Friday, June 29, 2007

Harry Potter

This is the cover of the final book in the Harry Potter series: "Harry Potter and the Worthless Education."

It's a shame that potential employers care so little about the good grade you got in "Spell Casting," and the way they mock you when you say they haven't heard of the school you graduated from because it can only be accessed through an invisible portal at the train station. Way to prepare your students for the real world, Hogwarts.

I don't mean to imply by this that flipping pancakes at IHOP is a bad occupation... but when you're trained in the largely useless art of wizardry, it must feel like a big step down. Sorry to have spoiled the big twist at the end of the final book.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

American Gladiators

Recently I was thrilled to learn that ESPN Classic airs reruns of American Gladiators every night at 11 o'clock. For me this has meant less sleep, but it has also meant a great deal more laughing about blunt force trauma caused to mullet-wearing heads. Nitro, Gemini, Thunder, and the gang... oh, the flashbacks.

My ninth-grade Geometry teacher took a month off of work (probably for a medical procedure of some kind), and he told us he wouldn't be around because he was trying out for American Gladiators. Some of the students believed him, but I knew the show well enough to know that "Out-Weigh All of the Gladiators Combined" wasn't one of their events. Too bad, though... he would have smoked them in that.

Is American Gladiators the best TV show ever? Probably not. But is it the best show ever about over-grown beast-people using padded clubs and tennis ball guns to beat the crap out of bus drivers and grocery store clerks? I dare to assume that it's at least in the top four or five. Seriously - what's not to like? It's a recipe for magic! Thank heavens for reruns.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lorax & Google

This is the "Star-Bellied Lorax in the Hat" that I drew for Toon Club's Dr. Seuss topic. I originally wanted to create my own Seuss-ish creature and write a poem about it, using made-up words to bridge otherwise unrhymeable gaps, but I wasn't feeling very creative. Speaking of made-up words, how would you spell "unrhymeable" if it was a word? Not even a suggestion, spell check? I'd like to have a Lorax of my own, because it would be interesting to know what the trees are thinking.

I suppose it's time again to write about one of my favorite topics... dumb Google searches. Yeah, the gag's a little over-played on my blog, but there have been some classics recently:
  • online sketches of lizards
  • how do I make my widescreen movie fullscreen?
  • do kangaroos have arms?
  • a blue cheetah that is retarded and stupid and it could defend anyone against a polar bear
  • how to you how draw a chipmunk?

Well, "How" to you too, Chief! Looking to add some chipmunk drawings to the outside of your teepee? Do they have stencils for that kind of thing maybe? I wish I could be of more help.

Online sketches of lizards? Do you really need to say the "online" part? Have you ever been referred by Google to a sketchbook someone's carrying around? And if you're not that specific you're going to have to track down the guy who drew the lizard yourself and ask to see it?

How do you make widescreen movies fullscreen? Let's see... sit really close... move plants and bookshelves to block the sides of your TV... wear horse blinders. Plenty of ways.

Do kangaroos have arms? Is your internet presented in Braille? Because if not, I'm not sure how you'll ever get your answer. Well, I guess there's the "ask ANYONE" option, because that's who would know if kangaroos have arms.

And lastly... who even knew you could do a Google search that long? A blue cheetah, huh? That could defend anyone against a polar bear? That seems to be asking a lot of an animal that's retarded AND stupid... especially a discolored jungle cat. (If you do that search, my blog is the number one result. Where have I gone wrong?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lucille Bluth

Hey, look! Another Arrested Development sketch! This is Lucille Bluth... a terrible person, and therefore a great character. Here are some of my favorite "Lucille" quotes:

"Everything I've said about you can be covered with makeup and a lie about a thyroid problem."

"It’s his glasses. They make him look like a lizard. Plus he’s self-conscious."

"I don’t criticize you. And if you’re worried about criticism, sometimes a diet is the best defense."

And when her granddaughter asked if they could go get ice cream:
"I don’t think so. That chubby little wrist of yours is testing the tensile strength of this bracelet as it is."

I may have to take a break from doing these character drawings so I can accomplish other things with my life, but Michael, George Sr., G.O.B., George Michael, Lindsay, and Maeby will all be on the way someday.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Saturday night there was a sneak preview of PIXAR’s newest film, Ratatouille. Anyone who knows me will already know that I was there. There are probably bigger fans of PIXAR than I am, but aside from John Lasseter, I don’t know any. You know what I just realized? I haven’t sent a portfolio to PIXAR in more than a year. Either I really like my job or I’ve gotten lazy... probably a combination of the two.

We got to the movie over an hour early so we could have any seat in the theater... and we got the best seats there... in the center of the back row. Back row? Exactly. Then everyone who talks during the movie is facing away from me... no one can kick my seat... things like that. Why be surrounded by idiots when the back row offers a boundary from them on at least one side?

Now, don’t worry - I know Ratatouille hasn’t been released yet, so I’m not going to give anything away. All I’ll say about it is that Pixar is 8-for-8... a fine start for a movie studio. Lots of studios are making animated films, but only one of them has never messed up. Pixar’s incredible! Honestly, I loved it before I even saw it because Brad Bird’s a genius, Pixar’s story people are the best there are (better than me? what?), and John Lasseter... well, if I love him so much, why don't I marry him? I can think of several undeniable reasons, but he's awesome. So I went into it with insanely high expectations... and I still wasn't disappointed.

The animation blew my mind. Remy's only communication with Linguini was through gesturing and expressions... and that takes a lot of thought and work. And making Linguini look like he was moving against his will couldn't have been easy... and kind of goes against everything I learned in animation classes and books. It all looked beautiful! You know what... just go see it... June 29th. It's another great movie that everyone will love forever... or at least I will. Hooray for PIXAR and the way they saved animation several years back... and for continuously adding more classics to the history of animated movies. If any PIXAR people read this... thanks. You're the best!

And just one more thing for the movie-going public... if you have to text message during the film, maybe you’re too important to see a movie in the first place. If your wife is about to give birth and you’re expecting a call, maybe you shouldn’t be at a movie either. The technology that offers you enough light to see who’s calling you or to read the text message you just received is the same technology that is blinding everyone behind you. They may not say it or do it, but everyone wants to punch you in the back of the head. Just a head’s up.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Buster Bluth

"Restless, Buster went to the kitchen to find something to help him sleep when he came across Lucille's emergency stash of wine, which he mistook for a giant juice box. It was the first taste of alcohol Buster had since he was nursing."

Happy birthday to my brother, Landon... 19 today. "Hey, brother."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tobias Fünke

Arrested Development was the best TV show ever, and then it was cancelled because you didn't watch it. If you did watch it, ignore that last part where I attacked you needlessly.

Dr. Tobias Fünke is a "nevernude." He wears Levi cutoffs under his clothes. He also tried to join the Blue Man Group after mistaking them for a support group for depressed men. If you haven't seen Arrested Development, go do it now... I'll wait here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Mary Poppins

I love Mary Poppins! But as wonderful as that movie is, I'm actually talking about Mary herself... the fictional nanny. I love her. My wife knows I feel this way, and she's okay with it... probably because, even if Mary Poppins was real, she would now be in her early 70's. When I was a kid, she seemed old and disagreeable, but then I grew up and was pleased to learn that Mary Poppins is actually quite hot. It's a jolly holiday with Mary... no wonder that it's Mary that I love.

Mary Poppins is seriously my favorite movie ever, and not just because I have a disturbing, 40-year outdated crush on Julie Andrews. Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson should have won Oscars for it like Julie Andrews and the Sherman Brothers did. While we're at it... let's give a Lifetime Achievement Award to the penguin waiters. Eminem has an Oscar... then why not the penguins?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Otters Are Jerks

While watching BBC's Planet Earth a couple of days ago, I saw some footage that blew my mind... and now I know something I'd never even assumed before: otters are complete jerks. It's true! Much like high school girls who seem sweet and innocent in pictures or when there's just one of them present, otters become largely unbearable when they're in groups.

The clip shows a romp of otters (which is what pretentious people call a group of otters, even though "group of otters" would obviously suffice) nipping at the tail of an unthreatening crocodile and backing down another crocodile for no good reason. The narration explains that a crocodile "could easily take a single otter, but confident in their gangs, the otters will actively harass these great reptiles."

I love that the crocodiles are buying it... allowing themselves to be intimidated by a parcel of squeaky toys (which is what pretentious people call a group of squeaky toys). If a crocodile would just gobble up a handful of otters, I imagine the tide would turn. Until then... otters are jerks.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tech Support Scale

When I was in middle school, I used to write papers on our typewriter. Yeah... I'm that old. When I hit the wrong key, I had to go back and re-type the accidental letter a dozen times with the white tape to cover up the mistake, leaving a grayish smudge where the faulty letter once was. Typing a paper took forever. And the second draft took forever again, because the whole paper had to be re-typed. Freaking nightmare!

In high school I would go to my aunt's house to type papers because she had a computer... a really nice one with a six-inch, black-and-white monitor. Correcting typing mistakes was a lot easier... the challenge was getting the words from the screen to the paper. After sending the document to print, I generally had a copy of it in my hand in six to eight weeks.

Then computers suddenly got cool. I can't even imagine a world without email now. No email? Without email, how would I communicate with people I don't want to talk to? I used to have to buy film and have it developed... meaning I even had to pay for the pictures that sucked. What? And I actually had to get up and leave my house to go Christmas shopping? What was I... a caveman? And don't even get me started on having to go to the library to learn things, or needing to find a newspaper to see if the Lakers won. How did I not realize at the time how miserable life was? Luckily I see it now so I can complain about it retrospectively... retroactively? I don't know... retro-somethingly.

As great as computers are, I know very little about them. If something goes wrong, I fall back on the old "control-alt-delete" combo. If that doesn't fix it, I'm out of ideas. For someone who uses the computer for everything, I certainly am a computery idiot.

I haven't had a lot of time to draw lately... Wii got a we. I'm an incredible tennis player when I don't have to run.