Married, moved, and getting it together.


61 ArtLung posts from July, 2005

July 1st, 2005

Lots of activity in the ArtLungosphere these days.

We have the kids for the 4th Weekend and the week of. Their Dad and Stepmom are on a trip for a while, so we gots ‘em! Hopefully we’ll have some fun ’round here.

Lotta money stresses right now. Not insurmountable, but everything seems to be just a bit too expensive or out of reach or close to the bone.

I need my brakes worked on. They’re making a terrible scraping sound right now. Oi. Hurts my ears just to think about the sound.

Work is fine, fine. Thanks.

Gave up on some freelance work. _No time!_ It’s a problem. Can’t do freelance work without time and energy, extra money frees up time to do outside stuff. Time to short circuit the equation and accept limitations.

Man, San Diego Blog is kicking! Dude. Jeff of the excellent literary and other blog Syntax of Things is posting regularly. It’s not what I would have expected, but I like it. I had been so adamant that posts to SDB should be journalistic and cautious and serious. What was I thinking? A personal touch is awesome. I really have no idea what business I have being the owner/editor of a blog all about San Diego since I live here in Simi Valley, but here I am. _Carpetbagger!_ Still, if people dig the result, then what right have I to kibitz with myself about _deserve_. As they say in Clint Eastwood’s _Unforgiven_, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

Okay, bleak reference, but still. I also am happy with the recent contributions of pseudonymous route66, MAS and Ken W. Go forth wonderful San Diego Blog authors!!!

For a long while I thought anyone could write for SDB, and they sort of can, but it really helps if you *get* “the blog way” — keep it loose, don’t take it serious, and post something worthwhile. A little Tony Pierce, a little Kottke, and a dash of dooce, and a big greasy slab of YOU! Without your own voice, what the heck is the point of blogging?

Man, I’m really braindumping here.

Leah’s blogging up a storm, including several very funny and observant entries in the past few weeks. Yes-I’m-biased. She’s even sold a book or two. She’s even talking about the _next_ book.

Oh, I am killing off San Diego Spots — well, not killing it, but it will redirect to a page on San Diego Blog. Whatever ambitions I had for the site were not fulfilled, but the cool content here is worth saving. The rest of it must go.

Oh, and I have another site I want to work on. Rhonchi.com. Yeah, it’s a strange name. Some of you might know what it means or you could look it up. Watch for an annoucement before the end of time.

Dude, I didn’t scan anything yet today. Crud. I was on a roll. I will scan something later on today. Before midnight, I vow to scan something new. Promise. Pretty promise with sugar on top.

Okay, time to start the day! ON-WORD.

July 1st, 2005

I know I’ve been all introspective and it’s all about me and all lately, but this is too _cool_ not to share.

Stew (& Heidi, he says “we”) wrote a song for the SpongeBob Squarepants TV show!

It’s a little thing called “Come Home Gary,” here’s what the man himself said on the negroproblem mailing list:

yo,
spongebob thing is sposed to happen in november… i think. his snail runs away from home and we wrote a song called “gary come home.”
/s

How damn cool is that?

It’s DAMN cool.

I know I shouldn’t swear in here, but that’s exciting stuff. And yes, Leah, I am a fan, and I’m not ashamed of that.

July 1st, 2005

1987-monster-and-man-diagram

I used to go to a lot of art supply stores. You know, to browse.

I would look at the foamcore, and expensive watercolor paper, and acrylics, and fancy pens, and exotic inks, and lust after them. Oh, and the exotic “letraset” sets. Man there were some really cool things that I just /knew/ would help me make the best thing ever.

I definitely made some cool stuff. But items like this, it’s like I’m working on the behind-the-scenes work that needed to be done to create a comic, or an animated film or a painting. Why do we need to see the monster and see that he’s 18 feet tall compared with the man, who is 6 feet tall.

There’s something about my mania for architecting things, rather than really building things. It’s a habit I have that I have great and interesting ideas, and sometimes even say things that are visionary, but I never quite do anything with them.

In 2000, I started saying “the web is not a screenshot” which some people on mailing lists thought was insightful. For a long time I intended to write an insightful essay about how the web works, and what makes it great, and that we should not be so fixated on pixel-precision when it comes to the web. I regret never having put these thoughts down, because it was something that needed saying. The needs of the web its users have moved on, but I wish I had contributed that.

That said, I am very proud of my contributions to websandiego.org and to the web standards project. WebSanDiego, after all, still lives. I have built many cool things and I am happy to have worked on them.

I was talking about the piece here. So I /like/ this piece very much. Though I feel it represents the incompleteness problem I have with finishing what I start, I do like it. I like the look of the monster here. He has a quality I like.

But as you’ve seen in the drawings so far, I have many individual figures, and not so much in the way of complex compositions and interactions between those figures. This is a shortcoming I hope to rectify in the years to come as I develop as an artist and illustrator. I do consider myself to be those things, although I do not claim to be great at either. I do intend, though, to continue along the path of development in these talents. I mean, “art” is my middle name, no? It’s also the front half of this domain.

It’s 11:30 at night. It’s been a long day, I’m tired. Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend and Fourth of July Holiday.

July 1st, 2005

I really loved Star Wars as a kid.

July 2nd, 2005

1987-sun-tv-dots

I have always liked symbols, icons, pictographs, signage.

An oddity here, just a bit of watercolor, saying… what? I have no idea my intent here. Was I working on a logo? Was I trying to tap into symbols? I have no idea, but it’s a pretty little composition.

Today was pretty good. Got the brakes fixed. Went to Medieval Times. Back home now. Sleepy.

Have a great weekend y’all.

July 3rd, 2005

It’s a beautiful morning.

I really like that 7-year old self of mine.

Princess Leia smiles, though I think she only smiles one time in that whole Star Wars movie.

I saw that movie 5 and a half times, by the way. I mean, in the theaters, that Summer.

Kids did indeed keep track of that.

I might update this entry later, or I might not. It’s time for breakfast.

(Yes, I will)

The one half of Star Wars part was I went one time with my Dad after he got home late from work. I have no idea /why/ we went, but in those days, kiddies, if you went in for part of one show, you could stay for the next. Granted, this was 28 years ago, but I think we went in around the time that the Millennium Falcon was being dragged into the Death Star by tractor beams. We sat and enjoyed the movie. We stayed to the end, and saw it again. My father is very proud of having taken me to see Star Wars at Graumann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood on the first day. He had read the buzz, or heard the buzz, and knew it would be cool. I am thankful he did this, as it was perfect for a 7-year old kid with a big imagination. Thanks Dad.

You see, kids, in those days, there was no such thing as a VHS cassette, or a DVD, or buying a movie. You had to go to the theater, or see it on a plane, or see it on one of the three tv networks. And believe me, it was a big deal when a movie you liked showed up on TV. I think I remember thinking it was a big deal when The Rescuers showed up on Wonderful World of Disney some Sunday night.

It’s a whole different world in terms of media consumption. I guess you knew that already though. I mean, to those of you who read this blog, I’m like, another media producer. That blows me away, that in some sense I’m broad-narrowcasting some entertainment out there to people. Am I performing? Am I just keeping a diary? I guess the answer to both those questions is yes, which is a bit crazy. It reminds me of reality TV, which is voyeuristic for the watcher and exhibitionistic for the participants. Some of you may remember that I auditioned for one of them a year ago. I have no doubt that there’s exhibitionism in me. It’s not one of my better qualities.

