Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fortune Cokie

When I was a kid and introduced to the concept of Chinese food fortune cookies, it was made very clear how they're supposed to work:

1. You make a wish.
2. You break the cookie and remove the fortune.
3. You read the fortune in the context of your wish.
4. Pause to consider the profound insight you just received into life and the nature of reality.

Apparently this was never made an established practice, and clearly restaurant goers and fortune writers have become lazy and ambivalent to the whole experience. Most of the time the fortunes aren't fortunes at all, but rather statements or observations, or weirdly narrow and petty clues about the insignificant minutia of daily concerns.

I keep to my principles however and push on. The other day I stopped by a Chinese restaurant on the way back from grocery shopping, and enjoyed a huge plate of chicken chow-fun. I was steeped in reflective poignancy brought on by a full stomach, a cup of barley green tea, and the muted bustle of the street, reflecting off the burnished oak of the restaurant tables. The waitress hands me my obscenely cheap bill and a fortune cookie.

I wished:

"I would like to meet a woman in the next month, and for her and I to feel mutual, unforced feelings of attraction, and an insatiable eagerness and excitement to develop our burgeoning relationship into something profound and long term."

I broke open the cookie and read this fortune:

Missed Connection

I was on BART the other day (name of the bay area subway system), when I saw a young woman who looked familiar sitting across from me. A second look mostly assured me that I was wrong and I didn't know her and I didn't give it another thought- Well maybe one or two more, about her attractive nerdyness.

Latter we happened to get off at the same stop, file past the door side by side, and walk towards the same descending platform. The coincidence got to be too much and I turned to her and asked: "Do I look familiar to you?" She apparently was so freaked out by the question that she just crumbled into a flustered pile of panicky stutters and apologies to the effect of "No I don't think so, sorry." Seeing how overwhelmed she was by the situation I decided to abort mission and said "Huh... You look familiar to me, but maybe I'm just trippin'." she continued to apologetically sputter that she didn't recognize me as I walked away.

She ran up behind me just past the turn stiles, and with new found resolution asked me "Wait! Were you the guy here last night trying to catch a cab?" I said I wasn't and continued on my way. Perhaps a bit brusquely.

So far a normal story of two young people, cloaked in their internal cocoons, brought on by mass transit, trying in some small way to have a real human interaction. Failing, for better or worse, and sailing on like two ships in the night.

But what happens next is where things get a bit weird. I had recently just finished an awesome graphic novel that was a collection of comics drawn by different artists illustrating real and imagined personal adds from newspapers and Craig's List, specifically those categorized as "missed connections". It works like this; two people who shared a moment against an anonymous urban backdrop, who didn't have a chance to exchange contact information, can later post a missed connection ad hoping on the off chance the other person sees it and gets in touch.

The book was mostly funny, sometimes poignant, romantic and sad, and reminded me of the whole concept of missed connections personal adds.

So I thought I would check Craig's List to see if this anonymous, flustered, mousy young woman had posted something, never thinking she actually would. But low and behold she had! The post is as follows:

So I sent her an email, and we got together for lunch a couple times since then. Unfortunately, as this is real life, the story ended much less climatically than expected, and though we got along well, and she was very nice and sweet, there wasn't enough chemistry for it to develop into anything substantial. But the whole experience was whimsically uplifting and wonderful in it's own right.
No Talking Tuesday # 200

Whoo hoo! My two hundredth no talking Tuesday.

No list. Nothing special to report.

No Talking Tuesday # 199

No list. Nothing special to report.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Student Chastisement

I've developed a reputation at school for being an overly demanding teacher who expects too much and grades too harshly. I had a particularly lazy class a couple semesters back, and gave them a good tongue lashing via email. I may include the email in the course syllabus for my future classes to give them a taste of what they're in for. The email below:

To all,

Attached are your updated grades going into the final exam.

Most of you did terribly on your environment rough and final. This may
cause some of you to fail the class. In the future I would suggest
that when you have something due finished, that you turn it in
finished. Deadlines are not in progress check ins. If you carry on
with this attitude about what it means to turn in something finished
by a set time/date, then you will not only do poorly in your
schooling, you will stunt yourself as an artist, and make it nearly
impossible to get a job let alone keep one.

If you are unhappy with your grade on your environment rough or final
ask yourself the following questions:

1. Were both projects complete, well done, and on time?
2. Did you incorporate everything I lectured about with respects to
detail, reference, transition of surfaces, key light, ambient shading,
local color, perspective, layer organization etc.?
3. Did you check your file against my environment or character demo
file to make sure you had the right kind of layers in the right order?
4. Does your key light layer when viewed in isolation mode (option
click) look like your scene is being lit by realistic lighting coming
from a specific direction?
5. Did you incorporate tips I showed in my painting demos?
6. Did you email me early in the time you had allotted to work on the
assignment to get my feedback?
7. Did you ask me for feedback last class to help you work in a more
efficient direction? (Jenny was the only one to do this)

If you answered "no" to any of the above questions then realize that
you chose to undervalue your work and education and missed an
opportunity to create an attractive image for your portfolio. You
won't have another chance to focus on 2D painting under the guidance
of a professional artist in the rest of your program, you should
regard this a considerable loss.

After last class there was a movie night at the visual effects studio
I work at with a number of industry professionals as well as your
program director. I was going to invite the student with the best
environment painting to attend. You would have had a chance to explore
a local visual effects studio, network with professionals, eat free
food, see a beautiful film in a film quality screening room, and I
would have personally introduced you to my art director and praised
your artistic abilities. Instead I found that no one had their
assignment finished, and even worse no one turned in anything of high
quality. And so I chose to not mention the screening. Realize that
when you don't apply yourself to your art you are unknowingly turning
down countless opportunities like this that the more dedicated of your
peers will benefit from.

For those of you who do fail this class I expect you to have an
entirely reformed attitude and respect for your work and project
parameters next time around.


Cast Iron Chastisement

Conversation I had recently about cast iron cookware:

bob: !!!!!!!

me: !!!

bob: how's it going?!
i just bought a nice cast iron pan and a cast iron wok!

me: hope it's not lodge brand!

bob: oh good lord!!
i don't want to know why!

me: IS IT




me: reality
should have done research!
instead of just being a consumer whore!

bob: people have said good things about them!!!

me: people are idiots!
that's all they know
griswold, and wagner
you could have asked me
instead of a bunch of yuppie morons

bob: well it's too late now dammit

me: walmart sells lodge

bob: oh no
that is depressing

me: you know how many people have tried to suck up to me telling me they bought cast iron,
only to discover they bought lodge
you're just perpetuating and rewarding low quality, absence of history, tradition, craftsmanship etc.

bob: oh good lord

me: for some cheap manufactured crap!
that people are so estranged from real quality to even realize they're being ripped off!
ten minutes of google research is all it would have taken to teach you what you needed to know

bob: you are a wild man!
never been so berated over the internet!

me: you deserve this and more!
you think good taste is cheap and easy!

bob: well, im not saying what i did was right

me: give them away and do it right!
stop dicking around!
get your life together!

bob: oh my god
now i have to buy MORE pans
you're right though and i really hate when you're right

No Talking Tuesday # 198

No list. Nothing special to report.

No Talking Tuesday # 197

The List:

I haven't really tried to decode that scene yet,
just been thinking about the bird scene,
I should go back and read his descriptions
of that scene more carefully
if it's now something I'm going to bite down on

Stare gate? I have no idea,

So that's different than the new scene?

That's what i did for the bird scene

Well she's middle eastern

Well I think it's doable mainly because it would be easy to get the plates together, and i feel like experimenting with different
layer blending modes with things might

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