Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Snow

(© 2009 Jen Tucker)

I can't lie.  I was really looking forward to a snow day.  We don't get them very often here in Oklahoma.  It's one of those rare delights that show up every 4 or 5 years.  Sometimes it takes even longer.  So when there is a serious chance of one, I get excited.  Why, you ask?

Snow days mean creativity peaks.  There is something magical about snow.  It has a creative energy to it for me.  Much like thunderstorm days in the spring and the height of summer.  There is a magic energy there.

So, when I get a snow day, it means a super productive creative explosion will come about.  The day flips.  I  sleep in, get up, eat, bathe, and start.  Somewhere around 3 AM, I step outside for a break to utter silence and the smell of a white blanketed earth.  The snow reflects light in a very unique way that absolutely nothing else does.

The feel of creative exhaustion is a wonderful feeling.  Unlike the exhaustion of the J-O-B, which just continues to try and break my soul.  So, yeah, I wanted that snow day.  I needed it.  All our funds have completely dried up and it looks as though there will be no MAY trip to Spectrum or KCMO after all.  I have yet to scrape together enough to get the dog her annual shots.  So, again, yeah, I really wanted/needed that snow day.

I didn't get it.  The snow gods forsake me.  However, we did get to go home at 1:30 PM yesterday.   Even the chance that we could get a snow day elicited creativity from me. I created.  I tried something new.  I let the art just take me on it's own journey.  Sadly, I didn't start until 8 PM.  I stayed up far too late and today...I'm exhausted and a little miffed about not getting my snow day.  At the same time, I'm a little excited.   Enough creative energy came about that I did something that inspired more from me.

Let's hope that continues.  And maybe, just maybe, that wasn't the last chance this Winter for a Snow day.

(© 2009 Jen Tucker)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Star Wars is Forever.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard about this.
I love the Science Museum, but I can't handle the stress and noise level when their are hundreds of children set loose inside.  Having this for people 21 and up was an awesome idea!

Star Wars at the Science Museum!  

Let me tell you a little story from my childhood.  A memory that I will never forget.  In 1983, my Mom and Dad took us to Ada, OK to see the final Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi.  I'm pretty sure it was opening weekend or maybe the second weekend.  We didn't go to the movies often, but we had managed to make it to see the other two Star Wars films.  I was three when I saw the first one.

This was the last one though.  Everything had said so.  I knew that going in, but in my heart I didn't want it to be the end of Star Wars.  You see, since I was three, I had come to absolutely love Star Wars.  I had decided that I would indeed grow up to be a Jedi Knight and take the last name of Skywalker.

I was going to learn to use the Force.

So the thought of all of this ending...well, honestly it broke my heart.  Still, I was excited.  Nervous and excited.  I absolutely adored Luke Skywalker.  He was my first crush.  I was so worried he might meet his end in this movie.

We stood in line for a while and then into the theater.  No one gave away anything in line.  I remember being impressed seeing Luke in all black and so confident.  I was worried he might be too confident.

I remember thinking that Princess Leia was so brave to dress as a bounty hunter and how cool it was that she saved Han and not the other way around.

I remember my brother crying out when Boba Fett met his demise.

Most of all though, I remember how hard I cried when Darth Vader picked up the Emperor and tossed him into the abyss.  I remember I kept crying when Luke took off his mask.  And cried even harder when he lit the pyre.  And when I thought I couldn't cry any harder, I did as the credits rolled and I realized it was truly really all over.

This might be when I realized things end.  Everything eventually ends.  

Little did I know that Star Wars wouldn't.  If I traveled back in time and told 9 year old me, that one day, in 2013, I would attend a cool Star Wars Science Museum event with my smoking hot soulmate who also totally digs Star Wars and loves me for who I am,  and that Star Wars would only get bigger and better, I wouldn't have believed it.

Well, maybe I would've.  I believed anything was possible at that age.  I sort of still do.

Still, sometimes I think about that moment.  How very sad 9 year old me was.  I mourned for months.  I continued making stories when I played with my figures.  Sometimes though, you just don't know.  You can't know, what the future will bring.  I wasn't the only 9 year old kid who didn't want it to end.  I wasn't the only one determined in my heart to make sure it continued.  Nope, there were so many of us, that we just kept it going.  We wrote novels about it.  Comics. Created art about it.  Some of us became Scientists that would go on to try and recreated that prosthetic hand Luke had.  Some of us engineers, determined to create a real droid or even a lightsaber.

Humans can be amazing.  We have the power to keep things alive and to do so much good.  To make the future into a beautiful amazing thing.  It doesn't have to be this dystopic, broken sad thing we keep being shown.  It can be full of science and technology and droids and x-wings and lightsabers if we want it to.

Star Wars is forever.  If we want it to be.

May the Force Be With you...Always.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pony Patches!

Have a hoodie or a shirt or a blanket that you think would be perfect with your favorite My Little Pony's cutie mark stuck on it?  

You are in luck!

Entertainment Earth has all the popular pony cutie marks!

Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinky Pie, and more!

$3.99 each.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Stuff Works for the Highly Educated

I have a whole lot of friends with Masters Degrees.  Some with PhD's.  There are jokes about how too many letters after your name can cause all of your common sense to erode.  You get totally focused on one area and everything else just disappears out of your head.  There are also numerous jokes about how people with Higher education experience might be able to get across complex ideas, but have no idea how to air up a tire.  Most of these are pokes and exaggerations, but sometimes...well, sometimes you run across someone who reinforces these stereotypes.

While my full time real work is being an artist and writer, I haven't been able to pull in enough income yet to quit my day job.  To make certain I can pay all the bills, I still have an 8 to 5 desk job.  At a University.

My official title is Staff Assistant II, although my fancy business cards that my superior ordered label me as Admin.Asst./Receptionist.  Interesting, isn't it? Administrative Assistants get paid WAY MORE than I do.

Anyhoo, I've decided that there might be a need for a "How Stuff Works in Your Department" post now and then for some of the folks I encounter at this day job.  It started with the antiquated and ancient boiler system we have in this building.  Apparently all 100+ M.A. and PhD.'s have no understanding of a boiler or how one works.  Despite some of them being so ancient I'm pretty sure they witnessed the invention of the wheel.

Now, it's not even necessarily that I believe everyone should know exactly how every gizmos works, although admittedly I am shocked at how incredibly uneducated these people are when it comes to things that are pretty much commonplace and all around them on a daily basis.  

The thing that really gets me is when they come to you in a huff or panic and you try to calmly explain to them why what they want to happen is impossible or unnecessary and you try to explain to them why by educating them.  They are educators, right?  They will appreciate knowledge, correct? No.

Today I had someone come to me and strongly suggest I call the Physical Plant for a loose Fire Alarm.  Sounds reasonable.  So I go look.  The mounting screws had simply pulled loose from the wall.  It just needed remounted, which was no biggie and an easy fix.  So I fixed it.  That, however wasn't good enough for this person.  They wanted me to "call it in".  

Let me stop right here and explain something that some of you might not understand.  I know a few of you who read my blog are Professors.  Every time I call someone to come fix something the Department gets charged.  It's like $60 an hour or something crazy.  So, if I can fix it myself, I do.  $60 for some loose screws seems a little silly to me.

Now, back to the story.  I tried to assure this person, who had now felt the need to involve another person as back up, that there was no need to worry.  The electricity had not been cut and the line was not damaged.  It simply needed remounted.  The mounting screws had no impact on the inner working of the actual alarm.  If the power had been cut to it or if there was any interruption in the power to the unit, we would have known immediately.  That's what makes a fire alarm sound.  When you pull the lever down, it interrupts the electric current and that interruption causes the firebox to recognize there is something wrong and to start the beeps and flashing lights that let people know to get out.

Instead of listening, now this person and his sidekick begin to talk over me and insist that it must be broken and I should call it in.  I just smiled, said "It's fine.  The electric line wasn't damaged.  It just needed remounted." and walked away.  The angry sidekick had to get the last word and shouted loudly down the hall, "Well, I hope there isn't a fire!"


