As promised (albeit a little late), I’ve posted the pictures from Thanksgiving this past Thursday into the Picture Gallery. The day was great. We started out early, around 8:00am or so. I got the turkey cleaned and Shauna and I both buttered and seasoned it. We had prepped the rutabagas, stuffing, and green bean casserole the night before so the only “work we had to do was to cook the turkey and do the mashed potatoes. Food was done around noon, and we kept it warm until everyone arrived around 1:00pm. Glenn had to go to work really early on Friday, so everyone hung out until about 6:00pm and then left. In attendance were me, Shauna, my mom, my sister, Glenn, and my grandmother. Nobody choked on turkey this year, although there was about three metric tons of food in our bellies the whole day.

A while back, I picked up Burnout Legends and New Super Mario Bros. for the DS. I have updated the video game listing in the Archive.

I’ve been hard at work on rendering some short clips for a demo reel / portfolio that’s going up on the Suncoast Studios sight. I hope to use this to get a job or two out in L.A., working from home. The renders should be done in the next day or two (I’m behind since I had to re-build an entire scene because LightWave had a weird glitch).

The first few discs of BSG Season 2.5 will be arriving today. I may watch some before the Lightning game comes on later tonight.

I may be interviewing for a new IT job in Tampa in the next couple of days. More on that as I know more.

I think I’ll actually start getting the Christmas decorations up tomorrow.

Sick Thought of the Day: Canary in the bum.

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve been watching a lot of The Muppet Show courtesy of NetFlix. I decided to take a break from Battlestar Galactica (gasp!). However, the three Muppet discs are going back into the mailbox on Friday and BSG season 2.5 will be on its way to me.

Speaking of great things on the boob-tube, Shauna and I watched a great little independent film the other night called Unknown. The primes of the story is that five guys wake up from being passed out in an abandoned chemical factory with no memory of who they are or why they’re there. As the story progresses, their memories begin to trickle back into their heads and the men begin to piece together what happened and what’s going on.

I cleaned the apartment today and got everything ready for turkey day tomorrow. When Shauna got home from work, we prepped the rutabagas, stuffing, green bean casserole, and make a couple dozen cookies. Tomorrow’s the big day. I’ll post pictures.

It’s been very cool here the last couple of weeks. I think we’ve had the air conditioning off for the entire time. I love it. Each day this past five day or so, I’ve had the windows open and it’s gotten down to 63 to 65 degrees in the apartment with brisk winds blowing the stale air out of the place from time to time. I love winter time in Florida.

Sick Thought of the Day: Mashed potatoes in the butt crack. Cheese optional.

Hell Week, Better Weekend

Oh, there is so much to blog about today…

First off, I got laid off from work this past week. My last day was Friday. I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to write about this major event in my life, and, for a while, I was bitter about it all. I even was opting at one point to write this nasty entry about it all. After giving myself a couple days to reflect on it all, I’ve decided to just state some simple facts about it. I was laid off Friday because my job was phased out. The software and most of the systems I’ve worked on over the past seven years have been going away this year, and the last big software package I supported is being shut down on December 1st. I was officially let go around 10:30am on Friday, and they gave me the option of staying the rest of the day. I immediately packed up my stuff. What was the use of staying there for seven and a half more hours? Plus, I really didn’t want to go through the entire emotional ordeal that surrounds someone leaving – people stopping by, asking about the details, hugging, crying, etc. I guess I’m too much of a pussy for that stuff.

So, I told the guys what had happened and Jeff told me to get my stuff together and we’d go to lunch. I said goodbye to my boss, John, and to Chad, both of whom I’ve worked with in the department for the past 2 years or so. Me, Jeff, Schafer, David, Kelly, Paul and Peter all got into our cars around noon or so and headed downtown to Two Senoritas for lunch. I had my usual, the marinated chicken burritos. We sat there, laughed about things, talked about the future and, in general, had a lot of fun. These guys are a fun bunch and I’ll miss hanging out with them everyday, playing Tap-It, and talking about disgusting things. Thanks for the fun guys!

As for me, the company gave me a seven-week severance package and paid out my vacation time. I don’t have and precise plans yet, but I have my recruiter looking into things and should be on the warpath for a new job after Thanksgiving (I’m told next week is dead for recruiting).

Well, what else is going on?… Well, after telling Schunk about everything that happened at work, he and I went out to the Sarasota Ale House for drinks Friday night. We talked about stuff, and one of the topics that came up was that we hadn’t been to see and R/C air shows in a while. Well, it just so happens that there was a show going on this weekend, so we headed out this morning to go see it. Me, Jon, his daughter and his dad all met at Jon’s house around 10:00am this morning and then proceeded to head over to the airfield. I snapped a bunch of photos and uploaded them to the Picture Gallery. Anyway, I had a couple of big hot dogs (of course) and a Diet Coke, and we sat and watched the pilots qualify. The field was hosting the 2006 Corvin Miller Memorial Contest U.S. Scale Masters Qualifier. We watched several exquisite aircraft fly. At one point a custom-built jet took off and I stood there and just took in the awesome smell of the kerosene. Mmm. We stayed until about 11:30 and then headed back to Schunk’s, where I soon departed for home.

I’ve also caught up on my comic book listing, and that’s now current in the Digital Archive.

Yesterday I picked up a copy of Cars on DVD and Shauna and I watched it last night. Great movie. I was amazed at the complexity of some of the scenes. The textures were amazing. Top-notch, Pixar. Top-notch.

I’ve also started reading Stephen King’s new book, On Writing.  I’ve made it all the way through the third introduction.

Sick Thought of the Day: Heat the iron, stick the tip into the sphincter, make the room smell like burnt dog hair.

Troublemaker, Chili

I had this weird dream the other night:

I was at Troublemaker Studios in Austin, which is owned and operated by director Robert Rodriguez. He and Quentin Taratino are good friends. In the dream, they had asked me to direct a film for them. I think they were going to produce it, so I was the one holding the reins. This is a massive-budget movie. I mean there’re grips, PAs, DPs, actors… the whole sha-bang. Millions of dollars on the line.

So, I’m sitting there directing the scenes, and all I can hear is Robert yelling “keep the shots real!” from about thirty feet behind me. I have no fucking idea what he’s talking about – maybe it’s that he doesn’t want anything to seem contrived, but I’m not sure. Of course, there’s this little voice in the back of my head that’s like “man, just go with it and hope you’re doing what he wants.” I’m trying to both concentrate on the shots and make sure we have the appropriate coverage, and I’m thinking about what the fuck Robert is talking about, repeating that phrase every three or four minutes.

I’m nervous that I’ll mess it up and they’ll never want to work with me again and I’ll be a laughing-stock in the industry. But, I trudge on. Then Quentin starts in. He’s this hyper guy who, as Fiona Apple once said, is like a six-year-old in that he speaks his mind and doesn’t care what other people think, he just blurts it out. That’s not to say what he says isn’t intelligent, but, because of his excited nature, he pushes out sentences and will sometimes stumble and use one dollar words just to get the point across.

He also is profane and talks about some sick shit. Just like me.

So, Quentin’s back there next to Robert and he’s doing his nervous/excited thing and he blurts out, after I cut a scene, “I can’t wait for the fucking cum-shot!”.

Now, to clarify things, I was not shooting a prono. This phrase Quentin uses frequently in real–life and he is simply stating that he can’t wait for the “pay off” or the “really cool scene”. The climax of the shooting, if you will. So, he says that and then he just stands there with his arms outstretched to his sides like he wants to hug someone, but he doesn’t, and he speaks no more.

So now I’m doubly nervous that HE won’t like what I’m doing either. At one point, while I’m sweating and thinking and directing, I hear my PA say that there’s a naked man at the gate of the studio out front and he wants to talk to me, and says he’s the “marble from the bag” which I take to mean he’s the actor we’ve been waiting on, who’s now like an hour late.

I get up and hand the camera man, who looks a lot like Elvis Costello, this book I’ve been holding that has all the storyboards in it. Evidently, the passing of the book to the camera man is equal in power to Captain Kirk telling Spock “you have conn”. I leave my ship and head to front gates, leaving Elvis to continue to shoot my scenes.

As I’m trying to get to the gate, I have to pass through a building that houses the mixing and sound stages. I get lost in it and end up in a room full of Ethernet cables. The room is about 10 feet by ten feet and there’s nothing in the room except Ethernet cables connecting jacks in the north wall to the jacks in the south wall. There’s thousands of cables. I get really mad because I realize this is a “pass-through room” and that the idiot who engineered it decided to A.) randomly connect the north wall’s jack to the south wall’s jack instead of connecting the north wall’s jack “A” to the south wall’s jack “A”, and B.) he didn’t use all the same colored cables.

Finally, I push my way through/under the cables and make it to the door on the opposite wall from me. I open it and I’m in the break room and Robert, Quentin, and the naked guy are all sitting at this crappy round table like you’d fine in an office’s break room, and they’re eating lunch. Elvis walks up to me and hands the book back to me and then joins them. I can tell they’re all upset at me for not “doing my job”. Robert stands up with a mouthful of tuna-salad sandwich and tells me that I have another chance to make it up to him, and that it hurt that I took advantage of such an amazing opportunity that he’d presented to me.

— End fucked-up, stressful dream. —

In the real world, I’ve been working on getting my third render finished. As always, I’m being totally anal about it and it’s taking longer than I hoped. I’m happy to say that I’m actually doing the final render. 216 frames, 2m1s to render one frame. After it’s all rendered out, then it’s time to composite and then edit.

Devin and I talked about hot dogs today. We bantered back and forth about how the chili-cheese dogs from 7-11 are awesome. I told him that the RaceTrac that just opened up near my office had dogs that were on par. We then discussed how it’s a shame that you NEED a bun for the chili-cheese dogs, since all that did was take up space in your belly that should be used for chili/cheese/weenies. He then said that it would be awesome if they had little bowls that you could dump pre-cut-up hot dogs into (ala the weenies in Spaghetti-Os) and then you could just walk to the cheese and chili dispenser and top the meat. Brilliant fucking idea. He then told me that he looked inside the dispenser once and saw how the big sack of chili has this tube hanging from the bottom with a nipple on it and how the machine milked the nipple/shaft to get the chili out.

There’s nothing else you need to know.


Sick Thought of the Day: Paper bag on the chicken-wing that hangs between your legs.

Staying Home

It seems that fate doesn’t favor us today. Shauna and I decided to not go to the convention today after all. With all the errands that we needed to run, we wouldn’t get there until 2:00pm, and the convention is over at 4:00pm. Not worth the $12 each for admission. I think I’ll watch some TV then do some more rendering.