Monday, July 03, 2006

The Latest: Books, Minnehaha, Harry Putter, and Michigan

It's been a long time since I wrote anything, likely because life has been super busy!

Since the last time I wrote here, I finished the book Wild At Heart, which was an interesting non-mainstream Christian look into the male soul. By that I mean that the book was definitely written from a Christian perspective, but wasn't afraid to disagree with traditional Church approaches toward masculinity. It started out fairly poorly and rather confusingly in my opinion, but improved from there. By the end I could more or less look forward to reading it each night. One nice courtesy from the author was breaking each chapter into very short sections, each a page or two in length. This gave the reader (me) very convenient pausing points along the way without feeling as though I had to tackle another complete chapter just for another 2 minutes or so of pre-sleep reading.

Wild At Heart finished, I am now delving into its partner book, Captivating, which is a similar look into the feminine soul, coauthored by both the author of WAH and his wife. I've found this one to be much more interesting from the start, and it's turning out to be another fun read. Even better, at least once I've been able to apply the psychology from the book to a real life conversation, which makes me sound smart, so that's always a plus.

On the employment side of things, we've had two weeks of teaching teacher workshops at Minnehaha, which was a lot more stressful this year than in the past, likely because we had a few teachers who were much more, shall we say, 'technologically needy', than those in previous summers. This gets quite draining when the workshops are all about simple programs like the iLife and MS Office suites of products. Just makes me even more grateful that I'm of a generation that has grown up in the computer age. At least the food during the workshops was good, as always. I'm especially fond of the lemon poppy seed scones from Lunds.

Our website redesign at MA is coming along - and by that I mean that the company doing the design has come up with some nice looking pictures of what the site might look like. Still waiting to see any actual templates I can use for implementation in Dreamweaver.

And the biggest news, Harry Putter has begun shooting! We had an awesome first week starting last Sunday, and each day went very smoothly, especially considering this was my first time trying to direct.
The crew and cast have both done a great job working efficiently, and yet still having fun enjoying the process, which was the goal. The largest set back has been having to recast several supporting adult roles due to schedule conflicts, but that's part of the movie business, and wasn't preventable. On the whole, so far we've been able to wrap on time or early each day, and hopefully that will continue when we shoot the rest of our scenes in July.

When I got home after our shoot last Thursday, I had a mad scramble to finish importing all the tapes into my computer before leaving for the Hendrickson's Michigan cabin Friday morning. One tape imported just fine while I slept, but the last tape I didn't start until the morning. And of course it had an error, so I had to restart the import process. This meant leaving the house to meet the group for Michigan (all techies from MA), driving back to the house, packing up the camera, and then packing up my laptop and hard drives to bring along.

The drive to Michigan was an adventure. There were several major accidents on 94 in Wisconsin, each of which had major backups lasting for miles. That was fun. Because we had left about 45 minutes late to begin with, we had much less flex time available for the trip, and the slow downs didn't help. After detouring off 94 for a while, we finally were in the home stretch, running very late for the ferry in Milwaukee, and driving very fast. The police office that pulled us over wasn't particularly happy about that last part, but at least he was very nice and courteous as he delivered the speeding ticket to Thomas (he was driving at the time, so at least I can claim innocence, even if we were in my parents' van).

We took a wrong turn amidst the construction and detours in Milwaukee, and missed the ferry. The irony is that, even despite all the other time set backs, we probably would have made the ferry at the very last minute if not for that wrong turn. Oh well. The adventure continued.

Thomas' dad, Tom, arranged for us to stay at a hotel in Milwaukee, and came back from Michigan to Milwaukee on the midnight ferry in order to bring us across the next morning. We were first in the stand by line for the 6:00 am ferry, but they were full, so we had to drive around the lake, through Chicago and Indiana, and finally arrived at the Hendrickson cabin about 11:00 am or so.

So in summary, the home cooked meals have been super awesome, the candies abound all day long, and I've finally been able to start watching some of the footage from Harry Putter. A personal highlight of mine was driving through town with the group yesterday and having a van load of people singing along with the song "Dive" by Steven Curtis Chapman (for those who haven't heard it, the significance and heartwarming part is that this was a group of teenagers singing along with the refrain to a Christian song on the radio; key ideas: teenagers singing Christian lyrics, and Christian music playing on the radio). As usual, words don't do the experience justice.

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