J A N U A R Y 0 3
Dave makes his first portfolio and experiments with digital coloring. The infamous Animal Crossing marathon weekend takes place. Mike loves the moon song and explains the strategy behind his Pikachu lightning attack. Jeff reviews the latest Foo Fighters album.


unless it has got many vegetables
Hmm, so it's been awhile since I posted. I haven't had much to talk about other than the fact that I like pounding on things - drums, nails with hammers, walls with my head. I teach, I come home, sometimes I beat Dave in Super Smash Brothers, sometimes we practice, sometimes we consume numerous "beverages" after a bad day of teaching. Oh, did I say we? I meant me. So that's pretty much life. But today, today, today. This afternoon, I found the web site that makes me want to go on. The site that makes the flowers bloom in the spring, and young lovers blush. Well, I'm not so sure about the flowers, but there is plenty of blushing. Because this website is wierd. (Or weird. That "i" before "e" thing never worked for me.) Anyway, enough rambling. Go to http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song and be amused by its craziness. Odd, but funny. Yes, that's the kind of lunacy that I find amusing. So sue me. Or better yet, come to the Brass Monkey on February 27th. yeah. That's a better idea.

On a musical note, I'm thinking about purchasing a Zildjian or other good brand dark crash. Yeah, more things to pound. I need to stop trying to get 17 cymbals, because I'll never be Carter Beauford...

Thursday, January 30 at 10:46 PM

class(room) B-23
Here's the world-exclusive first photo of my classroom at Northeast Middle School, room B-23.
I've said before that I teach in an "open space" classroom. This means that I'm in a hallway with dividers set up to mark off the class borders. You can see one of these on the right side of the photo, with plenty of space between it and the ceiling. Today, for example, about 25 textbooks were thrown over that so-called wall. Students roaming the halls will walk into the adjacent open space class and go crazy (if there's no class that period or if there's a substitute; today it happened both ways). So I'm learning to swat books back, Shaq-rejection style. If you concentrate on the hardcovers and not the paperbacks, not as many students get hurt.
...But on to happier details. My classroom is pretty distinguishable by the jungle motif. I've tripled the construction paper leaves since this picture was taken and added a few more vines - green yarn with clothespins attached to hold worksheets. The big cardboard Langauge Arts Adventure map was made from an Ikea box. The arrows and tape on the floor are for lining up at the end of class. Notice the hole in the left side of the ceiling; water drips down on rainy days (guess where I sit the kids who are giving me trouble? Nah, just kidding). There's also a "word wall" above the chalkboard that contains all of our vocabulary words. My classroom has expanded since one teacher nextdoor was reassigned. It's about five times as big as what you see in the picture, which is a lot better to work with. Today I rearranged my room for the 7th time this year, so the students are getting new seats on Monday.
Hey Chris and Jovanna - did I do a good job of describing your classroom?

at 4:35 PM

blame it on the chozo birds
It was never a good idea to get a video game during finals in college, and it's still not a good idea to get a video game during the end of the second grading period with report cards due on Friday.
Oops.
Metroid Prime is as good as everyone says it is. I'm only a few hours into it, but it's a perfect escape from school. The line between video games and movies is getting blurrier (but there's still a Metroid movie coming out anyway).
And hey, I've also started designing a new website for the man who mixed Mosquito himself, Eric Espiritu. This will be my first non-personal site work since the old, old Dance Marathon website, so I'm excited to try a different look.

Monday, January 27 at 8:29 PM

oh snap!
The portfolio is finally online. Whoop dee freakin' doo.
Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 24 at 9:40 PM

greetings from boredomville
Hey everyone, it's been a while since i have posted, and it looks like dave is still kickin' out the creativity as usual. I'm still here at work, and because of the last weekend, this week has been pretty close to miserable. This past weekend I went to San Diego, CA to visit some friends for the long MLK weekend. Needless to say, it was awesome, the weather was amazing, the ocean perfect, bars - smoke free, zoo - a zoo. Current life plans have changed to moving out to san diego in about 2 years. there is a strong music scene out there with small type bands, which would be fun to join in, since i haven't played in front of a crowd in a while now. Well dave, those photoshop renderings look great, crazy-mad-werner skill as i like to call it.

dave, hopefully expect a visit from G5 and o4 at the end of the month. we want to get crazy in baltimore!

music reviews (as always on a 100 pt. scale):

foo fighters - One by One - 81
granted this is a rating only after the first time listen. The album starts off real strong with some hard hitting tracks, but slows down quite a bit starting around track 6, tired of you. After a few more listens, it should be more enjoyable though.

