They say we tend to remember the things in our lives that are either really great or really sucky. I think it’s safe to say anyone lucky enough to [still] be alive today will be remembering this moment in time. Emotional whiplash has been the norm for me during this pandemic and subsequent quarantine, as I’m sure is the case for many. I’ve run the gamut, from guttural sobbing at the state of our world, to maniacal cackling at the latest internet stupidity I come across (God bless the cleverness of Internet People during this great time of need for laughter 🙏).
Despite the overwhelming heartache in the world, there have also been great acts of kindness and humanity all around us. The spring weather brings a sense of awakening and hopefulness, even if just viewed from our windows. I feel incredibly lucky—at least for now, I have a comfortable place to live, food on my table, friends and family to talk to, and lots and lots of time to do the shit I always complain I have no time for. Some days I read and do yoga, and some days I eat brownies and cry in front of the TV. But no matter the level of productivity or disfunction, I have found a rhythm to my days, and that has brought me some peace during this unconscionable time.
Heartache has always served as a great creative motivator for me. I think it’s something to do with the churning up of things—things long stagnant or just lurking beneath the surface, some of which I didn’t even know were there—or maybe I was just too afraid to look. Heartache, plus time on my hands has served as a creative boon for which I’m very grateful. I’ve been wanting to make videos for a long time, and I’m finally forcing myself to learn how. Everyone’s always saying: Just do iMovie, it’s so easy! Now, I’m no Steve Jobs, but I can usually figure shit out once I put my mind to it. And learning Japanese if you’ve never spoken it in your life, takes a minute to get the hang of. But this was like, a minute in dog years.
I’ve also been watching lots of movies and catching up on TV shows. I just finished Succession, which is super smart, disturbingly funny, and features some of the most deliciously despicable characters you’ll ever meet (some of who even manage to win you over). The theme song is also annoyingly addictive. Watch it if you’re looking for your next binge (streaming on HBO and Amazon Prime).
My first attempt at learning Japanese:
Detail of “All’s I Had To Do”:
REINVENT THE WHEEL
Record some shit. Learn iMovie for Mac. Listen to in-depth tutorials on Lynda.com. Figure out how to upload this shit to Instagram Stories. Figure out that Instagram Stories sucks ass if you want to add music not found in their library. Open Spotify account. Find out there is already an account under my name. Activate “Forgot Password.” Find out the musician who wrote the song also wrote a bunch of other famous shit. Find out Spotify won’t let you rip off their music to add to your homemade video. Decide to leave account open anyway and vow to tackle Spotify next! Find out two days later that someone in China has logged into my Spotify account. Decide it’s time to delete my account. (Where is the damn, “delete account” tab?) Google: How to delete Spotify account (trust me, it WAS NOT obvious). Delete, and wait for confirmation email (’cause it ain’t over ’til you click on that shit). Fire up iTunes. Realize I need to download the latest iTunes update. Realize I should probably download the latest iTunes update on my phone while I’m at it. Figure out how to send an MP3 file from my computer to my phone (spoiler alert: no need—the shit is already synched in iTunes. #MAGIC). Try various video-editing apps to bring my masterpiece to life. Realize none of them work. Find out there’s an iMovie app on my phone! (Start playing with it). Look up 4,000 things on Google. Finally get started on masterpiece video, but soon find out that iMovie for iPhone sucks. Figure that I should just put to use my Lynda.com Education and use THE REAL iMovie on my computer. (DUH). Figure out how to upload half-assed video to Mac using AirDrop. Spend another 45,000 hours Googling how to make iMovie do the shit I want it to. Realize text editing in iMovie sucks, but figure I’ve already come this far (insert shrugged shoulders emoji). Realize I’m funny and want to add GIFS (or memes?) Google: How to make a GIF/MEME. Realize it’s DAYS later. Realize I’m OBSESSED… POSSESED! Realize I haven’t showered, changed clothes, or called about my student loans. Realize I am probably not the only one #Coronavirus. Realize my video is finally coming together. Realize I’m a creative genius. Realize quarantine is for GENIUS-making. Realize I can change the world, one homemade video at a time. Realize I can’t just upload a 23-hour video to Instagram Stories. Realize I need to scale back. Realize there’s an app for that. Realize I need to download something called, “CutStory,” which will chop up my long ass video into a seamless series of 15-second Instagram-friendly nuggets. Realize it’s free, except for their ugly ass logo on all of my blood, sweat, and tears from here to eternity. Realize I need to pay $1.99 to have said logo removed from masterworks for all eternity. Realize my credit card for in-app purchases is expired. Realize I need to update my info. Realize there is a password to do this. (Where the hell is my password?) Realize I’m obsessed with this song. Realize my vast research has revealed there is apparently a scientific reason why this song is so appealing, but I have yet to read about it. (It is on my to-do list, along with showering and cleaning my base molding). Decide that everyone who said IT’S SO EASY to make videos deserves to be punched in the face.