Married, moved, and getting it together.

August, 2005: 54 posts.

Blade Runner Man, 1990; The Art Center Trip 1986ish

Blade Runner Man, 1990

Blade Runner is one of my favoritest movies EVAR (as the kids would say).

I believe I’ve talked about my liking of cyberpunk things before, and Blade Runner is definitely in that category.

When Blade Runner was rereleased in 1992 in the Director’s Cut (with the lost narration and the not-The Shining ending) I drove to Richmond from Charlottesville to see it. I drove the 68 miles without a second thought. I wanted to see the newer version.

My mind races with thoughts about BR and my relationship to it. I think it was Mr. Johnson, my short story teacher from High School, who was convinced I could write, who lent a copy of the movie on VHS to me and Chris Greazel. I think it was a fuzzy dupe and Chris and I tried to watch it on my Grandparent’s VCR (neither of us had one at home). Is that a misremembrance? Not sure. But we dug it.

Maybe some of my Japan fetish came from this film. There’s the giant video mural of a geisha eating some candy or gum. There’s the idea of cityspeak in the movie, which is a mishmash of Spanish, Japanese, German, what-have-you. There’s a blue-eyed Edward James Olmos with blue contact lenses, as a cop, sort of hispanic, sort of not, dressed like a natty vato in an East L.A. style.

As an aside, there’s an artificial owl when Deckard goes to see Tyrell for the first time:

Rachael: Do you like our owl?
Deckard: It’s artificial?
Rachael: Of course it is.
Deckard: Must be expensive.
Rachael: Very.
Rachael: I’m Rachael.
Deckard: Deckard.

Very little said, but the implication is that nature is dead. We killed it. It’s only 2019, but we killed nature off. Artificial snakes and snake scales.

Chris and I would go to Little Tokyo for years to get Japanese food in downtown L.A. based off the fact that the movie begins with Deckard getting noodles at some dive in downtown L.A.

I haven’t done much scanning of vehicles that I worked on, but Chris would draw vehicles incessantly, and this inspired me to do the same. Many things were retrofitted vehicles. Syd Mead did the production design for Blade Runner, and he was credited as the “Visual Futurist.” That term is as good a description as I could ever muster for my friend Chris.

I think it was in the late 1980s or so that we took a trip to Pasadena to an event called “Tools of the Trade” — it was a tradeshow for artists. What amazing toys! I remember thinking the puffy fabric paints were really cool. And brushpens! Those were some high-tech things. But the main reason we went was to see Syd Mead. Chris even got an autograph if I remember right. You can read more about Syd Mead and his amazing talents at The Wikipedia article about him could use some work. Syd also went to Art Center, a school both Chris and I hoped to attend, though as I said before, I never really applied myself to the task of applying to any school.

The infamous Art Center story is that one day after class Chris and I just decided after school to go up to Art Center and see what was in the gallery. Art Center always has cool stuff in their gallery, student work of all kinds. Chris was enthralled with the trans works, while I liked the illustration, art, and advertising works. Really amazing stuff, and things we aspired to. For years, it was a ritual of ours to return there to see what was in the gallery, and if we had time to hit the library and see what obscure transportation magazines from Japan Chris could find.

Oh, the infamous trip. So we just decided to go. No calling anyone. No messages. No notes, we just went. We got out of school at like 2 or 3pm. And we just went north. Took maybe 2 hours and change to get from San Diego to Pasadena. I remember, we just sorta winged it, and maybe got lost once on the way there. All the while playing tapes on this old tape recorder and player I had. The 1972 Volvo had an old AM radio in it. It was built like a tank, but did not have lots of power. We had a great time driving and talking and musing about — well, everything. We talked about the plausibility of various aspects of Star Trek and Star Wars. About alien intelligence, about the future of the world, the inevitability of a nuclear war before the end of the century. (In fact, I think I lost a bet to Chris that there would be nuclear weapons detonated in anger before 2000). Mind you we were in about 1986 or so here, so we were 16 and 17 years old. Just kids, really. Anyway, we had a great time, and we saw the gallery, and it blew our minds. Chris has been there before, but I think it was my first time there. I was sort of the instigator. The way it shapes up in my mind is Chris and I were eating at some fastfood joint (maybe it was the Carl’s Junior down the hill from University of San Diego?) and Chris was saying how cool it was. And I was in my “Say why not” phase and said, “well, let’s go.”

Man, I love the internet. Here’s the map of our journey, more or less. One hundred and thirty miles from USDHS to Art Center.

I forget how it all played out. I think I must’ve dropped Chris off at his car near school, then gone home. I think it was at about 1am or so that we got home after driving the distance and stopping for Chili and Coffee at some Denny’s, was it in San Clemente? I think I added oil on the way there. That Volvo burned oil.

I got home greeted by my mother, who was more upset, as in angry, than I had ever seen her in my life. She gave me a good talking to, stressing the fact that there was no notice given for this outlandish trip. I think my Dad was on call or aboard ship or somewhere else. I don’t remember. But my Mom was furious at me.

My memory really is hazy here, it was 20 years ago, but I believe when my Dad heard about this trip he quite liked it. I think he liked that it was this spunky thing that I went and did without really thinking of anyone but myself. I suppose the dichotomy between my parents here is a touchstone for how I learned to think of myself and how I make decisions. My mother, the responsible and familial parent, and my father, the iconoclast. Somehow in that mixed message parenting I managed to survive my teen years and had some fun too. Mostly, admittedly, I was not really taking good care of myself, but I did learn a lot. Which I suppose one way or another, you can’t avoid during your adolesence.

This week I’m going to see Bruce Sterling, an author who became famous during the Cyberpunk era, but whose work I had not yet read at the time of the Art Center trip. He will be speaking at Art Center. The last time I went was maybe 10 years ago. It’ll be fun to see how the place has changed.

It won’t be spur 0f the moment, and my Mom will not be upset at me, and I am giving notice that I’m going, but perhaps I’ll be as inspired this time as I was that time. We’ll see.

Mr. Roth Caricature, 1987

Mr. Roth Caricature, 1987

Mr. J.C. Roth taught high school physics at Uni High — USDHS — University of San Diego High School. I have no idea what years he taught there, but he was a great teacher who I totally underappreciated.

I got semi-famous at school for this caricature, perhaps my best caricature ever. Roth had a wonderful face and for all his New York gruffness, was a very kind man. He had moxie and chutzpah and when I think of the best teachers I have had in my life, I think of him.

He was smart and engaged and did not take any crap. You could not fall asleep when Roth was teaching.

I remember when we had a guy in our class who was voted “most likely to succeed” and was in the yearbook for that. Mr. Roth said very seriously, something like “that’s great, though my experience is that those kids tend not to do so great, it’s true” — totally deflating the kid and not something you would expect a teacher to say. Roth was totally not joshing the guy. He was telling him his experience, which — well, who knows how many years he had been teaching?

People liked this caricature so much they would ask for photocopies of it. I wonder if any of my old classmates still have a copy?

Further, I wonder what happened to Mr. J.C. Roth? He reminds me now of the character of Kramer from Seinfeld. I remember Roth talking at one time about how the best way to drive is barefoot, so you can get maximum sensitivity from the car. Why that has stuck with me, as opposed to the lessons of Newton’s laws of motion? Well, that was Mr. J.C. Roth.

And here he is wit’ you pee-puw.

Audioscrobbler Says I Listen to Zappa

So the other day I was on Matt Haughey’s site and noticed the little box called “Now Playing” and a link to “my audioscrobbler”.

Intrigued, I got an account and installed a plugin on iTunes. The result of this thing is that I have a new artlung.* link — it’s, which purports to show what I’m listening to at any given moment. I’m not sure how useful it is.

So. Audioscrobbler says I listen to Zappa.


Still, kinda neat.

Oh, and there are some entries in there from Sunday night, Tony was making a CD for himself and managed to play some things I never play, like (ugh) Blink 182 and Goo Goo Dolls.

Well, maybe Audioscrobbler is not so much learning about me, as it’s learning about my computer.

The Eyes of Leah and Joe


Leahpeah's right iris Leahpeah's left iris


ArtLung's left iris ArtLung's right iris

In October of 2002 Leah and I got photos taken of our irises from this really interesting cat we met at a web design meetup. I think it was a webdesign meetup, anyway. He had this crazy setup to take pictures of your eyes. The technique was digital. The fellow had lots of ideas about iridology, and what the shapes in your eyes tell about your general health. I didn’t buy it, but it was a fun pseudoscience. He also said another branch of iridology that would tell you about your love life. He thought that stuff was bogus.

Leah did a great painting based on my eye. That painting now hangs on our bedroom wall.

Here’s a definition of iridology from wikipedia:

Iridology is a form of alternative medicine in which patterns, colors and other characteristics of stromal fibers of the iris are examined for information about a patient’s systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts which divide the iris into many zones believed to correspond to specific parts of the human body. Little if any rigorous scientific evidence exists confirming any such link between aspects of the iris and a patient’s state of health and there is no recognized causative mechanism for any purported correlation.

I think the images don’t have to indicate anything about my body or love life to be amazing and beautiful. And it was an honor to have my eye turned into a painting.

I seem to remember a conversation my father a long time ago about abstract art: he said that you could have amazing abstract art if you just did blow ups of photographs of things at a microscopic level.

I agree with that. The natural world is full of wonders.

Self: Art Crawford, 1988

Self: Art Crawford, 1988

Look at me. I look a bit hapless, which is how I felt at the time. This is more-or-less a retracing of a previous self-portrait, but with a longer haircut, and is that a soul patch? Goodness me.

And I was going by “Art,” hacking on my identity and using my middle name instead of my first.

Not a bad likeness, though the physiology does not quite work.

An interesting self-portrait.

Autobiographical Mise en Scene, 1983

Over on my flickr account, I just posted a very old image from when I was 13 years old. I’m calling it an “Autobiographical Mise en Scene,” though I don’t think that at age 13 I would use a term like “mise en scene” — but if I knew it I bet I’d try.

Autobiographical Mise en Scene, 1983

At the regular resolution I annotated (go to the page and mouseover the image, and see the little rectangles to see what I mean) what all the parts of the image mean and what they meant, and what I think they meant to me. It’s very interesting to peer inside my head at 13. I note that I signify both the T-Ball teams I had been on: The A’s in Alhambra, and the International Harvester Hitters in The Philippines. I was not athletic, and I wonder why I would note that then, about 4 years from having been on any kind of team sport. I suppose it meant something to me. I love the little drawing of the TI-99/4a home computer, along with little snippets of TI-Basic. That’s nifty. You can see a closeup view of the image here.

It looks like it was done entirely with calligraphy pens. I had a set of red, green, black, yellow, and blue pens. When dealing with my stepkids, it always behooves me to think about their inner lives, which are no doubt rich. When I look at this, I see how deep I was pondering what it meant to be me, trying to sum up my life, what does it mean? Who am I?

I suppose I do that too, with this site, and with these posts. It’s a good process.

Andy Warhol (1), 1988

Andy Warhol (1), 1988

Andy Warhol (2), 1988

Andy Warhol (2), 1988

I said before I’d post the Andy Warhol images I had. As far as I know this one and the last one are the only ones I have.

Andy was a hero, and I remember crying when he died. It’s strange. I have not cried for many deaths of famous people. I cried when Stanley Kubrik died, but beyond him and Andy I never really did. David Bowie plays Warhol in the film Basquiat and I find myself really affectionate for Andy. Such an odd, peculiar man he was. I don’t know that I did very good justice to Andy, but I remember my affection like crazy. And strangely enough, it’s still there, for this person I never met. Leah might call that a kind of fandom. I think it’s something about heroes, and Andy was definitely one of my heroes.

Twenty Years From Now Book, Joe Crawford, Age 8, 1978

Twenty Years From Now Book, Joe Crawford, Age 8, 1978

100’s and 1000’s of dollars.

Note: at the time my Dad was a Physician’s Assistant, a PA, not a Doctor. That’s a distinction that my 8 year old self could not make. Wears white coat? Helps people? Works in hospital? = Doctor.

Here’s the text:

By: Joe Crawford

I want to be a doctor because they help the sick and my dad is a doctor.

Also, being a doctor you make 100’s and 1000’s of dollars a year. I will have a wife and three kids. And for transportation I am going to get a Porche. For fun I’ll go to Disneyland, Magic Mountain and fairs. I’m going to live in San Diego in a little green house.

What is this? Why it’s this:

What will you be doing 20 years from now?

Room 10 at Park School thinks they know…

Grade 3
Spring 1978
Mrs. Pfeiffer, Teacher

This is Park School. I used to walk to school from the apartment we lived in which was literally two blocks away. I went there for grades Kindergarten through third grade. This is the school where partway through K, they bumped me to First grade. Being promoted like that was critical to my formation as an adult, though in retrospect it might have been easier on me to not have been.

Does anyone really know at age 8 what they want to be when they grow up?

It’s funny, but the internet already existed in 1978. Little did I know.

And I wanted to drive a Porche?

Artist, 1988

Artist, 1988

I always seemed to be drawing this guy. Longish hair with a curl at the end, mustache, and a beret. The iconic artist. If I posted one artist drawing a day from my files I could probably go 3 months with just pictures of this guy in particular. I was always doodling him.

Huh, that description sounds like how my Mom described her Dad, my grandfather, and how he would draw this dog.


Strange Idol, 1990

Strange Idol, 1990

In pencil. Quasi Mayan or Aztec, but I suppose it could be North American Indian / Native American.

What inspired me to make it I have no idea, probably the idea was to make something in the style of totem poles. The result is interesting to me now for how out of place it seems among my other drawings and doodles. It’s also in pencil, a rarity because I always think of pencil as imprecise and weak. Silly really, it’s all just tools.

I was about 20 years when I made this, I think. Though I may be off by + or – a year or two. My best estimate is 1990.

Bronchoscope, 1993

Bronchoscope, 1993

In color! (I carried around a set of colored pens and drew this one in a travel scrapbook that is mostly filled with memories of a Europe trip I took with my parents and sister).

At UVa I was one of the Respiratory Therapists on the bronchoscopy team. Basically we assisted on bronchoscopies for patients who needed to have their lungs looked at with fiber-optics. I assisted on some odd ones. I remember one very critically ill patient, their circulation was supported heavily with vasopressors and I think he was an ARDS on top of preexisting pulmonary fibrosis — the inside of their lungs seemed to be filled up with black tar. Really terrible. I worked the night shift at UVa, so there were no “day in day out” bronchoscopies, it was usually people who were very sick. The Pulmonologists were all really cool, and it was fun to be in that assist role. They want saline, you have the saline ready. We maintained the bronch cart and assured we were ready for anything. It was actually quite fun, despite the seriousness of the job.

When a patient _already_ has an endotracheal tube in, adding a bronchoscope can get dicey if you’re making sure they get their ventilation properly. High peak airway pressures can add some adventure, and you do your best.

Mind you, my RT skillz are over 10 years old, which sort of still amazes me, because I don’t know that the technology of bronchoscopy and mechanical ventilation has changed all that much. Then again, computer and internet technology has changed by leaps and bounds in the same intervening time.

Self Portrait, 1988

Self Portrait, 1988

O callow youth! Doing a Mirror Project thing in this photo.

Joe at 18.

(Wasn’t there a tv show called James at 15)?

Well, of course it was. A TV movie first, apparently. It was good and only lasted a year. What a surprise.

Had an excellent time with Leah at the Bruce Sterling speech at Art Center last night. Inspirational for me. And a nice drive home. Bruce Sterling inspires me.

And I love Leah.

Squinty Big Hair Girl, 1988 & 2005

Sometimes what I come across in my pile of drawings is a fragment, like this. I like the boldness of the line, the feel of the line (gotten from a heavy inked brush on a nicely textured watercolor paper). I dig it and it reminds me of a retro-1950’s style as seen in things like _PowerPuff Girls_, but the fact is, it’s lacking. It’s missing a whole chunk out of it? Why? I have no idea.

Squinty Big Hair Girl (fragment), 1988

The magic comes after scanning. Some copying and pasting of other elements, some stretching and bending of 18 year old strokes, and it can actually become what it was destined to be. Some colorization and tricky Photoshoppery and this fragment can actually become a complete illustration. I added a sort of veronica lake line over her face, that was a fragment from the left side of the hair stretched and doubled. I added an ear from a whisp of hair from the right side. The sweater lines are likewise from the hair. It almost looks intentional.

Squinty Big Hair Girl, 2005

It’s fun working with myself.

Spacesuit Headlight, 1987

Spacesuit Headlight, 1987

I added some tinting to alter the colors a bit. The original is very faint and I think the paper was not acid-free and has darkened a bit. Plus it’s in pencil. For all I talk about not doing much pencil, I sure seem to be posting a lot of pencil stuff. Once again the physiology is all wrong, but it’s interesting nonetheless. I like it.

Congratulations Mom, 1977

Congratulations Mom, 1977

Ending the week on a sweet note. I have one sister, Kelly. I was 7 when she was born. She rocks. And my Mom rocks too. This drawing just plain made me smile for various reasons, not the least of which I’m gonna get to see my parents and sister this month, and I’m looking forward to it.

At some point I want to let the story be told about how I, Mr. Mild Mannered, apparently started acting out when I had a baby sister. I was no longer the center of attention, and everything changed.

Lil’ Johnny Crivello, 1983

Lil' Johnny Crivello, 1983

Leahpeah: Who’s that?
Me: John Crivello.
LP: Who’s John Crivello?
Me: A guy I sat next to in a drawing class.
LP: He’s got crazy hair.
Me: Yeah.
LP: Was this the exercise where you don’t take your pencil off the paper?
Me: And not look at the paper.
LP: How old were you?
Me: Thirteen.
LP: Pretty good.
Me: Thanks.

This was my freshman year in high school. The instructor told me I was holding my pencil wrong. How dare this woman tell me how to hold my pencil when I’ve been drawing my WHOLE DAMN LIFE? I never listened to her again in that class.

As a result, I didn’t get as much out of that drawing class as I could have.

So much hubris and ego. It took me years to work more of that ego out of my system. It’s still there, but I understand it much better. It drives me to excel, but it also can get in the way.

Know thyself.


Searching Song Database. (a)bort (r)etry (i)gnore?

Last night at a rare restaurant date for Leah and I a song was playing. Leah said it was a cover. I knew it was not. The lyrics included these lines:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

They also played the Vanessa Carlton cover of the song. I could NOT for the life of me, think of the original artist.

I was stuck on the fact that Q-Tip says her name in a Janet Jackson song. Of course it’s a cover of the same song.

All it took to find the answer with a computer was a bit of google this morning, and boom.

“Joni Mitchell never lies” is the thing Q-Tip says, and it’s the answer to the question of who wrote and sang that song.

The song was “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Leah was actually a little freaked out as I was trying to think of the artist. I was going into a 100 yard stare, defocusing my eyes.

I kept coming back to it. I know _so_ many songs, and when I can’t think of something I think it must be there somewhere. The problem is that there’s no obvious timeout feature for my brain when I’m doing a search like this. It’s like, no it’s exactly like, a tune stuck in my head. And no metadata to go with it.

Very frustrating.

But dinner was lovely. Leah and I were going to go see a midnight showing of _Donnie Darko_ at Insomniac Cinema, but we flaked out. In the end, we were too tired. Midnight movies may not be in the cards without a nap beforehand.

Notebook, 1988

I have a notebook I started in March, 1988. I think it was a birthday gift. Maybe not. I was 18. It’s full of cryptic lists and notes and scribbles. I’m going to transcribe some of it, then I’m going to throw it out. It may not make any sense.

More after the cut.

Read complete article→

Perspective Study; My Room, 1983

Perspective Study My Room, 1983

This, one of my first ever studies in perspective, was for the same high school drawing class as this. It shows my room, or at least a simplified version of my room.

At the time my parents, sister and I were living with my grandparents and I lived out on the patio. This included my kickass TI-99/4a computer, which I so dearly loved. You can see the tetherball in the back yard, the puppy Kristi aka Crystal, who chewed on some photos taken with a 110 camera. I still have the chewed photos.

The thing about the drawing is the loving detail on the computer (which had 48k of memory). The TI-99/4a has PRIMARY importance in the composition. Computers came FIRST, I can only presume, based on this.

From the same era, this image likewise includes the computer, but in context.

In this pencil drawing, a bit too large for the scanner so I had to composite it, I’m learning about perspective and not doing too bad a job. I like the inclusion of the tape/radio cassette I used to store my programs.

Lyrics of the Day: Peter Jennings

Very sad to hear of Peter Jennings‘ passing today at 67, of cancer.

Did you know that there’s a Negro Problem song called “Peter Jennings,” from Joys & Concerns. It’s pretty good. The lyrics are nonsensical, but they don’t appear to besmirch the memory of Mr. Jennings, so we’ll go with it:

*Peter Jennings*

Ba ba ba
Ba ba ba
Ba ba ba ba
Ba ba ba

Ba ba ba
Ba ba ba
Ba ba ba ba
Ba ba ba

La la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la

Na na na na
Na na

Oh Peter Jennings
Oh won’t you help me?
I’m chasing you through the foggy bog
You turned around say I lost ’em all


Oh Peter Jennings
Won’t you help me?
I’m chasing you through the foggy bog
You turned around say I lost ’em all
Say bye ABC
Lord, just for me
So I can sleep with my TV on
You turn around, say que lastima
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na

So Monsieur Glenny
Oh won’t you sell me
A leather mag and a molotov
A German car with the top blown off
See it’s higher than me
Here in Newton’s tree
So full of monkeys and sacred songs
You turn around, say que lastima
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Like this
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Like this

Why you chase me?
Didn’t I have my blinker on?
Didn’t I say I love the law?
See it’s higher than me
Here in Newton’s tree
Full of monkeys and sacred songs
You turn around, say que lastima

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na

Superman, 1986

Superman, 1986

So I’ve posted The Flash, and also Batman & Robin.

So here’s Superman now. You know, there’s a new Superman movie that’ll be out next year. Check Blue Tights dot net for more info. It may even be good. And I’m sure you know about Smallville, a show that were I younger I think I would be watching very closely. The kids really seem to like this show. It’s got action and romance and teens. What more could you want?

Oh, and I’m sure you also know that people conflate Superman with Ubermensch, right? I love that Wikipedia:

Last year I picked up the book Superman on the Couch, a pretty good exploration of the psychology of superheroes from a cultural and social perspective. Very thoughtful reading of superheroes comics and why they are such potent metaphors.

It occurs to me that I have not drawn much in the way of Marvel characters at all. These are all DC comics so far. Interesting. I have about an even number of Marvel and DC comics in my collection (still for sale!), but I have many more drawings of DC characters. Maybe I’ll see if I have _any_ Marvel characters at all. I can’t think of any at the moment.

Leah took this


…at Art Center the other day.

Was that an earthquake? No, Sonic Boom.

Leah and I awoke at 5am or so this morning to a big shake. Was it an earthquake here in California/Ventura County/Simi Valley?

*Update* It was the STS-114 sonic boom as it went over the southland on its way to landing in Mojave.

The Behemoth, 1984

The Behemoth, 1984

I like giant robots. Did then, too.

This week has been upended, I have training to go to out of town.

There may be no blogging and scanning for the next two days. We’ll see.

In the meantime, visit my Drawings & Artwork flickr page to see the scanning-up-a-storm I’ve done in the past month or so.

Dog and Desk @ 2:30, 1987

Dog and Desk @ 2:30, 1987

Omega the Dog, ink on paper, 1987. This was from the summer after high school and before moving to Virginia.

Omega was a good dog, loving, goofy, and she made a great pillow.

I have another drawing of Omega that’s pretty good, when I post that I’ll talk about all my memories of Omega.

Today: tired from driving 320 miles yesterday. But I’m taking care of business, baby.

Desert Guy, 1986

Desert Guy, 1986

Vampire Morning, 1985

Vampire Morning, 1985

Ever have one of those days?

I felt like this yesterday.

I thought I was all suave, but I was actually exhausted and irritable and irascible and lots of other ir-starting words that mean _mean_.

Today is a brand new day and I get to choose how to be. And I am rested, so I have much better abilities to cope generally.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a great weekend.

New Landline Pounced On!

We just got a new landline and it turned on yesterday.

And today, just now, we got our first telemarketing call.

And I thought _spam_ was bad.

*Update* _and 3 hours later, another one._ UGH!

Omega the Lazy Dog, 1987

Omega the Lazy Dog, 1987

Related: Dog and Desk @ 2:30pm, 1987.

Omega was the friendliest dog in the world.

She did not really understand that we owned her. I guess it’s all a matter of perception.

Many times we’d get phone calls from people saying “we have your dog, the kids love her” — we would go to the place and she would be surrounded by kids, giving her cuddles. She was happy to see us, but she’d have been just as happy either way I think. I guess it’s hubris to say that my family “owned” that dog.

I think it would be quite something to apply a similar philosophy to life. As Strong Bad said in SB Email #94, “‘CAUSE YOU CAN’T CONTROL ME!!”

I think the “you can’t control me” philosophy was very Omega. Although I think Omega was on a whole other philosophical level, she didn’t even understand the concept of control or being controlled. Wild.

It’s Friday man. Welcome to the weekend, baby.

Appointment Book, 1994

So today’s item is a day calendar from 1994.

Nineteen ninety-four is the year I moved back to California in pursuit of the movie business, more or less.

Let’s see what we find!

Here’s my name in some other language, I think got from a coworker from Los Alamitos Medical Center.


The State of California would only give me a temporary license to practice Resspiratory Therapy at the time. Jerks. I had all my paperwork, and the temporary was equivalent to having the license, just the printed official “card” had not arrived. Unfortunately this temporary license was not good enough to get me a job; despite being window dressing on my actual credential, a Registered Respiratory Therapist from the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care). Most hospitals said “we’ll hire you the second you get your real license.” Of course, the temporary was the State of CA’s way of saying, “it’s on the way,” but for some reason nobody wanted to hire me until that came through. I think Los Alamitos actually hired me without it, but it’s sort of lost in my memory now.

Okay, what else is in this calendar?

Well, it contains all my night shifts. The pattern was typically(starting on a monday) 2 on, 2 off, 3on , 2off,2on, 3off. Each “on” was a 12 hour night shift: 7p to 7a. These are denoted with “NN” — then there are some (rare) 8 hour nights in there as well. a “N” was an 8 hour night starting at 11pm. so, 11a to 7a. Then a 19N is 7pm to 3am. The 19 is for “19:00” obviously.

I always liked the night shift. I can see how it would be difficult for someone with a wife and kids, but for a single guy it was perfect. I liked nights a lot. One of my favorite things was going out for breakfast after work. There was a place in Charlottesville that made great breakfast and served beer too. After a hard night that is really wonderful.

What else… Some hospital contacts at Chapman General and other SoCal hospitals while I was looking for work. I had done a lot of footwork before I left Virginia.

