• How I Art Good

    I was asked this evening “how do you constantly take pretty pictures that don’t look forced or awkward? HOW DO YOU ART SO GOOD?!?!”

    Before I say anything else, I would like to commend the asker on her use of “art” as a verb. Because, really, it is. It’s an action, a process. The finished product is where it becomes a noun, but first you have to get there. You run a run. You jump a jump. And you art your art.

    As to how I art so good, there are a lot of answers to that.  I hardly consider myself the be-all and end-all of models, but I am asked often enough for advice on the subject that I feel qualified to give some.  So here it is, with the hope that you, my dearly appreciated readers, will glean something useful from it. read more

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  • The Avenging Dark Chocolate Bacon Scourge Bundt of Doom

    As many of you know, November 15 is National Bundt Cake Day.  Last year, I participated in an online roundup put together by a food blogger who then turned around and did something I find not only completely uncool and unforgivable, but also not at all in keeping with the spirit of something as fun and frivolous as the celebration of Bundt.

    Seriously.  It’s a day dedicated to cake.  We’re not curing cancer here.  We’re not engaged in a particularly noble pursuit with lasting benefits to all mankind.  We’re just baking some fucking cakes.

    So the bad taste left over from last year’s NBCD celebration, combined with the fact that apparently I don’t get to see any damn hockey this year, put me in rather a more violent mood than is my usual when I’m about to make a cake.  read more

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  • What I Learned from Helen Gurley Brown

    I have never purchased a copy of Cosmopolitan in my life.  In fact, it has rarely done anything other than annoy me with its covers featuring too-perfect women, too good to be true “lifestyle tips”, too far beyond the average budget “must haves”, its constant subtle implications that, happy though I may think myself, I could be doing better.  Nay, I should be doing better.

    However, it must be said that the work of Helen Gurley Brown has had a profound impact on me and the way I live my life, an impact that has so far spanned 25+ years and will no doubt continue as long as I do.  I first read Sex and the Single Girl as a teenager, back in the 80’s.  I have reread it several times since then.  And not a day goes by that I don’t apply something I learned from that book to something I am doing that day.  I’m not single, and I’m no longer really a “girl” in the youthful sense of the word, but the lessons still apply, some even more so now than they did when I was younger and on my own. read more

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  • Things That Are Not Artistic Nudes

    I spend quite a bit of time on deviantART, scouting out content for The Poetic Pinup Revue.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the job, and it has netted some truly beautiful images that might not have found their way to our pages otherwise.

    However, it must be said that for every gem uncovered, there are several layers of non-gemlike material to be got through first, and the majority of them are found in dA’s “Artistic Nudes” category.  Granted, they only wind up there for lack of a more suitable category, such as “Porn by People Who Do Not Have the Balls to Admit Their Work is Porn” or even a more general “Photos of Nipples and Genitals with Little Else to Recommend Them” but, while I will never tell another artist what to create, the following really don’t qualify as “Artistic Nudes”. read more

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  • A Niche is Supposed to be a Good Thing

    Once upon a while back, I read and refrained from joining in on a conversation about required sizes of digital images for quality print.  One individual insisted that 300 dpi and 72 dpi are exactly the same thing and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    Yeah.  I’ll let you absorb that for a moment.

    Party B said “um… no” and proceeded to explain why.  Party A refused to listen, and Party C, on whose page this conversation was taking place, finally said “hey, let’s just cite artistic difference and end this”.  Wise party, that C.  C was wrong, of course, but at least the conversation ended.

    It has recently been brought to my attention that someone of the Party A school is starting a magazine.  And their “niche” will be not requiring high-resolution images. read more

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  • The ‘Editor’ vs. ‘MagCloud Profiteer’ Quiz

    I have written before my opinions of the impact of print-on-demand publishing on the magazine world, both for the better and for the worse. Before I go any further, I would like to state one thing very clearly: I will never be against any outlet that provides creative people the opportunity to get their work into the world without requiring any financial outlay upfront. Ever. And because print-on-demand publishing provides exactly that, I am not against it, per se.

    However, some of the people who, as a result of that outlet, are now running around bearing the self-granted titles of “editor” and “publisher” are frankly starting to piss me off just a bit. So, here’s a little quiz, some basics that really should be covered before you give yourself a title like that. read more

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  • Dear Diet Karma; We Need to Talk

    Dear Diet Karma,

    I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but it’s a new year now and I feel the time has come for us to set those differences aside and work together toward a common end.  Specifically, my end.  The rear one.

    The standard science behind the loss and gain of weight is, of course, the ratio of caloric intake to caloric burn.  But the details of that seem to contain inconsistencies; for instance, number of calories in pure fat vs. body fat.  Not telling you how to do your job, just saying there’s obviously room for some discretionary allowances on your part.  That being said, I would like to request that I be given a weight-gain pass on consumption of the following items: read more

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  • Chuck Norris, My Kitchen Needs You

    The other day, my holiday task du jour was to reduce 3 1/2 pounds of whole dates to a mush the texture of which would hold a spherical shape when mixed with brandy and covered with chocolate. It is my third year making this particular confection, having met with varying degrees of success in previous attempts, all of which were delicious, if not texturally and structurally ideal.

    The first year, my Black & Decker 750 watt blender proved unequal to this task; the motor is powerful enough to pull a wagon holding three small children and a medium pig, but the blade assembly is badly angled for food chopping. I did not blame the blender, and quietly reassured it that as long as it continued to make me margaritas, it would always have a place in my home and heart. I finished the job with a large knife and some of the most exquisite strings of profanity ever uttered in my kitchen, already planning how different things would be next time. read more

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  • Crustless Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

    It was a very quiet Thanksgiving this year, and the thing I found myself most thankful for was the understanding of my loved ones when I said what I wanted more than anything this year was to decline all of their invitations and just stay home. It’s been that sort of month.

    I made a relatively small dinner, with one token green vegetable and far too many potatoes. I wanted dessert, but I didn’t want pie. Actually, let me clarify; if someone had shown up on my doorstep with pie, “OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE WITH THAT GET AWAY FROM ME NOW AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” would serve as a fine example of the exact opposite of my reaction. I wanted pie just fine. What I didn’t want was to make pie. read more

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  • Tiramisu Bundt with Orange Mascarpone Glaze

    Last year at about this time, my dear sister brought to my attention that November 15th is National Bundt Cake Day. A blogger known as The Food Librarian celebrates the occasion with a month-long Bundt-baking spree and encourages others to share photos and stories of the Bundts they bake. Dear Sis and I had planned to do this together, but since she was not around to bake a Bundt yesterday (she was in Italy, poor thing), I decided to go ahead on my own. Tiramisu being one of my favorite things ever, I wanted to try to capture the essence of it in a Bundt. For a first attempt of a new recipe, it was pretty darned not too bad. This recipe will be adjusted during future bakings, but here’s what happened in my kitchen yesterday.
    read more

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  • Professional Courtesy 101

    Print-on-demand magazine publishing has created a fantastic opportunity for creative people to get their work on paper and into the world. It’s like the Internet equivalent of a wealthy benefactor; you invest your time and creative energies in a project, and someone else picks up the tab.

    Unfortunately, unlike an actual wealthy benefactor, print-on-demand publishing requires no real accountability and, as a result, professional conduct is falling further and further by the wayside. read more

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  • Decisions, decisions…

    I’ve pondered this for a while now, and I just can’t decide which is funnier:

    Apple, using a song about a woman who is disgusted with people who think money and fancy toys prove they are better than everyone else, to sell iPods

    OR

    Lincoln, using a song about a man who dies when his vehicle fails as a result of faulty technology, to sell cars

    Deciding which large corporation’s advertising to mock never used to be this challenging.
     
     
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