Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Break Film Camp is On!!!

I'm psyched about Spring Break Film Camp at the Austin Film Society in a little over a week. Me, Stacy and the youngsters are gonna crank out some mad moviemaking. I think the camp might be full. Have to double check with Christian. If it's not, there might be one spot left.

All of my other students from the Austin School of Film are shooting right now. I think I have 4 or 5 films shooting this weekend. I'll be hopping from set to set for surprise visits. It's always fun to see them in action. I get so excited, I want to jump in and play too. But I keep to the corner and give them a big thumbs up and proud mama smile. Let them do their thing and shine bright.

Gotta go get the boy up from his nap for another Kat and Mark Friday Night Date Night.

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Losing LOST at the Gym

My Thursday nights are scheduled at the gym to watch LOST. I got there early last night so I could pick a prime spot, secure a TV and be ready to go. The TV was already on ABC. Awesome. I just had to wait. I eyed Murder By Numbers on a TV down the way. I love the Michael Pitt. Love him. And then LOST started, woohoo! Safe.

Recap, scary helicopter ride. Storm's coming. Nervous, something's going down. Something's coming. Badness is about to happen ...

And then some random dude switched the channel to WWE. Say what? C'mon! He was too far away to yell at and I'd probably embarrass myself doing so anyways. Plus I was on my treadmill going, going, going and I'm weird about getting off until my time's finished. That jerko didn't even ask a soul around him if he could change the channel. That's what you do! You respect your fellow treadmillers, brother! Someone needs to post a sign about gym etiquette.

I ended up watching the rest of Murder By Numbers. I hadn't seen it in a long time and I have a major crush on Michael Pitt, so it worked out fine.

This morning I woke up to blogs and postings "BEST LOST EPISODE EVER!". Man! Stupid WWE guy.

The Unforseen - Is that how it works?

I love this double quote from Todd Rohal and Mike Tully pulled from Mike's blog.

"Is that how it works?" -- Todd Rohal's dry response to Laura Dunn's admission in her acceptance speech that Terrence Malick called her out of the blue while she was still in film school to pitch her the idea for The Unforeseen. Seriously, is that how it works?

I missed a million opportunities to see the film, but I hear it's phenomenal.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kat's SXSW Panel - Open to the Public

If you don't have a SXSW badge, you can still come to my panel. It's free to the public.
Here are the details:

Filmmaking 101: Getting Your Foot in the Door
Sunday, March 9th - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Ya'Ke Smith - Exodus Filmworks / CEO
Kat Candler - Storie Productions / Dir
Christian Raymond - Austin Film Society

Get tips and tactics from working filmmakers at this special discussion.

** This special panel is open to the public and will take place at the George Washington Carver Center located at 1165 Angelina Street (512-974-4926)**

Put My Brain in a Frying Pan

Add a little butter, little salt. Turn the dial to medium and fry it up.

Stacy and I took a writing gig from a friend, who I love and adore, but lord almighty. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be writing text like this ...

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Comics Crash Course

I love this Pop Candy post.

It's been years since I've been to the comic book store. Austin Books and Comics. I think the last time I was there was with the ex-boyfriend in 2002? As much as I loved stepping foot inside and smelling the fresh ink and paper, I always felt really out of place. I'd fake like I knew what I was looking for (just to be cool) even though I rarely wandered from the one section I knew. The alternative section. I'd amble over to superheroes or Anime, but I felt like I was looking at Sanskrit. I had no clue. So after the ex and I split, I resorted to online orders. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge comic person by any means. I have a small collection of prized favorites that the ex originally introduced me to. And those are the ones that stuck ... Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Lynda Barry ... I couldn't get in to some of the darker ones that involved super powers, badasses or vampires. Just give me wimpy, angst ridden characters.

Here's one that I might have to investigate though. Totally up my alley:

25. Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson. You may have seen Watson's comic on the back page of Bust magazine. She sells Unlovable mini-comics on her website; they follow the hapless adventures of Tammy Pierce, an awkward teen growing up in the '80s. Tracking Tammy admidst shoulder pads, unrequited crushes, locker-room horror stories and more is both hilarious and a little heartbreaking.
For fans of: Square Pegs, The Smiths, Molly Ringwald

Step Up 3-D

The Hollywood heavens are looking down on us. Mark just sent me the good news. Looks like the Step Up franchise is giving Breakin' and Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo a run for their money by making another sequel. One of my students asked me tonight, "Did you see Step Up 2?" "Did I see Step Up 2? Hell yeah, I saw Step Up 2. Opening night baby!"

Disney will proceed with a third installment of its hit dance franchise "Step Up," tentatively titled "Step Up 3-D." Pic will become the latest 3-D live-action film from the studio, with "Step Up 2 the Streets" director Jon Chu in talks to helm.

The original "
Step Up" was released in 2006 and went on to earn $114 million on a $12 million budget. "Step Up 2 the Streets" turned in a surprisingly strong $28.7 million over the five-day Presidents Day weekend and is currently at around $42 million. The picture cost only $20 million to make.

At this point there is no information on who will star in the new film or when it will be released.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Girls Rock - The Movie

Emily Marks who runs Girls Rock Camp passed along the following info about Girls Rock - The Movie. It opens at the Alamo Downtown March 21st, but there's a sneak preview on Monday, March 3rd. Watch the trailer. It'll bring tears to your eyes.

And find out more about Girls Rock Camp in Austin.

Nisha's a Mom

"Back the Booty Up Dance" - A How To

Miss Kelly Rae Roberts will demonstrate.

Step One:
Put your feet together and bend your knees to about a 90 Degree Angle.

Step Two:
Arch your back and stick your booty out.

Step Three:
Check behind you to make sure your path is clear.

Step Four:
Scoot back inch by inch with thrusts from your booty.

Step Five:
Sing "Back that Booty Up, Back that Booty Up" in a Gangsta style rap.

You have now completed your first lesson in backing your booty up. It's my signature dance move. Hope you enjoy!

SXSW Free Rock Show

Daniel's company Force Field is putting together a free rock show at Emo's on Wednesday, March 12th. 12pm - 6pm. It's all ages, so bring the kiddos!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chapter 5 = Done

I wrapped up Chapter 5 today and got to work on Chapter 6.

I'm waiting to find out if I suck or not. I've have two friends helping with feedback. In the mean time I'm sucking it up and putting myself out there. Big, deep breath ... here you go.


Olivia sat in Mr. Macaroy’s so called history class, doodling in the corner of her Christopher Columbus hand out. The classroom was in decay. Paint chipped from the walls, tiles were missing from the floor. Mr. Macaroy propped his feet up on the desk and tossed a tennis ball in the air. He was a thirty something slacker.

"So yeah ...” he read from a piece of paper. “What year did that Columbus guy get over to America?”

Not a single hand went up. The kids shuffled in their seats and avoided any eye contact. They looked around searching for an answer. Olivia rolled her eyes. “C’mon people,” she mumbled.

Hilary, a girl in pigtails and a Geology Rocks T-Shirt, slowly inched her hand into the air. Mr. Macaroy’s feet dropped and he searched the papers on his desk, “Yes, um …. Valerie.”

“Hilary,” she responded.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatcha got?”

Hilary scrunched up her face, “1492?”

Mr. Macaroy thumbed through his papers checking the answer sheet, “Let’s see …” He tapped the answer with his finger.

“Catch the winner’s ball.” He chucked the tennis ball through the air, hitting Hilary in the face.

“Ow!” She grabbed her nose.

The whole class winced. Ouch.

Hilary touched her face, “I think I’m bleeding.”

Mr. Macaroy grabbed a hall pass and waved it at her.

“Go see the nurse. Sorry ‘bout that.”

Olivia felt a punch in the arm. She turned in her seat to Ralph snorting hysterically and making a “Loser” sign on his forehead. She faked a giggle, turned back around and shook her head. Oh my god.

Take That Day Jobs!

After a late and restless night ... and holding a pillow over my ears to Mark's snoring early this morning, I slyly turned off my alarm clock at 7am and tiptoed with my blanket to the couch. Back to sleep I went. I didn't roll out of bed until 10am. 10AM! And I didn't feel one bit guilty about it. Take that stupid day jobs!

Mess with Texas 2 Concert at Waterloo Park, 3/15

Daniel just gave me the heads up on a show he's helping organize. The Breeders, NOFX, Janeane Garofalo, Brian Posehn. And to top it off, it's free and it's all ages. March 15th. Mark your calendars! Tell the kids!

