12

The One Thing That Makes Me Anxious as a Wedding Guest…

This year has been the year of wedding bells. No, I am NOT getting married…yet. Lol! But after only attending a handful of weddings as a kid, this year my boyfriend and I were invited to FOUR weddings, all in the summer months!

Now of course as a girl there are so many things I love about being invited to a wedding. The amazing venues, the food, the wedding dress, the music…I could go on and on. But there is one thing that I have grown to hate so much that even thinking about it gives me anxiety. No it is not the gift, not it is not the wedding shower, no it is not the ceremony…it is the reply card!

Yes you read that right. I actually get anxiety about Wedding Reply cards!

Okay, before you spit out your coffee laughing hear me out…

I come from a generation where technology rules. I have sat in front of a computer screen for as long as I can remember. As a child I sat on my Father’s lap playing with the computer, as I got older Facebook was introduced, and now my cell phone is basically a pocket computer.

Snail mail has become almost obsolete in my world. If I want to say thank you for a present, I text the person. If I want to send a Happy Birthday card, I craft a sweet picture post on Facebook. If I want to invite people to a party I create a Facebook event and maybe even do up a mail chimp e-vite.

Snail mail has become a place for junk. Credit card offers I don’t want, ads to stores I don’t go to. Bills that were paid online two weeks, and other various pieces of mail for tenants of the past.

Because of this, I RARELY even check the mail. When I do it is generally because I have noticed the mail box is overflowing and I feel genuinely bad for the mailman. I realize it is his job to stuff every piece of junk with my address on it in my box. Full or not. So when I notice it is full I clear it out.

Oh and one more thing, I live in an apartment complex. So more often than not, my mail gets placed in the WRONG mailbox. So often I don’t see the mail that comes to me!

All of these factors combined means that I am highly unlikely to see that dreaded reply card when it comes to me. But if I do see it…getting it mailed is still quite a process.

Since snail mail has become a non-thing in my household stamps are basically an antique. Those are pretty square pictures people keep in a collection to tell future generations about the olden days. Stamps however are not household necessities. So if the reply card does not include a stamp, I must steal one from someone else. This in itself can be a process since many people like me do not keep stamps anymore.

But lets say for this post’s sake that I find a stamp or the sender was kind enough to include one.

Now I have to mail the reply card back. Obstacle one, I don’t pass a mailbox or post office on my way to work AT ALL. Obstacle two, my mailman is so used to my mailbox being full he never looks for outgoing mail. Obstacle three, while I am trying to deal with one and two, the reply card gets lost.

Can you see now why this might cause me anxiety?!?!

Now I do understand that this is the proper way to do things. And I do even see the sentimental value in it. But as a guest of multiple weddings this year I am happy to have my last reply card sent and gone.

As for my future wedding? There will be no reply cards. On the invite will be my email address to respond with your dinner choice and number of attendees.

Done and done!

14

iBullshit!

I will be the first to admit that I grew up in the technology age. My dad was a computer programmer so I was blessed to have all the latest technology as it came out. One of my oldest memories is being only a few years old, sitting on my dad’s lap playing with Paint on the computer. I was a tech kid. And I am proud of it.

As I grew up my obsession extended to phones and even iPod. I wanted the latest and greatest tech device to keep up with the times. But the thing was, technology was advancing with me. Cell phones really didn’t become huge until I was a teenager. The iPod really didn’t make a huge splash on the scene until I was in my late teens. These were all acceptable ages to have these devices.

Children growing up now are faced with a hard problem. Technology is everywhere and whether they are ready for it or not they will come in to contact with it. The problem is, the manufacturers are really taking advantage of this fact and they are coming up with ridiculous inventions that should just not exist.

The one that got me on this rant is the iPotty. Basically it is a potty with a spot to allow an iPod to be used while on the potty. I think the idea here is to make going potty fun. But seriously?! Kids need to learn this skill whether it is fun or not. We all have done it just fine without the high tech potty’s. I think we need to keep the electronics out of the bathroom!

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Then there is the apptivity seat. Basically it is a bouncy chair made to be used with…you guessed it…an ipad. The bouncy seat was meant to keep kids entertained and in one spot. Now adding an iPad makes it so kids will never be able to entertain themselves. They will always be reliant on electronic devices. This to me is absurd and really needs to be nipped in the bud.

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The article that really lays these absurd toys out can be found here.

The last electronic device I want to gripe about is the Hapifork. Basically it nags you while you eat. So basically we can’t go potty, entertain ourselves or eat without the help of electronic devices.

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Will we soon get an electronic device to wipe our bums for us too?

All I think when I hear about these devices is iBullshit! What about you? Do you think these gadgets are good ideas or complete iBullshit?

19

Facebook for Dogs?

So the other day I came across an interesting statistic: 10 % of Facebook users are non human. This got me to thinking if they are not human what are they? I wracked my brain thinking of all the crazy things on Facebook and I have come up with the top 3 funniest non- human Facebook profile types I have encountered:

3) Toasters- Yes you read that right Toasters. At first I thought it was a fan page (because I mean seriously who does not love toasters) but no my friends it is an actual page for a toaster. This isn’t even a page for the Brave Little Toaster, if it was I would friend him. Who wouldnt want to be his friend? Nope this is a Toaster. Plain and simple. And from the looks of his wall posts this Toaster seems to enjoy art work. So whats next does the Fridge get a Facebook page too?

Wanna be my friend?

2) Facebook Parody Pages- these pages range from making fun of Barack Obama to making fun of Satan himself. Now I classify these as “non human” because he person whose name is attached to these pages are in no way affiliated with said pages. Thus, it is not a page for an individual or a human.

1) Pets! Now Don’t get me wrong here my dog is my absolute best friend. However, the last time I checked she did not have opposable thumbs so there is no way she is updating her Facebook status! Many of the pages are very cute with pictures and stuff but the image of seeing my pooch at the computer typing to her friends is one I really can’t quite get out of my head.

 

This begs the question though. What other bizzare non-human Facebook pages have you come across bloggers?

 

4

Chompers 3-D

One thing I absolutely love about blogging is the ability to talk with up and coming artists. Exploring the internet I came across one of the most interesting movie ideas I have ever seen. I came across this website: http://www.chompers3d.com/#!home/mainPage, which advertises the movie Chomper’s 3-D.

This movie had me captivated before I even began watching the trailer. For one the idea of using puppets really intrigued me. When I think of puppets I think of Kermit the Frog. I relate them to happy childhood memories. Much like a little kid singing “ring around the rosie” in a horror flick inflicts a sudden uneasiness- puppets being attacked in a horror film really made me uneasy- in a good way :). I got a chance to catch up with the creator of this awesome film, Jesse Blanchard, to ask him a few questions about this awesome project:

To start off with- can you provide a brief biography of yourself?

I am a self-taught filmmaker. I started making movies about ten years ago. Just picking up a camera and a Final Cut Pro manual. Since then, I’ve made 50 shorts films which have played Cannes, been picked up by George Romero and Dimensions Films, and designed and patented my own 3D camera system.

Why puppets?

Desperation. That’s really the answer. I realized I would never get the 10 million dollars I would need to make Chompers 3D. I also don’t like CGI so I knew that the monster would be a puppet which is standard in horror movies. From there, it wasn’t much of a leap to say that everyone would be puppets. That way, I had a decent shot of making the movie the way it was in my head. Of course, at that point I had never worked with puppets. So, it was really a leap into the dark.

Why 3-D?

Job security, to get my work seen, and fun.

What inspired this particular monster?

The very first Chompers script was called ‘Re-make: The Movie’ and it was about these guys hired to re-make a ‘classic’ horror film. I created Chompers as the mash-up of Jaws, Critters, The Thing and a bunch of other horror monster to be the fake ‘classic monster’ of that movie’s universe. But in writing the script, I realized I would rather just make the monster movie and forget all the behind-the-scenes crap.

What characters other than the monster will make an appearance in this film? How were they inspired?

Brooklyn is the main character. She’s great. She’s not your typical leading lady. She’s overweight, not particularly attractive, and very physical. She’s not even particularly smart. But she has a great heart and a wicked, black sense of humor. I just really love her character. There’s also a Land Lady who looses 15 or her seventeen cats to Chompers and an apartment super that opens his mail with a katana.


How long has this production been in the works? How many people are involved?

I first got the idea for Chompers probably four years ago. It’s been moving slowly forward ever since. At this point, I have a core crew of 4-5 people.

Any use of puppetry of this style instantly invokes the most well-known name in the genre – Jim Henson. What influences did his work have on yours?

A ton. Who doesn’t love the Dark Crystal. But beyond that, you know, Kermit the Frog is one of the simplest puppets. His eyes don’t move or blink, he’s not that much more complicated than a green sock with some buttons. And yet, it feels like I’m insulting a good friend just writing that. Jim Henson did so much to inspire me, it’s really impossible to even articulate it all. But one of the most profound impacts he had on me was setting an example for how much you can do with so little. How you can bring something to life with the simplest of forms. The puppets in Chompers are not a joke. These are real characters going through real situations, they just happen to be puppets. Just like Kermit.

One of the tag lines used on the website is “the most fun since Meet The Feebles”.  That film obviously drew it’s inspiration from Jim Henson’s the Muppet Show – it was a direct parody, in fact.  I believe ‘Feebles’ was the feature directorial debut of Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings). Could you see yourself making the jump from uber-crude puppet snuff flicks to sweeping big budget epics? What kind of movies would you like to make later in your career?

Absolutely. In fact, the next movie that I want to do is a hybrid of the two. It’s the tale of a group of warriors from a village who must take their beloved leader far from the tribe and execute him because he’s become infected with a deadly virus that will otherwise spread. His son is on the journey and comes of age as his father descends from leadership into madness. I would love to do this film with actors because the connection would be so immediate.

The 80’s and 90’s were rife with camp/horror films. What comedy horror films influenced Chomper? What were your first viewing experiences in this genre?

Gremlins. Alien & Aliens. Evil Dead because I just love the way that Raimi moves the camera, Peter Jackson’s early stuff like Dead Alive, and, of course Jaws and The Thing. For this film, the Descent and Slither were both strong influences, Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite films but I’ve actually thought a lot about how Chompers will not be like Shaun of the Dead. A tough thing to do because I love that movie so much.

The comedy/horror genre seemed to fade from mainstream distribution channels, seemingly doomed to the purgatory that is “direct to DVD”. How does the ever growing trove of alternative media streams currently gaining popular acceptance and their high demand for new content impact independent filmmakers like yourself? How do you see this genre’s appeal in the new media market? 

It’s the classic catch-22. Now you can get your stuff out there…but so can everybody else. For me, the biggest difference is, I’ve realized that IF I can build a fanbase of people who like my stuff (and it doesn’t have to be that large) than I can make enough money to just make movies for those fans. Digital distribution makes this intimate relationship possible. That’s an overtly sexy term for it but I really think it’s appropriate.

You developed your own camera. Do you have an engineering background? How is your camera different from others? what could it do for 3-D film making for independent directors?

I don’t have an engineering background at all. My background is making movies. I didn’t go to school for it and that has worked to my benefit because I’ve never know what I’m doing. So, that’s never been a problem. When it came to learning how to work with aluminum and make a 3D rig, it was just an extension of that same process for me.

3D is hard. You can’t wing it and you can’t fix it in post. What the Robert Rig does is gives a great tool for filmmakers to start shooting in 3D.  I’m very proud of the design which delivers a superior product for a fraction of other rigs. If people start to respond and use it, I think it could be what makes great 3D possible at an indie level. We’ll see.

If a filmmaker is working in 3D they have far more options for paid work, to get their work seen, and to engage their audiences. 3D is not for everyone, but there is a great opportunity right now for filmmakers to break out from the pack by early adoption.

What role does 3-D play in Hollywood’s future? Is it a gimmick reserved for man-eating cookie jars or will it find a home in what once would have been a traditional film like the upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby?

3D is hear to stay. Period. There are some physical limitations and format limitations that 3D will never loose. However, it will be as common as HD or color film or sound. It enhances everything. Even Roger Ebert is coming around. For instance, I don’t think even the strongest 3D naysayer can imagine a future weekend without at least one 3D film in the multiplex.

How close is Chomper to being complete? What steps have been taken to find a Production Company?

Chompers is as little 20 weeks away. That’s how long I need to make the movie. It’s totally shovel-ready. For finding a production company, the Teaser is a big step towards that end, I’ve also have a very compelling business plan, basically, the ‘Pitch’ is ready. I just need to find the right person to pitch it to. Know anybody?

What can a reader do to help Chomper become a reality?

1. Spread the word- Just tell somebody else about it
2. Like Us – FB ‘likes’ are a way we can demonstrate there’s an audience for Chompers. If we have 10,000 fans on Facebook it’s much easier to get funding.
3. Rich Uncle or Famous Friend – If you know somebody, anybody that knows Heather Hensen, or Frank Oz, or is interested in spending their money in one of the coolest ways possible, let me know. It may seem strange but that’s the way these things happen. A whole lot of work and a little bit of luck.
4. Make a Donation or buy a Robert Rig – Money helps. Even a small donation will help us get Chompers into a festival or send out one extra press kit. We’ve sunk everything we’ve got into the project so additional support makes all the difference.

Check out the Trailer below:

Head on over to his site and show him some love. Leave me a comment below and let me know if you are going to contribute or at least share this awesome movie to get it closer to being a reality!

9

Flash-Soft, LLC

Generally, I don’t blog about things that happen in my personal life. However, my father has created a program that I think some bloggers might really want to know about. His software is called Flash-Points and I am asking all my blogging friends to go and check it out!

So what is it you ask? This program is made for the Restaurant Fire Suppression industry and it is used to design a fire suppression system in the easiest way possible.

            This program incorporates Flash to allow you to design your fire suppression system with drag and drop technology, calculates which nozzles are needed, allows you to rotate the picture to front or rear facing and allows you to save and print to show it to the Fire Marshal when you are all set and ready to go.

The first time I saw this program I thought of True Space. This program is easy for anyone to use and makes a necessary  job – dare I say fun? The best part about this program if you go check it out now is they are offering a free demo! Try out the demo and once you are hooked (because you will be) go ahead and order a copy for yourself.

Now I realize that this software is for a target audience so not everyone reading might be interested. This is where I need your help. I am calling to all my blogger friends to spread the word. Post about it on your blog, make a link on your blog for other people who may be interested, tweet about it, Facebook about it- whatever you can to get the word out!

Go check out the website here: http://www.flash-soft.com

When you share this please leave me a comment and let me know what you did to spread the word. I appreciate all the help!