GREAT MOMENTS IN PHOTOSHOP EXCELLENCE 03 - “BLINKING JAPANESE PHONE BOOTH”
Question: Do I regret wasting twenty-seven consecutive hours creating this animated GIF in photoshop?
Answer: No way, it’s sooooooooo awesome.
Question: Do I regret missing Vicki’s 30th birthday bowling party to create this GIF?
Answer: No comment.
Question: Does my black eye hurt?
Answer: Maybe.
Question: Seriously, was making this GIF worth it?
Answer: Not really. I actually start to get sick if I stare at it for too long. Ughh… make it stop!
Anyway, my main man Nick just wrote a really cool story about the photo behind this GIF for a new website called SAINT LUCY. If you like photography, creative writing, and/or Baltimore definitely check it out!
Oh, and my main man Nick also just started a Tumblr of original artwork inspired by the hit 90’s television show Beverly Hills 90210. It’s called West Beverly High Art Club, definitely check it out as the artwork is quite impressive. Also, I believe that they are accepting submissions, so you may wanna think about digging up that charcoal drawing you did of Luke Perry’s misty eyes in 1995.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PHOTOSHOP EXCELLENCE 03 - “BLINKING JAPANESE PHONE BOOTH”

Question: Do I regret wasting twenty-seven consecutive hours creating this animated GIF in photoshop?

Answer: No way, it’s sooooooooo awesome.

Question: Do I regret missing Vicki’s 30th birthday bowling party to create this GIF?

Answer: No comment.

Question: Does my black eye hurt?

Answer: Maybe.

Question: Seriously, was making this GIF worth it?

Answer: Not really. I actually start to get sick if I stare at it for too long. Ughh… make it stop!

Anyway, my main man Nick just wrote a really cool story about the photo behind this GIF for a new website called SAINT LUCY. If you like photography, creative writing, and/or Baltimore definitely check it out!

Oh, and my main man Nick also just started a Tumblr of original artwork inspired by the hit 90’s television show Beverly Hills 90210. It’s called West Beverly High Art Club, definitely check it out as the artwork is quite impressive. Also, I believe that they are accepting submissions, so you may wanna think about digging up that charcoal drawing you did of Luke Perry’s misty eyes in 1995.

SORT OF SCARY STUFF IN JAPAN 01 - “BAD LUCK OMIKUJI”
During our one day in Kyoto I became rather infatuated with these tiny pieces of folded up paper tied to strings. The reason for my infatuation was simple: they looked pretty cool, and I’m a sucker for stuff that looks pretty cool (my wife Vicki is a perfect example of this, she is often a devil woman who will stop at nothing to steal my cozy winter cap, but she looks pretty cool, so I married her).
Anyway, my infatuation turned into an all out obsession once I learned the story behind these tiny rolled up pieces of paper. Here it is…
The various temples and shrines of Japan all sell fortunes, called Omikuji. If you draw a good Omikuji you fold that sucker back up, shove it in your pocket, and take it home and enjoy the hell out of your newfound good luck. But if you draw a bad Omikuji, well, your basically doomed, unless you follow these three simple steps…
1. Don’t freak out, play it cool! Whatever you do, definitely don’t call your mom for help, that’s pathetic. You can beat this thing.
2. Once you have your cool under control, casually begin walking around the shrine until you find a string or branch that has several other bad Omikuji tied to it.
3. Tie your Omikuji to said string or branch and run like hell (unless you have high blood pressure, if that’s the case you should probably just walk fast).
If you follow these three simple steps all is good, you have nothing to worry about. Basically what will happen is that the “Divine Spirit” will use it’s special skills to exorcise the bad luck. Think of the Divine Spirit as a big fat sponge that soaks up evil instead of water.
Anyway, I thought that was a really cool, albeit mildly terrifying, aspect of Japanese culture.
Here’s a few more pictures of some bad luck Omikuji…

SORT OF SCARY STUFF IN JAPAN 01 - “BAD LUCK OMIKUJI”

During our one day in Kyoto I became rather infatuated with these tiny pieces of folded up paper tied to strings. The reason for my infatuation was simple: they looked pretty cool, and I’m a sucker for stuff that looks pretty cool (my wife Vicki is a perfect example of this, she is often a devil woman who will stop at nothing to steal my cozy winter cap, but she looks pretty cool, so I married her).

Anyway, my infatuation turned into an all out obsession once I learned the story behind these tiny rolled up pieces of paper. Here it is…

The various temples and shrines of Japan all sell fortunes, called Omikuji. If you draw a good Omikuji you fold that sucker back up, shove it in your pocket, and take it home and enjoy the hell out of your newfound good luck. But if you draw a bad Omikuji, well, your basically doomed, unless you follow these three simple steps…

1. Don’t freak out, play it cool! Whatever you do, definitely don’t call your mom for help, that’s pathetic. You can beat this thing.

2. Once you have your cool under control, casually begin walking around the shrine until you find a string or branch that has several other bad Omikuji tied to it.

3. Tie your Omikuji to said string or branch and run like hell (unless you have high blood pressure, if that’s the case you should probably just walk fast).

If you follow these three simple steps all is good, you have nothing to worry about. Basically what will happen is that the “Divine Spirit” will use it’s special skills to exorcise the bad luck. Think of the Divine Spirit as a big fat sponge that soaks up evil instead of water.

Anyway, I thought that was a really cool, albeit mildly terrifying, aspect of Japanese culture.

Here’s a few more pictures of some bad luck Omikuji…

image

image

image

CONFUSING STUFF IN JAPAN 01 - “TANNER BATTLES THE VERTICAL SIGN-IN SHEET”
So during our one day in Kyoto we spent several hours bouncing around temple to temple. The first temple had this very cool sign-in sheet. Here’s a quick rundown of my train of thought as I stared down at the sheet…
0-7 seconds: Wow, that looks like a shot from a Wes Anderson movie!
8-10 seconds: I’ll sign us in and take a picture!
11-15 seconds: I have no idea how to sign us in. This makes no sense. Do I write up and down?
15-17 seconds: Oh well, I’ll take a picture anyway. It looks cool.
18-25 seconds: Woah! My socks actually match today! Way to be Tanner, way to be! 
26-37 seconds: I wonder if that’s a number 2 pencil? Is Japan as obsessed with number 2 pencils as America is?
38-40 seconds: Seriously, what’s the deal with number 2 pencils in America? Would my SAT have self destructed into a ball of flames had I filled in a bubble with a number 3 pencil? 
41-51 seconds: Does a number 3 pencil even exist? If so, is anyone ever allowed to use it? It would really suck to be a number 3 pencil and never get used. I hope number 3 pencils don’t exist because if they did I’d feel really bad for them.
52-60 seconds: I wonder if I’m gonna have to take my shoes off in every temple. I hate taking my shoes off. I wish I’d worn flip flops.
61-72 seconds: I’m so sick of Vicki always trying to steal my cozy winter cap. I never ask to borrow her cool gloves that transform into mittens. Why’s she gotta be a devil woman sometimes?
73-81 seconds: If I don’t find some chicken teriyaki today I’m gonna find a number 2 pencil and shove it in my eye just so I can forget about my craving for one second.
82- 86 seconds: I’m not even sure if this is a sign-in sheet. Maybe it’s a sign-out sheet? Good grief, I have no idea what I’m looking at. 
87-90 seconds: Why does everyone always hate on The Life Aquatic? I really think it’s Wes Anderson’s best work.
91-100 seconds: I wonder if there’s a line behind me? Should I pretend to write something down? 
Anyway, I played it cool and pretended to write something down. Also, I did a bit of research afterwards and the answer is yes, number 3 pencils do exist. I’m not sure what they’re used for, but if I ever have to take another standardized test I’m definitely gonna give a number 3 a shot and see what happens. Don’t worry, I’m not stupid, I’ll be sure to wear a helmet and safety goggles.

CONFUSING STUFF IN JAPAN 01 - “TANNER BATTLES THE VERTICAL SIGN-IN SHEET”

So during our one day in Kyoto we spent several hours bouncing around temple to temple. The first temple had this very cool sign-in sheet. Here’s a quick rundown of my train of thought as I stared down at the sheet…

0-7 seconds: Wow, that looks like a shot from a Wes Anderson movie!

8-10 seconds: I’ll sign us in and take a picture!

11-15 seconds: I have no idea how to sign us in. This makes no sense. Do I write up and down?

15-17 seconds: Oh well, I’ll take a picture anyway. It looks cool.

18-25 seconds: Woah! My socks actually match today! Way to be Tanner, way to be! 

26-37 seconds: I wonder if that’s a number 2 pencil? Is Japan as obsessed with number 2 pencils as America is?

38-40 seconds: Seriously, what’s the deal with number 2 pencils in America? Would my SAT have self destructed into a ball of flames had I filled in a bubble with a number 3 pencil? 

41-51 seconds: Does a number 3 pencil even exist? If so, is anyone ever allowed to use it? It would really suck to be a number 3 pencil and never get used. I hope number 3 pencils don’t exist because if they did I’d feel really bad for them.

52-60 seconds: I wonder if I’m gonna have to take my shoes off in every temple. I hate taking my shoes off. I wish I’d worn flip flops.

61-72 seconds: I’m so sick of Vicki always trying to steal my cozy winter cap. I never ask to borrow her cool gloves that transform into mittens. Why’s she gotta be a devil woman sometimes?

73-81 seconds: If I don’t find some chicken teriyaki today I’m gonna find a number 2 pencil and shove it in my eye just so I can forget about my craving for one second.

82- 86 seconds: I’m not even sure if this is a sign-in sheet. Maybe it’s a sign-out sheet? Good grief, I have no idea what I’m looking at. 

87-90 seconds: Why does everyone always hate on The Life Aquatic? I really think it’s Wes Anderson’s best work.

91-100 seconds: I wonder if there’s a line behind me? Should I pretend to write something down? 

Anyway, I played it cool and pretended to write something down. Also, I did a bit of research afterwards and the answer is yes, number 3 pencils do exist. I’m not sure what they’re used for, but if I ever have to take another standardized test I’m definitely gonna give a number 3 a shot and see what happens. Don’t worry, I’m not stupid, I’ll be sure to wear a helmet and safety goggles.

PEOPLE OF JAPAN 34 - “THE GEOGRAPHER”
Okay, so he may not have been a geographer, but I sure hope he was. Either way, he definitely spent our entire five hour train ride from Kochi to Kyoto drawing spirals in his notebook.
I’m not even sure if geographers draw spirals, but I sure hope they do. I’m pretty sure if I was a geographer I’d be drawing some spirals of geological formations. I’d probably sell em on Etsy. I wonder if he sells his spirals on Etsy?
Note to self: Look up spirals on Etsy. If nothing shows up, tap into that market and get rich quick.

PEOPLE OF JAPAN 34 - “THE GEOGRAPHER”

Okay, so he may not have been a geographer, but I sure hope he was. Either way, he definitely spent our entire five hour train ride from Kochi to Kyoto drawing spirals in his notebook.

I’m not even sure if geographers draw spirals, but I sure hope they do. I’m pretty sure if I was a geographer I’d be drawing some spirals of geological formations. I’d probably sell em on Etsy. I wonder if he sells his spirals on Etsy?

Note to self: Look up spirals on Etsy. If nothing shows up, tap into that market and get rich quick.

COOL STUFF IN JAPAN 22 - “ANPANMAN & FRIENDS EAT THEIR OWN BRAIN JAM”
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that my posts are sometimes just a bit, shall we say, embellished. That being said, I assure you that everything I’m about to write about Anpanman is 100 percent empirical truth, look it up on Google if you don’t believe me. Here it goes…
As many of you know, a few months back Vicki and I visited Japan. Part of our trip involved visiting Vicki’s Grandma in a wonderful part of Japan known as Kochi. What I found most interesting about Kochi is that everywhere I looked I’d see images of a jolly little super hero with a big round head. Literally, he was everywhere, I saw him on billboards, pencil cases, mugs, frisbees, and sidewalks (yes, he was engraved into several sidewalks). Obviously I had to get to the bottom of just who exactly this chubby little caped crusader was. Here’s the scoop…
He goes by the name of “Anpanman”. In the picture above he is the happy little marching guy on the far right. He was created in Kochi by Takashi Yanase, and as of 2005 he was the most popular fictional character in Japan amongst 0 to 12 year olds. Long story short, he and his friends were created by some guy named Uncle Jam and they spend their time fighting crime in and around Uncle Jam’s house. But what I found most interesting was the story of Anpanman himself…
Anpanman’s big round head consists a pastry bun filled with “bean jam”. He has never been seen eating or drinking, and thus it is assumed that the bean jam in his head provides him will all the sustenance that he needs. His kryptonite is water or anything that makes his head dirty (I find this quite fascinating as his weaknesses seem to contradict one another).
If he gets too wet or too dirty he is only able to regain strength when Uncle Jam bakes him a new head. Once a new head is created, Anpanman’s old head literally pops off his shoulders and “X’s” appear on the eyes. He was allegedly created when a shooting star landed in Uncle Jam’s oven while he was baking buns. Finally, Anpanman is a true hero because he let’s poor and hungry creatures feed on parts of his head.
Oh, I almost forgot, he has two special attacks, an “An-punch” and an “An-kick”. Actually, it’s four special attacks if you count the stronger variants of each. 
Anyway, I realize that I’m just scratching the surface of all things Anpanman, but it’s a start. Once I order the Anpanman Criterion DVD collection I’ll be sure to post my review here.
Finally, there is a bit of photoshop trickery going on in this photo. It’s pretty seamless so good luck figuring it out.

COOL STUFF IN JAPAN 22 - “ANPANMAN & FRIENDS EAT THEIR OWN BRAIN JAM”

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that my posts are sometimes just a bit, shall we say, embellished. That being said, I assure you that everything I’m about to write about Anpanman is 100 percent empirical truth, look it up on Google if you don’t believe me. Here it goes…

As many of you know, a few months back Vicki and I visited Japan. Part of our trip involved visiting Vicki’s Grandma in a wonderful part of Japan known as Kochi. What I found most interesting about Kochi is that everywhere I looked I’d see images of a jolly little super hero with a big round head. Literally, he was everywhere, I saw him on billboards, pencil cases, mugs, frisbees, and sidewalks (yes, he was engraved into several sidewalks). Obviously I had to get to the bottom of just who exactly this chubby little caped crusader was. Here’s the scoop…

He goes by the name of “Anpanman”. In the picture above he is the happy little marching guy on the far right. He was created in Kochi by Takashi Yanase, and as of 2005 he was the most popular fictional character in Japan amongst 0 to 12 year olds. Long story short, he and his friends were created by some guy named Uncle Jam and they spend their time fighting crime in and around Uncle Jam’s house. But what I found most interesting was the story of Anpanman himself…

Anpanman’s big round head consists a pastry bun filled with “bean jam”. He has never been seen eating or drinking, and thus it is assumed that the bean jam in his head provides him will all the sustenance that he needs. His kryptonite is water or anything that makes his head dirty (I find this quite fascinating as his weaknesses seem to contradict one another).

If he gets too wet or too dirty he is only able to regain strength when Uncle Jam bakes him a new head. Once a new head is created, Anpanman’s old head literally pops off his shoulders and “X’s” appear on the eyes. He was allegedly created when a shooting star landed in Uncle Jam’s oven while he was baking buns. Finally, Anpanman is a true hero because he let’s poor and hungry creatures feed on parts of his head.

Oh, I almost forgot, he has two special attacks, an “An-punch” and an “An-kick”. Actually, it’s four special attacks if you count the stronger variants of each. 

Anyway, I realize that I’m just scratching the surface of all things Anpanman, but it’s a start. Once I order the Anpanman Criterion DVD collection I’ll be sure to post my review here.

Finally, there is a bit of photoshop trickery going on in this photo. It’s pretty seamless so good luck figuring it out.

COOL STUFF IN JAPAN 21 - “LITE BRITE”
In a recent poll conducted by Tanner and Vicki Incorporated we asked one hundred people to create two lists. On the first list they had to write down 100 of their favorite things. On the second list they had to write down 100 of the cheapest things they could think of.
After spending a good ten minutes cross referencing the results, we were surprised to find that only one item was consistently showing up on both lists.
What was that item you say?
The answer, my friends, was paper lanterns (also known as china balls or chinese lanterns). It turns out that the ‘awesome to cheap ratio’ of a paper lantern is quite literally “off the charts”, as in, we didn’t even bother making a chart because what would have been the point.
In conclusion, we here at Tanner and Vicki Incorporated highly recommend paper lanterns for those of you on tight budgets. Of course, be careful when selecting your light bulbs as paper lanterns can quite easily turn into fire lanterns.

COOL STUFF IN JAPAN 21 - “LITE BRITE”

In a recent poll conducted by Tanner and Vicki Incorporated we asked one hundred people to create two lists. On the first list they had to write down 100 of their favorite things. On the second list they had to write down 100 of the cheapest things they could think of.

After spending a good ten minutes cross referencing the results, we were surprised to find that only one item was consistently showing up on both lists.

What was that item you say?

The answer, my friends, was paper lanterns (also known as china balls or chinese lanterns). It turns out that the ‘awesome to cheap ratio’ of a paper lantern is quite literally “off the charts”, as in, we didn’t even bother making a chart because what would have been the point.

In conclusion, we here at Tanner and Vicki Incorporated highly recommend paper lanterns for those of you on tight budgets. Of course, be careful when selecting your light bulbs as paper lanterns can quite easily turn into fire lanterns.

