Here are some blurbs about what’s going on right now.
- Go Media’s going through a bit of a transition period. We had to let go of a few staff members and we’re feeling the pinch of this terrible economy. My partners and fellow designers have been really buckling down and we’re turning things around. If we continue to do high quality work and take care of our clients, and we know things will get better.
- I’ve been slammed at work lately and at home. I’m just extremely busy in all aspects of life that I have no time for stuff I used to do in my off-time. Like write on this blog. You know when you’re busy, you think you should post a blog but it’s just not important enough and you have other things to do. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m busting my ass at Go Media trying to get more work done for clients as well as racking my brain about breathing some life back into the Arsenal. We temporarily had to release George, our editor for the GoMediaZine, so that’s also on my plate.
- Parachute Journalists (my band) is actually in a good spot right now. We were going to make the trek to NYC to record with Phil Douglas of Latterman (one of my favorite bands and fav producers) but we’ve realized we’re all broke and Adam, our singer/guitarist is getting really good at recording/producing so we’re just going to do it ourselves. It’s more fun that way I think because we can take our time and focus on the songs – better than being rushed for 3 days in NYC. We’ve got the music tracked and we are doing vocals and overdubs now. I can’t wait to show you guys how it comes out!
- Kim and I barely have time to do home maintenance and yard work. This time of year, it’s dark when we get home from work so it’s kind of depressing if you know what I mean. We’re also in a pinch financially and a putting off a lot of home repairs that need done. And the Holidays are sneaking up. It’s going to be tight this year!
This is the first non-portfolio post on this site. Why? What the heck? Well, I’ve always felt I should keep content flowing on this site and write about the things that interested me. I was afraid it’d get in the way of the portfolio, but honestly, who cares? I’ve been asked by a few people, and most recently @godmachine to start up a film blog. Thanks for the kick in the pants, that was all I needed to start what I had been putting off for far too long.
I will be posting my opinion on the films I see (I don’t want to call these posts “reviews” because I’m not a film crtitic.) I’m an artist, and I’m giving you my perspective on what moves me and makes me feel drawn to the films I see. I will share with you where I get a lot of my inspiration and why I think it has an impact on my life. I’ll share my thoughts with the hope that you might relate and we can share a common connection. Perhaps you might be inspired to see the film; or maybe you have a differing opinion. That’s ok too.
My opinion on film is only my opinion. I consider myself to have fairly good taste, but that’s all it is, my personal taste. Truth be told I have a strong sense of what is good film and what is not; what is something to behold and what is mainstream crap. In fact, my taste is pretty outside the mainstream. I don’t really have an opinion on most mainstream multiplex cinema because I’m just not interested in seeing it. It’s hard for me to relate. You could say that’s kind of snobby, which I admit, it is. But don’t let that turn you off. I remember I was insulted when I first interacted with “film snobs” who rattled off a list of directors I’d never heard of and listing films by their original foreign language name. I thought they were simply bragging about how obscure they could be and how punk it was to hate the mainstream. But through my interaction, I realized they were not snobby at all – just really passionate about the movies and directors they saw. They had a hard time explaining what it was they liked in movies because it was not always based on typical film conventions like shot composition, editing, story arcs, or plot. It was about their visceral experience of watching the film.
Fact: I’m not a movie buff. I was considered a “movie buff” by my less film-experienced peers circa 2004 when I was into directors like Darren Aronofsky, Richard Kelly, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Spike Jonze, and a few others. I thought that I knew movies and was into obscure and weird stuff. But quickly realized that was only the tip of the iceberg. I think things changed for me after I saw Harmony Korine’s Gummo. It really blew me away and changed the way I looked at movies. At first, I was snickering and secretly loving this film because of how insanely disturbing it was (like everyone else). Sure, it’s a really fucked up film and when I am watching it, I literally think “Why do I even like this shit?” But afterward, I can’t stop thinking about it. I researched Harmony Korine’s influences and Werner Herzog was on that list. Interesting, I saw Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small a year before because I was looking for similiar surrealist films like David Lynch’s first film Eraserhead. At the time, Eraserhead was my favorite movie. My introduction to Herzog was more of a “check out this film if you like Eraserhead” than a “Herzog is staple director of the German New Wave.” I think this introduction really played a part in how I proceed from film to film.
