Thursday, July 28, 2011

My newfound love for Vegemite...

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday Sydney and I have discovered Vegemite for the first time while spending a weekend up in Franconia New Hampshire. Yeah of all places. You would think it would be while on holiday in Australia I would discover it. Well, my Dad's aunt was from Australia and three of his cousins spent time in a boarding school in Australia. So, naturally with a From a Land Down Under type upbringing Vegemite would be part of one's diet.

Syd and I had it for breakfast the mornings we spent up there and loved it.

As a matter of fact we became downright addicted to the savory spread. So last Saturday we took a trip up to a place called the Cheese Shop in Concord Massachusetts and bought ourselves a small jar of Vegemite. And she's been having it with her cheese sandwiches for lunch while I've been having it on toast with my breakfast.

We also noticed that the Cheese Shop also sells Marmite. It's British older cousin. Which we may have to try on our next trip up to Concord.

But if you are familiar with the Men Without Hats song and are curious what a "Vegemite Sandwich" tastes like I highly recommend you give it a try. Be warned at first taste it's a bit on the strong side. But it really grows on you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not quite dead...

Well, despite the rumors that my wife's cat murdered me in my bed and ate me to remove the evidence I am as a matter of fact alive and well and happily living in the Worcester area. Which has made my commute to the Art Museum a little quicker.

I've just been very busy and a terrible blogger in the past few months.

Apart from getting accustom to my new surroundings I've been spending the past month or so getting my studio set up as well as getting back into the swing of things as far as working at the Art Museum is concerned. It's good to be back to work there.

Also, I just finished working on a script based on Evelyn Waugh's book (would it be considered a novel or a novella?) The Loved One. So much for it being a 45 page graphic novel. The script ended up clocking in at 165 pages. So, my thought is to break it down into a four part series of 45 page graphic novels.

At the moment I'm in the process of asking the literary agency that represents the Estate of Evelyn Waugh's permission to adapt it into a graphic novel.

I had to fill in a few blanks concerning a couple scenes. Waugh had a tendency to be somewhat vague in his scene description. So as much as I want to remain true to the original text as much as possible. I did have to ad lib a little bit on some dialogue.

Which I've actually got some really great advice from Dr. John Wilson who is in charge of the Evelyn Waugh Society and who has been very kind and very helpful right from the get-go in giving me the information on who I was supposed to contact in obtaining permission to do a graphic novel.

So with the scriptwriting out of the way the other part of my preparation has been doing character sketches for the book. Which is something I have not really done a lot of in the past. But in the case of a project such as this, I wanted to give each character a distinct look.

I've got a few very good ideas and inspirations for the odious Mr. Joyboy.

I'll probably get started on penciling pages after I have my wife and a few friends proof-read my script. She was the one who planted the seed of this project in my head. And she has read the book as well. So she can catch things I may have missed.

Well after surviving a week that felt like something out of Lawrence of Arabia (without the motorcycle crash) things are going good.

Syd and I had a nice little weekend getaway to New Hampshire where we stayed at a house the family owns up in Franconia. It used to be my Dad's Uncle Red and Aunt Patricia's place. We had a relaxing time and enjoyed being away from everything.

And since my Aunt Patricia is originally from Australia, we got to try Vegemite for the first time.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this Australian delicacy, Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries. It is similar to British, New Zealand, and South African Marmite, Australian Promite, and to Swiss Cenovis.

Vegemite is made from used brewers' yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. It is salty, slightly bitter, and umami or malty – similar to beef bouillon. The texture is smooth, and the product is a paste.

And, on a personal note, it is also DAMN GOOD!

We found a place up in Concord MA called the Cheese Shop that sells Vegemite and we've been enjoying it at breakfast ever since. They also have Marmite there which we might get on our next trip.

And I have become chums with my wife's cat Ruben. And he even helped me with scriptwriting. The picture above is our typical sleep pattern. Ruben tends to like to sit on my head as a hat at nights.