Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Break an hour's promise in love?"

Sooooooo my Shakespeare performance is this Tuesday. My discussion group is putting on scenes from As You Like It, and we are less than two days from performance time. I'm freaking out.

I'm playing Rosalind, the main character-- meaning I have a ton of lines. And for some silly reason, known only to Shakespeare himself, Rosalind's lines are also all complete tongue twisters. 

Try saying, "The wiser, the waywarder," three times fast.

Or, "a part of the thousandth part."

Or, "Keep you your word, O Duke..."

Or, "that most faithful shepherd."

Okay, so those last two aren't really tongue twisters. But I still can't say them for the life of me.

I also am having trouble interpreting a few of the lines, so I need to utilize some No Fear Shakespeare and get that done. YouTube is also a godsend, as it currently holds at least a couple versions/interpretations of the scenes that we're doing. I need to watch those again.

Did I mention yet that I'm freaking out?!? We have only two days left (zero rehearsals) until the show, and I am still forgetting lines. And the blocking is still a little hazy.

Let's just hope that the whole, "The dress rehearsal is supposed to be terrible," thing holds true for us. We're going to need all the help we can get. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Love This!

At some point, I'd love to make a short film or music video featuring dancers. They're so beautiful!

I Hope This Isn't a Trend

Yesterday I didn't check my email. I repeat, DID NOT CHECK MY EMAIL. Not once. I didn't fire up my laptop a single time, nor do I even remember opening my planner. And I didn't blog.

What is happening to me?!

As a compulsive email-checker (at least ten times a day-- not an exaggeration), that's rare. And not cool. With emails from CCEW and SFPC, on top of stuff from professors, applications, and the university, my inbox is in a constant state of overload, and it's literally painful to let an entire day go by without addressing the ever-growing pile. I had over 20 unchecked emails yesterday, 15 of which are important and need to be addressed. That's now at least an hour and a half of work added to my plate today. Ick.

I think this is proof that I need to buy a cell phone with the internet. Then I can check my email anytime, anywhere. And while it is ridiculously expensive (someone told me $30 a month), I'm starting to think it would definitely be worth it.

Considering the fact that my cell phone is from the Age of the Dinosaurs, it's about time for an upgrade anyway. My phone, bless its heart, has gotten to the point where it literally shuts off every single time I flip it open. It also loves to spontaneously turn off when I'm mid-text (esp. the super long ones) or deep in an important phone conversation (preferably with professors and heads of state, etc). And the length of time it takes for the phone to recover and then allow itself to be turned back on is also slowly growing. So if you text or call me, I think you can now reasonably expect a response within the hour.

I wouldn't be surprised if the thing spontaneously combusted one of these days.

And I know it's ridiculous that I've gone so long without getting a new phone. But who has that kind of time? "Purchase new phone" has floated from day to day on my planner for weeks now, but I never put it in the High Priority box because so many more important things belong there (like painting my nails and making a dent in the pile of Halloween candy taunting me from the kitchen counter).

Maybe now that yet another weekend is here, I'll have time to swing by Verizon and beg for a new phone. I just hope it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg to do so.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Interesting Food Preparation Techniques

Since coming to college, I have discovered that there are a few things I learned growing up under the guidance of my mother that are not the ... er... typical way of doing things. Most of these discoveries have come from the area of food preparation and storage. 

For example, most people don't keep their peanut butter in the fridge. It's usually in a less petrified consistency, making it easier to spread, when it lives in the pantry. Also, expirations dates exist for a reason. They are not negotiable.

Today, I learned that most people think storing hotdogs in the freezer is weird. I guess hotdogs usually stay in the fridge? This was news to me. Mom always froze our hotdogs, and they would thaw as they boiled. Also -- you can microwave them. Crazy, right?!

However, today my roommate kindly pointed out to me that this freezing business was unnecessary. After all, "hot dogs are 20% meat and 80% preservatives." Too true.

Good Morning World!

The house was awakened to a delightful little surprise early this morning in the form of six shrieking fire alarms wailing at us in deafening unison. Startled out of our various states of slumber, we stumbled into the living room. Mass confusion.

On my part, the thought of there actually being a fire or anything dangerous didn't cross my mind. I just wanted to do whatever it took to shut off that godawful noise so I could go back to bed-- the instincts of a sleep-deprived college student.

Naturally, our first idea was to pull the alarms off the wall and just rip out their batteries. This was difficult, however, since the awesome thing about our little home is that the ceilings are really high. Which means the fire alarms are really high. Too high, in fact, for any of us to reach (even when standing on our tallest piece of movable furniture).

After a bit more stumbling and bumping and "I don't know what to do," Madison took charge. We solved the issue of not being tall enough by stacking Val's giant zoology textbooks on a stool for added height (as you can see, knowledge has many practical applications). Operation Dismantle Heinous Noise-Making Machine complete. I did my part by running outside and making sure there wasn't smoke billowing from our roof. Just to be on the safe side.

Of course, once everyone could hear again, none of us knew what to do. What's next? This is when it's helpful to have a civil servant in the family. Brittany called her dad, a real-live firefighter, who (after asking lots of questions in typical dad fashion to make sure we were immediately okay) told us to call the landlord. Tried that. He didn't answer (of course). Meanwhile, I googled the manufacturer of our little detectors and discovered that our alarms were dual smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide?! As in the colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that can kill you?!

Now I'm getting nervous. At this very moment, a deadly and invisible chemical substance could be sneaking around our house with ninja stealth, wreaking havoc on our respiratory systems.

We all turn into hypochondriacs, wondering if our sudden headaches or random nose-twitching might really be a symptom of deflating lungs or whatever happens when you get poisoned.

I call the fire department. It's an administrative number, so that's a no go. There's no one left to call. We've exhausted our resources. All that's left is... 9-1-1.


I'd never called 9-1-1 before. This was a new experience for me. Not gonna lie-- I mentally rehearsed a bit before calling. It's intimidating. When I dialed and pressed "Send" on my phone, a funny little graphic of a red siren came up while I waited. Classic.

The lady on the other line was direct and to the point. I was in the midst of sorta describing everything (I guess I'm kinda longwinded?) when she cut me off.

"Do you want me to send someone out to check your carbon monoxide levels?"

Less than ten minutes later, three (young) firefighters step into our living room. Picture this-- five girls in pajamas and fuzzy slippers trying to explain to three serious, tired firefighters that we didn't know what to do so we just unplugged everything. And then the one holding the little blinking black box turns and says, verbatim, "It's reading at a zero."


Well thanks, handsome firefighters (there's just something about a man in uniform), for stopping by and checking on us. We feel much better now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kathryn Schulz on Wrongness

This is uh-mazing. I am stealing this from the blog of a friend, because I love it that much (thanks, Geales, for your awesomeness).
First, here’s a bad idea for modern living: spend all your time insisting that you’re right.  Trust me, it won’t go well.  For one thing, it’s irritating; nobody likes people who think they’re perfect.  For another, it’s impossible: nobody is perfect. Nonetheless, many of us cling to the conviction that we’re right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher.  We relish our own correctness (“I told you so!”), crow over other people’s mistakes, and dismiss those who disagree with us as ignorant, idiotic, or just plain evil. 
Although we typically find those same behaviors odious in other people, most of us are complicit in encouraging this culture-wide obsession with being right.  Consider the way we make business and political leaders of those who decline to admit that they could be wrong.  And consider just how well that’s worked out for us.
Now here’s a counteroffer: try accepting the possibility that you could be wrong.  I don’t mean in the to-err-is-human abstract.  I mean right now, in the middle of that argument you’re having about the dishwasher or the hiring decision or David Cameron.  For most people, doing so is difficult and counterintuitive – and then deeply, startlingly rewarding.  It converts conflicts into conversations.  It fosters empathy for and curiosity about other people.   It gives you a shot at learning something new, which insisting on your rightness definitely does not.  As a bonus, it looks humble, generous, courageous, and wise – because it is.  The world is a messy, confusing, complicated place, and none of us is above getting it wrong.  Accept that, and, ethically and intellectually, you’ve done right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Longest Stretch Since July?

That was the longest I've gone without blogging since July, and it feels really weird (even though it was only a two-and-a-half day stretch). The festival was jam-packed with panels, movies, and events and we never got home before midnight or 1 a.m., at which point, we'd immediately crash-- leaving no time for blogging (and even if I could have stayed awake, it wouldn't have mattered since the hotel didn't have free Wi-Fi. Lame. I'm sorry, but the days of having to pay $10 for internet in a hotel room should be gone. I'm already dropping triple digits for this room, and the least you could do is let me get online for free).

Not blogging is really frustrating, because for once, I actually have interesting things to tell you. I want to tell you all about the Austin Film Festival-- the inspirational panels, interesting films, fun people I met. It was a great weekend, and I don't even have the time to tell you about it because I'm too busy putting together presentation slides, studying for tests, and writing papers. I have three papers, a test, and a huge presentation on Tuesday.

So I apologize ahead of time. I'm in the thick of things, and since I really need sleep and good grades this semester, you probably wont hear from me again until Wednesday-- at which point my awesomest, coolest brother ever will be visiting me here in the grand state of Oklahoma. Can't wait.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Austin Film Festival - Day 1

4 a.m. - Leave Norman, Oklahoma

10:30 a.m. - Arrive in Austin, Texas. Check into hotel.

11:00 a.m. - Arrive at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. Go through registration and get badge for the festival, as well as a nice bag of goodies.

