Hi from 2015

I haven't touched livejournal in ages, and feel like all those posts were just yesterday. 2015 me pretty much hasn't changed at all, and is still doing all the same things. I moved half a mile away, closer to work and the Red Line. Same job. New side projects. Still traveling. I've been to lots of really cool places since my last post: Antarctica, Aruba, Kenya, Tanzania, Merida (Mexico), Prince Edward Island (Canada), London, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia (Argentina). I've made some new friends, but really have just gotten to know the ones I have better. My artpieces have gotten larger and my comics more infrequent. Leveled up in photography. Still shooting for Comic Book Resources. Computers have gotten tinier, so my websites are now phone-sized, or apps. Designed an Android app called Cuddli. I still hang out on deviantART.

The internet feels like a lonlier place. IRC has people, but ghosttowny. Twitter and Facebook feels like people shouting sometimes. I miss the community that livejournal had, which brings me back here, half a decade later, which feels like forever and no time at all, both at once.


Wow. May was pretty crazy. dave took me to hawaii for my birthday, may 9, where we swam with sea turtles, hiked to a 100ft waterfall, and hung out with a bunch of my friends - secksiewolfie, tommEE picklez, keith myers, jose avila, mike merrel, steve dugan, and mike chapman. wolfie lives in hawaii so he introduced us to the local culture and we got him really drunk.

then we threw ninjapenguin 3.0, which was an absolutely spectacular party with a 6ft loooooooooongcat cake, a baby seal pinata with a club, AWESOME DJS, and a million friends. Some people were here from out of town- zsnark flew down from sf, dan kaminsky postponed a taipei trip to hang out, tendency and dana extended a lax layover from hawaii to vegas to come, vissago drove himself and his british gf sallymonster up from san diego, and penguin palace resident artist todd pluciennik also came up from sd with his gf christy. 

the past few weeks also had other notable adventures- prodigy concert at the hollywood palladium was BADASS, we went to a LOST-themed beach party called Shade, we went to a bbq at the Project Dynamite hq where a juggler set his crotch on fire and another juggler punched it out.. saw a magic show at the magic castle where someone got sawed in half, and when an audience member touched him, he grabbed her arm and scurred across the stage on his hands as she screamed and ran off..

also tommEE did a show at magicopolis last saturday, we showed our seattle friends around and introduced them to waffleburgers, my friends from north carolina were in town and i took carrie on the lily belle, and a week later we celebrated dave's bday at disneyland. oh and i did a photoshoot at gene simmon's mansion, and shot damon lindeloff from LOST for a comics on comics event at meltdown.

somewhere in there ive been working on freelance projects- production art stuff for disney via `GoblinQueeen, shirt stuff for 2k by gingham, press kit for anime news network, and an html email for tierzero. 

want to see pictures from the crazy bday event? go here: [link] 

post apocalyptic food blog

So i started a new project, and im posting a new page every day here: [link]

I'd love for you to check it out, and tell your friends. basically i made a 20 page food blog out of grocery bags, paint, sharpies, ballpoint pen, and button thread. Scanned and am posting the pages. Then I'll make more and do the same thing with those too. Eventually doing a print book.

art party at my house monday night if anyone wants to come. i need help folding origami cranes for phild0g's memorial, making duct tape penguins, scanning art, and other stuff. making yummy foods.


A Valentine Adventure

About a year ago, I met a brilliant photographer on a crazy trip with a bunch of my friends, on a cruise to Ensenada.

He's the nicest, awesomest, most fun person I'd ever met, and we started dating. I've mentioned him in my journals a lot- his name is Dave.

So I wanted to make Valentine's Day awesome by putting together an adventure. I had all these plans laid out since Christmas, and then the oddest thing happened.. it rained. So instead, I woke up early and made a special Valentine's Day card. for roadtrip food i made some heartshaped pink riceballs (and cooked the rice in coconut milk).

Then I took him two hours east into the desert, where it wasn't raining, and we went to see the giant dinosaurs from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. There was a museum exhibit with robotic dinosaurs, too, with a weird Christian twist on them. Next, I wanted us to go on a gondola ride that would take us from the desert to the snow, but when we got there, we found tons of people and a two hour wait. So instead, we took off in another direction and drove towards a cute mountain forest town called Idyllwild in search of snow. And snow we found, lots of it, piled up everywhere.

A Valentine's snowball fight ensued; the best one ever, with a snowbank on high ground to use as a fort. We went to a pizza place and ate a really yummy pizza, and we played mew mew tower on my iphone til we beat all of the high scores. and got candy at a candy shop!

we drove back, and just cuddled and caught up on all of our tv shows. dave wanted me to make food, instead of going to a fancy restaurant, so i wanted to at least do fancy food for him. but we ate too much pizza. so the next night i made valentines dinner.

appetizers were lemon stilton stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

fettucine alfredo (with the sauce homemade), bacon wrapped scallops cooked in wine and lime, lemon rosemary salmon fillets, and garlic-lime shrimp. on the side were oven roasted asparagus (supposedly an aphrodisiac)

But the next weekend rolled around and i still wanted to take him on the original adventure. The weather looked clearer, so I set up the reservations. We had to wake up REALLY early to get to Long Beach, and "take a special kind of boat." Dave thought we were going whale watching, when he first started guessing, but he did guess the Catalina Island part of the trip.

I drove us out to the Queen Mary, and we walked up to the Helipad, and got on a helicopter. Neither of us had done anything like this before, and I was prepared to be terrified. It was only scary for 30seconds, then felt like an airplane after that. And it was really really really awesome. We saw dolphins and shared the ride with another couple.

Then we took a taxi to the cute little beach town of Avalon, where they were doing a scuba-diver beach cleanup. Some dude found an octopus in a bottle and was showing it off. Then we found the best minigolf course in the world. It was built by hand, by an old couple that rescues cats. It had some of the most ingenious mazes I'd ever seen, along with crazy ramps and turns and tiers.

After that, we hopped into a yellow submarine. It had torpedo buttons that released fish food and we got to see TONS and tons and tons of fish. We walked all over Avalon and took a zillion pictures, and played with this neat little iphone app called Photoswap where you take a picture of something and a random person gets it, and has the ability to reply with another photo. We ate fish and chips and a buffalo burger, and went to an amazing candy store with handmade truffles and saltwater taffy. One of the best candy shops I'd ever been to. Dave got tired and tried to take a nap so I chased seagulls around with my camera for an hour.

Then we took a big ferry back, and it was my turn to take a nap. We drove out to Hollywood and partied at our friend's apartment that overlooks the Oscars, and watched the traffic pile up around Hollywood. And that was our two-part Valentines Adventure.

Dave has his pics up. I am slow and haven't posted mine. http://flickr.com/photos/dmertl/sets


(crossposted to dA)

I had a fantabulous trip to NY for NYCC. On Thursday, me and my friend Chris showed up in the city around the same time - 5a. We worked out of 30 rock all day, and were joined by Cstone out of Boston. That night I shot a CBLDF event, and met the web person from Intermixi, Lawrence. We took him along with us to join my hacker crew that was hanging out at DBA. Shara from scifi was there, david moon from uni, jo and sean hastings i finally got to meet, kubla, tendency, signine, tommee pickles was there from LA, and dan kaminsky from seattle. and there was a kitty cat in the bar!

the next day was NYCC, so ran into lots of people and took about a zillion photos. i ended up eating a super fancy dinner with dekker dreyer and his friends, a bunch of cast from this awesome looking new show called emissary. Salmon at Smith & Wollensky, followed by a sugarrush dessert- a chocolate basket filled with a fluffy cream thing, swimming in cream and raspberry sauce. My NY guide that night was a comedian named Rob, who oddly knew Tommee Pickles, and that totally tripped me out. Then at dinner, Dekker's wife knew my friend Andrew Bell since high school, about as long as I have, which also totally tripped me out. (she knew him from the bbs scene and i knew him from irc). crazy crazy small world. some other people who were there were the chief from battlestar galatica, someone from saw, someone from smallville, and the voice of ben10 and superman, and a fun photographer from adult swim. id have to look up names but they were fun to hang out with. we actually had two 5Ds at the table so i got to play with them - WANT BADLY. OMG. *drool* i worked a bunch that night, which made my boss suprised and happy in the morning.

