Chez Brett

Single dad, comic book publisher [Top Shelf Productions], film buff, tree geek, nature nerd, foodie. Big ideas ahead, pending little steps getting there. Stay tuned…

A Shared ‘Vice’

Veepsters!… the WORLD PREMIER of Veeps: Profiles in Insignificance is a scant week away. As part of the Portland Film Festival, it plays on Saturday, October 30th, at Cinema 21. Showtime is 11:00 a.m., allowing ample time to fuel up on a bloodymary or two before the show. Buy tickets to the premier right here.

Journalist Merle Stickney writes about the stars of the film, Bill and Wayne, reprinted here from Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette. 
A Shared ‘Vice’
by Merle Stickney
January 1, 2008
It’s their boyish enthusiasm that engages you first. Despite being nearly into middle age, they have a youthful zeal that’s infectious–no matter how oddly directed it turns out to be.

Bill Keltner and Wayne Schellaberger are the most unlikely of the many politicos that descend upon our fair state every four years. They’re not interested in who wins the nomination–well, thePresidential nomination at least.

Keltner and Schellaberger are self-proclaimed “Vice Presidential groupies”—hardcore wonks, VP obsessives, Veep “foamers” (an apparent reference to train aficionados whose hypnotic passion often makes them appear, slack- jawed, to be “foaming” at the mouth).

The story of their friendship is just as unlikely and serendipitous as the path that brings them through Iowa this year. “We circled one another for years”, says Keltner, a self-described “sometime entrepreneur” and temporary office worker from Vancouver, Washington, “in VP chatrooms, on eBay competing for Vice Presidential memorabilia, at Veep funerals and other Veep events–we were even at the Agnrew inaugural, though we didn’t know each other yet!” They met finally at Spiro Agnew’s gravesite, each leaving a bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans at the tombstone of Maryland’s favorite Greek-American son and the unlikeliest “Veep” of them all.

Says Schellaberger, an artist who lives and works in retail in the San Francisco Bay Area and is an apparent rising star within America’s courtroom sketch artist community, the two are united in their obsession with the Vice Presidents. They are single-minded in their passion, he says over breakfast at the Tic-Toc on 17th Street NE, and he seems taken aback when this reporter suggests it is a bit unconventional that they’ve arranged their lives around following Vice Presidents and their history like some people do rock musicians.

They both claim to be divorced in part because of their Veep obsessions, and 2008 finds them on the road to Washington, through the primaries and caucuses and conventions, hoping at the end of the rainbow for a Vice Presidential staff job—regardless of which party wins the nomination.

While their focus is both energetic and charming, they are by their own admission somewhat elitist and contemptuous of others when said persons’ knowledge of all things Vice Presidential doesn’t compare to their own.

Keltner seems particularly passionate and lectured this reporter for nearly seven minutes when I mistakenly identified FDR Vice President and Iowa native Henry A. Wallace as having hailed from Ottumwa.

I noticed during our interview that Keltner was using as a bookmark (he was reading a dog-eared biography of 1844 Whig Vice Presidential nominee Theodore Frelinghuysen) what appeared to be a police citation. When questioned, Keltner confessed that, earlier in their trip, he “lost my temper” in a tavern in Schuyler, Nebraska, and became involved in fisticuffs with a patron who Keltner said insulted him for his enthusiasm at the town’s namesake being Ulysses S. Grant’s Vice President, Schuyler Colfax. Keltner paid a $75 fine for misdemeanor battery for his role in the altercation.

Keltner concedes that the pair’s collective Vice Presidential acumen gives them a swagger and attitude bordering on the cocky. In the time I spent with them, I noticed on more than one occasion that they would attempt to use their considerable VP knowledge to attract women–and were dismissive of them when rebuffed.

It is undeniable, though, that they are evangelic in their fervor about the unappreciated power of the office, and as they follow the campaign trail toward their presumed ” destiny” of putting their enthusiasm to work in the number two office of the Executive Branch, they seem on a mission to not only educate the masses about the storied history and great responsibility of the office, but to beat them as if with a cudgel.

[This article is also featured on the Veeps blog, here.]

 

animalbattle:

Got a dream you need to make a reality? LeeLoo will be your guiding light.

animalbattle:

Got a dream you need to make a reality? LeeLoo will be your guiding light.

jscottwinegarner:

Radio City, baby!

Here are a few photos of the radio I built for Frosty, so that he’d stop bitching about not getting his daily news. 

I built the case out of strips of cardboard that I glued together, then covered in Sculpey and baked until hard. Then I cut out the appropriate pieces with an Exacto until I had my speaker box to work with, and added some mock finishings to get an idea of how it would look when it was finished. 

Then I took several colors of Sculpey and marbled them together (using a technique similar to this one), until I got a grain that resembled a dark red wood, like a mahogany or something, I guess. This took a couple of tries, but I eventually got a result I was happy with. I flattened it as much as I could using a tortilla press until I had a few uniform ‘slabs’ to work from, and used my speaker box templates as stencils to cut out the individual sides, which I threw into the oven and baked until hard. Then I glued them all together and did some touch up around the sides, built a base for it to rest on out of balsa foam and some of my ‘wood’ scraps, and voila!

For the face, I made the speaker liner out of white stuffing that I died black by throwing it into a glass jar with some india ink and shaking the hell out of it for a few minutes. I glued it into place, then rolled out a few rods of my marbled Sculpey and baked those to place over the top of it. I used little push pins for the knobs. The killer dial is made out of watch parts, which gunterandbean made for me, and I painted the back of the dial onto black cardstock using a fine point gold marker, as per Emil’s suggestion. Then I cut a little piece of plastic off of the rounded top of a water bottle to use for the ‘glass.’ The black borders were made out of rounded plastic strips that gunterandbean painted black for me. 

I’m pretty happy with how it came out, so stay tuned for a matching TV set on its way soon!

Sweet.

animalbattle:

Just taking a stroll through some puffy clouds, shakin’ my star stick.

Loomie is still strolling at Hellion Gallery through the end of the month.

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

Just taking a stroll through some puffy clouds, shakin’ my star stick.

Loomie is still strolling at Hellion Gallery through the end of the month.

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

Loomie: a Dream Guide (with bonus cat talisman).

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

Loomie: a Dream Guide (with bonus cat talisman).

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

Bluebell has the best seat in the house: a giant mushroom.

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

Bluebell has the best seat in the house: a giant mushroom.

Animal Battle!

animalbattle:

LeeLoo and I have the same taste in clothing (except hers are enchanted).

Animal Battle! (Catch this show at Hellion Gallery, before it’a too late!)

animalbattle:

LeeLoo and I have the same taste in clothing (except hers are enchanted).

Animal Battle! (Catch this show at Hellion Gallery, before it’a too late!)

animalbattle:

Boris: a veteran in the fight for our dreams.

animalbattle:

Boris: a veteran in the fight for our dreams.