Friday, September 21, 2007

7.4 - The Man 1, Adam 0

Sad news, especially for Zaak.

So on Monday, my CafePress store burned to the ground (i.e., I deleted the entire thing by mistake). That tragedy was offset by the fact that I uploaded some sweet new designs (see below).

Tuesday, a.k.a. the VERY NEXT FREAKING DAY, I received an e-mail from CafePress admin informing me that a bunch of my content had been removed because it violated their Content Usage Policy. Which they call a CUP.

If Monday was a fire, Tuesday felt like arson.

So apparently I violated their CUP multiple times. I re-reviewed their CUP, and think they were interpreting their own satire and parody rules a bit harshly, but anyway. It's their CUP, so....

Basically Zaak and I are being shipped off to Guantanamo for trying one up the Home Depot.

I'll admit I'm a little bummed. But I will rise again, like an anarchist phoenix, rising from the arsons ashes!

(BTW: the other logos they deleted said "Banana Republican" and "Abercrombian Bitch".)

Monday, September 17, 2007

7.3 - Two steps forward, three steps back...


So today, I'm home sick from work and decided to spend some time on Cafepress. I was updating my shop and I.....


Oh man. Sick to my stomach. You have no idea......

On the upside, I did upload two new designs.

The first is a design that Zaak flat out gave to me. So Zaak, when I make a million off it, I'll take you out for tacos, or something.

Brilliant, huh?

The second is a design of my own, directly inspired by Zaak's.

Whaddaya think?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

7.2 - New Premium Shop!

So I finally did it. I've opened a Premium Shop on Cafepress.

Head on over to Civiliezation and tell me what you think.

(It's a work in progress, by the way, so I'm going to leave this Thing active until I feel like I've got most of the kinks worked out and the shop is set up just how I want it.)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Humble, Embarassed, Tail-Between-The-Legs, Belated, Three-Part Welcome.......

I haven't posted in a while, blah blah, excuses. So busy with blahdey blah blah blooh, and the HUGE blah headaches blah blah explosions!

Seriously. How much blah blah blah apology, and blah forgive me blah blah blah can one guy take? I mean blah and blanh and blodadedo. DAMN REPUBLICANS! Right?

So, now that that is out of the way, some minor maintenance is in order.

This is a triple welcome.

First to Zaak, who through his blogs alone is quickly becoming one of my "ten favorite people that I just barely know and only met once".

For you, a picture by Banksy, a British Anarchist graffiti artist:

(That's graffiti he did on the Security wall in the West Bank. Yes, I know it's awesome. Viva la Rev.)

Welcome Zaak!

Which brings us to Kelsie.

I don't know Kelsie. Petra knows Kelsie. But Kelsie has a cool 5things blog, and that makes her okay in my book!

Welcome to 5thingsing Kelsie. Here's a photo inspired by your Things:

And lastly to Bob. Bob's a good college bud o' mine. We were in Improv together. One of Bob's Things is to put a video on YouTube, which I can't wait for! In the interim, here's a video from YouTube, just for YouBob:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

7.1 - Cafepress

Early in the summer I stumbled on a website called Cafepress that lets you design t-shirts, stickers and a few other things, and then sell those things online.

I've gotten a huge kick out of designing stuff for my little free shop, but now I've decided it's time to step it up a notch, and fork over the bucks for a premium shop. This will allow me to have a lot more freedom with the shop's look/layout and also allow me to carry more items.

Obligatory fair warning: my shop is a political shop called "Civiliezation" and is not intended for the Republican-at-heart. And if you happen to be Republican-at-heart, rest assured that I can take the hits as well as deal them out, and Jesus still loves you.


You've been warned. Now check out my shop!

So Thing #7 is: Take my free Cafepress shop, spruce up my designs, add a few new ones, and then open a premium shop!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

6.2 - Done

No, contrary to appearances, it did not take me nearly a week to clear my key chain. (That would be even lamer than the fact that I have to tell the whole world about my keys just to get up the drive to organize them.)

