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Friday, October 31, 2003


"Happy Reformation Day"


Forget Halloween. I did nothing to 'celebrate'. I do appreciate the idea of Halloween -- the good-natured spooks, the little ghosts, the kids in costumes knocking on doors seeking candy, the autumn colors, the intricately-carved jack-o-lanterns, and so on, .... but today was actually Reformation Day. I wonder how many people actually knew that.

Not many I gather. It's a shame actually. We have a national holiday to celebrate the underworld, but when it comes to religion.... who cares.

In some ways it makes me a little embarrassed to live in a country where religion is considered such a sacred freedom, yet Christmas and Easter are the only notable national religious holidays. And even then, a white bunny that brings colored eggs and an old man in a red suit are more important than the life and work of Jesus Christ.

You know, when you think about it, that's just sad.

-Jon

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Thursday, October 30, 2003


"Bobble Head Mania"


Umm, ok, so, who really needs a Martin Luther bobble head doll? Seriously.

Guess what? There's a store that actually sells one.

What? What's so funny? It's PERFECT for the dashboard of your car! And, you can show support for your favorite Religious Reformer at the same time. How cool is that! ..... Yeah, sure. Just what I need. Top of my Christmas list. .... [rolls eyes].

-Jon

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


"Memento"


Late Monday evening, I watched the film "Memento" on DVD. My brief review is as follows. (Just an FYI though, it is written in a similar style and format as the film (aka, backwards)). .... Enjoy! .... [grin].

*******************

-Jon
Your happily blogging friend,

God bless, and have a wonderful Tuesday!

Enjoy, and, if you've seen the film, feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you thought!

Since I have the film for a few weeks yet, I'm sure I'll see it again. Although, seeing it twice no doubt removes that thrill of seeing it the first time. But hey, good films are meant to be enjoyed. And, you never know, I may catch something I missed the first time, even if I do know what's supposed to happen next. :)

It's a story riddled with unexpected plot twists, uncertainty over what is truth and what is lie, and the struggle this one man goes through as he tries to piece together his investigation, knowing that what he knew only a few minutes ago could be completely gone from his memory at any time. Riveting, and very engaging. I personally give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone interested in a good thinker movie. Go rent it if you get the chance, and enjoy this thoroughly creative venture into an excellent mind-bending film!

In a nutshell, the film follows the personal investigation of one man trying to track down his wife's killer. The kicker, however, is that he has recently suffered a major brain injury that inhibits his ability to form short-term memories since his accident. As a result, we, the audience, see what happens in this investigation from his point of view -- fragmented, and backwards.

As you may know (or may not, but may have already determined from this blog entry) the film is written and played out backwards. In other words, it starts at the end of the film, and ends at the begining. I didn't realize this when I sat down to watch the film, but, actually found myself very caught up in the story. Normally I wouldn't expect this of a film produced in such a unique format, but, I personally thought the director (Christopher Nolan), the cast, and the crew, pulled it off magnificently.

A few days back, I checked out the film "Memento" on DVD from my old campus library. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I had heard intruiging things about it, and, knowing it starred Guy Pearce, an actor whose performances I am find of, I decided to give it a try.

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"Monday Recap"


Hmm. Monday. Well, let's see....

Helped sister with her Monday theatre class in the morning. A little hectic, but enjoyable nontheless. Could comment on the joy that can be found working with kids, but then again you've all probably heard that before. Class lasted 2.5 hours, bonded with some of the kids.... class finished. Came home.

After a lunch stop at McDonalds, came home to my apartment. Was tired. Took a nap.

Woke up five hours later when my roomate, Noah, returned home from work. Chatted some. Returned to my own work.

Later in the evening, joined Noah on a trip to the grocery store for milk, cheese, that sort of thing. Returned home, and back to projects at hand. Ate a late dinner.

Watched "Memento" on DVD.

Now, sitting here.... typing this blog post.

Again, not as productive a day as I would have hoped, but, still an efficient effort towards the productivity I needed to accomplish. I have another involved day tomarrow. But, then again, such is life. It keeps things interesting, and I do like interesting. :)

-Jon

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Friday, October 24, 2003


"Sleeping Beauty"


Well, ok, I don't know about the beauty part, I guess that would be in the eye of the beholder.... but I just awoke not too long ago, and found that I had been sleeping for the past fourteen and a half hours! I went to bed at midnight last night, feeling tired, and awoke at 2:30pm this afternoon. Incidently, I am no longer tired. Hmm.

It was an entertaining and quite an amusing sleep however. The dreaming was pretty engaging....

I had visited a college campus much like my own alma mater. Only, for some religious festival, the college had hired a group of artists and contractors to completely cover the modern red brick facade with thick sheets of that pink constuction styrofoam. The artists had apparently carved a new facade into the styrofoam, painted it realistically, and when all the peices were in place, ended up giving the entire campus a new French gothic look that looked nothing like the original campus.

They had completely redesigned the interior and the exterior of every building (including adding a massive cathedral completely out of this durable styrofoam that had not been there before.). .... Then, when I was so in awe of the intricate job and was taking one of the lengthy guided tours throughout this newly designed campus, I couldn't find my digital camera, and, by the time I did, the contractors were already removing all the artistic work they had done, and returning the campus to it's original state.

Later, I caught a ride home (apparently to another state) with a friend, and kept insisting on stopping to pick up a [Sunday] newspaper, hoping there was an article and pictures of this redesigned campus inside. Afterall there had been literally thousands of people who showed up to tour this "installation art", and reporters were among them. Apparently I just HAD to have some pictures. Incidently, though, I didn't find that newspaper until somewhere during the next completely un-related dream....

Strange, yes, very much so,.... but definitely interesting. :)

Then, after that (and presumably a new story) I found myself 'babysitting' a cute intelligent little girl while on a trip around the world. Australia was nice, and later watching as the pilot later landed the small plane we were on -- in the mountains somewhere -- was riviting.... However, as seems to be the case in real life, children seem to like me for some reason. By the end of the story, this little girl and I had developed a strong sibling-like relationship..... I had grown to love her so much, I had even wanted to adopt her at one point. Unfortunately, following a tearful goodbye a little while later, the story conluded and presumably a new one began.

Again, rather strange, and a bit more dramatic than the first, but still an enjoyable story.

You know, I think my subcontious mind definitely has access to my creativity. Maybe it's an advantage of being a creative person in real life, I don't know, .... but my dreams always seem to reflect that ten-fold! Honestly, I've had countless dreams as intricately woven together as this, all very real. The stories and images have got to come from somewhere though, right? Perhaps maybe I should just be thankful, though, that my dreaming IS as entertaining, dramatic, or creative as it is. It probably proves that I'm still alive.

We go to see movies to be entertained. Our subcontious minds dream to be entertained.... Interesting analogy.

Oh well. I've already unexpectedly lost half my day to sleep. I suppose I'd better see what planned errands I can still get done today. At least the half day I did loose to sleep was entertaining. ... [grin].

Have blessed weekend, and until next time,

Your happily blogging creative friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003


"My Tuesday Treasure Chest!"


It's amazing what you find when you do a little cleaning and go through old files. I've been up all night doing just that, and here are some of the intruiging things I found:

- A $20 bill! (a surprising and much appreciate find!)
- A year-old check for $20 that I probably can't cash anymore....
- Old letters (correspondence) I received from various friends, dating back to 1993!
- Lots of old Christmas cards.
- Photos I'd forgotten I even had.
- School report cards dating back to high school.
- Many varied and interesting files that could provide hours of reading material!
- Autographed items I forgot I had.
- Operational manuals for electronics items I no longer own.
- and most importantly.... the files I was originally looking for. :)

Incidently, if anyone is interested in benefiting from some of these cool things I've found, either directly or indirectly, please feel free to take a look at the growing list of items I have on ebay. You never know what what kind of deal you might find! .... [grin]

Have a blessed day, and until later,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, October 20, 2003


"It's summer again, right? / Children make good teachers too!"


Man, I tell you, this weather is nice! I'm dreaming of summer again! Right now it's actually a balmy 75 degrees in my part of Milwaukee, and still an absolutely beautiful day. Throw in the vibrant colors that are gracing the leaves, and how can you not want to be outside!

