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2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance Opening & Closing Videos

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I finally figured out how to compress these videos for YouTube and still have them look relatively decent. I made them for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance and had a ton of fun doing it! Can’t wait for next year.

Opening Video (shown at the opening ceremony to dancers to get them pumped up for the 27 hours ahead):


Closing Video (includes charity interviews, dance footage (cut out for YouTube time restraints), and a dramatic grand total at the end):

VCU Police Are Seriously A Joke

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VCU Police made complete fools out of themselves tonight with me, Allie, and Katelin. We were walking back to our cars in a VCU lot when all of a sudden three VCU cops on bikes roll up to my car and surround me. It was two men and one woman. They violated several of my rights and made complete idiots out of themselves. It was seriously like something off of Reno 911! (The woman cop almost kind of looked like the one from the show) It would almost be funny how ridiculous they were if it didn’t insult me so much the way they treated us. Here’s how the conversation went down:

POLICEMAN 1: “How are you this evening, sir? How much you had to drink tonight?”

ME: “Uh, nothing at all?”

POLICEMAN 1: “Why don’t you go ahead and step out of the car, sir. You were walking a little funny back there.” (I was walking a little funny? I was walking the way I always walk, and if you really want to investigate a real problem, go across the street to the hundreds of people at the Hyperlink waiting to get in the door and check them out because it definitely smelled like pot and everyone was running around and making a racket)

POLICEWOMAN: “There’s three of them, let me take one.”

POLICEMAN 2: “Shut up, I can handle this.” (I’m seriously not making this stuff up)

POLICEWOMAN: “Somebody’s been drinking, this place reeks of alcohol.”

ME: “Um, no, I haven’t had anything at all…”

POLICEWOMAN: “Yeah? What’s that under your seat?” (She points to an empty soft drink can wedged under my front seat, I pull it out, and she actually has the nerve to question it further)

ME: “I just need to clean out my car, I left that in there…”

POLICEWOMAN: “What did you have in that can and why is it empty?”

ME: “Root beer? It’s a soft drink can…” (She looks at it all suspiciously)

POLICEMAN 1: “Okay I’m gonna check your eyes out here real quick.” (He pulls out a pen and tells me to follow it with my eyes without moving my head) “What do you wear contacts for?” (You’ve got to be kidding me; what a stupid question… what do you think contacts are for?)

ME: “Farsightedness?” (I look at him in with that “Did you really just ask me that question, you idiot?” look)

POLICEMAN 2: “So do you have astigmatism or something?” (Oh come on)

ME: “Yes?”

POLICEMAN 1: “So has your passenger been drinking tonight?”

ME: “No, not at all.” (I later found out that while all of this was going on the policewoman was on the other side of the car questioning Allie and accusing us of hiding beer in a CVS bag in my back seat that had nothing in it but toothpaste and shampoo that I bought before we went down there)

POLICEMAN 1: “Okay, you’re good to go.”

Finally, we were free to go. I feel that several of our rights were violated in this situation:

1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe you can legally search someone’s vehicle without a warrant to find things that are not in plain view.

2. What was their probable cause? The fact that I was, in one of the cop’s opinions, “walking a little funny?” I was walking completely normal.

I’d also really like to know what in the world he was doing asking me why I wore contacts and was offended that he asked “how much” I had been drinking when the correct thing to ask would have been “have you had anything to drink tonight.” I do realize that they see a lot go on down there and have to be weary, but they completely jumped to conclusions and were accusatory to the point of being very unprofessional. They were poorly coordinated, argued amongst one another, and seemed to be on major power trips. They also completely fabricated several things, the biggest being that my car “reeked of alcohol.” There wasn’t, nor had there ever been, alcohol in my car, so I was completely bewildered, offended, and angry that they would make up such a blatant lie.

I was offended at how the situation was handled and feel that VCU Police are not doing a satisfactory job at all. I can’t speak for all VCU officers, but the unprofessional and unskilled behavior of this group leads me so far as to say that their salaries (that group specifically) are a waste of Virginia taxpayers’ money.

I feel this is something that needs to be shared, so pass it along.

Bradford Pear Trees: Something’s Fishy

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Ever notice a strange fishy smell this time of year right around the time everything blooms? Maybe I’m the last person on Earth to realize this, but I finally figured it out. It’s those darned Bradford Pear trees. You know, the round trees that bloom out in white flowery buds every Spring? (I used to call them popcorn trees when I was little because they look like white cheddar popcorn!) Yep, they smell just like fish! There’s like fifty of them in my neighborhood and it smells nasty. Why does something so pretty smell so bad? Really interesting.

Blacklist Painting: FAIL

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I took this picture down in the Outer Banks the other day. Would you normally want someone who had been “blacklisted” to work for you? I don’t think so. But yet some company down there named their business “Blacklist Painting.” Check it out.

 

Spontenaity: Outer Banks Day Trip

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Life is short. It’s the little things, the random things, the crazy things, and the fun things you remember the most. I had planned on going to Virginia Beach for the day with Allie, but we decided to veer off Interstate 64 and go down Highway 168 all the way to the Outer Banks. I know, we thought this was crazy at first just to go for the day, but let me tell you, it was well worth the drive (by the way, I clocked 526 miles total in my car today!).First we stopped in one of my all-time favorite restaurants for lunch in Kitty Hawk, The Black Pelican, a few mileposts south of the junction on Route 12 (the beach road). The food was excellent as usual. Afterwards, we headed south on 168 and stopped in Kill Devil Hills to climb Jockey’s Ridge. It’s the largest set of sand dunes anywhere on the eastern seaboard, and I’ve climbed them dozens of times, but I never get tired of it. Next, we grabbed a few things to take home from Kitty Hawk Kites across the street, then made our way north on 12 all the way to Duck. After finding no ice cream places open because it’s the off-season, we settled for donuts and bagels from Harris Teeter and took them with us and walked down to the beach for a few minutes, but it was a bit nippy out, especially with a brisk wind coming off the Atlantic. So we decided to head back down south to Barefoot Bernie’s for dinner. We both love this place and had to go back. They have the best seared ahi (sushi-like) tuna I’ve had anywhere. It was absolutely delicious. After that we drove over the bridge to Roanoke Island and through the quaint town of Manteo. It’s so peaceful and serene, yet so close to the busyness and action of the Outer Banks. I’d love to live there.

So by this time it was 7:00 (we’d been there since 12:30 and packed a whole of stuff in!). It was time to head back home, but it was cool that we were able to go all the way to the Outer Banks and do so many fun (even though somewhat random) things in one day.

I’m so glad we went here on a whim instead of just Virginia Beach. I know we had so much more fun than we would have in the first location. It also felt good to do all of this without any kind of plan whatsoever. I’m sick and tired of planning and scheduling things all the time lately, so it was nice just to not worry about anything and go where ever we felt like going, do whatever we felt like doing, and not even worry about what time it was all day long.

I think life is way too short to live inside the constraints and boundaries other people set up for you, especially when they’re driving you a little nutty. I think I’m going to start being more spontaneous and doing whatever more often. It’s just part of who I am and I’ve suppressed it for way too long.

More pictures from the trip will be uploaded to Flickr soon!

The 2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance Raises $105,931.81 For Local Organizations!

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I still can’t believe just how much money was raised at this year’s Deep Run Marathon Dance. $105,931.81! I headed up the Film Crew this year and had so much fun filming throughout the duration of the 27 hour dance. I’ll talk more about how that went in a moment. But I made an opening video to get everyone pumped, including a pep talk from the movie Miracle, that was shown before the dance started, then had a closing video at the end that included interviews with leaders from all ten of the benefiting organizations, video footage from the dance, and a dramatic grand total at the end.

I was kind of on the edge of my seat at the closing ceremony because it had taken me eight hours to compile and edit the closing video and I didn’t even have time to render a DVD. So I basically just played an AVI that I exported to my computer and held my breath hoping my Mac wouldn’t freeze while playing it. It was a huge 2.5 GB file, so I had plenty reason to worry. Fortunately it didn’t freeze and I think it turned out pretty good. I had been up for just about 40 hours straight by the time I finished it, so I also wondered if I had made any big editing mistakes based on the fact that I was so mentally tired I didn’t know what I was doing. No one had even seen the video but me until I presented it to hundreds and hundreds of people at the closing ceremony. But there again, it turned out pretty good I think. Both videos will be posted later today and will be accessible here, on my YouTube page, and Facebook.

I was on the fence about whether to do this on an annual basis, but after doing this for my second year in a row and seeing the energy, enthusiasm, and huge benefit of this dance, there’s no question that I’ll do this again every year. It was so liberating to be able to head up my own video project and manage five other people who filmed the dance this year. I usually work under other people and have less creative control. It was great for once to be able to have the final say in what was produced and call all the shots, with no one to tell me otherwise. Because of that, I was a lot less frustrated and more motivated to produce a great end result. It was an amazing feeling (and that’s not a knock on anyone I normally work with, because they do great work; it was just a big thing for me personally). It was also cool to be recognized for once and I was honored to be so warmly received at the end.

Some have said that I should focus even more time on other video production efforts instead of doing this, but I would argue that it’s something that I’m really proud to be a part of and have so much fun doing it because of the role I’m given to creatively produce something really exciting and unique. Plus the end result is amazing. An event that raises almost $106,000 for charity is something really spectacular to be a part of. I may even consider taking on other projects and helping out other charitable causes around the area at their respective events because I found working with the Deep Run Marathon Dance to be very impacting and rewarding. It was just incredible.