Friday, October 29, 2010

Costume Parade!

On display outside the daycare

Mom and I just got back from the Costume Parade at the day care.

She lent me her camera so, without further ado I give you:


Pictures of Hallowe'en 2010!


One of Kiah's fancy new school outfits


Spiderman!

Carving Punkin's round one with Princess Dress

Some of our Halloween decorations

Auntie Tea making a goofy face

It was strange carving pumpkins in the 70 degree weather we had earlier this week. As you can see my handsome youngest brother is sweating. He is also looking really muscle-y in this picture. Go Johnny!



Did I mention that both he and Catie quit smoking? They've been on a health kick for the past couple of months and it's going great. Cousin Corinne also quit. Way to go, you guys!


And here is a funny cutesy video of the parade:





And here is a really adorable video (I know, enough with the cute stuff already!) of Ethan deciding to make his punkin look like mine, and also, of Kiah being a hot mess.






Happy Friday, Everyone!

Gearing up for Pub Roll 2.0!

The long hair would be a problem whipping in the wind.


Our second installment of Pub Roll 2.0 is underway tonight! I have the perfect costume for the occasion, one that will be both warm and bicycle friendly (i.e. no capes, no fluttering bits, in other words no potential for Isadora Duncan moments).

I also packed my Malfoy costume from last year. Finally Meghan will get to see her handiwork up close and personal when we go to the lovely Cunninghamvello's party which I hear will involve cheddar grilled cheeses, mulled cider, butternut squash soup and whatever other culinary delights Katie feels like whipping up for us.


Hallowe'en 2008 was nice.


2009 was slightly quieter. I'm looking forward to an exciting action-packed weekend adventure, myself.

Here is a side by side analysis of last year's punkins vs this year's punkins:

I detect a theme...















Also, my camera phone makes this year's punkins look washed out. Either that or the Ford family had some ORANGE punkins last year, boy.

And remember how last year at the last minute Pat dressed up like dad?


Big ole' reading glasses, a button up cardigan and a box of Cheez-its.

I laughed all the way around the neighborhood.

We pulled the then 2 year old babies in the broken green wagon and they had more fun "helping" me push than actually trick-or-treating. I think they were just a bit too young to understand the concept of the holiday. Which was fine with me. The longer they stay my little babies the better.

This year Ethan is Spiderman and Kiah is (of course) a Disney Princess. Their costume parade at day care is this morning at 11am and I can't wait to see them.

It's going to be an amazing weekend you guys!
I'll post pictures once I get them.

Stay safe and sexy out there.

xt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Punkin's and a Professor Comic


I made a comic about the late Professor Taylor today.

I'm not sure how I feel about it yet but it was one of those things I HAD TO DO, y'know?

There should totally be a scene in there of Professor Taylor teaching (with 17 year old me in her classroom) but I had trouble deciding what lesson she would be imparting. Maybe I will add it in a final version. We'll see.

**********

Also, last night was Punkin' Carvin!

Sekiahs pumpkin is covered in marker doodles since she preferred the Sharpie over the toy kid-knife, while Ethan's is a little mini-me version of mine. Please note the baby pumpkin in mouth theme.




I wasn't going to do the cannibal pumpkin thing again this year but it was specifically requested by mom and Johnny.

*****

Finally, WHAT THE F*CK AM I GOING TO BE FOR HALLOWEEN?!?!

Christ I need to figure that out.

Pub Roll 2.0 is this Friday night and we are supposed to go in costume.

*Gulp*

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One of The Good Guys, Gone.


This weekend Professor Jill Taylor lost her battle with leukemia.

Simmons College President Helen G. Drinan ('75LS, '78SM) spoke about it Monday.

"To say that Jill was beloved by those at Simmons would be a tremendous understatement. Her sharp intellect and upbeat personality made her a pleasure to be with and learn from. From the students she advised, to the faculty she worked with, and numerous alumnae who stayed in contact with her, Jill was everything that we want Simmons to be."

I only took one class with Professor Taylor and it was an into to Gender and Cultural Studies class back when I didn't know anything beyond the hegemonic cultural boundaries of my predominately Irish Catholic Marshfield.

