There’s one thing that i know is universally true about human beings: people love free shit. They’ll take anything if it’s free – it doesn’t matter what it is. Say the word “free”, even under your breath, and the cheapskates come crawling out of boxes by the thousands like warehouse mice tracking the scent of a moldy piece of cheese.
In this case, that’s a good thing! This banner giveaway thingy was a pretty bitchin’ deal, and personally, if someone offered me up a FREE custom web banner? I woulda jumped on that shit like Charlie Sheen on a pile of cocaine.
Thank you to everybody for the interest, the shout-outs, and the challenge. My fist is in the air right now so as to indicate, “fuck yes, cool, rock on!” And if you’d be so kind and generous as to plug me again at some point in the future (that sounded dirty), I’d be eternally grateful, because daddy needs a new pair of slacks. And he also needs to pay the electricity bill, because it’s hard to write in the dark with a computer that does not work.
Anyways, this is the last time I’m gonna whore on about all of this web banner stuff, because yes, we’re on the same page – it’s very annoying. But again, remember the slacks and the electricity thing. I gotta use my “Social Media tools” here.
So, if you’re interested in art and crap, here’s the 25 free banners that people are now sportin’ (or not…tsk tsk…) across the ‘Press. I added some other stuff too, and left out all the badges and stuff because redundancy.
If you’re interested in having something designed, understand that I’m not out to screw anybody. Anything that you request – a web banner/badge, a show poster or band art, a work flyer – all of it is based on the amount of time that it will require me to do it. If you want cheap, I can do dirt cheap. However, a lot of this stuff was hand drawn, and that kinda stuff I’ve learned takes time to do. Plus, it’s completely custom and one of a kind. Some of these banners took 15 minutes, while others took up to 3 evenings to complete.
I’ll be fair and competitive, and you’ll probably still end up getting more than what you pay for. So, if you’re interested, email me at email@example.com, or drop a comment in the thread below.
Thanks again to everybody that expressed their interest and plugged me to your friends. This was so much fun to do, and I’m looking forward to another fresh challenge. And also electricity again, hopefully. Cue the violin.
Rock on with your Sexy New Banners, Chowderheads \m/
On Long Awkward Pause we have a contact page called “Talk to us Here” that people can use to send requests asking us to write something specific or to answer group questions, or to request nude pictures from us, or to offer us bulk penis enlargement pills at low costs; but once in a great while, we get something really endearing that’s totally worth sharing.
I thought I’d pass on this note that was made out to Chris “The Boss” De Voss from a fan of the site.
I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for liking my post “The Amazing Niles Munster” on my website/blog Strange World With Dr. Mortimer Schnub. It took me a while to get this thank you out to you but better late than never.
I was about to quit, until my wife of 25 years, Michelle (who helps me type up the posts and puts everything together for me on the site and whom I am nothing without (can you tell she’s typing this email as I’m dictating to her? (She just wanted to make sure she gets her props)) pointed out that you liked the post and that you are a professional writer and well known in the humor blogging community, and that you started a joint blog of humor bloggers. So I have not given up hope that maybe in some small way our site will take off. I know it’s not the regular blog type site, so it will take longer to develop a following, but this has really given me a little more confidence to keep writing and posting. It’s not everyone’s taste but I am old school, my formative years were spent watcing SCTV, Saturday Night Live (the orignal cast), Monty Python, “the early funny” Woody Allen flicks and reading National Lampoon.
Thanks again and if you want to throw me another bone please follow the site as well.
Anthony Cortez (aka: Dr. Mortimer Schnub)
I’m not sure what your story is, Mr. Anthony Cortez, but you rock for leaving a cool ass note like that. Chris shared it with all of us through email, and it made me smile. Thanks for rocking and good luck with your venture.
If anyone is interested in showing this dude a bit of support and giving him a few comments to read, you can visit his site by clicking HERE. I won’t beg you to visit, but I was just thinking back on the first day of my “blogging career” and wondering if anyone would ever read my shit. They did, but a lot of people helped get to that point.
I think I’ll pay it forward now.
Rock On, Dr. Mortimer Schnub! \m/
P.S. Chris De Voss is technically a “Semi-Professional Writer” – just wanted to clarify. Oh, and he still confuses ‘their’ and ‘there’. Oh, and one more thing: he, misplaces commas too.
Ever since early childhood I’ve had this insatiable need to create things. Throughout life I’ve dabbled in just about every discipline, from music, to video editing, to drawing and painting wall graphics. The only thing that I haven’t done yet is singing. Well, if you count singing Guns and Roses in the shower, then I guess I’ve experimented with that too. But don’t let that get out, sweet child o’ mine, as I don’t have the time for any band tryouts at the moment.
What I discovered is that being involved in a creative project isn’t just something that I enjoy doing – it’s something that I need it in my life in order to be truly happy deep inside. That would explain why Art was always my strongest subject in school early on. The at-home dialogues at report card time usually started off with something like, “Look, Mom! I got an A in Art! And I flunked the shit out of Science!” And yet, despite the number of days I spent being grounded because of my disdain for repetitive, boring-ass T-tables, I’ve always thrown myself into a creative project to find that inner satisfaction. Whether you realize it or not, chances are likely that the same applies to you too.
The way I see it, we’re all creators, and everybody has creative ability. Art takes on so many different forms beyond drawing and painting too: needlework, costume jewelry-making, floral arrangements, dancing at the bar or in your living room, doodling, coordinating interior paint colors, picking out clothing, cooking from scratch, clay modeling and pottery, coloring, writing poetry, video editing, buying bath towels – all of these things require some type of creative process. Given the number of opportunities that we’re offered up everyday, I find it mind-boggling to hear somebody say something dumb like, “I’m just not very creative.”
Stop right there. Every human being on this planet is creative.
It’s a requisite – an ability that we’re all born with – and the same intrinsic needs that it satisfies within me, it satisfies within everybody else. The flavor might be different, but the need is there, and everybody has the potential to excel at some type of creative hobby. The goal shouldn’t be about becoming the next Rembrant or Michelangelo, but instead, it should be about personal expression, and about developing and learning what defines you and the type of art that fits your style.
Inevitably, sadly, from time to time that the well of ideas eventually runs dry, and the dreaded block occurs, stifling the creative flow. Sometimes it feels like it will never end and it’s frustrating as hell. When it happens, instead of dampening the canvas with tears, or cramming a paint brush into our eyeballs, sometimes it’s awesome to step aside from a project and go out into the real or virtual world and find something inspiring. It’s so easy to get consumed or preoccupied with your own ideas, and forget that there are a lot of other people out there with great ideas too.
Since we’re all Creative Geeks here, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions:
1.) What is the most fulfilling creative outlet in your life? and,
2.) Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re blocked?
In the meantime, here are some awesome YouTube Videos that I always check out whenever I need a kick-start:
Led Zeppelin, The Immigrant Song – Austrailia ’72
If I’m drumming and my hands are stiff, I always turn to John Bonham to kick me back into form. THIS is heavy metal, and probably the best live Zeppelin I’ve ever heard.
“Fresh Guacamole” by PES
Stop motion films are just incredible to me, and this is one of the absolute best. There is an explosion of creative happening here, and every time I watch it, it’s hard not to smile.
“Rejected” by Don Hertzfeldt
If you’re into dark comedy, and/or animation, this one is a must see. I absolutely love this guys drawings. Stick around for the ending – it’s the best part.
“Rubber Johnny” by Chris Cunningham & Aphex Twin
This one is just weird. You should probably watch this one at your own risk if you have trouble sleeping at night, but it’s definitely creative as hell.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into slippin’ out the back door unnoticed for awhile now, but the decent jerk in me feels like a sign off post would be the cool thing to do.
That sounds so self-important doesn’t it? Like I’m sittin’ here selling off locks of hair because you deserve to have them. This is some serious protocol shit here. I’m sorry. I know it’s corny. You love it, don’t lie.
It’s not supposed to sound self important. I’m just another peon hiding out in a very small corner of the internet like the rest of you peons. That doesn’t change the fact that I feel like I’ve made some real friends over the past year-plus. And despite how much it sucks for me to have to pull up the stakes on something that’s been so gratifying in so many ways – something that led to so many great memories and accomplishments – it’s just not fun to me anymore, and it hasn’t been for awhile.
But before I mosey on outta here I would like to talk about some serious stuff.
I read a lot of the posts the other day during the fallout, and I will say this about it: I’m not here to attack, defend, justify, or debate any of it here, and I kindly ask that you keep it out of the comment section on this site. In no way, shape, or form is that a criticism to any party involved, because I understand the severity of it. It’s just a preference of mine to not be involved publicly. Respect that.
Reading all of it was pretty overwhelming, and it scared the hell out of me – not just imaginary-blogging-bubble scared – real world scared. It was an example of just how quickly information can spread on the Internet, and it raised a lot of questions in my mind about the blogging arena from a legal, ethical, and personal safety standpoint.
I’ve never felt comfortable putting personal information on the Internet. In fact, I don’t even really like Facebook for that reason. I don’t like the thought of having certain information of mine available to anybody with an Internet connection. Although I do it on occasion, I usually end up regretting it. Once it’s out there and read, it’s too late to call it back.
It reminds me of the adage: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow them?”
Like with everything, when everybody’s doing something it somehow creates this illusion that it’s safer, or more acceptable to do. A lot of people, including myself, have posted some pretty juicy stuff online – particular things that profile us, or mistake us for professional opinions.
This platform allows us to freely communicate our opinions and views on topics with a very wide audience. With that privilege, I think there should also be a certain amount of personal responsibility that comes along with it.
As far as the reality of this whole blogging platform goes, it’s an imaginary world – a fantasy – and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in that fantasy aspect of it. It all sounds so poetic – and by design – like images from a movie, meant to stir the emotions of the reader. We look at the images of each other; we read the amazing words and stories pouring out of those pictures daily, and our minds naturally fill in the blanks. Basically, we profile each other.
We begin to trust in the stories. They appear to be consistent, and the images back them up. We like the people that are being created in our mind’s eye. The truth is, we never truly know the people that we’re communicating with online until we meet and learn about them in real life. Even then, discovery doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a real life friendship. Online, we’re just acquaintances. And regardless of how many years we’ve been in contact with each other, we still don’t know each other.
It’s kinda like having an imaginary friend.
The reality is that people aren’t images and blog posts, and we consistently give our trust away to people that aren’t yet worthy of having it. It takes time to build trust, and to discover whether or not the persona matches the person.
Here, we’re all characters. Although the stories sound similar to our own experiences, it’s not reality.
I pulled my blog down a couple months go for that reason. There were things on this site that profiled me personally that I decided weren’t appropriate to have online. I keep my inner most thoughts and personal experiences now in a journal. It’s my preference, but maybe you might want to consider it too.
I built my shtick around comedy. It’s cathartic in a way, and I’ve always enjoyed interacting with everybody that pops in. I’m gonna grind that to a hault for now however, and say thank you so FUCKING much for being so cool and supportive of what I do. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, and our interactions with each other have made it all that much better.
I’m gonna be writing at Long Awkward Pause from now on full-time, and I’d love to see all you guys around still. If the mood strikes me to write here again in the future, I’ll definitely come back and rock it. For now, I gotta bounce, yo.
And lastly, I’d love to have you guys share a story or something funny, or an interaction we had together, or something that you enjoyed about coming around here. It would seriously make my day. *Here’s a locket of hair in return*
Sooooo, with all that said, I think it would only be appropriate to end on this note:
ROCK STAR SALUTE, CHOWDERHEADS! \m/
I’ve been scouring YouTube for nearly a week now with only a few nibbles. I think the trolls are picking up on my Google+ account scent. I realized just yesterday that the reason I haven’t had any luck yet probably has to do with the fact that I have a gigantic billboard on my Google homepage that reads: Continue reading
I was lucky to grow up during a time when music was undergoing a dramatic redefinition – particularly in the Rock genre. The entire era was a rebellion against culture, politics, and fashion, and music was at the forefront leading the charge.
