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Sunday, June 29, 2003


"Mr. 3000, Minus 1."


Wow, where have the past few days gone? Honestly, I have no clue. They were here one minute, and then gone the next! .... I guess that's just what happens when you don't pay much attention to the clock. :)

Since I last wrote on Wednesday, not a lot seems to have happened. I've been, as always, working on a wide array of projects, both for clients and for myself, and, of course, enjoying my temporarily self-employed status. It does seem though, that beyond the current smaller projects I am still working on, things have slowed down in that department a bit. Odds are, it'll be a little while before anything big comes my way again.

I think, though, my next project in terms of art, will be to see if I can start selling some prints of my own, on my own. That might be a fun little project. I've got quality work. The trick will just be in seeing if I can interest anyone in picking any of it up. We'll have to see how that works out though, and who knows how far I'll really go with it. If anything, at least it'll be a fun experience in marketing, right? ... [grin].

The big news though lately, coming from my end, is my involvement in the 2004 Hollywood film, "Mr. 3000" filming here at Miller Park in Milwaukee this July. Tomarrow (Monday, June 30) is day one of eleven on the set for me. To say I'm excited to be back on a Hollywood set again is an understatement. My role is a non-speaking/ extra role, but judging by the fact that they want me on the books for about 135 hours (11 days), I really can't complain! It'll be loads of fun, and, it'll pay the bills for a while. Can't argue with a win-win situation!

So, since I have to be on-set at 6 am tomarrow morning, that means no late night for me. It means, rest, and preparation for 12 hours of playing pretend. Twelve hours of pretend mixed in with lots of downtime. I think I'll make sure to take my sketchbook and a good book. :)

I know what work like this entails. It'll be interesting to meet those new to it. I'm sure I'll hear a lot of "I'm bored'. (There's a lot of downtime when filming a movie). Strangely I'm kind of looking forward to that. It could be amusing. I'm also looking forward to meeting others interested in this film. I enjoy meeting new people, and what better place to meet them than doing something you enjoy. I doubt I'll have much of a chance to chat it up with Mr. Bernie Mac though, but hey, seeing him play baseball should be a thrill. :)

Well, take care, all, and I'll be sure to write a little about day one sometime on Tuesday.

Take care, and God bless!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003


"I take that back...."


I think I spoke too soon. It's hot and very muggy in here this evening (Tuesday night). So much for the no shirt thing. It probably doesn't help either that I live on the second floor; Heat rises.

Oh well. It'll be uncomfortable sleeping, but I'll live. ...[chuckle].

Catch you on the marrow,
-Jon

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003


"No Shoes, No Shirt.... Less Heat."


Well, I guess it's officially summer now. I think it's the heat and humidity that gave that away. Hmm. What do you think? ...[chuckle].

Monday was a warm one, but even moreso in terms of the humidity. It was just one of those days you don't really want to be out sitting in the sun, unless you're there on purpose, say, for a tan. I personally spent the day indoors with the fan on. If I remember correctly it was in the mid to high 80's -- A little warm. I guess I'm not quite used to it yet. I've been enjoying this nice spring weather a little too much lately. I'll just have to press Noah about getting that AC installed again shortly.

Today, Tuesday, it's again in the mid 80's, but not so bad this time. There's a breeze outside so that makes it a little more comfortable than yesterday. This time though, I'm enjoying the comforts of 'no shoes, no shirt'!.... [raises eyebrow].... The breeze coming in the window upon my back feels pretty nice right now, and somewhat cancels out the warmer temperature....

...Ah, the joys of warm summer weather! ... [chuckle]!

Have a blessed Tuesday, stay cool, and until later,

Your happily blogging, cold-water-drinking friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, June 22, 2003


"A Beautiful Heart."


Not a lot has happened since I last wrote. Actually, it's turned out to be a rather laxidasical end to the week. I've had things to do, just not the rush of earlier.

