Friday, December 30, 2005
Jay is spending most of her time in the hotel resting her tired pregnant self and enjoying New Years marathons of Full House and Law & Order SVU, like the good sport she is. It's been fun ordering room service and having great little meals with Red Panda.
Last night I got popcorn chicken in a candle holder! It had crunchy stringy things inside which I couldn't completely identify. I think they might have been drippings from the deep fryer. Or maybe fried snot. Tasted OK but I couldn't eat all of them.
Tomorrow is another day of discussions and a New Years party, and then it's 2006!
Thursday, December 29, 2005
So far the gathering is already very exciting and a great opportunity to meet people. Tonight we finally got to meet David Bruce after all these years, and I have a feeling it will be a life-changing weekend. More on this as we go along. At the moment it's time to rest after a long day of travelling.
Friday, December 23, 2005
So, the Rock-afire says .... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! (yeah, I'm gonna say it, so put that in your politically incorrect pipe and smoke it!) Whee!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Thursday was Thanksgiving and viciously cold and snowy. We headed out to Nancy & Bill's house in Ann Arbor for dinner; it was great to see some of my cousins for the first time in 4 years! When we got back, Meighan stopped by for a visit and it was great to catch up. Gee how we've all grown!
Crazy crazy crazy man!
Friday we decorated the tree and did some window shopping in the Village. I found a farting dog toy that had me laughing so hard my eyes got puffy. I wasn't allowed to buy it. That's ok though, I went back the following day to videotape it, so I will be able to treasure it when I'm old, grey and farting. Anyway...
That night we also went to see the new Harry Potter movie. It was quite enjoyable, although I enjoyed the Prisoner of Azkaban a little bit more. When we came out, there was a real kind of magic in the sky as a vast snowfall was sailing down, looking quite amazing in the streetlights. Every night around 10:30 or 11ish we had to have Dan take us through a drive-thru for a midnight snack cuz our stomachs were still on Pacific Time and dinner was like our lunch. We got to visit the Grosse Pointe KFC which was like the Monty Python Cheese Shop because they were out of food.
Saturday we got to go to Costco and harrass Dan at Krogers. I threw a pair of panty hose at him. We also drove around town a bit, bought some flowers for Mom, shopped some more, and watched the Family Guy movie with Dan. I like the pop culture references in the show, and the surreal humor, but sometimes it seems like a big Seth MacFarlane ego trip that goes on way too long. But decent entertainment when you're in the right state of mind.
And I finally got an Ipod! It was worth the wait. Dad transferred a bunch of the Cruisin' record series to mp3s for me, and so far I've been enjoying them tremendously, appeasing my latest obsession with nostalgic radio. The music back then was so great. So much more basic. It's neat to get a glimpse into how things were before my time, and imagine what the culture must have been like for my parents.
Sunday was Mom's birthday so we brought presents over, and went out to the Henry Ford Museum for the Disneyland exhibit. It was amazing being in the presence of original artwork by John Hench, Marc Davis, Mary Blair and others. I have a special fondness for the old classic Disneyland rides and animatronics. We met Jeff & Marie and Steve & Mary there and got to catch up with them briefly too. Fun fun fun! After that we went to Memphis Smoke for birthday dinner...holy crap, best food ever.
Monday was a long day of travelling, since our first Detroit-Chicago flight was delayed we missed our connecting flight and had to wait almost 6 hours for the next one to Vancouver. By this time it was dark and a very bumpy ride. They also didn't serve any food! I had $10 in my pocket which I purposely didn't spend so we'd have money to buy those little meal boxes on the plane, and then they didn't have them! On a friggin' 4-hour flight all they gave out was friggin' pretzels! Good thing I had bought a bag of chips and some Good n' Plentys, but even that wasn't enough to keep me happy. (Note to self: Good n' Plentys are great by themselves, but don't mix with Pepsi.) I was not impressed. At least Charlie & the Chocolate Factory was mildly entertaining enough to keep my mind off things for half the flight.
Thusly, we finally arrived home cold and hungry around midnight, so now we're back.
And now for something completely different....
We told Mom, Dad and Dan at the dinner table Saturday night, and the news is now spreading further to other family and friends. August is sure to be a busy month, as Mike just got engaged and he & Jo have set a date for Aug. 26. My book also comes out around the same time the baby does, so our theme for August 2006 is Book-Baby-Brother-Bride!
...and Blessed! Pray that all goes well, for an Earthling child can only be found beyond the boundaries of Fantasia...
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
It's cold here and starting to snow. There is a Disneyland exhibit at the Henry Ford museum I hope to check out while we are here. So far it's just been hanging out with the family, and today we'll be picking up Yaya from the airport. Yay!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
This morning one of my 2D students showed me a tattoo design he was scheduled to carve into a client's arm later that day: a neo-Renaissance-style Christ on the cross, with people crowded around him praying. Very nice work. It was a neat witnessing experience, since he asked me for help in drawing one of the hands, so I got to explain some things about how the crucifixion happened and whatnot.
Today I also got to vote in Canada for the first time. Yay me! I have a voice. I'm special.
Just a few days and we fly out to Michigan to see family & friends...can't wait.
Jay & I saw Chicken Little last weekend and wrote a review for Hollywood Jesus. Read it and enjoy....http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/chicken_litte_reviews.htm
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I recently got an email sent to me from work from an editor at Thomson Course Technologies publishing house, who found my bio on the VanArts website. They have written several instructional books on computer animation, filmmaking, etc. and because of the recent sucess of Corpse Bride and the Wallace & Gromit movie, thought it might be the right time to publish a book on stop-motion animation. So they asked me if I would be interested in writing it, so we started talking and I spent a few days writing up a proposal, which I sent off along with an animation reel.
