Saturday, June 30, 2007

What are you looking at?!

One of the perks of being a director-type is having access to a DVD player for "research purposes". Lately I've been "researching" The Maltese Falcon, Mildred Pierce, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Fight Club, and a bunch of Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Strangely enough though, I've found that I get the most amount of work done while watching The Blackadder. Ah, Rowan Atkinson, you were so damn funny once upon a time! My fave clip from season #2:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nothing Resembling a Timely Manner

My procrastination skills are pretty good. Not as good as the Husband's, but he's in a class of his own.

However, my skills came into play big time in regards to a Christmas present I was asked to do back in November. I was asked to paint up a rolling hard-sided suitcase for a fellow Derby Doll to use as her skate equipment bag. No problem, I said at the time.


The reason why is because I decided that I should use enamel paint instead of my usual acrylic, as I figured it'd be more durable. I've never used enamel before, and I was really, really freaked out about using it on something that was a gift for someone else.

So what did I do?

I procrastinated in rare form when it came to doing the project. Out of the seven months I had the suitcase in my possession, I ended up doing five days of actual work, tops.



However, I finally got over myself and asked for some advice from my friend Kenny and got going on the project and got it done...just in time for the Derby Doll hiatus to start. So I didn't have a chance to see the recipient of said present for a month before I could deliver the damn suitcase.

Which I was finally able to do last night.

So here it is:

I think she liked it.

I hope she did, at any rate.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Since I keep talking about it, here's some pix of the Divorce Desk. Notice that you won't see a real wide shot of the desk. That's because the room that it's in is so damn small, we can't step back far enough to take a decent photo. Here's a close-up of one of the hydraulic cranks that adjusts the desktop:

, isn't it?!

Here's a wider shot of the desk:

Aaaaaaaaand another shot of the desk.

On top of the desk shelving(which is cut off in the photos)are two lamps. Which were thrown in with the desk for free. Awesome. I heard that the mover dudes in Sherman Oaks threw away a bunch of shelving, desk parts, and animation disks at the end of the day when we went to get the desk. Sad, sad, sad. They could've told us to just take the stuff...I know that the animators would've gladly taken it off the movers' hands.

Oh look, here's a photo of me announcing at that Smog City/Bakersfield bout in Fresno last weekend. The guy sitting next to me is the dad of one of the skaters and was supposed to co-announce with me. Instead, he decided to just watch the game. I didn't complain.

Some time I'll have to tell the amusing story of the husband and I meeting a nice bunch of lesbians at the pizza place we had dinner at after the game.

Thursday and yesterday, the studio at which I'm currently employed had a huge lot sale. They sold off a bunch of props, furniture and wardrobe. Unfortunately, they didn't have any cool props, such as a prop insect head or anything, but they had a lot of interesting lamps, dishes, shoes and baskets. The first day I went with some of the other ladies from my production. Now, a note about me and the rest of the ladies on the production. I'm not like them.

Oh, shut up.


They were humored at my attempts to find clothes, since all of the women's clothing available were actress-sized. Note: I'm most definitely not actress-sized. So I moved on to lamps, which I talked myself out of buying. Including the sparkly lava lamp. Dammit. And then shoes, where I found a pair of murdersickle boots, but couldn't manoever them onto my feet in anything resembling a timely manner.

So I came out practically empty-handed. The other ladies got some snazzy lamps, clothing, suitcases, etc. I make a terrible shopper.

Yesterday I went back on my own. This time I picked up six rice bowls for $2 and an umbrella for $1. It's of a nicer quality than the 99-cent store umbrella I'm currently using, despite it's having a bent rib. It worked great when I walked back to work from the lot, at any rate. The security people now know me well enough that when I walked back to work and swiped my ID card through to open the pedestrian gate, they didn't bother coming out to check my shopping bag for explosives. Awwwwwwwwww!

Back to work...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Other Woman

I've discovered that I'm really jealous of someone.

high school of me, I know. But she's getting on my nerves.

Unfortunately, that someone is my own altered ego.

She gets a lot of attention. When I went to the Art Dorks show, I was introduced as Tara more often than Sandra. And people love to hear about Tara's adventures. No one really gives a flying rat's tail about Sandra. OK, Sandra doesn't do much except draw and ride murdersickles, but damn, Tara just talks about freakin' roller derby for hours on end. But everyone loves it.

What the hell?!?!?!?!!

And here I thought we were the same people. But apparently we're not.

I just came to the jealous realization recently, and haven't thought through the repercussions of it. Should I talk crap about my altered ego? Spread rumors? Puncture her tires? Call her out and have a bare-knuckle fight in a parking lot?

I can't kill her off yet, and she's already on hiatus 'til July. But she still persists. Betch!

Speaking of Tara, we drove to do the announcing thing in Fresno yesterday. It turned out to be a great game between the Smog City Rollergirls and Bakersfield. Bako won, but it was a close game and the audience went completely ape over it. The skaters did well(especially considering that they were skating on uber-slippery concrete), and I got $100 for my troubles(which were really nonexistent).

Highlights include:

  • having bacon on a pizza. Talk about heart attack on a plate! Loved it!
  • seeing that highway 99 is almost like a real freeway...I was able to go 85mph when I got out of LA-LA Land.
  • central California is still rural enough to effectively play, "What's that smell?!" for hours on end.
  • knowing that I can drink Southern Comfort, Newcastle ale, and a Long Island Iced tea all in one night without losing my guts. I think the pizza helped.
  • seeing Bako continue to improve. I love those girls, I really do.

Hopefully I'll have the majority of my freelance done by a week from today. Woohoo! Then I can play with the new animation desk, which got nicknamed the Divorce Desk after all the yelling and screaming the husband and I did at each other while trying to fix the damn thing and bring it into the house to set up in the art room. Nothing else really fits into the art room now, but at least the damn desk is all set up.

Here's a non-sequitir to end with:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chugga Chugga Chugga


I know I needed a day job, but jeezus, I didn't expect the rest of my life to gear up and keep me as busy as work is! So I'm just chugging along with work, freelance, and outside-of-the-Dolls derby stuff.

Since I'm too lazy to post any artwork, I'll share some photos that were taken last Friday at the Art Dorks show at Thinkspace Gallery here in LA. I found out that nothing freaks out a bunch of quiet artists more than a big loud woman on a big loud murdersickle pulling up and stomping into the show. Funny thing is, I knew a lot of them online, but I got introduced under my real name as opposed to my online alias, so it took awhile to figure out who was whom. If you go to the Art Dorks site, you'll see a link to their photos and who they are.

Speaking of big and loud, the security guards at work now all know who I am. Apparently I stick out like a sore thumb whenever I come up to the gate. Shocking, I know. Today one of them asked me if I'd ridden in, as he missed seeing me this morning. Yes I did, I replied. Good, he said. I heard about a motorcycle crash on the 170 yesterday and I hoped that it wasn't you.


This weekend the husband and I are going to Fresno. Willingly. Because I'm going to announce at the Bako/Smog City bout Saturday night. Should be verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting. And hot. I hate hot, but I have no choice.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hit Me!

Adventures in animation:

Yesterday the studio I'm working for sold off a buttload of animation desks. These desks were allegedly around $5 GRAND APIECE when they were first bought. They're really nice; hydraulics to raise and lower the desktop, side shelves and drawers to put all one's animation crap in, they even have electrical outlets on 'em! Verrrrrry nice.

The studio sold them for $100 EACH.


So the husband and I rented a van and got ourselves a desk.

It took forever...we got the van, drove to the Valley, and found a clusterf#%^% of epic proportions. I wasn't too surprised, but the husband wasn't happy. The original idea was that on the hour, every hour for four hours, a new group of people came, signed in, paid up, and got a desk loaded for them. The staggering of groups was to help keep a flow going through the loading dock.

Um, yeah. Didn't happen.

We got there a half hour before my appointed time, and the loading dudes weren't done with the first group(I was in the third group). So we waited for about two hours in line. snore. Then there were the groups of artists who banded together to rent just one truck, and had up to six desks loaded. That took forever. Then there was the pizza break that the movers took, leaving the two studio security guards to help load stuff in. Then there was the coworker who had trouble backing his rented truck into the loading area. Needless to say, he got a lot of grief from me since he regularly loves to aggravate me at work. His new name is, "Drives Like A Girl". Hehehehheh!

So we finally got my desk, along with extra bulbs for the light table, and an extra disk(worth around $60 or so)loaded up and back to the Westside in early afternoon. We unloaded most of the pieces with no incident, but the main desk part is too wide to put into the art room. So the husband has to take it apart and bring it in piece by piece to reassemble. Oh, and the hydraulics don't work. So we have to figure out how to get that going.

Then derby crap took over. We had to find outfits for the Sleazy 70's fundraiser thingy going on that evening. So after taking my sister to our favorite Italian place for an early birthday dinner, we dragged her along on our shopping spree. Two hours, $88 and two stores later, we had our goofy outfits for the evening. The husband ended up looking like Al Pacino from Scarface, and I ended up looking like a 70's groupie, complete with halter top. That was funny.

Here's a video clip that one of the Dolls and her boyfriend put together. The choice of soundtrack alone is fantastic, in my never-humble opinion:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm in my office...

...makin sum drawings.

This whole driving-30-miles-to-work thing is taking a bit to get used to again. No matter which route to Bore-bank I take, it's Lane-splitsville on the ol' murdersickle. Which reminds me, I gotta give the poor machine an oil change this weekend.


My new office is OK. When the air conditioner isn't on, it gets stuffy. But when the air conditioner does come on, I expect snow flurries any second because it's so damn cold. No matter how I set the thermostat, it's either stuffy or freezing. Ah well, at least I'm kinda out in the far reaches of the crew. Right now I'm the last outpost...the other offices beyond mine are for the moment empty. That probably won't last long.

The main complaint I have about the office is that the desk is stinky. Kinda an unwashed-animation-dork stink. I tried wiping everything down with some Clorox wipes, but that hasn't only added a rotting fruit stench. Oh joy. Thank gawd the window opens to the outside world!

The work is coming along nicely. I'm trying to throw in a Big Lebowski reference in a section I'm boarding. Mainly from the Gutterballs sequence. The director is saying, We can't do that! The reference to the Log Jammin' porno from the film will not fly! My response is that the kids won't get it and the adults will laugh their guts out if they've seen the flick. For once I'm being subtle about this. Srsly.

The crew is cool. They're funny and ridiculously talented. As in, what the hell am I doing on this production when there are so many damn good artists on it? I'm the weak link in the chain. A little unnerving, but much like everything else on this job, if I don't dwell on it too much I seem to do OK.

Freelance is keeping me busy at night. It's plugging along, and I'm really happy about how it's turning out.

Derby crap is keeping me busy as well. Giving private lessons, doing more announcing, arranging for hiatus-training fun, and I'll be an MC at our little fundraiser/social thingy on Saturday:

Do I have an outfit for this shindig? Of course not. Will I have time to get one? Probably not, as I have an animation desk to pick up Saturday morning and haul home. Should be entertaining.

Show up and have a derby chick yell at you drunkenly. It's entertaining and for a good!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Last night the husband and I straddled worlds and went to not one, but two parties. One was the birthday party for one of our animation buddies, CH. The other was an office-themed party(as opposed to a The Office-themed party) thrown by one of the Derby Dolls, TZ.

It's always a little surreal to go from one persona to another. Or at least it's weird being called one name then a different name based on the change of venue. But a common thread of the evening is that both CH and TZ lovelovelove monkeys(and who doesn't, in the end?). So I gave each of them little monkey toys to play with.


It was the first time for me to check out the living quarters of each party person, and it's always fun to see how other people arrange their stuff. As opposed to me, who has no organizational skills whatsoever. CH has a lot of DVD's. A LOT of DVD's. Some books, but not as many books as DVD's. TZ had a LOT of books. I like looking at people's bookshelves to see what they have and mentally compare it to what I've got. There's usually little to no overlap, which is fun.

So I was looking in a very non-specific way at TZ's books, and it got me thinking about my bookshelves and what's on them. I don't have enough damn bookshelves for all the damn books the husband and I have accumulated. He specializes in science fiction, I specialize in biographies. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Sam Goldwyn to a Scottish guy who helped bring in modern surgery techniques in the mid-1700's in England.

I also have a smattering of kids books. Not a lot. Many animation artists collect the old Golden Books rabidly because of Mary Blair and a couple other Disney artists who did work for GB. Dr. Seuss is of course also popular. Maurice Sendak is up there, too. But my personal fave artist is usually way underrepresented in peoples' bookshelves: Shel Silverstein. Yeah, that dude that wrote The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and a buttload of other kids books.

I grew up with The Giving Tree, Lafcadio, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic. It wasn't until I was an adult myself that I found out that he wrote adult-themed stuff. Go buy Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book RIGHT NOW if you don't already have it. It's silly. We need more of that kind of silliness in the world.

And then there was the way he drew. I think I soaked up his influence the most in the way he drew, with the simple, solid black lines. Much like...a Sharpie! It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Anyway, when Silverstein died, I didn't hear much about it in the press. Not like the hullabaloo when Dr. Seuss died. Not that I'm saying that Dr. Seuss didn't deserve the attention he got(having Jesse Jackson read Green Eggs and Ham on SNL as a eulogy was absolutely cool), but I've wondered why Silverstein doesn't get the attention like some of the other top artists?

Sad, as I think he deserved better.