Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trip to Burbank: Uncommon Threads filming day 2

Wow, I'm such a lazy blogger! :p  Well, I'll start where I left off...if the memory serves me right!


We had an early start on Day 2 -- we were the first to film and the last to film -- 2 episodes for the day.  We did a brief run through in the morn on the set.  First up was me -- I was demonstrating Jennifer's paperback book cover.  During the rehearsal, I kept on messing up and forgetting steps and the order of steps.  Nothing major, but it was bugging me.


Since I'm so short, Allison took off her shoes so that she wouldn't appear to be an Amazon woman (she is tall, though!).  All in all, the demo went well.  The paperback book cover is a simple project, so it wasn't that difficult to pick up to demo.  Next, Caro demo'ed her CD case out of a hardback book cover.  Then it was show and tell.  Since my checkbook cover project got cut out, I ended up showing them in the show and tell instead.  (I'm being brief because I've already forgotten the details!!).  That episode is called Old Cover, New Trick -- everything went spectacular with that shoot.


We broke for lunch.  Had quite a long break in between, so we hung out, chit chatted, and talked up a storm with Jane, the wardrobe lady, who was a hoot.  She is so spunky and hilarious. 


We changed, then waited until Nes Generation was done with their episode, then headed on to do the apron show.  This one was all Jennifer.  First, we rehearsed, then headed on into the craft apron demo.


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<center>Caro, me, Allison, Jennifer rehearsing (pic courtesy of Caro)</center>


Again, a spectacular performance.  Next was the patchwork apron, which we all had a part in.  I did the sewing.  They had me stand on a box to sew, so that 1) you could see me and 2) Allison wouldn't look like an Amazon.  The patchwork apron segment ran long, since we were late to start.  It was Friday, and the cameramen just wanted to go home.  We did a few reshoots of a few things, and every time we did, a big grunt came from various cameramen. 


We finished up and were headed out a bit past 7pm.  Lorelei dropped us off at the Holiday Inn.  We vegged for a bit before meeting up for dinner.


I enjoyed a nice California sunset from my window.  Pollution sometimes makes the sunsets more vivid...


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Jennifer, Caro, and I met up and went to sushi for dinner.  We were free.  All the built up anxiety and stress...gone.  Ahhhh...


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<center>One dollar bills all over the sushi restaurant's wall</center>


We wandered around town for the rest of the night, hitting up a candy store and a cute shop on the way.  Admiring the scenary of a Burbank Friday night...


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Trip to Burbank: Uncommon Threads filming day 2

Wow, I'm such a lazy blogger! :p  Well, I'll start where I left off...if the memory serves me right!


We had an early start on Day 2 -- we were the first to film and the last to film -- 2 episodes for the day.  We did a brief run through in the morn on the set.  First up was me -- I was demonstrating Jennifer's paperback book cover.  During the rehearsal, I kept on messing up and forgetting steps and the order of steps.  Nothing major, but it was bugging me.


Since I'm so short, Allison took off her shoes so that she wouldn't appear to be an Amazon woman (she is tall, though!).  All in all, the demo went well.  The paperback book cover is a simple project, so it wasn't that difficult to pick up to demo.  Next, Caro demo'ed her CD case out of a hardback book cover.  Then it was show and tell.  Since my checkbook cover project got cut out, I ended up showing them in the show and tell instead.  (I'm being brief because I've already forgotten the details!!).  That episode is called Old Cover, New Trick -- everything went spectacular with that shoot.


We broke for lunch.  Had quite a long break in between, so we hung out, chit chatted, and talked up a storm with Jane, the wardrobe lady, who was a hoot.  She is so spunky and hilarious. 


We changed, then waited until Nes Generation was done with their episode, then headed on to do the apron show.  This one was all Jennifer.  First, we rehearsed, then headed on into the craft apron demo.