11:15 a.m. - Go to nearby coffee shop for the elixar of life.

12:00 p.m. - Opening Remarks

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Inspiring panels (more on this later).

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. - Break. Rush back to hotel. Fight traffic. Change. Fight traffic on way back to downtown.

6:15-6:30 p.m. - Scarf down dinner.

7:00 p.m. - Screening of the funniest documentary I've ever seen, Exporting Raymond.

9:30 p.m. - Screening of Main Street

Sorry this is rushed, but I'm exhausted and headed for bed. More on all this tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Preparing for AFF

I leave for the Austin Film Festival TOMORROW! Tomorrow morning at 4 a.m., to be exact. Craziness.

My life is in chaos as I am trying to get everything done (papers, presentations, etc) before I leave town. I have three papers, a test, and a giant presentation on the Tuesday when I get back, but since I'll be gone Thursday through Sunday (a HUGE chunk of my study/prep time), I've been trying to do as much work as possible before leaving.

All that work hasn't left me a lot of time to get excited about the Austin Film Festival. But as soon as Thursday morning rolls around, I am whipping out that conference and film schedule and going to town with a highlighter. I heard that Blue Valentine will be playing (!!!!!), which I'm stoked about (note previous exclamation points) and definitely want to see again (was lucky enough to see it in Cannes).

Other films I'd love to see:
Black Swan

And to me, the best part of the Austin Film Festival isn't even the watching movies part (though that's awesome). The best part is the conference element, which is screenwriting focused. Even though I don't have any particular interest in screenwriting, I most definitely want to write in my future (be it novels, magazine articles, or short stories). So I'm really looking forward to going and feeling inspired to write more (fiction, that is).

Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

. . .

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a
wonderful stroke of luck."
-- Dalai Lama

I do hope so.

Monday, October 18, 2010

. . .

"If you aren't sure who you are, you might as well work on who you want to be."

-Robert Brault

Today's Goals

(I'm back in the library for another early-morning study session, and this time it's only 8:15 a.m. Sha-Bam! This is awesome.)

Goal One: Write a 4-5 page paper comparing Metropolitan (1990, Directed by Whit Stillman) with Party Girl (1995, Directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer) -- by 11:30 a.m.

Goal Two: Write a 7-8 page "Notebook" on the process we've gone through to put on Shakespeare's As You Like It (the play is in three weeks!), including notes about the history of theater, the role of gender/transvestism in the play, modern adaptations (including She's the Man), etc -- by 10:30 p.m.

Goal Three: Write synopsis for final short film project proposal -- by 11:30 p.m.

Goal Four: Go to bed before midnight!


Have I mentioned yet how much I love lists?! Everything about about a list is absolutely perfect. They help me stay organized. They look organized. They help me to not forget important things I need to do (and by when they need to be done). And when I've completed a To Do item, I can cross it off the list, which is even more fun than pulling those plastic protective sticker-covers off a newly-purchased digital camera screen. I speak from experience.

Lists also require me to set clear expectations for myself, especially when I promise that I'll take said self-imposed deadlines seriously (I've found that it also helps when you motivate yourself with things like fruit smileys or a Hershey's kiss). And once I'm done writing everything out in a list, I sometimes don't even have to look at it again, because now I already know everything that needs to get done. Yup. Lists are the bomb.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

. . .

"You do not become good by trying to be good, 
but by finding the goodness that is already within you, 
and allowing that goodness to emerge. 
But it can only emerge if something fundamental 
changes in your state of consciousness."

Eckhart Tolle 
(A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Meeting a Fellow Expat

Today I met a woman from Montana. It was a beautiful moment.

My roommate Valerie's mom was in town today because of the football game, and some of her friends, as they were in the neighborhood, stopped by our house to see her for a bit. We weren't really expecting them (or at least I wasn't), so it was a bit of a surprise when all the sudden three friendly, middle-aged ladies drinking wine in plastic cups stepped into our living room. Regular rays of sunshine, they laughed and admired the house, complimenting us on such a find and making appreciative remarks about our mismatched furniture. They talked about the terrible condition of their sons' house (think nasty bathrooms). And, of course, they asked each of us about our majors and where we were from-- a typical adult question.

The question came around to me, and, as always, I answered, "Montana." After almost four years of telling people, I've gotten pretty used to the surprise and questioning ("What brought you all the way to Oklahoma?") that comes after telling people where I am from. But this time, the reaction took me by surprise.

"No way. No way! NO WAY!"

I had been putting a couple paintings and matted photos into picture frames when I'd responded, so I was still looking down when the woman on the right responded so emphatically.

I looked up quickly, just in time to see her rushing across the room toward me.

"I'm from Montana!" she exclaimed.

I stood up just in time to be enveloped in a giant, wine-smelling, rhinestone covered hug.

"Where in Montana are you from?" she asked.


"I'm from Butte! I'm a Butte girl! I was a ____ (insert name of their high school cheerleading team... something like Blue Bells or Blue Bonnets)!"

This woman was crazy. And so much fun. I loved her. We talked about Butte and Glacier National Park and about living away from Montana (but always calling yourself a Montanan). And it's funny, because while I barely knew this lovely lady, reminiscing about Montana with her was one of the best parts of my day.

It makes me laugh too, because I do wonder if that will be me in thirty-something years. I'll be out and about in whatever random state or country I happen to be living in at the time, and I'll stumble across someone from Montana. And regardless of all the turns and tumbles my life has taken, I'll still be thrilled beyond reason to stop and talk for a few minutes with a fellow expatriate about our idilic upbringing in the mountains of Big Sky country (even if we never really appreciated them while we were there). Yup, that's gonna be me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

. . .

"Love is when you hug someone 
as tight as you can and it still isn't enough."

- Angelica Osbourne - "The Messengers"

. . .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Notes from My Shakespeare Class

Love and hate aren't opposites; love and apathy are opposites. For love and hate both require passion.

A New Study Hour?

This is a rare occurrence. I'm sitting in the library, and it's only 9 a.m. What is the world coming to? I've never studied this early before unless you count cramming in reading before class or something like that. I'm just rarely up this early unless I have somewhere to be, because I'm usually up until one or two in the morning studying. And believe you me, 7:00 a.m. comes reeeaaaaallly quickly when you've only been asleep since two.

I used to consider myself not a morning person. I mean, I've never been the cranky type or whatnot, but I don't really like the morning because it means departing from my deliciously comfortable bed. And yet, sitting here at 9 a.m., I love it. Absolutely love it.

It's so peaceful. No one is talking and everyone is working hard. And because I've just come out of a good night's sleep, my head is clear and I'm feeling remarkably productive. I can't believe it has taken me this long to figure out, but I think I may be completely changing my study habits from now on.

I'm going to try pulling a Ben Franklin. Early to bed, early to rise. I just hope the wealthy and wise show up sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oooooooh, We're Halfway There....

I can't believe this semester is already halfway over. I think today is that exact half mark, which is crazy to me. The beginning of the semester flew by so quickly!

Just think. After this, the semester will be over and I'll be halfway done with my last year of college. Then I'll be halfway through my last winter break. Then halfway through my very last semester. And then I'll be DONE. Gah!

So much to do in so little time!

. . .

"Look me in the eye. It’s okay if you’re scared, so am I. 
But we’re scared for different reasons. I’m scared of what 
I won’t become and you’re scared of what I could become. 
Look at me. I won’t let myself end where I started. I won’t 
let myself finish where I began. I know what is within me 
even if you can’t see it yet. Look me in the eyes. I have 
something more important than courage. I have patience. 
I will become what I know I am."

-Michael Jordan-

Shake, Rattle and Roll

There was an earthquake in Oklahoma today. Never thought that would happen.

I was at work, sitting at the bottom of Old Science Hall waiting for perspective students to finish their appointment with the Education Abroad office, and all the sudden the building started shaking. I'd say it only lasted about twenty or thirty seconds, but it was long enough to shake everything around me (and apparently knock things off the dresser at home).

It was fun to sit there watching the building shudder and all, but the reactions of people were the best part of the whole thing. I was in the hall, which was prime real estate for listening to conversations in the room around me. Tons of heads popped outside, a few people evacuated the building in case of another one, and most people just wanted to know if other people had felt that too. I overheard the girl telling the perspective students that it was the class getting out of session above them (which I thought was pretty hilarious).

And naturally, after taking the kids to their next appointment, I checked my Facebook and practically everyone in the Norman area had updated their status about it. So those were entertaining to read as well.

Oh, and the emergency text system from OU sent this out to everyone as well:

The following is a message from President David Boren:
The United States Geological Survey has reported a 4.3 magnitude earthquake 6 miles to the east of Norman, OK. No injuries have been reported on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus.

All in all, a pretty eventful morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday = Crazy

Today's schedule is insane. I hope to still be alive when 10 p.m. rolls around. Wish me luck!

8:30-9:45 a.m. --  Finish editing short film (adjust audio levels). Burn to DVD.

9:45-10:30 a.m. -- Revive tired, fuzzy brain with coffee. Cram last minute for test.

10:30-11:45 a.m. -- Shakespeare Comedies and Histories Exam. Try not to die.

12:00-1:15 p.m. -- Independent Cinema. Four page response paper due. Try not to fall asleep as mid-morning exhaustion sets in.

1:15-2:00 p.m. -- Lunch. Breathe. Walk all the way across campus. Change into interview clothes.

