Monday, July 31, 2006

Out of the Frying Pan...

Specifically, out of the frying pan that was San Jose over the last week, and back home to our moist, green region of the globe. We even had rain over the weekend - huzzah! Now the sun is shining, temps are back down in the 70s and 80s, there's a cool offshore breeze, and there are are guys hanging drywall in my house!

I returned to face a bazillion demands, from the pleasant (Ordinary Angels production meeting) to the less so (sending my new hard drive to a data recovery company in CA). Just trying to get caught up with paying bills, keeping the kids fed and getting my house and financial records sorted out.

I snagged Monkey Forge as the name of my film production co. While somewhat silly at first, there are good reasons behind it:

  1. We are all monkeys.
  2. The reference to a certain number of monkeys with a certain number of typewriters will eventually give you the collected works of William Shakespeare... or something.
  3. I was born in 1968, Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac.
  4. In Chinese astrology, monkey people are clever, skillful, flexible, remarkably inventive and original.
  5. The forge is the source of creation for that which is functional as well as that which is beautiful.
Thus, MONKEY FORGE it is. Steve Hartley is already designing a logo graphic, and I will do the text design.

We had a great weekend hosting my friend JS and his wife who are seeking refuge from the blast furnace of Phoenix AZ. I think they liked our trees. And water. And blue sky. And rain. And food. And culture. Plus, the UW has a good cardio center, so he will be close to a facility that can handle his issues. I look forward to seeing them again (in less than 20 years this time)!

Now to get my hard drives ghosted so I can reinstall everything on my work computer and get back to WORK. Because laying out a playbill on my email laptop is like a trip to the DMV... it takes forever and is annoying as hell.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Surreal Reunions R Us

I know it's been almost a week - but holy crap.

Where were we?

Friday, 7/21: Got on the flight to San Jose. I was the only one the security guy made take his shoes off. I just think he wanted to see my dead-sexy athletic socks. The flight was uneventful, just the way I like air travel. San Jose airport is still a slum, which is interesting given the gentrification happening all over the Bay Area. When my stepmom bought her little house in Palo Alto back in the '70s, it was a sleepy little college 'burb, not so very affluent. That happened with the rise of Silicon Valley tech culture (and money). Now it's just freaky.

The Varsity theater on University Ave is now a (gulp) Borders. I saw Stop Making Sense there, once upon a time. People danced in the aisles. I saw Das Boot there in its first run (as well as a host of foreign and art house movies over the years). While working on the play Veronica's Room with Sam, I went down to the theater on a break and watched Mark Isham rehearse for a concert. My friend Gordon saw Lords of the New Church play live there. They had a full bar where Cure videos would play and a back alley that was solid graffiti - so much so that it was a landmark; bands would have publicity pics taken back there; Mark, Rob & I shot part of a college film back there. It's very sad, but I must say, unsurprising.

Anyway, veering back on topic, Friday consisted of getting settled with rental cars and motel rooms and whatnot, but I did squeeze in dinner with my buddy Konrad, actor & filmmaker.

Saturday, 7/22: Spent the day with Sam's folks. We drove up to San Francisco and went to the Exploratorium. I still remember when the place opened - I was in Jr. High and it was the coolest place evar. Of course now we're spoiled because we have the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, which is like the Exploratorium only cleaner and with air conditioning. Actually, the Exploratorium has a few more hands-on displays, and a new nanotechnology exhibit that they are getting the guests to build for them. Tyler worked on it for quite some time, and Kayleigh gave it some elbow grease (which we all had plenty of, what with the 90+ degree heat in the old warehouse structure). Even (or perhaps especially) Sam's dad got into it.

Had an early dinner and dropped the kids with the grands for a couple hours while I went to meet with drummer and happy polar bear twin, Steven Fox. Steve will be playing drums on several tracks for the tribute CD. We had a good time catching up.

Sunday, 7/23: Did I mention the Bay Area is having the same heat wave everyone in the country is having? We got some food and headed out to Mitchell Park in Palo Alto for the reunion picnic, the temps already pushing 90 at 10:AM. Crazy heat. Stupid heat. Ended up being 106 that day. Randy reported a high of 115 or thereabouts at his home in Rocklin.

Aaaaanyway, I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in 10 years (since the 10-year reunion), and it was interesting. The guys who were jocks back then mostly hung around the BBQ grill together talking about business acquisitions and whose wife had been caught sleeping with someone else, while the former arts people congregated in the shade of a tree and chilled out (as much as one can "chill" when the temp is climbing toward 100).