So this morning was great so far. It feels very much like a vacation. Hey! It is!

A lovely lazy languid morning. Tony helped with breakfast. I started this post. Then we all enjoyed a good breakfast. Tyler mowed the lawn. Put a pot roast in the Crock Pot for later. Then everyone got their showers and dressed for the day. Leah wore curlers this morning and looks amazing. She’s so beautiful.

The unexpected thing I did today was hand the laptop to Ali and said “Hand this to your older brother, Alex”

What was I handing her to give to Dev? Why, it was a web browser opened to Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which is a wonderful book about programming, of all things. Ruby is a computer language, and a peculiar and interesting one at that. And that book, free online, is funny and witty and instructive. Dev was riveted, and was giggling at it immediately — quoting passages to me and Leah as he would find funny bits. Like this one

An array is a list surrounded by square brackets and separated by commas.

[1, 2, 3] is an array of numbers.

[‘coat’, ‘mittens’, ‘snowboard’] is an array of strings.

Think of it as a caterpillar that has been stapled into your code. The two square brackets are staples which keep the caterpillar from moving, so you can keep track of that end is the head and which is the tail. The commas are the caterpillar’s legs, wiggling between each section of its body.

Once there was a caterpillar who had commas for legs. Which meant he had to allow a literary pause after each step. The other caterpillars really respected him for it and he came to have quite a commanding presence. Oh, and talk about a philanthropist! He was notorious for giving fresh leaves to those less-fortunate.

Yes, an array is a collection of things, but it also keeps those things in a specific order.

Those are some seriously silly words there. I dug it. And Devon dug it too. It’s moments like this I really treasure, to share the little bits of ephemera in my brain.

Sometimes one is just right on, and a link pops out to me to share. Sharing something that I enjoyed with someone else.

A few hours ago we went up to the EATM at Moorpark College. It’s small, but it was a lovely time. I thought of two people, Meg, and my cousin Jessica, who aspires to a career veterinary care. They have these beautiful mountain lions there. Even in cages, they are majestic animals.

The boys loved the monkeys, with their expressive eyes, inquisitive nature, and colorful butts.

Later, I finished this post.

Meta

I changed the tagline on the site. I’m making my goal one scan a day. I did some scans this morning so I can post at least one a day. So, you loyal visitors have that look forward to.

Okay, have a great Holiday!

July 4th, 2005

I like the texture on Luke’s cloak here, though the two misspellings: “Luke Skywaker” and “Star Warss” dismay.

July 4th, 2005

I’m almost done posting these Star Wars drawings from my 7-year old self.

If you’re getting sick of them, take heart, I’m running out.

Han shot first, you know. He’s trigger-happy in this image.

July 4th, 2005

Basilone on the Jean Blanket 4

Basilone, aka “Mr. Bas,” drowsy and handsome.

July 5th, 2005

Have a good fourth? We did. We went to the Reagan Presidential Library for about a nanosecond, but that was petering out. So what we did was go to the Simi Valley High School event. We hung out and brought a picnic lunch and it was a good, mellow, fireworks-filled event.

Have a great day!

About The Drawing: I notice that I used different treatment in the various Star Wars characters drawings. I wonder if I was copying something, or if I made that up to suit each character. If I made it up I’m a little impressed that I took the time to get the characters typography to be distinctive.

July 5th, 2005

This is a drawing from my days as a Respiratory Therapist.

What are these objects?

Oxygen Key

The first one, the one you probably have never seen before, is an O2 key. Hospitals with organized systems for the distribution and maintenance of portable cylinders. Typically these are E cylinders and are brought along during patient transport. To open these things properly, you need a key, to crack the cylinder to get any dust and grime out, and then later, to open when you have a regulator to put on the top. A regulator measures what the pressure inside the cylinder is. Usually there’s a flowmeter built into the regulator as well.

O2 keys are usually chained to regulators. Usually. When they are not, and your friendly local Respiratory Therapist needs to open an O2 Tank, well, this gets him or her perturbed. Having a spare in your lab coat is a score for the home team. It gives you that air of the boy scout. You’re prepared, ready for action. Oxygen is my business, and business is good!

Guard that O2 key with your life. You may be asked to lend that sucker out to someone else. Don’t take that bait man. Nurses will just lose them. Transport personnel? Who knows where it’ll end up if they take it. Guard that key, because it’s very necessary to have that key for emergencies.

Scissors

Prosaic, yet essential, the next item is a pair of scissors. Standard stainless-steel hospital scissors. Keep ‘em clean. These are good for cutting tubing, such as that used for mechanical ventilators, or maybe a pressure line. Also good for cutting hospital tape to prepare hospital tape to secure an endotracheal tube.

Screwdriver

The last item in this drawing is a small, flat-head screwdriver. This is rarely used, but can come in handy when servicing and cleaning various pieces of very durable medical equipment. And the dude with a screwdriver is appreciated when that screwdriver is necessary.

There are lots of other items in the arsenal of an RT, but I don’t have drawings of those for today. But remind me to tell you the story of suctioning out some teeth from a guy’s lungs. (Teeth do not belong in the lungs, by the way, in case you were confused).

July 5th, 2005

Wendy's Screen

I forget when this photo was taken, but it makes me smile.

In case you can’t read it, it says:

WELCOME TO
WENDY’S
THIS SCREEN IS
DESIGNED TO
IMPROVE ORDER
ACCURACY AND
SERVICE TO OUR
CUSTOMERS!

July 6th, 2005

Fiery, 1988

I mentioned before always seeming to draw the same hair on these women / girls. Here’s a morose-looking woman. She sure is androgynous. Much more androgynous than I remember. At the time I was inspired by the work of Patrick Nagel. His work involved beautiful women, rendered in a graphically austere way. I _think_ I aspired to doing work like this. Though looking at his work now, the feeling I get to the work is detachment, ennui, and coldness. I suppose those were points in their favor to my teen self. These days I prefer a bit more _joie de vivre_ in the art I like. Well, at least the art depicting beautiful women.

About the drawing: people would often ask me, then, “who is this” — the answer then, as now, is “it’s not any one.”

There’s an impression people have that drawings must be of someone in particular, that they must have a subject that they can link to to in the real world. In truth, the muse was inside my head, and the drawings were not based on anyone.

I believe I was taking a drawing class at the time of this paricular drawing, but it concerned itself with still-lives: fruit and baskets and vases. I have never taken a figure drawing class, and I suppose the naïvté about the human body shows that.

I don’t have a burning desire to take a proper figure drawing class, but I suppose it’s something I want to do more of. I think the beauty of that is that is that all I really need to do to _do_ that is get a pencil and a pad and just go out and start drawing.

Last year, or perhaps the year before, I picked up a nude drawing reference at Comic Con. Con is coming up, by the way. I may go, but just for Saturday. I have other priorities these days. If there were a way to do it for all four days and not have it impact work, I would do so. However, I want to save my vacation days for some San Diego time in August, when my family will be in town. I also want to save some for the Holidays as well.

I did some scanning of some objects into my flickr account yesterday. These are objects about which I want to write more.

Time to start the day. Be well.

July 6th, 2005

“May The Force Be With You”

And I love my stylized signature. My seven-year-old self seems to have been going for a futuristic rounded rectangle look.

I have always loved letters, lettering, and typography.

