Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Check It Out!

I really didn't have anything to say today, but I happened to check Twitter beforehand, and found a goldmine of subjects!

For instance: How to make an ugly Christmas sweater. Not that there aren't lots of ugly Christmas sweaters out there, but you can certainly make a plain sweater ugly with these instructions!


It strikes me that you could probably make an Alien sweater with the same instructions, too!

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I also found instructions to knit a reversible cable scarf! One of my pet peeves about knitting things like cables on scarves is that they only show on one side, and the other side is obviously the "wrong" side. I feel scarves are supposed to be presentable on both sides, and you can't talk me out of it!

There's a PDF with the instructions if you scroll down and look around a bit.

It's one of my fondest dreams to knit a reversible cable scarf, although this particular one isn't the solution I had in mind, and at some point, I'm going to make one that I really like.

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Locus has an article up which wonders why there isn't more knitting in science fiction and fantasy.

There actually is some knitting and other fiberarts in SF&F, but maybe there should be more.

There are three books by Piers Anthony about fiberarts, and he even gets it mostly right. The first one is With a Tangled Skein, about the fates, although the story is much more.


The cover is slightly cut off in the above photo, but it's so nice. The art was done by Michael Whelan, and it's one of his best! I've always loved the paintings he's done for covers of books, and this is one of my all time favorites! I wish I could find a poster of it!

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I also found a chart of colors that you can get on natural fiber yarn from dyeing with Kool Aid! This is a very valuable treasure for anyone like me, who is allergic to just about everything. I can safely dye my own yarn! Some of the colors are fabulous, and while they may not show you the precise shade you want, you can fudge shades between what is shown. I think it's such an important resource, that I put it in the sidebar as a permanent link.

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Almost everything I've listed here has been about fiberarts, but this one's different. It's about hypothyroidism.

There's a World Thyroid Register being created to help raise healthcare professionals' awareness of the problems faced by people with thyroid problems. If you have a thyroid problem and haven't been able to find treatment, or have been treated badly or just want to help the general cause, you might want to sign up.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guess I'm Not Sweet... I Didn't Melt

The air conditioner isn't fixed, exactly, but things are much better, and I didn't melt.

Well, I kind of had a melt down from the allergies, but I'll survive.

Somebody did something intelligent. Although they didn't really get the new air conditioning unit installed over the weekend, they did get it delivered on Saturday, and managed to hook it up even though it was still sitting on a flat bed trailer outside the building. They completed the connections Sunday morning, and it's been sitting out there functioning ever since.


That's a photo of the unit sitting out in the parking lot from Sunday afternoon. I know it looks odd. I took it at an odd angle looking almost straight down on it from the 4th floor. But there are flexible pipes and cables running out of it that you can't see because they were cut out of the photo by the window frame.

I shut the windows and after two or three hours it got down to 80 degrees, and has been between that and about 75 degrees ever since. Very livable.

Unfortunately, with the windows being open for a while, and especially with the fan going in the window, it filled my apartment with grass pollen, particulates and other allergens, and I've been fighting with the allergies ever since. I could barely breathe yesterday! It's getting better, but it was so warm that I wasn't sleeping well, and allergies always make me sleepy, so most of what's left of the allergies is the sleepiness at this point.

So, I think I'm just going to take a nap and feel better.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We're Having a Heat Wave...

Not only are we actually having a heat wave, but the air conditioning in my apartment building is out!

It's dead, Jim!

They have to completely replace it, and if everything goes perfectly, they should have it up and running late on Monday.

But then, when does anything ever go perfectly?

I'm hoping really hard for Monday though.

It was 80 degrees in here yesterday, and it's 85 today. That doesn't sound so bad, but it's uncomfortable.

They've been around four times to try to evacuate me! I had to sign a release saying that they had explained to me the dangers of dehydration and a whole list of other problems that I could have because of the heat, and that I still elected to stay.

All this would be reasonable except that we've had a week or more of 90 degree plus days almost every Spring and Fall without air conditioning since I've been here. It's gotten to 110 degrees in my apartment already, and the response I've gotten when I complain about it is "So? Open a window!" Those temperatures happen even with judicious opening of windows and the use of fans, though!

Every time I go to a doctor, they always say "Turn on the air conditioner and keep the windows closed!" As you might guess from all this, I have allergies to tree pollen (Spring), ragweed (Fall) and grass (most of the time). So each Spring and Fall, I have to choose between being slow roasted and having an allergic reaction that sets me up for being sick most of the year.

They said that if it gets too warm in here, the fire department may force an evacuation, and then I won't have any choice.

If the fire department does force an evacuation, I plan to make a note of the conditions and if (when) they're exceeded in the future, call them and either get the AC on or get evacuated!

In the meantime, I'm probably not going to be blogging much, so don't be surprised.

I hope you're having a weekend that's much cooler than mine!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

There's a Crack in the Universe!

If you've been watching the new season of Doctor Who, you know that the little girl, Amelia Pond, is worried about a crack in her wall, which, it turns out is actually a crack in the universe.


Suddenly, everywhere the Doctor goes, he finds the crack.

Well, guess what? NASA has found a crack in our galaxy! And it has an eerie resemblance to the Doctor's crack!


Read more about it here, and here! All this lends an bizarre dimension to the current Doctor Who story arc! If anyone from England is reading this, please don't tell me how it turns out! Although I can't wait to see, I do want to see it for myself. No spoilers!

Don't forget to check out BBC in America on Saturday evenings to catch the rest of Doctor Who!

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I have lots to do today. I've decided to get serious about a business, and I'm busy setting things up. Up real soon now on my to-do list are a whole lot of paperwork, a revamped logo, a new website, and patterns that will be available in PDF format. What that means is lots of work! Plus, I'm investigating some fun knitting accessories for you!

So, you may be hearing from me a little less often, but keep in touch, because there will be new stuff for you, some of it really spectacular!

Hope you're having a fun week!

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Addition:

I forgot to mention that there will be a new Burn Notice on tonight.

I also just found out why it's been so warm in my apartment. The air conditioning in the whole apartment building is not functioning. They're aware of the problem and working on it, and they're advising residents to find another place to stay. If necessary, they may evacuate. I'm on the evacuation list.

I hope it doesn't come to that, but if you don't see any posts on this blog for a while, don't worry about me. That means you, Lynn.

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Another addition:

The apartment people just called to evacuate me because it's 80 degrees in here! They said it may be a couple of weeks before the air conditioning is fixed.

So where was the help in the Spring and Fall when it was regularly 110 degrees and over in here and I was getting NO sympathy at all? All they would say was "Open a window!" It was 110 degrees with the window open! Not to mention the allergy problems from having the window open!

I told them I thought I'd survive 80 degrees, and would be more comfortable here.

If the situation changes drastically, I'll go, but in spite of the fact that I'd rather have it a bit cooler than 80 degrees, I think I'll survive.

I may eventually have to open a window for a while, though, because it's not just warm, but stuffy in here. There hasn't been much, if any air circulation in the last few days.

Stay cool!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Namaste Bag Giveaway!

J. Leigh Designz is having a giveaway for a Namaste bag of your choice! You can click the first link to get to all the particulars of the giveaway, but it's fabulous!

Namaste has the best knitting bags and handbags! Now one could be yours for just a little effort and no money!

One of the things you have to do to enter is to choose which bag and color you want. The possibilities are fabulous. Holly has a Zuma bag in eggplant, and I love her bag. It's got lots of pockets (like all the Namaste bags), and the material it's made from is soft (but seems to be sturdy) and feels good.


The photo above will give you an idea of the color, which is beautiful, and below is a photo that will show you what the shape of the bag actually looks like.


The Zuma has one really large (it's bigger than it looks) interior section with lots of pockets and places to keep stuff you don't want to lose in the bottom of the bag.

As for choosing the bag I want, that's a hard decision.

I really like the Monroe, which can carry a normal size laptop in addition to your knitting and looks very clean and business-like.


This gem has three internal sections (one for your laptop, one for handbag contents, and one for knitting) as well as Namaste's numerous small pockets to keep you organized.


I like big bags, and although the Monroe is big, the Hermosa is bigger, and I like that in a knitting bag. Here it is in my personal favorite color, eggplant.



It's got one big, open compartment, and I like that a lot.

But I think the one I like best is the Laguna. They say the Hermosa is the biggest bag, but I think (from reading the dimensions) that the Laguna is, in fact, bigger. I may be mistaken, but I also like the long adjustable shoulder strap on the Laguna.


Here it is in eggplant.


And here's a view of it from the top. As you can see, it has a divider in the middle of the main compartment, which can also hold things, such as a magazine.


I should mention that I'm showing a limited number of colors out of the many that they have available. There are other styles coming out right away, too.

So, go visit the Namaste site and choose the bag of your dreams! While you're there, check out all the other organizers they have for knitters (I particularly like their buddy case). Then get on over to J. Leigh Designz and enter the contest!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer Solstice!

I know that a lot of people regard Memorial Day Weekend as the beginning of Summer, but Astronomically, the beginning of Summer is the longest day of the year, which (in the Northern Hemisphere) is today!

Read more about the longest day (courtesy of NASA), and see more about the human aspects of the solstice with some great pictures of Stonehenge.



From here on in, until right before Christmas, the days will be shorter and shorter, and for a while, it will get warmer and warmer before the diminishing sunlight makes it cooler.

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Here is everything you need to know about every science fiction TV show this week (and a few more shows).

Leverage premiered last night with two episodes! And, as usual, it was spectacular!

This afternoon (late), the SyFy Channel will be airing their new, very long (4 hours) movie, The Phantom. It was on last night, but I didn't get to see it due to some other shows I watched/recorded. I was going to provide a link, but the only one I could find that seemed relevant was one that was to a page that had so much data that I wasn't able to load it, and didn't want to frustrate you with it.

Tonight, we have a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.

There's also a new show that I discovered last week, thereby missing the pilot. It's called Persons Unknown, and is about people who are abducted and find themselves trapped in a small town. They don't know where the town is or why they're there, and, most importantly, how to get out. It's shaping up to be a fabulous show. You can probably find the two episodes that preceded tonight's, either on the internet or video on demand.


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If you have hypothyroidism, there is a blog post by Jeffrey Dash that you should read, print out, and show your doctor! It turns out that all the arguments doctors have been giving me concerning why they want to use Synthroid rather than natural desiccated thyroid are completely backwards. Synthroid is the one that has varying potencies and is unstable!

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Well, I saw someone at the Vet's Center on Saturday.

The day started out very early for both Holly and I. Then we ran into a bit of traffic and took a wrong turn, and arrived only five minutes late.

It was an interesting experience.

I got to talk to a nurse practitioner rather than a doctor, and she was an interesting person to converse with. She asked some interesting questions which started me thinking in new directions. She asked about vitamin D levels, and said that 4,000 IU of vitamin D might not be enough for me. It just sounds like so much! Apparently, an IU must be a very small amount, or else people really need a lot of it! If you use sunscreen, you might want to take that into account and take some supplemental D. And you might want to rethink your sunscreen use. Look it up on the internet.

Basically, since sunscreen has become available and been in wide use, skin cancer incidence has gone way up! Researchers are beginning to find that the sun isn't as bad for you as was previously thought. We always knew it actually had health benefits in the form of boosting vitamin D levels, but most people judged that they'd rather have low D (which could be boosted with supplements) than skin cancer. Researchers have also been studying the contents of most sunscreens and discovered that some of the chemicals widely used in them are actually carcinogens!

Personally, I like a bit of sun without using sunscreens. I'll only use sunscreens if I'm out for long enough to potentially cause a burn, and only use sunscreens that have an aloe vera gel base and the sunscreen, and don't have a lot of unneeded chemicals. That way, I get a bit of a tan, a dose of D, and safety! And if I do get a little bit of burn, the aloe vera gel is the best thing for it. If applied immediately after even a bad burn, it can have your skin back to normal the next day in my experience.

One thing she asked me about is joint pain, which I had, but started using Omega 3 capsules and MSM. It's been working great until this last week, when I've had more and more joint pain in my right hip. I need to go to the store today, and the pain has gradually increased over the last week to a point where I'm almost afraid to walk to the store. I keep hearing stories about women who have a bone break and fall because of it, and I wonder about what kind of shape that bone is in. 

I had a bone density scan about three years ago, and they told me my bones weren't as good as they'd like, but that I was certainly in no danger of breaking bones just by walking. But they measured it on my left hip in spite of the fact that I kept telling them that my right hip was the one in bad shape! So, I really have no idea at all.

Wish me luck on my walk!

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doctor Appointment on Saturday--Let the Insanity Begin!

I have a doctor's appointment on Saturday, and I'm already wound into a knot over it!

Actually, I started on this on Monday, but it wasn't so bad then. By Saturday, the only thing that will keep me from freaking out is extreme tiredness from getting up so early.

But Holly and I have to get up really, really early for this, and she has to do a lot of driving because the Veteran's Hospital in DC doesn't believe that, because I haven't been to the hospital in a while, I'm capable of telling that the hearing aids they issued to me don't work. I need a doctor to assess the problem and refer me to the hearing section.

My DVR isn't working, either, and I'm wondering if maybe I should take that along for him to look at, too. I didn't know that doctors did electronics, but then again, they don't do medical problems, either, for the most part.

This is nearly the stupidest medical thing that I've seen done that's not even really medical.

Here's some examples of things that I was told politely (usually, although one doctor did call me a hypochondriac) were in my mind and didn't exist:


  • A sinus infection (you'd think they could believe you about infections, at least)
  • Paget's Disease of the Bone
  • Allergies (OK, these are a little trickier)
  • Hypothyroidism (although most doctors won't diagnose this, but that doesn't excuse them)
  • Scarlet Fever
  • An overgrowth of bone blocking my ear due to Paget's Disease (the ENT at the VA hospital insisted that my ear was perfectly OK after just looking at the outside of it)
  • A friend's mother was told that the cancerous tumor (the size of a watermelon) was her imagination and given Valium for it!


Doctors in the United States are a joke!

I hate doctors, and don't want to go unless there's really no other choice.

Yes, there are a few of them that are good. And I really appreciate them when I can find them.

The rest just want to get paid, avoid getting sued, and don't care if they kill you as long as you pay them.

Oh, and in the example above, my friend's mother did die from her imagination (in the form of cancer).

And, at least 50% of the time, they insist on doing something really harmful to the patient. I'm getting so I won't agree and take medication, etc, unless I look it up on the internet and verify that it's actually a good thing for me to be taking.

Well, let me stop complaining and get on with my life.

I hope you're having a better week than I am!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Smidge of Twilight of the Dogs

John read my blog from the other day about making Twilight of the Dogs and he called me yesterday to make sure I knew that I'd made some mistakes.

One of them he mentioned was in the following photo:


The person on your far left (who I had seen around the set, but hadn't met) is Barry Sigismondi, with Ralph, Aloma and Gage, going from left to right.

John said he'd call me and go over all the corrections, which I will correct in the original post in red.

If you'd like to find out more about Twilight of the Dogs, click here. That's an archived site, and it sometimes has trouble loading. John says that the photos are all there, but you have to wait a bit for them to load. Yesterday, the internet told me that site didn't exist, but then today it loaded without a blink, so if you have a problem, try again later. Some of the photos loaded for me right away, some took a while, and some just gave error messages and refused to do anything else. It's possible that they, like the site, will load at another time.

