12.26.2006

Maintaining Radio Silence

We're away from home, so my blogging will most likely be onvacation as well, though I'd like to get a post or two out over the next couple of weeks. Anyway, so, don't worry about me. I'm still alive. Peace.

12.20.2006

My Wife Is Rad

I love my lady. She is rad. She cooked some delicious food all say yesterday for my fun open house. She got me a super-cool Holga for a graduation gift. She has supported me for as long as we've been together and has helped me an unbelievable amount as I've gone through school. She's a friend, a partner and an artist. She's smart, funny and pretty. She's an incredible mother and an incredible wife. She's everything I could ask for and I just thought I'd let you all know how much she means to me. I'd not be one-third the man I am today without her. She is rad. I love you, Candace.

Oh Yeah...

I'm done with college. For like, forever.

I Am Trying Really Hard

It's really hard for me not to be interested in the new Michael Bay Transformers movie. I really want to not care about it, to distance myself from what is mor ethan likely to be a steaming turd of a film, but every chance I get, I'm checking out what's new with it. I just watched the new international trailer. i got a little excited. What is wrong with me? What is this rash? Is there a cure? An ointment? I may as well admit that I will be there when it opens, prepared for disappointment but secretly hoping in my nine-year-old heart that this movie rocks like no other. [sigh] What's a nerd to do?

12.17.2006

Why Won't You Watch 30 Rock?

It's got Alec Baldwin. He's funny. It's got Tina Fey, who is also funny. Also, it's got Tracy Morgan, who is ten kinds of funny. You can watch all of the full episodes over at nbc.com. It's a funny show. It's not pee your pants funny, but it's certainly funnier than most sitcoms out there. It really needs your help. Will you please watch it please?

12.15.2006

This Is Why I Love This Man

Here's a commencement speech given by Wayne Coyne. It is genius.

12.14.2006

It's That Time Of the Month...

No, I'm not menstruating... yet. No, my eMusic downloads refreshed. Here's what I gots.

Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll
It's almost like they got together before recording this record and said "Well, Art Brut, what shall we put together that will make Dylan smile?" and then recorded it. Angular, rhythmic guitars, witty lyrics and short, fast songs - it's right up my alley. It's simple and fun and sarcastic and pretty freaking perfect. It's a little overlong, with 15 tracks, but it's worth the money. How can you go wrong with a song with lyrics like, "When I get off that plane, the first thing I’m going to do is strip naked to the waist/And ride my Harley Davidson up and down sunset strip./Hmm, I might even get a tattoo."? (from Moving To L.A.)

Islands Return to the Sea
These guys used to be (still are?) the Unicorns. I remember seeing a video for "Jellybones," on MTV2's Subterranean back in the day and saying to myself, "Man, now that was weird stuff. In a good way. I must check those fellows out some day." Well, I still haven't, bu tthey're on my list for next month. This is a more "serious," endeavor, but it's still weird... in a good way. A bit like Animal Collective or early Mercury Rev (man, I must find Yerself Is Steam on CD!), which, for the likes of me and my fly homegirl Martha, is a very good thing.

M. Ward End Of Amnesia
I loves me some M. Ward. I would have to say that the guy's one of my favorite artists producing work today. There's a lot of ink spilled talking about how "timeless," his music is, and it is, but I think that makes it seem somehow distant or academic (pronounced: "old 'music guy' music") when in fact it's still visceral and applicable. It's beautiful, haunting stuff and if you don't like it you're a Communist and I will personally turn you in to Senator McCarthy and see you hang like the freedom-hating pinko you are. Or at least write you postcards detailing how much you smell but never send them because I really do like you and would never hurt your feelings.


Anyway, so that's my downloads for the month. I'm pleased with them. Anybody out there heard anything recently?



P.S. - Jesse, still haven't heard Viva Voce's new album. It's not on eMusic, though a few of their older ones are there. I'll have to check on it when we're down in Vegas for Christmas. Also, I'll be looking for the new Mando Diao album. I saw it on Amazon, but it's still import only, which makes the angels cry little bitter teardrops

Where I'm At

Well, today was the last official day of college for me, which is not quite registering... maybe because I still have a lot of work ahead of me before I'm really done. Or maybe I'm just in shock.

Anyway... graduation. Since most everybody's received theirs by now, here's some pictures of my graduation announcement. I'm pretty proud of it. It was originally intended to be mailed as a postcard, but the anal retentives at the post office wouldn't let us send it that way, so it was sent in envelopes instead. I tried very hard to remember my sequential design training and had it work regardless of which side you opened. I likes it.



I'm hoping to have dylantodd.com up really soon. I got quite a bit of work done on it this afternoon. You'll know when it's up, I promise you that. Anyway, that's it for now. Peace in the Middle East fo shizzle.

12.13.2006

THINGS I DON'T LIKE!

PEOPLE TALKING ON CELL PHONES LOUDLY IN PUBLIC!
PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING AT THE POST OFFICE!
NAZI GORILLA CYBORGS WITH LASERS FOR TEETH AND A BIONIC ARM THAT SMASHES THINGS!
COMIC BOOKS WRITTEN BY EITHER OF THE WEIRD JEFF'S, A.K.A. JEPH LOEB OR GEOFF JOHNS!
BLOGS THAT DON'T HAVE POSTS FULL OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!
THE FACT THAT I AM STILL TIRED EVEN THOUGH I'M GETTING PLENTY OF SLEEP LATELY!
TEH SPEHL CHEKUR!
ZOMBIES!
MOVIES THAT DON'T HAVE HECKA EXPLOSIONS!
CANDY!
JUST KIDDING! I LOVE CANDY!
LOWER-CASE LETTERS!
PEOPLE WHO SAY 'LIBARY!' IT'S 'LIBRARY,' PEOPLE! IT'S JUST ONE MORE LETTER! THIS ALSO GOES FOR PEOPLE WHO SAY 'VALENTIMES,' 'FEBYOOARY,' AND 'MAN-AYSE!' 'MAN-AYSE!' THAT SOUNDS DISGUSTING!
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE TODAY IT IS DARK AND RAINY AND WINDY AND TERRIBLE AND I HATE ITS GUTS TO BITS I HATE IT!
WHEN I ASK CANDACE 'WHAT'S STUFF I HATE' AND SHE SAYS 'I DON'T KNOW!'
WHEN PEOPLE WRITE CHECKS! IT'S 2006 PEOPLE! GET A DEBIT CARD IT'S NOT DIFFICULT IF YOU HAVE A CHECKING ACCOUNT THEY WILL GIVE YOU ONE! IT'S CALLED THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOR A REASON!
WHEN PEOPLE COM EINTO MY PLACE OF WORK (WHICH IS THE GAP WHICH I ALSO DON'T LIKE) AND ASK IF WE CARRY LEVI'S! WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THAT!
QUESTION MARKS!

