Hi! I’ve been really busy of late doing absolutely nothing, and I mean that. Seriously, my job is a bore — in fact, my job is so boring it’s less like a job and more like me sitting around trying to figure out what I should do to not be bored. It’s waaaaay past the “I need to pretend that I’m busy here so as my boss will not figure out that I’m not actually doing anything except updating my news blog and my shopping blog and my Flickr page with shots of my desk from my cameraphone and designing a site for my boyfriend and my personal trainer and this friend who makes art only like really he makes art and sells it and not like maybe me who thinks about making art or something and instead I sit here on my ass doing nothing whatsoever.”
Don’t we all have days like that?
So since it has been a while since we last spoke, and by that I mean since the last time I vomited up some words about what I am thinking about at the mo and you just sit there and read them and no actual conversation takes place that I know of unless you, too, are so completely bored that you have to pretend to be talking to someone while you actually read crap online published by people like me with too much time and not enought brain cells and…
Have I mentioned that I’m sort of pissed at Podcasting? Not at any specific Podcaster or and specific Podcast, but at the whole thing? And it’s my Duran Duran dilemma of the moment, because I so totally want to say, “Hey! I did that years ago! I was recording myself and we didn’t even have fucking MP3 files, yo, we had fucking RealAudio server files that popped up and you had to sit there and fucking listen to every moment of me spewing up bile and nonsense,” only no one remembers that but Ben Brown because he worships me but even he doesn’t really care because now he has a life and works with girls who take off their clothes and makes dating sites where people define themselves in 29 different categories or some shit like that so it’s just me, here, steaming in a soup of my own cruel fate because I did everything first and no one cares.
Wait. What? Oh, sorry, sort of took a detour into my own ego there for a sec. Coming back now. Coming back…. and… I’m back! Cool, that was fun, must do that more often.
I’ve been playing with video lately! See, I’ve owned this digital video camera for simply ever and it has been sitting there on a shelf in my closet in its vinyl carrying case not doing much of anything until someone said, “Hey! You have a video camera!” and I was like, “Yeah, um,” and he was like, “We should make movies or something!” and I was like, “Well, uh,” and he was like, “It will be fun and funny and you need an artistic outlet because you’re wasting away to nothing at that job that’s so fucking boring that you want, sometimes, though not very often, only sometimes, to shoot yourself in the head!”
The thing about video editing is that it’s all about nuance. It has some things in common with web design, and I can say that because now I am both a web designer and a video editor and not really very practiced at either but passable at both so I can make the following observations with a degree of certainty that you may be one or the other but not both and quite possibly neither so whatever I say now will be true as far as you know, and isn’t that what blogging is all about?
When you’re designing web pages, it all comes down to one pixel. Web pages are made up of boxes, and making the boxes all line up properly in the browser window is 90% of the challenge. What you actually fill the boxes with is the other 10%, and then when you get your 10% all prettified in Photoshop you have to spend 9 times as much time perfecting the fucking HTML and CSS to get it all to assemble correctly as you did making the pretty (or unpretty) picture in the first place.
So it is with video editing, only substitute “frame” for “pixel” and “boxes” with “images” and “Photoshop” with “Premiere Pro” and there you have it. If you want to be a good videographer or video editor, my advice to you is never cut anything. You’re filming the baby eating and think you need about 5 seconds of that shit? Film 5 minutes of it. It’ll take 5 minutes of endless boring material to dig out 5 seconds of amazing. And shoot everything. Shoot the spoon, the baby food jar, the kid’s face, hands, feet, ears, eyes, nose, mom’s eyes, mom’s mouth, the dog, the baby vomiting, the dog eating the baby vomit… film it all because you will end up with 95% unusable crapola and 5% decent shit from which you will cut another 95% because it’s too dark or too dizzy or you spoke when you shouldn’t have and only then will you have 5 seconds of decent-to-great footage.
On a completely different and unrelated subject, I am Mr. Misanthrope today. I’m having one of those “Why is everyone else so rude and stupid?” days, where it’s actually no different from any other day but you notice how rude and stupid people are more than you notice how nice and friendly they are.
It started when this guy in a BMW (disclosure: I am prejudiced against BMW owners/drivers. I have a theory, the BMW Asshole Theory, that postulates that otherwise normal and pleasant people become assholes the instant they sit behind the wheel of a BMW. I base this on personal experience, because inevitably the people who drive erratically and do dumb things in cars and then ignore the fact that they just did some really dumb thing like cut someone off or drive onto the shoulder while talking on the phone spitting road gravel up onto the windshield of the car behind them resulting in a fat crack all the way across the glass (again, personal experience) is driving a BMW) was in the wrong lane and tried to get over into the right one rather than just taking the turn and not screwing everyone else over, then he ends up stuck in the crosswalk and blocking traffic both ways.
Then this guy gets on MUNI ahead of me, on a half-empty train, and he just stands at the doorway blocking it with his body and too-big backpack and I can’t get by him but does he move? Of course not, he pretends I don’t exist. He stands there, vapid and empty-headed, totally selfish and inconsiderate, and ignores me like I’m furniture or dirt. Now, sure, I could compare his demeanor here to my own when encountering a homeless person, but that just opens a big, uncomfortable can of worms and let’s not go there. Besides, I know I feel guilty when I ignore the beggars, just as I know he felt nothing at all about treating me like empty air. 6′ 1″ of empty air.
I wanted so badly to shove him hard, like the straight-arm push, and scream “Get the fuck onto the fucking train you motherfucking fucktard! You’re not the only fucking fuck with somewhere to fucking go!” But instead I nudged my way past him, him not moving and, in fact, I think, becoming like this rigid plank of flesh, and I stood in the middle of the train staring at my own reflection in the window and my stern face and tight mouth and thought, well, fuck, now I look old.
I get this way sometimes, this impatient with humanity way. I used to say it was just part of living in a big city, that the people become necessarily numb because of everything you have to deal with, until I thought about it and figured out that “everything you have to deal with” means “other people,” and if the other people would just be nice and considerate of others and think of someone besides themselves once in a while, there wouldn’t be “everything to have to deal with” anymore.
Then I think of how I must look from the outside, with the stern demeanor, trying to disappear and not impact anyone else, the combination of shyness and judgement I give off. I rarely smile, even more rarely speak. Everyone at the gym must think of me as that mean, stuck-up, grouchy guy who shuts the curtain in the shower and sometimes forgets his underwear and sweats a lot. I’m pretty sure I’m not the nice, friendly guy who chats and smiles and is comfortable with himself to a degree that allows him to wander naked for minutes at a time around the locker room, “just because.”
It’s raining today. That was my excuse not to go to the gym this morning, the one I told myself, even though my real excuse was “all I want to do is sleep for another hour and ignore things, so I’ll go to the gym tomorrow and just spend today feeling fat and lazy and ugly.” That may have lead to the misanthropy as well, feeling all bad about myself so I think I’ll feel bad about everyone else, too. One big train wreck of self-loathing, mix in a BMW and a fucktard commuter and there you have it, the perfect hate salad.
Tomorrow will be better. I’m almost sure.
May 4, 2005