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Joie de Vivre

2023

This year was a very full year! What blessings and adventures 2023 brought! I like to enumerate blessing at the end of the year, and in the case of 2023, I’ve written about most of what follows in previous posts.

It began with my solo show at the Hamilton Gallery, and the music release that coincided with it. It felt good to cap off the pandemic time with a show containing materials from that time.

Recorded Music

In February, I released A Chop of the Old Block. I also participated in Woolly’s random music collaborations twice. Woolly owns and operates the the Philadelphia based Champion Leccy pedal company, and has become an acquaintance. I liked the deadlines of the project, but I discovered a personal preference for making music by myself, or with my daughters and/or friends.

My interest in pedals and effects continued to burn strongly in 2023. I picked up two Boss standards: theRE-2 Space Echo Delay and the DD-8 Digital Delay. I got the Squier Bass VI working, and happened into some new affordable Ibanez gear. More with these in 2024.

I also began teaching again. In the spring, I was asked to teach an introduction to animation class at UMBC, and web design at Towson University. I agreed to both. It was a colossal amount of work, but I’m glad I did it. I then taught Web design at Towson in the fall, and loved it.

I very much enjoyed the students, and I’m so glad to be teaching at Towson. I love being back in the Fine Arts building on campus.

Portugal

We took the trip of a lifetime to Portugal. It’s the longest trip I’ve taken, and it was wonderful.

Races

We completed the St. Patty’s day 5k, the sole of the city 10k, the Charles street 12 miler, the Baltimore half marathon, and the NCR tail half marathon. That includes three 12+ mile races this past fall! Golly!

Live Music

This was an incredible year for live music. We got to see Fishbone twice, (and even sat next to Angelo’s wife and MIL), the Residents, Battles, Violent Femmes, John Scofield, Nate Smith, Nita Strauss and Wolfgang Van Halen. Best of all, I spent a day with Steve Vai.

Steve Vai and myself

Animation

The year began slowly for animation, in that I was mostly teaching it, and not doing much of it. But, toward the end of the spring, I began working on Brains a postmodern Prometheus story. I’m really proud of this one. It took over two months of really hard work. It’s screened at 9 festivals to date, starting with the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival. Brains picked up a few awards, too.

Sweaty Eyeballs was fantastic. I got to contribute a 2 second animation for the signal film, which was a big honor for me. I spent hours with Issac King, Joanna Priestly and Paul Herrod. It was wonderful.

Following up on Brains, I made Magus Incognito. It’s based on one of my favorite reads, The Kybalion. I figured I would animate this over months in the spring, but then, as these things happen, I decided on a 77 second version of the film.

I was invited to submit a film to this years Spark exhibition, and it was able to projected across three windows at the Peale museum.

The Books of 2023

Large pile of books in a book store

Beverly and I have continued our book club, although we’ve missed some regularly scheduled meetings in favor of just talking about books all the time.

I discovered Kathy Reichs in a very unorganized used book shop in Portugal (image above), and mostly began my reading journey there. I hadn’t had much time because of teaching. I really like T. Kingfisher.

Here’s my reading list for 2023.

  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  • The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
  • Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design by Steven Heller
  • The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt
  • A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
  • The Closers (Harry Bosch, #11; Harry Bosch Universe, #14) by Michael Connelly
  • The Crossing (Harry Bosch, #18; Harry Bosch Universe, #27) by Michael Connelly
  • The Burning Room (Harry Bosch, #17; Harry Bosch Universe, #26) by Michael Connelly
  • End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3) by Stephen King
  • The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
  • Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2) by Stephen King
  • Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) by Stephen King
  • Heaven No Hell by Michael DeForge
  • Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher,
  • An Improvisor’s OS, v.2 by Wayne Krantz
  • Disruptions: Stories by Steven Millhauser
  • The Woman Who Killed the Fish by Clarice Lispector
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan, #3) by Kathy Reichs
  • Ten Planets: Stories by Yuri Herrera
  • Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2) by Kathy Reichs
  • Déjà Dead (Temperance Brennan, #1) by Kathy Reichs
  • Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
  • Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams by Sam Kieth
  • Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  • The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams
  • How to Make a Monster: Ugly Memories of Chicago from a South Side Escapee by Casanova Frankenstein
  • Dr. No by Percival Everett

Finally, I past the 1000th blog post on this site! I’m tremendously grateful for WordPress, web publishing, and this space. The web has changed enormously since I started using WordPress, and I still love using it.

Happy New Year, everyone. My you be blessed with prosperity, health and happiness.