2:00-2:30 p.m. -- Luce Scholars Interview

2:30-3:00 p.m. -- Put normal clothes back on. Walk all the way back across campus.

3:00-5:45 p.m. -- Advanced Film Production. Short film due. Watch films in class and listen to comments from classmates.

6:00-8:00 p.m. -- CCEW class. Be inspired by speaker.

8:00-10:00 p.m. -- Inspiration replaced with discouragement. Struggle to hold head above water during team meeting. Wish I had had more time this weekend to work on PR strategy. Hope team doesn't hate me for my lack of preparation. Promise to work really hard before Thursday's meeting.

10:00-11:00 p.m. -- Go home. Answer SFPC emails. Fill out SFPC paperwork for upcoming Austin trip.

11:00 p.m. -- Pass out and never wake up again. Ever.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best Job in the World

Today for work I got to go to OU Fleet Services and pick up the beautiful, honkin' huge van above, which I then got to drive all the way back to the office. And it was SO. MUCH. FUN.

I was laughing almost the entire drive. It's just that the van was so tall that I could see over everyone (even trucks), and I felt absolutely ridiculous being up so high. Suddenly it makes sense to me why people insist on driving trucks and big vehicles (in cities where their macho engines and intense towing capacity are pointless). Because it's awesome.

SFPC in the OUDaily

The Student Film Production Club hosted a 24-Hour Film Blitz this weekend, and an article about the event was written for the OU Daily, our campus paper.

Check it out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 10/10/10!

That's a Wrap!

Today was the last day of filming. Overall, I think we logged about eight hours of filming for a seven minute short film... not bad!

We filmed outside on my back "patio" (the empty space where there should be a fire pit... the one and only time I've been grateful that our landlord hasn't built it yet), where I set up a garage sale using things pulled from my house. I borrowed a clothing rack from a friend (so random and perfect that they had one), and I put my bike and my roommate's grill up "for sale." I also used a couple old boxes of clothes that need to go to Goodwill, and a ton of odds and ends from around the house. It probably took me collectively half an hour to find all that stuff (and then put it away later). But in the end, I think it was a pretty good-looking garage sale.

Filming outside is always a challenge, because the weather can be so temperamental (especially in Oklahoma). At one point, there were ominous rain clouds rolling in from the northwest, and I thought we might have to finish shooting for the day. But things went our way, and the clouds continued on their merry way to the north of us.

We did, however, get a couple of those spontaneous rain sprinkles where it is sunny and warm, but still raining. The first time it happened, we grabbed the camera in a panic and ran for cover. After a hurried minute of putting away all our garage sale items, however, the clouds cleared. So much for that. It happened a couple more times, but when it happened again, we were ready to protect the camera with an umbrella (so we just sat there and waited the 30 seconds for the sky to clear again).

On top of the filming challenges, today was also the most intense day for the actors as far as performances go. There was some yelling and crying and throwing things around, and I couldn't be happier with their performances. So happy.

I am going to edit a rough draft of the film tonight and then let it simmer. Tomorrow afternoon I'll look over it again and tweak it, and then it's burn time. Then class on Tuesday, where I'll turn in the film, storyboard, script, shot list, production log, and a short paper explaining a bunch of stuff. Lots to do (and remember to bring to class).

But overall, I'm really happy with the way everything went. I don't how the footage looks yet (still hunting around for a mini-USB to transfer the footage), but I'm optimistic.

Mid-action shot, knocking over the dollhouse.
Kaleb blocking out the sunlight on Kyndal's face (our garage sale owner)...
"You're gonna have to pay for that."
Some more action shots
Waiting for the train to pass. SO. LOUD.
There were so many different shots in this scene.
(Also, please admire the pretty camera)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Filming Adventures

Today I had a film shoot to film half of my short (which is due in class on Tuesday). With two actors and four crew members (including myself), we successfully filmed three scenes in four hours. Granted, they were the shortest (and easiest) scenes in the film, but it was still a success.

The entire short film is five scenes for a total run time of about seven minutes (though I hope to shorten it up a bit with editing), and tomorrow we are filming the last two scenes. Those last two are the most dramatic, so it's probably good that we shot the others first, since this way my actors will have had the chance to rehearse and get to know each other before we shoot the intense argument moments.

Today was actually quite fun. The heat was a bit intense at times, running around on the hot pavement, but we managed to film that entire scene in the car in only two hours.

I'm sure we looked really comical out there. I'm perched on the car holding the camera, my butt wedged into the window. Kaleb is running backward, and we're followed by another crew member taking notes on the start and stop times of each clip, etc.

We were filming out on a newly-paved (thankfully empty) parking lot, and we would film the entire scene with the car traveling at a crawl from south to north. Then when we got to the end of the scene (and pavement), we'd drive the car back to the start and film the scene again, still going from south to north. We had to do this at least ten or twelve times, since we needed to film the entire scene again each time I changed camera angles or shot lengths (medium shot = from the chest up, close up = just the face, etc). Because even though I have already drawn out on my storyboard how I want the story to look/piece together at the end, having the entire scene available in all different camera angles and shot sizes will give me more options as an editor. It was a long process to film, but hopefully worth it.

Overall, I think today was a success. I still need to look over the footage tonight though and make sure I have everything I want in order to edit those three scenes together (which I'm sure I do).

And then, tomorrow morning, we are filming a scene which was supposed to take place at a Salvation Army or Goodwill. I just needed it to take place somewhere where people buy baby clothes. But finally, after a gazillion phone calls, leaving way too many messages with random people, and basically hounding the daylights out of both companies, I was given the "Sorry, we aren't able to do that." Goodwill can't do it because it's a liability (understandable), and Salvation Army couldn't do it on such short notice (though I'd like to point out that if they'd actually returned my phone calls when I started calling them a week ago, it wouldn't have been short notice).

So my alternative? We're having a garage sale! Not really. But I am creating what would look like a garage sale (to the untrained eye) in my front yard, and I'm having the two main characters show up to the garage sale looking for baby things. It is in no way as good as a clothing/thrift store. But it will have to do. I just hope some sweet old lady out on her Saturday-morning garage-sale route doesn't try to stop by and buy my roommate's grill. That could be bad.

Pictures from Today

So you can't really tell from the photo, but the car is actually moving forward.
Kaleb is running backwards and looking in the camera's viewfinder to make
sure the actors are staying in the frame, and my butt is wedged into the car window
so I can hold the camera steady to prevent wobble. Student filmmaking at its best.

P.J. and Brynne, my awesome actors.
Kyndal in the back seat, holding the boom mic.
Reviewing my storyboard and giving the actors a few more comments.
Kaleb using the big shiny reflective circle to block out
glaring sunlight on the actors faces (while also shading me
from the sun... who completely forgot to put on sunblock
when filming for hours in the pounding sun. Nice.)

. . .

I've mentioned this before, but Facebook is really a treasure trove for inspirational quotes. I'd say that at least 60% of all quotes I put on here are things I found on a friend's page. Like the one below... amazing.

"To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play GOES ON and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" 

--Dead Poet's Society

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breaking the Rule

Did you ever notice that we say "a university," not "an university" (like it should be)? So odd.

Claymation Bunnies

I know claymation (or anything in stop-motion animation) takes a really long time to create, but the more I think about it, the more fun I think it would be to make a claymation short film. All it takes is a steady camera, lighting, and something that moves or changes shape. And they are so much fun to watch!

New Goal: Make a stop-motion/claymation film before I graduate.

Inspiration: Enjoy the commercial below.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Great Day

After weeks of putting up with heavy hair and split ends, I finally carved some time out of my day and went to Earl for a haircut. Well, I actually don't remember if his name is Earl or not. When I called to set up my appointment, I just asked for the old man. But I'll call him Earl in this story for simplicity's sake (and because he kinda looks like one).

So anyway, I called the salon and asked to get a haircut.

"Of course," said the receptionist. "And who would you like to have cut your hair today?"

"Well, I don't really remember his name. But he's kind of an older fellow..."

"Oh, the Cowboy?" she asked.

"Sure, I guess. I just remember him being old."

That's basically how I set up my hair appointment. No joke.

But I was determined to have an appointment with Earl. You see, Earl and I met by accident. It was quite serendipitous, really. The last time I went to Salon Take 5 (in the spring), I set up my appointment last minute and the "new guy" was the only one available that day.

I didn't think anything about it, until I showed up at the salon and the new guy turned out to be a 65-year-old horse trainer/haircutting extraordinaire with a smoker's rasp and the funniest stories I've ever heard. While I was initially skeptical, Earl and I immediately bonded over Paradise Valley, Montana (I used to live there and he visits friends there often), and when I left with the best haircut I've ever had, I became a loyal client forever.

So naturally, while I couldn't remember my excellent friend's name, I remembered that I definitely wanted him to cut my hair again.

Haircuts from Earl are always interesting. For example, today's stories included how he is currently dating a few ladies for whom he used to cut hair when they were children. As he said, fifteen years makes a much bigger difference when the spread is 15 yrs to 30 yrs old, but it doesn't matter now, when it's 50 to 65 yrs old. He also talked about being friends with former owners of Warner Brothers, and he recounted his escapades of hitting on the wives of famous actors. I love that man. He's such a hoot.

And now, an hour later (after delightful conversation and a wonderful nap while he dried my hair), I have a great haircut and my head feels a few pounds lighter. Today's a great day. I kinda feel like dancing down the sidewalk in this beautiful weather.

