Sunday, January 31, 2010

Head Shot!

So a week or so ago, I had a photo shoot with talented (and all-around great person) Taryn Hecker, out at her studio in Athol, Idaho. (Yes, that is a true name of a town.) It was a freebie, because I'd been a food judge at a blogger gathering months ago - bloggers with Huckleberries Online unite! - but I didn't want to take photos at the time because - well, I just felt blechy. Anemic, and just a blob. But over the past few months, and all my working out and everything...

Well. It came time to cash in on my prize.

Her website, btw, is

This was such an interesting process. The only time I've done a photo shoot was back when I lived in Japan, and an amateur photographer friend of mine from Chile wanted to take a bunch of pictures, so we went to the local zoo and took some. I was about 23 at the time. So young! They did turn out well, and people said I should do some modeling (easy job to get in Japan, with my blonde hair) but I moved on and back to the States, but kept the photos. Every so often I look at them and think my gosh, was I ever that young?

So fast forward to Taryn's studio. I was a little nervous, but she put me completely at ease. She was such a good sport about all the outfits I had brought! She changed backdrops twice because she thought the black backdrop would look better with one of my outfits... then recommended that we head outside for some photos in the park. So, just amazing. And then - two hours later! - she explained how she would go through the photos and make adjustments, and then put them on line for me AND send me a disk, and I said "Oh my gosh, Taryn, I'm going to pay you for this." Really. She was just too good to not pay. And so professional. She never once flinched from treating me like a paying client. I'm impressed.

Okay. So here are some of the photos. Also, I'm going to try (emphasis on "try") to set up a slideshow off to the right at some point, which will also have a link to her business. In case anyone's looking for a great photographer.

Did I mention her website was

These are some of Taryn's favorites - and she's the expert, so I'm going with what she said - oh, she gave me all photos in both color and black and white. Here are two of her favorites in color:

And here are two of her favorites in black and white:

And then here are two of my favorites (one color, one not):

And then here are two that I get a lot of compliments on:

So. There it is. My photo shoot. I think it turned out pretty well. Thanks, Taryn!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Busy Day

So I'm back over in Seattle for the hot yoga... It's a dancing sort of weekend. My friend and I went with her four-year-old daughter to a preview of the "Sleeping Beauty" ballet last night. So incredible. We were up close and personal with the dancers, as the stage was a little dance studio and we were sitting on the side, where they stood after dancing. How strong they are! I realized how, in a performance, they work to make it look effortless, but the key word there is "work." It was great to see all the kids' excitement, too. Before the performance, the myriad of little girls started running around in the room where we were waiting to be seated. They were in love with the dance....

And then this a.m., we'll go see my friend's daughter dance in her own dance recital. And then I'll go to hot yoga once more, and head back home.

Tonight - I'll be at Interplayers theater. There's a fundraiser with Jack and Ellen (Travolta) Bannon. I was attending tonight, anyway - had gotten the tickets - but at the last minute got a phone call from the theater asking if I could be their "master raffle ticket seller" - apparently I'm able to persuade anyone into anything (but then why haven't I sold a movie script yet?) - because they've just gotten some items donated from Ellen's brother John (including a poster, is my understanding), all with his signature, to increase the success of the fundraiser. So I said yes, and will be there early to help out with that.

So, busy day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Sunday. The proverbial day of rest. I plan to take full advantage.

UPDATE: The raffle didn't end up happening, so I handed out "will call" tickets instead. Which was good, except I was right by the door and it was really cold. The play was "Love Letters" - just marvelous - I cried at the end - I've seen it once before, a couple of decades ago, with a couple - like the Bannons - who were a couple off stage too. Wonderful script. Wonderfully executed. And it raised money for the theater (a nearly full house) - the best of all worlds.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Location in Coeur d'Alene

I'm live blogging at the movie set.

Funny, right? But true. Rich Flores, a KNIFVES member, has been filming his short "Shining Cuckoo" film these last few days. I volunteered to play an extra in the coffee shop scene. So here I am....

Right now, they're discussing when to film what when. They want a "master," and get the extras out of here faster, if possible.... No facial expressions from the people on the right side of the room... they won't even be there in Scene 11... More "master" discussion.... "Are they willing to stay?" They're willing to stay....

