We got some more snow over the weekend, well within normal for March in Michigan — maybe three new inches. But Columbus, which by March is usually well into the mud/freezing rain/defrosting dog poo stage of winter, got a foot and a half, maybe more. My brother said it was so bad, he closed his bar. Then he called one of the TV stations, to get it added to the ever-lengthening closings list.
“Um,” she said. “Is this….an institution?”
“Hell yes it’s an institution,” he replied. “It’s a bar in Obetz! That’s like a church!”
“Sir,” she said. “I don’t think you’re being serious with me.”
Well, in a blizzard, all the serious is being hogged by people trying to drive.
I said last fall that I wanted lots of snow this winter, and I guess I got my wish. (As for our boating fortunes this year, in the god-I-hope-our-slip-isn’t-dry sense of things, I go for cautiously optimistic.) I’m still not really tired of winter yet. I miss my bicycle and the color green, but so much of coping with cold weather comes down to having the sense to wear a decent coat and boots. Still, there was a moment Saturday when I turned a corner and was hit in the face by a blast of wind, and thought: OK, enough. By week’s end the temperature should be nudging 50. That’ll do.
The student film is done. I left at the DVD-burning point, which was four hours into our last editing session. I’d recommend a class like this to anyone who likes movies, just so you can see what it takes to make even a very very small one. You’ll learn why “creative differences” are such a big factor in Hollywood. We spent an hour tweaking audio filters to get the right sound on a 30-second phone conversation, so that when we cut to one character while the other one was still talking, the voice would sound like it was coming through a telephone. There’s a strong tendency, at every step of the game, to say, “Screw it. This is good enough.” You need a few perfectionists in the room.
But here’s the best thing: This really is a creative outlet that is truly collaborative, and if you have the right collaboration, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. I’ll treasure the wonder I felt at every step of the process as our three-minute story came together. I also learned a thing or two about cheats for no-budget storytelling; one scene was lit by two hand-held flashlights. It was great fun, and I can’t wait to take the next class. And yes, I’ll post the video eventually, but please be gentle.
So, Monday-morning bloggage for you folks to fight about:
The qualifier, now an ongoing series: Mitch Albom spends 60 percent of his Sunday metro column outlining two cases of bad behavior caught on video and seen widely on the internet (the puppy-throwing soldiers and car-wash mom, for those of you who keep up with such things). Then…wait for it…the qualifier:
Now, I am not condoning either act — not the dog fling, not the hosing. Neither was smart or necessary. Both seem cold, cruel, even deplorable. But I wonder where we are going when every moment of every life is filmed.
The only thing that could make that passage better would be a “dare I say” inserted between “cruel” and “even deplorable.”
Another shoe drops in the Detroit text-message scandal. We are shocked, shocked to find it’s about more than sex. In fact, it’s about sweetheart deals and other glories of life in a corrupt city. By 2002, I was certainly aware that it was perfectly legal for my bosses to look at my company e-mail. (In fact, I often wondered if they were, and was sure to give them lots of juicy reading material.) What sort of moron sends stuff like this over a public (translation: where bosses = everyone) network?
In a message on Oct. 30, 2002, (mayoral chief of staff Christine) Beatty asked him how much she owed (mayoral friend and favored contractor) Bobby Ferguson for the driveway he poured at her Detroit home.
“Ya know ya my sister,” he replied. “Family don’t worry about shit like money.”
Finally, Laura Lippman’s new book, “Another Thing to Fall,” hits stores tomorrow. Run out and buy it and make the Lippman-Simon Co-Prosperity Sphere’s March 2008 one to remember. Plot synopsis: Lippman’s P.I., Tess Monaghan, investigates shenanigans on the set of a TV series filmed in Baltimore. No, not that one. (Which reminds me: Wire-blogging reaches its crescendo over at The New Package. Distracted as I was last week by my other life, your correspondent will check in…eventually. The new slackage!
OK, that’s it for me. I have a story to write, and have to readjust my head into money-making mode.