friend had earned a WIN while I was not present, they would announce it on FaceBook so that I could award the prize. I found it rather flattering.

Because WINs are such a regular part of American culture these days, I thought I would share this with you so that readers could play it as well. It’s a great way to be silly and make people feel important!

Here is a small list of good prizes for you to use if you are in a prize rut.

  • A never ending pizza that changes it’s toppings based off of what you’re hungry for
  • Indestructible helmet
  • Hypnotic stickers
  • A live Red Panda that is immediately in love with you (in a not creepy way)
  • Socks that never smell
  • A trumpet that never sounds ugly
  • A personal bodyguard chicken
  • dancing fish
  • toothpaste that turns your smile into diamonds.

Remember, you are only limited by your imagination,

Sicily

 

PS Chantel has requested to have dibs on the Dancing Fish, because she gets a WIN for having an awesome recital (and an awesome recital poster :3)…so you can’t use that one…sorry.

The Witches of Oz Reside in my Noggin

Here I am agian, with another loverly post about my silly little life. Isn’t it swell?

So, do you internet viewers remember how I said I work for the mighty Gammage as a happily humble floor manager. Well there are certain side affects to this job. I have realized this when Wicked rolled into town and decided it would be cool to be here for four weeks. With one more week to go I am starting to realize that I am going dangerously insane…and I love every bit of it.

This show is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. Not only that but I am getting interesting inside information that you can only retain after having watched it at least twelve times. With the show already good and memorized I can pick up on actor’s choices to interpret the character differently and how the other actors pick up on it here and there. I am getting the opportunity to enjoy the beauties of the set design and how it has been masterfully crafted to be enjoyed from all angles (except for maybe behind the scenes, though I’m sure they have sweet times back there as well)…and I mean it, too, because honestly you are still getting your moneys worth at the tippy top of Gammage’s utmost heights. Then there’s also the love of the music itself. I love picking up the different instruments when I hear music (which is why I’m not all that into pop or rock music these days…I’m sure they are still fantastic but once I found Glenn MIller I could never go back to fewer than 5…and that doesn’t include 3 guitars) and let me tell you, the three synthesizers, one bassoon, one trumpet, and several others have made such a wonderful combo…also they have a really fun pit. This music is so very interesting and quirky! GAH (exclamation of joy that I may or may not have said out loud)! It’s been a great run with Wicked, and I’ll be sad to see it go. Therefore I shall greatly cherish this final week I have with them…………………….

BUT

All good things have a downside don’t they. I wonder if the rest of my coworkers have this problem, but every secondI don’t occupy my mind with my Leon Redbone station on Pandora my mind goes straight to playing through the songs in Wicked. I kid you not, there has not been a morning for the last three weeks that hasn’t started with either Popular, As Long As Your Mine, or No Good Deed playing on repeat in this tormented little pea-brain of mine. It’s not too stressful but I can tell you that I’m doing my best to stick other things as far away from modern Broadway into my immediate memory. I tried to go back to American in Paris but somehow that theme keeps having synthesizers subconsciously inserted in between his brass and string section…forgive me Gershwin. My friend and coworker, Jason put this up on fb and when I saw it I was like OMFG (oh my front gate)! THIS IS WIN. Here I’ll share it with you, but then I have to go:

This comic was a good deed that will go unpunished

Alright, I gotta go work on a self portrait where I shall be enhancing my face with Civil War facial hair.

Love and awkward stares,

Sicily

Drop Anchor!

I’ll keep this short but I thought I would give you a side note from the post this is linked to.

In regards to music, I have a confession to make. I used to be a die hard MCR fan. And if you don’t know that acronym, that’s fine. All the more likely that you won’t lose all respect for me with that statement. Well, anyway, I was really into their crud and their image until I got out of my lovely little hick town and was exposed to something other than what could be bought at Walmart with the five dollars a week I earned from sweeping our front porch. This new land of College brought forth a bounty of cultural experiences I had only gotten a small taste of in my childhood. And all of it was thanks to my good pal, Chantel.

Chantel is an amazing girl who is about to graduate with her Honors Bachelor degree in vocal performance. With a degree like that she was required to go to a ton of concerts and performances all throughout the valley, and of course I was ultra happy to come along for the ride! We went (and are still going to…) operas (both student and professional) musicals, orchestra, choral, and solo performances and anything else we could get our greedy little eyes and ears to. It’s been a great four years and this sort of exposure has changed something within me. Sure I feel a little hoity toity with my new found patron “expertise” but really it has just changed my tastes, and I’m happy for it. Also I have gained the awesome ability to pick apart instruments and enjoy them in pieces, an ability I only knew about this year and one that I find impressive because of where I come from, where the request of a musical instrument produces nothing outside of what you would find in a country western song.

