Archive for June, 2009

My life as an Extra.

San Jose Metblogs’ favorite director Alejandro Adams has been filming two movies at the same time. We have already told you about Amity, but he was also shooting Child of God. The final scenes were shot on Saturday, and the Metblogs crew, as well as many others, were invited to be extras on set. So what was it like to be an extra on a film set? Many in the group had expected it to be boring, but instead it was a pretty pleasant and interesting experience.The request for extras was put out by Adams through Facebook, Twitter, and word of mouth. We were requested to wear church clothing and to show up at the Foxworthy Baptist Church around 3:30pm. Among the group who showed up were part time actors; students and one teacher from Milpitas and Evergreen Valley high schools; Joann Landers, Gary Wiens and yours truly from Metblogs; some Cinequest fans; and even some people who had heard the call through Metblogs. There was definitely a wide range of people there.

Alejandro Adams give the extras instructions

Alejandro Adams give the extras instructions

Our first job was to sit in the church sanctuary pretending to be the congregation while two actresses, Jennie Floyd and Marya Murphy, sang some hymns and read church announcements. This was a very easy job to perform while they shot it over and over from different angles. I’m not going to lie, it was HOT outside and we were all happy to just be sitting in the air conditioned church. Some of us agreed later that after a few takes we sort of were paying about as much attention as one usually does during church announcements and hymns, so our vaguely pleasant but bored looks should come off as very realistic.

Next they asked to film us entering the church. This took several tries as we all sort of single file walked quickly through the church doors and into our seats, as if we had all been outside the church chanting “Open-Open-Open” and couldn’t wait to get in. Adams and crewmember Ali Allie patiently asked us to please walk slower and in smaller groups, and eventually we got it.

Walking around outside the church was the next scene. We were put into groups and stood in different spots on the grounds; Allie would say “Action!” and each group was asked to walk to a different spot. These scenes were harder to get through as the temperature was far into the 90s that afternoon and we were sweating up a storm. At least most of us women were wearing dresses, but most of the men had long sleeved shirts, some with jackets. My group also had to walk up several stairs to a dead end balcony about three times; a friend I had brought complained that I had not told her she would be doing cardio work! But we all survived.

Jennie Floyd speaks with Alejandro Adams

Jennie Floyd speaks with Alejandro Adams

At different points during the day we were let into the Fellowship Hall where there was a bounty of snacks and drinks set out for the crew and extras. I noticed the teens especially were thrilled with all the chips, granola bars and sweets available; the adults were mostly interested in the cold water, juice and soda. All in all it was a very relaxing few hours we spent at the church and we were well taken care of. Alejandro Adams was polite and soft-spoken as usual, and the crew was professional and did their jobs as quickly as possible.

When the main shooting was over Adams explained that we were able to leave, however he did need a couple extra people to shoot one final scene. Joann Landers and I were included. About six of us plus the two actresses went into a small church room where we sat down around a conference table. We had to pretend to be discussing the “sermon” we had “just heard” and then Jennie Floyd was to pipe up with a line that was completely shocking, insensitive and inappropriate. The extras just had to go silent as Marya Murphy then had to respond in a manner that was so heartbreaking I wanted to get up and give her a hug after each take. Luckily we only had to do that scene a couple times over; I don’t think any of us could take Marya’s increasingly heartrending performance.

Marya Murphy takes a break from filming

Marya Murphy takes a break from filming

We were let go after that. Jennie Floyd assured me her character was not the insensitive jerk she appeared to be in that scene, and Marya has told me the movie is not depressing; I’m not sure I believe either of them, but there are certainly 20-25 people at that church who cannot wait to see this movie when it comes out! We all would like to thank Alejandro Adams for inviting us into his movie family and letting us be a part of his film. His crew are wonderful people and those he casts are always incredibly talented. We certainly wish him much success with Child of God!

Alejandro Adams’ films:
Around the Bay
Canary

Babnik
Amity
Child of God

Students Catalina Corral and Lizette Calderon enjoyed being stars for a day

Students Catalina Corral and Lizette Calderon enjoyed being stars for a day

San Jose’s Dot.Kamikazes pull the plug on the Santa Cruz All-Stars

 

So who knew San Jose had its own Roller Derby teams?

We knew, but we forgot. So when I met Ana Z from the Silicon Valley Roller Girls I could not wait to attend a bout.

