This past week I visited Portland.
Portland is a neat place. Everyone there lives entirely on coffee and bagels. This makes them young and thin and beautiful.
I didn’t get much sketching done though, since I spent most of the time in the hotel bathroom sicker than a dog.
I don’t really want to draw this frame.
That’s ok though, because everything I need to know about the Willamette Valley I learned in 3rd grade.
Oregon Trail was a computer game they let us play once we finished up Typing Tutor. They say it was educational, but I highly doubt that, since the game was fun. One thing’s for sure: Mrs. Pesout’s 3rd grade class had the highest wpm average thanks to that game. You should’ve seen our fingers fly.
The object of Oregon Trail was to get your wagon and family to Oregon without dying. There were lots of different ways to play it.
Kimberly, for example, would play it safe.
She always chose to be a banker, loaded her wagon with food and tools, went at a steady pace, full rations, and always took the ferry.
She never finished the game before class ended.
I think she got to Kansas once.
Ryan, on the other hand, played it like a harp.
He chose to be a farmer, hunted when he needed to, had moderate rations, went at a strenuous pace, and also knew what “caulking” meant so his wagon never exploded in the water. He toasted everyone with his high scores.
I think he might have married Kimberly, actually. Weird how life goes.
Jordan played the game the same way 85% of the boy population played the game.
Jordan was the one who found out that if you hold down the arrow key and the space bar, you become a swirling vortex of bullets.
He may have perfected the technique, though I don’t know if anyone will find out. Apparently computer games aren’t allowed in prison.
Last of all, there was me.
I got my wpm average up to a whopping 42, because I needed the time to play Oregon Trail in my own special way.
And when I say “special” I mean: I tried to kill all of my wagon members.
You may think that this would be losing the game. But it’s not, and you know why? Because if all 5 members of your party died, YOU GOT TO WRITE YOUR OWN TOMBSTONE.
And the best part was, the next person who played Oregon Trail on that computer would find your tombstone with the funny epitaph and he would die laughing! Hahaha! Isn’t that great??
So every computer class, there I was, trying to get my family members to die as soon as possible.
This was a WHOLE lot harder than it sounds. For a game that’s so darn hard to win, it’s harder than heck to lose!
But I had Techniques.
I never took the ferry or caulked the wagon. A good ol’ fording always did the trick.
Secondly: grueling pace. Also, bare-bones rations. This knocks them off pretty quickly. Until the do-gooders get in the way.
It’s like the game doesn’t want you to lose!
So after a while of no food and grueling pace, weird unpronounceable diseases start to pick off your characters. (I was in college before I realized dysentery was not pronounced “dentistry.”)
Side note: if you are playing the game this way, don’t name your characters after anyone or anything you care about.
It will mess you up inside.
All this and you STILL had to do it within the class period!
Talk about nerve-wracking!
Anyway, if you managed to do all this, kill off all 5 members of your party including you, you got the tombstone honor!! It was a beautiful day when I had died of cholera and the screen asked if I wanted to write my epitaph. I did. Oh yes I did.
I only ever wrote one thing. which I thought was the funniest thing ever.
The lucky kid who played next found this:
My sides are splitting.
…Babes in Toyland season.
This week is the movie’s 50th anniversary! It was released Dec. 14th, 1961. I realize I’m the only person who cares about this. That will not stop me from watching over and over the World of Color Babes in Toyland Backstage Party that some blessed saint has uploaded onto YouTube. On it you can watch the Forest of No Return trees sing to Walt Disney, see Tommy Sands do a bongo solo, and stare at Barnaby for hours. I know I do!
…Barnaby then does a little dance that makes me kind of dizzy and, oddly, want to kiss things. O_______O You can watch the rest here. Yurr yurr, I know I’m going to be the only one who clicks on that link. I’m posting it anyway. Gotta be me.
Kid in candy shop time? Ok!
