Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It seems utterly fucking ridiculous....

...that it's taken *goes back and checks the archives* over two years to get to the point that I could tweet this:

And that's just the first draft. I got tons left to do 'fore I can call this muhfugga Done widda big D. It's like I just crossed the Texas-New Mexico state line on a road trip to California. Or Japan. Of course, part of the reason it took so long is that at least a year of that was me learning the lesson of committing to the project. Maybe other people can dabble at writing something of novel length and get it done, but I am not one of those people. I can put that at the top of the great big list of lessons learned.

I was walking out to my car after work one day last week, thinking about this scene I'd been working on earlier that day, just these two people out in the woods having a quiet conversation, when suddenly, BOOM, those two people in the dark became a whole other way of seeing this story I've been trying to get together. It was there all along, I just had to stick with it long enough to get to where I could see it. My head totally exploded, it was disgusting.

So yeah, tons left to do. This is me, looking forward to the next milestone.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Free of Training Wheel Tyranny

Over the summer, my eldest figured out how to ride his bike without training wheels. He'd tried a few times before and not quite made it, but on this one particular day, he must have awoken with an extra bit of stubbornness in his blood. He refused to give up until he got himself up on two wheels. I had little to do with it other than standing back and watching and offering some encouragement. Any and all offers of actual physical help were rebuffed.

"Fuck this training wheel shit," he would've mumbled to himself, had he had his father's vocabulary at the time.

To celebrate the event, he wanted me to make a .gif of him on his bike, similar to the one I made of his brother running up and down a railroad track. Except he didn't know the term .gif, so he called it the thing where I take the camera and take pictures like ga-jing ga-jing ga-jing ga-jing ga-jing....or however you spell the sound of a camera snapping.

So finally, months later, I finally got around to it.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Things To Remember

That morning when I was cooking bacon and I heard little footsteps racing to the kitchen followed by Simon yelling "I smell bacon!"

My kids' cute little voices. 

The way Simon asks to listen to "Jam" and he means "Millionaire" by Queens Of The Stone Age. Also, the day I introduced them to "Iron Man" and how Simon demanded to hear it a dozen times throughout the day. 

The time Henry was all pissed off about doing his science homework until he started measuring things on the scale and got all into it. 

The way Simon used to ask "What's his naaaaame?"

How the boys like to wrap themselves around my legs and make me walk them around the house. 

How the boys like to wrap themselves around one of my arms and let me lift them up. 

The way I'm able to make them both fall over laughing by pretending to be a dumb monster who's just stumbled across a lightsaber. 

That Simon likes to sleep in a tent in his room. 

Henry putting his arm around Simon and saying "we're little brothers!"

The time Simon shouted "I'm a princess!" and meant it. 

Listening to Henry would rap along with "Egg Man" on the way to school during his kindergarten year. 

Taking a walk with Simon and the treasures he found - a stick and a feather. 

Taking the boys out of bed to go to the bathroom and the way they'll talk in their sleep. Or fart. 

The way Henry asks to go to the donut store for breakfast by just saying in a deep voice "DOOOONNNUUUUUT."

Hearing Simon downstairs, singing to himself while he plays.

The way Henry ducks down in front of me, then leapfrogs up into my arms.

The time Henry went jogging with me, smiling the whole way, and how he said "I didn't think I could run that far" when we made it back to the house. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Ewings Came In The Mail

For whatever reason, the people at the American Association of Retired Persons seem to think that my wife’s uncle, who passed away about four years ago, lives at our house. I know this because they send us their magazine every month and it’s got his name on it, right there above the address. Sometimes I flip through to see what the old folks are getting themselves into these days. Mostly, it just ends up in the recycling.

But the cover of this latest issue caught my eye.

Yep, those are the people from Dallas smiling out at you from the page of this blog. Sue Ellen, J.R., and Bobby Ewing of the Southfork Ewings, they of the intrigues and the infidelities and the oil-soaked family drama. I guess they have real names, but who needs a real name when you're a Ewing? Apparently they’re doing a remake of the show, or to put it more accurately, a continuation that picks up decades after the old one left off, and it includes some of the original characters such as these three, as well as their children, now all grown up and being as shitty toward each other as their parents were back in the 70s and 80s. When I first heard about it, I was actually kind of surprised these actors were all still alive, but there they are. Hell, Sue Ellen’s even looking kinda good. Wuzzup, old lady?

My mom was the one who first told me about the new show, which is fitting since she was a huge fan of the original show back in the day. It was quite rare for her to miss an episode. In fact, one of her primary motivations for buying a VCR was so that she could record it anytime she wasn’t going to be able to catch it at airtime. She worked a lot, and when she wasn’t working, she was often running me to this or that activity, so this wasn’t uncommon. She pored over the instructions for how to set the timer to start and stop recording at the right time. If I was home, it was my job to make sure her shows found their way onto tape. I don’t remember if it was Dallas, Knots Landing, or Falcon Crest, but I once forgot to record one of her shows, and you can bet your ass I heard about it. Looking back, I can’t really blame her for getting mad. You work your ass off all day, you come home and all you want to do is kick back with your show, but your lazy kid couldn’t even be bothered to press a goddamn button? What the hell, young Holmes? Get with the program.

So that magazine up there’s been sitting on our coffee table for about the past week, and every time I walk past it, I get this weird twinge of nostalgia. At one point, I even caught myself devoting an entire thought to hoping the show does well. An entire thought! That caught me by surprise. I have absolutely no intention of watching the show, and the original was never really my thing - no talking cars, no Mr. T, no mystery-solving stuntmen - yet here I was hoping that it does well. Normally, I wouldn’t give this kind of thing a second thought, or if I did, I’d cheer for it to fail because I’m wired like that. But in this case, childhood memories overrode that and dosed me with the warm and fuzzies for a show I hardly ever actually sat down to watch.

But I guarantee I’ll be able to hum this theme song until the day I die.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making Comics

The main point of this post is just to have an excuse to put up the gif down below, but first I'm gonna write a bunch of words to explain it.

My primary creative obsession the past few weeks has been creating a series of comics for my friends in Loaded Gun Theory to help them promote their new show. Basically, they just gave me a copy of the script and let me pick out any snippets of it that I thought would work as a stand-alone teaser in comic form. Wanna check 'em out? Here's some links:

A Chat Over Chess

A Taut Line

Tea With Martha

The Creator

The process for these things started off with me creating a loose storyboard to figure out what pictures I was going to need. I can't draw for shit, so all the pictures in my comics start with photos. Since I was working with a script and actors in this case, I basically just put the actors in a spot and had them run through their lines while I snapped pictures of them from different angles. In some cases, I ended up getting kind of snap happy and ended up with assloads of pictures from a given scene, which when put together look something like this:

All that just to get this tense little exchange:

Those two dudes are my friends Bill and Ian in the roles of Geoffrey and Tiernan. My favorite pic from that whole session, which you can see tucked into the gif up there if you look closely, is this one:

Almost as if he's breaking character, looking over at the director, and saying:

Simply glorious. 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Chess

My friendosauruses in Loaded Gun Theory wrote a new play, Our Apocalyptic Dream, which is going up in just a couple of weeks. They asked me to take a few scenes and comicify them as I am wont to do. This is the first one, featuring my friends Bill and Ian, having a friendly chat over chess.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This Time I Hit A Cow

My friend Daniel put up a story on Facebook the other day about how he almost drove his car into a cow. I left a comment saying that I actually did hit a cow once, to which Daniel responded asking for me to clarify just what I meant by that statement. I responded with the whole story, exactly how it went down, and afterwards realized that it was actually a pretty good little tale that I thought would be worth sharing. So here it is:

It was night time and I was driving down the long narrow two-lane road that leads into the neighborhood where I grew up on the outskirts of Houston. It's a semi-rural semi-urban area with a bit of industrial thrown in for good measure. You can find livestock, heavy-machinery manufacturing, a trailer park, and houses all within a few square miles. There are no street lights on this stretch of road, so it's just you and your headlights and whatever assistance the night sky might have to offer. Way up ahead of me, I saw the tail lights of another vehicle swerve, brake, but then continue. It made me think I should give my brakes a tap. I'm glad I did because a second later, a cow stepped right up out of the ditch on the side of the road and walked right out in front of me. I slammed on my brakes. I would have swerved, but the ditches on either side of this road are quite deep, the kind you don't get out of without a tow truck. My tires were still screeching when I broadsided the beef, though I dont' think I was going too fast at that point. It was enough to knock the cow over, but it got right back up again and continued on across the road without so much as a moo. My truck's hood had a nice dent in it. So if anyone ever asks you, "Why did the cow cross the road?" you can look them in the eye and say, "To fuck with a man's truck."