{whew} Glad I got that off my chest.

12.07.2006

My Face Is Getting Fatter (or) the Post Where I Whine Like A Girl About My Weight

From Candace's photo shoot at the old drive-in. I love thses pictures except for one thing: my face is so freaking fat. I will definitely need to do something about that. And soon.

No now, of course. But soon. Maybe. Hopefully. I'm sleepy.

Sleepy Sleep Sleep

I just woke up from a nap and I'm doing much better, thanks for asking. I turned in the last part of the huge identity design project this morning, so I'm hoping to get some sleep here soon, as I've been avergaing about three hours a night for the week.

Yeah. That sucks.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better now, and I'll try to post some pictures of my last project up on here sometime soon. For now, I will content myself with trying to print up my grad announcements and business cards, going to an art seminar this evening and attending my history of design and illustration class.

Then: sleep.

12.04.2006

Teh Sadness

First off, I am woud so tight I'm afraid I'll sneeze and my head will fly off into some lady's lap and she starts screaming and it's terrible and funny at the same time. I'm trying to get a ton of stuff done at once and it's taking its toll. I'm tired and stressed and want this semester over like yesterday.

I'm being a baby, I know, but I am stressed so please bear with me for the next... 16 or so days. I promise I'll be a lot more fun in a bit.

Anyway, so I did my last Comic Frenzy poster ever. I wept one single tear as I finished it. I'm a little disappointed because I had a really brilliant idea that just couldn't make work in the little time I left myself to finish it (I'd forgotten about it until I was trying to go to sleep last night, which left this morning to whip it up... maybe it'll see the light of day as a future Christmas card?). Still, the poster's good and manages to convey the pathos I sort of subconsciously associate with department store Santas, and since comedy is tragedy plus time... I figured why not exploit my childhood terrors for money? Anyway, here it is:

And that's my final Comic Frenzy poster. Have I mentioned how much fun they've been to work on this semester? When I approached Shon to try doing some a couple semesters back, I told him I'd do them for free, and I was pretty serious (but I still expect to be paid, Feller!). It's been a great experience and I have some great pieces for my portfolio which I need to print and get up on the interweb and I don't know if I'm going to sleep tonight.

[breathe]

Anyway, keep checking back for updates on the status of dylantodd.com, as I'd like it up within the next week or so.

Anyway. L8rz, sk8rz.

12.03.2006

12.02.2006

Also...

It's December. Woo-hoo. The countdown begins...

This Book Is Cool

So I ordered this book from Amazon a week or so ago after lusting after it for some time. I justified the purchase by saying it was to inspire me for my portfolio, business cards and graduation announcements. And... it did. In spades.

In fact, the word "inspire," is a perfect descriptor for this handsome volume, put together by Ellen Lupton (whose Thinking With Type is probably the best maual om typography I've seen... sorry Mr. Bringhurst), as this is more of a book of cool ideas than an instruction manual. (If you want an instruction manual, check out this book instead, which I am also lusting after.)

The more I do this artist thing, the more I find myself wanting to do things myself, especially once you realize how easy &/or fun some things are to make. Like books. Or envelopes. Or kittens. There's something awesome about holding something in your hands that you made that looks good. As my homie, Mister Rogers, would say "It's a good feeling."

Anyway. There you go. D.I.Y.: Desing It Yourself by Ellen Lupton is rad. Just thought I'd share.

11.28.2006

I Have Been Listening to This Album A Lot. Again.

Dude, this album is good. I've been listening to it a lot the last few days after giving it a break because I listened to it a lot when I got it for my birthday. We Are Scientists' With Love & Squalor. It is sooooo teh rawk. I listen to it a lot. Represent.

Also, that has got to be the greatest album cover in recent memory. If you can find another, let me know but you won't be able to because there is none better. None, I say. Represent some more. WORD!

11.27.2006

Man, I Am Totally Freaking Out!

I'm getting a little paranoid about graduation. Just want to make sure that everything's ready for me to be walking down that aisle in my pretty white dress... I mean, in my cap and gown. Whoops.

So far I've got two classes they're saying I have to take: an online course (which I was supposed to have waived) and an Advanced Design course - that doesn't exist. Please, someone just hold me and tell me it's all going to be okay.

Actually, I know it'll all be okay, but it's still freaking me out. Because I'm crazy.

The Break Is Gone. Let Us All Sigh.

So, my beautiful Thanksgiving Break is gone. I'm a little sad to see him go. Sniff, sniff. We had so much fun together, Thanksgiving Break & me. I remember how he'd run out in front of moving cars whenever we were playing "Fetch." Or how he'd put his head on my knee when he needed his head rubbed. He was a good friend, old Thanksgiving Break. Sniff, sniff.

And now he's gone. But let us not think of him as laying dead in a shoebox in the ground here in the back yard. Let us instead think of him as he would like to be thought of: full of life and energy and vitality and essence and whatever; ready to find whatever fun may lie in his path. Let us think of his life, not his death. Let us instead look forward to the next break in a month or so - an even better break. A break full of food, fun... and PRESENTS! Let us not think of how boring real life can be, with the work and whatnot, or how long a month really is. I mean, 30 days. How many hours is that? 24 times 30...carry the one... Hey! What are you doing? I said let us not think of that, and what are you doing? You're thinking of that. Man, have some respect for the dead.

So, anyway, goodbye little friend. Vayo con Fritos or whatever. Rest in Peace. You're in a better place now.

Now, with that out of the way, let's eat some leftovers.

11.23.2006

Happy Thanksgiving To Everyone (Except the Turkeys)

Hope everybody out there has a great Thanksgiving Day. Eat the heck out of those turkeys. Show them who's boss. I would challenge everyone reading this to find one thing they're thankful for and sometime during the day, declare your thanks for that thing. I'll start: I'm thankful for elbows. Your turn. Gobble, gobble!

11.21.2006

Hooray For Madman

Oh how I've missed Madman. It's been my favorite comic from the first moment I laid eyes on a borrowed copy of the first black & white collection, Madman: The Oddity Odyssey, and I've followed it ever since. Mike Allred's been taking some time off from the character, first to do the Atomics, a Snap City spin-off book that marginally featured Frank Einstein, a.k.a. Madman, then took more time off to do the amazingly brilliant X-Force/X-Statix with Pete Milligan for Marvel, and then to self-publish a comic-book version of the Book Of Mormon (seriously). With the exception of the Madman Super-Groovy King-Size Special, it's been roughly forever since the Madman's been serialized. And that's a shame.

Thankfully, that's all going to change. Starting in February, Madman's coming back in a monthly series from Image. And you know I will be there.

There's a interview up at Newsarama here with Mike, who has always seemed like a super cool guy & I hope to meet him someday. Seriously, if somebody stumbles on this site who works with Mike, let him know to contact me if he needs a designer. Seriously.

Anyway, this made me happy.

11.20.2006

Oh My Sweet Pumpkin Pie

This is the best/worst website I've ever stumbled upon. Go. Just go now and see for yourself. It will melt your brains.

In a good way.

11.19.2006

Oh Man, I Forgot To Post a Castlerocker Suggestion!

So, the penultimate Castlerocker Challenge post is up and it's a doozy. Axl Rose. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Slash's car phone. It's all here. What else do you need?

It's been a great week. Ryan, thanks for being such a good sport. I knew you'd come through. You're a champ.

Anyway, lemme wipe the tears away from my eyes and the snot from my nose and get down to brass tacks here. The final suggestion is: "determination."

Peace.

11.17.2006

I Feel It's Only Fair To Warn You

That Doc Savage is one bad mammajamma.

He rules supreme.



Okay seriously, I'm going to bed.

So I Did It

Drunk on my newfound bandwidth, I joined Last.FM, which is, so far, pretty cool. As you can see from my sidebar thingy, it tracks (or, as they call it, "scrobbles) what you listen to and makes recommendation based on people with similar musical tastes. If you click on it, it should bring you to my latest-played track/artists list. If anybody out there decides to join, let me know and we'll be Last.FM buddies. Anyway, I'm off to bed. Peace in the Middle East and that's no joke, my dawgz.

I Ate A Cinnamon Roll That Was Half-Cooked

Not the best thing I've ever eaten. I thought at first that maybe it was just overly saturated with icing, but no, it was severely, half-way, undercooked. And I can't stop thinking about it no matter how hard I try not to.

Yuck.

Castle? Rocked.

Newset Castlerocker post's up. It's like the Discovery Channel, only the Castlerocker's not full of lies.

Anyway, today's suggestion is: "illusion."

11.16.2006

I Have Always Been, And Will Continue To Be, Obsessed With This Logo

Look at that thing. Isn't it beautiful?

"Say, Chap, What Is This Castle Made Out Of?" "Well, Solid Rock."

Castlerocker's latest is up here. It's beautiful, Kerouac-ian recollection wrapped in a blanket of Hemmingway economy. Man, Ryan, have I told you that I love to read your writing? If not... well, I really, really do.

Today's suggestion is: "bird."

Until then.

Man, I Had No Clue That I Hated Gallagher So Much

I was talking to my buddy Allen tonight after my History of Design & Illustration class and somehow we got talking about 80's comedian Gallagher. You know. This guy:

Anyway, so all of the sudden I remembered how much this guy pissed me off. See, as a kid I'd always see commercials for him appearing at some casino and all they'd show was him with his gigantic mallet smashing the living be-jeepers out of fruit. "This," my adolescent mind thought, "is the definition of super-rad."

So, I imagined this great show where he just smashed stuff for like an hour, starting off small with some grapes or something and working himself up to some huge finale, where he'd smash like, I dunno, an elephant or something. Yeah, an elephant. An elephant would be awesome. "I would pay money to see that," I would think, "if I wasn't saving my money for a Nintendo because my mom & dad refuse to buy us one, I would walk to the Sahara right now, in the 100-plus-degree heat and see me some of that. Oops, Alf is on. Gotta run." Aaaah, to be 26 again.

So fast-forward a few years later, after I've meticulously planned out this (perhaps literally) mind-blowing show for Gallagher where he smashes everything in sight because, well, he does have a mallet and, well, wouldn't you?, and I'm flipping around and "Hey! There's a Gallagher special on! Cool! Let's see some smashing."

And what do I get? A lot of really lame jokes. Stuff that's just not funny. What the heck?! This guy's a lame comedian? I thought it was some weird and awesome performance art or something. Not only is he a lousy comedian but a prop comedian? That's like two levels down from radio dee-jay on the unfuny-o-meter. And radio dee-jays are like two levels down from cancer. And pestilence. Not funny. And he makes you sit through this entire lame-o show before he smashes... a watermelon or two. A watermelon?! What the?! Frea! King! Hippie! What are you thinking? Enough with the jokes about your ex-wife or taxes or airplane food or whatever! Smash some stuff! This is what they want! THIS IS WHAT IS FUNNY YOU BALDING MULLET-HEADED HIPPIE PINHEAD! NO JOKEY! SMASHY! HULK IS STRONGEST THERE IS!

Also, your pants are stupid.

Anyway, so I have a real seething hatred for Gallagher which I had totally forgotten about until tonight.

The End.

11.15.2006

We Got High-Speed Internet & My eMusic Dowloads Refreshed! Yay!

So, we've been trying to get on our downstairs neighbor's wireless network for a few days or so with no luck. So imagine our excitement when suddenly our Airport status bars are all filled up and we can connect to the internet! Whee! The fast internet is so cool! I've been telling myself that the novelty has worn off and I won't spend all my waking moments staring at it, but I know that's a lie. A dirty, stinking lie. [sigh]

In other news, my eMusic downloads refreshed so I filled up. Stat. I got the new self-titled from the Lemonheads, the Pernice Brothers' Live A Little (excluding the foul-titled closer) as well as Papas Fritas' self-titled debut. I had one track left so I odwnloaded a track from Bob Pollard's Not In My Airforce, which I think I'll be chipping away at for a while (there's 25 tracks on the album).

