Monday, December 31, 2012

The Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2012

The International House of Spicer achieved record high visitors in 2012.  This is a rather nice thing considering I didn't have the same output as I did in 2011 or 2010.  It seems I've snagged a loyal reader base and also have a small presence on the search engines that occasionally tricks a few people to stop by.  I'm definitely glad at where my blog is at with viewership and I'm looking forward to trying to make it grow in 2013.

Here are the most viewed blog posts of 2012.  You'll notice there are some differences compared to what I deemed the top blog posts of the year.

Hey Spam Bots and Marketers, You're Failing at Blog Comments: This post had about two weeks of incredible traffic, and it all is due to me innocently posting a blog with the word "spam" in the title right around the anniversary of the somewhat edible canned pork-like substance.  It still occasionally gets hits, but I have a sneaking suspicion it is often just disappointed manufactured pork enthusiasts having to put up with one man's rant against disingenuous marketers.

21 Reasons Why Being Single is More Awesome Than a Relationship:  This blog post went viral, or at least, as viral as anything has gone on this blog.  This post ended up being linked from a few significant sites, and even this past month it was the second highest viewed thing on the blog.  This was written back in the summer, and essentially, just as something to pass the time one afternoon.  It appears people do find me occasionally funny, or my humour was so subtle people are taking this as a legit list to live there life by.  Don't, because being married is pretty swell.

Craig Keilburger: Inspiring Others for Greatness:  Written in 2010, and still one of the most viewed things on the blog.  I like this post.  I really do.  But a part of me is a little sad this is the post that has endured when there were so many other articles I was very proud of. 

RIP Macho Man Randy Savage 1952 - 2011: Apparently, in 2012 there were many people on Google wanting to find music videos done by a cowboy, a police officer, an electrician, a Native American, a soldier and a biker.   Or after a year, people were so touched by my Macho Man tribute that they still come to read it every day (but can't remember the address so they always use Google to get here).

A Dog, a Boy, and a Play Mat:  I've done several blog posts this year of Summit and Everett.  But apparently, what everyone really wanted was for me to include my son's play mat.

Debunking the Latest Crazy Internet Meme:  I'm pretty proud of this piece, and back at the beginning of the year, this post was linked by several social media sites.  There are a few blog posts that are high on here because I did the marketing effort.  This one is extra cool, because it grabbed the views from other readers marketing it for me.  I'm glad that so many people enjoyed it, and made it into its own kind of meme.

An Awesome Quote Comparing Twilight and Harry Potter, Plus My Own Thoughts:  This was one of those "I don't have a lot of time, so I'll throw up something quick" kind of posts.  I never really thought about it much after posting it on here.  I was pretty shocked to see it attract such a high amount of readers.  To be honest, I'm not sure if it is due to other sites linking to it or just one person liking it so much he asked his friends to read it several hundred times.

The Greatest Boxing Day Surprise Ever: AKA the Most Wonderful Excuse for not Blogging for Several Days:  This one has my highest views ever coming out from Facebook, which means several of my friends were hoping for a deal on a good laptop.  Sorry everyone, it was just the birth of my son.  I was actually surprised it ranked so high in 2012, since you know, it happened in 2011.  I guess those Facebookers can be slow to click on links.

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan: Hollywood  Has Lost a Real Big Friendly Giant:  I'm not really sure why this tribute piece ranked higher than every other one I wrote in 2012 including big names like Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, and Ray Bradbury.  It actually only had average views the day I posted it, and it skyrocketed around the day of his funeral.  I'm guessing it was a matter of record Google searches for him on that day but Clarke wasn't a mega star, so it allowed my small site to rank particularly high.  This is another one where I'm not aware if this was linked on another site, since I wasn't tracking it at the time.

My Letter to Katie Holmes to Tell Her She is Too Late:  This post may have been a strategic post to get higher than average views, since I knew everyone would be Googling Katie after the big divorce.  Or it was a sincere and real letter to an actress that is completely unaware I once had a crush on her.  The play date between Everett and Suri is still open, Katie.

RIP Crosby:  My Lap Will Never be the Same:   I miss my lap buddy so much.  I think about him every time I write, because my lap is just a little colder now.  Plus eating ice cream and cheese just isn't the same anymore.  I'm so humbled that hundreds of people wanted to read a piece that was just one guy eulogizing his cat.  It meant a lot that so many cared, especially the sites that linked to the tribute.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Pictorial Peek into the Spicer's Christmas Holidays

Because you know you've been dying to find out how we spread the Christmas cheer.

Everett already realizes what makes a terrific gift.  He also now has figured out why he calls them great aunts.

Everett spreads the holiday love to his cherished big brother, Summit.

"Christmas is fun, but have we totally eliminated sleep time now?"

 Once Everett realized there were cool things hidden in these boxes and bags, the whole sleep thing stopped being an issue.

Everett's new buddy, Sully.


It doesn't take long to become a pro at gift opening.  In a massive shocker, Everett somehow ended up with lots of toy dogs.  Wonder why that was the default for everyone???

Not a toy dog.  He did get other gifts.

In something that perfectly showed the kind of person I am, I got incredibly ecstatic over the gift of vintage candy from my childhood, which I got from Santa.  I love having things that remind me of those younger years.  I also like eating junk food.  It was perfection.

Of course, after all the holiday eating, exercise is very important.  


Everyone loves stockings.

"Your turn, daddy."

Christmas feast hangover.

Train them when they're young.  I'm talking about the shirt, of course.  As for the ball and paddle, he has already mastered the skill of stealing his cousin's toys.

A boy who takes his playing very seriously.

Just a few years away from his first sold out concert.  Though most of the attendees will likely be all the stuffed toys we got him.

And now back to Everett's favourite thing.

And of course, every Spicer Christmas holiday must now be capped off with a special person's birthday.  And you already saw what happened to that delicious cake.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top International House of Spicer Blog Posts of 2012

2012 had a good run, but 2013 is ready to shine now.  This past year had some really amazing things and some quite a bit less than amazing.  It was a year that for the most part I'll think about fondly.  But I don't think 2012 was my best blogging year, because I had a few new things occupying my time like new columns and an adorable baby.  But if the blog is going to suffer a tad then I'm glad it is these things that are responsible.  Actually, the baby played a good part in me landing one of my columns, since I doubt a parenting magazine would be interested in a childless man writing a dad column (though this blog dispensed writing advice before I was even published so. . .).

Anyway, you had a decent amount of stuff to read from me that was outside of this blog.  But this blog still did its best to offer up the goodness.  Here are what I feel were the very best blog posts of 2012.

What I've Noticed Walking Summit at Night - A perfect example of the kind of stuff I write when I didn't even approach the adequate level of sleep the night before.

Oops!  Sorry, Your Marriage Was Just Pretend - I wrote far less political pieces this year, but that was also due to having much less time to be properly engaged.  I hope to correct that this year, but this post proves I had a few rants in me.

Debunking a Crazy Internet Meme - One of my most popular pieces ever.  I also think I should automatically link to it every time someone posts a "fact" on Facebook.

"I Want to Punch You in the Nose Because You Pulled My Hair in Grade 2":  My Attempt at Figuring Out Why I Can't Stop Being an Ass to Some People  - One of my most honest pieces, which also happens to make me seem a bit like a crusty curmudgeon.  I don't think I want to explore what that says about me.

12 Ratings Grabbing Ideas for Survivor -One of my posts that I actually made money off this year, and also revealed that all things Survivor seem very popular on my blog.

Sears Works Hard to Convince Me to Never Buy Another Major Appliance in Brantford - Here is hoping I can break the streak of yearly angry appliance store rants in 2013.

If You're Going to Whistle Then Please Jam this Screwdriver into My Ear Instead - Several months later, my violent opposition to whistling has calmed some.  I still get a kick out of this article.

RIP Crosby: My Lap Will Never Be The Same - Over a half year later and it still doesn't feel right writing without Crosby curled up on my lap.  I miss you so much, buddy.

Not to Jinx Myself, But It Looked Like I Survived - This was my self congratulation over being able to be a single parent for 5 days.  It was also my acknowledgement that single parents are incredible people.

Remembering Ray Bradbury - The man was a true magician of words and one of the greatest influences on me as a writer.  I hope to be an ounce as successful as he was, and to always remember to tap into that inner child.

Hey Spam Bots and Marketers, You're Failing at Blog Comments - It is a fun post poking fun at the most idiotic form of internet marketing, but I also get a giggle over the fact how much traffic came from people looking for an in depth history the legendary canned pork-like substance.

My Letter to Katie Holmes to Let Her Know She is Too Late - In a huge shocker, Katie never took me up on my Suri and Everett play date offer.

Scruffy: 1996 - 2012 - Another great pet that provided many marvelous memories.

One Family's Adventure at the CNE - This was one of those posts designed to appeal to the 10 people who care about my personal life and the several hundred that just come here for cute Everett pictures.

21 Reasons Why Being Single is More Awesome Than a Relationship - This was another huge traffic getter that was oddly more popular with married folks than the singles. I guess, that is what happens when the article is written by a married guy.

10 Helpful Tips for Telemarketers and Door to Door Salespeople to Avoid Making Me Want to Stick a Hot Poker Up Your Ass - It is slightly disturbing how many cranky rant articles are considered my best. I mind as well buy my "Stay Off the Lawn" sign now.

The 10 Great Things About Freelance Writing and 10 Awful Things About Freelance Writing - One of my favourite writing pieces this year, and it has some good pointers for the aspiring writer to take heed.

Mickey Mouse Now Has the Force: Disney Buys LucasFilm - A few months later, I am still geeking out over this news. I am sure I'll be writing about it a few times this year as the announcements start getting made.

Finding Creativity - One of my personal favourites, and I hope to write a lot more about the process of creative writing this year.

The 2012 Box Office Bombs and My Snarky Thoughts - I plan on making this my traditional end of the year post.  As my film critic career grows, I'm sure I'll end up seeing more and more of the bombs.

Friday, December 28, 2012

So, Apparently This Week Was a Holiday. . .

Do you want more proof that I'm sliding into the category of "old fart"?

A few years ago, I would love having a busy week of social engagements and likely feel very energized when it was all over.  Now, after five straight days of social engagements and the upcoming weekend where I'm traveling, I'm ready to crawl under the covers of my bed and refuse to leave until all signs of other life forms are erased from my general vicinity.

Which isn't to say that my Christmas hasn't been spectacular.  It has been.  Honest.  Actually, I am not entirely sapped of life.  I'm just very aware that nonstop partying is no longer my default setting.  Emily on the other hand, is still up for some Friday partying, but I'm using the "Everett hasn't made his bedtime for five straight days and he needs one normal day before the crazy weekend" excuse to opt home tonight.

It is worth being tired, because I had several wonderful days with friends and family.  Yesterday was actually a rather fabulous date with my wife, which has started becoming a far too rare of an occasion.  The day prior was Everett's first birthday, which I was actually far more excited about than Christmas.  I think that change of preference is just what happens when you become a parent.

Though I must say that if you want to be exhausted, then the best strategy in the world is to plan a birthday the day after the biggest holiday of the year.  We already had three straight social engagements before throwing a birthday party that needed decorations, presents, food, and awake hosts.  Though I need to confess my wife did all the hard work, and she is still the one ready for socializing.

My excuse is I'm still also trying to do paid work on top of all this fun and merriment.  I am sticking to that excuse, because it is the best one I'll ever have. 

All this ranting is to get to my point that my holidays have been fantastic.  And Everett's first birthday party was a monumental success.  If you don't believe me, then just check out a previous post.

Now, it is your turn to tell me about your Christmas festivities and fun.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

This is 40 Film Review: A Funny Peek at an Average Family

This is 40 feels like Judd Apatow's most personal film.  There is a huge part of his life in the movie considering he casts his wife and his daughters.  It explores a marriage that has been going on for a long time with a couple that is now 40.  These are all things close to Apatow, but also will resonate with a huge portion of society.  It also has all the  trademark Apatow crude and crass humour.  But is this a film that still maintains the charm of his previous films?  Find out in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Year Old

A year ago my life changed.  But it changed in the most magical and magnificent way possible.  I instantly fell in love with a little man named Everett.  Today, that little man became a year old.

This man did exactly what is expected on this special day.

He saw this. . .


And then like a truly grown up man, promptly did this. . .







Everett devoured his birthday cake like a champ.  Just the way I knew he could.

Happy Birthday, Everett.  It has been an incredible year, and daddy loves you so much.  You'll always be the best Boxing Day deal ever.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday's "It is Almost Christmas" Question

I'm sure you've often been asked what is your favourite Christmas movie.  For me that would be A Christmas Story, because I watched that thing a billion times as a kid.  Even though it was set in a period before I was born, the film resonated with me and I could relate to the main character.  Though my Sega Genesis never risked shooting my eye out. 

