Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A quick observation on Waltham demographics

During a brief stop at the local Shaw's Victory Hannaford's Supermarket down by Main St, I saw not one, but two other asian dudes over six feet tall.

Represent, yo.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Still here

AEM06 Day 8 -- flipbook
Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.


I hadn't really planned on doing AEM this year, but then I decided that I'd do it. And then I figured I'd quit because I had so much other stuff going on. (which was why I wasn't going to do it.) And then I found myself doing art everyday anyway. And then I tried to dial it back.

But it's been just little things here and there, and I haven't really had the time or inclination to post. I figured I'd just check in, say hi, and give y'all a peek at what I've been up to*, which has mostly been listening to this one Leo Kottke song over and over and over again (which surprisingly, hasn't gotten boring... yet), sketching some ideas, figuring out how to use Macromedia Flash. It's been a good break from work, but at times it's gotten a little distracting. (I'm only now starting to recover from staying up late Sunday night/Monday morning.)

Anyway, I thought I might try to visualize how particular scenes would look by making little flipbooks rather than doing it directly in Flash so I went to Staples and bought a pack of scratchpads for the task. I haven't made a flipbook in ages and it's a nice change (along with the Flash stuff) from my usual pen and ink drawings and pencil sketches -- it's been fun.

So anyway, expect only sporadic posts. Hopefully I'll see you around.

* If you're curious about the Flash stuff, drop me a line and I can send you a link to the work in progress. I don't want to post it because it isn't done and I'm hosting it on my personal site that doesn't have a lot of bandwidth.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I listen to Mike, but he's kind of an dick

Mike-FM is one of those new 24/7 shuffle play stations that boasts about their lack of DJs and makes the claim that they "play everything." Whatever. As far as the DJ thing, yeah, they have no DJs, but they do seem to play a lot of bumpers. This becomes relevant later. And as far as the "we play everything" thing, they play everything about as much as Bob's Country Bunker plays BOTH kinds of music (Country AND western.) It's mostly 80's and 90's rock and new waves with some 70's R&B, disco and saccharine pop thrown in. As I said, whatever. I actually kind of like the mix they play, and when they play something that I don't like or find boring, I change the station. No big deal.

Anyway, you may have heard the news: Deval Patrick won the gubernatorial race yesterday. First black governor for the state. First Democratic governor in 16 years. I'm pretty good with all that.

So on the drive into work this morning, I was listening to Mike, and they aired a bumper congratulating the governor elect. Sort of. Backhanded compliment. I don't remember the exact wording, but it essentially suggested that Patrick won because he spent the most money on the campaign. ("glad to see that money talks" or some such.) I looked it up -- it WAS the most money ever spent by all the candidates on a campaign, but the biggest spender in the end was apparently the Republican candidate, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey. So, um, yeah. I guess some money also doesn't talk.

Yeah, that rubbed me the wrong way. (Duh, if it hadn't I wouldn't be here writing about it 12 hours later.) I thought about it though. I tried to be fair; I tried to rationalize it.

This is America, I thought, everybody is allowed to voice their opinion. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. (And let's not go into all that business about who controls the channels by which people's voices are heard.)

And it's a radio station that prides itself for it's irreverent style, and they're all about courting that world-worn, cynical late-thirty, forty-something demographic sweet spot. Of course, there's this pattern I've been noticing. I remember being annoyed in the past when they had a bumper making fun of Mike Dukakis. I mean, sure he looked kind of ridiculous sitting in the tank with that helmet on, but uh... that was like, what, almost 20 years ago? I think there's been a Kennedy bumper too.

And sure, this state is largely Democratic, so I can certainly understand that if you're going to be making politically-flavored snarky comments (and for the moment, we'll ignore whether or not it's appropriate to be making politically pointed comments in the first place, 'cos y'know, other broadcasters have suggested that you shouldn't cause controversy) you're going to target the people in power, the ones who hold the political majority. But we've had a Republican governor the entire time that WMKK has been around and I can't remember a single snip at Governor Mitt Romney, even when he was off on his Republican roadshow making fun of his "home state" of Massachusetts.

Not much of a point really, just mixed feelings about listening to Mike, although these days, I've been listening to CDs more anyway.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Playing with flash the evening and now it is about 2 hours until sunrise. Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. *sigh*

Friday, November 03, 2006

AEM06 Day 3 - Still Fighting It

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

I was listening to SUNNY16 on the drive up to work and thought that it might be fun to try and make a video for the song "All you can eat." Not a new idea (that is, I've wanted to make videos before for other songs) but nothing usually comes of it -- maybe an idea for a scene or two, maybe even a few sketches, but nothing more.

But who knows, maybe for AEM. We'll see, we'll see.

I get some propaganda email from amazon later in the afternoon, pushing... Ben Folds transcriptions. Hmm. Keeps Ben Folds on the brain today, at any rate.

Thoughts return to the video. I need to get the song onto my computer, but I've been having issues ripping CDs on my laptop (the last time I tried, the bundled software would only rip to WMV format unless I upgraded... no thanks) so I wandered over to the Ben Folds website to see if there were any free downloads there... and ended up watching videos. I'm a sucker for videos. I hope I can get back on track, but I'm rationalizing now. Maybe something will inspire me at least... and hey, I kind of like the composition from one of the scenes in the video for "Still Fighting It" so I decided to sketch it.

Voila, entry for the day.

As a side note, the title of the song resonates in interesting ways in my brain. It initially conjures up the constant struggle I've been having trying to deal with all the things that need to get done these days. It's overwhelming. And yet, here I am carving out more of my precious time to draw. (And there's struggle there too.) And then to blog. There is no time for blogging and yet ... here I am. Blabbity blah blah. Lots of things on my mind these days but, no time. I have to go to bed. But I recognize the need to create, the need to express. It's food for the soul.

And then the song itself is actually about growing up, or trying not to, and basically failing. And that too is interesting, having wandered over to Molly's site today and read some of her Prego Saucy writings. And I see the change from how she was before. And I've reflected on change and growth and identity. And today it seems that I'm thinking about it in the context of this growing up business that seems to be happening all around me -- new houses, weddings, babies -- all that adult, grown-up stuff. And I recognize that while I'm not feeling old, I am wondering whether maybe I'm doing something wrong, like I got off the bus a few stops early and while I've enjoyed hanging out in these here parts, I wonder if I was supposed to be somewhere else by now. And the question becomes: is another bus going to come along at some point or, to mix metaphors, did I miss the boat?

Honestly, it's nothing so dramatic as that. While things are crazy busy and I've been a little on-edge and cranky, I do think that things are coming together. I am buying a new house. I'm getting married (again). And well, yeah, we're talking about that other thing too.

Ok. It's late, and I gotta get up early for a frisbee tournament tomorrow morning. later.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And so it begins...

Doodles Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.
Kat is doing Art Everyday Month again this year -- do art everyday for the month of November. (I guess that's kind of self-evident.) I really got into it last year but I've been flat-out crazygonuts busy so I really didn't plan on joining in on the fun this year. There's just too much stuff going on. I keep thinking that I'll write a post about the daily breakdown of my day, but there are at least 3 other posts that have been in the draft stage for more than a month, so I wouldn't count on it. Suffice it to say that on average, I have about 5 hours a day of official "free time" which (at least abstractly without any context) seems like a good chunk of time to get things done, but when it comes down to the brass tacks, and I'm cramming laundry, paying bills, exercise, classes and homework into that time, there's not a lot of wiggle room for general decompress time or social time with friends. I've finally started squeezing in time to read the bookclub book (because I've had the damn thing checked out of the library for almost two months), I haven't really played piano since spring. Picked up the guitar for about 15 minutes yesterday, and immediately felt guilty afterwards. So finding time to make art is definitely going to be a challenge.

So what the hell do I think I'm doing?

Well, for one thing, I know that, like exercise, it's good for me. It's good to get the creative juices flowing. In some ways, it's like therapy. I enjoy getting lost in the process, and even more often, the surprise at the outcome. And I think it's good to have something external provide the incentive to keep going once in a while. And really, sometimes I really do just need a kick in the butt to get me going.

The other thing is that it seems like a pretty good exercise to try out my new "failure plan." The explanation for which is in one of the aforementioned languishing draft posts. But if you're curious, you can probably get the gist of it from Steve Pavlina's article Are You a Failure Germaphobe?

Failure germaphobe? Yes, yes I am. And I'd talk more about it, but I've got a bunch of stuff I need to get done before going to bed.