Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fan Obsolescence - "Fan Five"

Finally got this one uploaded!

Inspired by and, this is my fifth mix of songs I'm listening to this month.

Midnite Vultures Bonus Noise - Beck
Get Real Paid - Beck
Showtime - Jon Brion
Gypsy Blood - Jamie Lidell
Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake
The Horrible Fanfire/Landslide - Beck
Underwater Music - Beck
This is the Place - Red Hot Chili Peppers
A Message - Coldplay
1234 - Feist
Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs - Beck
(Unknown Track 8)
Fugue fat - The Octopus Project
Finer Feelings - Spoon
Sinister Kid - The Black Keys
Pay No Mind (Snoozer) - Beck
Her Insomnia - Steve, The Amazing
Subliminal Influence and Traffic - Kenton Knepper
Save Me From What I Want - St. Vincent

Friday, August 19, 2011

Deception, Crime, Hacking - My Influences

This is the kind of story that I love to hear. I used to watch shows about people like this on the crime networks as a teen. I was fascinated by some of the thieves. It's not that I wanted to get away with a crime...well, maybe a little, but it was the deception involved. I enjoyed the thought process.

I also love the character that it creates. This guy got sent to solitary confinement because they believed that he was able to break into the phone lines while in prison and whisper the launch codes. I love these impossible myths and legends that "normal" people can create.

A story that always stuck with me was one of a house burglar. He would purposefully choose houses that had a large dog knowing that they wouldn't have a motion activated alarm system, because the dog would constantly be setting it off. He would then break in through a side door by taking out a panel. He was able to stay calm enough that the dogs didn't see him as a threat. He only stole silver that was in a cabinet and would not take any other valuables. He then waited until he got outside to check if the silver was real or not. Anything that was imitation would be left in the bushes. This became his calling card. He reassembled the paneling on the door and no one would even notice they were robbed for days usually as silver is not often used on a daily basis. He then would drive down the freeway and throw out the clothes he wore bit by bit every few miles.

I think the part that struck me the most as I originally watched that episode from my old home as a young teenager was that when the guy eventually got caught (for something else entirely) he was able to negotiate a lighter sentencing if he told the police his secrets. He, just like the guy in this video and the guy that inspired the movie Catch Me if You Can, all worked with the police force or other companies to help protect them from their own techniques.

I'm attracted to things that have layers of thought and I've always loved the concept of using art/illusion to show reality. I think the other thing that I enjoy about these stories is that no one is really hurt. It's like if you've ever seen a bicycle with no chain outside of a store and you just want to move it around the corner in order to scare the kid, but not actually steal his bike!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Guidelines

In less than two weeks I'm returning home for the first time in almost five months. I still don't really have any friends in Texas yet, so I've created a small list to help me improve my time here. I'm looking to avoid going home for nine days and having something to do nonstop, and then come back to Texas and be at a loss for what to do.

These are things that I've been doing the last few days much more frequently:

1. Call my friends/family from back home.

This one sort of boils down to "if it ain't broke..." I already have friends, and though I need to look into making new ones, there's no point in leaving out the old ones. The conversations become a bit more "meaningful" since I'm not there to hang out all the time as well, which is a bonus.

2. Set up a date with Jordan in advance
(if you're following my guidelines I would highly recommend you choose your own boyfriend/girlfriend to schedule a date with)

It's nice to have something to look forward to instead of assuming that I'll hang out with her on my day off. It also makes it less of a chance that other things will come up and interrupt the plans.

3. Get out amongst people

I've found that I'm a social person, but I don't need to BE social with people at all moments. I just am able to be social when it's really, really called upon. So, instead of saying "I need to find new friends" and getting worried about how I'm going to do that; I'm just asking myself to get out amongst people in any situation. Generally what I do is hang out and read or practice magic at the mall. Being out amongst people is all I really need and perhaps I'll end up having a conversation or two as well.

4. Explore new places

This works great with the last guideline. I'm in a new State, so almost everything is new. I've been here on vacations, but there is so much more to explore or even revisit. In essence, I can still consider this to be a vacation (how wonderful is that?!) Where would I go if I were here on a short trip? I am also going to use this to find other places to hang around people. For example, a Panera Bread opened two exits down the freeway, so I'm going to go there once a week or so for breakfast and to read.

5. Find a place to walk/exercise

Exercise is an amazing thing. It gives you energy, keeps you healthy, and it can help you stay happy. It is also a great way to be out amongst people and to stay stimulated with a new environment.

These guidelines also purposefully do not involve money. They could, but they don't have to at all. I want to keep money in check in order to give me even MORE options to explore as well as to stay happier since my bills will be taken care of.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Challenge - Out of My Hands

Each year I wanted to predict the winner of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and two years in a row I made a prediction, but didn't follow through with actually opening it. The first year I was too timid to find a location to present it and the second year I didn't open the prediction until months after the playoffs had ended.

My announcement is that I am going to attempt to perform my most difficult prediction event of my entire career. This is not something I will likely ever be able to replicate and there is absolutely no guarantee that I will be correct. I am going to predict the winner of the 2012 Stanely Cup Playoffs before the season even begins. I have spent the last two years working out the winner.

I have already made my prediction and sealed it into an envelope that I have mailed across the country to be held by my friend Dan in Michigan. This is the same skeptical friend that I opened my last NHL prediction to in 2008 and he also studied every bit of my graduation party effect from 2003. He is the biggest hockey fan I know and one of the few people who originally got me interested in the sport back in 1994.

I'll be posting videos next year to update you as to how I made my prediction as well as showing you the prediction's journey to the 2012 playoffs and the evolution of this prediction idea from videos made back in 2009.

Thank you for your support. I'm trying to make this the most legitimate test of my skills as a magician and I am being completely honest with you when I say that I do not know how successful this will be. There is not a back-up plan and there is no safety net to guarantee this to be correct.

Please follow along as I begin my 2012 Magic Goal and wish me luck.

- Steve

P.S. I have a few surprises planned for this prediction, so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

8 - 8

I began my career in premonitions back in 2003 at my own graduation party. I started a stir amongst my high school peers by announcing that I would correctly guess a randomly drawn word from a shoe box. If I failed, I would distribute all of my graduation money to whomever was present at the end of the party. Anyone was allowed to write down any word and put it into the shoebox as it was on display throughout the entire party next to the box to deposit well wishes and cards.

Hours later a word was selected by a random volunteer and I correctly guessed "beachwood."

The next year I held a show in my old Speech class at the Lincoln Park High School and ended the show by predicting the name of a chosen card in the school advertisements. I even used my abilities to get out of paying a quarter to place the ad!

Later in my career I would go on to predict the Mega-Millions Lottery drawing in a postmarked, signed, and sealed envelope held by a spectator during a Relay for Life performance in Riverview, Michigan in 2010.

There was one prediction, however, that has taken up the last four years of my life.