Today the proposal was presented to the editorial board out in Boston, where the company is located, and they officially gave it the go-ahead, so I am now on my way to writing my first book!!! The great thing is that I've been comtemplating the whole author idea for a long time and never really knew how to get myself started, and now this just sort of fell into my lap! They want to have it finished and released by June/July 2006, so I have lots of work ahead of me, but we're both very excited about this opportunity!
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
For the past few days back and forth on the bus I've been watching American Graffiti on the little portable DVD player. The more I watch this movie, the more it grows on me....it almost ranks up there to being one of my favorites. I love the look of it, the story behind it, and the intentions that George Lucas had in making it. Outside of these things, it's hard for me to really describe what it is about it that draws me in, especially since it revolves around an era that I wasn't yet born to be part of, but I think that's the main reason why. I have a similar guilty pleasure obsession with Dirty Dancing, which is set in almost the same year. This time period of 1962-63 is often referred to as the 'end of innocence' right before Kennedy got shot, the British invasion, the hippie culture and the Vietnam war. It's a great concept....these inbetween moments right before a major upheaval in society. Probably relates to why I have such fond memories of early '89 and the 'making funny tapes' era with my friends....it was right before starting high school, moving away from my childhood house and things becoming gradually more complicated and dark for me. It's an ache to get back to the 'garden' before the 'fall'.....that's the spiritual sub-conscious part of it.
I know that the music in Graffiti is a major factor of my love for it, since I just got the soundtrack on vinyl and have always enjoyed going back to the roots of modern rock n' roll. I relate alot of the memories and sentiment around this music to my dad, and growing up listening to his records. Perhaps this is my way of dealing with my desire to be closer to him. I've lately had a small obsession with learning more about the history behind this era and the radio age. The mythology of the Wolfman is especially fascinating to me...the whole idea of a phantom DJ who is listened to by everyone; a true testament to the power of music. Music, like nothing else, brings a sense of community to people who would normally be estranged and disconnected from each other. This idea of the Wolfman has inspired a story idea I've had in the back of my head for a long time, to be incorporated into a book or screenplay...this idea of an angelic DJ who plays the soundtrack of a main character's life as he drives across the country.
"The Wolfman is everywhere!"
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Now that I've put that song in your head so you can't get it out, last night there was a fire in our building, and today I still have smoke in my lungs so the occasional cough is needed. *cough* The emotional impact of it finally hit me this morning, as I realized that we still don't know if our unknown neighbor made it through ok or not. It's very scary.
Anyway, as Jay has already blogged in full detail the events of last night, I will save myself the trouble and direct you here: http://thisisthegreatadventure.blogspot.com/2005/10/burning-down-house.html
Monday, October 24, 2005
This weekend we carved our Halloween punkin. During the activity we watched 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'....my favorite TV special ever. I love the music, the backgrounds, the animation, the surreal dialogue, everything about it is so nostalgic and wonderful, and sums up the feeling of the season for me.
Also we finally saw the Wallace & Gromit movie, which is probably one of the best films I have ever seen, animated or otherwise, and I'm not just saying that because I'm biased.
My HollywoodJesus review for the film is here: http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/comments/ken/2005/10/wallace-gromit-and-curse-of-were.html
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Here's what the internet tells me I need. This is worse than a horoscope!
Ken needs to learn the balance between being a great friend, and being a poor fiancé.
Ken needs long blonde hair.
Ken needs everybody’s prayers and support at this time.
Ken needs to buy that Bible version that features the dancing clowns and pop-up pictures.
Ken needs a hug and some new windchimes.
Ken needs a new cleaning lady.
Ken needs judges to participate in the Central Regional Science Fair on March 20th.
Ken needs to follow up with SMETE (Science, Math, Engineering, and TechnologyEducation) on NSF-oriented content and tools.
Ken needs to go on more "ski" holidays.
Ken needs your photos!
Ken needs your support to continue that work as the US Congressman for the 44thCongressional District.
Ken needs to learn how to discuss how he is feeling and why he is frustrated in a constructive manner.
Ken needs bigger hints than most people.
Ken needs a fully functioning animal with a working nervous system - in other words, the animal must be conscious.
Ken needs breast milk because he is having trouble growing.
Ken needs a part to fix the water.
Ken needs to see progress in his life. If he doesn't he'll become very frustrated and angry.
Ken needs the paddles, STAT!
Ken needs to take care of his baby brother.
Ken needs to watch sports.
Ken needs to implement an intense and high profile anti-fare dodging campaign targeted on people who seem to think they really are 'free' buses.
Ken needs to travel 280, but Miller tells him he’ll be going 250 or so.
Ken needs to take himself out of the Christian leadership role for which he no longer qualifies.
Ken needs a hug, things aren''t going so well since he helped drive Enron into the ground.
Ken needs time to deal with reality and decides to go off on his motorcycle.
Ken needs more pimping out there in the blog world.
Ken needs some extra underground Muppet inner circle trade cred.
Ken needs proof and goes to Bismark Falls Nebraska to interview Wallace.
Won't you please help?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
It's officially been a whole year since I've stepped into or eaten at a McDonald's, after seeing the film Super Size Me. Not much more to say about it, other than I'm sure I'm a healthier person today.
Lots to look forward to for the rest of this year: Halloween, trip home to Michigan, Christmas, and the Hollywood Jesus gathering over New Years. Makes me feel all squishy inside.
Have you greeted your neighborhood moose today?
