It got cooold here in Baltimore all of a sudden. I’ve been hibernating in my office with hot drinks and my sketch pad because it’s finally design time! Before I started selling Ex-Boyfriend products to stores I put out new designs willy nilly. I admit, it was more fun that way, but nowadays I mostly work on seasonal catalogs, releasing new art in December and July. So if you were wondering why I haven’t done anything new lately, don’t worry, there’s a ton of new stuff coming before the end of the year!
Don’t believe it? Here are some actual shots of me working on new art today!
As you can see, Oliver is hanging out to give me his critiques. Don’t let the reaper scare you, we aren’t going all death metal over here. He’s part of a larger piece but you’ll have to wait a couple more weeks for the final reveal. In the meantime, stay warm and drink up!
I’m currently loving this Mexican Hot Chocolate. It’s so spicy and boozy and chocolatey, plus it’s a hot drink! What’s not to love? Bonus points for creative tequila use, a spirit I don’t drink often that tends to sit on the shelf for too long around here. Mr. Cuervo will be so pleased to be out when it’s not even margarita weather!
Whew! We are still recovering from a busy week in Chicago. We exhibited at Chicago Wizard World and had a great time. Here’s some of the cool stuff we saw:
Terrific American Horror Costumes
This kid has the coolest dad; they dressed up together and Jesse and Walter from Breaking Bad. Fun!
If you’re my age you’ll get this costume: she’s dressed up as Small Wonder (for those of you in your 20s, this was a ridiculous late 80s tv show about a little girl robot)
Sweet Nova costume
Hit Girl from Kick Ass!
Are you the key master?
Sweet Frylock costume!
We ran into this little cutie sporting her DJ Kitty tee that she just got from our MyHabit sale
Where’s Your Head At?
Finally, Chicago gave us a major case of city envy. This city has so much fun stuff — nerd burlesque, nerd sketch comedy, and so much awesome food! (Seriously, Chicago, even your Whole Foods are vastly better than the ones in Baltimore!) We also met so many terrific artists we wish didn’t live so far away! You should check out what they are up to though — here are our recommendations:
Are you one of those types that really likes to see an item up close before you buy it? Have you often found yourself frustrated because you desperately want to wear my amazing designs, but can’t bring yourself to order them before trying them on?
Relax. I get it. I’m the same way!
So it’s pretty exciting for me to announce that you can now walk into finer establishments across the world (literally! We’re in Canada an’ everything!) and purchase Ex-Boyfriend merchandise without worrying about sizing, fit, and shipping charges!
Here’s where we’re at so far:
• Wink – San Francisco, CA
• Killer Rabbit – Fort Collins, CO
• Life By Lisa – Cedar Falls, IA
• Kustom Kulture – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
• Wholly Craft – Columbus, OH
We’re not stopping there, of course — Victorious Yeti must eat, and I know not all of you reside in those five cities. Is there a shop or boutique near you that doesn’t carry Ex-Boyfriend that should? Tell ‘em! Tell us! Let’s make it happen, Nation!
Typically I try to not let my home life bleed into these posts too much — I am boring, Japanese robots are not. But the other night after I was done working, I laid down on the bed and Oliver just made a bee-line for my arm, and well…this happened:
Have a great weekend, guys! And for those of you mid-Atlantic folks still trying to shore up your holiday shopping, you could do a lot worse than stopping by my booth at the Punk Rock Flea Market in Philly on Sunday! I’ll have free stuff like comics, candy & stickers waiting for you, plus event-only deals on shirts, belts, bags & more! Not too shabby for a meager $3 entry donation, eh?
THE PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET-DOME
461 N. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Also, in case you missed it: my very own Whale Trip tee was featured quite prominently all over this week’s episode of ABC’s Modern Family! Alex Dunphy knows what’s up; do you?
10. A really crappy gin & tonic from the saddest tiki bar (imaginatively-named “Tiki Bar”) I’ve ever been to. I really wanted a Dark & Stormy, but apparently a rum-based drink with only one mixer (ginger beer) like that is much too exotic for a bar whose entire existence is predicated upon knowing how to make rum-based drinks with 3+ mixers, a shitload of fruit garnish, and a tiny paper umbrella.
9. Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup: A variation of my grandma’s recipe, nothing helps temper the inevitable “airplane” cold like chicken noodle soup.
8. Salad: Real talk: after three straight days of carb-coma, my body was absolutely CRAVING a big, dirty salad.
7. Whipped potatoes: “Mashed” has become the “Kleenex/Band-Aid” of the potato world, but I actually prefer the silky smoothness of whipped potatoes. And since rolling out of bed looking like a twee Adonis don’t come easy post-30, I don’t get to indulge as much anymore.
6. Vegan “turkey”: I love fake turkey, and Darbster’s Bistro did a fine job of approximating what we would have made ourselves.
5. Pecan Pie: I love pecan pie. It’s probably in my top five desserts list, but I rarely come across a really good one. This one was really good.
