Scenes from work

There is a vending machine in my office's breakroom (which looks like it came straight out of the bright orange 70s) that dispenses, for 50 cents a cup, Spiced Chia Tea.

Today, I've been taping sessions at conference on Data. Fun with convex reflective surfaces!


My Week #1 (April 21-27)

Robbie started April with weekly videos with 8 seconds of footage per day. His sister Annie followed suit. I'm hopping in the fold this week.

My Week #1 (April 21-27) from nocoastfilms on Vimeo.

As originated by Robbie Wilkins and followed by Annie Wilkins, here is my first entry into the My Week genre. I decided not to follow the 8 seconds per day allotment as strictly this time; it was a busy week.

Moms on the Net


Thunderstormy Sunday

Becca & I went down to the Mill this morning for some coffee and rainwatching on the dock.

The streetlights kept coming on and off as the sky darkened and lightened. Very subtly, though, making me wish I'd had my proper video camera for a longer timelapse.

Yum, creole lait & a honey peanut muffin. Before we left, I indulged in the last copy they had of the NYT. I'm about 2/3 through the Sunday crossword, and missing Sunday Club.


Wildlife Ride & Dinner

Jennie & I felt the need to mellow out yesterday afternoon, so we went for a nice little ride to Roca. It was a journey filled with wildlife.

First, and most exciting, my foot was a mere couple of inches from a huge snake. We screamed for a good long while and I didn't have it in me, as much as I wanted a photo, to go back and pull out my camera. I looked it up today, and I'm quite certain it was a young common kingsnake.

(image: UNL IANR Snake Key)

If it was, it likely wouldn't have done me any harm, but I wasn't about to go near a snake I couldn't identify.

A mile or so further down the trail, we encountered 3 young deer, and one stood on the trail until we got quite close while the others bounced through the woods alongside us. A bit later, we saw a large wild tom turkey in a fallow field, fanning out his tail feathers.

As we got closer to Roca, it started to rain a little; it felt great, seeing as though it was 89 degrees out. We paused at Roca Road and were debating whether to check out the Roca Tavern or not when a major strike of lightning and a booming, long thunderclap convinced us that a pitstop was probably in order. Soaked and colder, we sat down for a couple red beers.

After the rain passed, we headed back into a strong, cold headwind. On the way back, we saw bunnies, another deer, and several varieties of birds, of course.

Dinner: trout with kale, tortilla español, and ice cream with raspberries.

Good Morning, Sunset Park

It was an early Saturday morning. I was going to do the Spring Fling ride, but my crew kinda fell through and it's cold and rainy. I was up, though, and so were a pack of poets in Brooklyn.

Despite what she may have feared, Jules will never look like a man to me. We also have similarly colored bedspreads, despite our distance.

Mathias got a little bit animated when we started discussing what train I should take to come over for breakfast. The I-80 isn't running express today. Then I made the first joke in history to combine big ups, Atlas, and Ayn Rand. It happened because I was illustrating all the mess I would be bringing with me to breakfast.

Mathias went to start assembling breakfast with Heather Green, and Cindy King showed up. We made lots of stump faces. Teeth, they're bitey.

Once I decided that the trek to Sunset Park was just too far south in Brooklyn, I found some more local fare with Conrad at Tina's, aka the Nascar cafe. I forgot my camera, though, so you'll just have to imagine how awesome it was. Afterward, we stopped at Cultiva for some excellent espresso and a few DVD purchases for me. It's going to be harder to motivate toward editing now that I have one of my broadcast monitors set up in the bedroom and One Day in September, Mi Vida Loca, Far From Heaven, and High Fidelity (yeah, ok, one guilty pleasure) to watch.

Its a pedal bike not motorcycle

Brent had an interesting experience the other day, as he looks to potentially replace his still-stolen Pista.

Sadly, the Craigslist posting for the Redline Big Block, requesting contact via text message, has been deleted. What follows, however, is Brent's text message conversation with the seller.
This was me desiring the simplest information from a troglodyte on wheels, trying to sell said wheels:

Me: Bike query: selling whole bike? what type/size is it?

Trog: Ill sell it at a whole or in parts dont really care its a red line big block 20 inch

Me: (in my head: 20" WTF?) Oh, that's not my size. sorry! good luck selling

Trog: If it makes any difference im 6 3 and ride it

Me: (reconsidering) Is this a road bike? i'm not familiar with the 'big block'

Trog: Its a pedal bike not motorcycle

Me: Right, i meant like a 'touring bicycle'. Is it that, or a mountain, commuter, etc? Just want to know what kind

Trog: O got ya


Kthanx, bye. I think his second to last transmission shows the extent to which he knows anything about his Redline 'Big Block'.



I'm up in (bl)La Vista for a conference, and went to nightcap my workshop with a visit to Ben over at Jake's. I'm certainly not used to driving on the interstate to hang out with friends.

It's all worth it for this one, though, and boz stopped in before the night was through.

xo, ben.


Tuesday Night Neighbors

After long days (and an all-nighter for Gina) of being digital creatives, Gina & I hit the road. We escorted Felice to yoga, then headed to bread & cup for sandwiches and a beer. Check out those stretched out legs and the fancy road shoes at their ends!

Refueled, we decided to head to Pioneers Park.

Gina is a fan of photographs of airplanes in flight. That one's for her.

Gina had never been up to see the elk & bison, and luckily, they were near the fences. The elks' antlers were so velvety & springlike!

Our shadows were getting long on the way back, and we were in a hurry to get back into town, mostly because we'd decided to stop at Zesto. It is getting there, folks. Get out and ride.


Real Spring Weekend

The weather was fantastic this weekend! After threats of rain the whole time, we only got some on Saturday morning, but mostly, skies were clear and flowers bloomed. Eric had a birthday, too. Friday evening, Felice, Brent, and I joined him for a ride to Eagle to celebrate. Despite threatening clouds, we only had a sprinkle once we were already back in town.

Over-the-shoulder-riding-with-cellphone-camera-shot. But hey, we're all in it



One of the nicest things about homeownership/place-based permanancy -- the nearly 100 tulip bulbs I planted with my mom in the fall will be a gift that keeps on giving. Beautiful!

The daffodils were here already -- a thanks to residents past. There is forsythia & a hyacinth, too!

Adventures in Word Verification #3


Minimalist Realism, Showing What You See, & the Female Eye

Wendy & Lucy

dir. Kelly Reichardt, 2008

The portentous opening shots of trains in Wendy & Lucy leave no doubt exactly where Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is headed, but the hour and twenty minutes we spend with her over the few days she spends in an unnamed Oregon town are no less entrancing.

(Un)necessary brief plot synopsis: A 20-something woman named Wendy is en route from Indiana with her dog Lucy in search of seasonal cannery work in Alaska. She's got short hair, wears a blue hoodie, western shirt & cut-off corduroy shorts, drives an '88 Honda Accord, and it breaks down in a town in Oregon. This is one of a few things that do not go well and leave a major dent in the sum at the bottom of the page in the meticulously kept notebook in which she tracks her dwindling finances.

Oh, the beauty of film! Shot on Super-16, Wendy & Lucy is full of impeccable colors, especially in forest scenes, gorgeously done night scenes full of all the grain that results from an optical blow-up to 35mm, and depth of field simply not possible on video.

As Lucy (played by Reichardt's dog) makes friends with a group of crust-punk types around a bonfire and Wendy follows to retrieve her, Reichardt's camera seems to become perspectival, focussing* from face to face as if Wendy is gauging trustworthiness. It is, in my mind, the fact that this is a female eye (lens) tracing the path of the female protagonist's eye that makes this scene work; were the camera to float away from the person speaking (a drifter played by Will Oldham) to other faces around the bonfire -- including lingering shots on the only other and very tough-looking female of the group -- without the distinct sense that we are engaged in the self-aware nature of Wendy's position as a solo female traveler, this would appear a sloppily edited sequence. In a far more dramatic echoing of the sense in this scene later in the film, I began to think that I had never seen such material shot in that manner before. There are simply so few women making films that it is hard to make a compelling case that the gaze of the female director is different, but this film makes solid strides in that direction.

Furthering its minimalism, the film eschews a score, opting instead for a repeated theme -- composed by Oldham and played slighlty amplified -- of Wendy humming. The overt pathos of dramatic orchestral elements would ruin the pain we feel, slowly & experientially, for Wendy's predicament. Reichardt lets moments happen. Birds fly by, high in the air, and it is clear from the focus-pulling that this was a shot taken because it just happened. It is downright beautiful.

Reichardt is a gifted, principled director. The full text of a fantastic interview done by Slant Magazine is worth the read. A professor at Bard College, she gives solid pushback when the interviewers begin asking questions about how her filmmaking might change with the onset of "success."

Slant: You've talked before about wanting to continue working at these sensationally low-budget levels. Isn't that something filmmakers tend to say and then disregard once they meet with a certain level of success?

KR: Well, what's your definition of success? I find that to be a fucking annoying question, I have to say.

Slant: Why is that?

KR: This constant implication that success has one picture is so limited—and talk about American! I'm constantly asked this, as if teaching is some loser profession, or an uninteresting place to be. I've been out in L.A. for five days with my film, just doing stuff that I've never done before, press junkets and stuff, and I'm like—this is it? This is what everybody thinks is the most special fucking thing on the planet? Are you kidding me? It melts your brain. It's really hard to stay small, actually. That I've been able to make these last two films without anybody paying any fucking attention and just go off and have complete artistic freedom—what are you gonna trade that for? What do you consider success, since you're asking me that question?

Slant: I think I was just suggesting that if you were to raise more, you'd probably spend it wisely. There's no discernable difference between the scale of your films and a Woody Allen film, but he can spend 20 million and the money buys access to more filmmaking tools and sought-after actors and so forth.

KR: Give me an example of a woman who can do that.

Slant: A woman who can insist on creative control and still raise 20 million?

KR: Yes.

Slant: I can't name any, but I have a reason why I can't.

KR: I have a reason too—there aren't any! Okay, forget about 20 million. Name a woman at the level of Gus Van Sant or Todd Haynes. Give me a female example of that.

Slant: Allison Anders. In 1996. I can't think of any on the spot, but in that category I know there are some.

KR: And she wasn't getting 20 million, by the way. She was living off a grant. Please. The idea that we're struggling to think of one that might have existed at some point—maybe that's why that question pisses me off. I'll also say that I can't think of a woman who has this benefit either: Lars von Trier and Terrence Malick can put out films and not have to go out and talk about them. If I want to think about what real success would be, it would be to be able to make a film without anyone breathing down my back and then not have to go out and talk about the film after you've gone to great lengths in your film to not over-explain everything. To not have to go out, that would be true success, but then you're just screwing over your distributor or your investors.

*I read the New Yorker. This is the spelling they use. I like it. Deal.

Images from the film's press site

Egg Salad Dady

My Egg Salad (thanks for the Easter eggs, Mom) is the Pimp Dady of Egg Salad Sandwiches. I kid you not.

This Is Just To Say

after William Carlos Williams

I ran over
your midsection
this morning
on 14th Street

and you
were probably just
to escape the drain

Forgive me
you were so squishy
and I was in a hurry
to get to work.


Easter Weekend in Photos

Jennie at the ride-up ATM

Theo handles guitar & bass in Columbia Vs. Challenger

Teal front and center as Dustin, Tom, and Jim (off camera) rock the Box, UUVVWWZ style. What a great band.

Cassidy the Grillmassidy

Niki successfully found that egg

Papi touching up the rosemary/lemon/garlic basting on the leg of lamb, last 30 minutes of 6 hours of grilling

A little Pernod to whet the appetite

Purple Cannondale from Jim


Riding to Branched Oak

After a late night of music & dancing -- on the way home, I knew it was going to be rough in the morning -- Gina & I headed out to get in some Saturday highway miles. Her voicemail at 9:59 AM: "Are we wearing lycra?" The answer is yes. To get her acquainted with highway riding, we rode to Branched Oak. Nice ride with minimal wind and a few but not too many rollers. A couple of good climbs lead to the breathtaking view of the lake. We coasted down and stretched out by the shore for a little while.

There is potentially a loon in the lake. Gina was pretty sure it was one from the way it was diving. I couldn't stop making terrible puns about it looking awfully loony. By the time we saddled back up, the wind had picked up, gracing us with its head-on nature. We powered through the hills and back into Malcom for a stop at Sundaes'N'Fundaes.

Two twister mixers and one brain freeze later, Gina powered us back into Lincoln. Not bad, on 5 hours of sleep.


Sandhill Cranes

When I was out in Wood River Wednesday, I had a few minutes to spare to take some photos -- and take in the sound -- of the Sandhill Cranes. Beautiful.

Even without a telephoto, I got some croppable images. I'm especially fond of that last one, where the cranes appear to mirror one another. Listen to some audio here.

Stolen Bike Alert!

Brent got his bike stolen Tuesday night.

My Bike Friends,

It is a sad day. Last night during Haymarket drinks my beloved Pista was wrested from its Starlit place. Please keep an eye out for it at the pawn/bike shop. Call me in the event of seeing it for its recovery/killing the shit out of any perps in the area.


It's a chrome Bianchi Pista. Any info, leave a comment.


Post-work Farm Ride

After a day of work that involved 3 hours of interstate driving, nice weather necessitated a longer ride. I decided to head out to the farm and surprise my parents with a visit. What better a day to really get some practice with my fancy new Sidis?

Hardly any wind, bright, clear skies, and just about perfect temperature. My cellphone camera wielding while riding is getting slowly better, too...

Riding home, mentally preparing for the Indian food (Sarson Ka Saag & [Reinkordt] Beef Madras) I was making for the neighbors...