Saturday, January 31

High School Haiku

I told him and he,
was like "Oh my God!" and I,
was like "Oh my God!"

Friday, January 30

Betchya Didn't Know (pt. 2 of 5)

(This is part 2 of a 5 part series of getting to know little known facts about me - some of these you may already know, some you may not)
I listen to (and LOVE) funny/parody music
I do. It may not be kosher with today's class of males 23ish...but I can't help it. The obsession began one Christmas when I was given both a Ray Stevens Music VHS and a set of 3 cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes and a VHS, ok?) that were chalked full of silly songs; like "Disco Duck", "Monster Mash", "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", "Boy Named Sue", and "Yakety Yak". My dad then introduced me to Weird Al and also Dr. Demento (much to my mom's dismay) - and the rest is history.

I would go around singing these ridiculous song all the time. I would constantly be asking my friends about these songs, not realizing that it was a little odd for a 5th grader to know the lyrics to "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda". Naturally, my very first concert was Weird Al, at the Cotillion in Wichita. He had just released his album, "Running With Scissors" (one of 7 Weird Al albums I have) where the hit song was "Saga Begins" a parody of the famous "American Pie" by Don McLean. There are many songs that I cannot listen to thanks to these parodies that I filled my head with as a child. Here are some examples:
*Queen "Another One Bits The Dust" - Weird Al "Another One Rides The Bus"
*Offspring "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" - Weird Al "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"
*Michael Jackson "Bad" - Weird Al "Fat"
*Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge" & "Give It Away" - Weird Al "Bed Rock Anthem"

How can you not be inspired by the creative, nerdy lyrics from Weird Al's song "All About The Pentiums" (parody of "All About The Benjamins"):
    Hey fella, I bet you're still livin' in your parents' cellar
    Downloadin' pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar
    And postin' "Me too!" like some brain-dead AOL-er
    I should do the world a favor and cap you like Old Yella'
    You're just about as useless as jpegs to Hellen Keller!

Other musical parody influences include Spike Jones, Dr. Demento, Ray Stevens (whom I have also seen in concert), and of course Bob Rivers (Christmas parodies: "Walkin' 'Round in Womens' Underwear", "I am Santa Claus", "Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire", and "Buttcracker Suite")

The introduction to this music lead to my love of '80s slap-stick farce movies like "Airplane!", "Hot Shots", "Space Balls" & "Blazing Saddles" (just about any Mel Brooks really). Not to mention my love for any and all "Monty Python", "Three Stooges", and "Marx Brothers" movies, skits, and songs.

All of this off-the-wall humor and sarcasm has definitely played an important role in allowing me to be creative and think outside of the box when it comes to graphic design. It keeps me on my toes and for some strange reason, I can't ever get enough of it. Thanks dad!

Now you know.

Thursday, January 29


This bus (the Classroom On Wheels) has been across the street from my work for the past 2 weeks. Every time I see it, I crack a smile and shake my head thinking, "Only in the Midwest could you get away with this...and I love it!"

Wednesday, January 28

Emma Story #1

So there is this girl I work with name Emma. She is very book-smart; more than most people I know, actually. But when it comes to common sense things, she fails. Here is a story (and I'm sure there will be more to come) of a conversation that happened today, it also involves a co-worker named Tara.

Tara: Don't forget that tomorrow is Kansas's birthday!
Emma: Who?
Tara: Kansas
Emma: WHO?!
Me: The state that you live in.
Emma: Kansas? Kansas has a birthday?

...oh, Emma!

Seriously Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh. A Wichita boy. Singer/Songwriter. Member of the Eagles. Poor lyricist.
Exhibit A: Song Title: "Ordinary Average Guys"

Ordinary Average Guy - Joe Walsh

For starters, this song has some creepy synthesizers throughout. I thought that maybe it was because at one time they were cool to put in music, and then I realized that unless you're Devo, you probably shouldn't use them. Also, what's up with the sound effects? Dogs barking and bowling pins, seriously.
On to the lyrics:
I'm just an ordinary average guy.
My friends all are boring was are all,
And so am I.
We're just ordinary average guys.

We all lead ordinary average lives was live,
With average kids,
And average wives.
We all go bowling at the bowling lanes,
Drink a few beers,
Bowl a few frames.
We're just ordinary average guys,
Ordinary average guys.

And every Saturday we work in the yard,
Pick up the dog doo,
Hope that it's hard (woof woof),

if the dog songs is even necessary.
Take out the garbage and clean out the garage,
My friend's got a Chrysler,
I've got a Dodge.
We're just ordinary average guys,
Ordinary average guys.

Ordinary average average guys.

I really want to draw your attention to the bolded lyrics. Are these some of the worst lyrics ever? All signs point to yes. Think about it, "Pick up the dog doo, hope that its hard". Who writes that in a song (other than Weird Al)? Just an odd song Joe. I'm a bit dumbfounded.

Tuesday, January 27

Witness Protection

Being a graphic design major, I am exposed to a variety of advertisements that the average person may not ever know exist. Doing a class project for Amsterdam, Netherlands I discovered this little ditty:

Here is the back-story of the ad: In Holland, a gorilla named Bokito escaped from Rotterdam Zoo. During his escape the animal attacked a female visitor, who had frequent eye contact with the animal. This presumably led to the attack, since gorillas do not like direct eye contact. So the weekend after the escape they distributed more than 2,000 so-called BokitoViewers at the entrance to Rotterdam Zoo.
These silly spectacles are one of the best displays of witty public service announcements that I have ever encountered.

Thursday, January 22

Betchya Didn't Know (pt. 1 of 5)

(This is part 1 of a 5 part series of getting to know little known facts about me - some of these you may already know, some you may not)
I take side streets
If you have never had the privilege of going on a ride with me, well then you're missing out. You will no doubt see parts of the city/countryside that you never knew existed. Now, you may argue that it might take me longer to get from A to B, that I can't drive as fast, or that the streets are too narrow to be purposely driving on them. Well I say to you Mr. Naysayer, "yea, I will indeed continue in my quest of taking side streets."
I do this for 2 distinct reasons:
1. I always, always, ALWAYS get stuck at red lights - ALWAYS (Paige can testify). If you have ever been in the vehicle with me you will understand where I am coming from. I often have many things going on and quickly need to get from here to there in a relatively short amount of time and I swear that the stop lights of the world have a conspiracy against me getting anywhere without having to stop, its true. So to counter their plot I simply avoid them. I take side streets so that I don't have to interact with the stupid Red-Light Army that is out to get me.
2. I seek adventure, exploration, and oddities. I love discovering things. I do this wherever I am, not always intentionally, but usually this is true. This past summer I earned the nickname 'Adventure Steve' because of how I was always wondering off and exploring the new places we were at (Plus I even own a pair of adventure shoes!). I take side streets so that I can discover the rawness of the place I'm going through. I also love things that are odd and out of the ordinary. As a kid I was totally into Ripley's Believe It or Not and things of the sort. And I still enjoy stumbling upon weird and unusual things - and how could you do that if you stayed on the main road the whole time? You couldn't. You just couldn't. I mean think of where all of the weird stories that you hear in the news take place...not in the main cities, they always take place in strange, off-the-beaten path places. Yes, it may take longer. Yes, it may seem silly. Yes, I may have to stop way more often for squirrels, children, or little old ladies - but these are small sacrifices when it comes to the opportunity for exploration.
Now you know.

Sunday, January 18


We have a dragon in our house. A bearded dragon named 'Joseppi' (however you spell it). He is the son of Tyler Roark and Tiffany Henry. Many times when Tyler goes our of town he has be baby sit the creature. Here are some sweet pics I took during one of his dragon feeds:




Here is a hiaku to Joseppi:
Dragon with a beard,
Hey, you may find this weird, but,
What is a beard like?

Thursday, January 15

Table Computer

This video is so wild! The idea that this could possibly be in restaurants by november? (obviously not midwest restaurants - we'll have to wait at least 5 years for them, but until then, we'll keep doing things the midwest way)

Although this is wonderful, it makes me realize that Microsoft should probably be putting its efforts elsewhere...shouldn't it?
Here is a list of things Microsoft should fix before releasing this mind-boggling machine:
*Blue Screen of Death - seriously can't this be fixed?
*Y2K[X] - yeah, y2k is probably going to happen again a decade later, in 2010 (hence the 'X') - shouldn't they do something to keep the computers from crashing and exploding or whatever was supposed to happen with the first y2k?
*Vista - 'nuff said
*Mojave - 'nuff said again
*Those r-tards on the 'I'm a PC' commercials, yeah its obvious that everyone that claims to be a 'PC' lives in their mom's basement, a trailer park, or looks like they couldn't set the time on the vcr if they tried
*The logo - Everyone knows that windows are transparent (unless tinted, but even then they're a blackish purpleish color)
Just some ideas for Microsoft to consider before building a table computer that will eventually dominate the world.

Tuesday, January 13

Taking the good with the bad

I love my work, I really do. And even though I am still technically an 'intern', they recently upgraded me to the corner desk with a window! After working day in and day out at a back desk without a window, this is like burlap to cashmere here and I love it.
There are however some draw backs from sitting there:
*Around 12:18pm everyday I get light shot into my eyes. There are cars that park up against the back of the building where the window faces and there is a Pink-Floyd-Dark-Side-of-the-Moon prism-like beam of blinding light that the closest windshield lazers into my irises.
*My view is of a parking lot and of the back of a giant, old, decrepit 10-bedroom house that has been turned into 10 separate and individual apartments. I swear, this huge eye-sore undoubtedly has at least 2 meth labs in it. I have yet to see them same person more than once go to or come from that house, no joke. It is my belief that there is a rule stating: "all individuals who have anything to do with this crappy house must also drive a crappy car." The statement probably also has a clause stating: "Note: All vehicles must be more than 15 years old, have at least 2 unoriginal doors, any various color of brown, green, or rust, and it must always maintain the look that a hobo family is permanently inhabiting the vehicle."
Overall I give the new window seat a 'B+'.

Sunday, January 11

Watching Pigskin History

If you caught any part of today's NFL divisional playoff game between the NFC rivals Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, you were watching history.
There were many factors that lead to this historic event: Carney's missed field goal, Carney's other missed field goal, McNabb's intentional grounding in the end zone that lead to a safety, Carney's 3 made field goals, a few missed Giants' 4th down attempts, and other defensive triumphs and offensive misfortunes that created this historic game.
What is so historic you may ask? The final score:
Eagles 23 - Giants 11
This has never been the final score to any NFL game (regular season or playoffs) - ever.
And now you know.

Thursday, January 8


Today I got new pictures in the mail of the child that I sponsor. His name is Antony Miguel Cardenas Cortez. He lives in Peru and will be 11 this year.

I can't imagine not sponsoring a child. Its so easy and we're so fortunate for everything that we have. It costs $1.03 a day. That's it. What a small sacrifice that makes such an incredible difference in someone's life. You get to write letters to them and they write you back. I mean, this is their actual handwriting (translated of course), how much closer can you get being 10,000 miles away? The money goes to help provide them with an education, health care, and to missionaries who teach them the Word of Christ. Seriously, this might be the best way to spend $32/month.
This isn't a plug for Compassion International, no this is a plug for giving someone a better life. Someone who is much less fortunate than you. Someone who may not know what its like to have clean water. I find it difficult to even fathom not having clean running water. And that is just the beginning. It is difficult not to take for granted what we as Americans have been handed. The opportunities that each of us has every day is so much more than many of these children ever see in a life time.

Flight of the Conchords online premiere!!

I was a fan of these guys before their show and will be a fan long after. So juiced for Season 2 of Flight of the Conchords!

Wednesday, January 7

Peg Legs & More!!!

Arrrg! Do ya need an extension for your beard? Sufferin' from sea sickness ya scurvy dog? How 'bout some oil fer that peg leg o' yer's? Well matey I have just the place for ya: 826 Valencia.

Located in San Francisco, this shop was started because a city zoning ordinance required that founder Dave Eggers have a store front for his non-profit tutoring program. He put on his thinking cap (over his captain's hat and bandanna of course) and developed this shop. Seriously, this is the most rad idea he could have come up with. Much better than a junk store or a banana stand. Not only does this place have supplies that can fulfill all of your piratey needs, but also it does so in style. This is some of the best packaging that I have ever seen on pirate supplies (at least in the top 5):

The store has some other supplies for the land lubber on your Christmas list; posters, t-shirts, books, and even designer glass eyes.

(packaging done by the amazing group: Office)

Operation: "Get Stephen His Music Back"

Over this Christmas break tragedy struck. I accidentally deleted ALL of my music from my lappy. I had a stupid amount of music - about 70GB worth. Ouch. I didn't know that my mac had stored all of the iTunes files in a little folder called 'iTunes' in my 'Music' folder (which does make sense now, it just never occurred to me). I was needing to create some space and boy did I ever!
Thankfully the I am surrounded by the Music Red Cross. After telling some co-workers about my awful tragedy they came to my rescue. Dan Richards allowed me into his vault of a crazy amount of cds and has granted me access to it at my convenience. This will significantly help restore much of my lost 70's and 80's (yes, i am a synthesizer sympathizer) Larry "Opa" Weigel a talented musician himself has allowed me the key to his sacred treasure chest of music. I am pretty pumped about this since this little dandy is mostly filled with jazz and instrumental tuneage (excellent when getting my design on).
I am not putting this up to shove in the face of my roommate Luke and his even greater tragedy, no I'm putting this up to say thank you to those who help me in my time of need. This is for them. And to show you Luke, that there is someone to turn to in your greatest time of need: A friend with a crap-ton of music.

Sunday, January 4

Manhattan's Last Smoke

The Last Smoke
Last November the citizens of Manhattan voted to ban smoking from all established businesses in the city. After this vote was approved, people who voted for the ban soon realized some of the fine print that they failed to read. This ban lasts 10 years. It cannot be voted on or brought up for discussion until January 4, 2019.
Also, there is no smoking outside of a business for a 10 foot radius. While although this may not seem like much, think about this many business's properties go up to the curb of a street, meaning that even out in the street people cannot smoke. Another clause that is in the bill is that the OWNER of the business must pay for the fine if a person (client, friend, stranger, whoever) is caught smoking and given a ticket. This might seem appropriate, but think about how many times a boss might be away on business and has no idea that some punk kid is smoking behind his office building, ALSO let's say there's a wreck in front of an establishment; one of the parties involved is smoking to reduce their stress level as the police show up - the business owner (even though they had absolutely NO part in the wreck or even KNEW that this person lit up) must pay a smoking fine.

(Last smoke in Auntie Mae's in Aggievile)

People often wonder why they need to be informed about voting or the details of voting. Here is a prime example of why you should learn all the details and discover the fine print on things like this. The idea of "Vote YES for the Smoking Ban" sounds wonderful (cleaner air, less second-hand smoke, a more joyful experience for many people), unless you think how this might effect others; like business owners. It would have been ok to vote NO on this and then have another ban drawn up and voted on. Instead, the Little Apple has shot themselves in the foot because some self-uninformed citizens voted on something that they took only for face value.

Saturday, January 3

Too good NOT to watch

2008 in review

I was going to make a list of 08 highlights before realizing that someone who often has similar ideas had beat me to the punch. I did however realize that my list (although very similar to her's) would be uniquely different.

Stephen's Best of 2008:
* Spring break trip to Nebraska
* Summer Tour with Abandon Kansas (5 dudes + 9 states + 1 van + 20 days = best road trip ever)
* Getting introduced to Flagstaff, AZ
* Wading in the Pacific Ocean
* Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran
* AIGA trip to NYC with my best friends
* Meeting Chip Kidd
* Hearing Malcolm Gladwell in person
* Going atop the Empire State Building
* Being plucked from the audience at the Blue Man Group show
* Multiple K-State football games and KC Royals + a demolition derby with Ryan Barten
* Multiple K-State football games with Cliff Hartman
* Being down on the court as Michael Beasley & Co. whooped KU for the first time in 25+ years at Bramlage!!
* 1 year with Paige
* Becoming roommates with Tyler and Luke
* Freelancing with !ntegrity Graphics
* Long nights on assignments
* Straight A's both semesters
* Sagmesiter with KC AIGA
* Winning an art scholarship
* Having web design class with Jay
* Turning 23
* EVE6 on New Year's Eve in the 'Ville
* Going to Hammerpress in KC
* Filleting my thumb on Dec. 31st.
* Trading in the futon of 4 years for a real bed
* Becoming president of AIGA
* Smoking my first cigar
* Watching Michael Phelps dominate the Olympics
* Live music nights at Radina's
* Exploring the attic of Willard Hall, then getting trapped on the roof
* The Dark Knight
* Passing of grandpa Max
* Another great year with Antony Miguel Cardenas Cortez, my sponsored child
* Hearing Garrison Keillor live
* Randomly meeting and getting autographs David DeJesus, Billy Butler, Joey Gathright, and Dennis Leonard of the KC Royals
* Will Farrell, Nick Swardson, Zach Galifanakis, and Demetri Martin in bramlage
* Halloween as Gilligan with my Mary Ann
* Destroying my mouth with a blazin wing from BWW
* Running a 5-K
(please feel free to help me add to this list if I'm missing anything!)

Thursday, January 1

New Years in Aggieville USA

This is how we brought in the New Year:

-It all began with Tiffany giving Tyler a haircut (Notice the ghetto trash bag parka turned barber cape. very nice.)

-Down in the 'Ville. Paige needed to get a good look at EVE6

-Singing 'Inside Out' by EVE6 (the 'Heart in a blender' song)

-EVE6 singing the 'Heart in a blender' song

-Tiffany contemplating why anyone would want to put their heart in a blender

-The apple atop Varney's awaiting its descent to help bring in the New Year

-The final countdown: