Things I don’t have time to do

  1. Laundry — I’ve worn this skirt twice this week. I have no shame;
  2. Sell the books and movies I don’t want to move to Half Price Books;
  3. Pick up my reserved books at the library, much less read them;
  4. Trouble shoot my stupid Final Cut conundrum;
  5. Buy groceries or consume any meal that isn’t in a frozen package / from a drive through window;
  6. Pick up the new glasses and contacts I ordered from optometrist in Zanesville;
  7. Blog. I posted once last week. Once. I thought my family was going to send out a search party.

Part of this is the fact that I commit to too much and have trouble saying no to people. Case in point, I’m driving to Zanesville tonight (after my eye doctor’s office is closed, naturally) to have a piece of pie at Tee Jay’s with my friend Randy, who lives in Alaska and is only here until Saturday morning. I love Randy and I love pie, but I feel silly complaining about not having enough time while gleefully agreeing to dessert an hour away. On the other hand, how often does he come back from Alaska? It’s usually only once in the summer and for Christmas so this is almost like a special “before Meryl moves to Chicago” kind of visit.

I will be so glad to have that week and half between leaving my job and driving to Chicago. Also, I’ll have one vacation day after my NYC trip and going back to work.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m going to New York next week? No? That’s probably because I’ve been TOO BUSY TO REMEMBER IT MYSELF. Christine and I are taking a trip there, leaving Thursday night and coming back very early Tuesday morning. See, when you drive through the night it cuts down on your hotel costs. Isn’t that a genius plan? Surely we are the first to ever think of it and it will in no way backfire and leave us zombified in Times Square come Friday morning.

Our agenda:

Thursday after work: Drive!
Friday: Check into motel. Nap. Shower. Explore NYC!
Saturday: Meet up with two of Christine’s New Jersey friends. Concert that night.
Sunday: Tour 30 Rockefeller Center! Museums. More exploring.
Monday: Hockey game that Christine is very pumped for and I am mostly clueless about. This is the definition of friendship. After the game we’ll drive back on home, arriving some time Tuesday morning.

I’ll have Wednesday off to recover and hopefully do many of the things on the above list. We’ll see.

Issues with Final Cut

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but my project in Final Cut appears to have shat itself. That’s right, the honeymoon is over. Me and Final Cut? We were doing great. Until it decided to be a little bitch and corrupt a handful of my files. This wouldn’t be so big of a problem if I’d BACKED UP said files on the external hard drive I mentioned the other day, but oh well. I have never had this happen to me before and believed as long as I didn’t move or delete any files, we’d be set.

Well, the files are there. But they’re just not right. They don’t have the right file extension and instead end in gibberish. Okay, now I’m getting into the boring details. In any event, I was forced to attempt to use the rough cut as a stand-in for the scenes now experiencing file damage, which would have been fine except it doesn’t look right now.

This is what the entire series should look like:

This is what the scenes I had to re-add look like:

These may or may not look different on here but if you actually watch them on YouTube you’ll see what I’m talking about. I can’t catch a break. I’ll get this figured out one way or another, but I am not feeling the Final Cut love anymore and I thought you should know. Boooooo.

Considering public transportation

My friend Jessi brought up an interesting point when she visited this past weekend. She suggested being a Chicago resident with a car may be more of a liability than a convenience. She helped me break it down by the numbers:

  • Car payment each month: $242, until it’s paid off in May 2011;
  • Car insurance: currently $79 a month, although she thinks it’s likely to skyrocket with the move;
  • Parking: Most apartments I look at either offer free, hard-to-get on-street parking, or a reserved spot for $50 a month;
  • Public transportation: I will be purchasing a monthly CTA pass for $86 while I’m busy not driving my car.

Not to mention gas, should I actually drive my car somewhere. Why do I need a car? Well. I will need one to initially get to Chicago, and then also to come back for my stuff. And if I ever want to go to Caldwell again I’ll need to drive there. However, Jessi suggested taking Megabus back and forth, like she does from Cleveland to visit her Chicago friend. I just looked, and a one-way bus trip on Megabus from Columbus to Chicago is supposedly $25, a deal that sounds almost too good to be true. But it looks like they make it a straight trip there, because the duration appears to be a little less than seven hours. Now if only Megabus could take me to Caldwell…

Anyway, it’s something to think about. The thought of not having a car readily available at any given moment feels so debilitating, but that’s probably because I am used to living in Ohio. Maybe it really would be different in Chicago? I have a feeling I’ll know more about how likely this option is once I’ve been living there for a month or two. Do you think you could do it?

Sound bites

I finally felt confident that I had researched enough about sound mixing in Final Cut to start manually chopping away at the sound in the rough cut. Now, I’ve got the pilot episode polished and edited in time for Friday’s premiere. I’m really proud of it and ridiculously excited to share it. I’m a little bummed that our fake campaign ads didn’t generate the excitement or build the fan base we’d hoped, but whatever, they were fun. Soon the show can speak for itself and hopefully its popularity will grow from there.

I need to have all the episodes completed before next week because I just won’t have time to do it after that point. It’s getting down to crunch time with the moving process. Not to mention this Mac Book Pro ain’t mine anymore after Oct. 15. I am going to miss it so much. I bought an external hard drive to house all my video files until I can get my own Mac (someday, provided I find employment). I like being able to carry my editing suite with me wherever I go, but I hope to eventually have a pretty powerful desktop Apple to edit my projects on in the future. But first things first! Let’s focus on fun recipes you can make with ramen noodles, rice and beans. Because that’s all I’ll be eating for the foreseeable future.

