Archive

20172016
  • Everthing is mispelled
    Th blemish is obvius, though knowone wants to pont it owt, lest they be brandied an asshoe or compolsive. Old Shakespeare is beoutifull, wyth the awld spelings and capituLizationizing. He maykes me wundehr why we wryte the weigh we dew nowaday. Proper-like and corectt. I had a teecher whough advokated fur spellling werds thuh whey […]
  • Temporary
    Furiously, he dashed off a letter. He could’ve emailed or texted, the message was so short, but he felt a letter would have more weight, gravitas. Most communication had become too brief and temporary. But in this instance, he wanted something that could be displayed prominently with ease. Perhaps behind a magnet on the fridge. […]
2015
  • Grow, Part 2
    Yes, I took bags from neighbors, dumped the contents on my driveway, and shredded away.
  • Grow, Part 1
    Anyone who’s talked with me recently soon hears about my relatively new obsession with gardening, landscaping, pruning, and compost. Really, anything that has to do with growing plants. Without chemicals, if I can help it. I’ve always had an interest in it, probably because my dad grew vegetables for a time in three raised beds […]
  • The Pro Dumpster Diver Who’s Making Thousands Off America’s Biggest Retailers
    $600,000 a year? Um, really?
  • 24 pieces of life advice from Werner Herzog
    From kottke: 24 pieces of life advice from Werner Herzog They’re are all fantastic, but I especially like these: 4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief. 5. Learn to live with your mistakes. 6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern. 11. Ask for forgiveness, […]
  • Hook
    Step 1: Get a sudden inspiration Glancing in the corner behind the bathroom door, I realized: what a great place for a hook! Why didn’t we think of that before? Step 2: Accept that what you currently have is inadequate I’d suggested that we try one of those over-the-door 3-hook jobs on the door itself, but I […]
  • It’s 2015, and You’re in the Future
    Tim Urban’s Wait But Why has become one of my favorite sources of interesting history and news. His latest post is fun and sobering: It’s 2015, and You’re in the Future And if you’re looking for a fairly concise history of Iraq and the Islamic world, check out this one: From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq’s […]
2014
  • Listen
    ”The complete absence of any sound does not exist on our planet any more than radical darkness or absolute cold.” — Edmond Bailly, 1889 via Alex Ross
  • Laura Lindemuth
    I studied with Laura in the 1980s and she was a major influence on me.
  • Matthias Loibner, hurdy gurdy
    The picture and audio aren’t the best, but this guy is amazing. The vocal sounds he gets out of this instrument are hypnotic. Also, you gotta love his site.
  • Unintended Consequences
  • Mortise locks
    I traveled through the house in my mind, looking for springs…
  • A clean slate
    “I don’t worry about the last shot or the next shot. I concentrate. Every shot gets a clean slate. And when a shot is over, I wipe it out absolutely. Tell a joke or something. If you worry about how you looked, how well you did, you’ll go insane.” — Michael Caine
2013
  • How to remember all those lines
    Here are some things that work for me when learning the text of a play. Some of them are painfully obvious, but I keep forgetting them anyway. If you find them useful, fantastic: Always have the script around. Stay off Facebook. Instead of checking FB/email/news, check the script. (It’s probably more interesting, anyway.) Use the […]
2011
  • Midwestern Robot
    My fantastically talented wife has been blogging for the last several months, and she’s built up quite an archive of funny and sad and interesting stories at Midwestern Robot.
  • Home Row
    A blue IBM Correcting Selectric II was my mom's model of choice. Actually, there was no choice, since everyone had a blue IBM Correcting Selectric II. She loved that typewriter. It was fast, accurate, and solid as a rock.
  • Project 12:31
    Jernigan's cadaver was sectioned and photographed for the Visible Human Project at the University of Colorado's Health Sciences Center.
  • Amazing photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
    Dust devils have been blamed for unexpectedly cleaning off the Mars rovers' solar panels.
  • I wouldn’t wanna go in there drunk
    “…its toilet a throne from which to survey the magnificent carved bowers of the stair beams above”
  • Bernard Herrmann
    “I am firmly convinced, and so is Hitchcock, that after the main titles you know something terrible must happen.”
  • The Whale in the Blue Washing Machine
    One summer, we took a drive on the Richardson highway, and paid a visit to Haines at his homestead.
  • Lee Boot: Looking Back at the Holiday Ritual
    This got me thinking about the first Christmas we recently celebrated in our new house.
  • Gary Hecker – Veteran Foley Artist
    My friend Chris and I once bought a watermelon and started hitting it with things in the bathtub, trying to get a good face-punch sound.
