Meet Sallee, The Backseat Witch

Sallee the WitchThis is Sallee, the witch who’s been living in the backseat of my car for the last few years.

I’ve been meaning to share this story for a long time. Here’s the anecdote I’d written that put a little more boom in my  2014 Independence Day: While walking passed my car one morning, a rightfully concerned pedestrian saw Sallee in the backseat, not moving, for two days in the scorching heat. On the third day, the pedestrian called 911. . .

I remember hearing a crescendo of sirens from cop cars and ambulances as they rushed in. It was obnoxious and I was trying to sleep. Unknowing or caring what what the fuss was about, I fell back into a much needed slumber. Hey, when a soul needs rest it could care less if the bed was on fire. I later found out the police and ambulance team told the pedestrian it was just a mannequin. Bet they were all relieved.

Now I’ve heard an ample amount of screaming from teenage girls as they caught sight of Sallee. But never, or so I thought, after getting a closer look, had one continued to think she was still alive. [UPDATE] Since writing the preceding anecdote, a new coworker of mine had also wondered why a “beautiful girl” sat for hours waiting in the backseat of my car each day while I worked. Unbeknownst to me, this went on for a while. The other coworkers knew Sallee by now, but decided to play a prank on the newby by pretending to be oblivious. A few weeks later, the coworker mustered up enough courage to ask me about my “friend” in the backseat. She was relieved. I never asked, but always wondered what she was more concerned about, that the “beautiful” joyriding girl joined me to work every day, or that the girl was dressed in the same Halloween witch getup. Either way, I bet I’d left her with many more questions than I had for her.

Now, if you happen upon a stiff in the backseat of a car, take a closer look. It may just be a defunct mannequin named Sallee.

Happy #WorldGothDay!

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How to Make A Stellar Bookmark With Duct Tape

Finished Book MarkDon’t let your bookmark slide away, use duct tape all the way. 

That evening I held an open book, Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, in my left hand—by coincidence, the car was hot as hell. In my right hand I twirled a ratty white ribbon, a quick bookmark substitute at the time, around my fingers.

I take my books everywhere, so it’s no surprise I lose a bookmarks every now and then. Alas, it felt like I lost one for every book I read. In addition to the disappearances, as you can imagine, it led to one more thing being forgotten—my pages, damn it. Read More …

I placed Damned closed on the passenger’s seat and surveyed the back of the car. I had to have something lying around, something more efficient and a bit snazzier than that worn out feather-light string I’d been using.

I didn’t find one thing. I found many. Here are the supplies I collected that were scattered throughout the inside of my car that I used for this tutorial: a cracker box—full before I found it, a roll of galaxy-themed duck tape I just bought that evening, and hair stylist scissors I had packed away from traveling.

Once you’ve gathered these three supplies you can start getting crafty with the first quick three-step method. The second method uses only duct tape to make a more flexible bookmark. Both methods in this tutorial will make for a sturdier, less slippery bookmark while continuing to keep it totally stellar, man.

Instructions

 Method 1 of 2:
  1. Cut a long strip from the side of cardboard cracker box. For my bookmark, I first cut the whole side panel out and snipped off the little fold at the top.

Bookmark Step One

2.  Roll the stellar duct tape on the front, starting from the top down; then, flip the cardboard to the backside and continue rolling and covering up that side.

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3.  Snip excess duct tape and any exposed cardboard.

Bookmark Step Three

 

 Method 2 of 2:
  1. The second, and easiest, way to make a duct tape bookmark is to roll out the tape double your desired length.
  2. Fold it in half so both halves join, sticky side together.
  3. Cut off any excess.

Stellar! You’re all set to save pages with your sturdy, homemade bookmark!

Share this post with your book-loving friends and show us your bookmark style by posting a photo or link in the comments.

Instant-Print Your Favorite Books With Espresso Book Machine

Readers and authors, celebrate! Print and read your favorite paperback book in minutes.

Excited Finger Reading Book

Readers, have you ever wished the book you wanted could be printed within minutes, on-site, and for immediate in-store pick-up? Students, has a textbook sold out and you need a copy for your next class? Maybe you’d like a last-minute gift for a bibliophile? You’re all shaking your heads yes, but thinking I’m teasing. I’m delighted to let you know your wish has been granted. The future of book manufacturing is here. A revolutionary piece of technology called Espresso Book Machine (EBM) makes titles available for sale worldwide, within minutes. Wahoo!