Regardless, it's done now. My pocket is much happier, although I freak out every half hour or so, thinking I've lost my keys because they are now so light I can't feel them.

Thing 6 done, magic #7 to be posted by the weekend...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

6.1 - My Keys

I have too many keys.

Petra says so, my friends say so, strangers say so, the pain in my lopsided spine says so.

I'm a door hardware installer by trade, and I have keys on this chain for locks that no longer exist, for cars that we no longer own, for all sorts of stuff that I can't even remember. (That jagged black key is a super, door-ninja key, by the way...)

Thing 6? Clean up my messy key chain, changing it into a svelt keychain wonder.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

1.12 - Done


That's 4,224 pages of Potter in 64 days, folks. 66 pages a day. Not half bad.

And, I would highly recommend the series. It got better and better and the ending was great. Thumbs up!

Thing 1 DONE!

New thing tomorrow!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

1.11 - 6 down, and a midnight party...

Bring out the NERDS!

Last night Petra and I went to the midnight release party for Harry Potter, book 7. I wasn't real stoked about standing in line for hours and hours in the middle of the night, but Petra convinced me to give it a whirl. Our timing couldn't have been more perfect.

We opened the doors and, I kid you not, the lady over the loud-speaker said "Okay! 10-9-8-7..." It was like they were waiting for us.

There were gobs of people. (The cars filled four parking lots! That little square of light is the store in the distance.) We walked into Barnes and Noble to find it packed with capes and pointy hats. I almost said "Let's just come tomorrow, we'll be here forever," but instead went over the to desk to sign in. There were two types of wristbands, yellow and blue, which were labeled A-Z. They were starting with yellow A's. I gave my name to the lady, she found me on the list and went to grab a section of blue S bands, when (magically??) some papers shifted and there were about 4 or 5 yellow I's, just sitting there. "Huh! Lucky you!," she said.

We were in like Flinn. By 12:30 I had my book and we were on our way home, with literally hundreds of people (who had been there for hours, by the looks of it) still in line behind us.

Don't feel too bad for them though. Everyone seemed like they had been having a blast hanging out, getting all hopped up on Starbucks!
On the way home, we almost got into an accident, and I swear to you it was because no these two cars both had drivers trying to seek a read at the books in there laps... I wonder how many wrecks there were last night because people were trying to read Harry Potter on the way home!

So I woke up this morning and polished off the last few pages of Book 6! On to the end!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

1.10 - Oh Maaaaaan!

I apologize in advance for this innuendo, but when you're in the gutter, you're in the gutter and might as well roll around a bit...

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, page 321 (This one is better without context...)

"I'm his Head of House, and I shall decide how hard, or otherwise, to be," said Snape curtly. "Follow me Draco."

Oh man!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Welcome Adam!

My good friend Adam F. finally succumbed to massive peer pressures and started his own 5things blog, and with his presence our cool rating has grown by 87%. He doesn't have any Things posted yet, so swing by and give him a hard time.

Welcome Adam! The world of 5thingsing is better dressed because you are in it!

You have no Things to inspire a picture, so here's one for no reason at all:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

1.9 - 5 Down

Another one bites the dust!

I finished book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, yesterday morning, and moved immediately on to book 6, Half-Blood Prince, which Petra kindly picked up for me at Auntie's. (Leaving us with an all-time low of $0.19 in trade-in credit. Seriously.) Which means...

I am officially going to make it! I wasn't sure for a while there at the beginning. It seemed like a daunting task, but I've had some free nights here and there, so it looks like I should easily finish the first six books by July 21, when book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits shelves. (Which makes up for my aforebemoaned Potterless decade, and makes me a registered Harry Potter bad-ass.)

While I'm on this note, I need to lay out a brief mea culpa. This blog was not intended to be a Harry Potter blog, and I know I've been heavy on the Potter Posts. I just really wanted to finish the first 6 before number 7, so that I would be in no (zero, zip, nada) danger of hearing something about how the whole series wraps up, and doing so has left little free time to spare.

