Annual Report Using InDesign

I love designing things. That’s why I loved one my final projects at World of Children Award so much — the creation and publication of the nonprofit’s annual report. I played the role of both lead content editor and lead designer on this project, while working with other team members to create a beautiful final product.

WOCA report spread 1

WOCA report spread 2

WOCA report spread 3

You can view the entire report on their website.


New Music: I’ve Ventured into Soundcloud

I’ve long been a song writer, musician and performer. It’s just an absolute rush! When I have some free time I like to record a few of my songs. It’s mostly for me because I find the creation process so fascinating. But recently, I decided — Hey, if you’re going to go to all this trouble to record these songs, why not share them? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I don’t really care if no one ever listens to these tracks, but if someone does, hopefully they have a good experience. In the end, song writing and recording is just a way for me to express my creativity. Here’s one of my latest tracks, One Thousand Prayers:

As I add more tunes you can check them out on my Soundcloud account:

Sizzle Reel Video Production

At World of Children Award we are gearing up for the 2015 Annual Awards Ceremony in New York City. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration! I thought I’d share the sizzle reel I produced for the 2014 event with the expertise of videographer Phil Kibbe. I was responsible for the creating the video concept, organizing the interviews, and working with the videographer during filming to ensure we captured exactly what we needed.

Our five Honorees from last year are incredible human beings. It was a privilege to work closely with such selfless child advocates.

Words I Hate, “Like,” A Lot

Yes, “like” is one of those words. The sad thing is, I catch myself saying it too often. It’s a such a wonderful terrible filler word.

I’m by no means a grammar nerd, but I feel I have a pretty good grasp of the English language. That’s why there are a few words that just make me cringe—mostly because they are mispronounced. So, let us review:

got milk?Milk— I like whole milk, the kind that leaves a nice milk film on the glass when you take a sip (I can’t stand that white water 1% stuff). What I don’t like is when people put in an “e” in the word, as in “melk.” Doesn’t sound tasty.

I “could” care less—Could you? Then by all means, please, care a little less for me. For some reason our nation hasn’t stopped to listen to what they mean when they say this phrase. But honestly, I couldn’t care less. Seriously. I promise.

Fifth—I’m not a mathematician (I somehow weaseled my way out of taking math all through college) but I do get a little negative when I hear someone say they wish to plead the “fith” or they had their “fith” glass of “melk” (double whammy).

Et cetera—Perhaps it’s because there are too many ways to spell this word (et caetera, et coetera, &c., &/c., &e., &ct…etc.) but it really gets me when someone ends an otherwise lovely sentence with “eck cetera.

Library— Everyone should have grown out of this mispronunciation after the age of 5. But no, I’ll inevitably hear someone say they’re going to visit the “libary.” Who still goes to the library?

Especially— I “expecially” hate this one. Maybe more than I hate “excape.” These culprits tend to be the same that utter “eck cetera” without batting an eye.

Eggs over easyExit—Would you like that scrambled or over easy? Yes, we Americans love our food and perhaps it’s for this reason that we direct people to the nearest “egg-zit” in case of an emergency.

Both—This may just be a Utah thing (don’t worry, I was born there so I have every right to make fun of my kin). The truth is, I was the worst of offenders when it came to this word. My wife lovingly pointed out one day that I was saying “bolth.” Truly, I was horrified. I’ve since corrected my ways, but I think I’m overcompensating sometimes because I sound a little British. But at least it’s proper, right?

Preparatory—Okay, Brock. You’re just making words up now. Sure, this is not a word you necessarily hear on the streets every day but I can promise you that I’m prepared to correct you if you drop the middle of this word, as in “prepatory.”

I better stop there. Too much longer and people might not want to talk to me for fear I’ll be “one of those people.”

What words drive you crazy? Let me know in the comments.

photo credits: malias via photopin cc; Wikipedia

My Favorite Albums – Songs I Can Listen To Over & Over

I love music. In fact, I’m listening to some tunes right now.

I was recently thinking how there are those few songs—and even those few albums—that I can listen to over and over. They’re the songs that have been tried and tested. They’ve been with me through thick and thin, the good times and the bad times. Now, I’m not saying these are the best albums ever made, but I think some of them could be in the running. Of course, I’m a little biased; I’ve left out some of those “classics” that will always make it onto lists like these (and Rap and Country genres are conspicuously missing), but hey, this is my list.

