Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Father's Day

Dang, this scrapbooking thing really works!

My dad has spent the last 11 Father's Days attending the national meeting of the Spanish Mustang National Registry. Possibly because I don't know that any of us kids ever rally asked him to go out and do anything on father's day. Our family doesn't really talk a whole lot.

I needed to go shoot a segment about me doing a heritage book where I found some pictures of him in the Navy. I sat there with jaw agape, well just like everyone else there.. my brother, my stepmom, my wife, my sister in law. He talked about stuff none of us has ever heard of just because I threw some pictures on a page and started asking for stories. How do you live so long and not know about someone's life?

He was a real wildman. His dad died of a heart attack essetially in my dad's arms when he was 15. He was the youngest boy of the family ( 2nd youngest of all the kids ) who had a rustic life in the mountains of Idaho. He kept money coming in for the family after his dad died and then left home at 17 and joined the Navy. Vietnam shifted into high gear and he stayed in longer than he planned to. He was trained as a machanic and for some reason remembered right away the names of shipmates in pictures, specs on engines, even maintenance info, etc. for the ship even though none of us has ever really heard him talk about it. I guess this scrapbooking stuff has opened up a lot of doors between my family.

It's also reminded me of how I used to like horses. They've been replaced with two wheels but I found all kinds of pictures of horses I've ridden pretty much every decade even though they aren't part of my life anymore. I even remembered I used to be left handed, got thrown from a horse I was riding without a saddle or bridle ( just reigning it with it's mane ) when I was five ( no, it wasn't smart and my parnets didn't know I was doing it until I fell ) and took a spill when I was running it and slid off into a fence breaking both forearm bones on my left arm, having me enter kindegarten as essentially a right hander.

Somebody snapped a picture of my dad, brother and I all together. I don't know of any others with the three of us. I guess after so many years it's probably about time.

We even found an old tree I cut down years ago with my dad in the back of the pasture. Instead of stumping it out I cut a chair into it so Nate claimed it as his throne and commanded his horse mingions to do his bidding ( literally.)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What is Hip?!

I am truly ashamed of counter culture.

I think the death nail on the coffin was being blown off by Miriam and Billy of Norton Records who wouldn't even give me a chance to purchase rights to ( in my opinion ) one of the best punk songs ever written, "All Kindsa Girls" by The Real Kids for Scrapped. They didn't seem to get past the concept of a movie about scrapbooking saying they didn't want to work with a project that had no future / potential. They said it in a very nice way, I can't fault them for being scared off but they didn't even look at the promos, didn't even give it a chance. I've bumped in to this attitude a lot with people raising the alternative, counter culture, rockin' flag. I officially tear any badge of cool off my arm and am going over to the camp of middle American family types who, despite my alarming difference in attitude and appearance, have welcomed me with open arms and are bending over backwards to embrace a different culture and broaden their perspective.

Of course these are generalities but on the whole I've found more times in my life when seniors, mothers and minorities have been waaay more accepting of who I am and what I was doing than the artistic, tormented souls of counter culture. I remember a job I had in high school doing handyman stuff, painting and mowing for a retired white collar couple. It was more than two decaeds ago now and "punk" was still fresh to the midwest. I was the first kid in my urban school with a graduating class of 800 to have a mohawk and holes in my ears filled with anything i could fit on a wire. I would get crap from people at school, people in the street, etc. But the Brose's wouldn't bat an eye. I brought it up over lunch one day and Annie said, "Wes, I've seen it come and go with the rockers in the 50's and the hippies in the 60's. You haven't got anything new... it's just kids being kids and I know who you are on the inside." I ended up mowing lots of yeards those years, all for the older crowd because of word of mouth. Across the board they didn't understand it but didn't care much. They just noticed if I was a nice guy, responsible and worthy of respect. That spoke volumes to me.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and I'm just another tattooed, goatee and earring wearing guy with a mac laptop haging out at a coffee shop checking email. You can turn on any TV and see "punk" shite like Avril Lavigne or Green Day and buy your ratted out clothes at stores like Hot Topic in strip malls. Who would've ever thought bands that couldn't get airplay back in the day are now immortalized as icons of rebellion. It's easier for me to buy Misfits T's and go see them play now than it was when they had Danzig in the band and released Earth A.D. What the Heck?!

The clothes don't make the man, the music doesn't make the man and the terms don't make the man. I like to hope it's thinking different, communicating a message to look past popular culture and keep searching for your own voice, your own values and your own fun. that's what I keep hearing over and over from these scrapbooking people I'm talking to. It's blowing my mind.

So I officially renouce being another stuck in a rut wanna be poseur who has been frozen in a decade of 60's, 70's or 80's perspective because that's what was cool when I was young. Screw that! It was great while it lasted, even profound but let's move on. I wanna know what's next? I'm not going to rename our cats or anything ( Sid and Nancy ) but I'm switching over to the other side and saying dammit, I'm a scrapbooker because it's not cool! :0) It's nerdy but it's full of creative, funny and completely transparent people who are expressing themselves and their stories on their own terms with their own voices. That's pretty damn punk to me.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Deep in the heart of Texas

I just got home from a little media tour that was a complete blast. Here's some pictures of me at the Lonestar Scrapbook Co. with some of the lovely ladies that work and buy products ( sounds like a 50 / 50 ratio ) there.

I had sent an email to a friend of mine weeks ago about having to print several hundred pictures out next day service and cheap. Pretty much everyone I contacted said check out or because they're pretty cheap and use Fuji paper. I was relaying my story of how I was able to upload a ton of pics and get fast service which was a novel concept because I've never really printed out the years of digital pictures I have on my hard drive aside fomr the occasional doctered 8x10 or something from photoshop. Turns out my friend has a friend at Fuji corp. and we were connected. One thing lead to another and they sent me down to the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington and an on location shoot at the Lone Star Scrapbook Store in Houston.

Everything worked out great because I didn't recieve any money and they didn't tell me how to make my movie. I don't think they've actually seen anything other than the promos. In fact, the trade off was they set me up with morning news show interviews to help plug the movie and although I was nervous about some shameless promotion issues, in the end they pretty much just let me say what I wanted and in my own style. You can check out the blog below for some pictures and updaes I sent to my friend Michelle who wanted to go but couldn't so I tried to keep her informed.

Michelle's Blog

Looking back that is an insanely bold move on their part because my promos are pretty agressive and an odd fit with the average scrapbooker. They took a big chance, particularly because it was a herculean effort for them to rent a studio, cart me around everywhere, get a top notch producer / director and show me off at their booth... all based on some schmoe who's never done live TV or radio stuff before and doesn't come off as a safe bet in the non offensive category.

In the end I was able to be interviewed all over the place:
WVNU Radio Cincinnati
WZEZ Radio Richmond, Va.
WSIL (ABC ) Paducah
KYTV ( NBC ) Springfield, Mo.
KLBK ( CBS ) Lubbock, Tx.
WKBN (CBS ) Youngstown, Oh.
KIDK ( CBS ) Idaho Falls, ID
KCTV ( CBS ) Kansas City, KS
KMZU Radio Kansas City, KS
KYTX ( CBS ) Tyler, Tx
KWIX Radio Columbia, Mo.
WJSS Radio Baltimore, Md
WDIS Radio Boston, Ma.
WFIN Radio Toledo, OH
KWGN (Warner Bro. ) Denver, CO.
WYAM Huntsville, Al.
WBRC ( Fox ) Birmingham

Also on the Fox morning show with Lanny in Houston and an on location interview at the convention on CBS in Dallas. I'm amazed at the freedom I had and the exposure I recieved. I caught a huge break and Shannon, the PR / logistcal person that traveled with me and did all the work caught a huge earful of stress... from me. Yikes! This was all new for me and she was able to defuse my explosions of being on live TV at 4:30 in the morning. Whatever she's making, she needs a raise.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

sass mouth

I was editing a segment with my friend Tracy for the video and had to pull out some parts where I was giving her some crap. I ended up dumping some of them into a clip and was going to post them here. I called to ask if I could then realized it was pretty much just me ripping on her for three minutes and decided against it. She left a message saying it was ok before I had a chance to get back to her so here's a link with her blessings.

Remember these are just a rough edit of blooper footage so it's nothing fancy. :0)

Tracy's Bloopers