Archive | November, 2010

And Elsewhere

20 Nov

Another week, another, um dollar? Yeah, that doesn’t make much sense to me either. Anyway, I have been all over the place this week. Come and take a look at what I got into.

This week at MamaPop:

Tuesday’s Post: HIMYM Season Six Recap: Episode 9 “Glitter”

Thursday’s Post: ANTM Cycle 15 Recap: Episode 11 “Franca Sozzani”



This week at Draft Day Suit:

Thursday’s Post: Handshake Snubbin’






I was also a featured writer on Indie Ink this week. I am so floored and humbled to actually have my     work exhibited by such an awesome website.

Featured Post: Just Get Up

30 Days Of Truth: Day Twelve

17 Nov

Day 12- Something you never get compliments on.

Finally something that isn’t all dark and demented to write about! Like most, I don’t take compliments well at all. When someone blurts out something nice to me, I freeze like a deer in headlights. My brain doesn’t work. Eventually, I just mumble something incoherent and change the subject. And absolutely no eye contact. That would be just wrong! Anyway, sometimes there are things that I desperately wish someone would just occasionally compliment me on. Just every once in a while, a random nudge or smack on the ass for a job well done would be nice. What am I talking about? Simple. Things. Yes, things. Very descriptive, huh? Okay, okay. I’ll give you some examples. Read on!

1) My hairiness

Yes, I am one hairy son of a bitch. It’s like I’m the lovechild produced by a wild threesome with the Wolfman, Chewbacca, and Robin Williams. I mean, I know I was born out of love and all, but my god. I can thank the heavens that all my hair is in the right place. No back or shoulder dreads. Nothing gross like that. But sheesh. You remember that scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin? The one where they waxed Steve Carell’s character? Yeah, that’d be me.

2) My vast knowledge of pop culture and everything that surrounds it

I have a brain. Sometimes I use it for good. But most of the time I am thinking about the top music hits of 1993. Or reciting every single line from the movie Friday. Or thinking about how cool Hypercolor shirts still are and where I could go out and buy one. Or how Can’t Hardly Wait is one of the best movies ever. Or how I should have won the lead role in Varsity Blues over James Van Der Beek. Or wishing Dr. Dre would call me and we could finally produce my debut rap album. See? COMPLETELY useless mind I have. This goes on all day long. Well, until someone waves something shiny in my face.

3) My ability to white man dance like no other

The Roger Rabbit? Check. The Running Man? Check. White man’s overbite? Double check. No, scratch that. TRIPLE CHECK. Respect these skills, folks. Respect.

4) My immunity to all things tequila

I’ve never met a tequila I didn’t like. (On second thought, that does not include Tila Tequila. Y’all can keep that shit.) Hell, I even love tequila’s bastard cousin mezcal. I like the expensive ones, but will drink them as dirty as they come. Just throw a little dirt and cigarette ashes into my shot for good measure.

5) My love for shitty and truly disastrous television

Not only do I subject myself to hours and hours of television that nobody in their right mind would watch, I rather enjoy it. Shows like 90210 (yes, the new one), America’s Next Top Model, and anything with Bret Michaels boning chicks left and right. I love this shit. It’s soothing to my soul. All I have to do is watch an episode of Celebrity Rehab and I feel brand new again.

So, the next time you see me dancing shirtless with a shot of tequila in my hand all while spewing out random pop culture tidbits and watching shitty television at the same time, be sure you compliment me. For fuck’s sake, I’m dying over here!

30 Days Of Truth: Day Ten

16 Nov

Day 10- Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I see him everyday. I know his exact location at any given moment. He’s always there. Never more than an arm’s length away. Always waiting for an opportunity to pounce, lurking in the shadows as I check to see what’s behind me.  Everywhere I go, I hear his voice. At times, he gets so close, I can smell him.

This room should be quiet. It’s dark and cold, just the way I like it. I crave to be alone for once. But there he is. I can hear the muffled sounds and bass of his voice resonate through the pillow I have clutched on top of my head to protect me. If I can just make it to the bathroom without him seeing me, I’ll be safe. With two feet planted firmly on the floor, I slowly attempt to make my way to the door. The floor creaks under the weight of my heavy limbs. As I flip on the light, I knew I was too late. He was waiting for me. There would be no escaping today.