Professor Taylor blew the top off my closed mind.

Even though I only had her for a single class, her office was in the same suite of offices as my adviser and I'd run into her often. She was from New Zealand and still had her accent. She was tall and you could hear her laughing all the way down the hall. She the kind of woman I was lucky to have had in my life.

Here some more about Jill Taylor on teaching in her own words.

Jill Taylor: Straight Talk about Women and Sexuality

Jill TaylorIn Jill Taylor's various courses on women and sexuality, she wants her students to know there's no right or wrong way to think. Especially when sex is the topic.

"I like to have a classroom where students feel that they can risk speaking about their ideas and critique the material we are discussing," said Taylor, professor of education and women's and gender studies.

"Women's and Gender Studies seems to attract students with questions, strong ideas, an openness to other ideas, and a determination to improve the world — a great combination in the classroom, as well as in the world," said Taylor.

Taylor's goal is to educate her students to become good teachers themselves, to become active inquirers, to stretch themselves intellectually, and to become proud of the women they are, and that they are becoming.

"I want them to take themselves seriously as scholars, and as women who have a great deal to contribute to the world."

*****

You will be missed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Prism Grant, Now on Video!

So in today's installment of awkward, hard-to-watch Tana moments I give to you:

The Prism 2010 Queer Press Grant Official Announcement




I am such an unknown that no one on the panel even realized I was in the audience.

As you can see the videographer starts to zoom in on the other grant winner, the inimitable Jon Macy, assuming I'm sure, that they were going to announce him first.

In the video I am bleary-eyed and ecstatic, both.
And even just watching this video from the comfort of my studio I'm shaking a bit with gratitude (and possibly embarrassment).

An excerpt from the PRISM Comics' article about the grant goes as follows:

"This year, we received the highest number of submissions ever," said Justin Hall, Prism's Talent Relations Chair and previous Queer Press Grant recipient (...) "We also noticed a leap in the quality of storytelling and art which was extremely heartening, even though it made it extremely difficult to single out one person. Luckily, the vote produced a tie once again this year!"

J.T. Ford's Duck is a graphic novel that follows the lives of two lesbians embarking on an impromptu road trip across America. At turns hilarious and poignant, Duck explores the nature of love, the power of friendship, and where the best cowgirl bar is in Austin. Although printed copies of Duck are already available through Ford's blog at duckacomic.blogspot.com, the Grant will assist her in getting copies into the hands of reviewers, comic shops and readers.










*************


I sincerely hope YOU will be one of those readers or comic shop owners or reviewers they mention at the end.

For more information drop me a line at duckacomic(AT)gmail(DOT)com or click that link at the top right of the page to buy a copy for yourself.

Hurry! There are precious few of the first edition Duck!s left on the shelf.

If anyone is looking for me I'll be over in the corner swooning and feeling really, really, small.

(xTana)

Tears of Joy


This blog is about to get really sappy.

Jess sent me the link to her and Pat's wedding video preview this weekend and, as I watched it here at my desk this morning, I started to cry.

The things that stick out to me about this video (in fact about the whole wedding itself) are:

* How exquisitely lovely everything was
* How beautiful Jessie is and how she is smiling from the inside out
* How HAPPY (how honestly HAPPY) everyone is

It's just breathtaking (yes, it really takes my breath away) to see so many of the people I love, love each other.

Enjoy.

CLICK FOR WEDDING VIDEO



Bring the tissues.

xT.

Friday, October 22, 2010

1958 Caddy

Now there's a front seat I'd love to get busy in.

For those of you who were wonderful enough to order books from me this week, I am pleased as punch to announce your orders have shipped!

You'll be receiving your confirmation emails shortly.

*********

In other news, feast your eyes upon THIS beauty!

It's a 1958 Cadillac!




Hubba hubba

Get a load of that wheel!


I saw those same white walls on Lightening McQueen!


We had a discussion in the back of the shop today about how the tail lights look like they belong in those American Express smiley face commercials. Can you see the Mohawk-face in there?





No?

How about now?

(I made it easy for you!)





