Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

While procrastinating on doing an assignment for Boxoffice this afternoon, I stumbled across This Article about President Kennedy answering a letter to a third grader concerned about nuclear tests killing Santa. I thought it was fantastic, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Before I go drive illegally across the state to see my family in Tampa, I wanted to share the Christmas present I got from my friend, Jesse, last night before he too headed home for the Holidays -

That's right, folks, that's aDominic Monaghan action figure - via Charlie Pace of Lost. I suppose Jesse knows me very well, and that I almost had an asthma attack upon opening it.

I think I'll take Charlie home with me for Christmas. Perhaps we can all make jokes about how I finally brought a boy home.

So, off I go to finish some long overdue assignments for my favorite employer, and to all of you, Merry Christmas and a safe holiday. I'll probably blog about some horrendous adventure at home in the next couple of days.

It's inevitable.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Near Jail Experience, and other Wintertime Adventures

For those of you who don't know, here's how this went:

A couple of weeks ago, in an effort to simplify shooting my Capstone, I moved the shooting dates way back to start on Wednesday instead of Friday. Perfect! It'll save time and guarantee better performances. Woo.

So, Wednesday night, I paced like a madwoman in front of a girls' dance studio, waiting for my cast and crew to arrive. Somehow, I'd been misinformed, so I got there almost 90 minutes early, and nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking that no one was going to show.

Eventually, however, they did, and we prepared to shoot our Exercise Video and opening scene/dream sequence.

Good plan - so, after several hours of, "Okay, can we do the squats again?" and, "Someone please replace the donuts on the end of Greg's dumbbell," we were wrapped for the evening, tossing piles of equipment into various vehicles in the 3am Florida smog.

Much thanks distributed around the table, double checks of the studio and parking lot, and a sigh of relief that I'd soon be asleep, I cranked my car and pulled out into the street.

So, as soon as I drove by the cop, I knew I was going to get pulled over. I've had a headlight out for almost two years now, and I only get pulled when someone's feeling exceptionally bored on a late-night traffic watch.

So, with an impressive stream of expletives, I pulled into the right lane, waited for the inevitable lights, then swung into a housing complex to await either a ticket or some sort of awkward strategic conversation that would lead to a warning.

The cop actually turned out to be really nice. He practically admitted to just being bored, and told me he wasn't going to give me a citation, he just wanted to let me know my headlight was out (gee, thanks). All he had to do was clear my license, and I was off to a warm bed and a plentiful night of sleep.

Beat for dramatic effect.

"Your license has been suspended."
"Yes, ma'am, you're driving without a valid license."

Somehow, I convinced the man that I had no idea that the license had been put under any sort of jeopardy, which is true, and managed to get off with a pricey ticket and a transportation quagmire. He also took my license.

So, through a set of events which involved frantic phone calls and sitting in my car reading a novel in the dark for half an hour, I got home, managed to finish my shoot, and flew to England over the next few days.

But, now I'm back, and I need to get my license reinstated. It's amazing how fast this loan money is flying through my fingers. My car has been in Tampa, so yesterday, through some logical process I had no part in, my mom sent my brother (in my car) to come pick me up in Orlando and bring me back to Tampa to get the license thing taken care of. (?)

Other things I need to do during winter "break?"

- I forgot to register for graduation. Oops.

- Capture/Begin editing my film

- Find my freelancing career and nurse it back to health

- Register for Spring classes

- Possibly find a part time waitressing job just to get me the hell out of here as soon as I get my diploma, which hopefully I can still do after forgetting to file my intent.

Also, while I was gone, Boxoffice published one of my backlogged articles. To be honest, this one was written in a rush, and it's not my favorite, but maybe it'll be useful to someone, somewhere - enjoy.

Ten Steps to Holding an Audition

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Things I Miss About London

Today, I got antsy and took a walk. I decided to go check out this glittering body of water I pass by every time I drive home, on a nearby corner.

