Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pieces for now

I submitted my report of Homestay 2 on Sunday, beating my deadline for turning it in by a few hours. I'll post some of it here soon so it can accompany and explain the photos.


I swoon and feel silly afterwards. I'm swooning hard now. Donkey Kong, chess genius, he listens to my petty daily grievances, he asks if I was intrigued by rough play, he is pushing me to new places, he is the first in a long time to wish for all things uplifting and realizing my long-held dreams.


Yesterday was overly stressful with the running rush to the end of the grad project. Never made a documentary before and don't feel like I want to be the artistic director, but we have to review all the 23 interviews, select clips of each (hour to two hour interviews), write up narration, choose graphics and statistics, be interviewed ourselves to fill in the gaps and turn the camera on us as producers. And this is all in the context of the fact that no one has done a project like this. We started with a potential client who fell through. We quickly made our own project. We demoted the project leader to adviser. We took her contacts, did the studies, made the appointments, made the questions, negotiated rough waves, convinced them to not fear the camera, eased them into answering, got what we wanted, were diplomatic and driven. The piecing together is precious because everyone else will stand up there with their projects highlighted in powerpoints and reports. We will have a useful tool to shop to governments, private firms, NGOs, unions, and the like. We are pioneers and if the blazing of the trail fails, we fail and the possibility for future alternatives fails.

Today was joyous. We made enormous progress, high on caffeine, locked in a room, me and the other American girl. We went for hours bouncing off each other, feeding, agreeing and politely challenging. We made strides. And then the other members joined us and it was magic.

What happens between a day?


Yesterday I also noticed something. I like strong men. I talked to my sister and her fiance on Skype on Sunday, planning their visit to Paris in June, our trip to Italy, and where we'd go after. They will file the paperwork to have a civil ceremony in Cinque Terre somewhere. I will be a witness (despite being legally able to marry people - I got the certificate online in Wisconsin and promptly married myself to myself at the Orpheum one drunk night with friends). But, while we were planning, I noticed her bossing him around. He'd come up with good suggestions and she'd shoot them down, she'd tell him to stop rambling and do the research. I sent her an email after the call, much later in the night, and commented that I only get to see glimpses of them together and don't know - nor is it any of my business - what their dynamic is, but that I wanted to be sure things were alright. The prospect of three weeks together with them fighting does not seem appealing to me at all. She replied back the day after that it's just a bit of strain on the relationship and they're working on it.

This affected me though and carried over into the bad day yesterday. The Filmmaker wasn't showing enough backbone, wasn't telling us what to do but was suggesting meekly or hinting at. The four of us women in the project are strong, Alpha types. Play on our field or pony up harder, but don't even think of revealing a weak throat or we'll take it and tear it. We demand. We expect. We want perfection. We want strength. And he seemed to easy too push around yesterday. And this just made me even more disrespectful of the situation.

I told my sister once that I did not envy her situation with her fiance moving into her apartment. I said that the only way I could live with someone now would be to be the accepting partner of the relationship: told where the sugar goes, told how the towel is folded, told what days laundry is done, etc. Otherwise, I'm sure my personal habits and OCD would take over and I'd want to arrange things as I've had them. Whereas she said she has the upper management of household and needs to. So, she finds herself sighing at the misplaced coffee grinder, boxes stacked high in their bedroom, and rearrangement of her furniture.


Back to the Filmmaker, what I did realize today is that while he might be overly kind and concede to our wily demands, anyone else in his place and this whole thing would fail. If he were more dominant or arrogant and told us how things would be, it wouldn't work. If he were trying to drive our project and prohibiting our input, it wouldn't work. So, I realized I just need to take a breath, be thankful and grateful, and accept things as they are.


This is challenging, as well, trying to be the dominant leader girl during school and then the submissive in my special time when talking with Mr FD. It's a balancing act: re-reading what I write and how I write it to him after hours and hours of writing directions and shorthand comments. Switching my voice - inside and outside. Switching my brain. I thought for a while that it might be better just to turn it all off while I try to finish this last month of school -- not cancelling the May homestay per se, but shutting down communications. Earlier, I've felt almost obsessed or possessed by the topic of bdsm, by thinking of him and what we'd done and were doing. And now, I have to become re-obsessed with school work in order to throw myself in and finish well. I can't give up now. And, Mr FD has expressed his complete support (and demand) that I do well. It's all about finding a balance, because I can't envision living right now without having Mr FD and bdsm in my life and can't let myself slide out of finishing school well either.


I'm encouraged as a person and a student that we have sort of valedictorian elections right now and several people asked to nominate me. I've declined because, frankly, I am not so eager to represent our class in the final days. I'll be happy to move on and I'm not so stuck on getting that kind of recognition. Sure, share the podium with the former President of Ireland, but I don't have the heart to express admiration for all my colleagues, and certainly don't share the same vision of our future.

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