Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pattersons take Manzanita Beach by storm

I don't have a ton of time, because I'm sitting in the tiny internet cafe in Manzanita Beach. No wireless internet here- and honestly, I could probably go all weekend without checking my email (I'm pretty much done with thesis, so what important could possibly come into my in box?), but I have horses in facebook horse racing and I have to feed them or they will die! So here I am. Lame, yes, but oh well.

I am having an absolutely fabulous time. Our last reunion was two years ago, and on the first morning I got a call from JJ Jackman, the admissions director at AFI, saying that I had gotten off the waiting list and they wanted me to come, if I could make it down to LA for the beginning of school five days later. He said I could take the weekend to think about it, and boy did I- I hardly remember half of the last reunion. I did a lot of going off by myself and walking around, reading emails at this very internet cafe, calling various wise friends of mine for advice, crying, and worrying about what would happen to Steve if I went to AFI. See, I was supposed to go to New Orleans with Steve to shoot his documentary on the school system there, and going to AFI would mean I would have to ditch him. He was the first one I called- he and Will were in New Orleans at the time, shooting some preliminary stuff- and it was only with his blessing that I felt ok about going to AFI. It was a hell of a weekend, though, and I really have to give my family credit: they did a great job of both leaving me alone and trying to help. I think at one point or another every single adult in the family took me aside and gave me a little heart to heart pep talk- they were all for me going to AFI, because in my family, education is king. A master's degree is just about the greatest thing you can possibly have. On the one hand, it really sucked having to spend my vacation thinking about giant life decisions, but on the other, I really don't think I could have been in a better place when it happened. There was a ridiculous amount of support lavished upon me, and I will never forget how awesome they were. Even Uncle Owen, gruff Uncle Owen who rarely admits to having feelings, acknowledged that I had a pretty crappy decison to make. And Jessica read tarot cards for me to help me decide. It was great. Obviously in the end I decided to go to AFI, and I am ridiculously glad I did- it's really hard to imagine what my life would be like right now if I hadn't. Think of all the people I wouldn't know- Bre and Richard and Jake and Chris and Chris and Letia and Veronica and Nausheen and oh so many others that I think it was definitely the right decision, even though now I am once again unsure about what to do with my life.

But man, it's nice to be here without such an albatross around my neck! I can just enjoy my totally nutso family. We are the biggest bunch of dorks you'll ever meet- for example, today we held our own Olympics out on the beach, with egg races and human knots and Simon Says and all sorts of stupid things. We are also just about the most untalented, uncoordinated group of people you could imagine... well, we have a couple great athletes, but the majority of us are pretty ridiculous. We have a great time just sitting around laughing at each other, so that's what we do most of the time, and it's often quite a shock for anyone who hasn't been around us for long (Jessica's story of the first time she came to Thanksgiving, and how Aunt Karen was the first person she met in the morning, is priceless). So I'm having a blast, and I'll be so sad to leave...

More specifics later =) With pictures! Lots of them!

P.S. Did you all SEE the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics last night? It was spectacular. Absolutely, 100% incredibly stunning. Xhang Yimou (famous Chinese director who did Red Sorghum and Hero and others) designed it all and damned if it wasn't the best Opening Ceremonies in history...

1 comment:

  1. I had to respond to my mom's comment and tell her your nickname as a baby. She thinks Avelyn is getting to be the fattest baby ever so naturally I paid homage to the original.