The Evening Mouthful

reasoned splutterings & hasty wisdom

Archive for June 2007

Press Announcement – “Enterprising Vagabonds”

leave a comment »

The main thing I’ll focus on for this update is letting everyone know the latest info about my newest movie, coming out on December 25. Starring two of my amazing brothers and my wonderful sister Grace, with a small cameo appearance by myself, the film is called

THE ENTERPRISING VAGABONDS

The Sadly Complicated Misadventures of Two Purported Gentlemen, a
Pirate Queen, and a Common Vagabond, or

An Adventure Out of Time

By the time the movie is released, it will have been in production for nearly two and a half years, from the time I first began conceptualizing in early August 2005 to the first screening on Christmas Day this year. I will not venture to explain the plot (such as it is): that will be accomplished by the two trailers I shall be releasing in August and September, respectively. I shall merely say that the flavor of the movie is what you would get if you sort of combined Alice in Wonderland, Nicholas Nickleby, The Princess Bride, and A Christmas Carol. The main editing of the film is nearly completed and I shall soon begin authoring the DVD, complete with book-oodles of extra features (few of them, I’m afraid, having to do with behind-the-scenes nonsense). My good pal Peter Baehr is creating the poster for the film, which will be released this coming July. The movie is a Holiday comedy having to do with treasure, greed, ego, and, of course, Christmas. The running time is slightly over an hour. The VERY FIRST PRODUCTION PHOTO has been attached for public viewing below, for your sneek-peeking pleasure!

During the shooting of the movie, we were often outside in zero-degree weather (plus wind chill!), and one thing we discovered is that period costumes are not very warm, even if one takes the precaution of long underwears. I think I can safely say that all of the actors (all four of ’em) were mighty glad when we finally wrapped up the shooting process in early January. We had begun the actual filming in early November of 2006, and the goal was to have the film done by Christmas of last year. Alas, a hectic schedule hindered this, but I am glad to say that the film will be finally, for good-and-all DONE long before its Christmas Day release. I have to say that all of my actors did an INCREDIBLE job, and this is probably the funniest movie we’ve ever made together. Also, this is the first family-made movie that I haven’t gotten totally sick of working on. It will, for once, be just as much fun for me to watch at the premiere as everyone else in my family.

My week at Chicago was pretty run-of-the-mill, although the going-away party for my House Leader, Nathan Leichty, was pretty fun. There was copious pizza and root beer, and a very good time was had by all. Also, Peter Baehr has moved into the same house as me! It’s really cool: now, instead of having to say ta-ta come curfew, we get to say What HO! and let the good times keep coming. I must say he is quite ambitious when it comes to interior deign. I went to see his room and he has veritably transformed it. He re-upholstered his couch, added a palm plant in the corner, some swanky light fixtures, and a bamboo floor mat for his computer desk area. All in all, a vast improvement. Much nicer that the square-shaped, white-walled hole I live in, but I don’t want to spend what little money I have on improving the aesthetics of place I’ll only be living in for another six months. When I get fed up with a nasty-looking apartment, I merely close my eyes and do the dishes.

Well. These updates are getting shorter and shorter. That will change, however. In mid-July I get to return to good ol’ Minnesota for TWO WEEKS, one of which will be spent camping in the north of the state, swimming and fishing and relaxing generally. I can’t wait!! Other than that, that’s about it for today. I hope you are all having a MARVELOUS summer and I hope to hear from (and perhaps see!) all of you soon! God Bless and Love All!!

~Dave the 4th Dueck in Line for Top Dog in the Legacy

Written by Dave Dueck

June 24, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Posted in journal, movies, photo

Father’s Day + Week in Review

leave a comment »

Currently Listening
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
By Original Soundtrack, Julian Nott
Anti-Pesto to the Rescue!

