Sunday, October 28, 2007


This week I was able to pick up some website work as well as a couple blasts from the past: I did some drywalling for a contractor friend of mine and got a call for a paying gig at a club downtown playing some jazzy bass. How cool is that? I got a little nostalgic for things I used to do before I got "so busy" and let video stuff consume my life. It was great.

I'm digging up the China project this week (the one I spent a few weeks in January cruising around China shooting ) for a potential meeting with a couple networks that may have interest in funding a full on TV series. Always a slim chance but we'll see what happens. May I present my Chinese business cards?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Creative You!

I got a request from my friend Minda at to come up with a scrapbooking layout for a series of challenges they're doing. I was thrilled! My tubs and tubs of scrapbook stuff are in storage so I decided to camp out somewhere that I could borrow tools and a clear workspace. I ended up at a scrapbook store by my house I've been wanting to check out called Creative You in Maple Grove.

Michael the co-owner found me all kinds of alternative styled embellishments and paper and I ( like everybody else ) ended up going in to do a single layout and walking out with paper, pens, etc. I fell in love with this Jeneva and Company paper from apparently four or more years ago and lots of options for out of print abstract paint and textured embellishments that aren't the current hot trend you'd find at Target or Michael's craft. I guess that's one of the reasons priavte shops are so cool. Everybody is buying the same thing at a chain store but indie shops have the crazy stuff nobody else has. Be unique.

I won't post my layout until it's been released at Tallyscrapper! Sorry.

Here's Michael in his element: beads. He had some humorus and enlightening comments on the difference between beaders and scrappers, we talked about the different factions in the crafting community and it was an all around fun time to hang out with another guy in a scrapbook store. :0)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

sleepless in Seattle

I was in Tacoma, Washington shooting some footage of a machine that senses the length of railroad cars and uses gigantic hydraulic arms to drag them one at a time into a building where they get dumped. I wore a hardhat, a vest and tried not to touch anything within a 10 foot parameter of a longshoreman.

When you see something as big as a freighter, tanker or super tanker your brain just can't wrap around it. My brain goes from big - like a super sized root beer at Burger King to bigger, like a full sized quad cab truck with an 8 ft box to super big like a semi. Huge might be a jumbo jet. Anything past that and my eyes throw back the findings but my brain just comes back with "really freakin big" and doesn't have anything to compare it to. I don't see things 600-800 feet, essentially a sky scraper driving around horizontally very often.

Another bonus about this hop out to the Seattle / Tacoma area was finally meeting Chan or D-fly-girl as I've grown to know her from her blog and posts. Turns out she works for a radio station and gave me a full tour and swag on a moments notice.
All around a good couple days. Thanks Chan! Check out her blog here.

Being back on a plane for the first time in a few months was a little unnerving. I was able to go to Europe, New Zealand / Australia, China, Indonesia and many, many trips to New York, LA and all points in between this year. Sometimes gone for weeks at a time, often hopping around within a country with a lot of time on planes. Enough that if I get a nervous tick when I hop on a plane now.

All I can think about is cramming a 6ft, 255 pound lard butt into a seat and personal space made for a Philippino jockey with dwarfism. Serving a 2-3 hour sentence in confinement wasn't so bad... even therapeutic. I forgot I had encoded season 4 of News Radio for Connie's iPod and left the episodes on my laptop. Man, that has to be one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. The time flew by.

So all around a fun couple days! It's great to be back in the saddle shooting video, astounding to get into the docks area and hang out with trains all day, fun to see the mountains and people you've only met in the blogosphere. It was a great way to make a living this week!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

twenty four

I've got a great life - full stop.

I've also got my health and a huge amount of great friends which constantly surprises me because I'm a hermit by nature and have to make an effort to contact people but I've got to level with you though, the last twenty four days has been a challenge. Some of the highlights have been humbling myself and bringing my truck in for brake service instead of doing it myself ( I was moving and didn't have time or interest in doing it myself ) then having a front caliper lock up with smoke and all, getting it repaired then 5 miles later having the brakes go out completely during moving house going 60 mph down a highway.

I've sold my house and bought a new one only to find during closing that with a team of people waiting to load trucks I can't move into the new house because the city has issues that can only be resolved by the legal owner who is a bank in a different state. I've paid the money, signed the forms and then walked away with a post it note of someone's number wo will "get back to me when they know something" instead of a set of keys so I can start unloading my stuff.

I've had someone try to rob me, someone who I chased down a dark street and through the woods in the middle of the night. In the end I probably scared them more than they scared me. They didn't get to steal anything from me and I didn't get assualted so it turned out OK in the end.

I found my dream job, got a distribution deal for Scrapped and Brethren that I was very happy with and was able to get four pallets of DVD's, posters, T Shirts and the general indie movie party pack out of my basement. In the last twenty four days I've had to load up my inventory because the distributor was unable to make payments on our agreement, wasn't paid by their vendors and over extended themselves financially. I can understand that but it boiled down to several months of empty promises, missed payments, accumulated debt and the general runaround so I'm back to square one again. My job was the same situation. After six weeks of busting butt the paychecks slowed down to a trickle and then dried up. Everybody's hurting there but with the combination of paying off a movie project but someone else getting the money from sales and only getting a small fraction of a paycheck from a job I needed to give up on that dream and take counter measures. Job and future of video projects from the last three years: dissolved and starting over.

These are just the highlights. For some reason every few days in the last twenty four have been one step closer to the allignment of my stress universe, the perfect storm to leverage me between things bigger than myself. Things that are forcing me to evaluate who I am as a person, how I repsond to challenges, where am I heading in life, what I value... why it feel so good to shut myself in the garage and jump up and down yelling obscenities, why stress eating is only a short term fix and why my wife stays married to me.

For some divine reason and despite my best efforts I've ended up having coffee, lunch or dinner with a dozen friends I haven't seen for quite a while in the last week or so of these twenty four days. Long term good friends I've know for twenty years or more. Friends that I've logged in enough time with that the occurances of a month or less seem like a blip on the radar compared to half our lives.

Being at whits end has worn me down and I've been agreeing to social engagements. Free food and beverage from people who know you're unemployed is a fabulous recovery program and the side benefit is being reminded of the blessings still coming out your ears. Hearing about my friends divorce after twenty years of marriage reminded me how lucky I was to have met Connie and somehow avoid taking all the marriage bait in other less healthy relationships I was in for so long. I started to fall in love with my new house and am seeing what it might look like when the work is done, the city inspectors are finished and every thing's moved in. Heck, I even got a call from a friend who manages a club downtown to come play bass for a paying gig in a jazz trio. I got hooked up with a freelance corporate video gig in Washington state next week and am having lunch tomorrow with another friend who is connecting me to several production companies to jump start my job hunting process.

Twenty four days seems to be just enough time for a turnaround.

Addendum: Finished this post and drug Connie out for breakfast. Our new house is about 10 minutes from Bryant Lake Bowl in Uptown. My friend Todd who encouraged me to start a blog a year and a half ago also took me to breakfast here last week. I didn't even know they were open before noon. Apparently I'm part of the more "mature" crowd who go to BLB for breakfast instead of drinks and debauchery after midnight... thanks Todd. Bison Hash rules.