28 Jan 94: Party @ Jim’s Place
29 Jan 94: Flaming Wok, Schindler’s List
02 Feb 94: Cracker – Trax
22 Feb 94: In the Name of the Father
13 Mar 94: Between the Teeth, Tower
20 Mar 94: Satellite Fix, Kabuki
21 Mar 94: Waldenbooks, Roanoke
26 Mar 94: 24th Int’l Tournee of Animation
(Also in May here was seeing Janet, my girlfriend at the time.)
06-10 May 94: To San Diego for Silva Family Reunion
22 May 94: 4 guys named moe
25 May 94: 4 weds & a funeral
08 Jul 94: Leave for Europe
19 Aug 94: to San Diego (EW 830 till 530)
25 Aug 94: Lollapalooze 1pm
29 Aug 94: Los Alamitos Interview
01-30 Sep 94: I have *lots* of stuff happening this month. Interviews with California Hospital, a per diem outfit, ACLS recertification in Orange County, calling old friends, Kinko’s, Chris G and family, LAMC orientation on 26 Sep, a class I took at Art Center (and did terribly in), Street Scene in San Diego. Very busy month!
01-31 Oct 94: Still busy, but a regular routine. Los Alamitos started their shifts at this strange time, 22:15, and they occasionally had per diems work day shifts too. Man I hated that. Days or nights or never the twain shall meet man! Even then I knew swinging back and forth between shifts was not healthy. Also this month I interviewed at UCI medical center. That was a great interview but they would not consider per diem people at all. And at the time, I was all about being flexible. I wanted to pick and choose my time, and they were against that. They lost.
01-30 Nov 94: It looks like I have my votes in the California election written out here. I voted for a strange mix of candidates. Could this be right? I voted Green for Senator, Lt. Gov, Secretary of State, Republican for Controller Tresurer and Atty General, and Democrat for Governor. And what the heck is “L” for the insurance commissioner. It’s really strange to see this political iconoclasm at 24. I still go my own way on things, but I guess the changes in this country have steered me toward more simple party votes. But I like this 24 year old version of myself. He really seems to care about his right to vote his conscience. I can just see myself reading all the candidate statements and making decisions that way. Also this month I had a second interview (a month later!) at California Hospital and got hired. Then there was overlap working for both hospitals, one in downtown L.A. and one deep in the OC. That was kinda wacky. Somewhere in there I moved into the Oakwood apartments in Koreatown. A little studio apartment for $600/month.
01-31 Dec 94: More California Hospital schedules. I worked New Year’s that year. There was an anniversary party for my Grandparents that year.

My encapsulations are glossing over so much stuff. No possible way to sum up a year in a blog post. But you’re getting the broad strokes.

Let’s see, there’s some more notes in here. I have some addresses and phone numbers. Most of these have changed now. Oh, I didn’t transfer them all in here. See, at the time I kept my addresses in a spreadsheet on my Amiga. I can’t remember the name of the software but it was pretty good. I would shrink the type size to be narrow and small, and I would always print a new copy, and keep that with me at all times in my wallet, carefully and lovingly folded. I was well organized.

Oh, here’s something, showtimes for _Ed Wood_ at some Orange County theatres. I like that movie.

This was a fun post for me, though I wonder what you got out of it?

I’m discarding this item now.

Man With A Gun, 1988

Man With A Gun, 1988

It’s hard to imagine a more aggressive picture than this one.

The 18 year old self of mine could be pretty aggressive in his head, but he was passive on the exterior. Too many years bullied. Led to tendencies toward passive aggression.

Not my best quality.

Working on it still.

Girl Spraypaintcolor, 1987

Girl Spraypaintcolor, 1987

Old experiment with ink and spraypaint, a metallic blue if I remember. And some other colors as well.

A very fun experiment. Great texture.

Alien Spraypaintcolor, 1987

Alien Spraypaintcolor, 1987

Another in a series of experiments with ink and spraypaint. Less effective. I like the idea of this one more than I like it. He could easily be part of the Star Trek rougues gallery. I like the inclusion of an alien alphabet on this one.

Man in Ink & Charcoal, 1987

Man in Ink & Charcoal, 1987

This is my favorite of the inky colored pieces I have. I’ve said before I don’t have that many pieces in color. Ones in black and white and red are among the strongest pieces though. I like the clarity of this one, decisive line work. This one is not with spray paint though, it’s with a red ink I had at the time.

There was an art store, I can’t remember the name, on Cass street in Pacific Beach and I would ride my bike there and browse their stuff. One day on clearance I found this set of inks, semi-clear, and on _sale_ that I really liked. I think I spent $12 on them, which was a lot for me at the time. Darned if remembering them doesn’t make me want to get another set!

I think the material it was most like is this Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Inks. It’s not the brand it was, but it looks similar. The one I had also had a dropper in the cap. At the time I would carry the inks around wherever I went. Not that I used them, but I have a packrat mentality.

It’s a pity I don’t have more pieces done with those inks. Perhaps when I get a chance I’ll get a set and do some work. I have much more fun with a brush than with a pen. And not just a “pen brush,” but a real brush and india ink can be great.

Oh, and I’m not even mentioning the charcoal I used here. I bought that for a drawing class I took at Mesa which I totally failed to get it together for. But I did have some fun with the various charcoals there.

Note to myself: One thing, this has been retouched a bit more than the other “spraypaint” items because there was something on the back of this image that showed through. I’ve done some Photoshopping out of that ghost of an image.

Halloween Pumpkin Designs, 1987

Halloween Pumpkin Designs, 1987

Nine designs for pumpkins. I believe I did these in anticipation of Halloween, 1987. On paper, and with Micron Pigma type pens. I like ’em.

My favorite thing about these is that I can tell I showed them to my grandma, who declared that Pumpkin Idea 5 looked like he “doesn’t have good sense.”

I always enjoyed Halloween particularly making decorations such as banners and posters. I also like giving out candy. My usual thing is to _demand_ that kids say “Trick or Treat” — that’s the ritual. My pet peeve is that kids come to the door while one batch of kids is getting served and just want candy. Sorry, the transaction is this: you have to be in costume (or do your best to be in costume); you have to say “Trick or Treat;” the candygiver has to dole out some candy and say something about your costume (or hassle you about your advanced age and sucky costume); and you have to say “Thank You” (well, you don’t have to, but it’s good Halloween manners.

Halloween Poster, 1987

Halloween Poster, 1987

In 1987, the year I graduated High School, I did this poster for Halloween. I’m still proud of this one. It’s a big mishmash of characters, it made an impression on those who came by, it was fun to do.

Related: pumpkin designs.

Tank Landscape, 1990

Tank Landscape, 1990

This was drawn as part of my brainstorming a Christmas card in the run up to the first Gulf War. It’s supposed to have a melancholy feel. I think given that the tank is sort of unrecognizable, it has a science fictional quality.

Interesting to me that 14 years later and we’re dealing with Iraq and desert warfare again.

I was pretty naive and hopeful that we would not have war happen for Gulf War I, and Gulf War II for that matter. I do wish we had managed and would manage the occupation of Iraq better. We seem to have made a lot of mistakes along the way and taken our eye off the ball in terms of the actual, active threats provided by nimble terrorist groups. Of course I’m not even mentioning the threat of other nuclear governments.

Feh. Politics. Go read TMV if you want politics, I don’t have the energy to write about it here.

Cal RT Boss, 1995

Cal RT Boss, 1995

I don’t remember this guy’s name. I would have drawn this on a slow night at California Hospital. He was a midwestern guy, and a supervisor. I think he was primarily a neonatal therapist, though he ended up as a night shift boss.

It’s kind of strange how I got the job there. I interviewed with the head of the department and never heard back. I reached out a few times in the next two weeks to try and contact someone and never got a satisfactory answer.

About 4 weeks later I got a call for a second interview with the night shift supervisor. It was for a noc position, so it was scheduled for about 10:00pm or so. So I took the opportunity to prepare by going to Twoheys for (breakfast? dinner?) [i found a picture of their sign on flickr]. I was still in Orange County so it was a stretch.

Getting the gig at Cal was the thing that allowed me to move out of the OC and into L.A., specifically to Koreatown.

That was a good deal. A big step in my transition to Angeleno. Yeah, that’s what many of L.A.’s denizens call themselves.

It’s funny, I consider myself a San Diegan _and_ an Angeleno. Can I have dual citizenship?

Or are they mutually exclusive?

It’s been a long day. Days off coming up here with family in town. I worked my butt off today on a project for work. Badass HTML and CSS done right and done hard. But I’ve got no energy for anything else. I worked a ten hour day today and let non-regular employment stuff go by the wayside. Tomorrow I catch up.

Goatee Chin, 1990

Goatee Chin, 1990

Pure expressive brush, quickly rendered, on thickly textured watercolor paper.

This is what I want to do more of.

The fun of it is in the thick and thins of the line, and in the permanence of the stroke. There’s no turning back when you put a line down. I love that. It sure can waste a lot of paper when it goes wrong, but when it works, it works really well.

Now where was I?

Great weekend with family – like a Leah and Joe Woodstock, well, sorta. There was saxophone playing and Apples to Apples and a big turkey dinner and a walk to the park and trips to the Reagan Library. Great gifts, love, standard family conflict, movie watching, touring, reading, lots of laptops using the house, music, Paul Anka, big breakfasts, church, and much more.

I have a lot of catching up to do.

Jek Vehicles, 1988

Jek Vehicles, 1988

Part of my fandom of Japanese culture was learning, which is to say _trying to learn_ the hiragana and katakana alphabets. So while these vehicles are interesting and well rendered, what I find more interesting is my own careful choice of names.

Jek is the overarching name of the zaibatsu I invented for these pieces. Think of it like Mitsubishi or Sony. Then, the actual vehicles are named Platypus and Amenbo. Amenbo is Japanese for “pond-skater,” apparently from some language reference on page 191. While Platypus is from the english word, and has been broken up into it’s syllables: pa-ra-te-pu-se. These phonemes, or maybe they’re syllables, then get looked up to their katakana equivalents.

Today I’m back to work, and things are pretty good.

There’s lots to say but no time to say it.

Hope you’re all having a great day.

B&W Texture, 1988; Thoughts on flickr’s 2006 account changes

B&W Texture, 1988

This was for the graphic design class in 1988 that I did so poorly, as I recounted here. The idea was to have some rich textures to show off. This one was done with india ink, washes, and black and white colored pencils. I still quite like this texture.

Something like this makes me think of Creative Commons licenses and how I am not really using them. Every time I look at them I am not quite sure how to license my work. I really don’t want to give all my stuff the same license, and doing it on a case by case basis seems too hard to me.

I guess metadata is hard.

On a downbeat note, it seems that flickr will transition all their users to yahoo membership accounts in 2006. I hate that idea. I lost my “artlung” account on several years ago and I can’t log in because I gave them a fake DOB way back in 1997 or so. If I can’t have “artlung” as a username and you don’t provide me with a mechanism to retrieve it or even talk to a human being about what it might make to do that, then your service is stupid.

More on the conversion here: Top 5. Do I have to log in via Yahoo!?

Please note that we will be migrating all independent Flickr accounts to Yahoo!’s network in 2006. At that time, if you have not done so already, you will be asked to create a Yahoo! ID (or link your account to your Yahoo! ID if you already have one) in order to continue using your account. We’ll provide further details about the merge as the date approaches.

In the post “One Less Password” on flickr blog, Stewart Butterfield indicated nothing of the sort.

I appreciate the service flickr provides, and I don’t want to migrate away from it, but I will if they make me do this. I’m preparing for this eventuality.

