Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who will be the bigger man?

i'm pleased that the president was able to admit that he could have handled his part in this rising debate a different way. here's hoping the two main parties involved in the debacle will admit to their unfortunate contributions.

Obama Shifts Tone on Gates After Mulling Debate
, by Peter Baker & Helene Cooper, New York Times

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WAM express rolls on

as my internship at the Worcester Art Museum continues my first day of picking up and dropping off 32 kids from the projects and surrounding areas of Worcester turned out to be massive fun, but really stressful. i did manage to find my cell left behind in one of the seats of the bus. i'm sure it fell out of my hoodie pocket as i was moving from seat to seat, trying to get a feel for what the kids enjoyed and disliked most about their art classes. some of the students were so shy, others hardly spoke english. but through facial expressions and some of the masterpieces they prepared to bring home i think i managed to get a good idea that today was a good start for the WAM scholarship 2 week semester. i rode the bus, coordinating many things at once, but mostly hyping the kids up into a frenzy for learning, painting, drawing, and sculpting. i ran into a small problem when the two bus drivers (one was training the soon-to-be-regular driver, nancy, who smelled of cat pee) decided they wanted to chat and be my friend as much as the kids did. and while flattering, i felt as though my focus should be placed on the inspiring pupils who were more than willing to share aspects of their life, culture, and dazzling artwork. hopefully the drivers and i, along with my supervisors alex and suzzanne, have come up with a more complete and less daunting bus route and we'll have less chance of error tomorrow (some parents didn't have their kids at the designated spots, others we missed and had to turn around for). i also hope that i'll be home at the agreed upon 4:30pm, not 5:30pm. that and that nancy will remember to pick me up at 8:45am, not 9:15am, so i'll not be stuck standing in the rain. i need to buy an umbrella ...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Whitney houston is making a comeback!

among the many artist I grew up with that influenced me, whitney houston is one of the top! check out the latest of her upcoming comeback on her website - more is sure to follow!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reviews, comics

i posted these reviews to the latest issues of Ms. Marvel and Wonder Woman that i've read, plus you can check out all previous issues of both series.

Ms. Marvel #41 Review

Wonder Woman #33 Review

Is sarah palin news worthy?

Palin's Route to Resignation: Missteps and Ignored Advice, NEW YORK TIMES

is sarah palin still news worthy? was she was ever? it's no lie, i've had little respect for the woman because of her political views and her actions (which sometimes seemed hypocratical), but i'm amazed at how much media attention she's still getting after she and mccain lost the presidential race. does palin's resignation mean she's done with politics (please!) or is there some darker scheme for more media attention? one things for certain, palin definitely loved the spotlight, even if it didn't love her.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Arabian fashion takes over

From Paris/Chic of Araby, by stefano tonchi

i’m surprised it’s taken so long for designers to take notice! parts of each piece i enjoy, others i’m indifferent to, but overall i don’t hate this collection. i wonder if these types of fashions will catch on now or later. i guarantee if not now, we'll definitely be seeing them again in the future.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Check out this article

i'm so pleased the people of iran are actually being heard. i hope the iranian government gets some clear sense and does the right thing soon. alright, alright -- but here's hoping! check this out,

Clerical Leaders Defy Ayotollah on Iran Election, by michael slackman

Farewell mr. jackson ...

it's hard to believe that michael jackson has died at the age of 50. as i was pounding away on the treadmill thinking of the million concerns i have to think about, i couldn't help but notice the wide screen tv above in front of me. it was displaying the millions of fans flocking to michael's memorial service to be held later this afternoon.

say what you will about the megastar entertainer, despite the many discussions of controversy surrounding him, one or more of michael's songs touched us and still sends us back to a better place in our memories. to my generation this could be compared to what the death of elvis was for my parents' generation. i still remember practicing the dance moves from the Beat It video, or being absolutely terrified of the Thriller song (vincent price has the most chilling laugh at the close!) oh, and one halloween my little brother dressed up as michael when he was six - an amazing costume with face paint put together by my aunt.

