Monday, August 28, 2006

La Tomatina

Your prayers were heard. I leave for Spain tomorrow. Our first day off is in Eastern Europe. Things are very interesting. Today I ran into a man named Monnie. The circumstances were very weird. Monnie is a man that I interned for 4 years ago, and one that I thought about calling just yesterday, and I ran into him today. How small is this world? 6 billion and counting is nothing, nothing. I think that he's gay, and he slapped my butt, I just thought it was very funny. I'll be doing a lot of laughing in the next month. Check back for more details. See you next time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Be Gracious to Your Hosts, Be Gracious to Your Hosts

God bless these two for putting up with my crap. Only one more night and then I'm outta here. I almost got fired today and I am walking a very fine line. I somehow thought that going freelance would make me less stressed...what on earth was I smoking? All I ask is that I get to Europe. I shot today for about 8 or 9 hours, mostly footage of the beach, and I forgot to wear any sun-screen. I just applied a family-sized portion of aloe. I really hope I don't peel. I've been very hard on my nose in my life. I'm learning a lot even if it's not in the way I wanted, it's a learning experience. I'm praying that I still get to Europe. I need to get my act together and put on my confident hat...and some SPF 30.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bachelor's Paradise

Personal Entry-

I've been in L.A. for 48 hours. I flew out at 6am yesterday and I feel like we've been shooting ever since. I was unprepared and I feel like I am letting the director down every time I roll the camera. I'm staying with two of my friends who recently got married; let me just tell you that marriage changes things, I feel like I'm crashing their happy home, like I wallow in a mud pit all day before barging into their home at 10:30pm, right before they go to bed. It was a bad idea on many fronts, not to stay in a hotel. The PT Cruiser is good, and I like the director and I like the girls, and my apartment leased and I saved $2,000, PRAISE THE LORD! So all in all, as long as I don't get fired, which I'm walking a fine line so far, all in all, it's all good.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Strewn About With an Empty Box for a Desk

No matter what I do, no matter what position I take on, I cannot get comfortable. And no, I don't mean in my life in general; I mean right now, as I write this with a stack of empty boxes as my desk. Let's start with a point of reference:

A few weeks ago, a television reality show director came up to me and asked me in passing if I could hypothetically, take a month off work. My reply was, "funny, I just put in my two week resignation." It seems that in past passing conversations as I sought advice on how to shoot my Brazil documentary, and what camera to use and other discussions on filmmaking in general that this director was storing away bits of information regarding my usefulness as a cameraman. A few weeks later, I could hear my name being thrown around upstairs in the office of the television production company. I went to my computer and made a resume for myself which sold me as a cameraman, which I had never done before, and I laid it on the director's desk. A week later I was asked by the executive producer if I would like to go to Europe for a month to film a new show. I said yes before I asked any details. That was a little over a week ago. In 30 hours I leave for the first leg of the trip. In 5 days I will be in Spain.

It turned out that my roommate and I's lease was up, the 8.5x11 piece of paper attached to our door one afternoon told us so. So, Jamie and I found Jamie a place to live and I decided to move my stuff back into my parent's garage until I got back. I rented a Uhaul and helped Jamie carry his stuff over, and I moved my furniture into my parent's house, it was all too easy, it was all too swift, it was all falling into place too perfectly.

Then, this morning I was told by the pretty girl in the leasing office about the 60 day notice that I was contractually obligated to give, and about the $2,300 I still owed the apartments. I started to shake. Today, after posting the place on Craigslist, I showed our apartment to 6 people. They all turned their noses up at it. I leave only 1 day from now and if I don't find someone to sign a lease for this apartment, I will be out of the country and unable to do anything about it (if you are my friend and you pray, say a little prayer for me here). On the sunny side of things, I will be in Europe in a few days and I won't care about this apartment, but that doesn't change the fact that Jamie and I need to rent it out, and it would be selfish of me not to keep fighting to make that happen.

As a final side note, my monitor is below my hands on a TV dinner stand, and my keyboard and mouse are being balance on a rubber storage box stacked on an igloo cooler stacked on a tool box, and I'm sitting on a piano bench, this makes me ask the question, "why have I moved every 6 months for 6 years? And when will I settle down?" I want to buy a house, a small, pretty house near a city, one that I own, and can leave for extended periods of time and not worry about it. Will I ever own that house?

By the way...I finally gave my mom by blog address, "Hi Mom!"

My Character

To follow along with my trip continue reading this blog, or click on the following link:

Project MyWorld

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Uprooted, Just Like He Wanted

Things have changed rather drastically in the last few days, here is a short list:

I quit my job.
I got freelance work on some film sets.
I got an offer to shoot a show in Europe.
I leave on the 28th of August for Spain.
I'll be in Europe for a month.
I might be moving out of my apartment.
I don't know what I'm going to do when I get back.
I might work on a film for 3 to 4 months in Louisiana.

I can't even keep track right now, I really don't have much to say about it other than I'm saddened and excited. I guess I had started to think that things were never going to change, and then they just did, and here I am.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Working Hard at Not Working

We toil and fuss, or settle or tell ourselves that we're happy, which, is really no different than being happy anyway. We stress ourselves out because we think that it will make us more focused or more productive, but in reality a regimented schedule and level-headed dedication is a much more effective way to produce a well-crafted product. A sleep-schedule is the best way to maintain our health and our sanity, maybe they are one in the same. Humans are like animals in that, before there was electricity, and surely before we learned to use fire, we slept when the sun went down, we didn't have much choice. At this latitude, the sun sets at 9:00pm in the summer and rises at 6:00am. That translates to 9 hours of sleep, even during the solstice. In the winter the sun sets at 5:30pm and rises at 7:30am. That translates to 14 hours of sleep that our bodies are naturally programmed to expect during the winter. That averages to 11.5 hours of sleep that you should be getting every night, uninterrupted. Are you getting enough sleep?

Monday, August 07, 2006

This Must Be What We're Fighting For

6:40am - Breakfast at a family diner with Grandpa and 14 year old cousin.
7:30am - Tee Off at Hillcrest Golf Course.
9:30am - Finish 9 holes, head back home.
10:20am - Hop on mountain bikes with my 14 year old cousin, do a 6 mile loop off road, walk into the coldest clearest stream you've ever seen, feel the heavy red sand between my toes.
1:00pm - Go to lunch at my Grandpa's chiropractic office, eat cake and sandwiches for his 70th birthday, get an adjustment from my aunt.
2:00pm - Go visit my Grandmother with my sister.
3:00pm - Go get ice cream with 5 of my cousin's, one of their wives and their two twin baby girls who I meet for the first time.
5:00pm - Go back to the country club to swim, eat something they eat here in Wisconsin that is basically like a short, extremely greasy cheese-stick, become consumed in it's deliciousness.
6:30pm - Meet with my uncle to go flying.
7:00pm - Take off in a Cesna C-170 on the clearest calmest evening you could picture.
7:15pm - Do a fly over of my aunt and uncle's house at 1,500 feet.
7:30pm - Take the controls of an airplane for the first time and fly from Eau Claire to Fall Creek.
8:00pm - Have a smooth landing.
8:30pm - Go with sister and younger cousins to see Talledega Nights because Will Ferrell makes me laugh despite myself.
12:00am - Time for bed.

I am having such a good time. I am so thankful for my family that I'm existentially confused by it. Minnesota and Wisconsin and even Fargo North Dakota in the summer time is a wonderful and beautiful place. Most people don't know that and perhaps that's why it's kept so much of it's charm up here. I would show you pictures of the things I'm doing but I haven't taken a single picture, not even in the airplane, and let me tell you, that was incredible. This week has been such a blessing, I mean seriously I was going crazy a few days ago and I'm not just saying that, I was actually going crazy, but I feel so level now because my petty worries have been put into perspective and I've gotta thank God for that because this was all in his plan for me, isn't that cool?

Friday, August 04, 2006

On Family and Fear

It seems to me, at least in my life, that to be in close proximity to my family for short and intensive periods of time is a general anxiety-anesthetic. I have no answer for why that is. I will say this: Minnesota in the summer time is one of the prettiest things I know.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Failure to Reconnect

What a somber day, my last day at work, out over four hundred dollars, sleep-deprived and after two more days of toil I have set the Amazon project aside. I leave a t 6am tomorrow morning and it is just not worth it at this point to continue to try and piece it back together. I almost cobbled it back into something recognizable, but all of the edges are now frayed, pieces are missing, the timing is off and it's more work than I have left in me to give.

This just beats it into me, how tied-in I am to worldly things, how affected I am by them. I have my health and yet my body feels completely useless under the stress that I have put it through over this stupid mess of binary code. So, I'm going to go out with some friends, get some drinks, go home and sleep in a bed, wake up at 5am tomorrow, hop on a plane and go back home to the north of this country, where I was born. In twenty-two minutes I'm officially unemployed, at which time I will be free. Not free from debt unfortunately but free from my comfort which really is my prison cell.

When I get back in town I'm going to come back to this office and I'm going to finish these projects. I will not be getting paid for it, but I will be working harder than ever. Then I will go to work as a production assistant and I will sweat for my money. Maybe I'll travel some more when I get the itch, maybe I'll write something or direct something, or paint or play more guitar or sit on the couch in my underwear and watch cartoons and do pushups during the commercial breaks, maybe I'll go fly a kite or go to the zoo or bake something out of the Betty Crocker cookbook, or maybe even sleep in until noon on a Tuesday. Right now, I'm going to work real hard for the next sixteen minutes, right before I take my shirt off and drive home barefoot.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On The Way To Recovery

No, not from my drug habit, from data-loss. For a step by step guide of exactly what happened go here. If you want the short version here it is:

The hardrive which held all of my HD video footage for a project I was editing died today. I still had the most important thing, the Project File, but the footage died with the drive, all 11 hours of it. The drive didn't belong to me and thus I had to buy a new one, $370 I don't have anymore. I could care less about the money though, it's the stress and the heart-brokeness of going from being so excited and proud of a project that I have poured my soul into, to looking at a silver hunk of usless aluminum-encased microchips and a computer screen full of red slashes where video clips used to be. That really gets me down.

But I'm on my way to recovery, sort of. The explanation of what I am doing would bore you to tears so I won't write it here. What I will write is this:

I'm going to Fargo North Dakota on Friday to watch my cousin get married, to give her my blessing by shooting her wedding video (do you see the correlation of frustration?). Tomorrow is my last day of work, and I'm sad about that, but I'm too stressed for it to really sink in. And one last thing, my sister's wedding video was also on the hardrive that died, and I lost it too. I didn't have that backed up though, so it very well could be gone for good. That one's the worst.

That didn't sound good...

After reading the post below this one, click on this link.

The Next Step and Wondering What It Is

It's 2 in the morning and I just got back from the office. I got done with work at 6, came home, fell asleep for an hour and a half under the covers, woke up, talked to Jamie for 5 minutes, went to the gym, worked out, ran 3 or 4 miles, went to whole foods, spent $20 on a small dinner (which included a 6 pack of Carlsberg), went to the office and began editing.

Every night for the past two weeks, when I get done with work, and I just know that I should be editing, and that I've been procrastinating all day; I hope that nobody calls me and that nothing is going on that night so that I can just edit. In reality, if this were the case for more than one day I would become a horrible depressed mess, believing that I had no friends and that no one liked me and that people thought that I was annoying and insincere and that my face wasn't aesthetically pleasing to them. But almost every night there has been something going on, and it's been fun to hang out with friends and to meet new people and I am so grateful for the friends I have. I haven't been editing as diligently as I should have been because I'm a sucker for a good time. But tonight I turned down a friend so that I could get some things done that I needed to do, which was hard, but I needed to do it, and I was productive.

The cut of the Amazon Mission Trip doc is done, praise God! However, the project still needs to be finished (a term that entails a lot of fine-tuning in editing), the DVD needs to be made, the trailerish-Christian-promo-video needs to be cut, and the special features need to be arranged. And this all has to be done by Thursday, my last day at work and the day I have to turn my equipment in, which means I am going to be very, very, busy. Oh and I have to finish my sister's wedding video to bring up north (to my cousin's wedding in North Dakota) so that I can show my grandparents. Aye yi yi yi yi.

And then when I get back on Tuesday, I will be unemployed. Jesus where are you leading me?