Saturday, July 08, 2006

Easy Going

A stranger's photo of the drive down I-15, through the sweltering and foreboding Mojave desert.

Thank you all for your prayers of intercession--they worked!

We had NO troubles with the trip other than the stress of worrying about it. No traffic either direction. Everyone who left, returned, despite my apprehensions. My animals were well cared for. I'm sure my personal drama over it sounds absolutely absurd to anyone who goes anywhere easily but I rarely leave home for a reason. Now you know, if one hadn't already gathered, I'm not an easy going person when it comes to going. I don't take vacations, honeymoons, or pleasure trips. If I go anywhere it must be extraordinarily on purpose, meaning that doing so accomplishes something I think is highly worthwhile. It's never just for getting away--from what?! Everything I've always wanted right here?!! No thanks. So...well, thank you for the good vibes and peaches sent my way, they really helped.

I will concede that the broadened experience of travel always provides the traveler with new points of view. And this jaunt was no exception. I gleaned valuable insight about life and what matters to me about it. Not bad, considering nekkid lady tushies were raised in the air and cosmetic surgeon handiwork was out on display everywhere one looked along with hugely huge Americans rolling in to eat gynormous portions of thematically presented foodstuffs again and again. There were far far more buildings and people than ever before and the surrounding view was littered with multiple heavy construction cranes making still more places for still more crowds. The strip will be arriving at your door before we know it.

Halfland Notes:

When we drove through the ancient former ocean floor of the Mojave, I noticed that the mountains looked as though sand had been poured over them. That gave me the idea that set mountain landscapes must have a geological origin in mind when built so that foothills don't just jut out from the ground without a natural logic.

With nothing else to do, I spent some time feeding little sparrows by the pool and got a good tutorial on the mannerisms and movements of small birds in preparation for animating the Birds in Hats sequences.

I noticed how tortoise sit on rocks in the sun, sometimes on top of each other's backs and will have to see whether that little touch can embellish the Timefrog and Torhare action.

Plus some little notions for additional cottage props.


  1. Tortoise-stacking must be handled *delicately* (or perhaps avoided altogether) or it will elicit the wrong kind of giggles in the juvenile mind.

  2. Small rock, bright sun, sunbathing real estate at a premium...

    My brother's back... priceless.

    Tee Hee.

  3. Glad you made it back safe and sound and it sounds like better off for the experience.
    Las Vegas is a world unto itself. It’s a strange place that tries to be a brothel and Disneyland at the same time.
    Just a weird mix of things that don't go together anywhere else.

  4. welcome back, shelley! the halfland notes are great: observation is the soul of poetry.

  5. Thanks Mark (new blogger! ok to post your link?) and Greatchin!

    Right Mark, a brothel, Disneyland, with weird gambling sights too, like people sitting at slot machine stools with long leads or leashes attached to their "Platinum Player" cards slotted into the machines like sad umbilicus, or how the tension in the poker room (now filled by the way with collage age kids) was palpable as Paul and I walked by. Paul and I won what was for us a pretty big stake of money at the slots using Paul's patented slot machine money management system©, which was kinda fun to do together. By the time we walked back to the room we had decided to use the winnings to buy things for his folks to have the fun of giving it to them too. So now whenever we buy anything we say, "We'll take it out of the winnings." :^} tee.

    And thanks for the comment on the observations, Gretchin, I would say that I am nearly always obsessing on Halfland. Every experience and sight, each new thought tries to fit itself into the "puzzle" of it as a whole. I think the film itself may be a solved riddle for me in the end.

  6. Anonymous1:12 AM

    "That gave me the idea that set mountain landscapes must have a geological origin in mind when built so that foothills don't just jut out from the ground without a natural logic."

    I've had that same thought with regards to the caves in my "Let Sleeping Gods Lie" project. Unfortunately, I found that the work was taking so long, I wasn't able to put as much geological intelligence into the sets as I'd hoped.

    Still, it remains one of my pet peeves to see sets on TV shows where stalagmites jut out of sandy floors. ...Argh! Those are limestone formations, people! That means this cave had to have been formed by water!

  7. Hilarious! I hadn't thought of that one, Sven. Still, I loved the outre reality of sets on shows like Star Trek. They were clearly unreal but originated their own kind of verisimilitude to fans.

  8. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Heh! Star Trek is exactly the show I was thinking of. That bad sci fi -- drives me crazy at the same time I'm lovin' it.

  9. Hey Sven, I know the planet they landed on in Star Trek episode 12, and those stalagmites really DID develop like that!

    How did your critique serve VAAL, man!?

    Personal joke/ST reference explanation: I love and often repeat the line the Vaal messenger delivers in that ST episode where everything his tribe does is to serve the stone God, Vaal, and when the cap't asks him to do something outside of his routine, the tribesman asks, completely perplexed; "How does that serve Vaal?"*

    *"Vaal" A self-aware machine, is worshiped by peaceful, child-like natives who never age, do not reproduce and do not learn. It is a place of perpetual stasis, where the near-mindless natives exist only to keep Vaal stocked with raw materials he converts to fuel. I have felt like that before. Single-minded. Focused on task at hand. How does this serve Halfland?

    photo of Vaal in background: (
    and here!


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