Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Keith Olbermann - The New Edward R. Murrow We've Been Begging For

Hey folks

We've been complaining for years about the corporate media's lap-dog acceptance of the Bush Administration's PR-Spin, and asking what's happened to the great journalists and commentators that helped us survive McCarthy and Nixon. If you've been watching MSNBC, you've probably noticed that one man in today's TV News world has stepped up to take that standard - Keith Olbermann on his program "The Countdown With Keith Olbermann."

Check out the video from last night's show where Olbermann's comments on Rumsfeld calling critics of the Administration and the Iraq war "fascism appeasers." I felt like I was watching Good Night and Good Luck all over again (even if Olbermann, at the end of his commentary, dismisses the Murrow comparison).

Want To Be In A Test Audience?

Hey folks

Do you Portland-dwellers want to be in one of those movie "test audiences" you keep hearing about (you know, the ones that help the filmmakers determine how the final cut of a film should look)?

I received this yesterday from Raymond Steers, the director of Sum Of The Parts, the feature I shot this summer:

Hello All-

There is a high possibility that McMenamins will let us use the MissionTheater to hold a private screening for "Sum of the Parts".

Mission Theater

1624 N.W. Glisan

Portland, OR 97209

The films running time is currently 2 hours long and therefore to makethis happen the theater will need to have at least 30 people there inthe hope that at least a few of them will buy a beer or two.

This will be a rough cut of the film with a questionnaire to be filledout if attendees would be so kind. I need to get an objective idea aboutwhat to adjust before we begin film festival submissions.

Please be aware that this is an "R" rated film. If you are squeamishabout violence or uptight about sex don't attend.

McMenamins is telling me that around 2pm is the time they can work with.The more people we can get there (please invite your friends!) the morechance that we can get the showing moved from a weekday afternoon (hardto attend i know) to a weekend.

Now, I'm going to own-up to the nerves I'm feeling at the prospect of people seeing what I've done in this film... but by the same token, I think that Ray can use some outside perspective to help him craft the final cut of the film.

So... are you interested in seeing the movie and filling out a questionnaire? If so, send me a message at letting me know what days and times in September would be best. I'll forward it on to Ray and he'll put together the final showing.

Hope I see you there (I'll be hiding in the back trying not to look at how awful I am on the screen).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Busy Busy Busy... and Gonna Be A Whole Lot Busier!

Hey gang

Remember when I had the time to liesurely post about funny little things I'd found on the internet? My outrage at the current state of the world? Random thoughts and philosophy?

Yeah, me neither... but it seems like there was a time when I wasn't so freakin' busy; a time when I did more than just post updates about what's been going in in Trish and my life. I think that time existed... somewhere way back when...

Anyhoo, here's the 411 on what's happening with us lately:

- My brother James' wedding over the weekend was lovely. He and his wife Laurie got married at a sculpture garden in Bellingham that we'd never been to, called "Big Rock Garden of Art." The park in this little out-of-the-way corner near Lake Whatcom, and it's got an amazing variety of sculpture scattered around tree-covered trails. Made for a lovely Saturday afternoon - James and Laurie looked great, we got to meet Laurie's dad and sister, the ceremony was very nice, and we got to wander around and look at very cool sculpture afterward. Score on the location, James... if you guys are ever up in Bellingham, WA, be sure to check that place out.

I posted the photos I took at the wedding online. Click here to take a look.

- Trish and I have both been cast in new gigs... See? I told you in the title that we were going to be even busier. Trish got a phone call last night telling her that she's been cast in ART's upcoming holiday production of Inspecting Carol. A very funny play at one of the city's more prestigious theatres - she's pretty damned stoked! Of course, this means that she'll go into rehearsals immediately after opening The Witches at Northwest Children's Theatre, and our trip to see our friend Marnice in Maui is going to have to be put on hold... but still! It's a great opportunity for her to work on a hilarious show at one of the best theatres in Portland. Lachiam!

