A Thank You Note to the Photog Gurus in My Life

This might get wordy...so strap in or skip ahead.

If you've seen my Facebook posts for more than 2 days in a row, you've probably figured out that my dream is to do photography full time, for a living...and to become a world class photog (with a Nat Geo cover shoot before I die).

Not sure how this next line is going to go over, but I'll say it anyway.

It's easy to get in to the photography game. The cost of entry has come way down. I have gear with capabilities/functions that 10 or even 5 years ago I would never have been able to even look at, let alone own. It seems that anyone with a DSLR can call themselves a 'photographer' (hell, that's pretty much what I did). And there are websites devoted to showing the follies of doing just that.

MASTERING the ART of photography, however, is something else entirely.

But I got lucky...in two ways, actually. The first is that I think I have an eye for the shot and knack of getting 'that' moment (time will bear out if this is actually true or not, so that's all the time we'll spend on that).

The second way is that I have been blessed...yes blessed with AMAZING friends who also happen to be photographers. I have some friends that are AMAZINGLY talented in the way that they write with light. There will be a day when my grandkids come up and say 'Granpop, is it true that you really knew such and such?' And I'll say "not only is it true, but they actually taught me about the art of taking pictures'. And their little jaws will drop as they run outside to play with their jetpacks.

With so many photographers coming on the scene, you would think competition would be fierce. And...it may be. But I'd never know it. And here's why.

These amazingly talented photographer friends that I'm talking about (who, yes, actually make money taking photos) are not my competition (and I'm not theirs). Instead of letting me flounder around as I re-discovered my love of photography, they took me under their wing. Taught me things. Gave me tips. Helped me grow in skill and confidence.

I can't tell you what a difference that has made this year alone. I feel like I'm not even the same guy behind a camera that I was even a year ago.

Dude...do you realize how huge that is? I read all the time of 'pro's in the field looking down with disdain at the newbies. And that baffles me. Maybe it's like that some places, but I have never really felt that. And any time I'm at a shoot where there are multiple photographers (public event or something of the like) or if my friends get a new camera and have questions...I do what I can to help them fall deeper in love with photography.

Because that's what happened to me. A handful of friends (at first), encouraged me...guided me...showed me through THEIR love of the craft just how much more I could do with photography and in turn stoked the flames of my love for photography.

It truly leaves me speechless. And I know that I can't repay them (hell, they may not even know how much they've touched me). All I can do is help light that fire and spread that love with someone who comes along and looks up to ME for that guidance (and when that happens, it kinda blows my mind, to be honest).

That's really what it's all about, isn't it? Doing something that makes your heart sing.

The culmination of this hit me full in the heart on December 10. I helped with the Help-Portrait event. And I was blown away. The gifts that were given were amazing. The sheer effort that went in to coordinating the Columbus event alone was mind blowing.

But that wasn't all. The level and caliber of the photographers there blew me away. These are guys that had their shit dialed in. Super talented and skilled. And I again felt like the total newb.

But it didn't matter. I learned so much from everyone that I worked with (or near) that I feel like I took a course on portrait photography.

It blew me away. And there was no disdain, condescension...none of that. Everyone was there for one goal. And to reach that goal everyone helped everyone else. It was awesome.

And for that, I am grateful.

I learned so much from so many people this year that I know to thank them all would be futile and I'm sure I'd miss someone.

But know this...if you are a photog...and we've shared that bond...there's a very good chance that I've learned from and been inspired by you at some point in my quest to make my dream real.

And for that I am eternally grateful as you have brought me one step closer in bringing the dream to life.

I hope that I can continue to learn from and be inspired by you in years to come. And I hope in some way I can pass on the gift and love you've shown me to others who may be in the same boat I was in.

Thank you.

Now let's go capture some amazing moments in 2012!!


Sugar High

When I watch movies like Empire Records, I'm reminded that no one truly has their shit together. And that's a good thing to be reminded of because it makes me less inclined to want things in my life that don't really belong in my life.

I've already exceeded the "Nearly 3AM attention span FB post word length limit" so maybe this sentiment is better suited for a blog post.

Which brings us to now.

So in the flick there are young adults and the hip record store owner Joe.

And pretty much everyone's introduced with their little 'issues'...(some are just exposed later in the flick).

But everything works out. In perfect Hollywood Fashion.

All conflict is resolved...the record store is saved...the man is damned and credits roll.

There are a couple of moments in the film I truly love. Any dialog with Lucas. He reminds me of how I think people used to look at me when I would get philosophical (whew...good thing I don't do THAT anymore).

The other scene I love is where Gina sings lead in the Coyote Shivers song. I love THAT scene for a couple of reasons...1:It's a great version of the song (should have been recorded and put on the soundtrack that way)...2:You can actually see the terror in her eyes of performing in front of people....and then you see that give way to her actually realizing that a dream is coming true.

And that's a beautiful fucking thing.

I know firsthand what that feels like. As I look around and see the photography gear around me. And I see dupes of the prints that I delivered for a client. And I see the number of 'LIKES' on the TwistedZen Photography Facebook Page. And I see the words that people have left (of encouragement and thanks). It's pretty fucking clear to me that a dream is coming true.

And that my friends is a beautiful fucking thing.

The other thing that is awesome about that movie (which was the original FB status update and the start of this piece) is that you think that certain people have their shit together. You are led to believe that the people are envious of the traits of their co-workers. And then you find out just how un-together everyone actually is.

And that's usually my wake-up call.

See...I have a tendency sometimes to look at someone and be like 'wow....you have an amazing (fill in the blank....'life'....'bank account'...'career you love'..) wish I had something like that.'

And that, my friends, is the deathtrap.

We are not meant to compare our lives with others. Nor should anyone look to us for comparison. Inspiration, sure. Comparison? Never. No one will judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves. And because of that, if you get in to the comparison game, you'll know the right buttons to push to really wind up doing some damage to that person you're judging (which, if you haven't been following closely, is you).

A fellow photog friend of mine posted that he's got some open time tomorrow and wants to do a shoot. And he got replies from peeps wanting to model from him. And I'm like 'damn...wish I could do that'...and I caught myself. See...thing is, I CAN do that. But I'm not really ready to do that yet. One day I will be. So to compare myself and my situation to him and his, is just stupid. We're two different people.

And you know what else continues to blow my mind on a daily basis?? Since you're still reading, I'll tell you. It's when people come up to me (or email or message me) and tell me that they enjoy following my posts and my progress on making the dream come true. That it inspires them. That it has motivated them to seek out their passion.