July 7th, 2005

This morning I’m riveted to the news of the London Bombings via web radio. Readers who do not wish to be exposed to my political opinions but instead would prefer some more fun scans of Star Wars Characters should skip this entry. Expect a new scan before the end of the day.

The Wikipedia entry: 7 July 2005: London bombings is excellent and thorough. After reading through this (took about 4 minutes), much of what the radio says is redundant, and the new bits and pieces stand out. It’s astonishing how fast flickr images, news, and blog postings have spread news of this. kottke.org as usual has an excellent array of links.

The irony is that reading about this is in a sense precisely what those claiming responsibility want. Or wait, is what they want actually knowledge about the attacks, or terror and fear. From the Wikipedia article, there’s a quote of a claim of responsibility.

The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with *fear, terror and panic* [emphasis added] in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.

Extremist Islam that inflicts itself on other people is a force that must be dealt with, in some cases with eye-for-an-eye style justice. That means killing and carnage.

It’s a pity that the American government chose to divert attention away from Extremist Islam, who also were responsible for the attacks of September 11th in New York.

Instead we have made the focus Iraq. This appears to have been a terrible mistake. I am happy for the newfound freedom of Iraq, but the cost, of thousands of lives of Americans, of tens of thousands of Iraqis, this cost is troubling. I wish the Bush administration had been more honest and forthright about all of this. I do not have the confidence in my government that I think I should have.

My deepest condolences and best wishes to all in London.

July 7th, 2005

Jamison/Gold Interactive - Logo

J/G was a pretty great place to work. We made websites and digital stuff at a time when it was still pretty fresh and new.

We played Tekken on a big machine Namco had given us. We played for free and enjoyed it.

“Take that you Tiger-headed Freak!” I once exclaimed during a bout with my pal Joe T while he was playing whatever character it is that is the Tiger-Headed Freak. It’s King.

We built some cool stuff, they got bought by Keane, and they faded away.

July 7th, 2005

Joe at Laptop, in the Woodland Hills Studio Apartment

I kind of like this photo of me. I’m working away on my iBook.

We lived in the Woodland Hills apartment for just a few months. It was a good time.

July 9th, 2005

Prom Photo, 1987

O, callow youth!

So here I am at my Prom, with my date, a friend of mine I’ll call “G.”

In truth, we were just friends, G and I. We spent time together, but her sights were on older, more experienced men. I was such a kid in many ways. At my Prom I was only 17 years old. She was a year older, worldly. She did not go to my high school. I met her while working at the Bank.

I had a terminal crush on her. I had no earthly idea what it meant, or what I wanted, but I wanted nothing more than to be around her and touching her and doing things for her. I was like a puppy dog. I remember taking her to a bar for a bikini contest once. I didn’t care for it, but I would dutifully go with her wherever she wanted me to take her. She did not drive, at least that I can remember.

She cared about me, I think, and liked the attention I gave to her. We would go to the movies or to the beach and hang out and go to Denny’s. I took her to my Homecoming Dance in my sophomore year in high school. I had managed to bring along. It was held on a boat – I think it was a San Diego Harbor Cruise thing. We went to Wendy’s before and she wore this beige sweater dress that clung to her in the sexiest way. It was a chilly fall night and we sat in the back of the boat pretty much the whole night. She sat in my lap. It felt great to cuddle with her all night. I also got mad accolades from my friends for having a beautiful blonde sitting and giggling in my lap for the whole night.

I remember one time I was picking her up at her house, to go to a movie or some thing, and she had just gotten out of the shower. She was in a terry robe, hair wet, and had me come wait for her in her room. I have the most vivid 16-year old memory of her changing right in front of me, like, down to nothing. Naked, right in front of me. It was exciting to be around her. There she is, nude, slipping on her underwear, jeans and a shirt. I was frozen, was she coming on to me? What do I do? The theme of my teen years seems to be ignorance and naïveté, and that moment was no different. I did nothing except watch. I suppose the reason she was so comfortable with me was that I was so harmless. She knew she could be herself. I think it must’ve been like I was a girlfriend to her. We hung out, talked, but not more. We were friends and no more.

G was fun, but there was also a sadness to her as well.

G was proud of her body and hoped to be a model and an actress and a singer. As much time as I spent with her, I don’t really have a good idea of why she was sad. I know her father had died when she was young. And I know that while she was always being told how beautiful she was by people, she also had many objections to how her body looked.

Several years later she let me know that had had a breast augmentation done. She also had a perfect Cindy Crawford/Marilyn Monroe mole removed from her face. The mole was really cute and added to her beauty, in my opinion. And more importantly, it was her. She was born with this lovely quirk, but she had it removed. Eventually she started doing modeling, exotic dancing, bachelor parties and the like. We drifted apart, I moved away. I would catch up with her when I came back to San Diego’s in the summertime, but we were living very different lives. Me, I made my own mistakes and had more adventures.

The paradox of a beautiful woman thinking she needs to be “improved” still glares out at me. Why would she do that to herself? I don’t know. I can guess it’s something about the tendency we all share, to not love ourselves all that much. To think that if only we could do that one thing, or be better, our friends, our family, other people will like us more. That we’ll fit in. That we’ll be normal.

Well—screw normal. I want to be myself. My unsolicited advice to you: “Be yourself”.

I may not have a perfect body, but it’s mine, and I want to take good care of it regardless of the judgements of the rest of the world.

July 9th, 2005

Edward Dean Nunez, 1970-1995

In 1995 I was living in Los Angeles. I had moved back to California after having gone to school and worked as a Respiratory Therapist for a while. I was back to figure out how to get into the movie business somehow. I took classes at UCLA Extension and was not sure what to do, exactly, but I was doing it. It was on this path that I would eventually find the web, web programming, and graphic design.

I always enjoyed Comic-Con. I remember when it was held down on the Civic Center, before there was even a trolley. I remember being driven there by my Mom and picked up at the end of the day. I always enjoyed it.

There was one year, though, that I really didn’t enjoy Con. I went, but it fell flat.

This was before cell phones were common, but I had the habit of calling my home phone to check my messages. There was a digital woman’s voice who would say, haltingly, “YOU HAVE *TWO* MESSAGES” then I could give touch-tone instructions to the phone to play, rewind, replay messages.

I was compulsive about checking my messages. I was working per diem as an RT, and would sometimes get offered extra shifts to work, or get cancelled if they didn’t need me to work. Once I was in that habit, I used it all the time.

I left for Comic Con on a Saturday morning, driving the hundred plus miles from my studio apartment to San Diego. I checked into Con, I think I had bought a pass so it went by swiftly.

But after getting set up at Con, I checked my messages.

I can’t remember if it was 12 or 15 messages on my machine, but it was more messages than I had ever had on the machine, and higher a number than I thought the machine could say. The readout on the physical machine was 2 digits, so I suppose there were digital recordings from none to 99 messages in there.

I could not for the life of me imagine why I could possibly have that many messages.

The messages were from my Mom, my cousin Leeman, and I think my Grandmother (on my Dad’s side). I can’t remember who all called. My memory is fuzzy, unreliable, and full to bursting with emotion. It’s like a haze of bad memory. They all said there was bad news. It had to do with my cousin Eddie. I don’t think they came right out and said what had happened, but it was very bad. I could tell that much, and he was dead. Whether they said, implied it, or I inferred it I do not remember.

I got ahold of someone on the phone, maybe I got Leeman on the phone? I know I talked with my Mother. She was devastated and crying. I could not fathom what I was learning. My cousin, just a few months younger than me, had killed himself by hanging himself in the shower. He had kids. He was married. And now he was dead. I remember thinking immediately that we should be talking about him in the past tense. But when someone dies they still are there in the present tense. “He is married.” It’s funny what you remember when BIG STUFF happens to you in your life. It’s never what you expect.

I was angry and shocked and pretty much dumbfounded about the whole thing. Why would he do it?

Well, the easy answer was that Ed had problems. He didn’t finish high school. He couldn’t hold onto a job. He had gotten involved with drugs and was getting into trouble.

The last time I vividly remember Eddie he had been working at a convenience store, and I think he had gotten fired or they hired him back or something. He had a bag full of car stereos he wanted to know if we wanted to buy. We? I think Bronson and I were offered that deal. We declined I think. I think we tried to give him advice, but we really didn’t think much of it. Eddie was always into shenanigans of some sort. Ed was a survivor, a scrapper. Always in trouble, but always managed to get through it.

I have photos of Ed and his smile glows at me. Big giant grin, like everything is so funny, everything is so wonderful. He used to tease me a little bit. With him, and with Shannon, the 1970 babies in my Mom’s Mom’s house, we used to get fed at the same time, and grew up together. Eddie was the clown, always happy and entertaining. We had much fun. I miss the boy. I miss the man. I wish he had not done what he did.

I decided then that I thought that suicide was not the way out. All the romanticization of suicide is so much bullshit. I decided I liked Joy Division a lot less. I had always found Ian Curtis, their lead singer, a romantic figure. Actually _facing_ the suicide of someone I knew though, that was something else. It was just sad. And not sad in a Morrissey-song kind of way, or in a Walt Whitman kind of way, but in an eternal way.

As my marriage fell apart, I had many thoughts of suicide. It seemed like the way to end pain. the equation was: I hurt, and I will stop hurting if I do this. I don’t think I was very close to it, but the thought would cross my mind and linger there. That’s usually when I would try and _do_ something. I saw a counselor, I go for a walk, I go for a drive, I read a book, I sleep. Self-destruction is not productive. That’s a nice tautology there, eh? _Self-destruction is not productive._

So when Comic-Con comes around, though I have been a dozen or more times, I always think of Eddie. Comic-Con is coming next week to San Diego. I will miss it this year, but I vow to go the year after. This year I’m really focusing on making sure this home is a good one, and I’m taking care of me.

I left Con immediately after I found out about Eddie. I went to the my Grandma’s house and the family was collecting there, we prayed and cried and it sucked but it was the process. That house was in mourning, as we all were.

I miss Eddie.

July 10th, 2005

Rose, 1986

I really like this one. It’s done in a few strokes of ink, which I was experimenting with in my teens. The color was added first with marker, then when I was disatisfied with the richness and vibrancy of the color, I added a layer of pointilistic pastel marks.

It’s interesting what 20 years (well, 19) will do to an image. The paper has begun to discolor and it shows its’ age, albeit in a subtle way.

I suppose people do that too, they age and discolor with time.

This morning Leah and the three younger kids are playing the board game Sorry. I put on an iTunes smart playlist of “Fiona Apple” and Frou Frou.” Right now what’s playing is _Shadowboxer_.

The theme of aging and maybe the subliminal thought of “boxer” made me think of a quote from _Pulp Fiction_. Something said by Marcellus Wallace as he’s telling Butch to throw a fight:

I think you are gonna find, when this sh*t is over… I think you’re gonna find yourself one smilin’ mother****er. The thing is Butch, right now, you’ve got ability. But painful as it may be, ability don’t last. And your days are just about over. Now that’s a hard mother****in’ fact of life. But it’s a fact of life your ass is gonna hafta get realistic about. See this business is filled to the brim with unrealistic mother****ers. Mother****ers who thought their ass would age like fine wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don’t. Besides Butch, how many fights you think you got left in you anyway? Two? Boxers don’t have an “old timer’s day.” You came close, but you never made it, and if you were gonna make it, you woulda made it before now.

Even though I am aging, I definitely have more fights in me.

Later in the movie, Butch says to himself:

That’s how you’re gonna beat ‘em, Butch. They keep underestimating you.

Amen.

July 11th, 2005

2001-10-29-joe@work

Workaholic, thy name was Crawford.

Still, I did get this out of the period where I always seemed to be at work, and on the webcam.

July 11th, 2005

Here’s something:

Company Introduction:

*** [redacted to protect the guity] is a fast-growing, dynamic company which views IT as a core competitive advantage. The Company is a ***.

Job Description:

*** is looking for a Web Developer with minimum 3 yrs. in web based applications development and support utilizing many of the key skills and concepts, like: VB.Net, C#, ASP/.Net, JavaScript, HTML/DHTML/CSS, SQL Server/DTS, IIS .Net web services (VisualStudio/VB.Net), XML.

Job Requirements:

Microsoft web development skills including .net, VB, C#, web services, Win2000 server.
Software engineering skills (process oriented for analysis, design, development, unit test, system test). Able to work with minimal paper documentation/design specs.

Company Benefits:

Medical
Dental
401(k)

Contact Information:

Email resumes to:****@***.com

Translation for the bold bit, above? We don’t know what we want, but we want it done with a great processes!

July 11th, 2005

Leah's and My First Movie Date, October 2002

Was our choice of movie the Universe’s way of providing some foreshadowing?

The red stuff is the fancy coloured glue from a scrapbook.

July 11th, 2005

Smoldering Man, 1989

This is a hard drawing to look at for me. It bespeaks pain. The man is on fire, or covered in smoke. It could be interpreted as anti-smoking, perhaps, as many in my family smoked and paid dear prices for it.

The style is so fast, so confident, but not so much deliberate. It’s part of a style of mine to just keep making strokes and gradually an image appears. The idea was to draw fast and deliberately, to feel the emotion, and put it down. Often this resulted in horrible messes, and I threw lots of scribbles away. But occasionally it resulted in work of which I’m proud.

I can feel a kinship with the 19-year old self who drew this, perhaps I’d give the kid a hug. But I don’t think I savor feeling so _burned_ as I once did. Moroseness and nihilism might be, at times, entertaining, but they are not really great ways to live life.

Leah commented about Dog Nowhere that it seemed to be about an emotion, rather than an image of a dog. I think that’s an interesting insight. Smoldering Man is much more explicit I think in being an image that tries to instantiate an emotion.

July 11th, 2005

I like this one. Most of the work I’ve ever done with a science fiction feel was in a cyberpunk vein, but one of my favorite books was Difference Engine, (mentioned before in my book post)and the idea of alternate history is very compelling to me.

I think what I was thinking of with this piece, with a British helmet, and a gas mask, was the Alan Moore comic book V for Vendetta, a wonderfully British (with a capital “B”) rendering of a futuristic dystopia.

Here’s a synopsis of V for Vendetta from Wikipedia.

The series is set in a future Britain where, in the chaos following a limited nuclear war that left the country mostly physically intact, a fascist one-party state has arisen. It resembles the Nazi regime — including government-controlled media, secret police, and concentration camps for racial and sexual minorities — but with a British cultural flavour, and a greater reliance on technology, especially closed-circuit television monitoring in the mode of George Orwell’s 1984. (CCTV had not yet become common in England at the time Moore wrote the series.) When the series begins, political conflict has ended, the death camps have finished their work and been closed, and the public is largely complacent, until “V” — a terrorist and self-proclaimed anarchist, who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and has an improbable array of abilities and resources — begins an elaborate, violent, and theatrical campaign to bring down the government.

