Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Come see where I live! (VIDEO)

It's not as shaky as the first one, but I could still do with a steadicam.  I apologize for the cuts, but I accidentally said The Kid's name twice, so they were necessary.



If you make it all the way to the end, you'll see a scary surprise.  :)




Behind the scenes

I just shot the video tour of my house, but it's sooooo shaky that I'm going to try doing it again (I could really use a steadicam).  Since the camera battery needs charging, I thought I'd share with you all a little clip I found when I uploaded the video to my computer.

 This was shot by The Hubby at my friend Todd's home, the night before we filmed his scenes for He Thought/She Thought.  The woman in the video with me is his gorgeous wife. Basically, if He Thought/She Thought had been a full-length film, this would have made it onto the special features as a behind the scenes making-of featurette:



If you never got a chance to see the short film we made, here it is again:


Video tour coming soon!  :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

F this S.

Talking with Phyllis has gotten me nowhere.

For those of you who are playing catch up, my family moved into a haunted house three weeks ago and it's way less cool than you'd imagine.

Yesterday sucked.

As I was cleaning The Kid's [completely empty] room yesterday, I got shot by a toy projectile.  It didn't hurt, the sun was up, and I was barely even annoyed--certainly not freaked out.

Fast forward to last night. 

The Kid, The Hubby, and the dogs were all in bed.  I stayed up late watching a National Geographic documentary on PBS (ok, it was Showtime, and it wasn't so much a documentary as a reality show--there were boobs, though) and headed upstairs around 12:30. 

As I was brushing my teeth, I heard a noise.  It sounded like it could have been an alarm coming from outside.  I ignored it for a few seconds, and then I realized that it was coming from inside the house (just like the babysitter in that urban legend!).  I put down my toothbrush and walked into the hall, trying to follow the high-pitched "dun....dun...dun......dun..dun". 

My ears brought me directly into The Kid's room, where he was still sleeping, blissfully unaware.  As I zeroed in on the sound, I realized that it was coming from this:

I took this today, in broad daylight. I did put it back exactly as I found it last night, though.
The piano book was playing.  By itself.  One note, over and over and over.  As soon as I stood in front of the bookcase and discovered where the sound was coming from, it went silent, even before I touched it.

WHAT THE HELL, PHYLLIS???

I was really freaked out.  Not sure what to do, I picked up the book, woke up The Hubby, and told him what happened.  He mumbled an "Oh yeah?" and rolled back over to sleep.  I put the possessed book in the guest room and tweeted until I was tired enough to fall asleep myself.

This was the last straw.  I am tired.  Sleep is important to me.  I do not have time for this crap.  I just want to live here, guys.  I do NOT want to move again any time soon.

Today, after a suggestion from blogger Ian, I contacted TAPS (tv's Ghost Hunters) through their website.  At Joshua's suggestion, I had The Hubby visit our friendly local occult store and pick up some sage on the way home so that we could burn it and cleanse the house.
 
Not a joint.  Sage.
The Kid and I did not miss even a corner of a closet with that sage smoke, and you know what?  I think it worked.  It just feels different in here now.  As I was making a final pass around the back porch, I looked around and it felt like I was looking at the house for the first time.  Everything looked new. 

Let's just assume this worked, shall we?  I'm ready to move on.  Let's hope that Phyllis is too. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Go away, Phyllis!

This ghost thing is getting out of control.

I thought old Phyllis was done messing with us.  Aside from the occasional cell phone interference, I hadn't heard from her in days.  We were living harmoniously...until last night.

Around 11:30 PM last night, I climbed into bed with The Hubby and our two dogs.  I'd been lying there for a good five minutes, trying to decide on which lucid dream I'd like to experience (hey, it's worth a shot), when I heard a very loud


*%#*CRASH*%#**


from another room.  Breaking glass.

Now, I know what you're all thinking:  it must have been something I'd set into motion while I was getting ready for bed.  I thought that too.  I figured maybe it was the photo hanging in the bathroom and I'd somehow brushed it on the way out of the room and left it wobbling for the last five minutes or so, until it couldn't take it anymore and fell off the wall.

