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:

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


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*

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So apparently we were 24 hours from a worldwide economic collapse...

Now personally I think it's a little bit over hyped. I don't know. It's money. I don't understand it. I do think we're hurting harder than people are letting on, but of course there's no way to show that. Either way, it got me thinking.

I've often thought about what my role in society would be if I were to be placed in another era. I've also of course thought about what I would be doing in a post apocalyptic society (I just thought it would be the fault of super intelligent robots, not pieces of paper with dead presidents on them). I get to thinking, some people are going to have degrees and they'll mean something and they could probably still get a super important job in the wake of a collapse, I however have just been spending years honing a very specific craft. I mean animation? How important is that? It's not something people might think of as a "Yes I need to do this, this will help" when the whole world collapses.

So now I'm thinking of what the depression would have been like if they had the internet, iPods, and McDonalds. I mean that's what it would be if it happened now. The internet might only be accessible by a select few. We would probably become a much less world connected society. Hell, newspapers might actually make a comeback, how strange would that be?

Assuming that we don't just fall into anarchy, this eventually of course leads me to think about what I would be doing in this non-existent yet plausible society. There's still money and success to be had in that kind of environment, it just requires a little creativity. People would require a distraction from the depression that real life would constantly be shoveling at them. What's an easier way to provide cheap escapist entertainment than animation? I mean the "golden age of animation" happened in the 30's. What is there to stop the... I dunno.... platinum age of animation? Or would the first one be called platinum and the second one be gold? Whatever.

I guess I would have to gather up a number of my best and brightest friends and start entertaining. We could become the new Warner Brothers. Seeing as how everyone might be a lot less world centric it's possible people would have nothing to do by themselves at home, so they might want to go out. If that doesn't happen because we still have computers and televisions, I guess we could start distributing animated shorts on thumb drives and DVD's. It would be better if we could gather people together in one location though, they'd be more likely to pay. We could grab a projector and show stuff on the side of a building and pass around a collection plate on a stick like a church. We could hack Xbox dev kits and make fun little games for people to play (obviously this would require sam to work properly, maybe bobby as well). Maybe we could walk around, videotape some people's reaction to a prompt, and then animate the prompt. Then people would show up at the showings every month to see if their friends or family got to have their prompt turned into a story.

Whatever we do, it will be like the depression, but with a technology infusion, which is so strange to think about and would require a lot of creativity to flourish in.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One step closer...

... to the edge? And I'm about to break? No but seriously, I'm very very close to pouring on the silicone and making the mold. I have the resin that I want to use in the mail and here by friday. If I really wanted, I think I could get this done over the weekend. I've gotta work on my senior project though. I predict completion of this helmet within two weeks I think. Right now I'm just doing finishing touches. Basically sand it, fill it, sand it, fill it, over and over again. I've now finally sprayed some primer over the whole thing so I can see where the surface has bumps or cracks. I would be done sanding it tonight, but I ran out of sandpaper... :-/

Here's the primed piece.  It's all sanded to be really really smooth.  It's really nice to touch:

Here's me cleaning out all the lines so they don't get too clogged with paint:

Here's all the effin' sandpaper I used.  This is what happens when you try to sand clay.  There's about this much again in the trashcan:

This is what I typically looked like after I did all the sanding:

Just... Just a mess... I have to clean it all up when I start doing the silicone too.  LAME.

Emo post is emo

Only read this if you wanna read emotalk. It's dumb, I just wanted to write it down cause that's helpful to me. Blah blah blah whine whine whine:

So I'm writing this script for Advanced Screenwriting and it's really wearing. Basically the the whole thing is my Yellowstone experience. While I was there I felt like the every day was one giant movie or sitcom and since then I've never doubted that idea. So finally I now have the chance to write it into a movie. It's going pretty well. It's just that it's really emotionally wearing. It's like I'm writing this thing and it's not real life, it's fiction, but it's almost a half and half kind of thing. Like it has real things that happened in it, but then other things that could have happened or things that might as well have happened etc. Thing is, it's like now I've got to revisit all these emotions I never dealt with properly when they were here in the first place. I'm basically putting myself back in my summer shoes again and reliving the entire experience over and over again in order to write about it.

It's not really therapeutic, it's actually kinda depressing. I mean the whole tragedy of the story is a couple falling in love and then in the end they have to split up, not because they want to, but because one lives in the US and one lives in China. The movie version will probably have it work out in the end, but the real life version didn't end that way at all. The real life version was awful and still to this day is awful. I get more pissed about it because I can't really talk to people about it because everyone views it as a summer fling. I mean I guess technically it was, but it's the only relationship I've had where there was no closure to it at all, whatsoever. Also she was the first girl I had met that had the same long term goals as me in life, that was a real eye opener, it was really nice and welcomed. Normally I might talk to my dad about something like this, but he's given the impression that he too thinks it was just a summer fling. When I've spoken to him about it before it seems like he's just humoring me. His opinion is that since yes, she was more conservative than me, it wouldn't work out in the long run. I just have to disagree. I mean Julie was like meeting myself. She was just like me. That actually made things kind of boring. Wei was enough like me and enough not like me that there was always something to talk about. When we got into discussions they were just discussions. She would debate me. It was great. I loved it.

I don't do flings. I don't get into a relationship just because I wanna fool around with someone. It was a legitimate relationship and it hurt a lot (like a legitimate relationship) when we had to end it. We didn't even end because one or the other of us got pissed or tired of it or something, it just ended because we had to go home. I mean I had never felt so completely tied down to something in my life as I did when I had to leave the airport to drop off Wei. If school wasn't in the way I totally would have taken off to China as soon as possible. Just for the fun, the spontaneity, and the young-person-being-recklessness of it. I mean that would have been fun as hell.

It's just so draining. I get so tired of school all the time. I can't just enjoy life. I've already started a trend where the less homework I have (like summer) the more likely I am to get a girlfriend. It's really nice. I really enjoy it. I like living and exploring the world with someone who I enjoy being with. I can't do it during the school year however. Things just fall apart because I can't maintain them properly. It happened with Julie. It even happened with Wei. I couldn't even respond to her emails I was so involved with school. It's not like I could even expect something from that, she lives on the other side of the world, but damn if it doesn't still feel like if I saw her I could just walk right up to her and give her a big hug and kiss. It is complete insanity that every time, EVERY TIME, I see an asian woman of any age, I am reminded of her. It's not fair at all, it's horrible.

I got to watch her get all emo about me too. We rarely got to talk online because of the time difference. The number one way I knew what she was really thinking and feeling was by going to her blog. She writes poetry that she thinks is too cryptic to understand, but I got it. I got to watch as she longed to see me again and how she felt like she'd been dropped from the sky, to watching her argue with herself on how she should forget me to now, where she wants me to vanish from her memory so it won't hurt anymore. I mean how awful is that? This girl I totally fell for and she for me, wants to erase the memory of our time together. Not me, just our time together so it won't be so emotionally hard.

I mean I'm so torn. I'm really happy she's moved on, I'm glad she's gotten a new boyfriend that I'm quite certain is a good guy. I just wish it could have been me. This script makes me think about this stuff over and over again every night to the point where, what do you know, it's about 7:15 AM now. I get these good ideas for the script, and then I also get to think about this girl I loved being on the opposite side of the world with someone else. It's wonderful, I love life right now. *thumbs down*

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Why is this happening to me?"

I seem to recall that this is what happened when I had to have some of my teeth removed. I mostly wanted to sleep though. This kid is a pretty active talker: