Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The New Blog

Hey, so this is going to be my last post on here for probably a year. China has blocked blogspot/blogger, so for the past few weeks I've been diligently working on making my own blog hosted on my own website: www.owendennis.com. I implore you to look at my website and head on over to the blog section to read what's going on with me in China. I will be able to update this blog from anywhere in the world unless countries start banning my website for some reason.

If you only want to look at the blog you can link directly there by going to blog.owendennis.com which will forward you to www.owendennis.com/blog.

Alright, now that I've said "Owen Dennis" so many times:

It is unlikely that I will be able to continue in my posting duties on Hello!, Let My Show Ya Something Sweet! and WAITING FOR GIRLS TO CALL. Unfortunately, if I am able to do anything on those blogs it will be through other people posting for me. I'm told that I might maybe be able to view blogs while I am away, but I most certainly will not be able to post on them. This goes for facebook as well.

So now I would say it's time to update your bookmarks!

I'll keep my blog updated as often as I can. Blogs are easier than email lists cause you can look at it whenever you feel you want to instead of getting it stuffed down your throat in your inbox.

See you in China!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is normal at the Tour De France



http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/blog/sc_experts/post/Who-s-that-guy-dressed-like-the-devil-at-the-Tou?urn=sc,176312

Apparently this guy jumps around like a devil at the last lap of the race. He's been doing it for 16 years. Reminds me of Boombox Basketball Guy around my house.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This is a test...

I'm seeing if this service called posterous works.  I'd really really like to use blogger in China, but if I can't post on it then I can't post on it and that's that.  This web service is kinda neat though cause I can apparently just type in everything in an email, like I'm doing right now, and then send it to my automated email/updating system and it will just take care of it for me.  So here I am, trying it out.  Diana said she can read blogs, but she just can't post on them.  I'm trying to get around this issue.

here's a picture to see if it works:

<img src="http://www.biojobblog.com/surprise(1).jpg">

I really have no idea if this is an automated service or what.  I haven't figured everything out because I'd like to be able to use host the pictures on blogger as well.  Maybe I'll have to host them myself and reference them, but no one gets to see larger versions of the images or something.  I could use a code that makes a small version of the image, then links to a larger version I guess.. I mean... that's what thumbnails are to begin with except they're usually pretty decent quality.  I should look into this.

Posted via email from owendennis's posterous




Edit: Well that's pretty lol... I can see this working though, so I'm going to keep troubleshooting it.

New Sci-Fi movie I'm looking forward to: District 9



It's based off of one of my favorite short films Alive in Joburg. It's all about racism and humanity and other such things. I like the film because it has what feel like some surprisingly powerful moments in what's really a short time frame. Whenever I've watched it I've always thought "man I wish I could see more of this". The first time I saw it I rewatched it like 3 more times. The new movie sounds like exactly what I wanted but with some sort of cover-up plot or something involved. I'm a big fan of what it looks like they're doing with the special effects. Not over-the-top, just there when it needs to be. Moon was very similar in the whole special-effects-where-they-need-to-be-but-they're-not-trying-to-be-flashy thing.

I'm really looking forward to this movie and I feel like Neill Blomkamp might be a director to start watching. Unfortunately I'm going to be in China when it's released... :-(

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Asteroids: Coming to a theatre near you



http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/07/universal-plans-to-bring-asteroids-to-theaters.ars

"Astonishingly, not only is Asteroids being made into a movie, but there was an actual bidding war between four major studios for the rights. Universal Studios has emerged the winner.

As a result, Matthew Lopez is set to write the script and it will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Lopez has written the screenplays for the recent Disney films Escape to Witch Mountain and Bedtime Stories, as well as for the upcoming The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Meanwhile, di Bonaventura's latest ventures include Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the soon-to-be-released G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

Such good writing talent. I'm glad the studio decided too look deep into their vast army of writers to find us this crew.

It's not April right now. A vector based game from the 80's that has no story at all is being turned into a movie. I was wondering when this would happen. This exact situation. Some 80's game that has no story to work from at all turned into a movie. In some ways I'm happy I finally get to see it happen, in other ways I want to be the guy who invents the Kill Other People Through the Internet Machine.

