consider myself to be extremely lucky to have such wonderful, caring,
sweet, sincere, honest, giving and unique friends and family. I
am rather astounded at how functional and amazing my family is.
Yes, we have our quirks and our hard times like everyone else, but
instead of running to the divorce lawyers at the first sign of a
problem, my parents stuck it out and we have become the kind of
family that this country needs more of. My sister is an amazing
person and I have learned so much from her. And my friends are a
truly diverse and unique lot. And though I do, honestly, love and
cherish them all, and would certainly go to the ends of the earth
for any of them, there are certain people who have really effected
me the most over the years, which are the people who I have lived
for and would certainly take a bullet for if it came down to it.
For whatever reasons - these are the people who have been there
for me, helped me to succeed, helped me to grow and learn from my
mistakes, the people who have been my motivation and my inspiration
for artwork and music and poetry. There are some material items
and concepts below as well... things I could NEVER do without. But
it's really the people that matter most, fore with out them, I wouldn't
know about most of that stuff anyways, and none of it would matter
at all. And again - many if not most of my friends and family have
been these things to me, but the people listed below have done so
in a profound way. So please take a moment to understand me better,
by way of understanding these amazing people...
& Pa | My Sister Kirsten
| Pearl | Matt
| Dan | EJ
| Danielle | Mikey
G. | KtK | Yan
| Melissa | G.
| Sushi | Subarus | Stick
| My Guitar | Computers
| My Leatherman | Photoshop
Well this is an easy subject matter. There just, plain isn't anything
I like more on this planet than snowboarding. This 2008-2009 season
will mark my 20th year of snowboarding. That's right. I have been
riding longer than many of these little punks have been alive. I
am not bitter though. I am sad that they don't have to endure the
obscene criticsm and ridicule that I and my friends did so many
years ago, simply because it was the prime reason we wanted to get
better at it - to show all of those assholes up. I started when
many mountains still banned snowboards from their trails and before
most people had even ever heard of them. I am by no means a pioneer
of the sport as that the originators had been doing it for 10 years
prior to that even, but I am proud to say that I was one of a very
few people who were pushing the sport in new directions and helped
shape it to be the sport it is today.
Snowboarding was - as many great things in my life have been -
a direct result of Matt pushing me into them. And I mean that literally
in this case. My first time on a real mountain (Attitash) on a snowboard
was with Matt. I had been a terrible skiier for 4 years prior, and
had been practicing snowboarding on little hills in Marblehead to
gear up for my first real day. I was skeptical, but we got up to
the top, sprayed down our boards with silicon spray (yes, we were
THOSE kids), and as I stood there, strapped in and looking nervously
down the trail, Matt just came up behind me and pushed. By the end
of that day, I had already done my first jump and was entirely hooked.
I sold my brand new, never-used ski equipment the next week and
bought a snowboard. Granted, and this is for all of you young'ins
out there... my first board measured a whopping 175 and was - get
this - all wood. I mean, it had a laminate on both sides to make
it slick and protect it from the elements, but probably weighed
more than all of the other snowboards I have had since, duct-taped
together. I mean, it was silly how heavy this thing was. And I was
rockin' these totally gay, blaze pink, purple and blue high-top
running shoes as boots. We are talking ZERO support, virtually no
waterproofing and ABSOLUTELY no support. I don't know how, or WHY
I chose that path. But I did, and I honestly think it made me a
Well, I eventually ended up trading in the old G&S for Ubu-Abu,
my beloved Joyride that was purchased at Something Else
skate shop in Danvers, MA. When that board was new, it had so much
spring and flx that I could bend it tip to tip. Quite a removal
from the unbendable wood one. And I also upgraded my boots to the
Arwalks that I wore up until just two years ago, got these killer
Burning Snow snowpants that were plaid, and started
getting really serious about the sport. In our various trips up
to the White Mountains and Sunday River, we met some cute girls
- Heather (Q), Trube & Lori who ultimately introduced us to
Don and Darlene - the owners of Boardin' Daze in
Ossippee, NH. Boardin' Daze is no longer, after
some fuckwad and his cronies decided to break in one night, years
and years ago, and steal everything Don and Darlene owned. It ultimately
shut them down. Which was a shame - not only because they were two
of the most friendly, laid-back, sweet, caring and totally stoked
to go snowboarding people I have ever known - but because they were
pioneering a cross-training technique that I still use to this day...
Trampoleen training. They used to pull that trampoleen out every
weekend and peopel would come by and bounce and do trick and try
new tricks - many of which had yet to be invented. Don had invented
a couple of his own tricks, like the "Roastbeef" which
I still pull off sometimes in his honor. But from that, our many
various trips up there to bounce and go riding with the girls and
our friends in the area and all of the other practicing I was getting
in at home, I quickly adapted to the sport and started doing some
serious shit. Serious, mostly in the vein of cliff jumps and big
air (or what was considerably larger 'air' then). And I was doing
tree and rail slides a decade before anyone else really thought
of it, at least as an available obstacle on a mountain.
Also, at that time, I was going riding with my buddy Jeremy a lot.
Well... he was on skis. Jeremy is easily the best skier I have ever
known personally. I mean, I've met and 'skiied with Johnny Mosely
at Squaw, but he'd never remember my name, or likely
anything about me. No, I mean - of my friends and even of anybody
who I have known longer than a week. Jeremy is just sick. And he's
a big guy, who rides big skis and goes really, REALLY fucking fast.
And in Jeremy's book, if you are going to a mountain with him and
you want to hang, you gotta keep up. And so, from him, I learned
what so many people forego these days - supreme stability, control
and speed. I followed that kid all over the place, down trails I
never would have gone down myself and rocketing all over every aspect
of the mountains. And it was fun as hell! I can, to this day, pretty
much keep up with any skier and can definitely out-pace just about
every snowboarder out there. And I owe it all to Jeremy.
I was also one of a very small group of people who went on the
Chamonix Ski Trip in high school who was a snowboarder.
And while they were having their biggest snow-drought in 25 years
for the week we were there, it was still amazing. I managed to "jump
a house" by way of riding up the low-pitched roof that was
stuck into the side of the mountain, and drop off the other side,
clearing a small drop and a person who was sitting, leaning against
the house, reading a book. It was pretty sick.
all, I have tried to stay ahead of the curve in snowboarding. I
suck in a halfpipe, and have since lost my chops for really huge
air, but can still pretty much lay down the law for freeriding.
I am among a VERY small amount of snowboarders who seem to absolutely
LOVE moguls and trees/glades. Many skiiers won't dare go in to the
trees that I go into full steam ahead. I am very proud of my snowboarding
career, and can boast about a lot of it. I have hiked Tuckerman's
Ravine about 15 times and have ridden down the steepest
slopes in the northeast. I hope to conquer the headwall cliffs someday,
but have done some nice, medium-height rock jumps there and got
some applause. I was also featured in two UMass Amherst yearbooks
for my huge 360 road jumps, and jumping over people. And while it
is probably last on my list of accomplishments, I was actually offered
a sponsorship at one point, the sole stipulation for which being
that I enter a contest and do fairly well in. And so I did. I entered
the contest - simple big air thing that I would have ruled at at
that time. It was at Killington,
on I think either Superstar or Outer Limits
- regardless, it was one of their acclaimed bumps runs. I took the
chair up to the top for the run down to the contest area and where
the jump was set-up. I got off, strapped in, got myself all pumped
up and started ripping down the trail. About a quarter of the way
down, I fell out of my line, landing me between two bumps... which
caused my board to crack in half. I kid you not... snapped it like
a twig. Well, a still-alive twig, because it stayed together, but
with a loose 'hinge' in the middle. And to top it all off, it was
an (now defunct company I think) Aggression Snowboard. Aggression.
Yeah. Right. The downside, I missed my one big opportunity to win
big and get a sponsorship. The upside - I bitched out 'Aggression'
and they sent me a new snowboard and I didn't have to always be
awesome and ride the way someone else told me I had to. In the long
run, I am kind of glad I missed that opportunity. Yeah, It would
have been fun, and I probably could have gone riding considerably
more, for nothing... but I have never lived by other people's rules
and I think it would have ultimately killed the joy of snowboarding
In all seriousness, I could go on forever about snowboarding. I
realize that I have now written more about that than any other person,
place or thing on this entire website. I don't mean to diminish
those others any, but hopefully you will understand just how important
snowboarding is to me now. I have personally taught about 20 people
how to snowboard with my 'patented' technique and I plan to teach
many, MANY more, simply and solely so that they can experience this
wonderful, liberating, absolutely incredible sport that I have loved
now for 2 whole decades and will love until the day I die.
Seriously? Raw fish? Do I really need to say more? SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
GOOD!!!! Holy crap... my mouth is watering right now! I wish for
to nom the fish. It's SOOO good for you, and prepared correctly
is one of the most incredible sensory stimuli one can imagine. Taste
and texture alone... ya know, one would think (as I myself did once
upon a time) that it would be disgusting, and the instant connotation
of that Lynn Shore Dr. smell of fish would fill your virtual and
imaginary olfactory system... leaving you with an unpleasant feeling.
But, here's the deal - in the grand scheme of things, it is almost
completely devoid of any taste what-so-ever. It's actually, almost
entirely about the texture and consistency. And thats not what you
think either... It's not slimy, "fishy", or anything your
mind conceives of of "Raw". The closest, best approximation
to the sensation of eating GOOD sushi is very much like biting into
a perfectly ripened plum. Which, by the by, is a nice allusion to
Plum Sake, which is a great accompaniament (sp?) to any good sushi.
But, its so even and smooth and almost melts in your mouth. It is
seriously one of the best eating experiences I have ever had...
So, in light of my attempts at converting you non-believers into
sushi-nomming fanatics like myself, I figured I would give you some
links and instructions on how to find the absolute best sushi restaurants
and recipes. I have to say, and give a shout-out to the very best
place I have found for the best, freshest, most well-prepared sushi
- Sushi House in Concord, MA. Holy crap. I was reeling in emotional
turmoil over the inevitability of my break up with Chelsea the first
time I went there, and I STILL recognized the profound difference
between that place and every other one I had ever been to... So
if you wanna try sushi, and are still scared... go there first,
cuz thats the best there is!
GOOD sushi restaurants:
- Sushi House - Easily the best sushi I have
ever had. To date, at least. Located at 794 Elm St, Concord, MA
01742. Phone: (978) 369-8856
- Takemura - This is my runner-up, second most
favorite sushi place, and extra good as that it is in Harvard
Square - which makes for some good people watching while I nom
raw fishes. 18 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138. Phone: (617) 492-6700
I LOOOOVEE Subaru. Well... I am a little mad at them for some recent
choices they have made for their product line and specifically the
design choices, but besides that, I have NOTHING bad to say about
them. My love for them started as most things do by way of Matt,
who had one when we first started driving. So did Mike.
It astounded me that CARS could have 4-wheel drive. Back then, in
the 80's and 90's, there really was no such thing as ALL wheel drive,
except on some seriously high-end cars and trucks. But what there
was, was part-time 4-wheel drive. In some trucks, you have to either
get out and engage the hub of your wheel to get those wheels to
be powered by the drivetrain - or some have buttons or shifters
on the inside and you can shift over to 4WD. The Subarus - or rather,
the ones that had this option - had a second shift lever that was
next to the ebrake and allowed you to shift into 4WD on the fly
(though I believe you were technically supposed to stop before you
shifted it... oops). Regardless... this was unheard of for consumer-level
compact cars at that time. Subaru has always seemed to be ahead
of the game, and that's one of the major reasons I like them and
have stuck with them so long.
The 4WD and newer AWD that all Subarus have now are what has impressed
me the most. The amazing difference in control and power between
that and 2WD cars is unfathomable. Combine that with the control
of a standard, you have, in my mind, a very versatile tool and something
approaching a perfect vehicle. Having 4WD for so long - and much
longer than most people even knew the benefits of it, or other car
manufacturers had started to add it to their vehicle lines - I have
come across several situations that were either life-saving, extremely
helpful, or otherwise just plain cool.
For instance - one year, when I was living in Butterfield at UMass
Amherst - high atop Central Hill... it snowed heavily one day, leaving
the roads slick. This made it nearly impossible for most people
to make it up Central Hill in a car. In fact, some people were having
a hard time WALKING up it without sliding back down. Me... no problem.
