Wednesday, July 25, 2007

hot summer nights

I've been working late editing a regional outdoor hunting / fishing show into a DVD series before I take off Friday for a cross country motorcycle trip to LA. The next six weeks look like this: Try to finish some DVD's, pack and map out a 1,500 mile bike ride through the plains, rockies, Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon, Vegas, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and then movie base camp in Santa Monica and Malibu.

I need to pack as much of the house up before I go as well because I'll be driving back Labor Day weekend then closing the day after I get back on our old house, closing on the new house and then moving. It's going to be a busy six weeks.

So it was wee hours of the night and I took a break from sitting in front of monitors to go for a motorbike ride. It's been 90 fahrenheit and humid so cool night breezes and empty city streets were a treat.

I ended up at a late night used record / CD store in Uptown called Cheapo that I used to hit all the time when I lived closer and bought music like a fiend. Still pre-midnght it was still open and full of people. Clack, clack, clack went the constant sound of people filing through rows of CD's looking for the big find. I was hunting down the sound track to the "Grizzly Man" doc by Richard Thompson ( I'm a big fan ) and stumbled upon my own audio sweetness: Atomic Bass II.

Ohhh Yeahhh Baby. 95 cents bought me some official trunk bumpin' - booty shakin' goodness that has a caution right on the cover. "Caution: This album may cause permanent speaker damage. Use caution when operating a motor vehicle." I'd rip an MP3 and rock your world here on the blog but our poor 3 inch computer speakers can't bring the heat of thunder bass down to 10hz.

What's the last music you've bought? What was the first one? Was it CD, LP, Cassette, 8 Track ( dig it?! )

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

fast photo

I'm a big fat cheater!

I brought my sales guy at work over to Archivers in Maple Grove during lunch and exposed him to scrapbooking. He actually picked up some stuff as did I. My mom's birthday is coming up so I got her a quickie style "Scrapbook in a Box" to help cut down on some of the picture anarchy that's happening in her closet. Now she can get stuff out on a coffee table to bore visitors with her children that frankly are old enough to have grandchildren...

I can see that hate-mail now... nope, this probably hasn't been tested and it's going to eat photographs like bundt cake but do I really want some of those pictures to last forever?

Doing it with her will be a nice little sit down, all inclusive, non creative, brain resting, chit chat diversion from meaningful conversation. ;0)


class act

Wow, it's Thursday already. I'm behind in posting some pictures from last weekend. Saturday I went to visit my friends Minda and Kristi at a event sponsored by "Those Were the Days." Above is a picture of Kirsten, the instigator of this scrapping soirre and some of the tasty kits they had for sale.

I was introduced to some lovely local groovers and divas, one being Nisa Fiin a CK hall of famer who's a photographer and paper designer. We got a sneak peek at her new series coming out tomorrow at CHA in Chicago. Here she is on the right with a moment of brilliant consciousness so profound that Minda did all she could to keep from ejecting her innards onto her outterds. ;0)

Seriously though, I took Krintina's class, learned I "color too far outside of the lines" for her and was able to get a couple shots of two of the attending crop rock stars on the Scrapped-Mobile.

What are the odds of having three consecutive bright red vehicles in the background of this shot?

Monday, July 16, 2007

scrapping weekend

I made it to the Midwest Scrapbook Convention and saw a couple things I thought were keen but won't be news to you. One was a board game called Photopoly. What grabbed me about it is thinking about the tension going on with family or friends' drama in the value ranked to their photo..."You made me Marvin Gardens and Billy gets to be Park Place. Don't you love me anymore?!" " Why do I have to be the B&O railroad? Are you saying I have a hygiene problem?"

I also met some new people and old friends. This fine woman at the Archivers booth set aside the CM / Archivers fued and wanted a picture with the bag. Yes, I brought the bag. Good call blog readers! and truth be told, nobody at the Archivers booth had any issues with Creative Memories or a CM bag at all. :0)

I cruised over the the Delta Phi Scrapped booth ( remember them in Scrapped? ) where I made a lovely little poka dot bracelet, checked out their new clothing sweetness and snuck behind Julie, the instructor who I hugged in Scrapped after we bonded over distressed techniques and sotries of her husband and kids scrapbooking.