-jeff

Thursday, January 23 at 11:43 AM

pb&j
I procrastinated some more with photoshop today and tried to draw Ashley this time. I did a little more blurring of colors and it turned out pretty well. I'm having an extremely fun time exploring this. I've been looking back at old Calvin and Hobbes books and getting a lot of ideas out of them, especially from the watercolored covers. It's a look I'm trying to learn how to duplicate with photoshop.
Clay was nice enough to mention me today on his site. The upcoming Okay Samurai show was also mentioned in the "Charm City Update" e-mail sent out to all TFA Baltimore corps members today.

Wednesday, January 22 at 7:23 PM

coloring with photoshop
This evening, while in my usual procrastination mode, I decided to sketch a picture and figure out how to color it with Photoshop. You would think that I would have learned something like this when I worked for the Cavalier Daily, but no. I've always only had a very basic knowledge of the program; enough to fool around with photos, do basic web deisgn stuff (like the simple buttons and pictures on this page) and do elementary coloring-book-type coloring with the paint tool. I'd regulary check out sites like Designs By Mark and Phong, but that was it. I never colored Second Nature, mainly because it was too much extra work, but also because I believed in more traditional tools. Colored pencils have always been my weapon of choice when sketching. But Second Nature was a throwback to older comics, focusing solely on black and white lineart.
The recent change of drawing styles in Penny Arcade really caught my eye, though, and made me want to learn a little more about using computers to color hand-drawn sketches. So I decided to read through Clay Yount's photoshop tutorial since his comics have always looked incredible. And for a first shot, I think the end product turned out all right. It's a clean, crisper look that I could never get with colored pencils.
It's not much, but the main reason that I'm excited about this is for the children's book. This weekend I talked over the phone to a UVA grad who works at Viking, an imprint of Penguin Putnam. She answered all of my questions about the industry and kept my interest piqued. Now I'm excited to try Photoshop coloring with the ideas in my head and take it from there. Although attempting to draw a book entirely in colored pencils would be great, for purposes like reproduction, clarity and color selection, using the computer makes more sense. I never though that I would have said that at the Cav Daily, but I'm starting to come around.

Tuesday, January 21 at 7:29 PM

official 2.27.03 okay samurai concert details
Okay Samurai (in the form of Mike Ferenczy, Russ Jenkins and Dave Werner) is playing in a battle of the bands in Baltimore, Maryland on February 27, 2003.
*When: Thursday, 2.27.03, 9:00 PM. Doors open at 8:30.
*Where: The Brass Monkey, 1601 Eastern Avenue.
*Tickets: Available at the door or from the band for $5 (18+ show, $5 cover for all those under under 21). Contact Dave at dave@okaysamurai.com for presale tickets or just stop by 103 South Washington Street anytime.
*The Details: About 3-4 bands will be playing for prizes like studio recording time and music gift certificates. We won't find out what time slot we'll be playing in until that night.
Send any additional questions to dave@okaysamurai.com. See you there!

at 2:31 PM

fun with impulse buying
Mike, Tammer and I went to Bill's Music yesterday to get supplies for the upcoming show. Mike bought an LP Salsa Chacha Cowbell, a Zildjian K series 8" splash cymbal, Pro-Mark drumsticks, earplugs, cymbal cleaner and the necessary hardware attachments. In other words, more things to hit. It's always an adventure walking into a music store. There's always that one guy on an amplified guitar playing the latest song that he learned, occasionally peering around to see who's impressed. Of course, no trip to Catonsville is complete without a stop to the Double T Diner, where you can (and do) play Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush" on the jukebox.
Russ is coming over tomorrow morning for our first full practice, which is good because I had a dream/nightmare about the show last night. My microphone broke, we didn't sell enough tickets, I broke a guitar string, and my distortion pedal was permanently stuck into overdrive. We seemed to be playing inside a candy store; the manager was leaning on the counter, yawning and constantly checking his watch. I remember trying to save the show with Pour Some Sugar On Me, but even that didn't do the trick. Scary, I know. Hopefully tomorrow's practice will quiet these subconscious fears and get me back to my usual dreams about dinosaurs. Now check these out:
[Emotion Eric] People send in various emotions, and this regular guy named Eric takes a photo of himself expressing that emotion (everything from "complacent" to "magic trick gone horribly wrong").
[Penny Arcade] Updated M-W-F. This video game-related comic is funny even if you don't like video games. It's really the only comic that I read anymore.
[MC Hawking] Andrew told me about this a while back; it's Stephen Hawking doing gangsta rap. Listen to All My Shootings Be Drivebys.

Sunday, January 19 at 10:15 AM

so happy together
So I got to sleep two extra hours today due to the absolutely catastrophic, disastrous, and city-crushing quarter inch of snow we got last night. Yes, folks, Baltimore panics whenever the temperature plummets below luke warm. Oh well, works for me. I'll take the extra 20 hits on the snooze button. It was the extra 2 hours that allowed Dave and me (the grammar's right, ask Mrs. Schleifer, my second grade teacher) to play a jam session tonight that lasted between three and four hours, not counting a break for the infamous Mr. Magoo's pizza, and his fantabulous Not-Buffalo Wings (there was no sauce). I told you I like long sentences.

We're working on some things for this battle of the bands in February. Tomorrow we're going to Catonsville to check out their 4,876 music shops. I need new sticks, since mine are about chewed through (from the cymbals... I have a healthy diet). Yeah, so I'm psyched. This will be my first gig since I played in a funk band almost five years ago now, and it will be my official entrance into the okay samurai extended family.

Nintendo-wise, I am the master of the Pikachu Lightning Attack, as Dave, Tammer, and Nick can attest, because of the fact that I K.O. them all the time. In fact we've become so obsessed that Dave and I made up a Pokemon song, tentatively titled Lightning Crashes (TM, you intellectual property thief!) tonight. Yes, I know we sound like nerds, but according to the experts (that would be "Wendy" from the Weblog Review), you can't help but like us. Plus, we're great looking. And by that I mean, Dave is the "adorable... little boy" on the side of the page, and my mom tells me I'm handsome, so it must be true...

On a non-musical note, I got new class pets from one of the other science teachers at school. Her pets had babies, so we got everyone's favorite dinner guest, albino rats. The kids freaked out about it, which was funny. The rats are nice; I petted them before I left for home so they would get to know my scent. They sure beat what Dave gets to bring to class, namely a Rolling Stone Magazine with a half-naked Justin Timberlake on the cover trying to look tough, but succeeding only in breaking off his relationship with one of the hottest bubble-gum pop stars of the last 39.5 months. I know, you all didn't really need to read any of my ramblings, but since the Wutang Killer Bees don't have a weblog, it'll have to suffice.

Friday, January 17 at 11:05 PM

dave2n.com reviewed, eugene has issues
Another two hour delay today due to snow. We got our hopes up last night when we saw flurries and played Super Smash Bros. (the latest fix to our Gamecube addiction) until midnight. Nothing yesterday was more satisfying than smashing Mike's annoying Pikachu character into the screen with a baseball bat.
The Weblog Review posted up a review today that gave dave2n.com a 4.5 (out of 5) rating. Pretty happy 'bout that. Thanks to the reviewer for such a positive review even though the site was down for most of this week. Here's what they had to say:

::dave2n.com - imagination in reality (as reviewed by The Weblog Review)
The URL of this domain may reflect Dave as being the guy who put this site together, but there are a total of eight different guys who are responsible for the different information youíll find at dave2n.com. With the compilation of entries I read, this weblog easily fits in the Entertainment category.
First off, the writers/contributors - what an eclectic mix of guys. Not only by reading the posts they throw up on the site did I learn this, but also through the contact link provided for all of the authors. Granted, Iím sure a good portion of that part of the site is purely for entertainment value, I did get the feeling that perhaps Eugene does have some issues with Mrs. Jurinskiís 12th grade calculus class, and that maybe Daveís fondness of Korean boy bands goes a bit farther then what he lets on. Nonetheless, itís a fun, yet somewhat obscure way to give us some information about the people that do the posting.
The layout and design wasnít something I had anything but an indifferent opinion for. It worked great for the site - weblog entries were easy to read, navigation was simple, and everything worked like it was supposed to.
Underneath the random adorable photos of a little boy (with the exception of a Jet Li headshot) that Iím assuming might be Dave or one of the other guys, you learn that dave2n.com is split up into five parts. The weblog, of course, along with a portfolio, a music related link called Okay Samurai, Second Nature (a comic strip), and Second Nature World, where you can play a video game with your keyboard.
The weblog is certainly entertaining. And above that, it also keeps you abreast on current events you may not have any clue about. Video games, which I donít have much interest in, are a hot topic at dave2n.com. Somehow these fellas managed to keep even my attention when writing about the latest and greatest in the video game arena, so something certainly has to be said for that. The music industry is another often discussed area, with updates of their personal music taking off, or even the latest rants and ravings of the "professional" music world.
The other previously mentioned portions of the website are entertaining and worth visiting, just as are all the archives for the site since it began. A first visit to this site wouldnít be complete without fully exploring all aspects of it.
I liked this site. It was funny, it kept my attention, and you just canít help but like the guys that write from time to time. Itíd one Iíd definitely recommend visiting once or twice just to see if it tickles your fancy.
This site was reviewed on 2003-01-17 by Wendy. They felt this site belonged in the Entertainment category. Wendy felt that dave2n - imagination in reality deserved a rating of 4.5.

at 3:14 PM

mark your calendars (or nerdy palm pilots, whatever)
First off, sorry for the site being down over the past five days. I was never sent a renewal notice by our hosting company, but everything's back to normal...heck, the temporary portfolio section even got a facelift.
Anyway, Okay Samurai is back in action, under a different form, on February 27. Mike, Russ and I will be playing in a battle of the bands at The Brass Monkey on Eastern Avenue. It's a small 250-max-capacity venue and we'll be playing with 4 or 5 other bands for prizes like recording studio time. Tickets are the usual $5 charge, plus a super-whopping $5 cover for all those under 21 (it's an 18+ show). Our Teach For America friends should be happy since it's a Thursday night show, but the next day is a "professional development" day. Just like last year's Mainstreet Bar and Grill gig, this concert will be on the eve of my 23rd birthday...I can't think of a better way to celebrate. More details as I get them.
There are a lot of exciting things about this show, but the most rock-your-pants-off-iest thing will be the live debut of Akshay151, a new original song about the Baltimore TFA corps. We're still working on the "obligatory breakdown rap" section, but it's getting there. The song title comes from my summer institute roommate Akshay's unfortunate incident with a shot of 151 at a bar in the Bronx (lesson learned: you don't sip shots). I'm going to try to get an acoustic version of it online before the show, as well as another new song I've been writing over this past week.

Wednesday, January 15 at 12:14 PM

gone phishin'
Vermont's Phish, the heir apparent to the Grateful Dead, is back together after a two-year break. That being said, you would expect their latest album, Round Room, to have freshly-squeezed creative juices poured into it. I still haven't made up my mind how I feel about this album, which I think is a good thing. I've had the CD in my car, set on random play, for about the past two weeks.
It's an album more like Rift and less like Billy Breathes; similar to Story of the Ghost and less like Farmhouse. In other words, it's Phish back to their non-radio-friendly selves. The first song alone is about 13 minutes long. The melodies aren't catchy to the point that you're singing them later that day. Some songs seem complex to listen to while some take a simple theme and run with it. Walls of the Cave might just be one of Phish's greatest "epic" songs yet. It's the kind of album that you don't like the first time, but you give it a second chance, want to give it a third and have to give it a fourth. Don't expect to hear another Sample in a Jar or Chalkdust Torture, The songs are mostly slower, easy-on-the-distortion-pedal, and heavy on the instruments.
Rolling Stone, while giving the album three stars, called the album "sloppy" in production. It has a live feel to it at times. There have been sections that I thought sounded poorly mixed, with harmony vocals overpowering the main vocals or one instrument taking up all of the foreground or hiding in the background. Now I'm getting used to it and I sort of like it. I've only been to one Phish concert, but most fans would tell you Phish's studio albums are nothing compared to them live. I'd agree.
*** - rolling stone :: B+ - entertainment weekly

Saturday, January 11 at 6:40 AM

indy
I've been fortunate to visit the island of St. Maarten about 5-6 times with my family. The French/Dutch island quickly became a spring break or summer vacation default destination, and we've mostly stayed in the same hotel on the beach of Grand Case. Days are relaxing and quiet because St. Maarten isn't as popular as some other islands (Bahamas, Martinique or St. Thomas). Some days we've had the entire beach to ourselves. The water is clear enough to easily find the dozens of starfish scattered across the sand underwater.
But enough about this "vacation" stuff. The part Andrew and I love most about visiting the island is exploring places we haven't been to before. Over the course of our half-dozen visits, we've continued to find new places to swim to, climb up, or jump off: Climbing to the top of Mount Scenery in Saba and watching the clouds rush into our faces. Chasing the goats of "Goat Mountain" and naming a particular formation "Whale Rock." Seemingly walking across water to a small island completely covered in seashells. Discovering the underwater cave in Baie Rouge. The Indiana Jones inside the two of us craves this adventure that's missing from daily life, unless you count watching those truck commercials where they show some exotic unreachable mountaintop that only their advertised truck can reach. Yeah, you know the one.
Quite possibly our biggest adventure of all time took place at Mullet Bay about four years ago. St. Maarten has a knack for getting hit with hurricanes as soon as we leave the island (which is my argument for living there permanently). So when we returned to Mullet Bay after a particularly bad hurricane season, a beachside restaurant we had been to in previous years was closed up and severely damaged. Nails stuck out of splintered two-by-fours strewn in the overgrown island grass. A two-story building which sheltered the main dining area, kitchen and restrooms stood next to a former swimming pool that was now caked in a thick, polluted, muddy substance (fun to throw rocks in, though). A two story building with its staircase destroyed only gave us one mission: to get to the second floor.
We tried to think of different ways to get up and finally settled on stacking up the broken wood to grab a telephone cable in order to pull ourselves up (naturally). Andrew was the first to go, and just when he grabbed the cable, the stack of wood below him fell down. It was only about a 7-foot drop, but Andrew was facing falling into a pile of broken wood and nails. He managed to pull himself up and explored the second floor. I never made it up; I was too busy trying to find a way for Andrew to get down. My idea was to take a metal shelf from the kitchen (with an oven that apparently exploded at some point), but Andrew was able to find a clear area to jump into. The we busted open a boarded-shut door and found a flooded basement.
After exploring every inch of the abandoned restaurant we started to walk along the coast of the beach, which eventually changed into some pretty steep rocks. We continued hugging the coast until we saw a strange brick arch built into the rocks towards the shore. Curious, we climbed up to it. Whatever it was, it had been halted mid-construction when the hurricane hit. Andrew and I guessed it was the foundation for a hotel or a house. There were about three stories, but the middle story had a huge gap between the lone concrete stairway and the floor. We both looked down and just saw pitch black. Darkness. Maybe it was only a few feet deep or maybe it led to a collapsed basement, but for the sake of the story let's say it was an 100-yard drop into another dimension. Needless to say, we both jumped over it to reach the middle floor. We weren't sure how stable the floor on the other side was, but we took the leap of faith anyway and made it. How wide it was, I'm not sure, but it required a running jump. The floor itself wasn't that exciting, but it had a pretty nice view of the coast.
The day ended with our walk to seashell island, but that's another story to be told another day. Compared to a difficult day at work or home, it's nice to remember days like these. Time to go celebrate Nick's birthday.

Wednesday, January 8 at 3:11 PM

game boy advance advanced
in other video game news: a new game boy advance will be released soon. dave, i know you'll like this, cuz you're a big fan of gameboy advance. check it out here.

Tuesday, January 7 at 6:25 AM

andrew's video-gaming-and-sleeping-palooza
What a freaking fantastic winter break or as I like to call it: Andrew's video-gaming-and-sleeping-palooza. This year at JMU we got an unprecedented four full weeks off from classes. It's been just fantastic not doing nothing.
Snow has been falling off and on for the past few days around here resulting in an afternoon sledding down the hills of my old elementary school. Never have I ever seen playground equipment used as a ramp before. I hope they really wanted their pink plastic slide broken because that's what they're getting.
Having also tasted the forbidden fruit that is Animal Crossing I know only too well what you all are going through there in Baltimore. I just got Chrono Cross because I figure that I have a superfluous 50-some hours to my lifespan and I better get those out of the way without doing anything terribly productive. It's a lot of fun to play because I still half remember good old Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo and boy oh boy are there throw backs a plenty. Dave, you would be loving every minute of this one. I just ran into Chrono and Marle while one of my players was trying to avenge Lucca's murder. Just in case anyone caught that last reference besides Dave I have to say Slatipac just to alienate him too. Ain't inside jokes displayed publicly funny?
I'll be heading back to school sometime this week in preparation for a somewhat belated Krafty Kwanzaa Klaus party. Rock and Roll McDonalds.

Monday, January 6 at 9:02 PM

third snow day
I woke up to snow yesterday, snow that didn't let up until about 5 PM. Everyone in 103 was pretty sure that we would have a 2-hour delay today for school, which naturally meant that we continued procrastinating with video games. Baltimore only got 3-4 inches and driving conditions didn't seem terribly bad. Mike told me the good news this morning, twice: first a 2-hour delay, later changed to school being cancelled. Well, I assumed that school was cancelled when I heard Mike running up the stairs, falling, running again and then jumping on me. It was an extremely relaxing day, extending our historic non-productive weekend (see the previous two posts) even more. Case in point: I beat Super Mario Sunshine this morning.
Rotten Tomatoes recently posted a bunch of 2002 top ten movie lists, including ones from Ebert and Roeper and Entertainment Weekly.
And one last thing: I really like how this site looks.

at 5:06 PM

leaving the third floor
You will never understand the phrase "complete and total out-of-body experience" until you have either (a) almost died (b) died and been resurrected or (c) spent 16 of the last 24 hours playing Animal Crossing on Nintendo Gamecube. I think that Dave, Nick (the infamous, rhythmless housemate) and I simply needed a chance to not do anything, after spending a week of "not doing nothing" (as my kids would say, and that means that I did less than "not doing anything") and then being rudely thrown back into the proverbial fire - by which I mean teaching middle school. So, in between the three pizzas we ordered from (get this!) Mr. Magoo's Pizza, and in between the revamped version of Under the Boardwalk that Dave and I are trying to make, we collected countless shells and ran multitudes of meaningless errands in possibly the most pointless, yet fascinating video game of all time. And what is there left to do but write about it? You hit the nail on the head - nothing. Oh, well, we also spent some time envisioning ourselves as a male version of the Coyote Ugly bartenderettes, which we plan to do with our summer... I bet the Wutang Killer Bees have never done that. So, I have now taken a one hour break, I think I need to go play Super Mario Sunshine. What a crazy Saturday night...

Saturday, January 4 at 7:30 PM

animal crossing marathon
Another lazy Saturday at 103 South Washington Street...except that this was the lazy Saturday to end all lazy Saturdays.
Last night Nick and Mike "moved" into our Animal Crossing town, one of the Gamecube games I got for Christmas. We played for a while, ordered pizza and then watched the Ohio State / Miami game. But to call Animal Crossing addictive is an understatement. After a bacon and eggs breakfast courtesy of Mike this morning, everyone casually walked up to my room to check in on their respective characters and houses in the game. What followed was a 10-hour marathon session in my room. Someone was always playing Animal Crossing, which was usually the center of attention. Or someone took a nap on my bed, someone read Rolling Stone, Mike and I played music, someone was on the computer checking e-mail or other things (including Animal Crossing secrets) or someone talked on the phone. We stocked up my mini-fridge with sodas and ordered pizza again tonight. With no reason to leave the third floor, we've been in my room pretty much the entire day. There are so many empty and half-empty soda cans scattered across the floor and bookshelves...we really don't know whose are whose. We all took naps at separate times on my bed today, following some sort of unspoken play/sleep/eat cycle. Mike even commented about not seeing the sun today.
Regrets? None. For a teacher, this is what a Saturday should be.

at 7:28 PM

the imagination travel guide
I said it when I ended Second Nature, but I'll say it again: one day, I want to write and illustrate children's books. Since I'm currently teaching, it's always been in the back of my head, always pushed back with ideas bouncing around my head but never doing anything productive about them.
Today, during my planning period, I was finishing up an oatmeal creme pie from my lunch and just started sketching on my yellow notepad (usually reserved for writing down the names of kids who are misbehaving). I was realizing how long it's been since I've drawn. With the comic strip, I was forced to draw every weekday, and because of that, I improved. I can't believe how poor my first drawings were when compared to my last ones. But most of all, through out the comic's existence, I enjoyed what I was doing. So, when juxtaposed against my current job environment, you can imagine how refreshing it was to just draw again. I started sketching the cover to the book that I've always wanted to make, The Imagination Travel Guide. Then I scribbled down ideas and pictures for the first few pages. By the end of the hour, I knew exactly how I wanted my first four pages to look.
Finally. Finally I had done something productive with the ideas floating around my head. And maybe it's just from the rush of excitement I got today, but I want to continue. I want to make a serious effort to create a full-fledged children's book by the end of the summer. Interestingly enough, teaching and children's books have a lot in common. Both are commonly perceived as jobs that anyone off the street could do. You look at a children's book and you wonder what's holding you back from writing a 25 page story about something as simply insane as any Dr. Seuss book (a cat in a hat?). I thought that too, but I got an aptly-named book last year called The Complete Idiot's Guide To Publishing Children's Books. Evidently, it's an extremely competitive industry. The book stresses over and over again that it's not a pathway for becoming rich and famous, but possibly a way to make a semi-decent living. It's actually sort of depressing to read, thinking that something you put so much time and effort into will statistically never go anywhere beyond your desk.
But I've always had a feeling that I need to sit down and write the book that's been in my mind, published or not. It's one of those "you never know unless you try" situations. It might just be a release for me at the end of the school day. It might just be to say hey, I made a children's book, I didn't think I would ever actually do it. It might be reduced to a line on a resume or a page in a portfolio. I know I need to create it, I just don't know why yet.

Thursday, January 2 at 2:08 PM


Okay Samurai Multimedia is Dave Werner's personal site. I'm currently working at Minor Studios in San Francisco. Thanks for visiting! (more...)


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Zack Klein: ZackKlein.com
Katie Kosma: Flying Conundrum
Peter Lada: Proxima Labs
Josh Levin: Nothing Learned
Larry Luk: Epidemik Coalition
Mike Mates: Urban Influence
Alison Matheny: Life of a Harpy
Turi McKinley: Turi Travels
Alaa-Eddine Mendili: Furax
John Nack: John Nack on Adobe
Allen Orr: Anthem In
Scott Paterson: sgp7
Joe Peng: MacConcierge
Paavo Perkele: Astudios
Brian Perozo: Ephekto
Jason Puckett: Everyday Puck
Kate Ranson-Walsh: Thinkradical
Tania Rochelle: Stone's Colossal Dream
Angela Sailo: Peanut Butter Toast
Mohit SantRam: Santram.net
Dan Savage: Something Savage
Kevin Scarbrough: Thin Black Glasses
Scott Schiller: Schillmania
Jason Severs: JasonSevers.com
Anthony Sheret: Work By Lunch
Nick Skyles: Boats and Stars
Sujay Thomas: iSujay
Joe Tobens: JospehTobens.com
David Ulevitch: Substantiated.info
John Verhine: Verhine.com
Armin Vit: Under Consideration
Ian Wharton: IanWharton.com
Roger Wong: One Great Monkey
Clay Yount: Rob and Elliot Comics
Jack Zerby: Jack Zerby Music



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