I feel like I'm in first gear. And it's good to be starting again, slowly revving up to new things. I'm learning a lot, getting into new habits, working to stay focused when my attention is scattered all over by these new shiny exciting ideas and plans.
One of the plans involves revamping this blog. It needs a redesign STAT. And I have fun plans for new content and varied story telling. I'm also going to start working with the Amazon Affiliates program so if you see me hawking some wares with amazon links, know that it's all for stuff I use and love. I'm not being paid by anyone to post about them, just looking for some revenue streams while I write about what excites me.
I hope you'll follow me on instagram too: @freyjulia as there will be a lot of new stuff happening there, plus some Harper related fun. I'll be on Facebook a lot less as I push past my regular old boundaries.
One big goal I'm going to work toward is writing a novel in November. Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month? Truth! I know people who have done it and are honing their novels to this day. England inspired me with a notion for a novel and so I'll be blasting out ... something like a novel ... a very rough draft of a novel. But it will be something to work with and expand on.
Season 2 of Menopodcast will be out soon and then we'll begin Season 3. I hope you are listening!
See? So much to see and do. And I've only talked about HALF of it! Stay tuned, watch for changes, come along with me into new worlds!
The other day I was pouring coffee into this mug and thinking about when and where I got it and realized it was ten years ago.
20th Century Fox had hired me to work on The Omen (6/6/6) and the offices were at The Lot on Santa Monica Blvd. The job itself was not too intense and the crew was great, mainly the woman who ran the whole office, Emily. Technically she was the Production Assistant and had only recently graduated from university, but she really ran the place. She and I had many fun conversations and now, ten years later, we are still friends. We haven't seen much of each other lately and that is something I promise to remedy very soon. (Oh and I got the mug at the Starbucks at the corner of Santa Monica and La Brea on a slow work day just before Valentine's Day.)
TEN YEARS! This is my favorite moment from Grosse Point Blank. I love Jeremy Piven.
But then I started thinking about what a nutty crazy year 2006 was. Come with me...
January through mid April - working on The Omen, met Emily. Learned how to really set boundaries at work. Didn't let the outrageous screaming guy get to me. I was quite proud of myself.
In April I got a phone call asking if I could come and work in Mexico City for the summer on a movie, but due to work and vacation schedules I had to turn it down as they needed me to start right away in April. (But pay attention to the name of my blog...)
I got another phone call asking if I could work on a movie for two weeks in Cleveland at the end of April. This actually worked out as The Omen was just finishing and I arranged to leave and work on a 2nd Unit shoot for Spiderman 3. It was the wildest/wackiest two weeks. The shoot only happened in daylight (best kind of filmshoot because once it gets dark, you are done.) AND our hotel was literally on the street where we were shooting. No 45 minute bus rides to location.
And because my hours were not too nutty, I also moonlighted in the evenings redoing vfx shot breakdowns for an HBO mini-series as new scripts came in. Hey, why not make a few extra bucks on the side? We had a trip to Paris coming up...Cleveland was fascinating and OMG SO COLD. I loved being downtown where there is a football stadium, a baseball stadium and the basketball arena and all the historic buildings from prosperous days gone by with names like Carnegie and Rockefeller sprinkled about.
The crew on the job was fun, though we had a local PA who was none too bright, I'm sorry to say. Hopefully he had other strengths. The best part was that while none of the actual stars of the movie were there (only stunt versions) the crowds came out to see Spiderman and the production company let Spidey meet all the kids who came to see him and take tons of pictures. I snuck one in myself.
I got back from Cleveland and almost immediately we jetted off to Paris in May.
We were in Paris for two weeks and rented an apartment about two blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral. We spent almost every day with Pranab and Kate who were in their apartment in the 12th arrondissement. It was relaxing and lovely and I'd like to do it like that again. The highlight for me was the day we walked along La Promenade Plantee - the original Highline Park. It was magical to walk up above the streets of Paris, looking into apartments and offices, through lush gardens. At the end we found a place to sit and have a refreshing beverage and just enjoy the city.
We walked so much on that trip, eschewing the metro every time we made the 2.5k walk back and forth to their flat. We always went to them as they had a large indoor market plus boulangerie and lovely wine shop all within two blocks. Heaven.
