Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
I'm sitting in my parents house trying to be productive. We've been watching movies that will at least be entertaining so as to provide minimal complaints from all parties, which has lead to tv movie marathons that are dulling on my head ... like in the movies there's these dulling sprays you put on stuff if a surface is too reflective.
There's all these friend requests that have been sitting in my facebook and it got to be about 1000 and so I realized I should just maybe friend them all except the really weird ones, why the hell not. And then I saw there were even some people in there that I actually knew. And then I thought about money again.
I have to think about money because I spent it all.
All of it! So I'm thinking about it a lot.
I spent it all on the last film I made which got kind of out of hand but was worth it.
I'm thinking about how people use kickstarter to raise money for their films, but for me, I don't believe in using it for short films because short films are the director's pleasure, there's no real market for them ... so I've been saving asking for money via kickstarter till I'm making a feature film, which I'll start raising money for next year - and then all my fundraising can be concentrated into my I REALLY NEED IT SUPER A LOT time, and I'll be using it on something which has more potential for return, or at least importance.
And so I thought I better add all these facebook people because one of them might be magic.
--- beat ----
I'm also spending time here because although I'd love to be in the editing lab being productive and serving my most immediate needs, I will be in Vietnam working on a film during Christmas, so I really should be spending more time at home for Thanksgiving.
My dad had another seizure on Wednesday. I came home from NYC Wednesday. This is his 6th seizure since his stroke in June 2010, and they happen because of the stroke brain damage. His first seizure was the day after last Thanksgiving when I was home with him and mom was out grocery shopping.
After most of his seizures aside from the first one, he's the same as before. But when they are happening, it's really dramatic. It seems like he's dying. It takes him that whole day to recover at least. He needs oxygen and you need to be sure his airways aren't blocked. This was the first time we didn't go to the hospital for it. He seems ok.
He had another seizure 2 weeks ago. I was in Spike Lee's class at the time. I got a call from home. Calls from home are usually emergencies especially in earlier hours. Mom said dad had a bigger seizure than ever - it lasted 17 minutes which is a really long time to be seizing. She was there for it and very upset. I came home because it sounded really bad. Dad was ok to go home that night and feeling fine - but it's good to show up and just be there.
It's become the norm for really bad and extreme things to happen all the time.
So after dad had his Seizure 2 days ago, the cops and ambulance came and gave dad some oxygen. There are some really nice people who've helped us over this time. Emergency workers, the therapists at Kessler, police. This police man was a big guy, and totally nice and also pretty hot. I like some police. I don't like the police man who gave me a cell phone ticket in Manhattan. He has better things to do than take my negative amounts of money.
After dad and mom were in bed, I went to a home town bar and saw old friends. They were there with their adorable husbands, and there was an empty seat where my adorable husband could sit if I had one. But I don't. I wonder if they would all get along.
A girl we were with turned 31. The rest of us there were 30. We didn't realize there was going to be a year after this one. I've been really cool about being 30. Can I brace myself for 31? That's so far from the 20s it's not even touching. When there's touching then I'm still a kid. Kid touching.
-- beat ---
Thanksgiving day I rummaged around in my old closet. Found a flowered dress from the 90s babydoll era. It looked amazing with my leather boots and sweater cardigan. High school dress, happy energy, reminded me of the importance I once gave my outfit pairings back when House Of Style, Mademoiselle and Jane Magazine were my guides.
-- beat --
I'm sorry to say the new Muppets Movie wasn't good. Kids will love it, but it was so poorly constructed, all plot points came too easy. The stakes were never high, there was no real conflict. The old Muppets movies were brilliant. Bummer.
-- beep ---
So I'm sitting in my parents house trying to be productive. I added all those facebook friends so I decided I'd filter people I really knew into a special list which I could use for whatever useful needs I may have. And then I saw someone in the friends and thought - damn even he got married too?
That makes me a bit insecure.
But the worst thing is to marry the wrong person and I haven't met the right one, and I don't want it to be just anyone. Also I don't trust most men although I am attracted to men. I suspect most men are up to something shady and trying to take my something I don't want them to.
Man, a lot of my friends have some really hot husbands too. That would be cool. Because looks are the most important quality in a person. Just ask Scott Peterson. Or Vanessa Williams. They are both good looking.
I would like it if life works that out for me some time soon. I think it will work eventually for sure, I just have faith in that.
I'm very curious when, where and who in the meantime.
In the meantime, my heart and mind are being heartily fed by creative ambitions.
I highly recommend creativity and productivity as the cure to all other needs (for a sustainable period of time, though not indefinitely).
-- John Quincy Adams -
I witness people complaining all the time about nothing and no big deals and things they can recover from easily.
Rich people really bother me when they complain about their monetary things.
They always run their mouth about grievances that are not true pain or suffering from which one cannot recover.
There are things that can happen that are so bad that it's actually a big deal.
There are so many things that are not a big deal, and when a person chooses to make a big deal, they are purposefully creating anger, hostility, sadness, and strife - creating it out of thin air and choice.
People should create goodness out of thin air. If they are angry they should talk about it so it doesn't bubble up and get thrown at other people and make the world worse.
A man recently got angry about me about a pillow.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I used to be a daily blogger and now I'm a mere periodic updater.
PERIODIC UPDATE TIME!
WHAM! YEAH WHOOHOOOO it's not 2007 anymore baby.
What am I doin?!
Here's what I'm doin:
- November 1st on a farm in Morris County NJ, I'm directing a 35mm commercial. It will star 2 indie rockstars! BV lovers, this one is for you. And also for me. And my reel.
- November 15-17 I'll be directing a short film I wrote in upstate NY. It's going to be a short comedy thriller, and I'm THRILLED about this one guys! No really, I think it will be fun, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it.
- October 28 (this Friday) I'm having a staged reading of my sitcom pilot script.
This is the 3rd year of NYU Grad Film school, last year of classes and then we have 1-3 years to complete our thesis.
I'm going after my comedy writer/director ambitions with a 3 prong ATTACK:
I'm gonna shoot some more commercial stuff over the summer to beef up my commercial reel, by the time I'm done w 3rd year (May 2012) I want to complete my sitcom package and meet with tv peeps, and I've finished a draft of my feature script, I'll be revising it and fundraising for that. I'd like to shoot the feature in May 2013 as my NYU Grad Thesis.
So now you know.
And also to pay bills I'll be working as a sound mixer on film shoots. That means I'm this person that sits there with a recording machine, and puts microphones on people and spaces to record the sound you hear in the movie!
Sometimes I'll do acting but that's just when something cool comes along. Standup is on hold. Maybe I'll do it again after this whole filmmaking thing is in high speed motion.
So now you REALLY KNOW.
F yeah omg yes yah eayh yeah.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
SUN Sept 25
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Saturday, September 10, 2011
I was in the bathroom yesterday and picked up this commemorative 9-11 issue of New York Magazine that was sitting there and I started to read these stories. And then I came across one tale from a woman and the "goodbye" phonecall she got, and then another tale discussing that day, and I cried, and suddenly I started remembering being alive at that moment in time - everything it meant, and what that time was for me.
WHERE I WAS ON THAT DAY
- I was in Washington DC, a Junior in college at GWU. That morning my roommates' sister woke us up with a phone call (people had house phones back then). At this time, the pentagon had already been hit, I turned on the tv and watched as the towers collapsed live. I called my boyfriend who was at American U. DC was being evacuated. My roommate's parents asked her to leave DC and go home.
I went over to see if my class was still going on and of course it was not, just confused people near the classroom, not sure what to do or where to go.
My boyfriend Justin and I decided we should meet, and that we would be safest and most mobile on our bikes. I lived on campus, which is right next to the White House and State Department. I went outside to the GWU quad to meet Justin. People were gathering outside, confused. A girl asked me "what happened"? The campus buildings had their alarms on and were being evacuated, and there was some idea that bomb threats were everywhere.
Then a college friend Brandy, a White House Intern, walked toward us, leaving the White House. She said they were ordered to evacuate. They were told that another plane was up in the air (flight 93), and it was probably headed for the white house. This was very scary because we were a few blocks away. At the same time, there were car bomb scares at the State Department, which was also around the corner.
Justin was a photographer and he took lots of photographs on his way to meet me. The city was emptying. It was quickly becoming a ghost town. The metro was shut down, and a sea of cars moved out. Within hours, still daylight, DC was quiet and still. At this point, all planes had crashed, and bomb threats had ended. Justin and I went on our bikes, him with photo camera, and me with video camera, to observe.
We biked up to the White House. One of the guards outside was dating my roommate, so we chatted him up. It was empty there.
We biked up to the Capitol building. We saw huge helicopters landing. We thought that the people getting off these helicopters must be senators who were convening to hold a meeting.
THE WEEKEND AFTER
I had planned to visit home that weekend. I used to take the Delta Shuttle - an aiplane that was $50 each way from DC to NY, and was cheaper than the train. I flew home the weekend after 9-11. I was one of the first people to board the plane - which had no first class, it was all one. I sat in the 4th row and the other 3 front rows were off limits. A plain clothes man was already seated there. I asked "what are you doing here" He said "I'm secret service, a VIP is on this plane" I said "no way" He said "yes, the Clintons". I pulled out my phone to tell my dad, he said "no, stop! no one off the plane is supposed to know" so I put down the phone.
I had the chance to go up and meet the Clintons during the flight, and told them how much I supported them. I asked Hillary if she would speak at my school. She told me to go over to Huma and get her card. Years later I read all about Huma in Hillary's auto-biography, and unfortunately saw her in the headlines post-Weiner. At the end of the flight, Bill walked down the aisle and offered autographs to those who wanted them. He signed "Heather, Thanks for your Support, Bill". He remembered my name.
The Clintons flew that day to encourage people to fly again, a press junket waited for them as we exited the terminal.
When I arrived in New York City, the walls of buildings, subways, fences, were covered in "missing" signs.
- My mom worked in the WTC during the first bombing in 1993. I was at girlscouts when I got a call about it from my sister, saying mom was ok, she was on the 18th floor, she walked out, covered in ash, and was on her way home. The company moved their offices after that due to fears about terrorist attacks. I remember thinking it would be impossible to bomb it again after bombing it once. In 2001 mom worked in midtown. She walked to the west side and took a ferry across the water to come home to NJ.
NEW YORK CITY AND THOSE BUILDINGS
I LOVE this town. I LOVE my home, New Jersey. And New Jersey is what it is because of New York City. The people of my small suburban town work in New York. NYC is "the city" and when you're a little kid, NYC is a magical land of endless possibility, fun, dreams, and excitement - and you just hop on a bus or train and you're there. Mommy works here. Dreams happen here.
The people of NJ and NY are wonderful people. We are tough, honest, diverse, educated, cultured, creative, and complicated. I LOVE these people. NY people aren't rude, they are just busy. They want to help you when you're lost. You just have to ask.
I lived in NYC the summer of 2001, taking summer classes at Fordham Lincoln Center, and spending my time at the old UCB theatre in Chelsea. I used to watch the UCB greats like the Robs - Huebel, Riggle, and Lathan, or the SNL stars, and then go to McManus and see them hanging out there when I was still too young to drink. I met Jake Lodwick that summer when he was still a dorky college boy. I had still never been to Williamsburg. I took comedy classes with Armando Diaz before the Magnet theatre had been formed. I studied with goga NYC, an all female comedy group. I went to a show in the Lower East Side and was absolutely scared of how sketchy the neighborhood was, and was shocked to find a restaurant that served something as sophisticated as lemongrass tomato soup. I bartended for a week at Julians on 9th avenue. I started reading the NY Times.
When I got out of the subway, I'd look up to find the tops of the WTC towers, to figure out which way was downtown. You could see them from everywhere.
When you would drive in from NJ, you could see these glorious towers the whole drive there. My favorite view was always driving into the Lincoln Tunnel, right at the waterfront.
