Late-January update

No “2,000 words or less” so far this month; I just haven’t felt like saying much. Blah.

This is awesome; it’s an extended version of Jason Segel’s “Dracula’s Lament” song from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” a movie combining the awesomeness of vampire musicals with the hotness of Mila Kunis. It’s really one of the great movies of all time.

I had a dream last night about Katy Perry. Not that kind of dream (although that would’ve been killer). I was in some stupid, dingy diner with my family, and she was in there taking a break from a video shoot trying to eat some food on the down-low before she resumed shooting. She was there with her agent or something (no Russell Brand; sorry, ladies). These two girls went up to her and tried to get her autograph, and she was mean and blew them off, and they left the diner crying. Katy finished up her food and got up to leave with her agent, and she was a giant – taller than me by about six inches, which would’ve put her in the 6’6″ neighborhood. The last thing I remember of the dream was getting out my cell phone – which was this piece of shit old phone I used to have at work – and sending the following text to my friend Chad Waller: “Just saw Katy Perry in diner; she’s enormous and a total bitch.”

No idea what that was all about.

Today has absolutely sucked. I missed yesterday at work, home with a sick Helen, and this morning of catchup has been an exercise in brutality. The “Sense of Purpose” CD by In Flames has been about the only thing that’s helped me power through it. Check out In Flames rocking the amazing song “Disconnected,” off  this CD, in Argentina. This absolutely rocks. \m/

I deleted 51 spam comments out of my spam filter before posting this. Fifty one. Spam attempts now outnumber legitimate comments on this blog by a total of 873-26. It makes me want to shut this thing down; it takes no effort to delete a spam comment, but it bums me out that I have to do it all the time. What’s to be gained? You’d think after awhile these idiots would realize none of their crap is showing up on the blog and they’d stop spamming me. It’s relentless.

That Lego Gaga was super-fun to draw, but it made me realize how much work I have to do with the colored pencils before those will be worth a damn. I’ll have to do more of those, and soon. Also have another sizeable project that I probably should start on if I ever want to have it finished… That one’s a secret.

Lego Gaga #1

Lego Gaga #1, originally uploaded by AndyBartlett.

I completed my first Lego Gaga drawing. Fun. It’s an OK debut; I’m not super-happy with it. The eyes are a mess and the solid black outfit didnt’ turn out as well as I hoped. But, I think it’s a pretty solid effort for my first time out. Hopefully these will improve as I do more of them. Stay tuned!

Katie Can Draw

So, thanks to Twitter, today I discovered the existence of Katie Cook:

The site name isn’t hyperbole; she really can draw. Her work is fantastic, and she has a *lot* of it available for people like me to check out. Her subjects run the gamut of geekdom: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, comic books, G.I. Joe, the works.

I really enjoy the opportunity to run across people like Katie, and be inspired and *completely* humbled by their amazing work. It makes me want to be better.

Lego Gaga

Even though I have yet to finish the previous two projects I have started – the chair restoration and my Coraline popup – and have yet to begin a third project that I now know I want to do (but as yet remains a carefully-guarded secret), I’m going to begin a new one.

Yesterday morning, a bizarre idea popped into my head. That idea – Lego Gaga. I want to make a bunch of drawings of Lego minifigs decked out to look like the various and often bizarre iterations of Lady Gaga that appear in her videos. I originally considered doing a composition of minifigs posed as similarly as I could get them to various video stills and pictures, but that

This morning, I began considering doing either large, single portraits of straight-angle minifigs (something that would allow for the creation of a stencil to draw the base minifig and *dramatically* accelerate the process), or a grid-arranged group of smaller portraits that could serve as a “cast of characters” of sorts for a particular video.

Right now I really love the idea of larger, non-posed individual portraits. It would be a good experience to design and create the stencil for the base minifig, and having a simpler, consistent base means I could put more effort into the costumes and decoration.

And, honestly, my drawing skills have atrophied to the point that I’m not sure how well the montage of posed shots would turn out anyway. I did a couple of quick sketches last night of posed minifigs in outfits from the “Bad Romance” video, and while I think that down the road that sort of project would be fun to tackle at this point doing the stenciled base minifigs seems to be a more approachable, and more completeable, project.

I bought some blank stencil material at Walmart over lunch today; I’ll start working on the stencil tonight. I’ll also try to scan and post the two sketches I did last night. There’s nothing to them, but they give an indication of how much fun this project could turn out to be.

Gift Wish List

I had a hell of a time this year telling Melissa what I wanted for Christmas; we eventually just settled on no present under the tree with what basically amounted to an IOU for funding to trick out my new room in the basement once our renovation is completed. This wasn’t because I didn’t know what I wanted for Christmas; I always want all kinds of stuff. I’m just terrible at telling people what I want.

With that in mind, and knowing that I have a birthday that’ll be here before I know it, I am creating a list. You can find this list up at the very top of this Web site, in a tab very cleverly titled “Gift Wish List.” I have a bunch of stuff listed in there for now, broken down into several price ranges: varies, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and above. I’ve also provided links to examples of these items from various places across the Internet, simply so you can see what some of these products look like if you’re not familiar with them. Most of this stuff you can get in any number of places.

And, no, I don’t honestly think people are going to be lining up to buy me the things out of that $100-plus category. I contemplated not even including that category, but thought “what the hell.” I figure the most-common thing I receive off this list will be the $1.74 packages of No. 11 Xacto blades from Walmart. 🙂

I’ll update this occasionally, so check back for all your Andy Bartlett gift-giving ideas.

Really, ESPN? Showered with trophies?

So, this afternoon, I checked in on, and saw this headline in their “other news” jump box:

• Tidal Wave: Saban showered with title trophies

Here’s the proof:

This headline got me excited. Was Nick Saban so excited about winning a national championship that he took that crystal football into the shower with him? Because that would be an awesome story, and a fantastic insight into a typically total borefest of a guy who did not seem to take much pleasure in winning the ultimate prize in his chosen profession.

But, no. The actual story was completely stupid and a total letdown. That story is here:

He received four trophies. Ho, hum. Freakin’ boring. This is a story, really? Who cares? There’s no photo of these trophies he was “showered” with. Hell, there isn’t even a quote from Saban. Useless.

Headline writer, you suck for getting my hopes up that there actually might be something interesting for me to read on Associated Press, you suck for vomiting this worthless four-graph story out into the world, and ESPN, you suck for running it.


Had to laugh at CBS News this morning

Having lived in either Minnesota or Kansas for the last 23 years, I know the severity of weather is all a matter of perspective. But this morning, I had to laugh at CBS News while it was covering this ridiculous winter weather that’s wreaking havoc everywhere.

The weather guy was camped out in front of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, where it was 11 below zero, and was doing this quick across-the-nation recap to give a picture of what people were facing due to the weather. He ended with Denver, where he said people were “struggling with temperatures in the single digits.”

Yesterday in Bemidji, our high was four degrees above zero, and on the block-plus trek from my office to the car after work I didn’t even zip up my coat. That four-above temperature was a beautifully welcome respite from earlier this week, when I was leaving the house in the morning facing straight air temperatures of 27 below zero, dipping down to 40-something below once you factored in wind chill.

And yes, I do realize that the fact I was basically celebrating temperatures of four above zero is frightening and awful. It reminds me of a time during my last summer in Kansas before moving up here that I was asked what the weather was like that day and replied “It’s not so bad; it’s only 100.”

It’s all a matter of perspective.

I love you, Google Reader

So, I’ve often wondered if there was a way for me to keep the same sort of RSS feed list on my laptop that I have on my work iMac without phsycially subscribing to all the feeds in both places. I don’t have a huge list of subscriptions – 65 or so is all – but the thought of entering them by hand into multiple readers, or adding one in one place and forgetting to do so in another, bugged me. So I didn’t mess with it.

For some reason, just today I discovered that you can use Google Reader as a syncing hub. I opened NetNewsWire on my iMac (which I like a lot), tied it in with my Google account, and it sent Google Reader a complete list of my subscriptions with feed categories intact and everything. So now I just need to open NetNewsWire on my laptop and tie it to my Google account as well and I’ll be in business.

I should’ve known it’d be that easy. I just never bothered to look that deep into the preferences.

Happy day.