Monday, September 10, 2007

Working in a production coal mine

How's it going? I haven't posted anything in a while but thankfully because I've been working a lot. "On what?" you might demand with your mouth full of half-chewed Sun Chips. Well, mostly on commerical shoots in Austin, as well as the few days a month I'm always on Backpack Picnic shoots. This last go around (technically the 2nd to last) I did some drawings for a series of partially animated episodes called Kid-puter Korner. Click on the image to go to the first episode.
I'll be doing a 100% animated episode that will probably be online in a month or so.
I also landed a sweet gig working ACL Fest this year, which nets me a wristband. After that, I'm lined up to see Animal Collective and The Flaming Lips here in town during the last week of September. Pictures and video all to come, so keep the channels open. Blake out.

Friday, July 27, 2007

People looking at the camera

From the upcoming Darjeeling Limited. One taking it down the street, nevermind the bogies. Can't wait.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Video Game Hour Live!


Talk about a blast from the past. This is a picture someone took of us on their television screen years ago. What crazy things bored google searches find. I'm now on a quest to find any surviving video of the show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mi Verano en Ecuador - Part 1

Unemployment sucks. It gives me too much time to edit these videos. I think I have enough footage to make 5 more. Here's part uno, the second video. Please keep in mind the camera I shot this on is worse than Hi8, which is actually a really unique and fun format to shoot with. Anyway, I decided to make this one even less coherent than the first video. Think of it in terms of "Fever-Vision". Possibly a fever brought on by a monkey bite or a bad plate of chaulafan. Enjoy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sketch Comedy


Here's a link to a on-going sketch comedy show called Backpack Picnic. I'm doing production side things and it's being made in Austin. These guys are a tight unit and are all rugged land, sea and air specialists. I make a few cameos. Check them out here. Bookmark the page because more are coming soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mi Verano en Ecuador - Part 0

Here's the first part (rather the prologue/test) of a series of video blogs culled from the footage I shot while in Ecuador. They'll be short and hopefully interesting. If not, then I wasted a lot of money on a very expensive video blogging trip. Enjoy.

Regresar

Back in Austin. Made the essential visits to the points of interest: Kerbey, Polvos, La Mexicana, HEB, Logan's House.

I'm working on a series of animations roughly based on my Face Bake short, but different to be sure. Something may come up at the end of August with a friend of mine, Ben Idom and something to do with a western in West Texas border land.

Glad to be back to the land of plenty of different kinds of beer.

-Balks

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Are you Panamerican?



2880 miles from Austin to Quito by airplane.

Cue the Dick Dale surf guitar...

So I´m at the beach. Sands everywhere, naturally. It´s more overcast this week than the last time I was here. I´m wearing my shades constantly because the other night me and the guys and Ms. Teen Argentina (who also just so happens to simultaneously hold the title of Ms. Teen Toronto) were down at the cabanas, you know, listening to the requested and dutifully played Phil Collins and Huey Lewis, enjoying out coconut drinks with our big peices of pineapple on the side. The sea breeze at night leaves everything cool without any overiding smell of brine. The drinks kept coming and the dancing became less organized, or catalogable as dancing.
As it happens, these things lead to other things and people become heros of the night.

Embarking into the surf, the sky was pitch black behind the thin grey wave washing in and out into the Pacific. I had asked Oliver to watch my pants. Nobody had agreed to any cash amount to the bet, and the dare was never issued: there wasn´t any possibility of me not stripping and running from the beachfront club into the sea.

The crew slowly followed, giving pause to meter their own aptitudes under the influences of the festivities. Possibly also to see how I faired, a reverse-Columbus claiming the sea for no one. I saw another one come whooping out into the water followed by a few more. Eventually most everybody was in at the same time, yelling at the elements and to the night, together audibly punching a sonic bookmark into this leg of the trip. Boy, was I tired. The salt and sand together with the drinks make you feel like a mummy waking up in the tomb the next morning, embalmbed and stupified.

The shrimp is still good here. Probably won´t hit the town like that again here in Ecuador. I hope to end my trip when this week´s out. Chad is not right when he says my homesickness is manifesting itself physically. I´m just rejuvinated about the possibilities that await me back in the states. Jobs, money, movies, writing, doin´stuff, researching for projects and stories, eatin´stuff and other similar junk like that.

I´m in the middle of realizing the complexity of airtravel negotiations with airlines. The panicy frustration. The sloth-like mode of communication and the slow as cold syrup feel of getting anywhere over the phone. I may be going by stand-by. I may be finding out how to get home from Mexico City, a place much closer to home than Quito in many ways.

The pictures have stopped. We´ve been here long enough to grow tired of the calcuable time spent to stop, unpack the camera and posse and frame and retake pictures. In many ways, the traveling is becoming real exploring; growing out of the tourist mentality and finding value in living here rather than visiting here. We really have lived here. We´ve lived the hell out of Ecuador.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pffffffft.

Yeah, so I'm back in Quito.
Whatever. That's how I feel and I'm not cautious about letting you know that I'm tired of this trip*. We went to the beach in Atacames. It was humid hot and the waves left something to be desired in any person making the leap from comfortably sipping on a drink to diving into the ocean. I've measured the limit of my fried shrimp intake. Not much new is developing. I've become shifty.

In Quito, it's the beginning of the end of the shoot in Ecuador. I'm weighing the option of out-right paying the aptly-named Cheap Tickets, possibly so for their "economy class" customer service, to change my flights. I might also research red eye'n & stand by'n my way home, which would be interesting, if it's even an option.

The food is making me sick. Period. Since I'm not eating cheese or meat, which principally entails over 60% of Ecuadorian cuisine available anywhere, I'm finding my narrowed diet is presenting some mundane problems. The same tastes everyday loose their palatability.

I wrote a short story about a man who pitches a breakfast plate idea to IHOP. His idea is stolen and he teams up with Little Richard, the original creator of the famous Tutti-Fruti, to get sweet revenge.

This is complaining. I'm well aware. I'm reading Don Delillo's Underworld. It's a beyond beefy book about the last fifty years of the US, as lived by different persons. Hopefully Chris is still at it so I'll have something to talk about next time we eat at Kerby.

Oh, man.

Would you let me wax poetic about the experience? Would you feel too embarased reading a love letter from a man to a resturant?

Kerbey Lane is like a place out of some back alley memory of your childhood that seems so distant and fragile that recalling it might ruin it's value. It's recallability comes into question. As does it's authenticity. Might you attempt to fill in the gaps where the pieces don't quite fit together with plaster, to make a duplicate whole that really really isn't the real memory and nothing close to the experience? Some things are like that. Like little league games, or first kisses, or seeing a favorite film for the first time. We need to mend our memories to keep them alive and vibrant. If unbelievable, we have to make them believable to the people we've become. In short, you don't have to mend the memory of Kerby Lane with abstract tools. You can still walk into Kerby Lane Cafe (the original on Kerby Lane in Austin, Texas a few blocks west of Lamar) after agreeing without question over the phone at the mere proposal of a meeting around 1 to 2 am. You can today, if so inclined yet entirely awkwardly without a close posse of like-minded psychos, ask for a table next to a never-again date and the two cops who love wearing their guns in public. You can order anything you like, and it will come when it's ready to be eaten and not a second before you suddenly realize and remember you ordered food. You'll be demolished emotionally if your decision is wrong, if you're unsure of the options Stephan or Kalli or the girl with the tats on her arms has offered up to you. The food must be apt and you can't really discount the experience,waste your money, the time of your friends and the time of the cafe by trying to order something that you think might improve your mood. When I order Hummus and Tabooley tacos (2 with rice and beans and unlimited chips and tomato sauce) I've been eating that meal all day long. I've been eating those folded goo tacos since I woke up and I remember we haven't been to Kerby in a day. Going during the day is taking the head off the Easter bunny and pulling down Saint Nic's beard at the mall and snottily asking "You still gonna deliver?"... cause it just won't. Maybe that's the fragility of the experience. You have to be ready and you have to accept that you can't change it. If there was any possibility of that ever happening, they'd still have BBQ Chicken-Black Bean tacos on the menu. I desire the slight odor of mold hanging under other people's meals. The discussions at 2am are brave thesises on our state and condition. We exhault the emotions of the moment and paste the walls with things we might regret saying had we been lacking the comfort of believing the event wouldn't end. You want me to separate the wait from the eating? Why don't you try and separate the sex from the birth. It's life by the forkfull and mugfull. Come drunk, leave sober. Come worried, leave accepting your worry. Whether from 30 minutes away or 5, it's the same destination. And you if I found out you didn't tip because you were unhappy with the experience, blame your self. Take some responsibility for not accepting it for what it is. You pay around $6-9 for piece of mind.
I also want to drive my car there at night down 1 while listening to some KVRX.
I'm saving myself for a couple of Hummus and Tabooley tacos back home. Home at Original Kerby.
More coffee please. Black.

