Saturday, May 31, 2008

Speak & Spell

Somehow, through some accidental combination of keystrokes, I inadvertently opened Windows Narrator. Narrator can be an obnoxious little beast. It could be argued that Narrator can't not be an obnoxious beast. Today, I'm going to see if it can be something more.

This is highly experimental, and tonight's blog entry is due in about fifteen minutes, so keep your expectations low. What I'll be attempting is avant garde, real-time, musical blogging. Let's see how this goes...

video
1na2na3na4 ggagggadggagggadmmmemnmnmmmmmnmmggggu pplpplppplpplgfplgplfplgpplguuigugiiiggpluplopluploiihjhijiihjhihjjok

video
Huh, weird. Okay, really weird. I don't normally make this many typos.

I have a few minutes left. I'll try laying down another sick beat.

video
sicksicksicksicksicksickbebebebebebebebebeatsicksicksickkkbeatbeatbeatbbbbbebebbebebsicksicksickkksicksicksickk

What a racist beat. Not cool, narrator.

So, what have we learned through all of this? Number one, we now know that it's really hard to type while someone is reading every letter you type. Two, we've found that Blogger won't let me upload audio files, so it look like I'll have to turn these into videos.

While I'm at it, here's a very rough demo of something you'll hopefully find on this blog one day:
video

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Business, It's Business Time

Now that my portfolio is out of the way my attention has turned to three new goals.

1. Find a job.
2. Find a new place to live.
3. Compulsively check my e-mail to see if I've been accepted into the design major.

Seriously, I freak out every time I go to the bathroom it guarantees I'll be away from my inbox for at least a minute. If I had a laptop, it would be in there with me. Moving on!

The job hunt... I suspect this is subconsciously why I started stalling on my portfolio so much after it began to look like Nintendo wouldn't be calling me back. I can think of nothing worse than looking for a job (though that's probably just because I've repressed all my memories of working at Target). I haven't seen many help-wanted signs around town, so I've turned to the Internet to aid my search. Added perk: I can keep checking my e-mail while I seek employment. This is exactly the sort of statement you should never make on a blog that's accessible to potential employers.

I hoped that in a techie part of the world like this I might still have a shot at getting a game-testing gig, but looking for that kind of work on the Internet is like taking unsolicited financial advice from African royalty.

It looks like it will be back to retail for me. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeking a retail job in the Internet age, let me break it down for you. Every major store uses the same electronic survey to determine one's hireability. As anyone who has ever asked for assistance while shopping knows, the process of hiring only the best candidates has been made flawless with this system.

Honestly, it's like playing Guess Who? with a drunken chimp.
What is your address?
Do you live in California?
Do you live in Maine?
Have you been charged with any crime in the past six months?
Do you live in Wyoming?
Have you been charged with a felony within the last year?
Do you live in one of the following states: California, Maine, or Wyoming?

I swear I'm not exaggerating. It would be almost forgivable if this was a paper form, but it's electronic and it loads a new page after every question. Still, it's not as bad as the 100 question personality test. You could get a better understanding of a person's character by grabbing a Cosmo and and asking Are You a Good Flirt? That's not a joke; this quiz really is more insightful.

Stealing things from work is wrong - agree or disagree?
I don't like to have close friends because they'll only hurt me - agree or disagree?
I get angry for no reason and swear at people - agree or disagree?
I enjoy taking orders - agree or disagree?

Thank you for spending the last forty-five minutes completing this application. Unfortunately, there are no jobs available at this time.

FROM : SAMSON AND SISTER
ABIDJAN, COTE D' IVOIRE.
WEST AFRICA.

MY DEAR,

MY NAME IS (SAMSON BOUESSO) NATIONALITY SIERRA LEONE. I AM A STUDENT,I LOST MY FATHER YEARS BACK HE DIED DRURING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN MY COUNTRY.MY LATE FATHER WAS ONE OF THE DIRECTORS UNDER TIJAN KABBAH GOVERNMENT. MY MOTHER ALSO DIED AFFER FOUR YEARS LATTER. I HAVE ONE YOUNGER SISTER (PEACE BOUESSO) WE ARE LEAVING IN COTE D'IVOIRE SINCE PAST SIX MONTHS.

