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Canted Angle Media (Everything Relatively Applicable) is the brainchild of Jed Nichols. As a cinematographer, director, writer and actor, Jed's passion for art finds itself most drawn toward the world of narrative filmmaking. On this site, Jed shares stories from his adventures as a short film creator, purveyor of the arts, and reviews of popular films and other artistic mediums. 

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Maintaining Your Sanity During Fits of Vulnerability (Even in a Coal Mine)

January 31, 2018

♫♪"I know we can make it if we try..."♪♫


Click HERE to listen to Yes We Can, Part 1 by Lee Dorsey on Spotify!



I feel particularly vulnerable today. Maybe it's because my car ran out of gas this morning and I am reminded what happens when transportation ceases? Could be. Maybe, it's because I have been scouring LinkedIn and adding endorsements* to my friend's abilities, in the hope they'll return the favor? Yes, possibly. Running out of gas happens, though it can almost indefinitely be avoided by simply putting gas in the tank of your vehicle. Running out of gas makes me feel stupid. I'll say, my vehicle has an issue with the gas gauge not reading what's in it, so the needle always sits on empty regardless if I have just filled it. I thought I'd put enough in last week, and I clearly didn't estimate properly how much distance was left in the tank when I got up to go to work this morning. Thankfully, I have a wonderful girlfriend who quickly came to my rescue and brought me enough gas to make it to the store. So, this issue was my fault, and I also blame the faulty gauge. Doesn't matter, damage done to the ego. 


(*Endorsements are personal skills you have that your friends can also say you have by adding their name to your skill, hence the title "endorsement")


I suppose I also feel vulnerable because I've been scouring through nearly a hundred friends on my LinkedIn account today. Looking at all their skills and projects has been daunting. I feel inadequate, to a degree. Though I know how much life I've put into my film work, and how much sweat and brain power I've dedicated to art that doesn't see my bank account flourish, I am still bewildered by the sheer amount of skills my friends possess. Now, I'm at work between parts and particles of workflow that come through as need for my audiovisual knowledge arises. I'm getting paid, I'm making money. I'm a monetarily successful person in the slightest sense. I've got a job that's classified as adjacent to my field of study, media, and I can also take a moment out of that paid work day to jot some notes about my perceived inadequacies. My privilege is not lost at this moment. 


That nonetheless doesn't change the gut reactions I've felt today when the car first shut off at a stop sign a mile from home, or when I decided I'd ask for more endorsements of my own skills by simply leveling up my com padre's skills. I did this to myself, to some self-deprecating extent. I asked for these issues this morning by not being more perceptive about what was left in both my emotional and vehicular gas tanks. Simply asking friends to endorse my abilities in a misaligned attempt of garnering more attention to my knowledge of film was too far beyond my pride to do so, "to beg" I felt. I would have done myself some serious good by just asking, instead of mining my college years and looking at all the cool stuff my friends have done in the year since they've left Missouri State University. 


It's not above me to totally sandbag my afternoon by not being in check with what I'm feeling. I overheard the song Workin' in the Coal Mine by Lee Dorsey (click HERE to listen) this morning as I took the elevator down to my office. It was my desire to be musically exploratory that led me to finding today's song-of-the-day, and the subtitle of this article. I love that song so much, but I'm guilty of knowing the words and not knowing who originally sang the song. I decided I'd find an album by the artist. Much of what I found on Spotify were compilations from Dorsey's career. I don't much care for compilations. They tend to lose the aural aspects of entire albums in favor of giving the audience just the most popular songs from the artist's catalog. We all know how compilations work. I digress.


I want to know the sonic history of an artist new to me rather than I want to visit the highlights of their career. For example, I took it upon myself to listen to Earth, Wind, & Fire chronologically in the last few months. I found that they were birthed from the psychedelia of the 1960's and only morphed into a full-fledged funk band in the first years of the 1970's. To me, hearing their evolution is more important to me than tuning into September or Let's Groove without first knowing how those songs developed into classic tunes. I hope that makes sense.


Anyway, I chose Dorsey's album, Yes, We Can ...And Then Some, to groove to during my recollection of today's issues. The sweet irony is that while Yes We Can is a full album by Dorsey, Yes We Can ...And Then Some is a compilation album, hence the "...and then some" part of the album's title. Today's failures, they are self-evident. This is the first time I've listened to Dorsey outside of Workin' in the Coal Mine and I'm satisfied with my choice. He's a soulful singer and the message in the title track helped me press through this silly afternoon of self-loathing and polarized stares into space thinking about my worth.


To finish, I overheard lunch was served, so I took a break from writing this to grab a sandwich. In the process of grabbing a few slices of bread for my meal, I sat a food basket on the ground, which I quickly learned is faux pas in the hospitality world. I was quickly corrected, so I built my sandwich, took an extra bag of chips to dose myself with later as a coping mechanism and left for the soda machine. In the interim between getting back to my desk and building my sandwich, I needed a drink.


So, summoning all of my poise and dexterity, I balanced my large sandwich plate in the same hand as my bowl of tomato-basil soup, slid open the heavy-to-push door to the breakroom, went to the soda machine, and promptly realized my wallet was in my jacket... back at my desk. A friend helped me escape the breakroom before a real mess was on my hands and the floor, and I managed to get back to my desk, place my plates down and return to the soda machine. I hit "Pepsi" on the machine and it dispensed Dr. Pepper.


A good day to all, and to all a gooder night. I know I can make it if I try.

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