-Blake

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Movement over Statis

I'm currently poking in and out of a book highlighting the Irish role in saving medival Europe and the western world from the dark ages via Catholic monks hand copying and stowing away manuscripts. The author makes a fine point about how historians focus to much on stasis (eg. classical period compared to medival times) rather than movement (classical period to medival times). The transition from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning is such a movement it demands to be described in no uncertain terms.
Tuesday morning, I wake up unshowered from the night before but more knowledgeable about the slow assimilation of Gauls into Roman society. I pass on a cold morning shower. We go to work in downtown San Golqui (SAN Goo-AL-key). The day wraps early with much accomplished. Dave, Zach, Chad and I take a cab downtown.
A casino in the heart of the Mariscol Sucre district called Casino Monte Cristo is visited. All play black jack. I come back from the brink of $2 to reclaim all but $2 of the $30 I've played during the night. Rest assured, my honed intuition makes up for my infantile ability with simple arithmatic. I attempted to play a little Texas Hold'em but ironically, the rules were nothing like Texas rules. In any case, I'm a methodical black jack player: always double down when enough ahead, splitting is for crazies, let 14-16 ride, it pays to be insured, don't care about anybody else at the table and most importantly don't drink the free booze. I had about 4 or 5 glasses of agua con gas, much to the jargin or table wait-staffer. We also saw someone who may or may not be Werner Herzog.
After the casino, we went for a determined stroll through the streets leading toward Avenue Amazonas (so named for the turbulent flow of alcohol and the females that cavalcade it's burrows). I was determined to find hummus at a local Indian or Greek hole in the wall. fallafel was all that was left but a battle had been won in the search fro local hummus when discovering from a helpful Peruvian named Fracno that the hummus would be ready first thing in the morning.
Franco, who is by practice a tour guide in and through and around Peru, keyed me in on a good rate for a safe hostel on what would be the Quito equivilent of 6th street in Austin (only, trust me here, not as fun or large, despite other's claims). During the day, however, Ave. Amazonas proper does offer international cuisine on the cheap, English and differently-languaged book stores, cafes and not one but two art supply stores. The avenue at night, however is a different story. Sundown shoos away the crowds of timid still-in-schoolers and mid-life-tourists, making way for a mixed bag of swat cops, whores, thrill seekers, shoutings-leerers, party girls, party guys, backpackers looking for a lodge, stewarts of good street-trashing, pleeted vallet parkers, cabbies, lost Americanos and savy Europeans. Of course take any one of those and tack on the suffix "who also sells drugs" or "will steal all your money" and you're a bit closer to a picture of the scene. But honestly, as in all places of the night, a level head and mental geography of the area significatnly cuts the risk of any uncomfortable entanglements.
So I spent my transition from Tuesday to Wednesday talking to a Peruvian tour guide, finding a hostel for the upcoming week of the Cotapoxi climb (which I'm declining to take part of due to potential personal health concern), got to know some cute girls from Wisconsin who are planning on attending the Austin City Limits music festival and are now going to visit Barton Springs and drive all over the East Side looking for pizza stands and record stores, talked to the police about the levels of inebriation a person may traverse while attempting not to act drunk and so on.
Essentially, the drinks are (practically) free and the danger is abliging. I've tried to spend much of my time down town finding attractive wallflowers to share a beer with or any Brit who's pissed and wants to tell me all about it. The club scene isn't so much intimidating as it is 2-dimensional for me. I'd rather quip with some Londoner or sneak flirts in with travel tips to a gringa. I'm looking forward to spending a few relaxing days in the Sucre center of Avenue Amazonas until we move to the coast.
I've discovered why the bites on my legs and the cuts on my arms are healing (or not) at a dramatically slowed rate: lack of oxygen to the white blood cells due to altitude. Coming from an average height of barely to not above sea level, I've been feeling my altitude day to day. Other than the scrapes that will join the collection on my paws, I'm feeling fine. My cold has resided to morning coughing and night time sniffling. I'm now back to practicing no-meat, no-dairy Vegetarianism. There's no hooky philosophy behind this return to diet, not if you don't count "not eating the things that make my stomach feel like it went a round with Cassius Clay".
The Mitad del Mundo museum was a complete bust. Think all the junk stores and food-stands of Epcot Center without the attractions. This is apt however because the fair-like grounds that contain the middle of the earth monument are incorrectly charted. Around 250 meters down the road lies the true magnetic coordinates of 00'00"00. There, a half antropological survey/half side-show of indigenous cultures beckons sticklers of true global positioning accuracy to blow a dart gun at a cactus leaf 10 yards away (hit it) and balance an egg on the head of a ridged nail (balanced it, got a certificate).
I'm still searching for a decent sounding, solid bodied and reasonably priced classical guitar. I still have to visit the Vogel factory, which makes custom hand-made cutaways with superb pickups. So far, my biggest excuse to spend more of my non-travel money is a DVD store which sells copied DVDs of more classic films than you could possibly hope to purcahse at Best Buy. I'm talking $1 for Criterion Collection films.
I have yet to attempt any transaction with CopaAir or Continental about changing my flights to return 2 weeks ahead of schedual in mid-July. I miss my dog a lot. My Spanish is getting a lot better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Routine, My Time & The Plan

The Film Shoot:
At around 7:00 am Chad wakes me up by stating my name and the fact that I need to record sound again today on the film. I get up, slide into probably dirty clothes and eat 2 cups of dry cereal and a banana. Taking my showers in the evening prior to tomorrow's morning, I'm afforded about 20 free minutes to play guitar or make tea. Around 7:30, all eleven of crew and two actors fit almost comfortably into a Toyota Land Rover and drive to mid-town Quito, downtown San Golqui or perhaps the nearest bit of mountain slope. Shooting begins promptly and We shoot until noon or so then eat lunch together for around 40 minutes. We then resume shooting until wrap, around 5pm or 6pm. If I choose to stay with the crew after wrap (and not wander around Quito for a few hours) we all climb back aboard the vehicle and make our way back to the concrete house across the road from the foster home and school. Dinner is usually a loose 7:30pm at a friend of the school's and the wife of our some-times chauffer Acturo's wife's house. Dinner is filling and local. We then retire to a dizzying night of drawing each other in our sketch books and playing the only decent guitar I've played since Mishauilli. I wash up. I go to bed around midnight or 1 am.

My Time:

When I wake up, I feel very cold because my sheets are some how inexplicably under my bed. I ruffle out of my mosquito net to find my cold glasses, missing a nose pad and causing a fair-sized scab on my nose. Zombie-walking into the kitchen, I find my cup with my name on it somehow moved to the other side of the sink. I get the most sugar-laced cereal and chew down two quick cup-fulls. The trip at least affords me my normal breakfast behavior. People are joking in the kitchen but I don't understand why because I'm freezing. A jacket wasn't even considered when I was packing. Ecuador is not southern Mexico; it's an alien terrain that is inhabited by the ghosts and shadows of the true intentions of marketers and advertisers. The culture has consumed logos and mascots like religious icons and relics. I stick my cold hands under my shirt and down my pants, searching for any lingering signs of a week long outbreak of what may or may not have been scabies. The shampoo may have done the trick. By the time I pinball around eleven other guys in the kitchen, boil water and make some tea I'm burning my lips stumbling out the door. All preceded and followed by six or so "Is all your sound stuff together?" It is.
There are four of us in the very back, side-angled seats of the car.
My mind is constantly elsewhere: Austin, LA, HEB, music, reading, warmer weather. The film doesn't get in the way of enjoying my foreign setting. I find it easy to focus on funny little things and draw infinite comparison and critique to everything from mall food court menus to the number of miscellaneous stickers on buses. I've stopped eating meat here, more or less. I'll never turn down a good tuna fish sandwich but meat here is giving me terrible stomach aches. I assume this might be due to my rampant on-and-off vegitarianism that was on for the two and a half months prior to leaving. It's an easy enough task to accomplish and already I feel all the better. My cold is the only lingering malady, which antihistamine's impotency towards leads me to believe it's just something local I have to deal with.
The days aren't long, not relative to production work. Ripped $1 DVDs have become a boon of entertainment played on huddled around laptops. The draft makes the night cold on the mountains and the concrete home we live in until July 6th cools quickly after sundown.
This is a plastic bottle of water place. This is my peanut butter and banana sandwich view of a rice, chicken and potato country. Ecuador has only suprised me by the effect of a culture of gloabalism spread vast and deep. There's been little question of what exactly our activities have been in the jungle or on the streets, only a polite query as to if our footage is for Discovery Channel or BBC. If you don't know any Spanish, you'll have an infinitely easier time asking for a commercial product you're accustom to in the States than asking someone where a good local resturant is. I was taught, well so, in high school that by saying America, you're rightly referring to everything contained from the top of the uninhabitable ice lakes of Canada to the equally cold rock of Tierra Del Fuego. America does not refer to the United States of America when you don't surround yourself with people who'd not think differently about the term. As I'm seeing it, Ecuador is more or less another spectator in the world game; watching the US and it's pop-collared ilk throw it's weight around the field. Ecuadorians who have a voice in the global marketplace are wearing a US jersey. If you come to Ecuador, find the people who can't afford one, and ask them about their lives here in a country of misty mountains and pebble banks of the wide Amazon.
Make no assumptions: I'm having fun. I might stay the extra two weeks if I found cheap/good hummus.