IT IS MY DESIRE TO WRITE YOU FROM MY HEART HOPING THAT YOU WILL NOT BETRAY US.MY FATHER DIVERTED SOME HUGE SOME OF MONEY WHICH HE DEPOSITED WITH ONE BANK HERE WHEN HE WAS ALIFE. IN FACT IN A BRIFE INTRODUTION ALL THE INFORMATION WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU. THE MONEY IN QUESTION IS US($10,500,000) TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS )NOW WE ARE SEEKING FOR A TRUSTED PERSON WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS MONEY INTO HIS / HER ACCOUNT FOR ONWARD INVESTMENT.

HOWEVER, WHAT WE NEEDED FROM YOU IS YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE IN HELPING US TRANSFERRING THE SAID SUM TO YOUR ACCOUNT SINCE WE ARE INEXPERENCED IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS,THAT'S THE REASON WHY WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT.ALL DOCUMENTS
CONCERNING THE DEPOSIT MAY BE GIVEN TO YOU FOR YOUR VERIFICATION.WE REALLY NEED TO MOVE THE FUND OUT OF THIS COUNTRY TO ABROAD.

I AND MY YUNGER SISTER(PEACE) HAVE DECIEDED TO GIVE YOU 15% OF THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE. THE WORLD IS FULL OF BAD PEOPLE PLEASE CAN YOU PROVE YOUR GEUNUITY TO US FOR US TO HAVE YOU AS A PARTNER.SORRY I AM NOT SAYING YOU ARE BAD PERSON BUT CONSIDER THAT THIS IS MONEY AND HOW THE MONEY WAS GOTTEN. IT IS INHERITACE AND LAST HOPE.

SHOW YOUR INTEREST AND WE PROCEED ON THE NEXT STEP OF ACTION. AFRICA IS NO LONGER CONDUSIVE FOR US TO STAY. PLEASE REPLY US THROUGH THIS EMAIL ADDRESS(samson_bouesso001@yahoo.com
) SO THAT MY YUNGER SISTER PEACE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR MAILS
AS WELL.


OUR BEST REGARDS.
SAMSON AND SISTER.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Look at the Footage!

I was on my school's Website today and I happened to find a link to a ridiculously cheesy video tour of Redmond (though, sadly, it's not lame enough to be ironically funny). I'm not linking the video because it's in any way entertaining, but because it reminded me that although I've lived here for more than a full school year, none of my friends or family have ever been here. Yes, this is going to be one of those serious, relentlessly boring posts.

Non-family members, you are dismissed for now; you'll find nothing of interest here today. Family members, if you thought reading blogs was bad on an ordinary day, let's see how you like it when I demand that you read my admittedly dull musings. Aunts, my mom tells me that you've been secretly lurking on my blog for some time. This is your punishment for never leaving comments, not even when I specifically request them. I blog so hard for you, and I never even get one emoticon in return... Wait, what I talking about? Oh, right, Redmond.

Yeah, so, that video - it reminded me of early days of JakeyPen, before the hamburger contests and the drugs, back when this was a simple, never-updated corner of the Web full of pixelated plant pictures and Tiny Toons references. I have a few pictures I never uploaded from those days, and I've discovered some other cool locations since then, but my updates were so sporadic back then that I never got around to finishing my photo-tour of the town. I think I'm going to make a bigger effort in the next few days to carry my camera. If nothing else, a few pictures of flowers and mountains will be a refreshing break from YouTube videos. Maybe not refreshing. But a break. Plus, the flowers and mountains will match the symbols by the focus switch on the side of my camera. Whoa - I just blew my own mind.

By the way, check out all those bike lunatics in that video. They are so crazy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nearly Done

Time until today's blog is due: 1 hour.

Time until I'll be finished with my final drawing: 1-2 hours.

I'll be back with a real entry in just a bit.

Update: About an hour-and-a-half later...

Done! I'm finally done! Why did it take me a month to draw six stupid pictures?! Who cares?! Done!

Now I can go get a job.

Yea...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stick an Oreo in My Portfolio

The school closes in about five minutes, so it doesn't look like I'll turning in my portfolio today. Of course, it doesn't matter when the school closes since I'm not done with my last picture yet. I'm taking a dinner break right now, but I'm not entirely sure I'll be returning to this picture. I hate how it's turning out. I just threw my pencil in frustration, which is not like me at all.

