Wednesday, February 25, 2009

'Oh Christmas (lights in a) Tree'

My day job involves working with christmas lights for about 8 months out of the year. We start as soon as June stringing up lights in trees to make sure that we can get all the jobs done before the month of December. It takes a while. People get mad when they see us. People yell things at us. But we have to start early or it won't get done. We're not magical elves. Those guys don't do shit as far as decorating Atlanta for Christmas, so yeah, you'll have to look at unlit lights for several months. Don't worry, we won't turn them on!

People that walk by us while we're working seem compelled to have to say something. The only problem is that they all say the same thing! Maybe not in the same words, but it's always along the lines of, "Christmas lights already? Psh!" or "Ya'll can't wait til after Thanksgiving for godsakes?" Um, no we can't. It's a catch 22 here. We don't want to hear you complaining that Christmas sucks this year because the lights aren't up, but we also have to put them up early while dodging kids hunting for Easter eggs, so what are would you propose we do?

It's really not that bad. I tend to sing when i'm up in the trees anyway so i'm off in my own world. But i do take notice of people's behaviors from time to time. It's a great place to watch people from:)

So i took a picture of a tree with lights on it and darkened it up a bit, and then created this stencil to be used on a shirt:)

Something good from something else good:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I've been 28 for 6 days...

...and i can't get the taste of adolescence out of my mouth. and that's all i have to say about that:)

I've started working on a new song. I'm in love with it. I do believe my roommate is growing quite tired of it, but what people don't understand is that turning a song into perfection takes a lot of repetition and scrutiny. that just pretty much means it wears the song out. way out. like "holes in the ass of your jeans" out. it takes a very special person (aka musicians) to sit through it all and piece it together so that it's actually listenable to the audience.

And after typing that last sentence, i just learned that "listenable" is actually a word. I was certain the word must have been added recently, because i've never heard it, albeit an obvious choice. i'm so sure i can find a word out there that is blatant and common that we've just not thought about putting in the dictionary yet. I searched online to see when the word was formed and was surprised to find that it's been around since 1915-1920. Whatever. they didn't know what they were talking about back then. we should've just recently added that word, i swear.

I did however come upon this story once again. Let's all take a look back...

Bling Bling' Added To Oxford English Dictionary

The next time you and your pals coin a slang term to describe your latest bejeweled accessories, don't bet on keeping it exclusive. The linguistics "gangstas" over at the Oxford English Dictionary aren't "new jacks" to the latest "def" lingo.

The venerable definitions resource has already added other hip-hop-turned-mainstream terms like "jiggy," "breakbeat," "dope" and "phat" to the online updates of the 20-volume dictionary, and now it has started drafting an entry for the latest OED-approved term, "bling bling."

The term, which is used to describe diamonds, jewelry and all forms of showy style, was coined by New Orleans rap family Cash Money Millionaires back in the late '90s and started gaining national awareness with a song titled "Bling Bling" by Cash Money artist BG.

The rapper, who is currently promoting his new album, Living Legend, told MTV News, "I'm so surprised that that word has spread like it has. But I knew it was serious when I saw that the NBA championship ring for the Los Angeles Lakers had the word 'bling bling' written in diamonds on it."

And while BG once felt territorial about his much-loved term, he's since opened his arms to the slang's universal appeal.

" 'Bling bling' will never be forgotten," he said. "So it's like I will never be forgotten. I just wish that I'd trademarked it, so I'd never have to work again."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

I was talking to my mom on the phone yesterday and she was telling me how the rest of my family had dreamed about my Aunt Sandra Kaye who died several years ago from breast cancer and she was asking if i had. I do catch myself from time to time, and actually more often than i'd guess, just sitting and thinking about her for 10 minutes or so, but i've never dreamed about her, that i can recall.

My mom then said how my dad had been missing his mom lately, as she's been dead a couple years now as well. We started talking about my dad's parents in dreams we'd had over the past and i realized i'd never had a pleasant dream about my Mema and Papa, and I never got the chance to met my mom's parents. Then my mom told me about the dream she'd had 2 nights ago about Mema and Papa. She walked into their old house and Papa was sitting on the floor not moving or acknowledging anything really. He was always very easy going, relaxed and let Mema take care of him. Beside him, Mema was on the floor and up against the wall scratching it wildly talking nonsense. She then turned and looked at my mom with crazy eyes and then my mom woke up.

I told her the dream made me think it was the last impression that dad's parents left on her before they died; kind of an accumulation of who they were and how they acted.

Last night i dreamed about Mema and Papa:

The dream seemed to start all of a sudden, as if a channel was turned on and i happened to be staring right at the television. And oddly enough, the dream started out on a television. i just didn't realize it at first. All i saw was a close-up of my grandmother's face. She looked unhappy. Kind of like the way she looked for the last 7 years of her life. Smiles were forced, unless drug induced by her medication, she didn't care about anything anybody was doing with their lives and all she could see was the darkness she worked herself into. Which she did just as she said she would, right after her husband died.

So i'm looking at her face and i feel pity for her. Then the camera backs away and i can see she's on the set of The Price is Right. She's a contestant but isn't acting like it. She seems totally out of place and depressed and as if her surroundings at the moment don't exist her for. Then from behind the red curtain, Papa rolls out in a electric wheelchair, although he never had one of those. I haven't seen my grandfather in a dream since he died over 10 years ago, so when i realized it was him my heart stopped and my whole body felt heavy. My mind was convinced he was back and i was catching this all on television. I yelled for my roommate to come in the room. I said, 'James, come and look at this. You have about 2 seconds.' I remembered getting kind of agitated that he wasn't coming to see because this was like a once in a life time moment or something; seeing my grandparents who i believed to be dead, on The Price is Right. (albeit, i say that game show because it had that atmosphere, but none of the props or key people in the show).

So Papa rolls his wheelchair to the microphone at the podium and starts speaking. There was no volume to his voice and i couldn't hear anything he was saying, not even his tone, but i could see that one side of his mouth was starting to go numb and then it was like he was reliving his stroke again while saying whatever it was he needed to say to the audience. Then he backed up and started rolling all over the stage without direction. It was obvious he was losing control of his mind and body slowly while watching him. His wheelchair took him behind the curtain back and forth a few times, and then headed stage right toward these stairs. He didn't stop though. His chair reached the top of the 6 stairs, stopped and dumped him on his face onto the floor. The crowd erupted with a mixture of laughter and covered faces, but all were enjoying the scene. One stage hand tried to help him back up to his chair but after 2 seconds of looking at him on the floor and realizing she couldn't do anything, she kind of rolled her eyes and walked away. I just remember seeing moving crowd shots of the audience going nuts and have such a great time while replaying shots of my grandfather face planting off the stage in the middle of a stroke.

It was then that i was suddenly there with him and all i could think to do was turn to the crowd and scream at the top of my lungs at them. It was obvious there was no help to be found and i couldn't forgive these people for reacting the way they were. They were laughing at my helpless grandfather who i hadn't seen in years and i was useless, trying to look through tears and anger.

That's when i woke up. And that's how i had to start this Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friendship, Team Work, Success, Being Rich

friendship is such a funny thing. just the way we naturally draw ourselves together in groups. we base it on looks, social status, maybe finding qualities in others that aren't exactly and presently strong within ourselves, and obviously in common interests. but when you break it down, friends give you something that you need. as i think about my friends....that one makes me laugh, that one knows exactly how to bring me out of a bad mood, that one allows my mind to go to places it normally wouldn't go, and that one makes me feel like a total kid:) i can only imagine what they're getting out of me. and hopefully it's as good as what im getting.

i need to do a better job of this next one, which is surrounding yourself with people who can help you achieve your goals. there is nothing selfish about doing this. especially after understanding friendships. being able to work with others to achieve a common goal is priceless. putting people together where everyone benefits is the best example of team work. now, if you can surround yourself with friends who fit this bill, then you've lucked out. for the most part, we all find ourselves working with people better known as 'co-workers'. not that they can't be your friends, but at that location, you're dealing with people who operate under a team work mentality, (or they should be).

next comes knowing what you want. you absolutely have to know exactly what you want. you dont have to have any clue about how to get it, or what's needed to achieve it. you just have to know exactly ~(5th)~ and its probably gonna change as you get closer to it, or even once you've reached what it is you want. your drive and passion will move you forward, and your brain is your tool to figure the steps as you go along. but as long as you know what you're after, you'll find it. and if you don't believe that, reread the 5th sentence in this paragraph.

and finally,
friends benefitting from one another, working together well, knowing what they want, and working forward to get it.
that's my definition of "being rich"

[thanks celisa, for the blog title:)]
check out celisa's
unique, vibrant, epiphanizing, breath-taking, inconceivable, brilliantly genius and colorful jewelry
in her Etsy shop:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Body Language

Did you know that body language probably is 100% of communication? That means that spoken language is at 0%!! Because all the numbers in the percentage went to body language. I'm also learning that aggressive or dominant body language is a sure-fire way of getting what you want.
Some of the best 'words' spoken in body language are used by:
- the upward head tilt
- the open stance, with no limbs crossed
- invading personal space
- the distgusted smile
- squinted eyes
oh man, these are good:)

I had an audition today where the guy i was partnered with in the scene displayed some of these body language expressions toward me before, during and after the audition. I didn't necessarily feel belittled, and that's probably because i was aware of what he was doing. But despite how i felt, to anyone watching, he was establishing dominance. Maybe because he considered me a threat, or maybe i look like the kid that beat him up in grade school:) Nonetheless, he was beating me to the punch, and i was basically watching the scenario being painted, allowing him to go where ever it was was he wanted.
Today i played the part of the coward. Too bad the audition was for showing manly companionship. At least i learned something in the process. I'm learning how to ass.

But if you're casting for that nerdy coward role, here's my experience:)
....a la 'Motorhome Massacre"

Monday, February 9, 2009

Today I found

It allows you to pick songs and artists you like, and it finds the music for you, and creates your playlist. If it plays a song you don't like, give it a thumbs down and you'll never hear it again. A thumbs up and it's your very own:) It's the best kind of radio station:) The kind you build for yourself!!

You know what though? They don't have my Songs From a Piano CD's on there, so if you're going to Pandora for my piano music, you won't find it. Luckily I know exactly how to get you to where it is:)

Listen to my music at the following links:
Songs From a Piano A
Songs From a Piano B
or some of my songs with lyrics:)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

That Was Necessary

I realized about an hour ago how i'd motivated myself this morning to clean my room. Somehow, directly after proclaiming that epiphany, i forgot all about it and continued on with....wait, what did i do today?

I had to have some kind of proof that something visually stimulating had been accomplished. And a clean room is visually stimulating in my book. And my room cleans up pretty sharp:)

If nothing else, my room is clean!!

Need something productive to do? Check out my shop @ Etsy today:)
I'm also managing a Treasury called, "The Journals of Etsy"

Something Need to Change?

Before I get started here, I found myself online last night and thought i'd share:) This was when i had an abundance of hair:)
Watch the right side of the screen @ 13-15 seconds into the commercial:)


- - okay anyway - -

I'm a neat freak. I'm not OCD about it, but i really need things around me to be straightened up and put in its' place. But check out what i've been living in for the past couple of weeks!

Total disaster!! What's going on inside my head over here? Random piles of what looks like junk are everywhere! I have too many things to work on:) Hmm....the question at hand....what should i work on today?

I think maybe i'll try to make sense out of my room, and i'm sure the perfect project will make itself known. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My 1st Moleskin

This is my first attempt at keeping a journal. Well a Moleskin anyway. I did end up with 4 journals by the end of college but they're quiet rough and reading them is painfully boring. Just a log of events. My first Moleskin, pictured here, is mostly a mess of rambling, copying text, and short entry logs of events. I certainly hadn't figured out just how much fun you can have with these things. This was about 4 years ago now, and I happened to be filming an indie project in Athens, Georgia called 'Art of Suicide'. I instantly fell in love with Moleskin journals during this experience. It was so easy to keep the book in my back pocket, although i was folding it at the time. But I carried that thing with me everywhere. You can probably see the book in the film a dozen times or more:)

Art of Suicide....brings back good memories:)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Time Machine

'The Time Machine', is the most dangerous of scraps i've ever created, but the intricacies can be examined later. The front cover features a dismantled watch that not only acts as the latch for the book, but in turn holds a small brass pin. The pin resides behind the watch's faceplate which acts as a secret compartment, held by velcro. But where exactly is the pin to be used? And for what?

