What am I looking at…?

The green one a couple days ago broke my brain.

WIPjenni There is unrest in the forest.

There is unrest in the forest. Instagram version

Ask a simple question and get a War & Peace-esque twitter DM in response. (The simple answer is that I produced a series of artworks entitled #100daysofmoreofthesame.) But let’s make this interaction more interesting. Write up a gallery label for this puppy and impress us all with your observational skills, intuitive insights and descriptive prowess.

CLUES:

  • Nature
  • Destruction
  • Greed
  • Common household item that is proving itself far more durable than my constitution to see it several times a day, every day, for another five years because I was raised to not be wasteful and if an object is still fully functional it shouldn’t be replaced.

TAKE A GUESS! Post a caption, narration, explanation or low-brow insult on twitter with the hashtag #WhatIsIt and we’ll see just how observant and/or creative you are.

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Living in a moment, any moment.

Live in whichever moment you choose. by WIPjenni
I enjoy the arts – a lot. I follow artists, creators and craftsmen almost exclusively on Instagram. Among them are quite a few calligraphers, hand letterers and font designers, which is generally pleasant since Instagram is not really for still photos anymore and it’s chock full of short, ‘process’ videos of people drawing, inking, writing, and basically gives me plenty of opportunities to get absorbed in watching ink and paint flow onto a surface; something I have been a fan of as long as I can remember. We’re talking like a long tome ago – way before a billion and one things were tagged #oddlysatisfying.

The problem with following so many letterers is that unfortunately, they are not the most creative of folks when it comes to coming up with things to letter. My feed is a font of re-hashed, outdated, and to be quite blunt, boring, quips and quotes. If I read “live, laugh, love” one more time, why I’ll…! OK, I digress. My point is that a goodly portion of the posts (on Facebook too – it’s just image macro-wanna-be-memes on FB) contain ‘advice’. Annoyingly saccharine, generic ‘advice’ like “always be kind” and “live in the moment”. The iterations of “live in the moment” has fundamentally become the tribulation of wipjenni social media accounts.

Much as I went on an anti-everything-needs-to-be-a-diagnosed-condition-to-count mission awhile back, I now have a hazy focus on letting people know that they have an inalienable, human right to live in whichever moment they choose! You are not wasting time. You are not some unenlightened buffoon. Nor are you – and this is important – humaning in the wrong way for 21st century life.

Think about whatever you want to. If you want to dwell in the past, anticipate the future or scrutinize the single Skittle in your mouth right at this second, go for it. Think the pants off of it! And here’s the beauty of my message: YOU can think about whatever moment you choose (real or imagined) and then switch to a different one (or several) at the drop of a hat! Go on, bounce back and forth or stay stuck where you are! They’re YOUR thoughts to do with as you want/need/love/hate.

Please, don’t ever let anyone tell you your using your mind the wrong way, and never believe you’re not the master of your own thoughts. We live in a “shame”-crazy time, but your mind is your own. Use it as you see fit.

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“Sometimes I mix up my words.”

Sometimes I mix up my words. by WIPjenni
We live in a bizarre time of supreme irresponsibility and absolute accountability.

Are you allowed to be pleased with aspects of another culture? Are you prejudiced if something doesn’t please you? Is it right for someone else to have the authority to dictate which it is, when, and how much is appropriate?

There are two sides, but it’s the same coin.

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“You’ll never guess what they got up to while I was watering my collection of succulents…”

Never Guess by WIPjenni
I see what you did there.

Few things infuriate/upset me more than people who take advantage of, or literally manipulate living creatures in an attempt to get attention. The de-valuing of life, limb and sanity in the pursuit of going viral is one of the worst things to come out of internet accessibility.

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is bad enough when it manifests in gross consumerism and abandonment of personal substance, but when it crosses into exploitation at best, and abuse at worst, something needs to change.

Prints available on Redbubble: http://bit.ly/neverguesswipjenni

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Jeeze Louise! What’s this Country Coming To? aka #TheTrumpMenace

NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE


I. Can’t. Even. <– not just an outdated ‘white girl’ meme, the state of my believability meter since November 8, 2016. For realz <– another one. I was almost certain it was going to happen even though I wanted it to not happen so hard! I took GREAT pains to try and prevent it. I failed. Now for months I have been shaking my head, shaking my confidence, shaking my fists, metaphorically shaking every asshat, idiot, fool and COWARD (there has been an abundance of cowards) that’s had the misfortune of entering my space, shaking up and plain old shaking my nerves. Quite literally, shaking all over.

