The Kitties are already playing in the snow and I'm off to join them. I'll be without a scanner for a couple of weeks but promise to be all caught up in January. See you then! Happy holidays, everyone!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
(Illustration Friday: November 28, 2008)
Norman doesn't seem as nervous as I think he should be, but is he ever?
(Illustration Friday: November 14, 2008)
For this week's topic, the kitties were of one mind. One of B.J.'s favorites, we all agree that you can't go wrong with a little of The Platters fit into your day.
(Illustration Friday: November 7, 2008)
Everyone knows who to go to for advice...no matter how long the wait.
Monday, November 03, 2008
(Illustration Friday: October 31, 2008)
Simon is an expert at seeming "vacant," but we all know of his multiple secret and disguised talents, from his start as a trapeze artist in the Cirque du Soleil to his more recent role as star point guard for the World Champion Boston Celtics. Don't tell anyone. His crossed eyes and walking-in-circles thing is really fooling a lot of people.
For the last few weeks, my phone has been working only when it feels like it. Maybe the phone repairman will figure it out tomorrow...since The Kitties have been unsuccessful so far.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
(Illustration Friday: October 17, 2008)
The Kitties are never late for dinner. ....Well, maybe Simon is a little late sometimes.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
(Illustration Friday: October 3, 2008)
The Kitties have prepared plenty of sugary treats in the kitchen this weekend for my nephew's birthday. It's The Big 5! Yeah, I know my drawing's a bit messed up....I think all of these sweets have gone to my head, but no one seems to mind. Have a happy day, Liam! I miss you!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
"I'd like to be remembered as the guy who tried -- tried to be a part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being." Paul Newman
I knew this was coming, but I was hoping for a miracle.
I've seen almost all of Paul Newman's movies, but I can't remember which one I saw first. Was it The Verdict? Or, was it Absence of Malice? I was already hooked by the time my dad directed me back further to Hombre, Hud, and Cool Hand Luke. I was hopelessly devoted by the time I saw a younger Paul in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Long Hot Summer, and The Hustler. Yet, I rushed out to the theaters to see his later films -- Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, The Hudsucker Proxy, Nobody's Fool -- and fell just as much in love with the cranky old man. (Cars counts too!) Discovering an old Paul Newman movie was like finding a gift that was just for me. Waiting for a new Paul Newman movie was like anticipating a visit from an old friend. Imagine how elated I was to catch him in 2003's Broadway run of Our Town! Oh, to be in the same room with The Man!
I don't remember how I became so loyal to Paul Newman, but how can one not be? For me it had little to do with his films or the pretty face. Reading and seeing him in interviews just made my admiration grow: the intelligence, the well-spoken thoughtfulness, the kindness and generosity, the eagerness and joy for life, the biting sense of humor -- The Whole Package. His talent -- displayed in his entire body of character-driven projects -- is a happy bonus.
When Newman's Own products hit the grocery store shelves, I'd plead with my mom to buy them -- or sneak them in the cart myself. If confronted regarding my selections, my arguments were always chock-full with simple facts: "It's Paul Newman's: it's good." And, if that didn't work, "He donates all the proceeds to charity!" The Hole in the Wall Camps are his gift to children worldwide, and he has raised more than $250 million to it and other charitable causes over the last 25+ years. Who can argue with that?
Paul Newman is it: the guy everyone should aspire to. Good luck. He was one of a kind. His wife and family are lucky, and we are lucky to have known him too.
The kitties and I wanted to pay tribute, of course, but being such a brilliant character actor made it difficult for us to whittle down distinct movie moments that lend themselves to illustration. Norman offered to eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in one sitting, but I thought that'd be unhealthy for him, nor did it quite sum up The Greatness that is Paul Newman. But how do you draw such broad traits as exceptional, genuine, decent, good, inspirational, or wonderful?
So, we decided to take the easy way out: load up on the comfort food and have an open-ended Paul Newman Film Festival until the sun comes back out. Many thanks and farewell, dear friend; you have made a difference and are missed.
We are all sad, but we are surrounded by a few of our favorite things: We have two of our favorite books (the inspiring Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul and his friend A.E. Hotchner and Paul Newman: A Life in Pictures, my favorite Christmas gift from last year.) We have our favorite anytime dinner (spaghetti with Newman's Own Sockarooni "Sock-it-to-'em" spaghetti sauce). We have our favorite movie snacks (Newman's Own Organics Pop's Corn microwave buttered popcorn and/or Mint-Creme-Filled Newman-O's).
[All of these yummy products should be available at your local grocery store. If not, check the Newman's Own website when it gets back to normal. Remember, It's Paul Newman's: it's good! And, all the proceeds go to charity! Oh, Comet also wants me to point out that, while you're at it, you can donate to the Hole in the Wall Camps.]
Lastly -- and thankfully -- we have a large supply of Paul Newman Movies. (B.J. and Norman have apparently chosen Hombre to start us off.) Settle in and enjoy!
Note: Be sure to catch TCM's 24-hour tribute to Paul Sunday, October 12. Yay!