I took my 17 year old daughter and three of her friends to the June 13th bout with San Jose’s Dot.Kamikazes against the Santa Cruz All-Stars. These two teams seem to have quite a rivalry, and both the derby girls and the audience were looking forward to the match up. We arrived 30 minutes early to San Jose Skate and found the parking lot full! There was still plenty of parking over at the business park next door though. Being new to the whole Roller Derby scene there was quite a lot to take in when we first entered the doors. Everyone was wearing black and green (team colors), there were green hair and wigs, tattoos, and some of the most amazing and interesting people you could imagine.

svrg-cheer

On the floor of the rink were folding chairs lined up around a taped off skating circle, so our group took seats about four rows back. Premium ticket holders got to sit in comfy couches, but the folding chairs had just as good of a view. While we could see just fine, next time we plan to get there earlier so we can be in the front row. This row does carry a warning in the program though: “Front row is SUICIDE SEATING due to crashing rollergirls. Sit at your own risk please!” While waiting for the bout to begin there were raffle tickets to buy, Roller Derby goodies to purchase, and lots of pizza and nachos and snacks to eat.

svrg-bout

The bout began with a helmet and pad check of the girls, then an explanation of rules and demonstration of roller derby. This was really helpful to us newbies, and allowed us to enjoy our experience fully. The basic rule you need to know is the “Jammer” (girl with a star on her helmet) from each team scores points by breaking ahead of the pack to pass the other players. One point for every player passed, including anyone in the “naughty box”. As for the rest of the players, no “unladylike behavior” is allowed. It’s not the knock-down drag-out fight you see in the movies – but don’t think it’s without excitement! Although fighting, and blocking by hands, elbows and head are not allowed, plenty of other pushing IS allowed and the crowd cheered loudest whenever anyone fell (or was pushed) down.

This particular bout was very exciting. The teams were super psyched to face off with each other and you could tell by the play. However, it was the SV Roller Girls, our home team, who took the early lead and never let it go! Final score was 131-100 and it was exciting to the very end.

svrg-hey

Multiple raffle prizes were called throughout the bout, everything from skateboards to tattoos. Pizza, nachos, and soda were enjoyed along with all the excitement, and we even had Tasty Hoops hula hoopers for halftime entertainment. All the Derby Girls are awesome, and had great derby names. Everything from Booty Vicious to Juicy K. Tore to Smashleigh to The Undie Taker, the girls go by pseudonames and they don’t ever depart from them. Mistits was a fan favorite, but my personal fave player and Jammer was Smashleigh. I definitely recommend that you find a way to get to a bout and enjoy all the juicy Derby goodness these girls have to offer.

Missed the bout? The next official home bout won’t be until August 8th, but NO WORRIES!! Because today is a FREE Roller Derby Exhibition bout at Roosevelt Hockey Rink, 901 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose. Action starts at 5pm! I recommend you get there early, and then make plans for the August 8th bout as soon as you get home!

Silicon Valley Roller Girls
Calendar and maps
Nocklebeast’s derby photos

Special thank you to Nocklebeast (from the Santa Cruz side!) for the use of his derby photos – you need a very fast shutter speed to catch these girls in motion!  Click on the link to see lots more excitement!

The FIFA Confederations Cup

Steve Crooks Manager - 'the garret'

Steve Crooks Manager - 'the garret'

I have never been a big soccer (futbol) fan, but when Gary called and told me that it looked as though the USA was about to defeat Spain I had to turn on the TV. I only caught the last few minutes but, wow, it was some fantastic last few minutes. What a victory for team USA!

The FIFA Confederations Cup final match between the USA vs. Brazil is scheduled for 11:00 AM our time. I won’t pretend to understand most of the rules, I know we don’t want a red card, or what these game have to do with the 2010 World Cup, but go USA!

Sunday, June 28th
FIFA Confederations Cup championship: 11:00 AM
U.S. vs. Brazil on ESPN 38
KDTV – Univision channel 14 and digital subchannel 66.2

‘the garret’ is the place to watch the match and enjoy some great food.
Great Pizza and Sandwiches
1777 S. Bascom Ave.
Campbell, Ca 95006
408-559-7930

FIFA Laws of the Game

Vintage and Artisan Block Sale

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Back in January of 2008 I put up a post on a then new consignment shop called Tozeero located at 1040 Park Ave. Now there is a new kid on the block. Joanne Perez has opened a cool shop of her own called Time Zone Vintage just across the street at 1045 Park Ave.