Also, finished the third volume of Scott Pilgrim and I must say that it is some fine funnybooking. Seriously, if it were any more fun, it would be illegal.

We also finished the first disc of season one of Arrested Development which is hilarious, although I find myself talking in Gob's voice from time to time.

Anyway, so I did nothing all day and don't feel the slightest bit regretful about it, to be honest. Is that bad?

Also, "Huzzah!" for the internet. Thou art so rad.

That is all.

Today Is the Laziest Day I Have Ever Had Ever

It's 2:42 in the afternoon and I haven't showered. I laid in bed most of the morning re-reading volumes 1 & 2 of Scott Pilgrim. Watched a couple episodes of season 1 of Arrested Development. I feel like a total slacker and I kind of like it.

Okay. Now I'm sick of it. I'm getting in the shower.

Operation: Castlerock Is A Go! Again!

The Castlerocker's latest post, based on yesterday's word, "Unsanitary" can be found here. Hope everybody gets feeling better over there and Ryan, if this little challenge needs to wait until everybody's well, by all means let it wait, my good man. I will keep posting suggestions and you can get to them when you can, because you've gotta take care of your family. Family is the most important meal of the day. Or something like that.

Today's suggestion is: "flamingo."

11.14.2006

11.13.2006

Your Castle Has Officially Been Rocked

So, the Castlerocker took up the challenge. Woot woot. It is a glorious day. You can read the fruits of this here. It is, as always a treat.

Because the Big Red Robot's All About Education & Whatnot

Today class, I will enlighten your brains with a post about M.O.D.O.K. I was thinking about doing a comics post on Doctor Doom or the Thing, two of my favorite comic characters, like, ever, but they'll have to wait. Everyone waits for M.O.D.O.K.

"But Dylan, I have no clue what you're talking about. It's like you're just typing letters and making no sense here. What is your deal?" Easy there, my young pupil. All will be explained. Maybe.

See, in my book arts class today, I made a M.O.D.O.K. reference and nobody got it. I mean, what the heck are they teaching kids in school these days? This, my friends, is what is wrong with America. Freaking Liberal media and treehuggers and whatnot.

See, M.O.D.O.K. is one of the best comic creations like, ever. First off, he looks like this:

From an aesthetic point of view, M.O.D.O.K. is a gigantic pruny baby head with super Kirbytech that helps him fly and shoot lasers and whatnot.

Yeah, pretty amazing.

But wait... it gets amazinger. "What," you may ask, "does M.O.D.O.K. stand for?" Well, I'm glad you asked becaus ethat is the kicker. M.O.D.O.K. stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, which would look great on a business card. Or a personalized license plate. Or a t-shirt. Or on the front of an apron... beats the heck out of "Kiss the Cook."

Acronym names rule. In fact, they rule so much I shall give myself one. M.O.D.O.K., you have inspired me. From here on out, I shal be known as H.O.T.B.O.D.(&.E.T.C.): Human Organism Totally Built to Only Design (& Eating The Cookies).

That's catchy.

Oh, and there's some origin for him that is crazy, like the terrorist organizatiuon A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics, I believe, the Marvel U is thick with acronyms) they wanted to give him a bigger brain but he revolted and ended up taking over AIM. Or something. Whatever.

All you really need to know is the following:
Big baby head.
Crazy Kirbytech.
Designed Only For Killing.

That should dazzle anyone at an upcoming holiday party. In fact, you should tell your boss all about M.O.D.O.K. He (or she) will be so impressed that I personally guarantee* you will get a raise, a personal secretary and an office the size of Delaware. So says H.O.T.B.O.D.(&.E.T.C.)!

So, there's M.O.D.O.K. in a nutshell. Sure there's much much more to be discussed about him and his awesomeness, but that's why they invented Wikipedia and I am too lazy to cut & paste it here because I want to go eat cookies. I will, however, leave you with a cute little mini-M.O.D.O.K. Don't let his size fool you! He is Designed Only for Killing!



*This guarantee is totally fake and I am such a dirty liar. That's what you get for trusting people with acronym names.

"What Should Ryan (aka Castlerocker) Blog About Week?" Day 2!

Today's suggestion is: "Unsanitary."

11.11.2006

Is It Just Me...

Or does this look like the Best. Movie. Ever?

It's just me, isn't it?

"What Should Ryan (aka Castlerocker) Blog About Week?" Kicks Off!

Help my friend! One of the things that makes my day a little brighter is when my homie, Ryan, aka the Castelrocker (clicky click the linky link at the right), aka the Honorable Reverend Funkalot, aka the Break-Dancing Dynamo, aka the Avenging Fist of the Bravo Truck, aka the person they based Scott Baio's character in Charles In Charge on (or was it the Willie Ames character... I forget), aka Haiku Man himself, posts on his blog, the ever-lovin' Castlerocker. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, the poor fella just doesn't post enough... at least not enough for me. And I am all that matters in my little world.

So, in light of this sad, deplorable fact, (the sad fact being that Ryan doesn't post on his blog enough, not my being the center of my own world) I am hereby instituting a week of posts that give my good friend and excellent person, the Ry-Diggity himself, fodder for posting. Something vague, almost like a keyword used to awaken a hypnotized person to get them to do some terrible thing, like litter or listen to Good Charlotte. Something a creative, thinking man like the Castlerocker can latch onto and run with. I guess I'm recommending something like the writing journal you had to keep in your English class taught by a teacher who was once married to your ancient Drivers Ed teacher who had a glass eye and couldn't hear and told long, nonsensical stories from his glory days, before he lost his sight or hearing or had to start using Grecian formula to darken his hair. It doesn't have to be spectacular, just something to keep the posts coming.

So, sorry to put you in the hot seat like this, but, whaddaya say? Are you up for a little bit of this? Are you ready to rock the castle? If so, here's your first challenge: "Blue."

And they're off...

11.09.2006

Quote Of the Day

"Taking one's chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck."

