Friday, October 31, 2008

Snowflake Commercials

Some fun I had with Cosmic and the Utah Office of Tourism this summer. Check out Matt Mattson and Jake Suazo's versions over on Matt's Blog.
Also check out more film news below.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm made of storms


There is a relaxing security in working too much.

No worries about cleaning your room, because there simply is no time. I can't think about the girl in my life, for obvious reasons, but also because I have to keep working. For three weeks straight I've woken up at 7:30, which, no joke, is a big deal for me.

I've committed myself firmly to the ideal that I am a man who gets things done.

Today was emblematic of my new lifestyle. 4 days ago I found out that there was a scary movie festival at BYU called "It's Only A Movie".

I've often struggled with the idea that my brain works in different ways. It constantly contradicts itself. I've constantly fought with the duality, that I sometimes love an inspirational story, and then now and then I just love a good down and dirty thriller, or ghost story. I don't reveal it to many people except those I know are the same way, because it seems like a weakness. Why do I enjoy the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Bradbury or even an occasional Stephen King? Why is Halloween my favorite holiday? I mostly chalk it up to trauma in childhood, and a delightfully dark oak tree covered neighborhood. I grew up in experience pretty quickly, not by choice, but by the true stories that gushed into my youth.

Anyway, I heard about the festival, and on the drive home I came up with a story. It wasn't anything groundbreaking, but it wasn't half bad either. So I went to my 285 class, where I've been acting, as a corporate werewolf, spending time being drenched in mud, freezing water and corn syrup, and I talked to my friend Byron who shot my Utah Film Commission commercials and asked him kind of offhandedly if he'd like to shoot my scary short. His desire to see if he can light any story got the better of him, and he agreed to shoot it on the HVX (a great little camera).

Now a word about Byron. He's easy going, he's smart, he's creative and he laughs at my jokes. He's basically the best girlfriend I've ever had (which makes perfect sense, since I've vowed to swear off the fairer sex, and join into a union with my work. It's legal in 50 states). Even though he's married he has unlimited access to the FSSS, the place where all film students at BYU rent their equipment. In my defense, I didn't know this when I asked him to shoot my UFC commercials, so I wasn't trying to take advantage of him...then at least.

Anyway, to cut this story down, I've spent the last three showerless days filming after work from 5 to midnight. We had a pleasant little shoot at my house on Tuesday and last night we filmed at Rock Canyon Park. After that and the night shoot I did on my UFC Campaign, I've vowed never to shoot outside again, unless it's in Cali in the summertime, or I have gobs of money to do it. It's houses that I live in from here for the next 2 to 3 years(or November 21st and 22nd when I direct a short Cherie wrote even later in the winter. Yech!)

So today after a surprising 8 hour night sleep, I spent all day editing my short. Originally it was called "Mutual Attraction" but a friend pointed out that it sounds like a spoof of a movie with Glenn Close, so I changed it to "The Feeling is Mutual" which I think is much more intriguing.

The film festival started at 8:30 and being the crippling perfectionist that I am, I spent every minute I had and then some up to that point to finish it. I'm tired.

I pulled into the Wilkinson Center parking lot at 9 on the dot, and as I ran, hard drive precariously in hand, the bell tower struck it's blows. It was so cinematic. Then I walked/ran into the venue of what I thought would be a cheesy little film festival (and so lamely thought while editing that my film would be a step up from every other entry) and saw a visual masterpiece on the screen. My jaw dropped, and I suddenly felt extremely inadequate. I sat down and the walls closed in on me as I watched 3 or 4 films in a row that were amazing. My only thought was "I don't belong here". I have neither gained entry to this school, nor proven my valor in the field of cinematical conflict. Luckily the quality stuff tapered off, and eventually gave way to slightly less polished visual fare. When my film was ready to show last, Joseph Winter the MC called me up in front of everyone and explained how I had just finished editing the film while the festival was taking place, and thus decimated all chances of maintaining anonymity if it bombed. If it sucked, a good portion of BYU Film students (ie future coworkers) would know exactly who I was. On top of that, as previously mentioned I hadn't bathed recently, and was wearing my hearty UGG slippers. What a tool.
When the film began to roll, or spin as the case may be, I held my breath as I realized I hadn't once watched it all the way through. Who does that? It could have glaring continuity and sound errors, and I would be none the wiser. I coughed some remarks to a nearby film student, filled with excuses, and then just decided to shut up and exhale.

