Friday, May 27, 2011

blog stalking / mission prep 101.2

I have been really yearning for some more information about Rosario.
The culture, the food, the architecture, the barrios, the climate, and the mission itself.
It's been slim pickings so far - the only core of information I have at the moment is thanks to Wikipedia. 

I found an Elder's blog who has been out for ten months. From what I read, this is what the city of Rosario is like: 

- There is a section of his zone, Parque de Independencia, that has "OK" houses and the "villa", which is worse than the ghetto.  One room houses. 

- Many investigators are more than willing to read the Book of Mormon and even want to get baptized, but actually showing up at church is hard for them. 

- They don't sell canned beans in the market. 

-Riding the bus A LOT and walking A LOT = 10-12 miles a day.  {I LOVE that, I love walking!}

I just found a youtube video posted a few days ago of some elders filming a little tour of their apt in Argentina, filmed back in '96! I was hesitant in posting it, but I gave in because a} it's hard to describe the amusement that comes from listening to young missionaries and b} there is a lot of text in this post, and visual aids make blog posts look more interesting. So there you go. I especially loved the landlord's accent! 

-dulce de leche.  {!}
- I hope I won't get sick of the food. I felt bad when they said that! Come on! Enjoy the latino culture!! You can eat your popcorn and hot dogs all you want when you get home! 

There are other things that I knew previously, that haven't clicked until I have now imagined myself in South America: 

- Exotic and not-so-exotic insects!  Maybe I will come home with a framed cockroach collection to give to Mom for Mother's day?
- Southern Hemisphere = the seasons are flipped! Christmas in humid summers!  Crazy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

today's dose of daily affirmation

I have a new part time job at an acting studios in La Crescenta. It's been a little overwhelming learning all of the details, but thankfully the girl who is training me is incredibly thorough and positive.  We were talking about this video last night, and I feel it's the perfect fit for my need for some motivation right now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I wear many hats

I feel like I have been leaving you all out of the loop immensely about what I do everyday as a "production assistant" or "stills photographer" or whatever it is I am doing these days.  My apologies.  Here is one of what I hope to be many updates about my "blossoming career", which will then a take hefty hiatus once I journey to a land below the Equator.  Sounds exotic and dangerous, doesn't it?  {@ashmills, are you counting my air bunnies?}

I have the best job right now.  Why do I love this job so much?  Here are a few reasons:

1.  Every day is different.  Heck, sometimes every half day is different. I wear many hats, which is fun, challenging, and rewarding. 
In the past five months, I have held these positions: 

- stills photographer / filming behind the scenes
- production assistant on set = running around with a radio following orders like a chicken with it's head chopped off.  I love it all except I am not very good on radio. 
- 2nd or 3rd camera.  I got to film with my camera an actress driving in a car on a dolly being pulled by a truck with the main camera. Just like in the movies. It was cool!
- assistant editor - I view all the footage {dailies}, select the best takes, and sometimes make rough cuts. -There's nothing like hearing "I love all the takes you picked" from the director. 
- receptionist - I answer phones, receive clients, order and prepare lunch. There is something satisfying about pushing buttons and transferring people... and wearing secretary like glasses while doing so... 
- personal assistant, assistant to the writer/creative {a job I don't think I will ever retire from, even after my boss retires... read below*}
2. I am getting paid, and at a higher rate than I did as a student {thank goodness!}  I look at my paycheck and think this must be what an adult feels like.  Weird. 
3.  I am working in film! I can also add legit names to my resume, such as Honda and CHP. 

The main reason why I love my job:  my Dad is my boss.  
And this is not be interpreted as some easy break where I am automatically hired for any position that comes his way / I get to choose my hours or project / I am paid more than others / I am favored more than others.  Nope.  I am treated just like anyone else, in fact when I am introduced on set, he doesn't mention that I am his daughter, except in certain situations when a crew member may ask, "Who is that girl?!"  in that tone {you know which tone I am talking about}  and that's when he throws the fatherly instincts into gear.  Oh the joys of being one of three females on set... 