So, when I was on campus on Thursday, I checked out a few DVD's from the campus library. One of them happened to be "A Beautiful Mind", starring Russel Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. I'd never seen that film before, even after it won four Academy Awards. I've always wanted to, but never had the opportunity. So, like a number of other things lately it seems, I decided to take that opportunity, and I sat down to watch it Saturday night.

.... And, I'll be completely honest with you, I was blown away. No wonder the film won four Academy Awards! Personally, I think it deserved more than that!.... Best Actor for example. But, regardless of how many awards or nominations it earned, there is no doubt, that film has moved somewhere into my top 10 favorite of all time, and that's no joke, though where it resides, I don't yet know. My dad unofficially 'rates' movies on his personal scale by how many tears he sheds during a film. Honestly, I think I'm slowly picking up on that trait a little.

There are just some movies that touch you somewhere deep inside, for whatever reasons, though all, to a personal degree. There are also just some films that you can't explain fully in words. Where the voice cannot express, the heart and mind can.

So, I'm not going to review this film here. Rather, I am going to list a few of my favorite quotes from the film, of which there were many (another sign of a good movie -- excellent writing). Enjoy the quotes. :)

_______________________

Nash: [to Martin Hansen] I've gotten used to ignoring them and I think, as a result, they've kind of given up on me. I think that's what it's like with all our dreams and our nightmares, Martin, we've got to keep feeding them for them to stay alive.
_______________________

Nash: Classes will dull your mind.
(Me: Ha! Having had 17 years of education, I nearly agree with this quote whole-heartedly!)
_______________________

Alicia: It's called "life," John. Activities available; just add meaning.
_______________________

Alicia: How big is the universe?
Nash: Infinite.
Alicia: How do you know?
Nash: I know because all the data indicates it's infinite.
Alicia: But it hasn't been proven yet.
Nash: No.
Alicia: You haven't seen it.
Nash: No.
Alicia: How do you know for sure?
Nash: I don't, I just believe it.
Alicia: It's the same with love I guess.
________________________

Alicia: God must be a painter. Why else would we have so many colors?
_______________________

Nash: Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter.
________________________

Charles: There's no such thing as "for sure". That's the only sure thing I do know.
________________________

Nash: I've made the most important discovery of my life. It's only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons can be found. I'm only here tonight because of you. You're the only reason I am... you're all the reasons I am.
________________________

And the best quote of all:

Nash: Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart.

Have a blessed Sunday.
-Jon

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Tuesday, June 17, 2003


"A New Job: Accepting the Dramatic."


Back on Saturday, June 7, I had auditioned to be an extra in the upcoming film, "Mr. 3000", slated to film here in Milwaukee this summer. This afternoon, I was called by one of the casting agents and told that I had been hired to be one of those extras. So, starting on June 30, and going throughout the month of July, I'll be filming at Miller Park. I'm slated to work at least eleven full days on the set.

In many ways, this is an unexpected blessing. Right now, my freelance art projects are slowing down or being completed. There is certainly talk of more projects down the pike, but not a lot more to pay the bills at the present time. So, lately, I've had to start thinking about re-submitting my resume around Milwaukee, and looking for more work. I'll be honest, though, that's definitely not a task that I'm all that eager for, especially considering my lack of luck in previous months.

But then, unexpectedly, the casting call comes in this afternoon, and my concerns are allowed to mellow a bit. I'll be paid to keep doing something I love immensely! I'll be on the set again, working among creative people in the Hollywood film industry. And, I'll be back in the swing of professional acting again! This time, though, I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open for contacts. Afterall, who knows what could come of this opportunity. It won't lead to big bucks, but, you know me, optimism is usually not a foreign term in my vocabulary!

God certainly works in mysterious and often unexpected ways! I've been given a new job for the next month or so, and, in thanks, I'm going to enjoy it to the fullest. I am going make the best of a rare opportunity!

