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Thursday, 3.10.05: Week in Review (sort of)

It's one of those mornings where I'm retooling and need to take stock. I'm off my Week in Review cycle -- can't tell if I was in a rut with that anyway.

Filmmaking. I actually have a video job: my annual set of class advertisements for the Theatre Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. It has one creative element. The rest is editing and organization to be sure the right classes go into the right quarter's tape. It's been so long since I've done any video that gearing up has been doubly hard.

Ebay. I'm taming that beast now with all my auctions beginning and ending on Saturdays. That gives me a three-week cycle for all my auction sets: A week of watching bids, a week of intensive shipping, a mop up week for those who send checks or money orders instead of paying instantly online. There are always a few stragglers but 3 weeks about covers it. Having all auctions end on Saturdays might be a recipe for burnout, however. It was fun having one or two auctions ending every day and sending out a package or two every afternoon -- even though I wasn't getting anything else done. Taking Saturday afternoon to generate invoices and a couple hours on Sunday to wrap packages feels more like a job. (I prefer being a fantasy shopkeeper to a real shopkeeper, I guess.)

I'm taking a break from posting auctions this week so I can take March 22-27 off for a visit to St. Louis. Also so I can get the above video done.

Ancestry. I've finally gotten into the Ancestry database, as my poor readers can see. I've discovered that people are really not interested in anyone's family but their own. I can shut down a lively conversation instantly by talking about, say, how I found my grandfather's World War I records. Most people aren't interested in their own family history -- until the bug bites. So right now this is a project for my mother and me. She likes the research and can feed me with tidbits and photographs. I'm doing my best to make my write-ups more thoughtful than simply dates and names, but since I do them so fast, they can only be considered drafts of some future memoir that says to the world what it all adds up to. Of course, I know what it all adds up to: me, me, ME.

Screenplay. I am actually poking away at the "new frame for my abandoned screenplay." I'm creating the correspondence between Maddie and Stella. It's going slowly because I am getting more fascinated with how to do collages in Photoshop, making my fake postmarks, finding old typewriter fonts and adding ghostly figures to old photographs. I actually bought 3 more Photoshop books. I'm justifying this playfulness because (didn't I tell you this already?) I need practice in visual storytelling. One of the books in on photograph restoration and retouching, which might come in handy to bring out the quality of some of the old photos my mother has.

Taxes. Oh, hell, I better get that paperwork together before we go to St. Louis if not sooner.

Valentine 1955. Almost forgot... new review from a radio station program director, who actually licensed my piece:

This piece uses music and background almost all the way through, but its use feels nonetheless very sparing; I was pleased that it never distracts the listener from the deep, textured voice of the speaker. The piece is of a perfect length-- the producer manages to bring us back to the heart of the fifties racial tensions in a matter of 2 short minutes--  and the final twist in the narration is haunting but very satisfying in a way that unsaccharine endings are. This would be a good piece to play on any show on desegregation, and on Valentine's day, to illuminate the topic from a very different angle. Highly recommended. (I might add that although I chose "raw" as one of the adjectives, I am referring to the ambiance of the piece and not the sound quality, which is very professional.)

Makes me want to do another radio production. I love having a "deep textured voice."

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Magdalene Sisters (2002). Recommended but not for St. Patrick's Day. My entry.

The Quiet American (2002). Michael Caine - excellent. About the CIA involvement in the beginning of Vietnam.

Dirty Pretty Things (2002). London thriller set among the illegal immigrant community. Recommended.

The Station Agent (2003). Recommended. My entry.



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