I also got word late Monday night that I've been cast in a short film my friend Chris Herman is directing, called L.E.A.D. produced by the Art Institute of Portland (yeah, that's right, it's a student film. No pay, but it's another credit, something for the "reel" I'm in the process of building, and a chance to work with some great people). It's a futuristic film noir centered around a burned out drug-inforcement officer who's chasing the distributor of a new, nano-tech based drug. I'm going to be playing the officer's partner. The film will have a premier at the Hollywood Theatre here in Portland... I'll let you know when it's going to be shown to the public.

- Rehearsals for Jingle Spree, which opens in October at the CoHo Theatre in Northwest Portland, are going well. We've been doing "table work" over the past couple of weeks; drilling the lines so we're solid on them before we start to actually block the show in September. There has been one little wrinkle, though... one of our cast members had to drop out last night, so we're going to have to bring in someone new and integrate her into the cast. It's a bit of a shake-up, but we've got plenty of time before we open.

- I had my first can of "Energy Drink" on Friday as we were heading up to Bellingham for James and Laurie's wedding. I knew I needed something to keep me up for the drive, and the AMPM that we stopped at in Woodland, WA didn't have any coffee-based drinks, so I broke down and bought a Monster Energy Drink instead. BLEAUGH!!!!!! I won't be doing that again... it tasted like an over-sweetened, bubble gum flavored urinal cake (and no, I haven't tasted a urinal cake for reference. I've just smelled them, and this crap tasted like they smell. Urgh!!). I'm not going to be indulging in one of THOSE again... but hey, at least I didn't drink a Rockstar drink. As Trish reminded me at the store, that company is owned by Michael Savage's son and heavily endorsed by him on his neo-fascist radio show. No thanks... I'd prefer not to give that bastard any money, even if it is side-ways in terms of sales figures.

- My parents got a new dog while we were up visiting... a young pug, heavily muscled pug that I jokingly started calling Arnold (and of course, I had to "make him talk" in Herr Schwartzenegger's voice). He's a great dog, very friendly and loving as pugs are wont to be.

- I'm getting closer to actually having a web site at but the area that's really tripping me up is the biography page. I know, everyone hates to write these things... but there's got to be a way to "sell myelf" in my biography without makingme sound like a completely conceited, narcisistic jerk. I'll keep working on it... sigh... you can see my temporary "working site" by clicking here.

Ok, that's the word on what's going on with Trish and I at this point in our crazy lives... I've got to hit the road and get to work! Hope you're all doing well...


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Too Much Time In Hospitals

Hey folks

Been a bit since we updated you... as the title would seem to suggest, Trish and I have been spending some time in the local krankenhauses of late. More on that later, though.

I mentioned in our last post that Trish and I were preparing a garage sale for the first weekend of August... well, we had the sale, but it wasn't all that successful. You know, when my parents took me to garage sales as a kid, I remember hordes of people picking through boxes and looking through piles of clothes to find something cool to take home. Seems that's not today's garage sale culture. We had maybe 20 people show up, and they didn't really look that close. They kind of breezed by, glanced at the tables we'd set up, and then walked away. Very few of them paused to look closely at all.

In the end, it was a pretty lame day. We probably made about $60, and had plenty of stuff left over. Most of that stuff ended up going to Good Will (we wanted to give someone a chance to use the stuff that was usable), and some of it will go up on EBay (when I get around to it).

We broke down the garage sale at around 7:00, and after a quick dinner at our favorite restaurant (Tina's Corner at 122nd and - ironically enough - Harold St. here in Portland), I had to hit the sack so I could get up at 2 and drive to Ridgefield, WA for my final scene in Dark Horizon the next morning. The film crew had arranged to block off a street in Ridgefield, and we had to start shooting the moment the sun came up so they could have their town back :).

The shoot went pretty well - Nick had originally planned on renting a crane for the shoot which would have added a couple of hours to the day, as it was maneuvered to the proper areas of the street for each set-up. They opted against the crane, however, and had the camera man stand on top of a camper that was much easier to move. Similar shot, and much less trouble. We were done by about 8am (much earlier than expected), and I actually got to spend some time with Trish and Pete.

Our friend Beth came down to stay with us on Wednesday. She was attending a CME here in Portland (she's a physical therapist, as well as a very talented actress), and we got a chance to hang with her for a few days while she was here. Her husband Walter came down to join her Saturday night, and they stayed through Tuesday morning. It was truly wonderful to be able to spend so much time with them (we usually see them in "drive-by" visits; we'll stay the evening with them in Seattle on the way to or from my parents place in Custer, Wa... or they'll manage to get a weekend down here. Still, there's only so much you can do with that little time).

Beth and I were pretty-much stuck with each other during the evenings, though, as Trish was in her final rehearsals for the staged reading of Hamlet she was in. We saw a preview performance on Thursday - Trish was, as you might expect, wonderful in the role of Gertrude the queen of Denmark. The play itself was an interesting mix of Shakespeare's Hamlet (the one you've seen before), and some material from other sources (such as the "Bad Quarto"). An interesting treatment of the play by playwright/ director Connor Kerns: in this version the story of Hamlet is told to the audience by Hamlet's friend and confidant Horatio (played by James Lawrence), who "reads" the story from Hamlet's diary, and in some cases "adds" to Hamlet's diary from his own recollections.

Walter, Beth, Trish and I had a nice Sunday and Monday together, though, after Hamlet's final performance Saturday night. Which brings us to the subject of this post... how did we end up in our separate hospitals?

Tuesday morning, as Beth and Walter were preparing to leave, we had some people from 1 800 Got Junk out to the house to take away the rest of the trash that we'd cleaned out of the garage in preparation for the garage sale. Since they were there, we figured we'd have them haul a bunch of trash out by our garden shed that the previous owners of the house had left when they moved out (three years ago). As I was helping the (very nice and friendly) haulers move some of that debris, I came across a pile of old bottles that had been hidden under a pile of wood. When I picked up those bottles, though, I got a surprise - one of them was a pesticide container that leaked all over my hand.

I washed my hand and thought I was ok (except for a strange burning sensation where I'd touched the bottle), but when we went to Tina's for breakfast after the junk guys had left, I had no appetite. Things got worse mid-way through the meal... I started to feel a little nauseous. There was nothing to do but visit the local ER and get checked out.

As it turns out, the stuff I was exposed to is pretty innocuous. If I'd been repeatedly exposed to it, I might be looking at long-term problems (makes you feel for the guys working out in the fields who ARE exposed to this stuff on a daily basis). They told me I should expect to feel a little sick for the rest of the day, but that I'd be ok by the next day.

And I was... which was good timing, as Trish had carpal tunel surgery scheduled for Wednesday. So, just as I was recovering from my exposure I had to drive her into the VA Medical Center to have her hand whacked on. It was a surprisingly short procedure - the surgery was scheduled for 9:30am, and she was back in recovery by 10:15am. She's sitting in the living room right now, her right hand all bandaged up... she's not feeling too bad, though there is some pain.

We're glad that she's not feeling too badly, because we have to go up to Bellingham, WA on Saturday for my brother's wedding. It'll be another go-go weekend for us.... but I'll tell you more about that later. In the mean time, I'd better get to work. Hope you're all doing well...


Friday, August 04, 2006

My Wife Is A Witch!!

No, not really... Actually she's a Grand-Ma-Ma. But come on... when else am I going to get a chance to say that in public?

Trish got a lovely bit of news this week... you may remember from my last post that we both auditioned for Northwest Childrens Theatre's upcoming production of Roald Dahl's The Witches. I didn't get cast, but Trish did... as Grand Mama, one of the female leads! The show opens on October 6th, so be sure to put it on your calendars. She's, of course, going to be wonderful, and the script is a lot of fun (hopefully opening night won't be shut down by picketing Wikkens. Oh, wait! Maybe it'd be better if it was - that kind of action certainly didn't hurt the Last Temptation of Christ, The Passion of The Christ or The Davinci Code. Hmmmm... attention NWCT Marketing Department...)

Lets see... what else has been going on?

We had our first set of rehearsals for Jingle Spree last week. This is going to be a very interesting process. It's a new play, which means the playwright is going to keep making revisions as time goes on (though he's in New York awaiting the birth of his second child, so he won't be present at rehearsals). The director, Lorraine Bahr, is in Minnesota and won't be coming back to Portland until two weeks before we open. So... the members of the cast are going to get together for a couple of weeks in August and September to rehearse on our own, and we'll be keeping the director informed of our process via email (Lauren, our stage manager, may videotape the rehearsals a couple of times and send Lorraine the tape... we'll see what happens there). Then, when Lorraine gets back to town, we'll have two weeks of VERY intense rehearsal before our opening on October 13. Like I say... it'll be interesting.

I'm shooting the rest of my scene in Nick Hagen's upcoming feature Dark Horizon (the name has been changed from The Lonely Apocolypse) on Sunday morning at 4am. Ah, the glamor of film work! Nick and crew will have a street in Ridgefiled, WA blocked off for the shoot, so we're starting as soon as it gets light and shooting until about 10am (so the town can have their street back as people start coming back from church). It'll be an interesting shoot... I'll be drinking lots of coffee.

Our focus for the next couple of days is going to be our garage sale tomorrow (9 - 6... come on by. You never know what's you might be able to use...). Trish has worked her butt off over the past couple of weeks cleaning out our garage (and I helped a little... but she really did the bulk of the work). We've got most of the stuff sorted out, so today we're going to pick up some tables from a party rental place, tonight we'll put price tags on the merchandise, and tomorrow we'll be sitting in our driveway hoping someone comes by. Come and keep us company! Whatever doesn't sell gets sent to Goodwill.

Pete is still playing shows at Why Not Wine in the Montavilla neighborhood. He'll be playing every Friday night in August and September - pop on by and have a glass while you listen to him. He's also going to be playing at Montavilla's 100th anniversary celebration, and he scored a gig opening for the Oregon Symphony in Harrison Park on August 26th. It's a free concert - stop on by if you have the afternoon free. He'll be playing at around 3:15pm.

Have I mentioned how awesome Netflix is? I'm sure by now you know how it works... you sign up for a mere $15 a month (or so), and they send you movies through the mail. You build a list of movies you want to see on their web site, and after you send one back they immediately pop another one in the mail to you. One of the best things about the service is that they have a wide variety of films... including films that you might have heard mumbles about when they were first out, but never bothered to go see and would actively look for in a video store. It's easy to get around to watching them with Netflix, though... you just add them to your list and they arrive in the mail. A good example is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a film we watched last night. This is a total "sleeper" that most people missed when it was running in theatres. Written and directed by Shane Black (The Shield, Lethal Weapon) and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, this movie is a truly underapreciated gem. I liked it so much I actually wrote a review of it on the Netflix page... check it out.

In the land of music, Pete returned from a trip to Seattle the other day carrying a CD by Michael Franti and Spearhead. I liked it so much I put their song Revolution on my MySpace profile. It's good stuff.

If you want to completely lose two minutes of your life, you can watch this horrible David Hasslehoff video on YouTube. I could say something about pathetic past-their-prime TV stars clinginging vainly to their past success... but hey, the video makes any snarky comment that would come out of my mouth academic. It takes care of that quite nicely. Thanks so much to Monseur Stephen Colbert for letting us all know about it... where would we be without his journalistic excellend?

I think that's it... oh, I've almost got to the point where I can take the current "temporary" page off and launch the full site. If you want to see a preview of how it's shaping up, click here.

Okee doke... gotta go get my hair trimmed so it looks like it did during my last day's shooting of Dark Horizon. Hope you're all doing well...