Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Breaking 'blog silence just briefly for a prayer request: my big certification exam is this Saturday. Prayers would be most appreciated. And, since my readers embody all faiths: positive thoughts and voodoo incantations (which don't turn me into a zombie) are also appreciated.

Sunday, March 28, 2004


This is a great list!!! Many of these movies I've seen, many are on my list to see, and many more I've never even heard of, which makes this a real treat. Thanks, Meredith!

But come on... Hudsucker only comes in at #98?
This evening "What Women Want" was on TNT (home of show the 90 minute movie in a 2-1/2 hour time block). I had never been willing to give that movie the benefit of the doubt before and despite the fact that I missed large chunks of it, it turned out to be a surprisingly touching film.

"A Knight's Tale" was another movie I've never given the benefit of the doubt, and it was on this weekend, and also enjoyable.

And of course, the drunken kids in this week's "Malcom" were pretty funny, too. Though nothing could beat Dewey's home-made junk organ.
Speaking of "web" cartoons, I know I posted this about this time last year, but it still cracks me up: "Knorsong".

It's one of my all time favorite cartoons and if I can ever in my life put together anything half as brilliant I will consider myself to be a success.
I guess it's going to be a found Flash weekend. Have some fun with squares.
And if you liked Psycho Studio below, you might get a kick out of this Vertigo fansite. Check out the cool collection of production stills.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Psycho Studio

Remix the famous shower scene. It's really bad just how much fun this is. Take THAT, Jamie Lee Curtis' mother!

It's not there yet, but if you go to the gallery entry 2,050 or so will be my version: "The Eternal Scream". I'm very proud of it.
You may be wondering why there is no Fr. Bryce cartoon this week as promised. Rest assured: I'm hard at work on it. I'm just harder at work on... well, work! My big certification test is next Saturday (prayers appreciated!) so I've been studying like a crazy bunny for that and at the same time trying, though unsuccessfully, not to catch 'Xander's latest cold.

I think I've ingested too much zinc today, though. Everything is starting to taste like metal and my throat feels like molten iron is running down the back of it.
We call this "job security".

Sunday, March 21, 2004

"Requiem for a Heavyweight" (the 1961 theatrical version) was on Turner Classic Movies last night. It was a pretty good movie, in a way, the movie the Coen brothers have been trying to make their entire career, but will never be able to make. I'd always thought of Jackie Gleason as a primarily physical actor (and excellent band leader), but after watching this movie I have a whole new appreciation for him as a "face actor'. Always very entertaining to watch (truly deserving of his title). Mickey Rooney, Anthony Quinn, and Julie Harris (who I didn't realize a) was still alive and b) was born in Detroit) were all very good in it as well. It's also a good example of a very good, non-Zonish Rod Serling screenplay. So check it ouf if they show it again.

Right now I'm listening to Richard Smallwood's "Persuaded Live in DC" album, which I checked out from the library today. It's an excellent contemporary/urban Gospel plus full orchestra album (now that I think about it, it's probably the only contemporary/urban Gospel plus full orchestra album I've ever heard). Check that out, too, if you're into Gospel and want to hear some good arrangements.

One last thing, before I go: I guess some folks have been circulating a petition online for Mel to do a movie about the "life of St. Francis of Assisi" and I really hope no one takes that petition seriously. There's nothing worse or more boring in this world, I'm convicned, than whole-life "bio-pics". Great movies about real people have to focus on one event in their life (like "The Passion")... trying to do a movie about a whole life is a recipe for disaster (I can't think of one biopic I've seen that's succeeded -- haven't heard too much about "Therese" yet). Now, if someone wanted to do a movie about Francis' repeated attempts to convert the Saracens, that would be cool. But I think someone should do a movie about King Richard the Lionhearted fighting in the Crusades to balance out the awful upcoming Ridley Scott movie.

Speaking of movies: did anyone see that "Diary of a City Priest" movie that came out within the last few years? It sounds like a very neat exercise in fantasy realism (inspired by a true story!). If we had Netflix, we might check that out.
Where can I watch my favorite DiC Animation cartoons for free online? Why, at Yahooligans, of course. Why on earth would your kids want to watch Kim Possible or Spongebob when they can watch "The Legend of Zelda", I ask you?
Even though it's Sunday, it will be light 'blogging today: I'm going to the library to study all afternoon. Friday and yesterday we were very blessed to be able to get a great deal on a new washer and dryer (the appliances which came with the house were well over 20 years old and starting to show their age; the dryer had become more of a "slightly-less-moist"ener). One of the advantages of living in a suburb of Detroit is that we're close to the Sears Outlet store where they sell scratched and slightly dented merchandise for almost half-off what you'd pay new.

