Monday, February 20, 2017
Some of these babies are called "lead sleds". They're usually from the 1940s and have been heavily customized so that the '40s features are taken to an extreme. I love these, or anything sleek, classy, timeless, two-toned, chrome-bedecked, gleaming. I like cars that seem to have faces (all of them), or ferocious bared teeth. I like bulbousness. I find old cars voluptuous and even sexy. I have a "thing" for them, even though I don't drive. There's some sort of fetishy thing, there's a name for it - a woman married the Eiffel Tower, that sort of thing. I don't have that, but I have a small trace of it. Maybe more than a trace. Could I marry such a car? I could slide down its bulbousness. They call forth this feeling in me that I don't remember having before the last couple of years. Something must have happened to my brain.
A rather stupid animation I made in the middle of the night. I can't draw or paint worth a damn, or at least I think I can't. If I could, I could do my OWN animations from scratch, without using these stock figures. Surely I can draw cartoon figures like these ones? I like the white on black, since doing backgrounds is absolute agony. Originally, by the way, the figures were like this:
Sunday, February 19, 2017
It took me a while to track this down. There's a story behind it. I first heard the song at the end of a movie called Benny and Joon. Though I had mixed feelings about the movie (in spite of Johnny Depp's shabby cuteness as a sort of faux silent movie mime), the song grabbed me, as how could it not? It's that kind of song.
But I didn't hear it much at all until a couple weeks ago, when I was at a dance recital. Well, all right, my granddaughter's dance recital. And this was the music to one of the dances, and for some reason, slam. Right in the gut. I just cried and blubbered through the whole thing.
I'm not sure what it is. I originally thought the singer was a woman. I know almost nothing about this group. I don't know if I want to compare this version with the original, or not.
Oh, all right.
I posted an excerpt from this the other day. It is just too weird! I wondered if the entire episode might be on YouTube, and here it is. I initially thought: it's a hoax, it's redubbed. Or maybe it's just edited to look coincidental. But in watching the whole thing, the coincidences are downright weird.
It's about a man called Trump who comes to town predicting an attack on the townsfolk by a terrifying outside force. Only HE has the answer to protect them from this deadly threat: build a wall! The wall, quite predictably, comes at a price.
It all falls apart in the end, of course, but not before 99% of the townsfolk fall into line with his scheme. He is so convincing that normally law-abiding citizens are driven to break into the bank to finance his "wall".
What scared me most about this isn't the Trump character and his eerie similarity to you-know-who. It's the automatic knee-jerk reaction in the town, the rapid contagion of this stupid, senseless belief, and people's willingness and even need to unquestioningly fall into line and "obey".
They're sheep, as are most people. We're herd animals, or perhaps even flock animals, bird-brained. The con man's "wall", by the way, is so ridiculous that it's literally paper-thin. But until that moment of inevitable disillusionment, almost nobody doubts its power to save their world.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
For once, I grabbed the camera at the right time, while the pack was howling. I shot out the window, and as it was after midnight it wasn't possible to see anything, but the primal sound is plain.
This is another night sound, a familiar one. I love the weird trills and hyena-laughs of the urban pack, but am relieved to be at a distance. So is Bentley, who was not happy while I was making this video. He was glad when I closed the window.
His fur goes up when he hears them. He can't help it. We don't know if it was a dog or a coyote, or even a pack of coyotes, that attacked him before we adopted him. All we know is that he was bald on top where he had been shaved down. There were healed puncture-wounds on his skin, and it takes a lot to puncture the skin of an animal. He had been pretty badly mangled. Though he is completely healed now, when he leans forward a certain way I can see tiny bald patches all over his shoulders, his badge of survival. Probably only his mother can see them.
Does he have a bit of kitty PTSD? He's reserved, but not a scaredy-cat. He stands his ground. He doesn't knock you down with affection, but is extremely loyal and attached to both of us, even protective of us. Not every cat is that way.
I hope to get an owl video some night. Or coyotes and owls at the same time. I am getting very involved with neighborhood noises, and sounds in general. I have the hearing of a dog, which I sometimes wish I didn't have. Maybe it's compensation, because I've never been able to see worth a damn.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Since my discovery/rediscovery of the ravishing Buick ad with the girl leaning on the even-more-ravishing 1946 Buick, I've been tinkering and retooling this post. Naturally, when you see an image this tasty, you're going to want to animate it (or, at least, I am). About the only thing that looked animate-able was her arm. My first few attempts were so stiff that they looked laughable - but then I got onto bending her arm at the elbow. Really, it doesn't look too bad.
