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Undead Music Video
Posted on 31 July 2010 by maxgould

While I was in Los Angeles earlier this summer I helped out with a music video for a small local band called “Don’t Tell Betsy”. They were trying to get by on a relatively small budget which confined all of the shooting to one twelve-hour period. The song was called “The Undead” and the bassist of the band, Gregg, played the starring role as a zombie. I stood in for the piano player and had a brief scene as the boyfriend of a zombie groupie at Gregg’s birthday party. Most of the time though I was just being a production assistant including helping out with props and wardrobe and getting everyone lunch from Subway. It was a lot of fun and, besides my amateur movie projects from when I was in high school, it was my first time being part of a real video production. Anyway, I just thought that I’d share this with my friends and fans (if I had any), and you can watch the video at the band’s website.

Home of Fallen Stars
Posted in June 2008 by maxgould

Bainbridge Island has always been the home of falling stars to me; ever since that summer when I slept under the night sky and saw so many. Back then I was full of wishes, ready to spend them on each new-fallen star. The world was alive with possibility. Every time I find myself on the island now, I look hopefully toward the sky, and every time I have seen one of those bright angels descending from the heavens. A reminder to hope for the future, and to remember the past with fondness, for it too was wonderful and glorious. But nothing could compare to the star I saw this night. Playing guitar outside my trailer, I sang softly the lyrics of hallelujah. And as I finished, a fireball of flaming light lit the heavens, arcing across the night sky. Five times as large as any star, and brilliant as the sun. As it neared the end of its trajectory, it broke apart and was gone, burned out. For a few moments I stood, stunned, overcome with wonder. Then I thought for a moment that I hoped no one got hurt. But for an instant there, I was spellbound by the beauty of it. And truly, I will never forget that moment. Whether it meant something, I don’t know, perhaps the Oracle at Delphi would have something to say about it. But I do know that this is my home, and I will now never forget that it is the home… of fallen stars.

Ice Trampolining
Posted on 31 December 2007 by maxgould

It all started one fateful new year’s eve. We were out firing off fireworks on the frigid grass of a friend’s backyard. Another friend of mine decided it would be a good idea to jump on the trampoline. As it was freezing cold, most of us were focused on just staying warm and watching the pretty fountains of sparkling light. But my friend got on the trampoline and found it sheathed in ice, it became quite a spectacle. He fell down at once, and we could here is cry of disdain echo out of the darkness. As he regained his feet, however, we began hearing a sound, as though thousands of lego pieces had been scattered on the trampoline, like the pattering of little objects hitting the net, accompanying each jump. Someone had the bright idea to shine a flashlight in his direction, revealing the true source of the noise. Solid chunks of ice littered the trampoline, bouncing up and down with my friend. At first this seemed kind of surreal, but once a number of us had joined him on the trampoline, it turned into quite a party. It was almost impossible to stay on one’s own two feet on the net, every couple of seconds it seemed, someone (namely me) was falling down in the most comical ways possible. Adding to this difficulty, was everyone’s insistence on taking everyone else down who did manage to keep their feet for more than a few seconds, turning it into a strange sort of bouncing tackle-football on ice. Of course we all had loads of fun, and I’m sure everyone enjoyed my squeals of protest every time someone knocked me off my feet. The thing about ice however, is eventually, it melts. So, the more we spent sprawled on the net, the more soaked we became. Eventually, we stopped, went inside, and curled up under some blankets. The night was full of other strange and bewildering tales, but I’ll leave those to the Ages. So if you’re ever around a frozen trampoline, don’t let it scare you away, gather your friends and be prepared for the best game of bouncy tackle-football on ice you’ve ever played… (minus the football of course).

Snow Bound
Posted in November 2007 by maxgould

I was at Reed, reading on the balcony at two in the morning as I am wont to do, when an extraordinary thing happened. It began to snow. This was of course exciting, although I was more concerned with finishing my humanities reading at the time, and having lived in the northwest most of my life, I wasn’t all that optimistic about it lasting. Though it was snowing pretty heavily for a few minutes, during which I took a break to play some harmonica while watching the snow, I was soon proven right in my pessimism when the snow turned back into a solid sheet of rain. At this point it was getting quite cold outside, and I decided to continue my reading inside where it was warm. Not to long afterwards however, I was quite surprised when a friend walked by and commented on the snow. Despite all expectations to the contrary, it had started snowing again. I was quite adamant in finishing my reading however, and refused to go outside again until I was done. About twenty minutes later, after a brief glance out the window, I was furiously trying to lace up my boots. By the time I had all of my warm layers on and stepped out the door, the world resembled nothing so much as a powdered donut, though it would have been unwise to bite into it. Most people of course were in bed at this point and, whether asleep or still awake, were missing the spectacle. A small group of us had noticed the snow however, and had come out to play. I knocked on the lit window of a friend of mine and, upon opening the blinds, he discovered me, powdered in snow, gesticulating wildly for him to come outside. We stood in the seeming blizzard of snow for a while, appreciating its beauty and wonder. Eventually however, my friend went back to his work and I went off to frolic in the snow. I won’t delve too deeply into my further exploits, but suffice it to say that snow angels were involved. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to my dorm, it had stopped snowing, and much of it had already melted when morning came a few hours later. But that night had seemed truly magical with the Reed grounds lit like a Narnian fairy-tale. May the snow angels watch over us always.