Anyway, that is the end of this little tidbit. I thought you might appreciate a fun little side note about myself.

Also, if you would like to know I owe a ton more to Chantel. Through her I have made an amazing group of friends, including my wonderful man with whom I have been swapping spit with for half a year today. If she ever reads this then she better know how much I appreciate her or I might pinch her!

Thanks for reading folks,

Sicily

I’m an Ink Jet!

Oh man! It’s a beautiful world we live in, friends!!

I’ve recently had a break through with my inking process for drawings. But first, a tiny history between ink and myself.

I first learned about inking when I decided to make an effort to learn how to draw comics. I got a small book that gave me a few terms and tips about the inking process. It taught me that comics first start off as a penciled drawing that was then either inked by the penciler or sent off to a person whose job it was to ink these drawings. This job required a utility belt of tools and skills that I was never even aware of. I’ll list some of the supplies they wrote down:

  1. Pen holder
  2. Pen nibs, of the drawing variety
  3. Round Brush, size 3
  4. India Ink (some of the better brands include Higgins, Pelican, and, my personal favorite, Speedball)
  5. Prowhite (basically an artist’s version of white-out)

I saw that list and two feelings came over me; one of dread and one of excitement. My dread came from the fact that I was from Gila Bend, where anything that was related to art supplies was about an hours drive away. My excitement was in the fact that I had been pointed in the right direction.

Many time and money consuming adventures later, I finally had what was necessary to begin practicing. And practice I did. I must have filled up hundreds of pages worth of tick marks and feathering, all the while learning to communicate to my pen/brush what I wanted it to do (I took the time to practice with both)… When I had finally graduated to drawing a line longer than an inch or two I ran into a problem with my pen: my ink well didn’t seem to hold enough ink to keep the ink flowing. My figures could be inked but only with a lot of frustration and ripped paper (Remind me to talk about paper at some point). Brushes were fine but I really liked the control I had with a pen. I tried to come back to it here and there between present time and a few years back but my defeat had gotten the best of me, really. Until that faithful day…

That faithful day was actually last Sunday. I was in my friend Chantel’s room. I was commissioned by her to make her invitations for her voice recital this March. I knew what I wanted to do, but it would require me to take up my pen again…my commitment was more important then my fear at that point so I began, this time with a new piece of information. You see, in my previous excursions I had dipped my pen in water in order to dilute the ink enough to where it would flow from the tip. However, when my drawing teacher, Jerry Schutte, started talking about his ink drawings. He showed us his pen, which was still covered in ink from the last time he had drawn. I was confused. Weren’t you supposed to keep that thing clean…and wouldn’t the ink be less dense if you were supposed to be dipping it after every stroke. I took time to ponder this. Fast forward back to the moment I was drawing the invite, I decided not to dip in water and just let the ink build, an idea formed from seeing Jerry’s pen. I felt sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo stupid. IT WORKED PERFECTLY!!!!!! I suppose I really can’t blame myself though. The books I read on inking were never specific enough. So I’m going to be there for you the way the greats have never been for me:

I AM GOING TO EXPLAIN TO YOU HOW TO INK (for those of you that need as much explanation as I do to understand things)

  1. Place nib on pen and open ink
  2. Dip pen in as far as the little hole in the nib (called the ink well)
  3. Wipe bottom of nib on the edge of the rim of your ink’s container (so that it doesn’t drip everywhere)
  4. Draw your line (if you are having trouble getting the ink to flow then just draw a small line repeatedly on a separate sheet of paper until it starts to flow. I call this stroking)
  5. Draw until your ink stops flowing (or if stroking doesn’t work)
  6. Dip pen again
  7. Repeat

This process should work as long as your ink hasn’t started to clump up from age and drying out. If that happens you can try working with it by putting some of the ink into a bottle cap or something and working around the clumps. Sometimes the ink can turn into something like black snot. If it does that, then you can add water. Ink is a tricky friend, but a friend it is and you will come to love it if you take the time to get to know it.

I hope you learned something from this. If you have any questions about inking, let me know. I’m still learning but I do have a lot of experience with it (despite what this post might make you think) and I seem to be more available then the professionals out there that I tried to contact.

Thank you for your time and attentions,

Sicily Marino