tealin: (Default)
Well, someone's been busy today ...

I've set up a Patreon account, mainly to have some backup income between freelance gigs, but the psychological benefit of having real live strangers paying to see me make progress is a big, big thing, a really big thing, like a massive thing.

I'm planning an official release/announcement day in May, but as you lot have been my loyal community for longer than anyone, I thought I should let you have a first look and have your say:


What do you think of the tiers? Am I being too generous or not enough? What sort of content would you be interested in, if you were a subscriber?

Coming from a background of Can't Afford It, I feel rather ambivalent about charging anything for my web presence – 14-year-old me would have felt so excluded if one of my favourite artists suddenly went behind a paywall, and I've never quite got past being 14. However, if I'm going to devote serious time to something that is paying me nothing now and might never do so in a meaningful way, it helps to have an income stream that allows me to focus on it, rather than take time out to earn rent and groceries. And I can assuage my conscience by letting the free platforms (here and Tumblr, principally) be like second-run theatres, so the modern analogues of 14-year-old me won't miss out on too much in the big picture.

As you can see in the rewards, I'm also opening some online shops, though they don't have anything in them yet. If you have ever bought any merchandise from online type arty people, on places like Society6, RedBubble, InPrint, etc., what are your thoughts on that? Which of those sites is nicest from a buyer perspective? Any ideas for things you'd like to see from me?
tealin: (Default)
"Looking for lodgings." I answered. "Trying to solve the problem as to whether it is possible to get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price."
    "That's a strange thing," remarked my companion; "you are the second man to-day that has used that expression to me."
    "And who was the first?" I asked.
    "A fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory up at the hospital. He was bemoaning himself this morning because he could not get someone to go halves with him in some nice rooms which he had found, and which were too much for his purse."
    "By Jove!" I cried, "if he really wants someone to share the rooms and the expense, I am the very man for him. I should prefer having a partner to being alone."

– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

Do you live in London or Cambridge? Are you or anyone you know looking for a flatmate, sublessor, or perhaps housesitter? I am looking for a room to rent, beginning perhaps as early as July 1st, but am somewhat flexible.

A brief summary of me, should you not be a regular reader of my blog: I am a quiet decent bookish sort (textbook INTJ) who gets along best with the nerdy, fannish, and eccentric, though I've had flatmates of all sorts. Cats and I have a great rapport; dogs love me for some reason but I'm not the biggest fan of them. I don't smoke and am not much of a drinker, but like to go to the pub with friends on occasion. I am well housetrained and fairly tidy but not persnickety; I like to cook and am not ashamed to boast that I am really good at washing dishes. I'm looking for somewhere fairly quiet, as I will probably be doing a lot of work from home, so I'll be around a fair bit, but hopefully unobtrusive.

If you have a lead, please either email me via twirly noodle at gmail, or leave a private message at Dreamwidth (tealin) or Livejournal (twirlynoodle).

And for everyone else, thank you for your patience! Regular posting will resume once life has settled down a little.
tealin: (Default)
Earlier this year, my faithful companion and beloved entertainer passed into disability: the first-generation iPod Nano which I'd received for Christmas in 2006 stopped talking to my computer. Tried changing the USB port, and the USB cable, to no avail ... I've replaced it with a slightly newer one which is doing well, but the old one is still functioning perfectly aside from the inability to update it, and has a lot of good stuff on it, so I'm reluctant to throw it away, and that gave me the idea of The Wandering iPod.

Here's how it would work. If you'd like to listen to the 4GB of quality audio, either comment or send me your email address. I will make a list, contact Person 1 to get a mailing address, and send the dear little thing in the mail; when Person 1 is done with it s/he lets me know and I get them in touch with Person 2, to whom they send it on, and so on. Now, this would all be on the honour system because I have no way of policing the participants, and it would be dependent on each person to hand off the iPod instead of, say, losing it at the back of a drawer somewhere, but if we could get it rolling this could be a really fun thing and an interesting permutation of the 'sharing economy' or whatever they're calling it.

The contents of the iPod are behind this cut: )

As I said, the iPod functions well – it plays everything it's got, the buttons all work, and I'd swear it holds a charge better than my new one – but there is a fault on the screen which looks like some liquid crystal cells got crushed and then leaked in either direction. It's smaller than I drew it and the menus are still readable (in fact, being so used to it, I often don't even see it) but it is a flaw. I will send it with its magnetically closing leather case so it won't suffer any more damage.

