Friday, August 27, 2010

(Amanda) final thought(s)

I am sitting in the student union here at school, and the television screen in the snack bar is flashing "Have a Great Summer!" on a seemingly endless loop. While this is a bit obnoxious, as summer is decidedly over, I can reply wholeheartedly "I did indeed, thank-you-very-much-for-asking, have a great summer." It was far too long, and far too short, and interesting, and educational, and too far from home, and frustrating, and really, really lovely. It is so nice to know that the seemingly random assortment of skills one picks up over the years can be applicable in a "real" job. Whether or not I will be able to find said job when I graduate is another matter entirely, but it is comforting to know that the sort of thing I want to do actually exists, and that I am capable of doing it.

That is all from me, back in the mitten, and not-quite ready for my last year of college.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 23, 2010

(Maddie) Final Thoughts

As I sit here, I am simultaneously waiting for school to start and looking back on a rather eventful summer. I've gained a lot fo experience and contacts in the film industry. It was a great summer. I needed to be away from home. I've had a little time to reflect:
  • The "Hollywood Mystique" is now gone. I no longer get starstruck when celebrities walk by. I never really did in the first place. It was always interesting to watch people go on "Starline Tours" or freak out over a person who gets mroe screentime than the average Joe.
  • On the Necessity of Sunglasses...California gets too much sun. I'm a Northerner...I do not like this. Oh, the things I put up with for film!
  • I'm not a big fan of L.A. There are too many people. The traffic is horrible. And, the general culture is somewhat antithetical to my beliefs. I don't understand the appeal. But, I love the film industry and will go where I need to go to be involved in it. If that means moving to L.A., ok. Once I get myself established, I hope to be able to split my time between L.A. and elsewhere (with a little more time in elsehwere).

I wish I had more time and brainpower to write something a bit more profound. But, I feel that if I wait any longer to write a final post it will never happen. This is my final post, unless anything else comes to mind. Thanks for tuning in. Good night, and good luck. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(Maddie) Hurry Up and Wait

So....LAX....not my favorite airport. I haven't been to many - just DTW, PHX, and LAX. But, the layout for LAX is the worst. It could use an update.

Anywho, our airport hell began early in the day. As is typical in my family, we arrived several hours early to miss traffic, turn in the rental car, avoid lines, and eat some dinner. The airline of choice was Spirit Airlines - a small airline based out of Detroit. Most of the time, Spirit has flights to/from Detroit and the Caribbean. It has a few lines to the major cities, mostly red-eye flights (which are cheap). It ain't schnazzy, but it gets the job done. Well, at least in Detroit. We arrived at LAX around 3:30pm. We learned from the Frontier-Midwest Airlines counter that the Spirit people would not arrive until 7 freaking 30 PM:P If only they had told that to us sooner! So, we sat/napped on rather uncomfortable chairs. Soon, other people found themselves in the same position. We got through tickets and security by 8pm (our flight being at 10pm). We were all getting a little cranky because our blood sugar was rather low by that point. So, we got some awesome burgers at Ruby's. And then, waited in more uncomfortable chairs.

Finally, the plane arrived, we got on board, and were quickly under way to DTW. The price of our tickets definitely reflected the quality of the plane's interior. The seats were reminded me of the airport seats, only worse because I really wanted to sleep at that point. As the plane took off from the runway, I watched the sparkling lights of L.A. sink into the mist. Between short naps, I woke up to look through the window at the world below. I'm glad I did. Flying at night is absolutely beautiful. Wispy, galaxy-like cities and twinkling towns shone through the milky mist. I had the odd sensation of looking *down* into space. I did look up and see that vast sky. In fact, the mist and clouds made it look as if the sky and land bled in each other.

I was happy to land in DTW. I haven't been so tired in a long time. And, what a kink in my neck! Oye Vey! We went down to the baggage claim and saw a sign stating that DTW was voted one of the top airports in America. I believe that. So much better than LAX... As we waited for our luggage, we saw two families being greeted by their pet Yorkies, reminding me of my Yorkie-sibling;) How I miss her. We got a shuttle to our car, drove back home, and slept like a pile of rocks. Mmmm...REM cycle.

