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  1.  (9976.1)
    Saturday Night Open Mic: for those newcomers who don't know the drill, Saturday Night Open Mic is for venting, posing, talking about your future, and trying not to spill drink down your shirtfront.

    Tell me about your week. Tell me your ambitions. Tell me one thing you want to have done by year's end. Tell me... hell, tell me what your new favourite thing is, what you're listening to right now, tell me anything you want me to know. Get something off your chest, make me laugh, or simply touch yourself furtively in the dark.

    Photos are always good, but not essential.

    Speak now.

    -- W
    • CommentAuthorAkiramich
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011

    I live in Pittsburgh Pa and this weekend is the 7th anniversary of the David L Lawrence Convention Center hosting Anthrocon. Which means there are furries everywhere. And much discussion in my office about the difference between plushies and furries, and how a number of people went to "Furry-oke" last night and made badges identifying themselves as trappers or poachers or some variation. Also it has been damp and rainy here the last couple days and Im worried that the furries might be a bit musty.

    To go along with this, the Toonmuseum [in the same area] decided to have a superhero block party and are encouraging people to come dressed as super heroes and are having a lot of activites for the kids and such. So apparently there is a menage of superheroes and furries a couple blocks from my office but I can't be bothered to go check out the scene.
  2.  (9976.3)
    Hello Warren Allfather.

    I have decided finally to become a more regular denizen rather than a lurker of this glorious webspace after finally realising the massive potential the internet holds for me in particular, rather than just the world.

    My week has been pretty shitty. I need to find another job because this one just plain isn't working out. But enough of that.

    My ambitions are get a netlabel I've been gestating for a manner of weeks - Aural Sects, for those who are interested - into something workable that benefits all involved. We're following a very dangerous democratic formula, moderated by myself (all decisions are made by a consensus, meaning lots of to-ing and fro-ing) which makes sense as we're all in the same little pocket of resistance that doesn't grab too much attention in the music world, and is pretty much the only way we can do things properly when we all live in different timezones.

    The one thing I was before years' end is to put out an honest-to-gods old fashioned album. I have been making pop music for less than 3 months, and two of which were spent doing drag mixes - before that was all dots on manuscript and gatherings of pianos and string players... I have the thing planned out in entirety from start to finish because structure is, like, my "thing", but no motivation to do it. I keep thinking the last thing anyone needs is yet another Witch House wannabe.

    I'm currently buzzing my tits off to Light Asylum and our own Texture's remix of one of his tracks, Assassin's Creed (forthcoming on Aural Sects [shameless plug]). My favourite thing WAS which has been cruelly denied to me after three days of obsession.

    The thing I need off my chest... I'm becoming increasingly aware that sharing my partner with another is not fulfilling my wants. I have what I need, but by Christ I want more of her. The only comforting thought I have is that it's better than nothing at all.

    I think it would be almost impossible to make someone as brilliantly humorous as yourself laugh but here it goes:
    What do Prince Charming and Wolverine have in common?

    I am going to dye of shame in the corner. Touching myself furtively in the dark, just to cover all bases.
  3.  (9976.4)
    have something like 40 essays and assignments to mark by monday. not impossible but made inconvenient by my asthma rearing it's unwelcome head and the discovery that there was only one squirt left in my preventer.

    not had time to listen to much new music of late which is annoying as i have a huge stack of submissions for the zine next to me waiting to be listened to. one more week of term and then i can start wading through them.

    I cannot wait for this academic year to end it's been rewarding but has taken a severe toll on my health. i haven't felt this run down and tired in about 10 years.

    am going to celebrate the end of term on friday with a couple of friends making cocktails (none of us have ever tried them) and recording an album of drunken improvisations.
  4.  (9976.5)
    Filming on location is a nightmare.

    One would think shooting inside an apartment would be easier than, say, filming in a restaurant with customers and waiters walking by in the background and talking very loudly. And usually it would be, if the apartment in question wasn't located in Santa Teresa.

    Santa Teresa is a hill on the Lapa district. It's like a tumor growing out of a turd. Lapa is, during the weekend, the city's nightclub district and an absolute shithole. During the week, Lapa is just a shithole. Santa Teresa is slightly different. It's also a shithole. But which you climb a hill to get to.

    I'd been warned by my colleagues that filming in Santa Teresa was a test of your will to live. And they were right. The neighborhood should be renamed Cacophonia.

    First of all, no-one in Santa Teresa is aware that there's nothing wrong with talking to someone while standing next to them. No, people in Santa Teresa seem to think other people are radioactive and keep a distance of fifty yards from one another. Conversations go like this:


    When they finally shut up, I raise the boom mic, the director desperately presses the record button, the actors try to say their lines fast enough to finish the take but are invariably interrupted by another asshole yelling. Or all the dogs in Santa Teresa suddenly barking. Or a car going by. Or a bus going by. Or a fucking streetcar going by. Or a chainsaw. Or the director suffering a nervous breakdown.

    We were also relying on sunlight. If we weren't done by sunset, the lighting would be ruined beyond the magic of post-processing. The constant noises were a huge delay, coupled with the usual problems we face in any shoot -- memory cards and batteries needing to be changed, finding power sources, cords that are long enough to get to them, sound configuration and so on. All this done by two people, the director of photography (me) and the director. Our third crew member couldn't be there that day.

    At one point, we were filming outside the apartment. Minutes away from sunset. The actors were standing on their marks, I was holding a boom mic above them and the director was next to the camera, prepared to press the "record" button.

    And this cunt comes up to us and goes --

    "Y'all filming?"

    The director was seemingly stunned silent by the sheer retardedness of the question. I nodded frantically, as in "YES GO THE FUCK AWAY" but the dumbass was looking at the director, who remained frozen.

    "I just have some information I'd like to share with you," said the imbecile, "we have a movie company too, and we'd like to turn these stairs into seats so people can watch movies on a big screen we'll put up. We want to turn this spot into a cultural place, which should help the neighborhood..."

    ... and on he went for five precious minutes. I desperately tried to will the sun into going back up but surprisingly I failed. Meanwhile the director continued to listen silently, trying to think of a delicate way of telling the jackass to fuck off. You have to be careful not to hurt the brain of someone who actually believes it's a good idea to put a big, noisy movie screen right next to other people's apartments in a neighborhood that already has a noise problem.

    We got the take finished but couldn't film anything else. By the end of that day's shoot me and the director were a fucking wreck. We're probably going back tomorrow to finish the job, and oh the joy that will accompany us shall make flowers blossom everywhere we pass.

    But still it's a very fun job, it's what I always wanted to work at, and I got to direct my first short film. I shall be directing another, very different one soon.

    So I can't complain. Although I just did, at length.

    This is how I look these days:

    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011
    Today I made these: Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies, which I've dubbed diabeetus chip cookies, for a reddit meetup my wife is attending at the moment. I'm not cool enough for that scene, so I've settled in for a night of drinking alone (my favorite kind of drinking).

    After a fit of rage over my atrophied art skills, I've signed up for Drawing 1 at my local community college for the Fall semester. I'm super excited, despite the fact that it's 8 am to 2 pm every Saturday. So for the next two moths before it starts, I've vowed to draw something, anything, every day. I'm going to draw some goddamn comics someday, 15 year old me, I promise!
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    Good day to you, Grandmaster Ellis.

    Early afternoon here and I have to tell you if El BatSpurioso doesn't keep up some kind of SNOM I will be very sad, indeed. These always encapsulate what a fine community you created here at Whitechapel.