My First 24 Hours with Facebook

Kat, you MUST stop. You must stop checking to see if you have more friends. Go back to work. Leave the Facebook. Let it go. CTRL - W. CTRL - W!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chapter 4 = Done

Oh Lord, I can't sleep. My little lazy eyelids are falling, falling, falling, but my nerves are screaming, screaming, screaming "STAY AWAKE!" What's up with that? For Pete's sake, let them get some rest already.

I just wrapped up Chapter 4 of the kid's book I'm working on. Done and done. If my mind continues to freak out like this, I might as well do something with it, right? On to Chapter 5. I should probably put this all into perspective for my dear, faithful readers (all four of you). I'm on page 45 of a book that will be about ... oh, maybe 170 pages? So I've got plenty more writing to do. But it's going well. I'm on a roll. I feel like I have an ounce of purpose these days.

I've been reading Harriet the Spy. Stacy gave it to me a few years back. But like the bad gift receiver that I am, I'm just now getting around to it. I loved the movie. It's one of my favorites and I'm enjoying the book just the same. Reading about Harriet's adventures is both good and bad. On one hand I'm like, "My words don't sound anything like this." On the other hand Louise Fitzhugh's words inspire the hell out of me to make up my own.

Facebook Fuss

Yes, I have a Facebook. As of today I've joined the revolution.

Anne del Castillo told me ages ago "Oh my god, you have to get on Facebook. You have to!" As if my life depended on it. Even my husband was on Facebook and I didn't know it. I wonder if he knows he's on Facebook. What is all the fuss over Facebook? I'd been on Friendster and MySpace and been totally creeped out by both. I dropped my personal pages and only left the jumping off bridges page for publicity sake. So we'll see how this Facebook thing pans out.

If you're not a virtual Facebook friend yet, tag me. I'm not sure how all this works. Chale tells me that I can take over the world with Facebook. I'm anxious to figure out how that works.

Jimmy Kimmel's Sweet Response

I like Sarah's better, but this one's pretty sweet. Although the beeped out expletives gets a little tiresome. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Coen Brothers' Sandbox

I feel completely and utterly satisfied with this year's Oscars. All wins were well deserved.

My favorite quotes of the night:
  • Make art! Make art!
  • Hope connects us all no matter how different we are.
  • Thanks for letting us play in our sandbox.

Chapter 3 = Done

This has been a weekend devoted to writing. Writing, writing, writing and then some more writing. It's been a while since I've had those uninterrupted 5-8 hour blocks of time of just me and my laptop. Although my Office Word software is being a little screwy and is making me super nervous. Time for a back up!

I even ran into a friend at Zen who belongs to the Young Adult Literature writing group that I was looking into. Fate, my love, you just have really good timing.

No Sad Loud for Me

Ever since I was in Drama Club in junior high, I've watched the Oscars with big dreams of being there myself someday. Well, me and Clare. At first I thought I'd go as an actor. I'd thank my drama teacher, Jeff Grove and my mom for making me audition for Fiddler on the Roof in 8th grade. It was my first community theater performance. And now that's changed. It'll be as a writer or director. But my speech hasn't changed much.

So I like to quietly celebrate that dream year after year at home by myself. No big parties. I tried that. It didn't work. I wanted to kick my friends in the head for talking during Halle Berry's speech. I know they're just having fun, but with all due respect. So, it's just gonna be me, my remote control and Pork Chop, my cat. Mark can still brave the Sad Loud Oscar Party and the drunken fun that they have over Oscar speeches and bad dresses. But for me, it's a sacred show. I take it pretty seriously. I don't know, it's just me. But whatever, I don't care.

Cleaning Up at the Spirit Awards

A big congrats to Chris, Jason and the August Evening Team!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What's a synonym for synonym?

God bless you, We're gonna be great friends.

Main Entry: equivalence
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: sameness
Synonyms: adequation, agreement, alikeness, compatibility, conformity, correlation, correspondence, equality, evenness, exchangeability, identity, interchangeability, interchangeableness, likeness, match, par, parallel, parity, similarity, synonym, synonymy
Antonyms: difference

Mark and Kat's Friday Night Adventure

It's Friday night. Kat and Mark's date night.

Kat, behind the wheel, cranks up the same Trail of Dead CD that's been on repeat for the past week. She beats the steering wheel with her fake finger drums.

Mark leans his head against the back of the seat and closes his eyes. After the song finishes, she plays it again.

The first four bars of the song make Mark lean forward and eject the CD.

Kat: C'mon man!
Mark: I'm sick of listening to it. This is like the 20th time.
Kat: I know but I love it! I love that song!

