End of the year reviews, lists, parties, cards, fucked up flights, goals for the coming year feels like a lot of activity and distraction. Slowing it down now to think about how it all came and went.
Great start to the year. Coming off lightning fast drive about the South Island of New Zealand we celebrated NYE in Melbourne. Just my baby and me. Our hotel room was the size of an apartment. Beautiful dinner at Long Grain. Morton Bay Bugs are as good as you’ve heard. We saw the fireworks from a bridge a few blocks from our place in South Yarra. It was full of people, no obnoxious drunks, bunch of kids on shoulders, just fun ohh and ahh for 45 minutes.
The city was only semi-open because of the holiday. I’d like to go back when it’s in full swing. We had a great time New Year’s Day at the museum. Ai Way Way and Warhol.
We traveled from there to Gold Coast and met up with our travel family in Byron Bay. What a summer hot spot. There was traffic in front of our house everyday going into town. Great little town, beachy, hippie, great coffee, farmer markets. Our compound was awesome, short walk to the town or the beach. 4 bedrooms, 3 casitas, 2 pools and a pool house.
Our travel family was augmented with Cath’s family, the fabulous Crisp’s, tres generations. Our first night was a casual cultural exchange. Billy turned them on to ZZ Top and tequila and they grilled up sausages served on bread, no plates, the bread was the plate. Simple and delicious if you like that kind of sausage. Mid way the Oz crew had a raucous dance party in the big house. When I walked in Sue was standing on chair singing into a bottle of Jack Daniels. Our last night was a pool party, finish the puzzle and reluctantly saying good bye.
It was great seeing Cath with her family. Billy was always up for an outing and took a surf class. Amanda never fell behind even though hobbling around with a cane due to a torn tendon. She boogie boarded from the point back to our beach with Charla and Holly. Charla and Holly were so much fun. Lovers of adventure and laughter. Kristina suffered from a bad back and a mattress that didn’t help matters any, but that didn’t get her down. Kelly was a great addition, knew her least going in as she’s SF based so wasn’t at our planning meetings, so cool and chill.
My highpoint was snorkeling in the ocean. First time ever! We checked out equipment and suited up in town then boarded a boat at the beach and went to Julian Rock. I was so whipped up falling backward into the water. My fucking go-pro took leave of my arm right when I got in the water. I let it go. I was not going to leave my group and get eaten by a shark for a damn camera. My dive master went back for it at the end. She said it happens all the time. Sea turtles. Eels. Urchins. Schools of colorful quick fish.
Occasionally my heart would hurt missing Haydyn and home. I did like knowing she was managing the house and having a good time without us. Our fist holiday away.
Austin is a beautiful place to come back to. No one died while we were gone. Nothing burned up. Settling back in was downer. I didn’t have anything pressing to do, no work, no plans. Alan jumped right back into work. It was depressing to have no new beautiful place to discover each day as had been the case for a month.
Work got me over it. This year I hope I can evolve to press beyond a sense of purpose generated to make money for someone else. That will be a big leap but one I’m ready for. I am open and ready for business.
I thought our contractor for resurfacing the driveway would have been a great subject for character driven reality show because she was a trans woman working in a mans world. After spending a little time with her I decided otherwise. I didn’t want to expose her faults or exploit her sexual orientation for entertainment.
We explored an opportunity in Wimberley. We met Clayton, a friend of a friend, with an amazing property in the square. No parking but the city lot is near by. I can picture it golden and inviting, records spinning, high end cocktails with massive ice cubes and people. Artists and writers coming out of the hills to socialize and commune. Alan wasn’t having that. He thought I’d spend too much time there getting hammered, leaving him at home brooding. He wanted a sandwich shop. Ultimately our different visions for the place didn’t kill it, the size of the septic tank did. It was new and efficient but the flow was rated more for a house or small office, not a restaurant. The city is said to be installing sewer to save the creek from bacteria so hopefully we can revisit the idea this year.
Haydyn and I went to Orlando to visit cousin Brian while Aunt Yvonne was there. ALS had whittled Brian down to head and heart within a skin sleeve over bones. Cheri, yen to his yang, was inexhaustible and found joy in care and cooking. Heart wrenching to see someone in such a vulnerable state. To me Brian seemed like someone choosing to live not slowly dying. This from his intense attention to the shows he watched and conversations we had. Their dog was insane. We watched a movie one night and the dog went bananas on a squeaky toy to get some attention back. Haydyn and I had a great trip Coco Beach, yes, that of I Dream of Jeannie fame.
I was sad that Haydyn got together w/Paris when we got back. I don’t get why she can’t see she’s stuck and that relationship is what’s doing the sticking.
Produced a job with Brandon Dickerson for Proof. So challenging to shoot in an open store during the day. Cute spot for a regional bank about their on line security. Brandon did a good job with casting, sets around the store, amping up comedic moments. It was nice to work with a new agency and director. I think the DP could have done a better job, end result looked quite video.
Haydyn moved into the office/guest rooms for a month so we could remodel her room. It was a long time coming and we were very happy with the final. Added an open brick courtyard wall to the front of the house, a door into the suite in the front, a full bath, tile flooring with a wood appearance and stunning granite countertop. It’s small but smart. Brighter space, more privacy and autonomy. When Haydyn moves on it will be a cool master bedroom or pied a terre if we rent out the house. We got a laundry room out of the deal. It’s great to have that outside of the house yet attached to the porch. Water run off is fucked and leaked during heavy rain. The contractor still has work to do there.
Produced a job with Britt West and Monique for GSD&M. The Bills directed. Client was Hampton Inn. Crazy little no money job yet I saw a spot from it in the theater. Our PA, Adam, wrecked his car doing a return. I would like to work with Britt again. He was very knowledgeable and not at all stubborn ego. Having the agency first time direct it could have been a disaster.
Produced another MoPac job with Ramsey and Zellmer McConnel. Great creative. Ramsey killed it. We shot at the Trainer’s beautiful home. Those spots have yet to air as MoPac construction is a year behind schedule. That work has a national campaign look to it. Really look forward to it getting out there someday.
Dovetailed into another ZMc job w/Uson. This for Dept of Ag free summer lunch program. Happily, the evil little troll of a Commissioner wasn’t available to be in the closing shot. Uson did an amazing job with his little budget. He was not completely prepared for the main task of the coming together for the lunches but we didn’t miss a shot.
Big job with old school LA director by way of Mark Andrews. It was a great experience to line produce with a solid budget and a PM and a coordinator. Having Mark at my back and Greg Lane on the agency side was a joy. The director was a delightful storyteller when entertaining the agency. On set he was vague, faux collaborative and a fucking jerk. His soul must be a rotting fetid maggot breeding dark hole.
I went Alabama for the Crumley family reunion. I got an air b n