February 29, 2000


A New Toy


I've had every intention of posting for the past three days, but I got distracted with a new toy: Flash. Check out what I did to my little S logo in the top right corner up there. That's last night's entry writing time.

I was putting together a lame web page teasing a film my brother Terrence is making next month and what I first came up with -- red letters on a black screen -- just sort of laid there and needed a little something to punch it up. A little movement, specifically. I knew Flash could do what I had in mind, so I started noodling around with a copy I'd scrounged up awhile back... And here we are four days later.

Oh my God, this is an amazing program. I've only scratched the surface of it and I'm already haranguing Beth in bed at night with "Guess what else it can do!" I'm so taken with it that she has started rolling her eyes when she sees me coming because she knows I'm going to talk about it some more. I don't quite know why I think it's so cool, but it is blowing my shit away.

What amazes me most about it is how small the files are. My S logo animation? 5k. Tiny. By comparison, the html file that makes up this page that you're reading -- a text only file -- is 12k. I've seen other Flash files, movies that are three and four minutes long, that are smaller than most journals' logo graphics. It's truly amazing.

But you're not here for the geekspeak, are you? No, you want the intimate details of my seamy, sordid life. Well... okay. I think I'll do this stream of consciousness style, though, so I can ignore those pesky transitions.

(Later: I made these rolling divider animations after I wrote this entry. Cool, eh? Stop me, I'm a Flasher!)

Zoe's favorite cartoon right now is PowerPuff Girls. It's mine, too. Made of sugar and spice and everything nice -- and Professor Utonium's accidental spilling of Chemical X -- they're my favorite superheros. "We fight crime." "That's what we do." "Duh."

In my CD player right now is Kevin Gilbert's The Shaming Of The True. It's a rock opera, very much in the flavor of Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and Duke, about the career of a musician named Johnny Virgil. I didn't like it much on first listen, but it's grown on me more and more to the point that it's the CD of choice when I'm on the road and the MP3 of choice when I'm here at the computer. Favorite lyric from the album -- from the song Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men): "You sound like Air Supply meets GWAR, in a good way."

In health news, I've been sick since... Well, I'm not sure when. I know I had this thing back in December when I went to Austin, and I'd already had it for awhile before that. What it is is something so stupid I'm almost embarrassed to say: I've had a stuffy nose. Yeah, I know: boo hoo. Well, before you boo hoo too hard, you try mouth-breathing for three months straight and see how you like it.

I finally saw the doc today, who stated the obvious: "You have inflamed nasal passages." Duh. He's got me on steroids now, and a disgusting 4-times-daily regimen of mucus thinning agents applied via -- get this -- a nasal douche.

Then, as a parting gift, he also told me I have a deviated septum. Lovely. Me and Linda Rondstat, septal deviants in arms.

Beth's been watching Once and Again, so in the interests of marital harmony I let her hold the remote while it's on. I've watched bits of it here and there, not enough to really get all the characters and what it's about, but enough to draw one conclusion: Sela Ward = Major Hottie. Oh, momma!

Beth and I like to joke about various attractive celebs "If so and so calls, I'll have to leave you for him/her." It'll never happen, of course, but we pretend it might. Every dog has his day, after all. You never know.

Sela. Call me. My wife said it's okay.

Zoe's birthday is coming up soon. Four years ago today Beth and I were at the hospital for yet another labor false alarm, and for awhile there it looked like Zoe might be a Leap Baby. I was really disappointed when it didn't happen.

I wanted her to be a Leap Baby so I could be "funny" as she grows up: "I'm sorry, Zoe, but you don't get a birthday this year. You were born on February 29th, and that only happens every four years. Sorry, kid, dem's de breaks." This would have played right into my plan to be an embarrassment to her as she grows up.

All children are embarrassed by their parents to some extent, I think, but I'm looking forward to taking it to the next level. I'm going to be Nightmare Dad. Embarrassing Dad. "Oh God, Here Comes My Dad, I Hope He Doesn't Talk To Me While My Friends Are Here" Dad. I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I do have a few things planned:

  • Zoe will be allowed to date when she's 18 -- and the boys will have to pay a deposit. Get her home on time, get your deposit back; get her home late and it's mine.
  • When her friends come to visit, I will answer the door wearing either droopy boxer shorts or polyester slacks hiked up to my chin.
  • Two words: parent chaperone

It's going to be fun.