saturday lagomorph called me to wake me up, and i shot at the con and that night i ended up at a cosplay burlesque show. before the event, i had no idea if cosplay burlesque was a good idea or not. Ladies and gentlemen- it is an EXCELLENT idea. if you have a chance to see this crew at any convention, go to the event. It was absolutely hilarious.

sunday morning i finally saw falcon, who was in town from vegas and staying at tendencys house with me (we had drastically different schedules). that night i finished shooting the convention and got to see the CBR skybox. afterwards i tracked kubla down and he took a small group of us on an incredible gaastronomical new york adventure that involved the best milkshakes in NY at BRGR, marscapone and cherry rice pudding at rice to riches, a vegan chinese feast at buddah bodai, drinks at lolitas, a $75 bathroom visit at hotel of rivington, cheap drinks at a 70s themed bar called Welcome to the Johnsons, and lastly, a trip to my favorite pizza place in NY, Artichoke.

Monday I worked from 2park and go to chill with David Moon and Steve Apple a bunch. Ate at "Brother Jimmys Burger Shack" which was delicious. Then I started feeling really really really sick, and slept/worked all night and had super yummy wonton soup. sometime in the middle of the night, there was a big car chase outside my work (and real close, walking distance, to my house in LA), so i watched the live video feeds of that with dave and jonah.

i fly home in a couple hours, feeling a tiny bit better. i got to go to almost all of my favorite places, and saw many of my favorite new yorkers =)

Presidents and Art Competitions

(X-posted from my dA journal)

Tuesday night Dave and I went to Inaugural Ball, which was THE Obama event in Los Angeles. For $10 we saw the burning man dance/music troupe Mutaytor perform, along with Crystal Method who were fucking BADASS, and DJ Wolfie. It was the best way to ring in a new era, and celebrate history in the making. A ton of my friends were there - ravers and non-ravers alike - I couldn't even make it upstairs without getting stopped a gazillion times. The event was at the Mayan, which is an old, beautiful theater in downtown LA. And the theme was creative formal, so everyone was very fancy. So awesome. The coolest part was they had two big flags on poles that were being passed from person to person in the crowd, much like you'd float someone in a moshpit, or bounce a beach ball at a concert. My friends.. the flag is cool again.

The next day I found out that I made it into the test rounds of the Cut and Paste art competition. [link] Cut and Paste is half live art, half digital art contest. You're in a club in front of an audience and you have 15 minutes to make a piece that has to fit a theme. you have a wacom tablet, a camera, and a mac with adobe software on it.

So that night my friends at the Santa Monica Hacker drinkup let me practice on them. It was mostly cnelson's idea so i went up against him first. I'm not used to using macs, or having people stand around me and talk about what im drawing, so i was realllllllly nervous. but i won most of the rounds. the loser had to do two shots of tequila. It was also stromcarlson's bday, a gay 80s dj in LA who works at hackaday, so a lot of the themes were kinda adult. in a really immature way :) He made us copy all the files to a usbkey and swears he's gonna post them to his blog, so i'll link it when he does.

My test for Cut and Paste is Sunday at 2:30. I'm nowhere near ready.

In other news, I totally learned 3D this week for a project at work. I was mostly working in Google Sketchup, which is a free 3D app that I totally recommend for beginners. It was probably the most fun I've had at work in ages.

Also I'm still sick, and have had either a cold or stomach virus (plus stomach broken from stress) every day since NYE, and it totally sucks. The eating at home project just made me stressed out about money, so i stopped that after a week, though I've pretty much been sticking to chicken noodle soup and cheeseburgers all week cuz thats all that sounds good to me.

Oh and I had a photo of Stephen King published in a book, like a real book! Woo! Stephen King: The Biography. Awesome.

And we beat Little Big Planet. Add pingucat on the playstation network if you wanna play.

It's been a great week.
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wow lj

i dont read LJ blogs for a few months and just in the past week there was one baby, one "got pregnant" and one engagement post! congrats everyone!