Thursday, December 06, 2007

Installment Twenty Nine...

“If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces.”

-Frederick Buechner

Monday, December 03, 2007

God-floated (Grateful Tuesdays #21)


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your love. In all the many forms and channels it reaches us in.

Thank you for being involved in my life, for coming and rescuing me moment by moment. Thank you that Yahweh is also Immanuel. That, not only are you Heavenly, you are our Father.

I'm grateful for the gift of being surrounded by friends. Thank you for the odd little families you've put me in.

Thank you for Sense and Sensibility and for the trip I get to take soon. Thank you for Christmastime in general, even if the radio and stores do their best to spoil it for me.

Goodnight,

Amen

Thought.

Water dinosaurs are awesome. I wish I were a water dinosaur. Or knew a water dinosaur or saw some on a daily basis or something.

Unmade Hitchcock?


If you like Alfred Hitchcock or Martin Scorsese you might find this fun:

http://www.scorsesefilmfreixenet.com/video_eng.htm

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Your 25 Favorite Movies

Remember when I had you all scrambling to pick your 25 favorite films and vote for them? I think I just realized that I never actually posted the results. Oops.

But we did tally them, my faithful vote-tallying siblings and I. Back in early Spring. And I'm pleased to announce the results! (I shall come in with comments every now and then. When I feel like it. It was actually my desire to comment on every choice that slowed (read: stopped) me from posting the results. So my comments will be limited.*)

In first place we have:

1. Fellowship of the Ring


What can I say? Lots of people like this movie. I wish I knew how I felt about it, but so many

2. Return of the King


This one too...

3. Serenity


A mere three people voted for this movie. How did Serenity make it on the list? The three just put it very high on their lists. Incidentally, all of three of these voters last names rhyme with "ice". Hmm...

4. Casablanca


I'm glad this movie made it on here. I feel like Casablanca is overlooked by a lot of my friends (though probably also over-esteemed by a lot of other people).

5. Star Wars, A New Hope



6. Pride and Prejudice



7. To Kill a Mockingbird




8. The Incredibles



9. The Truman Show



10. Babette's Feast

A beautiful film about food and art, with an underlying parable of grace. Couldn't be better.

11. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers



12. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back



13. (tie) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(tie) Spider-Man





15. Princess Bride



16. Batman Begins



17. Gladiator



18. Fiddler on the Roof


A tie for my favorite musical. I want to gather all my friends and loved ones and make them watch this movie. I love it so.

19. Life is Beautiful



20. (tie) Chariots of Fire
(tie) The Shawshank Redemption
(tie) The Village







23. Finding Neverland

I am conflicted about this movie.

24. The New World


The beauty of this movie has wedged itself deep within my soul! I am enthusiastic about this film! This is not just a pretty film; Tarrence Malick's beauty means something. That people means things by what they say and do is very reassuring to me when I find it. That there's more than just money involved.

25. Not of This World



*Eriol and I actually recorded a podcast to announce the winners, giving much backstory and interesting trivia tidbits about the polls, but I still can't figure out how to upload the thing. I'll post it when I can.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving... (Psalm 149)

Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.

Let the saints rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.

May the praise of God be in their mouths
and a double-edged sword in their hands,

to inflict vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,

to bind their kings with fetters,
their nobles with shackles of iron,

to carry out the sentence written against them.
This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the LORD.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Facebook Thoughts

I tend to have mixed feelings about Facebook, but here were two solid pluses I found this evening:

I just found out that I have a group on Facebook dedicated to me!

Wow!

Well, it's not dedicated to me really; it's dedicated to how much people enjoy it when I dance to Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up"! Still wow.

39 of my friends have joined! I have the best sister in the world.

More thoughts:

My best friend growing up has a Facebook account! I really enjoyed getting to browse his profile and he how much he's changed (or hasn't changed).

==

Whoo hoo! Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ephesians 2:19-22 (just some thoughts)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

To me this is strangely exciting and encouraging, the idea that God weaving me and my friends together to form some sort of way for Him to reveal Himself. It gives me hope for our little group that meets on Tuesday nights. I don't think necessarily I'm talking about hope from something (I don't think there's anything really wrong with the group [I'm trying to figure out why I used the word "hope"]) but rather hope to something. Something significant and big and... beautiful. Yes, something beautiful.

More thoughts: I know we're talking about buildings here in this passage, but the descriptions also have a strangely organic feel. Which is an exciting picture in my head: organic buildings. Something living coming together to make a shelter. (So much better than concrete, in my mind.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Episode Seven! The Final Episode!


I may say this too much, but I'm still just amazed these got done. If there's anything good here, it's because God made it happen. Well, and Jeremy Imig. God used Jeremy Imig; how about that?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Here's Episode Six (Pray!)

Hello. Would you pray that everything goes well with filming the last episode (we're supposed to show it on Wednesday)? Thank you!

Okay, here's episode six:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Episode Five...

Tarrence Malick... Sigur Rós... I think he's on to something.


Pico Iyer, on the films of Terrence Malick:
But more than that, they speak a different kind of language. A few weeks after revisiting The New World, I went to see Sigur Rós, the Icelandic post-rock band, play in Osaka. Many of the band’s songs are in a made-up language called Hopelandic, and therefore bypass the realm of words and sense entirely, to speak to something deeper. From the first chords—the band’s four members silhouetted behind a gauzy white curtain, just shadows playing notes—I realized I was in a different, rarely visited part of myself. The mind was stilled and something else was awakened, in heart and even soul. Tears came as when we see a home we never quite knew we had. A lofty claim, perhaps, but one that began to explain to me what Malick is about and how he affects a few of us in ways we can barely articulate. He offers us a way out of the increasingly claustrophobic moment, and into something that feels less passing. Light and words and the natural world all point to a grander silence.


To read all of The Promise of Beauty, click here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

On The Benefits of Walking

Yesterday God blessed me by taking me on a walk. I got to spend about an hour to an hour and a half, walking the streets of one of my favorite areas here in Portland, being buffeted, proded and embraced by the wind and the rain and the cold. My soul was as numb that day as any time I remember, and to have the constant reminders of God's presence that wind and rain are to me, accompany me on my walk, was very much a blessing from God. I have no doubt that He was with me.

It's funny: Cold and rain are pretty depressing to me when I'm inside, but when I'm out in them, all of a sudden, the cold is God breathing into my lungs, the wind is His embrace and the rain is His consistent reminder that I am alive and real and so is He.

So thank God for walks, I guess is the moral. Though, actually, I know what I mean is thank God that He is God and He is with us. [amen]

For other examples of beautiful things that can happen on a walk please see:

Holy Ground (A Walk Taken By BDT)
Tonight (A Walk Taken By the Queen of Arts and England)
&
Thoughts about an (almost) Autumn day (A Walk Taken By My Own, Dear Sister — And Me! [And Eucharisto and Tuesday's Child and Dobbin too for that matter.])

My Birthday List So Far (I know I'm forgetting something...)

Movies:
The Night of the Hunter
Ratatouille
13 Conversations About One Thing
The Second Chance
Winged Migration

Albums:
Songs for Christmas - Sufjan Stevens!
Joshua Tree double LP (U2, obviously)
The Ringing Bell - Derek Webb

Other:
A sketchbook. I have a lovely one from the Queen, but I also would like one that I can tear pages from and send to all my friends and loved ones.
Listerine Mouthwash

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More...

I'm feeling kind of bad that these movies are the only things that I'm posting. But I'm really am pretty busy right now.

So... Without any futher blubbering and self-conscience talk, here's episode four of Knights!



Thanks for watching!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oh! Excitment!

What? Knights! Episode Three: Friends and Foes is on YouTube now? That's fantastic!

Thanks for watching, guys. (And for putting up with my corny attempts at inciting enthusiasm.)

Stay tuned!

Oh, and look at this nifty trailer Jeremy put together:

We got to show it in Church to promote Kid's Club. Sure beats a bulletin announcement, eh?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Look! It's my childhood!

We had at least one outing as a family at Fisherman's Bastion when I was little. I found this randomly on YouTube, and decided to share this with you.

Canyon Love (Grateful Tuesdays #20)

Dear God,

Thank you for N. T. Wright and for the statement he made about how you plan to enact reconciliation "right through the cosmos". Thank you for what that word "reconciliation" means. Thank you for how it means me coming up, out of the water half-drowned and gasping for breath, but alive. Even though, as my friend Tim mentioned today, our emotions won't sit still and it (sometimes) seems like we humans get the short end of the stick what with the weights of pain and love and emotion and awareness we bear.

Still, with all this, there is no way I'd give up being human! I love being made in your image, God. I love human interaction, even with all of it's complications and misunderstandings.

So thank you for all this, Lord.

Thank you for my dear friend Fidgit and how you are strengthening our friendship and using it to make us both more like you. I thank you for what you teach me through people, God. I thank you that you teach me at all! You could just leave me alone, but you don't! You care for me, and you love me. You are more loving than any person I have encountered.

The only thing with that being that I wish I would open myself to love you more! I get a picture of a dam holding back an ocean, waiting to pour itself into a canyon. My heart is a big, open, empty canyon, Yahweh, ready for you to pour your love into it. I'm ready for you to make me complete.

Thank you for Sense and Sensibility and for humor. Thank you for Bill Mallonee. For Jeremy and that we are able to work side by side, also for all the other guys (and the occasional girl) who I get to work with on a regular basis.

Thank you that I have a sister I can have fun with. Thank you that my brothers are so nerdy.

Thank you for my WorldView family, the blessing of getting to be with them everyday is greater than the hardship that sometimes comes with having to share my real family with them.

As I thank you for people, I'm beginning to see that I could keep on going into the setting sun. I'm so grateful for all the people you put in my way (as my mom would say). Thank you for how I know you better through them.

Thank you for sun shining through raindrops and the sound rain makes.

Amen.

Knights! Epdisode 2 is up!

My friend Jeremy just finished the final cut of "The Forest of Mirthwood". Enjoy!

Things You Should Know

My Dad has a blog and has had one for a while. Shame on you for not knowing. His name is, apparently, spillandspell, and his blog can be found here.

My sister is good at describing things. You can observe her words in action here and here.

The Queen of Arts and England has been busy since I was last at My Old Sketchbook (which, admittedly, was awhile ago). Take a look at her beautiful work here, here, here and here.

I think that, occasionally, when enthusiastic bloggers say things like here, here, here, and here it can end up looking kind of goofy. I would never do that.

Why (my bruder) is learning a lot at school! But not nessesarily related to the subjects he's studying.

I am taking one class at the NW Film Center's School of Film. I win.

Let's Share!

Hello, friends. You may have noticed that I have been scarce of late. Well, that's partly (no, mostly) due to this man and his friends (normal procrastinating tendencies aside, of course):

That's right! It's fall again, and that means it's time for a new kid's club series. Knights! roughly parallels the story of David in the Bible (very roughly) and is intended to give our kid's club speaker a good lead-in for his talk. This is the first episode and the only one completed so far; I'll hopefully be able to post the rest up as they are completed.

Pray for those of us working on this series, if you would. That we would be creative and humble as we work together and work through problems that present themselves in the creative process and, most of all, that God would glorify Himself in the end.

Thank you for watching and for supporting us!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Well Worth Watching



My brother showed me this trailer for the new Sigur Ros concert documentary, and I loved it. Now that I'm starting to get my act together online, I'm finally getting around to showing it to you.

Oh, and keep a lookout for a theme in this trailer that might attract me to the film beyond the beauty of the photography and the music.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yahweh (Grateful Tuesdays # 19)


Dear Heavenly Father,

I love your name, God. I love the name you gave Moses when he asked who he should say sent him when he got to Egypt.

You are completely self-sufficient, God. I am not. I can be having a perfectly wonderful, normal conversation and everything will change, like a cloud going over the sun.

How scary it is when I feel those big, black oceans welling up inside me, their waves slapping the shell of my soul and threatening to burst my very self like the wineskins you talk about. They come so suddenly and unexpected. Thank you for loving me through these times.

Thank you, God that my friends will be coming up in a few days! I love getting to see these people, and I've gotten to see them a surprising amount these days, which I'm really grateful for.

Thank you that I got to talk with the Queen of Arts and England today. Thank you that we get to share our thoughts with each other and talk together about what's going on in our lives. This is all such a gift.

Thank you for the William Hung Tribute Band and how much fun it is to play such crazy music with such wonderful friends.

Thank you for loving me through all of my changes, all my shifting shadows. Thank you that the laser beam of your love shines steady right through my mountains and valleys.

I love you; may you continue to draw me to your steady, changing self.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Friday, September 07, 2007

His Precious Blood (Grateful Tuesdays #18)


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for light. Thank you for it’s warm, friendly penetration into rooms and into life. For how it turns everyday things like dust and fog and pollen into messengers of unspeakable beauty.

Thank you for the art and friends that you have gifted me with who are like light. Who shine through the basement windows of my soul, turning all the dead, dry things into things much more like fairies.

Thank you that you are providing for Ben right now. I am so glad he’s doing well at school.

Thank you for communication, God. The messiest thing ever, but how unimaginable life would be without it! Thank you for letting me be human, God. It’s funny to say, but I suppose I could have been anything or just not exist at all. I’m glad I exist. I’m glad I get to experience life, even with all its messiness, heartbreak, boredom and confusion. I’m glad I get to love people too. Even though love will always, eventually lead to hurt.

In the movie I’m watching right now, the camera has a lot of moments where it just sits and all you see is, say, a room. But the room is so beautiful that it strikes something in me when I get to see it. I so desire to make a movie like that. Something big and beautiful and perfect. Maybe precise would be a better word. A movie that we’ve thought through every single element of the film and know it so well when we are done that we feel as though we have spent our whole time maybe with a person. I want to make a movie that pulls rugs out from under the people who see it. I want people to be extremely surprised and maybe a little perplexed and sore yet extremely glad about where the film is going and where it ends.

God, this may not seem to other people to have much to do with you, but I’m only describing the story you wove. And the more I think about it, the more I can’t wait to see the ending of it! You’ve hinted at some pretty outrages things. Beyond moons turning to blood and horseman and flashes of light and trumpets, I’m thinking of every member of humankind all bowing to you and saying your name, and agreeing that your name is above every name. What will it feel like to see something so clearly that there will be only one course of action that I even consider taking? And for all of humanity to see the exact same thing and all respond the exact same way and for the same reason.

We will all agree — no doubt about it — that you are Lord and that your name is above every name.

Lord help me to live in that knowledge right now.

Amen

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Clichés! They Fly Like the Poisoned Darts Of Satan!

I'm back!

... in the saddle again

... like a bad cold

... hmm... I meant to put lots of cliches here, but I can't think of any more. Maybe more will come later, but for now: Hello! I am back, and it's nice to (pretend to) see all of your bright and eager faces. I missed you guys.

I'm afraid this post won't be very long, for* I have 130(!) unread emails in my inbox, and I need to attend to that mess before I do much here. I just wanted let you know that I'm back and that I'm so grateful for all of you who prayed for and encouraged me this summer. It was a wonderful experience and maybe my healthiest summer in recent memory. God really protected and grew me this summer. I hope I take what I learned to heart. Pray for that, if you would.

Okay, off to my inbox!

===

*My last writing teacher would laugh at me for using this conjunction. However, I have intended to convey a playful spirit through it anyway. So there.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Drill

I'm off to camp tomorrow. You know what that means: Technological drought, famine, abandonment and loneliness. Three months of absolutely no time for this blog. Sorry.

Jeff's blog will still be up though! Lots of good stuff there...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Oh, this is funny. I like this story.

Peter T. Chattaway, found this good snippit:
Director Mike Figgis spent longer at LAX airport than intended. He'd arrived in Los Angeles, along with half the acting and directing world, for what is known as 'pilot season', when the big studios try out new scripts, directors and actors in a two-week frenzy of auditions and career make-or-breaks. When Figgis was being grilled by airport immigration, he was asked the purpose of his visit. Unthinking and tired after a long flight, Mike replied: 'I'm here to shoot a pilot.' After five hours in an interrogation cell (yes, really), he finally made it into town.

Alphabet You


Someone sent this A-to-Z quiz to me, and I thought it might be fun to post my answers up here (though I've changed some of the questions in order to better suit my tastes).

A] - AVAILABLE?: This is dumb. I'm changing it.
A]- ANY FAVORITE MOVIES?: Why, yes in fact, I'm so glad you asked. I like: The Incredibles, Citizen Kane, Babette's Feast, Star Wars IV The Empire Strikes Back, Lawrence of Arabia, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Casablanca, The Lord of the Rings, Not of this World, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sense and Sensibility, Serenity, Finding Nemo, Chariots of Fire, Ordet, Night of the Hunter, The Shawshank Redemption, Groundhog Day, Dairy of a Country Priest, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Signs, The Truman Show, It’s a Wonderful Life, Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of The Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest, Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, The New World and A Room With a View.
B]- BIRTHDAY: 11-08-86 (By the way, I strongly dislike the dating system used in the United States. Few things about the country of my birth infuriate me more than our month/day/year dating system. Doesn't Europe's day/month/year make so much more sense? Seriously.)
C] - CRUSHING?: I'm not sure of a good question to replace this one with. Sounds like it was written by a Junior Higher. Let me get back to this one. Oh, okay, I have it:
C] - CDO YOU MISS ANYONE MORE THAN YOU CAN SAY?: Yes. Many people in fact. But one in particular, yes.
D] - DRINK YOU LAST HAD: A couple glasses of water. Before that, I was blessed enough to have some Passion Ice Tea from Tazo. My Mom made it for me.
E] - EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO: People with ears. Just kidding. Actually that's a really hard question to answer. I'll have to think about that. Wait, does God count? He's a really good listener.
F] - FAVORITE MUSIC GROUP: Over the Jars of Rhiny-Arcade Firey U2Clay
G] - GUMMY BEARS OR GUMMY WORMS: I like gummy worms, but they're bad for my teeth. This is a really dumb question, by the way.
H]- HOMETOWN: Portland, Oregon (with smatterings of Slovakia, Ireland, Hungary and Tennessee thrown in).
I]- INSTRUMENT(s): This is a bad question too. It makes me feel bad. Does my soul count as an instrument? I have a lot of soul.
J] - JUICE: I really have no idea. I guess I'd say either grapefruit or cranberry. You didn't ask, but since we're talking about fruit, my favorite ice cream flavor is lemon. I haven't had it in a long time though.
K] - KILLED SOMEONE: Psychically, no.
L] - LONGEST CAR RIDE: I think it was probably the one my family took when we moved from Oregon to Georgia. We weren't in a hurry, so we took the long way: Up to Canada, through Yellow Stone and on down Georgia. That was a good trip. I was much smaller than I am now.
M] - MIXED FEELINGS ON: The term "dating" (or any related terms), pirates, zoos, eating meat, eating candy, Calvinism, cars, Coldplay, capitalizing diving pronouns, meeting in a church building, me (sometimes).
N] - NUMBER OF SIBLINGS: Three
O] - ONE WISH: To have pure fellowship with God would be really nice. Can I ask for that?
P] - PERSON WHO CALLED YOU LAST: Successfully? My sister.
R] - REASONS TO SMILE: (See for reference, my "Grateful Tuesdays" posts.)
S] - SONG YOU LAST HEARD: Just a few seconds of "Talk" by Coldplay then a little of "Elieen's Song", by Burlap to Cashmere. I know you didn't ask, but that song breaks my heart.
T] - TIME YOU WOKE UP: I'm embarrassed to say: 9:00.
U] - UNDERWEAR: Ewww! That's a gross question to ask someone. You should be embarrassed, Mister asker-person.
V]- VEGETABLE(S): I'm having trouble thinking right now of vegetables I don't like. I have trouble with okra sometimes.
W]- WORST HABIT: Is "not loving people" a habit?
X] - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: Dude, you just asked that because you don't know any other words that start with "X". Get a dictionary, dude. Try this:
X] - XENOPHOBIC?: No! I think it must be a sin to be xenophobic, or at least to indulge in that fear. At the very least
Y] - YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL: I know this doesn't exactly relate, but I'd like to see a narwhal and a giant squid battling it out. Did you know that no giant squid has ever been found alive? Ohhh! OOOH! That would be sooo cool to see one alive! And sometimes giant squids and narwhals fight, did you know that? They've found narwhals with giant squid marks on them, isn't that cool?! [Update: as some unknown person pointed out, I'm totally wrong about the narwhal thing. The whale I'm thinking of is actually the sperm whale. Which stinks, because sperm whales totally aren't as cool as narwhals. Whatever. I can still write a story or something where a narwhal and a giant squid battle it out. It will good and cool and not factual at all.]
Z]- ZODIAC SIGN: Same deal with "X", buddy. You can do better. I know it. Try:
Z] - ZYGODACTYL?: No, in fact. All five of my toes on each of my feet point forward. None of them point backwards.

==

Thanks for reading, guys. I tag JD, Eucaristo, Eriol, Midsummer, Katie, The Queen of Arts and England, Why, Fidgit, QueenMum, PrincessSparkelpuff, Lukalos, Breaking Culture,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Behind the Clouds (Greatful Tuesdays #17)


Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the face that’s looking at me right now, encouraging me to do what I said I’d do. (Not that giving thanks is hard, it’s just incompatible with apathy — my pastime of choice it seems.)

Thank you for friendship. God, do you feel like we recognize this brilliant design enough? I’m having trouble getting over the remarkablity of it: efficiency that would dazzle an engineer and beauty to render an artist speechless with wonder.

Thank you for the view outside my window right now. It’s mostly dark, but there still light in the sky, making the silhouette of a power line pole look striking. The movement of the clouds is beautiful also.

Thank you that I’ll be seeing The Queen of Arts and England is a few weeks. Thank you for allowing us the relationship we have and for how you have used it to grow me. Now that I think about it, since I’m so people-driven, it makes sense that you would use a person to point out things in my heart you want to change.

Thank you for being Emmanuel enough to even want to change me, to bring the real me, the me that was raised to life with your Son, into focus. Thank you for not being satisfied with a perception of me that is distorted by the blur of sin. Thank you for forgiving me and not listening to me when I resist your healing touch, the hard gift of restoration you bring.

God, humanity is messy. The design I was praising you for earlier is broken here on earth. People rub up against each other, we break. Things hurt badly. We hurt each other without knowing it. Thank you so much for those who are willing to forgive me for the damaging things I do, even without knowing it or asking for forgiveness.

God, I’m grateful for this time too. For the peaceful valley this is. God, people read these thoughts, but they don’t see how the last thing in the world I wanted to do a few minutes ago was sit down at this computer at focus on giving thanks to you.

Is there a moment when beauty cannot be found in your creation, God? The view out the window has changed. It’s dark enough that I don’t know whether or not, in another frame of mind, I would have given it a second thought, but it is still beautiful.

Thank you God, so much for the meal and conversation we were able to have with the guy at Taco Bell the other day. I don’t really like Taco Bell that much, but I like it much better since we were able to share about you with someone we just met. Thank you for orchestrating that time. I would love to meet and talk with him again.

God, thank you for driving lessons this morning and for Jim. Thank you for the gift of learning. It’s embarrassing to be learning such basic thing at this age, but I’m grateful that it’s happening anyway. I know that I need what Jim’s teaching.

God, forgive me for my hard heart, for missing all the things I could be singing your name for. Peel away my blindness, and open my eyes to the colors and light of your world. Thank you for the thousands of other things I haven’t written here, that I could have. Allow me to fall in love with you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Special Screening (Season Two!)

Welcome to Breaking Free, season two of Pirates! (What am I talking about? Click here to find out.) Well, when we last left our pirate friends, the Man in the Sombrero had been vanquished and the treasure found: All seemed well. But little did Johnny and Roger know that they had a whole new season of adventures before them! Seven whole episodes in fact! Our unfortunate pirate friends are about to be plunged into situations they never could have imagined, to encounter more strange and (sometimes) frightening characters then you can count without removing your shoes and socks, and they are going to find out and that things aren't always what they seem...

... and they might just learn some lessons about forgiveness too. That happens a lot, actually.

... Oh yeah, and flashback to their childhood. That happens once or twice too. Oh, and eat strange things. They seem to do that a lot.*

Okay, on to episode one:

Pirates: Breaking Free Episode 1

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Okay, I confess, this is one of the lamer endings for a Pirates! movie. We get better at the cliff-hanger endings later, I promise. Fascinating, behind-the-scenes information: Some might find it interesting to note that we actually had this whole season (roughly) planned out before we began shooting; this meant we could have plot twists! Plot twists are fun! And since we had the season's skeleton in place, we were able to devote our energy to filling in the details of each episode, which proved to be a wonderful way to work.

My favorite part of this episode is (I think) when a black screen and a loud bang end the visual and auditory chaos at the very beginning. Oh, and when we first see the guards, of course. To me it's a little like something from Firefly.

Breaking Free Episode 2

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Oh my! What will become of our pirate friends now? Be sure and stayed tuned...

===

*Trivia note: See if you can spot what Johnny is doing when The Man in the Sombrero pushes him over in episode seven of the first season. It's funny. Really.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Special Screening (Season One)


I'm a part of film team at our church, and, over the past couple of months, we have been able to make a series of videos for our church's kids' club. Since the kid's club is pirate-themed, each week we follow the adventures of two brothers and their life as aspiring pirates. These videos have been on my mind a lot recently, not only because they have occupied more of my time than any video project I've ever done, but because this has been one of the biggest learning experiences -- and pleasures -- of my (admittedly short) life as a filmmaker.

However, despite the large part of my heart that these characters occupy, many of my friends haven't been able to keep up with the episodes. I think this is partially due to the willy-nilly organising of our MySpace page. So I thought I'd make things easier by hosting a little screening of what amounts to a literal mini-series, here on my blog.

Before we start, know that, in presenting these videos here, I am not trying to say they approach any kind of perfection. I am simply sharing part of my life with you. The primary audience for these videos was made up of four-to-eight-year-olds. If you enjoy these films, that's a happy bi-product — though admittedly not one entirely unplanned or unhoped for. With that said, let's begin.

Since this is really about my involvement with the series, let's start where I come in: Season one, episode five. But first a little back story: Two brothers, Johnny and Roger pack up and leave home in search of buried treasure, armed with only their swords and a map. After acquiring a pair of boats and spending a few days on the open sea, they lodge at an inn where their map is stolen. The pirates now are loosing hope of ever finding the treasure. When we catch up with our heroes in episode five, Johnny has fallen sick due to some unwise recreational activities and Roger must face unimaginable horrors to bring him back to good health.

Pirates Episode 5



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Behind the scenes: Up to this point (episode five) I wasn't actually involved with these movies. The cast and crew were three total, and poor Jeremy (Roger) had the hard task of directing from in front of the camera. This was the first movie I had made after my experience of working on a (somewhat) professional film set, and I think that affect my working style. I was more driven and focused than in the past, and, because I had been away from the director's chair for so long, I had a lot of energy. Which made filming this a very fun experience.

For this episode the actor who plays Johnny was sick in real life, and (this shows you how far we are from Hollywood) his mom wouldn't let him film outside. This is why he is in a house for the whole episode. Well, almost the whole episode; we cheated for the flashback footage (which, by the way, is my favorite part of movie).

Okay, on to episode six! (One of my all-time favorites, almost solely because of the two characters it introduces.)

Pirates Episode 6



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Sir Reginald represents my second time doing voice work for one of my own movies (the first being in this film). The magic pig is played admirably by my pig Babe (in a transgender role — not really unusual for the DOA). This episode contains one of the only true cliff hanger endings in this whole series, something we because much more comfortable in the next season.

Okay, go get some snacks or something or take a bathroom break if you need to, 'cause we're about to move on to the last episode of this season.

Pirates Episode 7

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This episode is unique in that it features our first use of sword sound effects (notice the absence in Johnny and Roger's sword fight from episode six) and was edited entirely by Jeremy (not twelve hours after filming wrapped, I was on a plane to Tennessee). Here I begin to shed my fear of doing what other people have already done: The mixed-up-door device in the chase scene here has been used many times before, but the kids watching it still loved it. There's nothing like having a actual, tangible audience in mind to render certain critics (the ones in your head) silent.

As we leaving this special screening, remember what Abraham Lincon once said: "To me, this is humor: People throwing pigs at people. Ladies and gentlemen... that is real comedy."

Thank you for watching. I'll see you here soon for season two.

Monday, April 09, 2007

These are fun to make (I wish I could include more questions, though)...

(I don't know why this big ugly box is here: just scroll down a little bit. Oh, and highlight the word in the search portal then push "enter" when you're done with the quiz to get your results.)














































































Take
My Quiz


From TrueFalseQuiz.com



Question #1:


True


False

My favorite movie is Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.






Question #2:

I like to draw flowers and animals on my socks.






Question #3:

I have been to about twenty countries.






Question #4:

I respond promptly to all letters and emails.








Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Grateful Tuesdays # 16


Dear God,

Thank you for the love you showed me a few Sundays ago through my friends. I have no doubt that it was your love that was shown. That's the first time in a long time. Thank you.

Thank you for David, that he got it. It's all about seeing you for who you really are.

Thank you for my shoes; thank you for my friends around me. Thank you for my family.

==

Thank you. Thank you for you and for the filming friday. Thank you for how much fun it was in the end. Thank you for this beautiful weather. Thank you for the friends you’ve put in my life and for how they affect me, for how you use them to lift me up, God.

Thank you for all of the people at camp. Thank you for Spork and how geeky he is and what a good friend he’s been to my brother.

Thank you for Stephanie and how she was willing to help us out today and how she helped lighten the mood a lot and keep me from going crazy.

Thank you for inventing the idea of being creative; thank you that it’s something we can all do. Thank for letting me make movies.

==

There’s quite a gap between what we could do and what we end up doing, isn’t there? God, I know I didn’t live up to my potential today, and that’s very frustrating to me. I’m glad that you are still willing to love me anyway, even though I’m functioning far below what I could.

What’s the secret? How do live how I want to?

I’m afraid. I’m afraid of a life-style of under productivity. No, wait... that’s not the right word. I’m afraid of living less than... perfect? Is that all? I know I’m not ever going to be perfect; I just would like to feel that I come close more often than not.

But maybe then I would forget you? I think I tend to forget you anyway, unless things get really bad.

I’m sorry. That’s not the way it should be. I’m remembering you now, and I’m seeing that I need you. I need you to be drawing me away from the things that distract from the life you have for me. That life is so much better than any I could dream up for myself or am inclined to live.

Thank you that I can always come back to you, that you have no three strike rule — I would have used those up a long time ago!

Thank you that Jeremy puts up with me. I know sometimes I’m frustrating to work with. I know I don’t always practice what I preach.

I’d love to have a deeper conversation with you than this, God. I’m just going through motions right now, but I know I need to. I know that these first sputtering starts are the beginning of a life-style of thanksgiving.

Help me to live that life God: Keep my eyes open to see reality and my thoughts pointed towards you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hooray for Daniel Amos!

Hooray for fan music videos! Hooray for YouTube! Hooray for rocket packs! Hooray for old sci-fi movies! Hooray for the eighties! (Oh, and hooray for FilmChat, where I found the link!)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Installment Twenty Eight...

"This truth is to the convinced Christian a source of deep comfort in sorrow and of steadfast assurance in all the varied experiences of his life. To him "the practice of the presence of God" consist not of projecting an imaginary object from within his own mind and then seeking to realize its presence; it is rather to recognize the real presence of the One whom all sound theology declares to be already there, an objective entity, existing apart from any apprehension of Him on the part of His creatures. The resultant experience is not visionary but real."

-A. W. Tozer The Knowledge of the Holy

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I am excited that...


... I am done with my final paper for my writing class.

... Eucharisto has new music up on his snazzy new website!

... that I got to draw today for a really, really long time.

Thank you, God! May you open our eyes to see all that you give us.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

This day in history...

Cyrano de Bergerac was born. And Midsummer and Why watched the movie Cyrano de Bergerac last night. Weird.

Also: Davy Crockett died this day in history. That's kind of sad.

Awwh, so did Louisa May Alcott. This day just keeps getting sadder and sadder.

On the bright side, the great comedian, Lou Costello was born today and so was Will Eisner — whoever he is. His name makes me think of Walt Disney for some reason, but I didn't find any connection between the two in his Wikipedia entry except that his signiture looks like Disney's.

Today I also found out that "longitudinal" is a word while I was doing research on a paper that I'm not doing right now.

Mozart's wife died today too.

Ooh! Rob Reiner was born today too! Can anyone tell me who he is? (I almost put "Can any of you meatheads tell me who he is?", but I didn't think you'd get it, and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Humh.


Ratatouille is being made by Brad Bird (who directed The Incredibles and The Iron Giant). Well jiminy, I didn't know that. I have much higher hopes for the film now — though a movie about rats in France does seem to be quite a departure from his other works.

Speaking of Pixar related stuff, does anyone know how long it's been since a Pixar movie was passed over in the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars (as it was this year)? I think a that hasn't happened to a Pixar film since Shrek 2 beat out Monster's Inc. (the year the award was created). Does anyone have any theories as to where Cars went wrong? Or maybe it really deserved the Oscar? I didn't see Happy Feet, so I can't really say.

I personally think that Cars misstepped in that it was passably the first Pixar film to have a protagonist that, for the most part, failed to be more interesting that the character's around him. This is one reason I am so enthusiastic about The Incredibles; Bob Parr is a character rich with complexity and depth; I identify very much with his struggles and desires. The same depth can be found in Finding Nemo's Marlin — that he is not completely outshined Ellen DeGeneres' Dory is a tribute the story-telling powers of Andrew Stanton and his crew. That film could very easily ended up as an excuse to display DeGeneres' talent (i.e. what happened with Robbin Williams and Aladdin). This also keeps threatening to happen with the Pirate's of the Caribbean franchise, but they've (narrowly) avoided that so far, so I continue to be hopeful as they continue on to the final installment.

Incidentally, after Brad Bird's film, Nemo's Stanton is next in line to take to the director's chair. Exciting!

Post Script: Just so you know, the title of this post represents an attempt on my part to translate into letters a sound I often make to denote a kind mix of surprise and interest, sometimes with a little bit of "Well, why didn't I know that five weeks ago?" attitude thrown in. I'm still unsatisfied with the variations I've tried, but I'll keep looking. Just thought you should know.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


God why do you put up with this?

You should make a rule not to allow people like me to come to you. You should put up a sign or something. I'm a repeating offender, God! What's wrong with you?

I know. I know what's wrong with you: You love me. We've talked about this before. But don't you know that people who love get hurt, God? Like I was telling my friend, I feel like I've been tossed a bunch of balls I'm supposed to juggle. I was doing all right earlier, I thought, but now I'm on the ground now, looking at all the things I've dropped. I know that none of them are broken, but still I feel frustrated that I'm still getting things wrong.

God, of course I don't want to reject your love. It's just that I'm frustrated, and I guess I feel better when I feel like I've earned it a little.

Today I found out that...

Terrence Malick's dad gave Jeffrey Overstreet a call to thank him for Jeff's review of The New World.

Well, that's pretty cool. I hope something like that happens to me one day. Hey! That makes three of us who like the movie!Hey, while we're on the subject, I was wondering if any of you has any favorite characters from this movie. I feel very alone in my likeing of this movie, so I hope someone comments eventually. Maybe Mr. Malick will. That would be cool.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

From Habakkuk, Chapter Three:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Today Is Groundhog Day!

And you know what that means, people. It means that, if I were the kind of person to uphold this kind of thing, then the polls for the Official Foolish Knight Vote to Determine Which Films Are the Greatest Ever Made (OFKVDWFAGEM, for short) would close today. However, owning to my being too busy to form complete thoughts and...


I'm accepting late votes, and I probably won't even tally the ones I get till spring anyway. I know, I do this every year. My most humble apologies go to Brewster, who always gets his lists in good time and puts great stuff on his lists that never gets voted for. (I have a feeling this year will be different, Brewster! Hang in there ol' boy!)

Okay, you may now resume your normal lives and watch Bill Murray movies. (Oh, and I'm going to assume you mean the first installment of a trilogy if you enter the whole trilogy as one big movie, just so you know.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Greatest Website Ever!

Over the course of my life and especially now with the recent rise of my globally recognised media empire (I have, for example, a blogger account and a Facebook account; I also have access to someone's MySpace account - or, at least, I did until I forgot the password) I am often accosted by eager-looking bright-eyed young people who want to somehow extract from me the secret of my success in the Internet world. Of course, it's my duty to straighten them out right away by reminding them that the secret of success lies within, and that they can't expect me to be able to find the answers for them. That being understood, I ask them if there's anything else I can help them with.

They all kind of look at their feet at this point and begin developing strange emotional complexes because they see that, of course, they should have known that answer full well without having to ask me. So I generally say something encouraging to them in a gentle voice, shift my weight onto my right foot and just wait for a spell. I know which question is going to come next.

A somewhat scrawny kid in the back will generally be the one to meekly stick his hand up into the air and summon the strength to voice the one (other) question that hangs over the meeting like a really big black and purple cloud.

"Mr. Foolish Knight," he'll say with rising excitement in his voice, "what, in your opinion, is the GREATEST WEBSITE EVER MADE?"

At this point, I'm the one who starts to feel embarrassed because, scanning through the list of all my favorite sites and not finding one that quite meets that criteria, I realise that, quite simply, I don't know what to tell them.

Or at least I didn't, until just recently.

Thankfully, this little website have changed all of that; I introduce to you:

The Official Website of the Dorks Of America!

Yes! It's true! Don't you feel all fuzzy inside just thinking of it? This is the place where all of the wonderful DOA videos are stored! Just think! Now you can watch them anytime you want! I directed a handful of them, so you know it's high quality stuff. With these videos also comes some side stuff that's not strictly DOA material. For example there's:

Sound Men Dance

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hilarious and family-friendly footage of odd and yet somehow likable people doing strange and wonderful things, and:

The Chairs

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Which is actually a Mere Image production and is kind of along the same lines as the last video (I mean, concerning the whole "people acting strangely" thing).

Some of the best Dorks Of America material includes:

Don't Lose your Head

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Beatbox

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And the Pirate Episodes (I directed episodes five through seven, so I have a little bias there as to which ones are best).

There's a world of fun out there, kiddos! Go grab it while you can! And be sure to let me know which ones are you favorites, okay? All right! Go have fun!

Monday, January 01, 2007

If I may offer a few thoughts...

I know you didn't ask, but in case you wanted to know, I enjoy talking. I enjoy talking about myself and offering thoughts and opinions on art, God and other people to whoever is willing to listen. I think the struggle for me is finding out how to offer my opinions and think things through out loud without turning my thoughts into a kind of trumpet to gain attention and notoriety in my little circle of friends.

It's hard living on this earth for a number of reasons, but I think that one of the harder ones would be that (undying) desire to perform well in front of your peers, not to give them a good show but so that they will validate you with their approval. So that they will redeem you from the pit; the pit of being alone, of being perceived as worthless.

Why is it that I miss what (in the words of the new song) what Love has done here? My Love, my Savior has completed me. Like a bride and bridegroom complete each other. Like a parent and a child. When I abide in my Love and He abides in me, I want for nothing.

Then why do I want for everything? Why do I long for arms to come around me like the applause of the world on its feet? Who am I looking to for redemption? Why is the one thing I need the slipperiest thing to grab? Why does the love of any of the many artist and authors I admire more appealing than the love of God? Is it because I've grown used to the love of God? Is it just not an exciting enough idea anymore? Has it always just been an idea to me?

No. I've known the love of God. I feel it in the edge of the song I'm listening to right now, I feel it when I can't see anything much but the stars kissing the dark above me.

There's darkness in me, but it's not the strongest part of me. The strongest part of me is the giant asleep in the corner. If only we could wake him; he'd show the bad guys a thing or two.

I've once speculated that writing is perhaps a kind of exorcism. That is that, unless I were able to put all (or at least as many as I could) of my thoughts down of paper (or cyberspace, in this case). I would be overcome by something. Something like darkness. I think I still stand by that statement. I think there's no other way to explain what I'm doing now.

I hope you know that this is a poor picture of my mind as it is right now. These are merely some of the deeper things that haven't been able get out in normal conversation. This is what I get for not blogging in so long.

More thoughts later...