JC, the other mechanic who works with Matt and I, was the one who pointed it out to me this morning.

I couldn't help but laugh.


For those of you who know about Marshfield's famous turkey sandwiches you will be interested to know that the guy that owns Gerard Farms is the same guy who owns this car! In addition to making the most fantastic turkey sammidges of all time he also collects old cars.

Neat!

*********

This weekend I think I am going to check out the Head of The Charles race (in all my time in Boston I have never been, can you believe that?). Then it's birthday dinner time possibly followed by some bromantic misadventures.

One of which is going to have to be nailing down a Halloween costume. Time is running out!


Stay sexy out there,

xt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dang Tourists

Happy Birthday Sea lions!


I finally feel as though I've got my legs back under me.

I've got some new comics underway and weekend FULL of catching up to do.

If you are interested in seeing Matt and I play tourists I invite you to watch the following videos.




It turns out the bridge we were posing like tourists in front of all weekend was actually the Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate bridge (Whoopsie!).


Dumb friggen' tourists


And to quote myself in the Cable Car Museum:

"It really is the drive thingie," and "a working work station."




Way to be eloquent, Tan.

************

In other news this is what happens when I try to practice my piano at night.




I get ousted by a diva.

Alas, it's not the worst of problems to have.

*************

Happy Thirsty Thursday everyone,

Do something fun tonight!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time for a Name Change


The bad news is DUCK Studios already exists -- and it ISN'T owned by me.

Dang it.

So, I am going to be thinking about what to call my little garage studio that won't get anyone in a litigation mood, y'know?

In the meantime THANKS for all the feedback, love and support you guys!

I am overwhelmingly humbled by the events of this last week.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all so much.
Truly.

Also if you haven't picked up a copy of DUCK! yet you can do so right now!

Click that little BUY button over there ( ---->)
And your book will ship out this Friday with the rest of them.

I'm off to do some real *new* work!

Stay sexy out there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pat &Jessie Got Hitched!

Now that my life has been made (Thanks everyone at Prism Comics!) it's on to some overdue, but no less exciting, news!

PATRICK GOT MARRIED!


My own little brother!


(Sniffle) My own little brother is now, officially, a married man.

And I am a Sister-in-Law (Haaay, Sis!)

And a Daughter-in-Law (Hi Mom and Dad B!)

But mostly, what a fantastic fucking wedding.

**********

Both of my parents cried at the ceremony. Yes, even my dad.

My mom was a sparkly, shimmering, smiling goddess. All her sisters were up from Florida and it was madness at the Ford house all week long. Babies, and fire pits, and Bud Lite (yuk!) and laughter and chain smoking (double yuk!) and walks to the beach and the never ending pot o' coffee. It was grand!



The day of the wedding (10.10.10 - an easy date to remember) we were all running late so this is as close to a family photo as we got:


The babies looked spectacular. Mom bought Ethan a pink shirt to match his twin sister's pink dress and they both looked rad. When we got to the reception hall they ran out onto the empty dance floor and starting breaking it down. Twirling and spinning and sliding and dancing all by themselves to no music whatsoever. It was unspeakably adorable.




Here is Johnny, mister Best Man, looking sharp with Caitlin on his arm.

(As an aside: CONGRATS Caity! On coming in FIRST in your age group on your FIRST race ever! You rocked it girl! If we have any opening on the SMO team I'm signing you up! First in your First! Well done! x)




Here is John Michael with his Mini Me.



The sun was glaring in my eyes which is why I look a bit squinchy faced in this picture. Still a nice shot with Pops and Patty Cake.



Humina Humina...
Here are the bridesmaids.

(I kept calling Leah the "Best Maid." If you knew these girls you'd know there is no "Maid of Honor" ha!).


Like I said, humina humina....

And where there are best ladies so too must there be best men.
I give to you, The Boys:


Doing a shot at Frankie D's on their way to the Chapel. Keepin' it classy.

Here they are in all their finery.

(I'm getting weepy just looking at them).



Here's a nice shot of mom and dad post wedding, pre wedding pictures. The weather was just about as beautiful as anyone could expect.

Mom and Pop

Also, a little detail to note is that in the stretch SUV they rented for the wedding was a cooler filled with nothing but Coors Lite (Sigh). I must accept the fact that this is my family. This is my family and they love drinking shitty beer (dramatic sigh again).


Alas.

Here is one of the dads!


Pat and Jessie waltzed their first dance at the wedding. They did an amazing job. I know they have been taking lessons for months now but it really was a breath taking performance. They seemed to glide across the floor. Chins up and smiling and turning and it was over too fast.






*******

Of course, not everything went perfectly.

Pat DID try to escape after all:




And there was of course the Scorpion Bowl races at the Rehearsal dinner...




Not to mention the maneuver known as the Long Distance Scorpion Bowl Sneak, which was basically Marae linking together neon colored straws and slurping up the neglected Scorpion Bowls at the other tables. See below:



Have I mentioned I gave a reading at the wedding?

Backstage (which is what I like to call the Sacristy) at the Church, just before the ceremony, I let Patrick know that I wasn't comfortable giving a reading from the B section of the bible pamphlet (I'll spare you the boring Church details, but I will tell you this: a little known Tana fact is that I used to be an altar server. So was Patrick. And we did many masses together with our pal Father Sean, the priest, and friend of the family who was about to marry Pat and Jessie).

"I'd rather do a reading from the D Section," I said. "This one."

If I speak in the tonguesa]"> of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but if I have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b]"> but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.


Father Sean clapped a hand to his forehead.

Pat loooked at me and said, "I knew you'd do this. Pick something in the B Section."

"Fine," I smiled. "I'll read from the book of Genesis."



Man Howe and I gave the readings
Excuse the green thingie on my neck-
it was a put there by the kids.

I went with the bit in Genesis that says in God's image he created them, male and female he created them.

It was the most egalitarian thing they had to offer.

************

The tables were wonderful. The dancing was constant. The music was excellent. The food was outstanding. Everything came together seamlessly and was, in my modest opinion, outstanding.

Here's to Pat and Jessie!

May a lifetime of good fortune and love be yours!

Have fun in Aruba!

This ICE is for you.

XoXo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prism Grant Winner 2010!

Me and Zan!
The man who made my dreams come true!


I am now
an award winning author!

Praise be! Sing songs of exultation!

This weekend at the San Francisco Alternative Press Expo they announced me, little ole' me (!) as one of this years' recipients for Prism Comics annual Queer Press Grant!

But before we get to that, let's begin at the beginning, shall we?


Our hotel room! Matt's bed is clean, my bed is...
well, MY bed.

I registered for, and sold artwork at, my first ever comic book convention. I dragged Matthew with me all the way to California (he had never been) and we made a little vacation out of it. Friday we roamed around Pier 39, saw the sea lions (there were surprisingly fewer than before), sat in the glorious sunshine and had lunch and cocktails, then eventually made our way to the Cable Car Museum.

Next to the two-story, handcrafted carousel


We tried to get onto a cruise to Alcatraz but they were all sold out until Sunday (Sunday!). Let that be a lesson to those of you who want to go: plan ahead!


This was as close to Alcatraz as we ever got.

Then it was lunch in the hot sun with ice cold drinks. I had a Spiked Arnold Palmer (Mm-mm! Sweet tea vodka!) and Matt had something fruity and delicious (but with too much Malibu for his liking), don't worry, I finished the drink for him then we found our way walking to the Cable Car Museum.

"I'll pay for your drink, but I won't pay for waste."

So handsome. So happy to be traveling.


Now, I had thought the CCM would be some hole-in-the-wall public space full of dusty trolley trinkets. And it was! But it was also the magnificently still operational carriage house for the actual cable cars. The wheels were spinning noisily in the dust from a hundred years of constant motion. The heat bordered on unbearable and it smelled faintly of hot generators and bearing grease. I was sweating like a piglet.

The CCM machine house is right next door!
Smells like our garage but much, much older,
And with tools like look like torture devices!



Like Gilda Radner I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.
Also, on what makes me sweat the least.

