Sunday, January 25, 2009

Creating Masterpieces Using Nothing but Verve and Microsoft Paint

Creating great art takes great talent. Alternatively, you can follow this easy guide to creating real beauty out of the program Microsoft Paint (I can't find the registered trademark symbol right now, but I doubt any Microsoft affiliates are among my esteemed readers). Today we're creating a beautiful landscape in 4 easy steps. It's sort of like Bob Ross but without the mess of paints or the lovable 'fro.

I'm thinking of trying for a night scene, so the first thing you'll need to do is make a moon. If you want to be a bit more advanced, you can make a sun instead, but then you'll need to compensate by choosing a brighter sky hue. You're probably better off just swallowing your pride and going with the night scene. It's up to you, maverick. To make the moon, make overlapping circles and then fill one in. Erase the other and you have a moon (see Figure 1). Imagine that! You'll also notice that I filled in the sky. You're welcome to get a little crazy with "custom color" feature if you like and go a little darker or lighter. It's your masterpiece--make it your own!

Figure 1
Well done! Now you're ready for Step 2. Let's add some rolling hills to our picture. I like to use the curvy line function. As a word of warning, don't be surprised if when you make the line curve exactly where you want it to and then click somewhere else that it will change into some freakish curve that bares no resemblance to what you intended. Just roll with it! Art is about spontaneity, or at least it is when you don't know what you're doing. Observe the result:

Figure 2
Let's keep this art train rolling and move straight into Step 3. Step 3 is all about letting your creativity shine through. You can add whatever you like. After all, it was pretty much a landscape already after Step 2. The rest is just filler. Suggestions: a village of houses, some stars, random swirling clouds, a large plume or smoke and/or the entirely black silhouette of a tree. The choice is yours. Isn't art fun?

Figure 3
You're so close it's ridiculous! Step 4 is actually the easiest step. Just add some shading and tighten things up a bit. Just make sure to not over-edit.

Figure 4

Now sit back and enjoy your work. You earned it! Feel free to print off your work and put it on your home or office refrigerator. Don't forget to sign it so everyone will know who the artist is. Also, you may want to plug Immature Poets.

Immature Poets tell you how to Oscar Party

Well, its that time of the year again. Critics are hailing the Oscar nominations or lambasting them for leaving out their favorite film. The industry is on pins and needles, wondering who will win what. But what really matters is how you throw an Oscar party. You need to first make sure you invite the right people.

Here are the key players you need to invite to make sure that your Oscar party is up to snuff so you and your friends can have a good time.

Guest #1 – The Oscar Pool pusher
This guy has been following all the news and really wants everyone to make a bet and predict who will win. He’s got his ready to go. While pools are fun, this guy is going to talk about how he is going to win because he picks best costume and best original song, but in the end he will probably get almost everything wrong, so go ahead and take his money, it’ll be fun.

Guest #2 – the obnoxious film student
This guy is majored in film in undergrad while you were studying English, or Chemistry, or one of those slightly more credible fields. He spent his time watching movies while you toiled away and now he works as a Barista while you still toil away. But he’s required, so you have to invite him and his pretentions. He’ll hail all of the indie movies you haven’t heard of and discuss the intricacies of why Waltz with Bashir is a better foreign movie (he’ll call it a film) than The Bader Meinhoff Complex. He also will continuously complain about Heath Ledger winning an Oscar because “He wouldn’t if he hadn’t died.”

Guest #3 – The Dark Knight fan boy
Regardless of what category and who wins, this guy is going to complain about how the Dark Knight is much better and explain why. He’s wrong, but he’s probably bringing the Pabst Blue Ribbon so you got to let him in.

Guest #4 – The bored friend
This person doesn’t really watch movies but came for the beer. You know the one.

These are the required people for a successful Oscar night party. Sure, invite your friends, but without these four people the party just won’t be the same, and next year you might be watching alone on your couch.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Immature Poets learn about Proper Bus Etiquette

In the big cities, and in some smaller cities, people ride buses. But bus rides can be tedious affairs, what with their driving and sitting and not doing anything. That’s why I have come up with these simple rules for bus riders so that everyone can be as entertained as possible. Now it is your job to give a little back and follow these rules.

