Sunday, April 27, 2008

So good you'll cry and laugh all over again

Watching this trailer you will be astounded that a phenomenal show like this was cancelled. Television has reached a new low, eliminating quality and replacing it with junk. ALWAYS REMEMBER this wondeful show! It will forever live in the hearts of its fans.

To show solidarity send a message that you DO care about quality programming...
turn Lifetime off.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The anticipation is building

Okay's just around the corner. The reason why I need to drink some chammomile and do deep breathing exercises..Friday May 2nd...just 6 days away...the Stupid Cancer Happy hour will be here in Rochester!
And then the next day (Saturday May 3) a majority of our group members board a bus to Syracuse for the OMG! cancer conference!

ANYONE reading this who can travel to SYRACUSE NY---DO NOT MISS THIS CONFERENCE!
It is totally free and it's going to be amazing. I'm not just saying that because I am helping the LLS plan it. Seriously, if you are a young cancer survivor...this is an amazing opportunity!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Michigan is #24 on the list

Those of you who know me know I've been trying to achieve a goal of states visited. That number was set at 30 by the time I reached 30...well sometimes you have to allow extensions. However, I am determined to reach 30 states visited in the year I am 30...which means I have a little more time.
Wednesday into our school break I called up Mom and she could hear it in my voice...she knew I was up to something again. "Mom do you want to go to Michigan?" A not so casual peek at Mapquest showed me that if I travelled through Canada we were only 4 1/2 hours away from Michigan. Thankfully, I have the world's most awesome Mom who wanted me to pick up another state as was game for the adventure. Plus she knew if she didn't go with me I'd probably just end up doing it for moms everywhere it just pushes that concern button. So, it was decided that Port Huron Michigan, the first city over the Canadian bridge would be the destination. Not throwing a dart but convenient enough to suit.

It turns out that Port Huron Michigan is just
about the most charming little city this side of the Great Lakes. My mom ,who used to be involved with Great Lakes United, was game. It turns out that Port Huron, lying on the banks of the St. Clair River with Lake Huron in the distance is beautiful. Whether it was this string of sunny and 70 degree weather there or the tuquoise color of the water it looked like a little bit of Ameri-Cana paradise. By the way, I have never seen water this color aside from Hawaii and certainly I never expected to see it in Michigan!

Some interesting facts about Port Huron...I bet you did not know that the most important inventor of our times- Thomas Alva Edison grew up right here on the thumb of Michigan. Michigan, if you want a layman's geography lesson, is shaped like a mitten. Port Huron's most famous citizen. Right here once lived the man that we now have to thank when we turn on the lights, when we pay our energy bill (for sure) even when we play our i-pods are watch a movie we have to in some way nod to him. Largely all inventions that we have today follow from some concept he initiated or developed that started the ball rolling. We visited the Edison Museum which was fascinating and I highly recommend a visit for anyone who is a technology nerd or history buff.

It's a cement walk so you can't call it a "boardwalk" but the walkway along Port Huron is a treat to stroll on a sunny day. However you might find it fitting that the walkway is cement when you consider it was Edison who also had a hand in the perfecting of the cement process. We walked along and stopped in the Port Huron Lightship Museum, which is a retired lightship now dry docked and open for tours. These ships were used like floating lighthouses to guide passing water traffic but now with the modern age of GPS have all been put out to pasture, or ahem shipyards. Fascinating.
GUESS who got to blow the ship's whistle at a passing 1,000 footer cargo ship? One long two short is welcome.
What a dork I am---I love that stuff!
Anyway, just thought you should know about this cute little place I visited. It was largely empty to tourists--just the locals now in April. However, come summertime this is a hopping place to be. Think about sure made my 24th state trip big fun.
Hey, if you go and you're strolling down the walk looking out at the St. Clair make sure you grab a bite to eat at the Johnny Dog wagon. Yummiest hot dogs in Michigan and Johnny serves it on a silver platter to you. Love this stuff! Now back to my regular Rochester routine.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Most unbelievable phone call...

I haven't given this little secret away for fear that if it didn't happen I'd end up feeling way silly and who would believe this anyway? It's totally unbelievable. All I can say is... who knew that a little idea like sending menus and writing letters and just caring about a show would somehow reverberate into something greater.

This morning I am not believing this really happened so I'm just pinching myself. Ouch!
But it did... last night I got a call from Hollywood. The cast of Side Order of Life! Nope check the date...this is not an April Fool blog post. Last night as they gathered for a cast party (sadly, a sort of goodbye party)they called me!
Holy canoli!

Each cast member spoke with me for a few minutes each and thanked me for what I did to try to save their show. Since I've known about this for a few days, I had to have a witness there-- otherwise anyone hearing me recount this story might think I was loony bin certifiable. My sister Mary and her roommate Natalie were sitting next to me as I clicked my speaker phone on. As Jason Priestley came on both my sister and I could barely suspend our screaming.
If you grow up in an age of 9021o, you just can't put that teen idol scream fest away.
I spoke with Diana Maria Riva, Marisa Coughlan and Christopher Gartin, Lisa Waltz...and of course Margaret Nagle, the creator of the show. Margaret Nagle is the woman who brought this beautiful project together. It is her brainchild that has inspired the devotion of not just me but countless thousands of admirers. Her robust laughter echoed through the phone as I told her " I can't believe this...I can't believe I'm talking to you". I was enchanted.

Hearing them all was incredible, but of is Diana Maria Riva, whose Vivy has moved me beyond words with her performance, that I feel is like my ol' pal. Not only does this actress need an Emmy yesterday, but through subsequent emails I have learned the woman who portrays her is just as warm and wonderful a person as she can be. No one aloof among this Hollywood set...a group of consumate professionals that are also genuinely caring and gracious people.

It absolutely amazed me that in the midst of their celebration they would take time to reach out to me and thank me. I was star struck and like a little kid on Christmas as I spoke with each one of them. Those characters and that beautifully crafted story is so much more than the average "Hollywood creation". Behind the characters and the show is an ensemble that is truly one of a kind. They realized that this show was speaking out to something truly meaningful. Though the fight to save the show was lost (because of blindingly ignorant tv execs) the cast of Side Order did not forget what was important...what really mattered about this show, the audience.

It might be said that television, a medium that has faced the absolute indignity of reality programming, viewer apathy and all around senseless degradation...perhaps has some redeeming value the Nielsens can't calculate. When you look at a cast like that...people who were bonded by a project that really meant something, an audience they cared can not tell me that there isn't hope for television. The problem is---it's those higher ups making those unpardonable decsions that we need to hold up for condemnation, because without their belief quality can not be fostered.

The truth is this story spoke out to an ordinary a very unglamourous life.
Somehow in a surreal way the real people behind the characters she grew to love included her from 2,600 miles away as a "long-distance guest" at their Hollywood party.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hooray for May

The next few weeks leading up to May are going to pretty exciting for me.
The first weekend in May as most of you know is going to be quite an exciting one.
Friday May 2nd is the Stupid Cancer Happy Hour in Rochester!! We are holding it at the Otter Lodge and Matthew Zachary, fearless founder of I'm Too Young For This will be the special guest. I have been talking about and trying to plan since last summer when I first talked to Matthew on the phone. Then the next day Saturday May 3 myself, my group members and Matthew will travel on to Syracuse for an all day conference put on by the Leukemia Lymphoma Society! Phew, it makes me excited and tired just thinking about it.

A lot ahead in May. Then May 14 I will fly out to Montana for the Young Adult Survivors Conference in Montana! Big sky country. I am so looking forward to it.
Friday May 23rd I will be speaking at a conference in Ithaca. May is going to be packed. I need to pace myself in April just to save up the juice for the month ahead.
So many exciting things. It's hard to believe that a year ago I had just started back at work and was spending the rest of my time sleeping just to make it through the day. I have tremendous gratitude that I am able to do more with my life and have energy to accomplish it.

However, reminders never fall silently that I need to always be on top of things...and save plenty of time for rest and balance. Gratitude is a funny thing, because if you appreciate good health the way someone who has been very sick does, you are constantly aware of what the other end of the spectrum feels like. If there were a way to just keep it like this, healthy and able bodied I imagine how full life could be. It's not to say that when I had cancer I wasn't living...I was, even sick I appreciated everything around me. Yet, I was slowed down and not able to go the pace I wanted to. So now I guess I'm trying to make up for lost time.