Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Animated Thoughts: Dreams and visions

It's been an odd month.

I had two very vivid dreams about Erik in the span of a week and they pretty much set the tone for the month. They were those dreams we all have once in a blue moon: very, very rare, but feel so real, so visceral that they are completely set apart from the usual dreams we have.

The first was pretty short. Erik and I were in a spacious room and he was talking about his divorce (which is odd given that other than mentioning that he was divorced, he never spoke about it around me). At the end of the conversation, he leaned in and said "Chicken wings". I have absolutely no idea what that meant in the context of the dream, or of our overall friendship. But I did have chicken wings for dinner that Friday night, just in case. They were excellent.

The second is a little harder to describe. Similar location but I don't remember what we were discussing. I think that Erik was going to make some big life change, and it wasn't like he was looking for approval or anything, just sort of "this is what I'm doing next" or "if I don't do it now, I never will" kinds of things. At the end of the dream, I remember giving him a hug and trying to warn him that he was going to die of cancer in a couple years. And that's where the dream ended.

I don't know what these dreams mean. Maybe they don't mean anything, just random neurons firing while we sleep. But I guess if you put my feet to the fire though, to me, I think they mean that I miss my friend and I may be a little resentful about the potential years of friendship that were stolen from us.

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Animated People: Evelyn Lambart

Today, July 23rd, is Canadian animator Evelyn Lambart's birthday and the NFB is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this amazingly talented woman of animation.

If you're interested in learning more about Evelyn and her work at the NFB, I encourage readers to check out this blog post at the NFB website written by Carolyne Weldon: Evelyn Lambart | Watch 6 Stunning Shorts by the First Lady of Canadian Animation.

Shared from the National Film Board of Canada's Facebook post:

'"Join us in celebrating Evelyn Lambart's birthday! Hired by the NFB in 1942 to animate the maps featured in our "The World In Action" series, she quickly became a master of paint-on-glass animation. Before striking it out on her own, she worked alongside Norman McLaren, animating several of his most famous films."

Revisit her filmography for free today → bit.ly/EvelynLambartNFB'

I hope that you'll use the link above and take time today to revisit a film or two from Evelyn's filmography.

Here's one of my personal favorites from her library of films, 1968's cut-out animation Fine Feathers:

'Fine Feathers', 'Evelyn Lambart', provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Animated Thoughts: Erik Timmerman

Erik kept an eye on the players in the Rochester area. 

Being as we were smack dab in the land of Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, Hewlett-Packard, and dozens of companies that served the imaging industry, it was natural that many of his students worked in the area--both before and after graduation. 

One day, Erik mentioned a local multimedia company in Rochester that we should stay away from. He stated that some of the principles in charge of the company had a serious drug problem that led them to engage in questionable behavior like using company income to support their drug habit. His message received, we all looked for employment elsewhere.

A year or so later, one of my coworkers at the RIT Research Corporation took a job with that company. Who she hired on with was unbeknownst to me. At the time, all I knew was that she had left for a "better" business opportunity. Well, within about six months, she was rehired at the RITRC. 

When I asked her what happened, she told horror stories of the company having money problems, unrealistic deadlines and expectations, a pattern of unethical behavior, and an overall toxic work environment that caused her to become so stressed that her hair started falling out. It turns out that the company was the one that Erik had warned us to avoid at all costs. While she and I were on good terms, we weren't exactly "that" close, so finding out all this after the fact wasn't out of the ordinary. However, I still wish I had known at the time where she was moving to, that way I could've passed on Erik's warning and saved her a lot of heartache.

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