16. The Thing is a character in Marvel Comic’s Fantastic Four 17. In Portuguese, “things” are “coisas” 18. “THINGS” was used by Milton Bradley as an acronym for their game Totally Hilarious Incredibly Neat Games of Skill
this is how i feel about moving out of dinkytown and moving uptown. as a kid, i thought uptown was so fancy, like a place i could never live. i have been a strange mix of delusional and delusionally humble my whole life. i thought i was sure to get famous, and i also thought all famous people got assassinated, so my childhood plan was to live in an underground mansion, and keep my parents in a cabin up top. but i like this idea of living uptown better. it’s so full of bars and boys and lakes.
this could be a cool beach house ep cover or something.
this makes fun of a lot of art that i hate, which means i must like art that is successful in a capitalist society. could be.
This year’s food additions include: deep-fried bacon cheddar mashed potatoes on-a-stick; deep-fried bologna on-a-stick; rainbow trout on-a-stick; chicken chipotle pizza on-astick; caramel apple puppies (fudge puppy with baked apple and covered with caramel) and turtle puppies (fudge puppy covered in caramel and nuts); cheese pizza served with corn dogs (a cheese pizza topped with sliced corn dogs); chicken fried bacon (thick-cut bacon battered, breaded and fried and served in a boat covered with gravy); chocolate tornado (spiral-cut tornado potato dipped in chocolate); Cincinnati chili (spaghetti noodles smothered with chili and topped with shredded cheddar, beans and diced onions); Danny Boy burger (burger made with corned beef and covered with kraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing); deep-fried cheeseburger sliders; deep-fried shortcake (shortcake batter deep-fried and covered with strawberries and ice cream); fresh fruit salsa and chips (salsa made on-site from fresh fruit and served with tortilla chips); fried pig ears (thinly sliced pigs ears dusted in seasoned flour, fried until crispy and served with lime chipotle glaze); ghost wings (chicken wings covered in a habanero pepper sauce); grilled marshmallow, chocolate and banana sandwich; Korean Moon BBQ tacos (Korean “street vendor” style tacos with spicy/sweet pork or chicken); sausage and cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers; sloppy Joe served over spiral-cut potato chips; shrimp or BLT fajitas and seafood salad. grilled marshmallow, chocolate and banana sandwich is my top weird/gluttonous choice.
I’m all about the blackberry sundae at the dairy building though. I usually just eat ice cream and pop until I feel terrible.
I wrote a response to the idea that the web is dead in Wired magazine on my new advertising blog. I included a few talking points so you can join in on the debate.
Excerpt, about banner ads:
"One goal of advertising is to affect people’s behavior. For example, an ad for Ring Pops wants to inspire people to reach for them at the candy shelf (or if you are Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey, consider using them for your engagement). This change in behavior is more nuanced than saying, “Here’s a Ring Pop! Want it? Buy it then.”
Advertisers are pros at this. Get cool-looking kids with side-ponytails and rollerblades, and have them eat Ring Pops to Radio Disney while a graphic background of McDonalds-colored stars explodes behind them. This makes a tiny voice in your head say, “Whoa” and then fold the corner of its association with Ring Pops over, so that someday when you’re in the mood, you might buy one.
The question here is, does regular advertising make you want to click? I don’t think that’s its goal. Instead, most advertising simply wants to inform you that a product exists, prime you to think well and often of that product and then persuade you to keep on using it to better your life/personal brand. This a nuanced process that involves all kinds of media, rhetoric and imagery. It gives customers credit for their intelligence, and space to think intelligently about what they want.
Banner ads don’t seem to get this. Good advertising does not inspire that “click” instinct. It plants a seed.”
I HAVE YET ANOTHER BLOG (on copywriting this time)
Working as a Creative (and copywriter) for Zeus Jones, I have noticed the sore lack of good copywriting blogs out there. Most of the ones that exist have headlines like “Social Media Marketing Insight.” Bo-ring.
My goal is to explore all that rhetoric out there and find the humor, the trivia and the absurd. I want to provide useful analysis and helpful suggestions, educating people about the wild, wild times that come with writing copy.
Twin Cities Runoff is a new online magazine that will publish a piece of long-form journalism every day. They want to have a progressive, literary approach to covering the Twin Cities.
