pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out

24 March 2015

Lives of the saints

Sometimes, there just aren't pictures and only words will do.

Tonight at dinner, the discussion somehow turned to saints, and as an adjunct, patron saints of various things. I think it started with St. Christopher, that he was the patron of travelers, and that he'd been booted off the calendar of saints because of purported non-existence.

Those wacky Catholics.

(If you are just joining us, I was raised as one. Just saying.)

Anyway, the daughter started questioning who was patron of this and was that name the name of a saint...

(When I want to stop them, I always bring up St. Blaise and the Blessing of the Throats, which stops everyone in their tracks, every time.)

Anyway, to the extent possible, I obliged the daughter.

"...and St. Anthony is the patron of lost things, which is why you hear me wandering around muttering, 'St. Anthony, where the hell are my car keys?' Like I was this afternoon."

"Who is patron of cats?" the spouse queried.

"St. Francis is patron of animals," the daughter and I answered almost in unison.

"There isn't one for cats?" The spouse was put out.

"St. Poohberry down there," I crooned at the cat who was sitting there wondering why he wasn't getting any chicken.

"St. James?" the daughter asked.

"He's the patron of Protestants," I responded.

The spouse laughed out loud.

(He was baptized a Presbyterian or something. It's a mixed marriage. I am extremely irreverent about it.)

"St. Barbara is the patron of geologists. And St. Jude is the patron of hopeless cases," I continued, "which is why you hear me wandering around muttering, 'St. Jude, where the hell are my car keys?'"

"St. Catherine?" the daughter asked.

"There were several St. Catherines, and I think at least one was a virgin martyr, but I don't really remember what they were known for. Look, go read Butler's Lives of the Saints. I read it in 5th grade because my desk was next to that book shelf and I used to pull out a copy while my English teacher yammered on, and I read it cover to cover that year."

"And everyone thought you were holy," the daughter said, somewhat dismissively.

"Holy terror," I replied.

"You took the words right out of my mouth," said the spouse.

Just for fun, go look up Jason Webley and his very awesome song "Eleven Saints." Because I said so. And no, not explaining the St. James joke. It's nothing offensive, but the spouse got it straight off.

23 March 2015

How I spent the first day of spring

Orange County, California
21 March 2015

Because I am always driving. Just not usually with a video camera attached to the outside of my car.

(Though I have taken to driving with a dash cam.)

The daughter's first night shoot didn't produce the quality that anyone wanted so we spent Saturday filming transitional video (like this) and reshooting the night scenes. Getting permits to do anything has proved so difficult that we resorted to things like this that didn't require permits (mostly). See also filming on private property (thank you to the owner for that).

I am looking forward to a long vacation at some point very soon.

Tech stuff: Taken with my GoPro Hero. This is a screen grab from several miles (or minutes, if you prefer) of video I shot from the exterior of my car. While I had the GoPro mounted outside, the daughter was in the back seat, filming with a Canon 60D. It was quite the process. Nothing compared to what went on later in the evening, of course. I've gone back and filled in some of the details on that.

22 March 2015

Oh no, not another night shoot

Orange, California
21 March 2015

A friend and colleague of mine (parent of a friend and colleague of the daughter) allowed us to shoot on her extensive property at night. After a guerrilla filmmaking moment earlier in the day involving a "country" cafe (that unfortunately had a huge "Happy St. Patrick's Day" banner waving in the breeze--the daughter's movie takes place at Christmas), a bit of set dressing turned an outbuilding into the cafe exterior we needed.

Ah, movie magic.

Not that we could do anything about the very loud party nearby or the horses a few yards away who were biting, kicking and stamping at each other.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Just before I broke down this part of the set and moved the car for the 1,000th time. As the daughter pointed out, the car is actually also a character in the film.

21 March 2015

These days

The near, well-lit, well-known, California
21 March 2015

The Irvine Company and friends have conspired to make 99% of Orange County look just like this. So it wouldn't even matter if I told you where we were. It all looks exactly the same.

(Camazotz, for those of you who actually read as children, and are roughly my vintage. The rest of you: read Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Better yet, read it aloud to a kid.)

Yes, I'm cranky. It was a long day of filming. Also, I recently realized that when the daughter heads off to college, I might be able to escape Orange County on a permanent basis. Seventeen uncomfortable years are 17 too many.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. And to be fair, much as I dislike this place, it's been a pretty safe place to raise my children. Everything happens for a reason.

13 March 2015

Highly windy

13 March 2015
Santa Ana, California

01 March 2015


After the storm
Venice Beach, California
1 March 2015