Friday, March 28, 2008

Tux & Ollie costumes


Tux & Ollie costumes
Originally uploaded by thoseawake.
Oh. My. God. I'm blogging this so I can remember to show it to Babymama...she wants dogs like this. I think the Shrek outfit might actually make her pee herself a little bit.

If I brought one of these dudes home I think Bodie might get a little confused, but what's new?

Oh, and say hello to "thoseawake" here from flickr, whose picture I just stumbled upon and blogged (without permission, I might add...I'll wait patiently for approval or orders of removal). Anyway, they also have a blog, so click through and find it, because they are apparently moving to Reno!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can you smell that?

So I'm going to kill two birds with one stone here. This picture, which has been doctored up with a little Picnik Love will serve as not only a catalyst for my post, but also my (possibly late, but better than never) entry into Emily Pie's latest photo challenge called "Spring". Enter picture of Sean and Ireland's first encounter with Chinese Kite Fighting:

We totally won the fight by default.

All of the signs of the season are in the atmosphere: sunshine, glimpses of bare skin on the street, crowding at the gym, 25-mile-per-hour winds followed by Sean reminding me that we STILL haven't used his new kite, tax season stresses and my desire to run away from my Quickbooks dominated desktop at work at the sneaky hour of 4:15. I left work early. I balanced out my Catholic guilt by taking the family to the park to fly the stupid kite. "Let's soak us up some Sprang! Ya herd?"

Sean acted like he knew how it was going to go down at first, letting me know that he would gladly take the kite and throw it in the air whilst I took control. I love control. The best part was that after a very easy launch, Sean tried to maintain position directly below the bobbing kite, hands in the air, prepared at any minute to catch it when it came down. It was hilarious. After a while he finally came up the hill to where I was masterfully navigating our space between the trees and 3 sets of soccer practices with kids slightly older than Sean, their coaches screaming away the pain of their own failed athletic careers.

[Side note: I secretly can't wait to coach soccer next year...or tee ball for that matter. If you think that this blog has a hint of pride or arrogance, you. just. wait. Have I failed to mention yet about Sean's soccer dribbling skills since the age of 1.5, or his ability to hit no less than .700 with a wiffle ball and bat from BOTH sides of the plate? Yeah. The yellow bat, bitches. It's on. Anyway, I digress.]

So the way Sean's face lit up as he proudly flew his death-star-killing-machine-on-a-string was like that fat German kid's mug right before he fell in the chocolate river and got sucked up the pipe. Sean was concentrated and captivated. Ireland, in the mean time, did what any 19-month-old might: she repeatedly tested her inner-ear and motor skill development by climbing to the top of the grass hill, leaning forward ever so slightly until gravity kicked in, and running down the hill as fast as her little pink Chuck Taylor's would carry her. Babymama, plastic red not-so-low-profile cup of Chardonnay in hand, watched over the little hill-runner with a smile. What a great way to take an early out from work.

I love Spring. I love the sunshine. I can't wait to open up the pool and have a party that would rival *insert current rap artist name here*'s pad in that sick *insert video title here* video. (They still make rap videos on the M-T-Z, right? With big booty ho's and Cristal? Anyone? I shuold ask Babymama, as I bet she catches the occasional video in between episodes of Run's House). As I said before, winter kicks ass, and I'm sure there's a few of you out there who are going to wee-wee-wee all the way home when the snow melts, but I FOR ONE am ready. Bring on the heat wave, baby. If you can't stand it, drop in to my house. I've got water and all other kinds of liquid refreshment.


Oh yeah, something a little odd also happened last night...maybe the Newlands Manor peeps might throw me a bone if you noticed, but for about 2 hours, there were no less than 2-dozen hawks in the sky all at once. It was beyond freaky. I tried to capture it with the point and shoot, but, well, it's a point and shoot. If I posted the picture you all would just think I was going all Roswell or something. But seriously, the hawks. I felt like I was dropping acid or something. I considered that maybe the wind was keeping them from their normal nest in the area trees, as there are a lot of trees in this old 'hood, but THAT's alotta hawkage. Yeah, anyway, "Cool story, Hansel". I know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

THE BALLS, I say!!!

Surfing through the never ending abyss of the blog world today, I discovered a new treasure called Dad Gone Mad. I've only read two of this dude's posts so far, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet and get back to catching up on all the shit I've been missing. He is the balls. I mean that in the most respectful Ron Burgundy sort of way. My only concerns are that

  1. He is evidently a better writer than me, and
  2. he could possibly give me a run for my money on the coolness factor. Let's face it, he drinks Guinness and swears openly on his blog, DESPITE the fact that he is a father and he might tarnish his reputation as such. I commend this type of behavior because it's not only real, but I identify with it. Fuck. And I mean that in the most respectful kind of way.

