All posts in …and Everything

The possible sequel

Last year, I did a speed animation entitled “The Carrot and The Rocket” about a carrot that met a rocket and aimed to go to the moon.

I’d tell you more about it, but it’s far easier to click on the video below and watch it for yourself.

YouTube Preview Image

The animation took three hours to make, and those three hours included the writing, voicing, music composition and recording, animating, and editing.

Since making it, I’ve had a few people ask me when I’m going to make another one.

Because children’s stories aren’t exactly my forte – you know, because every second word out of my mouth has some relationship to sex – I’ve had to think about this for a while… and I think I may have come up with something.

The new story will be based on that old idea of “being true to yourself” and will involve something called a vowelPad. I’ll be animating it with a Wacom tablet (like last time) but will probably be switching out ArtRage for Photoshop CS5 as I want to see if I can keep the type of look I have above in it.

This one will probably take a little longer than three hours to make, although the script is half written (I spent four minutes on it today) and I’ve started composing the music.

Vivid begins now

If you weren’t walking around the city last night, you might not have seen that the light and art festival that is Vivid has started.

So far, I haven’t walked around much of the festival. It goes for a month starting from yesterday and ending on June 21, probably with some sort of drama like last year. There was a boat on fire that everyone wanted to see that night. It turned out it was more exciting to imagine a boat on fire.

This year, I’m seeing a lot of blue.

Maybe that’s because blue is in. Perhaps people have finally got the hang of the death star blue light from the original Antec Sonata (oh yes, I am THAT much of a geek) and now they’re saying “hey look, I can do that too”.

Or maybe they’re all being anti-drug and setting up black lights that come out as blue to stop people injecting in the street. Because people do that. Or don’t.

I’m not sure why you’d take a hit of something by state parliament. Maybe you lost a cause or something. I’m fairly sure taking a hit won’t help you find it again.

Regardless, Vivid’s on now throughout the city of Sydney. Have a walk through the town at night and take a gander. If you see anything that looks out of place, chances are it’s for Vivid. Or the Biennale. Or an expo. Or… actually, there’s lots of reasons why something can look out of place here.

Ignore that last statement. Instead, adhere to the following: go to the light!

I am addicted to books

I wish I didn’t have to say what I was addicted to, but I feel it may help you – the reader – understand me better.

And look, it’s either that or plug one end of a jumper cable into my brain and the other end to the base of your neck, something that I’m sure will probably result in pain and no mind transferrance.

Regardless, this is my first addiction post.

Here we go. Ahem.

Hi. My name is Leigh and despite being as random as my title slogan, I am addicted to books.

I am utterly, completely, ridiculously engrossed in the nature of what the printed word is. I cannot survive without text on paper, image on glossy. I fall in love with titles and subjects and footnotes and epilogues every time I see them because I am addicted to books.

I collect them so I can educate others with them. I read them. As of right now, I am 26 and have easily over 200 books. They’re in a shelf or in the homes of friends, in their hands being read or collecting beams of light as they grace the presence of my otherwise chaotic desk.

I’m in the process of writing them, too. Not for money or fame, but because there are stories in my head that I want to get out, that I need to get out because if I don’t, my sanity really is brought into question. And I’m more unsure of that than ever lately.

This evening I bought a book because the cover struck me. It’s called “The Insult”. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you can. Sometimes the spine and the index and the page corners just speak out to you, a vertical yell that screams “BUY ME DAMNIT!” and then only a few minutes later, you’re several dollars shorter with yet another piece for your already sinking shelf.

I can fix that with another shelf. I can fix that with a box. I can fix that with a stack under my table staring at me and just waiting for me to accidentally kick it in my sleep so that it topples and spreads everywhere.

I could also fix it by lessening my addiction, removing it from the equation and making it so that I wasn’t addicted to books.

Or I couldn’t. And shouldn’t. Removing that part of me would be like removing my heart, and that is something I’m not likely to do.

I am addicted to books and I love it.  I really do.

