Sunday, March 25, 2007

Repeat

Once every three weeks, I have to work on the weekends. Today was my day again. Back on March 3rd, I made March of Joko #3. Since that time, my friends list has doubled, so I thought I would re-share my own personal favorite of the vids I've made this month. Tonight, I re-uploaded in a better format (MPEG-4 vs MPEG-1) because the scenery in this short deserves a better resolution.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A March through The City, Part One.

One of the favortie things about my job is that it brings me into The City once a week. For those outside the Bay Area, we call San Francisco "The City" here. It is a truly special place on this earth, and although its has its downsides and hassles, I will always look fondly on the days I lived there, which were probably the most creative, and fucked up, days of my life (so far).

I work in another office there. I like the people I deal with, and they like me. Even met a new one today and we got along well. But what's best about The City from my current point of view is that when I left work, its a great place to observe people, architecture, culture and the triumphs and tragedies of our capitalist society. I walked out of restaurant (after shooting some foottage) because I couldn't afford a $12 beer. I saw at least 30 homeless people in a couple hours...

I wandered around downtown and the Embacedero, recording video, until the battery died. The City makes you think. About yourself and the world...

I have to post this blog in written form for now because the most interesting things happened after the battery had died. On a very crowded BART train on the way home, I had a moment. Lately, my mood had been this odd mix of euphoria, desperation and incredible optimism. The desperate part took hold as I stood there in the overcrowded train, deep within myself and my own thoughts. The I looked up.

And saw a train full of people. I looked at each person in turn, trying to understand, empathize and feel waht they were feeling. It took me out of my own head for that moment, and that is what I was looking for. I saw different dreams, ages, genders, colors and social classes, but what I realized as I tried to feel each person individually, is that we all were going through the exact same thing. We were stuck somewhere, returning to our homes and lives, trying not to think, feel or be in that moment the best we could. That we all had in common. But even more so, what we had in common was that we were all human beings. We were all souls. We were all the same person, really.

How important were my traumas, dilemmas or problems when put in context of 50 other people going through the same thing? It wouldn't be accurate to say it made me feel insignificant, more like just part of a greater whole.

As we zipped under the Bay itself at 70 mph. I turned around and saw a man whose face was completely deformed. Some sort of birth defect. Elephant Man or the kid from Mask. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think to myself, "well, at least I don't have his problems." He was rapidly working a Rubik's Cube. It seemed hopelessly jumbled from my point of view, but he moved it with a dexterity and purpose that was indescribable.

The TransBay tube did something else to the train full of people, almost half of whom were checking e-mails on their Blackberries, talking or texting on their cel phones or had a laptop out. There is no wireless reception 300 feet underwater surrounded by several feet of concrete. People were cut off. The Rubik's cubes gears spun and spun faster and faster, and as seasoned commuters can tell just by the number of minutes that have passed, the train shifted into a gentle upslope as we approached the other end of the tunnel.

Rubik's Cube guy slowed the pace of his twisting. Each movement seemed to have more purpose, and there were even a couple of pauses as he analyzed his next move. One side complete.. then two then four, and with a couple last twists, the Rubik's Cube was solved just as we emerged into the twilight of West Oakland.

A dozen cel phones, including deformed Rubiks Cube guy's, announced new voice mails simultaneously.

I wasn't the only one on the train who was able to disconnect from our disconnected connectivity for just long enough to see this small, but amazingly huge human triumph of solving a Rubik's Cube in the time it takes to pass under the San Francisco Bay.

We are all one. We all triumphed in that moment.

-JL

Now, off to make a video.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Really Bad Open Mic Guy

All day today, after spending like 30 of the previous 60 hours producing videos, I had a content, worn out feeling. Y'know that one where you feel at peace and exhausted, usually brought on by a mind-blowing orgasm?

It's like I had sex all weekend with my computer.

Tonight, the creativity scrotum was drained. Not tonight, camcorder, I have a headache. Okay fine, let's make it a quickie!

Although part of me thinks I'm phoning it in, this self-depracating and dumb little short will probably get tons of views on Metacafe tonight. Quick and brainless, that's what the masses like.


Really Bad Open Mic Guy - Watch a funny movie here

Friday, March 02, 2007

The March of Joko

This evening, I committed myself to a challenge for this month. Something I'm gonna do that will spark creativity, artistic vision and maybe a little contraversy. If not for you, then at least in myself.

Video Blogging. Its a form of personal narrative new to the 21st century. When I've written personal narrative works in the past, I've been influenced by people like Herb Caen, Bukowksi and all of my old friends, The Graphites. In that tradition, I make this commitment.

If you want to wake you inner artist, it is important that you do something creative each and every day. Being fortunate to have somehow connected with a group of internet friends which include a lot of very creative people, I feel I'm not pissing in the wind here. Your thoughts or replies as I begin this endeavor will be appreciated and archived. I want to find my voice in a new medium: video. I want to chronicle my existence and hopefully share some of my thoughts. experiences and humor with a few friends and family.

One, and only one, video from me will be appearing from me each and every day for the entire month of March. If I don't do this, please delete me from your friends. By making this commitment publicly here and now, I am obligated to do it.

Won't be easy. It takes just as much to think up, record, edit, produce, upoad and then publish ideas on video as it would take to write them down. Surely many of you have made similar resolutions to cultivate your inner artist in a regular manner and seen those resolutions fall apart. I know I have. Thank the Creator of the Universe, Squishy Bear, for this great thing called MySpace where a creativite expression can be so easily shared, and a pronouncement made to hundreds...err, about 100 people at the same time!

Join me in making March the most creative month in your life so far....


The March Of Joko, March 1st - Watch more funny videos here

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Excitement in Walnut Creek

It's a cold and rainy Saturday Night, and I am sitting alone in my apartment, working on my latest video. Tedious work, because the program keeps crashing. At about 10:30 PM, I hear two people arguing not far from my window. Then there's a 'BANG!!!'. The unmistakable retort of a hand gun reverberates throughout the courtyard. A scream follows. A door slams. I hear the sounds of someone running over the patter of the heavy rain. A car starts up in the parking lot and speeds away.

Wow. What do I do? DO I pick up my video camera and chase the car leaving the parking lot? Do I pick up the phone? I'm afraid that everyone else is thinking, "somoene else will call 911", and so I go ahead and call.

"Nine One One, May I help you?" A cheery bright voice answers the call. I've called 911 a couple times in my life, and usually the operators are flat and all serious. This one sounded like I was calling a department store.

"I've heard a gun shot just outside my apartment." I tell her.

"Just one?" she replies as if taking my order.

"yes," I go on to describe the yell, the running and the car speeding away.

"Do you want the police officers to visit you?"

Generally speaking, I respect the police, but I wasn't up for any visitors. A few minutes after I put down the phone and get back to work on my video, I hear the heavy boots and the jangling of cuffs, keys and all that other stuff cops wear on their belts go passing swiftly through the breezeway outside my door. There are flashlights outside the window. The police are on scene.

(insert story here about how I almost burn the house down, but that would just be too much information at one time, and will remain for a future story)

A couple hours later, I need to run to the store for some supplies. Pulling out into the parking lot, I have to maneuver my way through the dozen or so police cruisers in my way. They don't park with other cars in mind, and so it is quite the tight squeeze. Fortunately, and rare for a Saturday Night, I am stone cold sober. Walnut Creek PD, Contra Costa Sheriffs, Pleasant Hill PD.. quite the contingent of rollers. Out on the street, I see the K9 unit and a Danville PD cruiser. Danville? Danville is like 15 miles south of here! What's this one doing here? I guess shootings are rare enough in the Diablo Valley that they can act as a mini police convention.

Thinking the excitement is over, I finish up my computer work, and kick myself for the missed opportunity. The camera I use so frequently to satisfy my own vanity could have been of public use, I could have captured evidence, maybe even put a killer behind bars. I realize there were no ambulances amongst the fleet of vehicles clogging our parking lot, so I don't think anyone was hurt. Besides, I further realize that I was looking more for material for my own videos rather than being the good citizen.

I assume everything has wound down when I hear from out the window, 'ATTENTION ANYONE IN APARTMENT 2103!! THIS IS THE POLICE!! WE ORDER YOU TO COME OUT OF THE APARTMENT IMMEDIATELY!! KEEP YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND VISIBLE AT ALL TIMES!!'

There is no answer. I immediately go running out onto the patio, camera rolling. I see half a dozen policemen, guns drawn and pointed at the windows and doors of the dark and quiet apartment across the walkway from mine. They repeat their command. One of the cops notices me and yells, "GO BACK INTO YOUR APARTMENT!". I take two steps backwards and stand, still recording, from the sliding glass door. "IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO OUR COMMAND, WE WILL BREAK OPEN THE DOOR AND RELEASE THE DOGS!!" Officer Dog barks furiously in agreement.

Not out of any fear or desire to do my duty, I move to the bedroom and record from the window there. Better angle. A few moments later, there I hear the SLAM of a door being broken down. I hope my door is the same as theirs, as it took three full whallops before the door burst open. No gunshots. No sounds of struggle. No biker being dragged out hogtied. A light comes on, and then eventually goes off. Kind of anti-climactic.

Perhaps the worst part is that my camera is not all that good in low light... and although I have yet to preview the foottage, I'll put something together. My own episode of Cops: Walnut Creek.

In the meantime, here is the video that I was putting together all the time that the drama was ensuing. It's just another bit of silliness, but if you like Black Sabbath, Karaoke and Ping Pong, check out Joko's Thursday Night at Masse's.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bamboodydo!

Part II of my open mic performance. Its only half the song because I broke a string right before I was going to transition into the guitar solo.

BAMBOODYDO!!!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Joko Performs at the Open Mic

As the occasional emcee of TK's open mic, I decided not to perform up until now. That may sound unselfish or something, but really I was just nervous. This last Monday, I actually brought the guitar, signed up an dplayed. Had to introduce myself. Since I was performing, I couldn't film, so this video is just one long shot.


First Of 3. My Open Mic, Addicted To Pain - video powered by Metacafe

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I can actually post them!

Lets see if this works...

Doritos Cashier

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Bud Light Immigrants



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Give a Little Love

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Top Super Bowl Commericals

The game is still going on, but I'm sure none of the sponsors will be saving any more commercial gems into the 4th quarter. I have no rooting interest for either team, so I actually became more interested during the breaks!

My top 3 commericals:

Honorable Mention: Taco Bell... Carrrrrne Asada...Like Ricardo Montalban!

3. Doritos: Flirting with the checker at the supermarket. Who knew snack foods, or BBW cashier ladies, could be so sexy! If I understood the little blurb afterwards correctly, the commercial was an amateur creation which won some kind of contest. Great job by a guy with his video camera and a friend at the supermarket!

2. Bud Light: Carlos Mencia teaches the ESL class. All humor has the potential to offend someone, and I think that South Asians might have been the only group they could have used and gotten away with this, but I'll be laughing for days at "Bud Light.." . . . "Bood Light"..."Bud Light!". . . "Bood Light", I doubt we'll see this commerical after the Super Bowl.

1. Coca Cola: Grand Theft Auto guy goes good. It was sappy, over the top, and maybe just a bit too feel goody, like-to-teach-the-word-to-sing-y, but it was surprising, funny and the best bit of CGI I've seen on TV.

Well, Indianapolis just had a big interception here in the 4th quarter, so back to the game.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So I set the camera on the bar without thinking that someone might come and stand in front of it.

My latest exploits at Tomkat's open mic.

There will be guest emcee's for the next two weeks, which means I can bring my guitar and actually sign up to play. Gotta start practicing!


A Joke About The Raiders - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, January 04, 2007