Past The Town Of Strange

An archive of Ursulav arts, quotes, fan flailings, and other things she may leave lying about.
Warning: Contains Wombats

Like many stores, this one is arranged in aisles, with rows of tall shelving units covered in art supplies. Someone had overloaded and unbalanced one. After a few hours, it succumbed to gravity and fell over, whereupon the domino effect came into play.

It started two aisles over, and ended when a wall of picture hanging equipment fell on the framing department.

"Oh shit!" said coworker #1.

"Oh, FUCK!" said coworker #2.

"Whoa," said Ursula, who hadn’t had enough caffiene yet to get excited.

Fortunately we were huddled around the computer at the OTHER end of the counter, so none of us died, but it took out a chunk of the counter. Had anyone been standing in any of the aisles in question, they would have been killed, probably impaled on dozens of little wire hangers, but definitely smacked lethally upside the head by metal sheets powered by hundreds of pounds of paint tubes. Perhaps a good way for an artist to go, but we would have been awfully traumatized.

—   Ursula Vernon

The Dervishes were cool.

The Sufi music was a little tough—not that it wasn’t lovely, which it was—I could live on reed flute some days—but it flows together seamlessly and it keeps going without any apparent breaks, and it’s very…very…soothing…and in a stiflingly warm auditorium, you’re in serious danger of being soothed right into unconsciousness.

But the Dervishes were cool. How they can spin for well over half an hour without any apparent ill-effects is incredible—I’d be projectile vomiting in the orchestra pit after two minutes. But they keep going, in these gorgeous white outfits, spinning endlessly, until you’re half-mesmerized and waiting for the hypnotist to snap his fingers and go “You…are now…enlightened!”

I did notice that they all spun counter-clockwise, pivoting on the left foot and stepping around with the right. Bein’ me, I immediately began pondering if somewhere, there’s an evil sect—the Black Dervishes—who spin clockwise and wear dark robes and presumably kill people or something equally dire, because the Sufi seem pretty mellow as religions go.

—   Ursula Vernon

You know, no matter how often I see video footage of bears running down deer, elk, whatever, I still can’t believe it. It’s just such a visually unbelievable sight. Deer look fast. They’re all whippy and delicate and have those long, knobby legs. Deer should be able to run. Deer are the act of running, with antlers.

Bears, on t’other hand, look about as aerodynamic as a boulder. They’re meant to slap salmon out of streams and other such pursuits.

So watching these giant slabs of muscle actually run down deer is just the most alien thing to watch. It’s like the laws of physics wander off somewhere, Andre the Giant suddenly outdistancing Secretariat. You can’t believe what you’re watching. It’s real and all, it just doesn’t look right.

—   Ursula Vernon

What I Have Learned:

-Cheese makes anything edible.
-Sour cream makes anything better.
-There is a reason that tortillas are a dietary staple for large sections of the world.
-Mild canned green chilies are actually pretty good, but how you use a full 4 oz can of the things before they go bad, I have no idea.
-Marinating a pork loin is like playing with a sea cucumber with garlic stuck to it, except without the exciting possibility that it will fling its internal organs at you.
-Fresh herbs are great, but if all you need is a teaspoon of fresh cilantro, what the heck do you do with the rest of the bunch? Does nobody market the one-meal-sized fresh herb pack? Why can’t I buy just two green onions, instead of a dozen? Is the point of growing herbs yourself not actually to have what you need, but not to have what you don’t need?
-Bell peppers are too big.
-Garlic never hurt anything.*


*Except vampires.

One major source of stress—arguably the major source of stress for an artist on her own—temporarily off my mind. (Money concerns for artists are never vanquished entirely, I suspect.)

"Good ol’ Sofawolf," I found myself thinking, "good ol’ fans, they always take care of me."

And this is a great truth.

And then I found myself thinking, rather wryly, “Good ol’ Digger! And good ol’ Gearworld—they’re taking care of me, too.”

It’s a weird thing to be grateful to one’s own creations, and yet, not a bad sensation.

—   Ursula Vernon

Ben handled the move with his typical aplomb. I don’t know what kind of life he’s led, but I get the impression he’s moved around a lot. He scouted the apartment out with professional calm, took note of litterbox and food locations, identified the sunny spot by the window, and settled in.

He did have to make some adjustments—I only have a loveseat, rather than a couch, so when I take a nap on it now, his usual footwarmer position is not available. He now curls into a tight ball, like an armadillo, and fits himself into the space between my waist and the back of the loveseat. He’s got to be kind of squished, but apparently abandoning me during naptime is not to be considered.