Do you have any idea how flippin' cool that is to me? Pretty flippin' cool, let me tell ya.

I had an whole other direction to go with this post, but it's after 3AM and I'm tired. I already fell asleep whilst typing this (and finished it in my head), waking up to find that I was 10 paragraphs back. Bummer.

Anyway...I'm out.

Remember...dreams don't come true. You have to go MAKE them happen. And you are not better or worse than someone else--so don't compare yourself to them. It's never a worthwhile endeavor.

Dream Big or go the fuck home.

And remember, you never know who is watching you...so always be prepared to help a fellow dreamer along like someone ahead of you on the path reached back to help you move along.

Damn the man. Save the Empire.


Facebook Junkie?

I think I'm somewhat of a Facebook Junkie. I suspect as my eating habits and exercising habits change, I'll wind up changing and/or conquering my sedentary addictions (at least that's the intent), but in the cold grip of a Central Ohio Winter, there seems to be nothing wrong with hanging out in front of the PC...playing Words with Friends, scrolling up and down the Facebook wall and pretending to 'catch up' on my 'friends' lives.

There are of course quotes around the words that are stark rationalizations.

I'm not catching up. I'm being a welcome voyeur. People post what they want people to see. And if by chance something gets posted to the public wall that was only meant for private eyes, these same people pray that they removed the post before too many of their invited voyeurs saw it.

And I do the same thing. Unlike the hyper-instant nature of Twitter...Facebook is feigned spontaneity. A good portion of my posts that seem like 'quirky' and 'off the cuff' are rehearsed in my mind before ever hitting 'The Wall.' Sorry. I'm not this funny in real life. Honestly. And when I do meet 'friends' on facebook. The first time in real life is often awkward. There's no space behind the screen to hide behind.

So...while I would like to think of many of my 'friends I met on Facebook' as also 'friends in real life,' the truth is, that's not a given. It's possible in real life you're an asshole and I'm a dick. But we both post some funny shit...comment here and there and oft times hit the 'LIKE' button (which really, for me, has turned in to the 'HEY, I READ THIS. GOOD TO SEE YOU'RE STILL ALIVE' button).

So, on a whim (no not really), I decided that while on vacation from work (which, lets be honest, is where many of us actually play on Facebook), I would take a break from FB. Keep my PC turned off unless I needed it (I don't--all my photo editing projects are done now) and I'd stay off Facebook for a week...just to see how things went.

And I got through nearly 24 hours away from FB. And as soon as I posted, I got called out by a couple of (in real life, too) friends. Which...was to be expected.

Because I wasn't really taking a hiatus. What I was doing was saying 'hey...I'm gonna take a break from posting every 40 minutes and just lurk...read what you guys all write without having to post, or think, or comment, or do anything but consume.

And FB really doesn't work like that. I mean...for some people it does. Some people can observe. I'm not one of them. Mostly because I can't keep my big mouth (fingers) shut...I have to respond. I have to see how many people LIKE what I say (which when YOU click the LIKE button, in my mind you've clicked the 'Todd, you're a fucking genius' button).

It's the way I'm wired.

And I saw a post from another friend who reached the conclusion that I had reached about a year ago--I'm really done with Facebook as an 'entity'...I mean, I want to try to cultivate the relations with friends in a REAL way...so I said about a year ago that I was fecking off for parts unknown. And many people popped up and were like...'dude...don't go..' I saw the same reaction on John's wall. And that's when I realized that sometimes the sum of the parts are bigger than the whole. John posts bible verses and inspirational stuff. He has no idea how many people that actually touches....when he posts, it's for him. So...he might be done with FB, but it's not a given that FB is done with him. I know how that feels.

Sure...I write some funny shit on FB...but you won't get to know me by any of that. You wanna get to really know me? Go back and read my blogs. Look at the things I take photos of. THATS how you'll get to know me. Or better yet, meet me at Brew'Stirs on a Friday or Saturday.

If you want a quick chuckle...a video that occasionally makes you laugh, or think, then by all means stick with the status updates. That's what they'll be used for mostly.

And really...that's all it can be. You see, I figured it out.

Facebook IS just like high school again. It's that quick hit of someone as you pass them in the hall. Occasionally you see the cut-out photos from Teen Beat taped in their lockers, but what you know of them is just what you see for the 3 minutes between classes. Purely circumstantial.

And that's probably what's bugging me. You may not know this, but there was a lot about High School that I fucking hated. HATED. But that's a story for another time.

Point is...the me that's on FB...that isn't the real me. That's the 'I'm here to make you laugh because I believe laughter can change the world' me.

I haven't figured out how to reconcile that split yet.

But I'm tryin' real hard, Ringo.



In a completely surreal moment in my life, I just shot and edited my daughter's Sr. Pictures. It seems only yesterday I carried her from the delivery room to the NICU.

She was born premature. And the first 48 hours were the hardest of my life. I suspect the 48 hours before she leaves the house to live her amazing life will be the second hardest. I don't wish for that day to come. I just want to reflect.

My daughter is creative...a free spirit...a free thinker...and sometimes she gets wrapped so deep on a thought that it takes awhile to come back up for air. I know this because she is, in a lot of ways, like me.

I don't know what the future holds for her. I know that she has a lot better chance of not f**king things up than I did. (I really kinda screwed the pooch from about 19-21).

Then...at 21, I decided I didn't want to be in my parents house any more (rookie mistake)...and had to live my own life. I met a woman...fell in love. Had an amazing baby girl.

And life, as I knew it, was never the same.

It sounds cliche. And I don't care. It is the God's Honest Truth. The first seconds I held her in my arms, I knew that there was something in this universe greater than me....greater than you...greater than all of us. And that was love. Holding this little tiny child in my arms, I knew a love so deep it hurt.

And I feel that love every day. Sometimes I watch her...and I know she doesn't really have a sense of how amazing she really is. She'll tell me about her day and I just have to smile. I can't help it. I look at her and think 'You came from me...but you are meant to be so much more than I will ever be.'

I hope that she reads this. Bookmarks it. Realizes that She truly is only limited by herself. Keep looking toward the stars. The universe will keep no secrets from you as long as you continue to ask.

I love you punkin'doodle.



Lard Ass

First off, I'm not even sure that Blogger will let me keep that title. We'll see.

Now....what does it all mean? You clicked here and you're instantly greeted with something that could definitely been seen as derogatory. And it is.

But it's also me. I'm the Lard Ass.

Oh...it's ok. I've embraced it. For now. But soon...very soon, I'll be letting it go.

Two things are starting up in my life tomorrow (well, today actually). A shift in diet and nutrition. That would be the first thing.

