Wednesday, June 29, 2011
And the Winner Is...
Do you remember when, during the Academy Awards, when they used to say 'And the Winner is...?', and now, for some screwed-up politically correct reason, they say 'And the Oscar goes to...'. That is the SINGLE reason why I think I don't like watching the Academy Awards. That, and the fact that they increased the nominations to ten films.
That is such bullshit.
As a society, why are we so afraid of real competition? Why are we so against the idea of there being a winner and a loser? I know losing sucks, believe me, but it really diminishes the sweetness of the taste of victory every time you water it down and make it easier to win.
I realized I had not really 'won' anything in a LONG time when I was reading someone's blog and saw a link to a blogger site where there were annual 'blogging' awards. I clicked on the link and I went there and visited and when I saw the types of blogs that were winning in certain categories I thought to myself...
Hey. How ya doing? You're eyes are a particularly lovely shade of green today. You know...you haven't won any awards in a LONG time. Damn...you really need to trim your nose hair, it's out of control. And dude, drop a few willya? C'mon, when I said put on the Big Boy Pants that is NOT what I meant...
Oh...sorry...didn't mean to give you THAT much a glimpse into my thought process. Got a little...carried away.
Anyway, back to what I was thinking, gotta give you some history...I'm not exactly the 'award-winning' type. It isn't that I haven't had the honor of picking up a few here and there in the course of my life, but it just isn't the kind of thing that I am often exposed to.
When I was but a wee lad, I got the standard awards they give out to all kids so they don't feel like complete pathetic losers all the time, but I wasn't bringing home the gigantic trophies (or the poon-tang) that the guys who played on the football team or the lacrosse teams were. That started to change for me a little in High School when I gave up music and focused on art and I was able to snag a few awards that I still keep (though I tend to keep everything, so that isn't as hugely significant as it sounds).
One of the highlights of that High School Award experience was that I won Best in Show in the annual Art Fair two years in a row, in my junior and senior year. I was the first kid at my High School who ever did that. Last time I checked, which was around 8-9 years ago or so, no student had done it since. Maybe that record still stands, I don't know. For some odd reason? I hope it still does, though I wouldn't be crushed if it has been broken, I still in a small way hope it hasn't.
It was not without controversy however.
In the first year, my junior year, I won it with a colored pencil drawing of an old man playing the violin. A drawing that hangs in my Mom's computer room to this day, I typed several of these blogs recently while sitting at her folded up sewing machine right beneath it. No idea why I drew that, it is not necessarily my usual cup of tea as far as subject matter, I just happened to go down that road one day and draw it.
It is one of the few drawings from that era that survives, because I gave most of that old stuff away, and a lot of it was either tossed or forgotten about. But my Mom dug this one, and she matted and framed it and it remains in pretty much the same condition as it was in 1984.
In my senior year, I happened to be dating a very cute girl at the time, who also happened to be a terrific artist. She had a drawing she was working on that was, simply put, breathtaking.
She was a photo-realistic artist, my style was a bit more fanciful, more stylized, but bolder...I relied on technique and size much of the time to make up for my shortcomings in my ability to render things as realistically as other people could.
Her piece, which was smaller, probably 11 x 14, black and white, if memory serves, was of some child or something. A surefire winner as far as subject matter in High School art contests. Kids, puppies, shit like that if you do them well always tug at the heart strings of the judges.
Mine? Well...remember the scene in Twilight Zone: The Movie, where the little boy who could make things happen makes a giant evil rabbit come out of his Uncle's hat to devour him? I drew that, but with my Step-Father taking Uncle Walt's place.
It was not 11 x 14 and it was NOT in black and white. It was in color and it was 24 x 36. It was definitely an eye-catcher. I have a SLIDE of it, and if I knew how to scan in slides I would scan it in to the computer...just don't know how.
Still, the odds-on favorite for the Best in Show Winner was my girlfriend's piece. And truthfully...if it were me? I'd be voting for it myself. It was BEAUTIFUL. But a month or so before the competition, it disappeared from the storage room in Mrs. Dunaway's art class.
Guess who was the number one suspect?
Yeah...and I was DATING her at the time!!! Can you believe that? But there were rumblings, oh boy, were there rumblings. Now my girlfriend, thankfully, did not believe that I was capable of such an act. And some of my closer friends did not believe it either. The girl who would become my next girlfriend who was probably my best friend at the time next to my friend Mark did not believe it either.
But a lot of people did. And when I say a lot of people, I mean a lot of people who gave a shit about that sort of thing...not the people who were not in that world, certainly. It was FRIGGIN' HIGH SCHOOL for cryin' out loud.
Needless to say, without her piece in the show, I won hands down.
And no...I did NOT take her artwork to sabotage the show, in case you thought I was leading up to a confession. I'm just writing an extra long blog today for Claire, since she loves me so much.
I really haven't done much in the way of awards since then. Very briefly, I got an honorary mention in a contest for a Maryland poster thing in my early twenties. That was weird. I really didn't put in much effort, and it showed.
After that? I went pretty much award-less until my thirties, and then picked up a few in the form of Industry Awards when I worked for Palisades Toys. These aren't necessarily the kind that come with trophies, but they are accolades and they are special, don't get me wrong, but they aren't awards in the traditional sense that you (the 'typical' reader with 'atypical' kids) understands awards.
For example, the kind of awards that Michael Crawford gives each year...I was involved with that as a part of Palisades Toys and in that link we did pretty well back in 2003. Still am involved, though now as a judge, in his Poppies awards, not as a recipient anymore since I am not working full-time in the business making anything.
ToyFare, back when it was a real magazine on the newsstands, used to do its annual awards, and we won some of them during our run at Palisades, which was always fun. Some of the other press sites also gave us some of their awards, and while often, like with Michael's site, it was mostly a digital experience, some of the sites actually would print certificates and give them to us at Toy Fair in New York and stuff which was always a hoot.
Most of the time, those items all got put up in the office at Palisades somewhere. At the end, I was given some of them, which was pretty cool. I am the kind of guy who is very sentimental about shit like that. I tend to hang on to a LOT of stuff, even ticket stubs, of things that matter to me from events or periods from my life. That's just how I roll.
I even keep the little snippets ToyFare used to print in their mag. I consider them awards, like their Toy of the Month, or even when they would run something of ours in their Twisted Toy Theatre and the like. It was fun stuff.
Since leaving Palisades in 2005, I haven't received any official 'awards', per se, and it isn't like I've really been looking or expecting to find any either. I'm fairly grateful for the things I HAVE received in contrast to all the turds that got piled on our plate since 2005, to be quite honest.
It's not been easy to get to that place either, and I can't say that I am in that mental state every day, either. In the words of Bono...some days are better than others.
But for some reason, when I saw the link to the Blogger's Choice Awards for 2011 my interest was peaked. When I saw the kinds of blogs that were WINNING in the categories of Best Parenting Blog and for Hottest Daddy Blogger I almost hit the roof! That's just wrong!
So I nominated myself and figured I'd give it my best shot. I created some tabs on the right and if you want to go sign up and vote for me, please do. I mean...I think this is fairly do-able yeah? And if not, I'll start looking into maybe some bribes or something.
I'm not above that.
Hell, I wouldn't mind getting the readership up to 200, or learning some tips (other than shortening my blogs, which is doubt is within my capabilities) to grow the readership from some of the experienced Vets out there who seem to have the gift of being able to generate comments in their blogs effortlessly. It's amazing.
OK, I think I'm done.
Are you done? No shit? For real? Yeah, you're done. Now go trim you're nose hair. And while you're at it, hit the ears. Looks like a Brillo pad in there...