cables and cusswords — adventures in video production and other stuff

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Swirling Dervishes

I can’t vote for swirlingdervishThe Donald based on his hairstyle alone.  That swirling dervish that he has planted on his head reveals someone who is so delusional and so deeply in denial that I doubt he could govern himself in the bathroom.  Yes, I know it’s whirling dervish, I’m trying my hand at a turn of phrase.  And incorporating as many clichés as possible.  But I forget myself — The Donald doesn’t have bodily functions, does he?  Maybe that’s why shit is always coming out of his mouth. He’s been holding it in so long it had to come out somewhere.


The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten.

green rider on a green horse

The love of my life, Onyx, my daughter’s 12 year old OTTB, had the honor of participating in a clinic with none other than Boyd Martin — yes, that Boyd Martin, the one who married Silva.  Don’t ask how it happened, it just did.  I had the dubious honor of doing the first day of the clinic.  Mr. Martin has a unique ability to size up a horse and rider combination within seconds and determine exactly what they need to do to get better.  To me, he said, “A green rider on a green horse.”  Ooof!  We all know how that works — an abomination at best.  To my daughter, on the same horse, one day later, “Looks like you’ve done a bit of jumping.”  One would think that by virtue of writing the checks (mostly good, some not so much) alone, I would garner some respect.  Yeah, that’s not the way the horse world works.  My burning question: Does Silva know you wear that hat?  I think not.


does Sad Panda have a dating life?

sadpanda As far as I can tell, Sad Panda in Old Town, Poland, is a young woman, slim (for a Panda), with great hair and elegant hands.  She must be dating, right?  How does that go for a sad panda?

Date: so, what do you do? (in Polish, of course)

SP: I’m a sad panda (again, in Polish)

Date: what?

SP: I wear a panda costume and sit in front of the Royal Castle in Old Town and hold my head in my hands.  If it’s a slow day, I sob audibly.

Date: does that pay well?

SP: it depends on the day.  I put out a can and people throw money in if they like me.

Date: so, you’re a beggar.

SP: no, I’m a performance artist.

Date: How many Panda suits do you own?

SP: one

Date: doesn’t it get hot and sweaty?

SP: yes

Date: how do you clean it?

SP:  how do you clean a Panda suit?

Date: You sit in a public place acting sad, wearing the same stinky outfit day after day, with a can for money in front of you.  But you’re not a beggar.

SP: hmmm

Date: are you drunk when you do this?

SP: no, but I think I’m going to get drunk now.

What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege

What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege.

Project Library – personal space dress!

Project Library.

Interpret this



Beware of pedestrians, cars, tiny soccer hooligans and…buildings on sleds?


Sad, sad panda front of Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland


why so sad, Panda? No castle to call your own?



Ancient Man to Modern Man

Modern man aka Complaining man…Ancient Man video for 6th grade social studies class

How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child.


James Bond Has a Video Studio

yup, this is what I do at work all day

Ombré THIS, mofo

Ombré is really hot right now.  I’m about five trends behind the current trend, so ombré was really hot about six months ago.  Or so.  It’s a super-hot hair-coloring trend.  My hair isn’t long enough, or thick enough and my face and body (and birth date on my license) aren’t young enough, but that can’t stop me from fulfilling my follicular fantasies through my teenage daughter!  Yes, I forced my first-born to sit in a salon chair for five hours while she was poked, prodded, combed, colored, tin-foiled, heated and blown dry.Image

I was forced to sit in said salon and drink mimosas while leafing through style mags and listening to head-pounding electronica.  It was so worth it — she’s got the hair I’ve always wanted.  Best part was the conversation at school the next day (as reported to me, I am not stalking my child in middle school, I swear):

Friends: OMG!!!!!!  How did you talk your parents into letting you ombré your hair!!!?????!!!!

First-born: my mother made me do it


Heh, heh.  According to the West Elm catalog, ombré is even hotter in home decor, as in ombré walls.  I’ve got walls.  I can do this ombré thing!

I jumped on YouTube and watched a few tutorials.  Ok, one, for, like, three seconds but I have adult ADHD and can’t be held responsible.  For anything.  I actually just bought a mess of paint and the cheapest brushes and rollers I could find.    I learned a few things.

I’m not a painter.

Painter’s tape should be applied prior to painting – it isn’t meant to be applied to spilled paint and then ripped off as quickly as possible to remove the paint (the way bandaids work with skin).

Don’t use plastic bags as a drop cloth if you are painting a stairwell.  It’s an accident waiting to happen!  Alright, not an accident waiting to happen, just a goddamn accident.

PAINT REALLY FAST!!!!!!!!  Because the ombré effect only works if all gradients are still damp and you can blend them together seamlessly while running up and down the stairs without wiping out on garbage bag drop cloths.

Buy the second-cheapest brushes.  The cheapest fall apart as soon as you look at them and then you’re painting walls with the teeny-tiny brushes from your kids’ toddler paint sets.  And that really sucks.

