Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 - Los Angeles

This August I jumped on a plane and headed back to the west coast for a convention that I have wanted to attend for the last 10 years, but never could justify the expense. Of course I'm talking about the National Unicorns Are Real But You Just Can't See Them Expo, or NUARBYJCSTE for short.

I landed in LAX for the very first time, although I made many trips there back when I lived in Los Angeles, picking up friends and relatives. It never failed the first thing they all wanted to do was see Hollywood. I always tried to convince them to join me on a unicorn hunt, but never got any takers.

Well I learned rather quickly that NUARBYJCSTE is as elusive as the unicorns themselves. I asked at every corner where the convention was being held, but to no avail.

Instead I decided to go to SIGGRAPH since I was in town, and because my boss paid for my flight and told me to help him run the AnimSchool booth. So all wasn't lost.

I remembered just how hard it was to park in Los Angeles rather quickly. But I found a great way around that problem. Apparently, if you are a police officer you can park anywhere you want!

This police car is NOT stopped at the stop sign waiting for traffic. They pulled up right in front of me while I was speaking to my lovely wife on the phone. Initially I thought they were going to ticket me for being so good looking, but nope, they just hopped out and proceeded to the taco stand across the street. Fortunately the smell of tacos distracted them from how amazing I looked that day. It also distracted them so much they parked 2 feet away from the curb. Driving around L.A. really works up an appetite.

The fun started the next day when we built our entire exhibit, from scratch. Me, Dave, and Isaac tackled this booth with the vigor and grace of three panda bears.

If something didn't bow to my whim I punched it in the face. I made an example of the sofa and everything else did as told. Here's a few progression pictures of our booth. This was taken just after I laid out the insolent sofa.

Eventually the sofa came to, and apologized for it's misconduct. It even offered to take me out for drinks after we were finished that night. I found under its rebellious facade, it was a softy. Good thing I didn't make that pun near those L.A. cops. I would have been ticketed for sure.

 Finally we finished and were ready for my adoring fans to flood the building for autographs.

We were there for 3 days. I had so many fans clamoring to meet me, I actually lost my voice the first two days. It was the hardest fun I have ever had. Here's a little video of the AnimSchool guys in action.

If you missed your opportunity to see me in person, don't worry! I'll be back in L.A. in November for CTN. Maybe next time I'll even catch a unicorn!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Home Office Make-Over

The new year brought with it some big changes for the Tonymation family. I left my studio job and decided to venture out with AnimSchool full-time. It was a much needed change for me and my animation sanity. I enjoy spending my days in my home office. However, that wasn't always the case.

There was a time in my not so distant past that my office was the messiest and most unorganized room in our house. And let me tell you, with 3 youngsters running amuck all day, that's quite a tall statement. With the magic of Photoshop, I will give you a glimpse into the mess that was once my office...

(This is a panorama stitched together from 13 photos)

I have to admit that a small amount of the mess was attributed to my prepping for the office overhaul, but I assure you that most of it was what I saw every day I mustered up the courage to venture into that part of our home. Another thing I should mention... the clean floor you see there, used to be littered with toys that my two girls graciously placed there for future engagements. I gathered them up and cleared room to build my...


"SATROOTY" for short. Which is also how my youngest says Saturday, by the way. A little Tonymation trivia for you. If I'm handing out trivia I guess I should be more accurate. She hasn't said Saturday to my knowledge, but that's how I imagine she will say it for the first time.

So I sought out the replacement office furniture, and after selecting the best that money has to offer... that is, the best that my wife allowed me to buy, I made my purchase and sat in my office chair for 5 days anxiously waiting for the delivery. My family begged me to come out of my office but their pleas fell on deaf ears... mainly because I was asleep.

Finally the boxes arrived. I figured I'd have a new office in a matter of hours. What I didn't realize is that those hours would add up to span over two days. I assembled the seven pieces with the precision and efficiency of a Winnebago. Eventually I threw away the extra parts and overlooked the wobbly pieces and claimed victory over the instruction booklets I refused to look at. To make a statement I urinated on them and tried to light them on fire ceremoniously. Unfortunately urine is not flammable, so I just threw them into my neighbor's backyard.

Be prepared to be amazed! The exclusive unveiling of the SATROOTY is about to happen before your very eyes!

(SATROOTY demanded 25 images for you to fully appreciate all of its glory)

Even though I deserve all of the credit for this amazing transformation, I'm obligated to mention that my father-in-law replaced my old lame ceiling fan with this fan that matches my sweet cherry finish theme. My ten percent discount would have been revoked had I left that out.

So there you have it. SATROOTY has truly lived up to the expectations of the entire Tonymation family. Yes it is true that I am the only one allowed in or near SATROOTY, but I know that everyone else is satisfied with simply living vicariously through me.

SATROOTY requested that I inform her fans that more posters will adorn her walls soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Juice Fast Over!

Wow... I got so wrapped up in life that I forgot to finish my juice fast journal.

Basically I ended my juice fast a day early. I went a couple more days that I did not record here. Basically I ran a couple miles and had very similar juices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In all I lost just over 9 pounds.

I decided to end my fast slightly sooner because I could sense my body craving food again. This is something I expected when I started, but eventually I broke through that wall. Then when I started craving food again, I took that as a sign that my body might begin to cannibalize itself. I love to eat meat, and the only meat available to my body was my own muscles.

Now I know what you're thinking... how much muscle mass can a scrawny animator have to offer? Well that's exactly why I scrambled to protect the little I have! I need enough strength to type and move a mouse, and if that goes away, I can't earn a paycheck!

You really have to ease into eating food again, so I started out eating some fruit, crackers, wheat chips, and other snack type foods. Eventually I got back to my normal eating routine in about 3 days.

I feel great and think the juice fast got me some nutrients I was lacking in my diet. I bought a super expensive juicer for my wife and I, so we plan to continue to juice as a supplement.

I am a healthy person, so I didn't expect to lose tons of weight, or to purge lots of junk out of my system. But I do believe I got a good toxin flush during the fast.

Long live real food!