What it's like to bungee-jump
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hey All

Havn't blogged in a while since there's been nothing really to write about, but last week, I finally did something pretty bad-ass to end the summer.

So I finished Spanish 110, miraculously passed with a 54, so now I only have two classes, one in each semester before I graduate. Matt came back from Afghanistan (there was actually press for his arrival. We were on the front page alongside West Nile virus, the toy scare, the re-emergence of the KKK and Justin Timberlake, so obviously we were the best news of the day), I helped out with harvest, we went on our road trip to Edmonton where all we did was hang out at the mall and visit relatives, got back for my birthday, which aside from a little save at the very end was pretty much a bust. We got our home entertainment system all set up, except for the cable, which we still haven't figured out how to properly hook up. And my one day of class ended up lasting only a little over half an hour. And with harvest over, there wasn't much for me to do this week, and I'm sure next week won't be too big as well. I'm hoping I can hear back from this T.J. guy about a grip job that's for three days next week.

But the big thing that I did do, aside from getting a Blu-Ray player and a few Blu-Ray discs (It sucks that 'Versal is HD-DVD only because there's so many 'Versal titles I want to get), was do the indoor bungee jump at the West Edmonton Mall water park on the 31st. I've wanted to do that ever since I was a kid. And since I've spent three of the last four months in classrooms learning about shit I could care less about, I decided that this time I'd do it and that it would be my one badass thing I'd do this summer. So I went straight up to the kiosk and signed up for 12:30. I got back there early and they took me to this private elevator and across this foyer to where you change and they fit you with the harness. I decided that I'd have a waist harness so that I could just tip over and fall like Peter Petrelli in HEROES, and not to go into the water.

I have to admit, it was when I actually started going up the steps to the platform that I started to get nervous and sweat. Everything is all painted in white, but every inch of it is covered with messages written by people who have made the jump. And a lot of them are couples, I noticed. So I get up on the top and at this point my heart is racing and I'm really sweating now, but there's no going back. So the guys check everything and see that everything's tightened up properly. And they tell me to get to the edge. It's only at this point that I'm actually terrified. Like I can see the pool 100 ft below and realize that it's actually pretty shallow in comparison to the drop. And they tell you to put your toes over the edge. They even have two footprints painted on there for you to put your feet over. And as they're doing some last minute things, I'm just repeating to myself "No guts, no glory, no guts, no glory" over and over again. And then they do the countdown. They told me this beforehand and I just assumed it would be a slow countdown, like "5...4...3...2...1", but when they did it, it was just, "54321".

And then I fell.

Another thing they tell you before you jump is to do it on the first go. Because if you don't then it just gets harder and harder and you lose your nerve. Well, I did it on the first go. And even though I had written "Doin' it Petrelli style" on one of the posts, it was nothing like that. Everything didn't go slo-mo and I don't think I fell off gracefully. All I remember is two or three seconds of weighlessness, the pool rushing up towards me, and out of the corner of my eye the cable dropping. I can't remember if I fell of my own volition or if the guy pushed me. He told me he gave me a bit of a lean, but that I jumped on my own accord.

And then all of a sudden I feel myself rocketing back up. My brother, who was watching, told me that I was like a good ten feet above the water before I bounced right back up. And I remember thinking "Yes, I'm alive and I'm going up. Oh shit, why am I still going up?" Like I could feel the cord going slack. But then I dropped down and started swinging like a pendulum. But once I got my bearings straight, I grabbed onto the yellow pad and started swinging around like Tarzan. I could hear the people below me cheering, so I started pumping my fist in the air and cheering them on. It was a massive rush.

The only time it actually hurt was when I was pulling myself in and the guy that grabbed me to pull me in got some of my chest hair. But other than that, it was a huge rush and I'm glad I've done it.

It will definitely inform my writing in the future.

Oh, and I also got an e-mail back today from the Austin Film Festival saying that my short didn't get it. I wasn't really expecting to get in. I just did it for a lark. But it was cool of them to send me like an official letter back. Here it is.

Thank you for submitting your film, Theology and Grocery, to the 2007 Austin Film Festival Film Competition. It is a great accomplishment to simply complete a film, and I applaud you for your achievement.

The quality of the entries this year was extraordinarily high across all of our categories. Regretfully, I must inform you that your film was not selected for screening in the 2007 Festival.

As you know, the judging of a film is a subjective process. Over the course of an eight day event there are a very limited number of spaces for screening and this limits us on the number of films we can potentially screen. Additionally, not every film fits into the overall program of any individual festival, which is dictated by the films received that year. Your films performance in this competition should not be viewed as a statement about the films possible success elsewhere. In my experience, a film sent out to many festivals will find its audience.

I hope that you will continue to pursue filmmaking and you will submit to the Austin Film Festival in the future. I wish you all the best with this film and with your next creative endeavors.

Good luck,

Jesse Trussell
Film Competition Programmer
Austin Film Festival

So it's nice to hear from them. I actually submitted it also to this local fest that's on next week here in Regina, so I'm hoping that I can get into that once, since I don't think I would have been able to go to Texas anyways if I did get in. Still would have been nice to go to Austin, though. I hear it's some kind of bohemian paradise where Tarantino, Rodriguez, Linklater, Mike Judge and I think Terrence Malick work there. Plus, it has the Alamo Drafthouse, which is apparently the best movie theater in the U.S.

Is there anyone here from Austin that can verify this? That Austin is, in the words of Patton Oswalt, "this magical fairy bubble of sanity in the middle of just absolute shit"?

Anyways, thought I'd blog about the bungee-jump. Any bungee-jumper stories anyone wants to tell?



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