(there are probably more than a few seamspeople, but I wanted to throw as wide a net as possible)
This is my Dad.
He retired from the Detroit Police Force in 1996.
I wear this badge I pilfered from my mother’s jewelry box many years ago. It has his badge number.
My dad used to wear this jacket and then he gave it to me. You’ll pardon me when I say it’s beat to hell, but it’s true. Doug and I have different reasons for wanting to keep it (you probably won’t even have to ask him twice to tell you the Story), and Doug wears it mostly, but when I look at it I think of my dad.
I just want a new lining put into it and the seams and cuffs cleaned up. I don’t want it to look like new, I just don’t want to lose my keys and loose change in the lining of the pockets. The first few tailors I visited said it wasn’t worth their time. When I was finally able to get a price (what I though was reasonable for materials and time), the gentleman told me I would be better off just cutting off the D and sewing it onto another jacket. Then I could pitch the rest.
That broke my heart and I left.
This is my dad’s jacket. I can see him wearing it when he drove me down to college, when visited me in my dorm room, stopped by my first apartment.
Is there someone out there that can put a lining in my dad’s jacket, clean up the cuffs and repair the frayed seams. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just wearable. Please send me an email or comment here and quote me a price.
We don’t just cut and sew the parts of memories we think are worth saving.
The future has promised us a lot – flying cars, personal jetpacks, ten days aboard the Fhloston Paradise. So far, despite advances in modern medicine and instant communication, the future has been an incredible disappointment.
Now comes Google Glass, a fancy wearable computer that brings the whole of the internet to your right eye. Detroit’s introduction was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in blocks of three to four hours. Honestly, I was expecting a 30-minute RonCo pitch with lots of excited hipsters stroking their Movember mustaches while trying to not to look interested.
Instead, on a beautiful November day, I stood outside with longtime partner in crime, Dave, surrounded by interested college kids and Google enthusiasts thrilled to be a part of something potentially bigger, and we waited in a relatively short line to see what the fuss was all about. After drinking complimentary hot chocolate and signing some photo release forms we were ushered into another line to watch Google Glass headsets shuttle back and forth from a back room by Google Worker Bees.
Before too much longer we were herded into a more intimate group setting of about eight or nine and given a crash course on how to gently fondle the headsets. When they believed we wouldn’t fall to the floor screaming like we’d been struck by the Spirit, we were briefly gifted a device and the Google Bees turned us loose on the floor. The headset I was given had a technical thingy that was turned down so it initially didn’t recognize my voice – my natural speaking voice is closer to a castrated mouse — but I was able to snap pictures and scroll through the menus by pressing the button on the side and swiping with warmed fingers. I reached out to a nice young Bee who was able to help this old lady adjust the volume so the confounded machine could hear her, and then I was off to the races. Sort of — I could have gotten directions to them at least, had I really wanted. The voice commands are much like what already exist on Google-enabled smartphones – you can wake up Google with a simple “ok google” and ask it a question. I use it quite a bit on my smartphone for directions and store locations when I’m without a navigator in the car. It’s like having Siri, without the emotional codependence and frankly, I’m not that lonely.
It has few buttons, is very light and an awesome sound conductor that sits on the cochlear bone behind your ear. That’s how it speaks to you – discrete and unobtrusive – repeating commands, translated snippets of spoken words, whatever auditory prompt you need. While the screen doesn’t look like much when it’s not you wearing it, it definitely fills your field of vision. Wearing one while driving probably isn’t recommend, since most of us can’t operate the radio in a traffic jam.
It records like this:
Yeah, that’s how cool it was.
