Merry Christmas! Greetings from Colorado



I hope everyone has a beautiful Christmas today. It's a time to look at your life and see if it's headed where you want it to go. I know I spent some serious time in front of the Christmas tree-altar last night, thinking about the New Year and making specific requests!
Be happy and be healthy!
Love, Claudia

Santa Claus is coming...



...however I have not seen much of him lately. Mostly just a bunch of "House Hunters International" , the only TV show I watch (even though I can't stand the way the lady who does the voice over say's "dollars", I have no idea why it makes me crazy) while I lie on the couch and feel sorry for myself with a box of Kleenex and a pot of ginger tea.

The flu is reaching it's bitter end which is good since I work on a game Monday doing a voice match which is where I have to sound exactly like the actress who played the role in the film, sounds easy but it takes a lot of focus which is hard when you have a head which feels like it's the size of a Macy's Day Parade balloon.

I am hoping that everyone has a beautiful Christmas. I am heading off to Colorado to see family and play in the snow which will be divine since yesterday here in SoCal I was sweating in shorts and a T-Shirt! It's more than a little disconcerting to drive past a Santa melting on the street waving his Subway Sandwich advertisement board whist having the air conditioner blasting..December should be at least chilly, that's just my opinion. It's funny how many of my friends who live in California are taking their Christmas Holidays in some tropical local...I mean how much sun do you need? I could understand it if you lived in England or Alaska but California??

I have decided to try to take some nice photos this year, David has been patient with me but frankly I am not grasping the whole aperture thing..I'll have one more lesson before I leave...last year I used the little Leica you see above but this year I'm all grown up and am taking a D5000!

It's funny about learning things when you're older, I had all of these dreams about learning multiple languages, sculpting, painting and such and somehow life got in the way, well that and the fact that I have little discipline besides my work ethic and hiking. I am proud of my cooking skills but that's just because I love to cook for people and I love food, so I taught myself to cook. I suppose one has to have an incredible amount of passion in order to learn something just for the fun of learning it.
I hated school because there was nothing in it I could apply to my dream to act so what was the point in me dissecting a frog?

I am reading the unbelievably brilliant Mary Karr's LIT and she has a wonderful line in it "what hurts so bad about youth isn't the actual butt whippings the world delivers. It's the stupid hopes playacting like certainties". We all had so many dreams and plans and so many of us have had to settle out of fear or laziness into a life less colorful or imaginative than the one we saw in our mind's eye as a child.

Perhaps it's time for one more New Year's resolution. I shall endeavor to take out my guitar and make an effort to at least learn one song all the way through, then I shall finally finish learning the Moonlight Sonata on the piano.
Small ambitions to you perhaps but mighty big to me.

Happy Holidays to all of you, drive carefully please..it's crazy out there this time of year!

more star hyke...and the oink oink flu

To all of you sci fi fans in the UK; Star Hyke is available at all HMV stores and the show's creator (Andrew Dymond) would be really chuffed if you would snap a photo of yourself outside of the HMV where you purchased the DVD set...he will then post all the pics on the Star Hyke site to see what towns people were in etc.

In other news I am on Tamiflu for this marvelous kick ass bug which has been going around so please excuse my dearth of blogging!

My offer of free photos was a great success and I continue to get about 20 pounds of mail from folks a day! My postmaster isn't terribly pleased but i have dutifully sent out each and every free 8x10 :)

I hope you are taking some time for friends and family...we don't need anymore gifts and it adds a terrible burden to the Holiday. WE need more time with the people we love, more good long talks, some nature, a break from the tediousness of our days and maybe a pat on the back from someone we love.
I think even kids would appreciate someone reading them a book as opposed to another trinket. Time together.
xx claudia

more Star Hyke

This just in from my producer Jonathan Brown:


If you post to your blog in the next few days, tell everyone to get over to the Starhyke website www.starhyke.com where they can win a framed prop from Starhyke or a copy of the DVD. I’m happy to ship the prize internationally, so anyone can enter.

Also, they can follow us on twitter (http://twitter.com/starhyke)

so once again....thank you for being supportive
xx

photography... and who makes it look easy!

I think that David does a really good job of showing us wanna bees-photographers a bit about how to light something simply and elegantly.

Acting!


I found a great quote today from Ruth Gordon (1896-1985)
"I wanted to be an actress in 1912; I want to be an actress today. That walk from the darkness backstage through the door or opening in the scenery where I make an entrance into the bright lights with that dim mass out beyond, which bursts into applause, then the first terrifying sound that comes out of my throat, which they describe as a voice, but that first instant it is the siren of terror and intention and faith and hope and trust and vanity and security and insecurity and bloodcurdling courage which is acting."

It makes me want to do a play again and it reminds me why I have traveled the path of the gypsy performer, it is raw and indifferent and kind and cruel and it is ME. I love my job....and that in itself is a curse and a gift.

I am also reminded of the sparse words from "Proper Library" : "I am in silent love in a loud body"...what an eloquent way to describe this need to perform.

The image is me as a Hamlet-y character re-used for this entry...thank you Ran.
:)
xx cc

star hyke

here's the link to the new Star Hyke promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJHCy4xg8k4
I know what you're thinking; why does she keep making us watch new promos and links and scenes from a series I've never even heard of??
Well, it's because of this: I cannot think of two more deserving men then Jonathan Brown and Andrew Diamond to finally catch a break. So if I have to get out there in a chicken suit and an armful of balloons then by God I will! Please support the low budget, brilliant CGI on a shoe string-endeavor which we all would like to go another season-called Star Hyke!


Precious and Mothers and Daughters


I saw the film "Precious" last night and it was as dark as I expected it to be but without the "hopeful" ending I had read about in reviews....I saw nothing hopeful about that kid's situation in the end.
A lot of people went on about how great Maria Carey was in the film because she is sporting a mustache and ugly clothes, I thought she was a bit over the top with the accent, etc. but then again the whole thing felt a bit contrived with the "nypd blues" camera whips and shaky hand held shots, glamourous fantasy scenes and all of that stuff. Perhaps I should have gone when I was in a different sort of mood.
It did make me appreciate my relationship with my Mother, watching a woman beat her kid for a few hours will do that to you. My Mom and I have had our problems and our times when we drifted apart. I have done things that she is not thrilled about and visa versa but the overwhelming feeling I have about her is that she is the most important person in my life and I love her with all of my heart. I speak to my Mom most everyday and we send each other little packages of books we have read and loved, chocolates or spices to cook with or something nice smelling or warm to wear.
We talk about life a lot lately, about expectations and the difficulty of enjoying life when you "want" so much more...more work, more respect, more money, freedom, friends, land, vacations, love, etc. etc. We talk about the fact that we have never been the sort of people to be able to be happy with what life has dealt us and we constantly strive for more and how really sad that is. We both try to "smell the roses" but it seems like we have not learned to just sit and "be". My Mother and I are impatient and passionate and I suppose as long as I am aware of these qualities I can attempt to relax them when they get in the way of enjoying the simple things in life. This photo was taken by David on Thanksgiving and I love it, it's a photo of my very beautiful, elegant Mother who taught me to suck every drop from life and still want more...it's a quiet, simple moment..the kind she and I keep beating ourselves up to find each day.

