The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Zombie Lady Christmas

Posted by thedarwinexception on December 29, 2007

Well hot dam. Uploading video wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be!! Rather easy, actually, once I figured out ULead VideoStudio 11. I “finalized” the DVD in the camcorder, plopped it in my DVD drive, opened up Ulead and it transferred slick as shit.

I had lots of options for titles, endings, effects, yada yada yada, but I didn’t do any of them because I wanted to see how hard the actual transferring and saving was going to be. And see how hard it was going to be to upload it to YouTube.

There were also options for resizing, cutting, splitting, adjusting color and brightness (which I should have taken advantage of) but, again, I just kept clicking “Next”.

So, my first video attempt. I have learned from this attempt. I have learned that at 10 pm when you are taping in the kitchen you should really turn a light on, other than the “under the counter” lights that are always on. I’m surprised this came out at all. I guess it speaks to the cameras backlighting ability. So, I’m sorry it’s a little dark, I’ll either turn on lights or adjust the brightness in the editing room next time.

And don’t listen to my voice on the tape – it sounds nothing like me, anyway.

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60 Responses to “Zombie Lady Christmas”

  1. Shiobhan said

    Oh Kim, that video made me weepy, in a good way.

    She was so thankful.

    She looked so good also, nothing like her picture that we have seen in the past.

    Im so thankful that where ever she was, she was taken care of.

    You and Paul are truly examples of what neighbors should be.

    Have a very Happy New Year.

  2. Carol in Wilmington, NC said

    Kim, that’s so touching! Like Shiobhan I am weepy…

    God bless you and Paul for being so good to her. She seems so gentle…

    Happy New Year!
    Carol

  3. Carol in Wilmington, NC said

    P.S.

    You did GOOD with the video; the soft lighting actually made it even more touching!

  4. Leslie said

    I’m so touched. That was the most Christmassy thing I’ve seen this holiday. I hope I’m fortunate enough to see her paintings. She really does look good.

  5. Sandy said

    I too liked the lighting. It fit with her manner. How great is this to now have video…you smart gal. Thanks.

    She is such a gentle lady. Am sure she was overwhelmed and seemed so grateful for the gift. Thanks to the person who sent it.

  6. Susan said

    Kim,

    That is the sweetest video I’ve seen all year! You did a great job. I feel sad for ZL cause it’s obvious she has a difficult time trying to be “OK”. She perseverates over her somewhat paranoia ideation (her comment about “do cops have a right to”) while she should be enjoying herself a bit more. It’s obvious she was overwhelmed (in a good way) with the generosity of her neighbors. Thanks for helping to restore my belief in mankind.

  7. Kim Rock said

    ZL seems very sweet. It’s no wonder you’ve taken her under your wing. She obviously appreciated the gifts very much. It’s hard for me to think of her freezing and eating cat food among all of the other crazy things you’ve told us about her. I hope that she soon realizes that you do care and that she can trust you. Maybe then, she’ll start taking your advice. She’ll still be the crazy ZL but she can (and hopefully will) lead a comfortable life living next door to people who actually care about her.

    You and your husband are amazing people. Keep up the good work, Kim!

    Happy New Year!!!
    Cheers,
    Squiggy

  8. HT said

    How cool was that??? Way.

    I don’t know anything (obviously) about her upbringing but she is very gracious and has a kind demeanor.

    You, on the other hand, sounded just a little bossy. I had to throw you a poke. 🙂 I like your voice. It has authority and a little hollywoodish.

    Whoever sent the art supplies….that was a BINGO. You gotta be smiling from ear to ear. I would.

    Kim, here’s what I like best about your BLOG besides your fucking witticisms. I like it when you comment on the reader’s comments so could you do that more often? I like the dialogue aspect. Hey, nothing like being demanding, eh? Now you know I mean it in the right way.

    And….you missed your calling. You could be a camera-person.

    I’m thinking of selling the house in Portsmouth and buying a cheap place in Malone and opening a bookstore. The name of it would be ALL THE FUCKING BOOKS YOU EVER WANTED.

    HT

  9. Buckeye Belle said

    Kim, you, Paul and the other neighbors are angels. Sitting here watching the video with tears in my eyes.

  10. damsel44 said

    What a beautiful video and wonderful moment. Huge hugs to you and Paul for taking the time to care about her. She looks so much better and it gives you and us a glimpse into what she is and was before her troubles. You are the true meaning of Christmas Kim and I’m grateful to have you here to watch and listen to. Please do more videos, you have a talent for expression in them that is unique and wonderful! ((((HUGS)))

    Kath

  11. Vt Country Gal said

    Having been an fan since the Spector fiasco, I feel the need to tell you how moved and mostly amused I am by your blog and especially this video. You truly are a precious gem. God Bless you.

  12. Lorraine said

    I think there is great beauty in ZL–and in you and Paul. Thank you for sharing it.

    Lorraine

  13. luvgabe said

    ZL looks so much better! Almost normal (ha, ha). Seriously, thank you, Kim, for taking the video & enabling us to see it. ZL looks overwhelmed by the kindness of you & Paul. How cool it is that we have our own “Christmas story” of 2007!

    BTW, you sound EXACTLY as I imagined you would sound: no nonsense & self-composed. But then, we all know inside is a huge & soft heart 🙂

  14. luvgabe said

    ZL looks so much better! Almost normal (ha, ha). Seriously, thank you, Kim, for taking the video & enabling us to see it. ZL looks overwhelmed by the kindness of you & Paul. How cool it is that we have our own “Christmas story” of 2007!

    BTW, you sound EXACTLY as I imagined you would sound: no nonsense & self-composed. But then, we all know inside is a huge & soft heart 🙂

  15. Veronique said

    And now I’m all weepy too! Thank you so much for sharing that…and I’m looking forward to seeing what she paints for you (and thank you to whomever sent the paint set– what a wonderful and thoughtful gift.)

    V.

  16. Gail said

    God bless you Kim! You and Paul are truly kind and caring people. ZL is SO grateful for her gifts and such a gentle soul, too. I look forward to seeing her art in the near future. You have made my day!

  17. noorbe said

    Kim, that video was heartwarming.

    She was totally overwhelmed, who knows when it was that SHE received a present, any kind of present.

    And your husband was so nice, and gentle, helping her to open the box.

    Sometimes I hear my own voice recorded on a camera, and it sounds so different from how I hear my own voice.
    I’ve asked my kids: “does my voice really sound like that”?
    The answer is YES.
    So for other people, that’s how you sound, and it sounds perfect.

    You and Paul are wonderful neighbors.

  18. Susan said

    Hi Kim,

    I forgot to mention this and as you know Paul is charming, caring and hot!

  19. Mary said

    Kim,

    How poignant. She is so child-like. I certainly understand your initial hesitation to get-involved…but just when you thought you were out…

    Kudos to you and Paul and have a Happy and safe New Year.

  20. Kim (Canada) said

    I’m with everyone else above, and their comments!
    I thought the video turned out sweet, and you sounded just like I figured “Kim” would sound – Sweet!
    Seriously, I thought she looked awesome! She seemed genuinely surprised and grateful at receiving the presents, and definately appeared to be trusting of you and Paul.
    It’s amazing just how much, and how many people you’ve touched with the sharing of your “life & times with ZL” –
    I want to move to Malone too…

    Happy New Year to EVERYONE!
    Fonzie :~)

  21. tess said

    Thanks for posting this video, it gives us a glimpse into what she might be like if she stayed on her meds. I hope she really paints something and we can see some more of her art work. You and Paul are really something. There should be a really warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart this season. We are feeling it.

  22. Caroline said

    The video is wonderful! Like everyone else I am surprised at how good ZL looked and how “normal” she appeared. You and Paul win the “good neighbor award” for saving this poor lost lonely soul’s life and giving her a reason to live.

    This is exactly what Christmas should be! Giving to people who have nothing, enriching their existence so they have a new (literally) lease on life.

    You have inspired me to gather up my sleeping bags, blankets, extra coats and a box of food for the local homeless shelter. See how much of an impact your actions have had?

    God bless you and Paul and your merry band of angels for helping out Natasha.

  23. Hank said

    Kim,

    I don’t think the voice sounded like you either. Not a single “fuck”!

    Seriously, your voice sounds fine. Somewhat lower than I expected, but I imagine it rises in pitch somewhat when you are in full rant mode.

  24. MyrnaTurner said

    This is absolutely wonderful! And the lighting is perfect. She looks like a figure from a Russian icon. I used to go to Moscow a lot in the 70’s (to see the ballet.) Her soulful, throaty Russian (smoker’s?) voice made me cry. What a difference you have made in that woman’s life!

  25. Sprocket said

    Just wonderful. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  26. Sue (Canada) said

    What the hell did she mean the cops stole her paintings ????? Am I the only one that picked up on that ?

  27. Tazzie said

    OK I have to be the dumbest one that reads your blog. I don’t see anything or where to go to see anything. Someone help me please. BTW I can’t watch videos on utube either – Something about Java script. Sigh.

