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Vero said something really sweet to me this morning after our run…. she said that I was going to be pretty for a long time, because I got good genes from my mom and grandmother Gayle. That was really nice of her to say after pouring sweat for an hour. When I think of myself, the word pretty doesn’t always come to mind. It’s not that I don’t like my body and physical appearance, but I just don’t associate myself with it. Words that have to do with personality usually pop up first and foremost – like loud, ambitious and creative. Sometimes it’s almost borderline uncomfortable to think of myself in terms of attractiveness, because it just feels weird to do so. I told Vero that my mom is beautiful because she takes such good care of her body. Both of my parents are fairly health conscious, as they get a good amount of exercise and watch what they eat on a consistent basis. They still have fun and splurge when they feel like it, but they’ve adopted a life of wellness that I try to emulate. They buy local and organic whenever it is possible, and they enjoy cooking with whole ingredients. I think that translates to the physical body and spirit. In fact they remind me a lot of Vero in this sense, because that’s exactly the kind of lifestyle she lives as well. I love surrounding myself with people who I look up to.
Speaking of which, when I look at the people around me right now in life, they all have a quality or two that I really admire. The people I see on a regular basis inspire me, and I’ve chosen to be around them as often as possible. I find that if I get a negative vibe or energy from a person, situation or place, that I go into an avoidance behavior. Time is too valuable to waste feeling drained or down more than you have to be. However, we all go through down phases, so it is still important to help a friend or family member when their spirits need uplifting. I love the thought that we give and receive energy every moment, and the more you participate in the process the more rewarding life can be. It’s good karma, and that is something I strongly believe in.
Rebecca and I announced yesterday evening that our short film Crush got into the Indy Film Festival in late July! Woooohoo! Making films can be so much fun…. especially when you get to the part where people get to actually see your work. With that being said, it is still one of the hardest types of creative projects to take on due to all the moving parts and the time (and usually money) it takes to complete. After I finish writing my book I hope to take on my first feature length film, hopefully in 2013. Is it weird that writing something with no images or visuals scares me more than the commitment it requires to make a movie? While I still have a lot to learn in the film world, it is something that comes fairly naturally to me. I feel fearless and I understand how the process works. Writing a book has proven to be one of the biggest creative challenges I’ve ever taken on. But that is also what excites me about it.
Last night I got to spend a few hours with my dear friend Brandi at the screening of Up at the newly renovated Avondale Amphitheater as part of the summer movie series. I have always been so in love with the amphitheater….it is nestled back along the corner of the woods in Avondale Park away from the street and it has curved grassy sitting levels edged with large stones. It so unusual and beautiful. Just on the hill above it (and through the small patch of woods) is the Avondale Castle (or pavilion) which is also a super place to do something special. Those two treasures really are underutilized as event spaces in town… but maybe that is a good thing for those of us in the know. With Avondale blowing up like it is, I’m sure it will become more popular in the coming years. I’m glad, because I want to go to the amphitheater as often as possible!
Just 9 or so hours later Vero and I did our morning run right through the park, and I began to realize what a staple this part of town has become in my life. This is also the park that I love to relax in on my Sidewalk Film Festival blanket and just gaze up at the trees. There is a good energy there…. one of mystery, history, excitement and community.
Rebecca and I have some exciting news to share tonight about Crush that we will be announcing on Facebook and Twitter later on this evening! I have a feeling that we will have a good run with our short film this fall, or here’s hoping at least. I think it deserves to be seen as often as it can, because we are both very proud of the work we put into it. We were very lucky to have such great talent helping us as well through every bit of the process.
Happy first day of summer!!!! Summers are meant to be spent with the people you love, enjoying a cool drink in the sunshine, playing in the grass and enjoying everything you have.
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ― Charles Bowden
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” ― Russel Baker
“Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year – it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.” ― Author Unknown
“Summer afternoon…Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James
As I was driving home from Atlanta yesterday evening, I HeyTelled with my friend Micah back and forth about our weekends. When she asked how mine was, I told her that it was filled with excitement, happiness and contentment. Then I asked, is it normal to be so filled with joy on a regular basis? Micah said yes, that it should be the norm, not the exception. It’s the way life is supposed to be. Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize – yes, I deserve this. I deserve for good things to happen to me, we all do. And they are indeed happening.
One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to attend PushStart Kitchen’s one year anniversary dinner in Atlanta on Saturday night with James. I got the opportunity to eat at one of their Birmingham dinners last November, and it was the first time I’ve ever had an experience like it. It is basically an intimate dinner for 12-16 people, with several unique courses and pairings with personalized attention. You can’t beat it for the cost, and it is also a great way to meet new friends. Zachary Meloy, the chef, is such a humble and talented guy…. and his food will rock your world. If you ever get the opportunity to have a meal prepared by him, or by a similar artist, don’t think twice about signing up. The two dinners that I’ve had by them have become some of my most fond food memories.
It is t-minus 2 1/2 days until we leave for Bonnaroo!!! OMG. I can’t wait to be in the car on the way to Tennessee for what is sure to be an amazing four days covered in dirt & sweat…hahaha. Tonight I am going to prepare the tent and start loading the car up with everything that we will need to survive. Tomorrow night is Vero’s birthday celebration, so there won’t be much time to mess around after today. So many things going on!