The second thing is...I'm making a movie again. There's a few of you that know why that may be shocking. And it's cool. Don't get too crazy with the Cheez Whiz. This isn't a big-budget Hollywould flick shot on the latest model of Red camera that's out there. No. This is a little video journal. An auto-bio-pic, if you will, shot on my POS Nikon L24 (no, it's not one of those point and shoots that shoots in HD. I'm tellin' ya folks this is lo-fi).

Lo-fi. This is not about flash. This is about being real. Real people don't have make up artists or personal trainers or personal chefs. Real people have $90 cameras and are trying to do the best they can to not screw shit up.

And sometimes real people cuss (yeah. whoops).

Annnnnnnnd sometimes real people get off on a tangent and forget completely where they were going with the whole thing.

OH! Right-o!

So...tomorrow I start a program from Advocare called the 24 Day Challenge. It basically is designed to steer you back to healthy eating choices (and I'll be incorporating exercise back in to the routine starting with Day 11).

And I'm gonna document it, dear readers. For you..for me..for posterity..who the eff knows? I just know that I'm gonna try to get through this thing and get back to some semblance of being in shape.

I weigh over 300 pounds. No, that's not a type...that's a three at the front of that number. It's supposed to be 185..that's my 'IDEAL' weight. But I'm not gonna lie, I would be happy as shit to be at 200.

Hell...I'm not picky. I really just want to be able to go dancing and not be completely winded and begging for death after dancing through Party Rock Anthem (don't laugh, that's my jam, right there!).

The intent is to make this some sort of 'docu-diary' or some shit like that (OH! sorry...I'm back to the movie idea, which really, is an extension of the 24 Day Challenge (because I didn't have enough stress starting this so close to the holidays*). Heh. Yeah.

Well...doesn't look like I can get the first clip uploaded. Guess you'll have to just wait (at least until I figure it out. :-)

Peace out.

Well, I uploaded the video to Facebook (they have a 1GB limit, not a 100MB limit). And here it is:

Enjoy (or not....at this point, this isn't really for you, it's for me...but if it helps you too, then cool).



Best. Concert. Ever.

The title sums it up. Last night (Thurs night) I went to the best concert...ever (up to now).

I am speaking, of course, of the Foo Fighters at Nationwide Arena. I waited until a week before the show to get tix. Turns out that was a good thing. I wound up getting 'General Admission/Floor'....and in parenthesis...*No Seats.* Now, I'm no spring chicken...and the reality of the situation is this...I would be standing for quite possibly 6 hours. Still...it's the fucking Foo Fighters. The album they just put out is just one of the best straight ahead rock albums this year ("Wasting Light")...and they did it old school. If they couldn't play it live with their instruments (and pedals) to tape, it didn't get on the album. They recorded to analog tape. And you can tell...it just has that warm 'rock and roll record' vibe to it.

So...I wound up taking the floor. Got one of the last parking spaces in the lot and walked up to the ground floor entrance. I stopped at the main door first and saw this sign:

I thought about it later, I left my D50 at home. Because of the detachable lens (and the fact that I use it in a professional capacity, it's considered a 'professional' camera. Which, according to the sign above would have been OK as they only disallowed PROFFESIONAL cameras.  Oh, and the note about Mosh Pits and (crowd) Surfing when unheeded as well.

So, they marched all us General Admission plebes in through the tunnels under the other arena seats (basically where everything gets loaded in and out).

In the tunnel on the way to my 'standing area', I saw this:

It all made sense later, but you know...it was a piece of rock. And I was taken back to the thrill of the Rock and Roll Fantasy camp and how shit like this just made it 'real'.

I hit the restroom and squeezed out as much as I could possibly squeeze (since I wasn't about to give up my square foot when I got in there). And then on the way in, stopped and picked up a t-shirt and hat. The t-shirt went on. The hat, unfortunately, was too small (it's OK though, they let me trade up and pay the difference to get the Foo Fighters wristband and guitar picks after the show on my way out).

The first band that opened was Mariachi El Bronx from L.A.. I knew nothing about them, save they were a mariachi band (that kicked ass) and approached traditional mariachi music with punk rock sensibility...which is to say...they fucking rocked. I was a little disappointed to hear people shouting USA....USA..  Really? What country do you motherfuckers think California is in, anyway??

After they were done, I happened to look up at the A/V rig. Yeah...it's gonna get loud later (and it did).

The next band was Rise Against (from Chicago). The non-lead-singer guitarist looked like the dude from the original Hills Have Eyes (a.k.a. the dude from Weird Science...a.k.a. the dude from Midnight Oil...a.k.a. the drummer from AC/DC).  They were good. They rocked it. I only knew one of their songs. My feet weren't sore yet and I'd had my first whiff of sweet leaf. So, it seemed the evening was on par to rock.

 I did a quick 'this is how many people were there' shot (but there's one later that REALLY gives a sense of how packed the arena was.

I (thankfully had these in during Mariachi El Bronx and Rise Against...but it seemed like it would be somehow sacrilege to wear these during the Foos performance....and it may have been....but the ringing in my ears on the way home told me that next time-we're committing heresy.

And now, various shots of the Foo Figthers. I was about 25 feet (or 12 rows of people) back from the stage...pretty frickin' close.

And then, when Dave came out on his little runway thing, I was about 10 feet. The location from which I experienced the concert was well work the pain in my feet and calves as well as the spasming of my back that happened before the encore.

The following shots are of the encore...this gives you sense of how packed the place was. And to be honest, it was an amazing, electric show...the energy was palpable.

Thanks Dave and crew for giving this nearly 40-something another glimpse of rock and roll magic. And as long as you keep making records and touring, I'll keep buying them and seeing you..because...dudes...you fucking rock.

The setlist is as follows (I didn't keep track of this, I found it online):

Bridge Burning
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Cold Day in the Sun
Stacked Actors
Monkey Wrench
Let It Die
These Days
Skin and Bones
This is a Call
In the Flesh (Pink Floyd cover)
All My Life

Long Road to Ruin (Acoustic)
Best of You (Acoustic)
Times Like These
Dear Rosemary
Breakdown (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)

There's more in my head about this epic event, but suffice to say that it was truly inspiring. In a moment of pleasant banter, Dave went on a rant about 'fuck computers...go get some real instruments...play...and make a fucking band...just get out there and do it!!'

And it's brilliant advice, actually. If you like to jam and play...the fucking jam and play.

So...um...yeah....that's how awesome the concert was.



