Zach's PEN #26: I'm in Two Videos on the Internet

2021 Week 3: The flurry of publishing continues, and baby pics return

Hello PENpals,

I met my friend (and Markee colleague) Newton Buchanan on Thursday at Bok (the Philly office we share between Challenge Program/Short Order/Markee) and we did some socially distant singing.

Yes, singing.

One of the things I most miss from childhood was being in a chorus. We had a chorus at Ed Smith School in Syracuse called The Notable Singers, a name which only typing it just now, 30 years later, do I realize has a cute double entendre. The Power of Writing Things Down™.

Anyway, we were GOOD. And there's something about singing in harmony in a chorus that makes you feel a certain way. Being just one part of a machine singing one note in a chord, one vibrating string in a giant piano... It's an amazing feeling.

I first met Newt when Alex Kaplan included his audition in a casting for a commercial. Newt had no idea he was about to become the face of Delaware.

Newt's a Philly guy (née Chester, PA) who was embraced by Delaware. He's very talented. Here's a link to the first piece we worked on together, right at the moment Louisa was born and everyone was courting Amazon like The Bachelorette.

Newt's also a really great SINGER, often breaking into song in the middle of whatever we're doing, like, in a meeting, at work. A few years ago on the train back to Philly, I mentioned how much I missed singing harmony and asked if we might do that sometime.

3+ years later, we finally did it. We sung together (socially distanced). And it was a blast.

Newt now works at Markee as the Director of Customer Experience, so I get to see him all the time, and I think we'll be singing some more.

The experience of playing music with another person got me warmed up musically in a way that I haven't been in a very long time, even my guitar playing. It made me realize that, practicing the guitar and singing by myself, I just haven't been able to get ACTUALLY warmed up musically. In years. Playing with another person took care of that.

Inspired by that idea of WARMING UP and the non-coercive non-doing approach to everything I've been obsessed with this year, I wrote this thread, which netted me a whole bunch of new followers on Twitter.

Then, yesterday I had a call with a professor of mine from Syracuse, which inspired the next thread that has gotten retweeted a whole bunch of times. Putting stuff out there is creating serendipity in precisely the ways people told me it would. I'm more and more committed to publishing by the day (and I'm publishing more and more).

One More Thing: I am in TWO (2) videos published on the Internet in the past week

One of them I published myself, about one of my favorite toys:

That was accompanied by this thread which has lots of footage in it that I shot on the Bolex:

And then I'm in another video (this one's LONG, but skip around it to see what it's about because it's cool). It's about filmmaking, literally filmmaking, in virtual reality, with my friend Charles who wrote the app that we're inside making the movie on. You'll be hearing a lot more about this, and Charles, from me. I'm making a movie, PENpals.

Here are the other four threads I published this week (yes, the streak lives):

And lastly (this one deserves a lot more than to be a link in a list, I'll be talking more about it), my friend Cameron built me what I legitimately think might be the greatest guitar in the world. Several videos of the guitar are in this thread:

Baby Pics

My friend from high school Dan and his wife Kim just had their second baby out in Colorado, another girl, and her middle name is Poppy, which I think is damned cute.

I know I haven't had a lot of baby pics on here. I need to develop some film. I finally developed this one mystery roll, and here are a couple of Wendell shots for you, one with Agnes, who took care of our babies during the workday over the summer in Garrison. She may have saved my business and our lives. God bless her.

Turns out, a lot can happen in a week, PENpals. I can't even believe all this stuff is from this week, honestly. This is exciting.

Even whipped up a big pot of Cincinnati chili tonight.

Much love,