Star Hyke


I did this fun series which was rife with challenges and so forth but low and behold it is now on DVD in the UK and here's a photo of the cast (minus me) signing at Forbidden Planet in London...Gosh I wish I could have been there. I have great memories of doing the series. I would drive (on the wrong side of the road mind you) to the set (in Bristol) and the snow would pour down and there were horrible lunches of bangers and fries and yet we all laughed a lot and at the end of a long day I went back to my little flat in Bath and felt like we had done something good with very little money.
I suppose that's what artists and performers strive for; a safe environment to express themselves.
I hope that this Holiday all of you "want to be artists" grab your camera bags or copies of plays or songs, or music and sit down at the piano or get the kids together and put on a show. film something, photograph it or cook up a storm!
Let's all endeavor to be creative for a change, step away from the computer and have (in my nephew Max's brilliant words) a "crafternoon"!
ie: go do a puzzle with your Mom this afternoon, collect some leaves, read a book...recite a poem....for Godsakes, guess what? It's fun.

Fall items and what nots



Well I do hope that you all had a lovely Holiday (those of you Yanks in any event) I myself am happy to report a surplus of turkey, sweets and carbs for the next year at least!
I shared some lovely moments with family and cooked up a storm with David. (photos attached)

I have to do a quickie plug for the event I am attending this weekend because Lightspeed folks are good ones. http://www.trektoday.com/content/2009/11/lightspeed-fine-art-charity-benefit/

I promise to finish season 1 of B5 very soon, I'm back at home base now and able to view it so expect something in the next week or so :)

episode 20 B5


It's slowing down and nearing the end of season 1, watched Babylon Squared and saw all sorts of little things I never would have noticed ie: the beginning of the relationship which was supposed to be between Delenn and Sinclair but then had to be between Delenn and Sheridan instead...the whole "The One" sub plot which also went a little awry due to re casting me thinks.....
I liked the episode (except for the really awful Major or Commander or whatever he was of B4, pass the mustard for that ham baby!) Yes, another mini rant on the guest leads though I must say, the breakfast scene with Ivanova and the boys was pretty lame too so what can I say!? The whole falling asleep to Sinclair's hypnotic smokers growl was just a wee bit unbelievable..:)
The special effects were great, the flying scenes were good except for the rather awkward conversation about dressing in the morning with Garibladi and Sinclair. I nearly expected it to venture into "do you wear it to the right or left Sir? territory but thankfully it did not. Socks??? Yikes, uncomfortable party of one was me whilst I wondered who wrote the episode (surprisingly it was JMS) it felt more like one of our guest writers who sometimes tried too hard to be clever or cute.
I recall a certain director who had clearly never watched the show, telling me to play it more "sexy and coquettish" in my scenes with Sheridan...They nearly had to hold me back from decking him! Which goes to show you that not all episodes are equal and for very good and complicated reasons in some cases...
In any event I am nearly at the end of season 1 so I have posted a heroic-fighting pic as opposed to the usual flat screen with accoutrement.

The image was taken outside of the house around 4pm the other day...a glorious red hot sunset...

More Star Hyke info and such!


Here is the new trailer for Star Hyke and it is also the place where you can buy the boxed set :


http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/11559081/Starhyke-Complete-Series-1-Box-Set/Product.html

That's a UK site and you can also purchase it from Amazon!

If they sell enough DVD's then they will do a second season...I selfishly hope they do because the first season was so much fun to do!

this is it



We saw the film "This is it" last night and what a reminder of what a colossal waste MJ's death was. He came across as a professional who spoke succinctly and knew exactly what he wanted but delivered the requests with kindness and love

It was extremely difficult for me to see any signs of drug use, he appeared clear and concise...hard to believe that he was using propofol to sleep (if indeed that is true). He was in clear voice and his moves were strong. It was simply a very, very sad thing to watch. I believe that the O2 concert series would have been one of the most remarkable comebacks in history...what a shame he never had that "high" to go out on.

Above are photos David took of Michael in the 80's.

Jesus comes to town!

The trailer is up on IMDB here's the link:
I think Kamal John Iskander did a dynamite job on it.

enjoy!
x claudia

Babylon 5 episodes 17-19


Well I have only good things to say about these episodes! O'Hare was even good! In Legacies we had a great guest lead, the Minbari warrior fellow (who's British accent led David to ask in all seriousness "are ALL aliens Brits"? I responded with "depends if you're a conspiracy theorist or not..") He was great and his scene with Sinclair at the end where they sort of make up was superb. It was also good because you really couldn't figure out if Delenn is good or evil; a liar or a truth teller...it made me suspicious of her motives throughout the episode which of course leads you to think "Is anyone who they really say they are?" which of course is good TV.

Episodes 18 and 19, the two part Voice in the Wilderness with Drall number 1 (I remembered while we were watching it that when I go down and get hooked into the machine later in the series, we had a new Drall playing the role) was a great ride.
I liked the Garibaldi second story because it makes his character more vulnerable now; he has little to stay "good" for at this point.
The idea of having a veritable volcano below the station is a good ploy as well, makes a comment on the instability of everyone's lives on B5 and the importance of working together (something certain folks on certain TV shows chose to forget, ironically)

It's strange to see Mira in the full makeup because I remember her mostly in the half hair-do and because I know how much she abhorred the prosthetics. I thought everyone was very tight in these episodes, it seems as if we all gained confidence, got into a groove and were working well together. The acting was very good (except I am sorry to say, the gal playing the 14 year old telepath, some of her scenes were cringe worthy but some were okay)
I liked the interaction between Ivanova and Talia as well, it began to take form as an interesting dynamic and once again makes me sad that it didn't get to go where it was supposed to go due to Andrea leaving the show. Oh well, such is life in the ever changing world of television. All in all, a great viewing night and we are almost through season 1!

LOOK

Here's a fun little look at the behind the scenes of the LOOK shoot. The fellow who shot the video was a featured player that night and he did an interview with writer-director Adam Rifkin.

Halloween's over but there's still a bag O' candy left!




Okay I admit it..I ate about 4 thousand Reece's peanut butter cups and I have the post Halloweenie gut to prove it, yuck! We had a lovely party and David took some great shots of people as they arrived, I have posted a few so you can laugh at us...David and I are from a made up-sword worshipping-middle eastern clan...can you tell? :)
I suppose it's time to start gearing up for Thanksgiving now. I always feel that time really starts to fly right about now with the Holidays and the fears of "where did the year go?" abounding through my head and the days getting darker sooner "Hey, it's 4:30 why is it dark out!?" and all of that "do they really expect Christmas gifts this year?"...so I have a plan: I do this every year. I do not buy Christmas gifts for anyone, period. I figure that my gift to my family is to fly out to Aspen and cook for everyone for the duration of the Holiday. My gift to David is that we both agree that we don't need anything except a new house so let's put our time, money and energy into that and my gift to my friends is a special meal out or at my house or a day out to a Korean bath house or something fun together. Honestly, Christmas is for kids in my mind, adults do not need more soap on a rope, ties, DVD's or any of that stuff, what they need is more time and money and love and home cooked meals! In any event this way of thinking has saved me oodles of head aches and money through out the years and led me to buy unusual things during the year for friends and family and surprise them with the object rather than be forced to come up with a gift just for the sake of sticking something under the tree...
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween and "step away from the candy!".
I am reading the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" right now and it is shocking to say the least, to read about the amount of corn syrup and corn by products we consume in America...no longer are the Mexican's the largest consumers of corn, it is us! It's a good read if you're interested in where your food comes from and why nearly half of everything in the grocery store is derived from corn.

First review of the DVD!

David Hobby is HUGE in the world o' photographers and he has given our new DVD, "LIGHT" a big thumbs up...yay!

Here's the link to the review:

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2009/10/brain-food-three-new-offerings.html







more indie film tales



We shot Meteor Apocalypse in the Angeles National Forest which suffered a brutal fire in August of this year. The terrain reflected the devastation with ash and charred trees, purposefully chosen for their "end of the world-doomsday" look. The lovely Madison Mclaughlin played my daughter and the easy to work with Joe Lando played my husband. We withstood wind and dust in our eyes and tried to pull of the rather difficult task of acting as if meteors were crashing all around us...try getting 3 actors to all look at the same spot at the same time while losing the light...!
It was an easy job, a couple of days on the set and off to the next film (which I wish I had not had a dead battery in my camera for)..."Sex Tax" was filled with beautiful actresses playing hookers and a couple of interesting character actors as well, all in a funky little house in the valley made up to look like a bordello...oh well, next time I'll bring two cameras!

B5 episodes 15 and 16...no boom today,boom tomorrow!


Okay so I am back in the saddle again after a brief hiatus from the show. I appreciate everyone's support and comments through this endeavor of mine...they always refer to B5 as the "little show who could" a reference to the "little engine" children's book and I can certainly see that it was not an exaggeration. People from all over the world are still watching it! Amazing...

Alright so I watched episode 15 ; GRAIL and as much as I thoroughly enjoyed David Warner as the "cosmic wayfarer" seeking the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend, I felt that the episode was a little cheesy at times. Once again I found myself shocked at how amateur some of the effects now look to my spoiled-state of the art-Imax theater drenched brain. I mean at the time these were smokin' hot! Now it makes the Pee Wee Herman show look like a Hollywood blockbuster...
That aside, I really loved the reaction to the seeker by the religious caste of Minbari, they had the utmost respect for a man who would spend his life searching for something which was very likely non existent....which of course brings up all of the thoughts of what WE are searching for as humans and what makes our own personal search worthy or futile...I mean so what if someone spends their life trying to perfect the lotus position and dying feeling that they have not attained perfection because hey, does "perfection" actually exist? Is anything actually perfect? What if you spend your life seeking material things? Is that NOT worthy of admiration simply because it is more "honorable" to do yoga? Come on, they are both selfish exploits and in some people's minds a waste of a life. It made me think of what it is like to admire someone simply for their passion. So many people have no passion for anything, their job, love, family...nothing. So when someone comes along and exclaims "I'm going to climb that mountain if it's the last thing I do!" or "I'm going to cross breed coffee beans with cocoa beans if it's the last thing I do!" it evokes admiration and envy in a way because they are passionate about something and clearly (even if they seem a bit mad) living life!
After all of that heavy thinking I still think the Nakaleen Feeder looked ridiculous. :)

Okay episode 16; EYES was great! I really loved it, it was well paced and had energy and a great bad guy : Gregory Martin with his crazy Heidelberg dueling-type facial scar and fantastically cheesy British accent which sounded like it was straight out of a David Lean film. I thoroughly enjoyed that episode. The whole psi corps thing is great, really and has so many current day comparisons to CCTV's and the whole Big Brother-no more privacy- issues swirling around modern society. It really is a great and almighty conversation starter.
The series I have coming out next year on Showtime (LOOK) is the same theme in a way because the whole thing is shot on CCTV's and computer cams and nanny cams , ATM machine cams etc. etc. showing really that there IS no more privacy and that you are filmed all day everyday...amazing and Orwellian!

I suppose that's the beauty of well written TV....to make you think...and I think I came up with a brilliant idea by writing this little essay : coffee-cocoa beans! I have to do some research to see if anyone has bred that bean yet...
:)

The Huntington




I booked a couple of jobs on Friday so I thought I would go do something fun this weekend. The jobs are very low budget films, one comedy called "Sex Tax" where I play the role of a woman who runs a brothel in Nevada which is audited by the IRS and an action-disaster film called "Meteor Apocalypse" in which I play Joe Lando's wife (he was in Dr. Quinn, medicine woman). They aren't huge roles so this "fun" thing I was to do was not going to be a trip to Bermuda...instead I drove to the Huntington with David and we looked at beautiful paintings and walked the gardens in the scorching heat. One of my favorites paintings is Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of the famous English tragic actress Sarah Siddons. It was hailed at the time of its first exhibition in 1784 as one of the greatest portraits of all time; it still ranks among the significant works of late-18th-century art. I always spend more time in front of that gorgeous image then of the other more famous ones such as Gainsborough's Blue Boy which is also housed at the beautiful Huntington in San Marino, California...a truly stunning city with outstanding homes and a quaint downtown. They also had an orchid exhibition so we took a stroll through the humid hot house and finished with a stroll through the statue garden. Once again, visiting our local delights is a must for me as I continue to learn more about this state I live in. I am learning to use the Nikon D90 David gave me so that's a fun little diversion as well. Tonight, back to B5 viewings for the few faithful who read them! :)

a B5 reunion of sorts



I attended the Burbank memorabilia show for a few hours on Saturday and was pleased to see all of my old Babylon 5 friends. The event had a ton of guests but luckily we sat near each other.

Mira said that she was off to star in a film in Europe, Andrea is doing well in real estate and everyone was great! I was happy to see Jeff somewhat mobile and a little surprised that most of my cast mates did not know what had happened to him over the years. He is a mess physically and has dealt with pain, addiction and surgeries very much in the public eye on shows like Celebrity Sehab so I knew what he has been through and I was happy to at least see him out and about, albeit using a walker.

I must get back to my B5 viewings, I'm afraid I have been remiss lately due to other plans and the fact that I have changed representation professionally so that produced a flurry of activity; new demo reels and photos etc. etc. Pat Tallman actually led me to my new manager (Bonnie Love) bless her for sharing a good tip.

I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather, I know I am...I'm tempted to light a fire and get cozy when it's overcast and gray out. A lot of people have been reporting fatigue and sleeping more and/or deeper...change of weather is funny like that.

Here's to apple crisps, stews and roasts...pumpkins, hot chocolate and home made pies! Yippee!



road trip continues...




In our quest to see more of this glorious state, David suggested a day trip to Ojai yesterday. We packed up the Land Rover and headed out around noon and enjoyed a traffic free hour drive up the 101. Ojai has a funny combo of spiritual seekers, tourists and plain old retired folk with a dash of bikers and meth dealers creeping along the outskirts...you see wonderful coffee shops and groovy help yourself-honor system book stores and then turn a corner and see a dilapidated bar complete with broken windows and cheap furnishings which must have housed some serious drinkers and seedier sorts at some point.

The weather was beautiful as we drove up towards Arroyo toad country; apparently a few years ago they closed the roads to prevent these little endangered rascals from being run over en masse. This stocky little, blunt nosed, warty skinned species must be pretty daft to get run over in large groups but who am I to say what gets protected and what doesn't in the Los Padres National Forest.

