Tuesday, September 14 2021

tiredness, ocean floor snuggles, and old movie theories



banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. It's just a normal scene around the house today. Miles babbles while perched in his high chair. Blissfully ignorant of the thin film of snot lingering on his lip, he shovels tiny fist fulls of Cheerios into his mouth. The dogs circle around him. Marissa sips coffee at her laptop. My phone busily dings in the corner of the desk, like an annoying foreshadowing of a busy workday. Just a usual scene around here.

Sip. How are you feeling today? This morning I'm having trouble hurdling my own tiredness and lack of focus. Even the temporary notes I hastily make at the bottom of the journal entry before I start writing are shorter than usual. I think Marissa shares the same feeling of tiredness. We've reached a point in our life where the school routine is feeling more normal, but now that the novelty has worn off, all that's left is repetition and tiredness.

Still, we have plenty of little things to look forward to. Tomorrow, we're double dating with Alex and Cassie, and even though we'd all readily admit how terrible we are at gastro-pub trivia night, we're going to give it a try anyway. On Friday, Marissa and I have our own date night, and this weekend her dad Chris is staying with us.

Miles slams his little fists on his high chair, opening his running babble into a yell. And just like that, my concentration has flown out the window. Miles has had a rough spell lately. This recent runny nose seems to have ratcheted up his fussiness. Marissa and I had the chilling realization that Rodney's ear trouble also started around his age - could he have the same trouble? Rodney would have to get ear tubes that gave him instant relief, but we shudder remembering the weeks of boogers, crying, and bad sleep that led up to the routine procedure.

At least we have animals to distract us. I've been getting a lot of joy from my smallest tarantula Glassy. He molted a few weeks ago, but he's only recently started to explore outside his burrow again. The smallest jostle of the bookshelf or even a sharp exhale from my nose in his vicinity will send him scurrying back into his hole, but if I'm careful I can get a good look at him stretching out his new larger body. I even managed to snap a picture yesterday.

after

It's difficult to say if he's gotten longer. His body certainly looks darker and heartier, but he might have the same leg size, give or take a few millimeters. For comparison, I took this picture on July 13th of this year right after Glassy stumbled out of his paper mail tube.

before

Marissa had an exciting day yesterday in her corner of our animal kingdom. She caught her clown fish for the first time cuddling up against the new anemone.

clown

It's a precious site, isn't it? But outside the sphere of gentle ocean floor snuggling, the clown fish wage an ugly turf war over this new throne. She found scratched fins, and somebody even took a small bite out of the other's tail. We trust Ibb and Obb to figure it out, but it does make us a little sad seeing one of the clown fish listlessly hover in the far corner of the tank defeated.

There's not much else going on in our life. Just kids, work, and chores. Marissa and I still use our sliver of evening personal time to watch movies and share a bottle of wine. Last night, we starting watching the movie Nosferatu. Go ahead and take a minute to bellow the word NOSFERATU as loudly as you can - it's a lot of fun.

Nosferatu was released in 1922. We expected it to be old, but you can imagine are shock to learn it's a silent movie - the first silent movie that either of us have ever watched. Watching a silent movie in the age of the Internet gives me the weird sensation that I've stumbled into watching a very long GIF while I have music playing in another browser tab.

I have a suggestion for how to have more fun watching movies. For each talking scene, I try to picture how many cameras they needed for the shot. Newer movies have 2-3, and that allows them to comfortably switch between characters when it's there turn to speak and occasionally pan over the room to reinforce the setting.

Really old movies, like Nosferatu, probably only had one camera to work with for each scene, right? And you really feel all the pain-staking labor that must have gone into getting a simple establishing shot following a car driving away or characters exiting a building. I've noticed that old movies try to fit more of the scene into one camera angle, presumably because they didn't want to bother with moving the camera again.

For this reason, my least favorite movies to watch are movies made in the sixties. Maybe I haven't seen enough movies to back this up, but to me it feels like the sixties denote that sweet spot where movies were starting to innovate with special effects but hadn't yet figured out how to take good footage. We just finished the older version of Lord of the Flies, and Marissa and I were laughing at the scenes that looked like they were taken by a camera man running around in a crowd of children at night.

That being said, I don't actually know anything about how movies are made. These are just my own guesses based on what we've watched. Movie experts and film students, it would be fun to hear from an informed authority on how true this is. Have we innovated how movies are actually filmed, or is it pretty much the same process?

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by today. Go have a Tuesday.