Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Not Dead ... a random update blog post's been a long time since I posted anything here. But as the peasants say, I'm not dead.

So anyway, here's a little update, at least for the interesting stuff, sparing the gory details of how work is really exhausting right now. What's also really kept me busy is working through the tentative content for my new stop-motion book. I've been transcribing interviews and trying to come up with an outline to follow for the upcoming chapters. I expect that will continue to dominate my time over the next few months. Luckily Jay blogs enough for the both of us, and eventually I'll come out of hiding.

Life with the kids is fun. Xander is smiling a lot now and is fun to play with. He's still very introspective and mellower than Ariel was. We keep thinking he's going to be the quiet, thoughtful kid who likes to read and go on nature walks, or build castles. But who knows, he could be storing something wilder.

Ariel had her first ballet recital in her class, where the families were able to attend. It was so amazing to be there for her and experience that. I was so proud of my little girl. She's definitely going to be a performer of some kind.

Jay and I completed a new painting for Xander's room. It had been awhile since we did one of these...we have a series of them from years ago, still all over the house. It was lots of fun to draw...I had been in a funky mood when Jay was encouraging me to draw it, and it definitely helped to bring me out of the funk.

Then of course her paint job just brought it to life!

I finally got a copy of the latest animated short film I worked on over the summer, for BigFott Studios, The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon. Everyone did a great job on this one as usual, and Ariel has already watched it a million times. Xander got a 'Production Baby' credit too! Click HERE for the film's webpage and trailer...there is a short clip of the homage to King Kong I got to animate (and actually used the original film as literal reference).

I went to an advance screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox last week, and really enjoyed it, not only because of the obvious fact that it's a stop-motion feature and will hopefully bring some well-deserved attention to the craft....but that's a damn good reason. It's a very funny film no matter what, but the quirkiness of the way it was animated certainly helps. Makes me want to re-visit some of Wes Anderson's movies again and give them another shot...some of them I liked more than others and some I haven't seen.

Today our good friend Kathy surprised us by randomly (or not-so-randomly) running into us at church and asking if we wanted to have a big bag of children's books for Ariel. There were at least a dozen or so, and as it turned out, I was extremely tickled to find out that some of them were ones I had read as a child! In my church growing up, they had some copies of this series of illustrated books made in the '60s. This one in particular stood out in my memory as being significant, as it was my first introduction to the story of the Good Samaritan. I'm still not sure why to this day, but this story always intrigued me as a kid, and still does. I read it to Ariel this afternoon, which was really special, and I plan on going through the rest of them with her as time goes on. I love the illustrations, which have that modern 50s/60s feel to them, so here's just a few of them.

Perhaps I shall post more of these in the future. It's all good stuff.