Chilling with Cole Petersen on set of a CHP commercial the day we filmed a long take of the aftermath of a crash scene. It looked so real some pedestrians asked if the drivers survived {I felt bad at how sincere they were... didn't they notice the huge semi-truck with all the film equipment??}

I love working for my Dad because he knows how to wear several hats at once!  He's the director thinking like an editor but also making sure the script is being read correctly while throwing in a few artistic ideas to the DP {director of photography}.  And he does it seamlessly!  When the crew members finally discover that I am related to this wonderful man, many say things like, "He is one of the sweetest directors! Such a kind man!"  I am proud : )

Today I am wearing the receptionist hat.  perk = I get to blog. It's a win win for everyone - you finally get updated, I can relax and pour out my thoughts, and MWP has their phone calls answered. batta bing batta boom. 

*In some ways I have always been my dad's assistant, ever since I was the age of capability to answer phone calls, take messages, and take notes while riding in the passenger seat of my dad's car on the way to work. And I love it when he asks for my artistic opinion on a shot, and then sometimes uses it!  He's been training me ever since I was little, and I am just now realizing it. 

wearing our hats 

I am so grateful to have had this many professional experiences with one of my very favorite people!!

This just in {for real} - my boss just traded my receptionist hat in for my assistant editor hat.  The man is never satisfied!  Gotta fly! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

in case the world really does end today...

I will have no chance at fighting off any zombies. 

You know that "what if" game people like to play and the usual is always asked: "What if this was your last day on earth, what would you do? Would you confess your love for anyone?" 

This is my answer: 

I would spend my day at Disneyland with all of my favorite people {that's including you, family. I got lucky, I have the coolest relatives.} 

And then I would confess my love for Captain EO and dance my heart out until the walls came crumbling down and the zombies ate all of us. 

Surprised?  You shouldn't be. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

this just happened / mission prep 101.1

I've been wanting to post about all that I am doing now that I am preparing for a mission, but I had to mention this first.  

1.  I was listening to Pandora just a few minutes ago {for the first time since I got my call to Argentina, actually} and all the adds are in Spanish.  ?!

2.  THIS just happened on facebook: 

friend request from a girl I do not know, her message was: 

She says, "Hi,  it seems that you are Rosarina?  I am : )  Hug ~ Marisa." 

Rosarina = from Rosario, Argentina.  I WISH! 
I got really excited about that / a little worried to realize that someone who is not my friend can see that much information about me. {I might fix my privacy settings, or might not. missionary opportunities!}  Here is what I said in response {I did not add her, just sent her a message} 

H: "I am not Rosarina, but I am going to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in September in Rosario!  Here is more info, have a good day!" 

M:  "Oh ok!  Good luck!  I live in LA and I was confused.  Enjoy and take care."

Boom. Diggity. Technology is awesome isn't it?  And the church is awesome for using this technology the way they do to help us tell others about it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

get outta my head!

Have I mentioned that I have had four dreams about Jimmer? 
It was starting to get out of hand - the paparazzi started following us and our dates could no longer continue {I don't ask for these dreams, I promise! I constantly laugh at how the dreams progressed in little episodes} so I took down the poster from my bedroom door, thinking that it was the cause of placing him into my subconscious.  

{Let me make one thing clear: I am NOT obsessed with him. I don't wish to run into him so he can take me out, marry me and make me an NBA wife. No way.  There's just something so great about going to the same school as this amazingly talented kid.  A legend like this doesn't come around very often!  And I felt so bad when I heard the poor kid couldn't finish the last week of classes on campus because everyone was bothering him!  If I was on campus last semester and had seen him, I would have let him be, just like every other celebrity I've walked by. I will say that I was terribly in love with his shooting skills, dancing down the key past defenders, and cleverly calculated cross overs... sigh...} 

Last night dream #5 arrived. It's been months since the last, so I was surprised.  This makes the most ridiculous dream to date, not only because of the events involved, but especially my reaction to them. 

