Sunday, November 30, 2008

the horrorshow diaries, vol. II of II

it is not our standard policy here at sheep go to heaven to publish numerous posts simultaneously.  such practice is unfair to our readership, potentially overwhelming to the point that some may not read the full accounts.
at times, however, circumstances necessitate operations outside established protocol.  in this case, our correspondent was in a remote location where daily updates were impossible.  we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

and we'll try not to do it again.

jeff gustafson
sheep go to heaven

nov. 22: the final countdown

we did it!
a feature-length movie in eleven days, and most of those in a mine!
today was the final stretch, the anchor leg, and as such, everyone was in good spirits, even as things were dragging and taking far too long.
i ride to work with ian, the camera operator i'm assisting, and he loves photography like i do.  we've been leaving fifteen minutes early every day to take pictures on the way to work.  this morning i saw the best shot i've seen all week, but we were already pushing it for time, so i didn't say anything.  oh, how i wish we could have stopped for two minutes....  (editor's note: we got the shot from a better angle on the way out of the valley the next morning.  happy times.)
shantell the awesome wardrobe girl gave me a "thanks for being awesome" card today, noting that she only gives them to her favorite people.  that helped get me going through the rest of the day.
despite it being near the very end and a crazy decision protested by nearly all the crew, we moved to another mine for our final shots this evening.  as i was coming out of the war eagle mine (where we'd been all week) and loving the idea of never having to go back in there, i realized that it was about the time that the coldplay concert was starting in utah.  so i did the next best thing and volunteered to drive the four-wheeler to the next cave.  racing that through the desert under the stars was a pretty great consolation for missing chris martin singing "clocks" and "life in technicolor" and "42" and.... well, anyway, it was a blast.

at the wrap party tonight, the best idea for a crew shirt i heard was to list all of the hazards, dangers, and wrong things we did on this show, starting with shooting 120 pages in 11 days, including one 17-page day.
this is one we'll be telling stories about for a while.

nov. 21: hold on to what we got

it's like being in a vacuum bag down there.
it's been a while since i've been a on a show that's beat me as hard as this one.  a movie set can very easily become a pressure cooker on any location.  putting us in a mine on a schedule on third as long as a normal movie can cause things to get pretty rough.  for the most part, everyone is getting along, though at times it's hard to keep going.  i can endure it, sure, but i'd like to endure it better.
it seems like the great test of life is to have faith and optimism when the hard times come, whatever they may be.  some days i'm great and can go forth unphased.  but there are times when i get tired and quiet.  i think i'm better when i'm not quiet.
that's one reason i love going out to eat afterwards--the stress and weight (and dust) are gone and we can laugh and talk and tell stories.  it feels so good.
tonight the b-cam assistant was looking at one of the other guys' keychain and asked about his vial of oil.  he muttered something about "i think it's got oil in it," but didn't really know what to say, until the other guy gathered that it was some mormon thing.  a few minutes after, i thought of what a good and simple moment it could've been to explain what it was.  missionary moments don't have to end with giving away a book of mormon.

tomorrow is the byu vs. u of u game, the coldplay concert, and our last day!

nov. 20: jeff vs. the mine

when i was in sixth grade (i think), my mom and i were coming home from school one afternoon when we noticed something shiny floating above the grassy field behind our house.  it was slightly elliptical and silver, though we really couldn't tell how far it was or how big it was.  but it sat there in the sky, and we kept an eye on it as we drove the streets home.  we parked the car and walked through the garage out to the back, and it was gone.  it was a u.f.o. in the midday sky.
coming home tonight, ian saw an orange u.f.o.  it hovered in the sky, swelled bigger, then shrunk until it was gone.

the dusty air is irritating my nose.  i wear the breathing masks as much as i need to, but i've still been stuffed up today.  i suppose that's a sign that everything's working right, which is good.

we've been in some pretty cool places in the mine; today we went down the stairs that lead to the next level (there are eight levels below us and three above).  part of the fun of being on the camera crew is always being in the middle of things and getting to be in the coolest spots for the best shots.
but with that comes stress.  i usually don't notice the stress, but i've had several discussions on this show about how the grips and electrics are more fun guys than the camera crews.  camera involves a lot of delicate precision, and it very soon gets to you on set.
which is why i'm learning the great benefits of going out to dinner with your crew after a day of shooting.  we went to the wonderful crowbar cafe and swapped our own u.f.o. stories (weirdly all similar) over big frosty root beer floats.

