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July 2008

Live Blogging From The Airport!!


I'm in the super fancy Admirals Lounge at LAX, chillin' with the hoi polloi.  Got my free drink, not so free wifi (tax deductible?) and am in a spot where I can watch the planes take off.  Life is good.  I did have to shed a few tears saying good-bye to Kurt at the curb but after I regained my composure and got in line to check in, I saw my friends John and Kevin, who are also on my flight.  They are going on a longer holiday but will be in London this weekend, along with Brian, to see Kylie Minogue so we will hang out as my inner clock gets reset.

When I checked my three bags, one was 54 pounds, WAY over the 50 pound limit.  She said "can you move 4 pounds from this one to the other?"  HA!  I did laugh and said, ummmm, no. Charge me that extra $50!  That's on top of the $110 for the 3 bags.  

Here's me, smug in the fancy lounge:

Photo 48

Ooh, there's Aeroflot going to take off...Okay, going to play scrabulous on Facebook for a few minutes.


My office feels empty (and CLEAN!) for once in a long long long time.

Stuffing the last few items into every nook and cranny of my three bags.  I thought I would make it with two, but alas, I had to bring in a smaller third bag to fit it all in.  They should be much emptier when I return as I'm taking all my household bathroom items for five months -- shampoo, face wash, feminine hygiene products, etc etc.  Trying to save a few $$ vs. the Pound. I'm also packing for two seasons, which takes up room. 

Now there are about 2 hours before I need to get dressed and load up the car.  My last little bag is waiting for the last few items before getting zipped.

I made time to watch today's Tour De France stage -- very exciting.  

Next time I write, it will either be from the airport or London!

I'm Well Supported

(And I don't mean by my new bras, though they are fabulous.)

Going to bed last night I was a wreck, having a good cry, making Kurt promise to take good care of my Bunny (and Mouse too) and feeling very sad about leaving.  There were moments of deeper grief too for the last year I've had and how this job will be another year flying by and I was feeling a bit out of control.  I fell asleep and dreamt of Tour De France riders climbing the Alps and crab fisherman in the Bering Sea (The VAST Bering Sea!*) all of it jumbled together...Stress!  Then, I woke up thinking I needed to call my doctor today to double check on one thing before I go, but then was stressing on what if I couldn't get a hold of her (though she's pretty accessible, which is why I love her).  I thought I would call once I got out of the shower, around 8:30.  I sat down to read headlines and check email and the phone rings.  Who is it?  My doctor.


I hadn't called her yet!  She called me!  I love that.

She was calling to give me my blood results from my yearly exam -- all A+ by the way -- and I told her I really appreciated her being psychic.  I got the answers I needed and she reminded me of her email address in case I needed anything while I was away.  She also added the reminder to have lots of fresh flowers wherever I'm staying to brighten up the rainy days in London.  How can you not love a doctor like that?  

So I'm up, I'm showered, I'm doing laundry, checking things off my list, trying to get some more work done, then getting on a plane.  There will be more tears shed today as I say bye to a few more people.  Then a new adventure begins.

*I hope that Phil is going to be okay.


Back in 1991-92 I had my first serious production job.  I was the visual effects coordinator on Alien 3 at Boss Film Studio (RIP).  I shared an office with the two other coordinators at the company and the three of us got along really well.  We could commiserate about our bosses, our schedules, our printer, etc etc.  We worked hard and we talked a lot with each other and almost always made time to listen when one of us came in to vent or to tell something funny. But every once in a great while, we would be madly trying to type something up or get something done in a hurry and couldn't talk.  Our code word for these moments was:


The other person would immediately nod and say nothing.  There would always be a half smile on each face as we barked the code word because we were always working, but at that moment we were SERIOUSLY working.  

I thought of that today as I'm gearing up on this job and am trying to get things done before flying away tomorrow night and it made me smile, thinking of those wacky Boss Film shared coordinator office days.  

"...oss Film, please ho..."

I'm Packing and Getting Excited -- Finally!


I have been nervous and unsure why. But after last night and today, it all started turning around. Last night I spoke to good friends who are in this VFX biz and they reminded me that A) This is something I've done a zillion times before and B) When in doubt, just shoot it! (This is not the ideal way to work in VFX, but it's always nice to be reminded of your bottom line option.)  It was nice to hear again, thank you Wendy and Jacquie!

Then this morning I finally read the script and I got really excited because you know what?  I LOVE MOVIES and I get to go work on a really cool one!  I started thinking about the sets and locations and costumes and etc etc etc and I got really excited about working again.  And reading the script and noting what FX will be required also reminded me that there is no new FX ground being broken in this movie so what am I worried about not knowing?  Oh and PS, since tomorrow is my first official day and I fly to London on Wednesday, I don't have to know it all tomorrow.

Part of what I've read in books on grief are that often you can feel like you don't know anything, you lose your self-confidence.  It makes sense, the world has turned upside down, the floor has dropped out, rug pulled out from under (metaphors...) so how can you feel safe and secure in anything?  Once I read that, and realized it's normal to feel that way, I relaxed a bit.  My self-confidence didn't return in full force, but it did come out from hiding. 

So, London, here I come!

Multi-Tasking Prep

I am leaving on Wednesday evening, and suddenly the days seem very short.  I believe I have everything I need (of course I can buy whatever I need in London, but I'm trying to save a few bucks by buying here).  I'm loading CDs onto my new computer while watching Pride and Prejudice -- The Keira Knightly version from a few years back.  (I must say that Matthew Macfadyen is a very good Darcy -- gives Colin Firth a run for his money!)   Bunny is lying here with me, cute as a little button.  I will miss her quite a bit. I'll miss Mouse a little too, but she's not so snuggly as the Bun.

Later we will have a very few people over for some hot dogs/hamburgers and tomorrow I start packing.  My office is the staging area and currently looks like a bomb went off in there.  It will be a process.  I would like to see Hellboy II before I go -- don't know if I'll have time.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Signs Are All Around


In between many errands (man they pile up!) I got an email from the production coordinator who told me that I will be flown out next Wednesday, July 23rd. I read this while wolfing down some left over salad in the 10 minutes I had before going to get more passport photos for my work visa (thanks Chris!) and a trip to Target. My heart started beating a little faster and I felt really nervous. I asked myself why but couldn't come up with a proper answer while zooming down to Culver City. When I got to Chris' office, he had this poster on his door and I laughed to myself. I love it when the universe reminds you of what you need to hear (read) right when you need it.

Plus it is British (from this website) so it makes it even more appropriate.

Two Years Ago Today


My dad died two years ago today. I was in Mexico City and spent a week away, mostly on the Big Island for the funeral.  (Check the archives for July and August 2006.)  

I was thinking about his death and how different the grieving process was (is) compared to Jen.  Every death that happens in your life is going to be different, there is no doubt.  As with most deaths, his was somewhat of a surprise, but not entirely unexpected.  He was 82 and had Alzheimers for seven or eight years by that point and he'd had heart issues.  His death was kind of the "normal" circle of life kind of death -- your dad gets old and at some point dies.  Doesn't make it less sad or painful, but as you get older, you know it's going to happen.  And with my dad, he had been gone for a long time from my every day life and I had worked on letting him go so that when the time came, I was somewhat prepared.  

Completely different from Jen's death which was out of order and shocking and too soon and crazy and wrong. 
And as every death is different, everyone who is grieving experiences that death differently as well.  My grief is different from my mom's and different from my brother in law's and different from my niece and nephew and different from my sister's father and her other brothers and sisters.  (I'll do a family chart some day for you all.)  I talked to my brother in law this week and it took me a little while afterward to realize that we are feeling much of the same pain, but also there is so much that is different, which is normal and makes sense.  And we are all getting through it in our own ways.

Here's what I still know about grief:  You get through it by going through it.  

There are no shortcuts, dammit, and the more open you are to what you are feeling and experiencing, the more you can be honest about the pain and sadness and hurt, the more support you can get from people who understand, the more you read about grief and what is "normal", the more you will get through it.  Doing and feeling all of that doesn't make the hurt go away any faster, it is just the gentlest way to move through the grief, in my humble experience so far.  The grief is never going to go away, for either my dad or Jen.  But the scar will fade over time, which can be really hard to believe when that wound is still gushing and needs a tourniquet.

Metaphors are so helpful.


Tomorrow will be three months since Jen died.