Monday, December 28, 2009

Quiet Christmas

We had a lovely, quiet, very low key Christmas this year. Christmas Eve dinner was canceled because the extended family wasn't feeling well, but we decided to visit anyway. I'm kind of glad that we didn't stay too long with the myriad of coughs and sneezing that was going on. Jackson started with a runny nose yesterday and Casey's not feeling to great. I also think that Lily may have picked up a bug at her other grandma's house. I have been lucky enough to escape what has now been dubbed "the Plague part 2" for now. I'm crossing my fingers that it stays that way.

Sometime this week my dad is coming up to haul some crap out of the 24th street house. Today he was going to visit his old friend of his that he's known since they were knee high and in britches and then I think he's planning on coming up tomorrow. Sometime this week I'd like very much to get Casey out of the house to watch Avatar. I don't really see it in the cards unless my mom can watch the kids, but I'd like to try. Maybe on New Years day? Hmmmm....

Not much else is going on. It was a very quiet week and I see this week being exactly the same. Quietest holiday I've ever spent, that's for sure. With all the snow on the ground, I find myself yearning for those vacations to Panama my mom and I used to take. Someday we'll get back there... ;-) Looks like it's going to be somewhere in the 90s there today. Winter, I'm definitely tired of you already... All this snow just makes me want to curl up into a ball and not move. Luckily, I have plenty of reading material.

Merry belated Christmas, everyone! And an early Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Frosty!

This morning when I woke up at 5:15am, I expected to see a bit more snow than I did. The accumulation was about the same as last night, but the temperature had definitely dropped far below what it was yesterday. I was hoping that winter would do what summer did and quietly sneak up on us, give us a couple of brutally cold days and then be done with it. Unfortunately, I have this sinking feeling that it's going to be the opposite. Winter didn't come in quietly, it came in and smacked us in the face with a windchill of -10.

I find myself suddenly VERY glad that I bought new fleece lined gloves last week along with one of those mad bomber style hats. I also wonder if Casey will be working today. He normally doesn't work outside when the windchill is this bad. Unless he has indoor work, I hope he stays home.

Did I mention it's freakin' cold outside?

This morning I have to go to court for "Immediate possession" of the S. 24th street house. And then, depending on whether or not I want to freeze my ass off, I have to run over to the S. 24th street house and take some pictures of the mess that the people left there. Casey was over there yesterday and he said that it wasn't very clean at all. I'm really not looking forward to going over there at all, but it must be done. I have to be prepped for the next court date in which I get to go say "Give me money!" Likeliness that I'll get any money out of these people is slim to none, but yeah... We'll see.

For now I'm off. I must find clothes for today, take a shower and get dressed. Then, must get the kidlets up and ready to go. Fun fun fun! How I loathe going out in the cold. I really need to move to Texas or some place equally toasty.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bloggidy

I am blogging from the mac book. I don't know what I did or how I did it but the secondary monitor is working again. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I unplugged everything and then reconnected it, but something happened and the secondary monitor is working. This means that I can now sit at my desk once again and play on my own computer as opposed to using the Mac Pro, which frankly, was spoiling me.

Now, if only I could find my library card, I'd be set...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Her Grinchiness

I think I'm done with the day. It's been nothing more than a bad day and I'm ready to be done with it. I woke up this morning in a good mood. Got up, was mildly coherant, exchanged pleasantries with the husband, had some coffee and then went to kick Lily out of bed. She was in a horrible mood and didn't want to get up. I told her that being tired was not a good enough reason to miss school. I'm thinking I should have gone with Lily's instinct: STAY IN BED!

Lily was an absolute bear and proceeded to throw a temper tantrum. I then grounded her and informed her she'd be going to bed at 7PM. Yep, that made her really happy! (That was sarcasm, by the way.) After that, she finally got up and got into a better mood. I eventually dropped her off and that was when I saw that I had a voicemail. It was the tenants at the 24th street house informing me that they were moving out and that they would like to know where their washer and dryer were. I proceeded to go over there and they informed me that the neighbor had seen me over there with a clipboard for like an hour on Saturday and they were basically accusing me (5 foot nothing me) of stealing their washer and dryer. I politely informed them that I had not been to the house since I drove by on Tuesday after they were served eviction papers to see if they were in the process of moving out and secondly- Why the hell would I even do something so completely ludicrous? Why would I want their p.o.s. washer/dryer? I've got my own, thanks. Stupid people.

I look forward to getting the keys back from them tomorrow and then I look forward to going to court on Thursday regarding late fees, rent, etc. I am not going to play nice with people any more. I highly doubt they're going to find anything cheaper in South Bend.

After stopping at the 24th street house I headed to Walmart. It was on the way home from walmart (while driving 10 miles an hour) that I slid while turning onto another street and struck another car. The cop said it wasn't anyone's fault, it was road conditions. It's the first accident I've ever had in the 16 years that I've been driving. Knock on wood, there. I'm grateful that no one was hurt. I did do $2500 worth of damage to my car, though. I wonder how much damage was done to the other lady's car. She was rather nice and didn't yell or anything. That made me feel much better. The cop was super nice, too. He told me for 16 years of driving and this being my first accident, I was doing pretty good and he wished his own kids had that record.

I ran and got two estimates under the instruction of my insurance agent. Tomorrow I submit the police report and then I'm going to attempt to get things going by tomorrow afternoon so I can have my car back as soon as possible. It's still going to take a week to get it done, but yeah... I'm happy with that.

I just wish this hadn't happened this close to Christmas. I hope tomorrow will be better.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Usually sometime in December I get bitten by the snow bug and begin a whiny chorus of "Why isn't it snowing yet?" Usually a day or so after I do this the sky opens up and it dumps on us. I won't be doing that this year. In fact, I really don't feel the need to. Why? Because it is 27 degrees outside and it snowed, sideways today! Big fluffy flakes! Thankfully, none of these big fluffy flakes are sticking to the ground but it snowed and I am now feeling all warm and fuzzy and full of the holiday spirit! And I'm seriously contemplating putting a pair of Uggs on my Christmas list.

The Monday following Thanksgiving (which was absolutely slothful and wonderful and full of family warm fuzzies that I can't even begin to express how fabulous of a time I had) I took to the task that was loading my Christmas playlist into the IPhone. The week before, however, I was yelling at the neighbor kids, telling them that they would be banned from my house if they sang anything resembling a christmas song in my house prior to Thanksgiving (they tried... and they failed! Why? Because I made them sit on the porch! Cold is punishment enough says I!). Now, I'm running around singing all the inappropriate lyrics to Jingle Bells (batman smells!), Deck the Halls (with gasoline) and Rudolph (LIKE A LIGHTBULB!!). i also find myself wishing that Tom Waits would release a Christmas album. How awesome would that be? His gravely voice singing Frosty the Snowman! Yes!!! David Bowie could provide accompaniment!

Now, I must go pick up the kids and annoy them with Bob and Doug Mackenzie and prepare for our shoot tomorrow. I swore I wouldn't shoot in the cold, but apparently that's not stopping Casey. I bought myself one of those mad bomber hats and gloves today just for the occasion. Woot.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Absolutely nothing to report!" She says with a grin.

Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away and I have yet to finalize plans. Everything seems to be in a rather jumble these days as we try and finish things up both family and business-wise. But, as life has a habit of doing, I find that the mountain is growing at an exponential rate. This isn't a bad thing though, nope. Definitely NOT a bad thing. I find I have climbed to the top of that mountain and seeing the vast expanse of mountain terrain in front of me (Oh look! There's a yeti! It kinda looks like Casey!) I have decided that I'm in the perfect spot to start mining for gold.

So, here's me with my pick ax, slowly wittling away. The good news is this wittling is GREAT for not only upper body strength but having a clean house tends to bring up my mood. Note: it also helps to get a decent enough sleep so you're not wanting to kill everyone. And make sure you get that sleep on Sunday so you wake up all fresh on Monday because your mood on Monday can definitely effect the rest of the week.

Now, I simply have one thing to say: I have NOTHING to report! This is a good thing. Why? Because no news is good news. Yesssss.... We start on week two of waiting for some kind of news from sxsw and so far nothing. Not a peep. Zilch, nada, and all that stuff in as many other languages you can think of. This means that we're still in the running for the festival! Huzzah! Maybe, just maybe, we'll actually get into a world class festival (or more hopefully) and people will be all like "Wow, you're husband is really talented!" Then, Casey can get out of construction and the world will be a happy place without Casey having to pour the concrete that their buildings are built on! Yes!

So now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to cook some dinner for the family, whittle a little more away on that mountain and then tomorrow will be amazing yet again. Why? Because I'm in a good mood and that's what counts.

Monday, October 19, 2009

That'll do, Pig...

Just when I thought we were out of the woods, Lily has succumbed to the flu. She's been fighting like a trooper since Wednesday evening and this weekend she was well enough to get out of the house with Mark and go see Where the Wild Things Are. She came home yesterday, went to the neighbors to see their new puppies and 15 minutes later came home and proceeded to throw up about a gallon of phlegm.

Massive yuckiness. Poor kid.

This morning the doctor informed me not to bring her in unless her temperature goes above 102 (she's sitting at not quite 100 degrees right now), she's got shortness of breath or she gets worse. If she gets worse, then they'll do a chest x-ray to see what's up (pneumonia or bronchitis). We have to wait until tomorrow, though.

I've kept myself busy today doing massive amounts of laundry, dishes and cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. I've decided that all that can food that we haven't touched in eons is going to be donated to the food bank. There's a lot of cans of tropical fruit in light syrup that's going to find a good home on someone's table this winter. Not to mention frijoles negros, chilis, and a few other things.

Casey went back to work today. I expect him to come home completely tuckered out. He woke up early this morning, took a shower, made his lunch and was out the door. I was amazed at his level of productivity. Especially since I was more concerned with finding the all important cup of cappuchino. Never did find it, either. I had to settle for chai. No biggie. I can continue on my low caffeine kick. The headaches are starting to subside, too.

So yeah, that's what's up in our neck of the woods. How about you guys?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can I have one weekend where I'm not feeling like poo or busy? Please?

Back to feeling like poo. Well, actually I should say that I'm on my way back from feeling like utter and complete poo. Seriously, stick me in one of those scented poo bags, tie me up and throw me out with yesterdays trash. I am under the firm impression what I have been through since last Wednesday was indeed this H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak they keep talking about on the news. Hey news people! You're a week late and about $20 shy on the NyQuil. Oh, and while you're at it: bring back the original taste of Robitussin! This new crap that you're calling Robitussin DM is down right...fruity! Give me the medicine taste back, please. It was far more paletable and superior to this crap that you're calling medicine.

So yeah, Swine Flu. I think I had it. It's pretty safe to say that I had it. It has been going around Lily's school the past couple of weeks and I finally succumbed to it. I think she may have had a mild version of it a couple of weeks ago and promptly passed it to me. Want a blow by blow account? Well, you're going to get one anyway so you can be on the look out for symptoms and such.

It started last Wednesday (a week ago). I woke up with a severe sore throat and post nasal drip that would probably drown a horse. It was constant drainage. I felt quite nauseuos all day and didn't eat much. That evening I did the whole girls night thing because I was feeling better, taking the Robitussin and everything. I only drank sprite and had some chips, though, not my usual burger fare that I normally get on wednesdays. Came home, went straight to sleep. Slept REALLY hard. It was fabulous. I woke up feeling a little achy, but not bad. I figured I'd take it slow because we were planning a trip to Chicago on Saturday.

Friday I woke up and I felt pretty good. Still had a sore throat, but it was subsiding. I had an annoying cough (which I still have and have started taking measures preventing it from settling in my lungs in that annoying bronchitis kind of way that it does), but it wasn't horrible. I even went so far as to call my cousins and tell them that we would be up the next day. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing my cousins and my aunt and uncle who had flown in from Panama. Unfortunately, Saturday I took a turn for the worse.

I woke up Saturday morning not wanting to move one inch. When I did move that said inch, I was incredibly achy, dizzy, and not to mention there was a lovely fever of 101 that I got to deal with. I decided to take a shower and see if that made me feel better, but it didn't. I ended up puking three times and that was when I decided it was time to call in reinforcements. I called Brooke and said "Help!" She graciously headed over to our house and Lily, luckily, was heading to Chicago with my mom (thankfully, she hasn't dealt with anything this bad), so I didn't have to deal with her. Just Jack. Brooke showed up and not only wrangled Jack but did some dishes and folded laundry. Oh my god, I love Brooke! I totally want to keep her!

Casey came home about an hour after Brooke arrived and they both took turns feeling my forehead while I was completely in and out of it for a good long time. Around 2:30 (I think it was 2:30), I decided to head back upstairs and I slept until about 10PM. I was up long enough to take some more drugs, ask Casey to fix the humidifier up for me and then I was off to dream land again.

Sunday was a bit more coherant, but not much. And then Monday- Casey fell to the bug. We're both starting to pull out of it now, which is definitely a good thing, but let me tell you... That truck that you thought hit you? It was driven by a virus that looked oddly like a swine. Both of us are still incredibly tired and beat. I think if I could get this out of my chest I'd be okay, but until I do I won't be 100%. The last thing I want is a repeat of some winters where I have an annoying cough all winter. Yep, definitely could do without that.

Now, if you'll excuse me it's time for me to take my meds and move my butt for the day. Kids are over and I've got to make sure they eat breakfast.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Are we done yet? Nope! Not even close!

I went to get Lily up for school an hour ago and the entire left side of her face is swollen and red. Kidlet had a rash yesterday that worried me and I was planning on scheduling an appointment with her doctor today but it wasn't horrible, so I figured to school with her. That was until I woke her up this morning. Her left eye is currently swollen shut. This kid has had an absolute banner week! She was sick with the flu on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and now this! Ack! Not good!

I gave her a benadryl last night before bed in hopes that would make it go away, but it didn't work. And I just gave her another one, hoping that it calms it down but we'll have to wait and see. Darn you pediatrician! Pick up the phone!

I have already called her school and spoke with her teacher and the nurse. Both of them agree: keep her home! I'll pick up whatever worksheets they do in class this morning and we'll go from there. Not so fun stuffs.

On top of Lily being sick, I think that Jackson is coming down with something as well. He was incredibly grumpy last night and slept from about 7:30PM until well... he's not awake yet and it's 8AM. We'll see if he's okay today as well. No fever or anything this morning so far when I checked on him, so yeah... we'll see what happens.

And to think, we were going to try and do a date night this weekend! Yeah, I don't think so. Oh well, kids come first. Now, if I could only get into the pediatrician like now.



Monday, September 28, 2009

Let's check the inbox... Again!

Today I find myself repeatedly checking my inbox (among other social networking sites). I've been somewhat productive in between inbox checking, which is a good thing, but I can't help but finding myself heading toward the office every chance I get. What makes today more special than most? Because I reconnected with my best friend from ages 7 to 18. It was only during college that I lost touch.

Marisa was my very best friend. I don't quite remember how we met, whether it was YMCA day camp or if it was ballet class, but I do remember we were pretty much inseperable. She was a year younger than me, but that didn't matter. We would go on all sorts of adventures, together. It was with her that I had my first beer, my first cigarette and my first road trip (albeit it was only 45 minutes long and it was to the mall in Evansville) without my parents. In 5th grade disaster struck and my parents divorced. My mom and I moved north to Naperville and Marisa was left behind. My mom was nice enough to remind me of what Marisa's mom had said just shortly after we moved: "She won't even look at the house! She turns her head and can't stand to even see where Jessie lived!" Best friends torn apart... at least until Spring Break. And then, once again we were unseperable. There's a picture I have that was taken on the last day of that spring break. Both Marisa and I looked incredibly depressed. It was horribly long wait until summer vacation.

That summer was the beginning of many many summers to come in which we were constantly over at each others' house or at the country club pool. We would head over to the pool (which was within walking distance of Marisa's house) and swim until about 11:30am, then we'd go to the clubhouse for lunch and to watch The Price is Right. After that, back to more swimming, one of our parents would pick us up and we'd head over to one of our houses and play Nintendo until we crashed for the night. Occasionally, we'd pitch a tent in the living room and stay up late watching Dirty Dancing, trying to pause the tape in just the right spot so we could see Patrick Swayze's "thingey." Yep, we were teenage girls having fun.

Eventually we got cars. I got mine first and thus was designated chauffer. We started hanging out at houses not just our own. Then Marisa got her car and we'd meet up wherever. And then... we slowly drifted apart. It happens.

But now, we're reconnecting. We're sharing all of the stuff that we used to share and telling each other stories about what's been going on in our lives and all that wonderful stuff that you do when you reconnect with a friend.

I can't wait until I get another email in my inbox...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Makin' Music

For the past couple of days I've been playing around on Garage Band on the Mac. It's been a fun little experiment. Back in high school I played around with .wav files and making tunes with loops and stuff but never really threw myself into it. The past couple of days, though, I just kind of fell into it. It's like a musical muse came up and smacked me upside the head. And now... here I am. Making music.

I did an Indian/bhangra style blurb for 5cm Peter and I also did a very island-esque Doctor Who inspired tune for the opening credits of 5cm Peter. Along with that, I'm working on a techno-"bollyFrad" song (long story, not worth explaining) for fun and I also did a short house style tune just to kind of mess around with. I've definitely been having fun. Everyone seems impressed so far. Brooke told me last night that I'm definitely going to need a bigger setup if I keep the level of creativity up. I'm really enjoying hanging out in the office with the hubby, too. He's creating and I'm creating and it's really quite cool. Unfortunately it has also led me to keep some very late nights and that leads to a bit of grumpiness in the morning.

Today we have dubbed it Septembergiving. Translation: we had a hankering for turkey and so, I bought a small one and it is currently in the oven cooking away. Whoo hoo! Turkey! Derek is coming over at 6PM with a pie and as soon as Brooke is coherant (she's upstairs sleeping...more on that in a minute) she'll probably help me plan out whatelse other than mashed potatoes, etc. we're making. Brooke... Oh yeah, Brookie!!

Brooke, our very near and dear friend, spent last night and will probably spend tonight with us as well. This morning she got lasik eye surgery and I'm playing nurse maid to her. I get to wake her up every two hours or so and put eye drops in her eyes. Fun stuffs. I've got to decide what to make for lunch so I can take it up to her and then put another set of eye drops in (she's got 3 different ones she has to use). Fun stuffs.

So yeah... that's what is up here. Working working working. But at least we're having fun, too. Insert smilies here. I'm off to baste a turkey!

Monday, September 14, 2009

And now your weekend update...

I spent most of the weekend in bed. I caught the neighbor kids' cold from hell and enjoyed spending most of my time asleep. Asleep means I didn't have to think about other things that were going on, so I think that was a good thing. Hubby would probably agree, although Sunday I had a bit of nutso going on.

Monday is shaping up quite nicely. Didn't have to watch the kids this morning. It was more of a "Get in the car, it's time to go." Morning. (They didn't show up till 7:30 which is okay in my book.) Lily was in a brilliantly good mood as was Jackson and now, the little man is eating some scrambled eggs and watching Spongebob while I'm updating. All is well and I'm liking it.

This week is 80% spoken for. Tomorrow I've got a trip to mom's Death Condo (she purchased a spot in a mausoleum for her ashes when she finally kicks the bucket- which by my estimate shouldn't be for another billion years or so. Yes, I have that much faith in her.) because she's having second thoughts about it "being so high." I teased her and told her, well... it's closer to god? She gave me her usual "Ay, Jessica!" exasperated phrase. I shot back with a good natured "You're gonna spend eternity in a death condo!" I think my mom actually rolled her eyes at me. There was massive amounts of giggling on both our ends.

Wednesday is Women's Night Out. I think that it's going to be pre-empted with a talk with Lily. It's that time of her life when she needs THE talk. Thursday is traditionally our library day. Friday is... huh... don't remember. Saturday is apple festival. WHOO HOO! APPLE FESTIVAL! This means we get to see my lovely and talented Sister in law and her family.

Yeah. So, another busy week. Woot. I like busy weeks. They make me feel accomplished. Oh yeah, sometime this week I need to sneak in some birthday planning for Jackson and Papa Stone as they both have birthday's coming up iminently.

Friday, September 04, 2009

About 24 hours to go...

In 24 hours Casey and I will be dragging our asses out of bed for yet another fun filled filming session. This time, we're planning on hitting 3 locations between 9AM and 5PM for a short film called 5cm Peter. Yes, it's as raunchy as it sounds. No, it's definitely NOT a porno.

The short was written by a talented writer by the name of David Boyer. David won the local screenwriters competition held by Mid America Filmmakers (from here on out known as nemesis). Tara and I offered to help him make his film way back in January before he even won the competition and we FINALLY got it off the ground and tomorrow: FILMING!

As much as filming days really kinda piss me off, I also think they're the best days in the world. We're running around and watching something that we made come to fruition. It's awesome! And this time my dad AND stepmom will be around for it. AWESOME!!

Speaking of my dad... Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!! Oh yeah, it's also the full moon so that means it will be extra crazy around here. Woot!

Anyone who wants to come and film with us tomorrow, drop me a line!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cracked- A Venting Session.


Wednesday was NOT a good day. Well, most of it was, but around 2:30 it started going down hill quickly. Luckily, I have a very handy husband and one of the biggest problems is now workable, so I'm happy. No, correction: I'M FREAKIN' ECSTATIC!!! The picture to the right is similar to what happened to my MacBook, but there is a lot more dead spots and it looks like a rock hit it from the inside.... Storytime!!

Wednesday afternoon I'm working on some things before I have to pick up Lily from school. The stuff I'm working on is dealing mainly with a lot of forms and emails dealing with Trademark Requests. This is a task that I'm finding somewhat easy, me being a people person, but it takes a long time and there are long phone conversations and lots of notes that I took on the matter. All of these notes are on my desktop of the MacBook. Well, I leave the computer on, sitting on the table as always (I like working at the dining room table because I can keep an eye on Jackson while he plays and I get a nice breeze from the windows, and it's not a stuffy office.) and I head out the door with Jack to pick up Lily. Yada yada yada, we come home, I help Lily with homework and then I sit back down at the computer and I find that the screen looks like it has been cracked on the inside. It takes a second. I'm like WTF? I turn the computer on and off and the "crack" is still there. Massive spaces of dead pixels.... The panic begins to set in. I completely freaked out simply because I'm realizing the volume of things that I have on the MacBook. Four years worth of pictures from family events and productions, business forms, all of my business contacts, emails with those precious trademark request forms signed...

And then, my lawyer calls. Court date for custody crap moved up. No, didn't want it moved up, wanted it moved back! Apparently when I tell lawyer that I've got stuff going on until September 6th, that is to be completely ignored. Lawyer proceeds to tell me that he needs more fundage. Um, didn't I just pay you back in July? I inform him in a not so polite voice that I am sick and tired of this bullshit (yes, I used bullshit) and that I wanted lawyers fees from that certain someone who keeps dragging me back to court and that fine, I'll be there on the court date I just won't be there at 8:30AM because I, unlike that certain person, have a kid that I have to drop off at school and another kid I have to take to a babysitter and probably will not get their until about 9AM. Lawyer says that is okay and that Judge will understand.

This is the part where I mention that I do not have any faith in the legal system what so ever. I'm really hoping Casey is wrong on his outcome prediction... I really do. I'm having a hard time staying optimistic, though.

After all of that, I sat down and cried for 2 hours. I've been moping around since then, kind of lost. Today I've been more annoyed than moping and Casey told me that I really had to snap out of it. I'm really trying. We went to Best Buy and bought a mini dvi cable so we could pipe the display to an extra monitor that we have. It's kind of annoying, craning my neck, but you know what? I can use my computer now and that, to me, is worth it's weight in gold. I'm glad that I have an incredibly handy husband. And I know, eventually, we'll get me a new laptop. It won't be for a while and honestly, I can make do with this set up for a while. It works and that's what matters to me.

SO now, I've been formulating a plan of attack and trying to get my groove back. I organized my desk and my filing cabinet today so I have a place to work in the office. I'm in the process of printing up the very important emails and I'm ready to get back to work. I'm not so panicked or depressed anymore. And maybe, just maybe, Casey will get his chance to relax now that I'm starting to calm down about the situation. Now, if I can get through Tuesday and everything goes well...

If stuff doesn't go well, well... we'll have to wait and see. Think happy thoughts, Jess! Happy thoughts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

School Nap

Day three of school.  Neighbor kids didn't have to come until 7:30, was still up at 5:15.  Today, amidst the laundry, I found myself wish a serious case of the dropsies so Jackson and I went upstairs and took a nap.  During School Naps are the best naps because it's just me and Jack all cuddled up.  Huzzah for the school nap!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two days down, a whole bunch to go.

Lily has had two days of school.  It's been busy busy around here so I haven't been able to blog until now.  Sure, I've had time to sit down and update facebook, but have I blogged? Negative.  So, here we go. 

The first day of school was yesterday.  It wasn't a run around, chaotic mess that I thought it was.  Everything went really smoothly.  Lily enjoyed herself and she said her teacher, Mrs. Bean was really nice.  I'm doing the carpooling thing this year and I picked up Lily and two of her friends to bring them home.  Maddy, one of the girls, is also in Lily's class.  Maddy said "Mrs. Bean yells at you when you won't stop talking.  She's mean."  Lily instantly piped up and said "Nuh-uh! She's nice!"  I had to laugh about that one.  Maddy always has been a bit of a talker.  

Fourth grade had homework the first day of school.  They got a spelling list of 20 words and they had to write them in cursive 5 times each.  While I can understand practicing writing I can't stand homework that is so incredibly monotonous.  That, and giving a child homework on the first day of school?  That's just mean!  We did the homework, no complaining.  I told Lily that fourth grade is harder than all of the other grades in primary (they go K to 4 in primary, 5-8 in middle and 9 to 12 in high school) and that they have to set examples to the other students.  I will refrain bashing the teacher for dull homework for now.  It's not as bad as what they sent home last year, which was writing numbers 1 to 1000 in small little boxes.   Yeah, I told Lily she simply was not doing that.  

Can you tell I'm not a fan of stupid homework?  If it's relevant, I'm all for homework.  If it's ridiculous (like writing 20 words 5 times each- why not have the kids write a story using spelling words?) then I'll yell at teachers and I won't make Lily do it.  Yep, I'm one of those crazy parents who doesn't like their kid doing insipid busy work.

This morning was somewhat more... dramatic.  I got up at 5:15 to prep for the neighbor dropping off their two grandkids.  They recently got guardianship of the two girls (both in 2nd grade) and asked if I would be willing to take them to school (I'm being paid.) and I said okay.  The only thing is they have to drop the girls off at 5:30 because grandma works as a nurse at 1st shift (starting at 6AM) and grandpa works at GM (also starting at 6).    Well, I let the girls in and noticed a bee had flown in with them.  I went to get the fly swatter to kill it, and as I was doing that, the neighbor said "Do you know you have a swarm of bees out there?"  And just as she said that, the sneaky bee stung one of the girls.  Insert lots of little girl screaming and crying.  

I turned off the porch light and the neighbor ran next door to get some benadryl.  I grabbed the wasp and bee spray while she did her nurse thing and killed about 20 bees hovering around my door.  I started looking around for where they were coming from (they were VERY aggressive) and I noticed a loud bee hum.  I looked up at the street light by my car and there was a large swarm of probably about 40-50 bees flying around the light.  I have never seen anything like it!  The girls were freaking out about bees for the rest of the morning, even watching over their shoulders as they left the car. 

After dropping off the kids at school, it was home for me to check email and then it was off to work my make up magic on our friend, Ben, who was having his headshots done today.  The photographer was amazing and Ben looked amazing.  We were occupied from around 8:30 until almost noon, though, so that didn't leave a whole lot of time for lunch and accomplishing stuff before we had to go get Lily and the other girls.   No homework today, so that was nice.  Lily and I hung out at home, talked about her day and then she went off to play with the neighbor kids and I played with Jack and gave him some much needed run around time.  Then, it was working on some producing stuffs and then off to my usual Wednesday girls night at the Cellar Door.  Twas nice. 

Yes, it's been a busy day.  Tomorrow we have a read through here and I have a ton of laundry to finish, not to mention everything else that needs to get done that was highly neglected today.  I gotta say, it's nice to be able to start getting back to a routine.  I like summer, but I like routine more.  I schedule better with routine simply because I know what's going on when and where. 

Oh, I do have an interesting lunch date tomorrow.... I'll have to let you know how that goes. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School

Tomorrow, Lily goes back to school. With South Bend no longer doing half days, we've got our first full complete day of school. It's going to be weird. No more kids running in and out of the house during the early afternoon. No more Lily running home, dragging a couple of kids with her being all like "Mom? Can you make us a sandwich?" I can make you a sandwich, but if your friends are hungry they go home to eat.

AND... it's pouring down rain. It's supposed to rain for the next 4 days. Yep, lovely back to school weather! Huzzah! Did I mention it's something like... 75 and muggy? Ugh the muggy.

My mom is heading back from her trip to Panama today. I must be at O'Hare at 3PM to pick her up. I'm actually looking forward to hearing all of the wonderful family gossip and of course: the pressies!! We ALWAYS get Panamanian Pressies! Whoo hoo! I am personally hoping for a bottle of the family rum (our family owns a rum distillery in Panama) and some cookies. Anything more than that is total bonus!

Well, I'm off. I have a laundry list of laundry and other wonderful things that I want to do before I have to sally forth to O'Hare.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lazy Day

I'm not quite firing on all cylinders today, so I've decided it's a lazy day.  That's perfectly okay for me because we've been going going going and there's no sign of stopping any time soon.  So, while Jackson plays piano and Lily plays computer, I sit here and update. 

My mom is currently in Panama.  She's enjoying herself and being spoiled, at least according to my aunt.  This is good.  I hope she comes back and is in a good mood and all that fun stuff.  This year, I feel, will be hectic for everyone.   Casey and I currently have an 18 month plan as far as certain things film related we want to accomplish and that doesn't include all of the plans for home I want to accomplish. 

Today, though, is all about enjoying the moment.  I'm going to take Jack and Lily to the park in a bit for a picnic and that should be quite fun.  I need some fun time with the kids. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blog Neglect

I've been horribly neglectful of my blog for a good long while. I've attempted to post stuff, but then nothing comes out when I sit down at the keyboard to type. I'm thinking it's a case of I have too much stuff going on and my brain is going in a million and one directions at once.

I suppose let's start from the film festival back in May. I met some cool people, I got frustrated with a lot of people I know and I left Mid America Filmmakers. I was tired of them not wanting to match my drive for putting out a good project and I was tired of not being taken seriously as an officer, let alone listened to so I ended up quitting. It's still a sore spot for me because every so often I'll hear inklings or recieve an email about crap going on. I'm trying to adopt a "I don't give a crap" attitude, but I hate seeing people fail. The truth of the matter, though, is they only have themselves to blame. Casey and I blazed on ahead and have since completed 2 projects since I left in May, which is honestly more than most members would accomplish in 2 years. I am, however, happy to see some of the members following my lead, though. It seems that I started something there and Casey and I have been in touch with a handful of people from MAF and we're working on several projects together.

Our latest project is actually the winner of the Mid America Filmmakers Screenplay competition. David Boyer, a very talented writer, came up with a script entitled "5 cm Peter" which is quite funny (and lewd) and I agreed back when I was VP, to help him get it done. So, my little rag-tag team and I are plowing ahead with his project (despite wanting to continuously beat our collective heads against the wall). We film on September 5th. I can honestly say I'll be happy to be done with it.

Lily just completed a project as well. The film bug is in full swing in our family. Lily, however, was acting. I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome. I didn't think this was ever going to get done, simply because it was one tragedy after another when it came to her film. Literally. The director's father passed away and then, two weeks later his mother passed away. It was like the film gods didn't want this thing done! But just last week, Lily wrapped filming, two months and a piece after we began.

Family news. Yesterday, I took my mom to the airport. She is off to Panama for one month. I miss her terribly. It's very odd for me not to talk with her at least every other day. We have a decent relationship, despite getting on each others' nerves on a constant basis. I hope she enjoys her trip and I can't wait to pick her up at the airport, just to get the latest gossip from home. She was so funny when she called last night! I answer the phone and she said "Jessica! I'm HOME!!!!" and proceeded to laugh like she was 12 or something. It was good to hear her in a good mood because she had left feeling a little frazzled and wondering if she was going to make it. This was the first time she had traveled by herself since she was in college (which was a loooooooooong time ago), so she was a bit nervous.

Casey just finally got the go ahead to work overtime this week. It's been very...stressful around here. Well, not so stressful, but we have been worrying a bit. His company, while they have had work, we didn't know how long that work was going to last. I've been trying to do my best to find him alternative work in the film/tv field but that would also mean a significant hit to our income if he did switch. It's almost like we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want him out of construction as much as he does, and yet if we were to jump we would lose free gas and a company truck, which is a significant boon in the current jobs favor. Casey is quite overwhelmed with lots of film projects and has very little free time, which I'm afraid I monopolize with family stuff. We're still trying to find a balance for everything and we haven't quite gotten there yet.

Lily finished all of her summer programs on Thursday. We skipped friday due to our trip to the airport. She is now free to enjoy her summer (well, what remains of it) and this afternoon we're going to start guitar lessons. A certain someone finally came through with that guitar he had been promising for years. Lily is thrilled beyond belief, so that's what counts. She is growing like a weed and is turning into quite the young lady. She is hedging tween territory. It frightens me a bit.