I think the end result is exceptionally mediocre, if that.  But it’s done and I am not painting anymore.  In my favor: the stairwell is very poorly lit; I will ensure that all visitors have had a few;  I will confiscate or destroy all corrective lenses before I allow anyone to ascend the stairs.  And good luck getting down, mofos.  I removed the handrail and lost the screws.


exceptionally mediocre


(Never) Too Old for Light-Up Accessories


My Fabulous New Steam Cleaner

I just got this new steam cleaner and it is the greatest thing ever.  I’ve been steam cleaning everything – walls, ceilings, mirrors, windows, chandeliers, smelly kids, smelly pug.

I just can’t stop.  If it doesn’t move, I’m blasting it with searing hot steam — hot enough to peel your skin off.  If you’re looking for something that can clean your grout and clean your fingers of identifying marks, you need this.  My fabu hubby  pointed out that I’m also enjoying a lovely steam facial  and strenuous uppper-body workout while I clean.  I mistakenly thought that hubby could help out and get a steam facial, too, but he doesn’t want to deprive me of the rejuvenating, youth-promoting benefits I’ve been reaping.  Thanks, honey!  I hope I remember to wait until you’re actually out of your Zegna suit before I  go at it with puffs of 212 degree scalding steam!


Parvo Puppies — cute, but plagued by explosive, highly contagious diarrhea


Scarlem aka “the hood”

All was progressing smashingly well with my miracle steamer until I locked myself in the guest room.  Somehow forgot that the guest room door lacks a door knob (and has since we moved in six+ years ago,ensuing in all sorts of hilarity and pathos).  In my zeal to clean the door, I accidentally pushed it shut with the 150-pound steam cleaner.

Crikey!  I did what anyone would do — jumped out the window and directly into the pricker bushes that the parvo puppies favored as their latrine.  Wonderful!!! Now I can steam clean my socks (and feet).   Quickly realized that since I live in Scarlem (the Harlem section of Scarsdale) I had exercised proper security and locked all exterior doors.  So, I climbed back in the guest room window and watched Real Housewives until the kids’ babysitter arrived.  And wondered why we didn’t convert the guest room closet into a wine cellar (closet).


La-Z-Boy: Saddlemakers for the Geriatric Set

ImageTried a Tad Coffin saddle yesterday – and needed a cherry-picker to get me off the dang horse.  The saddle looked great and fit me perfectly – but this (rather) mature equestrian requires A LOT more padding.  When will La-Z-Boy start making saddles?  There’s a business initiative I could get behind – horrid pun intended.Image


Derv, He Said



“Would you like a mini-pizza hors d’oeuvres?” is what I said.  “Would you like a mini-pizza or derv?”  is what he heard. Temerarious seven year-old that he is, he boldly chose “derv”.



Sandy came and went, but she left her mark — she turned our trampoline into a treepoline!  What good will that do us?  A lotta good, actually.  We really needed a bigger and according to kid #3, a “bouncier” trampoline.  Not sure I can deliver on the bouncier mandate, but bigger is always better when it comes to trampolines.  A larger one wouldn’t have folded in half and gotten stuck in a tree for starters (I think) and when you have six kids staging a steel cage match on one simultaneously, ginormous is safer. 


startling discovery

magnet therapy – it ain’t working

Injured one of my fingers four months ago; only hurts when I use it, but it’s slightly swollen and aesthetically unsightly.  I also have a significantly reduced range of motion – only a problem if I need to open something, tie a shoe, turn a key in an ignition.  I was perfectly happy to ignore it, but then thought that it might get worse with age and if I’m lucky, I’ve got 25 years left and do I really…wait…WHAT?!?!  If I’m lucky?  Holy Crap!  25 years?!   I’ve been telling everyone I’m middle aged but I AM NOT — I’m 2/3 aged.  I am 2/3 aged.  If I’m not careful, I will not be present for the important milestones in my children’s lives.  Time to kick off a new health programme (I’ve been reading way too much Brit chick lit – why does “sod off you stupid cow!” sound so much better than “shut the f* up you f*ing b*tch!” when they kind of mean the same thing?)  I’m switching to dark chocolate and red wine, immediately — never mind that it’s 10 am, it’s never too early to start a new programme…and anyway, procrastination is for procrastinators, like me.  Wait…what?

Back to our Briny Beginnings

why ride on the board when one can dive beneath it?

Yep, that’s kid #2, demonstrating an insouciantly elegant wipeout. No big splashes or wild arm waving, merely slipping beneath the water at a 90 degree angle to the surface of the earth and precisely 180 degrees opposite of where he really should be.  Spent the past week at the shore, watching kids 1-3 wipe out on surfboards and skateboards while I wiped out doing high-risk things like walking and standing. When not falling down, I spent a lot of time in the water, wondering what it is about the ocean that seems so restorative and rejuvenating. Does bobbing about in the salty waves bring us back to a time of non-sentient innocence, cocooned from all the world’s sharp edges in an amniotic sac?  Is the composition of the water so similar to our own salinity that we become one with the water?  I don’t know about all that, but I do know that it’s working for me.

6-packs at 7?

Image Working from home today and overheard my 7 year-old and his buddies talking about what workouts could “actually give you a 6-pack!” Huh? Since when are 7 year old boys concerned with 6-packs? Since when do they know about 6-packs? And why are they sitting on a trampoline and talking about workouts rather than working out on the trampoline – I thought that behavior was reserved for people like me, middle-aged suburbanites who like to talk about exercise over dinner and drinks.

I told some Olympians where they could go

Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton, to be exact.  At the Millbrook Horse Trials at Coole Park Farm.  I was stationed in the sand pit, which is exactly as glamorous as it sounds.  My partner, who was better versed than me in dressage and the world of eventing by about 2000%, was all of 11 years old.  It was our job to tell the competitors when it was time to wrap up their warm-up and head over to the arena.  So yes, I actually exchanged words with Olympians Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton!  To Boyd, I said, “Excuse me, they’re ready for you.”  He replied, “I don’t think it’s my time yet and I’d like to get a little trot going first.”  I retorted (meekly), “They’ll be ready whenever you’re ready,” and gave a little curtsy.  Well I told him!   I can’t explain the curtsy, except that I was confused and mortified.  And he had just returned from London so…oh, forget it!   Boyd has become a bit of a pin-up in the horsey world, a cross that his wife Silva bears with grace.  He couldn’t have been more approachable and friendly though, and in fact, he was far more approachable and decent than most of the beginner novices I interacted with.  Though I suppose a BN has a far worse case of the nerves.  I didn’t mention to Boyd that he has ruined my chances of ever owning a horse — according to my dear hubby, if an Olympian can ride a $850 horse, so can I.  Bleh.

I fell off this horse 5x in three days – a personal best!

I told Phillip Dutton where to go, too, and when.  It was his time, so he said, “Thank you.”   I hoped he didn’t remember that the last time we spoke, I had fallen directly on my head not more than five minutes into the lesson he was teaching.  Luckily for me, he meets about a million people a day and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen on their head in his presence. The sweetest moment of the day, other than the little girl riding a palomino pony named Angel (she insisted the pony was, indeed angelic, but that’s the first I’ve ever heard of a pony without a nasty Napoleon complex) was when Phillip Dutton’s family came over to the ring and his kids all screamed “Hi Daddy!”  He immediately stopped what he was doing and beelined for his wife and children.  He gets a gold in the dad and husband Olympics, the most important Olympics of all.

I piaffed myself, watching this

the man just wants to wear a tiara

babies, sitters, nannies, moms

The photography in the July 13 NYT Sunday Magazine essay was breathtaking; romantic images of childcare providers and their charges.  Almost as romantic as the writer’s notion that the reason babysitters/nannies/childcare providers are so poorly paid is because mothers feel guilty about the transaction; paying someone to love their child —  whom they have (presumably) chosen not to — at least during business hours.  What’s the excuse, then, for why mothers are not paid at all when they choose to stay home and love their children themselves, 24-7?  Honestly, I don’t think there’s a mother, in the home or out of the home full-time or part-time, who could claim to love her children 24-7 – but that’s another matter entirely.  The low pay isn’t a function of guilt — it’s a function of childcare being (traditionally) women’s work.  And women’s work isn’t valued, even though we are charged with raising the world’s next generation, and by extension, making sure the world survives another hundred years or so (now there’s some guilt).

We all know the story of how typing was a well-paid position, held by men, when typewriters — complex, mechanical instruments — were first introduced.  Once it was discovered that women could type and that they could do it better and faster than men (thank you, manual dexterity, for my exceptional typing skills and my unique ability to remove a dried pea from a 2-yr old’s nose) it became a typing “pool” — nameless, faceless, devoid of any individuality or humanity — and populated almost entirely by low-paid single women who were treading water while waiting for their knight in shining armor to appear.  The message is clear: if a woman can do it, it isn’t worth jack.

I love my job, but no one pays me to love it – I get paid to do it.  Period.  The idea that we don’t pay women to take care of our children because we feel guilty buying love is not only delusional, it’s insulting.  I chose my career.  So did my babysitter.  She deserves the same respect and renumeration accorded to all professionals.  I don’t pay her to love, I pay her to keep my children clothed, fed and safe; and that she does, far better than I can.  There are women who are paid to “love” but the job description is quite different and their clients aren’t children (though they do sometimes wear diapers) and the price that all involved pay is far greater.

why wasn’t I doing this when I was 15?

<p><a href=”″>The Epic & The Beasts</a> from <a href=”″>Sebastian Linda</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Ok – so I wasn’t doing this when I was 15 (I was delving into yoga with a yogi who had suffered a brain injury and had absolutely no short-term memory and yes, I had to re-introduce myself to him and explain what I was doing in his basement every single time) and then I was doing other sorts of psychedelic things, which might explain why I have no short-term memory.  I can’t go back in time, but I can make a movie of kid 2 and 3 who are doing this stuff — at 10 and 7.  I’ve found my next, next, next project (after the two docs I want to make but have $0 of financing for, the YA novel I’m working on with my daughter, which I need to completely re-write and cleaning the basement — and oh yeah, getting the three remaining diarrhea puppies adopted before my husband decides to move into a hotel.  With a new wife.   Next post in ten years will be: why didn’t I make this movie before I turned 105?