Perez has put together a vendor block sale featuring vintage collectibles.

Saturday, June 27th
10 AM to 3 PM
1045 and 1040 Park Ave.

Help a Mother Out!

You may never have given this much thought, but most government and private support available for low income parents do not cover diapers. Even though there is plenty of data out there showing children who wear soiled diapers can lead to diaper rash and other bacterial infections.

Now imagine you have to decide between buying a box of diapers for your child and food to feed her. Which would you choose?

Help a Mother Out (HAMO) is a unique organization providing diapers to homeless and low income mothers. On July 1, 2009 between 5PM and 7 they’re going to be collecting diapers at Willow Glen’s BabyBuzz, a chic shop offering clothes and toys for babies and toddlers as well as infant massage and mom’s night out parties.

The goal is to collect 1,000 diapers to distribute to shelters and moms in need. Bring a pack or a case of diapers down to the store between , do a little shopping and enjoy a little wine, a cup of tea, and the knowledge you’ve made the decision between food and diapers easier for someone. RSVP on Facebook or just drop off the diapers.

Here’s the address: 1314 Lincoln Ave #1A, San Jose, CA 95125 and a map. Can’t make it? You can select a non-profit to help and donate right now!

Free Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt Friday June 26

pinkberry
This Friday, June 26 between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm, Pinkberry is giving away a free small swirl of its two newest flavors, Coconut and Passionfruit.

That brings Pinkberry’s list of non-fat frozen yogurt to five, including the flavors: Original, Green Tea, and Pomegranat.

Pinkberry Santana Row
368 Santana Row #102
San Jose, 95128
408-557-8333

San Jose: The Biggest Loser

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No one wants to be a loser unless it is The Biggest Loser. Being on the show would be like a vacation! Just think about it, no job to go to and no housework. Sure Jillian might make you cry (would me), but the results… A chance to lose all that ugly fat, and win big bucks, too.

There are a few rules:
Candidates must be at least 18 years of age – legal residents of the United States.
Casting producers are looking for family teams of two with outgoing personalities.
Bring a non-returnable photo of you and your partner.
Individuals who don’t have a partner can audition on their own.
People will not be allowed to line up prior to three hours before the start of the open call. (No camping out overnight)

Now casting for Season 9 – See upper right on site for details.

SATURDAY, JUNE 27TH

SAN JOSE
24 HOUR FITNESS
1610 CRANE CT
SAN JOSE, CA 95112
10 AM – 6 PM

July 4th Fireworks & Festivities 2009

fireworks-2009

2011 post here.

America’s birthday, time to celebrate with parades, barbecues, picnics, festivals, and fireworks!

Events are free; however, at some locations there will be food for purchase, some activities may have a fee, and there may be parking fees. Plan early.

Here are some places to view fireworks and/or enjoy a day of celebrations:

San Jose

The City of San Jose, Happy Hollow, History San Jose and Kelley Park will also participate in the new July 4th Fireworks celebration at Municipal Stadium and San Jose State University.

There will be free fireworks viewing in San Jose following the San Jose Giants game on the San Jose State University East Field next to Spartan Stadium or at Kelley Park. Note that no coolers are allowed on University property; in addition, tailgating will be restricted from parking lots and no alcohol allowed. Parking is $8.00 in all lots.

A map showing parking and viewing areas along with hours here (PDF).

Event Information

San Jose America Festival at Guadalupe River Park’s Discovery Meadow canceled because of budget constraints.

Santa Clara

Picnic and Fireworks Extravaganza
Central Park, 909 Kiely Boulevard

Pancake Breakfast at 8 am, followed by games and entertainment throughout the day at the Pavilion along with a carnival area, petting zoo, face painting, and swimming at the International Swim Center. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase foods at the event.

Fireworks at 9:30 pm; Pre-fireworks entertainment will be provided from 7:00 pm on the lawn area near Millikin School.

408-615-3140

Great America will have fireworks Saturdays in August.

