Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day Three - San Francisco

Mark came up with the cutest slogan for Yank Sing, the Dim Sum place that blew our taste bud's minds yesterday morning. "It's all that and Dim Sum". So cute. This was my first Dim Sum experience. No wonder the place was packed, the food was out of this world. 5 1/2 out of 5. No kidding. They had this little bun that was stuffed with bbq chicken. Sort of like a hot pocket, but good. Something I'll dream about.

After Dim Sum, we braved the masses at X-Men 3. And how appropriate. Not to give too much away, but it takes place in San Francisco and much of it involves the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. It's kind of like when I saw Peewee's Big Adventure on vacation in San Antonio. I knew later that day going into our tour of the Alamo, there was no basement.

We roamed around the North Beach again and found heaven in a candy shop that lets you sample any salt water taffy you want. Caramel Cheesecake. Yum.

So instead of watching a movie during Mark's break I was lucky enough to discover the LAW AND ORDER marathon on TNT. When I lived with Buckner many years ago, we would find ourselves paralyzed by episode after episode of LAW AND ORDER. And the funny thing is, I've watched that show for years and seen a few marathons in my day, but still, still I sit down to watch and have never seen that episode. I love it.

Dinner at a not so good Thai restaurant that was reasonably priced and, well, open. 1 out of 5. No, wait, 1/2 out of 5. The peanut sauce really sucked. We've discovered that only the crappy and expensive restaurants are open in Union Square and the Financial District after 8pm. You have to venture elsewhere for anything reasonable and good it seems.

One observation/fear before I go. Yes, the hills are indeed extremely steep in San Francisco. Unbelievable so. We took a cab back from dinner two nights ago and I had to close my eyes most of the ride home. We took Mason from Bay Street back to Post and it was one crazy steep incline followed by a drop that rivaled scary rollercoaster rides. I hate roller coasters. I tried really hard to love them as a kid and then as an adult, but my stomach wouldn't let me. So then yesterday, I wanted to walk back from North Beach on Mason. Even walking up and down that hill was frightening. God bless the flatness of Texas.

Today, Muir Woods, Sausalito and maybe Sonomoa Valley. We'll have a car waiting for us in an hour and a half downstairs. All of a sudden the world is ours. At least until 6pm when we have to return it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Day Two - San Francisco

Sipping on my morning orange tea after a nice long run, typing away while Mark snores. And he has every reason to sleep hard this morning. I practically killed the boy yesterday. Not intentionally. We walked to Haight Ashbury from our hotel which isn't a bad walk, maybe 3 miles. And then we walked all through the Golden Gate Park which was another 2-3 miles. And for all intents and purposes, I gave him the option to catch the bus back to the hotel. Just take the 7 or 71 back to Powell. Super easy, but he said, "no, we can walk". And he mapped it out so we would avoid "the bad neighborhood". It was probably another 3-4 miles back avoiding "the bad neighborhood". So after about 10 miles of walking, he fell face down onto the bed and slept ... and snored. I watched "Flight Plan" on pay per view.

My favorite part of our adventure, the Botanical Gardens. I wish we could've stayed longer. I'm not usually one for gardens, but my goodnes, it was like the Disney World of plant life. Broken up into different countries, there were trees, plants, flowers I can't even really describe. I loved it. We wandered the Japanese Tea Garden, the Aids Memorial, tried to figure out lawn bowling (unsuccessfully), people watched on Haight street and struggled to walk the last mile back to the hotel. Mark kept mumbling behind me, "I can't make it". "Yes you can angel face, only 10 more blocks".

For dinner, we split a piece of heaven. Recommended by his sister, Chef Amy, we made reservations at Cafe Jacqueline about a month ago. It's a tiny, cozy, romantic restaurant in North Beach run by Jacqueline, this little, old, French lady with a thick accent. French onion soup and tomato and cilantro souffle. 5 out of 5 stars. It was so good, I didn't mind how it burnt the roof of my mouth every time I took a bite.

This morning I discovered Yerba Buena Gardens as I ran up Mission Ave. Elderly Asian men and women scattered about the park doing Tai Chi. Munchkin sized girls skating around the ice rink and moms reading newspapers over coffee. And then up to Fisherman's Wharf where I caught a glimpse of Alcatraz and sea lions. Sweet.

I'm ready for today. First up, Dim Sum!!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Day One - San Francisco

Union Square, I've learned is the Times Square of San Francisco. Mobs of people moving through the sidewalks, dodging cable cars and homeless people. We're staying in the heart of it all. A sweet little hotel with amazing down comforters but only 21 channels of cable television. About 4 of those are the ones the hotel fills with enticing pay per view movies. Needless to say, I'm forced to venture beyond the hotel room and discover this new city. And I'm more than happy to do so.

Poor Mark. He started out as the leader because he's been here once before. That ended after about ten minutes. He led us down the wrong street into the "not so safe" neighborhood. From there I asked him to trust me and took him on a tour of Market Street, the Embarcadero, all of the piers, Telegraph Hill, North Beach and Chinatown. So far Chinatown is my favorite. Man alive, it's crazy. Little old ladies screaming at shop owners in Chinese and more mushrooms than I've ever seen in my life. After the long hike, I could feel the blisters swelling and the up and down of the hills were wearing on my knees. Mark asked if this was what it was like to run a marathon. I told him to multiply it by 20,000.

After Mark napped and I stared at him napping, we wandered Union Square. Dinner at some Mediterranean Restaurant which I would rate about a 1 1/2 out of 5. But the belly dancer added the extra 1/2 point. She danced with a sword on her head the way my mom used to when she danced for the USO. Seriously. My mom's done many things in her lifetime. Belly dancing is one of them.

The time difference is kicking my butt. I woke up at 4:30am ready to go but had to force myself to sleep another hour and a half. Now I'm at the desk, typing away, listening to Mark snore. I think I'll head down to the hotel "livingroom" and work on breaking down the Brain Brawl script. That's my one assigment while I'm here. Stacy, you'll be happy to know I started my assignment on the plane in between the screams of the baby sitting two seats away from me.

Friday, May 26, 2006

What I can only hope for.

15 hours and counting.

Annalise graduates from high school today. Annalise is Stacy's 18-year old daughter. She's amazing. In every single way. Smart, talented, passionate, creative, humble and she adores her mom more than anything. Mark and I would be so lucky to have a kid like her. If I were Stacy, I'd be shouting at the rooftops about how remarkable my daughter is. I'd probably be that annoying mom that brags to everyone.

It's been my fortune to befriend Annalise over the last few years. I know that Stacy'll have hard time of it when her little girl heads to college in August. I'm sure I'll be pretty teary eyed myself. But I'm expecting great things from that girl. She wants to be a country music star and honestly, I have no doubt in my mind that she'll be topping the charts in a few years. Just give her a little bit of room to grow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

me and bobby brown

Our team has taken this JOB distribution plan and run with it. We each have our respective assignments and we're all working hard, hard, hard!!! There's so much to do, but I have every ounce of faith in our little team.

In other news, Stacy just finished the latest draft of the Brain Brawl Proposal. She's flying high and taking names. Our goal is to be shooting summer of 2007.

Lastly, but most importantly, Mark and I head to San Francisco Saturday morning for our long anticipated honeymoon. I've been waiting for this day since Mark proposed back in September. One whole solid week ... just me and my boy. I can guarantee lots of moviewatching, bookstore perusing and record buying. Number ones on my list include, a night time tour of Alcatraz, Dim Sum, the Golden Gate bridge, wandering the city streets and cable TV. It's funny how much I love cable TV on vacation. We don't have it at home. It's banned from our apartment. I'm already a slave to Law and Order (all of them except Conviction) and LOST. When Mark and I went to Boston over Christmas break we were glued to the hotel room watching the insanity of Whitney Houston in Me and Bobby Brown and the ditzy girls competing in America's Next Top Model. Truly riveting. One thing that you must know ... I love all things cheesy and lame like US Magazine, People Magazine, celebrity gossip and really terrible reality television. But in my defense, I also love JD Salinger, Adrian Tomine, Gus Van Sant, Albert Maysles and Crosswords.

And one last thing ... I KNEW Michael Emerson was the head of the Others!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jax Recap

It's oh so quiet in my office these days. Our company is split between two wings. I'm housed in an office on the west wing and literally everyone else is in the east wing. Occasionally someone will come over to use a conference room to conduct an interview or pick up a package that's been delivered. Other than that, it's just the hum of my space heater and footsteps from the gaming people upstairs.

I will say the quiet's been nice after I spent a whirlwind four days in Jacksonville, FL for the Jacksonville Film Festival. This is my hometown. I grew up in Jacksonville Beach which is just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville. There were three major bridges that separated the two. These were the bridges my friends would jump from, hence the movie.

At the screening on Friday night I must've run into about 50 people that I hadn't seen since high school. I kept stumbling over familiar faces. Some I knew, some, I couldn't place. But one after another they came up to me. We got a really warm and wonderful response to the film. Michael was there to field questions about the movie and about LOST. And over the course of the weekend, there were many questions about LOST. When we went to do press Friday morning, he was bombarded with people wanting photographs and autographs. It was sweet, really. He's so good about that sort of thing. Very patient and kind to everyone. He's just like that. But I really had no idea how fanatical people are about that show.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with fellow Austinites, Mike Akel and Angie Alvarez from the film CHALK. This film is so endearing and sweet and laugh out loud funny. I wouldn't be surprised if it got picked up tomorrow. This might be one of my favorite Austin made films ever. I can't wait to see what they do next.

