Friday, December 08, 2006

The office supplies are organizing.

Thanks for the good advice on my slang issues.

Yesterday began with a coordinated attack by two seemingly independent staples on my thumbs. One sliced into my skin as I pulled it out of a stapled set of song lyrics I wanted to photocopy to use as contemporary poetry. The other poked me in the knuckle as I pulled out a stack of them to replenish the stapler. I have a snoopy bandaid on each thumb. So watch out for staples, people. They're out for vengeance. You know, when you go in for all those pedagogy classes they make you take to get your teaching license, they never warn you about staple injuries.

Then there's Hamlet. I wanted to show the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet yesterday in my Senior English class and the kids are all stoked and ready to watch, but the damn movie is not available on DVD. Why has Warner Brothers not released this movie yet? Seriously, what the hell is wrong over there? Anyway, trying to find a VHS copy would involve way more driving around LA than I care to do and I don't have time to wait for delivery. Then I discovered that Amazon offers movies for download. You buy it and download the player from their site and poof - there's the movie, ready to be hooked up to a projector, straight from your laptop.

I've had a few bad experiences with Amazon. I usually buy my stuff through, but I'm a little stuck in this situation so I clicked all the clicky buttons and cleared space on my laptop for the movie and waited for the download to start kicking in.

That was Wednesday. This morning I was still waiting. After an hour on the phone with Tech Support Guy yesterday I discovered the file is corrupted and would not be fixed in time for my class, but he was putting his "special team" of crack file repairmen on it. I bet those guys are hot.

I put emergency lesson plan into effect. Instead of a movie, the kids got a quiz and an essay assignment. They were understandably overjoyed.

It turns out, the file will download, just not to my laptop. Even though I cleared enough space on the hard drive to accomodate the 244 minute production, the file is not happy with bearing the responsibility of almost half my hard drive. So I downloaded it to a school computer and it appears to like that better. It is still taking like two days to download though, so it'll be Monday before I can show it. Thank goodness for group projects.

If that doesn't work, I've got a VHS copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not the same, but at least it's Shakespeare.

So that's computer problem number one. Then there's computer problem number two.

I use MovieMagic. I love MovieMagic. But I loaned my copy of the disk to a friend to try it out. Friend has sort of faded into mild aquaintance and I never see him anymore, so I haven't been able to get my copy of the software back from him to upload to Writing Partner's computer.

I don't have Word at home. I have Wordperfect. I don't have anything on my laptop other than Wordpad. So here's what we have to do to write the script. I work on the pages in MovieMagic and save them on my desktop to convert them to Wordperfect. Partner opens them in Word and adjusts the margins, writes four pages or so and sends them back to me. I open them on my laptop in Wordpad and convert them back into MovieMagic. But when I do that the character names disappear and the dialogue reverts back to action. I'm working on the system, but it looks like until I get my software back I'll only be able to write at work. That's no good.

In the meantime, I'm going to ram more staples through my hand.


  1. Emily--I might have the K.B. Hamlet on vhs at home. Can't remember if I sold it in the great purge before coming west. If I have it, you're welcome to borrow it. I'll figure a way to bring it by tomorrow some time if I have it.

  2. I admire your persistence, discipline, and, well ... guts. If Final Draft failed me, I would immediately seize the excuse to not write again until it was fixed.

  3. celtx is a freeware program that allows collaboration online (as well as in person)

    Never used the collaboration feature myself, but lots of people have.

  4. Watch out for hole-punches too. Once they get together in a gang, they can get pretty nasty...

  5. Checked out the celtx. I though tit might be the answer, but Partner is wary of free anything. We've found some equilibrium with RTF and now I have my copy of MM back so we'll try that since partner's so damn picky.


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