Posts Tagged ‘cranky’

My current level of frustration

Cracked moldI’m going to try to use an analogy to explain how frustrating it is when you are working on a puppet and it breaks right before you finish.

Imagine that you are almost finished with a short story or novel, you’ve been very careful and been backing it up as you go. Something goes wrong with your computer and it catches on fire, singeing your fingers. In pain, you grab the fire extinguisher to put it out, which you do, but the exhaust also clogs your backup hard drive and causes a colossal failure, wiping out not just the scene you were working on, but the entire story.

To skip the analogy, here’s my day thus far. We went to open the mold for the fog witch’s face and it cracked in four places. The two part mold is now five parts. One of the shims had shifted during the course of making the mold ((I think, I didn’t make it so I’m guessing)) and wound up on the wrong side of an undercut. So, even if I can repair the mold, it’s built so that I wouldn’t be able to pull the pieces free after casting them.

Frustrated, I turn to work on the control and ignore the mold. While putting the piece of wood into a vise, I managed to slice the palm of my hand with… I’m not sure what. I was just bleeding and had this stigmata. So, I get that patched up, and head for the bandsaw, which jumps off the track five times or so and finally just breaks.

I have to turn the puppets in tomorrow ((later today)) so this means that I’m cutting things out by hand. Why am I blogging now? Because I thought it prudent to express my frustration before I pick up a cutting instrument.

I blithely commented that this is why I like writing, because when you screw up a scene you don’t bleed on the page. A couple of other writers commented back that they bleed while writing. Figuratively, yes, I’ll buy that. But seriously, I never have this level of frustration even when a story is misfiring. It just seems so much easier to deal with because I don’t have to deal with physics and the laws of nature in the same way.

I mean, if something goes wrong on the page, I can solve it by just thinking hard at the problem. With puppets, if something goes wrong, there’s a whole host of physical problems that I can’t fix by sheer will and imagination. Aside from the physical considerations, the process of puppet building and writing are very similar. In fact, when I’m in the midst of a design, my writing productivity goes way the heck down, because it uses the same muscle as design does.

Le sigh… I can’t wait until this is finished and I can get some serious writing in. Speaking of, it’s time I go back to the puppet.

Twitter Updates for 2008-07-18

  • @twitter help #
  • On the train and will try to sleep. Supposed to get into the Boston station around eightish. #
  • Next time, I’ll plunk down the extra $30 to go to business class so I don’t have to hear cranky baby. #
  • Also, why is the train so freaking cold? #
  • Just went to cafe car. There are, no lie, 9 kids on this car. It explains why I kept hearing cranky kid. I’m in the nursery. #
  • In Boston. Now to explore local transit. Wish me luck. #
  • Well, I’m at the bus mall and so far everything seems to be working. There are even other people waiting, which gives me hope. #
  • One stop too far on the bus, but that’s not so bad. #
  • Doing a reading in VT until two. Come after Jeff Ford. #

The damage

Rob says:

Broken turn signal, broken clutch lever (I just went to BMW and paid $157 for a replacement to make the cycle rideable while I wait for the insurance adjuster to call), damaged front fender, damaged hand guard, damaged exhaust pipe, and shredded cover. That’s what I can see at the moment. I’m going over to replace the lever and start it up.

No Hamlet, no cry

Rob and I left the apartment at the same time today, which is a rare occurrence. I kissed him goodbye, got on the train and he headed off to ride his motorcycle.

When I got off the train, my phone rang. Rob.

He rarely calls me, so I had a sinking sensation. “Hi. What’s wrong?”

“Someone hit my motorcycle.”

I had a moment of no breath.

“It was tipped over when I got to it. [Some technical term] is broken and the [other term] is bent.”

And just like that, I could breathe again. He hadn’t been on the bike. I don’t worry when he’s outside town, but in the city is another matter. I made some sound that meant, “Holy crap, that’s awful but I’m glad you were nowhere near it when it happened.”

Rob continued, “So, I’ll have to deal with insurance today and probably won’t be able to stand in line for tickets to Hamlet. I just wanted to let you know. I’m sorry. If I finish up, I’ll try but–”

“Don’t worry about it. No Shakespeare tonight.”

Do you see the kind of man I married? His very expensive toy is broken and his first thought is to apologize to me that we can’t go see a play.

Meanwhile, I’m sure he’s furious about someone hitting and leaving his bike. Our insurance company is pretty good, but this is a hassle that the poor boy does not need.

Note to actors from a prop master

Dear actors,

When you demand a prop, a strange and difficult to acquire prop, which requires some hours of time to get for you, please think carefully when presented with the object before you announce that you prefer what you’ve been using in rehearsal.

Many thanks for your time and attention.

A prop master who is checking on the return policy.

The Braves game

Now, it should be obvious that I’m not really a sports scene sort of person. That said, if there’s a sport I enjoy, it’s baseball and the Braves are the only team that I’ve ever seriously followed. So I was not dreading going to see the game with Katherine. I called around, found a place that would have the game on and we headed down.

We all, including Katherine, agreed that Blondies was a ruthlessly unpleasant experience.

Food? My vegetarian chili was fine. The caesar salad was so watery as to be almost inedible. I mean, yes, wash the lettuce, but then at least drain it. Rob’s fries and garden burger also seemed fine. Katherine’s buffalo wings? She couldn’t even finish them because they were “slimy” and “gross.” This is a girl who loooooves buffalo wings. The fat and skin to meat content was apparently on the wrong end of the spectrum.

Atmosphere? Frigid. We had to wear our coats the whole time.

Music? Deafening. I mean, Rob put in ear plugs. I actually had my fingers in my ears at one point because it was nightclub loud. Not a nightclub. Sportsbar. I finally asked one of the waitresses if they could turn the music down a little.

She said, “It’s really hard to turn music down in a bar. Where are you from?”

“I live in New York.”

“Oh. Well, it’s really hard to turn music down.”

Right… funny thing. From my time waiting tables if a customer asks you to turn the music down, you turn it down. Now, she did briefly turn it down. For one song. Then she turned it back up, louder, so she could dance in the back to it. I kid you not.

When the Braves tied the Nationals at the top of the ninth, I was not happy. I should have been rooting for the Braves but all I could think was that now we were going to be stuck there for another inning and that I would have to kill someone.

The Nationals won, without going to extra innings. Katherine was sad, but we were all grateful to get out of that joint.

Oh, and the ladies bathroom? Gross. Truck stop level grossness.

What is a fever like for you?

It looks like the fever has finally broken. Whew.

Let me ask you this, because Rob says it doesn’t happen to him and I’ve just always assumed it was a normal part of getting a fever. My skin gets really sensitive, like all the nerve endings have been chafed and are jangling. I can’t stand to have anything rub across because the friction is too much. The best way I could describe it to him, and this isn’t exactly right, is when you have a mild sunburn and can feel every fiber in the clothes you are wearing. Does that happen to you?

My joints ache and my skin gets sensitive. Chills are standard, but does anyone else get the other stuff?

And yes, thank you, I am feeling much better. I still have very little appetite, a cough, fatigue but hey– at least I know I’ve gotten enough sleep this week. Finally.

Dear Neighbor with the loud television

While I appreciate your desire to share, it is not necessary to have your television actually in the airshaft. Having said that, I will admit that it is interesting to hear the TARDIS materialize outside my window at 2 a.m. Some time travel would be useful this week.

Sleep, however, would be more useful and the show that you broadcast after Dr. Who had entirely too much screaming. Or was that one of our other neighbors driven mad by your very loud television?

How old do you feel?

At rehearsal the other day, someone said that the way you feel after an all-nighter is the way you will feel all the time twenty years from now.

I feel eighty.

Dad has the flu

Well, phooey. Mom and Dad were scheduled to come visit on Friday. My birthday is the 8th, Mom’s is the 11th and she is attaining a Significant Number this year. We were going to do a joint celebration. I had all sorts of things planned.

But, he is ill — as in influenza and in bed — and so they’ve canceled their flight. The doctor has him on strong antibiotics and he’s wearing a mask so he doesn’t infect Mom.

Since Dad’s a regular reader, would you all mind leaving him some well-wishes here?

A letter to New York Holiday Shoppers

I can tell that I am now a New Yorker, at least in part, because I agree with every word of this Open Letter by Matt Kressel of Senses Five Press

Dear Pedestrian Shopper,

Please note that, while you gawk at the tall buildings and meander down the sidewalk carrying giant bags of material goods, others are struggling to get around you to get their places of employment. As advice for you in the future, I suggest you adhere to these four simple rules when visiting New York:

Please study that before you come to visit me.

Preview of Golden Compass

A director friend of ours had tickets to a preview of the Golden Compass and invited Rob and me to a small screening. The production design on the show is gorgeous, with air ships that will make the most hardened steampunker swoon. The costumes are stunning throughout. The whole cast turns in really strong performances, particularly Dakota Blue, playing Lyra, who seems to spend most of the movie acting to CGI. I always believed that she was looking at something real.

The pacing is really atrocious and the movie skips from one action scene to the next. I do not remember the book feeling so full of lucky coincidences. This really felt like “And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! Someone saves her in the nick of time! And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! etc!!!”

I was sad. But I’ll still go see the second one, hoping that they get a handle on the pacing next time. It’s still worth seeing, mind you, because it is very, very pretty.

The rest of my complaints are spoilers.

Stop and look

This falls into the category of things that I wonder if I should blog about. See, my parents are going to worry, but there are enough things that make me cranky that I’m going ahead with it.

Let’s discuss the importance of obeying traffic laws, shall we? As I was biking to work this morning, on this great downhill stretch where I can really build up speed, a minivan pulled out in front of me without stopping. There’s a stop sign at the intersection, which she completely ignored. I had to ditch my bike to avoid slamming into the side of the van. Did the woman driving stop? No.

I seem to be fine. I was shaken and angry after it happened. My bike had a flat. There doesn’t seem to be any more damage than that, but it’s all too easy to imagine how much worse it might have been. For crying out loud, would the ten seconds that it takes to stop and look at a stop sign really have made a difference in how long it took her to get to her destination? Or did she see me and decide that she didn’t want to get stuck behind a bicyclist? I wish I had been able to get her license plate number, but I was too busy not dying.