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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CTA: Fight for Net Neutrality NOW!

UPDATE 11/18/2017:
Take action before it’s too late! If you don’t support the people who are trying to preserve the progress that the United States had made over the past decade, you are no better than those who are systematically trying to sell our freedoms to the highest bidder. Read what Fight for the Future has to say and please, act on your better impulses to keep America moving forward for all.

 

Breaking: the FCC is officially planning to vote to kill net neutrality on December 14th.
 
TAP OR CLICK TO TAKE ACTION!
 
We’ve suspected this was the case, but now it’s confirmed: the FCC has scheduled a vote to gut net neutrality protections in less than a month.[1]
 
If they move ahead with their plan, it will hand giant cable and telephone companies unprecedented power to control what we see and do online.
 
The only thing that can stop the FCC now is if Congress steps in and forces them to slow down, and the only thing that will make that happen is if everyone contacts their lawmakers right now.
 
TAP OR CLICK TO TAKE ACTION!
 
Without net neutrality, monopoly Internet Service Providers like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T will be able to:
 
• Censor and block websites, apps, and services for any reason without transparency or accountability
• Charge Internet users extra fees just to access sites or streaming services
• Demand payments from small businesses, video creators, musicians, and online services just to reach an audience
• Slow Internet speeds to a crawl on any platform that doesn’t pay up
 
The Internet as we know it will never be the same. Click here to contact your lawmakers right now and tell them to stop the FCC from killing net neutrality!
 
TAP OR CLICK TO TAKE ACTION!
 
For the Internet,
-Evan at Fight for the Future

 
Fight for the Future works to protect your rights in the digital age.
 
TAP OR CLICK TO LEARN MORE
DONATE $3 TO KEEP US GOING
 
[1] Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-15/killing-net-neutrality-rules-is-said-readied-for-december-vote

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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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I Never Could Get the Hang of Wednesdays, aka, The P.O.D. Towel Day Dilemma

Ugh, argh and WTF?

For three months I’ve been researching, investigating, analyzing, adapting, updating and uploading for the sole purpose of having some of my art & design stuff available for print-on-demand merchandise. This is nothing new for me; back in the day I was involved with a relatively successful CafePress adventure, but to indulge my inner old man (who I shall call “Bill” in honor of my gruff-but-lovable, maternal PapPap), POD was a different animal in the wayback of seven years ago!

To simplify my rant (and focus on self-promotion) I’ll lead off with the mostly harmless, little graphic I’ve been most excited about sharing recently – sharing specifically on towels. It’s time-sensitive and also a nod to the days when I enjoyed reading novels for the sake of them being enjoyable and not as desperate escapism from the world in which we live. (Would another “Ugh, argh and WTF?” seem redundant even if it’s topically relevant again?)

Here it is now:
Hitchhiker's Guide Hoopy Frood Supply Co. by WIPjenni
You might not know this, but International Towel Day is May 25. It was started shortly after Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (et al) author, Douglas Adams passed on. You also might not know that 42 days until May 25 happens to be Thursday, April 13. You also, also might not know I’m writing this on Wednesday, April 12.

If hoopy froods, towels, 42 and Thursdays have no pop cultural meaning to you, I strongly recommend that you read the Hitchhiker’s Guide Trilogy. (The actual trilogy, not the four-book trilogy that includes So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. It’s quite probably the most disappointing fourth book in a trilogy, ever. And if you do read it, definitely don’t read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, also by Mr. Adams. And if you do read it, don’t come crying to me when you can no longer appreciate a loquacious string of superfluous adjectives without breaking into a nervous sweat.)

This is the encapsulated dilemma portion of events… Redbubble has a nice face and a pretty sweet backend: NO TOWELS BUT ALL SORTS OF OTHER PRODUCTS. Society6‘s UI is like a first gen NES that’s been under a box of worn out Converse All Stars since 1985 – and still is: ONLY WHITE TOWELS IN SEVERAL SIZES AND SOME OTHER PRODUCTS. Zazzle abandoned their ‘community-centric’ business model years ago,and I have now abandoned them.

So. I have random merchandise available through random services even though I have dedicated an embarrassing amount of time to finding an online print on demand shop that offers good quality products, responsive customer support, reasonable prices, fair artist royalties, and a broad enough selection of merchandise to satisfy my somewhat bizarre notions of what items particular art stuffs should be printed on. I know. A girl asks too much.

I have abundantly failed in streamlining my process, but, I have achieved a modicum of success in making my creative content accessible in forms that you may appreciate. I would appreciate your buying something. May I suggest a towel?

If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

Up for a Challenge? Lose the Labels and Focus on the Fix!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting Cow.
Interuptin
MOO!

Bar Lazy ISMS - Lose the Labels and Focus on the Fix by WIPjenni
What would happen if we replaced every personality label with a word that actually leads to a solution? What would happen if all the energy put into name-calling was directed at coming up with FAIR ways to resolve conflict? What would happen if instead of referring to yourself as a ‘type’ of person you only considered yourself a human being.

Let’s find out.

I challenge you to replace every label that would come out of your mouth, your fingertips and even your mind, with words that directly address the issue you’re fighting for or against – for ONE day.

Bar Lazy Isms.

If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

BREAKING NEWS: Myopia Epidemic – Glasses Don’t Help!

Funky Eggs, Facebook; Fractious, Fanatical Fallacies and a Follow Friday Flop: My Week in Review!

No, that’s really pretty much the whole week other than household chores and repairs. I did a #FlashbackFriday of the first artwork I made using Photoshop, visited Facebook long enough (too long!) to argue that freedom of speech applies to everyone in the USA (not just ignorant bigots); made the statement that “If you stand with Trump you’ll fall for anything“, also made the statement (again) that I’m not “condescending” just because someone doesn’t understand me (it’s reeeeeaaalllly obvious when I’m actually being condescending); then I wrapped things up by gaining a whopping 11 Instagram followers (my goal was 60) – one of which is a real person.

Funky Eggs 2002

If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

Falling with 45 OR: How the Actions of the Few Can Destroy the Many

Believe it or not, I’d been struggling with how to write this. Yes, I’ve been taking pains to decide on the best way to write a blog post that will probably be seen by no-one but me. (Unless of course, my friendly white-hat hacker comes back to see if I heeded the warning.) [I never did decide. I wrote it anyway.]

Fall with 45, The Trump Menace aka If the Shoe Fits...

Fall with 45, The Trump Menace aka If the Shoe Fits…
Merchandise is available at https://www.redbubble.com/people/WIPjenni/portfolio
OR you can print this image for your own personal use. (It’s 8.5″x11″)

For more than a year now, I’ve been shouting my own warnings from the metaphorical rooftops to anyone who would listen, and more to the point, to those who refused to listen. I am surely not the only person who could see with nauseating clarity exactly how Trumpocalypse would unfold, and I am definitely not the only one who dedicated hour upon hour, week upon week, month upon month in trying every tactic imaginable to persuade all those within earshot to at least consider the obvious conclusion to the course of events.

I am starting to think, however, that I may be one of a mere handful of folks who are fundamentally unable to grasp the idea that there are so many people joyously willing to harm others for their own petty gains; willing to sink the ship as long as they’re sitting at the captain’s table when they go down with it.

A mentally unstable, paranoid, narcissist who has lived their entire life hidden from REALITY by the riches accumulated by SOMEONE ELSE (that’s important because never having to earn anything feeds the fantasy that “having” equals “deserving”,) is utterly and absolutely INCAPABLE of comprehending what the day-to-day existence of almost everyone else in the United States is like.

Add to that base a crew of self-serving societal sycophants who are more than happy to stoke the fire of Trump’s compulsive superiority complex to achieve positions of grandeur for themselves, and the result is the annihilation of nearly everything that does not directly and substantially benefit the select few who now set the rules. It’s that simple.

Enough childishly, gullible people were so overwhelmed by their own egotism, they deluded themselves into believing a vote for Trump granted them admission into an exclusive club – the club of billionaires who, with barely an exception, gorge on personal advancement by manipulating, overspending and crushing anyone who isn’t them. Everything the United States stands for is being slaughtered and consumed in the name of greed.

Funny thing about “greed”, it’s singularly intimate. It’s “MINE!”, not yours.

The Republican Senators bow down in servile submission for the imagined glory of doing the ‘opposite’ of what was; no mind toward whether it’s better, or even as good, as long as they get paid. “Opposite” is satisfying enough while they roll around in their own arrogance to mask the scent of immorality.

The Democratic Senators cower behind their snide commentary (it’s better to look momentarily clever than perpetually ineffective) and pat themselves on the back for having the ‘courage’ to talk the talk when their knees buckle with fear and they can’t walk the walk. Talking is responsibility enough as long as they get paid.