Long Train Runnin'

No, I am neither high, nor going to write a post about my brother (although I could, at length, I'm sure)...no..the title refers to the fact that I was listening to Pandora radio and ELO's "Telephone Line" was on. Yes, I'm quite aware that it bears no resemblance to the Doobie Brothers, but hey-I'm inside my head-not you...so, trust me on this, walk away from trying to make it add up. I doubt you will.

If this post (long overdue, I know. I'm sorry about that) ever gets done, it will be a miracle as I'm constantly succumbing to my latest addiction--Words With Friends.

So...where was I? Oh yeah, long time since I posted  (duh..THAT'S where the title came from...told you we'd figure it out).

What's been up with me?

Oh...you know the usual. I'm gonna go ahead and adhere to my policy about not talking about the job that pays my bills, if that's OK with you. It's not that I'm paranoid or anything, it's just that I'm sure that one some server, there's a word limit and I'm sure I'd hit it and in that jumble of detritus, I'm sure I'd say something that might hurt someone's feelings (namely mine if it was read and misinterpreted)...so, best to avoid that and just say 'Work is fine, thanks for asking'.

I am, however picking up business in another area that I think is safe to call a passion. Yeah. the photography is picking up (yes, I know I need to update the photoddgraphy blog, too, shh...all in good time poppet). But I'm actually picking up some steam thanks to that great timesuck, facebook (I'd capitalize it here, but I think Google might not be happy). But no, seriously. I've set up a 'business/artist' page for TwistedZen Photography over on facebook. And if you don't mind, could you just head over there and click the LIKE button? Cool. Thanks.

I'm averaging about 2-3 bookings a month at this point. The game plan is to get to about 5 or 6 a week...and then from there taking a weekday off...and getting up to 8-10 a week. And that at that point, I'm probably ready to make it a full time gig. It seems a little weird to see actual numbers there, but it's cool at the same time. I mean, if I'm serious about doing this full time (and every time I'm on a shoot, I can't imagine doing anything else for a living), then I need to know those numbers and strive for them.

Another weird thing is that music is coming back in to my life...I mean more along the lines of making/producing. It's strange the people from your past that may have only had cursory influence come back in to your life and provide pieces to puzzles you didn't even know you were trying solve. I'm gonna keep that one a little more mysterious for now, since it's still new and I want to see where it goes.

In other words, there are blessings right before my eyes. I should definitely be embracing them. And yet, I find myself focusing on some of the shittier things going on right now. The things I can't change. The things I can't let go of (why do those two always seem to be joined at the hip?).

I know this world is an illusion. I KNOW that...and yet, I find myself playing along with it so willingly. Getting caught up in it. Getting angry at it for its unfairness. Buying in to the misery, pain, and despair with alarming ease. And I know that's not how it's supposed to go down. Funny thing is...when I truly foster that belief, things fall in to place and go my way. It's crazy. It's like a constant reminder to live (love) in the now.

Alright...I need to cut this short now...for two reasons...1)if I don't, it's gonna turn in to the book that's trying to come out and 2)It's my move.

Peace out


Way Late Post From a Way Fun Weekend

I'm way late in posting this. Well, by way late, I mean a week. Which for me (who used to blog all the friggin time, it seems, is way late.

It really was a blast of a weekend, so I'll just dive right in then.

Friday night, I brought back an old friend, DJ iTod. Regular readers of the blog may remember DJ iTod's sole performance back in 2005 (or was it 2006)...either way. A friend asked if I would DJ a elementary school carnival. After some thought (not much at all), I loaded up the borrowed band PA gear and got stuff ready at McNamara Park north of Westerville (which is a kick-ass shelter, if you're wondering).

The kit looked a little (exactly) like this:

Since I was rocking the laptop only (and had the iPod in my bag), I figured it was OK to re-use the DJ iTod moniker (although I'm pretty sure I never said my name at all, so it didn't really matter)

On the other side of the shot it looked a bit (exactly) like this:

DJ iTod in the hizzous. You can't tell by the look on my face, but I was very close to brain-mush at this point. Something about 2 1/2 hours of children's songs. To be fair, though, They Might Be Giants have some killer kids tunes.

After packing up the kit I headed home. I by-passed a couple of Friday the 13th parties that were happening and headed home to freshen up a bit before hitting Brewstirs. Don't really need to get in to too much detail about Brewstirs. I go there. Friends show up. We drink. We (sometimes) order pizzas*. Sometimes we dance. Sometimes we sing. In the Summer or the winter, cuz it ain't no thing. But yeah.

Saturday morning I was to meet Ian and Darrin at the quarterly record show. As I pulled in to the lot, I remembered Ian was without cell phone. So I called Darrin. Darrin was sitting this round out and spending a nice family-time weekend with, well, his family. Which is cool.

I headed in and spotted Ian. Halloo's were exchanged and I started my path of walking around having absolutely no clue what I was going to spend my dj-gig dough on.

And then I saw it.

And I knew I had to have it.

Yeah. Christmas With Colonel Sanders. Seriously, how could I NOT buy this. The almost ancient Chinese guy in the too white suit was giving me that hypnotic smile. (the photo is from some other site because I'm kinda lazy that way). There's a nice letter that takes up almost the full inside written by (I'm assuming) the Colonel's own marketing staff. I haven't played it yet, and really don't know if I'll ever need to.

I also picked up a copy of "Green" by R.E.M to sit right next to "Document" on my record shelf. I was on a quest for 12" singles (still trying to convince Brewstirs to do a retro/vinyl night). Pickings were slim. Well, let me re-phrase that. There were quite likely a shit-ton of 12"singles there...but as we've established by the previously nicked photo, I'm a bit lazy. So I was looking for vendors who had the good sense to pander to my laziness (and potentially minor hangover) by separating out the 12"singles from the rest of their collections. I found a couple such vendors and left with the following gems:
  • Run-DMC "Hard Times"
  • Prince "Let's Go Crazy" b/w "Erotic City"
  • Thomas Dolby "Dissidents: The Search For Truth"
I'm still trying to find a replacement copy of Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock "It Takes Two" to replace the one that I lost when Flamingo Isle closed its doors (before I got my vinyl out).

After circling one more time than necessary for me to know I wasn't about to flip through any more records, I found Ian and a new guest to the party Michael Million (who I thought I might have seen earlier, but dismissed it because as last I knew, he was living out of state...but nope..it was him (and still is, I presume).

We gathered up the wagon train and headed off for gyros. We skipped the scary mob-front gyro shack on Morse Rd. and headed further east on Morse Road and wound up at the Mykanos Taverna in Gahanna. And I have to say. I had the BEST gyro I've ever had.

