dimanche, octobre 31, 2010

Blessed Samhain


For many pagans, Samhain ist the most important observance in the year. It is certainly for me. The celebration of autumn, pumpkins, the otherworld and our dear departed is the very highlight in my year's circle.
To all my friends and readers a blessed and happy Samhain

samedi, octobre 30, 2010

Home!

Yes, I am at home, in France!
Yesterday, I putted together an itinerary using the infos about alternate transporting available to bypass the strikes. It resulted in a 6 hour journey with Buses, extremely slow local trains and waitings at stations, but hey! I made it.
I will spend Samhain with mom and cats.
During my trip, I was amazed to see how many people were totally lost and in panic over trains that they wanted to take but didn't go. Well, it's not like they strike since yesterday only, everybody talks about it, so it might be a good idea to check out the trains on the internet before actually start travelling...
Anyway. I went home and discovered that Benni and Winzy had grown a lot. Boy, they are almost big cats now.

jeudi, octobre 28, 2010

Approaching Samhain

Samhain is approaching and I have to slowly face the fact that I will probably spend it alone in Basel. Trains are still on strike, at least those I would need. There's one last chance tomorrow.
Not that Samhain in Basel is bad, but I will be alone, not with my mom and not with the cats. I have deeply mixed feelings. For one, I really long to go home to see them all again, but in the other hand, my mom is telling me that there is real heavy hooning at home these days, so that I am also happy about every day I do not have to stay there. I really don't know  how I will deal with the noise, once I am back. Sometimes I panic here in Basel when I hear a sound that's like a motorcycle, even though its only a far away plane in the sky. But my heart beats like a locomotive and I tremble and sweat.

The house-selling project is also pretty stuck. We had one visit from interested people during all those weeks. They liked the house but were shocked when I had to tell them that this village doesn't have any store or something.
I tried to get in contact with some real-estate agencies, but they all refused , without even seeing the house. It's the village itself. A nearly empty flat with almost more houses for sale than residents, with for only "entertainement",  the hooners.
This week, My mom finally had the visit of an agency. First, they were pretty arrogant and said that it would not be possible to sell the object for the price we want - until my mom showed them the barn. Then they understood that it is in fact a little farm and not just a house. They then accepted to try to sell at our price and said that they will email us the contract. Didn't get it yet.
Anyway, I am not optimistic. Real estate prices are constantly falling and experts say that it may getting worse, for the market in France is totally overrated. It will implode soon.  Funny thing is, I can observe how the houses I would potentially buy getting cheaper and cheaper.  So maybe, I will even be able to just save the funds for a new house, without having to sell the old one. Its not a big, but probably the only chance.

samedi, octobre 23, 2010

New paths

Still no End if the strikes in sight.
Meanwhile I am working very hard on my usual projects. And a new one, a commission. This one is interesting, because I have to try out new ways and techniques. It's a lot of brainy work, but the results are interesting. That's the good thing with works for a  third party: You are forced to leave your usual paths and try out new ones.
It gives me ideas for other and other projects, but I have to be careful not to lose myself in the amount of ideas. One step after another.
Unfortunately my Computer-chair here in Basel is all but ergonomic. It gives me a hell of a pain in the neck and the back. The one in France is not really better, but not as awful as this one. Gotta look for a new chair as soon as I can spare a few bucks for it.

mardi, octobre 19, 2010

Waiting...

A cold and dark day, here in Basel. Therefore I reduced my outside time to the things I had to do and spent the rest inside, working.   Mom is giving me news from home via email and she said that all station services in the area are out of fuel. People start to *sell* what they may have left in their jerrycans for the lawn-mower and so on. I call this black market...And the government is still telling us that there's no shortage of any kind and hat the strike has barely any effect on daily life. My ass!
My mom took the bus this morning to go shopping especially for enough cat food. It may have been the last tour of that bus too, so far. Well, at least she now has all she and our animals need at home. I have all I need here too, so I guess we are still  pretty lucky in a difficult situation. At least we don't live in those areas with riots.
Wonder how things will evolve when parliament passes that law next Wednesday. Either the strikes will increase, either the protesters will give up.

dimanche, octobre 17, 2010

Strike!

I wanted to travel back home tomorrow. All was prepared and packed. But...with all the news about the strikes in France, I thought it might be wise to do a search on the net. And there - My train will not be in service. Strike! Did I say how much I HATE it when my plans are cancelled by third party?


Still better than taking the train to Belfort and then get left stuck there like an idiot...
Strike in France is about the governments plans to raise the age of retirement up to 62. Its 60 now. I would also prefer to be 60 when I (hopefully) will get something back from the considerable amount of money I have to pay monthly for my retirement. So I should be grateful for being hindered in my plans.

samedi, octobre 16, 2010

Well meaned Fake

I am usually an admirer of Greenpeace, but their latest action is something I can't agree to.

