Oct 17

Travel day

I’m on the road. I’m in a rental car. The university gave me a Ford Focus, which is fine enough for a rental car.

I was on the flat, open country to the north. And now I’m in a hotel room after a perfectly anonymous dinner where I read magazine articles while a server absentmindedly sang while she swept and did her cut work. She had a lovely voice.

I’ve been to this city one time before, but The Yankee made that trip six years ago and I’m on the road on my own this time.

Six years ago today, in fact. Weird.

Where am I? Tell you tomorrow.

Oct 17

It feels like The Newsroom around here

In the studio this evening with these two shows:

And then we reset the control room for a live shoot. On the multiview was student government, which was a signal we were taking from three floors above us and streaming online:

It involves a lot of buttons:

It was a long night, and a good practice run. We learned a lot, and we’ll soon be doing this on a regular basis.

Sep 17

Some things to watch

I spent the evening in the television studio. What did you do with your evening?

Two shows were put in the can tonight. The news show there and this helpful little program which keeps you up-to-date on current events and pop culture:

Here’s another great segment of television that is worth watching this week:

This topic is going to get stretched and twisted in nine different ways in the next few weeks, but this is important.

Sep 17

Oh my!

We had a big night of it this evening. The Yankee and I went to the Japanese steakhouse for dinner where the second best show was being seated with people who have never been to a Japanese steakhouse before. The third best, of course, was the gentleman who made our food.

The best show of the night, though, was back on campus. We went to see George Takei take part in a lecture series. He had a full house, as you can see from our near-the-back-of-the-auditorium seats:

He talked Trek, of course, but most of his lecture was about his activism, and his family history. He’s got that incredible story: internment camp as a kid, watching his father re-build his life as a teen, becoming an actor, becoming a politician and a activist and then his coming out and his continued activism. He’s funny, he’s poignant, he’s powerful and passionate. Like a true stage performer, he stayed in almost one spot the entire night. He must be a light tech’s dream, he never moves.

That’s why I could never be a stage performer. I’d hit my marks. And then I’d hit everyone else’s too. Also, the lines. I took some great improv classes in college — because the professor was energetic and it seemed like a good way to get ready for some less-interesting class — and I learned that I’d never do well with remembering my lines. And, lo, another performer’s career that wasn’t.

Also, I studied method acting, specifically, Stanislavski’s system, which seemed obvious and basic enough to not be real. And if you can’t experience the system that is trying to teach you to experience the role then you’re probably doing it wrong. I never could get past the part of the method where it wasn’t just a guy struggling to remember his lines and hit everyone’s marks.

I thought about that while enjoying ice cream cake tonight. It was a great experience.

Sep 17

This is one of my favorite autumn jokes

You find the first maple tree you can, because it is always maples, owing to their physiology, and you wait until the first leaf goes. Then you point that out:

And you say “Maple leaves are quitters!”

You can tell a lot about a person by the sorts of jokes they like. The people that like that joke, the people that get that joke, are worthy of more such cynical, nerdy humor.

Anyway, I saw that leaf today. I had to deliver a lecture on recording sound — photographs yesterday, sound today, television tonight, video tomorrow, that multimedia experience is paying off this week! — gathering and editing. On the way back to my own building afterward was when I found that leaf, the first real sign of autumn, the first real quitter of the season.

And thus begins the long sigh into winter.