Friday, July 29, 2011

RV Work Photos

Thursday, July 28, 2011

An RV Can of Worms

I am always up for a challenge, but just like regular home repairs, when you think something is going to be easy with a RV, just remember it will ALWAYS be more work than you intended. My husband and I are having to relocate rather quickly for his new job. Because of that we find ourselves with a house that has renters/roommates, an apartment under lease and a third living location TBD. With that in mind, the girl who is working hard towards a debt free, simple life so she can focus on her goals remembered her past living in the mountains and how much fun it can be to live in a miniature. I love RVs, the simplicity of them, the cute little communities, the month to month nature of choosing a place to live and the encouragement to be outside.

If you have never lived in an RV, you should try it out...way fun. Add to this some friends who have an unused RV that needed a home and we have a great combo of a solution for us and helping friends. Our new locale is too far away for us to live full time in the house, but close enough that we can spend lots of time there skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking and climbing. Sounds perfect, a double life! Chris was skeptical. I have to admit his objection to the plan until I crunched the numbers, showed him how it could work and how much easier it made the "you have two and a half weeks to uproot your life." He warned me. He told me the RV had not been used in quite awhile. Polyanna said, great, we are helping it live up to its full potential. A little TLC, a borrowed truck and we will get you up to your new home while I close out everything down here. (I still have every intention of working production in LA, and this leaves us much closer to meetings, etc than Tampa would! Plus, for all those concerned, I set out a firm plan of two year goals. I must admit to my diabolical plan to get more production to the Mammoth area as well, it's so darn pretty!)

I was away promoting my show at Comic-Con, Chris was here working and then I got back. He had diligently gotten all the supplies and gotten a big chunk of work done. We were about to embark on tackling the back wall of the bedroom/front of the RV. I got to take a little side trip to "Camping World" where they have EVERYTHING in miniature. My friend Carrie is jealous, she wants a mini coffee pot too, I have my priorities. The day started by simply removing the back panel, carefully to tackle the little leak in the corner. The leak, not so little. Entire back wall soaked, covered in mold and wet insulation. Not good, not good at all. The end result, removing the entire back wall and the outside fiberglass casing. The job today, rebuilding the edges of the frame, sealing the fiberglass, reinstalling the paneling, adding insulation and then putting the fiberglass back in place. Easy, right? HA!

Needless to say our few days worth of work has turned into a week. The new tires and the prepping of the inside has turned into a full blown remodel. BUT, in the end the RV will be perfect, it will keep it from any more trouble and we will have fully bonded with it before embarking on our next new adventure. Despite the occasional meltdown, we have all worked very well together and I think, despite the bone tired feeling at the end of the day, it has been fun. Problem solving on a building level makes me happy. I think John and my husband might bop me in the head for saying that...but oh, well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Too Many Topics...First, Amy Winehouse

It is always sad when anyone dies; talented, unknown, it doesn't matter, people leave behind those who love them and grieve the loss. Unfortunately, the death of celebrities garners more attention and brings out all the people (yes, I know that includes me) who want to comment on the "tragic" nature of the death of a person plagued by insecurities. One of the many times I want to shout from the rooftops, get off your narcissistic high horse! Drug problems exist throughout all classes of people and while I understand addiction is an evil beast, stating that "Hollywood should be more responsible," (thank you Russell Brand, brush your hair) is ludicrous. If you look past the sound bite Brand actually does get it right, as he comments on the way ALL addicts are treated and that we need to find a NEW way to help them. People are responsible for their own lives. The people who surrounded her should have been involved, but who's to say they weren't? You don't know what she was like or who tried or didn't try to help her. Sick people die. That happens. She had choices. Many more options than the crack addict on skid row who grew up in a house where his mother over-dosed on heroin when he was 10. I don't claim to understand the road of an addict but I know that the person has to try to climb an every growing mountain and it is a daily choice. And sometimes, even all the effort in the world does not get them to the peak. Some people do this with pennies in their pockets and one friend and others do it with millions of dollars and a safety net the size of California.

