I am an artist, writer, and pseudo-intellectual online entertainer.
In all three capacities, my goal is to create what I would want to experience. Then, if it happens to connect with someone else, too, it’s pure serendipity. Which is a pretty good feeling.
I paint what I’d want to hang on my own walls. I write things that I’ll want to read in a few weeks after I’ve forgotten that I wrote them. And I verbally cavort in front of a camera because—well, that I just do for the hell of it. Which is a pretty good reason to do things.
In this third function — my public persona as a lowbrow, quasi-educated internet orator — I find myself most often going on about…
Language (I hesitate to say linguistics, because I am most definitely not a scholar)
Philosophy (though I don’t mean this in either the academic or etymological sense)
Religion (usually within the extremely limited scope of my personal experience)
...and whatever other oddments I may happen upon in a morning’s reading.
Basically, I’ll go on for 60-90 seconds about whatever idea gives me a whack on the side of the head.
Because first, I’m here to be interested. And second, if I’m lucky, I’m here to be interesting.
Nothing I say is important. (Not intentionally, anyway. It’s certainly not why I’m saying it.) Nothing I say is meant to convince anyone of anything, even if it happens to. And I’m not here to help anyone feel, do, or be different than they already are.
And now, because this is an "about page"...
21 Quick facts about me of widely varying significance in roughly chronological order
I grew up in South Minneapolis directly beside 16 lanes of interstate. You get used to the roar, of course. But then you open the windows for air...and it’s a new kind of loud. It was beautiful. The sound of summer.
The Dairy Queen that was across from Elliot Park in the 80’s started charging a quarter for water, because my friends and I would go there for free refreshment like 12 times a day.
I forgot the p in “raspberry,” thereby only getting 2nd in my school’s spelling bee.
I didn’t have a TV growing up. I used to bus downtown and stand in the Dayton’s electronics section and watch their bank of big-screens. That’s where I saw Field of Dreams.
I’ve only ever been punched in the face once. It was by a stranger. He didn’t say anything to me before or after, and then we both just kept walking... Oh wait — there was one other time.
The first time I ever smoked was with my neighbor on his garage roof. Then I slipped into my house to brush my teeth, but the family was sitting down to read the Bible at that exact moment and I was called to join them. If they noticed they didn’t say anything.
I discovered Bob Dylan and realized you could just say whatever you want in songs and it doesn’t have to make particular sense to make you feel.
My first car was an ’87 Chevy Cavalier. I never changed the oil so the head gasket blew or something. I left the car smoking on the side of 35W underneath Broadway and never saw it again.
I quit college because my dorm room was a 5th floor walkup. That and because it dawned on me that this wasn't high school and I could quit.
I got up at 4:30 every morning to work for a now-defunct UPS competitor. That’s where I learned to never wave anyone through an intersection and always back into your parking space.
I traveled through dozens of states in a van with a friend, a dog, a couch, and four guitars while we tried to make it as a kinda gutter-folk, Americana-before-it-was-commonly-called-that duo. He was good. I was just confident.
My future wife and I dated for two months, and then I asked her to marry me while she was doing her hair in the bathroom with her back to me. We got married four months later and we still are (as of the time of this writing).
We had a few babies and I got very good at swaddling. The key is to tuck that last flap back around into the front so that the kid is a self-contained package. You’re not going to hurt them. The womb was way more cramped than that.
I wrote two books in three months. Neither are published. One sucks, the other doesn’t.
I must’ve gone to church over 3,500 times before I finally realized that being boring is an affront to life itself and I don’t have to put up with it.
I started a blog, which would later become the foundation for the media business I founded with one of my closest friends. It was once hailed as “The Second-most Shared Site on Facebook,” which makes me laugh.
We moved to California to set up a headquarters for our business and I experimented with looking nice every day. I even tucked in my shirt a couple times. I still wear one of the plaid blazers from that era. None of the shoes, though.
In a work meeting one time, I asked everybody, "If there was a switch that would turn the universe off, would you flip it?" I didn't realize this would make people uncomfortable.
My first studio was in the basement of the old General Mills research facility, a sprawling Minneapolis complex. To give you a sense of the quality and vibe of the space, my underground hallway was rented out every October to be turned into a haunted basement.
I paint almost exclusively with house paints that people have returned to the hardware store. The advantage is that it’s cheap. The disadvantage is that all my paintings are made with colors people apparently don’t want to look at.
During the height of covid, when my son was distance-schooling from my office with me, we were talking about TikTok. I told him I thought I should try it out, being in online media professionally and all, and he told me he didn’t think I could do it. I told him I’d have 100K followers in a month.