Broken Cars, Scooters and AnomalyCon

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. So I am faced with two options:

1) Try to fix the car myself for under $300

OR

2) Scrap the car entirely because it is a fourth hand vehicle and also a salvage title which I paid ten dollars in quarters for.

I’d certainly say I got my money’s worth, but it makes this current situation no less inconvenient. I could try to fix the car and it still might not work and we’d have to scrap it anyway; Or it could spring back to life after my novice surgery, but for how long? Regardless, I feel like I’m on borrowed time automobile wise and while my usual solution to avoid being a burden would be to walk everywhere, our baby’s needs kind of prevent this. It looks like at some point in the near future, I’m going to have to buy a new car, or “new” to me. I want one that runs, is reliable and most importantly, within my price range.

Some parents, if given the means once their child is born, purchase the most ridiculously sized SUV’s or pickup trucks in the hopes that encasing their brood in a womb of Detroit steel will save their children from harm. While these vehicles certainly have many safety features, these kinds of purchases border on the superstitious and negate the fact that children will no doubt find other ways to destroy themselves. My son has taken to leaping from my lap, arms outstretched, in a reckless attempt to grab what he wants. I’m sure it only gets worse from here and I can not afford an SUV or crew-cab pickup. More’s the better. I find these vehicles unnecessary, annoying, and a blight on supermarket parking lots.

I initially tried to pitch my wife on the idea of a Vespa scooter with a sidecar for our son. Since I am one that prefers simplicity, good design and economy and also since we never used my vehicle for anything more than in town driving, the change would be minimal. The small engine would also be a welcome feature, allowing me to experiment in tinkering with something smaller than a car engine. However, it was pointed out to me that while an SUV might be over protection on the part of parents, a Vespa sidecar might border on the negligent, at least until he can sit in a vehicle without the need for a car seat. So it’s going to be a while before my son and I are cruising the open road with helmets and matching WWI goggles. Pity.

In other news, a Victorian Cut-out Theatre compilation screened at AnomalyCon as a part of their Silver Steam Film Festival this weekend. Because I was dealing with car nonsense, I was unable to attend. At present I have no idea whether or not I have won the coveted “Golden Cog”, but I’m guessing not. At the very least I hope the screening went well, that everyone could hear everything, that the video didn’t skip and that everyone laughed at my jokes. Mostly I hope those who enjoyed it, remember what it’s called and find their way to other episodes of the series. If any of you were in attendance, please let me know how it went.

I am ready to animate the first episode of VCoT Series 3. The assets are in place and I just need to plug them into the program. This first episode will be a completely new work flow and hopefully take substantially less time to put together. You should start to see some behind the scenes blogs very soon.

On an even further note, I’ll be participating as an artist in my local school district’s career day. I’ll try my best to help future generations of artists have a better understanding of the commerce of art as they move forward with their careers and educations. At the very least I’ll do my best not to make a spectacle of myself like Billy Crystal in City Slickers II.

Also, I and several other people are working on a video game. A real playable video game. I've seen it being played for reals. If this game ever gets finished and actually sells, it might be vindication that my tastes and sensibilities are marketable. My God, that would be beautiful, because I don’t think I can change my artistic tastes and it would be nice for other people to catch on and for me to make a full time living at this. Stay tuned.

-Rob