Even the premise is wonderful. It’s still in print, and you can usually find it out at the larger chain bookstores, or even via Amazon.

Anyway, back to the drawing: It’s minimal and was done fast, on notebook paper. I think this is a “classroom drawing.” For posting I’ve removed the blue lines underneath the drawing itself. I am not doing raw scans for most of these things, I’m doing cleanup.

What I might do with the drawings down the line I have no idea. I have thought about doing an online comic or comic strip, and I’ve considered what kind of licenses might allow others to use these drawings as raw material, but for now just scanning the things is very enjoyable to me. It allows me to revisit my artistic past, and explore the possibilities of my artistic future, as well.

July 12th, 2005

Happy Easter, 1992

July 12th, 2005

Experiment, 1992

In 1992 I was working in Charlottesville, and would come home to my folk’s house in Roanoke. My Dad had bought a Mac IIci, and I would fool around with it interminably. It was a handy machine, for its time.

I think at the time this was a large image at 532 x 388 pixels.

July 12th, 2005

Space Woman with Goggles, 1987

I dig that the earpiece and microphone don’t look archaic. That looks like it could be a bluetooth headset for a cellphone!

I love her wild hair, I like the androgeny, I like the furry jacket (inspired by Vadim’s _Barbarella_?), I dig the minimalist goggles.

I was probably inspired by Jean “Moebius” Giraud, a french comics creator who has been doing visually stunning (albeit incoherent story-wise) comics work for a long time. (wikipedia as well.

This would look good with a light watercolor wash.

July 12th, 2005

An awesome, very personal, raw, and real post from Tony Pierce.

(Warning: strong language)

Personal and truthful, even though “nothing (there) is true.”

July 12th, 2005

So I’m working on some client work on my iBook with Firefox. I need to use bluehornet, a system to manage newsletters.

It appears that you are using Netscape or an old version of Internet Explorer. The system is optimized for use with Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher. If you know that you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, click here to enable the login button.

This system is not MAC compatible.

MSIE 6 came out in October 2001. Do they mean to say that since that time they have not upgraded their system to support _any_ other browsers?

In addition to being proud of the fact that they’re optimized for an old browser, and that they don’t support the coolest operating system going, they also refer to a Mac as “MAC.” Please. It’s either “Mac” or “Macintosh.” When you capitalize it, it stands for “Media Access Control.” People know this. (see Wikipedia entry.

I can log in, but then I can’t _do_ anything useful.

It’s 2005 Bluehornet, time to join the 21st Century.

Bluehornet have proven to me that they are incompetent boobs, and I will not steer anyone toward them.

Ever.

July 13th, 2005

Rhonchi.com is still not ready under the hood, but it’s less primitive than it was before.

Do you have a job posting for a Respiratory Therapist? You’ll be able to post it there. Just contact me.

July 13th, 2005

PMR Bag and Resuscitation Bag, 1992

_I will write more about these drawings. But not right now._

July 13th, 2005

If you’re interested in seeing the drawings and art pieces I’ve been scanning lately, with the goal of one a day, you can see them on the drawings page (well, 3 pages, it’s paginated!).

If you want my some introspection, you can read that on the memories page.

I have a love/hate relationship with categories. You see, I have 4 years worth of posts. Thousands of them. Am I really going to go back and categorize them? And what are good categories anyway? It’s a little frustrating.

But categories help me locate posts better, and I definitely appreciate that. Going forward I’m using them, fo’ sho’.

I recently read the article Don’t Bore Me With Your Blog, by Susan Solomon. She claims blogs should not contain musings or personal thoughts or the like. She says:

What’s wrong with most blogs? They’re too chatty, like my first paragraph. You probably didn’t need to hear about my teen, but I thought it was clever. So I bulked up my writing with inconsequential meanderings. That’s bad blog form.

If you’re going to blog, become an expert on something. This is especially important for blogging in the business world.

I’m confused. She points out “blogging in the business world” as a distinct thing, and yet she objects to chattiness across the board for any blog?

Well, I’m being chatty, and I’m blogging. I’m all for it. Some of my favorite bloggers are chatty.

Did I mention: “be yourself” the other day?

Be yourself.

July 13th, 2005

Amiga COMICON1

On my lunch hour I just uploaded all my old Amiga pictures to my flickr account. See the set here.

I think there was a contest that year to design a badge for San Diego Comic Con. This was the start of something like that. DeluxePaint II (aka _DPaint_) was a darn good program.

I’m not going to Con this year unless something radical happens to change my mind or fatten my pocketbook.

July 13th, 2005

Shadowy Bearded Man, 1988

July 14th, 2005

Carpool Lane Gate Barrier, 15 Freeway, 1988

After High School and before moving to Virginia, there were a few times I went and visited my friend Chris at Cal State Fullerton. This drawing was done from memory of whizzing by it on the 15 Freeway on the way to Fullerton. Why I took the 15 I don’t remember, I don’t _think_ of it as that much faster than the 5, but I’m sure I had my reasons.

There’s something about discrete objects, and drawing them, that I enjoy. Not people, or living things, but objects.

I did take a drafting class in 1988, but it was rudimentary, and all pencil! Drawing objects that I saw was a good habit for my powers of observation. I mean, I say that, but I’m not 100% sure that I really _have_ keen powers of observation. I think I try and pay attention, but there are definitely times I miss out on things because I’m distracted or tired or otherwise engaged.

July 15th, 2005

AmigaJAPANC1

I was fascinated by Japan as a teenager. Everyone seemed to think they’d buy everything up and kick everyone’s ass. So I played around with learning the Katakana and Hiragana script. I’ve forgotten it all, but this looks like it could be a sign on the Ginza to me. The type is not a font, but drawing with the native DPaint II tools. Very nice tools to draw to a grid. I like it better than the way PhotoShop does grids, though PShop does have guides, which I would have loved on the Amiga.

The colors are even Japanese – garish, but pretty.

I still love Japanese things, though I’m a bit more moderate about it.

Also, my Amiga Pictures 1986-1991 got linked to by Matt Haughey, so now some people are looking at my stuff and bookmarking it in del.icio.us.

That’s kinda cool.

I wanted to, as a batch, change the Creative Commons licenses for the set. Is that possible? I didn’t see it in Organizr.

July 15th, 2005

Tagging photos is tricky. For this years con, which is starting and is much photographed already, you can get to the photos with these tags:

comiccon comicon sdcc comiccon2005 sdcc2005.

Metadata from the swarm!

There are probably other tags too.

July 18th, 2005

Helluva weekend. Busy. No blogging.

Been a while since I was away so long.

More blogging before noon Monday. Promise.

See ya then. Good night.

July 18th, 2005

Actually, not feeling so hot this morning.

Taking the day off blogging and everything.

July 19th, 2005

Utterly dull photo of the office computers

This morning I’m not in the mood for a post.

Please, enjoy this photo of the computers I work at until I’m back this afternoon.

And there’s some great links at robotwisdom lately. Go over there for now. Or J-Walk. They give good link.

July 19th, 2005

Dinner @ Turf Supper Club 10

I look like a goofball in this picture. Nonetheless, a grand time was had by all at San Diego’s famous Turf Supper Club last Friday on our little trip to San Diego.

It only took us a few hours to get there from our Simi Valley home.

We took the new van, which runs good. Leah drove, whilst I worked on building a function to convert latitude and longitude in degrees and minutes to a decimal value. The PHP code I hacked together was this:

function convertEnglishDegrees($minutes_seconds)
{
$out = “”;
if (trim($minutes_seconds)!=”)
{
$out = trim($minutes_seconds);
$out = strtolower($minutes_seconds);
$out = str_replace(‘deg’,”,$out);
$out = str_replace(‘degrees’,”,$out);

$allowedcharacters = ’0123456789.- ‘;

if(stristr($out,’s’))
$sign = “-”;
else if(stristr($out,’w’))
$sign = “-”;
else
$sign = “”;

$temp = “”;

for($i=0;$i<strlen($out);$i++)
{
$char = substr($out,$i,1);
if(stristr($allowedcharacters,$char))
$temp .= $char;
}

$out = trim($sign . $temp);
$temp = “”;
$parts = explode(‘ ‘,$out);

$e = 0;
foreach($parts as $p)
{
if($e==0)
$temp .= $p;
else
$temp .= $p + ($p/60);
}
$out = str_replace(‘ ‘,’.’,$out);

}
return $out;
}

Not pretty, but it worked well enough on the sample lats and lons I had. This was all so I could get some more data points to work on the 3ones map. Why not just require decimal formats of people? It’s in the spirit of “Postel’s Law” aka the “Robustness Principle: _”be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others”_

Anyway, we met M & M at the Club, grilled our own steaks (Matt is a master griller and helped perfect Leah’s steak). We stayed at their place that night and slept there.

Morning brought a great breakfast in La Mesa whose name escapes me now. There’s even an inexplicable short film to show for it. Great chorizo.

Aside: Why can’t I get Soyrizo in Simi Valley?

After we said our farewell to M&M, we went to see my Grandmother, who was in the hospital all last week with various health problems and we were quite worried about. It’s a mixed bag, being close but not too close to my San Diego family. It feels like we can just pop down there anytime, in reality it takes some planning. Were we in San Diego we’d simply drop on in. As it was we had to wait till Saturday. We hope my grandmother continues to recover, she’s getting excellent care from the family, and has some surgeries scheduled in the upcoming weeks. I don’t often reference prayer here, what with me being primarily skeptical and secular, but I’d appreciate any prayers you have on offer for the sick.

After visiting my Grandma, Leah dropped me off at ye olde San Diego Comic Con. Unlike last year, I did not take photos. But I did get in free (yay!). I served as the attendant (read: wheelchair driver) for my pal E.

I was not sure it was possible, but we were able to cover the whole Con floor, which is significantly huge. I”ve been attending cons since I was a teenager, and it is bigger every year.

My usual Con _modus operendi_ is to cover the booths at the con with my own methodology. If you’d like to carry out my method, here are the instructions:

*Materials*
1 notebook
1 pen or other writing instrument

*Method*
Start at the westernmost part of the convention center, and go up and down each aisle of the con. *While doing this* keep your notebook at the ready to mark the “address” of booths which look promising, you can also include a brief note about why it’s promising, like “50% off graphic novels” or “good antique action figures” or “cool t-shirts” There are numerical addresses above each aisle (seen here). This year they were numbered from 100 to 5300. That’s 53 aisles of densely packed comics, movie, gaming, art, movie and other fandom stuff. If you have limited time, taking stock before diving in is a good idea.

Then after running all the different booths and making your marks, you can then go to presentations as much as you want, then between the times there are good presentations being shown, sneak back down to all the addresses you made a note of.

It’s that simple!

It was a great time for me, though I was a bit tired at the end of Con. I only made two purchases, but I made notes and grabbed schwag from the places that interested me for future online research.

Continues in The Weekend, You Say, Part II.

July 20th, 2005

Untitled, 2000

Andy Warhol has been on my mind recently. I have an ink drawing from years ago that’s in the on-deck circle for posting here. When I was in High School, I thought Andy was a genius. His famous-forever statement that “everyone would be famous for 15 minutes” was inspirational, and his knack for plugging into the zeitgeist with his art was great as well. Pop art inspired me in a way that abstract expressionism didn’t. It was tacky and silly and could be very witty. It was “the in-crowd” I was concerned.

Since I was an ironical young man, it fired my sarcasm and irony neurons very well.

This piece, from 2000, was all digital. A collage featuring various objects I found from around the net. It was hand-made, which is to say it was made in Photoshop using those elements. I surely used an image search to find the pieces.

Thing is, it’s rather dull. A piece like this can be found instantly on WebCollage, which crawls the net and semi-randomly creates a collage using the pieces found. It works like this:

This is what the Internet looks like.

WebCollage is a program that creates collages out of random images found on the Web. More images are being added to the collage about once a minute, so this page will reload itself periodically. Clicking on one of the images in the collage will take you to the page on which it was found.

It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned.

This kind of instantaneous art is beguiling. I think it makes a piece like mine, which seems to have, sort of has, a point of view, and says _something_ about consumerism, obsolete. I still like my piece, but the randomness of WebCollage has much more staying power precisely because it’s always changing, as the web is, all the time.

July 20th, 2005

Well, today my telecommuting was utterly disrupted by a big ol’ blackout!

Suddenly, wham! no power.

This bummed me out. Called Southern California Edison. Reported it. Reset the breakers, nothing. Met another of my neighbors, who was trying to get word via the radio in his car.

Weather is cloudy, and it’s warm. about 90, and humid.

So I call my supervisor, let him know, he says I can come to his place (which is close). He’s in Thousand Oaks and unaffected by the outage.

Then, power comes back up. I don’t have to go! I start up my computers. Thank goodness. Just finish Scandisk on the PC, and wham, out again. Okay, so I have to go.

I disable the automatic garage door opener, start the truck, back up out onto the driveway, get out and close the garage door manually, and I’m on my way.

I open the iBook and turn on MacStumbler on the way there, only find 2 WAPs on on the way over there. This is a pretty good indicator that there’s no power in the neighborhood (Wood Ranch), that the wireless access points are not on the air.

A use for wardriving in a power outage! Is there power? Are wireless access points chirping? Not a perfect correlation, but not a bad one either.

I call SCE again and now they *are* reporting an outage for Simi Valley. Good to know.

I arrive at his place and get set up there. His WAP has WEP and won’t play nice. We get the key working, then wham, it decides to stop giving me a DHCP lease. Wha? The whole week seems to be technical glitches.

My stomach on Monday, Tuesday Leah called me from work where their fileserver was dead and I was looking up places that might sell a replacement. This morning my cell phone didn’t seem to want to ring. Oi. Then the power today, and WEP nonsense this afternoon.

The workday was shot after 3pm.

I went home, got some groceries, and as I entered the neighborhood I turned on MacStumbler again. LOTS of WAPs in the neighborhood. Yay! The power is back on.

I detruck (like… deplane!), get the groceries out, and come on in. I reenable the garage door to automatic, and check my email. now I gotta put the groceries away, but first I wanted to tell the internet what a wonderful power outage we had here in Simi Valley today.

Now, groceries need to be put away. Leah’s on her way home.

What a day.

July 21st, 2005

Measure Twice, Cut Once, 1997

I mentioned before my appreciation of things Japanese. I think of the character in _Breaking Away_ who is obsessed with the Italians and even speaks in Italian. I was not that bad, but I did put a an imperial flag on my wall in High School. It was a bit more than being just a Francophile. I was trying to learn as much as I could. I accidentally ended up reading a lot about Japanese business processes. I learned what a _zaibatsu_ was and what a salaryman was. And ninjas. You can’t go wrong with ninjas.

A bit sleepy this morning. Time to start the day!

July 21st, 2005

Joe Japanese Cute Style, 1990

That’s 15 years old! Wow.

When I drew this I was deliberately trying to draw something in a Hello Kitty way. It’s not till a few years ago I heard the term super deformed, so I termed it “Japanese Cute Style.”

Superdeformed is (from wikipedia):

In anime and manga, characters which are drawn in a highly exaggerated manner are said to be super deformed (SD) or chibi. Super deformed characters are typically small and chubby with deformed limbs and oversized heads, and may be used to express intense emotion, especially in the cases of anger or surprise. They are meant to be cute and are often used in humorous diversions from the storyline.

I like the details. If you click through to the flickr page you can see some annotations of what the various parts of the drawing are.

You’ll note I’m sporting a cheesy mustache here. This is the same mustache as the one in the photo on this namebadge.

I love my shoes there. And I love that I pictured myself wearing a They Might Be Giants T-Shirt. It’s the original “Hayseeds” TMBG shirt. You can still buy that one.

Ah, callow youth.

July 25th, 2005

I have some words that I use that, when I apply to my wife, they get funny looks.

They’re great words, but not ones most people use on a regular basis.

Logy is one. Here’s the definition from answers.com:

Characterized by lethargy; sluggish.

I do believe we all feel that way sometimes. I think I first heard the word on _Late Night with David Letterman_, way back in the day.

Today I definitely feel logy. My sleep was nonstop work. The whole night I dreamt that I was at work, in a hospital, at UVa, but there was no work. I wandered the halls like a ghost while other people worked. Occasionally I would come across people I sort of knew, but then they would fast forward. At some point I remember wondering if I had good benefits in this job, particularly whether this job paid for a membership in a health club. The random assembly of healthcare workers in the elevator when I asked replied that no, they don’t. I don’t remember if that matches reality. I think the hospital employees could use the UVa facilities at a reduced rate or something.

But the repetition of the dream, going from unit to unit, floor to floor, riding in elevators, walking the halls was a bit maddening. Not as scary as a nightmare, but numbing nonetheless.

I have to say it’s put me in kind of a negative mood this morning, which I’m slowly transitioning out of.

In the meantime, I feel a little logy this morning.

Logy is a peculiar word, and I can’t remember ever reading it, but I like it. It has an interesting history. Maven’s Word of the Day:

The word you have in mind is indeed spelled logy, and its pronunciation is indeed “LOW-gee” (with a hard g) (though it is sometimes pronounced “LAH-gee,” as if the first element were log, which it may in fact be), and its meaning is indeed ‘sluggish; lacking physical or mental energy or vitality; lethargic; dull’.

So what do you need me for?

The origin of logy is not certain. It may be from a Dutch word log ‘heavy; dull; cumbersome’, cognate with a Middle Low German word meaning ‘sluggish’. It could also be a variant of a (British) English dialect word loggy, which is derived from log; this word is from the 1840s.

Logy is an Americanism, first recorded in the 1840s though apparently not common until later in the nineteenth century. It is fairly widespread, but more common in the northern and western parts of the country.

Blame Dave for this one. I never have heard anyone else ever say it but me.

The other word Leah does not care for is “giddy.” Giddy’s a fine word, and I actually like to be giddy, but I think I must say it in a way that is not totally in the spirit of love or something, like giddy is a negative. But I dig giddy. Into my life this morning I would be delighted with some giddy to come my way.

Words are fascinating to me.

July 25th, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, we, the suburbian Joe and Leah are now the proud owners of a wonderful mismatched set of washer and dryer from the excellent Buzz’s Appliances here in Simi Valley.

No more characters like Smoky, at least not in laundromats.

Woo hoo!

July 25th, 2005

Dave's Alarmed Look, 1985

Speaking of Dave Letterman…

I had particular wants when I was a teenager. For example, at Christmastime I would ask very specifically that any t-shirts bought for me have no logos whatsoever. I still prefer blank t-shirts. Though the kids recently had the totally original idea of getting me a “Joe Cool” T-Shirt. Dude, I would so accept a Joe Cool t-shirt from my stepkids.

Anyway, one gift I got was a workbench. It was assembled by my paternal grandfather with screws. It was phenomenally awesome for me. I would draw on it, paint on it, overspray on it, experiment with fire and glue and paint and ink and carving and stencils (not all at the same time) on it. It was like having a garage in my room.

Well, David Letterman, with his “Late Night With David Letterman” show was a godsend to me. I stayed up far too late and watched Dave. This usually caused me to wake up late. But Dave was funny. Late Night was dadaist, silly, ironic, observant genius. There was no equal. I still have a large collection of Dave-oribilia that I keep meaning to auction off on eBay. It’s mostly magazines and such, but they’re lovingly preserved out in that garage.

Anyway, this drawing was a quickie. Dave would do this as kind of a “take” after a gag. I called it his “Alarmed Look” and after he did it a few times I drew it on some paper I had lying around. And somehow, over the course of 20 years, I managed to hold onto it.

I keep meaning to write an essay like “How David Letterman Saved My Life” — about my teen years and how his sense of humor reminded me to keep my darn chin up. It makes a great title, though it is misleading. A lot happened in those years.

And since then too.

Hey, onward!

July 26th, 2005

Brushy Shorthaired Girl, 1986

Here’s that androgynous girl again. A minimal bit of brush and ink and there’s an image of a girl. This is an earlier incarnation of what became Leather Jacket Girl 1989. I like that a lot is conveyed with a very few strokes.

With the space afforded by my big workbench back then, I was very free to experiment with various media. Without a doubt I enjoyed and was frustrated by ink and brush the most. It’s absolutely unforgiving of error. So the zen challenge, and I did very much look at it as a zen challenge, was to get all the strokes out and have it be coherent and beautiful and have no errors.

Anything else was not perfection. I suppose this is a kind of perversion of zen. The idea is not to be manically perfectionist, rather to be one with the medium and with your emotions as you embark on the artwork.

I threw out a lot of pictures. I did try to learn from them, but there were a lot of discards. I think I might have learned more perhaps had I done more pieces with a pencil underdrawing and then inked over that. But then that spontaneity I was seeking could be lost.

I had read a lot about Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy at that time, and I very much liked their quick brushstrokes that evoked an image and emotion. I still love that work.

One stumbling block I do set up for myself is that I want to be inspired and have the work flow out effortlessly. The block is when I let that prevent me from doing more experiements. My “good student self” has diligence to pursue something even when I fail repeatedly.

I find that goal hard, but I do try and pursue it to improvement. I suppose the story of this, my second marriage, is of working to improve even as things are difficult. Not that my marriage is so difficult, but it is a marriage, and as such is the blending of two egos and persons in a partnership of love.

As M. Scott Peck says, in _The Road Less Travelled_, “Life is hard.” He also talks about how marriage is the institution which smooths our rough edges and lets us have a view of life from a view of love and acceptance of the essential hardness of life.

Anyway, I digress. So let’s digress some more.

