Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Brushes With Greatness

We all have those stories, those "brush with greatness" stories. Take me, for instance. Fabian kissed my hand and I flew a flight with the guy who was once the Secretary of, hmm, uh, he was on Clinton's cabinet.

Anyway, I recently viewed
IMAX's Journey Into Amazing Caves on DVD and as soon as the water cave images appeared, I said "I bet Wes filmed that". I was right, he was the Director of Photography for the segment filmed in the Yucatan. Wes Stiles is globally known for his skills and talents as a water cinematographer but I met him while filming "Company of Animals", a show that appeared on HGTV during the network's first season. He was one of the photographers and I was a production assistant. I remember listening intently to his travel tales and truly being in awe. Wes was so animated that I couldn't help but be enthralled by his experiences as a cinematographer with National Geographic and his work here in his home state of Florida. His natural storytelling skills mixed with his vast knowledge of water ecosystems educated me as a listener.
Speaking of brushes with greatness AND Company of Animals...
In 1995, I was walking the shoreline at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. I treated myself to ten days in the Pacific Northwest and, at the time, had never seen the Pacific Ocean. It was a semi-cloudy day, which comes as no surprise to those from the area, and I'd just gathered a few small pieces of smooth driftwood to take home. (I collect itty-bits of nature from places to help remember beautiful places I've seen... i.e. raw cotton balls from a field in Alabama, stones from state parks, shells from sandy beaches, etc...) With my stash tucked away in my pocket and my camera in hand I continued my stroll when I heard a very distinct voice. This voice was one I was very familiar with... I knew it from television and from work. The voice belonged to Ted Brown.
As the voice came closer, I took a look at the man whose voice was so, so... distinct and said: Ted??
Ted: Juli??
Me: TED????!!
Ted: JULI????!!
Ted's Wife: T E D !? ?! !?
We were in complete disbelief. How could it be that we were on the same beach at the same time considering that beach was at the opposite corner of the country from where we call home?!? We were laughing in amazement and his wife was relieved to know that we knew each other from working on CoA back in Jacksonville. In fact, she and I probably met at the season wrap party but couldn't place the faces. At any rate, it was a true believe it or not experience or a brush with weirdness encounter and a reminder, yet again, of how small the world can be sometimes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We're Sorry, All Circuits Are Busy

That's what I've been told for the last half of the day as I try to reach my father. Papa lives on the MS/AL border near Meridian, MS and I've yet to make contact since Katrina made her way through his part of the world. By what I can gather from his local newspaper and TV station, many are without power. Having lived through a few hurricanes, I know it'll be a couple/few days before power and phone lines are restored. I'll just sit tight and hope for the best.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Postmark: Belgium

I recently received a letter in the mail from someone in Belgium. I don't know this person, but that's not so strange for me because I write to people I don't know quite often.

This letter came from Erika. Apparently, I sent Erika some mail four years ago. The mailing was lost in her closet somehow, sometime, until a few weeks ago. Erika was kind enough to send a response that included: a hand-made envelope, a hand-written note, some blank postcards and some stickers for my future use.

Receiving the missive reminded me of sending out a message in a bottle... she received my original correspondence and responded, which was truly never expected, but hoped for. As a child, I remember releasing helium-filled balloons with notes attached, wishful that someone would eventually find the empty balloon and take a few moments to respond. At the same time, I would always pick up a fallen balloon in hopes that maybe it was one I'd sent skywards or better yet, one that some other hopeful note-writer had released with shared optimism.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Trashy Art

I like things that are out of the ordinary.
This artist makes ordinary trash a piece of art.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bravery With a Broom

For a few months now, the fridge has been acting as though it's lost its will to live. One noticeable symptom has been the daily discovery of water in the egg holder tray on the door. This water was once frozen in the freezer but decided to melt and move to the fridge and call the cozy little egg holding cups home. It would refreeze onto a towel set over the tray to absorb the water so there's been a lot of morphing going on and I can only imagine what this could be doing to the monthly electric bill. It was time to diagnose the problem and lay upon this dying fridge some hands of healing.

The first task was to remove the not-used-daily-or-even-yearly items that inhabit the roof of the fridge. Once the countless cookbooks and hurricane lamps were transferred to a kitchen counter, it was time to slide the fridge out of its nook and into the center of the room for further diagnosis. It was then that the made-for-movies scream could be heard. The fridge didn't fall over or anything like that, but the discovery behind the fridge sent chills up my spine and reminded me, once again, that I'm really not a domestic goddess--not by a stretch of anyone's imagination.

Lurking behind the fridge (that came with this late 1970's fixer-upper) was an undiscovered nation. Beating tribal drums were heard along with the frightening shrills of the dust bunny banshees. There were mountains and deep valleys and items held as captives. Ink pens, too many to count, had been lost to these tribes. Two once-red can coozies were enveloped in multitudinous mounds of rabid dust bunnies. They were hardly recognizable... nearly completely gray like the bunnies that besieged them. It was a horrifying scene and one that'd I'd not been prepared for.

Quickly, I searched for a broom. I thought for sure that I owned one, I think I've even used it in the past... where WAS that damn thing?? I knew a broom would be a suitable weapon against the band of bunnies... that or a wet-vac but that'd take too much energy to round up from the garage. I'm looking for swift justice here, there's no time to dawdle.

With broom securely in hand, the ghastly task of sweeping up the colony was completed in a short amount of time. Who knew such a domestic duty could be completed so quickly?? Obviously, not me, or it'd been done long before this country-in-the-dark could have grown to such a monumental size.

Once the fridge and its surroundings were rid of dust and doom, it was returned to the site of the massacre. The cookbooks and lamps were placed back in their rightful locations-- but without the dust from before. As the screams of the bevy of bunnies faded, I paused to pay respects to the coozies. They were collected from Cheers in Boston. I had to take a very long pause to remember when they were purchased because they obviously hadn't been missed for all this time. Ahh yes, it was 1992. RIP coozies and good riddance you rodents of the darkness.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What Did She Say?!

Two things my doctor said to me that makes me question her credentials:
  1. I'm pushing on your poo.
  2. You have crud in your urine.