It was a harmonious melding of art, imagery, and attitude, that gave birth to brand new genres like Grunge, Alternative, Punk-Fusion, and Reggae-Fusion. So much of it was Progressive in its own respect, and none of it was straight up; they were completely new sounds that took four decades of Rock and Roll influence to be born.
The music that came out of the early 90’s was emotionally heavy; dark, melancholy, and depressing – yet it was powerful and proven timeless. It was an era that was so heavily saturated with some of the greatest bands in Rock and Roll history, and out of it came some of the best albums ever produced.
Here’s a list to skim through of some of my all-time favorite Rock albums that came out of that era: Continue reading
When I originally moved into the Chowderpad, I was a bit hasty in signing up for a cable TV package; one that I quickly discovered was heavily enriched with channels that have no business being on TV. I never realized that local Government had so many unimportant things to say, and with so many distribution outlets to say it through.
So, last week I decided to visit my local AT&T retailer to schedule a Cable Guy to come out and host an installation party that would hopefully waste my entire Saturday afternoon.
While in the store, going through the endless paperwork stack, and trying my best to comprehend the sales pitch that I was not really listening to, I once again slept through a vital information exchange opportunity:
The address on my license was not my current place of residence.
Because of my dur moment, I put poor store rep. Andy, through a heap of trouble preparing a work order for a cable package installation that was now scheduled to take place at a house that I do not live in. Continue reading
Last weekend, the eclectic and shadowy author of B.L.O.G., Mike Calahan, was gracious enough to fly out to Chowderhead Ranch for an exclusive one on one interview. Good thing, because an email interview would have been way too cheap and easy.
I’ve been following Mike and his unique brand of humor for the better part of a year, and currently work along side him as a part of the hit collaboration, Long Awkward Pause. He’s a quipy, up-and-coming author with a sharp tongue and a robust head of hair – placing him among the ranks of other stylish hair icons like, Elvis Presley, James Dean, and John Stamos.
Like most artists, Mike is a reserved personality, but his work reveals that there’s a whole lot going on behind the coy grin and stylish, black frame glasses. If you haven’t already done so, I’d highly recommend sampling some of his work while enjoying your morning latte.
A dark roast toast to everyone joining this fine Tuesday morning.
Here’s a look inside:
I can’t even put into words how excited I am to have you here. I’m actually sweating.
When you asked to interview me, I just assumed it was because you were desperate for content and wanted to lose readership quickly.
Fret not. I’m fully capable of losing readership without your help.
Let’s kick it off with a burning question – I’m curious about the name “Calahan.” Is there some sort of religious connotation behind it, like, was Calahan an apostle or something like that?
That’s a question I get asked all the time. Well, after John the Baptist was beheaded, the people looked for a new leader with an undiagnosed mental disorder. Rodrigo the Manic Depressive was really into the idea, but then really against it. Drake the Paranoid was convinced everyone was making fun of him. Finally, they settled on Calahan the Dysthymic. Most people became atheists soon after.
As you can probably tell by the expression on my face, I’m not really a man of faith.
I’m not a man of begorrah, so it works out.
I’ll look that up later. Mike, why do you choose to remain such an enema in the blogging world?
I mean, you seem like a pretty private person. Is this accurate?
A bit. I mean, I readily share my credit card PIN codes and SSN’s with curious strangers, sure. But other things, personal things like, oh, ice cream preference or favorite belt loop are things I like to keep quiet. It makes me seem really mysterious and enigmatic, even though I’m not.
“Enigma” was the word I was searching for.
Let me know if you find it.
How’s the coffee?
It tastes fine. I won’t lie, I’d prefer not to have to share a cup, but the coffee itself is flavorful.
Excellent. Describe your morning routine for us. I’m curious how a day in the life of Calahan begins.
Well, after cursing the morning for arriving, I get up and make breakfast for my wife, pack her lunch, then feed the pets. Once everyone is taken care of, I then sit down for a full day of high-stakes online gambling. Let’s just say that Papa owes a lot of people a lot of money. Actually, I’m pretty boring in real life. Bursts of creativity mixed with anxiety about writing as a career is the best description.
Describe your writing style. Are you a satirist? Is most of your inspiration drawn from real life, or are your writings mainly fictional?
I write the occasional satirical piece, but I wouldn’t call myself a satirist. Honestly, I just write what I think is funny, something that I would want to read. Sometimes it is a situation that comes from real life, like many of my blog posts. Other times, especially with fiction, an idea comes to me while watching a movie or reading or even falling asleep. It might just be a gag that quickly balloons into a full story arch or it’s a character for which I want to find a good narrative. I have one short story that I use to play a prank on the reader, actually. The joke is in upending the reader’s obvious (and very natural) inference of the characters and setting. I thought it was funny, but it’s not published, so what do I know?
Now, do you consider yourself a beatnik?
While I’ve devoured a lot of the Beat writings, I don’t consider myself a Beatnik, no. Then again, I don’t consider myself a No-Goodnik, either. Nor am I a Sputnik. It’s possible I’m a nudnik, but I’m not really sure.
Who’s responsible for assigning the meanings to the acronym, B.L.O.G.?
That responsibility falls on me and me alone. I have gotten suggestions in the past, but it’s always a matter of finding the perfect picture to go along with the acronym. It doesn’t always pan out.
Any particular selection a favorite?
My personal favorite is the couple holding hands as they lie in separate beds. I called that one Biblical Living’s Obligatory Gap.
What was it like playing a supporting role in the hit 90′s movie, The Sandlot?
Oh, man. If I had a nickel for every time I got asked…
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. But seriously, did Bennie really steal home, or was that a camera-tricks thing?
He really did steal home, but there was a camera trick in that he is actually stealing second base. Much like Gary Cooper and The Lou Gehrig Story, that shot had to be reversed to make it appear as though it was home plate. It’s funny how everyone asks me about that movie, but no one ever asks about my roles in Intolerance and Birth of a Nation. Or my years in the old timey minstrel circuit. Or my time as an Andersonville POW in the waning days of the Civil War. Or my years as a double for Amy Carter, during the 1970’s. Or my current work investigating why Marvel’s Agent Coulson looks so much like infamous skyjacker D.B. Cooper and why the government won’t talk about it.
Tell us about your writing process. What goes into writing one of your pieces?
It depends on the piece, but it usually starts with a few notes, then research (when required) and more notes, then rough draft, then feedback from a few selected sets of eyes.
Your writing is flawless. I have to ask, are you paying a third party editor?
I am not paying an editor because my checks tend to bounce. I am currently sleeping with an amazing editor (aka: my wife), so I take advantage of that relationship as often as I can.
Talk about your now defunct teenie-bopper movie critic character, Valerie Atherton.
Valerie was part satire and part social experiment. In response to the seemingly male-dominated, boys’ club world of online movie blogging, I created a character that was opposite in every way possible. Playing to and against stereotypes, the character of Valerie Atherton was young, blond and naïve—but she was (despite an inability to grasp most films [ex: Batman has magic powers, Iron Man has a flashlight heart]) very sincere in her love of movies.
So people weren’t picking up on that fact that it was all a put on, correct?
What were some of the more memorable interactions that Valerie had with her “fans”?
The review that brought the most ire from fanboys was her review of The Watchmen. Specifically, her belief that it was called a graphic novel due to the violence, and that Dr. Manhattan was made of ice. The best response was: “Paint a bullseye on your forehead so that I may barrage you with ‘stupid’ bullets.”
What advice can you offer for other aspiring writers?
If financial stability is a necessity, then don’t become a writer. Hobos have a steadier income than I do. Other than that, my advice is to write what you would want to read. Be your own biggest fan, but also your own worst critic. Don’t let one outweigh the other, though. Maintaining that balance is key.
Anything else you’d like to add, Mike?
I’d like to add my name to a list of successful authors, but that’s more of a lofty goal. The only other thing I could add is 2+2, but the answer I get is generally wrong: Banana.
For more of Mike Calahan, click the banner below.
- LAP Update: Tour Stop Canceled in Kalamazoo, Michigan (longawkwardpause.wordpress.com)
- Because I Haven’t Got the Legs for Dancing (tipsylit.com)
- Mike Callahan: International Man of History – Teaser (thechowderhead.com)