I’m a co-creative director, so I get to do fun things like make this flier. It’s refreshing to work with journalism from an artistic perspective instead of as a writer/editor, but hopefully I’ll find time to do writing too.
If you are interested in submitting, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell Deb Carver your idea.
Meet us at the Walker on the 29th to discuss ideas and drink boozes.
I was going through my email today and I found some stories that I wrote in freshman year of college. My old computer crashed, so a bunch of my writing was lost. Anyway, I posted them on my writing blog.
Vacuum - a story about a couple dealing with suicide (I was into dramatic themes, I guess)
When he was about five, he went through a phase of fears that I could barely detect. I noticed that he was preoccupied, watching cartoons with a blank stare, turning to examine the creases in his palms with great interest. He crawled over to me and grabbed my hand, looking to see if I also had lines in my palms.
“Does everyone have these?” he asked.
“Good,” he said, “I thought they were a disease. I thought I was dying.”
Kleenex - A magic-realism story
Maybe I didn’t want to think about other things. Her life depressed me. She spent all her time with her chain-smoker mom, who sat around watching game shows and ordering diet products over the phone. Whenever I came over, Marguerite wouldn’t want to go to the beach or a bar, but instead she’d suggest we go in her room, where we’d lay in her bed and stare at the ceiling. Her mom never cared; by then she’d have a guy over too. Sometimes I got the feeling that Marguerite looked down on me. I don’t know how to explain it, just a silence that followed every question I asked her.
I was really into kahlua or something. And also writing from perspectives I didn’t know much about.
I’ve had countless arguments with people about whether or not bisexuality exists. Not to start a huge debate on my blog or anything, but I usually think it’s more of a girl thing. Haven’t met that many bisexual guys. (Yes, I could get all Kinsey and shit on this, but let’s not.) Anyway, their data is very interesting. And READ THE BLOG IT’S CRAZY INSIGHTFUL.
p.s. sorry i’m saying “awesome” so much lately. i once said you could someone’s douchebag ratio by how often they say “awesome.” guess i’ve gotten douchey lately.
least filling lunch I ever paid $7.50 for. Here’s a bunch of greens with some goo. Thanks French Meadow. Here’s my question: What’s up with that super spiky thing they put in salads? Upper-half, to the right. I find them unappetizing.
Brad told me at work that Zeus Jones is an anagram for Jesus Zone today and I tested it. There is the proof right there. Conspiracy?
BTW I am working full time now as a creative at Zeus Jones and it’s very wonderful.
Now I have a notebook that says things like, “How to Market Young.”
We love digital technology. It lets us torrent rare Pink Floyd bootlegs, find porn so gross it’s not even sexy, and laugh at pictures of spunky cats all day long. It’s freedom! But sometimes we forget that it’s also a channel for the powers that be to map out our souls until we are “pinned and wriggling against a wall,” as T.S. Eliot would say. America’s powers that be are too busy arguing about turtle fences and playing sudoku on their iPads to do the whole authoritarian thing, so instead marketers happily lap up that information.
When Foursquare came out, it seemed to me like the benefits of announcing to the world where one was did not match the price of creating a literal map of your spending and leisure habits for marketers to grab. But apparently, its system of creating badges has made it so worthwhile that widgets and gadgets all over the net are copying it. What, then, is the purpose of a badge? Sometimes you get discounts, or free tickets to Marc Jacobs shows, but most of them are just status symbols that show up in your Twitter feed.
I realize that right now I am running the risk of sounding snobby and “above” a much-beloved phenomenon. (Which usually means pretending to be above it because one really has no clue what it’s all about and it scares them.) I’m not saying that Foursquare is a bad thing that exists only because lemmings want to show how often they are at cool bars. I genuinely do think people often use it to see who else is around and to connect to other people. I’m merely trying to examine what childhood imprints make it so damn successful.
Ah, you know what I’m getting at now, you clever you. You read the headline AND saw the picture. I think the scout experience as a child primes us to want to earn badges just to earn badges. There is something comforting about a badge. They are round, circular, simplified. They make our immaterial accomplishments suddenly 2-dimensional and sportable, sitting jauntily in organized rows on our vests. We don’t get paid for them, but they make our parents love us a little more, stuff our stockings a little fatter. In adult life, that translates to creating a quick crib sheet of your personality for potential dates to go over from afar. There is a benefit to that streamlining of accomplishments and habits.