It turns out to be privately-owned lakefront access, so even though it was beautiful, and kind of what I needed, I couldn't sit and look at it.

And I couldn't go any further, because it's very hot outside, and when you walk beyond your own driveway, people act like you're insane.

I guess you probably are. I really need my car back.

Anyway, after I dropped onto the couch in a heap of self-satisfied heat exhaustion, I started to pine for last week, when I was in a city where you could walk anywhere you needed to go, with the small addition of the occasional tube ride or bus. The pining just sort of took off from there. I might be in love with that city.

Things I pined for:

5.) The History -

I'm kind of obsessed with the past. Knowing that I'm walking on a 300 year old road, or standing in front of a church that Henry VIII took sacrament in sends me into head-spinning bouts of euphoria. None of that exists here in Florida.

I saw the Globe. I walked across the Thames! Now, I'm eating crackers and hummus and blogging from my bed again. It's a long way to fall.

I've spent most of my life wanting feel closer to history. I finally did. :)

4.) Travel, in general -

Okay, so once again, I love walking, hiking, whatever. Travel on foot. Taking a train to some
fascinating corner of the city, and walking around was one of the best parts of London. I might have even dropped a few pounds, despite eating decadent foods every couple of hours.

And, after seeing the NYC subway system, I have renewed appreciation for their clean trains, upkept stations, and articulate automated voices.

3.) The Signage -


2.) The Weather -

Cold weather? At Christmastime? What?!

1.) The People -

I really can't elaborate enough on how easy it was to make conversation (for once) with my peers over there. And I didn't even have to start naming bands to connect with people. Television occasionally came into play, but hey - that happens.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

So, I'm back in a twin sized bed, in moderate 80 degree weather, re-adjusting to ideas like: if I need to go somewhere, I've gotta drive, wearing sweats is okay, and if I waste a whole day playing tetris, there's still tomorrow.

I suppose there are perks and downfalls to that. The most important thing is that I finally spent a significant amount of time out of Orlando, after four years of, "No, this has gotta be done tonight!" type stress. I went on a vacation the same day I wrapped my thesis. It's actually fairly comical.

But I have to say, even though I spent a big hunk of change, and I'll probably be desolate (again) soon, it was worth it to have the experience, and to see parts of the world that I might not have, otherwise.

I absolutely loved London. The atmosphere, after a day or two of adjusting, really just fits into much more what I'm after than anywhere I've ever been before - which isn't surprising seeing as I've never really left the South, aside from a week-long cruise in high school to the Caribbean, wherein I spent a few hours each in Belize and Mexico.

New York was great too. I didn't really have a lot of time to adjust to it, and my only time spent alone in Manhattan, I stayed in a bookstore, because I was afraid of getting lost (I'd still only been there a few hours), but I feel like it's a city I could potentially grow very fond of.

I don't want to put anyone else through my vacation slide show just now, and I really must get back onto all of my freelance jobs - particularly wrapping up my production blogs and lassoing in another assignment for Boxoffice. It's just so hard to deliberately break the spell.

My little snow globe of displacement started to crack last night, after hitting the 24 hour mark, and realizing that I was back now, indefinitely, and even though school is out for the moment, it's time to refocus.

However, and this is important - I seem to be approaching things now with more determination, or at least from a different angle, than I did before. Even jet-lagged and frustrated with a return to people like my redneck roommate (I showed her a photo of the British House of Parliament, and she asked what that was - I said, "Parliament," and she said - in reference to a night club here, which must be her only association with the word parliament - "you mean, like, gays?").

I started to clear the serious clutter that is my room with efficient determination last night. I went to a get-together/mini party, and coerced my ride (my mom still has my car in Tampa) to take me to the grocery store on the way back (thank God). Now, I just need to get my freelancing wheel rolling again, and maybe buy a bucket of paint for this depressing white box I call my room.

