A Tribute To Richard Condie

I have been meaning to do this one for quite some time. After my tribute to the artist Stephen Gammell, there has been so many hits on it I figured I should branch out to other artists I really like. So today I will be tipping the hat for Richard Condie, an artist who not only had a unique animation style but really captured the art of humanity. Growing up I would catch these cartoons from time to time and the absurdity of the characters kept my attention but it wasn’t until recently did I get the sociological lessons not only the characters played but the plot and setting too. They are smart, funny and at times bizarre but never dull.

Condie, a resident Canadian graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree and worked as an accomplished sociologist, musician and performer for a number of years. It wasn’t until 1971 when he was “fooling around” did he find his artistic outlet in the form of animation. Soon he made the short, Oh Sure thanks to a grant from the Canadian Counsel and it was later purchased by the National Film Board Of Canada. I’d say that was an ego boost to have your first film picked up.

I’m going to share some of my favorite shorts that Condie created. You have to keep an open mind because they are a little far out but that’s the magic. I’m so tired of the message of the story being handed to you. It always means more to me when it is hidden behind sentence fragments, strange voiced sound effects and characters that had to be created through drugs. Here’s the first one which is a later creation Richard did in 1991. The Apprentice:

I’m going to honest with you, I have no clue what that was about. But I do know I like it and that is all that matters. How often do you get to watch a cartoon and see a dragon burp up a dude’s head? Not often my friends and that is where the magic comes to life.

Condie’s creative animations also found a spot advertising for the Canadian Customs and Exercise Department warning travelers not to smuggle opera singing bird/gerbils. Now if the US government would get on board with ads like this I promise that the amount of smuggling, embezzlement, and international law bending would come to a halt. At least I would stop.

This one is my absolute favorite and the most memorable. It’s a great message about the absurdity of nuclear war, loving your spouse and sawing your cat. I love this to know extent and is the main reason I wanted to share Richard’s work with anyone who may have missed it. Here it is, The Big Snit:

“Always shaking your eyes!”

Since 1971, Richard Condie really has put Canada on the map for animation. His awards and accolades over the years have been in the hundreds and he has even been nominated for an Oscar and a Genie as well as many international film fest awards. There is no doubt he is one of the greats and once again, Canada has provided America with true comedy.

The Nothing

I think I am going to post some really random shit today. Maybe a little top 5 action like Allison rocked out on her recent blog. Or perhaps just some streaming thoughts about life. You guys know me. I’m a thinker and some days I just get carried away. It still blows my mind people read this. I can tell you for sure that no one listens to it. Many of my friends tell me that I ramble but lucky for me, they just let me go on. If I was stifled I am sure my head would explode straight off my shoulders from the amount of b.s. that had to get out. So here I go.

I hate coconut with a passion because in 1986 I ate an entire box of Girl Scout Samoa cookies. I was so sick the thought of coconut, cookies with a hole and the color purple from the box, makes me want to yarf on my lap.

If I accidentally bump my ankles together my knees give out. It happened in the mall may years ago. To this day I am aware of my stride in a public place.

When I was in Budapest, I won 100 Deutschmarks for eating a plate of scrambled eggs and a glass of tequila. The 100 Deutschmarks lasted one week. The nausea from that challenge is still with me, 7 years later.

Sharks have 8 times the memory of a cat. I find that surprising because I had a cat, and it only took one time for him to develop a fear of empty beer boxes.

I played little league for a few years. It was sad because I had a fear of baseballs.

I can’t eat alone at a restaurant. I get the over whelming feeling people feel sorry for me. I hate that.

Chewing gum makes my stomach growl. Still don’t know what is up with that.

The fattest dog in the world lives in my neighborhood. I thought the lady was walking a potbellied pig, but it turned out to be a short haired black dog. Here’s a picture. Sorry about the quality but it was hard to take and drive.

I have never watched a Word war II documentary without shedding a tear. Not one.

When I die, I hope Heaven is like this.

I was in a game of “punch bug” in the 8th grade. You know, you punch someone when you see a Volkswagon Beetle? I still punch myself in the arm every time I see one.

Speaking of random shit. While I was writing this, some dude’s car caught on fire in the parking lot!