balanced on a dusty, gravely incline today, i was caught in the midst of a conversation between a cute young actress and a much older man.  they were sharing the different self-help books on positive thinking that they'd read.  i couldn't think of any such books that i'd read and wondered why, as i like to think i'm working to make myself better.
tonight i got out of the shower and grabbed my highlighter and recent conference ensign.  i would rather have that than all the self-help books at barnes and nobles.  i really believe president packer's statement that true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behaviors better than a study of behavior improves behavior.

no matter how long or hard the day, i still feel thrilled to look up at the rich, starry sky when i come out of the mine at the end of the day.

"faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision."
neil l. anderson
ensign, nov. 2008 p.14

nov. 18: back down the hole

i'm not very good at flirting.  i try, but the girls on set mostly talk with the grips and electrics.  not that i'm looking to date any of the girls here, it's just that girls are cool.  perhaps it's for the best: the camera crew requires samurai-like focus.  we can't be standing around telling stories.
shooting in the california mines is much easier than in utah.  the biggest difference is the temperature; working while bundled up and being able to see your breath certainly slows things downs.  here it's 70 degrees and we're in jeans and t-shirts.  and while the mine is much, much more gravely and dusty, it is also more spacious than ophir.  it's not as precarious, but it's not as cool, either.
despite the crew being spread out over three "towns", there's only one place to eat: the crowbar cafe.  when we walked in, there were only two other camera guys there.  within fifteen minutes, our movie had packed the place and we kept the cheerful waitress busy for the next hour.  i can really see how going out with people after work helps you bond.
i was very tired (and still am) and have decided that showers that don't get very hot are on my list of things i don't like.

i wonder what tim showed for movie night...?

nov. 17: the land before time

7:36 p.m. shoshone, ca.  no cell phone reception
the notepad that i'm writing on already says so much about this town.  shoshone has already given me several things to write about, adn i was wishing i'd brought the journal that my sister gave me for my birthday a year or two ago.  she suggested it could be a travel journal, but i've been using it as a way to remember special experiences throughout my day.  in short, i didn't bring it.
my room at the inn has no complimentary stationary, nor did i find any in the front office.  the chevron station next door looks far more like an old west general store that a convenience store.  as i was the only customer in the place, the man refilling the drink cooler politely asked if he could help me.  i said i was looking for any sort of a notebook or writing pad.  he apologized for not carrying anything like that, then offered to see what he could find.  rummaging through the shelves behind the counter, he pulled out a zippered leather planner and set it in front of me.  he leafed through it until he found the notepad section and tried to pop the rings.  they were zip-tied shut, so he grabbed a pair of scissors and clipped them, all while i watched in touched amusement.  he smiled and handed the book's entire notepad to me, declining anything that i could offer him.  and he said he would pick up some real legal pads tomorrow, since he knew how important they were to us for taking notes and such.  i thanked him for running the most helpful gas station i have ever been to, and as i walked back to my room, i couldn't help but smile at the warm fuzzy feeling growing inside of me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"the little lights aren't twinkling..."

i'd like to do this with my place next year.
obviously, my house isn't as big, so i'd scale it down accordingly.
and i'd replace the "amazing grace" part with something by nat king cole.
perhaps i could have different music and light choreography every 15 minutes, like the bellagio fountains.
at any rate, i've got a year to think about it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

back to square one

in the very early nineties, my dad once asked what my favorite tv show was, and i told him, "square one."  perhaps as a concerned parent, he inquired what sort of a show it was.  "i've seen it," my mom defended.  "it's really a good show."
i remember taking silent umbrage at a scout activity, when i overheard two leaders discussing the show's "mathnet" segment as "cheesy," although he was saying he liked it.  i wanted to stand up from sanding my kayak and declare "it's not cheesy!"

looking back now, it's way cheesy, but i loved square one, one of pbs's edutainment shows around the same time as where in the world is carmen sandiego?  square one was a sort of variety sketch show all about math aimed at preteens.  i recently discovered that youtube has several clips, and i remember nearly all of them.  i've got a great amount of respect for those actors; a lot of it was really goofy, but they did it with all their hearts and, at the same time, were fully aware of it and poked fun at themselves (as in the case of "common multiples man").

fractions, angles, multiples, negatives, roman numerals, percentages, and mathnet, cops who solved crimes using math.  i loved this show.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanking of you

once, there was this day... this one day when... everyone realized they needed each other

thanksgiving began at macey's, where i picked up ingredients for the orange whipped jello salad that i should have made last night. i also grabbed two cans of black olives--to be eaten at will without reservation in the kitchen--and a can of cranberry sauce, dog food style. i always thought that everyone liked the perfect maroon can-shaped delicacy until two years ago, when becky and i had one of the tastiest dinners ever with some friends in salt lake. i offered to bring it and got looks as if i suggested a can of alpo.

the meal itself went down at brady's grandparents'. it's a stark contrast to my brother and friends living it up in vegas right now, but this was a good, solid, american thanksgiving dinner. only recently did becky and i discover that cranberries (fresh) are to be eaten with the turkey.

as becky and brady and caleb were off to vernal, i came home and did exactly what i wanted: watched fanny and alexander (Christmas, family--it's perfect) and slowly savored numerous circular slices of cranberry sauce. there's still about a third of the last in the fridge.

i was planning on jumping into the black friday foray this year (i saw four tents lined up in front of best buy at 5 p.m. yesterday), but it's looking like amazon still beats what all the other stores are offering.

i've got my glass of egg nog, kicked things off with adam sandler's chanukah song, and am cleaning my room to david sedaris's santaland diaries.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

if you ask me

the five greatest silent films
1. sunrise
2. the general
3. napoleon
4. battleship potempkin
5. metropolis

the ten greatest films
1. citizen kane
2. 2001
3. the seventh seal
4. the rules of the game
5. fanny and alexander
6. sunrise
7. rashomon
8. the general
9. singin in the rain
10. pulp fiction

my personal top 10
1. fanny and alexander
2. the lion king
3. 2001
4. bill & ted's excellent adventure
5. singin' in the rain
6. the royal tenenbaums
7. amelie
8. the rules of the game
9. the general
10. wall.e

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the horrorshow diaries, vol. I of II

i'm on an 11-day pg-13 horror movie. we're off to california until next sunday. i like to think that a film set is rife with good stories and bemused musings. and i do, in fact, compose a fair amount of essays in my head as i'm working. but keeping that spirit is one thing, and even with notes, it's hard to write with any degree of panache after a long day of long weeks. i'm really saddened when i have a good idea, but when i'm finally able to write, the spark is gone. i believe that these posts could have been really pretty good. but i don't think they quite achieved it.

nov. 15: mojo no go

today my mojo was off. i don't directly attribute today being the sixth day of a long week to it; i've been good and great for the rest of the week. but, today, i was just off. i did my best to work hard, to be polite, to get everything in focus and make sure the crew was staying ahead of the game. but i did not want to be there. i wanted to be home and calm and warm.
but i made it.

nov. 14: alone in the dark

criterion is having a 40% off sale. do you realize how tremendous this is? i was late for work this morning because i was spending too much time on their bogged down website, trying to decide what to get.
and i sold my coldplay tickets this morning. the tickets that i've had for five months, the concert that i was looking forward to until i realized that i come back from california and this movie the day after their concert. so i sold all three tickets to our visual effects guy for exactly what i paid. that's pretty great.

there's still a fascination of being inside the mine, yet there's also the coolness that comes with this just being another day at the office, walking in through the cave entrance like it's no big deal.
usually we walk in in groups, but on the occasion that you're alone, try turning off your headlight. complete, total darkness. and that's great for about five seconds, then the thoughts of ghosts and being lost and whatever else is in the darkness strikes and my hand flies back to the switch. and there, in the lifeless cave, i realize that rodeo cowboys can stay on a raging bull longer than i can stand in the dark.
walking out is another matter, too. because of the way the walls are, sound echoes oddly. it echoes in such a way that it sounds like someone is walking behind you. when someone is coming up behind me, their light shines ahead past me. so when i hear the sounds but see no light, i'm faced with two possibilities: one is that it's a grip or electrician sneaking up behind to quickly scare me. so i clench my hand, ready to fight back if necessary. this has never happened. the second possibility is that it's just an echo, and obviously not the ghost of some past miner. still, my hands tighten up, and i'm tempted to suddenly swing around, punching, hopefully hitting one of my friends. because if i hit my friend, then it certainly wasn't a ghost behind me. but i don't swing around, because, if i don't hit anything, and find i'm the only one there, then i just swung at the sound of my echo. and not a ghost. right?
so, instead, i relax my hand and walk more quickly to the exit.

nov. 13: the dark at the end of the tunnel

previously published.

nov. 12: moria

i've been in a lot of situations due to filming a movie that i never thought i'd be in. today i can add "deep within a mine." walking in, it feels like the line to a rollercoaster at disney's "frontierland", going down a long rocky tunnel, except that it's actual rock all around you, and the wooden support beams actually prevent cave-ins. as we were loading our equipment in, there were the natural concerns: what is the possibility that we would become trapped in here? since there is a small generator working down the way, will we asphyxiate? if we awaken a balrog, then what?
it's a hard rock mine, not a soft coal mine, so no worries of cave ins; we've got a mine safety guy with an atmosphere monitor that beeps; and, while my balrog question was never addressed, i decided that if i saw the smoke and flame from the old world, i was running without a second thought.
it seemed that working in a mine was a new experience for most of the crew, young and old. and when i saw in the mine, i mean way the heck inside the mountain. after a few hundred feet straight it, the entrance behind you is only a small speck of light at the end of the tunnel. but the path continues on, over rail tracks that have since been leveled with dirt. there were iron doors for the antiquated power rooms, with porcelain brackets mounted in the wall to carry the electric wiring, and old shaft lifts and gutters still hang off to the sides of the tunnels. and while they look great, it's amazing to remember that they are not the worl of a good set designer, but were actually used a century before. following a bend in the track leads to a large cavern, where the rock slopes down into darkness on one side, while while a wooden slope leads up to a second story, where an old wooden structure still stands, with a second ramp leading back down. another few hundred feet leads to a second cavern, where we spent the day shooting.
all in all, i'd guess we were half a mile into the mountain, only because, coming out after we'd wrapped, that's a very long walk once the novelty has worn off and your steel-toed wal-mart boots are feeling heavy.
i wrote this post one night, with the intention of rewriting it again later. i must be equally tired, because it seems fine the way it is.

nov. 11: notes

i forgot the keys to the camera truck this morning.
luckily, i was only half-way to set when i realized this.
thankfully, it didn't cause any delay with the show, and the cinematographer and sound guy were in a shouting match before we were even needed, anyway.

the second day is harder than the first.  i don't remember the last time i was this tired on a show.  that's partly because i haven't done a show this big with this small of budget in a while; small shows knowing they're small shows are fine.  it's the little ones that try to be big shows that wear you out.  it feels like the second week.
still, things are good.  i like driving the camera truck down the street while i've got the dropkick murphy's' "shipping up to boston" playing on my ipod; it just sounds right.
the house we were shooting in was probably 80 years old and was scheduled to be torn down today; the locations manager was able to convince them to push it back to tomorrow.  so we'd better get the shots we need tonight.
tim and i decided not to go to l.a. for thanksgiving, but i did get offered a good job right around the time that brady and i were going to drive home for Christmas; why do things always overlap?
i made myself a hot chocolate during some down time, and added a little powdered irish creme.  and some more.  and a little more.  then it was too much.
the day ended in a whirlwind, with us racing to get some shots and me being right in the middle of it all.  i was calling for lens, grabbing focus, and making sure everything was in order and prepared so fast that i would've been dizzy had the adrenaline stopped.
and once they called wrap, it did.
i was wiped out.  and oh so grateful for my electric blanket.

nov. 10: in a rainy graveyard at 5:45 a.m.

there aren't many jobs that give one the opportunity of being in a graveyard at 5:45 in morning.  i'm pretty sure that "gravedigger" isn't even one of them.
however, "camera assistant" certainly is.
and there's something pretty awesome about that.  i sent a text out to my friends, for them to have something to wake up to.  and i got a reply a few minutes later.  the awesomeness just kept going up.

i'm starting work on an 11-day feature, where i'm the A-camera 1st assistant; this is the biggest crew i've been in charge of before.  we went over everything on friday, checked all of the equipment as best we could, and i know my crew, but i was still more anxious last night than i have been in years.  when i was first starting on professional shoots, i wouldn't sleep well the night before the first day, hearing in my mind the crew calling, "jeff! jeff!" and me never being where i was needed.  then, by the second day, i would be so exhausted, i could sleep fine.
last night i was unsettled to say the least, afraid we wouldn't have some vital part, that some configuration would be requested that i wasn't prepared for, that i would drive the truck off the road, whatever.

i got up at 4:17 this morning, and drove the camera truck out to cedar fort, quite a ways past lehi.  i've never been a fan of driving big things, but i've been forced to grow into it, and it's kind of fun.  and the $13.97 i spent on itunes for david sedaris's "me talk pretty one day" has already been some of the best money i've ever spent.

today went great.  in fact, it was one of the best days i've ever had.  first, there's a fun thrill of being in charge and doing it well, and that happened today.  it's nice being in the middle of things, instead of on the fringes.  everyone is pulling together to make everything work, so even in the cold and the rain, we made it.
one of the greatest secrets i've learned in the business is to use the same people again and again as much as possible.  most of the crew knows each other from years, and i happen to also know the other half of the crew, too.  the only person i don't know is the director.  he called for everyone to be quiet today so we could get ready for the shot, then proceeded to "moo" to the cows in the pasture on the other side of the fence.  i can't blame him, though; he sounded a lot like cow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

as time goes by

stepping from the mine 
into the night's deep moonlight 
the sky full of stars

Friday, November 14, 2008

the dark at the end of the tunnel

editor's note: the following post is an excerpt from day 4 of the horrorshow diaries, the first volume of which is expected to be published this sunday.

this morning i decided that today would be a good day on set. i stated this to kristin the script supervisor, who promptly disagreed with me, citing all that we had to cover. i mentioned my good day intention to shantell the wardrobe girl and she responded in kind. i think the difference was that shantell had glitter on her face. finding my cell phone in my gear bag was a great was to get this good day off to a start.
at lunch i was sitting on the back of the camera truck (which is not a real camera truck, but an empty cube truck that reads "portland times" on the back) when shantell came to by, perhaps to see the footage that everyone else was watching inside. i invited her to go in and see for herself, but she politely declined. i assured her that it was ok, and she again deferred. her reasoning was that "the only girls who hang out in the camera truck are either drunk or [of questionable repute]." this left me speechless for a moment, until she asked about the confused expression. i explained that it had often bothered me that no girls ever came to visit me when i was a loader on the truck, but, on the rare occasion when i would be on set outside of the camera department, there were often one or several girls hanging around the camera truck, leaving me to wonder what was un-inviting about myself. she assured me that her statement was based on experienced observation, and i realized that maybe my character kept me from knowing about my own world. so i stayed seated on the tailgate and she stood beside as we cloud-gazed under a full moon (my favorite was, "a monster with no head, holding an umbrella") and discussed halloween costumes.
inside the mine, i watched my breath turn to steam in my headlight. the air was full of dust particles as it was, and i wondered if the much-more particled exhaled breath was simply water droplets, or if my lungs were really that full of dust.
as we were making the long stretch of cavern toward the exit this evening, i ended up walking with the grips and electricians, good guys and fun friends. tromping down a tunnel in a mountain, dirty and carrying gear, our path lit only by the lamps on our heads, i felt like a good old-fashioned proletariat. and there was something really fun in being able to enjoy that working class joviality. the night air was cool and fresh, the moonlight was strong, and the sky was clear and sparkled.
there's no cell phone reception in ophir; not until you leave the canyon does it come. after not having my phone for a day and a half, i was looking forward to a barrage of text messages from all of my friends; quips of daily observations, questions about how work is. as i turned on to the main road, the buzzing static interrupted my ipod and my phone ding tallied the incoming text messages one at a time.
and i figured one of them was a voice mail.  whatever.

i tried to pay attention to my david sedaris audio book, although i must have been more tired than i realized, because i couldn't coherently follow the essay. and, pretty soon, my phone was dinging again. then it started for a third time. evidently i was so popular that, like santa claus, i had more text messages than could be delivered before i left the pocket of reception.
my car was low on gas this morning, and i was becoming a little nervous that i wouldn't make it to the station before i ran out. but that was partially because i'd given myself certain restrictions. i noticed last night that, at the city limits of lehi, there was a gas station with $1.99 gas. i think i was a sophomore in college the last time gas was below $2.00. as i was watching my needle drop closer and closer to the red line this morning, i passed a station in cedar fort, but the were still ridiculously high at $2.39/gallon. so tonight i risked running dry in the middle of a desert for the chance to stand a pump that read "$1.99." i made it, and filled my car up with premium for $2.19. i looked at my phone: 15 text messages, 2 picture messages, and a voice mail from my sister. it was, indeed, a good day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

off the grid

i'm pretty sure my phone is sitting with my camera gear, deep in the ophir mine.