We had possibly, no, THE worst Mexican food I have ever had in my life at Antonio's in Ojai. Really nice staff but man was it awful...the chili relleno was actually a shallow bowl of microwaved cheese and somewhere within lurked what tasted like a pancake battered piece of celery.

However we went to a great little coffee shop (The Ojai Coffee Roasting Company) and had a wonderful latte served by a neophyte being directed by a chipper lady with quite the talent for making java...

All in all it was great to get out, we bought a pumpkin and some gourds for the Holiday season and took some great photos up in the hills....all in all once again a great way to spend a day...thinking, planning, enjoying and laughing...kind of felt like a vacation and that's what life is all about.

Babylon 5 episodes 12-14


Well I have to be honest..I was not too crazy about "By any means necessary" and "Signs and Portends" and even though I was warned that TKO is supposed to be the worst episode ever, I thought it was better than these two! They just felt limp....boring and the acting was stilted. I thought the fight scenes in TKO were good and Greg McKinney was very good as the boxer and Theodore Bikel was great as the Rabbi...maybe I'm crazy but "By Any Means Necessary" nearly put me to sleep and that gal who played the head of the dockworkers was really annoying . The workers holding up fake wrenches and various tools in a threatening manner was just plain silly.

Once again (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record) Peter and Andreas saved it for the two of us by being interesting to watch and fine actors...thank God for them! O'Hare was good in the scene in TKO where he talks to Ivanova about sitting Shiva, I thought it was a very real and compassionate scene without a lot of his trademark eye rolling and stiffness and Ivanova is finally becoming a little more human as well...everyone seems to be relaxing into their roles which is of course to be expected half way through the first season. It's funny to watch it and remember the friendships forming and easy banter which would become all of our favorite reasons to come to work. There was a lot of laughter on the set and that's something which carries through to this day when we see each other.

I am looking forward to this weekend, some of us are doing a convention in Burbank, The Hollywood Show, which has been billed as a Babylon 5 reunion of sorts. So far Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, Pat Tallman, Andrea Thompson, Julie Caitlin Brown, Steven Furst and myself are going to be there. It will be be nice to see them....





Capitalism!


I neglected my B5 duties this weekend, I admit it...I will watch episodes tonight and get back into the groove. Saturday we filmed a "test run" of my new webisode series "Claudia's Hollywood Roadkill" where basically I interview people and rant about stuff like silly lawsuits, bizarre inventions and dumb behavior

Yesterday David took me to Rancho Palos Verdes because I had never been there... can you believe that? 27 years in LA and I had never been there! It was very windy and the ocean was rough but it was a pleasant outing. The hill top homes over looking the ocean reminded me of the vista in Laguna Beach only without the charm...loads of cookie cutter homes in Rancho Palos Verdes and a HUGE personality-less resort called Terranea....what a waste of a gorgeous piece of ocean front property, the resort is awful, condos that look like a planned community and lack luster beige lobby...

Last night I went to see Capitalism: A Love Story, which was massively depressing (like Michael Moore's other films, especially Sicko) but of course, necessary to see. I felt utter despair after watching the film..I mean what are we supposed to do at this point? Big business has been running the country for years so how can we undo something so pervasive? The only solution is a revolution and I can't see that happening anytime soon unless things keep getting worse and more people lose their jobs and homes and the 1% keep getting richer and the 99% suddenly get off their butts and rage and protest and fight and burn and rampage...and then what are we left with? A bunch of destroyed innocent small businesses, injured bystanders and cities looking like wastelands? What ARE we supposed to do about the state of our country? Write to our representatives??? Come on....they gave 700+ billion$ to bailout companies and we don't know where the money went nor were told what it would be used for...does that sound fair or democratic? NO. People diss Italy for being heavily mob influenced in their Goverment but they have paid vacations, unions to protect workers and free health care!...we're run by Wall Street financiers and lobbyists who control every decision, Congress has no power and we're going to hell in a hand basket...what's the difference? We got the short end!

One of the things which struck me the hardest was the bakery which paid everyone equally; CEO and baggers alike..and everyone made money and was happy, commune style! Hey, it works! Greed doesn't work obviously but once again..what do WE do when we are not in control, when we elect a President who is also in bed with these guys (they all are, Democrats and Republicans)....

It makes one feel helpless and powerless when your vote means nothing...what a sad, sad film. I DO recommend seeing it though. It's funny because the film says exactly what the conspiracy theorists have been saying for 40+years and everyone said they were nuts...but they weren't, they were dead on!

Too bad FDR couldn't live to see his "Second Bill" put into action, then we wouldn't have all of these problems...the last thing I will mention is that it brought up the fact that after the war Germany and Japan both got pretty much what FDR wanted for America, education for all, health care for all and jobs for everyone amongst all of the other benefits which came with the restructuring of the countries...everything he wanted for us...but the greedy in our country ruined it for the rest of us.

Very sad indeed.

p.s. the photo is from when I went to the LA Zoo...I thought it was pretty and it has nothing to do with anything in this post :)

a more innocent era..maybe...childhood musings..


I have been thinking about my nieces and nephews and God children a bit of late...I think I am too quick to rush to the assumption that their life is not as "simple" as ours was and their childhoods must be in someway less pure but now I am beginning to realize that childhood is a combination of nature and nurture. One could easily be raised by two computer designers, live in a modern home in a modern culture and still enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood which to me are discovery and safety.
We talk about the dangers toward children; kidnapping and drugs, sex and violence, bullying and premature responsibility...yet there are some children whom these things do not seem to touch. I find myself at dinner parties extolling the virtues of growing up in rural Connecticut where we could roam in the woods and not worry yet my brother's kids live in not so rural Orange County and they manage to camp nearly every year, they have a house in lake Arrowhead where they spend loads of time outdoors and yes they have iphones and play video games but they seem to enjoy fishing and playing in the snow as well so is it because their parents enjoy these things or is it "in their blood"?Do they enjoy the outdoors because they have options which come with a comfortable life? If they were poor and depended on fishing to eat, would they love to fish? Probably not!
I see other kids who love nothing more than to watch TV all day, everyday and still others who you cannot get off of a sports field no matter what the weather...is it true desire or is it to please Mom and Dad?
All of these questions fly more freely in my head these days because I have taken the decision to not have children and I am more and more comfortable with the reality of it everyday. It would be easy to label it as selfishness or immaturity but it's a lot bigger than that.
I truly feel that being responsible for the huge thing called the "human experience" and knowing that this person you bring into the world can be so easily scarred by so many different things, so devastated by life itself , not to mention the chances of them falling into the darker side of life no matter how much you love them (I have many friends dealing with this now) simply is overwhelming to me.
I am not saying that life is not filled with joy and revelation but I also know that it is not easy and that I would forever hold myself responsible for that child's happiness, it's my nature. I think I would smother that child. I am also a supreme worry wort so that child would have never been able to go out of the house.
So those are my thoughts on parenthood, after a bit of therapy and long chats with friends and family and David I have come to the conclusion that this is the right choice for me and I am now planning the rest of my child free life with undisguised glee. Traveling and continuing to be productive and creative are key in this plan as is building up a financial safety net so I CAN enjoy life, not easy in this business....
My Mom used to say "oh...having a daughter is a must, they never leave you like boys do! If you don't have children you will be lonely in your old age!" Therefore I shall endeavor to be an entertaining Auntie and a sparkling friend so that I will have company when I so desire...the truth is that I enjoy being alone so that part doesn't scare me as much as the never ending responsibility, school trauma, cost of living, teenage angst, drugs and other childhood nightmares do.
Being safe as a child is tough in this day and age and we read with horror about the child abductions and sexual abuse cases which seem to be everywhere even in supposedly safe enclaves and sleepy little towns. I know that one of the most beautiful feelings of being a child is being safe; falling asleep in the back seat of a car on the way home from some family event and being carried into your home and put to bed. These people, your parents, got you home safely and took care of you and you trusted them.
I am very much aware of the fact that there are millions of kids out there who have never felt safe and that is a crime. Childhood is a precious time of self discovery and learning and to be in an environment where danger is your primary thought is a travesty. Once again I hear the voices say "you have to get a license to get a pet, to drive a car and to get married but anyone can have a kid!"...it's sad but true.
I heard back from the Children's Cancer Hospital regarding joining their book reading volunteer group and the response was that they were incredibly full...so I signed up for the Screen Actor's Guild BookPALS instead and felt good about the fact that so many people were volunteering to read to these kids and play with them. But then I got to thinking about average kids...how often do their parents read to them? How often do any of them find a mentor in their life, someone who tells them that they are good or smart or funny?
We all know that the education crisis in this country and other's is creating a generation of indifferent children (who also have the highest rate of obesity ever!) but what are WE doing about it? Spending money on anything BUT education. The funny thing is that I find the most fun in teaching something to a kid, they are sponges and they express pride in achievement so palpably that it is a joy to behold. I can see why people would want to have a career in teaching, it's just a shame that we treat teachers like second class citizens and pay them a tenth of what they are worth....
Maybe being a "big brother or Big sister" is the way to go...I also like the idea of matching the elderly up with young kids so that both groups gain friendship and companionship...so many things to think about.....
Happy weekend xx