Yesterday, on websandiego there was something of a flamewar. While it’s nice to see activity there, it is frustrating that it is so devisive. Hurt feelings are _so trivially easy_ to evoke in the context of a mailing list. And a strong criticism can feel like a personal attack on someone and on their business. The fact is, in this world one will be exposed to people they disagree with. A person’s reaction to such criticism shows the “content of their character” I think.

Looking back on the thread, I do not regret my words. There is much to learn from that thread for me. Not the least of which is the reminder that I have allowed websandiego to drift somewhat, and that perhaps I can, even from this distance, do things to foster that community.

On Sunday Leah watched _Nicholas Nickleby_, which was not bad at all for a costume drama. There was a speech at the end that does not seem to appear in the actual book to the effect of: “All lives are a tragedy; happiness is not to be expected, but the key is to recognize happiness when it comes and to delight in in.”

July 26th, 2005

Color Style Guy, 1986

Wild, colorful, out-of-character. Red Blue and Yellow only. My 16-year-old self was in a “primary colors” phase and was trying to stay focused on that.

I don’t think it’s great, but it sure looks like I had fun, dripping goache on the page the whole way through.

Pretty colors!

July 26th, 2005

Larry "Bud" Melman IS Roy Orbison, 1987

Along the same lines as Dave’s Alarmed Look, this is Calvert Deforest as Larry “Bud” Mellman (sic) as Roy Orbison.

Larry “Bud” is great. This is another quickie. So silly. Absurdist is absolutely the right word for the show that was Late Night with David Letterman.

Please remember that this blog is only an exhibition, it is not a competition. Please, no wagering.

July 26th, 2005

Back in Oh, the Weekend You Say? I recounted going to Con with E.

After that, E and I waited for her ride for quite a while. Man! Total and complete chaos in front of the convention center for Con. But it worked out and we both got picked up.

Leah and I went north, to see an old roommate of hers. We had drinks and chatted and Leah paid an old debt. It was a good time we had in San Marcos. After that we stayed the night with another old friend. That was serious and wonderful and cool.

The next morning we went for a breakfasty lunch at the briefly named Ki’s, a restaurant in Cardiff by the sea. Excellent omelette. Very vegan and health conscious food, that.

After that we went and saw Confessions of a Mormon Boy, Leah tells the tale very well. The play was an amazing merging of two very American cultures, Mormonism and Gay culture. It was touching, fascinating, and all-too-real. If you get a chance, see it for a glimpse into both cultures.

After that we had dinner with my family. My Grandmother continues to improve, thankfully, and the crew got together for an impromptu “family dinner,” which was totally wonderful.

After that, we made our way back home to Simi. It was a long drive, but it had been a very good weekend.

So that was the weekend before last. Maybe I’ll catch you up on last weekend another time.

Hey you guys, love ya.

July 27th, 2005

Dragon, 1989

This is a bit more polished. Notice the careful cross-hatching on the body of the dragon. There’s a literalness to this rendering that I quite like.

I mentioned before that I never was much for sword and sorcery stuff., but dragons are fun to draw.

The Wikipedia article for Dragon has some silly stuff in it, but amongst the dross are:

Chinese dragons (among others) are generally seen as benevolent, whereas European dragons are usually malevolent. However, malevolent dragons are not restricted to Europe, and also occur in Persian mythology (see Azhi Dahaka) and other cultures. The malevolent dragon is a prominent figure in Christian myth and iconography. Some Catholic Saints are depicted in the act of killing a dragon: for instance, Saint George, or, in Italy, Saint Mercurialis, who was the first bishop of the city of Forlì.

And also:

Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various cultures around the world. One example of them in religion would be some biblical references that seem to hint that the dragon is a type of archangel, one of which by the name of Lucifer, rebelled against God to become known as the seven-headed red dragon called Satan. Some take this as a sign that dragons are an evil force, however other parts of the Christian Scriptures (depending on the version) seem to indicate that God created multiple dragons, not all of whom rebelled. In many oriental cultures, they were, and in some cultures still are, a being to be revered, and were representative of the primal forces of nature and the universe.

I like dragons. I’m reminded of the significance of the dragon in the film _Excalibur_. I really like that movie. I wish it were less violent and sexual than it is, but I suppose as a powerful myth, it does need such *substance* to “flesh out” its messages. Given that my middle name is “Arthur,” I was probably drawn a bit to Arthurian Legends. Mage, a comic series by Matt Wagner, was one such legend. I remember reading it (heh) religiously. Such beautiful work in that first series. I distinctly remember reading it during a break at my driver’s ed classes. The comics shop was just 2 blocks away and I devoured “Mage” for its’ contemporary and cryptic retelling of the Arthur saga.

Magic is green.

July 27th, 2005

It keeps telling me:

“There are too many edits in the document. This operation will be incomplete. Save your work.”

*I hate you*, Word.

July 27th, 2005

Winged and Saddled Creature, 1986

Another in a fantasy vein, but there’s a definite techno slant to the rider.

Interesting, “fuzzy lined” piece. It’s sort of the opposite of what I was saying about wanting that precise line. The shaggy line affords a rendering that builds up with individual lines. Is that pointillism? I suppose it is.

July 28th, 2005

Girl with Flower Top, 1986 Girl with Flower Top, 1986, 2005

I’ve always liked this drawing of mine, by my 16-year-old self. Just a marker on paper if I remember correctly.

It’s definitely a drawing that was made with the aesthetic of “do it fast and do it now” — I think I may have been sad at the time given the melancholy of the pose. I’m not sure what is going on with her arm though. I just had no concept of anatomy and I was not trying to be realistically physical.

Anyway, after scanning this morning I thought I’d try adding color using PhotoShop. It works. Very rough, but it gives a bit of depth lacking in the original.

I need to work on patience and flexibility this week. I’m feeling especially impatient and inflexible this week. Well, maybe just yesterday.

These are not my best qualities.

Noodling in PhotoShop is rather calming though.

The day begins soon. Good morning.

July 28th, 2005

Demon Teen, 1986

Made with the same marker as Girl With Flower Top, a nonetheless much darker image. Menacing, scary, aggressive.

I wonder what would have happened if I could have gotten the melancholy and the aggression to work together.

Then again, maybe I did.

I did a lot of drawings of vampires when I was in my teens. The myth of vampirism is yet another powerful myth to play with. Vampires definitely fall into the category of “melancholic aggression.”

July 28th, 2005

Alien Astronaut, 1988

Nice design, not great in terms of color. This “Alien Astronaut” piece is kind of fun.

July 28th, 2005

Polka Dot Big Hair Girl, 1987

Quick and dirty. The texture is an experiment of ink dabs onto a wash of water.

Tinted in PhotoShop.

July 29th, 2005

Snoopy the Red Baron, 1975

I’m 5 years old and I loved Snoopy.

My mother worked in an academic library when I was even younger than that, and when I would visit her library I would go find the Peanuts Treasury. And I would read and read. And Snoopy was my favorite.

I like very much the variation of the lettering here. I would call is “typography” there, but it sounds grandiose.

I _think_ it was done in 1975, but I’m not really sure, it may have been 1976 or 1974. I’m somewhere around 4 to 6 years old. It’s not like I was including copyright information on my drawings at that point.

Unlike the various Star Wars drawings I did, which I remember were done at the kitchen table in our apartment in Alhambra, I’m not sure where and when this one was done. Again, this makes it difficult for me to date the drawing.

Feeling better today than yesterday. It’s going to be a great day.

Take care, y’all.

And it’s been a while, so….

*Onward*

June 2005 ←Before

After→ August 2005