Old Nesy. I devoted more hours to this than probably anything else on this list. Not that I’m proud of it. It certainly still looks cool, though. I remember the first time I played Nintendo. My parents took me to visit my aunt and uncle who just purchased one. They sat and talked while I played Super Mario Bros for oh, about 6 hours in the other room. I absolutely didn’t want to stop when it was time to go. Once I was done we discovered that I developed a blister on the BACK of my thumb. What?!
I eventually got stupid good at Super Mario and at one time beat the game without dying and without warping. I recently tried to recreate that on my gaming channel on YouTube but still have yet to do it. I don’t play games too much anymore.Buy Now$55+
Mitzy’s an 8 year old Shih Tzu rescue that we’ve had for a year. I was skeptical about owning a dog considering how busy I am, but my fiancee convinced me and I’m so glad she did. When I go away for a few days and come back she’ll attack me with face licks and follow me around all day. But most of the time she’s pretty lazy and will just lay next to us when we’re watching TV (because we’re lazy, too).
Unlike any other dog I’ve played with, when you run at her in a faux aggressive way, rather than run away she runs right toward you and jumps. This little one is fearless.
She is the best friend you could ever have… unless you’re another dog. She hates those. Oh yeah, and sometimes she hates our landlord for some reason. She’ll bark at him in a way I’ve never seen before. I have no idea why. Maybe she knows something we don’t.Adopt A Dog$Free
My Beard Pillow
My logo at the beginning of all my videos is a cut out of my beard. I used to have a PO Box where “beardlovers” (people who watch my videos) could send me stuff. This wonderful, comfy beard pillow made by a girl from Upstate New York is probably my favorite gift of the lot.
I got to meet that girl when my band was on tour and played in Rochester, NY at a coffee shop. She very casually informed me that she made the beard pillow and I let her know how awesome it is.
It’s just weird and awesome to think that one day about 8 years ago when I started making videos I randomly decided to scan my face, cut out my beard, and make a logo out of it. Who knew that would lead to all of this.Buy More Beard Stuff$14+
I made this pinewood corner shelf in high school shop class. It’s one of many pieces of furniture I’ve made throughout high school instead of taking harder subjects. It’s probably the only piece that currently fits in our basement apartment, though. The rest is at my parents house.
Throughout my shop class tenure I made a medicine cabinet, various wall hanging shelves, a wooden trunk, candle holder, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting. One I’ll never forget is a large end table, during the making of which I would cut my hands sculpting the legs with a lathe. The lathe is a certain skill I have yet to master.
Anyway, this shelf now holds various knickknacks and the few CDs I have decided to keep after digitizing everything. I certainly like to get rid of stuff and the small shelves on this piece help with that. Sometimes I look at it and contemplate how if everything else I’m doing falls apart, at least I could be a mediocre woodworker.Build Your Own$8+
My First Acoustic Guitar
Been playing this guitar since high school when I learned my first riff, the opening to Nirvana’s Come As You Are. This beauty was originally my sister’s before she gave it up. At this point the strings are raised absurdly high off the fretboard for optimal finger blister induction.
I remember teaching myself how to play by looking up tabs of popular songs at the time, Weezer, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, and just listening and trying to play them. Later I learned it was a whole lot easier on my fingers to use an electric, especially when learning Metallica.
Every song I’ve ever written for my band, and other projects, has started with this guitar. I always noodle and write things acoustically before taking them to the band or a video. If it doesn’t work on this guitar it won’t work anywhere. That’s probably not true, but it certainly sounds cool.Shop Now$99+
My Old 1991 Corolla
Bought this baby for $1000 with 80 thousand miles on it when I needed a car to get to my suburban office job 7 years ago. I’ve put at least triple that amount into repairs. My fiancee and I named her Susan and sadly she might be on the outs since the arrival of Lucille, our Prius.
During my time with Susan I’ve replaced door handles, the alternator (twice), the battery, the radiator, the exhaust system, belts, pretty much everything except the engine. Currently, the driver’s side door doesn’t close. It’s held shut with bungee cords. We have to climb in from the passenger side. Well right now the car won’t start because the battery died due to the open door warning light always being on.
Once on a 7 hour trip to Minneapolis we had to blast the heat in the middle of summer because the engine was overheating. Free sauna! It would probably still be my only car, but my Fiancee pointed out the absence of airbags. I’d rather not put her in danger.Get Your Own$Priceless
A LA Mode Film Reel
A La Mode, a 16mm Black & White film noir about a vengeful ice cream man, shot for production class at UW-Madison. The first, and probably last time I’ll ever use real film, not that I don’t love it, but it’s expensive and difficult. You have to load and unload film in complete darkness or it will be over exposed by the sun. And after you shoot there’s no way to look at the film until it’s developed. It’s a paying and waiting and hoping game.
While shooting I remember just wondering what the hell I was doing the whole time. Will this work? Does this make sense? What do others do? But since then I’ve worked on many larger video projects and I’ve learned that that feeling never really goes away. When doing anything creative there is, or at least should be, elements of uncertainty. Otherwise you’re probably not doing anything exciting.
I keep this film around as a reminder of that. Also, when all technology is destroyed in the coming apocalypse it’ll be good to have something in physical form. Though this is just the unedited raw footage. I’ll have to get the scissors.Shop Now$5+