I hope those Delta Phi Scrappa people take their weekends on the road nationally because they really put on something bigger and better than I've seen anywhere for retreats. Food, music, classes, plenty of workspace, freebies, on and on. Well you saw them in Scrapped. That's where I worked with Rebecca on my first album and took Julie's distressed class.

Other things that caught my eye were a Scrapbooking Visa Card? Hey, why not right? You get a percentage off every scrapbook related purchase and get a crafty, cutsie, nifty looking Visa to set you apart from the crowd.

Names exposed in 35mm film... but no Wes. They did have Connie though!

And yes, these stencils have been out for a while but I think they're great and was mesmerized by them again. I don't know why making little tags and envelopes out of the paper of my choosing is such a novelty but hey, why do some people get so excited about kippers or squirrels? ( A friend of mine years ago was shocked that big, bushy tailed grey squirrels really walked around your yard and chirped at each other.This coming from a country where you can have 3 kinds of deadly snakes, tropical birds and tarantulas under your clothes line... )

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Scrap It Weekend!

The Twin Cities are ground zero for the scrappin' world this weekend.

We've got the Midwest Scrapbook Convention happening at River Center in St Paul Friday and Saturday and the "Those were the Days" . Pre-CHA party happening Saturday. Geez, I've got my Delta Phi sisters representing at the Convention and my bud Kristi Contes doing classes at the TWTD party. I'm going to try and swing both but haven't heard back from the most "Friggin Awesome" teacher in the western hemisphere which class she wants me to attend.

My pal Minda is going to the first class so I'll see if I can crash that one. ( 9 AM and cropping? bring on the pain! ) I'm also going to try and hit the convention Friday afternoon for a couple hours.

I love excuses to talk to people at these things so if you see me at the convention or come up and say "Merry Christmas" and I'll give you a not sold anywhere - you have to be cool to get one Premiere Edition of Scrapped that has extra footage and the full size TV versions of the shooter and grinder promos. Maybe I'll have a few posters... heck, I'll even sign them for you.

So the big question is should I bring my spiky crop bag to the convention? Is it pretentious? I'm not acutally going to be cropping there but need something to carry DVD's in. Are people going to think I'm a cropping poser?! :0)

Monday, July 09, 2007

rockin' the suburbs

I went bicycling with my little brother last weekend in the 95 degree heat. He lives downtown in the buffer land between the artistic mecca of Uptown Minneapolis and downtown which is big enough to have a skyline but small enough to still have most retail close down at 6:00 PM and turn into a bar and music land.

In our hunt for houses we decided we missed the city and were looking mostly at lofts and condos in this area but have finally made an offer on a house about 10 minutes from downtown instead. You might recognize this background from seeing Nate leave his apartment and get in the car in Scrapped.I asked what's new and he mentioned seeing some gun play outside his living room window right on the corner. Between association fees, parking, crime and a grossly flooded market of condo's sitting empty in a soft real estate market... we decided to get a house instead.

Looking back I remember the years I spent in Minneapolis living in the apartment downtown by the dome where a guy lived next to the dumpster that smelled like pee and my car would get broken into ( I don't have a problem with wetting yourself, he seemed like a nice guy ) having visitors driving around the block looking for parking with the place by Lake Calhoun, and gun play - graffiti and screaming neighbors in our two houses in South Minneapolis. Ahh yes, it's all coming back. Why I traded in cool for a lawn and less colorful neighbors.

We've put in an offer on a house in an area called St. Louis Park which borders the cool area of Uptown and "the lakes" but is typically quiet with a disproportionately large number of houses built in the 50's and Jewish population. I look forward to checking out the temple a few blocks away, the deli's and kicking it with my hasidic homies. Connie and I went for a walk around the neighborhood on a particularly hot day and were suprised to not only see a gentleman out watering his yard with a hot and steamy black velvet yamika but also someone walking down the street in full black sports coat sporting the traditional long side curls. Not quite the slick 20 something scene of downtown condos. :0)

After compiling sweat equity for the last 13 years and 3 houses we're able to move on up. Here's the equation: average price of lofts and condos we were looking at: $400k with $20k for an extra parking space since I have a full size truck and motorcycle. Association fees: between $400 - $500/ month. Average size of units: 1300 Sq. Ft.

Price of the house we put a bid on: $389k with x-large two car garage, 2400 sq.ft. with no association fees and almost no yard to take care of. Both are about a 15 minute walk to lakes and the artsy world of Uptown where even a hippie can get killed despite surrendering their wallet. The worst thing bound to happen in the new neighborhood compared to downtown is not being able to shop on Sabbath.

I've officially resigned to the fact that I'm becoming old and sensible, sedated and boring... more concerned about resale value than night life. It's bound to happen to you too...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

new home

Scrapped ( and Brethren ) have found a new home. Connie and I have not... yet.

I've been hired on to a new movie studio here in the Twin Cities. No, I didn't know there was anything like that here in the Midwest either. It might be the only one of any size. It's called Shadow Creek Studios, is only four months old and has a handful of titles, all monster type movies right now. I've been hired on to start up a "docutainment" division and do some other projects for the parent company Braun Media who's got DVD's and audio books all over the place like Barnes and Nobles, Target, Walmart, online stores, etc. That means Scrapped will probably end up in bricks and mortar stores and major retailers sometime soon.

I moved all my inventory into the warehouse at work last week. I had some pride when I rolled up the door to my storage space and loaded up 3 pickup loads full of Public and Premiere edition DVD's, T Shirts, posters, etc. because they were a tangible, measurable item to see what I've accomplished in the last year of making something out of nothing. It was fun to think that out of everything I'm moving there's actually more than twice as much floating around the planet somewhere. Then I unloaded everything into the warehouse at work and it all came into perspective. Here's my few pallets worth of stuff compared to part of the warehouse with part of the movies I'll help promote. A small part.

My job consists of finding good documentaries and movies with strong stories, family type stuff and projects that are quirky for distribution. It will also include making some new ones myself - like a Scrapped sequel, but not for a little while. I've inherited a backlog of stuff to work on because everything is still in startup mode.

Some of the interesting possibilities are plans for online TV and radio broadcasts, pay per view download movies on the internet ( like netflix is doing ) making videos in short formats for cell phone companies that want to liscence our stuff and projects for some national cable TV netoworks. Fun technology, lots of freedom, keep doing what I'm doing except getting a regular paycheck. How cool is that?

After a few years of slaving away as a peon I'm finally breaking in to the indie film biz. I've signed on with a couple friends of mine who are doing a "micro budget" movie of around $200k in LA for the month of August. All of our last projects were designed to save the world, enhance mankind or statements for virtue but this is pretty much a murder mystery movie that's deisgned to get exposure, entertain and make some form of profit.

I'm overjoyed because I'm not in charge of anything, it's all their baby. They wrote the script, are acting, directing, etc. I'm just using my camera, doing grip work ( lighting and camera movement stuff ), managing the digital footage and being the clacker boy ( that slate thing with the black and white stripey bar on the top that you smack together when they say action. ) I say I'm overjoyed because it's a full on Hollywood style production with a lighting truck, crew, 16 hour days, several locations ( like a hollywood airplane set used in regular features ), name actors ( not huge name, but people you'd recognize ) and the whole degree of stress that comes with a regular movie crew.

The two guys heading things up are D.David Morin imdb info here and Geno Andrews imdb info here. D.David is the guy I stayed with during CHA this spring in Anaheim. I'll be staying with him again for August which will be great because I really like Santa Monica and being right by the beach.

So expect lots of interesting pictures from the shoot and behind the scenes stuff in August.

Tomorrow is Independence Day here in yankee land. The day we decided to fight the bloated governing powers because we were getting our pants taxed off and had the government making decisions on who's going to pay for what without representation from the actual citizens. 230 years later we're kind of in the same boat... and don't even get me started with the Twins Stadium. ( inside joke for Minnesotans. ) I recommend lightening up for the holidays and listening to some "Real Men of Genius" adds here.

PS. Hello Sweden! For some reason I've gotten a big peppering of log in's from you in the last few days so thanks! If you care to identify yourself please email me a pic at and I'll put you up on the blog for everyone to see. I'm sure the rest of the world would love to see what the Swede's look like scrapbooking!