Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life on the Set of Unicorn City

Thought of the Day: "The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands."
Song of the Day: Nineteen by Tegan & Sara

Dear humans. I have something to tell you.

Do you remember when I was ranting about Unicorn City, a movie that recently begun filming and is in turn written by our friend Adrian Lefler? And remember how I was offered a PA job there but had to turn it down? Whaaaale.... I was able to take the job at about 6 hours a day instead of 12, and I started on Monday. I'm so stoked. Oh, and not only did I start, but my bee eff eff Katie also got a job there because she knows Adrian too! Huzzah!

In honor of Unicorn City, my pictures today are all unicorn-inspired. I Google Image searched "unicorn" and about five million pieces similar to these popped up. It makes me wonder about the type of person who sits down and draws a unicorn with a rose in its mouth. Enjoy!

The first day on set I was alone because Katie didn't think she was allowed to come with me, so I was very timid and scared of everyone and I kind of lurked around and tried to appear busy when I didn't have a job to do. I'm hired as a PA – a production assistant – so basically I run around doing odd jobs like holding trays of chopped up Pop Tarts or fetching water for the infamous David Thorpe. But there's a ton of down-time, more like standing-around-in-the-shade time where we can just hang out and watch the actors film or stare at a bug or something.

The actors are not supposed to get overheated, but in between takes they aren't allowed to run off and stand in the shade, so the wardrobe and make-up girls plus the PA's have a bunch of these funny umbrellas – Some are rainbow and some are black and say "FootJoy" on them. No one knows what FootJoy is. – and they go and shade the cast while they're standing around. For some reason, I find it unreasonably hilarious.

Also, the crew wears radios to communicate with each other. At first I was overjoyed to get mine – a walkie-talkie with a microphone and an earpiece – but soon I discovered that the earpiece makes you totally 100% deaf in the ear it's in, making talking very frustrating because you can't really gauge your volume level accurately. I'm probably yelling all day long. Plus chewing and swallowing when it's in your ear is gross, it sounds really loud in your head so I always get paranoid that everyone can hear me gulping away. But hearing your name on the radio is surprisingly fantastic. They talk in this cool code that's like "Bob to Avery" and then you go "This is Avery" or "Avery copy" or my favorite "Go for Avery", and then they send you on fun missions. Sometimes we even get to call people and attempt to sound very professional.

Katie and I are the youngest people there, aside from some 10-year-old daughters of the crew that run around and be cute, and also this 6'2, 300 lb. gorilla-man that turned out to be 13. It turns out that being in high school isn't a socially acceptable thing anymore. When you tell people, they get this look on their face and then all say "So young". I think I hate that.

It's about 200 degrees every day so I've gotten a minor tan. You get covered in dirt. I come home with streaks all over my face and dust sunscreened onto my arms. Ew.

They spend hours and hours doing the same scenes over and over and over from a thousand different camera shots. I laugh every single time. Today I got to meet John Gries aka Shadowhawk aka Uncle Rico on Napoleon Dynamite. Darren came up to Katie and I at the very beginning of the day and was all, "John Gries is coming in today and... don't talk to him unless he talks to you". So naturally we thought he was going to be some sort of prima donna and super mean, but then when we nervously offered him something off our food platters (like jerkey or cherry granola) he was really great and nice, he even asked what our names were. I'm going to have to go on Facebook and find some sort of page for him so that I can become a fan of him right away.

A few memorable people on set:
  • Darren. I'm not sure what his actual job is, but he seems like the guy to know. He's in charge of lots of things and everyone takes orders from him. He's also incredibly nice and funny. We heart Darren.
  • Ashley. She works at craft and is nice to everyone.
  • Birdman aka Robbie. He wears a wetsuit with black low-tops and multicolored feathers everywhere. Priceless.
  • Bree. She's this Australian wardrobe chick that I've never really had a conversation with, but everyone is constantly looking for her. She gets radioed a thousand times a day. "Where's Bree? Has anybody seen Bree?"
  • Unice. His name his Charles Unice and he's some crew guy (we don't know any of their actual jobs) that likes hohos and being amusing.
  • Brian. He's the director, and Adrian's brother. Our job is to remind him to drink water.
  • Clint aka Rhubarb. The centaur. He's this big redheaded guy with this fantastic crimped mohawk that walks around with a cooler attached to his waist. He looks really intimidating but it turns out that he's one of the nicest guys on set.
  • David Thorpe. The Water Hog. Forever asking for new water bottles.
  • Stephen. He had a staff infection on his nose and wasn't allowed to touch the food. Turns out that he's hilarious too.
  • James. The highlight of Wednesday was when he came up to us when we had mini-donuts and said. "I'll take a donut. Two dones." Dones?! That's freaking funny.
  • A. Todd. He always has some hilarious spazzy thing to say when he takes food from us. Sometimes it's sound effects, other times it's just random comments. He was there after James's "dones" thing, and after seeing that make Katie and me laugh so hard he decided that he needed to be funny too, but all he could think of was "I'll take one bread..." Obviously we laughed even harder.
  • Ty. Another PA, but one that actually gets cash. He's a spaz, and a 36-year-old woman loves him.
  • Scott. The future of Collin Edward White.
  • Dash aka Codpiece aka some other name that I can't remember. He wears red long johns and a bedazzled hubcap and codpiece. It's awkward/insanely funny. When he isn't filming, he sits around and writes which I – obviously – think is muy attractivo.
That's all I can think of right now. Everyone is awesome though and terribly terribly funny. We're always laughing.

