Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chapman Video Essay Application

SO. I finally submitted my Chapman University Application. Man, was it a mission! I'm applying to transfer in the Spring of 2011 (January- for all my South African readers).
Along with all the tons of paperwork required in the application, they ask you to submit a two minute video. This is the prompt:

"Create a self-introductory video no more than two minutes in length. Your video should visually highlight something about yourself, your

personality, your interests, etc. that is not related to film. The only rule is that you may NOTappear in the video in any way (including any

photographs of yourself), so be creative. We are primarily looking for your strengths at conveying a story visually and for evidence of your

creativity rather than your technical abilities."

Please let me know what you think!

Kudos to Jon Hans, Melissa Murphy and David Taylor for helping create this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Palm Springs in the heat of summer

Jono and I have this week off. This summers been absolutely manic, so crazy in fact, that we didn't even find a chance to plan our vacation (which was supposed to be two weeks). This is very unusual for us, as we normally dream up vacations years in advance. And so we found ourselves searching the internet for last minute deals late Sunday afternoon. By tuesday we still hadn't found anything that invoked our wanderlust and realized that if we didn't decide on a destination soon we would end up staying home and feeling cheated out of a holiday. Desperate times call for desperate measures, which meant we needed to consider Palm Springs. In August the mercury reaches a searing 110 degrees fahrenheit (43 degrees celsius) in Palm Springs. That is stinkin hot! Because of the unbearable heat, hotels in this area offer great deals during this time of year. "How bad could it be?' we thought to ourselves.
And so, with a spring in our step, we packed our bags in a minute and were out the door to a hotel we pricelined (priceline lets you name your own price on hotels, flights and more. If you haven't tried it yet, you should!).
This hotel was a.ma.zing. Its called The Riviera and it used to be a hotspot for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis and Marilyn Monroe in the 50's and 60's. It recently underwent a $70 million renovation, fuzing 60's chic decor with modern design. It is absolutely beautiful. Once we arrived the girl at the front desk informed us that their pool was closed for maintenance (a smaller pool on the premises was still open). She apologized for the inconvenience and offered to upgrade us to a Junior Suite. Heck yeah. We got hooked up!

The view from our balcony

Me: way excited about the bathroom

The fun wall paper in the corridors

Love the design of this place

Tuesday night we went to an awesome restaurant: Las Consuelas Terraza. This place had so much atmosphere with great lighting and a live band. We got seated in our own little booth.

The following day we braved the heat and ventured out to have brunch at Pinnochios: a 'great place for brunch' according to Yelp and apparently one of the most gay places in Palm Springs. Anyhoo, we had a delicious brunch and then took a trip down Palm Canyon drive to suss out the area (also to enjoy the air conditioning the funbus had to offer). In the afternoon we took the Palm Springs aerial tramway up to Mount San Jacinto. This is the largest rotating cable car in the world- I'm sure Table Mountain's tram is a close second. The views from the top are truly breathtaking and the difference in temperature was remarkable.

We decided to have dinner up there. No sooner had we finished, but a raccoon shows up to scavenge off our leftovers. little bugger. He didn't even care that we were only standing a few inches away. he took a piece of my turkey and then came back for a slice of beef, Cheeky little fellow!

Here are some more pics of the fun decor at the Riviera:

They had these awesome beanbags to use in the pool. Can you spot Jono?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Exploring My America

Our friend, Nate Pollet, informed us about the Sears Auto Center Exploring My America contest a couple of weeks ago. Sears is selecting 21 teams to do various road trip routes across the great US of A over this summer.
Here is our application.

If you have a youtube account, please leave a comment on our video!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

NYC Day 5

Today was our last day in NYC. We ate at a little bagel shop on 5th avenue and took a stroll along the southern end of Central Park. Then it was time for our tour of NBC studios at the Rockefeller Center. The tour was ok, however the best part was getting to see the studio where SNL is shot. I guess its nearly impossible to get tickets to this show, so we figured we’d never get to sit in those seats again. At the end of the tour they usher the group of 30 or so into a little mock studio and ask for two volunteers. Since no one was putting their hand up, I volunteered. I had to “act “ as a news anchor and read from the teleprompter. The other girl had to act as the Weathergirl. This was a fun little exercise. After the tour it was a mad dash to get back to our apartment to check out and catch our bus to the airport. I was so relieved when the lady we were renting from showed up on time, but then she utters these disastrous words:

“I have $80 (the deposit was $100), so you’ll have to stop by my café (she runs a café which is four blocks up) to get the other $20.” We had 9 minutes before our bus arrived. This video explains what ensued.

In the end we made it to the airport on time, frazzled in true New York fashion.

I loved NYC. Getting to live in the city for a week gave us a window onto what it would be like to live there. Our favorite spots were: Greenwich Village, Washington Square, Morningside Heights/ The Upper West side and the Upper East side.

We'll miss our little Au Bon Pain stop for breakfast at the Rockefeller Center every morning, but we certainly are happy to be home in a clean apartment and to see family and friends again.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

NYC Day 4

Jono is a huge fan of SNL. I too enjoy this show, but he’s definitely more passionate about it than me. Because of this fact we decided to get the “Rock Pass”, where one can go to the top of the Rockefeller Center and get a tour of the NBC studios located in this building (for the South African peeps: this is where Saturday Night Live is shot). Before we took the elevator to the top we went to NBC to reserve our tour of the studios. Upon arriving at the NBC desk they notified us that all tours were fully booked for that day and that we would have to reserve one on Saturday: the day we leave. Fortunately they had a spot for us in the very last available time slot we could accommodate with our schedule for Saturday. Phew, that was a close call!

