Thursday, May 8, 2008


Inspired by a recent comment: "You have posts about your dog, posts about movies, posts about disability, this blog's all over the place!"

Well, duh. This blog is just my brain. An expression of my mind. And yeh, my mind is all over the place. I am not linear. Hell, my video editing software is non linear so why should my mind be the same? I mean, I know how to get linear, I understand that as a goal. Whether writing fiction, writing a script or editing someone else's production, I think of myself as a storyteller. An old fashioned story teller. Beginning, middle end .. even if the end is often the beginning or the beginning changes the end once you get there, I believe in a storytelling line. The line may curve, hell the line may do a figure eight, but there is a line and I believe in tracking it.

How I get to that line is another matter. Video editing is storytelling but it really is about assembling stuff. Back in the days of tape to tape editing "assemble" edit was a technical term, basically going shot to shot down the tape. When you assemble edited you took everything from your camera tape, the video and the audio, and cut it into your edited master, what we now call the timeline. You built the story, shot by shot. Later, you could go back and "insert" stuff, be it video, narration, music, titles, over the existing assembled track. The assembled track, without the inserts, before the music and the titles and the animation was called the offline, it was the basic story elements, assembled to create the linear timeline; the inserting is onlining, putting in the finishing touches that complement the story without necessarily taking it in a new direction.

My mind is both linear and non linear. As I bump along thru my world information just funnels in, often without me being entirely aware of what it is, and its all assembled on a timeline somewhere, waiting for the offline.

So, I have posts about Hayley playing in the dogpark. While we are there I am observing the main action, my crazy border collie playing with her mates, maybe I am even shooting video footage. But other things are happening too. I'm observing the fact that too many people in the park seem to want to roll thru it rather than observe it; I'm hearing "Its A Kind Of Magic" in my head which drifts up from when Collette and I saw We Will Rock You; I'm watching a father spending "quality time" with his son and dog which means he is walking ten paces ahead cutting a deal on the cellphone while the kid and the dog are moping along by himself; I'm replaying a movie scene in my head, specifically the final duel from Sanjuro, where Toshiro Mifune and his opponent are facing each other down, hands on swords but not moving, not budging, so quiet it could be a still shot but its not, it is a scene replete with contained energy, energy restrained and ready to explode and although nothing happens for a long time the tension makes my chest tight and when the single, fatal blow is struck it is almost with relief ... That is all rolling through my head.

It all goes in and eventually, it will all come out. Years ago I wrote a little short story called Composting For The Mind and it basically explained my "creative" process, of letting everything filter in, drop down in the mental soil and just percolate till I need it. That applies to more than creative ideas. That is just how my mind works. There is an old brainstorming technique called "webbing" where you stand at a white board and people just fire out ideas and you write every single one of them, all of them without editing, and put it in a bubble and you just go on like that till the ideas stop coming. Your place all the bubbles in a big circle around the board. You leave one empty space in the middle and in there you put down the project on which you are working. Then you go and try to draw lines, or webs from all those random ideas down to your project title, if you can't make a connection, you take that bubble off. Hopefully, by the end, you have a few salient bubbles connected to your project, proven salient by the fact their webs have survived that editing process.

So I guess this blog is my web. Or maybe my offline edit. Definitely compost (I have a lid for the compost bin but hey, its old like me, there may be some holes so sometimes, something stinky may seep out .. sorry, suck it up). Blogger gives you all these tips about creating your site and one of them is "make your blog be about something" Well, this is a Jerry Sienfeld blog, it was never really meant to be about anything. Its about my life and my life, like most lives I suspect, is definitely non linear. Being an editer and a storyteller, I am compelled to try to online this sucker, to make it linear. That is the big final edit, all these posts are simply the assembled raw footage.

So yeh, this blog is all over the place. Its going to be about Hayley, and movies, and Collette's journey to her epic 60K walk in the fall, its going to be about ability and music and my family and all the ways on the net people try to connect to one another. There will be funny stuff, and profane stuff and sad stuff and insightful stuff and just plain goofy stuff; I think I call that life.

There's a lot of stuff in my mind but there is always room for people to share and hang out and take the journey with me. Have a seat.

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