There in the mirror, he copied my every move. Each stroke of the toothbrush, each wipe of the washcloth. He even mimicked the way I spit. He has been watching me for almost thirty years now. He has my routine down to a science. In fact, he even laid a change of clothes out for me the night before. He even had all my prescriptions place neatly on the counter for me.

As the minutes tick by, I hear his rants getting louder and louder. I try my damnedest to just ignore him, but it’s impossible. His words grate on my mind. His looks make my skin crawl. So disapproving, so much second guessing. I slam my hands over my ears to try to deafen his words, but it only makes it worse. He knows I am trying to ignore him. This pisses him off to no end.

I flip the lights on and off hoping that by the time the darkness gives way to light, he’ll be gone. My rational mind screams at me for even entertaining these silly ideas. At this point though, I’ll try anything. The mirror never lies. The reflection is harsh and unapologetically truthful. I need to let him go. In fact, he needs to fuck off. He needs to fade away and just let me be me.

Standing there, looking in the mirror, the truth hurts. I collect my thoughts, regain my composure, and walk out the door. Tomorrow will be different. When I flip the lights on and look in the mirror, he’ll be gone. Well, that’s what I tell him anyway.

30 Days Of Truth: Day Eleven

15 Nov

Day 11- Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

I can see you wipe the tears from your face as they run down your cheeks and onto your lips. But for once, you aren’t sad or even angry with me. It’s hard for you to catch your breath as the tears completely distort your vision. Through labored breaths, your chest and abs scream out in pain. It’s the good kind of pain though. The kind of hurt you would gladly take any day. It’s been awhile since I have seen you like this. Truly a nostalgic time warp back to simpler times.

The sound radiating from your mouth fills me with great joy. You’re laughing. I can hear it with my own two ears. Not just a little chuckle either. No, this is one of those giant belly laughs. The kind that involve every muscle in your body. Every neuron in your mind fires with happiness. As the sound of your laugh carries through this empty house, I know I have done my job. I don’t need to search for proof. It’s there right in front of my face. No guessing the emotion coming from your mind. No faking, no charades. This moment is as real as the smile that graces your lips.

I know this moment will fade as fast as it came on. Gone will be that smile, those tears of happiness. The harsh realities of the world will come crashing down on top of us. But as we sit here on this couch, I’m concentrating on hearing and feeling this happen right before me.  My mind refuses to allow anything else in. I’m frozen in that very moment.

You were laughing.

I was laughing.

And for that one second, nothing else mattered.


And Elsewhere

12 Nov

Well, another week has flown by. As usual, I have been super busy whoring myself all over the internets for your reading pleasure. Don’t believe me? I have proof!

This week at MamaPop:

Tuesday’s Post: HIMYM Season Six Recap: Episode 8 “Natural History”

Thursday’s Post: ANTM Cycle 15 Recap: Episode 10 “Kyle Hagler”

This week at Draft Day Suit:

Friday’s Post: Zack Greinke To The Blue Jays? Say It Ain’t So!

Baldwin City v2.0

12 Nov

My second shoot in Baldwin City at the Baker University campus. I had the privilege of photographing a good friend of mine and her beautiful family. Come take a look see at what I saw through my lens.

On to the Flickr Machine!

And the Facebook Machine!

30 Days Of Truth: Day Nine

10 Nov

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

After she lifted the last heavy box onto the bed of the U-Haul truck, I felt my mother’s cool hands on my face. The Midwestern heat and humidity were relentlessness and ultimately unforgiving. I could see a constant stream of sweat trickle down my forehead and onto the backside of her hands as I struggled to catch my breath. My lungs struggled as I tried to inhale the hot, damp summertime air. “This is going to be an awesome thing for us.”, she said unwaveringly. At this point I had already resigned to the fact we were moving again. We were truly a nomadic family of three. We went where the rent was the cheapest and the luxuries pretty much nonexistent. This time was different though. We had actually managed to buy a house. No more apartments. No more duplexes. Another new beginning, a way to restart.

I knew my mother was elated. I could sense the hurry and eagerness as I saw her open the van door. As happy as I was for her, I was crushed. I mean, I was so used to moving. I knew that we had overstayed our typical welcome in this particular place. Still, I had spent the last 3 years of my very young life accumulating, what I thought, was the best group of friends a boy could have. Filled with sorrow, I rattled off at least 20 people I was sure I couldn’t live without seeing the next day.

