Sunday, June 29, 2008

you probably should mess with the Zohan

You Don't Mess With The Zohan was actually better than I thought it would be. I couldn't stop laughing. Adam Sandler really knows how to keep people going with his kind of humor. If you liked other Happy Madison films, such as Happy Gilmor, Billy Madison, and Grandma's Boy, you would probably like this one. I would have to rank it along side Nacho Libre, very similar comedy points. 

Overall: better than I thought it would be and probably worth seeing if you're a fan of Adam Sandler. 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wall•E is a Must•C

Well I must say, Pixar has done it again. 
Wall•E now ranks among the top of my Pixar list, next to Toy Story 1 and The Incredibles. I thought that this movie was better than Incredibles for many reasons but not quite as AWESOME. Awesome in the sense that I'm a huge super hero fan. Pixar has a trend going where they usually make a movie that is better than their previous one, and to me, this was FAR better than Ratatouille, but that could be the sci-fi fan in me. I wasn't surprised when I found myself waiting through the credits for just a few seconds more of the little robot. 
Wall•E is actually almost completely a love story. It was very strong in the sense that the main characters said very little, if anything at all, in English. One hundred percent of the emotion shown was with various robot noises and actions alone. It was very different, an almost upsetting, that Pixar decided to use actual video clips of old movies and human acting, but in the end you understand why they chose to do that. 

I don't usually agree with the paper's rating of movies but I must agree with this one. 
4 out of 4 stars. 

Back from Chicago

The Mega Bus
Showed up at 10:30 pm, left around 11:00 pm.
Wow, that was interesting. Very packed, and almost uncomfortable. But the different people you meet and just see on those buses make the trip totally worth it. 
Picked up and to the condo
Dan picked me up at 7:00 am
Dan (my cousin's husband) picked me up and as soon as I jumped in the car I found these in the back...
... awesome. 
When we got back to the condo at around 8:15am, we decided that we all needed naps. So we hit those up for a couple hours. Just until a few stores started opening.
The Shops
The first shop we went to was dan's local comic shop. Very cool place, like most comic shops. Dan picked up a couple comics, I bought some vinyl figures, and we were on our way. 
Next we stopped at this little "hole in the wall" japanese toy store. Very cool/shady place with a very cool/shady guy who owns it. I walked up and asked if they were open and he hesitated and basically told me no, but yes if i knew I would buy something... saw some dunnys on the counter so i figured... might as well pick up a couple. We got to talking and he was closing up shop for the Chicago Comic Convention (Con). He had a booth there. We were thinking about it earlier but decided against it because the tickets were $50 a piece. He said that if we came by at 3, outside of the building the convention was held in, he would give us a couple of his passes for the day for $15 a piece. So we did and omg...
Chicago Comic Con
I haven't geeked out this much in a long while. Everywhere you looked there were stands with comics, books, toys, art, weapons, and just about anything NERD. We walked around picking up comics, freebies, and some random items that we thought would be fun to have. 
We each walked out of there with a bag full of things we got for free and things we purchased. 
There was a huge statue of the Hulk set up at the DC booth. 
There were also all sorts of exclusive things sold at different booths. There must have been well over a hundred booths set up  in this place. Along with tables just lined with small time artists trying to sell their own ideas, art, books, and comics. 

I actually gave up my long awaited trip to rotofugi in order to go the the Chicago Comic Con. Which turned out good because rotofugi had a booth set up at the convention. Very cool people there, and I ended up pulling a few chase items. 
Later that Night
We ended up leaving the convention at 6:45 pm, and going back to the condo for chinese food and Sushi take out (from two different places). My cousins sure know how to entertain a guest. We ended that night by playing a game on the Wii that was pretty much like Jenga... on crack... WAY COOL.
This morning
We woke up, got ready, and left around 9.15 am.

Dan started off on the bike (Honda Shadow) and rode for about 1.5 hours while I rode with Chevis and Daniel in the Saturn. I took over for about 2 hours, and then dan finished off the trip in the middle of a storm. I guess we never really got it as bad as some parts of Minnesota, which Dan, I know, is very thankful for. Although at this point in the trip little Daniel was very awake and very much SCREAMING... but we made it. We got back around 6:00 pm.
Man, that was a blast!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

off to chicago

Well I'll be off to chicago in about an hour now. My AWESOME aunt and uncle, Janice and Tom, are going to drive me to the bus station. I'll be riding back on friday with my cousin Chevis, her husband Dan and their son Daniel. Chevis will be driving the car with Daniel and Dan and I will be switching off riding with her in the car and riding his motorcycle (Polaris Victory) all the way back to MinneSNOWta.

Will be going to a few stores while we're in Chicago so if anything cool happens, I'll post it here.

Final Wii Fit analysis

My final thoughts on the Wii Fit...
Wii Fit is most likely not going to replace jogging or getting to the gym or anything major like that. But for those of you who would like to get a few quick workouts in and still break a sweat, it can happen with Wii Fit. Once you have unlocked all of the Yoga poses, strength exercises and number of reps you can do, you can definitely get down to business. Do a few more difficult exercises along with a higher number of reps and you'll bee a "calorie incinerator" as the game says. And believe me, when the Wii Fit tells you that it's time for a break, you'll be thanking it. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

gretchen thought...

Gretchen told me the other day, that she saw a statue that that looked like a storm trooper on the way home from a bank one day. Being the Star Wars nerd that I am, I had to see it. So we went for a ride on the bike.
Once we got there, I took a look at it and just started laughing...

gretchen... THESE are stormtroopers


is not a storm trooper...

good try tho.   
That's why I love you

Wii Fit for the Win

Well, after continuing my Wii Fit workout for the second time, and actually doing every exercise that I have unlocked. I would have to say that Wii Fit is not a replacement for going out for a jog. You won't break a sweat as easy as you would doing a real athletic activity. That said, however, you will break a sweat and get a decent feeling workout when you are on there for more than an hour playing all the aerobic games and strength training activities. 

There are 4 kinds of activities in Wii Fit; Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobic games, and balance games. There are plenty of things to unlock for each section. The game keeps track of how many minutes each event takes and records it on your daily time bank. 
I enjoy the mini games and find that some really do give you a decent workout. Such games as the Hula Hoop game and the jogging in place game, really get your muscles feeling worked and your heart racing. 
The balance games are very fun since the Wii Mat is very sensitive and pretty accurate. Although if you want an accurate weight measurement, you should probably put it on a hard floor rather than carpet. It MAY be a little off on carpet. 

All in all, this is definitely a very fun way of getting some exercise in every day. But if you are really trying to lose weight, nothing will help more than eating the right foods and getting outside for a jog or long bike ride. 

You can choose between a boy or girl trainer, and whether you want to view them doing the exercise from the back or the front... I thought that was funny...

Monday, June 23, 2008

a little backup

A few days ago, Gretchen, Michael and I went to Robot Love and this is one picture I forgot to post...

gretchen in a gloomy bear costume

Today, I was calling around to various Targets, Wal Marts and Game Stops for Wii Fit... no luck. Then gretchen called me and asked if I checked one other Target. I hadn't, so she went there and they actually had 3 of them. 
So we cracked that sucker open and had some fun today. It's really a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I didn't know that the mat thing had sensors in it so that it could tell how well you're balancing. The game is actually VERY fun. 


On ANOTHER note, my cousin Chevis' husband Dan called me up the other night with a very interesting proposition. He wanted to know if I would be interested in taking a bus to Chicago, where they live, and help him ride his motorcycle back to Minnesota, where they are moving. Chevis is going to drive their car while either Dan or I ride with her and the other rides the bike. 
I, of course, accepted. Now, excited out of my pants, I am awaiting Wed. night when I board the bus that will bring me to Chicago. 
I think we'll hang out around there Thursday, maybe hit up a couple stores or something, and then head back to Minnesota Friday morning. 

Any details I receive later on will be posted. 

Mom's GOOD

So my mom just got out of surgery. All is well. 
More on her blog.

Just added a video!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mom's Goin' Under

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. There hasn't been much going on with me... BUT...
For those of you who don't already know, my mom is going under the knife tomorrow morning at 7:45 am. I think I'll be heading up there when I get up tomorrow morning. I believe she and I will be keeping a blog about her recovery... pictures included. I'll probably be taking all sorts of pictures on my iPhone and publishing them on her blog.

here's the link


Till then, wish us luck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Got Smart?

That's right. Just got back from the new movie Get Smart,starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson, among other people. And I'd have to say that it was better than I expected. If you like steve Carell... or Anne Hathaway, I'd say go see it. Steve really knows how to make a funny movie. If you're a fan of 40 Year Old Virgin, you'll like this... if you're a fan of The Office (American version), you'll like this... and yes, if you're a fan of Evan Almighty... you'll like this. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trip to Robot Love

Went into my local vinyl shop tonight, Robot Love, and picked up the newest 8" dunny, the Eggy Dunny by Evilrobots. 

Not my favorite dunny but it adds to the collection. But i think i'll blank it out and make a custom... only time will tell.

This is Gretchen and I at robot love.
Taken by my buddy and fellow collector JJ.


Some people have been hounding me to get my India trip on my blog. So here's my FIRST shot at it...

For 2008's Spring break, a group of students and teachers traveled to India for a program called Design Perspectives in Northern India. There were 14 student and 2 teachers, along with tour guides and bus drivers. We signed up for the "class" early on in the semester. It was to be a sort of Study Abroad thing. We were required to keep a journal while we were there and had to fill at least 5 pages per day with anything we wanted. I chose to write quite a bit about what were where doing and how i was feeling towards each even, along with drawing pictures of things I saw a long the way. We met some really cool people and had some VERY awesome adventures. 

I'll get into more of that in a later post. 

Here's a link to some of the pictures that people in our group took... I'll be adding mine soon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Geeking Out

Star Wars... That's right, I said STAR WARS. Today I went with my old roommate Zac to the Science Museum of Minnesota to see the current STAR WARS exhibit. It goes on till August 24 and I would have to say that it is definitely for any die hard star wars fan. Not quite as good as I expected but worth it. 
Millennium Falcon Miniature... used for only one scene... The scene when it's hiding on the back of a star destroyer.

Han Solo and Chewbaka costumes. 

storm trooper costume along side clone trooper model


Darth Vader's Helmet... from the inside!!!

Princess Leia's ship in the FIRST star wars movie.

and in the cockpit... a pin up... Zac and I had to take a second look. We were probably the only people sitting by the that ship for so long.... then when we realized it was a pinup, I started telling people to look in there and I was using my flash to light it up. 


It was a blast. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Meeting...

Today I met with a man named Chris Pearson at the Art Institute International Minnesota in Minneapolis. It was very cool to see a program that was so highly based on animation. I went there to see if I might be interested in continuing my ANIMATION education... but they don't have a masters program and I already have my BFA... so idk what i could get from there besides a hole in my wallet and animating in their classrooms... ... my portfolio would be beefed up for sure though. 
We'll see...
Till then I think i'll just work on my portfolio at home. 
keep checking it, one of these days it's BOUND to have changed. 

Also ate at Noodles and Co. today... I usually am not impressed by their food but I tried their noodle dish that was composed of Udon Noodles.... it was pretty good. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Out on the bike

WOW i went for a long bike ride today... at least long for me. I'll be doing that more often... hopefully. Went and bought a back light for my bike... like a rear reflector... and a speedometer/odometer for the bike as well.
Stopped in at my old job and talked with a few of my friends that I worked with. Some very cool people. I'll probably stop back in tomorrow and hang out again... just to keep them from working.  ^_^     I'm sure my old boss loves that... 

I also ate at Khan's Mongolian Barbecue today... pretty good place. I went with Gretchen and Michael

Remote Control Airplanes for Father's Day

Today, Father's Day, I purchases 5 remote control airplanes for my dad (Joe Johnston). I bought 4 different brands... but none compare to the Air Hogs brand... which is also the cheapest, at about $29.99.
The one that has had the best results is the Air Hog shaped more like a stealth Jet. Every other plane has been in the air and crashed, only to require tape or glue to fix a snapped or bent wing. The stealth like Air Hog has been in the air and crashed several times and still needs no repairs... although the nose is very bent up... just as all of them are. 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

OMG the party busss

The party bus was great... really great time... glad we went... and spent the extra money doing it...

a little drama went on but nothing that a good night's sleep won't fix...
we'll see how it is in the morning...


me + party bus = nice!... yay

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Party Bus Tonight

So I'm going on the part bus tonight... I will update this when I get back... or possibly tomorrow if I am unable to tonight.

let's see... a little mathematics.....
Me + Gretchen + gFriends = good...
good - ($25 per person for the bus) = bad...
good - ($25 per person for the bus) + time we had = x
what is x?

I'll tell you after tonight...


Just saw The Incredible Hulk... Awesome!
No need to stay after the credits... there's nothing. I saw it with Michael (friend I grew up with). The graphics were INSANE. The movie is definitely worth seeing. Way better than the original. 

Went to Robot Love today. Bought a few new figures called Debilz.

New Books

Got some new books in the mail today. 
The Art of Kung Fu Panda

Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation

The Art of Spirited Away

I must say that is very much, the shit. I ordered the books monday with free shipping, that's supposed to take 5-9 days to ship... I got the message that the books were shipped on tuesday and then received them on friday. HOLY CRAP that was fast...

I love Amazon

Friday, June 13, 2008

What happened in THE HAPPENING???

Today, at 10:50am, I saw M. Night Shyamalan's new film, The Happening. I'm not one to spoil the endings for people so I won't. But I will say it's worth seeing. It wasn't his best film in my opinion but for the most part, I liked it. 

Next Up I have to see new Hulk movie. we'll see when that happens. Hopefully Saturday. 
Now I'm off to Gretchen's house to help her watch her 2 nephews...

GAWD I need to start working on something...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another day of looking

Today, as well as the past few days, I have been looking for possible school choices to further my education in Animation. I have sent for MANY brochures from a bunch of different schools. We'll see what turns up. I am also looking for a position that would be my dream job. Once I find that I will sort of work backwards to complete whatever it is I need to do to obtain that job. 

This will be interesting. 

I am beginning the storyboards for my newest animation. I won't spoil it yet but it will be based around a few of the characters from my PuZu animation. 
Updates to come...

p.s. - It is also my girlfriend's birthday, Gretchen. She's turning 21 and we are going out to eat at Benihana's in Maple Grove. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

The first blog

My first blog. Very exciting. I plan to post current things going on in my life, such as jobs, projects, animations, and whatever I can come up with. 

Let's start with the basics, shall we?

My name is Jared J. Johnston. I graduated in May 2008 from the University of Wisconsin Stout with a Bachelors of Fine Art, concentration on Multimedia Design. My true passion is animation. I recently created an animation called PuZu for my senior project class. (this animation, along with others by me, can be viewed at my website,

I enjoy snowboarding, rock climbing, biking, badminton, motorcycling, working with Apple computers, collecting vinyl figures and just about all things design. I'm a huge movie buff. I try to get to the movies about 3 times a month at least, depending on what's being released. If you keep up with this blog you'll be getting constant movie reviews from me. 

Well I think that's all I have for now. So I'll leave off with a picture of me... taken in photo booth