Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Awkward Years

I wanted to share some pictures of my newly expanded LUSH-from-Chicago-trip pile today, but forgot my camera.
Instead, I shall gabble about the phenomenon of Family Movie Night in my house.
When I say family movie, I don't mean, we all pick a movie and watch it together. What I mean is, my sister and I drag the projector, table, and screen down from upstairs, select some super-8 reels from the cabinet, and all gather around in the living room to relive our younger days.
We all enjoyed two nights of movies this past weekend, as all the family was in one house and enjoying rather sedentary activities. The idea this time was that my sis and I would run the show and learn, at last, how to use the projector. We did learn, but Dad still did most of the work. At least we know, now. I also learned about how to splice film. My Dad's system is very organized, with a little notebook about where sections of the film have gone on which reels, and what roughly is on them.
So we started with some of the really older films, when I was a baby or toddler and my sister was 5 or 6. We also watched some when I wasn't born and she was a toddler, "helping" my Dad hammer part of the house addition. To be honest, even though she was small she was pretty good with a hammer. Later footage reveals her pounding nails into a board, "helping" make a "jiminy" (chimney). For my part, probably the best footage of me at a young age was a: dancing in a diaper to some jazz in front of our fireplace, or b: singing in the shower (sounding much like Boo in Monsters, Inc., which you should see immediately if you haven't) and then emerging starkers and soaking wet.
But then, the second night, I snuck in some later films. My sister has a definite thing against the films of her awkward years, and certainly I used to. I was awfully obnoxious or squeaky, and I had some truly awkward times. Recently, though, I've sort of started to embrace them. The other thing is that my awkward years and my sister's are a bit different, so in order to watch the old recital footage, or our My Little Pony plays, or whatever, I have to convince my sibling to put up with it. Really, neither of our awkward years are as bad as we make them out to be, we just get shy about glasses, bad haircuts, and dumb things we said, and it felt good to me to watch some of the films we haven't seen in ages, including "The Teenie Genie of the Lamp" (pony play #2) and ice skating out on the lake.
Our current reel selection, I think, doesn't quite hit the 90s, since there are some films not yet on reels, and they'll stop about 92 or 93 when they're done (we refused to be filmed after that, which is a shame, because we got sort of glamorous). I'm looking forward to seeing the films I haven't seen yet, and hope there's a day when we can get them on to DvD and all have a copy of everything, though I hope we'll always gather around for family movie time. The transfer process is pretty expensive if you don't have the equipment and software, so we'll see. If anyone has any suggestions about transferring super-8 reels to dvd, let me know.
And sister, I know you're reading this: Thanks, or "Thank you, Sawah!"

In other news, two new poems accepted by Backwards City Review!


Anonymous said...

I think what really troubles me about my awkward years is that I was *such* a pudge and had so little fashion sense, and I didn't entirely realize these characteristics at the time. I thought I was the bomb. There's a charming, innocent confidence to that, I suppose, but I can't bear now to watch my youthful self popping around like an excited piglet.

Hmm...I like what you say about us becoming sort of glamorous...maybe we should consider a short-short Super 8 film this holiday, instead of a photo shoot. Plotted or plotless. Maybe just us going to a cafe or something and asking each other questions.


Abs said...

Eeeeenteresting. I wonder if the camera is working. It would be a mysterious return to film since we haven't been on one in a while...there will be "lost years," oh yes.
Really, you were the bomb. None of us had any fashion sense. It was the 80s and 90s. We were squeaky, but at least we were joyful a lot. How many kids can't even say that? We weren't cool, but we were real. Our world was solid and our imaginations expansive. I want my kids to be the same.