Scouts helped you make friends as a kid, and Foursquare helps you continue to do so in an increasingly intimidating urban environment.
Nonetheless, I do think that Foursquare and scouts have certain dystopian dimensions. Scouts is full of propaganda about obeying laws and being “morally straight” - ideas that come from war-torn times when patriotism and dutiful citizenry were crucial. Nowadays, being a good citizen involves being a good consumer, and a large part of that is opting into these services that create engagement with you and your favorite brands, often at the cost of personal information.
Just check out the Scout Oath if you don’t believe that its a little creepy:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country;
To obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Four Square Oath
On my honor, I will do my best
To check in at least four times a day;
To connect with my Twitter friends;
To always be a jetsetter;
To engage with companies and always have a strong personal brand.
m.i.a. is a glitter dream! can i get this on a lisa frank folder and go back to the ’90s? i think i am going to write an essay about m.i.a. called “M.I.A.’s art is a fantasy of power” and it will be SUPER FREUDIAN, fuckers.
this is dedicated to my amazing friend jason zabel (mordecai zook) and his equally amazing boyfriend jordan, who let me sleep on their couch this weekend with their cats.
"i kinda look like kristin stewart, but i’m not quite as pretty as her, and this creates many challenges in my life. it’s scary to face those challenges; it really takes guts. when i’m troubled, i like to ride my bike in front of a pastoral scene that reminds people of simpler times, on a bike that also reminds people of simpler times, at sunset. this clears my head and primes me to think about classic media and forget about ‘the twilight saga.’ when i think i’ve reached a decision, i stop for a minute to gaze into the distance. viewing the whole horizon really puts things in perspective. so what if i don’t have bella’s immaculately shaped brows? i have fringed loafers and at least 10 friendship anklets."
One thing we love about media is watching characters we feel we intimately know undergo deep emotional catharsis. We love watching Buffy mourn about the trauma of coming back from the dead by hiding in her room and staking vamps with unprofessional gusto. We love watching Margot Tannenbaum smoke cigarettes in the bathroom to get over her horniness/isolation toward different members of her adoptive family. But there’s something we might possibly enjoy even more, which is watching characters underreact.
I say this because Netflix streaming has led me to watch “Pushing Daisies” and “Dead Like Me,” and there came a time when I was only watching shows where people experienced unexpected, brutal and gory deaths regularly. You’d think this might turn me into a nervous wreck who is afraid of falling pianos and renegade bees, but it actually had the opposite effect. I believe this is because the characters on these shows are unusual in that they severely underreact to these scenarios. I don’t think this is purposeful, but incidental. The plot development is so fast and so regimented (Ok, that guy got cut in half? We have to get back to the pie shoppe!) that there is little time to devote to not just how characters mourn, but how they physically react in the moment.
George on “Dead Like Me” usually shrugs it off, while Chuck on “Pushing Daisies” says something cute and flirts with the piemaker. Except for the occasional scenario when its convenient for the narrative arc of the entire episode for them to emote, they are usually cool, calm, collected … even bored by death.
I think this is also why I like the episodes of “Beavis and Butthead” when they get hurt. Butthead might be dying of a prolonged nosebleed, but instead of freaking out he’ll just chuckle and say, “Cool.”
We are simple creatures. We mock the facial expressions of people on TV because it helps our autonomic nervous systems understand how they are feeling (in other words, if you smile you will feel better, scientifically proven). After watching enough characters yawn at death, our own fears and anxieties seem a little bit easier.
I’d never give up shows like “Six Feet Under” or “Weeds, which show the degradation of emotions that happen in times of trauma in insanely depressing ways. Those shows make our own process of dealing with things seem less solitary and private. But there is comfort in watching Butthead be too retarded to worry about the fact that he just sawed off the tip of his finger, and I am grateful for that.
