Blazing Saddles Project
First up, I wanted to share the first WIP (work in progress) of my latest project – a needlework tribute to Blazing Saddles, one of the funniest movies ever made. The stitching is of a list that Harvey Korman dictates; a list of the worst scum and scoundrels he wants Slim Pickens to round up to attack the town of Rock Ridge.
This scene has two genius performances. The first is Harvey Korman dictating the list and making it seem effortlessly spontaneous. The second is Slim Pickens desperately searching his pockets and only at the last minute finding his paper and pencil.
Here’s the cross stitch thus far:
I’m having some fun with this project! I’ve started from the center and am working my way out from there. Some of the words will be just one color – like you see with “murderers,” “con men,” and “hornswogglers.” However, a lot of them will have some fun elements – like the nits on “nitwits” and the rug pattern through “Indian agents.” Stay tuned to my Twitter and Flickr feeds for more updates!
The second project I want to mention was more of a personal project rather than a stitching project, but I’m proud of it all the same. I just finished converting all my old videotapes and cassette tapes to digital. Now some of you may be thinking “WTF is she still doing with that old crap?” Good question. Let me give you a little of the backstory.
When I was about 12, my parents divorced, my Mom moved me from Anchorage, Alaska, to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and my Dad became the best long-distance father EVER. As Mom couldn’t afford cable TV, Dad would send me care packages with videotapes filled with the best stuff to cheer me up – Dennis Miller Live from HBO, Sifl and Olly from MTV, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and lots and lots of standup comedians from HBO and the early days of Comedy Central. I watched these tapes religiously. They provided a great distraction from all the drama of being a teenager. So there’s some great comedy and some great memories on those tapes that I was just unwilling to simply throw away.
[Gee, do you see any similarities between the two cities? One does happen to be 5500 feet higher than the other one, but aside from that…]
I could have taken these tapes to a company that would have just converted them to DVD for me, but I had some issues with that. First, the shows that were taped were all jumbled up. Dad would record stuff as it hit the TV – he wouldn’t have one tape for each show. Second, there were some advertisements mixed in that I wanted to edit out. Third, some of the tapes were six hours long (remember Extended Play recording mode?). Fourth, I really didn’t feel like paying a lot of money for this service.
So I did a little research and ended up buying this little dooflatchie. I read the Amazon reviews, and took the chance that it would work out. For roughly $30, I figured I’d give it a shot. It took some doing to get it to work (and like other reviews state – their user manual and customer support are pretty much useless), but once I got the hang of it it worked fine. My biggest complaint is that the longer the tape, the more the video and audio would get out of synch. I managed to work around it by splitting the rips into 15 minute chunks and then having to edit them back together using Windows Movie Maker. Pretty tedious work.
But the good news is that I did it. I started ripping tapes to my hard drive on January 27, and finished burning the last DVD and ripping the last cassette tape on Monday, May 27.
This was a major job – I must have spent a couple hundred hours working on this. But the relief is profound – I was able to save some great comedy and some great memories for my Dad and myself with this project. Also, I was able to recycle two and a half book boxes full of videotapes and cassette tapes and streamline my life just that little bit. This is what I call progress!
Are any of you tackling similar major streamlining/memory projects?