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Draplin Design Co., North America
December 21, 1999
She's Got A Bad Case of the "Draplins"
Posted at 01:56 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #13
December, 1999

Lucky Number thirteen. The thirteenth floor of Draplindustries. Numerology anyone?

“If 13 people sit down at a table to eat, one of them will die before year is over.” -superstition

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Welcome to another look into the handshakes and hi-fives of the Draplindustries Factory Floor. Let us get down to business. Our November chronicles.

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“Girl Crazy” Part 1 — Dedication to Motherhood

This month’s gazette is dedicated to my mom: Lauren Colleen Draplin. Easily, the finest Mom to ever give the womb a good name, for 26 years running she has been there for me in so many ways.

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“Girl-crazy” Part 2 — A true story a guy about meeting a nice girl.

About a month and a half back I had some friends over to the pad for refreshments and chatter for some birth-daze festivities. Lots of faces, lots of slander, another success for the books. But let me tell you the highlight of the ordeal: A couple hours into the gathering Ms. Kris Okins, a talented, young graphic design upstart from school showed up with her older sister, Melissa. Kris and I got to talkin’, mainly about graphic design sorts of things and then they split up to St. Cloud for some family duties in. I got introduced to Melissa briefly. (This is the big moment.)

Facts are stubborn things: Her sister was very pleasant on the eyes.

Meet Melissa Okins, a soft-spoken 22-year-old hailing from the southwestern Minnesota hamlet of Windom. She works downtown in a big hotel doing reservations and behind-the-scenes book-workings. I think she’d be filed under “strawberry blond” hair-wise. She is really clean and wears really nice clothes that fit well with little barrettes in her bangs. She smells really good too. She likes music and movies and has two cats and a little Mitsubishi go-getter rig and loves olives and her water cold, but-not-too-cold-like-ice-water-cold and takes great care of her little sis Kris.

I gotta say, these last couple weeks in the big city have been so great. Tooling around town with a beautiful, young lady…riding the bus, seeing movies, gettin’ bites to eat, runnin’ errans, chatting…

I’m reduced down to a girl-crazy pile of mush. Funny how these things work.It’s not easy being a ramblin’, cold-hearted, ruthless bad-ass all the time, y’know?

I dig her. She’s my girlfren. We’re gonna take care of each other in the big city.

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The semester is quickly coming to a close. School is getting that silent hum once again…the sound of those mind gears turning. Everyone is stepping up to the plate with their respective final projects. At times the energy is amazing. Other times, I could give a rat’s ass about the whole deal. This semester has been a bear. It’s the third semester of five. It’s all downhill now to the graduatin’.

I’m super excited to finish up. Lots of good work this semester to polish up for the book. Big posters from screenprinting. Raw, unabridged, tactile pieces of work. Lots of color that you can actually feel. The great thing about prints is the human quality. You can feel the ink piling up. You own each layer, each little change or error. Digital prints are nice and efficient for the bulk of my projects, but damn, they are still digital and cold. This screenprinting stuff has stuck to ribs. I love the process. It takes great skill, patience and precision to dial in a good print. I usually got the “Sanford and Son” route and muck things up. I honestly wish I had more time to devote to it. People react to prints with such enthusiasm. Great stuff. Stay tuned.

Another development: Interactive multimedia skills are now part of the arsenal. At this point I can build a presentation that allows the user to navigate an interface through different levels of information. A pragmatic application would involve organizing my portfolio into a self-running application that could be sent out to friends, colleagues, job-offers so they could flip through my work on the screen. Amazing. I could even send the file though email or burned onto a CD. Paperless, efficient and if the design works well with presenting the information: creative and memorable.

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Homefront Update: Matt stole Ryan’s beer…the little fucker. Didn’t leave even one bottle. And you gotta see the whole ” I work all day and I need a beer” thing with Ryno…comedy. In a note of disgust: Ryan is a dick so who cares.

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We went to see Cheap Trick just because the Bottle Rockets were opening. Well, the Rockets canceled, those fuckers anyway. We walked around for 5 minutes, saw about 20 mullets and split. Broke my heart.

Son Volt came through a couple weeks back. These guys are among my favorites. The honesty, the straightforwardness, the work ethic. No bullshit. But damn: boring, boring boring. Sure, I love the no-frills thing, but a show is called a show for a reason. Anymore, I only find myself getting amped for spectacles. Like the glitz and slime schtick of Nashville Pussy, or the sweet, down-home trailer park sounds of the Bottle Rockets. Stereolab was in town last night, with Jim O’Rourke. I wanted to go down to see it…but just a couple songs. I guess I couldn’t see myself standing through all of it. I just find myself quickly inattentive and ready to go home. I hate feeling I’m more or less standing in front of my favorite rock bands. Like some obligatory night on the town. I guess I’d just rather listen to them on my stereo or on the open road.

I need a break from shows I guess. Gotta get that spark back. I used to love watching a band. Watching the guitar guy and then going home to learn the songs…hmmmm.

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Turkey Duties:

I flew back to Michigan for the thanksgiving deal. Once again, lots of tube watching and square meals. My sisters sure can shop. For christ’s sake, it seems like that’s all they do. This last sentence will make me very unpopular with them, which is just fine. My Mom on the other hand, is worth countless paragraphs of loving words.

My parents met when they were in there mid 20’s. They had me when Dad was 30 and Mom 28. That’s when their years of living the good life went to pot, as I was the focus of all activities. Mom said I was conceived in New Mexico or Texas on one of their roadtrips and I didn’t really push her to elaborate cuz those Mom/Dad mating issues are hallowed, and quite frankly, better left alone.

My Mom is alright. I love her dearly and miss her. Thanks Mom for being there.

Derek Denoyer’s house has a basement. I’d know, I bailed water out of the fucker for 3 hours on turkey day. He’s excited to get it all built up. I’m so proud of him. Derek’s neighbor guy was out in front yard gutting a deer. Something about guts spilling out of a carcass that makes me uneasy. Do you share the same disgust?

Saw Cam and Damien Barrett for a night. Those two brains are just too much too handle in one sitting. Cam is still with the Borders Books interactive team maintaining the Border.com site and of course, turning digital heads updating the www.camworld.org site daily. Damien is in Manhattan fixing Macs for all sorts of people, Saturday night live stars, Rush Limbaugh,pretty office girls, etc. Very proud of them and their byte-tastic careers.

Traverse City Nightlife: Union Street rocks man! Man, we went down there and like, we had drinks and like danced to some rockin’ band and like saw a bunch of really cool, interesting people doing just the same! Wow. Right on. >>>>> Whatever, The place is a fucking drag, as is all patrons, bands and employees….except Dave V.

Melissa Misekow is as enchanting as ever. She came up for the weekend, frail and low in spirits. Dad fed her and she gained strength. Sarah and Leah were sisters to her and she gained spirit. Well fed and smiling, she ventured back down to the “greater” Flint area. She is watching her parent’s pad in Flushing, articulating her next move in the big picture. Ms. Misekow will forever be on the Draplindustries Pro Team. She uses big words.

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Brian Johnsen studies some kind of language bullshit at Purdue. Not that we care or anything, but I heard something about him of interest on a Gary, Indiana police scanner. Something about going to Korea or something to be a language mediator or something. I don’t know. They can have him as far as we care concerned. He who takes the D’stries name in vain will pay sooner or later, that goes for Benny too, you fuckers.

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Ben Cooley has a “next” feature in this months Snowboarder magazine. The page features a impressive cliff drop along with some insights into Ben. Like a good team member, he listed Draplindustries as one of his sponsors. Ben is good stock. Talented on fiberglass boards and worthy in delicate matters of honor and spirit. He hangs with the lovely Hillary, one of the finer boy/girl units I’ve seen in a long time.

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In about 10 days I’ll be in Bend hanging with the dudes. Yep, 3 weeks of snowboarding, snowmobiling, taco stand-age, and general nothingness. I’ll be bunking down at Yamada’s pad of grandeur and maybe a couple nights with Leonard and Ralphie. I’m flying into Portland, where I’ll crash with that Jay Floyd and his lovely “fee-on-say” Heather. Can’t wait to see them. I’m gonna run around the city for a couple days seeing friends and enemies. Dave Brust, don’t even bother.

“Dudes 2000: Snowcamping”: We’ll be high in those high cascades for the big millennium night. I can’t wait to build my snowhut. I’m gonna trick it out with an upstairs loft, a garage, a commons area for guests, a mud room, master Draplin bedroom and the lover’s lair where some lucky set of dudes will keep eachother warm. Uh, yeah. We will remember to ventilate all rooms properly, in memory of fallen, non-ventilating comrades.

I’m gonna freeze my ass off, you betcha: frostbitten memories for us to cherish when we a are old and golden beautiful. I just hope it’s snowing in full effect by the time I get out there.

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Please, for the love all of that makes the comic book what it is: Go out and buy a couple issues of the Acme Novelty Library by the genius Chris Wares. The latest issue of the comics newspaper “The Imp” features Wares in all his glory. Amazing. Genius. Brilliant. Trust us.

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We have been polishing up our Rodeo guidelines:

  1. A saddle bronc rider always puts the right foot in the stirrup first.
  2. Never kick a paper cup thrown down at a rodeo.
  3. Cowgirls often wear different colored socks on each foot, for luck.
  4. Don’t compete with change in your pocket because that’s all you might win.
  5. Never put your hat on a bed — you may be seriously injured or killed.
  6. Eating a hotdog before the competition brings good luck.
  7. Never read your horoscope on competition day.
  8. Never eat peanuts or popcorn in the arena.
  9. Always shave before the competition.
  10. Never wear yellow in the arena — it will bring bad luck.

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I’m reading:

  1. “The autobiography of Frederick Douglass”
  2. “Design Writing Research - Ellen Lupton”
    “But vernacular design should be seen not as a realm beneath and outside “the profession” but as a broad territory whose inhabitants speak a range of local dialects, from the insider codes of skateboard culture to the mass-market hieroglyphics of national brand names. The term vernacular is relative rather than absolute. There exists not one vernacular, but a infinite series of visual languages, of which “mass culture” and “corporate culture” constitute distinct sets of idioms.” Interesting.
  3. “The Imp featuring the amazing Chris Wares”

…and listening to, as these digits get typed:

  1. Wheat - Hope and Adams
  2. Radar Brothers - The Singing Hatchet
  3. Beck - Midnight Vultures
  4. Supersuckers - The Evil Powers of Rock-n-Roll
  5. Poison 13 - Wine Is Red, Poison Is Blue
  6. Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
  7. Jim O’Rourke - Bad Timing
  8. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  9. Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
  10. 1Sixteen Deluxe

… on the silver screen:

  1. “Boys Don’t Cry” makes Nebraska look enchanting in a weird way

…and I can’t wait to see “American Movie”. It looks brilliant.

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Fans of graphic design, books, or just freebie promo stuff go to:


Order up all the promo goodies, especially the “American Design Century” series…amazing items, great design, great binding and reference.

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Fans of French Paper, you have no choice but to go to: http://www.mrfrench.com/

This is THE paper site. Take the tour, order some paper, browse the image bank, get some fonts…amazing, amazing stuff here….endless possibilities. The good people down at CSA have worked VERY hard to bring this to the world. Super inspiring.

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Thanks to all. That concludes another 3 hours of typing random bullshit from the factory floor We hope you enjoy this. Actually, we don’t really care either way.

One more month until the big 2000. Bottle that water. Stock up on batteries….

+ Thanks to Melissa for so much.

Aaron James Draplin, Melissa-digger
Draplindustries Design Co
Downtown Minneapolis