*TODAY IS THE DAY WE CELEBRATE OUR FATHER(S)!*

A very Happy Father’s Day to everyone back home!! I realize this is kind of soon for yet another long, boring email from me, seeing as I just wrote one on Tuesday, but this IS a Sunday practice normally, and I have to get back on track.

Except for a lovely jaunt into downtown Hinsdale yesterday afternoon, my week was surprisingly uneventful (or, to coin a new word, eventless). I finally have a regular enough schedule to be running and lifting weights again, so I feel quite alive. Who knows how long that will last, though. Thursday was mildly interesting in a sadistic way because it was our monthly day of prayer and fasting. The only difference between a regular day and a day of P and F is that instead of having a cafeteria lunch, we have an hour of prayer, and a cafeteria dinner that evening. Otherwise it’s a regular workday. This is fine, and I’m quite grateful to be working in a place that prioritizes the right things, but I find it odd that they have us fast for most of the day but only have us pray for an hour. Isn’t one of the main purposes of fasting to help us concentrate on God and hear His voice? And if so, what good is a whole day of fasting if one can only set aside one hour for that intended goal? In fact, it actually hinders effectiveness in the workplace for the rest of the day (at least in my experience). What good is an employee who can’t concentrate on his work because he’s on his hands and knees, looking under every artifact of furniture for the slightest sign of a sunflower seed?

It was to these dire straits that I was reduced on Thursday. I finally located, in a tiny, very dusty cupboard in the back room, a bag of sunflower seeds dating back to early 1998. It was with some awe that I realized these seeds had been purchased when I was only 9 years old, but being continually and horribly stricken by hunger contractions, I caved and downed about a quarter of the bag. It tasted like very salty sawdust. I drank copious amounts of water soon thereafter, and procured a bootleg can of Mountain Dew(tm) in order to wash away the taste. I then had fun offering the remaining seeds to my starving co-workers, who consumed them with obvious relish until I let fall some words to the effect that the seeds in question were nine years old. At which point they gave me strange looks and refrained from eating any more. Luckily for me, they were too hungry to come after me with any sort of violent intentions.

Saturday was beautifully relaxing. The first pathetic streams of early morning sunlight awakened me at about 5:00 am, and I merely smiled and turned over upon my mattress. The same scenario was reenacted every two hours, until I finally roused myself at 10:30. At about 1:30, Peter and Eric arrived with an invitation to accompany them on foot to downtown Hinsdale. We would have dearly like to travel by Bicycle, but mine was stolen earlier this week and we had no tandem, so we walked. We went first to the Hinsdale Public Library and then to Coldstone Creamery, where various ice creams were imbibed vigorously and with great relish. Then we stopped in at Walgreens, the local Bookstore, and a small grocer’s, where refreshing electrolyte drinks were procured and subsequently consumed. All the while we were assailed by hideous 17-year Cicadas, which only come every 17 years, and then in */massive/* numbers. One must YELL at his comrade in order to be heard above the nasty whining whizzing noise made by the beasties, and one cannot walk for more that fifteen paces before being smacked in the anatomy by a wayward cicada. I for once can relate with the ten-times-cursed Egyptians. The only question that remains is, can these cicadas be considered wild or domestic locusts? The answer will have quite an impact on our unfolding plans to eat them with honey.

To any and all Fathers reading this (and very specifically my own, Timothy Allen Dueck), I wish you well on this, your special day of recognition. I am convinced that no gift, food item, compliment, or any other such Father’s Day convention can adequately thank you for all you have done to lead and provide for your family. Your Godly example is priceless. I love you, Dad! Thank you SO MUCH for everything you have ever done for me and the rest of the herd! I hope the trip to Duluth was a blast!

Well, I guess that’s everything for now. Peace out and Love All!
~Dave, the 4th Dueck in Line for Top Dog in the Legacy

Written by Dave Dueck

June 17, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Posted in journal

Lotsa Pics Post

leave a comment »

Okay, some pictures. First off, some IBLP family photos! We got together for one last photoshoot before Jamee leaves. These were taken by Britton Felber. Jamee’s adopted family continues to grow!