I remember visiting mom at work in the towers, and looking up from the bottom. A straight line up into the sky, farther than you've ever seen before. I don't know if anyone will ever experience a view like that again. I remember riding the multiple elevators up, the feeling in your head and ears up there. I remember the winter garden, something I regarded as one of the most beautiful places- an indoor glass atrium with palm trees at the waterfront! Somehow, an all glass building, it survived. I don't understand it, but I'm glad.
I remember when they re-opened the WTC Path trains. I rode in to what used to take you to the basement of the buildings. The train pulled into a horrible, empty graveyard. You could see up to the sky.
When I look downtown, my mind has a casual knowledge of what's supposed to be in that empty space. Just this week, for the first time, I saw something new. A building full of lights is peaking out above other buildings. It's the "Freedom Tower" - foreign, new. Doesn't feel a thing like New York City. It feels invasive, and it doesn't look like those towers. I'd have loved to see them come back again, and instead we are left with graveyards, holes, and the tourists come to point, look, take photos, buy flags and tee-shirts. It's a historical spectacle.
VICTIMS AND ALMOST VICTIMS
- At a friend's beach house in the hamptons in the summer of 2004, 2 long island men had big tattoos on their bodies. "Hey what's your tattoo?" "This is a tattoo for our brother who died on 9-11"
- Hearing about a friend's father in a the secret service, he went across the street to go get McDonalds for breakfast when the planes hit. He survived. Many people's alarms didn't go off that day, and those people wake up today.
- There was a woman in my law school in 2004. Everyone said, "oh, she's the widow of the guy who used to own Hobson's Choice in Hoboken. He died on 9-11." His name was Wayne Hobson. Hoboken's WTC losses
- Every town in NJ has their own 9-11 memorial, and every town I've visited has their own home victims.
CAN WE BE FUNNY NOW?
- One of the most significant communal experiences of 9-11 was that for at least a week or more after, nothing was funny, and there was no desire to joke or be funny - as an entire community, possibly nation. I've never felt that before and I hope to never feel that again.
Can you imagine what it's like to feel like, for days, all people share such deep morning that it's truly uncomfortable to carry on or laugh?
In this video, Conan and Jon Stewart capture it best:
THE WOMEN of 9-11
Who deserve respect.
If you feel like you should never forget. Here's one way.
Never forget. I'm not sure why I want to hold on to all of these things. Exchanging stories with others ...
I don't think I ever want to forget my New York City. I don't want to forget us, who we are, or how we got here.
It takes a lot of effort to remember truth - in the face of the chaotic, confused spectacle that followed 9-11-01.
Monday, September 05, 2011
He's great in it, as recognized by this week's NY Magazine Approval Matrix! (bottom right box)
Everybody's saying that the show sucks, and it's being run as a "burn off" on Friday nights, though it seems pretty popular on Hulu. I agree, the pilot has its problems. BUT I don't think the show sucks. I actually really enjoy watching it.
Review AFTER the Jump-Off
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Here's a clip of me doing some standup at Comedy Death Ray at UCB LA:
SEE MANY MORE COMEDY VIDEOS AFTER THE JUMP
Thursday, July 07, 2011
People wonder what sound people do on film sets. When undesired sounds arrive on set, they often say "oh, that noisy background sound ... well that might be there anyway, right?"
Maybe, but it still ain't right.
What sounds fine to your thinking active mind listening to a real experience is different from the experience of watching and hearing a film.
That's why the sound person has to select what you hear and adjust it - so it sounds like it's supposed to - to reflect the intention of a moment.
When you record something, you may pick up all audible things, recorded at a level that's not like the brain's natural perception. Surely little machines and microphones are not the same as brains and ears.
Not only do you want to record sound in a way that reflects a films' intention and feeling, you also want to isolate sounds as much as possible - so you can be a real director in the cutting room, and control all of your film's parts.
That's what being a sound person on a movie is all about. Tweaking and adjusting microphones and dials so that you can get the closest sound to your desired film experience. Which is sometimes impossible. Because locations and real life be crazy. And sound is not a priority on sets. And people like to do the ADR dubbing.
So in conclusion, pay me money.
If you did not appreciate this blog entry, might I offer you a lil P-Nut?
Or perhaps a meat nutritional comparison chart?
Or a link to the kickstarter for the White Party fundraiser? (I'm in this video at :40)
Friday, June 17, 2011
In the meantime, I'm perplexed by all these people who want to have something to do with me and don't explain why, and sometimes, I'm scared.
Top scary friend request types
- Old dudes from weird states: Unless you work in my industry, or are friends with my parents, if you're an old dude, we'd probably never be friends in real life. We have nothing in common. I know nothing - literally NOTHING about Minneapolis, or what it's like to drive to work in one of those big buildings surrounded by a parking lot and trees that are off of highways near McDonaldses and Maccaroni Grills. I know NOTHING about what it's like to be surfing the web in your tighty whiteys and getting angry at the damn beaurocrats. Finally, I know nothing about Windows. I bet you are using Windows. Ugh it's so annoying when I have to try to do anything on my parent's computer and I don't want Norton Anti Virus installed ever.
- Sexy dudes posing: I love me some hot and sexy dudes, but you know what's not sexy? Posing sexy. Men are supposed to be oafs to some extent. It's in your blood to clobber animals with large objects and change flat tires. Men are not supposed to have self awareness enough to be conscious of how to position their bodies and faces in a photograph seductively. Better yet, they should really never be seducing me with facial expressions ever. I'm totally fine with a photo of you with your friends at some bar or on vacation, or even that one random photo someone took of you where you secretly know you look kinda cute. By all means, no leaning against a rock with the sun glistening against your pecks. Actually, no shirtless photos period - unless it's some blissful "accident."
- Dudes from weird counties: What the hell are you up to, guy in United Arab Emerites, the German Rhine Valley, Mongolia? What in the hell kinda pokin around in the internet are you doing to end up on my facebook page ever? I don't want to know because there's certain things in this world that you can't unsee.
- Dudes who don't post any photos of themselves: Oh wow - is that a photo of your cat? A baby's head? Your backyard? Your eyeball? WTF is going on in there? Bitch you crazy. I don't want anything to do with you.
- Girls who look incredibly sexy and hot who are new on facebook, or have only one photo: You don't exist and you are trying to take my lunch money, or credit card information, or I dunno, you want something. Git off my lawn!
