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What I've Been Doing For The Past Two Months

By Michael - 10-20-05

This isn't really an article - It's more of an elongated news post. And I don't want to use the word "blog". 

Okay folks, I seem to fall off the face of the Earth quite often. For that, I apologize. Here's what's been going on since I last updated:

First things first, I quit my job of ten years. I came to work one day, and just decided enough was enough. I wasn't satisfied with the direction my life was taking, and the job made me feel like a complete failure, so I finally gave my notice. This was the only full-time job I've worked as an adult. Quitting it was the hardest decision I've ever made, and I will miss the steady paycheck. I've basically spent the past couple of months wondering what I'm going to do. (My last day of work was Wednesday, August 17). This decision was for the best, but yeah, I still need to figure out a way to pay the bills.

I began to update my resumes on the job sites I frequent. I spent the first few weeks calling around and studying the job openings. I applied for a few Flash and Web Design contract jobs here and there.

Freelance Animations - Here's the fun part: I was recently contracted to create two animation shorts for Subway! They're both finished, but since I was contracted to do them, I can't host 'em here. I don't own the rights. I will link to them once their site goes live. I'm really psyched about this. It was a dream-come-true moment for me, to actually get paid to do something I love. I was so happy after I finished the first one that I felt a burst of energy (some kind of endorphin rush?) that literally made me want to go for a run. Or do jumping jacks or something - And I hate exercising! I was actually walking around my apartment smiling, which is something I never do. So maybe "Freelance Animator" is something I'd like to get into? 

The cartoons turned out pretty well, by the way. I will link to them as soon as I can. 

Web Design - I may also get the opportunity to design a businesswoman's website. I put a classified up on MySpace.com ("Webmaster Available"), and I was contacted. She says the site will need to be updated often, so this can potentially be a good thing. I need to get back in contact with her soon...

Deli Game - A lot of the jobs I applied for were Flash jobs. Just to make sure I could still write a simple game, I wrote Carpal Tunnel Deli, which is based on my work experiences at my old job. Yes, I was a deli clerk. I wanted to have animated characters, but I used cards instead to simplify gameplay (And to save time. Duh). In a future version of the game, I will implement bonuses which can stop or slow the game's timer, allowing skilled players to play longer.

Bobtheball.com - About a year and a half ago, I went to register bobtheball.com, and guess what? A squatter stole the domain name! 

I waited over a year for the domain to expire, which was July of this year, if I'm not mistaken. The domain finally expired, and became available for auction. I paid a fee to join a service where I could bid on the domain. I placed a bid on the site, and the error message was "This site not available for bidding!" or something along those lines. The squatter put the domain on REGISTRAR-LOCK. ARRRGH!  I gave up for several months and I'd forgotten all about the site until I found out that it was available again last month (September). 

I bought the domain, that's what I'm trying to say. There is a bobtheball.com now, but I currently only have it pointing to the animation section. I plan to do more with it in the future. I've been dabbling with a site design for it. I haven't come up with anything I'm satisfied with yet.

Bob 3? - I want to do Bob 3. I have the next three or four (or more!) episodes written as one big script. I plan to record the dialogue for all of them at once, so it's going to take a bit longer to finalize the script. I'll have to edit twenty or thirty minutes instead of only five or six. And I'm currently distracted by the other things in my life. Once I finish the script, I have to record the dialogue and music. I can record at home, but there's a problem. I have neighbors. I'm very self-conscious when I do vocals and voices, and a lot of my characters (Randy the nice bum, for instance) can be very loud. Could you imagine living next to Randy the nice bum? Would you like to hear him screaming the F-Word through your walls? So I try to keep it quiet. Which means I have to pay for studio time. When I had a steady paycheck, this was no problem, because I knew I had cash coming to replace whatever I spent at the studio. Now, I have to be a little more cautious with my money. 

So either I wait until I get a steady job again, or I record it all at home when the neighbors are gone.

Stuff keeps breaking - This is a Murphy's Law thing: If you come to a point where you need to be frugal with your money, shit will break. My toaster's timer stopped working, which means the toast will not pop up when it is finished. I have be on standby near the toaster with a timer. Pathetic. Also, my computer chair fell apart. I leaned back the other day, and fell THROUGH the chair, yelling "Shit!" as I bounced off the floor. While this is the most adventure I've had in a long time, I prefer to have a working chair. I repaired it using my manly screwdriver skills. The toaster was not as fortunate. It's in a dump or landfill somewhere, and I haven't replaced it yet. I haven't had toast in a month or so. I miss jelly.

UPDATE: I purchased a new toaster. Hooray!

Knee Deep Album - Before I quit my job, I began work on a Knee-Deep CD which will contain every song from the first two demo cassettes, plus additional studio versions of a few select songs. The artwork is (mostly) finished. I spent several days painstakingly mixing tracks down from 4-track to PC recording software. I did the same thing to a few of my old Sadistic Talent demos. The Knee-Deep CD will be available for sale, but I will mostly create it for myself, because my original cassette masters have been damaged. It'll be great to have a CD master of all those songs. However, I must wait until I have steady work before I get into the studio to record the additional tracks.

Google Earth - Holy crap, is this thing cool. I've been trying to find old schools and old neighborhoods where I grew up. Thing is, I've never had a very good sense of direction, and I'm unsure of the concept of North and South. I can fly over my old elementary school, but then I can't remember how I got home. I'm going to have to call my mother and ask her for some of our old addresses.

So that's pretty much what's been going on. I still need to find steady work, but I'm good for now. I'm looking forward to getting back on some sort of schedule. I'm actually more efficient when I only have a limited amount of time to work on projects. That's pretty weird.

-Michael

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