Trump, The Juggernaut of Gibberish is growing fat on the flattery offered by his subordinates. Their co-dependency on his position ensures they provide a steady supply of reassurance for his delusional diet – that’s the only way they get paid.

It’s an unrighteous and abhorrent nightmare of truly epic proportions.

I witnessed the train being built.
I heard it leave the station.
I smell the fuel burning.
I see the bridge is out.
The brakeman’s hands are busy clutching his vanity.

Millions are already suffering with millions more soon to join them. Millions of people will lose their lives as a direct result of the self-entitled, self-absorbed few.

What have you done?

Time to Make the Donuts!

It was a loooooooooooong weekend and not in that “I just threw some things in my overnight and we had a spontaneous, romantic, three-day getaway! *giggle*” way. More like the spending way too much time looking for pretty distractions on Instagram while dealing with the most irritating tech issues ever and waiting for my man to get done with his 20 hours of unpaid overtime, way.

However, I learned tings; many, many tings.

  • A.) 45 is still popping Planter’s and the US (and world) may be in even more danger than a few days ago. (I know, still hard to fathom, but still true.)
  • B.) It is possible to fall out of love with one’s Samsung S7 immediately upon installing Android 7. (They call it Nougat, but there ain’t nothin’ sweet about it – although it is sticking in my craw!)
  • C.) A phone, tablet and laptop can all act unexpectedly screwy, for no apparent reason, on the same day, and then be A-OK for the same non-reasons on the next day.
  • D.) I buy button batteries, dog wipes and light bulbs with Amazon Prime when I’m bored.
  • E.) GIMP is *almost* really honking good.
  • F.) It is now apparently the universal civic duty of females the world over to idolize donuts and spend vast sums of money on bullet journaling supplies while performing some sort of unspoken tribute to the 1970s by surrounding themselves with “air plants” and going to macrame workshops. It’s weird. I was a kid in the 70s and I have to say that (other than rock ‘n’ roll and sitcoms about ‘real’ people; e.g. folks who weren’t blindingly white, suburban, and suspiciously calm,) air plants, donuts and macrame were some of the better things in that decade, so there’s that. But still, it’s weird. Trust me.

Another thing that’s weird is a crown-wearing cartoon donut mounted on a cupcake to assert its dominance as Princess of Pastries. But hey, it has chocolaty brush lettering floating over its ‘head’ and a really thin (call it a crumb-coat) snippet of food porn innuendo, so it’s all good. Really, look at it, you just might agree!

So, yes indeed, the fruits of my weekend amount to un-fruit-like snacks on t-shirts. Oh, but I did learn one more ting:

  • G.) After an unproductive, flat weekend, Mondays seem kind of cool. :)
  • BONUS: “Time To Make The Donuts” Dunkin’ Donuts commercial! https://youtu.be/petqFm94osQ
    BONUS BONUS, FUN FACT: In 2013 the Dunkin’ Donuts CFO decided it was time to focus on beverages instead of donuts. Whoever they paid for their market projections dropped the ball of dough on that one!

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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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    Get Your House in Order!

    UPDATED (boldly) January 25, 2017!

    It’s been awhile since I posted and the site stats prove it! So here’s this art thing I made and put up for sale as a wooden poster. [It was a wooden poster (because all the cool kids are gluing stuff to wood now), but it ended up totally sold out, so here’s a version on traditional paper. Some might say the way the good Lord intended a poster to be.]

    WIPjenni Zazzle House PosterIt’s a retro, mock-mid-century, early-20th century-esque, vintage vibe poster that TBH, makes me laugh a lot since Delusional Donald Trump threw a hissy fit about Paul Ryan. [I haven’t been laughing so much since then.]

    In reality, aka ‘the world that doesn’t reward nutjobs and asshats with fantasy notions of being important’, the message is really just about clearing out the old crap you don’t really have a use for to make room for only the things you love and need.

    It’s also what my husband yells when the folks at Wendy’s can’t manage to put a honey mustard sauce in with the nuggets. It’s pretty funny, but I guess you have to be there.

    So yeah, that’s a poster I made and it would be sweetness if you could buy one, or several – they’re really cheap. PRINT NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

    [I haven’t decided if I’ll make the original available for sale yet, but I will most likely be desperately shouting it from the rooftops if I do.]

    [Keep it REAL, kids.]

