Songs of lust and lost

Music has such transportable qualities for me. These are a few that stand out in my mind that remind me of various beginnings and the endings of relationships.

1993 : Primus/Tommy The Cat - PIL/Disappointed

 

1997: Trainspotting Soundtrack/Slippery - Tool/Forty Six & 2

 

2000: Roni Size/Brown paper bag - Beth Orton/Trailer Park (whole album)

The perfect arch

Yesterday morning,

I entered the bathroom stall to the sight of some leftover buckshot on the back of the toilet bowl and being a gentleman I thought to myself, “I would prefer to not have that there when I sit down”. So I pressed the flush button to hopefully rid the bowl of the leftover buckshot. To my surprise the cap to the flush button went flying off in a perfect arch and swoosh, there went the cap into the flushing toilet. The spring that was under the cap was trying its best to follow the cap’s gracefully swan dive but lacked the finesse and went unceremoniously bouncing onto the toilet seat, which give me just long enough to have the thought; “I can at least save the spring!” Which was quickly followed by, “What the fuck are you thinking?!” At which time the spring torpedoed itself into the flushing toilet.

Today is going to be a good day…

Killing time,

Murders Opportunities.

Saw this on a marquee outside of the store. Well said. I have personally murdered a lot of opportunities.

Angry Bangs

Angry Bangs, Angry Bangs, Sweet Big Mario Angry Bangs. Why do you give me that expressionless face? All I want is small glass of that sweet pinapple jalapeno margarita juice. You have cracked a smile and even a glint but I am not sure what I did for that. Was it the fact that I said "hell yeah I want that spice salt rim". Maybe we got off on the wrong foot when B and I were having a friendly lively discussion about which VO version of AKIRA you were playing. Don't think cross if you thought we were dissing your comments. We were too wrapped up in what we were discussing. I hope your schedule never changes and I can rely on you everytime I enter your establishment until the days of my immovable age. Angry Bangs.

On the 29th

Middle of August, late, atmosphere thick with forest fire haze. I am staring at my city from a height I never thought I would see her from. From inside a building I thought would never exist. It is so quiet in here at 8:30 at night. The neon lights of the Elephant Car Wash glow with a warmth that the haze seems to match. It seems calm and tranquil next to the 3 Police cars with their lights flashing red and blue. A stoic reminder of a city that is going through a metamorphosis that no one knows how it will be in 10 to 20 years.

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The new society

I have recently started a new contract at Amazon and I am in the building near the Amazon Spheres. Being in that area for about a week now has given me time to have some thoughts on how Amazon has truly shifted Seattle. Up to now I have stayed on the fray of this tidal wave.

This is like the .COM era on serious crack. Of course I am sure this is how Bellevue and Redmond people felt during the 90's with the serious expansion of Microsoft.  But to be experiencing this first hand is a sight to be hold. 

It makes me wonder how Seattle will be in 20 to 30 years? How will this affect the outlining neighborhoods? How will this new architecture age? The 90s condos that were all the rage during the .COMs are already looking sad and dated.  Of course they looked sad and dated when they were built.

This new downtown architectural structure reminds me of midtown Manhattan. They have included sections for public spaces to explore and hang out.

 

What are you working on?

If you work hard on your job, you can make a good living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.

A new flavor combo favorite.

On my flight back from Boston last night I discovered a new flavor combo that I am loving.

(Heineken x Blood Mary Mix) + Cheezits on the side.

I believe Cheezits has an extra toasted version that would take this over the top. I will have to try that combo at my friend's house, the man who introduced me to Red Beer and the extra toasted Cheezits.

Headrest movie watching.

When I am not making the preverbial "view the plane from seat" drawings I love to watch movies that are playing on other people's headrests.

It gives me the opportunity to concentrate purely on the visuals. How does the editor pace the various scenes. How does the director or DP frame shots? How does the colorist set the visual tones for scenes? How well do the actors portray their emotions.

Give it a try if you haven't. It is a fun exercise.