It was called the Athenian Gyro...and I jokingly called it the 'Po'Boy Gyro' when reading the menu description. When it arrived, I knew I wasn't far off.

Dude. I shit you not, this thing was awesome. The sauce was awesome. The seasoned fries were awesome. The fact that they were IN the gyro was doubly awesome. The whole thing freakin' rocked.

After consuming that heavenly feast (and kicking myself for NOT getting the Groupon for that place) we waddled up to Music Go Round (there was an Orange Whip reference related to bottled water in there too (I caught it Ian, no worries :-))

I knew I wasn't really going to buy anything, but it was fun to look at the PA cabinets anyway :-).

I honestly had more fun watching Ian and Michael go up and down the rows of guitars and the color commentary that ensued. It was good shit and I could see myself watching it on Discovery Channel at some point.

In the midst of all that we stopped for a Bad Grammar Moment:

To which Ian replied: "My all alone what?"

We may never know. The other funny thing about the shot is that Ian looks incredibly baked. Which, some may think he is...but if I had to put money on the last person on the planet to go that route, it'd be him. So...Bad Grammar+Irony=Comedy Gold.

I think the next pic pretty much speaks for itself:

I bugged off at about 3, so I'm not sure how the rest of the day wound down for Ian and Michael, but it was a blast. And one I hope we don't have to wait another 3 months for.

I headed home and grabbed the photog bag. I was excited to shoot a very special event for a good friend from high-school, Traci O'Brien (in yellow in the photo below). She was celebrating her 1 year anniversary of being sober. It was cool as shit. Her friends and family came out to support her. Her sister Nancy actually got Traci to the house under the guise of a birthday cook-out (it was Nancy's birthday), so it was just all perfect. And Traci was surprised. It was a fun afternoon, and I was blessed to be able to capture some of those memories for them.

Not sure how Saturday could get MUCH better, I headed home and started going through the pix. I wound up heading to Brewstir's for the rare '2nd Night in a Weekend' jaunt (but it was, afterall, an epic weekend, so I felt the need to keep it going).

Sunday was very much a lazy/chill day. I think something happened to make me think it was a cool continuation of the previous 2 days of the Epic Weekend (but for the life of me, I can't remember it now as I'm staring down the clock reminding me that in 4 hours and 58 minutes I'll be getting up to get ready for work).

So, that's about how the way fun weekend went.

Man....writing feels good. I need to do more of this shit.


Talk to you later, peeps.


*-So. The Pizzas. Normally I order a pizza or 2 (if there are many friends there). Tonight was no exception. I ordered a pie from Classic Pizza. Well...we got a new delivery guy. Complete Rookie. The first time he showed up (12minutes after I ordered), he gives me some other guys pizza (which I paid for)...and I swear I almost got my ass kicked over it. Luckily we didn't eat off of it...he gave me the money I paid and everything was cool.

Second time this guy comes back (with my pizza this time), he's looking for 'Bob' (now, I'm not sure Bob and Todd could ever sound alike, but whatever)....so this dude is freakin out. And Chris, the bartender knows Chris, the manager at Classics. So...we assure the guy that he's not going to lose money...someone will buy the pie. And I was like 'dude...this MIGHT be my pizza anyway, can you just open the box and let me see it'....he was freakin'...he was like 'I've been here 2 times already tonight and it's just BUSY in here'...I said 'yeah, you're gonna be back 2 more times before the night's over (it was 3 times)...long story short (too late)..it WAS my pizza. So now Chris and Bill (the bouncer) call me Bob-Todd. Heh. Normally Pizza delivery goes a little smoother. LOL.


Too Many Me's

So, I just posted on Facebook (which I really am probably doing too much (but more on that later)...I just posted the following:

sometimes it feels like there's a few different dudes kickin' around in my noggin'. It gets a little crowded sometimes. And I have to let them out...either through writing...or music or photography...it's getting to the point where it's really friggin' crowded up there again...to the point where sometimes I feel a little....well...crazy. Hehe. And maybe I am....just a little bit.

and sometimes I feel that way. I feel like I'm wired not like other people. Any kind of in-depth discussion for anything over 11 minutes generally confirms that feeling. It's not really a sense of dread as much as it is a sense of 'What the fuck?' As in 'ok..so I'm wired differently for a reason. What the fuck is the reason?'

I don't feel like I'm on a Blues Brothers mission from God (or maybe I am...fuck...seriously...maybe the blog isn't the best place for this mental vivisection)...

Switching gears.

I'm in a weird state today. I pumped gas in my compact car at $4.09/gallon. And then 3 hours later was told that the leader of one of the largest terrorist organizations (second only to the Catholic Church) had been killed in a precision strike by Navy Seals. I'm not going to say his name, because the last thing I really want is the search engines to pick up on my little bloggy blog.

But...we're given the news by a very somber President. And it's great, right? We should be celebrating. The Bastard that orchestrated the attack with the most casualties on American soil was finally dead. WooHoo.


I mean, we should be celebrating, right? Singing 'War is Over (Happy Christmas)' and all that shit.


Yeah.. I don't know, bro.

I mean. He was a human.

Sure...possibly evil incarnate. And I'm certainly not defending his actions.

But celebration of a death.

I just don't know.

See...I was caught up in the 'America-Fuck Yeah!' fervor until about 11:09 this morning. And then it kind of hit me.

What hit you Todd?

Glad you asked.

See...I have long held this....theory...this innate knowledge (that's been with me for quite some time)....that there is no God.

Yeah. You read it right.

And you didn't read it right.

You read 'There is no God' and are sharpening up your pens (or your home row keys) ready to call me a heretic, or even worse, an Atheist.

And I may be. I'm not sure yet. What is it when you think All things are God? (even the Atheists and terrorists?) Cuz whatever THAT's called, I'm probably closer to that.

So...just a glimpse (because there's really more here than a single blog post).

But when I say there is no 'God'....what I really mean is that there is no God separate from you and I. And really, there is no You and I. There is no Us and Them.

We are ALL God. All of us. Every single one of us God.

No, not A god....THE God.

All of us.

WE are God experiencing Its Creation.

(And like I said, there's more to it than this post will allow)...point is....if we are ALL God (every single living entity on this planet (and countless other planets) is God.

God wants to feel what its like to be sorta talented in many areas (but never really excel in any of them) and to be living a life that he knows can be so much more (if I could just remember the fucking key).....so, a piece of God is living out that path. And it's called Andrew Todd Skaggs....just to experience what that's like. Sort of like writing the dictionary...and then wanting to FEEL....to LIVE what every single word in that dictionary means.

Whatever's going on in your life, God wants to experience it.

So...what better way to feel ALL of the ranges of possibilities than for God to just BE those things. So...we're all God. (I'm not here to debate that point....it's really only the setup for the next point).

So...as God....we are to rejoice when something Evil is destroyed? Are we? I mean, that evil thing was also a lifeforce on this earth. And if my hypothesis is correct, was also part of God experiencing itself.

Seriously...the problem with most western religion is that it assumes that there is a force equal to God that's battling God for control of our eternal souls. And in the same breath, we're told that God already won the battle.

Well, of course he did. He set up the pieces on the board. Shit...he IS the board. You ever try to play Stratego with yourself? You know ahead of time where the bombs, canons and flags are. Of course you're going to win.

Its kind of like when I was little I had my GI Joes (second generation,not the 12" action figures with kung fu grip). When I played GI Joes, each character had a different voice and they were true to their form.

But I gave them life.

They didn't do anything that wasn't already in my head. And sure, sometimes Cobra won (because, lets face it, if you had StormShadow, he HAD to kick some ass every now and then...and the twins whos skin changed color in the sun)...but ultimately, GI Joe won....because he was the 'good guy' (even though he was made out of the same stuff as all the others...same material...same mold...somewhere along the way, we decided he was the 'good' guy).

And heaven forbid something happened to my action figures. Like if my mamaw accidentally threw them out (from stepping on them on the front porch step one too many times)...I was sad. Even if that one was the 'bad guy'....I lost one of my 'creations'....one of the actors in my play time was gone.

Get it?

If we're all God experiencing its creation....then we ARE ALL GOD*. So...any time there is death that is unnatural, it should be a time for mourning.

Which leads to the next question.

Is it unnatural?

If we are all God experiencing its creation, then any scenario that happens while we have breath has to a)Be Necessary and b) be known

This isn't going where I thought it would (damn dudes in my head steering things in a different direction again.

I need to cut this short before the guys in white coats show up. I'm not ready for their visit yet. Someday, but not quite yet.

In short, I guess, my point is...celebrating the death of 'the enemy' is a dark road. I've seen what it's done to people who have served in war.

It that fucking Free Will that steps in to screw shit up again.

Alright. I think that's all I can let out for now...my brain is swimming in places I'm not sure it should be just now.

Peace Out.


*-I just use the word 'God' because it's a concept that most can understand (even through the saturation of the western world). In reality I think it's a force much bigger than any of us really can imagine (at least while clinging feverishly to this 'world', that is).-AT


Epic Weekend of Epic Awesomeness!!

Man...this week sucked. And by sucked I mean I was a bit frustrated at my day job. There's really no need to go in to that here, because, well, the week is done. And I'd rather not re-hash any of that.

But it was necessary to lay the foundation for my mindset by the time Friday evening rolled around. The mindset was, I needed to forget ALL about the week. I had made plans for lunch and hang time with my best bro Darrin for Saturday afternoon. Which left Friday to get the weekend started proper.

I hit up a surprise party for a friend early in the evening at Jimmy V's. Jimmy V's is in Uptown Westerville (don't ask, it's a post for another time)...and it's like 2 blocks from the Westerville Police Station. Now, I'm not a fan of drinking and driving anyway, but those odds led for me being fairly subdued at that event. I hung out a bit....ate some apps....nurse my Smithwick's...gave my well wishes to the Birthday girl and headed over to my oasis.

That would be Brew'Stirs. That place is my Cheers. I feel like Norm when I walk in. Chris (he tends bar on Fridays and Saturdays with either Kara or Karen) sees me walk in and heads to the cooler, pulls a chilled pint glass and draws off a Shock Top for me. It's on the bar waiting for me when I get there.

It's so fucking awesome to be someone that the barkeeps know as having a 'usual'. The other thing that's great is I walk there. I drink my fill (a $20 is usually enough liquid amnesia to make me forget that I have to do the same thing all over again at work Monday morning). And then I walk home.

It's awesome. And this is just the normal awesomeness associated with Brew'Stirs on a weekly basis.

This week, though, it was a bout of Epic Awesomeness. By the time I hit Brew'Stirs from Jimmy V's I was so ready to forget the week that it wasn't even funny.

But I wasn't alone this week. This week I had almost a dozen good friends there to help forget the week (most of them are friends from back in the dizzay that we reconnected with through FB...and when we hang, there's that history as well as the currentness of knowing what's on each others wall...it's a weird dynamic, but it frickin' works, man, it works).

Drinks were had....and then we ordered pizzas. Now they don't serve or make pizzas there. But Classic Pizza is right down the road and they have a Brew'Stirs 'special' (which is basically $2 off). So we ordered 2 pizzas. Dude gets there. And he's got 4 pizzas for us. 2 that were 'undelivered' (damn kids and their prank phone calls)...so for the price of 2 pizzas, we got 4. And of course, our bartenders take care of us, so we made sure to take care of them. (ALWAYS share with your bartenders. Trust me, it pays off).

So...drinks-Awesome. Extra Pizza-Awesome. Good Friends-Awesome. Closing the bar down until lights up-EPIC AWESOMENESS.

I crashed into bed feeling very happy....peaceful and more than a little shnookered. The weekend had begun.

Darrin was due to hit my place around 1130. I was up by 10 and all ready. Hung out editing some pix until he got there.

We don't really ever set an agenda for hang time. It's more organic than that. And that's cool. After some catching up and chillin', we settled on lunch. Wings at Rooster's. From there the day was open. It was National Record Store Day, so the notion was briefly entertained of hitting the record stores on Campus to see what was shaking.

We got in and just started driving the service roads, then we decided to hit Lev's Pawn Shop. Darrin had never been in a pawn shop. And while I had (and knew they were pretty much kinda like a sad garage sale with walls, and armed cashiers), I decided to go along. You never know what you're gonna get into there. And I kinda dig Pawn Shops anyway. Just always seemed seedy to me.

Getting out of the car, in the abandoned parking (minus the taco truck) we see a pink onesie with what I hope is mud in the crotch. This didn't bode well.

Walking in we hear "Holy Fuck that's a lot of Blood! He's really bleeding....." Actually Darrin heard it first, my ears kicked in on "They're scrapin' that shit off the ice". I apparently saw the hockey game on TV first because it didn't really phase me. But I can see where it would be a very odd greeting upon entering the store.

Nothing that either of us couldn't live without at this store, so we baled. Back on to the service roads we went.

We eventually decided to hit the revived Graceland Area. and hit Half Price Books and I got my vinyl fix on. It was close enough to NRSD for me to count, so I did. I got 10 12" singles, most were electronica tracks I'd never heard from artists I didn't know. I love that shit. I also got the Kill Bill Diary by David Carradine and strongly resisted the urge to pick up a pair of retro headphones I didn't need.

Holy crap has that place changed. There's a whole other post about how icons of my childhood/teen years have been wiped off the map (Farrell's Ice Cream and the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday and Saturday at Midnight).

So...yeah..Half Price Books. Ducked out of there and headed back toward mi casa and hit the Salvation Army Thrift Store on the way.

I gotta be honest, I was really craving a tetanus shot by the time we left there. It was just....dirty. Skeevy, sad, and dirty. That was probably my last time in there. Ever. At least without a haz-mat suit.

Luckily for us, ANOTHER Lev's Pawn Shop was right next door. So we hit that.

Bigger than the first, but again, there was really nothing I needed. Then Darrin pipes up 'Hey..you still got that MiniDisc?'. Yeah, I said. Why?

He found a MiniDisc recording deck. I definitely needed it for the studio (don't start pushing the semantics of the word 'need'...let it go)....so I looked. $159. Um...what? Oh, it's been marked down to $60.

That was still more than I wanted to pay. So I do what I almost never do. I asked the guy behind the counter if they'd take $40 for it.

They weren't sure. They got online to see what it was going for on eBay. They came back and said 'We can't take less than we have in it. And we paid $50 for it. So, it'd be $50+ tax'. I thanked them. Told them I'd think about it and if I wanted to spend $50 on one, I'd be back, because I was sure it'd still be there. I put it back on the shelf and Darrin and I started leaving. 3 steps toward the door they stopped me and said they'd take $40. Jelly.

Got it home...tested it out. It works like a champ. And I still think I got a bargain. Especially since I got it for less than they wanted to sell it for.

We chilled and watched Epic MealTime and laughed our asses off. It was a great fucking afternoon.

That evening I went to Port Columbus with my parents to welcome my Uncle Don back. He had gone on the Honor Flight for WWII Veterans. It was a tremendously powerful and humbling experience. And a fantastic way to end out the Saturday of Epic Awesomeness.

Today hasn't really be so epic OR awesome. Too much thought about the week ahead (especially thanks to being on call). But there was enough awesomeness in Friday and Saturday to get me through the week.

And this coming Friday, Dad and I are heading down to the farm. I'm expecting nothing short of a surreal journey...and some awesome photographs.

OK...off now to get my shit together for the week ahead.

Peace out!



There are certain phrases that are designed to make the person speaking feel better about what they're about to say...although they SOUND like they're meant to console the recipient of said verbal muckity muck (which they almost never do).

For example:

"No offense, but...." This is almost always followed by something that someone with half a brain would find offensive (this usually counts the speaker of said phrase out, since if they, in fact had half a brain, would know they were about to offend and would just shut up).

"I don't mean to be rude..." And yet, you're gonna be if you start a sentence this way. Along the same lines is 'Now...don't get angry' or 'I'm not looking to cause trouble...' Too late-words came out of your mouth.

And here's one that I almost typed on a friend's blog as a comment

"If it's any consolation..." This one is actually the sneakiest of them all. Because it catches you off guard. It's all like 'hey...just giving you some friendly advice....and you don't have to use it if you don't want to because..you know..I said 'if'...'

The problem with that one is that it's almost NEVER any consolation to the person receiving that statement. If they were in a position to reason out the situation and look at a bigger picture, they wouldn't need your damn consolation (or bad attempts at passing of your "wisdom" and disguising it as sympathy).

And this isn't one of those 'I NEVER do these things' kind of posts. I do. I do this shit all the time...well..ok, not all the time because that would make me a pretty colossal douchebag. And I'd like to think I haven't worked my way up to colossal yet...just you know...normal 'american' size douchebaggery.

Speaking of d-bagging. I owe an apology to Darrin. Bro...on our Bro-Saturday I tweeted/FB'd at Starliner Diner like right out of nowhere. The isht's like a habit. I'd say I was trying to kick it. But I'd be lying. It's my crack. But I promise to do better when we're hanging. But..um. I'm sorry.

I've noticed that it used to piss me off when people would get on their blue tooth...or have a conversation so loudly that you can't hear yourself think (and it still does to an extent, but I find myself 'assimilating'). But this texting/FB'ing/Twittering--it's the new form of 'cell-phone rude.' At least when people were blatantly blowing you off by talking on their cell phone or blue tooth they could at least look at you and smile and pretend to hear you. Now...when they're updating (or worse yet, checking updates) FB or Twitter or whatever the new social-heroin is, they're oblivious (And by 'they'...I mean me..because I do this, too. For f**ksakes, I was voted 'Most Likely to Update His Facebook Page While At the Reunion' at my 20th High School Reunion. Sad, I know. But I don't remember what my Senior 'Award' actually was from 1990...so...I guess..it's...um...an improvement (that was sarcasm)).

I have no idea where that came from, to be completely honest.

Lately I've been working on clearing out the mental cob-webs that have been nesting in the noggin. I feel like there's a book (or at the very least a very lengthy free-form writing experiment) that's about to come out and I need to get in the habit of writing on a keyboard with mostly full size keys and also carrying a thought out for longer than either 140 or 420 characters at a time. I know...I've written those same sentiments in 9 of the last 16 blog posts (See---practice DOES make perfect...one of these days you might even believe it).

That went in a really odd direction (not really surprising given the thangs bounding around in my noodle lately).

I'm gonna go ahead and hit the NyQuil, then hit the sack. I'm tired. And I think I'm getting a cold. And I'm sore.

Because I fell last week. And it sucked. But that's a story for another time.

To sum up:
  • Ian/Darrin--had a blast jamming/hanging out. Too soon is not soon enough to do it again (but maybe AFTER my ribs heal up...not sure they're up to that much laughing again just yet)
  • Ian-hope K feels better
  • Darrin-Starliner Diner soon...and Sorry about the facebooking.
  • All-g'night.
Peace Out


He Had a Dream

This isn't going to be another 'Remember MLK' kind of post or riddled with inspirational quotes from a dead guy. As crass as it sounds, they're not really helping, are they?

I think the main difference between racism of the 60's and before is that it was right out there. BAM! "No Negroes"...."Whites Only"...you really couldn't miss it (a burning cross on the lawn sent a pretty clear message of hate....horrible, but was effective in passing along its message). And I think in some parts of the South, you still can't miss the mess. What's funny is, I'm sure there are as many places in the 'North' where it's just as rampant (but not nearly as obvious).

