Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thanksgiving Dose of Dangle
It's Thanksgiving school break of course and that means that Spongebob has been on non-stop around here when Oscar isn't playing Minecraft. At least Hae and I took him to the Berkeley Art Museum to see the Kurt Schwitters show. He thought it was dumb that the guy just glued stuff down but he enjoyed playing on the giant undulating sculpture installation. Climbing was allowed.
I talked to my dad. He's doing well, my Aunt Eileen not so well. She's been moved to the assisted living section of the retirement village where she lives. Last stop before heaven. My sister must've showed dad the picture of me in the little tent village at Occupy Oakland that Hae put on her Facebook page and he was shocked. He's a heavy viewer of financial news shows and the kind of media that has been deeply rattled by the protests. I told him that I completely agree with the Occupy movement.
The violence by our increasingly militarized police is frightening. Mayor Quan in Oakland said that the Department of Homeland Security helped coordinate the police crackdown here. It's federal. Hae says when they crack down on people peacefully congregating we might as well be living in China.
Full disclosure: I'm too much of a coward to go there when the pepper spray is flying. I'm a YouTube protestor. And I work for The Man now and help prop up the one percent with my doodling.
As you know, I have a new career, drawing for people on paper and whiteboards with markers, and my latest freelance feast continues. I've been taking on jobs three deep. Having become used the declining publishing industry sucking me down into the abyss for so long I can't believe I'm doing something now that's actually growing and gaining popularity. People in business have discovered that pictures are the way to innovation. Scribes like me are in demand at the biggest corporations. In my little niche the economy is picking up.
I've been on a media cleanse since April but now I'm beginning to ease back in. When you watch the media constantly you fail to see how strange, surreal, and propagandistic it is. Unplugging makes you feel doltish at times but generally saner and less troubled. Watching MSNBC or anything now is like taking a shot of grain alcohol after being on a diet of soup. I've been reading Wonkette for news. Taking the reentry very slowly.
My book is dead in the water again. I've been too busy to focus on it and now when I look at my pages I feel disgusted. There's a whole missing dimension to the novel that corresponds to an empty part in my soul. I've been skipping out on my writing workshops and everything. Terrible! I snuck out of the house the other night for a beer with Karthik at McNally's and he gave me a lecture about how you have to stop everything to write a novel and do nothing but immerse yourself. Otherwise you're a fool.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Photo: Ian Carmany
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
My Favorite Occupy Posters
As you know, I am totally down with the Occupy movement. Even though I'm a corporate hack, I still want to crush the overlords and plutocrats. I've been to Occupy Oakland but in the middle of the afternoon, not at night when the cops do their ass-kicking. I have good reasons to avoid being beaten, shot, and teargassed. I'm an old guy, my body doesn't heal fast anymore, and I'm a coward.
I'm enjoying all the posters that people are making. Designers are foregoing the latest AIGA competitions to crush the corporate elite. I'm all for it. Here are my favorites. Follow the artists' links and buy some of their stuff. I love the two Soviet style ones, they're signed with a groovy little logo, but in searching and searching I couldn't find anyone taking credit for them. If anybody knows tell me so that I can provide a credit and a link.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Dose of Dangle
It's been insane around the Dangle compound. I've hit the feast part of the freelancer cycle. Juggling three projects. Three live ones. All top secret. And I have a couple others in suspended animation. Turned one down. Hae is busy too, and now a bunch of no-school days are coming up! We’re in trouble.
I have three Apple products now. Hae and I got iPhones. Now I stare at Apple products all day long. My computer that I'm on from dawn to dusk, the iPad that I've been drawing and making videos on, and now the newest device. Nobody ever calls me on my cell phone unless I’m driving. Then it always rings.
Apple products are my constant companions. At first the new ones were counter intuitive, but little by little they trained me to act the way they want me to. Then the devices become friendly and operating them is second nature. I've been using Apple computers since 1988, but Steve Jobs reached more deeply into my psyche with the phone and its sleek counterparts. Most people have been pinching and squeezing and getting their fried-chicken fingers on the Apple screens for a long time now, but it's new to me.
As much as I hated it at first I couldn't live without my iPad now. If you have one, get the apps Brushes and Flip Boom. Brushes records every stroke you make in a drawing and lets you save it as a good quality video. Flip Boom is an animation app for kids but you can do fun stuff with it and save your work as video. The quality of the video is just, eh.
Now there was some useful information.
I've been to Honolulu since my last post. My pal Jesse took me on his motorcycle without a helmet, which was a little out of my comfort zone. I was at the IFVP conference. It was 90% women and there was a lot of powerful sisterly bonding going on. It was great for the men too. Ironically, every time I walked out on the street in Waikiki I was propositioned by one two or three hookers. I fit the customer profile, I guess, 50-year-old white guy in a Hawaiian shirt at a conference. It reminded me of Chester Brown's book, Paying For It, which is a must-read.
Geoffie’s been on me about collaborating again. He wants to buy up some real estate in Michigan and create a media empire, I’m not sure exactly how they’re related. He says that the tax credits are there for people to make movies in the mitten state. He can find investors. When he calls he free associates about the things he’s interested in and asks me to take notes. He never records any of his ideas because it would slow him down. He can’t understand why I don’t drop everything and start working on our collaboration. Am I really happy in what I’m doing, he asks. I did a comic strip for so many years that was so negative. Isn’t it time for me to do something positive?
We've been having lots of little earthquakes out here in northern California. Kinda scary. It motivated Hae to buy some designer survival backpacks with pouches of water and brick-like ready-to-eat meals. I'm happy she did it because it's something I've been meaning to do for nineteen years. Now we have security.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Actually I'm doing an online course with Alphachimp University and this was our first assignment.