(I went through e-mails, culling addresses and updating others, so there may be new people on the list. If you’ve gotten this message and don’t want to receive my cheesy exploits, just e-mail me and let me know.)

It’s Saturday morning and things seem to have finally settled down after the rampant blackout here in Toronto and the entire Eastern seaboard. According to the news, over 50 million people were without power for 12-40 hours, and some may still be out. All things considered, we lucked out with only 16 hours of no power and about 30 hours of no internet connection.

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Gala was here with me and my Aunt, Uncle and cousin were able to get home in relatively good time, considering the traffic. We fired up the barbeque, took a dip in the pool and had a few drinks. It was oddly relaxing, although we kept flipping on light switches by instinct, forgetting that there were no lights. There wasn’t much else to do, so I ended up getting half-soused. Later, we hung out in the kitchen and listened to the radio by candlelight. I was woken up at around 5:00am by blinding light streaming as the power returned, and we’ve been good ever since, barring a few brown outs. The blackout threw my work schedule a bit out of whack, but I’m back on the attack now. Looks like it’ll be a pretty productive weekend.

Before that, it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks. After recovering from the head cold I picked up from convention exhaustion, I tore into the studio’s latest projects and am trying to keep the schedule organized. By the first week of August it looks like I’ve got some work laid out until January already. The schedule isn’t full, there’s just potential projects stretching that far ahead already. It’s nice to know that there’s things on the horizon like that.

I didn’t end up going to Chicago Comic-Con after all. There was too much work to be done here, and my boss thought it would work better if I stayed here to oversee things while he took care of business there. I was a bit disappointed at first, but eventually realized that it was probably for the best given how sick I had gotten and the amount of things to do around here. Besides, there’s the Toronto Comic Expo next weekend and I’m headed to Atlanta for Dragon Con the weekend after that. I hadn’t originally planned to be in Atlanta, but Brian at White Wolf has got me spun into his web and convinced me that I should head to their home town to experience the company first hand. It should be entertaining.

Not going to Chicago gave Gala and I a chance to hit Canada’s Wonderland and take in the water park there. The beauty of season passes is that we can skip any line that’s too long, we can always hit it some other time. I want to make better use of it as the season wraps up, so if anyone in the area wants to head to Wonderland with us, let me know and I’ll see if we can schedule something.

Old friends and people I went to school with have been coming out of the woodwork, getting in contact with me. At first I thought it was sort of nice, but then I realized that they all knew that I was working at Udon, and they all wanted to see about getting work. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand how this industry works and that “who you know” can make all the difference. I’d like to think that the people I’ve stayed in touch with would consider that a sign of me caring about them, even if I’m not calling every week or things like that. Some people have brought it up in conversation, but they’re close friends and people I’ve been in pretty good contact with since school. Not talking to me for 7 or 8 years and then pelting me with requests for work because we’re “buddies” just feels a bit more exploitive. Even worse, I don’t even have the authority to give work to people outside the company. I’m assigning and seeing through projects, making sure that artists here have enough work to do and are making money, including me. If I can fill that up, then the studio may be looking for “pitch hitters”; artists who can do the odd freelance work when we’re full up and have booked more work than we anticipated. Even then, Erik would want those people to be kick ass artists who are living in Toronto so he could meet them face-to-face. I’ve honestly got little control over that part of the company… so if that’s up your alley, bring a portfolio to the Toronto Comic Expo. That’s about all I can suggest

I talked to the head of the 3D program at Seneca and have delayed my 3D animation course until January. That way I can use the Fall to see how the Udon stuff evolves and see how well I can live off of it. I may even be able to take the course and keep project managing. It won’t be as lucrative as doing artwork at the same time, but it would allow me to sort of “do both” and then see how things shake out after the course is finished. Mind you, if things keep going the way they are now, anything is possible.

Anyways, I hope everyone else who was affected by the blackout is doing well now. Feel free to e-mail me and let mw know how you’re all doing. It’s good to know where people are at.

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