I'm adding him to my "hit this" list, so that I can navigate my way back to his genius on a regular basis.

A Great Man Passes

Hal Riney, the San Francisco advertising man whose iconic and memorable work helped establish the city as a leading creative center for the industry, died of cancer in his San Francisco home Monday. He was 75.



Thanks to my buddy (and former Hal Riney co-worker), Mike, for passing on this article this morning. It's a worthwhile read if you have 5 minutes. Some of the amazing things to take from it include his genius touch behind the brands that we would all come to love, including Bartles & James, Saturn, and even Ronald Reagan. He was a National Treasure, and the kind of thinker that even the best creative minds today can only aspire to be.


I only have one true story about Hal from my stint working in his agency:

I was tapped to come up with an idea for the invitation to the company Christmas party. This may seem trivial, but believe it or not, such work was scrutinized in the industry. As a matter of fact, my partner/art director had won an Addy just the year before for his brilliant invitation to the same party. I wanted to create a piece of work that would stand up and at least approach the bar.

I created a script for Hal to read with his gravely voice, and it was pretty funny with a modicum of tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo. I played on the legendary story of a Christmas party past, when Riney co-workers, assembled at a location across the street from the agency building, would have a little too much to drink and end up sneaking back across the street mid-party to...*ahem*...well, I guess to take the party to the next level on the conference room table. It apparently made for great security camera footage. Anyway, my little script made allusions to such debauchery, all in good spirit and in the name of comedy. It was approved by Hal, and I was convinced that it would knock everyone's socks off when they checked their voicemails and Hal's personal message would sound across the other end of the phone.

My partner was following Hal to the recording studio, watching as he smoked his stogey through the non-smoking hallway (HIS hallway) and read over the script one last time. All of the sudden Hal stopped in his tracks, dropped the script to the ground, and without explanation turned around and walked back to his office. That's as far as that particular invitation made it. That's how he did things. If the idea wasn't good enough, there was no room for it in Hal's world.

It was a painful truth that I learned working for Hal: that I probably wasn't cut out to produce the quality of work that he demanded. Just having one attempt put into His hands was good enough for me, though, because he was already of Creative Emeritus type status, and rarely came into the office at all. It may sound ridiculous, but even just being in the same building with the Man was a rewarding experience for me. I will always be able to say that Hal killed an idea of mine...and say it with pride.

If you read the article you will see that on top of Hal's many accomplishments, he was also a lover of the outdoors, a plane hijacking survivor, and a good father. Even after leaving his company years ago, I continue to learn from him. I feel honored to have been in his presence.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Alma Upset


My very own University of San Diego Toreros pulled off a major upset against the storied UCONN yesterday, and are making their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. I think we have a pretty good chance against W. Kentucky, too.
I love March Madness.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sprung

So it's officially the first day of Spring. Happytimes.


Normally I chew the marrow of Winter and it's snowy greatness, but this year turned out to be less than exciting for yours truly. Three times on the mountain does not a ski season make. Insert standard "Next Year" rhetoric here.


Onward and Upward...I am really into seeing the sunshine, the happy faces, the subtle signs that new things are afoot in my world. Speaking of, I was just walking down Cal Ave when I saw a Smart Car turn the corner in front of me. It was cool. I couldn't pull the cameraphone out quick enough to get a capture, so I cheated and pulled this picutre from the Internetz:


Wow. Reno is really that hip. Or someone from Sactown is here for Jesus' big week. Either way, I'm chalking is up as a sign of Springy-Greeny thingies on the horizon.


BRING ON THE SUN!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Erin Go Bragh

I'll start off this post with a reference to the site my sister hipped me to in a recent comment called "Stuff White People Like". Anyway, today they have a post on St. Patrick's Day. Appropriate.

Anyway, my morning was classic and new at the same time. You see, it seems a leprechaun broke into our house in the wee hours, climbing up through the air ducts in the floor. The little F@$ker left shamrock-shaped footprints all through the house, which he mischievously trashed, throwing paper and magazines about and flipping over furniture. Fortunately, Sean realized that he must have been tossed, because he also left his pot of Gold sitting in our living room...I wish I had a picture.

I'll post the video on Youtube as soon as I get it up. It was pretty funny stuff.