Where are the cops? (actually, there's one true one and one fake one, but they're both wearing local county sheriff outfits... oops, I mean uniforms... very authentic....)

Apparently the shoot at the jail a few towns over went wonderfully on Tuesday. I sort of wanted to go to that one... what with all the time I spend in jail and all.... (wait! no, not that - but because I'm a criminal defense lawyer!) - (only time I was ever in jail because of my own behavior wasn't even jail and wasn't even in the United States....) (okay, it was East Berlin, yes....)

And now, back to the live blogging at the Java coffee shop at 4th and Sherman in downtown Coeur d'Alene, Idaho....

Okay. So now, nothing is happening. Well, the make-up folks are powdering faces (Kathy and Katie Edwards, a mother-daughter team - both KNIFVES members) (KNIFVES being our local Inland Northwest movie networking group)... And all the camera guys. Paul and Pat, Mitchell... I overheard Rich say that I was a "primary," and, indeed, I'm sitting at a table that seems in a prime location... They've set me up on a date. His name is Lance. Not my hot yoga instructor Lance. But seemingly nice anyway.

Cords are being wound around... lights adjusted... people are wearing headphones around their necks.

Rich: "Ready?"

Oops. Looks like we're moving to formality. I should put the computer away, and flirt with my movie boyfriend... ta ta for now!


Okay, I'm back. Briefly. We're at the tail end of the shoot. There's been dialogue, pretend talking (which is hard to do!) and close-ups on our looks of surprises. "Perfect," Rich said about the look on my face. I wonder what that means. I'll see when the movie comes out....

We all had our stories going. Lance - a self-published poet in love with... well, probably better not to spell that out. An Edgar Allen Poe type, suffice to say... All of us looking agape after Rich's shout-down. The two young baristas - doing a marvelous job! They actually work here... have been recruited for the scene.

I'm still here, waiting for a final shot. Apparently my hair needs to be here for when Rich exits the coffee shop to my right...

It's over. Done. It's a wrap. We are outta here!

Fun, every day, here in Coeur d'Alene!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Head Songs

Back in December - between December 24 and December 30 - I woke up every morning to a song in my head. This happens sometimes, but not on a daily basis, and not for entire week. Each morning the song would be blasting in my head and I would be humming it throughout the morning. By about the fourth or fifth day of this, I decided to keep a list. And then on the sixth day, it was over. I'm not sure what the point was, of hearing these songs. Maybe there's a life theme that can be strung together? Hmmm....

Here they are, in order of appearance:

Christmas Eve: Chicago's 4th of July: "I've been waiting such a long time... for today" was the refrain I heard.
Christmas Day - "If you like it then you better put a ring on it" - Beyonce - heard that phrase over and over. Catchy.
Saturday after Christmas - Emmanuel - from a church service that I didn't actually attend... "Until the son of God appears..." - (was the phrase I heard as I woke up)
Sunday - "Man in the Mirror" - Michael Jackson ("... if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a - change...") (was the phrase)
Monday - Glee's version of "Don't Stop Believing" ("just a small town girl," and "a city boy" portion - "on and on and on...." with build-up percussion - ) by Journey....
Tuesday - "If You're Sleeping Are You Dreaming, If You're Dreaming Are You Dreaming Of Me" - Blue October. I love this song. That was the phrase I heard.

So, armchair psychologists out there. What does all that mean? And - it ended on the six day... What might the seventh day have held... or what does it hold now...

I'll be listening for more songs. Will let you know if any show up tomorrow. The seventh song. Will it appear?

photo credit: Liz Strnad, found here

A Year Ago...

I started this blog. Amazing, that a year has gone by! The good, the bad, and the ugly... The "good" is how completely I have settled in to my writer's mentality. That's who I am. No regrets. Not even a few. The "bad" is - sigh - I need to sell something! so I can keep feeding this writing habit. The "ugly"? Not so much. In fact, I'm feeling the best I've felt in a long time. Healthy too. Indeed, I had a photo shoot last week (!) and am waiting for the photos. Taryn Hecker was my photog... She did such a wonderful, professional job. Here's her website: I'll try to muster up the courage to post some of those photos once I get them from her....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Telethon

Am watching the telethon. So emotional. Powerful. Those poor people. Then Justin Timberlake sings "Hallelujah," with Matt Morris. Just incredible. I don't know how they sing it without crying.


