"" bshawise: May 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Spring Break '02

In early spring 2002, most college co-eds were heading south for beaches and tshirt-wearing contests. My college roommates (Ryan: tall skinny. Tyler: tall rugged. Gordy: medium snarky) decided to pile into a conversion van and head for the grandest of all canyons. It makes my heart hurt watching this video I cut together years ago. So many memories. It's kind of overwhelming, actually. We got to El Canyon and it was covered in fog and snow. The fog lifted and we had the place to ourselves. We chucked hundreds of snowballs into that great crevice. Eventually, we grew tired of the cold and left for San Diego (thinking it was a five hour trip). Nine hours later I woke up and we were parked in a ritzy neighborhood covered in sunshine. Good times.
(btw, this blogger video takes a little bit to load)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Binocular Soccer

Thanks to Abraham for sharing this with me. Pure gold, friends.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Leah

Today is my smokin' hot wife's golden birthday. She's 28 on the 28th. Here's your birthday song, Leah....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Slo motion fo' me

If I were friends or co-workers with the crazy kids who shot this water balloon video I'd suggest they combine their work with this song. It's all about the combinations.

The Ryder Truck Story

Some of you have never heard my Ryder Truck story. Some of you have but it's been awhile. 100% of this is true. Names and identities have NOT been changed or protected. It's kind of long. But with the correct pacing I think you'll enjoy.

In the fall of 2001 my friend Nate left our hometown in Ohio to make a career as a salesman in Boston. It was a Saturday morning, wet and cold, when Nate called me from 30 miles outside the city. He wouldn't accept my offer to call back when he got closer. I stayed on the line and helped guide him to a gas station about four blocks from my apartment where he pleaded, “Come and get me Wise. I don’t want to drive anymore.” The stress of navigating a Ryder Truck for over 12 hours finally broke him.

I complied and ran over to the station. I gave him a calming man-hug and jumped into the driver seat. We drove ten blocks to the realtor to pick up his keys, then back to my apartment to pick up my roommates, Tyler and Elliott. They were the muscle needed to move Nate into his new digs. Please note that I did not say “the brains” needed to move Nate in. This will be important in the paragraphs to come.

The big yellow Ryder truck had enough room for two in the front so the two ogres jumped in the back with Nate’s traveling circus gear. They had a couch to sit on a television they could pretend to watch. We were only going about 20 blocks so at worst a lamp or futon frame could fall on them. Read More...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Accordion to our records...

Many of you will not watch this video in its entirety. That's ok. But here's an accordion solo that you should take less than two minutes to behold. Accordions fascinate me. They're like a medieval torture machine/fire maker that makes beautiful noises. A good name for a band would The Rusty SqueezeBox. I think this video shows that you shouldn't pigeonhole accordions. They can do more than play the lead to the chicken dance. They inspire oompappa in all of us-that's a given. But tell the accordion that's all they got and they will stand up and smack your mouth. So if not for me, please partake of this sizzlin' squeezin' for our veterans. You owe them at least that much...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Graduation Day

My sister-in-law (I call her Jessica) graduated with a cool acronym this weekend. DPM. She's 24 and a doctor. Doogie 2.0. The ceremony was in the Allen Theater in downtown Cleveland. It was a classy, fancy joint. I love the beginning of graduations. All the faculty and smarty joneses march in with their extra hoods and stripes and cooler hats. Pomp and circumstance bouncing off the walls making everyone think of arithmetic and libraries. Followed by the proud lot we all came to see. Smiles and flashes popping everywhere. The commencement speaker was atrocious. He spent 20 minutes (felt like 200) telling us how fat and old America is and how important podiatrists are. It was a sermon given to choir members about how crucial hymns are. We were helpless. Held hostage by the man with the mic and a point to make. But then he finished and things got good. Jessica was hooded by her father (also a DPM) and alumni. That gave me a lil' tear. The valedictorian (top left of photo) gave a fantastic speech. My favorite line was something like, "over the past four years we developed life long friendships and happened to become doctors along the way." Well said, Dr. 4.0. I met the guy to the right of the valedictorian. His name is Michelangelo. He's going to be the kind of foot doctor who wears colorful Kangaroos while prescribing orthopedic clodhoppers. When called out on his hypocrisy he'll wink and pull a peppermint out of his shoe's zippered pocket. We finished the day with a dinner at a hotel hosting a Polka Festival. Proud Polish People were everywhere learning new dance steps and sharing their talents with the world (southeast Cleveland). Although not Polish, we were proud as well. Our little Jessica is a doctor now. Nice work, Jess.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Superest

This is a lil' treat of a site. Two illustrators battle back and forth drawing superheroes that defeat each other. Start here with The Ring Leader and then click the DEFEATED BY button above him. Keep clicking till you have to get back to work. These guys are clever with their brains and pencils. I remembered this site this morning but for the life of me could not remember its name. After 27 different google searches the digital Columbo found it. Thank you, google machine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Combinations Rule

Ran across this today and initially it felt like good advice/affirmation for my profession. It simplified what I do really. It made me realize how much I love unique combinations. I like combining things via graphic design to communicate an idea. I like videos/writing/singing/art that pairs a message with a metaphor and makes me cock my head differently. I like trying to create that stuff.

The more I started thinking about this Combinations Rule the broader its appeal got. Made me think of people I know who have vast knowledge and interests. People who go by Doctor but also read poetry, take photos, watch birds and don't suck at crosswords. I find those people more interesting than people I know who have excessive focus (someone who knows more about the Bengals than Marvin Lewis and is unable to talk about anything else).

I think that maybe we had our chance in post secondary school to major in one topic and streamline our attention to one thing. Maybe we should spend our adult years dabbling and learning. I'm not saying you shouldn't study nasal passages and be the world's expert on them if that's your dream. I'm just saying read magazines about oak trees as well. Experiment with juggling. Watch romantic comedies. Take a dance class. Maybe people focus in excess because at a certain point they enter a safe zone. If you know everything about nasals then you can run in those circles and never say the wrong thing or get rejected. I'm sure to some extent we all do it. I get plain coffee at Starbucks whenever I go there. I'd like to think it's because I'm bucking the system somehow. But really it's because I'm scared of their lingo. I'm scared of asking for the wrong thing/size and looking stupid. And because of that I'm missing out on delicious (albeit stupidly named) combinations. When I got to Thai restaurants I only get the Pad Thai because I know I like it. It's safe. I haven't learned how to play the guitar yet because failing at it doesn't feel good. This fear of failure, looking stupid, tasting something weird keeps us from learning and experiencing stuff. Which keeps us from reaching our potential of being relevant and distinctive people shaped by combinations of skills, desires, tastes, theologies, etc. Let's all dabble a little this week. I'll pick up my guitar and try a mochalingo if you try something.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I need a venture capitalist to read this idea and give me money. What if there was a poster with paper thin speakers that allowed you to experience groups like this in all their glory. They could be scratch and sniff too. I'm thinking these dudes would smell like root beer floats and Stetson. Send me cash. We'll change the landscape of college dorm room decorating.

Friday, May 16, 2008

In The Wee Small Hours

So last night as Leah and I laid in bed we talked about things that lovers talk about. Our hopes/dreams. Our frustrations/anticipations. NKOTB. Just before I dozed off Leah said to our ceiling fan, "I wonder if they're nervous." You see, today is the New Kids big come back performance. In fact, as I type Leah is downstairs, magically transformed into a 13 year old, watching the Boys on one of the good morning shows. She's probably twittering her friends in phys. ed. telling them what they missed.

NKOTB. OMG. ITIMDISIL. (I think i might die i'm so in love)

They twitter back, TMBTBDOMEL (today might be the best day of my entire life) NJK (no joking)

Monday, May 12, 2008


This song will be in your head for the day and you will be blessed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fort Francis

Do kids still make forts? Is that a thing anymore? I like to wax nostalgic about the summer days my neighborhood crew and I spent creating elaborate encampments worthy of media coverage. The kind of forts Daniel Boone would swoon over. Wooden fortresses that could protect us from invasion or hold enemies hostage long enough for the enemy leaders to get us our demands (helicopters full of popsicles and fireworks). Two-story spy mansions with secret entrances and underground tunnels. We had a woods behind our house that was owned by a convent. There was a cabin that nuns retreated to from time to time for even deeper silence and refuge. We didn't know that. We thought it was a half-way house/cabin for escaped convicts. A prison was down the road so it made complete sense.

I remember one week where we broke into this cabin to use their tools to build our own cabin. We loved the convicts' cabin but we were scared of getting killed. We needed our own place. And tools. So we used their saws, machete, ax, etc. to cut down about eight medium sized trees. This actually happened. I'm not just waxin' fantasy. Long story short we got caught. The Father of the St. Francis convent (and part time Columbo) used his super sleuth skills to ruin everything. Three things happened in that moment.

ONE: We got into lots of trouble with our parents and learned that stealing from nuns is wrong.

TWO: The cabin lost its appeal when we found out it was for nun camp overs and not for runaway felons.

THREE: we had a bulletproof excuse for not finishing our perfectly planned cabin. Usually we had no excuse. We just stopped. The fort that was going to be completely underground ended up being a two foot deep hole. The double decker tree loft ended up being a tree with a few sheets of plywood nailed into it. As much as I like to remember all those sweet forts the truth is we never finished one. Ever. We started lots. Had great plans and great excitement. They just always ended up being hard work. The fun part was the brainstorming.

I haven't changed much since then. I still love the "what if" a lot more than the "what now?" Maybe I need to change. Maybe I need to get better at finishing stuff. Who knows. Or maybe I just need to find grown ups who used to run with neighborhood crews who actually completed forts. The kind of kids who graduated from cub scouts and stuck with piano/viola/drum/trumpet. Maybe I just need to surround myself with former and current over-achieving, viola-strumming, knot-tying nerds. Because lets be honest. Even if I make all these great plans to change into someone who finishes stuff with as much gusto as I start stuff, I know I'll lose my excitement after I buy the TrapperKeeper and other colorful organizational tools. There's probably still a circle of about eight tree stumps near a rustic nun-cabin that can vouch for that.

Friday, May 9, 2008

El Moustachio

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Collection of Cleverness

May it inspire you to create something clever today.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Apocalypse Now

If this photo is real we're all goners. Forget bird flu. This is the Kodiak Invasion. Bearkrieg. Devil Jockeys. Death Derby. Bearbiscuit. John Wayne's nightmare. Rodeo clowns.... of terror. My Little Bearcovered Pony.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Production Stills

I loaded the 40+ shots I took up on flickr. I didn't edit them or anything. Feeling pretty lazy this Sunday morning. But it's pretty cool (I think) to see Mark's set up. The guy is a true artist. Everyone involved with this project (except me) was a volunteer. Their only pay was the pervasive smell of body fluids stained into the walls and curtains. It's so humbling and energizing for me to work with talented people who volunteer their time and skills. Makes me want to write a song and get tons of famous people to sing it together with headphones and raise money and heal the world/make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race. Click here for the pics.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Motel Shoot

Spent 13+ hours at a Motel 6 shooting five different videos this Friday. We ended the day with the cops showing up. They were telephoned and told that porno was being filmed in room 306. Turns out the particular Motel 6 that I chose is notorious for letting tranny prostitutes rent "office space." The cop arrived as we were packing. I walked out the door tightening/adjusting my belt buckle when the officer asked what we were doing. That didn't look good. Eventually after we cleared things up the officer told us that she wasn't even sure she could arrest us if we actually were shooting porno. Unless we had animals. There was an elephant earlier in the day. I didn't tell her that.

Here's a few stills from the shoot. I'll upload some production shots later on. It's pretty cool to see the set up that Mister Mark Denney had packed into that urine-soaked room. It was a great day capped off with a pretty remarkable encounter with The Man.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Headline News

Yesterday was a day of epic news for two of my favorite people on the earthplanet. My little brother Brenty closed on his first house with his beautiful wife-to-be. And one of my best friends got engaged. News doesn't come packaged a whole lot bigger than that. It got me thinking of my wedding this morning. Both of these wildtigers stood beside me as I tried not to puke and cry. The nervous-in-a-good-way kind of puke/cry. Here's what I wrote about them in the program. The language is maybe a little dramatic in this blog context. But it's truth, and it fit the original context: a super awesome dramatic wedding event.

One day as kids we decided to start a world record camp fire. Due to the risk involved we told Brent that he couldn’t come. He started to cry. Matt the neighbor kid told Brent that someday he’d have to stop tagging along. “Whattya gonna do when Brad goes off to college?” Matt asked. Fighting through tears Brent responded, “I’ll go with him”. From then on there was no stopping us from tagging along with each other. We are best friends, each others’ biggest fans and have a closer bond than I could ever put into words.

I met Tyler at our freshmen orientation. During a rest room break we discovered that we shared a deep love for Fruity Pebbles. To this day he swears it was destiny. We spent the next five years of college realizing that despite what our parents said, we were twins separated at birth. He obviously got all the brawn. Tyler’s loyalty and dedication as a friend is truly unmatched. If it ever came down to it, I’m sure we’d get into an argument over who’d take the bullet for whom. And that’s a fight I wouldn’t pick for just anyone.

So the way I'm celebrating today is chair dancing to this song. I know it makes no sense lyrically. Or sensically for that matter. But whatever. It makes me happy. Just like good/great news from my boyzzzzzzzzzzz. So do me a solid, raise your coffee mug in honor of Tyler and Brenty and do a two-step with my good friend, Beyonce.