In any case, here are my favorite albums of all time (in no order) that will never get old:

MetallicaArtist: Metallica
Album: Metallica (The “Black” Album)
A lot of people gave Metallica a hard time when they released this album because it was too “soft.” Sure, their songs were no longer 9 minutes long and they added a bit more “melody” but this album still rocks and it rocks hard. I’m convinced Metallica is one of the greatest, most ingenious bands in history and The Black Album is just 12 songs that help to prove it.

No DoubtArtist: No Doubt
Album: Tragic Kingdom
This was the very first CD I ever owned…back when CDs were still sort of new. I played this thing into the ground (really, I had to buy a new one I played it so much!). Tragic Kingdom launched No Doubt into super stardom. Not only is the music awesome on this album but Gwen Stefani’s pure, heartfelt lyrics are powerful and visceral. She didn’t hold anything back when she broke up with fellow band mate and bassist, Tony Kanal. Only 2 of the 14 songs don’t directly speak of their breakup (that I can tell). Tragic Kingdom is a classic.

The Head and The HeartArtist: The Head and the Heart
Album: The Head and the Heart (Self-titled)
The Head and the Heart have just recently made it into my repertoire. But man, the songs on this album are amazing. I’m constantly amazed at how many times they can change directions in a song while still making everything fit together and sound like a cohesive song. Great music. Great lyrics. Great vocals. You’ve gotta check ’em out!

311 From ChaosArtist: 311
Album: From Chaos
I was a 311 fan before From Chaos was released, and I loved their stuff. But this album just clicked with me in a different way. From Chaos was one of those that was always in my Disc Man or, (a little bit later in life) always in my CD changer. I felt like this was the first album that 311 really “matured” while still maintaining a perfect blend of rock, rap and reggae that only 311 can do.

Hootie and the BlowfishArtist: Hootie & The Blowfish
Album: Cracked Rear View
I actually owned this on cassette tape. Yeah. “Only Wanna Be With You” was one of those radio phenomenons. It played everywhere. But that’s not what makes this album a great one. While this a good song, it’s just one of 12 beauties. The band has had some good songs on subsequent albums but nothing ever came close to Cracked Rear View. Now lead singer Darius Rucker is a Country man and it seems we may never again hear the sweet melodies of Hootie or his infamous blowfish.

The WallflowersArtist: The Wallflowers
Album: Bringing Down the Horse
Thank goodness Jakob Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) can sing better than his dad. Well, not that he’s really singing but his voice is perfect for the bluesy rock of the Wallflowers. The hit single “One Headlight” was one of those songs that lived for weeks on VH1, and for good reason. Bringing Down the Horse is 51 minutes of kick-back tunes with just enough “umph” and rock do keep you excited and energized.

Blues TravelerArtist: Blues Traveler
Album: Four
Blues Traveler’s aptly named fourth album “Four” was the first to bring the band into the mainstream. You can’t really call them a one-hit wonder, but they’ve never regained the popularity that “Run-Around” or “Hook” brought them back in 1994. This album introduced to the world the talents of John Popper and taught us that a harmonica can be played like a 6-string guitar during a blazing solo. No matter how many times I listen to this album it never gets old.

Silverchair Neon BallroomArtist: Silverchair
Album: Neon Ballroom
Silverchair is one of those bands that hasn’t made one album like the other. Time after time I’ll be with friends and they’ll ask, “who is this?” They’re surprised how time after time I say “Silverchair”. The first concert I ever went to was Silverchair at the Paramount in Seattle, WA. I was chompin’ at the bit to see these guys “live” because I couldn’t get enough of Neon Ballroom. Not only did they literally have the Anthem for the Year 2000, but a vocalist that could sing his heart out and a backup symphony that perfectly accentuated their guitars and drums. Neon Ballroom is the epitome of grunge and new metal all wrapped up in one.

If you’ve made it this far I’m sure you’re thinking: “But you forgot about ____!” I’m sure I did. Tell me what your favorite albums are in the comments.