On a side note, I've decided that you should never cross a woman after she's gotten a new hair cut. There's a huge power boost that comes with changing something as drastic as hair. I mean, there's definitely a reason we get our hair cut after breakups and before big events.

Eavesdropping = Awesome

Passing through a pair of glass double doors on the way to my Shakespeare class this morning, I overheard the funniest thing:

Boy: "You just don't give off the intelligent vibe."
Girl: "You're so mean!"

I really wish I had heard the beginning of that conversation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby Items Needed

I'm filming a short film this weekend about a high school girl who is pregnant and has to go shopping for a crib with her boyfriend/baby daddy. The problem is that at some point in the film, the guy needs to break a crib railing (or break something large and baby-related). It's a critical plot point.

Turns out, however, that a cheap baby crib is a really hard prop to find. Really hard.

I should have thought of this before writing a broken baby crib into my script. Because now I have to either A) change my script, B) buy a baby crib to break-- which I don't have the money for, or C) pray for a miracle. Having no pregnant friends in the near vicinity, praying for a crib to suddenly appear on my front stoop doesn't seem like a viable option. Unfortunately.

Lessons Learned From This Project:
(I feel like I should scream this because I did sooooo many things wrong on this short)

1. Don't write expensive items into your script until you have the money to buy them. Because if you don't have the money to buy them in the first place, then you sure as hell don't have the money to buy them and then promptly break them.

2. Don't require your film to be set in one specific, set-in-stone, can't-change-now location until you've maybe called them first and requested permission to film. Because otherwise it's inevitable that they either aren't open on the day you need to film, or they don't want you there in the first place. 

3. Have a back-up plan for EVERYTHING (especially locations).

4. Reserve equipment further in advance.

5. Make things easier on yourself. Don't write more than one location into your narrative. Maybe even limit it to one character. Simplicity is best when you only have three weeks to pull the project together.

But as they say, hindsight is 20/20.


Lauren, a friend from Cannes (and fellow blogger-extraordinaire currently living it up in London) suggested that I look up Listography as a potential procrastination method. How perfect!

I already make lists all the time about absolutely anything and everything, and now I can continue this hobby online. Excellent.

I've made a Listography profile, and while I don't think it's very interesting yet, feel free to check it out:

. . .

This has been a favorite quote of mine for a long time. I found it while in high school, after watching the movie Coach Carter and searching online for "that one quote."

Once found, I memorized it and then wrote the beginning of the quote on little piece of paper and stuck it in my wallet so I would stumble upon it every once and a while and feel re-inspired. Later I found the rest of the quote online, and I have decided that I like the second half even better (especially the last two lines).

At some point, I'd love to read the book where this comes from. If it's anything like the quote, it's probably amazing.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson, in A Return to Love

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Open Letter to IMDb

Dear Internet Movie Database,

I passionately dislike your new formatting. Why on Earth would you want to change something so great as the classic IMDb page? The new layout is not intuitive and it tells you so much less about each film than it used to.

Please change it back! Some of us don't have the time it takes to hunt around on your site for information that used to be easy to find. We have film papers to write.

A Disgruntled Film Student

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fried Food, Football and Friends (cont'd)

Finding a good place to watch the OU/TX football game turned out to be a bit of an adventure. Our first inclination was to head to the end of the West End, to the House of Blues. Tess had heard something about it, so I figured that was recommendation enough to at least check it out.

Our wanderings took us by these awesome glasses... I want a pair!

When we got to the House of Blues, we got in some random line outside one of the front doors, which took us up to the top floor. We didn't know where we were headed, so I kinda feel lucky that we ended up in a restaurant and not some creepy haunted floor or raunchy strip club.

The restaurant ended up being this exotic Indian food place, complete with cloth-covered walls, plush pillows around knee-high tables, and dim lighting. It was beautiful, and would be an absolute blast to go on a date or take a group of friends there. But it wasn't exactly the football atmosphere we were looking for. After taking some pictures to document the moment, we snuck back down the elevator.

Before we left the House of Blues entirely, however, we wandered around the building's many levels and rooms. It kinda reminded me of Dante descending through the various levels of Hell or whatnot (except that it wasn't anything remotely like Hell). But it was fun to explore, because each room we walked through was distinctly different from the last in decorations and atmosphere... Thinks going from plush Indian carpeting to heavy-metal scream-o band. 

Finally we ended up at Hooters (classy, I know), where it was already packed. Definitely a football game atmosphere. The hostess said the wait would be anywhere between 30 minutes and four hours-- depending if anyone left during the game. That was unlikely. 

We were about to give up and try somewhere else when we noticed a gap at the bar. There weren't any seats there, but there was definitely space. So we convinced some guys to let us squeeze in next to them, pulling up tall stools from nearby tables. Randomly, Tess ended up knowing one of the guys, so we weren't even sitting next to complete strangers either.

The game was a blast. We won, 28-20. And our seats at the bar were prime real estate -- we had a perfect view of numerous TVs and all it took was flagging down the bartender to get something to eat/drink. No wait time. So naturally I took advantage of that, eating a giant burger before kick-off, followed by fried pickles during half-time. And I probably drank at least ten tall glasses of Pepsi. At least. I mean, those games last foreeeeeever.

It was pretty late by the time the game ended, and Tess and I headed back to the hotel (where the car was still parked) to wait for Brittany and Valerie. I fell asleep while we were waiting.

Once they joined us, we piled into the car and drove to Fort Worth (about 45 minutes away). We ate at this really fun mexican restaurant called Joe T. Garcia's, which is super famous (locally) and takes up almost an entire square block. It is surrounded by a high wall, and inside it is full of fountains, overgrown plants, tall trees, and giant terracotta pots. It's so big (and beautiful) that you could have your wedding reception on one end of the plaza, and the place could still be open for business on the other.

After dinner, we went to Billy Bob's for some good ol' two-stepping. I'd never done it before, but it was so so so so much fun. I LOVE DANCING!

The place itself was pretty neat. It's all one open room (no walls), and on one end of the building was a large stage where Clint Black was playing (woot for live music!), and on the other end was an area with casino and arcade-type games. In the center of it all was a dance floor. Perfect for two-stepping.

Apparently there is place similar to Billy Bob's in Oklahoma City that my roommate Madison has been trying to get everyone to go to for a while now. I was always pretty lukewarm about the idea, but now.... now that I know what it means to two-step (oh the spinning!), I'd be happy to spend every Friday night there. And so, with only one year left of school, I just might buckle and buy myself some cowboy boots--- A girl's gotta dance.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fried Food, Football and Friends

I'm back from my brief encounter with Texas, and I can say with certainty that that's the best time I've ever had in Dallas, hands down. I love my friends.

We started our weekend on Thursday, driving down late in the evening to go to a birthday dinner that our roommate Brittany's family had planned for her. And while it was fun, we've all decided that turning twenty-two seems rather anti-climatic after all the much-celebrated, highly-anticipated birthdays of the past.

Think about it... Every birthday until you are six is awesome because it's really easy to shop for you and Mom throws a huge party because she's one year closer to getting you out of diapers or out of the house for half-day preschool. Ten is the bomb because you're officially double digits (and for me, the "golden birthday" that's supposed to mean something but doesn't really), and fifteen in Montana means you get your drivers license (or at least, it used to). Sweet Sixteen comes next-- the best birthday party I've ever had (think Capture the Flag and s'mores). And then, of course, comes your two biggest birthdays -- Eighteen (legally an adult) and Twenty-One (socially an adult). All the big ones.

After that, the celebrations get smaller and smaller. Less and less people come out for your party. And if it weren't for Facebook, people wouldn't even know it was your special day. Sometimes, my parents wouldn't even remember how old they were turning. Now that's depressing.

Anyway... to tie that tangent in, Brittany had a lovely 22nd celebration with family, good Mexican food, and delicious ice-cream cake.

The next morning (Friday), we slept in, didn't do any of the homework we told ourselves we'd do, and headed into downtown Dallas around one, hitting some serious traffic on the way in. To be expected, though we definitely (thankfully) missed the masses that came later that afternoon.

Friday evening, we got ourselves all gussied up and headed to the West End, an area of downtown Dallas that is traditionally full of OU and UT fans on the night before the big game. It's a sea of orange and red, and everyone shouts and taunts each other (all in good fun, but there are lots of policemen around, just in case it gets out of hand-- apparently they made 52 arrests there that night). The most popular cheer from the OU camp was "U-C-L-A! U-C-L-A!" (because UT lost to UCLA the weekend before). It's a fun, rowdy atmosphere, and it was all the more fun because you're constantly seeing people you know.

Saturday was a beautiful day. We took our time getting ready in the morning and then we joined the mass of students leaving our hotel and hopping on the DART (Hooray for public transportation!). We got off the DART at the West End, where Valerie and Brittany, proud owners of tickets to the game, split off to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the fairgrounds (where the football stadium is). Tess and I, however, did not have tickets.

And so we set off to find a fun place to watch the game, which turned into an adventure (to be continued)...

Environmental Impact

Today, by following some random links on a computer in the IT lab, I found my environment impact from printing since Feb. 1st, 2008 (when IT first started tracking these things).

Trees  0.825% of a tree since Feb 1, 2008
Carbon  5.7 kg of carbon dioxide since Feb 1, 2008
Energy  Equivalent to running a 60W bulb for 188.1 hours

Well, at least I haven't killed an entire tree yet.

About Me

... A few thoughts to pass the time...