Archive for January, 2011
I edited Dire Straits’ video for their 1985 single Walk of Life, taking out the band performance and all non-baseball sports footage, leaving only the baseball bits. That’s 15.87% of the whole video. And 40 minutes of my life that I will never get back.
It’s fairly rare that I’m in bed before midnight. Only about 20 times last year. Monday night/Tuesday morning was no exception. I was lying in bed, doing some drawing, playing some Angry Birds, watching old Alan Partridge episodes on YouTube, and somehow, it was suddenly 4 a.m. Light off. Brain still active. Thought about something, reached out of bed, grabbed the laptop, started doing more stuff, time ticked on. 5.30 a.m. Time to decide. I stayed awake. Emailing with friends in Europe. 7 a.m. and there’s a few pink clouds in the sky. Out to get coffee and croissant. Get back home, and one of my flatmates is in the kitchen. I do nothing to dissuade him from thinking I’m supercool and just getting home from a big night out. After my coffee, I take a shower, then return to my laptop. I love the feeling of being awake for too long. I seem to average staying awake for more than 24 hours once or twice a year. There was that time in 2007 when I was up for 67 hours, but I doubt that’ll be repeated ever again. The feeling is great. How quickly it can flit from your body demanding that you go to sleep, to being fine again. A bit floaty, but fine. I decided that it was time to try “Trout Mask Replica” again. Ignoring my previous thoughts that life is too short to try and understand “Trout Mask Replica,” ignoring the fact that I have owned CD copies twice and got rid of them, I downloaded it. Illegally. I’m simply not paying for something I’ve bought twice before. I had it in my head that going for a walk in the park after not sleep, would be the perfect way to try and get into “Trout Mask Replica.” Once it had downloaded, I pressed play, listened to about 15 seconds before calling myself a knob. I closed my eyes. Just for a moment. I must’ve been asleep within two minutes of turning it off, looking at the time of the “last played” songs and the time unread emails arrived. My plan foiled by my body. Still, going to bed around 11.30 a.m. and waking up at 4 p.m. does allow me to feel that eating tacos for breakfast is legit.
Drawn using the Brushes app for iPad. More finger painting here.
When I was taking the baubles photograph the other day, I was looking upwards, and holding the camera around chest height. In a few of the photos I took, the frame caught the underside of my chin. It’s an angle of myself I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Frankly, the underside of my chin is a little odd-looking from that angle, where you can’t see my nose or glasses or hair. It’s like Sugar Loaf mountain or something.
Every morning, I walk to Starbucks to get a coffee. There are closer coffee places, but Starbucks is one of the few places that doesn’t automatically put cinnamon on a cappuccino. I despise cinnamon. And in the morning, I really cant be arsed having to remind the person making the coffee that I told the person taking my money that I don’t want cinnamon. So, Starbucks it is. And a really beautiful woman works in there, which really does make a difference to my day, rather pathetically. At some point during each trip, I wonder if one of the other possible routes to Starbucks is quicker. So I measured them on Google Earth. They are pretty darn close to being exactly the same. This makes me happier than it really should.
“Rooftop party 2” 2010. Gouache on paper. 210 x 148 mm.
“Rooftop party 1” 2010. Gouache on paper. 210 × 148 mm.
I was gonna blog about the topic of Mexican timekeeping, but I’ll do it tomorrow. Or maybe the day after.
So, I had a wander to Starbucks for a break. (I really miss Billy in general, but he was good at forcing me to take a break from my screen. I need to borrow a dog every day, so I’ve got a purpose, rather than walking to Starbucks again and again.) I sat down outside in the lovely lovely sunshine, and played around with the Vellum app. It’s kind of fun, if a little basic. Trying to draw details made my hand ache a little, and there seems to be a bug in the app. When going to a different screen to change brush size or brush opacity, the screen would be unresponsive when I returned to my drawing. Thankfully the drawing isn’t lost; I just closed the app and re-launched it. Still, a bit of a pain in the arse. I like the charcoal drawing-y feel. Fingers crossed the developers give it a couple of tweaks. Anyway, here’s the story of my coffee break in drawings: the cup, the receipt, the ashtray, the cigarette packet. I forgot my lighter, so had to cadge a light from someone. And if you’re wondering what is on the top of the Camel packet, well, in Mexico the whole of the back and one side is black with warning text on it. And on the front part of the lid, there’s a picture of a weird grey foetus lying on a bed of cigarette butts. I guess that’s what happens if you swallow a carton of cigarettes and a box of matches when you are pregnant.
