Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Can Draw Me Too!

Or at least I can draw a character I play in the soon-to-be-released (honest) film Necromance for Travis.

This illustration is just one of the few I did for Aegis Studios’ Contagion Core book. If you want to see the rest, you’ll have to buy the book when it comes out.

What’s the image of? It’s Tommy using a stuffed bunny wrapped in razor wire and bricks as a weapon.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I’m the #1 Tim Stotz

Way back when, I did some ego surfing and found out that I was nowhere near the number 1 spot on the Google search. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but there were a lot of other Tim Stotzes out there. And they, dear readers, were better than me according to Google. Sniff.
But in your face, other Tims!
I am now the Numero-MOFO-uno Tim Stotz. (Not necessarily in quality, but certainly in popularity. Shallow? Yeah. But it counts.)
I’m also the number one on Yahoo!
And the next entries in the list are articles about—you guessed it: ME, baby.
The next ones down are about those other artists and sports people I complained about in the first blog entry about this, but they’re not number one.
But…let us talk of my humble beginnings.
Remember that I wasn’t excluded from the list entirely. Though my brand new web site was not a blip on the pop culture radar, I still was.
There was a film fest page that I was on. And a page from WRCR stalking me. But, alas, those entries are not there anymore…at least they aren’t in first few pages, and that’s all the further down I could be bothered with to look at because I’m number one baby.

They don’t make geeks or movies like they used to

The day before the biggest night in pop culture history, my friend Matt offers me a ticket to see Star Wars at the 12:01 show. I think it’s worthy of note, that technically they could have showed the movie at 12:00, but I guess some sadist wanted to make the geeks swear for an extra minute.
I guess the joke was on the good folks at Kerasotes. The geek turnout did not impress. Oh, don’t get me wrong, all 8 showing of the flick were sold out…but there were not that many geeks.
When Matt offered me the ticket, our of reflex, I almost said, “Fuck No!” I don’t want to see any movie on opening night. Much less Star Wars. The crowds! The stench of BO and parents’ basement! The fact that on a quiet day, you could hear the sound of the last two movies sucking ass 1 time zone away!
But, it had been a while since Matt and I hung, and this was the LAST time I’d get a chance to see a Star Wars flick on opening night. Nostalgia bubbled up over the dread, and drowned it. Remember when: I had all the action figures! I was Darth Vader for Kindergarten! The movies were still good!
So I accepted Matt’s offer. Off we go. But when? One thing I was not gonna do was camp out days in advance to see this turkey. So, we got there, about an hour before. I figured we’d get the seats in the far corner front or something. But we got pretty good seats. They were off to the side, but they worked.
So time to settle in for some quality people watching. Except there were about two costumes—that’s it. One Storm Trooper, and one Darth Maul (Which I don’t get. Talk about hype. The guy was on screen for about two actual minutes, and they made a cottage industry out of him.)
Now I consider myself a geek. I dig technical stuff, I like Buffy, and well, I was at the 12:01 of the show. But I’m not overly socially awkward. I’m not mercilessly picked on by bullies, and I have more of a sense of style than that queen, Mr. Blackwell. (Crazy backwards pants, notwithstanding.)
I figured I’d see some hardcore geeky action. And I’d be laughing with them, not at them. I’m not a total jerk. But there were almost no hard-core geekly looking dudes. I saw a couple Star Wars Shirts—that were tasteful! Most everyone was dressed pretty casual and had basic social graces. In fact there were a lot of hotties at the show. Two of the women who posed for me for the Rockford: Small City series were there.
This was not reminiscent of the Triumph the Insult Comic dog skit.
And here’s the other topper: the movie wasn’t bad. The dialogue was so wooden in places, and canned in others. But it was there, some of that original New Hope spark. I stayed awake until it was over at 2:30 in the morning, and that’s saying something.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The next bit of ‘blogging without typing…and a little dead horse beating for good measure

Hey who doesn’t want to read more about an art opening I was a part of like 3 months ago?

Well, I was pretty flattered that a college student did a paper on me. I mentioned it in the “I have arrived. I have left” entry at the beginning of this month.