Once this Thing is wrapped however, I'll be spreading the 5things love a bit more evenly. Promise.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

1.8 - Innuendo Againdo

I never found good innuendos in books 3 or 4, but book 5 makes up for that in a big way...

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, pg. 242
(The students in Defense Against the Dark Arts are arguing with their teacher about the fairness of a particular policy...)

"We're not going to use magic?" Ron ejaculated loudly.

Oh man!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Welcome Scribe!

Yet another blogger has succumbed to 5things mania!

Surrendered Scribe, who joins our ranks via Kat, posted her 5things this week, and is already encouraging readers to think of their own five things. Way to spread the word, Scribe!

In honor of your 5th thing, I give you a little inspiration for brightening up that room...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

1.7 - Four Down

I finished The Goblet of Fire over the weekend, and it is by far my favorite of the four I have read. Really, really good actually. I was surprised to learn that it won the Hugo Award in 2001, but after reading it, I can see why. Quite wonderfully crafted. I only hope the rest of the series is as good...

On to Order of the Phoenix!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Welcome Kat!

We have another 5things blogger!

Kat, from South Florida.

Kat has the distinction of being the first 5thingser that I do not personally know. Which makes me stoked out of my mind, because I have been not-so-secretly hoping that this whole thing wasn't just my friends all nodding and smiling so that I would stay on my medication.

So welcome Kat! You are my vindication!

(unintentional medication-vindication rhyme duly noted)

Here's a picture in honor of your Thing #4, "go an entire day without getting frustrated", which might be impossible, even for the smallest of us...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

1.6 - Three Down

Well, Harry and the gang survived another adventure, but I almost didn't make it this time...woo! Tense.

Loving the books. On to The (gargantuan) Goblet of Fire.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Welcome Heather!

After much prodding and heckling from Joel, Heather has finally come down with the 5things flu and started her own blog.

"The Heather", you ask? "Yes," I reply, in a very deep and gravely voice. "The Heather."

Now technically she has started a 4things blog, but we have very loose standards in this little cult of ours, and I'm sure that we'll all head over to Heather's Five and flood her with helpful suggestions.

Because we care like that.

So welcome Heather! We are all looking forward to your 4 Things! Good luck and keep us posted!

In honor of your second thing, I give you this picture of how I usually feel when I go clothes shopping:

Have fun!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

1.5 - Candy Mountain, Charlie!

My friend Casey gave me this sweet bookmark because he knows that I, quote, "like to read, and it made me think of you."

Thanks, Casey.

This bookmark will, henceforth, be the official bookmark of Thing #1, and will accompany Harry Potter through his last five years at Hogwarts. And really, a magic unicorn might come in handy for Mr. Potter...

In the meantime, I think I will name my bookmark 'Charlie', in honor of the following awesomeness:

P.S. - If any of you know Casey, swing by his blog and tell him to get his 5things online...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

3.1 - All the Beautiful People

I've been making headway on my 6 Degrees card game. Basically that means compiling a huge list of Actors and Actresses that I think would be fun to play the game with. My goal is to get 200 really good names, where 'really good' means that a fairly knowledgeable movie buff could look at any card and name at least two movies the person had been in and at least one co-star from each movie.

I've spent two long evenings on the IMDB, and have a list of 201 names, but I'm not happy with about 40 of them, so here's where y'all come in.

Do me a favor, and post the first ten names of actors/actresses that you can think of, off the top of your head. Hopefully you'll think of some obvious ones that I don't have yet...


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Welcome Lu!

Yet another citizen expatriates to 5thingsistan!

Behold, Lu!

Welcome Lu, to our simple, yet sinister secret society. It's so satisfying to have you join us. Such a small sector of the social scene we still seem, say some, yet soon such nay-sayers shall succumb to our sweet sophistries. Thanks, in part, to you!

With you in our ranks, nothing will stop our total, global domination. Now that you have joined us, we are, at the very least, more literate!

In honor of your arrival to our mental land, and in honor of your 5th thing, I toast you with a glass of Centlivre!

Happy 5thingsing!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ohio Conquered in the Name of 5thingsing

So, the Ohio campaign has gone well.

We hereby open-armedly welcome my friend and fellow thespian Bradley to our hallowed ranks, and initiate him into our mysteries as the very latest 5things blogger. And a worthy addition he is.

Welcome Bradley! Our mysteries are all the more mysterious because of you! You do us great honor!

In honor of your first thing, I dedicate this picture to you:

Go forth and Thing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

1.4 - Two Down

The Chamber of Secrets is closed again and Hogwarts appears safe.

For now......!

Two down, 5 to go. On to book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Welcome Joel!

My friend Joel, Master of Pianos, Master of Set (the card game, not the Egyptian god) and recent Masters grad of UC Berkeley started a 5things blog of his very own!

Congratulations on being an early adopter, Joel! You were here at the beginning!

To celebrate your new 5things blog, and in double honor of graduating, and performing thing #4 (which will take place in California), I give you this picture of Oski!

Have fun 5thingsing!

p.s. - please click the Egyptian god link....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sweeping The Nation

I'd like to welcome my sister Lindsey to the 5things network!

In honor of her third thing, I have posted this picture.

So, welcome Lindsey. We all are especially looking forward to your first round of golf.

If anyone else out there in the blogosphere starts a 5things blog, be sure to let me know. I'll write you up here, and hook you up with a fun picture (100% stolen from the internet) that is somehow connected to your 5things.

Have fun!

Thing #1: Innuendo of The Week 2

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page 193.

(The students are attending a 'dueling' class, taught by Lockhart and Snape.)

"Now Harry," said Lockhart. "When Draco points his wand at you, you do this."

He raised his own wand, attempted a complicated sort of wiggling action, and dropped it. Snape smirked as Lockhart quickly picked it up, saying, "Whoops - my wand is a little over-excited-"

Oh man!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Thing #3: Kevin Bacon

I don't remember the first time I heard of the movie nerd game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. (If you've never heard of it, check out the above-linked Wikipedia article for a nice overview.) It didn't take long, however, for my sister Lindsey and I to change the game to something simpler and more stream-lined that we simply called Six Degrees.

It works like this:

Two players each silently choose an actor or an actress. Then they say them out loud. The goal is to connect Actor A to Actor B, through their costars, in six degrees or less.
In other words: A was in movie 1 with C, who was in 2 with D, who was in 3 with E, who starred in 4 with F, who was terrible in 5 with G, who made me cry in 6 with B.

Make sense? The rules are very flexible. The point is just to have fun, and if you are a big movie nerd, it's hard to have more fun than this. My wife Petra loves the game, and frequently kicks my ass.


Thing #3: Design a card game based on the Six Degrees concept.

Here are a couple of links you might enjoy if you get a kick out of the whole Six Degrees thing.

The IMDB - The ultimate movie nerd resource.
The Oracle of Bacon - This site is awesome, but kind of ruins Six Degrees

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

World Domination

I have a very exciting announcement to make, regarding my desire to conquer the entire world.

My wife, Petra, has started her own 5things blog.

Stop by and check her out.

Err. Stop by and check her blog out...

I've added a bar on the left where you can find a link to Petra's Five. Also, if you get inspired and start a 5things blog, drop me a note so I can link to it.

Thing #1: One Down

I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone last night while waiting for Petra at our acupuncturist.

I immediately carved a lightning bolt shaped scar into my forehead.

Then we went to Auntie's Bookstore and grabbed books two and three.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Thing #2: 8

I talked to Tim briefly on my way home from work today. (He's good, by the way.) Besides a lightning fast discussion about the impact of the internet on socio-cultural evolution (really...), we came to a decision on which poem from the Tao Te Ching to translate.

Poem 8.
The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

Translated by S. Mitchell

This is a very good place to start, as it's one of the first poems that really jumped out at me. Water imagery is very prominent throughout the work, and is something that has significantly influenced how I understand the Tao.

