Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stefanie, how do you do it!?!

Once again, this blog post is squarely the fault of Stef, who challenged me (amongst others) to write 10 honest things about myself on the blog and then challenge other bloggers. Sadly, I don't know many other bloggers - particularly who weren't already challenged by Stef - so that part is gone. What follows are 10 honest things about me - but I warn you...they are uncharacteristically honest - don't read ahead if you don't want to know what sort of messed up psyche exists up here in this head of mine...(that just makes you want to read it more doesn't it!).

Here goes:

1 - I HONESTLY think I'm delightful - seriously, how messed up is that?

2 - I keep people at a distance, mostly because I haven't decided where my life will take me, and I need to be able to leave at any given moment - as a result, I start relationships with the end already in mind. I enjoy them immensely, don't get me wrong, and I love the people I surround myself with...but I keep myself distant enough that when I leave, which I inevitably do, it won't upset the balance too much.

3 - as a result of 2, I tend to make better friends with couples rather than individuals - that way, of the 3 of us, I'm the least important, and therefore easiest to lose.

4 - I'm aware of how stupid 2 and 3 are, yet find myself doing it over and over again, regardless. It's how I feel comfortable...Pretty sick, huh?

5 - I generally have the same eating habits I had when I was 6 years old, and have to force myself to eat like a grown up.

6 - I have an ongoing battle in my head because I honestly believe two things - that I'm smart, and that I'm unqualified. Those two opposing beliefs cause for some interesting emotions.

7 - Related: I don't share emotions - at least, not unhappy ones.

8 - I enjoy the theatre - deal with it.

9 - More than anything, I am instantly attracted to laughter.

10 - I have recently found my dream job, and it is such a relief to feel that way (now if only I were qualified...; )

That's that! I'll be checking all your blogs soon...however, it just occured to me that only a couple of people even know I'm writing on mine again...excellent...

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm back, bitches!

Well, it does seem like I should begin with an apology.

After all, it's been almost two years since my last post (where I also, coincidentally, declared I was back...I'm going to delete that one now), and let's face it - my blog was a delight...I let my fans down (and by fans, of course, I mean Raynes', who were the only ones reading it anyway), and so...I apologize. Savor that - genuine apologies don't come naturally to me, you should be proud... but also be warned - every apology I make must be matched with my intentionally hurting someone to maintain order and balance in the universe, and because small children can't fight back, I usually have to call a toddler ugly to their face...Hope you can live with that...monsters! (Seriously though, some kids just need to hear it).

The truth is, the reason I haven't blogged in so long is that I made it way too hard on myself. Those damn stories took their toll - they had outlines, drafts...and if I wrote one and didn't think it was funny enough, I didn't publish it...simple as that. So I'm not even going to try to do that anymore, and if you're disappointed, well, I'm sorry (that one wasn't genuine, so don't worry, no more kids will be emotionally scarred).

What I WILL do is write - often - about what's happening in my life. Sometimes they'll be funny, sometimes maybe not; sometimes there will be stories, other times not; sometimes I might even attach a picture or two, and other times...not. In other words, I'm starting a BLOG! Hope that's okay.

So let me begin this Blog Redux with a recent update.

As some of you know, I recently worked a job on a MTV Vampire show as a Camera Assistant. I had done some camera assisting in the past, but never on a show this big or professional and not for 5 years - it showed. The first week was a disaster. My job, which includes things like slating and marking actor positions in scenes, is very visible and I didn't know a damn thing about what I was doing, so everytime I messed up, which was often, I did it in front of a room full of people who did not think it was funny. I could literally feel people judging me, and actually heard someone call me an idiot. It all came to a head when, three days into it, I accidentally damaged a monitor - I pushed the monitor cart over a cable, which cased one $2000 monitor screen to bump into another $2000 monitor screen and scratch it pretty noticeably - that was BAD news. The producers were pissed, my superiors were pissed...quite frankly, I don't know how I wasn't fired. The good news (although I wasn't sure it WAS good news at the time) was that I WASN'T fired - they thought I was an idiot, but they kept me on anyways.