She kindly allowed me to post it. Believe it or not, for all my rambling, and Travis’s article on the opening, there is actually some new information. Now if I could only figure out who this Edgar Degas is. Any relation to the Connecticut Degas?

Reminiscent of the science fiction movies of the late 1950s, Tim Stotz's photomanipulation depicts giant women towering over the city of Rockford with the series he calls . . . Rockford: Small City, Snapshots of an Apotheosis.
I met Tim at the Rockford Art Museum back in February for the 2020 Visions show. It was his first art opening and I could tell he was quite nervous. I finally got close enough to ask him a few questions.
The medium used is digital photography, the program used for the manipulation was Photoshop. He also said "The camera fulfilled a similar role that a scanner would . . . merely a means to get a base image into the digital realm where I could manipulate it."
Tim said he didn't have any direct influences, in most respects. "There's obviously some Helmut Newton in there, some fashion photography slicks, and snapshots kind collide in tone." If he had to pick Tim would compare himself most with Swift, the Augustine writer of Gulliver's Travels. In my opinion it's obvious that Tim finds the female figure more interesting, which reminds me a bit of Edgar Degas in that sense . . . you don't see any males stomping around Rockford. I can also see some pop art like Andy Warhol and as well as surrealism.
When asked about his background his response was "I have drawn all my life, and written and acted and generally hammed it up. I'm not utterly unhappy with this reality, but even a freaked out, surreal one that has giant women in it has more order than our real one. I've always been into world building." Tim got his BA in English at Rockford College, he says he didn't really take any art classes, and that he taught himself video, still photography, and to illustrate digitally. He now does video and illustration commercially for a living.
My personal opinion in his work is that it is very original. You don't really have to have a trained artistic eye to appreciate his work, its almost entertaining to view. Each work tells a story that the viewer can imagine. There are many details that are not immediately apparent at first glance. Like "Catch a glimpse" which has a woman walking past a construction site looking down at her leg, as you follow the implied line from her eyes you see that she has caught her fishnet stocking on the hook of a crane.
When I was looking over "Snack Attack" Tim pointed out that the model in the picture was a complete vegan, and yet there she was eating small people. Originally Tim said he was going to use male models as the little people being eaten by the vegan, "I went to one of my favorite watering holes and asked for volunteers to be eaten by a giant woman. I figured every one in the room would think I was a sicko, and should immediately seek help, and no small amount of it. But, on the contrary, every male hand in the place shot up." Later he decided it would be better to use 3-D people.
At the 2020 Visions show I wasn't very impressed with a lot of the work there, but Tim's work grabbed me with curiosity I had to take a closer look. Out of the fifteen photos I liked "Catch a Glimpse," "Snack Attack," and "Out of the Reign" the most.
I really enjoyed looking over Tim's work and getting to know the artist. I found out that this summer Tim plans to start shooting for a second series of the 500 foot tall women, which I have been asked to be one of the models for . . . but for this series there might be a twist, there's possibilities, probabilities, premonitions, and predictions for Tim's next series. Who knows; this could be big!

Irritating and inflamed

Here’s something that bothers me. Preparation H.
No, it’s not like you think. I’m fine down there. Really.
It’s not so much the product; I’m sure that it works fine, and I hear that models can use it to remove the bags under their eyes to hide the heroine hangover. I am mad at the Prep H media.
There’s a woman squirming in a movie seat—unnerving but let’s be mature. I guess the booty itch can happen anywhere. She thinks to herself, “I wish I would have used Preparation H.”
Cut to informative narrator guy. Yadayadayada. Preparation H Portable is a great product. Yada.
Then, our girl is back, and relived.
And scene. So what’s my problem?
Ok, so the theory is that during the informative narrative, our ass-chapped heroine scooted off to the bathroom, and applied this balm. Then she’s all sitting down and dipping her hand in ol’ dude’s popcorn. Am I a prude, or am I right in thinking that there is no theater in the land that can apply the hygiene needed to cleanse oneself after digging little medicated pads in your irritated ass? And then she has the noive to just sit there and act like nothing ever happened, dipping her hand in popcorn with ass fingers. Man, that’s not a positive message to be sending out to the small fry.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Brother, can you spare a water-soluble hydro spice?

Not my best headline ever, but it beats the original, which was simply gonna be H.264! You know, kind of like, “Oklahoma!”
Here’s the what of the what. You folks who already have QuickTime 7 can check out some short interstitials I did for Master Taste, a company that makes artificial flavors and scents.
I used the new H.264 codec, and the bandwidth to quality to glavin trade off is phenomenal. This is gonna be big. This is gonna make it so I can do Hi-Def. And I bet apple comes out with an iTunes music store, but for movies—either rental or purchase. Remember, you heard it here first.

Let’s talk apocalypse

Apocalypse is a word thrown about a lot now a days. It’s kind of catchy and us 3rd millennium types are pretty aware of the general run down. But let’s revisit what an apocalypse is. The worst thing ever. Think of the worst thing you can, then this will be tapping that thing on its shoulder with a deranged grin. We are talking the end of all that is good.
So, how fitting is it that the worst movie ever shares its name? Apocalypse. Mine is not to tell you why it is bad, but to compel you to watch it for yourself and see why. It’s not merely the worst movie ever; it’s the worst THING ever. No human machination that has come before will surmount the badness of this.

In defense of laziness and being a geek

A few entries back, I posted about how my mom was pretty ok in the sagacious-department. And she, like most moms (unfortunately not all), had we kids’ best interest at heart. I don’t know if I touched on this yet, but she was also pretty granola. Not an overt hippy, at least not by the time we kids rolled around. This meant two things: it was a chink in the armor of her being sagacious (to spare her, I’m not exposing the “crystals can heal” fiasco of the late ‘80s), and she was a nature freak. Strangely, she didn’t really like nature herself, but she was definitely fer it and not again’ it. She didn’t care for camping, or really being outside for prolonged periods, water in lakes freaked her out because it wasn’t as clear as swimming pools, and so on. But one thing of which she was ironclad certain on: we kids should watch less TV and go outside and runaround more.

Despite the fact that I hated sports (I wasn’t an anomaly, no one in my family loved them), I did like to go out and runaround. I was good at tag. See if there were an organized tag game, I may be tempted to play to this day. And I was a quick little fucker. I beat neighborhood kids on bikes—no hyperbole. I beat a friend’s moped while on foot—again no hyperbole. But I did not like running around as much as I liked Tom and Jerry on the tube in general. Especially any cartoon. Or anything with a robot, or monster, or ray gun-like thing. I didn’t dig westerns yet, but the space western, Battlestar Galactica, was awesome. “I dug the tube” is what I’m saying. This set poorly with mom.

The only thing that came to replace the tube was the computer. Mainly because it was exciting and new, but also because TV in the mid ‘80s got real bad. I’ll leave it to you to search the pop culture shrines to jog your memory of what was on, but with the exception of V, there was little good on TV.

Allow me to go down memory lane (RAM lane?). It was an apple IIe, oh I’m sorry, the cool kids (maybe that’s the wrong phrase) called it the apple //e. It had 128k of memory (as opposed to the 1 gig my slightly aged laptop has), had TWO floppy drives (the ironically smaller capacity with the bigger form factor), a dot matrix printer that sort of almost really worked, and an honest to goodness RGB monitor instead of a TV you could plug it into. I also had the extended 80-column card to display 80 columns of text instead of only 40, and—count ‘em—16 colors. And this was the enhanced version. And it was pretty huge…not like my modern day laptop that I can happily take outside—where my mom would much rather I was.

I almost didn’t get into the computer racket. After the parents bought this thing, it sat there, quiet, a little foreboding, but more inviting, dead, like the long dormant computer they used to decipher the German enigma codes at Bletchley For you see, mom dictated that we must have computer classes before we hopped on the computer. Made sense, but the computer classes never came. So we had this insanely expensive lump o’ plastic in the Music Room, as it was called. It was more than I could take. I prevaricated.

