Sunday, December 30, 2007

Working On Something

I'm currently working hard on something, so I haven't posted anything in a few days. Bernie, I know you wanted to go, but we just sort of went at the last minute. Can't tell yet if it was a fruitful experience. It's something anyway.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fate And Vengence

I've yet to hear one non-positive review for No Country For Old Men. I can't deny that the movie was well made, or that the elements of the film weren't deliberate, well played out or well sown into the plot. But I need justice. An old man with a thick country accent began discussing the film with me while we were peeing at urinals after the film. He told me in a thick Texas-country accent that they were planning on making a sequel. "I need justice," I said. "Damn right," he said.

I finally came into the office at about 2pm. As I sat in my car taking a bite out of my sandwich, I watched an older woman come out of the restaurant across the street with her husband and walk to their car. She was smoking like a pro, no doubt been doing it her whole life; I marveled at how put together she was for a sixty year old smoker. Then I saw her shoulders hunch as she took her last drag and I knew what was coming. She was going to through that butt on the ground. And she did. Just like she smoked, she flicked that fag just like she'd been doing it her whole life. I was ready. I punched my horn and she looked up like a spooked deer, right at me. I ripped my sunglasses off my face and reached for the door, but she just got into her husbands navy Cadillac. I wanted to get out and give her back that cigarette butt and tell her to imagine the mountain of garbage she's created in her lifetime of smoking. But I just sat and stewed as they drove away.

That bitch is going to die a slow painful death anyway. And that's justice.

Green Power T-Shirts

The word "green" to describe environmentally conscious consumer practices is becoming so overused and diluted that it's almost lost it's meaning, but who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I used the black power fist and made this little design. It's not quite right, but I'm thinking of putting something like it on some t-shirts and offering them to anyone who wants one for free. First, I've gotta find some ink that is non-chemically produced. I'm going to look into the ink they use on Dr. Bonner's soap labels. What do you think?Kyle, you already know my plan.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New Web Series

From the creators of My So Called Life (Also if you haven't yet watched Clark and Michael, you really should check that out too. Both quite the respite whilst the writers are on strike)., did somebody steal my life story and make it into a web-video series?

10 Good Movies to Watch Happily in Mixed Company

I've had this post saved as a draft for well over a week now, so it's time to release it even though it's not even close to being done.

Basically the problem is this, most adult-themed movies these days contain some scenes, jokes, situations etc. that can be horribly awkward to watch in mixed company. For example, when Superbad came out, I saw it over beers at the movie tavern with Ross, one of my best friends from highschool. We were those guys (me - Michael Cera, Ross - Jonah Hill, only different because Ross is way smarter than me), so we laughed hysterically, leaving the film feeling very entertained. Fast-forward to a few weeks later, watching the film with my mom on DVD...HORRIBLY AWKWARD.

Even the most heart-warming of films of the PG-13 variety contain some cringe-worthy scenes, however, every once in a while there comes a film that is adult, entertaining, and devoid of anything too awkward to watch in with a mixed group of people or with one's family. Adding to the difficulty of finding these great films with added general appeal is that when you watch a film with a group, someone is sure to have already seen the film and thus will be unhappy about the choice of movie, so some obscurity is necessary in a good film of this sort (other criteria being relatively short length, humorousness, poignancy and a positive if not happy ending).

So here goes, the first two films I can think of that a group of people, with varying levels of moral-standards and intelligent dispositions are sure to enjoy:

1. OnceTaking place in modern-day Dublin, the two leads of this film have a romantic chemistry that is rare. I've heard this film described as a modern musical, which it is not, but music is the dramatic thread that weaves this film together.

2. The Puffy ChairMade on a shoe-string budget and also shot on digital video just like Once, this film is fun, humorous and compellingly dramatic all at the same time. The story follows a young man who gets the idea to buy a recliner on Ebay like the one his family used to have and give it to his father for his birthday. He goes on a roadtrip with his girlfriend to pick up and deliver the chair, picking up his eccentric brother along the way. Joy, tragedy and closure ensue.

3. Bottle RocketThis one would of course work best if no one in the group has seen the film. This is Wes Anderson's directorial debut (director of Rushmore, Royal Tenennbaums and more), it is also Owen and Luke Wilson's first movie as actors. This caper-comedy has all the rich textures of Wes Anderson's other movies, without all the serious consequences of real-life criminal activity. It's a really fun movie.

4. Just Friends? - Ok, I was trying to fix the Tivo and I started watching this movie for the first time and I was absolutely losing it, laughing really hard. I watched it from somewhere in the middle all the way to the end. I actually laughed at a movie where Chris Klein was a major character, never thought that would happen. Any objections? P.S. Now that I think about it, this movie isn't obscure at all, so I may have to take it off the list just on those grounds.

Obviously I didn't get very far. Paying close mind to the criteria listed above, please cast your vote and help me finish this list.

It's About Jesus

Merry Christmas. Went to the church I've gone to my entire life with my family this evening. There are so many jokes there, the whole place is just a mystery to me, so devoid of religion, such bad singing, such childhood memories.

Whether or not you believe in Jesus, to some extent, I don't really care. But just ponder for a moment if indeed Jesus was God coming to earth and taking on the body and entire life-span of a man, then God was once a helpless little baby. This is a pretty weird concept, just think about it for a moment.

There was a baby screaming the entire service, sitting directly behind me. I wanted the mother to take that baby outside so bad, but when you think about it, having to listen to that screaming little baby, while commemorating the birth of God when he became a man...pretty apropos.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Got One Of These, Jealous?

If you are reading this blog, you might as well also be reading the work of Kyle Rother, on The Foggiest. Kyle pours his heart and soul into everything he does, meaning quality and not necessarily quantity. If you use an RSS feed reader, just subscribe. It won't bog down your "to-reads" but it will provide you with some intellectual nourishment every once in a while.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this guy?