I think our outing to the Top of the Rock was my highlight of the trip. At the top of this building one has an incredible view of the city in all directions. We spent a couple of hours here as we perused through the displays on the building’s history and took in the breathtaking vistas of New York.

After spending a considerable amount of time at 30 Rock we moved northwest on Manhattan to Columbia University. Here we strolled around the campus, which has a lot of character. Whilst there, Jono decided he wanted a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee. Since we were right by a university campus we figured this popular east coast chain of coffee shops would most definitely have a store just around the corner. Not So. Finally, after walking down Broadway for about 40 minutes we finally found one. Eureka! Exhausted after our hunt for Dunkin and the fact that we have been walking 8hrs of the day for 4 days straight, we decided to head to Riverside Park, located just a few blocks to the West on the Hudson. Once there we plonked down on a bench facing the river and read for a bit. This was nice.

Getting silly at Columbia University

Any Seinfeld fans out there?

Jono is so exhausted he can hardly celebrate!

After talking about it for a bit we decided to try and see a Broadway show that night, since it was our last night in New York and all. So, rejuvenated from our rest stop by the river, we set out yet again in the direction of Times Square to get tickets to a show. Our first choice was “Promises Promises” with Kristin Chenoworth and Sean Hayes, however the only two seats available weren’t together, so we decided to get tickets for “A Behanding in Spokane” instead: a play featuring Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, both actors we absolutely adore. The time was now 5.45pm and the play didn’t start till 8pm, so we figured we had PLENTY of time to go back to our apartment, change and make it back to the theatre in time. And we would have: if a train hadn’t stalled on the subway track we were on. Oh my goodness, it was so close! By the time we got to our apartment it was 7.05pm: the play starts in 55min and is 61 blocks downtown. Realizing we wouldn’t have enough time to walk from the apartment to the subway station we decided to hail a cab: this was fun. In the end we made it to the theatre with 5 minutes to spare. But we were sweating! The play was a dark comedy and had a great plotline. The theatre was quite small and so it was really cool to see Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell up close in that kind of a setting. They did really well. I think Rockwell carried the show. After the show we decided to end our evening at the Beekman Tower Hotel with drinks. Friday was a lovely day in New York.

Photo of the day:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NYC Day 3

Today was absolutely delightful! The suffocating heat was exchanged for a cool 70 degrees with scattered showers. perfect. We started the day by heading to Times Square to stand in line at the TKTS booth to purchase cheap tickets for a broadway show. Since it was lunch time by the time we got there we decided to get some lunch. I got a MOST delicious salad box from Maoz- a Mediterranean fast food place. Jono had a slice of pizza :)

After lunch we headed towards the TKTS booth. The line was insanely long and so we decided to come back later. As we were leaving, a dude stopped us and asked if we'd like to go to a comedy club tonight.He mentioned that some actors from SNL might be there.. we figured this was a scam, but Jono really wanted to go to a comedy club whilst we were here so we decided to take the risk.

Represent in Times Square

Hoping we hadn't made a terrible mistake by buying the comedy tickets, we headed South West towards the meat packing district to go explore the High Line. This park is soooo cool and seems as though it was designed by a bunch of "anti-starbucks cool kids", as Jono put it. The following is a little excerpt of this Park's history:
The High Line is a New York City park, built on an elevated 1930s freight rail structure on the city's west side. Prior to the HIgh Line's construction, freight train accidents on the street level caused so many fatalities that the street was known as "death avenue". Built to remove dangerous freight trains from Manhattan's streets, the High Line delivered milk, meat, produce and raw and manufactured goods into upper-floor loading docks of factories and warehouses. The last train ran on the High Line in 1980, carrying a trainload of frozen turkeys.
How cool is that? Now its this uber cool park that one can walk along amidst the west side buildings. A must see when in New York- kudos to Mark Paternostro for giving us the heads up about it.

After strolling along the High Line we decided it was time for a cup of Joe. We wanted something other than Starbucks and so started hunting for a quaint coffee shop. Although we never located this ideal place, we did walk past one restaurant and saw Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman etc) sitting at a table by the window. I would've taken a picture to prove it, but didn't want to be "that guy".

Since our hopes of finding a good coffee shop were slipping, we gave in and got Starbucks in Union Square. We realized we would have enough time to zip uptown and change before our comedy show (it had gotten a little chilly). And so we did just that. Using all our navigational skills we dashed uptown, made a quick wardrobe change and zipped back down just in time to get a slice of pizza before the show.
Ahhh the show. Other than being lied to in various ways it actually turned out to be pretty enjoyable. It was no Jerry Seinfeld, but entertaining nonetheless. By the time it was done it was just before midnight and so public transportation had thinned out quite a bit. We wanted to get to 49th and 1st ave, and so hopped on a bus going in that direction. Once on board we realized we were the only ones on the bus. The bus driver used the intercom to communicate with us even though we were two seats away from him. He asked us where we wanted to go and dropped us off right at our spot. So cool. We had our own private bus for 10 minutes. On the corner of 49th and 1st is the Beekman Tower Hotel that has a 26th floor restaurant and bar. Although they were closed we still got to go up and look at the view: a great ending to a great day!

The comedy club was just around the corner from where Dave shoots his show.

Pizza before the show

Photo of the day: A bus all to ourselves