black and white chevron project

Ever since we had out Mad Men Party there have been plans for more marathons and themed gatherings. The most anticipated is our Twin Peaks Marathon, which is happening this weekend. Being a huge Twin Peaks fan, I may have been a little too ambitious in my preparations. In order to make our living room feel like the black lodge, I’ve been making a black and white chevron quilt. I love how it’s coming along, but with so many pieces on this fairly large quilt, I’m not sure I can pull it off in time for this weekend. I’m going to try though! Thankfully I have Radiolab podcasts to keep me on task while I sew.

Beyond the quilt, I still have red velvet curtains to make. Plus lots and lots of pie. I am really good at making nearly impossible tasks for myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way I suppose.


This past weekend, though very similar to many others, has changed me, even if just a little. We shot the majority of my short film (which still doesn’t have a title by the way, or I’d tell you) over one day and night. There is still some left to do, some specialty things, but with basically no crew, we covered a lot of ground. Having shot things with more equipment and people in the past, it was freeing to work with only the bare necessities.

The whole thing was exhilarating. For the past month, or even two, I’ve been in a slump. My motivation seemed misplaced, despite my best intentions. Part of this was because I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to make this short. Until the day we started filming, I thought things would fall through. This uncertainty bled into every other thing I did. Yet when we arrived home from the last night of filming, in the early hours of Monday morning, I felt driven. I still do. I’m not quite sure where my path is heading, but I’m charging ahead.

So here is to following through, even when it gets hard in ways that don’t entirely make sense. Here is to blind ambition. Here is to following dreams you’re terrified of following. And most importantly, here is to trusting others’ faith in you and to friends who get on board your wild projects. More so, I could not have done this without Shawn’s constant support and excitement. Not to mention the fact that he shot the whole film for me. So here’s to finding the perfect partner too.

blue light

Hooray we have a three day weekend ahead of us! We’re starting to shoot my short film so it’s going to be a very hectic couple of days, rather than calm time off. Yet again, we’re turning part of our apartment into a set, which means even just relaxing at home is a constant reminder of plans and progress. The cats don’t really know what to make of it as two rooms have been commandeered for projects.

In the days leading up to shooting I’m just hoping I’m not forgetting something. There seem to be a million little details that need to be taken care of. I feel like I have a handle on everything and then I think of something that I’ve totally missed and wonder what else there might be. So much responsibility. In any case, at this point I’m more on the excited side, ready to jump in, than on the nervous side which is helpful.

Yesterday when Shawn and I settled on the final location we realized, not for the first time, that we’re not the sort of people that take a weekend off to do nothing. Instead we try to create things, to make something out of our spare time. While it’s nice to relax, it’s very rewarding to be so productive.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend filled with creativity or just a break if that’s what you prefer.

The Path of the Beam

photo // Shawn Bannon

Being a blogger makes me overly sensitive to internet trends. There is one in particular that begs discussion, one that I’ve noticed more and more recently. With the rise of entrepreneurial culture, there is this proliferation of the idea that if you pursue your dreams with vigor you will get what you want. It is The American Dream. Work hard and you shall prosper. It’s a nice idea, isn’t it? But lets get serious for a second. It’s just not true. Now let that sink in for a second. The truth is that you do have to work hard to get what you want but working hard does not guarantee anything.

First, I’m not trying to be the harbinger of bad news nor am I trying to stomp on your dreams. It just seems we all need a good dose of reality. Second, I’m not saying that you can’t live your dream in some fashion. Besides, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who actually gets exactly what you want.

Mostly I’m wondering about this idea that people have a singular life goal. How many people really have this one true passion they must follow for happiness? Is that something that comes to you in a flash of light or a dream? Is it the love you feel when you first do something new that you think you could do for the rest of your life? I personally have so many loves like that. Whenever I go on a bike ride I’m filled with a sense of elation, but that doesn’t mean I want to become a professional cyclist. There is something diminishing in turning a love into a career. This reason alone is why I’ve never turned this blog into my profession.

Very soon, I’m directing my first short film. The first since I was in college and I made “video art.” The first since I was a teenager and had to edit videos on dual VHS decks. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m terrified. Part of me has always wanted this. Part of me has always been afraid of this. I can’t tell you if my perpetual trepidation is a result of me not wanting to let go of other interests or if it is because I’m am unsure of myself and the possibility of failure. Despite the fact that I’ve produced a feature film, making this short is somehow much harder for me.

Making it in the entertainment industry is hard. That goes without saying. Of course, it’s even harder as a woman. Only 5% of the top 250 grossing films of 2011 were directed by women. I just love movies. While some have always known they want to be a writer or director, I’m not absolutely tied to any one piece of filmmaking. There are about 10 thousand different people that have a part of making a film, many of which I’d be happy doing (many I would not). My trajectory is not so much a clear path. It involves a lot of trying things out. It involves a lot of working really hard at something and realizing that it’s not what I want at all (the number of times this has happened is embarrassing).

Yet, I still have hope. I’ll admit sometime it is wavering. I believe that I will find my place, where there is actually a connection, or at least a balance, between what I do for a living and what makes me happy.

What do you think? Are you following your passion career? Do you even have one? Can you imagine yourself being happy with something else?

bike week

thanksgiving bike ride

This week is bike week here in Los Angeles, which means there are a few cool events going on sponsored by Metro. I know a lot of people feel like this city is not very bike friendly (and I don’t entirely disagree) so projects like this make me super happy. They are a great way to spread the bike love.

Tweed Ride 2010
Tweed Ride 2010
Tweed Ride 2010

It’s no secret that Shawn and I met on a bike ride, so social rides will always have a special place in my heart. Look at how fun this tweed right from a few years back was (you can tell it was long ago since Shawn is sporting a beard). Everyone dressed up and having a grand time riding around the city together. I truly believe that the best way to experience any city is by bicycle.

bike rides

Pasadena also has some great events planned, like a bike ride around the Rose Bowl with the mayor and a bike in movie showing Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. So if you’ve been looking for an excuse to get back on your bike, now is your chance. Hope to see you on the streets.