Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 51

this is the second full day of camp. warm, sunny, blue heat beat down from the skies and rolled down the tips and tops of the mountain trees. more energy was reawakened inside the mass of junior highers campers by the time late afternoon had come.

we met for our starwood dv club again today. everyone was a little more open and they didn't seem as nervous as they had yesterday. one girl, who is probably only twelve or thirteen, impressed me. they were all excited to get their hands on the cameras and load the mini dv tapes in themselves, but she was really pumped. i explained the rule of thirds to them today and she practiced and asked to check to make sure she was getting it right. they were all getting the hang of it. as we walked around to shoot, she told me how she was supposed to be in a coca cola commercial when she was younger until they decided to go with animation and how her mom was a model and all sorts of stuff that outlined this personality that, i can imagine, could grow to accomplish good things with a camera. some of the boys were working and thinking at the same time and reiterating and double-checking shot techniques.

i had a little time off before dinner so adam, an australian counselor, and i took the kayaks out. we paddled to the point to the far left of the beach and removed some large debris left from floating logs as we traveled to the point at the far right of the beach's viewpoint. the sun beamed across the sky and over light white mountains and we occasionally stopped dipping the paddles to lean back in our kayaks and float and look at everything and then would slowly began to paddle underneath and around the hanging trees next to the waves and rocks. a chill, relaxed process. it was the perfect break and after we had visited the aqua park and had gone off the blob, we headed back. dinner, and now q-town. i'm really liking doing lights and powerpoint.

all this as given a pretty solid measure of momentum. this has been day 51 on the island.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 50

i woke up with q-town's camp songs in my head today. the catchy tunes fit the sing-songy camp genre perfectly, but why at 8:26 am? editing endless videos with these songs has cemented them in my mind. i still might fall asleep to jack johnson or the across the universe soundtrack, but its obviously not enough to be able to wake up to something else or nothing at all.

the unusual cool weather and overcast skies of the past few weeks disappeared today. completely. summer seemed to show up like it had been a suitcase on the back of the bus with the kids. in morning staff meeting, more stories were shared about how some of these kids had saved their paper route money for the past three years to come to camp for this one week of summer. imagine that.

i think it's time to introduce our three-man video team as well. we've been working full days together now since the beginning and we've come to achieve a pretty good balance in workflows and positions and personalities. nick and ryan are the head and assistant video producers, respectively. they both just finished studying together at vancouver film school. if you're interested in where that got them, you can check this video out on youtube. they did a good job.

my office is connected with theirs and the three of us juggle shooting and editing daily highlights for various qwanoes mini-camps like family camp, family work weekend, open house day, and now summer camps. i've done highlights for at least once day during each of those activities. we also had a bunch of intro videos to work on as well as any other cool ideas we wanted to incorporate with an appropriate qwanoes theme. nick has more of a director's personality and is good at shooting and editing and making sure things are getting done. ryan does a great job as a shooter and editor but has the greatest influence as a behind-the-scenes soundboard magician and adobe after effects guru. he's used sound and special effects in some really powerful ways for some of our projects. sometimes he plays too much u2 for my liking, but hey, its qwanoes.

i stand somewhere in the middle of this. also the most laid back of the three, i use my college training in editing and shooting to do daily highlights, camp activity videos, and working on the music video. my mind isn't so technically and 'film school' oriented and i'm glad because so far the inspiration and unformatted manner of my thinking has melded well with the formulas of formal education. what i mean is that i can see and understand the collaboration of their 'film' perspective with my 'documentary' kind of inspiration.

i also run the starwood dv activity. actually that's my main 'position' and its been a beautiful balance. a handful of campers have signed up to learn how to operate, shoot, and edit video. today was the first day of this. there's two daily sessions of groups of four.

i'll close with something interesting that happened today. of all the three hundred plus campers this week, two of the eight that are in my video club are two boys that were here during family camp over a month ago. during that time, i was really busy shooting and rushing to edit the highlights in time for their showing that i didn't meet too many, actually only a handful, of the kids that had come with their families. they happened to be at the table i sat at during that meal and i remembered their names when i saw them again today.

i don't think that was chance. we'll see how this goes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 49

go.

over three hundred junior high campers have filled the grounds and the perspective of the place has made its third and final transition. i spent the day finishing up on a couple last-minute videos for tonight's first-night and q-town and also created a logo for the dvd cover for the projects my video campers will make in their 'starwood dv' club.

the first meeting tonight was intense. the media went really well and all the short activity intro videos we'd been making and filming and editing over the past month finally performed. it felt good to see them on-screen and in place. for the music part of the meeting, i ran power-point with one hand and ran lights as the other hand produced on-stage flashes with the music.

tomorrow is the big day, for me at least. i'll meet the handful of campers who i'm directing after lunch and we'll go up to my office to learn the basics of the camper camera equipment and simplified editing system and we'll start making their own movies.

