Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Artistic Analysis: Are Matthew McConaughey's Arms Proportionate To the Size of His Ego?

I assure you, my readers, that this photo is not here to be oggled at. It is here for scientific purposes only. It just so happens that it's rather difficult to find a picture of Matthew McConaughey with his arms down at his side and his shirt on. Ok, it's hard to find a picture of Matthew McConaughey with his shirt on, period.

It was brought to my attention recently (by Elizabeth) that Matthew McConaughey's arms are short - that they are not in proportion with his body. As an artist and someone who has studied the human figure, I was intrigued. As a result of my initial intrigue, I have studied in some depth the proportions of Matthew McConaughey's arms in proportion to his body. Again, I assure you that this was done purely for scientific purposes.

The basic proportions of the average adult human body can be measured using that person's head as a guide. (See chart.*) For example, the average person is 7 1/2 heads tall. (Again, using that person's head as a measuring tool; if you use another person's head it might not work as well.)

Some other handy proportions:

-From the top of the head (t.o.t.h.) to the pit of the neck is 1 1/2 heads
-From the t.o.t.h. to the sternum/nipples is 2 heads
-From the t.o.t.h. to the navel is 3 heads
-From the t.o.t.h. to the knee/bottom of the patella is 5 1/2 heads

Two other proportions that have particular relevance to my study are:
-The upper arm from the shoulder to the elbow is 1 1/2 heads
-The lower arm from the elbow to the wrist is 1 1/4 heads

Now it's time for some Dwight Shrute-style facts.

Fact: Matthew McConaughey's upper arm is approximately 1 1/8 heads long.**
Fact: The aforementioned celebrity's lower arm is approximately 1 head long. **

I believed upon discovering this that the results of my studies were fairly clear: Matthew McConaughey's arms are too short in proportion to his body.
I reflected back on the fact that it was difficult for me to find a photo of Mr. McConaughey with his arms at his side AND his shirt on...note, again, that it was hard to find a picture of him with a shirt on at all. I hypothesized that perhaps it was not Matthew's arms that were too short, but that it might be that his head, the tool which I was using to measure his arms, was too big. I knew that the only way I could decide conclusively would be to do further research.
After many grueling hours on Google Images, and thousands of photos of Matthew at various beaches, parks, parties, premiers, awards shows, etc, later, I came up with a few new facts:

Fact: Matthew McConaughey had his shirt off in 83.5% of photos taken out-of-doors***
Fact: Matthew McConaughey had a slightly grumbly look on his face in 78.3% of photos taken fully clothed***
Fact: Matthew McConaughey is totally buffed out****

The conclusion I arrived at based on these results is the following:
Matthew McConaughey's head is larger than the average human male. This is caused, no doubt, by the fact that his ego is 7.3 times larger than that of the average male, female, or orangutan.***** As a result of the large size of his head, the measurements I initially did of his arms were inaccurate. It appears that they are proportionate to the rest of his body, they are just small when compared to his ego.

*Special thanks go out to my Life Drawing professor for the original chart, which I have adapted here.
**These are based on measurements done using photos only. Should I have the opportunity to measure Matthew's arms in person, I would surely swoon and end up stabbing him with my pencil or something.
***These facts are completely made up.
****This one's true.
*****Made that one up, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So A Fish Walked Into a Bar...

It's Tuesday after a long weekend, and I feel the need for a good laugh. Elizabeth was telling me recently about some studies that show that laughter really can help you feel better, whether you're merely feeling blue or if you are physically sick. In this miserable January weather (if it snows one more time...!!) I know I can use a laugh more than ever, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. Here's the catch: You can only read these jokes if you post one of your own at the end. And please keep 'em clean... ;) Laugh on, friends!

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

A farmer was hauling manure and his truck broke down in front of a mental institution. One of the patients leaned over the fence and said, “What are you going to do with your manure?” The farmer said, “I’m going to put it on my strawberries." The guy said, “We might be crazy, but we put whipped cream on ours.”

A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected a half gallon of 2% milk, a carton of eggs, a quart of orange juice, a head of romaine lettuce, a 2 lb. can of coffee, and a 1 lb. package of bacon. As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, “You must be single.” The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was equally intrigued by the derelict’s intuition since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off her drunken observer to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, “well you know what, you’re absolutely correct, but how on earth did you know that?” The drunk replied, “’Cause you’re ugly.”


A duck was walking (waddling?) down the street one day and his stomach started to growl. He was just passing a convenience store, so stopped in and asked the clerk if he had any duck food. The clerk was busy, so was a little annoyed by the request from the duck. He told him they had no duck food, so the duck left.
The next day, the duck was walking past the store, still hungry. He walked into the store, walked up to the clerk, and again asked if they had any duck food. The clerk was even more annoyed and angrily told the duck that no, they had no duck food, then asked the duck to leave. The duck shrugged his shoulders and left, still hungry.
The following day, the duck, still hungry, walked into the convenience store. The clerk saw the duck, and said, "NO. We do not have any duck food! If you come back here and ask for duck food one more time, I will nail your feet to the floor!!" Incredulous, the duck left.
The next day, the duck's stomach was growling like crazy. He was near the convenience store, so he walked in and walked up to the clerk. Before the clerk could say anything, the duck asked him, "Do you have any nails?" Startled, the clerk told him that no, they didn't have nails at their store. "Good," said the duck. "Do you have any duck food?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Evolutions

I admitted in a comment on Elizabeth's post that I have not yet set any New Year's Resolutions. It's true. I just today finally bought a new planner for '09! (Speaking of '09, are we ever going to decide as a human race what to call these last 9 years? The Zeroes? I like the Oughts. Makes me feel all old-timey.) I'm a little behind the times.

While I haven't set any specific resolutions, I have decided on a new motto for the year. Or maybe it's not so much a motto as a way of life. I've decided that this year I'm going to take risks. Not like Investing-In-A-Pyramid-Scheme-type risks, but Do-Things-I've-Always-Wanted-To-Do-type risks.

Here are some examples of some things I've always wanted to do...or at least have wanted to do for a few weeks or so:

  • Travel to/through Europe

  • Visit my friends who live in New York City and Boston

  • Sell some (more) paintings

  • Meet a good-looking guy on top of the Empire State Building (it doesn't necessarily have to be on Valentines Day...that'd just be cool)

  • Take a road trip through the middle part of the country with someone fun

  • Marry a millionaire

  • Get a full-time job (if the previous bullet doesn't work out)

  • Get health insurance (which can be achieved through either of the precious two bullets)

  • Buy a really cool old house on a few acres of land

  • Raise chickens (which I'd need the house and the land for)

...To name a few. Those aren't really resolutions so much as they're things I'd like to do. With most of them (with the exception of the health insurance one), I'd need to take somewhat of a risk to achieve each goal.

Ellen Degeneres, in her book My Point...And I Do Have One, talks about being bored and realizing that she needed a hobby. Her description of how she felt when she realized that reminds me of how I feel about my life sometimes:

"It's like I'm sitting in a car but the engine is idling. I'm not even on the road - just off to the side. I see the others swoosh by me. I can recognize the shapes of the cars but not the direction they're going. I'm alone, all alone in a car on the side of the road."

I don't need any more hobbies, I've certainly got enough of those, but I do need to put my car in drive and get off the side of the road! I'm going to take risks, by golly, and be the blurr the others see passing them by! There's a great song from "Hello, Dolly" (that sadly was not featured in "Wall-E") that I've always liked called "Before the Parade Passes By." Here is one of my favorite verses:

Before the parade passes by
I've gotta go and taste Saturday's high life
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get some life back into my life
I'm ready to move out in front
I've had enough of just passing by life
With the rest of them
With the best of them
I can hold my head up high
For I've got a goal again
I've got a drive again
I wanna feel my heart coming alive again
Before the parade passes by

So my friends, if you see a blurr passing you by, and that blurr is in a new charcoal gray car (one goal achieved!!), that's me. Grab on if you can, because I'm havin' me some good times this year. 2009, here I come!! Or, as Ellen said when she found her new hobby, "I will Iditarod and I will win."