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<center>Caro, me, Allison, Jennifer rehearsing (pic courtesy of Caro)</center>


Again, a spectacular performance.  Next was the patchwork apron, which we all had a part in.  I did the sewing.  They had me stand on a box to sew, so that 1) you could see me and 2) Allison wouldn't look like an Amazon.  The patchwork apron segment ran long, since we were late to start.  It was Friday, and the cameramen just wanted to go home.  We did a few reshoots of a few things, and every time we did, a big grunt came from various cameramen. 


We finished up and were headed out a bit past 7pm.  Lorelei dropped us off at the Holiday Inn.  We vegged for a bit before meeting up for dinner.


I enjoyed a nice California sunset from my window.  Pollution sometimes makes the sunsets more vivid...


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Jennifer, Caro, and I met up and went to sushi for dinner.  We were free.  All the built up anxiety and stress...gone.  Ahhhh...


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<center>One dollar bills all over the sushi restaurant's wall</center>


We wandered around town for the rest of the night, hitting up a candy store and a cute shop on the way.  Admiring the scenary of a Burbank Friday night...


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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trip to Burbank: Uncommon Threads Filming Day 1

We had an early start on the 10th. Vince was to pick us up early in the morning and bring us to the studios. We pretty much brought all of our luggage, so that our wardrobe could be selected. Snacks, aka Craft Service, were set out so that we could munch throughout the day. We were shown our Dressing Room, then met up with Lorelei, the segment producer, and Joy, who was taking over Nichelle's job as associate producer. We also met with Allison Whitlock, the host of Uncommon Threads.




Our dressing room


Jane picked out our general wardrobe for the episodes. Colors work the best, but not really light colors such as yellows, since they tend to wash out. Whites and blacks are best left at home, for the most part. Jane used what we were wearing to pick out Allison's wardrobe.

In the morning, we rehearsed for the Crafty Helpers episode (DUCT217). Jennifer had her craft apron and Caro had her craft bucket. We ran through the scripts and rehearsal with Lorelei and the new guy, Dave. The scripts were very loose and could be ad libbed. I pretty much sat out and watched, since my project was not specifically in this episode.


Lorelei, Jennifer, and Caro reharsing


They had completely reformatted the show from last year, and things were changing on the fly. None of us were quite prepared for what we had in store. Plus, they had been taping for only a week, so they were finding kinks and trying their best to work them out. The problem that Jennifer and I ran into was lack of extra fabric. I had cut out many extra step outs, just in case. But the program changed to where we would be cutting fabric out on camera. Basically, doing the majority of the project on camera, from start to finish. Step outs came into play when there was a long, repetitive process. Jennifer and I had difficult to find fabrics -- Jennifer's being a specific flame print and mine being a Kerry Beary designer fabric with retro cats, which I bought at Hancock ages ago. Vince ran to the various fabric stores to try to find them, but had no luck.

We had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch Nex Generation, the group that was doing an episode before us. The Nex Generation group composed of Amie Hirtes of NexStitch, Drew Emborsky aka The Crochet Dude, and Pam Gillette of Knotty Generation.


The set


After watching Nex Generation, we got 'camera ready', which meant getting dressed and having a bit of touch up of makeup and hair by Suzy, the makeup artist.


Me getting primped for the camera -- Photo by Jennifer


We went into the studio, got mic'ed, and prepped. Our first shoot was with Allison demonstrating a Crafty Helper of her own -- a crochet pincushion bracelet. It went well, and didn't seem any bit akward having the cameras around either.


Me getting mic'ed...yes, he's digging in my pants! :p Pic by Jennifer


After that segment, we had a break for lunch. In order for us to not mess up our clothes, Jane gave us some interesting coveralls to wear that made me feel like we were at a beauty parlor. I got the "Barbarella" of coveralls, which was clear vinyl with pockets. We met Amie, Pam, and Drew; ate like ravenous pigs (we were all hungry); and shot the breeze for a while.

Me, Caro, and Jennifer in our lovely coveralls


Then it was back to work. It was decided that Jennifer's crafty apron would be filmed tomorrow in an 'apron' episode (replacing the "Pretty pretty patchwork" episode). So our second shoot of the day was all Caro, with her craft bucket. We filmed at the sewing table. Jennifer and I sat at the side of the table. I played a key role as the ironer..hehe. Caro did an awesome job with her episode, especially for a project that was quite involved. In the end, as a side, we showcased Jennifer's craft aprons as a 'crafty helper'.

Caro rehearsing on set


We finished filming for the day and then rehearsed for the next day's shootings -- "Old Cover, New Trick", and the Aprons show. My checkbook cover got the cut, since I didn't have extra fabric on hand. Not a big deal -- they would be showcased in the show in the end. Instead, Jennifer offered up the suggestion that I take over her paperback book cover and demo it on TV, since she was doing the entire aprons show. I had no qualms about it. We rehearsed for all the shows, which took quite a while to do, and were all starving at the end of the day.


Lorelei and me rehearsing the paperback book cover -- note that's "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts that I'm rehearsing with ;)


Vince dropped us back off at the Holiday Inn. We veged for a bit, then met for dinner and headed back to the Gordon Biersch. I was actually feeling quite bad, I think from dehydration, so I took it easy with a light salad and water (no beer for me!). I finally felt better in the end. Then we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Trip to Burbank - day 1

Well, I've been home for a few days now and am all recouped from the trip to Burbank. Finally getting back to normal...no more step outs to do! And now I have some time to blog about the trip...I'll start from the beginning for those of you who missed some old entries...

Jennifer of Textile Fetish, Caro of Split Yarn, and I were accepted to film three episodes of Uncommon Threads out in Burbank, CA. We had been working on our projects for over 2 months solid. And finally, everything has come and gone...

We arrived in Burbank on Aug 9, Wed early afternoon. There were some technical difficulties in the luggage claim at the Bob Hope (yes, Bob Hope!) Airport, so we had to wait around for a while.

Jennifer and Caro at the Bob Hope Airport

We were to be picked up by Vince, who would meet us in the baggage claim, holding up a sign saying "Austin Glitterati", and who was also driving a silver Audi A4. We went outside...no Vince...went inside...no Vince...went back outside...no Vince...oh wait...there's a silver car driving up with some guy holding a flimsy piece of paper with some words written on it that we can't quite see until...ah, it says "Uncommon Threads", like he just scribbled it as he was driving. That was our ride.

Vince loading the car

Caro was the point of contact since she had her cell on. We were to meet at the studio around 4pm for rehearsal originally, but then they were running late, so they pushed for a later rehearsal that was to be determined.

We got to the lovely Holiday Inn, but arrived too early to check in. Instead, we left our luggage with the concierge and then headed to Gordon Biersch, a brewpub and restaurant just across the street, for lunch. We noticed pretty quickly that there are many aspiring actors out in this area. Our waiter, a young, bright smiled guy with curly hair, hailed from Virginia.

After lunch, we headed back to the 'Inn' and stood behind three ladies at the concierge desk. Judging from their nifty purses and their look, they had to be fellow crafters. Caro inquired. We met Dharia of Skeintily Clad, Sarah of 3 Cat Nite, and Dayna of Crafty Scientist. All three women were part of a larger group called the Artisan Women of Worcester in MA. They were really cool and all smiles. We set up a dinner date with them, as we had a million questions to ask them.

Our rehearsal was cancelled, so we decided to romp around town for a bit. Burbank is not very big at all. We headed down the main strip, San Fernando Blvd, explored the movie theatre area and climbed the stairs to the top. Felt kind of like that Rocky scene.

Seeing stars (in the posters) -- Jennifer, Caro, me (pic by Jennifer)

We romped around a bit more, passed by the Cartoon Network building, then headed back to the hotel to veg until dinner time.

