enjoyable and invigorating.

I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and paused with comical assurance.

11:30pm: Wool ski socks, short shorts, grey sweatshirt, long necklace, mom’s old wool cap, bourbon in hand.

I chuckle and think, How did I get here?

With a quick mental recap, I conclude that this day said so much about where I am:
• Still can’t make anything but a shitty cup of coffee. I try so many mornings. When I asked Evan to taste this morning, he says, It’s not the worst.

• Working hard on the things I love still feels like a Mad Men daydream but in actuality means staring at computer for twelve hours at a time while my ass finds a new shape. I love it.

• Trail running in December in Montana is something that’s possible and enjoyable and invigorating and I still surprise myself when I prove these things to myself.

• Watched a Boyhood featurette and fell harder in love with that film and then harder in love with life: http://filmmakermagazine.com/88625-watch-boyhood-behind-the-scenes-featurette/#.VJEqrocxpYB

This made me want to call so many people — my little brother, everyone in Austin, my best friend, every guy I dated in college — and tell them they must sit down right now and watch Boyhood. They must. Right now.

• I received a grant today for a film I’m making. When I read the email, I immediately raised my hands in the air out of excitement like a child would. I like that that’s still in me.

• Unapologetically had a burger and fries and an old fashion with a co-worker to catch up on all of the menial office gossip. This will always be a thing.

• Watch a hockey game with a gaggle of friends and did a lot of standing up and yelling like a crazy mother. I’m still confused on how I got here.

• Home now. Doing laundry so that I can wear my favorite pair of pants tomorrow at work because we’re releasing a film I’ve been working very hard on and I think I should be in my very favorite pants.

Now that I’ve retraced and traced everything, I guess I see.

Everything is pretty familiar.

tired_bourbon_cheers
Cheers.

And for good measure, a song I love right now that maybe should be a warning sign…

[oh, that’s how.]

merry + bright.

I’m up to my ears in final projects and films for the semester and I’ve lost my manfriend to his new mistress — the library/studying for finals.

but somehow we found time to find a tree and find each other.

christmas_tree_love
I love this time of year… maybe more than ever before.
being in the mountains and making art and being in love and laughing with friends is all I’ve ever wanted.
it’s home.
and that home has a semi-decorated christmas tree in it.
yay!
xxo!

[merry + bright.]

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.]