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Friday, June 27, 2008

Read your future.... nei fondi del caffè.

Bello, eh, adesso mi spuntano Skamarciamente cuori anche nei fondi del caffè! LOL!

Usually you read the future in tea leaves but I am Italian and so after I had my expresso I found a Heart Shape at the bottom of my cup. Which usually never happens because I get a moon, a circle or just some random spot.
So I took it as a good omen, since I am working on something called The Heart Princess... cheese, interactive magazine for little girls (who probably don't know how to read yet) that contains coloring pages, games and a 9 pages "comic" that narrates the story of poor Lily Green and how she became a Princess. Funny enough the thing got turn into a visual novel of some sort... meaning: the story is at the bottom of the page and the illustrations on top show you what's going on if you don't know how to read. I made sure you could get it even if you don't know how to read and didn't miss any of the key points of the story... interesting enough I found myself thinking that Will Eisner used to something of the kind and, even before him, Tezuka wrote a comic called Hato which had drawings with baloons and narration at the bottom of the page. I thought it to be "experimental" in some ways... it is not illustration... it's not a comic either... it's sequencial images and... I kinda like this format very much (the storyboard in me shout for revenge!!!).
I have done the cover so far... the images inside and am currently coloring the pages with a deadline of July 3rd. Am I dying on this thing? Yes, I am... since I have 2 more jobs to work on, one is due on sunday the other one by tuesday.
Please, God, I emailed Thee yesterday about that thing of having a 36 hours long day... could Thou please approve my idea? Then Thou canst switch back to 24 hours once I am done, just for this week,thanks!

In the meantime heart begin to appear in my coffe cups... is it just me seeing heart everywhere or... what?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monitor kaputt!
My hands hurt... I was given a deadline by the 3rd of July and honestly with the storyboards approved today I could make it only if I were really able to finish one page per day.
Now to color something so detailed in one day, I wonder if I am able to... honestly I haven't even chosen a color scheme yet, nor a style.
I am trying to finish the pencil tonight and I have done 6 pages out of 8... well 5 1/2 but my hands hurt so much.
I don't even know why I am rushing... my desktop PC does not have a working monitor at the moment... at least I thing the problem is the monitor since I tried connecting it to the laptop and it remained black. The problem is... the desktop PC is connected to the scanner... and I need to scan these drawings in order to color them. So since I won't be able to fix it until tomorrow I wonder why am I rushing, tonight if I cannot scan the finished drawings tomorrow?
I don't know but somehow I have to get this done in very little time and I have no choice but continue to work until I figure out what to do tomorrow... maybe I'll just go to a computer shop, get my thing scanned and come back home then figure out how to fix the PC once I am done with this project.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Siamo un Paese di stronzi!

Voglio che lo sappiate, ci sono giornate in cui cambierei nazionalità per prendere la cittadinanza della Papuasia piuttosto che essere italiana... soprattutto se sono rappresentata da soggetti scazzati che non sanno fare le cose con criterio.

Non riuscire a scendere dalla metro perché la gente ti si piazza davanti e ti risponde in malo modo solo perché dici: fate scendereeeee! - cantilenando.
O non poter aspettare nel corridoio del treno, né a destra né a sinistra, la fermata successiva (la propria) perché il cretino DEVE fumare e il controllore non passa manco se lo paghi e lo preghi in Turco Ottomanno... mi fa davvero sentire come se fossi capitata in un qualche Paese del Terzo Mondo dove non c'è cultura, non c'è educazione, non c'è etica, non c'è assolutamente alcuna cognizione del detto: non fare ad altri quello che non vuoi venga fatto a te!

La gente col caldo diventa idiota!
Non basta farsi un viaggio in treno tipo carro bestiame, senza aria condizionata e nel sudiciume più totale... devi restare pure imprigionata nel vagone fino all'ultimo minuto per non ciucciarti il fumo di seconda mano. Mi spiace ma io concordo con gli stranieri che mettono le lamentele sul Pasquino a Roma dicendo che l'Italia è bella ma gli italiani la rendono invivibile...
e sono d'accordo anche con la pubblicità che dice che Roma non è sporca, viene sporcata!!!

Siamo un Paese di Stronzi! Viva la Papuasia e la sua civiltà!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mia cara Signora Bradley,
the time I spent running after you like a little chick does with his mama... how can I ever forget and not be thankful about it?
Me running after you everywhere we went calling "signora, signora!"... and every single time you stopped to look at me and started your sentence with "Deda...".
You made me feel like I knew who this Deda person was and this Deda person had a meaning, a goal in life.
You have been my delight and my worst nightmare for many weeks.
"Yes, Deda but no Deda!" "Too many details, Deda, they are all shouting!" "You have to prioritize!" "Here, move over..."
The sleepless nights before class, how could I ever forget the anxiety and excitement: "What will I learn tomorrow? What will she say? Did I do this right? I wonder if she'll like it..."
You always said your Anitmated Figure I class was like bootcamp, homework's 3 times as much as normal classes!!! It was never enough for me: tell me more, teach me more, tell me anything. How do I do this? Why doesn't this work? What am I doing wrong?
Then one day you said: I'll fix you... all your problems... we'll fix them.
I so believed and trusted you blindly and I kept running after you "signora! signora!" and you would chuckle and stop and talk to me.
I still have all your sketches in my sketchbook. Your drawing next to mine... I sometimes still need to hear your voice and I go look at them and there you are talking to me.
I can't forget... I was doing all wrong that semester, you knew me from Animated figure II and said: this is not like you!
Oh, I got so many C's... and then, late as usual, because my reactions are always slow... I got it. Everything you had said... I got it and without even realizing it I did apply to my drawings: Well, congratulations Deda!
That's what you said... I didn't know why... but it had started working somehow... but you knew it would happen, didn't you? You knew me too well.
"Deda is a humanist she likes to tell stories..." Am I?
"Deda likes to draw children.." Do I?
"Deda is picky!" Oh.. really?
And that's why I followed you everywhere... what else do you know? Tell me more... do my drawings talk about me much more than I could do? What do they tell you? Who am I?

I got lost after graduation... I got lost a bit. I kept drawing and I went back to show you and you said: it's cute... but this isn't you.

This isn't me... then I am gone. Where did I go? Back home, still thinking,wandering, pondering, working on things that could get me enough money to pay bills, the drawings stopped... and while I was getting lost you disappeared.
What am I doing? - then I asked - Why am I wasting her effort? This is not what she thaught me... this is not what she wanted from me! I must draw! I must draw and be me! I must draw and continue to apply all her teachings, everytime I draw she talks to me... when I draw she is still alive, a part of her is.

While thinking, wandering and pondering 5 years had passed... a delayed reaction as usual but I finally got it! I got it now!
Mia cara signora Bradley... I am drawing now... the moment I decided I should draw all kinds of drawings jobs came to me from out there, commercials, advertisements and in the end a series of comics for young girls veeeery much in my own personal style: I get to draw animals, I get to draw kids, the main girl is cute like you always said it should be, the main guy is very handsome, has broad shoulders and is very charming... like you always said it should be. The villain is vicious and malicious, needless to say you mentioned that too. I get to draw costumes and I am doing historical research... it's like your assignment, the final project in your class, but this time it's for real! It's cute and charming... and it's very Deda-like, oh you would love this and I wish I could show it you.. I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for you! When they offered me the chance I was oh so prepared: I did this before! I know how to do it! She told me!

After so many years I still run after you "Signora! Signora!" and every mark I put down I hear your voice and feel your hand "Deda, you do like this and like that..."
Yes, signora, I am still a little chick that follows you around and I keep on drawing...
I am not letting it go this time around because it seems to me to hear you say "Well, good for you!"

Yeah, good for me... I had you!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cooking Day - Giornata Culinaria

My mama thinks that is she doesn't cook for me I won't. My father thinks that if he doesn cook for us we'll starve. I actually manage pretty well on my own, so today I manage to do a little something for my mom. Pennette with cream and fried zucchini.
It's very simple because you just fry the zucchini without putting salt, just add a little vinegar in the end. Make them nice and brown they'll be the sweet flavor in the pasta.
Then, you know the usual stuff, put the water on the stove, bring the water to boil, add salt then toss the pasta and if the box says "Cook for 9 minutes" you take them out at 8 to have it "al dente" but if you want to toss it take it out at about 7 minutes to have it al chiodo. In my case I needed it to be al chiodo because I needed to toss the past with the cream. Strain the pasta, put it back in the pot, add cream as much as needed not to make it too sticky but not too much or it would get too watery... then sprinkle a little bit of nutmeg and curry powder and grated parmiggiano. Impattare... that is put it in the plate and put the zucchini on top. Ain't that nice?
Of course, Natuzzo, you have to try this! *_* I think you'll like it.

Oggi a pranzo... pennette con le zucchine fritte. Nella mia variante nella panna si sono un po' di noce moscata e curry.