And, along with editing my thesis, I need to plan for the future. Perhaps a long-term return to London. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Heathrow Blues

I couldn't sleep last night. I kept rolling over how little I wanted to leave, but there was comfort in the fact that it'd all happen early, and that by the evening, I'd be seeing Avenue Q on Broadway, for free, with Phil.

I got to see what's visible of a London sunrise. It's sort of a fade from dark gray to light.

So, I got up at around 5am, packed, tidied up, and was out the door by 6:30. Several Tube delays and a painfully long trainride later, I arrived at Stansted airport, about 45 minutes prior to my flight, relieved that I'd made it - or, so I thought.

The very (not) nice French lady at the desk informed me that they stopped boarding fifteen minutes prior and that I'd have to be moved to a flight, six hours later, at another airport that was going to cost me £21 to get to. The kicker of this was that I knew, about a hundred feet away, that the rest of my flight hadn't even boarded the plane yet, but she wouldn't budge, even when I dissolved into a quite humiliating puddle of tears and estrogen. Besides, it'd already cost me £15 to get to Standstead, and now I was going back from whence I came.

Basically, today I've spent about $80 to go in a circle.

So, here I am in Heathrow Airport, full on too expensive chicken curry and too exhausted to be emotional, knowing that i'll arrive in New York at just about the time the audience is applauding the first number of Avenue Q.

In retrospect, I can say the following: I had no idea I needed to leave four and a half hours early to make it on time. That was communicated nowhere. And I haven't got the powers of God to make public transportation efficient and ontime, though as far as London is concerned, it was the only time this week I was delayed. At least it's lesson learned.

So, I'm going through my digital photo log, and remembering the past few days wistfully. I'll be sure to recount them here later, but let me at least say that I'm flying home deeply satisfied and with just enough yearning for a little more to secure that I'll be back as soon as I can.

I feel like writing fiction for the first time in a year or so, so that's a good sign, I'll get on that as soon as I have charged appliances again. So, wish me safe flight, with a not creepy seat neighbor, and I'll be back home in a few days.

I'm off to have a torrid little fling with NYC after my love affair with London.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Alone in a Big City

So, first of all, I hate the Arabic-style keyboards in these internet cafes. There's only one shift key, and I can't find special characters like the at sign unless I go on a ten minute scavanger hunt.

Gina left for Heathrow this morning, so I'm now officially on my own in London, which I think might actually turn out to be fantastic. I'm even considering extending my stay here until Monday, just so I can have the weekend to explore and maybe meet some strangers.

Last night, I got to meet a few of Gina's old classmates with a tour of the Camden area that started in a very trendy district filled with tattooed young folks, and moved on through the lovely Primrose Hill (very steep climb, btw), onto her school, where there was a play reading going on.

There were three twenty minute plays written by the writing students, and by attending I got to meet some very fun people, and I actually have plans to go to a comedy show this afternoon, and out drinking tonight.

So, I think I'll spend today at the Victoria and Albert museum, which is free and apparently very worth the trip, and if I'm able to extend my stay, even by just a little, tomorrow I'll go to Postman's Park, which is apparently a special cemetary and park with memorium set up for people in London who have sacrificed their lives to save others.

I do have pictures, but they start out pretty rough and start to gradually improve as my trip progresses, because the camera is brand new, and I'm still not super comfortable with it yet. I'm drafting out a post to showcase some of the photos I've taken, and inform my friends as to some differences to be aware of when visiting merry old England.

I wanted to write more, but the man behind me has a fairly rough cold, and I'd rather not catch it. He seems to be indiscriminate about where he sneezes. So, ta for now, and I'll see you all sometime next week - I've decided to definitely stop off in Manhattan for a few days. This is just too much fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Greetings from London

Hey everyone - my phone is on the fritz, so I wanted to let everyone know that my flight went well, and London is fabulous.

Yesterday, a vagrant asked me if his accent was sexy, and then told me England has guns too. Other than that, no hostility. I'll have pictures soon, and more stories, but for now, this is just a drop in. Leave me love in the comments until my phone is back.