When the film was done, and the audience applauded, not on a massive scale, but a respectable amount, I was surprised. I had accomplished my task in a fairly fluid manner. It mostly made sense, and the sound was pretty darn good. I received quite a few compliments of genuine origin, and I actually wanted to stick around and hob knob. Then I realized I was 29 and left.

I feel pretty good. Between this, my UFC (war) campaign (I drop them off at the editor's tomorrow), and "Not So Free Hugs" I've gotten quite a bit done. Not to mention the upcoming filming of the short "Dark Ages"(not the same as my alien movie), "About Face"(My short for Cherie) and another UFC commercial I'm filming next week, the month of November will see at least 6 projects completed. In addition it looks like I'm going to be producing, writing and acting in a feature this summer, and most definitely finishing 'Scrappers' within the next month so there's that to look forward to also.

Too bad that all of these November projects are costing me money instead of making any. Now the plan is to sell the heck out of myself until someone wants to pay me to write, produce and direct their commercials. I'm SO up for it. Please call! 801.358.6623. I'll direct anything for cash. What a creative floosey!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Anyone? Aspens? Anyone?

Hey there friends. Been making call after call to friends and random people to get these commercials produced and I feel like taking a break, so this is a break in the form of work.

Anyone know anyone who owns a house or a cabin or some land on which there are Aspen trees? It's a snobby aesthetic choice for a location but it would absolutely make all of my dreams come true. I'm putting my heart and soul into this recent project because I want numerous doors to be opened, so if you can think of ANYONE! please let me know via phone, email, or comment! I LOVE YOU in advance.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Gone Writin' " - 1 of 3 New Posts


Hey everybody. I'm off to LA in 5 hours to spend the week finishing my screenplay, 'Scrappers', that I've spent 4 months working on... and by working I mean stuttering. I have a complete outline, and a great story, but I have yet to actually finish a draft. I'm about 30 pages in, and hopefully by weeks end...scratch that...by weeks end I WILL have a draft completed.

My screenplay is a children's adventure story that takes place in 1960, in a mining town in California (not unlike the mining town of New Almaden a mile from my house where I spent a lot of time growing up). It's about 4 kids who hang out in a junkyard, get into mischief, start hoaxes, and stop World War III. Of course it's in the vein of some of the classic films from my youth, Goonies, Sandlot, Stand By Me etc., but it still feels like a great story to tell. I'd be lying of course if I said that I wasn't trying to write a story in a marketable genre. I'm trying this new thing where I write a screenplay that I think people will buy, and/or want to see instead of the dreck I've written in the past. The tradeoff is I'm writing about something I love and am excited about, (history, mischief, adventure, humor) so it's all good.

Feel free to cheer me on this week as I write. I could use your support and look for a daily Vlog update that will keep me on track.

The next update will come from the roof of my brother's LA penthouse. I hope Cali's warm this week. Couldn't be worse than Utah! Yay!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Snow-Blake

Check out those legs!

I just acted in two commercials for the Utah Division of Tourism. I played a snowflake who is lucky enough to land in Utah. It was a major blast to shoot them, as I got to do two of my favorite things, dress up like a goof-ball and hang out with improv friends for two days. Friends include: Matt Mattson, Gavin Bentley and Jake Suazo as well as some cool new buddies I met on the shoot. Here are some great pics that we took on set today!

Me and Matt as the most in your face flakes of all time!

Gavin, Danor, and Jeff in flake form!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Journey Through the Dark Night


I woke at 9:15,in the p.m., and my room being the degree of H-E-Double that it is in the summertime, I slipped into a bath of sub-arctic temperatures, and promptly fell asleep. I awoke, and discovering that despite my lack of feeling I did indeed still have legs.

I dressed, and tried to determine what to do with the rest of my night.

