Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want...

Lomo Compact Automat LC-A+

This tiny (2.5 x 4.5 x 1.3) metal body russian beauty is where it's at my friends. And luckily, Christmas is just around the corner...

Image(s) of the Day: 11/16 --- Three installations from Anthony McCall

Anthony McCall
Long Film for Four Projectors 1974
Installation view
Solid light installation in five-and-a-half-hour cycles
Four 16 mm film projectors, two haze machines
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
© 2007 Anthony McCall
Photograph: Henry Graber

Anthony McCall
Between You and I 2006
Installation view at Peer/The Round Chapel,
London, 2006
Vertical solid light installation, 32-minute cycle in two parts
Computer, QuickTime movie file, two video projectors, two haze machines
Dimensions variable.
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
© 2007 Anthony McCall

Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Anthony McCall
Line Describing a Cone 1973
Installation view at the Musée de Rochechouart, 2007
Solid light installation, 30 minutes 16 mm film projector, haze machine
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
© 2007 Anthony McCall
Photograph: Freddy Le Saux

If you happen to be in London in the next couple of months, you can catch more of McCall's work at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. Send me a postcard!


I really need to get a good gameplan in life, because I feel so anxious and eager and motivated to get a move on, but I'm just not sure what exactly it is I want.
I want a lot of things. I want to be an actor. I want to live in a theatre for the rest of my life. I want to be an artist and I don't even care what kind, just so long as I can find some way to create beauty in a meaningful way.
I feel so intrigued and facinated with the many facets of art. I'm drawn like a magnet to many of the forms of self-expression, communication, and aesthetics. I feel passionate beyond my ability to express myself...but, the only problem is, I don't know what to say. I don't have any burning statements to make. I don't feel driven to express any unique viewpoints. I just love beautiful things and I love the process of making them. I just have a hard time coming up with the reasons to make them and the ideas they should communicate. I need a voice and I need something to say with it. Also, I need the skills. While I do feel naturally gifted when it comes to the arts, I am by no means technically proficient in any of them. I need instruction and guidance, and I don't know where to get it.
I love learning. I devour information like candy in a famine. I love the buzz of intellectual challenge and stimulation. I revel in soaking up new facts and ideas. But, I have so far had a miserable career in school. I don't do well slogging away at tasks that I feel are irrelevent or attending classes that I feel waste my time. I have no desire to learn calculus...or Health 101. When ever I do succeed in school, it is because I take the task of instruction into my own hands. I typically learn and retain new information far better if I can absorb it at my own pace ( which is usually faster than what happens in class, but not always...) I have done well in classes that include good, brisk, stimulating discussions, or hands-on work. But tedious group assignments, busy work, and papers kill me in the end. I don't do well with writing papers at all. I've always been intimidated by the prospect of organizing my thoughts and ideas into clear and concise sentences. It isn't that I don't feel capable of the task, but rather that I become cripplingly perfectionist and self-doubting in the process. I really ought to adopt the motto "It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be." I would do much better in school if I could only get the assignments done without putting myself through a nervous breakdown.

I'd like to get a few goals/desires down, just so I can remember them:

a) A one year "degree" earned in the library. One year where I spend a good chunk of every day researching whatever floats my boat. Ray Bradbury says this is what helped him to become a great writer.

b) One year of consistent, daily artistic output. One piece every day in any medium I choose.
And I'd like to document it all. perhaps I could start a blog where I record what I did each day to accomplish the goal. I'd also like it in a portfolio.

c) During this study, I'd like to explore a wide range of artistic mediums. Among them:
-Mixed Medias
-Short Story

d) I'd like to make money doing what I love.
There. I've finally said it. I think a part of me has always been afraid to say that. perhaps it's because part of me feels like it would be selfish to commit myself to pursuing a high-risk occupation that might not bring the greatest income to my future family. Maybe because I think there's something noble about doing something you hate for the people you love. Probably because my dad hates his job but does it anyway because he loves us. I think i'll have to convince myself that it's ok to do something you love AND still really love the people around you. Maybe that's because my mom has a hard time doing both. Or at least it always seems that way. She's either with us, or she's gone doing something she loves and the two don't seem compatible for her. I need to convince myself that I CAN do what I love and still be there for the people I love. I shouldn't have to sacrifice one for the other. Should I?

e) I'd really like to move away from Utah. I'd like to live in a culturally active city where I can fully explore a wide range of arts and benefit from this exposure.

f) I'd like to be a part of a community of artists, like Stanislavski's, Herbert Berghof's, or Gertrude Stein's, where I can benefit from peer feedback and support. I'd like to be part of a sudio, maybe even help start one--a studio that covers a wide variety of disiplines. A studio for young actors artists poets writers filmakers etc. A studio that could showcase the work of emerging artists and help them obtain the funding and exposure they need.

g) I'd like to accomplish some greater purpose with all of this art. I'd like to increase social awareness and help to alleviate some of the world's problems. I'd like to be a force for good in the world. An artist that holds up a mirror to the world, a mirror that reflects what is good and positive in the world and what potential there is. A lot of art is generated by powerful emotions, and oftentimes those emotions are negative. I think there is a place for that, but also there should be a place for the positive. Can we evoke the sense of wonder and joy that living can bring? Can we reveal truth and increase the light of understanding? Can we express what it means to be human, in all of it's highs and lows, brights and darks, and ultimately, it's triumph?

Should I feel ridiculous to have written all this? Am I totally unrealistic? I desperately wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid--was that ridiculous? And if so, is this any less absurd? It's certainly not any more practical. Matisse gives me hope. He didn't start painting until he was twenty-one. Peter Shaffer too, He spent his twenties toiling away in corporate america before he realized that what really wanted was to write plays. There's still time for me, I think.

Drinking Habits

I'm quite sure that if I weren't totally repulsed by the smell of alcohol and disgusted by the behavior it produces, I would probably be a connosieur of fine drinks. I think I'd drink Absinthe like the french intelligentsia during the turn of the century.

But, since I have no desire to break the Word of Wisdom, my lot in life is to become a connosieur of non-alcoholic beverages. Here are a few I would recommend if you haven't already had a sip. You may even become a Non-Alcoholic like me.


Kind of a dry, sweet grape flavor. It's not very sugary at all, and is best with a lot of ice. Goes great with spicy food.


This is one of the most unusual tasting sodas I've ever come across. It's barely sweet at all and is actually herbal flavored. It's supposed to be like the popular South American Yerba Mate drink. Some people think it tastes like ginger ale, or a very dry cream soda, but I think it's totally unique.
If you like herbal teas, and are feeling adventurous, then this one could be a winner for you. Give it a try!


If I could only drink one soda for the rest of my life, this would probably be it. It is light and refreshing--more so than a lemon-lime soda. And smooth, with just the right amount of carbonation. It is marketed as a coconut flavored soda, but doesn't really taste like the meat of a coconut, but more like the milk. It's pretty hard to find this brand, but if you do stumble across it, don't hesitate to pick up a two-liter. I can guarantee you'll like this one.


This is the most popular soft drink in Brazil and for good reason. It's so good! It has kind of an apple-berry flavor and is mildly sweet. It could also cause you to lose sleep at night. It's made from the Guarana berry, which contains two to three times more caffiene than a coffee bean.


Bottom Line: Black Currant juice. Sweet and smooth and dark and fruity. It comes in a big bottle of undiluted syrup called "squash" or "cordial", or premixed in a juice box. It is also made into a soda called "Spark" which is really more like blackcurrant-flavored sparkling water and is just as delicious. It runs rampant in Britain, but is only found in foreign food stores here in the US. If you're in the United Kingdom anytime soon, bring me a bottle!

Image of the Day: 10/31/07

"Your Space Embracer" 2004
by Olafur Eliasson
Brändström & Stene, Stockholm, 2004

Latrodectus Hesperus

My little sister caught one of these on our front porch and is keeping it in a jar as a pet. I think she named it "Sheila".
Sheila seriously creeps me out. Her venom is fifteen times deadlier than a rattlesnake's, and if she got out, I'd never even hear her coming. She could easily hide in one of my shoes, behind the faucet handle in the bathroom, or underneath my pillow-- just waiting for me to slide my hand under before I go to sleep.
Sheila is ruthless. She eats other spiders that Lizzie puts in her jar. She spins sticky, messy webs and patiently dangles upside down in the middle of her bell jar lair, anxious for her next victim. Her bright red hourglass stares back at me when I venture a peek through the top, reminding me that whether it's Sheila, or a car accident, or cancer that gets me in the end, my time is running out.
What's worse is that Sheila's time probably isn't running out anytime soon. A healthy Black Widow female can potentially live for up to five years.
It's official. I really need to move out.

...Like the Plague

There are certain things in life that should be consistently avoided. Things like poison ivy, shark infested waters, angry hornets, and flat coke. Even limited exposure to these things can cause mild to extreme discomfort and even death.
Tonight I was suckered into watching a movie that should be avoided by certain people--people with allergies to bad movies.
But if you like Hallmark movies and after-school specials, read no further. This warning does not apply to you. In fact you might actually want to go out of your way to see this film: It's called "The Ultimate Gift" and it's probably the warm-fuzziest feel-goodiest movie of the century.
It's about the jaded grandson of a recently deceased oil tycoon. Grandpa left Jason a few billion dollars that he is eager to get his angsty little paws on, but there's a catch: In order to get the money, Jason has to complete a series of tasks that will in the end, not only build his character but teach him about what's REALLY important in life. Jason is sent to begrudgingly work on a ranch in Texas with an old cowboy named Gus who teaches him the true meaning of work. Next Jason has to give up everything he owns for a month so he can see who his REAL friends are. His girlfriend bursts into tears and runs out on him when he can't pay the bill at Cafe D'Swank. (This scene was amazing, some of the BEST acting and most honest dialoge EVER!) But that's okay, because then Jason meets a cute single mom with a little girl who's dying of cancer that just couldn't be more adorable. And of course he falls in love--but then he has to go volunteer in a remote ecuadorian village in the middle of the jungle where he gets kidnapped by druglords.
And in the end, Jason really does learn what the "Ultimate Gift" is. I'll bet you can't guess! It's Love! Can you believe it? And then they kiss and a butterfly flys in front of the camera and floats on into the sky.
So if you're in the mood for a shot of Schmaltze on the rocks, cuddled not stirred, check out "The Ultimate Gift". You'll love it.

Day 2 or The Weekend in Review

Well, I made it back! (...just in time I might add) A lot happened this weekend:

Touch the Sound
This was one of the best made documentaries I've ever seen. Granted it was not terribly fast paced, and didn't contain any sort of cohesive storyline, but I think if you were looking for those things in this piece then you were barking up the wrong tree.
What made this film so absorbing for me was the way Director Thomas Riedelsheimer showed us the unique world of deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Riedelsheimer's attention to detail was incredible--so many beautiful examples of everyday sounds that often escape our conscious attention were brought to the forefront in shot after shot. Sounds like the repetitive clicking of a train car on it's iron tracks, the way a sheet of metal warbles in the wind, and the symphonious cacauphony of people on the street became new and fresh and exciting from Glennie's point of view.
I also really enjoyed the many percussion performances by Glennie throughout the film, especially her improvisational sessions with experimental musician Fred Frith.
Riedelsheimer does a great job pairing Glennie's uniquely expressive music with beautifully crafted visuals that are both thought provoking and aesthetically pleasing. The combination created for me as near as I can imagine a true synesthetic experience to be.
If you liked the film "Baraka", I would not hesitate to recommend this rich audio-visual experience.

Daedelus and Bus Driver in Concert at In the Venue 10/26/07
So the instrument you can see Alfred Darlington AKA "Daedelus" playing on the right is called a "Monome" and this man is a magician at using it. It has, I think, about two hundred and fifty little back-lit buttons that correspond to different sound loops on the attached Macbook. It was pretty impressive to watch the man work his magic--his fingers flying, punching and prodding the defenseless box at lightning speed, conjuring sonic spells and mystifying the crowd. It is not unusual, I am told, to see this wizard dressed in nineteenth-century british attire for his shows. And he was super nice coming down after the show to chat with his fans. Thanks, Alfred!

