September, 2010 Archives

30
Sep

I Have a Complaint

by Pj in Family

I’ve decided you can often tell in the blog world when your peeps are happy. How? They write.

After arriving in Boston last week, my business partner and I were heading to our first destination after meeting in the airport. I was driving. While in the passenger seat she proceeded to tell me something I believe she spent time debating in that adobe head of hers.
“Pamela, I would like to request on this trip that you try to not complain so much.”
I looked at her a tad confused. Complain? When do I ever complain? I looked at her to confirm that she was joking, but she looked straight ahead.
“I don’t complain.”
“Oh, yes you do. Quite a bit actually.”
This must be part of my Johari window that I know nothing about. I wanted to pursue this conversation.
“Could you please give me an example of this complaining?” I requested.
“I could give you a lot of examples.”
It soon became clearer that our definition of complaining was different from each other.
“It isn’t always what you say, it is how you say it. I do appreciate that if you do have a complaint you try to find a solution. You are clever that way.”

Needless to say I filtered my thoughts. And when I did speak I often apologized for complaining.

“There is a difference in stating your observations and complaining about what you observe. For example you said, ‘Where are all the signposts? How am I suppose to know when my turnoff is?’ You could have easily said, ‘I wish there were more sign posts letting tourists know where we are.”

Ahhhh, it is all about the spin. I’m a terrible spinner. I will practice.

I wish there were more people in the world who didn’t always take whatever I say or do personally. I wish people wouldn’t look in my eyes and always ask what is wrong. I wish I wasn’t misunderstood. How’s that for a spin?

I came home and said to Ciera Jo, “Cyndi says I complain a lot.”
Ciera said, “She’s right. You do.”
Hmmmm. Sometimes I don’t like the person others see when they see me.
I’m not complaining. I’m observing. Really.

24
Sep

Massachusetts Meeting

by Pj in Family

This week we had an opportunity to go to Boston for a meeting at Harvard. I know that sounds kind of weird, but that is what happened. We are working on funding a project in Zambia and Harvard has students interested in doing internships for projects and is interested in housing certain historical based projects so it all works out. While we were there we took the time to go scout out film locations, historical monuments and local sites. I don’t know why, but Boston is not what I imagined.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. The people were very kind. They chased after me when I forgot my iPhone in a restaurant! They don’t speed there, they are all very civilized. I didn’t like the cops though. One just kept shaking his head at me like I was an idiot. I suppose he might have been right. Pointing that I was turning right is not as affective as a blinker. I ended up parking illegally and managed not to get a ticket! Amazing. So there you bad attitude man in blue with a funny hat!

Now it is time to get even busier. Heck, if Samuel Johnson can write and do all he did by hand, I certainly should be able to do as much with a computer!

This woman was baking bread, outside in the heat dressed in multiple layers of clothes. She talked old English and called me “Good Wife.” Plimoth Village was amazing. It allowed me to really visualize what it was like for Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer to leave England in the early 1600’s for the Massachusetts wilderness and learn how to exist. The other picture was inside the Mayflower 2. Just try to imagine crossing the ocean in this “ship.”

We drove out to Cape Cod one afternoon because I wanted to actually touch and experience the Atlantic Ocean. I looked toward the west, the sun was setting. Toward the East the moon was rising. I know this occurs everywhere, but it seemed odd to see it there simultanously. Kind of cool don’t you think?

After our meeting at Harvard,(it’s fun to say like a Kennedy) we walked around campus. We both love books and at every bookstore we wanted to stop and discover any hidden treasures we could find. We went to one of the campus libraries and, as I walked around their special collection of Samuel Johnson’s first English dictionaries, I was grateful for the dim lights to hide my tears brimming my eyes. It was so beautiful and inspiring and unfortunately, I was told picture taking is forbidden. My Iphone was in my pocket ready and waiting for the kind man who showed us around to leave the room. He did not leave without me. Now where is the trust in this world? You will have to try to imagine how fantastic it was. Sorry.

I like this picture of me because I think my butt looks cute in my new cords and you can’t really tell it is me. Let’s be honest. It has been like 4 years since I thought anything about me is cute! I know it is the angle and all, but what the heck. I walked through this pilgrim village and walked off the trail (of course) and found the henhouse. There were these cute newborn chicks inside. It also was stinky! Loved this village and was impressed that all the villagers tried really hard to stay in settler character. Sometimes it was difficult to understand what they said.

We worked really hard while we were there. I don’t know, but it seems like I fatigued more easily. I was also hot! Bad choice of clothes and hot flashes didn’t help, but I was too cheap to go buy a t-shirt to get through the trip. Was glad to sit and just….sit.

Now we are home feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of us. I think I will take the weekend and just breathe a bit. Breathing is good regardless if one looks cute or not!


4
Sep

The Storytellers

by Pj in Africa, Film Production

This is the last post celebrating our Zambia experience. It was a fun week remembering. Now it is time to look ahead at new projects. And for us that includes a project we discovered while in Zambia.

We spent weekends in workshops and seminars teaching young filmmakers about lighting, editing, shooting, scripts, tools, makeup, and sound. One Saturday we had the opportunity to teach digital filmmaking skills to a group of young filmmakers by having them watch a shoot.

Mulenga Kapawa, the Chair of the Zambian National Arts Council, arranged for the storytellers of 5 of the 73 tribes to come and tell their stories to an audience of Zambian children. At the end of the day we realized the treasure we had just witnessed in their verbal stories. Our primary object was not to document them, but to teach Zambian filmmakers the craft of filmmaking. We did not anticipate what we would be taught that day.

Click Picture for Video



As a result, one of our current projects is to return to Zambia and document these storytellers in their villages as they teach their children the traditions that have been passed down for generations. This time we will sit down and write the English translation.

The storytellers. I find them fascinating. Don’t you just want to know what the story is about?

2
Sep

Dream Holders

by Pj in Africa, Film Production, Random

While we were in Zambia, we took every opportunity to talk with the people and ask them what their lives were like. We wanted to know how they celebrated their joys and how they comforted each other in their sorrows.

We also wanted to know what their dreams were. They weren’t so different than our dreams. The difference is ours have a greater chance of coming true.



Please click to watch and listen to their hopes and dreams. Sometimes hearing others tell of their dreams helps us realize how possible ours are.

1
Sep

I left My Heart….

by Pj in Family

I have been archiving my movie clips and photos this week. Decided to take my own advice and back them up with hard copies. If I was really kind and motivated I would make copies for my family and friends. But I’m not. This kind of work is only possible while I multitask. Writing, researching, refinishing furniture, roughing out query letters, appling for jobs, eating M&Ms. Why did I buy those again? Guess I must have wanted to hurt someone real bad.

I digress.

Tonight, while archiving, I found some shorts I did a few years back. Four years actually. Almost to the day. That’s right, this week marks 4 years since we returned from Zambia. So, to honor the occasion and to humor myself that anyone even remotely cares, I am re-posting this little short. And I think I will dedicate this week to my Zambia experience. Sometimes it is good to reflect on what once was to remind me of what is possible now. (The original blog entry of the poem can be found on the FilmZambia site.)


Click on the picture if you would like to see and experience Zambia.

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