Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hart of Dixie

September 26 is the day to be in front of the tv with the channel on CW.  My friend was lamenting this week, the end of True Blood as the season finale has come and gone and while there will be less skin on commercial tv, I have been trying to convince her to get hooked on Hart of Dixie.  
I was lucky enough to see the pilot screenings and panel discussion at the Paley Center for Media for the CW.  Most exciting which the tv guide moderator also pointed out was that the panel had two Friday Night Lights actors-both of which are in Hart of Dixie. Leila Gerstein was charming and she made the point that when she wrote the pilot, the CW was really the only network that still will air hour long comedies or more like a dramedy.  She says she really can’t write serious and it’s a treat to see this story of a fish out of water unfold.  Scott Porter also pointed out the beauty of this show in taking it’s time to tell the story-that it won’t all be packed into one hour long episode.
It takes a lot for me to commit to to follow a new hour long show, and I just hope that it finds an audience and shows that lovely slice of life in the south.  Hopefully it will have a longer run than Lonestar.  For some reason it’s hit or miss when it comes to shows about places other than New York or Los Angeles.
Pilots are an interesting thing-one has to establish characters, a backstory and the promise of a series for a network.  It amazes me how anything in this town gets a green light but I’m so glad that this story gets a chance.  You should give it one too.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

30 Day Photochallenge Revisited

Yes, I know there are only 28 but I live for symmetry
I just wanted to take a look back at my 30 day photo challenge.  
I had been toying with the idea since my week of misery at corporate headquarters for training.  I was looking for something to grab onto, something to be creative with and something to use as a touch point or at least something to ground me.  It was a few weeks later that one of my students from my first years of teaching was chatting with me over IM and was down and out as I was with not making work and a little lost.  We shook hands on it virtually and said we would start the next day.
We both failed the first day and tired a re-do and on that day it stuck, we both missed a day or two or possibly fudged a few snaps.  My point and shoot camera went out on me and I decided to blog as well, which added another element.  It was hard and it didn’t create a habit like I had hoped, but it did make me live in the moment and celebrate everyday for what it was, even the mundane.  
Others started their own 30 day photo challenge and posted to social networks.  I was inspiring friends and old students a like and that was interesting as well.  I didn’t look at my work as compositionally beautiful but more documentary.  Sometimes I cared, other times I didn’t but like the fact that it made me pause a moment every day.
My challenger got excited and engaged in art-making again. That was exciting.  One night he wrote: “look at the lives we are touching, all of our friends are doing their own photo thing. We are HEALERS Miss Scott!”
I don’t know if I’d go that far but it was great to see the butterfly effect happen in front of my eyes.
Then another ex student wrote “I want to travel the world” ~this status is actually inspired by looking at your pictures.  I love the 30 day photo challenge and everything else you’ve done.  You’re a trend setter.”  After thanking him for the pick me up for the day, I was then pinged back with “Thank you for the inspiration.” 
And later, my challenger communicated again: 
“Have you noticed that more people are posting photos everyday? --At least on my end they are.  There was a lot of talk about the 30 day photo challenge this week at work.  I was surprised people even noticed.  I have noticed more of my friends putting up pics “just for pretty pics sake”--friends that never do that stuff.
We are changing the world Miss Scott, Me and you in our own little way!-Love it.”  and his company started their own 30 day photo challenge.
My mother finally read my blog and felt like they were daily affirmations, which surprised me since many days, I felt that my blue mood.  Although I am not taking photos every day any more-IT WAS EXHAUSTING! but it has changed how I look at the world and it I still keep a busy and jam packed social life but am able to take time and appreciate all things in it and how funny and ironic reality can be at times.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

True Sacrifice

For the last week, I have been on a media diet.  I do not need to relive what happened 10 years ago.  When I think about it, I don’t wish to share much since it sounds selfish.  I had graduated from graduate school, I was looking for work after an actor’s strike/pending writers strike in Los Angeles.  The job hunt wasn’t going well and I had flown home to see my family in Chicago.  My parents were returning from a trip as well and we met in a very open Chicago Midway Airport.  The eating area had just been remodeled and had samplings from some of the best places in Chicago.  I remember Mom’s statement of how great it was going to be and exciting it was since the renovation was complete.  Days later that would mean that no outside travelers would ever use that area again.
It was a Tuesday morning.  I know because mom had bowling and so I was to drop her off, take the car back home, clean up and then return for lunch and ladies afternoon out.   It was when was turning onto the street I grew up on that I heard that a plane had crashed through one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  I pulled into the house and snapped on the tv, since it felt very War of the Worlds hoax-like.  I quickly showered and drove back over to be with my mother, where a screen had been flipped to CNN and the goings on.  I can’t remember much more than that like where I was when I saw the towers fall but I do recall the thought that I would never find the job I was seeking.  Perhaps that statement rings true today-we’ll never know.
People talk of sacrifice and how over the last decade we’ve been at war, and I wonder how many people really know someone who has served or defended our country. I have only had one person I’ve lost, a classmate from college.  It was 2008 and my birthday.  I was grousing about how I didn’t have a family of my own and I was getting so old at 34.  I then got a text from a friend saying Gary had died from an IED in Afghanistan and all of a sudden, it hit me how young 34 could be at the same time.  
My sister in law will probably never write of this and I can’t do this story justice but the idea of sacrifice comes to mind that a four year old can often be an example more that any adult.  The question of how do we teach September 11 in schools has been one of the repeating themes in what little tv I have allowed myself to see this last week.  My sister in law teaches in an urban choice school where she teaches K4-four year olds in kindergarden.  The school she teaches in, takes a trip every year to the firehouse to teach about 9/11 and show appreciation for firefighters.  Each student is encouraged to give cards or take small gifts to leave when they go to visit.  My sister in law said one of her students a few years back, rushed back to the cupboards before leaving for the field trip and grabbed her baby doll.  She told my sister in law, her teacher,  she just wanted to hold it a little while longer because when the time came to give gifts of thanks to the firefighters, this four year old gave up what was probably one of her few dolls.  My sister in law said she and the other adults could barely hold back tears on that one.  And on a day of reflection and remembrance, I always think of a little girl giving up a baby doll to thank a firefighter for putting their life on the line.
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