On the bright side, from his point of view, there is now a whole full-sized bed with only one person in it. Ben approves of this. I woke up in the middle of the night to discover that I had been shoved over into the last quarter of the bed, about to fall out on the floor, while Ben took up most of the middle. While I am desperately grateful that Ben is around—having another living being around the place is worth a lot in terms of emotional support, particularly when they snuggle*—it would still be nice to have at least half the bed. Even a third. Is a third so much to ask?

—   Ursula Vernon

“I woke up this morning, blinked blearily at James, and said “So…if you ate plastic explosive, and then got electrocuted, would you explode?””

—   Ursula Vernon

I was doing an inventory of matboard, so for the first time, my ability to distinguish between five hundred different shades of white came in handy. (“You call that eggshell? That’s antique cream! Bah! And this isn’t Fossil, it’s Tusk!”) And, as always happens when you handle matboard, I sliced my hands in a few dozen spots, because the papercuts you get from matboard are somethin’ else again. Happened when I cut mats in college, happens again now, will probably continue to happen as long as I work in the frame department.

This intersected, in my memory, with my days of taking martial arts, of aikido and iaido, owing to one phrase that echoes down the corridors of my brain.

Don’t bleed on the mat.

Heh heh heh. Tatami is hard to clean. Ragboard is impossible. So the cardinal rule of both matting and martial arts is the same. If you get hurt—and you will get hurt, all the arts are dangerous business—you jam your injured appendage into either your mouth or your elbow or your armpit so that you don’t drip.

I dreamed last night that I was back in high school (a nightmare that haunts many of us, I know.) I still had my tattoo, though. It was career day, or something like it—according to our assembly, (which I skipped, because I was cleaning out my desk, which was inexplicably full of George Orwell books) we had to sign up/apply for three seperate career seminars/tests/things.

Thing was, when I finished clearing out all the old copies of 1984 and other lesser known works* and went out to see this career fair, it was made up entirely of martial arts schools, old kung-fu movie style. “You, too, can have a rewarding career in the Flying Blade Wushu Clan!” “Have you considered what being a Shao-lin monk could do for your future?”

I wound up talking to some very nice monks from the Red Lotus Order, who were all built like sumo wrestlers and told me proudly that their order had suffered the lightest casualties of any clan in the Iraq war, owing to their ability to heal people. (“That’s nice…”) They informed me, rather regretfully, that I would have to gain at least two hundred pounds and take a vow of celibacy to join. I wandered off to greener pastures.

—   Ursula Vernon
fuckyeahursulavernon:

I have no idea what’s going here, but I really like the way the chicken is gesturing. The wing is such a simple collection of lines that I wonder if I could translate it into a painting or if I’d lose the motion completely…  Ursula Vernon

fuckyeahursulavernon:

I have no idea what’s going here, but I really like the way the chicken is gesturing. The wing is such a simple collection of lines that I wonder if I could translate it into a painting or if I’d lose the motion completely…  Ursula Vernon

(via fuckyeahursulavernon)

fuckyeahursulavernon:

People ask occasionally what I look like. I’m not sure why, unless they’re hoping that I am either a supermodel or really do resemble Chu the Chupacabra from my quasi-autobiographical comic “Irrational Fears.”* They’d be disappointed on both fronts, I suspect. Actually…sorta like this, only with a bit more realism. (That’s an equally loose version of my cat, Ben. Ben is a very nice cat, but only when he chooses to be.) - Ursula Vernon
*I’m not green, but I do own a beret. [link]

fuckyeahursulavernon:

People ask occasionally what I look like. I’m not sure why, unless they’re hoping that I am either a supermodel or really do resemble Chu the Chupacabra from my quasi-autobiographical comic “Irrational Fears.”* They’d be disappointed on both fronts, I suspect. 

Actually…sorta like this, only with a bit more realism. (That’s an equally loose version of my cat, Ben. Ben is a very nice cat, but only when he chooses to be.) - Ursula Vernon



*I’m not green, but I do own a beret. [link]

(via fuckyeahursulavernon)

fuckyeahursulavernon:


Hellebore’s plans for sorcerous world dominion were delayed when she inadvertently summoned the Mystic Chicken.(I have no idea. I was doodling in Painter, and this came out. Something about the sketch appealled to me. Maybe it was just the notion of a witch with a dustbunny for a familiar. ) - Ursula Vernon

Sketch of Hellebore.

fuckyeahursulavernon:

Hellebore’s plans for sorcerous world dominion were delayed when she inadvertently summoned the Mystic Chicken.


(I have no idea. I was doodling in Painter, and this came out. Something about the sketch appealled to me. Maybe it was just the notion of a witch with a dustbunny for a familiar. ) - Ursula Vernon

Sketch of Hellebore.

(via fuckyeahursulavernon)