BIG DECISIONS IN JAPAN 02 - “VICKI FACES HER DEMONS AND PUNCHES ME IN THE FACE”
Yesterday I mentioned that a traumatic childhood experience had led my wife down a long dark road into vending machine hell. Long story short, whenever she is at a vending machine she can only order from whatever is in slot “B4”, even if she does not want what is slot “B4”. 
Anyway, as Vicki’s tragic eyes stared into this vending machine outside our hotel it became clear to me that she really wanted the Georgia Coffee that was in slot “A5”, and wanted nothing to do with the Green Tea in slot “B4”. I tried to convince her that “whatever happens in Japan stays in Japan”, and that just this once she could break the habit and order her dream beverage, the sweet can of Georgia Coffee in slot “A5”.
Cut to a few hours later and she’s still just standing there, longing for the coffee in slot A5. I tell her that I love her but that I really need to get some sleep. She says nothing so I take this as my cue to head up to our hotel room and go to bed.
When I woke up the next morning Vicki was asleep on the floor. I immediately woke her up and asked about the Georgia Coffee. She said that she didn’t want to talk about it and then punched me in the face for allegedly “abandoning her”.
To this day I still don’t the truth about what exactly happened that night, and probably never will. But what I do know is this… next time I’ll just order the damn Georgia Coffee and give it to her, that way we can both go to bed at a reasonable hour and I won’t get punched in the face. It’s a win-win!

BIG DECISIONS IN JAPAN 02 - “VICKI FACES HER DEMONS AND PUNCHES ME IN THE FACE”

Yesterday I mentioned that a traumatic childhood experience had led my wife down a long dark road into vending machine hell. Long story short, whenever she is at a vending machine she can only order from whatever is in slot “B4”, even if she does not want what is slot “B4”. 

Anyway, as Vicki’s tragic eyes stared into this vending machine outside our hotel it became clear to me that she really wanted the Georgia Coffee that was in slot “A5”, and wanted nothing to do with the Green Tea in slot “B4”. I tried to convince her that “whatever happens in Japan stays in Japan”, and that just this once she could break the habit and order her dream beverage, the sweet can of Georgia Coffee in slot “A5”.

Cut to a few hours later and she’s still just standing there, longing for the coffee in slot A5. I tell her that I love her but that I really need to get some sleep. She says nothing so I take this as my cue to head up to our hotel room and go to bed.

When I woke up the next morning Vicki was asleep on the floor. I immediately woke her up and asked about the Georgia Coffee. She said that she didn’t want to talk about it and then punched me in the face for allegedly “abandoning her”.

To this day I still don’t the truth about what exactly happened that night, and probably never will. But what I do know is this… next time I’ll just order the damn Georgia Coffee and give it to her, that way we can both go to bed at a reasonable hour and I won’t get punched in the face. It’s a win-win!

BIG DECISIONS IN JAPAN 01 - “VOLUPTUOUS VICKI’S VENDING VICE”
Girl can’t help it, she’s addicted to vending machines. What’s interesting is that no matter what vending machine she’s at, she always selects whatever’s in slot “B4”. Her mom blames this compulsion on a traumatic Battleship incident that Vicki had when she was five. Apparently “B4” was the final coordinate that her Grandpa needed to sink poor Vicki’s battleship.
No wonder Vicki has a bizarre vending machine compulsion. What kind of Grandpa sinks his granddaughter’s battleship??? Outrage I say!!!

BIG DECISIONS IN JAPAN 01 - “VOLUPTUOUS VICKI’S VENDING VICE”

Girl can’t help it, she’s addicted to vending machines. What’s interesting is that no matter what vending machine she’s at, she always selects whatever’s in slot “B4”. Her mom blames this compulsion on a traumatic Battleship incident that Vicki had when she was five. Apparently “B4” was the final coordinate that her Grandpa needed to sink poor Vicki’s battleship.

No wonder Vicki has a bizarre vending machine compulsion. What kind of Grandpa sinks his granddaughter’s battleship??? Outrage I say!!!

RIGBY IN JAPAN 01 - “RABBIT RIDIN’ RIGBY”
Yep, it’s true, we shoved Rigby in a suitcase and dragged him to Japan. He immediately became obsessed with Japanese game shows and rarely left our hotel room. This unfortunately means that he was not in too many photos. However, he made a brief public appearance once he heard about our new rabbit friend. Rigby’s a lover, not a hater, and he especially loves other animals that may, or may not, be real (much like himself).

RIGBY IN JAPAN 01 - “RABBIT RIDIN’ RIGBY”

Yep, it’s true, we shoved Rigby in a suitcase and dragged him to Japan. He immediately became obsessed with Japanese game shows and rarely left our hotel room. This unfortunately means that he was not in too many photos. However, he made a brief public appearance once he heard about our new rabbit friend. Rigby’s a lover, not a hater, and he especially loves other animals that may, or may not, be real (much like himself).