Thanks for the entertainment, Mang!

Nirvana Coffee

Everybody has their spot. You know, the place where they go to be alone with their thoughts. Mine is at Nirvana Coffee. I have gotten a few emails asking me what inspires a lot of this streaming abstract and randomness that I post here on VeggieMacabre. Well, I’ll be honest with you, it’s the fact I tuck myself in a corner and stare off into space. So in essence, it all is derived from my head as I look at this. I hope that doesn’t scare those who asked but it is the truth. By the way, you can ask on the comment section. I won’t be mad at ya!

The people here are so wonderful. I get here after my morning swim at 5:00 and the sweet lady always gives me coffee on the house. I’ve become the morning regular and I hope that is not a sad thing. Sometimes the baker will swing by my table and drop off a cookie for me to try out. He likes to run them by me first before he puts them out for sale. I have to admit I’m not the critic he probably needs because unless there is coconut in them I will always pump his ego with a compliment followed by an exclamation mark. Seriously, free coffee and cookies? Is there anything better?

So this is what I look at to begin my day. Do you notice the facade of productivity I have created? To passer byers I look like I am on the cusp of greatness as I diligently type away but really I am snooping around your blogs, leaving my two cents on your comment section and writing about bees and Airwolf. If only they knew.

I do have busy days and more days than not I have to do the grown up stuff. I do cherish the times like this morning when I can watch the sun rise as I drink coffee, laugh reading about your lives, and have moments of inspiration from deep thoughts. But my deep thoughts aren’t crazy ones. I know I am not because crazy people don’t know they are. Now if only the corduroy bear would stop talking to me.

Oh, one more thing. It’s Laurie Kendrick’s birthday! Make sure you swing by and tell her Happy B-Day! She is just aces in my book.

Wisdom Of My Father

I consider my Dad to be the most intelligent man I have ever met. He is unshakable under pressure, quiet in demeanor, genuine with every word he speaks and carries himself with such a command of presence you can not help but feel awe inspired just to be near him. When he shakes your hand he looks you in the eye but really you feel as if he is looking at your soul. His strength is matched only by his compassion for others and his integrity is commutual to few, most being historical figures of inspiration. I do not fear death near as much as I fear disappointing him but even if, he forgives as easy as he acknowledges the wrong.

He has, over the years, left me some bits of wisdom that were either passed on to him, derived from his own experiences in life or from hard lessons I have learned through out the course of my childhood. So now I will share a few with you so you can see how fortunate I am to have the father I do.

“Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”

The main point of this saying is basically don’t fall into the trap of arguing with someone who is argumentative. There are people who just don’t feel comfortable unless there is drama, tension or just negativity surrounding them. It’s better to just walk away because to engage them at all means they win.

Case in point: I was in the fifth grade and there was a girl, Danielle Forgotherlastname, and she was just relentless in her jeers and jokes at my expense. Looking back on it now I am sure this was a fifth grade girl’s way of expressing a crush but that was missed by me. On a particular day I put Dad’s choice words of wisdom on hold and fired back at Danielle. I can’t really remember what it was that I said but it elicited tears. When questioned by my teacher why I would say such a mean thing, I apologized and told her, “I didn’t mean to wrestle with a pig.” Well, the lesson was missed by Mrs. Samson and the Principal. At least my folks knew what I meant.

“Once a rock leaves your hand, you have no control over it”

This one seems pretty straight forward to most but it was a hard one for me to learn. I don’t know why but whenever I mean to hit something by means of throwing the percentage is never as good as if I mean to “scare” someone by means of throwing a rock. I guess that has always been my luck. I have no skills when it comes to warning shots. It is either a bulls-eye or a ridiculous miss.

Case in point: It doesn’t make sense now but many years ago I was engaged in a rock war with a few friends. It was over some distance so the danger of getting your bell rung by a rock was low. However, if the opposing team was hiding behind a Mercedes Benz a collateral hit was eminent. So after a few minutes of skirmish I threw the shot heard around the neighborhood. I knew the second it left my hand where it was headed so while it was still on trajectory I turned and ran back to the house. I didn’t see it hit but within a few minutes the phone rang at home confirming that it was a direct one. Soon my Dad sat me down and told me that they had to pay for a new rear window and this would cost me a week confined to the yard. A small price to pay for what I thought at the time cost 15 million dollars. He left me with those immortal words of wisdom and we hugged it out.

A few years later the statement was revised from “rock” to “anything” after I was suspended for throwing an apple in the cafeteria, knocking down the clock on the wall. I had to. It was a triple dog dare.

“Spend your life, don’t save it”

I think this is a lesson my father learned later in life. After the death of his two parents that was within a year apart, he he adopted a new out look on life. He has always put his career on the forefront. Not really because he wanted to but because he felt he had to. He told me this and it was the first time I saw him as fallible. I guess when death happens that close it is hard not to reflect on your own mortality. This saying is my least favorite. It rings true but every time he says it I am resentful. He still is more of a man, less of a God to me.

Case in point: I have only seen Dad drunk a few times. As of late he has taken a huge interest in collecting wines and a couple Christmas’s ago I saw him after a wine party. He was wearing a Santa hat that was slumped forward. With his eyes squinted and a slight grin he softly said, “they gave me a hat”. It was priceless.

“History is not a fact, it is an interpretation”

I have to admit that this was a hard one for me to understand. His point was that things come to pass in life and the end result maybe a fact but why it happened is different through others opinions. It is a statement that taught me tolerance, patience, the ability to be opened minded and when to keep my mouth shut.

Case in point: I used to argue politics for fun. Then I realized no matter who went against my opinion there was little, if anything, they could say that would sway my opinion. I went through life believing I was smarter than anyone who didn’t see the way I did and (gasp) I began to become an asshole. That is until I argued with my Dad. He disarmed my stubborn opinion by patience, understanding and a brief explanation of why, in his mind, we are where we are today. I left with a feeling of enlightenment but still held true to my opinion. He wasn’t out to change my mind but to explain his interpretation. And he did it without a need to have a winner and a loser.

These are only four of the many wise sayings my father has. I believe they have had an impact on my life because he uses them less and less. I know he is waiting for the day I have children of my own so he can, one more time, impart his endless wisdom but he knows that if he doesn’t get to, I will. I count my blessings to have him as a Dad. He is my confidant, my teacher, and my best friend. And I love him so.

Fun With Phonics

There are somethings that are so funny in life, they couldn’t possibly be made up. This one landed in my lap at a Quicktrip. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I immediately ran out of the store to the car and grabbed my phone so I could take a picture. I had to share this with you guys because, well, I care.

Ever wonder how you would phonetically spell “restroom” if you had a Hispanic accent? Here’s how….

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See? You can’t make this stuff up! I definitely give an A for effort and if you look close enough you can faintly make out a scribble mark over the extra E. I can’t rip too hard on this person because I’m not even close to being bilingual. I get my Spanish from Dora The Explorer. Right, Dora?

Si, el dickhead!

Being A Jerk At Whole Foods

Have you ever noticed when you go into a health food store or a nutrition shop how unhealthy everyone looks? It’s pretty ironic that many of the people who shop at the sources for all things good for you look more or less like a 19 year old sick cat. I was at a Whole Foods not too long ago God only knows what was going on with about half the shoppers. Now I know I am generalizing and if you shop there, please know I am not talking about you, but I am going to do a quick character analysis on two people and a couple that I had the pleasure of standing behind waiting to check out. I understand that this is wrong to do and I am sure I am off base but what can i say? I’m an asshole.

This is not the lady who was at the head of the line but man, this is close. She had the glasses and everything. So my first guess she is a sweet lady, maybe in her early 50’s that goes home to her husband and a Labrador now that the kids are all out of the house and married. She spent the afternoon doing work in the garden and now she has come to Whole Foods for some additions to the great dinner she will be making right when she gets home. And then she opened her mouth.