New theme: Spontaneous Box

Have you ever wanted to show what’s really going on in your head?

I have, and I often find it hard to explain to people.

While I’ve been called “irreverent” before, I suspect I’m better explained with words like “eccentric”, “random”, and “spontaneous”.

The theme I’m talking about here that I’ve *mostly* finished development on is called Spontaneous Box (I say mostly because there are still some bugs I need to iron out with search, menus, paragraph sizing and some other bits).

Spontaneous Box has been built over an original theme created by Justin Marcus and has been modified to accommodate the degree of randomness I’ve been wanting in my personal site.

First off there’s the basic design which still carries over from the original: three columns, all showing different types of information.

As you can see, the left most column features written bits. Words, phrases, sentences, and blogs. Anything that I want to communicate through writing is left on… well, the left.

The middle column features my idea for a Tumblr-style blog. That is, now I can post images to my blog from my phone (using a WordPress application) and provided they sit in a certain category, they’ll appear in the middle column. There’s no need to manually click a features section as the template just looks for the three newest image entries and sticks them here.

One of the things I’ve modified from the original design is the requirement of custom codes. Don’t get me wrong, I like custom codes, but the last thing I’m going to remember when I’m posting from my phone is to write “1small” or “2medium” when I’m posting an image. As such, the theme has been modified to include the use of the plugin “The Attached Image” which happily grabs a medium image and sticks it here. No codes needed. Simple.

Finally, the last column includes a search box and a Twitter feed.

I’ve missed what happens at the top of each page, however: the slogan.

You see one of the things people don’t get about me is just how random I am. It’s as if I need an editor for my brain before I speak. In fact, past girlfriends and editors have even said as much.

In my last site design (which was a modified version of Elegant Theme’s “Glow”), I attempted to include the random phrases by including images. Lately however, I’ve been turned on to the idea of making sites font-friendly. I’m in love with typography, and with the help of “Ozh’ Random Words” plugin, I can pull that off all around the page.

For instance, my site header has over fifty different things it can possibly say. They’re all the sort of things I would say as… I’m just like that.

All you need to do is refresh the home page and it’ll take care of itself, refreshing a statement. Oh, and I’ll be updating the list from WordPress as time goes on because yes, I’m that random.

It’s not just the start page, however. The same sense of spontaneity is reflected over the various pages you may come across.

and…

Outside of this randomness, the page is designed to be clean and simple with a fairly fresh and modern font “Calibri”.

That said, I’m now working on a slightly less clean version of this theme called “A Tease Dress” which will be made for public consumption.

The idea behind “Spontaneous Box”

One of the things I’ve been trying to do for a while is blend a Tumblr-style blog and a regular WordPress blog.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Tumblr is a short-form blog service designed for you to post single bursts of information in one hit easily.

Imagine if you saw a poster and you just suddenly wanted to put that online for everyone to see. You’re out and about with your phone and web savvy person that you are decides you’d like to take a picture of it and post it online for the world to see. You can always put it to Twitter and use a service like TwitPic or YFrog, or you can put it to your own site.

Tumblr is that sort of setup.

WordPress can do that too, but most of the templates you see are designed to show words better than images. There are some truly excellent Photoblog templates out there, including the stuff GraphPaperPress do and the wonderful (and free) Duotone theme, but these are generally designed for photos or galleries.

I wanted something that would let me post a combination of words and images, a showcase of what was going through my mind, so to speak.

For months, I’ve experimented with an MU installation that housed three blogs: one for words, one for Tumblr-style blogs, and one that collected the best of both and published it in a collected place. That “collected place” would have been my main domain.

However, the main problem I had come across was that you’d have to login individually. Despite WordPress MU (and WP3 with the integrated MU core) having a unified login setup, it was still a pain in the ass.

And then I found this.

Justin Marcus’s “New York, New York” is an excellent theme, and it suited my needs quite well. I found it the other day and knew instantly how I wanted to modify it.  He’s got some great code there, but I have a few things I’ve done differently…. as you’ll see in the coming post.