Posted: 2009-09-16 10:31:05
Hello Dear Reader. My but it's been a while. Almost a full month! Part of it has just been me being lazy, but I've also been really busy. But let's not point fingers here. The point is, now you're getting updated on my life, which is all you ever really wanted. Right?
Few weeks back Amber and I drove out to Cincinnati to visit Valhallodin Jeff and Leesa. I lucked out and got to sleep through most of the boring part of the drive, then took over the wheel once we were out of cornfields. Cincinnati is surprisingly pretty in late summer with lush green hills and thick forests. Granted it's also really close to Kentucky. Ugh.
We got to hang out at the posh Cricket Lounge and Leesa got us some special deserts which looked awesome and tasted even better. We also got a tour of the kitchen which was pretty cool. I felt like I was on Top Chef.
Over Labor Day, Amber, Ethan and I drove out to New York. No, not NY, NY. Just plain old NY. Like, you might as well have been in Pennsylvania. Amber's brother has a little trailer out in Chautauqua (read: middle of nowhere) on an old Lutheran summer camp. It reminded me a bit of my days up at Sugar Creek. Yea, I know, me at a Bible camp... weird.
It was nice to finally get to meet the rest of Amber's family, and I think everything went quite well. There was lots of keeping the kids entertained, drinking started around 3:30, and we had a campfire every night. Not the typical vacation, but fun none the less.
The past few days I've had a wicked head cold, producing more mucus than any human should be capable of. I'm finally on the mend, which is good because The Van Goghs have a show this Friday night at Silvie's. I highly recommend you attend. We are awesome.
I updated the Twitter code on this site so if it can't seem to get my tweets for whatever reason, the whole site no longer crashes. Hooray! Hopefully I'll have some time to add a few more enhancements over the next couple weeks. Like, oh, I dunno, finally getting some music or pictures up here! Yea, I'll think about it.
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Posted: 2009-08-16 13:18:22
Let me get this out in the open right from the get-go: I don't do art. I've been to dozens of art museums all over the place. From Chicago to Rome, Paris to London, I've walked through way more art museums than I'd like to admit. And the thing is, I don't really like them.
That being said, the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the worst art museums I've been to. It was a free night to get in, so I went with a few friends to check it out. Not only was I underwhelmed, but I was actually angry at the place for making me look at such stupid stuff. Let's start at the beginning.
Some dude decided that if he made his paintings really big, people might think they were better. So there is a room filled with full wall-sized paintings of 'peonies'. They are basically large colored circles with lots and lots of paint drips under them. Really? You give me some watery paint and I could do that.
In the photography room, there were two 'photos' side by side, one numbered #22 and one numbered #24. Both of these photos were silver and reflective, not unlike a blurry mirror. There were identical, without any sort of actual photograph in them. And they were probably 'priceless'. Pathetic.
Then there was the room that was covered entirely in wallpaper that depicted a lynching. It had an empty wedding dress in the middle of the room, and sporadically placed around where bags of cat litter. The note in the room said the artist was trying to demonstrate the strife of racial inequality with the lynching wall paper, the struggle of women with the empty wedding dress, and tied everything together with cat litter, which is both a repository for shit but also keeps things clean. Rubbish.
So there-in lies my beef with modern art. It's like artists realized that Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Picasso all did it better than they ever could, so they just try to do something else and call it art. The problem with modern art is that it isn't about looking good (what I think art is supposed to be about) but rather about what it is expressing.
Now, I'm more of a musical person, but I don't listen to songs because of what the songwriter is trying to express. I listen to it because it has a catchy melody, a cool drum part, or a sick guitar solo. I don't want to look at art that has some deep meaning behind it (most of which makes me want to punch the artist for being a pansy). I want to look at art that looks cool. It's a visual medium, so make it enjoyable.
Perhaps if I had taken a few art history classes, or was a painter myself, I would appreciate the stuff more. But as it stands, I really wish I had those two hours back. I'd use them to look up copies of The Last Supper (with dogs) on Google instead.
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Posted: 2009-08-05 11:25:03
So, Leo Burnett (and Arc World Wide) were established 74 years ago today. In order to celebrate, there is all sorts of crazy stuff going on in the office today.
First of all, TONS of free food down in the lobby. Granted most as 'continental breakfast' style, a la Holiday Inn, but it was still free food.
There are also 74 cans of High Life hidden all over the 20th floor. One of those cans is the 'anniversary can' and if you find that one they'll give you the other 73 cans! That's a lot of High Life. If you follow my tweets (and you should), you'll recall a comment about the plentiful beer in this office. I like their style here.
Also, if you happen to watch my facebook statuses like a hawk (and you should), you'll recall my mention of the apples available to all on every floor here. Well, turns out it's a little piece of Leo Burnett history. Back when he started the company, in the wake of the depression, a newspaper writer said of Burnett (and I'm paraphrasing) "He'll never make it. He'll be out on the street selling apples!" So Burnett started giving away apples to all employees and guests just to spite that writer.
Well, this morning, there was an orange on everyone's desk. I can only assume this is some "ha ha it's an orange not an apple thing." Almost like an inside joke, but not.
Moral of the story, this place is pretty cool.
Also, there's a ping pong tournament on my floor!
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Posted: 2009-08-03 20:43:37
Sweet Christ on a cracker, it's been way too long since I've written in this thing. I know some people (Mom) are really starting to go through withdrawal. So I'm not sure what I'm gonna go for here: either a full update, or a ramble with updates interspersed between my current lofty thoughts.
Few weeks back, I said 'sayonara' to ye old Sandstorm Design. Fact of the matter is, I did not like it there for a myriad of reasons, so I left. But lo and behold, the 'Bryan you are awesome' bell rang just that very day.
Arc World Wide gave me a ring and, after failing to successfully complete a phone interview, offered me a month long contractor job. Let's just say I was a little reluctant to go back to working for a large corporation, but a one month contract job seemed like a win-win situation. I get to check it out, test the waters so-to-speak, and I get to make some good money working on cool projects.
Well, we're now staring the 3rd week at Arc and I gotta say, it's really freakin cool. The office is right down on Wacker Dr. and I get to feel like a real Chicagoan, taking the L to work, looking out my window at the Chicago river, and ignoring the same 12 bums every day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a full time placement there or even just an extended contract.
Here's my thoughts on the current pop-culture death phenomenon. Used to be good, used to be hot, used to be loud, used to be ... um, news? Oh yea, and then this guy. Aside from having a hilarious name, he was also 111!!!! That's freakin old! But the moral of the story is that death is sad, no matter who dies. But our stupid culture gets so freaking hung up on celebrity death it's disgusting. I want to punch myself every time I turn on the TV because there is inevitably something on about one of them (probably MJ). And I don't even have cable!
In band news, The Van Goghs have been playing some shows around and have been sounding awesome (adoring fan's words, not mine). We've got a few more coming up, so check out the facebook and/or myspace page and come see us! We also just released a 4 son demo that we recorded over at Gravity Studios and it sounds great! I urge you to check myspace or facebook to take a listen, or just check back here as I should have it available for download sooner or later.
So, as not to drone on and on and on. I think I shall stop here, and maybe just try to update a little more regularly. Peace out.
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Posted: 2009-07-19 12:01:23
Amber flew out to Denver this past Thursday to spend the weekend with one of her best friends for her baby shower. This left me all alone in the house with the cats to fend for myself. Turns out, I'm a pretty boring person.
Friday I spent most of the day playing video games, reading, and messing around with Flash. Nothing much productive came out of it, except maybe a slightly better understanding of flash. Hopefully I'll be able to put it to work soon.
Saturday I had my scooter class which was actually pretty fun and went really well. I'm all set to take the M class license test next Friday, but I don't think I'll be investing in a larger scoot until next summer. All I really want is one that I don't hit my knees on in sharp turns. Oh the joys of being 6'4".
Today I will be venturing out to Island Lake to see Dane and Emily's new house. From the pictures, they live on a mansion with a lakefront view, so I'm excited. Then it's time to head to the airport to pick up Amber, and then I'm hoping to watch Bill Maher's Religulous.
Certainly not the crazy weekend I had anticipated, but not so bad. Hope everyone else had a good weekend!
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Posted: 2009-07-14 11:39:21
Wow, what a productive last couple of days! It's nice to feel like you've actually accomplished some thing, instead of always feeling like there's more to do. So what are all these accomplishments that I speak of? Read on, dear reader, read on...
This past Saturday, Katie and Russ got married up in Lake Geneva. It was a nice little ceremony and a great reception. I was reminded, as I usually am at weddings, that I'm pretty crappy at keeping up with old friends. I know the phone works two ways, but I certainly don't do my part to stay connected with people. Emily and I talked about it for a while, and I really want to try and be better about going to hang out with people, chatting with them, staying in touch. I have alot of really cool friends, and I need to do a better job actually spending time with them.
(Accomplishment #1: Get back in touch with old friends and realize I need to do that more.)
Sunday, The Van Goghs went into the studio to lay down a 4 song EP. We worked with Brett over at Gravity Studios, and in about a day and a half, we have an awesome little EP. The songs sound great, the mixes and everything sounds really good. It is definitely the best recording experience I've had. Keep a look out here for those songs available for download, or just come to one of our upcoming shows and snag a copy for yourself!
(Accomplishment #2: Record a kickass EP and have an awesome time in the studio.)
Yesterday I had meetings with two placement agencies to help me find freelance work. Since going freelance, I've been finding a decent amount of work on my own, but a little help never hurt anyone, and this could be a great way to find some cool new projects. So I went downtown and joined Creative Circle and The Creative Group, hoping that they might know of some super high paying client that needed me like oxygen. I'm really enjoying the flexible schedule of freelance work right now, but that really just means I'm working less, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
(Accomplishment #3: Take another step toward making freelance work for me.)
It was crazy beautiful in the city yesterday, so since I had a bunch of free time, I decided to take advantage of that. I waddled down to Millennium Park and set up shop on a park bench with nothing but the hum of the city and A Crown of Swords. I read for a good two hours in with a sprinkle of sun filtering through the trees. Amber later met me down there for some lunch in the grass. It was a really nice way to spend an afternoon.
(Accomplishment #4: Really enjoy a summer day in the city.)
And last, but not least: I've finally got this site updated! All new design, all new content, and hopefully all new loads-of-fun!!! All the new content isn't here yet, but I figured if I waited till I had everything done that I wanted, it would never get launched. So point A) The blog is no longer on the front page. The purpose of this is because I want this site to really be a site about me, with my web stuff, music, and anything else, and the blog is just part of it, but not the sole focus. Point B) There is a new RSS feed. Let me try that again.
THERE IS A NEW RSS FEED!!!
Which means, if you subscribe to this blog via Google Reader, iGoogle, Yahoo! or any other RSS reader, you need to update your feed or you will not get these posts any more. Just click the little RSS icon (the orange and white striped thing) in your URL bar and subscribe using your reader of choice. Thank you.
(Accomplishment #5: Finally get the new site launched, to lavish applause.)
As you can see, tons of accomplishments in the past week, and you, the reader, even get to benefit! Moral of the story: Don't forget your friends, never stop pushing for a better career, and always become a rock star and launch a new website. Then you can be like me.
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