Comment here or email twirly noodle at gmail if you're interested in joining in!
tealin: (Default)
Well, that was fun.

I'd be happy to keep posting Bits of Bill up here if anyone's interested – I'll be doing so for quite a while longer on the corresponding Tumblr, and it's very little work to copy over the dozens of quotes I have queued up – but I don't know if that appeals to anyone but me, so do speak up if you'd like more. Or, obviously, just bookmark the Tumblr and get more on your own.

The alternative is waiting around for me to post more of my own prattle. The job I'm on currently is taking up the vast majority of my waking hours, which is happy for me as it's a good job in excellent company, but not so good for the whole 'web presence' thing, and there won't be any new drawings until this tendonitis calms down. Well ... maybe some left-handed ones ... but radio links and text-based blather will predominate.

Meanwhile I hope everyone's having, or has had, a lovely Passover/Easter/Quarterly Shops-Close-Early Day. Because religious holidays are now inextricably tied up with commerce, a side question: do you have any advice on choosing a model of mobile phone which is supported by a UK carrier? I don't need anything fancy (the less fancy the better in fact), and Apple and I have a history of not getting along so I'm inclined to avoid the iPhone, but any user experience/advice would be welcome.
tealin: (Default)
I don't usually like putting important personal stuff up online, but I need answers to some serious questions, I'm short on time, and none of the official channels are working for me.

I have a UK visa which is valid for five years starting November of last year. I put off arriving in the UK because a truly amazing and unmissable job came along, which was short-term enough it wouldn't make much of a dent in my time there, and would open major doors for me overseas. Unfortunately* this job is going well over schedule, which leads me to a vague sort of loophole in the visa rules. The UK Border Agency's website states:
During the continuous residence period, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any consecutive 12 months. Absences must be for a reason that relates to the reason for your stay in the UK, or for a serious or compelling reason such as serious illness.
The extended project schedule has me staying here more than 180 days past my visa's start date, which might put me in the danger zone re: The Rules, so I have some serious questions:
  1. Does the "continuous residence period" start from the active date on the visa, or from my entering the country?
  2. My absence is because of work, which is the same as the reason for my stay, so does that affect things at all?
  3. Is an extended contract sufficiently 'compelling'?
  4. I have the opportunity to go over for three weeks in February; would this be advisable? (I'd like to know well enough in advance that I'm not buying a last-minute trans-Atlantic plane ticket, but y'know, needs must.)
I've asked these questions of WorldBridge, the private company that handles UK visa matters in the States, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, to which they forwarded me.  After two weeks without a reply from them I phoned the British Consulate in San Francisco and got a phone menu which basically told me to look at the website or ask WorldBridge and gave me no way to speak to a living human (pressing 0 just took me back to start).  So I turn to you, The Internet, my faithful friends and crowdsourcing rogues: Does anyone have any experience with UK visas, communicating with the impenetrable fortress of UK government institutions, or any other insight into my questions?  Quips referencing Mycroft Holmes are not helpful but will be appreciated regardless.

*from a strategic perspective – the job is still great and the people delightful, it's just getting complicated now


Mar. 17th, 2013 08:50 pm
tealin: (Default)
Hey look it's a Dreamwidth-only post! Hi there, small handful of Dreamwidth friends!

Google Reader is apparently going kaput in July. For years it has been my one defense against spending hours cycling through bookmarks seeing if any of them have updated. I knew Dreamwidth let you put RSS feeds in your Reading page, so when I had little to do on Friday I transferred all my active Reader subscriptions to Dreamwidth so I still had one place to check them all. If you are interested in what I find interesting (mainly art blogs), you can keep an eye on my reading page or check out my list of subscriptions on my profile.

Still don't know how to keep track of Twitter accounts without signing up for Twitter myself, which is a rabbit hole I want to stay well away from ... if anyone has a clue there I'd be happy to hear it. The two I've subscribed to in Reader haven't been showing up there for months and Dreamwidth won't recognise the feed.
tealin: (introspect)
As anyone keeping tabs on the number of image posts I've made lately has probably been able to tell, I've been in a bit of an artistic slump. There are manifold reasons for this, some of which I have yet to find, and many of which I'd really rather not post about, but one significant one is the awareness that I am in desperate need of taking things to the next level. It's hard to pursue this adequately when it comes in conjunction with lack of inspiration and motivation – how do you turn out frontier-expanding work when you don't really want to do anything? – but it's something that has to be done.

