Things you miss…

Well, the things you miss out on when evil clowns are making balloon animals out of your sinuses.

The Film Summit I talked about a couple of days ago? Missed it. Partly because of the evil clowns… partly because our guest showed up two days late, due to the ice storm that hit last weekend. Good to have her here safe for a short time than not at all.

The ice storm: All but missed that too. by the time I felt like getting out, it was melted off. Awwww, man! [/sarcasm]

Other things I’ll miss… Andy Hallett, who played the amazing Karaoke Lounge demon “Lorne” passed away at the insanely young age of 33… of congestive heart failure. Andy, evidently had been fighting this for about 5 years. It’s tragic to go so young, but he made an indelible mark on us through his work. He will always live on in our memories.

Aw, man. Gotta cut this short: Puking kids in the back bathroom… I so DON’T Miss that!

The More Things Change…

Sometimes a cartoon can be evergreen. You can pull out one ‘toon and reuse it year after year. Until the economy downturn, my “gas price” cartoons were like that. But I can always count on the wacky Kansas weather to be consistently random.

This cartoon was originally published in the Derby Daily Reporter in Mid-March, 2000. Nine years later, still current.

A Chill in the Air…

The warmest temperature this past week was a balmy 82º. Gorgeous. Lovely day.

As I write this it is 31º outside, and winds at out of the north/northeast at 19mph, gusting to at least 40 mph. Which means that it feels between 17º and -3º out. A blizzard is blowing in and is supposed to bury us in 8-12 inches of snow.

Spooksmodel Shannon Lark on her recent return to Doodah.  Note the winter clothes.

Spooksmodel Shannon Lark on her recent return to Doodah. Note the winter clothes.

It’s like a chill has gone up the collective spine of South Central Kansas. Which usually means only one thing: The Spooksmodel is returning.

Seriously, every time she comes to town, the temperature drops at least 30 degrees. It’s uncanny in its accuracy. Of course, she doesn’t usually bring a blizzard that would freeze Jack Torrance solid with her… this is something special.

I’m hosting a summit this weekend to discuss projects for the upcoming year… things could get interesting. I’ve heard a couple of the ideas that will be discussed; They might even make Scooter McCrea blush.

Plus we’re planning an experimental film duel. “The Catch” (he whose eyes my wife wants to pop out of his skull so she can stare at them at her leisure) is coming armed with Jan Švankmajer. I’m bringing Maya Deren. Who knows what the Spooksmodel will bring. That’s half the fun.

I’m hoping for a pleasant productive weekend, with a minimum of actual bloodshed.

Presents tense

It’s spring, and around Casa Del Mirthquake that means one thing: My kids’ birthdays.

Honestly they are pretty good kids, but I’m trying not to spoil them just because they’ve made another revolution around the sun. Although the way they get along sometimes, I can’t help thinking that that is a miracle in itself.

Plus they have everything they might ever want, I think… and rarely take care of what they have now. Example: The girl just lost her iPod shuffle. Do I splurge and replace it? Or do I hope in vain that she finds it?

But indeed, they are still young, and solar rotation anniversaries are part of being young. I knew I was a grown-up (and I use that term VERY loosely) when I fell off the birthday present radar. I’ve long since past getting presents for my birthday, unless I buy them myself.

But sometimes I get a present out of the blue, for no particular reason. I mean there couldn’t be a reason… My birthday is still six months away. Christmas was three month back. Why get a present?

Sometimes, I guess, it’s just “because”.

Take today, for instance.

I got a call on the MattPhone this afternoon. It was artist Brian Allen of Lipstick Teeth, featured artist in residence of the Chainsaw Mafia.

“Matt Orsman, Brian Allen.” He said in a voice affectation not unlike Lurch of the Addams Family after a month in the Hamptons. “Would you come out front, please?”

So I wound my way through the Hall of Mirrors to the expansive Foyer at Office This, where Brian can oft be found.

“Matt, I have something for you,” he said, with a glint in those baby blues that my wife so often comments on. “This will cheer you up.”

Mind you, I didn’t realize I NEEDED cheering up, but I did indeed cheer up when I saw what he had for me.

Mirthy with his new painting of Boris Karloff from "The Bride of Frankenstein", painted by Brian Allen of Lipstick Teeth Yup, that’s an original painting of Boris Karloff from "The Bride of Frankenstein". Brian did that just for me to hang in my office.

I’m a little flabbergasted, honestly. That’s original art. And GOOD Original art at that! No one just GIVES you original art, do they?

I’m still kinds floored by the generosity of it.

Have YOU ever gotten a present from out of the blue like that?

Greetings and Salutations!

(I originally wrote this particular blog back in June of 2006. I figured I would break in this new blog spot with an “oldie but goodie”. — Matt

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” – EB White, Charlotte”s Web.

We were having our weekly staff meeting today, and though I have no idea what even prompted it now (I think we were talking about the marketing section of our pending site redesign), I uttered forth such an eloquent and lucid non sequitur that it was met by gasps and giggles. Not that it was that shocking… just that I don’t think that anyone had actually thought about it before. Either that or they never expect lucidity from me. One or the other.

Charlottes Web – The Brady Bunch
Charlotte’s Web, that children’s classic of book, stage, cartoon (and a really creepy song by the Brady Bunch Kids) is really the secret history of that most powerful of marketing tools… the internet.

Alright, hear me out, and put away the straightjacket for a second.

For those of you that haven’t ever heard the story by E.B. White, the rundown from is featured in the blockquote.

An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads “Some Pig,” convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things.

Now this is true, but they may be reading too much into the story. Or maybe I am. But here’s what I see.

We have a client with a product (actually, the client IS the product in this case, but I digress), who is faced with a situation: find an alternate use for the product, or face planned obsolescence.

So the client hires a marketing person to help teach a narrow minded target market to look at the product in a new way.

The marketing person employs a unique strategy to shed light on the client’s product: short, concise descriptions of the product in an unexpected place. The results are VIRAL, with word of mouth spreading like wildfire!

Just when the target market tires of the message, they CHANGE THE MESSAGE, ensuring repeat customers! They do this once more, employing the research of an outside contractor (remember they sent Templeton the Rat to find another word on his scavenging trip?) for new content that would ensure the success of the client.

Indeed it worked like a charm! When the project was over, the target market had seen the product in a new light. The client no longer faced impending redundancy, but rather enjoyed success for years to come. Thanks solely to the intelligent use or that most powerful marketing tool… THE WEB!

Mind you, the poor marketer died from the stress of multi-tasking, but that’s a subject for another Blog.