Google Talk Account

I’m trying out Google Talk today. My account is artlung at gmail dot com.

Anyone else messing with this?

I am playing with Adium and added ICQ, yahoo instant messenger, and AIM accounts.

ICQ: 13645268
AIM: artlung (at sign)
Y!M: websandiego
MSN: joe (at sign)

No guarantees I’ll be in, but it’s worth a shot.


I said before that the first thing we started getting when we got a new landline as a backup was TELEMARKETING CALLS. Yuck.

Today I installed the new number in the Do not Call Registry. I hope that works.

See also:
Turn The Tables on Telemarketers
Telemarketers vs. The Taliban

Spoils of Google Talk: Cantenna Illustration

One of my pals, Binary Wolf, and I, spoke for more than an hour (was it two?) yesterday — about all topics. Quite a wonderful conversation between two cable-modem havin’ guys.

Turns out he was looking for a logo, and right there on the audio call, I whipped up an illustration that now graces his Pringles Cantenna page. For a one off drawing I did and scanned in a few minutes, it was very gratifying. He described what he wanted, and I whipped out this:

Cantenna Illustration v.1

This was a little raw, so I refined it and scanned that and got this:

Cantenna Illustration v.2

Which in turn had some cantenna details wrong, so in Photoshop I tweaked and messed, and even added a genuine image of a Pringles can, about and the final result is this:

Cantenna Illustration v.4

I dig it a lot. I got mad skillz yo.

Granted, it’s not my best drawing ever, but for someone who has been, in this space, mythologizing his drawing skills of _the past_ but providing precious little in the way of _new_ drawings, it was a terrific exercise. _I’m drawing!_

So go visit Do-It-Yourself Wi-Fi Antenna Update and of course and most especially, the Pringles Cantenna page.

Minimal Brushy Angst, 1988

Minimal Brushy Angst, 1988

I like this one a lot. So minimal. So few strokes, but it works as a whole. I like it.

Updates: we were given the great gift of a gym membership and last night we used it for the first time. Leah and Dev and Alex to a Tai Chi class, and I went to the pool and swam laps. Great stuff. I’m sore all over, which sounds like exactly the right thing. I’m very happy with that outcome. I have a lot of extra fat on me which impinges on my ability to do what I want to do.

Granted, I can lift stuff, and move stuff, and get around, and even walk a lot, but it’s hard on my body, my joints. If I were a car, I would be in need of a tune up. So I think that’s what this is.

I’m toying with making it a goal to swim laps every day. The place is open pretty late during the week, so we’ll see.

This morning is pretty, though it looks like it’ll be a hot day. We’ll see.

In other news, if you’re in Simi Valley and play racquetball, and are a middling player, give me a shout. Wanna partner?

In yet other news, I have failed to see both War of the Worlds and Fantastic Four in the theaters. We did see March of the Penguins, which was great, but it vexes me to not have seen WotW and FF on big screens.

In yet other other news, yes, the comments system for the site generates errors right now. It’ll take your comment, but it’s ugly. Rest assured, I’ll get your comment. If you resubmit, it’ll come in twice. Yes that stinks.

Okay, gotta get going. Leah’s off to work. I’ve done some email and blogging, and it’s time to begin the workday.

Self Portrait, 1990

Self Portrait, 1990

Little more than a scribble. The mustache is an afterthought. Not a great likeness.

I can tell the year because of the mustache, and the lab coat.

Maybe it’s not obvious to you it’s a lab coat, but it’s sure obvious to me.

Psychology 101 Professor, 1988

Well, that last one was a terrible resemblance, as pointed out by Tom Bickle.

This one is rather better, I think. This actually looks like my professor. I even have some proof of that.

I used to draw a lot in his class, psychology is a great subject for drawings. Drawings to illustrate my notes, or just to doodle. After all, I think my major at the time was Fine Art, well, that was my declared major, inasmuch as a Community College student can have a major.

I enjoyed that class. I liked to make arguments in that class. The Prof argued that we overused the word “love” so much as to negate its meaning. We “love” the symphony, we “love” our car, etc. I argued that love still had meaning as a word, because from context we can tell what people mean by what they say when they say they love something.

Well, I love being able to share my meandering and rambling thoughts on this blog.

Can you tell that that’s different from when I say that I love Leah?

Oh, I’m getting pretty deep now.

It’s striking to me that a class I took for a few months 17 years ago has left such vivid memories.

And here I am disgorging them in a medium that did not exist when I had the memories originally.

Psychology 101 Substitute Teacher, 1988

Psychology 101 Substitute Teacher, 1988

Though I don’t have the proof, this one is even better than the last one.

Gomez ArtLung

Artlung Addams

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ferreteer repurposes my self portrait based on a suggestion from Tom Bickle.

Ferreteer has made me laugh out loud before with his PhotoShop shenanigans.

It’s a lovely morning. Feeling great. my back was hurting yesterday, but it’s much improved today. Today’s a pool day, I believe.

Joseph in Cyrillic

Joseph in Cyrillic

More travels through packrat-ism. In about 1994 I worked with a _very_ diverse staff of Respiratory Therapists. One of the women was a Russian, and I prevailed upon her to write my name, “Joseph” in Cyrillic. It looks pretty cool.

And now that I’ve scanned it, I’ve one less piece of paper! Yay for trimming and slimming.

Albeit one page at a time.

Post of the Day @ Leahpeah

Read her piece about R. Kelly’s Trapped in The Closet. And my favorite resource site Wikipedia has a full synopsis too: Trapped In the Closet. It indicates that there are indeed going to be 10 parts to the saga.

Oi vey.

Word of the Day


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