I bet you’re thinking I’m going to ramble on and on about how eminently f***** up the US of A currently is; guess you don’t know me as well as you thought you did. :) I. Can’t. Even. There is too much f*****. There comes a point when the most verbose, long-winded, loquacious, wordy person’s drive to expound is eclipsed by the instinct of self-preservation. (At least for awhile.)

But that’s OK, because there is some good news – a tonic for the clear-eyed, open-minded, profoundly disheartened, shaky folks! Lessons in humanity and the foundation of America’s most noble principals only moderately clothed in consumerism!

Go to YouTube and watch the full 84 Lumber message/ad, watch the Airbnb message/ad, watch the reused Coca-Cola message/ad; watch these ads that eloquently present the best of what this country is, while simultaneously sticking up two normal, adult-sized fingers at the current POTUS. Watch them all at least long enough to count as a view and let them be proof that the United States values life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we will NOT allow ANYone to distort that vision or corrupt our Constitution!

[I was just wondering… did you hear Ray Charles singing America, the Beautiful in your head whilst reading that last paragraph? I did. It made me laugh. I guess all my talk about ads must’ve reminded me of one (or several) that featured that tune.]

**MY AD** Spectatorial Haze is now available as a sticker. Buy some and stick it to the man. (Actually, a few men, but you know, that I know, that you know who we’re both talking about.)   **AD OVER**

Honestly, kids, watching ads (and buying stickers) may not seem revolutionary, but when reality itself is being threatened it’s fundamentally and absolutely imperative to demand the truth and create factual situations that cannot be ignored or perverted by even the most delusional.

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I judged you Amish.

First off – a huge “thank you!” to all my new subscribers. You Rock! You’re a star! I heart you, hard!

SHIRTS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE

Every now and again something that is considered ‘so random’ in common parlance comes down the pike and even though it’s not strictly “random” (you know, because it somehow relates to what’s going on at the time) it still feels really random. It makes you laugh. Then it makes you recollect. Then it makes you reminisce. Then it makes you hungry for the donuts that everyone in a local community Facebook group were going on and on about a few months back, but you now know you’ll never taste those praised “Amish-made” donuts because despite everyone’s absolute – obnoxious at times – devotion to those adored circles of fried dough, the shop went out of business.

Then you get back to reminiscing.

I was brought up in a family of campers. Most weekends and for several weeks out of the summer, we camped. Not roughing-it-in-a-tent (usually) camping, but roughing-it-in-a-canvas-roofed-trailer and years later, roughing-it-in-a-metal-roofed-trailer-that-actually-had-a-bathroom camping. It was fun. It was also in Somerset, PA (the canvas trailer) and in Clarks Mills, PA (the metal trailer). Both of these areas had higher populations of what I will respectfully call “Plain People” (because I’m not an expert on religious groups and I’m no more able to tell a Mennonite from an Amish by sight than I can a Presbyterian from a Methodist) than the Pittsburgh suburbs.

I was a slightly odd child (and possible odder teen), so I always enjoyed slowing down to pass (or waiting to pass) a buggy. I have an inherent appreciation for simple and straightforward things, so the orange/red warning triangle on the buggy back was always an invitation to smile at strangers – something high speed doesn’t encourage – and take a good look at a horse. I’m not a “horse person” as such, but I do think they’re beautiful and recalling that I’ve ridden in two separate countries, on two separate continents, gives me a happy, satisfied feeling to be sure.

Anywaywho, a week ago my dear family was having a get-together to celebrate my parents’ 53rd wedding anniversary. It was a lovely time – food, drink, sending my folks to Uniontown for a holiday (long story, don’t judge) and at one point there was a conversation going on – one of those charming little ‘side conversations’ that happens in kitchen doorways and on stairs – and for reasons that are lost to history (at least my memory’s version of history), one of my wonderful, lovable, hilarious nieces (I’m blessed with several) commented that she had judged someone Amish. I would love to relate the entire story, but I laughed so hard at her delivery that I just don’t remember it. I know there was some lighthearted remorse for the “judging” and a valid explanation why the judgement was made. But in true form, I’ve retained only enough of the occasion to keep chuckling about it to this day. And in true-yet-more-recent form, I’ve made a t-shirt art design thingy of it.

WIPjenni Zazzle Hardworking Hipster Henley I judged you Amish

Also on a Hardworking Hipster Henley!

Off and on for one week I’ve been chuckling (sometimes even a full-blown chortle), being nostalgic for childhood family vacations and wondering if I should feel ashamed for regretting the missed opportunity to validate my suspicion that the glorified donuts didn’t have even a passing association with anything or anyone Amish. ;)

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Just Cause! Just ‘Cause – Know the Difference

The world really has me down lately. Down and TBH, pretty frustrated. Frustrated to the point that I’ve finally accepted pessimism as realism. *old-school sigh* But, hey, whatcha gonna do?*

ITEMS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE

What I’m not gonna do is write a full post to accompany my latest art vent-ure (I combined ‘art vent’ & ‘commercial venture’ into a thing. It’s my thing and I’m going to own it like a boss! – now that I’ve explained it to you.) Imma republish the sales blurb from my Zazzle store item page. There are some good words in it, so why reinvent the wheel.*

WIPjenni Just Cause! Just 'Cause - Know the Difference

This is available on all sorts of stuff like coffee mugs because the t-shirts aren’t selling. :)


INCOMING BLURB!

Current events, oh, how you vex me! Between Delusional Donald running for US president and the UK voting on things they literally don’t know the meaning of, I’ve run out of patience with stupidity and the self-defensive, holier-than-thou aggression displayed to cover it. Since it’s impossible to force folks to read a dictionary, help out your fellow humans by providing a quick lesson via your own dress sense!

Ladies, get all sorts of attention as people read your chest!* Gentlemen, look intellectual and snarky at the same time!** Non-ladies & non-gentlemen, buy this design on whatever attracts the ‘right’ crowd! Chock full of ALL the graphical gimmicks, you’re sure to impress your friends and everyone who sees your snazzy WIPjenni gear!

*And make a clever, political statement too! **Embrace your hipsterness – who knows how long it’s gonna last!

OUTGOING BLURB! (?)

Some Nights by Fun has been playing in my head all day. Probably because “some days” has been going through my mind and I can’t think of any songs with that title. :)

*I don’t know when or if to use question marks (AKA “goinks”) on rhetorical questions, so I decide on-the-fly, based on my mental inflection.

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Eeeeeeerrrr…how cheap you are! or, A long Fiverr Forum Story with Little Payoff.

The best insult I’ve ever been the recipient(?) of.

WIPjenni Eeeeeeerrrr...how cheap you are!
by WIPjenni

Away back in the day (a little over a year ago) I found myself in the midst of a heated debate about copyright, regular ‘right’, pleas for assistance, gross and not entirely unhumorous name-calling, with a wee bit of what-constitutes-good-commercial-design banter thrown in. Good times, Good times.

This altogether petty yet somehow resonant conversation was started by a colleague (wow, that word seems highfalutin for what follows) on the Fiverr.com forum. (See, what I mean?) For those of you who don’t know, Fiverr is an “international marketplace” (extra highfalutin) where all sorts of folks sell all sorts of services and in some cases, products, to really indiscriminate buyers who are usually only vaguely interested in quality, and are barely (if ever) concerned with legality.* Hence its huge success.

This particular conversation wasn’t noticeably infuriating or entertaining, but there did come a point when exasperation became the norm for myself and some of my more, uhh, how does one say… professional, ethical, associates? Unfortunately, the original thread was removed by moderators once it took on the flavor of “Yes, we all know that this site is a den of questionable business practices that are generally encouraged to ensure a steady flow of ill-gotten-gains for the owners, BUT, that doesn’t mean we all have to play along.”

In this instance, yet another seller – whom I shall call “Trumpy” for ‘her’ mindbogglingly emphatic support of her delusional perspective, that at once admitted wrongdoing and also displayed the defense of being entirely correct – was offering “100% original, custom designed logos”. For $5. With a 1-hour turnaround.

Trumpy was really something quite spectacular. She not only blatantly stole logos from the internet (with a stealth not unlike a rhinoceros leading a brass band through a Catholic mass,) she also insisted that she was being victimized because the creator of what she was using as her own logo told her to stop doing it, and some of her fellow Fiverr sellers kept trying to explain (with painstaking patience and a fair degree of tact, I might add) that stealing is wrong and that passing off the trade/servicemarked logos of multi-million-dollar, multinational companies as her own work, was stupid.

The bulk of us involved in the chat eventually came to the conclusion that Trumpy was probably several people working under the same username. (It’s a common enough practice on Fiverr, as it’s patently not allowed according to the terms of service.) There are quite a few user/groups that work 24/7 to keep their response and turnaround times unbelievably tiny – a seller is worthless to Fiverr HQ without their attention-grabbing positive ratings (regardless of work quality or moral fiber).

After a surprisingly long-lasting and intense exchange that involved numerous links to legitimate, established companies’ logos in situ, Trumpy flipped her lid. She spewed a colorful load of accusatory venom – we had no business telling her what to do or not do, and she thought we would be kind and help her get more sales – maybe even buy from her, not be mean and tell her she was committing crimes!

Now, I can be sarcastic, and I sometimes use words that are a little uncommon, outdated, or even quirky, but I do make a genuine effort to communicate in a way that works for those I’m communicating with. However, there are times (many, many times) when I get so indignantly riled that I forget my love of language; my desire to be helpful falls aside and I totally misplace any urge to give the benefit of the doubt – again. So in what was an epically weak rant, I responded with “If you don’t want people to see the stains in your underwear, stop airing your dirty laundry!”

When I signed into the forum a day or two later, Trumpy had replied with “Eeeeeeerrrr how cheap you are!” Only that. Simply, sublimely, and with what I like to imagine as not the merest hint of irony. It tickled me.

That single, enormously expressive sentence immediately projected a vision of some self-appointed, holier-than-thou, street hoodlum-cum-slum boss casting out judgments as to which of the lowly pickpockets deserved to keep a larger portion of their booty based on how clean their air-drying dainties were that day. (I should mention that Trumpy/hoodlum/boss is wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt, dirty, furry boots and more than several spiked, leather bracelets in my inspired vision.)

It also became a running joke of sorts – a combination reminder of how self-focused and hypocritical people can be, and also how easily anger can be turned to hilarity with one good onomatopoeic spelling. I have barely seen a pair of knickers or the word “cheap” without hearing “Eeeeeeerrrr!” in my head since that fateful day. It’s like having Eliza Doolittle presiding over every load of laundry and clearance sale. Which isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s Audrey Hepburn with a bunch of violets in the hand that’s not holding the gavel. :)

NB: Here’s a link to a follow-up forum thread about presumed-to-be-Trumpy. And in case you can’t sleep without knowing, I had noted (on actual paper!) the exact quote – complete with all seven “e”s – that I found about a week later.

*Yes, there are exceptions. There are actually some high caliber sellers on Fiverr. (You can usually find them by looking for the users with the fewest sales. No-one wants to pay $15 and wait a day for original website content when they can spend $5 for a 10 minute copy & paste ‘article’ that will be full of the same attractive keywords as their competition’s content. Because it is indeed, their competition’s content. Why the buyers just don’t do their own copy & pasting, I’ll never know.) I myself still have an account there. But as one of those increasingly rare people who is unwilling to churn out utter garbage no matter how underpaid the gig is, or how rude, ignorant and demanding the buyer is, I’ve moved on to less soul-nullifying, time-consuming ways to earn a buck. There are a few good buyers there too. They seem to be people who actually work for a living themselves, instead of trying get-rich-quick schemes on the internet.

Since you read it all, enjoy the reward of watching this terrible video that seems like a perfect tribute to working via Fiverr – including the copyright infringement!: Beck – Soul Sucking Jerk

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When a problem comes along, you must WIP it. WIP it good.

Leading with a 36 year-old, new wave song, you know it’s going to be a good post! OK, maybe not the best post ever, but the lyrics still stand as viable advice.

NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE

Over the past few weeks there has been some adversity to overcome in the land of WIP, and after some soul-searching, a little stream-of-consciousness-profanity-prose and no small amount of coffee, the thoroughly modern panacea popped up: “MAKE A RETRO STYLE GRAPHIC T-SHIRT!” said my mind. So I listened. I banged out a mildly sarcastic little number that actually has a pretty nifty passive-aggressive vibe for anyone who makes an effort to do ‘the right thing’ and occasionally (or far, far, more often) has to walk away from an opportunity due to someone else’s wrong thing. It’s also a fun shirt if you happen to be one of those people who tends to document everything with images and words, and, oh, I don’t know, A FUNCTIONING, FACTUAL MEMORY! So yeah, it looks good too. Also available in white – for those times between Easter and Labor Day! :)

I'm recording this conversation. t shirt
I'm recording this conversation. t shirt by WIPjenni

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