And Seven Hours Later...

Many thanks to the cast and crew of my first narrative short "And Seven Hours Later..." for making it a success. I could not have asked for a more cooperative, easy-going, and professional bunch of people to work with. I'm very pleased with how the whole thing turned out. The screening was last Friday at Southwestern Illinois College but for those that missed it I've posted it here. Below are a couple of pics from the shoot. P9210157ASHLelevatorshot

Here's poor Heather and Erik celebrating after I finally got the last shot done and let them out of that miserable elevator.

freeatlastheathereric
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I saw...

Cases of Tab soda in the grocery store today. Who in the hell is still drinking this? Probably the same people who are still running around using a Diners' Club credit card and wondering why more places don't accept it.
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A Dear John Letter

Dear John,

Today you will lose. It is time for us to face the reality of the situation. It is over. I tried to make things work. I tried to compromise and meet you half-way but it was not meant to be. As an independent, I listened to both sides. I watched both conventions. I educated myself. I tried to see things your way. I stayed with you as long as I could until
she came along. Until I saw Sarah Palin not answer one single question during the VP debate. Joe Biden wiped the floor with her and all she could offer were sweeping generalities and ridiculous snarls on her face.

What were you thinking? John, if you needed a running-mate then you should have come down here to Southwest Illinois and just picked me. We could have run away into the sunset with this thing. I could have not only gotten you the female vote but also the African-American vote. If you wanted someone younger and female then the choice was clear…me. I have solid credentials: a degree from the Air Force Academy, military experience, I’ve travelled the globe. And I certainly can think better on my feet than that vacant shell, Sarah Palin. You were so quick to try and capture the “mommy vote” that you forgot about the “single-chick” vote. Add in the fact that I have a cat, and we would have run away with this thing. The single-female with cat contingent would have been huger than the hockey moms. Instead you went with someone average, someone mediocre. Someone who I positively know is not a better woman than I. The only thing she has me beat on is the number of times she’s pushed out off-spring from her uterus. Palin - 5, me - 0.

You missed out, John. We could have been good together. You tried to pull a fast one by picking her. You thought no one would dig too far beneath the surface to discover she’s a ditz and all the angry Hillary fans would come flocking to you. Not so. The plan back-fired big time and all the while you could have been with me.

So no hard feelings, we can be adults about this. Both of us should just move on. Besides, I've sort of got eyes for someone new now.

Go get em' Senator Obama! Give those fools hell.

86f3_12
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The mystery package

I opened my mailbox a few days ago and saw a white, plastic package inside. I could tell right away that it was the merchandise I'd ordered about a week ago from WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment for those that don't, but should know). That and it also said WWE shop zone on the front. As a 33 year old, African-American female, I don't quite fit the demographic for wrestling fans but my life has never been about fitting in where I'm supposed to. Anyways, my two Hardy Boyz (the greatest and cutest tag team ever) shirts were inside.

But in addition to this, I also received a smaller, flat brown package. I figured it was something small that I'd ordered and forgotten about. I ripped it open like it was Christmas morning. And what was inside you might ask? A letter from Trojan condoms thanking me for visiting their website and requesting a free sample. The package also contained a free Magnum-sized condom. I have never been to trojancondoms.com. I swear. Even if I had ever accidentally stumbled across it, I would never enter my home mailing address. So how did this happen? How is it that my mailbox where I receive my bills and send out pleasant correspondence has suddenly been converted into a sex shop?!

I went inside and began making my short list of suspects who might have gone to the website and entered my address. What did this mean? Why would someone do this? Was someone trying to send me a message? Enough wondering...I'm just going to put it out there.

To whoever sent this sample to my house,

If you think that I'm uptight and high-strung then come and say it to my face. Don't hide behind websites and anonymity. Come out and say it directly to me instead of pulling passive-aggressive stunts like this. You punk ass.

I have to write a letter to Trojan Customer Relations to prevent anymore samples being sent here without my consent. If one of my many adversaries was not the culprit, then I have a sneaky suspicion that WWE might have sold my address to Trojan. Coincidence that the packages arrived at the same time?! I think not.
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Star Wars - The Holiday Special

So it's a Sunday morning and there's tons for me to try to get done...cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc. I see Sarah Silverman on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and she mentions some clip that she did a while back called "I'm f*@king Matt Damon" that got a tremendous amount of YouTube hits. Having never seen the clip, I dart to my computer to watch. Well, that YouTube is a slippery slope. I get on there with the intention of watching the Matt Damon clip and that's it. I'm going to watch this thing and then get back to my life. Oh, but Jimmy Kimmel made a response to Sarah's video called "I'm f*@king Ben Affleck" so then I've got to watch that. Much to my surprise, Harrison Ford is in the Ben Affleck clip and that causes me to search for Harrison Ford on YouTube. Did you know Harrison Ford played a principal in E.T. but the scene got cut? I have every intention of backing away from my mouse and getting on with my Sunday duties until YouTube, as a result of my Harrison Ford search, links me to...Star Wars - The Holiday Special.

Somebody uploaded this thing in 10 parts because when it originally aired on CBS back in 1978 it was a 2 hour special. It follows the typical variety style format of the 70's. The general plot is that Chewbacca must get back to his home planet in time for "Life Day" with his family. I say general plot because along the way there is singing, dancing, and an all around hot mess. It is the worst pile of hell and an abomination in the Star Wars Universe. To sum up: Harvey Korman appears in drag, Diahann Carroll sings a song for no apparent reason as does Jefferson Starship, there's random dancing and I seem to recall a circus act; Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford make cameos. I know that Mark Hamill had a car accident shortly after A New Hope but they had his eyeliner and/or mascara caked on in this thing. The show also shamelessly rips off John Williams's score. Poor Carrie Fisher is forced to sing a "Life Day" song to the melody of the Star Wars Theme. What in the hell is this?! An Episode 4 montage is thrown in at the end just for the hell of it. Why not?

And just when I think this train wreck could not possibly get any worse...Bea Arthur sasses up the Mos Eisley Cantina and breaks out into song. So if you could remotely forgive the crappy set design, bad special effects, listless plot....
there's no forgiving a Golden Girl singing in a wretched hive of scum and villiany. The only saving graces for me were the cartoon that introduces Boba Fett and seeing an old Kenner commercial for Star Wars toys. Is Kenner even still around?

From the credits I easily see that George Lucas had little to do with this monstrosity. The CBS executives ran wild with his creation. No wonder the man so fiercely guards all things Star Wars to this day. In the credits, I saw "Costume Designer - Bob Mackie". Is this the same Bob Mackie who now peddles his stuff on QVC and designs Emmy dresses for Eva Longoria? If it's one and the same, then this man's career should have died with this thing.

Jedi-mind trick time,

You don't need to see The Star Wars Holiday Special.
This isn't the Holiday Special you're looking for.
You can go about your business.
Move along....move along.

Go find Linus and a sorry looking Christmas tree and watch that instead.
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Lands' End

The Lands' End catalog came today. It comes to my house about once or twice a season. In my youth, which wasn't that long ago, my dad was an avid fan of Lands' End and the boxes and catalogs would come to our New York home every other week it seemed. Dad raved about how warm the coats were and how the boots kept his feet snug from the Manhattan wind. His praises for Lands' End fell on deaf ears. To me, it was a line of clothing for the geriatric.

Fast forward twenty years. In January 2008, Lands' End was having a sale. I could never resist a good sale so I gave the stuff a try. I bought a down coat (the slimmer kind) and matching weather-resistant, water-proof shoes. The coat and shoes came and they looked nice enough. I wore them a couple of times...they seem pretty good. The real test came on a freezing cold Sunday morning as I waited outside Circuit City for a Wii. There was a tip that they would have some for sale. After standing outside for over an hour and watching the 8 people in front of me in the Wii line shiver to death, it dawned on me. My down coat, even though thin, was keeping me completely warm. My toes were toasty.
The shoes were comfy like sneakers. Lands' End rules. I got the last Wii that Circuit City had that day as luck would have it.

So when the catalog came today in the mailbox, I couldn't wait to get it into the house and tear through the pages. Maybe I should get a new coat, some new shoes...or maybe a monogrammed tote. Look at the aviator hat...maybe I'll get that. So now I'm addicted to Lands' End. I was so impressed with my purchases last year that I can't wait to get more. I swore for years I would never become like my parents. I would never do the things that they do. I would never like the things that they liked. I was so full of it.

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The beginning...

The blog starts today. Today is as good a day as any since it is my 33rd birthday. Let me tell you how I spent the stroke of midnight for my b-day.

At approximately 11:24 PM, I was on my way home from my reserve job. I got the munchies so I decided to roll past the local McDonald's and get a double cheeseburger and a small fry. Both are only $1 each. As I'm about to pull into the drive-thru, I noticed several stray kittens huddled in the back corner of the parking lot next to some landscaping. Hell no, I think to myself. These kittens can't live like this. I immediately put ordering on hold and attempt to talk to the kittens. As soon as I approach, one of the kittens darts off. I talk to a light orange and white cat for about 15 minutes. I try to convince him/her not to be afraid; that it should come home with me; I would treat him/her like a princess; and he/she would lead the most comfortable life imaginable. My pleas fell on deaf kitten ears and the closer I got, the more the kitten ran away.

I decided to abandon my efforts and get the double cheeseburger and small fry. The fries are quite tasty. The kittens might be hungry. I drive around again to give it one more shot. Again, I plead with them..."At least
one of you should abandon this dismal parking lot in favor of a luxurious life with me?!" No response. They only shy away. I dangle a french fry in an attempt to entice one of them towards me. Nothing.

I look down at my watch. The clock has just now struck midnight and I'm officially a year older but certainly not wiser as I have spent 30 minutes in a McDonald's parking lot talking to unreceptive kittens. I head back to my car in defeat. A man waiting in the drive-thru line asks me, "Is everything alright?". From his vantage point, he probably couldn't see the kittens and is wondering why an Air Force major (I'm still wearing my uniform) is dangling a french fry and talking to the plants in the grungy back corner of the McDonald's parking lot.

"It's stray cats. I'm trying to get 'em!", I yell back. He does not respond. I wolf down my cheeseburger and fries while driving home. My uniform has the distinct smell of cat feces or better still, cat urine. I no doubt sat in some at some point in the ordeal. Happy Birthday to me.
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