The Strangers

31 05 2008

I have the weekend off.

I am in Dalton, Ga. Now, you may ask yourself, “What does one do on a day off in Dalton?” “While staying in a Super 8 hotel?” “Without friends and family?” “After working 52 hours in 4 days?”

You guessed it. Slept in. Until about 9 AM when the 9 year old cantankerous child in the next room started screaming at her parents that she did not want to wear shorts and short sleeves just before running out the door and letting it slam behind her. She proceeded to sit right outside my door and yell at the parents through their now closed door. That is until I whipped my door open and stated firmly and clearly, “Stop that yelling.” Startled, she looked up at me, dressed in my PJs, and kept eye contact for about 30 seconds before making the wise decision to QUIETLY go back into her room.

This morning, I made my coffee and toast for breakfast and ate it while catching up on reading my email. Then, I called Ed. I walked out to the pool and sat at the edge, dangling my feet in the cool water and enjoyed the sunshine on my back while talking to my Sweetie. I was all alone out there. Our hotel lacks in several areas but the view is lovely. We are on the side of a small mountain and the train comes very close so that we can hear the whistle every once in a while. Very quaint.

In the afternoon, I took a ride by myself to Chattanooga, Tn. I went to the movies to see “The Strangers”. This is definitely not the type of movie that I would normally go see. It is scary as anything and it has an R rating. I shamelessly admit that the only reason I went to see it is because my name is in the credits. It is my first “Department Head” credit on a feature film and I worked very hard on it. It was a real delight to see my name om the big screen. This time, it did not speed by so fast that you would miss it if you blinked.

At the same time I was at the movie in Chattanooga, Ed was watching it in Wilmington. I am fairly pleased with the outcome of my work. The story takes place in one night and we filmed it over 6 weeks. The continuity was a little tricky but I think we pulled it off. My friend Jennifer Santiago worked this show with me and was a huge help to me. It is a blessing to work with someone who knows what they are doing. I never had to second guess her work and she kept me on track some of the time too. As I listened to the audience members around me gasp in shock at the scary moments, I found myself giggling because I remembered something Jennifer said or did to make me laugh. Thank you Jennifer, for keeping my spirits up during that wacky job.

I have to give kudos to Wendy Bell Dean and Vinny Schicci for doing a great job on the make up. After you see it, you will know what I mean. (I won’t spoil it for you)

By the way, Liv and Scott worked very hard to keep the energy level up throughout the last hour and 20 minutes of this movie. They did a great job of being believably terrified. Liv dropped several pounds during the production but she always looks great.

This is Liv Tyler on the set of The Strangers.

This is Scott Speedman. Tell me they are not adorable.

OK, I couldn’t resist this one. It is Jennifer and make up artist Leigh Ann, sitting on set during a quiet moment. In case you can’t tell, Jennifer is playing Yahtzee and Leigh Ann is watching a hand held television.

Hey, we have to enjoy those moments when they come. I love these ladies!

This is actually the “kitchen” set of the house that the story takes place in.


31 05 2008

Cherokee Cheif 1832This is a small sample of the work I am involved with in Dalton, Ga. The man is a Cherokee Chief in 1832 in the documentary, We Shall Remain. It airs on PBS in 2009.

For my tech geeks (and I mean that with affection 🙂 We are shooting on 16 and it will be converted to HD. I did not know that was possible. I am hoping that my work will withstand the scrutiny of HD.

In the mean time, I am having an interesting time and I am learning something every day.

This is the documentary

Halfro man

25 05 2008

It is a good friend who will come over to your house on a Sunday afternoon and let you do this to him. I needed some practice with this procedure and I ran out of hair before I could finish the top. We invented the halfro.

Johnny let me take this photo and send it to his wife. You can’t see Ed sitting off to the left but he was there in the studio the whole time too.

Thanks for sending me the pics Helen. I am sure that Carolyn is feeling better now.

I love my friends!


25 05 2008

We are enjoying a weekend together in Atlanta. In our exploring, we found this beautiful park and walked for about an hour. It was very relaxing because we found park benches to sit on along the way. We sat next to a young man that we had an interesting chat with. His name is Todd. He was holding a book titled, letters to the Corinthians. Great conversation starter.

Turns out that Todd is on a spiritual journey. Aren’t we all? He is challenging the religion of others. He does not want to believe something just because some one tells him so. He is on a quest for truth. An extremely personal journey. He is looking for the LOVE of Jesus. Someone close to him was the catalyst for the search. It seems that he was told that Jesus could not love certain people the way that they are. We talked about the greatest commandment being to love God and then to love others. He was certain that God orchestrated our meeting, as were Ed and I. I sang a verse of Alabaster box to him. I don’t question those things anymore. When God drops a song in my spirit, I just let it fly.

Todd thanked us and wished us a good afternoon before going on his way. Ed and I sat there for a while longer. We prayed that Jesus would reveal the truth that Todd is seeking. I am glad that we slowed down enough to meet this young man. It is a good day.

Holiday weekend brain dump

24 05 2008

Argh! No check yet.

Ed is here in the Atl. with me.

