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For hating cold this much, I sure can take it

Sunday started early. 9:00 AM early – which might not be early to most of you, but to this self-employed one-time software engineer, that’s an hour I’m familiar with only through perseverance and lingering chemical enhancements. The morning was building an entire new set for a bathroom scene; the afternoon was flying it about 10′ in the air, and the evening was entirely consumed by the shot you see above.

By the way, that’s me in the sacrificial pose

Or, well, for everyone else, that shot was an evening thing. I got started on it about midafternoon; putting the finishing touches on the rig, and then starting to mix that liquid – which started with figuring out just how best to do it.

Prior to “deployment”, as I might call it, I asked more experience professionals how to go about this, and the advice that turned out to be the most relevant is to have a recipe for your batch size – I started knowing the molecular ratio I wanted to get, but all precision went out the window when all I had to measure with were empty paint buckets. At that point, it was flying by the seat of my pants, having an idea of of to mix what I wanted, and then counted what I put in each time. Once I had a recipe, we kicked into gear, and raced against the clock.

Being “smart”, I think, is more about paying attention to the world around you than anything else.

So. The trough is filled, the liquid prepared. The lights are around where they need to be, and the musician is in costume. We’ve only got one shot at this – it’s not like we can clean that gunk off him in any reasonable amount of time.

Clearly, we need a body double.

Clearly, being just about the same height and build, I’m one of the candidates.

Clearly, having built the damn thing, if I’m not willing to use it, why should anyone else?

Goddamn but that stuff was cold.

Ah, as they say, a good deed never goes unpunished. Except, well, I got pretty truly rewarded in the admiration from the crew, as I lay there, patiently letting them figure out the lighting for the scene, shivering so hard my entire body was shaking, for an hour.

I get the impression that this was supposed to be “hard”, and that, if I were an on looker, it would seem as such. But really? It needed doing, and I was the one doing it, and it doesn’t get easier than that.


It’s hard to do the brave part when the monsters keep giving you candy.

So, over the last few days, in my pursuit of this simple monthly goal, I’m noticing something: I really don’t have to go out of my way to meet new people. And it’s not just Calvin at the Kiwis doing the brave bit for me – it’s a generalized thing. Yes, I am meeting more new people now that I’m, y’know, trying - but really? They’re everywhere, all the time. And they’re nice! Yesterday, I met Roman, who immigrated from Mexico a couple of decades ago and works (I think for himself) as a mechanic, while in line at the DMV. Just started talking to him, then introduced myself, then kept getting to know him.

For awhile, standing there, before we started talking, I thought I could tell that we were going to converse. Something in his posture; although it was almost an apprehension at the expectation, gave the future away. Like he wanted to talk to me, as well, but couldn’t quite bring himself to break the ice just yet.

Today, as it was the first day of building the set for a music video shooting on the weekend, I met maybe half a dozen new people, and I got to know them each, at least, a little bit – and this kind of thing; meeting this many new people, just by living my life, is actually rather commonplace. But! I noticed them more – I noticed that they were strangers, and now they weren’t – because I was asking myself, “Is this the new person I met today? Is this?”  I was paying attention more to this bit of living life, realizing how much I already have, because I’d set out to make sure I was getting it.

Yet… Meeting them was neither Brave nor New.

Eddie, however, was. Just a bit – a lot like Roman, there was this idea of it being a Risky Thing, but once I’d actually said a word – none to be found. Eddie’s a policeman, and he and his partner had stopped – in fact, they’d stopped to go say hello to a stranger! – to go talk to the guy who had this big felt dragon up smack in the middle of his open-door studio. I saw their lights when I was parking, and decided to go see what was up.  We didn’t talk for long, but I did ask him the cliche of “how did you get to be a cop?” and his answer had this quality…

I’m having trouble putting this idea into a few words, so I’ll try putting into many. Talking to Roman and talking to Eddie – and testing that perceived risk, to find that it’s all in my head, that there’s nothing there to be scared or worried about – it’s so similar to what I’ve found when deciding to actually get up and do something. There’s no climax to it – but neither is it an anti-climax. It just is. You get up, and you go do the thing, and you find out – Yeah. Doing it really is that easy. The task may be difficult – it might be hard to understand Roman through his thick accent – but the doing of it? Nothing more to it than moving bits of these bags-of-mostly-water we’re all running around in.

Anyway, Eddie became a cop by filling out some forms and getting some training.

Goosebumps is hard 2 raed lulzToday’s Rediscovery: Read a Goosebumps “novel”

Why: RL Stine was a prolific author during my childhood-  his horror series “Goosebumps” spawned a lifelong interest in horror for me.  Honestly, I was reading Steven King novels by the time I was in fifth grade, so these were a brief stopover until I could get my paws on some real literature, but they were important nonetheless.

How long HAS it been: ~18 years?

What were they then: I don’t remember much, just that the covers were a lot scarier than the stories contained therein.

What is it now: I’d like to report that this was a frivolous and easy task, that I blew through the entire book in 20 minutes, uninterested and unstimulated.  Sadly, after picking up “Say Cheese and Die” from the children’s section of my local library, I found it to be… surprisingly engaging.  Sure, the characters were undeveloped and far too many of the sentences end with exclamation points, but overall it’s a story I’d enjoy reading to a child, and a story I enjoyed for myself.  It was like a campfire story told by someone with a mild case of fetal alcohol syndrome. Read more »

Brave Newbie Writers

Phil WarrenPhil Warren (81)
Founder and editor of The Brave New, Phil Warren is now an accordion player, a minister, a sonic weapons expert, a director, a photographer, a public speaker, and a bunch of other things. Mostly he's an adventurer though. An adventurer who smells nice. Except when he doesn't.
NickNick (6)
One part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.

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