Insecurities? Celebrities do not get to claim the ownership of that. If every person on the planet who was insecure developed an addiction it wouldn't take very long for us to become "Planet of the Apes," (if we aren't already) as we ALL have insecurities. You choose how to deal with those. In some ways we all anesthetize: food, alcohol, movies, religion, vacations, drugs, concerts, thrill rides...the list goes on forever. When doctors tell you "you will die if you don't stop," it becomes a choice. It is NEVER an easy choice, but one you have to make. Winehouse beat up her body for years, sometimes that body gives out.

Access to drugs is a fame reality, but from the outset you have a choice to say "no." No one is going to fire you for not doing drugs, it's not the 80s anymore. As long as money buys drugs and we put endless amounts of money in celebrity hands, the cycle will continue. Education should come from a basic level and it is not your boss's responsibility to keep you in line. That being said, your boss should probably not supply the drugs either, but I think most of the "fringes" lines for that went out with Nancy Reagan's "Say No to Drugs" campaign. Either way, celebrities do touch your life but the road is somewhat one way. It is not a close enough relationship for you to change their lives most of the time and judging the person or their family from afar is a waste of time.

Help is out there. You can't make someone take it. You can't save everybody. What you can do is take care of the people you love. Help them when you can and support them in any way you can think of through good times and bad. Reach out to those who are not strong enough to ask for your help. Find a community cause or become involved in outreach work. Help find a better way to reach addicts, ALL addicts. But don't waste your time worrying about Amy Winehouse or any of the other people who have their own circle of friends who should take care of them. Take care of your people and let celebrities choose their circle of influence. Your job is not responsible for your drug habit, alcohol problem or anything else. Everyone feels pressure. Love your family and friends and those who don't have people, use your energy in a good and positive way towards people you can make a difference with. Reach out to those in need, you can find them anywhere but let the TV screen people take care of themselves...they have the resources. Use this death as a reminder to care for your circle, grow your circle and give back to those who suffer with no one helping.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Barbados, Monkeys and Moving....

So, my jumping back on the horse did not work exactly as planned. In my defense I ended up on a last minute trip to Barbados limiting my computer time and leaving me feeling inspired yet unable to log in, a tragedy, really, I swear. We swam, played in the water, fed fish and monkeys, pet turtles and in general just relaxed. My sister and I cleaned up at poker, her because she kept getting major cards on the River, me because I lucked out and called my brother on his many, many bluffs. But after a week of wonderful vacation time, reality came crashing down prior to leaving the adorable little island.

My family and I spent all day in the airport to have the powers that be FINALLY cancel the flight and a mere 24 hours later I made it home. While we waited I temporarily thought I had been transported to a psych hospital as one lady had a full on melt down complete with screaming as though the entire world was conspiring against her to keep her from getting back to the States. I would have felt a little bad about it but right before the announcement was made she had confessed she had missed her flight the day previous due to getting to the airport late, thereby her being stuck with us was more her own doing than anything else. After speeding through the maze of the Miami airport, breezing through customs after wisely avoiding the lady who chose to go into the US Passports only line when she clearly had a passport from another country (it was red not blue), and making it back through security and to my gate as they were boarding section 2. Bottom line, I made it home.

I was happy to be back in order to catch up with all the goings ons of my husband while I had been away. Within minutes of reuniting he got the phone call we have been waiting for. A job offer that does not require us moving clear across the country. Very exciting.

Being a girl, we are used to are varying emotions. My first emotion was excitement. A little sadness because while I didn't want to move across the country, I did love the idea of spending some quality time with the fam, but not sure that is worth uprooting our lives twice in two years. I quickly jumped on the Mammoth/Tahoe/Carson bandwagon and started thinking about all the things that needed to be done. Suddenly the move was reality, not just an abstract idea as it had been for the past few months. Within minutes I was in tears. Chris stood there looking utterly baffled. He was stressed about moving but experiencing so much relief from staying on the left coast that as far as he was concerned there was absolutely noting to be sad about. I, on the other hand, was experiencing the 'we are really doing this and I am leaving all my friends behind' moment.

I am a logical person. I know this response makes zero sense given the fact we will be a short drive or flight away versus living all the way in Tampa. I was going to leave the same people if I had to move there. Chris did his best to comfort me but could not shake the confusion. He went straight to the "solve the problem" mode, which entails asking such ludicrous questions such as "should we not move?" "do you want me to turn down the job?" and "why are you crying?" We made it quickly past the tears phase and into the acceptance phase. My rational head returned and I was able to see all the positives. The happy reasons this is all a great thing, including getting to ski all winter, hike, bike and camp again and most of all, with my new plan, save a little money for a year or so. That's a whole other conversation....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It Happened, We Knew it Would and It Did

I could make up some elaborate lie here as to why everything in my life was so monumentally important that I abandoned my blog and while it was important and I was busy, there is simply no excuse. Instead I am going to use this time to reflect on why I have NEVER been successful with keeping a journal (sans a limited period of time in Europe) and the fact the mere notion sets me up for failure. It's that grand idea of "forever." Now before everyone hits the roof, and by everyone I mean my whopping six readers, and shouts..."YOU JUST GOT MARRIED!" I am not talking about forever like that. Commitment to people, to friends, that I can do. Commitment to a task, a weekly, daily, even monthly task feels so utterly constricting I yank against the chains like you were strapping me in the electric chair/gas chamber contraption/ get my drift.

I know there are plenty of people who will point out this is just the mental manifestation of my incredible lack of discipline. Okay, fair. I can work on that. I have worked on that and will likely continue to work on it for the rest of my life. It's not really the activity or even a lack of wanting to do that activity it is the feeling of being ordered to do said activity. I admit to being a rebel without a cause, no good reason to rebel. Great life, great friends, great parents, no significant, unrecoverable trauma. I even like my I don't even have that!? But from a very young age I have been the "why" girl. I got the case of the three-year-old whys that just never went away. My aunt likes to tell the story of how I asked so many "why" questions she finally told me to shut up and stop asking why, to which my ridiculously large, pig tailed head replied, "how come?" With a story like that, I think it is fair to say it is just in my DNA. And without some sort of why instant gratification, you are hard pressed to get me to do anything I don't want to do.

Then comes the liking people thing. My Dad refers to me as the "social butterfly" and consistently questions my liking of so many people. He does not believe there are that many interesting folks on the planet, well not worth spending time on anyway. He's just not that social so I have always been an enigma. In general journaling, blogging, jogging, reading, biking, hiking, swimming...the list goes on, unless it is driven by need and/or a social atmosphere, gets put on the back burner. I LOVE all of these things. I love pontificating about life. I love writing. I love reading things other people write and I definitely love frolicking in the water. But if I don't have a good friend to do it with or some pressing drive, it seems to get put on the list of, maybe in an hour I will do it. Now work is a need, I can rise to the occasion and get things done. Of course, being the driver of my own deadlines has been a learning curve I have had to catch up to. Film project wise I am good, constantly working, but the writing for a living thing, that can be tough. Needless to say I have had my share of 3 am wake-up calls in order to make rent. This is another hurdle in the blogging/journaling world.

Finally it's the "no end it sight" problem. With work, projects and plans you have an end date. A time when that project will be over and you get to move onto something new. If you plan to journal it's FOREVER. So when you put it off one night or week and you try to pick it back up you feel like you "owe" it something. That's why I was successful in Europe, six weeks, definitive end date, just suck it up and write for 15 minutes before you go to bed. So, as I started to feel that way all through June with my blog I am going to test my "game theory" with my blog. I will be back to my Monday reporting for the summer. Until the end date of September 30th. At which time I may or may not take a break, hiatus, or just change my publishing day. Whatever it ends up being that's the goal as of this July 5th. If it works maybe I can make it work with roller blading, heck maybe I should run the experiments concurrently. But why?