“You’re someone who writes novels, so I thought, Wouldn’t he be interested in patterns of human behavior and all that? And the way I see it, with novelists, before even passing judgment on something, aren’t they the kind who are supposed to appreciate its form? And even if they can’t appreciate it, they should at least accept it at face value, no? That’s why I told you. I wanted to tell you from my side.”— The barn burner explaining why he told the novelist about his illegal habit in “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami
strangely intrigued by this photo of an indian doll on jeremy messersmith’s twitter. i love the slightly amused madness on her face, like she’s pissed off that she ended up such a non-p.c. toy. i liked it so much i drew it, although my drawing looks scary here. i might do another one with a nosebleed.
my very good friend Jen Crammer is leaving town to go to Washington, D.C. today so I wanted to make her a goodbye card. Her favorite movie is “Wayne’s World” (excellent choice), so I drew Wayne and Garth. I feel they are a symbol of friendship and paryting on and all those other things we like about life?
I was also like, “I want to draw a dolphin in front of a the moon!” I Google-imaged this and it turns out I am the 172947823479 person to think of this idea. It must have already been in my subconscious because of Lisa Frank.
then i made an old-school phone.
Bye Jen! We will miss you. Good luck in Washington.
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”—Margery Williams, “The Velveteen Rabbit”
Once, I got this idea in my mind - an idea about a movie, one that looked kind of like “The Matrix” but more expensive and without stupid Keanu Reeves. It did not generate deep within my subconscious, but instead entered externally, via everyone around me talking about it all the damn time. Finally, I went out, braving hell and high water (literally, drove my car like a boat) and saw it.
Since my old journalism days firmly tell me it’s too late for a relevant review, I’ll just write a few Becky Talking Points. I will intersperse them with minimalist “Inception” posters for your enjoyment and also to prime you for a later post about minimalist posters.
-I think that Christopher Nolan came up with the idea for “Inception” when he was watching “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and that beach house fell down at the end. He was probably like, “Whoa shit! Why can’t this movie be nothing but houses falling down in your mind? Now THAT would be a movie! Now if only someone could mix it with the sweet-ass, slow-mo, anti-gravity bending in ‘The Matrix,’ that would be $$$$$$.”
-While I liked the suspense, part of me kept wondering what “Inception” would have been like if it were more about character-development and emotion. Like if the idea they were planting was less important (a new flavor of Vitamin Water?) and we really zeroed in on Cobb and his wife and the hot business guy and his dad. I would have liked to see that go really Freudian. Less bombs please, we’re talking about the time he walked in on his parents having sex here.
-Expanding on that idea, “Inception” was a pretty pure concept film. There was almost no cultural context. You could say it was kind of like the opposite of a Nick Hornby book/film; no one’s gonna stop and talk about Joni Mitchell or the price of hot tubs. That makes it easier for the film to avoid being dated and to feel more “universal,” but that got me thinking: Isn’t most media now primarily about cultural context? I feel like media that doesn’t reference pop culture and current events feels flat and boring, and now we expect films and books to be time capsules for future nostalgia. The idea of separating themes like love and death from our personal connection to media seems completely foreign to me now. What’s a breakup this decade without listening to The National?
-There also weren’t many phones in “Inception” - I think I counted 2 or 3 times when they took out phones, and that was only, oddly, in the dream. I’m not crazy about what I’m about to do, but I’m going to try to connect it to a common “problem.” The characters in “Inception” seemed to have an uncanny knack for connecting with one another, meaning they knew how to be in the same place at the same time, without letting us know how they got there (like a dream?!). To an audience that coordinates every second of their day using cell phones, Twitter and Facebook, that seems strange. Maybe it’s expressing a fantasy of modern society where people a) wish they could take the next step, unplug from the wireless hub, and connect with people on a more psychic level b) feel paranoid about this wireless hub of connection we’re on and want to connect with people in a more private place, which, at its most exaggerated, would be a dream.
-Would you say “Inception” is this decade’s “The Matrix?” That was the dumb question I liked to ask people who talked about “Inception” all the time. So, asking myself, I would say yes. It makes people question reality, has enormous presence as a meme and created special effects that are novel and haunting. I do think “Inception” shows society at a different place than “The Matrix” did. Instead of feeling paranoid about institutions and disenchanted with urban isolation, “Inception” is more about foggy introspectiveness. Whereas before we were worried that we were dissociated with reality and other people, we now feel so wired into other people’s lives that we feel comfortable turning inward, and even letting other people in on the process.
Or maybe it’s that we fear we are boring so we all want to imagine that we have complex layers and massive creative power that could bend Parisian cafes in a million directions and spray them all over.
Love the cover of Buffalo Moon’s new 7”. I have had many drinks with these people, and they are wonderful. Also, check out the love they got from Pitchfork’s fringy blog, Altered Zones. (Dumb name for a blog, huh?)
Nixon by Lambchop
Indie art 101 … take something old and mark it
i think i created this book in my past life. probably.
this monkey saved a puppy from an explosion. [emote now]
saw this movie last night. was it as good as this infographic? i am still deciding, although I will say it met my high expectations and then some.
what the PSP phone might look like. to me it looks like, “if this is your phone, i don’t think i could ever date you.” i’ve paid my dues in time spent watching boyfriends play video games, in my opinion.
trying to make a self-portrait for an “about me & zeus” presentation at work. using my new wacom tablet, which i’m still sort of bad at. also, following my “you can’t make yourself look good in a self-portrait” rule.
still some stuff to fix. too lazy to make my hair look blonde.
best moment at zeus jones today:
[a lady we were short-hand referring to as “goat lady” won a prize]
Also recently became acquainted with Intermedia Arts, which is doing very cool things.
Favorite bands (completely arbitrary order)
1. Private Dancer
2. Phantom Tails
3. Bight Club
4. Buffalo Moon
5. Blind Shake
6. Dada Trash Collage
1. Hell’s Kitchen
2. Birchwood Cafe
3. Bulldog NE
4. Bad Waitress
5. Village Wok
1. Triple Rock
2. Kitty Cat Klub
4. U Otter
5. 501 Club
Favorite artists & designers, not in order: Danimal, Michael Gaughan, Jennifer Davis, Broken Crow, Aesthetic Apparatus, Mike Davis & Burlesque, Adam Turman, Biafra Art, Anthem Heart, Lovely MPLS, Terrence Payne, Chuck U
plus a bunch more I probably forgot.
Also one of my favorite things that doesn’t fit in any of these categories is MPLS.TV!
I updated my visual portfolio and moved around the CSS so it looks more like one of those Indexhibit pages instead of a Tumblr layout. I should really write a book called, “Doing All Your Web Design on Tumblr.” How I love Tumblr. Portfolio still feels meager, but it’s a start.
Here’s my entry. I made it on Illustrator. I thought it would be extra creepy if it was a little boy at his birthday party. After I made this I was like NO it should be a close up of the girl’s face and she’ll have a nosebleed! But then I decided just to make the nosebleed idea it’s own series.
When I dropped this off, I got to check out CoExhibitions and it is amazing. Go at least to see the space.
A note on printing: I printed this at FedEx and it cost $15 to print a 12 x 12. I would never even expect someone to pay $15 for a print of this. Outrageous.
Hello! My name is Krissy Sterling, AKA Wonder Writer. I started this blog in order to write more. I’m a teacher and writer from Minnesota. I love books of all kinds- kid’s, YA, mysteries, scifi, literary fiction, etc. My plan is to write about the books I read and the other stuff going on in my life.
She wants me to make her a Wonder Woman layout with a banner of “wonder woman underwear.” I was like, “Well, the layout I made is called Superman Panties.” Yes, we share DNA. We took a couple writing classes together at the Loft and we’d always vote for the same options. She moved out to get hitched when I was 14, but somehow we still ended up very much alike.
Also, some amazing ones by Kara Lovemelt (Also on my list of people with probably fake names in MPLS.)
how ‘tute. except kara looks annoyed haha.
this picture was actually taken on Reading Rainbow.
In other news, I discovered an amazing website today called Livemocha. It’s a language learning website that is basically like Rosetta Stone but free and with a social networking aspect. I signed up today and I’ve already made some Mandarin-speaking pen pals. This may only be exciting to huge nerds like me, but I really, really like learning foreign languages, almost as much as I love reading comically imperfect English. This site has it all!
Here are some funny screen shots from the site:
"I am thin"
"i am fat."
Here’s some other cool stuff.
Also, guess who wrote the Cheerios ads on Facebook? Me. I am weirdly proud of that fact.
The Cheerios Facebook page is full of hilarious anecdotes like these: