may 2 2009 watching pelicans crash into the ocean, they twist a certain way just before they hit the water.
april 18 1210am just in from a walk, that fat calico next door says hello. you know when you get sick with one thing and it seems to knock down the floodgates for everything else to go wrong with your health all at once? that sort of just happened. i'm getting better now but there's still something wrong with my eyes and i think i need a dr. about 1000 drawings into this little cartoon and i should be ready to shoot everything in a few weeks. also been bouncing back to LA for final color work getting "i am so proud of you" ready for dvd. been playing with the soundtrack too.. as usual i wasn't satisfied with the theater mix and am also pushing a few lines around, a little bit of this and that. it's been really windy. i have ice cream. on tv a show about belgian ufo sightings they presented a bunch of evidence and it was the sort of thing that when i was little i'd be going, "of course! of course!" while today i just figured it's probably just false rader blips caused by thermal inversions. and i can't tell if i'm smarter now or just less happy. the last few weeks have reverted back to quiet and boring and blurry, i draw, i read, i walk, i sleep. a lot of travel coming up in june so have to get a lot done now. my brother is having a baby which is the sort of news that reminds you how everything is always changing even when it doesnt quite seem like it
april 3 chest cold, courtesy of girlfriend. dreamt this morning: a pair of hunters sneak out every night to hunt possums for their family. ewoks
also live in this area and hunt. they usually dig possums from out of the ground at one specific area around a chain link fence and they would be average size... or they could take a risk and dig from another area that sometimes yields very big possums but also sometimes very small ones.
they can't tell its size in the night, they just have to throw the possum into the sack and run home. so this night they take a chance at the other location, sack a possum, and run home. when they get there they open it up and its just a little baby possum and everyone is disappointed. how will they eat tonight? then there's a knock on the door. and it's an ewok! he's followed them and he smiles and takes a big possum out of his sack for everyone to share. yaaay! everyone cheers and says you know that ewok is a great guy. this is possibly the dumbest dream i've had in years.
march 30 michigan was short but sweet, i think our largest single-show audience yet in a beautiful theater of 1200+ that made me feel pretty fancy... am told we came within striking distance of selling more tickets than anything in the festival's 47 year history. hello and thanks to everyone who turned up and made long journeys... am half unpacked and already back to work here but this was a nice break, one of just a few more trips i can fit for the rest of the year; drunken conversations under strange lights, great people, harpooning ghost children next to the ping pong table, and as it was my mother's birthday, asking everyone packed in the lobby shoulder to shoulder to sing into a phone.
march 17 2009 chipping away at the dvd for "i am so proud of you"... hope to be at a place with it tomorrow or the next day when i can switch over and get back to animating the little short again... releasing dvds has got to be the most boring part of this whole process.
a question i got a lot on tour was about the scene in the movie with the conversation about time...
how the passing of time is just an illusion... that the past, present, and future don't exist because every moment in eternity is actually taking place at once, and will always be taking place. we just experience life as only going in one direction. anyway, yes, this is all true, at least according to the physics books.
it's helpful to think of time as a static landscape that you are driving through in one direction,
with every moment in your life all laid out like landmarks. the things
behind you donít suddenly cease to exist just because youíve driven past
them - just as the things far ahead of you are there right now even though
you havenít reached them yet.
march 16 dream last week involved a citywide celebration with thousands of christmas lights, trolley cars, and people dressed as revolutionary soldiers, some sort of gay cabaret, pulling horribly long thorned needles and burrs from the bottoms of my feet, and telling david lynch about run-dmc.
march 8 2009
i am often asked why i don't do commercials or ad campaigns or music videos and why i've turned down small fortunes from the corporate universe in favor
of just carrying on with my own things. i like to take walks. i like hiking in the woods around here and climbing the foothills and
exploring the coast. it clears my head. i find new things. it's something i'll probably always enjoy doing.
comes along and says hey, i hear you like to take walks. how about i pay you to walk? you just have to walk around my house in
circles for eight hours a day wearing a sandwich board that has a picture of my product on it. no, i'd rather just walk through the woods and explore my own places
out there, thanks.
but what difference does it make? as
long as you're walking, why not make a lot of money from it at the same time?
because money's not the reason i take walks. it doesn't really factor into it. i take walks because i enjoy doing it. it's something i'd do if i was rich and it's something i'd do if i were poor.
i guess maybe someone might pay me to walk
around in the woods someday but i'm gonna keep doing it anyway.
looking for a new place to live. i'm not sure about renting someone's house,
it seems strange and what if he comes over and is like "are you taking good care of my bathtub?" they are redoing many of the
fences on the block and with all of them gone for the moment you can see clear down the street from back parking lot to parking lot and
all the neighborhood kids careen straight through on bicycles and scooters as though they've been let out of prison
feb 27 shot some pencil tests the other night and i'm surprised at how sharp it's looking so far...
i think this little thing is going to eventually total about 4 minutes.
every few years i need to rewatch all of chaplins films and i
think that time might be now.
stanley kubrick's boxes: 1,
feb 21 a spam thing just wrote this to me:
in her wrath,
yet the Grey King had slain her and the Drowned God had changed her bones to stone
If you would nod when he comes in Id be thankful.
Does Lanny know that you are here?
there's so much to do here it's hard to know where to begin but i guess the dishes are always a safe bet. outside is overcast with screaming children.
it looked like there was a person crying on a motorcycle
february 18 4:17am back in santa barbara and for the first time in five months will spend more than two weeks in a row at home. draw draw draw, more travel to plan, sugar and caffeine. i should also start forging the "proud" dvd i guess. my apt is full of boxes.
tonight: "your rocky spine" by the great lake swimmers. last night was dominoes and nobody really remembered how to play so we sort of made it up. back in a sec
i wish in blue i wish in red i wish i had a better head
febr9 3:26am about 300 drawings into this thing and it's coming along good, this one will be animated straight on through. hail against the windows tonight and cats under beds. soon i will be lord of the cats which is sort of like lord of the dance only with cats. these were the best nine words i read last week: "she then fell in love with an archery bow."
feb 2 2:47am back in the bay area. one of the cats totally loves grape nut flakes. i misheard a song lyric as "we are floating in the mist of uzbekistan" and had to write it down
january 30 it's a stone cold drag i won't be able to keep touring as hoped but this short side project jumped out of nowhere and i just couldn't say no... it's gonna be weird to already have another piece finished by summer. more news to come. gabe had a row of theaters all ready to go for us but it seems i'll be stuck indoors this spring instead, my apologies all around, i know some of you were looking forward to the program and/or stalking me in person with hammers and rolled up copies of cat fancy, we'll have to say hello at a later date. for now its back to work, work work
january 21 photo by mike plante, taken with a camera submerged in glass of ice water
january 19 hi from sundance. having a hard time sleeping but meeting a lot of good people. i got a picture with robert redford but i was making a horrible face so i replaced it here with a kitty
january 12 banging the rust off, been animating for the last two weeks. not ch3, this thing on the side i cant yet talk about. it's been months since ive been back in the saddle but so far so good. when i'm not working i hear the sound of death in the middle of the night
it sounds alot like the freeway in the distance.
i just read an article that only needed to contain this single beautiful sentence: "Without hesitation the teacher reached down and picked up Zhengís cheek skin, put it on his face, and instructed the boy to go home immediately."
"Not much chance, completely cut loose from
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the way to somewhere.
And it began to snow.
And the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
He sat at the counter
with the others and
he ordered. The
food arived and the meal was
good. And the
The waitress was
unlike the women
She was unaffected, and
there was a natural
humor which came
And the fry cook said
And the dishwasher
laughed, a good
And the young man watched
the snow through the
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
The curious feeling
swam through him
it would always
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
And the young man
thought, I'll just stay
here. I'll just stay
he rose and followed
the others into the
He found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
And then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
The young man
He heard the other
of other things,
or they were
And they hadn't
And the young man
put his head to
There was nothing
else to do -
just to listen to the
sound of the
the sound of the
january 1 2009
xmas morning found me valiantly
driving through hailstorms to sfo at 430 in the morning
listening to "revolver" really loud, thus preventing me falling asleep
and plunging off a bridge. ive written some music for chapter 3 and been making little stabs at other things in different directions. sundance in two weeks. happy new year to you
december 14 lots of things floating around.. instead of chapter 3 or the tv thing i might first leapinto a third, uncharted project... the stars seem to be lining up in that direction. i'm also chipping away at this graphic novel on the sidelines and i suppose we should also start thinking about a dvd release for i am so proud of you. 2009 is shaping up busy. it just started raining. there's a short but beautiful sequence concerning lost, deranged penguins in encounters at the end of the world
december 3 2008 a final three screenings in a rowand suddenly the fall tour is over: 16 cities, 25 q+a's, 11 states, too many airports, and more people than i have ever met in my entire life. LA played host to a really satisfying ending,
we added a midnight show after the first two sold-out too soon, meaning the final q+a didn't begin until past 1am,
and then running much later and being way better than expected having just done two, everyone then hanging out long enough to say hello to prevent our crawling back to santa barbara until past 5. thanks to the full house of you taking monday sick days, to those who drove great distances, and a big thank you to sundance's mike plante for soldiering through three q+a's with me up there in one long night. thanks also must go to cinefamily for plying the last two houses with free beer.
i think we may have forgotten to take photos but here is a picture from last week in denver, in which i am apparently casting some manner of evil spell on our moderator
november 27 2008 began rewriting and organizing the scattered moments and scenes ive collected for chapter 3 tonight .. i think i know the movie's structure and have about 1/3 of the story now. it's not enough to drive me all agitated onto the animation desk yet, but it's feeling really confident tonight after i tossed a few things and put the rest in order
nove,ber 25 finally home again from all of this madness. denver provided i think the longest q+a chat of the tour and also actually one of the best, keeping me in there for over an hour. pictures below from nyc and denver. three more screenings in one night are next in LA this sunday. the photo in the thirdrow is me in a francis bacon
Because, just then, death had come and rested its head on the foot of the cot and he could smell its breath.
"Never believe any of that about a scythe and a skull", he told her.
"It can be two bicycle policemen as easily, or be a bird. Or it can have a wide snout like a hyena."
It had moved up on him now, but it had no shape anymore. It simply occupied space.
"Tell it to go away."
It did not go away but moved a little closer.
"You've got a hell of a breath," he told it. "You stinking bastard."
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
november 21 a few fantastic days off in nyc with friends old and new + three soldout screenings in one blurry night and suddenly we're in denver staring down the second to last night of the tour, not quite wanting to go home but running out of clothes and skin moisture. i really thought i'd be cranky and exhausted and full of flus and colds by this point but it's all been amazing fun and schedules permitting there's a very good chance now we'll try to do this all over again in spring 09 with a new tour leg into areas we weren't able to hit this time around. laying low today, ny times interview and looking out the window, denver is thirsty and today's hotel soap smells vaguely of bubble gum
november 16 hello from a chilly nyc. i bought a cool coat though so it's ok. pennsylvania and rochester went by fast and here's a bunch of photos to catch up. i can't remember now where some of these came from but credit to aron wilkinson blanc for the two big ones
november 13 hello from pennsylvania. atlanta screening was stuffed with good people and went reallygreat, with possibly one of the best q+a chats of the tour so far despite the fact i literally did not sleep the night before. or possibly because of that fact. afterwards i got an ice cream and i cant remember much else. here are a few picturesfrom atl. we are in three cities this week.
november10 hello from atlanta. the tour kicked off all over again friday night in calgary, from whence today's flight
didn't make a whole lot of geographic sense but we continue to be surrounded by great people and are recharged and ready to keep rolling now with tomorrow's show. calgary sold out and went fantastic, though the weather seems to dry out our heads. here's more pics so far
":We won't let the sun go down, We gonna chase the demons out of town."
november 4 2008::: no more lies, no more torture, no more murdering the environment, no more illegal wars, no more anti-intellectualism, no more zealotry, no more fear.
oct 31 briefly home again.
it's beautiful here tonight, overcast but warm and still. monday i've got a tv meeting in los angeles and friday we go right back out on the road for most of november. more interviews, errands, and catching up this week. the new acme novelty library book (number 19) is amazing.