Rebecca and I got some more good festival news this weekend for Crush, but we can’t announce until the end of June. AAAhhhh!!! I am no good at keep secrets, so I am dying to say what it is. But alas, we will all have to wait. It is worth it, though.
I turned my heater on this morning! I would like to say it was for the first time this season… but I did have a false alarm a few weeks ago where I turned it on during the middle of the night. I love the way a heater smells when you turn it on for the first time after the summer. A lot of people hate it, kind of like the way they hate how Subway smells, but it is a favorite of mine.
I have been a major sleeper this weekend. I must have needed it. Not only did I have a 2 hour nap yesterday, but I slept a good solid 9 hours last night too. I think my body requires more sleep than most, even though as I’ve gotten older it’s becoming harder and harder to sleep in. My brain is just programmed to wake up by 8 at the very latest these days.
Weather like this makes me want to go on a trip, not far… just somewhere close by in a quiet place. It really isn’t in my budget to go anywhere until next month after the investment in our short film, but I can still dream. Chattanooga has become a favorite short trip destination of mine, so maybe I can make that happen in November or December. I would like to go somewhere that has a fireplace and is surrounded by trees. Another place that I love is Callaway Gardens on Pine Mountain in Georgia. It is super quiet and beautiful. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there and I’d like to go back soon.
Speaking of our short film, we got to see the first rough cut yesterday! I think I am really happy with it, though I plan to study it more today. It’s funny that it turned out almost exactly the way I saw it in my head, so we did a pretty good job in that respect. Joe Walker, our editor, did some unexpected things as well that I really liked. I think it is important for others to bring their own creative ideas, as it’s almost impossible to think of everything yourself. Being open is the name of the game. He even threw in an alternate ending that is very intriguing. We will see how it all unfolds over the next few weeks…
Weigh-In Wednesday #77 – 150.8
Oh geez, a baby kitten has singled me out in the alley. It has to be about 8 weeks old, and it is super adorable. But… I can’t keep it since I already have two cats. What should I do with it? Take it to the Humane Society? I think the mom is out there too, so I’m definitely considering getting her fixed. It is nearly impossible for me to look away from a kitten, so if she has anymore I am doomed. Doomed I say! They always manage to find me. Or maybe others find them too, but they have more cute animal self-control than I do. I just can’t take knowing that an animal is suffering when I can do something about it. This is exactly why we should all spay and neuter our pets and “adopt not shop.” So many amazing animals are waiting at the Humane Society and Animal Control for someone to bring them home, and a lot don’t make it to that point because of the high volume that come through on a daily basis. Just something to think about to help make our community a better place for us and our furry friends.
I am starting to get some butterflies in my stomach as our big shoot day for CRUSH gets closer and closer. Last night Rebecca and I had a great brainstorming session with Callie, our lead actress, and Lily Li, our stylist assistant extraordinaire. Luckily it is just a one day shoot, even though we have to fit a ton in those 24 hours. Once Saturday comes and goes, we will be smooth sailing with the editing process which I find to be much more laid back than the production itself. It’s all very exciting, but I guess I am also trying to mentally prepare myself for anything that might go wrong as well. Maybe I should just stop worrying, as I was told recently by two different people that I could stand to take a chill pill every now and then. You can only control things to a certain point… and the rest is beyond our power to steer. I am learning to let go a little more.
Last night while at an event for work, I was reminded of how short and precious life is. Many people in attendance had either lost a child or almost lost a child to cancer, and to hear them speak about it moved my heart in ways it’s never been moved before. It wasn’t about the sadness, though that was definitely there too, instead it was about the fight that even a child has to hold on to life. I don’t know if you know this, but it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month… so if you have the means to give a few dollars to your local cancer charity, you should. Here is a link where you can donate in the Birmingham area – http://bit.ly/oTcQbY.
Today is my mom’s birthday!!! Without a doubt, she is one of my most favorite people on the planet. I think what I love most about her are the layers in her character. There are many private things a lot of people don’t know that make her extra special. No matter what, she has always accepted me… no matter how strange or unusual I may have been. She lets me be me, and that’s the best gift a parent can ever give a child. In lieu of gifts this year she asked for friends and family to give to a cancer organization this month in honor of my Aunt Shirley, whom she is visiting this weekend in North Carolina.
I am soooooooo grateful for everyone’s support on CRUSH, the short film Rebecca and I are making together over the next few weeks. We’ve reached our fundraising goal in a record amount of time! It makes my heart explode with happiness. Tonight is our 3rd Friday event at Naked Art in Forest Park for anyone who’d like to stop by and say hi to us! They are giving us 10% of the proceeds from the evening, which is extremely generous. While we may have reached our fundraising goal online, our actual budget is more that. We are definitely in a safe zone, but any contributions are still welcome at this point.
When I said that this would be a fast project… I wasn’t lying. Our shoot date is next Saturday, the 24th, at a great house in Highland Park. Rebecca and I have been working nonstop putting the script, shooting schedule, prop list and crew together to ensure the best possible outcome of our concept. It’s really strange when something just works, and the idea behind this film is extremely strong. Rebecca and I are also a pretty good team since we both bring distinct strengths to the table. This weekend we are going to put a lot of the finishing touches on the production plan for next weekend. And while it’s been a lot of work, I’ve really enjoyed the process so far. I just keep trying to remember that this will fly by before I know it, and I want to enjoy ever second. It’s not every day you get such an amazing opportunity.