Somehow, seeing a 15-minute video in school on the wonder of computers equaled computer lessons in my mind. You know the video; you’ve probably seen the video. It was a mid ‘80s yawn fest about RAM, ROM and little else. Vague, a little misinformed, and by no means a class. But good enough for me. So I told mom I had classes. She grudgingly conceded. She had to know I was fibbing, but at the same time, it had been more than a month that the techno-monolith just sat there; she tacitly admitted she was being irrational.
Who knew if the damn thing actually even worked?

Next thing I knew, I heard the ominous sound of the floppy drive calibrating during boot up. Don’t panic. The sound of Semi air breaking down a slick mountain rode is a perfectly normal thing to be issuing forth from some hi-tech, sleek machine.
Once, I got on, I stayed on, brother. I learned it. I learned the hell out of that thing. And in those days, that meant programming. This frustrated mom to no end, for you see, the computer was not even window-adjacent, much less outside.

There was drama. She was right about the situation a little. I should be a little more well rounded. But she unplugged the computer and lost about 100 lines of code and told me to go outside and that I was wasting my time. The computer to her was a toy, much in the same way, that the TV was a passive thing that rotted my brain. They would never contribute to my life, and in fact TV and computers would stand in the way of things that were important in life. Like instead of sitting in a room doing nothing, sitting outside doing nothing.
So without too many Freudian reffs, I wonder if the reason I use COMPUTERS to create TELEVISION media is just to prove mom was wrong about these two things. Although I admit, when I’m entrenched too much in the technological horror that my life can become, I really just want to go outside. So maybe, ultimately she was right. Anybody know of a job I could just sit outside?

Friday, May 13, 2005

In Celebration of Crazy Backwards Pants Day!

Bo knows crazy backwards pants.

Dig the picture he drew of me, or better yet buy a mug or something.

And if you to want to draw pictures of dashing iconoclasts in Crazy Backwards Pants, you better pony up for some art lessons from Bo.

Will the ‘blogging without typing ever cease?

Probably not as long as I talk to Travis.
So far, he’s only article-ed up things I’ve said that made some kind of sense and that couldn’t garner me the new nickname ‘The Defendant.” Although this time, I’ve definitely come out of the procrastination closet—not that you’d have to get all CSI: Tulsa with it to figure out that I’m a procrastinator. (I managed to post my thoughts on the RAM opening and leaving Insight a scant week before the show was actually taken down).

So as usual to check Travis’s site, go to Aegis Studios to dig is stuff, or go to his article at “Unleashed Publications”.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Time for Tiger!

I was gonna work in an overwrought Blake reference, but I decided against it.
So yeah, Tiger has been documented to death. It’s a total Mac OS X geek thing. It’s got the whiz-bang features, and a little more pizzazz, and as I mentioned in a previous entry, Tiger Direct is suing them.
It’s all shiny and new, but not without some problems. Fer instance, it works sooooo well, that I can’t get it to stop working. It doesn’t actually restart.
But it’s not Longhorn, Microsoft’s forthcoming OS that’s still 2 years off. It is supposed to be a “Tiger Killer.” (‘Cause 95% of the market shares just isn’t enough for Big Redmond.) You'd have to be a glue sniffing, crack baby who lived in lead paint-lined Dioxin drum under power lines, with a slow gas leak. And you're mommy and daddy were probably blood relatives. And you're dumb if you think that the Cupertino boys don’t out do them before that “tiger killer.” Damn, that was jingoistic even for me.

The important thing is Tiger is the first step to being able to deliver HD content. You better pony up for you big ol’ plasma TVs now, kiddies. Here directly, I’ll have honest to goodness Hi-Def content posted on my web site. Better get Qui-zickTizime 7 at least if you can’t afford the Big ass TV.
Hey, wait a minute; looking back on this geeky entry, I realize it’s not the most entertaining. No content about crazy backwards pants, and the chitlin-themed content has NEVER reared its ugly head. In light of that, I feel compelled to make you laugh. Here we go. 3…2…1. Poop!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A quick Salute to the Stupid Heads.

I just wanted to say, "Holla, and Feliz Cinco de Mayo" to the erstwhile collegues of mine, aka the Stupidheads.

Love, peace and hair grease.

Did the Beatles make my computer?

Here’s one of those circular logic problems: why do lawyers exist? Because they decide they need to. I mean really, if there weren’t layers, there wouldn’t need to be lawyers. If you get a letter from a lawyer suing you, you need to get a lawyer to defend you. If there weren’t any lawyers, we’d all just fight our differences out with pointed sticks of some sort. Now doesn’t that seem more civilized? And a heaping helping less absurd.
Case in point: In the late ‘70s, two Steves, one Wozniak and one Jobs, had take some tedious time out from revolutionizing the computer industry to do some paper work (no doubt to hand in to lawyers) for starting a business. A deadline loomed. They needed a name for their company. Woz looked at the apple in his hand, and said, “Why not?” About 10 minutes before the deadline, too. I didn’t say it was an exciting story, but it is THE story about how apple computer got its name.
I love the Beatles, but if the Beatles have ever been “out” to society at large the late ‘70’s or early ‘80s would be the time. The shrill, pointless ‘60s were 7 years of heroine-haze ago, and the fab four resurgence brought on by the soul-dead yuppies trying to pretend they were still (or ever were) peaceful, idealistic hippies was still a ways off. The constituent members of the Beatles were doing solo stuff, and not particularly well by most accounts, and angrier, punky-er rock and synth driven test pattern stuff ruled the radio waves.
During that time, no one really thought much of the Beatles…much less their record label. But Apple Records, already in has-been limbo pretty much by then, sued for trade marky goodness. Here’s how it works: if you open a phone book, and look to the A section, you’ll probably see a company called “Apple-something-or-other” like Apple brake repair, Apple Dog Neutering, or Apple Legal services. And that’s fine. Trademark disputes can only be an issue if the consumer is potentially confused, whether intentionally, or just on accident. And Apple Records thought that consumers might confuse Apple Computer’s products with their wares. Picture this scenario:
Consumer 1: Hey, did you get Ringo Starr’s newest album?
Consumer 2: I sure did. It cost around $3,000, and I don’t think it’ll fit on my record player. Some weird album art…very high concept. Looks like a typewriter, man.
Consumer 1: Cool. What’s it called?
Consumer 2: I think “II e” or something.
What? It could happen. The dispute was settled, and the terms went like this: Apple computer could keep it’s name, as long as it never made anything that reproduced music or entered the music biz.
Well the first computers were capable of making squawks and beeps, but not music, so we’re cool.
Well, along came the Macintosh. (Spelled differently than the McIntosh variety of apple—Designer Jeff Raskin’s favorite type. Why was it spelled differently? Because there was already an audio component manufacturer with that name…see a pattern here?) Ok, so the Mac could belt out some slightly more sophisticated sounds. And it came included with an error tone that sounded eerily similar to a xylophone, and to some people, that’s music. Apple Records got the Apple computer team on the horn, and demanded an explanation. According to the Mac team, the sound was a simple alert tone that they named after the “Japanese word for absence of sound.” That sound’s name is “sosumi.” Say it slowly.
As Apple Records faded and Apple computers Rose, the Mac got more and more music-y. Not only could it play back music, it became a premiere tool for creating music. That got litigation. They dropped the “computer from their name when they branched out and made stuff besides computers. More litigation. And of course theirs the iTunes music store (which was briefly called “applemusic.com”) More litigation. Now that Michael Jackson owns the Beatles catalog, I imagine suing Apple is the only way Apple Records gets any income.
Apple gets sued for other stuff too, and not just by ex-record companies. All of their products have internal, secret names during development. One series of computers was named after people the Apple design team admired. Bear in mind, these names were not the final names bestowed upon the computers, just internal “working titles.” That didn’t stop astronomer, Carl Sagan from freaking out when he heard that Apple computer had an internal build named after him. The Apple team kindly renamed the computer to BHA. Butt Head Astronomer.
Some things are different. Apple DOES use the internal build names as final product names some times now, like the newest iteration of its operation system, OS X: Tiger. But some things are the same. They are getting sued for it.
Yep, Tiger Direct, a mail order computer parts company and purveyor of dirt-cheap electronic miscellany, is suing Apple over the name. Never mind that the previous OSes were labeled after other big kitties, Jaguar, and Panther. And nobody who cares about the difference will be confused by the similarity.
Man, lawyers, huh?

The problem with Normal is that it only gets worse.

A life lesson. I don’t like sports. I’ve tried ‘casue it’s normal. And growing up and trying to fit in, normal ain’t a bad way to go. But, it didn’t take. I just never got into them. I like running around and playing tag, and what not. But throw more organization in that and I kinda hated it. I tried to hide it, but I was no good at it.
But I was watching TV (something I DID like to do…unless sports stuff was on). I saw the most wondrous thing to my young mind. It was this cool, high tech phone and it was free. This thing was a cool looking gadget, man. Streamlined, I think it may have had glowy bits, and it just was geeky gadget heaven (for the early ‘80s). There was a draw back. They way one got this phone is purchasing a subscription to “Sports Illustrated.” Ick. But a small price to pay, ‘cause, dig the phone man! At least I perceived it as a small price to pay—didn’t have the whole money thing down yet. And my dislike of sports was more passive then; I just didn’t like it; it’s not like now in which my hatred of sports is more active. But on the plus side, it came with another free item: a swimsuit calendar. Honesty time—I didn’t care about that. Not then. I was aware of girls. I thought the models were attractive, but I was more of a gadget fan. And I swear I’m being honest. I dig the hot chick imagery now…I mean look at the stuff I put in the art museum. And I’m very upfront about liking the imagery. And deep down, I knew coveting the phone was silly. Not totally off my rocker crazy, but not normal. I was a kid, yeah I talked to people often, but no big business deals were forged. And we did have a phone already. It was silly, but damnit the heart wants what the heart wants.
So being a kid with little or no money, in a family that was also not financially well off (my single mom with Diabetes and a heart condition did her best back then. I get that now.) But she did have SOME money, and I had none. So in order to get the stuff, I had to go through her. I asked her for the subscription to Sports Illustrated. She gave me that RCA Victor dog look. And rightfully so. I asked for Sports Paraphernalia. Like most moms, she had a prescience and insight about these things. And I might as well started speaking Mandarin Chinese, Lighting a Menorah, and walking solely on my hands. That would have been far less uncharacteristic. I think I probably hurt her head. She just said no. Didn’t much matter the reason, we didn’t have the cash. And like I said, it was out of character. But this phone was my “Red Rider BB Gun” (metaphorically, because I already had a real BB Gun).
I pursued the matter further. Like pretty much relentlessly. I wanted that fucking phone man. And, not to blame the marketing folks, but they pounded that commercial into the airwaves. It was on constantly. Enough, that my mom finally saw it. A little later she walked up to me slowly. She had that, sagacious, sensitive; “life enriching talk” looks.
“Tim, the “Sports Illustrated” thing.” Pregnant pause. I thought she was going to cave. She was a good mom. She raised us to be as not materialistic as possible. And we were at least vaguely aware of the bad money issues but she wanted us to be happy. She thought, paused, and said, “You know, it would be a lot cheaper if we just bought you a calendar with women in it” she said with every trace of earnest that a progressive, liberal mom would say to a kid who is about at that age.
Perspective set in. The whole “not-normal” thing came home to roost again. Just how stupid wanting that phone was, really became so damn apparent. And how I wanted that instead of the girlie calendar was really goofy.
“Yeah. That’s a good idea, mom.” But I never got that calendar ‘casue I’m telling you man, I really didn’t care back then. Plus as progressive and liberal as mom was (and possibly trying a bit too hard to fill in for an absentee father) the prospect of mom getting me a swimsuit calendar was just a little to…open for me.
I gotta tell you, she was glad when I first started dating.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?