Overwhelmed at first, I took a lot of pictures of the crowd, the walls of the MOCAD and Dave. I didn’t ask it questions like who the Lions were playing tomorrow (The Steelers) or what the weather was like (57 and sunny) because for me, that’s not why I’d have such a device. I depend on my smartphone (Galaxy Note II) to keep me entertained and tell me things like the weather and play music for me, but I don’t know if I’d like to wear one on my face all of the time. I don’t document every moment of my life, because I’m too busy living it. I’m not even the shutterbug my mother is, with the hundreds of thousands of photos marking the years of my life from before birth through as recent as my June trip to New Orleans. There is a modern immediacy to commit everything to the internet for future posterity, as if our own memories aren’t good enough – we need to show proof that we existed and experienced things, where for me the experience isn’t enough.
Of course I said that about not needing a fancy smartphone with a touch screen, but if it were taken away from me I’d slip into a state of catatonic schizophrenia.
I couldn’t give you a number on how many folk attended but as groups of nine or ten cycled in and around the spacious gallery, it held easily 50 people at a stretch, all chatting up Glass like singles speed-dating. The Bees kept the people moving and the event had a very airy open feel.
While the Glass experience was phenomenal, unfortunately it wasn’t long enough — though I would imagine even after an hour we’d all say that. All too soon, they collected the headsets and ushered us into a reception room with fancy nibbles, coffee, soda, posters and a chance to really gush to each other what we experienced. We briefly lamented that we hadn’t snapped actual photos of each other wearing the devices, because being considerate adults who don’t take pictures of every blessed thing (I did check in on Foursquare), we hadn’t been sure it was even allowed.
Luckily there was a Photo Booth with glasses to try on and an opportunity to post the photo to your social network – proving you were actually there, because in this case, I was happy to share my experience.
Absolutely it’s a cool device and I wonder about the actual practical uses of something that allows people to live through you, instead of living. I wonder about uploading every moment of our lives so only the good parts can be played back over and over — or the bad parts thrown around like hot embers in dry kindling. I think about privacy and fair use and the legal ramifications of technology that moves faster than laws can be adapted. Granted this is just the musing of someone who views the future with not a little trepidation, and I’ll allow myself a small corner of fear for a device as potentially powerful as this – but I can set that aside for a little fantastic, sci-fi escapism.
Glass, with its live demonstration, was very awesome. That’s my take-away from the afternoon.
If a Google Glass demonstration is coming to someplace cool near you, take a friend and experience the future together.
- Current Mood: impressed
I’ve spent the last several months moping about what could have been and consequently have taken my eyes off the essence of what is me — the writing.
I’m absolutely sick about that.
Last weekend when I stared down the black hole that was my writing career when my laptop decided to take a dirt nap, taking essentially 15 years of words and photos with it, I panicked. I hadn’t cared much about putting words to paper, much less pixels since the end of May, and what had been submitted and accepted was token when compared to any number of months in previous years. I’d opted out of NaNoWriMo with a finality that surprised even me and cared not a whit about KickOff or logging or shared frenetic wordplay in semi-lit bars and coffee shops, and yet when November 2 rolled around and my Sakakibara (if you know how I name my devices, that name will make perfect sense to you) settled comfortably in a cycle of reboot-cheery green screen announcement that it needed to reboot, I faced the very real possibility that the sum of my writing was forever lost. That alternate future is bleak, boys and girls.
I know in theory I strongly advocate backups, clouds and the redundant printing of everything forever, but I’d actually neglected to back up anything in the last year, despite having several multi-gig SD cards, a DVR-drive, and a 1T external drive that holds nothing but obsolete music files and pictures long since uploaded to Flickr. I was regretting this staggering lack of foresight as the nice men at MicroCenter tried to calm a near-hysteric me. Long story that doesn’t need rehashing to anyone but a priest, all of my information was safely backed up, Sakakibara is back home, and here I sit pondering what to do next.
This was like a near death experience for wordsmiths, one I’d not like to repeat again, and as I reinstall 107GB worth of my life, I’m finding abandoned stories, forgotten snips. I don’t mind telling you, I feel just a little worse about my situation. I also don’t mind telling you that I feel like a fraud and I hate that, too. It’s a yucky little Shame Spiral and I’m hopping off this ride before I puke my cotton candy.
I’m not going to stand here and proclaim I’m going to rededicate the last 7 weeks of 2013 to writing and submitting, because only a fool lets her mouth write checks her butts can’t cash. I can, however, say that every day it gets a little better and I hope to get back into a regular groove again.
Not just because I’d like to finish *something* long form this year, but because there are too many undressed babies in to many folders that need to get dressed and into loving homes.
This post was brought to you by Kraken Black Spiced Rum and not a wee bit of guilt.
I was really set for this mini-series (this bit is important, but I’ll be back) looked promising, based on a book I really enjoyed. It’s a typical King Tale – small town, unusual circumstances, unimaginable terror, more terror from people who called themselves “neighbors”, FINALE!
I wasn’t crazy about how the book ended and the reason behind the dome (I won’t spoil it, but – really?) but like most Kind books, it’s the Journey, not the Destination. I keep telling myself that because I really do enjoy the ride.
Then, the mini-series for Under The Dome was announced, and I got excited – not too excited, because we’ve been here before, with less than exciting results – because after Rose Red and Storm of the Century, two stories that skipped book treatment and went right to pixels, I was ready for something I was familiar with.
During the first episodes when my husband would ask me – “did that happen in the book?” and me giving a despondent grunt, I realized this wasn’t really going to be what I expected. I understand composite characters and the need make things more concrete for television, but so much was different right off the bat, I stopped thinking “adaptation of” and more “based on an idea by some guy that sat next to a book by Stephen King once in a bus terminal”.
I’m still sighing about it. I would see it to the end, because I’m that kind of sucker, and I would do my best to get into the story. “After all,” I asked myself, “it’s only 13 episodes, so how badly could they screw it up?”
“We are going to make this suck so hard they’ll be begging us to cancel it — you hear me!”
Photo Credit: TV | NEWS | TODAY
Around Episode 6 it was announced that it would be picked up for a second season.
Um … what? This is a mini-series. That doesn’t mean short seasons, it means it’ll wrap somewhere around 13 episodes. At least it used to. Now it seems to mean testing an audience to see if there’s interest and then trolling out more episodes. So the answer was, “they’re going mess this up badly, sister!”
Mr. King, you may approve of the changes, but then you also gave us Maximum Overdrive and while I enjoyed The Shining mini-series (see how that managed to stay a “mini-series”) you could hear the unspoken exposition in the long shots of Colorado and the Overlook. You may know from books, but when it comes to television, your track record is depressing and discouraging. Someone convinced to you dismember your own baby and reassemble it using parts of a slug, a ferret, and a rock. Whatever glue used isn’t holding and I fully expect the final season will be released to DVD directly in fragmented pieces and stick fingers. The sad part is only the most ardent of fans will care by that point, because this really isn’t the Under The Dome we were expecting. We were expecting a baby with meth and pollution and Saunders and all of the awesome that the book showed us. We got a baby drawn on a piece of paper with holes cut out at the bottom so the doctor can make it dance with his fingers. It’s not the same
In the hands of the right screenwriter and the right director, Under the Dome could have been something worth tuning in for over 13 finite weeks. The material is there for 13 finite weeks, not 39 and sure as heck not over three summers (Season 3 in 2015? Really?). Tangents were created, new characters are spun from whole cloth, and are we honestly treading the “Magical Children” waters again? If a “Magical Negro” shows up, we will fight. The book had so much already there, and here we are 13 hours in, and none of it is happening. Mysterious characters that just happened to be in Chester’s Mill show up out of the blue, characters run as if there’s someplace to go and hide in caves and mines and in a town of roughly 1,300, no one can find anyone. Any writer that tells you they can’t take a book that was almost 1,110 pages and create a 13-week miniseries is not only not trying but very lazy. We’ve probably reached a new low.
