JJP Edited

Kilauea Lighthouse
Originally uploaded by jerpro
Joshua helped put these photos together for my second anniversary gift to Molly.

No More Sunsets

Originally uploaded by jerpro
I wonder how 12 Brothers is coming along.


The Winner Is ...

... SmartBox. They have the honor of moving our (hopefully) diminished junk to Louisiana.



Originally uploaded by jerpro
One of the conditions of selling the house was fixing the front walkway. It was raised up about an inch and it was a tripping hazard. Ray came over and we banged this out in about 2 hours.

121 Sale Pending

121 Sale Pending
Originally uploaded by jerpro
Yep. We signed the purchase and sale last Friday. Looks like everything is going forward. We close on the 16th of November.

Feist - 1234

It's that song on the iPod Nano commercial. For about 3 seconds I thought it might be Cat Power. It wasn't, but that's OK. The song is still awesome.

I'm also using this post as a way to mention Amazon.com's MP3 download service. I've enjoyed it so far. All the songs are DRM-free MP3s, so they'll play anywhere. They also come in cheaper than iTunes. How can you beat that? Enjoy!


Disaster! Disaster!

It's hard to know where to start in documenting last weekend's filmmaking activities. I guess I should go back to the A3F 48-hour challenge in February. We made a decent film that no one, not even on our own team, cared about, and with nary a humurous moment to redeem it. Then, late last month in Boston, we aborted another attempt to make a film had promise of being both very funy and very different.

So it was that we rode this raging tide of failure into last weekend's A3F All-Star 72-hour challene. Quite an honor to be hand-selected as a Top 10 team among the 120 or so teams that have participated in A3F events over the past three years. No entry fees, more time than previous challenges, big prizes at stake.

For me, anyway, the first 24 hours of the challenge were perhaps the least stressful of all challenges thusfar. Brock and Gabe took up the story/writing reigns this time, so as the challenge started I found myself at home, relaxing, and going to bed early for a nice night's sleep. The screenplay arrived the next morning. The story of an embittered married couple facing off in a bar over sports memorabilia didn't catch me at first, but all made good sense by the end of the first read. "This could be really funny," I thought. In fact, it's funniness, I reasoned, would be limited only by the actor's desire to take the material squarely into over-the-top absuridty. I was excited, and my focus would be purely to get some nice pictures to edit.

Sadly, when the high point of the weekend has come and gone before you arrive at the location, you know you're not in for anything good. When we did arrive, we discovered that there was a poker tournament schedule at the bar late in the afternoon, giving us scant hours to shoot the entire six-or-seven page screenplay. We dug in, and a few shortcuts and compromises later, we believed we had the film in the can, just in the nick of time.

It was only as we sat to feast on Fish 'n' Chips that our peril began to set in. As we mused about each of the hilarious moments that would make it into the final film, we came to a grim realization, moment by moment. The lines were indeed funny, and rather would have been, had we actually shot them. "Did we even shoot that scene?" No, no we had not. In our rush, pages of the script, perhaps as much as 50% of it, had been neglected. How could we have made such an oversight? What did we have in the can? What would we do?

The initial viewing at home confirmed it. There was only drama where our comedy was supposed to be. Well acted, well shot, well directed drama, yes. Even at that, it made no sense without the missing scenes.

Then came out-and-out creative block on everyone's part. We sat around Saturday night, then regrouped at sat around some more Sunday morning and early afternoon. We parted ways to get ready for the meeting without much ado and so much as a gameplan to take this film (or any film) forward. I finally broke through with some new ideas Sunday night, but, hey, it was Sunday night already.

What we did agree to do was tie the existing segments of film together with some quickly assembled shots of us sitting around the living room, watching this nonsensical film for the first time, with Brock conducting this fictional MOC pow-wow as resident neurotic director. We shot these scenes, then scenes of us each parting ways, dealing with the abject failure in our own melodramatic ways. Filming this type of conclusion to a failed film was in and of itself quite theraputic.

I would have felt much better, except I had to immediately hunker down and edit, not one, but essentially two interwoven films, to the level of precision and quality generally expected of our productions. Therefore, I didn't get to feel better until late the next evening, when once again, we pressed against the deadline to complete and deliver the film. Proving once again that it doesn't matter how much time you give us, we'll probably not finish until the last possible moment.

The finished film is something to behold. In form, it's quite accidentaly the most bizarre and challenging film we've made. It looks and sounds nice, and the acting is solid throughout, including the improved reactions. If any of this had been intentional, we could be lauded as mavericks, geniuses. They probably won't have a chance, however, since we can't seem to stop talking about screwed up we have been lately, and relating the depths of our great disasters, as I am now.

The whole affair was a lot more fun a couple years ago when we did not know so much or have as high expectations as we do today. Ignorance was bliss. There was no pressure. Back then, it seemed that we got all the breaks. Nowadays, everything seems broken. It'll be nice to leave calendar year 2007 behind us. 2008 may well bring with it a slew of Widlifeless film festival acceptance letters, prizes, and acclaim. 2007 brought only misery.

A year from now, we could well be watching this film nostalgically, a comical record of one of our grandest failures.

My final step in editing was to add a title. I didn't have the pride to put our name or logo up front, as has been the custom. Rather, it was the last thing I added. A simple ALL CAPS Arial Black string respresenting ourselves. It immediately follows another title: GOODBYE, CRUEL WORLD.


Remember the Blogs

Wow! Can you believe it's been over three years since the first Try Avoidance post went online? There was some really interesting stuff being written back then. This was followed by a slew of other blogs coming on the scene. Let's give 'em the rundown.

The things the world is ill equipped to know...

JohnAnthony gives blogging a shot. He had some original stuff out there. He was known for his either excessively long or excessively short blog posts. It was a good run while it lasted (there were only five months that contained entries). The final stand was on Friday, July 22, 2005. Apparently, Johnny became too busy writing his short story to write any more blog posts. Shame.

For the Goodness of Sakes!

Auntie Lori's blog. This blog was a trip. Some of these posts were really out there (pay special attention to the comments this solicited). You can definitely say that it got you inside the mind of this interesting woman. Auntie Lori's tenure was even shorter than JohnnyA's. Her entire blogging life is contained on the home page. She never even made it to page 2. Sad.

The Doctor Is IN

A fascinating look inside the mind of a child who lists their interests as "Running Talking Crying Whining Opining Sleeping." Seeing things from his perspective was quite enlightening (or is it endarkening?). I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to hit this site this morning and see that there was a new post (if February, eight months ago, counts as new). Good effort. My only issue here was that I always assumed that Lori was perhaps a little too hands-on with The Doctor Is IN. That last post, in the third person, just confirmed it for me. Disappointing.

anything abstract

This is a blog that lived up to its name. The author, dubbed TK, took us on a wild ride of abstraction and poetry, with a short detour to try to convince us to buy tamales. I quickly made this blog my marketing showcase. I would litter the comments (really a must read) of each and every post with relevant lyrics from obscure The Moon Is No More songs. Evidently an acorns fall caused TK to fall off the map, never to be heard from again. So the question remains unanswered, "did the acorn fall before or after you got married?" Farewell.


Perhaps my favorite of them all. I would link to a specific post ... but there’s simply no destination ... but ... Dallas.