Wednesday, July 30, 2008

photographic doodling

mark is good about calling me up and suggesting we go out and take some pictures.  and, while the 2:00 afternoon sun is about the poor light of the whole day, we went just the same.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

friends on the blogotubes

these are my friends.  chances are, you read some of them, too.

"a window into the williams' world"--my dear sister and her stellar husband.  originally they had two blogs, but, like so many other things in their lives, they became one.  lately, it's often been about be about impending babies, because that's what's going on.

"that's enough out of you, capt. amazing"--my brother himself.  good stories and life lessons about working in an office and videos of kittens.  may or may not be done by a monkey.

"lucky shirts"--jack and natalie.  sometimes about babies (and the frequency will probably increase), sometimes about other stuff, including mountains, families, and broken windows.  and, recently, i heard "the eels" on there.  now i like that.

"cafe rock"--the chris and alyssa.  and a kid rock.  and a pet rock.  and movie talk.  yet not on blogger.  weird.

"pretty much great"--by bekahjo.  the title says it all.

"one happy family"--beej waited until later than most of his friends to get married.  now he's got a wife and three kids.  i like their stories.

"jam hall"--jared and marvia, my favorite people in the state of north dakota.  no relation to tally hall; more like pb&j but for real.

"ready for my close-up mr. demille"--emily and renn and oliver flinders.  like a good documentarian, em has taken a seemingly common subject (be a young wife and mother) and has crafted a wonderful blog.  i haven't been a regular reader in a while, but it was her ingenuity that made me want to get a blog of my own.

"all the world"--leith(al), my favorite person from africa.  i just recently rediscovered her blog.

"spark plug in the sea"--kristin.  she doesn't write often, but i will reference her site when i finally post my tally hall review--she captured the second concert beautifully.

"ramblings and randomness"--laurie jayne.  i put laurie jayne last because i check her last.  i check her last because she is usually the most prolific.  and, as an aspiring writer, she's getting really darn good.  like, seriously dang.

non-blogs that like:

the criterion collection-- this is where i spend my free time.  i've compiled a list to rent from the orem library and am working on it.  i just can't get enough.

they shoot pictures, don't they?-- the best "serious film" site i've found.  the layout/design is horrendous, but for lists and rankings, this is close to definitive.

sight and sound top 10-- a shorter definitive list.  i follow it.

homestarrunner-- always a fan.  meh! the most correct of any site on earth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sister tag

my stellar sister did a "blog tag" a few days ago, and while i've got post ideas piling up, this is something i thought would be fun to do.

20 years ago:  

*becky and i came home from school to find mom and dad eagerly awaiting us, dad shouldering a large camcorder.  with barely suppressed excitement, mom asked what we learned in school that day, to which i announced that we were doing reports on different dinosaurs, and i got "anklyosaurus."  this paled when we learned that we were going to disneyland for a week, and i was amazed that i could miss that much school.  the trip to disneyland brought with it all of the memories and wonders that an 8-year old should have.  we went through "the haunted mansion", "the pirates of the caribbean", and "it's a small world"; i got a pirate hat and plastic sword, tim got mickey mouse baseball cap that he wore for a few years after, and dad bought the "sounds of disneyland" or something on a record;  we went to tijuana, where i remember very little, except that it was dark, and that we bought a gold sequined sombrero (which became a staple toy for the following decade) and the wooden chess set that sits on my living room table; we saw the ocean for the first time.  the video of tim (circa age 3.5) getting caught in the undertow and falling down has brought more laughter than the rest of our home videos combined; and, the most treasured memory of all, my dear sister dropped her plate of eggs in front of minnie mouse herself.

*mom was always very good at keeping us busy with summer activities.  i think this was the first year i did "art in the park" (the title says it all, folks), and i probably played some sort of sport (before discovering theatre three summers later).  at the same time, my best friend matt had just gotten a nintendo entertainment system, and i loved going to his house and playing "super mario brothers."  this was back when "video games" connoted blocky figures and simple colors, and when a whole new world expanded before an 8-year old mind.  it was exciting to ride our bikes down to "pick-a-video" at the perpetually-struggling... what was that little mall called?  it had the first "best buy" store outside of minneapolis, where we would walk through the aisles and feel overwhelmed by the media blitz of popular culture.  cassette tapes and compact discs (in the long cardboard cases) showcased all sorts of music stars as teenagers would crank a stereo in another part of the store for a brief moment.  it was scary, but kind of cool.  there was a store that did haircuts, also, and a "ben franklin" store, where you could get a really good stash of candy with the $1.67 that you'd saved up.  how did i get here?  ah, yes, "pick-a-video."  the friendly local video store, with walls covered in vhs boxes, many which made me nervous, and many more which just looked weird or boring.  but the guy who managed the place (i think his name was "dave") was very friendly to us, and they did have one wall for video games.  we'd stuff the $2.12 it cost to rent a game in our socks and bike down there to pick out a new treasure to find.  some games i don't remember, and others are ones that tim and i still pull out and play with affection at Christmas.  i remember the excitement when mom and dad would permit me to rent a nintendo; i think it was about $7 for the machine, and dad helped me set it up at home.  mom would help me figure out how to play "3-D worldrunner", "stinger", or "the legend of zelda", and i was thrilled.
it's very possible that all of these memories were not quite 20 years ago, but the feeling is there.