She snapped at the cashier, “can this take any longer?”. Whoa. Now the very second she asked that snotty, retorical question my analysis changed to this. She lives in a town house with her 3 cats, all named after famous psychologists. Her liberal education, many degrees and accolades left her smug and with a sense of being superior. But that sense is a false front to her real feelings of being inadequate and the feeling that there is always someone who is out to get her. Though her education has taught her that a socialist way of life is the only way to be and the little guy should be taken care of by the wealthy guy, she would never think to show an ounce of kindness to him. Hence the dismissive remark to the poor cashier who just wants to get a price check on her fish oil vitamins. I bet she is a shitty tipper too. Next….

Like I said before, this isn’t the couple that was next in line but gee wiz, that’s pretty close to what they looked like. It looked as if they both had finished a run judging from the attire. I always admire married couples who have a common hobby like exercise or art or I don’t know….lawn darts. They were purchasing soy milk, two avocados and a leafy thing. Maybe parsley? I had no beef with them until the guy blew his nose in line like it was his job. It was no ordinary blow. There was a dog that was laying down outside, the doors were shut and cars were passing by and his nose blowing made the dog jump. I kid you not. It even made me duck a little. It’s a involuntary reaction.

There isn’t really a reason why this rubbed me wrong but it did. I imagine that if you went to their house for dinner there would inevitably be a conversation about a recent colonascopy he had. Then after dinner there would be an invitation to have coffee in the living room while we all witness the miracle of child birth by watching home movies. And just when the night couldn’t go any better they drop the bomb that they are swingers and there is a hot tub in the backyard. Amazing isn’t it? I gathered all that by a nose blow.

This guy was my favorite. This picture couldn’t get any closer to the real dude that was standing in front of me. Except he had a shirt that said “Good Bush, Bad Bush” which had an image of George Bush and an image of female genitalia. I haven’t been around too many hippies so I can’t be the judge of who is or who is not a hippie. I don’t believe this guy is a true hippie because he was on the phone, using his wireless Bluetooth headset. Hippies would never conform to such a thing. More over, they couldn’t afford it.

There was no way I could have avoided eves dropping in on his conversation because for one, he was talking about a girl and calling her a bitch with no sense of shame and two, there was a shopping cart behind me trapping me close to him and the odor of patchouli. He definitely strikes me as a conscientious objector but for what reason he couldn’t tell you. I’m certain he believes 9/11 was an inside job and he could prove it by explaining the hidden messages on the dollar bill. There is a high probability that if you asked him to point to NY on a map he just may put his finger on Maine.

Well, before I knew it my entertainment was over and I was at the front of the line. I bought chips. Chips for dips.

Oh To Be A Bee

I don’t know where you live but here, everything is yellow. The pollen is just unbearable and those who have allergies are suffering far worse than I can remember in previous years. I kind of feel bad for them because I see them have the same symptoms as a nasty cold or flu bug but they can’t stay home because it is a common excuse. And the fact it is non communicable so they have to just suffer in the cubicle. All day long all you can here is nose blowing and sneezing. If it were not April I would think we were on the verge of an epidemic.

This pollen also chaps my hide because I just bought a new car and wouldn’t you know it? I got a black car. Now I dive around in a dingy, yellowish-blackish car that screams, “I do the bare minimum in life and love it”. I had the luxury of owning a silver car before so the idea of weekly washes was never center stage in my mind. Now I have a monthly membership to a snotty car wash not because I can but because I have to. Oh the price of contemporary taste.

And the bees. There are tons of these guys that seem to have quadrupled in numbers in just a week. It’s not the yellow jackets or the honey bees so much but the big bumble bees. I have heard that they don’t sting but every time one is near it sounds as if you are about to but your face in a desk fan. There is nothing funnier than to see a full grown dude flip out, flail the arms and spring to a sprint when a bee is near. Especially if the people who are observing don’t see the bee at all.

If there is any truth to reincarnation I wouldn’t mind coming back as a bumble bee. The weather would have to be nice and I think scaring people would be a great hobby. I can’t in this life because, well, I am not very scary. That is unless I looked like a bee. Hrm……..

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Fear Me!

Sausages!

I have to admit, I have become pretty desensitized to what is funny in our current state of pop culture. Maybe it is the fact that the last season of The Office was a little drab. Or perhaps I am still holding a very bitter animosity towards Fox for canceling Arrested Development. What ever the case is, I very rarely have laugh out loud moments when it comes to television. To be fair I rarely watch enough of it to be a critic but still, the few shows I see that are prime time get little more than a smirk. That is why I focus on commercials because they can hit a home run when TV can barely get a base hit.

Bud Light commercials have to be the greatest dead space filler since Billy Mays made his infomercial debut. The cleaver campaign has touched the hearts of many 22 to 35 year old guys and can make even the most pedantic and culture asshole chuckle. I would love to see the think-tank at the corporate advertisement office. I imagine it is a room full of Nerf hoops, air hockey tables and dart boards with a kegerator in the corner and the ad execs ranged from 24 to 30 year old dudes. The dress code would be little more than no jean shorts and if you wore a polo, the collar had to be down. An environment like that would be perfect to give us a gem like this.

It’s nice to see that laundry detergents and stain removal products are not only targeting women. It’s true that most all the guys I know, including myself, do their own laundry. I even use dryer sheets and (gasp) iron from time to time. I still have a hard time figuring out how to get some stains out and normally I would just turn to the black magic of the local Korean dry cleaners but thanks to Tide’s stain stick I have some magic of my own. To be perfectly honest, it was this commercial that made me stop in the aisle at the grocery store. To this day I still have this in my head when I see someone with a stain.

I am old enough to remember the day when Snickers candy bars were target to be a quick alternative to lunch. It was the “pick me up” of the mid eighties but then that damn FDA gave us the food pyramid that didn’t include nugget, chocolate or caramel. So it was left to the kids and the commercials became drab. That is until recently when someone finally was in charge of the marketing that had a sense of humor. Maybe it is the weird, quirky characters but I laugh harder every time I see this. I have a thing with poorly played horns.

This one really spoke to me. I think I have been to Quizno’s collectively five times in my life but those five times were when the Quizo rats or chinchillas or maybe gerbils were the spokes….things. For the life of me I can not figure out why they got rid of them. The singing was perfect, the South Park like animation was aces and to this day I still say “They got a pepper barrrrr“. Now that has to say something to the marketing department when I still sing that four years later. We need to start a petition to bring the Mexican rat things back. “We love the subsssss!'”

Man, this was a stretch for a post. I have some long ones that I have been working on for a while and they should be up by Friday. Hope you like them.

By the way, where the fuck is spell check in the new WordPress? If there is one thing I can’t live without, it is spell check.

Another Proud Moment

This hasn’t happened to me for a while but the other day I was cruising around a very quirky gift store and had the scare of a life time. If you have read my previous posts it is clear that have issues with muppets/puppets that lack a sense of humor. Well, right when I walked in I heard a rattling sound and right to my right hand side stood this…

Jumpin‘ Jesus, what is that?!?! I leaped right out of my shoes and headed for the door making some noise that made me question my manhood. By the time I got to the door I looked back to see if the old lady had a hold on my collar. Then the brain kicked in and I began to realize it was not a satanic Grandma but a robotic, vibrating mannequin. The worker at the novelty shop came around the corner (amused, I’m sure) and gave warning that her husband is also in the store. With my heart in my throat I thanked her for the heads up and walked cautiously through the over stocked shop.

I was on guard and I must had looked like I was on patrol in Vietnam. There is one thing I hate and that is life size muppet-looking mannequins that move. I had to find this guy before he found me because shitting myself as a 30 year old guy in a chick store is a great way to kill any self esteem I had left.

Found him. It still made my heart jump but there he was. I can rest a little easier that there was no more surprise encounters with robo grandpa and grandma. I did feel a little silly inching up to take a closer picture by stepping one foot at a time while remaining at the ready to sprint in the opposite direction should he make any sudden movements. But seriously, look at this guy.

Why? Why would anyone need this? A six and a half foot, moving butler? If I was little and I came to this particular store I would still be awake today. There is nothing funny or cute about this and I tip my hat to the girl who locks up at night.

I was still keyed up and even this dog caught me off guard. I didn’t make girl noises but he made me ball a fist in defense. I guess this type of stuff is just wasted on me. There must be some repressed memory that elicits such an irrational response. I know that these things are rubber and metal but it doesn’t lessen the fact that being trapped in a small place with one would definitely make me squeeze my hamburger.

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