Sunday, November 30, 2008

On The Cusp

Today it is 40 degrees in Atlanta, raining, and I think something is wrong with my bees. Sigh. It never ends, does it.

But tomorrow I leave for Paris, so life is looking up... of course it's forty degrees and raining there, too, but I can pretend to be Gene Kelley and do "Singin' in the Rain". Until the gendarmes come take me away.

So until then, I will meditate on this lovely flower, from the gardens of the Alahambra, in Granada, Spain. Taken last year in May.

And practice my tap dancing.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Seriously, they don't call it the GRAND Canyon for nothing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tracey's big adventure

72 hours in the Film Business... a cautionary tale.

Tracey’s Day
Volume XVII:
Olympian Heights of Stupidity

7.30am - Director arrives from out of town, hates hotel. Has to be moved

8.00 am – Change director hotel reservations

8.30 – craft service falls thru. No snacks, no show

10.05 – need to leave for tech scout at 10.30

10.07 – call new hotel for credit auth fax

10.10 - need to leave for scout

10.12 – hotel fax comes

10.15 – seriously, need to leave for scout. Gonna be late

10.17 – no time to do credit auth, have to do when get back

10.20 am – finally leave for scout.

10.25 – stop for gas. Beyond lateness now

11.00 – Arrive at scout. Everyone else late too

11.00-3pm – follow Producer around at scout, pretending I know what’s going on

3.30 pm – find new craft service person, yay. Snack crisis averted

4.00 p – PA’s leave to get cube truck, as camera has to be picked up before 5.30

4..15p – Accountant calls from camera house. Production company owes 7,000 dollars in
back bills. No camera gear for us til it’s paid

4.20 – Call accountant at production company. Claims to have no idea what camera
house is talking about

4.22 – Art Department calls, has massive hot dog cart that needs to be picked up before

4.30 – Camera House Accountant forwards unpaid invoice

4.35 – Oh, THAT $7,000. Here’s a credit card to put it on.

4.45 – Credit card declined.

4.50 – EP calls bank, gets cc cleared

5pm – Finalize deals with camera department. “You’re so helpful,” they say. I assure
them that I LOVE the camera department. It’s the WARDROBE department I hate. A
percipient statement, as it turns out – PA locks keys in the 15 pass van

6.02 – With it running!?!?!?!

6.10 – Call AAA.

10pm – place call #2342 to Producer. Not responding

11pm – pack it in. go to sleep.

11.15 – phone rings. Sound guy claims didn’t get map.

11.20 – pack it in. go to sleep

11.30 – phone rings. Security guy wants to double check call times.

11.45 – third time’s the charm. Go to sleep.

12.45 am – phone rings. Driver from Hotel car service says wardrobe girl’s flight has
landed. Sadly no sight of wardrobe girl.

12.50 am – Driver calls again, says hotel has called him and wardrobe girl has already
checked in.

12.51 – Call hotel to confirm check in. Turns out to not be correct.

1am – Call driver, beg him to stay until I can find out where wardrobe girl is.

1.10 – 1.30 – On phone with Delta, trying to find out if Wardrobe girl is on any flight,
anywhere. Delta says she has canceled her flight and taken a voucher. Wardrobe
department: completely MIA.

1.30 – Hotel Driver gives up after two hour wait.

1.40 – Producer calls, just to see how things are going. Apparently has not received any of
the 4,000 panicked messages I have left her this evening.

2.00 am – pack it in. go to sleep

2.15 am – wardrobe girl calls, is bitch beyond belief. Wants to know where her car
service is.

2.16 am – Add wardrobe girl to “hold grudge against for life” list. Funny how that list
isn’t getting any shorter

2.17 am – Remember earlier conversation with camera guy. Who knew I had the gift of

2.20am – fifth time’s the charm. Go to sleep

4.15 am – alarm goes off. Who am I kidding? Reset for 5.15 am, sacrifice hairstyle.

4.16 am - And showering

5.15 am – Morning so soon?

5.20 am – early pa calls looking for call times

5.50 am – early pa shows up, smells of liquor from 3 feet away

6 am – second pa calls in sick

6.10 am – third pa calls to tell me he has left his phone home. Calling from someone
else’s phone, obviously

6.30 am – get hopelessly disoriented on one way streets downtown. Lack of sleep
possibly a factor

6.40 - fourth pa 20 mins late

6.55 – fifth pa, 35 mins late

7.05 am – fifth pa sits down to eat breakfast, despite major lateness. Anytime you feel
like working, buddy….

9.30 a,m – Client shows up with her chiuaua mix

10.00 – Female star talent shows up one hour late, with her yorkie in tow

10.15 – Female star’s ‘Manager’ (ie best friend from High school) shows up, clutching
tiny maltese puppy

11 am – number of little rat dogs now running around in restaurant we are using for talent holding: five. Number of
health codes we are breaking: uncounted

11.30 am - Male star talent shows up, four hours late. Mercifully dogless.

12.00 pm – Client leaves her rat dog with me to babysit – says she will “settle down and
sleep”. Fat chance

12.55 pm – Dog has been fussing constantly for an hour. Perhaps a walk will help

12.57 pm – Get ten feet out of door, dog goes into seizure,falls to the ground choking
and foaming at the mouth. Grab dog off of ground and rush into restaurant, frantically
calling for help on the radio. Dog pees all over me.

12.59 pm – Client comes running into restaurant, just as I get dog semi revived. Casually
mentions that dog is epileptic. “I can’t believe I didn’t tell you that!” Neither can I...

1.15 – send pa in search of replacement pants

1.30 pm – Lunch

1.31 pm – Morning talent released, all come to me looking to get paid. Guess lunch will
have to wait.

2.15 pm – Caterer comes looking for payment, since lunch is over. Still havent’t eaten.

2.20 pm – Finally fix self plate – Walk outside to tell Producer something before I sit down and eat. Get asked to
watch her dog while she gets her food. Dog eyes plate hungrily.

2.35 – Helen comes back with locations scout. Scout Bumps into me, knocking my
plate into the street. Clearly not destined to eat lunch.

2.40 – get fresh plate.

2.41 - Food not all that good actually

2.45 – Still no sign of replacement pants.

2..50 – Producer asks me to watch her dog while she goes to do something. Not the best idea
under the circumstances

3.00 – Talent that left before lunch still needed. Oops.

3.10 – covered in dog drool now. Nice addition to the pee

3.20 – Helen returns, takes dog. Considerably relieved.


3.35 – Jessica in Art Department tells me I look like I’ve lost weight. Love, Love, Love
the art department.

3.50. – new pants arrive, fit perfectly. Praise God. Actually nicer than the pants I was

4.00 – Production shocked – shocked! that it might rain. At 4 pm. In the summer. In the

5.00 – Helen leaves to supervise the casting for the other job she’s producing this week.

5.15 – Client comes in wanting to know where we can find playback gear, which they did
not want to pay for originally so we didn’t order it. At 5 pm on a Saturday?

5.30 – – Frantically call all over town for playback gear. No can do

6 pm – order dinner for crew – 8 large pizzas

7pm – look at large, mutinous crew. Double pizza order

8pm – Go to Female star Talent and tell her her driver will pick her up at 7 am for her
return flight. She informs me she doesn’t want to go back tomrrow, will return on
Monday instead.

8.30 – Call travel agent at home on Saturday night to change this bimbo’s flight. This is
going to be a pleasant conversation

10.30 – Camera wraps, 2.5 hours behind schedule. Start cleaning up the mess

11.45pm – pick up last scrap of trash in street. Roll out!

12 am – Meet Helen and Marc for drink at local pub. Just one.

12.10am – Well, maybe two.

12.15am – Gosh that Phelps kid is fast

12.30 – head home. Sleeeeeep

7am – up and at em!

7.30 – Call hotel and cancel female talent’s hotel –to-airport shuttle

8.15 – Pa who is supposed to be picking up first airport run at 9 am is not here to pick up
the van yet. Disconcerting

8.30 am – Said PA calls, looking for directions to my house. Clearly not making the 9am

8.40 am – Call hotel, arrange for hotel-airport shuttle for 9am dude

9am – PA finally shows up, casually mentions he stopped partying about 90 minutes ago.
Why, Why, Why would you mention that? To your boss? When you are half an hour late
for work?

9.30 am – Get call from Hotel. Female Talent’s yorkie howled and barked all night. Now
charging us a pet fee, $200

9.45 - Also, there were two dogs. In a non-pet hotel.

10am – Get call from Producer, Client has realized she left her dog carrier with us, needs it
to make her noon flight.

10.15 – Call PA, tell him to come here and get the dog carrier

10.40 am – PA leaves for hotel with carrier. Client not making that noon flight, that ‘s for

11 am – Client left for airport before he got there. PA now has to follow her to airport

12pm – PA calls, is at airport with client. Great, except that means he’ll miss the 12.15
hotel to airport pickup we have scheduled.

12.05 – Call hotel shuttle people. Again.

12.15 – start cringing whenever phone rings

1pm – Stop bailing. Ship going down anyway….

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Thursday night we went to the Horizon Theater in Atlanta to see the new musical, "Song of the Living Dead" which is a musical love story about Zombies. It is absolutely hilarious and we laughed ourselves sick (easier than usual because it's pretty gory) and I beg you, beseech you, if you live anywhere in the Southern half of the Northern Hemisphere to go and see it. Twice.

This morning I went to the Farmer's Market to do, well, the marketing, and I picked up a loaf of hot, fresh French Baguette bread, and as usual I didn't even make it out to the car before I was tearing off one end and stuffing it in my mouth, like I'd never eaten before. Like THAT's likely. And I realized that as I was stuffing my face I was mmmming and yuuummmming and moaning "mmmBreaaaadddd..." and I sounded EXACTLY like the Zombies in the play when they were moaning "Braaaaaiiinnnsss...."

Which is pretty funny when you think about it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Now with Added Smoke Flavor

I went out on Saturday night to see Big City Burlesque, one of the retro-burlesque troupes in town (there are three). Not being attentive to the flyer, I showed up about forty-five minutes early, so I got my ticket and walked over to a local cafe to grab a snack.

As I sat, idly perusing the freebie newspaper I'd picked up on the way in, I noticed vaguely that the cafe was awfully smokey. I was on the patio so I assumed someone was smoking at an adjoining table. Or maybe some heavy diesel burner was going by. God, it WAS smokey. What on earth...?

I glanced up to realize, I had set my own newspaper on fire with the candle on the table. Aaargh! Newsprint burns quite fiercely in case you've wondered. I blew on it, but that only made it worse. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to roll the paper up quickly and smother it. And fortunately the tables around me were filled with jaded hipsters who apparently did not notice my attempt at inadvertent self-immolation, because they would have had to stop comparing their eco-chic outfits in ordere to do so.

Still, embarrassing. Thank god the waiter was stoned and I wasn't wearing polyester. I'll be able to go back.

Once again proving I don't have to go far from home to get myself in trouble.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weirder and Weirder

And just in case babysitting dormant butterflies isn't enough, I just pushed back from my desk and thought,

"Oh, that reminds me. I have to feed the bees tonight."

When did I become the fucking Bug Whisperer?

(Photo of my bees, above. Not stolen from anybody.)


We are doing a butterfly release for one of our shots on Friday, so I am in charge of babysitting 3 dozen dormant monarch butterflies that have to be kept in a cooler at 62 degrees for the next two days. Then I have to put them in a special box, warm them up, and we poof! let them go.

Seriously, I have the weirdest job in the world.

(Picture cheerfully stolen from

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Unbearable Lateness of Being

Today's my last day on the home schedule - I start a new project tomorrow, and even though it's not one I'm really interested in, I am so glad to be gainfully employed again that I'm sharpening my mechanical pencil and dusting off the adding machine. (There's some irony to the fact that I failed algebra repeatedly as a schoolgirl, and now make my living almost entirely with math).

But the big change is the schedule. When I am working at home, I slowly shift my body clock backwards, closer to my natural circadian (is that the right word?) rhythm, and closer to my boyfriend's, who runs a restaurant and is always up til three in the morning. Within a couple of days I, too, am sleeping until 8.30 AM and thinking vaguely that I should turn in about midnight.

But oh, once production starts again - ouch. I have to be in the office by 8.30, showered and dressed and orally dentifriced, alert and ready. Since I'm a slow waker, and I have to drive half an hour to get there, that means the alarm's going off tomorrow at six. Ugh. I haven't seen a single-digit wake-up call in a month.

This....will be ugly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Top Five Meals Ever

Ac-cent-u-ate the Pos-i-tive...

That's an old Johnny Mercer tune, for those of you not familiar with it. Jazz N Swing - it's your musical heritage, people. Look into it.

Anyway, enough ranting. In an attempt to do an upbeat post, to take my mind off my painful, bee-induced disfigurement (hopefully mending, as we speak) I am going to do a roundup of the best five meals I have ever eaten. No particular order.

First: Honey Roasted Leg of Lamb at the Santa Clara restaurant in Seville, Spain:

Seriously, probably the best piece of meat I have ever put in my mouth, and I say that as someone who drools as I drive by cows on the highway. Sweet, but not too sweet, rich sauce, and melting, fall apart on the plate lamb. Perfection. I can't even remember what it came with, because my mind was so blown by the lamb. I have to learn to make that one day. And the setting - an outdoor, courtyard restaurant, surrounded by orange trees and jasmine and the walls of a 18th century convent - I felt like I was in a movie. (photo above).

Second: Tapas at Gervais and Vine, in (no, I'm serious) Columbia, South Carolina

I reiterate: Columbia, South Carolina. Not exactly the ass end of nowhere, but certainly the lower back of nowhere. Tiny, packed to the gills tapas place - I was there alone, I was in Columbia for work but my companion stayed in that night - I had perfect grilled scallops, an Ozark Pork Belly with cherry sauce that almost knocked me off my chair, and something else I can't remember except that it was good. Only the potato pancake was boring. And for once I didn't go back to the hotel and pass out, overstuffed.

