Monday, February 26, 2007

Mondiddlydoodahday.

I got a phone call from my ex around 5 am. She said she was going to be taking our daughter to the emergency room because she was having trouble breathing. I was so out of it, it didn't totally register at the time, but I said something along the lines of "Okay, hurry up and go!" because I heard Jordyn wheezing in the background.

I then tried to go back to sleep with limited success, because I was worrying about my little girl and waiting for a follow up call.

You may ask, "Why didn't you go to the hospital as well?" The answer is, "Because I was without a car."

On Friday Heather told me that her coolant warning light was on as she was driving home from picking up Justin from school and while she had been waiting for him to come out she thought there might have been smoke coming from under the hood of her car. I didn't get around to looking at it until Sunday, about five hours before she had to leave for work and all I expected to have to do was add some coolant. Instead I found out that something in her coolant system has indeed gone blooey. It doesn't appear to be the radiator, judging by the pattern of coolant on the underside of the hood. It seems to have something to do with the coolant reservoir or perhaps the hose that runs from it.

But I'm not a mechanic and our mechanic doesn't work on Sunday.

Add to that the possibility that she may still be under warranty and it could be covered and repaired for free, in which case we have to take it in to Saturn. If not, then it's going to our guy ASAP.

Anyhow, that meant Heather needed to borrow my car last night so she could go to work which left me no way of getting to the hospital. If I got a follow up call saying that Jordyn was in real bad shape I would have found a way. In the meantime I tried to sleep.

The follow up call came around 7 am.

My ex told me that they tried to give Jordyn medicine that would help her breathing she threw up. They gave her some water and she threw up again. Since she wasn't keeping down anything they were going to put her on an IV. That reminded me of when Justin had pneumonia at the age of 3, and we stayed in the hospital with him for three days.

When Heather got home I told her what had happened, and then Justin and I went to the hospital to see how Jordyn was doing. Heather couldn't go because she had to sleep since she works tonight as well.

When we got there we saw that she had fallen asleep, and as there were only two chairs in the room my ex and her friend let Justin and I have them since they had been there the whole time and were ready for a break so they went out into the waiting room while we sat with Jordyn.

Jordyn's arm that the IV was in was hanging off the side of the bed a bit, so I sat down next to her and held her hand until she woke about about 20 minutes later.

She was very happy to see me and Justin. Her voice was very croaky. The nurse brought her a cup of ice water and encouraged her to try a bit of it to see if she could keep it down. Then I read to her from 'Ellen Tebbits' – a book that she got from her grandmother for Christmas – for another 20 minutes or so.

After that the nurse came back in, took Jordyn's vital signs, removed the IV and had her get up and walk a bit to make sure she wasn't dizzy. I signed the release paperwork and we went out to the waiting room where her mom and her mom's friend were waiting. Jordyn had to wear the hospital gown home because her shirt was covered in vomit and her mom didn't think to tell me to bring a new one when I was on the phone. But then I didn't think to ask if they needed anything either. Jordyn still had a fever of 101, but was in much better spirits and could at least breathe. I called a bit ago to find out how she was doing and her mom said that she wanted to go to school because today is Art day. I said to let her know that we would do an art project when I got home, and I hope that satisfies her.

Also on Sunday I filmed Trevor getting the Robot tattoo. It's going to take awhile for me to edit the movie because I'm having to teach myself iMovie as I go. It's a bit bloody in spots. He said afterward that he was annoyed with himself for bleeding so much. I pointed out that it was out of his control, to which he said "For now."

And finally, here are a few links to interesting things I have found that you might also enjoy:

Cure writer's block at Language is a Virus... (found at Lifehacker.com)

Find inspiration at Story Squared.... (found at Lifehacker.com)

Explore the 101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators over at DaniDraws.com... (found at boingboing.com)

Or relieve some stress using some of the 52 proven stress reducers. (found at Lifehacker.com) This one I really should bookmark, or perhaps have it tattooed to my chest.

Take care and I'll post at you again later in the week.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Illustration Friday: "Gravity"

Once again it's time for my Illustration Friday offering.

I went through four ideas before settling on this. And then only because I really had no more time. Enjoy:

IF: "Gravity" final

IF: "Gravity" sketch

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Art stuff.

Not done while on vacation, as I had planned, but not set aside and forgotten either:

Timmy the Toaster Pastry


This was inspired by something Heather said a month or so ago when she was getting a Pop Tart for breakfast and I asked, "Aren't you going to toast it?" To which she replied, "Nope. I'm going to eat it RAW!" So. There you go. Heck, here's the sketch as well:

Timmy sketch


I hope everyone has a great week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

One down, two to go.