Los Gatos

Civic Center, 110 E. Main Street

Los Gatos Celebrates the 4th of July for the whole family, all day 11:00 am – 5:30 pm. Beginning in the morning will be games and activities at the Civic Center. BBQ and cold drinks will be available for purchase at the food court all day.

The San Jose Wind Symphony will perform on the front lawn of Los Gatos High School beginning 1:30 pm.

Back over at the Civic Center there will be free cookies and a performance by the Peninsula Banjo Band, 3:30 pm.

Then at 4:45 pm, it is free bingo and lemonade!

Event Schedule (PDF)

408-354-6820

Milpitas

Independence Day Festivities
Milpitas Sports Center, 1325 E. Calaveras Boulevard

Water activities at Milpitas Sports Center Pools during the day; pool party 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Barbecue, at the pool party 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; nominal fee.

Concert & Fireworks at Milpitas Sports Center Football Field; 8:00 pm (gates open at 7:30 pm); bring a picnic dinner.

408-586-3228

Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill Community Park, 100 Edes Steet

Along the parade route at 9:00 am Car Cruise & Entertainment and then the Official Santa Clara County Parade at 10:00 am (with bands, horses, and floats).

During the day in downtown is the family festival with live entertainment and car show from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

In the evening from 6:00 pm is pre-fireworks entertainment with the fireworks scheduled for approximately 9:15 pm.

Redwood City

Activities will include arts & crafts, food, kids area, parade, and yes, fireworks.

The best way to get to the parade site is to take Caltrain to the Redwood City station. The parade is literally on the other side of the tracks.

Fireworks viewing at the Port of Redwood City have very limited access; they can be seen from downtown and anywhere west of Highway 101 where there is a clear view of the skies above the Port.

Festival – 9:00 am

Fireworks, Port of Redwood City – 9:30 pm

Maps – Parade, Festival, and Restrooms

Berkeley Marina

The 4th of July on the South Shore of the Berkeley Marina from noon to 10:00 pm, there will be music, dancers, and jugglers all for free! Adventure Playground, is open 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Sign up for an old-fashioned sack race, create a nature sculpture with environmental artist Zach Pine, or get your face painted. Try the giant slide or splash in the water at the beach. In addition, art & craft booths, massages, free sailboat rides from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Fireworks will be off the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:30 pm.

Ride your bike over the Berkeley Bicycle Overpass and park free near Adventure Playground. Free admission, alcohol-free event, no cars after 7:00 pm.

Event Information


Other Posts

Alejandro Adams Film: Extras Needed

Steve Voldseth

Steve Voldseth

It was during Cinequest 18 that I first met Steve Voldseth. He was starring in the Alejandro Adams film, Around the Bay. I am so pleased to report that Steve and Alejandro are once again teaming up. And to top it off, extras are needed!!!

Date: Saturday, June 27th. Location: West San Jose. Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM. All ages welcome.

Contact Alejandro – alejandroadams@gmail.com for the, location, wardrobe and scene details.

See Variety

Security express lanes closed at SJC…and good riddance

The Merc reported this morning that security express lanes at SJC and other bay area airports closed this week due to insolvency of Clear, the company that operated them.

Hopefully worse is in store for the misconceived and anti-American airport pre-screening program (but realistically, a new company will be running those lines by the end of the year). Never mind that this program is tailor-made for terrorists who want to find out which of their agents are on the US government watch list (but thanks to Bruce Schneier for pointing it out). Never mind that this is a blatantly anti-egalitarian program that leaves those of us waiting in the cattle chute wishing we could give the world-mover being ushered through the Clear line a punch in the nose.

The real problem with the program is that it means our government leaders don’t have to eat their own dog food. They can legislate endless security hassles for the rest of us, but instead of enduring it themselves, they can look down their noses, ask (in a metaphorical Hahvahd accent), “don’t you know who I am?”, and skip right through. Maybe they have to pay the same $100 per year for pre-screening as anybody else, but they’re sure to get it back again as a campaign contribution from Clear by the end of the year.

The other galling aspect of the pre-screening program is the sheer stupidity of it. Didn’t the power elites (and by creating this program, they really demonstrate that “power elite” isn’t just a Marxist buzzword) who thought this up realize how resentful it would make the rest of us? How obviously anti-egalitarian it is? I realize its unrealistic to expect the power elite to wither away, leaving behind a paradise of social and economic equality, but I demand a power elite with some intelligence!

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