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The Black Laser

Sarah Dances – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Do yourself a favor and watch this one fullscreen.

Last week was Sarah’s birthday. Happy birthday, Sarah! Beyond celebrating my wife’s birth, the event lit a fire under my ass to finally finish the dance video we started shooting last fall. Between the children and greenhouses and all sorts of other stuff, it seemed like there was never time for it.

I started the cut when she was away this July and made decent progress, but then I lost steam. I wanted to have it done for her birthday, but I found the project difficult to work on. Sarah’s dancing is great and fun. The song is driving and easy to cut to. The footage is really nice and allows for flexible decision making. But whenever I got into the flow state that editing something I care about requires, the project made me think of Olive and the hell we went through trying to keep that poor baby alive. I would get choked up while working and have to walk away, go talk to the babysitter or play with the girls or whatever to gather myself.

And as soon as I walked away, focus shattered.

So it took me a whole year to get through the video. That’s quite a long time for a three and a half minute dance video. But I felt so much weight tied to it. Like, I needed to really nail this one because of Olive. And that made it pretty scary. I mean, not in some “life or death” kind of way, but more of a “confronting hard emotional truths” kind of way. Which is still scary!

I think the video turned out pretty nicely and I am proud of this silly, little, emotionally fraught project. It was a good trial run for a camera I purchased just before the pandemic that I had some plans for which never really materialized. I tried out a bunch of new edit tricks and spent a whole lot of time in Resolve working on the color. It was great having raw footage for the first time on a Sarah Dances production.

I hope you enjoy it. I had a hard time with this one. I’m having a hard time even writing about it, actually. But it’s good. And it’s fun. And I hope it brings some brightness to your day.

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Playing in the Rain

What I’ve learned recently is that toddlers do not care at all if it’s raining or not. They want—they need—to go out. Now.

In order to appease the girls’ screaming and to save myself from tantrums in stereo, I took them outside and let them play around in the grass. The water pouring out of the downspouts was especially exciting. We topped off the romp with some yogurt, which doesn’t seem like a very good post-rain snack to me, but was a hit with them. Who know. They’re nuts.

Enjoy some photos.

Watering the Neighbors’ House

Yesterday I taught Beatrice how to use the garden hose nozzle. After a few back-and-forths regarding the proper usage of the nozzle trigger, she understood and started to get a feel for the mechanics of it. Meanwhile, Penny was looking around the neighborhood for birds (BOID!) and dogs (PUPPA! WOOF WOOF!) and demanding walks (WA!).

Next week, I’ll get Beabear on the pressure washer so she can help clean our house. It’s pretty polleny after a tumultuous spring and summer. She’s already got a bit of practice spraying the neighbors’ house, as seen in the video below. I think she’ll do just fine.

The 4th of July

I’m two days late!

Instead of celebrating the independence of this nation by blowing up a small part of it, I thought it would be nice to take some photos of the girls in their little matching outfits. Turns out they had other ideas. Perhaps sitting still for photos is too much to ask of toddlers? I don’t know. I thought, maybe, I’d get something since Penny’s not really walking yet, but Beabear had her own ideas, most of which included walking down the street away from me. Feels like a preview of her teen years.

Fortunately for all of us, I was still able to capture some nice images against the generic housing development backdrop of the subdivision in which we’re living. Or, if you’re Axl Rose, in which we live in.

Aren’t these children beautiful? Enjoy.

One of these days, I’ll get around to writing something that’s not just pictures of my kids. I promise.

Hanging Out Out Back

Life has been a whole lot of a lot since the last photo gallery, so I’m sorry I’ve not been more active. At some point soon, I’ll feel a fire under my behind to write a bit about it.

For now, please enjoy these photos of the girls having a dang good time outside yesterday. We weren’t doing anything particular and there was no special occasion. Just a beautiful, late-Spring Sunday kickin’ it with dad. You’ll forgive the poor editing of the selections; I look at these photos with a parent’s eye, making it pretty hard to eliminate shots. I mean, I just love these babies so dang much.

Psyche! Four* more weeks!

Do you remember six weeks ago when I was all, “I’ve got to wear this silly little finger brace for six weeks”? Well, as it turns out, that was a lie! I have the pleasure of wearing this stinky little thing until the doctor sees me again. He asked me to make a follow-up appointment in four weeks.

But guess again! The next available appointment was in six weeks, not four! Cool! That will bring the total time wearing this gross splint to 13 damn weeks. Woof.

I have a physical therapy appointment for Monday. I was able to bend the finger at the recent follow up, but not all the way. The doctor says if I try to make a fist right now, I’ll just tear through the scar tissue that has developed, which is not the ideal result apparently. Instead, we want to slowly stretch out the healed tendon. Sounds pretty tedious and boring, but better than a permanently messed up pinky.

The doctor wants me to go twice a week. Pretty cool. I was really hoping for a chance to have more chores integrated into my life.

Fortunately I still have an extra splint from my ER visit. I purchased a Dremel rotary tool after my appointment, even though I have one in my friend’s garage in California. Nothing fancy, but sufficient to cut the long, non-stinky splint down. I thought about buying snips which would have been cheaper and done the job just fine, but the rotary tool will be more useful in the long run for a wider variety of tasks.

Yesterday, I stressed the joint trying to hold Beatrice down so I could get her dressed. I heard a lovely cracking sound and the finger’s been all sorts of sensitive today. That bodes well. Afterward, I redressed it so the tape was much tighter than the doctor had applied it. There was too much wiggle room before which allowed for enough flexibility that my finger could try to bend. No good. Now it’s tight and straight and unbending.

Finally, and most importantly, the fingernail on my pinky is getting super long and gross. I suppose I could take the tape off and clip the thing, but where’s the fun in that? If it’s funny gross and not just gross gross when this is all done, I’ll share a photo of what 13 weeks of fingernail growth looks like.

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Cute Outfits and a Warm, Sunny Day

Some cute new clothes and the first day of 2022 with weather nice enough to sit outside were perfectly good reasons for a fresh set of photos.

Penny had a great time putting all sorts of stuff into her mouth that she shouldn’t have. Unfortunately for Beanut, she got some sunblock in her eye and was pretty unhappy. Worry not. As soon as the irritation wore off, Beatrice was just fine.

Enjoy the photos of one happy, leaf-eating child and one grumpy, eye-irritated child.

And because why not, here’s two minutes from the day before of the girls enjoy the grass and wind.