September 2007 Archives

Brainwatch Days 8 & 10


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No thanks to Catloaf I added a 2nd quarter.

DAY 10

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Here you can see where the brain shifts
to a more shelf-like structure.
And Catloaf owes me another quarter.

I would also like to say: you can finally stop emailing me. I ate some tree brain.

Details to come.

Brainwatch - Day 7

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Catloaf owes me a quarter.

Gettin' Sexy with the Ladies

I walked into the kitchen to find my wife watching "The Pick Up Artist" on Vh1. It's a reality show where they attempt to teach socially awkward guys how to pick up hot girls.

My favorite technique is the "Neg." That's making a playful "negative comment" to disarm a woman and show you're not defenseless to her beauty.

Me: "How can you watch this show?"

My wife: "I'm easily amused."

Me: "Yeah, that's 'cuz you're dumb... OH SHIT, DROPPING NEGS! Get your shirt off."

My wife: (BLANK STARE)

The shirt remained on.

I don't think I negged her hard enough. Next time I'll make fun of her family. Then make way for the sex!

Brainwatch Day 5 - Scale Reference

Catloaf2 writes:

Please include a dime for scale in future brain shots (long story, my friends and I find the whole "dime for scale" thing hilarious).

Thanks, Catloaf. I'll do you 2.5 times better. Here is the tree brain on Day 5, now with QUARTER FOR SCALE.

I must confess, I'm curious how much longer of a story your friends finding it hilarious could possibly be.

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Brainwatch Day 4 - Explosive Growth

Look at that growth spurt. I believe the tree brain gained 50 I.Q. points since yesterday (as evidenced by this sexy upskirt shot).

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I'm guessing that the large fresh cut on this tree has opened up a prime spot for it to grow. Maybe it just switched trees for a sweeter apartment.

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Gross and beautiful. Thanks, Nature. You're wacky.

Brainwatch Day 3

In just a few days we'll look back at these pictures and remember how young and innocent our little tree brain was...

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Fungal puberty is just around the corner.

Brainwatch 2007 - Day 2

The tree brain is gestating nicely.

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As far as its 15-foot migration goes, I received the following email last night:

Dear Steve,

It should take roughly 3,234,176 years for the beast to reach the White House. One of us should inform the President immediately.

-Greg L.
Beloit, Wisconsin

Greg makes a compelling point, but I still feel this is not a time to panic. Go on living your lives as you normally would.

Otherwise, the brains win.


As I told my wife the first time I spotted the tree brain in 2003, this is a very sneaky life-form we're dealing with.

Every day I've been diligently checking the official tree to find nothing. Last night, on its sister tree 15 feet away, I spotted THIS...

(Click here for a closer view.)

The brain appears to be on the move, traveling southbound at approximately 15 feet every 4 years -- VIA TREES. I have no idea where it's headed, but my first guess is the White House.

I will continue to monitor its progress. (I don't feel it's important to contact authorities -- yet.)

Brainwatch 2007 begins!

Right Before My Eyes

Every time I see the Target commercial called "Brave New Dorm" the song gets stuck in my head. I love the voice of the girl singing it and I wanted to find out who it was.

A quick poke around the internet showed the song comes from a Canadian singer/songwriter named Andrea Revel and it only exists as the 30 second version in the commercial.

Andrea was kind enough to answer my questions about how someone ends up writing a song for a commercial, who ends up owning the rights if it's a hit, etc.

How do you end up writing a song for a Target commercial?

My agent in L.A. asked me to write a song for Target. I had previously co-written a song for Old Navy called "Clap!Shake!Jump!" for the same agent. He gave me two days to write and record it. It's always a panic and crapshoot because there is never a guarantee that my song will be selected.

I was surprised to learn that the song only exists only as the 30 second commercial and wasn't a previously existing song. Does a full-length version of it exist?

No, I was only able to pull off a short song in 2 days. However, I do get quite a lot of requests to make it into a full song.

When you're writing a song for a commercial and it starts sounding amazing, does the thought ever go through your mind, "Oh shit, this song is really good. Maybe I should save this one and start on another one for them"?

Yes, but usually I'm so rushed to get it off to my agent that I don't have much time to dwell on it. I also find that the benefits I reap from handing the song over to the ad agency are worth it because commercial licensing agreements are generous and give me the ability to record albums and tour.

When your agent came to you, what writing parameters were you given?

I was able to watch the commercial, so that helped a lot in the writing process and I knew I had to have something solid in just under thirty seconds. My agent told me to write something rocky and high energy and "Right Before My Eyes" was born.

Who now owns the rights to your song? Would you be able to include a full-length version of it on a future album?

I own the rights. I would be able to include a full-length version in a future album, but I'm not sure if it suits the tone of the present album I'm working on.

Is it at all frustrating to hear your song all over TV and realize that the majority of people hearing it have no idea who it is?

Not really. I find that I only make more fans, especially in the States. I love that people will take the time to find me on the internet.

Have many people like me tracked you down because they were curious about the tune?

Several, particularly on myspace.

You seem very nice. Why when I Google you does Google warn me that your official website might "harm my computer"?

My website is totally safe, I have no idea why Google has tagged my site as harmful. I am rather frustrated and I will have to get around to dealing with it.

For people interested in hearing more of your music, what would you recommend is the best starting place to get acquainted with your stuff?

I have two albums that are quite varied: I recorded 'Mile 0' in 2000 and 'Citysong' in 2004. They can be purchased at I am presently recording a new album Some of the new songs will be premiering at my myspace page in the next month.

Thanks, Andrea!

Theoretical Band - Real Logo

As many of you know, we (me, you and everyone) started our own band a few weeks ago -- complete with a name inspired by the hideous yet lovable annual fungus on the tree in my yard.

The beauty of The Tree Brains is it only exists in our minds. That means everyone everywhere can be in it since we never actually perform. It also means it makes no difference at all if you can play an instrument or not.

While our band may not really exist, our logo definitely does.

Gary Taxali is a very nice guy, an insanely talented artist, and is also responsible for this bit of visual greatness! I love it so much I don't know what to do.

Check out more of Gary's art at his official site. He's one of my favorites and I'm honored he took the time to do this. Thanks, Gary!

Rock on. Theoretically.

(Also the real Tree Brain 2007, hopefully soon. It seriously better show up after all this.)

Wallet Winners

Thanks to everyone who drew such fantastic pictures on my Facebook Graffiti Wall. This thing was impossible to judge. There were so many great ones I got a few more Bacon Wallets to give away, and even then I wish I had more. The 5 winners are all below (1 artist drew 2 of them).

Also, a huge thanks to my pals at Archie McPhee. They're always very generous with the prizes here on The Sneeze, so if you only click on one link today, PLEASE MAKE IT THIS ONE and visit right now! (Really, clicky click click.)

Not only does Archie Mcphee have the greatest bizarre stuff, but these guys are the CREATORS of it. When you see some of these items for sale in other stores, you should know that they originate at Mcphee. They are ground zero for fun weird stuff.

And now your wallet winners...

If you're not up on some of the references, the scribbly Jesus drawing was in response to this and "Dale, I'm going to jail!" is one of my son's finest Jokes from the Booster Seat. Thanks again, everybody!

So Close to Busted

The other night my wife and I were going at it. Things got a little louder than they should have and I thought I heard little footsteps headed our way. There was a brief moment of panic, but it was a false alarm. Thankfully our kids did not walk in to see Mommy and Daddy kicking ass on Guitar Hero -- a game the boys have no idea exists in our house.

Many nights we put them to bed and literally sneak downstairs to play. I'd say it's kind of sad, but I rock so GODDAMN HARD, it's not.

There are a number of reasons why I don't want them to know we have it. 1) It's not the easiest game and I think they'll be frustrated. 2) If they are able to play, it provides such instant gratification I think it will make them less patient to learn to play a real instrument. 3) If and when they break it, I'll be faced with the urge to beat them with the little plastic guitar.

If at some point they catch us, I do have a plan: ditch the guitar, rip off my clothes and climb on top of my wife. 'Cause that's what you get for not staying in bed.

Facebook + Art = Bacon Wallet

If you've been on Facebook, you may have encountered the Graffiti Wall app. It's a little tool that allows you to draw on your friends' pages.

I've messed around with it and it's pretty crude, so I'm amazed when I see insane creations like this one by Dale appear on my wall...

I've decided to have a Facebook Graffiti Wall Contest. Prizes are the much desired Bacon Wallets, courtesy of my buds at Archie McPhee.

There will be 3 winners. 1 for the most artistic creation, 1 for whatever I find the most entertaining and 1 completely at random (to level out the playing field). Beyond that the rules are pretty loose. Draw as much as you want. (Drawings created before today are not in the running.)

You can find my Facebook profile right here. The Graffiti wall is at the bottom of the page, just scroll down. I think you may need to befriend me before you can draw on my wall, so I'll try to stay on top of that. (And I think if you're signed in to Facebook, this link should take you directly to the wall.)

The contest is over this Sunday night (9/9) at 9 pm PST. I'll announce the winners Monday morning.

Good luck!


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This page is an archive of entries from September 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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