Setting:  basketball game.  My mom and I are sitting way up in the stands watching a half time show begin. 

I hear the announcer say that a lucky audience member from our section gets to go down onto the court to help Jimmer with something.  Then suddenly the spotlight is on me, they call my name: "Hillary Miller!  Please come down to the court, to help Jimmer clean his toothbrush!" 

Yea. His toothbrush

Even better, I act like this was your typical halftime show. 
I get super excited and nervous and think Don't mess up Hill! This is your chance to show your stuff to the school! 

I proceed to stand next to Jimmer who holds out his toothbrush. I then take another toothbrush {?} and feverishly scrape and brush the bristles of the two brushes together.  I hear guys a few feet away at courtside yell "No fair!  She's not even doing it that good!"  
{the characters had poor grammar in my dream, tsk tsk}

And to top it off, Jimmer was not impressed with my brushing skills. 

I woke up laughing. 

Jimmer, I have a good foul shot. Give me another chance, but get the heck outta my head! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

the big white envelope

So here's how it all went down.  
My papers are put through somewhere between the evening of Tuesday, April 26th and the morning of Wednesday, April 27th.  
After one week I am checking the mailbox. 
{which is a lost cause because calls don't come until after at least two weeks!}  
After two weeks on Wednesday, May 11 - A big handful of friends text/facebook me "Is your call here yet?!" I am now getting worried, because apparently my account online is supposed to tell me when they have received/sent the call.  After two weeks, all it says is "submission has been sent." I am beginning to have irrational thoughts about my call: 1} it's lost in the mail.  2} they haven't received it at all yet {which is actually a pretty rational thought, I have heard stories.}  3}  I won't get a call at all, just like David Archuleta and a friend of Ash Mill's / just like how I didn't get into BYU at first. 
{I know, really silly of me to think!} 
I skip to the mailbox and leave disappointed. I think, Ok, it's not coming for a long while. Brace yourself, it will probably come in another two weeks.  
Mom sees how bummed I am and so she says I should call the Church Office Building.  I say, "No way!  It's only been two weeks and it says online NOT to call.  But I do keep wondering why nothing has changed on my log-in page on the website... maybe Salt Lake doesn't even have it yet?!"  
She calls for me.  This is one of those moments where I am put in my place - I have always talked about not taking a no for an answer and here I am contradicting myself! 
My mom works her magic.  After being passed on to a few different people on the phone, my mom speaks to a lady who happily looks up my file and says that they have it.  YES! 
From this point I don't care how long they take to send it to me after knowing that my paperwork is in. 

Day 15.  Thursday, May 12th.
I go into work with my dad, and I am so busy preparing the good takes for him to edit his commercial that I don't think much of my big white envelope. 
At 5pm, I get a photo text from my mom. The way my phone works, it only shows the text first while the picture takes about five seconds to load - so I already know what "it" was when I read "I think it's here!"    I see a picture of "Sister Hillary Nicole Miller" printed on an envelope, and the church logo!
I call her, and she says, "I am sorry I couldn't wait any longer! I wasn't sure if you wanted me to stick it back in the mailbox for you to find."  
I am glad she told me, because I wouldn't have found it until 7:30 that night, and that might have been too late to round up family and friends!

I proceed to call and text my family that lives nearby and some friends from the ward to come over at 7:45. 
Meanwhile, Dad is relaxing in a salon chair getting his hair trimmed:

We race home {as fast as one can through Santa Monica and LA traffic}
with just enough time to pick up Italian food from Maria's Kitchen in Pasadena, and we pull up to find people already at our house!  

My buddy Jake Melton took some photos of the event, and Dad filmed me opening my call!

Dad looks up the Argentina flag after he stops filming and says, "Hillary!  Look at the shirt you are wearing!"  What can I say, I guess I knew before I knew.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

called to serve

On Thursday night I opened my mission call! 
I will be serving in the Argentina, Rosario mission!
I report September 7th to the Provo Missionary Training Center 
{which is just up the street from BYU, just fyi. haha!}  I will be in Provo for a month or two and then head down to SOUTH AMERICA!!  {continent #3 will then be checked off my list. YES!}
The Apostles are so inspired.  This I have known and have been taught for many years, but they know where I am supposed to serve.   I mean where else can you find such a perfect combination of Italian and Latino culture in the same country?! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

BYU Commencement & Convocation

My BYU graduation was so wonderful!  


I had the privilege to hear an Apostle speak at my Commencement.  Elder Richard G. Scott gave many words of advice that I thought you might like to read.  He gave us several principles that can guide us in every aspect of our lives: 

1.  Don't make exceptions to your standards 

2.  Be loyal

3.  Live so the Lord can guide you where you need to be in life 

4.  Serve others 

5.  Smile 

He said, "I'll let you in on a little secret."  He leaned closer to the microphone and half-whispered, "This is how you are guaranteed to wake up with a smile every morning:  go to sleep with a coat hanger in your mouth." 

This joke didn't fly so well when my friends and I repeated it to those who didn't hear it from the primary source.  There is just something so comical and jovial about an elderly man sharing a corny joke.  In fact, the moment I heard the punch line I immediately thought, "This is exactly the kind of joke Papa would have told!" 

6.  Don't complain. 

7.  Always have a church assignment. 

8.  Go to the temple. 

9.  Use the Savior Jesus Christ as your example for life.  

My friend Franchesca from G7 called me a few days before graduation to coordinate sitting together! 
I am so glad she did, because this was no high school graduation where you know all the people in your graduating class.  We both got the chills when we all stood up in the Marriott Center and were presented as graduates by a huge applause. She is getting married next month to a cute boy from Santa Barbara {whom I have yet to meet!!}  so it was fun to see her once more before she heads off to her next big adventure. 

My cousin Matt also graduated!  He couldn't go to Commencement because he had to take a final.  Why can't graduates have a break in between school and the celebration?! Poor guy. 


It felt so weird to hold a diploma after not being in classes for four months. 
It was all pretty surreal, and I must admit that sitting with my colleagues from my major was a lot more fun than I anticipated.  One guy had his DSLR and was filming the whole "backstage" craziness and even recorded some parts of the actual ceremony from his seat.  

Other highlights backstage: 
Making a "Tunnel of Friendship" as I like to call it.  The different majors were called to take their seats, and we Media Art students were last, so we lined up on two sides with our arms raised up and made a little covered tunnel for the graduates to run through.  We danced, we laughed, and we even sang "The Graduation Song" by Vitamin C.  If you haven't yet guessed, we film majors are goof balls.  In fact I think it is an undeclared requirement, which is probably the winning factor of how I was accepted into the program. 

During the ceremony I kept saying to myself,  "I belong to the coolest college at BYU, hands down!" 
Here's why: 

A fellow Media Arts {film} student spoke on not giving up on your dreams.  I of course ate that all up!  It was great to hear perfect advice from someone who knows how to relay messages of advice the way I do - with good quotes and good film clips!  Her subject?  Kermit. The Frog.  YES!! 

This was shown on the screen behind her / in front of us graduates: 

She played a clip from The Muppets Take Manhattan and even quoted from Kermit's song Rainbow Connection.  Again, so cool.  I loved how my BYU Education came full circle - I started off taking Intro to Film taught by a quirky professor who often alluded to the Muppet's and the messages found in their films.  Who would have thought I would receive words of wisdom from a singing frog on my graduation day  {and I also thought, come on Puppetry department!  You totally could have made a Kermit and have him perform the song live! I guess I'll make do with what I have.} 

To top it off, two beautifully talented vocalists sang "A New World" from Jason Robert Brown's Broadway musical "Songs for a New World".  Chills!!  

When I walked across the stage to shake my dean's hand, he gave me a hug instead.  I have never met the dean before, and so I was a little surprised, and he bumped my cap back {my fault, it was already too far back.. see below}  which made for an interesting photograph.  

The second photograph was taken offstage in front of a green screen.  Green screen!!  Yup, we took advantage of that after the ceremony.  Boston, the guy with the DSLR, filmed us graduating... in space! in the desert!  in the ocean!  yea... like I said... goofs. 

Notice the change of my cap's placement.  I refused to wear it completely on my forehead. I might be paying for that decision once I finally see the professional photographs taken when I received my diploma. Oh well. 

I loved having my extended family there for all the celebrations! 
Heymans, Saunders, Browns. 

Cheryl loves being on BYU campus. 

Wondering why Emily is smiling so much?  Hint - Shauna's mischievous look and placing of her right hand behind... 

Lisa mentioned that this picture could pass as a couple graduating with their children. Wouldn't be a big surprise at our school!  Haha! 

We had a great lunch at the Skyroom in the Wilkinson Center, and then went bowling afterward! 
What a beautiful day it was.

Look at me!  I sleep with a coat hanger in my mouth! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You wait, little girl, on an empty stage for fate to turn the light on

Recently I had this HUGE desire to watch The Sound of Music.  That was a new thing for me, because I hadn't watched it in many years, and it was mostly for the funny goatherd song and the DO RE MI on their bikes. We only have it on VHS, and it's no where to be found on TV, so I resulted to watching the songs on as many times as I felt necessary. 

I have a thing for gazebos, dancing in the rain, and yes, I will finally admit, pink dresses.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mama's birthday. 

Here are some things that I love about her: 

She is a nice and sweet version of Martha Stewart.  She can imitate a good meal she finds at a restaurant without needing a recipe, and can tell you how to make a crafty thing she sees on television just by looking at it! 

She is stylish without breaking the bank.  She'll go to expensive stores or catalogues for inspiration and buy similar {or better} things at her favorite bargain stores.  A trait I am loving to learn! 

She is the "baby whisperer".  She soothes every crying baby she touches.  It's jaw-dropping.  Again, something I hope to inherit. 

She works really hard for her family and hardly ever complains when there are tough times. She is a rock!

Although not as noticeable, she can be goofy too!  Just us girls were grocery shopping late at night while we were staying up in Park City.  I saw her sneakily snag two chocolates from the candy bins at two different times and pop them into her mouth. Love it! 

Look at this beach babe!  

MLIA = my life is average.  I am bound to get a good laugh every time I go to this site.  It's a bit addicting, so ye be warned.  A lot of the posts are written by high school kids, which is probably why you may not have heard of the site. Basically they tell a very brief story of something awesome and unusual that happened to them, and facetiously add MLIA at the end, read with a "eh, no big deal" feel.  I always wonder how kids use social networking these days/ I am concerned for all our popularity status. If you want to be cool, you gotta know what the cool kids do, right?  

The more you read, the more themes you'll discover, such as: 

Team Harry Potter >  Team Jacob or Team Edward 

Mystery Google, now named Mystery Seeker 
you type in a question and the response is a link from what the previous person searched for. 
Provides for funny coincidental relevance to your questions. 

Google v. Yahoo searches.  Google always wins.

Pokemon. {I have no connection with this.} 

Ninjas, ninjas, ninjas. {Although I never played ninja as a kid nor aspire to be one, the stories are hilarious.} 

Doing something unacceptable/irreverent/childish in a classroom. 
Teacher thinks it's great and joins in / No homework. 

Here are some funny ones: 

This happened to me, just ask my mom: 

And my curiosity got to me every time I read about their conversations with "clever bot."
So I tried it.  You type in random questions and this "bot" will answer you, and vice versa.  The computer's words are in blue:

If you haven't laughed at least once during this post, then you are not a child a heart. Ok, that's a little harsh. Maybe you're just more mature than I am.