Babylon 5 episodes 9-11


Well, well well...my stuffed monkey was feeling left out so we invited him down to watch with us (replacement for a dog, hopefully temporary because he doesn't DO much other than look cute and I look foolish walking him)

Death Walker..first of all I love the fish head aliens and now that Robin Curtis played their ambassador..I love them even more! I really, really like Robin, we did "Hexed" together in the early 90's and every time I run into her at a con or something, she is as funny and sweet as always, a real, normal, nice person AND an actress to boot! What are the chances :) (there are too few of us out there, trust me)

In any event Sarah Douglas was wickedly good as the Death Walker and the episode had that horribly delicious twist at the end (Twilight Zone like) where she revealed that the serum which will make you immortal has a component that you can only get from...yes...LIVING PEOPLE!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! So we will become murderers just like her long dead race of Nazi- like evil doers! That was a fun episode!

It's interesting to see the sets from a decade+away..in some shots they look good but others they look exactly like what they were: plywood, plastic and paint :)

The Believers brought up a heated discussion of the Jehovah Witness's practice of not allowing life saving surgeries (which I am sure it was intended to do) which led to a discussion of Michael Jackson being a Jehovah Witness and "does plastic surgery count?" etc. etc. It was a very heavy episode and Richard Biggs was, as always, solidly excellent..he was truly a fine actor. In Survivors, Garibaldi is framed and Jerry Doyle once again shows that HE should have been Bruce Willis!...he is comfortable and likable on screen and the episode had more bad guys, a guest lead gal with a huge chip on her shoulder, the resurfacing of Garibaldi's alcoholism and some really, really cheesy "Willy Wonka in the tunnel" effects during the low gravity-subway-people movers scenes....you know what I mean? Those scenes in that train like thing look exactly like the scene in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the families take the river boat through the tunnel and end up in a crazy psychedelic scene! The same visual effects! Well, that's the way I remember it in any event.

Once again I was reminded of fun times. I told David about sitting in the cockpit of the Star Fury (which was just a cockpit, the rest is CGI) when the Northridge earthquake hit...everyone went running, screaming out of the studio and left me dangling in the cockpit, strapped in and helpless in my Michelin man space suit and horrible helmet. (Those helmets would fog up all the time so they installed a little fan inside that the actor would have to turn on and off between takes so that the sound department wouldn't pick up the sound of the fan, so you had to remember your techno babble lines and the fan and be in a suit you couldn't move nor think in) I was a little ticked off that no one thought to save me so when they all came back to set after the quake mellowed out, I gave it to them!

I hope the show starts to lighten up a little....these dark episodes get us riled up before bed!

Babylon 5 episodes 7 and 8


Okay I'm back in geek mode! The War Prayer brought us the gal from the Wonder Years and the evil-hate monger- ex of Ivanova's in a duel tale of young love and racism. I enjoyed the episode and once again I was reminded of many people whom I had not thought about for a long time. David gets at least 3 smacks on the arm and a "Hey! I remember that guy, he hated wearing alien masks so they made him a security guard!" or "God I hated that hair style! But I loved the hair and makeup people there was one who..." and so on and so on.

I, of course, cannot write this dissertation-light, if you will, without mentioning the pangs of loss I feel when seeing Richard Biggs and Andreas Katsulas on screen. Richard because he was a friend and a loving husband and Father and I think about his two boys RJ and Hunter and where they are, do they like school?...are they still as beautiful as when I saw them last? I think about Lori and wonder how she coped with the loss of such a magnetic, amazing presence in her life. Richard overcame the handicap of being profoundly deaf in an industry which is difficult enough with all of your senses intact. He was a warm, funny, funny man...always laughing and he had an energy which lit up a room. I miss him dearly while watching these episodes and I have to stop myself from the continuing questioning of God's choices in these matters.

When I mourn Andreas it is because of his talent. His performance as G'Kar was worthy of an Emmy at the very least...too bad Sci Fi was relegated to the "ugly step child" role back in the early 90's, otherwise I cannot see how he and Peter would have been overlooked for award after award for their brilliant performances.

I did not know Andreas as well as I knew Richard, as I have explained before, the aliens were made up in a different make up trailer..one filled with soft, classical music and soothing candles whilst the human trailer was a loud, crazy cacophony of Jerry Doyle shouting political arguments with Bruce, me singing loudly along to 70's hits and begging the hair and makeup people to leave me alone (I preferred to wear as little makeup as possible and loved having a simple ponytail) and any poor guest star trying desperately to focus on learning their lines...fat chance!

I did not have many scenes with the aliens and now that I am watching the show for the first time I see that I am in C and C a lot and with the Commander in most scenes.

As a little inside scoop, the episode with the ex boyfriend (the war prayer) was the impetus for Ivanova's possible bi-sexual nature; After that episode I complained bitterly to JMS about Ivanova having an ex.."she was too busy to be dating!" I told him that I didn't want a string of ex's clouding up the station through out the years and that if he really wanted to make me happy and honor the character he would have Ivanova get together with an alien or a woman! Preferably G'Kar, I told him.....the rest is history :) And how about that Princess Leia-cinnamon bun -date night-hair do?? (pictured above)

Episode 8 (And the Sky full of stars) was VERY dark and I didn't like it as much but I sure recognized a lot of the extras and recalled messing around on set, joking a lot...which seems to be a recurring theme about this show. I keep remembering laughing all the time! If you ask ANY of the actors they will say the same thing: God we had fun!

