Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa 'Stache (part 3)

Plenty of people play at it, some more successfully than others, but at the end of the every year, Christmas reminds us, quietly but firmly, that when it comes to the almighty 'stache...

No one beats Santa.

A warning: don't end with this first video (thanks Colleen).

A couple of years ago, before she left on her mission to Rome, Lauren Laws and I threw a party called... "Lauren Laws Presents a Jordan Petersen Christmas Extravaganza." It was legendary (5 points for the reference!) At one point, when the party had settled into festive dancing, we made a stupid little video. It's really, really dumb, but I really, really want to post it. If you see yourself in it, or know someone who is, comment! Let us be nostalgic together. After all, it was a golden era at BYU, now gone forever, but we'll have our lovely memories. And this remarkably stupid video:

Generally, I haven't been very enthusiastic about this channel (another Utah comedy thing), but this one got a little audible chuckle out of me, you go! (skip this one if you're short on time)

Solid gift-giving advice:

I watched this year's Orabrush Christmas Special, and then decided I liked last year's better. It starts off a bit corny, but give it a minute and it turns into a pretty clever little satire:

Perhaps the best holiday arrangement of the year, Miranda's seasonal offering is at least six kinds of wonderful (can you count all six?):

OK, lest you come to the reasonable conclusion that I do not take Christmas seriously at all, I shall here introduce a tone of sobriety. First off, here is a link to the LDS Church's new "Bible Videos." I've been hearing about these productions for years now, so it's exciting to see them finally out and floating. All of the six that have so far been released (all under five minutes) are about the birth of Christ. Having seen them all, I can safely recommend that you check them out.

This one is my favorite so far, I think.

And, lastly, a really beautiful music video that I just discovered a few days ago. It's a song from one of the albums I mentioned in Monday's post, and the video came out in 2008.

Merry Christmas, everyone. May this weekend be whatever you most need it to be.


UPDATE: If this had been posted when I was writing this post, I would most certainly have included it. Here's to hoping The Angel Murkurker gets back up and running next year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A 2190 Christmas Extravaganza! (part 2)

Already you know (because I've said it forthrightly) that I love Christmas. This is at least in part because I love winter, in general. Every year, I go a little crazy about hot chocolate. I'm on this constant search for the perfect cup of cocoa, and I've found some great candidates.

But there's no better way to get the perfect cocoa than to make it yourself.

Today, I will share with you a recipe I created, which I have lovingly called:

Hot Chocolate FTW:

(makes 6-7 cups)

5 c. milk
1 c. 1/2 & 1/2
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar (dark)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine ingredients in pot, wet first, then dry, heat to simmer, but do not boil. Stir constantly until ready to serve.

This recipe makes extremely rich, dark hot chocolate. Obviously, the better the quality of cocoa powder, the better the end product. This is a huge departure from any instant mix you may have tried, so beware. It's excellent, but people aren't used to hot chocolate that means business. 

There are two perfect activities to combine with the consumption of hot chocolate: hanging out with people you love and watching movies. In fact, I devoted an entire article to excellent Christmas movies/specials for Rhombus Magazine. I don't write for them anymore, and in fact I think that the magazine has stopped updating entirely, but you can still find that article here - Christmas Watchlist (original title). I even specifically mentioned that perfect trifecta at the end (yes, I'm quoting myself): 
It’s cold outside. Regardless of whether or not you have any interest in any of the titles I just listed, you will have wasted the season if you don’t spend a significant portion of it enjoying some great Christmas films with some hot chocolate and some great friends and family.  
So get to it, dear readers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A 2190 Christmas Extravaganza! (part 1)

Can you guess the album?
I love Christmas.

Sure it's wretchedly over-commercialized by corporations eager to fan the flames of unbridled consumerism, but that doesn't come from nowhere. As the indisputable king of all holidays, "the most wonderful time of the year" is an easy target for exploitation. So instead of bemoaning the nauseating frenzy of greed that threatens every year  to totally overwhelm what is most often referred to as the "spirit of Christmas," let's focus on that spirit, and enjoy what it motivates.

And boy is there a lot of that to go around. I'm not much of a gift-giver, but I'm absolutely a sharer. To that end, I've decided to devote this whole week to sharing Christmas stuff I love. Much or most of the stuff I share won't have anything to do with film studenting, but I figure since I'm on break, so should the blog be. And this week, I care much more about Christmas than I do about being a film student. To start, here's this:

The 2190 Christmas Mix - a downloadable zip file - 36 songs, about 2 hours of music

Since this mix is just a sampling, here is a list of my current favorite Christmas albums (linked to their respective Amazon pages for your convenience), from which I pulled most of the songs on the mix:

I also really dig the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas albums, and a lot of classics. But I find myself spending the most time on the stuff I listed above. After all, I figure I'll get exposed to all the classics in grocery stores and at home with family. 

I'm always on the lookout for excellent new Christmas music. Do you have suggestions? What are your favorite Christmas songs and albums? Share them in the comments, for the joy of all (mostly me)!


This first annual 2190 Christmas Extravaganza! will continue this coming Wednesday, and conclude on Friday. There will be three posts total, and, just like all the best gifts, the content of the remaining two posts will be a surprise. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Man of Abominable Snow

Today I started outlining a feature I wrote two years ago. It's a script called "Abominable." It's about a boy who turns into a yeti. 
I found this picture on the Internet

Before you laugh--OK, go ahead and laugh for a little bit. I want you to. 

Anyway, the idea wasn't originally mine. It was this guy who wanted to have someone write a script about this concept. I thought why not. I wanted to write a feature anyway, and I needed the practice. Long story short, I ended up getting pretty into it, and I think I managed to come up with a decent story about a pretty absurd thing.

I didn't realize, before I started, that the simple exercise of outlining this thing would actually help me work out some problems that ultimately frustrated me to the point of dropping the thing two years ago. Turns out that outlining is helpful.

There's my student thought for the day. 

Now, a Little Dignity:

For the record (if by "record," I mean this blog, then that phrase ends up dissolving into meaninglessness), I wanted to do a Friday 'Stache today, but didn't have time to collect a good set to post. However, I'm working on a pretty rockin Christmas post. Expect cool schnauz, startling generosity, and a whole lot of strong opinions, as always. This promised post will either appear on Wednesday or Friday. I haven't quite decided. 

Now, I shall ready for my holiday, which will consist primarily of an intensive writing regiment I designed for myself in order to finish the first draft of a new feature and...other writing junk. I've committed to six hours per day during break. Perfectly reasonable.

Also, since this is an "Expert Film Student" blog, I shall wish you happy academic completions. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carol of the Bells

This is what they call an impulse post.

Feeling festive yet?

Monday, December 12, 2011

From the train

There's no other way I'll be able to blog today, so I decided to take advantage of the Blogger app on the iPhone and post a thought. I took these pictures in the course of writing. So you know.

Anyway, life is great, but about as busy as it's ever been.

What about being a film student? Isn't that what this blog is about? OK. So lately I've been impressed by this process of artistic humbling. by that I mean: we are all really crappy at this stuff, relative to people who are better and more experienced, and certainly relative to our eventual abilities (assuming we continue to work and improve).

The trick, and it is a trick, is to both acknowledge and ignore this. There are two options: feel discouraged and give up, or feel humbled and work harder and more eagerly. Plenty of people victimize themselves into thinking discouragement is inevitable, and thus suffer the inevitable impoverishment of their work and passion.

I think most of us strive for the humility and succumb to the discouragement by turns, but I do believe there can be a point, with enough sustained effort, at which humility is the default, hard work the lifestyle, and discouragement the occasional hiccup in an otherwise productive career.

Anyway, I hope that. And the hope is encouraging. Directly self-fulfilling, in very fact.

This is where I am.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Today's post isn't grand enough for a real, or even a cleverly stylized 'stache. So instead, I will share this incredibly dumb drawing I just made on my iPhone.

So, I didn't know you could make a living doing this:

And here's a pretty wonderful rendition of "O Holy Night," a collaboration between some Provo musicians. I think you'll like it. In fact, I downloaded it immediately after I heard it, which is something I...don't ever do.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Some light and grain

Guess when I remembered I needed to update this blog before the day was out.

9 minutes ago.

There are actually a couple of very significant posts I'm working on, but I don't have time to finish them up right now, so here's this picture of light and grain:

Near Harvard, a cropped iPhone picture

Soon, I will go out and grab some sweet shots with my Canon. Soon. Oh, let it be soon.

In other news, today was a very good writing day. I had taken a bit of a hiatus to re-evaluate the way I pick stories. Today, I dug deep, and I ended up breaking a new story that I'm enthusiastic about. It's as close as I've ever come to telling a story directly about my life. Kind of a cocktail of different things I obsess about, rolled into some coherent context, with, I believe, an entertaining premise. We'll see how it goes.

Good night, dear people.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Friday 'Stache

I'm not going to spend a lot of time typing at you today because you've got a lot of watching to do.

First, a pretty exciting promo for Dr. Fubalous, coming out this February. This little gem is pretty hard to find without knowing where to look--by design, actually. The creators wanted to give their growing audience a scavenger hunt. So if you want to hunt before you see the promo, click here. If you're lazy, like me, and just want two minutes of hypalicious video, just click here.

The cast they've got lined up for this series is surprisingly impressive: Donnivin Jordan (you might recognize him from Julian Smith sketches, like Malk), Flavor Flav (...I know), Danny Trejo, Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings), and...wait for it...Antoine Dodson


Just in case you missed it when it officially released yesterday on YouTube, The Letter from Pearl Harbor:

As I predicted, it's beautiful. And the music is lovely. I'd love to hear what you think of it. You can just leave a comment below. Don't worry, this is a safe place. Gush or growl, it's doubtful more than six people in the world will read your comments if you leave them here. But I'm one of those six people, and I would really love to know what you think.


I was asked to narrate the latest from Quiet Dignity: another installment of "Quiet Thoughts." Unfortunately, they needed it sooner than I could manage. Fortunately, they had Trent, who seems to be channeling me in his narrating. I'm flattered and impressed. 


Mr. Graham, I am digging this:


If you've been reading carefully, and following the links, you'll know why I'm sharing this last one:


I do hope you follow those links when you can. Otherwise...well, I guess I've wasted my time in worse ways. Also, comment if you want me to love you more. It always works. Always.

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