Monday, October 26, 2009


Here I am, on the bus again. Halloween is later this week. It really has snuck up on my this time, especially since I am not working anymore. Retail always let me know what time of year it was, but now with only my limited trips to the store, I almost have no idea what time of the year it is. I've been noticing more the subtle changes in weather and how much homework I keep getting. 

Tim, are you reading? I bet you've got a good grasp of the season since you're a target man. 

Anyway, I've definitely have had animation on the brain a lot. The other day I woke up thinking about how to improve the arm swings on my walk cycles. Seriously. The alarm goes off and I'm thinking about walk cycles. I usually go to bed with animation on the mind so maybe it's not so strange a thing to wake up to then. 

Ugh, I need a haircut.

Emily works Halloween. I am not sure what I am going to do with myself. I should just work on animation finals, but I'll probably end up driving around looking for something to do. Maybe I'll have my Little Mermaid DVD by then and do a shot breakdown of some of the scenes. I hope there are some good extras and maybe a some pencil tests! 

Crap. I need to call Jacob. He called me almost three days ago and I keep forgetting to return his call. We were going to go see a large screen showing of Evangelion 1.0 this week, but I already had some concert tickets and a mandatory MI visit planned and he has filming during the week for his 20-30K project he's producing. I wish I had a better name for it. I am excited for him though, and hope that it's going well.

Oh! The Ludo concert on Friday was awesome! The played the whole Broken Bride EP and most of the songs from they're other two discs. They were goods. I enjoyed one of their opening bands as well, Ha Ha Tonka. Nice country twang with a whole lot of Rock'n'Roll kick. 

All right well the trains really filling up today, so I'm calling it quits for now.         

Friday, October 23, 2009


Here I am, on the bus again. Still enjoying the new route and without an upset stomach I can enjoy it more. Yesterday and today have been rainy and in running to catch the bus I soaked my shoes and socks. Squishy. Mostly I don't mind the rain, it's cleansing this dirty city physically and emotionally. I know I always feel at ease and spiritually cleansed when it rains. 

My new route takes me deep into the heart of south Chicago and I see some interesting things from the buss window. A lot of things make me ponder about the areas history. Some roads cut across diagonally and end but continue on as smaller roads. Makes me wonder how it looked 20 years ago, or maybe 50 years ago. I know that there is a ton of history embedded in the entire area and I wish I knew how to unlock it. Downtown also screams its history to me but what it screams has no content... I just know it's there. I wish I could take the history of Chicago class, but I am already scraping to get in the few electives for my animation into my schedule. 

Reminds me that I've got to get my school paid for so I can register in November. If not, then I may not get the classes I HAVE to take for next semester.  That's a buzz-kill...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Here I am, on a new bus today! Previously I rode a Pace bus that stopped just outside our apartment complex, but it did not accept my U-Pass that gives me free rides on any CTA buses and trains. Now we've figured out a way to keep my morning commute free! There is a CTA bus stop on Emily's way to work that takes me to the red line EL. I am excited not only to be saving more that $40 a month now but to also have a new route to explore! I'll be seeing some new people and regulars. Goodbye pink fish-nets and spikey-haired businessman. 

Ugh... I don't feel very good today.  

Monday, October 19, 2009


Here I am, waiting for the bus to show up. There is a cold wind in the air that seems to penetrate not only my sweater but almost to the bone. It's just a tell that summer is definitely gone and that we're nearing the holiday season. I guess i've been too caught up in school to pay attention to the way time has been flying by. Halloween is less that 2 weeks away. I am not sure if we'll get to carve pumpkins this year...


I am constantly in search of things I can do to increase my skills of animation and be more likely to be accepted for a job out of school. One of those things that I think I have forgotten is figure drawing. After looking on Calabash animation's website, they really laid down the importance of good figure drawing and a display of that in a portfolio. Well, I have little to no figure drawings to put in for my portfolio. I think I have a basic feel for gesture and the figure, but I know I still have improvements to make and I really need to produce some GOOD figure drawings for when I start applying for jobs. I remember locating a small community college a few miles north of us that offered figure drawing classes. While Columbia does offer that class and it is part of my requirement to graduate, I would love to have the opportunity to keep at it. I really should participate in the online figure drawing group I signed up for. They hold monthly events within Chicago, and I get emails for when each upcoming sessions is going to take place. Maybe once the semester is over I'll try attending one. 

I still need to simply draw more. And I mean outside of my homework. I keep finding excuses and less fulfilling activities to take its place and I really just need to remember how good it feels and not to get discouraged when I can't draw something the way I want. I just need to keep drawing. One of these days I'll have to go to Lincoln park zoo or O'Hare airport and just the people walking around. I don't get to use the resources this area offers me very often. 

A random thought: I wonder if I'll get to go ice fishing this year. Last time I had truly gone was my senior year with JB. There are a lot of things I haven't done in a few years. I bet Emily has a few too. I wonder when I'll be able to do things again; when we'll be more stable and have some friends to do things with. I know I want to animate and I know that I am supposed to be here to learn it, but sometimes I wish we had stayed in Battle Creek around our friends and family and an area we knew and comforted us. 

I wonder what Jim Middleton is up to? I wonder how my grandfather is doing. Will I make it home anytime soon?

Will we ever make it home?

I may love animating and I suppose I am decent at it, but sometimes I wish I could have found a profession that was centered closer to home.


Friday, October 16, 2009


Here I am, on the bus again. It's different waking up with Emily on these mornings. Instead of just getting around by myself, there is someone else up and around now. I like be able to see her awake before I leave for school. She makes me lazy. The last couple of days her and I have not had work or school so all we did was hang out. Again, it's nice to relax with her, but when I needed to start on my homework I had a heck of a time getting motivated. I just wanted to sit around with my wife! With Emily working less days now, she's going to be home a lot more and I am going to have to learn how to work on things WHILE she's there. I've got so many side projects on hold that I can't afford to not work on things while she's there. Literally. I am having trouble acquiring  my private student loan and if I don't get it, then we may need to take out a normal loan that is not deferred. I'll have to find some sort of income then or step up on my charcoal drawings to pay the bills. I am kind of hoping that I can just put my complete heart and soul into my final projects this semester and hopefully have a good enough reel to get me hired somewhere doing something in the field of animation. Here's to hoping. 

With all of this money trouble, I still have a strange sense of ease about getting through school. I am not sure if it is an ignorance thing of not understanding how dire things are or if God is giving me this peace. I don't know what I will be doing when I get out of school, but I am hopeful. I would really like to grab that associate development internship that Disney is offering for just out of school undergraduates. While I don't see myself sticking around to work at Disney, I do prefer that fluid animation style and would like to be helped to develop my skills towards that type. Plus it's a paid internship! 

I'm in an awkward position between just starting my dream and reaching it. I've already quit a stable job to concentrate on "my career" but I haven't quite landed the puck past the goalie yet. I am at the center of the rink and approaching the goal and I am afraid to shoot since I am still a bit far away. Maybe I am closer than I think and should take the shot? Before I get too close and have to spend more time trying to reset myself up for the shot. Wow I went a little far with that metaphor. I just don't know if I am ready to start applying to studios but maybe I don't realize that I am ready, but if I don't, we could get into debt and I'll end up needing to do other things in order to pay to finish my school and never get a job in animation until were on our feet again. Phooey. 

I think I am grasping animation well, but I know that my illustration skills are lacking. I need to practice more on my figure and gesture drawing as well as just draw more. My sketchbook is bare of drawings and sketches and has been filling up with notes more lately. If I can just establish the habit then I could improve quickly I believe, but on default I'm lazy and would rather sit at the tv or computer than draw. But I love to draw! I just need to remind myself that it's something I like doing and that being lazy is not very fulfilling in the end. I always ending up feeling very down a depressed like I am doing anything with my life when I am too lazy. I also need to motivate myself to go for walks or to the gym so that way not only am I exercising my mind but my body as well. So much still to do towards bettering myself... 

As a side note, I've found a fellow classmate that rides the train out to the same area and we catch each other on our Friday commutes. I haven't really gotten to know him that well yet, but I think today I'll ask him about his plans and to see some of his work. We have today's Alt. Strat class together and I believe camera & sound on Wednesdays. Alt strat is a fun class but I haven't had my heart into it much. I'm not sure if that's because I am not as interested in it or if it is its placement in the week being on Friday morning. It is quickly becoming my throw-away class. Not that I won't still do good and get a good grade, but I am not putting 100% of my effort into this class. With 4 other animation production classes, I have to have one be my lazy class. 

Anyway... That's it for now.  

Monday, October 12, 2009


Here I am, on the bus again. Today I am thinking about the ownership of things and their uncanny ability to break. Earlier this week Emily's computer keyboard had it's K key bust and now doesn't type very easily. And just last night, her computer decided to stop recognizing the power cord. I used what battery power was left to back up her personal files so I can take it in to be fixed. She was not happy. 

I am the same way, and maybe even worse when it comes to my things. I should know better that the way things work, things inevitably break down. But I just don't want them to! I spent our hard earned money for these things so how dare they bust! 

I should read a chapter from Ecclesiastes. Everything is vanity without God. These things don't matter by themselves. They worthless without a purpose from God. So then if God does give them to us with a purpose, why do they break? Well, maybe we haven't been using our things for the purpose He intended us to use them for. Or maybe we're distant from him and need a wake up call. I can't know God's thoughts but I can ask him what I am supposed to do about it. 

This all sounds so simple as I write it, but I know first hand that it is really hard to let go of a broken laptop or a lost CD or not having something you want so badly because it's too expensive (I want an iPhone!). But we need to remember that God has our lives in his hands and, despite what we want, he knows what we NEED. 

It's funny how He even programmed us to lose satisfaction of our things. You know how you'll want this one item so badly and you are so excited when you finally get it, but after a month or so passes you lose interest in the newness of it and it just becomes another thing. We are supposed to latch onto things; they only bring temporary satisfaction. For true satisfaction we need to turn to worship and prayer.

I think God still wants us to have things and enjoy them, but we must give Him thanks and realize the reasons for us to have those items.

Thinking about things makes me ponder about collecting. Is it a sin? Collecting items that you will never functionally use. I suppose as a whole a collection can have a purpose but I think one would have to really ask God what that purpose is. Otherwise I think that collections are pretty worthless in God's eyes. Now, the thing is that I am really guilty of collecting. I have an urge to posses the entirety of a series of things and in the best condition possible. But what purpose do those collected things serve to me? Some things make sense, like my collection of animation teaching books for my reference and for anyone else who may be interested. I use those, they have a purpose and a function. But my collection of ball-caps when I don't even wear hats very often is pretty worthless. It's strange how life tries to get you to collect, with baseball cards, pogs, and pokemon. We become collectors at a young age, but we have to realize these thing do not last and it is silly to build up a collection of them. If you truly use something, then it will wear and you'll have to replace it. But to not use something in order to preserve it gives the item no function and, sure you have it a long time, it will be useless. 

Things break, but that should be good sign in that the item is being used and fulfilling it's purpose for you. Now some things are shottier than others and will break under less stress, but again why did God choose to take it away from us? Maybe we weren't appreciating the item enough or not using it for the intended purpose? In any case, we have to fix it and fix ourselves too. 

All this is just talk right now. I know that i'll be angry the next time something of mine breaks, but hopefully I will lost back at this post and be eased. 

I guess I am tapped out on the topic now, so adios. 

Friday, October 2, 2009


Here I am, on the bus again. I'm kind of brainless today. I've actually got a few songs stuck in my head from a musical I've loved since I was little, Pete's Dragon. My sister just bought me the DVD and I re-watched it for the first time in probably ten years. Classic stuff.

"Cause it's not easy, to find some one who cares. 
It's not easy to find magic in pairs..."

To someone who hasn't grown up with that movie I guess it would seem a little weird and unoriginal, but this carries fond memories for me. 
It also brings up some harsh yearnings for the stage. Since I was seven years until I was twenty, I've been participating in annual community theater. After that I've done nothing. And I miss it. There is no way I can do anything right now, with school and the initial job after. I love animating, but I also love to act, sing, and dance on stage. I never felt I could do it as a profession, and liked keeping it a hobby, but as an adult where I to go to get my theater fix? My hometown community theater council disbanded, and I don't live there anymore to try and revive it.
"We'll bind him up, grind him up, chop him up, lop him up! Can't you hear that jingle jangle sound!?
Oh yeah!!
Money money money by the pound!"

I love this musical. I doubt it could be easily done on a small stage, but I would love to try someday. Depending on where everyone is, when (if) I move back to MI, I'd like to contact my old theater friends and see about reinstating the community theater. Ah, bit it's all just a pipe dream now. More than likely we won't be moving back to MI and I'll get a job either here in Chicago or in California. I am in no way a great actor or singer. I'm simply okay. I just love to do it for the fun of it. But here in Chicago or even out in Cali, I feel intimidated by the presence of professionals and am fairly certain I wouldn't be picked to be in much. I've probably lost so much knowledge of it since it has been so long anyways.
"I'll be your candle on the water..."

There is just nothing like being up on stage with great music being played and being able sing and dance in front of others, trying your best to entertain them as well as have the most fun you can doing so. 

Right now, the best I can do is act through my pencil. That will have to do for a few years. 

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