20102009
  • Eye of the Sandman opening titles
    I'm a sucker for good opening titles, so I'm especially thrilled to be a part of these.
  • My Dad is a Top Jigsaw Sudoku Expert
    I have just today achieved the rank of Immortal among the world of Sudoku aficionados.
  • Turkey Trot
    My first 8k was wet and sloppy. And fun.
  • Phyllis Cozzola, 1925-2009
    My mother-in-law passed away Sunday, just 4 months after my mom. It's been quite a year.
  • NYTimes.com: Block-a-Thon
    NYTimes.com: Block-a-Thon Andy Newman walks a marathon in 75.4 trips around his city block. Be sure to watch the accompanying video.
  • On Comedy’s Flying Trapeze
    On Comedy’s Flying Trapeze Monty Python is 40 years old. Amazing to think of the huge impact the show continues to have on short films and sketch comedy.
  • A Big-Assed Post About Fireworks
    A Big-Assed Post About Fireworks Pretty much exactly how I feel about Adobe’s treatment of this once great piece of software. It’s become one of the programs that I dread opening. Worse: I dread quitting it because it always throws up a crash report.
  • Alicia de Larrocha
    I was saddened to hear that pianist Alicia de Larrocha has passed away. When I worked at the Ravinia Festival in the early nineties, I had the opportunity to drive her between the airport and the hotel. If memory serves, I might have also turned pages for her during a recital there. Wonderful artist.
  • Interlochen Camp 2009
    I was a camper at Interlochen for 2 life-altering summers during high school (1987 & 1988). An absolutely amazing place. This short video captures the experience really well: Camp 2009 Highlights None of those kids were alive when I was there.
  • Neven Mrgan: A bit of obvious perspective
    Neven Mrgan: A bit of obvious perspective I loved my Atari 2600.
  • GOOD: Heathrow Gets Personal Rapid Transit Pods
    GOOD: Heathrow Gets Personal Rapid Transit Pods Want. In. Chicago. Now.
  • GeekDesk
    GeekDesk It makes a lot of sense to stand while working at a computer. It also makes sense to sit, of course, so I’m saving up to get a desk that allows both options. UPDATE: I got the desk and love it. Planning to write about it at some point.
  • Links for August 6, 2009
    Chicago Sinfonietta 2009-2010 Season I just launched the new pages for next season. Some interesting stuff this year, including my favorite Beethoven symphony (7) and another that I’m surprised I’ve never played (9). Incidentally, this means I’ll have finally performed all nine symphonies. The Last Road North Beautiful photos taken along Alaska’s haul road. A […]
  • Links for July 16, 2009
    Disorderly genius: How chaos drives the brain “Hovering on the edge of chaos provides brains with their amazing capacity to process information and rapidly adapt to our ever-changing environment, but what happens if we stray either side of the boundary?” Buy a Diesel (or Hybrid) And $ave In Ireland last month, we were lucky enough […]
  • grain edit
    grain edit Nice design inspiration blog.
  • Mickey Belden, 1938-2009
      “Mickey” Sandra Duane Riley Belden, 70, died July 1, 2009, in Gloria’s Golden Heart Assisted Living, in Anchorage after suffering from a brain tumor. A memorial service was held 2:00 pm Sunday, July 5, 2009, at UAA Fine Arts Building, Music Recital Hall with the Venerable Norman H.V. Elliott officiating. She will be inurned […]
  • Links for June 24, 2009
    The Spirit of the Globe We saw this “As You Like It” just a couple weeks ago, and I’d agree that it’s a beautiful production. And while it’s not as violent as Brantley suggests, the wrestling scene is quite exciting. Requests to the Right Ear Are More Successful Than to the Left “What’s surprising about […]
  • Links for June 21, 2009
    Not Your Grandma’s Online Dictionary Wordnik may be addictive. If you’re into language. Words. Etymology. Synonyms. Antonyms. Homonyms. What is a Browser? This is disturbing, mostly because even I’m having a difficult time coming up with a clear, simple definition. Of course, I know perfectly well what a browser is, but I’m not sure I […]
  • Links for June 1, 2009
    Why Palm’s WebOS ‘Media Sync’ iTunes Integration Can’t Be Legit “But it seems risky and unbecoming for a company of Palm’s stature. It’s a hack, and if they’re really using Apple’s USB vendor and/or device IDs, it’s a duplicitous hack.” I had a Palm III that I got back in 1998, and loved it. I […]
  • Links for May 28, 2009
    Google Wave: What Might Email Look Like If It Were Invented Today? Wave just looks amazing. Such an obvious solution to all our communication problems, though I’m sure it’ll create its own set of problems. { via O’Reilly Radar } Introducing Typekit A solution to the web font licensing conundrum? { via Jeffrey Zeldman }
  • Links for May 17, 2009
    Jane Coop & Antonio Lysy: Beethoven Cello Sonatas Fantastic live recordings from earlier this year. I’m listening to the first movement of No. 3 right now. Antonio’s idyllic chamber music festival is one of my clients.
  • Links for May 15, 2009
    How to Automatically Change an Electric Car Battery for $500K I read about Better Place in Wired last fall and love their idea. You Are What You Eat Does rattlesnake freeze well? Great, er, GOOD site design, too.
  • Links for May 14, 2009
    Phyllis Marotta at the Kansas Dept. of Transportation My cousin’s blog on car safety. Includes some fun new TV ads around their Click It Or Ticket campaign. Fluency WordPress Admin Theme Very nice theme for WordPress’s Admin, made by Dean Robinson and implemented as a plugin. Features a number of improvements over the default admin. […]
  • Literary Kicks Interview with MT Cozzola
    My wife sat down with Michael Norris and talked about writing the screenplay for Eye of the Sandman. Go read it already…
  • Links for May 11, 2009
    Xi/Perspectives: ICE violist Wendy Richman For the fellow string players out there: great tips on relaxing all your muscles. Hilarious. Also see Matt Albert’s great recovery. Top 25 Star Trek Characters Oh, I’m such a geek. { via Coudal }
  • Paint Crew in the can
    We shot our latest short yesterday, a comedy written by MT, produced by LouAnn, and directed by yours truly. Starring Tom Herman, Aaron Graham, and Kirby O’Connell. It’s off to the editor tomorrow, and should be done this summer. More stills from the raw footage:
  • Links for May 5, 2009
    Mahler’s Markings Translation of markings in the first symphony. My favorite: Am Griffbrett – As if in tune { via Alex Ross } Underneath it all, it’s Still Windows® “These windows are so tight they can only slip onto your desktop at an angle, dripping wet with shiny hot sex oils.” { via Garrett Murray […]
  • Links for April 30, 2009
    Kindle 2 and iPod Shuffle perform Wrath of Khan Brilliant. Snakes on a Plane: TV Edit Um, something’s different. I’m not sure what, exactly.
  • Links for April 28, 2009
    The Longest Way 1.0 – one year walk/beard grow time lapse Mesmerizing transformation. Very well executed. { via Coudal }
  • Vocalo
    My good friend Tom Herman interviewed me this morning on Vocalo.org to talk about life as a freelance musician. As promised, here's what I played, and where you can hear more.
  • Links for April 22, 2009
    Chicago Sinfonietta 2009-2010 Season Preview Some interesting things on tap for our season next year. I’ve never played Mendelssohn 4 or Beethoven 9 (amazing, huh?) so I’m looking forward to those. Plus it’s hard to imagine a more multi-cultural lineup. Coffee in Space This is fascinating to watch. { via Tim Van Damme } Capo […]
  • Links for April 19, 2009
    Label An extremely clever way for web designers to interact with their clients.
  • Ohio Serenade – The New York Times
    This excellent New York Times video profiles the Newark Ohio High School Sinfonia and its trip to New York for a national orchestra competition. The piece reminded me (yet again) of how fortunate I was to have grown up in Alaska in the 80’s, when a lot of oil money went to schools, the arts, […]
  • Links for April 15, 2009
    Cufón Font Replacement : Viget Labs This is really interesting. I had looked into sIFR awhile ago, but it seemed way too complicated. This just increases my preference for javascript over Flash (depending on the situation). Exploring Cufón ~ Authentic Boredom An excellent primer, plus test pages, from Cameron Moll.
  • Links for April 13, 2009
    Sea Organ A sea-side sound sculpture in Croatia. Produces an amazing sound. { via Coudal } Trailer for Moon This has been all over the internet the last few days. I finally had a chance to watch the trailer and it’s really good. Hope the film is even better. Image-free CSS Tooltip Pointers – A […]
  • Links for April 5, 2009
    James Earl Jones recites the alphabet This is beautiful. Especially love what he does with the letters G and L. Related: Using the Force Unicorn Tears, Eh? As usual, John Gruber nails it perfectly.
  • Links for April 2, 2009
    Tropicana OJ Sales Plunge 20 Percent Post-Rebranding Today at the store, MT asked me to get her favorite Tropicana OJ (pulp-free). Their stupid new design made it really difficult to choose the correct one. We also watched an old “Buffy” from Season 2 (~1997), just last night. It was nice to see Tropicana’s old carton […]
  • Links for March 27, 2009
    The first one’s the hardest Jeremy Mickel describes how he created his Router typeface. but does it float Some very nice art and graphic design. { both via Stuart Robinson }
  • Links for March 12, 2009
    Cherished Instrument Is Gone, and to Its Owner, Loss Is Like a Death Well this certainly brings back memories. Hope he gets it back. Parallel Load WordPress Plugin I just installed this clever little plugin. It magically forces a browser to load any javascript files simultaneously. My site loads about 7 seconds faster now. Give […]
  • Doctor Who Coincidental
    I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who, lately. Mostly the new series, but also some from the 70’s. Whenever I become involved with a series like this, I suddenly have to consume as much of it as possible, exploring the canon, and discovering all its clever connections. It’s a mild obsession, however, so don’t […]
  • Dog sledding – The Big Picture
    Beautiful photos of sled dogs, including some taken at the Iditarod’s ceremonial starting point in my home town.
  • Links for Feb 27, 2009
    Alex Ross: Dessay v. Salieri I wonder how much great music has been stifled by this sort of attitude. There’s certainly plenty of bad music that keeps getting performed simply because it contains high notes and pyrotechnics. Painting, Film, and Color Some of my favorite films are on this list. I only wish there was […]
  • Links for Feb 24, 2009
    Safari 42x faster than IE 7, 3.5x faster than Firefox Wow. { via Daring Fireball } Number of links on top websites This is really interesting, though I’m still trying to figure out exactly why it’s interesting. { via Wilson Miner }
  • LaMaMa “New Voices Heard” in NY
    If you live in New York, or happen to find yourself there next week, then go to LaMaMa‘s La Galleria on Wed, Feb 18th. My wife’s play Infernal, will be read, along with several other new works. More info at Playbill. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Infernal get better and better over the last several months, and I’m […]
  • Links for Feb 1, 2009
    WFMT – Announcer Audition Scroll to the bottom, and you’ll find WFMT’s clever audition text, with gems such as this: “…when delivering a diatribe concerning Claudia Muzio, Beniamino Gigli, Hetty Plumacher, Giacinto Prandelli, Hilde Rössel-Majdan and Lina Pagliughi, five out of six is good enough if the sixth one is mispronounced plausibly.”
  • Links for Jan 30, 2009
    Henrique Prince: The Subway Busker A self-taught violinist, Prince leads the Ebony Hillbillies, a quartet that plays in the Times Square subway station. “…trying to express the beauty of the universe through this particular type of old time string music.” Click to Flash for Safari I know ads pay the bills on many websites, but […]
  • Links for Jan 29, 2009
    Study: High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury Yet another reason to avoid this evil, evil substance. Evil. { via Daring Fireball }
  • Links for Jan 28, 2009
    Twittered Shakespeare Synopses Major plot details for all the plays, in 140 characters or less. { via Coudal }
  • Links for Jan 27, 2009
    Multitouch Prototype 2 Randy Jones demonstrates his touch sensitive array for creating sound. We’ve come a long way from the simple Theremin. I’d love something like this to simply control my iMac. Like a laptop trackpad, but with a much larger surface area. And pressure sensitivity. This seems like such an obvious thing, so why hasn’t […]
  • Links for Jan 23, 2009
    Uptown Theatre Chicagoans have been watching the Uptown slowly deteriorate for years now. These photos might give you an idea of why this is so sad. { via Coudal } The $300 Million Button “I’m not here to be in a relationship” { via Shawn Blanc }
  • Links for Jan 16, 2009
    Web Design Trends For 2009 Some interesting ideas here. I’m especially keen on doing some Letterpress. { via Coudal } Caffeine May Cause Hallucinations Well, this explains everything. { also via Coudal }
  • Island Getaways
    Striking similarities between Star Trek, Fantasy Island, and The Prisoner.
  • Links for Jan 13, 2009
    “After the show Mr. Amato took off his tie and jacket and joined the cast in striking the set.” I’d never even heard of this small opera company, yet I’m still sad that it’s closing. After 60 years under the same owner! Wow.
  • Links for Jan 12, 2009
    kinosaur My friend Jim Vendiola’s new site on film and filmmaking, featuring a very nice initial post for indie sci-fi/horror fans. Jim was a co-director on Split Pillow’s Petersburg.
