Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hiking is awesome

1) The best part of putting up an animation is the ensuing wave of comments/e-mails/IMs/messages from people who’ve watched it telling me what they liked about it. I even got a phone call from one of my friends who had just watched it. The consensus seems to be that the music is the most note-worthy thing. Followed by the buildings as dominos and ROBOphelia’s energetic behavior. And of course the best part was watching it with Stephanie on Tuesday and hearing her laugh.

2) While we’re talking about lego stuff. I finally got around to tking pictures of all the microscale buildings I made for the animation.

Click on the picture to read my full write-up about them on MOCpages (w/ more pictures). Also I made the most elusive couple ever.

Man, Carmen Sandiego is so awesome, it’s hard to handle sometimes. I guess that’s the benefit of being fictional, you don’t have to get bogged down worrying about what ‘s possible. Here’s a great quote from the cartoon where she was voiced by Rita Moreno, “Think out your plan like a woman of action, then act out your plan like a woman of thought.”

3) One last lego thing. Since I’ve already finished the next NNN video I’ve got some time to relax before focusing on making the next one. So instead of building sets, recording voices, storyboarding, or animating this weekend I finally attacked one of the bins of unsorted lego where I throw the remnants of sets after I harvest the pieces I want from them. I put in some DVDs and spent a few good hours doing that Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Also did 4 loads of laundry, now I’m ready to spend the next few weekends working on animation.

4) So what were the DVDs I watched you ask? Well I rewatched Spirited Away, the plot was much easier to follow the second time through, not as ridiculous as I first thought. I wonder what the process for making a Miyazaki movie is. Does Miyazaki just think of different scenes/characters that would look awesome and then slowly stitch a story around them? I mean this movie is beautiful, and it’s certainly not a poorly stitched amalgam of isolated scenes and plots or anything like that. I just wonder if he thought “Alright my next movie is going to have a train that seems to glide across the surface of an ocean, also a giant muddy monster that gets a bunch of pollution pulled out of it, a bunch of adorable soot monsters, some dragon (or sky snake as Stephanie and I have dubbed Eastern dragons) riding of course, and let’s not forget the giant baby.who lives in a pile of pillows and later gets turned into a hampster. Now how do I put those together?“

5) The other thing I watched was the first disc of Angel Season 2. It’s off to a good start. I haven’t cared much for the individual plots of any of the first few episodes, but the show just knows what it’s doing now. Lorne (that’s the lounge-singer demon/psychic who can tell you your future, but only if you sing karaoke first) is starting to pop up regularly. They’ve moved their office into an abandoned hotel, which is way more stylish than the last place. Gunn is actually being integrated with the rest of the cast. Darla is making me care about Angel’s existence, though right now it’s only to be annoyed with him. And Cordelia continues to be awesome and is certainly benefiting from not having to carry the entire show any more. And for this week’s clip of Angel doing something embarrassing – singing Mandy.
6) I’ve run out of segues so I’m going to revert to boring old chonology for the rest. On Thursday I hung out with Robert. We were going to try to go to Target free Thursdays at the art museum and see the Modern wing. But he ended up having to show his apartment to potential roommates. So instead I went over to his apartment and we had dinner sitting on the carpet and played a few games of Fluxx.

Fluxx is a card game where the rules and goals are constantly changing. About a fourth of the cards are cards you play to change the rules – how many cards you draw and play per turn, how many you can have in your hand or on the table etc. My favorite rule was “first play random”. There are also action cards that let you do things like steal cards, pull cards out of the discard pile, eliminate rules and generally cause mayhem. Then were the cards you played on the table, they were just nouns like cookies, dreams, the brain, etc. They did not do anything exciting. The goal cards usually involved collecting two specific nouns, although there were a couple more inspired ones as well. While the game is not as crazy as Mao, it is still pretty cool.

7) Then he showed me these two awesome hilarious faux-informational books – Science Made Stupid and Cvltvre Made Stupid. They are basically modeled on textbooks, but everything in them is utterly and hilariously false. Oh how I laughed and laughed. I still haven’t read through the culture book, but for the Science book at least I agree with Robert that the more you know, the funnier it is. Allow me to quote “OVERVIEW OF BOOK” “BAGELS” “etc.” And the thing I can’t to justice to are the hilarious illustrations of imaginary animals, ridiculous diagrams and fake advertisements. But don’t take my word for it, you can read them online here. (You could order them, but they are out of print and therefore very expensive).
8) Last Friday I went on an awesome recording for work. We were interviewing my color vision professor about his latest research into how colors are represented in the brain. It was awesome and made me remember what I loved about studying Neuroscience.

9) Crazy 3D-seeming murals (via Seth)

10) I rented a Zipcar from Friday night till Saturday night so Stephanie, Paul and I could go hiking on Saturday. On Friday night I used the car to go to Target and buy a new microwave (my old one became possessed), a lamp for my bedroom, and other such Target purchases. I also went to Trader Joe's. On Saturday morning we drove up to the North Branch trail system and then we hiked about 5.5 miles. Along the way we ventured through Bugopolis, pumped water by hand lost the yellow trail briefly, saw hoodlums on bicycles and debated about chipmunks (among other things). Then we had a lovely picnic of chips and pita and hummus and salsa and grapes and mini muffins and rice pudding. We saw a Bald Eagle! Then we drove back and took naps. I took the car to Jewel for more groceries before returning it. All in all it was an awesome day.

other things from the car - target and lots of groceries

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