Thursday, September 15, 2011

What I did this summer: a visual book report

Oh, I'm fully aware that my posts this summer, have, oh I don't know, sucked righteously? (As Bath pointed out: only I can get away with posting about how I'm going to post something. But I only get away with it because you guys LET ME, you enablers you.) But I guess that's what happens when you step away from the computer and put yourself into perpetual motion for three months straight, and I guess I'd say that even though I've missed you all terribly, and missed blogging regularly, I wouldn't have had it any other way :) I sort of had to take a step back from blogging about how ungrateful I was and instead get off my chair and go live myself back INTO gratitude. If that makes any sense, or maybe it just sounds like it belongs on the side of a Starbucks cup. But either way, it worked.

So behold: What I Did This Summer, by Tracy Clifton.

Both my brother Jeff's and Benni's birthday is Independence Day, so we caught an Anaheim Angels game and then watched the fireworks at the stadium. (cough:: go Red Sox ::cough) And if you were at all a little doubtful that after eating a huge hot dog and an ENTIRE bag of Cracker Jack by yourself at a baseball game you would still be able to devour ice cream birthday cake, people, consider me your Myth-buster.

I have no idea what I was wearing to make it look like I have
awesome cleavage in this shot, but hey, I'll take it.

baby, you're a firrrrrrework

Next up was San Diego's Comic Con, where all things nerdy and geeky unite. I went dressed as Neil Gaiman's Death (it was a Halloween costume a few years ago) and Benni went as the Eleventh Doctor from the Doctor Who British television series. Fun fact: dressing up as The Doctor gets you more squealing fan-girls than I would have thought. Benni was a lucky man at Comic Con this year. :)

Benni posing in front of his blue phone booth, complete
with the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.

Me posing with Wendy Pini, creator of Elfquest
(my first comic-book!) and all-around feminist bad-ass.

Darth is the MAN.

I met another Death! She was more old-school but super-sweet.

Benni and I battle it out in front of the Emperor's Throne from Star Wars.
C'mon, people, if you put a sonic screwdriver up against a light-saber,
who do YOU think would win?!

Yes. Yes, that is Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
I about died. I was going to tell him that when I was little,
I wanted to be Luke Skywalker when I grew up, although
that's obviously a lie. Everyone knows I wanted to be Boba Fett.

Benni and I in full costume.

When Benni and I got back from Comic-Con, we got to go to the new Dino Hall Exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum (I'm a museum geek) and it was awesome! If you're in LA I highly suggest going.

grrrrr argh

A few weeks after that, Benni and I were invited to go The Magic Castle in Hollywood, one of the top places to go and watch magic. We got to see a lot of sleight of hand tricks in the close-up gallery (I was sitting two feet from the magician and I STILL couldn't see how he did his tricks) and a lot of illusions in the big theater room. It was fantastic. The Magic Castle has a dress code, too, so women have to wear dresses and men are required to wear coats and ties, so you feel super fancy when you go. :)

super fancy clothes require that you kick one foot into the air behind you. FACT.

And then two weeks ago I started shooting on my top-secret horror film (so no pictures allowed, sadly) and then I went to Yosemite National Park last weekend with Benni, my mom and aunt, my brother Jeff, my cousin Tom and his girlfriend Val. We road-tripped up with Tom and Val in his SUV and opened the sun roof and just soaked up the fresh air and sunshine.

View from the back of the car.


When we got to the campsite, we set up camp and had dinner, then got some rest. The next day we all hiked to Yosemite Falls and then my mom and aunt took a break while Benni, Jeff, Tom, Val and I rock-hopped over to the base of the falls. Here's Yosemite Falls:

We then took a drive up to Glacier Point, where you can see almost an entire 360 degree view of Yosemite Valley, and I took a picture of Half Dome in the valley:

and got a picture of (from l. to r.) Benni, Val, Tom, and Jeff standing on the wall that looks out over the valley. Gorgeous, no?

I also tried to be artsy and take a picture from inside a rock shelter of the valley outside, complete with Half Dome in the forefront. If you notice the bunny ears on the right hand side, that's my mom(!!) photo-bombing my picture. As you can tell, my mom has as much emotional maturity as a I do. Which is to say, zilch.

The following day was our big hike day. My mom and aunt decided to accompany the rest of the gang to Vernal Fall, which is a 2.5 mile hike round trip, and then the youngsters would continue up to Nevada Fall, which is an 8 mile hike round trip. Here we are at the top of Nevada Fall, just before a huge thunderstorm rolled in:

(l. to r.: Tom, Val, Jeff, Benni, me)

Here's an unobstructed view of Nevada Fall:

And here' s Benni and me at the top of the fall:

Right after that picture a huge clap of thunder sounded, we put on our ponchos, and hustled our butts 4 miles back down the trail so as to not get fried by lightening. Good times!

The next day we relaxed and drove all around the park. Here's a deer tail for you! She was just sort of cruising a parking lot, looking for fallen apples off the apples trees they have, and wasn't really intimidated by people at all until they got a little too close for her liking.

The final day we drove to the national Sequoia park that Yosemite has on the outskirts of its own park, and saw The Grizzly Giant, which is roughly 18 stories tall and guesstimated to be approximately 2000 years old. I left the people there at the very bottom in the picture so you can see the scale of this thing. Absolutely amazing - if you put a full-sized jet alongside it and propped it up on its end, the tree would still be taller.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience camping and hiking, but I'm glad to be back where there are warm showers, soft beds.... and cell phone reception. Check out what this guy had to do just to have a conversation :)

And that's my summer in a nutshell. I've still another week of shooting The Sunshine Project, and I've got a road-trip up to Santa Barbara for a friend's wedding this weekend, and I'm officiating this pretty girl's wedding at the beginning of October. So I'm still staying busy but I'll always remember to post pictures! Even if they're three months late! YAY!


krista said...

how is it that i gave birth and yet you still win for busiest summer ever? you totally win.

Lira said...

Hey Nerd, I love the fact that you captioned the dino's photo with the Mutant Enemy's vanity card Zombie growls.

Phoenix said...

Hey non-nerd, I love that you know what the Mutant Enemy's vanity card sounds like. I'll have you dressing up with me at Comic Con in no time!

And Krista - no, sweetie. You still win. I probably am still getting more sleep than you.

Miss Sweet Tea said...

Looks like such a fun summer! You have been a busy girl!

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane over the last three months where you've been so busy and absent from the blogosphere.

It's enjoyable reading and seeing details of your life lived to the full in the present tense.

That's what we generally do behind the scenes here, live our lives, and recording the details is a bonus.

It certainly has been a busy time for you from dress ups to dress downs as in the camping trip.

To me the name Yosemite evokes a magical place I've seen only on TV and in books. It's therefore good to read about real people enjoying the place in much the same way as I might enjoy a camping trip at say Wilson's promontory. With all the same joys of ancient trees, and free roaming animals alongside such problems as not being able to get good reception.

Thanks, Tracy.

Annje said...

you always dress up in such cool outfits. and I love that red dress.

Jo Schaffer said...

Fantastic time off! Wow! I had a rad summer too. Way worth the break.

Cool to see you in our old Hollywood haunts.

And you lived in London too? I LOVED my time there.

Yes, as I read over your blog I think... is she a Sagitarius or Aries? Because she totally rocks and we should hang out.

My husband is currently doing a pilot for a new reality TV show. If it gets picked up we would love to see your demo reel or something.

Keep being awesome!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Looks like you had a great summer- I love all the photos from Yosemite- Looks like you had fun dressing up too-
I can't wait to hear more about the horror movie you're doing- sounds exciting!

Lori ann said...

haha, i love your labels 'too many damn photos', sometimes that could be true, but this was just fun. and i think your mom totally made that photo ;)

Alesa Warcan said...

Congrats on a great summer!

I guess we can all say that we know what you did last summer, except instead of going all myeh-horror-movie on you we can all cheer, I know I am!

By the way, Benni's Doctor and your Death are fantastic!
I wouldn't have thought anyone could pull off NG's Death without black hair, but judging from these pictures, you totally did!

Nick Thomas said...

Never thought about dressing up as Dr Who. But I'm sure the phrase "get your hands off my sonic screwdriver" would come up.

Marion said...

You so totally rock that Death costume, girl. Makes me cry for my lost youth. LOL! I'm glad you had such a magnificently awesome summer and shared it with us.

I read 42 books and left the house 3 times. You got me beat. :-O

Love you!!! xo

Anonymous said...

This was AWESOME! And by the way, Mark Hamill was also the voice of the Joker in the Animated series!

Bathwater said...

We are just happy to hear from you, THAT is not enabling.

See that is why people don't lump everything in one post that probably took you forever to put together.

I wanted to be Boba Fett too, I even had a poster of him after seeing the first movie and he wasn't even in it!

I totally caught the "grrr argh". Max and I are actually watching the entire Buffy series together. It is his first time.

Your Death outfit is totally hot, enemies would be to distracted to put up a fight.

Good to see your camping trip didn't get derailed by any fires.

Does this mean we will have to wait for your horror movie to come out see or hear anything about it?

Wine and Words said...

You look hella sexy in black! "live myself back INTO gratitude". Now that's one awesome line, and an even better motto. Cudos. Looks like you had a fabulous time! Glad you're back :)

Ed Pilolla said...

everyone wanted to be boba fett:)
amazing photos of the landscape and love:)

drollgirl said...

lol! glad i am not the only one that has slacked on the blog lately! lol. it is good to get away from the computer and really LIVE life, no? yes, it is.

and it looks like you had a pretty incredible summer.

and YOUR CLEAVAGE is awesome! lol! you also look gorgeous in that red dress!

have a fab weekend!

Two Tigers said...

Hey Tracy, this little travelblog was way cool! I'm glad that you figured out that it's much better to do some living first and then worry about blogging the details later - unless of course you have more living to do, and then go for it! We'll all still be here when you get back.

So glad you're a nerd. Gaiman rocks.

Lydia Kang said...

Wow, what adventures you've been having! You looked like a marvelous Death, by the way. I'd have had a slight heart attack if I'd seen Mark Hamill. I would have been like, "What do you think about how George Lucas keeps screwing up your films these days?

Snowbrush said...

I love the photos. By the way, you don't need big breasts to have awesome cleavage.

ShannAwesome said...

It was great to finally meet you at SDCC! I didn't realize until I saw this post that we totally failed to get a picture together. Next year!!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Well your life looks fun, and travels were had, love was felt and you remained as pretty as ever -- so we'll forgive you for any blog disappearances. Life is more important, anyhow.

Hope you are well :)

Nick Thomas said...

Still on the lam?

Great photos, btw

Maggie May said...

awesome summer!!! you look so good, too :)))

Dave said...

Loved it. Exspecially your moms bunny ears.

Barbara said...

Wow! That was some summer. Loved reading about it and the photos were great! You must be exhausted.

Jo said...

Looks like a pretty rad summer! And, you guys look gorgeous all glammed up for the Magic Castle!!

JJ said...

Great photos. The only thing that might have been better would be the Sox in the playoffs. Welcome back!

Matthew MacNish said...

Looks like such a beautiful trip! But OMG, you should have seen this Vader I saw at DragonCon. He said he was Darth Vader crossed with The Green Lantern. And I told him that was sacrilege.

Eric W. Trant said...

That post was well worth the wait. What a whirlwind tour.

Good luck on the filming, and you'll have to post something on it (if you can, when you can).

Your mom wins the prize for funniest picture, when she bunnied your art-shot.

- Eric

Heather said...

Awesome post chica!! So much fun this summer!!!

Okie said...

Looks like a faboo summer. Thanks for sharing your memories with the world. :)

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