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana

After the Daedelus show, we are all super hungry. Lisa wisely suggested this pizza place that none of us had ever been to: Settebello. And although I had never been there before, I will certainly not be staying away for long. The pizza was AMAZING!!! Totally authentic Italian-style thin crust pizza. Half the pies on the menu don't even come with tomato sauce, and all of them are cooked in a wood-burning brick oven. We got the "Del Cafone", which had fresh mozarella, grilled onions and peppers, authentic italian sausage, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts. It was, to say the least, blissful. We also ordered the "Caprece", which is an appetizer consisting of fresh tomato slices paired with fresh mozarella slices drizzled with olive oil. I can't wait to go back. Check it out if you're in the neighborhood: 260 S. 200 W. in Salt Lake.

Mazza Cafe Middle-Eastern Cuisine

Flash forward. Saturday afternoon Lisa and I head back up to Salt Lake to catch the opening of The Darjeeling Limited at The Broadway. And, not surprisingly, Lisa has another delicious restaurant for me to try. This time it's a quaint little Lebanese cafe up on the east side of town.

We ordered:

Cubes of potatoes skillet-fried in garlic, pepper, cilantro, olive oil and spices.
Fresh cooked garbanzo beans blended with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and olive oil. Served with pita bread.
Thin slices of beef and lamb marinated and seasoned with our blend of spices, stacked on a standing grill and broiled to perfection. Shaved into a pita with tahini, fresh veggies and turnip pickles.
The quintessential Mediterranean sandwich. Thick slices of eggplant baked in olive oil, stuffed into a pita pocket and garnished with garlic tahini sauce, fresh greens and Armenian pickles.
Homemade limeade with fresh-squeezed limes, flavored with orange blossom water.

Once again, Lisa hit the mark dead on. We got the combos, which include the sandwich, appetizer, and beverage--highly recommended.

The Darjeeling Limited
There's really not a lot I can say about this film that you probably won't already know about it if you're familiar with Wes Anderson's work. Gorgeous cinematography that is acutely sensitive to hue and color saturation, quirky characters in rapidly decaying situations, severely witty deadpan humor, and meticulous attention to detail (especially in wardrobe and set design), all presented with an immaculate soundtrack. Darjeeling made good on all of Wes Anderson's promises of consistent trademark quality in his signature style.
Even though the film was, in my opinion, very, very good, it was far from perfect. While Darjeeling did have some very funny moments, I didn't think it was quite as clever or packed with memorable laugh out loud moments as Wes's other films have had. But this did not stop me from liking it any less. I thought the acting was spot-on and the characters portrayed entirely endearing. There were just so many great moments and stand-out scenes, aesthetically scintillating shots, and meaningful silences to keep me interested.
I did like the ending, BUT I was a little less than satisfied with the way it played out. I don't know if it was the pacing, or the scene order, or the events themselves, but something left me wanting more. ....and in the final estimation, I guess that's not a bad thing at all--to leave the audience wanting more. And I do want more. Please Mr. Anderson, give us another soon?

Lisa Ruefenacht's Talk at church on Sunday 10/28/07

One Word: Awesome.


Why is it that I always feel most ambitious in the middle of the night? --Always at the time when I am least able to accomplish ambitious things?
Tonight I am feeling ambitious and empowered. I am resolving right now to write something here every day. I think this will help me accomplish a few things:
-I will have a consistent creative outlet, which I really need...
-I will hopefully improve my writing skills and become more articulate.
-I will have a record of thoughts, impressions, memories, ideas, events, etc. to draw from, and keep a healthy perspective.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about what I want out of life. Not just in the here and now from day to day, but long term. I've been trying to weigh out what's most important to me and what brings me the greatest and longest lasting satisfaction in life, and I think I've come to a few conclusions:

a) I love people. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. I love seeing old friends and accquaintances. I love my co-workers, fellow students and peers. I love being a part of a community and contributing to the lives of those around me. People are really an integral part of my hapiness and satisfaction in life--I don't think anything gives me greater satisfaction than my relationships and associations.

b) I have a driving need to creatively express myself on a regular basis. I don't feel complete when I go for any period of time without producing something. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I am able to express myself in a unique and skillful way.

c) The Gospel is and always will be at the heart of my understanding and outlook on life. I can't imagine living without it.

That's all for now. Let's see if I can make good on this goal and make another post tomorrow...if you don't hear back from me in twenty-four hours, call the cops.