the night's activities have just ended and i think this place has addicted me to coffee because i haven't had any today and i've had a lingering headache. it'll be interesting to see how the staff lounge and rooms have been changed since many counselors are now out in the woods in the cabins with their campers.

i'm leaving my office at the foot of the mountain to find my place in the night. i've learned so much so far and tomorrow i start my actual position. this has been a great balance.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 48

the staff team woke up early and all of us climbed the mountain in a long line. after we had all finally piled on the top of the mossy rock, we prayed for the summer and lifted kite-shaped papers with hand-printed names of the campers coming this summer. this meeting lasted only a fraction of the length of the journey up, but it was good. instead of going back down the path with everyone else, adam, paul, and i scampered down the rocky ledge and circled the lower circumference, all the while quoting into the wild, until our risky detour finally met with the rest of the trail.

after lunch, paul and i joined a trip to nearby nanaimo to make a final stab at a longstanding purchase. since this was the last day off for the summer, everyone had headed into nearby towns to get final living supplies and whatever else. early in the journey, i found a ten dollar black and pinstripe fedora. just like in florida during spring break, the people i was with gave strong approval, saying something about musicians and fedoras, and i liked the hat myself, so i bought it.

one pursuit still remained stronger than the need for toothpaste and contact solution. we decided to get those things later and we parted with the rest of the group. we walked a very long way and asked directions several times before we finally made it to the desired music store. the last cajon was on sale. it was kind of awkward to carry as we hoofed back to the mall along the gravelly highway shoulder, but we made it. life hasn't been the same since.


just a note- so far, i've chosen to rely mostly on side adventures as the inspirations for stories and thoughts instead of this continual daily camp life of work and preparation. i've done this partly because these tangents have been exciting for me, but mostly because i wanted the posts that will now begin with the first of camps tomorrow to try to display a fresh, yet well-oriented, picture of the camp itself, my little role in the inner-workings, and the ways that God will be moving. hopefully now, the structure, characters, and setting have been established just enough to secure some interest in the overall purpose for my time on this island. i might start to throw in some more camp language as well, awkward as it still is may be for me, as the schedules and routines change once again in final alignment for the realization of their collective purpose.


ready...
set..

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 47

it might be over. wait for it.. here it is... yes.

i just finished the last highlight video for staff training along with the other odds and ends prep videos needed for the beginning of camp.

one of those short videos was an intro for the mountain-hiking camp activity. i took the camera, left the office, and went on a walk through the woods while most everyone else was required to be in a staff training session about facebook use or something. the winding paths along the mountain narrowed and started to split and dart. i wandered, taking footage here and there, and gave notice to the chirps of unseen birds. a mix of humid forest air and cool ocean salt hung among the leaves and bushes. eventually the air crisped and the sound and smell of waves faded. clear mountain air filled my lungs.

not too long ago, at the end of the fall semester, i had to write a research paper for english 103. i'm not going to go into detail, mostly because it's not much of a pleasant memory, but i ended up turning in 12 pages, along with bibliographies and printed sources, on the designated topic of bigfoot. bigfoot. ouch. it still hurts me.

we would sit in class and joke about going to canada and the pacific northwest to search for bigfoot instead of doing all this research to argue against his non-existence. now, six months after this tragedy in the name of education, i can't believe that i'm actually here- that something actually happened somewhat similar to what we imagined. seriously, who would have thought that, in deep angst and post-midnight typing, i would actually be in canada and in one of the areas i'd researched.

i don't care about bigfoot at all. he was just a footnote in all this big talk. i am still a little nervous about cougars, though not much, but that's just a little healthy respect i think.

i wandered through the woods, thought a little about all this and more, and have since finished the videos in time to post a quick blog before the beginning of q-town and the inevitable end of my night. its only 8 pm.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 46

i'm almost falling behind on posting. this is wednesday.

today i led a little demonstration of my department and office workings. this was part of staff training where other staff who were interested in helping me with the video/camper involvement portion of my job could come and get taught and oriented in order to be ready to help later on in the summer. up until then, i've been working on numerous introduction videos and random shooting and editing for many more videos that have roles during a week of summer camp.

today's little clinic excited me though and as i taught the handful of staff in my office about basic shooting techniques, styles, and editing, i imagined the room being filled with campers as it soon will be.

its crunch time now and thursday and friday are all we have left to finish our load of prep videos.

camps begin saturday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 45

perspective changed a little more today. in relation to music and services and worship, all i'd ever really known was either on-stage participation or participation as an individual in a congregation. today we showed the annual music video we'd been working on and it was all really exciting. after the presentation, i looked towards the stage over the light board and computer screen and one hand pulsed and adjusted stage lights while the other hand's fingers flicked through the power point slides of verses and choruses. i'd never been on this side before- here with the buttons and little tech talk that i never really wanted to fall into too deeply. the band here has been set and established, yet i'm the one who never really gave much thought to this background job when roles had once been reversed. after all, i honestly admit, nobody really ever turns around unless a mic dies or you forget to click the next slide.

powerpoint can be tricky if you're not paying attention to every word and rhythm. during one song, give us clean hands, perspectives changed again. this time, it shifted a year back when that song had a pretty prominent role in the music planning of a leadership role with a teen missions team. australia was a year ago. already. this summer, i'm not playing much music right now and it feels weird. strange. sometimes i wonder if my fingers will forget things and i still wouldn't trade clicks of a mouse or slider slides and flashing lights for what i knew and had before, but these are just some changes being made. learned.

this camp life is getting busier. this is the last calendar week of preparation. i like what i'm learning and i've been learning a lot. but today, more than anytime i'd ever really known before, i miss the music.

the accompaniment of recently discovered jaymay chilled the office work today. usually i don't like girl solo artists, but she's not bad. at all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 44

a gut feeling has led me to post a few minutes before dinner starts. after the meal and the evening events, our three-man video crew is gonna finish shooting the big music video. i've been told i'm a camera operator for this so that's what i'll do. i just finished spending the afternoon putting together the highlight video of staff training over the past few days. it will be shown in tonight's q-town. q-town.. q-town...

we'll be working late so i might get back to add or edit this. this is the director's cut.

i have acquired an rei nalgene bottle. legend has it that this bottle, most recently left behind by my friend tim after his sudden return home to new zealand, had been owned by one of my roommates and, before that, by another friend here. this second friend had picked it up after tim had left it behind once before during a past trip or departure. rumors circulated that tim picked the nalgene bottle up during a previous adventure from another traveller. now it's mine. i've washed it several times, so stop worrying about germs because i know you are, and someday i'm gonna find out where this bottle had indeed been before tim.

this has been the perfect tangent to fill up the last few minutes before dinner. time to finish the day.

edit: just shot the music video. incredibly intense. goodnight.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 43

time is of the essence now, unfortunately, and there's about fifty minutes of chill time left before bosses and flashlights flush this room out. the good news in all this were the cookies at the kitchen after the end of the nightly q-town. q-town still sounds weird to me. still.

i'm learning portuguese from the brazilians here. its slow, but sure. i'm not sure i know enough to put a full sentence down and, even then, it seems kind of pointless right now.

the entire staff loaded into three school buses today to visit a supporting church. the congregation cooked for all of us and it reminded me a lot of past teen missions experiences. we stopped at an awesome coastline on the way back and i'll try to put up some pictures soon. the mountains of washington were visible over the stretching waters. hello america.

there's been a speaker for the evening meetings during staff training named marv penner. its been good and i wish i could write or even think more right now, but the people are crowded and its almost closing time and by then there's no hope of keeping concentration. there go the lights.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 42

intense schedules now dominate the day so my posting habits will change. i'm listening to bob dylan in surround sound in my office right now and it might make this sing-songy. hopefully i'm wrong about that, but i've found a way to play my itunes through the other computers in my office as well, so everything has been going well since.

other than only a couple days of early exhaustion, last night was the first time that i'd been in my room for the night at 11pm. rules are getting heavier now that we're rolling to the homestretch of pre-camp and its given the momentum of daily life a different spin. today was filled with staff orientation meetings, lectures, and emergency practices and it dawned on me that though this is my first time here, i could acknowledge a subtle sense of ease in regards to camp procedures and layout and life, especially now compared to this fresh doubling of newly arrived staff.

even through this, the few of us have managed to get together to chill and play some music and, although writing any form of semi-serious music has been paused, messing around with lyrics about the day's adventures, or lack of them, keeps us entertained. i wish i had money to get ahold of a mandolin, but one girl has been giving me trumpet lessons and i've got the blues scale down. at least i could do it yesterday. i haven't tried yet today, but i can still remember the buttons.

i might get back to this post to add more, but we're about to head down to run the media for the night meeting. i'm doing lighting i think. it's called q-town, for future reference, and it sounded strange to me too when i heard it for the first hundred times. i'm still not comfortable with it, i guess, but it is what it is. everything is a q-something here. camp qwanoes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 41

change. the place is busy now and, although the island deer still graze obliviously unconcerned with the influx, this camp is crawling with conversations and luggage and new people. its obvious that the substance and flow of the past forty days have been closed quickly shut in the sudden transition to the next chapter of camp. even though my job required me to get here for advance crew, i couldn't imagine what it would have been like to get here on a night full of noise and movement and action and reuniting and strangers. i'm glad i have perspective, friendships, and a ground of responsibility.

ten minutes til lights out. that's a big change for staff training so i won't be up until 2am anymore. i don't know how that's gonna affect the flow of postings and such.

speaking of friends, tim, a new zealand dude that i'd mentioned before, isn't coming back. he was one of the first people i'd been able to form a solid friendship with here and we'd climbed a mountain, gone surfing, and had some solid conversations. a couple nights ago, we were chilling at the beach and we discussed his choice of continuing to travel and work at camp for another season against the equal pressure to finish college education back home.

i wish i could write and think more, but people are yelling and bosses are coming around and telling us all in the computer lab that we have to be in our rooms in five minutes. they're serious. things have changed.

i managed to pick up a book called 'an imperfect offering' from the few things he left behind as open stock. i like it so far.