But I am not asking you what is your favourite Christmas movie.  Instead, I am asking you what is your favourite "not quite a Christmas movie", because you know, it isn't quite Christmas yet.

What do I mean by "not quite a Christmas movie"?  I mean a movie that wasn't produced and sold as a Christmas movie, but is either set around Christmas or has Christmas-like themes.

My favourite?

It is a tie.

Die Hard and Gremlins.

Both films are set during Christmas time, so they are easy picks.  But I argue that they also have important Christmas and holiday themes.    

Die Hard is about a guy fighting his way through great adversity in order to reconnect with his family.  John McClane is all about the family, and Christmas is an important family time.

Gremlins is about the dangers of not properly researching a gift.  The father really should have stuck with a Cabbage Patch Doll. 

So, what is your favourite "not quite a Christmas movie"?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 2012 Box Office Bombs and My Snarky Thoughts

Last year, I listed the 25 biggest box office bombs of 2012, and then attempted to be witty.  It turned out to be one of my most viewed posts ever, so I'd assume that a success.  Zap2It has listed this year's flops, and I'm now ready to unleash snark on box office bombs once again.  Because the end of the year is a great time to rub some salt into the wounds of failed films and wonder what the film studios were thinking in the first place.

25.  Cloud Atlas:  It was Matrix except with Tom Hanks, transgender characters, a more convoluted plot, and several million less film goers.

24.  One for the Money:  Remember when entertainment magazines and film studios were telling us all that Katherine Heigl was the next romantic comedy film star?  The audience apparently answered, "No thanks."  This film also failed to live up to its name.

23.  Alex Cross:  Clearly, this film would have done much better in the box office if it was called Tyler Perry's Madea Plays Detective.  This film also answers the great question, "What happens when you dare to replace Morgan Freeman?"  Along Came the Spider wasn't cinematic gold, but at least people came for more than to just see what the lead looks like out of drag.

22. Katy Perry: Part of Me:  The audience apparently wanted none of you, Ms. Perry.  Hopefully, we will see One Direction on this list next year, and we can say good bye to "3D Pop Concert Events!"  

21.  Sparkle:  RIP, Whitney Houston.  It sucks your last film had to be a flop.

20. Premium Rush:  Apparently, I was one of the few who wanted to watch people ride bikes rather than actually do it.  I still stand by my review of this being a fun film.  I'm sure Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn't too heartbroken considering he also was in some little films known as Dark Knight Rises and Looper.

19.  Big Miracle:  I remember when Free Willy was a massive family film hit, and then jerks like me used the title as a way to make crude jokes during math class.  This film is exactly like that except you have to remove the word "hit", and I refuse to go to math class.

18.  Haywire:  A few years ago Gina Carano was the face of women's MMA, but now she has moved to "direct to DVD" action star.  With this kind of record, she is destined for Dancing with the Stars, and she then can call it one memorable career.

17.  Man on the Ledge:  The title reminds me of this awesome short story by Stephen King called "The Ledge".  It appears other people thought of it too, and decided to go read the story instead.  Based off the plot of this film, I think we all made a better decision than the studio executive that greenlit this film.

16.  Chernobyl Diaries:  I was interested in this film until someone said, "it is a different take on found footage movies."  That statement is sort of like saying, "you should try this new drink, because it is similar to chugging Drano."

15.  Silent Hill: Revelation 3D:  So wait, is the revelation that it is in 3D?  Because that really isn't a shocker?  Or is the revelation that 3D is not enough to get people to actually want to see any more films from this tired franchise?

14.  Wanderlust:  Poor, poor Paul Rudd.  It is the second year in a row that the film he stars in gets on this list.  The sexy Jennifer Aniston can't even save him.  Haven't you learned Rudd?  Your destiny is to be the constant straight man in Judd Apatow flicks.

13.  Safe:  Were any directors scared that their chances for box office success were in trouble because they were opening the same weekend as the latest Jason Statham action flick?  This film was kind enough to have a title that told them how they should feel.

12.  The Raven: I still think a thriller about Edgar Allan Poe solving crimes based off his macabre tales is a golden idea.  I also don't think that John Cusack, best known for lifting a stereo above his head to win the affection of a girl, is the best modern comparison to the father of Gothic horror.

11.  Lockout:  Oh okay, that is why no one saw a film starring Guy Pearce as the hero.  And also maybe because no one wants to see Pearce as the hero.

10.  Hit and Run:  Bradley Cooper was supposed to be the next golden star of Hollywood.  But maybe people just got confused because he was sporting those gnarly dreads.  If you are banking on a star to carry a film then it is always nice for people to recognize the star.  Though to be fair, I have to admit this movie looks kind of awesome.  Or at least, as awesome as a film can be when Tom Arnold has a prominent part.

9. Dredd:  Sylvester Stallone totally owes Karl Urban a nice gift basket and a giant skywritten message saying, "Sorry about 1995, dude."

8.  Silent House:  Soon to be followed up by the documentary sequel, "Empty Theater".

7.  People Like Us:  And people like me say, "Sorry Chris Pine, we'll get back to you when your character is named Captain Kirk and your surrounded by far more lens flare."

6.  Gone:  I am absolutely stunned that no one wanted to watch Taken but with Liam Neeson replaced by the airhead from Mean Girls.

5.  The Words:  Uh oh, Bradley Cooper can't blame the dreadlocks this time.  You'd have thought this would have made millions with the thrilling concept of a struggling writer who plagiarizes a novel to become a success.   It just screams epic blockbuster, right?

4. Fun Size:  I always wondered what the heck was so "fun" about a chocolate bar that was 5 times smaller than a regular bar.  Out of protest, I just can't justify ever watching this movie even if it has the extremely delightful Jane Levy.

3.  Chasing Mavericks:  I believe the success of a Gerard Butler film is based off how often he yells, "This is Sparta" while showing off his abs.  I'm sure there are lots of ab shots in this film, but very little references to Sparta.

2.  Won't Back Down:  I love feel good films where an underdog fights to change the system and helps transform the lives of those forgotten by society.  But I like it even better when the film is actually good.  Don't worry Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, I still think you're both amazing (in good movies).

1.  Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure:  Congratulations movie that sounds like another reason you shouldn't French kiss a chimp, you're the biggest box office bomb of all time.  Hooray?
       


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review: Is It a Trip Worth Taking?

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is an iconic series in cinema that proved fantasy is capable of being a box office smash and critically acclaimed.  Peter Jackson can't be blamed for wanting to weave that magic again with the latest epic fantasy trilogy.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has already broken records at the box office and proven people were ready to return to Middle-earth.  But is this a journey that is really worth taking?  Is there enough story to justify another trilogy with 3 hour length films?  I answer all those questions in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.


Everett's First Letter to Santa

Everett is pretty excited about his first Christmas.  He wants to jump into as many of the traditions as possible.  There is one tradition that is very popular with many children. In today's Dad's Eye View, I present Everett's first letter to Santa.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Continuing Pictorial Adventures of Everett

My sister-in-law claimed that my last set of pictures made it look like Everett just eats and reads books.  But, he does so much more. . .

For example, his favourite past time is swimming at the pool.







After a fun day at the pool, he likes to snuggle up with his brother.



He also loves helping mommy decorate.



 


Then he'll help daddy with important things, like show him the box that has needed to be unpacked for over a year.



He also just likes being ridiculously cute.



Finally, he is a budding filmmaker.



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holding on to Hope and Love

I spent a long time watching my son on Friday.  Part of that was due to the fact this is what a good parent does.  But on this day, I really watched Everett.  I observed his movements and his play.  I saw how much he loved to explore the room.  I enjoyed watching his look of wonder as he discovered the bright Christmas tree or even something as simple as a lid.

When he plays, he will occasionally look at up at me with a gigantic smile.  His smile says, "Isn't this lid the coolest thing ever?"  "Isn't it really fun how the door stopper makes a funny noise when I pull on it?"  "I'm whacking this bin because it makes you laugh.  I'm so funny, right daddy?"

His smile transports me into the clouds and causes me to soar.  It gives me indescribable power.  It gives me unlimited joy.  I'm filled with hope.

My son loves life.  He thinks the world is magical.  He learns something every day.  He constantly uncovers a new favourite thing.  His world is one of wonder and magnificence.  To him, it also is safe.

It reminds me how much I want to protect my son.  I always want to keep this world safe for him.  I want to keep him away from harm.  I want to fight away any possibilities for evil.

When I look at my son, I notice a boy who believes the world is a fun and good place.  Life is awesome for Everett.  I also realize that he is right.  Life is good.  We do live in a magnificent time.  Watching my son reminds me how important it is to embrace the good and soak in every moment.  He fills me with joy and reminds me the importance of play.

The world isn't perfect.  There is evil.  There are real life monsters out there -- people who can harm my son.  I'm not oblivious to any of this.  But my son also reminds me that there is still more hope and goodness.

Friday was a cannon ball to the gut.  It was the hardest I've even been hit by an event that didn't directly involve me.  I was heartbroken.  I was sick.  I was sad.  I was even a little scared.  My energy was drained from me.  I didn't want to write.  I didn't want to do much.

So, I watched my son.  My spirits were lifted.  His love and excitement filled me.  I realized this world can be an amazing place.  It needs to be an amazing place.  I want my son's hope and love to continue.  I want his wonder and amazement to stick.  I want him to continue to love this world.

There is going to be a lot of talk about gun control and mental health over the next several weeks.  The politics have already begun.  I believe there does need to be changes.  The event in Newton was a horrible tragedy, and one that must not be repeated.  Hopefully, this event will cause opposition to unite to make a positive change.

But I can talk about politics another day or leave it to the many already getting their voice heard.

Right now, I'm holding on to hope and love.  I am being reminded there is a lot of good.  Hope can still be our future.  I can still find much love in this world.

I know it is true, because my son tells me it every time he smiles.  His laugh is a great treasure; it is authentic and sincere.  He is in complete love with his life.

There is still a lot left to love.

I love you, Everett.  Thank you for reminding me to hold on to hope and love. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy

An absolutely awful thing has occurred in Connecticut.

As a new father, this tragedy breaks my heart and makes me sick to my stomach.  27 lives were lost in a senseless and cold blooded act of violence.  18 of them were children.  It makes me cry.  It drains my energy.  I am in no place to politicize or get up on my soapbox.  I might have something to say later, or I may just leave it to others.  Because there will likely be much said about this issue in the coming weeks.

But for now, I cry.  I feel for the parents that lost their most precious gift.  I am crushed that darling and innocent children will not be able to live a long and full life.  It is despicable and disgusting.  It isn't fair.  I send my love and thoughts to all the people who lost someone and to all the poor children that had to experience this event.

What a tragedy.  All I can hope is this atrocious event leads to major changes.

Right now, I'm just going to go hug my son, and let him know how much I love him. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You Know You're Craving the Sweet Tunes of Krispy Kreme

So, apparently, having a son and pretending to have a life has caused me to completely miss out on one of the biggest YouTube rapping sensations of 2012.

Krispy Kreme. 

You just need to watch this video and listen to his sweet raps to realize he really is "The Baddest."



I may have to get my pop culture writer status revoked, because this video has been around since April.  Not only that, but he has created several more videos.  It appears each of his music videos have been viewed by over a million people.  He isn't an unknown.  He even caught the attention of comedian Daniel Tosh.

My complete neglect of Krispy Kreme also means I missed the "investigative journalism" that took place all through the summer to uncover that Kreme was all an act.  Krispy Kreme was not an untalented rapper from Alabama, but rather Tyler Cassidy from Flint, Michigan.

He also appears to actually be a talented rapper that doesn't just rhyme with words like "fart. 



Okay, so the whole thing is an act.  A really well done and funny act, actually.  Check out the other Krispy Kreme videos, because many of them are really funny and it also takes a lot of talent to pretend to be bad while remaining entertaining.

What is that?  You want me to include the "Stolen Bikes" video?  Okay.



This video is funnier than 90% of the stuff that has been on Saturday Night Live for the past few years.  It fits perfectly with the usually entertaining Digital Shorts with Andy Samberg.  

The Krispy Kreme videos are the perfection of viral marketing.  There is a good chance that Tyler Cassidy may not have ever been recognized or been able to get signed with his serious rap songs.  He could have.  But his persona of Krispy Kreme grabbed attention right away, because people love train wrecks.  Even when it started to become clear this was being played for humour, it was funny enough to keep that fan base and grow a following.

Plus there was all those folks trying to figure out if he was for real.  They eventually did find Cassidy, and they learned he was a rapper too.  This discovery meant his other music was getting to that crowd.  Hopefully, it will allow him to break into the industry.  At this point, the guy is a musical genius.  He can churn out entertaining raps with powerful lyrics, but also has mastered comedic music videos as well.  It isn't easy to be good at both.

What I don't understand is the backlash that came from it being revealed Krispy Kreme is a joke.  Everyone was all excited when they thought it was a goofy Southern rapper trying to break into the industry.  To be fair, most people still seem to like him even though it is clear he is really a young rapper from Michigan playing a character.

But there are a few sites that essentially are claiming they won't cover his stuff anymore since it is clear it is a parody.  But they're still songs.  It isn't different from before.  If anything, now people know they aren't laughing at some poor guy trying to be taken seriously.  Maybe people like ridiculing others but they don't like being shown to have been the fool.  Yes, many writers got suckered, but that was kind of the point.  It was a modern Andy Kaufman act, if Kaufman could rap.

There were a few articles that even tried to hint that there must be something wrong with Cassidy since he took on this persona.  The argument is that no right minded person would try to pretend to be someone else.  But this charge just proves these writers don't seem to understand the entertainment industry.

Do people think that Sacha Baron Cohen is crazy?  His entire career is based off pretending to be other characters.  He has been quite successful at it.  Professional wrestler also pretend to be a certain persona, and about 30 years ago, they even tried to keep those personas up in public.  Then there was also Andy Kaufman who made his entire living off tricking people.  It isn't new, and it isn't a sign of some mental derangement.  It is a pretty big part of the entertainment industry.

I am pretty sure there are several other musicians that put on fake personas too, in an attempt to get a following.  They've heard of Lady Gaga, right?  It is just that Krispy Kreme is more obvious.

Maybe it is because I have a crazy imagination.  I've always enjoyed acting and also love getting into the mind of unique characters.  I can understand what Krispy Kreme is supposed to be, and I totally appreciate it.  I don't think the character is any sign of the instability of the actual Tyler Cassidy.

Instead, it is just proof the guy is a comic genius, and hopefully, someone who can break out into the mainstream beyond YouTube videos.  This guy needs a record label.  If such things even exist anymore.

Oh, and Happy Halloween. . .



Okay fine, Merry Christmas, too.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Which New TV Series are the Real Hits?

The latest TV season has been showing off its stuff for a few months now.  This has given the new shows enough time to prove if they can be future classics.  I look at a few of the more prominent new series and decide if they're huge hits or massive duds in my latest Collective Publishing article. 

Everett's Journey to the Summit

In my most recent Dad's Eye View, I tell you an adventure about a boy scaling a mountain of stairs to reach the Summit.  I realize I've already bragged about my son's feats.  Now, you get to hear about how one baby had a dream and then made it a reality.  Or how my life as a parent just got far more difficult.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What a Shocker! Professional Writers Like to be Paid

I've spouted on here a few times about the importance of writers valuing their work.  A writer is a skilled professional who offers up valuable services for companies in almost any industry.  This means that writers deserve to be paid professionally skilled rates.  Unfortunately, there are several companies out there that either don't appreciate the talent it takes to be a writer, or are just hoping to prey on the insecurities or lack of business sense owned by many writers.

The issue is that many writers are just so excited with the notion of seeing their name in print that they're willing to take pay that will barely cover a meal at a McDonald's.  Not only is that an atrocious way to make a living, but it messes over all the other writers who are trying to make a living. 

But you've heard me say this stuff before.  I also know all my readers are far too smart to get suckered into these kinds of cons.  Of course, that means that you need to ignore the fact I have taken shit pay in exchange for exposure.  I am a hypocrite.  I am not proud of that fact.

I thought I'd send you off to read and hear the words from actual respected and successful writers.  People who have made way over six figures, and are known by more than just their mom and neighbour.  You can see how hot and feisty they get when one dares try to get their work for free.

John Scalzi wrote a post earlier this week outlining the reasons why it is a monumental waste of time to ask him to write for free.  It apparently offended a few people, so he wrote a follow-up post.


I'm actually quite shocked Scalzi even had to write the post, because it was motivated after some groups approached him to do free work.  Scalzi is an award winning and bestselling author, and also happens to be a minor internet celebrity with his massively popular Whatever blog.  So you know, the opposite of me, who isn't the least bit shocked when I'm asked to write for free (but I don't do it either).  I can't believe that someone would think such a successful writer who has a pretty loaded schedule would even consider doing something for free.  The rallying cry of companies that either want free work or shit pay work is the magical exposure.  But a bestselling author and a guy who just optioned one of his books for a Hollywood film, probably doesn't really need too much help with exposure.

What I do find interesting is that Scalzi makes it clear he isn't interested in doing any kind of free work.  This includes charities and friends that may be looking for a favour.  This is likely something that upset a few people reading his post (though I doubt it was actually any of his real world friends).

He does a fine job justifying his position.  The reality is that most charities do have a budget, and so they can use that for the work they need from him.  He also shows that for the last few years he has had friends do some work for him, and in each case, he paid them for their services.  It is only fair he'd expect it in return.  Another thing about the charities, he has used his writing for several fundraisers for various groups, and it was done without them even asking for it. 

What I think it comes down to is the principle of it.  Okay, not just the principle, since the whole "making money to pay for the mortgage" is likely even more important.  But it is rather ridiculous for anyone to assume he would do his "day job" for free.  Demanding pay is to make sure people appreciate the work that is being done.  Writers are talented.  Many can write pretty fast.  But it still takes time.  It takes time away from paying work, but also time away from family.  A writer needs to prioritize, and most just don't have time to be a charity for a group that is likely going to profit off their work.

Now, here is a video by Harlan Ellison, who has written hundreds of science fiction short stories, several novels, and many screenplays.  Two of his stories were also the inspiration for a little film called The Terminator.  His points are similar to John Scalzi's, but it is filled with a bit more piss and vinegar.  He goes on a rant after a representative of Time Warner wants to get one of his interviews for free for a DVD extra.




So, there are examples of two professionals making it clear that writers should value their work.  They need to stand up to anyone that is trying to get high quality content for free (or for almost nothing).

This really isn't rare.  I read several postings on a regular basis from companies trying to get 500 words for pay that would be illegal in a traditional job.  But I've also been approached by people hoping for favours, despite the fact I barely know them.