My mama instead thought best to prepare dinner as well. This is a potato cake thingy... we call it gateau. You boil the potato, peel them, squeeze them, add one egg... it will get gooey so you add breadcrumbs (my mom didn't have any so she put wet soft bread - I wonder how it came out). Anyway breadcrumbs are the best make it so that it's nice and not sticky. Put a first layer in the pan, then add whaterver ingredient you like, cheese, ham, tomatoe sauce and green peas or mushrooms... anything goes (no capers).
put a second layer of the mashed potatoes thingy and put breadcrumbs on top then put it in the over to bake... I guess 275 F until it gets nice and brown.

Mia madre invece ha pensato bene di preparare un gateau di patate per cena... ma non aveva il pan grattato e ci ha messo il pan carrè ammollato nell'acqua e mi domando... sarà buono? Stasera lo saprò. E' farcito solo con della scamorza affumicata.... ed è pieeeno di parmiggiano.

Then, this afternoon, I decided to make some scones.
I took the recipe from the Joy of baking website. Seems like it worked, they look and smell nice... I hope they taste nice too but I will have them for breakfast tomorrow with my fannel tea... when my dad is back from his trip.

E questi sono scones. Ricetta presa da Joy of Baking... mettono le misure in grammi quindi è un sito utile. Pare che la ricetta abbia funzionato, consistenza e odore sono ottimi ma devo aspettare domattina per assaggiarli visto che mio padre farà ritorno da un viaggio stasera e faremo una bella colazione abbondante (io con tisana al finocchio e i miei col caffellatte). Gli scones sono tipici dolci da merenda... originariamente provengono dalla Scozia e spesso e volentieri li servono insieme alla Clotted Cream quando si va per High tea.
Ovviamente è impossibile trovare clotted cream in Italia e quindi ho cercato una ricetta alternativa su Joy of Baking per poter fare qualcosa che le somigliasse... panna, mascarpone, vaniglia e zucchero e il gioco è fatto. Gli scones sono brioches croccanti fuori e soffici dentro, sono leggermente salate... le tagli, ci spalmi su la clotted cream e la marmellata (di solito fragole ma io userò prugne) e te li pappi. Sono buoni perché non sono dolcissimi e sono al burro quindi sono profumati e saporiti.

This is my home made clotted cream. It tastes nice and very similar to the original one... I will use it with plum jam tomorrow for breakfast on my scones.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Hunt - Nuova preda.

Kayodo 6 pcs. set of Heidi.
Price on the market (ebay and stores) about 60 dollars.
Price paid for it... about 22 dollars.
There are still honest people out there... and that is why these people will become my official "frug dealers".
Thank you Taichi-san.
Kaiyodo, set da 6 pezzi. Prezzo sul mercato (ebay e negozi varii) fino a 70 dollari - tipo 54 dollari più 19 di spese di spedizione (45.3740 EURal cambio di oggi) Prezzo pagato 18 euro. Ci sono ancora persone oneste là fuori... e per questo motivo diventeranno i miei spacciatori ufficiali. Grazie, Taichi-san.

Heidi & Peter

These are 2 separate pieces but comes with a joining item that makes them become one. When detached Heidi has an extra piece of grass to cover where the joining item goes.
Sono due pezzi separati ma viene con un perno che li unisce facendola diventare un'unica grande illustrazione. Heidi ha un pezzo extra di erba che va a coprire il buco lasciato dal perno qualora i pezzi fossero divisi.

Rottermeyer with cats. Oh she hates them!

Misericordia! La signorina Rottermeyer con i gatti... li odia!

Heidi & Peter.

Clara stands up!
E finalmente Clara si alzò in piedi.... *_*

Directly from OP, Heidi on her swing.

Direttamente dalla sigla, Heidi sull'altalena... mi sono sempre domandata a che cavolo fosse attaccata st'altalena qua che spariva nel cielo (elicottero?).

This set is nicely done and easy to assemble. It has just a few airbrushed areas and comes with separate black pedestals made of hard plastic.

As expected from Kaiyodo it's good looking, highly detailed and very attractive for poses (whose composition works 360 degrees) and expression of the characters are priceless.

é un set molto ben fatto e facile da montare. Ha alcune zone aerografate e i pezzi (quasi tutti) hanno una base separata di plastica nera dura.

Come ci si può aspettare da Kaiyodo è attraente, dettagliato e le pose sono davvero accattivanti (la composizione della posa funziona a 360 gradi) e le espressioni dei personaggi sono impagabili davvero.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Is it summer yet?