I have devised a scheme that will give me material to work with, to push and improve, without the hard part of generating ideas: Revisit old drawings, treat them like initial sketches, and use skills learned and being learned to develop them into something actually nice. I have an enormous library of past sketches though, so I don't know where to start ... and so I come to you.

Is there a drawing of mine you particularly like, which you'd like to see brushed up and made presentable? Something from ye olden days which doesn't really stand up anymore but has sentimental value? A character or scene you'd like to see a new take on?

I don't know how quickly I'll be able to get through these, as there are other exercises I have to do as well, but it'll be something for a bit of fun, at least. A little, y'know ... like this. (OK, probably nothing at all like that, but the parallels amuse me.)
tealin: (introspect)

I need a new laptop.* Everyone I've asked says 'Dell.' So far the one that best suits my requirements is the Vostro 3560, and while external reviews are generally positive, the ones on Dell's website are a little tepid. I know this may be because that's where people go to whine, but I am still a little cautious. So I come to you! Anyone have one of these? Any other suggestions?

The specs that matter to me:
- Dedicated graphics card
- 15"-17" screen
- 3+ USB ports
- Windows 7
- Good life expectancy
- Battery life >1hr (probably standard these days but worth stating)
- WiFi (also standard, but hey)

And before you ask, no, I am not getting a MacBook: Apple and I get along well enough to be colleagues but not roommates. I like having back doors and being able to fiddle with things myself; it's hard enough letting go of XP.

*Only if I want to use the Cintiq I own and run Region 2 DVDs at full speed – the latter is a luxury, but the former is kind of a professional necessity. I love my beloved old XP-running Toshiba and it runs mostly fine, but it doesn't like the Cintiq ...
tealin: (Default)
Greetings, Internet!

So ages ago (last year, I think, or was it the year before?) I drew and coloured and finished an eight-page comic based on the first Herbert West story. This was for an anthology planned by a number of coworkers. I haven't heard a peep from the guy running the show for over a year now, so I'm wondering what to do with this thing. And so I turn to you, Internet – what should become of this thing?

Please share your thoughts in the comments or participate in the poll on LJ

tealin: (Default)
Last night my roommate and I went for groceries and ended up with something completely different. We got to the intersection before our destination and in a gap between the building and a tree, saw this:

At least, that's what it would have looked like without any of the foreground elements, if I had been standing on the roof of the grocery store, and had a telephoto lens. The mountain visible is, I believe, one side of the Newhall Pass, so whatever-it-was should have been visible to anyone going north on the 5. At first glance it looked like one row of lights on an array at the high school football field; it was only after realising the high school was much further to our left, and noticing that the parallax relative to known objects, as we moved down the street, implied it was much further away than field lights of that size would be, that the oddness of what I was seeing became clear.

Unfortunately, when we crossed the intersection, a tree got in our way, so we aborted groceries for the time being and tried to get on a road with a clearer view. This took about five minutes, and by the time we saw that part of the horizon again the lights had gone. We retraced our route, to see if it had been something more fixed that would still be visible from that angle, but it wasn't.

There are any number of perfectly reasonable things it could have been. The most likely explanation I can think of is that the Burbank Airport is directly in line between the grocery store and Newhall Pass, so if a large plane with four very bright headlights along the wingspan had been landing from the north, it would have looked exactly like that ... but planes don't usually land from the north at Burbank, and I've never seen any with a light configuration like that. I did a little research this morning and found that the C-130 Hercules sometimes has a light on each of its four engines, in the arrangement we saw, but I have never seen airplane lights this bright. Perhaps it was equipped specifically for illumination?

Has anyone seen anything similar? Any ideas?


Jun. 23rd, 2012 01:55 pm
tealin: (think)
I have declined to sign up for many of the newer waves of social networking trends – I don't care about Twitter and will never, ever get on Facebook – mostly because I'm distracted enough just by email and LJ that if I had any more options for online stimulus I would never get anything done.

That said, it seems like all the good art these days is on Tumblr. I would like to be able to find it, but I have no idea how Tumblr works beyond the very basic idea of reblogging things, and I figure the only way to learn, really, is to dive in myself. I am having misgivings, though, because I strongly suspect the motivation for this whim is that I am currently bored; when things get interesting again, will having another blog-ish thing turn out to be more of a liability than an asset? Is Tumblr good for professional networking*? My head is full of questions and I don't know who to ask, so I turn to The Internet, which has an answer for everything, even if more often than not it's 'aliens did it.'
*i.e. could it get me a job somewhere exciting, or publicise my artwork to people who might buy prints etc., provided I started doing artwork that would look nice as a print?