  • Learning jQuery
    I just want to do some fancy scrolling effects on a new site I’m designing, so I’m checking out the tutorials at Learning jQuery. But I keep getting distracted with all the other amazing things one can do with jQuery. There are quite a few javascript libraries out there, but things appear to be coalescing […]
  • The Prisoner
    I know next to nothing about AMC’s upcoming miniseries/re-imagining of this classic British series, but I’m really excited to be able to watch The Prisoner once again. This is one of those shows that’s always stuck with me, even though I think I probably only saw it in reruns, very briefly in the late 70’s. […]
  • Links for Jan 2, 2009
    Apple market share tops 10% TUAW points out a couple interesting things here: almost 75% of Macs have an Intel processor, which makes sense if most of the Switching has been happening in the last couple years; and XP still has over 65% of the market. Poor Vista. MailFollowup Gregory Welch just updated his great […]
  • Links for Jan 1, 2009
    3 Smart Things About Sleeping Late I guess I’m doing alright, then. SimpleBits ~ Year In Review 2008 Although this definitely applies to my year as well. The calculus of Caffeine consumption Maybe I just need to know exactly when to drink coffee. { via rands }
2008
  • Links for Dec 31, 2008
    ICE/Xenakis The International Contemporary Ensemble is launching an ambitious exploration of Iannis Xenakis’s music. Concerts in Boston and Chicago, with podcasts leading up to both. Microsoft Zunes spontaneously dying all over the place No comment. Celestial Show Set for New Year’s Eve Weather and sobriety permitting, take a look outside tonight. keyboardr Even if you […]
  • Links for Dec 30, 2008
    Hear Better on Your Cellphone Haven’t had the chance to try this yet, but it seems plausible. However, just recently I was positing the notion that we tend to overlap one another while talking on cellphones because our own voice isn’t being repeated in our ears. Maybe it’s a delay thing? Makezine tribute to the […]
  • Nutcracker
    The 2008 Joffrey Ballet production of the Nutcracker ended yesterday, after 14 performances compressed into 9 days. One of the great things about this gig is the venue: Louis Sullivan’s great Auditorium Theatre. I sit almost dead center, right in front of the conductor and facing the audience. So, I get a great view of […]
  • It’s a Miserable Life!
    Wendell Jamieson has a great piece on ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in today’s New York Times. He even consults with a New York district attorney who concludes that George Bailey’s crime would be classed as “…a D felony; 2 ½ to 7 years is the maximum term for that.” This is a great film on […]
  • Links for Dec 15, 2008
    nest My friend Jon pointed me to his friend Angela’s site about making your home more energy efficient. Good resource, especially for Chicagoans. Brings back many memories of my own experience rehabbing a ballon-frame house. { via Jon Williams } Typesites: wilson miner Typesites takes a look at one of my favorite sites, Wilson Miner’s colorful […]
  • Links for Dec 13, 2008
    Van Johnson, Film Actor Looks like I need to see Brigadoon again. Protect this farm from a bank We’ve ordered the peppermint oil from this small farm in Michigan, along with some fantastic mint toffee. And it’s for a good cause.
  • My neighbor, Governor Blagojevich
    I live just down the street from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. In fact, his security detail (an extremely nice and very professional crew of State Troopers) is stationed just across the hall from us. Now, I wish I could say I was surprised by this morning’s announcement that Blagojevich has been arrested and charged with […]
  • Links for Dec 8, 2008
    How they shot The Godfather Some great photos, plus Mario Puzo’s recollections. Wish I could afford the book. { via Daring Fireball } Peter Sellers: A Hard Day’s Night This man was absolutely brilliant. { via Alex Ross }
2007
  • Petersburg
    A Split Pillow collaboration written and directed by Tom Herman, Nick Martin, Jim Vendiola, and me. Premiered Sep 21 – Oct 26, 2007 at Chicago Filmmakers.
2006
  • We got married in Scotland
    MT and I are back from beautiful Scotland, where we got married on June 30th. Would you like to see some photos?
  • Realization Premiere Screenings
    Split Pillow’s latest feature film, Realization, had its World Premiere at Facets in Chicago. Chris Tzoubris and I co-produced/co-directed Chapter 3, which has been called “whacked out!”
2005
  • Hot Coffee
    My short film Hot Coffee, starring my good friend Tom Herman, got a great reception when it was screened at the Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival. It’s also been seen at Around the Coyote.
2003
  • Cliffhanger
      Behind the camera for a very cool film project. My team, Kilts Afire, had one week to write, shoot, and edit the first 10-minute chapter of a feature-length film being produced by Split Pillow.
2002