Day 40

this is the calm before the storm. the final day of advance crew concluded with a gathering around the fire pit that had no actual fire going and stories and songs were shared as we looked back at what had been accomplished. tomorrow, another one hundred summer staff will arrive and change the feel and perspective that had been achieved over the past forty days and forty nights. a week after this, camps start.

this might be a bold move, but i think i want to tell you about something here. i hadn't been able to fully process the following until it happened in a previous email, so i'm gonna use part of that. for the sake of her privacy, because i'm not sure who all will happen across this, i've changed her name to amanda lynn. (there is a good story behind the creation of this name).

"there's a new staff girl here- amanda lynn. i don't know how to explain the whole thing, but she somehow either scares or repels almost everyone she meets, yet manages to maintain a subtle, ignorant manner of grace and goodness that doesn't make sense for the way people react to her. people were starting to get short with her and i had patience tested when she stopped me on a day i was late to my office to explain a skit she had seen that was a skit of a pointless story-line. i found out right before lunch that she has a small handicap and therefore holds the mental capacity of somewhere around a twelve year old. sad. last night i was chilling and playing guitar after midnight and a friend kim who happened to be one of her roommates came down to the staff lounge and made me some japanese tea and we chilled and we ended up talking about this girl for a little. she told me about how amanda lynn had no friends in high school and had been bullied in bible college. i had been a little freaked out when amanda lynn had randomly told me that i had nice eyes and, yes, nice legs as well, but it doesn't matter now. man, i love the whole community thing here and the new light it puts on people and love and living right. in mainstream life, i wonder if i would have given this much of a second thought.. sad."


and tomorrow, this community grows.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 39

the internet went out yesterday. that happened towards the end of a day where all the projects and loose ends that had been floating around the video office came crashing down onto paper, creating a respectable list of to-do's by the beginning of staff training on friday and especially before next week's camps. this is wednesday.

after work, five of us traveled forty-five minutes in the little orange car to nanaimo to go see the new narnia movie. regina spektor trumped the typical closing soundtrack flair with a surprising entrance, but i still don't know how well it fit with the whole feel. it threw me off, but not as much as the random bear that suddenly yells 'fowe aslan' after having no real significance before or after his very goofy exclamation. its hard to explain, but it made us laugh all the way back to the car. on the way back we stopped along the highway to take pictures of the mountain sunset, the moon, and car headlights.

since the media crew had been up til midnight working late last week setting up the lighting and then i was up after midnight a couple nights ago working on the video for the theater showing, we were given a day off on thursday. i stayed up late with guitar, tea, and conversation cause i didn't have to get up.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 38

we just got back from the staff 'special event' day. the first part of it included going to see a movie. rumors that had included prince caspian or perhaps indiana jones as likely options were shattered, completely blindsided in-fact, when we all started to realize that kung fu panda was more than a preview. or extended preview. wow. we watched kung fu panda.

the good news in all this was the realization of satisfaction in the hard work i'd put in editing the advanced crew video over the past 48 hours. after a long day and night and then a pressured morning today, the renders and burnings finished literally just in time to grab the hot and precious dvd and hop on the bus for our trip into victoria. they played my video twice before the regular beginnings of previews and then, of course, we all saw kung fu panda. it was really exciting to see my work in a theater and i received good feedback and comments about the video from many people, so the late night and overall intenseness of the past day and a half was well worth this experience. i'll try to post the video on this blog soon.

the rest of the day continued with eating pizza on the parliament lawn. this would be the same lawn that our video 'parliament jam' had occurred several weeks ago. we wandered around the city for a while afterwards and i happened to score some free starbucks from a generous soul before we all, quite eagerly, boarded the upper, open level of two, double-decker tour busses for the final part of our day's event. little did we know that this victoria city joyride and picture-frenzy would turn into a nearly two hour long, temperature plunging experience that included visiting land far, far away from the original downtown victoria turf. between the two previous personal adventures and then today's epic upper-deck journey through the city's capillaries and windy extended divisions, i feel that i have a pretty solid knowledge and grasp on victoria.

it was a long day and it was exciting. trading ipods with australians was really interesting. i didn't listen to a ton of them, but 'the cat empire' seems like a solid funk/jazz/samba band from down under. look it up if you so desire. i'm gonna try to put out a more complete music post soon complete with links and such. i've also been trying to change up some of the pictures on here but blogger has been difficult. i am trying.

my bleary eyes are still rolling after the day's excitements and activities and especially intense bus rides, but i've made it to day 38.


the following was included as part of the ending of the a.c video:

"the community has been built
  these relationships have been formed
  the vision is ours to share
  we stand prepared

  look back no more"

Day 37

i spent all day in my office preparing for something big. i can't say what, yet, but i'll let you know when it happens. i started editing a special project earlier this morning and am still in my office rapping up after midnight.

tomorrow is a staff outing day. we're supposed to do something exciting as a group and it may or may not have to do with the secret project of today. that's all i can say. i'll keep you posted.

i've been in this yellow loft of an office for well over twelve hours now. i have some new pictures on the wall too. good news. i'm leaving now. soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 36

i saw the grandest falling star of my life last night. a few of us were out around late and noticed the massive light as it fell across the sky for several long seconds. it looked like a giant flare shot from behind a million miles of darkness. i figured it was worth mentioning.

today was everybody's day off. after waking up on top of the climbing tower, i went for a decent run and got back to camp right in time for lunch. it seems narcissistic to type out the rest of the chill day's activities, but one interesting thing that happened was playing catch for the first time in over a month. it was my new zealand friend's first time and he did well as we tossed and compared the game with cricket.

we were messing around doing some random shooting too and we came up with the video on the right-side video bar. the seal.

only two weeks now until the beginning of constant camp action. new pictures of the past few days to come soon.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 35

it happened. 1,400 people flooded the property for the open house today. they needed extra coverage at some activities and i ended up working the skatepark while the other video guys took care of shooting the highlights.  this was a chill change after last weekends pressures and i helped countless kids put pads and helmets on and then sat on top the half pipe to watch them continually destroy themselves as they practiced and experimented. even little kids kept it together, fell down, and got up without any tears. kids are tough here, apparently.

the mass of peoples complicated meals incredibly and, since i had a staff shirt on, people would ask me if we'd run out of food as we all stood in long lines and waited for the pasta trays to be refilled. one lady intently cut me off at the coffee pot to snag the last few drops and then turned to ask me to tip the machine for her so she could get everything left. these things weren't big deals to me, really, but it struck me as a complete change to the otherwise easygoing camp atmosphere. typical society, cough cough.

the sun's fading colors melted behind distant mountains and still ocean waters as i walked the beach a few minutes ago. there were a few bonfires in the distance and tim and i walked the rocky shoreline to find a bunch of friendly crofton high schoolers partying on the beach. maybe friendly is the wrong word. the next fire lit the faces of two older men with a bongo and djembe. we'd heard their beats from the distant camp pier and approached to discover they were talking about the state of the world. the world was indeed getting darker at this time of night and i wondered how they were going to get their drums back up the thick forest and hills to wherever they'd come from. the third fire was dimly smoldering by the time we were near and the shadows of two people shuffled away like crabs across the rocks.

i'm going to sleep at the top of the climbing tower. i'm going with one of my roomates, tyler, and i think he's waiting upstairs for me, so i'm going to bed early tonight. 

Day 34

more video editing was done today during the last day before tomorrow's open house. the registered amount of guests has reached over 800 people and there could be walk-ins as well. it's gonna be huge.

after work and dinner, the video and media guys went back to the meeting place to set up hanging stage lights. we started at 8p.m., which seemed reasonable, but we didn't get done until after 11:30. all this after a full work day has made for a really long day. thankfully there's the stash of food for times like these. the three of us had thanked our friend the cook tonight for his provisions and he said he'd do his best to keep it up for the summer. it's funny how no matter where i go, people always come to the understanding of this hyperactive appetite.

there was a seal on the dock yesterday that i forgot to mention and i got pretty close to him before he started snarling and barking. you'll see.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 33

i woke up early today atop the climbing tower and had a shower before making it to the first breakfast i'd made it to in a few weeks.

some of my macbook pro's problems were solved after an afternoon in isaac's office. he's a good guy with a bushy beard and a massive interest and knowledge in macs and computers in general. not only was final cut pro studio reinstalled in completion, but quicksilver and a clutch, new picture-managing software was added. it was a good time as well.

tonight there was a bonfire at the beach for the staff. after marshmallows had been roasted and songs and testimonies had been released amidst the gentle lapping of waves, the three of us jammed for a couple hours to a fading fire and faithful few. working on recent songs and playing new things in the fire-lit shore was the most chill thing. seriously. no worries. this was part of the point of the initial bonfire, we were all told, because once the summer camp starts there will be little to no free time left for the staff, let alone the entire group.

the phosphorescence actually does sparkle in darkness when you use a stick to stir the water.

we visited the fridge after getting back from jamming on the shores and found the cook had left two bowls, one of chili and the other of barbeque beef, with 'joe and friends' written across the saran rap. between software help and extra food, things have been coming together really well even aside from the big picture of camp being assembled and prepared for this weekend's massive open-house of at least 72o people. weeklong camps start soon after.