It's over. Just so well done. People still can donate at

Skating Away

I had the unexpected opportunity to go see the Championship Ladies Short Program last night, at the Spokane Arena. (Spokane is hosting the 2010 ice skating championships. Two spots for the women's Olympic team will be decided based on these outcomes.) I don't think I've ever seen a skating competition before - not that I remember, anyway. So it was a special treat to go - especially since I had watched the practice session the day before and so had a sense of who would be skating, and how they were doing.

The big question: how was Sasha Cohen going to perform? She is Oksana Baiul-like, only American - and stronger, perhaps. (You remember Oksana Baiul - that elegant, fragile Ukranian skater from 1994 who took the wind out of the sails of the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding drama, and who has had her ups and downs since then...) When Sasha Cohen skated during the practice session Wednesday, you could see her command. There is just something different about her. Now, the question was: could she perform?

She could. She landed it all, last night. The crowd literally erupted, we were all so excited. She was excited too, her face flushed, not just from skating but from the success of it all.

And her first number from the judges - nearly 40 points - she was going to run away with it!

Until the second number. And then the deflation, for the entire crowd. Some boos, even. The composite landed her in second place, in spite of her brilliant skate. She missed first place by less than half a point, and is separated from third by about the same margin. So it's up in the air, what will happen on Saturday, during the finale free skate (long program).

I don't want to take away from the other leaders - I loved their skating too - but it felt like it should have been Sasha's night. No matter. One thing will lead to another. Another day, another score. Let's see what Saturday brings.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tex and Raven - R.I.P.

I've lost two friends recently. They belonged to friends of mine, and I mean that in a clan sort of way. They were two greyhounds - Raven and Tex. My friends have a pattern of adopting greyhounds from the track, and letting them live their final years with happy, unconcerned romping and napping and all the things that we want for dogs. Raven and Tex were two of those dogs.

I met Tex first. He was a handsome fellow, strong, white with brown. He came into our world with a cocky assuredness - not in a malicious way, but as though he didn't realize there was any other way to be. My friends had Royal then - toothless at the time, near the end of her life - and Tex ran her over, not knowing her when Royal was the only name she could have been called, and just thinking she was some old lady instead. It was frustrating for my friends. But I said he meant well - and he really did! - and that he had a heart of gold, and that he could learn, and I said something else too, that I don't remember now. I became known as his Bethvocate from that point on. What a nice dog he turned out to be.

And then they got Raven, after Royal died. She was a tiny thing, but held magic in her ways. She was as dark as you would think she was, with a name like Raven. She nearly didn't make it right when they first got her, as she had valley fever, and my friends had to work hard to ensure her health. They started making special meals, and they fed her special pills. They showed her that they loved her, and wanted her to stay around. And Raven loved them back, loved this kind world she'd found herself in, and so she worked to get better, to let all their work be for something. And she made it - she did! - And then there were two.

Over the years, Tex got older, and his hind legs gave out a lot. He just couldn't go on the longer walks anymore. Raven seemed disappointed - full of life, now, she was - but it was the way of their world.

Then, last year, Tex just couldn't stay around any longer. One thing led to another, and it was time to put him to sleep. I asked if my friends would mind if I came over to say goodbye. It is such a nice memory now, to have been there then. He perked up a little, even, as we sat with him and said goodbye before the vet arrived. Raven seemed to understand, seemed grateful that he wouldn't be in pain anymore.

You know, even when they know that it's their time, our pets stay around for us. They know we love them, and that we don't quite understand the way the world works - ashes to ashes, and all of that - and so they hang on longer than they should sometimes, I think, just because they can't bear the thought of breaking our hearts when they leave...

After Tex's passing, Raven seemed energized. She was an only dog in the household now, and she seemed to like that. She got spoiled rotten too! And went on longer walks. It all seemed good.