He also said that he has copies of some photos, some of which I took, and as he gets the time, he'll scan them for me so I can put them up here. He's already put up a photo of Nancy, who I talked about in the post, but didn't have a photo of. Here she is:


John's exact caption for this (so I don't get in any more trouble) is: Costume Designer Nancy Handwork works on Mona Goss' wardrobe on location at Laurel Sand & Gravel for my film Twilight Of The Dogs. Summer 1993. 

That one costume I did for Gage was the only one I did for the movie. With that single exception, all the costumes were made by Nancy, who is really fabulous at costumes.

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Mostly, I'm posting today to let you know that I haven't forgotten you.

I am starting to write the instructions for the project I'm going to make for the Lion Brand Imagination Contest.  This particular project is not only for the contest, but it's a present for someone, and I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I won't be showing any photos here until the contest is over and it's given away.

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And I wanted to mention that I didn't realize that A Boy and his Dog was on Flix last night until right before it came on. The story is based closely on a novella by Harlan Ellison, so if you're a fan of his, you won't want to miss this movie, if you haven't seen it already. I recorded it on my DVR, but that will be gone at the beginning of next month, so the recording will go with it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smells Like Making Movies & Twilight of the Dogs

The first time anyone used a smoke machine around me, I couldn't stand the smell!

I asked John how he could stand it, and he said "It smells like making movies!"

That was when we were working on Invader. Later in the movie, I happened to inhale deeply during a crowd scene, and was hit with a severe coughing fit, but not long after that, I acclimated to it, and when we started on Twilight of the Dogs, and someone turned on the smoke machine, it smelled like making movies to me, too.

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Due to some personal problems, although I took lots of photos while we were making Invader and Twilight, I don't have them in my possession, although I do own them. They're stored where I can't get to them.

But, not too long ago, Tim Davis, who did special effects makeup on Twilight and a lot of other things on Invader, as well as being in both films, put a collection of photos from Twilight up on his Facebook page and he gave me permission to use them here. So, all of the photos in this post are from him.

First, let's see the stars of the show:


That's Gage Sheridan, above, in the fabulous costume that Nancy Handwork designed and made for her. There was a blue jacket with a skirt that was deliberately designed so that it could be pulled though her legs, tuck into her belt and become pants. It was very ingenious, and Gage liked it! Gage played Karuy in the film (an alien). She's a really fun person!


Here's a photo of Tim Sullivan, who starred in the movie and also wrote it.


He looks really fierce in this photo, and well he should. This was taken on location at Laurel Sand and Gravel in Laurel, Maryland on a very hot day! He played Sam Asgarde in the film.


Above is Tim Davis on the left, and Tim Sullivan on the right, dressed for the movie.

I've been looking for some photos of Ralph Bluemke, but I'm not seeing any that actually look like him. Below is a photo of John Ellis, the producer and director of Twilight, on the left, and Ralph on the right. As you can see, the character he played, Reverend Zerk, was caught in a fire at the end of the film, and you can hardly see Ralph for all the makeup. That is all makeup by the way (courtesy of Tim Davis)!


Below is (l to r) Gage, Ralph and Tim Sullivan. I suspect that Ralph was in the middle of getting made up for the end of the film. I don't know what was going on with Tim at the moment. He looks like he's got a flight suit on.


Here's a shot of someone I don't know on the left, Ralph, Aloma Alber (who did out PR) and Gage. I'm pretty sure the guy on the left played one of the deacons.


Here's a long shot of Ralph as Rev. Zerk, and he's supposed to be playing a holographic video game. That looks like Alicia Sehring in the striped shirt, and Gary Waxler in the blue shirt.


Below, we have Tim Sullivan, Bambi, who played Gertrude, and Doug, who was one of the animal wranglers on the movie. We not only had Bambi the cow, we had Doug's horse, whose name was, I believe, Diablo, a dog (right in the beginning of the film) and some tame rats.


And here's Gage, milking Bambi. I'm sure you all really wanted to see that!


Now, on to the crew as well as the cast and what happened while we were filming.

Here's Tim Pace who was the gaffer for the movie. That means he did all the lighting and electrical work, or rather his company. Light Works did. Tim was the one who built the fabulous science fiction van and the R2 unit seen in previous posts about Star Wars.


Here's Tim Davis whom you've seen in previous Star Wars posts and who did the special effects makeup for Twilight. He's got stage blood all over his hands.


Here's Aloma Alber, who did publicity for us, dressed as one of the dogs. We had a lot of extras, but John tried to get all the crew into the film somewhere, mostly in crowd scenes.


Below is a crowd scene that I was in. I also got a close up in this scene, and it's the only place in the movies I've done where you can actually recognize me.

In the front row, second on your left is George Stover, who is famous in fandom. I'm in the second row from the front, the second from the left, and my friend, Wendy Joines is in there somewhere sitting near me. My former husband, Steve DesRoches is also in there as one of the guards with guns, but I can't see where he is in this photo.



During the movie, we crucified Gage's character, Karuy. That's Gage up on the Viking rune, algiz, which is a rune of protection. That's John, looking up at her with his back to the camera.


Finally, after the introductory photos, we're getting to the ones with the stories.

One morning, Aloma and Ralph were tiptoeing around and confering on somdthing, and generally doing all sorts of stuff. I kept asking them what they were doing, and they kept telling me that they were busy and not to bother them.

Eventually, I found them right before lunch with some fabric that was stiff as a board that they had soaked in Tim's stage blood, and they were very unhappy. After some coaxing, I eventually discovered that they had been trying to make a costume for Gage. They wanted one of the white tabards like the disciples of Zerk wore in the movie (see the photo above), but they wanted it red. I informed them that trying to dye a tabard red with stage blood wasn't going to work, but since they had just failed at that, they had pretty much figured that out.

So, with less than two hours left until they were supposed to film the scene where Gage was supposed to wear the costume, I set out to create a whole costume.

The first step was to jump in the van and drive to the fabric store (15 minutes). Then, I frantically ran around the store looking for red fabric and all the notions I would need for the costume. I found it all, got a length of the material cut for me, and dashed to the check out counter, where I desperately tried to hurry the woman there. She was very nice, and attempted to strike up a conversation with me. It started with "Ooooh, that's pretty material! What are you going to make with it?" I told here that we were making a movie and that I needed the fabric to make a costume for it, and that I was in a terrible hurry. But she wanted to know who would be wearing the costume (Gage), and all about the character she would be playing. I told her about Gage and that she would be playing an alien named Karuy, and she wanted to know what Karuy was going to be doing in the scene where she would be wearing the costume. All this while, I had been trying to get her to hurry. Finally I told her Gage would be wearing it in the scene where we were going to crucify her.

The woman looked at me with an expression of total horror, rang up the sale and got me out of the store in record time!

I rushed back to the set, and sewed the costume during lunch, and had it ready for them to shoot after lunch. Also, although Gage liked the dress, she couldn't seem to figure out that the costume had an outside and an inside, and  in some shots she's wearing it right side out, and in others it's inside out. Here she's shown wearing it the way it was intended to be worn, right side out. The cut on her face is some of Tim Davis' makeup.


Not only did we crucify her, but later we also gave her a funeral pyre.


That's not really Gage on the pyre that Walter Suarez is getting ready for it's big scene. Walter did all the pyrotechnic effects for the film. There was at least one explosion, we completely burned a wall down (we built the wall that we destroyed first, and left the structure it was in undamaged), and had the fire department out for a section near the end of the film where we had the funeral pyre, and where Rev Zerk gets caught in the fire and dies.


Here's the pyre going up.


And here's the fire stunt. I'm glad Tim took this photo, because I saw Ralph standing behind the fire screaming and writhing as though he was caught in the fire but this looks like they actually set someone on fire, and if they did, I missed that.


I know. You're thinking "How could anybody working on a film miss something like that?"

