really looking at ourselves.

I’ve been thinking about this blahg and how it’s funny that I’ll just wait and then spill all of this stuff on you… on the internet… on record… so much just comes out and it leaves everyone involved bewildered.

But that’s how my life is now. I’ll meet a friend for quick coffee and in a flurry of lattes I’ll divulge current fears laced with darkest secrets and pepper in recent comical embarrassments. It’s amazing that these friends are still around. Obviously, I’m insane. In the same vein, thank you for being here.

Tonight I walked to the pub theater again to watch The Skeleton Twins with a few lady friends…

I loved it. The review “heart-crushingly real” resonates. And Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader together in a dramatic comedy? I die. I loved it.

So much so that when I was walking home and realized it was game five of the world series and stopped in a dive bar to watch the rest of the Kansas City slaughter, I had to write about how much I felt The Skeleton Twins. But I didn’t bring my journal, so I had to write on the back of the movie ticket. Don’t worry. Don’t worry I still glued it in…

skeleton
Speaking of amazing films that I cannot stop thinking about…

Ida. GO WATCH IDA.

It might be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Every single frame is frame-worthy. It is beautiful.

sleepy-nuns-in-IDA-e1398990366120
Plus it’s about a young religious woman and a drunk aunt… both forces I deeply relate to. It is amazing. You can rent it via Amazon. It comes with my highest recommendation.

Also, I think Lynne Ramsay is becoming my favorite filmmaker…

That link may not work as embedded, because it’s a serious, award-winning, short that is inexplicably on YouTube. So just go here, if it doesn’t work. Do yourself a favor. Trigger warning: I would’ve appreciated knowing that there’s a minor OD scene.

When I was young (I can’t remember how young… 12?… 10?… unclear.), we had this old towel that lived in the cupboard. I believe it was a towel of my grandmothers. It had this amazing vintage pattern on it. It was a pattern that I thought was so beautiful; the kind of pattern the movie stars would wear on the red carpet or for interviews on the Jay Leno show. Here’s the embarrassing admission that my family (or myself) was a Jay Leno fan, instead of David Letterman. (I did have an aunt who pointed this flaw [and many other flaws] out at any opportunity.)

I would sneak that towel into my bedroom and wrap it around me like a dress. It was glamorous. I would then use the full-length mirror in my room as the stage of the Late Night Show. I would be in my make-believe-world pretending that someone wanted to interview me about something on national television. My make-believe fame was hilarious. I was famous for “being a really nice person.” THAT’S what make-believe-famous Rachel was famous for. This is comical for two reasons: 1. I’m not even the nicest person in this room. I’m not the worst asshole in the world, but I am certainly not nice enough to write home about. 2. Even at a young age, I was skeptical about my talents. At age 11, I couldn’t even make up a plausible dream-reason for me to be interviewed.

A few weeks ago, I hung up the phone after talking with PBS about 20/Nothing. I immediately texted my best friend, my mother, and Evan…

“I just got off the phone from talking about a film I made with the people at PBS… so, I think this might be some sort of life-highlight. had to share/brag with my bf, bff, and mom. xxo.”

It’s not Jay Leno and I wasn’t wearing a fancy towel, but it felt like something. It felt like something I had rehearsed for. It felt like something I was dreaming about… even though that dream wasn’t specific. It was surreal.

The interview lives on PBS’ website now: http://www.pbs.org/pov/20nothing/interview.php An excerpt…

POV: How did you come to the last scene in 20/Nothing? Was the plan always for the film to end with a shot of Evan without his eye?

Rachel Stevens: The theme we were given was “Behind the Curtain,” so we knew we were going to have to have Evan take his eye out. People are usually either grossed out or fascinated by this scene; both reactions are a win for the film. I think the last scene in 20/Nothing is what being human is all about. Sometimes really looking at ourselves (or each other) makes us uncomfortable, but there is real beauty in fully embracing the “imperfections” in us.

I am insanely proud and insanely grateful for this PBS love. This is a dream that came to fruition almost before I knew I wanted it. I couldn’t have done it without an incredibly talented and incredibly supported group of people. Thank you, Sarah, Caitlin, and Tuna. (And [obviously] thank you, Evan… my muse and my rock.)

Have I bragged enough? No? Oh, well, by nothing of my own talent, a photo of me appeared on National Geographic’s website this past week…

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 10.47.04 PMStrong work, Chuck Haney!

I really thought my parents would love this fame. This one’s for y’all!

A couple months ago Evan and I went for a van trip. An overnight that was filled with some of the biggest smiles. We took the Polaroid even though it’s been on the fritz. I took a photo of Evan standing in/next to the van… Evan in his happy place… in his element. The photo didn’t come out how we wanted. It broke. It’s broken. But I. love. this. photo. I’ve been waiting to share it…

evan_cheshire_smile

In the error of development, Evan still has a cheshire-cat-esque smile, which is shockingly on-point when compared to a true capture. Do you see the thumbnail crescent smile of his? On the broken film? Amazing. I love it so.

This post was brought to you by listening to Stars’ album “Set Yourself On Fire” twice in a row. And by two weeks worth of listening to this song on repeat and being mildly obsessed with its video…

Y’all take care. Thanks for the ramble.

[the ramble.]

Step 1: Be Unrealistic.

Class was cancelled this morning. After I was already sitting at the coffee shop, flustering to get all the scripts together that I need to read and making note of the loose ends I need to tie up, my three-hour class was cancelled and I have a couple hours to myself at this escape.

So as an homage to the me who sat in countless [countless!] coffee shops in Wyoming and Australia, blahgging away about hopes of love and hopes of success and observations of beauty, I sit and write.

And actually discover and listen to good music…

…instead of embarrassingly [enthusiastically] listening to Top 40 hits whilst working.

The beginning of my last year of grad school has been met with much appreciation and frustration. I am making films. People are excited that I am making films for them. I am making films for Adventure Cycling…

on_set_epic_montana

on set of an Epic Montana shoot. photo by Mick Faherty.

I am making a documentary about some of the most incredible families I’ve ever met. I have a phone call with PBS today. I am meeting tonight to discuss a sequel-ish to my most infamous work.

This is a dream come true. Beyond a dream.

This semester I am taking classes more focused around fiction, narrative. Writing. Creating. I have always wanted to be a writer. Thought that I could write. There are two compliments I hold above all others. They happened within two years from each other, both spoken by men that should not have held as much clout as they did in my life. They both had recently read something that I wrote and looked at me in the eyes and said…

– You are a writer.

And now I sit in front of my computer, ready to compose something more for my Screenwriting class, and I can’t. I don’t feel like a writer when I try to write a screenplay. Sometimes I do get words down. They’re all shit. It’s so frustrating.

And I’m so inspired lately. So insanely inspired by every ounce around me. I want to write/make short films as amazing as this…

The Video Dating Tape of Desmondo Ray, Aged 33 & 3/4 from Steve Baker on Vimeo.

And as badass as this…

Jettison Your Loved Ones from Court 13 on Vimeo.

Even as perfect as this little one…

ASPIRATIONAL from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

It’ll happen, right? I’ll write something worth making into them movin’ pictures, right? Yes and yes.

I just read the screenplay of Little Miss Sunshine.

It made me love the movie even more, which I didn’t think was possible. Michael Arndt [who wrote the screenplay] is such an encouragement. He put this in the back:

LMS_script_1 LMS_script_2
I love this. I love it so much.

In everything, remember who you are and where you came from and that if you take yourself too seriously, you’ll kill the things you love… but if you don’t take the things you love seriously, you’ll let yourself die.

Since I’m here and we hardly talk anymore, let me show you all the songs that I am loving right now [along with the one from the beginning of this post… which I can’t stop listening to]…

Thanks, Ash!

[so so excited for that album.]

Also, I saw this film last night…

HO-LY HELLLLL. It was dark, intense, awesome, weird, beautiful. I highly recommend it.

I thought I was going to see it by myself. Evan was at the library studying, I thought I’d walk down to the pub theater and see a late movie by myself. [Sidenote: I love Missoula.] I texted Ev, “I’m going to see the 9pm show. see you at home later! xxo.” When I got to the theater, Evan was standing outside, locking up his bike.

– I wanted to hang out with you.

We went inside, bought tickets, and went to get a glass of wine. Some dear friends [another couple] were there, going to the same movie. We hugged. We sat with them. We all laughed at the humorous parts together. We all clutched our significant other during the [weirdly, yet highly] suspenseful parts together.

Afterwards, we stood outside the theater and talked about different theories and getting input from each other to try and clarify all the mindfucks. [there were a lot… this movie is awesome.]

It was a wondrous, unexpected/much-needed, double-date.

So that’s where I am. Sitting in a coffee shop, blahgging, actively encouraging inspiration, hoping that I can find talent by drinking from this glowing latte mug…

glowing_cups
I want more mornings like this.

[i want more time here.]

before this beautiful storm.

Tomorrow Evan has day one of his 4.5 years of nursing school. Tuesday I start my last year, my thesis year, of my filmmaking masters degree.

We’ll both be working at our jobs as well.

Phew.

I am trying to brace myself for many things:

• Our apartment never being tolerably clean.

• Getting so exhaustedly short with Evan.

• Feeling insanely guilty for how short I get.

• Low bank accounts and high stress.

• Pita chips for lunches.

• Enough Annie’s Shells and Cheese for dinner for me to get tired of Annie’s Shells and Cheese. (which is a TON.)

• Missing amazing friends and awesome events for more computer screen time.

• Going to bed by myself. Missing Evan. Missing us. All while we’re living together.

A bit ago, I had a rough time where Evan didn’t have words of advice. It was a shitty situation, we both knew it, and I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. Evan just looked at me and said something that has become our mantra…

– I love you and you love me.

It rang true. It made everything clear. Everything lighter. When things are going to be undeniably hard, it’s what we remember. It’s what he says to me. What I say to him…

– I love you and you love me.

When he made the decision to go back to school, I’ve never been more proud of Evan. I keep telling him that he owes it to the universe to be a nurse. It’s his calling.

So, even though I’m terrified of this next year, I’m beyond excited for our future. And I rest in the love. In our mantra. While we eat salads in the backyard the night before the craziness. The calm before this beautiful storm…

the_calm

iloveyouandyouloveme.

…hooray.

wonderland texas_rain golf_fun backyard_basil basiling matchy_matchy bf_of_the_year_award emersons_attention the_boys stevens_sibs ry_snowcone deep_eddys_girls evan_darling grafitti_kiss
“heaps” is the answer
to how much I miss Texas.
but my heart is here…

my_heart_is_here
Listening to this all night and playing cards with my love made this night such wondrous affirmation.

I will always be proud of, and grateful for, where I came from.

And I will continue to be proud of where I am and who I’ve become.

Which is the girl who just wants to read this book over and over.

And refuses to be embarrassed about how much she wants to be Ira Glass.

I want to swim every. single. day.

I want to keep pretending and preparing for the conversation BJ Novak and I will have about how spot-on his book is and how we’re obviously bff.

And I will keep being unabashedly in love with this brilliant song/video:

It makes me want to quit everything and make music videos. Create and direct. Strong work. Strong.

Thank you, Ashely, for continually inspiring.

Let’s here it for Wednesday evenings back from vacation.

[hip-hip…]