Friday, December 18, 2009

Bad Family cover - final draft 1 !

So here's the big drawing thing I've been working on for AGES ! The cover art for my pal Steve's RPG game 'Bad Family'.

This is the first 'final' draft. Steve's a bit unsure about the fridge magnet title ( I think it looks pretty groovy - but there you go ). I still need to add a tag-line for the game at the bottom. I've got an idea - but I'll run it by Steve first.

Here are all the other bits and pieces that made up the cover. The fridge drawing thing I didn't do - I stole it from somewhere on line and adapted slightly. The business cards are modified web-images ( though the phone is pretty heavily modified - and I'm pretty pleased with how that turned out ). The receipt is all my own work though ( with a tiny bit of help via a LED font dowloaded from 'DaFont' ).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What would Aristotle say ?

So, I'm down at the toy library with Viva, helping her get the toys back into the storage area, and I pick up this girls bike.

It's VERY much a girl bike. It was a vivid, almost violent, pink colour. There were spangly bits. There were star designs on it. There was a rainbow or two. I even think there was a unicorn.

Then I notice the name of the bike.


What ?

The ultimate girly bike is named after one of the most quintessentially MALE gods ever ? God of the sun and medicine ?? Does that make any sense ? Shouldn't it have been called the Artemis, or the Diana ?

Or am I being too cerebral here ?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I Made #4 - Year 12 Play set

Yeah yeah - I know. I've been busy. It's the standard answer I know - but here's evidence of something that's been taking up my time.

It's the set for the Y12 play I've been directing - "A Place in the Present". It takes place in a train station waiting room.

The tricky things were getting the stencil style writing done ( found a font on 'DaFont' - penciled it on, painted over ). It didn't totally look like I wanted it to - but it was okay enough I guess. Getting the door on was a pain. We tried to fit it into a flat, but that was a disaster, so I just bolted it into the sides of two flats in the end. It worked fine.

The graffiti tagging was mostly done by me. I took some shots of some real tags at the local train station and then copied them. That's probably breaking some code of 'the street' - but screw 'em ! You show me a copyright for your optically offensive vandalism and I'll give a monkeys.

So, all in all I was pretty happy with the set. The production wasn't half bad either !

Monday, August 17, 2009

The humming-ning

Poor Viva. She's not feeling well. She's got at a attack of the hay-fever, a cold and an ear ache.

And the humming has returned.

Oh no.

Viva can hear this humming. It comes and goes - but every now and then she'll accost me and start demanding to know if I can hear it.

"Can you hear that ? That humming ! DON'T look at me like that ! I can HEAR it ! Are you seriously telling me you can't hear that ? Listen ! Can you hear it ?"

And so on.

I've told her that I can't hear it and she's never quite believed me. She also has trouble accepting that I DON'T want to even TRY to hear it - in case I DO and then I can't NOT hear it again.

I suggested tonight that maybe it was like those people who can pick up radio signals with their teeth fillings. That seemed to spark her to look for symptoms on-line. Low and behold - there are quite a few people who suffer from this. Apparently it sounds a bit like hearing a light-saber from about 50-100 meters away. A bunch of people in Auckland were driven to almost madness by it.


Time to hide the sharp objects, program the emergency services number into the phone and sleep on the couch maybe.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Things I found posted out the cat-door by Angelo this morning

1. My blue and red beanie.
2. His striped blue and green hat.
3. The pig piece from his farmyard jigsaw puzzle.
4. A pair of his socks.
5. A large multicolured duster.
6. A 'glad' plastic box container.
7. His 'That's Not My Dragon!" book.
8. A plastic part of something I couldn't readily identify. But it was quite big.
9. The 'Panic Button' novelty toy that Angelo has claimed from me.

But not the jar full of fish-oil tablets that he's taken from the pantry and hidden somewhere ...

The fish-oil tablets turned up the next day in the lounge floor. I still have no idea where he had hidden them. I sense trouble developing here...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing I made #2 - Production 'animation' video

Woah - mega long since an update.
Anyway - I've been meaning to add this for a while, I just haven't been able to find the copy with the cool music in the background ( which I would love to say I created as well - but which would be a total lie. Magnificent music HOD composed that ).

This was a wee expositional poem right at the start of the play, and I had the brillo idea of making a set of pictures to go along with it that we could turn into a wee film to play ( y'know - get that whole multi-media feel coming in nice and strong ).

