About a week ago, I had an awesome idea. I thought to myself, “Hey, people are always telling me how good my guacamole is, and asking me how I make it. I should do a blog post about how to make guacamole.”
Then, I had an additional idea: “Hey, I haven’t done a video with my helmetcam for a while. What if I wore my helmetcam and just narrated while I made guacamole?”
At the time, it seemed like a can’t-miss idea. Me! Wearing a helmet! While cooking! And being funny!
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, here’s what went wrong.
First of all, the way I think is probably much better suited for writing than for extemporaneous talking. When I write, I edit a lot on the fly — by the time I get to the end of most sentences, I’ve had an idea of how the beginning of the sentence might work better. A couple of tweaks later and I’ve got a perfectly usable sentence.
That doesn’t work quite so well when you’re talking off-the-cuff. Oh sure, when I get to the end of a sentence I’m saying, I still have the idea of how I might improve the beginning of that selfsame sentence, but it’s kinda too late to fix it, what with my having said it and all.
Next, guacamole — while almost certainly the most amazingly delicious use of what is almost certainly one of the three most perfect foods on the planet — is kinda gross-looking when filmed from above, without special lighting, by a guy who has no experience making food look good on film (or the electronic equivalent thereof).
Third, I forgot to use my radio announcer voice, and so what you hear is my actual, normal, nasal voice. I’m so sorry.
Fourth, yesterday was not a school day, and so I had to contend with my kids in a couple of different ways.
- I had told the twins I’d be filming in the kitchen and so I needed them to go to a friend’s house or go play outside or something. This backfired beautifully; they kept coming inside to tell me what they were doing, which friend’s house they were going to next, and so forth. If I ever do a director’s cut of this video (very, very likely), I’ll include (and commentate) the part of the video where I yell at the kids to please, please, please, stop coming in and yelling, and to just go outside for ten minutes and let me get through this.
- I had a vivid mental picture in my head of how ridiculous I looked — talking to myself about how to make guacamole, while wearing a mountain biking helmet — and how uncomfortable I’d be trying to explain myself to any of the three teenagers that might wander into the kitchen.
Fifth, I take guacamole very seriously indeed, and so had very few hilarious things to say. Instead, I listened to myself in horror as I found myself giving an earnest rundown of how to make guacamole.
Wherein I Force Myself to Continue
Halfway through making this video, I nearly stopped. I didn’t, though, because I considered two things:
- If I don’t ever try new things just because I think I suck, I’ll never get good at anything new.
- Thanks to the miracle of electronic media, I could always just delete the whole thing if I decided I just couldn’t bear to put it on the blog.
And so I watched the video, and then edited it. Thinking, the whole time, “Well, it’s not quite bad enough to abandon the project.”
[Note to self: A good way to tell that a project should be abandoned is if you have to repeatedly tell yourself that the project isn't quite bad enough to abandon.]
After about 45 minutes of editing work, I had a video. Here it is:
Why put it up, when — obviously — I’m not exactly a fan of how it turned out? A couple reasons:
- It was an experiment. While it didn’t turn out great, there’s a chance that something I learned will be useful in another project I do. Or in a project someone else does. Who knows?
- This blog was built on a foundation of self-humiliation. So this fits right in.
- There’s a fair chance that someone will make and enjoy some guacamole after watching this video. In which case I will be partially responsible for an increase in the amount of happiness in the universe.