Sunday, July 31, 2011

Five Stages of Grief (for a Zombie)


Gotta give Julie all the credit on this...  
I was lucky enough to work with her on this in a great stop motion workshop this past week that was given at the Faxon Library in Elmwood (Yay!)
Thanks to Joe, Dan, and Tessa for putting on the workshop and letting me be part of it!

Check out Julie's awesome work HERE 

And thank you Heather for suggesting I try the workshop out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Late Nite Song - Stand Up And Be Strong

You might be right 
You might be wrong 
You might just think your life has gone on for too long 
Your knees get weak 
Your heart grows cold 
And your tired of doing everything you´re told 

And nothing can take away from you 
And what you take what you´ve been through 
Stand up and be strong 
Stand up and be strong 
It wont take long 
You cant go on 
Stand up and be strong 

You might have to fight 
You might have to cry 
You might have to cry 
You might have to fight 
Stand up and be strong 

You live in the hills 
You take too many pills 
If you´ve lost the thrill against your own will 
Stand up and be strong 

And nothing can take away from you 
And what you take 
What you know what you´ve got to do 
Stand up and be strong 
Stand up and be strong 
It wont take long you cant go on 
Stand up and be strong 

If you get all depressed 
When you get undressed 
If your life is a mess 
Remember you´re blessed stand up and be 
Stand up and be 
Stand up and be strong 
Stand up and be strong 
It wont take long 
You cant go on 
Stand up and be strong 
Stand up and be strong 
Stand up and be strong 
You can't go on it wont take long stand up and be strong 
(Soul Asylum)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Borders... If you see me getting high, knock me down...

I saw a great t-shirt on a kid today. It said:
"Buy Art Not Shoes"
I intentionally keep my day jobs away from my presence on the internet. But since I haven't worked for Borders since 2004, and soon they will just be a memory I figured, who cares?
People keep asking me about how I feel about the end of Borders. And I keep saying nice simple, short things like "It's too bad." or "Shame so many of the people I care about will be out of work" and so on... And them I'm asked: "No, really, what do you think?" And I've been brushing off answering it. I wanted to make sure to use the right words. And as a writer, it's easier to sit down, with a coffee or a beer and think it out.

Well, I think it sucks.

I went into the Farmington Connecticut store tonite with Brie. And it actually made me sad. I didn't give as shit when Strawberries folded, and when Media Play shut down I smiled. When Record Express went under I saw it coming... I worked at all these places too. But there is something different about Borders. I don't know what it is.
I spent five years working for Borders. The golden years, when the staff was specialized, and the stock was varied... It was a place to buy that book no one else had and get a CD you'd never thought any store would have in stock. As I was in process of leaving in 2004 I saw the writing on the wall for it's demise if things didn't change quick. I'm not going to get into why Borders is no more... I'll let Slate writer Annie Lowery do that HERE.
What I'm going to do is babble here about my experiences with the shops... And what its meant to me.

What I did get for five years at Borders?
Love. Inspiration. Friendship.

To this day I still talk with people I met while working there. There wouldn't even be an Elmwood Productions as we know it if it wasn't for Borders. It's where I met Jim and Russ. We worked there together, and the seeds were planted there for a wild future. The main character for "Josh and Todd" was created there and inspired by a co-worker named Josh, who also did time in Elmwood Productions... I could list the friends I made here, but that would be a post all by its self so please don't be offended if I didn't name drop you! I came up with Johnnie Sojive while working in South Tampa at Store 148. I was over caffeinated, working in the cafe with Collin and Chip. We were goofing around doing Morris Day impressions while taking orders from customers and I blurted out something so incomprehensible we couldn't stop laughing. And the voice stuck. And Johnnie Sojive was born. So many great ideas started in those two stores.

Random memories from Tampa and Farmington... Lunches at China Pan and J. Alexanders... 6 AM Snowball fights... Collin's California Turkey Wrap... Joe calling me "Jerkface" when he found out I was quitting... Andy Witts... Goldenboy... The look on Russ' face when I can back from Florida... I could go on and on and on...

I remember the first time I went into one. It was the store I worked at in Farmington CT, Store 55. I think it was the first on in Connecticut too. A Barnes and Noble opened up in 1993 and my mom and I would go there from time to time. She was a huge reader and really got me into books. We thought it was odd Borders would open across the street. The weekend they opened in 1994 my mom wanted to go. So I went with her. I wasn't planning on buying anything. Just to check it out. I left with a Kermit the Frog doll. Ha ha ha... I still have it.
And my mom bought me something too, when I wasn't looking. It was a book also by Kermit the Frog, called "One Frog Can Make a Difference: Kermit's Guide to Life in the '90's". I loved the book, still do. I still have it. It's long out of print, sadly. But it's a great memory of time spent with my mom. It was a place to hang for me, before I worked there, and after. A place to meet up with friends before a night out, or a concert, or a place to meet for a coffee and catch up. It was a place to feed the soul.
Borders was good for that. It made some great memories. I could go on and on and on forever here on this blog going over memories. But I won't bore you any further.

I'll end it here, with a quote from the book my mom bought me that first time I went to a Borders... And I dedicate it to all of you who were there with me, and those who stuck it out till the end, and to my friend Lisa, who started there right after I did, and will be there till the bitter end...
"Look before you leap" - KtF








Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Song - I Love Your Goo

I love your guts, I love your goo Your ugly blood, your creepy heart The heart that's true to me and you I thank you  I'd eat your gum, I'd eat your goo I love the blood that lights your eyes And makes your lips the colour blue I thank you  Your flesh and your insides Your blood and your outsides You're blameless and I'm shameless  I am the shit upon your shoe Your creepy blood is in my heart The heart that's true to me and you I thank you  Your flesh and your insides Your blood and your outsides You're blameless and I'm shameless  I'm in the mud, I'm in the goo Your face is cold, your lips are blue But your heart is true to me and you I thank you  Your flesh and your insides Your blood and your outsides
You're blameless and I'm shameless
(Crash Test Dummies)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nobody Weird Like Me



"If you're feeling lousy 'cuz you had a bad day...  
Welcome to the human race..."

I think it's clear that when I was a kid I was an oddball.  Wanting to play with puppets and put on shows, playing with my Indiana Jones action figures, and sometimes break-dance to the Thriller album when no one was looking.  I wasn't into joining any sports teams (but loved playing with my friends), never had the chance to go to camp, and probably spent too much time in my room drawing.  My parents were OK with this though, and made sure I got the sketchbooks, and the Kermit puppet, and the records (or tapes) of music I loved.  But even they knew I was weird.  I didn't have many friends at school, I did in my neighborhood (we all hung out together).
But it's not to say my parents didn't worry at all.  
They had a weird way of going about it too...
For my eighth birthday the got me a book and tape set called "No More Feeling Weird".  But they kinda goofed when giving it to me.  They had wrapped that up in the same wrapping paper another record they were going to give me.  They were going to give me "Weird" on my actual birthday, but the weekend before t hey had the family come over for cake and birthday stuff and slipped and gave me"Weird" in front of the whole family...

My family is a blast.  No one made fun of me, and they wanted to play the tape and look at the book.  I was mortified.
My entire family called me out for being the weird one.  After one song on the tape they stopped and my mom or dad put on the radio, or something...  And I realized they weren't making fun of me, they were embracing the weird.
In my early teens the tape and book disappeared and I didn't even think of it.  Then I grew up, and got weirder (so the tape and book didn't help me get less weird, but I guess I didn't feel weird, so it was a success!) and weirder...  I moved to Florida and back in my twenties and upon moving back randomly found the tape in a box of tapes...  And I had to play it...
It's all down hill after the first song; 'Welcome To The Human Race" (was "Welcome to the Jungle" a sequel to me at 12 years old?) and I could barley make it though the goofy stories in-between the goofy songs.  But I kept the tape.  I thought it would be great to use the song in a movie someday.  
And then I forgot about it all over again.  
About a month ago I was re-arranging my studio, and found a box of Elmwood videos.  At the bottom on the box...  Yup, the tape.
And I wondered  "Has anyone else ever seen this thing?"  So I hit Ebay, which is where I got the pic at the top of the post, and it turns out I wasn't alone...  Wow.  Other kids parents bought them this too...  Hahahaha...
Someday, somewhere, in an Elmwood movie you will hear that song...

And I'm still weird.
And as the Chili Peppers say "Nobody Weird Like Me"



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Josh and Todd Screening at ConnectiCon!


This Saturday nite, "Josh and Todd: The Story of a Man and His Puppet" will be screening at ConnecitCon at 8 PM!
ConnectiCon has been great to us the past two summers, letting us screen shorts and do a panel on indy film making, and this year we're going all out with showing "Josh and Todd!"
To see the flick you do have to get a pass for the convention, or if you're already attending save the time on Saturday to see the dirty puppet madness!

Use this link for more on ConnectiCon and we hope to see you there!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Down With O.P.P. (Other Peoples Puppets)



Happy Independence day USA!

Monday Song - Breakdown

We all come in from the cold
We come down from the wire
An everybody warms themselves
to a different fire
When sometimes we get burned
You'd think sometime we'd learn
The one you love is the one
That should take you higher
You ain't got no one
You better go back out and find her

Just like children hidin' in a closet
Can't tell what's goin' on outside
Sometimes we're so far off the beaten track
We'll get taken for a ride
By a parlor trick or some words of wit
A hidden hand up a sleeve
To think the one you love
could hurt you now
Is a little hard to believe
But everybody darlin' sometimes
Bites the hand that feeds

When I look around
Everybody always brings me down
Well is it them or me
Well I just can't see
But there ain't no peace to found
But if someone really cared
Well they'd take the time to spare
A moment to try and understand
Another one's despair
Remember in this game we call life
That no one said it's fair

BREAKDOWN
Let me hear it now
Get down with yo' bad self
Alright

I've come to know the cold
I think of it as home
When there ain't enough of me
To go around
I'd rather be left alone
But if I call you out of habit
I'm out of love and I gotta have it
Would you give it to me
If I fit you needs
Like when we both knew we had it
But now the damage's done
And we're back out on the run
Fun how ev'rything was Roses
When we held on to the Guns
Just because you're winnin'
Don't mean you're the lucky ones

BREAKDOWN
Let me hear it now

"There goes the challenger being chased
By the blue blue meanies on wheels
The vicious traffic squad cars are
After our lone driver
The last American hero
The-the electric sintar
The demi-god,
The super driver of the golden west!
Two nasty Nazi cars are close behind
The beautiful lone driver
The police cars are getting closer-closer...
Closer to our soul hero in his soul mobile- Yeah baby!
They about to strike, They gonna get him, SMASH! RAPE!
The last beautiful free soul on this planet

But...it is writen if the Evil Spirit
Arms the Tiger with claws
Brahman provided wings for the Dove
Thus spake the Super Guru"

"Did you hear that" 
(Guns N' Roses)