No such luck.

Upon investigation , I discovered (okay, I woke up The Hubby and HE discovered) that the sound came from two picture frames falling off of a shelf and onto the floor.  In the guest room.  Which is only ever used in the mornings, since that's where The Hubby irons his clothes and gets dressed. 

The glass in the larger frame broke, but the smaller one was alright.  I was going to take a picture of it when it happened, but I was too scared of what else may show up in the photo, so I took this one today and added some helpful information.


The two that fell are the one with the arrow pointed at it and the one to its left. 

See the lip on that shelf?  That's the thing that's really baffling me.  I mean, if the pictures had been slipping, the lip would have caught them, right?  Also, how did they both fall?  They didn't overlap.  You may be thinking it's rodents, but I haven't seen any evidence of mice here, and this shelf is about five feet off the ground, so there goes that theory.

I'll have another talk with Phyllis when The Kid isn't around, but this is getting ridiculous.

My first instinct is to call a paranormal investigation team, but when I look those up online, they all say that they don't do ghost removal, just investigation.  Also, you have to let them in your house at night, and I don't want to scare The Kid--so far, we haven't used the G word in front of him.  Yesterday, he was talking about how his toys kept ending up where he didn't put them, and he just said, "Well, life IS weird.".  Gotta love the thought process of a five-year old.

What do you guys think I should do?  I'm not really scared of her--well, maybe a little bit at night, but mostly she's just a nuisance.  I plan on doing the video tour of the house in the next few days, and I hope I can get rid of her before then, but if not it may turn out to be a really creepy tour.

I'd really like people to come visit me, so we need to get this ghost situation under control ASAP.  Who would travel all the way out to Philadelphia to be terrorized by paranormal activity?  Even the promise of pretzels, sandwiches, and day trips to NYC won't lure in friends and family if they're afraid of my house.  :(

Help!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Poor boys.

Today, as I have done many days now (Philadelphia is soooo going to make me fat), I took The Kid to get a slice of cheese pizza at the pizza place up the street.  Since there was a cartoon on the TV there that he wanted to watch, and I was in no hurry to get back home, we decided to sit and eat there.

About halfway into the meal, a group of three boys came and sat at the table behind us.  They were ranging in age from about 6-8 years old, and they had the most hilarious conversation.  It went something like this:


Boy #1Do you think there are more girls in the world, or boys?

Boy #2:  More girls, definitely.

Boy #3 There are more girls now, but there used to be more boys, until the Titanic.  They let all the girls and women on the boats and made all the guys go down with the ship.  So now, there's more girls."


I am no longer afraid that my kid will know the least of anyone in his class when he enters Kindergarten this fall.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stream of consciousness

I couldn't organize my thoughts earlier, so I just did a little stream of consciousness writing.  Luckily, I type very, very quickly.  Here are the results:



I want to write.

I want to sleep.

I want to cry.

I can’t focus.

My head is too full.

Is this what happens when you go too long without writing?  There are too many ideas to get out at once, so they all jumble together and won’t allow one another a turn.  Take turns, ideas!  You’re ruining this for me!

I just want to feel like I am making a difference.

Being a mom is making a difference, I know that, but it’s not the only mark I want to make on the world. 

I want to feel like I’m contributing.

I’ve never been further away from that than I am right now.

Moving took me further away.

I wanted to move West, but we moved East.  This is not conducive to a screenwriting career.  Neither is not 
writing.

I see other people writing, other people gaining some experience or celebrating their success, and I’m stuck.

I want to do so many things, but all I end up doing is sitting around playing facebook games when I’m not taking care of my kid.

No more facebook games.

Discipline.

I want to write songs.

I want to record songs.

I love to sing.

Do I want to be a singer?

I don’t think so.  No.  Definitely not.

Do I want to be a songwriter?  Probably not.

Do I want to be a writer?  Yes.

What kind?

Screen?

Novel?

Play?

I don’t know.  I just need to get something out and on the screen so that I can figure it out.

Is it so hard to write a novel?  Why do I only think in screenwriting terms?  Isn’t it much easier to self-publish a novel than it is to self-produce a movie?  Definitely.  I need to be writing a novel.

Why can’t I get it out that way?

Maybe I’ll turn the Us story into a novel.  That would be good.  Not too visual anyway.  But I already 
wrote fifteen pages of screenplay.  I’ll have to translate those to novel pages.

I still really want to write the Elvis movie, though.

FOCUS.

Why isn’t anyone ever excited for me?  I feel like people look at me like I’m nuts when I tell them about what I’m writing.  Or they don’t care.

My sister never even read the screenplay I left at her house*. Why not?  It’s good.  I think it’s good.  It’s funny.  Maybe it’s not that good.  Maybe it is, though.  I like it.  I’m going to say it’s good.

I need ot write something.

Other than this.

This is not really a good thing to be writing.

Oh, ice cream.  With peanut butter pretzels.

Yes.



After I ate my chocolate ice cream with peanut butter pretzels on it (seriously, you should try this.  It's delicious), I began adapting one of my screenplays into a novel.  

Expunging my brain of clutter actually worked.


*I later found out that my sister was actually reading the screenplay I left at her house at that very moment.  She loved it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Best. Kid. Ever.

Guess who turned five today!





Yipee!!

I don't often do entire posts dedicated to The Kid, but I think that living for half a decade warrants one.  If you're not into "mommy blogging", or if you hate children (what kind of monster are you???  how did you find me???), then this post is not for you.  Move along.

The truth is, I'm a really lucky mom.  I know that all of you parents out there think that your kid is the best one, but you're clearly mistaken, because I somehow managed to get him.

Want some proof?  Oh, fine.



The Top Ten Reasons Why My Kid Is Awesome

1.  He randomly stops watching TV or playing video games to give me hugs.  It's so sweet.  He'll be all, "I think you deserve a hug!", then he'll attack me with his tiny arms.  It's the best.


2.  He's hilarious.  No, he's not the best joke-teller ("Why did the tree cross the road?  To get to his tree family!"), but he's funny in a different way.  For instance, he was recently practicing writing his last name and he said that he was running out of room on the board.  I told him to flip it over, meaning to use the other side, which was blank.  A few minutes later, he handed me this:

Cracked.  Me.  Up.



3.  He makes up the best songs.  And they're often to the tune of "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys.  For example, he just sang, "Skyyyyylanders!  Those funky Skylanders!".

4.  He's oblivious to race.  When referring to a person, he describes him or her by the color of his or her shirt.  For example, a white guy in a black shirt will become "that black guy" and a girl in a blue shirt becomes "the blue girl".  I'm sure this will end someday--maybe soon--but I'm grateful for now that he doesn't see skin color.

5.  He's handsome.  I know that this really isn't important, but his little freckles and big hazel eyes melt my heart.



6.  He's a classic.  He prefers old-school animation to new computer animation.  He spent a lot of the day yesterday watching old Popeye cartoons.  His favorite things to watch on Cartoon Network are Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes (The original ones, not the new sucky ones where Bugs and Daffy live in tract housing and have jobs and fly on planes).

7.  He's grateful.  He never expects to get the things he wants, and when does, he'll spend a good hour saying, "I can't beweeve you got this for me!  Thank you so much!  I just can't beweeve it!"

"I think I'm going to burst with joy!" he said after I got him those Skylanders and that ginger ale.

8.  He randomly yells at me if I'm out of the room to tell me that he loves me.  I think he's just checking to make sure that I haven't left him alone in the house, but if I'm not in the room, the conversation usually goes (loudly), like this:

"Hey Mom?"
"I'm upstairs."
"I yuv you!"
"I love you too, bud!"


9.  He shares.  It doesn't matter what he's eating, he will always give me as many bites as I want.  He's also just as happy watching someone play a video or computer game as he is playing one himself. 

He even shared this cotton candy with me.  ♥


10.  He's kind.  One of his birthday wishes was that nobody yell at our puppy today, and he told me last night that I could choose five things that I wanted to do today (I picked four hugs and a kiss).



So there you have it:  ten reasons why I'm the luckiest mom ever.  I could list probably a hundred more.  One day The Kid will read this post--possibly during his teen angst stage--and see that I actually do love and appreciate him, though I hope he never thinks the contrary.

To him I say now, and always:  I could never ask for a better kid than you.  I love you, bud.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Let's do this quickly.

I took a pill to help me fall asleep early, but it hasn't quite kicked in yet, so we'll see how this whole "blogging" thing goes.  If I go off-course, please keep in mind the pill thing.

I apologize in advance.

Here are all the things I've been wanting to blog about since landing in the greater Philadelphia area exactly a week ago today:

1.  Water Ice.  Do you guys know what this is?  Some of you are thinking, "The pill kicked in.  All ice is made of water.", which is actually true (the second part, not the first--I don't think.  Yet.  Right?), but I was referring to the delicious kind.  For those of you who've never visited this part of the country, "water ice" is a frozen dessert offered in spades around these parts.  A lot of people say it's Italian ice, but it's not like any Italian Ice I've ever had.  I'd describe it more as a very fine-textured sno-cone, or a firmer, scoopable Icee.  It's bizarre that everybody calls it "water ice" and nobody thinks twice about how nonsensical it is to call it that.  I'd say something, but I'm afraid they'd be all, "No water ice for you!", and that would be no good, because ohmygodit'ssodelicious.

2.  Dead birds.  As I said, I've lived here for exactly a week today.  In that time, I've come across four dead birds.  That seems excessive to me.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN???


3.  Other woodland creatures.  The reason for the dead birds may simply be that there are about a billion percent more live ones here than there were where I lived in Kansas City.  In fact, my whole neighborhood is a woodland creature wonderland.  We've got squirrels digging through our trash, chipmunks playing with our dogs' toys in the backyard, and bunnies who eat the strange fungus growing on a stump in our front yard.  They.  Are.  Everywhere.  Is this what it's like to live in a nice neighborhood?


4.  Phyllis the ghost.  When we moved in, some weird things started happening right away.  Unexplained noises.  Objects appearing on the floor of an empty room in which nobody had entered.  A cup flew out of the cupboard right after I put it away, the moment I walked out of the room.  Stuff like that.  I looked up some history on our house, and the original owner, whose name was Phyllis, died in 1989, the same year that the next owner took over.  This leads me to the conclusion that Phyllis lived here at the time of her passing, and that she never really left.  I had a talk with her yesterday, and the mood has been a bit lighter around here since then, so I think she moved on.  If not, I may have to pull out The Kid's proton pack and ghost trap from last Halloween.  Stay tuned.

5.  CRAP.  Just heard a very loud *bang* come from my closet.  Will have another talk with Phyllis when I'm done writing this blog post.

6.  Bikes.  Back in 2001, when we lived in Santa Monica, The Hubby got me a really cool bike for my birthday.  I rode it around town, to and from work, and then we moved.  For the last 11 years, we haven't lived in a bike-friendly neighborhood, but we do now!  The Kid and I washed it off with soapy sponges, The Hubby pumped up the tires, and now I'm in business.  I'm sure all of my neighbors think I'm a weirdo, but since I wear vintage-style dresses all summer, I usually look like this when I ride:

Hey, it's a look.

The Kid is also learning to ride his bike, so people probably aren't looking at me with this around anyway:

Talk about a diversion.

7.  ...what was I going to say?  I think the pill kicked in.


I guess that's it.  Sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be recording myself giving a video tour of my home, so look for that!  I'll do it some day when the house is clean, after all the pictures are hung.  Keep an eye out for Phyllis if I can't send her on her way before then.


Goodnight!

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