I love me some big poofy dresses. Here’s how to play:
You’ll need printable magnet sheets. You can find some at Wal-Mart ($6 for 3 sheets) or an office supply store, or Amazon (5-pack for $8.50 or so).
Dress her dress her dress her in her do-mi-do duds.
Magnet sheets are nice because you can layer them.
Originally ALL the outfits were going to be black, as per the Entwined story, but that was a whooooole lot of work for just a one-note joke, and I am nothing if not a lazy bum. They’re historically accurate though*, so now you can impress your friends with your knowledge of garibaldi blouses. You’re welcome.
*insofar as the medium allows. They are cartoons.
Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving! ^_^
Well it’s that time of year again. You know, that time of year when you realize that Halloween is actually TOMORROW and you haven’t got a costume yet, so you go to the store to look for a costume and what you actually find is a costumez.
You’ve seen costumez before. You probably just thought the costume store got their shipment mixed up with Victoria’s Secret.
Hermionez Grangerz costumez
Cheerleaderz costumez (That’s not actually a costume!!)
It’s, like, all the stores will sell. I’m very much against costumez. And I would love to say it’s for some noble moral reason, but it’s not. I’m opposed to costumez because I’M ANNOYED!! WHY DO BOYS GET ALL THE AWESOME COSTUMES???!?!?
However I’ve always believed in expressing my opinions in very peaceful and democratic ways.
So this year, I’ve put a pretty awesome plan in action that will eliminate costumez altogether!!
It goes something like this:
I discreetly hide somewhere at a costume party.
When no one is paying attention…
EEEEEEP!! (girl scream)
The costumez undergoes FULL TRANSFORMATION!!! (Thanks to my awesome thrift-store shopping skillz.)
Because, see, if girls knew they could actually have, you know, real costumes, then maybe the stores would finally sell wookie suits in our size! We must end the madnesz. Starting with me.
Yes. Yes you can.
Boys love a girl with a brain!
I know it’s shocking.
I’ve even put together a logo for the movement:
I’m not sure it’s overt enough i might need to add more blood.
Anyways, all I need now is to be invited to some Halloween parties! You too could have a piece of this:
I’ve had a couple people ask how I did the current header, so here’s a (quick) recipe:
Vintage photo, w/pieces painted over in photoshop, so they won’t interrupt the animation.
Which one is creepier? You decide.
I filmed my 17-yr old sister sitting very still & doing Creepy Eyes. Import .mov into after effects.
Animate a mask around the eyes as they blink. (Add a little feather to the edges)
Desaturate, superimpose over the top of the vintage pic.
Render as gif
Here is an in-depth tutorial. If you don’t know after effects, you can do it in just in photoshop, too.
My first attempt, with my older sis & her new baby.
Is it nice to have a lot of sisters? Why yes. Yes it is.
So far these are my first and only tries at cinemagraphs, but the looping & composing was surprising easy (took maybe 90 minutes or so.) I think if I do more of this stuff it would have to be a collaboration, as I’m not a great photographer. But boy it sure was fun.
One day I’ll figure out how to make them as gorgeous as this.
Now that it’s Halloween season, remember last year’s post? Here’s the sequel:
7 More Awesome Villains You’ve Never Even Heard Of!
I really like villains. i don’t know why….probably because I’m surrounded by all you namby-pamby goody-two-shoes. Here we go!
I kind of have a thang for Barnabies. In this 1986 Babes in Toyland (starring a very young Drew Barrymore), he pals around with his buddiez Mack and Zack, stealing cookies and inciting Toyland Terror. But really all he wants is love.
Anything else you need to know is here:
I wish I lived in a bowling ball.
2. Fegan Floop
Fegan Floop from “Spy Kids” takes undercover agents and turns them into fooglies–putty-like creatures of their former selves. But really all he wants to do is write children’s shows. I sympathize with this guy. And also love his theme song (written by Danny Elfman).
Here’s a cabbage patch kid as a fooglie.