Loving the hills and the epic views


AP was right, thought, the CCM was worth more than the price of admission (It's free!). From there we went to Haight Ashbury where I explained to a befuddled Matthew what "420" means, and along the way we a.) posed at every turn with the Golden Gate Bridge behind us and b.) nearly got run over by a Segway gang. YES, a Segway gang!




See? They roam in packs, people, beware!





420 Friendly, man!

Friday night was the APE conference exhibitor mixer & registration (Translation: FREE BEER!). The brochure said that the mixer would be in a comic book store called The Last Gasp but I was not prepared for the ...the ...the crazy wall to wall stuff I was confronted with.


a)pictures hang on the Dewey Decimal System,

b)Obama in a Santa Hat


c) A stuffed cat (?) with many silicone nipples


d) Church Pew (not seen)


The Lasp Gasp
was part office building, part storage facility, part apartment complex. Things, stuff (junk), hung from every wall and lined every surface. The bathrooms were cramped and crooked and questionable. The kitchen looked like an ancient furnace room, glimpsed furtively, at the end of a long hall.


Bruce Lee votes sucka'!

This was a catered affair and servers circled with fancy chutney and brie quesdillas and nibbles of all sorts that seemed out of place in this strange, dusty, creaky place. There was a food area set up in a hallway and a smiley-nice man pouring plastic glasses of wine and twisting the caps off bottles of beer that were floating in tubs of ice. Somewhere there was cake.



Naked lady comics and sex comics seemed evenly strewn about. the book selections were rad. Matt picked up Negative Affirmations and read out loud to me laughing and trying to keep a melancholy voice.


It was fun. In the living room there was a ceiling full of model airplanes that made me think of my own. There was a working piano, 2 pinball machines, 3 old dentist chairs and a myriad of other strange and disturbing stuff all over the place.

So that was Friday. We went out drinking and gallivanting Friday night but that's a story for another time.

**************

APE 2010!
Saturday Morning!

We slept late (Translation: We were hungover) which made setting up my first table ever a bit more stressful than it needed to be. We met Nathan, my table buddy and got ready for the show to open.




11am: The bullhorn blows signaling the start of the day. Convention goers come pouring in. We are at the far, far, faaaar end of the hall so it takes a while for the people to make their way to us and most are just doing a once over to get their bearings. It's a slow first hour.


One of my table neighbors buys a $5 postcard from me and officially becomes my first legit sale ever! Hi, Luke! Thanks! I sell one book to a man who is all business. I can tell he's looking for talent and something catches his eye in the pages of Duck. "This is your first published work?" he asks me.

"First one ever," I say.

We chat for awhile and gives me a business card and walks away with the first copy of Duck ever sold. My knees feel a little bit wobbly.



I brought mini rubber duckies with me to hand out to people as they walk past my table. These are a big hit especially with nick-knack collectors. It seems almost everybody has somebody they can give a rubber duck to. I have to explain that there are NO ducks in my book and I write up a blurb to put on my table. It says things like:

Duck! An original graphic novel!
There are NO actual ducks in this book!


and

It's sort of On The Road meets The L-Word.

and

If you're in the market for friendly banter, this is the book for you!

I get really positive responses from complete strangers and everyone at the con seems really nice. There are a few folks who aren't interested in my work when they first come up to my table, but once they open DUCK they keep turning the pages. A few of these people seem genuinely impressed and fork over the money to take the book home.

Inside I am blushing. Outside my hands are shaking. I am signing books I have made for the first time in my life and it feels weird.





In the middle of the afternoon I realize I haven't eaten all day and I am famished. The adrenaline of actually being here and actually doing this has got my head spinning. I ask Matt to watch the booth and head to the kitchen, but on the way, as I am passing the Prism Comics booth I hear Justin Hall say he has to go moderate a panel and he'll be back in an hour. I realize he is talking about the Queer Comics panel, which is a big part of the Reason Why I Am Here and I turn right around and head into the the conference room.

The panel is excellent. I am shocked that I came so close to missing it.

There are about 7 or more guest speakers and the topic stays mostly on The Future of Comics and what role queer comics will play in that future. They discuss internet vs. print, nudity vs. pornography and the double standard ALL gay comics gets saddled with, which is to label anything that features gay characters as pornography regardless of content or age appropriate material.