That's all for right now. I'll tell you more later, I'm just combusting with stories about set.

See you in my dreams.
-Avery Jalaine

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Flurry of Words and Sounds

Thought of the Day: Sometimes it's easier to lay on the floor or try power-yoga than it is to tell a simple story.
Song of the Day: The Resistance by Muse

Hello. I'm in a mad dash to finish the ol' novel by my deadline (impossible), but I felt like I needed to add just a few power-pictures and quotes so that you can make it through the day. And then I'm off to go write again. Everything is very distracting today. Pray for me.

"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Hectic Summer Life of Avery Jalaine Taylor

Thought of the Day: " I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it." -Jack Handey
Song of the Day: No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand

As it is summer, I'm feeling sort of irritated because I'm finding it very very hard to be lazy. Actually, most of my busyness is pretty fun/good for me, so it hasn't made me too angry, but lately I have been wanting to just sit around with Katie, Juliana, and Briannie. Also, it's making me feel like "wtf summer is practically over" and that's übersad because it's June 16th and I haven't even done anything super summer-fied besides oversleep and not get out of my jammies until 5 pm. I'm such a loser.

But here, as of late, is what I've been up to:

  • I went to THE Teen Writers Conference 2010 on June 5th. I felt like some sort of ultra-responsible superteen because it was held at Weber State and we got name cards and syllabuses (!!!) and we sat at conference tables and took notes. I'm such a 100% geek that I totally adored it, all of the notes we took and the nerd-speak we used. And then I felt all enlightened by all of the crazy-smart writers and authors there, when I got home all I wanted to do was write and tell everyone all of my findings even though no one cared. One downside was that I hated like 99% of the people there, just based on the 9 hours I spent with them. Writers generally suck. I mean, I'm a total writing-geek and I feel like a traitor saying it, but they're so weird. I hate being around them. (That's what people probably say about me. Whatever.) On the plus side, I was hotter than almost everyone there except that wasn't that big of an accomplishment.. heh heh. Anyway, it was awesome. Plus I got to talk to Lisa Mangum, the author of The Hourglass Door, one of my favorite books. Yay. She's phenomenal.
  • Girls' Camp was last week, Tuesday to Friday. We went to Moab. Fun, right? Wrong. Well, not really, the camp itself should've been incredible, the leaders did a fabulous job planning it. I was just in the worst mood I've ever been (pms... :< ) and so I completely loathed all of my friends. At one point I got mad at Katie and tried putting sand in her pants. Also I scared the beehives a lot by telling them to shut up and that I wished they were dead. Plus my scalp got all sunburned and sting-y and it was 1000˚ up there and I kept wanting to rip off my own skin to escape the heat (even though that wouldn't even have been helpful). Plus there were 100-mile-an-hour winds that blew sand everywhere – eyes, teeth, tents, sleeping bags, food, mess kits, hair, dignity, happiness-glands, shoes – and made us all really sad and frustrated and even brattier. ("Shut up!" "No, you shut up!" "I hate you!" "I hate the sand and everything!" *cat fight ensues*) But there were fun parts too. The river-rafting trip was nice (even though a bunch of boyz from school showed up looking all tan and shirtless while we looked all sandy and sunburned) plus we got to flirt with a hottie river guide and eat white-bread sandwiches (yaay). I got chocolate-covered pretzels that made everything better. I love Natty, Sarah, and Lauren.
  • My novel is due for proof-publishing June 30th and I'm terrified I'm not going to get it finished. Seriously, I'm way under-progress and supersuper sad that I might not meet my deadline. I should totally be writing it right now but I'm lazy and I have writers block and my head sort of hurts. Pray for me.
  • Me and Bri and Katie and Juliana are going to a 3:15 AM showing of Eclipse on the 30th. I'm going to be either really irritable or really hyper/annoying or plain old dead by then. We'll see how everyone reacts to one another. (Cat fights? Group therapy session? Mass suicide?)
  • Dylan got his mission call!!!! He's serving in the Philippines Cebu Mission, speaking Cebuano! Yaaaaay! We're all superawesomeexcited about the whole ordeal, except we're sad that he's leaving for 2 years (heading off to the MTC on Aug. 25th, the first day of high school for me). I'm still disappointed that he didn't go to Pocatello, Idaho. ;)
  • Last night we have some dance party in Juliana's garage with Juliana's 10-year-old brother Lucas and his friend Adam, who happens to be Bentley Rawle's brother, who happens to wish that I was dead, and who also happens to be one of the tan, shirtless boys from the Moab trip. I discovered that I am a lot more comfortable dancing with 5th graders than boys my own age. Pathetic, Avery.
  • Unicorn City begins filming June 21st! (Dylan's birthday) It's a movie written by my (incredibly amusing) Sunday school teacher, Adrian Lefler. From what we've heard (quite a bit) it sounds hilarious, kind of the same humor as, like, Nacho Libre or Napoleon Dynamite (but different, just kind of pathetic people and sarcasm...) It's about some gamer utopia based off of some role playing nerd game. :) Yay. I'm so excited. Our whole class gets to be extras in it, and dress up in lame/awesome costumes. Also, I had to turn down an offer to be a Production Assistant on the movie (sad) but I hope that I still get to help out. I emailed Brutha Lefler back just barely and I'm yet to get a response. You'd better go see it in theaters.
  • I'm yet to fall in love.
  • The best sno-cone flavor at Snoasis is Wedding Cake & Piña Colada w/cream. Just saying.
And that's my summer so far. We'll see where it all takes me. Right now I'm just focusing on my novel (still untitled... help?) and hoping I finish it sort of acceptably. I'll keep you updated.

