Bonus April Birthday Dress with Daisies

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Don’t worry… it’s back to English today.

If you can actually read Japanese, I should mention (for the sake of my pride) that it probably sounded rather more stilted than my usual writing because I wrote it specifically to be put through Google Translate, so that it would make sense when people clicked the link. (Thanks, Google先生 ^^) Trying to write in English through automatic Japanese machine translation is actually a challenging exercise. (Try it sometime, if you’re learning Japanese. Alternately, take Translation Party for a spin!)

For example, that’s what accounts for the strange punctuation in “スケッチを描くこと、と日本語を勉強すること、のは私にとって大切です。” As it is, it’s rendered as the awkward yet reasonable “Drawing a sketch, and to study Japanese, are important to me.” Take out the commas and the meaning becomes “The Japanese wanted to learn to draw and sketch for me is important.” So it would all look slightly different if I was writing for clarity in Japanese and not clarity in Google Translate-assisted English…

The other entries I just ran through Google Translate because the content wasn’t terribly important – I just wanted to add to the feeling of being overwhelmed by another language. If you can read Japanese, you can see they’re rather a mess!

Since my April birthday dress was overshadowed by the April Fool’s day joke, I thought I’d do a bonus one. I hope it helps to make up for my cruelty ^^;;

Good news, bad news

Click for larger version; click for the doll.

Hey, this is Brian.

So: there’s good news and there’s bad news.

So: what? There’s always good news. And always bad news.

But here we go:

Liana and I met about a decade ago. That’s a long story. You know 2001? This movie about time. Long story. Cave dude throws that bone up into the air — it spins — sunlight — cut to spaceship. Yes, the movie says, some deliberate, ordered sequence of events happened between the bone going up into the air and this spaceship out way beyond the bleeding edge of the sky. But none of that is important, now, since we’re watching this spaceship. And that’s sort of how the movie starts. People mark time. Birthdays, durations of video screen calls, all this garbage. And by the end, there’s all this weird kick the can stuff that makes you want to lie down in the wet popcorn dust on the theater floor and feel time and space and so forth kind of loop out, and then the guy is old, and he’s walking through these rooms, and then there’s this spacebaby. And that’s sort of how the movie ends.

The point being that I could go on for a long time about Liana, how we met, what a joy it’s been to have her companionship and sweetness and laughter since. But instead I’ll jump cut to the fact that, well, she’s gone.

I never had her pegged for the ninjitsu type. True, the warning signs were all there. But she’s up and left us. She didn’t write a note. Ninjas don’t write notes. Nor do they leave forwarding addresses, or even, apparently, lock the doors on their way out.

To the ninja, every door is unlocked. Locks are illusions. Doors are illusions, too. So it makes sense, from a certain perspective.

Hers, not mine.

So now you know the bad news. To wit: ninjas don’t draw paper dolls either. Paper shurikens, maybe. But then they cut them out with the force of a thousand burning eagles and — well.

Thinking about it, I’m glad I’m still alive. I was married to a ninja!

But I feel bad for all of you, who apparently derived some satisfaction from Liana’s paperdoll art.

And I feel bad for myself. Because, come on, I don’t know where she is. Maybe she’s under the fridge. Hiding in the cabinet. Hidden in the shadow of a table leg. Waiting to strike, with the force of a thousand burning eagle paper shuriken.

Hence I’m making the best of things, and I’ll be drawing some paperdoll costumes for you. That’s the good news.

Today’s doll is a celebration of Springtime in the Rust Belt. Frog legs for springing through the mud, a stupid hat for the usual reasons, and a sandwich board bedecked with the smiling sun, token of the King of Shadows and the elves, and also the only thing anybody drinks in this state between approx. March and September.

Happy spring. Also, send me your ninja evasion tips. I’m already doing all the usual stuff: garlic, wolfsbane, mousetraps.