And then yesterday my dad and mom came out to help install it (a good thing too: the dryer we'd picked out had the vent shooting out the bottom of the unit, instead of the back. I assumed this would be simple enough to fix, but it wasn't... they pretty much leave the factory set they way they're inteneded to be used. Needless to say my dad was able to engineer a solution, as he always does).

My dad also commented on the state of driving today: as a society we've almost entirely lost the ethos of cooperative driving (taking turns, making way for each other, etc), which was inherited from the days of racing. Says a lot about or society.

Anyway, I'm off to the library! L8r!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

CBBC: Brain-controlled video game made

The real question, though, is why they're testing it out on a plaster mock-up of James Lipton's head. Link via POF.
You are Franz Fanon! The father of postcolonialism, you were a prominant French academic until you resigned your post and joined the Algerian resistance. Your works are surprisingly readable for a major theorist, although you only have two of them. You died in 1961 of Lukemia.

What 20th Century Theorist are you? brought to you by Quizilla
The Edge of the Precipice is one 'blog you'll want to go over! As in read.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Over the past two days we've seen both episodes of Tim Minear's new show, "Wonderfalls". It's a very enjoyable show with some distinctly new and creative storytelling techniques. If you're interested in seeing something new and different which can occasionally touch the heart, check it out. We'll withhold final judgement until next week, when the episode featuring a Catholic priest airs.
No one reads my 'blog anymore, but if you're reading this and wondering why I'm blogging during Lent -- and on a Friday, no less! -- well, here's the reason: as I mentioned in the previous post, it's St. Joseph's feastday.

This may not mean much to we purituranicized Yanks in this country, but over in Europe, back when it was called "Christendom", particularly in Poland (yep! another great lenten innovation brought to you by the Poles!), St. Joseph's Feast is regarded as a welcome break from Lent (kind of the half-way point).

So if you're looking for a break, have a steak! Celebrate it, though, and make it mean something.
In honor of St. Joseph's Feastday

Xander Doh Saw

"Now if you mitre cut that toe moulding, it'll give you a nice tight fit that will last for years."
The Real Ghostbusters Episode Guide: @ The Big Cartoon DataBase

The best animated series ever.
I have to put in a plug for Dan Zane (and Friends') new kid's album, House Party.

I bought this for 'Xander a few weeks back and because it's not They Might Be Giants' "NO!" or VeggieTales' "Silly Songs" he hasn't really given it a second listen. I have, though, and I LOVE IT. Traditional folksy songs (American, Jamaican, African, European, etc.)done with great acoustic arrangements and an exceptional level of musicianship.

Definitely check it out.
Quoth The Maven is a 'blog that's fun to read. I especially liked that they reprinted the entire very funny Steve Martin "Studio Notes on the Passion" article.
Peter Jackson's Automated Ragtime Band!

Not a joke! Scroll down this page a ways to see it. Click here to watch a short video of Jackson talking about it and here to watch him watch it perform (no doubt drawing from it inspiration for a movie adaptation of The Silmarillion). There are tons of cool automated bands and sound samples on that page. I wish I could afford a set of pneumatic train whistles.
New TMBG EP out April 4th! And a new album this summer!!!

Oh, and that song behind Strong Bad Email 99, the song that sounds too good to have been done on the Casio SK-1 keyboard? Also by TMBG!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

You may be interested in knowing that I am indeed hard at work on Episode I of the Fr. Bryce "Natural Law" series of Flash cartoons. The storyboard exists in my head and some character models have been drawn up (and not just in my mind).

And I am feeling better today. I think a big part of it has to do with a life lacking in spontaneity. When you get right down to it, though, spontaneity can be pretty darned expensive (60 gallons of cottage cheese for the bathtub? Well over $1,400 I can tell you!). The bill always comes due eventually. So if spontaneity isn't a luxury you can afford, you're better off sticking to the same old same old day in and day out.

I think the great existentialists of the 20th century may've grappled with this problem quite a bit, but in their case they always had the next German invasion to look forward to.

So, anyway... Fr. Bryce cartoon, in two weeks (??). Sounds good?
Memo to myself: add the following 'blogs to my 'blogroll: Republic of Virtue, Otto Da Fe, Fiat, and Those Unsinkable Corks.

After I add those I'll only be several hundred 'blogs behind. Sigh...
I checked out Wojtyla's "Sign of Contradiction" from the library today. Seems to be good Lenten reading. I'll read that this week and let you know how it is, next Sunday.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

If you haven't already checked it out, there's some really great stuff in the most recent SLANT review (issue 7).
On a more personal note: what have I been up to, since I haven't been 'blogging?