So when I saw that Herzog was a Harmony Korine influence, I was instantly hooked. I loved Even Dwarfs… and then started checking out Aguirre the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, and then Stroszek. All amazing and completely eye opening. My view on cinema was changed forever because I could actually feel something with these films. It wasn’t intellectual or esoteric. It was real.
Let’s fast forward to now. I could go on an on about my favorite films. I’ll go ahead and list them at the end of this post just for good measure. As well as my favorite directors. But this could turn into a novel if I wrote about each one. Perhaps I should?
My goal is not to see every film. Not even to see every GREAT film. I often could care less about the “classics” or what I should be watching. People scoff at me when I admit I haven’t seen ANY Hitchcock films in recent memory, or haven’t seen the Godfather. What do I say to that? There are far too many films to see and not enough time. I cannot get to everything, and it’s a fruitless endeavor to even try. I admire the folks in the film Cinemania and think of them as my own little heroes, but I cannot realistically see 3-5 films a day. I will stick to 2-3 per week and that’s about as much as I can do. 4 if I am lucky!
So with that said, let me formally invite you to my world of cinema. You’ll be in for an interesting ride. You might be insulted, offended, or shocked, but hopefully inspired.
My favorite films
The 7 Up Series, The 400 Blows, 21 Grams, 51 Birch Street, 2 Days in Paris, Another State of Mind, Ali Fear Eats the Soul, Air Guitar Nation, Alexander the Last, Adaptation, Annie Hall, Abigails Party, After the Wedding, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, A History of Violence, All or Nothing, American Movie, Amores Perros, Baghead, The Business of Being Born, Brothers, Blind Loves, Blindness, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Blue Velvet, BIKE, Billy the Kid, The Bridge, Career Girls, Clean Shaven, Cache, Cries and Whispers, Cinemania, Crash, Decline of Western Civilization 1-3, The Devil & Daniel Johnston, Deliver us From Evil, Dancer in the Dark, Donnie Darko, Dog Days, Dear Zachary, Dance Party USA, Elephant, Eraserhead, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Eagle vs Shark, Fast Food Nation, Fitzcarraldo, Fat Girl, Freaks, Fucking Åmål, The Firm (Alan Clarke), Funny Ha Ha, Garden State, Ghost World, Grizzly Man, Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner, Great World of Sound, Grey Gardens, Grown Ups, Gummo, Half Nelson, Human Behavior Experiments, Home Movie, Hoop Dreams, Happy Go Lucky, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Heavy Metal in Baghdad, High Fidelity, Home Sweet Home, Husbands and Wives, I Am a Promise, I am a Sex Addict, Inland Empire, Jesus Camp, Joe Kid on a Sting Ray, Jonestown, Julien Donkey-Boy, Keane, Kissing on the Mouth, King of Kong, Little Otik, Lilya 4 Ever, La Promesse, Little Deiter Needs to Fly, L’Enfant, Made in Britain, Man on Wire, Masculin Feminin, Mr. Death: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Meantime, Mulholland Drive, My Kid Could Paint That, Naked, Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie, Napoleon Dynamite, Nosferatu, Nuts in May, Office Space, Old Joy, Open Hearts, Paranoid Park, Palidromes, Persona, Punk’s Not Dead, Pan’s Labyrinth, Phenomena, Pi, The Puffy Chair, Quiet City, Say Anything, School of Rock, Starbucking, Scum, Secrets and Lies, Scenes from a Marriage, Spellbound, Suspiria, Starbucking, Stroszek, Super Size Me, Taxi to the Dark Side, Talk to Her, Team Picture, Together, The Son, Talk to Her, This is England, The Celebration, This is Spinal Tap, The Firm, The Freshest Kids, The White Diamond, Waking Life, Tetsuo the Iron Man, The War Zone, Wild at Heart, Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Word Wars, Wordplay, Wesley Willis the Grandaddy of Rock N Roll, A Women Under the Influence, and I’m sure others I can’t remember.
My Favorite Directors
Werner Herzog, Dardenne Bros, Susanne Bier, Lukas Moodysson, Harmony Korine, Alan Clarke, Andrew Bujalski, David Lynch, Duplass Brothers, Joe Swanberg, Mike Leigh, John Casavettes, and a bunch I’m forgetting right now.
Wow, 2008 was a hell of a year. So much happened! Here we go:
Notable happenings from 2008:
- Got married to Kim Woll! We’d been together since 2003 and tied the knot Sept. 27. We planned the wedding for over a year and it was stressful. But the Wedding went smoothly and was very memorable. Great photography by Z Media helps us remember. View my pics to see how they turned out.
