Animator vs Animation

Many thanks to my wonderful paramour—Pamela—for bringing this three-minute animated film to my attention.

The man who takes the liberty to live is superior to all the laws, by virtue of his relation to the lawmaker. "That is active duty," says the Vishnu Purana, "which is not for our bondage; that is knowledge which is for our liberation: all other duty is good only unto weariness; all other knowledge is only the cleverness of an artist." — Henry David Thoreau (Walking, 1861)

National List Day

In recognition of Jay Ferris's National List Day:

Things that shouldn't bother me as much as they do:
  • Expecting me to decipher and answer the question you asked while you were yawning.
  • Starting your karaoke song with: I've never sung this before, so I apologize ahead of time.
  • Hearing the words 'Truth' and 'Glen Beck' used together in a sentence. 
  • Standing behind you in line while you fill out a check, after the clerk finishes scanning your groceries.
  • Built-in bra tank-tops.
Things on TV agreed upon by everyone, but rarely mentioned:
  • Cleveland needs to move back into his house across the street from the Griffins.  He 'moved on up' to suckville.
  • Castle's daughter is—in every way—too amazingly perfect.
  • The only things better in the old days were the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons; half-hour news; and Johnny Carson.
  • Allison DuBois's middle daughter needs to be killed off, Becky Conner-ized, or forced to attend acting class.
  • The best "talent shows" feature talentless-but-clueless idiots with massive egos.
 Things I hope are available or invented before I die (even though they are frivolous):
  • An all-in-one Squire-connectible Phone, Mp3, voice-activated hands-free GPS, Compass, Altimeter, Barometer, Sirius/XM Satellite radio, Camera with flash, Wallet, Flashlight, multi-tool with keyless-door unlock system (and yes, it must be no larger than my wallet and come in orange).  The idea is to consolidate everything in my pockets.
  • Inexpensive, healthy, shorthair miniature "toy" cats (fully grown, less than 1.5 kg).
  • Exceptionally good pornographic films, with A-list actors, directors, and scripts.
  • Trans-American bullet trains.
  • Lunar tourist resorts.
Things that should bother me more, but whichfor some reason or anotherdon't:
  • Natural disasters that kill fuckloads of people.
  • The foolishness, failures, and greed of governments, corporations, and people in general.
  • Rude drivers in a hurry behind me.
  • Drunk, elderly, or otherwise slow drivers ahead of me.
  • Anonymous comments or criticism.
Things I'm inordinately pleased are currently available:
When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. — Henry David Thoreau

Magnetosphere, flight404 (Trentemøller, Miss You)

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.  — Henry David Thoreau

Now my anchor is slightly lower

Hoping that stagnation would never affect me, I scoffed as older members of my family officially became "elderly" by dropping their anchors in society's river, and declining to participate with technological advances or cultural progression.  I would never hobble myself as they've done I said to myself (at the same time wondering if it's inevitable—like increased flatulence, ear-hole hair, and an Ebenezer-Scrooge demeanor).

Papa dropped into the grave before he obtained full-on elderly status.  But, as early as 55, he'd been preparing to become elderly by refusing to own an air-conditioner (even though he worked at Sears and Roebuck as an appliance salesman).  He called them 'newfangled contraptions'. 

When Nana was 68 she lowered her anchor to the bottom when it got mired in: "TV should be free. I'll be damned if I'm paying for cable."  I witnessed her begin lowering her anchor a decade earlier when she said: "I don't see a need for one of those silly answering-machines; if it's important, they'll call back when I'm home."

My mother started her bid to join the elderly when she was 59 with her refusal to receive a free computer.  She became officially elderly two years later when she rejected the gift of a DVD player and (in an eerie almost-echo of her mother's decades-earlier words) said, "I don't see a need for a cellular phone; if it's important, leave me a message and I'll call back when I get home."

I had two guests visiting all last week.

Two Twittering, Facebooking, Droid and iPhone addicts.  They are both single women in their late thirties (which I mention because, otherwise, you may confuse their actions with those of immature young people).

If they were awake, their computers were on.  When watching TV with me, I think they occasionally looked around their monitors to see the screen.  During meals they routinely checked their Squire connection (usually every time a conversation was not about them) and they seemed to spend more time reading and thumb-typing than talking with us.  Also, a bakers-dozen times a day, they felt the need to share a "really funny post" or a "hilarious friend comment" (which always necessitated also hearing their wonderfully witty responses).

Three nights ago I took them to a local blues bar and while I and my paramour sat in the back and listened to the bands, both of our guests faces remained lit from below by their phone's glow—rarely looking up.  Three friends of acquaintances of our guests (strangers I met the day before, whom I'll never see again) brought a full-sized notebook computer—their faces remained lit from the front during all the sets, by all three bands.

My guests were never apart for more than the time it takes to shit-n-shower, but I overheard them say to each other, more than once: "Did you get the message I just sent you?"

Yesterday I took one of them on a hike.  The squish of our feet along the muddy path melded with the wind in the branches, the chittering of squirrels, and the scree-chirp of birds...only to be interrupted by the tone of her Droid's incoming messages.

"Wow, I can't believe I can get a signal out here!"

"Yea, this is Forest Park. It may appear desolate, but we're still inside the city limits of Portland."  The cadence of my reply sounded—to my own ears—as if I was channeling Eeyore. 

From that point on, she posted Facebook updates about the hike, as we hiked (and I wished I'd chosen to drive to Tillamook State Forest).

I don't see a need for those newfangled contraptions; if it's important, I'll blog about it later from home. 

Alas!  How little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!  —  Henry David Thoreau

Server Query: Whole Internet Responsible Entity

My Dearest Squire,

First-of-all, I’d like to apologize for my informality; I realize many people prefer the acronym—but I feel real funny (the ate-the-whole-bag kind, not the Tosh-point-oh kind) when I write SQWIRE.  And I don't care what those fanatical fundamentalists say, I know you’d never expect us to only refer to you formally, using Server Query: Whole Internet Responsible Entity all spelled out and linked.  Am I right?

I'm writing because I wanted to express my appreciation and especially to tell you how thankful I am for your continued presence in my life and for all the things you’ve made possible since I began worshiping at your alter about a dozen years ago.

Thank you the mostest for introducing me to my girlfriend.  We have been together now for seven years.  It never would have been possible without your match.

I also want to mention my thanks for your most recent assistance in locating festivus presents.  I could never have accomplished it all without your bay, stock, and zon, as well as all the other places I‘ve located using your goog.

And thanks for the myriad amount of other assistance you consistently provide me and my loved ones, Squire.  From my move two years ago—89.254.159.#  to 37.803.624.#—to my daily in-and-arounds, everything is always better with your craig, quest, and dango.  And now, with your FiOS, I enjoy your blessings at the absolute fastest fiber-optic-speeds currently available.

My highest gratitude goes out to you.  I owe you for my blog and my renderings, my communications and my favorite porn, as well as so many other little things, which I am extremely thankful to you for, Squire.

Because you were never born—but, instead, came into existence over a period of years—I realize you don't have a birthday I can celebrate.  Do you?  I also know supreme entities of your magnitude don't possess the low-level of consciousness required to read and reply to this letter.  None the less, this letter is sent to you with all my respect and love. 

Your ever-faithful acolyte,

Veach Glines

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. — Henry David Thoreau

Jet-Smooth Luxury

In the mid-90's I bought a baby-blue, "stock," 32-year-old Chevrolet Biscayne and drove it for six years/26,000 miles.  It looked almost new when I bought it.  It drove like it was almost new, and it cost me what I would have paid for it—new—in 1964. The only down-side to owning it was when parking it, getting into it, or stopping at intersections with the windows rolled down...strangers were compelled to talk to me about it. The invisible societal barrier that I'd grown accustomed to—the one which facilitates a quick trip to the grocery store without being constantly accosted by questions and conversation—had been removed by the car.

I received many compliments: "Hey great car. They sure don't make em that way any more." and, "Wow! Classic Detroit Steel, amazing!" Some criticisms: "I can't believe you are driving this on the roads!" and, "You don't actually take it out on the highway do you?" As well as the occasional derision: "You're a fool. I can't believe you're using that irreplaceable antique as your primary mode of transportation!"

Compliments made me feel uncomfortable because I didn't design it, build it, or paint thank you felt all wrong...I'd normally reply with some form of: Well, I really like driving it.

I would usually field criticism with humor: It prefers roads over ditches, or something like, The highways and speed limits are the same as they were in '64, when this baby was born.

And, I'd normally meet derision with facts:  I paid three grand for it.  What did you pay for yours?...So if I promise not to tell you how to use your expensive chunk of steel and rubber, will you promise not to tell me how to use my cheap one?

One time, this last one backfired. Some guy replied with a smarmy, "Eighteen hundred, what of it?" and the phrase left my mouth containing the words cheap piece of shit, which sounds so much more derogatory than expensive chunk of metal and rubber that I had to quickly get in my irreplaceable antique and jet it down the highway.

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.  What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? — Henry David Thoreau (from Walden)

The Decade's Best Fantasy Films

My favorite fantasy films of the 2000's span the sub-genres of superhero, fairy-tale, sword and sorcery, as well as contemporary and low-fantasy (set in the real world). Only in the fantasy category could I allow the ten-best to encompass eighteen films.

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. — Henry David Thoreau
The Decades Best Animated Films
The Decades Best Horror Films
The Decades Best Comedy Films
The Decades Best SF Films

My Very-Own Favoriten

The thumbnails below link to my favorite posts from last year (which include my art, non-fiction, a comic strip, and creative non-fiction). My favorite month of quotes were December's Cartoon Characters. None of my fiction made this list, I (maybe always) feel they need more polish.

This year will hopefully be as good—or better—than last, for you, me, and everyone we know.

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)