Rats Climbing the Walls

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These blog postings are getting a bit infrequent of late. To those fearful that I’m passed out somewhere in a pool of my own sick, fret not. I’ve been busy, is all.

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This afternoon I drove out to Edgewood Academy, the flagship high school for the Edgewood Independent School District (one of the 17 ISDs in the city). I was there to pitch the Josiah Media Festival. Kathy Braune introduced me to about 18 of her students who are working on animation projects. Two of the seniors had submitted a piece last year. They are both heading to the University of Dallas next year to continue their animation studies. One of the pieces the students screened for me was a fake trailer of a parody of the Saw horror movies which involved some equipment from the Edgewood robotics department to resemble some sort of anal probe. Ah, youth!

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I’ve been hauling my ass out to the bike trail every day in attempts to get back into some semblance of shape. But, man, these last couple of weeks have been like a sauna. The heat I can handle, but it’s just been too humid for me. Here, let me click over to my favorite weather site. It’s ten o’clock tonight. Temperature 85 degrees. Humidity, 70%. Heat index, 90 degrees. I think I need to invest in a second fan. If this one punks out, I’m a goner.

I ride out to Mission Espada — the last in the line of historic missions — and head on back. Often I walk the mile or more from Mission Espada to Mission San Juan, because it’s nice to slow down every so often, and take in what you might be missing. Sure, I have to wave off the Samaritan inclination of fellow cyclists who think I need help fixing a flat. I even had a train stop and the engineer stuck his head from the side window and shouted down if I wanted a bottle of water. I suspect he had a cooler up there with him and was prepared to toss an Aquafina my way. I waved him off with a smile and continued down the quiet tree shaded lane. Lord knows how long it took that train and all those cars to get back up to cruising speed.

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And then there’s all the critters roaming around.

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Over the weekend I spent three days at the Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat. It was myself and 22 other local artists. David Alcantar, Estevan Arrendondo, Julia Barbosa Landois, Sabra Booth, Richard Diaz, Ilze Dilane, Donna Dobberfuhl, Rex Hausmann, James Hetherington, Stefani Job Spears, Deborah Keller-Rihn, Timothy Kramer, Rhonda Kuhlman, Marlyn Lanfear, Leigh Anne Lester, Jose Luis Lopez, Michele Monseau, Roberto Prestigiacomo, Doug Roper, Ansen Seale, Michael Twomey and Luis Valdaras.

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It was an intense barrage of workshops, presentations, break-out sessions, and even the occasional role playing.

The best part were the artist presentations that each of us had to make. Just five minutes. I was blown away by the high caliber and diversity of the work. Perhaps they confused me with one of the other Erik or Eric Bosses.

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Last week I was out scouting Nightmare on Grayson Street (the premier San Antonio haunted house). Sam Lerma’s using it as a location for some more of his SAL Film Fest promo videos. Me, Sam, and Dar were ushered in by Gordon, the guy who runs the place, and we wandered the labyrinth of rooms and corridors and backstage work shops.

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I inadvertently caused Dar to let loose a piercing scream when I drew her attention to a fat rat that was mounted on a wall in such a way that whenever you opened the adjacent door, it scurried up and down the wall. Dar rounded the corner to see what I was talking about just as I was slowly moving the door open and closed, activating the fishing line that passed over a little pulley.

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But all she saw was a moth eaten rat gliding up the wall a couple feet from her. I think the echoes of her screams are still bouncing about the walls of the warehouse.

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I’ve been checking out some gritty industrial settings for a shoot coming up in about three weeks. The decommissioned Hay Street bridge is very appealing.

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As is this loading island on a dead Southern Pacific siding over in my neighborhood, between Say Si and La Tuna.

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I need to get the rest of the folks involved in the project to take a look at these places.

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The footage me and Russ are shooting for Jayne King out at Northwest Vista College just keeps plodding along. We’re about a week and a half into a three week project. She’s working with the Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble to reconstruct choreographer Anna Sokolow’s last work, Frida.

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Last week we said goodbye to Sokolow Ensemble members Lauren Naslund and Samantha Geracht who spent week one working with Jayne’s students.

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And then, this Monday, Jim May, the artistic director of the Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble arrived to give further shape to the dance piece.

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He worked with the dancers in the morning. And then me, Russ, Jayne, Jim, and two of Jayne’s dancers loaded into a Northwest Vista van and drove to the airport. The Mexican students had just arrived. This project has an international component. Five dancers (three women and two men) flew up from the Central National for the Arts (CNA) dance department in Mexico City.

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We set up a little impromptu interview session in the airport. And it seemed we had plenty of time as the kids’ luggage flew in on a later plane.

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