Here I alternated the basic wave with a wider gesture which looked a little silly by itself, but seems to fit here. Naturally, these actions aren't going to be smooth. When I get a little better at this, I might find a way to make the actions more natural.
This is the fist-pump, which took quite a long time to do, because I had to mess with the hand to make it look more fist-like.
The free-style. I incorporated several different waves into this one. One of them is a kind of modified fist-pump, or "rah-rah" gesture.
I am SO sick of looking at this now that maybe it was a mistake to work on it. This is one of my all-time-favorite vintage car images. It's just so frickin' perfect. Maybe I need to put it away for a while.
This is my attempt to record that deathly sound I was writing about, you know, that doomy night noise that no one believes. It's there, but did not record very well, and I talked too much, perhaps out of nervousness. Bentley appears in this one, as he does in so many of my videos. He is my guide and my familiar.
More and more I notice another kind of sound during the day, whatever the hell it is. Am I imagining this? At first I fervently hoped it was the refrigerator going on and off, since it did seem to stop once in a while. But I checked when it was loudest, and the fridge was off.
It's always on one pitch, very low, very doomy. I hate it. I can't wear a headset or earplugs because they seem to concentrate it. I can't have music on all the time. If I'm totally absorbed in something else, it seems to go away, but it doesn't. If I focus on it, it becomes almost unbelievably loud.
The noise on the video, however, is definitely an aircraft. We've had some weird violence in our neighborhood lately, the kind of things we never used to hear of when we moved here. Recently there was a murder behind the recreation centre. Maybe the cops DO fly over, or the military, or someone else. Bill said he saw a police helicopter circling in the air above our local Walmart, where someone had threatened a clerk in the Customer Service department. For God's sake, people! If you have an item to return, bring your receipt. Don't wear the socks before you bring them back.
That sound MUST be coming from somewhere. It doesn't even seem to be outside. When I'm outside, there's too much ambient noise to pick this up. I swear, every so often it completely stops.
A noise machine?
I just had this weird memory. In Chatham, when I was growing up, the environment was very strange. I see now that we weren't a normal family. We used to get static on the TV all the time, for no reason that was apparent. There was an old lady named Mrs. Clackett, and for some reason my mother used to say, "Mrs. Clackett is running the static machine again."
Does someone around here have a static machine? A doom machine? A what?
Now I remember something else. In Chatham, there was a local whore. She had a lot of children, rumored to be by different men. One of her children was red-haired. A nice lady asked her, "Does his father have red hair?"
"I don't know. He didn't take his hat off."
I don't know what's wrong with me.
I have been looking for this for YEARS! You know those Pinterest atrocities - chunks and hunks of images, half the text cut off - abominations, really. I found a piece of this image several years ago and went looking for the rest of it, and couldn't find anything. Nothing whole, anyway. People carve things up into Facebook profile pictures/covers, YouTube avatars, etc. But at last, when I least expected it, when I was looking for something else, this popped out at me.
I think it is simply glorious, and in pristine condition. It is THE post-War spirit, complete freedom from care and restriction. No more rationing of happiness or anything else! The fierce glare of the car only adds to the atmosphere, the bared teeth and aggressive, staring headlights.
And then I found this:
I think this was originally two pages in a magazine. I have seen, somewhere, a poster-ish version of the first page, but it's inaccessible to me.
I am having a George Takei moment.
Meanwhile, please join my Festival of Old Red Buicks. I would have made a slideshow out of this, as usual, but the proportions didn't work, so I'll glom them all together into one "thing".
An old guy driving a beautiful old Buick.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
These are a few thoughts from late at night. I didn't know I was going to say them. Please forgive the cliche-y thumbnail. There was no thumbnail to this one at all, because the video was so dark. I'm slowly learning that a video needs a decent thumbnail. For years my eye has been caught by them, but I didn't know it was happening. At any rate, these are the thoughts that come to you late at night, just from wherever, from your life.
So what is this? Anyway?? For a long time, I posted a gif at the bottom of my blog entries, along with a link to my Amazon author page. It was a kind of signature, along with a little publicity for my actual work. So why did I stop? I got soooooooo sick of doing it, and felt it was so utterly futile ( I mean, WHO goes on my Amazon author page?) that I dropped it. But I was left with this super-cute collection of signature gifs. I have a few thousand gifs in my collection, most of which I made myself. It would be nice to think that SOMEONE might go on my page, just to take a look at everything I've written - and by the way, all three of my novels are still for sale! Maybe I'll start doing it again. Doesn't seem likely, but maybe.