Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Recap

Well, November is officially over. I didn't quite make it to 50,00 words, but I did write over 40,000, which is still a good amount for a month. There's still a bunch of scenes that need to be written, but it's getting to the point where I know what they are and can actually see having a rough draft finished some time next year. Now that I'm in the writing mode I will be writing more regularly. I'm going to officially make it a goal to write 10,000 words for each month until I've got a rough draft done. 10,00 words is something I could pound out in a couple days if I needed to, so this is not an unreasonable goal. I'm also planning to do script frenzy in April to plow through a majority of the first season of NNN, but that's another issue. My current artisitc focus is on finishing the first episode.
And I now have the legos to do it! When my parent's drove out fro Thanksgiving they brought all the legos from the Pennsylvania collection and my apartment is now overflowing with them. Here's an illustrative picture:

The pile on the right is the basic red bricks I had in Chicago, the pile on the left is what just came from PA. Not all of the colors and divisions are quite this uneven, but I think it give a good sense of the magnitude of the two collections. Needless to say there is a lot of sorting to be done. I did the minimum necessary to get them from covering my bedroom, but there is still much to be done.
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, Mom and Dad got in on Tuesday and after work I met them downtown and then we came up here to unload the Legos and eat at Leona's (so good!). I had to work Wednesday, but I met them and J-P downtown after and we had an early dinner at Mambo Grill (I accidentally ordered the spiciest chicken ever, but everything else was great) then we did the last bit of shopping at Jewel and picked up the turkey. J-P and I played Mario Kart for a while while Dad took a nap and Mom made cocoa throwdowns. On Thursday I slept wonderfully late, they arrived around noon and we had a late breakfast of cinnamon rools and bacon and sausage and then spent the afternoon getting everything ready for dinner at 5. After the meal we decided we were too lazy to go to a moive and instead watched the first 9 episodes of 30 Rock Season 2. On Friday I didn't sleep too late, then I went downtown and had lunch with Mom and Dad at the food court next door. We took the free trolley down to Millenium Park, where I showed them the bean and the big faces. Then we walked to this German outdoor market in Daley plaza where mom bought an angel ornament and I bought a big soft pretzel. It was very crowded. (There was a choclate & marzipan stall which I'm sure Alex would be interested in.) Then we walked back to the hotel, I took a nap in J-P's room while he got room service and played WoW. We debated our dinner plans and eventually decided to go back to my place for left-overs (plus corn and zucchini thing that we didn't make the day before.) Then we returned downtown and saw Slumdog Millionaire. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I bid them farewell and headed home.
Yesterday I barely went outside, spent a good amount of time writing (that's when I got to 40 K) and sorting and storing the legos. Today I put together my powerpoint presentation for the talk I'm giving tomorrow night. I also called Lila, amazingly just as she was preparing to open the package I sent her. We talked for a goo long while and decided that while we won't be able to see each other around Christmas and New Year's we will plan a weekend in February. All in all it has been a wonderful long weekend, during which I barely thought about work (except for this dream/nightmare where our office was inexplicably competing in a Science compettion).
Back to the regular 10 a day tomorrow.

Pinpuraptorant Regins Supreme!

Having disposed of slithery cat and tiktaalik off-screen, the Pinpuraptorant stalks its voted-for prey:

Aerial battle!

Totally dismembered!

But who's sneaking up from behind?

Someone who doesn't know about that Pinpuraptorant's tails are poisoned...

that's who.

The shrill cry of Tiger Plume fills the air like an exclamation point... or maybe that's the plume

it flies through the air, without any assistance from my hand

Its back end is conveniently off camera

Oh no! It has gotten its jaw on Pinpuraptorant's succulent head

But wait... our hero is bending back

and flipping over!

and gives a mighty kick!

Knocking tiger plume into the bottomless abyss!

Victory Pose!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I get things done (eventually)

So I took the day off from work so I could finally finally finally get my Illinois Driver's License:

Not a bad picture, if I say so myself. Why did I say finally three times? Because it's been almost a year since my parents brought me my birth certificate so I've had all the necessary documents for quite some time and have been meaning to do it ever since. Also, almost exactly 6 months ago I bought a Lego set and attached three goals in an attempt to hold back my Lego spending or to incentivize myself to get things done. It only took me a couple weeks to finish the first goal, catching up on the blog. The summer came and went and I moved and then I finally finished the the Lego animation that had started out as a birthday present for someone last October. And now that I have my license the set is finally complete.

While I don't think it was a total disaster, I do think that 6 months is a bit long of a turn-around time. Also it didn't really keep me from buying other lego in the mean-time. So I am revising the sytem and switching the order. From now on I will prohibit myself from buying Lego until I have reached a goal. And after cheating on my vision test today I have decided that my next goal will be to get glasses (or contacts I guess... but just the thought of putting contacts in makes me squeamish, so I don't see how that could be something I do on a daily basis). I spent some time this evening trying to figure out how the vision part of my medical insurance works, but the Humana website is not very helpful. I have sent an e-mail.

I didn't get much else done today. I forgot to set and alarm so I woke up at 10. Then I went and got my license and then I swung by the Lego Store and used my $50 gift certificate. However, most of it was spent on a christmas gift for Isaiah. I picked up this recycle truck because I can always use more orange, (especially since the first few episodes of NNN involve a war between orange and green) and because I am thinking about using that torso as the prisoner uniform for the prison in episode 1 and wanted to see what it looked like before ordering 40 or so of them from bricklink. Then I went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things for dinner and mango slices because I can always use more.

Stephanie came over for dinner (and Okami and Pushing Daisies and Torchwood). I made tacos, delicious delicious tacos. And only one of them fell apart!

I only wrote like 300 words today, so I am now slightly more than a day behind on NaNoWriMo, but I 'm still moving forward and that's what counts. Hopefully I will be able to churn out like 10K this weekend and then I'll be set.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am 1/3 done NaNoWriMo

I am still a day behind where I should be, but at least I'm only a day behind. I'm at least keeping up so that I don't fall further behind. Also the night is still young. Here are some pictures of my office/desk.

Which monster is your favorite? Vote now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I have my own office now!

I have finally moved from the crowded room (5 computers) to the all but vacant room next door (1 desk, my desk). The room is gloriously sparse (it has to be because it's also our studio space [when there are recordings I will have to hide in the other room]).

There are lots of things I am leaving out everyday. Obviously I am excited about Obama, but what else is there to say. This page has the montage video CMIG put together in the middle of night last night (I was asleep at home). There's a great shot towards the end where a guy picks us a girl and spins her around.

My Prize Pack Arrived!

It contains:
3830: The Bikini Bottom Express
3831: Rocket Ride
4981: Chum Bucket
4982: Ms. Puff's Boating School
6 assorted Spongebob Keychains (I could have one for every one of my keys)
A $50 LEGO gift certificate!
5 loose spongebob mini-figs and 3 loose Patrick mini-figs (I will soon have an army of spongebobs to unleash on unsuspecting victims)
An orange Nicktoons Network 5th Animation contest tote bag
A festival t-shirt (not pictured)
A booklet listing all the winner fro mthe past 5 years and a DVD of them all
A letter of congratulations
Random promotional material
and a really cool brick-built trophy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3 - Still going strong

I got most of my day's NaNoWriMo requirement out of hte way on the train today. I forgot how exciting writing can be. It's kind of amzing the things that come to you when you aren't looking for them. I'm not sure where most of this came from for instance, but I like it.

Zarah's subjects always seemed to be holding something back from the viewer, even when they were looking you straight in the face. She painted watercolors of half naked women carrying jugs of water on the heads, poised with natural grace, she painted herself with eyes dark and open, she painted cacti that seemed to keep their own counsel, she painted the ladies Liberty and Justice and all the other women forced to bear the symbols of their oppressors and freed them from their prisons of copper and marble so they might stroll around the park or have a cup of tea in a bustling cafe. These last works in particular captivated me and failed to reveal their secrets. Had Zarah freed these symbols of Truth and Justice and The American Way from their status as symbols and given them human form? Or had she taken everyday women and invested them with the gravitas and layered meanings of the symbols? When I questioned her about it she smiled slyly and said, "Yes."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Skittles are tasty

Today was a nice relaxed day. I did laundry and the dishes and did some online shopping and wrote today's NaNoWriMo amount. I also got the two youtube videos of mine that were taken down for containing this song back up. I did this in two different ways. For the Ninja Battle one I used the AudioSwap feature on youtube to replace the audio with a copyright free song that they provided. It was really simple, you can check a box so that it only shows songs with a similar length as your video and then it's just a matter of choosing one and hitting audio swap. I did that for this one because I wanted to preserve the 32,000+ viewcount and because there wasn't any dialogue or anything that was being lost. For the one that was in the middle of "Lego Movie 2: Volume 1" I pulled the video into Final Cut and replaced the offending part with copyright free music from Soundtrack Pro. I also sped it up a bit to matche the music and because 5 FPS is SO SLOW! Yeah, I mean technically I made a 45 minute and a 60 minute movie, but the animation is so slow and choppy. They could each be watched in half that time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

About November

So here's the thing, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year. Actually doing it, not just pretending to do it and then giving up less than a week after it started like last year. But the thing is, if I'm going to be writing 1,667 words per day this month, I'm not going to have as much time for blogging, so I think for the month of November I will be doing 1 wonderful thing a day. And even then, it may just be a snippet of what I worte that day or a weekly post with a list of that week's wonderful things. We'll see how it goes.

I keep loading this page just to see my name there.

I've decided rather than open the advent calendar for advent I will open it every 1,667 words for NaNOWriMo. That way if I will also have time to plan out any daily animations I might want to do in December. (Because that's really what I'll want after a month of daily writing.

I don't know what today's one thing is, I spent most of the day in, writing and reading and doing dishes and eating candy. I went out for dinner with Tiffany and Seth at a place approximately in between our apartments. The food was good, but the service was weird.

It feels strange not having any numbers in the post.