Thursday, November 17, 2011

8 1/2

Anyone who has ever had experience as a Director, from short films to plays and beyond, can relate to protagonist Guido's plight.

Experiencing a not-often talked about issue, "Director's Block," famous director Guido Anselmi struggles to finish his new science fiction film. The story felt autobiographical, and I would not be surprised if Frederico Fellini was experiencing and voicing his own "Director's Block" at the time of this production.

My favorite parts of this film were Guido's dreams...which may in fact have been Fellini's own dreams or memories. His flashbacks are vivid, candid and extremely intriguing. While somewhat confusing, as most dreams are, you do get a sense of a man conflicted between sentiment, values, truth, memory and reality. The stories that Guido wants to tell mirror or relate to his childhood, but he is surrounded by an entourage of friends and colleagues who try to convince him that an audience would not care to or be able to follow such personal tales.

As a writer, I have long believed that the very best stories that one can tell are those that are truthful, personal, and real. I certainly empathized with Guido as he struggled between trying to tell an entertaining story, and live up to his fame, or to give others a glimpse into his very personal childhood experiences.

Another compliment to the film is the precise beauty of it. As a fan of mid-century, modern design, I absolutely loved the sleek lines of each set, and perfectly coordinating contrasting colors. Each shot was also meticulous, and made this film feel more like a piece of art that must be preserved than a mere rental from Netflix.

I love to tell human stories, and to me, 8 1/2 is just autobiographical, real, human story. Though there isn't a tremendous battle, a car chase, or a huge climax, this film proves that sometimes our inner battles are extremely interesting,  worth sharing, and can take the audience on an amazing journey of their own.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Boys!!! Why do teenage boys think with their bodies rather than with their heads or hearts? And why do so many grow up to become men who think with their bodies rather than with their heads or hearts?

Rich kids Julio and Tenoch are no different than some of the young men that I went to school with, and their plight at times frustrated me, but at other times helped me to better understand the male psyche.

Anyone can tell a tale of adolescence, of the excitement of being on the threshold of adulthood. Sex, drugs, jealousy, confusion, pain, and pure joy. Where the Cuaron brothers excel is weaving in the contrasts between the safe lives of these two upper class boys with the stark poverty and cruel truths that lye just outside their protected worlds.

The character of Luisa, a beautiful, exotic woman, who surprisingly joins the two best friends on a journey to the beach, was unexpected and exciting. Imagining that she would grow bored of their antics, she instead seemed rather to enjoy their youthful exuhberance. As expected, she causes a rift between Julio and Tenoch, a much needed interruption that brings about frank honestly and the emergence of the harsh realities of adulthood.

Adulthood can bring about unexpected change. Sometimes that change involves growing up and apart from people whom you once cared the most about. Having shared extremely intimate and powerful experiences, Julio and Tenoch return from their trip to the beach forever changed. Sadly, their friendship paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the two would never again know that close connection they once shared.

Alfonso Cuaron took on a daunting task here. Casting was critical, as the lead roles called for two young men who could not only portray carefree youth, but who could also tackle emotional and physical intimacies powerfully. I have long been a fan of Gael Garcia Bernal, playing the character of Julio, who can make me smile or cry in the blink of an eye, but I appreciated Diego Luna's portrayal of Tenoch even more. Putting forth a brash, confident facade, it was his moments of heartbreak, from realizing his girlfriend cheated on him, to watching Luisa take up Julio for an instant, that moved me. Cuaron did an amazing job of bringing out the childish antics as well as the pain of adulthood from these two great actors. While most of the dialogue was filled with teenage vulgarities, it was the narrative of the characters emotions that drew me in. Describing the pain of being hurt by your best friend as a "stabbing pain that sits just above your stomach," and relating it to the most painful, confusing experiences as children, was screenwriting brilliance, in my eyes.

The narrative of the landscape and the people throughout their journey to the beach was also extremely moving.  The Cuaron brothers brought to live a vivid Mexico, one with interesting people, places, and stories that should be told and shared.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Passion of Anna

I'm not sure if knowing that Ingmar Bergman wrote and directed this piece while he was breaking up with the lead actress, Liv Ullmann, helped or hurt my opinion of this film. Set on an island in Sweden, The Passion of Anna takes us through a surprisingly love affair that occurs between two neighbors, Anna and Andreas.

The color and photography are gorgeous, and the acting is brilliant, but I really did not take to Bergman's deconstructionist devices, such as intercutting with the real-life actors talking about their characters, nor did I appreciate or care about the subplot of someone committing acts of animal cruelty on the island.

What most fascinated me throughout this story was the intensity of the two lead characters. While they were not particularly intensely in love with each other, they both brought their own past intensities with them to this new relationship. I love great character studies, and this movie did not disappoint here.

While Andreas pines for the wife that left him, Anna's over-zealous faith in humanity and her madness makes it hard to take your eyes off of her. My favorite part of this film was the scene in which Andreas and Anna confess to each other that they are no longer in love, and that there is a wall now that has built up between them. As Andreas was spilling out some of the most gorgeous dialog I've yet seen in a movie, I couldn't help but think of Bergman own voice, as he is attempting to explain to Liv Ullmann that he cares for her, but can no longer be a part of her.

This movie rotates between beautiful, harsh, violent, and painful. I found it at times interesting and poetic, and other times boring and distasteful. Max von Sydow is immensely talented, and delivered difficult dialog as easily and beautifully as if he'd written it himself.

Definitely not my favorite film of Bergman's, though we can all relate to the pain, struggle, defiance and eventual acceptance of a relationship coming to it's end.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Raging Bull

Combining some of my least favorite elements in film...boxing, abuse, and rapid-fire vulgarity and insults, I was less than excited to watch Raging Bull. While often called one of the greatest films of the 80's, and in some cases, one of the greatest films of all time, I still entered into film very hesitantly. Alas, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rocky with my brother when I was younger, so maybe this movie, about boxing legend Jake LaMotta, would be as entertaining.

For certain, this movie is nothing like Rocky. While both movies focus on a boxer, their similarities end there. While Rocky is inspirational and uplifting, Raging Bull is depressing and painful. Where this movie succeeds is focusing on the emotions and character behind the boxer. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Jake and his brother Joey. Sibling relationships are always unique, and with Jake's temper and paranoia's, this one is certainly filled with tension and electricity.

The acting in this film is spot on, but my favorite part of this movie was the score, which was achingly beautiful. The slow motion scenes with the powerful accompaniment of the score were breathtaking.

Uhhhh....Scorsese. I have a love/hate relationship with his work. While he certainly found a niche early on telling modern stories of crime and violence, I have yet to relate to, feel for, or have a genuine desire to follow the stories of his violent characters, such as Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver,  Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, or Charlie or Johnny Boy in Mean Streets. The Catholic undertones of guilt and redemption weigh too heavily on me like a thick coat of syrup, the violence goes beyond what we need to see as an audience to put the pieces together, and most of his films leave me feeling like and I need to take a long shower. Only when he ventures into different territory and genres, such as with The Age of Innocence or even The Aviator, do I feel like I can breathe while watching.

I am a big fan of Cathy Moriarty's, and I loved seeing her in this film. She played her role as an abused wife to painful perfection. I would have preferred even more depth to her storyline. I would have probably preferred to see this movie more from her perspective than from the "Raging Bull's."

I'm sure that many will chastise me for feeling and saying this, but I am not a big DeNiro fan. Granted,  he is sublimely talented at what he does, but typically, no matter which character he is playing, while he is completely true to that character and plays it as realistically as possible, DeNiro bothers me while onscreen. He gives me this unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I'm not comfortable again until he is offscreen. To that, however, I must also give him immense praise. The reason I that I adore films and filmmaking is the power that it has to transport ones emotions. To be able to change the way a person is feeling and thinking from the time the opening credits roll until the end credits is amazing to me. That power alone is awe-inspiring. Happy, sad, angry, unsettled...if you are transformed to a new mood, one that is different than the mood you arrived with, this is a sign of a job extremely well done by the writer, director, cast and crew.

I don't think that I will sit through Raging Bull again, but if you are interested in true to life, intense character studies, this movie is worth at least one viewing.

Dial M For Murder.... a movie everyone's heard of, but perhaps hasn't seen. I know that this was the case for me. I finally got to watch this Hitchcock classic, and enjoyed it immensely. I would easily say that this movie has crept it's way into the upper eschelons of my Favorite Movies list.  I'm also a fan of A Perfect Murder, the modernized version of this tale, though that movie pales in comparison to this gem.

I love a good suspense movie, and this one did not disappoint. The dialogue was excellently written, and not a beat was missed on the actors. I loved the performances by all leads in this film. Even though Grace Kelly's character, Margot, had committed adultry, I empathized with her far more than her sinewy husband. I have to credit Ray Milland for his excellent portrayal as Tony, a husband ready to have his wife killed, as he really became a loathesome individual to me, a creep to his core.

The movie takes place almost entirely in one single room. Again, I must credit Hitchcock for relying on the captivating dialogue, the talent of the actors, and his genius way of using the camera and shot angles to build suspense, to carry this film. This movie was highly dynamic, and never became boring or tiresome.

I think that the other great suspense movie of that year, Rear Window, has gotten more love and appreciation, but I think that this quiet, beautiful film deserves it's share of accolades. The final scene is a bit too clean and tidy, but otherwise, this movie is a solid, entertaining jewel throughout. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Lapse

For a freelance project, I'm filming a time lapse tonight of an artist painting a canvas. I'm extremely excited. Hopefully it turns out as I plan for it to. Fingers crossed! :) Will let you know how it goes...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Glengarry Glen Ross

Wow. If you are interested in watching a film about how low the human psyche can be pushed, this film is it. The all star cast featured some of my favorites-Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Al Pacino, and sweet Alan Arkin. By the end of the film, I could barely stand to look at Kevin Spacey on screen. Alec Baldwin's part is terribly hard to watch, but he nails the character perfectly. Pompous, obtuse, overbearing, overly confident, and narcissistic.

Jack Lemmon will break your heart in this film. His character Shelly floats between emotions as easily and lightly as a dove, but the end results are starkly different. Throughout any given frame, he is confident, week, gutsy, confused, angry, kind, careless in action. His backstory, that he is working hard to provide for his sick daughter, only adds anxiety and pain to his plight.

The writer and director weave in a subplot involving robbery that takes us down one course, only to pull a surprise out in the end that too, causes additional heartache for the viewer.  This film epitomizes the struggles of daily life in the working force for many: corrupt bosses, selfish managers, and good people pushed to the edge when their options of a stable livelihood run out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Asphalt Jungle

Another gem directed by John Huston, The Asphalt Jungle is a caper film in it's truest form. The story focuses on a group of "hooligans" planning a jewelry heist. I love a good, suspenseful drama, so felt that this film would be enjoyable, and it was.

The first thing that came to mind as I watched this film was the movie "In Cold Blood." Intense, complex characters, with fates sealed before the opening credits finished rolling. Steven Hayden's performance of Dix Handley was spot on and gut-wrenching as a man who's only known bad luck, but believes his luck is about to change. While it's human instinct to root for the police, I found myself continually rooting for the "villain" Dix over the dirty cops in this picture. Dix' cohorts, however, were none-too likeable. Between the girl-chasing Doc and the two-faced Emmerich, Dix comes off as a decent fella who is just down on his luck.

One thing that continually impresses me is the intensity that John Huston is able to pull from his actors. His characters go through major story and character arcs, and this requires a great deal of dramatization. Huston's actors shift easily from smoking a casual cigarette, to pouring out their hopes and dreams believably, to having meltdowns or even dying. He keeps them so focused on who their characters are at their core that the performances are mesmerizing and credible.

My favorite moment came at the end of the film when the Police Commissioner is giving an interview to the press, speaking about potentially crooked cops in his force. He turns on the police radio, and every station has a report a crime of some sort taking place, calling for police assistance. He states that they send police on every single call, every single day, in every city, in every state. Then he summarizes his plight by simply stating,  "Suppose we had no police force, good or bad." He then turns off the radio, and the room is silent. "Suppose we had, just silence. Nobody to listen. Nobody to answer. The battle's finished. The jungle wins. The predatory beasts take over. Think about it."

Well done, once again, Mr. Huston.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Following a trio of gold prospectors who seek out to strike it rich, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, in my humble opinion, is a nearly flawless psychological drama. Without knowing much about this film going into it, I was pleasantly surprised at all of the magnificent details that held my attention until the closing credits. The harsh landscape, the distinct characters, the shootouts, even the details about gold prospecting helped to paint an immensely interesting picture throughout. The most impressive piece of the film, however, is Humphrey Bogart's portrayal of a man descending into madness. I was completely riveted, angered, and troubled by his growing unease and intensity.

The character known as Curtin, adeptly portrayed by Tim Holt, was heartbreaking in his earnestness to do right by himself and his friends. He had opportunity after opportunity to bring harm to Bogart's character Dobbs, but always chose to be the bigger man. He never had a dishonest intention, and yet he was the character who was the most put upon.

Old man Howard, played by Walter Huston, was equally engaging. I have to confess, however, that I had to turn on the subtitles throughout his dialogue. He speaks a million miles a minute, but it plays perfectly to his crazy old kook persona.

Bogart, of course, deserves the majority of acting accolades here. His turn from an honest, engaging guy into a paranoid, deceitful crook was pure brilliance. I have to assume that Director John Huston helped bring out this brilliance.

While this film isn't in my typical top choice genre, I was extremely impressed with what Director John Huston put together. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre takes what could have been a humdrum story about panning for gold and turned it into a fascinating character study, with plenty of twists, turns and unexpected action along the way.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Film School Is Back In Session

Oh August. My fickle friend. What's that smell in the air? Summer days winding down? Smoldering barbecues dying out? Oh wait...I's the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the diffident fear emanating from students who are stepping into a new semester at school. 

While I'm reluctant to release my stalwart grasp on summer, I conversely love school, and have been counting down the days until the start of fall semester. Yesterday, school started for me again, and I could not be more overjoyed. Not only do I love my professors and classmates in my program, but I also love the coursework. Learning about every aspect of film has become almost an addiction for me. I feel so happy and content in class, and the more that I learn, the deeper I fall in love with filmmaking. 

My courses for Fall Semester 2011 are as follows:
Photography I-this should be interesting, as I know almost nothing about still photography
Intermediate Film Production-I didn't realize how much I missed my professor from Beginning Film Production, Channing, until this class began yesterday
Understanding Film Directing-Mark Davis, my professor, is not only engaging, but perhaps one of the most funny people I've come across in life

Needless to say, I'm beyond excited to be back in class, surrounded by these wonderfully creative souls. I can already feel the inspiration seeping back into my veins. As I traverse this semester, I will post updates here. Also, as part of my Film Directing Class, I need to blog about movies and directors on a weekly basis, so be prepared: the film talk here may slightly overshadow the Meniere's talk for a little while. Alas, as Meniere's is as big of a part of my life as film is, I'm sure it won't be far gone for long here. 

Onward we go...


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Katie LeClerc and Meniere's Disease

I asked my doctor once about Meniere's Disease research...what was being done...who in particular was leading the charge, and so on. His response was rather melancholy. He explained that while dizziness is one of the most common complaints doctors throughout the world see in patients, very little has been done thus far to treat it. Very little money has gone into dizziness research, particularly for Meniere's-related dizziness. He explained that because Meniere's Disease is not life-threatening per se, it hasn't garnered the attention, funding and research that it deserves.

"But that's so lame!" was my eloquent reply. "Meniere's Disease is one of the cruelest, most debilitating, life altering, disabling diseases out there. Surely it deserves some attention."

"Yes, it certainly does, Skye," he assured me. "Alas, we don't have a Michael J. Fox. We don't have a face for Meniere's Disease-someone who can lobby on its behalf, someone who can demonstrate to the world just how terrible this disease can be. Thus far, while many celebrities have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, none have come forward to help be the voice for change."

Well, I'm happy to report that things are finally changing.

I'm aware of several famous faces who have Meniere's, but never or rarely speak about it--former NBA star Steve Francis, actress Heather Locklear, musician Ryan Adams. Alas, who would have guessed that the first actress to come forward and really talk about the disease, the first one to agree to be the face for Meniere's, would be a 16 year old! Katie LeClerc, star of the ABC Family drama, Switched At Birth, is discussing her struggle with Meniere's Disease in several interviews, and has just filmed a PSA, the very first for Meniere's.

I recognize the difficulty in disclosing details about an illness, and I am so appreciative of her candor and courage. Giving a face to this disease is exactly what we need, and I am optimistic that as the public becomes more aware, they too will recognize the need to find a cure, so that future generations do not have to suffer.

I can't wait to see the PSA. If possible, I will post a copy of it here.

Here's a link to an interview with Katie LeClerc, in which she discusses acting with hearing loss and Meniere's Disease:


Hello friends,
I must apologize for the extreme delay in writing. A few months ago, I was punched in the stomach by a terrible, untimely tragedy. My dear friend of over ten years, Catharine Limb, passed away as a result of a blood clot. This sudden blow shook me in a way that I didn't expect, and I became emotionally and mentally blocked for a time. I was completely uninspired to write, and it's taken me months to climb out of the gloomy stupor that I was in. 

Cathy absolutely loved volunteering for The Sundance Film Festival here in Utah each year. She flew in this year as usual in early January from California. While walking the streets of chilly Park City, UT one day, Cathy slipped on some ice and broke her ankle. Ever the positive little spirit, she didn't let this dampen her mood. She continued to enjoy the festival and do her best to volunteer and have a great time. I got to see her for just a brief visit, but it was lovely.

After flying home, Cathy began to feel unwell. She thought that she might be coming down with pneumonia, as her chest hurt a bit and she was having trouble taking deep breaths. She decided the best thing to do was to go straight to the ER. Upon arriving at the hospital, she was shocked to learn that she was in fact suffering from a blood clot that had traveled from her broken ankle to her lungs. She was told that had she waited any longer, she would have been dead. Feeling grateful to be alive, Cathy posted on Facebook that night that she was happy to be alive. She said that she'd have to stay in the hospital for a few days, but that all would be well. It was quite a shock for all in Cathy's life to learn that just a few hours after she wrote this, Cathy stopped breathing, and her doctors were unable to revive her. 

Any death is hard to comprehend. Losing a special person in your life is probably the most painful thing that we as humans will have to endure. Losing Cathy, however, felt especially painful because of the life she led and the type of person she was. Anyone who has ever met or known Cathy will tell you that she did not have a mean hair on her head. She was the most giving, loving, thoughtful, selfless person that I have known....and trust me, I've known some amazing people! Cathy was like a little ball of sunshine bouncing around this planet. I could write pages and pages about the extraordinary ways she chose to live her life, but I will be concise and just stick to some highlights-- Cathy had a passion for animals, and lived a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. She was just accepted into a program to go work with endangered elephants. She volunteered regularly at Rape Crisis Centers. She donated her money, time and energy to those who had less than she. Cathy gave and gave and gave, and took very little in return. She laughed easily, loved unconditionally, and was a friend to all whom she met. 

I was humbled to be asked to give a eulogy at a special memorial service for Cathy. So many wonderful people had so many wonderful things to say about her as well. She was truly a gift to this planet, and the sun will shine a little less bright without her here. I cannot presume to understand why good people die in the prime of their lives, but I have to believe that Cathy had done what was needed of her here, and her beautiful light was needed elsewhere. I'm sure that wherever she is, people are smiling. 

A couple of weeks before Cathy passed away, she posted the following message on Facebook: 

"I'm so in love with life right now." 

It gives me comfort to know that she was so happy in her final days. In my eulogy, I quoted the singer Adele, one of Cathy's favorite artists. These lines rang true to the time we spent together as friends and roommates. We were 19 years old, in college, experiencing life to the fullest for the very first time. We went on so many adventures and had so many amazing journeys together. They truly were our glory days:

"You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives.
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise
Of our glory days

Nevermind I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don't forget me, I begged
I remember, you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead."

Cathy girl, you will forever be loved and missed. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vegas + Meniere's = Full Tilt

Aaahh...Vegas. My heart away from home.

It seems that most of my friends hate Las Vegas. I on the other hand LOVE IT! I love the shopping (Marc torture my bank account), I love the weather (I need the sun people, I NEED IT), I love the great food options (La Cave at Wynn has the best flat bread I've ever tasted) and, of course, I love the gambling. I found out this week, however, that my Meniere's Disease does not love Vegas.

I've been to Vegas several times since my diagnosis, but this time was a bit different. This trip was 5 full days of entertainment, work, gambling, shopping and excitement. What I found was that 5 full days was a bit too much. I had stimulation overload.

The old Skye would have shopped and gambled and gone out until the wee hours of the morning. The new Skye, still recovering from surgery, had to rest several times and drink ample amounts of water. My steps were a little unsteady, but thankfully my friends were there to help me along the way. The experience was a bit humbling, but was an ever-constant reminder that we as humans are not indestructible. There will come a point in everyone's life where they aren't able to do exactly what they want to with the same fervor that they used to. Mine just came a bit early.

Don't get me wrong...I still love me some Vegas...and this won't stop me from going again. I just have to remember to slow my roll for a while. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


In the spirit of the extremely chilly weather outside, I thought it fitting to finally watch the movie Frozen. If you're not familiar, Frozen is a suspense/thriller set on the slopes. 3 skiers get stranded on a chairlift at night, and have to make life or death decisions-sit and wait it out, or jump 50 feet to the ground and risk injury, or worse; hungry wolves!

Let me preface this by stating that I am not a fan of most films in the thriller genre. Alas, Frozen wasn't entirely awful. In fact, I actually thought it was pretty good, for what it was. The acting wasn't terrific, but the female lead, Emma Bell, played her part perfectly. I also enjoyed the fact that Frozen was filmed here locally at Snowbasin Ski Resort in Ogden, UT.

You can usually predict what will happen in most horror films, but I was actually surprised by several of the twists and turns. The camera techniques were spot on, and several times I felt like I was stuck on the chair with these kids. A few times I caught myself wondering what I would do in the same situation. I imagine this is what the director was going for. It's not a 4 star movie by any means, but it definitely packs in some thrills, and of course, plenty of chills!

If you're in the mood to feel anxious, on edge, a little shocked, and don't mind some gruesomeness, you could do worse than Frozen.

That movie put me in the mood for a hot bath. Brrrrrr...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Chat

I mentioned in an earlier post my support chat room that I stumbled upon while researching all that I could about Meniere's Disease. The web address is Through this blog, I've met some amazing individuals-people that, although I haven't met in person, I'm proud to call my friends. Truly a welcoming, supportive, loving group of individuals. They go through the ups and downs of this disease-drop attacks (which are as bad as they sound), spinning, puking, deafness, loss of balance, loss of independence...and yet through all of their suffering, they hop online to encourage and support others who are having a rough go of it.

Hopefully you or those you love NEVER have to experience the horror that is Meniere's Disease, but if you ever cross paths with someone who is suffering, please refer them to this group. I promise that it will change their lives for the better.

Onward we go...

Monday, January 24, 2011


It's that time of year again. The Sundance Film Festival has arrived here in Utah. When I was in college, this was my favorite time of year. I took a Sundance Film Fest class my sophomore year, and was able to see 27 films and 5 panels throughout the span of two weeks. Whoa. Intense! I got to see the premieres of cool films like Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhall, Manic starring Joseph Gordon Leavitt, Memento, and so many others. It was a life changing experience, albeit an exhausting one.

These days, I prefer to carefully select one or two special films to see. I haven't participated in the parties, events or the concerts in years. However, my dear friend Jay from New York came into town to experience Sundance for the first time, and we decided to experience it in full.

On Saturday, despite the snow flurries and insane traffic, we made our way up to Main Street in Park City, where we immediately bumped into James Franco. He's as dreamy in person as he is on film. We then made our way over to the premier of the film, My Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel. This film brought out the masses. Long lines + cold weather = grumpy Skye.

On Sunday, we started out at the Queer Brunch, which is always a great time. Lots of networking, lots of ridiculous antics, but not lots of good food. :( Later, Jay scored us VIP passes, and we hit the Swag booths, where I grabbed some great workout gear, make up from Sephora (woot woot), hats, gloves, socks. Awesome. We then hit the Puma VIP Lounge, where Paul Rudd and Zooey D were hanging out. Paul is another actor who is as cute in person as he is in the movies. They were both super sweet, too. On the way out, I passed Ellen's DJ Tony, and he stopped me and asked how I was doing. He is a doll.

We then hit up Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times. My kinda documentary. Two thumbs up. After that, we hopped a shuttle over to the premier of Kevin Smith's film, Red State. The Westboro Church was at the premier protesting the film with the most random, coo coo signs. They brought their traditional "God Hates Fags" and "Fags Bring Doom" signs, but my favorite signs of the evening didn't make much sense: You Eat Your Children, God Hates Your Feelings, and You Must Die. What the???? Who eats children? Why does God hate my feelings? I'm confused.

I'm going to catch up on some much needed sleep today while Jay is skiing. We have one more party to hit up tonight in Park City, before he leaves tomorrow morning. Thus far, though exhausting, the festival has been at times, hilarious, exciting, confusing, bitterly cold, and awe-inspiring.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The dizziness....aka The Beast

Some of you know. Some of you don't. But most who know probably only understand a small portion of what I've been diagnosed with.

Meniere's Disease is a conundrum. It's a tortuous illness that causes episodes of spinning, whirling & hurling vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in your ears), and hearing loss. Basically, it's a combination of symptoms that will change life as you knew it, and work to destroy your sanity. People who have it call it "the Beast," for a very good reason.

The exact statistics on how many people in the US have Meniere's Disease is difficult to measure, because many cases go untreated or many are misdiagnosed. It is believed that nearly 1 million Americans suffer with this disorder, and several million more throughout the world. Alas, most people have never heard of Meniere's Disease. I hope to educate people about this illness, and to bring about awareness. When I was diagnosed, I felt confused, terrified and alone. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a Meniere's support group online, and that's where I really learned about just how common this disease is, and about how many wonderful people out there are suffering.

Meniere's Disease was first defined nearly 150 years ago by French physician Proper Meniere. It has been speculated that Julius Cesar, Vincent Van Gogh and Martin Luther had the disease. Recent "celebrities" who have suffered include Allan Shepard, Kristin Chenowith, Steve Francis, and Ryan Adams.

In the 150 years since it's discovery, very little progress has been made in finding a cure for this disease. Doctors are still perplexed as to what the cause of it is, so therein lies the trouble in finding a cure. Most treatment methods are aimed at suppressing your vestibular system, or depleting stored water in your body by taking diuretics. This works for some, but not all.

As we go throughout this little blog journey, I'll share with you what it's like to live with Meniere's Disease, what treatments I've tried, what I hope to try, and what current researchers are working on in clinical trials. There is some hope on the horizon.

I don't want to focus solely on my illness, though, so I'll also be talking about the lights of my life: movies, writing, my chubby pug and my crazy cats, my friends, the good days, the bad days, you know...what's happening on the daily.

I hope you'll indulge me, and join me on this little journey.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.”-Buddha

I'd like to write with the prowess and elegance of Allan Ball or Sofia Coppola. I'd like to tell tales of life that balance delicately on the edge between gut-wrenching fascination and heart-wrenching beauty.

I'm no Allan Ball or Sofia Coppola. Not yet, anyway.

But I do love to write. I do love to tell tales. And maybe, just maybe, you'll one day see my name in the credits of a gut-wrenching or heart-wrenching film.

Until then, I'm going to share my tales here, with my friends.

Here we go....the beginning of it...