Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue Trees

I was away from Blogsville this week because I had a major test, a 10-page exegesis paper, and a less important art project due. Knowing me, I'm sure you're confident that I put more time into the art project than the other more important assignments. Who gives a pretty crap. I was given permission to make another StopMo animation! Many, many hours later, about 600 photos, 12 camera batteries, and a colossal mess on my desk later (dot dot dot, enter the pic)...

...I've got a pretty wonderful 2-minute animation called Blue Trees, including my own original score! Hope you enjoy.

Here's a higher-quality version on YouTube. Darn you, Blogger...only giving me 100MB to work with!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Fraidy Cat Lion, By 3rd Grade Me.

My parents finally found it.  As I mentioned in Lallapalooza of Lions, the lost book I wrote as a 3rd grader has reemerged, and as promised, here it is. Notice how my drawings now are really not too much better than those from ten years ago.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Year, Made.

I have something that probably doesn’t mean much to most of you but means the WORLD to me.

Christie and I had a strange realization about a year ago when we discovered that we both spent a large amount of our childhood summers in Amery, visiting our grandparents (hers, who still live there and mine, who moved away five years or so ago) and that it was very likely that we were in Amery at the same time at one point before we knew each other. We’re both pretty sure we would not have been friends, though.  I was too awesome and she was too nerdy.

The place where my grandparents used to live is the setting for a vast majority of my most warm, fuzzy, squishy, lovely, awesome childhood memories. And that’s probably the reason I still secretly, painfully yearn for the days back at The Lake Home,  with the paddle boat and the hammock and the fresh caught fish and the sunny mornings waking up in the guest cottage and thumping down the big wooden steps and through the cold, dewy lawn to eat pancakes shaped like whatever you could possibly come up with to ask Grandpa to make. I could make that run-on sentence even run-on-ier with memories from baby duck chasing to the feeling of the carpet in the guest cottage. I’ll stop here, though.

[Me, a child, being too cute for words.]

Anyway, last weekend Christie and I spent our Sunday in Amery visiting her grandma. At a break in the day, I begged Christie to drive with me to go see if we can find The Lake Home where my grandparents used to live. She granted this to me, and we went out searching around the lake. Five minutes into our trip, things started looking quite familiar. Three minutes later, we pulled into the driveway. My heart was seriously beating through my chest.

I called up my grandparents to tell them where we were. “We’re pretty good friends with the owners,” they said, “go ahead and knock on the door.” The really didn’t have to tell me that; I was fully ready to knock on the door, introduce myself, and demand a tour so I could see everything from my childhood, tell every story I can possibly remember and probably cry a little bit, but no one was home.

“Well, whatever,” I said, “I’m looking around anyway.”

(The three kids—now adults—who spent their childhood along side of me would do the exact same.)

Almost everything was as I remember it. Even down to the stepping stones and the smell of the lake, to the feeling of the ground. If I had taken my camera, every one of those nostalgic tidbits would be captured and posted, but since Christie and I only had our cell phones, our only option were those, which I desperately want you to see. So desperately, in fact, that I’m willing to share some pictures with me in them, which I have never done on this blog before.

[Happy. As. A. Clam.]

I can’t tell you, I can’t tell you, how happy this made me. This may have been big enough that it actually made my entire year.

Now watch as the owners stumble upon this blog and say, “Hey! That’s our house! This guy was taking pictures on our property!”

I don’t care, owners. This is my place too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PB&L (L = Love)

Why did  this amaze me enough to take a picture of it? 

My mom sent me some delicious homemade strawberry jam, some peanut butter, and a loaf of bread. Finding myself hungry yesterday, I decided to crack open all three items to make a nostalgic PB&J.  I dipped my knife into the smooth, unmolested top of the peanut butter and thought...

Just beautiful. 

Notice how the dollop on my knife still has the memory of its days as an unappreciated but pure addition to the rest of the jarred peanut butter. And also see how half of the top of the peanut butter is still smooth.  


So I took a picture. I never used to notice this phenomenon when I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily as a kid. I was so young and naïve.

I can't even tell you the magic that happened when I put the sandwich in my mouth. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

By Popular Demand...

Well, actually only by two people saying I should post it...

Here's a 5-second StopMo I did right before I went to bed the other night. It's not much, but it's kinda fun. Also, it's the first time you readers of my blog get to hear me sing in the 5-second score. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Planned To Clean My Room...

...but first I decided to check my blog.  And then I looked at a cool blog I'm thinking of following by an artist who uses Stop-Motion animation (think Gumby or the original Rudolph movie). And I pondered, hmmm...I wonder how he did that. Can I do that?

Which sent me to google. To Wikipedia. To a groovy site saying that I can make my very own StopMo video with my digital camera and iMovie on my Mac. And now it's 1:30 and I'm posting what I've been working on for the past few hours. The quality is low, but I posted it on YouTube so you can see it better. And I performed the original 15-second score, haha. 1:30 in the morning. 

And my room still isn't clean. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Space Explorer Extraordinaire on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

“Hey man, wanna hang out tonight? The whole gang from the lunch table is getting together to get our C.S.I on.”  My dreamfriends talk like that.

“Sorry dude. I have to work.  Raincheck?”

“Aw, bummer, man.”

“”Yeah, I know.  I’m so pissed.”  We parted ways, my friend with a frown, and myself with a sneaky, hidden smile. I didn’t want to hang out with them.  I was so much more excited to go to work.

Because my work was in space.

Every other day after class, I would drive down to the NASA headquarters in Minnesota (such a thing exists in my unconscious mind) and clock in for my shift.

This particular day I put my backpack down in my NASA locker, grabbed my space gear, and went down to the launch room. I slipped into my shiny space suit, which was shiny and awesome, but not too awesome because I was only a test rider—the nicer suits went to the mucky mucks who actually get to explore up there.  My job simply was to ride up into space, go around the moon to make sure everything was cool, and come back to earth before dinner.

I made some small talk with Miriam, the homely but sassy lady who pushes the button for my take off. Then I plopped myself into my rocket ship after making sure my iPod was charged. What would I do today? Spend some time facebook stalking?  Munch on a sandwich? Color? Do homework? Probably not the last one.

[Yes, my space shuttle has wheels. Got a problem with that?]

And I rode to the moon and back, which of course only took a few hours, and returned to earth to get back to my dorm room.  Just an average day in the life of a minimum-wage space explorer.