Sunday, July 29, 2007

the pastrami cannon at the end of the week

call time was at 8:00 this morning. i left the location at midnight. but i felt good. the camera crew worked our tails off tonight, and once again, i am reminded how true it is that a main key to success is to surround yourself with good people. it was great having nathan around today, too, for so many reasons. jeremy is getting better at doing the slate and camera reports, steph brought in six plates of dinner on two tray for us as we were working on into the 14th hour; i got to camera operate for a fair amount of today, which was a lot of fun and a new experience; i confirmed a replacement for me when i leave on tuesday to go to a bigger show starting thursday; we were shooting water out of luke's hands this morning and pastrami and swedish fish and noodles out of a canon this evening onto a crowd of a couple hundred extras in a gym, plus a really cool camera-on-a-crane shot; at times, i felt like a bit of a hero, aptly running from one camera to the other, taking control and doing whatever needed to be done; that cute girl on the crew talked to me a bit and said that the camera crew did a great job today, after earlier telling me that she liked my hawaiian shirt that i wore yesterday for 'hawaiian shirt friday' [although it's a pretty awesome shirt--i think it's impossible not to like it. hooray for sisters]; though we worked for 16 hours, it was one of those days where i felt like i could go forever, never really getting tired, but just going until we were done; we got some cool slo-mo shots and realized what caused a very unfortunate problem on a shot last week [never will any of us make that mistake again]; today was our last day for our loader but he found us a new guy who seems to have the right mentality for the job, which is reassuring [you really don't know if the loader messes up until two days later, an obvious risk]; as i was leaving tonight, i passed our production manager, a friend of mine with whom our friendship has been pulled and strained as we've worked on different ends on this show at times, and she thanked me very much for my work today, which was quietly reassuring. it was a good day. i'm very happy for a sabbath day of rest tomorrow, and intend to read harry potter for a while.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

day 10

driving home down canyon road, i passed a pair of little girls with a lemonade stand by the side of the busy road, the more extroverted of the two still waving her poster board sign at cars at dusk. her advertising method left something to be desired, as she was waving her sign the other way while i was still approaching, yet her message was clear enough that i turned around and drove back, despite not knowing how much a glass was, or even what they were selling, come to think of it.
i bought two cups of lemonade for 25 cents each [one for my roommate] and, after asking if they accepted tips, gave them each another quarter.

today was a good day at work. monday and tuesday were quite rough, in part because our largely green crew was still learning how to work together, speaking both of my camera crew and of the general crew of the movie [features usually take a while to iron things out], and compounded by a couple of mistakes from our loader. last night he came to me and confessed that he had lost a roll of film. unexposed, thankfully, but nevertheless, that is not a good feeling. he and our 2nd a.c. and i looked everywhere in the room, checked every can, and went over every report and hypothesized every scenario, though he had already done that in earnest three times that day. finally we got on our knees and prayed together [though he had also already done that, too]. when we had done all we could, we left for the night; our loader was considering finding a replacement and resigning.
this morning i explained the news to the director of photography and later to the production manager, and they both took it as well as could be expected [which, for the record, certainly classifies as 'well']. walking down the hall to find the production manager, i was hoping that our prayer would be answered and that the roll would be found... somewhere, somehow. but it never was.
we worked hard today, and got a lot done. things went well, i think a lot of ryan's work looked very nice, the comradery amongst the crew was great, and everyone was in good spirits when wrap was called. as i was pushing our cart back to the camera room, ryan mentioned that he wanted to talk to the loader and ask him to stay on, which i thought was very good of him. after we had everything put away, i gave a short lesson on lenses and focus, and as i was leaving, ryan was coming in to talk with our guy.

the lemonade from those little girls really wasn't that good, but i'm a sucker for lemonade stands, which seemed nostalgicly out of date when i was doing them 17 years ago, yet still persist this day.