I checked my email and in the corner I saw a banner ad for The Dark Knight (darn the charming level of shiny objects on the internet, that play perfectly into my impulsiveness). Instantly I had to see it. I knew my task.

My friends tend to dissipate when I work three 16 hour days in a row, and so flying solo to a movie, an activity I too often find myself doing, was my only option for entertainment for a Friday night...besides returning to bed (It was a long day).

I checked movie times, and found that the lamest theater in town still had tickets. I'm only one person. They have to have one lonely seat.

I became a geek possessed. Keys were already in hand. Shoes were on, and I was moving quickly through a black house. Because my feet worked faster than my mind, I remembered a nanosecond too late the large easy chair I had moved that very night precariously placed at knee level, between myself and the door.

In my frenzy to exit, my tumble was absolute. Landing on my face, I honestly took a quick breath, stood, and was out the door before I could utter an "ow". My senses came back briefly to visit. I turned back to the door for but a moment in remorse, thinking that perhaps my roommates upon returning home would suffer a similar fate. Maybe I should move that chair. My swift and dismissive justification?

"It'll be funny if they also fall, and we'll all have a good laugh in the morn' at our shared blunders".

Evil Jeff...Evil!

As I drove, that old awful feeling of dread returned to me.

Now, I don't particularly care for the word "hate". It's almost always hyperbole to use it...however...is there a word that almost butts up to "hate" yet doesn't go too far over the line?

"Despise-ification?"

I know that's not in the dictionary, but let's just say it would be difficult to measure my level of "despise-ification" for driving in Utah. My "despise-ification" is exquisite. Forget just Utah. I believe that driving anywhere is exquisitely despisable. I have now decided that my only levels of tolerance are for instant teleportation or long meaningful walks to unimportant destinations (like duck ponds on contemplative evenings). Anything in between is ridiculously stressful.

University Avenue is a particularly hateful stretch of Provo, and the moniker given to "the fast lane" is hilariously ironic. Picture a group of small children wearing water wings floating without purpose or propulsion in one of the lanes of the deep end of an olympic-sized swimming pool.

On this night, I was even more distraught finding it impossible to believe that driving of this nature exists when all I want is to see Heath Ledger act like a method actor.

35 in a 50? Honestly?! Cell phones, radios and yes even laptops(!), should be banned in those people's autos that fail to meet a "driving with distractions" competency exam. Oh that such a test existed.

You there! The one surfing the internet while driving...Please pull off to the side of the road, and read your Mac Book Pro, like the rest of us do... in the tub. This is a sight that could only exist on this night.

My radio plays the generic noise that I can't seem to drive without anymore, despite the fact that the radio hasn't been "awesome" since Guglielmo Marconi. (Blips and beeps, and stuff like that. So Sigur Ros!)

Also, I ridiculously find myself pondering why there's so much "bleeding" in records these days? Everyone's "bleeding" in their song lyrics. Get a band-aid, and stop whining! Don't believe me? http://search.lyrics.astraweb.com/?word=bleeding


Now I'm behind the diesel truck that makes me feel like Al Gore's love child. I picture puppies and flowers coughing, as the rich plume of black smoke pours into my glass face, giving me reminiscence of Nintendo's classic title "Spy Hunter". Decrease your carbon footprint! It just makes "popular" sense. Even Capcom realizes you only use toxic emissions to smite your 8-bit enemies.

The moon is peering over the mountains at me, like some evil big brother. He seems to be the mastermind behind the stone curtain, plotting to make my night completely "Bale-less". On the radio, I have no choice but to marvel at how Kelly Clarkson really seems to just "get" my experience in relationships.

I am flabbergasted. In all honesty at this point in my journey I've come to believe that I'm part of a late Friday night funeral procession. Why? Why are we going 10 in a 75? Is that even possible? Is there a Bichon Frise running in front of your car? I love dogs lady, but please...BATMAN!

At this crawl I now also have enough time in the car to contemplate the hilariousness of robotic assisted surgery. I'd tried out for a voice-over spot the day before, that advertised just such a service.

