Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Give em the boot.

Here I am in rainy, rainy Jersey. There's a bizarre curse on Bethany and I anytime we plan to do something. We had nasty, nasty rain for our Jersey trip last August, our wedding, our Christmas trip, our trip out here earlier this year and now this. It was nice until the day we came here, and it's supposed to clear up the day after we leave. So it looks like no Jersey shore for us. Boohoo and such. But regardless, it's beena great time. My birthday was awesome, I can't remember the last time I've laughed so much. It's been great to get out of west PA and the whole mindspace we've been in, which is all business and planning.

We saw Rancid on Sunday after an afternoon in Manhattan. We walked about and geeked out at the Nintendo world store, which was awesome. Our umbrella served us well as it was POURING rain the whole time. Poor Cleo has a hole in one of her old Chucks so she got a bit wet. But Rancid was absolutely fantastic, one of the best live shows I've ever seen. They played almost every song I could have wanted them to play, including Roots Radicals, Time Bomb, Journey to The End of The East Bay, Old Friend, Rats in the Hallway, Adina, KNOWLEDGE, SOUND SYSTEM, Radio, Olympia WA, Dead Bodies, Something in the World, Antennaes, Ruby Soho, and Sidekick. There were others, but that should give you an idea of how epic and awesome the set was. We sang along loudly.

Yesterday Cleo got her upper lip pierced, a "Monroe" as the kids say. She was a trooper and handled it quite well. She looks very nice. Go Cleo.

So today we're hopefully going to see Heebie and Allen. I hope we can find something else to do, as the rain is kinda limiting our options.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Crotch Head Suicide

What a long, full week it's been. It's been a blur of work, work, planning, more work, washing dishes and Snakes on a Plane. SoaP was alright, only good as a group event full of loud talking and snake noises.

My poor friends, the Bucks, are having quite a time of it. Ms. Buck is due to bring forth a child by the name of Madeline in about 3 or 4 weeks, and they have been more or less screwed out of their new house by terrible happenstance. We've been praying for them a healthy amount, they kinda deserve a break, especially now. So pray for my friends, Adam, Jules and Madeline Buck that they find a new place soon and that it's not too stressful an experience. I hear they have a good lead right now, so keep the fingers crossed, children.

I've covered some ground on the first episode of four that will be destroying my life till december, but not enough that I feel I can rest easy just yet. There's a delay in casting, recording and getting us the dialogue. Throw in our move and the baby/moving craziness going on with my dear partner Adam, and I have to say I'm a little on edge about getting all of it done well and on time. I have no doubt that it can be done without killing myself or anyone else, I'm just very eager and anxious to complete these and make them the greatest they can possibly be. To that end, I'm attempting to pace things out (which is very difficult for me, the stay wake 5 nights in a row and get it done all at once guy) and maintain inspiration and creativity. That means taking real time off between bursts of work and using that time to relax, read, watch movies, hang out and do some serious gameing. This week's games are Super Ghouls & Ghosts on the old SNES emulator and the MAGNIFICENT pc adventure title from 1998, Grim Fandango.

I played a good amount of SG&G back in the day at friends' houses and I remember it being beautiful, fun and hard. It is PUNISHINGLY DIFFICULT. The kind of difficult that makes you recite verses from the middle of Job. The kind of difficult that makes you question why you're doing this to yourself. Thankfully I've been able to make liberal use of save states, so that plus good old perseverance won the day.... on novice setting. And I still didn't find that effing bracelet. Once it kicked me back to the graveyard, I was done... it's just not worth it. The game IS beautiful, though it's so frantic that you never get to stop and admire the art direction. Even if ytou can find a safe haven amongst the random and erratic enemies, there's a VERY tight timer constantly ticking down.
Grim Fandango is just wonderful. Amazing in it's immersiveness, with some supremely inspired and well realized art direction and writing. It's a darkly funny, semi-absurdist noir epic taking place in the mexican land of the dead. Yes, it's as good as it sounds. If you can possibly get your hands on this game, you owe it to yourself, me, and the free world to grab a copy. My copy comes courtesy of the afformentioned Mr. Adam Buck, and it is deeply appreciated. Now if I could just get my hands on the later King's Quest games...

GAH! MY CAT JUST CLAWED ME! THE BLOOD!!

I have a large number of scars on my hands and arms from playing rough with Ico. In lieu of cat brothers, I am his sparring partner. He keeps the claws more or less in and bites with minimal pressure but from time to time I end up with a bleeding scratch. Vicious creature.

Bethany bought a table, worked her last hours of her Altoona job, finished het squid quota and
bleached her hair this week. That's productive.

In the morning Cleo and I are off to Jersey for 5 days for the last hurrah before the fall sets in and buries us in activity. In 3 weeks time I'll have one episode done and we'll be living high above the streets of Southside. So much is coming. I hope I'm ready for it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Today I saw a great piece of GRA-FEE-DEE...

This has thus far been a fairly great week. It's been exhausting and a bit mind-numbing, but good. I'm in the work mode that kinda eliminates my desire to do almost anything else other than hang out with my wife and friends and maybe catch a movie here and there. Other than that, I'm all business at the moment. Got a lot of stuff done this week on "the big secret" these past few days. By the by, I don't think "the big secret" is much of a hush-hush thing anymore, as my associates over at BergerHill have been blabbing away about it for months. Click their link on the right and check out the last 2 entries... those are the ones I've been working on.

Last night I had a great time with one Mr. Brian Johnson. We ate at Don Blo's and then caught The Descent, which is the best pure horror flick I've seen in years. One critic wrote that it rises to the occassion in the post-Blair Witch and Open Water era. I'd add in 28 Days Later and then agree. The Descent is a painfully harsh and tense flick, and the first movie since probably Open Water to actually cause me to feel panic on some level. This is saying something because this movie got me to that point BEFORE anything tragic or gruesome happened, and long before anyone got disembowled. See it in the theatre and don't read too much about it, because like Blair Witch and Open Water, it works best in the darkened theatre with few people around, and it works better the less you know going in. A lot of reviews I've read spoil a great ammount of what happens and if you don't know exactly where it's headed, it's a fantastic and sometimes surprising ride. Oh yeah, and you'll wince. A lot.

Before we left for the theater, Brijoh's mom remarked that the move was coming up soon and at first I laughed, to assure her that we had plenty of time to get our act together. Then it hit me that Cleo and I have like 4 weeks to pull this off and we are nowhere near ready. So today Cleo did a large amount of packing whilst I worked. Thus far I've packed our considerable CD collection away and that was no small feat.

Tommorow night I'm off to see The Last Hope play up in Eburg. Should be a fun time. I found a few minutes to make some more headway on their video this week, and I suppose I should post a pic of production on Dead Texas. Look at the pretty angelt statue and the amazing flash interface! Marvel at how disorganized my assets are! Thrill as my layers go unnamed and unordered! I'm a maverick.

This saturday I think we're seeing the ubiquitous Snakes on a Plane, but then again who isn't? Then Sunday = swimtime in Lewistown. Monday begins 3.5 months of hardcore production on my end for the be-all-end-all project that has monopolized my life for over a year now. We shall overcome.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bomber bomber


I hope Tony likes this. It's for him. I'll post a picture if he gets it.


I've actually been doing a good amount of tattoo designs as of late. One of the coolest things ever was earlier this year some poor child got a tattoo of the bomb from the back of The Vicars cd... I feel bad for him now, as the band is no more. A lot of my friends were like "That's so stupid, that kid's a moron", but I have nothing but respect for that... that's dedication to music you love, and it's an honor for me and all the other members of the band. Or maybe he just liked the bomb, I don't know. All I've ever seen of this kid is this pic, taken on a cellphone and sent via myspace.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

YEAH!


This is what the Jersey shore means to me.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dail 999 if you really want the truth...

Tonight Bethany, Brijoh and I saw Monster House at the Carmike at the mall. I had been wanting to see this movie since long before it came out, and I finally was able to coerce others into going. It didn't disappoint and I highly reccomend it to you and you kid (if your kid is at least 10 or a cool 8 or 9 year old). It's content earns a light PG rating but the themes push way past that. Lots of angst, nihilism and genuine horror occurs here, but what is adolescence if not for those things? It's not sugary-sweet nor is it on a Hot-Topic-self-consciously-gloomy vibe. It's just good. Reminds me of that time in my life. Go see it. The visuals and especially some of the camera work are spectacular.

So through an unintended slip of the tongue, I learned about Bethany's big surprise for my birthday. Months ago she purchased tickets for us to see RANCID in NYC the day after my birthday. And she was going to keep it a secret until she had tricked me into getting into the car with her to go to Jersey. She is the greatest person I have ever met.

Rancid has been one of the most influential bands in my life, a favorite for the past 13 years or so. Every time my old band wanted to cover a song, I'd immediately think of a Rancid song. We could've seriously done an entire set or two of Rancid songs if we had covered all of the songs suggested. Life Won't Wait is my absolute favorite record of all time, I can listen to it endlessly. So seeing them, right across the river from my beloved Jersey in NYC no less, is a dream come true. Bethany rules. I think we're also hitting the beach, which means Jersey Shore Armageddon 2: Megalodon Holocaust.

Tank!

Not the full collection... a few are MIA.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here's what you should do...

You need to, right now, get on over to www.scifi.com/amazingscrewonhead/. Watch the pilot episode and then fill out the survey, as it seems we the viewing public have a chance to effect whether this show happens or not.

Amazing Screw On Head is a VERY good cartoon based upon the eponymous one-shot graphic novel. It's the story of Abe Lincoln's expert on the paranormal, Mr. Head and his nemesis, Emperor Zombie. It's very well drawn, animated, written, and timed. In fact, everything about this show is near perfect. So hope over to the link above. If you for some reason can't watch it there, you can catch it in 3 parts on youtube. Make sure to watch it all and then fill out the survey at the Scifi link and maybe we can actually get another good, intelligent and well-crafted cartoon on the air. I even went so far as to email Scifi's feedback thingy and rant about how great the pilot was.

Don't let me down, internet family. Help this show get greenlighted.

Also, my darling wifey created a brand new cello-playing Squiddie today. You can see its grand loveliness here. She has a good shop going at cleodee.etsy.com. She's gearing up for a show down in DC this October so don't expect to see too many new items in the shop until then, but she's always available for consignment and special requests, which she handles with get expediency. So drop her a line at her etsy shop. Squiddies are better than democracy!

Hilarity ensues...

This past week I've done something quite revolutionary. Every morning, I've woken up at 8 am. This may sound facile to those of you in the workforce, but being that I'm a self-employed freelancer, there isn't usually much incentive to waking up before 11 or so. I guess the reason behind my self-imposed early waking is that my life needs a tad more structure as it is. Also, it helps me to feel healthier for some reason. This is day number 4 and I can tell ya, I feel great. Here's to a tad bit more structure in my anarchal time upon the earth.

My cat, passed out upon my wife's crafting swag. It's been very hot this week.


I don't have any new artwork to share this morning, since the past day has been spent on the Big Secret. I can't wait till this project's done (it's going to be a peaceful, relaxing christmas) and we can all move on with our lives. But for now, my autumn's planned out for me. It will be busy and productive.

To the gym I go, and hopefully this afternoon will be an extremely productive one.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

HOT HOT HOT

Today was productive, i suppose. In the past 15 hours I completed 10 seconds more Dead Texas, attempted in vain to add my face to a texture wrap on a 3d model, went to the mall, Target, took out another month's membership at the gym and ate boneless buffalo wings. Not a bad haul for a Tuesday. I think the Kid Rennaissance crew is filming another flick tonight, so I look forward to seeing how that turns out. Why they don't have a myspace I'll never know. So anyway, if one of you kids can name the specific anecdote referenced in this screenshot you'll win the respect of me and NPR for the day. Visual references are hipster currency, and I'm about ready to cash on in.

Today at Target we picked up some much needed things as well as the first season dvd set of The Venture Bros. If you guys are unfamiliar, you're missing just about the best cartoon currently being made stateside. This show is awesome... the first cartoon in awhile to pull me in based largely on it's character designs, linework and art direction. The writing and characters are very good too, far more traditional that the normal absurdist wackiness that airs on our beloved Adult Swim. It's all quite rad and it's is highly reccomended by me that you immediately pick these dvd's up at your local department store.

Tommorow looks like work, gym, and more work. Hooray for everything.