i feel cut off from everyone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

my sister tagged me

"display the fourth picture in your fourth picture folder" it said.

i did.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

aru yume o mita... "one night, i dreamed a dream..."

a few nights ago...
i was on a transit bus with my two best friends, a non-descript black kid and a stereotypical orthodox jewish kid, complete with glasses. these two are based on nothing in my actual life, as growing up in minnesota rules out either ethnicity. the bus was traveling down an l.a.-style freeway, with overpasses and underpasses interweaving like spaghetti. my jewish friend started messing with the bus driver, to the extent that the bus got out of hand, causing such chaos that even the airplane routes above us were disrupted. the bus pulled over on the road and the three of us got out. above us, the sky was full of large commuter planes, going every which way like a scattered flock of seagulls. and they were quite low to the ground, too. one plane actually had to do an emergency landing not far behind us. this was our cue to get our of here, and we scrambled back on the bus. i jumped in the driver seat, as the bus was nearly empty before, and the driver was now gone. we sped down the freeway like a bus with a bomb on it, weaving in between cars until we came to a bus station that looked more like a new york train station. still desperate to avoid being caught, we parked and immediately bolted from the bus, scattering to hide wherever we could. i ran up a narrow brick stairwell, where i could easily see the train tracks. when the coast seemed clear, the three of us ran back to the bus and took it back down the interstate to safety.

my alarm went off at 7:46, and i lay in bed, listening to the morning show, eventually drifting off again.

i was sitting in my basement bedroom, circa high school. seated in the floor with me were a 12-year old boy and clint eastwood. we turned to notice that an extremely large and vicious dog had snuck in through the window. all of this would never have happened, had the window been where it usually was all those years. the boy quietly asked for his cap gun and loaded it, while mr eastwood and i were too polite to explain that it's very difficult to shoot something without actually firing a projectile. the boy put the little red plastic ring in the gun and fired, and the dog vanished; it just blinked away.
in fact, the dog looked more like a "warg" from
the lord of the rings, which makes sense, as i was now in the midst of the warg battle from the two towers, only now the battle was scaled down to fit on a small hillside park in san francisco, not far from the ghirardelli choloclate store. i held two swords and fought as best i could, while aragon and legolas fought a short distance from me.
we had defeated our attackers when someone yelled "get down" and we all dropped to the grass. a camoflauged car drove buy, full of military men looking for us. the guy in the back seat had a camera, although whatever production designer had given him that prop obviously didn't do his research; it was an older 35mm movie camera, completely wrong for this scenario.
when the van left, we stood back up and i wandered around the street corner. my left leg seemed numb, and i looked to see a small stain of darken blood on my calf. it was only a small scratch; not enough to be of any concern. then i noticed a much larger and brighter area of blood on my camo pants, near the back of my knee. someone again yelled, "get down!" and i
 dropped to the cobblestone street gutter. a pair of black boots came to a stop in front of me, and i looked up to see a man who looked not unlike esteban of the "anyone can play guitar" infomercials. he helped me up and led me to a nearby shop keeper who could sharpen my swords. i handed them to the smith, and he noted that my sword blades were, in fact, snow skis, and that the left one was made of extremely flimsy plastic. he offered to trim them both for me.

there was a third dream, but i can't remember a spot of it.

i dislike sleeping in so late, but getting dreams like this in return doesn't make it so bad.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

the day after Christmas

*editor's note: this post has been completely re-written at least three times. our senior political correspondent has been pre-occupied with several projects yet still managed to waste a fair amount of time. we apologize for the delay and do not condone such behavior here at sheep go to heaven.
tuesday felt like Christmas; everything about the day just seemed different.  the big election that we had being hearing about, talking about for... how long?  a year?  a year and a half?  was here.  this was the big day.  and i thought it was really cool.  it was fun to have so many people with so many opinions (yet the wise or rational opinions were still a little scarce), and to have so many people interested in voting.

