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Wednesday, September 29, 2004


"A Cold One Coming On"

Guess what? This evening on the way home from rehearsal, the temperature outside was in the mid 30's. For the first time this fall, I saw my breath. Yep, sad as it is to say, winter is just around the corner.

-Jon

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"Milwaukee Brewers: SOLD?"

If Major League Baseball approves, Los Angeles investor Mark Attanasio will become the next majority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Good news? Maybe. Attanasio is reportedly paying more than $180 million for the franchise, and the sale could be finalized as early as November.

This may be worth paying attention to.

"Report: Brewers sold for $180 million"

-Jon

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"Fifty Dollar Makeover"

Our money is now pink. Whatever works I guess. The nickels look good though.

"New $50 Bill Arrives; New $10 Bill Coming"

-Jon

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


"Update: Seven Days from Last Tuesday"

I must offer my sincere applogies to all my readers out there. As of today, my last post was a week ago. That's bad news -- even if just in my mind.

Unfortunately I've gotten so busy and preoccupied over here, that I haven't gotten around to posting. As a result there's been a lull in the daily musings for you to enjoy, and it's been rather quiet around here. But, we'll see if I can change that. :)

Most of the silence, though, has actually been due to rehearsals for "To Kill a Mockingbird". They've been going great, and I'm having a blast, but they tend to eat up my evenings again. As a result, on a normal day, I work during the early afternoon, come home, get changed, grab the bus to rehearsal, come home again by 10:30pm, have dinner, and go to bed shortly thereafter. I'm up again by 10am the next morning, and off to work again by noon.

But it keeps me busy, and I'd rather be creatively occupied than have nothing to do.

The good thing is, though, this stage show -- even just a week into rehearsal -- is shaping up wonderfully. We've got a full cast of 32 people, some excellent local stage actors, a well-designed set, and a classic among the volumes of award-winning literature. In short, we've got an excellent show in the works. But, then again, can you really expect anything less from one of the best-known theatres in the Milwaukee area? :)

Beyond the stage, work at my graphics company is going well. I get along with my co-workers, the projects are enjoyable, and I actually look forward to going into work each day. (That's certainly more than I can say for some of the previous places I've worked.). But I like it here. The only downside is that my position is only available until mid-December. On the other hand, though, I'll probably have some new contacts that may prove helpful once that position disappears. So, maybe it is a win-win situation afterall. :)

In other news....

I've found myself with a new appreciation for my artist friend Diana whose company I've been enjoying a lot lately. I've been doing a lot of writing, and I've been trying to enjoy the last of the nice weather before the snow flies. But beyond that though, not a whole lot of note has happened these past seven days.... Just me keeping busy, and having fun doing so.

Hopefully I'll be back to posting regularly again, though, too. Sometimes it just comes down to a matter of exhaustion or lack of motivation by the time I sit down at my computer. I've gotta work on that a bit though. But we'll see. A lot is happening around here, and whether I'm writing it all down here or not, I'm always musing.

But, I think I'm off to bed now. My Tuesday has come to an end. I'll be sure to check in again tomorrow after rehearsal with more muse-worthy bits of information, so stay tuned.

But until then, have a wonderful Wednesday, and God Bless!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004


"Update: To Kill A Mockingbird"

Back on July 27, I auditioned at the local Sunset Playhouse for the upcoming stage production of "To Kill a Mockingbird". Today I was cast within the ensamble. Rehearsals start this week, and performances are October 22-November 13.

-Jon

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"Last Day of Summer"

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was shining, the leaves are just starting to turn colors, and the temperature was just right. It's hard to believe tomarrow is already the first day of Fall. I tell you, where has the time gone.... and where was summer when it was supposed to be summer? :P

Enjoy these beautiful days. Before you know it, winter will be upon us, and a whole new world of the frigid white stuff will emerge. Heh. I'm getting cold just thinking about it!

Have a blessed day all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Who's on First (21st Century Version)"

Sallie of ATtheHEARTofIT posted an excellent 21st Century parody of Abbott and Costello's famous duologue 'Who's On First?' If Lou Costello was trying to buy a computer, the sketch might have turned out something like this:

Costello calls to buy a computer from Abbott...

Abbott: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
Costello: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
Abbott: Mac?
Costello: No, the name's Lou.
Abbott: Your computer?
Costello: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
Abbott: Mac?
Costello: I told you, my name's Lou.
Abbott: What about Windows?
Costello: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
Abbott: Do you want a computer with Windows?
Costello: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?
Abbott: Wallpaper.

Read more here...

-Jon

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Monday, September 20, 2004


"To End All Wars"

I sat down and watched an excellent movie this evening. If you get the chance sometime, look for "To End All Wars". It came out in 2001 and stars Kiefer Sutherland. Like myself, you may find it particularly moving -- especially from a Christian perspective.

Here's a brief plot summary:

"A true story about four Allied POW's who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately they find true freedom by forgiving their enemies. Based on the true story of Ernest Gordon."
Personally, I'm giving this film a score of 8.5 stars on a scale of 1-10 (10=best). It's also going on my list of favorites.

-Jon

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Friday, September 17, 2004


"Film Review: Mr. 3000"

Well, "Mr.3000" has finally been released. It's out, and I'm in. My most notable scene is indeed at the end of the movie during the climactic final game. This film frame shows an example shot of that scene. Not bad, eh? :)

Today I was invited by some of Scott's relatives to join them and go see the release of "Mr.3000". Their treat. Apparently it was my night of being treated like a celebrity. And I did enjoy both the gesture as well as the opportunity to share my personal stories and experiences from filming. Last summer I had spent a little over 150 hours on the set of "Mr.3000". That's a lot of experiences to share, and most of the people with me tonight seemed very interested in me retelling them! :P

After seeing the film a few hours later though, I was rather impressed. It did indeed live up to my personal expectations. The casting was great. The locale top-notch (yeah, I know, I love Miller Park!). The orchestral soundtrack was surprisingly quite impressive. And the story made for a wonderful baseball movie that didn't quite follow the expected norm for a Hollywood sports film -- which is a good thing. I also enjoyed the character development within Bernie's character immensely, although it was a little disappointing that there wasn't more emphasis upon the development of most of the other characters. But, overall, I'd definitely give this film a solid "B" grade, and on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the best, probably a solid "7".

I think the weakest aspects I saw in the film, though, were the sexual interludes between Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett's characters. I can see where that served an intended part in the plot, but yet, it still seemed to draw me out of the excellent baseball plotline within the film. This was a great baseball movie, but probably not the most successful romantic comedy.

Also, to me, the ending was a little disappointing. Not in terms of the plot and the much appreciated climax, but rather in terms of the execution. It ended too abrupt, with one of those voice-over dialogs by Bernie's character as time was progressed over the course of a few minutes. I would have personally liked to see something more satisfying... more solid. But then again, maybe that's just me.

Other than that though, it was an enjoyable and highly entertaining film with plenty of Bernie Mac style wit, a good moral thread, and plenty of laughs to go around.

It is rated PG-13, and though it may appear to be a movie kids may enjoy, be warned, there is mild language, and adult situations. You may want to see this film for yourself before deciding if it would be appropriate for your children. I probably wouldn't consider this a family movie, but it is successfully geared towards a mature adult audience.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave your reaction on the film. I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it. And, if you haven't had the chance to do so yet, feel free to read my behind-the-scenes journal from filming last summer. It seems to have become a very popular read. :)

Have a blessed day all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging actor friend,
-Jon

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"Mr. 700"

Today Barry Bonds finally joined baseball legends Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only major league baseball players to hit 700 career homeruns. And he came so close to actually reaching that milestone here in Milwaukee. Bummer. :)

"Bonds joins exclusive 700 homer club"

-Jon

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Thursday, September 16, 2004


"Thursday = PayDay!"

Woohooo! Today I recieved one of those wonderful pieces of paper with a monetary value written on it! Yep, a paycheck. I am now slightly richer than I was yesterday. ...But only for a few days. Stupid debts. :P

Anyway, sorry for the lull in posts. I'll be back to true form by the weekend. Have a blessed Friday, and until then,

Your happily blogging friend,

-Jon

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Monday, September 13, 2004


"Ebert and Roeper on Mr.3000"

Film reviewers Ebert and Roeper have reviewed "Mr.3000" this past weekend. You can listen to an online audio file of their review here. Two Thumbs Up!

-Jon

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"The Living Mannequin"

If you ever need a guy who can stand very still for a long period of time, you might want to hire the Mannequin-Man.

"The Actor will take on the typical pose of a mannequin, and stand motionless for long periods. This usually takes place in public areas, typically exhibitions, shopping centres. Some performers can suppress blinking for periods in excess of ten minutes. It is a type of performance art, and is very popular at shopping centres and busy streets in most of the main capital cities of the World."
Art and acting in one. Not bad, although, I doubt I would have any interest in standing still that long. Acting is more fun when you can move around. :P

-Jon

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Sunday, September 12, 2004


"Church Decision: Contemporary vs. Convenience"

Today I joined my friend Rachel R. for church at St. Marcus here in Milwaukee. Lately I've been catching a ride down there with Scott (apartment-mate), and I often join him, his sister Diana, and their grandmother for church every Sunday. But today, he had left early to travel down to Illinois to visit his girlfriend, and his grandmother was visting elsewhere as well. So I joined Rachel, eventually spending a good portion of the visiting with later on.

Right now, though, I'm looking for a new local WELS church to transfer my fellowship to. The decision, unfortunately, has become a lot harder than it was at first. Should I go with the traditional local church that I could walk to every Sundayamd whose congregation includes a good deal of people I know, or the further away contemporary church downtown that I feel more at home with, but may not always find it easy to get to?

It's a tough decision.

Personally, I am starting to find the contemporary WELS church -- St. Marcus -- to be a more favorable fit than the traditional. It incorporates live Christian Contemporary music, has two of the most thought-provoking pastors I have ever heard, has a friendly multi-cultural congregation, and is located in a rapidly revitalizing Milwaukee neighborhood. If it weren't for the fact that Scott chose to go there at first because of his grandmother, I probably wouldn't have found the opportunity to appreciate the fellowship there. I don't own a car, and riding the bus for an hour every Sunday morning doesn't appeal to me too much.

However, the more local church -- St. John's -- is a excellent one too. Great neighborhood, friendly congregation, good pastors, easier to get to every Sunday, I even know a great deal of people there. But, the one downside is, it seems to be stuck more in the traditional German mold -- as are most of the WELS Lutheran churches. They are generally rather stubborn about giving up the older traditions in favor of a less rigid worship structure, and, as a result, tend to have an older congregational dynamic. It annoys me somewhat. I'm more of a contemporary thinker. A contemporary service seems to make more sense.

Yet, St. John's is close to where I live, and generally more convenient for me.

So, I guess in the end, it all comes down to two things, ease of transportation, and permanence. Which church do I feel most comfortable with -- in terms of all the variables -- to consider making it my new home church?

Tough decision.

Maybe I'll just have to think and pray on the issue further. I probably know the best choice of the two already, but there is still a part of me that can't rule out the other option. I hate decisions like that. But then again, I don't like cut-and-dry decisions either. Go figure.

I guess I'll just think on it a little longer, and we'll see what decision the Lord leads me to. Afterall, He does know what's best when it comes to my spiritual well-being. Perhaps the best answer is just to trust Him, and let Him point the way.

-Jon

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Saturday, September 11, 2004


"Remembering 9-11"

Three years ago today, New York City was viciously attacked. Radical terrorists chose to make their point by killing innocent civilians. That attack has become the worst attack on US soil since the events of the American Civil War 140 years ago. And it will not be forgotten.

Today we remember both the victims who died in that attack, and the heroes who gave of themselves to save lives.

- Video Memorial (mpeg video file)
- President Bush's Reaction Speech

Today, THIS is what our nation is responding to.
Please remember that in the difficult times ahead.

-Jon

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Thursday, September 09, 2004


"A Day in the Life of Jon"

-- 10:20 AM --
Alarm (radio) blares throughout my bedroom. I roll over in bed wishing it had not. Another hour of sleep would have been wonderful. I've only slept for seven.

-- 11:00 AM --
I finally decide to get out of bed after laying there listening to my favorite country radio station and planning out my day. Good music. But, as much as staying in bed might interest me, I do have things to do today.

-- 11:07 AM --
Shower (Ahhh, yes, warm water!). Get dressed for work -- slacks and a dress shirt. Check the mail. Find brief distractions based upon plans for the day.

-- 11:43 AM --
Start walking to work. Fifteen minute walk. Beautiful day.

-- 12:02 PM --
Arrive at work. Sit down to start proof-reading calendar copy for three folders full of 2005 religious church copy information. Pull out my headphones, adjust them on my head to allow me to hear both the office, as well as my favorite country radio station. Occassionally munch on some Hershey's chocolate. Sip ice water.

-- 2:13 PM --
Complete the proof-reading for the day. Munch the last of of my chocolate. Once again refill my plastic cup from the office water cooler. Grab the next project for the day -- a number of incomplete calendar files. Begin calling the appropriate clients on the telephone and remind them that we have not yet recieved the final proofed copy from them. Occasionally fax select clients the copy after they say they can't find the copy we sent them back in June.

-- 4:00 PM --
The workday is finished. Wrap up the day's projects. Accept a gracious 10-block ride from a co-worker. Arrive home twenty minutes sooner than usual.

-- 4:11 PM --
Change into something more casual than slacks and a dress shirt. Check email. Answer email. Get up-to-date on the days affairs. Get periodically distracted.

-- 6:23 PM --
My roomate, Scott, returns from his day of work. I remember that there were a few projects I promised to complete after I returned from work. I endeavor to do those projects.

-- 7:07 PM --
Decide to walk down to the local grocery store. Buy stamps. Buy get-well card for my landlord who recently had surgury. Splurge, buy pringles. Walk 10-minutes home.

-- 7:57 PM --
Arrive back at my apartment. Offer to make dinner for Scott and myself. He agrees. Make personal-recipe chicken/chedder melt sandwiches. Reign in the drool.

-- 8:02 PM --
Turn on the television. See that "Smallville" is on. I haven't watched that show in nearly two seasons. I enjoy dinner as I watch the rest of the episode.

-- 9:00 PM --
Watch the first ten minutes of the local 9PM news. Nothing to impressive happened today. I turn of off, and return to my computer. Check email.

-- 9:20 PM --
Feel tired. Decide to take a nap.

-- 10:36 PM --
Awakened at the news that Scott's sister (Diana) is finally arriving shortly. We had made plans to host her overnight on the couch after she got done with work in our part of town. She didn't want to have to bus back to her part of town an hour away, only to return this way again tomorrow morning.

-- 11:00 PM --
Scott announces that he's going to bed. Talks with his girlfriend on the phone before going to bed. Shortly thereafter Diana arrives. She and I chat for an hour, while she offers me some baked goods left over from her day at work. She works at a local coffee shop, and has the option of taking home some of the unsold items at the end of the day. We laugh. We talk. I ponder what a wonderful friend she is.

-- 12:11 AM --
I leave Diana to get some sleep. I return to my computer. Check a few projects, do a little writing, and then begin writing this weblog post.

-- 2:30 AM --
Complete weblog post. Upload it. Ponder the kind of comments this particular post will recieve. Decide to make a point of checking tomorrow. Head to bed.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004


"Human"

Rules for being human.

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Monday, September 06, 2004


"Paperclip for Sale"

There's one way to know you have too much money burning a hole in your pocket. When you're the one bidding $107.50 for a brand new paperclip on ebay.

-Jon

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"Deperate Yankees"

Just becasue the New York Yankees are one of the most powerful teams in baseball, doesn't mean they can have preferencial treatment. They should play their games just like everyone else does. Unfortunately, they don't seem to think that way.

"Yankees Unlikely to Get D-Rays Forfeit"

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Sunday, September 05, 2004


"Creative Wanderings"

I've been spending a good deal of my free time lately immersing myself in a simple little online game called NationStates. Noted earlier in my weblog, NationStates is a nation simulation game. You create your own country, fashioned after your own ideals, and care for its people in whatever way you feel inclined.

Well, my country of Tessen seems to doing pretty well. Good personal and political freedoms, thriving economy, strong morals, everything. But, there's one little thing I've noticed.... I tend to spend a little too much time and creativity in this thing. I've even created a whole webpage of national statistics for the country. That's not a good sign. :P

But then again, maybe I'm just in limbo right now when it comes to major creative projects, so I find other things to focus my mind upon. Other things like NationStates. Right now, the freelance project on my plate isn't really design-based, I'm waiting a week yet to hear from the director of "To Kill a Mockingbird" for which I auditioned last month, and I've got a little bit of 'creators block' when it comes to any new personal artwork. My away-from-home job deals more with editing than design, and my mind is on other pressing matters than good 'ole artistic creativity.

And oh, how I would love to spend 8-12 hours of my day on a film set, again. Or a regular work day punching out drawings and concepts for scientific worlds and universes. I watch as the days grow less and less before "Mr. 3000" is released -- the movie for which I spent most of last summer filming -- and I long to be doing something creative like that again. Something so exciting that I hardly even realize that it's actually work.

But, sometimes pursuing work in the field(s) I'm in is more a matter of patience than anything else. There are spurts of pure creativity and excitement.... and then there are long periods of downtime before things take off again. It can be frustrating sometimes. Very frustrating.

But then there are the little things like NationStates or the little ideas that churn about inside my brain looking for a concept to grab them and make them real. Perhaps it's times like these that mirror the life of a flower. It blooms beautifully for a few days and then wilts, only to be replaced a little later by a new flower that buds and grows into a beautiful successor. Perhaps creativity, like all other things in life, is just like that. It needs downtime to recharge and grow anew.

Maybe, right now, I'm just recharging my creativity for larger projects yet to come. And while I'm doing that, my mind is finding other places where that creativity can wander. Then, when a new opportunity comes around, it can bloom into exciting new projects.

There's a certain thrill in that mindest. The thrill of wondering what will come next. Anticipation. Mystery. The unknown. I can only imagine what that will be.

For now, I suppose I'll just enjoy the simpler things a creative mind notices, and remember that not every day has to be loaded with challenge and excitement.

Have a blessed Labor Day all, and look for the enjoyment in life... even if it's small. Life is too short to waste on boredom.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, September 04, 2004


"Draw a Girl"

Watch an artistic animation of a girl being drawn.

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Friday, September 03, 2004


"A Free Friday"

Not much to say about today. I had the day off from work, and, for the most part, just hung around my apartment working on a few things here and there. Nothing too stressful. Just one of those much enjoyed days away from the norm.

Enjoy your evening all. I'll catch you on the morrow. :)

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, September 02, 2004


"Thursday"

Ah, yes, today was indeed a much better day than yesterday. I woke up feeling rested, and energized. No more mid-week funk. The workday went by steadily, and before long I was on my way back home. I spent the rest of the evening lounging around the apartment doing entertaining projects. :)

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that today was a payday. I hadn't expected that until the next pay period -- assuming it would have been then before my first hours at this new job were paid out. But, apparently not. It was especially good news too, since I was finding myself with a dire financial lack of funds, and bills due before the week was out. But, once again, God works in unexpected ways. He showed up with a suitable solution right when I needed it most. For that I couldn't be more thankful.

Tomarrow is Friday. I have been given the day off. So, I now have a four-day Labor Day weekend to enjoy, instead of the three I had been planning. I have a project I'll be taking care of that could take most of that vacation, but otherwise, it should be a rather carefree holiday weekend. I'm looking forward to that. I enjoy work, but I also enjoy "me-time". Who doesn't though, right?

Well, I'm off to bed for the evening. Have a blessed Friday, and I'll catch you on the marrow. God bless.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004


"Weird Wednesday"

There wasn't a lot to do at work today, so I only clocked 2.75 hours. Normally I seem to pull in four. But, I guess shorter days can be expected from time to time.

Ironically, however, when I came home, I was in a bit of a funk for unknown reasons. So, feeling a little tired, I napped for four hours, got up, worked on a variety of projects, had dinner, and now I'm finding myself tired again. Yet I neither overworked myself today, nor did anything too exhausting. Statistically, I should be extraordinarily well-rested. Go figure.

Oh well, sometimes I guess certain days just end up a being a little out of whack. Today must have been one of those days. Maybe I'll just go back to bed and hope tomarrow makes more sense. :)

[chuckle]

Have a blessed Thursday all. I'll catch you again on the marrow.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Biblical Curse Generator"

"Lost for a smart remark to see off your enemies? Unable to deliver that killer insult? Put an end to all that with the amazing Biblical Curse Generator, which is pre-loaded with blistering put-downs as delivered by Elijah, Jeremiah and other monumentally angry saints." (humorous)

Here's one (maybe even my favorite):

"Woe unto thee, O ye who art a byword for idiocy, for you will be kicked by an incontinent camel!"

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Jon Baas

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