Rule #1 – Talk loudly on your cell phone

While no one ever really likes someone who talks loudly on their cell phone, the bus is an exception. We’re bored and forgot out books… so go ahead and chat loudly so we can casually eavesdrop on you. If your normal cell phone volume is a five, crank that voice up to a seven or an eight. The people in the back need to be able to hear you over the engine. Do your part.

Rule # 2 – Discuss that jerk Bob from down the hall

Listen, we all know Bob, he’s kind of a tool. But we like to hear stories about Bob. Maybe he kept trying to look down your top, or kept inviting you to a fun game of ultimate, or keeps talking about how great Howie Do It is. The key is find something to complain about. Even if he did your work for you and then just sent you home early, complain. Soon the whole bus will be behind you in support.

Rule # 3 - Share your embarrassing secrets

Vicki gave you syphilis. You got caught picking your nose. You farted during class. Your roommate walked in on you with a hedgehog and a bottle of Vaseline. These are all things that cannot wait for you to get off the bus. Even if you are on the phone, you must save all secrets for the bus ride. (See rule #1 for how to share them.) Share them then, trust us, we won’t tell.

Rule # 4 – Listen to bad music

This is key if you don’t know Bob or have divulged all of your secrets and your cell phone has died. Play music loudly enough that we all can enjoy the stylings of Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas, or Cold Play. The more terrible the better, because soon it will be stuck in our heads and we’ll be entertained for days, whether we like it or not.

So follow these simple rules and together we can all enjoy our bus rides a little more.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Immature Poets are writing hastily.

Welcome to this written-entirely-during-my-lunch-break edition of Immature Poets (For previous, hilarious editions check our archives. If you can’t locate them, rest assured: the problem is with you. Become more tech savvy.)

At any rate, the reason we at Immature Poets are eating our nuked leftover pasta while composing this instead of our other favorite lunch break hobby (googling stuff) is you. We do it all for you, dear reader, to make your life better. Today’s life-bettering post addresses the important issue of the pain-stakingly composed Facebook status update.

Gone are the days when the only way to express passive aggression online was through emoticom filled angsty livejournal posts. Thanks to an ever-evolving Facebook, you can express dissatisfaction with your life/ex/investment portfolio in the blink of an eye! However, with great efficiency comes great responsibility. Don’t fall into the trap of overusing the power and having later cries of “Hector Hobbs is HATES everyone” lose their punch and fall on apathetic ears. Here are a couple of tips and guidelines to make sure every time you update your friends, loved ones, and random people you don’t really know but for some reason friended on your current state of being—that you do so with the utmost poise and conviction.

--Make things as vague as possible. This will seriously increase the intrigue and thus the number of comments your status earns. No one has any need to respond to a clear-cut: “Pajama Booth is sad after being dumped by my boyfriend, Seth” or “Jesus Van Buren ate 7 pizzas. Can you believe that?!!! No, these are the straightforward statuses of amateurs. A clever Facebooker knows a more alluring status would be: “Chad Sparrows is your grandfather” or “Marcy Cutler is NOT at fault. It’s public decency laws that are too constraining” or (and this only for the truly adept) “Jorge Meadows is…”

--Never use real names. This adds to the vagueness as mentioned in dashed point one, but also gives plausible deniability. Compare the following: “Gordon Hatfield thinks Lacey is a dirty whore who will die of venereal disease” and “Gordon Hatfield thinks someone is a dirty whore who will die of venereal disease.” In the latter, Gordon has some wiggle room should those rumors about Lacey prove false—and they may be able to rekindle a romance without worry about spreading infection. In the former, not so much.

--Don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Make up words as needed! “No one likes a grammar Nazi” is something we here at Immature Poets are fond of saying.

---This final dashed point if the most important (hence the added dash for emphasis): think twice before putting up any Facebook status. If you’ve been drinking or are under the influence of illegal substances, go ahead and think it through three or four times. Remember that things that seem vitally important in the heat of righteous indignation may become more of a stain of embarrassment when your best friend’s mom who friended you a few days ago sends you a kindly meant Facebook message suggesting you get counseling.

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful, dear reader. Now I have to go wash my Tupperware and return to the job at hand. Happy Facebooking!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inaugural blog

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

- T.S. Elliot