I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Let me say right off the top that I am sorry the formatting of this post is such a mess. It used to look great, when I first posted it, but something has happened to my formatting since and it has screwed up the layout of a lot of my postings. I started to work through them all to fix it but after hours of working and not getting half way through, I gave up. I don't know that many people are reading these older posts and certainly not enough to warrant such a huge amount of my time dedicated to repairing them so - sorry - but it is what it is and I am sure there will be more as you work your way through the blog entirely. They get back on track by fall of 2011 when I worked with the new formatting. (Dec 31,2011)

I am loving working on this new show. Not the least of why is because we are indoors, relatively warm and very dry. Last week, Stargate SG1 was filming outside on the backlot beside us well into the night and it was a cold night. I tried not to feel smug as I got into my car at the reasonable hour of 9:30pm knowing I'd be fast asleep long before those guys wrapped.

I said relatively warm because on Tuesday and Wednesday we are blocking all day and not shooting and the guys leave the big bay doors open so that they can move in and out of the studio freely with supplies. It makes it kind of cold on the stage. So on those days I wear a warm sweater or turtle-neck. On Thursday and Friday we are shooting so the doors are closed and it gets really hot under the lights, then I wear light clothing - basically my summer tops.

We have three shows 'in the can', as it were - although it's more like 'on the disk' as it's recorded to a chip similar to the one in a digital camera. All of the cast are great and so are the writers and producers and most all of the crew. It makes for a very pleasant and even fun environment. Our director for the first four episodes is Adam Weissman and he has been wonderful. He is very patient with all of us as we learn this new format and I haven't seen him lose his temper or yell once. Well, that's not entirely true. He surprised me and yelled for everyone to be quiet one day while he was trying to sort out the blocking of a scene. The set was full of background actors - all kids as it was in the high school cafeteria - and they were having a grand time yakking. But, other than that one time, he's never once yelled or lost it.

Shooting in front of a live audience is great. It brings an energy to the process that you just don't get making a movie. It's very satisfying when they laugh at all the right places without being prompted. Although, last week most of the jokes were falling flat. There was a bit of laughter but nothing like we had experienced from the other two audiences in the preceding weeks. I was a bit worried that maybe the jokes just weren't all that funny. Then we were informed that the whole center section of the audience was comprised of a group of students from an ESL school. That explained a lot. Even if their English was good enough to understand the language, humour often does not translate well from one culture to another. They did laugh at the sight gags, however. So all was not lost. But I don't think the audience coordinator will be making that mistake twice.

1)Dueling Booms.
2)The Audience.
3)Actors on Set.
4)Daria our very talented Editor

Last week we had visitors to the set. A really gorgeous teen-age girl and a set of teen twin boys. I had no idea who they were, but the producer/head writer seemed to know them well. I had to ask someone who they were and it turns out the guys were Zach and Cody and the girl was Debby Ryan. I had no idea. I'd never even heard of the show until this show came my way... the 1st AD gave me the paperwork from a show so I could see how it was done and it was from Suite Life on Deck, and it meant nothing to me. My daughter who works for Disney was disgusted to hear it. Oh well!

A set of blackboards that I came up with and wrote for a series of scenes set in a detention room that was also an English classroom. And a tease for a GREAT scene.

This week we are on hiatus as the writers get caught up with scripts for our next three episodes. So I have been taking advantage of living close to downtown Vancouver (I am cat/apartment-sitting for a month for my friend who lives at the Athlete's Village) by taking the Aqua Bus from Science World, which is right next to where I am living, over to Granville Island and downtown. It has been miserable weather though and so not as much fun as it could be in the sunshine - until today! We had a gorgeous day today and I had plans to have lunch with my daughter who works at a daycare just across the way. I picked up sandwiches at Quiznos and we sat on a bench overlooking the water and had a lovely visit. I cherish those sorts of moments with my kids as they just don't happen very often anymore. We used to pack a lunch and head to the beach a lot when they lived at home. I really miss those days.

1.A Grey Day to Start
2.A Pretty Courtyard Downtown Vancouver
3.The View While I Wait Outside the Daycare for Ashleigh

I walked for HOURS between yesterday and today. All thanks to a tailor who has no concept of time. I bought a dress that I wanted shortening and he was highly recommended to me. It takes 20 minutes to walk from Yale Town, where I get off of the Aqua Bus, to where he is. Yesterday I had an appointment in Yale Town to get my hair cut so I left early enough to walk up to the tailors and drop off the dress. Only, when I got there at 11:00, there was a note on the door saying that he would return at 1:00. I couldn't wait so I walked back down to Yale Town and had my hair done. I walked back up when I was all cut and colored, and dropped off the dress. He said I could pick it up the next day at 1:00. So today, I left early so I could pick it up before my daughter got her lunch break at 2:00. I climbed the two flights of stairs to his little workshop, and the door was closed with the same note on it. Only this time it was 1:05. I waited until 1:20 and he still hadn't showed up so I walked all the way back to Yale Town to the daycare center, stopping to buy lunch on the way. When lunch was over and Ashleigh had to be back at work, I walked the 20 minutes back to the tailor and picked up the dress. By my calculations, that is 2 hours and 40 minutes of walking just to get the dress hemmed. He did a great job, but I won't ever go back there. I need to know that people will be punctual and be where they say they will be.

The ride back on the AquaBus was at twilight and was lovely. It's great to be on the water, even if that's the only way I can do it. At the Yale Town dock, there's a huge boat called After Eight that is almost always at the dock. It has a full-time crew of eight and all they do all day is clean and polish. It looks gorgeous. And it's a crying shame that it never gets to go any further than B.C. If it was mine, we'd be on our way to the Caribbean by now.

1)After Eight-The Boat I Wish I Boarded. 2)The Boat I Boarded. 3)Science World and The Athletes Village on the Right. 4)Science World and The City
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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