Elvis Costello is really good.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Roger Ebert - The 10 best films of 2007

Juno is number one, although he later states that he loves them all equally. My favorite film of the year, Once (trailer) also got an honorable mention. I really love Roger Ebert.

If you haven't seen the film "Once" yet, watch it with your family over the holidays. It's pretty good.

An Idea

Inspired by my recent induction into the West and Clear blog links, I've got an idea for a Fort Worth-themed story. A few weeks ago, I decided to go on a drive through an area of Fort Worth that I'd never visited. I drove behind the Central Market on Hulen and I-30, heading West through a nice little middle-class neighborhood. I soon arived at a small park called Lake Como Park. I pulled into the parking lot to check it out. I found the name strange, because I always thought "Como" referred to an area somewhere south of I-35 in what can only be described as the ghetto. The pond was a separation, a border between this quaint neighborhood and something rougher. From what I could tell, there was only one road to continue going West, so I went ahead and drove down it past Lake Como Park. The curb soon disappeared under the overgrowth of weeds, mud and leaves of the unkempt boulevard. I was quickly in Como, an isolated and impoverished area of Fort Worth proper. I was shocked that this rough neighborhood was in such close proximity to the prim and proper development on Hulen.

What always seems so strange to me is that these areas are always in such general disrepair. High on one of the few hills in the area, this neighborhood is obviously neglected by the Fort Worth Public works. If you don't believe me, take a drive through the neighborhood, you'll find donkeys, dirt roads and cinder block buildings with fading paint and bars on the windows.

My idea is simple, take a walk through the neighborhood, take some pictures, meet some people, try not to get shot or mugged and post my story here.

Chilling Out For Christmas

That guy who owes me three thousand dollars finally got back to me, after multiple text messages, emails, voice mail messages and Myspace messages (lame). He wrote, "Hey man...chill a little..." then proceeded to tell me that he hadn't been avoiding me, just out of town, "no one is in the office because of the holiday," etc. That's fine, but when he tells me that the check is in the mail on November 27th and it's now December 22nd, that's not ok. We have people to pay, and without getting paid, we can't pay. Fortunately for our freelance employees, we paid them through our credit card, so whether we get paid or not, they still get their money. That's the way we do business, with absolute integrity.

Do I buy their excuses? No, of course not. But will I take there advice and chill for the holidays? Of course I will. But when the 26th rolls around it's back to business. Whether or not we are "friends" has no bearing on whether or not I get my attorney involved. Just like the friendly Haltom City police officer told me as he handed me my ticket the other day, "nothing personal, it's just business." I really appreciated that, I'm sure they will too.

News, Mexico

Today was a pretty overwhelming day (see posts below 1, 2). The good news however, is that I'll be spending most of January working on a show in Mexico. It's a travel adventure show, takes place mostly at resorts and they tell me that I'll be spending one night in the jungle on a survival-adventure. This makes me very happy. I always like having things to look forward to.

Also, something that I am very grateful for, the recent low-grade crisis in my life has made me once again dependent on the greater power who is God. After weeks of spiritual coldness, I've found myself praying again and relying on God to get me through. Even though I'm having a rough time I feel more blessed than ever.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hiring My First Attorney

I've heard the horror stories, but of course I never thought it would happen to me. To ensure that these clowns pay me I've decided to hire an attorney. At $250 an hour, this is no small decision. However, I figure it's a better route than taking vengeance into my own hands. These chumps are going down.

Three Thousand Dollars

Recently, I was "hired" to do some video work for a boutique that would soon be opening up in Dallas. The job was described to me as following around a group of socialites as they went to clubs and filming them go about their partying, both to make them look important as a marketing scheme and also for the footage to be used for various purposes such as playing on tv's in their store and to be edited for a potential reality TV pilot (the lamest reality show yet).

For three hellish nights I followed them through clubs until after 2am, hanging out with them, listening to their pointless conversations, watching them do cocaine and other drugs and sweating my ass off. Because they weren't paying me immediately I held on to the tapes. No contracts were signed but I was assured that I would get paid first and then I could give them the footage. They continued to call me each weekend and when I couldn't film I hired other shooters to film, paying them two hundred and fifty dollars a night. I always paid the cameramen the next day when they brought back the gear. Now, 6 weeks after the original job, they've yet to pay me a penny. They've also since stopped returning my emails, phone calls and text messages.

If they don't pay me by Christmas, I'll post all of the appropriate information for their slander. I'm really angry.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

They're Making The Hobbit Into a Movie

I became obsessed with this book from 4th grade through 6th grade. I wanted there to be a Hobbit movie so bad back then. The cartoon just didn't do it justice. Check out the Aint It Cool article for details:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Attention Documentary Filmmakers

If you're not yet watching, prepare to have your mind blown. This company was created by a bunch of skateboarders, turned filmmakers, turned journalists. They are the same people who made the Vice Guide to Travel DVD. Their documentaries are simply produced, with masterful story telling, light weight digital video cameras and courage bordering on extreme recklessness. I can't stop watching their stories from start to finish.

**update - Spike Jonze is the "Creative Director" of

Problems With Google Reader

At the moment I am subscribed to 54 blogs. If I don't check my Google Reader every day, there is sure to be a pile of fresh posts waiting for me when I finally login. Unlike email, Google Reader simply unmarks posts as you scroll down through them, so that you are starting with the most recent posts and working backwards towards where you originally left off. This is often problematic as you end up getting the new information before you're ready for it.

Is there a setting where I can create an inbox for new posts? Or perhaps a better blog subscription managing software? Lemme know.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pitchfork Top 50 Videos

I've thought about this one a lot this year:

Check out the rest of them if you get time, on Pitchfork's website.

Dear Leader,

First of all Blurbo, George Bush can say whatever the hell he wants, but he is NOT an evangelical, fundamentalist. Anyone who knows anything about the Bible can say with certainty that GWB isn't living up to it's standards. Secondly, if you are for or against Ron Paul, either way, PLEASE understand that the things that he is for and the things that he is against are in line with the most fundamental modern Christian fundamentals that there are.

The dollar is depreciating, the United States government has been steadily chipping away at our constitutional liberties and the people in charge of the value of the United States Dollar are a bunch of colluding power-mongers. Yeah, so if you're pro Ron Paul good. But please know that you are, for better or for worse, supporting the most fundamentalist evangelical candidate possibly ever in the history of this country.

Oh and P.S., Mitt Romney is a Mormon, not an evangelical. He can talk about Jesus all he wants but the Jesus he speaks of is not the Jesus of the New Testament, it's the Jesus of the Mormon "scriptures," the book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrines and Covenants. Mormons calling themselves "Christians" is misleading. The Bible has a historical account of when a group of people was first distinguished as Christians in the first century A.D in the ancient middle east. The Mormon scriptures take place in South America. Mitt Romney's religion speech is a crock because rather than talking about the idiosyncrasies of Mormonism compared to modern Christianity, he is very deliberately trying to make himself look and sound like an evangelical. Mitt Romney is not an evangelical, he is a Mormon. There is a BIG difference.

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Making Videos

I'll be pretty busy this week editing the 30 or so videos that we shot for Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas. Here's one that I put together while we were there so that we could show them an example of what we were doing. The Houston Texans Cheerleaders stopped by, so I asked them to do a little pitch for the store.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fourteen Hour Days

This morning we all got up at 6am and had a hardcore workout, while intermitantly filming it. Then we took a quick trip to Denny's, Starbucks and then it was off to our location. We've been filming all day mostly non-stop every day so I haven't had much access to the blog. I'm cooking up some good ideas though, so I'll see you this weekend. I can't wait.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Plans For The Weekend

Rough day today. Drove about two hundred miles in traffic, from Bedford to Hurst to Oak Cliff to Central Dallas to Oak Cliff to Central Dallas to North Dallas through Grapevine to Downtown Fort Worth to South Fort Worth to Central Fort Worth to Southlake to Bedford. Got a ticket doing 82 in a 65, just glad he got me as I was slowing down, so much for environmentalism. He didn't have much sympathy when I told him I was 45 minutes late for my mom's birthday dinner. Also missed my registration for the White Rock half-marathon. Running it anyway though, to keep my friend company.

Austin and I landed a huge job in Houston. We leave on Sunday and film from Monday through Friday. Going to shoot guns tomorrow morning, edit some video in Fort Worth in the afternoon and going to bed early before running the White Rock Half Marathon (unregistered of course) on Sunday morning. The only developmental nightmare worse than DFW is Houston. We're just glad to have the work. See you next week.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Most Famous Things On The Internet

When I graduated college in December of 2004, I took a job in video post production, in an office, a job with the glorious title of "vault." During my 9 hour days, I would work feverishly up to 6 hours a day. The other 3 hours I would sit nervously in my little room in the back of the building with 2 computers, just waiting for them to come fire me. I'd always wondered what people did on the internet. I really hate pornography, but before then, I thought that's what most people used the internet for. So that I wouldn't fall into that trap, I looked for ways to avoid using the internet for purposes other than intellectual development. I'd heard that the internet was actually a good tool, so when I discovered Blogger, I figured starting a blog was a good way to stay busy and get my ideas out and to you, that way we could share our good ideas positively. Three years later, I've become a better writer and an internet pro.

Here are a couple of the things I have found and what other smart people have found. These things are cool, internet-famous and intelligent, check them out if you haven't: - Heather B. Armstrong. Disgruntled ex-Mormon, web-designer, photographer, survivor of postpartum depression, mom and writer.

Gorilla vs Bear - Such hipster taste in music that I can't even follow most of the music they write about. This Dallas-based music review blog posts a butt-load of free mp3's and videos that are cooler than that cool emo girl with low self-esteem that you went to high school with and were secretly fascinated by. - Jason Kottke is a habitual poster. It's normal to receive 8 posts a day Monday through Friday and a post or two on the weekend. He loves maps, fonts, graphic design, books, city development and food. I get the feeling he is VERY smart and a little bit obsessive compulsive.

Jonathan Coulton - Last year, produced a song a week. Like Ze Frank's "The Show," only more music. Check out his suggested listening to get a taste of what JoCo does.

The Superest - If you have a short attention span, this site is for you. Each day (sometimes twice a day), various designers and graphic artists create a new superhero who will destroy the last super hero that was created. Takes 10 seconds to read a post, makes me smile almost every day. (Thanks to Martha for showing it to me.)

Ze Frank - Last year, made "The Show," in which a new video was produced by Ze (pronounced "Zay") every day for a year, consisting of news, interactivity, philosophy and fun. Ze it is safe to say, has revolutionized video "blogging."

Coming NOW, Lists Galore!

What incentive do you have to read this blog? What do I have to contribute that is of an expert opinion, that is informative that is beneficial to anyone!?

Ah ha! I'm going to do some research and produce some lists. Lists that will contribute something to your life, your entertainment, your mental well-being!

Here they come!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Upgrading to a D SLR

There comes a time in a man's life when he must discard his old digital camera and upgrade to a digital SLR that looks like it was made in 1974. For this man, that time is now.

One Magical Weekend

Park City, Peter Pan, Snowboarding and Friends:

Pic #1 is Main Street in Park City
Pic #2 is (from left) Me, Emily, Brett and Red outside of the Egyptian Theatre where Brett was playing "John" in Peter PanPic #3 is Me, Brett, Red and Emily at The Canyons Ski Resort
Pic #4 is me in my ski gear looking like an outlaw
Pic #5 is Emoss (Emily) in her cool hat
Pic # 6 is Emily Me and Red at some brewery on Main Street drinking the organic amber

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Annie I Might Love You

Ok, I'm obsessed, yes, boy-band obsessed (but not really like that), it's just that she's so good, she's so honest, so...beautiful. On top of that, she's an amazing guitar player, song-writer, foot-stomper. Oh, just please watch this.
That's real. That's not acting. That's not staged. That's a real person.

(I'm talking about *Dallas' own, St. Vincent).

*Don't know if she's really from Dallas or some other city in DFW, maybe she is, I just don't know.

It's Thirteen Degrees Here

Dallas is very different from Park City.

It's Snowing Here

Since I'm on vacation in a big, nice house with high-speed internet, sitting in a big nice room on a big, nice, elegant bed, I'm going to go ahead and blog about it.

Saw Peter Pan tonight. It's fascinating to me that such an antiquated art form (theatre) still works, still grabs you. It was a fun show, people flew, Peter Pan was played by a girl.

Also, I bought Dave Eggers book called What Is The What. What I didn't realize is that it's not fiction. It's Dave's depiction of the story of one of "the Lost Boys" of Sudan. It seems good so far. The back cover says that it's an "epic telling." That intimidates me. But I read his book You Shall Know Our Velocity! last month and really dug it.

Tomorrow I'll be shredding fresh powder.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Times, Good Friends, Shredding The Slopes

In the summer of 2002 I embarked on a life changing trip with 3 friends, moving to Los Angeles for the summer to pursue internships in the film industry. Emily lived with a wonderful family in Encino and we spent many days hanging out with them in their back yard, swimming in their pool and kicking it with their cool son Brett. They've since moved to the quaint mountain town of Park City Utah and this weekend I'll be visiting them. While my best friend Ben won't be able to make it, it should still be a great time catching up with the crew, watching Brett as the lead in Peter Pan and absolutely tearing up the slopes on the snow board Austin gave me. I'm also eager to try out this new Patagonia ski jacket I got, you've gotta love that company.

Not sure if I'll be blogging or not. I'll try and bring back something special. I'll miss you the most.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clark and Michael

How did I JUST find out about this. It's brilliant.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Setting the Bar Even Higher

Last February I embarked on a business venture called Double A Pictures with my business partner Austin, who I'd met while going through the Radio-Television and Film program at TCU. Austin was a creative guy, somewhat of a maverick, with a moral sensibility that I could relate to, so it seemed like he would be a good fit. By June we were traveling around the world filming documentary projects.

While in Africa in July, Austin bought an engagement ring for the girl who he'd been dating for about two and a half months, before we'd left for England in June.

The following is the story about how Caitlin and Austin came to be engaged. It's pretty perfect.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Music Monday at the Foggiest!

Download today's free playlist concocted by Kyle!

3.86 Months of Vacation

There are about 52 weeks in a year, the weekend consisting of Saturday and Sunday, and therefore 104 days of weekend a year. Standard vacation time is 2 weeks per year, equaling 14 days. Add all of those days together and you've got 118 days. Divide those days by the days in a month, about 30.5 and you get about 3.9 months. That's about how much tine we are supposed to not work in a year.

Because I work for weeks on end, business hours mean nothing, weekends mean nothing, and I often go long stretches without a break. Because of this, I go on a lot of multi-day vacations when the work finally subsides. And according to my math above, even in our American system, where we work too much, we still should get close to 4 months of vacation time a year. This knowledge calculated and quantifiable, I'm busy planning my vacations for next year. They started with a weekend at my friend Matt's ranch this weekend, Park City to visit friends and ski next weekend. A possible ski trip in early January, Alaska to go salmon fishing in June, and now a possible 2 week trek across Europe sometime in July. Life is just that much easier to bear when you've got a vacation to look forward to.

P.S. I should also mention that I'll be working on a film project in Mexico for two weeks in January that is sure to mix business with pleasure. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying, we "work" way too much.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Taking a Bath in Budapest

Episode 2 in the "Anton's Adventures" video series. Enjoy! By the way, this video was shot in late June. I am not in Europe right now, I'm in good 'ol Texas.

Happy Thanksgiving My Friend

Npr filled my ears, it was 6:20am. There was a very nice story about a guy going on his first ski run of the season. The sound of the snow crunching beneath his feet, and the windless silence of the closed road was very beautiful. I got out of bed and put on my running shoes, my fleece, my cap and gloves. My dad drove me out to the race site. The registration fee was $30 because it was the morning of the race. I ran a 42:50 10k, which is pretty good considering I was just getting over a respiratory infection. We all piled into my dad's car and went over to my brother in law's parents house and had a feast. Huge snow flakes began falling from the sky and we drove home. I'm so thankful for all of this. I'm thankful for you.

I found the story about the guys skiing - Ski Buffs Search for First Snow! Listen here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

25,000 Miles For Free, Just For Me!

The other day a letter came in the mail for me. It was that window-letter type of envelope with a red and blue logo printed right on the front. Without even opening it I glanced over the words EXCITING-YOU-25,000! I was obviously intrigued. So I ripped off the end of the envelope and blew into it like an origami paper-balloon. The envelope was stuffed with folded papers of varying weights and finishes, from heavy and matted to wispy and glossy. I pulled out 3 sheets of tri-folded eight and a half by eleven. In a rectangular box in bold lettering I saw a figure, 25,000. What the design of this letter told me (without actually reading the print) was that if I signed up for a credit card, I would in turn receive 25,000 airline miles for free. I wanted these airline miles, even though I've never in my life used any airline miles. But I lost my patience with the paperwork before I'd even begun to read the finer print. So, I wedged the sheets back in the envelope wondering how they'd even fit in there in the first place. This particular letter was like a clown-car of rules and regulations. I threw it on my desk for possible further inspection.

Last night I saw the envelope sitting on my desk and not having anything pressing to do at the moment, I took it to my mom. "Mom, can you read this and explain it to me," I asked. After glancing at the paper-work, flipping it over, glancing at the back, a process that took 3.5 seconds (my mom's a speed-reader) she told me that the offer went like this:

I sign up for the card, they send it to me. If I make $750 worth of purchases in a 4 month period then I qualify for 25,000 miles on American Airlines, which will be credited to me 8 to 10 weeks after I've met the requirement. The rate before I meet the requirement is very low and then after-ward it jumps up to 17.2%. Then, one year after that I pay a $50 annual rate to be a "member" of this benevolent mile-giving credit-card club.

In November the CEO of Citi Group, the company who will be blessing me with my new credit card, resigned after the company posted losses in the billions. The news this morning, and every morning for the last few weeks has been of the economic crisis being fended off in the face of wide-spread mortgage foreclosures as a result of the sub-prime loan debacle. Then I heard one of the reporters say that credit-card defaults will cause the next economic collapse. This made me smile. I've had two credit cards for 8 years and I have never ended a month with a balance of more that zero. What don't we get about the fact that it's credit!? It's not real money! So what I'll do with this new piece of fake-plastic-money, is buy all of my evil gas on it, each week transferring the balance from my checking account to the card. I will write a "DESTROY ON" date on the front of the card and that's what I'll do. And in only five months I'll have 75,000 airline miles that I may never use.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Music Mondays - Hot Hot Hot

Kyle, a sometimes contributor, writer, graphic artist and musician, has started posting quite regularly on his blog "The Foggiest." You probably subscribe to a lot of blogs already, but every Monday Kyle is putting together a 5 or 6 song playlist available as a free download straight from his blog. Kyle has very good taste in music and these playlists are very deliberately designed to elicit certain moods. I've really been enjoying them and I want you to enjoy them too.

Click here to go to this week's Music Monday post on The Foggiest.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For Houston

Whether you're from Houston or not, you'll probably find these two videos pretty funny. But if you are from Houston, they'll not only make you laugh, they'll make you nostalgic. I bring you the magic of Mattress Mack:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How to Be An Environmentalist

America is a capitalist economy, fascism is a merger of corporate and state power, the truth of our current situation in this country is probably somewhere in between. This brings us to the first and most important way to be an environmentalist.

1. Shop green. - In a capitalist system, consumers drive the market. If we want corporations to listen, they'll listen to our dollars. American Apparel, Patagonia and Seventh Generation, are a few companies putting sustainable manufacturing into practice. For a list of other green companies check out One Percent for the Planet.

2. Don't be a super-commuter. - You may not be able to do it right away, but make plans to not have to drive so far to work, if you can, don't drive at all.

3. Recycle. - Think about all that waste just piling up in landfills, that practice can't go on forever, it's impossible and obviously unsustainable. There are many different ways to recycle. Make it a priority.

4. Drive a fuel efficient car. - Once again, if we want manufacturers to make greener products, we have to create a demand for them. Driving a hybrid may not save you any money, but it sends a clear message to car manufacturers and at the same time clears your conscience.

5. Enjoy the outdoors. - There are obvious pitfalls to eco-tourism, but if you don't like the outdoors, how can you actually call yourself an environmentalist?

6. Educate your children. - I grew up watching Captain Planet, reading Zoobooks magazine, National Geographic Magazine and watching classic nature documentaries on PBS. Education is the key to solving all of the worlds problems.

7. Call yourself and environmentalist. - Christians spread Christianity by teaching the good news that God has shown His love for us. Environmentalists do the same. Spread the Gospel of the beauty of God's creation, it is our job to protect it.

8. Don't litter. - If you have trash and there is no trash can in sight, hold on to your litter until you find a trash can, for as long as that takes (If you litter and I see you, I will hunt you down). Don't put up with people who litter, it is an insult to God.

Ok that last one was a little aggressive, but this is a story of personal values and the environment is our most valuable possession. While the fight for the environment may at some times seem hopeless in the face of industrial greed and power, wouldn't you still rather fight than just be part of the problem?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You've Done All You Can Do

My apologies to Bill Waterson, who I highly respect and adore. I know that I don't have the right to post this, but it is one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons ever printed. How could I not share it with you? Please enjoy it.
(click the image to view it in a larger format)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Epic Series of Travel Vlogs Coming Soon

After discovering a simple piece of software called Mpeg Streamclip, I am now able to easily convert those pesky little Mpegs from my digital camera, making them DV-NTSC 720x480 at the click of a button. What does all this mean for you?

It means my Final Cut Pro will be running at warp-speed, cranking out my vlogs from Budapest, Prague, Cyprus, Kenya and India. Prepare to be entertained!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Now Twittering

Although I still don't quite understand the purpose or value of giving live updates about my day through Twitter, other than doing my lazy stalker's job for her, I am now officially Twittering, just check the sidebar to the right. (Wiki entry for Twitter.)

Anyone care to explain why Twitter is the new way to blog?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good News, WGA Strike = Video From Ze

If you don't subscribe to Ze yet, just do it. DO IT NOW! The last thing you want to happen is to miss out on the next project Ze does, like I did with The Show. Click on Ze's picture and watch the short video, it's all the introduction you need.

There Will Be Blood - Trailer

One of my favorite directors, Paul Thomas Anderson, the madman who brought us Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love, is about to release his latest film, what could be his finest work. The story mirrors that of the current booming natural gas industry, the corruption, the greed, the fight for power and riches. I recommend at least watching the trailer at 480p HD resolution or, click on this link and choose any format you'd like.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Art Or Vandalism

The genius of this artwork is hard to argue, but it's still vandalism isn't it? Would this piece even get the time of day if it weren't done illegally?P.S. The photographer who shot this picture caught "Banksy" in the act.

Step Outside Of Yourself

Martha, a good friend of mine, someone who comments on nearly every post I make (thank you), just replied to a post I made a few days ago, of a photographic story by National Geographic magazine, documenting the widespread natural gas drilling that is taking place across the United States. The story presents a bleak picture of the changing landscape of the once untouched American West. It seems that these stories of environmental devastation have struck a chord with her, as they've struck a chord with me as well. But they've left her feeling hopeless, crying out for Christ's return, because let's face it, the world is passing away in our hands. But hopelessness is not what this blog is about, no, it's about taking deliberate action in the fight against myopic development, making harder the lives of those who are greedy, who seek power and oppress those who are weaker than them, it's about reaching out in love to educate those individuals who can make a difference. More than anything else, the message that I try to get across through every piece of art that I make, is an idea that comes from the Bible (Jesus specifically), which has been channeled through Kurt Vonnegut, and Bono. The idea is this:

Step outside of yourself and love other people. If we are just living for survival, then we are no better than the animals, something that separates us is human compassion, although not everyone has it. Kurt Vonnegut said it this way, "above all else, be kind to each other." Or as Bono said it, "One love-One blood-One life-You got to do what you should-One life-With each other-Sisters-Brothers-One life-But we're not the same-We get to-Carry each other-Carry each other."

Our job, as people with compassion, is to teach others to have values. Martha said it best, "you have to teach them by example." You've also got to educate them. If someone throws a cigarette butt on the ground, tell them about the bad chemicals that are in those cigarette butts, tell them how they are made specifically not to break down. And then throw your cigarette butt in the trash can. Even better, just don't smoke. But the biggest point is that as the educated, it is our job to teach, if you are a Christian, teach the Gospel, and if you claim to be a Christian then LIVE IT. This means dying to yourself, dying to love other people, and not just living for survival.

In the coming days I'll try to write a few short pieces and provide links to companies and organizations who are taking a stand in the fight for sustainable living. Also, I'll try to write a few short essays on how we can all get involved and make a difference not just in the little things we do, but really shake things up and create the momentum for change.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Kid You Not

So all these (1,2,3) prominent Fort Worth bloggers had this facial recognition thing embedded in their blogs, so I finally decided to try it out. The results are amazingly accurate:

National Geographic Magazine, How I Love Thee

Watch this short slide show done by National Geographic about the wide-spread natural gas drilling that is taking place in the western U.S.

This is not an environmentally friendly process. Don't let anyone tell you that this type of drilling is safe, or that it is low impact, or, that it is economically good for the U.S. There is a gas boom going on, just like the oil boom of the early 20th century. The only difference now is that these gangsters fight with lawyers rather than knee breakers.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How To Save The Planet, For Now

The price of oil sky-rockets, the value of the dollar continues to fall, the value of gold continues to rise.

These trends signify something scary. Whether or not democracy is the best system of government, or whether free enterprise and capitalism are the best for liberty, the trends in American-run business are decided by consumer dollars. If the country continues to drive and to value the automobile as much as it does, oil companies will continue to raise the price of oil until consumers reach their breaking point.

If you want to be ahead of the curve, do whatever it takes to drive less. Take a bus to the train station and bring a bike for the trip from the train to the bus to work. Just don't give the filthy creeps your money.

In a related question: How do you teach values?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Environment, All We Have

Something has to be done to get humanity to value the natural world, to cherish it, as we should cherish all life. Abortion is bad, and sad, and so is the destruction of our planet, and the murder of God's creation, the rare animals that are steadily slipping away. I'm dedicating my life to this cause, inspiring these personal values within others, through art.

This trailer, for a movie about a man campaigning to save sharks, just shook me up to the point of tears.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What Do Mormons Do?

There is no point in saying "no offense," because this is going to be incredibly offensive to anyone who is a Mormon.

But if you've ever wondered what Mormons do, here are two interviews of Mormon teens, who are pretty sick of living within the Mormon culture. The interviews are both funny and informative, and worth reading.

(I'm linking to, who is linking to the original story.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The North American Jaguar

Smithsonian magazine is a really great publication. This month's issue has a story on Jaguars living in the wild in North America. Jaguar populations once thrived throughout both North and South America, but their population was decimated by hunting during the last 200 years. However, there are now 4 known Jaguars living in the wild in the United States along the border with Mexico.

Smithsonian might as well have informed me that Santa Claus actually exists and is my great uncle. Jaguars, the third largest big-cats in the world (just smaller than lions and tigers), actually live in the United States--that is amazing. There is still some wild in the world, thank God.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Out Of Juice

The art of the radio show is alive and well, on 3 shows, all brought to you by PRI, Public Radio International. Those shows are This American Life, Radio Lab (actually New York Public Radio) and Fair Game with Faith Salie. That last one has a pretty good blog, yet it seems that I am the only one who ever comments on their posts. Please join me in commenting and check out their show sometime on your local Public Radio station.

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Office

On November 1st, Double A Pictures will not only be an official LLC entity, but we will also have our own office in Fort Worth. The opening party is going to be Ka Ray Zay, and yes, you are invited.

Now we just have to get our Double A Pictures website up and running.

Last Night

I dreamed I roundhouse kicked a vampire in the face, and I fell out of bed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ron Paul: Hope For America?

Ron Paul says that if he were elected president, he would eliminate Central Banking, eliminate the IRS, stop immigration, and remove all troop immediately from Iraq. The more I hear about him, the more I like him; on top of that the more I hear the man speak, the more I like him. Educate thyself on Raul Paul, small government, and liberty!


Currently, I'm acting in a short film, assistant editing a TV series, producing 2 web-based video series, and editing a commercial. What happened to that whole, not working and focusing on my screenplay thing?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bill Waterson On Charles Schulz

Bill Waterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, who declines interviews and is generally a hermit (and a genius!), has come out of hiding to write a review of the new biography of Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
(thanks, Kyle)

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Future of Comedy - Good or Bad? I'm Ambivalent.

You don't have to watch this whole video if you don't want to, not that you ever have to do anything I say, but I just want to present that caveat before you think that I am telling you this video is a must-see.
The thing is that the video doesn't even really get funny until it reaches an absurdest level. Before Andy murders the guy, it's just the same joke over and over, which SNL is constantly guilty of presenting as comedy. However now, instead of presenting something with a story structure, The Lonely Island "dudes" just take us for an adventure ride through bizarroville...and maybe I like it. One thing is certain, comedy is taking a turn in the direction of Absurdistan.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Detailed Review of The Darjeeling Limited

Tuesdays In Austin - By Kyle Rother

They following story is a true account, written by Kyle Rother for Deliberate Industries.

So where was I? Oh that’s right, I hadn’t yet begun. I guess the place to start would be at the beginning. It just so happens, however, that the beginning isn’t all that interesting, so we’ll start near the beginning. Maybe the part where I’m heading down to Emo’s with my friend Quinn to catch a show would be good?

“Wanna see a show tonight?” Quinn asked earlier.
“Uh, I don’t know. It’s a Tuesday night. Who’s play…”
“There’ll be a lot of attractive ladies there.”
“Alright.” Well if he was going to twist my arm… “Who’s playing?”
“Mickey Avalon,” he said, but my mouth must have been flapping with indifference. “He’s a white rapper,” he continued. “The ladies love him.”

So that was an easy call. As was the decision for me to drive, since my car’s gas gauge was just slightly less in the red than his. From here, the uninteresting part of parking and walking up to the door happened, which leads me to my next point…

We walked into Emo’s through the band entrance with ease, Quinn knows a few people, and were met with looks of awe from the dazed, celebrity-hungry crowd. I’m sure they quickly abandoned any notions of our fame as soon as they saw our dress, for this crowd, I would come to find, was not the cheap brown pants and navy pocket tee crowd. I noticed this was the case with my first glance onstage, where former MTV VJ Simon Rex was slurring obscenities under the moniker Dirt Nasty. The thoughtful recognition of this fact did nothing for my self-esteem as I quickly flashed back to a couple of years ago when I found myself saying, “Boy, his career seems to have lost some credibility” while watching Rex on the then WB Network. Never would I have thought I’d find myself here… at Emo’s… watching Rex, sorry – Dirt Nasty – rap to a crowd full of coked-out hipster chicks and college girls.

The decision to get a beer was instantly met with praise and Quinn and I quickly drank our first two Lone Stars as Dirt Nasty finished mopping the floor with his whiteness. So this is where the white influence on Hip-Hop has taken us. Awesome. After meeting up with a couple of friends, about three more beers and a smashed guitar later (oh yeah, some Metal band inside started chucking their guitars into their 4 man strong crowd. It was heavy.), Mickey Avalon came on. From here, the night proceeded to get weird.

Looking out the window at night can’t help but wonder/That God must be one sick muthafucka/So I bust a nut in the sky/And spend another day waiting to die.

The lyrics caused another almost instantaneous flashback, this time to a point earlier in the night when I mistook Quinn’s informative comment, “He used to work the streets of LA,” as a joke. It clearly was not.

“Yeah he used to be a male prostitute,” my other friend Phil said. “Isn’t that awesome?” I decided that Awesome is far from where I’d put my finger on this one. Prancing around onstage in a coked-out haze, Avalon seemed the bastard love child of Courtney Love and Britney Spears (MTV Movie Awards-era). His performance was complete Rap-Pop, or Pop-Rap, whichever sounds less terrible (neither?). Even a seat on the bleachers in the back did not allow escape from the aural raping of my ears. In a word, it was awful. The one spot of entertainment came from an encounter with a very drunk 20-something midway through the set. As she approached me attractively,

“Hey how’s it going?”
“Good, how’re you?” I was playing it cool.
“Good. Hey do you know this guy,” she said, pointing to the oddly dressed man before us.
“No, I don’t.” Truth be told, I in fact did not.
“He’s a really big douche bag,” she offered.
“Ok,” was all I could think to return her for the informative comment.
“I wanna go sit on him,” she smiled. Not wanting to deny her wants, I went along.
“I think you should go for it.” Why not, you know?

It would’ve been funny to see her try to sit on a guy standing up, what with the – Oh My God, I instantly thought as she spit her beer all over his back.
I want to sit on him
I want to sit on him
I want to spit on him.

As she ran off he turned around, none the wiser of the mouthful of Pabst now dripping down and soaking into his Houndstooth Blazer. I smiled as his eyes moved over my face and back up to the disaster unfolding onstage. It was time for another beer, which would allow enough time to meet another friend and strike up a desperate conversation that would last both of us long enough to fill the remaining time, ‘till concert’s end. Almost inevitably, Dentistry was the subject of choice and ended up giving the two of us more than enough time to find traits in common.

Her: One fake tooth and 14 cavities to date
Me: The same fake Incisor and zero cavities to my name.

It was more than entertaining (and certainly more so than Mickey Avalon) but as soon as the topic began to cross the line into Orthodontics, we were gifted with an even better subject. It began with a thud and the rattle of the bleachers beneath us. I followed the widening eye-line of my conversational partner behind me to find a white-shirted man hanging from he fifth level of the stands. Confusing as it was, we all kept our eyes glued as he made his way down, stumbling to the floor and revealing a blood-soaked head.

Deduction would lead me to believe that he somehow hopped the 12foot stone wall, made it through the top layer of barbed-wire fencing where he fell, bouncing off the Port-o-Can to the adjacent bleachers. Now the cause of the blood, glistened off a seemingly visible gash in the back of his head, and his apparent chaotic state was uncertain - a bar fight next-door maybe?

With mystery abound, we decided to call it a night. So we hugged our new friends bye and left Emo’s. This in itself would be a great end to the story, if we hadn’t have decided to make our way through the front of Emo’s in order to exit. In doing so, we were met with another of Quinn’s acquaintances who expressed to us his frustrations in the “quality of clientele” he was having to deal with. Being sure he was speaking of the bloodied up wall-jumper, we inquired further and were led to the pit in front of the stage inside, where no one stood, save one older lady with a sandy mullet. Her gray tank top reached down just far enough to cover her “happy area” as her blue jean shorts lay feet from her naked lower half.

“Oh my,” Quinn couldn’t have put it more precise. Not wanting to overstay our welcome, we left the bottomless mistress to her enjoyment of the Thrash Metal onstage and headed to our car.

“What a fucking night,” Quinn continued with his keen nocturnal observations.
“Yeah, let’s get the hell out of here,” I added and attempted at turning the ignition. The easy purr of the engine caused a bit of a panic as I remembered that I was only just slightly less in the red than Quinn. “We need gas.”

“Got enough to get two blocks?”
“I think,” and I was right. Luckily though, the station was downhill. I went through the motions of pumping gas and moved back to the driver’s seat. “Holy shit, this has been strange,” I breathed. The peace would continue until we were interrupted by the click of the pump, and as I got up to set it back in and waited for the receipt I saw my one last obstacle of the night – a young man making his way peacefully over. His grease-covered palms held up submissively and sweat covering his face, he seemed in need of some help.

“Hey man, could you help me change these girls’ tire. I think I fucked it up,” he said as I looked past him. Two blonde girls stood holding a spare tire next to a small blue Honda Accord resting on the naked rim of the front left wheel well. I imagined saying yes and walking over to help lift the car up and when that failed, using my brain to scheme a simple lever system to lift the car enough to fit a jack under the frame. I imagined the sweat, the pain, the time, the effort.

, the receipt.

“Sorry man,” I said as I pulled the paper from the machine and hopped into the car. I quickly pulled out of lot with just enough time to see our bottomless lady-friend from 15 minutes earlier walk up and offer her help.

And that’s the story of the time I found out I was more selfish than a mulleted old woman with a healthy distaste for wearing pants… Wait, that wasn’t the point I wanted to get to, but I guess we’ve arrived to it nonetheless. Dammit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

No matter what I try, she only spins clockwise for me.

Green River Ordinance, Piece It Together

These guys, originally from Fort Worth, just signed with a major label. It's feel good music, and I like that. P.S. I edited this video.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

17th Place What An Honor!

I like the British spelling of the word honour, also colour, and theatre. Oh yeah, and my video, Anton's Adventures "In Vienna," got honored by Youtube, as the 17th most linked to video of the day:Thank you for watching the video!

Pretty Women Are Trouble

That's it really.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Anton's Adventures: "In Vienna" - Finally!

This video was shot sometime around July 1st, 2007. It takes a long time to edit these, so I've been putting it off, but I've finally edited this one for your viewing pleasure. So here it is, the first of 5 episodes from around the world, enjoy!

Turning Over a New Leaf

Into The Wild is up there at the top of my list of the most depressing films I've ever seen. And that's not to say it's not good, and I'm not saying you shouldn't go see it, just that it is a depressing movie, but who knows, maybe you're into that sort of thing, torturing yourself emotionally. The movie has a lot of beautiful views of Western North America, unspoiled land, and a few fun characters along the way. It's only semi-apparent that Sean Penn directed it.

Check back around 2pm, I'll be posting the new video blog, Anton's Adventures: "In Vienna"

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All You Need Is Love

If you were expecting a review of the film Across the Universe, a thumbs up or down, or a number of stars, I just can't do it. I don't even know if this movie had a good story. I was just so mesmerized by the Beetles' songs they sung, and how perfectly they conveyed the emotions for me, I was just happy to be in the theater. Here are some stills from the trailer that will help convey the story as I saw it:Jude, the main character, pipes of gold, Liverpool accent, lovable, British.
Yes, that's Bono, and he sings I Am The Walrus. Unbelievable.
Don't even think about the fact that she's dating Marilyn Manson, she's a sweet girl, deep down.
Vietnam, how could we?
All around cool. Just looking at the underage hipsters in the theater, I knew I was in the right place.

Ah yes, and here's the link for the film's trailer.

Jing, This Will Blow Your Mind

I know that I've ranted and raved about Google Reader, how much it's helped me to read more blogs, and I've heard the arguments against it. But watch this short video that I made for my friend Kyle to show him how. I made it using a program called Jing. I just told it what part of the screen to capture, spoke in a clear voice into my computer and "voi la." Now Kyle knows how to do it. The whole process took 5 minutes.

Be Kind Rewind

Just like the other bloggers do, I'm going to post the link to watch the trailer for Michel Gondry's new film "Be Kind Rewind." The film has all kinds of things I like, Jack Black, Michel Gondry, Mos Def, Filmmaking. Why don't they make more good movies?