Wednesday, August 22, 2007

playing catch up on the summer

Well I'll be darned if it hasn't been all summer and I haven't written a smidge. This is odd, as you would think that, while I was sitting around being uncomfy post-tonsilectomy, I would kill some time by writing. But I didn't, because I am lame.

The tonsilectomy wasn't so bad, really. I hardly ate anything for two weeks, and I couldn't talk very well, but it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as previous victims had lead me to believe. Perhaps this was the result of the liquid codeine, or perhaps I am just a more adaptable person, who knows. In either case, it was nice to find that the experience wasn't as horrible as I was anticipating. There's not a whole lot else to say about it, really. It took up a good chunk of my summer in which I could have been doing interesting things, or making money, but I guess it's good that I did it. Health is a good thing.

Before the tonsilectomy was actually the best part of my summer: I went to Chicago, and then the day after I got back to LA I drove up north to Sacramento/Auburn to AC for a movie my friend Richard was shooting. My trip to Chicago was so lovely! Mind you, I didn't get to see EVERYONE I wanted to, but there was a whole happy gaggle of people I did see, and it was grand. I stayed with Jack, in the room vacated by Annie, who was back home in Maryland for the week. I almost completely missed her, but we were able to hang out the day I left for awhile, and to have lunch with Jackie Doherty at Potbelly's! Ah, Potbelly's. The taste of Chicago. Anyway, I got to see Jack and Tim, obviously, and Kevin, and Kat and Mike DePilla and Mike Sippel and even Pat King, who is impossible to pin down. Kevin and I went to the Andersonville Street Fair and to Ann Sather's, which is also quintessentially Chicago (and quintessentially Swedish, which I like), and had a drink one night with Erik Neinstedt of all people, who just happened to be in town on business. Jack and Kat and I went and had Indian food on Devon Street. I hung out with Brian Perkinson in his "office" at the cage for awhile and heard all the production horror stories of the past year. I also ran into Jamie Madison and Paul Kruse (separately), both at random times. I meant to see more of Jamie but it was not to be, just like seeing Sarah Graber was not to be. Boo.

(Pat and Tim)

I spent some quality time on the Northwestern campus, which always makes me happy because it doesn't change much (although that building next to Tech is done now, and looks weird). The lakefill always makes me so happy, with its painted rocks and pristine trees, the site of picnics and Dillo Days and countless midnight walk-n-talks with Kevin. All over Evanston little things have changed here and there, but it's essentially the same. It certainly has the same atmosphere, thank goodness.

(Chicago from the Lakefill)

(painted Lakefill rocks)

And of course I went up to Ryan Field and spent a few hours with Natalie and Alec and Jill, who are doing really well. They got a new dog, Lily, who is a tiny little dachshund and rather afraid of things, which is quite a contrast to Chloe, a big, galumphing Airdale whom they had to give away because she started attacking other dogs. We all played cards for awhile, then got ice cream at Homer's, and then Jill left to do something and the kids and I went to dinner at a Japanese place in the neighborhood. Natalie is going into 6th grade, if you can believe it, and Alec is going into 3rd... this makes me feel very old, given that Nat was 5 and Alec was two when I met them. Age! Bah.

(Natalie and Alec on the bench in their dad's memorial in the park next to their house)

The movie I worked on with Richard was completely insane. I could go on and on and on about what, specifically, was insane about it, but let's just say that the production department had no idea what it was doing. We were in the hot sun in Auburn for 6 days, and they didn't really care about when we had meals, or whether we had enough to eat, or whether they'd scheduled enough time at a location to feasibly shoot a scene, etc. etc. etc. into infinity. I don't want to say too much bad about it or name names, as this is ye olde interweb, but let's just say that every single one of us deserved to be paid for putting up with their bullshit, and none of us were. Plus, Richard and I were staying with the director and producer and their wives, which made everything just that much more awkward. The good parts were that a) I learned how to load 35mm film, which is actually a marketable skill, and b) the 1st AC, a guy from Sacramento, was really cool, and now me and Richard are friends with him. Of course he moved to New York when the shoot was over, but still, it was nice to meet someone normal in the film industry.