it is now 10:29 and i still have to read six and a half pages in exodus before i can even read harry potter for the evening [i should be in leviticus now, but i missed a few days last week].
just once i'd like to have jason call wrap, put away the camera, leave like a normal first a.c., and get home at 9:00 with 2+ hours to read harry potter 7.
maybe tomorrow.

but it was a good day, and i can't complain about that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

my first as a first

being the head of the camera crew has really taught me a lot and given me even more to think about. not that i have a whole lot of time to ponder management philosophies when i'm setting up the camera, changing lenses, getting focus marks, rehearsing, double-checking all of the above before we roll, triple-checking again, and trying to pin clothespins on the back of paul the dolly grip without him noticing, but i do have some time to think.
while it's something that i've known since before i downloaded my first roll of 16mm film, the fact that the camera crew is the most crucially delicate part of the crew has been reinforced upon my mind lately. i secretly believe that i have a certain amount of natural talent for judging distance and focus, and overall the focus pulls on this show haven't been too hard. nevertheless, if i get my job wrong, it can negate how well everyone else may have done their job. the same goes with remembering to always set the exposure, tightening every screw, and ensuring that the camera is running safely and cleanly at all times.
while i'm generally enjoying this growing experience, it does bring with it it's share of 'doing i really know what i'm doing?' moments.
one thing i never realized before, too, is how the first a.c. is actually the head of the camera department. technically the director of photography is, but in reality he's kind of his own entity. i work very closely with him, but the great bulk of the camera operations go through the first a.c. it's nice to have a crew to work with [and really nice not to have to load], but they're very new, so there's a lot of checking up on them, explaining how to better do things, and keeping an eye on them along the way.
i like it. there's just a lot to handle.

Friday, July 20, 2007

future ponderances

looking around the cafeteria, i'm watching the crew light the next setup; move the 12K over here, add some fill, then flag off the spill. i remember when our gaffer and d.p. were new students at school and i was teaching them how to set up lights, load the camera, and the like. i was their t.a. [i think] when they were in the intermediate production class, with tom russell keeping an eye on them as they shot their first movie.
how here we are, without any teachers looking out for us, working as professionals, using bigger cameras and bigger lights than anything we ever had at school.

watching my friends, i also wonder where we will be in 15 years. who will be working here in utah, who will be running their own companies, who will have gone to l.a., and who will get out and get a real job.

i like this crew.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

such great heights

let me just say that today was a rough day at work.
once again, i came home at a moderate time and had every intention of going to bed nice and early, for sleep makes all the difference. as i was wading my way through the explosion that is my room [it was actually nice and clean for a few days, until i got out all of my equipment and began prepping for this movie], my phone rang.

i've never been on a shoot that is more fun that laughing with a friend, and i have never had a day so rough that talking with an awesome person can't make it all better.

you know who you are.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the biohazard next door


so our neighbors are in germany for five or six weeks; we've been keeping an eye on their house and taking over their duties maintaining the clubhouse and pool. sometime last week i came home and noticed a tag on their door, saying that their utilities had not been paid and that their power had been shut off.
i tried to think if they had said anything about watching out for bills but didn't remember anything about that, nor did mark. further, i looked through their mail and didn't find the red 'final notice' bill from provo city. not sure what to do, i e-mailed them to let them know of the situation and then checked the fridge and freezer: it was still cold inside, and i'd hate to throw away their food if all i had to do was call the city and work the issue out.
days went by and i didn't hear from them.

last week was busied with prepping for 'the adventures of food boy', and as shooting started this week, the powerless refrigerator next door faded from my mind.
i came home last night to an empty house. remembering next door, i went over and checked on things. it had been five or six days and most of the fridge's coolness had left. i was tired and had left my flashlight at work, so it was difficult to see very well. i decided to wait until mark got home and then we'd come back and empty everything out.
mark got home around 11 and i was already in bedtime mode.

so i came home tonight, again tired but knowing that i should probably check next door. it was wednesday night and therefore 'movie night' and mark was having a few people over to carry on the tradition by watching 'singin' in the rain'. as they were waiting for the others to show up, he offered to come next door and help me out.

we unlocked the front door and the smell hit mark.
difficult to describe, it was reminiscent of a dumpster, and became more intense as we walked back toward the kitchen and the dreaded refrigerator.
we opened the fridge door, and, like an odorous banshee coming forth from a long-forgotten tomb, were hit hard. mark ran for the door and barely made it outside before losing it in the bushes.

there was nothing we could save. containers and baggies of food that was now completely deformed were scattered throughout the refrigerator, which was, most thankfully, not very full. juices and liquids that had long since gone rancid mingled, creating smells that were almost inhumane as they dripped from the shelves and door onto the floor. i held the garbage bag out and reared my head back as mark bravely threw everything in. when the first bag was full, i ran to the dumpster. mark threw up again.

by now this commotion had attracted cheryl, who had come over expecting a nice even of the cinema. cheryl is tough, yet we refused to let her anywhere near the house. the kids from down the street gathered on the porch, informing us that it didn't smell good in there. as we stood out front, psyching ourselves up again and contemplating whether arson may be the best solution, parents began to come by, inquiring of the situation. and, after they got a wiff from the door, were declaring us to be amazing neighbors and offering cans of industrial strength lysol [we used about a third of the large can by the time the evening was through]. yet, in light of all their kind comments about us being great neighbors, i couldn't help but think that had we been on top of this on monday, or even taken up the offer of 'eat whatever's in the fridge', we would not be gasping for air and wondering if we would ever smell again.

we ran back in again and opened the freezer.
this is around where mark threw up for the third time.


i don't know how long it takes for seafood to go bad, but this was well past prime ripeness. this did not smell like a full dumpster on a hot day. this did not smell like roadkill. it smelled like a mixture of the two, confined into this little box that we had to empty.
everything frozen had thawed, and their was putrid juice dripping everywhere. we went back outside to formulate some sort of attack plan. cheryl had a 72-hour kit in her car and gave us some plastic surgical gloves as we stormed back in.
finding a middle ground between 'as fast as humanly possible' and 'trying not to make the mess any worse', mark threw handfuls into the garbage bag. packages of crab meat seemed to be the worst, yet as we moved near the back [the freezer was much more packed than the fridge], the stench only became worse.
as i came back with the third hefty bag, we found the demon lord of this thawing hell:

at one time, it had been a nice large piece of salmon, neatly shrink-wrapped in plastic. now it looked like it was in a balloon, the packaging almost ready to burst, dripping everywhere. i shudder to think what would have happened had that popped, because even from the back of the freezer and piled under so many other foods [who were contributing their fair share], it gave off an odor which i could not believe existed.
mark bravely grabbed in and threw it into the bag at lightning speed. i cinched the bag tight and ran for the dumpster down the street as if i were holding a biological bomb.
i really, really feel bad for the innocent, hard-working trash collector coming by in a day or two.

someone commented that it was like after the great battle in book of mormon, where the bodies of the soldiers caused the land to stink so profusely that the land was uninhabitable for many years.
that's a pretty good description, i think.

sadly, while the worst was over, there was still much to do. by now, cheryl had talked herself into the house, and we began finding any old rags and every cleaner we had [mark took a spray bottle and made a 50/50 bleach-water solution] and wiping up anything that could caused offence. mind you, this was all in near-dark conditions, as there was no power and all i had was a tiny mag-lite.
we pulled out the trays and soaked them the sink. the magnetic letter toys on the fridge we also tried to wash. we wiped down the fridge and freezer countless times, and scrubbed the floor again and again. we opened the windows and brought in fans. i smelled the couches, hoping they hadn't been infiltrated. they seemed alright. the smell, though still definately present, had deteriorated greatly over the gauntlet of the past hour or two.
there might be hope, still.