    It's been a very quiet week of some work and some lazying out of work and some hanging out and some being afraid of the neighbors. Some problems with my oldest brother, the likes of which make me contemplate myself and how I've changed over the last dozen-ish years. Namely that in my early 20s I would have written out the sticky details here, but now I'm good with simply noting that my brother is not right in the head and the rest is a private matter for my family. I wonder if I'm embarrassed and that's all. i don't feel ashamed though. Annoyed that we have few options, certainly, but I don't want to share. It's peculiar really. I used to be so ready to bleed on everything and everyone, and now I want some mystique? huh?

    whatever. Two voice classes this week up in Burbank, 40+ miles from where I live. Thankfully I have brilliant friends a lot closer who are eager to let me borrow their couch and a sleeping bag. I wonder what I should think of myself, couch surfing in middle age. But I think nothing other than I have brilliant friends. Trucked up for a class on preparing myself & my material for a voice demo. My teacher is Steve Staley. He's not coaching us just guiding us toward copy that will best suit what we can do in the booth and as such hm... I'm trying to think of a decent analogy that captures the careening energy at the same time that he's still and focused.... Can a riot be silent and still? Maybe a rampaging elephant that is very, very smart. At any rate his keen sense for copy and judgment of our voices has made me a bit sharper about this whole voice thing. I keep flip flopping on how ready I feel to make a demo. Sometimes I'm dead sure I could lay down something that would rock. Sometimes I'm dead sure I'd fuck up anything in front of me.

    The second voice class was for animation with my previous coach, Melique Berger. I can't for the life of me find a decent list of credits of hers online. }:/ Now this lady is a crazy good time. Her personality is huge and the madder she gets, the easier it is for me. At least, it's really hard to be nervous if I'm laughing my ass off. But she taught me the basics of reading for commericals, now it's on to being a cartoon. The sort of voice work that I've fucked around with since I was kid and entertaining my siblings with renditions of Roger Rabbit, Sylvester the Cat, Darth Vader, GI Jane and The Baroness.... Gonna be a good time, I just know it.

    Between classes I hung out at the aforementioned good friends' house, which I've named the HP Haus, but also refer to it as my home away from home and my forward operating base. The people there are Burners, as are their friends in the house next door. And it all works out like one extensive tribe of warm and generous people about 98% of the time. But there's 2% of the time when there are folks who abuse the generosity, who demand continuous attention and/or strife, or who take the openness and tolerance to a degree the others don't feel comfortable with. I try to step lightly around because usually it's a balance that works out beautifully. But this time a couple things got out of control just a titch, enough that friends weren't as shiny happy as usual. But I think - hope - it'll settle soon enough.

    For me the downside of the HP Haus was that this time the couch betrayed me and fucked up my back somehow. Two days later and if I move wrong I'll get shooting pains stabbing up my back. No good. I have shit to do and I'm already prone to laziness. One more excuse is so not what I need.

    As you can guess, I'm aiming for a voice over career. In the fall I'm planning on resuming my Japanese studies. I want to take myself seriously as an actor. I want to be trilingual (which means I need to up my Spanish a little, right now it's too casual). I want to travel to Japan as well as around Latin America. I want to write and speak professionally in these languages. I'm a decent writer, I reckon, having already made a living writing copy and doing a fair job of articles and essays here and there. I want to fix things, make the world better, and that.

    But narrowing the scope, I want to be able to converse, even if it's simply, in Japanese by the end of the year. I want to have a demo and have done at least one professional commercial (e.g. one where I got paid, even if it was non-union, regional radio...).

    New favorite thing... thinking my way into non-thinking. I like being present to every moment. To rub up against its edges, lick the ambiance, take its reality in deep. But that's no kind of way to move forward. Professional success requires being ahead of the experience, even if its just by the skin of one's nose, and knowing your shit is going to land just the way you planned. I got too good at not thinking ahead of myself, maybe. (Though probably not.) And I have to break with that. Kill my mind in order to free it. So the new favorite thing is really the old favorite thing, but in a pretty new hat.

    Listening to Charles Mingus. Earlier it was traditional Mexican music, which I don't really mind, that my parents were playing. I've grown up listening to it and some of it's a lot of fun to sing to. At any rate, of the music my parents play it's far and away better than the soppy English-language lounge standards they love.

