Quotables: On the Mysterious Mysteries of Cheese

So clearly a) I have been slacking and b) this poster is fairly simple. I got a little caught up in moving house, but also am suffering from a lack of inspiration. Meryl’s idea of the Circus Sideshow Posters did get me thinking. I haven’t fleshed anything out yet, but it did get the cogs turning.

However, I did come up with an idea for a bigger project that I’m really excited about. It’s going to take me a while, so I’ll probably do a lot more of these little quote posters (and anything else I might think of) in the interim while I’m working on the bigger project.

What’s really nice about these quote-finding missions that I’ve pushed myself towards is that I get to find out about some really interesting people that I did not know about before. Like G.K. Chesterton! He cray. Mostly he had a lot of really insightful and/or witty quotes. Like this one on poets and cheese. It’s a helpful suggestion, I think. (Get on that Frank Sanchez!)

My favorite part, however, is his Wikiquotes page. Mostly for the pictures. If you scroll down and pay attention to the pictures to your right, you will come to realize that those pictures are the randomest assortment of things that may or may not be tangentially related to the attached quote below it. Best.

About the Poster: The typefaces used are Sorts Mill Goudy by Barry Schwartz, distributed via the League of Moveable Type and Cooper Std. The quote is from G.K. Chesterton’s essay collection Alarms and Discursions.

Quotables: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

So I have already stumbled in my efforts to post everyday. I have been trying to figure out smaller (but still challenging) project ideas for posters that can help me attain the goal of posting everyday even when I don’t have a big idea. I have some series ideas, one which (like this poster) utilizes quotes that I particularly like and turn them into posters. I kind of wish I was a little more inspired for this one because, as is, it’s not super interesting. I was struggling with it yesterday and got frustrated. Which is why I lost a day.

I really like looking for quotes and, since I haven’t hit any big inspirations for a longer written piece, I might do a bunch of these. Or maybe I’ll do something else.

This wasn’t a quote that I “found” like a lot of my quotes (which usually consists of me doing a google search and then puttering around). This particular quote is just something that I’ve always really liked. It also happens to be from one of three favorite books of all time. I don’t know how well it fairs out of context. Whether it’s still powerful outside of the book or not, I would recommend this book to everyone. Well, if reading is one of those things that you do.

About the Poster:  The typeface is called Raleway by Matt McInerney except for the periods which are just vector circles. The typeface is open source and distributed via The League of Moveable Type.

My (Hilariously) Funny Valentine

I don’t know if y’all have met my valentine, because, and I’m not trying to BRAG or anything, but…he’s pretty internet famous. I mean, his hit single “Not A Virgin” has been featured on TWO blogs with the word “feminist” in it: Feministe and Feministing. AND Jaclyn Friedman tweeted about him. That’s right, he is on the Twitters. I am not even kidding.

So to celebrate his amazingness, I made him a poster. And now here is all his amazingness in video form:

About the Poster: The image is from a photo taken by Jing Jin (she has a lot of photo blogs, but that is one to get you started). The typeface is an open source typeface called Ostrich Sans by Tyler Finck distributed by The League of Movable Type.

My Friend Blotchy

I would like to preface this post by saying that I am going to introduce you to my friend Blotchy, and as a result, I will be discussing my menstruation cycle. I now consider you, dear reader, duly warned. I also realize that today’s poster can seem rather crass to individuals who wish to become pregnant, but cannot be. I give them my regards and would like to disclaim this poster’s universality. These are my sentiments alone, and you, reader, may share or not share them as you desire.

I introduce you to Blotchy, not because I believe she needs introduction or because she is a friend to all (she isn’t, least of all me a lot of the times), but because I believe that sharing my tumultuous relationship will illuminate for you a little more about myself. Namely the fact that I am crazy.

When I say crazy, I do not mean to diminish those individuals with legitimate mental illnesses that struggle on a daily basis in a way that I could not imagine. I hope I do not offend, because that was never my intention. Instead, I use the word to mean that sometimes, maybe a lot of the times, my thought processes make no sense whatsoever, either logically or otherwise.

But what does this have to do with Blotchy? Why bring her into this? Well let me tell you my story.

I am absolutely terrified of becoming pregnant. In it of itself, that is not something irrational. Pregnancy is scary. People die from being pregnant! And by people, I mean female-sexed individuals who are capable of conceiving. And the ones that don’t die often experience a lot of pain. Obviously, pregnancy is scary, and to a certain extent, this fear is clearly based in some semblance of reason.

However, what I mean when I say that I am terrified of becoming pregnant is that I am constantly worried that I have just become pregnant. And by constantly, I mean since the moment I learned to I could become pregnant. Which was a long time ago. Around when Blotchy first appeared. (YOU MEAN THAT IS WHY THIS HAPPEN I DON’T WANT IT MAKE IT GO AWAYYYYY.)

So imagine me, since I was around eleven years old, concerned that AT ANY AND EVERY MOMENT, I could somehow be with child.

Of course, my problem was compounded by the fact that since I never ever engaged in any form of contact that could lead to pregnancy at the age of eleven until much later, the pregnant state in which I was constantly convinced that I was under could only have happened in one way: immaculate conception. Always, my mind would turn to this inevitable conclusion, and as it raced in nervous worry, I would eventually wonder: “How will I explain this to people.”

Yes, that’s right, readers. Once I had convinced myself that I had somehow immaculately conceived whatever god’s (or demon’s) child, my first reaction is not to wonder why I was chosen or what an immaculately conceived child would mean for the world (and for science). Instead, my reaction is “BUT WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBOURS THINK????” (In my mind, all my neighbours spell themselves using British English.)

So this is where Blotchy comes in. The majority of other people may be safe in their trust in science. They could believe that if they had been abstinent and hadn’t sought out pregnancy in other forms (in vitro fertilization, the turkey baster method, etc.), they had a comfortable zero percent chance of becoming pregnant. I, on the other hand, had to HOPE and WISH that I wasn’t pregnant. Sometimes, I would even plead with whatever entity I may or may not believe had control over these matters. I would be like a little girl trying to convince Santa that since I’ve been good, I should deserve a present (and by that I mean no present at all).

As a result, I would breathlessly await Blotchy every month.

I guess it might be important to mention that my menstrual cycle is longer than the average cycle. Closer to 5 weeks, maybe 5.5 weeks, than your average 4.

This was not something I would figure out until much, much later.

Suffice to say, I freaked out a lot.

But even when I was finally aware and able to gauge the regularities of my cycle, I would still freak out sometimes. A lot of the times. And finally knowing what was regular made those times when I wasn’t regular that much worse. In retrospect, the most plausible reason for those incidents seem to be stress. The reason I always would land on, of course, was Immaculate Conception???? That never helped with the stress.

So to commemorate all the comfort Blotchy has ever afforded me, despite the fact that I would probably never have needed the comforting in the first place if I could make myself be rational, I have made this poster. Even though I know I complain about Blotchy all the damn time, you serve your duty well, and I salute you.

And for you dear readers: I hope you will not judge me too harshly for my peculiarities.

About the Poster: The image of Blotchy was drawn by me in Adobe Illustrator. The typeface used is called Baurete by We and distributed via the Behance Network.

The Veritable Truth about Toasters

To be sure, I would like to begin by stating that I do not know, for a fact, that every middle class white family has a toaster. Nor do I know that toaster ownership in middle class white families is greater than in any other demographic. I have not personally catalogued all of the kitchen appliances of every single domicile ever, so I cannot give you, dear readers, any solid statistics on the subject. I also have not grown up in a middle class white family, so I cannot speak from my personal experience. I should also clarify that this poster, if it refers to anything at all, refers to the United States. I know less about the state of French or Australian family kitchens than those in the mythical land known as America.

However, I pose this question not to assert a correlation between being a middle class white family and owning a toaster. Instead, I wanted to point out the incongruous ubiquity of the toaster to trouble the very necessity of the toaster itself.

Of course, to question the necessity of the toaster, one must assert that the toaster is assumed to be necessary at all. Again, I must point out that I operate as an outsider to the middle class white family, and my only evidence has been garnered through my anecdotal experiences as a visitor to middle class white families and through whatever media I have consumed about middle class white families.

From what I remember, every kitchen had a toaster. And I never questioned it then.

#54 of Stuff White People Like, the compendium of all things White and with pretensions of middle-class-dom when they are really closer to upper class, is Kitchen Gadgets. The article list a variety of cumbersome machinery that often only serve singular purposes in the land of Kitchentonia: the wafflemaker, the Panini press, the rice cooker. But they mention not the toaster. The toaster’s ubiquity makes it a necessity. Its usefulness (and presence) is assumed along with the pots and knives that are the basics of kitchen hardware. In the office kitchen where I currently work, there are two appliances taking up counter space: the microwave (understandable) and the toaster. I don’t know that I’ve seen any use the toaster. Maybe they toast bagels?

My family once owned a toaster, too. Back when I was younger and was routinely forced to eat breakfast.

But now that I do a lot more of my own cooking sans toaster, I wonder, what purpose does a toaster serve? Surely it cannot be because it makes better toast. The clunky appliance’s only options are to toast or not to toast. I make better toast using just some vegetable oil or butter of lard or bacon fat or whatever other non-polar edible liquid one wishes to consume with bread in a frying pan. This is partially because I can control for the various nuances between bread types and textures when it’s just the frying pan, but mostly it is because browning toast is not difficult.

I can concede that using a toaster is probably faster, especially if you want large quantities of toast and you have a four-slice toaster or something. On the other hand, it’s not THAT much faster.

So I posit that the toaster is in the same class of goods as the extraneous Kitchen Gadgets Mr. C. Landers listed in his article.

Of course, now I must answer the question that is surely on your very lips right now (or your very fingertips in the comment box): much like how Pixie Stix are a gateway to meth, is the toaster a gateway to the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer? To this I say no, because unlike many of the other appliances on the list that I have made the toaster an addendum to, the toaster has almost no value at all. The wafflemaker makes better waffles, the Panini press presses better Paninis, and the rice cooker cooks better rice. But does the toaster toast bread better? No! Does it serve a purpose outside of toasting bread? No! (Though, in the spirit of American ingenuity – and an infatuation with the infomercial – you can buy accessories for you toaster that make it marginally more useful.) The toaster is a conspiracy, a confusing presence in our kitchens.

So I say nay to the toaster! Throw off its reins! You control us no longer with your siren song!

About the Poster: The image was originally a photograph of a two-slice Sunbeam toaster taken by Donovan Govan and distributed via Wikimedia Commons. The typeface used is called Dotrice by Paul Flo Williams and distributed via the Open Font Library.

General Winfield Scott’s Hair Emporium Part 2

So like I said, I wasn’t entirely happy with the poster that I made yesterday, so I redid it. I’m much happier with this one than the other one. I was trying to do some weird modern meets old school clash that was way too complicated. So I just simplified, and I think I accomplished my original goal better.

I don’t know if this counts as posting everyday, though. Maybe this is a half-a-poster?

Anyways, I like the color scheme a lot better on this one and I think I have figured out an export process that preserves the quality when going from inDesign to something I can upload and display on the blog. This way, I won’t have to go through the trouble of also uploading a PDF document, because really, that’s a little unnecessary.

I feel productive. It’s not even noon yet! I got up at 8 am today! It’s a Saturday! I feel old.

About the Poster:  The image is a photograph (taken by me) of William Rush’s bust of General Winfield Scott that is displayed as a part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The typeface used is Sorts Mill Goudy by Barry Schwartz, an open source font distributed by the League of Moveable Type.

General Winfield Scott’s Hair Emporium

And so it begins. Maybe. I’ve been fiddling around with a lot of things recently, a lot of ideas. Some maybe a little more outrageous than others. But I figure this place is a good a place as any to begin my poster/writing project.

What I am hoping for this project to be is to come up with some ideas that would make interesting posters that have interesting stories/thoughts to go along with it. Ideally, I would make one every day, but right now, it’s been closer to just working on them everyday. Hopefully I can build up to finishing one a day, though. I have a bunch of ideas, so at least that’s there.

As for this, I recently went to the National Portrait Gallery and happened to come across some pretty cool stuff. Though I was confused by some of the display choices. Not of Winfield Scott. Winfield Scott is pretty awesome. Mostly because his nickname is Old Fuss and Feathers. But also because he once sported a rhino.

No, I’m more referring to the fact that I managed to find TWO portraits of William Henry “Our-president-who-served-the-shortest-term-ever-because-he-made-a-really-long-inauguration-speech-in-the-rain-got-pneumonia-and-then-died” Harrison but not a single portrait of Founding Father Hottie Alexander Hamilton. So I was suspicious. Clearly someone was not exercising any judgment when they chose which portraits to display.

As for the poster, I’m not too found of how it turned out. I’m not really enamored of the color scheme. It could be better. Also, I don’t know if I like this image version of the poster. I definitely like the PDF better, but you can’t display the PDF in a blog. So this is my compromise.

About the Poster:  The image is a photograph (taken by me) of William Rush’s bust of General Winfield Scott that is displayed as a part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The typefaces are Old Style Goudy by Frederic Goudy and Goudy Bookletter 1911 by Barry Schwartz. The latter is an open source font distributed by the League of Moveable Type.