You should check out the Mitchell translation, (which I hope is posted legally). It's a nice translation, particularly if you've never encountered Taoism before.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

1.1-Innuendo of The Week

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Page 83.

(Hagrid and Harry are in Ollivander's, discussing the lengths of peoples 'wands'.)

(Mr. Ollivander) shook his head and then, to Harry's relief, spotted Hagrid.

"Rubeus! Rubeus Hagrid! How nice to see you again...Oak, sixteen inches, rather bendy, wasn't it?"

"It was, sir, yes," said Hagrid.

Oh man!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Thing #2: That was Zen, This is Tao

My first copy of Tao Te Ching was a Shambhala pocket edition, translated by John C. H. Wu. For almost three years that very copy never left my pocket. The picture to the left is what it looks like now.

Nice, huh? Much loved, much read, much beat up.

It wasn't long after I first got interested in Taoism that my friend Tim became interested as well, spawning years of great conversation between the two of us.

Almost since the beginning we've talked about doing our own translation of the Tao Te Ching. Now, 'translation' is a pretty loose term here, as neither of us are Chinese scholars. Rather this would be more of a 'poetic interpretation'. (Oooh. Fancy.) Our pipe dream has always been to create a version of the Tao Te Ching that was accessible without being fluffy and mystical without being abstruse. (12 points for using the word abstruse.)

But, translating the entire Tao Te Ching seems a bit daunting. As Lao Tzu himself said, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."


Thing #2: Pick a poem from the Tao Te Ching to 'translate' with Tim, and see if the bigger project is doable.

Now all we have to do is decide on a poem. Easier said than done...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thing #1: Harry Who?

In June of 1997 I had just graduated from high school, and was preparing to start college in the fall. Meanwhile, across the pond in the good 'ol U. of K., a little book by the name of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was being published by Bloomsbury.

For nearly ten years now I've encountered Master Potter everywhere I've turned. Everything from fiery, anti-Potter sermons to college friends completely absorbed in the tales and raving about them with child-like glee. I've bumped into Harry everywhere except my own library.

This July, a decade and a month since the release of book one, the seventh and final Harry Potter novel hits shelves. Harry turns 18 and hordes of salivating teens and 30-year-old pimpled men in capes are sure to descend on every bookstore in the world.

I hope to be one of them.

Thing #1: read all seven Harry Potter novels, and figure out what the hell I've been missing for 10 years.

I started today. (And already like Dumbledore a whole lot...)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My First Five Things

The first five things on my whim-list are as follows:

1. Read all 7 Harry Potter novels.
2. Translate a poem from the Tao Te Ching.
3. Design a card game.
4. Learn to make a killer omelet.
5. Memorize the words to Weezer's blue album.

In the future I'll be adding things one at a time, as I finish whims already on the list. I'll also keep a sidebar of my current Five Things.

And I'll be keep this site updated on my progress!

My Next Five Things

I had a very big realization the other day.

For most of my life I've operated under the assumption that, if I wanted to be Happy-with-a-capital-H, I had to be something. I had to have an occupation or a hobby that defined who I was. (I am an actor, I am a carpenter, I am a hopeless sci-fi geek.)

Looking back over my life, I realized that the things that had brought me the most long-term fulfillment were not the big, goal-oriented, ego-driven things, but rather the small things. The chance encounter, the unexpected relationship, the time I locked myself in my room and didn't come out until I knew how to juggle.

So I've decided to run a little experiment on myself. What if, for the next little while, I stopped putting pressure on myself to achieve "big things", to "be somebody" and instead concentrated on following my little impulses. What if I chased down my whims and found out what was on the other side of them?

What if I stopped trying to "be somebody" and instead started fully being what I already am, right this minute?

So here it is. For the next few months, I'm going to pick five of my current whims and follow them through. Each time I'm done with one, I'll replace it with another.

These won't be the big things in my life, like "build an eco-friendly home" or "travel around the world", at least not right away. Instead these will just be the next things in my life.

My Next Five Things, if you will.

I hope you enjoy!