And then, just like that, she started failing too. It wasn't the path of Old Man Tex, where one thing slowly led to another. No, with Raven it was almost overnight. One day she was jumping up, ready for her walk, and the next she could hardly move. I saw her this past Sunday. She was glad to see me, and let me pet her, but she was ready to go. My friend called her "little girl" several times, in a worried voice - something she does when she worries about Raven - and Raven accepted the name. Maybe she even remembered what happened with Tex - maybe she thought well, Beth is here, and is petting me while I lay quiet. Later, there will be peace.

That night, she got even worse, and my friends had no choice - no time - they had to put her down. Say goodbye. Tell her they loved her. Tell her thanks.

Both Tex and Raven are gone now, but who they were - the essence of their good selves - will live on. They have made their marks. I will miss them both. Rest in peace.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hangover Boot Camp

Well, you really can learn something new every day. For instance, I found out today that I do not want to drink alcohol the night before a boot camp session anymore.

It all started out innocently enough - I went over to a friend's house last night for a nice spaghetti dinner, a little wine, some Golden Globe watching (Meryl Streep's speech was just wonderful)... We opened a bottle of white wine right up front. It was good. Then we moved on to red, to match the dinner. And, well - let's just say that, with all my recent exercising, my BMI (Body - or should I say Beth? - Mass Index) has - um - changed, and I no longer have a good sense of how much wine I can drink and still stay relatively sober. And let's just say, too, that what I do know for sure is that it's a lot less than it used to be.

Which would have been all fine and good and relatively harmless, had I not had boot camp at 6 a.m. this morning.

When I woke up at 5, I thought - hmmm. I'm feeling a bit fuzzy here. Do I really, really want to do an hour of hard workout in an hour? And I could have opted out. It's my thing, after all, and I can skip it if I want. But - sigh - I've signed up for it, you know? For three days a week, for four weeks... I should follow through with what I've started. Right?

I did warn everyone, once I got there, that I wasn't necessarily going to be all gung ho. "I've got a hangover," I said. And it didn't go too badly - a little nausea with motion things like push ups, a little dehydration (and a lot of water drinking).

But it is definitely not the wave of the future. Not my future, anyway. A new New Year's resolution - no hangovers on boot camp mornings.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hot Yoga Weekend

Just came back from two days in Seattle. Part of the purpose? To go back to "I Love Hot Yoga," the yoga spa on Greenlake Way in Seattle that I attended last weekend. I do love hot yoga, it turns out. Don't quite know why. But I do. I'm just hoping to find something in Spokane that is even remotely close to what I have found in Seattle. It's all to do with the instructor, I know. Both classes that I attended this weekend were taught by the same instructor - Lance. The one from last Sunday. So amazing. When it's over, I'm a little foggy. I put things down and then can't find them again. I even lost my yoga mat on Friday afternoon after class - it was against one wall, but I thought I'd leaned it up on the opposite wall. Someone else had to find it for me, though it was in plain view. So something must be happening when I'm in class. Oh, and I'm sweating now, a lot. Dripping sweat. In a good way. I'll go back again, soon, I'm sure. It's something else.

Friday, January 15, 2010


It just seems so awful. Like help cannot help. Though it can. Over time. People who excel at creating order out of chaos are attempting to do exactly that for the people of Haiti. So there's that, anyway. A reassurance to the rest of us. Thanks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spokane Skaters Do Us Proud!

I just got back from early morning (6-8 a.m.) rehearsal for the opening ceremony for the National Skating championships, being held in Spokane the next ten days. So amazing! The whole opening ceremony is performed by our very own Spokane skaters - about 40 total (2 boys). Incredibly well choreographed, and the kids are just so earnest - and talented! I felt proud - as if I've had anything to do with this! - and just impressed overall. The skaters are from three local skating clubs - the Inland Northwest club, the Lilac City club, and the Spokane club. Clearly they've been working hard to get their moves just right. It starts out with a sprinkling and ends on a great, patriotic note. At the very end, there's this one part - a little skater plays catch up - don't want to say more - don't want to spoil it - but I had tears, every time. And this was just the rehearsal!!