Right up it I went. A couple of times, just for the fun of it. I
even shuttled some folks up. One of the times I ascended the hill
though, there was this old buick about half-way up, not moving at
all, but spinning its tires furiously. I ended up passing it to
keep them from stressing out that they had someone waiting behind
them. I went up another quarter of the way, stopped, and thought
that maybe I should try to help them out. So I backed back down
the hill and offered my assistance. At this point people had tried
to help by pushing, but to no avail. So I backed up, got my car
in behind their car, edged up to it (try doing that in an automatic),
and then put it in 1st and pushed his car all the way up the hill
with mine! Yes, I burned some oil that day, but something bad could
have happened to him or those people if they had stayed out there
all day, struggling with it... or not, but it was a simple fix on
Also - and I still love telling this story to this day - when I
was living out in CA with Shannon (one of the MANY people I have
convinced to buy a Subaru) - it had been snowing and snowing and
snowing and there was roughly 8 feet of it. It was awesome! But
the thing is that during the winter months, and heavily enforced
when it has been snowing, it is actually a law that you must have
chains on your tires to increase your traction. And it's certainly
not a bad idea seeing as I am scared to drive down some of those
roads on a dry summer day, let alone covered in ice and snow! I
don't remember where we were going, but we had to take a drive somewhere
else, late at night (it was probably to drop me off at the airport).
We left when there were virtually no other cars on the road. The
conditions weren't great, but we were surviving in her Outback.
We had to go over the mountains and as we approached the beginning
of the mountain road, we saw what looked like an ice-fishing shack
in the middle of the road. When we got closer a man came out of
it, flagged us down and made us stop. It was very strange - middle
of nowhere in the throws of a major snowstorm - just a temporary
guard-post set up in the middle of the road. There was a sign that
said, "All Vehicles MUST have chains beyond this point."
We did not. We had come so far in this crap and now we were going
to have to turn around and go back. But the guy just looked at us,
then the tires, then the car and said very plainly... "Oh,
it's a Subaru. Okay, you are okay. Go ahead." Clearly the people
of the Lake Tahoe area appreciate a Subaru as much as I.
To date, I have owned 7 of them. The first I crashed in a very
unhappy, stupid and not really my fault kind of way. But it was
also the only automatic I have ever owned. I actually got that thing
to go 135mph with 5 other people in my car, and got the thumbs up
from the driver of the Porsche I was, umm... racing :) Then I had
Midnight Runner - my black one with all of the non-offensive bumperstickers
on it (except for the "Don't Laugh, Your Daughter May Be In
Standard. Manual Transmission. Whatever you wanna
call it, it pretty much rules all others. You may find it kind of
silly that I would list this as something to which I am most attached,
but let me tell you - I would HATE driving if it had to be in an
automatic. Currently, and for the tenure of my driving days, I have
rather loved driving. It's one of those few things that really brings
me peace. I love the feeling of control - the sensation that man
and machine are one, acting and reacting with each-other's motions.
Driving stick only enhances that feeling. Automatics remove you
from much of the decision-making process about driving. Automatics
also decrease your gas-mileage and most importantly (in my mind
at least), your on demand acceleration. So now you are probably
thinking that I just like it because I can drop the clutch and lay
rubber. Yeah. In my Outback. That's totally what I am doing... No,
in all seriousness, the ability to GO is all important when driving,
both defensively and offensively. I have been in plenty of situations
where, if I had hesitated, or my car had, I would probably be dead.
I need that instant go-power when I want it, and when you jump on
the gas of an automatic, all you get is a wind-up of the gears as
it trues to figure out what gear it wants to be in. Often, you don't
have that much time. And there have been very few cars that I have
driven, that are automatics, that have had such an instant response
time as any standard I have been in.
Here's the thing... many times the argument about having to replace
more parts, such as the clutch, has been the justification of many
who are against standards. But, as with any tool (and please bear
with my assessment that a car is a tool), learning the proper use
of said tool will both prolong it's life as well as allow you to
master it the way it should be. And as my counter argument - standards
negate the need for the most annoying invention in recent years
- anti-lock brakes. For those of you who don't know, you can use
the engine to brake in a standard, meaning that if you want to slow
down, all you have to do is down-shift, and let the clutch out.
The engine will do the rest. And furthermore, you can choose the
amount of torque vs. speed vs. power that you want, on the fly and
without the need for all sorts of silly traction controls and what-not.
As far as I see it, automatics and the inventions that have enhanced
the vehicles that are on the roads today, are all just means to
bring automatics closer to being standards again... just for people
who feel that doing anything manually is too much.
All I know is that - as long as they make standards, and specifically,
SUBARUS in standard, I will own one. I fear that those days are
coming to an end though, with new advances in technology such as
the power-shifter that some new Subes have - basically automatic,
but with the ability to switch over to a manual shift system, just
with no clutch. It's rather more like shifting a bike. Which kind
of loses the appeal for me, but it was kind of cool anyways.