Downloaded a drawing app for the iPod touch called Vellum. It’s just £1.19, so worth a punt. I’ve tried a few apps, and it’s always the first few tries that determine if I’ll bother keeping it on my iPod or trashing it. I tried Sketches and Colors Lite, both of which didn’t last very long. Brushes, of course, is my favourite thing for the iPod and iPad. I love it. We’ll see if I try using Vellum much more. First sketches are pretty poo, and, of course, being a juvenile, one of the first things I drew was a knob. I’m fairly sure I’ve done that with each of these apps. Anyway, here’s the first crop of quick scribbles I did with Vellum. We’ll see…
Woke up feeling glum after a dream that I’d been turned away from entering the country in an American airport and put back on a plane to Lincoln. I reached out of the bed to look at the time on my iPod, turned off the alarm that was due to go off ten minutes later, and opened my email, trying to hold the iPod in such a way so I could still read it lying down, without it flicking between landscape and portrait view. First email I see is from my mate John telling me Roy Hodgson is out and Kenny Dalglish is in as caretaker manager. The glumness disappeared. It’s rarely a good idea to get back together with an ex-girlfriend, but I was a little bit giddy reading that. Kenny Dalglish is pretty much the only hero I’ve ever had. Later in life, I came to love the work of Brian Wilson, but it’s tough to have new heroes when you’re out of your teens, I think. It may well be a disaster having him back, but in this horror of a season, what could be better than having 24 hours to dream of thrashing Mufc tomorrow. And who knows, it may well happen. Anyway, I’ve been in a good mood ever since John’s email, which might explain why I took this photo of me and the cat reflected in the baubles hanging from the lampshade in the lounge.
More finger painting here.
On January 4, 2010, I drew a picture of a cabin in a barren snowy landscape. I put it up in the Much fuck it’s drawing section where all the drawings that I do using the Brushes app on my iPod touch go. I also drew a night time version, which didn’t go up, because I had this very very vague idea of trying to do a comic strip type of story, but without any people or dialogue in the story.
Entirely coincidentally, the idea of the story and how to tell it came into my head in a cafe on January 4, 2011. It is, as you may well have anticipated, called Cabin.
Went for a stroll this afternoon, and seemed to enter a little baseball-related bubble. First, stood at a pedestrian crossing, a grey-haired guy in a Seattle Pilots cap (the 1969 existed-for-one-season-only Seattle friggin’ Pilots!). Second, on the other side of the street waiting to cross the perpendicular street, a young man in an authentic Baltimore Orioles jersey (no name or number on the back). Next, walking along the street a Japanese couple, arm in arm; she wearing a L.A. Dodgers cap, he wearing a Chicago White Sox cap. All within the space of two minutes. (Obviously, I wondered to myself if any of them noted my moderately obscure 1908 St Louis Browns reproduction cap.) Crossing the next street, I passed a guy in an AC/DC cap. Black with the red-with-white-outline logo on the front. On either side of the logo were red horns. Not stitched-on depictions of horns: actual horns sticking out of the cap. When I say “actual,” they were made of some synthetic material; he didn’t have real horns coming out of his head through the cap like Derek Jacobi in “Mr. Pye.” Although, thinking about it, maybe he did have real horns. Maybe the AC/DC cap is the perfect disguise for a man who wants to go about a regular life without letting people know that he is actually the devil himself…
“Nuestra nada de Guadalupe” 2010. Gouache on paper. 148 × 210 mm.
I am no way in a position to make fun of the mistakes non-native speakers make in English; I barely got to grips with German, and my Spanish is still pretty basic. But the other day, a guy I was talking to made such a funny mistake, that I found it very, very hard not to let the giggles take over. I gritted my teeth, smiled with closed lips, tried to stop my shoulders jiggling, and waited for the next intentional smile-worthy thing he said to let out a chuckle. We were talking about crime in some Mexican town I forget the name of. He told me, “it’s very bad: lots of stolen cars, burglaries, and napkins.”