Lemony Snicket
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Book the Tenth: The Slippery Slope

11.08.2006

Clowny Clown Clown

The latest Comic Frenzy poster. It's gloriously insane and I love it. I was a little unsure of it as I was working on it, as my original intention for finishing it just didn't sound all that great once I got started on it, but I really love the way it turned out. It's like the circus. Only crazier. Which is a fair assessment for a Comic Frenzy show. Since there's no script, no net, anything can happen: feats of daring, falls, spills, maulings - the usual. So, I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement and fun and insanity that is a Comic Frenzy show. And here it is.

11.07.2006

Cool Stuff I'm Interested In But Also Sort Of Intimidated By Because I'm Not As Tech-Savvy As I'd Like To Believe, or The Title's Longer Than the Post

Flickr - Online photo hosting.

Last.fm - Uses (basically) spyware to compile a list of iTunes activity and makes recommendations based on other people with similar tastes.

GoLive - Adobe's website building software. For some reason, the web is just sort of hard for me to grasp and a totally new piece of software is like, scary and stuff.

Putting a cool top banner image on my blog. I still can't figure out how to do this. Maybe I need to buy a Blogging For Dummies book or something. Or check one out from the library. Yeah, library it is. Hooray for poorness!

Not Even Sleep Is An Escape

So I was up working on this presentation for my Identity Design class last night. I think it turned out pretty good and I'm looking forward to killing with it today. There's only one problem: all last night I dreamed I was designing stuff. And not even stuff that made sense. Just... designing. All. Night. Long. So, that's weird.

UPDATED! Also, R.E.M. figured prominently in my dream. Don't ask me how, I just remembered it randomly this morning when my iPod managed to queue up two albums (I'm now shuffling by album) in a row by Georgia's favorite sons.

That is all. Carry on.

11.05.2006

It's Like They Went Back In Time and Read 10-Year Me's Mind

Dude. It's like a no-brainer. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Or peanut butter and jelly. Or peanut butter and beef jerky. Awesome.

11.04.2006

Recent Acquisitions, aka Super Duper Dance Party Exclamation Mark Go!

Have been getting a lot of music lately. And all legally, too (Shon). I've already talked about Beck's the Information. It's been rocking my socks off. Also rocking me lately are the following albums:

Robert Pollard's Normal Happiness, which is good, but sadly, not great. At least not yet. There are some really good songs on here - "Supernatural Car Lover," comes to mind immediately - but it never quite makes it, as a whole, into the "great" slot for me.

Ben Kweller's Ben Kweller, which is, again, good but not as great as his first two albums. Can I just state publicly that I really can't stand his slow songs. They all sound the same. Like exactly the same. The rockers here sound a bit too polished, but it's a decent album.

Centro-Matic's Fort Recovery is one of those albums that, on paper, I should love, but instead just don't take hold of too tightly at first listen. Very Red House Painters-y/Goldrush-y, which can be either a good or bad thing, depending on my mood.

Sparklehorse returns with Dreamt For Light Years In the Belly Of A Mountain. I got this for Can-can for her birthday. I'm quite "in like" with this album right now. It had been so long since Mark Linkous' last album I hadn't realized how much I missed the guy.

Of Montreal's Satanic Panic In the Attic is a keeper. Not as tight or as consistent as the Sunlandic Twins - which is a five star album all the way - but there are some real good songs on this.

The Futureheads' News & Tributes is, yes, a lot more "grown up," but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Still, I fell in love with the manic energy of their debut - another five star album - and the couple of more introspective songs don't thrill me as much as their more bouncy ones do.

I also got Spoon's first album and EP, Telephono/Soft Effects, which is, yeah, a recording made by a Pixies tribute band, essentially. I also got their Loveways EP which is amazing. Recorded between A Series Of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell (both of whic are gold... I love me some Spoon) but released after the latter, it's really good.

Hmmm, I can't think of anything else, so that'll do for now.

What am I listening to now? Party shuffle, baby! Why? Cuz we're having a party! Not really. We just finished watching disc five of Gilmore Girls season six and Candace is agonizing over a scrapbook page. What's playing on Party Shuffle? The Flaming Lips' "It Overtakes Me," followed by Whiskeytown's "Don't Be Sad." See? PARTY!

Okay, goodnight.

So I Listed 26 Items On eBay Last Night

I went through my comics collection and purged. Mainly stuff I know I can get in trades sometime later if I decide that I simply must read it again. i was up until very very late doing this but am still not quite tired. I have a busy Sunday tomorrow and am a bit miffed at that. Oh well.

11.03.2006

Something Cool

One of my favorite instructors, Scott Franson, (okay, so he's my favorite) has a children's picture book coming out next spring. It's called UnBrella. It's really cool and clever and cute and an amazing achievement. It's also available for pre-order at Amazon. Check it out.

And Now A Word From... YOUR BOYFRIEND!

Meet Steve. Steve's divorced. Twice. His hobbies include putting puzzles together, eating pork rinds and yelling at the television. He's doing just fine. Would you like to do something this weekend? Steve's got two tickets to see Eddie Money. Say yes.

11.02.2006

Meet the Cool Kids





Here's those invites for the AIGA typography lecture. For those of you not hip to typography, the names of the cool kids are all names of typefaces. I loves 'em. Let me know what you think.

Hello, November

Man, it is already freezing here in Rexburg. What the heck?

We had a fun Halloween, went to see a couple people and ended up at home watching THEM!, a B-movie about gigantic nuclear mutated ants that I've been wanting to watch since I read about it in Premiere magazine years ago. It was pretty good, actually, considering what it was. I made a couple of books while we watched it and Candace, as is her habit lately, fell asleep around 10:00 and went to bed while I finished watching it. Poor girl, she's so exhausted lately. I know it isn't easy for her, this pregnancy thing, but I'm glad she's willing to do it for our family. She's such a great wife and friend and mother. I know it's the way things are, but I still wish it were easier on her getting them here, though.

I really can't believe it's November and I'll be graduating in about seven weeks. It's exciting and frightening. And tiring. Really tiring. I'm trying desperately to keep motivated, as I had effectively checked out of school earlier this semester, but I'm getting better at staying on top of things.

I'm going to have to start getting stuff done to get a job: resume', reprinting portfolio, posting online portfolio, e-mailing potential employers. I've been dragging my feet on all of this, but just need to start. I don't know why I'm so reticent to start; I know it will be fun once I get started. It's just a matter of getting started, I guess.

