Behind the Mugshot: Joel

November 4th, 2014 by

If you don’t already know about #MugshotMonday, check out our post on the subject and follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for more behind the scenes photos, new products, and discounts on staff favorites. Here’s a little more about Joel, our Label Master, reining chili cook-off King, and October mugshot star.

Joel

Would you care to share any of your previous career incarnations before becoming our label master?

Sure I’ll share. Going way, way back, while going to school, I was at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, it’s where I met my lovely wife (uncomfortably long pause) we were both youth counselors working with adolescents in the SRE (Social Re-education) Program. While with SRE I also met someone who was starting a multi-media company that did training and advertising and was asked if I would be the art director for the company, later I became a co-owner. While with that company I became involved with a few video projects, fell in love with video and made a jump to NJN (New Jersey Network). I produced graphics for NJN News and documentaries, designed sets, motion graphics and supporting print designs. I both loved and hated the 27+ years at NJN.  I was in charge of producing the graphics for the daily nightly news program, and so, from 12:30 until the 5:30 deadline things could get extremely tense, but you felt totally connected and on your game to get the news on the air.  If you’ve ever watched “the Newsroom” on HBO, NJN News was like that but on a smaller scale.  Despite the tension and fast pace, I stayed at NJN until it was closed by the NJ State Government. I miss NJN and my friends from there very much.  I’ve worked at Big Boulder Ski Resort for a season, bar-tending at the main lodge and I was in charge of the cleanup crew.  For a while I ski instructed when most of the mountains’ ski school left in the middle of the season to go skiing in Colorado.  I’ve been a lab technician.  I’ve freelanced and consulted and done a few other things.  Now I have new friends here at CBD.  They’re all really nice people, very talented, easy to get along with, and they don’t seem to mind listening to me, yet.

You recently painted a life-sized ox sculpture as part of a benefit for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. What else might your coworkers be surprised to learn about you?

That’s right, the ox was named “Daisy” after the Oxeye Daisy.  I painted a field of Oxeye Daisies all around the sculpture, treating the sculpture like a canvas.  The project took several months and on October 19th was sold for $3000 during an online auction.  The money went to the newly formed Hopewell Valley Arts Council. I love to paint, portraits and landscapes, and was instructed by the great american artist Mel Liepzig.  For years I enjoyed making stained glass and was once asked to restore a large window in a residence in Princeton.  I enjoy camping and was involved with the local Troop 44 in Pennington for 10 years, the last 3 as their Scout Master. I’ve skied for 40 years, but not much any more (my knees aren’t what they used to be) and a regret I have is that I never became a member of the ski patrol.  I do most of the construction and repair work around my small house in Pennington that I share with my wife and son, (my daughter lives on her own), and our two dogs, Morgan an australian border collie/shepherd mix and Kaylee a very large 4 year old golden retriever that thinks she is actually a much smaller dog that doesn’t want to grow up.  Besides the 2 Emmy Awards I was honored with while at NJN, my greatest honor was having a painting stolen from an art show.

When you don’t have oxen to paint, how do prefer to spend a day off?

Sleeping, if the dogs will let me, but then, I’m usually working around the house. In the summer time I’ll spend time in our pool but prefer the beach. Winter time it’s rides in the hills, if it’s snowing out then hot chocolate by the fire watching the snow come down, no sound, twilight is best. Painting, tinkering with an old tube radio I’m trying to restore, it’s a radio/phonograph floor console from the 40’s. Walking the dogs or taking them to the local dog park. Did I mention working around the house?

If you had an evil superpower what would it be?
 
I do actually have a superpower.  I wouldn’t call it EVIL unless you’re a member of a certain segment of the population. I am unbeatable at “Whack-A-Mole” the arcade game.  I can take a $1 investment and turn it into the biggest prize at the game. When my kids were small we would go over to Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk, and there was a Whack-A-Mole game in one of the arcades, I never lost.  It got so bad for the gamesmen that they would cringe when they saw me coming.  I won’t say I was banned from playing–but–we had an understanding.  I just go into a “zone” and can sort of predict where the little critter is going to pop up. So, if you own a Whack-A-Mole arcade game I guess you could say I have an evil superpower.

You will be competing in our cut-throat chili cook-off for the first time this year. Do you consider yourself a foodie and if so, what is the best and/or weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

I’m not sure what a “foodie” is? I like to eat (just look at me), but I also like to cook. My wife hates and loves my ability to go through our house at the end of the week and make a decent meal with what is left around. Bits and pieces, half of this or that, whatever is left in the pantry.

I like good food, it doesn’t have to be fancy, fresh is best and simply prepared, few sauces, good vegetables and rice, I love rice. I once had a very fancy meal at a restaurant in Philly with friends, it included foi gras, everyone else was raving about it, I wasn’t impressed.

The best food I’ve had is my mom’s cooking, of course. She makes a fabulous tomato sauce, even though she’s Slovak and the best spanish chicken and rice, if I was going to have something before I left this earth, it would be her spanish chicken and rice. I’m also a texas wiener fanatic, the best I’ve ever had was at a place near Rutgers, called “Johnny’s Hotdogs” it’s not there anymore.

The weirdest thing I’ve eaten, salty sea snails in a strong garlic sauce, oh that’s right, escargot, and raw sea urchin, mild, but didn’t taste like chicken.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply