Saturday, January 29, 2005

Scratching the Itch

A lot of times, I think being aware of the situation is a good thing, even though it's depressing to acknowledge. There are some people, I assume, who go through life just doing what is in front of them, and just living and breathing and being a productive human being because that's just what other people do. A lot of times I try to be accepting of my current situation, and truthfully, it's really not that bad. Everyone's healthy, my job has a huge amount of freedom, and we're getting by. I should be estastic. But yet I'm not, because years of education and specifically, years of making movies have somehow made me uncomfortable with just being another person who goes to work, raises a family, and dies.

Even my wife is feeling it as well. A general blanket of dissatisfaction with life. We both love the kids very much, and we wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. And we're not asking for much either, not material things nor great big paychecks - but simply enough money so that we can put some money away, or even not worry about making bills. We'd like that very much. I've been looking for another job every now and then, and it depresses me sometimes to see all these job postings to which I'm underqualified for, or simply just not skilled at. For some time, I've even wondered if I picked the wrong degree to major in. They're not looking for filmmakers in Bellingham.

My wife doesn't even like her job anymore, because she no longer has any tangible responsibility. She does supervise, but she even thinks that her workplace isn't the same anymore. All her friends have moved on or quit, and now she's either working with people who don't talk to her, or college students who can't relate to her. I'm very much the same way, just because of my job title. Being an auditor incites suspicion from my co-workers, and I usually have more people justifying reasons to me than asking me how I was doing.

The other day at work, I was thinking about going back into videography yet again, even though I officially killed my business early this year, driving that last nail that's been sticking out for the last year. I hadn't done any business in 2004 at all. I thought about costs, starting capita, and all these other things that go along with starting a business - and I also reevaluated my stance toward wedding videography...

It's not something I really enjoy doing, but at least it's related to my field of experience.

And then I realized something simple - I could start a business again, but I could just start my own production company. Basically, it would be a shoe-string operation, and I would pay stipends to actors and crew, and the budget would hover around 5 to 7 thousand. I would wear as many hats as I could, and do a movie every year, and write off the losses as a business expense. I would do screenings at private theaters, and try to generate more revenue from DVD sales, or try out the home video market.

And that cheered me up.

It was never about the money, or the fame, or the ego. Okay, some of it definitely has to do with the ego. But it was about the process of storytelling. From conceptualizing my story, thinking of scenes and story outlines, putting it on paper, and the production of the film. Those experiences represent something amazing and pure to me, even though I'm only truly happy with 5% of what I do. Suddenly, everything didn't seem so bad, because I was thinking of how my story should end, instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Today, I thought about the ending, and the visuals that went with it, and I was so entranced in that emotional state that I started to tear up. I think it's got a great ending - not depressing, but uplifting and hopeful without sacrificing sincerety. I have the beginning, the ending, but I'm still a little foggy about the middle. Sure, I know the bulk of what needs to be said, but presenting it in a cohesive manner, without being too preachy and predictable is another thing. Keeping it engaging while most of it takes place in a house will be difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Well, hopefully sometime next week I'll begin writing.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Developing Babies

I know, I don't write enough about the babies. Enough about me and my stupid materialistic obsessions. Alex isn't going to care about satellite TV when he reads this when he's eighteen. (I say eighteen because that's when he'll move out to avoid doing further housework and homework. Somehow he will steal this blog when he leaves. I don't know how yet. Ask him.) No, he's going to want to know what made him the man he was, and if I was of full capability to raise him in the first place.

So, onward.

Zoe's developed quite a different personality than Alex. Well, different and the same. First of all, she loves him to bits. Just absolutely adores him. She'll laugh at him ten times more than she laughs at us, and you can just tell that even at that age, she's just smitten with her brother. Thinks the world of him, and thinks he's pretty darn cool. She's got the cutest little smile and eyes that just light up when she smiles. And her limbs will trash about when she gets excited, and at times her tougue even comes into play. It'll stick out of her mouth and stay there for a while, or she'll just play around with it and drool over the world. She's also very opinionated, and a little sassy to boot. She will tell you everything about anything, and if she can't find the right words, she'll just scream random shrieks of alarm at ya. You check her clothes to see if they are, indeed, on fire. It's usually not the case. Sometimes. But rarely.

She grabs things just fine, but still has to sit up by herself, and eat cereal successfully. This girl just doesn't like change. She rolls over from time to time, but mostly when she's on her tummy, she'll just flail about as if she's just jumped from an aircraft at 30,000 feet. Her hair's a mess. Bald spots, some really long and crazy spots, and the girl's got some curls. Weird Asian baby.

Alex is getting into the toddler stage whereby right and wrong are now into play. For the most part, he does listen to us and when we enforce something, he usually cries as if we've betrayed his trust and destroyed his innosense. I think this is the stage whereby parents mold their kids to either be good listeners with good behavior, or bad listeners who do whatever they want. Right now, it's going okay, but the crying is hard to bear.

Fortunately, he's a loving brother to his little sister, giving her hugs, giving her toys (and snatching them away), and humoring her from time to time. You gotta admire that too, especially since she does wake up him a lot. He's still not talking too much, but he tries to mimic certain words. I suppose I should make more of an effort to teach him words. Damn satellite TV.

Okay, it's midnight. Gotta go before I turn into some kind of vegetable.