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    The Unfathomable Ego of a Tiny-Town Trump – HACKER EDITION!

    UPDATE! This post was replaced on February 3, 2017 with this: “Hacked By Not Matter who am i ~ i am white Hat Hacker please update your wordpress”. So I say, “Thank you, generic hacker, for hacking my back!” (See what I did there?)

    Facebook is kind of like that saying about drunk people showing ‘who they really are’, except there are (presumably) no impairments to hide behind the next day.

    Ponder this brief exchange and then take a moment to reflect on how it might be more genuine to focus on the guests of honor than the event planner.
    American Band image by ArtsyBee at Pixabay

    Patriotism Parade Post Shared by Thoughtful Local News Lady:
    The City of [Tiny-Town] invites you and your family to join in a very special community event to celebrate America and the good ol’ Red, White and Blue! This event is scheduled for Sunday,…
    WWW.[Link to Event Site].COM

     

    Comments
    Jenni:
    I’m quite patriotic, (and I know my previous efforts have been in vain), but I would still love to see [Tiny-Town] host at least a few events for all the area residents who enjoy things other than flag waving, country music and cover bands.
    Like · Reply · September 6 at 2:05pm

     

    Thoughtful Local News Lady:
    What kind of events did you have in mind?
    Like · Reply · September 6 at 2:11pm

     

    Jenni:
    They don’t even have to be specific events, just including different types of music would be a great start.
    Like · Reply · September 6 at 2:29pm

     

    Thoughtful Local News Lady:
    It’s too bad there aren’t more weeks in the summer. I think we’re all used to seeing the same bands every year, there’s a feeling of disappointment if one of them isn’t included. But yet at the same time, we would like to see something different. Maybe a Friday or Saturday concert once a month in addition to Sundays would be good.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · September 6 at 2:54pm

     

    Jenni:
    Yep,mix it up, just like friends “make new friends but keep the old, for one is silver, the other gold”. :)
    Like · Reply · 1 · September 6 at 3:02pm

     

    Tiny-Town Resident:
    They do have different types of music all summer long.
    Like · Reply · 1 · September 6 at 6:39pm

     

    Jenni:
    They do have *some* variety, [Tiny-Town Resident], but it’s all pretty mainstream – which is good, but I’d like to see more alternative, rock, hip hop, garage, dance/electronica, and highest on my list would be getting some of the very local, original bands, particularly some of the ‘high school’ bands.
    Like · Reply · September 7 at 11:33am

     

    Tiny-Town Trump:
    Take a knee somewhere else Colin Kaepernick. This is a Patriotism Day Event. This isn’t the time to talk about ANYTHING ELSE BUT flag waving with our choice of a Country Band doing cover music. I’m sure that we can’t make EVERYONE happy, but if you want alternative music venues…THIS is NOT the time or the audience. Maybe you didn’t try to be so insulting? But, just because you say you tried in vain to bring “other music” to McKeesport shouldn’t diminish the hard work and sacrifice from the volunteers there every week and the large crowds of appreciative people.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 15 hrs

     

    Tiny-Town Resident #2:
    Well said Daniel Carr
    Like · Reply · 12 hrs

     

    Jenni:
    Sheesh Dan, how long have you been itching to use that Kaepernick line, or have you been using it everywhere you can squeeze it in? lol I said the Patriotism Day thing was good, but it would be nice to have other kinds of music involved, and that I’ve suggested it before – I think your exact words were “Well, we don’t want to attract the wrong crowd” – and the subject was dropped, that’s it – nothing mean or dismissive. But I will give you credit for being really good at spin – taking someone’s polite and valid comment and turning it into a self-congratulatory, praise-fest that plays on the emotions and ‘patriotic sensibilities’ of what you personally consider the ‘right kind’ of Americans, is a talent. Although, you did forget to mention God, but I guess you have a lot on your mind this weekend. Just one more thing…. when a person gets aggressively defensive because they imagined an insult, it usually means they have a guilty conscience or feel threatened – you may want to tone down the attack next time, for appearance’s sake. Have a great event! :)
    Like · Reply · 38 mins

     

    Tiny-Town Trump:
    I’m sorry. I do feel threatened when someone uses “flag waving” or “God”’s name in vain. It was not an attack. Just don’t like someone using our platform to promote another. Not that yours is bad, as in music. I am a non judgemental person…just struck a nerve. But, thanks for the compliment! All good.*
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 mins

     

    Thoughtful Local News Lady:
    Reminder that this is this Sunday.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · September 7 at 4:46pm

     

    Thoughtful Local News Lady:
    This Sunday, September 11.
    Unlike · Reply · 4 · Yesterday at 11:12am

     

    *For a moment I thought my witty sarcasm-er was broken, but it turned out it just isn’t powerful enough to break through delusional narcissism. I’ll have to do some studying and then a tune-up.

    To finish up on a serious note…. I am patriotic and I fully support every man, woman and child who has made sacrifices for the just and noble causes of freedom, protection, and to help their fellow humans – military and civilian.

    I humbly suggest that in addition to remembrance of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, known in the US as “Patriot Day”, you devote some time and effort into the practicality of supporting your local emergency personnel with a monetary contribution to help them have the equipment and training they need to make their work safer and easier.

    And spend some time making sure that everyone you appreciate knows that you do. :)

    If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

    Another day, another dollar. Naw, I’m only kidding!

    It’s August folks and I am about seven days away from a full-on, end-of-summer panic. (I’ve been daydreaming about how awesome next summer’s going to be for about two weeks now.)

    Summer is my season. June is my favorite month, and I even see that as romantically bittersweet because it’s ‘the beginning of the end’. Really; in my fantasy land I’d spend every June day blowing bubbles in a field and lounging near a sparkling body of water while laughing gaily with an ever-so-slightly-open-mouthed smile.

    On chilly, stormy days, I’d sit near an open window with an organic cotton, beach-colored throw almost covering my perfect pedicure while sipping a La Croix Sparkling Coconut Water and reading old, hardcover books, or writing out my deepest thoughts on saving the world. Some days I’d sketch the ‘essence’ of a particularly sentimental tree in my Moleskine with my Copic drawing pens.

    Every day would end with a bonfire and an off-the-shoulder, light-weight, linen-blend sweatshirt. My diet would consist of fresh fruit, grilled vegetables and meat, punctuated with an occasional Rocket Pop or Dark Chocolate Klondike – and maybe a funnel cake delicately torn into bite-sized morsels by thumb and index finger-tip with partially extended pinky while wistfully frolicking at a charming, old-fashioned street fair.

    I’d wear the perfect outfit to every outdoor concert and spend hours on end waxing poetic about clouds and sunsets and children’s laughter.

    [insert empathetic mind-wanderings here]

    WIPjenni's Summer 2016 Dream

    Summer 2016 Dream

    The reality is that this summer in particular, has been disappointing. Circumstances conspired. Attitudes faltered. Countless ‘cheap-chic’, spring wardrobe-lifting shopping efforts dragged into numerous summer attempts, and nearly all resulted in thankfulness for well-planned-ahead “free returns”.

    I ended up thoroughly immersed in the hopeful plans and hopelessly missing the realities of community pools, dollar-store sketchbooks, discount flip-flops, backyard barbecues and all the blissful pleasure of watching lightning bugs from the second-hand patio furniture. I did manage to squeeze in a few Klondikes. ;)

    My tragedy of pride (or “taking the high ground”, if you prefer) in March – the heartbreaking decision to distance myself from a dishonest ‘business partner’ instead of moving forward with WIP Arts in some-form-is-better-than-none fashion – really set me back. I’m an optimistic person, but I take things seriously and I take them to heart. I can make allowances for another’s naivety and I have no qualms about a certain amount of selfishness – it’s akin to self-preservation (Hey, human nature, good to see you again!) – but even “you’re too kind, WIPjenni” (shoutout to Bootleggers Media) has limits and draws a very heavy, very dark line at publicly being called a “loser” for putting ethics ahead of financial gain.

    There have been more than several false starts since I first realized that encouraging and creating opportunities for EVERYone to experience some sort of ‘artistic’ expression and appreciation was something I needed to do, but there does come a point where tenacity leads into the distinct impression that one’s barking up the wrong tree.

    I’m still not utterly convinced, (tenacity is a tough nut to crack), but I’m pretty confident that White Oak is the wrong tree for me.

    They (the all-knowing “they”) say that setting clear goals is the key to achieving success; well, kids, my main goal has been very community-centric all along. Pretty much since my 6th birthday party when all my friends left because I insisted on a “democratic vote” to decide which game we should play. (It was an election year and my Libra cusp demands a nod to fairness. What can I say?)

