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!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


(photo credit: I got it from here)

“Here is the truth about September: it sneaks up on you and all of a sudden it’s autumn, and you don’t know what to do with your recently orphaned August daydreams so you tuck them between the pages of brand new notebooks and leave them in the corners of your sweatshirt pockets to gather lint and you set them on fire until all the trees are smoldering red and orange and yellow.” - unknown (meaning: I don't know who said it. If you do, please let me know in your comment?)

I am busier than I have been in a very, very long time... but tomorrow I leave for Yosemite National Park and I plan on not turning on my phone once, not answering a single email, just spending time with my family and boyfriend and taking photographs and hiking until my heart quickens and my breath deepens and I am grateful for every last ounce of my life.

I will be back next week with a GPOY post (Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself) that will cover everything from the Fourth of July to my new headshots to a few pictures on set of the horror film I'm still shooting to Yosemite, and everything in between.

Have a beautiful week, everyone. I'm so grateful to be a part of this blogging community.

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