January 19, 2010

Hello 2010

I think I've been doing this blog for more than a year now, and so far I've averaged about 6 posts a month, and believe me, that's not bad for somebody who has a hard time committing to anything for more than five minutes. However, it's been more than a month since I've written anything here, December and alot of January has been rife with significant but unbloggable events, on both the good and bad extremes, and that's about all I've had time to ponder. Two days ago I did a few grand worth of damage with my truck, which is pretty on par for the course I've been playing into the New Year. 2010 for yours truly seems to be on the explosive track.

Here's some good stuff that's been happening:

Harold Kyle of Boxcar Press does practically all the work readying a Miehle Vertical V50 for transport from Syracuse to Asheville, including a gracious loan of a complete trailer setup, simply because I really don't know what the hell I'm doing and I don't have any money to do it anyway.

1) I was given a free Miehle Vertical V50 which I have been obsessively restoring for weeks now (along with the sometimes reluctant, but mostly diligent help of the BBH crew) using all kinds of elbow grease, scrubbing tools, and harsh chemicals, the NARSTIEST of them being carburetor cleaner, which I can only use when everyone has left for the day. On some days, despite protective gloves and a respirator, five or six cans of spraying the stuff has me coming home with my body totally juiced with what feels like an early onset of Alzhiemer's. And by free press I mean I think I spent two grand so far on moving, rigging, and restoration, despite its total zero dollar price tag.

I had started in on the center metal roller before thinking about before & after pics. Shortly after that with about an hour of scrubbing and carburetor cleaner, I got the results below.

But my god the results from a caustic cloud of carburetor cleaner are astounding. As my friend Casey, who commandeered the six hour press move into the shop said, "We only use 3% of our brains. Which leaves 97% to burn." What is 97% of one brain cell worth is what I want to know.

Casey Gullage attempts to lift the V50 with a forklift as Emily stands by, hoping she can somehow prevent four thousand pounds of disaster as I pull the trailer out from under the press.

I made sure absolutely everyone at BBH could effectively complain about the detail cleaning of the V50.

The once rusty beast now shines at night.

2) NYIGF Ahoy! As always we're gearing up last minute to churn out new designs and refurbish some old ones. Printing Xmas cards in January seems pretty odd but it's got to happen sometime. The New York Gift Show in January is our biggest show and generally what funds what is in store for the rest of the year, so of course we are all excited to get this over with and get paid!

3) I've had 2 years of experience in High School Theater. Four years ago I had 6 minutes of televised fame as a letterpress practitioner on HGTV's "That's Clever." But I have never officially acted in front of a camera for anything until last week when I was filmed as Thomas Paine rocking out with his cockring out as he prints Common Sense in a "Founding Father's" "Music Video Spoof" of a pop song who's title and artist I will refrain from mentioning just yet. It was for part a promotional video for Soomo Publishing, which specializes in online Poly-Sci educational supplements. It premiers on YouTube in February, it promises to be hilarious, and it captures your humble narrator in his dorkiest glory to date. The film shoot happened at Bookworks and was separate from most of the footage shot for the video.

Thomas Jefferson has a sunset violin solo.

TJ and the Founding Fathers unfurl their flag of Awesome.

This photo of my costume fitting at the Asheville Community Theater does not do what I had to do in front of the camera any kind of justice.

4) A Beautiful Snow Storm. West Asheville got 17" in 24 hours and all sorts of chaos ensued, both locals and travelers were stranded, as of day three 37,000 were still without power, rescue missions and snowball fights were as frequent as liquor drinks, but I gotta say, all of my experiences in Asheville when it's shut down by snow have been nothing but good times. The city of Asheville reportedly spent $500K on cleanup and emergency services over the course of the week.

A snow covered Haywood Road brings out the alcohol starved snow zombies.

A snowball fight between patrons of the Rocket Club and the Admiral raged for hours.

More than ample snowfall has more than ample possibilities.

5) Scoring Stalls Emptied. We keep all of our fresh prints waiting to be scored on display in wooden stalls in the front window of our studio, and often some piles have gotten up to 4 feet high, totaling up to 15,000+ prints in the window at any given time. Despite the dozens of interns who have hacked away at the ever growing "to-be-scored" piles, in three years since we've employed them they have never been completely depleted. No longer, thanks to the combined efforts of our new daily interns "Team Awesome," who decimated the scoring stalls in a mere 18 days.

It hasn't looked this way since they were first built in 2007.

4) I got a Pop-Eye shirt and a really cool wallet (not pictured) for Christmas.

Jesus, I guess that's not all the good stuff but that's all that you are going to get out of me. Up next, best 10 movies of the 00's.