Friday, August 31, 2007

Hey Gorgeous, What's Your Sign?...

More sketches! Moving toward the end of the Leaping Little People project. Part of the program involves a simplified sign language version of the song "Old MacDonald".

I will post a pic of the painting next time. (I hope!)
I got a lot of animating to do!

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend...

Saturday was a laborious and triumphant day. A painting that I have working on for months finally reached completion. It was pretty big. I think it was around 4 x 7'! A woman with a summer place in Sliver Creek on Lake Erie "commisioned" me to do it. I finally got a chance to complete the thing. Not my usual subject matter... people on a beach watching sailboats, but I enjoyed doing it, (much more than I thought I would). I came out good.

It rained for a good portion of the afternoon. I was stuck in the basement, finishing the afore mentioned project. I loaded the finished peice into the caravan (had to take all of the seats out) and pretty much just hung out, watched movies and got cell pictures from a friend at a bachelorette party.

Sunday came and I made a morning drive to Silver Creek. Silver Creek is in the north of Chautauqua County. It is beautiful. Grapes everywhere and Lake Erie. I dropped off the painting and was home by noon.

Chloe and I went to see the Simpsons Movie, AGAIN. I have created a monster. After that we visited one of the local natural wonders. Panama Rocks is about 15 minutes away from our doorstep, but it's one of those places you always forget is there. During the last Ice Age, giant glaciers dropped these friggin' huge rocks all over the place. It's so different from the rest of the surrounding terrain. You feel like you're in some strange low-budget jungle movie or "Lord of the Rings" rip-off.

We climbed all over the place and hiked around the trails. Then we went to miniature golf. It was a good day.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

It pays to Discover...

For those of you who don't know, I work for a pretty damn small company. By local standards it is an empire, (cue Johnny Williams "Imperial March" music from Episode 5). They company owns 7 restaurants, a french bakery, a small shoping center, a furniture chain, a furniture making division, a carving shop, a new hotel and God only knows what else...

Anyway, if there were a company motto, it would be. "Trust No One". That applies to people out of the company, in the company, and anyone else for that matter. It's a sucky job and the Karma around the place friggin' drains me daily.

The other day, THE head of the company comes into my office. We've been looking at purchasing a large format printer for the company. Signage is a big deal with so many different companies under one oppressive hand. Like I said they hate everyone and the idea of paying a sign shop or another printer keeps this guy (head of the company) up at night.

I find a great price on a great high end printer and he grabs a pad of paper from the edge of my desk. On the top sheet he writes all of his credit card information. He looks around with puzzlement for one moment until he finds a Post-It. He flips it over sticky side up and scribbles something on it. He then turns it back over and sticks it to the surface of my desk about 4 feet away from me, (I have a really long desk).

He stands up to leave and explains, "The pad has all of my credit card information on it. That Post-It has my three digit security code on it. Order the printer and then make sure you throw this away." He then leaves.

I work for him. What am I going to do? Steal his credit card info and go on a buying spree? Douchebag! I work for an idiot. I wonder how many of you have worked for idiots. Leave me a comment. I gotta go now and try out this card number on a few porn sites. have a nice day...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chapter Two: "How to be a Cool Dad (or Mom)"

Hook your kids up. Arm them with the stupidest knowledge. What is the stupidest knowledge? That's up to you. Here is an example:

Expose your children to insufferable amounts of pop music from your generation. While your kids are young, their tender minds will soak up the lyrics to "Material Girl" and "What I Like About You" like a thirsty sponge. With the way the recording industry and Hollywood are remaking EVERYTHING these days, this information is sure to come in handy in the future.

Throw a bunch of songs into their heads and watch the connections flow back to you. After the 300th time of singing "Puttin' on the Ritz" with my daughter, a funny thing happened. I'd sing the verse and she would respond with the refain. The call and response built to such a fevered pitch, that at one point she shouted in a monotonic growl, "Puttin' on the Ritz!"

She laughed. Then she said,"Wouldn't that be funny if a monster sang that part?" I had to explain to her that there was a movie where Frankenstien's monster (one of her favorites) actually does sing that. She's been bugging me to get Mel Brook's "Young Frankentstien" ever since. SOOOOOPAAAAAH DOOOOOPAAAAHHH!

...wait until she get's a load of Fred Astaire.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Leaping Little People Animations

Okay, so... the animations from the last post of sketches are complete!

Please tell me what you think!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Back to Business...

Okay... who reads my blog? I MEAN REALLY READS IT?!!! A while back I vowed to sketch more and more and more. Well, I am finally making good on that promise.

A couple of posts ago I talked about "Leaping Little People." After doing a tshirt graphic for those fine folks, they asked me to do some animation for them! GREAT!

I will post a link to the animation in the next few days, but for now... here are the preliminary sketches for a JUNGLE SONG segment. These characters will be moving soon... maybe even later tonight!

Not too late though. I gotta work at the "JOB." (sarcasm) For the time being... enjoy these pencil sketches.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Elderly and Dessert

Occaissionally the Unexpected Guests Improv Comedy Troupe does weekday evening shows at the Tropicana Room in the beautiful Desilu Playhouse. Tonight was just such an event. A lot of tiimes the Lucille Ball - Desi Arnaz Center brings in tour groups, shows them the Lucy Museum, feeds them, and then needs someone to entertain them. That's when they call us to perform. Sometimes it's 60 people, sometimes it's 10. You never know going in to one of these shows. Sometimes these folks are ready for bed. Sometimes they exhibit more energy than we do. Like I said... you just never know.

Tonight's group was 60 to 75ish. They looked happy and fed as we strode out to meet them. They were really quite cool after warming up a little. We had a good string of scenes. They laughed, it was cool.

Then we went into one of our step up games. "Back In My Day..." is a game in which each of the players takes on the voice of an elderly person and descibes why things were better "Back In My Day..."

We take an audience suggestion like "Computer" and then the players take turns stepping up to deliver a short explanation. I'm never afraid to do this game in front of old people... but, I will say that there have been times when it has not been received well by older adults. (clears throat).

This group liked the game. We riffed on "Computer" for few minutes and then Tim Smeal, one of our players, delivered the most brilliant "Back In My Day..." line I think I have ever heard. (Don't tell him I said that... I don't want it to go to his head).

Tim steps up proudly, looks out into the crowd and says, "Back in my day, we didn't have computers because. " indignance rises in his voice," we didn't need them, because we could all write legibly and could do our own arithmetic."

The crowd exploded. I thought they were going to stand up at one point. Tim Smeal played that crowd like a cheap harmonica, and they ate it all... just like their desserts.

Also... I am turning over a big new leaf... tune in next time for details.

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