Category Archives: the mindlab

Haunted by Dissolves: Night Flight 8.24.84

It’s possible that my adversity to dissolves is rooted in the pre-appointment consumption era of television, its interrupted experience, and multi-camera setup. The denim on denim complaint never really registered with me, but if I was to make sense of it, the “same image” on a “similar image slightly later” could serve as an analogy to get me over to that side of the table.

Night Flight - 8.24.84
Image on Image like Denim on Denim

Either that or I am just haunted by Michael Stoops.

Haunting Dissolves of Micheal Stoops on Michael Stoops from Mike Gray on Vimeo.

Loss of Mt. Rainier

This summer I am making a short film I wrote called Loss of Mt. Rainier. In the film, a social media star falls into a catatonic state and has his body abused on the way to the top of Mt. Rainier. It’s a dark comedy that is a loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Loss of Breath”. We have a super cast-n-crew working on the film, many of whom are associated with the Olympia Film Collective. I couldn’t speak more highly of all the talents involved. Today we launched a Kickstarter for the film, which you can check out below.

Click on the following link to visit the Kickstarter for Loss of Mt. Rainier; you can watch our video to learn more about the movie.

A Dissolve from The Red Shoes

I’ve often said that I don’t like dissolves, but I’m coming to realize what I actually don’t like is lazy ones. While it is borderline cheap, in a dissolve in The Red Shoes (1948), Moira Shearer’s Victoria Page gazes across time and space to a clock; the effect is quite pleasing. It’s a cheap I wish I’d see more frequently.

The Red Shoes (1948)
Moira Shearer’s Victoria Page gazes at a clock

Candy

When we went to Europe when I was kid1, we spent a few days in Yugoslavia. At the time, the currency wasn’t worth much and we exchanged too many dollars for dinars. The dinar was worthless enough that the banks would not let us exchange the excess back to dollars, so we spent money on random things. I have a memory of being in a store that was pretty picked over but it did have 1 pound2 bricks of PEZ. We bought one and ever since, I have kept an eye out for PEZ in bulk, but have never seen it.

This weekend, I went to the b.a. Sweetie Candy Company since we were nearby. People have mentioned it from time to time as a big candy store. I had a mental image of it, a lot of candy, etc. but it actually exceeded my expectations. It was enormous. Needless to say, not only did I find PEZ available without the dispensers, but I found legit bulk PEZ:

bulk PEZ

The also had some other candy from my childhood that I was kind of surprised still existed, like El Bubble and of course, the shitty candy cigarettes we used to get at the B&J. They had a lot of those.

These were bad when I was a kid.
World’s King Size Candy

I was surprised at a few things:

  • They had no chocolate NECCO wafers. That might have to do with the issues NECCO is having and they might be sold out. They did have Tropical and Sour, which I never knew existed.
  • There were only three varieties of Nerds. Mind you, this place had at least 10 flavors of Now & Laters. I guess the varieties of Nerds have been significantly reduced over the years.
  • I only saw Chick-O-Stick in the nugget size.

On a side note, I have to keep an eye on the NECCO company status. If things go south in the next week or two, I might go buy a few boxes of NECCO wafers.


  1. I don’t actually know what year we went. I think it was 1989 or 1990. 

  2. Not sure if it was a pound, a kilogram, or some other quantity. It was a lot of PEZ. 

Elgins and Western Stubbies

Upon moving to WA, I felt like I’d entered into some sort of butter-Twilight Zone. Butter sticks here are thicker and shorter, no matter the brand. They come in a slimmer box and are packed end to end. This past Sunday, during my weekly RPG1 session, the guys finally cracked the great butter mystery.

Depending on your region in the USA, butter will come either in Elgin or Western Stubby size. What really threw me was that Land O’ Lakes, a Minnesotan based company whose butter I’d only ever had in Elgin size, comes in Western Stubby size in WA. I think I’ll always prefer the Elgin, but if someone can find me a Western Stubby butter tray, I’m game.

Tillamook salted & unsalted Western Stubbies
Western Stubbies

  1. We just picked up again a 5e D&D game that we’d been playing revolving around the Underdark. While my heart is still with 2e, and AD&D for its arcaneness, 5e is definitely the best recent edition of D&D I’ve played in a while. The one complaint that’s come up is that to find anything in the book can be an egg hunt. Prior, we’d been playing The Sprawl: Mission-based cyberpunk, powered by the Apocalypse by Hamish Cameron and Lillian Cohen-Moore. I can’t recommend this game enough. Of the many games I’ve played over the years, it had really interesting mechanics with regards to the roleplaying itself. 

Thump – Facebook Thumb Degradations

These are some degradations of the Facebook thumb I made. When I was naming the files I accidentally typed in ‘thump’ instead of thumb; I sort of liked it and kept the name. The thumps should be approximately the same size as the Facebook thumb. Feel free to use them.

thump gif
thump gif
thump3
thump3
thump2
thump2
thump
thump

Where —

— is your device?

Man the food-gatherer reappears incongruously as information gatherer. In this role, electronic man is no less a nomad than his paleolithic ancestors (McLuhan 380)
(McLuhan 380)
information-gatherer

Media as Translators

Translation, “How dare I get off Facebook.”

But there is this difference, that previous technologies were partial and fragmentary, and the electric is total and inclusive. And external consensus or conscience is now as necessary as private consciousness (McLuhan 86).
McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Edited by Terrence Gordon, Gingko Press, 2015.
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan