Category: humor

The Secret of the Kneaded Eraser

They’re squishy and funny and oh-so magical! They’re the kneaded eraser (or kneaded rubber, depending on where you’re from). I was first introduced to these little beauties in college, where they were required supplies for all freshmen art students. At first, I was confused by this blob of grey. What good could this vaguely marshmallow smelling glop do? And then, somehow, after erasing with it, the graphite would magically disappear as I pulled and squished the eraser with a baker’s fervor!

The Secret?
Kneaded erasers are a type of rubber which has been left in its uncured (or unvulcanized) state. Rubber as an industrial material is usually cured with pumice or other substances to make it hard and more durable for use as tires, erasers on pencils, etc. And to think, we were once using bread as erasers before smart forest folk came along and discovered the uses of tree rubber!

The Uses of the Kneaded Eraser
A kneaded eraser has a thousand and one different uses. Here are some of the more popular uses.

Erasing – The primary use. Kneaded erasers are great for lifting up charcoal and lightening color pencil and graphite pencil lines. They’re not known for being able to erase heavy lines due to their softness, but they’re great for creating faded lines and soft effects.

Bouncy Balls – You can roll it into a ball and bounce it around when you’re bored! It’s not abnormally good at bouncing in any predictable direction, but hey when you’re bored, anything is entertaining!

Lewd Sculptures – Once the bouncy ball has ceased to be entertaining, you can make two of them to form a silly pair of eyeballs that look like bewbies! Or try your hand at trying to make a tiny person! Only the most awesome of kneaded eraser sculptors have been able to achieve this monument to miniatureism. You can even have a kneaded eraser tea party!

Pranks – Stick it in someone’s chair for a laugh. There’s nothing like an eraser stuck to someone’s bum to tickle your funny bone! Warning!: you should only do this to friends as a stranger that’s bigger than you might take offense!

Stress Relief – Pretend the eraser is the head of someone you are really annoyed by! Stretching, tearing, pulling it apart, and threatening to torture it if it should refuse to tell you the location of the rebel base are great ways to de-stress AND to clean your eraser at the same time! You can also release some stress by playing fun games like 벳무브.

Warning, however, that these erasers are not immortal (just nearly). Once they become dark and hard, they are too saturated with graphite to work and may actually leave marks instead of erasing them! An article writer on wikipedia suggests washing the eraser in dish-washing liquid, but I have yet to try this myself.

So what have you done with your kneaded erasers, these days?

SOURCES:
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/kneaded+eraser

http://www.answers.com/topic/eraser

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneaded_eraser

The New Improved Kooky Character Quiz!

With as stressy as things have been getting lately with deadlines and such, I thought we could use a break with something completely different! So I present to you, the new, improved kooky character quiz! Be warned! Your characters will never be the same again!


Character Name:
Age:
Species/Race:
Piercings/Tattoos:

1. What kind of modern music would your character like? Any specific group or band? Or would they hate music?

2. If your character had a theme song, what specific pre-existing song would it be?

3. If your character had a speaking or singing voice, what actor or singer would they sound like? Can your character sing at all?

4. If you were to cast a movie of your character’s story, what actor would play them?

5. If your character could play an instrument, what would it be?

6. What is their favorite meal?

7. If your character was in a high school drama, what subject in school would they have been the best in? What about the worst?

8. What normal, everyday job would your character have if he or she were in modern times?

9. What would their favorite hobby be if they were in normal, every-day, modern times?

10. What pasta or fruit could your character’s endowments be compared to? (ie. For guys: angel hair noodle, penne, thick spaghetti, etc. For gals, apples, melons, watermelons, etc. Hey…just answer the question!)


And here are a couple of my own characters to answer the call!

Character Name: Aurora Adonai
Age: 20’s
Species/Race: Cybernetic Elf (Goblinized Human)
Piercings/Tattoos: Tons mostly along the ear lobes. Aury’s fully tattooed on her stomach, face, wrists, shoulders, and ankles. No ‘secret’ tattoos or piercings to speak of.

1. What kind of modern music would your character like? Any specific group or band? Or would they hate music?

Aurora would probably like lots of angry, angsty screaming rock and metal or monotonous with a hard beat, like trance and techno that she could lose herself to dancing. Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Metallica, Paul Oakenfold.

2. If your character had a theme song, what specific pre-existing song would it be?

Too many to count on Aurora’s Playlist, but if I had to limit to one song, Haunted by Evanescence.

3. If your character had a speaking or singing voice, what actor or singer would they sound like? Can your character sing at all?

Angelina has the perfect voice and way of speaking for Aurora (well when she’s not doing a horrid accent a la Beowulf). Angelina can yell with the best of them and she’s good at taking on a dark, cutting tone when insulted (see Girl, Interrupted for the best example).

4. If you were to cast a movie of your character’s story, what actor would play them?

Angelina Jolie, of course. She has that sort of self-destructive anger and beauty combined with a sensual, deadly aura that’s just perfect. Alternatively, Kira Knightley MIGHT work, but Angelina would be my first choice (and yes, I have thought about this more than a person should).

5. If your character could play an instrument, what would it be?

Something to get all her anger and violence out, like drums.

6. What is their favorite meal?

She loooves the taste of beef, but is allergic to it, being an Elf. Therefore, her favorite meal is a Caesar Salad.

7. If your character was in a high school drama, what subject in school would they have been the best in? What about the worst?

Tough one. She sucks at cooking, drawing, and just about anything dealing with domestic skills. She is rather interested in dance and martial arts so the closest equivalent would be Physical Education. Her worst topic would definitely be Home Economics.

8. What normal, everyday job would your character have if he or she were in modern times?

Pretty much what she does in her own universe: Waitress, Exotic Dancer, and/or Bounty Hunter.

9. What would their favorite hobby be if they were in normal, every-day, modern times?

The same hobby she has in her universe: Reading comic books and collecting swords and guns!

10. What pasta or fruit could your character’s endowments be compared to? (ie. For guys: angel hair noodle, penne, thick spaghetti, etc. For gals, apples, melons, watermelons, etc. Hey…just answer the question!)

A decent set of modest sized melons!


Character Name: Ry Phirunaden
Age: 200’s
Species/Race: Elf (Half Fae, Half Human Descent)
Piercings/Tattoos: Tattooed on the biceps with the military emblem of his unit. In an older design, he had “Have Ye Merry Day” tattooed somewhere, but I’m not sure if that still stands or not. It’d make a nice tattoo across the buttocks.

1. What kind of modern music would your character like? Any specific group or band? Or would they hate music?

Being a bouncy fellow who likes a good jig to dance to, I can see Ry liking Swing and Jazz and possibly some techno. The serious side of him would probably enjoy a good classic ballad as well. I will forever associate him with Cherry Poppin’ Daddies thanks to Windfalcon.

2. If your character had a theme song, what specific pre-existing song would it be?

Again, When I Change Your Mind by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

3. If your character had a speaking or singing voice, what actor or singer would they sound like? Can your character sing at all?

Hands down, Ry would completely sound like Iarla Ó Lionáird from Afro Celt Sound System. Ry’s a rather accomplished singer, despite appearances

4. If you were to cast a movie of your character’s story, what actor would play them?

Torn on this one. Seann William Scott has the look, but I prefer the more tongue and cheek sarcasm of James Marsters as Spike.

5. If your character could play an instrument, what would it be?

A fiddle or violin suits Ry and his propensity for breaking out into song to pass the time.

6. What is their favorite meal?

An Ale and YOU, baby!

7. If your character was in a high school drama, what subject in school would they have been the best in? What about the worst?

He would have been good on the Track team and one of the sexy popular Drama class students who sells drugs on the side to afford a nice car and to date a different chick every night of the week. And maybe he’d be in Band too. Worst topic would be History.

8. What normal, everyday job would your character have if he or she were in modern times?

The high class Drug Dealer and Conman conning old ladies out of their money and selling Weed to their husbands.

9. What would their favorite hobby be if they were in normal, every-day, modern times?

His job IS his hobby, in addition to womanizing.

10. What pasta or fruit could your character’s endowments be compared to? (ie. For guys: angel hair noodle, penne, thick spaghetti, etc. For gals, apples, melons, watermelons, etc. Hey…just answer the question!)

A robust penne!

Temporary Amnesia

Quickie Updates

  • I’ve just reserved the name Angelic Shades L.L.C. with my county. Just one step closer to actually registering the business! Just have to do a little MOAR RESEARCH first.
  • How anti-climactic. I’ve just received my Masters degree in Arts Administration in the mail…after being graduated for almost a year now. Margarita time!
  • In another miracle of productivity involving two sleepless nights, I’ve completed my entry for DA’s Bring Your Vision to Life contest. I doubt I have a snowball’s chance in HFIL but it was fun to be able to enter a contest. I normally watch them pass by and long for the free time it takes to enter.

Now, on to the post…

After drawing about 10 faces and heads for a tutorial, it occurred to me that I had randomly forgotten how to draw ears. It’s true, I know what an ear looks like. I see them on my head, and the heads of other people, every day…and yet, I just could not draw the ear properly for the life of me, which was not so conducive to getting a tutorial on drawing heads completed.

This has happened to me before when I’ll look down in complete horror at a sketch and realize that a character’s head is two times too big or he has the hands of a greyback gorilla instead of the masculine handsome hands I was aiming for.

It’s not that I don’t know what hands look like and that I don’t know how to draw them, I just seemed incapable of drawing that particular feature on that particular day.

What causes this widespread phenomena amongst artists? Is it a matter of merely being out of practice at minuscule details? Is there some invisible gremlin muse sitting on the ends of our pencils laughing maniacally as he forces our pencil to make the wrong choice of curvature? Perhaps we’ve merely forgotten at that specific moment of time where all of our previous practice and training vanishes thanks to temporary amnesia?

Or maybe it’s the margaritas? (I swear I wasn’t drinking one when this first started occurring today!)

The mind boggles and I blame J.J. Abrams just because I can.

Anyone else suffer from this condition? Share your tales of woe so that we may lament together in our temporary ineptitude!