Craig is being stalked by a squirrel. And Ray Liotta, but that's only intermittently in recent weeks. The squirrel has no fear of humans. Inf act, it seems to Craig, that it wants to be invited into neighbor's homes to partake of mac and cheese or other tasty side dishes. He insists that it has stood longside of him on the sidewalk listening in on his cell phone conversations. And Craig notes that his typically oblivious friend, Woody has noticed this behavior to ask 'what's up with that squirrel?' I speculated that perhaps in is the reincarnation of the three legged cricket. Craig did not find that suggestion helpful. He is now plotting against it. Looks like Jon and I are of the hook as his nemesis. He would not send me photos of him wearing the Spock hair helmet with ears on Halloween. In response, I may visit him during his next library shift and pester him about an obscure cookbook written in Esperanto. In tribute to bookstore customers throughout the years, I will have no title but will know the color of the book. I'm kidding. That kind of requests makes Craig squirrelly.
In other news, the solar powered ampersand has been taken down. Replacing it is a Christmas Tree lot. This is extremely silly, because it's way too early to buy a Christmas tree. Then, there is the other Christmas tree lot setting up directly across the street from the first. That one spelled holiday with two Ls. Still, this nonsense is far less infuriating than the solar powered ampersand. Why do I have a problem with this, some have asked. Check out the video, Top Five Things That Must be Identified as Art courtesy of Roger Ebert.
Deb vs Japanese Part 2
Before I get to my lumbering progress learning Japanese, I wanted to announce that I have a boss cool freelance gig as a Manga editor for Digital Manga which imports all kinds of titles from Japan. I won't be translating them – heavens, no. I'll be taking the raw English translation and editing it into more conversational English and – hopefully – translated into the writer's voice. This is very exciting for a geeky gal such as myself. One member of the cool team I'm working with lives in Japan who is doing the initial translation. I've finally had to get Skype. Yes, folks, Deb will be talking on a web cam. Ack. It will have to be by appointment only, so I can make sure my hair looks right. Perhaps I'll even wear a little make up. Web cam images are awful! But I digress. I am very excited about all of this.
My Japanese is coming along. I'm still not very confident about speaking in the language, but then, I'm still that way with speaking French. My vocabulary is really coming along. I find myself recognizing more and more of the spoken language when watching anime. That's been encouraging. The written language will take a very long time. It involves three different kinds of writing. I've just leaned the easiest one – in that I have learned how to write each symbol in the easiest set. I have a lot of practice before I'm proficient. However, I was very excited during my Halloween trip to Mitsuwa market that I recognized a written word. It was only two symbols long. I was standing in produce pointing at a sign. 'Persimmon!' I announced. The clerks were only mildly impressed. Why do language books teach things that aren't readily useful? Shamefully, I have never even eaten a persimmon. The only sentence Craig can speak in Spanish is 'I have a broken record player.' The phrase has never come in handy for him. Where was I? Oh, yes. In the same market, I called one of the cashiers a pumpkin correctly. Fortunately, she was dressed as a jack-o-lantern for the holiday. I did make myself useful translating on that visit. I helped someone with a vague understanding of her recipe for shabu-shabu convey what she needed to the clerks. That was satisfying.
I am pressing on with my practicing of speaking and writing.
I hope I haven't given the impression that the lack of updates on the film projects mean that nothing is happening, or we've given up trying. That is not the case. Almost every film we've ever written is in some stage of negotiation. On any given week, I am sending out budgets and schedules or cast wish lists. I'm routinely asked to find a fax from five years ago or a contact I had one e-mail exchange with three years ago. One should never throw anything away when working in the film business. Most of what is going on is confidential, so I haven't been talking about it. The long conversation I had with Jon in San Francisco was about how to best use my limited mobility and stamina in mounting new projects. We're still working that out. Meanwhile, I will soon start making and posting tiny videos on youtube and Facebook. They are cooking related – mostly video responses to other youtube cooks whose recipes I've tried. I'm doing them to hone my skills as a Director of Photography and as a Director. Jon's work schedule will not permit him to be on a lot of my shoots for the cancer documentary, so I have to learn to do it myself. He'll be carefully critiquing them. I don't mean just thoroughly. I mean he'll be treading carefully. I will post links here and elsewhere as well for feedback.