If I did get a Tumblr I would not abandon this blog, just use it as a sort of mirror site for my art, and probably end up mostly tumbling stuff from [profile] redscharlach who seems to be the source of 32% of excellence online. So please don't feel like you're voting on the fate of the status quo! I'm just looking for input as to whether to add another storefront to the Twirlynoodle franchise.

Please either comment here or fill out the poll on LJ ...
tealin: (catharsis)
Good morning, Internet, and a glorious 25th of May to you all!

As any regular follower of this blog will know, I am hopelessly addicted to the Independent Shakespeare Company – in fact one might even say I am dependent, ahaha, in more ways than one, as they are a substantial part of what makes living in LA worthwhile.

Their main event in the year is the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, in which they give away phenomenally fantastic theatre for free! Of course, it takes money to mount the festival, and while they do take donations during the run, there are expenses that have to be paid up front, such as directors' fees, equipment rental downpayments, licenses, etc., so they've been running a Kickstarter campaign. They aim to raise $20,000 and they are, currently, less than $200 away ... so this is me asking you to help push them over the top. At this point even the smallest contribution makes a big difference – and of course if they go over $20,000, they get to use the surplus, too.

I really can't overstate how wonderful this company is – not only are they excellent performers but they do a lot of community and schools outreach as well. You can see audience testimonials on their Kickstarter page – I'm right in line with the beardy man! Back when I first encountered them I made a quip in response to their signage [above] that I didn't know Shakespeare was in prison, but I didn't know at the time that, really he was, and they really do set him free! If you're within travelling distance of LA I really highly recommend you drop in on the festival, which runs Thursdays through Sundays, June 28-Sept 2 – you won't regret it!


Dec. 19th, 2011 03:58 pm
tealin: (catharsis)

Tickets for the ISCLA's HAMLET

! ! ! NOW ON SALE ! ! !

January 21, 22, 28, and 29

You owe it to yourself to see this show.
If you knew how good it was, you would never forgive yourself for not going.
Have I mentioned LA is a lovely place to visit in January?

Best Hamlet ever! I dare you to prove me wrong!


Nov. 13th, 2011 10:16 am
tealin: (Default)
I wrote this a few weeks ago, in an attempt to get my thoughts about, doubts on, and suggestions for the Occupy movement down in some sort of concrete form rather than buzzing around in my head. I sent it to a friend of mine who's involved with the movement for feedback and/or clarification, but she hasn't gotten back to me – understandable as it is bloody long and she has a world to save. History continues rumbling along apace, though, and I figured if I was going to share it at all, sooner was better than later. It's a little bit out of date but I hope the theory parts still stand...

I'm leaving comments open for now, because I want feedback, but the minute it starts getting hot in here I will not hesitate to lock them. I am really amazingly busy at work these days and do not have time to respond in a thoughtful way to anything, but I still read everything, so please don't let that stop you from having a say.

Before I get into the meat of the issue, I feel that I should explain myself. I have been watching the Occupy movement with a certain amount of interest since it first came on my radar. Usually I sit back and piece together information on such things as it comes my way from a number of sources, but until very recently this particular movement has been less than forthcoming in such regards. I get most of my news from international sources (the BBC and CBC, mainly) as I find American media distinctly uninformative even when it's not actively annoying me or throwing up red herrings. There are worldwide Occupations, but the movement's core is in, and will have the most effect on, the United States – foreign media doesn't have as much incentive to cover it in depth, so for the most part I've missed out on that end of things.

Growing up in a house that had Rush Limbaugh and his ilk spewing from every media orifice, I have a deeply ingrained suspicion of impassioned or emotionally manipulative oratory no matter where it's coming from,* and prefer to have the views of the people distributing ideas filtered through either an objective (or trying-to-be objective) third party, or challenged by an intelligent and skeptical interviewer. There has been shockingly little of that in this area – I heard the first really serious discussion of this nature just this past Saturday on the CBC. I may work in the arts but I am a scientist at heart, and I will not accept a theory – scientific, artistic, or political – until it's been peer reviewed and thoroughly tested by the best challenges that can be thrown at it. The Day 6 interview was a good start, but there needs to be a lot more of that.
*This is also why I try to avoid anything remotely political on this blog, because I've had enough of that thank you, and I am only posting this very hesitantly because I can think of no better way to relieve my ignorance.

A benefit of watching from the sidelines is that I've been able to see the core message of the movement coalesce from a hundred songs to the tune of 'we're pissed off' to a much more focused 'get big business out of politics and return democracy to the people,' with a sub-motif of 'share the wealth'. Part of the reason I'm especially wary of the stirring rabble-rousing coming from 'the horse's mouth' as it were, is that, as far as I can tell, I am inclined to agree with their points. As far as I can tell, it's hard for any sane and informed person not to. But that is as far as I can tell, which at present feels like not very far at all.

On a personal level, knowing that my sentiments put me at risk of getting swept up causes me to put on the brakes and try to take a closer look. Due to the lack of third-party information and the huge amount of unfiltered noise that will greet any internet search on the topic, I decided the most effective way of sorting anything out was to put down my thoughts on the movement as I see it and invite clarification from any informed person willing to read them.

My Doubts Re: Getting Money out of Politics )

My Doubts Re: the Modus Operandi and Potential Progression of Causality )

Lofty Pronouncements from an Armchair Revolutionary )

And finally, because I can only remain earnest for so long:

Seriously, people, THEME SONG. Do I have to spell it out for you?

tealin: (Default)
I've got a poll up on LJ regarding marketing for Winnie the Pooh. I'd like to get as much feedback as possible, so please do your bit! Non-LJ members are still allowed to participate, so you have no reason not to.
tealin: (Default)
A friend of mine is coming down to work in LA for a few months and needs a place to stay. He's friendly, responsible, and quiet, but as he's supporting his young family back in Canada he can't really afford an apartment of his own, and he really only needs a place to sleep, so he's looking to rent a spare room or some such. He's got somewhere to stay for now, but it's a loooong way from where he'll be working in Culver City, so if anyone reading this has any sort of lead, please let me know and I will pass it on to him.
tealin: (Default)
Yesterday I was contacted by Fandango about offering Harry Potter movie ticket presales through my website.

This isn't the first time I've been approached by a company for Potter-related merchandise tie-ins, and my first reaction was the same as it has been in the past, namely 'Bah! I am no corporate stooge! Begone with ye!' But while I felt confident in my role as arbiter of taste by depriving my audience of life-sized Potter movie wall decals, movie tickets are another thing ... and while I make a comfortable wage at my day job and don't need the promised commission fees, someone could probably use them.

Now, I don't know how much I'm likely to make off this, or how it is to be paid, or if it only counts for Potter ticket presales, but I thought I might get involved and send whatever profits come of it to flood relief in Pakistan. But I wanted to check with the people who actually use my site* before I went ahead with anything.

Would you tolerate a potentially flashy and ugly banner on my site for a good cause?

Would you actually use the service?

Please leave a comment and let me know ...

*I use it, but mostly as an online drawing library ... it is remarkably handy.
tealin: (4addict)
Does anyone out there have any recordings of Brian Perkins reading humourous clippings on an old episode of The News Quiz, or Dead Ringers clips of 'Big Daddy Perkins'? Would you be willing to share?
tealin: (Default)
I don't think Dreamwidth does polls, or at least as a non-paid-account I can't create any, so I direct you to my LJ where you can participate in the snark democracy party!
tealin: (Default)
My parents very kindly gave me a subscription to Cricket magazine when I was young ... it filled my mind with wonderful stories and illustrations, taught me vocabulary, exposed me to ideas and characters and poetry that I never would have found on my own, and also set me up for maddening frustration as an adult. Every so often I'll get a brainwave or be reminded of something and think 'There was a story about this! It had a cat and there was a pastel illustration of the moon and in the end it turned out they were twins!' but thanks to a lack of specific keywords and no memory for titles or authors' names it's impossible to find that story again.

The most recent of these involved one of my favourite stories from the whole time I was getting the magazine. A man goes to another planet and, though clearly told not to touch anything, touches a rock with interesting colours on it. He loses the use (or at least conscious control) of his hand and comes to realize that an alien life form has posessed it in some way. Late one night he wakes up to find his hand sort of having an argument with the thing, and it draws a cage which traps the thing in it. Years later he discovers the drawing of the cage but IT IS EMPTY ... it was really good. The title might have had a number in it (the number of the planet? might have included a 4?) but was not something clear like 'The Hand Parasite from Outer Space' because I always had a hard time finding the story by title when looking through my old magazines. The author may have been Japanese. Anyone have any ideas?


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