Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the paper houses

This is going to seem narcissistic, but I don't mind. A lot of time and effort went into this video, and it's worth mentioning if you're interested.

Originally, the video was meant to be a pop-up book. And I don't know if you know anything about pop-up books, but I know I don't.

The video was meant to be extravagant, stretching multiple pages, intricate origami pieces, and detailed characters and animation.

So that wasn't made. I literally spent hours watching videos about paper folds and building designs, and I had absolutely no idea how any of it was accomplished. It was like watching a magician reveal their tricks, and you watch and say, 'Oh that's how they do it.' You bask in the knowledge that you know how to do something, even though you don't, and if you ever tried the trick, it'd never seem to work. Apparently, pop-up books are my magic show, and the illusion was pretending that I could follow along.

By the time I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I bought two glue sticks, one glue bottle, and sixteen sheets of poster board; I used two rolls of scotch tape and three or four sheets of poster boards; and I somehow constructed six paper houses. After two weeks of toiling with the idea of trashing the whole video all together, I thought to myself, 'Well what the h-- am I going to do with six paper houses?'

Lucky, I was semi-resourceful with paper. Tucked away somewhere in one of my parents' closets sat a box full of stacks and stacks of paper. They were old sheets that were neglected for years and were nearly forgotten. At one point in time, they were esteemed to be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their content, but then they were neglected and pushed out of sight and indefinitely out of mind. They were my notes from previous college classes, mainly organic chemistry and physics. Finally... after years of resentment, I finally had a reason to take organic chemistry besides fulfilling my major's requirements. If I hadn't taken organic chemistry, I wouldn't have enough scrap paper to cut up and fold into paper houses.

It all made sense.

By the time I made the paper houses and painstakingly drew the lines and windows and doors, I had no idea what to do with them. The houses patiently rested on my shelve like a peaceful neighborhood meant for civilized creatures from Ferngully. If it's before your time, Ferngully was an animated movie about fairies living in the rain forest, or something. In any case, I couldn't think of a story for days.

And around that time, I had my birthday. Let it be known that I don't like birthdays because they signify that I'm much too old to have such little life experiences. It's depressing; I know. It's overly dramatic, self centered, and self loathing; I know, I know, I know. Still, just like loners feel lonesome during the holidays, I feel older and more insecure near my birthday.

One night, I was thinking in bed. And I highly discourage thinking in bed because there's a reason you're laying there on a pillow with your eyes closed and your mind drifts. I thought about the houses and the people that would live inside them. I thought about how numb they'd feel trapped inside the white walls and perfectly straight windows and doors. They'd stay inside and pretend to be content. No one's outside, and no one's complaining; everyone must be fine. They'd force a smile and assume they're not meant to feel sad, scared, or lonely. And I would be an ungrateful God who flooded their streets with lights and flashes as I rearranged their simple lives like toys. They'd feel small like they couldn't control anything at all in their own little world, and they'd feel so alone.

I was inspired; I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning while I thought about clips and phrases. I was exhausted the next day at work, but I felt refreshed that I had an idea. I spent roughly three weeks on a near failure, and finally, I had thoughts. It felt good.

The rest was a blur. Winter break ended so I had to travel about five hundred miles back to college. I packed the paper houses inside a cardboard pizza box, which I stuffed inside my backpack along with DVDs and video games. The houses endured a five hour train ride and five minute taxi trip to my apartment, where I arrived less than one day before my first class of the semester. Firstly, I looked at my school schedule for the first time in two months. Secondly, I brushed off valuable real estate on my desk for the houses. Thirdly, I unpacked everything else. I wanted to get this video done, out of sight, and out of mind.

Currently, I'm well situated in school and the houses have been packed back inside the pizza box for a week now. I finished my revisions on the video and I posted it again. Still, I feel like the video isn't up to par with my expectations. I feel like if I was a paper person living between paper walls, I want my life to seem more complete. Here are the pictures left out due to time restrictions.

I'm missing one that said, "I used to Be a paper airplane," which doesn't really make sense, but when I was half sleep, I thought it was hilarious.

For those of you who don't know, I'm planning to take a youtube hiatus to work on school. I might view comments, but there won't be another video posted for a while. Thank you for watching.

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