(Illustration Friday: September 26, 2008)
The Kitties don't live with me, but when I see them during my trips home, I try to come up with strategic ways to bring them back. I'm afraid that they wouldn't get past airport security. The kitties would probably be mad at me for a long time after I picked them up in baggage claim anyway. Never mind....
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
(Illustration Friday: September 12, 2008)
Simon talks all day long about going far, far away.... in a canoe....to a desert island, so Kitty tells me.
(Illustration Friday: September 5, 2008)
Another reason why I have not posted any drawings in a while.... The Kitties did not seem to mind it as much as I did.
(Illustration Friday: August 29, 2008)
One day, I came home from school and found a kitty in the garage. We quickly became lifelong friends.
(Illustration Friday - August 22, 2008)
I fell behind on my drawings because of TCM's annual Summer Under the Stars Festival in August. Whose idea was it to have consecutive days devoted to Greer Garson, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly? Thanks, but I think I nearly overloaded my DVR. In any case, on Fred Astaire Day, I pointed out my favorite Fred and Ginger dance routine to the kitties. The Mother Kitty and Simon have been practicing it ever since.
September has been busy and a bit stressful, another reason for my delayed posts. For the first time ever, I had to redraw a drawing completely - not once, but four times! The first time, I accidentally colored Kitty's tail brown. She yelled at me and spent the rest of the day licking herself. The second time, I colored her front paws brown. She shrieked and tried to wipe them off on Simon, who mistook her gesture for affection. The third time, I didn't even get to coloring, as I drew the exit door too long. At that point, Kitty rolled her eyes, stomped off, and refused to speak to me until I convinced her that we were paying homage to Fred Astaire's perfectionism by repeating the routine so many times to get it right.
In the movie Swing Time, Ginger, who plays a dance teacher, gets mad at Fred, a gambler, because she thinks he stole a quarter from her. He finds her dance studio and asks to be paired up with her "to learn," but he really just wants to have the chance to explain what happened to her quarter. [If only all of my arguments were only about a missing quarter....] He pretends to be a hopeless dancer, frustrating her into telling him to save his money and go home. Her boss overhears and instantly fires her for turning away students. Rest assured, Fred saves the day by showing the boss what he's learned from her: In celebration of completing this seemingly simple drawing and to guarantee a smile, here's The Real Thing.
As Ginger's boss praises at the end, "It's sheer heaven, my dears, shear heaven!" Enjoy!
As Ginger's boss praises at the end, "It's sheer heaven, my dears, shear heaven!" Enjoy!
Monday, August 18, 2008
(Illustration Friday: August 15, 2008)
On some days, Ashes amuses herself with her own toys. This is one of her favorites. It always takes her a while to figure out that it's not detachable.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
(Illustration Friday: August 8, 2008)
The Kitties went sailing this weekend. I'm not quite sure who was steering the boat, but they all made it back to shore safely before sundown.
(Illustration Friday: July 25, 2008)
Simon spends most of his time in my parents' garage, where he helps Dad with various projects. He takes a while to get things done, but he would never get canned from any job. Here, he's coming along with his own creation. (He plans to paint the thing when he wakes up.)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
(Illustration Friday: July 18, 2008)
After Gordon has tested out all of the laps, Kitty has groomed a fluffy fur pile around herself, Simon has walked the perfect number of circles, Comet has found more hiding places, Ashes has investigated all grocery bags, B.J. has exhausted all avenues of conversation, and Norman has lazed around with a full belly, the kitties go to bed, having had enough for one day.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
(Illustration Friday: July 4, 2008)
Ashes gives the impression of being a sourpuss, but she's really just a talker. We all continue to work on translations.
(Illustration Friday: June 27, 2008)
Comet doesn't realize how fierce he can be, even though he practices for fun in the mirror sometimes.
(Illustration Friday: June 20, 2008)
It was only recently that The Kitties became aware of Norman's hoarding issues. They agreed not to tell as long as he learns the importance of sharing.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Sadly, one of my favorite ladies, Cyd Charisse, died this week. Knowing she was in her mid-80s didn't stop me from gasping when I read the news.
I first saw her in Brigadoon, opposite Gene Kelly, when I was 10, convinced that there was nothing more beautiful than the two of them twirling amid the sea of heather in that little Scottish town. I've been hooked ever since. A mesmerizing dancer, she commands your attention with her confidence, grace, and electricity. On and off the screen, she was pure sophistication and elegance.
