April 14, 2012

I am Art

This post was written on March 20, 2009. When I went to include the all-important link to the visual element it had disappeared from the internet, so this post was never published. Through an odd series of events early this morning, I ended up finding that the art is back up, so several years later, here you go:

Back in October, during our fabulous UK Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare geekfest, Jen, Stacey, and I decided to make a quick day trip over to Cardiff. While we were wandering around the Queens Arcade mall in search of lunch and toilets and Doctor Who calendars we encountered a strange photo session in progress.

At first we planned to ignore it, but later we walked by again and the people working on it explained that it was some sort of community photo mosaic project. We were invited to participate. “We aren’t Welsh,” we explained. “That’s fine,” they said, “it doesn’t matter.” Clearly these people had a quota to fill. So feeling a little self conscious I followed Stacey and Jen as we each had our photos taken in front of several different colored screens, all the while being directed to look “up and to the left,” then “down and to the right,” and so on and so forth. One of the photographers flirted with Stacey. No one flirted with me. Clearly the Welsh don’t deserve me. Next time I’ll go to Manchester instead.

After they’d taken our photos they gave us each a T-shirt and sent us on our way.

So what was this mysterious project, you ask? It was the “I am Art” project, a photo mosaic containing more than 15,000 images of about 3,000 people. After the photos were taken the people (not us) voted to decide which famous Welsh person the photo mosaic would be of.

Go ahead, think of as many famous Welsh people as you can. I’ll wait here.

Done already? Yeah. That’s probably why the big winner, the “Face of Cardiff,” wound up being 2007’s “X-Factor” (think “American Idol”) runner-up Rhydian Roberts (I was hoping for actor Gareth David-Lloyd but Rhydian will do).

Several months passed and finally the completed project was revealed. The three of us spent some time zooming in on the mosaic to find each other. It was loads of fun. Each of us appears multiple times—zoom in and see if you can find us!

Here’s a pic of the three of us from earlier that week so you know who to look for.


So that’s the story of how Stacey, Jen, and I came to be featured in a strange piece of Welsh art, one with the people of Cardiff, forever immortalized in a pop star’s head. WE ARE CARDIFF. WE ARE RHYDIAN. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

posted under Travel | 1 Comment »
May 14, 2011

An addendum, from Stacey

Stacey, who has possibly had a bit too much wine with her Eurovision, wants me to let you know that, thanks to a disturbing encounter with an animatronic musical monkey at Gulliver’s Land, she had to become a woman of ill repute in the Old West section of the theme park.

Stacey would also like everyone to know that you should feel free to share these photos with any attractive, available English lords who might be looking for a woman.

posted under Travel | 3 Comments »
May 14, 2011

A most random day in England

We got up obscenely early this morning to join our host T in Milton Keynes for an attempt to break a world record. T is a Guinness Book adjudicator and had to be on hand at Gulliver’s Land theme park to witness the record being set for the biggest human foosball game. The whole thing was a PR event for the release of Gulliver’s Travels on DVD.

When we arrived we were invited not just to watch but to participate, so we did. Stacey and I were put on the blue team, captained by British TV personality Angellica Bell.

Noel was on the red team, captained by another TV personality, Michael Underwood.

We arrived before most people, so we had time for a practice round.

I was hit–twice–with the ball. It was painful. Stacey was also hit, as were several small children. But in the end the blue team won (5-0).

GOOOOOAL!!! And a world record was set!

After the foosball was over we went over to the main theme park to explore. It’s a bit like a mini Disneyland, with an Adventureland and a Western section and tea cup rides etc.

We spent much longer there than we intended to, but we couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. All of the park staff were very indulgent of the crazy ladies wanting to ride children’s rides.

Then it was back to the charming town of Ubley, where we are staying, to watch the new episode of Doctor Who (excellent), and now we are watching Eurovision 2011. Huzzah!

posted under Travel | 3 Comments »
April 26, 2009

Can Someone Get Me the SPCA’s Number?

Larry and I spent a few minutes today looking at paint colors on the internet. Over at the My Perfect Color site you can sort the colors by mood and style. Intrigued, Larry had me click on “Romantic Colors”–mostly shades of pink and lilac with names like “Gentle Kisses,” “Candle Glow Rose,” “Silent Arabian Nights,” and “Pure Desire.”

Oh, and “Hamster Cuddles.”


*blink, blink*

Ummm…because nothing says romance like cuddling with a small furry animal?

(cue “Dueling Banjoes” and/or an inappropriate Richard Gere joke–I’ll let you decide)


posted under Condo | 7 Comments »
March 4, 2009

Not handsome enough to tempt me

I read today that Marvel is releasing a “faithful” five-part comic book “adaptation” of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I think about this. At first I thought it was a joke, but apparently it is the real deal. A preview of the first issue is available online. It is the same story and time-period as the original novel, and I don’t object to the idea in principle, but check out how the Bennett sisters are drawn! (scroll down and click to enlarge that second page) Makes it a little less believable that Mr. Darcy couldn’t find an attractive girl to dance with at the ball, doesn’t it?

Take, for example, Mary Bennett. Mary is supposed to be the plain one. Mary is the boring one. Mary is a wallflower. She’s the one who thought Mr. Collins was the bee’s knees. She is not supposed to be…this:


I have a few obvious problems here. I think they probably don’t need to be spelled out for you in detail. Oddly high on my list is the hair, which they clearly stole off of a soap opera actress back in 1989 and which they have been keeping in a high security vault, frozen, waiting for this day to come.

Actually, Mary reminds me of someone. Who is it? Let me think… Oh! I know who it is!


She looks like one of The Misfits from that ’80s cartoon classic Jem and the Holograms. Obviously with more tasteful makeup choices, but then, who knows what sort of fashion don’ts Mary was sporting back in the ’80s, right?

Now, I don’t really want to pass judgment on something without reading it (OK, yeah, I sort of do), so I’ll make a deal with you: If any of you read this comic and tell me it is the bestest most awesomest thing since sliced bread, I will stop mocking it. Until then, I declare open season on the whole project.

posted under Rants | 3 Comments »
February 5, 2009

Modern Work of Genius

Kenneth brought this to my attention. Things like this restore my faith in human ingenuity. The spirit of invention is not dead—it is so SO alive.

(click the Cornify button)

Yes. AWESOME. Keep clicking it.

Want your own? Go here.

October 1, 2005

Just like a fairytale: Except not at all

In a bizarre parallel with Disney’s so-charming-it-could-be-lethal “Princess
Diaries,” I discovered to my great surprise this morning that I am a bona fide princess. Who knew? Babette Cole it would seem as she’s written a book about it: Princess Smartypants.

Now if I’d known that I would someday rule a country (one, apparently, where they ride around on motorcycles with crocodiles) I might not have spent the better part of my 20s getting my doctorate in Snarkology and Lobotomology at Spankytown University, my alma mater. But be that as it may, I know now, and I intend to rule my realm with an iron fist.

Among my first proclamations:

1. Henceforth, all crocodiles must wear protective helmets when riding motorcycles.

2. As Dr Pepper does make the world taste better, it shall be available in all establishments that offer beverages. Pibb Xtra is not an acceptable substitute.

3. Jon Stewart shall be my prince–no arguments.

4. The new national anthem shall be the theme song from “The Jeffersons” because if I have to have it stuck in my head all the time then so should everyone else.

5. To hell with the natural balance; I want armadillos, wombats, badgers, and platypuses to run wild in my country. And I want citrus trees. And no spiders.

6. Ultra-low-rise pants will not be sold or worn in my country. In fact, better just ban Abercrombie & Fitch altogether.

7. New holidays: John Cusack Day, Marshmallow Fluff Day, and all Wednesdays (so people will be sure to be home in time to watch “Lost”).

8. As our first act of aggression, Smartypantslandia will declare war on George W. Bush. Not America—just Bush. The entire military force of Smartypantslandia (which I’m guessing is just me and a bunch of Harley-riding crocodiles) will descend on the White House, stick George’s head in the toilet, and give him swirlies until he agrees to stop being an idiot.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I was really nervous about being royalty at first, but now I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ll be sure to invite you all to my coronation.

June 19, 2005

Merciful cheese curds of Cher!: Perhaps I have too much free time

I was sitting at work on Friday getting very frustrated with things and muttering an exotic variety of swear words when I decided that what my site really needed was a Random Exclamation Generator. Just the thought improved my mood 100 percent for the rest of the afternoon. So anyhoo, Friday night Larry did the programming and I did the list making and next thing you know, hey goody, we have random exclamations!

It wouldn’t be worth a post except that Larry pointed out that some of you
may not go to the home page because you’re using a bookmark or something,
so…it’s on the home page. Here.

A few of my favorites so far:

Flaming honey pots of depravity!

Great festering pork rinds of Hades!

Oh, malodorous narwhal of Zanzibar!

If nothing else I expect this will keep Erin amused at work for some time.  Enjoy! ]

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