A few weeks ago, my brother and I started working on a little video pilot for a corporate-owned entertainment Web site. We were flying largely by the seat of our pants, which is fine because we saw it as a learning experience and were trying to see what we could do with some light animation and voice-over work.
The pilot was rejected for several very good reasons and we're now working on something else that would be a lot less labor intensive and less sketchy. I'm not sure what'll happen with that, but we're going to give it another go, I think.
Even though this video wasn't usable for that site, we had a lot of fun working together on this and I thought I would share it.
They could not have been nicer and you should check out the story and the video I shot that goes with it (below).
I also hosted a live chat today with Rochelle Hamby, who appeared in the Saturday coupons story. We had all kinds of crazy technical problems for the two hours before it went live and I wanted to just go home and forget the whole thing, but it all worked out in the end and there was some really good, lively discussion. You can find the transcript here. Lots of good ideas for saving money on groceries. At one point, offline, Rochelle said to me, "You PAY for cat food?! SUCKER!" I was humbled by her coupon knowledge, which is vast and devastating.
I really wanted to go see Islands, who are doing an in-store concert at Waterloo Records today, but I have the worst headache I've had in months, most certainly caused by lack of sleep. I love my daughter, I really do, but when she wakes up crying at 2 a.m. and then again at 5 and then she's fully awake at 7:30 ready to be cared for and given our full attention, I kind of want to book a flight to Cozumel, you know? Or at least just get rid of this no-sleep headache.
God bless you, single parents, because I don't know how you do this alone. You realize at some point that not only are you not in charge or your own sleeping schedule, you no longer are even given the time to poop in peace. Not unless you're willing to deposit the baby somewhere and listen to lusty wails while you do your business. Some people may find that facilitates pooping. I don't know. I am not that pooping person. And with that I will end this paragraph about pooping and hope never to bring the subject up again (unlikely).
I have to look at photos like this just to stay sane sometimes:
All right, kid. I guess I don't have to go to Cozumel right away.
It was one of those stories that I really didn't want to do at first because even though I've used coupons for a long time, the people who use them on some of these sites are hardcore and getting into their world is like learning a whole new language, as sometimes happens with the stories I end up writing.
Luckily, my editor and a person I work with are far better versed than me and helped guide me through it. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I hope a lot of people get some use out of the tips in the story.
My only complaint is that the really wonderful illustration that Don Tate drew for the story didn't make it into the online version. Ah well. I'm going to be hosting a live online chat with coupon expert Rochelle Hamby at 1 p.m. Monday (CST) on my Digital Savant blog.
I've been working on a video project with my brother that we just finished (just before I got on Blogger to write this, as a matter of fact). We're hoping to sell it to someone, but whether that party buys it or not, it'll have to find its way online soon. I'll post it here as soon as that happens.
I've got several stories in the paper running the next few days that I'll link to when they're up, including a new Masters of their Domains and a long-in-the-works review of Grand Theft Auto IV.
Recently, I got to go to Houston for a story I'm working on and on my way back, I stopped at IKEA. MY GOD. We haven't been to the one in Round Rock because given that we live in New Braunfels, that's like asking us to go shop in Dallas. But I'm very tempted to go after seeing all the amazing nursery room stuff they had. I loaded up on little stuff for Lilly (she's in love with a tiny set of colorful bowls and a big stuffed frog I came back with).
Cool IKEA lights
I must confess that I got lost trying to get out of there and as I was leaving, I got a call from Jeff Koch in San Antonio for my weekly radio spot (it airs at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays on KTSA AM).
I don't know if it was the store or my phone's low battery, but the interview was a complete fiasco. I couldn't hear the questions, so I tried to wing it based on the topics we'd chosen ahead of time, but I finally had to admit that I couldn't hear him (live on the air) and I felt horrible for ruining the segment.
Not much else to report right now. Things are going really well, work is busy but fun, Lilly grows and grows and grows.
Oh, here's something that happened: I get invited to speak at panels about old versus new media a lot since I work at a newspaper, but write a lot about online social media and blogging.
There was one Thursday called Interactive Austin, put on for a bunch of executives and marketers from different companies. The panel I was on was full very cool people, but I was the only newspaper person there (or at the whole conference, for that matter).
I gave some serious answers about what we're doing in new media. I talked about some major changes at our paper over the last five years. I talked about the divergence of the print product and the online product and how that might continue.
But because I can't leave well enough alone, I also joked about how in five years I might be eating cat food in the back of a bus and I may have said something about how readers of the print product are so much older than other media that they are very likely to... well, not be around as long, if you know what I mean.
It was totally a joke and I was being a little silly, but after the panel, an older gentleman came up to me and shook my hand. I would soon realize that he was not shaking my hand just to shake it. Still holding it, he began to tell me that older people like himself are perfectly capable of reading a newspaper and also going online and that he didn't appreciate my assholery. This went on for at least two minutes and he was still grabbing my hand and wouldn't let go.
Clearly, I was in the wrong. I shouldn't be allowed to speak in public where I try to say things for comedic effect. I should have just said that newspapers are working on a giant cocoon that you'll be able to keep in a swimming pool and that by using it, you'll never get sick, you won't get any older and you won't ever die.