  28. nita said

    Kim, your video is a miracle. I say that because, although you might not have intended, the perfect lighting emphasizes the beauty of the moments you captured. I am in tears as I watch it, a truely wonderful Christmas story.

    I am proud to have had the opportunity to read ZL’s story in your blog.

    I so amazed at the kindness and patience you have shown to this lady.

  29. HT said

    Did you delete the email I sent you a week or so ago when you were in the throes of crises? If not, would you please just say: Yeah, I got it, so what. Or Yeah, I got it. Or Yeah, I got it but this is my busy season. or Yeah, I got it, and I’ll answer it when I damn well please, thank you very much. Or Yeah, I got it and deleted it before I read it. Or, HT, you’re just wonderful.

    HT

  30. Kay said

    What a touching video. What a touching Christmas story. What a great illustration of kindness. What a wonderful neighbor you are. Thank you for figuring out how to get the video on your site. Your care about the ZL is an example for me…..in the realm of truly caring for others.
    From a great grandma in California

  31. I don’t know anything (obviously) about her upbringing but she is very gracious and has a kind demeanor.

    You may know slightly more about her upbringing tomorrow. I took a video today of her talking about her mom a little bit – and Moscow.

    Kim

  32. Mindy said

    Thank You for this,it was great. Looking forward to your New Years and what you find out there to share with us.

  33. Vt Country Gal Says:

    Are you REALLY a Vt Country gal???

    SO AM I!!

    Where are you from?

    Kim

  34. You have inspired me to gather up my sleeping bags, blankets, extra coats and a box of food for the local homeless shelter.

    I think that’s wonderful!! There are plenty of zombie lady’s out there, unfortunately.

    Kim

  35. boobookitty said

    I love the lighting. It is like a little indie film. Chronicle and sell to HBO.

  36. Kim (Canada) said

    Looking forward to that!
    Seriously – Can’t wait to hear what else she has to say…
    I”m guessing there’s alot more to be learned from this woman…
    And Kim too….

  37. What the hell did she mean the cops stole her paintings ????? Am I the only one that picked up on that ?

    I didn’t hear it – but then, I can’t understand half of what she says. But she was worried when I told her the police went in her house and when she went over to get the book she was reading to bring it over here she did say “Those cops take all my beef stew.” I just laughed at her and said “No, Natasha, I saw the cop when she came out of the house – she didn’t have your beef stew.” ZL was quite adamant, though, that the cop took her beef stew.

    Frankly, I didn’t even SEE any food in her house when Val and Janice and I were in there, so I’m not sure where the beef stew even was.

    But before she left yesterday she brought about 10 cans of food over here and she said “I want to keep this food here – the cops, they will come back and take it.”

    So she has 2 cans of hash, a can of jellied cranberry and assorted cans of vegetables stored in my laundry room cupboard.

    No cat food.

    Kim

  38. Someone help me please. BTW I can’t watch videos on utube either – Something about Java script.

    What operating system do you have? Windows? Are you using Internet explorer or something else? If you are using the above I can tell you how to turn on javascript, otherwise, someone else will have to help you.

    But since the video is a youtube video, you do have to enable java to watch it.

    Kim

  39. Did you delete the email I sent you a week or so ago when you were in the throes of crises?

    Oh crap, I don’t know!!!!

    I have about 255 emails yet to go through. They pile up so FAST!!!

    I am trying to get through them all, but I am working backwards, so send me it again or let me know what it was about and I can answer you from there.

    And I aplogize to everyone who has written me if I haven’t gotten back to you – I will, I promise. Soon.

    Kim

  40. noorbe said

    Kim,
    What do you say to Natasha when you turn the video camera on?

    She sounds just like my godmother, she was born in Rusia also.
    Her name was Sasia.

  41. Khrist said

    I can’t wait to see the footage tomorrow. I hope it is longer!!!!

  42. Shiobhan said

    Kim –

    When Natasha gets to painting, is it possible for you post a picture of them here? I would be interested in purchasing one.

    All day I have been thinking about this video, and it truly has restored my faith.

    Thanks Again.

  43. Marianne said

    I have had some health issues the last couple
    of weeks and really haven’t been at my best
    this xmas. This was better than watching a Christmas Story….It really made me feel
    great to see that Natasha is well and has
    made it home. She looks fabulous, like she
    went to a spa and lost 10yrs on her age.
    But actually I think that you and Paul have
    done that being her friend/family at this
    important time of year. Happy New Year to all
    and wishing Kim and Paul the best of health
    and happiness in the New Year.[ Natasha too,
    of cource.]