The panel is ending and Justin Hall announces quickly that this years' recipient of the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant. "It's a dead tie," he said. "Third year in a row!"

Now, I had heard somewhere that when you win a grant, someone from the committee will contact you ahead of time to sort of give you a heads up. So, even though I was fully aware I had applied for this grant I had no expectation of winning it.

This year's winners are "Joe, Joe..." He looks down at the paper in front of him "Joe Hanna Tana Ford"

I swear, I nearly passed out.

In fact (they told me later) my face lit up, I shouted (squeaked) "That's me! I'm her! That's me!"

Justin looked up flushed (he's a very handsome man) "That's you?"

"It's me!" (I was excitedly pointing at myself and standing up. The microphone was a foot in front me and to the left) "THAT'S ME!" I boomed into it. My voice echoed around the hall and I could feel my face turn red.

"I'm at Table 645, come by and check it out!"


I still don't know where I got the guts to say that, but I'm glad I did.

******

After that everything is sort of a blur.

I met Justin and Zan and so many other people. I shook hands and smiled so much my cheeks started to hurt. I got back to my table bouncing up and down like a jackrabbit and told Matthew in one run-on sentence everything that had happened and he started crying.

He actually started crying.



A photographer came over who was so sweet and understanding (in roughly 9 out of 10 photos I am an excited blur of a girl). Zan took some video and asked me to speak about the process of applying. I had nothing of substance to say, really. Even now, with the weekend over I can't think of one cogent piece of advice to give to someone else who wants to apply for this grant.

Just, do it, man.

Do it!


After that my table was swamped. People were buying my books up like hot cakes. The guys from Prism Comics came over and asked me if I would like to put a stack of books at their big table and I gushed some more. My hands were shaking trying to sign everything. As an artist you are supposed to draw a little doodle on the title page along with your name and I was shaking so badly I couldn't do it. I couldn't think of one single thing to draw - it's just one mashed up miraculous blur.

7pm: The Bullhorn sounds to signal the close of the show. I have been asking people for constant updates on the Giants game which started at 4:30pm. Can you believe I am in San Fran and the Giants are in the playoffs and I will not get to watch ONE MINUTE of the game in some local dive bar?! It is an outrage!

(But the Giants win and I am very happy for my new adopted city)


**************

SUNDAY begins much better.

First of all we have a sit down breakfast at Rocco's complete with mimosa's and a cute waitress.

I had gone to bed early while Matt went to the Isotope Lounge After Party in my stead. He met the amazingly awesome James Sime himself! Otherwise known to the comic book world as Isotope! The baddie from Robert Kirkman's Invincible series and also as a cameo of a dead body in Kirkman's The Walking Dead series.


Love the hair!
Sunday morning I see James' walking past my booth and I accost him. Lucky for me he's used to gushing fans and we have a longish chat about comics', Kirkman and the future of the industry (Inside I am a squealing fangirl).


Love the Zoot Suit!

Here I am pointing out where you can find the comic book version of Mister Sime himself:

5:30am. Looking a bit jet lagged I'd say...

And here he is in all his glory:




What a weekend.

I also met some fantastic artists. One of which is my new boyfriend Daniel Touchet. If I only liked boys, he would totally be my type. Alas, BEST FRIENDS for lyfe coming up!




You should go check out his work and buy his stuff.
He's absolutely adorable.

Also check out: Conduct Happiness! If you are in the market for hilariously awesome shirts and stuff for kids and toddlers BUY THEIR STUFF online! I mean come on "Conserve water, PEA on a tree." It's CLASSIC!

PEA on my duckie!

Go PEA go!

***************

Anyway, it was an outstanding mind-blowing weekend.

I haven't even mentioned I got to meet one of my art heroes Erika Moen and one of my new faves Dylan Meconis. Go check out Family Man and DAR and support those two talented West Coast ladies.

I'd jabber on for awhile longer but I think I need to go find a couch and take a nap.

I'm pooped!

Peace out!

(As always, sorry about all the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but given the weekend I just had I think you'd better cut me some slack, haters. xoT)