Third: The first time I ever ate real, pit smoked, southern bar-b-que

He took me to a place called Daddy D'z, in Atlanta. It was our first or second date. I was wearing a white sundress. Was I high? Listen, until then I didn't know from Barbeque. I thought it was what you did on the Weber in the backyard. But that night I fell madly, passionately in love...and now I eat BBQ all the time.

(and He's still hot stuff too)

Fourth: Beef Bourginonne, which I cannot spell, from Julia Child's "The Way to Cook"

A best meal I can make whenever I want too, since I make it at home. MMMMMMMMMmmmmm.

Fifth: Chicken and Chorizo Stew at La Basque in San Francisco

I ate this until my stomach hurt, and then I kept eating it. Oh, the humanity!

Oh, how I suffer for my art....And there are a few things that tie for Honorable Mention, including the meal I had at the original Carrabas' in Houston, Texas, the barbeque at Maurice's in Columbia South Carolina (there's that damn town again), and the coleslaw at both Sam's BBQ in Florence Alabama (seriously, now THAT'S the ass end of nowhere) and at Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta, Ga. Both totally different, but equally hhmmmmnnnnyummy. Puerco pibil in Mexico, in some tiny town near Chichen'Itza....onion soup at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris...

Mother Nature Strikes Back, V2.0

Appaaaaaarently, Bees do not like publicity. Yesterday morning - mere days after I brought them to your attention, and while I was having my morning, "aaaaawwwww" glance at them- a bee flew up from the hive, got tangled in my bangs, and BAM! stung me just under my right eyebrow. My face now looks like the Mets requisitioned it for batting practice - that is, if the Mets could hit anything this year besides the bottom of the standings - and I would be shopping for an eyepatch if I wasn't too embarrassed to leave the house.

I wonder if Topshop sells eyepatches online? Finally, a real excuse for internet shopping.

I should be fine in another day or so, but ow ow ow it hurt. Bees! Love them, but saddened by bang-diminished navigation.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And While we are on the Updates....

Allow me to introduce my new roommates... all 40,000 of them.

Yes, I now have a beehive in the backyard, not because I'm very touchy-feely earthy mothery - I got them before the current wave of "Save the Bees" mania - but because the idea always seemed sort of romantic and medieval. I'm a Renaissance man! Well, woman. 'Cause really, when you think about it, having a box full of pets that could theoretically kill you if they got mad enough - I mean, that's pretty *%$^#! goth. No? Yeah, my boyfriend thinks I'm an idiot too.

We'll see who's laughing when I make honey and biscuits for breakfast. AND REFUSE TO SHARE.

Actually he's been great about the new beasties, helped to put the hives together (they come in a flat pack, as if it's designed by IKEA) and feeding them when I went to Boston a couple of weeks ago. I'd make a joke here about washing all those tiny little plates, but you people are way to smart for that. Aren't you? Yes, you are. They actually eat out of an upside down bottle, like a hamster feeder - if your hamster consumed 4 pounds of sugar water a week. And wouldn't he be running in that little wheel THEN.

So welcome, bees. The garden was less lovely without you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Updates...No, Really. I Swear!

Soooo... been a little slacadasical on the blog front, which is interesting because I've been traveling like nobody's business, at least up til 6 weeks ago when work slowed down and now I'm apparently unemployed for the rest of my life. So I've been sitting at home for six weeks, and all I've got to show for it is raging cabin fever.

But! Before that, I was interesting, I was employed, I was I veritable Pepper Potz of coolness, if not with such nice hair, but we can dream. And so in the last year I went to: The Grand Canyon (big), Montana (cold), Spain (hot), San Francisco (hilly), Boston (revolutionary), and Puerto Rico (salsa!).

So there. Now we're all up to date. I feel better.

Kidding. Real stories and updates to come.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Visccitudes of Nature

So, my hot water heater has given up the ghost, and it announced that fact by pouring water all over my laundry room the day before yesterday. Thank god I rent. I figured, not a problem, I'll deal with cold water for a couple of days, and hopefully the landlord will get it replaced quickly. It's already spring, the daffodils are popping and the chipmunks are out, so it's not like it's December.

So of course that means I woke up yesterday to my first day of cold showers, and found that it was SNOWING. In Atlanta. In March. I know the heat's on in the house and all, but soft, fluffy flakes of coldness - every one different! - did nothing for the shower morale. I got an ice-cream headache on the OUTSIDE of my head when I washed my hair.

Mother Nature: a cranky, untrustworthy bitch, given to strike at any time.