Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Next?

Being injured sucks.

Not exactly a newsflash, but DAYUM I miss skating. I'm still supposed to refrain from anything that hurts my knee, so no derby, no running, no Tarametrics, no burpees. In other words, all the high-impact stuff I do, I can't do. I still ride the bicycle at least 45 minutes a day, and take a walk at lunch, but...yeah. SO not the same.

Going at a literally slower pace isn't fun, but adjusting food intake for that slower pace has been sucktabulous, too. Whether I like it or not, if I stray too often from salad, my pants tell me that I should rethink that strategy for future wearings of said pants.

Of course the worst part of not skating? Not skating. Not just the physicality of it, or the skating with my team, but the adrenaline and endorphin levels are now off. WAY off, because I can't do anything to raise them up because of my damn knee.  The result of this lowered inactivity and loss of adrenaline and endorphins has made me very, VERY cranky. REALLY cranky. UNBEARABLY cranky. And everyone has felt it, especially the Dear Husband.

He's now adopted an aversion to me that's rather extraordinary, considering that he rarely leaves the house...our small, small house. But when he's foolish enough to try to talk to me, it's to tell me that I have to find a way to keep skating, because I'm pretty much intolerable in my non-skating state.

The funny thing is, he just kept saying I need to stay in derby, which I took to mean staying involved in derby. But no, he was really saying I need to keep skating. The difference was highlighted to me when I had lunch one day with Hurricane Ken, and I was bemoaning my crankiness to him. He sighed, nodded knowingly,  and said flat-out that I'm in withdrawals from the adrenaline, and that he went through a similar experience when he stopped racing cars. It got so bad he couldn't even watch racing for a long time. Ahhhh, someone understands!

And it's interesting that of all the talk about injuries, and how to stay involved while not being able to directly participate, it's the adrenaline and endorphins that don't get talked about much. Because I think that stuff does as much to the injured person as the immobility and lack of belonging many experience.  For myself, the only time I've sustained a happy feeling outside of Rollercon for more than a few hours was last week when I skated while torturing the new Fresh Meat skaters. It was the first time since June where I felt I got a good workout(my endurance has predictably gone to shit)and my body absolutely craved the euphoria I experienced afterwards. With not much knee pain, I might add.


Anyway, I had tried to divert my unskatingness into coaching and other derby work. The coaching wasn't bad, because I got to yell, and therefore felt somewhat useful. But the other derby work? Ugh. I want no part of it anymore, because there has been a severe lack of positive payoff for my time and energy in those areas. And that's another side topic entirely...ever notice when nonskaters try to participate in DIY derby, even if they were at one point skaters, they're not seen as part of the collective as much as a skater is? Which is fucking DUMB, because "by the skaters, for the skaters" is great until you realize how much fucking work running a league is. It sure would make life easier and better for everyone if the burden was shared with those who aren't skating for whatever reason. But at least with my league, when a skater retires, she doesn't stick around much. I can think of about three exceptions to that observation. Three out many hundreds?


More importantly, I feel like an outsider in my own league. I felt I've been getting pushed aside in subtle and not-so-subtle ways this season. I can't say how much of my outlook on this is because of the non-skating part, or because I'm seeing the league in a different light. But it's there, and it's telling me time to do something different.

My main goal right now is to successfully finish this season. That's really the only solid goal I have right now. There are other things floating in my brain...I still want to train, I still think I can contribute to interleague stuff, and I still want to skate, but not under the current setup.

This injury has changed my outlook on work, derby, and life. Much as derby itself has changed me. But I want to be able to skate like I did before; with minimal pain and no further damage. Especially since my happiness is still stuck in an apparently old rut. Stupid adrenaline.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Remember When?

Once upon a time, I worked on Pinky and the Brain. It was my first job at Warner Bros.  Back in those days, schedules were really lax compared to what we have to crank out today. In fact, I spent the first six weeks on the job doing nothing. Literally nothing, because the writers were horrendously behind schedule.

Anyway, since the schedules were reasonable(though we didn't know that then, I remember hearing people complain about how tight the deadlines were!), we'd be able to have some drawing fun on our own. My cute friend Becca just posted a few gems online, and so I thought I'd share the hilarity and post them here.

This is a birthday card that background painter Greg Dubuque did for Becca's birthday. The crowd that's running away from the robot is our particular crew, which includes director Kirk Tingblad, designers Steve Smith and Ashanti Miller, production assistant Lisa Melcolm-Weisman, storyboard artist Eric McConnell, and yours truly. And yes, Greg did a fantastic job on this!

Here's a card I did for Becca. Tallulah is Becca's bird, obviously. My colored pencil shading is atrocious, but I almost made a funny.

As usual on any show that a bunch of smart-alecky artists are on for any amount of time, the weird drawings are bound to happen. The following two are the result of a drawing...competition? between myself and the always-amazing Diane Kredensor. It all started with me drawing Pinky picking at the lint in his bellybutton on the far left of the below photo and leaving the drawing on Diane's desk when she wasn't looking. She then did a reply drawing(I think her first one was the nose-picking one)and left that on my desk. And so it escalated.

Each drawing was done on regular 8x11" paper, but after we finished the drawings, we took all of them and shrunk them down on the xerox machine, and placed them on official Warners Expression Sheet paper. In the usual production pipeline, all designs were xeroxed onto official WB paper and distributed to the crew accordingly. This is my expression sheet:

And this is Diane's expression sheet:

And this is the drawing that ended the competition. Some might say prematurely, but I say it ended just in time. Yes, I did it:

And so ends today's Nostalgic Travels. I have a huge box of Warner-era drawings in the form of both storyboards and various doodles, drawings, and whatnot from my fellow artists that I had the extreme pleasure to work with at the time. Becca's rummagings have made me realize that I should dig through my stash o' stuff and post what I have for the world to see. Because once upon a time working in animation was FUN.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Saga of the Louise Bunny Ear Hats

As most of you know, I'm working on Bob's Burgers. This year for Comic Con, the Powers That Be decided to hand out bunny ear hats, which is worn by Louise in the show:

I couldn't go to Comic Con this year. Which I was displeased about, but I had UK guests Neil and Tara over (that's a whole other post right thurr, I gotta get on that) that weekend, so whatever.

Last year the Comic Con giveaway were cool t-shirts, and all the artists working on the show got a shirt before Comic Con. This year right before Comic Con, the bunny ear hats were delivered to the studio. Someone opened a box, and some of the artists grabbed a hat and wandered around the studio looking hilariously ridiculous. Then management came through and took the hats back, saying they were only for Comic Con. What?! But then they apparently claimed the artists would get hats after Comic Con. Ok, whatever.

In the meantime, I was contacted through Facebook by Terminal City ref, coach, Johnny Qwadd. He apparently comes to LA-LA Land quite a bit, and has been to Derby Doll games. He asked if I was going to Comic Con, and that he loves watching Bob's Burgers. I tell him I won't be there, but to be sure to keep an eye out for the bunny ear hats, since they'll be a hot item. Then the whole taking-the-hats-back-from-the-artists thing happened, and I asked Johnny that if he gets his paws on a hat, to get one for me, since I wouldn't be able to get one.

A few days after Comic Con, he posts this on my Facebook page:

WOW! He was able to snag not just one hat, but TWO of them! And he says he'll give BOTH to me! HOLY MOLEY! 

The most obvious way to get the hats to me was to meet up at Rollercon. But he wasn't going. DRAT. But he found out that since Luludemon from PivotStar will be vending, he just needed to get the hats to her and then I could stop by her booth and pick them up. Great!

First he hands off the hats to his wife Player 1 and fellow skater Snow Crash to hand off to Luludemon:

And so Luludemon packs the hats with her to come to Vegas as the Merch Mule:

And then, I finally get the bunny hats and can take a totally ludicrous photo with B-Train from Wicked Skatewear:

This was kind of a huge favor, to have a Canadian get me goofy hats from San Diego and then get them shipped to Vegas for me to pick up. As a thank you, I gave Luludemon a Derby Dolls bandana and a Tara tattoo. Johnny Qwadd got a shirt. Guess which one I gave him?

I think everyone came out good on this deal. And as of this writing, the Bob's Burgers artists are still hatless. Except for me! It's good to have friends!