{Words to live by go here.
Please stand by; something will come to me.}

Scalzi Unleashed!

Posted: July 26th, 2009 | Author: jeff | Filed under: Authorship | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

John Scalzi sees sumthin' damn odd on the ground

Published this profile of writer John Scalzi in 2007. It appeared in…, ah…, let’s call it The Pop Culture Smorgasbord Magazine for Nerds (there were compensation issues, so I’ll let it go unnamed) at chain store newsstands across the continent. It has, to my dismay, disappeared since then. The magazine in question has a disappointingly meager web presence with no archive to speak of, and the piece isn’t available anywhere else. So, I thought I’d give it a home here now.

At the time I interviewed him, Scalzi was breaking big in the world of science fiction. He had already been a successful journalist, business copywriter and blogger for many years, but in 2006 his novels were beginning to receive rave reviews, prestigious awards, big readership, and he was being hailed as the “new Robert Heinlein.”

Just six weeks before our meeting — which went treble the time I was expecting, thanks to his generosity and hospitality — Scalzi made an internet sensation of himself by Scotch-taping a slice of raw bacon to the side of his cat. If you weren’t aware of this, I understand if that last sentence strikes you as lacking a certain amount of, you know, sense. You’ll have to read the profile to achieve enlightenment. I explain here because over the past 30 or so months, Scalzi has been branded “The Bacon Man” and no bacon-related internet news goes unreported by commenters on his blog. Despite his reaping what he hath sown, I feel kind of bad now for the bacon-centric approach I took to framing his story.

I also took the picture. I was nervous and flubbed the focus and lighting on many shots, but this one — taken after I lay on the ground and told him to look at me as if I was some strange bug — came out great. Yes, he actually looks like he’s about to kick me in the stomach, but that works too.

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Comedy on a learner’s permit

Posted: March 14th, 2009 | Author: jeff | Filed under: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


In the late ’90s and early ’00s, The Second City operated a theater and training center in downtown Cleveland. How could I not take advantage of that? It took a few years, but I finally did, in 2003 enrolled in improv and writing classes and had the time of my life. In the spring of 2004, sadly, SC decided our town didn’t have the Sunday–Thursday evening traffic to support them over the long term, so they turned off the lights and left town. They are truly missed.

Behind the cut, I’m posting a sketch I wrote in my first Comedy Writing class. The assignment for this week was to explore the theme of “Clash of Contexts,” where the fount of funny bubbles up from situating a thing (object, personality) precisely where it doesn’t belong. SNL’s “Samurai Delicatessen” is a classic example. After looking at theory, creating one’s own scene started with brainstorming—my favorite part of class. Come up with as many examples of the theme as you can in a limited amount of time. Here’s the list I started with on this one:

Trading Spaces (remember this was in 2003) during the Middle Ages. Crusaders switch with Saracens.

• A state fair baking competition where the participants behave like Scottish soccer hooligans.

• A day care center run like a Vegas casino. There’s a croupier running a game of Candyland.

• Garbage truck drivers who are enthusiastic eBay auctioneers.

• Amish Sesame Street, where the puppets are all black and white and have no faces, and all the people in the neighborhood are farmers.

I ended up writing the first one. It was well enough received at the table-read that I’m not too self-conscious about sharing it here. Ladies and Germs, please now click through for The Lab’s production of “The Brocade Crusade.”

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Experience the Mystery

Posted: March 9th, 2009 | Author: jeff | Filed under: Self Promo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off


When I began freelancing several years ago, under the name AnabelJack, a Creative Services Co, I created this as a leave-behind to showcase my ideation, writing, layout and Photoshop chops. No one ever said it earned me a shot specifically, but I got at least one project from everyone I ever gave it to. It’s meant to be something fun for that spare ring binder on the shelf, wherein you stash miscellaneous stuff. Do you have a homely binder like that? You can download a PDF of the Office Oracle behind the cut if you like, and find the explanatory text and user’s guide I wrote for the back.

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Lab Dog is a Lab dog

Posted: March 7th, 2009 | Author: jeff | Filed under: Wallpapers | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »


The Lab is a place for me to experiment, a toy box to play in, and a stage on which to make a fool of myself. The Lab is also that sweet baby up there — in one of the single best photos I ever took — who is by chance and by far best qualified to be Site Mascot.

What better for an inaugural post than to offer this timeless portrait for your monitor wallpaper. Download ’er here and help me achieve my goal of having my dog’s picture on every display on the planet. Thank you; come again.

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