BRAD BALUKJIAN hit the sweet spot of the baseball in his new book WAX PACK. The book is a joy for baseball freaks but also serves as a fantastic memoir on relationships and life. The LA Times Bestselling book is a road trip journey of history and the psyche. Built on the randomness of a fifteen pack of baseball cards with a crisp stick of tongue cutting gum, Brad builds a 10,000 mile adventure into the strange character of American baseball. Brad is a Ph.D., a fighter for the underdog and the working stiff, a writer and a Rhode Islander who now lives on The Best Coast.

Brad tells a bit about himself here:

"Brad Balukjian is a doctor, but not one who can write you a prescription (unless you're a sick insect). He hated school when he was little, but now loves it so much that after graduating from the 23rd grade, he has moved to the other side of the desk to teach natural history at Merritt College in Oakland, California. He has strong opinions about the value of education, exposure to nature, and utility infielders from the 1980s, and is pursuing a hybrid career of teaching, writing, and research to get the word out that science is accessible and (gasp!) fun. He chose this path because he never wants to stop learning and apparently has a strong aversion to money. This is his first time writing in the third-person."

Dr. Michael Burns is a university teacher, writing coach, film director, labor activist, editor, and storyteller. He has a B.A. from Georgetown University, an M.S. from University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and holds a Ph.D. in documentary film history from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Dr. Burns directed five films for international television and his work has been seen in over twenty countries. He is the founder, director, and curator of Tall Tales, India’s longest-running, true storytelling event series that features live performances and writing workshops of all kinds.

He lives in the United States of America for six months each year and the other six in India.

I was so happy to catch up with Michael from Mumbai, India for an incredible chat and exploration. Enjoy.

EPISODE 32 - of ‘Something (rather than nothing) podcast with writer Allison C. Meier!

Allison C. Meier is an Oklahoma-born, Brooklyn-based writer focused on visual culture, architecture, and overlooked history: she believes in writing about the arts and heritage of our world in an accessible, engaging way. We talked about her recent, haunting Fall 2019 article on the Spanish Flu and the depiction of disease by painters in a Pandemic.

I am still thinking about the many topics we discussed including - forgotten history, disease, death, cemetery tours, painting, philosophy, history, Spirit photography, symbols, ghosts and so much more . . . 

I hope you enjoy the journey.

Such an enjoyable conversation with New York Yankees hitting coach RACHEL BALKOVEC!

Rachel is a deep thinker whose ability to both challenge norms and seek deeper truths have served to forge her path. She notes that "by trade I'm a hitting coach, but in reality, I'm a student, athlete, minimalist, feminist and nomad.  Those are things that I resonated with long before my career and will be with me long after my career in sports is over."

Rachel and I explore the art and science of hitting a baseball by exploring both the mental and physical aspects that drive a complicated passion. The conversation covered a diverse range of topics that include the importance of mentorship (especially for young women), the complicated history of the American National Pastime, her podcast 'Theta Wave" explorations and the meaning of making history.

 

 

This episode is pure sci-fi/science geek heaven. Join the Tattooed Scottish-American N7 Slytherin Rebel from Starfleet - Dr. Erin Macdonald.

Dr. Macdonald is an astrophysicist, science fiction consultant (currently for the Star Trek franchise), and host of the online series "Dr Erin Explains the Universe". Her specialty is in general relativity, having previously worked in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration searching for gravitational waves. She has since found her home in science fiction, consulting with writers, teaching STEM through popular culture, and fulfilling her life goal of becoming a warp drive expert while living in Los Angeles.

March 31, 2020

Episode 29 - Buell Thomas

BUELL THOMAS - master on trumpet, vocals and philosophy ---

Buell began playing the trumpet at 9 years young. The Marriage between the two, like any other, has had its peaks and valleys throughout but every musician has his soul instrument. Mr. Thomas has used his to be able to share the gift of expression with many others over his Career.

His first Band was SUPERBUG, in South County, Rhode Island. Superbug went on to enjoy local success in Southern New England, culminating with a first place finish in the then prestigious 1994 95.5 WBRU Rock Hunt. The group recorded three albums together, most notably, the 12 song PRIZED. The group disbanded in 1995 and Thomas left for New York City where he continued writing while also spending one year studying at the City College Of New York.

As a trumpet player, Buell was able to contribute to many live and recorded performances. In 2007, upon meeting TJ Swan (Joe Carter), he recorded his first solo album, 'In The Air.' 'In The Air' was recorded at Velvet Swan Studios in 100% analog format, and was pressed to 500 vinyl albums.

Thomas continues to release great music under his newest project WELL BRED MONGRELS with a new album soon in the offing . . . 

March 29, 2020

Episode 28 - James Sweet

JAMES SWEET is an Oregon based Producer, Director, and Writer.

Sweet is the Director for the much-anticipated Friday the 13th fan film JASON RISING. For many of us horror fans,  Jason Voorhees is the source of nightmares and a cause for pause in the consideration of sex, drugs, alcohol and rock & roll. The Friday the 13th series remains a primary source of slasher film horror since 1980. Jason has terrorized Camp Crystal Lake, the suburbs, Manhattan and even the far reaches of outer space. Jason Rising brings him back for more mayhem . . . 

James Sweet began acting in 1997 and has trained with several methods and instructors, including friend, Robert Blanche. He is known for his vast resume acting in films such as Men of Honor and Television shows as Leverage, Grimm, Z Nation, and The Librarians. His eye has always been on filmmaking. James made his first short film, 'Blood and Sugar' with credits as writer and producer.

March 24, 2020

Episode 27 - Phoebe Blake

PHOEBE BLAKE

Phoebe Blake is a Tucson-based artist who was born in Eugene, Oregon.

She works in a lot of mediums - oils, ink, printmaking, marker on wood and colored pencils

Blake also creates hand-poked tattoos, makes zines, quilts and sews appliqué denim jackets. She is known to plan and execute elaborate themed costume parties with old school handbill-style invites as a personal remedy and response to the monotone frat culture on the University campus.

“I’m more of a maker of things and feelings than an artist with a distinct focus and style. I love to create communities and to create space.”

Episode 26 with DAVID VERESPY     

     Hi, I’m David Verespy, Professional Photographer.  But, I am way more than that, I am an active creative professional who really can’t sit still without creating something. I have been a creative all of my life, whether it be drawing, doodling, painting, sculpting, photography, print making, writing, inventing or exploring the creative world. I create with an eye towards a unique view and experience while capturing the moment.

     I have a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with a Minor in Art from the University of Rhode Island.  I am a registered Landscape Architect and have been in the profession of Landscape Architecture for the past 27 years. I have been an active part of that community, holding leadership positions in the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2007, I started my own Landscape Architecture firm designing and managing the construction of numerous commercial and residential properties.  I create beautiful gardens and spaces, each a series of imagined vignettes brought to life in stone and plants. 

     But, I wasn’t satisfied, I found myself continually drawn back to a vantage point behind the lens.
I am that guy who will stop in the middle of Disney, the airport, the slopes or on a busy street, pause what I am doing to take that special photograph for another person or family.  Why? The moments we live in are fleeting.  Time and people pass us by without a thought and then are gone. When I have the opportunity to capture a moment for someone that means something to them it means so much to me. A moment in my life to stop and take a photo for someone is nothing compared to the joy it may bring to them in creating that life-long memory. Each time I stop to do this I envision the image finding its home framed as a centerpiece on someone’s shelf, a treasured memento of a special time.
 
     Photography has always been part of who I am.  I can usually be found with at least one camera on me.  Early on I started with a Kodak 110 camera with a pocket full of flash cubes. I would cart that camera all over the place, capturing view of the world from a child’s perspective.  I worked as a photographer for both my high school and college yearbooks and newspapers gaining more technical experience and using better equipment.  An immersion into Photography during my college years allowed me to experiment with different technologies and equipment, expanding my creative voice.  Over the years I gathered equipment, experimented with other formats and learned all I could. It wasn’t till I had children, which coincided with the emergence of Digital photography, that I put all the equipment and learning to good use. I was a very early adopter of digital imaging, which has expanded my creative voice.  I have recently taken my photography to the skies and am a licensed drone pilot.
 
      Photography is at its most basic level is the manipulation and capture of light.  I look for the perfect natural light or work with studio lights to sculpt shadows and light to create the ideal image. I try to go beyond merely cataloging that moment, I capture the energy, emotion and essence of that moment.  When I am photographing people, I endeavor to capture who they are.  Each photo tells a story. Let me help you tell your story.
March 11, 2020

Episode 25 - Lizzy Falcon

Episode 25 with LIZZY FALCON

Captivating, fascinating, unique, and soulful, describe Lizzy Falcon’s artwork. Lizzy's work has a whimsical, yet "emo-like" feeling. Thematic threads of her work are grey-toned girls with one big eye as "Big-Eye-Art" and the Lowbrow Art Movement have had a major impact on her, and she (usually) only exposes one eye: the left eye, as that is the eye that represents true emotion. Lizzy uses grey tones for her characters to avoid assigning them race or ethnicity, as all human should be permitted to relate to them, but they end up with a slight creepy look, and that's okay. Lizzy does not try to capture absolute realism in her works, preferring the fantastic and whimsical. Margaret Keane and Walt Disney have been her two biggest artistic influences. As a child, Keane's artwork adorned Lizzy's walls and inspired her to be an artist later in her life. Lizzy is a self-taught artist and mainly works with acrylics on canvas.

Lizzy has had the honor to show alongside some very talented artist from all around the world. In addition, buyers from all corners of the world have purchased Lizzy's paintings and sculptures. Whether Lizzy is painting, sculpting, or creating animated shorts of her characters, she is always creating something new.

Lizzy is opening the Lotus Gallery and Art center, Grand Opening May 2, 2020.

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