10 years ago:
*i was graduating high school.  me and jon and rob had good roles in our spring play, were jon was the lead and i wore a wizard costume, made from what looked to be a think curtain from the 70s.  my staff fell apart during the night the show was taped, causing great laughter at the after show party at jon's place; we also encouraged sarah braton to drink too much diet coke there.  at prom i had a top hat and cane; my date had a silver cape.  it was as good as it sounds.
we sang at our graduation (but didn't sound as good as the group two years before us), had some pretty good graduation parties--i scheduled mine to start around the time most of my friends' were finishing.  having had a lot of older friends, i'd been to enough and knew that there's a certain irony in everyone being stuck at their party while everyone else is stuck at their party. soon, we were facing that "american graffiti" summer, before my friends were off to college (most at the university of minnesota) while i was getting ready for a mission.  it was a bit of a torn feeling, watching my friends decided what to buy for their dorm rooms as i was getting ready to leave all of my friends and wear a shirt and tie for the next two years.

* i was working 40 hours a week at sun-mart, the local grocery store, alongside all the old ladies.  ginnie was nice and cool, but there was a grumpy old lady whose name i forget.  janice?  one of us would be in at 8, another at 9, and the third of us at 10.  and we'd be it for a while.  then, around 3 or 4, the high school kids would start coming in.  my friends were at college; i was working like an old lady.

*i received the melchizedek priesthood.  that's pretty great.

*i was teaching sunday school to the 11-12 year olds.  i didn't know a thing about the old testament, but as long as i could read the lesson in sacrament meeting beforehand, i could come up with enough cartoons, voices, giant penguins, and the occasional scripture to teach them that the bible is pretty cool.

5 years ago:
*my roommates were jack, aaron, chris, bret, and the scort.  that was a glorious time to be in apt. 104.  i knew it then and i know it now.  we would have apple beer parties at the end of each semester, where we stole the cushions from the couches in the rec room to cover our 
whole floor, turn the couches on end and drape blankets from them, drink as much apple beer as we could, and watch an awesome  movie.  

*jenny ricks was my best friend.  i wonder what she's up to?

*becky was in brazil on a mission.  i wrote her long e-mails.

*i was keeping busy as a cinematographer on student projects.  it was exhausting.

*i went on a date with whatsherface to "divine comedy."  we ended up in the emergency room.  jack did a dance.

3 years ago:
*i had graduated college and went to oregon to work on a movie called "the sasquatch gang."  it's kind of like "napoleon dynamite" (and made by a lot of the same people).  i sang karaoke there and was a rock star for 3 minutes 19 seconds.  i still keep in touch with one of my friends from there.

*i  came back from oregon and went to thailand, because my sister was there and i knew i'd never have the opportunity to do it again.  i was nervous; i didn't have any time to get the suggested shots, so i had jack give me a blessing.  becky and i rode elephants, swam in the indian ocean, and ate lots of curry.  our day in bangkok is one of my favorite moments; i recently was looking through some old e-mails and found this (addressed to the chris):

there's far too much to take in you
more to find than can ever be found

that's how i felt in bangkok last night; it's amazing riding on a bus, watching the streets of a city full of people who live lives very very different from the style i am accostomed to; to realize how big this world is, and to marvel at the awe of it all.

*i moved out of 104 and into a townhome with beej.  it was strange having little kids as neighbors, of having an address instead of an apt. number, and of having an upstairs.  in all my life, i'd never lived in a place with a second floor.  basements were normal for me; this was different.

1 year ago:
*i was living with mark.

*i was being released as elder's quorum president.  i didn't want to be, but knew it was right.  work really picked up shortly after, and i don't know if i would have survived.

*our ward split.  that was really sad.  i loved that ward.

*i was finishing my first movie as a 1st assistant cameraman, and was starting work on my first salty pictures movie.  working with them has been one of the best things to happen to me in work.

*we were cleaning out our neighbor's refrigerator.

*we went boating with our ward.  i wake boarded, wake surfed, and drove the boat.

*i had to stay for 2 hours after, because tim was still out on another boat with my house keys, and i couldn't get ahold of my sister.  i have since hidden a key, should such a situation arise again.

*i didn't realize it was pioneer day until this afternoon.  i spent most of the day cleaning out our "harry potter closet" (the cupboard under the stairs), and organized the heck out of my camera gear.  it's all put together.  no heck remaining.

*becky and brady and julie and me played frisbee golf.  i'm always surprised how popular that is here.  at first i thought those people with a bag full of different discs were odd.  now i'm feeling like the two that i have aren't enough....

*tim and i are going to the premiere of the new "x-files" movie.  he wants to wear suits; i'm ok with that.

next year:
*play the accordion

Sunday, July 20, 2008

is that "jungle boogie" i hear?

in fargo-moorhead, "skateland" was the roller skating venue of choice (and only one for miles around).  i've probably been there a half a dozen times, although the only two i can recall were the end of fifth grade, when we feebly tried to impress the girls to the hits of "c+c music factory", and for a youth conference a few years later, when rollerblades were infinitely cooler than skates, and when it took all the courage i had to skate next to tami niswander, a nice girl who had openly acknowledged that she liked me (and whose name is now appearing for the fourth time on "sheep go to heaven.")  i haven't been there since, in part because skateland looked like, well, probably like just about every other roller skatery around: still stuck in 1982, with the owners taking full economic advantage of the fact that it's ok to look outdated.

provo-orem's very on "classic skating" isn't much different, except that it's quite popular with the locals, something i attribute to the lds/byu crowd.  which, by generalized definition, pretty much makes me a fan.  i don't remember the first time i went, but disco skating was one of my favorite entertainment staples of the 104 era.  last night was the first time i'd been in over a year.  the crowd was great, wendee and i had a blast, and i came home with the requisite "right-foot-inner-ankle" blister.  and yes, jack, your shirt is still getting used.

walking across byu last week, i found it hard to believe that i graduated almost four years ago.  that's as long as i was in college.  and, thanks to simple math, that's nearly eight years since i started college.  the thing is, all of that feels clumped together in my past, so that it's hard to remember what happened, and when.  last night's super sounds of the seventies did pull out a random handful of associated memories:
* "funky town" reminded me of the chris, of his black hat, white shirt, and suspenders that he would don, and how he got homer's comment, "i haven't felt this way about a song since 'funky town'," because he knew the song before i did.
* of the times when we'd browse d.i. in seach of good disco clothes, which was extremely difficult, since, in downtown byu territory, anything good there gets sold fast.  still, the scort found an excellent white suit for his orange shirt.  he always looked great out on the floor, and "jungle boogie" will always be his.
* watching carrie clark and her brand new pro-skates during "dancing queen."
* of that time we brought my sister and her roommates.  they weren't really the disco skating type.
* but ange, maren, and michelle were indeed disco skaters, as was the great sarah baer, and how they would all be at church the next day with several band-aids on their feet, showing through their sandals.
* how i used to wear my pseudo-sailor shirt that i found at d.i., and of the blue polyester pants with melted holes in the knees from the friction of falling against the floor.  (turning corners used to be a great challenge for me)
* of the time tim and i crashed head-on to one another and helped each other up, laughing.  what he was doing going the opposite direction, we still can't remember.
* the joy we felt when jack found that amazing sequined shirt at "savers."  (actually, i think the scort found his aforementioned white suit there.)  over the years, i think i've worn jack's shirt more, but he looked the best in it.  happily, they played our song last night- hallelujah!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

le collection fabuleuse de jeff

c'est jeff.
this is jeff.

il aime rassembler des dvds.
he likes to collect dvds.

il aime les prendre outre de l'étagère,
he likes to take them off the shelf,

les organiser,
organize them,

et remis leur encore.
and put them back again.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the windows of heaven

it feels good to be typing again.

at the start of may, i was offered a job on "high school musical 3" and was looking forward to two months of work with my favorite crew in utah.  but when i found out we were shooting on sundays, something didn't sit well with me.  yes, i had worked a few sabbaths on the last movie i did, where we still held a small sacrament meeting during lunch time, but i wanted to be someone who didn't work on sundays.  after much contemplation and discussion with trusted friends, i gave the job to another friend and looked forward to having two months free.

but things do not always go as we plan.  i had never been so busy in my life.  in response to a friend's question one day, i realized that from the end of january to the first week of july, i did not have a full week off.  work was coming from everywhere, and, in the end, i was still able to be a part of  "hsm3", somehow managing to be there on the show's biggest production number (rumor was that those three days alone cost $1 million), getting in the crew photo, and being there for the free sweatshirts (although i regrettably missed both german days from catering).

in the end, i worked fewer days yet and earned more.  i got to jump to several different projects, some of which were very fun (pretty much anytime i assist brian wilcox is a good day), while "donnie darko 2" ranks among my least favorite shoots in recent memory.  standing out in that desolate field in the rain as the cinematographer insisted we could still shoot while the producers seemed to want to call it a night is one of those stories better remembered than experienced.  and in the midst of all of this, i've still been able to teach all of my favorite sunday school lessons, albeit two were after working an all nighter on high school musical.  i'm told i only said a few weird things.

thanks for checking here in the mean times.

much love to you all.