i voted on friday--halloween--and got to stand in line with witches, vampires, raggedy annes, more witches, and girls with pink wigs and cat ears.  it's a wonderful way to see democracy in action.
as such, i stayed home and kept the tv on, until i realized that the day was dreadfully uneventful from a news channel's perspective.  breaking news at 11:00 a.m. was that the lines in north carolina weren't too bad and that, apart from one machine that didn't work for about 30 minutes, everything was going well.  i turned off the tv and worked on some projects around the house.

i remember watching election nights from way back when george bush defeated mike dukakis.  it was fun to watch the states go red or blue as the electoral votes went up like a sports scoreboard.  truth be told, i never knew about the numbers; i was much more of a colors person.
tuesday was not like watching a game, it was like unwrapping a present.  you've waited so long to find out what it is, and, even though you were pretty sure you knew anyway (and, in this case, it was what i asked for), it was still exciting to find out for sure.  
watching cnn, they had some impressive graphs and graphics (including ever possible permutation of statistics that could relate to the night, probably leaving a few stats majors slightly upset that they researched and compiled so many numbers that were never used), and
as the numbers were coming in around 7:00, a commentator updated the blue states and showed that, even if all but the most democratic states went red, there was still no way for mccain to make it.
the wrapping paper came off pretty fast.

but after it's all done, well, now what?
some things are changed, and there's that odd void: we've waited all that time for it to come, and now it's gone.
what's next to look forward to?
i'll tell you what:
the annual muppet Christmas carol and egg nog party!!
i'm already very excited.  = D

Sunday, November 02, 2008

things have changed

john bytheway quoted this once:
our great-grandfathers called it "the holy sabbath."
our grandfathers called it 
"the sabbath."
our fathers called it "sunday."
and, now, we just call it 
"the weekend."

good sabbath to you all.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

jaime's tag: six lesser-known things about me

jaime tagged me a few weeks ago, and now my sister's already tagged me with another one.

1. since living with my brother, i have purchased a snowboard, a tennis racquet, hiking boots, rock band, an r.e.i. membership, a wii video game, and i cook more, too. (he brought me some fried potatoes as i type this--they're amazing) 

2. i'm a contributing member of classical 89. the pledgeline number is 800.321.8911, but i was evidently not the first to mistakenly dial 801. the law firm receptionist on the other end was polite, but i suspect that their fundraiser week is a nightmare for her.

3. stick shifts and safety belts: i never learned how to drive a stick shift until i moved out to utah and my grandma gifted me a 1986 ford bronco II.  even after a few hours in a church parking lot with a very patient stake patriarch, i was still very inept at it.  the drive from his house to my apartment seemed very long and the roads very steep as i wondered why i had to learn out in utah.  the car continued to stay in my parking lot, driven only when i made my roommate drive, until one sunday morning when i had to be to church early and had to face the beast.
now, if ever given the choice, i will always take the stick.
i'm also very good about wearing my seat belt.  if i'm in the car and moving at all, it's on; it's simply a reflex.

4. punctuation: i'm very picky about punctuation.  i never actively studied it, though i suppose we learned it on school.  but it's stuck with me.  and i love it.  punctuation is like the string on a kite or the commandments of God: it's not restricting, but liberating. apostrophes, commas, semi-colons (love semi-colons!), hyphens and dashes: they give life to writing and add nuance to words like salt in cooking.  and i still remember the night that the chris introduced me to the joys of a dash.
as for capitalization, i love to use it in formal settings.  but with my friends and my blog, i am casual.

5. i've never had an energy drink of any sort, and never intend to.  i don't think that anything that does that can be wholly good for me.
6. i don't have (and never have had) either a myspace page or a facebook page.  myspace was all the rage for a while, then suddenly everyone jumped over to facebook.  and now everyone except me and my sister are there.
why don't i do it?  i've got nothing against it.  i occasionally feel a little backwards when everyone else is talking about what's on their facebook pages; i could connect with old mission friends and high school pals; i could put a link to my blog (which i do love).
so why not?  well, for one, i don't need another reason to spend more time on the internet with more things to keep up on.  but i think the main reason is simply, "i don't want to."  in a small way, it's akin to having a wood-burning stove in the midst of electric ovens; there's a little "walden" part of me that likes not being on one more techno-trend.  i've got my itunes, my blog, my e-mail, my ipod, my amazon account, and internet tags.  i think i'm good.

i tag em, kristin, jack, and brady.

and laurie jayne's husband, adam, if he ever gets out this way.