Be sure to catch TCM's tribute Friday night to see some of her best performances. Her dancing will make you smile. If you're already in a good mood, she'll put you in a better one. Thank you and farewell, Wonderful Cyd! I miss you!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
(Illustration Friday: June 13, 2008)
I'm not sure if this is quite a punchline. Maybe it's a punchword. In any case, once the idea came up, the kitties picked their parts and refused to do anything else. Can you blame them?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
(Illustration Friday: June 6, 2008)
You could say that we have collected a group of forgotten kitties. Aside from Gordon, who was born into privilege, the kitties were on their own when they made their way into our lives. After some networking, The Kitty prompted some University of Akron students to find her a better home. She was agreeable to making the 30-minute car ride to ours. Meanwhile, during a visit to a Cincinnati veterinarian, Julie was immediately charmed by Comet's unprecedented adorableness. Ashes then subtly convinced her that she was his best companion. (After some initial complaints, this proved true.) B.J. grew tired after his few years on the road and asked Julie if he could move in with her to settle down. Likewise, Norman chased her down a bike trail arguing that she had room for one more. (That is still under debate.) After Gordon left home to conquer the world, Simon showed up at our office with a slight limp. (Who knew he'd make it to the NBA Finals a few years later?) I'm not sure why these kitties were abandoned, but I'm glad they found our homes, and I think they are too.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
(Illustration Friday: May 16, 2008)
Comet has always been a worrier--over big noises, little noises, strangers, acquaintances, shadows, annoying housemates.... Julie's the only one with the magic touch, so it's a good thing they live together.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
(Illustration Friday: May 16, 2008)
Long ago, B.J. was a lone cowcat in the great wide open spaces of the Old West.
(Illustration Friday: May 9, 2008)
After my quick trip to New York, I told the kitties all about this year's Rainforest Foundation Fund Benefit Concert. While the second half of the concert was dominated by Beach Boys' tunes, I demonstrated the most entertaining part of Brian Wilson's 8-song set: Sting twisting the night away with hilarious enthusiasm. They, of course, had fun copying his moves. It was too late by the time they realized what the rug-covered dance floor would do to their heavy coats. I think some of them like the new look. Let's just hope they don't set off any big sparks!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
(Illustration Friday: April 18, 2008)
The Kitties visited an old movie house to learn about their ancestors. They've since been wondering why the dino-kitties' fancy tails weren't passed down though the ages.
(Illustration Friday: April 11, 2008)
Simon has many friends in the backyard, and he spends several hours each day discussing his great ideas with them. Well, some are great. Some are not so great.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
(Illustration Friday: April 4, 2008)
The other day, the Orioles's new center-fielder, Adam Jones, made a spectacular catch to save a run for the team. He ran backwards--looking up following the ball--blew a big bubble on the way, jumped, caught, crashed into the back wall, and summersaulted forward on the field before raising his arm up to show the ball in his hand. Gordon is perfecting this trick, but without the wall because I think that's too dangerous.
(Illustration Friday: March 27, 2008)
For Dad's birthday, The Kitties paid homage to our favorite team. (Simon thought of it, of course, since he plays for them.) See you at the championship!
(Illustration Friday: March 14, 2008)
Watch out when Norman's eyes get heavy. There's no telling where he might land.
(Illustration Friday: March 7, 2008)
Mom taught The Mother Kitty everything she knows about gardening. The Mother Kitty has since taken some liberties on how she cares for her flowers.
(Illustration Friday: February 29, 2008)
When it's nice outside, one of Simon's favorite activities is to go bounding through our yard. Sometimes, he has company.
Friday, April 18, 2008
(Illustration Friday: February 22, 2008)
The Kitties have been chatting about the fantastic array of moving boxes from the last few weeks--some small, big, and medium-sized, some full, some empty, and some flat. in any case, all have been perfect for kitty exploration. Boxes, boxes everywhere! They were sad to see the last one go to the recycle bin, but I wasn't!
Monday, March 03, 2008
The Mother Kitty passed away last Tuesday after a long, fruitful, fascinating life. Kitty came to us from Akron, Ohio, after deciding that college life at the University of Akron was not for her.
At our house, she instead spent her days outside becoming an expert gardener with Mom, lounging in the sun, climbing her favorite tree, or wandering throughout her boundless territory. Sometimes, she stayed indoors, playing with string, watching movies with me or napping on my lap, collecting business cards, paperclips, hair barretts, or anything else she might find on her hunting expeditions throughout the house, and kneading her claws and shedding on anything that required her special touch.
Some of her favorite passtimes were bossing Simon or anyone else around (cat or human), challenging anyone to staring contests (She remains the World Champion.), and rearranging things on my dresser. She was a bonafide food critic, partial to tuna, corn, and Doritos. (Everyone remembers those evenings when she laughed in our faces and walked off whenever we tried to fool her with a meal that wasn't quite worthy of her.) During her 20 years with the Connolly Family, she bore six kittens, including her world-famous son, Gordon.
Our beloved, irreplaceable Kitty will be sorely missed. She and Gordon sparked the start of my drawings years ago, and she'll continue to be in them here because (1) there is no kitty like The Mother Kitty, and, (2) if I stop, she'll find a way to yell at me for it.
Monday, February 18, 2008
(Illustration Friday: February 15, 2008)
Dad and I are convinced that Simon is playing for the Boston Celtics under the alias of Rajon Rondo. He disappears during each game and then reappears in our garage sweaty, panting, and ready for a nap. Seeing him "play" in the driveway only whets our suspicions. I mean, who can't see through this disguise?