And please good gracious don't thank me for the add. Just - don't. I can't explain why it just creeps me out! I mean I dunno. Ugh maybe I should just thank all my facebook friends for the add right this minute, maybe I'm being closed minded. Ungrateful. I should go around thanking them all or else ... nope, wait, pretty sure that's a needless sentiment. You know what's not needless? Confessions! As an alternative confess your secrets or tell me a poem about pizza. Get creative!
Now we are at the end of this posting. Here is where I'd be obliged to say something humbling or self depreciating so as to ward off the buttplugs out there who get really angry when someone makes statements of any kind. Instead I'm gonna mouth off about something else I don't like: when someone says "Sorry for the mass email! I never send these!" just send the damn thing, clearly you've got some purpose for it. That's what email is for, and I've got a delete button. Everything is going to be ok.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Dad who can't do dad things anymore, no boyfriend. This whole year every time I have to move something, lift something, fix something, I wish I had a good man to help me out.
A man is someone who will be there to support you with muscle. It's a man's world and women's bodies have physical limitations. A lot of simple things were designed for men, like jars that need opening, things that are up high, things that are heavy, streets that are dangerous.
Bad men ruin the world and oppress the souls of women in dehumanizing ways.
But good men are the kind that are there for you, can be relied upon, be supportive, help you out, and they don't expect anything more than friendship or kindness in return.
I must admit, there's a special kind of comfort provided by the larger structured male human being. Even if it is sometimes just to protect me from other large structured male human beings.
I also prefer larger torsos in hug situations.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
The Good Doctor: Orlando Bloom stars in this mix of genres (drama thriller comedy mystery?) Extremely well executed on all levels - shot selection, well composed frames, editing, acting, writing, direction, production design. Great choices made all around. Saw it at Tribeca, watch it when it comes to theatres or DVDs near you.
Perfect Family: Sorry to say, one of the worst movies I've seen. Bad cartoonish acting, weak over expository script, fake looking not-believable set design. Also seen at Tribeca. I loved you in War of the Roses Kathleen Turner ...
Spread: Very watchable, sexually explicit in a great way. Voice over should just be edited out of the film though - it's really bad and not needed. Otherwise Kutcher does a great job at creating a hateable character - you will definitely hate him, but I think it's a truthful portrait. Pretty amazing sex scenes though. Anne Heche is taking care of herself. Shows the vapidness of modern Los Angeles. Some goofy plot points, but there's a satisfying ending. Not sure how Demi Moore let Ashton get away with all that hot on-screen action though ...
Dogfight: Made by my current directing teacher, Nancy Savoca, in 1991, starring River Phoenix and Lily Taylor. A perfect lovely film! Great acting, directing, interesting script, compelling all around. Made me wonder how Nancy got the chance to direct such a great script and team for her first feature. Either way, it pays off wonderfully. Also noticed that the Producer, Production Designer, and Editor are all current teachers in my program. Neat.
Salt: Angelina Jolie does a great job in this. Weak plot, the "discoveries" of the story aren't particularly rewarding, but it's well made, keeps your attention, is fun.
Runaways: Confused by the film's message - are they really trying to depict these girls as stupid and aimless while this guy Kim Fowler did all the work? Cause that's what came across. Something seems weird about that. Overall, it's worth watching - flawed but good.
Vicious Kind: Great acting by Adam Scott, Britney Snow also good. Poor movie overall with strong performances and some interesting scenes.
Rabbit Hole: Great movie. Wonderful acting and directing. Unfortunate that the main characters are so clearly defined (some of Kidman's not wanting to have sex seemed off, some of Eckhart's perfectness felt off) but I'd forgive all that, it's a great film. Made me cry! But it was a good cry. I was really impressed by Director John Cameron Mitchell's choices.
Kick Ass: Extremely watchable as a modern take on super heroes. It attempts to answer the question, what if someone really decided to be a super hero? And it answers that partially, unfortunately. The problem is it's mixing fantasy with reality in a way that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes the violence is too realistic, it stops being fun and starts being perverted - I don't really want to see a little girl be brutally beaten, while she's in fun costumes like it's cool. That's just weird and a touch jon benet for me. And as it attempted to be fresh and new - it was still extremely ass backwards when it came to its depiction of adult females. All women are sexy damsels or stupid (the main character's only reason he said he liked 'the girl' was that she was "beautiful, kind, and lovely"). All important characters are male aside from one little girl, who gets all her training from a man, her father. There's something really good and new about the movie though, and I appreciate that. It's just also bit disturbing, because this is clearly feeding the minds of the adolescents it targets, and feeding the angst of those 'nerds' who look at themselves as victims of the world, but are just as much of a sexist angry jerk as their jock counterpart.
Lars and the Real Girl: Good directing and great acting is the only way to make a story like this work. I'm always wanting to keep watching, but man, I don't know what to make of this story or script. There's some stupid moments, but it also plays with the audience's expectations a lot and has fun.
Fish Tank: Majorly recommend - excellent film and performances. Hot and alive. Fassbender is awesome with his shirt off. Great directing, writing, fantastic low budget effort.
The Other Guys: Sexist, backwards trash - don't even get me started. LOVED the cast, loved seeing some of the UCB stars shine, they redeemed it at moments.
Running on Empty: Totally awesome Lumet drama starring River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton from 1988.
The Fighter: Holy Crap. HOW DID KING'S SPEECH WIN THE OSCAR? Seriously? Up against Social Network, Black Swan, The Kids are Alright, and the Fighter? COME ON! I haven't even seen True Grit yet. Having a good story and a well made film isn't enough to be the best, it has to be more than that! Back to the Fighter - it's more than that! Ugh it's just like so freaking great. In every way.
And back around to TV:
Parks and Recreation has been my favorite sitcom this year. I LOVE all the characters and writing. It's just plain smart and well executed. Keeps getting better and better.