4. Leffe Blond Beer: Yeah, I was drinking pretty much non-stop; it is my style. Especially when the holidays roll around and I’m seeing a lot of family (just kidding [sort-of]; I love you guys!)
2. Lindeman’s Cabernet Sauvignon: See below. Seriously though, Lindeman’s is a fantastic low-to-mid-priced wine from Australia. And if you want to read a hilarious mash-up of pop cultural signifiers, check out their About page—rampant sex, arson in the cut-throat wine biz, and a real-life imitation of the Three Little Pigs story.
1. Lindeman’s Shiraz: I first discovered Lindeman’s on one of our quarterly wine-buying treks to Trader Joe’s in Virginia (Maryland really needs to allow grocery stores to sell alcohol). Our first stop on the way from the airport to spend three days with the in-laws’? Total Wine, naturally.
How about you guys? What were some of YOUR favorite foods over the holiday? Let me know in the comments section below!
Things at the MDSPCA have been a bit up in the air the last few months, at least as far as the foster program goes, as they’ve transitioned from one foster coordinator to another. But happily I got the call yesterday, and am excited to introduce you all to our newest temporary tenants:
As per usual, the provided names left much to be desired; these two girls are half of a four-kitten litter, and every one of them got saddled with a ridiculous food name: Grits, Gravy (pictured above), Cocoa Puff (pictured below), and though I didn’t catch the fourth one’s name yesterday, I imagine it was something like Chicken-Fried Steak. So I’ve renamed the cutie above Buttercup because of the chocolatey and peanut buttery coloring of her fur.
This little one has been tentatively-named Butterscotch because of the markings on her head, but I’m not really feeling it, and am worried about the possible confusion that may arise. I’m thinking I might switch it to Toffey, but maybe I need to just move away from the food-based monikers altogether—think outside the bun, as it were.
Anyway, I’m sure there will be many more pix and vids of these two over the next couple of weeks while we fatten them up for surgery, so be sure to check back soon!
And don’t forget—enter HALLOWEEN10 at checkout through October 31st for 10% off your order(s)!
Saturday was the first annual Baltimore Run For Your Lives zombie 5K obstacle race, and this guy had a front-row seat!
The race was very much a full-day affair, with the first group of runners heading out into the course at 8am and the last one crossing the finish line around 6pm, followed by live music until midnight! This of course meant that Meredith and I had to get to the event around 5am to finish setting up our booth before the attendees showed up for registration at 6am—which meant a 3am wake-up to load the car up for a 4am departure time!
Totally worth it, though—a very fun experience, and a great place to meet new fans and make new friends.
I even snapped some pictures throughout the day, though I had to wait until around 7:30 or 8 for the sun to come up and get over the treeline. Here’s the booth in the early morning—we were soooo excited to see the sun, and big-ups to the folks in the Funtastic Foods tent for keeping us warm with a steady stream of hot chocolate!
The event area itself was the perfect setting for a mock-zombie apocalypse: remote, lots of forest, and very cold and overcast for much of the day. Our stuff went over really well, and it was especially gratifying to see my newest designs get lots of love from the crowd, though pretty much every design I’d brought with us carried its weight—it’s always nice to see that Fuzz has still got it! Even nicer to see older fans already in-the-know:
I love this sort of thing—I imagine it’s a lot like being a musician and never getting sick of hearing your song on the radio.
All in all, it was a great day, but really long—the booth pretty much looked like this from 8:20am (around the time the first survivors made it to the finish line) until we started packing up around 8pm:
And sad as I was initially that I had to work the booth instead of run the course, I eventually realized it was definitely for the best; way too many reports of broken legs, serious cuts and gashes, and sprained ankles, not to mention that fact that there were two water obstacles that necessitated running around in soaked shorts & tees in sub-55˚ weather, followed by a thorough hosing down to remove caked-on mud. The weather was miserable enough being dry and fully-clothed, thank you very much!
But ultimately everyone seemed to have a blast—especially this guy:
Many thanks to all the new fans I met this weekend! And those of you who couldn’t make it, fear not and remember, you can take 10% off your purchase now through the end of October by entering the coupon code HALLOWEEN10 at checkout! And Philly fans—we’re coming back up in December for R5 Productions’ Punk Rock Flea Market! $3 gets you inside to shop for awesome holiday gifts from a variety of vendors, and I’ll be there with new stuff on shirts, bags & belts! Even better: it’s indoors! Hope to see you all there:)
So I thought to myself in the airport newsstand at LAX “I bet Meredith misses American junk food. I’ll bring some Oreos® along!” Good thing, too, because in Australia, they don’t have Oreos®. The have Oreos® Classic.
2. The Royal w/ Cheese (AKA, the f#$king metric system):
They use the same road sign set-up that we do on their highways—kelly green field with white border and text, in the same font. But my ability to determine how soon we would arrive at a destination was thrown by the fact that all of the distances were in kilometers, as was the speedometer in our rental. This confusion extended to filling up at gas stations—sold by the liter, not the gallon, and rather than stating that regular unleaded was $1.45 per liter, it just said “145.8″ on the signs. So the cost of gas (and only gas) was expressed in hundreds of cents.
3. Alcohol Serving and Cost:
If you’re a cocktail and/or beer drinker and you’re in Australia, I hope you’re either loaded or OK with subsisting on wine. It’s easily the cheapest of their adult beverages. The average cost of cocktails in Melbourne is $18. Decent craft beers aren’t much less expensive, selling for between $8 and $12 a pint. Also, beers are served in one of three sizes: pots, pints, and jugs. Pints are like they are throughout the rest of the world (roughly 20 fluid oz.), but pots are half that size, and jugs are roughly equal to two pints (40 fluid oz.) Depending on the strength of the brew, you’ll want to adjust the size of your glass accordingly.
4. “Am I driving drunk, or just in Australia?”
They drive on the left side of the road, and the driver sits on the right side of the car. The toughest aspect of this? Remembering to use the lever on the right side of the steering column to signal turns and lane changes; the left side lever will (naturally) turn on your wipers. It’s very disorienting the first couple of days.
5. There are only white people in Australia.
Not really, but you’d certainly be forgiven for assuming that based on the television programming, especially the commercials. I think there may have been an islander in one of them, but that particular commercial was in black & white—almost as if they were trying to obscure the fact that there was a non-white actor involved. Now, our apartment had VERY basic channel offerings, but it was still noticeable enough that Meredith and I both commented on it.
6. Soccer is football. Football is GRIDIRON!
This was admittedly hilarious and awesome. They were actually airing commercials advertising open tryouts for refs, coaches AND players, and the clips of Australian “gridiron” they were showing throughout were so poorly-attended and sad-looking; you’d probably find more fans at a pee-wee football game for under-10′s here than the number that were watching the games in Australia.
7. They really love art:
Melbourne in particular was just COVERED in cool street art and graffiti, and that’s b/c it’s considered a valid form of artistic expression (as it should be). We walked by a couple of guys working on a mural in an alley off a main street at TWO IN THE AFTERNOON. The U.S. really needs to get on board with this.
8. Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere, but not a pie to eat:
Basically, every restaurant had a pumpkin-centric item on the menu, but barring one establishment that offered a pumpkin pie ice cream sundae, they don’t seem to use pumpkin for sweet applications. They’re missing out!
9. They have a really vibrant music scene that is surprisingly (and wonderfully) not U.S.-centric.
We heard a lot of great indie-rock and pop music on the radio that just hasn’t broken through stateside, and it was pretty revelatory to find an entire continent with a rich pop musical history that I’ve only as yet scratched the surface of.
10. Wi-Fi = Dial-Up:
Seriously, the most frustrating aspect of being in Australia is the painfully slow internet speed. Even wired “high-speed” connections weren’t much better, with most browser windows freezing if more than two tabs were opened at one time. Maybe Al Gore was telling the truth when he claimed he invented the thing.
So I apologize in advance for all the Australia-related posts coming down the pike in the next few days—it’s just that it’s very exciting to be able to blog about weird stuff I’ve experienced first-hand, as opposed to mining the web for content. To that end, please let me introduce you to SYN.
SYN (Student Youth Network) is a youth-run media organization that operates and broadcasts out of Melbourne, Victoria. A lot of their marketing mentions it’s for young people aged 12-25, which is a pretty wide spread. The cool thing is that it’s 100% true—over the course of the week and a half I was there, I heard DJs in various time-slots that were anywhere from 12/13 to 25, with shows ranging from mall-punk music and horror movie critiques from 14 year olds to sex advice from 25 year olds. Among other show themes, there was a time-slot focused on Formula 1 racing, stand-up comedy, Korean pop, Cantonese pop, Japanese pop, a show devoted entirely to Radiohead (cleverly titled Radiohead to Tail), and even a show hosted by a pair of dudes with mental disabilities discussing their favorite cars and music. But the show that really caught our ear as we were driving around the Yarra Valley looking for good wineries? Happy Hour at the Cantina.
HHatC, sadly, was broadcasting their final show of the season (possibly ever?), but nothing quite prepares you for turning on the radio to hear adults (or close to it) discussing the pros and cons of living with an ewok housemate (“Well, you’d have to have a treehouse in the back yard for it to live in.” “CORRECTION: you’d GET to have a treehouse in your backyard for it to live in!”), and how unfair it is that outside of Wicket and the Chief, none of the other ewoks were given names. This went on for the better part of an hour, interspersed with Star Wars-themed songs, like a Russian klezmer jam about how Boba Fett and Grand Moff Tarkin were childhood friends but had a falling out. REAL. TALK.
And this is just the DJ’s conversing—by and large, the music on SYN is top-notch, and we were exposed to a lot of cool Aussie indie-rock that we otherwise wouldn’t have ever heard of (it seems like Pitchfork et al only champion a few Aussie bands a year). And the great thing is, you can stream it live online! I highly recommend tuning in periodically to get a taste. Just remember—they’re on the other side of the world, so the best time to tune in is in the evening for their morning programming, being broadcast from the future!