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Hopped on the 1pm ferry, checked into the Regent (highly recommended), got my antique Mountie photo done to commemmorate my citizenship, shopped around, had dinner at Chandlers, and got to participate in a wonderful event happening at the Parliament building. The Cancer Society was accepting donations in return for handing out paper bags with candles inside to light in memory of someone struggling (or who lost the battle) with cancer. So we placed one for Grandma Priebe. It was a moving sight.
Next day we had high tea at the Empress and spent the afternoon at Butchart Gardens, where we had never been before, and it was worth the trip! Very beautiful. Felt good to connect with nature in all its glory. Much more soothing than the way I'm connecting with nature at the moment. *cough sniff hack*
Jay has more details on her blog and more photos on Flickr:
Friday, October 07, 2005
I've recently posted a new review on my HollywoodJesus blog for Corpse Bride...
...and with Wallace & Gromit opening today, a review for that will follow soon once I've seen it.
I just noticed today a comment from an old friend on one of my old posts...it's neat to find out who's checking in now and then. Possibly a whole lot more, since I was mentioned on Cartoon Brew (www.cartoonbrew.com) recently too. If you are an old friend, a new friend, or even a stranger, and you have just read this, leave me a comment and contribute to my little experiment!
If you are a parasite who is just going to post fake junk comments, then may your prize bull hate cows.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
It's finally official!
I would like to thank my loving wife Jay for the inspiration and waiting patiently through all the paperwork, and Nana, Stella and Pastor Dave for attending my ceremony (and giggling when they said the oath would be recited in French too). Seriously though, thanks for the support! Also to my family and friends back home, who helped me get to this day and will always have a place to hang their touque across the border.
The ceremony was very nice...94 people from 29 different countries were there too. The judge who performed it was very heartfelt and said some inspiring things. It's neat how there is lots of emphasis on joining a family and contributing to a community when coming here; I like that. I shall miss my colorful PR card which got thrown into a box, but I have a nice new citizenship card now with a more current haircut. Afterwards we all went out for lunch at White Spot, and I had my BC Burger with fries and a coke....a very symbolic American/Canadian meal. Beauty.
Also while in the neighborhood we made a visit to Ten Thousand Villages and the awesome record store in Langley, where I finally found a mint-condition copy of the Muppet Movie Soundtrack on vinyl, with a bonus poster, so naturally I was very excited and it was a perfect gift to find on a day like today. Praises!
Monday, September 26, 2005
Last Day in Ottawa my jetlag had finally caught up with me, just in time for me to leave the next day. First thing in the morning we all met at the Masterclass with Michael Dudok De Wit, maker of the great animated shorts Monk and the Fish and Father & Daughter. Saw many of his commercials too...very interesting guy with lots of inspiring things to say.
Spent the rest of the day at the booth; I had an interesting talk with Amid Amidi about animation and the decline of art education in schools. As we chatted, we tried to figure out why so many animators of the 30s and 40s seemed to be born with such immense talent and exceptional ability rarely seen today amongst people the same age as they were when they started, in that their art had form, light, shape, etc. One theory I feel is that their generation most likely got most of their entertainment from theater, which deals with observing things in 3D space with real lighting and staging. Nowadays, getting our entertainment from flat screens, that sense is gone. This could be why there is this shift towards very flat drawings coming out of high schools. Anyway, something should be done about it. I ended up showing my leica reel to both Amid and Jerry that day...they both liked it.
Next year at the booth we need more stuff, and food! Definitely a learning experience seeing what other schools do, so I'm very glad we were there. More people from the east coast need to understand that Vancouver is a happy place and it's OK to move here.
Upon saying good-bye to Steve, networking with studios and shutting down the booth, we took everything back to Meeka's and had another awesome dinner in the Byward market, complete with them sweet potato fries...holy crap are those good. Is this another mysterious East/Mid-West food that's not available out here, like fried clams? (mmmm, fried clams....) Why else have I never heard of them? Must....find...
I went to the closing ceremonies and saw who won awards, and sat through the winning films. Some great stuff. Afterwards went to the closing party for a little while and got my picture with John Canemaker. He's a very warm, friendly person...he seemed very moved when I told him I could relate to the themes in his film. I feel very blessed to have interacted with these people who are keeping the animation industry and artform flourishing so much.
Overall it was a fantastic trip...my last night was topped off perfectly with a huge thunderstorm and torrential downpour outside the window. That was really nice, and dearly missed. I'm hoping this can become an annual trip, as it's really good for the school to be a part of it and get our name out there, and contribute something to the industry in this way. Ottawa is an amazing city too...can't wait to go again, and definitely take Jay there sometime too.
Back to reality....
Saturday, September 24, 2005
So today was a long day, at the booth and checkin' out films. Meeka ended up pulling an all-nighter at the studio so the house was still empty when i woke up. So I stood by the booth all morning while she got her much-needed rest. Steve showed up...hooray!
I took a little break from the booth when things were slow so I could check out just a few of the kids' films, mainly Henry Selick's Moongirl...the website had indicated he would be here in person, but such was not the case. Perhaps tomorrow, as his film is showing then as well...we shall see. Gopher Broke was also a great film; would love a copy of both of those. Meeka showed up in the afternoon, and Jerry Beck & Steve got together at our booth to look at Thunderbean's DVDs-in-progress...a real meeting of the animation history minds there. John Canemaker stopped by our booth briefly to pick up a brochure. I didn't get my picture with him cuz he seemed like he was in a hurry, but will attempt it tomorrow. Got a picture with Jerry though.
After going out to grab din-din for ourselves, we closed up shop to witness the Pee-Wee's Playhouse Screening at 7. That was sure lots of fun, and brought back lots of memories. Then we made our way to Barrymore's for Jerry's Worst Cartoons Ever show, which was absolutely hilarious. Even more so to discover Lee Mishkin's name as a writer for the Super President show, and Ken Southworth as animator on that awful Bucky & Pepito. I bought a copy from Jerry, as I'm sure it would be a big hit at the school for many movie nights.
One more day to go!
Friday, September 23, 2005
Today I set up the booth with very little trouble. I'd say it looks pretty good...some booths are fancier and some are lamer, but we have the best student reel so BLAH.
After guarding the booth for a couple of hours, we loaded up on a double decker bus to the Animators' Picnic, which had pretty good food and lots of people. After getting my food I decided to sit with John Canemaker and introduce myself, since I loved his film and appreciate the other things he's done a great deal. Very nice guy. He had some questions about our Game Art program since they're trying to start one up at NYU. I hope to chat with him more this weekend. The best thing about meeting famous people is realizing how normal they are.
I also introduced myself to Jerry Beck, who I also admire, told him what I do, that I know Steve, etc. What a wacky guy he is...also very nice and funny. The rumour around the campfire is that Steve is here, somewhere, and I hope to run into him tomorrow....really really hope. Jerry says he has a rare Cy Young film print to give to Steve, so if he's here we can all get together.
The only other people I knew there were some folks from EA who had visited VanArts before, so I chatted with them a bit too. After the picnic I headed back to the Animarket, where I got into a conversation with Dave Thomas from Cuppa Coffee, who I met 7 years ago at the World Animation Celebration in LA. He was surprised I still remembered him. Also, yes, a very nice guy who works in stop motion out in Toronto, so we had lots to chat about. I showed him my stop-motion class stuff, and Nigel, which he seemed to like.
The rest of the evening was pretty slow, as most people were attending a feature screening, but when it was over they came out in droves. I'm sure I will run out of DVDs by tomorrow, so people will have to fill out forms to have them mailed out, which is OK too, cuz then we know where they live!!! (insert evil laugh here) Meeka had to work late tonight to meet a Caillou deadline (it's 11:30pm and she's still not home yet), so it was just me. After the market closed I went to the 9:00 competition screening, which I think was the best one yet. Such amazing stuff, particularly a creepy CG short about puppets, a surreal trip done in ink sketches, a masterpiece of experimental film from Germany, and a hilarious episode of Harvery Birdman: Attorney at Law. The theater was beautiful and the crowd was very responsive...had a great community feel to it. I kept imagining my film playing there, and hope very much that will happen when it's ready.
The only damper on my day today is that whatever-it-is-about-the-east-coast-air has brought back my familiar nosebleeds I would always get while growing up out here.
A great day....tomorrow will also be awesome. Time to call my loving wife. Life is good.
(a day late on blogging...hi Kara!)
Yesterday I went downtown for the first screening of the day. After a leisurly lox bagel and a coffee, went to the National Gallery where the screening was, and saw the entire road lined up with mounties and policemen, even swat team people, preparing for a funeral, which I believe was for a popular MP. They also had an entire band of bagpipe players and drummers. They were all congregated in front of a large church. As the hearse pulled up and the coffin was brought out, all in ceremonial fashion with salutes and steps, the pipes played, and I was welling up. Brought back memories of bagpipes playing at Papa's funeral, so bagpipies always get me...I love them. (all who are left behind, take note, I want bagpipes at mine!) The emotion of the whole thing was annoyingly aggravated by my contact lens shifting over, but despite that it was one of the most moving things I have ever seen.
The screening I went to was the Kids' Showcase, which was devoid of festival-goers besides me, and only attended by a bunch of kids on a field trip. The films were great, including a hilarious episode of SpongeBob. The particular highlight was a short film from Sheridan called 'An Eye for Annai'...all done in a very flat graphic style, about a little creature with one eye looking for another eye. It was brilliant, so I'll definitely be contacting the filmmaker for a copy. The show concluded with a great stop-motion short whose tape got buggered at the end, so I never got to see how it ended. Poo.
From there I proceeded to another screening at 1:00, which also had some good films, including a 1930s-style music video done in Flash, and a really good CG short about two squirrels and a bunch of bank robbers. Other than these, I wasn't totally blown away, plus I was getting really sleepy by this point. I was definitely starting to feel the effects of the time difference and feeling jetlagged and sleep-deprived. In the afternoon I dropped by the Ottawa School of Art and got to drop off some VanArts materials and talk to an instructor and some students. They sounded very interested in us and might try to drop by our booth this weekend. Next time a more formal visit will have to be arranged; seems like a nice school.
I opted against going to the feature screening at 7, as I was wiped out from walking all over town and just needed to rest, so that's what I did after treating myself to a quiet Italian dinner. Pretty lonely day...I miss Jay and look forward to seeing her again. She notified me on the phone that my citizenship ceremony is coming up on Oct 4, so that's exciting news to get while being in the nation's capital.
Well, time to go set up the booth!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Quick blog before i go to bed cuz it's 1am here now, but i still feel like it's 10pm, which is BC time. Had awesome rib dinner with Meeka at this restaurant i can't remember the name right now but I'll remember later. Holy crap, what good food.
Went to Opening Screening...some great films and some "ehh" films. Very artsy stuff. John Canemaker's film was the highlight for me; i related to it in a big way. Loved it. Ok tired. More tomorrow.
So i had a good flight yesterday...watching cartoons on the laptop helped the 3+ hours fly by pretty quickly. finally got to meeka's place around 9:30ish and chatted for awhile; showed her my film and Jose/Carlos' film. had a hard time getting to sleep due to the time change. my normal bedtime ended up being around 2 in the morning here.
today i tried reaching somebody at the arts high school here to arrange a visit, but still nobody is returning my calls, so that might not happen this time around; we'll see about tomorrow. so i walked around getting lost trying to find the place to pick up our festival passes, and once i found it had a typical Canadian lunch at Tim Hortons and went to take a look at the parliament buildings since i was in the neighborhood. It's pretty neat being here on the dawn of my citizenship ceremony, whenever that is. so far ottawa is very pretty...reminds me of victoria.
the cab drivers here are interesting...so far they are more talkative than the ones in Vancouver. the first one today told me he just moved to Canada a few months ago so he doesn't know the streets very well.....gee, i sure felt confident, but he did know about the important landmarks, so that's ok. he was really nice though. the second guy today proceeded to tell me a string of dirty offensive sexist racist jokes, and i pretended to laugh. i should have fired one back at him, 'say, do you know what they call a school bus full of racist bastards at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!' oh well.
so now my feet are sore and i'm waiting for meeka so we can grab dinner later and the opening screenings tonight.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
In a few months I'll be a dual citizen. (current music: 'Burning Homestead' from Star Wars) How ironic! "I want to come with you to Canada. There's nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a hoser like my father." But my father's not Canadian. I think I'm the first one, which from an archealogical perspective is pretty interesting. (current music: "Tourniquet", Evanescense) Part of me has been torn establishing this new identity for myself, in that so much of my blood is pure red American. Starting with pilgrims on the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock, to William Davis crossing the Delaware with Washington, to Ann Simpson, the Revolution's messenger girl with the hole in her tooth, and Ulysses S. Grant. These are my ancestors, where I distantly come from, without whom I would not exist. (current music: "She Only," Great White) So am I leaving this behind? I don't believe so. I am too proud of where I come from. I like to think instead that I'm like the pilgrims, carrying their blood into another land, a different one. The Ambrose/Priebe line has simply spread and will carry more Canadians into the neverending story of my family. I think many people in my family are more Canadian than they might like to admit. Part of me has always been destined to settle here...subtle signs of feeling drawn to it my whole life; Falkor Alley & the Ryche being a prime example. Something about it.
I think as a child I always knew who I was. Somewhere along the line I forgot, but when I came to Canada I started to remember. (current music: "Rift", Phish) Funny how sometimes you have to leave a part of yourself behind to find your whole self again. Yet I like to think that I came out here to find myself and instead God found me, and thus I'm more myself than I've ever been, and still a work in progress. Stranger still that Priebe happens to be a Mennonite name, so again destiny rears its head. My plan for instilling in future Mennonite Priebes is to blend the worlds and memories of Michigan and BC in such that they will feel like the giant mitten is as much a part of them as it is of me. I want them to feel that it is just the magic land on the other side of the lake, as Windsor was to me looking across Lake St Clair and being told "That's Canada over there!" How exotic! Yet it won't be distant, only in terms of fast-forwarding 3 hours by plane, as much as we can. (current music: "Another Brick Part 1", Floyd)
I like having this extra identity to add to my American-ness. It's like being born again. When I became a Christian (which i think i always was, i just didn't realize it for a few years, just like i've always been Canadian) I found it fascinating to have a new creed to live by, a new standard, a real truth, and the most real people I've ever met to be a part of. The old me was shed to an extent, but still very much there in a different perspective. Very similar thing here. I can carry a gun and drink a beer at the same time. Too bad I am not partial to either of those things.
(current music: "Wrapped Around your Finger", Police) It's good to be here. I never would have guessed I would be. 7 years. Hm. Must soak in this.
(current music: "As the World Falls Down", Bowie)
"I need you, Hoggle, I don't know why but, every now and then in my life, for no reason at all, I need you, all of you."
"You do? Well, why didn't you say so?"
....it's a beauty way ta go!
(current music: "Down Under" Men at Work)
Friday, July 22, 2005
So now I am spending some time studying for the big test, and all of those important questions and facts: memorizing the Tim Hortons menu, learning how to build an igloo, how to chug a beer, hockey jersey identification, the date VCRs were legalized and learning the lyrics of Anne Murray songs.
2005 is kickin' ass so far.
Friday, July 15, 2005
since the last post some interesting highlights of life have been a family day in Victoria for Kyle's graduation party, Katrina & David's wedding, going to VidFest, our 4-year anniversary with a relaxing day off at home and awesome steak & lobster dinner at the Harbour Centre revolving restaurant with awesome view of the city, (and awesome view of Jay...she ate a duck!), and another visit from Pixar which went worlds smoother than last year...cuz all i had to do was take pictures.
the film is also back in full swing, which is outlined in more detail on my film journal. Showing the Thief workprint tonight, so all is good.
You know what, something bugs me...in Close Encounters, when the mother ship first opens up you see a spidery-looking alien who raises his arms up and then in the next shot you see all of these little aliens walking around. So what happened to the big spidery alien? Did he turn into all the little aliens, like Voltron? Is he a Christ figure who just dematerializes? I don't get that.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
i am amazed at the drivers in this city, including Ricardo who has been driving us around everywhere. they are like acrobats. they rarely signal or stay in one lane in particular...apparently their driver's training does not have any rules or regulations; they are simply told to "go with the flow" and make up their own rules for traffic. so the cars are constantly weaving in and out of each other, its like a video game, like frogger or something. and the roads are hacked up with potholes and like a very complicated maze with seemingly very little rhyme or reason to them. YET i have not seen ONE single accident! compare this to our recent trip to michigan, where drivers training is very strict and "by the book" as i remember it, and how many accidents did we see? quite a few in that short amount of time.