here's pictures from omaha
oct 28 tour pictures from missouri + chicago. gabe and roxy took some:
oct 26 to the 750 strong from the first screening at the music box friday, thank you. that was really one of the best times i've had with an audience anywhere and will be hard to top. it also marked the longest chat we've done onstage so far, at an hour plus... after the encore show and saying hi to everyone we didn't crawl out of the theater until past 2 in the morn but all felt worth it. yesterday i bought about a dozen books; today we're going to museum hop and tomorrow, omaha. i somehow managed to do something terrible and mysterious to my back yesterday and i can't bend. is it really going to snow today? will try and get pictures on here tonight
october 24 hello from beautiful chicago. trying to rest up today and looking forward to a really nice walk. have been reading a lot of books out here on the road... recommended: bottomless belly button by dash shaw and fluffy by simone lia
october 21 a long travel day, my stomach is angry. the ride to columbia was dark blue/gray and my ipod decided to play the soundtrack to koyaanisqatsi as i stared into all the neighboring cars and counted the stripmall parking lots along the freeway. there are not many stars here and when iclose my eyes i see blurring lights going west-east. ive begun to write a little in the hotel room tonight.
austin is always a great time and you can't really beat screening at the alamo. 2 more sold out shows and an unnecessary amount of meat and cheese later and i am briefly back at home now before the next leg of the tour, scurrying around w/ errands and mailing things + interviews upon interviews. i had a brief layover in phoenix, which smelled like cinnamon.
the quote of the day: hi Don,
do you have any idea why Hilton sent me a bill for your room, and two others... under the names "Dragon" and "Goran"?
a few days ago we learned there's no tickets left for saturday in austin so we're adding another screening. the last two in WA sold out tuesday and we met some good people in bellingham. the adrenaline seems to have kicked in this week, we're up to eight sold out houses in a row, and now just trying to stay healthy for the next 12 (or 13?)
here's pictures from the northwest and some from today, thanks and hello again to everybody out there. tonight we played bingo. i can't remember anymore what order these go in. roxy took some and matt took the one in front of the theater
october 4 there is a long wall mural of happy people hurtling through the sky in the eugene airport.
sleepy but soldiering forward. just got into portland and have a strange early showtime today that i need to get ready for in twenty minutes. we did a late show last night in eugene, more people than the theater had apparently ever seated before and they had to turn away over 100 others at the door. rather sorry about that, i got to say hi to a few of you outside and next time we will find a much bigger venue. a great audience, the talk afterwards was quite different from last weekend as we had no functioning microphones in there, so was on my feet using my theater voice, a bit shaggy but all went very well. we are now enforcing a new rule for patrons, pants must stay on at all times. a big thank you to matt for repeatedly saving the day in more ways than one through the last 36 hrs. i have learned a lot about ducks and nutrias. photos soon.
portland sold out last night and we're told there's already no tickets left for either of the two seattle screenings tomorrow... the bets are now on for which city breaks the opening streak of five sellouts. i was not expecting this (don't you people have hobbies?_) and everyone has been really sweet. i've seen "proud" perform a few times now and am getting a sense of its rhythms with the audience and it's been fantastic talking to people. yesterday's post-film chat could be kindly described as avant garde, answering questions through a portable amp and crippled mic that made me sort of sound like a CB radio in a vat of acid, under theater house lights that could not be turned up any brighter than very dark red. so portland was treated to a very unique interview from a dimly lit maroon shrieking bug, who was at least geniunely happy to be there. roxy and i packed up the film prints and were back on the road bright + early this morning up to seattle, where rooms are spinning and i'm about ready to pass out and spend half of tomorrow as a sleeping day. so far the worst of the trip has been trying to fall asleep in hotel rooms which i guess means things have been going rather well. my left ear is really hot.
this a search string that apparently led someone to bitterfilms.com: "old foreign film nude girls in glass tubes". now i kind of want to see that movie
1 down 15 to go. the santa barbara screening was packed and sweaty. i forgot to bring my camera so it will have to live on in our memories. i'm still mildly surprised the new movie is even finished and up there. thank you for not sweating on me and for driving great distances and for being the first audience to see it with me and for banging on windows and for filling the crummy seats on the sides when there was nothing left. this weekend is eugene, portland, seattle, bellingham, and then to austin. this is gonna be fun i think. moreinterviews and packing tomorrow. there were two ants in my shower. from the back of the theater everyone looked like a sea of blue glowing portable devices.