Then some pictures from my recent visit home. We went to ValleyFair (Minnesota’s modest theme park). The girls are my amazing sisters and Peter is… Peter. Also, my Wonka goggles made the rounds!

These are from the park a block from my house. It’s really creepy in winter! I walked there with my brother mark, my sweet sister Grace, and my brother Steve.

This was taken en route to Big Sandy in May.

We matched shades of green, so a picture was inevitable!



Written by Dave Dueck

June 15, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Posted in photo, regular

My Krazy Week

leave a comment »

Greetings from the Big Windy Apple! What a crazy week this has been.

My memory from the early part of the week is a bit foggy, so don’t be alarmed if my first few recollections are somewhat peremptory in nature:
Last Monday was spent getting back into a regular workflow after the Nashville conference.

Tuesday was spent doing various video-related work, such as working on PowerPoint presentations, and that evening we had a relaxing dinner at a chinese restaurant.
Wednesday was similarly uneventful.

Thursday is where things get interesting: I was surprised with a large work assignment. A local homeschooling group was putting on a production of “Hamlet” as a sort of graduation finale to their semester, and the Video Department was asked to take video of the play. I was made Director of the Video Production.

This was, needless to say, a very large job, and it didn’t help that I only had one day to prepare. Not knowing what way to begin, I merely started gathering equipment I thought we would need and began assembling it. I was told that I would be using two cameras and a computer to perform live switching during the recording process. I set up all the equipment (microphones, cameras, computer, remote control units, etc.), did a test recording, and packed it all up for the following day.

Friday was uneventful until about 3:45 PM, when we packed all the equipment into the vehicles, sped on our way to the church where the play was being held, and set everything up again. We ate a hasty meal comprised mainly of McDonald’s burgers, and then proceeded to do yet another test record, where we discovered, to our dismay, that we could not record any sound!! We desperately tried every troubleshooting technique we knew, but to no avail. With absolutely no way to get any sound to our recording, we just taped the play (3 hrs. long!) with no sound. We got the equipment back to work and I desperately tried to forget the whole evening. Despite all my preparation, the entire production had been a waste, and, as Director, all blame went to me. I blocked the evening out of my mind, trying not to think about what I would say to my boss and my client, and prepared for Saturday…

Peter came to my house to prepare as well. Prepare for what? Since late March, the whole Video Department had been planning a vacation to… Minnesota!! It was with great joy that I proceeded to pack my bag that Friday. Peter packed and then came to sleep over. We stayed up and talked until about 4:00 am, and then hit the sack, waking at 8:45 to drink coffee and head to the airport, where we began a leisurely 1-hour flight to the glorious Motherland. Upon arrival, we went to the Mall of America, a place to which most of the video guys had never been before. There we explored, saw the sights, ate a meal, and bought items like belts.

After that, we headed out to Unique Thrift Store in New Hope, where new shirts and shoes were purchased. We also entered the local Caribou Coffee, because I saw my brother’s truck sitting outside and I wanted to surprise him. Boy, was he surprised to see us!! We order some coffee and chillaxed for a while. After about 20 minutes, it was time to adjourn. On the way to the place where we would be staying, Eric Rice’s house, we stopped at the graduation party of one Elizabeth Hausladen, whom we congratulated profusely. Eric presented her with the finished copy of a movie which she had directed and he had edited: CAPITOL CRIMES. Peter Baehr designed the DVD case art. She was thrilled with the gift. After milling around for a while, we went to Eric’s house and did some further relaxing.