We met up with Dharia and Sarah in Caro's room. Dayna was pretty zonked, so she called it a night early. We headed back to the main strip and went to Market City Caffe and went for a table outdoors, since the California night was so nice and cool. A funny story is that the girls at the table next to us jumped up all of a sudden. They told us that they saw a rat. We were all taken aback, purses picked up from the floor, and I kept my feet up. But we decided to stay there after a few minutes of apprehension. Nikki, Dharia's friend, joined us later.

Dinner was great! Dharia and Sarah filled us in as to what to expect, to expect the unexpected, and whatnot. They were talking 100 miles a minute, with huge smiles. They said that we would smile till our cheeks hurt. I'm so glad that we met these ladies. It put me at ease a lot. I really didn't know what to expect at all. But to have a real life statement of what goes on from a non-Hollywood person helped so much. A lot of my anxiety went away with that dinner. Not to mention Dharia, Sarah, and Nikki are really cool, too. We had so much fun just chatting it up. It makes me realize that there is a whole new world out there...the crafters, women with their out businesses. It was very inspiring to meet Dharia and Sarah. Being surrounded by this made me really want to push to doing my own thing...something that I've been putting off for a few years...

Sarah, Caro, me, Dharia, Jennifer (pic by Caro)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Goiter - part 2

So continuing on from my learning that I have goiter saga...

About a week or so after that doc's visit, they ordered an ultrasound for my goiter. I went into a radiologist near the 38th St Med Center area in Austin. They lubed my neck up and rotated the magic wand (aka the ultrasound thingie) all over my neck. The lady couldn't tell me anything...she was just the wand girl. She said that the radiologist would read the results and send them off to my docs. Upon leaving the room, she stopped me and motioned that I still had some goo on my neck. I wiped it off and went on my way back to work...

I called the endocrinology number on my doc's referral page only to find that their first available appointment would be in October (note that I called them a few weeks ago on this). So last week I called another number, which you could only leave a voicemail at and they would call you back. Oddly enough. So I left a VM. Waited a few days, heard nothing. More days passed then I get a call (late last week). They'd tried to call me but my phone line was busy (interesting seeing that I never use my cell..but maybe it was away from a cell tower or something). So I told the new appointment setter what my problem was..that I really didn't know what my problem was except that I have a goiter. So she was able to schedule me in pretty quickly.

I went into the Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology building today for the appointment. They'd at least get a PA to see me, to do some initial diagnosing, since all the docs are on vacation right now (one, she said, schedules appointments 1 year in advance!! good thing I'm not *dying*!). It's in a brand new building off of Mopac overlooking the area by the feeder where I once stood in yellow wildflowers and bluebonnets to take pictures on a college visit with my friends at UT 10 years ago. The office is huge, has a staff of an army, and now I see why appointments are so hard to come by.

The PA went over the results of the tests I had done previously with me. Long story short...all my hormone levels are normal, I don't exhibit any other symptoms that point out to obvious thyroid problems, they found no nodules (growths -- can be benign or cancerous) from my ultrasound, I have no idea of my family history, but my thyroid is still a bit enlarged...

Mystery disease

She ordered another bloodtest done today, as well as one 3 months down the road, since your hormones can fluctuate. And it's difficult to tell since everything else is normal...just a wait and see scenario.

She said if I have anything, I may have Hashimoto's disease aka chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. Hashi-what?!? And try saying chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis three times. But again, it's hard to tell right now...we'll see what the bloodwork from today says and then the one 3 months down the road...

So now you're probably curious as to what on earth Hashimoto's disease is, and who was this Hashimoto guy anyways...

From the Mayo Clinic Website...


Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, causes inflammation of your thyroid gland that often leads to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). It's an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system inappropriately attacks your thyroid gland, causing damage to your thyroid cells and upsetting the balance of chemical reactions in your body. Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

Hashimoto's disease does not have unique signs and symptoms. The disease progresses slowly over a number of years and causes chronic thyroid damage, leading to a drop in thyroid hormone levels in your blood. The signs and symptoms, if any, are those of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

At first, you may barely notice symptoms, such as fatigue and sluggishness, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as the disease progresses, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms, including:

Increased sensitivity to cold. yes, I hate cold weather
Constipation. nope, I'm pretty regular
Pale, dry skin. dry skin, yes..but pale..um..no, I don't get pale
A puffy face. nope
Hoarse voice. nope
An elevated blood cholesterol level. nope
Unexplained weight gain. Hypothyroidism rarely causes weight gain of more than 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid. great, I'm going to get fat!
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips. uh, that's because I exercise!
Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet. ditto to above
Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities. damn those ollies and manuals at wakeboard camp!
Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). thank gawd no!
Depression. me, depressed? a few years ago when I was stuck in corporate america..yes..but now, nah

CAUSES:
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3). They maintain the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, influence your heart rate and help regulate the production of protein.

The rate at which thyroxine and triiodothyronine are released is controlled by your pituitary gland and your hypothalamus — an area at the base of your brain that acts as a thermostat for your whole system. The hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland to make a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Your pituitary gland then releases TSH — the amount depends on how much thyroxine and triiodothyronine are in your blood. Finally, your thyroid gland regulates its production of hormones based on the amount of TSH it receives. Although this process usually works well, the thyroid sometimes fails to produce enough hormones.

Normally, your immune system uses naturally occurring proteins (antibodies) and white blood cells (lymphocytes) to help protect against viruses, bacteria and foreign substances (antigens) that invade your body. Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland. The disease causes inflammation of your thyroid gland (thyroiditis), which may impair the ability of your thyroid to produce hormones, leading to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Then, your pituitary gland attempts to stimulate your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones, thus causing your thyroid gland to enlarge (goiter).

Doctors don't know what causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland. Some scientists think a virus or bacteria might trigger the response, while others believe a genetic flaw may be involved. Most likely, Hashimoto's disease results from more than one factor. A combination of factors including heredity, sex and age may determine your likelihood of developing the disorder. Hashimoto's disease is most common in older women and tends to run in families.


But luckily, if this is indeed what I have, there are medications and such to help control your hormone levels.

So, who was Hashimoto? Ah...I love Wikipedia!!


[Hashimoto's disease] is named after the Japanese physician, Hakaru Hashimoto (1881–1934) of the medical school at Kyushu University, who first described the symptoms in 1912.


Only time will tell what, if anything, is going on with my body. Till then, well, I'll keep on living it up. After all, you only live once...so it should be a good one! :p

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wakeboard camp was awesome!

Just a brief update since I haven't in a while...been busy busting butt..will post about that later...

Anyways, wakeboard camp at the Projects in Orlando was awesome!!! Pat Panakos aka Project Pat was our teacher. By the end of the week, the new tricks I had learned were ollie 180s, ollie 180 over rollers, did one ollie backside 180, backside surface 180s (before, I could only do a backside 360), front lip board slide (?) on the rail, and a manual (although I don't quite have it yet...was learning it, though).

I really wanted to concentrate on breaking old bad habits, like the way I ride. I was finally getting the hang of it, correct body positioning and correct posture. It felt so much better than the way I had been riding before (a bit hunched over).

Needless to say, after day 1, I was tired...after day 5...oh man, I was pretty much dead! But I'd do it again...maybe next year ;)

We got to watch some pros ride as well. The ones that we saw were Pat Panakos, Scott Byerly, Ryan Doyle, Rob Jacques, Jeff Weatherall, Brett Eisenhauer, Collin Harrington, and a few other Aussies. It was pretty neat to see them ride and hit the rails, especially with the lake level being low (high ollies up to the Relentless and Performance rails).

Anyways, I've loaded some pictures on my flickr account. Still have a ton more to load but have been keeping busy with my upcoming trip to Burbank, CA next week...