Day of the Dead

Usugar-skull11

It’s been way too long since I fired up the imagination for a quick graphic sketch for pure fun. Of all the celebrations – this one seems to fire the flames correctly. Nothing against any other culture, but Mexico has such a morbidly colorful way to express this season. So I made a sugar skull.

Enjoy life and living.

Cheers from the cave!

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Reboot ~

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The Cave is Undergoing a Revamp for the Spring

I want to:

Stay SFW – edgy yes – funny yes – fired for visiting – no

 A Reblog once a month – I don’t think we, as bloggers, reward good content enough.

Post my own photos and art as much as possible – a free-range chicken, all organic with no copyright infractions is the goal.

More projects and challenges with other bloggers. This is the center of the blogging watermelon – it really is! Making connections and friends. Sweetness!

My own challenge of hitting every type of blog genre in 2016 with an attempted post.

I mean all the favs:

Fashion- Music- Art – Photo – Food – Healing – Religious – Political – Conspiracy – Poetry – Sports – Books – Fiction– Redneckism (is that one?)  – Travel – Fitness –  Love – Sex – Collectible Coins – Movies –  Cartoon, Antiquing, Geek, Ancient Greek … etc., etc., and etc. (yes – I will take suggestions)

I want to do as many as I can – with no limits on if something is too edgy or too sketchy — How far can I push myself? Don’t know? Are you scared? — yeah …me too…ain’t it grand!

techno-dude

If you want to know why I want to do a blog genre mash-up bust-up house party with strobe lights and underground techno music

I think that we should all write about *everything – in the writing and discussion is where answers and clarity come from.

The web is better when we make it better – so yeah –I am going to write about it all!

I guess the short version of the above is:  I’m doing everything and some of it twice – so keep up please – and enjoy the ride!

* Not to worry – I will give fair warning if it’s going to be something that would shock you!

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tiffanybeingfree.com/…6/02/15/golden-jars

This is a drawing I did for a poem by Tiffany @ tiffanybeingfree

It was great to try a sketch from her idea. The poem deals with some intense subject matter and the process of healing. It is an honor to help in this small way.

Bloggers working together –  Always a rewarding experience. For me, it knocks me out of my comfort zone and makes me swim a little harder. I need that because it is too easy to get complacent and start doing boring stuff — Helping others makes my own work better! So if you have an idea for a little co-bloggery with the cave — Please send it my way and maybe we can do something!

 

Next, we head to a blogging challenge with my friend Mek from Australia @ https://10000hoursleft.wordpress.com/ who likes to write stories based on artwork.

And I got to pick one — So I took a trip to Maine for a little Wyeth theme.

Chambered Nautilus by  Andrew Wyeth

The challenge is to write a short fiction piece based on this painting – I will leave the length of it up to you (I’m thinking 500 words or so?)  – this is a no stress “walk about” kind of challenge. I am going to try fiction for the first time (yea- me!), but if you want to write a poem or something else, that is cool. I only ask that you do it sometime in March and let me know so I can link them all together. This could be fun.

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And finally:

This is my home and you are all welcome in for a virtual cup of tea, coffee or beer anytime. We are always open!. No need to remove your  shoes or make a fuss – you may want to pet the dog so she knows you are cool. Other than that — relax.

I want everybody to just enjoy the cave.

Mi casa su casa

Cheers and here we go!

 

 

You are what you post ~ writing Part 3

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I did this in 2014 after receiving the “Dragon Loyalty  Award” – I did an illustration instead of the award- This took my music blog in a new direction. I am facing my dragon but not ready to kill him – I mean , what’s the point?  Isn’t the facing the main part? And I don’t have the stomach for it. Nasty business -Dragon Slaying

Great work

I ask you my blogging friends to take a look at your best ever post.

Don’t tell me they are all great or all bad—– just not possible.

Some of them hit a higher mark – some of them strike a chord.

Sometimes we surprise ourselves and exceed our zone.

Then we have a new level to break.

It’s called getting better – and it happens all the time out here.