Seems like my book is starting to show up in comicbook stores here and there since at least two of my buddies have been able to get ahold of it. It has been really hard to find copies, so far, because it was nowhere to be found and even online stores were the pitts. The publishers worked really hard and I am grateful to them... good job, you guys!

So I Thought to take advantage of the nice weather and go to Rome monday afternoon, stay at Emy's until the next day, just for fun.
It wasn't so nice, after all, as it rained a bit... of course the weather would get better every time we decided to go indoor or back home, duh.
So on monday afternoon we went to see an exibit of Sebastiano del Piombo. I knew very little of this painter, friend to Michelangelo and direct competitor with Raphael... I only knew a couple of paintings of his and when you see them up close well you can notice Michelangelo's influence in some of his designs and compositions (especially in the Pietà of Viterbo). I found myself liking him more than I could think.
The portraits he painted always looked at you in a very peculiar way... some of them would look at you but not stare at you, others would not divert the eyes no matter what and were able to make you look away. There were faces that seemed so "familiar"... so alive. The Principe Doria would scare you and the Humanist guy would look at you with a sad face that said: yeah, culture is a burden... somewhat an ancient Emo fella. There was a man wearing pink and looking so manly and a guy wearing an armour who was obviously not so manly after all (his pageboy had been deleted from the painting as he looked at his master in a bizzarre/adoring way: yaoi!).
There was a painting he painted together with Giorgione and Tiziano... giorgione was miles ahead of them (almost a Sargent's painting). In the end there were drawings... being Venitian, Sebastiano never drew very much but his drawings were interesting... the last room collected paintings of people who... well, let's face it, it was a room filled with plagiarism and surrogates of the original stuff: hilarious.

After that I managed to go to the movies and watch "Sex and the city" in English. I found it cute and funny, a typical long episode from the show written with the usual verve and nice snappy dialogues. The characters were truly in roles and some of the jokes and the episodes were really hilarious. I think it's very interesting to see it in movie theaters because the whole time you are thinking you are watching a giant TV... that is a long pilot episode of some sort, after all, the writing is the typical HBO TV writing. So I found it pretty interesting to see two media mix and merge in one big experiment: a movie version of a Sex and the city episode.

On the next day I tried to go to a Spanish bookstore in Rome and ask them to get me some comics from Spain since, ridiculous as it may appear, it cost more money to get a package from Spain than getting it from Japan with EMS shipping. Yeah.
It was comical.
First I ask for the comics and I say: I am looking for 3 comics, by this author, released in these years, by these publishers.
Lady: yeah... mhhh.... here's the first publisher but I cannot find the title. Here there's not even the author, forget about it!
Deda: eeeer, well you are looking under books, while you should be looking under comics.
Lady: ah, yes.
Then she looks for the second one and luckly this one shows up pretty fast.
I am surprised to see that she is not looking on some internal server but she is using google, which she calls Goggle. O_O
The third comic is by Otaku manga... she types the name Otaka langa..
Deda: here let me type it for you.
of course she does not let me type the whole thing so no name shows up and she goes again: forget it. Oh, no, here it is. - and she opens up an "Otakuland" link.
Deda: that's a shop.
Lady: yes, if they have a shop they must have the book.
Deda: yes, if that were the publisher's shop... but it's a shop.
Lady: shops sell books.
Deda: no, this is a t-shirt's shop.
Lady: oh... yeah... then forget it I cannot find...
Then she goes and talks to her coworker and comes back after a while saying: yeah, forget it, we cannot order it from our distributor.
Deda: forget it, I'll find them

So we leave. She said "forget it" sooo many times, it drove me crazy.
No, really, I am your client could you say something like: I am sorry I don't think it will be possible bla bla bla...
While leaving Emy, who was with me, says: I wish they were like the monsù (the guy who owns the French Bookshop in Rome).
I was so furious I said: you know, I hate to say this cuz we don't always have good relationships with French people but let's give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, the French they are made of a different stuff: they are precise!

Only the afternoon before I had clearly seen what stuff we Italians are made of... while leaving the Del Piombo exhibit and going to the wardrobe there was a crowd of people in front of the counter. Imagine the mess, on a rainy day, everybody had to leave bags and umbrella and the space for the wardrobe was about 6 square feet.
So the girl at the counter, annoyed by the people shouts: If you have to pick up stand to the left if you have to deposit stand to the right.
Of course she meant her left and her right but people are too lazy to figure out this stuff... so they just randomly stand there, with tickets in their hands, all around her, and she gets reaaaally angry.
Okay so her patience had run out and her co-worker was lifting her eyebrows with a face that said: oh boy!
This one lady then shouts in a shrill voice: I want my stuff, you said to the left and I am to the left, I want my bag and umberlla.
So the girl fetches her coupons and asks her: what is it?
And the lady: a bag like this and that.
The girl leaves and she shouts after her: you better found it, because if you lost it...

So what? If she lost it what? What will you do?
Here we go into comedy, old Italian comedy from the 50's when Antonio de Curtis used to do that gag called "You don't know who I am!"

How can you underastimate the lady, she is surely someone very important only we don't know it, right? Of course her bag must have golden linen and silver handles with pearls and diamonds all over it like Cinderella's gown...

I turn around and tell Emy: definitely patience is not embedded in Italian's dna!
This other lady next to me giggles and says: nor is good organization.

Well, you see, I think good organization comes from patience... if you have no patience to organize things then you toss them around and there dies organization on a bed of impatience.

"You don't know who I am!"
Who are you, the Virgin Mary from Loreto?

We get out of there and I see... she couldn't wait. She is standing all satisfied at the corner of the street, The Virgin Mary of Loreto, as if she just won World War II and... she is smoking!
There! That's what Italians are made of... we are made of smoke... puffy smoke with a punget smell that hurts your lungs and clouds your brains and poison your ability to think, be patient and smart about things... because: her sigarettes were in the bag she coulnd't get right away... she needed her sigarette though, her drugs, to be doped and be the idiots she usually is... but at least not so aggressive, just a random idiot with smoke in their heads.

You drug addict had to be such a bitch to a girl who had been slaving off on a precarious job since 7 in the morning maybe... because of your sigarettes!
I pity you! You let your sigarettes rule you... let them rule you "till death do us part" but even so, don't break the balls of people who are working and working hard in a Country were we are all pennylessly cry and starve.

We cry and starve to survive, you obviously don't have these problems since you do have money for sigarettes so, of course, you cannot understand and even if you could at some point, the smoke killed your brains along the way so you forgot... you are too addicted to know: courtesy is always due else you are no human being.
But you are a walking bunch of tar... so you won't know.

I usually don't annoy smokers... and I don't care just as long as they don't hurt me.
We never know when we are going to die and how, at least they have decided how and when or increased their chances to die in THAT particular way... it's their choice, it's progressive suicide... it's not so progressive when you try to suicide the person standing next to you against her will.
Smokers in Italy are nothing like smokers in the U.S. They very seldom ask: do you mind if I smoke?
They smoke and puff their smoke in your face. They smoke where they shouldn't (I caught somebody smoking on a train), they don't wash the stench off of their hands before serving food (at least most of them don't).
Except few exceptions people who smoke, here, deserve to do so. If you are a polite smoker then I have no problems with you... But when their vice has to trouble other people's lives... then I am talking to tar and I don't care to offend.

On tuesday my friend and I decided to go toy shopping. Taichi, the owner of Sakurashu, remembered us and gave us a discount, so I paid 18 euros for a Heidi set. The new one. Very cute. In the end we asked him if he could get us a Toei Majokko set and he said: maybe there is.
We glared at him with scary eyes.
He froze. He must have thought: if I don't have it here, will they eat me alive like the Baccanthes?
So I dared: maybe he meant... not here but... he can order them.
Taichi: no, I might have it here but... maybe not but it will come, soon. Tomorrow.
So we asked him to put them aside for us so that she can go and pick them up soon.

That same day we went to lunch at Sushisen... and made befriended the sushi chef (although I completely forgot to ask his name). He made me inari with no seafood and we had a long conversation in Japanese/English/Italian. He was funny, felt... familiar and was extremely friendly and talkative. I hope to find him there next time. He had the typical reaction Japanese people have when they meet someone (not Japanese) who knows old anime!
So we showed him a gashapon of Astroboy he went: suuugoooooi!
So loud. It was hilarious.

At 5 pm I had to leave and go meet my parents at the train station. They were coming back from the Airport so I thought to get on the train and keep seats for them. It was a good idea, the train got pack pretty soon and they were able to travel seated after all. This lady tried to snatched the seats from me: they are not numbered seats you know.
And I said: they are not, but have been sweating in this thing for 25 minutes, this place it's like a sauna and I am keeping the seats to my parents cuz that's what children do, so move it... Next time you do it and I won't say a word.
She left.
Good for them.

So this coming weekend we are going to Greengable... I hope the weather gets nice, it's hot but it rains at times and then the temperatures goes down so you ask yourself: is it summer yet?