This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

One of the interesting things that's happening to me, one of the effects of living in Croatia, is that my ear is being retrained. I'm immersed in a culture that does not have English as it's primary language. Sure, people speak a lot of English around me. But they all have accents. And, their basic foundation of language, of speaking and making sounds with their mouth is fundamentally different from native English speakers. And, it's very different from American speaking.

It comes out in every day speech. There are lots of little phrases that Croatians in general use in English that American's don't. I often hear, for instance "and in one moment", as in "I was walking down the street, then in one moment I realized I left my keys at home.". It's not incorrect, it's just not phrasing that an American would use. And there are lots of little ones like that. "Moisty" is another one. It's actually incorrect but it gets the idea across. I think it stems from following a pattern. They hear us saying "It's sunny outside", or "It's rainy outside". So, instead of "It's humid outside", they use "It's moisty outside".

But, really, the thing I notice a lot these days has more to do with my ear being retrained. Croatian's don't speak with a nasal sound. Americans DO. I've been watching American news more than usual now because of the election (in which I heavily favor Obama, BTW). And I notice it every day. Americans sound like they have a head cold. They sound like they're congested and speaking through their nose. I never noticed this before I lived here. But now, I've gotten used to the way they speak here, which is not at all nasal. By comparison, Americans are very nasal in the way they speak. And sometimes it actually sounds annoying.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

So, yesterday I went and picked up my freight. My friend Tyson has a van that he uses to help out Hladno Pivo with shows and such and he was gracious enough to help me out.

My stuff actually showed up on January 25th, but they required some additional paperwork to release it. Translated packing list and stuff like that. The main bummer, though, were all the fees. I valued my stuff at $2495. I figured customs would charge me $500 or $600. But, with all the warehouse fees and customs, it actually ended up being around $1300 to pick my stuff up. Fuck. It was about the same price to SEND it. It's a lot of money. But now I have 4.5 cubic meters of my stuff here in Croatia. Which means it's not sitting in a $200/month rented storage space in LA. So, I guess after 13 months it will have paid for itself in a way.

Plus it means I have my stuff with me. Which is cool. My trip LA in December was all about getting rid of stuff and sorting through things to decide what to keep.

Among the stuff that I shipped to Croatia is:

My brewing equipment for making beer. Not ALL of the equipment, but many of the large, heavy and expensive pieces like my computerized mash tun and boiling kettle. Tyson and I will make beer sometime in the not too distant future.

My drums. I have a nice wood hoop Ayotte set from Canada and a great DW double bass pedal. I'm not into double bass at all, but it's great for exercises to keep those feet equal. I hope to rent a practice space sometime after my visa is renewed.

My comics. 3 long boxes and 2 short boxes totaling around 1200 comics, 95% of which are comics that I worked on. Been coloring comics for 17 years now, so they add up.

Kitchen wares. I have some decent stuff I didn't wanna get rid of. Nice silverware, a food mill, mortar and pestle. Simple stuff that I use a lot.

Books and DVDs. Lots of collected hardcovers of comics, drumming books, some software books etc.

Comic art. I still have maybe 100 pages of painted blue line colors from the Grendel book I did with Edvin Biuković and Darko Macan. I'll give one to Darko. Darko? Any preference? I'll check if I still have whatever page you want. Or you can come over and look through them.

Golf clubs. Yeah, I used to do SOME golfing. My buddy Dave and I would mostly play 9 holes or go to the range, which was fun and an excuse to drink the rest of the day.

Computer. A back up PC that's pretty decent, a printer and scanner that always did right by me.

Scuba fins and snorkel. For the sea in the summer!

And various clothes; a suit, several pairs of nicer shoes etc etc. And various knick knacks. They add up, but I got rid of most except a nice little Buddha statue that I've had for 20 years.

Nice to have my stuff. I'm not much of a pack rat, but it's a feeling of relief that it all arrived and it's all okay. Nothing was broken or fucked up. It arrived in better condition than most mail I get. So that's something.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

That took a bit of effort.

I switched my web hosting service late last summer when I created my website. And I never got around to getting rid of the old one, which was Yahoo. The reason I switched was that I was using Joomla to create my new website and Yahoo does not allow you to use files that begin with a dot in the file name. Joomla uses MySql databases which require a file called ".htaccess", so I couldn't use it on Yahoo. That, and once I started looking, I found a better provider for FAR cheaper for FAR more storage space.

But, all the pictures in this blog were hosted on Yahoo. And going back and changing every link was gonna be a pain, so I delayed. That is, until this week when it was reported that Microsoft will buy Yahoo. Well, fuck Microsoft. I think they suck and will make it even worse. And I don't wanna give them my money, so I went and did all this work finally.

Here's how I did it, to try to make it not all that painful:

I manually backed up the entire blog into one text file for each entry and named each file with the date. Okay, that took a little bit of time but not that bad. Mostly just a copy paste. I then wrote a very short Python program to switch the URL for the photos. This python program opened each text file and did a search and replace, basically. It then saved the file back out. Writing that program took about 10 minutes. It made it so that I didn't have to manually change anything. Then, when I opened each text file, it was already fixed. So, I just copied and pasted it back into the blog and the blog is now fixed.

Still, it was some effort. But now I have gotten rid of Yahoo. If you see any dead links or anything on the blog, please let me know.