the response we're getting from students at these schools is pretty good...i am continuing to see that there is much interest in stop motion animation here. my theory, which i have discussed with Ricardo and Mario during our travels, is that there is a strong artisan tradition here of people using their hands to create things. plus there is the tradition of things like the Day of the Dead figurines and such, so i think this lends a subconscious pull to the puppet animation medium, in a different way here than you would find in the US and Canada. With the connections we have established, perhaps i will find myself doing some workshops down here at some point. That would be neat.
ok, on to the next venture.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
La Belle Auberge Famous Lobster Bisque
Lemon Prawns in Pernod
Wilted Spinach & Pea Shoots with Carrot Vinaigrette
Monkfish with Potato Wrap and Tarragon Cream Sauce
the worlds best dessert!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tiramisu Chocolate Tear Drop
bottle of Okanagan Blue Mountain 2001 red wine (yay! half a bottle each for a good buzz)
Our stomachs rejoice! Now it's off to bed. Tune in next blog for reports from Mexico City, where the spaceship KenTrek will experience the finest in Mexico City visiting, work and whatnot. Alert Ted Koppel. Film at 11. Shoe.
Can you tell I'm buzzed?
Friday, April 22, 2005
We arrived after a long flight with a layover in Chicago (movie: Oceans Twelve) and it was dark, about 9:30, and made our way to Nancy & Bill's. Bill greeted us, as everyone else was asleep by the time we got there, and we chatted over cereal as our bellies were pretty empty by that point. Thursday we walked around Central Campus for a bit; looked very different in places, especially Liberty Street; all the shops were re-done and the Michigan Theater marquee restored. Surreal thing about being back there after 6 years or so was that it seemed rather dead, like a ghost town...just a bunch of buildings with some memories, but since the people were gone and the experience of being in the moment of it being home was gone, it was simply a place, where other people are now living the same experiences I had. We had some dang good chili-cheese dogs for lunch, and a nice little moment together eating at a table on Liberty. For so long I had been wanting to share this town with Jay, and it was great finally being able to. Had to visit the cube. That evening we hung out with Nancy, Bill and the boys, ate Chinese food, talked, threw the pig skin awkwardly with Ryan. My insane cousin Trevor entertained us with his toy cars...'and here comes the ambulance and crashes into the orange car...Kablooeeeeeyy! and Legos are falling from the sky!'
I made a brief appearance at Jeff's bachelor party...he called my cel just as i pulled up in front of them while they were walking to their second location, it was bizarre....'where are you?' 'i'm right in front of you!' I'm sure that much synchronicity is overwhelming to someone as tanked as Jeff was that night. Funny how the tables turned...the one night I got piss drunk on my 21st birthday, looking at my feet and commenting how flat they looked, Jeff was the only one not drinking...a sober observant. Now it was my chance to do it. Drunk people are hilarious.
Friday we visited North Campus, saw my Star Wars mural on its exact 10-year anniversary (somebody painted a mustache on Yoda, the bastards.) and had lunch with Mark & Markus. Checked out the art school, which was still producing the same crap they always have. Aside from life drawing, performance art and illustration, and perhaps photography, i'm not sure exactly what all I got out of that place. I certainly would not recommend it as an art school for anyone, unless they were the type of person who goes for mediocre atheistic fluffiness masquerading as purpose. Oh well. That night was the rehearsal and dinner, which was very very very good; totally special. I got to share the story of how Jeff & Marie got engaged on their trip to see us last summer, and how I lost my job as Jeff's damaged relationship counselor. It's all good, as I am so glad that after many years of searching, Jeff has finally found his perfect match, and with faith in Jesus to top it off too! Now I can sleep at night. It's awesome.
Saturday was set aside completely for the wedding, which ran very smoothly and was very beautiful. Got to see Joe and the Johnstown Cats play...dance with Jay, eat more good food, it was a great day. Long day, but lots of fun.
Sunday we got to see Steve and Brandon. Got lots more great toons to take back home with me and show the students, and got to dig through and take some old drawings from the Tonka days. Jay got a special kick out of meeting Steve, since he is one of the people who has really shaped me into the person that I am, in my interests and mannerisms, and overall enthusiasm for sharing animation with people. It was great and so much fun...one of the best days of the week, just talking about films and such, and having a typical random philosophical discussion with Brandon. Twas a rare and special thing. I feel I am just recently starting to develop friendships here in Canada that are on the same frequency as the ones I have back home. It is fascinating to watch them all blossom and grow into different phases and shapes. I hope they will continue to intersect over the years like a tree or a spider-web...a mass array of lives going under and through tunnels of brief experiences like this where we get to catch up on pieces of our journeys. That evening we got to spend more quality time with Nancy & Bill and the boys, which was great.
Some funny differences that Jay & I noticed between here and there...over there, everything is butt cheap, the Twinkies are huge, everyone eats McDonalds, the roads are terrible and getting worse all the time, and every 20 yards is a dead raccoon on the road, each one in a different pose and sometimes missing a different body part. In fact, we made a song about it based on a popular piece of Sesame Street nostalgia: '1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12, and we saw dead raccoons, at the road kill picnic...'
Monday we drove to Grosse Pointe...stopped by the house, got to see Larry, had lunch with Dan at Buddy's Pizza, checked into the hotel, went to Mom's school, and out to Mongolian BBQ for dinner. Came home and watched the SpongeBob Movie with Dan.
Tuesday went to Greenfield Village, dinner at home and a reunion with old friends...Blake, Graham, Meighan & Nickie. Out of all of my friends, most of these souls I had not seen in the longest time. Last time we were in town, Meg & Doug were the only ones we got to see briefly, so this was especially surreal but very special, and a visit I was really looking forward to, as these are friendships that go back the farthest, a history full of drama, danger, excitement, laughter and plenty of funny noises. A few Harshes from Blake were presented that night, but most of the noises were simply those of laughter, healing and fellowship. Unfortunately Doug could not be there to complete the picture, and I didn't get a response from Jamie in time for this event, but I did get to see Doug later that night. He, Blake and I sat on the front porch and talked...I said I felt like the Benickis' should have been across the street providing the sick entertainment. We shared our various film projects and stuff; it was a great time. I'm very proud of all of my friends and what we all have accomplished.
Wednesday we went to the Detroit Zoo and Somerset Mall, dinner at home, and visits from Aunt Carol & cousin Sara, and Blake & Doug again, watched 'the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra' at Dan's strong request. By the end it was so late we had a sadly rushed good-bye with everyone, but one full of fulfillment.
Now after this wonderful dream, it's back to reality...until the next round friends!
Monday, April 04, 2005
last week....no the week before that i was in Alberta. it was cold. but i had a good time. presentations went well; got to see friends, got to see new baby. being on the road like that is actually quite fun, although it got lonely sometimes. the best part of my job is meeting people. people who are genuinely interested in what the school has to offer. i love that.
sunday morning i had a vivid dream of watching 'the passion' and then actually being part of a scene in the movie, being one of the people who was assigned to beat Jesus. another person was with me, and proceeded to beat him, but i was afraid to. He looked right at me and i felt a kind of magnetic vortex of being drawn to him, wanting to embrace him and run to him, yet being afraid and being held back at the same time. He scooped up a pile of sand in his hands and said 'look at the good earth that God has made' and the sand started to blow out of his hands and freak out the surrounding crowd. as the crowd led him away, the radio alarm went off and scene continued to the accompaniment of "One" by U2. very strange and moving...not sure why i had this dream. most likely lingering thoughts of Easter and thoughts of knowing that I'm so feeble at being the person I should be, but i'm trying. wish i could let go more....let go of control. get some energy. i'm so tired all the time.
there are very exciting times ahead. just make it until then, and wake up.
very, very exciting times. and Jay makes me laugh and smile.
mmmm, cheetos are good.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Finally got to see it on the news last night, since it wasn't on during the OC like they kept saying. What a moronic show that is; i can still tell just by watching it without sound. We had our split screen on watching Survivor on the left and the OC on the right so we would know when the Star Wars trailer came on, which it didn't. Oh well. Perhaps on different networks it played. Such a shame that anyone would have to sit through an agonizing hour of crap to see 2 minutes of brilliance.
Friday, March 04, 2005
The best pics are posted on the Prie-believing website, starting at http://www.prie-believing.com/photo_album.8.html
Yay! It was a very romantic thing to do...since work has been so stressful the past few days, this was an awesome way to re-connect and just be together. Ah, sparks fly....love is good.
Monday, February 28, 2005
This weekend was the Animation Show screening at the Ridge. Glad i got to check it out this year. I got to meet Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt in person, which was very cool...very normal down-to-earth guys. Especially surprising with Don, he's very unlike his films, yet at the same time you can see where the genius comes from. The films were arty but mostly funny and very well done...makes me wonder if my film is of the caliber to be part of the show in a few years. I shall send it anyway and see what happens.
Last night went to an Oscar party thrown by people from church, and had a really great time. Jay beat me as the supreme winner-predictor! and i came in second. Everyone thought we must have seen all the films and had all of this inside knowledge, which is funny cuz we never go to the movies. Between the two of us, the only films with any nominations we have seen are Ray, SuperSize Me, Passion of the Christ, & SpiderMan 2. We have become wait-for-DVD people. Heheh.
Monday, February 07, 2005
coming up the stairs for the party, the first person I saw who I didn't expect was Dave, and then Toby, and then by that point everyone said Surprise!!! and shortly afterwards I noticed Charles & Misti, and Marcos & Beth, which really threw me for a loop cuz I am not used to seeing people from work mixed in with everyone from Ladner. A strange merging of worlds...and then every corner I turn there are more people, and then more people. Totally in shock was I, who really just wanted to go to the bathroom. Good thing I wasn't MORE startled than I was. Talked to Penny & Bill and Grandpa Priebe on the phone that night too.
The previous part of the day was spent as such: me sleeping in until 9am when Jay woke me up with breakfast in bed, my Dad calling right afterwards, watching The Godfather and Jaws with Mike, and having a romantic Italian dinner out with Jay, during which the overhead speakers played an Italian version of the song in the beginning, which Jay walked down the aisle to at our wedding. pretty awesome that was.
one of the best days of my life hencewith so far, me dost thinketh.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
1976 - still a little blurry; i remember some scary dreams i had, Sesame Street kept me entertained.
1977 - Star Wars comes out and provides the opportunity for my first movie obsession.
1978 - my brother Jonathan is born, Friday nights involve the Muppet Show, Family Feud and Dance Fever.
1979 - unbeknowst to me, my wife Jay is born several thousand miles away, I start writing stories, my favorite film The Muppet Movie is released, and I go to Disney World with my family.
1980 - I start Kindergarten at Mason School.
1981 - my obsession with birdwatching starts to take effect, I start 1st grade and continue to write.
1982 - I write a play, ET and Dark Crystal are both released and 2nd grade begins.
1983 - my brother Daniel is born, and my obsessions range from He-Man to Muppets to Mtv to Showbiz Pizza Place to more Star Wars.
1984 - Ghostbusters mania strikes...at some point I learn how to swim, sort of.
1985 - I start 5th grade with Mr Brock, and Dad buys a VCR & video camera.
1986 - school trip to Toronto, charcoal drawing classes and starting middle school, which is rather scary but I get used to it eventually
1987 - family trip to Arizona, starting 7th grade.
1988 - I win the school talent show, and start hanging out with friends Doug, Jamie, Graham & Blake.
1989 - creativity flourishes as I make comedy tapes with my friends, win the talent show again, meet my friend Meighan, have the best summer of my life and start high school (9th grade).
1990 - learning to drive, starting 10th grade, that's about it.
1991 - hanging with friends, making haunted houses for Halloween, discovering Rocky Horror as an outlet for my teen angst.
1992 - more of the same, starting my senior year, camping trip in Canada with friends.
1993 - school plays, all things band related, graduating high school, rock band Snapple is born, starting art school at U of M, meeting friends Jeff & Brandon.
1994 - Pink Floyd concert. Only major highlight.
1995 - paint Star Wars mural in the dorm, summer job at movie theater, start making student films, camping trip in da U.P.
1996 - more films, start experimenting with animation, another summer at the movies.
1997 - start first animation job with Steve, finally graduate from U of M.
1998 - trip to Los Angeles, working for Steve, finishing Snot Living, swordfighting theater troupe, road trip to Vancouver, starting at VanArts.
1999 - trip to San Francisco, visit from grandparents, summer in Vancouver, meeting Jay.
2000 - dating Jay, getting engaged, finding Christ.
2001 - getting married, and all that comes with it, our first apartment, etc.
2002 - Disneyland/Arizona trip, working at VanArts.
2003 - moving into bigger place, visit from Grandpa.
2004 - visits from family and friends, continued work on film projects.
2005 - so far, last night, when Jay successfully organized a surprise birthday party for me, filled with family and friends, German chocolate cake, photos of my life everywhere, toys, food and good fellowship, leaving me humbled and blessed.
Not a bad 30 years.
Monday, January 31, 2005
mellow evening at home, bloggin' with the winamp jukebox shuffle. last friday was another grad at the cinematheque, and a successful one. lots of good reels. it's amazing to watch the growth of some of these students, how much they learn. makes me think i should be more open to learning more about the changes that are going on in the industry, different softwares and whatnot...(current music: bridge - queensryche) but when do i have time for that? i suppose i am content to coast along with the knowledge i have about animation, because ultimately if i was really that passionate about it, i'd be more eager to go outside the box. i'm not even that motivated these days to animate the old school way at my desk, hence me sitting here blogging about it rather than doing it. but seeing jose and carlos' film and what they accomplished, and sifting through the scenes that carlos took back with him to Spain gave me a little glimmer of desire to get back to the drawing table again soon. i guess my spirit just needs a breather, a respite from what may be expected. Ha! what sweet irony! Current Music: i'm going to go back there someday by Gonzo. yes, my muppet friend, i will.
i believe i've been inspired lately to try and get back into writing. i always come back to that. the movie reviews are a good start, and i think just getting back into reading the right books is definitely a step in the right direction. the original 'joseph and moon' brewed in the back of my head (current music: horn - Phish) for a few weeks until the time was right to just bat it out over a weekend, so another birth pang is likely overdue. part of me ponders over what it would be like to have a profession doing animation or writing professionally, and some chances have sprung up here and there, with bix pix and bowes, etc. but i truly feel, as i do after grads that go well and aren't held in crappy venues with sound problems, that i've been called to serve in the job i have right now, serve the talents and careers of these amazing people i have the privilege to meet, and that my own 'break' into the business will come in God's time, in some way that will be more satisfying than if i was to drop everything and do my own thing. (current music: Rosanna - Toto ) i'm already seeing glimpses of opportunity that pop up, like the call for a voice acting gig at Wolfgang's studio, for instance. when i look back through my old journals i was always obsessing over this plan i had and these big lofty dreams that everyone expected me to live up to...all the while being disappointed because my life could never possibly live up to my vision of where i should have been at that moment. i was rather miserable and frustrated. Thank you God for leading me into a good job where I get to be a servant and stay continually inspired to try and keep up with my own 'work.' (current music: angus dei - third day) see? even Winamp is praising the Lord.
Huzzah! i turn 30 this weekend. guess i'll have lots to reflect on this week. but better get back to the drawing board and stop thinking, let things happen and be the ball.
current music: sweet dreams are made of this! Amen to that.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Today i live in Vancouver and it has been raining alot. My toes are wet most of the time. (Current music: Thank You by Led Zeppelin.) Figured i should sit here and blog since it's been awhile. I've been making a habit of reading more this year, trying to catch up on some books I should have read by now. Just finally got a copy of the 'Genesis Trilogy' by Madeline L'Engle.... (current music: ShoeHorn with Teeth by They Might be Giants) so i'm just starting to feast on that one a bit. She writes in a very non-linear fashion and touches on many good thoughts that don't always flow in a logical way, but i expect that's the point. (current music: Heaven by the Fire Theft) also nearly finished with 'The Silver Chair', second to last book in the Narnia Chronicles. The Last Battle will be next, and then i will be able to say I've read them all. i've been thinking of re-working 'Joseph and Moon' so all of this reading will help me prepare for that. there's also my 'animation as worship' book idea, and the 'road trip' story, which i found the movie 'Garden State' to be fascinating inspiration for. All of this plus my films...sheesh. i haven't been too motivated to work on the film lately... i think i should really farm out some scenes so that it can still be underway while i focus on these other projects for a bit.
(current music: Our House by Madness)
madness. how appropriate. been shooting final footage of jose and carlos for the documentary project, which i expect will be very interesting. like a sage as always, jay has been helping shoot these last few days, so it can be finished. (current music: And I Love Her by the Beatles) this song makes me think of driving in my dad's car circa 1981-82..the chuck e cheese era. i can smell the cigarettes and upholstery still.....(current music: Damage by Queensryche) again, how appropriate. ok, enough synchronicity for one evening.