Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life In Review

Over the weekend I participated in a speed film contest- I am not finished with my blog on that event yet, but let's just say I was asked to do things I never thought I would do. Like stand up on a narrow strip of ceiling beam that was thrown in a junk yard in a baby blue dress while wearing false eyelashes. More on that later.

....The weekend before I worked on a student film in downtown Martinez of all places. This means nothing to most people except that it was weird for me because I grew up in this small town and I never thought I would film there.

That's my co-star Shea, pretending to wait for a train at the Martinez Train Station.

...Keeping with the film theme, my good friend and ex-co-worker Dennis Glasco, produced and acted in a short film that was shot for this year's annual A Place Called Sacramento Film Festival. Dennis has taught acting classes in the past and one of his former students, Nathan Reedy, wrote a script that was selected to be produced for this festival. This event has sold out for the last three years. If you get an itch to drive towards the Delta this Sunday, buy your tickets here.  

Dennis and Nathan Promoting Their Film

...and in NOT keeping with the film theme, last but not least, my lower back on the left side has been hurting lately. I did a lot of driving over Labor Day weekend and it started hurting the next day. So I iced it, took drugs and it eventually went away, but then two days ago, the pain came back. I am a back-pain virgin, so I have no clue how to remedy it. When you tell people you have back pain, then all of a sudden, everyone becomes a doctor, nurse or healing guru. I have been told all sorts of things, advice-wise. Anything from "You should get an X-ray", to.."You don't need an X-ray""Your pain is emotional""You need a massage."

So I took yesterday off to rest my back, but it turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year and I do not have air conditioning in my second story apartment in Oakland, so I had to flee to the beach. Yes, I know, poor baby. Somehow ocean waves were supposed to help soothe the pain.

Okay, they did a little

But I was still hurting this morning so I called Kaiser (squirm if you must) and they had a doctor call me back. She recommended over the phone a Physical Therapy class and prescribed a high dose of Motrin. She was so quick to give me drugs, I think I could have talked her into giving me Vicodin if I wanted to. But I hate Vicodin, it makes my stomach hurt and i don't really need stomach pain as well. Good thing I am not a druggy.

I asked the doctor "Where do I pick up the pills? In that pharmacy line?" She replied, "Man, you really ARE a newbie!"

I HATE HOSPITALS! They smell and I find them depressing. Sorry that's mean. I am cranky because of the back pain.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Our little-movie-that-could met our funding goal and then some!

Now that we have our $$$, we are officially in pre-production.  The location is secured, most of the crew and cast is in place, and because we are in a speed film making contest starting this Friday, we now wait for final instructions from the mothership loarding up above in the big P.G.A. sky.  Basically, we won't know our theme or genre until Friday afternoon, so our improv skills must be sharp!  I am sensing an off-the-cuff-shoot-from-the-hip type of vibe a la Bowfinger.

In the meantime, meet part of the cast and crew:


Ellie Wheeler

Nathan Cooper


Production Assistant- Pam Saavedra

Hopefully all goes well and we don't end up having to film a scene like this:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Have A Dream.....

I am working on a short film with a small group of friends for a 48 hour film contest that will be taking place the weekend of September 23-25th, sponsored by the Producers Guild of America.

We are fundraising for this project, so if anyone out there feels moved to donate (you can even give just one dollar!)- that would be awesome! As I write this, we only need $180 left to reach our goal and we have 4 days left!

For more information on our project and how to donate- go here:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Was I Speeding Officer? And Other Moving Violations

Last Wednesday evening I was pulled over by a cop in the quaint town of Pleasanton, California. I was on my way to an appointment and was a bit disoriented because I decided to listen to my GPS for a change and it steered me in a different direction from the route I normally take.

I came to a four way stop as I got close to my final destination. As I proceeded to make a left turn on the street of the chosen address, I saw flashing lights behind me, and I didn’t know why.

Puzzled, I pulled over and rolled down my window and stared at the young police officer in disbelief. He must have read my face because it wasn’t one of guilt, but one of confusion and so he informed me:

“It wasn’t your turn.”

I still looked confused. I didn’t remember seeing another car at the intersection.

“Have you ever gotten a ticket before?” He asked.

“No,” I responded sheepishly, assuming he meant moving violations only and not parking tickets. That’s another story.

“No?” He asked shockingly.

“Just parking tickets,” I confessed to him as I handed him my driver’s license and registration. Thinking that he might give me a break if he saw on my license that I actually lived in Oakland and was just visiting, I piped up:

“I’m sorry. I’m not from around here.” (Translation: I live in a town with real crime where no one ever gets pulled over for running a stop sign, doing donuts in an intersection, making illegal u-turns, speeding or jaywalking in front of a cop).

Unimpressed, he glared and reminded me:

“It was a stop sign.”

“Yeah, but I am all turned around,” I pleaded, “I was looking for a building on this street for an appointment.”

“I’ll be right back.” He said and went back to his motorcycle.

As I watched him through my rear view mirror writing something down on a piece of paper, I started praying he wouldn’t give me a ticket. Then a flood of memories all of a sudden came to the forefront of my mind. I realized that I had forgotten all about that one time I had gotten a ticket for making a turn at a “No Turn On Red” intersection in San Francisco back in 2005 while on my way to my then-boyfriend’s gig in a small club in the city. And then I remembered another time I got a ticket for getting in a “Carpool Only” freeway on-ramp, also in San Francisco. When I cried to that officer about how “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t see the sign”, he still gave me a ticket. Later that same day, I would get pulled over AGAIN, for apparently another STOP sign incident. This time I just showed the second cop the ticket I already had and cried and he let me go. Then there was that one time when I was speeding down Concord Blvd. in the city of Concord late at night in the dead of winter, when a cop drove up next to me and motioned me to roll down my window. I did, and then he yelled, from his cop car to me, “It’s too cold to get out of the car- SLOW DOWN!” Then he sped away.