Have a good day. Go outside. Drink some juice.
-Avery Jalaine

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Summer of L-O-V-E

Thought of the Day: " First love is a little foolish and a lot of curiosity. " -George Bernard Shaw
Song of the Day: When We First Met by Hellogoodbye <3

Katie said it first. She named it and everything.

The Summer of LOVE. It's official.

So, the rules of this summer are simply this:

1) Love someone new, someone lovely. Find romance. Fall in love.
2) Love your friends. Be together.
3) Love your family. Love your mom.
4) Love the summer. The sunshine, the heat, the tan-lines you get.
5) Love time. Spend it well.
6) Love life. Love everything about it because it's going fast. No regrets.
7) Love yourself. You're lovely and brilliant and gorgeous and incredible and perfect.

And that's it. The main emphasis---of course---is falling in love.

The only problem is... how does one fall in love? I mean, I've seen it happen. I've watched all the chick flicks, I've read as much crappy teen romance as you have (admit it!). But how do you walk around and fall in love? I think I'm too shy to ever fall in love. I can talk to girls. I can talk to adults. I can talk to geeks. But once a pretty boy walks up I get all stressed out and tongue-tied and concentrate really hard on saying something that will make him be like "I love her", which is dumb because then I just end up silent or say something really really really lame or scandalous or forward and instead of being like "love" they're like "...weird..." I suppose I'm doomed to a loveless existence. Okay. :(

I'm scared of when my friends all go off this summer and find boyfriends without me.

It's obvious Bri is going to fall in love sooner or later. She's too cute, some ultra-hot boy is going to fall in love with her and they'll be one of those grossly cute couples that are together 24/7 and are basically married. He'll worship her and she'll get to make him do things like buy her smoothies and carry her jacket. The downside of that is that he'll probably steal her away from us.
Katie's in denial right now. She's all, "I don't like Jacob Barton. Waaah." And we're like, "Get over yourself, Kathryn." Jake's basically perfect so she's a loser if she doesn't like him. I'm still hoping she'll admit that she's secretly in love with Gabe. It's so obvious.

Juliana will probably fall in love with Nate. If she hasn't already. (We're on to you!)

Me, I'll probably fall in love with some adorable/lame geek like always. He'll be 1000% out of my league, doesn't know that I'm alive, and to make things even lamer, he'll probably be totally taken. Do I have to sit around at home while everyone goes out on really heinous double dates? That'll be boring. If everyone else finds love this summer except for me I bet I'll have to do something drastic just to get attention like turn bulimic or start cutting my wrists or something. Gag. Not really.

I'm supposed to be positive about this, right? The Summer of Love. I wish I could, like, order a perfect boy over the internet without it being some sort of prostitution. :\

But wouldn't this be the perfect summer for it? I'm finally 16 (doo da doo, it's not even a big deal). It'd be the perfect summer romance, something to write about. I mean, I'm lame enough (the girls in books are always super shy and all about books. That's so me). Never been kissed. We'll have to meet and hate each other, that's always my favorite way to fall in love. Then we'll go on some adventure and eventually admit that we love each other and girls will be really jealous of me. We'll have some kind of tragedy that almost ends in breaking up but our love will be strong enough and we'll get back together. It'll be a very cliché romance. He might as well be a vampire at this point.

I fall in love easily. I see a boy---pretty, smart, a little bit sad and poetic and musical---and I always think that we're meant to be. Finding out that they have flaws is hard for me. I hope this summer will be different.

All I'm saying is, since it's got a name and everything, it'd better be one good summer.

I love you, I love you, I love you. And somewhere out there, there's a perfect person, and whoever you are: I love you.

I hope you find love. Wish me luck (wish me love).
-Avery Jalaine

(sorry this post was so long and pointless and lame.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

That's not a rabbit, that's a patagonian cavy.

Thought of the Day: "A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness." -Robert Frost

Song of the Day: Hannah by Freelance Whales

Memorial Day. In my opinion, a dumb holiday. My family troops up to the cemetery and we go hunting for headstones that are in a different spot every year so it takes us a thousand years to finally find them. (Grandma: "I think it's over here." *well it's not*) Plus I have to maneuver very carefully through all of the graves because there's always the chance that you'll step on someone's headstone and what if they happen to be a hibernating zombie and you just woke them up and offended them? Well, it's obvious that the zombie will speedy-quick reach his/her/its hand out of the ground just like at the end of Carrie and pull you down into its coffin/lair and eat your spleen/the rest of you. I'm very careful at the cemetery.

Yesterday, however, my family decided to go to the zoo. It was my idea because I wanted to see some seals urgently. (**spoiler: the seals weren't even there. @#^$%*&) Dylan decided that he felt "sick" and punked out so it was just my parents and me. It's okay because I didn't plan on seeing any cute boys at the zoo, unless they were about 7, plus I was wearing my 'Edward & Bella' twilight shirt, so even if I did see any fitties there, my attire would kill any interest in me.

The people at the zoo bother the heck out of me every time I go there. They're idiots and I hate them. Like, I'm not some sort of animal-stickler but when full grown men are charging around with their kids and staying things like "look at that cheetah" when it's obviously a tiger and they taught you that in first grade so how did you even graduate and you're ruining your child's life by filling his head with false doctrine, I get irritated and irrational and start saying things way too loudly about it being a "really freaking awesome TIGER!" and "oh goodness look at that TIGER's stripes!!!!" and then the dad and his misinformed little kid look at me like I'm the idiot and I'm all "maybe you should learn your animals before you go around spoiling the minds of the next generation, oh, and you'd fail at that one game show called Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? because you're not. Kthxbai." Also, one time we were looking at the lemurs' habitat (that's lee-mur) and this mom had some baby that was like "what is it?" but the kid was forgiven because she was like three, but then the mom was like "Oh, that's a luh-mure" like she knew what she was talking about. Then I was forced to go up to the glass and make my voice all obnoxious again and say "I just love me some leeeeeeeemurs!" And then they looked at me strangely and left but hopefully with a newfound knowledge of how to pronounce the word lemur. Was that a tangent?

Here's a short list of the animals I wanted to take home as pets after visiting the Hogle Zoo:
  • A golden lion tamarin
  • An ostrich
  • A penguin (but I wanted one of those before the zoo)
  • A red panda
  • A giraffe
  • A squirrel monkey
  • A black-footed cat
  • A kinkajou (even though he was asleep and I couldn't really see him, I could tell he was freaking amazing)
  • A sloth
  • A gila monster (who cares if they're deadly)
  • A porcupine (wanted one of those before the zoo, also)
  • A meerkat
  • A seal (even though they didn't have them at the @#!$% zoo!!! argh)
Apparently, the seals have been moved to some zoo in Oregon while the Hogle Zoo is building some kind of fancy new habitat for them and the polar bears and it'll be done by 2012 but that's too bad for us because the world will be over by then and we'll never get to see a seal. Tragic.

There were these one monkeys---the black-and-white Colobus---that looked human, like their expressions and movements, that it made me feel all weird and claustrophobic because I kept imagining myself in their little glass room. They were all really sad-looking, and my dad was like "oh they look like an old Protestant minister" and they kind of do...

And what made me really the most sad was that they don't have any thumbs and this is a total injustice because all the other primates have thumbs, it's like a requirement, but they don't and if you picture yourself without thumbs, maybe even try it out a little, you'll get very frustrated and depressed and you'll want your thumbs back and maybe even get so angry that you smash some things like small pottery or a CD, but it's okay because you can just randomly start using you thumbs again but that's the sad part: Colobus monkeys don't have any thumbs that they can use.

Anyway. I really like the zoo, but it also makes me feel all sad and sickish inside like I should suddenly go berserk and free all the animals like they always do on TV and maybe ride away on a giraffe or a seal if they actually had those. Well maybe next time.

I love that you're here.
-Avery Jalaine.

p.s. I hope it's not entirely too tacky to post twice in a single day because I'm bored today and that might happen...