Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Baby Got a New Pair of Shoes

I wish they wore as comfortable as they look.
Let me just go on record saying that I would never lecture a woman on the ridiculousness of her shoe collection. No, I take that back. Take that off record. However, I buy a new pair of shoes on average every six months to a year so it is always a big purchase to me. This weekend I did some impromptu shopping. I did not go out looking for a new pair of shoes or a coffee press or new running shorts or jeans or even a t-shirt made out of organic cotton, these items just presented themselves in my life, and with the gleam of a tax return stained on my retina I threw out all reason and made said purchases. For the second time, the first being forgivable because I bought them online, I bought shoes that were too small. Before when I said that I wouldn't lecture a woman on her shoe collection, well, I wouldn't lecture her for buying shoes if they were great shoes, but if they were incredible uncomfortable and she wore them anyway for the sake of fashion, I would let her know that she was silly. By George, somebody let me know I'm silly. I knowingly bought shoes that were too small! The 11s were too small and the 12s were far too big, but we are talking trendyness, and there are no half-sizes where trendyness is concerned. I love these shoes, but my feet are killing me. I'm sitting at my computer, I've been wearing these shoes all day, my feet are aching and I'm in my apartment for Pete's sake...AND I'M STILL WEARING MY NEW SHOES.

Interesting aside; I didn't learn how to tie my shoes very well until I was in highschool, so I wore Vans slip-ons for a very long time. I was a runner as well, so I would have my mom tie my running shoes very tight with double knots on the day that I bought them and then I would slip them on and off for months.

This post was originally intended to be a poignant diatribe on shoes and something about connection to our souls or something, but I can't think straight because I'm too in love with them.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Dallas Blues

For the 3 people who follow this site somewhat regularly, maybe it will come as no surprise when I say that I don't like Dallas. Let me unpack that statement, because it's not even exactly true. Dallas is a city with a great number of fantastic restaurants (one of which is soon going to be the incredible Spiral Diner Dallas! Being opened by my good friend Sara Friday, Vegan Hooray!) Dallas has a public transportation system, which is pretty good, at least for an American city, and it has two really great art house movie theaters the Magnolia and the Angelika. But the people here, OH! the 'young adults,' the 23 to 35 or so crowd, I just want to say "bite me!" Now I'm no one to generalize or to judge but seriously, there is a problem here. I can't quite put my finger on it or put it into words, but the way that I feel is this: There are a slew, a gaggle of supposedly fashionable, supposedly well-to-do guys and girls who drive nice cars and wear nice sunglasses and are well traveled and have gone to good universities. I say "gone" because just going doesn't mean that you've earned your education. But I feel like a great deal of them are insecure and added to that arrogant. This causes not-nice social interaction, which causes people to expect other people to not be nice to them, and then everyone is just rude to each other because it is expected.

I'm too tired to finish right now.

Martha, I can't wait for you to move out here. We are going to revolutionize this city. Vive le resistance!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

What's Been Going On

I realize that there are two pictures of our group here, but I think they are both necessary. The other people are the Brazilians (and one Argentinian), they are also necessary, and sweet, sweet people.



My friend Angelica called me kind of late tonight, 11:30pm to be exact. She was surprised when I answered because she thought that I was still in Brazil. Her surprise soon turned to perturbation as she quickly realized that I had been back for over a week and hadn't called her to tell her about the trip. I quickly went on the defensive and scanned my brain for a good excuse as to why I was so busy that I couldn't call. But as I went through each part of my week in my head I realized how not-busy I had been for the last week. In fact I'd been doing nothing, absolutely nothing compared to my normal busy schedule. It was only then that I realized the hilarity of my situation and of the way I'd been spending my time. Let me just put things into perspective, just with the last 3 nights.

Friday night: Decline to go out dancing with friends (guys and girls) instead stop into the video store and rent two French movies about the French Resistance during Nazi occupation in the 40's. Make coffee at midnight, and stop the films to read Blue Like Jazz and my Bible.