Friday, May 13, 2011
At this time last year, I was going to Cannes, and my dad was still big and strong and looked young and lively. This photo is from the summer before last when my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
I was watching him a couple days ago because my mom was on a business trip. Anybody who meets my dad now sees and old man in a wheelchair and sweatpants I think. His teeth have gotten bad. It's hard for him to brush or for us to brush I think. I think a tooth got chipped when he had a seizure. He seems to have aged more in his face. Since he can't walk anymore his body has lost muscle in a lot of places. Sometimes he acts a bit infantile and complains or makes noises in inappropriate situations. He doesn't have defined motor skills. He can't speak but he can make noises. But he smiles and gestures and communicates with people.
When people meet him they must think he is cute, feeble, old, kinda weird. Probably weird. They are nice, understanding. They know that something is wrong. But do they know that just last year he was so big and strong and active and healthy, that when he helped me move out of my apartment, he carried this big cabinet all by himself? I came after him saying "hey don't you need help with that?" and he was like "no I'm fine"
This isn't really my dad. This isn't how he is or who he wanted to be at this age, of course. He was a health nut, and he would always say he was going to live till he was 100. He liked to play tennis, and had a huge cabinet full of vitamins and supplements. If people think you get used to things being the way they are, I haven't yet. I think we all accept it, but I never like it. It seems obvious, but I think people forget that. I don't like it. I do want to take him around to do interesting things and go places together. I want to give my mom and my sister a break by watching him when I can.
Sometimes it's like grandma. Grandma was paranoid schizophrenic and so it was like she was a shell of a person. Only once in a while did she ever talk to you as herself. Maybe a handful of times in my whole life did she ever seem to be with it. Maybe only this one time that I really remember, when she said "I don't know why I say all these things, it must have been when they brainwashed me." She seemed really coherent in that moment. But then again, maybe her personality was always there. The way her sisters described her when she was young and sane was as a funny free spirited girl. She always kind of acted like that.
And sometimes I wonder when my dad is really being himself. He is still funny, and he still doesn't trust the government or doctors and that's always how he was.
I wonder about the day before his stroke when he picked me up from the airport, and I wanted to make this special Oxtail soup because I found the mix for it in Switzerland, and it's discontinued in the united states. You have to add ingredients for it, and I wanted to grab them all at shoprite on the way home, but my dad insisted on going to different places to get all the ingredients and it drove me mad. I was so angry at him. I was tired from the plane and I didn't want to go to different stores for each ingredient - but he thought certain stores were better for certain things. I was so angry and yelling at him to just take me to one damn store and then we go home because I was cranky and tired. I was really mad and annoyed at him. He did things like that sometimes. He was probably being more annoying and hyper than normal because his blood pressure must have been so high that day.
The next day when he had his stroke his blood pressure was in the 300s - healthy blood pressure is between 100-160 or so depending on the person. They say he was a ticking time bomb. I felt like maybe I got his blood pressure up by fighting with him. My mom felt like maybe it was the stresses of her seemingly evil job that drove his blood pressure up. We have to remind ourselves that he was a ticking timebomb. The day of his stroke my dad was singlehandedly trying to renovate the house. He was lifting large furniture from downstairs to upstairs. Just sort of going for it without asking for help. My parents were going to try to transform the lower level to an apartment to make extra income since my mom's work was messing with her they way they do that makes people miserable in their life and jobs. My mom and dad watched a movie on the couch that night. I went into the city to celebrate my classmate's birthday at her upper west side apartment.
We were sipping on sparkly wine and eating brie cheese and catching up with friends. I got a phone call from my sister. Dad's having a heart attack or something, mom doesn't know.
Dad was sitting on the couch and suddenly looked off into space and became unresponsive. My mom was shouting and thought he was having a heart attack, tried to give him aspirin but he couldn't move. She called my sister to call 911 while she tried to help him. I wonder why she couldn't call them herself, and I think she feels bad about that, but I understand it's hard to call 911 while something is happening. I called 911 when my dad had a seizure and I was screaming and crying and just wanted them to be there without having to answer questions. I called 911 when grandma attempted suicide by swallowing aspirin to 'get rid of the black things'. I called 911 when someone broke into the basement level of my apartment building in Hoboken. I called 911 in Washington DC when a crazy drunk man jumped on the back of my car while I was driving slowly down city streets. Have you ever had to call 911?
When I got the phone call - I cried but it wasn't like I've ever cried before. My friends looked at me like "is something wrong"? Something was wrong. Yes. It was like I could barely say, my eyes were wide and I exhaled big and was shocked and they told me to sit down and gave me water. The cry wasn't exactly loud crying sound, it was more like shocked intense breathing. What do I do? What's happening? Do I go to the hospital? My friends talked me through it. Take a cab to your car which is parked in Williamsburg. Adam will drive you. I remember the taxi driver was being a dick about something. Miller says in On Suffering that pain is a thorn in our sides that sticks with us, and happiness leaves us more quickly.
We got to the ER, and mom and sister were in the hallway, my dad was just being pulled out of a surgery on a hospital stretcher. He came out of the room and looked up at us completely out of it. I just remember seeing him at the end of the hallway, sitting up, looking at us like 'what the hell is going on?'
It was a stroke and the doctor did something to break up the blood clot in his brain. We stayed with him until late and my mom spent the first night overnight in the room with him. It was my birthday and I was born in that hospital.
In the early morning my sister or I came. We would go in shifts. He was in the ICU the first 3 days, and then in another part of the hospital for about 7 more days. When he was in the ICU he was really out of it. Couldn't make a sound, couldn't move the right side of his face at all. Couldn't eat, things would fall out of his mouth. We always wanted someone to be there at night. He would wake up at different intervals and look around, afraid. We didn't like the idea of him looking around with nobody there to comfort him. The first few days we would, or at least I would just tell him that he had a stroke and that I was there for him.
Then when he was in the other part of the hospital, I'd sleep on the couches in the family room instead of being in the room. I'd take the night shift because I wanted my mom to sleep, and my sister has kids. I remember the helicopters that would come in to the hospital every night. He would tell us to go home, but we all felt like he needed us and we didn't want him to be lonely or sad or scared in the hospital, and I think we were all afraid of something happening like another stroke or something. Every day different people made their rounds. In the first week we discovered that he could swallow, which people sometimes loose if those muscles are paralyzed. And he was able to move his leg a bit.