“But, but mom!”, I cried. “Can’t we just stay one more year? At least let me finish middle school here.” “I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to (insert random person here).” By this point, I had done everything within my power to sway her decision. No matter how much I begged, pleaded, and bargained, the move was happening. Defeated, I pull myself up into the van and plopped down onto the searing hot vinyl bench seat.

Lost in thought and selfish sadness, I heard the dull roar of the diesel engine fire up as my mom turned the key. As quickly as she shifted from park to drive, my life was changing. A new house, a new school, and all new friends. I can still remember the view from the rear view mirror like it was yesterday. I never wanted to leave that place, but it was time for us to go. I didn’t want to let go of everything I knew. But as fast as that U-Haul van could take me, I just drifted away.

The Baldwin City Adventures

9 Nov

A few weeks ago, I spent a day shooting a few families at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. The campus is absolutely beautiful around this time of year and a wonderful backdrop for family portraits. Come take a gander at what we got into.

Wanna see on Flickr?

How about Facebook?

30 Days Of Truth: Day Eight

8 Nov

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

As I sit at this table surrounded by the other kids, I can feel their stares burning into my skin. Surely their whispers and giggles are directed at me. My face starts to boil as my blood pressure skyrockets. With multicolored construction paper and Elmer’s Glue-All in my hand, my mind starts to wander. What did I do? Why are they laughing at me? It must be this shirt I’m wearing. I told my mom it was too tight. I can feel the tag underneath my shirt digging into my skin. As my body temperature rises, my shirt feels like sandpaper against my skin. With tears welling up in my weary eyes, I can see the teacher approaching me. Her grin mocks me as I sink further into my chair. Why is she laughing too? Did the other kids tell her about my shirt? As her cool hand brushed against my shoulder, I heard her speak.

“Good job, TJ. Very nice!”

“Huh? What? I’m doing a good job?” With a puzzled tone to my five year old voice, I blurted these things out to her.

“How can this be? The other kids were laughing at me. I could hear the whispers in the background. I could see you laughing at me as well.”

I could feel her hand grip my shoulder tightly. As she bent down to make eye contact with me, my mind started to race. This was it. I was in trouble. She didn’t think I was doing a good job at all. In fact, she rather hated me. With tears streaming down my face with an unapologetic flow, I could feel the point where her eyes met mine.

“I think that’s all in your head, sweetheart.”

She spoke with a motherly and calming tone. Her words were absolute and confusing to the five year old mind. What does she mean? All in my head? As I wiped the tears from my cheeks and buried myself into the art project at hand, my mind began to race. Lost in thought, I went the rest of the day trying to wrap exactly what she said around my head.

They say you learn all you need to know in life in kindergarten. All the social skills and tricks of the trade are learned and imprinted into your mind the very first year of school. I didn’t know it at the time, but I learned more about myself on the first day of kindergarten than I would learn in the next 15 years. The darkness of my own mind far outweighs what anyone else could ever do to me. I alone can make my life a living hell. My own mind has the ability to belittle, cast doubt, and make up an alternate reality at the same time. The loathing, the worry, and second guessing are all my own doing.

Even today, I fully understand that I am truly my own worst enemy. There isn’t a soul on this Earth that could inflict hell on me like I already do to myself. I would love to think I have changed, that I am a better person for learning this about myself at such an early age. The truth? I’m still that little boy sitting at the table full of kids. I’m still wondering what they are laughing at, still wondering why they are whispering about me.

And Elsewhere

5 Nov

Links make the world go ’round. I who am I to stop the world from rotating? So, in the interest of planetary safety, I give you the links!

This week at MamaPop:

Tuesday’s Post: HIMYM Season Six Recap: Episode 7 “Canning Randy”

Thursday’s Post: ANTM Cycle 15 Recap: Episode 9 “Margherita Missoni


This week at Draft Day Suit:

Friday’s Post: National Title For Mizzou? It Will Never Happen





And I was very lucky to land on Schmutzie’s Five Star Friday list this week for a personal post. A very good week indeed!

Check out Five Star Friday:

Five Star Friday’s 125th Edition Is Brought To You By John Milton






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