the Sandman

This is a very personal story that gets to some of my roots. If you're interested in reading more of this story, I would turn to the internet. There's enough clues... I don't think we hear about the side of prison life from children going to prisons. I've watched in shock as the media and hollywood fell into the pit of prison life infatuation, romanticization or whatever you want to call it. I realize that people are trying to shed light on concerns that incarcerated people are treated unfairly and something should be done about it. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the intention. But I grew up seeing the world quite the opposite. I grew up going to prisons every weekend to visit someone. Life seemed better for them on the inside. It was bad for us when they were gone. My grandma would cry daily and work herself to the bone to send them money for "necessities." I was never allowed to join the school band even though I was obsessed with music. Instruments were too expensive. Holidays were sad and uncelebrated.

It was even worse when they returned. They would come home to large neighborhood parties with more stuff than I ever had -- tv's, fans, posters, music collections...and after only a short time they would have sold their stuff off for drugs or cash and turned to taking what little I had. My walkmans were turned into tattoo guns. My nintendos pawned for drugs.

They came back looking healthy, well rested and more muscled and bulkier than ever. Their release days were the darkness of my childhood.

This is just one of those "release days" that I wanted to tell. It was a way to get it off my chest, but as a result I really learned a lot about my mom during the making of this animation. I realize that I would have fallen right into this trap. He was like her Stevie Nicks -- shining up there on stage. A dream come to life, for her. And I realize that her life has just been absolute shit. None of it was my fault, but I'm sorry. I will always love her and always feel that it is my job to protect her. This is where that feeling started.

 

----------------------------------- Technical stuff: I wanted to make an animation project using my ipad and photoshop for a change, so I did. It started as an audio podcast, but I felt that it needed some visuals. It was meant to be quick and fast, but turned into months of work. Limited free time, moved to San Francisco and kind of a long piece to animate.

Animation, Sound and Design: Farrin N. Abbott

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Stirring Around Our Workspace

I do this often. Stir the furniture in our apartment...I think it drives Mariela crazy. But it's how I was raised. My granny still moves her furniture around every few months. I just thought that's what normal people do! So I've taken it to the next level...and modified most of our furniture to add wheels. It's quite handy.  I think the needing to stir comes from our Native American roots. We can't move the tribe, so we shift stuff around. It gives a new feeling to a familiar place. Makes sense.  But she also kept a large knife stuck in the door because we lived around really scary people--within our house and the neighborhood.  So I've modified her model by using a magnetic knife rack by the door--but it holds keys, wallets, little dyke tools, camera remotes...etc. etc.

The latest stirring episode is because I've been frustrated with my photography lately. But I'm chalking it up to a few things: 1) I haven't really found my place here yet. Like a job or community involvements, but I know that will happen. Spring is in full bloom in Northern California and it's magnificent. 2) I'm used to photographing dingy urban stuff--usually weird & dark. Exactly the opposite of here. It's bright and sunny all the time and  much more suburban. I know that riding my bike on daily missions will kick me over into the groove again. And that will happen when I find my place/job, too. I just have to be patient and diligent with my own projects in the meantime.

The biggest projects we have going now:

  • pilot script
  • creating 2D puppet animations for storytelling
  • editing our cross-country move to Cali video

I've been hard at work on a video for my family that is finally complete! Mariela and I learned so many new effects and techniques, but the content is personal, but maybe I'll do a rough cut of some of the footage to share here. The time lapse of the family cottage is pretty terrific--if I do say so myself.  I had stayed up so late the night before--drinking wine at the dining hall, an unexpected nap, and then more ukulele playing and singing with the fam. But it was 4am and the sun was a'comin. I scurried to gather my gear and ran out to argue with my new time lapse settings in Magic Lantern. I got it. It's beautiful. It's quiet and serene. All the colony kids and vacationers fast asleep...I even managed to get the sun rising over the colony pool. Luckily, I had the forethought to get the cottage first and move downhill for the pool. So maybe a short cut to come soon.

We had a terrific weekend and really didn't get anything done on our projects, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the sunshine.  So we joined some new friends at Half Moon Bay for a fun day at the beach. I'm just still so stunned that the OCEAN is that close!  Luckily, my midwestern hickness is wearing off and I haven't referred to the Pacific Ocean as a LAKE in quite a while now. ;-)