The title of this post comes from the song "No Head" by Atom & His Package. I wasn't entirely certain that "stick" was the right word, so I tried to look it up. Surprisingly, I was unable to find the lyrics anywhere online. Fortunately, Amazon.com's short sample of the song included the phrase in question, so a crisis was avoided this time, but if you know the lyrics to any Atom & His Packages songs, please, share your knowledge with the Internet. The Internet gives you so much. Isn't time you gave something back?

Here's a very sweaty Atom singing an unrelated song to a crowd drugged-up robots:


Speaking of music, guess what I was supposed to do tonight that didn't involve store-bought sandwich cookies or frustrated pencil-throwing.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Regarding Yesterday's Post

Sike!

Nah, seriously though, that stupid paper took forever.

Not for real forever, but it took a long time. My point is, it's done. Hooray.

But the last picture is not. Poop.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sorry, Fans

You're gettin' nothing today; not even a link to a YouTube video or a funny article. No, today you'll have to entertain yourself without me. After astonishing even myself with record-breaking levels of laziness, I'm ready to be a model, upstanding young citizen once more. Rather than squandering away my time on silly blogs, I'll be spending the night with my final written portfolio paper. Then, after a pleasant night's rest, I'll rise early to begin my last drawing. Yes, dear friends, I will sacrifice tonight's entry , but only in the hope that tomorrow I may return at long last to writing about Wii games and making references to They Might Be Giants.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shigeru Miyamoto

As you may have heard, I'd quite like to make video games one day. I've had countless sources of inspiration that have led me toward this goal, but one stands unchallenged above all else.

This dude:
There's a pretty decent article about Shigeru Miyamoto on the New York Times Website. It's fairly shallow and brief, but it touches on most of the major points. Miyamoto will likely go down in history as one of the most significant figures in any form of art or entertainment. Please take a few minutes to become acquainted with Shigeru Miyamoto.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shhhhh...

Don't tell nobody! Mates of State will be performing a show at some record store next week. Unlike some stupid concerts, this will be open to youngsters like myself. Even better, it's totally free!

To be honest, I'm kind of a loser Mates of State fan. In fact, this is the only song I know:



In my defense, I like this song a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Plus, I have a few days to catch up on their music, and it's a record store show, not a real show, so it's not as if I'll be the only loser-fan there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Semi-Disposable Swedish Furniture

Generally when my life gets either too exciting or too dull, my blog suffers. As you've likely noticed, JakeyPen has been pretty dull this week, and as much as I'd like to blame it on the thrilling life I lead, the truth is that I've been bumming it up big-time. I'm still not done with this increasingly tiresome portfolio, but I resolve to finish one paper before I go to bed tonight. I keep telling myself that I don't have much left to do, which is true, but trying to force myself to finish it all in a day hasn't been working as well as I'd hoped, so I'm back to taking baby steps.

To fill the gap during my hopefully brief boring streak, please be entertained by the story of the IKEA Fancy Dress Dinner Party, brought to you by Cockeyed.com.

Actually, this reminds of a none-too-interesting anecdote. Very shortly after I first moved to Washington, in the days before I had furniture, I went to the local IKEA. As I entered, I heard someone make reference to "Semi-Disposable Swedish Furniture," a quote from Douglas Coupland's Generation X, a book I incidentally just finished re-reading (I'm currently working on The Second City Almanac of Improvisation and Noam Chomsky's Interventions, as long as I'm sharing unremarkable mundanities from my life). Anyway, I think it was the moment when I heard strangers at the furniture store laughing over Douglas Coupland references that made me feel as though I had finally escaped the dirty, dirty south.

Edit: I just looked up "dirty south" on Urban Dictionary. Apparently it is a term of endearment for the region. Let it be clear that I have no positive feelings toward the south.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Comcastic!

My Internet connection keeps going out, so I'm keeping it short today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

.

When I learned how to type I was taught that a period or any other ending punctuation should always be followed by two spaces. One day when I was in sixth grade, my English teacher announced that it had been decided that sentences should be separated by only a single space.

Imagine: the sudden overturning of a fundamental rule.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Problem With Monday Is the Problem With Tuesday

I spent all day thinking it was Sunday, but, alas, is Monday. When you're out of school and out of work, it rarely matters what day of the week it is, but I've been telling myself all weekend that I would turn in my request for a transfer of major on Monday. It does not appear that will be happening. I just finished Star Fox Adventures earlier today (yuck), so I'm expecting my papers to write themselves any minute now. That will leave me with one picture to draw, which I should be able to do tomorrow morning.

I also meant to call Nintendo and harass someone about giving me a job already. It's been nearly two months since I applied for a game-testing position. I assume that rational people would move on at this point, but we're talking about a job that I've wanted since I was six or seven. I'm willing to be obnoxiously persistent. I called Nintendo about two weeks ago to ask if I still had a shot at the job and the person on the phone made it sound like I did. She said I would probably hear back in a week or two. That was just over two weeks ago. Which is why I was going to call today. But I didn't. Poop.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mechanical Hands Are the Ruler of Everything

Not cool. Not cool at all.



Tally Hall is coming to town this week to play a show for people who are 21 or older. I am not mature enough to watch a band that takes fashion tips from the Ninja Turtles sing about bananas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I spent the day at a typical tie-dye-and-fried-food sort of street fair at the University of Washington, studying the traffic patterns of people for one of my portfolio pieces. I got plenty of good research out of it, saw a cool reggae band, and even had a few vegan donuts (and now I'm ready to go another six years without eating a donut), so it was a pretty decent day. Unfortunately, it was also the sunniest, hottest day in recorded history according to my imaginary records. Appropriately, I am thoroughly sunburned. Now I'm left with the choice of writing a few pages about the writing a few pages about my day or playing... ugh... Star Fox Adventures.

Strangest part of the day: I heard a guy - a real-life guy; not someone on TV or in a movie - whistle at a girl and call her "toots."

Friday, May 16, 2008

This Is Horrible

As part of my portfolio, I have to write a short critique of a bad game. I took it a step further and purchased Star Fox Adventures. I'm in for a rough night.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Open Letter to Anyone Who Takes Bicycling Too Seriously.

Whoa! Calm down!

Seriously, people, let's all just chill. I have a bike. I enjoy riding it. A lot. It's a convenient way to get around and going out for a ride can be quite enjoyable. Just the other day I even drew a picture of my bike.

But you know what I've never done? I've never worn special bike riding clothes. Oh, sure, I've put on a helmet, but Spandex? Bright Spandex covered in the brand names of companies that are not, in fact, sponsoring you? You're pedaling down the sidewalks of suburbia, not tearing down the roads of France.

If you are in the road, please get out. I know you're just dying to get the respect you deserve as a hardcore bicycling enthusiast, but there's a reason we have sidewalks and roads. There are these big mechanical monsters we modern folk refer to as "cars" or "automatons." And if, by chance, the grizzly patriot in the yellow Hummer was too busy ranting into his cell phone about how much he supports our troops to notice that darling, DayGlo orange crossing-guard vest with blinking LEDs (worn over your Lance Armstrong jersey and size -1 shorts, of course, becayse you want to be aerodynamic enough to shave that last second off of your lap around the block), and he happens to come barreling into you at mach 2, chances are the mangled hunk of flesh and bent metal lying in the gutter won't belong to the guy with the "W: The President" bumper sticker.

As I said, I ride a bike. Given the choice, I'd rather ride a bike that drive a car, and, hey, we're saving the environment, and I know how much you enjoy feeling smug, but listen - contemporary cars are powered by engines; not feet (my sympathies to Mr. Flintstone). Motor-vehicles are capable of traveling at much higher speeds than you. You know that grumpy, self-righteous grimace that covers your face when you reach the red light and have to stand behind the exhaust pipe of smelly SUV? That's the same way drivers feel when they're left behind a pack of you: stationary and frustrated.

For those of you do ride on the sidewalk, please know that others may choose to make use of this space, as well. Pedestrians, for example. "Walk" - it's right there in the word. In the event that you do encounter someone not riding a bike (or, heaven forbid, someone riding a bike more slowly than yourself) do not panic. You may be attempted to shout, "Left!" to indicate that you are approaching from the other person's left. Or that the person should stay to the left because you are to their right. Or something. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: you will not make any sound until you are within mere inches of the subject. Do not be surprised if the sudden sound of your quiet, alarmed, unclear sound of your voice causes the person to stop, turn around, or ask for you to repeat your statement, because honestly, people who take bicycling too seriously, I can never tell what you're saying until after you've passed me and you're tossing well-enunciated swears over your shoulder.

Would you like to know what I do when riding a bike and someone is in front of me? I slow down. I cut into the grass and pass around them, smiling and saying, "Excuse me."

And I do it all while wearing normal-frigging-clothes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

People I Am Not

John George
Steven Philip Markgraf

If you are one of the above, please contact me immediately. I have your mail.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Drawing

I don't post my drawings here because I think they're of much interest to you; I do it because putting one up here each day keeps me motivated. Fortunately, I only have a picture-and-a-half left until this part of my portfolio is complete. Of course, If I do make it into my new major, I'll have to do something in the realm of twelve thousand drawings in the next year, but that's different. Less pressure.

Anyway, my point is that I'm not quite sure that I'll be done with today's drawing tonight. On the other hand, I still have an hour. Go, me! I can do it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We Draw What We Like!


I was searching for myself online yesterday and found a great picture of me at age thirteen.

In other online news, the makers of the fantastic comic Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out have added a bit of hilarity to the Web. Please laugh along with Lisa's Sketchbook.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

C-C-C-Conky 2000 Ready to Assist You

Am I alone in thinking this is way past cool?

That's a Wii remote strapped to its arm, which it uses to sense movements. I wish I had a robot connected to my video game controllers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

No new pictures today. Here's one of my older charcoal drawings, needlessly touched-up. Or touched-down.
Touchdown! I love baseball! Sports rule!

Here's the classic version:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cirque du Soleil

One down, five to go.

Here's the first of my portfolio pieces:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Day Is Ending

...And I'm not finished with the post I was preparing. Since I've put two Olde English videos on this site in the last week, I might as well add the best one of all.

I ordinarily keep the site squeaky clean, so I should warn you that there's, like, half of a swear in here.

Higher quality version available at OldeEnglish.org

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Music's My Imaginary Friend

Thought: You could pick any one of the past, say, five decades and I would be able to very quickly list at least ten bands that are clearly representational of whatever the dominant force was in popular music at the time. You could repeat this with a number of people and almost certainly see a high level of overlapping in the choices.

Now is different. There are certain groups who will long be remembered, of course, but overall, this decade is far less cohesive. I believe this is true of most other areas of culture, as well, but sticking with the musical theme, what will get first mention in the nostalgic conversations and history books of tomorrow?

As I see it, the music will be only marginal; the specific artists, a short aside; the songs, a side-note. We've entered a period where content is subordinate to medium. I'm convinced the symbol of our time, the icon of our total current culture, will be the iPod. This is the Internet Age. File-sharing, MP3s, Podcasts, YouTube; in short, the Internet. It's no secret - we're discovering music we never would have found before. We're finding it, downloading it, burning it, spreading it, and forgetting it at an accelerated rate that's unlike any we've seen before. History presents no precedent for the present.

Does this scare you?

On a different note entirely, I continued the road to self-betterment today by buying a sketch-pad and an assorted pack of pencils, charcoals, pastels, and the like. I love buying junk like this because it's a great way for me to convince myself that I'm moving forward when, in fact, all I've really done is dropped a few bucks. All the joy that comes from genuine work with none of the effort. I imagine it's the same sort of thrill Al Gore feels when shopping for carbon offsets.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The $100,000 Animation Drawing Course

For the first time in a few years, I have actual, real, not-fake free-time. It's a freaky sensation. I've decided to use this brief period between school and (hopefully) work to learn how to do some things well. It turns out the reason I haven't done this already is that self-improvement is hard.

Since my roommates moved out, I can actually play my guitar with the amp turned on, which is cool, but it also means the volume of my playing is loud enough to remind me that I'm not very good. I mean, wait, no, I rock! Yep... Totally rockin' on the guitar. That's me, alright.

I'm also working on my drawing skills. This is a little more urgent, since I'm trying to transfer into an art major. Fortunately, I have the $100,000 Animation Drawing Course on my side.

Mostly, though, I played through Jill of the Jungle for the fourteen-millionth time today.

Gimmie a break. This is my free-time.