Defeated? Make soup, sleep, get back on your horse.

When I get nervous, a minute yet significant part of my brain closes down for business. It happened once years ago, when I was writing the names of a couple of lovebirds on an engagement cake, and WHILE READING from a little piece of paper taped next to the cake that said “Rhonda and Ronnie forever” I wrote “Rhonda and Ed.” “Forever.” I checked the cake against my notes and it looked perfect. According to the waiter that carried the cake to the dining room, the
groom-to-be was a little taken aback.
Last night it happened again. I was making bold efforts into a career as co-producer of food programming, giving up saute pan for video camera. I set up, my people came into view and the camera flashed “nightshot”. Perfect for a field in the country. I was in an apartment on 43rd Street with all of kinds of modern ammenities, including an ocean of electric light. I went through all of the buttons on the camera and came up nightshot button short. I pushed all other available buttons. The camera was still clearly in nightshot. I started to privately hyperventilate. Then I decided that it wasn’t so bad and kept filming.
As soon as I got home I checked the camera. The nightshot button was smack in the middle of the camera, on it’s own and uninhibited, bigger than all the others, and clearly marked. The tape looked terrible.
I had not one clue what to do so I made soup. I peeled all the potatoes in the house and revived the leeks from the bottom of the fridge. I let the two of them saute together in the bottom of a soup pot with a good pinch of salt until they stuck to the bottom, and then filled the pot with water until it nearly reached the top of the potoates. I ate the soup, and slept with my eyes open.
I could end my producing career for not being good enough before it starts, but I was having too much fun. Plus, as poor a camera operator as I am, I’m the only camera operator.
I made a new and improved list of what to do before taping: put tapes in camera hours in advance, test record, ask for help, and check for breathing.

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