Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thanksgiving in the Keys

My vacation to Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys was very tropical, very relaxing, and very, very beautiful.

I went with Bryce, his family, his granny Kay (who invited me), his aunt, uncle & 3-yr-old cousin from New York City (that I had dinner with while I was there), and Kay’s cousin Jack and his wife Donna (whose son Scott lived on Duck Key Island, where we were staying). It was a big group, and they were all a ton of fun.

Our events included jet-skiing (I saw a six-armed starfish), off-shore fishing (I caught six or seven large fish, including the second largest edible fish), and a sunset cruise (more like a sunset speedboat ride– my hair was destroyed).

The off-shore fishing excursion was especially fun. Scott, Jack’s son-in-law, owned the fishing boat and took us out for the day. He and his shipmate Bill were extremely knowledgeable about how to catch fish, and it probably took us an hour to catch over twenty fish. We then spent the next three or four hours trolling for sailfish (giant “sport” fish). We only saw one the entire time, and it refused to bite. So right before we went in, we had some fun and caught one large kingfish and two giant barracuda (which are inedible because they carry some sort of disease).

During the downtime, I took two naps, read a little, went below deck to make everyone sandwiches (below deck, there were three bedrooms that can sleep up to six people, a bathroom, a washer and dryer, a kitchen/living area, and a giant TV– talk about traveling in comfort!), and went up to the “tuna tower,” a deck at least twenty feet above the upper deck, in which there was an incredible view of the sea all around and a great view all the way down to the bottom of the sea. It wasn’t very deep in most areas (never more than 45 ft) and the water was so clear we could see the bigger fish swim around in the depth. And not only was it clear, but it was the most beautiful shade of bright aquamarine blue I’ve ever seen.

Thanksgiving dinner was at Scott (our boat captain) and his wife’s home on the island where we were staying (Duck Key). All the traditional food was there– turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes– but the location was anything but normal. We ate outside on the patio and from there we could see the sea (from the empty lot across the street). The weather could not have been more pleasant as well, and later when the sun set, we lit a small fire in one of those little metal fire pits and sat around chatting for another couple hours before heading back to the villa.

And the villa…! The villa was a two-story little condo, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a large back porch (and upper deck porch). Our backyard was a little grass and then the bay. To our left was the marina, directly across was the long highway (that stretches from mainland Florida all the way down to Key West, the southernmost island), and to our right was the open sea. A long, gorgeous expanse of open sea, which I could stare at for hours. Unfortunately, I never woke up early enough to see the sunrise from there (our back porch faced east), but I’m sure the view would have been breath-taking.

The sunset that we saw from the sunset “cruise” sure was spectacular. But it was most amazing after the sun had already set. There weren’t many clouds overhead to reflect the light during the sun’s descent, but on the horizon all around were low-lying clouds that kept their pink and blue hues after the sun dipped below the water. With the sun gone, the sea became a icy silver blue– the most beautiful part of the entire picture.

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I’m an extra!

So fun moment… Right now I am an extra in a film shoot. 

Quick Set-Up:
For the final project in one of my film classes, everyone has to create either a short film, write a short screenplay, or write a film research paper. I chose to write a short screenplay, but my friends/classmates Reilly and Jenn are working together and making a short film.

They sent out a call for extras, and since we student filmmakers have to stick together, I of course decided to come (even though I really need to be packing for my Thanksgiving break right now). 

To be honest, being an extra (or even the star) is not very glamorous. There are long stretches of time in which nothing happens and we are left on our own while the crew sets up props and fiddles with lights. Basically, there is a ton of down-time, with brief periods of fun/interesting dialogue interspersed. 

The other fun thing about this particular film shoot is that I don’t know what the film’s story is about. They either didn’t send out a synopsis, or I didn’t bother to check. But whichever way, all I know is that there are twelve of us, pretending to be students sitting in a classroom. All the extras have laptops and electronics, and the female protagonist has a book, pencils and a notepad. We are supposed to be paying zero attention to the lecturing professor. 

Since I don’t know what this film is actually about, I am having a fun time trying to piece together the story. Sadly, we have not yet gotten to filming the dialogue, so my nuggets of information to go off of is currently very slim. But we’ll see. 

Anyway, it’s kinda fun to know that I am helping out a fellow student. Although really, I know I always say this but I am way more comfortable on the other side of the camera.

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Holiday Ramblings

Fall has finally arrived in Oklahoma. Those of you in Montana will probably be jealous when I tell you that we had 70 degree weather all the way through October. On Halloween, we were in jeans and t-shirts. It was fun while it lasted, since 70 degree weather is quite possibly the most universally pleasant weather. But of course, with November came the cold. And I can’t get enough of it.

The air is crisp (a rarity for Oklahoma), the leaves are crunchy (they aren’t soggy yet, since there hasn’t been too much rain this fall), and I get to wear my awesome wardrobe of sweaters every day (thanks to Evangelina’s wonderful donations to me).

And thanks to Pandora (the world’s best free online radio), I have been listening to Christmas carols for weeks now. Whenever I get home from class and am in need of a pick-me-up, I just get online and Mariah Carey’s cheerful pop version of “All I Want for Christmas (Is You)” greets me with a wave of holiday happiness.

Man, I love Christmas. I love Thanksgiving too… but much less than I love Christmas. I mean, nothing can beat cinnamon pine cones, paper snowflakes, and Christmas carols. *happy sigh*

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Update on My Life

I am keeping busy here, planning lots of events for the Student Film Production Club and trying to figure out how to maintain good grades this semester. I’m also starting to plan ahead for the spring… I wish there were two or three of me. Then I could even attempt to start the fun/interesting/resume-building things I would like to accomplish.

One fun thing I just started this semester (a little late to be starting things, I know) is participating in the Language Exchange Program here at OU. I have three international students– one from Kuwait, one from Africa somewhere (speaks French), and one from Korea (I think)– and basically we get together for an hour once a week or so and speak English. That’s it. So I now have three new friends.

Well, I have only met one so far, but I’m sure the other two will be just as much fun. Yesterday I met Ahmad, an 18-yr-old freshman from Kuwait who has 18 siblings (TEN brothers, EIGHT sisters), two mothers, is a middle child, and is the only one of his brothers to get good grades and to go on to University (and to study in the United States). Fascinating kid. I can’t wait to learn more about a different culture and help him make more friends here in the U.S.

Also, I just hosted a Screenwriting Workshop through SFPC this last Friday afternoon. The two panelists were Joel Hulett of Dolphin Bay Films (I interned with him this summer) and Sheryl Fletcher, a Canadian screenwriter who is working with Joel on a couple screenplays (I worked on one of her screenplays–wrote a couple scenes, which they kept!– while I was there). The workshop covered both the creative and business side of screenwriting, and I was extremely pleased that over FORTY people came! The room was packed, and for students on a Friday afternoon, that was a very impressive turnout.

Except for the fact that the two only did Q&A and didn’t lecture at all (which was not what I had in mind), I think the event was a success. Students had a lot of questions, and their questions filled up two hours worth of Q&A, which is a LOT. So overall, I am very happy with the way it went.

And those, as of now, are the new things in my life.

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If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

– Unknown

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Bumpersticker Slogan

“People more violently oppose fur than leather because its easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.”

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