Saturday night: Make no attempt to hang out with anyone. Watch Au Revoir Les Enfants, stop the movie to read Blue Like Jazz, fall asleep on the couch until 5:30am.

Sunday night: Go to the gym, do laundry, watch TV and find nothing interesting, try to get some editing done on my sister's wedding video, make coffee at midnight, drink a protein shake, eat hummus, eat two veggie burgers, drink two Fat Tires, listen to music (it's 1am and I'm still going strong).

Normally, I couldn't stand being alone with myself for even one night, but God has been teaching a lot in the last two weeks and the last three nights have been fruitful. Besides, during the day I've gotten to spend time with both my family and friends. And tomorrow, God willing, I'm going out with not one but two lady friends (platonically mind you).

As I was talking with Angelica I began to realize the shear absurdity of my anger over the last week. I can see now how impatient and prideful that I was being. I feel much better now by the way, I no longer hate Christians. This can be accredited to God's faithfulness, Derek Webb's music, the Derek Webb Podcast, and the new movement, which is no movement at all, it's God's goodness.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The State of Music

I mentioned before, the Derek Webb podcast but I hadn't listened to it yet. Now I've listened to about half of them and they are really, really good. He is one of the most long-winded people that I have ever heard speak, but so much of what he has to say is so good. Here is the link for the Derek Webb Podcast.

Uncontrollable Desire for Chocolate Cake

Here are the things that sound good right now:

This American Life
Chocolate Cake
Latte
Puppies
Striped Shirt

But more than pretty much anything I want a piece of chocolate cake, just one slice. And I don't know where I can get a piece of chocolate cake to go. This is a common problem where I am in Dallas. In Fort Worth I knew a lot of convenience, but here in Dallas where it should be easier to find anything, I feel like I'm constantly having this problem. I swear to you, in 30 minutes I'll be enjoying a succulent piece of chocolate cake...for lunch.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Way It Should Be

I originally didn't really like Derek Webb's music and I couldn't really get why people did. But right now I don't want to listen to anything else. And it turns out that Derek Webb has a podcast as well. If you want to buy one of his albums I recommend The House Show, although he talks for about half of it, he talks real good.

His website is actually really good and navigable, and you can listen to a couple of songs. Here is his site.

Fading Discontent

I am very happy to report that my overall discontent with the world is fading. I'm still not really sure what was going on before, but the idea of traveling Europe is beginining to sound appealing again. I guess that the appeal that traveling Europe holds at any given moment in my brain is a good measure of mental temperment for me.

Arthur, if you are reading, it was nice hanging out with you in the Amazon. I'll be praying for you and your Brazilian compatriots. If you ever decide to come to Dallas you've got a place to stay.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Latte

I went and got my small 2 shot latte at Murray Street Coffee in Deep Ellum. They have the best magazines there. I read a couple articles in Paste and then left. Paste was started by two RUF guys from the South. I think I love Presbeterians, or I dislike them less than other Christians anyway. And yes, I can still be a Christian and not like other Christians. Because I REALLY dislike 90% of you guys.

The Boredome Bug

In my last post I mentioned that I am bored with just about everything. That isn't quickly changing. I used to be a person that got excited about life's mysteries. Travel, Religion, Species diversification, culture, language, food, puppies, but since getting back from Brazil I could care less about any of it. So here is a list of things that I used to find interesting that just seem boring now, and of the few things that might still be intersting:

I might as well be going to the dentist:
1. International Travel
2. Scuba Diving
3. Filmmaking
4. Girls/Sex (the idea of it of course)
5. Food
6. Concerts/Music/Bands
7. Clothing
8. People
9. Luxury

Things that I might still find not depressing:
1. A German Beer Garden on a nice day
2. Puppies (still on the fence)
3. Coffee shop in Amsterdam
4. Listening to Derek Webb
5. History of the Bible
6. Geographical Language Diversification
7. A latte
8. Friendship

