I know I should probably come up with something better than excuses and complaints to start my Blog posts with, but once again I apologize for the shortage of posts. Once again, I find myself stretched a little thin these days, and even more so than usual. Over the course of the last week or so, work has gone from incredibly busy to ridiculously busy, and we’ve been told to prepare for roughly 4-6 weeks of crunch mode, which means long hours at the office pretty much daily, and possible weekend work. Given the fact that I’m generally not making it home from work much before 8 on any given day lately, that isn’t leaving a whole lot of time for Blogging. I’ve been fortunate that throughout most of my professional career I’ve managed to avoid having to deal with a true crunch mode situation, so this is definitely taking a bit of getting used to. Then again, it seems like you’re frequently hearing stories of people working sixteen-hour days for months at a time only to find a pink slip waiting at the finish line (see also: why I don’t test video games.) so if we’re going by that standard I really don’t have much to complain about.
On the plus side, I do still get paid by the hour, so a lot of extra hours means a lot of overtime. Of course, with all the time I tend to spend traveling lately it does all seem to even out eventually. Me and my friend have those Disneyland annual passes burning holes in our pockets (well not literally, but I’m sure the Imagineers are working on it) so we should be making it down to California at least a couple more times this year, and thanks to some really good prices for the weeks before Christmas, we’re also looking to take a nice long two-week vacation, including a 10-day Caribbean cruise that would visit several islands I haven’t been to before. There’s still a few logistical challenges I need to work out on that, but considering the fact that I haven’t had the opportunity to take a nice long vacation like that in, well, ever, the prospect of being able to do so is definitely appealing.
Meanwhile back in the real world, it’s Summertime now, and The Fourth of July is just a couple of days away now. As I believe I’ve mentioned previously, I ended up picking up a few fireworks for a relatively modest show and/or causing an Apocalypse or two. Admittedly, I might have had just a little bit of trouble fitting everything into the trunk (this isn’t even all of it) and spent just a little more than I had planned on, but it should all be worth it when it all gets burned off in spectacular fashion over the course of around 45 minutes or so, leaving a smoldering pile of cardboard in its wake, right? In the meantime I’ve been driving carefully, trying to make sure something like this doesn’t happen:
(Actually, I offloaded most of this shortly before I got it, so my car should be (mostly) safe. Just don’t rear-end me unless you’ve got a good reason for it OK?)
In the meantime, the latest addition to my growing collection of Disney art arrived a couple of weeks ago. This one is entitled “Donald’s Better Self”, and is a print of two different paintings by Pop artist Allison Lefcort based on a 1938 Donald Duck cartoon of the same name which features Donald’s conscience and anti-conscience contending with each other to steer Donald toward doing good or bad (you should be able to find it on YouTube without too much trouble.) I actually bought it from the art auction on the cruise back in May, and even though it contributed heavily to my spending a lot more on that cruise than I had planned, I thought the piece was just too cool to pass up. It goes well with my character sketch of Donald flipping out (link goes to a slightly old and dusty photo) and looks pretty cool by itself as well. I suppose by now I should know better than to buy artwork off of cruise ships, but I thought this one was just too cool to pass up.
Speaking of character sketches, I’m not sure if I posted this one or not, but here is the latest one I added to my collection on my Disneyland trip back in April. This one features the three hitchhiking ghosts (named Phineas, Ezra and Gus) that follow you home from your visit to the Haunted Mansion to make sure you come back once you’ve become slightly less mortal. This brings my total for these up to five now, representing four visits to Disneyland (I used to get one on every visit, but buy them slightly less often since I started getting Annual Passes) and one visit to Walt Disney World. I’m starting to run out of spots to hang them up in the bedroom, so I might need to start moving some of these out into the living room. Which would probably give me a good excuse to move Cruella De Vil somewhere a little less creepy. Seriously, what was I thinking hanging that one directly above my bed anyway?
Other recent acquisitions of functionally useless but interesting stuff include these two pieces. The one on the left was purchased in a shop of Chinese art and knickknacks in Vancouver’s Chinatown following the cruise in May, and really doesn’t have much to do with anything aside from being really colorful and looking nice. The big brass ship was an impromptu birthday gift from my girlfriend after it was spotted in a thrift shop. Surprisingly, I recognized it pretty quickly as it appears to be a piece made by Dan Zunterstein, a local metal artist whose work I recognize from several appearances at the 6th Street Fair during Bellevue’s Art Fair weekend (which happens to be coming up in just a few weeks again.) I actually considered buying a significantly smaller one of these last year at the fair for quite a bit more than this one cost, so I’d say I lucked out on this one. Again, not particularly practical, but I like the way it looks. And yes, I probably need to dust off that shelf…
Anyway, that is a sampling of some of the various crud I have accumulated recently. Given the fact that I’m going to be living in my relatively small apartment for at least another year, and that I spend enough time complaining about not having space for things as is, I probably need to stop doing so much of this. Oh well, that’s what I get for being easily distracted by bright shiny objects, I suppose.