Friday, December 14, 2007

"Tape Speed!"

It's been a little while since my last post...I wanted to let you know, dear reader, that you may be hearing from me a little more often in January, though perhaps not in this particular rarely-updated blog.

I will cover most aspects of the "Sound" role on the set of The Mountain, The River and The Road, a film by Michael Harring, throughout the month of January 2008. Mike has set the crew up with access to the film's blog. We'll all be working long days on the film but we're going to try to keep the blog updated with our progress, musings, picures (perhaps some sounds, even) from the locations.

This produciton will be the second time I've covered the Sound role on an independent film. My first real dance in this role was on the set of Jason Ryan's film trailer, Ugly (Is A Movie). I've leared quite a bit so far doing this kind of work, and I am excited to learn more on the MRR production. In between these projects I've worked sound on training videos for my cancer research day-job and for my wife's non-profit org. I've gotten more comfortable setting up lavaliere mics, setting up and tearing down gear between shots, troubleshooting malfunctioning mixers, etc...I am looking forward to getting into the rhythm working on a set again.

I've done this kind of work gratis so far, or for a day-job (and therefore folded into the day-job's wages) I type this I am reminded of things that I've put off and need to get to, like setting up a business license so I can start writing off mic purchases, as opposed to renting mics all the time. I will not make a New Year's Resolution to do this licensing bit, as I never keep such sentimental promises. Instead I will blog about this self-imposed dilemma...the thought of the shame of looking at this post months later without being licensed will get me to the Chamber of Commerce! :)

I hope this post finds you all well, hopefully free from fires and floods on our warming planet. I will spend January working to get good audio for MRR. One of these days you'll get to see the finished film, if all goes well. I will also work to get some Sun Vow recordings mastered...more to come (tm The Tonight Show).

Feliz Navidad,

Friday, September 14, 2007

Chugach Foothills, Anchorage, AK

My childhood friend Michael Hanscom posted a cool little "memory map" that he made via Google Maps and Flickr. Mike has added little Flickr-notes to the picture, and I added a little comment below that...feel free to have a look at my childhood neighborhood.

The southern edge of the photo shows the forest I peered at from my bedroom window on winter mornings...moose would strut in and out of it regularly. During the summer I would wander around back there with tons of mosquito repellent on, whipping the heads off dandelions with fireweed stalks.

I don't know why I'm blogging this may have to do with the anniversary of my mom's passing coming up. This Monday it will have been nineteen years since she died. I tend to think of my increasingly distant childhood around this time of year...I have felt less gloom these past few years. Making a little ofrenda to Mom for 2006's Day of the Dead helped...I never did get a picture of that thing posted here. I have a couple shots sitting on a drive at home. I'll make a note to get one of 'em up for you, dear audience. I'm going to try for a bigger ofrenda this year with some friends at a Day of the Dead bbq that we're planning...I may even make some alcapurrias for it. Stay tuned, true believers...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pure Pleasure!

I tried to resist posting about this for some reason: my friend Shawn passed this blog post on to's killing me with laughter! The Journey cover within is most excellent. Enjoy, and Happy Summer Solstice! (yeah, I'm a day late):

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Naturopathic and...loving it?

So, for the past year I've been worried about cholesterol, losing weight, all of that crap. I lost a bit of weight over the winter, and the cholesterol numbers have come down a bit...

Well, I decided to do something about my health beyond going to the doctor for yet another blood draw (to be followed by a letter advising me to observe a "low cholesterol diet", exercise, etc.). I decided to take Kirsten's referral to see her ND over at Natural Healthcare Northwest.

So...I have been off coffee and all other sources of caffeine for the past five days...for the first time in fifteen years! It is humbling to see how dependent I've been on this chemical, and the ritual behaviors I associate with it. The no-caffeine bit has been the weirdest and most profound part of my treatment so far.

I am observing a restricted diet designed to cut out chemicals that could cause inflammation of the GI...but, this isn't just about inflammation or making HDL and LDL charts go up-and-down. I am finally dealing with the emotional coping mechanisms that I have associated with food and drink my entire life. Ah, I could go on for pages about that stuff...suffice it to say that I am beginning to see why I eat what I eat, and it is humbling and...enlightening? Indeed. Diet and exercise are parts of this treatment, as is the taking of various supplements: fish oil, liquid vitamin B complexes, mineral supplements, etc.

The diet part of the treatment has become my favorite part (minus the prohibition of coffee, chocolate and bagels, ehhh). I cook with Kirsten much more than I used to, and she is supportive of my aim. I suspect she might like hanging out with me a bit more now that I'm not riding caffeinated and blood-sugar-spiked highs and crashes all day.

The no-caffeine bit uncomfortably reminds me of quitting cigarettes and nicotine back in '99. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letting the days go by...

It's April already, eh? Kirsten is enjoying her second quarter at the UW. I've shed a few pounds over the Winter of '06 (now I hover around 165 lbs.). I travelled a bit over the winter, to Shell Beach, CA to see my cousin and his family and to San Juan, PR, on a business trip for SELECT. On both trips I had the opportunity to connect with members and branches of my family in ways that I'd not been able to previously, though not to the extent I would have preferred. The Puerto Rico trip, specifically, was all days and nights were consumed with SELECT mentoring visits. My colleague Russell and I visited SELECT research sites in San Juan to observe how they conduct the SELECT clinical trial and to discuss the trial with them, answering questions, probing for potential issues they might have, etc.

Well, maybe "all business" is a bit of an exaggeration...I did take an evening walk from the Caribe Hilton (where Russell and I stayed) up to Old San Juan. I walked past the US State Park for
El Morro, in the evening just as the park was closing. I did get to have a criollo lunch with Russell in Urb Altamira...these things were nice, but I know that I need to get back to the island, that I need to stay for more than four days and that I need to learn how to speak Spanish!

It was exciting to hear the language everywhere and sobering to realize that I know so little of it. I could catch pieces of conversations here and really carry a conversation I'm going to have to finally learn to conjugate verbs, something I completely resisted during my high school and college Spanish studies. For many years I've used the excuse that I couldn't learn the language because I've never really had to depend on it...this may be true, but I'll be 34 this July. I feel that every year I wait I'm making it more difficult for myself. Maybe I'm taking this too seriously...maybe not. Anyway, I need to go back to the island, and I need to learn some Spanish so I can talk to the Franquiz and Cruz family members who still live there. My aunts and cousins who've travelled to San Juan have told me about them...for my next trip I'm going to bring Kirsten and, hopefully, some actual Spanish fluency.

Right now I'm nervous, on edge, excited...a couple weeks ago I recorded location audio on an actual film set, muah ha ha! I served as sound recordist for my friend Jason Ryan, an independent director in Seattle. Over the final four days of March we shot some of the first scenes of Jason's forthcoming romantic comedy, "
Ugly". This recording was not the very first time I'd used a boom mic and Nagra tape was the first time I'd been on a set with grips, a director of photography, assistants running back and forth, dolly shots, etc. It was very exciting...I am scheduling some time with the Northwest Film Forum next week to transfer our audio tape reels to disk via Final Cut Pro. I'll work to keep you updated more often, blog audience...

I have to dash back to work but I wanted to let you know I haven't completely disappeared. I'm still doin' the day-job, still listening to
podcasts like Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, still enjoying being married, not playing bass as much as I'd like...some things are different, some things aren't. I hope that you're all enjoying the Spring, global warming and all. :) I'll try to post to this thing more often. Take care!