Life, art, and complaints of Cat Razim

Monday, May 2, 2011

To some there now may be closure…

Osama bin Laden is dead.

Vague tweets suddenly filled my twitter feed tonight. It was weird, not only for the vague “I guess i’ll watch this instead” comment from a friend, but because twitter is never in a flutter on a Sunday Night. Ever. So I turned on CNN.

BREAKING NEWS! No one knew what was going on, but there was going to be a speech by The President of the United states. and like that, worry, fear and excitement grew in my chest. Sunday night. What would happen on a Sunday night? What couldn’t wait for a Monday just mere hours away. Suddenly, just like that one jerk at the opening night of the greatest movie ever (the thursday night/friday morning, everyone cosplays, waits in line for hours before hand,  leaving the theater at 3am forever changed) the news caster spoils the announcement by leaking the Ring gets destroyed by an unsecure 2.5 meter airshaft. wait. what? no.

A U.S. manned operation in which the leader of the radical terrorist group al Qaeda was finally brought to justice.

As an American, for me, this is justice for 9/11. Thousands died, many more suffered (First Responders STILL have NOT recieved a proper “thank you” mind you…) But this isn’t just for me. This is for the Millions of Muslims whom are judged because of their beliefs. This was for those sons/daughter/husbands/wives/sisters/brothers whom were brainwashed by his terrible views. Suicide bombers, innocent bystanders, people of different faiths/ideals, those suspected because of racial profiling, all suffered because of this “man”. (I’m not sold on the fact that this scum-bag was a person.)  He has committed numerous, unspeakable crimes against humanity- all peoples. Americans aren’t the only ones who’ve suffered. And unfortunately,  his legacy, what he created, the hate he seeded within all of us, is still a threat to all living peoples.

Am I glad he is dead? Yes. And I hope he gets his 72 virgins, only read virgins as hellish, teeth-gnashing, acid-dripping demons. I hope they rip his soul into 72 pieces and each piece still connects with the other as he is tortured 72 different ways. It still does not rectify or reverse the damage (physically/emotionally/mentally) he has done. But the thought of him suffering all he has dished out a thousandfold certainly helps a bit…

I am also very glad of how gracefully the news was delivered by President Obama. His speech was short, to the point, he took credit, gave credits where it was due. He also took care to point out that bin Laden was the leader of a terrorist group. “…that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” Thank you, Obama.

But also… there is an indifference in me tonight. I’m not jumping in the streets like many Americans are. But that’s because I wasn’t truely angry on 9/11. I was at a loss. I was sad. My safe suburban bubble was popped and I saw the pain and anguish, and sadness in the faces of my teachers and peers. I watched the images and video on TV and my heart fell into a darkness.

Like many, I will always remember where I was that day. A sophomore in High school in second period Social Studies. I sat in my seat drawing my daily comic- A routine I started since I always had time before the bell, and a healthy outlet where I usually insulted the teacher and made the class bearable.  It was spirit week and that day was Look-Alike day. Two seniors, twins, having the period off came to visit the teacher before the bell and show off their costumes. They wore boxes painted to look like the twin towers (one even had an antenna on his head). Half an hour later, they came back. I was close enough to overhear them- the Principal told them to take off their costumes. Something horrible happened to one of the towers. “Something about a plane hitting the building”.  Minutes passed before the Pricipal came over the loudspeaker instead of the normal announcements and told us about the planes that crashed into the World Trade center, and two others still hijacked.

The rest of that day everyone sat silent in class, watching the news on TV, or listening on the radio. Some teachers spoke about what happened, and answered questions as best they could but not with anger or bigotry or zealousness. The office hallway was filled with students trying to hear from their parents, family, anyone, as they worked in or near the Towers. Teachers sat and tried to hide tears while they prayed for friends, spouses, family. One of my sisters worked in Penn Plaza and had a day off. But I didn’t know until I got home…  The custodians of the school went up to the roof of the building and saw the smoke and ash of blood, sweat, tears, steel, concrete, life and death  in the distance.

“The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done”

Justice has been done. The fight is still not over but this is one giant step to finally putting an end to the war and finally seeing our troops come home. I’m happy but not dancing in the streets. I’m remembering.

posted by Cathy Razim at 4:23 am  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some People Suck… ep1 – Itawamba Agricultural High School

If you haven’t heard yet, a school in Mississippi has cancelled prom because a girl wanted to take her girlfriend as her date…

Really, Itawamba Agricultural High School? Really? You cancelled prom for that?

I mean, think about it in a statistic you can understand… that’s a couple less-likely to face teen pregnancy…

And what about those poor wallflower kids that go with their friends instead? Why force people to go with a person of the opposite sex? Think I’m kidding? “A Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a date to the prom, and one requirement was that the person must be of the opposite sex.” (source here, near the end of the article… ) Seriously? It’s a requirement?

I heard of this through the twitter feeds. @realjohnGreen , an author I follow, one part of the Vlogbrothers, and a great Nerdfighter shared the story, and has suggested we fundraise and throw a prom for every student of the school, regardless of companion!

I say let’s do it.

posted by Cathy Razim at 3:23 pm  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artists and technology…

What is it about technology that makes some people utterly useless?

I had a class last quarter (because RIT still has trimesters and it’s better, damnit!) that the professor used a stand-alone projector/speaker system. Not one class with him went by where he didn’t make a snide comment about technology. “It’s the projector, it screws up the colour.” “The speakers don’t work.” “The projector doesn’t project the entire screen. School of technology, heh.” “The copier must’ve screwed this page up.”


It’s not like he’s new to all this. Some of his work is digital…

But it isn’t just him. Many artists in my school are fearful of technology. Someone openly admitted to me once that she has her boyfriend check her email because she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer.

Granted, I might be spoiled in my knowledge of how a computer works because my boyfriend and I built our own computers a few years back. Back in high school I taught myself the basics of the computer and programming websites. I feel, however, that if you gave it the time of day most of what you need to know is common sense. Even with a new computer, fresh out of the box, you knew where to plug in the monitor and the keyboard because the plugs fit in perfectly-

So why is it like trying to fit a cube into the opening shaped like a circle for these people!? really!? We had presentations for our finals and some of us brought our own laptops. One person had an older Mac and was trying to force the VGA, or the new mac proprietary video plugs into places it didn’t fit. I had to say something at this point. I grabbed the laptop, noticed it was a DVI connection and grabbed a DVI to VGA adapter from my bag to save the day.

Because I’m the only loser I know who carries around a DVI to VGA…

Oh dear readers… when it was my time to present my final, I indirectly handed it to my professor… I gave a quick rant that it isn’t Technology’s fault… the problems existed between chair and keyboard. (One person actually got it. Thank you friend in the back.) I also said that it hurt some people’s feelings when technology got the blame when it wasn’t at fault. No one takes care of it!

I got a small applause for that. My Professor didn’t say a word.

But it isn’t hard to learn! Why are artists fearful? Is it this hatred that it’ll make crappy art to replace hand made art? No… It’ll be crap art because PEOPLE will make crap art on the computer. The computer is a tool, just learn to use it, and it can do really amazing things…

posted by Cathy Razim at 8:32 pm  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaguration Day (Bush is Gone!!!)

… This is a great day.  This is an amazing, and positively great day. Our 44th president was sworn in today. President Barack Obama! This is the first day of change! Bush is gone after eight LONG years. Yes, he had to make some really tough decisions because a lot has happened. However- Some decisions he made directly and indirectly led this country downwards…But that’s not the case anymore.We have a new President that can do so much for the Country.  The Crowds, the turn out — Watching all this today Made me feel so proud to be an American for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. People united .. not in war.. not in protest.. but to witness such an amazing step forward. This is an advancement  not just in History, but in Humanity!  We finally put aside racial differences to elect the right person for the job. I hate to make it a +5 for Black people everywhere. However, it is a HUGE accomplishment for them. Some people never thought they would see the day. I have a friend whos mother was a huge civil rights activist! She would walk with her mother and father in countless movements for change. Her mother recently past away, but was still able to vote and witness his Win.  This has been an emotional and moving and proud day for everyone. But I hope we can see this as not a win for colour, but a win for the right leader. A win for a informative decision… A win for Young people finally realizing they are Americans too and can make a difference. A win for a country to do something instead of letting their country fall. This is a Win for Us. And not just for the US of A us… but for the us around the world. He can start fixing not only our domestic problems, but take a stand and fix our foreign relationships.  I can’t wait to see how his Presidency plays out!  I can’t wait to also see how his precidency opens the doors to more possiblities!

posted by Cathy Razim at 6:26 pm  

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Isn’t this how it usually is? (stolen from graphJam)


posted by Cathy Razim at 7:17 am  

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amazing Lecture tonight.

I have to write this down. Even though I am horrible at this blog bit, I am going to try and redeem myself just a little by writing about an AMAZING woman who came to RIT today.

Let me get this out. I never heard of this woman before tonight. They only reason I found out was because I went to class, and my professor said “Oh, and at seven in the next building over there is a guest lecturer, Lynda Barry, a graphic novelist. I’m planning on going for a bit. Anyone here is welcome to go as well.” My professor and I were the only ones from the class who went. Sucks to be the other kids.

And we didn’t go for just a few minutes like we planned. No, we stayed for the whole talk. Lynda Barry is am amazing character. And an amazing speaker. Just, wow, She came out before the talk, asked if people could hear her without a mic “I can project like Ethel Merman. Oh, and tonight, I’ll curse occasionally. You’ll hear….” and she lists off a few choice words, and then proceeds to hide behind the podium until the Host introduced her.. where she then proceeded to pop out from behind. I was hooked right there.

What did she talk about? Every question about my childhood, every quirk I can recount I had/have, every creative process I had… all these questions is what she answered. OhMyGod.

A bit of back story before I continue, so I can fully share what I learned tonight. I was the eccentric Kid. I was the weird one that was best friends with someone even weirder. We made up stories about little things we found, or stories about our pets. Gave our pets bizarre funerals (Goldfish-Egyptian Burial… and of course, after they died of Natural causes. Goldfish have weak hearts after living their short lives having ping-pong balls thrown at them.) I was the weird girl, that yes, went to the library all the time as a child. Sat and read, or look through everything. I worked at one during a few recess times in elementary school. High school was hanging out with the weird kids that hung out in the Library, playing YuGiOh cards and chess. I wasn’t a nerd. I wasn’t all that smart. I still had my hygiene. But I was the art geek that found friendship with other geeks. So I was a full basin of ideas and creativity.  Lynda mentioned that most depressed kids were library kids. We had that whole spectrum where books brought more meaning, and then also helped us through it. I agree whole-heartily, yes.

College came and killed… everything. not everything. but limited time, where my basin started to run dry, only supplying enough for a project, and that was it. It dragged on me physically and emotionally.

Lynda Barry didn’t know me, but she knew me.

Lemme touch on what she spoke about, I guess that’ll help. I’ll type out my notes I took (notes I managed to take when I wasn’t laughing, and wasn’t fully hanging on every word like a 12 year old girl to a 22 year old half naked on a teen-bop magazine cover)  and then write about those notes a bit more-

We edit daily. Though we shouldn’t, we do. Even something as simple as looking at a person’s outfit and saying “I wouldn’t wear that top with that!” that’s editing. it’s hard not to do, but realize that you do it. Even the extent of being in a situation and having something go wrong. Then after that incident you are in your car or your room and you reply that scene of what happened over and over, replacing what you did with something you later realize you should have done. I know I do that all the time.

If you can do something and have someone ask “what the hell are you doing?” and you don’t have an answer, you are doing it right. She gave us the situation of a kid and his mother in a diner, mom is on her cell phone talking away, and the kid is eating breakfast. He picks up a piece a bacon and goes “I’m gonna eat you!” and then dubs over a voice for the bacon “oh no! please!” and argues back and forth until the mother looks and asks “What are you doing!?” The kids, still holding the bacon, looks at her blankly. That is the mind set we need to bring back… not the mom, the kid’s.

The state of mind you should have while working should be the same state of mind you have while listening to a joke. When you listen to a joke, you don’t say “oh, that can’t happen” you are “accept[ing] chaos as a temporary state of mind”. Where you know, logically, it doesn’t work, but you accept it because … just because… its a joke. don’t reject something because it isn’t possible, accept it and you’ll come up with a story that’s more original that anything. Oh, and the joke she told was funny.. hehehe

all in all, a lot of what she shared was about going back to childhood, and how our minds worked and how we just made things. we did things because… we did. We made up random stories that didn’t make sense logically but it felt right. Kids find something, and adults find the need to put something in… that’s not how it works. Lynda used Barbie as an example. you didn’t take your barbie and ken, and plan out what will happen in the soap opera of their lives and then do it… no, you played, everything just came out. It’s the same when writing a story (another example she gave) You don’t go (and I quote), “oh, I need a symbol of death here…. an owl? getting hit by a truck!” Writing does not work like that. you write first and all that english major crap comes in later.

I am so exited she came and I had the opportunity to see her. She signed two books I bought (and cannot wait to read!!!) and we got into talking. The advise she gave me to try and bring back that eccentric child .. to get that creativity back, would be set a time to do something. Set an egg timer for like, 30 minutes and get as much out as possible. That and just do… don’t really think just do.  It was really refreshing to listen to her. I always thought I was weird beyond help. When I explained to my family about having all these ideas as a child and then growing up missing it, they looked at me funny. they didn’t understand. Lynda Barry Knew exactly what I was talking about, and she was obviously just like me at some point.

posted by Cathy Razim at 9:07 pm  

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I think I should start blogging…

I think I should start posting in this thing. But I’m not sure. So many things rushing at once. it’s crazy.

Being a senior, and in New Media, a bunch of us in a team are working on our final project. I can probably Link to that blog. maybe. haha. it should be on the side and here.

What else? I think I’m torn on my graduate school decision. Part of me is Happy and curious about Medical illustration. I’ve always been interested in archeology and forensic anthropology. So Appeasing my illustration/fine art/ science fangirl side, I can be happy and incorporate all of it into my New media background (3d, aftereffects, websites, flash)

But my love for video game design… being fictitious. Making up characters to stories and illustrating beautiful landscapes ad swords. (can you tell I like game design?)

So what do I do? Medical Illustration or Game Design Illustration? oooooo, choices…. oh gosh, choices…

posted by Cathy Razim at 9:51 am  

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My first Post

Not much to say right now…

posted by Cathy Razim at 5:04 pm  
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