I think it's safe to say I'm depressed. But it's a Catch-22 because I really don't care that I'm feeling this way. I think that it's starting to wear off, but the truth is I kind of like feeling apathetic for a while. Usually I'm so anxiously neurotic I can barely take it. This is a much needed stress reliever. I'm going to go and get that latte and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

At Which Point I'd Rather Just Hold Up a Sign

Maybe it's seasonal, but I'm not in a very good mood lately. Take this morning for example. I woke up a little earlier than usual and I was feeling pretty tired, and the prospect of drinking terrible, weak, bland drip-coffee at work was not sounding too appealing, so I went to the Starbucks two blocks from my apartment. Normally if I was going to get a cup of coffee I'd go to the quaint coffee shop near where I work. There the people are friendlier, the coffee is better, and the best part of all IT's A SMALL BUSINESS. But for some reason, this morning I went to the over-crowded Starbucks to get in, get latte, and get out. I walked right up to the Barista, a tall slender, slightly effeminent young man with short dark hair. He smiled at me and asked what I would have. I told him a tall latte, he entered it into the computer turned and said something to one of his coworkers and then turned back and said, "a small hot chocolate, is that it?" And I said "no, a small latte." He changed it and then asked for my name. I told him in a clear voice that my name was Anton and then I spelled it A-N-T-O-N. I guess this is just too foreign of a name for any American to grasp. I don't think a European has ever gotten it wrong, but he replied back, "did you say Anty?" "No," I said, "Anton, A--N--T--O--N." He got it that time.

I guess I need to give in and just start introducing myself as An-ton with a long "o" like in Tom. Because my name is pronounced with a short "o" as in Wilson, or Littleton, or a ton of bricks or Milton, or Wimbleton (not the Tennis tournament). Or maybe I should just stop going to Starbucks. This entry isn't just about Starbucks though. At this point in my life, for some reason I am getting very bored with pretty much everything. I don't even want to talk to most people. There are so many situations where the exchanges are so mechanical that we might as well just hold up signs that expresses what we need. That way when I go to Starbucks I can just hold up a sign that says TALL LATTE - ANTON. Then I can give them three dollars, they'll give me my paper cup full of coffee and then I can leave and everybody is free of the hassle of having to pronounce my name.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brazil Trip Trailer Update

Oh P.S. the video never got shown, and I've changed my mind and decided not to post it here. It was done in too much of a rush and I'm no longer in any hurry to try and prove myself. Who knows what will happen with the video, maybe it was a $10,000 lesson. If so, I learned a lot.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tight Schedule

I idealized this video and didn't plan as well as I should have, what's new. I got sick in Brazil, and no, I'm not surprised. Thanks to a very gracious friend the video that will be shown tomorrow night is being edited for me. THANK GOD. Join me in praying for my health and my sanity. When that video is done I'll post it on this blog.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jetlag

Well, I'm back anyway. I'm too jetlagged to think clearly. More to come...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Testimony - Part 5

When I was with my friends, experiencing new things, living communally, not self conscious, I had never felt better. But every time I was alone, I would start feeling anxious. My friend Johnny had died earlier that year. Aside from a drunken breakdown, I hadn't had time to give it my full thought. Now every time that I became introspective it was about death and my own mortality. One night, I was sitting on the couch in our living room drinking a Rolling Rock and writing in my journal. I began to feel like I was sinking into the couch. The feeling was so strong that I became dizzy and couldn't get up. My hand began to press into the journal in my lap as if I were under some great G-force. My head began to spin and I was sure that I was going to die. My mind was running out of control and I became scared not just of dying but of the thought that if I were to die right there and then, that my life would be insignificant, that no one would really care, and that even though I was gone, the world would just keep going on just as it always had. I wanted so badly for that feeling to stop. As I clung for anything that would allow me to hold on and not to pass out, a strange thought formed in my head, and a name was all I could think of. It was a name that had always made me cringe when I heard it, because I thought that it was so stupid, the whole idea of it. The name was Jesus. And even stranger than the name that surrounded my thoughts, was the terrifying realization that this name and this man that I had always doubted ever existed wasn't just a man, but that he was God, and I believed that. I didn't know why, and I didn't care, that was suddenly a fact, and as I believed that Jesus was God for the first time, the weight of all that I was feeling was instantly lifted, and I knew that it didn't matter anymore that my life wasn't significant, because I knew who God was and that He was active in my life.
The whole experience of that night was too much for me to take in, and I am still processing it to this day. But after I came to know Christ, my whole life and all of my desires changed. I didn't notice a difference in the way I acted or treated people after I became a believer, but I've been told that others could see the change. But there were certain things that I didn't want to do anymore, and there were other things that I couldn't help but do. I started going to church on my own, and I was given a Bible by a friend, and I began to read it starting in the book of Mathew and reading on through the New Testament. And I came to know why knowing Christ took away my fear, because alone I would always choose to be the god of my own life, but I am imperfect and therefore I make decisions that are harmful to me and harmful to others. But in Christ God was put on earth in the body of a man and lived the perfect life as a perfect example and then died the perfect death at our hands. He then raised Himself from the dead and now His Spirit lives in me, and therefore I am saved from an eternal separation from Him who loves me forever.

It's four in the morning. I planned on spending more time on this but I can barely keep my eyes open. Thank you so much for reading my story. If you have any questions, please ask me anything. I leave tomorrow morning for South America where I am making a film and sharing Christ with the people who live there. If you pray, please pray for me, and if you don't pray, please pray, God is listening.

Testimony (The Summer of '02) - Part 4

We caravanned out to L.A. the four of us each in our own car. We had walkie-talkies to communicate, and secretly Ben and I had walkie-talkies of our own. Since the two of barely knew each other at the start of the trip we used the twenty plus hour drive to catch up on each other's lives. We were each amazed at how similar our childhoods were and how secretly and hilariously prone to misbehaving we had been. Ben and I quickly became best friends. When we got to L.A. we all sought out to get unpaid internships at various companies. Not getting paid allowed us to take time off when we felt like going to the beach or taking a long weekend in San Francisco. Ben and I tried our best to pick up girls at every opportunity. It was sort of an innocent game, but we were fiercely competing with each other to go after girls. As the summer moved on we all got more involved in work and continued to have a great time together. One Sunday morning after a particularly fun and late night, I woke up to Ben getting dressed in khakis and a colored shirt. "What the hell are you doing," I said groggily. Without missing a beat he said, "I've gotta go find a church," and he was out the door. I of course went right back to sleep. When I finally woke up around one o'clock Ben was coming back home from church. He looked happy. I asked him how it was, and he said that it was really good. That he had held Tory Spelling's hand. "What!" I said. I couldn't believe this. Not that I'm a Tory Spelling fan or anything, but the thought of seeing a celebrity in my conception of church was blowing my mind at that moment. He insisted it was true, and that was all he said about it. The next Sunday I was up and dressed and ready to go look at Tory Spelling for myself. All four of us went. I wore a yellow Polo golf shirt and khaki pants and I felt good. The church we went to was called Bel Air Presbyterian and it sits on top of Mullholland drive, overlooking Encino. The style of music they played is called contemporary, which means that they use guitars and drums and project the words to the songs on a screen. I found myself singing along and enjoying the songs for one of the first times in my life. Sure enough about 20 feet to my left was Tory Spelling in a white sun dress with Brunette hair. She looked pretty normal to me.
After church we took pictures together and went to the pool. It was a really great day. I continued to go to that church, not because I believed I was a Christian but because I enjoyed the whole process of what we were all doing. It was mellow and it was comforting, and everyone there smiled and were polite. My life felt years and miles away from the person I was the previous year at TCU and I was losing quickly losing interest in ever going back.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Testimony (The Spring of '02) - Part 3

After barely passing my first semester of college, and after one last week of humiliation I was initiated into my fraternity. Getting black out drunk became a good way to spend a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. I never fully became comfortable in the party scene, but after my seventh beer I usually forgot about how out of place I felt. It was monotonous to go to the same three house parties over and over again, but the buzz of not being a pledge in my fraternity was enough to keep me going in the beginning. After weeks of binge drinking, my grades were once again in the depths. The conscience that I had always felt was my curse began to wear on me heavily. For over a month I convinced myself I had cancer, which sent me into a downward spiral of hypochondria and depression. I tortured myself with unproductive late night Red Bull study sessions and I withdrew from my fraternity brothers and into the library. The fraternity house was a bastion of constant noise and activity, most of it immature and out of control. My roommate had a girlfriend and I didn't. She slept over ever night. Half way through the semester I had quit going to most parties and had started loathing the parties I went to. I started smoking weed every once in a while, which made me paranoid and drove me further into my introspection. I began hating school and I began hating myself, and I began blaming everyone around me. That's when I found RTVF, the Radio Television and Film program at TCU. I started hanging out with people who wanted to be filmmakers and suddenly I was wondering why I had ever joined a fraternity. As the spring semester was coming to an end, I made the decision, along with three friends to drive to L.A. and find summer internships in the film industry. That's when everything started to change.

Let's All Take a Short Break

I know what you are thinking, "only through part 2 and you already need a break?" Once again, I'm borrowing a link off the constantly interesting Kottke.org. In this video, a comedian acts out the last 50 years in the history of dance. It's flipping awesome.

One day I too will dance.

Testimony (The Fall of '01)- Part 2

I don't doubt that the church I grew up in was full of believers, and yet somehow I was never told exactly what it was that we believed. I guess that everyone just assumed that because I went there twice a week and because I led a pretty upstanding life, that I was a Christian. By the time that I graduated highschool if you were to ask me what I believed, depending on the day, I might tell you that I was an atheist, or that I believed there was no way in knowing whether or not God existed.

That fall, at the age of eighteen I began classes at Texas Christian University. A few fraternities at TCU had been asking me to come to parties over the summer and after going through rush I decided to join one of them. Pledging a fraternity, at least pleging my fraternity meant going through a semester long humiliation process, for the sake of bonding with your pledge brothers and proving to the active members that you were dedicated to their fraternity. The activities we engaged in are not something that I will go into detail about here, but one night after a drinking contest I ended up in the hospital with alchohol poisoning. My parents wanted to pull me out of school, but after a string of lies, I was able to convince them to let me stay. Reflecting upon this moment now, I'm ashamed of myself, but at the time I was too brainwashed and too delusional to see how self-destructive I was becoming. My only regret at the time was that my choices were no longer secret from my family.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Testimony of Anton - Part 1

Long awaited, by possibly 2 people, here is the first installment of my testimony. A testimony is what Christians call the story of how they came to be a Christian and how this new identity has changed their world.

I was born in Eau Claire Wisconsin, to parents of Norwegian decent (obviously of the Lutheran denomonastion of Christianity), and I was baptized into the faith as an infant. At five months old, my family and I moved to Dallas, Texas, where I would grow up. I was raised going to the same church for 18 years, and while I enjoyed some aspects of church and made many friends there, I never understood it's purpose or believed in the religion itself. I had a great childhood, with two sisters, a brother, both of my loving parents and all of the opportunity afforded any white-bred, upper middle-class, middle American.

The Grim Folly of Sinful Man

It all started with a small metal garbage can in the kitchen at our office, the kind The Grouch lives in. We are a client service oriented business, and therefore our fridge is full of Cokes, water bottles, Red Bull, and beer. These bottles fill the trash can night after night. One day, I went to the back and found another one of these trashcans, threw a recycling sticker on top of it and wrote a note in Spanish telling the cleaning crew not to throw it out with the garbage. Only about half of the plastic, glass and aluminum used each day now makes it into this can. It sits directly beside the garbage can but it is just too much effort to lift it's lid, JUST TOO MUCH DAMN EFFORT!. And so day after day the trashcan still fills with recyclable material.

What lesson can we glean from this simple story of office-place apathy? How about that man is lazy, self-concerned, short sighted, and hell-bent on his own destruction. No wonder the Grouch is grouchy, some idiot keeps throwing half-finished water bottles on his head.

Loose Change

I don't know what the story is on this film and I don't know what to think, but as far as I can tell this is a documentary accusing the U.S. government of not only allowing September 11th to happen, but investing in it with the foreknowledge of it happening, insuring that it is carried out, and THEN profiting from it's aftermath.

Dem, Repub, Lib, whatever you call yourself, watch it while sitting still and form your own opinion when it is over.

Loose Change - One caveat, it is 1 hour and 20 min. long.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Wearing a Hat

Earth tones or bright tones? Red Bull or latte? Blazer or fleece? Fender or Martin? Stock or custom? Function or fashion? Modern Rock or folk? Pants or shorts? Balata or Pro V1? Cruiser or mountain bike? Wes Anderson or the French New Wave?

Do you see my dilemma!?

Filson or Kavu?

All I can think is, "what would Indiana Jones do?" I flipping love shopping for adventure clothing.

Binge

What will come to be?
A Story for our scrapbook,
or one more regret.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Show Tunes

I often think, "it sure would be nice to break out into song right now." And other times, when sharing an emotional moment with someone I think, "it sure would be nice to break out into choreographed dance right now." If only we started learning songs like we did nursery rhymes, that matched certain emotions. Like, this is the "Stressed Out Song," and here's the stressed out step. Give it a little shimmy a spin and a heel click, and booya, the stressed out song. Wouldn't that be awesome! If you'd like to join me in writing some real-life show tunes, let me know. Just think of it, your best friend from college who you haven't seen in years steps off a the plane and you have a million things to say and can barely contain your emotion, and instead of having a standard exchange, you walk towards each other snapping, extend your left leg and you right arm and throw your head back and sing, "Jooooooy, I can't contain my jooooooooy, you're finally here, the tears, what have you been up to all these yeeeeaars..." and then you bust out into a rumba beat. And the best part is, everybody in the airport knows the song and the steps, and they all join in.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Love is Gone

The Little White Drive Through Wedding Chapel. Things have most definitely taken a turn for the worse. I walked the strip three times while I was in Vegas, from Sahara to New York New York. Normally I am a big fan of walking everywhere. You smell the smells, you brush past people, you can stop and look at things up close...but on the strip the side-walks go from sky bridges directly into the casinos, and then from there it is often a labrynth to find your way out. As my dad said, "well, I guess you know who paid for them." That's true for a lot of things.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The LifeStraw™

When I was in Guatemala last March I saw a child drink from a broken shard of pottery he found on the ground that was full of murky rainwater. Even after holding my mouth shut tightly in the shower, not taking ice cubes in my drinks and only brushing my teeth with bottled water, I got sick for an entire week after the trip. Contrary to popular belief, you do not become resistant to bad water. Even the people who live in Mexico still get Montezuma's revenge, constantly.

And now there is the LifeStraw. It is a device made by a Danish man that filters the bacteria out of any water source as the user drinks through it. They cost $3.50 a peice. I don't know about you, but I just found something worth donating my money to.

P.S. Has anyone heard any press on the Global Night Commute?

Let Me Just Put It This Way

Your Love is Like Las Vegas

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Second

Today is the duel birthday of my sister and (as of a week ago) my brother-in-law. For my sister, who is turning 18, I am getting her this (The case by the way, not the Ipod):For my brother-in-law who is turning 31 I am getting this:While these may not be the most creative gifts you've ever seen, I think they will like them. David Sedaris has a funny (and slightly dark) story about gift giving that you can read here.

This Is A Revolution!

The following link for Freevlog.org will tell you everything you need to know in order to post pictures and videos to your blog for free. God bless these guys!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lust Vegas

Does anyone know a good way for a Mac user to upload pictures to this thing? The free software that blogger.com offers isn't supported by mac. Should I just sign up for a Flickr account and just host my pictures there?