The material was there the deviations are so vast with this ridiculous “Monarch” storyline, and four magical kids (rolls eyes), and so much stupid, small farming towns all over the US feel a sudden pressure to build Starbucks and strip malls and distance themselves from the slack-jawed locals of Chester’s Mill, it was squandered.
There, I said it.
This isn’t The Walking Dead. This isn’t Sherlock. This isn’t American Horror Story. Under The Dome isn’t like any of those shows that leave fans slavering for the next episode and the next season, not because it’s not on cable, but because somewhere between hardcover and screen, someone tinkered the soul right out of it. I can’t say I’m giving up on all King adaptions going forward, but I certainly won’t look upon them with any great enthusiasm. You’d think I’d learn my lesson – Firestarter: Rekindled, Bag of Bones, The Tommyknockers. No one has learned anything since, well, ever, and a body gets tired of promises made and not kept.
So here’s your Rock-Slug-Ferret-Baby back. I don’t want to watch its sad dance anymore.
Renovating, because the last theme started breaking down and I don’t have the skills to fix it. This one has issues as well, but I’ll deal with it later. Looking for a nice industrial theme — finding a theme that suits me that’s part rough ends, part scary me, part chick that likes French Tips. There’s no ready made theme for people like me, so I may have to spend a little time designing one. Oy.
My landlord has put my complex up for sale, so I’m enjoying a bottle (yep) of Primal Roots 2011 while I straighten and make this place not look (or smell) anything like my neighbors’. Four agents will be by tomorrow, to poke and judge and place a price on my home. I love my apartment but I hate my neighbors. I hate living with people who treat this place like public housing, where nothing needs to be taken care of and everything smells like dirty bodies, stale cigarette smoke and despair.
All I need to do now is smooth, wipe and spritz. I hope I remember where I hide everything.
I started a new story this week, based on a website pointed in my direction. It’s awful in it’s ignorant generalities, and cocky assertions about religions the webmistress clearly knows nothing about. I can’t wait to deconstructed those feelings.
Sure, I can make that voodoo doll for your Lammas/Rosh Hashanah celebration! It’s made with Ancient African Trading Beads and pages from a book of Nazi Lullabies
After I told myself I would let myself be hurt again, I’m watching MasterChef. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but like Hell’s Kitchen, I really wish the contestants had better personalities. As Four went down to Three, I cheered, because miserable human beings shouldn’t be allowed to cook for other people. Cooking is a joy. Serving people is a joy. Cooking with a crap attitude spoils the entire experience.
PG-13, 84 minutes
A group of thrill-seeking teens determined to find out whether paranormal activity exists on remote Munger Road uncover secrets of a deadly variety. Meanwhile, local cops race to contain the horror the teens have unleashed. (Netflix)
Starring: Bruce Davidson, Randall Batinkoff, Trevor Morgan, Brooke Peoples
Writer/Director: Nicholas Smith
Produced by: Insomnia Productions
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing (2011) (USA) (theatrical), Archstone Distribution (2012) (Non-US) (all media)
I wanted to like this movie. I really did. It combines the urban legend of The Ghost Children (San Antonio is a popular one) and your typical Serial Killer is Loose in a small town. So far it was pushing just the right buttons. I was willing to sit through the trite beginning because that’s how you get to the good stuff.
Four teens go up to Munger Road telling stories of doomed children hit by a train and their ghosts that push you to safety, and a nearby spook house that was the scene of multiple killings. Meanwhile, one chick is pregnant and mad at her boyfriend (because it’s clearly ALL HIS FAULT) and acts as the wet blanket for most of her scenes.As the teens have their scares with the baby powder, you know to see the wee fingerprints of the ghost children, they run into car issues (O NOES), their cell phones stop working (GASP) and they split up to find help (DON’T DO IT). What could possibly go wrong?
(As an aside, making a teen pregnant so she has a reason to live in horror movies is becoming stupid and stale, because surviving for the sake of surviving isn’t enough anymore. It’s a pro-life message that loses all sense and appeal — your life isn’t important, but save the unborn baby responsible for all of your misplaced aggression not fifteen minutes ago!)
If you think it’s a lot going on, you’re not far wrong, and there’s still a loose serial killer. The two whole cops (the wasted Bruce Davidson and Randall Batinkoff) sent to look for him are having zero luck, so *they* split up - “you take the long, pointless tunnel and I’ll take the house where the killer used to hold nefarious court and hopefully neither of us is horribly murdered!”
dun Dun DUUUUUUUUN!
Here’s where you get pissed off. As both stories converge and things finally start to get compelling – the story ends with a big old “TO BE CONTINUED”. If you’d like to see more, like how it ends or who the killer is, you’re out of luck since there is absolutely no word on whether or the rest of the movie will be filmed, and considering this movie two years old — sad trumpet.
In other words, we have essentially two unfinished movies jammed into one horribly unfinished movie with zero chance of anyone actually finishing it. Now I’m not sure what compels anyone to only film half a movie and then not have any concrete plans to release the second half. I wouldn’t consider this artsy, or experimental, but very lazy with shades of fiscal mismanagement. Munger Road is essentially a waste of 84 minutes, because nothing actually happens – when you think you’re about to get the big reveal, which was probably one of the teens killing off their friends with help a la Scream (oops. Spoiler Alert!), we get a black card and credits.
Here is something Mr. Director failed to learn in film school – “leave them wanting more” doesn’t mean giving your audience half a movie and hoping they pay you to make the rest. They won’t, in case you were wondering.
This movie is the equivalent of inviting someone back to your place, putting on soft music, spreading out the appropriate bedding, getting naked, excusing yourself to the bathroom, and then disappearing out the bathroom window, getting into your car and driving back to your real apartment across town.
Lose my number, Munger Road.
1 – Wow Factor – I thought it was going places.
2 – WanderLust – None, but you should have seen me burn up the interwebs when the movie ended.
3 – Rewind – A few moments were filmed well, but forget it, I don’t want to talk about them.
4 – Recommend – No. Never.
5 – (Fingerprints + (Twist to Scream + the backstory of Nightmare On Elm Street)) – Any Film With An Ending = Munger Road
6 – Netflix Rating – One Stars, because there is no Zero Star rating
hahahahaha: — suckers!
Photo Credit Planet of Terror
- Current Mood:digusted
This past weekend I ran my first 5K. I’ve been training since November of last year when it was still relatively warm in Michigan and I was keen to get away from the gym atmosphere of the local Y. Also, I’ve been noticing that some of my favorite characters (Harry Dresden, for example) are runners. I’m easily influenced.
I knew what 5K I was going to make my first, the annual Mt Olivet Sunrise Run in Detroit. I used the Couch-to-5K program from Active.com and after a few starts and stops over a few months, I was well on my way to serious training. I ran 3 days a week, per the program, and I switched up between programs and apps to keep from getting bored. When I was in New Orleans NOT MAKING A MOVIE ($#!@), I ran every other day in the 80 degree heat of 7am to stay on track. I ran through the Garden District, past Lafayette Cemetery #1 and Anne Rice’s home, past other stately mansions, over uneven brick pavers and generally felt good about my training.
My home course here in Royal Oak (just around the neighborhood) increased from 2.10 miles to 2.75 as I added streets and modified my route without venturing onto the major roads. I posted my running progress to FB because I needed to keep honest, and made running friends on Nike+. watching their running progress surpass mine in leaps as I kept to my under 3 miles a run, while they easily did several more. I began running the Nike+ app concurrent with my Couch-to-5K app to log total distance.
I drank more water and ate better lunches. I ran and sweated, panting and refining my still awkward form. I ran when it was icy and windy, pushed through the rain and once even light snow. I got better over considerably more time than 9 weeks, ran for longer, l earned to push myself just a little bit more every time. I imagined running partners and coaches driving me further. I added songs to my playlist and encouraged friends to suggest their favorites (which I happily added). When just the music wasn’t enough I discovered Zombies Run! which added that final kick of motivation, especially when running in the twilight.
I was determined not to fall flat on my first time out in a race. I want to be good in everything I touch, and deep down I worried I wouldn’t even finish and sometimes that means worrying more than necessary about the final outcome.
I probably shouldn’t have.
I ran my 5K in 40 minutes and 10 seconds, five minutes slower than in my dreams, five minutes faster than I thought I would actually do.
I don’t mind tell you I got a little emotional at the starter shot. I’m doing it I thought as the much faster 5k and 10K runners sped off. I jogged at my own pace for an entire mile and *that* felt good. I watched the speedy peeps disappear around headstones and through the tunnel, listening to my Race Day Mission in my headphones. See, I’m Runner 5, and me and Runner 8 were heading out to the Simpson’s Corner Shop for information and that’s about all I remember because somewhere after the first mile I zoned out. I could hear the music, but not so much the words of the mission. I was concentrating on making the next mile, not slowing too much, and not letting my heart explode.
I do remember flinching when the helicopter blew up my destination, which made me giggle since Mt Olivet is on the edge of City airport. I saw the finish line and with Runner 8’s encouragement, ran the entirety of the last kilometer. I got through it and finished in a time better than I anticipated, but not quite as good as I would have like (because I’m selfish). There may have been more than salty sweat in my eyes when I hit the chute. As serendipity would have it, The Oatmeal posted a six-part comic today about his long-distance running and what it means to him. It connected with me as a lot of Matt’s stuff does, but this most importantly:
“I run very fast because I desperately want to stand very still. I run to seek a void. The world around me is so very, very loud. It begs me to slow down, to sit down, to lie down. And the buzzing roar of the world is nothing compared to the noise inside my head. I’m an introspective person, and sometimes I think too much, about my job and about my life. I feed an army of pointless, bantering demons. But when I run, the world grows quiet. Demons are forgotten. Krakens are slain, and Blerches are silenced.” — Matt Inman
That’s why I’ll be out again tomorrow.
A respectable place for my first run — in my age group *weeps* (click to embiggen and bask in my glory)
If you’d like to be buddies on Nike+, hit me up and I’ll add you. I can always use a few more motivations.
My heart in broken into a million little pieces and I’ve been wandering the streets of the French Quarter and Lower Garden District collecting the shards. There’s a piece on Wilkinson, there’s a sliver in Bywater, there’s a large jagged hunk under a tree in Holt Cemetery.
What pieces I can find, I bring back to the Fairchild House. New Orleans is a strange city for a bout of depression and in spite of the festive colors and raucous atmosphere, I’m a misshapen weed at the base of a blooming and fragrant magnolia tree.
I’m supposed to be filming a movie this week, a little something I was very proud of and excited to bring to life. The setting of New Orleans wasn’t even my idea, because the story as written could be in any city, but since it was essentially someone else’s dime, the prep was made to film here.
In the end, it was no one’s dime but my own because the Over/With (née, “I Do This Because I Love You”) isn’t being filmed here in this city where I will spend the next 9 days because I have to. Alone. No cast, no crew, no film because the plug was literally pulled while I was in transit.
I don’t think I can fully express to anyone – and I’ve been trying to find the words over the last three days – how completely crushed, demoralized and gutted I feel. I have been made to feel in nothing so tangible as words but mere actions (or lack of) that my time, my money, my energy are worthless. Filming was going to begin without me in another city; apparently it was all set to go over there, while I sat here in New Orleans wondering what I did to deserve to be treated like a discarded gum wrapper.
Friends, family, co-workers – everyone was excited for me. I was on my way, they said. I was going places and it was a Very Good Thing. Yep, I was going to New Orleans to be told “these things happen” and now I can go home on the 10th (my stay here has been set in stone since March) to be recognized as a sucker, a chump, just another writer not worthy much more than last-minute smoke and misdirection.
I spent money (my own money I probably won’t see again, because why should some sucker be compensated), a good chunk of my vacation time (time I could have been at conventions networking and meeting like-minded people), not to mention my writing, my words, and my talent. I set aside deadlines, passed up projects and put professional capital on the line. What’s sitting here not making a movie netting me?
A big fat check in the Lesson Learned column with nothing to show for it.
I don’t even believe, because hindsight has painful clarity, that it was ever going to happen in New Orleans. I handed over my faith and my trust and I feel like I’m standing on my front porch dressed up for prom, and my date just called to tell me that there was a cheaper party nowhere near me but everyone would totally Skype me in, because clearly I wanted to be there.
There are things I won’t get back – money (yeah, it’s important and precious), time (I don’t write in a Pocket Universe), and my sense that a writer’s efforts are worth something.
The actors (I’d begun to think of them as *my* actors) got the shaft, too. How many of them put off commitments and other gigs to film this little short. What about their time and effort? Except they’ll probably be paid.
Not me, though.
Doug has been great, helping me find things to smile about, taking long walks with me, including me on the things he was going to do on his own while I was filming. My friends have been incredibly supportive, being angry and heartbroken with me, being furious for me. I love them for checking up on me, asking how I’m doing, wondering if I’m okay, because this feels like a horrible, tragic death.
And it is.
A really fantastic dream was murdered and I’m here in New Orleans to bury it.
About a week ago, while cleaning out the garage for the installation of a new door, my wedding dress was unearthed. Unfortunately like everything else in the place where I live, there are holes where there should be solid construction, and water from years of leaks did terrible things to the lace and satin and tulle. Doug brought it out of the garage and wanted to make sure I was prepared for the devastation, and he even got me a bourbon before he told me. He pointed to the box sitting on the back patio and noted with outstretched fingers the bowing and stains and large wetspot beneath the box. He gave me his saddest puppy eyes and said, “I’m sorry, but I think it’s ruined.”
We knocked back our drinks and marched outside to face the tragedy head on. Peeling back the soak cardboard confirmed the worst – water-stained and musty. The veil is undamaged and who knows what I’ll do with that, but the dress will never walk down the aisle again.
Before you get too sad about my wedding dress, you have to understand that I never actually wore it. Back in 1993, I received a box load of clothing from a friend in Nashville, and where he got them from I neglected to ask, or I fail to remember. In the box, along with a heavy woolen cape, was a boxed wedding dress, fitted size seven complete with satin bow and veil..
Back in 1993, a size 7 was easy peasy, with only a tiny bit of tightness and I promised myself I would wear it one day to my own wedding. I would pull it out over the next three years to see if it fit, and I finally got the chance to wear it for reals in April of 1996. I bought shoes and underthings to match. Because it had grown a little dingy from being out of the preserved box, my mother offered to have it professionally cleaned for me. It was a bit of housekeeping I greatly appreciated, since I all of our money was being pumped into the trip out west. I left it in her capable hands.
Mother used a dry cleaner she trusted, but unknown to any of us, they actually sent very delicate items to another dry-cleaner out of state. The Friday before we left, it still hadn’t made it back to the original cleaner and they assured her the dress would be forwarded to our hotel, Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas, and would greet us upon our arrival.
We took the train to Vegas, a route that sadly no longer exists and leaving on Monday April 7, 1996, it was two and a half days of relaxing and chatting, and being excited. On Wednesday, April 10, when we checked in, there was still no dress. Mother was beside herself. Doug and I decided to go shopping for rings at the local pawn establishments while Mother put on her best righteous indignation and rang the drycleaner.
When we returned with two shiny rings, she broke the news to us– the dress was nowhere to be found. The Wedding Dress drycleaner had returned the dress to Detroit the previous week, and it should have arrived in more than enough time for our trip. No one could track it down.
My dress was gone.
I was in Vegas, two days before my wedding and I didn’t have a dress. I also had nothing I wanted to be married in so I was at a loss.
I shouldn’t have worried. It was Vegas, and since you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a chapel OF COURSE you could find someplace to rent the dress at the dead last minute.
Enter San Franscico Sally’s. There isn’t a website that I can locate, but it’s still there and now it has a wedding chapel (duh). For the low-low price of $175 (which incidentally was the price of my prom dress 6 years prior) this lovely beauty:
The cost was covered by the dry-cleaner who felt just terrible, convinced my day was ruined, but honestly the day didn’t feel any less special in a dress that wasn’t mine.
So who knew there was a Detroit, Maine — certainly not I, but that’s where the dress ended up. Remember, this was in the days prior to Address Verification, and all of the carriers sent parcels first to the zip code and let the local carriers sort it out. The dress made it’s merry way back a few weeks after we returned from California. It migrated from beneath the bed, to in the closet, to high on a shelf in the garage, where I was sure it’d be safe from nesting critters. It wasn’t nature but neglect that ruined it.
So now I have this dress I have no chance of gettingt into — I mean, it was tough before the Boob Fairy whacked me in the chest — but I’d like to salvage it in some way because it’s still my dress, rust stains, moth holes, and all.
Now I’m entertaining ideas on what to do with it. Pillow, purse, dye it a lovely crimson, royal blue or deep purple?
What would you do with a dress you couldn’t wear but was ultimately too sentimental to simply toss away?
When you sit down in a theater with your $20 popcorn and your cup of 32 ounce soda (a cup they won’t let you pee into, might I add), you know you’re ready for an experience. You’ll see a film and you know there will be some special effects, some funny dialogue, some decent acting. But do you really know what’s going on and how all of that good stuff got there?
I thought I did.
I’ve been a horror movie fan since the Saturday afternoon Thriller Double Features on WXON TV20. I’ve seen guys in suits, prosthetic heads, wire work, green screen effects (especially the bad one). That I can still be impressed, both by the brilliance and the misfires , says a lot about the heart of the industry and the drive to make movies.
The last six months have been an eye-opening education on the drama behind the drama on screen, and I’ll admit, I got most of my prior information from tv and movies. What do you mean I don’t just sit in a chair and yell into a funnel? What work?
I have my actors, my crew, my producer. I have my meetings, my rehearsal footage, my rewrites. Everything is run by me and it’s almost like I’m a responsible member of this crew. I don’t know what I was expecting when I was tapped to direct this film, because there is no Directing Your First Film For Dummies, but I can’t say I’m unhappy with the hands-on experience. In fact, I’m thrilled by it. I’ve helped create pitch packages, had calls on wardrobe, discussed effects, scouted locations. Things are humming along in Austin in preparation of the shoot in New Orleans, but I’m involved as I can be here in Michigan.
There are 27 days before we begin filming, and every day I feel the sharp little teeth of panic chew away at the edges of this bubble of serenity I have, bringing the distance between here and New Orleans a little closer. Every day, 1,100 miles seems a little closer and I can practically feel those warm balmy days on my neck, I can feel the exhaustion of long days, the giddy delirium of short sleep, shorter tempers, unending resets. I feel like I’m simultaneously creeping towards June and rushing towards it like the swing of an axe.
Before I know it, I’ll be stepping of a train in New Orleans, checking into my room, meeting with my crew, filming, drinking, filming, wrapping, checking out, motoring back towards Royal Oak, and this phase of the experience will be over. Almost a year’s work of work and effort will move into post-production, at both a snail’s crawl and the blink of an eye. and I’ll be back in front of my computer, still trying to process the fact that it’s happening at all.
I honestly don’t know how to feel about this, but I think I’m welcoming it.