It was me and mostly parents in attendance. How proud they must all be, watching their children perform like that. I went because I am doing research for an ice skater movie idea that I have. I did not realize what a treat it would be, this a.m. The only glitch was that the announcer (clearly not from Spokane) kept pronouncing the city with a long "a" - as if it were spelled "Spokaine." Like nails on a chalkboard, that. I know they kept correcting her because she would say it right every so often. I'm hoping she fixes it for the actual opening ceremony tomorrow night. You can't really come to a town, be the announcer on national television, and not know how to pronounce the name of where you are.

In the meantime, the Spokane group - skaters and actors (playing a little skit in between numbers) showed the utmost professionalism and talent.

Can't say more - I'm running out the door - but I did need to say this much. It was just so special, to see what's on the horizon. And directly from this locale.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Love Hot Yoga!

Or so the sign told me, Saturday morning...

There I was, in Seattle, staying with friends. One of them had signed up for ten tryout sessions of hot yoga. Another friend of ours has been loving hot yoga in Spokane, so I said what the heck, I'll give it a try. It can't be worse than regular yoga. Can it?

I've always hated yoga. I know a lot of people who love it, and feel like they can disappear into it. Apparently I need more activity to disappear in to that sort of zen state. Like soccer. When I play soccer, I don't remember the game afterwards. I'm just gone, in the moment. Yoga, though - between the challenging poses and the lack of movement overall, I find I spend the time annoyed and preoccupied with my when-I-get-out-of-here to-do list.

But hot yoga is supposed to change all that. It works by pouring hot air/steam into the room where you do yoga moves with the lights dimmed. The heat is supposed to "detoxify" - their word, not mine. Sort of like a sauna.

Our first venture into hot yoga land was Saturday morning. The place itself is called "I Love Hot Yoga." Apparently even this less-than-subliminal message couldn't make that sentence true for me, because I hated it. I hated it the whole time. There was nothing different about this kind of yoga! I sweated slightly, but only slightly. I watched the clock like it was an egg timer. Every three minutes, I would check to see how much closer we were to the end of the 90-minute session. Yes, I was stuck for not just 60 but 90 minutes! And then there was the yoga itself. The actual moves were pretty advanced. And there were all these hot yoga experts surrounding me - women who looked like they have loved hot yoga for a while now. Which is great for them, but made me feel like a blob. And then, while I'm stronger than most, I also am less flexible, usually. I have a very straight back, so that even if I am a little flexible, I don't look like I am. This back is prone to injuries, in fact, because of that lack of flexibility. So I had to contend with that, especially for the first half of the time, when we did all stand-up moves. So not only did I not have the pretzel flexibility, but I had to wonder if my back would go out while I did different poses. Oh, and the instructor, who was perfectly pleasant, and said "namaste" a lot - well, I just didn't believe her. If, in fact, she wished me "namaste," why in the world did she want me to feel like an unsuccessful, half-pretzel idiot?

So, I was done. Finished with hot yoga. Never to attend again.

Until my friend said, why don't we go one more time, in the morning? And, doesn't it make you feel better during the day?

Mostly she wanted the company.

But I acquiesced. I had paid for it already, since I had also bought the 10 introductory sessions, as it was cheaper than two sessions. So we went again on Sunday morning.

I looked around for our instructor. She wasn't there. Instead there was this tall, young man sitting at the front of the room. Turned out, he was our instructor. Oh great, I thought. He was so young. So flexible. This would not be a pretty picture. Even his name sounded painful. Lance.

Except that... he was so amazing. I can't even explain it. For the first time ever, I loved yoga. And I loved hot yoga! Just as they had said I would. I forgot to look at the clock. When I did look, it was 45 minutes into the session. It had felt like ten. I don't know what it is that Lance did differently, but it worked. I was even dripping sweat! Even though the workout was technically lighter than it had been the day before, and almost no standing poses. I just zoned into the experience. I disappeared, like I do when I play soccer. Well, this is why people love yoga, I thought. I finally can see it! And - I believed him. He was so centered, it centered me.

And then, as Sunday progressed, I realized that my thoughts were clear. I have pretty clear thoughts anyway. But not compared to this. It was like the hot yoga had quieted down my mind.

I'm thinking of adopting this guy and bringing him to Spokane. In the meantime, though, I'm planning my next trip to Seattle. I have eight more hot yoga sessions to spend!

Great Story

I was reading my local HBO blog this a.m. when I saw this item: an 81-year-old Coeur d'Alene activist lawyer had been mistaken for a bank robber, but ended up handcuffed and on the ground anyway. And he defends the actions of the officers!

Scott Reed is the attorney. His son Bruce wrote this explanation of the event in Slate magazine, entitled "How Mike Huckabee got my 81-year-old father arrested for bank robbery." And Mr. Reed himself wrote this letter to the police, accepting the officers' actions.

They both make a valid point. This is a time of high tension for officers in the Pacific Northwest, after the slaying of so many, so needlessly. The last paragraph of Mr. Reed's letter brought tears to my eyes. That we somehow have come to this point. And that we can have such compassion for officers because of the point we have reached.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I leave tomorrow a.m. for a long weekend in Seattle - part business, part personal. It'll be a great way to start off the new year. So, likely no weekend blogging. Now if only the Eagles can win their game on Sunday... oops, I mean Saturday - just looked it up...

Auditions, Anyone?

I'm not quite sure what's got in to me. But it seems I want to experience this acting thing. So much so, that I tried out for a play this week. Yes, I did! For "Steel Magnolias." This is a story that many women remember dearly. Watching the movie recently on television, I thought, you know, I had not understood this story from the perspective of all the older women in it. I had always seen it from Shelby's point of view - the one who's played by Julia Roberts. We all loved Shelby, you see. I even wanted to name my little girl Shelby, if I had one. (Never did - there is not a little Shelby Bollinger running around out there...)

So when I saw there were auditions for "Steel Magnolias" the play - right here in River City, at the Spokane Civic Theater - and because I have dappled into the acting arena in 2008 (see here and here, for example) - I thought, what the heck. I'll do it. I'll try out. What's there to lose?

My pride, apparently.

I showed up on time - 6:30 Monday night. There were a lot, a lot of women. Maybe 50? I'm not sure. There were a lot of Shelbys - who could, at any moment, turn into Annelles (the other young woman in the story - the one whose husband deserts her, who turns born-again Christian, if that was a term used back then). But there were plenty of other characters there too.

When I went to enter the room, the stage manager stared at me and then said, "Please sit to the right." I wondered why she was staring. Did I have something on my face? Turns out, they were splitting us up according to characters. Shelbys, Annelles and Truvys (she's the hairdresser, played by Dolly Parton) should sit to the left. M'lynns (Shelby's mom), Clairees (played by Olympia Dukakis) and Ouizers (the grumpy one, played by Shirley MacLaine) should sit to the right.

This surprised me. I had thought, sort of, that I might be good as an older Annelle. Certainly I can play sweet, if need be (and don't let the opinion of those opposing counsel lawyers around town sway you that I cannot!). Or even Dolly Parton - I don't have the chest of course - but I least I have the hair to tease up...

But now that I was sitting on the right side of the theater I thought, well, this could make some sense. I could play the mom - or even a younger version of Clairee, perhaps...

"Beth?" Asked the director, after funny introductions. "Right here," I said. "Ouiser, page 28," he said.

Huh. Ouiser? Really? I should play a cranky, 60-year-old woman?

I just hoped it wasn't type casting.

He had stared at me too, during his introduction - likely to solidify his ultimate decision that I was a cranky old lady. He was pretty funny at the outset, and tackled up front the question that was on our minds - certainly on my mind: Why would there be a male director for "Steel Magnolias?" (And he looks so young, I thought.) He said he liked it because that meant he'd have the bathroom all to himself. We all laughed. And then he talked about being from the South, and his various, many experiences in the theater (just touched on them, but you could tell), and his all-woman household (four daughters!), and I thought, okay, maybe. And then, as he talked about the different characters in the play, and about the play itself, his face lit up and I thought - it's okay he's a guy, because he loves them. And he "gets" them. And he loves this play. He'll do justice by it.

The tryout part was so interesting. Some people said I read Ouiser well. I think I did pretty well on words to emphasize (we each were reading paragraphs of our characters). But then a woman got up and started channeling Shirley MacLaine - oh my gosh, she was so perfectly the Ouiser we all know and love! - and I thought, well, get ready to read for Clairee for the second monologue...

Nope. I read Ouiser again.

It was interesting who he chose to read for Shelby. And it was interesting how most of the young women played Shelby as a nag. They were each cold-reading the same paragraph - the part where Shelby's telling Jonathan, her betrothed, to get her some dresses out of her closet. I remember that scene in the movie - it's so charming, because Julia Roberts is, yes, bossing him about, but you can hardly tell because she does it in such a soft, flirty way. The softness disappeared Monday night though, in most of the cold readings. I think it would be a matter of simple direction - "smile when you read that" - but it was jarring nonetheless.

And the M'Lynns were interesting too. The woman next to me was spot-on, I thought. "She has the part," I thought. The Ouizers stood out too, but maybe that was because I was reading that part. The Clairees didn't stand out as much. The Annelles seemed, as a group, to rush through their lines, making them hard to understand (none of them realized that the word "commercialization" has a long "i" in it - that's youth for you)...

Actually, I think we all rushed our lines. Me included, though I tried not to. We're from the Pacific Northwest, you see. We don't quite understand the Southern drawl - the joy in taking your time to tell a story all drawn out-like in the words themselves - we don't quite get that. In law school, my two roommates were from North Carolina - neither of them law students, just living and working in D.C. My one roommate, Claudia - such a wonderful person - she died when she was 36, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of the rest of us - she had this way of saying the word "hello" when she answered the phone that turned it into a four-syllable word.... I teased her about it, and tried to say it sometimes like she did, but I never got it right. The closest I came to her kind of hello was the length of time it took for her to say it. I never did successfully copy the charm she had when she said it, though.

Now, here's a funny thing. Paul Castro, my writing instructor ("August Rush," from UCLA Film School) is good friends with Shirley MacLaine. She even called him once, last spring, when we were in the middle of class, and he had to call her back at the break. I've always loved her, so I loved it that Paul was friends with her. Now, here I was, playing one of her most definitive movie roles. So when I got up for the second reading, I said in my head, "Okay, Shirley, help me here...." Not that she could, or anything, or even knows me in any way. But at least she appreciates the idea of channeling...

I stood in front of the director, and got ready to start. "How long have you lived in Spokane?" He said. Fifteen years, I said. (Wow. That long?) He was noticing my resume of previous acting experience in Cheyenne. Which, it's true - I was in three plays there, and loved it - was in a female ensemble before too, actually, called "Quilters." "It takes a production of 'Steel Magnolias' to bring theater people out of the woodwork in Spokane," he said - or something like that. Which was nice, that he called me a theater person. "I was going to name my daughter Shelby, if I ever had one," I said. And then read my part. Got into it a little - even had a little bit of a Southern accent, I think. Thanks, Shirley! And as I returned to my seat, one of the women stopped me. "My daughter's name is Shelby," she said.

After the second reading by everyone, the director huddled with his production people and then announced the handful of names of the people who should stay and read more lines. My name was not among them. He did call out the name of the other Ouiser, who was so amazing. So I went home. And felt a little sad. But okay about it, too. Because at least I tried, right? And it was really, really interesting. Still, I was a little sad. No Ouiser for me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Boot Camp. Ugh.

Well, I'm back at boot camp. And I complain, but I actually enjoy it. Up and at it by 6 a.m., for an hour. This time, it's taking less muscle ache to get in to the swing of it. This worries me (omg, I can't be happy?) because I'm thinking I need more pain for the gain. Right? So I believe. We also start out a little more slowly too - this, I know. Great class, good people. And sore muscles. Just not as sore as I expected.

Monday, January 4, 2010

For Who? For What? ...

... is how the Eagles played yesterday. Painful. Just painful. They stooped to conquer? I don't think so. We shall see, we shall see - when they play Dallas again on Sunday, in Dallas, when they could have had a bye. Had they just won. Not this team. Not yesterday. And that's all I have to say about it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just hanging out this a.m. with the cats - Alex is beside me, Annie sits at the heating vent... Nice night last night - a full moon - a blue moon, so I'm told - which only means two full moons in the same month, but it does give the start to the new year an auspicious feel... Will go over to a friend's house later in the day, to hang out there. Totally relaxing, all day long. I hope everyone else is having a marvelous day too. Here's a photo taken by my brother last night of the Blue Moon Full Moon: