Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Woke Up Alone

I made my first short film/ music video, pairing a song a wrote on ukelele with a script I wrote. I was a bit worried about presenting it to my three classmates, because, although I knew one of them was into Eraseread (as am I), I didn't know how far I could push the envelope of weird and whimsical with the other two. It turns out they were all about it and aside from our actor having to cancel one day of shooting due to an emergency trip to Tijuana to bail his brothers out of a Mexican prison, the shoot went quite smoothly and the film turned out pretty much how we imagined it.

It started with the song and this papier mache' candy bowl kit by Martha Stewart, which I reappropriated into a mask.

Then when I really got the hang of making solid masks, I made these other two papier mache' beasties

This is the costume I donned for my performance as the band leader, obviously inspired by my love of day of the dead folk art

This is my favorite, partly inspired by the weird baby in David Lynch's Erasherhead, which I gave to Cameron, who played the drummer.

We also made a fake toaster with a working light that we timed out just right to look fakely realistic. Best of all, I got to use my Cassette Tape (a big inspiration in this project) from Etsy artist Analog Park ( Itraded a Spitting Image shirt for this awesome canvas tape):

We used lots of fake stop motion effects in which we made a filmed sequence appear to be stop-motion ever though it was shot in one take. For an example of this, watch the potted plant sequence. Its filmed in reverse, then sped up and frames are extracted from the sequence to appear choppy.

Theres an entire DVD worth of outtakes and bloopers which are probably only interesting to us so I'll spare you all. Without further ado, I present to you, "Woke Up Alone."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Bike in the Whole World SSS

Okay, it's not Pee Wee Herman's "best bike in the whole world," and it may not be my ultimate favorite bike, but it is mine, and I love it.

The Best bike in the Whole World

I have been wanting to post pictures of my new motorcycle, and these shadow shots for 2 weeks now, I just keep forgetting, so I'm postdating this blog to launch on next sunday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Les Films que j'adore

I'm not meaning to copy Hey Harriet with today's post, I've actually been trying to finish publishing a film blog for a while.

After almost seven years I started college again this year, and I'm taking my Berklee College of Music credits and applying them to film music/ film production.
so I've been killing several birds with one stone (the murder of a murder crows I guess). By watching french classics like the "Ballon Rouge" by Albert Lamorisse (so good, I'm writing a separate post for it) or "Le qautre-cent coups" (The 400 Blows) by Francois Truffaut, I've been catching up on my french and enjoying my main obsession, which has been films/film music.

This is a scene from the 400 blows that made me laugh out loud. The main character sneaks out of school with his classmate and they have a some Parisian fun. I can't help but smile at the children in this scene as we watch them watch a play:

I go to the library weekly and check out 3 movies. So far I've gotten Psycho, Stranger's on a Train, Harold & Maude, the 400 Blows, Sunset Boulevard, Royal Tennenbaums, Citizen Kane, Steve Zissou, and The Third Man. I also have this book called "Cinematic Story Telling: the 100 film conventions every film maker should know." It shows all the important ways film can convey drama, emotion, language, etc. without words, then it gives a film example of each one, as well as the screenplay and accompanying shots from the film that exemplify this. For instance, in The Graduate, when Hoffman's character is running to stop his girlfriend's wedding, they use a telepohoto lens to add drama, because this type of lens flattens an image, causing him to look as though he is not really getting anywhere as he runs toward the foreground. A wide-angle lens, on the other hand, would have made him seem to run forward very rapidly.

Another common device is te have protagonists enter left to right because it is the direction we read and move our eyes in the most, and an antagonists do the opposite, because, subconsciously, it is a mild irritant to move our eyes right to left. You can see this in the beginning of Hitchock's Strangers on a Train.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pop Cannibalism 4

Even if Mortified hadn't sent us the following comment on our myspace page, I still would have gotten their book:

Dear uber talented siblings,You guys do really cool work. Congrats on being all cool and stuff. From the people who specialize in celebrating those who were not.We like you so much we'd let you go to 2nd. MORTIFIED

PS: We hope you enjoy our book... in stores everywhere. Our 2nd book hits stores this January.

If you haven't heard about it already, Mortified is a "Comic excavation of adolescent writing, art, and media." There's a live version of Mortified, parts of which can be viewed here. There are some wonderful elements of kitsch and nostalgia in the submissions and live readings, especially if you grew up in the 70's 80's or early 90's. The first book is a collection of diary entries from participants when they were 10-17 years old about relationships, "totally frenching," school, music, and even first boy-girl parties. Some of it is fan fiction about making out with members of Duran Duran. My favorite submission is from Adam Gropman's letters to his parents from a 2-month long summer camp when he was 10. I think they published the letter dates in the wrong order, but either way, here's an excerpt:

July 1, 1976

I am fine. Today I tried the swimming test. I only made it across the dock two time. Dinner is great here!

p.s. I made a lot of friends and one especially named Peter.

July 5, 1976

Dear Mom+Dad

camp is good! And the food is great! Also, when I said I only did two laps between the docks, I did four...and I practicid t do six!

P.S. I'm kind of homesick, so please visit as soon as you can.

July 11, 1976

Mom + Dad,

I have a very bad cold and I feel very sick. This is what's wrong. I have a bad sore throat. My nose and sinus are very stuffy. I have awful headaches. I feel very week. Everybody, except for two people in this cabin, are a#$holes. Right at this moment, while I'm writing this letter, someone's teasing me and saying I'm faking being sick...

Later that night:

Dear Mom + Dad

I can't hack camp any longer. I'm going to have a mental fit. by the way, what I meant by "take me out of tthis camp" is come up here in the car and take me HOME! I hate this ^%$damn cabin. I want to see our house and sleep in my nice, comfortable bed and sleep till 10:30 instead of waking up at 7:00!

July 13, 1976

Dear Adam,

I guess you have gone through some sad and difficult days. I think it would be best for you NOT to worry about your clothes and flashlight and things. As Alfred E. Neuman says, "Why worry?"

Maybe when you feel angry at the world, you could go to some private place in the woods...acd cry about it (that's good) or yell at the trees (they won't mind). And when you come back from hollering and hitting the groud with a stick, you won't feel angry.

Love, Mom

July 16, 197

Dear Mom + Dad

Camp is s^&** and boring. Everyting's been going wrong at camp such as:

Jason borrowed my red short-sleeved shirt and lost it.

My flashlight (still) isn't working

I got a cut on my penis when I flunked my canoe test.

I'm very homesick. I wish you could arrange so I can only stay 1 month instead of 2

July 14, 1976

Dear Adam, I'm sorry you hurt your penis. Does it still bother you?


July 19, 1976


I f&*(*&^ hate this bastard camp! You better *&^damn listen to this letter or I'm going to scream! As a matter of fact, I already screamed my ass off at everybody in this cabin today. I don't understand why you don't believe that I'm having a conniption! Now I know you hate my guts, because if you liked me, you wouldn't torture me. Come up here on Saturday the 24th. If you send me one more of those crap letters, I'll rip it up and burn it.

It gets better, but I don't want to spoil it. The book was like sneaking a peak at someone's diary, which is exactly what it is. I couldn't put it down. There's page after page of embarrassing pathetic stories about unrequited love, goofy humor, delusions of grandeur, and teen angst. One part of me was horrified by what some people would do and amused that they would reveal it for the public to read, and the other part of me related to the embarassing, mellodramatic, and dorky moments of teenage life. A few of these entries could have been pulled from my own diary.

Similar to one of the authors fake memo's as CEO of Chanel, Inc (at the age of 9), I recently found an unsent letter to the cast members of Saturday Night Live, circa 1992. There was a tone of familiarity about the letter, as if Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, and Chris Farley and I were all good friends. I think I asked if Mike and Dana's necks got sore from head banging during Wayne's World because mine did.

There was another letter I found in which I was trying to pitch myself to Nickelodeon as a child representative on what we as kids want. I'll have to see if I can find them again and send them in to Mortified.

here's my mortified picture, rocking a spike mullet. luckily I didn't have the clip on tie this year(notice that we never bought our school pictures, instead we kept the original and never returned it to the photoghy company)

I'll leave you with a video from one of my favorite journal entries, "I Hate Drake."

Mortified: I Hate Drake

Friday, October 10, 2008

Socko Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

At the suggestion of my sister, Amy,
I've decided to join the fun and try out my first Shadow Shot Sunday entry, this is my entry, which is a character from a film I shot but didn't edit. Here is my SSS entry:

I just participated in the OCC's 48 hour film festival. You get an envelope on Friday with your genre, theme, object, character, and line that must be included in your film. you must turn in your finished film by Sunday at 4:30.

I was a last minute addition and I was paired up with another last minute addition whose only qualifications were that he liked movies and had a film camera. We drew the following envelope:

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Theme: Murder

Character: Fraudulent Hypnotist

Object: Orchid

Dialogue: It's always worse afterwards

So I feverishly went to work, writing throughout the night, and came up with the following screenplay


Fade in to a glass door with "DR. W. BUFFALO PSYCHOTHERAPIST" stenciled on it. ECU to the words PSYCHO


our Neurotic (sock puppet Woody Allen meets Norman Bates) character lies framed upside down on the couch and rambles about loneliness and depression. He is a recovering serial killer.

CU to Dr. Buffalo's (a sock puppet with glasses, mustache, bushy eye brows and googly eyes)sketch pad, he is writing a grocery list that includes eggs, butter, bread, and Tinactin.

Buffalo: Have you tried taking up a hobby?

Norman Allen: I like taxidermy, its like Christmas everyday, only you stuff the stockings with embalming materials instead of small candies.

Buffalo: How about getting out once in a while, maybe take a stroll through the mall?

Norman: I've tried that. I wandered into a lingerie store, but they kicked me out. A saleswoman walked up and asked if I needed help, I said, " No thanks, I'm just here to feel up the mannequins."

Buffalo: Have you tried making friends with the opposite sex lately?

Norman:I've had dates, but it always ends up the same, one minute you're buying her flowers, the next minute you're dumping her body into a river. It's like an M. Night Shyamalan film: its great at first, but it's always worse afterwards.

CU of Dr's sketch pad, he is listing words that rhyme with murder: squirter, girder, hearder, frankfurter, and has crossed out James Thurber.

Buffalo: Let's try something new this week, I'm going to eliminate your urge to kill through hypnotherapy.

As we fade out, we close in on the shadow of a pocket watch swaying upon a framed plaque on the wall that reads "Certificate of Fraudulent Hypnotherapy"

Basically the rest was of the film was a music montage ( to make it more RomCom than creepy) of Norman posting a want ad, which is answered by a female sock puppet serial killer. They go to the park and do fun, datey things while trying to stab each other when the other isn't looking. They eventually realise they are alike in their blood lust and team up to kill a cheerleader sock puppet and eventually thank the Dr. for the inadvertent matchmaking by stabbing him.

After filming the whole thing on Saturday, we couldn't sync up the guy's camera to my laptop to edit it and I was so sick of the process and sleep deprived, we decided to chalk it up to experience and sleep in on Sunday.

So I bailed on the project, but I learned a lot. I kept the Dr. Puppet, whose photos grace this blog post. Best of all, I have extra socks left over from the package I bought for the puppets. Huzzah!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pop Cannibalism 3

I was not watching football yesterday when I looked up at the screen and was appalled to hear the chorus of sensitive, celibate, bi/gay icon Morrissey's sorrowful anthem, "Every Day is Like Sunday" used to promote Sunday Night Football. It wasn't sung by Moz, which may or may not have made things better.

I've seen several Beatles's songs get butchered this last year, namely the dozen variations of Hello Goodbye, but they were so far off from the original that it fortunately remains untarnished. Hearing "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, on the other hand, will always remind me of Sunkist Oranges. The ad wizards won...jerks.