Well, the movie was filmed mainly at a tobacco warehouse in Marlboro, Maryland, which was pretty open and full of bugs and mosquitoes. We saved the night filming for the end, and did it all in the last two weeks of principle filming, which happened right around this time of year. I didn't know it at the time, but at the beginning of the last week of filming, I came down with Chicken Pox. I never had it when I was a kid. I was uncomfortable, and very tired and kept falling asleep, but didn't realize what was happening because of the circumstances.

Filming at night, we had a big problem with mosquitoes. Everybody was covered in itchy little red welts, so I didn't notice that some of mine were different. And since we were filming at night, I didn't notice that I had a problem with the light, except for every morning at 7 am when I drove home. I thought I was having a problem with my contact lenses because my eyes were all teary and smeary in the morning.

I had a raw spot on the side of my mouth, though, and John said it was a cold sore. I told him that it couldn't be because I'd never had Chicken Pox, but every time he'd go past me, he'd say "That's a cold sore." I'd yell after him that it couldn't be. After a week of this, though, it finally dawned on me that I actually had Chicken Pox. I missed the last couple of days of principle filming because of it, and when I told John he said "See, I told you it was a cold sore!"

Back to Walter and his explosive effects:


It's hard to see what's going on in this photo, but there's a railing in front of a big black board with technical looking stuff that's a background for the place Karuy's supposed to be infiltrating. You can see the bit of blue in the costume Gage's wearing toward the right bottom of the board, just left of the light near the center of the photo. That looks like Alicia behind the camera.

I was there that day (actually, the photo looks like it was taken right over my head) while they were shooting because Nancy couldn't be there, and they needed someone to sit there and watch Gage for discrepancies in her costume. For example, she was fine in most of the takes, and then, for some reason, the back of her jacket got flipped up, and I had to stop them for a second and smooth the jacket down so it wouldn't cause discontinuity.

Well, she was supposed to sneak in front of the board, and then be seen and have people shooting at her as she tried to take cover. The board was rigged with "sparky hits" which are tiny charges that throw off sparks and make kind of a "pppft" sound when Walter set them off with a control board he had rigged to set them off in order to make it look like someone was shooting at her.

We did the take, and John wasn't happy with it, and said something sarcastic to Walter about the sparky hits. something about them not having enough "oomph."

We all took a break while Walter re-rigged the board, and did the scene over. We started up again, and when the shots happened, I swear everybody levitated about two feet in the air, because Walter had rigged the board with real squibs, not sparky hits, and they are as loud as real gunshots, and since we were inside the warehouse, they were not only unexpected, but deafening!

Here's my friend, Paula, made up as one of the dogs.


And here's a group of the dogs from near the end of the movie. That's another friend, Bazil White, near the right of the photo with a black shirt and head scarf, and something long over his shoulders.


I don't recognize anyone else in the photo, but we put an ad in the newspaper for extras, so there were a lot of people I didn't know that played "dogs" which were supposed to be survivors of a plague aggravated by a nuclear bomb dropped to try to eradicate the plague.

The day this was taken was very hot, and in the afternoon, Walter came around with a half a watermelon he'd scooped out and filled with watermelon chunks, strawberries, and a lot of other very cold fruit. He was walking around offering it to people saying "Potassium, anyone?"

Walter was our explosives expert, but his father had a catering business, and Walter used to help him with it, and he did things like that for us every once in a while. One very miserably hot day, he surprised us with strawberry shortcake made with frozen strawberries, and the day that shot was taken of Tim Sullivan at the beginning of this post, he broke out a whole frozen watermelon for us.

About the extras, I was talking to one of them who told me that on the previous day she and some of the other dogs had stopped at McDonalds on the way home after filming, and the girl who served them tried to give them some coupons for very low cost meals because she thought that they were really homeless!

The rest is random photos. Here's Gage in the mirror.


Here's Gage with some of Tim Davis' makeup.


Below we have Tim Davis and John Ellis.


Here's John making a toast to the crew and cast near the end of filming.


I probably have some more stories about the movie, but that's all for today.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

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