I was happy to see several of my old homies. Within minutes we were making with the yak yak like no time had passed. Some of them have kids of their own. Two are filmmakers (New York & Los Angeles), one is a dancer, two are chefs, some own their own businesses, one is a genetic scientist, and others are in software & hardware (of the computer variety). Our friends Paul & Marte showed up, despite the fact that Paul was in Sam's class ('85) and Marte was a year behind me ('87), they average out to '86, and we didn't hang out with our our own class exclusively anyway. Mark Allen & I agreed that we would have ruled YouTube if it had been around back in the day, with all of our backyard video shenannigans (I love that word). Surprisingly, only one person hadn't heard about Sam, so that was easy to handle. (Photo, L-R: Konrad, some dork, Mark, Ray)

After the picnic, some of us congregated back at my motel for a dip in the pool, followed by a nice Mexican dinner (and some muy bueno sangria). Turns out, Paul & Marte are on our return flight to Seattle. This is the second time such a random travel thingy has occurred. In 1999, Sam & I went on an Alaska cruise with her folks. We were on Holland-America, and a Celebrity ship was always right ahead of us or right behind us in every port of call. Turns out, Paul & Marte were on the Celebrity ship. We'd been in the same ports at the same time and had never known.

Monday, 7/24: Randy met us at the motel and we carpooled "over the hill" to Santa Cruz. I was a little rusty on highway 17. It twists and turns through the Santa Cruz mountains, and I used to navigate that sucker on autopilot. But the old knowledge soon returned and I shook off the rust. We congregated at the harbor where my dad had taken his intermediate sailing lessons. It's really cleaned up down there. As a kid, I used to play around the dumpster, which was usually full of porn.

We boarded the Chardonnay II, a beautiful 70' Santa Cruz design. The captain and his two crew were wonderful. We were under sail the moment we were past the breakers. The day could not have been more perfect - not too hot, not too cold, a steady breeze. We couldn't go out as far as we'd wanted to, simply because there was enough chop to make a burial at sea somewhat problematic. Some of my dad & stepmom's closest friends were there - all family, really. They threw flowers until the sea was a colorful carpet. Katherine released the ashes of Admiral Nelson, my dad's Amazon parrot. Then more flowers, then my dad. I was videotaping the whole thing, and was so intent on getting the shot that it wasn't until I was following the light gray splotch on the water's surface that I realized I wasn't "in the moment". So I put the camera down and filled my sunglasses as I watched the remains of my father drift away to be claimed by the sea. "Fair winds, Captain," I heard Randy say. "Following Seas," I added.

We gathered for lunch at the Crow's Nest, a great restaurant there at the harbor. Then Sara, Gavin & Michelle took the kids to the Boardwalk while Randy & I met up with another old Santa Cruz friend, Randy Rhodes (aka Dick Hollywood). Film connoisseur, critic, production guy and all around hack (in the best way possible), RR was a year ahead of me at Aptos High, and was in some film classes with Sam at SF State. We met at the top of Pacific Garden Mall and wandered down to The Catalyst for a couple beers. There is a certain vibe creeping back into Santa Cruz - it feels a bit more like its old self again. There was a homogenization after the big quake in '89, and it hadn't retained that old Santa Cruz bohemian weirdness. Some of that is back.

And The Catalyst hasn't changed at all.

Tuesday, 7/25: Still hot. The whole family met at Hobee's in Sunnyvale, where we had a trustee meeting and ate the famous blueberry coffee cake. Sara, Gavin & Michelle took Kayleigh and went to Great America, while Tyler & I headed into Palo Alto. I helped Katherine get to some stuff in the storeroom (which is basically the finished room in the garage of her rental home, the room that was once my dad's office, and my room when we kids moved in with them in 1984).

Then Tyler & I went up to University Avenue to meet with my buddy Mark, Pixar veteran, husband, father of twin 5yo boys. Mark and I went to school at Aptos, then lost touch when he moved to Athens, GA and I moved to Palo Alto. We reconnected in 1989 when Dave Beach and I were taking film courses at De Anza College and Mark just happened to be in one. The last time I'd seen Mark, the twins were less than a year old and Sam got to hold them. I'm happy that Mark & I have the kind of friendship that is always good - it's not a high-maintenance thing. There is always love and respect, regardless of time and distance.

