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 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 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 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" 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 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" 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 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, 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 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"'s a link to his blog:
It was an interesting project so I hope the people involved carry through with it and get financing! Always tough but not impossible....

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.

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!

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!

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