Man - it took WAY longer than I thought it would ! It was the photoshopping of the drawings which took the time - the actual conversion into the film wasn't so bad, particularly when I found that you could save the files in photoshop to a format which uses transparency - but that's getting needlessly complicated.

Anyway - hope you like it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Can I share this with you ?

In lieu of anything interesting to say ( too tired to talk about the ordeal that was the production. Just thinking about it makes me sweat blood ... ) here is a song that I love. It's Death Cab for Cutie again - an amazing song and equally cool video.

Your assessment task is to discuss the deeper meanings present in the text. How are 'grapevine fires' a metaphor ? For what ? What is the significance of the graveyard and the picnic? Remember to use specific detail from the text to support your ideas. ( 2 credits )

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The family is back ! Horay !

After three long weeks Viv and Angelo have returned from merry olde England - jubilation ! It's so nice to have them back ! In some ways it was good that they were away during that time - I was getting killed with the school production, and was at school a LOT - so they wouldn't have seen much of me anyway. Thankfully that's over too - but maybe a little more on the production later.

Skype was a godsend for that time - I was able to see Viva and my little boy a fair bit while they were away, as well as seeing my nephews and niece as well ! They had a good time and did some fun things, so that's alright !

It's amazing to see how much Angelo grew in just that small amount of time. He's made some good developments over those 21 days :

1. He's beginning to climb on things now. He can quite easily scale the couches - which gave the cat a hell of a fright ! Poor Shadow was curled up in her usual position on a cushion stack on the larger of the two couches - a position that was before quite safe from baby raids. Angelo bowls in, is up on the couch in a couple of seconds flat - and has tackled the cat in the next one !

He really needs to be more gentle with Shadow. Viva told me that he got hold of her and was yanking on her tail - and she screamed / hissed at him. That gave Angelo a bit of a fright - but not as much as a decent swipe with the ole claws would give him ( I think that might be very soon if he doesn't start behaving ).

2. He's babbling even more now. It looks like he's trying to communicate more deliberately. During dinner the last couple of nights he's pointed at the living room light and said "Gah ! " quite a few times. He's also seen the cat walk/run by and said "kiki", and I'm pretty sure he something which sounded very much like "hello dada" - though I might be imagining things.

3. He waves now ! He waved goodbye to me this morning as I was going to work ( after a bit of coaxing ) and he waved goodbye to his grandparents on Sunday ( far more readily ).

4. Four of his bottom molars have come through. He's able to eat things a little more readily - but the teething process is causing him a little distress ( I was up applying Bongela from 3 to 5 this morning ... ).

In all it's great to have them back. No more coming home to an empty house ! Things are good.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thing I made #1 - Skull and Crossbones

Yet another thing keeping me from blogging - the school production. It's not going so well at the moment unfortunately. Anyway - I was asked by the producer if I could make a 3D skull to go in front of the ships wheel. I agreed.

It took me about a week and a half off and on to do. Trickiest bit was the chicken-wire 'skeleton' of the model. The rest was easy - just time consuming. Fun though.
I gotta say - I'm pretty happy with the finished result and it looks pretty cool on set.

And shouldn't it be 'skull and crossED bones' ??? Hmmmm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jetpack trooper

Just finished this - I put it up in lieu of any interesting stories. I have been pretty boring of late, just looking after bubba really. And while this is usually FAR from boring for me - I know from my time before being a parent that kiddie stories arn't all that interetsing for those removed from that world. It's kinda like cat stories I guess.

Anyway - this drawing turned out not too bad in the end. I'm not too sure about the light bloom effect, but I couldn't think of anything to have in the background.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I was sorta expecting this

Angelo has quite a large supply of toys. He has generous grandparents and older cousins and friends who have outgrown things. Many stuffed and soft animals, trucks and such.

Do you know what his favorite toy is ?

An empty plastic jar that once housed fish oil capsules.

He loves that freaking thing.

Oh - and he's very fond of cardboard boxes as well. But he's very enamored with jars. He got into the pantry last night while Viva was cooking and swiped a jar of marmite. He was BESIDE himself with joy - almost running away and laughing to himself, partly because he had stolen a treasure from 'the cave of wonders' ( aka pantry ), but mostly because he had another jar.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stars ?

I maintain that New Zealand should not be allowed a tv show called "Danicing with the Stars".
By law it should be named "Dancing with the sad minor celebs".
Less catchy, I know, but far more honest.

I also assert that no country should be allowed a new "Whatever-Nation Idol" until the old one is DEAD.

I have spoken !

