I have more new gear than I even know how to deal with. A DV/S-VHS deck, a wireless lavalier microphone kit, a photoflood and a tota light, a new tripod, a travel camera bag, a DVD burner, a new external hard drive, and 50 miniDV tapes. Unbelievable. I'm somewhat set up, and it's almost like there is too much to handle all at once. All of a sudden, I have to remember things from my first year of production classes -- like not to touch the tungsten bulbs -- and do things that the lab managers always did for us.
News Flash: FOX News reports frozen H20 may be dangerous.
Currently, I'm reading Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics, a book by two bloggers, Jerome Armstrong (Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics) and Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga (Daily Kos). It is all about consultants in traditional politics, and blowing tons of money out the nose for someone to tell you obvious ways to run your campaign, book contracts with their friends in Washington -- not locally -- while your meager campaign staff is volunteer-heavy and the few full-time paid staff make next to no money. And with mainstream media and advertising seemingly less powerful -- you can scroll through the commercials on your DVR/TiVo, and besides, who even watches TV when you can buy the DVD a few months later? -- is it even worth it to pursue traditional advertising? Conversely, though, how do you create name recognition without these networks? Is it safe to rely on the infectious technology of web buzz? Or is the Penis of the Plains going to remain obscured by trees forever?


My Womb, dammit!

Here is an interview from today's Lincoln Journal Star regarding David Hahn's position on abortion. For once, religion is invoked in the right way on this. Hahn has compared abortion to divorce as relates to government involvement in the lives of private citizens, a comparison I'm inclined to believe is quite apt. Indeed, if one is to take religious text literally as basis for governmental control, divorce too ought to be outlawed. (I realize that there are likely some contingents who would love for this to happen, but I'm willing to bet the majority would not.) In fact, however, we as a society tend to value autonomous decision-making, and in that sense, abortion should be no exception.
And for your moment of Zen: a photo from the Sandhills...


A fully and thoroughly cleansed system

I have a cable television in my office. And naturally, as a media specialist, I must be watching a lot of it. And speaking of television, I finally watched some Arrested Development (and a good lot, because it just kept going from one episode to the next). It's pretty much fantastic.
Without any sort of diet, I've managed to lose several pounds in the last few days through a regular course of vomiting and diarrhea. My wedding ring feels so big, like it may fall off.
Saturday, I made my JumboTron debut at Pershing Auditorium, filming the No Coast Roller Derby Expo Bout. It was far more challenging than I expected, but I think it went allright. Plus, Johanna and Anna got in a fight on the track. And it was not scripted.


From the Office of...

I am now officially doing non-work-related things on the internet in my first-ever office. I have a window, a desk, a locking door, and it's snowing. To be honest, though I'm supposed to be moving in today, I really have no idea what to move in.
I'm mildly hungover after a great St. Patrick's night of good beer and wine and lots of good video work watched in good company. Yesterday was also my last full day at Avant Card, and my first meeting with a tax advisor. (Cue David Bowie...."Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.....")


weak storage center

On Sunday night, Robbie, Becca, Pat and I went up to Omaha for the Hot Shops Film Festival awards ceremony. It was decidedly awful, with an MC who referred to himself as a "local celebrity" (he works in advertising for KFAB radio) within the first 5 minutes of taking the stage. Sexist jokes, comments on how horrible the script he didn't write was followed by jokes of his own far more terrible, and several call-outs of 3 people who took vegetarian meals without having pre-ordered them (all three of those seated at our table), only scratch the surface of the torment. We left shortly after finding out we hadn't won -- with the blessing of a cool guy who won the documentary category, seated at our table -- and went to the 49'r for a few beers before heading back to Lincoln.
I can tell I've gotten busy all at once, because just like at the start of a new semester, I'm forgetting regular events and not checking my schedule book enough. I really need to get the Avant Card job out of the way; one more week, and I should be through the 2-weeks period.
So I've been spending the last hour or so "shopping" for all sorts of video equipment to round out the collection, and wouldn't you know that my total is already at $2,500? Thankfully, however, it looks as though the candidate is going to finance the purchase, and I just have to figure out how to ensure that the equipment will be mine at the end of the race. I don't think it should be a problem, since I doubt he really needs a lav mic system, dv deck, and lights, but I've got to start covering my ass. I'm meeting with a tax advisor on Friday.

Tomorrow, I go to Pershing to figure out how I can hook up to the JumboTron. And I need to get myself out of 24p manual fixation and switch to SportsMode(TM) for this derby business. Included are some video stills taken from an earlier practice.


yet another good night

After a nice day at the farm, I watched TV Carnage (http://www.tvcarnage.com) with Dad. Then I went and filmed a full on roller derby bout with announcers and all. And I had competition. I was told to go into a corner and stay out of the way, and then another gentleman with a camera (not as nice as mine) got all up into the rink and into the faces of the girls. After the first period, the coach beckoned to me to come into the center, saying I deserved a turn too. At the end of the bout, the man introduced himself to me as the Executive Director of News at NET Television (PBS). Aha! And now he tells me -- after how many months of agonizing? -- that there may in fact be an opening there. When it rains, it pours. And when the sun shines, it blinds you. Ihrregahdless, I may be able to work as an independent producer on the Roller Derby stuff.
Sometimes, it's hard to know if you're making the right choice...

ps.Tomorrow night, camping trip/bonfire on Becca's farm.


broken bones

My tripod broke. Sadness.
I am officially going to be filming the first public bout of the roller derby ; slowly but surely, I enter the professional world.
Also, though it may be slightly beyond better judgement, I am going to take a monthly stipend to work on the campaign.
Doing laundry at the folks' farm makes for a lovely day.


rain on my statewide parade

I was supposed to drive around and film today, but as I've been sitting at the Mill for the last few minutes, it has begun to pour. No film shoot for me, ha!


the old conservative, revisited

So i'm working with the candidate on language and presentation for his campaign. Fifth generation Nebraskan, grandfather lived in a sod house, founders of a Lutherische Gemeinde on the plains. He reads from a Russell Kirk book entitled "A Program for Conservatives," and the phrase that particularly strikes him is "the restoration of community." With a matched respect for heritage and a committment to be good stewards of the land God gave us, it is clear that this man understands 'conservative' as it is linked to its etymological stem, 'conserve.' Indeed, it is a conservation of heritage, of nature, of community that ought to define politics in a state where the old ways of farming and community are replaced by tourism proposals of hunting trips and fly-in golf courses for the rich, leaving the fifth generation farmer to put on a white shirt and sell concessions to Dick Cheney at $6.00 an hour. Where a Starbucks goes up in York, Nebraska, just off of Interstate 80, so that the Californians driving to New York have a reason to stop and spend a few bucks in our state. (See also http://thisisalongwalk.blogspot.com, "Neon Vomit.")
Tomorrow, sun permitting, I am to drive around the state and film. And of course, I know I will once again be drawn to abandoned farmhouses, broken windmills, and the sleeping fields preparing for the summer's assault, where they will grow crops that are not food, drain the Ogallala Aquifer of its pure, precious water, and incite fights with Kansas over a water agreement that never anticipated the degree to which a multi-section farmer needs water to stay alive.


room tone

last night, production of "room tone," the first root down production i've been involved in, wrapped. we submitted it for the hot shops film festival 7-day video contest, subverted their asinine qualifications, and created something beautiful. i can thank divine providence for bringing me to all sorts of lincolnites i would never have met otherwise. robbie, becca, pat, adeline, ben, seth, john, mathias...all very quality people. and i can feel it stirring me up in a way that nothing has in months.
also got a job working for the politician, doing media work. might even meet mikhail baryshnikov.
my opening at iron brush went fabulously, estimating at least 300-350 visitors. was surprised at the variety of interest; there was no universal favorite piece. thinking maybe tugboat gallery is interested as well, which would be great. and of course, the ham in me is/was totally thrilled at all the attention.
i believe weekly dinner parties are in order.