AFI brochure pic
(Dragos (the director/AFI producer), Richard and me with the 35mm BL3)

The rest of the summer has been spent working at Pacific Primary, which is good because I definitely need the money. I've been in all the classrooms for at least a day, and so I feel like I've gotten to know the new kids pretty well, and the old kids remembered me pretty quickly, and in some cases, immediately. It's always a little sad when they don't remember you instantly, but I suppose that in the grand scheme of their lives, I've been gone a really long time. So I've spent a lot of time in the last three weeks doing things like making Play-Doh, playing Tiger Stripes (this great game in which the kids run around the yard incessantly and you give them a marker-stripe on their arm for each lap they do, tires them out to no end), problem solving, rounding up kids for Sand Toy Cleanup (easily the worst part of the day), making snack, singing songs, reading stories... the list goes on and on. I went on a field trip to Rodeo Beach in the Headlands last week with the Rainbow Dolphins and Coyotes, and it brought back lots of memories of that field trip when I was a Summer Assistant. It was never my favorite field trip, because it basically consists of walking up a giant hill with complaining children, having snack, going to the extremely windy beach, and going home... and this time was no different. It was, though, an absolutely beautiful day, and it made me want to go hiking out in the Headlands. At least I had good partners in Rosie, Marcos and Teo. Three old favorites =) So many of my favorites are graduating this year that it actually hurts to think about it. I went to graduation and nearly cried... but I didn't, which is a big step for me. Here are Ryann and Anna, two Rainbow Dolphins, at graduation:

Ryann and Anna

Let's see, what else? Danielle and I went to Santa Cruz one day, just to hang out at the beach. I didn't get to see her much this summer because she was running Aim High. We hung out on the beach all day and then went to the Boardwalk after 5:00, when the rides are all only one ticket each, which we didn't realize. It was a nice surprise, being able to go on 11 rides with the tickets we bought instead of only two! We went on the Cave Train (I had to drag her), and one of the upside-down rides, and the pirate ship and the sky chair and of course the Giant Dipper. We didn't use all our tickets, but it was immensely satisfying nonetheless. Mom and Dad and I went down to Santa Cruz a couple weeks ago, too, to hang out with Uncle Paul for the day and have dinner. That was nice. He just remodeled his house and it looks incredible and completely different, yet somehow still totally feels like Uncle Paul. He gave me a wine rack that came from his childhood home in LA. It's pretty awesome.

I also went to Sonoma by myself for two days last week, just to be in the sun for awhile. It was great. No one was around and I could swim and read and watch silly tv shows all I wanted. It felt like the perfect summery thing to do.

The one thing that absolutely sucked about this summer was that we didn't go to Camp. It was awful, not going, and I don't ever want to not go again, although I'm sure it will probably happen. I think we decided to go next year, though, even if it's just me and Mom and Dad. Not going to Camp is like not having a part of my soul or something. It's just not right. I don't like to think about it.

Last weekend was Diane Blattner's wedding to Shawn in Sonoma, which was fun in a low-key sort of way, and meant that Whitney was in town, and David and Jessica and Willa came down for it after their vacation in Oregon. And Jonah just moved to San Francisco too, to teach at a new private high school in Marin! Between the wedding and Taylor moving back in to our house before he goes travelling in Asia for two months (he quit his job at Dreamworks!), I've seen a lot of family recently. Taylor, Tobin, Jonah, and Michael Selvidge and I went and saw Superbad the other night, which was absolutely hilarious. I've seen a lot of movies with Tobin this summer, which is awesome. He's a good movie buddy.

Now I have to go back to LA the day after tomorrow and I don't want to at all. Yes, it will be nice to see people, and Jack and Kevin will both be there, which is a step up from last year, but man... do I really have to? I just want to stay here in my beautiful city forever. Not looking forward to it. Bother.

How are all of you?


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