Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Name a name that names a name


Recently, this BRM* (Budding Renaissance Man) was asked by someone if his company could use a machinist.

"No, we don't really need machinists," I said.

"But your company has machines," he said.

I realized I was talking to someone who didn't know what a machinist did. So I explained:
"A machinist operates a machining machine to machine parts that need machining."
BRMs are men of few words.


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* BRM is a registered trademark of Budding Renaissance Man. Sort of.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Master of Disguise


I am often asked*, "Dan, I got a question. Being a Renaissance Man is not a real job."

After pointing out that is not a question (sometimes doing my Alex Trebek impersonation and saying "form of a question"), I do point out that acquiring skills is the essence of becoming hirable.

Thusfore ** and ergo, the question (in the form of a question) should be, "What jobs is the Renaissance Man quest making you qualified for?"

Well, being a voting fraud investigator looks to be a big opportunity! At least it was on Wednesday.

I would do it in the spirit of Artemus Gordon*** or John Steed.****  So I am working on mastering the art of disguise.

First, the instant mustache.


And then, a monocle.  


They'll never see me coming.

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* That's just putting on airs. No one has asked that.  Yet.

** Thusfore is a real word.  A combination of thus and therefore. A mash-up, as youngsters would say.

***  Artemus Gordon  was the sideman of James West, the rough-and-tumble title character of the 1960s TV western The Wild Wild West. Portrayed by Ross Martin, he was a master of disguise, often with a mustache (see above instant disguise). And anyone who was cool at all wanted to be Artemus Gordon, not James West. Only jocks wanted to be James West.


**** John Steed was the master spy in the 1960s TV show The Avengers. He was portrayed by Patrick Macnee.  I can not attest to him actually wearing a monocle (see above instant disguise #2), but hell, he was a Brit. He must have in at least one episode. His side(wo)man was Emma Peele, played by Diana Rigg.*****



***** Yes, Game of Thrones people - that's Olenna Tyrell.  In her babe days.  (Please note, I did not describe Emma Peele as a "sidebabe."  That would have been silly.)


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dough a dear

Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian for "The Vinci") was the definition of a Renaissance Man. He's a Renaissance Man's Renaissance Man if there ever was a Renaissance Man's Renaissance Man.*

A word that sometimes describes his masterpiece, The Mona Lisa, is that her smile is melancholy.**

So a Budding Renaissance Man (BRM) needs to be able to recognize and create images that evoke melancholy. Accordingly, I submit this:


I am calling it Too Late.

Now, what I am calling all the people who gobbled up all the birthday doughnuts*** at work without thinking I was tied up all day so they should probably save me one is ...

Oh never mind. A BRM needs to be forgiving. I guess.

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* Yes, I did win a bet that I could use Renaissance Man 4 times in one sentence. The wager was pride. Though I'm craving a juicy peach. I should have bet for that.

** melancholya feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

*** doughnut - is how it is spelled.  The day donut became an acceptable spelling of doughnut  was the day it became inevitable America would elect Donald Trump.  The writing (or should I say "riting" because who needs all the letters?) was on the wall. And the Mister Donut sign.



Yes. This is an issue with me. You haven't heard the last of this.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Renaissance of Waldoing

Recently on Facebook, I showed this picture from the show In Stitches:





My Facebook comment was, "Where's Waldo?"*

While I don't want to get in the habit of making up skills that a Budding Renaissance Man (BRM) needs to always improving, being a good Waldo is not something just anyone can do. It takes a certain confidence. A certain presence. A certain je ne sais quoi.**

Yes, I do believe I have said je ne sais quoi. For Waldoing***, at least.




Some of the underlying skills for Waldoing are being a bit of naughty in a lovable, playful way:



And being the quintessential (if not the absolute essential) photo bomber:



A most certain je ne sais quoi?

Yes. A certain je ne sais quoi.

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* - I submit the phrase "Where's Waldo?" is okay to use even if you are looking for a guy in audaciously green pants.

** - Je ne sais quoi - something (such as an appealing quality) that cannot be adequately described or expressed.

So it's a word/phrase to describe what words can't describe. Gotta admit, the French do think of everything. And I am sure they have a word for thinking of every thing.

The Germans, for the record, would have made it one single word. "Jenesaisquoi" with a "shein" on the end to make it sound not pretty. It's what Germans do.

As for attribution on the definition, I say, "Thanks, Merriam. And hey, say hi to Webster for me."

*** - "Waldoing" is hereby a real word to describe a real thing. This is an official power of a Budding Renaissance Man.

Maybe.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cool Shot? Cold Shot? Not a Hot Shot?

With rehearsal for In Stitches cancelled*  because of snow and lousy road conditions (or is it lousy snow and road conditions?), this BRM** turned to the quieter buddingness*** of photography.

With the outside freshly arctic and glowing from the streetlights, AND my neighbor's dog staring at my house and then running away, I attempted art:



Now, if I knew how to set the shutter speed faster, it would have been cooler. My cropping choice was to have the dog not exactly in the middle because that seemed like a pedestrian choice.****

It's what Budding Renaissance Men do.  Figure out what the don't know how to do. Then they figure out how to do it.

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* - Cancelling a rehearsal during Tech Week is not a good thing.  This is where we get the Big Mo (as in momentum). Not worried really, but... stay tuned.

**- BRM is a registered trademark of Budding Renaissance Man. Sort of.

*** - Early in the blog building effort, a new vocabulary is developed.  Not all the words are keepers. Like "buddingness."  Maybe I should just go with bud. That might roll off a clever tongue:
"turned to the quieter bud of photography."
Yes.  I will go with bud.

**** - Artists dismiss things that pedestrians do as, well, pedestrian.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tech Week - Where Renaissance Men are born

Heading into In Stitches Tech Week*, I'll be looking for ways to use my ability to do stuff to help, and ways to learn how to do something new just because someone has to do it.

If the picture below has 10 fingers in it, I've found success. If not...

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Being a BRM** means taking pride in being able to do things you work to learn. 

So I have to channel my BRM Mojo*** to get better at doing the choreography for this number (where I am trying to stay hid way in the back!):




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* - Tech Week is the week before a show where the technical parts of the show (lights, sound, dressing the set) all get done.  And it's the time where the performers start facing the reality that the show is going to happen. 

And oh, oh... I better learn all the real words to the songs I'm in the chorus of so I've been faking it! (If you don't know your spoken lines, you're just screwed. No one will have sympathy for you.)

** - BRM is a trademark of Budding Renaissance Man. Sort Of.

*** - BRM Mojo?  I like it.  This may be the first BRM idea to get it's own logo.****

**** - I love making logos.

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Ten. 


And one wood shop badge of honor. 




Thursday, January 5, 2017

Politics and Poetry

When politics meets a Budding Renaissance Man.
There won't be an America.
There will only be 'Merica.
Then, there will only be Erica.
Oh god. I've written a new ballad for KISS.

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The official BRM critique of this video:
  1. The camera angles and editing of this is smooth. Sort of simple, classic. 
  2. The shots of the guys all "balladed up" are a marvelous form of comedy. Attempted poignant through the face paint. 
  3. I work harder that the lip sync than they must have. 
  4. Or is it the face paint that makes the lip sync look off? 
Open for discussion: What about calling this segment a BRM "Mini-Videotique"? I'm liking it.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Grander Plan

When you are a BRM (Budding Renaissance Man),* everything is part of a much bigger thing. So trust me, there is an explanation for this.



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* BRM is a trademark of Budding Renaissance Man. Sort of. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In Stitches, the trailer


In making this trailer for In Stitches, there were lots of little challenges that came from little ideas that were part of a whole vision.






  1. Getting a the dancing dude proportioned right got complicated. Originally I wanted the top of the guy to be on the bottom of the screen, and his feet along the top. At that size, it pixelated. Went to Plan B.
  2. I was very happy to figure out everything move across the screen. That was "the big learn"* for this video. Still, why the top and bottom stop half-way though? Dough no.**
  3. The combination of stills and video was fun. Taking good candid photos and capturing good video is a challenge in a rehearsal environment.
  4. Making the frame graphic was a lot of work. The pictures were high res and my laptop really didn't want me to do it.
  5. There's a big difference between directing a shoot and gathering snippets to meld into a video.
  6. It would have been fun to have the cast's vocals instead of the Broadway cast soundtrack.  I guess Budding Audio... pher (what are they called?) needs to be in the mix before I try that.
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* - I do like the sound of "the Big Learn."  I could be a wealthy management consultant if I wrote a book called that. Note I am not concerned that the content. Only one in 10 people read the management books that their consultants recommend, anyway. And only one in twenty actually try to do it.

** - Dough No why I think I'm so damn funny for thinking of Dough No.  But I gotta get a tee shirt with that on the front.  On the back, too?  Dough No.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Wit

I get this, Aristotle. I so totally get this.



More on this. I promise.

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The composition of the picture was deliberate.  Wanted to catch the glare and shine of the sun. And my legs.

Remember, experimenting is what a budding Renaissance man does.*

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*That might be my way of saying, "Yea, that didn't really work. Not nearly as well as I hoped." 

Or do Renaissance Men never admit less than perfection? I do think we (the royal "we" of the Renaissance Man collective?) know perfect when we see it. And we'll show it to you every time.

Big thoughts, my friend. Big thoughts.

While you're still laughing, read this:

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