Anyway, it's November. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go put on 13 coats and hope my boogers don't flash-freeze to my nose-hairs when I go outside today. Cheers!

10.31.2006

Happy Halloween, Fools!

Aaah, my little Lucha. Photographic proof that Sadie is, in fact, my daughter. Check her out. Best. Photo. Ever.

10.30.2006

They Aren't Kidding When They Say 'Recommended For You'

I was surfing my Amazon recommendations (which is a horrible, terrible addction) and got recommended this baby. If ever there was a book that was, in fact, recommended for me, this would definitely be it. The cover alone sold me. Look at it. Is it a robot? A giant gorilla? A giant gorilla robot? My mind is officially blown.

10.29.2006

When It Rains...

In leiu of my AIGA invites (hint, hint Candace), here's a Comic Frenzy poster. I don't know how successful it is, but I like the little monster guy. He's a cutie.

It's Been A While

But now you're getting two comics posts in a row. Sorry. I was waiting for Candace to photograph my AIGA type lecture invites before I posted again, but I will wait no more. So, I've been at the comics store for two weeks in a row now which is an unusual occurrence. I usually wait until I have at least $10 of product waiting for me because you get these stamps when you spend $10. And I want me some stamps.

Anyway, I had a couple of week where everything hit, so it's been a busy couple of weeks. Here's what I got:

The Authority #1: Grant Morrison and Gene Ha revamping the faded 90's glory title as part of Wildstorm's Worldstorm line-wide relaunch. I was a fan of the Ellis/Hitch and Millar/Quitely iterations of the title - which birthed the whole decompressed, widescreen style of comics - and am interested in what Morrison will bring. Right now it looks like this is a Ultramarines in Qweq setup with the Authority showing up in the "real world." But it's hard to know because nothing really happens in this issue. I'll give it a couple more issues.

Batman #657: Morrison and one of the Kubert boys. Dude, Batman's son is a nutjob. Good stuff.

Daredevil 89 &90: If you know my comic book tastes, you'll know that I consider Ed Brubaker's Catwoman one of my favorites of all time, so I was interested in how Bru'd fare taking over 'Ol Hornhead after the grand exit of Brian Michael Bendis, whose run on the book is already being spoken of in hushed tones as being up there with Miller's take on the character. I missed the first arc, telling myself I'd follow the book in trades, but I'm on the floppies now because I just gotta know what's what. This is Brubaker and Michael Lark, who I loved on Gotham Central. Two issues into the new arc and I'm hooked. Daredevil's gone to Europe to find out who ordered the kill on Foggy and gets all wrapped up in intrigue and whatnot. Plus, Tombstone's in here, who I took a shine to back in my younger days. We had an old issue of Spider-Man when he'd put Robbie Robertson in the hospital and I thought he looked cool. Anyway. I'm glad I jumped on.

Gødland #13: Back from a few month hiatus, Joe Casey and Tom Scioli's cosmic superhero epic brings the Kirby. Don't get me wron, this is a decent issue, but it was not my favorite. It's supercompressed to the point of unbelievability and the dialogue tics for the other Dimension Z inmates were a little much. Still, it offers up the neon-colored superhero goodness, so I'm down with it for the foreseeable future.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #s 22 & 23: I really have a hard time remembering what happened in previous issues with this book and It's mainly my fault. I read some issues out of order and it sorta screwed eeverything up. Still, it's a fun, popcorn comic. Props to Mark Waid and Barry Kitson for making me like a comic I had in interest in whatsoever.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #9: Im pretty sure I had a huge grin on my face the entire time I read this issue and I know I was blown away at least once (the bit about the "flying terrorist city" had me at "flying"). Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen have created the perfect joycore popcorn book that never ceases to amuse me, but then again I'm a simple man. So jokes about super-soldier urine for the Fuhrer make me chuckle, sue me.
Now that I've had some time to let it scab over, the whole miniseries idea is ideal for this book. I really don't know how much longer this book can maintain its freshness on a mmonthlybasis. I will conclude by saying that this was my favorite issue of Nextwave so far.

Planetary #26: The resolution to Ellis and John Cassady's archaeologists of the strange series is also a little too supercompressed for its own good. As is par for the course with this book, it'll probably read amazingly in trades, but on its own, not as powerful. Still it's a beautiful, often amazing book. There's still an epilogue in the works next year, so we'll see how it really wraps up. Until then.

Seven Soldiers Of Victory #1: Wow. Now that's some supercompression. I have very little idea what actually happened here, but I'm pretty sure it was good. An insane ending to an insane megaseries, complete with Morrison via Zatanna trying to awaken the DCU into sentience. We shall see how successful he is, I guess. If nothing else, 7S has awakened a strong desire in me for a Morrison-penned Mr. Miracle/New Gods series. "I come with God-sight now," indeed. I'm obviously a Morrison fan, so I'm more than a little biased, but I thought it was one heckuva ride. Not perfect, as is par for the course with Morrison - he's far too rock and roll to nail every note perfectly - but still, buy the end of the album, you don't feel cheated.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #35: Man, am I loving Mike Carey on this book. This is the FF: huge cosmic adventures and good characterization, all wrapped up in a pretty bow courtesy of Pasqual Ferry's capable art. I'm still not sold on his much ballyhooed amazingness, but he does a decent enough job, so I'm satisfied. One of my new favorites.

X-Factor #12: The initial Singularity Investigations arc gets wrapped up in this issue and I must say, you can go home again. I was a huge fan of David's early 90's X-Factor and am now a huge fan of his early 00's X-Factor. Really good stuff. Upcoming issues include the much-hyped psychiatric session with Doc Samson and then its Jamie Madrox: Agent of H.Y.D.R.A. Whee!

Whew. That's a lot of stuff. I was also supposed to have an issue of Morrison and Jim Lee's Wildcats revamp in there somewhere but the counter jockey at my local comic shop is a flake, so... nothing. From what I've read online, it's largely unsatisfying, but I'm a slave for the Morrison, so what can I do?

Until next time, make mine Big Red Robot!

10.17.2006

A Quick, Depressing News Item

I knew it was too beautiful to live long: Nextwave will be cancelled as of issue #12. Here's the solicitation copy, which is, as usual for this amazing series, clever:



NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. #12
Written by WARREN ELLIS
Pencils and Cover by STUART IMMONEN
To all those who HAVEN'T been buying NEXTWAVE - Thanks a lot, jerks! This is the last issue! To all those who HAVE been buying NEXTWAVE- YOU RULE!! Do not miss this pulse-pounding conclusion to the greatest work of western literature EVER! Hamlet? Horrible. War and Peace? What-a-joke! The Great Gatsby? The Great Lame-by, maybe. Those works are going to be moved to the Bad Section of your local bookstores after this issue comes out. Don't miss this or you won't know what your children's children are reading in school.


There's an interview with Ellis at CBR here. Salt in my wound today, sirs. I know I should try and be excited about the promised minis, but man, this sucks. Seriously, what is wrong with America that this title is going bye-bye and Ms. frigging who in the world is reading this crap Marvel is still being published? Sheesh. Personally, I blame society.

I'm Back

And I'll be posting more soon. Spent the weekend in Vegas for my sister Haley's wedding and have been having computer issues, but I'm still alive and (relatively) well.

In the meanwhile, busy yourself with this. I scored like 21%, so I'm not a total geek, but I'm still safely within the geek category. Yay for me. Thanks to Shon Feller for alerting me to this. I knew there was a reason I got out of bed this morning.

10.11.2006

This Is My Life, Day 10

In order to stave off any mushiness I will say only this: Candace, I love you forever. You're the best. This is my life.

10.10.2006

Today Is the Day!

Today is my lady's birthday! Yay for her! I made her a book! Alright! We ate at Da Pineapple Grill! Super! It was delicious! Now we are going to Wal-Mart! Yay! But first I have to change some lightbulbs! Woo-Hoo! I am excited! I can't stop finishing each sentence with an exclamaition mark! Yipee! Hooray for exclamation marks and horray for Candace! You are the bestest in the Westest! Hiphip... Hooray!

10.09.2006

Stupid Stuff

Hey! Wanna know how to turn a 2 liter of Diet Coke into a rocket using a couple of Mentos? You do? That's sick. There's intructions here, you sick little person.

What's that, you want to se a guy with really short shorts turning said 2 liter bottle into a rocket? Yuck. The videos is here.

Honestly, if I were five or so years younger, I'd be at the convenience store by now.

This Is My Life, Day 9

There's somthing intoxicating about the smell of old LP's and paperbacks. As a teenager, two of my favorite haunts were used bookstores and the numerous Record City locations across the valley. Hmmm. Maybe that's why I didn't date much. Anyway, this is my life.

10.08.2006

Things I Think Are Cool (In No Particular Order)

The song "Ghosts Of A Different Dream," from the Guided By Voices album Under the Bushes, Under the Stars.
Chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.
Comic books.
Books by Kurt Vonnegut.
Old t-shirts.
Doc Savage.
The Empire Strikes Back.
Typography.
Robins.
Love.
The cover to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The cover to Pet Sounds, as well as the entirety of that purely genius album.
The Pacific Ocean. It really is better than the Atlantic.
A good Bagel.
The sound of airplanes.
The smell of freshly cut grass and the smell of gasoline.
Robots, jetpacks and laserguns. And psychic powers. And wolfmen.
Atlantis.
Seaguy.
Polaroid cameras.
Christmas.
My new Chucks.
The Flaming Lips.
America, despite all her flaws and imperialistic snarls.
Family.
Truth.
Spirit.
Woody Allen in Take the Money And Run.
My few, true friends. You know who you are.
Laughing.
Watermelon.
Creamsicles.
Toys.
Music.
Inspiration.
Candace, Candace, Candace. Forever & ever, amen.
Boulder Dam which I will always refer to as Hoover Dam because I am old school and I like it like that. It looks especially beautiful on a summer night.
Sleeping.
Dreaming.
When I manage to not be a total meanie.
My little sis, Sadie.
The moon.
Martians.
Astronauts.
Fireworks.
Sparkle Power!
A cold glass of water.
Monarch butterflies.
Driving long distances with my lady at my side.
Trees.
Empty parking lots.
The song "Space Junk," by Devo.
My favorite band since I was like 14, Talking Heads.
When you can see your breath outside, but it's still just sweatshirt weather.
The idea of summer.
Forever long blog posts about nothing.
James freaking Brown.
The streetlights on Ballinger Drive, circa 1990.
Castlerocker, the blog.
Guitars.
Listening to live music.
The smell of the coffee aisle at the supermarket.
Luchadores.
Superheroes.
Kids who can skateboard.
People who smile.
Hugs.
Super Mario 3.
A new haircut.
The TV show Lost.
Pajamas.

The word, "Goodnight."

This Is My Life, Day 8

I was up late working on some stuff. This is a shot of what sits to my right as I sit here, working away into the slippery night. Misc. addresses, a little encouraging note from Candace and Sadie, cards from my meager collection of Pete Fowler Monsterism figures, a work schedule because I can't be bothered to remember things like when I work there, instructions for Can-can's iPod (whose battery is dead and I really should charge it, but I just can't remember to do it) and a picture of my lady, whose iPod battery is dead. This is my life.

10.07.2006

This Is My Life, Day 7

They came down to I.F. to go shopping. It was a fun time to be able to hang out with them, as it seems that lately, I just haven't had the time to relax and shop. Plus, they're pretty, so that makes it easier to hang out with them. It wouldn't be so much fun to shop with ugly girls. That just would not do. Anyway, this is my life.

10.04.2006

This Is My Life, Day 6

There's something cool about being able to hold my entire music collection in the palm of my hand. The future is rad.

I Got Sucked Into The Beta

Obviously, there have been some changes on the blog. Last night, I got sucked into Blogger's new beta version. It's pretty handy, allowing for quick changes to format without knowing a ton of HTML. Unfortunately, that means that I dinked around with it for way longer than I should have last night. Oh well. I'm still trying to figure out how to make a custom header graphic, so if anybody can help me out, HOLLAH!

Some Music Nuggets and Then I'm Going To Bed

Firstly, I bought Beck's new abum, The Information. It is good. I haven't made it all the way through, but I likes what I hears. It's "weird Beck," which I always appreciate. For whatever reason, I always forget the man's a certifiable genius and then I hear a new album and am blown away for weeks. It happened with Guero and I'm sure it will happen with The Information. Is it better than my current favorite Beck album, Midnight Vultures? Whoa. Slow down. Let's not get crazy. I haven't heard any falsetto yet, so Vultures is pretty safe.

Some quick statistics: In purchasing The Information, I got a 15 track CD that is 60 minutes in length. I got a DVD of Beck's self-produced music videos. I got a suh-weet set of stickers so I can make my own little CD cover. I paid $9.99 for all of that. That, my friends, is value for dollar.

Also released today was the Killer's hotly anticipated (to most people... not me really) follow-up to Hot Fuss, Sam's Town. Now I must say, I begrudgingly liked Hot Fuss, despite the fact that I know a couple of guys in the band and didn't really like them at all. It's a decent album. Nothing that's going to cure cancer or put a man on the moon, but decent, Duran Duran rip-off pop sung by ridiculous glam boys with more concern for their appearance than actual artistic depth.

Anyway, Entertainment Weekly has mercilessly savaged their new album, Sam's Town. You can read the review here. It's pretty harsh. And pretty funny. Is it bad of me to laugh at this thing, to sort of relish it? "The MySpace generation has found its Bon Jovi." Ouch.

One last thing: For those of you not Vegas-lingual, Sam's Town is a hotel-casino geared toward locals (pronounced: "retirees with pension money burning a hole in their pocket") with a breakfast buffet that is pretty good. I prefer Boulder Station, but that's just me. I'm what you'd call a "non-conformist." A "hipster." Or, if you will, a "weirdo."

10.03.2006

This Is My Life, Day 5

Seriously, she's crazy. She's started climbing out of her crib. Today Candace swas taking a nap and heard a door shut. She thought I was still home, but I'd left for stupid work. The next thing she knew, Sadie was all up in her face saying, "Hello Mommy."

I closed at work tonight, which meant I didn't get home until sometime near 10:30. She was awake and wired for sound. I laid down with her, trying to get her to go to sleep because I could tell Candace had had it. Well, this little girl is talking my ever-loving ear off. I've worked late the last couple of nights and have been pretty much gone every day, so I like to think her staying-up-latedness had something to do with her missing her daddy. Who knows. She's weird.

We ended up going to the store because my lady needed some orange juice. I thought for sure she'd fall asleep in the car. No dice. Finally, sometime after 11, she went down. Hopefully she'll sleep late tomorrow because I am tired and I'm sure Candace is, too. Anyway I love my funny little girl. She's a keeper. And this, as they say, is my life.

10.02.2006

I Got A FEEvAH...

And the only cure is more Lost. Has anybody else seen this little thing here? Sawyer. In a big hamster cage. Good golly, I loves this show.

10.01.2006

This Is My Life, Day 4

One of the things I always loved about my lady was her love for green things. Candace was taking floral design classes when we met and after we were married and we've almost always had some plants wherever we've lived. There's something refreshing about a plant. Makes you a little happier, a little more balanced. This is my life.

9.30.2006

This Is My Life, Day 3

Last Saturday night, Candace went to the Relief Society broadcast, leaving sis and me alone for the evening. So we did the masculine thing and went shopping.

We hit Kmart and Walmart for some clamps and CD jewel cases (I still have a spindle of stuff I got from Bryan last time we were down in Vegas) and scoured DI for some cool stuff. I needed a hardbound book to use as an example for Book Arts and I found a rad old English book with an olive green cover with an orange exclamation mark on it (I'll post some scans of this sometime because I think it is really cool - if you couldn't tell by my gushing all about it), some National Geographic issues from the magical year of 1977, and these super-duper-rad Little Golden books.

The one on top is from the mid-50's and it is cuh-razy. It's about this kid who loves merry-go-rounds and has a dream to build one that has real animals on it instead of wooden ones. Well, he grows up and realizes his dream, but the animals freak the grown-ups out. So he does what any rational human being would do - he paints the animals to look wooden. That way the adults don't get freaked out by the thought of their kids riding on the backs of wild animals, and the kids get to ride on the backs of wild animals painted to look like wooden animals. It's a win-win situation. Entirely logical. And crazy.

Anyway, the illustrations are really cool and I just knew that it must me mine forever and ever. I'll have to post some scans sometime soon.

The title, by the way is The Marvelous Merry-Go-Round. It should maybe be subtitled This Book Is So Amazing That After Reading It Your Head May Explode. Or have some kind of warning of it's mind-blowingness. Anyway, that's my life.

What Is Up With YouTube?

So I spent a good deal of time last night trying to set up YouTube so I can imbed a clip of my rock&roll hero David Byrne accepting his Video Vanguard Award at the 1985 MTV Music Awards last night (and I am currently trying to do so now) but for whatever reason - I'm blaming black magic - it isn't working. So, I'll just link to it instead.

What's that? You want to see David Byrne covering Beyonce's "Crazy In Love," backed by a marching band? Okay. It's here. Man, is YouTube the rad or what?

9.29.2006

This Is My Life, Day 2

Candace and I were talking about how weird it will be when we don't have Maddy around some day. She's getting older (we've had her for four - five? - years now and she was probably around two when we got her), and it's something I'm not looking forward to. This bout of canine existential dread was brought on by Candace's reading the world's saddest book like ever: Marley & Me. Seriously, every time I looked over at her while she was reading it, she was sniffling and teary. "Marley's always puking on the Persian rug," she'd explain through suppressed sobs. Anyway, I love my little black and white friend. Ever since I brought her home from the shelter, her little body shivering against me the whole way, we've been buds. She's cute, loyal and crazy, so basically - she fits in.

Man, I Love Doing Comic Frenzy Posters

Seriously. They're incredible amounts of fun and a great way to try stuff I've been wanting to try. This one has roughly a bajillion layers. Also, it is unabashedly pink. And the type is entirely hand-rendered. I showed a proof of this version to my good friend Shon and he noticed that there was no admission price. Aw, shucks. I fixed it, but it's not on this version. I hope he was able to print them this morning, because I was having a devil of a time trying to get it to open on his computer. Anyway, here it is:

I've entitled this one: Wheee!

9.27.2006

This Is My Life, Day 1

Growing up in sunny Las Vegas, I never really understood the idea of coat hooks. Now I do. I love that the coat rack, as the weather gets colder, is an indicator of who's home, of what's going on. If all the coats are up, we're all here and (hopefully) happy.