    I've gone on for far too long. I'm putting off joining my folks at the park a couple of while away. Family reunion of sorts. Being at the park I can't hit the drink every time some old biddy asks me how i'm doing in college. Moreover, it's bittersweet. Well, bitter-blank. I'm not in a hurry to memorize my cousin's names and their herds of children. And most of my aunts and uncles that I once looked forward to seeing again...well I'm not going to be seeing them, at least not today. Probably.

    Last, but not least, Warren, I don't know if you've seen this - the 10,000 year clock - but as I read the post I kept thinking, "What will the Warren Ellis of 1000 years from now make of this? I wonder if he'll think we're complete idiots but also indulge a little smile somewhere in his alcohol-inoculated heart."
  5.  (9976.8)
    Evening all.

    I'm currently into the second day of 4 of being alone in the house. This marks the longest time since I got ill 8 years ago that I've had to fly solo. Seem to be coping alright so far, but forward planning of pre-packed foods was essential.

    I am getting drunk and being followed around the house by a very confused dog. Who is getting more confused the more drunk I get.

    By years end I want to have started a small press ebook publisher. Have already bagsed a novella off a mate, now to organise logos, websites etc.
    I would also like to have sold a piece of my own writing, but I have no real control over that one.
  6.  (9976.9)
    New this week: I bought a house. The dining room looks like this:

    The ceilings are carved wood, and it is pretty darn nifty.
    My wife and I have been spending the last week getting it sorted. Still not even close to done, but it's looking better... I really have no idea what to say on these things.
    Owning a house is something that I've always known I would do eventually, and something that never occurred to my wife.
    As for something that I want done by the end of the year: Getting some of the plaster redone would be nice, followed by painting. Possibly ripping out the carpet and refinishing the fir wood floors.
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    Hello, Cyber Swami. Hope you are well and have your nurses at the ready to top off your Red Bull IV drip.

    I was going to go to pro wrestling academy but they wanted like $150 on the spot. That is probably reasonable if you have nothing better to do than spend mommy and daddies money but I work for what I've got and well, I'm not THAT desperate to feel alive and beat some ass or whatever.
    Anyway, the new Space Shark (#28) strip has been taking me all week to draw. I am becoming miserable because I can't finish my stupid comics, so I will cap things off at #30, nice even number. It's time to do something else for a while. Thanks for holding an open mic once again and for your support!

    Anyway, SDCC next month! Fuuuu--

    domino masks are cool :P
  7.  (9976.11)
    I've had a good week. Today I went to part one of Alt Fiction, the science fiction, fantasy and horror convention in the East Midlands. Also seeing a comic I've written finally be published online for free on my website. (There is also thread on Whitechapel.) Bought three Kurt Vonnegut books for £3 from the stand in the dealer room promoting the British Fantasy Con down in Brighton. Despite the horrors of travelling to and from Derby, Alt Fiction was fun. I'm going again tomorrow.

    After a tutorial from Graham Joyce, I've decided that my ambition really is to become a Zen master of short stories. I want to learn how to write taunt wiry short stories that climb their way up up a massive cliff face balancing only on quartz crystals the size of pin heads.

    I'm listening to Four Tet. You should know that the SF community is still bloody infuriating.

    Decompression TV and sleep needed now. No pictures.
  8.  (9976.12)
    Good Evening Warren, Si, Whitechapel...

    The mundane: After over 2 months of ongoing issue, maintenance actually found the massive leak in the air conditioning unit that's been plaguing my roommate and I. Apparently, one of the pieces of copper tubing connected to the roof part of the unit had slowly vibrated loose over the last 25 years, causing part of the unit housing that the tube was rubbing against to act as a crude hack saw. So, functional AC is finally back in order. Now it's a matter of seeing how long it takes them to address the leaks and black mold in the bathroom, as I showed it to them on Thursday when they repaired the AC, and they acknowledge that it was a priority issue. Downside is that the maintenance guy who was here specializes in HVAC, and is the only one they have for 700+ properties (not counting individual rental units within the properties). The upside is that he said he's going to bring it up to his supervisor directly about having it looked at, and that he actually gave me his cell number (which he doesn't hand out), and told me to call him if I don't see someone here by Tuesday. All in all, while I don't care for the slumlord management company that my temporary roommate rents from, I have to give credit and respect to the HVAC maintenance guy for being willing to grease the proverbial wheel of his own accord like that-- many (perhaps even most) wouldn't.

    My plans: Keep moving forward, no matter how slow it may feel at times. Sometimes it's the slightest of movement, but any movement is better than none, and eventually things get closer. I think we all find ourselves at moments of self-perceived stagnation at times.

    Artistically, I need to find a good way to set up a streamlined commission ordering system on my website. Just as importantly, if not more so, I need to find an optimal way to make prints avaibable of my artwork. Any input on this would be appreciation, including options for POD ordering, and high quality prints. There are probably a number of creative types on this site that would be interested in this info, actually. One thing I don't want to do is be the home laserprinter person--I have one very talented friend who sells prints of their art, and upon seeing the prints they're selling, it looks like a bad home printing job. Not only does that detract from one's work, but it's also a potential letdown for anyone ordering a print that expects a decent quality. Whatever option I take, it will be at least next week before I'm able to start putting time into looking at it, as I have one looming priority right now. By year's end, I hope to have these things well in place, to have steady work in the gaming industry from a couple sources, and to be at a point that I can be back home in Kansas City, where all of my stuff is currently in storage with friends.

    This weekend is my 20th High School Reunion. I've been C O M P L E T E L Y disinterested in going. So, while numerous people from high school are in town, and one event was just scant blocks away from me at a bar last night, I've just opted not to go.

    Yesterday I caught up with a very old friend, who's in town for said reunion, and made some new friends. Then, I went to visit another old friend, who works at the comic store that I bought my comics at when I used to collect. He still works there, albeit with a handful of years away somewhere between when I stopped collecting in '95 and now. While there, the owner stopped in, who I hadn't seen since I stopped collecting-- he's owned the shop for over 30 years. We talked for a bit, and I mentioned that I recently discovered that my comics were still in existence, although I'm not currently sure of the state they're in. In turn, I offered them first shot at selling them-- they may not get much, given that the comics market isn't what it was, but to be honest, anything out of them is basically unexpected bonus, given that I thought they were gone, and if I can allow them to pull a profit off of it in the process, all the better. They're good people, they were good to me, and all these years later, it would be nice to show that I still have appreciation for that. All in all, yesterday was a good day, better than I expected.

    Here's a picture of me with the friend in town for the reunion:

    The pizza dough on my head is courtesy of the 10yr old son of one of said new friends. No, I didn't kill him. Nor did I deposit him in the trash can. I promise. ;)

    Now I sit here, ready to do a major push on a cover that I'm coloring. You'll probably see it here when I'm done, but I'll leave that up to Emmy's discretion as to when I'm able to post it. There's a honeyed brandy on the rocks next to me, a large flagon (read: plastic fast food cup) of sweet iced coffee next to it, and, waiting for me in the fridge, a can of this:

    (ingredients actually include red peppers, salt, spices, and garlic...)

    Courtesy of my roommate, who brought it back from California, where he found it for $0.50/can.

    Needless to say, tonight should prove interesting... Pray I don't die, otherwise Emmy has to find another colorist to complete the job (AWKWARD).

    As always, thank you for your hospitality.
      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    I am getting older. I knew it would happen but it never really occurred to me that I would be so conscious of it; actually feeling my skin wrinkle, sag and begin to droop under the chin. Hooray for Saturday
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    Hi Warren,

    *Cough* the thread as mentioned by Will Ellwood *cough*

    Made a start on making good on things I'd promised in 2010.
    It's been a busy few months. I've been moody and hidden myself from the internet, or from another perspective,
    have not exposed myself on the internet that much.

    Annnd I gained another superpower!

    the ability to whistle up booze, anytime, anywhere.

    Hope the evening finds you well.

    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    The past...hell, two weeks have been pretty fabulous.

    I went to NYC again last week. Sadly, for not much time, but I managed to meet a few Whitechapel folks and a few friends. Next time I head back it will be for longer and Katelan Foisy and I have already decided that we'll be heading to Coney Island for a shoot. The place is absolutely fabulous and I was impressed with myself for finding a Freak Show with a bar within five minutes of arriving in that strange land.

    This week was essentially hitting the ground running, allowing for now recovery time from the trip. At the office, a client is launching an album while another is releasing a music video for the first time in five years. On the homefront, I had things to do which was exciting. It was wonderful to visit with the ever-talented and wonderful Veronika von Voklova, who was visiting Toronto for a bit. We had dinner, schemed on photo stuff and went out to take some photos around the Danforth area.It was wonderful. Other nights, I went to a client's release party concert, and on friday a performance I was INCREDIBLY excited about, the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I had been listening to Glenn Miller along with Ray Noble and many others since high school. So it was a...big deal for me. I took off work early and made an effort to glam myself up best I could.

    My Beer blog, The Thirsty Wench is starting to get...noticed. I'm finding posts are being linked by breweries and, most notably, the Ontario Craft Brewer's Association. It's...interesting.

    Photography, sadly, is being limited to exercises and excursions for me. With a little luck, I'll be collaborating with some folks and doing some concept pieces that are more up my alley VERY soon.

    Here's a bad cell phone pic of me from last night on the way to the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
    • CommentAuthorarchizero
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011
    finally finished my master's thesis. sat on it for almost a year until i had to defend it in front of a jury last friday. it was a grueling two hour session in wich my work (teaching art to k-12 students using 3D programs and virtual reality) was described as insane and risky. but it turned out rather well... left the room thinking i'd get a low grade, and yet the jury gave me one of the highest possible grades of the university. and a job offer. it does pay to be insane...
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    Week: I have discovered that I really don't enjoy the responsibilities that bosses usually have. I've had to basically keep things going with two new-ish workers, who are both people I like, except. Except they both are a little stubborn and smart asses and trying to read their moods can be a pain is a bit shit. Oh, and Wednesday night, my right arm (radial distribution nerve in particular) hurt so much that I have no idea how I managed to fall asleep. I thought I was fine the next day but it's still not quite better. And I've got a kink in my neck that's been going on for three days. Woo! So work has been stressful lately.
    Ambitions: Hah! I think for now it's best if I don't think about that.
    Have done by year's end: Be a little saner. I think I can do that. Maybe. Actually, move out of my parents' house.

    I don't think I have any new favorite things now, or anything that I'm listening to that is worth mentioning, and I'm not sure you want to read what I'm thinking right now. Is is sad that I'm more comfortable telling strangers on the internet about what's going on with me than my therapist? The depression is getting worse, and I'm not sure what to do next, because right now counselling is an awkward waste of money. It's become fairly obvious that I can't even push myself to draw something simple like a pear, on top of the nerves in my arms/wrists/hands having issues. I'm starting to suspect that I have some sort of narcissistic disorder as I can rarely think much of my own artwork without someone else with good taste telling me it's good. I've been taking photos still. I've got at least 200 photos to go through so that's something. I'm getting to be needy again, and it seems I'm alienating people no matter how careful I try to be. I'm so fucking lonely, it's almost hilarious.

    I may post a photo when the other computer becomes available so I can actually get the photo I want to use online.
    Edit: Self portrait added:
    reflection self portrait
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    @Warped Savant if I moved into that place I'd spend at least a week laying on the carpet, staring at the ceiling. Lovely place.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011
    It's my birthday. 29 years. Seems weird.
  9.  (9976.20)
    @infomancer: Happy Birthday! My birthdays have been feeling weird for a while now.

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