And no. It's not 'funny' ha-ha...it's ironic and sad, if you must know the truth.

Just today I posted on Facebook:
"i fear that we, as a society, may have painted ourselves in to a corner when it comes to any honest and open discussions about racism in America. The fact that this thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion in my lifetime means that, clearly, Dr. King's work is far from finished."

What brought this one was wanting to post a status of how sick I was about the whole 'hyphenated-American' thing that's been going on since well....the 70's.

One of my friends from my college days at DePauw wasn't going to just let me sit on that comment though (God love ya Gail!), she challenged me that we had come quite a ways since the 60's. And we have. I think the biggest thing I struggle with is the myth of the 'melting pot' and the whole phenomenon of 'hyphenated-Americans' that began in the 70s when we made a shift from calling ourselves a melting pot to calling ourselves multi-cultural. I just think that somewhere along the way of trying so hard to preserve where we came from, we lost sight of where, as a culture, society and nation, we were going. I have family ties back to Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and the Cherokee nation...but I am not Euro-American...I'm not Cherokee-American...I'm an American citizen. I guarantee you if I go to any other country in the world, they don't give a flip whats in front of the hyphen...just what's after it.

But...THIS is the corner that I mean...the one we've painted ourselves in to.

There's no easy way to talk about this without tearing through the scar tissue of wounds that have supposedly 'healed'...and in the end, it's not really about the hyphenated-Americans, is it?

It's about us...a people...the human race...realizing that my brother or sister is not the person in my house...or street or city....but they are the person that needs my help...and they may be halfway across the world.

I don't know. I don't know the answer yet...Dr. King did, I think. And he got killed for it.

Gail comes back and mentions that more compassion and less judgement is a better solution (along with some other great points that you should actually just go to my FB Wall and read).

And I agree.

But I can't get away from these damn hyphens. And here's why.

As a white person...(sorry...as a person of very fair skin pigmentation), I am not expected to identify myself with a hyphen.

If my skin were darker I could go for latin-american...or african-american....if my eyes had different characteristics, I could go for any of the Asiatic tribes (chinese-american, japanese-american, korean-american)....but being from European ancestry (Irish/Italian on my Dad's side, English/Welsh on my Mom's side) I have to check the box that simply says 'Caucasian.'

Dude...that's jacked up.

Caucasian, if you're wondering, doesn't mean 'white.' Oh...that's how we use it in every single check-box form there is, but it's not what its origins are.

From Wikipedia (don't get me started..with its peer-review system, it's more accurate than you think...but that's an article for another time):

The term Caucasian race (also Caucasoid, Europid, or Europoid[1]) has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the indigenous populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.[2] Historically, the term has been used to describe the entire population of these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone. In common use, specifically in American English, the term is sometimes restricted to Europeans and other lighter-skinned populations within these areas, and may be considered equivalent to the varying definitions of white people.[3]

Yeah. OK...sure...seems benign enough. The issue is...if you keep reading the article on it (found here), you will see that it really is a horrible classification. No. I'm not caucasian, thank you very much....any more than you're mongoloid or negroid...

I'm American. I'm a male of the species homo sapiens....oh...and I like long walks on a moonlit beach.

But I'm not caucasian...because I will not be part of a classification system that seeks to subjugate people based on where their ancestors came from. I doubt it's too much of a coincidence that the term 'aryan' pops up in the discussions on Dr. Blumenbach's work on racial classification.

I will be checking the 'OTHER' box from here on out.

Somewhere between continuing the conversation with friends on FB and coming back here, I lost the train of thought in my head.

Sorry about that...

but suffice to say, on this day of remembrance for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr....that I do NOT hope we reach the land he describes in his 'I have a Dream' speech...that is to say I hope we don't STAY there...I hope we go BEYOND that...I don't think it was ever meant to be a destination. It was a waypoint. It was a 'hey...let's get here, and I'll show you the next stop on the map to self-actualization and the spiritualizing of the human soul'...I'm guessing of course..because he's...well, dead. And he can't tell us where he envisioned us going beyond that dream.

I'm not gonna lie, peeps....there's some isht that's been floating in my head for a while now that's about to just come spewing out. I'll try not to let TOO much of the really out there stuff hit this blog...that stuff'll come later in the form of another stream of consciousness "book" (a la 'The Rose' that I wrote on the verge (or just shortly after) a breakdown of sorts)....

Damn. I really have no idea where to take this.

Seems like as good a place as any to let this train of thought coast for a while. I'm heading to bed. I'll check my notes tonight while I'm dreaming and see where I wanted to take this thing.

Until then, strive to be greater than you think you can possibly be, because in someone's mind, you're already greater than even that.



Dropping in on Acid...again

Not sure where the time went between the last post and now. And quite frankly it doesn't much matter.

I know that I've been working...and doing some writing...some practicing for the acoustic duo/band thang...and some snow shoveling...and of course, Acid.

No..I don't mean that which drove Mr. Barrett out of his ever-loving mind. I speak mainly of Sony Acid. A loop-based cut and paste music production tool that people seem to compare to Garage Band (even though it pre-dates Garage Band by easily 10 years...but I digress).

So..yeah...cleaned off one of the external harddrives and loaded it up with all the loops I could find (yes, even the shitty Magix ones)...all told about 20GB of loops and samples.

And I've been playing. Yes, in general, I have steered away from the 'borrowed' and 'eval' versions of the software. I could tell you I did all of this with Acid Xpress. Let's just leave it at that.

I've done 3 songs in as many days. Not sure I can keep up this pace...but I have to admit that I'm having a shitton of fun with it. It keeps me off of FaceCrook for an hour or 2 AND it's creating something. It's win-win.

If you missed them on Facebook, here are the tracks, and a little of what I was going for on each.

I really had no plan for this track. But it was written on Tuesday night when the white death was supposed to hit us. And quite frankly, it was just a way of re-familiarizing myself with the software AND the assload of loops.

This one to me represents that place between deep slumber and your alarm going off for that first time. After that, if you hit snooze...you never quite get back to that place of slumber. And damitol if that alarm doesn't keep coming back.

This one really is just a cross-pollination of all kinds of music styles...going back to the 'old' blues...and as current as 'new' techno. The irony is, it's a sample of a blues guitar so the song winds up being an inside joke with itself. Out of the three, it's probably my favorite so far.

And there you have it. And now, I need to head to bed...I needs me some sleep...especially if Friday rocks as hard as it should (or sucks as hard as the other days of the week have).


Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...