when we had done all that we could think of, we left the house for the evening and watched 'singin' in the rain'.
that helped soften the events of the evening, but i do fear my nose is scarred for life.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

life on another feature

i woke up this morning trying to think how long we'd been shooting this movie. as consciousness came, dragging coherency behind, i remembered: today would be our second day. it felt like it's been a week already. but features always feel like that.
i'm really enjoying being a first a.c. i run the camera department, and, as i learned on the movie i shot in april, a major part of success is surrounding yourself with good people. my 2nd a.c. is phenomenal, always thinking ahead, working tirelessly, quickly picks up what she doesn't already know, and is a master at organization. our loader is doing a very good job, despite slightly messy handwriting and him actually wanting to be on the electric crew. and our intern used to live next to me many years ago at centennial.
the day doesn't fly by almost frighteningly fast as it does when i'm a d.p., but time does move quickly. we're always moving the camera, changing lenses, getting focus marks, loading the camera, changing out this or that, and generally being awesome. granted, this is a light show and a good crew who all know each other, and i guess that makes it a prime spot for me to venture as a first a.c. and frankly, i'm loving it and i think i'm doing a good job.
this evening, as we were wrapping, ryan [the d.p. and good friend] came and quietly told me that he had just talked with the lab and that there was a serious problem with the film. it sounded like something that would have been my fault, but as we examined the camera and what we thought could have gone wrong, nothing seemed to make sense. so we left today knowing we had an issue to take care of, and while we're getting a new camera tomorrow, i'll feel a lot better when i know what caused the problem.

one of these nights i hope to get a decent night's rest.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


about a week ago, our internet stopped working. i have no idea what's wrong with the blasted thing, but we can't connect to the world wide web in our house [hence i'm writing this on my computer's notepad, to be later published on the blog]. i called comcast on tuesday to set up an appointment. the soonest they could have someone out here was saturday. in this day and age, having the internet is not different from having running water. afterall, i've got a blog to maintain....
so we went through a long and arduous week, counting down the days. they called me this morning to confirm that the appointment was still needed and said that they'd be here within an hour.

we patiently waited.

at one point i ran out to my car and saw a comcast truck parked a few houses down. they were probably at another appointment and would come to our rescue shortly.

we waited some more.

after a bit i had a missed call on my phone. the voice mail was a courteous comcast employee, calling to say that they had come by but unfortunately missed us and hoped we could set up another appointment.


i called them back and, after pushing the correct series of buttons, waited on hold for five minutes to talk to a customer service rep. who knows what happened, but no one ever came to our door. nevertheless, we were out of luck, because their techs were booked up until wednesday, although they were happy to call me if another appointment cancelled.

the wednesday thing was pointless, because my movie started on monday, meaning that i would be working for the full time that they could potentially schedule me in.
i ended up calling comcast six more times today, getting a range of representatives, from genuinely helpful to genuinely apathetic, and even spoke with a manager who offered us a month's free service as an apology [editor's note: we still haven't seen this yet].

in short, i was in a salty mood by the end of the day.

but we did go see 'ratatouille', which was absolutely wonderful.

internet.... come back, internet....

Friday, July 13, 2007

thank you, visa

-standard size changing tent from camera essentials: $186
-color chart from fotokem: $32
-'fat max extreme' tape measure: $24.98
-1/4-20x2-1/2 flat head machine screws: $0.98
-other screws, washers, and bolts: $4.65
-8 digit calculator: $2.99
-memo size clipboard: $1.29
-22 range pocket multimeter: $29.99
-assorted bnc connectors: $17.47
-20" husky tool bag: $29.99
-metric and standard hex key set: $8.97
-8" flathead screwdriver: $7.99
-1 1/2" 'fat boy' screwdriver: $3.67
-rubberbands, three pencil pouches, sharpies, and a four pack of pilot g-2 pens: $15.25
-(first trip to wal-mart) trendy memo pad, stowaway container, 650 pc. zip tie set, electrical tape, more sharpies and g-2s, blue chalk, and ear plugs: $24.36
-(second trip to wal-mart) snack size ziploc baggies, batteries, hexbolts, 6" pliers, three more pencil pouches, storage pouch, scissors, pencil sharpener, hand sanitizer, two c-clamps: $29.92
-(third trip to wal-mart) 3x5 memo pad [not trendy], headlamp, small caribbeaner, travel pack of 'wet ones', yet another storage box, pocket size notebook: $26.72
-staedtler lumocolor wet-erase pens, not available at any other store in the provo-orem area except for the byu bookstore, the choice of fine a.c.s everywhere: $7.82

prepping for your first feature as a 1st a.c.: $455.04
knowing that if ye are prepared ye shall not fear: priceless

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

jeffrey and the bad day

today did not go well.

i've been recording legal depositions lately. it's simple, nearly mind-numbing work that pays better per hour than anything else i do. i show up to some place, point my camera in the right direction, and change tapes when needed. the simplicity of this makes today that much more frustrating.

i showed up at the location about 45 minutes early with my mcdonald's breakfast still in the bag. walking around the building to find the door to the lawyer's office, a guy met me and asked if i was the videographer. i smiled and said i was. he sternly told me that they were all waiting for me.
i began moving my equipment up the stairs into the legal conference room as half a dozen out of state lawyers stared at this kid in a bowtie. it turns out that the firm that set up everything told me that the meeting was to start at 9 a.m. pacific time, when in actuality it was mountain time. as i explained this, everyone exchange looks and comments regarding the unbelievable incompetance of the utah legal business. the most dominant lawyer called up the reporting firm and thoroughly chewed out the poor girl on the other end while i quickly tried to assign the mircophones as inconspicuously as possible.
to my advantage, the court reporter was also unaware of the time mishap, causing the glaring to be split between the two of us.

when i did my very first deposition sometime earlier this year, i showed up with my camera and tripod. the already-nervous court reporter about had a heart attack when i gave her a confused look in response to a question about my 'tape back-up'. this is the same equipment i use to shoot commercials, which costs more than what these lawyers charge. i've never even though of having a back-up.
nevertheless, the guy who hired me sent me out today with a chunky old vcr so that i could record a vhs copy from the camera.
under the stress of the whole time zone fiasco, i wired everything and everyone one and said i was ready as fast as i could.

doing these depositions is one of those situations where the people don't seem to like you being there and don't want you to make a sound. so announcing that there are five minutes left or that we need to stop and change tapes always draws paradoxical glares, them suspecting that it was actually my idea to have the hour-long tape run out every sixty minutes.
on the third tape, i noticed that the air conditioning was making some horrendous quiet but high pitched noise. i didn't think it would affect the audio, but i still kept waiting for it to stop. after about 20-30 minutes, i wondered if it could be the camera. no; in all the years that i've shot, i've never heard a camera make a noise like that. after another ten minutes, i leaned in to the camera. to my horror, the noise became louder--it was coming from the camera.

i pride myself in being someone who will stand up and admit a mistake when i discover something is wrong; hiding it just makes it worse. but with my vcr backup running and this big mean lawyer guy already not liking me, i chose to put my faith in the vhs instead of asking them to stop, let me check my camera, and possibly have to repeat the last 45 minutes of testimony.
a few minutes later they chose to take a 10-minute break. i checked the tape and my heart sank. there was a picture on the left side. the right side was a blank-blue, and a garbled mess divided them in the middle. the audio was completely useless as well. again, i should have faced up then. but i had the vcr and didn't want to cause unneccessary alarm.

lunch and a few more hours and we were done around 4 p.m. [lunch was my lukewarm mcdonald's breakfast in my car as i ran to the store to buy more mini-dv tapes]. as people had left and i was wrapping my equipment, i again tried to be friendly and began talking to the alpha lawyer. with the stress of the day's work behind him, he was not only more approachable than i once suspected, but also a graduate of byu's law school. i'm always a little disappointed when i meet byu alum who are 'successful' but snobbish jerks. by now there was no point in confessing the fallen nature of my mini-dv tape, but i did call the guy who hired me when i got out. he said to bring the tapes by and we could check it out.

the mini-dv tape was indeed 100% useless. as we were ensuring that there was nothing of use on the tape, the guy was mentioning how another court reporting firm lost some footage and the lawyers essentially sued them out of existance. the tragic irony of my ineptitude to properly use a camcorder was starting to weigh heavily. a delicate film camera, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with dozens of tiny, precise parts? sure, no problem. pressing record on a video camera? i botched it.
we checked the vhs tape. blank. nothing. we check another. nothing.
my ability to wire a vcr is now a goose egg, too.

had i just caused this guy to lose his business? would these lawyers come after him with their emotionless ties and stacks of bland legal books? how could this possibly end up even remotely ok? was i going to get paid?

i came home that night feeling pretty low for all of the reasons described above. i had told him that if there were any problems at all [and there most certainly would be] to take it out of my money first. today was a bad day from the start. please don't take a picture.

epilogue:: about a week or two later i got a call from the guy. when they told the reporting firm, they were surprisingly unconcerned about the whole mess. apparently this happens more often than we thought. life went on, they gave them the footage we did have, and i got paid $100 for my gas and other expenses. wow.

Monday, July 09, 2007

about what meets the eye

i couldn't place what didn't work for me until a discussion with a friend on saturday night.

i was skeptical when i heard rumors about the live action transformers movie last summer. optimus prime's voice was still by peter cullen, but he had a mouth and not his ninja mask. further, i didn't hear THE noise when they transformed. and their mechanical construction was much more complex than i was used to. i was apprehensive.
as spring has come and the release came closer, i began to relax. i can forgive these 'minor' changes [if i concentrate hard enough], and i started to let go of my expectations and to anticipate the movie. our unofficial elder's quorum trip on opening night soon included the bisop and several girls. and i was one of those guys who clapped and cheered when a preview of it came on before 'pirates 3'.
the day before it opened, i ended up spending several hours on wikipedia, reading up on transformer mythology of all sorts. it would be really nerdy if it weren't so cool. plus, this knowledge gave me tales of 'unicron,' 'primus', and 'orion pax' [five points if you know who that last one is].

while my excitement was just a little forced, it was a lot of fun to be there on opening night. there was a feeling amongst the crowd that so many of us got to be kids again for the night; it was a time to remember why we love popcorn movies. some were there to see the big movie of the summer, and some were there to see the heroes of our past. cheers and applause were dappled through the audience, and several of us yelled when we even saw the first shot of that red and blue semi-truck.

the movie was good. it was by no means great, but it didn't rot, either.
i like shia lebeouf, though he has a crush on a girl who has to be the skankiest of all california high school girls. nevertheless, once she got her 'i'm a maxim model' shots out of the way, both of them were fine [and i liked the nod to the die-hards by keeping the name 'witwicky'.] the problem was that the movie could not stand because it was divided between robots and humans. sam, skankerella, and... to be honest, i don't even really know the names of any of the other humans in the movie. there was john turturro, jon voight, and the black and white military guys, but i don't remember ever knowing their names. the humans were there to provide human interest, so that we didn't have to try to relate to cg robots.

but that's where the film makers didn't trust either their audiences nor themselves--and both have proven capable. i'm not a cg guy; i don't get excited by a movie because of the effects. good effects are only as good as the story they are connected to. the robots in this movie were flawlessly capable of telling the story of creatures from outer space coming to earth to fight for a secret energy spark.
90% of the guys in the theater over 24 were there because they had watched optimus prime, bumblebee, jazz, and ironhide busting decepti-chops two decades before. the cartoon series had spike and his son daniel, but they were more of a connection for the robots with the human world of the show; their revelance to the relation of the viewer was minimal. there was no need for them. the personalities of the autobots [and decepticons] were so established and so real that we related to them. the most infamous example of this is how traumatized children were when optimus prime died in the 1986 movie. history has proven that people can relate to these robots, and much of that relationship was at least partially established before the movie even started. and so it was unfortunate that we had so little time with optimus prime and the autobots. so much of the movie was filtered through the unnecessary eyes of the humans on the screen.

though these weren't entirely the autobots i knew 20 years ago. the heroes of my youth carried with them an unspoken air of dignity. prime was kind and compassionate, but also taught discipline by example, and his troops respectfully emulated him. now, they clumsily try to hide behind houses with moments of cluelessness and immaturity, akin to young teenage mutant ninja turtles [i also love the turtles, but they are not autobots]. and seeing bumblebee 'open his valve' on agent turturro was almost shameful.

there were a few moments when it connected just right. in the end battle, when megatron squares off against optimus prime, one can't help but feel a bit of excitement to hear the decepticon growl, 'prime...'. and in a 100% nod to the old skool die hards, optimus solemnly declares, 'one shall stand, and one shall fall'. it got pretty fun there for a moment.
then michael bay remembered it was his movie. the camera moved so quickly in so many directions that it was nigh impossible to tell what was happening, who was pounding whom. destruction and carnage flew every which way, and when a 'mighty warrior' was taken in battle, we didn't care; we were never given a chance to know them, and so it was just another car getting torn apart.

the movie made hundreds of millions of dollars. i've heard that number two is already written and that they're just waiting for michael bay to say yes. and i'll probably go and see that one, too. on opening day.
but i don't plan on buying it when it comes to dvd.
i've already got my transformers: the movie.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Jesus He knows me

a few weeks ago i was watching 'rebel without a cause'. near the beginning, the students take a field trip to the local planetarium, and at one in the show the big bang is presented, with galaxy upon galaxy exploding into existance. this was one of those times when you step up to a further realization of something that you thought you understood before. watching all of those galaxies and the millions of stars and all that that incomprehensibly encompasses, i had an glimpse into how God looks over all of creation. He sees and knows all of those stars and their lives and understands the infinite expanse of the cosmos. yet every night when i kneel down to pray, He is available to hear my little excitements of my day at work or the concerns i may hold inside.

today became one of those days when i wondered if i had done any good, and God knew that i was wondering this. prayers are answered in many different ways, and very often, it's through other people. angels and voices would be more convenient at times, but that doesn't happen much. instead, it's that comment made by someone who isn't thinking much about it, but to the hearer, it's the beseeched answer. and when several of those pile up, it leaves very little room for skepticism.

we are not alone.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


editor's note: the review of 'transformers' will be posted monday. thank you for your patience, as it has taken our critic several days to formulate his final opinion and develop the justifications for such.

when you try your best, but you don't succeed
when you get what you want but not what you need
when you feel so tired but you can't sleep
stuck in reverse?

and the tears come streaming down your face
when you lose something you can't replace
when you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

lights will guide you home,
and ignite your bones,
and i will try to fix you,

high up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
but if you never try you'll never know
just what you're worth

lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
and i will try to fix you

tears stream down your face
when you lose something you cannot replace
tears stream down on your face
and i

tears stream down your face
i promise you i will learn from my mistakes
tears stream down on your face
and i

lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
and i will try to fix you

Sunday, July 01, 2007

my old testament challenge

there are 1184 pages in the king james version of the old testament. there are 184 days left in the year [coincidence, honestly].
if i read six and half pages a day, i will have it finished by the end of the year. no commentaries, no cross-referencing, just reading the old testament all the way through.
here we go.