After 9 days, they transferred him to Kessler Rehab center, where he would be for the next 3 months. He would get physical, speech, and occupational therapy. They told us he could get everything back. He has gotten some things back, not everything. A couple weeks in he made a sound with his voice for the first time. That was exciting. I believed that dad would be walking with a cane by Christmas time. I wasn't sure if we should really build all kinds of handicapped things at the house because I thought we didn't really know if he would have to have a wheelchair forever. I guess I was wrong about that.
When we brought dad home in August, it was one of the hardest, most labor intensive weeks. The house wasn't designed for a wheelchair, and we were new at doing everything in a different way, and dad was hyperemotional for a while, which is a side effect of a stroke. He'd get really sad and cry so easily. The next few months where we adjusted to things were pretty much terrible. To come home with this. To see what was going to be permanently lost, instead of people keeping on telling you that things are coming back, there comes a point where you want to deal with what's gone.
I spent every day that summer helping him in the hospital, helping mom at home, then helping at home the last few weeks when he was there. You may wonder what I needed to do, and it felt endless. He needed help shaving, brushing his teeth, he needed company even when he was at Kessler, he needed to see us every day. He really did need extra help doing things. At home, mom needed help doing all the things dad used to do, figuring out bills, fixing things, doing the dishes, taking out the trash. There's nobody else to help her with that anymore. I put in my time at home, and then I left it all to continue graduate school, something that requires all of your time if you do it right.
Around September and October, dad became angry and irrational and his blood pressure was going crazy. He was refusing medicine, and getting angry, throwing things. He'd push himself in his wheelchair out into the street. I'd have to get on the phone with him to try and talk him into going inside. I'd step out of classes and get on the phone with mom and dad and talk my dad into wheeling himself into the house from the street. He can't really wheel himself properly since his one arm and hand are paralyzed, but he pushes with his feet. We'd like to get him an electric wheelchair he can operate with one hand.
This time nothing I could say worked. Usually he'd listen to me, but he just wanted to throw the phone away. I think sometimes he actually did throw the phone.
He became so irrational and impossible, and refused to take his medicine, he'd get prostate infections because of this too, and so he even had a prostate cancer scare. When he started refusing his therapy In October, I went home from school, and checked my dad into the psychiatric hospital. He spent the next few weeks in the psychiatric hospital, among mostly drug addicts and suicidal young people. But he made friends. And he was the only person in his group sessions who couldn't speak. They'd never had anyone like my dad there before. But at least they made him take his medicine.
He went to the hospital at least one more time after that for abnormally high blood pressure. I remember visiting him in the hospital then, trying to find him among all the rooms and beds, seeing his face, recognizing him, so much life in that face that I know, that's my dad.
Finally he came home. He started taking certain medicines and going to therapy, but he refused some of them. For a couple of weeks he started acting normal. I came home for thanksgiving during my school's filming production period. We film continuously for 3 months straight. I loved the hard work and making those movies. Some people complained about the hard work, but I don't know if they forgot for a minute how cool it is to make movies. Well, sometimes when you've got a difficult director it can be hell, but overall, it's much better than being in an office, or being in the hospital. Thanksgiving day was at my sister's house, and the day after, we decided to make our own thanksgiving dinner because my dad likes cooking. Mom went out to the store to buy some ingredients while dad and I were cooking at the stove. It was a really nice morning. My dad looked at me like something was wrong and wanted water, and wanted me to check his blood pressure. And then his face went blank, and I knew right away something was wrong and I called 911. He was having a seizure.
His face was changing colors, he was shaking, he was huffing and puffing and foaming at the mouth and making noises and sweating. It went on for about 2 whole minutes and seemed like forever. It seemed like he was dying. It seemed like he was going to shake and explode and I wondered if I was watching my dad die right in front of me. The ambulance came and gave him oxygen and we went to the ER. Dad was in the hospital again for another week. He was just starting to get some movement in his hand. After being in the hospital for a week with no therapy, and maybe also because of the impact of the seizure, he went backwards physically, and lost a lot of his leg and arm movement. We are still working on that.
After this, he became very afraid about not taking his medicine, and he has since taken all of his medicines, and is now mostly calm, warm, friendly, loving, and rational. He can be unreasonable and demanding sometimes, some of it's probably from his loss of control, and he wants to exert himself however he can. And this is how it has been since December. He had one more seizure in April, which scared us all so much to happen again, but this time it was fairly minor, it doesn't seem like he lost much from it.
And so this is how life is. He can transfer himself in and out of his wheelchair pretty well if he's not too tired. He needs help getting in and out of cars, on and off the toilet. If you watch him, he needs a lot, so it's a lot of work. If you just think about the fact that he can't wipe himself after going to the bathroom, and you have to do that for him - it's something that you wish you could take for granted, but it's pretty big to lose. I'm sure he never wanted his daughters to have to do that. That's something people might not get. This person in a wheelchair isn't just week or feeble. Someone who needs a caretaker needs someone to assist them in all the little details of life and movement. It's not something you think about if you don't have to.
I have so much work to do. So so much, I'm drowning in it. And yet I have my own space and I can get away. When I'm not at home, looking my dad in the face, my mom, my sister. I'd like to just go and do things that are all about me. I am surrounded by people with problems like with their iphones or dating, or getting drunk, or stressing over where to have dinner, or not liking their completely not that bad job. A whole wonderful assortment of privileged people problems.
I have to write a feature this summer, I'm not getting any younger. It would be great if this would go away and I could just think about myself, and sometimes I wish it would go away and not be true. I want my dad to come over and drive himself to see me. I want my mom and dad to take a break and relax. Every time I call home, my dad's voice is on the answering machine. All he says is the phone number "9-7-3 ...." and then it beeps.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
featuring Ann Carr, GL Douglas, Hannibal Buress, Trevor Williams, Youngmi Ha, and Zach Cregger. Screening for friends and family at NYU's Skirball Center May 7, 2011.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
but in order to close all the tabs open in my browser, i better embed and cut and paste
if only life's great burdens couldn't find me like when in subway no gps
but it's all atlas on shoulders, shrugging, being existing
time to blog
the abundant redundant
new movie casa de mi padre!
my roommate is the blond girl dancing ooh
these guys were just mind blowing
some word things you click at:
- hd tape shortage
- new coke
- the burning
articles about two of the actors in my newest film! to screen May 7 in NYC!
- Ann Carr
- Hannibal Buress
a photo from the LES film festival where Saving Mr Whiskers was screened
as for my thoughts and reflections?
i'm turning 30, not really interested in capitalization anymore
i moved to an apartment i really like in the east village that has a nice outdoor space and previously referred to roommate who is also very nice, good new beginnings
i'm trying to unscramble my brains to determine which projects to do next, it will be a combination of some of the following: finish feature script(s), finish pilot, shoot tv commercials, shoot more shorts
i should work out more often
and maybe try microderm abrasion because they say there's diamonds that scrape your age off your face*
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
LIKE SEEING THE FOO FIGHTERS WHITE LIMO and DAVE GROHL
I moved to a new apartment around the corner from my old apartment. So update your christmas cards lists and also your free samples lists.
I'm screening my newest film starring Ann Carr, Hannibal Buress, GL Douglas, Zach Cregger, and Trevor Williams SOON. On May 7 or 8th. For friends and family! And those who worked on the film! If you want an invite to the screening you better say so you stupid freaking condor.
OTHER FEELINGS BEFORE I GO
- THE BEST FILM OSCAR - Saw King's Speech. Perfectly well done film - but didn't deserve Oscar for best film. It was very well done but didn't bring anything particularly new or original to the table. I felt Social Network was so fresh, culturally relevant, and perfectly executed it deserved the award. My second choice - Black Swan - again for originality. (disclaimer - I haven't seen True Grit or the Fighter)
- LUKE MATHENY - Won the oscar for best short film with his NYU Grad Thesis Film. It's the best! And I got to touch it! It weighs about 5 lbs or so. Watch the oscar win here. Luke isn't some big shot jerk or anything - he's nice and won just by doing good work! So encouraging.
THE GOLDEN RULE
if someone yells or screams after a fart it is funny
Saturday, February 26, 2011
go see it
all new set
TONIGHT SAT FEB 26
1118 Cortelyou Rd.
This Sunday Feb 27
IT IS IT! Free Comedy at Pianos
show is 7-9pm
158 Ludlow St btwn Stanton/Rivington
don't worry, the oscars will still be going on after the show, and the
internet will show us clips!
Next Tues March 1
Seth Herzog's "Sweet"
9 Ave. A (just north of Houston)
there's always amazing guests!
It's truly one of the very best standup shows in NYC.
I think it's free, used to be $5 ...
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
My film "Saving Mr Whiskers" is showing at the Lower East Side Film Festival this Sunday Feb 20 at 8pm!
It also showed last night and the legendary Susan Sarandon was in the audience! Oooh.
Speaking of legends a comedy legend told me today " I saw your UCB performance and you're really original and funny. Keep it up. Good work." THAT'S SO ENCOURAGING
Much better than being in the editing lab with my current film at getting mad at my directing or writing choices. But this is part of the process. I guess. I never forget the fudged up things that went down in prior films. ARGGGSGS
OH AND ALSO
I'll be going to SXSW this year, you are very welcome to invite me to events, parties, and jumping on trampolines when available. I'll bring the subterfuge
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
about the Egyptians.
This is a pretty amazing revolution, the most we've seen in current times.
I reallllly hope they figure out what they want when the bad guys are out of government, and how to try and form the democracy that they are fighting for.
I feel like they've come so far, and this could be the start of a huge revolution for the entire Middle East.
I just hope somehow the positive forces can converge to set the best plan in motion.
All governments are corrupt, but some governments are still fair - or attempt to be truly fair.
Mmkay. Simple thoughts about it all.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
- People's Revolution: Awesome
- Violence and destruction: Horrible
- Lack of any ruling structure: Going to create real problems
- The state of life for those in Egypt right now: unsafe and not conducive to ordinary life
- Egypt and Israel: Clearly the people of Egypt don't want Mubarak in power, and I trust that they know what's better for them than I do. They say he's terrible and oppressive, I'll believe them, because I don't know what it's like to live there. So there's a concern - whoever is next needs to be an ally of Israel. A democratic leader.
Yes I support Israel as a state. I don't see it as black and white. People complain about the Palestinian underdog - and I agree that they have a right to their land and their homes. I also believe that Israelis and Jews have a right to Israel - and the way they are portrayed as being powerful oppressors is ridiculous. Israel is a tiny country of few inhabitants. The inhabitants living there are a highly advanced society because it is a free state, founded in democracy and respect for human rights. Where gays and women are treated as human beings, and the conservative and the progressive live together. Education, technology and art flourish in Israel. This is where their power stems from.
There's so few Jews left in the human population, and they made a state in Israel following the genocide of the Holocaust. Palestine as we know it today was created by the British government in the 1900s. Both are new. Now - the people that live in Palestine had it as their home regardless of whatever it was called, and I don't think it's ok to take someone's home
BUT AT LEAST NOTICE THIS:
The middle east is FUCKING HUGE. There are massive spans of land controlled by muslim people where they can live as muslims openly and free.
Israel is TINY, just about the size of New Jersey, and that's all that is being fought for, in a place of profound spiritual significance to the Jewish people.
What I don't agree with is any notion of exclusion and separating people by the ridiculous abstract labels humans create (Jew or Muslim or Christian, once there's a label, there's exclusion and separation). There lies the problem.
But I truly admire Jewish history, culture, and people. I admire the artistic and technological achievements of Israelis, and their country is a magical place.
Israelis are human, Arabs are human. There are assholes among both groups. There are also humans among both groups for which we must share compassion, as we are fellow human beings.
The conflict in Gaza - Israel vs Arab world - both sizes are demonized in insane propaganda wars.
Don't believe anything you read or take hateful press at face value.
Anyone who demonizes the Israelis is a fucking asshole.
I do have a problem with Islamic extremists.
I have a problem with all extremists. I have a problem with sexist and oppressive cultures too.
I hope that when the chaos is over, Egypt becomes a peaceful, progressive democracy.
Friday, January 28, 2011
FROM MY FILM SCHOOL, a classmate
(btw the budget is not given by the school it's per what the director decides to spend!)
AND ALSO ONE OF THE SHORT FILMS FROM MY PROGRAM IS NOMINATED FOR A FREAKING OSCAR!
Woahs and WTFs
- This happened Tiffany and Debbie Gibson?
- Great combo Portishead and Asbury Park?
- Crazy secret nyc building Inside 5 Beekman
- 14 Actors Acting
- NYPD releases These Photos
- definition of Script Kiddie
- These Protesters in Ukraine make me feel good about women raising their voices as loud as they should be
- These kids' videos performing are so happy! PS 22 goes to Oscars
YOU GO GIRL
Monday, January 24, 2011
I felt really excited and happy about it but shortly after, mostly sad still.
In the end of April my dad helped me move apartments, and on that day Obama was speaking at Cooper Union and my street was closed to all traffic for security purposes. That meant we had to park the van on the next block, and we had to bring all of my stuff down the street. It was a bitch, but me and my dad did it just the two of us. All of the sudden he started carrying this huge heavy cabinet all by himself down the street. Before I realized this I already had my arms full - and was asking "Hey dad, that's crazy, you can't carry that by yourself, let me help you!" and he insisted it was fine, and ultimately carried it by himself, and continued to do things like that the rest of the day.
I keep thinking about that specific moment - there he was in April being the strongest man in the world.
It's really hard to think about that and feel ok being happy that he stood up.
And I think about seeing him on June 9th when he had his stroke, when we first got to the hospital and the second I first saw him and they were moving him down the hallway. He was just looking up so confused, weak. He was completely screwed up by this thing. He just looked stunned, and I was helpless and stunned too.
The first months after the stroke you are focused on rehab and getting things back - regaining the paralyzed parts of the body. More time has passed and the realities of what he's lost are setting in. He's lost a lot. His right hand is still gone. Losing that hand, and having weak legs and impaired motor skills means a lot. It means not being able to really take care of yourself when going to the bathroom - certain things take 2 hands.
Though his comprehension and reading are perfectly in tact, his writing and speaking are severely impaired. He used to be incredibly talkative. He would talk your ear off on any number of topics, and get into a frenzy on a regular basis. He has so many opinions and knowledge and now it sits in there - and he shares one sound, one gesture, one look in his eyes, to give you an idea. All those thoughts and knowledge swim in there, and he works so hard to get the basic ideas out.
And all of this makes me think about how much I care to have children and make a family when the time is right. Maybe it's cool and fun to be single now, but I know the later half of my life won't find the same things meaningful, and the absence of family could be crushing.
My dad didn't have a proper childhood, his mother was an untreated schidzophrenic, his father a quiet/absent intellectual - depressed by the loss of his wife to the illness.
My dad could have just been socially inept and ended up alone or with the wrong person.
But he found my mom and he made me and my sister, and we know we are everything to him.
My mom was raised to give to others with every ounce of yourself (literally, her father was a minister and all personal belongings were to be shared with the community), and she's given to him in this way and created so much for the both of them.
He wasn't a perfect dad. He was always late, said the wrong things, and didn't know how to act like a dad all the time.
But he loves us and is so incredibly supportive. He looks at me like I'm the most amazing thing on the planet and is so proud of me all the time for every little thing I do.
He's also really fun and silly, and would always get into trouble with me, and encouraged me to think outside the box and challenge authority.
He's incredibly devoted and loyal to us too. I know he'll always be there, and he would always help me.
He was a fixer and a do-er, and losing his physical self is a huge blow to the family. Even if the plumbing was whacky in our house - he did it - it was taken care of.
There is so much obstacle in every day. Snow falls, and it needs to be plowed. Now all he can do is just look at it. I know he feels this, but we don't talk about it. We focus on the positive. We focus on healing.
I'm also not over being there with him when he had his seizure on Thanksgiving. It's the most horrible thing I've ever seen and I thought he was dying in my arms. So I often look at his eyes with fear that something will happen out of nowhere again. Seeing an ambulance with people in it makes me cry.
I've had to face a lot of intense thoughts. On the day of his stroke, I thought, he would probably be better dead than to have to be alive but not there.
I've asked myself this question a couple of times - is this so miserable for him and my mom that he'd be better off dead from the stroke?
There was a month in October when the answer was yes and it was horrible. He was refusing his medicine, was violently hysterical, irrational, and impossible - there was no quality of life for my mom or my dad.
But we got past that. He's adjusted to his medicine, and come back to us in spirit and personality.
Life is really challenging in their home - but I see that he still brings a lot to life.
My mom has to work hard to care for him - but he gives all of his humor and knowledge and company.
The fact that they are together makes a warm home that feels complete.
He is very loving and makes lots of jokes whenever he can.
I know my mom feels rewarded when things go well.
He also has a good attitude, and knows how much we love him.
He doesn't cry so much anymore.
My dad can't be who he was. I'm still really not over losing that. He was my buddy, and he was fun, and there's a lot we can't do together ever again. And I can't hear his voice and talk to him again. I'm not over that.
But he has all of his memories.
He has all of his personality and character.
He's my dad, and he's there.
He can see me.
He can be alive with me.
I could still have him there on my wedding day.
And so I'm really lucky that he stayed with us.
I'm really glad he came back.
He's my dad, and he's there.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Here's my dream Coachella, bands who I love live, or wish to see, all acts who are still alive:
- Arcade Fire
- Jay Z
- Faith No More
- David Bowie
- Tori Amos
- Bright Eyes
- Brian Wilson/Beach Boys reunion
- Queens of the Stone Age w Dave Grohl
- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
- Silversun Pickups
- Sufjan Stevens
- Neil Young
- Pearl Jam
- Soundgarden reunion
- Postal Service
- George Micheal
- Billy Joel
- Dolly Parton
Would be a great show wouldn't it? Yeah!
FINKFEST 2011 lets make it happen.