First of all, snow. Snow, and more snow.
And it hasn’t been just the white stuff that’s been whirling around: I’ve been on a bit of a spin cycle myself. On Friday a one man film crew was here for several hours to work on a possible project. I had the starring role; Buddy was the supporting actor. Mostly I talked, but I did a little fake painting and some snowshoeing as well. That’s where Buddy was the scene stealer; at one point even barreling into the poor camera man (because that’s what you do to make friends when you’re a dog).
Not sure what will come of it all, but it was a fun afternoon; the young man, Keith, is also a documentary filmmaker, and has a film out now called Boys Of Summer.
On Saturday morning I got up and made a pot of spaghetti, as Pete would be flying solo that day (well, with Buddy as his wingman). And then I headed out the door to Boston, where I was to be interviewed and filmed once more; this time for a segment on the Dr. Oz show about young, non-smoking women with lung cancer. I was happy to still make the age cut off.
I was also feeling pretty together and organized, arriving 45 minutes early, at least until I discovered that my mapquest directions were absolutely useless. Anyone who has ever driven in Boston knows that it can be very unforgiving when you don’t know where you are going. Poor or non-existent signage, lots and lots of one way streets (which present few opportunities to correct mistakes), and an almost total lack of a grid system.
I overshot the first phantom exit by several miles, and pulled off Storrow Drive and onto a side street with a Dunkin Donuts. Although no one behind the counter could help me, I knew that before long one of the patrons would prove useful. In fact, two burly gentleman drew me a detailed map on a napkin, only to ask what town I was trying to get to. “Oh no, that’s the other direction”, and then they made all sorts of suggestion which had nothing to do with my original map. So, I backtracked. And missed the phantom exit again. I left a message with the producer, telling her that I was going to be late, and then executed an illegal u-turn at a light. I merged off of Storrow as if I was going to MGH (at least I knew where that was). On Charles Street I parked (illegally) in front of a hydrant and ran into a florist (when I was in Stockholm, I learned that as a trick of their trade, florists know where everything is). The florist’s advice got me on the right track, but now all of my mapquest directions were in reverse, and I was being directed to turn down one way streets going the wrong direction.
I knew I was somewhere in the general vicinity of my destination, so I left my car in the first available parking garage. Now quite late, and flustered, I also left my gloves and my cell phone. Luckily, although the temperature was in the teens, the sun was shining and the streets were not wind tunnels. Again I relied on the goodness of the people of Boston to guide me. One young lady even walked two blocks with me.
I had also chosen the wrong footwear for a trek along the icy brick sidewalks. After precariously making my way to the correct address, I rang the bell only to discover it was the wrong street. I was still two blocks away. At this point, I really just wanted to lay down on the nearest snowbank and have myself a good cry.
When I finally got to the proper location, I was almost an hour late. And of course, they had been calling my cell phone, which was in my car. Oh me.
My friend Diane, who coincidently was also interviewed, answered the door. And then the cameraman and his son, both of whom I’ve worked with before, gave me a hug (the son, Cory, is a blossoming filmmaker as well; click here to go to his website). More introductions were made, a quick lunch was served, I caught my breath, and we were ready to roll.
It turned out to be a great experience. The producer asking the questions obviously cared a lot about the subject matter, having been touched personally by lung cancer on several fronts. The entire crew was wonderful. And when my segment concluded, the husband of the last woman to be interviewed gallantly walked me back to the garage (which turned out to be about eight blocks away).
But that’s not the end of the story. Tomorrow, part two.