If there was, that would set off the alarm in a different way.  Not to mention, that seriously, the mounting frame and screws have absolutely nothing to do with the functionality of the alarm.  

I couldn't help but think of those PhD and Master's jokes.  I shook my head and returned to my desk.

So, in the future, when I get befuddled by the lack of understanding and talked over and completely disrespected, I am going to write a post about it.  Maybe you guys can help me understand why people don't want to listen or understand.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The newest album from Tegan and Sara is fantastic.  I liked them somewhat before, but this new album is seriously tight.

The song in the video is called "Closer", but trust me, the whole damn album seriously makes you shake your butt off.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Star Wars Pinball

Playstation has announced the forthcoming Star Wars Pinball on the PS3 and Vita.

The title will come with several different boards from all your favorite Star Wars moments!

Check out the site here: Star Wars Pinball

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Man of Steel

It looks like the "Man of Steel" merch is already popping up.  "Man of Steel" is the next attempt at relaunching the Superman movie franchise.  In truth, I am super excited about this movie.  One of my favorite directors ever is at the helm.  Zack Snyder.

Not to mention that "The Dark Knight" director and writer Christopher Nolan is involved in the script and production.

The last Superman movie was a horrific mess.  It was uncomfortable and weird.  Mostly though, it just wasn't Superman.  Superman gets a whole lot of flack.  People hate Superman.  They hate his super powers.  He's considered the lamest of the heroes by many.  Too powerful to be realistic.  Too farm boy.  Too boy scout.  Too over the top.

I like him.  I like him old fashioned.  I like him Super powerful.  Superman is a metaphor for what we CAN be.  He is the Christ.  Like the story of Jesus and all his trials, Superman also has trials.  And seriously, Christ's powers were pretty Super.  He was also an alien in a sense.  Different among us.  Special.  What if he had decided to go the other way?

I find Superman intriguing.  He hasn't always been written fantastically, but still, there's something in that mythology that I am drawn to.  I see part of myself in Superman.  Always striving to make the right decisions. Always trying to be the best me I can be.  Feeling so different and sometimes so alone.  Wondering if I belong here.  Feeling old fashioned and a little behind in a high tech, high speed world.

I can't wait to see what Zack and Christopher do with Supes.  I will be there opening night.

Back to the Merch though.  Entertainment Earth has this to offer:

1:6 scale 13 1/2 inches tall from Gentle Giant

$109.99 pre-order now.

The 6 inch figures don't look bad either.  Mattel.  I expect

them to hit stores pretty soon.  The movie release date is

in June.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Heya kids!  What's up?  Over here we have been practicing perspective.  Now, you might think I'm drawing chairs and stairs to practice perspective and normally, you'd be correct.  The perspective I'm talking about right now though is the other kind.  Perspective as defined by the dictionary as "A Mental view or outlook".

Much of my flailing about and being exhausted has to do with my perspective.  Most of the time my outlook is dim and all I see is imagined moves by those around me.  Sometimes they aren't imagined, but I do tend to waste a whole lot of mental energy taking a particular incident further into the future.

I've come to realize that I was always looking for a fight.  One slight and it was on.  Enemy identified and preparations for battle commencing.  Creativity shelved until I fight the dragon.  The dragon must be conquered so that I can be free to pursue my art.

In reality, there was no dragon.  No epic battle.  Just me.  Seeing way more than was there and wasting endless amounts of time and energy on it.

So, after realizing that the dragon and the very fight itself were nothing but an illusion, I have been practicing seeing things differently.  To focus on art, love and creativity.  If something happens to upset me during work hours, look at it, but not too long.  Feel it, look at it, and let it go.  Get back to the creativity.

That imaginary dragon has taken more of my time than I ever imagined possible, and frankly, I don't want to give it one second more.  I want to give art everything I have.  I want to stay connected to the Universe and it's infinite creativity and positivity every second.  Life is too short for imaginary dragons.