I was not happy. What had started off as an exciting opportunity that I felt genuinely lucky to have gotten had become a nightmare that I was trying to figure out how to get the hell out of. So, that weekend, as anyone would, I let off a little steam. I told my friends how much I wasn't enjoying it, and how I thought the whole feature film world was silly and crazy, and that I didn't think I wanted to do this much longer. I was complaining...and maybe whining a little.

About 2 minutes later, I got a call from my BOSS, who informed me that I had been pocket dialing him for the last 15 minutes!!

(I'm just gonna give you a minute to absorb that - I was bitching about work while pocket dialing my BOSS!!!!!!! What could be worse!!!!!)

The nervous laughter that came out of my mouth when he told me that was RIDICULOUS - "Oh, really? Oh man, I'm sorry - how many times did I call you? Three? Oh oops! Sorry to bug you, how funny, hahaha teeheehee...." I honestly don't know how much he heard, if he heard anything, but FOR THE LOVE - I felt like the biggest idiot ever. And yet, STILL, I didn't get fired. And again, I wasn't sure I was happy about that.

After the terror of the first week, and the horror of the weekend, I decided that if I was going to keep going, the second week would be better then the first - it HAD to be or I wasn't gonna make, whether I quit or was fired, either way. So I determined to ignore every bad feeling, put my head down, and work my ass off - and every time I felt dumb, or judged, I was just gonna smile, breath, and move on. So I did, and it went a lot better. In fact, there were only TWO big mistakes in the second week!!

The first one involved me accidentally padlocking my boss (yes, the same boss) inside the camera truck while he was napping. I know, I know - what the hell is wrong with me! I went in, changed some batteries, hummed a little to myself cause I was feeling better and doing better, and then locked the door when I left, never noticing the human being sleeping nearby!!! Needless to say, I had another stomach sinking moment when I saw people running towards the camera truck as we were getting ready to roll and saying "someone locked the focus puller in the truck" into their walkies. Luckily, everyone thought that was kind of funny, so I still wasn't fired - just teased ("I'm gonna run to the truck for a minute, don't lock me in there", that kind of thing),

The second one wasn't even really my fault - in fact, a lot of things I got in trouble for weren't really my fault, but as my friend Chris said, on a film set, crap rolls downhill and I was at the bottom. I was pushing a camera cart though a doorway in the abandoned school we were shooting at that was literally falling apart - like, paint falling off the walls, windows broken, the works. So as I pushed the cart through the doorway, there was a noise and something fell. Now, I was pushing the cart with the lenses on it, so at first, I was panicked looking at the floor for what dropped. What I found was a piece of plastic that had literally fallen off the door AS i walked through it (because the building was falling apart and I was the last one to push my cart through). That, in itself, wasn't that bad. Nothing was broken, no harm no foul, I just put the plastic back on the door and it was done... What was bad about it was that it happened at the exact same second that the producer, who already hated me because of the monitors, walked by. So she made sure to remind my boss, in front of me, that if I broke anything else I was out of there, and then took joy in adding "if the Trainee hasn't broken it yet" to every sentence she spoke when I was nearby for the rest of the day.

I was frustrated, but I did what I said I would do. I smiled, took a breath, and put it out of my mind. By the end of the second week, despite those small setbacks, I was actually doing a LOT better, and people were genuinely impressed and beginning to like me. I made it damn hard for them NOT to like me, in fact, because with that new attitude, I was the nicest, most positive, and most polite trainee they had ever met. To put it mildly, I put on the charm.

The third week was even better!! I just had ONE heart stopping moment, but luckily for me, this one ended up working in my favor. This time, we were shooting handheld, and after the camera operator is done shooting, he gives the camera to someone else who holds onto it until we are ready to go again. So that guy set the camera on the table, asked me to put my hand on it to make sure it didn't fall, and then, before I had even taken one step toward him, took his hand off the camera and started to walk away. As he did that, the world slowed down for me - because I saw the camera tipping, and knew it was going to fall over. So I jumped forward, and grabbed onto the handle just as it fell sideways, stopping it from falling hard, but not able to stop it from falling completely. It made a noise, and I looked up and saw everyone on set looking at ME holding the handle of a camera that just tipped over...and I thought, holy s*@T - everyone here thinks I just knocked this $20,000 camera over, this is finally it - I am totally fired. That split second, everyone looking at me, lasted FOREVER and I actually heard myself say, "no." My boss came running over and asked what the hell happened with a look of controlled anger on his face. LUCKILY for me, the guy who actually took his hand off the camera (he's a big deal on set), came over and said it was his fault, that he let go before it was secure, and that I actually caught the camera and prevented something worse from happening. In other words, he took the rap instead of letting it all fall on me - probably the only time that happened in the whole 16 day shoot! So suddenly, I was the hero!! People started calling out "Good catch, Utah" (my nickname), and "Way to go!", that kind of thing...So my heart eventually started beating again, and I finished out the show with flying colors!

So, the show started out pretty rough. But by the end, now that it's over, I can actually say that I liked it, that the people liked me, that I had fun, and I'd even do it again! I did not foresee myself saying that after the first week, believe me. But by the end, the crew were buying me lunch or dinner and telling me how they didn't think I was gonna make it at first, but that they were impressed by how hard I worked and that I ended up doing a really good job. They even bought me a gift! And I've gotten two jobs already from people from that show, so I ended on a high enough note, I guess, to at least dull the memory of that horrifying first week and leave a good taste in people's mouths (nate, that's for you).

Anyways, that the first post on my new blog. More to come.

PS - Stefanie, you will delight in knowing that this whole blogging renewal in me was brought on because I saw Julie & Julia tonight...alone...and thought it was delightful (it's about blogging). Do you see how I publicly embarrass myself to appease you, Stefanie? How do you do that?!?

Monday, November 5, 2007

The terribly important announcement.

Yes, dear bloggers, I have returned...

The ego is such a funny thing. One day (or maybe more like 45) you find yourself at home, relaxing, content to never blog again and living a life of pure frivolity -- mostly skipping and playing super-tense games of solitary Jenga -- and then you find a shout-out on a friends blog and your world changes.

Because of Ali (and of course the strange power that Stefanie wields over me), I will update the blog this week with a terrifying and terribly important new story. It will thrill, chill and fulfill all who dare read it. I call it:

The terribly important story of why I was chased by a miniature horse on an almost deserted Alaskan Island.

I do apologize for my absense, and hope you've all learned something about me from this experience: I'll do anything for public praise -- even further degrade myself by detailing the sad misadventures of my youth for your shared enjoyment.

Stay tuned...

PS -- I rhyme now. Oh yes...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The terribly important stoy of... Why in the third grade I was sent from class to class to sing...wait for it...the Rainbow Connection

The masses have spoken (all 4 of you), and the winner this week is The Rainbow Connection story -- hands down. It is another tale of tragic nerdiness that reinforces the chilling power of music to change lives and timeless impact of one, Kermit the Frog.

Picture it.

An anxious blond boy on the road to chubby breaths heavily in the boys bathroom of Springbrook Elementary. He is alone, leaning over the sink, clutching the smooth, cold porcelin in his blood-drained fingers, and staring at himself, sweaty and white, in the tattered mirror. Outside, he hears the masses of first graders stamping their feet, an external anticipating heartbeat thumping almost as loudly as his own. He breaths deeply. "You can do this," he assures himself, "just one last time."

The heavy, wooden door to the boys room creaks open behind him and Ms. Fegan, the first-grade teacher, enters slowly.

"They're calling your name," she says softly, aware of his nerves and in awe of the talent encapsulated in the small, but ever expanding body.

"I can't," he stutters, doubt overtaking him, "Dammit, I can't do it."

She eyes him for a moment, unsure of herself, and then says, "I've seen something remarkable this last week. I've seen these delinquent, inner-city first graders who no one expected anything from but trouble, turn their lives around because of the power of music, the power of your gift." She steps toward him cautiously, putting her hand on his shoulder. "Because of you," she whispers, "these kids may just have a chance at life. Don't take that away."

"I don't know if I can go out there," he heaves, haunted by the taunts of his fellow third graders who have recently started calling him Kermit the Fag.

"Dammit, Brett, you're a performer," she exclaims, "As natural as I've ever seen. Now, get out there and fulfill your purpose. Perform to save these kids. Perform...to save yourself."

Finally he looks at her, her eyes ablaze with passion and hope, and feels somewhat comforted. He nods.