The Plan:
Come June 6th, we move to the coastal town of I-can't-remember. We'll shoot-out the Ecuadorian leg of the film and break. Some will stay, traveling around on their own dime. Others will go back home to the States. My plan is to exchange/refund my tickets on two airlines through 3 countries on August 1st into some trip that takes me back to the US on July 18th. Why? 3 reasons for you folks. Uno: I really feel like I've got a grand over-view, with highlights and texture, character and a taste for the place. Dos: My own dime is shrinking. I'd rather come back to town and make some money than spend more than I could earn in a two week period. Tres: I really put my life on hold for this trip and it's beginning to put a lot of pressure on me. Pressure I'd like to release by charting my next few quarters of occupational activity, whether it be in LA or Waterloo. As I say, nothing's final yet but that's the plan. The only thing I'm not 100% on is if I want to blow the money to buy a new pair of sneakers and a light jacket. My Adidas have jumped the shark.

I watched Motorcycle Diaries last night and really enjoyed it. Che Guevera is huge here, It's qued in my ensermountable reading list for Wikipedia. I'm looking forward to going to two Pre-Colombian South American anthropological and natural history museums on my five days off. My friend George also told me about some English pubs in downtown. George, if you're reading this, they've really made recent efforts to clean up the city and make it safer. Think the police presence of Sixth Street on Mardi Gras only armed with fully auto machine guns. Oh man, I promise I'm getting a picture with a Policia. There's a lot more exploring and adventuring to come but the hump has been crossed and Barton Springs seems warmer than ever.

Here are some pictures from Chad's lens.


My $120 meal in the Mexico City Airport. All $120 of it were left on a CopaAir jetliner.

kids

Day 10

Alejandro Ponce Garcia, director of Peco's Tex Mex, co-star.
He's got some stories to tell.

un mono

mas monos

A Capibara from the AmaZoonico wildlife refuge. I was fortunate to record it's cooing along with 1o other animals at the zoo. It sounded like a tribble.

AD & Sound Recordist


I'm for supporting local businesses.
15,000 feet above Quito.

Mariscol Sucre, the streets of Quito.


Goodnight.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vidi This

So, Chad's camera is out of power or something lame like that, so Tuchman lened me his lens for these snap shots (ordered chronological-like) from the excursion thus far. These are just a mere sampling of what is to come. So enjoy.


On Set, in the kitchen of Resturante La Posada, Misahualli, Ecuador.

The town of Misahualli, pop. probably around 200 personas



A typical lunch served to you, had you been staying with the film crew at Hostel El Piasano.



The bridge over Rio Napo, connecting the rain forest to the town



Boating down the Amazon



Our leading man, doing his thing.



Piranha. One of the small ones.



If they had tortillas, I would have made a fish taco.



Banos, Ecudaor



Quads



5 PEOPLE MAX ON THE WOOD/ROPE BRIDGE




Tired, shaved, back in Quito. Goodnight.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Leaving Baños

I´m leaving Baños on a bus.
The best food here was at cafes that most resembled Spider-House and Ruta Maya in Austin. Very Kerby-esque. Didn´t drink too much. Rash went away from the funky soap from the fishing trip. Chad´s real mad that I´m not finishing this blog entry. Now we have to walk around the town in the rain to find Blue and Tuchman. Tonight, the pictures come. Get ready.
-Balke

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wow, the entry I just spent $1 USD of time typing vanishes into the cybervoid of the blogosphere. It was finely crafted and freatured illiteration and allegory. Damn.

