Thursday, August 9, 2007

"Look Dad, I Drew Learning!"

So I haven't been around much lately. We just finished writing a treatment for the feature we are working on and that has taken up a lot of my time. Writing is hard.

Before that I was at the ComiCon in San Diego. Now, I'm not into comic books, I really don't know much about them to tell you the truth. I still have fun though, because there is usually a booth there with old illustration art, and that's where I usually spend most of my time. I saw a couple of cool Robert McGinnis originals (they weren't that old), and a great Joyce Ballantyne pin-up painting, and a ton of other more obscure pieces. I like being able to see the things up close, where you can kind of see how they were done. I'm the world's worst painter; I'll admit it right now, so I respect a good painting when I see it. I'll still look around at everything else, because there is a lot of weirdness there, but I like looking for the good art. I found a lot of great art there. I found a lot of really crappy stuff too, but I was impressed with how good the good stuff was.
Apart from that there are a lot of parties, which are fun, and seeing people I haven't seen in a while, which is cool too.

I've been a "professional artist” for over 20 years now, and my son did this drawing when he was five. It’s more fun and entertaining than pretty much everything I’ve ever been paid to draw.

The title of this post is what he said when he handed it to me:

“Look Dad, I drew learning!”

He drew learning in more ways than one.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Zen of Lego

I haven't fallen off the planet, not that I know of anyway. I have been pretty busy with work developing the story for a feature we are doing, and I guess I've let this go a bit. Anyhow, I have some free time now.

So I have two boys, and over the last couple of years they have amassed quite a large Lego collection. They have a number of different sets, and they will usually have built a thing or two from the set, it sits with the Lego pile for a while, starts to fall apart, then we will dis-assemble it and add it into the pile. They still have all the instructions to make all the different things, but I guess it's more fun to ask Dad to make something.

Ever built stuff out of Lego? I mean lately. It's really relaxing, you forget all about work and all the other crap going on and you just build some silly thing out of little pieces. It's like doing a puzzle, it challenges you just enough to forget about other things, and you have a little bit of a sense of accomplishment when it's done. I've gotten to the point now where some of the things I build are pretty elaborate. You should try it sometime when you're stressing out. Go blow 15 bucks on a little set and put it together. It's not cheaper than booze, but you won't be all hung over in the morning, or end up with your own embarrassing video on youtube....

Someone asked me to take a picture of one of these things I built and post it here, but I ain't gonna. Listen, isn't it dorky enough to say I like Lego AND ALSO be working in animation? That's two strikes right there. You know why I put up my "cute little boy" picture and not a recent one right? That's right. Strike three.

Go save yourself the cost of a therapist and go buy some little plastic blocks to put together. One day you'll thank me....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Devil Take the Hindmost.

I uh, really have no idea what that means, it was the name of an Alan Holdsworth song. So if you're the hindmost, maybe these old development sketches are coming to take you away....

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Go Ahead and Hate His Art

My buddy Drew Edwards does cool paintings. Go see for yourself here Or check out his blog here He not only paints, he draws cool drawings and can animate really well too. Oh yeah, and he plays hockey, which is the most important thing because he is Canadian. He just visited us here in L.A. and we had a really good time. The Dresden will never be the same again...

Monday, January 22, 2007

At least now I know I have a 3

So this guy walks into the emergency room....

It could be a good joke if I had a punch-line. As it was I was in the parking lot in the pouring rain halfway through my sprint to the door I turned back to check that I had locked the car. As I turned I caught a glimpse of a penny on the ground, I ignored it and ran to the car. Finding that I had indeed locked the car, I thought that it might be a good idea to pick up that penny for good luck, but on my way back I couldn't find it. The longer I looked the more I needed to find it or I'd jinx myself for sure. So here's some weird guy, at almost midnight on Saturday night in the pouring rain looking for a penny on the ground. It took a bit, but I eventually found it.

I was surprised to find the emergency waiting room completely empty. At the desk I told the nurse what had happened earlier, but that I felt fine now. As I said I thought they would give me an aspirin and send me home. What they did though was take me in immediately, sat me at a desk with a nurse and asked me a bunch of questions. I kept saying "I feel fine, I feel fine" and they would go "uh huh" and ask more questions: "On a scale of one to ten, one being barely perceivable pain and ten being the most excruciating pain you have ever felt, tell me what number you would rate how you feel right now." I said "Zero".

So anyhow I end up in Triage and I'm in a bed and I've got a machine doing an EKG and another one taking my blood pressure and they took some blood to test. I'm getting frustrated because I just want to go home, I had a lot to do that next day and I had been there now for a couple of hours. Just when I thought everything was done they come in and say "Well, we're just going to run these tests again, some of your levels were elevated, so we want to see if it is just a misread, just to make sure." Aaargh, I'm never going to get out of here, all I could think about was that those tests already wasted hours of my night, and now they were going to do it all over again. So what ends up happening is that when the second set of tests confirms what the first set told them. When you have a heart attack an enzyme is released into your bloodstream. My level of this enzyme went from "elevated" to "abnormal" and this is how they knew I had a heart attack. The head nurse se came in looking visibly grey and said "Well, it looks like you have had an episode". She told me the cardiologist had been notified and he was on his way, and that they had contacted my wife to let her know. It must have been pretty scary for my wife, but she is a real trooper. She was very strong through all of this.