A bad taste in their mouth for next month's rent

You go to a restaurant because they are known for having great food but half way through the meal you realize that your water has been empty for a while and every time the waitress/waiter comes by your table they don't make eye contact. That great food doesn't taste so well and when the check comes you are feeling even worst about your restaurant choice. Will you go back? Only if you have no other choices is my guess.

I recently had a friend hire an artist to produce some animation for one of his jobs and he was very pleased with the artist's work but the artist's rapport with my friend was very combative. My friend was fine with the work but I loved his comment to me that this artist was not interested in form a working relationship. The artist was only viewing this job as a paycheck and nothing more. That might work in the near future but will ultimately damage any further opportunities.

Are you damaging future opportunities only to pay next month's rent or are you building a relationship to provide many months of rent. It might require more work upfront but that is a small price to pay for future opportunities.

We get paid

For bringing value to the marketplace. Whatever that marketplace might be.

I got hired at Digital Kitchen because I was able to bring value. Not much value in the beginning, which is why I didn't get paid much. That changed over the course of 6ish years. Ultimately I was laid off because I had stop bringing as much value to the company as they were needing from me at the pay they were giving me.  It took my first freelance job in NYC, 5 months later, to realize this. I did not stay humble at Digital Kitchen. I was not looking for ways to improve my skills and my thinking. I was too busy thinking that they owed me my pay purely based on how I improved during those first two to three years of my employment. So my growth had stagnated those last three to four years, while thankfully, my pay had not. That made my thinking shift from self improvement to self congratulatory. "DK is so lucky to have me. I helped them become the studio they are now." I might have played a small part in getting them from unknown to well known but it is actually, I was at the right place at the right time and I was DAMN, lucky.

For the later years I became more envious of my co-workers that were getting to work on all of the cooler jobs while I was stuck doing the bill paying jobs. I become a passive observer of my career trajectory, I blamed my falling stature in the company on everyone and everything except for myself. I became cynical bastard and my work most likely showed it. What I needed to do was speak up and ask questions of how I could be doing a better job, how I could be bringing more value to my position in the company. Of course I didn't. You can't grow from a place of anger. I was too scared of all the doomsday scenarios in my head coming true. That false fear kept me from progressing and ultimately lead to my failure.

Backyard zoo cage.

It still amazes me that some people would find being in a backyard patio cage enjoyable and actually a reasonable option. It seems that if you feel that you have to separate yourself from your surroundings you should probably find new surroundings. Just saying…

A new day from now

From this day forward things are different. My view point on things and choices laid out in front of me will be viewed in a new light. 

Much respect Richard, you can now be peacefully with Spice and Lady.

A trailer for a feature.

You like to think that you are creating the feature but you are only creating the trailer. That is fine for most but it is not ok for the artist, the true pioneer. Remember that when you perform that perfect dance for the masses.

Honey-do-lists

There has been quite a few things hanging out on my honey-do-list and after accomplishing a couple of them, I felt so empowered to get to the studio and start hammering out some stuff that I had been dragging my feet on. It is funny to think that by accomplishing stuff at my house would inspire me to finish or at least start stuff at my studio. I always viewed those lists as separate efforts. Whenever I was at home doing stuff I thought I should have been at the studio "grinding it out" and always felt guilty but after today I have a very different outlook.

This reminds me of David Allen's Getting Things Done. We all have lists rattling around in our head and he preaches the discipline of getting everything out of your head so you can concentrate on the immediate task at hand. Today was not exactly that but I did have one home to-do list rattling in my head and tackling a couple of the big items on that list definitely opened up more space in my head to think about other things and imparted some endorphins to make me feel empowered to finish more things and to take on bigger to-dos. I do write down lists but for some stupid reason I figured I was smart enough to keep all things at home to-do's inline. Dumb! Just write it all done and get to marking them off.

Happy 30th, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Oh man, I can't believe that Who Farmed Roger Rabbit is 30 years old. It is pretty interesting to think that after seeing Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the following Disney animated features did not catch my interest; Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, even though that period was considered the animated features' renaissance. All those didn't hold a candle to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Of course being 13 years old when Roger Rabbit came out, made it the perfect transition to showing me that animated features can be more than just kids movies.

It was so inspirational to me that when I did my first animated short I looked to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for inspiration. The lustful women in the alley were a direct reference the crazy lustful toon women that appears near the end of the movie. My version obviously lacks the appeal of Roger Rabbit's but hey whatever.

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The alley ways at the end of my short were also inspired by the dark alleys in Toontown + some old New York lower east-side ghettos but mainly Toontown's alleys.

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Here is a great article on the Guardian website: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? at 30: the game-changer Hollywood couldn't top

and Hollywood still hasn't even come close to topping. Bravo, Robert Zemeckis and Richard Williams! A modern day classic.

Hello again and again and again and again, Peter Gabriel.

I just heard Peter Gabriel on the radio and it took me back.

I remembered seeing the video for Sledgehammer. That music video really blew me away and come to find out the Brothers Quay and Aardman Animation created the video. At the time I was living in Oregon and this was during the time of Will Vinton Studios being know for the California Raisins and their Christmas specials. The Sledgehammer music video was probably the first commercial stop-motion animation that felt like a work of art to me, even though I had no idea what those terms meant back then in 1986 at the age of 11, I just knew it was different.

Fast forward to a road trip that I took with my Dad when I was 16 years old. The road trip started in Seattle, driving to Las Vegas then Anaheim and going back to Seattle. The goal of the road trip was to see family in Las Vegas and go to Disneyland. At the time I thought Disney Animation was part of Disneyland. Yeah, that ended up being a disappointment. Anyhoo… Out of the music my Dad brought to listen he had Peter Gabriel's album So. That is one great soundtrack for road tripping, even though I didn't think so at the time.

Now lets skip forward to 12th grade, about 2 years after the road trip, and I was introduced to computer graphics in my art class. My high school had purchased 2 Macintosh Quadra 610s for the art room and my future best friend was the catalyst of making that happen. My friend was setting up school district wide networks and was hip to all the computer graphics programs. I was a simpleton that was about to get his ass schooled in all things computer graphics. Not only did my friend show me programs that could produce the cgi in one of Peter Gabriel's latest music videos but also to the fact Peter Gabriel was using computers to create his music. BOOM! My mind was double blown. This was the year (1992/1993) I was introduced to Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, Bryce 3D, Strata 3D, Poser, Raydream 3D, Macromedia Director, Macromedia Extreme 3D, and Macromedia Freehand. Holy shit, I have never written all of them out and damn that is a lot of programs! I think there was a music composing program in the mix but I didn't mess around with that one at all.

And finally, 1998. In 1998 I had my first professional salary job, post college. It was at a online travel company. The sites the company owned were skito.com, mto.com and gto.com. The "to" was, obviously, for travel online. Their angle was selling travel packages centered around outdoor activities, golfing, skiing and maybe hiking. I think they made their money from the golfing and skiing packages. I don't remember what the mto.com was all about. I definitely think they were ahead of their time. This was right before Expedia and Travelocity. But there was a coworker at the company that introduced this newbie to the concept of "going out after work". The great concept that she taught me was to start drinking right after work and then by 9 o'clock you are drunk and stumbling home and then you order pizza and start watching movies and then after you eat as much pizza as your belly can handle you pass out watching movies. BOOM, mind blown! Of course this only happened on the Friday that you got paid. Haha! It was a fun concept to perfect. So to the Peter Gabriel part of the story. I and two other coworkers shared a small office room and we would trade off music playing duties and the for mentioned coworker brought in Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ. I loved the soundtrack and couldn't believe that this artist has been effecting me at various stages of my life. So far four times! Which is pretty crazy, considering that each of those points of my life was very different.

I wonder if that is how some people viewed Picasso or maybe even the Rolling Stones.