Monday, October 25, 2010


After seeing the preview for Catfish and then seeing the "cast" on Ellen the other day, I knew I had to see this movie. They had me hooked after I watched the trailer (props to their marketing team) and I HAD to know what this movie was all about. The movie is a completely real and follows the life of Nev, who's older brother plus another guy filmed the entire thing. Without going into to much detail about the movie so I don't spoil it for anyone, I'll just give a brief synopsis. Nev is a photographer who lives in New York. Abby is an 8 year old artist who lives in Michigan. One of Nev's pictures gets published in a NY magazine and 3 weeks later he receives a painting, done by Abby, of his picture. From there, he begins an internet friendship with Abby, her mom, and eventually the entire family and friends. He even starts up a relationship with Abby's older sister Meg through the telephone, chatting, and Facebook. Through a series of events, Nev finally decides he should meet everyone so they take a trip out to Michigan and ....... things are not as they seem.

I'll leave it at that. Through the entire movie, I couldn't believe that it was actually real. That what was happening was actually happening. There were definitely parts where I felt uncomfortable both as myself and for the people on the screen. I enjoyed the way they edited the movie keeping a bit of humor in what seemed like very awkward moments. I liked how they continually kept you guessing and slowly revealed the "ending." I never expected the end which is why I enjoyed the movie so much. I still, as I write this, can't believe that what happened was actually real. It made me rethink even writing this blog and putting things out into the virtual black hole that is the internet. I loved how they named the movie Catfish and how it's described at the end of the movie. I found it very clever and very fitting. My final conclusion: People are crazy and that movie was bananas.

jtjilly Factor: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's almost here!

There’s a handful of things that I get REALLY excited about and 1 month from today, you’ll see me as giddy as a school girl on Christmas. Harry Potter 7: Part 1 hits the theaters. It’s bittersweet because I’ve loved these books and movies for so long and they’re coming to an end but at the same time, I can’t wait to see how they resolve everything theatrically. It’s going to be awesome and I’m going to be in the theater, at midnight, completely in awe of the amazingness of this series. Who’s with me?!

Hog Roast 2010

The annual Hog Roast = cause for men to be manly and roast a hog, slice it up, and eat it. Um... yeah. Not only was there hog, we also had games, music, tons of food, and lots of people! The weather couldn't have been better so we were able to stay outside for quite a while. Such a fun night. I'm glad my church loves people and loves doing fun things!

My new friends

Kelli says no to pork, but we love it

The Sideris family

The Tic-Tac competition contestants

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Throwback Nights...

Location: Apt. 26
Game: Thirteen Dead End Drive
Participants: Jenni, Rianne, Haley, Kelli, Heather, and myself
Winner: Jenni





Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jenni

That's right. Miss Jenni Van Whizzle, Miss Jenni Volkswagon, Miss Jenni Van Wyk Van Gelder... turned twenty fun a few days ago. Her dear roommate Rianne orchestrated a well thought out plan that involved flooding her mailbox with lots and lots of cards. She even came up with a little plan for the afternoon to throw Jenni off so that she could be surprised. Myself, along with Haley and Kayla "kidnapped" Jenni and headed off to the Living History Farms farmers market. It was there that we met up with the rest of the crew (which was the surprise). The rest of the crew included Jenni's sister and she was extremely happy! The farmers market, on the other hand, was not so happy as there were only 3 vendors. Fail. Instead of sticking around and chatting with the french guys who were touring Iowa for machinery or missionary (we weren't sure) we went downtown and walked on Des Moines newest attraction, the fun bridge. After a few pictures and lots of laughs, we went back to their apartment for some dinner and more laughs. It was great to celebrate Jenni. I love her dearly and I'm so thankful for friendship. Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Farm Crawl 2010

It was a perfect fall day spent with my bible study... and a camera. I feel like in order to really understand the amazingness of Farm Crawl 2010, you have to see the entire series of pictures (yes, all 5,636 of them). In order to save you time, I'll give you a brief synopsis of the days events and let you peruse through some of the pictures on Justin's website. Farm Crawl is basically like a farmers market at the actual farm. It consisted of 7 farms south of Des Moines all offering samples of their specialties, games for kids, hay rack rides, corn mazes, etc.

The morning kicked off with breakfast hosted at Heather Fleming's place. Andy slaved away over the griddle flipping pancakes while Mary was hard at work in the kitchen making eggs and potatoes. The breakfast was very hearty and got us ready for the long trek that is Farm Crawl! We headed out of Des Moines around 11:30 a.m. (much to Jenni's disliking. She was hoping to leave much earlier. She loves pumpkin patches and orchards so much, she was almost crying with tears of joy in my car on the way there). We made a couple stops on the way south and that's when Justin broke out the cameras. He trusted Kate enough to let her handle one of the cameras and the rest is basically history. She was loving it, catching shots here and there (basically of everything she deemed worthy of a photo.. which was in fact everything). She finally arrived at our first stop, the Reicharts Dairy Air. I couldn't get over their name, I mean, it's pretty bold to give yourself a name that if said fast enough, sounds like you're calling your farm a butt. This farm had samples of various cheeses and had lots of goats running around. We stopped at a farm that specialized in honey and got to sample some. YUM. They were also making rootbeer and beer to try as well as various jams. Another farm we stopped at had a HUGE corn maze, the biggest I've ever seen. The short version took approximately 45 minutes with the long version lasting at least and hour to an hour and a half! Wowzers. I hate corn mazes so I opted out of it (I'm terrified of getting lost in the maze) and instead chose to slide down the tube slide. We also took a little hay rack ride around the farm and ate some freshly made kettle corn. We stopped at a pumpkin patch and admired all the various shapes and sizes of pumpkins. We even sat in the sun for a while and did a little people watching. Our last stop was the Apple Orchard where we all ate some carmel apples and sipped on some cider. It was a beautiful day and I had so much fun spending it with my bible study. We were even able to snap some photos of us actually crawling... you know, since its a farm crawl. I can't wait for Farm Crawl 2011!

The girls

This is how excited we were to be at the Farm Crawl.

Kelli and the fishbowl lens

The Farm Crawl Crew

Friday, October 08, 2010


Anybody who knows me understands that I’m about the least crafty person there is. I’m not saying I don’t have a lot of creative ideas to offer, I just bring something different to the table. I’ve been encouraged by friends in the past to craft with them resulting in a mediocre scarf, really strange looking ornaments… you get the picture. My dear friend Sarah got me a gift certificate to Glazed Expressions for my birthday back in May and we finally cashed it in a couple of weekends ago. This was my 3rd attempt at painting pottery. 1st attempt went okay, 2nd attempt was a major fail, but 3rd times a charm because I really love what I created. Sarah and I found this plate already painted in the store and basically used that as our inspiration. I loved LOVED Sarah’s color selection and I think it will make a great candy dish for her house. I went with some greens which match nothing in my room (I really wasn’t banking on this thing turning out so well). Anyways, you can check out the before pictures over at Sarah’s blog. Here’s my finished product. I think that deserves a Yahtzee!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Town

Last week I went to see The Town starring Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, and Rebecca Hall. I’m a big fan of suspenseful thrillers and this movie was just that. The film is set in Boston so you can imagine the accent and with the accent came the language. The F-Bomb was dropped more times than I could count and sadly, as the movie went on, you got so used to it that you really didn’t notice it anymore. The plot of the movie revolves around this group of friends who are bank robbers led by Ben Affleck. They rob a local bank and end up taking a hostage (i.e. Rebecca Hall). From this, a love story unfolds. Jon Hamm fittingly plays an FBI agent in this movie and is basically after Ben Affleck’s group throughout the entire movie. Blake Lively plays a convincing drunk (mostly because she’s a mumble talker) in the movie with a little plot line that ends up being more important than you would think. The dramatization of the scenes with Fenway Park were a little much but I guess if you’re filming a movie in Boston, filming Fenway is required. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Minus the language and inappropriate scenes, I really enjoyed the story and the suspense. The only thing that would have made the movie better was if Matt Damon would have been in it. How can you have a movie about Boston and Matt Damon not be in it. It’s a travesty.
Jtjilly factor : 3 out of 5

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah


Friday, October 01, 2010

The V-Neck

Okay, so my roommate Jane sent this to the me other day and I laughed through the entire thing. Its the blog post from the guy who writes Stuff Christians Like. I loved it and had to share it with the world!

#644 Deep V-Neck Syndrome (DVS)
Oct 26th by JonTagged

Recently, I saw a commercial for a new show on ABC called “V.” I immediately got excited because I thought someone finally had the courage to address a problem that is tearing the church asunder …


Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was misplaced as the show appears to be about aliens. Fine, ABC, chicken out. Address fictional issues. V-necks however, are fact. And they are terrifying.

If you’re reading this right now and you can feel a slight breeze on your sternum because you’ve rocking a deep v-neck, it might be too late for you. If you’re reading this and thinking, “What’s a v-neck?” there’s still hope for you my friend.

Having recently seen 19 million v-necks at the Catalyst Conference and found myself in stage three of Deep V-Neck Syndrome (DVS) I feel qualified to offer the following caution. Here is how DVS typically goes down:

Stage 1 – The Questions

“I wonder if I could wear a v-neck?” As soon as that question dances across your mind like a nimble antelope, a seed has been planted. No one ever jumps right into a t-shirt with a neck that plunges toward their belt, it usually starts out slowly with a series of questions. “I wonder if I’m cool enough for that t-shirt?” or “I wonder how I would look wearing something like our worship leader is wearing? Could I pull that off?”

Stage 2 – The Initial Purchase

You don’t go to Urban Outfitters to get your first v-neck. Those are too deep and too fast all at once. You start out with “baby V steps.” You’ll be shopping at a store you often go to and suddenly notice that they carry v-neck t-shirts. “Hey, that’s different, that’s not the crew neck I’m used to. Hmmm.” I myself fell under the v-spell at Target. I saw some buttery smooth t-shirts, liked the colors and lo and behold they had a very subtle v to them. You could barely see it, but it was there. And with one taste, I was hooked.

Stage 3 – The Judgment

Once you go V, it is very, very difficult to ever respect your normal t-shirts again. You’ll open the closet, see those round, crew neck t-shirts staring at you and feel disappointed. “Look at you lazy t-shirts. Didn’t even make an effort to have a little flair, to dip your neck southward in a bold move of fashion and awesomeness. You disgust me.” I was about to pay for a maroon t-shirt at the register recently when my wife noticed it was not a v-neck. I snatched it like it was some sort of pit viper and flung it across the aisle away from me. (OK, not really, but I did hand it to the cashier and decide not to buy it on the spot as soon as it’s boring crew neckness was revealed.)

Stage 4 – The Scissors

“V the world!” your little heart will tell you. So in addition to buying v-flavored clothing items, you’ll actually get out a pair of scissors and start making your own. A friend of mine did that at a retreat recently. We were having a meeting and I noticed he was wearing a deep, ragged edge v-neck t-shirt that had the retreat’s logo on it. “Interesting,” I thought, “the t-shirts for this retreat are v-neck.” But they weren’t. I saw later that they were regular t-shirts but he had taken a pair of scissors to his and made his own v-neck. V very careful if you ever do this.

Stage 5 – The Abandon

It’s over. Your shallow v is about to go deep. First your sternum will be exposed and you’ll probably shave your chest a little. And then emboldened by that, you’ll get an American Apparel shirt that dips below your diaphragm. “Hey, look at me? Watch me breathe!” And then, it will dip so low people will be able to tell if you have an innie or outie belly button.

Has this happened to you? Did you recognize yourself in this list or perhaps someone you know and love?

Only we can stop Deep V-neck Syndrome. Please forward this to loved ones. Print it out and post it in a spot where worship leaders are known to congregate. (Perhaps a common watering hole like Starbucks.) We’ll get through this together. I know we will.

What’s your take on the v-neck?