Love working with this bunch from PBS.

Ed and I ate at a nice Italian restaurant and have plans to sight see tomorrow.

Wish Johnny and Helen would email me one of those pics of Johnny with a half an afro.

Trying to get some rest today. Taking things slow and easy.

Watched the movie, The Sin Eater, on my computer. It was pretty good. I really enjoyed the book by Francine Rivers.

Going to spend some time with my honey.

Experience, strength and hope

20 05 2008

This Thursday is the 33 year anniversary of my husband’s sobriety.

We met in AA. I was looking for a reason not to belong in the program. I was justifying and rationalizing that AA was only for alcoholics and I was an alcoholic and a drug addict, so, it couldn’t possibly work for me. Ed shattered that idea for me one night when I heard him speaking at an AA meeting. He said that he was a heroin addict, (Hey, me too) and AA was working for him. (Oh man.) I knew if it was working for one dual addict, it would work for all dual addicts. That night, I stopped trying to rationalize myself out of AA.

It took me another year before I actually spoke to him. My sponsors told me straight up that I was an emotional cripple and I needed at least a year of sobriety under my belt before I would be able to have a healthy relationship. One year, one month, one week and one day into my sobriety i had my first date with Eddie the Baker. We split after about 2 years but neither of us drank. We got back together after another two years and now we have been married for 25 years. Both sober and both able to have a healthy relationship.

I am so proud of the man that my husband has become. He has come such a long way from the man who dragged into the doors of AA 33 years ago. Today, I call him Special Ed. He is so special to me. He is a loyal friend and husband. He is an honest man. Ed has a depth and compassion to him that is evidenced in the way he reaches out to the hurting people he comes in contact with. My husband has a relationship with one other and that comes before his relationship with me. My husband knows that God saved him from the pit he was in. He is not ashamed to say that God set his feet on the path to sobriety. God uses AA just like He uses Doctors to heal. Oh, I beieve that God can do awesome miracles without the help of doctors or programs. I am just grateful that He chooses to do some of His miracles through us. AA works. God is awesome.

The worst and the best

20 05 2008

I went in to work at 10 AM on Friday. I was really looking forward to getting paid because I had spent 2 weeks in Shelby without a pay check. I was paying for my stay out of my own pocket with the understanding that I would be reimbursed with a separate check along with my pay check.

Late in the evening, I noticed several people walking around with the coveted white envelope, signifying that the pay roll had been distributed. I waited patiently for my Department Head to bless me with my dough. When that didn’t happen, I asked her if there was a check for me. Seems that she thought the accountants had already delivered mine to me. So, we began the quest to find Coni’s pay check. At 2:30 Saturday morning, they called WRAP. Still no sign of a pay check for me. All I could do at this point was go back to my hotel and get some sleep.

 I checked out of my hotel on Saturday and headed for home.

 I put in a call to the payroll accountant on my way. The production office is located in Charlotte and I had to drive right through that city. If my check was at the office I could have stopped in to pick it up.

What I got was a fellow with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. When I asked him if my check might be in the office he told me that he didn’t know. Not good words from the PAYROLL accountant. So I asked him if there had been a check for me at all. Again, “I don’t know.”

Now, I tried to be understanding because I discovered that I was not the only person on the crew who did not receive a check on Friday. I figured he already had a morning full of irate phone calls and I didn’t want to be one of them… BUT, “I don’t know” is not an adequate answer at a time like this. He snipped at me that he would call me when he came across my check.

Two and a half hours later, I called him back. He said, “I thought I was supposed to call you when I found your check.”

I replied, “I thought you were too. It is now 2PM and I haven’t heard anything from you.”

He said, “I have your name and number right in front of me and I will not forget you.”

I reminded him that my last name starts with an A and I know the checks come in alphabetical order.

I know I am starting to drone on about this now. Let me finish by saying that he never did call me back on Saturday. Or Sunday, of course.

I called him this morning and asked him just to tell me if my check had been mailed out to me. His answer was, “I believe it has been.”

What kind of answer is that? ! 

OK, I am done with my rant.

I spent most of today packing the equipment I will need for my job this week. Wigs, hair pieces, clips, combs, brushes, hot rollers, curling irons, spirit gum, glues, hair sprays, ect…

I gave my cute, little next door neighbor a haircut. She liked it enough that she came over with a hand made Thank you card and a hand made award for being “The best, most gifted artist I know”.

Thank you Rachel. I hung my award and my card up on my mirror in my studio. You made my day.

Looking forward to my next project. I like the people I will be working with. The production company is trustworthy and the project is interesting. It is about the Cherokee Indians and the politics of the early 1800s.

I learned a technique from the hairstylsit on Blood done sign my name that I am anxious to use on my next show. Johnny Fuller came to the studio after church yesterday and let me try it out on him. What a good sport. We gave him a short afro but I ran out of hair to finish the top of his head. He looked a little like a character from the Simpsons when we were done. We took pics with his phone and sent them to his wife. We have some of the best friends.

Thanks Johnny. Thanks Helen,for letting me borrow your husband’s noggin.