Little did I know the craziness was about to begin. I wasn't really scared at all, I was more disappointed and frustrated that I wasn't going to be going back home any time soon. "you're going to be here for a while" the nurse said after I had let out a frustrated groan.

So here I am in the triage bed with the curtain thing around it so it's like a room. I have a bunch of monitors and I.V's and patches of medication all over me. They have given me a bunch of pills to take and they are waiting to bring me to get an angiogram, which is a test to look at your arteries to see if there is a blockage. They get word from the cardiologist that because of the type of heart attack I had, and the fact that several hours had passed since it happened, he's going to skip the angiogram and go straight to the angioplasty procedure. Now I was starting to get scared. I asked what an angiogram was, not really wanting to hear the answer. She said "It's a surgical procedure where they make an incision in your groin and run a catheter up into your heart..." I made a an "ahhhwwwggg" like outburst, similar to what you would think any male would make upon hearing that tortuous description of what was about happen. I was still reeling from the thought of the surgery when 8 or 10 nurses came in, some carrying trays, some pushing machines, some doing God knows what. It was a flurry of activity. Tape, beeping, orders being spoken, stuff being stuck on, or ripped off. The head nurse noticed my expression and said "yeah, things happen pretty quickly around here once they decide on surgery."

Now, I don't know if it was how I react to fear, or what, but I suddenly found the whole thing amusing. Maybe it was because when you are in he situation I was in, you basically have no control whatsoever. All you can do is lie there and let things happen. And boy did it happen. Two nurses came up on either side of the foot of the bed and one said " you need to remove your pants, and underwear." I already don't have a shirt on, so I start to undo my belt, and I guess I was moving too slow for them because as soon as I had it undone, they each grabbed a pant leg and just ripped them off me. Then, I started to take my underwear off, and they did the same thing! They just grabbed them and ripped them off! So there I am lying buck naked under bright lights with 8 or 10 nurses running around. Then the one nurse that just ripped off my underwear pulls out on of those plastic disposable Bick shavers, and starts shaving my privates! DRY SHAVING! She's scrape, scrape scraping, while the nurse on the other side is "supervising" her, going "Ok, right there, yep, and there, and there too..." Then when she is done, someone behind me says something and they go "oh o.k." then start shaving the other side of my privates! While she's scraping away at the other side she starts apologizing, "Sorry, sorry about this, but we have to do this..." And I just say to her "Hey, far be it from me to tell someone with a blade in their hand down there how to do their job" and they all laughed. I mean, what else can you do at that point than laugh about it?

Well that little chuckle only lasted for a second until another nurse came up with a big metal tray, plopped it down on my chest and said "We have to give you a medication right now, but it has to go directly into your stomach" and at that she pulls out the biggest freaking needle I've ever seen and goes "This might hurt a bit" and before I can flinch she pokes this 8 inch needle right into my stomach! Man, did I ever yelp then. She pulls it out and puts a cotton ball on it and tells me to hold it there. I thought Cripes, there are less painful ways to get medication into my stomach you know!

Well now that I was buck naked and sufficiently tortured I was ready for surgery. At least they had the decency to put a blanket over me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

At least now I know I have a 2

Here is what I looked like the day before my heart attack:

Here is what I looked like the day after my heart attack:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

At least now I know I have a heart...

Yesterday was an important anniversary for me. On January 9th, 2005 I was in a lot of trouble. I was in the emergency room of the hospital because I had just had a heart attack.
I had it while I was on the ice playing ice hockey. It wasn’t a severe “Hollywood heart attack”, I didn’t go into cardiac arrest or lose consciousness, and in fact I didn’t even know I was having one. Thinking about it later I recalled that at the end of the game I felt momentarily winded to the point of almost feeling nauseous. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I had just finished playing an hour and a half of hockey, and sometimes that might happen if you go too hard, or stay out on the ice too long before a shift change (for example, staying out on the ice for 3 minutes or more is usually considered too long a shift, you need to come off at that point and catch your breath). When I came off the ice a few minutes later I felt absolutely fine, but my arm was really sore, like I had fallen on it. Once again, I had just finished 90 minutes of hockey, and bumping and falling are all part of the game. It was funny how the hockey I had just played hid all of the signs of the heart attack. I was told later that they call heart attacks “The Silent Killer” because the majority of people that have them either don’t realize or don’t believe they are having one. It is very easy to pass the signs off as other things. When I got home my wife insisted I go to the emergency, but it was late Saturday evening and it was pouring rain, and I was the classic “guy” telling her it was nothing, and that I thought I was just catching a bit of the flu or something. I eventually drove myself into the emergency room to make her feel better. I thought they would give me an aspirin and send me home after a 2 hour wait.

Boy was I wrong….

Stay tuned for part 2…