Or that one time when I was pulled over for a broken tail light with a male friend of mine in the passenger seat of my car. When the officer asked to see my registration, I couldn’t find it and started digging through a bag of papers I had in my back seat. My car had been cleaned earlier that day and I took everything that looked like it might be important and stuck it in a bag so the inside of the car could be vacuumed. As I pulled out one paper at a time I looked up at the officer innocently and asked, “is this my registration?” He would look at it and say, “no.”

“Is this it?” I pulled out another piece of DMV paper.

“No.” he said.

“Is this it?” I pulled out an expired proof of insurance copy.

“NO! JUST GET IT FIXED!” He snapped as he gave up on me.

My male friend told me I didn’t get a ticket that day, because I was a girl.

As I continued to look out my rear view mirror, I wondered if this Pleasanton police officer was running my driver’s license to see if I had a record. Did I just lie to a cop?

He finally came back over to me and handed me a piece of paper.

“I am giving you a warning.”

Oh thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I still made it in time for my appointment and was grateful for the answer to my prayers. The outcome doesn’t always turn out like I want it to, but so far I am winning.

Theresa: 3

Tickets: 2

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Girl Who Went Back To The Ocean: Woman Vs. Wave

The weatherman on television last Thursday said that the weather was supposed to be in the 90's inland and in the 60's by the coast over Labor Day weekend.  The weatherman said the fog would stay off shore and it would be a beautiful day at the beach.

Putting all my trust in the weatherman, I got up the next morning on Friday, cleaned up and decided to head out to the ocean because he said that the following beaches which "faced south" would have killer waves, unusual for this time of year:

Stinson Beach (too crowded and too north)
Santa Cruz (just went there recently and too south)
Pillar Point (this porridge is just right)

I got on Yelp and looked up Pillar Point.  I was promised some tasty waves, a dirty beach, but excellent conditions for beachcombing. Whole sea shells that aren't broken? You mean I don't have to buy the fake kind at Pottery Barn? I'm in!

I got a late start as I left my Oakland apartment slightly before 2pm and headed towards San Francisco on that beautiful summer day.  I had high hopes as I breezed over the Bay Bridge and into the city. The sky was blue, the sun was shining but as I passed through San Francisco and drove towards Daly City, this big dirty cloud of fog came over the freeway and I began to panic.

"Don't worry," I told myself, "Daly City is ALWAYS foggy! This too shall pass!"

I whizzed past Daly City and greeted the first coastal town of Pacifica.  And it greeted me back with more fog.


This is not happening! This was supposed to be one of our hottest days of the year and I understand that our Northern California beaches have always had a bit of an attitude, but NOT TODAY!

I passed the first beaches in Pacifica and as I drove towards Linda Mar Beach, I saw a break in the clouds and hope for my future.

But then it went away again.

I hit "Devil's Slide" on Hwy 1 and the fog was back.  Since I was driving up a hill, I figured on the drive back down the hill, towards the next town of Montara, and then Moss Beach, that the fog would disappear.

But it stayed with me.

I couldn't even SEE the ocean as I drove through the Slide.  Was my late summer trip to the coast going to be a complete bust?

I was fretting as I made a right onto Capistrano Blvd. off of hwy 1 to check out Pillar Point.  I drove around looking for angry waves, but all I saw were boats docked calmly in a cove of water.  I was pissed.

I had cloud cover and no waves? This is what I drove 50 minutes for? I decided to get back on the highway and drive a little more south- and it finally paid off.

At first I hit traffic and I thought, "that's odd", but then I saw why.  To my right, as I drove slowly, cruising at 15 mph in a line of cars, were all the crashing waves I was promised. They crashed so hard, they looked like they could have hit the highway.  So I did what any other ocean junkie would do - I pulled over and parked on the side of the road with all the other tourists.

The angry waves did not disappoint.

Woman vs. Wave!

I realized if I wanted to get a better shot, I would have to put my bag down, get on a rock, and capture the moment.  It was nice to be able to put my bag down and not worry about anyone taking it because I wasn't in Oakland:

All of my personal belongings in there!

Come to mama!

Nothing makes me happier than rogue waves. I am not sure why I find them so comforting.  A close second to rogue waves, would be collecting sea shells and this time, the beachcombing experience did not disappoint and I filled up my water bottle:

Should I make a sculpture with them?

When I wasn't finding sea shells, I was finding sea junk.  It's always interesting to me what washes up on shore. I always wonder what the story is behind this stuff:

Multi Colored Rope?

Multi Colored Sea Weed?
Watermelon anyone?
Is that a pair of scissors?
Message in a bottle?

After a couple of hours of getting gritty in the sand, I got some excellent dinner at a local seafood restaurant, grabbed a cup of joe at a new coffee shop in town and got back on the highway feeling a little more satisfied than I had just a few hours before.  With inspiration for a new blog in my heart, I felt renewed to never give up hope on finding what I am looking for.  I can now check Pillar Point off of my beachcombing bucket list and can confidently say that I will continue to be- the girl who went back to the ocean.

Until next time...