journal page 36

december 20, 2010 the pool is full of drowned caterpillars. heading to california tomorrow, my niece is toddling around now and the only word she knows how to say is "wow." everything is wow. which, when you think about it, is really the only word you need. at 2am tonight the moon is going to turn red and disappear.
"because you speak to me in words and i look at you with feelings."
december 11 at&t assigned the house a phone number that used to be a discount shoe store so a half dozen people a day call me for shoes. sometimes all they say after you pick up is, "where y'all at....exactly." the house still needs more attention and furniture but i haven't been doing much the last couple of weeks but gain weight and try to push these remaining scenes up the hill. my mouth felt weird today. tonight i'm working on a little shot of bill rising out of a chair, and a few little shots after that i'll have nothing left to animate but the very last scene of the movie, an amorphous chunk of story that's so free-sprawling and weird that i haven't got much of an idea even how long it will be, one minute or several. it's going to be large and difficult and an adventure to figure out, and then that will be it. i wonder how many times i've drawn that little hat.
your quote of the day: "often it's just sound effects or observations about sensations in my mouth."
your quote of the week: "ringo was scrunchy."
look, they are waving at you, from across time. they were just like you, once.
on paper i'm periously close to finishing animating "chapter 3," yet it's going to be a very slow crawl to that finish as it seems every single shot from this point on is gonna be difficult, time consuming, and tediously special effecty. but i'd guess i have only about five more minutes to get through. "wisdom teeth" has been sitting finished on a shelf for so long i've almost forgotten about it... showtime picked it up several months ago but hasn't decided yet when exactly they're going to show it, though it should turn up both online and on tv almost any day now. i think? here is your quote of the week: "only one apple pleases the japanese."
this is another still from "chapter 3," shot from so long ago it feels like another life

"i would have covered you in glitter glue and thrown a stuffed owl at your face"
nov 1 happy late halloween, a cat has decided he lives in my house and bangs his head nightly against the glass door. i'm sinking into a number of weird hybridy special effect shots in chapter 3 now, bouncing drawings and things back and forth from analog to digital, eventually printing entire scenes back out in the form of several hundreds of composite photo prints that'll be further messed with when i go to shoot them under the camera, one at a time. it's strange stuff and the few scenes ive tried this on look so good i sort of have to design others now in the same miserably time-consuming way. it seems like i'll probably need to return to the santa barbara camera somewhere in december to february to shoot the final rolls of the movie, which i guess isn't such a big surprise since the other still has no working eyepiece. here's a picture from chapter 3 that was shot back in june or july. will probably dribble out more pictures to the journal soon if i remember. chapter 3 will be in theaters next year. i think it's gonna rain soon

oct 9 i'm the last person on earth to have never carried a mobile phone before, i kind of hate them on principle but had to get a temporary one during the move. you may receive a text from me that is all confused symbols. sometimes it lights up and i throw it across the room
oct 7 pictured here is the "new" 35mm animation stand currently living in my house. we look at each other awkwardly like teenagers at a dance. i think it dates to the 1950s but i'm not sure. possibly in the early 1830s it was used in eastern europe to execute foreign prisoners of war. i hope to be able to shoot the last third of "chapter 3" on this so i don't have to run back and forth to california to finish the film on my main rig out there. i have quite a bit more drawing to do before i'll be ready to shoot anything again, but so far the eyepiece i have for this camera seems damaged and can't be used. i don't suppose anyone out there has a spare eyepiece for a 35mm acme? am i the only person in the world now who owns two of these monstrosities?

oct 6 through all the unpacking and furnishing and planning ive left one room in the house completely empty, it only has a window and a floor and i like this very much

sept 19 animating again, on a broken chair, covered with anonymous bruises. in two weeks i have survived a tornado, a strange bald man appearing in the backyard, flooding water from the worst storm in years,
hydrochloric acid spilled on my hand, a camera abandoned for days in the rain. still no working phone until the end of the month. austin you are trying to stop me but i will never stop crawling forward.
on rainy nights the toads have orgies that carpet the lawn. sometimes their bodies get lodged in the pool filter, swelled up like little basketballs. but when there are stars, we swim.

sept 6 the house is beautiful but i still sort of vaguely feel like i'm only visiting. i think this feeling may pass once we saw a giant goddamn hole through the wall to get the animation camera inside.
sept 5 hello from the middle of nowhere a few days ago: arizona, new mexico, texas?
don hertzfeldt

august 31 arizona. i drove through LA on my way out of california to buy a second giant animation stand and i hope it will be happy living with me in austin. i'm still not sure what to do with the one in the santa barbara studio, or how to get it down that flight of stairs. this camera seems a bit different than the other, almost turned upside down... the camera is mobile up top, whereas on the old stand it's the table that moves.
injuries sustained so far: a cut up left hand, sore limbs, bruised legs, blisters, sunburn, and as the plants sitting next to me flew forward in the car i instinctively threw out a protective hand, firmly grabbing my cactus and impaling myself.
we also dropped my television down a flight of stairs. tomorrow to west texas and more bleeding

august 27 facing down the last days in california now, when all the stress + things going wrong sort of come together to make a perfectly awful little bow.
i've decided to write a haiku about these last few weeks of sleepless cleaning, packing, and moving. i hope you like it:
poo on everything
poo poo poo poo poo poo poo
poo on it all, yes.

august 20 ive decided to give up on moving and just live sadly among my dusty box towers. ive painted faces on the boxes and given them ladies names
august 13
david mentioned someone was acting "pretty dickish." pretty dickish sounds like the name of an overweight british prostitute from the mid-1800s. she mostly serviced lonely sailors from her harborside bedroom and spent many quiet mornings staring longingly into the foggy sea. someone please write a novel about pretty dickish. someone else please make an oil painting.
"wisdom teeth" is due to be available all over the place in just a couple more months. finally, finally finished wrestling with the colors in that one and delivering it soon. some movies you think you finished long ago but realize you've been walking many miles with them still clinging to your leg
august 12 2010
my apartment and the studio are now filled with heavy horrible boxes stacked in horrible towers. i am filthy with boxes. boxes, boxes, boxes. there is still more packing to go, more throwing things in dumpsters, more surreptitiously throwing things in neighboring dumpsters in the middle of the night when this one has been filled, more covering oneself with dust bunnies and standing in corners that used to be occupied for years by furniture and now provide strange and shocking new vantage points to familiar rooms that have never been seen. i am not used to navigating my new box maze surroundings and sometimes they come crashing down around me. i have also dropped a very heavy sharp object as well as a large vacuum cleaner within inches of my bare foot (the same foot, though not at the same time), have twisted my back more than once struggling furniture down stairs (lift with your back, right? like in a sudden, jerking motion?), and found many depressing buried artifacts from ghosts of girlfriends past underneath large objects not moved in years. i think i am supposed to be excited about moving into a new house in a brand new city but mostly i just want to drink a lot.
meanwhile, each film - tens of thousands of pages of animation in ridiculous haphazard stacks dating to 1995 - is finally now being gathered and organized and placed into properly labeled storage boxes. it's probably something i should have done long ago and now have a good excuse. i have caved under the amount of work to do with this and recruited an intern to help and she encourages me to continue with the box plan every time i break down and want to burn the whole mess of them.
the garage sale we held on facebook was a roaring fun success, countless random items sent to people from the studio included wonky rare shirts, books, props from the films, sea monkeys, drawings, production odds and ends, dinosaur vhs tapes, a dvd of "lawrence of arabia" signed "i did not make this movie," photographs i took in elvis's living room, hundreds of other things i can't now remember but should probably apologize for