In short, I'm in Banos with Chad, Blue and Tuchman until I return to the orphanage in Quito on Friday and resume recording sound for the film on Saturday.

Banos is amazing, alot of cool stuff, it's a chill, cold more European styled turist location, pictures will come soon, latest by Friday. I went down the Amazon before arriving and fished for piranha and bated gators from a gordita. My beard is now a mustache-goatee, per the cover of GQ featuring Welsh prince of acting, Christian Bale. The food is still tops, as is the hostal here.
Met some very friendly chicas from London. The pina coladas are amazing. The poverty is stiffling and the treatment of animals grotesque. There's still only one type of beer.

I go to find adventure.

Banos (with out the N-yeah)

4 of us are in Banos for 3 days off. This is the nicest place I've been so far in Ecuador, but I'm sure the interior of Quito proper will give it a run for it's money. Again, I'm having trouble with these windows 98 PCs uploading high-res pictures from USB-out cameras, but I can promise a deluge of pictures come Friday night when I return to the orphanage outside Quito. Banos is a very Euro-styled tourist locale. The streets are narrow and the buildings are skinny with tall glass windows and an inpeniaturable cloud looms over the town, only breaking it's white diffusion at night, when the yet active volcano glows neon orange in the night, washing the entire town in a warm luminace. I had a mild allergic reaction to the soap in the last hostal I was in, loacted in Lemoncocha (Qichua for Lemon Lagoon, where we went 5 hours by truck to fish for piranha and got too close to some really big gators {all of which I have pictures and video of, which may have to wait unitl I get back to Austin}).
I'm still looking for the world-renouned Vogel guitars made here. The hostal here is top-shelf material and I hope to buy a hat to keep my guliver warm because we're really high in the mountains. Pictures will come some day soon. There's a french resturante here that serves chocolate creepes. Any more description would just make the lack of pictures seem cruel. My beard is now a mustashe-goatee inspired by a GQ that Christian Bale, Welsh Prince of acting, was on the cover of. Already have I meet friendly chicas from Swiztrland and Lodon. There's still only one kind of beer. Pina Coladas probably couldn't be better anywhere else. There's also stiffling poverty gripping the interior of the country, the roads are mostly one lane mud paths.
The film is still going on, it's good for sound.
Laters.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rain Monkey Amazon Juice

Sorry the posts have been few and far between, this will change once we get the upcoming week off on Sunday. I´m going to write some fully fleshed blog entries at that time, based on the jounrals and videos I´ve been making along with plenty of pictures and skecthes. This one picture took 5 minutes to upload, which cost me around .25 cents at the internet cafe in Tena.
The town of Misahualli is a square block lined with bars and tourist shops surrounded by a barrio. It rests on the ever rising and ebbing shores of the Rio Nappo, a tributary from the highlands to the milk chocolate Amazon. I´ve had the fortune to take several 1.5 hour long canoe rides on both over the past week, witness a tribal market exchange, a tribal dance reinactment with locally prepared teas and ¨beverages¨as well as visit a truley remarkable Amazon Zoo, or better descrtibed as a wildlife sanctuary. I´ve made both friends and enemies alike with monos. I´ve eaten things I only hoped I´d one day eat, like fruit from a tree in the rainforest. There´s only two brands of cerveza in Ecuador: Pilsner (Grolsch-esque) and Club (a straight knock-off of New Castle, which is quite tastey). There´s alos Blue Fanta, which unbenounced to me, exists in isolation in South America. More to come on the cuisine and dinning company of the Amazon.
The film is going very well. I´m very good at recording production sound. Again, the blog for the film is kept by the producers and is located here: www.safebymyside.com. We´re roughly 25% done with the footage to be shot in Ecuador, the rest will be shot in Seattle, Washington during the first few weeks of August. I may take part in this remainder, simply so I can soley own the sound recordist-mixer credit. Chad, Dave and I are going to go find some Piña Coladas and some gringas in the Peace Corp at the local teca. Come Sunday, we´ll go back to Quito for a bit of rest and clothes warshing then off to Baños. I really want to see an active volcano. I´m sure I´m missing quite a lot to abstract on before I finish this post but I´m worn from shooting in the rain all say and hope to enjoy the first night off in a while. I hope you are all doing well. -b


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sup.

First off, thanks Brett. Ecuador has been great. I´m not really prepared to make a fully engaging blog entry with pictures since I´m only able to spend a few scant moments typing away at... 8.53PM in an internet bar north of the jungle town I´m staying in. I´m currently in Tena and will return to Hostal >Pissano with 7 other ex-patriots to Masiualli tonight. I can´t stress enough how good the 3 gormet meals a day at the place I´m staying are, or the general accomidations, or the friendly locals. We´ve made quick friends with our hostess Eunice, who expertly runs the internationally acclaimed hostal, as well as Alejandro, a local character with quite a story to tell-- he´s ended up running a Tex-Mex resturant and mart in the local square. The local square, infact, equates to 80% of the village, something like the campus of St. Ed´s. The weather is a lot like Austin; not too hot, never known as cold, and the bugs are almost the same. Guitars, good food, monkies, fishing, recording sound for a feature film... masny things I hope I can expound upon and hopèfully suppliment their mentions with pictures and video later on, but now the cafe is closing. Tommorow is another day of work and good food and fast friends way south of the border.
I´ll have regular internet access in 1.5 weeks back at the foster-home, but until then, my communication may be sparse and full of cliffhangers. I may find this hard because I can´t find any question marks on the key board here, thus, my writing style has taken a turn from the often-times interogative and more towards the brashly confident, which isn´t as interesting or true. I can make Ñ´s, though.
Anyways, did I mention I was tired and they´re closing...
Hasta Luego mi familia.

ps. I´m not spellchecking anything until I´m back in Quito.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Second Hand

Blake will be without internet for around two weeks, so what follows is the extremely paraphrased transcript of a phone conversation I (Brett his brother) had with him today. So enjoy, and embrace the text's brevity as an opportunity to fill in the blanks with your own wacky ideas of what Blake is encountering in Ecuador.

"Ecuador has been great, currently I am in the jungles south of Quito, and have been staying in a hostel in Misahualli which surprisingly is home to a Tex-Mex resturant, stories to follow. Luckily it is the dry season so the mosquitoes are non existent. The only thing more plentiful than the monkeys are the guitars."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Heading Out

I'm trading summer in Austin for winter in Quito.
If you're able, take a swim for me at Barton Springs.
Order a pitcher at the Draft House before it moves
to 6th Street and see a film, on film.
Eat some Tom's Tabooley.
Get coffee at Kerbey Lane at 2:00am.
Go see a show with friends.
Drink cider.
Chill.
























Later.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An end to hummus and mix-cds...

Two things which I'm pretty sure I won't be indulging in for the coming summer months.

I'm going to Ecuador for 2 months, from May 27th rough July 31. I'm recording sound for a feature film called Safe By My Side, written and directed by a UTRTFFF (University of Texas Radio-Television-Film Film Friend) David Lamb. Check out the film's website to learn more about it at: www.safebymyside.com.
Funny as it sounds, I have no feeling other than an unqualified sense of anticipation about going to South America for the summer. When trying to imagine what will happen or how it will affect me, I draw a huge blank. It's kind of like a cat looking into a mirror and not being able to understand what it sees to the extent that it's simply another flat surface. No, I don't think I have future-telling powers, but this trip represents something so exotic to my overall routine that I feel little else other than a huge knot of curiosity about what comes next. I guess by routine, I mean to say that I've been a student for so long (17 years) that this period of time where I'll find myself doing something entirely new in an entirely different hemisphere will amount to something incomparable with any previous experience.
One day I'd like this blog to represent a tack-board for my current creative endeavors and personal exploits but until I'm wherever doing whatever it takes to make the art I know I can, this blog will be about my experiences in Ecuador. I'll be flying from Houston to Mexico City, Panama then Quito all day Saturday into Sunday this weekend. I'm relying on Chad and David to supply pictures for this blog since I don't have a digital SLR and am not going to attempt to work out a system of developing 35mm in Ecuador. I can only promise that I'll try my best to update this blog at appropriate intervals and make sure the dinosaurs don't eat me.

I won't be taking my phone with me so the best and quickest way to reach me in any case of urgency would be through email at blakebuesnel@yahoo.com. In case you're unusually interested in this whole excursion, I'll be keeping a journal that I hope to publish/exhibit/produce into some entertaining form after I come back. Maybe a series of open mic readings at the Cactus Cafe.
If anything, I hope to grow as a person with a bigger, fuller beard. What more can one man aspire to do with two months time adventuring with friends?

Coming Soon: Drive, Fly, Disembark

Acrylic on Canvas: