Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Careful Cuts, Timely Advice and Munchkins

It's always good for a couple to share interests and experiences. Now, I understand why there was so much swearing while Jon edited films. I also remembered why I did not choose to go into the filmmaking track when I was an undergrad. Though part of my problem stemmed from the crude technology of the time. Back in the olden days, editors actually cut film into pieces then taped it together. Even with a short film, there could be hundreds of tiny pieces to put back together before sound could be addressed. I hated that, and I hated directing then. While it's far easier to deal with hundreds of bits of digital film, I still find film editing daunting. This time, I'm manually syncing the dialog (oh, the swearing – from me this time). Jon is mostly helpful. I mean, he has a lot of knowledge to share, but it usually comes out after I've been wrestling with some issue for hours. I'll hear 'why didn't you try such and such?' And I'd answer, 'why didn't you tell me about this twelve hours ago' with a sweet voice and a frozen smile that I think frightened him. Oh, he's fine. And the editing is almost done. I still have to do color correction. The photo above is a still from the video that has not been color corrected. Everything takes a long time, because of having to reboot. It seems that the editing eats up a lot of RAM. After a couple of hours, the program starts to freeze. 'If you're not hogging RAM, you're doing something wrong,' Jon says. It means progress is in fits and starts. Yep, I really understand all that swearing. On the other hand, I can't do more than two hours straight either. Maybe my brain's RAM gets clogged and needs to be re-booting. All I know is that it's been good to have other things to switch off to. I've been doing a lot of multi-tasking. I am learning a great deal about how to edit and how to shoot better. At my current pace, the video should go live this Tuesday. Or Wednesday.

Still Finding Footing
This was an odd and sometimes difficult week. On the one hand, the Month of fun began early. I'll cover that later. I'm a member of a Facebook Appendix Cancer support group. I found them when I started doing research for the documentary. They are an amazing group of people who are living life with as much zeal as their battered bodies will allow. When I am thinking crazy things about my current state of normal, this group sets me straight and keeps me sane. It wasn't a good week for the group. An important member succumbed to the disease. And then, one of the founding members announced that the recurrence of the cancer meant she had to have another surgery. The risks of that surgery are very high in the best case scenario. I will not detail them here. And for this woman whose body has been ravaged internally from previous treatments, the risks are dire. Yet she bravely chose to have another go and is carrying on with fund raising for research and living life with her usual aplomb. I found myself shaken by all of this. Since I'd been declared cancer free, I've been trying to make up for the time I was sick and make the most of my time. Making the most of time meant not just accomplishing as many goals as possible but also not dwelling on things that are not important. In many ways, I am doing these things. But I am a flaky artist at times. I worry about not worrying, or I worry about wasting time or living up to the gift I've been given in getting a second chance on life. Or I worry about pushing too hard. On the day our group founder announced that she would have the surgery, I had been up and online editing the video and the manga and writing a script since very early in the morning. Then, I got an instant message from a longtime caregiver of a PMP patient. All it said was 'it's lunch time, take a break.' I was startled to realize that I was very hungry and very tired. I think I was also sad for my friend and angry that nothing else could be done. It was a well timed bit of advice. I needed a bean burrito, a good cry and a nap. The thing I'd forgotten in recent weeks is I'm supposed to be enjoying each day along with all of those other lofty plans. Things went a lot more smoothly after that.

Martinis in Munchkin Land
I love it when I go out with a totally wholesome activity in mind and end up in the middle of something decadent and potentially naughty. I set off to the Culver Farmer'sMarket with my usual list of items and my lists of items to browse for future purchase. This time, I had long-time bud, Marie Lecrivain with me. Marie is co-editrix of Sybaritic Press with me. She is also the founder and editor of Poetic Diversity, a notable and long running litzine. Marie is a sybarite, like myself. Thus I was not surprised that she managed to find some delightful treats I had overlooked during my many other visits. I knew there was a groovy mushroom booth called LA Funghi. They have truffle oil! And they had something really exotic called truffle salt. I'm waiting for information on what that's like to cook with. Many wholesome things were purchased. Okay, the rum infused, mini bundt cakes weren't exactly wholesome, but they were really yummy! From there, we went to the Culver Hotel  for a beverage. This is a historic hotel that once housed the actors who played the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz and was once owned by John Wayne. Thee were a half dozen pairs of ladies having tea from pretty ceramic pots and lovely treats on tiered trays. I was thinking of having something like that when our server announced that it was nearly happy hour. That meant that the Dirty Harry Martini I'd been eyeing on the menu would be half off. Decision made! We had a long, lovely chat while enjoying impeccable drinks and some delicious treats. The Month of Fun has begun! And I was very tickled that it began with Marie.

I will have a bunch next week!

Stay tuned!

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