Thursday, November 21, 2013

always crashing in the same car

there's the story of a man who was caught in a flood and so he prayed to God that He would save him.
soon, a woman in a raft came by and offered to help him out of the water.
"thank you," said the man, "but i am waiting for God to save me."
so the raft went on and the flood waters continued to rise.

after a while, a woman in a motorboat came by and told the man to get in to safety.
"no," said the man. "i am waiting for God to save me."
the boat moved on and the flooding got worse.

eventually, the floodwaters were dangerously high and there seemed to be little hope left. no boats were in sight, but helicopter found the man.
"come with us!" said the pilot, "and we can rescue you!"
"go on without me," said the man. "God will save me."

and soon, the man drowned.

in heaven, he asked God why He didn't help him.
"but I did," said the Lord. "I sent you a raft, a boat, and even a helicopter."


it wouldn't be sheep go to heaven without an angsty post now, would it?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

in the meantime

He locked the gates and vanished completely. And then suddenly, about [nine months] later, the most amazing thing happened. The factory started working again, full blast! And more delicious candies were coming out than ever before.

i didn't mean to be gone so long but i can't tell you how good it feels to be writing again.

last winter was a very busy time for me at school. by the time the semester slowed down at the start of may, i felt like i couldn't just start writing again out of the blue; i felt like i needed to have a "reason" to start writing again, and so i told myself that i wouldn't write until i'd designed a new header and look for  sheep go to heaven.

that sounded simple but took longer than i expected. in the end, the new lettering was done not by me but by the editor-in-chief at warm fuzzies & hand snuggleez. if not for her, our in house design team would probably still be messing with the fonts up above there.

so, let me tell you a bit of what i've been up to since february 21st...

the spring 2013 semester was supposed to be one in which i could spend a lot of time working on the animation project that i had in mind as my m.f.a. work. i also had one more required class, the one in which we put on the department's annual public art show. we had to either take that class or have an internship, and since i didn't have that, i had to take the dang class.

i wasn't looking forward to this, since i had already done film festivals at byu as well as working at sundance for a few years (actually, i never really helped plan byu's film festival, but in this instance i liked to think that i had.) one of the major aspects of this class was the creation of what are known as the "interstitials," videos that help break up the show, since some of the technical demonstration videos can get a little dry, especially to outsiders.

despite my inclination to avoid them, i ended up being the director of the interstitial team after suggesting we do a "back to the future" video since this was our 20th "viz-a-gogo" show. it took over my life for the rest of the semester, had me frustrated for various reasons throughout, although i learned a ton about producing and directing, even though it was a silly video from a crew of non-film students. (learning to lower my standards and expectations was extremely difficult.)

we did manage to get an actual delorean car for the shoot, which was actually much easier than i ever expected when i posited the idea in class. i even got to drive it back home when we were done filming early in the morning. (letting someone drive it also proved to be a great motivation for tired crew members.)
they don't have power steering so they're kind of a bugger to control and the speedometer only went up to 85 mph. go figure.

but they really attract a crowd and i quickly learned that owners are willing to share them. which seemed odd to me at first, since i figured they'd be viewed as a precious luxury. but i think the truth is that, if you have a delorean, you want to show it off, especially for "back to the future"-related stuff.

as if that wasn't enough work, we also made this cake. it's 2 feet by 3 feet, took about 15 cake mixes (if i remember correctly) and 11 pounds of powdered sugar in the frosting alone. not to mention baking for two nights straight.

that semester i also took the advanced scuba class and got certified as an advanced open water diver. some friends from school were getting married in florida so we took that as an excuse to go on a diving trip in the gulf of mexico.

while i was filming "viz to the future", i got an internship with adobe in san jose, california (literally while i was filming: the crew had to wait while i stepped out to get the details of my offer.) so, a few days after i got back from florida, i left on a four-day car trip to northern california.

it was the best road trip i've ever been on. we saw the alamo, carlsbad caverns, and the san diego zoo. we ate great food and found excellent hotels, fancy and creepy.

oh, yeah, and the full house house. which, despite me hating the show growing up while my sister watched it, was perhaps my favorite thing on the san francisco tour.

a few weeks after being at adobe, we had a week off for the fourth of july. and since i was on the coast, my brother and his wife were two hours north of me, and my sister & co. were in seattle, my parents came out and we got together at a beach house it oregon. good times were had by all.

being at adobe was exciting. my first few days were petrifying, as i was sure i was out of my league there. but it soon became normal, my day job, and there was something really cool about how natural it all felt. although i tried to always appreciate how cool it was that i was working on the twelfth floor of the corporate headquarters for adobe.

i'm the one holding Sg (for speedgrade)
the intern community there was pretty active, too. and while i kind of got tired of hanging around kids ten years younger than me, it was where i was at and we had fun together.

at falafel's drive-in, the best falafel you'll ever have
while i was out there i met a cute hair stylist who cut my hair for me. i'd kind of planned to get it cut at the end of my internship there, but she certainly sped up the process.

i loved living in the bay area. apple was about fiften minutes from where i lived. google was a few exits from adobe. facebook was a little further. and pixar was on the other side of the bay from san francisco.

on my way back to texas, we went through albuquerque and did a little sight-seeing.

i may or may not have made a giddy yelp when we came down the street
and while i've been doing all of this, my parents bought a house in oregon and then unexpectedly sold our house in minnesota. so, tomorrow morning, my mom and dad will be leaving moorhead, mn, permanently. we will be celebrating the holidays in a new house, probably without any snow.


a lot has happened in the last nine months. the irony is, because so much was happening, i didn't have time to write about it. and that's kind of a shame.

it's meant a lot to me how many people have told me that they miss my blog, or have told me that other people (whom i don't even know!) have told them that they miss my blog.

and it's good to be back.

jeff gustafson
sheep go to heaven