  44. Awww Kim…she’s adorable…seems quite the sweet lady!

    You did great with the video…and you’re voice…I love it!!!

    with friendship
    Lisa

  45. Tazzie said

    TY Kim, you are so busy I hate to bother you with this. I have Windows XP and Explorer. I have Java but I don’t know how to turn on the script. Any help greatly appreciated.

  46. I have Windows XP and Explorer. I have Java but I don’t know how to turn on the script. Any help greatly appreciated.

    This page should help. Let me know if it works.

    http://gsaauctions.gov/brow_details/IE6instr.htm

    Kim

  47. Vt Country Gal said

    I’m living in the town of Sheldon,north of St. Albans now, but was born and raised in the Queen city. So I’m a city transplant to the country. There’s a farm across the road from me and in the summer I can look out my front window and see cow butts lined-up in a row thru the barn windows. Now that’s country! Don’t know the last time you were over here in Burl., but it certainly has changed a lot over the years.

  48. Cindy said

    Kim,

    You & Paul have truly captured the spirit of Christmas. God bless you both for sharing the experience.

    Happy New Year!

  49. I’m living in the town of Sheldon,north of St. Albans now, but was born and raised in the Queen city. So I’m a city transplant to the country. There’s a farm across the road from me and in the summer I can look out my front window and see cow butts lined-up in a row thru the barn windows. Now that’s country! Don’t know the last time you were over here in Burl., but it certainly has changed a lot over the years.

    I get to Burlington quite a bit – between my illness and Pual’s thyroid we see many, many doctors there.

    I used to live in St. Albans – on Messenger Street – up the hill behind the park on Main Street.

    And I was born and raised in Burlington. What street did you live on when you were a kid? I lived on Park Street.

    Kim

  50. mary c said

    Kim, I loved the video, you did a wonderful job. Paul really seems like a gently soul too. Do you plan to tell Natasha about your blog and all the fans you and she have?

  51. outwest said

    Hi kim and all, Ya know how kids know everything that goes on in their house, regardless of how mom and dad pretend shield things? Well based on that theory… I have a little fantasy about ZL telling the people in the psych place that there is a band of bloggers who are conspiring to pay her elec. bill, move her mail box, and clean her house. Course they wouldnt believe her HA! ….Kim thanks for helping out ZL. She is lovely! Happy New Year!!

  52. Sea said

    How touching! I am reminded of the Biblical statement….”Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,” writes the author to the Hebrews, “for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
    Bless you all who are helping this little Russian ZL angel!

  53. HT said

    Kim, I just emailed you a very interesting article about “Kendra’s Law” in NY which basically allows authorities to be more forceful in requiring people to get mental health treatment. It was on MSNBC and originated from the Washington Post. I thought it was quite relevant to ZL.

    HT

  54. Jenn said

    Hot damn! I thought ZL was dead, but here she is alive and well AND in video 🙂 I am so glad that she is back home and so thankful that she lucked out by having you & Paul as neighbors.

    It’s funny; I started reading your blog because of the Spector trial. I just realized I’ll be sad when it starts again b/c we might hear less about the Malone shenanigans.

  55. Tazzie said

    Hi Kim,

    I went to the site and the Java script issue is now fixed but…now it seems I can’t download flash player. I have tried all the support things that I felt I could handle but still no flash player. Waaaa Thank you so much for helping me. I just am not a techie.

  56. Tazzie said

    I did see the pic on the YouTube site and got a feel for the video. I am so glad ZL is back and doing well. Hope you and Paul have a really good time at the New Year’s party. And, Gary, it is so great that you are doing better. Please hang in because it means lots to your very cool sister.

  57. nobody said

    I’m tempted to go crazy and buy a house next door to you and Paul. Wow! What terrific neighbors you are. I know you’re not into religion, but I pray for you and Paul and Natasha often. May God bless you, even if you don’t believe it.

  58. Vt Country Gal said

    Like, No Way! I grew up in the New North End, graduated in ’84. Email me and we can see if we knew each other or know someone in common. I hope your New Year’s Eve is a blast.

  59. I grew up in the New North End, graduated in ‘84.

    Oh – you MUST have known at least 10 of my cousins. (I have hundreds). One family lived on Tracy Drive next to Merola’s – the other family lived on Forrest Street across from Northgate. Did you go to BHS?

    I’ll email you and we’ll see WHICH ones you knew.

    Kim

  60. Lisa Ann said

    I finally got around to watching this – it just made me remember my Gramma Ethel, who was also an incredibly talented woman with schizophrenia.

    Damn. Now I have the urge to write something about her.

    Thanks, Kim. This was wonderful.

    Lisa Ann

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