I should have a few final posts to wrap this up. Hopefully they will be entitled "The Hollywood Mystique" and "On the Necessity of Sunglasses and Other Final Thoughts." Later, alligator:)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

(Maddie) Last Day on the Job

As promised, I will write my final blog posts. There might be a few more here and there before school starts, as I am still mulling over my experiences in California. I write from my home in Michigan, thoroughly enjoying the variety of weather phenomena (but hating the horrid homidity). I feel like swimming through the air - why, moisture, why? And, it's nice to be back in the Midwest:)

A week and two days has passed since my last day at the film production company. I found myself becoming rather sentimental/nostalgic, even though I had only spent 10.5 weeks there. It's amazing how quickly you can become acclimated and attached to the places you have seen and the people you have met. I enjoyed every bit of my internship. The company had a great culture and the people were wonderful. I finally discovered that I belong in the production & development side of the filmmaking process. I now have a long-term goal to reach. I have learned so much about the film industry, gained so much experience, and became friends with so many lovely people...this all made it difficult for me to leave. And, of course, when I finally find my stride and become friends with my co-workers, it's time for me to go. But, I won't be gone too long. And, I'm looking forward to my last year at college. It's going to be great. But, I will have one foot in, one foot out.

I remember my last day at the production office rather clearly. It was a quiet day with very little to do. Despite this, I was deperately trying to finish up any projects I had left so as not to leave anything unfinished. I left work late that day, but didn't mind one bit. I said goodbye to my boss, my fellow interns, and other people around the office. It was particularly hard for me to say goodbye to several people, as I had gotten rather close to them. I walked out the door, took the elevator down, and started walking toward the restaurant where I would meet up with my parents for dinner. I felt the tears welling up, but kept myself from sobbing. I am so freaking sentimental.

Next day, LAX. Ick...that's a story for another post;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

(Amanda) cold pizza crust you flicked an ant off of and double stuf golden oreos = Breakfast of Champions!

I am finally glad that I keep a change of clothes in the trunk of my car. After work yesterday I changed into long pants and a long sleeved shirt and spent the night on the Mayflower II - as a chaperone type person for one of the summer adventure groups. After games, and ship's food, and rowing, and a showing of Desperate Crossing (much more interesting when you can recognize faces among the re-enactors and historians!) I bunked down in the Great Cabin, but not for too long, as I had the 4:30am-6:30am "watch." There had to be an adult up at all times (and I guess I count as one of those) to handle emergencies/bathroom runs/et-cetera. It was a bit chilly and damp (thanks to those who loaned me blankets) but I got to watch the sunrise over the harbor from the deck of the ship, which was an amazing experience. I drove "home" in the morning, slept for a few hours, put myself back together, and went to my last day as an Intern here. What with the exhaustion, the fun, and the last minute running around/envelope stuffing, the last two days have been pretty surreal.

Now, on to laundry and loading up the car :o)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

(Amanda) boxes

I'm not leaving until Saturday, but I spent today packing anyhow.

Two more days of work, then an event at the museum, then four days of driving about the countryside (well, on freeways mostly - with stops to see old friends and people I have yet to meet) until I am back in the mitten. This has been a lovely time, but I'm longing for home and familiar faces.

(Mary) hooray Michigan!

Land of Koegel's hot dogs and Coney islands, of American cars and overbearded hunters, sunsets over freshwater oceans, islands, sand dunes, lakes, trees, beauty...

it is so good to be home

(Maddie) Parents' Week - Part 2

Monday, I had to work, so my parents tooled around Malibu. Lucky stiffs:) Tuesday was a delightful day. I took my parents to the Getty Center, of which I have already written extensively. We spent most of our time in the amazing garden, but gave a fair shake to each of the art galleries. The looked like it would turn into another gorgeous evening, so we thought we would give the Griffith Observatory another shot. SUCCESS! *just like Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory* We found a parking space in the overflow along the road. If required a little bit of a trek, but we got there in time to see the sun set and saw the "Hollywood" sign in the distant mountains. We quickly aquired tickets to the Planetarium show in a few hours and then went about our business. The building itself was built during the Great Depression, utilizing the Art Deco style. We had a great view of Los Angeles that would only get better as the sky dimmed. We thought the line looked really short to the telescope, so we got there just in time to see them switch from Venus to Saturn...and I was the first one to see it! Score! As I was waiting for my parents outside, I realized that we had accidently cut in line, which extended through the terrace. I felt kind of bad...but not really. No one told us that we cut. Also, it looked like everyone was just looking over the scenic view, not waiting in line. Their fault, not mine;). The sunset was beautiful. We tooled through museum and saw the Tesla Coil, the Pendulum, typical elementary science / physics displays...Then, we went to the Planetarium show, which was freaking awesome. It reminded me of how small we actually are in the Universe. After we got out, we looked out to L.A., which glittered like a pile of jewels on a black velvet cloth, stretching for miles. By the way, one of my favorite movies - The Rocketeer - was filmed at the Observatory. It was a wonderful, fun-filled day. If you are ever there, you need to visit Getty and Griffith:) They are both worth your time.

Wednesday - second-to-last day at my internship. My parents visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. On Thursday, we ventured out to the La Brea Tar Pits. I was expecting dinosaurs, but no. The tar pits did not form until the ice age...*raspberry* It was still pretty awesome, though. There was one major tar pit, which reminded me of the Bog of Eternal Stench in Labyrinth. Methane gas and tar balls bubbled up everywhere. The museum needed some updating, but they had a lot of full skeletons from the Ice Age. There were some smaller pits which were being excavated. Some of the mini-pits were only 2 feet wide, but still had fences around them;) As a part of their interactive exhibits, they removed some tar from the pits and put it in a plunger thingamajigger. When you pull the plunger, you got to see how powerful the suction is. As we were leaving, we noticed that a movie crew had set up to film a scene from NCIS: Los Angeles next to the big tar pit. Everyone flocked to be a part of the extras. We fled the scene after observing it for a few minutes, not wishing our faces to be part of the background.

I will write up a post about my last day (Friday) at the production office and our trip back to the Mitten in the next few days. Again, I must subject you to suspenseful waiting. Poor you.

(Maddie) Parents' Week - Part 1

I am now back in the world of the living...jetlag no longer has any power over me. But, alas, Pacific Standard Time still does. Damn time zones. Meh. I am back in America's High-Five (the Mitten); but, I am still going to recount my amazing adventures over the last week of my internship. I had been following a mostly-routine schedule in the days after my last post. Nothing special. I'm sure I could have churned out something witty and sarcastic, but, I'll be honest - I was just too damn lazy;)

My parents arrived in LAX late Friday evening and picked up a rental car. I had told them to take the 405 at their own peril. You see, L.A. traffic never ends. It is somewhat akin to the Energizer Bunny. Although it would take longer, the Pacific Coast Highway would have been far less stressful. They took the 405 at 11pm on Friday night. As my Mother said, "The GPS paid for itself that night." My poor Father, worn down Spirit Airlines, had to take his life into his own hands and enter the hell that is California's highway system. Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive! Since everyone is from somewhere else in L.A., there is no established road ettiquette. Turn signals are optional equipment, horns are near-constant backround noise, weaving in and out of lanes is a normal way to get into the next lane, and illegal texting is still a common past-time. Fortunately, they arrived in one piece. Poor Dad had to drive around in this crap for the rest of the week. (Traffic is one of the major negatives in L.A.). Let's just say I appreciate the public bus system more after this.

Early Saturday morning, I took Mom and Down down to Santa Monica Beach, the place I frequented on my free days. It was a foggy, nippy morning with barely a soul on the beach. We walked barefoot in the wet sand. Dad got his ankles (and the bottom of his jeans) nailed by a particularly wiley wave, prompting him to yell a benign expletive and giving me a great photo-op. We walked down toward the Pier, picking up a sandwich-bag-full of seashells along the way. We walked up and down the Pier, laughing at the strange, New-Jersey-esque people we saw. When the sun came out, we shrank away like vampires toward the Third Street Promenade, protecting out pastiness. Burgers, Pinkberry, a walk down the Promenade, and we were on our way back home. It was a wonderful day and deserved a siesta in the afternoon.

I took my parents to the OPC Church I had attended while in L.A. They got to meet everyone I had gotten to know over the 10 weeks I was there. In the evening, we noticed that it was going to be a crystal clear night sky. Apparently, so did everyone other frickin' person in L.A. Since Dad and I are astronomy nerds, we all decided to go to the Griffith Observatory. Our stressful journey took us through the narrow streets of Korea Town, whose signs were mostly in Korean. Ironically, I saw more Hispanics there than Koreans. Oh well. After driving through hills of old Hollywood homes, we arrived at the Observatory Road, only to find the parking lot full and the overflow parking streching down the hillside. Not tonight. Double damn! I think most people were there because it was free, not because they were astro-nuts. Whenever something is free, I always feel more inclined to use/take it, even if I don't need or want it. For instance, I have a collection of bus maps and L.A. Weekly's in my room. I don't need or particularly want them. I just feel like taking one anyway. Maybe I have a mild, subconscious form of kelptomania.

Now, you must wait in suspense for part 2. Mwahaha!

Monday, August 9, 2010

(Mary) there's no place like home

I'm ho-ome! And it's great to be back. I've got a few loose ends to tie up, but for now, I'm home.

I've got different glasses on now. It's weird. I don't see bursts of life standing amid the broken concrete; I see weeds invading a vacant lot. Stuff like that all over. Not everything's wonderful here, but it's home.

I'm painting my room.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

(Amanda) Hmm?

I need to finish up cataloging the maps in the next few days, so I have spent all day flipping through the huge folders and typing the relevant information into excel (a program I am coming to terms with...slowly). The current batch of maps includes some aerial photos of the MA coast taken in the midst of WWII. They were produced by the Army Corps of Engineers, and have "RESTRICTED" stamped on them. I feel rather illicit, even though the information is no longer sensitive. These particular maps are printed on shiny white paper, when I turn them over in the folder they have the gloss of almost-done meringue.

I'm in a meringue-y WWII map induced haze.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(Amanda) indecision

This afternoon I took an accidental driving tour of the Boston suburbs. You see, I am a good driver, and a good navigator, I simply cannot do them both at the same time. I was double checking my route when I overshot my exit and ended up on the turnpike (there are so many tolls!) which is like prison, or a roach motel, or something equally hard to get out of (the one turnaround exit required a toll pass, which I do not have! discrimination!). I was never lost in the strictest sense of the word, but I did take the (very) long way home.

Once I returned to my home turf, as it were, I stopped by a thrift store and the grocery store. Now, when I am grocery shopping I, as I assume most people do, keep a running tally in my head, rounding each item up to the closest dollar, so I can stay on-budget. As I stepped up to the register I thought "this should be $16." The lolling checkout guy rang through all my items and, lo and behold, my total was exactly $16.00. He mustered up some energy and said "hmmm, well, umm, that doesn't happen very often." No, no it does not.

I'm currently trying to decide what to do this evening. I could go to an event at 5:30, or I could stay here and cook/read/watch things/read/sleep. I am horrible at making decisions where absolutely nothing is at stake and I will be happy either way. Just ask my grandmother and my aunt how good I am at deciding where we should go for dinner....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

(Mary) bourbon

I had to take yesterday afternoon off for something not related to work but still important. I found myself in Owosso, Mich., then Flint, Mich., and got back to Toledo pretty late. I finished my work and got to bed around 4.

My normal alarm is 7 a.m., though I usually wake up before it goes off. This gives me plenty of time to shower, read, enjoy the morning before Betsy gets up and we eat breakfast. We usually leave the apartment between 8:30 and 8:50, except on Tuesdays, when we have to be in an hour earlier.

I was wiped. I set my alarm for 7:45 -- because 45 minutes makes a huge difference, I know -- and fell asleep.

I woke up before my alarm -- maybe 7:42 or so -- and realized that it was Tuesday morning. I woke Betsy up.

"Betsy? It's Tuesday, right? We have to be in the office at 8, right?"

"Yeah. What time is it now?"

"Seven forty-five."

"Okay. If we get out the door in five minutes, we can make it."

We did, and had a wonderful lunch with an assoc editor, and I am still tired.

Monday, August 2, 2010

(Amanda) sweet endings

Last weekend we went to OSV, and had a lovely time walking the grounds. It reminds me of what Greenfield Village used to look like, if the village was all from in the 1830s.

The next day we (a different "we") found ourselves at a bookstore with the (entirely accurate) slogan "books you don't need at a place you can't find." It is in a converted mill building, near a really pretty river. We looked at books (and of course bought some), had dinner, splashed around in the river, and had a long and muddy drive back home.

I got back to "my house" around 11, tidied up, fell asleep, then woke up and began my second to last week of interning here. This afternoon I finished the presentation draft of my Ed. project (those pesky vocabulary words took forever...). I'm hoping I can try it out on actual visitors, so I can provide *real* feedback with along with my proposal.

We took a field trip to Pilgrim Hall today. The curator showed us around for more than two hours. They have a really impressive collection, and he did a great job of explaining the significance of everything we were looking at. It took me a while to figure out why he seemed so very familiar, then I realized that his manner, speech pattern, and wardrobe made him the Nikolai Wenzel of curators. They have the same way of geeking out about their subjects in infectious ways (and a similar affection for the brewer's arts :o)

So, yes, it has been a really nice couple of days...if more than a little tiring. School might mean less sleep, but it also means less travel.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

(Mary) mac vs pc

Thank you, Kennedy, for this one.

I have to admit, this made Macs (or, at least, Apple) look good in my book.