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!

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