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September 17, 2014
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Letters Home

A run-in with the law

I came over the hill and saw him. Staring blankly back at me. As fast as I could manage, my foot glanced the brake and I slowed. If cars had faces (as a young child I got this idea in my head and forever see their head-lighted eyes, grill noses and bumper mouths) then this cop car was glaring at me.  Read more

Thirty

It is a beautiful late summer night on a rooftop in New York City, and I am surrounded by close friends at my 30th birthday. All night, I bound from conversation to conversation never really feeling like I get to spend enough time with any one person. Then IT happens.  Read more

Back to school

The students stare back at me blankly. I wonder if they are paying attention.

“Who knows the difference between overwrite and splice in?”

A few of them nod. One yawns long and large but then surprisingly raises his hand and answers the question. I guess you can’t blame them; it is a three-hour class on a Monday night.

It wasn’t too long ago that the tables were turned and I was a student sitting far back in the computer lab in an NYU editing class. I’m sure there were times I yawned, probably much worse.  Read more

Hawaiian adventure

I sit writing this under the stars on a beach in Kauai, Hawaii. We have set up a small compound of three tents surrounding a small fire. The waves crash loud and soothing in the distance.

There are six of us, old college friends, visiting Hawaii because two of us (Emily and Andrew) are running the 26.2 miles of the grueling Kauai Marathon. (I use “us” loosely as I am part of the support team.) They have both been training for months and counting down the days to this end-of-summer Hawaiian adventure.  Read more

An engaging column

I was nervous as Emily and I left our apartment and headed to the Union Square subway stop to catch the Q train up to the Paris Theater. We were headed to the theater under the guise of a test screening for the crime documentary I’ve been editing forever. I had a DVD in my backpack—along with an engagement ring.

The DVD did not have the crime documentary on it but instead had a cute little movie I made about my trip to get said engagement ring. Save for Emily and me, the theater would be empty, and when the seven-minute movie was over I was going to propose.  Read more

Offline

The plan was to leave Friday night to meet my mom up at Granddad Stuart and Elaine’s house in Vermont to celebrate my mom’s birthday.

I love traveling by train, and the thought of hurtling smoothly through the Vermont countryside seemed like a good one. I’d take a nice long train ride up from New York City and get some work done along the way. As it sometimes does, however, real life intervened, and it didn’t really make sense—only one train, leaves too early, arrives too late. I would have to rent a car.

“A walk-in?” The Hertz-Rent-A-Car clerk said with an eyebrow raised.  Read more

Summer apologies (rants)

I’m sorry, Jane, but my column is late again. Of course you already know that because, well, you don’t have it yet. You’ve heard the excuses, and it’s the same old thing. My procrastination is not helped by the fact that I’m constantly so busy. I really am trying, though I also understand that it probably doesn’t look like that.  Read more

Dodger

The first time I said goodbye I felt like Dodger knew what was going on. My mom told me on the phone that he might die soon. I expected the news eventually, but the words caught me off guard. It’s sad to think about losing anything, but a childhood dog packs a special emotional wallop.

A week or so later I came home and spent some time with him. He was still himself, but he was hobbling more, seeing and hearing less. He barked outside at something no one else noticed. Late one night I sat with him while he slept and reminisced about old times. He listened. He was always good at that.  Read more

The shoot

I’m in the middle of a field surrounded by a dozen or so drunk extras in Day of the Dead face paint. The sun is setting fast. I’ve stood by my choice to have a dolly shot to open the party scene of the music video I’m directing, and we are taking the time to get it. But it means we will get far fewer other shots. Now I’m second guessing myself.

The set is beautiful with a makeshift altar stretching 20 feet up in the air. The band will place a coffin at the foot of it and the lead singer will emerge at a strange party and perform the end of the song.  Read more

Hecho en Clarks Summit

I’m shooting a new music video for the Scranton-based band “The Great Party” this coming weekend in Clarks Summit, PA. It’s going to be a Day-of-the-Dead themed, Mexican style fiesta, complete with face paint, graveyard digging and singing from inside of a coffin.  Read more