Today, I gave my sister a helping hand with another one of her theatre workshops, this time out in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee. I could tell though that the children were a little eager to enjoy the outdoors instead of being cooped up indoors. The weather was beautiful and the sun was shining brightly, but with so much to do in the class today, there wasn't time in the two and a half hours to take in the sun.

The class was enjoyable though nonetheless. It feels good to share my time and theatre knowledge with these children. This Monday class unfortunatly has a younger collection of kids, who are a little more into the games and warm-up exercises than the overal theatre knowledge. The Saturday class, however, (and my personal favorite of the two) seems to have a lot more children whose passion for theatre is unmistakable in their eyes. You can't help but notice how eager they are to perform. Working with them, really rejuvinates someone like myself. I see so much excitement and drive in the kids, it actually helps to renew my confidence in my own acting endeavors!

But it also makes me think.... I don't quite have that kind of excitement anymore. Oh, don't get me wrong, my passion for the trade is far from unquenchable, but it just makes me realize, I truely am getting older. It's a lot harder to remain excited sometimes. By the time theatre starts to become a career interest, as it has for me, the challenge becomes a lot greater. By this point, other things like agents, headshots, personal image, auditions, fierce competition, and the like, all enter the picture.... and it gets a heck of a lot more frustrating!

Why does it have to be so hard to do what you truely have a passion for? I guess that's just life, right? Man, but if I had some of this passion these kids have, ...bye-bye frustrations! There just wouldn't be room for that anymore!

There is, though, one lesson I see played out before me every time I help out with these theatre workshops, kids make great teachers too. Yes, we-re teaching them the basics of theatre.... but if we pay close enough attention, they're teaching us not to lose our own youthful interests.

So, now I sit here at my computer -- a few hours later -- and I get to thinking.... I'm glad I was asked to help out with my sister's theatre workshop(s). I may have been a little reluctant at first, having not worked in this capacity -- with this many children -- for a couple of years, but no more. This really is a lot of fun.

Take the opportunity to watch a child at play.... You can learn a lot from their youthful perspective -- a lot that can be applied to your own endeavors. Kids can be excellent teachers too, and they don't even know they're doing so.

Enjoy your Tuesday. Have a blessed day, and until next time,

Your happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon

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"Wow, is that my fan club!"


Thanks to my referrer logs, I happened upon Beth's weblog today....

But first, for those of you that remember day thirteen of my fifteen days on the set of "Mr. 3000" , a little backstory might be in order.... Here's an excerpt from that day in my journal:
______________________________

"After dinner, more [camera] shots on the field, however, here's where the most interesting part of the night played out. ...At one point, a few hours before we would likely wrap for the morning, I was sitting, chatting with Jessica and Dave in the back row of one of the sections behind homeplate, during a little downtime. Times were good and the conversation interesting....

As I sat there chatting with my friends next to me, a tap came upon my shoulder. Curious who it was, I turned towards the aisle directly behind me to find a young woman wearing a typical tag identifying her as one of the film crew. She addressed me by name (I had not met her before), shook my hand, and introduced herself as one of the crew for "Mr. 3000". As it turned out, she was the 'Assistant to the Director', the director being Charles Stone!

Wow, such unexpected meetings! I was floored! She mentioned how she had read my weblog entries of my time spent working on "Mr. 3000" and how she really enjoyed them. She even noted her interest in eventually sharing my weblog entries with Charles Stone himself! How cool is that!

...To say I was thrilled to have a second crew member stop me (after probably tracking me down in a crowd of 1000+ extras), and compliment me on my weblog was really quite cool! What thrilled me even more was to hear that, though she had gotten the opportunity to work in her capacity on this film, she was not all that far different from myself.... just a determined young artist (screenwriter, in her case) working to pay the bills, and doing something she loved in the process. I thought that was cool....

After Heather(?) left, Jessica and Dave, seated next to me, seemed quite surprised and thoroughly excited at the brief conversation that had just transpired... However, it was the reactions of the row of seats in front of me that surprised me even more. Apparently they (6 or 7 fellow extras, perhaps early to mid twenties) had overheard much of the conversation. When I turned around to face the field again, they were all staring back, humorously in awe.

"So, how are YOU so famous!?" one of the girls asked, quite curiously.

I paused a moment, not sure how to explain my sudden notoriety, ...and proceeded to tell them of my filming journal on my weblog. They seemed excited to check it out. So, I guess I now have a 'fan club'! ... [shrug / chuckle]."
_____________________________

That said, back to Beth's weblog....

I came upon it today, and it turns out she is one of those girls that was in the row in front of me there in the stadium! Yep, she's one of my fellow "Mr. 3000" extras, and, one of the members of "my fan club"! .... Ha, small world isn't it! :)

I was unable to leave a message on her blog, so, I thought I'd say hi on mine. Besides, she seems like such a friendly (and witty) individual anyway, how can I not send a greeting her way! ... [grin].

If you're interested, you might want to stop by and give her a read, that is, if she doesn't mind the visitors. That, and she also has some talented and interesting friends... also well worth meeting! Enjoy, and, if you do find a way, feel free to say hi from me as well!

Have a blessed day everyone, and, until later,

Your happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon

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Friday, October 17, 2003


"Disappointed in Milwaukee."


Grrrrr. The Yankees beat the Red Sox. So, it'll be a Yankees / Marlins World Series this year. Guess what, I could care less.... and I am officially NOT rooting for either team. :)

-Jon

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Thursday, October 16, 2003


"Disappointment in Chicago."


Well, the Chicago Cubs came so close to making history this year, and then had it snatched away at the last minute. They made a valiant effort though, and for that I commend them. I guess there's always next year's playoffs right?.... (Although I secretly hope the Brew Crew also does a better job next year. It's about time for them too.).

I can't say I'm rooting for the Florida Marlins now that they've won. I never really liked that team. I suppose that means, my support now has to be for the Boston Red Sox, right? I never really cared for the Yankees; they win too often, and have way too much money. .... Yeah, I think I would definitely smile at a Yankees loss. That would certainly have the potential of making my day! ... [grin].

Oh well, here's hoping for a Boston World Series title this year. .... [sigh]

-Jon

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003


"The year is 2260. The place, Babylon 5."


Well, as of this evening, I have now watched all of the Babylon 5 episodes up through the end of season three. My friend Scott lent them to me on DVD, saying he thought I'd find the series very enjoyable. I've seen about 66 episodes in those three seasons and thoroughly loved them all! Now, I can't wait to get my hands on seasons four and five! .... [grin].

-Jon

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003


"Bill Cosby: Man of Humor"


I've been listening to some of Bill Cosby's comedy routines as I've worked on the computer. He's definitely one of the best comedians our present century has seen. I like his style and delivery, his witty sound effects, and I definitely appreciate the laughs! He is, without a doubt, one of my favorite comedians.

-Jon

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Monday, October 13, 2003


"Time to get in gear."


Well, the weekend is over.... time to get myself in gear again and crank out some productivity.

Friday ended up being a bit of a 'ho-hum' day. Not a lot to report that is. I actually spent most of my afternoon sleeping, as fatigue and general tiredness seemed to be keeping me company. I had less time when I was awake to do much of anything. When evening came, I had to return to bed early, so that I could be up early Saturday to help my sister with her class.

Saturday started with that theatre for kids class. Once again it was a joy to be working with the young ones. There's something invigorating about that class. The children seem genuinely enthused, and very eager to perform. That, and maybe I just have a hidden soft spot for children. .... [chuckle].

After the class, I ended up taking care of a few minor projects around my apartment.... and then went back to bed. It had not been as productive a day as I had hoped, and unfortunately, I didn't get through all of my to-do list. Maybe Sunday, right?

Well, unfortunately, Sunday also ended up avoiding most of the to-do list. Instead I found myself answering a few emails, and immersing myself in an enjoyable computer baseball game -- Baseball Mogul. I was unable to take my team to a World Series Title, but the hey, I am building a potent collection of young rookie talent. ....

By Sunday evening, I had let a little more dust collect over the major projects I had hoped to complete.

Now, it's Monday afternoon, and I'm forcing myself to get in gear. Afterall, as the old saying goes, "If a man will not work, he will not eat." Unfortunately, at the moment, that seems to be quite a true statement. With freelance work slowing down quite a bit, I'm going to have to hit the streets and send out a whole new batch of resumes. One must make a living, and I am once again struggling to determine how that will be done.

But alas, I suppose I should dust off that to-do list. It must be done. I'll catch you all again soon, and until then, have a blessed start to a new week.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, October 09, 2003


"The Invasion from Asia"


Well, I stand corrected. In yesterday's blog post I noted the presence of hundreds of ladybugs in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, I was wrong. They're not ladybugs, they're hundreds and hundreds of Asian Beetles, an insect far from native in the upper Midwest.

This is the first time I can recall experiencing this kind of invasion. I guess it's just really bad this year. I've read articles this afternoon about infestations this year throughout Minnesota, Michigan, the east coast, Ohio, etc. They're everywhere. The good thing is, they're a harmless breed to humans, and don't carry disease. They're just trying to find a warm place to spend the winter. Unfortunately, by doing so, they create an annoyance to us humans who do belong here.

The bad news is, they do bite. It's usually just a pinch, that sometimes breaks the skin, but overall it's nothing too serious. Apparently it isn't a defense mechanism.... just a flavor test. They eat vegetation, not blood. ....Of course, the other slightly discomforting news is that they stink when squished.

So, how does someone get rid of these innocent pests? Well, as I've read, pesticide works, and generally any other means of removing them from inside your house is recommended. They do remain indoors until spring -- hibertating basically. You WILL want to remove them, becasue otherwise, they will be back.

... I actually read that one woman found that spraying them with any kind of common household detergent kills them on the spot. Maybe I'll have to try that. They may be innocent, but they're still a major annoyance. More information about these Asian Beetles can be found here..... and here.

Good luck controlling the invasion. :)

-Jon

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Wednesday, October 08, 2003


"Lady Bugs and Colored Leaves"


You know, autumn is often an underrated season. How often do most of us just take the time to take in it's beauty?

I went for a walk on Monday and everything was green, the leaves were attached to the branches, and there was a chill in the air. I went for a walk today, and those greens are now various shades of orange, red, yellow, and hundreds of other similar colors. Leaves that were on the branches only two days ago are now begining to dot the lawns, hundreds of curious lady bugs are out in full force... and that chill.... well it was hiding for a while.

I was looking at comments I'd made in my blog only a few days before and I find that I stand corrected. I neglected to see the beauty that comes BEFORE that freeze of winter. I discovered that I too have neglected to take in the beauty and warmth of autumn before the white stuff flies. I was looking to far ahead without realizing... This is only the start of autumn, but before we know it, it will have zipped by and been forgotten. I saw winter,.... and forgot about the beauty that peeks out just before winter as if to say, "Old man winter, I can't keep you away, but I'm going to flood this world with so much color that your pristine white will have a lot to live up to!"

Yes, winter is upon us.... but the beauty of autumn comes first. Get out there and enjoy it! It won't last long, but while it does, 'The Great Artist' gets to show us a little of his own colorful canvas.... and it's a canvas not even the greatest artists in history can come close to matching.

Yes, I have a feeling I'll be taking quite a few more walks than usual in the next few days. And I think I'm going to enjoy every minute of them!

Have a blessed end of the week, and don't let the colors pass you by. Get out there and appreciate them!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003


"JonBaas.com Version 2.0"


Well, the updates are now complete. JonBaas.com has been completely redesigned, and you're looking at Version 2.0. Feel free to traverse the rest of the site. All site content has been updated. .... What'dya think? :)

Your creatively blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, October 04, 2003


"Saturday's Kids"


Saturday was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be at first. I've signed up to help my sister teach her theatre for kids workshop for the next couple of Saturdays. It's been a while since I've worked that closely with so many kids (meaning, when I worked Daycare was the last real opportunity I took up). Surprisingly the kids were generally well-behaved, quite excited about the whole thing, and eager to participate. And that made it all the more fun for me.

There were actually 17 children there on Saturday, and presumably for the rest of the class sessions. Three boys, fourteen girls. Most of them were between the ages of 6-12, with two 8th grade girls thrown in. It was a nice group, and a friendly one at that.

Rachel (sis) had them go through a few theatrcial warm-up excercises, meet each other, and then she had them 'audition' for three short adapted plays -- fun takes on Cinderalla, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. By the end of the class, the plays were cast, and the children went home. I'm sure many of their parents got an excited earful, as happy children seem to have the capacity for. From the sounds of it, they'll be back and eager for another class this coming Saturday. Strangely, so will I! I'm glad Rachel asked me to help her out. I'm really enjoying it!

We'll see what this coming Saturday has to offer. Apparently we'll be blocking the plays with the kids. That should be an interesting experience. But then again, shouldn't that be the case with anything you do? :)

Have a blessed weekend, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, October 03, 2003


"A Few Things On A Lazy Friday"


Well, I kind of ended up wasting my Friday on frivelous things. Not the most productive, but I guess I'm allowed a few of those here and there. A lot of my time was spent looking through music files, researching composers, and other general music-related things. I'm not sure why music got the most of my time, but there are far worse subjects. It sped the time by and was very engaging.... but it hadn't been on my to-do list. Oh well.... at least my ears were happy.

On another note, I was looking at my website here too today and an idea hit me.... I think it's time to completely remodel JonBaas.com. I need to improve a few things, and I have the time this coming week.... Perhaps I might as well make use of that time before I find myself either busy again with freelance artwork, or working some thankless job somewhere. Time is of the essense. Besides, I feel like being creative again, and I already have a cool idea in mind. Keep an eye on the site. Hopefully it'll have a new look by the end of next week. :)

And finally, tomarrow morning, Saturday, I'm going to be lending a hand to my sister and helping her out with her theatre class for kids. She's run the class quite a few times already and has a successful program on her hands. I really look up to her for her persistence and passion for Dare to Dream. She's taken it a long way and doing all the right things. I'm actually looking forward to helping her out the next eight Saturdays. Besides, I think working with kids again could be a lot of fun! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes tomarrow sometime.

But, alas, it's already evening. Time to read up on some materials for that class tomarrow... and then off to bed. Take care all, and have a blessed weekend. Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, October 02, 2003


"Packer Fans From Outer Space"


Hey, what do you get when you cross a Wisconsin fruit farmer with the Galactic Packers -- strange football aliens clad in shimmery uniforms and carrying a talking football? .... Why, the world's first sci-fi football musical of course! It's called "Packer Fans From Outer Space" and it's currently playing at the Historic Meyer Theatre up in Green Bay.

Can we say wierd. And I'm the one that wants to be an actor?! You know, maybe Wisconsin really isn't the best place to start my professional career.

-Jon

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


"Promotion Wednesday"


Well today kept me busy. I was promoting my artwork and weblog around the net. Fun task, yes, but quite tedious. I discovered a few things as I endeavored upon this project:

1. - I'm ranked a lot higher under certain word searches on Google than I had originally thought. (Sometimes even higher than one of my more established art clients!) :)

2. - A large majority of my celebrity fansite affiliate traffic comes from Maggie-Gyllenhaal.net, and Dakota-Fanning.org. Hmm. Not bad. And they're great sites to boot! :)

3. - It seems my artwork is a heck of a lot more marketable than I sometimes give myself credit for. My "Eagle". "Liberty", and "Triangles" pieces are already growing favorites. The only challenge is getting my work noticed by those who would have an interest in buying it. Ah, but success never comes easy, does it.

4. - My weblog is more widely read than I was originally aware. I'm actually noticing an upward spike trend in readership lately. It seems people really have an interest in my writing and experiences afterall! Who knew.

5. - The majority of people on the internet have something they want to sell. The only unfortunate thing is that they haven't got a clue how to do so effectively. Sad. So sad. Unfortunately, a poorly designed website isn't going to get them too far.

6. - There are a lot of really sucky websites by people who call themselves professional website designers. Like my new favorite, this one for example. Ouch! Painful. Very painful!

It's interesting what you learn when you spend a day in front of the computer. And just think, I get to do this again on Thursday. Oooh, I am so excited. No, really, I am! :)

Have a blessed Thursday all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Jon Baas

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