Jackson is also growing like crazy. He's getting more and more adventurous and he's been testing his boundaries. We are heading straight toward the terrible 2's at full speed. The other day he discovered the fun that is running through a sprinkler. I still have issues getting Lily to run through a sprinkler (even though she knows it's fun) and there was Jack... He walked straight up to it and was instantly amused. There was a massive temper tantrum when I took him back inside to take a bath (he was caked in mud). He's talking more and more and says please and thank you and this morning I even heard him copy me saying "You're welcome!" He's becoming a bit of a parrot and while we sometimes have to have him repeat what he says, his vocabulary is expanding and getting more and more understandable by the day. Sometimes it's like he picks up new words by the hour. He's truly an amazing little dude.

I think that covers it all. I'm sure I'll come up with a billion other things to write about as soon as I click publish, but I really want to clean up the kitchen before Casey gets home and it's about lunch time, too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Lily!!

Lily is 10 today and I'm completely amazed. TEN! My baby is TEN!!! When did this happen? She has gone from this silly, fun loving little monkey who was afraid of pretty much everything to a somewhat adventurous, Harry Potter spell casting, Edward Cullen loving ten year old.

The posters of My Little Pony and Harry Potter have been taken down and in their place is Hannah Montana, Will Turner and Joe Jonas. She thinks David Bowie is "hot" and bugs me constantly to watch Twilight. I found scribblings on a sheet of paper that read "Lily Cullen" on it. She even had her first kiss this past year (yeah, not going to relive that particular part of history)!

My little girl is growing up. She's discovering her own style of music, how she does her hair, how she wants her room decorated, etc. It frightens me but it also excites me because I love seeing her grow up. It's nice to know that on her birthday, though, the first thing she still does in the morning is come to our room, jump in bed with me and cuddle. I don't see that happening too much longer, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

The boys are sleeping, Lily is out with her grandma and Mark and I... well, I am trying to channel my inner broccoli or some other vegetable that just sits there not doing much of anything. Although, I do have Brooke's bike in my current possession (we're filming it on Monday) and well... it may need to be ridden at some point before that. When Casey gets up I may head off for a ride by the river. That sounds like fun to me. I may have to spend this years birthday money on a bicycle and a baby seat for Jack so we can go on rides this summer.

We finished up shooting "Small Change" on Wednesday. Casey is working on inserting the footage, color grading it and synching the sound. It should be completely done next week some time. I'll be happy when I sent it off to Telluride, although that will start a whole new waiting game. Sigh. It's like this never ending cycle of waiting on my end. Waiting for it to start, waiting for the shoot to finish, waiting for the film to get cut together and all other post work to get done and now we add an element: waiting to hear from the festivals. I'm not the most patient person in the world, either, so this has been a learning experience on more than one level.

In other news, Lily's report card came today. Honor Roll again. I knew this was going to be the case anyway because her teacher told me about it before school was over. I'm proud of her. She's been working hard this year and she's reading above grade level, which rocks.

Not much else going on. Summer has started, we're busy and Sunny will be heading our way very soon. We've had a lot of fun evenings lately and our social life is actually quite healthy these days. Tomorrow we're going to go celebrate Brooke getting her masters degree and heading to Costa Rica over the summer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little bit of a giggle.

This morning I woke up with the song "Swing" by Ani Difranco stuck in my head.  After listening to Swing, along with a plethera of other Ani tunes (I was frosting cupcakes at 6:30 this morning, what were you up to?), I logged onto the RBR records website and found this little gem.   Now, I get to have my birthday during the Daily Show's dubbed Ani Difranco Month! Whoo hoo!  Oh, and don't worry Jon, we'll forgive you for the mispronunciation of Ani's name (it's pronounced Ah-nee nah Annie).

Enjoy the clip!



The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tis the Season...

Yesterday I woke up and felt the start of it.  It didn't really hit me until after I mowed the lawn and the neighbor across the street mowed their lawn and then... WHAM!  Insert exploding sinus' here.  Yep, tis allergy season again.  BEHOLD!  The Bukake Tree!  
Okay, so it's not a bukake tree (I dare anyone who actually reads my blog to go google that or something.), it's a Bradford Pear.  I love Bradford Pear trees.  They're pretty.  My dad planted one when I was about 5 years.  Until I was about 10, he'd take my picture next to it every year. Yes, it's taller than me, but then again there are very few things in this world that aren't taller than me (I iz short).   Unfortunately for me, as soon as they start blooming I start sneezing and getting all fabulously congested and while I have a brief reprieve as soon as the leaves start coming in, it's not long enough especially since there are all sorts of cottonwood trees in our neighborhood.  

I'm seriously considering getting one of those histimine blocker nasal shield thingeys.  I wonder how they work?

ANYWHO... yeah and stuff.  

Let's see, what else can I update you on.  Not much actually.  It's the same old thing these days.  I have groceries that I have to get out of the car and other than that, yeah... pretty dull. Still making movies, harassing people, causing trouble, etc.  No complaints.  

Friday, May 01, 2009

Where I'll be till Saturday


And now our feature presentation...

This weekend is the River Bend Film Festival.  I am the filmmaker liaison for the festival.  This means I get to hang out with all the incoming filmmakers (which about a dozen are coming in) and help them find their hotel, places to eat, etc.  Woot.  It's ridiculous.  Yesterday I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to prep for the thing and then today the only reason I can blog is because I'm currently dying my hair... Red...  I felt I needed a change and change is good so I'm going back to my old staple of red.  

Oh, and I bought a funky hat, too. I swear, it was sitting there just calling my name, asking me very politely to wear it.  So, that's what I'm going to do.  

I got my hair cut this week.  It is now in a chin length bob.  I am happy.  I no longer look like I'm sporting some form of a shaggy mullet.  Huzzah for my haircut!

Big Hat Cowboy Productions has BIG BIG BIG news, but I won't spill that until things are signed and it's a done deal.   Lots of interesting things are coming our way, though, and Casey quoted me yesterday and said "Sometimes you just gotta jump."  Or, in this case, take a zip line... Ah! I'm being cryptic!

So yeah... we're hella busy but we're having fun and that's what counts, right?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Return of the Plague

I was sick during Lily's spring break last week.  Jackson got sick toward the end of the week and has an ear infection (we're on day 3 of antibiotics) and now Casey's getting sick.  Yep, we're a real fun bunch to be around right now.  

At least Jack and I are decently recovered.  I'm still scratching my head on how Lily missed this round of the plague...

Monday, April 06, 2009

::cough cough::

Well, for those who say I talk to much, rest assured I'm not doing too much talking the past couple of days. Why? Well, I don't have much of a voice for starters.

The weekend started off wonderfully. Dad, Lily, Jack and I went to the Field Museum in Chicago. They had a really fun exhibit about Pirates and we got to see real pirate treasure. It made me start contemplating all sorts of dastardly piratical deeds of my own but alas, I don't have the equipment or the know-how to actually break into what I'm guessing is a very well protected museum. Dad had a fun time, too. When he left on Sunday morning he commented on how Chicago wasn't as far of a drive as he thought (it was only 1 1/2 hours away) and how we should go to another museum next time. I think I'll second that motion because I really enjoyed myself and having a fun dad-day. ;-)

When we got home, I felt kinda funky and stuffed up, so I took some decongestant and that's when things started getting really weird. Casey was filming a scene for our upcoming "Hitman Hardknocks" and I had to take Jackson upstairs. Dad headed upstairs as well because his leg was bugging him so we both decided to take naps. I slept until around 9:30 and woke up to find Dad still asleep. So, I got some water and headed back to bed. The next morning I woke up with Jackson, headed downstairs to take my temp and found out that I was indeed running a fever. I was actually surprised that it was as high as it was, though. Turns out I was running at 101.9!!

Dad went out and got me plenty of meds and tried to get me to eat something, but I just wasn't in the mood. I spent most of the day on the couch and Dad watched after Jackson. He took Lily out for a little while and when they came home they had eatten Arby's for dinner but were both in the mood for Pizza, so Dad headed back out for pizza. I managed to eat one slice before crashing for the evening.

Sunday we normally go out for breakfast, but yeah... not having that this time around. My stomach was less than cooperative. Dad went home and I went back to bed. I spent the whole of sunday in bed curled up under the covers. I got up sometime around 9PM to find a thin layer of snow coating everything outside. Whee fun! Spring break and it's snowing! I would scratch my head on that one, but yeah... it's northern Indiana. It makes total sense.

Today I have been mostly sticking to the couch. I managed to take a shower, thinking I would feel better afterwards, but I was wrong. If anything, I feel more stuffed up. I have sent Lily on a quest to help me find the Vick's Vapor Rub in hopes that I'll be able to breathe out of my nose again and I'm trying to look on the bright side of things - like I can keep food down now. I don't have much of an appetite, but I did manage to eat some cheerios. Huzzah for Cheerios!

I must go now. Time for my every four hours dose of Robetussin. I think it's the only thing keeping me mildly sane at the moment. Ugh... This sucks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Insert Car-hitting-Ben Sound Here

Saturday was spent in movie mode.  The morning was sucked up by Hitman Hardknocks and laughing our asses off at our actors engaged in a sissy fight, yelling whenever a car would be coming and watching our actors destroy a mattress.  

Let me tell you, nothing screams comedy like two grown men smacking each other in the most sissy way you can imagine.   There were several times when Tara and I had to walk away because we were laughing so hard.  It was nice to have Ben and Jim doing comedy for once.   Tomorrow we're going to try and sneak in the scene with Melissa Chapman before it rains.  

After we finished up (only 2 hours of shooting! Woot!) I managed to sneak in a nap before Lily and I headed out the door at 7:30 to finish up her shoot on "In the Dark of the Night."  I was thinking it was only going to be a couple of hours, but we ended up being there until midnight when I finally said "Look, Lily's tired and so am I.  We're going home."  I was begged for 10 more minutes and they managed to finish up.  At this particular point I'm not sure if we'll have to go back or not.  It doesn't look like it, but you never know.  That particular shoot was plagued with problems.   It started pouring buckets of rain on us shortly after we started shooting and then there was the crazy man who thought the "goth" was going to rob his house.  Um, no sir, the goth kid is not going to rob your house.  And our director, who is driving a bling-bling Cadillac Escalade SUV, has no use for any of the redneck-y trash you have strewn on your lawn.   

Oh, and then there was the cop.  This was a Michigan State Police Officer who followed us back from our location to the state line (it was a 10 minute drive, by the way, the cop following us all the way, just pulling us over juuuuuuussssssstttttt before the border) and then pulled us over to inform us that he got a call from a guy who saw people with a video camera, taping some goth kid on his rode and was wondering if we were filming.   Yep, the MSP were bored.  Nice guy, though.  He lectured the director for not having his permits.  (Yes, because you absolutely NEED permits to shoot a no-budget horror flick.)  Lesson I learned:  Don't shoot in Michigan.  They're uber-picky.

Sunday was nice.  Casey spent the day compositing two shots together to make it look like Ben was getting hit by Jim's car.   So far so good, actually.  Much laughing was had.  The best part of Sunday, though, was the fact that we got to be lazy slugs for the first Sunday in a very long time. Ah, I remember what it used to be like to be a slug!  How nice to return to it, if even for a day.   But then, it started snowing and I was all like "What the hell?!"  So, naturally, I decided to go grocery shopping.  Despite it snowing sideways for a while, it was pretty nice to get out of the house.  

Today's goal is laundry catch-up, stop by Meijers and pick up some toilet paper, and then just chillaxin'.  Next week is spring break, so I'm hoping that will bring some sort of silly adventure.  We'll see. 

I must now go.  I want to sneak in some lunch before Jack wakes up from his nap. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wearing the Producer Jacket

It seems like these days everything revolves around BHCP (BigHatCowboy Productions for those of you who haven't figured that out already).  Last weekend we got Small Change in the can and with a few minor pick up shots that I'm not going to schedule until we have a rough cut together, I get to put that on the back burner.  The work doesn't stop, though.  

Tomorrow we're shooting "Hitman Hardknocks."  This will be our entry for the filmaka competition.  There's $500 cash prize on the line along with another $1000 that will go toward our next production.   I think Hitman will be good and funny and I've managed to throw that particular production together in about 4 days.  Not much I had to do, just get people together.  

We may have to purchase a new computer for editting purposes, though.  Our current machine, a re-built something that Casey put together the best he could (which has served it's purposes well) can barely handle the editting that needs to be done.  So, we're looking at potential fixes.  The best solution that will last us the longest amount of time seems to be a Mac Pro tower.  Unfortunately, it comes at $2500.  Luckily, we don't need a monitor or anything else.   It's still $2500 that I'd prefer not to spend.  If I want to get Small Change off to Telluride in a timely manner, it needs to be done.  Anyone want to invest in our fledgling company?  Buy us a computer? 

On the family front things are going well.  Jackson is running everywhere and has discovered chilil cheese corn chips (the little weirdo).  He is starting to exert his independence and if things don't go his way he likes to throw tantrums.  His favorite thing to do at bedtime is now to tuck himself in.  He even whispers "tuck tuck tuck" while we tuck the covers around him.  So far no more escape attempts have been made, but the only time he's ever in his play pen now is when he needs a nap and has gotten grumpy.  He loves to play with Lily and chases her all over the house.  It's cute to watch them together.  They get along really well.   The most interesting news about Jack is that he may have an agent.  I met Brian's agent yesterday and everyone has been saying "Oh, Jack's so cute!"  So I figured why not try and pimp him out and get him some baby-modeling.    Brian's agent agreed and she's going to give me a call next week sometime.  

Lily is also exerting more and more independence and has posted "Do not enter, I am busy." on her door.   Ah, the first bits of the whole tween attitude.   Lily just recently finished some ADR (Voice Over) work for a friend of ours, Brian McLaughlin and she is currently filming a project called "Into the Dark of Night" written and directed by a fellow MAF member, Steven Barnett (who was killed 4 times on Babylon 5 and served as their technical advisor as well during a few seasons).   Lily plays the character or Samantha.  She doesn't have many lines, but is integral to the story.  She's having a blast doing all of this film stuff.  She has announced that she wants to make movies like her dad and mom.    Yup, I have an incredibly talented family and I'm proud of all of them.

Casey is working his ass off these days.  Between film and then Majority,  I really think he needs a vacation.  I'm looking forward to when he doesn't have to do construction anymore. 

I think that's about it from our end.  It's been busy, but it's been fun.  Now, if Casey and I could get a second to breath and have some fun and maybe some alone time, that would be fabulous. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cranky.

I am cranky.  I took a nap this afternoon because I was starting to get snippy at Lily when she came home from school.  I tried to make Jackson take it with me.  While he did finally crash with me, he didn't do so for very long and I was even more grumpy when I woke up with massive quantities of baby drool on my sleeve.  I am hoping to go back to bed very soon (it's nearly 11).   I also have to wonder if I may be coming down with something because I am quite achy all over.  In fact, at this point the only thing that doesn't hurt is my head.  

I will now give Jackson the cheese he is requesting, drink a glass of milk and then off to bed with me.   

The good news, though, is that all of the footage from our Sunday shoot has been imported as has the sound and well... Simon and Ben sound like NPR announcers.  It's FABULOUS.  

Here's a taste of our upcoming flick.  It's just a picture, but yeah...  Pictured below are Ben Miner (on the Left) and Simon "Pete" Frederick (right) as Garrison and Mr. Buckley in our new film, "Small Change."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Under the Big Hat

Ah, return of the blogging Jess!   What? Do you mean I actually have time to stop and smell the roses?  Not really, but I've been feeling neglectful and I have a few stories to tell so I figured why not? 

I'll start with family stuff.  Jackson has adopted "Cheese."  Cheese is his stuffed dog.  He picked it out when I took my friend Brooke shopping post divorce finalization.  He had to have the dog. Wouldn't put it down. 
 So, I bought it.  It was $5 well spent.  Almost immediately he started hugging it calling it "Cheese."  I have no idea why it'
s name is Cheese, but that is it's name... so Cheese joins t
he throngs of stuffed animals that have taken up residence in our house. 
 In the past week since we got it, Cheese has not been put down with the exception of the day and a half it was over at abuelita's house in which Jack moped around the house asking "Cheese?"  Cheese was quickly returned and off he happily went. 

The other thing that Jackson has discovered is that he can get out of his playpen.  I have a little houdini on my hands.  The first time he did it, I didn't even hear him.  He managed to collapse one of the sides and climb out (which he's also climbing on EVERYTHING now).  He got an empty two liter bottle, came up behind me and whacked me on the back and started laughing hysterically.  Naturally, I chased him around the house, much amused, and finally tickled him.   The kid amazes me on a daily basis.  He also has learned the word "juice."  Now, whenever he's thirsty, he throws his sippy cup (the kid may have a future in the major leagues) and yells "JUICE!"   He does, however, say "tanku" his version of thank you, when you hand him back the full sippy cup.   Cute cute cute.

Lily is doing well.  This has been ISTEP week.  I spoke with her teacher on Monday before the test and we both had a bitch session about how ISTEP is completely useless and tells you nothing and that now a days most kids fail ISTEP because a) the test is completely subjective and b) they purposefully try and trick kids with wording.    One of the questions the teacher gave me as an example ended with the words "Justify your answer."   WHY WHY W
HY would they put that on a THIRD GRADE TEST?!??!?!!??!!  Yes, ISTEP is stupid.  Everyone agrees it's a waste of time.  Make it go away, please.  

Casey is still working.  He's pulling double duty between Majority and our Production Company.  I'm hoping that one of these days we can make some money with the production company thing and get his ass out of construction.  We're working on it, that's for sure. 

Film stuff... this could be long.  

Right now I'm working on three main projects.  Well, two main projects and the th
ird is just to kind of flex my producing muscles.  The last one it turning out to be... interesting.  I'm still not 100% I want to do it but I'm going to just because I think if anything it's good practice for my newbie producing skills (which, from what I've heard are uncomperable to anyone else's in the area... David O. Selznik kiss my ass thank you very much - Casey says I'm Selznick on PMS when I'm on top of my producing game and I take that as a compliment).  I also just finished up the Mid America Filmmakers Winter Screening last Friday which was pretty cool.  I got the head count last night at it was 73 people!  Rock on!  

Project one would be our film, Small Change, which we have slated to shoot on March 22nd.  Last night we did the whole wonderful Pre-Visualization thing and that went really well. 
 Casey story boarded out all of his shots ala Rodriguez and while he was doing that - 
using myself and Tara Eary (our lovely Assistant Director) as the mock-actors in the scene, I amused Tara with various clips from willitblend.com  (an amusing site, go check it out and then buy me that blender).   Small Change info is up on our website, so go there.  In case you haven't been there, it's www.bighatcowboy.com. Thank you, come again. The pic is actually Casey doing setting up the wide shot. 

Project two is the new South Bend Film Festival, which is now named "The River Bend Film Festival."  Yeah... I'm not happy but I'm not going to go into it.  Let's put it this way.  Things need to be a lot shinier and a lot prettier before any advertising can get done and I'm wearing my stilletos to the meeting this afternoon so I can kick some ass.  Yo.   I'm involved because Mid America Filmmakers is the main sponsor and I'm the Vice President of Mid America Filmmakers, so yeah.  OH, I've also been elected "Filmmaker Liason" which means I get to schmooze and cater to the filmmakers that are coming in and give them packets and gift baskets.   I'm actually looking forward to this because I am a very social creature and well, it gives me an excuse to dress up and look pretty. Yes.  I like to look pretty.

Project three is a "horror" script.  I use that term loosely because there's nothing really scary about it.    This one I don't have much to say about because, well, it's in it's infancy and I'm just producing this for fun, so yeah.  It's practice. 

That's about it on our end of things.  I hope you've enjoyed my gigantorpost.  It has taken me roughly half an hour to write (and I was baking cookies during that time, too).   

Monday, February 23, 2009

Life with a toddler.

Today has been.... challenging.   Luckily, Jack thinks that throwing wet clothes into the dryer is the best game ever invented.  Now, if only the rest of my day was as productive...

Heigh ho, heigh ho, back to work we go...

Things have been going V E R Y S L O W L Y here at casa Stone.  Casey and I were both horribly ill for about a week and a half and even after we got over the initial whateveritwas we are still feeling rather tired and drained... But, we're back to work and plugging away.  It's amazing how much your house can completely implode when you're sick for so long.  The last week, when we sort of got our appetite back, we were surviving on mostly fast food (which Lily absolutely loved and Jack got to experience the wondermousness of ketchup - more on that in a minute) because neither of us felt up to cooking.   We spent most of the week thinking "We're horrible parents! Our parents would have done so much better!"  We quickly realized that there were days when our parents felt like poo too and just let us fend for ourselves or called in back ups. 

On Friday we finally felt well enough to get out of the house and do some shopping, so we headed to Sam's for diapers and a few other things, and then hit Meijers, Walmart and Aldis.  Afterwards, we still felt like being out and about, so we went meandering and got hungry.  The four of us ended up at Burger King where Jackson discovered not only the play area but ketchup as well.   He went completely through the play area with Lily once and made it up the climbing part (he's become a total monkey in the past few days) by himself, but then he decided that he had enough and came back down for some french fries.   Little man then discovered the joys of ketchup.  He had never tried it before so I dunked a fry for him and at first he was like "What's this?" and was making a bit of a yuck face.  But then, he decided he liked it and wanted more ketchup.   He then proceeded to suck the ketchup off the fry and attempt to dunk it again (he had some dexterity problems there, but he managed to make a mess).  Finally he decided screw the fries and he picked up the little cup that held the ketchup and essentially drank it.   Casey and I, being amused by the whole situation, let him get away with it, despite having a ton of ketchup on his coat, face and hands.   It was a fun evening. 

On Saturday we decided to get chinese food and little man discovered that he likes green peppers.  He was running around chewing them!  Weirdo!  Casey doesn't like green peppers and I certainly don't like green peppers.  This is one thing that both Lily and Jack like - they both like spicy things.   Go figure.  Jackson, however, he eats everything so it will be interesting to see what his tastes are when he gets older.  Lily is all about the veggies.  She loves 'em. 

Yesterday we spent the day starting to clean up the house (it's a rather large job) and organize the office.  With various things coming down the pipelines, I wanted to be as organized as possible so I can essentially just go go go.  We'll see how it goes, though.  I forsee impending disaster, but it sure as hell is going to be a fun trip!  And who knows, we might even make some money at it!

That's all from our end.  How have you all been?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anniversary Conversation between a husband and wife.

Jess is sitting on the couch in her jammies.  Occasionally she reaches up and attempts to equalize the pressure in her ears, but it doesn't work.  Casey walks in, not at all googlie eyed and says "I love you, wife!" 

Jess says "What?"

"I love you!"

"What?"  

"I LOVE YOU!!"  

"Thanks, I'm hungry!"

And this is how we spent our anniversary. My ears plugged up beyond belief, pretty achy throughout the day (all though now my appetite is returning, so I'm definitely hungry) and well... I expected something grander for our fifth anniversary. Hmmmm... Maybe next weekend when we're fully recovered, we can celebrate properly.  Otherwise, it was just another day spent under just another comforter, with just another tissue.  

I will now continue with my day... Maybe watch some more Battlestar Galactica and go to bed early. Yeah, that sounds like fun. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rest time!

Seed project: Complete!  (With added bonus of "potato" as to stump the teacher as per mom-in-law's wonderful suggestion... I totally love messing with teachers... mwahahahaha)

DVDs: burning.  As in we are making them at this particular time.  Must drop 'em off to Brian tomorrow.

Call from Simon: Iminent.

Glidetrak: Here.  Amazingly.  Apparently, it shipped from Paisley, UK, just a couple of days ago. Way to go FedEx!

Anniversary weekend: Canceled.  The hubby is not feeling good, I'm in need of a good rest and the kids... well, they're just all over the place.  Rock on kids, you're fun.  At least I get to make Tara look pretty. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q

I am not a happy camper.  I have caught the kids' cold.  I am now miserable, Jackson is fine but chasing after him is not a good thing.  

Thankfully, I have the fabulous giant "Q" on my side (aka NyQuil, DayQuil) and am happily medicated.  My ear still hurts though... I think I may have an ear infection... 

I....need....a really long nap.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oy! What's that green stuff over there?

I wake up at 7:15 (45 minutes after I should have waken up), completely exhausted.  I really don't blame myself one bit for hitting snooze after snooze.   Jackson kept me up most of the night, and around 4:45 I found myself pleading with him to please go to sleep, peacefully... No more upsettedness, (yes, I created a new word), no more whining, and lots more sleep.  Low and behold he took pity on me.  Either that, or the sandman who was floating outside the window, looking in and snickering, finally took pity on us.  I say it was the sandman.  Never underestimate the power of a chick completely flustered. 

In any case, I stumbled down the stairs, glad that Casey hadn't done his usual "I'm going to turn all the lights in the house on" dance, walked into the kitchen and started making myself a cup of chai.  I had to come around rather quickly because I had to make sure Lily got up and dressed (thank god today is a half day... I just have to stay awake to noon).  While Lily was having breakfast, we discussed her seed project.  I took Kathy, my wonderful mother in law's advice, to "Stump the teacher" and cut a few spuds off a potato.  Today we'll get the rest of our seeds and have lots of fun with a glue gun. 

After the seed discussion, I checked the weather and then I rechecked the weather.  The temp is a lovely 50 degrees outside!  WTF?  Really?  I glanced out the window and aside from one large mountain of snow across the street I'm seeing green stuff on the ground.  Green?  That can't possibly be right?  HAHAHA! Take that Punxatawny Phil!  I got your global warming right here, bitch!  And you know what? I'm going to ENJOY it!  Hell, I may even fly a kite today! Mwahahahaha! 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go start my car and wake up the Jackosaurus and take Lily to school.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Lemurs, and Kangaroos and Tigers! Oh my!


Yesterday, I was an evil mommy.  Well, I was a good mommy, but in the eyes of the school board (if they were to find out) I was an evil mommy.  Brooke, a fabulous friend of mine, had told me about a week ago that this mall in Elkhart, was going to have Baby Tigers to play.  What? Playing with a baby tiger?!  The whole thing sound too good to be true!  Naturally, I plotted to take Lily... without telling her. 

On Wednesday, I informed her that Thursday morning I'd be picking her up early from school because we had to go to the Doctor and get our flu shot.  She really did not like the sound of that. Instantly, there was a whole bout of "I don't want to get a flu shot!"  "Do I really need one?" "I've already been sick!"  and a few other choice phrases that kinda pissed me off, but I just sucked it up and despite the pre-teen attitude showing through, continued with 
my plan. 

I picked her up on Thursday morning around 10:30 and off we went, Lily grumbling on the way.  We clicked onto the bypass and I couldn't hold it in any more.  I told her that we were not going to the doctor to get shots, we were going to play with baby tigers.   Lily was instantly awestruck.  Baby tigers?! What?!  How come we get to play with baby tigers?  And the kicker: Mickie and Thomas were coming with us.   Instant happy kid!   I haven't seen her this excited since we went to the circus over Thanksgiving break!

When we got there, the tigers were a bit too rambunctious, so we opted for the baby
 wolves instead.  We also got to feed a lemur a piece of banana and pet a baby kangaroo.  The lemur decided to jump into the kangaroo's sleeping pouch, which annoyed the kangaroo and antics began.   I've never seen a grumpier kangaroo.  In fact, I didn't know kangaroos were capable of getting grumpy.    The tigers were twice Jackson's size.  They were still baby, but they were large... and everyone decided that yeah, that's not the smartest thing, especially with them being so playful at the time.  

The baby wolves were sweet and friendly and so incredibly soft.  Jackson kept running around yelling "Dog! Dog!"  It was very cute.  I think he had a lot of fun too!  Lily was showing both Thomas and Jack how to pet the wolves and while Jack was doing very well petting them, Thomas got a little scared and opted to leave the cage and go back to his mom who was standing by outside.  He preferred hanging out with the lemur rather than the wolves.  

It was definitely a fun day.  We ended at Steak and Shake with all the kids wanting macaroni.  It was the worst service ever and then Lily slipped and hit her head (she's got a giant bruise on her forehead, and I'm thinking about taking her to the doctor today because it looks so bad).  She cried for about 10 minutes and lately she hasn't been crying too awful much when she hurts herself, so I knew it was bad.  Poor kid.   After that, we went and picked up Jason, Mickie's husband, and headed home.  Mickie watched the kids for a few hours while I went to a meeting for the newly formed River Bend Film Festival committee.  (More on that soon.)

Things seem to be snowballing in the social commitment portion of my life.  I've become very busy lately.  I'm enjoying it, though.  It gives me something to look forward to.  Although, I have no idea what I'm going to do when I'm done with it. Who knows.  That being said, I really need to get moving.... I've got a long day ahead of me...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Location! Location! Location!

I can relax now.  Our location is now set for our next production, the rewrites that were needed are done, the cast has the new rewrites (and are quite enthusiastic about them), the equipment list is coming along and being checked off at a decent rate (borrowed and begged, none stolen).  We set up our filming date and it's going to be a doozy.  We film on February 15th, and our crew call time is 5AM.  The cast call time is 6AM.  We shoot until 4PM.  

Yep, we're crazy, but we get to film here:


This is the Midway Tavern.  It's been around since 1924 and it's the most interesting place that I've been in a while.   They've had some pretty awesome people play there and it used to be one of Al Capone's favorite places.  How's that for atmosphere?  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

While you were sleeping...

To my children Lily and Jack:

While you were sleeping, Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream came true... You live in an amazing time little ones.  Enjoy it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I wish my ass was being globally warmed...

It is 10:30 A.M. The current temperature is -15 F, the current windchill is -31.

If you'll excuse me I will now go and hide under a couple of blankets with the kerosene heater working very near by because even with the thermostat set at 70, it still feels freakin' FREEZING! The cold just creeps in like the Vashta Narada on Doctor Who until you feel like there's nothing left but some rattling bones and all you can say is "Hey, who turned out the lights?"

Now, if you'll excuse me it's Battlestar Galactica day and I should be refreshing last season so I can be re-caught-up for tonights new episode... Only 10 episodes left and then my friday nights will return to being dull and sucky. If you haven't started watching BSG, I highly recommend you start at season one and then work you way up. It's fabulous!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because I'm not stupid...

It is my opinion that SBCSC is run by idiots.  I turned on the television this morning to check on school closings.  Everyone in the area with the exception of SBCSC is CLOSED.  The windchill this morning was -11 when I woke up and the temperatures have been steadily dropping (3 degrees down since I woke up an hour ago and this is not taking into consideration that the wind has been picking up, probably making the windchill worse).

Thanks but no thanks, South Bend!  I'm keeping Lily home today and I'll probably keep her home tomorrow, too.  (Tomorrow windchills are supposed to be around -30!)  Oh, and just because you don't want to cancel school you will not argue with me when I tell you it's going to be an excused absence.  You will allow Lily to make up whatever work she missed and you won't give me any slack about it.  It's not my fault that you don't give a shit if the kids that go to your schools have parents that are just as ridiculous as you are.  Seriously, why would they want to send your kid out in this weather?  Ugh.  I'm annoyed.  I'm going to take Jackson back upstairs and cuddle.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

May-jah!!

Big news on the home front!  Last night I was elected Vice President of Mid America Filmmakers (MAF).  I'm incredibly excited by this and have lots of ideas.   Other than that, my mom's prediction of me getting very little sleep last night came true.  She said "I hope you'll be able to sleep tonight!"  I laughed at the time, but little did I know that Jackson would be a tad more excited than me.  Little man stayed awake, playing and jumping in his crib until around 4AM.  Yep, I'm definitely tired.  I think I shall go take a nap before I run off to meet my mom this morning.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It doesn't feel like winter...

Okay, so physically, it is cold enough outside to feel like winter... It just doesn't look like it.  The sun is shining and I swear I heard a bird a little bit ago.  To top it off, I just finished taking down the Christmas Tree and that just kind of puts the nail on the coffin that was the holidays.  Yesterday Casey kept saying "Don't take the tree down, that means Christmas is over."  Personally, I'm thinking it was just an excuse not to help taking down the tree.  

That's okay, though, because I have found that I can do it a lot faster than with kids and hubby in the house.  I say kids but Jackson is home with me but he can be confined to the playpen.  (Although, little dude is trying to escape... he stacks his drum on top of his bear and then tries to get his leg over the top.  So far, no success.  He's not quite tall enough.)

Well, I'm off. Must go start the car so I can go get Lily in 15 minutes. 

That annoying grinding noise is back...

Today is back to the grindstone.   Lily goes back to school and that means everyone else is back on schedule to.  It's been a nice vacation...  I think I could use an extra day (Jackson was fighting me going to sleep last night and he woke up a few times last night making me VERY TIRED this morning), but that's just me.  I told Casey this morning as he was bouncing out the door that I wouldn't mind if he stayed home and we curled up in bed with me.  

Oh well, to quote the sage like wisdom of the prophet Jaggar: "You can't always get what you want."  

On the schedule today: some form of excersize this morning, then shower then taking down the Christmas Tree and the cleaning that involves.  There will also be laundry done and then Jackson who has turned into this weird, crusted thing (he had a banana before he went to bed last night and well, that was just messy... I managed to clean up his hands and face but the rest of him is just...crusted) is in severe need of a bath.  The boy manages to make a mess out of himself when eating finger foods.  Something I never faced with Lily... Hmmm....

So yes, that's the plan.  We'll see if the plan succeeds.  I must go get Lily up now.  Have a good day, all!