We have not been back to Paris since then and we need to remedy that soon.
Grace graduated from high school in early June and we were all there to celebrate that fun day. While there I got another phone call from the Mexico City job asking if I were available now. I said, well, I'm in No. Cal for an event then going to Montreal for a wedding in two weeks. After that, I said, I'm free. So on the phone I got the gig as they still needed a producer on the ground. They asked if I could come down for four days between trips to get a lay of the land, have a few meetings, etc. Ummm. okay! Hooray for Hollywood.
So after the graduation trip, I hopped on a plane to Mexico City with a script and not a clue what it would be like or even who in the world I would be working with! I have amazing guardian angels because I got to meet and work with Paddy and Steve. Two kind, relaxed and funny guys who made my quick pre-trip to Mexico easy and fun. We stayed at the very colorful Camino Real hotel and it was a whirlwind trip. I said "see you soon!" and hopped back on a plane to LA.
Montreal! An old family friend Paul married Dee in her hometown. Paul's whole family had come to our wedding five years prior and when his older brother Matt got married, we were not able to make that wedding (with great regret). So I vowed to be in Montreal. Kurt and I spent a lovely long weekend there. The wedding was beautiful and the receptions and parties after were a blast.
Then back to LA for a minute, wash clothes, buy specific Mexico City gear (including the infamous BFH) pack for three months, kiss the cats and husband good-bye and back to Mexico City.
Back to the Camino Real, back to the wild main set built next to the abandoned shopping mall down in an old quarry, back to the fun crew and VFX team. My spanish got better and I learned a lot of very specific spanish words that are not normally taught in high school: pentalla verde, for example.
It was all going well. Trips to see pyramids at Teotihuacan, adventurous dinners out around town, just driving through the city every morning and evening there was something new to see. Finishing the work day in the bar, having cocktails, doing paperwork and emails with Paddy and Steve. Seeing other film crews arrive for other movies (clearly the Camino Real is THE place to stay).
I'm working the Your Turn Challenge and today is Day 2. Here is my post to answer the question: Tell us something that is important to you.
In 1992 I was working on a major motion picture at a visual effects company. I had been on the job since the previous January. My goal, about 1/3 of the way into the job, was to save money and go backpacking in Europe again. (I’d been with three friends right after college graduation three years before.) I had told my new work bestie that I was going to do this trip. Actually, I think I told everyone, non stop.
Then came the day I bought my plane ticket. These were the days when you actually had to go and buy a paper ticket. Over lunch hour one fine day, months before the project was over, months before departure day, I went to the nearest United Airlines office and got my ticket to London. As soon as I got back I raced to my work bestie’s office and showed her. She looked me up and down and said, “Oh. You are actually going to go.” I looked at her like “Uh, duh?” She then explained her slight surprise:
“You are someone who actually does what they say they are going to do.”
It was the second biggest compliment I’d gotten in my young life. (The first is another story for another time).
And it really made an impression on me. From then on I worked hard to walk my talk. I (mostly) didn’t make grand pronouncements about things I was going to do unless I was actually going to follow through.
The downside was (is?) that I might dream of something I want to do but not say it because I’m afraid of it or I don’t think I can actually do it.
When I meet new people, learning if they walk their talk is incredibly important to me. If I find they don’t, then I don’t tend to keep them in my life. I’m here to manifest and want to surround myself with like-minded people.
Now it’s time to focus on letting go of the fear. There. I said it.
First I had a baby. Then I went back to work on a Major Motion Picture. My social media life was frozen in time as of December 2011. Facebook, yes. Twitter, yes. Instagram, a little bit, but not a lot, no time to pick filters and upload and blah blah-easier just to tweet a pic directly. Blogging, yes, did the photo a day for (just about) all of 2012.
But the two things I never got going with were Pinterest and Kickstarter. To be honest, I didn't quite get Pinterest. Mainly because I never tried it or spent time on it. (Huh, that must be why I didn't understand it!) But lately I have been perusing it and realise it is the most awesome way to bookmark things for future. I have four boards: Ideas for Harper; House and Home; General Inspiration; The World! Each are self-explanatory. I love having a place to put ("pin") stuff for Harper especially. SO MANY CUTE THINGS for the future! I also love the visual/graphic nature of it. Just about any page you go to anywhere has a cool, cohesive look as most people group things. You could have a lot of fun with color by making a "red" page or an "orange" page, etc. Or even similar shapes or objects. If I had the time, I might do some of that, but gads, so many other things to do! (I already stepped away from FB for a while so I could stay focused on things I actually want to accomplish!)
Speaking of accomplishing things, Kickstarter is something I've jumped into a little bit lately. I have pledged to two projects already: "Be Natural: the untold story of Alice Guy-Blache" and "Save the Rogers City Theater". Both are film related, both things that spoke to me. Be Natural is a project to produce a documentary about the first woman film director/studio chief. The project has already reached their goal and beyond and I can't wait to see the film. (But if you want to donate more, they can definitely use the money to find and preserve more of Alice's films.) The Rogers City Theater is an old style movie house in Michigan. They need $100,000 to convert from film to digital projection, otherwise they can't show first run movies anymore and would probably go out of business. A friend is related to the owners and pointed this out to me. I LOVE old movie houses and so I pledged to keep those lights on! They are 3/4 of the way to their goal (yay!) with 21 days to go and they should make it. Maybe you want to pledge a few bucks yourself?
I love the idea of this group fund raising to get smaller projects off the ground. You can pledge as little ($1!) or as much as you like. You are not investing, you are donating to help a project along. And if they don't make their goal? They don't get any of the money. So word of mouth and social media is key for Kickstarter. Go to the site, find a project that speaks to you, chuck in a few bucks, help someone reach their goal.
And hey, if you feel that is too self-serving for people to ask for free money to do their own project, you can also loan your money to someone on KIVA. I've been lending money there for six years now. I put in $175 spread around to a few loans, and have always gotten the money back and then have reloaned it over and over. I have made 30 loans so far and plan on keeping that money revolving around the world.
I'm just getting stoked on the internet again. It's a fun place!
Aside from all the pictures of Harper, I have not really been keeping up with the blogging. Mostly I post random links on Facebook and feel like that is enough. But it's not enough. I'm a writer, dammit, not a linker!
So as a warm up, here is all that I've been linking to:
The Meta Picture is my new uber-time-waster on the web. It never fails to make me lol. But I've got to watch my consumption of it as a 1/2 hour will suddenly be gone. I must treat it like dessert and eat my writing vegetables first.
Yesterday I got my hair did. August 1st was New Hair Day for me.
I email a friend every day with what we eat. We are working on eating more consciously and also working to lose weight. I have not been successful with the weight loss yet (more on that in a later post). The other day the first thing on her list was "two hard boiled eggs." And in my mind I said "make that three hard boiled-eggs!" What am I talking about? The genius that is the Marx Brothers, of course!
From somewhere I saw this and it made me happy:
We read the play in high school, Senior English, I think. (Not to be confused with Señor English-he was a piece of work, made good churros though.) I actually got our teacher into a qame of questions and it took him one or two times before he realized I was doing it. I amused myself a lot back then, clever girl that I was. (Am?)
Lastly, on a new favorite blog I read called "Julia's Bookbag" (no, not me, different Julia, but check out the blog for all things book, girl, and fun related!), Melissa linked to this HI-LARIOUS Pinterest Board called "My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter". OMG it is brilliant. Sample:
Okay. Good start. I'll get the hang of this again yet!
When I started this project "366/2012" (which if you haven't figured it out yet is a photo-a-day during 2012 = 366 photos because it's a leap year...) I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep it going. But I did. I did miss a few days here and there, but hey, not bad for having a newborn in the house, then a full time job and newborn! Couldn't have done it without Kurt's photos from time to time as well.
Tonight's photo is this:
Harper was asleep and we toasted our first full year of parenthood. Hooray for us, we made it this far!
Let's look back on the sweet Bubela Boo: here is Day 1 of the project, January 1, 2012:
Oooooohhhh, she was only 3 weeks old and so little! Darling girl.
Time didn't fly for the first three months, though I will be honest and say we got a sleeper and we appreciate it every. single. day. But what a great year of parenthood.
Big thanks to Elise for suggesting the project, it's been a great time! Of course I'll be posting pics of Harper along the way in the coming year, but less often of course. Stay tuned!