Well, I've been spending a lot of time working, obviously. There's a big project at work, so that requires a lot of my higher mental faculties right there. In the spare time, I've been playing around with Macromedia Flash, a little bit, but not in any sort of impressive capacity. I've been studying (harder than I've ever studied for anything, by the way) for my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification (first thing after I get certified: get me a stylin' PMP hat). I've also been spending a lot of time hanging out with the family: playing PlayDoh and MagnaDoodle with 'Xander (his drawings are actually starting to get recognizable.. he drew a cartoon jellyfish tonight that was really cool.. then promptly erased it).

All in all I have the feeling that at the tender age of 28-1/2 I'm an adult (not a young-adult.. an ADULT.. a "grown-ass man" if you will). I guess this means that I'm pretty much on the course I'll be stuck with for the rest of my life (and I won't be a rockstar, a film-maker, a philosophy teacher, hanging out in Europe or Japan, or any of the things I thought would be appealing). I'm past the point where I feel I need to rebel against adulthood by doing stupid things. Me and my life have kind of normalized into a big bowl of oatmeal (which I eat every morning to lower my cholesterol and promote regularity, incidentally). Not that there's anything wrong with any of this, nor do I want to seem ungrateful for any of my many blessings (but if there's some hopeful part of me that's died, that's sad and I miss it). It just takes some getting used to (and it sucks that I don't have the money that's supposed to go along with this "maturity"). And the scary part: I think I'm going through this about 7-10 years before most of my friends or peers will.

Sigh... Brain cloud. I knew I shouldn't have given up drinking for Lent.
I guess someguy named Otto Del Sol or something is pretendinating to my somewhat antagonistic anti-abortion poster throne (the posters being somewhat antagonistic, not the throne).

Jeff Miller convinced me to repost my posters from 15 months ago (or so). They're all back up now on my December, 2002, archive page (scroll down for the rest).

Interesting trivia: Mark Shea actually asked for my permission to use these in his June, 2003, Crisis magazine article. Of course I couldn't give it, as I don't own the copyright for any of the photos I used and ultimately he decided to go a different direction with the article.

Seriously, good work on the part of Herr Fe.
Jimmy Aikin meets Jack Chick!

Truly a surreal encounter. Follow the link for Aikin's own track-esque rendering of what the reclusive Jack Chick looks like today.
We were able to watch both "School of Rock" and "Lost in Translation" this weekend, two movies we were both looking forward to seeing and both movies were very good. We'll probably see "School of Rock" again before we see "Lost in Translation" again, though.

Jack Black is one of a very few number of actors who can make me laugh just by looking at him (I hadn't considered Bill Murray to be in that number until we saw "Lost in Translation", incidentally.. by far Murray's funniest work in nearly two decades). Anyway, "School of Rock" is a delightful movie which was extremely well executed. "Lost in Translation" was the same way: well done and very honest... something probably most married people can relate to (if you didn't "get" the movie and aren't married, that's probably why). I liked it a lot better than "Ghost World" because it treated its characters far more kindly and had a whole lot more heart (and a lot more in common with a Hanes Her Way commercial). Actually, I would probably watch it again. After I watch "Shall We Dance" again, which is an awesome movie and you should all see it.

So probably everyone out there has already seen both these movies or is going to watch them at some point anyway but if you haven't or weren't going to, you should: they both get "recommended" ratings from both of us.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Breaking the Lenten fast here, for just a quick comment: check out the very nice tribute to our friendship over at Britain's 'blog. It's the awsomest thing I've ever read.

He'll always be my best friend (after my wife, of course) and we should definitely hang more often.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Fr. Bryce: Teaser Trailer

Okay, I know I'm probably going to regret doing this, but....

Fr. Bryce Teaser Trailer -- High bandwidth (500k)

Fr. Bryce Teaser Trailer -- Slightly lower bandwidth (300k)

Give it a second or two to load. I haven't worked out how to do those cool "Loading" screens in Flash yet.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

If it's the Sabbath, I must be 'blogging! One cool thing about not 'blogging is that, even with all the stuff going on that I want to run right home and 'blog, just knowing that I "can't" gives me some sort of feeling of peace. Sort of taking a step back and realizing I don't have to 'blog every single thought I have.

"Winged Migration" is a movie about birds. And birds. And more birds. And "The Triplets of Belleville" left the Michigan Theater three days before I was going to see it with my dad, which was a disappointment.

Other than that, there is not much going on 'round these parts. I've been noodling with Flash, if you couldn't tell. I've got a long ways to go, obviously, but if experience has taught me anything it's that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a trip back to the house for everything you forgot. I'll be pasting gopher heads on Ryan Stiles' body and making him dance to Junior Senior in no time.