If it seems like you just can’t bear it,
maybe you need a bigger bear.
We’re in the process of filming a couple of very basic English education videos for 3-4 year old kids. “Tedious” is a monstrous under-description of what that entails, and I have to be there and conscious for every pains-taking, aching, dragging, agonizing minute. In the early days, I often went nuclear: “For Pete’s sake, it was fine the first 47 times! Why do we have to do it again?” But I’ve learned a lot over the years. There are still so many technical things that I don’t understand. There is almost always a reason why thirty or so people are standing around waiting with our thumbs up our noses. At this point, I could walk Job through Patience 101; one would not survive this kind of work otherwise.
It helps that the work is sometimes rather surreal. After all, what video would be complete without a potato salad Christmas tree?
On the second day, I was sitting with Randy and Melinda. Randy is the funnyman in this series of videos, a down home Southern gentleman from Alabama and qualified circus clown. He wasn’t all that tired.
Melinda (the mother of the kid in the videos) and Skyla (the kid in the videos) had just flown in from the States, a fourteen hour flight. They’d come directly from the airport to the studio. They were tired.
I had sat through fifteen hours of filming the day before and we were coming up on the eighth hour of the second day with no end in sight, knowing we had two more interminable days ahead of us. I was tired, too.
And that’s when the sillies kicked in. I discovered a collection of truly inappropriate children’s literature…
Eventually, near silence once again descended. Melinda was shopping online. I was doing an online jigsaw puzzle. Randy was playing a game. It was pretty quiet.
Who you callin’ paranoid?
Fifteen minutes later, as we clutched our aching sides and wiped the tears from our faces, we finally pulled ourselves together. This time, most everyone ignored us.
After all, everyone knows all foreigners are nuts.
One of the latest manifestations of the Evil Nicodemon is flat out grumpiness. While it is perfectly normal and to be expected when one quits smoking, I was feeling pleased and even a bit smug that I hadn’t really had that problem. I mean, I’m a fairly grumpy person by nature, but quitting didn’t seem to make that any worse.
Then the other day I had a meeting. The woman I met with is nice enough and sometimes quite funny, but she’s also rather stupid (unfortunate) or at least pretends to be stupid (even worse). I’ve worked with her off and on for years and she never learns anything. So there I was explaining extremely basic grammar that I had already explained to her a hundred times and I started getting annoyed. Really annoyed.
Drawing by The Oatmeal. Used with permission
The more annoyed I got, the more nervous she got. She talks like a rapid fire machine gun anyway and it just got worse. After a while she might as well have been speaking Swahili for all I could understand. And to make matters worse, she kept touching my arm to try and calm me down, and this is simply not done in Japan. I actually shook her off at one point. She was sitting next to me and I was sorely tempted to gently place my palm on the back of her head and then smash her face into the table.
As a freelancer, it is very important that I maintain a pleasant exterior. And while it is perfectly all right for me to not like people, it is not all right for me to let them know I don’t like them. Maybe I should change my name to Nicobitch.