Inside the front cover displays an assortment of wires and electronic parts. You'll find some of it interactive, such as the memory stick, some of the bendable wires, and the bubble in the center that also contains tiny watch parts. The back cover has more electronic parts, some movable, and includes a watch face (w/hands) of Mickey Mouse. The book also plays Mickey's theme song. Both Mickey memorabilia can easily be removed if just so happens that the theme song is actually needed for time travel, which is the only reason i included it.

'The Time Machine' is for that mechanic at heart who loves taking things apart, seeing how they work, and putting them back together so you get it to do what you want it to do:) Tinker away friend, but be careful....this book is a time machine after all.

If this description does not suit you well, perhaps try another themed journal.

Alone in the Dark

'Alone in the Dark' is ready to face the forest and the depths of darkness that it holds. This particular scrap comes with it's own tote that features a loop perfect for attaching to a bookbag, or anything else that happens to be a light weight carry. The book cover itself has an assortment of features from glow in the dark stars, to a peruvian toy bird whistle. There's even an electronic board that when atcivated, flashes a series of 4 lights, not to mention the mini flashlight that rests in it's own pocket.

Venturing inside the journal, you'll find a root coiled throughout the inseam of the books pages. This vine-like root comes from the Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, GA. There are also an assortment of tiny leaf stickers that help some of the split parts of the root stay in place. And at the back of the book, you'll conveniently find a working compass, just in case you need a little direction out there in the dark.

'Alone in the Dark' is best suited for you if you find yourself longing to take walks through the wilderness and lie out in the woods at night to listen to the sounds of nature; the darkness comforts you and you enjoy the exploration of the unknown.

If this description does not suit you well, perhaps try another themed journal.

The Business Casual

Sit back, kick your feet up, and get some real work done with 'The Business Casual'. Neatly tucked into it's denim pocket, this journal is dressed to impress, donning a two tone Irish-green tie that doubles as a place holder. The front and back cover also feature stylized wooden buttons, a brass accessory, and a touch of pulled string fabric with beautifully complimenting colors.

A one of a kind, this journals inside cover contains a denim pocket, perfect for small item storage. Beyond that point lie 40 lined pages ready to be worked and figured. In the meantime, let it rest in it's own pocket, and attach it to whatever you like, via the complimentary belt loop. bam!

'The Business Casual' is best suited for someone who not only gets work done, but looks good doing it.

If this description does not suit you well, perhaps try another themed journal.

The Butterfly Garden

Escape to a world of comfort and serenity where time is a game and delicate reigns; nestled far far away in 'The Butterfly Garden'. The bottom half of the cover is a rich olive-green padded stocking top cut to fit, allowing a front pocket, which now holds a toy butterfly i picked up from the streets of Lima, and a back pocket, which houses wishes of an owner's contents. A happy side-affect from the stocking is the loop, making this book easy to attach to a bag or a person!

This original creation features an attached tie that wraps around the book to fasten. A separate pocket is located on the top half of the front cover, to house the end of the tie, once wrapped. The inside covers feature sewn prints of simple flowers on fabric and butterfly stickers sparkling with glitter.

'The Butterfly Garden' is best suited for someone who not only appreciates the small things in life, but knows their intricacies so well, they're able to experience the delicate edge where magic and fantasy meet reality. Or perhaps you just like butterflies?

If this description does not suit you well, perhaps try another themed journal.

The Wolrd Traveler

'The World Traveler' comes wrapped in a printed map of the Grand Canyon. The cover dons several coins from Peru while the book itself is held closed by a leather string adorned with a Dirty English medallion with the initials JM, but the book attaches with a denim and button fastener. Hidden inside are several trinkets to be used with your new scrap to add texture and flavor, or to be done with however you please.

This particular Moleskin journal features blank pages, perfect for drawing, doodling, pasting, stapling, coloring, burning, ripping, soaking, wrinkling and just about any other verb you can conjure up and act out in a most artistic way.

'The World Traveler' is best suited for someone who can never seem to sit still in a place for too long and yearns to know what's just around that mountain, what lies beyond the city lights, and where the wind may take them.

If this description does not suit you well, perhaps try another themed journal.