As he enters the class full of rowdy first-graders, a hush falls over the room. Small faces full of marvel and wonder gaze up at the boy they've heard so much about. He looks entirely unremarkable -- pushing chubby and wearing a slightly clingy grey track suit and small wire glasses -- but his reputation has become large amongst these kids, and they both respect and fear his influence.

The lights dim, and the guitar begins; softly...slowly...a light shines on a young boy, his back turned to the silent crowd.

"Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side..."

His voice is like honey, sweet and gentle, but containing a power unknown to anyone, both beautiful and dangerous.

"Rainbows are vision, and only illusions; Rainbows have nothing to hide..."

He turns slowly, the light bouncing off his thin glasses as though radiating directly from him. There are gasps.

"So we've been told and some chose to believe it; I know their wrong, wait and see...Someday, we'll find it -- the Rainbow Connection -- the lovers, the dreamers and me."

The tremulous strumming of the guitar slows and the lights dim as darkness momentarily settles over the room. Then, suddenly, with the explosive energy of a nuclear bomb, the band kicks in, loud and vibrant. Colored lights burst into the room, moving like fireflies across the sea of faces, and the tempo builds, a la Proud Mary by Tina Turner, to a bouyant, racing speed. Brett, now wearing a sequin headband, dances energetically to the beat, his feet thumping, his eyes closed, his hands gripping the microphone as though connected somehow. Then, a voice erupts completely unlike the first, powerful and imposing.


There are squeals of delight from the crowd, now a kinetic heap of bobbing heads, rocking out to pure musical inspiration. As he sings, Brett punches his hands wildly in the air, the sequin headband emitting a flashing halo of light around his flailing head, his legs jogging freely like something out of flashdance. Somewhere in the thick air of genius filling the room, Brett loses his shirt and is now the epitome of rock in track pants and reeboks, first graders flying everywhere in what has become a mosh pit of inspiration.


The last note swells into a shriek that would make Robert Plant himself proud and jealous. Strobes bouce through the classroom, freezing the sight of delinquint first graders coloring over their schoolyard gang symbols with chalk and finger paints, expelling their previously troubled existences for a new life devoted to inspirational rock. At the center of the commotion, Brett, in his shining sequin headband and elastic ankled track pants, smiles widely.

The lights come up and the crowd erupts. Ms. Fegan runs to the stage and pulls Brett into a tight embrace. Her face is streaked with cheap mascara as she yells to him over the roar of first-graders, "I BELIEVE!" she cries, "I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF RAINBOWS!!"

The rest of the day fades into Rock History, and Brett, knowing he has succeeded never performs again.

And that is the terribly important story of why, in the third grade, I was sent from class to class to sing a rocking version of the Rainbow Connection.

For full lyrics from the Rainbow Connection (to see how truly nerdy I was) visit:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Vote

As always bloggers, I put it to you. What should I blog about next?

The terribly important story of...

a) Why I was chased by a miniature horse on an almost deserted Alaskan Island.

b) Why I have an unnatural fear of deer.

c) Why, in the third grade, I was sent from class to class to sing, wait for it...the Rainbow Connection.


d) Why I'll never get married until Oprah does.

Think hard. I await your decision.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The terribly important stoy of... Why I wore track pants until I was 13

Well, none of you voted, and I heard you loud and clear. Track pants wins hands down -- why? Because I'm not yet ready to reveal my unnatural love of Oprah, that's why, and since I am the author of this exercise in self-importance I call a blog, I have decided to carry the secret of my Oprah-love to the grave.

Fair warning: what you're about to read is a tragic tale that is absolutely, positively and at least a little bit true. Keep in mind that I've turned out awesome, so don't cry for me, bloggers (although if you don't at least get choked up...you're heartless and probably kill puppies). And now...

Picture it.