The only two things that will save it (save it as far as it could possibly be saved) is a cool opening title sequence made of white on black dot and vector based lines:




and if the space ship looks like this old school 70's/80's style space ship:



This could be a chance to make a really cool movie that happens to have a video game's title (which will automatically bring it down many many notches), or it could just a really really awful movie (most likely of the two scenarios).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to do...

Feeling uninspired and not creative. It's very strange and kind of unnerving. I went to my grandmother's and I had a good idea for a live action feature length movie. While I was driving today I had another idea for an animated short. Both of them are pretty good I think, but it's like any idea I come up with is anchored at the back of my head so it flies forward and then hits the end of the rope and sort of floats back. It's lame. It's a very strange feeling that only ever seems to be fixed by me changing my location. These ideas never ever EVER come to me when I'm sitting at home. I'm hoping China will give my brain a jump start.

I still always feel tired and in a state of middleness. It's basically the feeling I associate with end of the semester stress. Nothing is making me particularly excited or particularly unhappy. I'm just going. Blah. Nothing. Nothing is going into my head and nothing is leaving it. I even tried drawing a little bit to free myself up, but it's like Circle > face. Every time. BORING. NOTHING NEW. My brain is just a lump sitting up there. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my mind while I still have it.

Scratch that. I'm thinking back about the last thing that made me really excited and pumped up and it was watching The Bad Seed with my grandma, aunt, and mom on Turner Classic Movies. That's when I was really like "ahhh!! Exciting!" and that's when I came up with my new feature movie idea. I just keep feeling like I don't have the patience or effort to put into making this stuff. It's like my drive to succeed is gone cause I don't have an end goal any more. It used to be that it was like "okay, finish high school, finish college, go to california and make what I want". Well now I've finished some of those things and I'm afraid to go to California cause it's my last step and it's like what do I do after I get there? Nothing. I have nothing after that. Grow old? China is like me procrastinating by having an adventure instead of going to California to start my slow march toward death. There was WAY too much of me coming to terms with my own mortality this past month. Not a fan. I gotta get out and do something that young people do so I can feel alive and well. It's like... I just don't feel funny anymore. Like I feel like I've lost my sense of humor. Nothing is funny, can't think of anything witty to say. Everything is blah.

I need to go exploring or something. Hopefully China fixes that. I'm thinking about China and I just don't really believe it. Like I don't believe it's coming soon. It's a month from tomorrow. That's not long. Every time I've changed scenery however I always come up with something new. I just kinda wish that whatever the next new thing is is something I can do on my own. I keep coming up with non-currently achievable ideas. As I said I came up with one animated short, but it's going to be strange to make because it's not a comedy. Again, I only have a premise, nothing more. It's not funny and it ends really sadly.

Tomorrow I'm going to be going to the CONvergence. I'm going to be going the whole weekend purely because of this issue I'm having. I hope it helps or frees me up or makes me feel some sort of emotion of some kind.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A sweet mish mash of movies turned into my dream last night.

Last night I had a dream that I was Michael J. Fox (young Marty McFly version) as Jon Connor. I say "I" but it was only kind of me, it was all in third person and filmed like a movie. Close ups, traveling shots, quick editing, etc. I traveled through time in Bill and Ted's time traveling phone booth with some nameless person that I was showing time travel to. We went to some medieval time and then a scary as hell terminator found me. This was a new and faster terminator than had ever been previously seen (seeing as how they're machines, they can run faster than a normal human.) It was able to run about 30 miles an hour. The terminator doesn't look like anyone I can think of, he just kind of looks like a marine in a white shirt and jeans. We jumped into the phone booth, traveled to current times (which is the future for Marty McFly) and it followed us.

This is when the music started up to really get the scene going. It's the background music for the The Living Daylights, the 1987 James Bond movie starring Timothy Dalton. In fact, it's the music from scene where he's hanging out the back of the cargo plane fighting that general. Here it is, it's called Hercules Takes Off.

So now this Terminator is chasing us to this music with traveling shots, hand held camera now and then, and quick editing. We run across a highway and up into a parking ramp. Then he jumps in a car and starts trying to run us over, it's not working cause I (Marty Mcfly) am leaping over other parked cars to get away. Then I escape into the office building the ramp is attached to, along with the other guy. Then there's some shots of a man (played by Nathan Fillion) seeing all this in the security cameras. He's like "Uh oh" and starts getting his some security forces together. So the terminator is chasing us through the office building with other people not stopping him, papers flying everywhere. I think they're not stopping him cause he looks like a person, I don't know, maybe they're too in shock. I think he also chased us through a shopping mall and destroyed stuff. I definitely remember something about him and me in a skyway.

Then we make it back out into the parking lot and the terminator grabs my friend and starts punching him. I can't stop him, but I do see my van (Note: It's the version I have now that's in a state of x-treme disrepair). So I jump in, but I don't have my keys! Luckily the van is in such bad shape I can just turn the ignition area and it will turn without a key. I briefly thought of how much that sucks for security, but then start driving full speed toward the terminator. It saw me, then jumped out through a plate glass window. Stupidly, I continued chasing it. I fell about 4 stories in the van, landing on top of the terminator. My van blew up.

Good thing it blew me to safety. It launched me all the way to the side of an elevated highway. Then I see the terminator pop out of the wreckage from my van (also this blew bits of the building up so there's rubble everywhere, like half a downed building's worth). Then it starts running toward me. I start to run across the highway full of speeding cars trying to avoid getting hit. As I start to do this, the Terminator runs past me. I'm like "what the-?" and it continues running through the traffic spouting statistics about highways and cars as it goes. "6 lane highway, all cars 60 miles an hour, 8 cars per minute in a grid pattern, 40% likelihood of survival" etc etc. It was malfunctioning. I jumped back to the side of the road.

Then an RPG zooms in and blows up the terminator as he's running along on top of the far guard rail. I turn around and I see Nathan Fillion there in full up army gear with a bunch of other army guys. One of the army guys puts away his rocket launcher. The background music ends. Nathan Fillion says to me (and now my friend is back and we're back up on a big pile of rubble) "you boys okay?" and I'm like "yeah, I- I mean, yeah, I guess so" (cause I'm Michael J. Fox).

Then he looks at some papers and goes: "These are tomorrows newspapers, they all have your picture on the front because of all the damage you've done." and I'm like: "Oh I'm sorry." Then he looks even closer at one of the photos realizing something: "John Connor?" "yeah..." "Well... you're me." Turns out Nathan Fillion is John Connor in the future, the resistance leader for humans against the machines.

Then I woke up.

The end.

*Note: That's the alternate ending that I liked better. Originally it ended with the Terminator escaping by jumping off the guard rail into who knows where and that twist with the future John Connor. I felt miffed and I didn't like that the terminator escaped, so I rewound it and had the army guys blow it up. It made a bigger climax and a more satisfying ending.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You can't see it yet...

... but I officially own http://www.owendennis.com.

Someone has been squatting on that site for about 6 years (at least). They've tried to sell it to me to no avail over and over again. Then they ditched it. Now it's mine. I now have owendennis.net and owendennis.com. I haven't gotten hosting for it yet, I'll probably do that next month or something. So far I just own the domain name. Don't care though, it's great. I'm pumped that I finally get my own dot com. I'm at my grandma's figuring out what I want to do with it.

I'm now definitely the official Owen Dennis on the internet. I'm the official facebook Owen Dennis, and the official .com holder Owen Dennis. No chiropractor or soccer star Owen Dennis, just me: Owen Dennis.

Yessssss *pumps fist in the air*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I was reminded of two of my favorite videos on the internets today...

The shredding videos. I LOVE them.

Santana:



Ozzy and Jake E. Lee:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Greatest Ape

This is my senior thesis animation for anyone who hasn't already seen it.



I would of course recommend viewing it in high quality (or whatever your computer can handle). Click the video twice to go to the youtube video on youtube to see it bigger, or see it full screen using the little full screen button in the bottom corner.

This is the vimeo version. Vimeo's "low" quality looks better than Youtube's:

The Greatest Ape from Owen Dennis on Vimeo.



Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What the hell is this picture??



I found it while googling for "No sir I don't like it". The website it was attached to was not particularly informative on what it was: http://charliekane.blogspot.com/2003_06_01_archive.html

That website says nothing.

What the hell is going on in this picture??



Edit: I searched the code, it has something to do with X-ray scanners at airports. I don't understand how it works; I'm seeing a severe lack of big pouty lips, nipples, and va-jay-jay. I don't think I could look at a scanner showing this to me every day without having some severely creepy dreams at night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Also Chris sent me this:



I have probably thought about doing this a couple hundred times.

Famed Nefertiti bust is a fake



http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090505/wl_mideast_afp/entertainmentarthistoryegyptgermany


Apparently the archeologist who originally "found" it was actually making a test piece. He was trying out old egyptian pigments and wanted a piece that showed Nefertiti with a necklace that she wore. Then a German prince saw it, thought it was original, and the archeologist couldn't bring himself to say it wasn't real.

Not only that, but at the place that it was found it was never even catalogued. Which is a pretty big deal. I mean what archeologist would find something that stunning and not even write it down as a random find of the day? Not only that, but the piece was left in the dig sponser's sitting room for 10 years. Just hanging out next to the guy while he drank his morning tea. The first time the thing was ever written about was 11 years after it was found. Also there's a claim that the left eye was never even fashioned to have an eye in the first place.

I'm a little confused as to how, with all these bits of information, it wasn't scrutinized more closely. Weird. Sucks. I really liked that piece. I always thought it was really cool. Now it's only kind of cool... :-(

At the same time I see images like this:



So maybe the whole "things resembling art nouveau" or whatever is just coincidence. I dunno. It's not confirmed that it's a fake (apparently it can't be?), but things are looking more and more likely. I mean a lot of weird stuff happened in Egyptian art during the Amarna period that I really liked, so it's not completely out of the question that this would be so different, but it is worth thinking about.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two test shots from my senior project:

The school was asking for some images from our stuff for the commencement screening posters. These are the two screenshots I chose:





EPIC

Saturday, April 18, 2009

So apparently youtube voluntarily hosts full movies now

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Crackle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUHUAx9Lbzk

Just don't accidently click on anything while a movie is playing. Pretty damn cool. Unfortunately cliffhanger is taking forever to load even though I'm on the school's connection. This must be Youtube's answer to Hulu. This means you can also watch some of those awful movies that there's no WAY you would pay for and actually you should even pollute your mind with.

Such as the all CG Starship Troopers show Roughnecks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhwuopkWeOs

Also, not related to youtube, this is something Nick Bachman showed me. I really should have known about this already, apparently I'm falling behind the internet. I LOVE this:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clown Matrix Commercial?

Sounds lame but it's amazingly cool looking:



The amount of work that had to have gone into that is mind boggling. I do not know how they did this. I mean I guess I know the basics of what one might to do achieve such a thing, but holy crap no. Good job Mr. Berg and "Stink Digital. Please change your company's name, no one will take it seriously and in will fact be repulsed by it.

SPOILER:
I kind of wish it ended with a reveal instead of a loop. Would have made the whole thing perfect.

Edit: As it turns out I was just dumb and there IS a reveal at the end. I just didn't read it properly. I dunno why I didn't read it. Maybe I was watching it too hard. I dunno. It's still freakin' cool.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Robot uses logic and reasoning to understand scientific theories



http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE53167K20090402


Alright, technically not a robot, but Holy fuckin' sweet. One step closer to AI. This robot has been able to watch scientific experiments and figure out what is happening in them without any prior knowledge of the experiment. Computers are now as smart as three year olds. That's the coolest thing ever. This is generation 1 of the robot, they're already working on generation 2. I didn't believe it at first, but then I read that it was posted on April 2nd so... I mean... awesome.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snoop on Martha Stewart

Awkward pairing or most awkward pairing?



Favorite quotes:

"White pepper? I ain't never heard of white pepper! I don't like that man! I dunno.. I want black pepper!

"Uh oh, let's see what Snoop's gonna add to Mashed Potatoes!"


Unfortunately it ends before he gets to stereotypically talk about chicken wings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sham-WOW guy beats up a hooker...



Well there goes Vince Shlomi. Loved his infomercials. Billy Mayes and Vince Shlomi were of course my favorite infomercial masters. I somehow doubt that Vince will get much more in the way of marketing jobs after this. It's unfortunate cause I loved him so much. He was so weird. I guess I now know how weird he really was.

Here's some videos of his past greatness:





This is especially unfortunate after Billy Mayes challenged Vince to a sell off two weeks ago. I really wanted to see how that played out (I guess it plays out with a beaten up hooker?)

I'm going to call this setup to a gag in an upcoming family guy episode: "Just like that time Vince Shlomi bit his tongue..."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm part of a new blog.

So while this blog is a general thoughts blog about my life and stuff, I've been added on as a contributer to Sam's new blog. The title of it is based off of his most commonly uttered phrase: "Hello! Let me show ya something sweet!".

The idea of the blog is just to post sweet stuff. Sam is constantly finding little oddball things that are pretty cool, and it's just easier to make a big digital library of all the cool things he finds than to bookmark them all or just not remember them. He's still working on the format a little bit so we'll each have our own avatar and the site has a coherent style, but I think it's gonna be a nice bookmark for anyone if they're bored.

I'm not gonna stop posting stuff I'm interested in here, but all those little cool things that I find that I don't think warrant a whole post will be moved over into the something sweet blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The most amazing sheep herding video ever

I know that's not very high praise, but it will be impossible for anyone to ever get that comment again after this video:

Monday, March 16, 2009

wtf is this symbol??


We all drew this symbol.  Everyone.  Every American kid that was in elementary school in the early and mid 90's drew this symbol.  I posted this question on the GTF (cause I really really needed to know) and they even posted it on other forums.  Turns out no one there knows (one person claims they were doing it in Alaska in the mid-80's, so it's even farther spread than I originally thought).  Everyone associates it with something.  My school was in and around a city called Stillwater, so the local high school football team (Stillwater Ponies) was all about turning their S's into this dumb celtic knot S.

It's a real life meme.  Does anyone know what it comes from or why it suddenly cropped up in the late 80's?  What happened at that point in time to make us all agree that yes this is cool, and yes we must draw it on everything.  Maybe it's like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and we'll all see it inscribed in a mountain sometime be inexplicably drawn to it.

I am going crazy over what this symbol is and how it came to be, if anyone has any leads to tell me I will follow them.  I'm pretty confident it has something to do with skateboard/punk culture, but I can't figure much out beyond that.

Edit 03/18/09: We now have someone from Australia who says they did it, and someone who says they did it in 1981.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rambo and the Forces of Freedom

So I have now seen all the Rambo movies.  I just watched the most recent one ("Rambo" aka: "First Blood Part IV") and I found that it was just like the others, and still full of the 80's style violence.  However it was oddly disturbing, I don't think I've ever seen so much Vietnam warzone-style rape in a movie before.  LOTS of rape in this movie.  I'm mildly interested in why I found the violence in this movie so much more disturbing than most 80's action movies I see.  Maybe it's because it wasn't always followed by a one-liner, it was just death after death after horribly violent gruesome death.

I wanted to see what critics thought of this movie.  Turns out the Rotten Tomators gave it a 36% (btw in case you were wondering, Beverly Hills Chihuahua got 41%).  I guess I can accept it as being kinda low, but it's no worse or better than the other Rambo movies, something I think the critics didn't keep in mind.  It very much stayed true to form. 

So when I looked up the score for this movie, I saw a whole bunch of other titles for Rambo movies I hadn't seen that got more and more ridiculous as I read on: "Rambo: The Rescue", "Rambo: First Strike", "Rambo: The Doomsday Machine", "Rambo: Raid on Las Vegas", "Rambo: Swamp Monster", "Rambo: Attack on El Dorado", "Rambo: Just Say No", "Rambo: When S.A.V.A.G.E. Stole Santa".

Okay what?

Well this is what:


Mechanical genius known as "Turbo!"

Master of Disguises named "Cat!"

Why thank you 1986.

I had no idea that this existed.  It actually makes me rather amazed that a movie series that was very very much rated R for a reason was then turned into a 65 episode children's TV show.   A movie series based on a man that lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and kills a bunch of people because they wouldn't leave him alone was turned into a saturday morning G.I. Joe clone.  I guess it's just something they did then.  They made Aliens toys, Predator toys, and Terminator toys, all movies that were rated R. 

This got me to check what movies are now turned into toys.  It seems PG-13 is the cap.  If toys are made now over the R rating they're actually figurines that are all cool and sculpted and expensive.  Action movies don't seem to want to step much over the PG-13 rating anymore however.

Top 5 grossing PG-13 movies:
Titanic
The Dark Knight
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest
Spider-Man
Star Wars Episode III Dead Man's Chest

All of these movies (except Titanic... Titanic was PG-13? Even though it had a breast? That explains a lot) have/had very lucrative toy franchises.

Top 5 Grossing R movies:
The Passion of the Christ
The Matrix Reloaded
Beverly Hills Cop
The Exorcist
Saving Private Ryan

All of these movies should have very lucrative toy franchises.  I'm assuming this has something to do with the columbine shootings.  I've heard all sorts of movies that had violence in them started toning everything down cause of that incident.  Scream 3 apparently had a big issue with that back when it was made.  I mean a similar thing happens now every time someone wants to do a movie about terrorists, plane hijackings, or a large disaster hitting a big city.

Anyway the DVD also had a really really horribly depressing small documentary on Burma and the civil war there.  It also talked about a bunch of other things about how apparently some of the violence (like how a 50 cal gun rips through people like tissue paper, how the regime in burma actually works, how the things that happen there are depicted in the movie) are all actually pretty realistic.   Maybe that's why I was more bothered by it than a normal 80's style ultra violent movie.  I dunno.  I know the movie definitely bothered me more than a normal violent action movie.  Basically, when I started watching this movie, I was expecting Commando but instead got a bunch of documentary footage from Vietnam.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's my birthday

So I'm going to play videogames... *thumbs up*

Monday, March 2, 2009

A dream that actually had to do with life...

This is a long post that doesn't make any sense:

So I had this dream that actually had stuff to do with everything I'm thinking about right now.  I was driving from my parents house to my graduation ceremony with a brown greyhound dog in the passenger seat named Pogo.  He was having digestive problems.  So I let him out and he did his thing (his really BIG thing) and then he got back in the car and we went off a jump I guess.

Along the way I picked up someone named Nate (he was my friend in the dream, I've never seen him before though), and Nick Bachman.  Nate was carrying a violin and we were all driving to graduation.

I got lost in the city driving down an alley that dead ended after much twisting and turning.  So backed up.  I realized that time was slowly running out and we had to be at the opening ceremony so we really booked it and I was really nervous and scared cause time was running out.

So we made it there, busting in through the doors.  The place had stadium seating like the IMAX and the whole ceremony was already happening.  I spoke to my parents real quick at the top of the seating area.  Then they started showing the hardships that some of the students faced on getting there tonight, mentioning this Nate guy and his violin.  I got pissed cause I was like "Wtf, I just picked him up cause I was being nice, I was the driver and it was scary and tense as hell!" and they kept kept KEPT talking about him.

Then a bunch of between 7-10 year old chinese kids in green t-shirts ran in with flags and stuff and started motioning for the audience to follow them out the door in a reasonable fashion, so I plunged down the stairs to get in my seat so the order wouldn't screw up.  We were led out a door and up some stairs to a sort of landing platform

The world was COMPLETELY different up here.  It's like I was a couple miles above the earth surrounded with clouds above and below me.  I was standing on a little patch of green grass, like a mountain top peaking above the clouds.  About 100 yards away, across the cloudy abyss was another mountain top, that's where the actual gradation ceremony would happen.  So they gave each of us this hot air balloon, but the balloon was only about as big as a large beanbag chair.  It had some netting over it that you had to hold on to and a hole you had to cover so the air wouldn't escape.  So basically, inflate a beanbag chair, cling to it, jump out into the abyss.  I explained my nervousness about this.  "How do you control where it goes?" "Oh don't worry, the wind will just take you right over to where you need to be." "The wind? That doesn't sound very reliable, what if I miss?" "You won't"  I was also nervous cause my Alzheimer's grandfather had to do this too.  Everyone had to do this and there was a line forming behind me.

So I did it.  I closed my eyes pretty hard, it was really scary.  Then I landed in this snowy place that was like a factory and waited for people to show up.  No one did except for one guy (He ran the factory).  I was like "Where is everyone?" and he's like "Right there" pointing about 20 yards over to my right.  I missed the island and landed on this one.  The only thing connecting the two islands above this vast chasm was a chain link fence on small natural rock bridge that spanned the gap.

I was like "fuuuuuuuuck!"

The guy started figuring out how I could launch myself over there with the balloon again by sliding down the snow really fast.  Then I would be working against the wind and then the wind would take over again, kind of looping me back on to the other island.  So I didn't wanna do that, but I did.

So I finally make it to the island and I go through a stone archway to find a sandy path that goes way up into the sky.  I walk up the path and there's a crossroads.  One keeps going up, and one goes down a little following almost the same path I took to go up, but separated by a rock wall.  So I take that one and it leads me down to a little alcove beach on the ocean where some folding chairs are set up.  People are waiting for the rest of the graduates to come.  Nancy Kahlow (my good high school art teacher) is there as a teacher, and Julie Kahlow (ex-girlfriend now extremely good friend) has a spot with the graduating students.  I sit next to her, we talk a little, it's nice.  Then I'm back in a parking lot of a cub foods (which is actually a hotel where my grandparents are staying) and I find out my dad and grandfather didn't attend the graduation cause they didn't think my grandfather could do the balloons.

So...  It got pretty crazy there near the end.  I feel like there was one other kind of "test" I had to do before I got to the balloons part, but I don't remember it.  The balloons were really scary, I'm sooooo afraid of heights.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another helmet casting failure.

I can't get the mold to 1) hold it's shape right and 2) not be full of air bubbles.  It's really hard to keep this mold clean.  Part of the problem is I can't keep the sides of the mold up.  They fall in on themselves because there's no interior structural support.  I can't put something to hold them up on the inside however because that will affect the casting and will screw up the final surface and whatever I use as extra structure would be stuck permanently on the interior.

This is really discouraging and I'm not sure what to do.  I have to figure something out though.  I don't know what however.  One possibility is to go back a step and make a different kind of mold.  I could buy some alginate and do it that way.  It's much cheaper than silicone, but I've read that it's possible that it can dry and shrink over time so you have to cast almost immediately.  I am now also out of aluminum powder.  At least, I don't have enough aluminum powder for another casting.  Blugh.  This sucks.  I know I can do this, but it's fighting me all the way and I'm getting more and more concerned because of time restraints with this and my senior project.  I'm feeling like this will be yet another notch under my belt where I shot too high or my perfectionism has made it fail.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Got a Cafepress account for Ben and David

I kinda want those turtles as shirts as well.  So here's a couple.  Just the two that Ben and David wanted:

http://www.cafepress.com/owen_dennis.360104963

Also to be found in that store, the retro classic character Time Clown.  I'm assuming I'm going to keep adding things to that store cause I kind of enjoy doing this.  Though Cafepress is somewhat limiting, it's a lot easier than doing it myself.  Plus it's just fun; make a doodle, make a shirt.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Turtles

So I someone I know online is taking a screen printing class and she asked if I would make a few turtles for her to screen print.  All she said was "Make some turtles, let your imagination go wild!"

These are what I came up with:

She absolutely loved them, but then she told me she actually probably intended to make them for her kids.  She wanted something less traumatizing and more like the toys the manchildren in the above images are playing with.




I'm probably going to do a couple more cause that really only gives her like two "cute" images to work with.  It's been an awful fun break though.  I'm actually going to make some of these into shirts of my own.   If anyone wants one tell me (note: it's not free).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My exact experience:

I found an article on the front page of yahoo that summed up my exact experience working as a maid in Yellowstone.  She actually didn't talk about one thing (it might have been that she got there slightly later than me so she didn't know) but she didn't talk about the blankets.  Before the season starts the blankets and pillows are folded and put in the corner as well as everything else in the room (trashcans, coffee maker, bible, etc).  They're put there at the end of the season before winter blocks all the roads and no one can get in.

At the beginning of each season the first maids who are there (that was me) go through all the rooms and make them up by taking the blankets that were in the corner and stuff and putting them on the bed and put everything in their proper place.  After I put those blankets and pillows on the bed, I never once changed them again.  Every time we cleaned a room we stripped the beds, put on new sheets and pillowcases, and then put the blankets back on over the top.  I asked around, no one had ever changed them.  So who really knows how long those blankets have been there?  I guess we put on new top covers, because they updated the rooms a little bit style-wise that year, but the fuzzy under blanket was never changed.  My bosses told me they've never changed a blanket either.

Kinda gross.  I assume this happens at every hotel.  I found while I worked there that my main goal was to make sure that anyone walking into their room wouldn't feel like there was some weirdo sleeping in their bed mere hours before they got there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I just discovered "Ganguro" today...

What is a ganguro you might ask? I just found out about them a little less than an hour ago. Some of you may be familiar with "guidos". A guido is an Italian or guy who wishes he was Italian that looks like this:






Yes they are serious.  You can assume, and rightly so, that guidos act the way that you assume that they act (read: total d-bag).

Anyway, this brings me to ganguro.  As I said before, this is something I hadn't discovered before now, wikipedia says the style peaked in 2000 but that it's still something going on to this day.  Ganguro have a different origin story that guidos.  Guidos are Italian in origin while ganguro are Japanese in origin.  True to tradition in Japan, they're weird:








They sport makeup that has something to do with pandas.  One thing I've read states that it's sort of a societal fight against what school girls must traditionally wear in Japan.  Sort of in the way that goth kids all wear the same ridiculous clothing to be different from everyone else in a totally non-conformist way.  The difference here being that these people are Japanese, so everything is CRAZY LOOKING.

Maybe I'm a bad person, or too much of a "straight dude lookin' to hook up" or some other not-so-nice thing, but in all honesty the first thing I thought of was making out with them.  I feel like it would be like making out with a clown.  Not like a regular clown however.  Making out with a ganguro would be like making out with a clown from an alternate dimension.  I feel like if I ever opened my eyes briefly while doing the human tangle that I would open them to a scene not unlike the final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey:



I'm greatly interested in seeing one of these people in real life.  I want to meet one and have my picture taken with them.  I know it only encourages them, but I think I'm all for it.  I like having strange groups of people for me to study and look at.  Doesn't look like they're really harming anyone, just being weirdos.  If anyone has some other odd groups of people that they feel are important for me to know about please tell me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I tried casting a helmet

It failed.  I'm going to inspect it a little further tomorrow, but so far it looks as though I 1) didnt' use enough resin, 2) didn't get enough coverage with the resin and 3) Might not have added enough aluminum powder (but I'll figure that one out when I try buffing it).

Sucks.  Oh well.  I'll make another one.

Mold: Complete

Aright so the I've now made a mold.  It's really cool and a lot of fun to play with.  It's made of silicone so yes, it's the same texture as fake boobs.  Anyone who wants me to make them a set of fake boobs can email me.  I'll only agree to make clear or varying shades of blue however, so if some nerd stumbles upon this blog, I can only make the blue one.

Anyway, here's the final sculpt:



Also here's me:


This is the first layer of silicone and also the most important.  I have to make sure everything is free from air bubbles so it doesn't show up in the final cast.  In all honesty I don't think I did that very well so we'll see what happens:


Here's me looking nervous:


Layer 2.  This is basically safety and reinforcement for layer 1.  Keep in mind that each of these layers has to be done at specific time intervals.  The layer previous has to remain tacky.  I didn't realize that it took about 4 hours for each layer to become tacky, so I was not so pleasantly surprised that I had to stay up until 6 am to do this:


The peanut butter layer.  This where I cake on the silicone like frosting or peanut butter to fill in all the undercuts of the piece (the holes on the head, those things sticking out of the side of it, the cheek-bone kind of things, etc.):


Layer 4, the final layer:


This is the mother mold.  You have to build this as a separate mold for your mold as reinforcement so that when you make your final casting you won't have any warping due to the silicone flopping around all over the place.

Took the mother mold off:


Now we get to see a bunch of flattering pictures of me as I take off the silicone:







Pretty neato.  There was minimal damage to my original sculpt.  It has made me realize a huuuuge amount of applications that this process could be used for.  You could use it as the mold to make a fleet of spaceship models or like an army's worth of guns.  That would be especially cool just because you could build the original models out of whatever you want, fill it with resin and you have a heavier version that doesn't look like it's made out of clay and wood.  You also wouldn't have to be as afraid to drop it or something cause you can just make another.  You can even fill it with expanding foam and have a stunt version of the exact same thing.  No longer do you have to buy super soakers and spray paint them black to make a "laser gun", you can just build it out of whatever you want and do this.

It's really cool stuff.  This is also what they use when they make fake heads and limbs... *thumbs up*