What Lies Beneath?

bro2

What lies beneath? That could easily apply to a bike found under a layer of dust, a forgotten toy at the bottom of a box or even an abandoned vehicle in a barn – all treasures right in front of you waiting to be uncovered, to be re-discovered. And many times with that rediscovery comes rejuvenation – a breath of new life in that object or maybe even a new purpose. But what happens when it’s not just an object changing? What if a person can also find a new purpose for themselves while they are transforming objects at the same time?

This is my brother Terry, he is an artist. He has always been an artist – a passionate guitar player, writer of angry musical anthems, master of poetic love songs and a non-stop tinkerer. However, this artist has been collecting dust under the career of a precision metal fabricator for decades. Long, hard hours working in a shop on projects big and small, simple to complex and for a variety of industrial uses. But, there was always something else….something more magical that lay beneath that daily dirty grind.bro

If you are one of those people who likes to judge a book by its cover – perhaps you might take one glance at Terry with his tattoos, mohawk (or no-hawk) and slight smirk, then summarily dismiss him. Rookie mistake – he can look a bit rough around the edges, but you aren’t going to get to know him or really see him until you talk to him. An amazingly articulate, passionate human who is fueled by the desire to make his loved ones smile and make other people take a second look at something that was once discarded.

My brother’s metamorphosis started about 5 years ago with an accident that left him with 2 ruptured disks. Unable to work, drive or walk – hell, some days he wasn’t even able to get out of bed. Sit too much – it hurt; lie down too much – it hurt. He was shuffling around like he was 100 years old and hunched over like Snoopy when he pretends to be a vulture. After many failed attempts at both surgery and rehab over the past few years, he was able to get the reconstructive work he needed a few months ago which made him slightly mobile again.

With many question-filled years under his belt, the likes of “what am I going to do now” or “how can I find something new” and “what if all I’m good at is now gone”. The answers to those questions weren’t going to be found on the couch so Terry took the risk to try something different. Pushing his new found mobility by taking a walk to the basement about 6 weeks ago, he put on his welding mask one more time and this is what he found in the pile of junk down there…..Meet Boom Boy.
boom boy

My brother, the welder had scratched the surface just a bit and found an artist lie under those years of pain, of wondering and of waiting. He suffered for his art but in such an unexpected way – he lost his job, a career which was all he ever knew, time with family and friends and many other things which only time will tell. He is only a few months post-surgery and we still don’t know what “recovery” will look like for him, only that he’ll never be able to go back to what he’s done almost every day for the past 20 years. But, I think that’s ok because now all eyes are firmly set on the future and that is what is worth living for – not the past.

I am beyond thrilled to say on his first journey outside this weekend to share what he’s been working on was an unparalleled success. He brought his Found Object Sculpture/Art to a show in Northhampton, MA….350+ business cards and dozens of prospective buyers later – HE SOLD OUT THE SHOW!!

My scrappy, wonderful, head-strong, amazingly talented brother set the whole place on its ear! I am so beyond happy for him, hopeful for his future and excited for what’s to come. He is a master at finding what lies beneath, but don’t just take it from me – see his work for yourselves

www.tmrennertstudios.com
www.tmrennert.com

May The Force Be With You. And Maybe Some Antacid too!

While we were spending some time reading in the living room this afternoon Vivian was pulling out toys from her bins, when out popped – Watto the cup topper. He was followed in short order by Anakin, Queen Padme Amidala, Nute Gunray, Sebulba, Jar Jar Binks and Darth Maul. I had to chuckle a little as I thought back on how we came to get these.

It was 1999, living in LA and working for Razorfish. When Episode One tickets went on sale the whole office was online, on their cell phones and on land lines trying to buy tickets for the show. There were tons of promotions going on but the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Tricon Global) one wasn’t to be beat. A new limited edition cup topper “head” with cup “body” each week highlighting main character and they were different to each restaurant so you could only get 1 a week or until they were gone.

I remember BJ, Tom and myself visiting each location each week to get a new one. Of course by that time I think we had also seen the movie 3 or 4 times too!

Opening night was in Marina Del Rey and that same weekend in Westwood Village, followed by 3rd St. Promenade and Mann’s Chinese Theatre.

We still have a few of the cups around and most of the toppers, but no Mace Windu, R2D2 or Yoda.  Looks like a could get the whole set on eBay for $85 (including straws!) but I’ll settle for the ones I have and the laugh I got thinking about collecting them.

Random Things You Might Not Know

Did You Know . . .

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Over 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

A crocodile can’t stick it’s tongue out.

A shrimp’s heart is in their head.

People say “Bless you” when you sneeze because when you sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond.

In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand (or attempted to do so – apart from Bones).

It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Between 1937 and 1945 Heinz produced a version of Alphabetic Spaghetti especially for the German market that consisted solely of little pasta swastikas.

On average, a human being will have sex more than 3,000 times and spend two weeks kissing in their lifetime.

More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

Rats and horses can’t vomit.

The “sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.

If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib.

If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. if you keep your eyes open by force, they can pop out.

Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants.

Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

If the government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16, 1969, make it illegal for U.S. citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrial or their vehicles?

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.

In the course of an average lifetime you will, while sleeping, eat 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders.

Most lipstick contains fish scales.

Cat’s urine glows under a black-light.

Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.

Fantasty Dinner Party #4

Here’s the challenge — if you could invite 5 people to a dinner party (not counting best friends or relatives), who would they be? What would you eat? What music would be playing? What would you talk about? Who would you invite?

Considering all the options available, it took me a few minutes and I hereby deliver my list with a disclaimer — the names will probably change with time, environment and mood.

Jim Lovell
Ginger Lynn
Charles Bukowski
Eric Clapton
Dr. Christian Barnard

The meal:
Bass Ale
Buffalo Wings
Sausage subs (the ballpark kind)
Fries and onioin rings
hostess cupcakes for dessert

The music:
The jukebox at the Daily Pint, each guest gets five selections at a time, my first five, if i recall correctly:
I Want You – The Beatles
Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Creedence
Bad Company – Bad Company
Dueces Are Wild – Aerosmith

Answer the following questions: What is greatness? Define ecstasy. Explain fear. Each will describe their first sexual experience. Each will tell when and why they were happiest. Each will tell what they love about life and what they hate about it. We will cap off the night by playing truth or dare.