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I love my job

In so far as you can ever love a job - I love the job I have. Mainly it's the place. I may have said this before, but the school I work at is a freaking AMAZING school. It really is. Seriously - I could not go back to the schools I started at. I am a hot-house flower now n... I would wither and die in those environments. Or mutate and destroy all around me.

But it's the weird things that happen over in the Performing Arts department which are really something. Take for example this phone conversation I heard my HOD have with the HOD of P.E. :

"Hi, is that the gym ?
Hey - good morning guys ! I wonder if you could do me a favour ?
Yeah - do you have any hula hoops ?
You do ? Great - can we borrow some ?
Oh - about 20 ? 25 ?
How long ? It's hard to say - we're using them to make some giant squid tentacles, so it might be awhile ..."

The one later when we'd had a run through with said tentacles where he was calling auto places looking for around 40 inner tubes we could use for the suckers was equally surreal.

You gotta love that !

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I feel I haven't said anything for a while...

I blame Fallout 3.

It's delightfully addictive.

There's something blissfully hypnotic of seeing a Super-Mutant's head explode off their shoulders in a mess of bone and ripped flesh, seeing their bodies rag-doll an a cartwheeling arc.

How I laugh.

I've racked up a bunch of trophies now so I should be able to write more now.

I've still got the school production, teaching and fatherhood to syphion off my time.

I'll do my best.

In Angelo news - the little guy is pretty much walking now. He's gone from two steps three weeks ago, to over twenty today ! Yay !

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

First word ?

I was minding Angelo while he was having a bath - and he had managed to haul himself up and was clinging to the side of the tub. Viv came in from the backdoor with some dry washing and Angelo saw her come in. Then he said 'hello' !

It SOUNDED very much like 'hello' anyway. It was more a 'heh-wooah' if you wanted to be technical - but it was pretty amazing none the less ! He said it again the next morning too !

Unofficial first word perhaps ? :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Top 5 Angelo induced injuries

I've been rather boring of late. I've been spending most of my time either hanging out with / looking after / trying to entertain Angelo, or battling nature in the terraced yard behind the house ( believe me - a HUGE undertaking ... ).

So - in an effort to be interesting, here is at least a vaguely amusing kiddy related thing. The awful ways in which Angelo has sought to harm his dada.

5. Full-on, Hollywood styled, sfx : rump steak slapped on marble table top, slap in the face.

4. Punch to the throat.

3. Back-hand upper punch to the right eye.

2. Alphabet block smashed into head.

and at number one, a tie !

1. Double foot stomp to the groin / 'brain-buster' falling head-butt to the groin.

I really can't work out which was worse. They both hurt pretty damn bad.

Still - at least he didn't give me carpal tunnel syndrome ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What goes on in his head ?

Viva went to the supermarket to get something and took Angelo along for the ride. She told me that when they were in the checkout there was a little girl ahead of them in line who had the hiccups.

Apparently this struck Angelo as being hilariously funny, and he was laughing his head off every time she hiccuped !

I wish I'd seen it !

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Which were worse ?

Ewoks or gungans ?

By a hair - I'd say gungans. But it's a close run thing. MIGHTY close ...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Singular or plural ?

Advert for a bar I heard on the radio today :

" ... and make sure you come on down on weeknights for our daily Happy Hour - 4pm till 6pm !"

Tee hee !

Star Wars Alphabet Set !!!

V is for Ventress !!!

H is for Hutt !!!

Sweet jumping chilli bean !! This alphabet set is freaking amazing !! How can I get a set for Angelo's room ? Hell - how can I get one for MY room !!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Nature of Grudges

I was doing a lot of yard-work today. Much of it was pruning back errant branches of rogue trees. I'm not normally one for work in the great-out-doors, but you know what really makes a difference ? A MP3 player ! I've been listening to audio books and all sorts while I've been waring war on our little section of mother nature. It's been great !

So I was loading new music and sound files onto it this morning before the great attack, and while sifting through my music library, I chanced on 'Under the Pink' by Tori Amos, which I had not listened to for AGES. I started up 'Cornflake Girl' and 'The Wrong Band' and 'Icicle' and 'Yes Anastasia'. Great songs - but it took me back to, oddly enough to a much darker time.

I listened to 'Under the Pink' and 'Little Earthquakes' almost continually after a particularly bad break-up I went though. The songs are now faintly water-marked with that time, even after all these years. Jeesh - how long now ? Dum-de-dum ... over 15 years I think.

