journal page 34

sept 21 i was having a bad day so we decided to make dinner reservations and get dressed up. i stopped on the way above a lagoon to take pictures for chapter 3 and promptly fell into a ravine. covered head to toe with mud and bleeding i stayed to get the pictures but i am pretty sure one arm is longer than the other now. totally unrelated underrated movie of the week.......the fall, by tarsem.

sept 11 back in the bay area, taking some pictures for chapter 3. before i left i rediscovered a pair of old screenplays... unbeknownst to almost everyone, lily and jim was at one point maybe ten years ago going to be developed into a feature length studio film. in hindsight i'm relieved it never happened but i'm glad i still have these scripts and they were interesting to look at again after all this time. there were two versions, one that had kind of a halfway decent gimmick driving it and the other more recent one a little less structured... but both were essentially sort of weird and sweet and didn't really tell much of a story so much as they built a series of sketches and conversations that sort of careened around but added up to less than the sum of their parts. (i had forgotten that the opening of the meaning of life, with all the crowds of people, was actually originally the opening to this lily and jim script, before i realized it was meant for other things). but there was some funny stuff in there among the curiosities. oddly, now that i'm much more ready to make a really solid feature film, it seems there's no studios left that are ready to do anything even remotely hand-drawn.

septe,ber 2 in three round the clock days last week i somehow conjured up the entire sound edit for this little cartoon, this must have been a new record. there was a lot of yelling and banging of instruments. some fine tuning now and it's pretty much finished. this week has been sort of the opposite though, seem to have crashed and can't seem to clear my head, sad, restless, the weather has been weirdly humid, cautiously storyboarding chapter 3. im not sure when i'll be ready to start drawing
august 26

august 22 my niece was born early this morning in europe, i think while i was watching murnau's sunrise for the first time. i dreamt i was on an airplane that was flying curiously low to the ground, just skirting buildings and buzzing highways, and the next thing i knew i was standing somewhere in missouri with the passenger i had been sitting next to. we had no memory of how we had come off the plane, where it was, or how we were to get to chicago. i couldn't dial anyone with the phones i was handed because the number keys were somehow jumbled in the wrong order, making it difficult for me to remember anyone's number.

underrated film recommendation of the week.... koyaanisqatsi, which ends with what might be my favorite closing shot ever.

sometimes i feel just like this.

august 18 5:14am have begun to prep audio for the little cartoon as well as rehearse the vocal portion of it, if rehearse is the right word to use. this could be the most challenging vocal performance i've had to tackle
august 12 ive made a new mix cd for the car that is so perfect it would make the pope cry. every time i'd drop him off someplace he would not want to get out of the car. the santa barbara fog has rolled in and mixed with some mystery smoke and the sun makes everything orange.
august 1

this is an anonymous 2x3" snapshot found yesterday inside a musty bin of discarded antique photos of awkward families and horses. it's perfect in every way. i think it belongs in a museum don't you?

july 28 poking at different projects while i wait to work on the sound design of this new cartoon... last week i was scratching a bit more at this graphic novel thing for the first time in months and made some good progress, and last night turned around and tore back into writing chapter 3.. maybe the most important work i've put into it so far, it's maybe 3/4 on paper now and as i'm writing i can't help but sometimes think "how on earth am i going to pull this off?" i guess it's far along enough i could conceivably start animating, but i'm not quite there yet. and a fourth project - the stalled television miniseries - also resurfaced for a second the other day, thinking of doing something different with that story now as i'm tired of waiting and impatient to get all these things out there. last night i dreamt of two ww2 spitfires losing control and crashing into a university where i was a guest.

july 22 while touring around i was asked a lot about writing and spoke with people about how you're often not quite sure where your best ideas are really coming from. you're in the shower or you're doing the dishes and suddenly you have the ending to the movie and it makes perfect sense and you don't question it much. i catch ideas like this more than i come up with them - it's hard for me to talk about writing because sometimes it's barely an intellectual process at all - ninety percent of it are ideas that casually sail in from nowhere or scenes constructed from dreams that i sort of cobble together and shape. lots of artists talk about the weird sense of channeling ideas from someplace else, a place they have trouble explaining, even feeling a bit strange taking credit for them. robert louis stevenson regularly borrowed from dreams - something in his head, he called them "little people" - would write surprisingly "well-invented plots", stories with twists and surprising climaxes (how could the dreamer be genuinely surprised by his own dream if it's his own mind writing it?, he wondered), stories that were often better than anything he could write consciously. in an appendix to The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he writes, "I am awake now, and I know this trade; and yet I cannot better [the dream]. I am awake, and I live by this business; and yet I could not outdo - could not perhaps equal - that craft artifice... The more I think of it, the more I am moved to press upon the world my question: Who are the Little People? They are near connections of the dreamer's, beyond doubt; they share in his financial worries and have an eye to the bank-book; they share plainly in his training; they have plainly learned like him to build the scheme of a considerate story and to arrange emotion in progressive order; only I think they have more talent; and one thing is beyond doubt, they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while of ignorance of where they aim. Who are they, then? And who is the dreamer?.... for the Little People, what shall I say they are just but my Brownies, God bless them! Who do one half my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well, when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself."
very much in the same vein is this elizabeth gilbert talk, something that most of you have probably already seen (and have sent to me), but she is able to express it better than most people i've heard.
consciousness, your entire sense of being, is a by-product of a secret, beautiful party going on in the hidden parts of the brain that we weren't given an invitation to. you don't come up with the feelings, ideas, dreams, and desires running through your head - all of this is what produces "you." it's all separated and cordoned off by a heavy curtain with a few little tears in it that light sometimes shines through. three times i've dreamt of staggeringly amazing musical compositions, waking up to desperately scribble as many fragments of notes as i could remember before they faded with the morning. i can never remember every note fully conscious and as soon as i try to fill in the blanks i am suddenly surrounded by walls.

"it was brown, and he was dead"
july 15
i was reading about mozart and came across this amazing sentence, at bottom:
"I shall die, now when I am able to take care of you and the children. Ah, now I will leave you unprovided for."
And as he spoke these words, suddenly he vomited it gushed out of him in an arc it was brown, and he was dead.

july 14
a new thing... this will rattle your teeth. almost done shooting, only took a few days

july 2-3 planes trains and automobiles. great lake swimmers is great to listen to when you;ve been in motion for 22 hours and everyone else is asleep and you're looking out the window over starless clouds and flashes of lightning in the distance. this is paris:

june 28 castaway is on every hotel tv in the world ever all the time. dubbed french tom hanks sounds like a little goblin
june 27 edinburgh + london
hello from the bullet train to paris. europe is warm and michael jackson is everywhere. when roxy tries to moonwalk she looks like she is burying something in the sand behind her. last week's screening in scotland was fun and blurry, we didnt get out of the theater til late and london sold out before we arrived, kids sitting in the aisles, uk days going by fast, beer, old stones, biting ghosts, whippie ice cream, accents from every side of the planet and blue skies in the middle of the night. i just remembered i dont know any french but i think ican count to ten

don hertzfeldt

don hertzfeldt

june 17 bonnaroo... sun, mud, whiskey, thunder, unironic trucker hats, free budweiser, halfnaked hippies... i am expecting the same from edinburgh. europe tomorrow
don hertzfeldt
gabe took this one


everything will be ok

june 4 bay area
i dreamt of a brief image of a kitchen... a lobster is entering under the kitchen door on the left with a voice balloon saying "yes." there is a teddy bear on the floor of the kitchen on the right and he looks a little sad and his voice balloon says "no." this needs to be an oil painting.
may 26 somehow i cut myself. tonight i think i finished polishing the "so proud" soundtrack for dvd, mostly technical stuff but also changed the timing of a scene and replaced a single word in the narration elsewhere. also wanted to do a bit of EQ here and there, but i dont have much experience with that so mostly just tried not to mess it all up. incidentally this is also my approach to life in general. the people with the sad window poodle were moving out the other day, the housebound animal i say hi to every day as it stares at me passing by, they had the door open and a bunch of furniture out and as i went up the stairs the poodle bounded up after me, for the first time ever it had a chance to finally come say hello. the people, confused, said hailey get back in here and go to your bed. obviously they didnt understand our deep connection
may 21 307am, i think i should be all done animating today and shooting next week. i should have finished tonight but i sucked and have to redo something. earlier i had a daydream of an online gallery that featured every undeveloped image that had ever been fogged and destroyed by xray machines. rows and rows of pictures that nobody had ever had a chance to see. most of them were vacation photos.
i will be reading the same book every night before sleeping. i will put the book down next to the bed before turning the light off. the next day at some point the book will be knocked under the bed. that night i will have completely forgotten having been in the middle of the book and will pick up some new one to read. im not sure how i feel about that
may 15
only have two more shots to draw before i should be ready to finish and photograph everything, hopefully before all this travel knocks me down in june: doing shows at bonnaroo, then to scotland for the edinburgh festival, to london where we're trying to organize another screening and then probably off to paris because... well, do you really need a reason? i bought two really great shirts in seattle. the weather here at home is beautiful again and all the busywork now feels less of a chore. there is a little potted palm tree that is over ten years old, it used to live in the studio under one of the skylights until it fell over one day and looked really distressed so i took it home to be in my kitchen. i must have watered it too much before a trip last fall because it seems the roots rotted and it collapsed again all dazed and pathetic. it has been like that for maybe seven months but i think i may have finally rehabilitated it enough now for it to start slowly lifting its arms again. thankyou to everyone who sent concerned letters about the latest round of wild fires here. everything here is safe, this is one benefit of living in concrete bunkers
may 7 you can see the flames from the street corner bright against the evening, the moon is orange and cars don't turn when the signals change. the clouds above us turn colors depending on what's being burned. going to seattle to make things right
may 6 on my walk tonight i eavesdropped on two domestic disturbances. earlier i was in the cards aisle and the young chubby couple wearing sweatpants and unnecessary basketball sneakers were sort of impatiently looking through the mothers day cards. and they found one and she said "this one's perfect. it says "from both of us." and he sort of arrogantly sighed and said, "that's good enough, let's G-T-F-O." and they wandered off looking dour and annoyed... it was sort of like, "let's G-T-F-ohhhhh."
so i was trying to explain to a friend how in the 80s they had that clothing chain for overweight women called "pretty and plump"... and to find a picture of the storefront i made the very poorly planned move of putting pretty and plump into google image search. after my initial disappointment that somebody had already registered "", i discovered it to be an amazing page of unintelligable porn spam that reads like awful surrealist french erotica from the turn of the century... like an untalented georges bataille who was hit on the head a few times. there is even an "african hunchback." the website will probably give you computer herpes but if you go, it is best read aloud with friends for full dramatic effect. or with enemies. key excerpts:
- "The ceiling needs painting," yelled the nine-year-old secretary as the tremendously hung donkey lashed her juicy eyes and ripped his warty bowsprit into her tire tracked palace.
- My palace is something that the gay will notice. (this will be the name of my next album)
- Right there and then she was a home-coming queen and I was a hair dresser.
- My navel is something that the midget will notice.
- Girl scout sex is vast.
- The social worker is nose-grooming and the pornstar is nymphomaniacal, so they imagine midget fuck
- I was a prostitute in an office and at first I thought she was just another defrocked nun. Larry likes fat loss.
- Arlene loves midget fuck, sperm girl and girl porn. I met Nora for the first time in the mall.
- My slot machine is something that the homosexual flamingo will notice.

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