On that note, if anyone has a used laptop they’re wishing to sell, hit me up. Or if you see a sweet deal on a net book for less than $300, please send it my way. Otherwise I’ll be blogging via iPhone and public library computer in Chicago.

I’m leaving my job in less than three weeks. I can’t even wrap my brain around that.

I will have moved at least five times by the end of 2010

I’ve been knocking out some to-do items from a long list of crap I need to take care of before I move. Get eye exam and fresh supply of contacts? Check. Get new brakes? Check. Lady doctor annual exam? Check. Slowly save thousands of dollars in preparation for being unemployed? Check. I even got a flu shot yesterday morning. I haven’t had one since college but I figured since I will be likely be without health insurance all winter in one of the coldest cities in the country, any inoculation I can get my hands on while still insured is probably a good idea.

This past week I moved out of Owen and Jamie’s and back into my aunt and uncle’s. I’ll be there for the next three weeks, after which I’ll haul everything I own from Owen’s and my aunt’s to my poor Dad’s house. For a week and a half, after my last day of work, I’ll go through the few worldly possessions I still own, after having moved four times in 2010 and subsequently pared down a bit, and pack my car with the bare necessities. That is, whatever I’ll need for two weeks of job searching and apartment hunting in Chicago while I stay with my aunt’s mom. After I get a place, I’ll head back to Ohio, where my dad and I will pack up everything I’ll need/can fit in my future apartment.

For those of you unfamiliar with the past eight months of my living situation, or those who have become far too confused to keep track, here’s a helpful time line:

  • Feb. 2010: Broke up with live-in boyfriend, moved into benevolent aunt and uncle’s house in Clintonville.
  • April 2010: Boyfriend moved out, I moved back in to the campus area apartment.
  • July 2010: Lease at apartment officially ended, moved in with unsuspecting brother and sister-in-law east of the city.
  • This week: Moved back to Clintonville to my aunt and uncle’s.
  • Three weeks from now: Moving stuff back to Caldwell before packing some of it up again for Chicago.
  • Oct. 25, 2010: Leaving Ohio for Chicago with two duffle bags of clothes and a pillow.

Blehhh. Dear Lord, please let me find a job so I can live in an apartment for the next year and not have to move again for a very long time. This, of course, is a relative term. But c’mon. This is getting ridiculous.

I found this helpful guide to moving out of state recently and am trying my best to follow its advice. Who knew moving to another state could be so complicated? Also, why are there no Tim Horton’s (my prime source of sustenance) in the Chicago area? Let’s hope for a smooth transition over to Dunkin Donuts, which populate most city blocks there instead.

Becoming a Final Cut Express Pro

Isn't it pretty?

I love, love, love Final Cut. Tonight I’ll finish editing the final scene of “The Candidate” and then visually, it will be complete. But then I’ll have to delve into the audio and edit it too, because unfortunately the sound is all over the place. Fortunately there’s a tool in Final Cut that allows you to even out the overall sound of a project, and then you can go into it and mess with the levels after that. For example, one of the characters is a little softer spoken than we realized while filming, so I’m going to go in and raise the volume on that person’s lines.

All weekend I sat in front of my laptop, intermittently watching “Gilmore Girls” and editing. As a result, I’ll have edited pretty much the whole show in four days after tonight. It was a good weekend for someone who more often than not runs around like a crazy person for days on end without getting enough sleep.

I’m really excited for the wrap party this Saturday, when I’ll get to show off the finished product, or at least a rough cut. My college friend Jessi and her roommate (who also went to college with us but whom I didn’t meet until after we graduated) will be coming to visit this weekend too, so it’s basically going to be the best weekend ever. There may also be red velvet cake balls involved and I know I better save some for my aunt. Especially since I’ll be making them at her own house while she’s not there. I’m house sitting/cousin watching while she and my uncle go on a weekend getaway.

I can’t wait to show off our first episode Oct. 1.

Considering a career change

So, I sort of got my wish and was mercifully rejected for that job sooner rather than later. But the e-mail from the executive producer who interviewed me sounded positive, and he asked that I look him up once I’m settled in Chicago. It sounded to me like I was a viable candidate and that maybe things would have gone down differently if I didn’t, um, live in Ohio.

Even though I didn’t get this job, it really lifted me up. I interviewed for a job doing what I love: video. When I applied for the position, it was on a whim; I didn’t really think I was qualified to edit a TV show, but someone else looked at my body of work on my online portfolio and thought otherwise.

I went to school to be a reporter. I did that for nine months before moving over to PR. There, for two years, I learned how to make it in public relations. But the whole time, from college until now, I’ve been training myself for a different career, one in video. It’s my hobby, but it’s moved over into my professional life in PR, and I made that happen. Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit, but I’m starting to think I’ve been preparing myself for this the whole time without even knowing it.

Additionally, the software the TV station uses is Final Cut Pro, the professional, expensive version of Final Cut Express, which I have been teaching myself. My interviewer even told me they weren’t that different and my lack of Pro training would not be an issue. That software purchase could turn out to be an investment in my future and I need to use this time to excel with it.

So, back to the application process. I’m trying to stay positive and hold onto the hope that something, somewhere is going to turn up, be it a hotel or a TV station. And if it’s got to be a hotel, may it at least be a fancy one.