lab haiku two

says the haiku to itself.
Quite postmodern, no?



So here I am, 3pm on the second-to-last Saturday of the semester… sitting at my computer… trying desperately not to do work. Des-per-ate-ly.

Video editing, thesis treatise, seminar paper, history paper, RTF essays… all suddenly superseded by, oh I don’t know, cleaning my room, sorting my CDs, playing with my webpage—even posting to my blog, perhaps?


I want to do some road tripping/camping/etc out West this summer. Maybe late July, early August… a few weeks of driving and hiking and living in a tent. Who’s interested? Ideas about where to go?

This is where I want to be:


cloudy radiohead-soundtracked day

scattered moments:

Stekler was surprisingly enthusiastic when I showed him an embarrassingly rough rough cut of the thesis this morning. My optimism is doing its best to shove past the reality of time constraints. As all Plan II thesisers are lamenting to themselves right now, “Why did I do this to myself? Why did I wait this long to start…”

To which I answer: “Because, really, what else were you going to do?”

Last night at the DV lab I was very sad that I’m not a smoker. At least then I’d have an identifiable reason to take a break every 20 minutes.

The women’s bathroom at Mojo’s, which has a uterus painted on it, seems to be locked. Normally I would have no problem going into the men’s bathroom, but there’s male anatomy painted on that door. Stick figures without the skirts? No problem. Internal workings of genitalia I clearly lack? … I dunno. It just don’t feel right.

I’ll be screening the (presumably finished) thesis film in the CMB on Thursday, May 20th, 7pm or so. Big screen and everything! Party following, chicken costumes encouraged.


'bout that time

Yes, once again it’s 11pm and I’m in the lab. I’ve actually been making slow, not steady so much as in spurts (spurty? spurtish?), progress on my rough cut… putting placeholders here, slowly building sequences there, and re-watching the archival and chicken footage whenever I need to shift my brain into neutral and giggle to myself.

A title was suggested to me last night: “Pilgrim’s Progress.”

I really like it, but I wanted to run it by my faithful, overeducated readers to see who would “get” it—or really just what anybody gets from it. (Reminders/hints: My film concerns Pilgrim’s Pride, a poultry corporation led by Bo Pilgrim, a devout Christian, and Susan Nugent, a woman who sued Pilgrim’s for pollution of her cattle ranch. Most of my archival footage is cheery 1950s “Miracles from Agriculture” kind of stuff.)

I somehow feel it’s an improvement over the options considered so far. Because while “Poultry Emulsion” and “Clucking You Over for a Bawk” make admirable use of the many chicken-related puns, I just don’t know that I’m ready to betray that much gleeful bias from the get-go.

Much love to my thesis compatriots. The end is (tragically, thankfully) in sight.


saturday night's alright alright alright

So Saturday. Traditional night for drunken revelry, yes/no?

Then, the end of senior semester, with thesis deadline fast approaching. Not so much on the drunken revelry.

Temporary solution: drinks and laptops on the back porch…

*plus, I make good use of my time by figuring out how to make photos on my gallery show up here… whee!


lab time

I just spent a very productive 5 1/2 hours in the DV lab at school. They have two shiny new G5 machines with 23 inch cinema HD displays. Unfortunately, they’re still in “beta” versions, meaning more unstable than the regular G4s (“unstable but crazy fast”).

For me, this translated into Avid DV Pro eating my OMFI MediaFiles database file on my harddrive, preventing me from accessing my 18 hours of logged and captured footage. I was nearly resigned to hours of desperate harddrive maintenance, but decided to try switching to a G4 with Avid DV Xpress first. Everything opened up just fine. No corrupt database files in sight. No 23″ display either, sadly, but you take what you can get at UT.

The lab is already getting crowded, people are already getting delirious. I have 23 tapes total. I have five more tapes to log/capture (about two hours computer time per tape). I have three weeks to finish. I have two words to summarize my feelings on this matter: fucking fuck.


Chickens, at home and abroad

Thursday morning I set off for Pittsburg, Texas, and another few days of filming. The drive up there has always been pretty tolerable—scenic farmland, hills, the occasional herd of goats—but this time was especially nice because all the wildflowers were in full bloom. The road was lined in bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, red clover, and pink, yellow, and pale blue flowers whose names I don’t know.

I checked in at the trusty old Mount Pleasant Days Inn (micro-fridges AND wireless internet!) and then made a few calls to line up interviews for the next two days. Friday morning I talked with a “Corporate Environmental Coordinator” at Pilgrim’s Pride—we drove out to his farm (he’s also a contract grower with Pilgrim’s) and filmed in front of bright red 500-foot-long chicken houses (capacity: 29,000 chickens).

Then I met up with Susan in the afternoon, and we drove around her family’s farm, now overgrown and on the market. Saturday morning I got to revisit the chickens I saw placed into houses as cute little chicks six weeks ago. In that time, they’ve grown to five pounds, are no longer cute, and are headed to the slaughterhouse early this week. Once again, great footage. I’m debating whether or not to drive back Monday night to see them collected for their journey to the processing plant.

Photos from this trip are on the gallery—just a few for posterity’s sake.

So I get back Saturday night, feeling the opposite of studious or productive. Maryann comes up with the obvious solution, which is decorating Easter eggs. Which of course leads to drinking and watching Zoolander. Naturally. All of which resulted in a great series of egg pictures.

Now it’s Sunday, Maryann and I just got back from a luscious Easter brunch at Eastside Cafe, courtesy her dad, and I should really drive to campus in this nasty weather and spend the rest of the day logging footage. Thankfully, I also need to read a novel for my history class, which is much easier to do while curled up in a warm bed.