I'm sure you'll be hearing more about my experiences on set again. I'll write what I'm allowed to as it happens, but for now here's hoping for a fun month of July!

Have a blessed day, and I'll write again later.

Your happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon

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"Actress Rachel Elizabeth."


You might be interested in checking out one of the other websites I've designed. This one is for my sister, Rachel, the one engaged to Noah, my current roomate. Rachel, like myself, is also an aspiring actor. You might find her blog interesting as well.

-Jon

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Monday, June 16, 2003


"Cheese Every Ten Miles."


You gotta love Wisconsin. Where else will you be able to drive 340 miles across-state, and see signs every ten miles or so for yet another 'cheese factory'? .... I love cheese, but, man, that's still a lot of cheese!

Truth be told, though, Noah, Rachel, and I did eventually succumb to those signs on the way back to Milwaukee from Minnesota last night. We stopped, somewhere around the Dells (Wisconsin Dells) and Noah made sure to buy some 8-year-old aged chedder as a Father's Day gift. I guess his dad likes cheese too. ...[chuckle].

Overall though, the weekend was a good one. I guess I've never been a fan of the round-trip 700 mile journey from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, and then back again, especially in two days. But, being able to spend Father's Day with my dad at home was well worth it. The image in church on Sunday of my parents sitting at the end of the pew, and all six of us siblings (plus Noah of course), down the line, filling up the rest of the pew, was a touching one. All of us were able to get back home for the weekend, and I think my dad really appreciated the rare opportunity....

It was somewhat like those credit card commercials:

"A gallon of unleaded gas: $1.58. Lunch at a fast food restuarant somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin: $5.39. A caffinated beverage from a rest area somewhere along the interstate: $1.25. The entire family spending Father's Day at home: Priceless."

I guess for that reason, a journey through the hills, flat farm fields, and dense forests of Wisconsin was definitely worth it. In the end, it was my vacation for a while. Now that I'm safely back in Milwaukee again, I return to my tasks at hand, and I remember another year celebrating a Father whose love and support has lead me to where I am right now!

Thanks Dad! Though things are simple on my end, you're part of the reason I am here, enjoying this simple life that I am! May God grant you many more years of successful fatherhood! :)

Have a blessed new week all, and I'll catch you again on the marrow.

Your happily blogging, cheese-loving friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, June 14, 2003


"End of the Week: Road Trip"


Well, it's Saturday already -- the end of the week. Surprisingly I look back on the week and am wondering where it went.

I suppose this is partly due in point to the fact that I have chosen to exist on a night schedule this week. It's one of the joys of setting my own hours right now, but, it takes a little longer to get used to than I thought. With this patriotic piece that I have been working on, I decided to draw during the night, and sleep during the day. I really enjoy drawing in the quiet of the evening, and so far it seems to be working very well.

I think, barring the fact that I am still probably a day (or night rather) behind where I wanted to be at this point, a day is all I'll need yet before the piece is finished. As it just so happens, this weekend I'll be taking a road trip up to Minnesota with Rachel (sis) and Noah (roomate). We're going up for the high school graduation (party?) for my brother Ben. I had hoped, since my client for this art project will be there as well, that I could bring the finished piece with me and deliver it in person....

...No such luck though. I've come within a day of that goal, but, have not reached it. Honestly, that has me a bit bummed out. But, I guess the good 'ole postal service will get my business, and I'll have to concede to the fact that time can't always be on my side.

So, that means, in about three and a half hours, we depart, via highway for Minnesota. It's a 5-6 hour drive, and I can't say I'm eager for this road trip itself, but, the family visit on the other end should be nice.... Even if I did just see them all last weekend, when they passed through Milwaukee, on thier way back from thier vacation. :)

Oh well, vacations are nice, and Christmas was the last time I went anywhere. I'm looking forward to the diversion from the norm awaiting me at the end of this 300-mile trip, even if goals were just barely missed, and I've just seen my family. I'll enjoy the opportunity..... and then I'll be all reved up to return on Sunday night and be creative again!

So, I'll catch you all when I get back. Have a blessed weekend.

Your happily blogging artist friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, June 11, 2003


"Cabin by the Lake"



This print, one of my lesser-known pieces, can now also be found in my online store.

I'll be adding more artwork in the coming weeks. I'll also be sure to put up the link to the commissioned Patiotic piece that I'm working on as well, as soon as it becomes available, so, stay tuned. There'll be some good stuff coming. :)

-Jon

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Tuesday, June 10, 2003


"Monday: That OTHER Art Bug."


Monday I woke up, and it had finally happened, I had the artist's equivalent of "Writer's Block." I had some brainstorming that I planned to do, but, for the life of me, I couldn't come up with anything new, no matter how hard I was trying. I rarely freeze up on ideas like that, but, unfortunately, with a little bit of poor timing, Monday was one of those rare days.

So, with my creative 'mojo' apparently not working properly, I applied myself to other tasks, and thankfully, was still able to stay productive. However, I am now a day behind where I wanted to be. I got caught up on Sunday from being a day behind where I wanted to be last week.... and then, as of the end of Monday, I'm right back where I started. Bah. I guess you can't really plan for these sort of things. They just happen. I expect, with a good night's sleep tonight, and the start of a fresh new day tomarrow, I'll have my creative juices flowing again. I'm pretty confident of that.

With the lack of my full creative capacities, I ended up taking care of a few other things, some notable, some just extraneous. Here's some of the more notable, or interesting, of Monday's tasks:

The big news is, I have added some new items to my store. I have also updated it with more recommendations. Of greatest note, however, is my first 'official' art print, "Cabin by the Lake" ,now featured there. The title kind of speaks for itself really. It's a beautiful pastel print, and, one of my lesser-known works of art. I'll be adding more in the next few weeks. Enjoy... (Oh, and it's available in a number of sizes too!)

I found out another very exciting peice of news today. Potpourri, with over 1,000,000 subscribers to its product catalog, plans to carry "Afternoon Hideaway" in its Christmas 2003 catalog. That's my most recent commissioned piece. Pretty cool. The really wonderful part about it though is, that's a heck of a lot of exposure for my work!

On another interesting note, according to Blogshares, a fantasy stock market simulator for weblogs, this weblog (Jon Baas: Daily Musings) is worth $0.32 cents a share in it's first day on the market.... Wanna help me raise the fantasy price a bit? :)

And, lastly, I have some items on Ebay. If you're interested in some rare Star Trek CCG cards, stop on by. :)

Well, have a blessed Tuesday, and until the marrow,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, June 08, 2003


"Hollywood, Wisconsin -- Mr. 3000"


This week, Milwaukee has been Hollywood bound again. The film, "Mr. 3000" will be filming in town through the end of July, with much of the sports-related scenes being filmed at our beautiful Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Mr. 3000", in case you may not have read elsewhere by now, is starring comedian Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett, among others. The story, follows an aging, retired, and out-of-shape ficticious Major League Baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers (Bernie Mac), who has achieved his career dream of reaching the honored 3000 hit plateau. Years after his retirement, a statistical error is found, proving that he really only has 2,997 hits, three shy of that original plateau. To regain his self-image, and regain what was 'lost', he comes out of retirement to reaquire those three missing hits.

Well, today, Saturday, was a general casting call for extras in that film....

I was able to gather together my friend Scott, my sister Rachel, and myself and head down to Miller Park and sign up. We were unable to get there as early as we had hoped, but when we did, about an hour later, the line already wrapped around the outside outfield wall of the monolithic stadium -- that's about half mile long or so! And that's a lot of people!....

After waiting in the sun and chatting for two and a half hours as the line slowly inched forward, we finally made it up to the front, only to turn in our sign-up/ info sheets, get photos taken, and then be on our way, with the promise that if we were to be used, we'd be called. Typical Hollywood, though not a surprise. There were probably thousands of hopeful extras that signed up, and that's a heck of a lot of people to weed through!

Now I've been part of both Hollywood productions and non-Hollywood productions before, but this has been the largest casting call I've ever been part of. As I see it, they're all wonderful opportunities, so our wait was nothing to complain about. But, I think, judging by the size of the call and the amount of people that showed up, my odds of being hired are a bit less than my previous film experiences. But, hey, like I say, it was an excellent opportunity, and I've got my fingers crossed. Afterall, when you're an actor like myself, you have to live life with your fingers crossed -- permanently crossed! That's just how it is.

But, I'll keep an eye on the phone, and see what results. Who knows, maybe I'll have another opportunity to add to my belt.... and, of course, my resume! Then again, maybe not. It's all in good time. The Milwaukee filming starts the end of June.

I will be honest though, I never imagined how tiring standing under the sun like that, for two and a half hours, can be. Strangely, I'm plum tuckered out! Not to mention I have family in town this weekend. Honestly.... I'm gonna be in 'good times overload' before too long!...

Maybe I'd better head off to bed then, before I, once again, fall asleep here at my trusty keyboard. More later, on this intruiging opportunity though. For now, sweet, sweet sleep!

Catch you all on the marrow,

Your tired, but happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, June 05, 2003


"Friendly Rats, and Vivid Colors."


Well, it's Thursday evening already. I must say, time flies when you're having fun (and keeping busy). Still so much to do though....

I've found myself with a bit of writer's block these past couple of days in terms of this blog. I don't really know why. I guess I've just kept so occupied with other things that I've just had very little of note to write about. I think I'll try to get back into the swing of things though....

Last week, I was asked by my friend Matt and his wife, Sara, to do them a favor while they travelled this week -- I was asked to feed their rats. Now I'll be honest, though their rats are the some of the most docile animals I've ever met, I still have a bit of a reluctance to tending them. They're rats. But, I agreed, and since Matt and Sara only live a few blocks walk from where I live, I was the most likely candidate.

I was asked to stop in on the rats three days during the next week and make sure they're faring well. Today was the first day. I've never really thought of myself as a pet person beyond my appreciation for house cats, but, I'll admit, once I arrived, I started talking to these rats and they seemed a little less intimidating. I think I still have a bit of a favoritism to the cats though.... When I was growing up, if there were rats around (we mostly had outdoor cats, as I lived in the country), they were cat-food, not pets.

But, honestly, despite my strange reluctance with these two rats, I kind of like them. They're not much for conversations, but their antics are fun to sit and enjoy. They seemed a little over-exicted that I was there (they still had plenty of food so it wasn't a 'feed me' sort of excitement). They just seemed a little playful actually. My task however, was not to let them out, just feed them, so they had to settle for my conversation. When I finally did refill their food and water, they went to town snatching a few peices and then going to hide in the bottom of their cage, nibbling away at their tasty new morsels. Like I say, it was fun to watch!

...Ah, the life of a domesticated pet! ... Eat, sleep, explore, and be talked to by strange larger creatures who always seem to have a strange fascination with you! ...Dull, monotonous, but I'm sure sometimes quite amusing nonetheless. :)

After a little while, however, I finally left them to their nibbling, and went on my way. I had other things to take care of today. I'll be back in two days to check up on them again. They probably won't miss me, but it's all good. I do have to wonder what we'll talk about next time though... [sarcastic wink].
________________

After my visit with the furry ones, I decided to venture a little further away from my neighborhood. I had some errands to take care of. As it just so happened, one was picking up some new art supplies, at a nearby art store, for one of the commissioned projects I am working on. Luckily, the city bus goes right past my store of choice, so it was no problem....

...Whenever I go into that store though, I am always amused at the variety of different tools and supplies that exist for nearly any kind of visual artist.... paints, papers, frames, pencils, matte cutters, matte board, plastic wrap, erasers... etc. If I had the funds, I could go nuts in a store like that! But, I'm glad I don't. It's a good deterant.

My journey was planned however. I knew what I was looking for -- a selection of vivid colored pencils to add to my waning supply.

This artwork that I am currently working on, is one that I hope will be a very powerful piece honoring our "Hometown Heroes" -- the firefighters, police officers, and miltary troops that have chosen to give their lives and service to uphold the freedoms we in this country hold at the utmost. ....

...Essentially, in this image, three figures, representing the different genre's of America's heroes, stand among the debris of disaster, defiantly raising an American flag in front of a brilliant sunrise, that looks very reminiscent of a flag itself. It's turning out to be a very attractive piece. You'll have to stay tuned here though, becasue when it's finished, it will be offered as a color print, as well as a composition etched in framed glass. It's something to look forward to, especially since I have been hearing some good things about the project already!

So, feel free to pay attention here as the deadline for completion approaches. By the end of next week, I turn it in, and after that, it'll likely be featured in a number of different art catalog locations.... I'll also see about featuring it here on my site as well. :)

For now however, I think the time has come to publish this post, and then once again return to the living room, a nice cold beverage (water of course!) sitting next to me, a good television show/DVD on the tv, and my brand new vivid colors in hand!.... Ah, the life of an artist! Creativity, creativity, and more creativity, all with the end purpose of providing something emotional or awe-inspiring for others to enjoy. How can life get any better than that!

Well, have a blessed end of the week, and until next time,

Your happily blogging artist friend,
-Jon

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Monday, June 02, 2003


"A Girl, a Boy, and a Computer."


Friday night I was up late. As such, I had the television on and was watching two favorite shows (Stargate SG-1, and the X-Files), as I often do. When the second show came to an end, I happened to keep watching the channel (out of a little bit of laziness actually), and a caught a very interesting movie. I guess you could say I got hooked....

This particular movie, a 1984 release, was titled "Electic Dreams". Here's a short summary as found on imbd.com (courtesy of Mathew R. Ignash):

This upbeat love story features an architect named Miles who decides to modernize his life by buying a computer. Not knowing a thing about them, he purchases the biggest most power system he can get ahold of, and wastes no time in having all sorts of accidents - dropping it, spilling wine on it, cross wiring it. All of which ends up causing something amazing to happen, the computer gains self-awareness! Using it's word processor, speakers and microphone the computer learns to communicate with Miles and they become friends as he teaches it about life. Then, when a pretty chello player moves in next door, the shy Miles and super-intelligent but inexperienced computer conspire to get her to love Miles in the best tradition of Cyrano. After the computer and the woman start to share music together, through the heating ducts, the computer falls for the woman too. Soon man and machine are battling for who has the right to date her. In the end the computer concludes that it doesn't have a chance with the woman and wishes the couple a happy life together. It arranges for it's own destruction after it requests a musical tribute to the new couple on a local radio station.

Now, I'll be honest, this film, almost twenty years old, didn't do well in the box office then, but it's a real shame. Though obviously a little dated, especially in terms of computer references, this film is actually a very attractive little love story. The acting is pretty good, especially for it's time (staring Virginia Madsen and Lenny Von Dohlen); the story is, perhaps a bit implausible, but certainly not detractively so; and the 80's music not bad at all. Ironically, there is even a small fan base out there that is pushing for this film to be released on DVD.... So, it is certainly a well-liked, but little-known film.

My recommendation, if you like love stories, and don't mind that this one is set in the 80's, rent it sometime (VHS only). You'll probably like it. Hey, afterall, I'm adding it to my favorites, so that must mean something! ... [grin].

If you're interested, I've included a few links to information about it on the web. Check it out sometime, and enjoy! Feel free to let me know what you think!

LINKS:
- Movie listing on IMDB.com.
- Listing at The 80's Movie Rewind

Have a blessed day!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Jon Baas

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