As the dreaded 30 began creeping up on me, I started to get a bit nostalgic and, yes, morose. I started thinking more about the friends I left behind when I moved to this country and started missing them even more. I wish I could say that I've mastered those feelings and am now a happy, carefree preson - but I haven't and I'm not. It doesn't help, of course, that 1. I have another 10 months to dwell on turning 30 and 2. depression and anxiety have always been my biggest enemies. (Well, those and ninjas...)
I hit a particularly low patch last week and was really feeling like I just wanted to crawl under a rock and die. That was when something special arrived in the post: a box containing four DVDs from my - our - marching years. (And many, many chocolate chip cookies.)
The DVDs were a result of my last trip to America. We went around to all the Band Moms until we found one who still had our marching tapes and who actually knew where they were. Then, I took them to a shop to have them converted onto DVD. It cost about $50 for the four of them and took about a week to burn but was 100% worth it when they arrived on my doorstep.
How happy was I? Uber. But, it wasn't enough for me to just enjoy the DVDs, I HAD to share them with my friends and fellow band geeks. I thought it would be easy to just rip them and copy them to You Tube... Wrong!
All in all, I tried about six or seven diffeerent DVD rippers and had ZERO joy with any of them. Finally, I gave Magic DVD Ripper a try and hit the jackpot. It takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to rip but gets around the pesky anti-copy protection built into the discs. Now, I could have a little rant about how I specifically told the guy at the shop to copy them in .avi to make it easier for me to make copies but, like the capitalist pig he was, he made them as proper DVDs, thereby wasting hours of my life in ripping them - but I won't. Honest.
Anywho... Then I had to find a video editing program to use because the guy who made the DVDs for me copied them exactly as is off the tapes meaning there was an awful lot of blue screen. I don't have much experience in the whole making/editing videos thing - I'm into words - but, through trial and error, I eventually came across VideoPad Video Editor which is ridiculously easy to use - and, of course, also takes F.OR.E.V.E.R.
So, after about three days of work, several downloads, and much frustration, the first (and shortest) video went up on You Tube:
I don't know how many people will appreciate the work that I've gone through to share our memories in this fashion or how many people will even take the time to watch them BUT I will persevere because, if seeing these videos makes even one person who was feelin' a bit down and lonely (like me) smile, it will be worth it.