In a nice and tidy recap, I made lots of new filmmaker friends, visited the actual Brain Brawl set at Douglas Anderson School for the Arts, made a new best friend in Garrick Morgan, my host and all around cool guy and ate so much Peterbrooke's chocolate that I made myself sick (they were one of the sponsors of the festival).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

jacksonville

we had a completely sold out show last night. i'm not sure how many people they turned away. they added a second screening at the jacksonville museum of modern art on sunday at 12:30pm. sadly, i'll be on a plane en route to austin. it's been a great time so far. the wheels are turning with brain brawl and the possibilities of coming back here to shoot. we shall see. i visited the actual brain brawl set yesterday in an impromptu visit to douglas anderson school for the arts. it looks just like it did in the 80s. ok, my little time meter is running out at the business center computer at the hyatt. more later on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mr. Grove

I'm getting prepped for a trip to Jacksonville Thursday morning. I'm taking JOB to screen at the Jacksonville Film Festival. Michael Emerson is flying down as well. I get the feeling that it's going to be a crazy, whirlwind weekend. They have us both doing several workshops, television interviews, radio interviews ... Secretly, I'm really looking forward to cable television in my hotel room. And running early in the morning on the Riverwalk.

I've reconnected with some old high school buddies and teachers as I've sent out emails and press releases. Sadly, Mr. Grove, my favorite teacher in the whole wide world won't be able to make it. He's got the Annual Thespian Awards Ceremony that night. Besides, my parents, Mark and my friends, I will always want to make Mr. Grove proud. He was the most influential teacher I had at Stanton. He always gave me a gentle shove when I sat still too long or pushed me to go further when I thought I couldn't. I took Drama I, Drama II, Humanities and maybe a few more acting classes from him. He directed me as M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias and helped me prepare so many monologues that I would take to State Competitions. I'd usually sign up for whatever classes he was teaching, regardless of what they were. He's a kind soul with a huge, huge heart and a deep love for teaching. He's the one I'll thank at the Oscars someday.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wishing it was still Sunday.

If you aren't married already, I highly, highly recommend it. I can safely say that the actual wedding ceremony was the best 45 minutes of my life. Nothing in the whole wide world compares to that moment standing across from the person who is your everything and declaring your love for them. I felt like I would explode, combust, get ripped in two. I couldn't stop crying, laughing, standing awkwardly, wanting to hug and hold him more than anything.

During the ceremony, we exchanged spoken vows and vows from clips of films that we compiled for each other.

Mark's clips to Kat - Lovers on the Bridge, Billy Madison, Bringing Up Baby, Shaolin Soccer

Kat's clips to Mark - Sixteen Candles, The Color of Paradise, Trust, A Woman Under the Influence

I wish so much that it was still Sunday.

Photobooth Photos

More Wedding Weekend Photos





Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

bliss

yesterday was the most incredible day of my life.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Death defying moments.

Everything became more real yesterday. My mom and Deanna chatted up a storm about the rehearsal dinner while Mark and my Dad put together a bench on our livingroom floor. My brother and his family of five rolled into town late afternoon. It was the first time I'd met my new niece Caroline. She was not a happy camper. I held her while she cried and cried at dinner. We're thinking it might be a case of bad gas. My dad and I spent over an hour at Rock N Roll Rentals getting a karaoke machine for the rehearsal dinner. I forget what a process that place is. They want your fingerprints, bloodwork, urine samples, name and address of every boy you ever dated ... not really, but pretty darn close, it feels like. My poor mom has this huge rehearsal dinner planned with cakes, truffles, BBQ, fruit salad, Raspberry soup, salads and the list goes on and on. She brought home about three refrigerators full of food from the HEB yesterday. I'm curious how it'll all come together. I have a lot of faith in that woman, she just tends to have very big ideas. Maybe that's where I get it from. She even has nametags for all of the guests. And a list of games to play. It'll be a blast, I'm sure.

So we braved the storm last night. Karen, Mark and I picked up Ama from the airport around 10pm. We got in the car and I started driving home when it hit. The winds shook the car from side to side and the rain came down in buckets. I couldn't see a thing and the lights and electricity on the side of the road were down. I think I was going about 5 miles an hour on 183. We finally pulled over at a gas station and waited it out while listening to the emergency news announcements on the radio. On the way home we saw a car that had driven off the side of the road. Half of it was buried in mud. Huge trees had fallen in the streets. Just madness, I tell you. Of course, it's beautiful outside right now. The sun is shining, the plant I've almost killed for about two weeks is green and full.

I should go hop in the shower. My mom and I have manicure appointments. My first one ever.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blackbirds, paperclips and rubberbands.

I had an awful dream last night. I dreamt that we were at the wedding rehearsal. It was a huge theater, like the Paramount. All of these people were milling about, fancy and dressed up. Hundreds of people. I didn't recognize any of them, but then realized they were wedding guests. A friend announced they'd all gotten the date mixed up. And so they all wandered around aimlessly while I tried to gather my maid of honor, officiant and family together to rehearse. As soon as I'd gather a few people, the other people would wander away. I couldn't get them all in one place. I couldn't keep it organized.

And so this reminds me of the recurring dream I had as a child. This is really lame. I'd try to put a rubberband around something (anything) and it would keep breaking or it wouldn't fit. I would attempt over and over again in my dream, but could never get it. Kind of like the other dream I had where I was trying to paperclip something and it kept flipping off. Every single time.

And then this morning on my run, a bunch of blackbirds kept diving at my head.