its after midnight and my gear is still up at the top of the climbing tower from last night, so that's where i'm going right now. i don't think the hammock worked out too well for dave last night, so i'll be alone up there tonight. goodnight.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 32

jack kerouac's story 'on the road' accompanied a day of editing video and planning. music helps to offset the false light and stiff air of the office environment during these days that involve spending the majority of the workday up in the loft. one girl said she'd draw pictures to hang on the walls. this will be a much welcome addition.

after dinner, a few of us drove into town to chill at starbucks and then picked up some snacks at walmart to add to the midnight-snack stash. i wasn't too picky over coffee and the baristas ended up coaching me through the little process and made me something they promised to replace free of charge if i didn't like the creation. i was satisfied. wal-mart shopping turns into a completely different experience when there are only a few dollars to be spent on a few necessary items. and snacks. i thought it funny that when i have less dollars, i begin to notic other things i could buy instead of what i need to buy, but when i have a regular paycheck i can get only what i came to get without a second thought. having more than enough of money would take a lot of fun out of life, i'd imagine, because you could get whatever you wanted whenever you wanted it and still not understand why.
 
the whole trip turned out to be a lot of fun and we taped the empty coffee cup to the top of the car again. the passenger reactions of passing vehicles was even better than last time. i think this was because we saw the full process of the transition from gesturing to their realization of the purpose of the cup and its location. after a laugh or a wave, their cars would speed past and away into the dark highway ahead.

i'm going to spend the night with some people outside at the top of the climbing tower.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 31

today was solid. really, it was all around good. i went out and organized and directed the short 'commercial' for a camp video. i really enjoyed the directing and ability to combine cinematography ideas with the script i'd written a few days earlier in order to bring together elements into footage that i'll start to edit sometime tomorrow. on the way back across the large field to the mountain-base office, i took a ride on one of the ropes course rides that some other staff called and waved from.

after dinner, paul and shaun and i met up with new australian and canadian staff members and we all took our longboards/skateboards to the main street in crofton to bomb the long hill. i decided to stick around after the intense ride and their decision to head back to camp and walked down the small town sidewalks to the ferry terminal after picking up a root beer from the corner store. i bobbed on a dried and calloused boat dock and looked  back towards shore at a massive ship and imagined being captain and standing at the helm and announcing that it was time to pull out. sea gulls settled and shrieked in sudden flight on the narrow pier behind my back and gave begrudged grunts when i went back through to the land. after riding what hills i could on the way back camp, i managed to catch a car ride the rest of the way. good timing.

i've always found it a good idea to make friends, or at the very least be on a first name basis, with the head cook or chef of wherever i've been staying for longer periods of time. i remember barb, the teen missions cook last summer, would offer to make me coffee almost every meal after the time we first met and i'd asked if there was any left after one particular lunch. wes, the cook here, told me after dinner that he'd left me a snack for later tonight in the fridge. sure enough, there was a bag of rolls and butter marked "for joe and friends."

we just came back from taking advantage of that. and from making some organic tea with a vegan friend. we're gonna try and make pine needle tea tomorrow night cause the survival book said it was a good idea. we'll see.

i've been previewing other blog templates. be ready for a change. soon.

the sun came out today but the cool air didn't change. look now, the conversation must be over.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 30

the days grow busier and busier as open-house weekend and then the beginning of summer camps draws nearer and nearer. there are a few videos that i need to work on and finish scripts for in preparation for their summer roles, but it will be alright.

today was another chilly and rainy day. june lazily rambles through its first week and still must be looking for a warmer ocean current. if nothing else, she has yet to put the big grey clouds away for storage though the sun has been able to make short appearances in all this. all in good time i suppose. the tired skies and heavy mists will be out the door soon.

i once heard that once the weather has been established as the greatest commonground in a conversation, the discussion is probably close to being over. i don't know how true that is in the big scheme of things, but tonight, the wind blows damp ghosts in too quickly for me to believe otherwise.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 29

work weekend ended today. camp held a church service in the morning and i ran powerpoint for the singing and ran the video and such. its pretty simple stuff compared to yesterday's adventure but to be honest powerpoint took more concentration than i would have guessed. click, click, click.

everyone had the rest of the afternoon off and me and the nzld guys chilled around and worked on some music and jammed and such. i just happened to visit dictionary.com just now to look something up and noticed that 'raconteur' is their word of the day. what are the odds?


here's some of what else was accomplished on the side...












Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 28

the weekend family work day happened today, so i did most of the shooting for the daily video since the main video guy is away for a few days. after a full day of shooting, i had a mad couple of late afternoon hours to capture and edit the material into a coherent and interesting video that was scheduled to be shown that night after dinner and games.

it got intense, and for an early moment i wasn't completely sure it was all going to get done, but the creative flow went smoothly and i rushed to the meeting place in time to find that the premiere had been pushed back forty-five minutes. better that then the opposite alternative i suppose. the people clapped and a church group asked for a copy of the video after it finally showed, so i think it turned out alright.

by the way, there are a few videos now on the bar on the right side. youtube.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 27

there's a work weekend going on at the camp so families and youth groups are coming to spend the weekend and do some work while checkin out the camp. we're shooting and producing video for the event, so tomorrow will be busy.

tonight, we happened to find fresh pancakes from this morning's breakfast and some random left over blueberries and chocolate syrup. what a good late night feast. 



here are some of the videos me and friends have made on our days off..


"hello, my name is.. pole"
"hello, my name is.. paul"
video


more to come

Day 26

this is for thursday, by the way, but its early friday morning. every couple weeks i'll go to bed early to catch up on sleep then be good to go again. i'll pry head to the kitchen to see what i can find to eat before laying back down to wait for daylight. i also had some weird dreams earlier and am not sure what they could've meant.

today was a good, chill, and overall solid workday. this morning the music and video department head had me screen and pick some christian music videos from a fresh dvd that had come in the mail. some of the bands just couldn't pull off the 'hard emo christian rocker' skin and their darkness was just awkward and creepy. there were a few solid ones of other genres that i chose though. i fought partiality for needtobreathe's 'washed by the water' video because i'd seen them in concert a few weeks ago, but i ended up deeming it a solid candidate for use this summer. after that, i wrote a script for a short video we'll shoot this weekend for a side-show sort of presentation for the summer camps. hopefully i'll direct it as well.

don miller's podcasts were a welcome voice-over for the day and i paused workflow a few times to read an old, online rolling stones interview with bono that miller actually refers to at one point. u2's incessant popularity with the other staff at this camp almost made me skip the whole article altogether until musical references to lennon and dylan kept my interest. frequently hearing switchfoot coving u2 songs is as cliche as it gets, but oh well.


a few minutes ago i woke up in the middle of having a dream. there were pen marks and words written carefully on the palm of my right hand. somebody told me that this was absolute truth, and i tried to read and believe and understand what they exactly said, but was suddenly flashed to a scene of busy, city-street walkers. people that didn't know or care about me would half-heartedly shake my hand as they walked by or would occasionally put up a high five with a nod. smears soon replaced the carefully-scripted words and i woke up in my bunk, checked my hands, and considered the balance needed to living right whether it be in the confines of a safe christian camp or the flowing masses of impersonal society. each has its dangers. 

seriously, what a weird thing to scrape up from a dream at 3 am.





by the way, i've managed to upload the blues jam me, my roomate, and the music/vid department leader did for a talent show a couple weeks ago. its rough, i should warn you.
video

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 25

wednesdays have evolved into an overall derailing of any sort of consistent schedule. morning staff meetings take up just enough time to put a decent gash between starting work after breakfast and going to lunch a few hours later, so i wasn't surprised when i didn't make it to my office at all during the first half of the day because of working on the music video shoot. i'm a guitar player in the background for part of it which is kinda exciting.

our three-man jam crew watched the 'before the music dies' documentary after dinner and were immediately inspired to play and such. dave matthews and elvis costello touched on how personal relevance in music is the heart of the purest form of its creating. we couldn't help but agree because in a society of economy-men and superficial appeals, so many performer-turned-superstars have grow into public figures of recognition and are not so much relevant and inspired hitchhikers of imagination who seek to be fueled by creativity and experience.

then tonight, i unexpectedly ran into the painter who's been around for the week. i finished the rest of my midnight snack as he told me about how he got married and such when he was thirty. he actually told me a lot about his life and his family, but i was drawn in during the point he talked about the 'fading of the ideal' in the lives he's seen with an abundance of money and security that still lack any good measure of authenticity and happiness. 'society,' i silently coughed in my head. i was getting an interview on the spot without even having to ask, let alone get a camera for. this was unplugged.

i could understand strands of applicable sense as he talked about how the day after getting married, he felt chills thinking about the other girls he had dated and with whom he would have had to spend forever with if he hadn't ended up where he had. he said its better to want what you don't have than to have what you don't want. fortunately for him, he had what he wanted, and it helped me understand something i want.

i'm not suddenly in love or anything or even trying to be inversely specific about anything, but i needed to knead this out before any application had dried up or blown away in the cool and blustery mountain air.

finally, i've decided today to try to go the entire summer without a haircut or shave. i'm already well into a beard and mini dreads have started showing up in freshly towel-dried hair, so we'll see.  haha why not.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 24

tiredness never completely fell from my temples today and grey skies dropped a scattered rain amidst cool breezes. the day was dark and dreary.. some days must be dark and dreary...

all the guys played rugby tonight in the rain before bible study. backwards football is the best way i can describe this game and it only helped me see how the kiwis and aussies' opposite seasons and driving pattern are even more a part of their thinking and cultures.

i'm still looking to add to the script for the documentary, so please give any input you may have.

Day 24

tiredness never completely fell from my temples today and grey skies dropped scattered rain amidst cool breezes.  the day was dark and dreary.. some days must be dark and dreary...

all the guys played rugby tonight in the rain before bible study. backwards football is the best way i can describe this game and it only helped me see how their opposite seasons and driving pattern is even more a part of their thinking and cultures.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 23

this was my last day off so i slept in some. the afternoon was a flow of playin piano, reading photography books along the beach, working out, and sipping tall cans of arizona green tea. they don't have the sweet stuff up here..

earlier i had hoped to hash out some thought-provoking material thats been developing over the past weekend of wandering the big city and reading books on spirituality and such, but for some reason that didn't work out as i had planned. plans are hard to make here. also, us foreigners have decided that canadia is a much better-fitting title for this country. think about it.

now that its quiet and after midnight, there's much to be said for the few weeks of this life i've been living. here. this removed, yet deep, community of christians unified and present really only because of Jesus, has helped me understand and visualize and even practice the themes that the very writers i observe and admire have recollected and drawn personal insight from. formulas don't dominate half as much as human interactions do and these relationships pull the other's further and further from the weights of a formula-for-comfort-seeking lifestyle in a way that never could have been achieved alone. community.

for example, the camp staff plans several events a week during this advanced crew period so that everyone working here can get together. this is all well and good, but i don't find it half as fulfilling sometimes, as the random side trips and adventures and ideas and relationships that come from the recognition of mutual understandings and such. not to sound concerned with personal fulfillment, which of course has no good place in a community-oriented setting, but its been a good time to be able to have a good time aside from the good time that we're already supposed to have, if that makes sense. tim gladly shared his seven dollar cereal with shaun, paul, and mine's hungry stomaches for our midnight snack tonight. i was impressed.

even the people on the busy streets have been able to produce, in a moment's notice, elements such as acceptance and, as one busker put it yesterday, the importance of kindness and understanding for all people, as responses to our musings about the problems of society.

hey, and did you know you can make some solid money busking in just a few months time?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 22

today i was able to get a hold of a friend's caravan and the four of us took another drive into victoria with full batteries, a better camera, and our own purchased mini dv tapes for the independent project "uncovering the unlived." after spending the night discussing questions to ask the people we approached for this 'documentary concerning matters of society' (cough.. cough... society! society!! society!!!), we took to the busy streets of a clear and mild sunday afternoon.

we saw many things, including the same sitar player who had played a bit of 'norwegian wood' when i had asked him the previous day. there was a weekly flea market where another permit-holding busker (apparently you need to audition to the city counsel for this privilege) sat on a short, beat-up suitcase and hammered out rock and roll and blues on his guitar while playing harmonica on the neck and keeping beat with a single kick-snare. i don't feel special anymore. anyways, i happened to stop right as some random skater dude walked up to the musician and asked to play some cross-harp blues duets. the moment was perfect, i flashed my own harmonica that was effortlessly produced from my left pocket, and the three of us nodded and performed an impressively coordinated blues set complete with individual solos. this was the first time that i'd really played with a busker. as soon as we started, i handed paul the gl2 to film from his spot in the gathering crowd.

after the jam and applause, the random skater dude faded back into the streams of daytripppers and i stood back to record some more of this guy's music. upon his next break, paul and i were granted with a short interview concerning matters of society, music, and inspiration to include in the documentary and then we too faded into the masses. we ended up talking to another busker who played a song after the interview for the camera. this pattern of picking interesting-looking people to talk to continued as we blew along the sidewalks and streets in the mild ocean breeze.

later as we sat in the van for a snack, i noticed from the driver's seat that the utility pole in the sidewalk had a blank "hello, my name is..." sticker on it. i'm not sure i can describe the exact flashes of idealization in my mind, but i jumped out of the car with the video camera and had paul come over to stand near the pole. these next few sentences will come to life if you read them outloud. begin narration. "the camera trailed down along the community of rusted staples before resting over the image of the sticker, to which i added the voice-over 'hello, my name is.. pole.' after this short pause, the camera drifts to the new zealander who looked into the camera and said 'ello, my name es.. pole.'" end narration. if you can imagine those two shots while saying those two lines over each location, i think you'll understand why it took us about eight takes to get through the short scene. we were in hysterics on the side of the road next to the randomest set of 'poles' in the city. one afterthought- i think i can attribute this conception to the connection of familiarity with my heritage.

finally, we took a two-dollar coin and applied super-glue to one side and then went to chill inside starbucks while the coin sat on the pavement other side of the glass window. i was really excited about this as i had always wanted to do this for a long time. the camera rolled and other coffee drinkers sat alert to the events about to take place on the busy sidewalk outside. the four of us sat and discussed how some things in life can't be spent desperately searching for but instead all we can really do is be ready to react to these situations as we move through life; all the while society wandered and circled the streets outside, oft treading over an opportunity that, ironically, could not even completely parallel our analyzed analogies for life and love and the such.

i'm not sure when i'll start editing the past couple day's footage because i plan on adding to this project, but hopefully the prank documentary from earlier in the week will be on youtube in a few days. i'll keep you posted.