The entire trip was orchestrated to surprise my family: they had no idea I was coming. Oh, Mom and Dad knew, and I had accidentally spilled the beans to sis Paige in April, but everyone else (about 9 people) had no clue. My plan was to show up at church on Sunday with no warning and then go home for the rest of the day. The plan worked! I waltzed into church and removed my sunglasses, exclaiming loudly, “Home again, home again, jiggedy-jig!!” Whereupon my family fell upon me (and I on them!) and the battle was joined. After church, Peter Baehr and I went home with my family and we spent the day and night there. We went on a walk to nearby Twin Lakes, explored the ruined Highway Park, and generally enjoyed the day immensely. It only took my about three hours to get used to life at home, and soon everything was better.

On Monday we traveled to ValleyFair, Minnesota’s biggest amusement park. I cannot describe in words the amount of fun that the video guys, my family, and me had while there, but it will suffice to say that I have not had such a great time in many a moon. Speeding coasters, drenching water rides, dinky carousels, and various other terrific attractions attracted our attention and did not let us go until about 5:30 in the evening. I received my annual record nasty sunburn, something which has to happen in order for me to have a real summer. I never could tan. Biological defect, I suppose. But another couple of weeks in the basement at HQ and I’ll be as white as ever again. You watch.

After the terrific day at the park, we retired to my family’s home for steak, corn on the cob, and strawberry pie, as well as a full evening of fellowship and just generally kicking around. What a terrific day!! It was with a (very!) heavy heart that I said good-bye to my family that evening: I truly hated to go. After pulling out of the drive at about 9:30, I just stared out the car window, trying to blink back tears. I have a whole new love for my family, and it was very hard to be able to spend time with them and then have to leave so soon. But I thank God for providing the way for me to go there even for such a short while. After about 20 minutes of trying not to cry, I decided I would just try to be happy. The weekend has been so awesome that I’m just continually thanking God for letting me go to Minnesota. And besides, I’ll be going home again for a good two weeks in July, so I still have something to look forward to.

We got back to Eric’s house and put up our feet, which were sore from walking around the park all day, and me and Peter and Nathan talked with Eric’s Dad and Mom about this and that for about an hour before we went to bed. My back, sore as ever, received a much-needed massage from Peter, who’s good at that sort of thing. I slept uncontrollable until 7:30 this morning. I got up, dressed, hygiened, and packed. Mrs. Rice prepared a delicious egg dish, some grape juice, and coffee for our consumption, and we left for the airport. Upon reaching the terminal, I received a message from my sister stating that she had possession of my driver’s license and debit card, both of which would be handy to have in Chicago! She rushed valiantly to the airport, and we waited anxiously for her to arrive before our flight left. At the eleventh hour, she pulled up in the Polar Express (our family’s huge red truck), and I eagerly received my goods and wished her a hasty (but hopefully not unaffectionate) farewell, and we hurried to the gate, where general boarding for our flight had just begun. We were in the nick of time!!

We arrived in Chicago and were driven back to IBLP HQ without incident. We ate a late and hasty lunch, showered, shaved, and went to work. The first thing we did was have a department meeting. And the thing we discussed was… why the recording of the play “Hamlet” didn’t turn out. Rats. I had been trying to forget about that. My boss thoroughly chewed me out for not doing a good job. It was probably the worst, most humiliating talking-to I ever got in my whole life. And it didn’t help that it was in front of everybody. Then Mr. Lyle had me hook up all the equipment AGAIN to see if I could get it to work. Lo and behold, I hooked it all up EXACTLY as I did it before and now EVERYTHING WORKED FINE. I was so frustrated I could scream. I still am, as a matter of fact. Pray that I would see what God is trying to teach me through all this. I still have to go apologize to my client for not following through on the video production of the play. I have no idea what I’ll say.

We worked until 7:00 this evening, which meant that I couldn’t go out for dinner. Instead, three of us video guys ordered pizza and drowned our sorrows in it. I then came home and worked on uploading videos and pictures all night. Then I began writing this.

All in all, a very crazy week. VERY crazy. I utterly failed on my first official directing job. I got sunburned to the point where it’s hard to turn my head. I got to see my family and go to a really, really fun theme park. My sore throat, which was nasty BEFORE I started yelling on roller coasters, is bad enough so I can hardly talk. And, as always, my back is constantly so sore that it hurts really bad even when sitting still on a nice couch. I have lots of money (for once) and I can actually put it in the bank for once! So, I guess there’s just been ups and downs. Good things happen, and bad things happen to even it out. And vice versa. But thank the Lord, I’m able to concentrate on the good things, not the bad. It’s incredible how He’s helped me to pick up the pieces and move on! And in a few weeks I can go home AGAIN! Yessssssss. Praise the Lord. I had an awesome time in Minnesota, and I’m having an awesome time in Chicago. Now you know… the REST of the story!

Love to all of you! Have a great week! I’ll be keeping you posted!
~Dave Dueck

PS: I put the best photos from my trip up on my Flickr account.

Written by Dave Dueck

June 13, 2007 at 1:13 am

Posted in journal

No More Pictures

leave a comment »

Well, most of the pictures from Nashville I was going to post can be found on Jonathan Goff and Jamee’s sites, so I’m not going to waste a lot of time uploading them. If you want, you can see the best ones at http://www.flickr.com/photos/93323877@N00/

Otherwise, I won’t be updating this until probably Tuesday night. I’ll be quite busy this weekend. Keep in touch!

~Dave

PS: Has anyone reading this been worldly enough to have seen the 1996 Shakespeare movie “Twelfth Night” with Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley?

Written by Dave Dueck

June 7, 2007 at 7:42 am

Posted in regular

After Nashville

leave a comment »

Currently Listening
Appassionato
Gabriel’s Oboe

It is a cruel trick of fate which determines that a much-needed day of rest must be spent cleaning house. It was with anguish and chagrin that I remembered, two hours after departing for Nashville, that I had forgotten to vacuum and dust my apartment and wash the dishes in the sink. Throughout the course of the week, I had in the back of my mind the nagging thought that I had work to do when I got home. I doubt many of you have seen my apartment, but it doesn’t look so great even on a good day, and when I returned home last night after a ten-hour road trip, I was greeted with dirty carpets, VERY dusty furniture, and dishes encrusted with an unknown substance resembling green couscous and brown plaque. The fact that I had left my windows open during the whole week didn’t help, either, for the temperature has risen to the expected summer levels and the humidity followed suit, and my apartment had become a regular hell-hole. Shrugging off my discomfort, I thanked God for bringing me safe back and promptly hit the sack (after checking my email, of course).
I awoke this morning and proceeded to make coffee. I then unpacked my bags, started my laundry, vacuumed my apartment to the nubbins, dusted every horizontal surface in sight, and washed dishes in a manner that made me feel not unlike an archaeologist. After some more coffee and a very late breakfast, I felt my conscience would allow me time to write an update to send to my treasured friends and family back home. Hello!!

My week was strange. I had expected it to be difficult, and it was, but in a way which I had not expected. I had been given the task of assembling equipment for videotaping in an auditorium at the Nashville Training Center. I was assigned to gather said equipment, assemble it, pack it, label it, and load it. Upon arrival that the NTC, I was supposed to unload the equipment, unpack it in the auditorium, assemble it, test it, and, when the time came, use it to videotape those who would be lecturing the ATI students. I was not looking forward to it (it’s hard work!), but things didn’t quite work out that way.

