My favorite project from May 2020, the nucleus logo animation.
My favorite project from May 2020, the nucleus logo animation.
Will you take a moment with me to remember the sweet John Prine? The sort of songwriter I wish I could have been.
My latest home record, titled by date. Many more at https://soundcloud.com/regularhands/ . Enjoy!
It has been about seven weeks since California was directed to close businesses and practice social distancing on February 28. It has been the same time since I voluntarily left my job. In an event of incredibly coincidental timing, I resigned late in February, foregoing my primary income and health insurance. Why did I do that? I’ll explain that later, maybe. For now, I want to comment honestly on how the current covid crisis is affecting me. It will be important in the coming months, with an approaching U.S. Presidential election and a world in collective recovery, for all perspectives to be accessible. This is mine.
In late February, I found myself in a community already in trauma. Los Angeles was still feeling the shock from the news of Kobe Bryant’s unforeseeable passing. Many of us in terror of the increasing recklessness of our President; saddened by the Senate’s failure to remove him from office in January. I stopped taking in any news. My hopes of truly participating in democratic decision making were breaking – with a March 3 Primary election approaching. I had been making small donations to the Bernie Sanders campaign and attended a fund raising event for him in Hollywood on Feb 26. That night, my [ride share service] driver asked if I was concerned about ‘coronavirus.’ I said no – comparing the episode to be what I considered at the time to be politically motivated propaganda, strategically timed to interfere with voter turnout. I spent that evening in a crowded Hollywood venue. Went in to the office the next day, and had a conference call with my then boss, fundamentally disagreeing with him enough to leave the company. Yes, bad timing. The evening after that, while assessing my options in a Westwood bar, I learned about the six foot distancing recommendations, which were generally going ignored. Later I learned that all bars and restaurants were closing indefinitely at 11.
As the news of ‘coronavirus’ and the restrictions on business, travel, and gathering became clear to me, I realized my options for finding new employment would dramatically decline. National unemployment numbers were rising, and continue to. Fortunately I had by then prepared myself logistically to work from home and freelance until the next big job appeared. So I’ve been here, in my apartment, socially distancing, obeying my self imposed production schedule, taking time for exercise, practice, and work – with occasional store trips and morning runs. I’m not averse to spending days like this; I know how to awaken the introvert within.
I imagine many people feel the way I do now –more appreciative of a functioning and reciprocal economy. If I want to succeed, I need others to. Success in this moment is unadorned survival. In time we will regain our ability to meet and work together. Right now, though, is a logical opportunity to center ourselves, sharpen our skills, and strengthen our personal infrastructure while the threat subsides. There is always useful work that can be done within. Within our homes, within our selves. Our goal moving forward should be to build a more sustainable lifestyle –remaining civil yet becoming harmonious. Our approach to food, work, and travel need revision.
I’m fortunately prepared to weather this storm for a little while before I feel the financial heat. I’m hopeful and optimistic there is something ‘essential’ I can contribute now and in the emerging economy. I’m not fearful of scarcity, but I acknowledge it’s real potential. No one is immune to the shortages that may arise. However we can cultivate an abundance of resources if we content ourselves with the work ahead.
My current resolution is to stay calm at home and reduce the spread in my small capacity–continuing to learn and work here. Our leaders in government have clearly made mistakes handling the problem, but I forgive them at the moment, because it is such a difficult problem to face, and I have only gratitude for any person directly engaged in working to alleviate that problem. I am not pleased that Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Presidential race in the midst of this, and I don’t think he would have were it not for covid. It made the rallies and fundraising he needed to win more states impossible. That is an effect perhaps more long lasting than the temporary employment shortage. I’m sad that so many people have died. Isn’t death the worst? I feel there is a responsibility to socially-distance ourselves to prevent deaths and the unpleasant complications caused by covid for others. I had a 12 hour fever and a cough last month. Whatever happens politically or economically, I remain directly responsible for my own well being.
Overall I’m hopeful but uncertain. How has covid effected you?
I’ve been reading a book called ‘Yoga Nidra‘ and there is a lot of interesting ideas in it. I’ve learned that what I used to think of as ‘letting my mind wander’ as a child, is actually an ancient yogic practice, and is really a spontaneous activity of the relaxed mind. The images and visions are called ‘samskaras.’ That sounds correct and appropriate somehow.
It’s a good book. It is scientific in it’s explanation of how the yogic practice affects the body, nervous system, etc. It also recommends many practices that I had developed on my own, but didn’t know they were so well documented. Like visualizing the day at the end of it, to help ease into Yoga Nidra, and other techniques.
It’s available on archive.org for free and I highly recommend it.
You want your AE projects to render faster, so you amp up your disk cache allocation. That speeds things up, but now your disk is actually filling up with all that cache, creating a new problem.
You can just delete your disk cache in After Effects preferences UI, or go to ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/’After Effects’/16.0/ (16.0, or whatever version of AE you’re actually using) and delete it there. These both take several steps. And I want to save you some steps. So I made this script called kachekleaner that gets in there and deletes your after effects disk cache.
I put scripts like this on my OSX Dock, and they run with a single click. You really only want to clear that cache in between projects, and not during one. It won’t hurt anything, you would just have to re-render your un-cached project if you wanted to preview it again.
For clarity and quality control, this is the actual one line script, which is also attached in the zip. If the file is not ‘Unix Executable’ on your device, change it’s permissions to 755:
rm -r ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/'After Effects'/16.0/*
Click here to download the script.
I’ve been spending most days in Santa Monica, designing ads at Tremor Video DSP, and doing coursework at SMC. This summer I was convinced to join Promo Pathway and have just finished the first round of classes. I’m starting new coursework in editing, writing, and producing today.
I quit selling coffee. I did not quit drinking it.
Getting ready to VOTE by mail here in the next few days. I am definitely in the research phase, that I need to speed up. Generally it looks like we have an opportunity to update rent control here in California with Prop 10, and that seems important. It will probably be too late to save me, but it is a problem that needs attention.
I have a respectable Halloween costume lined up, really just a mask combination, but it works with my usual attire.
My personal routine is about to change. For nearly a year, I’ve worked as a barista in a coffee shop. I have thrived there, and came to enjoy customer service for it’s structure and personal contact with the public. Time spent, and I’ve remembered my appreciation for work that is done away from the open front door.
Now, I’m beginning a role as an interactive designer with a company that manages and distributes digital advertising (so is my current understanding of what this company does). I’m excited, and very grateful these people saw value in the portfolio and experience I have shown. Intrinsic to their industry, and the company’s specific offering, is the demonstration of results. I intend to approach this work with as much sincerity and diligence as I can summon.
Prior to my time at the coffee shop, I had fulfilled the office worker’s fantasy of throwing the tie out the window and hitting the road. Aloft with the necktie were a significant revenue stream, professional momentum, and a sense of purpose. I have been making a gradual comeback, beginning with coffee and a few refresher courses in design and production. Re-entering an established creative space is a significant milestone for me on that path.
Part of my strategy to make this endeavor a sustainable one is to remain a barista on weekends; steaming lattes, mopping the floor, facing people and serving them. I believe that will keep me feeling humble and appreciative of both employers. The two jobs are so different, I believe I’ll alternatingly look forward to work on Mondays and Saturdays.