These past two weekends have seen my family and I trying fruitlessly to stay cool while temperatures reach a hellish scale. Our house has no air conditioning so we have been running window fans at night like primitives. I realize that my neck of the woods has thus far remained in the double digits and therefore I should have very little to complain about. However, since my people are “snow and rain people”, the high nineties are about as hot as we can irritably handle before we completely lose our shit and wither up like Christopher Lee at the end of Horror of Dracula.
It is sweltering in our house (we have no air conditioning) so our methods of staying cool have revolved around ceiling fans, two window shakers, and wishing it were October. Seriously, it feels like the setting to a Tennessee Williams play around here; excellent mint julep weather though. The night before last, I was treated to an anthology of nightmares, and last night a knot wedged its way next to my right shoulder blade, so sleeping has been a bit difficult. The dull ache is still there. Throbbing.
I think our 50s Invasion Cookout was a success. I’m told people were having fun, anyway. Hosting is always a weird endeavor since my main effort for at least two hours was devoted to making sure everyone was getting fed. Despite nature and technology we did screen The Blob, or part of it before every guest left. In truth, I didn’t expect us to finish the film. Drive-Ins traditionally start at sunset, and you have your car to keep the weather and insects out.
My correspondence has become a bit sparser these days and for that I apologize. But in all honesty I’ve really had nothing new to show you all. I’m still tinkering away on VCoT episodes, writing new projects, and having a minor crisis of faith. But since this blog is meant to inform you of the fun stuff that I have been working on and not incomplete works or my own mental anguish, I’ve not had a lot to say. I’m still working, even though you may not yet gaze upon the fruit of my toils.
I was sitting five feet away from voice actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche of Pinky and the Brain in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Denver when my son’s diaper failed. He was sitting on my lap at the time. If that’s not a metaphor for the convergence of childhood and adulthood, I don’t know what is. It couldn’t have been more perfect if it was an anxiety dream, which is exactly what it felt like. That was just one of many adventures I had at the Denver Comicon this year. Rob Paulsen is a lovely human, being by the way.
Everything was going so well. Our son was adhering to his sleep schedule with a minimum of fuss and with the exception of late night/early morning feedings, parenting had become less of a waking nightmare. Then his first tooth nubbin appeared. Now he hates everything he once loved. On a related note, I wonder if caterpillars spend hours screaming inside their cocoons as they turn into butterflies.
I believe that my neighbors are vampires. They are rarely seen outside their home between dawn and dusk. Their windows are covered in towels or curtains and each of them can be seen wearing a frilly, lace cravat. Okay, that last part isn’t true, but I can assure you that hypothetical vampirism is not the only reason I don’t care for them. Their front porch conversations from 8 PM to midnight accompanied by intermittent dog barking make them difficult to abide. Their yard is also a mess of empty plastic bottles and paper which often end up in my own yard.
This week has been a bit on the rough side, but I manage to be holding it together. Wednesday saw me down with my first illness of the year. I managed to sleep through the worst parts and with the help of medication, vitamins and gallons of orange juice, I was back in the saddle the next day only to have my car die for a second time in three weeks. All of this is compounded by the fact that my wife and I have been trying our best to get our offspring to adhere to some sort of sleep schedule that includes going down at 8 PM and sleeping until 7:00 the next morning.
I spent six hours on Thursday talking to 8th graders about animation, screenwriting, YouTube and the business of such things for my local school district’s career day. I was initially timid about appearing at such a venue because I felt that I may not be the best person to tell an 8th grader what a career as an artist is really like. While I do get paid for many of the projects that I work on, I still have a day job. Artists get paid to work on their art full time, like Stephen Spielberg or Brad Pitt. This isn’t what a career in the arts is supposed to look like, is it?
My car broke down for what might actually be the last time. When I received the vehicle as a wedding present in 2011, it was both a kindness and a luxury, as I was already accustomed to walking to and from work, with my wife’s car doing most of the heavy lifting (grocery shopping, trips etc.). But now that we have a child, my well worn Nissan Altima has gone from being something I use to drive 5 minutes to work, to an indispensable time-machine. By time-machine, I mean that it is one of several Jenga-like pieces that hold our current symbiotic familial schedule in place.