One of the worst things about the whole deal was that I had a MAJOR falling out with a friend / flatmate back then. He started going out with said ex-girlfriend within the space of a couple of days. There were great feelings of betrayal folded into the whole stew of the collapsing relationship. It was very bad. I was not a happy guy at that time.

Still, time goes by and tends to heal wounds of these sorts. But while I eventually did the 'forgive - forget' combo with the girl in question, I NEVER did that with the former friend/flatmate.

I have friends who are friends with him, and they have said things to me like 'Hey - that guy, he's a decent bloke !' and 'He's sorry, y'know' and 'It was YEARS ago Seraph ! Let it go !'.

And to be fair - they have various correct points to their arguments.

But they forget some pretty important things about me I think.

First and foremost - I am, no matter how I appear, Italian. And Italians know a thing or two about holding a grudge. Particularly my particular clan. In contrast to some members of my family - I am viewed as being rather too forgiving,
It's a genetic thing. It's not that I particularly WANT to feel the way I feel about the guy But I cannot help it - I feel physically ILL when I am anywhere near the guy. Thankfully, even though I believe he's still kicking around Wellington somewhere, our paths haven't crossed for a few years now - and now the season of 'Stag Nights' have ground to an end, I doubt I'll see him again. I don't think our mutual friends are dumb enough to invite us both to the same events anymore.

And second - some things you just can't forgive. No matter how much you would like to. And yes - it's just as damaging to you as it is to the other person - and you KNOW that, and you still can't.

Sigh. All this from listening to Tori Amos.

I'm not particularly sure when I'm going with any of this - it's just been playing on my mind all day and I felt like saying it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

If I had 10 million dollars ...

a) I would build a house with secret passages and secret rooms. I don't care WHAT Viv says about it - it would be seriously cool !

b) I'd buy a decommissioned missile silo and turn it into an 'evil genius' lair. There would be go-go dancers. Somehow.

c) I'd fill the Karori public swimming pool with jelly. Lime flavor - naturally.

What would you do ?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Downers of 2008

5. PC woes

My PC died early in the year. The hard-drive suffered some kind of aneurism and died, and the road to getting it back was paved with despair. There were so many problems and crap – from the technicion putting the wrong RAM in it to no sound output. Definitely a pain.

4. Missing out on some things.

The arrival of Angelo, wonderful though it is, does mean that a few things have been sacrificed on the alter of parenthood. I missed not being in the 48 hour film comp this year, and more-so my Tuesday night RPG group. Ah well.

3. Making mistakes in the order of units in my senior drama class and the subsequent heart-stopping panic for 8 weeks.

Yeah – the less said the better. It all worked out in the end. Whew

2. Actually producing the school production films.

It was fun and I learned a lot – but it was a pretty merciless grind.

1. Still having problems with my leg.

It’s over a year now and my right leg / knee isn’t yet 100%. The weight-gain from reduced exercise hasn’t been nice either.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Top 10 of 2008

10. Discovering ‘Death Cab for Cutie’
I just don’t tend to find new music that I actually like – so discovering a whole new BAND that makes some really great music is quite a thing !

9. Discovering ‘Old Man’s War’ by John Scalzi
I tend to discover great books a little more often – and this was a seriously good find ! I had never heard of John Scalzi before, but people were talking about him on the ‘Boing Boing’ site and raving about his first book ‘Old Man’s War’. So I figure, what the heck ?
OutSTANDING story !
A cross between ‘Starship Troopers’ and ‘Cocoon’ – hilarious, sad, action packed and thought provoking. Read it at ONCE ! That’s a order !!!

8. Ran my ‘Resident Evil’ version of “The Mountain Witch” RPG at Kapcon.
Didn’t win any prizes – but the game seemed to go down well !

7. Seeing Bill Bailey live in concert.
My face hurt for hours afterwards !

6. Did a good painting !
‘Alchemy II’ for Dave. I really liked how it turned out.

5. Artwork I did for Hix’s game.
Now he only has to actually produce the product …

4. Acted in a version of “The Four Yorkshiremen” sketch.
At the school variety concert. I was the character that had the last monologue ( was killed by parents who than danced on the grave singing hallelujah ) . Good fun !

3. Renovating the spare room.
Took awhile – but done BEFORE bubba arrived – and it wasn’t half bad into the bargain.

2. Finishing the film productions for school.
Never have I been happier to finish something.

And, at number one, it should come as no surprise …

1.The birth of Angelo.
Which carries with it many wonderful moments of joy !