It’s the product that determines our worth – simple as that – there is no resting.

You are only as good as your last blog.

You can be a writer – you can be a poet or an artist — you can call yourself a photographer – you just need one post to prove it. Most of my blogging friends have already done it many times.

 

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I have better images on my blog but this is my favorite. It is sunrise on Lake George “inverted” – A simple thing in Photoshop – The blacks become white and the oranges become blue. Fire turns into ice. There is an “abstract art” emotional feel that I can’t explain, but I like.  — cool and….. more cool.

 

Blogging is Community

Is it because we will never meet? Is that what drives the confidence of thought and discussion?

And would we share if we all got together at a cook out, or would we sip our beers and think it such a long time for the cheese to melt on our burgers — so we could just eat and go?

Would we still connect in real life?

I’d like to think so.

And what is real life anyway? So much communication is done through devices. Is the old way of meeting for coffee considered the old way and quickly becoming obsolete?

Connections I have made here, while sometimes ethereal, have been and continue to be a source of real comfort and strength for me as a human being. I know I move through this world a little easier because I blog.

We all need to be somebody.

Before I stepped on this electronic stage – I wasn’t as much me – Now I am.

This cat is “out of the bag” – and not going back.

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This was my me trying to make sense of this crazy blogging world – It did not get much attention when posted but seems to fit here. I love this world — this is my home.

 

 

 

“Naked” site active.

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New “naked” incognito site is active.

I know there are two moons in this illustration from my notebook…. so my question to you … Mr. or Ms. typical blogging friend.

Do you want to see my naked thoughts?

I will be brutally honest and tell you: this is not an enticing web address.

This is bare-brutal-raw stuff that oozes from my mind as I deal with the grieving and transition process from losing my soul mate.

I need to get it out — and it is not pretty.  It may not even be that good.

I was hoping for 70% self-wallowing drivel mixed with 30% humor and philosophy.

I thought that was a low enough barrier to hit.

I am running about 95/5 now – so this thing is not road ready.

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The idea is an outlet site for the intense personal stuff – so that the cave can get back to being the cave.

Full of fun, photos, art, and music along with the witty banter you all have come to know and love.

I like that guy too! In fact, I am that guy! I need to let that guy live and breathe and dance again.

Right now I am both guys at once.

And I don’t think it is fair to you, my web friends, to slog over the same ground – just plowing and re-plowing – with no planting and no reaping anywhere on the horizon.  Grief is like that.

The new site is tucked away in a dark corner on WordPress – I am not going to add a link here.

If you are smart and know me — you can probably find it — but then again, maybe not. (there are a crap load of web sites out here folks!)

Some of the posts will be password protected because of sensitivity (at least right now). This is ground that I am not willing to let a casual passerby waltz in the door and see.

An example of what I mean  — The Groundhog Day post is Cave material — Walking on Ice is best on the new site and would not need a password.

My giant big picture hope is that the new site can be polished into something that will help others going through similar loss. Because I think it is needed— All —  I mean all grief sites are heavy religious behemoths that always make you feel worse. That is a friggin’ crime and injustice to humanity!!!

So if you are brave enough to splash in this water with me —Please email me from the gmail address on this page and I will send you the link.

Thank you my friends (and I did use a cartoon double for my butt shot, I mean,… hey!, I got a reputation to preserve….right?)

Cheers from the Cave!

 

 

 

 

 

Groundhog Day – My Favorite Holiday

cave-groundhog

Groundhog day (German-Penn) evolved from Candlemas Day (Christian) – which evolved from Imbolc (Celtic) —-  which evolved from a few cave guys knowing they were passing the mid-point of winter and needing to jump around and do something.

“Stoke up the fire  – it’s ON!!!”

“If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,

There’ll be twa winters in the year.”

This is an old Scottish poem about February 2nd – Twa means 2  

Basically saying that if the sun is shining on this day then winter will be longer.

candlemas

Candlemas – A mass of candles – all the candles in the church were fired up to help bring light and hope to winter wary folk. There is also a 40 days after this or the other with the virgin Mary and some other mumbo jumbo to help validate it.

– which make me a wee bit suspicious.

 Because they needed to add more validation – they were trying extra hard to secure a claim.

 

bridget

On the left is the Saint Brigit and on the right is the Celtic goddess Brigid – Notice anything similar in these incredible hastily done illustrations?

Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.
The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigid

They both carry the fire of spring.

The ancient pagan festival of Imbolc in honor of this goddess of early spring is celebrated on February 2nd (it includes a little weather prognostication) – Christianity kept her fire and made her the Irish Patron Saint Brigit who has her day on February 1st.

I am totally OK with the practice of stamping  new traditions on old ones – this one is very cool because aside from replacing the wild hair with a halo – they keep the entire package together.

Anyway- moving on to my debilitated history mixed with folklore.

 

The groundhog or ~ ah ~ hedgehog or bear or badgerhog7

Somehow a rodent got in the mix—-blame it on the Romans – blame it on an over zealous priest or wizard – blame it on what you want – there are a few different theories.

But at the base of it all – It’s a simple evolution of the “sunny weather or cloudy weather” theme — turning into “see my shadow” because that is far more poetic.

The hedgehog is in the mix—can also substitute a badger or bear in a pinch, if that is what you have lying around the house.

The Germans later settled in Pennsylvania and found no hedgehogs —but lots and lots of groundhogs.

So here we go with a very sketchy explanation of how we arrive at  Punxsutawney Phil.

Disclaimer: I cannot defend my last few statements with any reference material whatsoever – please believe or not believe at you own risk.

Taking liberties from “see my shadow” to “I am a rodent that can only tell the guy with the tallest black hat what the future holds” — is all Punxsutawney shabby theater —and take it from this blogger – Well worth the trip!

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 From an old English poem:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/

The basic theme is always the same —- a nice sunny day  – be careful! Don’t to be lulled.

And a cloudy stormy day  — take heed – spring may arrive sooner than you think.

Either way – Winter is coming to an end and we are looking forward to the next season.

This is the turning point – we are on the way out of the darkness and the cold.

I love this day.

Happy Groundhog day to all!

[All accidental illustrations done by me, if you would like to use any (really can’t think why) just ask me]

 

 

 

 

Dodo

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The Dodo

I followed this blog from Mauritius because it seemed such a cool and exotic place — in the middle of nowhere — out past Madagascar (which seems like the true edge of exotic).  — No — keep going, there is more.

I looked and looked and gave up trying to re-find this blog that I am pretty sure I still follow —- sadly— I can’t get back. So this country in the middle of nowhere has a blog on it that is lost to me right now.

If you see this, nice blog person – please click me a like or something and I will visit.

Anyway

I just finished “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson (excellent book! — A cave 5 star rating!). And it has a bit about Mauritius because that was the home of the infamous extinct dodo bird.

So – I did a sketch.

I wanted to show the respect I have for this animal — not cool that it got screwed over.

Sailors just clubbed everything in the 1600’s — I know there were no resorts that served cold drinks with fancy straws in them at that time… but …. Seriously—– you just wipe this creature off the face of the earth?

And to add insult to injury – you gave it a name that makes it sound stupid.

This is not cool.

This bird was just chillin’ on a nice exotic location. It was not bothering anyone.

Why does history have to be so cruel?

This is my part to right that wrong.

I aim to make it more detailed and add color.

I also want to make it look respectable.

I feel some connection to this bird that is based on absolutely nothing – but is there nonetheless.

WordPress World – Mach 2

Jamming on the sketch with some color

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Yeah, it is flawed but I am going with it – I wish I could say it was fun to do – but, I learned a bunch about cartooning in the digital age where there are few rules to follow. I spent a couple hours making a vector me that was really bad and then thought —- “Hey- just throw yourself in the image” – which took 15 minutes—that was fun!

Here is the original sketch:

wpworldThere will be a follow up in which I explain what the things in this strange world mean to me.

Feel free to speculate.