Storminess Pet Portraits

 

 

I still get a royalty statement from my agent, every six months, for the three books I wrote. Lately, these statements have not made for good reading. The sales figures are on a time lag, so the statement I got in April 2020(which I only looked this past week) is for books that were sold in the second half of 2019. It seems that people are not buying  V. Swift books like they used to, so I was feeling poor when I got an alert that Go Daddy had taken a payment of $160 for a security certificate for my blog. Since I don’t sell anything on this blog, I figured that I didn’t need the “SSL” certificate so I took the drastic step of calling Go Daddy (wait time: 23 minutes) and cancelling the payment. $160 is what I get when 100 of my books sell, so I thought I’d made a very smart business decision and was feeling rather thrifty and $160 richer.

And then my blog disappeared for three days. So, if any Dear Readers had trouble visiting me this past week, the reason is because any interface on the world wide web needs to have a SSL certificate, or search engines will refuse to let anyone stop by. Ao, to fix this, I had to call Go Daddy again (wait time: 37 minutes) and pay them for the SSL cert, at which time I was told that it takes 48 hours to get vivianswfitblog.com back on track. And then, when 48 hours came and went and I was still not amongst the living, I had to call Go Daddy again (wait time: 32 minutes) to find out that someone at Go Daddy had forgotten to push the activate button.

I wish I had an IT guy to take care of this stuff for me. I also wish I had servants and a personal assistant to look after me because I don’t like having responsibilities. It still surprises me that I have to make my own dentist appointments, and it astonishes me when I do make my own appointments and actually go to the dentist on my own volition. I used to have a job where I was responsible for important historical artifacts and millions of dollars, but then I became a writer. I now sit in a room and piddle around with ideas, sometimes making a castle or two, and have zero accountability to the outside world. Basically, I don’t have to be an adult anymore.

It’s awesome.

This might explain why this is so meaningful to me:

My Korean husbands, BTS, held the #1 spot on Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row:

This is equally important news for the nation of South Korea:

The chyron reads: BTS Billboard Single Chart 2 weeks First Place.

BTS is headline news on KBC, the national public TV station (it’s the BBC of South Korea). BTS has raised the awareness of Korea in the world, and they are now part of their nation’s cultural patrimony. I picked a good time to be a fan. One of the best decisions of my adulthood.

In between endless streaming of BTS’s #1 song Dynamite, I did a lot of painting these past two weeks, and it’s been some of the most interesting painting I’ve ever done.

Dear Reader and Stromness Rock host Leslie, from Florida, sent me a photo of her kitty, Kitty:

Actually, Leslie emailed me a photo of a photo of Kitty, since this image is not digitized. It’s a bit blurry, and I had to email Leslie and ask her what color Kitty’s eyes were, but I thought I might be up to the challenge of painting from a photo of a photo.

Here is what I painted:

This is very bad. Bad Bad Bad Bad. BAD. Really BAD. B A D.

So I persuaded Leslie to send me the actual photo. I wanted to see how big a difference it would make, in terms of not painting something so BAD, to re-paint from a better reference.

So this is how it went:

 

This is a shot of the actual photo of Kitty, which shows that she has a much richer color scheme than I saw in the blurry photo-of-a-photo. It took some effort to mix the right tone of orange for her pretty face.

The trick with calico cats is to not let the colors get muddy, which is easy to do when you are using watercolor and have to let orange overlap with gray and black:

 

I’ve said before that the firs thing you have to do when you paints to think about your strategy. You have to be able to paint a face like this is sections, and to make blocks of color that will merge successfully once every thing is dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONE.

And here’s the side-by-side comparison of BAD Kitty and Better Kitty:

Thank you, Leslie, for sending me the real Kitty photo and for letting me make this experiment.

Oh my, there is so much news to get this week. Events keep happening o quickly, but let’s start with the fun story of the five boasts that sank into Lake Travis, Texas during a Trump rally on the water:

 

 

 

California is on fire, partly because of climate change and partly because people are fucking morons:

This is this shit happened:

Trump’s personal layer, Michael Cohen, came out with a memoir about the crap he has witnessed,including how Trump didn’t want to go to a WWI cemetery in France where American servicemen are buried because anyone who got killed in France was a “loser” and only “suckers” serve in the military.