- Honeymoon and first cruise! Kim and I cruised for 5 days in the Caribbean. We visited Key West, Cozumel, and Belize and also spent some time in Ft. Lauderdale where we basically were forced to stay in our hotel due to the rain.
- New Go Media HQ! We found the building in 2007 and all the hard work and preparation came to fruition in 2008 when we finally moved our office and staff to the new warehouse on 4507 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH. It was a big undertaking, buying the building (not renting), demolishing all 3 floors and renovating the top floor. Pete Maric designed our interior space and my partner Bill Beachy basically had to make the rest happen. Dealt with all the contactors and suffered all the headaches while the rest of us held down the fort and kept the money flowing into the Go Media. Now we’re comfortably in the new space and working hard to make 2009 awesome. View pics here.
- Economy sucks. We saw a big dip in our sales on both design services and Arsenal products. We doubled our staff, but the work just isn’t there. Fortunately, nobody got laid off and we still managed to earn a profit. 2009 is going to be better. Our staff is 1 year smarter and hardier. We will rock!
- I’m an Uncle! My new sister-in-law (Kim’s older sister Jen) got married and had a daughter named Addison. I don’t really “feel” like an uncle, but I guess I am technically! Hehe.
- Went the Fest 7 – which was a blast. Go Media was a happy sponsor again this year (we also sponsored in 2007. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to design an official t-shirt and poster. T-shirts are all sold out but you can buy the poster here.
- By Bread Alone finally played a show! The band I started back in summer of 2007 (drums/some vocals) played our first show in November. We actually played in the first floor of the Go Media warehouse. It went pretty good. Go Media’s Katie Major and my wife Kim helped document the event with photos and video. If you want, you can listen to a song or two. Our goal in 2009 is to get a solid sounding demo – one that is listenable to other people besides us….
- Paid off my car… That’s great, it gives me about $300 extra dollars every month. However, Kim and I are going to buy a house in 2009, so there are already plans for that cash.
Here is my music top list for 2008.[twocol_one]
- Billy the Kid
- Grown Ups
- Career Girls
- Taxi to the Dark Side
- Paranoid Park
- Nuts in May
- Punk’s Not Dead
- Another State of Mind
- Home Sweet Home
- Jonestown: The Life of Peoples Temple
- 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
- Heavy Metal in Baghdad
- My Kid Could Paint That
- Abigail’s Party
- 2 Days in Paris
- Business of Being Born
- Heavy Metal Parking Lot
- Air Guitar Nation
- Planet Earth
- Great World of Sound
- Grey Gardens
- King of Kong
- Dance Party USA
- Eagle vs. Shark
- Quiet City
- Dog Days
- Wesley Willis: the Grand Daddy of Rock n Roll
- Off With Their Heads
- Punkin Pie
- Nasty Ponies
- Drunken Boat
- Dead Things
- Iron Chic
- Adam Wagner
- Good Luck
- Vietnam Werewolf
- Echoes of Harpers Ferry
- The Knockdown
- The Copyrights
- Tarantulas Attack
- Nana Grizol
- The Replacements
- Down in the Dumps
- Get Bent
- The Shaking Hands
- O Pioneers
So that’s it, whew. If you actually read all this, good for you. But hopefully, this will be useful to read in a few years. It’s always cool going back to look at your old recaps. I wish I did one last year!
2009 is shaping up to be a busy year already. Here are some things already planned on the calendar:
- Jeff Barton’s wedding (former college roommate and best man in my wedding)
- Dan Haylett’s wedding (long time friend since grade school)
- My sister’s wedding (going to Vegas)
- Chris Wilson’s wedding (fellow partner at Go Media)
- Hunting for a house and hopefully moving in
- Improvements at Go Media
- Demo for By Bread Alone
- Demo for Adam Wagner (fellow Go Media colleague and singer/songwriter I play drums for).
- Something else positive…
- More positive things….
What’s your list?
It’s been nearly 2 months since our big day.. Yes, my fiance Kim and I finally tied the knot. It was something we had been planning for over a year prior to that!
So what’s it like being a Husband? Well, so far, it’s pretty much the same – only I have a nice ring (that I sometimes forget to wear doh!). Kim and I have been living together and have been “practically” married for a while now. We’ve been together since June 2, 2003.
I’m very happy, if you don’t already know. I never doubted marrying Kim so it’s just a natural progression in my life. I feel like it was just the right time for it.
As you can see from our photos which I just posted in my pics, we had a great time at the wedding. The photos were taken by Wes and Lisa from Z Media here in Cleveland. Look them up, they’ve got a nice portfolio.
Mine and Kim’s next step is to stop renting and buy a house. We’re not sure how we’re going to do it, and might look into working with a financial advisor to help us plan for the future.
I’m enjoying being a husband so far. I don’t care what other guys say about marriage or that “settling down” is for suckers. Whoever says that just doesn’t understand. I enjoy having stability in my life. And our house might be in the suburbs, which according to some people is totally uncool. But truthfully, I’ll take having some more privacy and nicer house than the street cred that comes with living in the city, along with the noise, traffic, hustle and bustle, etc.
I want to play my drums in my house and not have to worry about neighbors. I want to have a yard to take care of. I want to be able to go outside on my porch and not have share it with a stranger.
I just don’t want to drive 30 min or more to work. So that might be the only hard part. Finding a place that has some space and freedom that isn’t too far away from Go Media. But we have barely started looking. I’m sure there is something.
If you haven’t heard the news, Kim and I are engaged! I popped the question while we were spending the weekend in Toronto and Niagara Falls at the end of last month.
I’m really happy to be with Kim and I always knew from the start that she’d be the one. I just had this feeling. But then I was worried because things seemed too good to be true and I couldn’t be that lucky.
But nearly 4 years later I felt the time was right to ask her to marry me. I felt like it was a no-brainer, but she was still surprised when I asked her! I got her a nice ring that my sister helped me pick out and Kim loves it I think (99% sure!).
So we have to pick a date and start planning the wedding. I’m not in a rush, and neither is Kim, but we really are going to get married and we don’t want to wait forever. So we’re probably thinking sometime in the summer or fall of 2008.
I posted a bulletin about this a few days ago, but those kinda get lost in the shuffle. So I just wanted to spread the news to everyone. Btw, you can see pictures from our trip on Kim’s blog here.
In other related news, Kim and I were approved for our new apartment! We spent a long time looking and ended up finding a nice double in Lakewood. It’s off of Clifton on a side street and it’s really nice inside. It was our favorite and we were hoping to get it, so we were so happy when we found out we got it today. We’ll post more news on that as we get it.
Last Thursday, at work, about a half an hour after I got in, my car was broken into and my car stereo was stolen. Can you believe that? My driver side window was busted out and there was glass everywhere. Mind you I drive a 94 Mazda Protege, so this car isn’t some gem. And what’s worse, is our neighbor saw the whole thing and called the police while it was happening. He was watching from across the street from his window. And he was on the phone with the cops the entire time the burglar was in my car unhooking my stereo. This was right in our driveway, in broad daylight, on a busy street. Nobody stopped him. And get this, the cops didn’t even show up until 7 HOURS later! The neighbor saw the criminal walk casually down the street with my stereo and he was able to get away.
And the cop that did show up just said “Oh that wasn’t my shift” when we asked him where they were 7 hours ago! Cleveland police I tell ya. Always there when you don’t want them, but never there when you need them. So I had to go windowless for three RAINY days. I got a window at a junkyard for $40 bucks and had my awesome Dad install it for free. Thank God I have a cool Dad like that otherwise I would have had to pay $200 just to get a new window installed.
Oh yeah, and I’m out a $300 in-dash MP3 player. Oh well…. I’ve had a rough few months. Just last month, I was robbed of $900 from Paypal. Someone must have had my password. They got into my account, sent $900 to some phony email addresses and Paypal closed my account as a result due to “excessive risk.” And after jumping through all their hoops, I still haven’t been able to get a refund. Paypal continues to deny me. They are a fuckin bullshit organization. I hate them. The way they are set up, they cater to crooks and criminals and stomp on the loyal little guy like myself. I’ve been a very active member for 6 years, with a great track record too. And Paypal locks my account and says fuck you. Ugh.
Oh well, my birthday is coming up on June 6th. That just means I have to pass e-check on my beater car and get my license plate renewed. But I will most likely get rejected because my muffler has been broken for months now. That’s why it’s so incredibley loud and annoying. I need a new car. Where’s the love?