The joy of cooking!


Saturday night I had a dinner party for 10 fun people. It was a miraculous party in a couple of ways. First off, no one drank...I told people if they imbibe to bring their own wine or whatever but no one did because they were all "on the wagon" either permanently (like me) or just for a period of time. I can recall few parties where everyone was sober! The second anomaly (for Los Angeles especially) was that there was not one food allergy or food choice I had to deal with! No vegans, no practicing Jews (It was the beginning of Yom Kippur and I was making pork so it DID cross my mind to ask!) no vegetarians, lactose intolerant, shellfish allergies, diabetic people...everyone said "I eat anything" when asked, whew! So with that in mind I decided to go for it! I stuffed a pork roast with fennel seeds, sauteed onions, fennel, garlic and fresh bread crumbs and roasted that. I made a 4 cheese, wild mushroom, white truffle, baked macaroni and cheese, I made seared scallops in a citrus vinaigrette on arugula, roast asparagus with crumbled fried prosciutto and David made Mozza's famous butterscotch budino with caramel sauce and whipped creme fraiche and fleur de sel..OMG it was divine, that pudding rendered the whole table speechless! It was great to see Virginia Hey again (she of Mad Max and Farscape fame) and the director of the short film I did recently, John Kamal Iskander ("jesus comes to town" is the film and he screened it, it was wonderful! A beautifully shot black and white 12 minute comment on happiness and truth.) (They are both pictured above)
Two makeup artists happen to be there, one my old friend Michelle and David's high school buddy Brian whom he had not seen in 25 years and who blended into our little tribe as if he had been around forever. We laughed and reminisced over faux Mojitos (Virginia's invention) and I wondered again why I don't throw a dinner party every week, they are so much fun..Great food, good company and everyone out the door before 11pm, my idea of a perfect party!
You see, thats what happens when you get older and you don't party anymore...
As we did the dishes I commented to David that when I lived briefly in Barcelona (during the shooting of a horribly cheesy TV show in the 90's called "Dark Justice"), we didn't even go out for dinner until 11pm! Midnight was usually when we started eating!
I like the California way, party starts at 7ish, you eat a little before 8 then hang out during coffee and dessert for awhile and you still get to bed by midnight. I'm a morning person so I already live the "geriatric hours" life style, I'll fit in perfectly when I'm 80 years old. I get up at 6am and relish the quiet and the cool morning air. I love to walk or hike early because then no matter what happens during the day you know you have taken your exercise already and everything else is icing on the cake. I think better in the morning as well and I wake up happy, which is a gift. I have been reading a lot about depression lately because so many of my friends are on anti depressants; a product of the bad economy and just a way to ease the everyday stresses. I suppose that throughout time people have suffered through depression and my heart goes out to people who endure it daily. I know that a lot of research has been done on the chemical balances of people's brains, the influence of diet and the reality of day to day pressures and I thank God that they don't jump to the radical treatments of days gone by ie: lobotomies and shock treatments but I DO wish that therapy was available to more people. Talking to a good and trusted friend or a professional helps unburden one of the heavy thoughts which persist in our day to day life and so many people have no one to discuss their feelings with. I wonder why doctors, who have the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the world, don't have therapy in their heath coverage and if they do why they don't take advantage of it...
Loneliness is one of the biggest complaints of depressed people so if you do anything today, call an elderly relative or reach out to a friend who has been going through a tough time financially or tell a kid in your life that he or she is very special...we can all help in small ways. If you have the time or resources..throw a dinner party, it reminds you that other like minded people exist and that you are never really alone in this life.

To be a pet parent or not to be..that is the question!


David and I searched the Valley for a dog today...you see we've been thinking about getting a dog lately but we are both well aware of the commitment and time and well...seriousness of bringing a pet into your life (especially one which can live to be 20 years old or more!) so we have sort of decided that we must be "bowled over" by said dog when and if we ever meet it....so we are having fun looking in the mean time.
There was an extraordinary actor-dog we saw today. I watched him as he would compose his part Chihuahua features from a normal expression into one of such utter need and loneliness that it simply melted anyone's heart to look into his strangely green eyes...this was a pro. I came back to his little cage 4 times and each time he gave me the "I will love you forever" look ..until the last time..he wouldn't look at me as if he already knew that I was not taking him home, unbelievable! I felt that I could read every thought in his little human-dog mind which made me suddenly believe all the more in reincarnation. This dog was the Lawrence Olivier of canines I tell you! The one very sad thing which was extremely obvious as we have strolled through adoption sites and visited kennels is this: Chihuahuas comprise about 95% of all dogs in shelters...I'm not kidding. I honestly think it's because of that movie that came out "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"..kids begged for one and the parents bought one and now there are thousands of unwanted little dogs in shelters everywhere in LA county. It's the same thing post Easter when you see a plethora of rabbits being offered up..or baby chicks. A pet is a huge commitment so we are doing some very serious thinking about it but I have to admit, it's awfully hard not to take them all home and give them a safe place to live out the rest of their doggy years.

B5: the saga continues! episodes 4-6



Last night we watched episodes 4-6 of B5 after making a smoked pork roast that was to die for. David and I have a Cameron Stovetop Smoker (shameless plug here) and we have fallen in love with it. They make great gifts as well- in fact my Mom and brother have one and David gave one to his best friend Kerry. We plan on doing a cooking segment using one soon because they are that cool. We smoke fish, chicken , turkey meat, veggies, even salt! Everything cooks in about 20 minutes and makes the house smell like you're at a campfire...is there any better smell then the smell of mesquite, hickory or cherry wood?? So after the gorging festival we hunkered down to do my "homework" and began episode 4. "The Invisible Man!" David said when he saw David McCallum onscreen..he also said that Mr. McCallum's head was oddly shaped... like a lima bean or peanut, so I made up a story about how his head was caught in the jumpgate on B5 during shooting of the episode and he was such a trooper that he decided to keep working, I don't think David bought it.

The episode was called "Infection" and it was pretty cool, ironically the theme of man melding with machine was visited by me lately when I shot the scenes for "Barrier" ..it was all about a man joining with a futuristic ship in order to have the ultimate racer...funny that! Now that David knows the names of the characters he tends to enjoy shouting out "Get 'em Garibaldi!" at inappropriate moments simply because he enjoys Jerry Doyle's natural delivery and obvious joy in playing the role (compared to the cement-like facade of a certain Commander, we all look like Meryl Streep, frankly). Episode 5 (Parliament of Dreams) features the best lighting I have ever seen on myself (vain actress taking the soap box now) seriously, looking at the 28 year old me during the league of non aligned nations meetings when I have the gavel in my hand and am trying to keep everyone in line...I felt I looked nearly angelic (hee hee!) Okay but let's talk about the Orkin insect-black market trader dude! Does he not look like the same insect from the Orkin commercials? The one who delivers the pizza to the family who didn't order pizza then drives away in the bitchen' ol' school Ford Fairlane or whatever he's driving....very cool.

I got very teary at the end when Sinclair introduced the Ambassadors to Earth's "dominant belief system" and he revealed a VERY long line of various people from every religious denomination you can fathom, now that was a great moment...quite moving.