    Now here’s the 2016-Summer-Down-the-Drain Epiphany… it turns out there’s an “I” in “community” and that’s all most folks can see! I have love for all the letters.

    I’m not without personal motivation, though. My “I” is the feeling of accomplishment; the satisfaction in helping/making/inspiring/enabling someone else to experience something good and positive. Putting a smile on someone’s face is joyous for me. When that smile comes from some new knowledge or perspective, my joy becomes downright rapturous. And like all things that feel so gosh-darn good, it’s a little addictive.

    My drive toward that satisfaction can be interpreted as condescending, aggressive, or plain old snobby, and let’s face it, none of us enjoy being ‘spoken down to’. But the thing is, my gentle readers, that’s not where it comes from AT ALL. As far as I can tell, it comes from a deep-down urge to share. I want to share. I need to share. My enthusiasm, intelligence and that cumbersome tenacity create a perfect storm of near-desperation for understanding. Honest, it’s like a I need a fix. A big, juicy hit of “Oh, yeah, I get it!”.

    That’s where I’m coming from. That’s why I’m almost certain that if a community wants an all-welcoming, all-sorts-of-options, creative enjoyment space, they wouldn’t avoid or ostracize the person trying to do it because they “use big words”* and see more value in sharing understanding than building a bank balance (or getting praised); the community might just step up and pitch in. The reality is, their “I”s are bigger than their stomachs and my “I” can see its own limitations.

    “Sure, but what does all that have to do with summer or days and dollars?”, I hear you mutter.

    Well, the summer days flashed by while I was reordering my priorities to try and earn some shekels with my own creativity, learning how to communicate with smaller words and abridged passions on other people’s soapboxes, and largely dealing with the mounting trials and tribulations of each passing year.

    And a good many of them were spent cursing Amazon.com’s inability to offer “free returns” on off-the-shoulder, light-weight, linen-blend sweatshirts. ;)


    *I don’t start off with “big words”, I just end up trying ALL the words to reach that ever-elusive understanding.

    If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

    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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    #wheresthetylenol

    [Apologies in advance for mildly obscured profanity. The rest of the world may not care, but I do have some decorum. Nevertheless, if the word fits, I have to use it. :) )

    More than just an opportunity to share a micro video and reference one of my favorite Christmas traditions, this is a super-important test to see just how responsive the responsive theme and responsive embedder actually are. If it doesn’t work, you may never know, ’cause I’ll be snatching it down faster than a Carolina wren snatches a June bug in mid-flight.

    Of course, this is the internet, and what happens on the internet tends to stay on the internet, regardless of any pro-active snatching. I suppose I’d better throw out a quick description of the video in precautionary preperation for any staying.

    I adore videos – from the original black & white silent films of 100+ years ago to fractions-of-moments long abstract art pieces from 73 seconds ago. Sensory combos are a hoot (I also adore words and phrases from all eras,) and sound & vision are quite the pair! Since my epiphany/revelation/derp moment that I’d be much happier getting on with my things and largely giving less f**ks (How many fewer f**ks can I give? None. none fewer f**ks.) about what anyone else is up to, I’ve been much more experimental with free apps and those godawful/godsend Photoshop filters that can be quite fun once you realize that you’ve been overestimating just about ev-er-y-thing.

    So. There’s a shed-load of unspent creativity in my house. There’s also a butt-ton of up-tight intensity. Additionally, there’s a heckofabunch of misguided repression. So. Like the tss-t-tss-tss of an Oster pressure cooker, it serves no purpose unless there are tasty vittles inside, and if the steam doesn’t sputter out, the whole kit and kaboodle’s gonna blow. Kerplow!

    SOLUTION: Tss-t-tss-tss all over the place! My Man’s finally working on a new project and I’m working on giving none, none fewer f**ks. Which can be conveniently veiled (or brazenly exposed) by the gossamer threads of expression. Oooh.

    The following is a teeny, tiny snippet of what was going on in my mind and what was streaming into my ears for about six hours. Please, sit back and savor just a few, sweet seconds of responsiveness testing. Err, I mean “art”. Yes, that’s definitely what I mean. ;)

    If you enjoy my (humorous!/enlightening?!?) ramblings, please subscribe to this blog to get email updates; follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Twitter. Tell your friends and family – and if you really want to encourage me, buy a shirt or some other WIPjenni art merchandise. I love you all!

    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

    Follow me on Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family! You are a star and I want to be just like you when I grow up.