Outflanked(?) at Twenty Questions

December 15, 2011 - posted in sundries


When we go on road trips, sometimes we play the 20 Questions.
Last time we played, I was outflanked(?) by my 3 children.

Elise: Is it something that moves?
Dad: No.
Elise: Is it colorful?
Dad: Yes.
Charlotte: Is it a dead chameleon?

Dad: ……You win.

Margot: Please, more Cheerios.

If only I were half as creative as them.

Books Are Hard

December 13, 2011 - posted in sundries


A few years ago, I tried to come up with some children’s book ideas.
It’s really hard, you guys!

Computer Mix

December 7, 2011 - posted in sundries


I have a playlist here that starts with an IBM 704 performing “Daisy Bell” (a 1962 speech demonstration from Bell Labs that inspired Arthur C. Clarke, writing “2001”), and ends with “Sun’s Gone Dim” from Johann Johannsson.

I don’t remember putting this together.
I think my computer was trying to make its own mix tape…
that would drive me mad!

 

Fish Tank Crud

December 1, 2011 - posted in work in progress


The kids wanted to get a fish, but I told them “NO! Daddy needs the fish tank to shoot videos of crud floating around!” Then they cried. I felt kinda bad, so I told them they could keep the crud as a pet. They have named it “Ariel.”

Vampires’ Union

November 30, 2011 - posted in sundries


I’ve always been the sort who’s more awake at night than in the day.
I do try to get up and work among the decent, respectable people.
But it is unnatural, and I fail daily
to override the circadian rhythms which have been hard-wired into me.

It’s difficult to have a nocturnal orientation around these parts.
I sense a proud agricultural/industrial work-ethic.
And “Early to bed and early to rise” is a fine way of life,
but does it follow (screw Ben Franklin)
that working late into the night and then struggling,
with your eye-bags and cowlicks,
to join the living at sunrise
should inherently be counted as sloth?

What difference does it make nowadays,
with the illumination available from our modern electrical light-bulbs,
what time of day a man chooses to work?

But night owls have always been seen as deviant; possibly immoral.
Alas, even the stuffier poets have been slow to accept our ways,
as we see with Rillsbrook:

Who flower ‘neath a different Sun;
A cold and pale and ferrous One
BURN THEM!

But, Rillsbrook, you idiot!
Are we insomniacs not human, just like you?!
Do we not hope and dream?
Do we not love our children?
Of course
we
would if we weren’t so damned tired.

Maybe we should organize,
we creatures of the night,
and show them what we’re made of!
Maybe form a Vampires’ Union
and lobby for siesta rights!

Who’s in?*

 

*No meetings! I don’t want to meet any of you creepy-ass, milky-eyed weirdos!

Poet name “Rillsbrook” comes from Scott Emmons’ poet name generator.

What I Am Thankful For

November 22, 2011 - posted in sundries


I was reading these fun observations about American culture as perceived by non-Americans living here:

“What Are America’s Quirks?”
http://ask.metafilter.com/200224/What-are-Americas-quirks

 

Some recurring themes:
– Americans are blatantly religious, nationalistic, hard-working, polite, and still a little Puritan
– EVERYTHING HUGE!
– American customer service is superior (really??)
– Everyone is terrified of medical bills (we had some recent first-hand terror with this)

 

But this one made me think of something:
“When Americans kid one another, they will wait a few seconds and then let the kidee know that they were just kidding. Every time. This shocked me for a while.”

That’s an interesting observation, but I don’t know… it hasn’t been my experience at all. Growing up, no one in my family ever said when they were kidding. There was almost never a wink. (My wife’s family is similar). The word “kiddee” above is appropriate– the dry humor could be very confusing when you were little.  But much appreciated once you were in on it.

To me, it was wonderful to be trusted to figure out the joke on your own. It made it yours. It made you feel respected. It taught you to parse everything people said very thoroughly– there was treasure everywhere. It also made you intolerant of ever being talked down to by grown-ups (or newscasters, or advertisers…)

My grandmother is the best at this. I don’t know anyone who can work little twists into the conversation so gracefully. She can tell you exactly what she means without even saying it. She can use the verbal negative space. It’s so rich.

That’s what I’m thankful for.

Growing up, we had humor. We had the fun of expressing love and respect through teasing.

So Happy Thanksgiving, America, you gonzo-religious, gun-stroking, truck-humping, flag-flailing, no-vacation-taking, broke-ass, fat, drunk sons of Jefferson! ♥

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November 16, 2011 - posted in work in progress


Inky + Blinky

November 15, 2011 - posted in work in progress


Here’s a nutty little mess. Some ink in water, combined with a blinky toy, like nature intended. Shot with a cheap-o camera.

Something along these lines might show up somewhere in the scene where the guy eats the thing and everything get all crazy and junk.

How to Report

November 14, 2011 - posted in work in progress


Most days, you might hope to get through a couple seconds of animation.
Not much to report on that front. A hand moved. A face made an expression. The parts are lesser than the sum. And that’s where we’re at right now. How are you?

An Ace Up My Sleeve

November 10, 2011 - posted in work in progress


I’m trying not to worry much about how things come out with this short. All the best parts so far have been accidents, or half-conscious, half-remembered half-thoughts. All the worst parts have been laborious, over-thought, and clenched.

But try we must! to maintain a state of infinite play while spending days creating fractions of seconds. Yes?

Well, I have an ace up my sleeve: I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing!

Untitled Document