Category Archives: Union Square

The New Original

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoThe big news this week is the arrival of the brand NEW & awesome Original Jesus Dressup 2018! It was 15 years ago when the first Jesus Dressup came out, and the comparison of that one and this one is striking.

The 2003 Original & the 2018 Original comparison
The 2003 Original & the 2018 Original comparison

By eliminating the text at the bottom, utilizing all of the spare room on the page, and a die cut that’s right to the outline of the of art I was able to get nearly double the number of clothes items on a set!  I’m just so thrilled with how perfect it came out. It’s everything I ever wanted Jesus Dressup to be.

JDU die cut comparrison

If you know of a store in your area you think might carry these on their shelves, or if you yourself are interested in selling these, please contact me for wholesale information.  Or if you just want to get one to play with by yourself in your lonesome, here ya go!

The Original Jesus Dressup fridge magnets ($15) include a hula skirt w/coconut bra, Marilyn Monroe dress, mermaid's tail, selfie stick and a wide variety of hats, shoes, pants and everything inbetween
The Original Jesus Dressup fridge magnets ($15) include a hula skirt w/coconut bra, Marilyn Monroe dress, mermaid’s tail, selfie stick and a wide variety of hats, shoes, pants and everything inbetween



Amazing Strangers Wendell icon

As for my Union Square visit, I was there the entire month of May, and I’ve still got a lot of footage left to share with all of you. I spent time with Inna, Shaggy, Alexa, Tabatha, Erica Mancini, Ricky Dale and a whole bunch of of others that I’m looking forward to getting up online. I do however plan to take my time with each of these vids so you’ll just have to be patient. I don’t want to rush things.

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Twenty Years Ago

I know, it’s been months. In fact the last update was last year, goddammit! No need to worry about me, or the continuation of all these projects I started but can’t seem to ever finish. Everything’s still a go-project in some form or another, as it has always been, and looks as if it’ll always be for as long as I’m alive. What the hell have I gotten myself into in this life?

mrx_icon

It was 20 years ago this month I made my first ever website. And no, it wasn’t Jesus related. Hell, I think I would have even considered myself a believer still at this point.
In 1997 my oldest brother Chris introduced me to the internet, as well as Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. Shortly after I bought my first Mac. Then in 1998, fascinated with this new connection to everyone else in the worldwide web I got a copy of the now defunct Adobe Pagemill and started experimenting with building websites. My very first one was centered around the board game my brothers and I had invented called Crisis.

Crisis logo

We actually created Crisis in 1991. By 1992 we bought a booth at Gen Con and made that happen a couple years in a row. After selling 1,000 copies over the course of several more years we each had other plans for the future and put it behind us. I mention this because, well not only the 20th anniversary of the site aspects, but also because we’re actually looking into producing it again. These people seem to think there’s a thirsty market out there for board games such as this again. For right now that’s all I have to say about that. But stay tuned.

Amazing Strangers Wendell icon

I’m headed back to NYC next month to shoot more Union Square footage for all of you. And for me too. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve missed it. And I’ve pretty much concluded that given the right circumstances I’d probably even move back. Eventually. For now though the plan is to visit regularly. I miss having new content, editing those stories together, saving these important memories. Most of all though I miss being around people. Where I’m at now I have no people. No friends. No social life. Nowhere to go around here for someone to talk to. Absolutely no potential people to flirt with. And this is all driving me insane! So I am returning for a short time to momentarily solve some of these issues.

I have been able to make one Amazing Strangers related project happen here though. An Amazing Strangers book of photos & stories. Nothing fancy, and my presumption is nothing that’ll make a profit of any sort. But a book nonetheless. There’s a coffee shop/book store here called Book Nook, and they’ve made their publishing services available to me. So once there’s a book there’s a plan to have monthly video presentations at the cafe to promote it. I’m really hoping this is something that’ll happen. I’ll be sure to send out invitations to anyone who’d like to come to Michigan to see such a thing hosted by me.

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logo

Lastly, there will indeed be a new Jesus Dressup set this year. In June the long overdue, new Original Jesus Dressup will hit stores! You can thank the success of last year’s Trump Dressup magnets to make this possible, i.e: affordable. We sold about half our stock of the Trumps before the end of 2017, and we’re expecting to sell the rest by Christmas 2018!

First sample of the new Original Jesus Dressup magnet set. The tightest die cut & most dress items on a set ever!
First sample of the new Original Jesus Dressup magnet set. The tightest die cut & most dress items on a set ever!

So yeah. I think that’s everything. I’ll hit you up if anything else happens.

Updates for Fall 2017

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoIt’s that time again when I haven’t updated long enough to finally get an email asking if I’m still doing the site and/or selling Jesus Dressup magnets. The answer’s yes. Plus I’m also selling Trumps & Mohammeds as well. Can you think of anywhere else that combo of themes is available??

In total I have 8 different sets of magnetic dressups available all to be shipped in time for the holidays. Be warned- I’m opening my final box of Lady Gaga Jesus Dressups (40 sets per box). So get yours now, because those won’t be printed ever again.

Amazing Strangers Wendell icon

At the moment I believe I’ve posted the last Amazing Strangers video for a while. You can see all of  the latest ones there in the right sidebar. There comes a time when I just can’t seem to find anything worthwhile enough to edit. But that could change at any point because I am indeed working through all those folders preparing a paperback book which’ll be stories & art, but mostly photos of Union Square Amazing Strangers.
My local bookstore/coffee shop Book Nook has offered to print it up for me through their publishing company, West Vine Press here in Whitehall. Then later this winter I’m planning to host video presentations here at the shop. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll be sure to make the book available for purchase here on the site.

I’ve yet to get any offers on a place to stay in NYC to encourage more frequent visits. But I do have a friend willing to rent me a room for a month in May. If it’s still available to me by then I’ll be taking her up on the offer. That’s when you can expect brand new, current footage added to youtube.com/normalbobnyc.

In other interesting Amazing Strangers news, my friend Nick (New York Nico) back in 2014 purchased one of Roman’s signs for a dollar, and has since had it framed! It’s now hanging in his hallway, and I thought you all might like to let your envious eyes lay upon this lovely piece of art.

Adam Saleh is a Fraud

Adam Saleh getting kicked off Delta
Adam Saleh getting kicked off Delta

There’s a video getting a lot of attention right now on YouTube of several young guys getting kicked off a plane for speaking Arabic. The video is short, of a guy yelling into his camera phone about how he and his buddies are being booted for speaking a foreign language while he was on the phone with his mother, and chastising white people on the flight for letting the toss-off happen. CBSN described Adam Saleh as a “YouTube star kicked off Delta.” And that he most certainly is. You see, I have a history with Adam Saleh and his “True Story ASA” gang, and now seems like as good a time as any to share with you who they are and what it is they’re doing.

I had been documenting Union Square Park in NYC for the last decade or so, and 2014 – ’15 I would see them there trying to bait people in one way or another. For instance, trying to get New Yorkers to complain about a Muslim praying in public.

Fake "Stop Muslim Praying" videoThey’d lay out a rug and pray on the park path, but no one cared. So they’d have one of their friends try and drag people over saying “Yo, you gonna let him pray like this? It’s mad disrespectful, right?” and still people wouldn’t jump on board with the enthusiasm they needed for a video. The last resort was having a friend pretend to be offended and complaining, blur out his face, call it a real passer-by, and there’s your video. It’s shameful and cringe-worthy, and not very hard to figure out if you’ve got even an average eye for social studies.

Thrown off Planes Career image

Immediately when I first started seeing this “Kicked off Delta” story circulating through my Facebook feed I knew that they’d gone and done it again. I wasn’t even aware (until now) they’d already posted videos of themselves causing this kind of trouble on planes before. In the past they’ve recorded themselves counting down from 10 to 1 in Arabic loud enough for everyone on the plane to hear, and laughing while they did it. Yes, Adam is this type of guy. He needs this sort of attention. And his YouTube channel, with over a million and a half subscribers, is audience. As a videographer myself I understand the pressure to get material for a YouTube channel. I understand the urge to make something happen when nothing’s happening. And it’s clear Adam has embraced this method without regard for his own reputation, or the reps of his If-he-jumps-off-a-cliff-so-will-I friends. The host of WeAreChange did a better job of illustrating this in a video than I ever could.

I have a history with Adam Saleh and his True Story ASA gang. They got involved in my Union Square footage when my friend Joey Boots was yelling at a lady wearing fur. That video gets pretty obnoxious, but it was my introduction to these guy’s faces. That’s when Joey and I both started looking through their videos and discovering what frauds they actually are.

When I first posted my video with Joey Boots criticizing them and their methods, they immediately flagged it and got it taken down. I had a back and forth with their “legal rep” (I posted the entire exchange on Reddit), but in short their defense was that I didn’t ask permission to use their clips in my critique of them. Of course I am allowed to do that without permission, so eventually they gave up and the video remains. It’s an amusing exchange if you need a good laugh, or want some insight into their mindset.

They’re clumsy with the amount of incriminating information they leave out there, terrible actors, and no shame at all when it comes to seeking out creative ways to look victimized. I think that’s what disgusts me the most about them. So when they’re pretending things like being arrested for being Muslim, or his embarrassing fake crying, it comes off like kids playing make-believe (which is exactly what it is, I suppose).

Watching their videos, seeing them around the Square all the time, and my direct encounters with them, I can assure you these are not a group of guys you want to trust. They’re pranksters, which is not a bad thing, but they’re also liars & con men, which is. They don’t understand how playing these sorts of games & getting caught hurts the credibility of those who really are victimized in real situations.

I have a hard time picturing how this won’t come back and bite them in the ass in some way or another. Especially now with them pranking the airline industry with terrorist jokes. They’re really just a bunch of obnoxious, unsupervised kids with a popular YouTube channel, but this time they may have bitten off more than they know.