Guitar. Or rather now, my GuitarS. I'll letcha read
a little more about the history of my first guitar - my Takemine
Jasmine - on the Music Page. The
to take away from this little excerpt is that I really dig playing
my guitar, no matter how much I suck. I started recording an album
years and years ago, and I am almost done with it, but what I love
most is just going and finding some quiet, secluded area - usually
at the beach at night or Mt.
Pollux, or even just in my car somewhere - and playing my guitar.
It's therapy for my soul - a kind of release and expression that
transcends my usual approach. It's something I need to fulfill some
kind of deep-seeded, tribal urge to create music.
Like I say, I kind of suck. I mean, I am learning and have definitely
come a long way since the first song I wrote - "When We Went
Walking" for Danielle, years and years ago. It was basically
all in G and C(9). But I am not exactly stage-ready. I just enjoy
it. I enjoy playing things that I have practiced over and over again,
I like embellishing on those as well and I like trying new things
and making new sounds and trying to string together some kind of
riff. It's just plain fun. So fun in fact, that I recently bought
a brand new electric bass and traded in my sister's old Fender Squire
for an Ephiphone SG, so now I have an acoustic, an electric and
a bass. And I am sure that I will spend the next many years to come
learning how to play those better as well.
I have had some help along the way, first and foremost being from
the now defunct OLGA.net - which stood for Online Guitar Archive.
They had all sorts of user-submitted TAB for both bass and guitar,
but were eventually shut down for copyright infringement. What erupted
in it's place has been the tool that I have used to learn all sorts
of covers and which has helped me to become a much better guitar
player in a very short amount of time. That place would be: www.Ultimate-Guitar.com.
They have all sorts of TAB, with tools that make the page scroll
at varying speeds and hands-free so that you don't have to take
your hand off the guitar to scroll down the page for the rest of
it... and they are also linked in with Jango.com,
an online-radio station and 9 times out of 10, have the song you
are learning in their playlist and you can hear it on-demand to
play along to or get the rythym right. Plus, Ultimate-Guitar allows
you to create a profile, save your favorite tabs and bands, upload
your own tabs and has all sorts of other great music-related tools
and information. Definitely check them out if you haven't before!
And here are a few other good guitar resources:
Leatherman. It's strange... I can't go more than
a day or so without this tool. It is, for all intents and purposes,
indispensible. My parents gave me my first one as a graduation present
for college. I remember opening it up and checking it out and instantly
cutting myself on the ridiculously sharp blade on the knife. Not
a bad cut, just something small... but I realized just how fine
a tool this was by the quality of how it came. And indeed, it has
rarely left my side since. For all of you Swiss Army Knife people
saying to yourselves... yeah, but my S.A.K. has like a million tools
on it... that may be, but 1) you'll NEVER use any of them and 2)
I could literally crush a swiss army knife with the pliers of my
Leatherman. I'm serious... this thing freakin' rules! Let's see,
things I have done with my Leatherman
- fixed a million and one things
- cut matte board
- whiddled things
- sharpened pencils
- fixed my car
- cut down trees
- fixed my snowboard on the mountain
- built furniture
- eaten with it
- cut wrapping paper
- made signs
- hammered in nails
- used as a weight
- measured things
- bored holes in stuff
- cut kindling
- opened cans
- opened countless beers
- fixed my glasses
- filed down nails and screws
I suppose these things aren't particularly outstanding, but for
one tool to be able to do all of it is pretty amazing I'd say. In
all honesty, I abuse the shit out of my Leatherman - so much, in
fact, One time when I was fixing the emergency brake on my car and
trying to torque out a stripped bolt, I actually managed to break
the tip off of the pliers, leaving only one side long. It made any
small plier jobs really difficult. And though Leatherman has a 25
year warranty on all of their tools, and I had only owned it for
about 6, I STILL couldn't part with it for the 2-3 weeks they said
it would take to fix it and return it. Hells no I ain't waiting
for it for that long!!! So, knowing full well of my inability to
part with it for so long, yet also knowing of my supreme love for
this indespensible tool - Scotts went ahead and bought me a new
one for xmas last year. He even upgraded me to the newest, best
model. So now I am rocking uber-Leatherman and it is all of the
personal tool I will ever truly need. Oh, and I still have my other
one as well... I strongly encourage you to go and get one. You will
NOT be sorry, especially if you are constantly fixing a million
and one things like me. You can check out the company at: www.leatherman.com
And here are some other places to buy them:
Hmm, let me think about this one... okay, got it! No computers,
no ability to do any of this! I have loved these computer things
since my very first introduction to them when - long, long ago,
in a galaxy known as Marblehead, back when I was just a little kid
- my dad brough home our first personal computer - the Commodore
64, or C64 to us techie geeks. I fucking LOVED that thing. I remember
that my dad had borrowed a "Koala Pad" from one of his
buddies at work - which was likely the very first tablet ever. It
was, for all intents and purposes, at least a really freakin' cool
input device. It allowed you to draw on the pad and it emulated
your motion on the screen. You had various choices of "brushes"
- basically 30x30 pixel blocks that you could paint with, or choose
from several vector-based design tools. My favorite was the ray
generator, which basically allowed you to pick a point and have
it draw straight lines radiating out from it in different collors.
It was almost entirely useless, but damn was it cool!
I also remember getting my dad's computer magazines - lord knows
what they were called now... but every edition came with a bunch
of computer programs with it. And by that, I don't mean on disks
(we'll get to those later)... no, back in my day, the programs came
typed out in Basic. PAGES and pages of printed code that you could
type in yourself and 'write' these programs for yourself. They weren't
all super cool... I mean, some were accounting programs or utilities
that I couldn't have cared less about. But some were games, or art
programs, or I think the one I liked best was the music simulators...
no 5.1 DolbyDigital surround sound then though... 1 speaker, emulating
basic MIDI and varying tone "beeps". It was archaic and
rudimentary by today's standards, but it captured my attention and
hooked me for life.
Later in life, when we had our first 386 with a blazing fast 16
megs of RAM that cost like $1000... I was introduced to the joys
of serious 16-color video games like Leisure Suit Larry which was
a favorite for many years. Oh, and "If It Moves, Shoot It!"
<-- I can only imagine how difficult it would be to market a
game like that these days! That's called sarcasm by the way... I
was also introduced to a "scanner". This allowed me to
take photos and scan them in and then edit them on the computer!!!
Let me just tell you.. this was one of the first, which was about
6"wide and was hand-operated. So basically, you had this wide,
mouse-looking thing that you had to position over the thing to be
scanned, press and hold a button down to scan, and then drag it
VERY slowly and consistently across the document. If you were scanning
something wider than it, you had to make as many passes as it took,
and then fit it all together on the computer, which was a task by
itself. But using those tools I managed a few feats worthy of my
future career of photo manipulation like a couple of controverstial
doctored photos that I made up of our Vice Principal, the douchebag,
ultra bitch, Deb Loomis. Who I still hate, if you didn't notice.
I was also one of the very first people ever in a chat room. I
was chatting online before the World Wide Web was ever established
or known of. It was on a BBS (Bulletin Board Service) called Argus.
My handle was "Aroc". Dan and Matt were on there too...
"Dangerous" and "Ford", respectively. I even
met one of my girlfriends on there - Hilary - who I am still in
contact with these days (when she feels like it). So I guess I was
likely one of the very first people to pioneer online dating as
well! I was so in tune with the online world at that point - writing
macros and small programs and such - that my computer class teacher
in high school - Mrs. Stomatuck - gave me the green-light to use
the computer lab whenever I wanted in exchange for teaching her
and the rest of the class about getting 'online'. I even configured
the modems in the school - which required the school's password,
or so I told her... heheheh. That was fun, but I never did anything
So fast forward to now... I ended up studying and teaching computer-based
programs in college, based my major on them, use one every day,
and rather love them. I started Focus Power with some friends, which
is largely a computer/technology-based company, offering all sorts
of various computer services like graphic design, audio and video
editing and recording, website design... you name it. And here I
am, right now, typing away at my computer with my two laptops next
to me, each doing it's own thing - one of which is playing "Bodyrock"
by Moby which was most likely created on a computer... Yeah... I
know, I am jacked in. JAcked in for life... and lovin' it.
Well, for starters, without Photoshop, this website would be pretty
freakin' weak. In fact, so would much of my artwork, lest something
else existed in its place that was more or less exactly the same
thing. And we ain't talkin' no Paint Shop Pro. Ultra weak. Seriously,
Photoshop is easily the best program of all time. Followed closely
by After Effects, or for the lamen, Photoshop over time. After Effects
is likely responsible for just about all post-production special
effects you have seen in just about any movie that has been digitally
any case, let's get back to my baby... Adobe Photoshop! I have never
been so attached to or have devoted as much time and learning to
really anything else in my world. And please, I am not including
girls in that - though, admittedly, at least Photoshop never cheats
on me and always does what I ask of it. So that's cool ;) But I
have - I have likely dedicated literally YEARS worth of time specifically
to utterly mastering that program. The sad thing is though - that
I am a poor bastard and the constantly updated versions have proven
to be too much for me. So I have found the versions that have worked
best for me and wait until I can afford the next best. It is, however,
my strong belief though, that were there ever a Photoshop-Off I
could still school many of these CSers with my still smokin' ver.
Speaking of school - Back when I was teaching/direction the final
project at UMass Amherst, I was known as the "Photoshop God".
Now, I am a bit more humble than that. I appreciate the sentiment,
but, well... I don't know about "God"... But what it allowed
me to do was be the universal Photoshop lecturer. So any time any
of the classes had their obligatory class or two on Photoshop or
compositing or something like that - it was ALWAYS me that they
asked to instruct it. That was cool [geeking out right now]. The
bestest best part was that I almost always got to rip on one of
the familiar faces of the CKC lab community, I think my favorite
being the one of Ryan Moore in his cowboy outfit... though I am
remembering that that was a secret project of ours for a Tshirt.
But oh well.. you get the point. And I got to rip on myself too..
which is always the best.
In any case, I really hope that they keep making Photoshop, make
it kick ass more and more, and *hopefully* make it a little more
affordable so us die-hards don't have to die broke :)
Okay, I know, I know... they are really called Kitties, cats, kittens,
fuzzy meow-meows. But not since LOLCats have existed. We'll get
to that later. I guess its likely that I am a Leo that I love cats
so much... or it could be that we only really ever had cats in my
family, or maybe its that they are just way better than dogs as
far as pets go. Okay.. that was a stab, sorry dog-lovers... I really
do like a lot of dogs too. But I just love how non-chalant and dismissive
cats are. They are also so sweet and cute and soft and you HAVE
to admit that purring is a MILLION times better than drooling as
a sign of happiness. I mean, c'mon! Plus, they can take themselves
to the bathroom, aren't bothering you all day long to go for a walk,
take frequent baths, don't smell, and don't make much noise. And
they are nature's little ninjas too... sinister, sneaky, playful
and just slightly evil... as was put best by Keanu in Constantine,
"Cats are perfect. They are half in, half out anyways."
He meant 'of hell'. And yeah, all dogs might go to heaven, but I
am pretty sure that it will be the kittehs who are running the show.
One thing you should know is that to me, kittehs, like Native Americans
have to find their own names. And yes, I can talk to kittehs. But
these names that owners give their cats just don't do it sometimes.
Which is why, despite their various attempts at convincing me otherwise,
people like Chelsea had to finally give up on the name "Roxy"
and just start calling her kitteh, "Fuzzy Kitten", and
why - sooner or later - Kayla is just going to have to give it up
and start calling "Zack" by "Minikitty". I mean,
Which brings us to LOLCats. They have existed for a while now and
there are several websites that deal with LOLCats, but none so awesome
The basic premise of which is that people caption photos of
kittehs, stating what they think it looks like is going on in the
picture. There are several themes, first and foremost that kittehs
are always in search of a cheezbrgr (cheeseburger) for which to
nom (eat). This is much like the LOLruses who are constantly trying
to find their bukkit (bucket). But there is also the dichotomy of
good and evil as presented by Ceiling Cat (god) and Basement Cat
(the devil) and cats performing invisible stunts and feats of greatness
like riding bikes and flying. Nearly all of these photos are captioned
using LOLspeak - which is basically English as a kitteh would spell
and speak it, if kittehs could, in fact talk.
But while I am here, I just want to give a little shout-out to
all of the kittehs in my life, cuz, well, they all rule:
To Benny - a friend who I have missed for many
To Taxi - MY cat, my taxi-derm (his nickname, not
what we ultimately did with him). He was such a great cat - a stray
that came to us and then stayed for many many years. He LOVED the
butt-scratch, which used to get him so psyched that he started licking
the air. And the cat who used to be so happy and purr so loud and
hard that he would get ahead of himself and get all choked up and
have to start over again.
To The Fur (aka Annie, the Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie,
Felinish Furballish) - Kirsten's cat... sometimes sweet, sometimes
stand-off-ish. But very cute. She had an unfortunate last few years
of her life and it was very sad.
To The Fuzzy Kitten (aka Roxy) - who I miss dearly
because she stayed living with her mom, Chelsea when we broke up.
She was a stray as well and when she first showed up on Chelsea's
doorstep (after a very coincidental discussion that night about
adopting a kitty, by the way), she was very thin and hungry. We
went out and got some food for her and put it in a bowl, but she
just looked at it, so I got down on all fours and made like I was
eating and drinking from the bowls. I kept looking over at her and
she was just staring back, but eventually, she got the hint and
came over and joined me and we sat there, right next to each other,
'eating'. It was very cute. She and I bonded that night and many
others. She was a beautiful cat and I hope douchebag (aka Jeff)
is being nice to her.
To Kita - Kita is Rick's kitteh and she is one
of the most vocal and sweet cats I have ever known. She literally
talks. And you can do just about anything to her - throw her around,
play fetch, twirl her around... anything. She just loves playing.
She has also given birth to many litters of baby kittehs, one of
which (Fuzzy Munchkin) was my favorite and very nearly my kitteh.
To Burt - Burt was Kita's uncle?? Old Siamese with
part of his ear missing and towards the end of his days, almost
completely blind and deaf. Never mind the fact that he was pretty
much just a bag of bones. But he was really a sweet cat. I remember
one summer I was out in my car, asleep in the back of it with the
tailgate open and Burt hopped in, climbed across me and found the
only open spot, which was about a 3x3 inch area between my bent
arm and my body (my hand was on my stomach). I watched him as he
carefully and strategically placed each of his feet in the only
available area, and once that was accomplished, plopped himself
straight down and fell asleep.
To Maggie - who was such a sweet little kitteh
who didn't go inside often because that was Kita's domain. Mags
just hung around outside and slept in the garage. She was a weathered
and tough little thing, but like I say, super cute and friendly,
and loved the pettin'. She also had this really high-pitched, short
To Mossboy - Robokitty! He was a giant cat. Big,
goofy and cute as hell. He was such a good cat. He was hit by a
car... TWICE and lived through both and for many years after. He
had some metal plates in him after those accidents which is why
I called him Robokitty. He was the kitteh friend of EJ and Andy,
but also to all of us. He was a Holmes, which very few pets really
get to achieve the ranks of.
To Veronica - Moss' "sister" who was
and is still a very sweet kitteh and lives with Jon and Jess. She
has moved around a lot and I haven't seen her much, but every time
I do, she is just very gentle and cute and seems to be quite fond
of the pettin' as well.
To Squirrel - Scotts' kitteh who is HUGE - super
fuzzy, chubbers, and has like 15 toes. Just a big cat. But she is
a sweetheart, despite what many people think. I have never known
a kitteh to be so fully addicted to pettin'. I mean, she REALLY
digs it. She gets so into it that she starts gnawing on your hand
- nothing hard, just like an over-stimuli that drives her to want
to chew on something - like X seems to do to people. We are good
To Mini-Kitty (aka Zack... whatever) - Mini is
the newest member of Scotts' family. Mini is, well... mini. But
not for long I guess... so maybe then I will concede the name thing.
But he is wicked cute and lieks hanging out on my shoulder, which
is my favorite place for kittehs. Then I can hear them purring right
next to my ear! And mini is still young enough that he is just barely
prickly when he wants to play, so he can chew on your finger and
it doesn't really hurt... he's a good Mini-Kitty.
To Muttin - She is the very first and ONLY kitteh
that doesn't totally love me. Apparently, she has some deep-seeded
issues that make her frightened of men and it would seem, hands.
She is wicked cute, if not rather round. She hides under my bed
and hangs out in my room when I am not there, and has a secret obsession
with dirty, sweaty shirts... but hey, to each his or her own I guess.
Some day kitteh and I will bond and all will be good. It's only
been a year and a half that we have been living together...
To Satin - Which was a nice way to say 'Satan'.
Tessa's all black fuzzy kitty who I got to kitty-sit for a weekend,
and who hung around in the office with us. I miss ya, ya little
sharp thing. Of course, you are all grown up now. But Satin was
such a fun kitteh to play with and snuggle. I hope Satin is less
prickly these days though!
To Pearl's Love Cats - Puppy & Curly - I have
not yet met you. But I feel I know you already by way of Pearl's
descriptions and stories and photos. I will meet you someday and
we will have all sorts of fun with the pettins, and the playins,
and the nomming of fuds.