All I can picture is the robot being a "smart aleck", and when the doctor asks for a scalpel the robot mischievously hands him a pair of forceps. The doctor flabbergasted turns to the robot (who of course looks like Johnny 5 and has a cute name like M.E.L.Vi.N. or something) and it is producing a small computer generated snicker. It's android eyes squinting in delight, even though we all know perfectly well that surgery robot assistant's don't need eyes but for the sole purpose of making them look adorable.

Geesh see what you've done to me road? I've taken shelter in a ludicrous fantasy world where robots pull medical pranks on their masters. The machines truly have won.

On the car audio maker, I discover that I don't care for Death Cab for Cutie's new single.

Finally, I've arrived, having broken the barrier of late night driving foolishness, and found a surprisingly convenient parking spot.

Of course at this point I realize there is no hope in this endeavor.

This is "Dulls-burg" on a Friday night. This is the biggest movie of the summer.

I arrive at the ticket office, and a very small young lady tells me that there are no more tickets.

"Not even one?" I say, in a far more pitiful and outloud-ish tone, then this moment deserves.

On the long walk back to my movable torment, I see a pair of nerds walking peacefully hand in hand. They have a blissful smile on their smooshed faces, and the dream girl of this acne faced man-boys existence wears a classic batman T-shirt. She is the perfect woman at this moment in time. They pause and without guile look longingly into each of their four eyes. Their pleasantness mocks my pain, and pointlessness. They continue on their way, and as I turn to follow them with my eyes for but a moment, I think to myself...

"Dang, I've got to move that chair! My knee and face really hurt."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What the Heck Do Dreams Mean?

I'm not sure I understand what dreams are all about. Are they a manifestation of your self-conscious? If so, my self-conscious is full of contradictions. Por ejemplo, according to last night's dream, apparently I want to live in New York City, so I can ride horses.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Post...

Coming Soon...What a tease!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

5/17: Transcript From a Horrible Fast Food Restaurant

Jeff pulls up to the drive thru

"Yes, can I get a number 9 with no lettuce or Tomato with cheese?

"Okay, well the number 9 doesn't have tomato on it anyway"

"Oh...really?"

"Yeah, it doesn't"

Jeff looks at the picture of the number 9 on the menu with 2 giant tomatoes on it.

"Oh. Okay. Can I get that without tomato then?"

"Okay, so you want a number 9 with no lettuce?"

"Yes... or tomato. And I want cheese on that?"

"Okay, extra cheese?"

"No just regular cheese"

"Okay, well it already has cheese on it."

Jeff looks at the picture of the number 9 on the menu without cheese on it.

"Alright, then I want that."

Jeff orders a drink, and pulls ahead, and pays for his meal, gets it and leaves. Jeff checks his gage, and drives down to the gas station while eating his fries.

Jeff pulls into the gas station and goes in to pay. Upon his return he starts pumping his gas, and goes to open his sandwich.

The sandwich is covered in lettuce, and there is no cheese on it,(or mayonnaise for that matter). There is however not a tomato on it.

Jeff decides he wants what he ordered and returns to the restaurant. He arrives in the parking lot, finding the one out of five parking spaces that are not handicapped, and goes inside.

"Hey, I just came through the drive-thru and ordered this sandwich without lettuce, and I wanted cheese on it."

The drive-thru attendant seeing that Jeff has returned goes over to the menu to stare at the picture of the number 9. He walks away sheepishly. Jeff refuses to make eye contact with him.

"Hey guys. He wants this sandwich without lettuce, and cheese"

"It doesn't come with cheese"

"No he wants it with cheese"

"Oh okay."

The sandwich sits there for two minutes.

"Hey what's the deal with this one?"

"Oh, he wants that without lettuce and with cheese."

"Okay"

The sandwich sits there.

"Okay so what did he want on this?"

"He wanted no lettuce and cheese"

"Okay"

He finally grabs the sandwich. He hands it to another food preparer.

"What's wrong with it."

"He wants no lettuce and cheese"

"Okay, No lettuce or cheese."

"No, he wants cheese"

"Okay"

The previous preparer hands it to another food preparer.

"No lettuce, add cheese"

"Okay".

A minute goes by.

"What was this one again?"

"No lettuce, add cheese."

"Okay..."

He starts to work. He says the next phrase quite audibly.

"What kind of person wants no lettuce and cheese on their sandwich?"

Jeff stares at the worker somewhat befuddled. The worker finishes the sandwich with the previous chicken patty instead of making a new one or reheating the old one.

"Okay. No lettuce. Add cheese."

He hands it to the cashier who hands it to Jeff.

"Okay. No lettuce with cheese."

Jeff says "Thanks."

Jeff exits.

He goes to his car, and opens the sandwich.

There are tomatoes on it...And no mayonnaise.

Jeff opens the window to his car and throws the two giant tomatoes in the parking lot. He drives away and eats his very cold sandwich.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Yeahhh!!! (in German)

So for some awful reason I woke up with this song in my head.
Then it made think of my Lahsa Opsa, Wicket and how I wish he could fly...and speak German.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Jeff is simply trying to not go crazy by doing one thing at a time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More fun with videos!

I've enjoyed blogging videos in the absence of actual blogs lately. So in case some of you haven't seen them, these were two commercials I was in about a year or so ago for BYU Independent Study.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Okay so I was a foot away from finishing "No Country..." when it disappeared. It just up and left. Grew legs and left me. Then today when I put the seat down on my toilet....AAAAAWWW!!!!(This was meant to sound like a heavenly choir).

It was good. I have to admit that the last 20 pages slowed down considerably which was similar to the movie. In the end however it was substantially better than most of the books I've read in the last few years, with the exception of "The Road".

Up next, I'm reading "The Terror" by Dan Simmons which so far seems great. I love historical stuff with fiction mixed in.

Watching "The Wire" - It's the last season, and I'm frustrated that...
1. It's over
2. My favorite character just got killed.
3. It's a little ludicrous for my tastes this season.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Video Post - For a Good Time

So the Quinn's and I made a video. I plan on posting a few more of these over the next few months, hopefully with the Quinn boys because they're cool...check out Ben's blog at TheUnmighty.com Also I HAVE to mention that the awesome music was done by Micah Dahl Anderson. His music seems to fit great with any video I've done, and I love it. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wow...American Idol


I realize that this is the 10 millionth blog about American Idol...

So, I've been watching American Idol for some reason for the third or fourth season in a row, and been catching up tivo style. I'm constantly amazed at the audition process, and how unabashedly cruel it is. Today they not so subtly disguised their "freak exploitation" as a hallmark moment with a large girl named "Temptress" who plays football as a middle linebacker, and her (I say this without exaggeration) at least 800 pound mother in a wheel chair. From the very start it was obviously not going to go well. They then proceed to go on for SEVERAL minutes to highlight her and her courageous attitude, and then of course she is an AWFUL singer! They all like her as a person, and in an attempt to appear down to earth, all the human-like judges hug her (Simon not included, though he is the most accurate judge most of the time).
Then they literally go on for 10 minutes about a super freak named Willem Dafoe...I mean Alexis, who is what Satan would be as written by Neil Simon.

We sit through...
-An obviously mentally handicapped tour guide.
-The chest waxing, freaky Jabba's palace princess Leia clad loser.
-The girl who doesn't watch "R" Rated movies?!
-The older far dorkier sister of Ellen Page, also dressed as Princess Leia.

This girl is seriously one of the most interesting case studies of extreme nerd-ism I've ever seen. She goes into the audition dressed like a character from Star Wars and then says "I knew they wouldn't accept me." Talk about your "self fulfilling nerd prophecies". Truly the force is with her.

Honestly the producers could come up with a show called "Fun With Aspergers" and I would not be surprised. It's not fun anymore. And yet the show becomes something else after the auditions. Till then it's this generations' Jerry Springer.

Oh and Ryan Seacrest is such a toolbag!



Next Blog...A movie review and another book review. My reading is out of control, and I want pancakes...yay!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Books, and crotch rockets

I finished "The Road" in three days. For me that is very fast. It took me three days to read my last book "Things Fall Apart", but that was because I had to for a class. It takes me about 2 to 3 weeks to read a book I really like. Even that is a rare case. For example it took me about 2 to 3 months to read "The Lovely Bones" and "Heartbreaking Work..." which are both books I totally loved, and was compelled by. Why did it take SO long? I don't know. But "The Road", to totally use a cliche' phrase was hard to put down. I'm done. His style was amazing. It was so good that I can't give a proper review for it.

When I finished. I just wanted to write. I found myself pouring phrases from my subconscious into the roof above my mouth, stored there to yell out.

I want to write so bad; write now. It's as if someone pulled the cork out of my chest to let words spill out like grain from a silo. I haven't written in so long, but a great book can inspire you.

I'm still reading "Gangs of New York", but my interest is waining. It's like the same thing over and over. The "Dead Rabbit Gang fought The Bowery Boys fought the...blah blahs." Maybe I need to push through. Some books are like rigorous mountain hikes. Also still reading "I Am Legend". Some of the stories are amazing and ahead of their time, but others are a tad cheesy.

Today two days after finishing, I wanted to be utterly pretentious and soak in the atmosphere of fine book smell so I went to Barnes and Noble. But it smelled like burning tires. There were kids everywhere yelling in different languages! When did Barnes and Noble become such a kid's clubhouse? I am not opposed to the learning of children, but these kids weren't learning and then the lady on the loudspeaker announced that they'd just finished baking oatmeal raisin cookies in the coffee clatch (or whatever you call it) and then all the children turned to ravenous drooling autobots (forgive the mixed metaphor). "Mom I want cookies!" "Why can't have I cookies?" It's like some twisted cartoon character threw an alarm clock in a den of lions, awakening them from their cookie-less slumber, and I in the middle. I nearly sustained two or three "crotch runnings into". You know the blind direction-less crotch level battering rams of cranium to groin?

The real reason I went to the bookstore however was to buy "No Country For Old Men" and another book called "Twilight" (no not the book about vampires by that Mormon author lady). It's by William Gay and I've heard it's cool. Well, they didn't have it. "No Country..." was a must after reading "The Road" and I couldn't stop thinking about it after it won the Oscar last night. I'm downloading it right now.
I will probably finish it in about 2 days.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This hurts me...


Not quite because he broke it, but more importantly because somehow he had the money to buy it which allowed it to be broken in the future.

Anyway..."An almost tragic story."

What is it with Murphy's Law anyway?


It must be fate this week that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But when you drive and try and eat nachos at the same time I guess that's what happens.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Self-Indulgence

My friend Matt describes my blog in the past as self-indulgent...I think he might be replying to the more self-serious entries I've made. Come back Matt. I'm a changed man. Though still totally self-indulgent. What do you think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Video-Madness

UFC commercials

Add to My Profile | More Videos
These are unmixed versions,(i.e the sound sucks) But I think they had potential in their day.

"Today's Pain" brought to you by Doritos!


So I've had an interesting two days. I don't spend much time in cemeteries, but I spend even less time in them eating copious amounts of Doritos.
I came home from California early, to film a "spec" commercial on Tuesday for this huge nationwide contest. It was a funny script about a guy who is mourning the loss of someone he loves, (actually when I write that it doesn't seem all that funny) and his grief is intermittently disrupted by his eating of Doritos (okay now it is).

It's dark comedy I know.

Anyway to accomplish this feat me and the other guy in the commercial had to eat about three bags (full size mind you) of Doritos. At least for the first two and a half bags they were "Cool Ranch" as opposed to the last half bag which was all "Salsa Verde". Usually I'm a big fan of the spicy but not at that particular moment. By the time we were done our mouths were raw, and there were half-eaten Dorito bits strewn about the cemetery(we cleaned almost all of them up out of respect for the departed). It didn't help matters that we were constantly glared at by those who were visiting driving by in their cars. It was perhaps in the top five of my most awkward moments. Anyway, as I stood atop the graves of pioneers and other long lost relatives eating snack foods, I couldn't help but become pensive about life and its' meaning. My mind thought about two things:

1) There's nothing scary about a cemetery (rhyme's unintended, though cute). These people are all happy in heaven, or unhappy in hell(or spirit prison depending on your beliefs). They're not here! It reminded me of a poem.

2) If the above isn't true, and ghosts do exist, I'm going to be haunted by angry corn chip hating spirits for the next 40 years.

I'll post the commercials when they're done. In the meantime I'll be sleeping with a Holy Bible clutched to my chest.


PS. Also, yesterday I was on a commercial shoot in Miller Park in Salt Lake City helping film a nearly naked man who had eaten a house cat. I love the diversity of this business.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hear this...The Bird and the Bee

Okay so watch this. I'm used to being scooped on music selection, by my hipper 'East Coastier' friends, and this is probably no exception. Just watch this video though. It's directed by Eric Wareheim one of the guys who makes "Tim and Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!" which is a delightfully weird, and often "too disturbing to turn away from" show.

This band though is to use a critic word "hypnotic" (but neither "tense" nor "gripping"), and this video is like an exciting car wreck.


I'm pretty sure I'm in love with the lead singer. Look how deadpan she is in this video! If she were that way all the time, I would be turned off, but I did my research, and luckily it's just this video.

Also, after you've watched the video three or four times, download the album (legally, of course through Itunes) and just listen to the words. They make me laugh. She's discussing "getting down!", but at the same time she's so cordial about it. I get it!

I think from 2:54 on is my favorite!

This song is also quite cool

"Things Fall Apart"

I've been wanting to write about stuff I've been reading, watching and listening to lately.

I recently finished reading a book for a history class I'm taking called "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. It disturbed me. It's about a tribe in turn of the century Nigeria, and the changes they go through as they are invaded by Christian missionaries. I say "invaded" because that is essentially what they do. Just real aggressive.
It made me feel judgmental at first because all I was doing was judging how horrible a lot of the practices and customs of the tribe in the book were. I guess the thing I didn't like was how the author seemed not to condemn or condone their behavior.

What kind of a dummy am I?

What good would an author be if he commented on his own book?

I guess the practices, things like throwing away twins when they're born, and convincing children that they are "zombies", were so disturbing that I was looking for a friend to agree with me, and the author was committed to his storytelling technique so he was no help. Then midway through the book I realized that I'm glad he was so committed, and did not show bias, because when all of their customs and rituals are
corrupted by the white missionaries, you feel a part of your own world has been destroyed.

I didn't know how to feel at the end. I was angry and sad. I think Achebe accomplished what he set out to do.

It certainly changed my outlook, which I believe good books are supposed to do.


I would recommend it. Just press through passed the scary stuff at the beginning.

NEXT BOOK ON MY LIST:
'The Road' By Cormac McCarthy.
I chose this at the airport today instead of 'No Country For Old Men', which I'd been previously set on buying, because I wanted to read a new story that I had no preconceived notions about. Lately I've had trouble reading books based on movies, most of which I bought on the spur of the moment, because I liked the films they were based on so much (See 'The Prestige' by Christopher Priest). Something about going over the same territory again. I'll buy No Country in a few weeks when I finish 'Road". I'm surprised I bought this one, because I know it's post-apocalyptic, and today I was feeling gloomy about returning to frozen tundra land (i.e. Utah), and it doesn't seem like to much of a "sunny story" we'll see. What's my obsession with depressing stories? I'm sure all my artsy and Oprah loving friends already read this after it won the Pulitzer, and the tenfold more coveted prize "THE Book Club Recommendation". Sad. Let's just hope James Frey isn't involved.

OTHER BOOKS I'M CURRENTLY READING - 'I Am Legend', a collection of Short Stories by Richard Matheson, including the novella for the recent film. I picked up this book because I loved how creepy and yet delightfully campy 'The Omega Man' was for me growing up, (Andy you know!) and I'd heard good things about Matheson. I'm pleased to say that some of his stories are delightfully messed up.(See "Dress of White Silk" or something along those lines.) Reminds me of Bradbury only on bad mushrooms, which is kind of cool if you think about it. Don't do drugs kids!

Also reading 'Gangs of New York', which I've owned for about 4 years now, and finally got bored and started reading one night. I love 19th and early 20th century city history, so it's right up my alley. I'm pleased to say it's nothing like the movie.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008