Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bon Voyage, Brothers!

My alarm went off at 4:08 AM, and I was immediately confused. My first sensation was regaining awareness of the fact that I had these things called "hands" that could be used to silence alarms. I heard that someone was in the shower and quickly remembered my next task--taking Tom and Mark Everett to the airport so they could get to Australia. I looked at the clock one more time and thought, "I'm a really nice brother."

The guys were significantly more energetic. The alarm had brought little surprise to either. Tom had a difficult time sleeping given his anticipation. Mark Everett assured me that his body fell soundly asleep, but his mind remained awake all night.

They made last minute packing adjustments. Tom decided to leave behind his 600 page book of poker tips to lighten their otherwise quite heavy load. Then again, there is nothing wrong with being prepared. These two have roughly 6 to 7 books between them, three iPods, two large sets of Bose noise cancelling headphones, and two sets of "nap" fabric socks from Brookstone. Oh, they also packed a rum cake, just in case. Below, Mark Everett proudly displays the rum cake (which is surrounded by Cliff bars, granola bars, some strange sort of fabric wipe and other essentials):

I drove the guys to the airport, and their energy was infectious, making the drive pass all too quickly. I dropped them off at the terminal, and we hugged farewell after I snapped this photo.

I drove away wishing I could join them and hoping their journey would be a safe one. As I approached the DFW exit, my phone rang. Tom and Mark Everett had not checked updated gate information, and I needed to get them to a different terminal. So I grabbed the guys and moved them to terminal D--then we repeated the farewell process. Two more hugs, and they were off to fight the Panhandle High School marching band through the security line. They reached Los Angeles, and they should reach Sydney in about 16 hours or so.

Safe travels, guys!

Brief Chaco Update:

Mark Everett has proven a worthy adversary. His feet are right, mine are left.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More on our Cape Town photographer

I have previously written about a fascinating photographer that we encountered at breakfast at Cape Town, Jehad Nga. Since I last wrote about him, he has recorded a multimedia feature with the New York Times that offers an insight into his art. What we would have given for another hour of conversation with him.

Next "Knapp Adventure" involves two of my brothers. Tom and Mark Everett arrive tomorrow for a brief night in Dallas before flying out toward Australia and New Zealand. Needless to say, Megan and I are jealous . . . but hopefully our jealousy will be short-lived as we work out our plans for August.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A New Adventure Begins

This one will be much less exciting. Today is the grand kick-off of bar exam preparation. I picked up 8 hefty volumes of review materials and have started trying to adjust my brain to learning once again. The review course will keep me very busy over the coming weeks, but hopefully it will get me ready.

If anyone is curious about the details of bar exam preparation, I found a good discussion of what it takes at a blog by a person who took the Texas bar last summer. Hopefully I'll enter the test feeling that confident!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thoughts on Editing

I'm now deep into the process of editing the Africa footage, and I find the task to be stressful for a number of reasons.

First, my timing has been less than ideal. Had I edited this footage immediately, I could have preempted the whole "Planet Earth" show on Discovery Channel by wowing the world with our terrific footage. After watching this video, no one would be interested in seeing sharks in HD. After all, why watch sharks in HD when you can see shaky footage narrated by two wildlife geniuses?

Second, I have had to revamp my project in response to Planet Earth. Since they have done the "beautiful wildlife footage" thing so well, I am left with two options: art film or mockumentary. I think the art film option is foreclosed by the lack of angst and torment. Megan came up with the idea for a safari mockumentary, and I think that idea is golden. Discovery Channel did the documentary--now it's our turn to take it to a whole new level.

So, I'm currently scouring our footage for potential hilarity. The folks from Cannes and Sundance are calling me nonstop, and I've just had to set up our phone to forward our calls to our agent. I just can't deal with the fame anymore.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Last night I handed in my last assignment of law school, meaning I am now liberated. Bar review begins very soon, but I'm hoping to use some of my free time in the next few weeks to edit some of the video from Africa. We'll see how that goes. Doing nothing might be good enough too.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Great Chaco Challenge of 2007

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown . . . metaphorically at least. I don't know anyone who owns a gauntlet, but if my brother, Mark Everett, did have a gauntlet, he would have thrown it, thereby initiating the Great Chaco Challenge of 2007.

Why Chaco Sandals Barely Leave My Feet

To back up. The Chaco sandal is the greatest single piece of travel footwear ever created on the face of the planet, and I say this having previously been a wearer of the Teva. Unlike the Teva sandal, Chacos feature vibram soles that can handle the toughest terrain, and the absence of velcro make them ideal companions for river activities. My Chacos have carried me through crowds of tourists in Europe, through flooded rivers in tropical rains in Mexico, through dusty streets in Tanzania, and to Everest. Megan and I wore them almost exclusively throughout Africa, and I can imagine no better travel shoe.

Why I had to take the bait

That said, a side-effect of extensive wearing of Chacos is the Chaco sandal tan. And, a side-effect of that phenomenon is that the tan provides yet another means for sibling rivalry to take flight. Specifically, Mark Everett sent me a random email last week stating:

"I hereby bet you the amount of $20 of who can achieve the best chaco tan by Sept 1 at 12 noon. I started mine this weekend and I can already see the outlines of greatness. I am no where near your level, but I aim to destroy you.

Do you accept??"

I assumed Mark Everett wrote the email and followed it with this facial expression:

Normally, I would ignore this email as a random product of an extremely well-developed imagination by a very creative fellow (after all, I think Mark Everett's main goal in life is to obtain some sort of machine to record his dreams to DVD . . .). So, I'm used to getting random emails of this sort . . . but I also have lost nearly every bet I've made with Mark Everett in the past two years . . . in this email, I saw my chance at redemption. Nay, I saw my chance at victory!

So, the competition is on. My plan is to randomly chronicle our progress on this blog over the coming months. On September 1 (or thereabouts if the date proves to be impossible), I will post photos of our final product. At that point, readers will have several days to vote on which tan has achieved the highest level of greatness.

Let the competition begin!

Here we are at the beginning of a battle. The first photo shows my feet, and Mark Everett's are second . . . and no, I don't mind that I have an amazing head start.

More Texas Storms

Well, the storms returned, but this time Megan was able to participate in the chaos. Here is Megan sheltering in the closet as tornado sirens sounded:

To back up, I came home from a day at the library yesterday and turned on the TV to see that a tornado watch had been issued. The day was cloudy but not bleak, and I was surprised . . . until the radar revealed a massive line of storms heading our way. The main storm was traveling west to east with straight-line winds at 70 to 80 miles per hour. Another line of storms was headed south to north with a tendency to produce tornadoes.

The clouds darkened, the line of storms approached, and, predictably, sirens sounded. At this point, Megan's emergency preparedness instincts came into play, and she moved our massive emergency kit (this thing has everything . . . if we needed to perform open heart surgery, the equipment would be in this box directly next to the coloring book, there in case children need emergency entertainment). Megan moved into the closet along with the entirety of our bedding.

Meanwhile, I'm looking out the window. After all, we'd seen about an hour of footage so far of reporters around the metroplex being blown around in winds that had now been gusting to 100 miles per hour. It was raining sideways, and it was very impressive to watch. Naturally, I wanted to witness this first-hand, but, with safety in mind, we retreated together to the closet . . .

Hopefully the weather will mellow out, but, if not, we'll be sure to keep the camera handy.
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