july 31 2:27am
finished roll 7 of chapter 3, which, depending on many factors, might well have been the last footage i ever shoot in the santa barbara studio. kind of strange and sad to think about that. the last 48 hrs have been the busiest in years. trying to work on two films while packing up all of your belongings under a deadline, i don't recommend it
july 27 today was tinted yellow. i just got through one more shot in the studio, trying to finish out this roll of film before heading out of town this weekend + leaving the state a few weeks after. i just went to the kitchen to get another trash bag and returned with only a soda
july 25 packing up, throwing out, everything must go. dust-clouded treasures unearthed from closets and boxes include a 1994 warranty from my first computer (800 mb + a fax-modem!), a horrifying rubber monkey frozen in the half-turned act of throwing an orange, a 7" copy of crush with eyeliner signed by dennis miller (what the hell?)
july 23 i think i might have gone and bought a house. it's a very sudden and terrifying grown-up feeling, and i take comfort in knowing that the house i've selected is completely irresponsible and ridiculous
july 13 dreamt last week: i was watching "chapter 3" dailies with, inexplicably, a professor from my old film school. there was very little drawn animation in it, it was mostly repurposed photographs from the 1970s: pictures of bowie, fashion, pretentious closeups of pornography, and i remembered shooting all of this but couldn't remember anymore how any of it fit into the movie and the professor grew impatient and said, "come on, what is all this shit?" as i slowly realized that i totally sucked
july 6 on my evening walk around the block yesterday: a large cooking pot in a bush, a pair of panties on the sidewalk, an old wooden chair on its side, a vhs copy of field of dreams against the curb. it's like a bad flea market lives inside of a raincloud above the neighborhood.
july 3 because you want the day to come sooner
powered through a second roll of film in exhausting record time, heading back to los angeles tuesday for another full day of lab chores, then returning to austin to look at more real estate and pretend i know what i'm doing. "is this real wood?"
last week i knocked together a beautiful frigging roger rabbit shot at the last minute on a weird lark... and on the previous roll i was even rotoscoping something... what the hell's going on here? i might be done animating in a couple more months.
tonight = doing a terrible job coloring a scene with pastels, spilled ten thousand cheerios on the carpet
june 27
don: that was close
don: their feet probably look like ground beef
j: yuck
don: in north korea they are actually going to make burgers from the shamed team's feet
don: i read that
don: north korean shameful foot burgers
j: what is wrong with you?

the bottom of the door to the studio is warped outwards from water damage and has a deep splintering crack in it that a beautiful big black spider has moved into. every night when i go open the studio door she runs into it for cover
june 22 quote of the day: "at first i thought the elf was crying and i think i like it better that way"
june 21 been shooting in the dark every day for about 6-8 hours + ordered more film today to carry on this week. been going for days without speaking to or seeing another person and the scary part of that is i'm sort of ok with it. but i think my days of making movies like this are numbered. i might have half the movie in the can now, maybe more, so much work left to be done but some of it might be looking really good and if we cross our fingers we might see something beautiful
june 7

at about 10:24 you can see the light of the sunrise outside my window move across the page

june 6 this week: order film for next round of chapter 3 photography... consider september trip to europe for two screenings... consider plans for japanese tour after chapter 3 is finished... wrap up plans to release wisdom teeth everywhere this summer... look for a house to buy... don't panic... possible labwork in burbank for a day... think about going to the beach... cheer up a sad friend... draw draw draw
june 5 gabe took this great picture last week... it seems the closer you look at it the less you know

june 3 tonight i have to begin cutting out 216 little holes.
june 1 my ipod, which i've had for 5 years, is finally starting to die. the battery is shot and it won't turn on at all unless it's plugged into a wall at a very specific angle. it only can access songs intermittently, and when it does play, it will skip past several songs on its own, playing only music of its own choosing. i've already ordered a new one and it's on the way. but i've been listening to the dying ipod while i work for the past few days, and i like to think it's been selecting these special songs to play in its last breath of time, as a way of saying good bye

may 30 spent the week in austin looking for a place to live... old friends, absinthe, ghosts in the fireplace
may 26 i may have written a new ending for chapter 3 on an airplane, scribbled in the open margins of a magazine. it was at first an idea for a completely unrelated new film and would be a gigantic leap to make, but i'm thinking it might work somewhat beautifully
may 23 2010 searching for real estate is the worst thing ever. key quotes from my depressing weekend online include:
"The trampoline may convey."
"Beautiful wood & glass fron door welcome's you!!"
"it doesn't get any better than this."

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