I performed all the above tasks up to the “load it” part of the equation. We left Chicago at 3:00 am on Sunday morning last week and arrived in Nashville at about noon. We were unable to check in to our hotel room until 2:00, so we went to the Opryland Mills Mall, where we were treated to a very cool Bose Sound System Demonstration. Bose does work. But I would never pay for it. We also went to Barnes and Noble, where I stocked up on some really good classical music, some of which is playing over my sound system as I write this.
We then checked in to our Hotel at 2:00 and relaxed for four hours. At 6:00 we went to the NTC where we unloaded our equipment from the semitrailer and set up in the auditorium. I had expected to be doing this alone. Instead, I was assisted by Jonathan Goff and the Kelly boys, who were volunteering time at the NTC and were available to help. It was much easier to do than I had anticipated. I was also delighted to find that Mr. Lyle, my boss, had asked the Kelly boys if they could take over the auditorium equipment and do any necessary videotaping. They had agreed, so I didn’t have to worry about that whole assignment anymore. All that to say that it looked like I wouldn’t have to do nearly as much work as I had anticipated. But I was wrong.

Being the only video student present, I was now assigned the thankless task of manning the Main Camera at the Two Rivers Baptist Church (where most of the conference was being held) for the duration of the week. Now, running camera is not THAT difficult. If you don’t do it all the time. But I did. All the time. I was on the main camera for all but three or four sessions. The great thing about running camera is that it doesn’t require much thinking: you merely sit there and listen to what the director tells you through the headphones and move the camera to follow the speaker. But the bad thing about running camera is that it doesn’t require much thinking: you merely sit there, staring at your little monitor, while your mind slowly blanks and tunnel vision ensues. Because your monitor is mounted above head level, a severe neck pain will develop as you sit there, head tilted back, trying not to drool as your body systems enter hibernate mode. The chair on which you sit is small and not very soft, which means that one’s southern regions will develop a stiffness which, if left unattended, will evolve into an ache which threatens to deprive one of the ability to sit down for the remainder of one’s days. And if you keep your wallet in your back pocket during this time, you will grow a painful and embarrassing rectangular bruise on your behind, which hurts even when not sitting. Add to this some back problems, a bad cold, sleep deprivation, and not much food, and you will be able to understand the difficulty I encountered over the week.

But enough complaining: There were a lot of good things that happened, too. Such as being allowed to run PowerPoint slides for the hymns and a few of the speakers. Such as exchanging some terrific jokes over the camera’s intercom system. Such as wearing a three-piece suit WITH CUFF LINKS for the first time! Such as spending Memorial Day NOT WORKING and instead enjoying the holiday in a very unexpected and probably unapproved fashion. My week was, in a nutshell, quite difficult and extremely tiring, but also very educational, profitable, and generally worthwhile. Kind of.

Summer is here. It is June. A time of year which always brings about mixed emotions for me. Once upon a time, June was when school was out and the weather wasn’t nasty enough yet to make me stay indoors. It was also a time when my friends would get summer jobs and I would have no way to spend my time except doing yardwork for my parents and reading long books. Now my life is very different. This summer, the only thing different since March is that the weather has grown warmer. Otherwise, my life continues on its strange way, with a VERY inconsistent schedule. Weekends are rarely spent relaxing, and are viewed as a way to catch up on work that was not finished during regular work hours. Every month or so a conference pops up and I am whisked away on some all-day road trip to some place down south where I will work with people I have never before met. My apartment in Chicago has become a mere resort, a place where I can take mini-vacations between jobs, a place which is more often than not just a happy memory. But through it all I see myself becoming a very different person than I was a year ago. God is shaping and molding me into the person HE wants me to be, and that can never happen without a little pain here and there. My time here in Chicago is almost halfway up already. It feels like I’ve been away for a hundred years, and at the same time I feel like the time has gone by in an instant. My life is moving forward at 100 mph, but standing stock-still all the while. It’s a strange feeling, but I know that if I just fear God and keep his commandments, I will have done my duty and God will do His part (Eccl. 12). Continue to pray for me, that God will continue to supply His Wisdom and that I would be humble enough to use it. Praise the Lord, I have survived another week. God Bless All of

You and I hope you’re having a terrific summer!!

Love to All,
~Dave Dueck

PS: Pictures from Nashville are on the way!

Written by Dave Dueck

June 3, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Posted in journal