As someone who’s an avid reader, worked close to ten years in the book manufacturing/production industry, and is a published author, the concept of the Espresso Book Machine is brilliant and exciting. It’s one of those inventions that has voracious readers wishing it was available at every corner.

Throughout my employment in the book production/manufacturing industry at Offset Paperback, mfrs., I worked my way up to almost every position available at the two Pocono Mountain Rage facilities including, Pre-Press Specialist, Xerox IGEN Printer, and Book Binder and Operator, to name a few. On the massive production floor at POD, most of the bindery machines were the size of a small bedroom and allowed us to bind thousands of quality books a day. The Xerox printers, the same company that services EBM, on the other hand, were each the length of a typical suburban single family Scranton, PA home. EBM is much more compact—small enough to fit in a coffee shop, bookstore, library, or bedroom. Guess that last one is just wishful thinking on my part.

If recent studies indicate young people’s preference for print products, the future of EBM looks promising. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, pew studies show the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29. Studies also found eighty-seven percent of textbooks for the fall 2014 semester were print books.

I have one more incredible piece of information to share. My book, Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales, has been accepted by EBM and can be printed in minutes on-site or picked up today in-store! I’m so grateful and excited for it to be a part of the Espresso Book Machine.

Cheers to this incredible innovation! Order here or find an Espresso Book Machine near you and get printing. View map here.

P.S. On Demand Books, we’d love one here in Scranton, PA.

‘Wake the Wicked’ Now On Google Play!

Order Google Play

I hadn’t planned for this to be one of my big news posts, but when someone asked me last night if my book, Wake the Wicked, was available on Google Books, and it wasn’t, I needed to make some changes.

With the rising growth of Google Play, I thought, “How could Wake the Wicked not be a part of the store?” I wasted no time in putting my swamp rats to work. And now, after only a few laborious hours, I’m happy to announce it’s arrival to the book store! Click HERE, or the big Google Play image, to order now.

Special thanks to Maureen for the suggestion!

Don’t have Google Play? Here are a few other places to order from:

Kindle | Nook |  KoboiBooks | Google Play | Paperback | Espresso Book Machine

Wake the Wicked eBook: ‘Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers’

I saw this recently and had to share. The comments are right on!

Scariest Cover Comments

Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales made “Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers” list hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Source: Somewhere Only We Know: Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

PROOF EVERYTHING ONLINE IS TRUE

How Do You Know If What You Read Online Is Legit? 

Come on! There’s no denying that everything you read, see, watch and hear on the Internet is true. You hear me? It’s all facts. Nasty rumors and deceit can’t be spit out across the Internet like the wild spread of “Black Death” in Europe. They just can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true. Where did I hear that? The Internet.

But what about those whiny, impulsive, vitriolic tirades I see on the net, people publicly shaming one another? They aren’t, as one might think, just desperate attempts by lonely harpies to deceive others, to compensate for the love they didn’t receive from their parents—a wound that drives them to attempt to fill emptiness with the satisfaction of revenge. Certainly not.

In general, opinions are considered to be subjective. However, there is a special rule. Once written online, opinions become facts. Apart from the Internet providing this information, how in satan’s great garden of fire do we know this is true?

I have more proof!

That’s right. Take a look at the gallery below. I’ve assembled this rare collection of celebrities, historical and religious figures, animals, and more, all reading Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales, before it was even published. Take a look and read on.

But how is this proof? Couldn’t this be one of those fancy-schmancy hoaxes?

Well, most of the Greats above were dead long before “Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales” was written, edited, and published. True. So, I commissioned the most notorious time-traveling paparazzi I could find to journey back in time, track down each Great, and present them my book. Once they had it in their possession it was a waiting game with only two outcomes: they’d either start reading the book or chuck it to the curb.

Sometimes, as these brave paparazzi warriors later told me, they had to prowl for days in trees and bushes, inside bedroom closets and under musky basement stairs; they drank stale rain water and ate nothing but rat droppings, sock lint and acorns till they got “The Shot!”

And, as one can imagine, the book wasn’t everybody’s cup of poison-laced tea. I mean, did you see some of the photos above? Mommie Dearest, for example, was not impressed. I should have known. She’s way too sophisticated for such juvenile entertainment. I can’t wait to read the review though. I have a feeling it’ll be suffocated by ten-cent words and trite adverbs.  I better get the popcorn ready now before the fireworks start. My bad. On the other hand, Mickey Mouse and Morticia Addams appeared to “get it” right away.

See, there’s no denying that everything you read is wisdom from the gods. If the internet says it’s true, if trolls say it’s true, and the photos above show it’s true—it’s true. Gone aren’t the days of common sense and well researched knowledge. The Internet is one giant source of factual information.

April Fools!

Hope you had as many laughs checking out these hoaxes as I did making them.

Never forget: online gossip blazes like wildfire and Tu Stultus Es if you believe it’s all accurate.

Which Addy Awards have I won?

Addy Award Winners

Click image to view story.

I received a text from my dad saying, “There is an article in today’s paper about the addy awards that u won.” It was regarding a recent newspaper article in the Citizens Voice titled “AAF holds annual awards ceremony.” Since it’s the season and I don’t have more info. on the awards I’ve won, I thought it’d be a good time to talk about what the AAF and Addy Awards are, and which I’ve won.

According to its website, the AAF, or, The American Advertising Federation, is America’s oldest advertising trade association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. This association acts as a “Unifying Voice for Advertising” and operates a multitude of programs and initiatives, including the annual American Advertising Awards, which was held on Friday in Northeast Pa., at Colarusso’s LaPalazzo in Moosic.

The AAF awards is the largest creative awards competition in the advertising industry and honors excellence in advertising. What graphic designer wouldn’t want to be a part of this?!

So, how many Addy Awards have I won? Uno. Dos. Tres! Three. Check out the gallery below to see them. And which have I won? As a student in 2009, I was awarded two bronze Addy Award medals for a book cover and candy package design.

Because money was nonexistent during my last semester of college in 2010, my former graphic design professor, Christine Medley, out of the kindness of her heart, submitted a T-shirt I designed for the CMYKlub, a graphic design club that I founded and was elected president to during my studies at Marywood University. I’m so grateful for Medley’s generosity. I hope she was proud that night at the ceremony after watching me win the gold Addy Award medal for the shirt. Thank you again!

To view more of my award-winners, check out a gallery of my portfolio here.

Addy Award Medal photos coming soon. Check back.

My Strange Passion With Fashion

“Tailor these clothes to fit your guilt, what’s your size?”  ‘Donatella,’ Lady Gaga.

I design and alter most of my evening-wear to satisfy my specific style. Here are a few of my latest fashion undertakings that I’ve pieced together, just for shiggles, from the last few years.

Faux Leather Studded Jacket & Tee

Spiked Shoulder Tee & Faux Leather Studded Jacket

 

Read More …

“Black Magic Hat”
found antler, cloth, ink, antique frame, metal, fabric
Christian Baloga
2013

I designed the top hat to be worn during the Occultus event on July 12, 2013. Sad to say, I got stage fright and removed it last second.

I bought the antique frame attached to the front of the hat at an estate sale last year. Although I’m opposed to sacrificing animals for fashion, salvaging discarded animal material, such as the antler I found while helping a friend move gives this unwanted piece new life.

I also created a few prematurely aged cloth sigils that can be interchanged in the frame. The sigil displayed in this frame, according to The Book of Black Magic by A. E. Waite, “Endows the possessor with every virtue and talent, as well as with the desire to do good. All substances of evil quality can be rendered excellent by means of it.”

Some of the other pieces found in the gallery above are titled as follows: “Vampire Skull Tee,” “Spiked Shoulder Tee,” “Lion Knocker Necklace,” “Monocle Pentagram Necklace.”

Want more on fashion? Learn how to make your baggy jeans skinny by checking out my blog here.

Special thanks to Brian Kenny for modeling in a frigid Pennsylvania cemetery.

Interview: The Weekender – ‘A Hair Day Unlike Any Other’

Want a dose of weird? Pick up the Weekender newspaper and flip to page thirty to read a comprehensive, full-page interview on my human hair art on display now at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in NYC. Click the picture below, or here, to read the complete interview online.

Weekender Newspaper Hair Art Article

Photo of the Weekender article on Christian Baloga’s hair art displayed at Ripley’s museum in NYC.