Monthly Archives: March 2012

Catching Up

So…

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around posting on a regular basis again, but I’m having a real problem making it stick. After some consideration, I’ve decided it’s because so much has happened since my lapse into bloglessness that it feels dishonest to return and continue on as if nothing has changed.

Therefore, a quick update before I get back to the fun stuff. Here we go: what’s happened since January?

1) The Packers blow their Super Bowl chances in week 1 of the playoffs. 

I…don’t even want to talk about it. It was a circus. But I will say that this event is partially to blame for my lapse. I had been planning on having at least another week or two of football posts before the end of the season. When it all slipped away, I was completely thrown off track.

I don't know...funny? Or too soon?

Still excited for fall though.

2) I quit my job, kind of by accident. After the holidays I was feeling really down. I had worked a ton of extra hours in December so I could afford presents, so by the time New Years rolled around I was burned out. Combined with the Packers tragic loss and the end of my temporary teaching assistant job on Jan 26th, and I realized that all I had to show for myself at the moment was an ill-fitting job that appeared to have no real room for advancement and that left me no time to do any of the stuff I cared about, like writing or filming or spending time with friends and family.

So I quit. February 15th was my last day. I didn’t have a new job in place, and I still don’t. However, I’m fortunate that I have skills that work well in a freelance, temp kind of field. So…I’m making my way. It’s a scary time, and it was a scary decision to make, particularly in this economy. But at the same time, I think it might be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Ironically, that ill-fitting job I quit also led me to a long-term temporary video production job. Instead of captioning phone calls, I’m helping to make the training videos for the phone. You see it’s true what they say: always leave on a good note, because you never can tell who will give you that next break.

3) I wrote a superhero story. Kind of. I wrote the origin story, which is the first half of the first installment of what will hopefully be a series. The main character has the power to control people’s emotions, and the supporting heroes all have other telekinetic or telepathic powers. That’s another reason why I haven’t been writing on the blog–I’ve been writing somewhere else.

I hope to have it illustrated and posted online by summer. In the meantime, here are some rough sketches I did of the hero. I’m probably not going to be one to do the final illustrations–I’ll leave that to someone who’s better trained than I am–but these helped me put a face on my character.

BTW: When she goes into her emotion-controlling mindset, her eyes become blue with falling snowflakes in the pupils. That’s why in some of the pictures her eyes are different colors. Dramatic effect and whatnot.

Image #: Mettle Profile (face and upper body)

Image #2: Mettle Profile (face)

Image #3: Mettle Front (face)

4) I suspended my gym membership. I had no choice–I’m “unemployed,” remember? Maybe it seems like a silly thing to note, but keep in mind that by the time I had to cancel it I was working out 4 days a week, so giving it up was an extreme shift in my routine. Bad for me, but potentially good for you, if you are interested in the mostly free online gym alternatives I’ve discovered. More on that later…it’s one of the many things I’ve wanted to write about but that kept getting waylaid due to my major lifestyle shift.

Is that all? I think it might be, at least for now. Thanks for indulging me.

And…on we go.

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Film Annex Article #2: Stories About NATO

My second article is up on Film Annex! It deals with the Stories About NATO channel, which has a bunch of short little films made from footage provided by natochannel.tv. The footage was provided with the condition that it is used to make balanced, non-propagandized material, so don’t worry about this being some kind of pro-NATO (or anti-NATO) campaign. Stories About NATO just wants to get the conversation going about NATO’s current and future actions, and the more different kinds of voices you can have in one conversation, the more interesting it is going to be.

NATO on the Go (Full article, as well as links to videos and more information, is available on my Film Annex page.)

I would also like to take this opportunity to say to my reading public: I’m sorry. FA articles aside, I know I’ve been absent in my writing lately, for lots of various reasons, the most important being 1) I have been frantically searching for a job, and 2) I have been delving into a fictional writing project that needed a considerable amount of attention for a while. Now that things have calmed down a bit (the how of which may or may not be forthcoming in a future post, depending on how relevant it seems later), I promise I will be back to my regularly scheduled programming very soon. In addition to my brilliant thoughts about movies and television, you can still expect to see some posts linked to FA (assuming they keep me on as a blogger–fingers crossed!) So do me a favor: read my articles! And watch a couple videos. They ones I write about will be available on my channel, and they are all pretty short. Also, because it’s about international politics it might make you feel cool and relevant as well. Though I make no promises.

Just…read the articles. Please–for me?

Film Annex Article #1: G.I.V.E.

That’s right, my very first paid article is up and available for viewing! And, lucky me, it is actually about something kind of awesome.

FILM ANNEX GIVES BACK (Full article, as well as links to videos and more information, is available on my Film Annex page.)

Film Annex, which is already a really cool company that allows poor filmmakers such as myself to earn a little cash off our work, has also founded a veteran assistance program called G.I.V.E., or Global Initiative for Veteran Enterpreneurship. G.I.V.E.’s founding idea is that American veterans returning from our various military occupations (particularly Afghanistan) have unique skills that put them in good standing to start and run their own companies, and they support those veterans that have business ambitions by allowing them a place to post content and advertising free of charge. In addition, Film Annex has also produced several video interviews with some of the veterans that will be taking advantage of this opportunity provided by GIVE, all of which are available on GIVE’s WebTV channel.

Like many people, I’m still very conflicted about America’s approach to and occupations in the Middle East. In the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq specifically, I will say that I think the occupations were ill-advised and overzealous at the very least, but that only time will tell us whether is was a major global catastrophe or a foolhardy, expensive and heartbreaking misstep.

Because I don’t know anyone personally who has spent time in the war, I relate to our troops through film and television. So far, the majority of the depictions I’ve seen of our troops has focused on their time in the war. The interviews on Film Annex, however, give some background into each soldier’s military history but ultimately are more interested in what each veteran wants to do next now that his time in the war is over. It’s a different, more encouraging, more human perspective. These aren’t just Soldiers with a capital S–they are people with dimension and vision. Their service is one aspect of their personalities, but it doesn’t necessarily make them who they are.

The interviews are short (between 4-7 minutes each) and I highly recommend watching a couple here and there, particularly if you don’t happen to have a friend of family member stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. They help bridge the gap between civilians and servicemen–especially after you realize that, tours of duty notwithstanding, there isn’t actually much of a gap at all.

Jobified!

As some of you know (aka those of you who know me in the real world, outside webland), I recently quit my 9-to-5 soul suck of a job to focus on the stuff I love: writing and filmmaking. Recently, I got a gig as a guest blogger on FilmAnnex.com, a company that allows filmmakers to post their videos with ads and reap some monetary rewards. If this strikes you as a nice meshing of my interests, you would be correct sir!

So, look for me on Film Annex (here is my profile link). I will also be cross posting on LOTW whenever I’ve got a new article up. So far there looks to be a lot of fun, interesting, thought-provoking and weird videos on Film Annex, so there should be plenty for me to write about. It’s something I’m doing on a trial basis, but with hard work and some luck I hope to make it a permanent thing. Either way, it beats the heck out of working for the man.