My Secret Portal to Safeway
Posted in October 2007 by maxgould

After I had finished my first Humanities paper of the year, I had a conference with my professor to discuss it. This was one of the weirdest experiences of my life, usually my prof. is reasonably lax and easy going, but today he was creepily serious. He didn’t seem to have too many problems with my paper, in fact he said it was well written, but he said it in a way like, ‘it was ok, but…’ except that was it. It was like he hated my paper with a passion, but couldn’t find any actual problems with it. And then he asked me if he could hold on to my paper… this may not seem like a strange occurrence, but by all accounts this was the first time he had ever done this. All in all, it was a disquieting experience. I ended up talking to my friends a couple nights later about it, trying to figure out what had so confounded my professor. I thought it may have just been the logic of my paper which was hard to follow. Trying to describe how I got where I was going in my paper, each individual step making sense, but without understanding the entire path. I described it as trying to get to Safeway, and walking down a series of roads that by all means shouldn’t end up there, but somehow you get there anyway. Thus it was dubbed my secret portal to Safeway, the paper that seemingly confounded my humanities prof.

Noise Parade
Posted in August 2007 by maxgould

If you’ve never gone around your house with a pot and pan annoying the hell out of your mother, then you should. I’m not usually one to promote such behavior, but I never really realized how fun it can be. Of course being surrounded by a bunch of your Reedy friends may help. Beginning the evening we held a costume party in one of the common rooms. This consisted mostly of seniors throwing clothing down from the third-story window for all of us freshman to catch and fight over. We were also lucky enough to have a few pairs of scissors lying around. This is how I ended up in a bizarre looking outfit including a suit-jacket and a turban made out of a purple sweater. I also had a pretty sweet looking silk scarf and belt cut from a patterned skirt. A couple of us then decided to wander around, try and find some snacks, and see if we couldn’t bump into the noise parade. We ended up finding a group of seniors who were setting up a race through ODB (old dorm block). We were supposed to run through collecting cards without leaving the building. This was quite entertaining for all parties involved, especially as we ran through several crowded common rooms in our rather dorky costumes. We never actually finished collecting all of the cards, but they gave us free pots and pans. I ended up picking a pretty sweet set that rang out like a bell. Anyway, I’m sure you’re wondering when I was going to get around to mentioning the actual noise parade; so we eventually gathered in a large group of pot banging, loud-noise making college students and paraded around campus.

Zombies
Posted in August 2007 by maxgould

I played my first Zombie game at Reed during orientation. Though I was a little skeptical about how fun it would be at first, it turned out to be quite a blast! Everyone’s excitement and enthusiasm made even being dead a real treat. I’m not especially long winded, but I love running for the short sprints that I can make before loosing my breath. Certainly no game could have provided more opportunities for such short, fast sprints as this one. But my most glorious moment probably came when I was trapped in a circle of grass classified as a safe zone. Zombies surrounded me on all sides, chanting such phrases as ‘brains!’, ‘flesh’, and ‘brains eat flesh!’… So there I was, everyone else had already tried making breaks for it, some succeeding, but most having been caught. I was on my own with some thirty zombies around me. And what did I do? I sat down, set my squirt-guns down in front of me, and meditated. And what did this accomplish? Well initially it drew a lot of sarcasm… then somebody tried dragging me out of the safe zone, upon which I promptly reversed the positions and ended up on top of her until she agreed to leave the safe zone. Eventually however, my plan worked. The zombies got bored watching me, and got distracted, caught up in their own chants. This is when I made my break for freedom. I ran across the street, over the lawn, under the tree, and was making straight for freedom… when I ran into a wall. This was not a very fortunate thing to happen with more than thirty zombies right behind me. I might still have been able to make my getaway after that, if it weren’t for the first zombie coming at me having a head as numb as a brick. No offense intended to the zombie of course, he was after my brains, and had I been in his position, I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to my own head either. The point is that neither of us was sure who had tagged who first, and so, with tons of zombies around me, I just decided to give in. However, my zombie fighting night was not over. Returning to base camp, I decided to just hang around rather than chase down the last couple humans still alive. At 11 o’clock however, I received permission, along with a select crew of highly experienced men, to resurrect and reinforce the last humans on earth. Our crack team immediately headed out to retrieve the last four bells that would send the zombies packing. Unfortunately, we were only able to retrieve one bell before most of us were taken once again. This bell ended up being thrown through the door just as our last man was taken down… a rather epic event, although I was unfortunately not there to witness it (we had split up and I had only just been tagged myself when this happened). However, we didn’t give up, Ulysses, the last man on our team, was still at large and searching for the last three bells. The guy who had thrown the bell through the door also ended up going out again and bringing back our eighth bell. This led to another interesting incident as most of the zombies were just hanging out at base camp at that point. So he walks in, throws the bell on the table, and heads for the door. It took a few seconds for the implications to sink in, but soon most of the zombies in the room were springing out of their seats. At this point the guy who had brought the bell in sprinted across the lawn, trailing perhaps forty zombies. In the end, Ulysses came back alive having been unable to locate the last two bells. And so it was, that at midnight that night, the last human on earth, Ulysses, died in the Zombie Apocalypse.

Samurai Hours
Posted in July 2007 by maxgould

So I was watching The Seven Samurai the other evening with some friends. We had started having these culture nights at the beginning of the summer, and this night was japanese culture night. Many comments were flying about how everyone was pantless, a rather amusing remark that reminded me of one particular day in sword class. Aaron was commenting on Kaitlyn’s lack of a hakama, “You need to get some pants! I’m tired of seeing you come to class without pants on” (slightly paraphrased). But back to the movie. I noticed that the movie, being about 3.5 hours long, was composed of seven half-hour segments. We were only about half-an-hour into the movie at that point, so I made the comment that we still had six samurai left of the movie. However, it was Kellie who first suggested using it out-of-context. For example, “Last night we had an awesome party! A few bottles and five samurai later we were all dancing around like complete morons”. This is why I have decided to begin referring to things in terms of how many samurai it would take to do them.

Deer Tracks
Posted in July 2007 by maxgould

I was riding my bike past this beautiful little wooded area the other day, when I saw a deer. She watched me ride by, calmly chewing its leaf. Just a little further down the road, I decided to pull over and explore the little wood. After I had dismounted and taken off all the accouterments of biking, I was rather startled when I turned around to see the deer looking over at me from across a low hill. I was still slightly dazed after a long bike-ride and a rather emotional journal entry, so I imagine I must have looked rather pathetic, standing there on trembling knees. I just stood there, looking into the deer’s big black eyes, wondering what she would do. And then she did the most amazing thing, she walked towards me. She came slowly, pausing a couple of times as cars whizzed past on the nearby street. She approached until just a meter separated us, and we looked into each other’s eyes. That was an experience, everything else seemed to fade away in those moments. And then she leaned down, picked up a leaf, and walked away. I watched her for a little while after that, thinking to myself how powerless we both were in this world. I began to wonder how one could escape time, in a world measured by it. In those few moments looking into her eyes, I realized that we used to have eternity. All these people wishing they had more time, fail to realize that we all used to have immortality. Eternity was ours, and we sacrificed it. And for what? Efficiency? Technology? We gave up one form of evolution so that we could pursue another. Instead of us evolving as a species, now we can each evolve in our own lifetimes. Our brains, these complex manifestations of life, give us this singular ability to improve ourselves as individuals rather than as a species. These are some of the things I thought about as I wound my way up a trail in this little wood. I began thinking of all the paths we take in life, and how we all seek some destination that we never find. Hope drives many of us on, the possibility that what we seek lies around the next bend. Some find a place where they are content and live out their lives in peace, others keep wandering. But which is better I wonder? Hope it seems, always comes out fruitless, and yet it always lingers. In the back of your mind, like a shadow, it reminds you of how your life could have been. You can never banish it though, because there is still that hope, that somehow it will all come true. And this is where I was when I reached the end of the path, wondering what lay at the end. “The Cemetery: Please don’t disturb people at grave sites”. And then I went home.

Wishing On A Star
Posted on 4 July 2007 by maxgould

I had never seen that many shooting stars during my childhood, probably because I didn’t spend a lot of time gazing into the night sky. I was usually cloistered in my room reading some fantasy book or building elaborate Lego structures. Although my dad did take me out a number of times to look at the stars through his telescope, and I was fascinated with the planets. My eyes roved across the surface of the moon in wonder. But I never saw more than a couple of shooting stars in my life. For this reason they always seemed exceptionally special to me. If wishes ever come true, shooting stars certainly must be their proudest and most glorious messengers. And then, after eighteen years of witnessing but three or four stars falling from the heavens, my count suddenly jumped up. In one night I saw perhaps ten shooting stars arcing through the night. And that night certainly was a wonderful gift, a turning point in my life. And ever since then I have never ceased being amazed at how wonderful life is.