See this Video:


To say it straight out: This speech is a fake. An existing speech has been altered to create a speech that never was. It's a pretty well done fake - and that's the problem. Some people may take it for real. A lot of people, I'm afraid.
Supporters of this video claim that all while the speech itself may be a fake, it's in JFK's spirit and that he would agree to the given statements. Well yes, very probably.

I would have been perfectly fine with a drawing or other work that is recognizable as art / fiction , portraying JFK taking a stand for renewable Energy. But this is History Falsification.
I don't understand it anyway: There are several authentic Quotes from JFK regarding environmental themes, that can be used to support contemporary activism. Of course, terms like "global climate Change" were not of current use in JFK's time, so these quotes may not match todays issue word by word. But still, they are universal and powerful enough to provide Inspiration and strength even in our days. Really, in my opinion there's no need to falsify history. What do you think?

vendredi, octobre 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 WATER

One of my favorite Quotes from JFK:


"All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came."


When signing the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments.July 20, 1961


"I think it is very important to all of us in this generation to pass on and perhaps even better the position of all the natural resources that we have, and this is particularly true with water." 



mercredi, octobre 13, 2010

I can't get no satisfaction

My creative readers probably know the phenomenon: Sometimes, all what you produce seem to be not good enough. I restarted 3 times over the SAME animation. JFK running. It's not a task this hard, but for some obscure reason, I wasn't able to do it in a halfway acceptable way. This drives me nuts! But now, I think, the third attempt is okay. At least, I hope...
When you are working too much and too long on a piece of art, it becomes rotten. All what I aspire is to finish this hell of a scene and finally start on the next. Its like running against a wall!

samedi, octobre 09, 2010

Memory Lane

Today I took a long walk trough Basel. Again, I visited sites known from my childhood. My old way to school. I was in a lot of other schools later of course, for I grew up not only in Basel. But this was the first one and therefore will remain something special, for ever. In the past months I had a many dreams that brought me back in this time and space, dreams that always created a sensation of happiness, hard to describe. It was very special for me to walk these roads again, for real. Said sensation of inner happiness emerged and worked like a drug. 



These walks on "Memory lane" are also part my effort to follow an advice JFK gave me. He said that when working with dreams, I should not only recall their content and  messages, for any recall is always a memory from memory, hence only "second hand". But I shall try to remember the feeling they created. For the feeling is the only thing really authentic. I practiced a bit and discover this as a true source of inspiration and motivation.

The above forest probably looks totally normal and boring for everyone. To me, it is the forest which contains most of my deepest secrets and memories. Since decades, this patch of wood keeps reappearing in my dreams, and probably ever will. So this photo could be as well be a photo taken straight in my subconsciousness.

The backyard of my old school. Behind the windows of the basement was the handworking class-room.
The pines in the background left are part a little wood where I played.
The way from school to home is named Galgenhügel Promenade - which means "Gallows Hill Lane"  -  nice name, isn't it? But it was appropriate. The road is both dark and fascinating. It crosses the above described forest of secrets.

After that I went home and worked a bit on the Movie.

vendredi, octobre 08, 2010

Nobel Prize

Okay, that was unexpected. Nobel Prize for Liu Xiaobo, this kicks asses!
After a couple of questionable Winners in the past, especially in the "peace" category, finally a real worthy winner again. Most of the western governments crouch before the Chinese dictatorship these days, because of the economical power of the country. The prize spits them coward appeasement-politicians in the face and places a big pile of shit at the door of the Chinese leaders.

A courageous decision in favor of a courageous man.




The art of Culture

When you grow up as bilingual, people tend to think that this means that you speak two languages just as your mother tongue, meaning equally good. The truth is often less brilliant, for it may  only mean that you speak none of them really accurately. 
Both is true for me. When I was between 15 and 35 I wrote and spoke German and French fluently and was also able to write stories in both languages. 
Since then, my German is declining. Especially since I stopped being active in the German Comic Community.

Not only do I have more and more to dig out  "the right" word, but I am also loosing the sense for the appropriate use of words. Just translating 1:1 definitely doesn't do the job.
Recently, there was an apparently big misunderstanding when I used the word "culture" (in German). To me, there was nothing to be misunderstood, but apparently, the other took it in a completely different way than I intended and therefore obviously didn't understand my whole statement. It was not the first time that this happened to me, especially with the word "culture" . In German,  it's as dangerous to use it as the word "art". Here too, the word is of common use in French and makes no statement whether or not it's "good" art. In German, the using of the word seems to be reserved for what is widely accepted as "good" art. Therefore, I prefer to speak of "work" when I talk about my art, in order to prevent people seeing me as an  Impostor. 

Even if one keeps up with reading and writing in a language, as long as you do not live in the area and interact with people on a daily base, you slowly disconnect with the evolving of the laws of metacommunication within the specific language. Sort of Chinese Room syndrome on a low level. Scary!
Just happy, it's not the other way: French language is literary overloaded with expressions and words that have a double-meaning and subtexts. This may explain why they are a lot more tolerant when you use a word  in a context that doesn't match their understanding of it... It may be a metaphorical use they didn't knew yet and don't want to out themselves as ignorants ;-)
Said tolerance of course only applies if you can speak French at all. If not, then you are screwed. Remember what French comedian Coluche said. "What I hate the most about foreign countries, they just don't speak french. And depending on the countries, they don't even speak the same foreigner!"

jeudi, octobre 07, 2010

Signs

Since Tuesday I am in Basel again and very busy. I was a bit worried whether I can accomplish all the things I had to do or not, due to my weakness from the blood problems. But I am doing quite well, I feel new strength in me and I think that whatever is wrong, it didn't get worse, but better. "The dragon" is also not rampaging anymore, since a whole couple of days!
So I can enjoy the beautiful warm days of golden October in town. Basel is so lovely at this season.

This morning I went past a street sign and discovered a strange inscription in the dust that's covering it:

"Kenedy" and "Pinokio"
Aside from the fact that the author of this inscription obviously has heavy Dyslexia, it's quite odd, isn't it?
What does this message mean?  How did the author get up there to write it, anyway? The sign is pretty high up in the air, I had to lift my hand up strongly in order to take the photo with the cell phone.
But things are even stranger: A couple of days ago, I dreamt that I wanted to see the Disney Movie "Pinnochio" in order to get inspired for my Kennedy Film, when it comes for the houses and backgrounds.

In my dream, I suddenly was within the Film itself and saw an overview of Venice in the dawn. It was so beautiful, that I started to cry.
Now, within my family tradition, crying in dreams is always a good sign. Seeing dawn, too. Therefore I was pretty pleased about that dream.
The above road-sign was like a reminder of this dream to me.

lundi, octobre 04, 2010

Gulp!

How a single scene works, is usually only revealed to you when loaded together with the other scenes. If the whole film flows nicely, visually as well as for the sound, then it is good. Until now, I was pretty happy with the final outcome on how the movie does when the scenes are connected and palyed in their right order. But now... Urgh! I face my first true mismatch!

End of Scene 106:

...hurts beginning of Scene 107:


JFK's pose is too similar - well of course, he is keeping doing the same thing he did on 106, but the changing of the camera's position hurts. Real bad. Arrg! Both scenes are good when seen individually, but when played together, the transition is just killing the viewers eyes. I will now try to add a very short scene for the in-between: the beast under water. I hope that the transition will work after that. 

samedi, octobre 02, 2010

Domain scammers

Received my Blood analysis results prescribed by the gynecologist today: they're pretty shit.
A lot of values are way beyond what they should be and most of all, an extremly low level of leukocytes.  So I was appalled the whole day. I did mostly what I like and what I was in the mood for. Sort of breaking out of the daily discipline. It did me good. I may should do more often such a day without fixed duties. Guess what? I'm gonna slacking around like this until my departing to Basel. Ha! I take this crap as an excuse to just spoil myself  a bit and to hell with all commitments.
The letter from the lab, telling me that I should be long dead normally, was not the only peculiar letter I received today: A Domain renewal group sent me an invoice for my domain www.cartes-de-visite.org, in order to "renew it for another year". Well, I was kind of surprised because:

* I know that my last annual payment wasn't that long ago.
* Said domain is hosted at another company.
* Price for a year was around 15 Euro - not 29 Euro.
* Normally, I receive my new invoices via email - from the company who hosts my site and domain.

Google is your friend. One single search yielded the information, that apparently, they send out thousands of those "invoices" to domain-owners all over France (and other countries) hoping that people are dumb enough to pay. When you pay, your domain will be moved to them and they will host it for much more money your former hosting company did.
I guessed a thing like that, but, yeah, good to know. Invoice made fine fire-lighting paper.
What surprises me, is that they *are* people who fall into that trap. Are there really? Probably. Or they wouldn't try it. Since a couple of years, according reports on the net.

Well, it was an interesting experience: Like most of us I am used to daily scam-attempts trough e-mail, but this was the first one I got via regular post.


vendredi, octobre 01, 2010

Dreambook 2011

As you may remember, I am doing a personal JFK-Dreambook, every year. Now, it is again time to prepare the one for next year. I have finished the cover and I am working on the inside pages right now.

As always, the cover has to be a collage of JFK, the moon and some dreamy background. As for the inside, added a few new features, such as 12 boxes into which I can write down the cards I had each night of the wild hunt.
It's quite a work, but it's worth the effort, since this book has become my closest personal item all over the year. It's much more than just a book to write down dreams with JFK or dreams in general. Wouldn't want yo miss it anymore.