He tunes the radio to some random hip hop jams and leans his head back again. Kat breaks out into her elbow dances most recently inspired by her Step Up 2 the Streets viewing. She keeps her eye on the road.

Kat: So what are you hungry for?
Mark: I don't know, what are you hungry for?
Kat: Mandola's?
Mark: I thought you said Zuzu's over email.
Kat: I know, but we go there every Friday. I'm not in the mood for the Zuzu's.
Mark: Are you breaking up with the Zuzu's?
Kat: No. We just need some time apart. The Zuzu's was getting too clingy.
Mark: The Zuzu's loves you.
Kat: And I love the Zuzu's too but, y'know sometimes you just ... I mean, we're still gonna be friends and everything.

Kat pulls into the jam packed parking lot of Mandola's/The Flying Saucer/Sago's. What was once a buried secret in central Austin has now become a weekend hot spot.

They drive around and around the tiny parking lot. Foiled again. Not a single space. They pull out of the lot and back out onto the main road.

Kat: So, what else are you hungry for?
Mark: Madras Pavillion.
Kat: Really? Huh.
Mark: Why? What do you think?
Kat: I don't know. Conan's Pizza?
Mark: That's too heavy.
Kat: But Indian food is like pooping out rocks.
Mark: But Madras is probably healthier for you.

She gives him a look of "c'mon brother!"

Mark: What? It's got like vegetables and stuff.
Kat: And rice and bread and coconut milk and heavy cream and lard and animal fat that drips off the sides.

Mark rolls his eyes. Silence.

Kat: What about Phil's Ice House? Sweet Potato Fries!!!! I love me some sweet potato fries! Mmm, mmm, mmm!

She thinks for a second.

Kat: Oh, but it's cold outside and it's probably packed. I can't sit outside. No, no, y'know what? I can go to Madras. That's fine.
Mark: I'm fine with Conan's.
Kat: Madras is cool.
Mark: No, really I can go to Conan's. That's where you want to go.
Kat: No, but then you'll say that I always get my way.
Mark: But you do.
Kat: I know, but ...
Mark: No, really, it's fine. Conan's is fine.
Kat: Ok, so what if there was a multiple choice of Madras, Conan's, Chuy's or Phil's Ice House? Which would you pick?
Mark: Any of those are fine.
Kat: No, we need to go where you want to go. For real.

Kat and Mark drive through the Burnet/183 intersection and take a left past Madras Pavillion.

Kat: What about Trudy's?
Mark: But you don't like Trudy's.
Kat: I know, but you do.
Mark: I liked Madras and you just passed that.
Kat: But I'd be cool with Trudy's. I can probably get something there. Besides I have a friend who works there. Maybe he's working. It'd be nice to see him.
Mark: Ok. Trudy's is good.

Kat slows the car and passes Trudy's.

Mark: You just passed it.
Kat: I know. The parking lot was full. Did you see it? We'd have to wait like forever.

Mark points across the street.

Mark: What about Olive Garden?
Kat: No. I know that it's cool to eat there and all because it's not cool to eat there and everything but, it still sucks. You thought it sucked last time, right?

And so the couple goes on and on until Kat finally pulls into a random parking lot and stops the car.

Kat: C'mon, dude.

They slam their doors shut and walk through the chilly parking lot.

Mark: Where are we?
Kat: Sarovar. It's Indian. You wanted Indian, right?
Mark: I wanted Madras Pavillion.
Kat: I know, but this is still Indian. Madras is Southern Indian. This is like all over Indian.
Mark: I can't remember if I like this place.
Kat: I think you think it's ok. Madras is the best though.

Kat stops Mark and turns him around.

Kat: Y'know what? We can go to Madras. You wanna go to Madras?
Mark: No, we're here. Let's just eat.
Kat: Are you sure?
Mark: Yes, I'm sure.
Kat: You swear?
Mark: I swear. At this point, I just wanna eat.
Kat: Ok, cool. I think we actually like this place.

Note: After dinner, we realized we actually don't like Sarovar.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Channing Tatum - GI Joe

I was explaining to a friend the other night how my husband and I know who each other's celebrity crushes are. His, I don't agree with at all. I just don't get it. But whatever, it's his crush. Mine, well, I base my crushes on a few things:

  • They have to be nice. I don't know this for fact about any of them. But I'm guessing from hearsay. If I hear that they're not nice, I mark them off my list. More than anything else, nice and good hearted is sexy.
  • They're super duper talented.
  • They're foxes. Channing Tatum = Fox.
  • They're usually the quiet ones. I have a thing for quiet, shy boys. They're not the ones in the tabloids or at the big all night parties doing crack. Nope, I don't like boys that do crack.
  • It's not about wanting to sleep with any of them either. In fact far from it. I just want to hang out with them. Be friends.

Chapter 2 = Done

Ok, so this is fun. I've been revising and revising Chapter 1. Sent it to two friends who have read more young adult literature than anyone I know. I'm excited for feedback.

Now I have a solid first draft of Chapter 2. About to dive into Chapter 3.

I'll be in search of a Young Adult Literature writing group soon. I have a few leads.

For a week that started out really crummy, it's turning out to be pretty sweet.

Thanks for all of the words of encouragement.

Independent Spirit Awards - Saturday, 2/23

Tune in Saturday, February 23rd at 9pm for the Independent Spirit Awards on AMC.

I'm thinking good thoughts and crossing my fingers for the August Evening crew for the John Cassavettes Award and Best Male Lead and Laura Dunn and crew for The Unforeseen.

Little Man, Kavi

Nisha and Santanu are going to be amazing parents.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Butts are for Kicking

Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the ass. And some chocolate covered peanuts.

Dr. Martens, Catholicism and Blind Melon

10 Things You Might Not Know Just By Looking at Me

1) I was raised Catholic. I went to church every single Sunday with my mom and brother until I got confirmed at age 15. Then I had a choice and so I stopped going.

2) I never buy shoes. I still have my Dr. Martens from 12th grade.

3) I was a member of the oily stickers fan club in elementary school.

4) My mom read The Secret Garden to me every night before I went to bed.

5) I'm obsessed with my career. I'm obsessed with making movies.

6) I'll time my workouts at the gym to when Law and Order airs in the afternoons on TNT. I like Sam Waterston a lot, but I LOVED Michael Moriarty.

7) In college, I wrote and mailed a love letter to Brad from Blind Melon. A few weeks later it came back "Return to Sender".

8) One of my eyelids is lazy. My husband just noticed it the other day.

9) I love love love going to the dentist. Yeah, I know it's sick.

10) I read the nutritional facts on everything I eat. Doesn't stop me from eating it. I just like to know.

11) (Ok, 11) I swear like a sailor. This sweet and innocent face isn't so innocent. I don't know why, but I love a good expletive.

Coraline - Teaser Trailer

The Worker - Update

The short film, The Worker which we shot last October/November is knee deep in post production right now. Brian is doing a fantastic job with the edit. Forgetting about it for a while and then coming back to it, I'm like, "Whoa, this is so cool!" This afternoon, working with Brian, I couldn't slap the smile from my face. I was really proud.

My hope is that people don't watch it and think "That's so Kat Candler". I want it to be different from anything else I've ever done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm a Writer

For some reason it's always been hard for me to say I'm a Writer. I never really thought of myself as a writer. Screenwriter? Ok, sure. But like a real writer? Like a real, real writer? Nah, I don't know. I can write things. But are they interesting?

I went to FSU for creative writing. But it was kind of a fluke. After pursuing a career in acting at Emerson College in Boston, I decided, the actor's life was not the life for me. So I headed back home to Florida State University.

A bunch of my high school friends went to FSU. So I did a lot of asking around to figure out what to major in. Mike was a religion major. I thought about that for an hour. Nah. Brian was studying History. Nope. I sucked at history. Business, Biology, Social Work ... nah. Karen and Ama were in the creative writing program. Since the three of us lived in the same house, I figured it'd be easy to do our homework together. And so I signed up for the English/Creative Writing major. I took classes in poetry, short fiction, Latino literature, Women's literature, playwriting, but never ever screenwriting.

I remember in a poetry class a friend introduced herself by saying, My name is so and so and I am a poet. Karen, Ama and I exchanged some major eye rolling. God! It sounded so pretentious. But it was true. She was a poet. And a really, really good one. She still is. She's been published many times. So what was so pretentious about that?

I don't know. I guess I'm a writer.

I'm a writer. I am a writer. Yo, I'm a writer. Dude, I write some shiznit.

I Wish Life Looked Like This

Anthem of the Day - Relative Ways by And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

I friggin' love this album so much. It makes me really happy.

Summer Film Camp for Girls is on!

Michelle came by yesterday for a visit about this year's Summer Film Camp for Girls. She brought along her beautiful baby girl, Scarlett. What a cutie.

Michelle's been brewing up some new stuff for this summer. Both an overnight camp and a local camp. I'm so excited I can't stand it. I remember over a year ago discussing the possibilities of an overnight camp and being completely giddy by it. So now she's making it a reality. Crossing our fingers super tight that it all goes as planned. She's a powerhouse and can totally make it happen.

Chapter 1 = Done

I'm adapting a screenplay into a young adult novel. I've never done this before. I'm not totally sure what I'm doing, just sort of going with the flow. I've finished the first draft of Chapter 1. It's only 8 pages, but it seems to be a solid 8 pages. Been working on Chapter 2. I'd like to have a first draft of the entire book by the end of March. Not sure if that's a lofty goal or not. I'm having fun with it though. That's what matters, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What I Love, What I Hate

What I love:
Coming home to a package from Karen. Inside, chocolate kisses and a Valentine's mix CD (Magnetic Fields, The National, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, John Lennon).

What I hate:
Coming home to find the Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream that I begged Mark not to buy still in the freezer staring back at me.

What I really hate:
Eating the Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream that I begged Mark not to buy because I would be tempted every time I opened the freezer and it stared back at me like the evil seductress that it is.

Damn you Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream!!!

GENaustin Raffle for SXSW Music Wristbands

GENaustin is holding a raffle to help support the organization. You can win SXSW Music wristbands for just $20. It's for a great cause!

Our mission is to foster healthy self-esteem in girls by engaging them to explore and define their personal values and to build skills that empower them with confidence and courage to make wise choicesThis type of confidence manifests itself in so many important ways, affecting how girls choose friends, who they date, and what choices they make in their education and eventually their careers. GENaustin suggests options during a time in girls� lives when they begin to feel more of the burdens, rather than the advantages of femininity.

Post New Years New Year's Resolution

Over the years, I've crossed many items off my life list of things to do. So as it gets smaller, I think I'll add one. Write a novel. Why not? Who's stopping me?

I never thought I was that kind of writer. Like that dude that churns out fifty spy novels in a year or the woman who writes about the investigator Kinsey Millhone (each starting with a new letter in the alphabet).

I don't think I'll be spitting out In Cold Blood anytime soon. But it'll be a nice change from screenplays. Like a test. Or an experiment! Yeah, an experiment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

SXSW Panel

I'm lucky to be on a community panel at SXSW this year. It means free badge, which means badge line versus non-badge lines, which means no wait and probably getting in to everything, which means free, which ultimately means I get to go cause otherwise I'm broke. Yay!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wild and Crazy Idea

Write a young adult novel?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Posters that Inspire Me

I know it's a long time off, but when I get around to making the poster for The Spider in the Bathtub, I want it to feel like these.

Life Lesson #1

I found this in an old blog entry. I think it's something I should glue to my forehead.

"Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
To let go of where I thought I would be at this age and embrace where I am."

Kurt and Karen turn 34

Two of my favorite people in the whole wide world turned 34 this week.
Happy Birthday!

Thrilling 4th Grade Birthdays

I can't remember where she moved from or what brought her to Jacksonville Beach, but it was like a rock star had landed in our elementary school. It was 4th grade. Cher, the new girl, wore studded belts that hung to one side, jeans that were rolled up tight around the ankles and lots and lots of bangle bracelets that rode up and down her arms. She knew everything about music, dancing, fashion. She skyrocketed the hip factor in our school.

I admired Cher from the peripheries of our little clique. Sitting at the lunch table, hanging on her every word, taking notes about her fashion ensembles ... I was in awe. But I knew I would never elevate to that level of cool. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind and demand attention. I kept my mouth shut and avoided eye contact. She shopped at Macy's and was dropped off in a BMW. I shopped at Pic N Save and hightailed it on my brother's old BMX.

When she RSVPed to Becky Robinson's slumber birthday party, I knew I had to go. Even though Becky and I weren't that great of friends. I had to be there.

What happened that night was, well, life changing. After singing Happy Birthday blah, blah, blah and eating cake, blah, blah, blah, it was gift giving time. One by one Becky opened our offerings of sticker books, twist a beads and unicorn figurines. Boring, boring, boring. But then she picked up Cher's gift. It was square, thin and rather large. Becky peeled the wrapping paper back as the rest of us hovered over her like hawks. What was it? What could it be? And what to our little eyes did appear? The mother of all mothers, Michael Jackson staring back at us. Holy Mackerel! Cher got Becky Robinson the mother f-ing Thriller album. I knew it was gonna be big. I just didn't know how big.

After the squeals and screaming subsided, the gaggle of girls hauled ass to the record player. The LP slipped from the sleeve into Becky's hands. She held it up to "oohs" and "aahs". And when that needle hit the record, what raced down our ear canals and passed our ear drums was magic. The voice, the beats, the lyrics ... we were changed 4th graders and Becky Robinson was all of a sudden ... made cool.

I didn't have MTV, much less cable as a kid. It was much later that I saw the Thriller video at my cousin's in Tennessee. But at that point it didn't matter. I remember that night like it was yesterday. Instead of the usual slumber party fun (Bloody Mary, Light as a Feather), we stayed up all night making up dance routines to PYT. We'd lie our heads next to the speakers singing Human Nature and we'd pretend to rock it hard to Beat It.

About a month later, I invited Cher to my birthday party, thinking surely she'd give me the Thriller album too. She'd make me cool like she did for Becky Robinson who now wore side hanging belts and bangle bracelets. I'd dance and dance to Billie Jean in my parent's bedroom and pretend I was a PYT. But the packaging was different. It was smaller. The other girls, wide eyed, watched me pick it up, shake it, confused. When I ripped off the paper and found a jewelry box, the excitement from my face must have fallen pretty hard. I opened it up. And after getting a glimpse, the girls leaned back in their seats and shook their heads with disappointment.

Twist a Beads. Huh.


Happy 25th Anniversary Thriller Album.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Today's Soundtrack

If I had a soundtrack while I walked through today it would consist of:

What a Feeling (in an ironic way)
Time After Time (for dramatic effect)
Eye of the Tiger (trying to get my gumption back)
Tomorrow/Annie (for hope)

Anthem of the Day - Crazy on You

When I'm feeling blue and a Heart song comes on the radio, I turn the volume up, roll down the window and smile. I love Heart. I love the Dreamboat Annie album. For some reason they make me feel strong and tough.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Step Up 2 The Streets

Valentine's Day meant Step Up 2 The Streets premiere with a packed theater of squealing high school girls. And after the movie let out and I ran into Katie Lemon, I was one of those squealing girls "I loved it!" "Me too!" "Channing Tatum is so cute!" "I know!"

Sequels usually suck, but this one delivered. Big time. If you liked the first Step Up, you'll love this one. The dance sequences were unbelievable. I'm almost inclined to use phrases like "it was dope" or "that shit was fly". But I'll refrain from embarrassing myself. In my own words, it kicked some serious booty. And the dreamy Channing Tatum has a dance scene that will make you gasp. If I were 10 again, I'd be dancing to Missy Elliot instead of Irene Cara. And instead of taking tap, I'd be taking hip hop.

And on another note, when the preview for the new Indiana Jones trailer came on, it brought tears to my eyes. Just the first four bars from the theme song sent chills up my spine. I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

sewing on my tough exterior

you can only go so long with that tough exterior that you've sewn on. that smile that you try and keep upright. sometimes it just gets frayed at the edges. your skin gets soft like a t-shirt you've worn since high school. or holes grow in the knees. you try and keep it together with safety pins and even tape, but eventually, it just falls apart, stitch by stitch.

my mom tried to teach me to sew as a kid. i made a few simple outfits. nothing fancy. but my edges were always uneven. the patterns didn't match up. sometimes i'd get lazy and use the wrong colored thread. but i paraded my hand made clothes around my elementary school like they were from saks fifth avenue.

some days/weeks you just feel like a complete failure. like everyone can see through your tough exterior and see that quivering little girl who doesn't know what the hell she's doing. that they can see the threads hanging from the hemline or the safety pins holding the pockets in place. i just have to keep reassuring myself that everything's going to be ok. and believing it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spring Break Youth Film Camp - Austin


Come learn filmmaking with the pros at Austin Studios over spring break. Our moviemaking camps teach hands-on narrative moviemaking techniques using digital video technologies. In a fun project-based environment, students will work in teams to craft short films, from the kernel of their project idea to final edit and exhibition of the films. AFS camps at Austin Studios include select short film screenings and a behind-the-scenes studio tour. Finished films are screened for parents, friends and participants at a culminating Friday night showcase in the AFS screening room. The camp will be taught by award-winning filmmakers and educators Kat Candler and Stacy Schoolfield. Space is limited.

March 10th - 14th 9- 5pm
Price: $250
Ages: 12 - 17 years old

To register, email Christian Raymond at or call AFS at 322-0145 ext. 207.

Half Life - Coming to a SXSW Near You

Half-Life Movie Trailer

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Keeping Up with the Powells

Glen and Cyndy Powell came to my teen class tonight. Glen imparted his acting wisdom and fun stories from The Great Debaters and his other big projects.

I forgot that Leslie was on the Endurance show on Discovery Kids. Kicking ass it sounds like. I don't have cable so I get a little out of the loop on some stuff. But I must admit, it's hard keeping up with the Powell family. There's always something going on and it's usually something big. That family, I swear, every one of them is a crazy go getter. They'll take over the world someday.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Welcome to the World, Max Satterwhite

Congratulations to Brian and Maria!

You Are Pretty - St. Idiot's Collective

Ms. Adrienne Dawes never ceases to amaze me. And I can say the same for the St. Idiot's Collective. I'm in awe. I'm jealous and I'm proud.

I was one of ten audience members last night at their performance of Adrienne's play You Are Pretty directed by Jenny Larson. Normally, I would say, "Go get tickets now! Run, run fast.", but alas, they've sold out every single performance.

What Adrienne and Jenny and this team of actors have pulled off is gut busting hilarious, queasy and uncomfortable, oozingly romantic and downright depressing. I teared up a few times from both laughter and sadness. I wish I knew all of the actor's names in the play. It's a stellar cast all deserving of major kudos. But the stand out performance consistently goes to Lee Eddy. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this girl is electric. Perhaps the best actor in town. She's dynamo.

Keep your ears peeled for the St. Idiot's Collective next project.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Project Greenlight Part 2

I haven't had cable TV since college when we got it for free from a college radio contest. We fought Time Warner Cable for months after that because they tried to charge us even though we were contest winners. Alas. So I never got to see Project Greenlight 1 or 2. Or 3? Was there a third one? Horror film maybe?

It's been interesting watching these two guys directing this coming of age film. Their first feature film. Watching it I'm like, "Ooh if I only I had had that chance. That money and that team to back a project". There were moments where I was slapping my head, remembering my first feature and all of the mistakes I made and watching them making them too. It's been a fun adventure to take with these folks watching it unfold.

Tiny Plump Dancer

A few albums I couldn't live without as a kid: Flashdance, Fame, ABBA Gold, Xanadu. I knew every word. I studied the liner notes, the lyrics, the photos. They were my dance albums.

Saturday nights, I studied the moves of the Solid Gold dancers. In particular, the tall, black girl with crazy long hair. She was by far, the best. She owned that stage. I copied her moves and added my own twists. I danced in my parents bedroom because it was big and had a full length mirror. I'd leap into the air, twirl across the hard wood floor and kick my leg high into the air ... always carefully as not to make the records skip.

What's cute looking back was that I was a plump little girl. I had big legs (still do), chubby cheeks (still do) and nice round belly (still do). I discovered the evils of body image when I signed up for Ms. Miller's Ballet Classes. In my baby blue leotard and pink tights, I was much rounder than the rest of the little girls. They were all nice enough not to say anything though. Despite my chunkiness, I held my own in that class ... and the tap, toe and jazz classes that followed. I was the tiny, plump dancer.

Body Image: Yeah, I won't get into it. I could write a novel about my struggles with body image. But I won't. Not now. I'll continue to battle those demons on my own.

Friday, February 08, 2008

lazy and lame

some days you just feel like crap. like sitting and doing a whole lot of nothing. staring at a wall, eating cereal, watching mindless tv. i'll allow myself this day of emotional blah. my husband asks, "is it me? did i do something?" nope. just feel like crap today. i think it's more professionally than personally. i'll get over it. i'll wake up tomorrow and feel better. i just want to be lazy and lame today. i slept through 3 hours of it this afternoon. i wish i could've slept through all of it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Step Up 2

I'll be there opening day. Dance movies rule!

Rooftop Films Grant - Spencer Parsons

Congrats to Spencer for receiving one of the Rooftop Films Grants this year. You can also check out Spencer's feature I'll Come Running at this year's SXSW! Go Spencer Go!