glitch25: (Default)
I often wonder if other prop people and people who costume or otherwise need different bits of things for projects are just people trying to manage their hoarding tendencies... or you know.. if it's just me..

I have come by my desire to save things honestly. Mom has certainly been inclined. My grandmother even moreso.

I bring this up because I feel like one of the big life struggles of mine... one that keeps me fairly busy is the fact that I am constantly trying to pare down the pile. It takes up a lot of room, and it interferes with life in ways that are uncomfortable. It isn't stuff that is total shit, thankfully. And a lot of it stays contained.. though in containing it, it takes up space and has a tendency to sit unaccounted and unused.

So I take time out of my weeks to dig through it all. Box at a time. Sorting things out. Trying to find ways to get rid of stuff, or organize stuff I don't want to part with yet. It feels never-ending.

I am finding the freecycle communities helpful for some of it. Between that and recycling events, I've finally managed to get rid of some of the bigger things that were taking up room, and I've replaced them with organizational plans including shelving!

It is daunting sometimes, since some of the boxes are not particularly well sorted, so part of the battle is first sorting it out, and then deciding what to do with it. Some things stick around. (Amazing the treasures you find when you dig through a box that has been hiding for months). Other things get thrown out immediately. Still other stuff gets sorted out and left to be dealt with on the whole at a later time.

There has been a lot of progress in many ways. Doesn't stop it from feeling like a huge weight tied around my ankle. I think as I get close, and as I continue to develop strategies to prevent it in the first place, it gets better. It is truly a struggle, but as slow as the progress is some days, it is undeniably progress.

So what have YOU been up to lately? :-)
glitch25: (Default)
I think I like to think that, while neck deep in prop stuff.. and materials... that.. somewhere along the line, I'd say to myself, "I hope I never see another $thing in my life again!" But that never seems to happen. :-)
glitch25: (Default)
I was thinking about my latest interest in prop making and the like, and the fact that for my successes, I have no prior specific experience working in the field. But I always had the urge to tinker.

They say some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. I was born with a screwdriver in mine. :-)

There are stories about me when I was 2 years old attempting to attack the neighbor's sewing machine, with a screwdriver in my hand and a gleam in my eye.

This desire has continued to follow me over the years.

When I was 5 years old, Labor Day of '77, I had been tinkering with a Christmas gift from the prior year. I had a battery powered train set that would circle the plastic track, stop at various points to either pick up, or drop off the little people, and in this process, they'd ride a ferris wheel and then slide down a slide from the top to a pick-up point further down the track.. and it would continue over and over as the train made circuits.

That fateful afternoon, I discovered that along with parts from my Erector set, I could wire up the train and make it go either forwards or backwards depending how I wired the battery. This revelation excited me greatly, and I showed my Mom and Grandma as they were leaving to enjoy the Labor Day sales. .I ran downstairs to show my Dad. However, somewhere between my room and where Dad was sitting watching the Tube, I either lost or forgot a part, so I rushed back up the stairs and proceeded full speed down the hall to my room. Not looking up, like kids sometimes do, and apparently veering off course, I met with the corner of the wall of the entrance to the hallway, and stood stunned from the impact. Wall corners, on walls covered with drywall are reinforced with a special steel corner strip that helps prevent chipping of the wallboard. I slammed my forehead directly onto that corner strip at a full run. I remember being dizzy and feeling that pain you get when you bump your head, but nothing too significant.. Just stunned more than anything. Didn't think much of it until I looked down to the house shoes I was wearing, and saw droplets of blood beginning to collect on them. I still don't remember freaking out, but I do remember calling to my Dad downstairs and explaining that he needed to come up, that something bad had happened.

Some 12 stitches later (6 subcutaneous, and 6 external) in my forehead, and my little attempt at tinkering became a late night.

I still didn't really notice any pain until they injected the local anesthetic into the edges of the wound to prepare for the stitches (apparently the injections hurt a lot!)

I do remember getting to have Whataburger that night, which was a treat.

I have a nifty scar that has migrated over to just above my left eyebrow that is a little reminder of that day.

I often took broken things apart and either fixed them, or at least learned how they worked. Occasionally, I'd even take apart things that already work, and get them back together again in working order.

I remember at 12 or 13 getting my first taste of 110 volt house current running through my arm. More scared than hurt at that point. Somewhere along the line, I had an instinct for electricity, and for all the times I've come in direct contact with it, I've always known how not to get electrocuted. Not long after that time, I found out that an AC induction motor doesn't work the same as a DC motor, and swapping "polarity" doesn't work, but that wiring it up wrong will pop the circuit breaker. :-)

This lead to many other constructive, and not necessarily constructive things including using an electronic relay attached to an old style DC house doorbell to trigger the transmitter of a more modern wireless button doorbell system whose ringer was on a whole different floor. And to locking the wireless garage door opener in my glovebox, but modifying it so that I could actuate it from a hidden button on my dash board.

In high school, a friend's younger brother was swinging around a bat in the livingroom and it slipped out of his hand and into the VCR, cracking the circuit board in half. I remember the challenge of soldering the delicate tracings back together and of course being told I couldn't do it, only to have repaired it successfully.

Fun stuff!

So while my tinkering skills are new to theatre, they are quite seasoned with me in general, and it is nice to have an outlet to play these days beyond what I normally do.

Unfortunately, blood sacrifices continue to be part of the work, but I've realized that if I give freely, the returns are well worth it. :-)

September 2017

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