By the time "Mind War" rolled around we were both a bit knackered so the only notes I have are that Andrea Thompson and the guest star playing the telepath-gone wild and Walter Koenig were all very good and the thought of someone being able to manipulate matter with their mind led to a heated discussion between us as to what we would disintegrate first (I refuse to open the ugly Pandora's box of politics on this site), but just know that we had a good chin wag over that dreamy subject! Bring on episodes 7-10!

Babylon 5, the first viewing ever!


I have finally done it! nearly 15 years after filming the first season of B5 I have decided to watch the entire show (well, the 88 episodes I was in). I have been threatening this for eons. You see, when it came out I was working on it and I'm not much of a TV watcher in the first place so I have only actually seen 3 episodes prior to last night! David and I started with episodes 1-3 of the first season (I couldn't find the pilot) and I must say, we were both hooked! Great characters, solid guest stars (the soul catcher and the evil slave owner from episodes 2 and 3 were very fine indeed so was the Italian actress playing the slave) and you immediately got sucked in. I do admit that we cracked up the entire time due to:

a)Michael O'Hare's performance is a combo platter of John Wayne, a 1950's Twilight Zone episode...... and someone in a neck brace who cannot move their head.

b) at times the special effects, which were SO cutting edge back then... well they look a little cheesy and...

c) when you see the alien makeup up close you could see where it was applied... many times..

But all in all it is a clever, engrossing show and we are looking forward to the rest of the series. I was surprised how quickly you "get" the characters and care for them...Jerry Doyle was wonderfully natural and long complicated speeches spring from his mouth as if they were a grocery list. I recall that while working with him yet it is still a pleasant surprise to see how good he was. Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas are already stealing the scenes and chewing up the sets, I can hardly wait to see them in later episodes. All in all it was great, I am FINALLY beginning to see what people have been telling me for years...B5 is a really good show!

rosh hashannah

Okay, I admit it...my Father is a Jewish man who doesn't celebrate the Jewish Holidays...there, I said it. And furthermore I take advantage of it! I drove up to the Napa Valley this weekend because the biz I am in pretty much shuts down for the holiday and because I missed my Mom. Once again I was taken by the beauty of California. Admittedly the bit of the drive where the cows are kept in giant pens, living in their own mess and awaiting slaughter, is not the cheeriest part of the trip, nor the most pleasing in an olfactory way...but on the most part the 6 and a half hour drive is a pleasant one. I listened to some oldies including Steely Dan's Aja, which always reminds me of afternoons after school in Weston, Connecticut, listening to my older brother's record albums and dreading when anyone would come home..I so loved the feeling of being alone in the house. Being a latch key kid can have it's benefits for a dreamer like me. I would spend hours in my room staring at my blacklight posters (remember those?)or walking in the woods just imagining what Europe was like or what I would be like when I grew up and if I would have children and get married like my Mom or spend my life as a gypsy, chasing jobs and seeing the world...
It's funny the things you think about while driving, by the time I played James Taylor's greatest hits I was WAY back in time..wearing orange terry cloth MC Hammer pants and patent leather high heel pumps..wow, I had almost forgotten the 80's....
I remember being so jealous of missing the 60's and 70's as an adult, being born in 1965 meant that the 80's were my "coming of age" era and what a bummer that was! No fringed vests and wild sex..nope, we had shoulder pads and big hair, Ronald Reagan and the shock and devastation of AIDS, no one young in that era would ever have the invincible youthful feeling that the young who came into their sexuality in the 60's and 70's had...nope, we were condom wearing, frightened puppies. I grew up in a gay community (Laguna Beach) so it was all the more "in your face" and it was for the best I like to think, education saves lives.
The weekend was filled with some lovely Autumn crafts thanks to my artist Mother, Hildegard, and her ever expanding imagination. This trip we collected European Oak tree acorns and their fallen "hats" then glued them back together and strung them on hunter green silk ribbon to then hang from my silver candle stick holders on thanksgiving. We also collected turkey feathers from their property where the wild turkeys try to avoid my parent's two crazy dogs. I'll use those to decorate as well as my Native American pieces (though I'm not sure if that's adding insult to injury). I like Thanksgiving, mostly for the friends and family and food but also because it reminds me of my favorite season, Fall. I miss the change of weather and the turning of the leaves and fresh apple cider, maple syrup and sweater weather of the East coast (I do not miss the humid summers and never ending winters though!). California affords me a climate to be outdoors and honestly, we simply do not spend enough time outside anymore. One should make it a point to get into nature at least a day a week, it truly slows you down, fills you up and makes you realize how insignificant your problems are.
So, even though we did not celebrate in a traditional style, the feelings of re birth, New Year and family endured...

On the Oregon trail!





I spent the last weekend doing a lot of driving..nearly drove through the whole state of Oregon. The impetus for this journey was two fold. My dear friend Shannon was getting married and I had a cousin from Ireland who contacted me on Facebook whom I had never met and who now lived in Oregon so i decided to kill two birds with one rented car and a couple of tanks of gas. The heavily Celtic themed-dance and music orientated wedding at the town hall in Portland was lovely with perfect weather, beautiful singing and a lovely harpist, bride was glowing and the groom was positively content...no embarrassing speeches, just loving homages to the happy couple's love, really refreshing! I then spent the night in Portland at the now empty bride and groom's home and got up to a gorgeous sunrise to start my journey East to Haines. I decided to really take my time and stopped to see and enjoy Multnomah Falls (pictured above) and Horsetail Falls, the Louis and Clark trail and anything else I could gawk at. I truly enjoyed the slow reflective pace and no traffic, Yay! The skies were ever changing form brilliant blue to a moody gray which made me yearn for fireplaces and books and cups of tea...I think the trip was well worth the effort on many levels because spending time with yourself and nature is always a good way to pass the time.
I arrived in Haines an hour before I had agreed to arrive so I hung out at the only place in town open on a Sunday (and also pretty much the only place in town, period), The Steak House. I had an ice tea served by a beautiful young lady in a cowboy outfit and looked around and wondered who was going to eat the salad bar, soup bar and giant pile of corn bread since the place was empty save me. I made my way slowly to my cousins home and stopped to photograph the watering system (photo above) I thought they were beautiful against the yellow straw and blue sky. Clodagh, my cousin from Kilkenny, Ireland and her husband, Chris, were gracious and interesting. Chris showed me his collection of photos from his actress Aunt who starred in Laurel and Hardy films and the Our Gang show. His great grandfather had one of the most extensive collections of Native American artifacts in the world and what he did not donate to the Smithsonian, Chris had...he also collects Civil War swords and daggers so I was a proverbial pig in poop the whole time I wandered around the house gazing upon his collections. They are both avid readers as well so I may as well have moved in! All in all it was a fantastic weekend and I am happy that I ventured out of my normal sphere to satisfy a soupcon of wanderlust! We Americans tend to forget what beauty is right in our backyard and I intend to right that wrong over the next few years..I'm even thinking of talking David into renting an Air Stream for some long weekend journeys! "On the road again..." ! :)

Barrier Reef

There's a fellow named Michael Martinez who does a sci fi blog and he seems to know more about the Australian project I recently shot a promo for "Barrier Reef"...here's a link to his blog: http://sf-fandom.blogspot.com/2009/09/claudia-christian-joins-barrier-short.html
It was an interesting project so I hope the people involved carry through with it and get financing! Always tough but not impossible....
x

a day of interviews!

well it appears that the this is the day for interviews to come out...I just got word that another one is out, this one for Pizza Morgana the game I did a few months ago with my friend Oded. Here it is posted by the very nice Philip Jong who also sent me the questions and edited the piece. http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/527/

pink raygun interview

I did an interview for a really cool site called pink raygun with a gal named Lisa Fary who flattered me endlessly by telling me that I actually helped her get through tough days at her teaching job! That was very cool...
here's the interview and thanks Lisa!
x claudia

The Real Secret Part Deux!!!