I bet you’re so glad you visited the blog today!
3. The Prognoviach, from “Condorman”
Hailing from Eastern Europe, the Prognoviach are highly trained assassins-in-cars. Expect high-speed car chases through winding canyon roads, synchronized driving, and falling over cliffs in a big flaming ball of fire. Each one of these baddies is “a dedicated killer.” Definitely not something you want to see in your rear-view mirror.
Unless you have a Condorman car. Then you’re ok.
My nephew adores Condorman, so my sister made him the Prognoviach for his birthday. Lucky kid!
Each one of those cakes is a dedicated killer.
4. Clockwork Droids, from Doctor Who
The ominous ticking clues you in: these guys are hiding in your room. And they want pieces of you.
Now go break every clock in your house. You’ll feel safer.
5. Lina Lamont
Actually you’ve probably heard of Lina. She can’t sing, she can’t dance, she can’t act….she does however have a pretty neat voice. It’s my secret wish to have a “Talk Like Lina Lamont” Day. It’ll be filled with words like, “Dope” and “Darn tootin’!” and “Whatsa matter with my voice??” When I’ve taken over Canamerica that’s the first thing I’m going to do.
The micro-managing bureaucrats from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Don’t try to get any paperwork done with them, and DON’T listen to their poetry. It’s almost as bad as mine.
7. Princess Mombi
If Princess Mombi from “Return to Oz” didn’t give you nightmares, then her Wheelers did. If the Wheelers didn’t…then you’re lying. This movie still freaks me out. I’m totally watching it this Halloween.
You can re-enact this scene with Barbie Doll heads. I always did. (Yes, my childhood was awesome)
Last week, my aunt related a story to me:
Her 6 month old was sleeping in the swing and her 2-year old was watching Dinosaur Train with a bowl of pretzels and she figured that now was a pretty good time to sneak away and take a 90-second shower.
45 seconds in, and she heard a giant crash.
She ran out to discover this:
(Baby was ok)
Anyway, it got me thinking about kids and babies and stuff.
If you were lucky, after the stork delivered you, you opened your eyes to a scene like this:
If you were luckier, however–and I was!–your very first vista was this:
You were a younger sibling!
This makes growing up an adventure, because kids that age only sort their life interactions into two categories:
Toys and Not Toys.
And babies make the BEST toys! They make noises and move and stuff. They’re better than matches!
Like a baby chic punching a hole through its shell, this kind of stuff makes babies stronger. If a younger-sibling baby lives past the first 3 months of it’s life, that’s a pretty good sign it’ll live to puberty.
I myself have made a noble contribution to this theory. When I was 3 or 4, I remember my mom’s friend had come to visit with her newborn. I think the novelty of my two younger siblings had worn off, so I was super excited to hold the thing. I washed my hands and sat in a big chair and was pretty much ready for some great baby bonding time.
After 3 minutes or so, the novelty wore off.
I wanted to stop holding her, but interrupting the grown-ups did not seem like a good idea.
So I came up with this really awesome idea!*
I’d been to the park earlier that week and remembered the slide and thought it would be a lot of fun if I could make myself a human slide! I would put my legs at an incline and point my toes and it would be so much FUN!
*it didn’t occur to me to just set the baby down. Common sense was never my forte.
Here’s how it happened in my head:
Um. Here’s how it happened in real life:
The grown-ups weren’t real happy about that.
But it DID prove me right! This stuff makes babies stronger. And the baby? She grew up just fine.
I think. I mean, she did ask me to be her friend on facebook, so…she’s mentally sound I think. Or is she??
Anyway, the moral of this story is: Kids, let the world be your playground. It makes you stronger.
…Which is exactly what I told my aunt.
(I don’t think she appreciated it)
Heather Dixon Wallwork
I've been a story artist for Disney and a writer for HarperCollins, but drawing Mary Poppins is my favorite thing of all ^_^