farewell, mr. jackson - thanks for so many great times!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A review, book

a local comic book shop was having a major sale on graphic novels so i jumped at the chance at grabbing as many books as i could without too severely affected my wallet. the first book i grabbed was, Teen Titans Spotlight: Cyborg, by mark sable, ken lashley, and several other artists. i've been an avid reader of the '80s series from dc comics, The New Teen Titans, since i first started reading comics when i was 7 or 8 (maybe younger). the titans started out with robin, wonder girl, and kid flash (to name just a few) as a group of proteges and sidekicks to the world's greatest heroes that formed in the '60s, but were revived with others teen heroes whose identities were all their own (meaning no direct ties to batman, wonder woman, or the flash). 1 of these new young heroes was street smart, african american, half man, half machine, victor stone, also known as cyborg! now, almost 2 decades later, this unique hero was given a 6 issue miniseries, collected in graphic novel form.

upon first read, half way through, i have to say i was disappointed. i wasn't sure if it was the passing, the large amount of characters, or the less than tight graphics of lashley and others. a brief history of cyborg is replayed, but updated to fit more modern times, this time it's revealed that vic, the son of two scientists, is actually born with an iq of 170, but rejects his father's strict ways by excelling in sports and befriending the leader of a local gang. this leader, ron evers, becomes vic's best friend until a gang conflict almost kills vic and results with ron being incarcerated. as the story progresses a lab explosion kills vic's mother while he is horribly scarred and maimed. the only way for vic's father to save his life is to replace his scarred tissue and missing limbs and transform him into a half man / half machine, but what vic refers to as, "a monster." in a complicated series of events ron becomes an anti-war terrorist and seeks vic's, now cyborg's, aid to destroy the work of vic's father, which is apparently being used for war purposes. betraying his friend's trust, cyborg attempts to stop the terrorist group, but accidentally becomes responsible for the supposed death of ron. soon after, cyborg joins the teen titans, and the rest of history.

flash forward to the present and the story becomes complicated, involving both the adult titans (former teen titans like cyborg, now adults and heroes in their own right), and the current team of teen titans (a new robin, a new wonder girl, etc). These 2 teams of heroes become involved in the rescue of vic's exgirlfriend, sarah charles, a well-known robot technician for s.t.a.r. labs., and her fiance, deshaun (no last name). sarah and deshaun were in the process of being married, with vic as the best man (despite his obvious discomfort), but when cyborg fails to show to the chapel they fear he's found out an unrevealed secret the 2 share. cut to s.t.a.r. labs where cyborg is ready to strangle sarah (still in her wedding dress) after he has blown noticable holes in the s.t.a.r. building. the titans (all of them) fail to stop cyborg who's programming has all of their weaknesses preprogrammed in his computer systems. sarah explains to nightwing (formerly robin), that she and deshaun were using the work of vic's father to help ambutees, but that it was also being used to build super soldiers as human weapons. the goverment is also grafting cyborg's design to superhuman creatures, as well as cloning these abominations. in the midst of battle, a second cyborg steps forward, the real victor stone, and the rampaging cyborg is revealed to be none other than, ron evers!

ron is no match for vic who's spent years updating his father's work, making his cyborg systems all his own and virtually unstoppable. ron surrends to the real cyborg and offers to show his former friend the real truth by allowing vic acces to his memory banks. vic learns that ron and other soliders have been black mailed into becoming mercinaries for the american goverment by a man named, orr. fellow titan, raven, teleports cyborg to a warzone where these soliders, called the phantom limbs, are embroiled in defeating terrorists of some foreign nation. meanwhile the titans face an onslaught of creature clones all armed with cyborg like technology that have been activated by the mysterious orr. before vic can convince the phantom limbs to rescend their robotic parts, orr enters the battlefield with a victor stone cyborg from the distant future and a team of super villains (dubbed the "cyborg revenge squad") all with a hate for the present cyborg. the future cyborg has been manipulated into stopping his past self to ensure his future and that of his super soldier army survives. after a titanic battle, current cyborg manages to use his opponents abilities against one other and stand triumphant.

by tale's end, sarah and deshaun are finally married after giving their resignation to s.t.a.r. labs, ron and the other phantom limbs are given harmless prothstetics, the titans destroy the cloning factory, vic reveals to orr that he discovered a back door to the cyborg systems and his plans for control are over, and that cyborg 2.0 is totally deactivated (or dead).

a lot to take in right? remember, i've followed this character since cyborg's creation, but i can't possibly understand how a new reader could follow all of this. that's not to say it wouldn't be enjoyable, but even i got frusterated midway and decided to reread so i could better follow the thought process of the writer. the story is told through cyborg's eye, but it still didn't feel real enough, there wasn't enough of an emotional impact. i respect the level of action and the amount of characters that were tied into the basic plot, the majority of which actually had a true purpose, and all of who were written to character (compared to the other titles that star in). i would absolutely reccomend this to any long time titans fan, but for someone simply craving an action packed adventure -- pass.

3 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Music that makes me move

after nearly floating away in the floods of the highway and streets between boston and worcester even a hot shower failed to calm my nerves. so i compiled this list of tunes to get me motivated to move! you'll notice each video's eccentric style - all have, in one shape or form, inspired me in my artwork.

1. speak 'n spell, elin lanto

2. love at first sight, kylie minogue

3. heads will roll, yeah yeah yeahs

4. day n night, kid cudi

5. all for you, janet jackson

6. heavy cross, the gossip

7. rock with you, janet jackson

8. i believe in you, kylie minogue

9. magic, robin thicke

10. no more i love yous, annie lennox

11. automatic, ultra nate

12. love game, lady gaga

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Family focus

the last several weeks i've noticed myself focused on the values and relationships of families. growing up, i was very close to mine and have many, many wonderful memories from my childhood. but over time, the family has grown apart. i feel as though i've done my part by trying to keep close the ties that bind us, but it can only work if all parties participate. the same can be said for my friendships from college and for the most part, both groups and i communicate in one form or another. what i find strange about my family is how differently we function from others, particularly those of the men i've dated.

i've dated 3 men long term, 1 i am currently and the other 2 were 4 plus year relationships. i'm sure many blogs will mention these relationships because i've learned so much from all. but in this instance allow me to focus on their closeness to their families, some of who are countries apart. all of us have relatives we're embarrassed about, but because of blood ties, we do our part to remain tolerant. i'm not sure my family is quite as proficient with this, but with rob, mikee, and alex they stand by their families no matter what. and there's been some crazy sh!t to make anyone want to avoid further drama. I can understand why these ties are so tight despite madness, but i'm a little unsure how i feel about this compared to my own experience.

the devotion to family was recently brought up in the latest story arc in the Wonder Woman comic book. the title character's mother, queen hippolyta, has gone to extreme lengths to ensure the safety of her daughter, until her efforts eventually backfired and she was indirectly involved in the death of the princess. wonder woman was eventually resurrected, and the queen continues to strive to carry out her intense devotion to her only child, but it surprises me how these stories in ways reflect the reality i have seen with said partners. hmm, maybe it's just the bond between parents (mothers?) and their children, or maybe it's a sense of tradition that proves the test of time.

i wonder how i should feel knowing my family has divided into diverging paths while others that i have become closely involved with remain so heavily connected. i hate to think that it is death of a loved one or some other monumental crisis that will pull us together, however briefly, to be the ingredient to reuniting what was once a band of friends and compatriots. this certainly seems the case on tv and in magazines with the recent death of well-known celebrities. i myself have already set out to create a surrogate family of my own with my dog and friends - have i missed an important lesson from rob, mikee, and alex? am i being counter productive by doing this when i strive to keep the lines of communication open among the family i started with? it's late and i find i have no definitive answer, rather a bleakness as i search for the exact type of feeling i should have. i do find myself thinking about the future and hoping for more.

A start

hello, bonjour, hola, and 'sup? my name is steven derrick, "steve" to some, "taco" to others and i've decided to keep an online journal of my life of past and present experience as the shape my life and my goal to become a better person. what exactly does that mean? i guess you'll have to keep reading.

we didn't choose to be what we are. and it could be argued that this life choose us. we live it. with all its changes & challenges. graduation day