Hi Folks, well it seems like most people "got it" so here's part two!
xx

The Real Secret

Awhile ago I stumbled upon the DVD "The Secret". I know that a lot of people enjoyed the book and the DVD and found inspiration from them...however...I was in a cynical, humorous mood that day and I decided to "take the piss" as they say in the UK....and here is the result!
Enjoy! (And please don't take offense, it is merely jest..)
:)

Dragon Con





Dragon Con was, once again, HUGE! A 4 day convention is always a bit much but this year it went by pretty quickly. Friday was very busy which is unusual...a lot of people playing hooky I suppose.. I ran into many, many old friends. It was great to see Peter Jurasik and Bruce Boxleitner....Tracy Scoggins was there with her lovely mother Lucille and Steven Furst was there ensuring that there would be ribbing between he and Peter.
The costumes were impressive this year as well, people really put their heart and soul into these things! David set up a little photo area behind the signing table and got a few cool shots of Dean Haglund and some B5 folks...all good.
It's good to be home now...Labor Day is over and things can get back to "normal" :)

I sure had fun last night!

NOT what you think...:)
I did a radio show based in NY with a gal named Lynn (actually they all had "radio" names so you can listen for them..very authoritative names-militaristic if you may...) :)
Here's the link...enjoy!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trekafterdark/2009/09/01/Trek-After-Dark

some fans called in and asked questions, they played a bit of my song "Taboo" and a jolly time was had by all (or so they said)
xx claudia

ahhh the fickle nature of the spiritual seeker..

So I went to the Sunday "choir" Agape service because a lot of people told me it was much different from the Wednesday night service and it was. The choir has been around for 21 years and it is a well oiled machine filled with people of all races and ages all dressed in colorful ethnic garb. They sang rousing versions of both spiritual and soul songs and were tightly conducted by Michael Beckwith's wife, Ricky who is also a wonderful piano player and singer. Yesterday's service was the first one to be streamed live to a web audience and perhaps that's where the problem lie. After the meditation section and musical introduction, which were both very nice, we were treated to at least 25 minutes of sales pitches for classes, social events and lectures. All of these events are clearly marked on a huge bulletin board and in the flyers you are handed each time you come to Agape so there's really no need to spend such a huge amount of time of what is supposed to be a church service on selling. The very energetic woman who did the really hard core pitch session concluded each description of classes or whatnot with something akin to: "hey, for only 35 dollars I'm going to go to that one!!!"
I think that it's great to have all of these seminars available for people but it really began to sound like a snake-oil salesman.."go to the fabulous bookstore and buy the DVD's! Please tithe as if you are paying God!! Go to as many lectures as you possibly can!" (I didn't find one that was free, not even the disco night..) Okay my last rant about the money issue is this. The web streaming is 5.95$ for people to watch EACH service and they stated that "someday, after we pay off our web streaming expenses..it will be free". Well, last I looked there were about 400 people in that room giving on average 5 dollars a piece for that Sunday service alone and there are 3 services on each Sunday plus many others during the week...oh and all of the people working are volunteers and I presume the building is owned by the church and all of the donations are tax free so my question is...how much does it cost to put up a couple of cameras and stream it onto an already existing website???
My spiritual-seeking patient mind was racing with numbers while I should have been thinking enlightened thoughts. Money issues aside I then noticed that when Michael Beckwith came up to do his sermon of the day which was "your slip is showing" (which "slip" stood for spiritual luminosity ...I forgot the rest because frankly it all started to sound the same.) He got up and yelled in his high register for the entire speech he gave. It was difficult to maintain focus because he was always at the same loud high pitchy yell...no fluctuation of voice..very much on your face and annoying. The one time he did drop into a lower register and whisper for a few sentences you suddenly leaned forward and listened. I think he was trying to up his energy for the web audience and that's understandable but it simply does not work in person, it was really hard to hear what he was trying to say. All of that said, I was interested to hear him quote Pema Chodron, the Buddist nun I have been reading and that drew me into the conclusion that the message is basically the same in all of these religions, new age or ancient : "stop being so hard on yourself, embrace all of your qualities good and bad, try to quiet your mind everyday, come from a place of love in your dealings with fellow human beings and all creatures and situations, understand that we are all God and everything is God and God wants us to be happy and fulfilled, life is the moments between making your plans so don't waste it...and on and on. Basically common sense but many of us need to be reminded of our inherent goodness and of the fact that as tempting as it is to dwell in the negative, we really DO have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy these years we are given. We live on a gorgeous planet, we are capable of having love and being loved and loving one another and there are sensual and artistic delights everywhere for us to enjoy PLUS a large portion of us in this world can do so without persecution, we have freedom to study, pray to our choice of God, have relationships with people of any race or gender without repercussion.
So, have I given up on Agape? Not at all...I just can't see myself becoming a groupie to a doctrine which is so money based, it was a bit of a turn off. The music and energy and love in the room is palpable and that I will hang onto. Buddhism? I am thoroughly enjoying dipping into that and taking from it what makes sense to me whether it be meditation or simply the message of "stop judging yourself!" Catholicism? I have to admit a mad love for the ritual of the incense-costume wearing-get on your knees and pray you heathen! of a great Catholic service, I in fact go during Lent and sometimes on a random Sunday to a local church who has a great Irish (cliche anyone?) Priest conducting the service. He is a jolly fellow with a positive message, not filled with the guilt and penance which turned me off as a child, he's quite modern and the service is in Spanish and English and the church is gorgeous so that I enjoy...
All in all I think this recent quest for an easy way to meditate taught me one thing, nothing important is easy! You must do it daily if you are going to get good at it hence the name "practice". Consider it a workout for the mind. I have also learned that I am a dabbler, I enjoy taking what touches me from each religion or faith that I study and then forming a nice little mix for myself, it seems to work..I guess I'm a bit of a rebel when it comes to enlightenment.
At the end of the day if anything makes a person more conscious as a human being and urges them to be kinder and wiser and more forgiving..then how can you knock it?
So, in spite of the pitches and heavy price on enlightenment I am still grateful that people like the Beckwith's and Deepak Chopra (as commercial as they are) are here spreading a positive and harmless message to people who need to believe in something...all good.

Radio show in the UK

I did a really fun radio interview with a great guy named Ian Cullen in the UK. He knows a lot about sci fi and genre, he's a writer and well, a really nice chap! Here's the link to the interview and his site:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/SciFiPulse/2009/08/30/Episode-31-Featuring-Claudia-Christian-Interview

FYI show times for the different US Time Zones on Sunday are 2 PM PST, 4 PM CT and 5 PM EST. Folk wanting to tune in here in UK that's 10 PM.

I hope you enjoy.
It's a scorcher here again in the southland, 100 degrees! ...and snow expected in Yellow Stone....very odd indeed!
xx