Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Great Space Coaster of Life

Well, life's like a roller coaster sometimes, up and down...had some great news Thursday: due to the plug on the Brew, Leonard Maltin has requested a copy of my book to review on his site, mainly because of the history chapter, so I think that's pretty frickin' cool! Shortly after hearing this news, I had (to borrow a funny Meeka phrase) an 'assy' day at work. The next day was better because the person who made it assy was not present, and I got a hell of a lot more actual work done.

Today I had an awesome day of teaching, and really discovered once again how much I enjoy it...I hope someday I can make it more of a full-time thing, but we'll see what happens. Overall starting to recover a bit more from my recent stomach bug, though it still creeps back now and then. Today was good. Then I read something which has inclined me to listen to Linkin Park most of the evening while working on an animation project I've been hired to do. My brother may never forgive me for using them as my anger outlet, as I'm sure he has much stronger therapeutic examples to choose from. But it works for me.

I've become so numb I can't feel you there become so tired so much more aware I'm becoming this all I want to do is be more like me and be less like you

(Trying not to break but I’m so tired of this deceit) (Every time I try to make myself get back up on my feet) (All I ever think about is this) (All the tiring time between) (And how trying to put my trust in you just takes so much out of me) Take everything from the inside and throw it all away Cuz I swear for the last time I won’t trust myself with you I won’t waste myself on you

Funnily enough, in the latter song I often see in my head images from Passion of the perhaps good to meditate on the forgiveness aspect of things.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First Review on Cartoon Brew

Jerry Beck has a review for my book on Cartoon Brew!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Miramax Sucks

Ok, so every now and then something peaks my interest and I think, hmmm what is this? I hear about certain aspects of a piece of pop culture from other people and eventually discover it myself on my own terms, and it becomes an obsession that I find interesting and take it to another level, thus making it an inspiring part of my life at that time. This is how I stumbled upon things like Rocky Horror, Monty Python, and even bands like Pink Floyd, Queensryche and Zappa....having heard about them for years before finding out what made them special in the first place. Such has been the case with a strange little British stop-motion show called the Magic Roundabout. I've read about it and heard people talk about it, even how it's all about drugs, and I mentioned it briefly in my book. So I think, hmm interesting...but I've never really seen it.

So a stupid part of me sees this CG feature released earlier this year called Dougal, and I'm like, that looks like the dog from Magic Roundabout, which it is. And then I see it in the video store and my curiosity gets the better of me...I figure, it's British, directed by former stop-motion people, nobody saw it, I like things nobody else cares about, maybe there's something to it. Remember, curiosity killed the cat.....right now I'm a cat with its spleen cooking on the highway.

I got through 15 minutes before I had to stop and watch the special features instead...perhaps they would have a retrospective on the original series, and talk about the history behind the characters, or possibly have an old episode there for nostalgic purposes? No, instead there was another 15 minutes of Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Fallon dancing to the Kinks, and some dumbass with bad teeth talking about how cool Jon Stewart is. Funnily enough, the feature had titles for all the voice actors, but didn't have any for the directors or producers! Will the real Alan Smithee please stand up? Did they hire Wal Mart employees to pretend they made the film? Then they spend a minute bragging about how the WHOLE THING was made with computers, and then go right back to Whoopi talking about snails.

Apparently this was a British film that the Weinsteins at Miramax saw and decided they should hire famous actors to dub their dialogue, which explains why the lip sync and posing didn't match at all. They would often ad-lib dialogue over scenes where their mouths didn't move. I had to watch a Popeye cartoon afterwards to try and figure out why it works in that context, but not in this one. The best solution I could come up with so far was....Popeye cartoons are actually GOOD!

Part of me has been thinking, I should see some of these CG features to see if they really are as bad as the traditional-animation purists think they are. Well, they're right after all.

Now Jay and I have to find something better to do with our evening, despite the heat. Already saw the bikes and got some drinks, cooled off...I'm still floored that she delivered all my heavy books yesterday. What a sweetie...she'll do anything strenuous at this point to get our baby out. Come on, Ariel, let's get moving! I need a young mind to fill with culture!

At least our noisy neighbours moved out. There is hope.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bring It On!

So we had a pretty kick-ass weekend. Friday night was a BBQ at the Funks' house with members of the worship team and other delightful church folk. Apparently the rumour was leaked to our new worship pastor that I used to play the drums, so perhaps when the dust settles at some point, I'll get to do that. feel like a splintered drumstick.
It was a fantastic evening and there are no better people on this planet.

Saturday was Marcy & Stephen's wedding, which was lovely. We got to see Mike's apartment as well, way up high overlooking the beauties of downtown Richmond and a big kitty litter box where people apparently like to Yes, I like waking up to too.
Anyway, fun fun fun was had by all. At the reception location there was another reception going on as well, and some of the groomsmen were sending drunks from there into their dance floor. Experiments in human behavior make celebrations of true love more interesting.

Sunday was church, bridal shower for Jo, and birthday dinner for Bill Matthews at French restaurant downtown. Spent awhile wandering the area around Robson/Denman where I used to live; not much to see there. Dinner was nice...Bill Matthews had an interesting comment about my book...he said, after just reading the introduction and skimming through it cover to cover, he thinks it is "to puppet animation today what Preston Blair's book was to cartoon animation in the 1940s." That is a comment you take to the bank! I'm still reeling from that one.

This evening I showed a stop-motion film retrospective at the school to tie-in with the release of my book, including It's a Bird, The Mascot, Revolt of the Toys, Do-it-Yourself Cartoon Kit, Closed Mondays, A Christmas Gift, Crosspaths, Creature Comforts and The Peanut Vendor.

Speaking of stop-motion, apparently our baby is very healthy and growing to Kong-sized proportions. Hopefully the theory that they eat and sleep better will ring true. There is a chance that a window delivery is inevitable, so we'll see what happens; we just want her here now, and just got back from a long walk to see if we can get the engine going.

And now, a sign.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Arrival #1

From out of my hands, to into my hands! My first copy of the actual book arrived today, and I am happy. The publishers did a fantastic job laying it out and making it look awesome. The paper is good quality, it's a comfortable size, small but frickin' thick! I can't believe I wrote all of this in 6 months, but of course it was also due to plenty of divine intervention and generous assistance from so many others, especially Jay.

Order yours today!

Now we're just waiting for Arrival #2, also small but frickin' thick from the feel of things. Still continuing to week? two weeks? We shall see!

Today was pretty awesome, as I spent the day with Chris Carter (not the X-files guy) to go through the footage for the next VanArts DVD. We got some good it's exhausting work just watching videos. Then we headed over to Backbone Entertainment to shoot interviews with some of the grads working there. During a time when some of us are nervous about stuff going on at work, today really solidified what a grand history the school has had, and why it should keep doing what it does best. Many of these guys were kids when I first met them, and now they're so grown up. There were even people who I didn't know were working there, like Jose, who I was hoping I would run into soon. It was a blast, like a reunion of old souls. Quite an amazing visit.

Hold on tight...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Drumroll please...

So today I found out that the book has finally arrived at the warehouse (all 4000+ of them), so I should get a copy this week, and our baby is measuring at 40 weeks, still dropping, so could be ready to arrive at any moment. Feeling incredibly anxious and excited about both.

Last night I had ribs. That is also very good news.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Approaching the Southern Oracle of Life

Found out today that Ariel is starting to drop, so it could be a few weeks, or one, two weeks, we don't know...depends on her agenda. Sooner would be good, as it's freakin hot around here.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cars Review

Saw Cars yesterday and posted a review on Hollywood Jesus.