Stephen Gasparek

Toronto, Canada, Music, Photography, Art, Travel, Marketing, Popular Culture, Miami, Florida, France, University of Toronto, Lowmega, Stephen Dorian, Depeche Mode, U2, Radiohead, The Cure

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I hate blogger

I'm mad, I just spent a half hour writing a review of 2 dvds, and when I tried to spellcheck, I lost everything. Here's a tip to all bloggers, write your post in a word file and copy and paste it over!

To summarize my lost blog, buy the Depeche Mode DVD, and don't buy the U2 dvd!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Disappearing Stephen

In a previous post I had mentioned that I have a slight obsession with online marketing. I want to offer all my followers (all 3 of them) an excellent resource for everything online. You have got to visit One Degree if you are into this stuff. The site covers everything from the latest online marketing news, to website best practices, to blogging, and to upcoming events. If you want to stay totally plugged in, this is the place.

I just want to say one other quick thing today, I hate search engines. I was talking to one of my friends the other day, and we were talking about ego searches. For those of you that don't know, and ego search is when you type your own name into Google, and you see if you come up. It gets to the point where people with the same names are battling one another for the number 1 spot. But back to my original point, I created this blog as a test. I wanted to see whether I could get myself to the top. I did, but then I disappeared. Can't figure it out, I no longer appear on Google at all. I have searched the code on this page, no errors, but still no Stephen Gasparek anywhere on Google! So strange!

So I'm going to fiddle around with the index when I publish, and I'm hoping to show up again. How upsetting! It hurts the ego.

Tomorrow I'll write a review of the Filmcan party I'm attending tonight, and hopefully in 48 hours, all you stalkers from high school will be able to find me again!

Best Regards,

Monday, June 12, 2006

Laguna Beach Addiction

Alright, so I can finally come out and admit it. At first I pretended I didn't know what it was. Then I publicly criticized it. Then I tried not to talk about it at all to hide my shame. Now I am comfortable to admit that I am addicted to Laguna Beach, but I'm not proud of it.

I've spent the last two months trying to figure out what it was that hooked me to the show, and I think I've finally figured it out.

It's not the interesting characters, the social commentary, or the intelligent content. I actually find most of the characters to be empty vessels lacking any hint of charm or personality. I think the show has sold me a lifestyle that I wish I had experienced in my teenage years. The show asks me (and all viewers) to believe that this luxurious party-surfer lifestyle actually exists, and that we all missed out on it. Laguna beach is selling us all a false set of beliefs. The show deliberately removes all content related to academics, employment, and personal crisis deeper than high school boy/girl issues. I remember being in school and working a part-time job just to buy clothes that were deemed socially acceptable. The main characters in the show are all given clothing for free, and this is apparent by the after show clips asking viewers to visit the official website to learn more about the fashion of their favourite characters. I can actually go online and find that pair of sunglasses Stephen wears in the first episode of the second season and buy them immediately. It's brilliant! It's so subtle. You tell the viewer that this is a reality show, but it's not. It's constructed to mass-market clothing, sports apparel, jewellery, cars, music, and social behaviour revolving around consumption. The main characters on the show are constantly eating at restaurants, drinking Starbucks, or traveling to exotic locations.

I think the reason I was initially attracted to the show has changed. I have come to realize that I am actually quite jealous of the characters on the show. The freebies they receive would significantly pad my own life quite comfortably. Their lifestyle may not exist in the real world, but I do believe the swag is real, and I need to figure out how to get my hands on it.

I wonder if MTV would be interested in a creating a "reality" show about a cynical guy in his mid-twenties pushing paper in the marketing department of a major Canadian bank? I won't hold my breath.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Depeche a la Mode

Last night I attended the Depeche Mode show at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada. I’m a huge fan. I saw them play back in December when the world tour was just lifting off. They’re touring their current album, “Playing The Angel,” which is by no means their best work, but still enjoyable as a nostalgia trip. Anyway, I loved the show in December, I saw it with my brother Brian, and we had a great time. The songs all seemed fresh, and the band’s energy levels were way up.

Last night was a different story, the band looked visibly tired, and somewhat disinterested in the show. The exception was Dave Gahan, who worked his ass off all night. You’ve got to respect a guy who busts his chops on the 100th show of a massive world tour. Martin Gore seemed to trudge through the motions all night, and I found that disappointing. I guess I’ve learned that it’s always better to see a band at the beginning of a tour when they aren’t completely tired of the material. I’ve also learned that even $140 doesn’t buy you a perfect show.

On a more positive note, I saw The Strokes play last week at Rico Coliseum, and they were amazing, and I’m going to see Radiohead at the Hummingbird Center on June 7th. That should be an amazing experience.

I’m off to a friend’s cottage for the long-weekend in beautiful Simcoe Region. I’ve stocked up on citronella and Amsterdam Blond, and I feel quite ready to indulge in questionable behaviour.

See you next time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

You never forget your first.

So I guess this is a big thing. I recently finished a blogging seminar in Toronto, Canada, with a blogging expert from Montreal who goes by the name of Mitch Joel. For those of you who are interested, his company is called Twist Image. I've taken a few courses through the Canadian Marketing Association before, but I seemed to enjoy this one the most. If you get a chance, go listen to Mitch speak, he's quite entertaining.

I've been meaning to start a blog for a long time now, and this is my first ever posting!

I don't know where I should begin, or what I should say?

I guess the big thing for me right now is that I love making music, and I'm currently producing an EP for a Toronto synth-pop band called Lowmega. I have been playing around with song-writing and producing for a couple of years now, and I'm constantly blown away by what is possible with computer software. I play guitar very well, and keyboard a little, but programs like Cool Edit and Fruity Loops have really allowed me to develop a full band sound. I can't wait to finish the project and have a completed EP under my belt. When you're stuck in an office all day, it's amazing to come home and work on something artsy-fartsy.

Oh, my great friend Neil Hammerschlag had his birthday the other night, so I thought it would be appropriate to put a picture of him up on the blog. Neil is a marine biologist studying sharks, you should totally check out his site, he's an amazing photographer. The guy on the left is Cory, and I'm the handsome guy in the middle. ;-)

For now, that's it, but hopefully I'll get better at these!