About a year ago, I got an email from a person who vaguely qualified as an acquaintance.  They recently discovered I was a writer, and spent most of the message telling me how much they loved my blog and articles.  I love getting my ego inflated, so things started out well.  At the end of the email, this person mentioned they were starting up a new company and would need some articles and brochures written.  They asked me if I would be interested and if I could send some samples that would be similar to the work that was needed.

I like getting work.  I quickly sent over some samples, and told the person I was more than happy do some stuff for them.  I then asked what they specifically wanted for the brochures, since I had some availability to start working on it pretty quickly.

Then everything fell apart.

The next email informed me that before I started on the brochure that there was some important research they wanted me to do.  I was then sent two large documents and links to several sites.  I was asked to read all this content, then write out notes of the important information, and then provide them with an outline of what I could do for them (essentially, a marketing campaign -- very different than a brochure and a few articles).

This is when I got a little nervous.  We had not talked about money yet.  I thought I'd give my rates once I was told how big the brochure needed to be, and see what other work they wanted done as well.  Now, they suddenly wanted me to spend the whole afternoon doing a bunch of prep work.  Since the person had not mentioned anything about a rate, I was a little afraid they expected the research portion to be free.

This is when I let them know I was more than happy to do all this work, but it would cost a certain amount.  I also got a feeling the person didn't really have a clue what they wanted, and so I offered up an entire package I could do for them (this probably took at least a half hour to compose).

The person then disappeared for about a week, and I completely forgot about them.  I then landed a few high paying clients, and my schedule suddenly became full (this was actually during the highest peak of my very short career so far).

Of course, this is when I heard back from "my dear old friend."  They mentioned that it was a start-up company with a limited budget, but with hopes of expanding.  They were hoping I could offer a "friend rate", and also wanted to know if I had done all that research they wanted yet.  They also kindly informed me that the brochure and two articles should be completed within the next 48 hours.

This is when I informed them that "friend & family rates" are the same as any other client rate, because it takes the same amount of time and effort.  Even if I had a "friend rate" it would likely be reserved for people that I talked to more than once every 10 years.  I then reminded them that I am allergic to doing any work for free, and so the research had not been done since it would be a part of my rates.  I also kindly informed them that I have things like mortgages and bills, and I couldn't hold off getting work for an entire week while they went over my email with a magnifying glass; now, I was busy with clients and would not be able to get anything done in 48 hours, especially at a "friend rate."

Shockingly, I still haven't heard back from this person.  I can tell our friendship meant a lot.  I definitely have learned you suddenly start making a lot of new friends when people are hoping to get content for cheap.

Anyway, I told this story, because I wanted to feel like an important write akin to John Scalzi and Harlan Ellison.

As I said before, I have taken a few jobs for exposure in the past.  There are moments when I don't value my work enough.  This is basically the challenge of being a new writer.  You want to break into the writing world and start establishing yourself.  There is always that nagging voice that says, "this will be the last job offer you will ever get, and so you must take it."  But that voice is a liar.

There is a lot of work out there.  There are a lot of opportunities to make good money.  You just need to remember that your content is worth something, and only sell it to companies that realize this fact. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Finding Creativity

"Where do you get your ideas from?"

This is a question that several famous authors have been asked countless times.

I'm a low level writer with barely a triple digit following that occasionally gets read by several thousand when lucky enough to sell an article to a larger site, but I've even been asked this question on many occasions.

Of course, the famous authors get asked it after churning massive best sellers.  I usually get asked it when I say something odd at a dinner party.

There are people that are impressed when they hear I'm a writer.  They are less impressed when they discover I haven't written anything they have read.  After their balloon has been deflated by discovering they found one of those "struggling and unknown writers", they do express some mild respect for my ability to churn out thousands upon thousands of words a day.  I then notify them that it is done more out of necessity (I don't get paid for a blank computer screen) than some divine inspiration laser beaming into my head.

People wonder how I can keep on coming up with ideas on a regular basis.  Okay fine, they probably wonder more how a heavyweight author like Stephen King or John Grisham are able to churn out a best seller every single year.  Even though they are a billion times more successful than me, all writers must constantly discover new ideas in order to survive.  Writing about nothing is usually either called a "blank white page" or "a drunken 3am rant".  In both cases, they don't tend to sell well to respectable publishers.  You need to attract ideas, and in order to stand out, you need for them to be creative.

So, back to the point of this article, where do ideas come from?

A few years ago, I was standing with a hammer in one hand and occasionally picking up pieces of lumber with my other hand while Emily built our shed (I called it "helping").  During this adventure of wood creation, my mind started to wander.  Emily asked me what I was thinking, because she wanted to be sure that my glazed look wasn't due to a seizure.  I then asked if random thoughts or story ideas popped in her head while doing tasks or when looking at something.  She responded that this never happened to her.  I revealed that I'm constantly getting ideas for stories or thinking about different concepts while doing task or looking at something.  I mentioned how I even feel I've been transported into another world when really engrossed in an idea.  My wife then told me that I was weird and to pass her the drill.

When I am going to bed, often ideas start warring in my head in attempt to become the dominant one.  When I am sitting on the bus, I often observe people, which cause several ideas for stories.  When I walk Summit, every corner or new passerby creates a different thought.  When I do almost anything, an idea shows up.

I am not saying every idea is a good one.  This is part of the reason I don't keep a journal with me.  Some ideas are better left forgotten.  I find that the good ones lodge themselves in my brain and refuse to vacate it.  If I try to ignore them for too long then the idea starts to scream and jump around to the point it consumes my thoughts.  It needs to be set free, and it needs to become a story.

Before that conversation with my wife, I thought this was a similar thing for most people.  I recognized there were people who didn't have an imagination or weren't overly creative, but I just assumed they thought about lunch or math problems or pot holes throughout the day.  I didn't know that it isn't common to have thoughts constantly invade your brain and beg for you to reflect upon them or even for one to get completely engrossed on them.

I had to come to terms with being different.  Okay, that wasn't the first time I had to come to such terms.  I've been aware of my "uniqueness" for most of my existence.  But this was the moment that I realized my brain was wired up different than Emily's brain.  The notion that stories are organically forming in my head is not shared with the general populace.  Apparently, not everyone has a brain crowded with different thoughts and ideas that constantly evolve and often drag me into moments of daydreaming. 

I still haven't answered the question of where my ideas come from.  Or more importantly, explain how one can become creative. 

Part of the reason is that I don't really know.  My ideas just seem to fly in through my ear, and then start making themselves feel known in my brain.  The good ones camp out until I pay attention, while the awful ones are quickly booted out the next ear.  I am not entirely sure what gets them there, or why I have a vivid imagination while my wife's thoughts are typically more practical.

But this blog post hasn't been a complete waste of your time.  I promise.  Even though I may have been born creative, I don't think creativity is something for a select few.  It can be fostered and grow inside someone (sometimes like a beautiful child and other times closer to the creature from Alien).  It might not be a creativity that will turn you into a millionaire bestselling author, but you could become a fun storyteller around a campfire.

In my case, I had a mother who really nurtured my creativity as a child.  I would want to have a Little House on a Prairie picnic in our living room or when we had spaghetti, set up the house like an Italian restaurant to recreate Lady & the Tramp.  She was also willing to play certain characters if I felt I needed a friendly dragon as a friend or a magician's assistance for a big act.

I didn't always need my mom.  I was more than willing to entertain myself.  I would take all my toys and create a new universe where Star Wars and He-man and the Masters of the Universe were united.  I could spend hours creating original stories with established characters.  If I wasn't with my toys, then I was in the backyard searching for buried treasure or hunting for an enchanted snake.  I also took that spirit of play with me to school, where I often convinced some of the kids to join in with my adventures.

I also owned a notebook that used to go everywhere with me.  I would write stories that were sequels to my favourite film or a rewriting of that actual film.  It was essentially fan fiction before I even know what that was.  I also wrote several poems and original short stories in there.  That writing helped keep my creativity sharp.  I still believe that the constant writing for the pure sake of writing helps that creativity to grow.

But I also mentioned my childhood for a reason.  I think that play and the fact I wasn't embarrassed to enter lands of make-belief helped my creativity and imagination to soar.  Now, I don't believe a grown up needs to play with action figures to spark some creativity.  I think one should be willing to daydream a little.  Allow their imagination to take them somewhere new.

I also observe a lot.  I watch people.  I watch interactions.  I soak up my surroundings.  I read tons.  I pay attention to the news.  I continue to be aware of everything that is happening.  Because I think there is a magical idea hidden in every event -- even the ones that just consist of the young boy going down the street on his tricycle that I observe from my office window.

Once you absorb your surroundings, you need to let your mind wander and explore different avenues from your observations.  Most importantly, you have to be honest with your thoughts and feelings.  Be allowed to go to places that might scare or challenge you.  You may find yourself in a world that is unique and original to you.  This is where you find your idea.  This is where you can create something fresh and innovative.  This is where you can declare yourself creative and imaginative.

Or maybe not.  Maybe some aren't meant to be creative.  My advice can only come from my experience.  Like I said, these ideas just keep jumping in my head.  I do know many of them are connected through experiences.  I create stories that were either triggered by a conversation or based off a walk in the dark woods.  It is these moments that form and allow my mind to explore something new.

I also know my ideas also come from loves.  My stories tend to steer towards the supernatural or monsters or the bizarre.  It was something that always intrigued me since I was a kid.  I loved Star Wars and He-Man, but it was never the space ships or vehicles that interested me.  It was the aliens and strange creatures.  I loved coming up with their back stories and wondering how they thought differently than me.  I also liked thinking about other monsters like vampires and werewolves.  Part of me liked being scared by them, but also intrigued by what motivated their blood lust, or wondering what I'd do when encountered with these creatures.  This stuff drove me as a child, but it still is a huge part of my imagination today.

Now, if you've read this long, then I am going to say something that makes this whole endeavour of reading seem like a waste.  Most advice is pretty useless.  As I said before, advice can only come from personal experience.  My experience is not yours, obviously -- and I am sure you're proud of that fact.  It means that how I operate and what works for me isn't likely very universal.  The biggest kicker is this is coming from a low level and unknown writer who just happens to have an overactive imagination.  This to my great chagrin means that I may never get any kind of fame or success.  That sort of makes my advice even more worthless.

Stick with me anyway, because I have one more thing to say about creativity.

I remember one author once being asked in an interview what he reads while writing.  The author answered that he doesn't read any fiction during the writing process and actually tries to stay away from most forms of fiction.  His fear is that it will contaminate his work, and influence him in a way he doesn't intend.  He feels that he will inevitably start writing a form of the story he is reading.

I personally couldn't disagree with that more.  Obviously, I can't disagree that it works for him, because I'm sure it does.  Maybe his advice would work for you.  It doesn't work for me.  I find my imagination soars and my creativity peaks when reading fiction or watching a film.

It usually sparks ideas in my head and gets me asking questions like "What if?".  This isn't a case of fan fiction.  I'm not creating ideas for Luke Skywalker's next adventure.  Instead there are often events in the film that get me thinking about other situations.  I start wondering what would have happened if another character was faced with this situation or if the hero was put in a slightly different circumstance that now makes him a villain.

I find that fiction recharges me.  A great movie sweeps me away to a different world.  A world where I can create new characters and think about different adventures.  This is something that happened to me as a child too.  The stories I concocted never really resembled the films I saw.

I think reading and being immersed in fiction can help your creativity grow.  But then again, I think it can also come from a documentary or other nonfiction.  There have been several historical events that have made me ask questions or want to explore things from a different perspective.  I find great books or quality entertainment allow my imagination and creativity to come alive.

This is the key, making your creativity come alive. Make it real.  Make it a part of you.  Allow it to form ideas that won't leave you until you must write and allow them to become free.

Or at least, that is the opinion of this lowly writer.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Please Slow Down, Time

I can't believe this was my son almost a year ago. . .


Now, don't get me wrong, because I absolutely am in love with this version of Everett. . .


But I really wouldn't mind if time just slowed down a bit.  At this rate, I'm pretty sure he'll be applying for Universities the next time I roll out of bed.

Speaking of time being in too much of a rush, blame it on my lack of blogging today.  This is all you get. 

How has your Friday been?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

10 Pet Peeves That Prove I'll be a Crusty Old Hermit

I need to face the facts.  The older I get, then the more cranky and ornery I become.  If I'm lucky I'll become the crabby old man who shakes his cane and screams for kids to get away from his lawn.  I realize I'm actually more likely to end up being the unwashed crazy with a tin foil hat and lives in a broken down shack.  No matter what, I need to accept that I am becoming a curmudgeon. 

I've already whined and moaned on this site about a few things that raise my blood pressure and cause me to shake my fist.  Well, here are ten more things that irritate me, and prove that maybe I just don't belong around people.

1.  Organizations that don't understand phone technology from the past 2 decades.  There is a certain university, which likely wants a certain amount of donations because a certain person decided to pay them money to attend their institution, that now calls our house every other day usually right around the time we're either putting Everett to bed or just got him settled down.  We've never answered the phone, but somehow we always know it is them calling.  Are we a family of psychics (soon to have their own TLC show called You Can Read My Mind, But Still Don't Take Out the Trash?)?  No, we have this little technology called call display.  This means we never answer the phone for people that we don't want to talk to.  Since I know there is such a thing called call display, then I also know that if I call a certain house at the same time every other day to no answer then they're either screening my calls or they're never home at that time.  If only there was a way that one could leave a message for this person who never picks up the phone.

2.  When customers are apparently too busy to hand their money to the hardworking clerk.  I thankfully haven't worked at a cash register for a very long time, but my time in front of that machine has made me sympathetic to all those in customer service.  This is why I get pissed off every time a customer can't be bothered to hand money right over to the cashier, but instead has to drop it on the counter.  I am assuming the person buying the coffee is in such a rush that they just don't have the time to place the money in the waiting hand of the cashier, but instead must treat them like their lowly peasant as they chuck the cash in their general direction.  Except this action just proves what a monumental moron they are, because they haven't saved any time at all.  Now, they have to wait for the poor server to pick up all the nickels off the counter before they can count them, and then finally serve the coffee.  You'd think that handing over the money would be faster since you now eliminated the "scrounging around for the loose change on the counter" stage.  Or do they throw the money on the counter, because they fear touching the hands of the server?  The very person who will be holding their coffee and not throwing it in their general direction.  If the server did do that, then maybe that would eliminate one annoyance off this list.

3.  When servers are annoyed that you want to pay for food late at night.  I don't tend to order food late at night.  There have been a few times that I enter a restaurant at a time far past dinner time, and the server seems annoyed that I chose their establishment as the place to deposit my money.  I remember once reading a venom fueled article by a server who was frustrated that someone would order a pizza at 11 at night, because they were too lazy to make food at home.  So, I have an easy solution for the travesty that is people actually being hungry late at night and actually believing they could order food rather than make it themselves.  Don't have the fucking restaurant open late at night, because otherwise, people will keep on being tricked that they can actually eat there.

4.  People who spend time composing lists of things they hate.  Think happy thoughts, you fool.

5.  When someone asks you a question, but they'd already decided on the answer.  "Hey, do you think I should wear boots?" "No, there are no puddles outside." "Yeah, but by the time I'm ready to go outside it will have likely rained.  I am going to wear them."  "Well, thank you so much for wasting my time with this pointless conversation."

6.  Demanding clients who want top notch work, but want to pay a writer slightly more than the cost of a pack of cigarettes.  I've quickly learned that freelance boards are 80% populated with cheap ass clients trying to sucker talented freelancers into jumping at their shit pay with promises of exposure and future riches.  There are some that are start-up companies that openly admit their pay is atrocious, and that they are barely able to pay themselves.  In those cases, I kindly let them know they can contact me again when they have enough money to pay for high quality work, because I am not a charity.  But then there are the clients that brag about their awesome $200.00 for an article, but then alert you that the article must be at least 1,000 words, will need thorough research, there must be several hour long interviews conducted, the writer must be willing to dance like a circus monkey upon request, and be willing to make 10 revisions to the whim of the finicky editor.  $200.00 is an awesome rate for something I can get done in around an hour, but pretty much the flaming missile of suck if it takes several days.

7.  One being passionately opinionated on a topic they don't know shit about.  Facebook is the home of endless diatribes about politics often being spouted by people who are only vaguely aware of the electoral process.  Despite one not really understanding politics or even bothering to learn about politics, they're more than happy to rant and rave about the subject and talk about how a particular politician is going to cause an Earth explosion.  If it isn't politics then they'll rant about major news events that they are only slightly aware happened, but damn do they ever have an opinion on it.  The best part is when people get all hot and steamy over an item of news that happens to be a hoax or a news parody.  Of course people getting suckered by lies almost never happens on the internet.

8.  Pushy, impatient, "always in a rush" people.  A salesperson is talking to a customer, and so you patiently wait for them to finish.  Your needs aren't any more important than the person being taken care of and you don't want to make the customer feel uncomfortable, so you wait a fair distance away but it is obvious you're waiting for them to finish.  Then "Superstar" Gus Rusherton blows past you and immediately jumps on the salesperson.  Gus doesn't bother asking if you were waiting or seem to even care.  Now you have to wait for him to tell his 20 minute story about his surround sound dreams and watch as he gallivants around the store with the carcass of the salesperson that you just wanted to point you towards where to find USB storage keys.  

9.  When a person mistakes me for a 4 year old child.  "You should really dip this meat into this special sauce and put salt on your potatoes and then wipe your lips, because it will taste better."  "I am not sure if this TV show is really appropriate viewing, and maybe you should watch Little House on the Prairie instead."  "Don't eat that hunk of fat, because it is bad for you.  You clearly don't understand what fat is, and so I'll explain it to you."  "Put this coat on because it is cold, and you obviously are not able to figure out what is a comfortable temperature for yourself."

10.  Shows with the words "war", "battle", and "warriors" in the title, but are not actually about any of those things.  Because when I think about auctions and cupcakes, the first thing that jumps into my mind is tanks and machine guns.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Killing Them Softly Review: May Not Be the Film You're Expecting

The Killing Them Softly trailer promises a film where Brad Pitt cleans up the mob's messes by killing problems.  You may expect an action packed movie with some mafia undertones.  That isn't this film.  This is a dialogues heavy movie with a very clear message to tell.  The success of this film is going to be based off how effectively they tell this message.  I analyze that in my most recent film review for Collective Publishing.


A Proud (Disputed) Daddy Moment

Everett said my name recently.  That name being "da da".  Or at least, I am sticking to the claim that he said my name.  Emily seems to believe differently.  I provide the irrefutable proof in today's Dad's Eye View. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Everett's Climb to the Summit (and the Daddy)

I mentioned Everett's first ascent up Mount Stairs and his reaching to the Summit over at Facebook.  In case there are doubters, here is the pictorial proof.