It’s Spring Break this week, and kids are swinging from the trees all over the city. I took the dog on a Full Park power walk today, and ran across a little knot of them back in the woods. Middle schoolers, it looked like, so of course I feared the worst. Your average middle schooler is capable of both sleeping with teddy bears and huffing solvents; what would this group be doing? Smoking pot, giving one another blow jobs or just hanging out. Answer: The latter, along with some serious bicycle acrobatics. They’d gone to some trouble to craft a BMX course out of found objects in the woods, and had made a nice jump between two hillocks. One was lying in the gap taking pictures as each one took his or her turn in flight. I admired his courage, as I’m sure sooner or later he got hit by a falling friend.
My editor mentioned seeing the same thing in a different venue not long ago, and the kid was crashing over and over, leaping up after each one to try again. My editor, riding in pain from a torn rotator cuff, which he suffered after a fairly routine spill, was envious. I know how he feels. It occurred to me today I couldn’t do a cartwheel at gunpoint. Maybe I should try one next time I’m back in the woods, just to be sure.
So it was with this vision fresh in my mind that I came home to discover my child clomping up and down the sidewalk in her brand new Junior Rollerblades. Deb was buying them for her own, and graciously agreed to get a pair for her, too. She was attacking them with the physical fearlessness of the preschooler, although to be sure, she was better-armored than Russell Crowe in “Gladiator.” She hasn’t really figured out the gliding part yet, just stomps around and falls on her butt every 12 feet or so, but I suppose she’ll pick it up sooner or later. I grabbed the camcorder and shot some footage, which has some continuity problems — the sun went behind a cloud and the temperature dropped midway through principle photography, so we’ve got some jackets-on/jackets-off, shadows-and-light discrepancies. I don’t care. I got what I needed, marched it inside and edited it while they played Barbies. The whole thing rang in at two minutes, which I figure is just about right.
It was a movie kinda day. I discovered filmwise today, although I didn’t have much time to explore the site, only swing by its most maddening quiz, Invisibles. Here’s the setup, which sounds like pathetic pornography, but isn’t: Basically, an Invisible is a screen shot from a movie in which some or all of the actors have been completely removed from their clothing. It’s your job to figure out what the movie is. This doesn’t mean naked actors, only empty suits created by Photoshop whizzes. I think I got ONE correct answer. Is someone paid to do this? Amazing.
Speaking of which, I also found this, a set of dirty pictures with the figures removed. This was fascinating, as I’m as fond of examining backgrounds in photos as I am the ostensible subjects of the pictures. Check out the bedside lamp in this one. I think my grandmother had one like that.
I hope this link works, too. It’s a transcript of something I heard on NPR this weekend. Their search engine is unbearably slow, but “Calling Dante’s Inferno” made me laugh.
I have to sign off early. There’s Lieutenant Fancy’s farewell on the barely breathing “NYPD Blue,” plus I have to write the Arts United letter. The less said about that, the better. So I’ll say no more.