An overweight seventh grader with rosey cheeks and a strong optometrical prescription sits alone at school doodling suns with smiles in his dollar-store notebook and humming "Make your own kind of Music" by the great Mama Cass quietly to himself. He is a kind boy -- unassuming -- with a winning smile and a fantastic underhand volleyball serve, and yet, somehow, he is not the image of elementary school popularity. He is quiet, he is awkward, and everyday he wears a different matching top and bottom track suit (those are sweats for you Americans, and not in an Ashton Kutcher "Dude, where's my Car?" kind of way, but in an elastic-waist-and-ankle-with-some-neon-design-emblazoned-on-the-top kind of way). This wouldn't, of course, be a big deal at one time -- every kid in his class had once worn a track suit to school, after all -- the problem was that most kids had stopped wearing this attire when they were 9, and Brett, our overweight hero, was pushing 13.

The kids at school had not let Brett's clothes go unnoticed; in fact, they took every opportunity to tease him. They even went so far as to declare "Trackpants Thursday" -- the day that all the cool boys wore track pants as a sort of tease-the-nerd prepubescent insult orgy -- a weekly reminder that no one liked him and he was different. Brett pretended not to understand their teasing; to assume that they all wore track pants that day for the same reasons he did -- comfort and a sheer inability to conquer buttons -- but secretly, he understood their jabs, and cried in his bed at night under his Ultimate Warrior bedspread wearing his zip-up one-sy, wondering why.

'Why must they tease me so," he thought, 'Why can't they just accept that I love the feel of compressed cotton and elastic ankles. Is that so wrong? Is that so...different?'

Then one night he had a dream. He was in K-Mart, his favorite store, surrounded by racks and racks of the highest quality track suits money could buy. Excitedly, he grabbed one of the suits and tried it on. He felt the warmth of the cotton on his skin and sighed...'this is luxury,' he thought. Suddenly and rather unexpectedly, he felt hot and realized he was in the most searing pain. He looked down at his clothes, horrified, to see the elastic bands squeezing so tightly around his waist and ankles that he was turning purple. "Get it off," he yelled desperately, but to no avail; he was alone. He struggled with the suit, blood starting to trickle out over the viscious grip of the elastic. "No," he screamed, "Someone help me!" He tore at the suit with all his strength, wrestling violently with the mesh of devilish cotton, but the suit would not let go. "I don't want to wear track suits anymore," he cried, " I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" He felt the elastic squeeze tightly, crushing his insides with one lurching tug, and then --

-- He awoke alone. His zip-up one-sy was drenched in sweat or pee, he couldn't tell. Frantically, he turned on the lamp beside his bed. The cold, cheap walls of K-Mart had faded, and he was back in his room. He erupted from his bed and flung open the closet door revealing several neatly organized shelves full of folded track suits. Terror filled him, and he began to scream.

A few rooms away, Brett's mother startled awake, a piercing sound coming from her son's room. She jumped from her bed, threw on her robe and bolted down the hall. She burst into Brett's room and gasped. She was not prepared for what she saw. Her son lay on the floor surrounded by torn bits of bloody cotton, muttering something quietly to himself. He had a crazed look on his face, and fear gripped her as she realized what he had done. All the track suits were out of the closest and had been ripped, by hand she realized, into a million pieces covering the room. Her heart raced, and terror-stricken, she heard the words her son was muttering over and over again: kill the track suits. She fell to her knees and screamed, terrified, into the night.

The next day, Brett wore his first pair of jeans, and for the rest of his life since that night, has been utterly petrified of anything with elastic ankles.

And that, dear bloggers, is the terribly important story of why I wore track pants until I was 13.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Always a blogger, never a blog....

Wow. My first (and, who are we kidding, possibly last) post. Stefanie Farnsworth told me I should do this, and as I do whatever Stefanie says (you would too if you knew her), here I am -- mostly because I did this Celebrity Look-alike thing and couldn't figure out how to post it on HER blog. But who knows, maybe I'll be good at this...I have been told I write a killer email, after all. I intend to keep this blog enormously self-absorbed. I'm fantastically interesting, and have always assumed people wanted to know more about me -- well, lucky readers -- here's your chance!!
I'll begin with the celebrity look-alike thing. I think it picked mostly people who wear glasses, like I do, because I don't really look like any of these people. Except Josh Duhamel -- people are always asking me if we're brothers...so annoying...
Tune in tomorrow for my explanation of either a) why I have an unnatural love for Oprah, or b) why I wore track pant (those are sweats) until I was 13 years old.
Feel free to vote.