the inevitable

If there is an empty space in my life I usually try to take a vitamin D or sit out in the sun for an hour and I usually feel better. I’ve practiced, sometimes successfully Transcontinental Meditation but found that I need the perfect space, time and silence for it to work. If that doesn’t help, then I need to do something creative. Ever since I was a little kid I loved and was fascinated with animation. I used to create them in books by drawing one thing at a time on the bottom of a page. Old school stop action animation. My first one was in one of my fathers old Hardy Boy books of a stick figure running and catching a football.

About ten years back before smart phones, I found out that the camera I was carrying around with me all the time had video. That was the beginning of the end for me. My kids were young and I tried to get stuff of them before they grew up. So I had all these little movies and decided to just mish-mash them together just to get them up on YouTube (for all eternity I was hoping) So there I was with my free time on top of a skyscraper in New York City, my job in pre-press, using my free time to put these little things together. They were ridiculous. But what I remembered most about putting them together was just how much fun I had doing it. I mean, I loved graphics but now add some movement and then music and sound effects, I was in heaven. No plot. No rhyme. No reason. Ridiculous.

"Eraser Head" left and "Where Do The Clouds Go" right.

“Eraser Head” left and “Where Do The Clouds Go” right.

The weird kid that I was, when Greg and I were in Westfield and we went to the Music Staff on Elm street to buy music, Greg would load up on Bob Dylan and classic rock and I was buying albums of sound effects. Sometimes I would make the sound effects myself if I couldn’t find them in the Music Staff. Once again, in today’s world, Internet to the rescue. Now I have an endless library of sound and music.

The two photo albums I received from our aunt Carol were in terrible shape. Something about the Florida humidity and weather just kills old photos. I had promised her long ago that I would do my best to save them. She thought it would take me a week but it is an endless job, the results of which have ended up somewhat archived here on Family web site at Photos That Make You Think.
Nobody makes real photo albums anymore.* That might be one of the saddest things to ever happen to this digital society we now live in.
A lot of the old photos on PTMYT needed quite a bit of restoration in Photoshop before I posted them. You’re welcome.
One of my favorite pieces was a great old photo I found of mom in front of 710 Austin street in Westfield. She can’t be more than 19 years old.
I enjoyed this image of my mother so much that she ended up in a movie. Snowball.
I incorporated Adobe Flash, Photoshop and constructed an entire apartment building in Adobe Illustrator with this movie. Getting the “camera” to pan in and out was a great revelation for me. The thing about this “art” as there is with any art is that there were many accidental explosions of brilliance! I was influenced greatly by the graphic novel Watchmen. The movie was brilliant. The recurring symbols and imagery, the smiley face, the doomsday clock were simply genius. The movie, even more so. In this two minute and twenty-five second YouTube video, “Where Do The Clouds Go?” I tried to make it all “cartoon” and that’s why it’s only 2:25. It was a lot of work but still a lot of fun.

The Radiator Woman and my mother in "Snowball"

The Radiator Woman and my mother in “Snowball”

This was a fairy tale land. So much better than Carteret. So much more elegant! This town was full of little nooks of culture and art. You could feel the energy in the air. Instead of traffic lights there were real policemen directing traffic and crossing people at the streets. The endless rows of shops and food. The old A&P. The clean back alley shortcuts. Grandma and grandpa Hartman lived on a third floor apartment right around the corner from Dads store. We went there often for lunch. These were the days, right? When everything seems so pure and innocent and carefree. Everybody is nice to you. Everywhere you go is magic. Everything has character and depth and the places even smell good. It is all burned into my memory. And then what happens? All the adults eventually die and things change. These were the good times and I thought they would last forever.
musicstaffWestfield was my second childhood. We knew the back alleys and mom and pop stores like the back of our hands. It still remains a charming town but has lost it’s innocence as everything does when you grow up. The smell of Woolworth’s during a busy noon time lunch. Tommies. Little Joes luncheonette. Even the smell of our own fabric store, Westfield Sewing Center. Greg sitting in the back room eating his hot dog lunch and reading the back covers of his newly purchased albums. Where is he now???

*another post for another time.

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My bathroom is the next fast food restaurant and the YMCA. I always liked the Y. It is pampering of my body. Endless hot water in the shower. 103 degree hot tub in front of a picture window of woods. Sometimes the Jersey deer wander over and through. The Westfield YMCA is filled with alot of retired successful men. They have interesting stories and recollections. But it seems to me that they always end up talking about MONEY.
For the most part, in the locker room we are all naked. You are not supposed to look at each others penis’ but sometimes you can’t help it. There are alot of mirrors and asses and penis’ all over the place.
Some guys are driving compact cars and some guys have Hummers. Once I was shaving naked in front of the mirror when Frank came over almost right next to me. Frank is a very tall and wide black man. He is very outspoken and sometimes annoyingly friendly. So Frank is naked too and he starts talking to me about investments and divorce. I don’t even remember how it all started but his PRESENCE was very strong. He kept looking at me in the mirror as he talked. I just had to check out his penis. So I snuck a look and was like wow, dude, I don’t feel so bad. We are both driving Cadillacs only his is black. I can listen to him finally but can give two shits about investments and divorce at this point in my life.
The worse thing that can happen when sleeping in a car is have a mosquito in there with you. Because I park next to woods, they are there waiting for me. I got raped last night.

In New York all the women that walk past reflective windows will 98% of the time watch themselves as they go by. When women meet each other they are VERY quick. You might have to see it in slow motion but in the quickest up and down look (ALWAYS shoes first) can figure out everything you are wearing, your hair, your nails and can make an honest assumption on whether you are multi-orgasmic or not. Women are the most clever animals on the planet earth. They are emotion and intuition driven. They are much more intelligent, sensible and honest.

Food that takes a long time to go bad:
Peanut Butter
Milk has alot of vitamins but is extremely perishable. Just buy small amounts.
I will tell you this: Greg beat me to it. I would have been living in Florida right now, in the middle of fucking nowhere and I would have started a farm and a big garden. Perhaps I would sit on the porch all day and say “Fuck Graphics” Ha ha ha. I would absolutely have a dog.
I would name her Eddy.

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