Came back to the motel and let Tyler have a swim, then I collapsed and got a short nap between phone calls. Sara and the girls finally made it back about 6:PM, and she took off to hang out with her friends. My old friend Mike (whom I've known since 3rd grade) came out and we took the girls out for Chinese food while Tyler hung out in the motel room. After some digestion and whatnot, the kids got a swim and Mike & I got to chat. I'd seen Mike last year when he took his motorcycle road trip to Seattle, but it was still good to get caught up. Good things are happening to the two of us, and I hope it continues.

After a day at Great America, an hour in the pool and a belly full of Chinese food, the kids crashed out and are still not awake at the time of this posting.

Today we plan to have lunch with my uncle, and hopefully will get to see Dave Beach again before we leave.

This has been a wonderful trip, made so by the friends and family with whom we've interacted. But once again, it reassures me I live in the right city, that this area is not my home. I can't wait to get home and see Wiley and James Brown, see what progress has been made on the house, get set for Ordinary Angels casting... it's coming up on Crazy Time this fall.

Hang on tight.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


So, yeah.

Tomorrow morning, I will board a plane with my children, my sister and my neice. We will be hanging out in the old hood for a week. Oh yeah, and we're gonna scatter my dad's ashes off the Santa Cruz coast, where we did my grandfather's back in '84. My big bro Randy will be in attendance on the sail, and we're going to hang out in Santa Cruz for drinks that night, sort of an early birthday thingy for him.

Hoping to see a bunch of folks. Will likely be doing exactly that at the family BBQ for the Palo Alto High School class of '86. For you young folks reading this, I'm talking about 1886, when President Grover Cleveland wed himself a young girl in the White House and Karl Benz patented his newfangled gasoline-powered automobile. Coca-Cola was a nickel and Spain abolished slavery in Cuba.

Just kidding. I'm not quite that old.

No, we're talking 1986, when gasoline prices broke $1 per gallon and caused a major public outcry. We had funny colored hair and made sure our ties matched our socks, worshipped teen-avatar John Hughes and an art house Aussie named Mel Gibson. The space shuttle Challenger blew up, Germany was still two separate countries, and Ronald Reagan made jokes about starting World War 3. Huzzah!

It was also the year I released my first film, took a roadtrip to Canada with my future wife, and realized that the easy part was over - I was a legal adult and needed to act the part. So much for that. All that history was part of another life, and although I can look back fondly and remember the fun and challenging times I had when I was "that guy", I'm not "that guy" anymore. So it'll be interesting to see friends from that time, see how they've changed (or not). I have zero expectations and quite a few non-school chums to link up with.

While we're gone, the contractors should be hanging drywall. The garden window is in and the floors & doors have been chosen. There's electrical wire, coaxial cable and CAT5 network cable running everywhere. I hope to come back to solid walls.

I'll keep blogging from CA, if I can. Peace out, my homies.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Serendipitous, And Then Some

Last night, as I slipped off to sleep, I surrendered to the goodwill of the Universe, and asked for good things to be put in my path...

This morning, as I awoke refreshed from a restful sleep, I offered thanks for the gifts it had offered in the past, and made it known I was ready for some Really Good Stuff (TM)...

I went to Southcenter with Kayleigh to replace the leather jacket I'd lost in the fire. We hit Wilson's, and I found an awesome black bomber in a "big & tall" cut (for length, thank you - I have been losing weight). Discovered this jacket (ordinarily $350) was on clearance for $60.

Thank you, Universe!

Took Kayleigh to the West Seattle street fair, parked at my brother's place and walked up the hill to the Junction. As we passed the stalls of Hawaiian ice and tie-dye clothing and political-cause-on-a-stick, I saw that Village Woodworks was having a sale (PLUS they pay sales tax). On a whim, I ducked inside to walk around and look. Ordinarily, they are way out of my range - REALLY awesome, solid wood furniture in the $1000+ range for just about anything. But I happened to spy a solid pine dining table in a country/craftsman style, with corner legs (thick and lathe turned), 4 matching chairs like the set we used to have, $280. AND they'll hold it until the house is finished. One less room to furnish, at a STEAL for the quality!

Thank you, Universe!

On the way back to Gavin's, we passed the south stage, and who should be performing a live acoustic set, but my favorite Seattle songbird, Carrie Akre (formerly of Hammerbox, Goodness and The Rockfords)?! She showcased a few of the songs from her new album in-progress, as well as a few of her earlier solo pieces. Kayleigh sat piggyback and got to see one of her singer-songwriter idols. We got an intimate serenade from 10-feet away, and left the fair at the end of her set, very happy indeed.

Thank you, Universe!

We arrived home to find the painters working on the north side of the house. And Shandalla came over and cooked lemon chicken and green beans and a mozzarella/tomato/basil salad for dinner.

Thank you, Universe!

I'm so happy with today. I mean, it really doesn't matter how or why - whether its random chance, or just my perception of good stuff happening or whether I'm making it happen by putting myself in synch with the Universe. What matters is I feel in synch, and I feel like I'm empowering myself (forgive the use of the "e" word) to manifest good in my life.

It's just another step forward, and it's nice to feel like I'm not taking three steps back at the same time. And it's nice to feel like I'm not jousting my daily windmills for nothing.

Tomorrow starts the kids' Pacific Science Center day camps, so I may not have a lot of time to post this coming week. We leave Friday morning for California. I will try to take pictures and post some here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Once More, Unto the Breach

So I managed to get through the week (le pant, le gasp). Think I put more miles on the car this week than in the past month. Mostly in trips down to Southcenter to order, pick up and/or exchange lighting hardware for the house. The HVAC guys ended up taking up a lot more space downstairs than before, so there are a number of very... er, "creative" soffit constructs here and there. It is so amazing to see how little these guys consider the other trades when doing their own work. 'Scuse me, just gonna bust through this wall here... what? You don't want a two-foot box hanging down from the middle of your bedroom ceiling??

Anyway, the insurance company, in their infinite generosity, has given me a whopping $1500.00 allowance for replacing my upstairs appliances. That means I will be out of pocket another four grand or so (on top of the four grand for the cabinetry). Joy. We can cover that with some of the contents settlement, but I really have to be careful.

Looks like I will be running speaker and network cable today and tomorrow, and the electrical will be finished up next week (followed by inspection). Insulation will also go in next week, and the drywall will go up while we're in California. Target date for move-in is end of September.

It's hell trying to keep organized records in this micro-office next to my bed, but I really need to pull together all the financials from last tax year to give to my poor, long-suffering accountant. I wonder if there is a subconscious reason I've procrastinated so long in getting the records together - like it's a way to hold onto Sam. 2005 is the last tax year I can file married. A lot happened that year. A lot I'd like to forget, and a lot I never want to forget.

Or maybe it's just because we had a fire and a lot of our records were destroyed, and I've had a host of other priorities at the same time. Regardless of the excuse, I need to get the records to the accountant before we leave for California.

My neighbor/friend/actress/producer Darlene accompanied the kids and me to the hospital on Thursday night to visit Caleb. He's in fine, surly spirits. Apparently, his major criteria for being discharged is that he must fart. I offered to bring him some Taco del Mar, but he declined. Apparently beef broth, jello and tea are more his thing. Honestly, I didn't expect both kids to want to go with us to the hospital - the last two people they visited in such a setting died. But they did, and they were good. The kids left a mantra on the whiteboard:

Happy thought for the day...

Addendum: Andrew has this posted over at his LiveJournal. I decided to check it out, and surprise surprise...

If You Ruled the Land . . . by wackyweasel
Your first name:T-bone
How you gained your rule:Rightful heir!!
Your title is:Your Great Grand High Majesty
Your symbol is:the cat, because cats are fluffy and nice
You rule from:a great, golden, gem-studded palace
At your side is:your Jack Russel terrier, Wishbone Jr.
Your enforcers, troops, and guards are all:centaurs! They should NOT be so hot . . . oh well!
Your most popular law is:Kareoke Wednesdays, with prizes! EVERYWHERE!!
Your least popular law is:Regulation of a national favorite color
Your worst enemy is:cranberries - ewww
Your popularity rating is:: 85%
Your chance of being overthrown is:: 16%
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pirates of the Hasselhoff

Took the kids to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I liked it. Some parts were a bit scary for Kayleigh, but she was never scared to the point of closing her eyes - she just squeezed my hand and whispered, "Eeeewww - that guy has an octopus head!" Tyler loved it, especially the return of the zombie monkey from Curse of the Black Pearl. Be sure to stay for the credits, as there is an extra little tidbit at the end.

Afterward, we went to Seattle Lighting and picked up the fixtures for the house. Drove all the way home with an 8-foot track light bar bisecting the interior of the Sportage. It was cool to get out with the kids and do a summer thing like go to a great popcorn type movie.

Of course, I got home to see my brother had left me a message consisting of this link. He said it would make me want to gouge out my eyes with forks. He was right.

So now I sit typing blind with stupid forks in my eye sockets, and rejoicing that the plumber is back out at the house, fixing some issues. I think we passed plumbing inspection and he was going to make said changes after said inspection. And I have a rental house living room full of boxed light fixtures. I win.

Spare some juju for my good friend Caleb, who has gone under the knife today to have almost a foot of his colon removed. We're thinking about you, buddy!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Manic Monday


Just... Wow.

Awoke to Wiley going seven kinds of apeshit because of all the activity happening at the house today. The painters were there, working on the exterior. The electricians were there, running wire. The HVAC guys were there, running heating conduit. I went over and started pruning the neglected hazelnut trees, and of course got pulled aside by each sub for an opinion or clarification.

Then these local gardeners came by asking for work. Half an hour and $100 later, the giant camelia bush in front and its nondescript bushy cousin around the side were gone, chopped up and hauled away. Sweet.

Steve came by to have lunch, which was awesome. Been too long since I've seen the Bro-Hamma.

And here are some pics of the outside of the house now...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

As Promised...

As promised, here's the final poster for Once Upon a Mattress. I usually strive for more of an artistic design sense (see last year's poster for Fiddler on the Roof), but in choosing the Medieval illumination motif, I kind of limited my options in that regard.

In the tradition of Medieval picture commentary, I added little "word balloons". The prince on horseback is saying, "More than my ice cream do I love thee... let us get hitched," to which the princess replies, "Pulleth my finger." The dude on the far right is holding a coffee pot (embellished with a slightly altered logo from a particular Seattle-based coffee company), and promising, "One venti double-shot espresso cometh up."

I'm off to my friend Shandalla's birthday gathering. Coffee tomorrow AM with Ron, followed by studio time at Brian's, to lay down the basic tracks for the last three songs on the tribute CD - by God, I will get that done. Then I have to go by rehearsal in the PM to drop off a CD with the poster and flyer designs so they can get materials ready for the West Seattle Street Fair.

The plumber has been working all weekend on my house, so hopefully he will be done when the electrician comes in on Monday to start running wire. I just bought my couches for the family room at the local LaZboy clearance (and even at clearance - yikes!), and am having them hold the pieces for 2 months to allow the contractors to finish. The painter has already started on the exterior. Every day it takes shape a bit more.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All Depression and No Sleep Makes Todd Something Something

"Go crazy?"
"Don't MIND if I do!!"

Skipping ahead from the Simpsons reference, one of the reasons I have not posted in the last several days is that I've not been getting more than 3 to 4 hours sleep at night. Part of it is depression. When Samantha and I were together, one of the things we did was put up with each other - I think that's a certain percentage of every relationship. You put up with each other's quirks and foibles. I put up with her explosive temper, and she put up with my "artistic temperament", by which of course I mean bipolar swings. Oh yes. That particular condition is pretty common in the general public, and my family is a little cutaway view.

In the months after our marriage counseling in 2000, I decided to see a shrink - just to get a few things ironed out and refine my toolkit for being a productive partner. What came out of those few sessions were: 1) clarity of the behavior patterns on both sides of my family; 2) a diagnosis of "mild bipolar disorder".

Fortunately, the shrink recommended I not seek a pharmaceutical remedy. By his reasoning, I had a mild form of the condition, meaning my highs and lows were slightly higher and lower than the average joe. He also said that because I'd demonstrated throughout my life the ability to "ride the lows" and "capitalize on the productive energy of the highs", medication in my case would only dull the extremes and serve to neuter my artistic insight. I believe great art is born of extremes - some of the greatest minds in history weren't quite right.

But this also means that after I lost my wife and father so close together, my depressive swings throughout the grief process tend to be lower than normal (but since there's truly no "normal" in grief, that and four bucks will buy you a latte).

So for the past week, I've simply been treading water - dealing with the immediate needs of the kids, the contractors, and my family and friends. The rest of the time I'm pretty dead inside. Some people sleep a lot when they're depressed. I wish that were my case. But it's not. I sulk, stew and get really quiet. In the past, "down" times like this have inspired some of my best creative concepts. But this time, the "down" is mostly focused on feeling isolated.

If we were in our own house, it would be better.

If dad were here, it would be better.

If Sam were alive and healthy, it would be better.

Or so the depression says. I take it with a grain of salt. Nothing that goes on in my brain during these cycles do I take 100% seriously. It's all part of the process, and eventually things will be more in-balance.

So last night, for the first time in over a week, I got 7 hours of sleep. And I had what was probably the second most disturbing dream about Sam (the first being detailed in the So Long and Goodnight entry). Keep in mind we've lived in the same house in the same neighborhood since early 1995, and have seen a lot of development occur to the local area in the past 11 years. So I was not surprised to find myself standing in a composite setting of the Westwood parking lot between the BofA and the Staples, mixed with a bunch of downtown Renton of all places (we did live in Renton for our first year and a half in Washington, before moving to West Seattle in 1992).

So I'm there, looking around at the different construction, marveling at how different everything looks from my vantage point. And suddenly Sam is approaching me, healthy, 30-ish, worried look on her face, arms outstretched in a hug. I put up my hands and turn away. I can't face her again. She's dead, damnit, and this isn't fair. She's giving me that concerned cooing she usually did to calm me down when I was upset - the shushing, the "it's okay honey", all of it. And I'm trying to be strong and turn away through a veil of tears. "Please don't," I protest. "You're dead. I can't do this again. It hurts too much."

And she comes right up to me and wraps me in a soft embrace, and I feel my defenses crumble. I melt into her arms. "I'm so sorry," she whispers in my ear. "I'm so sorry, baby." She cradles my face in her hands and touches her forehead to mine. "I love you. I'm so sorry." She keeps repeating it over and over.

She mentions someone else being responsible, but responsible for what, I'm not sure. It seemed to have to do with the cancer, an earlier diagnosis and/or different treatments. Coulda-woulda-shoulda stuff. It's a dream - it rarely makes rational sense. And by that point, I feel too overwhelmed to make any rational sense of anything. The end.

These things always make me feel like I've taken a huge step backward in letting go. But I guess now is a good time for any of that to go on, since I'm not dating or in a relationship. It could be disastrous later.

I'm not sure this makes any sense, and it really doesn't matter - this blog is primarily my catharsis, and secondarily a touchstone for others. Speaking of which, I would like to thank those people who have emailed me, widda and non-widda alike. It feels good to know you appreciate what I write here, and some of you can identify with the path I walk.

A non-blogging widda friend (who shall remain anonymous) recently wrote me to express her current state, and I could really identify with this piece:

"I go through each day with a mask on. I throw fake smiles at everyone, I drone into the mindless chatter with co-workers and people have actually said that they admire my strength and I feel like screaming at the top of lungs because I don't have it together, I am broken and I fear this will be my fate until the grave finally accepts this carcass known as my flesh, because the spirit seems to have already abandoned me..."

This really sums up loss and the grief process. There's a lot of fear involved. A lot of unknowns. And sometimes the best we can do is to be there for (and lean on) one another. Just keep moving - in any direction. Because movement - in any direction - is still movement. Grief is a cyclical beast. There are no whys and hows. It just is, and you take the experience and hope you become a stronger human being for having it.

Be well.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Summer Craziness (and Some are Not)

The pun above is courtesy of my late father, a big fan of language and dumb humor. And of course, I got stuck with the same warped sense of humor, albeit with a bit more cultivated sense of irony and sarcasm - (big wink to pop on that one).

The week has been filled with the usual packed scheduling of dealing with contractors, planning family events, entertaining two schoolchildren without the school, while trying to check off the items on my own to-do roster.

I started on the poster for this summer's Pandemonium show, Once Upon a Mattress. At first I thought I might do a stacked-up mattress design with the title in the layers of mattress. Then I went online and discovered that EVERYONE DOES A STACKED-UP MATTRESS DESIGN WITH THE TITLE IN THE LAYERS OF MATTRESS. So I decided instead on a more classic Medieval illuminated manuscript idea. Looks good so far. I'll post it here when it's all approved and stuff.

Had a production meeting for Ordinary Angels with Heath Ward & Darlene Sellers last night. The test scene we shot on Wednesday looked good enough that we unanimously green-lit the project and are shooting in September. I'm thrilled and petrified at the same time, but Heath is a real pro and makes the process a lot easier. Caleb and I are scouting locations tomorrow.

Took the kids to see Cars today, and were not disappointed. Pixar is a storymaking machine, and hasn't failed to stay on-message for seven films. It is a great story, beautifully executed, full of remarkable characters and great shtick.

Tyler & I had another butting of heads until 2:30 AM last night, but we ironed it out today and had a great time at lunch and the movies.

Just let me get through all the summer events and get the kids back in school...

Oh, and we may be able to move back into our home by mid-September. There was much rejoicing... or, there will be, when we actually do the moving.