I understand that as artists, once we write something and release it, it no longer belongs fully to us, it takes on its own life and is open to new interpretation and meaning by whoever receives it, but seriously...Every Day is Like Sunday? This is worse than the Flaming Lip's anti political oppression song, "Yeah Yeah Yeah" being used for Kraft Salad dressing this past summer. Bravo football and salad, you've got that indie rocker demographic right in your cross hairs.

I would like to see the rest of Moz's song used over footage of football players trudging down the field:

"Trudging slowly over wet sand back to the bench where your clothes were stolen."

In Cultural Anthropology 100 I read an ethnography that stated that football was popular in America because of its homo-erotic overtones; men patting each other on the butt, grabbing the ball between their legs, piling upon each other in tight uniforms that accentuate the male figure.

If you think about it, the terminology of the game is also sexual, make a pass, score, go deep, end zone, go long, tight end, bump and run, chuck and duck, split end, man-on-man coverage, muff, slobber knocker, and penis.

ok, I'm kidding about penis, but slobber knocker is furreeallz, at least that is what wikipedia sez.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This sort of thing happens all the time!

When Samson and I finally got passed the gates of the zoo, we knew we were home free.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Weekend With the Sons of Anarchy

I went camping in the San Gabriel mountains this weekend with my in-laws and some outlaws -well, only a handful were real outlaws, the rest were Messengers of Recovery Motorcycle Club. The MoRMC is made up of recovering alcoholics/addicts. My father-in-law is a patch-holding member of the Riverside chapter of the Messengers of Recovery biker club. I had studied the ettiquette and protocol of Outlaw and AMA (non-outlaw) biker clubs and written a research paper on them a few months earlier for my Cultural Anthropology paper. Did you know that they never lock their bikes at a rally because it's an insult. It is like calling the other bikers thieves. Also, you should never touch another man's "cut" (vest with the club's patch, which has had the sleeves cut off). If someone loses their cut, it is a big disgrace. Worse than that is to lose your patch or be forced to surrender your colors.

Lately I've been following the new FX series Sons of Anarchy, a show about a fictitous California outlaw biker gang which co-stars Beast/Hellboy/City of the Lost Children/Harry & the Henderson's Ron Pearlman.
by the way, did you ever wonder if he might have been Tom Waits fraternal twin, separated at birth? It's a lot more believeable than Sczhwarzenegger and DeVito, but probable a bit less comical.

Many of Riverside MOR members have been in several of the shows, playing bit parts and extras. I heard stories about Pearlman dumping his bike so often that they just cart him on the back of a trailer to film his riding scenes. They hire porn stars for the party scenes, which the Messengers find amusing because, as I noticed, 99% of the women in the clubs are someone's "old lady(wife/longstanding girlfriend must earn old lady status by showing loyalty to their men- old ladies are not to be confused with 'mamas')" and have the complexion of a pair of leather boots with breasts that have surrendered to gravity long ago. Nothing like the plastic party girls with double basketball chests that you see on the show.

One of them said he gets paid just to have his bike placed in a shot, so he usually checks the scripts and shrewdly finds the best position to have his bike parked. They also got to shoot rowdy party scenes in which one of the bikers had to endure shooting 3 versions of being passed out at the bar while the others spilled beer over him and whatever else they dished out. They even get paid to eat lunch. It pays around 17.50/hr. for 8 hours of "work."

Other highlights of the weekend were the view from my tent, which I pitched right on the edge of the river, the sound of the river lulling me to sleep, running live sound for the hired band, and hearing the recovery story Paul McCartney's original drummer, Denny Seiwell. Apparently Seiwell was swindled out of millions of dollars of money owed to him for playing with Macca from the "Ram" album, on up the first few Wing's albums. Paul, as it turned out, had no idea this had occured over the course of more than a decade, and recently righted the financial wrong and restored the relationship with Denny.

I have a ton of shirts to screen for tomorrow's big show at the Glass House. I'll leave you with the view from tent:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Throw Stones

I'm going to be doing my first event selling Spitting Image stuff, Saturday, Sept. 20 at The Glass House in Pomona. Also featured will be Kid Robot (yes!) OBEY (way too trendy), Paul Frank and some others I haven't heard of, but I probably should have. I went to an art gallery in Tribeca last year featuring Souther Salazar (a fav of mine and my sister Amy's) and the adjoining room was Shepard Fairey and all his OBEY stuff that has once again become popular.

Here are some pictures of the Souther Salazar exhibit I attended, many of which I took, the others are from his site:

Speaking of exhbits, I need to write up a blog about fellow etsian, Timber, who I chanced to meet here in california at a silkscreen shop. He recognized the mustache man shirt I was wearing and asked where I got it. I told him I made it and he revealed that he was Timberps, which is crazy cuz I've been wanting one of his shirts for a long time. I'll post that one later.

Speaking once again about art exhibits, come on down to the Glass House Sat. Sept. 20
"Bring the litle pardners, hell, we got plenty of snakes and lizards for them to play with. Say it once, say it twice, third times a charm - and remember: I'll eat anything you want me to eat, I'll swallow anything you want me to swallow. Come on down, I'll chew on a dog. Arooooooooo!"
this is for Amy:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pop Cannibalism 2

I really should be sleeping but instead I'm going to grab some extra credit for my Mass Media course and blog a bit about another blog I"m currently reading, QuizLaw.

I'll start out by telling you that I have always hated the show American Idol until last season when a rocker with some taste won out against the usual Britney/Whitney-wannabes. I got hooked on the vile show the first time I heard David Cook bust out the Chris Cornell version of Jacko's hit, Billie Jean. We TIVO'd it and watched it as a family each week.

The season ended with an exciting victory for the Cook the underdog, but as the show concluded, it left me with a sense of loss. I've felt that same sense of loss after watching something like 8 straight hours of MTV's the State. My friends and I mused that we felt like we should call Michael Ian Black or Michael Showalter and see how they've been since we last saw them. The edges of tv and reality blurred and I missed my tv friends. sick.

Well thankfully we've got reruns, but better still is this season of American Presidential Elections. Like American Idol, I never really cared for the "show" or the irritating people involved. Then we got our David Cook: Barak Obama. According to the blog Quizlaw, we even have Sanjaya:

Sarah Palin is the next Paris Hilton.
Not that I’m trying to minimize her speech. But, I lump her into the Sanjaya Malakar phenomenon. Two seasons ago, Sanjaya Malakar — an incredibly untalented singer — managed to remain on “American Idol” long past the point his talent warranted. But each week, Simon Cowell — like the media with Sarah Palin — attacked Sanjaya with brutal honesty. The audience at home, recognizing that Sanjaya kind of sucked, voted for him all the same, partly because they felt sorry for him and partly because they wanted to see the train wreck continue. Ultimately, the “AI” voters came to their senses and voted Sanjaya off, as I assume the American public will also do when it comes to Palin.

I personally am less interested in the candidates and there policies, and more or less swept away by their techniques. Picking a naughty-secretary looking female running mate - outstanding! Piggybacking off of Hilary's achievements dspite having diametrically opposing political views... so cool! But having a lectern with a mock presidential seal...niiiice. Telling voters that electing McCain would be the same as giving Bush a third term, oh yes! The Demo-vention was almost as cool as the last Radiohead concert I went to. Have you seen how swiftly (and often, come to think of it) Obama gets water bottles to his fainting audience members?! Stunning. Soon he'll be doling out fish and bread to the masses. But how will the contestants handle Mariah Carey week? can McCain and Palin rock the House of Representatives with their playful rendition of Carey's "We Belong Together," or will Barack slay the Electoral Cowell-ege with his take on "All I Want for Christmas is You?" I just can't help but get sucked into the whole poplularity contest. Its an exciting election season, maybe I should TIVO it.

Oh, and coming back to Paris Hilton, here's a spot she did in response to McCain's Barack/Paris comparison ad that she shot for Will Ferrell/Andy Mckay's Comedy site, FunnyOrDie. I almost have a shred of newfound respect for her, but it turned out to be gas.

If you live under a rock, check out Landlord and Drunk History while you're at it

one last thing: Last week at campus I was coaxed to register to vote in California by two old black dudes at a folding table. They hastily led me through the forms and then asked me to fill in the circle next to the political party I wished to affiliate myself with. They made sure to let me know they only got paid if I filled in the Republican circle, and assured me I could change my affiliation later on but I would have to vote along party lines if for everything but president.

After all was said and done they handed me another form representing the Republican party. It was a statment that I had to sign stating that I was in no way coerced or influenced to affiliate with the Republican party. *sigh*

Friday, August 29, 2008

pop cannibalism

I went clothes shopping today and I was dismayed yet again. Its hard to find clothing that fits me, I'm not that tall and I'm kinda skinny. I can no longer stand the skinny jeans, (which I'm wearing as I type this, ironically) they only look good on a few people (and they aren't male). They make a top heavy woman look like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog: They make me look even scrawnier. So I went shopping for nice jeans, and I'm glad the fashionistas that be have allowed the low-rise boot cut to return to the marketplace, because they're the only decent looking pair of pants I've ever owned short of tailored slacks. I hate that word...slacks. By the way, is it me, or is Hollister just Ambercrombie & Fitch, and isn't Abercrombie & Fitch just a cologne-saturated gay club (the music's loud as hell and theres pictures of half-naked men everywhere).

Anyway, I've just started this Mass Media Course, and it got me thinking about how much I hate that society and culture shape what I should wear. My wife and I watch "what not to wear." on a fairly regular basis, and while I have my snobbish/critical side, I hate watching Mrs. Pretty and Popular, class of 77, and her identical male cohort get paid to repeat high school history by snickering at the poorly dressed and clueless subjects of their tv show. It's culture enforced conformity taken to a new level. I have to admit, though they make their subjects look much better when they're done.

So, getting back to my trip to one of the billions of O.C.'s malls, I can't seem to find a store that fits my tastes. There are so many subconcious messages behind what someone wears, and I don't always like the way it "defines" a person. I don't want someone to categorize me by my pants and shoes. Still, I can't help doing it myself, watch:

Dave Matthews/Phish fan and probably a stoner and or frat-jock: shops at Steve & Barry's

Favorite band is My Chemical Romance or Staind: shops at Hot Topic

John Mayer and Jason Mraz on the iPod: go to the Gap. Guess whats new this fall, something Khaki...again!

I also can't stand how men have so very few choices in style. Men's clothes are either too safe for my tastes, or too obnoxious. I am an artist and a rock musician, but I don't want to look a "rockstar." Also, Khaki cargo pants, how the hell are they still cool with anyone not at a Dave Matthew's Band concert!? I was there, back in in 1998, so were my cargoes, Dave played two encores, but unfortunately, so do the pants.

I am also grossed out by American Apparel's neon child porn look. The shirts I make are from AA shirts, but I won't be caught dead wearing a vest and hot pink pants with a polo with popped collar and visor shades. Polo's are for Best Buy, Pizza Hut, and tanning salon employees. I am weary of all the studded belts, skulls, grenades, grenade hearts, grenades made of skeletons, guns, flowery guns, guns with hearts, basically any peice of ammunition combined with anatomy or flowers. I don't want my shirts emboidered with family crests and ivy and lions and bombs. Thats for the Euro 'bags. These are european, or (mostly) american males trying to look european, with pointy-toed boots, tons of jewelry, and a faux hawk full of product. I remember these guys from the highschool football team. They got drunk, stumbled into Metro Park, and haven't found their way out.

There's a great site (and abook) about the cultural phenomenon of "douchebags" and beautiful women. You can see what I mean at http://www.hotchickswithdouchebags.com/ .

I had noticed the sudden surge of these people, but couldn't quite articulate what they were or what it was that I couldn't stand, but the book put it all in perspective:

Greasy foreheads. Spiky frosted hair. Oiled-up faces dripping with Tag Body Shot spray. Armani Exchange T-shirts and rank cologne wafting off their backs like fetid pollen clouds as they pump their fists and attempt to grind into any hotties nearby. Young beauties oblivious to the hulking monstrosity clutching at their butts like snapping turtles on Red Bull.
From sea to douchey sea, ours is a culture plagued by this festering blight. By the dark forces of ├╝ber-douchebaggery.

This guy won the Douchie 2007 award.

On the other end of the spectrum, men's clothing is hopelessly tame. I guess thats why I have Spitting Image. I like having shirts that no one else has (there are a few exclusives that we have made that aren't available to the public on our online site).

But still, what I really want isn't always available

I like Classic American style and I like unique twists on things. Here are a few of my favorite looks, several of which were lifted from a great blog called Manshion (he also has a great guide to shopping for the vertically challegened):

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Je ne suis pas cool.

I was in a group called the Source Room in grade school, and up until this very moment, I have never really wondered why it was named Source Room. I would jokingly say it's the source of my sense of entitlement.

When I joined, the Source Room was a fledgling program for gifted and talented grade school students in which we (a handful of first graders) were taken out of class in the afternoon to learn french, how to brainstorm, go on feild trips to learn how things are made, cultivated creativity, invented products, gave oral speeches and presentations, followed current events, and formed our own opinions (biased largely by the world view of our libertarian teacher, Mrs. Stacy). It took me years to finally see it in myself and reconstruct my own ideologies. Geography was usually held in the afternoon, but I was always in Source Room, so I think that accounts for my lack of solid geographical and history education. Our Source Room group grew in number and dropped in IQ over the years, which I assume had something to do with a few upset mothers complaining their child's way into our group. I wish I could get my hands on some of the videos we made, because there were some dumb kids forced into the group. I remember one year we filmed fake commercials and we had to teach one of the actors how to sweep the floor convincingly. He looked like he was mopping the floor.

That said, the original group, Katie, Leah, Erin, Amanda, and I were invited to join the Source Room for various reasons. Katie skipped kindergarten, was exceptionally bright and younger than her classmates, Leah was also intelligent, but showed an early knack for art. Erin didn't stay with us for too long, and I'm not sure what her story was. Amanda was/ is a humorous and intellegint individual. She has a unique approach to life to say the least. I was taught to read before school and was intensly inquisitive. By the time I reached first grade, I was usually the first one finished with my school work in class so I used my spare time to crack jokes and make fun of kids who were just learning to read. When I received the initial invitation letter from Mrs. Stacy, I never gave it to my parents because I thought I was in trouble (I got in trouble a lot, and therefore had a lot of letters to take home to my parents). My parents were informed of the giftedness of their child with a phone call. Just a year earlier my kindergarten teach had informed my parents that I was a slow child and had developmental problems. Take that Miss Watson, you stupid cow!

Today, most of the originals haven't quite achieved anything of note. The ones that finished college have jobs completely unrelated to their majors. Amanda has several schemes, but she has mainly worked for Fed Ex for the last decade, Leah has not become the artist I thought she would be. Katie became anti-social in her teen years and became somewhat goth, changed the spelling of her name and now she sings in a goth rock band ( I guess thats something).

Me, I've started a business that I'm struggling to break even with, I played in a band that opened up for the Wu Tang Clan's RZA, then I had to quit and move away before recording anything with them, I worked at an amazing record studio for free, I went to one of the most prestigous music colleges but I was unable to afford it and dropped out after a year and a half, I have written several albums worth of songs and recorded most of them without vocal tracks (so they sit, unheard),

and need I mention that I have attended 4 different colleges with 3 different majors, amassing over 67 credits and have no degrees or certificates to show for it.

I'm working oon a plan though,

and it has nothing to do with "plastics"