And then, the dip shit talked to Bob Woodward for 18 hours on tape, and told him that he was going to ‘play down” the coronavirus:

 

In seeking to control the damage of is own words, Trump claimed that he lied about COVID during many press conferences last Spring, calling it a “hoax” that would “just disappear” because he didn’t want to alarm people:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The notice on the Biden sign says: If you remove this sign, I will make a $36 donation to Planned Parenthood and I will replace the sign which means, in fact, YOU are supporting the Biden/Harris campaign. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need some puppies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s it for the week, Dear Ones.

Have a great weekend, and keep wearing masks and stay our of any boat that has a Trump flag.

That reminds me:

Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, this was an eventful week in VivianWorld.

My Korean husbands . . .

. . . BTS, debuted their new single Dynamite at #1 on Billboard. They are the first Asian group to go straight to the top 100, and the first Asian musicians to have a #1 hit in America since 1963, when a Japanese-language song with the nonsense name “Sukiyaki” did it. (I wrote about “Sukiyaki” in my garden book, a digression on the thoughts about a Japanese garden on Long Island that I did not care for. “Sukiyaki” was a mournful ballad that was actually anti-American and it’s Japanese title was “I Will Walk Looking Up (So My Tears Won’t Fall)”. It was given the name “Sukiyaki” because Americans have shit for brains when it comes to Asia and sukiyaki was all that most Americans cared to know about Japan in 1963.)

This #1 hit in America is a big, huge deal in South Korea. There are nine national newspapers in South Korea, and here are the headlines of six of them:

Spoiler: They are all about BTS’s #1 hit in America.

The President of South Korea tweeted his congratulations to the boys, to quote: “It is truly amazing. It is a splendid feat that further raised pride in K-Pop. The success of BTS will bring huge consolation to Koreans suffering from the crisis brought about by COVID-19.”

President Moon Jae-in and his wife, Kim Jung-Sook with BTS.

In other news, Top Cat and I went strolling in a nature preserve here on the north shore of Long Island last weekend. I made a deal with Nature, that I wouldn’t be bored if She sent me a Blue jay feather. And an hour into our hike, lo, lying there in the middle of the path . . .

It’s like it was placed there just for me, moi, my own eyes:

I’m holding my face mask. Even in the 100-Acre Wood, I bring my face mask.

That’s all it takes for me to believe that life isn’t just random and pointless, a momentary blip in oblivion. Redemption By Blue Jay Feather is what I call it.

The week was also redeemed by a delightful painting session. The subject is Miss Lizzie Cosette, the Cat In The House of Dear Reader Jeanie, who hosted The Sromness Rock in Lansing, Michigan and whereabouts:

You see that Lizzie is photographed in a fetching ray of light that makes her white fur brilliant. So the trick this week will be to get her highlights, to paint her white fur in shadow and in light.

Challenge accepted.

I thought I’d give you a look at my equipment:

Lizzie has gorgeous green eyes with little golden highlights:

To paint the shadows in her white fur, I’m going to use blue paint:

 

Oooooooo, time for a bleed:

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t’ until I got her eye like this that I knew whether or not I’d gotten her “right”:

 

 

Now all that’s left are Lizzie’s ears. Her ears are a combination of pink and gray, and painting them so that they don’t get muddy, and painting them so that they look like they have shape and depth, is the trick.

DONE.

Thank you, Miss Lizzie, for being a beautiful presence in my life this week.

In case you’re wondering what Christian America has been up to this week, they’ve been fundraising for this guy:

I checked it out, and it’s confirmed by Snopes. A Christian website called GiveSendGo has raised $314,000 for the legal defense for this little scumbag.

*Sigh*

Let’s check in with the rest of the news:

Trump told Fox News the a plane flying from “a certain city”, heading to Washington DC during the Republican national convention, was “completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that” adding: “Here were like seven people on the plane like this person and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.” Asked for details, Trump said: “I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now.”

Neither the FBI nor Homeland Security can confirm that any such investigation is taking place. But that’s not a surprise, right?

 

 

 

Melanoma’s former best friend wrote a tell-all book about the way the Third Wife really feels about Trump’s kids, and the former hooker had something to say about it:

And let’s not forget:

Knowing the Trumps as we all do, I’d say that Melanoma is right on brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you need to know this, when you feel like you have to stab someone, stab and orange. The are the same consistency as human flesh.

And here are a few more reminders that life, and stable humans, can, sometimes, be wonderful:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s the State of Things this first week of September.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Remember that we are only stabbing oranges, not Republicans. For now.

And, let’s not forget. . .

. . . Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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