On that note...enjoy this day of days. Have a pint of the black stuff. And if you are out this evening, look me up.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Action

OK, so now I'm going to engage in a challenge tossed out by another local blogger, EmilyPie. It's a photo challenge, and this week it just so happens that I have a shot that fits the bill. The contest is to post your best or most interesting or...wait, what is the qualification again for this "action shot" to be selected as the winner? I guess I'm not sure, but in order for the picture to be considered as part of the consest, you must link to her blog and then comment on her original post. As far as the shot goes, here's the verbatim:



Get out and find something/someone moving, and photograph it/them. People, pets,
inanimate objects.... everything is fair game. Your picture just needs to depict
movement.




So on that note, here is my humble submission. Enjoy:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And on that note...

Props go out to the Sis of below, for turning me on to these freaks. Actually, come to think of it, she actually indicated that I would fit in with this group, so what does that say about me? Perhaps I have some type of unrealized potential, waiting to bust out in a Holy Hot Dog On A Stick kind of way?

Anyway, enjoy:

Back on the "A" list

After much deliberation, I have decided to place my sister Erin's blog back on the "Hit This" list. I took it off a while back out of frustration over the fact that I would check on her every week, and sometimes go weeks on end without reward. Admittedly, I have high expectations of other people and myself, and I probably just should have sat tight while she got through what she described as feeling "overwhelmed" about updating her blog. Anyway, she's been posting regularly again, commenting on my posts, and has even added a music feature to her page. Impressive.


I'll admit that I usually hit the pause button first thing so that I don't have to hear her blog's music overlapping with the kickass Pandora Radio mix I created and constantly have playing as my workday theme music. Seriously, check it out and hold on to your faceskin.

Anyway, way to go on blogging for the sake of blogging, Er-Bear. Keep on, uh...keep on truckin'.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I just wanna dance

I'll admit it right now, I'm not really as good of a breakdancer as I make myself out to be, but I do have a couple of moves. And I'm not scared of experimenting with new moves if the music is right, I've had enough to drink, the ground is accomodating (I learned this one the hard way from a little throw down I did in my in-laws garage...cold hard concrete...hangover bruises galore), AND I have on the proper attire. Obviously it doesn't have to be a Fubu tracksuit, I mean, let's be reasonable...I'm a 32-year-old white guy. Truth be told, I've been looking for some new gear that I can kick both at work and on the flo', so discovering this new internet-only retailer, Bonobos, was inspiring, and I think, a one-leg-at-a-time step in the right direction.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lessons from a Gangster


I don't want to come off too much like a style biter, but there is a small amount of irony in the facts that
1. my last post referenced This guy,
2. he has been doing movie review type posts lately,
3. this is, in some form, a kind of movie review.

All insecurities aside, I do feel the need to comment on a pretty cool movie that I was up late last night watching. It's funny, but knowing that I had to work early in the morning, I watched the chapter counter on the dvd player, trying to figure out if I should stay engaged or go to bed. The movie was due back at the store today, and it was very entertaining, so I opted to stay awake and attentive and enjoyed just about every minute.

Let me qualify by saying that the last chapter was a little hard to wrap my brain around...the cop and the gangster that he sent to prison are now BFF's, practically holding hands while they skip across the street. Whatever...at least that's all I have for negatives.

For the most part, the picture was great and not in the ways I would have expected. Sure, there were some very stellar performances, every one of which was overshadowed by Denzel's superior work. He is so very talented, and ever since Training Day, I put him on a short list of favorite actors...those who can go deeper in the bag to deliver contemplative performances. In "Gangster", he demonstrated a frighteningly realistic capacity for tenderness and rage.

The elements I liked most about the movie, however, are much more subjective than a film study class would ever allow. My personal attraction to this flick comes from some of the concepts that were presented throughout:

  • Being a great dad and a great narcotics cop is probably impossible. Yeah, I think I'd have a hard time, too. It was nice to see Russel Crowe's character admit it in the child custody proceedings. It was far-fetched, sure, but wouldn't it be nice if we could all just fire the lawyers, look in the mirror and start doing what's right.
  • If you want to take over the Heroin market and put your competition out of business, why not go straight to the manufacturer. This reminded me so much of Scarface, and there is something just plain fun about rooting for the drug-dealing bad guy who risks it all to make it big. Maybe it's escapism, but again I started thinking, "Yeah, that's how I'd do it." Looking back on how ridiculous of a thought that is to put yourself in that scenario, even as fantasy, makes me realise that this was really a good movie. Good movies put you in them.
  • If you're not a pimp, don't wear long fur coats. OK, maybe the coat wasn't completely over the top, but the matching hat was.

So there you have it: a totally mediocre movie review that really skips over any relevant dialogue and goes straight to the heart of nothing in particular. But seriously, good movie.