I've been sketching robots for the last couple of days because my brother, Trevor, wants his next tattoo to be a robot that I've designed. I was able to finish nine sketches before I ran out of ideas. Tonight he came over and looked through them:

robot1.jpg
[1]

robot2.jpg
[2]

robot3.jpg
[3]

robot4.jpg
[4]
robot5.jpg
[5]

robot6.jpg
[6]

robot7.jpg
[7]

robot8.jpg
[8]

robot9.jpg
[9]

Now, I'm not someone who has drawn very many robots. I know, I know, it's hard to tell, isn't it? You may also noticed that I actually sketched these out on paper. In a sketchbook. I haven't done that in a very long time.

After checking out all of them, it came down to numbers six and seven, with six ultimately winning after a bit of modification to its face:

robot-final-1.jpg

Then I converted the pencil lines to vector paths:

robot-final-2.jpg

Dropped in a tone layer beneath the lines layer, set to "multiply":

robot-final-3.jpg

Then I proceded to add in the color layers below the tone layer:

robot-final-4.jpg

And last of all Trevor wanted to include "Three Laws Safe" as a nod to Issac Asimov's rules of robotics:

robot-final-5.jpg

The background coloring is as close of an approximation to the skin tone where the tattoo will reside as I could get in the yellow lighting of my computer area. Now, I have no idea if they will be able to get these colors or not. I suppose they'll let him know when he goes to get it done. He asked if I wanted to be there for it, and I said I'd pass, but now I'm reconsidering. If I do go I'll once again document the process with photos and upload them afterward.

Now on to my second project.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Illustration Friday: "Sprouts"

I came very close to not doing this one. Very, very close. Mainly because the word of the week – "Sprout" – didn't resonate with my creative head goo. But then I decided to make something, anything, no matter how lame or (and this is the key) strange. Done without sketching, entirely in Photoshop in about a half hour.

Illustration Friday "Sprout"


And no, I don't know what corner of my head this idea came from. For what it's worth the original plan was "Cow Sprouts" but a pig was easier to make. The bowl and the fork came close to the end of the process and the original text was going to be "Finish your piggy sprouts and you can have a cookie!" but I decided it was too wordy.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Artsy-Fartsy stuff

This idea has been rattling around in my brainpan for the last two weeks, so I finally had to do something with it. I hope you like it.

Just Another Manic Monkey


If you really, really like it you can buy a journal with it printed on the cover from this link: Manic Monkey Journal. And if you find anything else that you would like to purchase that would be great. I just recently found out that CafePress forgot to resume charging me for my store back in August of last year when my billing information was changed and I know as soon as they figure it out, they'll be wanting all those months paid up immediately.

"In the pipe" I have a tattoo to design for my brother, Trevor, and I have a logo design to develop for my newly discovered half-sister, Jamie. Also there's one more thing like "Manic Monkey" that is beating against my grey matter, trying to find a way out. I'm on vacation next week, so I should be able to find the time to at least get those three things well and truly started if not done.

I've also uploaded the "IF: Super Hero - color 2" movie to my Mac account. Because it was made with the "follow-the-cursor" option, I decided this time not to condense it and speed it up due to the crazy amount of motion that makes some people want to vomit. Un-condensed it's 19.5 minutes long and since I don't have a director's account with YouTube that means it won't be uploaded there. If you really want to see it, you can find it for download HERE and if you would rather watch it and not download it you can do that HERE. Well, technically you will still download it. You'll just also be able to watch it as it downloads. I hope to have the final part up next week, even if it takes me an hour of talking to get seven usable minutes for the audio.

There may or may not be a new Illustration Friday drawing tomorrow, depending on how tonight goes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tagged again, naturally.

ValGalArt has tagged me with the task of sharing six weird things about me with the world at large. Now, you would think that me being me, six things that are weird about me should just spring to mind like monkeys from a Trojan banana, but alas it's not the case. I'm having to struggle with this one. Especially after reading hers. My life hasn't been nearly as interesting. Still, I'll try.

---
When I was four years old we lived in Oklahoma. Being so young with nothing better to do, I decided at some point that I needed a hobby. I was still too young to build plastic models or cruise the strip looking for loose women, and stamps didn't interest me at all. However something else that was sticky did. There were these insects that appeared in the Spring or Summer that would cling to the trees, fences, houses, the slower elderly folk, etc. and then crawl out of their skins and wander off somewhere else leaving behind a shell of a bug. They might have been locusts. I don't know. I was four. I do remember thinking their skins were mighty cool looking and they were just there for the taking so I would spend my time hunting for locust skins. I learned to be real careful because they were fragile. If you just snatched them from a tree or whatever they would at the very least lose their legs if not cave in altogether. By the end of the season I must have had at least fifty skins – a few still occupied with dead bugs that didn't make it out – and I stored them in a cardboard box that I kept under my bed. Then my mom cleaned my room one day and found the box. As she tells it she saw the box, wondered what was inside, pulled it out, shook it a bit and then opened it. I'm sure there was screaming shortly after and then it was time to find a new hobby.
---
I wrote about this before, but I feel it counts as weird so I'm writing about it again. I came to the conclusion when I was five that school was for suckers. My mom was working and I was staying with a babysitter who had a dog that bit through my ear... but that's not the point. The point is this sitter allowed me to walk alone to kindergarden after the first couple weeks. She only lived a few blocks away from the school and it was still the early 70s. For whatever reason I decided I'd had enough of school and would be better off spending my time playing in a nearby drainage ditch than allowing myself to be educated. It was an awesome drainage ditch. The school playground had nothing on it. There were all kinds of concrete blocks to climb around on, sand to play in, and I could hear the school bell from where I was so I would know when to head back to the sitter's house. It was a wonderful three days that ended with my mom storming my over the blocks and sand, dressed in her business clothes and yelling bloody murder. Who knew the school would miss me? They had all those other kids who certainly were still attending and...ohmygod!hereshecomes! RUN!
---
After those two, this is probably a bit boring, but I have a freckle right in the middle of my lower lip. And a small mole centered right under my belly button. And another freckle that I won't talk about other than to say it's down the middle of me too. Also I made the discovery, after they shaved my head at Basic Training, that there was a circular spot about half the size of a dime on my forehead that didn't grow any hair except for one strand right in the middle. The spot has since vanished due to a receding hairline, so you'll have to take my word on it. And on that other freckle. And so far I have never broken a bone that I know of, although I have cut my eyelid open, impaled my knee on a nail in a fence I was climbing and cut the tip of my thumb off at work.
---
I didn't have any interest in the Super Bowl this year. Or last year. Or any year with the exception of when the Broncos have played, and then it was more of a matter of state pride than a desire to watch football. Or any other televised sport. I'm not a "sports" guy. I can enjoy watching sports, but pretty much only when there isn't something else I'd rather be doing. Make that "some sports." I never enjoy watching baseball or basketball. Or soccer. Or golf. And on the rare occasion when I've bowled, I was playing a game and not participating in a sport. Bowling against me is sporting almost as much as putting a "kick me!" sign on a blind paraplegic's wheeled cart. If I break 90 it's a woo-hoo moment. I can't just watch bowling. I'm totally lacking whatever gene it is that most men and a surprising number of women seem to have that drives them to watch sports. I feel that professional athletes are horribly, grossly overpaid for what they do. I feel that any athlete that makes over $1Meeeeelion dollars in a year should donate the excess to the public school districts they attended while growing up, rather than spend it on mansions, cars, jewelry, drugs, guns and hookers. But hey, that's me.
---
This one is Heather's suggestion. She says I'm weird because I'm not ticklish. When I was a kid I was horribly ticklish. If you approached me and just made your fingers do the tickle gesture I would roll up into a ball and giggle uncontrollably. That's faded over the years to the point where about the only way I can be tickled is if I'm not expecting it and then only for about a second or two. In a way it's like nails on a chalkboard. That was a noise that I couldn't stand as a child. Until... One day in 5th or 6th grade I happened to have one of those plastic balls that vending machine toys come in and the teacher had left the room for some reason. All of the kids were talking or tossing things back and forth and I got the idea that my contribution to the chaos would be to take the clear hard half of that ball and scrape it down the length of the chalkboard. You should have heard it. EVERYONE stopped talking. And the odd thing was even though I expected to cringe as well it was as if seeing how everyone else reacted to the noise cured me of being bothered by it. So I did it again with the same results. The power was mine! It got to the point where it became a weapon I would use against kids who annoyed me. One kid thought I was pretty tough with my half-a-plastic egg thingie, so he dared me to use only my fingernails figuring that would topple me from my throne as "that kid who makes the chalkboard scream all the damned time." Hah! Instead I learned that using my nails didn't bother me either. It did at first, but I powered through and took all five fingers from as high as I could reach on the board down to the chalk tray. He may have been crying when I finished. I don't really remember.
---
And, finally, the last weird thing about me – there's nothing else so don't bother looking or pointing anything out – is that usually, if I find a spider in my house I don't kill it. I catch it and release it outside a good distance from the house. "A good distance" usually translates to "as far as it'll fly from my back door" depending on if I have my shoes on. It also depends on the type of spider, of course. If I don't recognize what type it is, or I do and it's poisonous, it dies. Otherwise it's catch and release. Why? I don't know. I'll kill a fly and I've gassed ants by the dozens, but spiders usually get treated better. Except for one that Jordyn found during one of our blizzards a few weeks ago. It was a wolf spider and I caught it in a cup as usual, but then I took it to the back door and looked out at the snow. Jordyn was with me. She expressed concern that it was too cold for it to be tossed outside. But what could I do? I couldn't keep it. So I opened the door and tossed it out onto the snow on the steps while assuring her that it would be fine. It landed, took maybe one step and then curled up. Oops. She said. "Are you sure he'll be okay? He looks dead." Fortunately I was able to fall back on my Monty Python training and I said, "No. No. He's not dead. He's just resting." Luckily she hasn't seen the dead parrot sketch yet. And I don't know, perhaps it was just reacting to the cold by hibernating after a fashion and later it would have been fine. If another five inches of snow hadn't fallen on top of it.
---

There you go. I'm supposed to tag 6 other people with this, however I'm not sure if I even have six regular readers anymore. So I'll just suggest a few people and if you see this post and want to do it, great. If not that's fine too.

Heather
Derek
Justin C.
Pat Angello
Trashman
Mark Maynard

And here are the "rules":

"Each person that gets tagged needs to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as clearly stating this rule. After you state your 6 weird things, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you're tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for info as to what it means."

Friday, February 02, 2007

The thoughts in my head go round and round.

Okay, I have two thoughts to share with you today. More like questions really. Ponderings. One occurred to me in the car and the other while at work. Both may have answers, but as usual I'm too lazy to look them up. Google be damned.

Ready or not, here they are (well, I guess if you aren't ready you could pause for a few seconds before reading on):

When it comes to writing out US currency, why is it that we put dollar signs at the front of the amount – $25 – and cent signs in the back – 25¢ – ? Are we the only country that does this? I notice that other countries (Nigeria is the first to spring to mind) put the dollar sign after the amount – 25035423US$ – which if you are reading it out loud kinda makes sense:

"I have twenty-five million, thirty-five thousand, four-hundred-twenty-three U.S. dollars just waiting for me in a bank in Nigeria."

Not "I have U.S. dollars twenty-five million, thirty-five thousand, four-hundred-twenty-three just waiting for me in a bank in Nigeria."

Derek figured that the cent sign follows the amount because cents come after the decimal in a dollar amount – $25.35¢ – but that doesn't sound likely to me. And I can't tell you how many times I've had an Account Executive give me a disclaimer that stated something to the effect of the cost per mile over the lease allowable was .21¢ per mile. So... what? about 1/5th of a penny? That doesn't sound too bad. Oh! You mean twenty-one cents! I see. That's not as good.

---

The other thought I had delves into religion, an area I'm really unqualified to be delving in, but what the heck. That hasn't stopped me in the past.

I was thinking about how the Christian religions believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth and usher in the end times. Now, the thought was this: Would the returned Jesus be a Christian? Or would he be non-denominational? When he left earth the first time he was Jewish, correct? Is the supposition that in the past couple of thousand years he's had time to change his mind? And how would that work, exactly?

"This is Bill Jibbowanski reporting to you live from the second coming of Jesus Christ, taking place at this non-descript IHOP in Boise, Idaho where for the past two weeks His image has been appearing on all of the pancakes along with the slogans "coming soon" and "be seeing you". Crepes too, I've just been told. There's quite a crowd gathered here, as you might well imagine, however I hope to be able to ask Jesus a tough question that I'm sure you – the viewers at home – want asked. I think I see Him. Yes. The crowd is parting and there He is! Jesus! JESUS! Yo! JESUS! Bill Jibbowanski; Channel 5 news! Can you please tell me: Do you consider yourself a born-again Christian, or do you still cling to your Jewish beliefs?"

"Hi Bill! That's a question that doesn't have an easy answer. I think I still identify with the Jewish faith, however Christianity does bring up a valid point. I believe strongly in Me and My Second Coming because, hey, here I am! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a host of angels to organize, flight plans to arrange for the near simultaneous upward exodus of millions of true believers and then I have to kick some evil ass. Be seeing you."

"Thank you Jesus, and godspeed. Well there you have it folks. Jesus has returned and He's a man on a mission with little time for chit-chat. Back to you Cynthia."

---

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh shi™! It's Thursday!

I've been too busy to draw anything for Illustration Friday this week, even though I had an idea I liked. Nuts. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."