Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Friday, August 17, 2007

T Minus 17 Days: Exhaustion, Inebriation, Edification & Elation

Hey folks

It's my one day off this week... I've been working like a dog all week on various Munin projects (check the Pages link for some new web sites I've put together) and rehearsing for Lady Wasteland which starts shooting next week. Just about every waking hour has been spent on the phone, in front of the computer, or on the road.

This is pretty much my one day off. I should by helping Trish and our friend Jackson work out in the front yard (as I mentioned in my last post, Trish is completely renovating the front of the house), but instead I'm relaxing in the back yard with some coffee, my laptop, and a little music streaming over our home network (getting over the exhaustion, you know...)

As much as this week was dedicated to all the work I have to get done before we take off to Europe, some fun stuff happened...

First the inebriation... As most of you know, we've been working with a financial advisor named Andy Pollack for the past few years. He's helped us get a solid financial footing, guided us through a few major real estate transactions, and generally get ourselves a firm financial footing for the years ahead (if you haven't gotten it yet, I'd strongly recommend his services to anyone).

There are other benefits to working with Andy... a few times every year he organizes little social events for his clients. Now, from a completely mercenary standpoint, these events help him stay in business... his clients get to re-connect with him in a non-stressful financially-oriented environment, and if his clients whould happen to bring some guests who might be in need of financial advice... well, he won't turn that down either.

That being said, Andy's little outings are a blast. He does vineyard tours, dinners at fancy restaurants, and all kinds of fun stuff. Trish and my wacky theatrical schedule usually precludes us participating in these events, much to his chagrin. He contacted us a couple of weeks ago to tell us that his latest outing would be a tour of Portland microbreweries on the Portland Brew Bus. I technically had that night off, but I really shouldn't have gone out. I had way too much work to do... Trish prodded me to take the night off, though. She wasn't up to going on the tour (her stomach doesn't deal with alchohol too well), but she thought it'd be good for me.

And hey, I am in training for Europe. Europeans drink a hell of a lot of wine and beer in their daily lives... so, I figured I need to get my liver in shape. Don't want to be an "ugly American" complaining that I can't drink the water, right?

Well, the evening was a lot more beer-soaked than I expected... we left Andy's office at around 6pm and didn't get back until 11pm. In the intervening time, we visited four micro-breweries (including the Bridgeport Brewery, which we got to tour) and drank a whole HELL of a lot of beer. Andy actually had to sit with me in his office parking lot after we got back so I could sober up enough to drive.

The Brew Bus tour is a blast, though. The guide, Rich, is a really interesting guy; he's written a couple of books on Oregon History and even worked for Carter administration in the seventies. He's got a wealth of knowledge about Portland and beer history that he shares on the bus in between breweries... and of course, he has really good taste in beer. I'd really recommend it to anyone who's interested in beer, Portland history, or just going out and having a good time exploring our little town.

A couple of the many things I learned on the tour:

  • Portland has the most breweries of any city in the world.
  • Portland had the longest continually operating commercial brewery in the United States. The Henry Wienhard brewery had that honor until Miller bough the company a few years back.
  • The origins of the name India Pale Ale have been a subject of conversation for many years... the cellarmaster at the Bridgeport Brewery finally told me where it comes from. When the British were colonizing India they gave their soldiers a beer ration. The barrels of beer would spoil, however, when they were sent by ship to India. So, British brewers changed their pale ale formula to include more hops (a preservative), to keep the beer fresh on the trip over. Hence India Pale Ale, which uses that same hoppy formula.
  • The Bridgeport Brewery is the oldest microbrewery in Portland. The tour fas fascinating... they rent their building in Northwest Portland, and were forced by new ordinances to either leave or bring it up to new earthquake codes. They chose to shut down operations for 14 months to make the changes to their building (which dates back to 1885), losing that revenue and on their own dime.
  • They're also a completely green, self-sustaining operation. Everything there gets recycled, including the water. They have an on-site water treatment plant, and they recycle all their grains into baked goods.
  • The equivelent of 10 glasses of craft-bewed beer really messes Harold up :)

On Thursday, Trish and I went to the screening for my 48 Hour Film Competition entry. We were both really tired, but it was very edifying (eh? EH? I can get all those six dollar words from the title in... you just watch me!) to see the results of all the hard work the crew put in over the weekend (I would say "I put in..." but really, my part was a fraction of the work the rest of the team put in. I was done with my bit after about seven hours - Scott and the rest of the crew had to keep on pushing to get the film edited, scored, and finished).

The crowd at the Hollywood Theater was huge - keep in mind that my film was in the fourth group screened for audiences. While a lot of people in the audience had films in the competition, many were just interested moviegoers who wanted to see the scope of what local filmmakers could do in the span of 48 hours.

Secret Identity Crisis, the film I was in, was screened first because the team didn't get it in by the 7pm deadline on Sunday (Scott almost made it, but he had some problems with getting the finished film exported to a DVD). It was a hoot - my part in the film is pretty small (I get saved by the Superhero "Solarman,"), but it was fun to see myself in the campy role of "Innocent Bystander 2." The other actors did a great job filling their roles... and honestly, of the films we saw, ours was one of the better ones.

Of course, Trish and I didn't make it through the whole showing. We were both exhausted from the week up-til then. We really started to droop about half-way through, and decided it'd be better to just go home rather than fall asleep in our seats. It was quite the experience, though... from the shooting to the showing. I got to meet and work with some great people - and I hope I get to bump into them again on-set.

If you didn't see the film, you might try to go by the Hollywood Theatre on Thursday. They're having a "Best of Portland" show that night. I don't know if my film is going to be in the showing (and I'll be shooting Lady Wasteland out in the wilds of Oregon, so I can't go), but it'll be worth going to see the films that do make it. Also, some time in the near future the film is going to posted on, the 48 Hour Film Project's new web site. Check it out in a month or so... and you can see me in all my goofy glory.

Finally, we got some great news on Friday (you might say we were... elated? Eh? EH???). Our travel agent sent us an email saying that the bed and breakfast we'd wanted to stay in while in Italy just wasn't getting back to us. She gave us some other options, and in about 24 hours the hotel we picked from her new list confirmed our reservation. So, everything's set for the trip... other than the packing and other stuff we have to do on our end to get ready. Now that we've got eveything confirmed, I'll try to post the whole itenerary in the next couple of days.

So, that's what's been going on with us... I think I'm going to stay mellow for the rest of the day. Maybe take a little visit to Azaeroth, go for a ride... might as well enjoy my day off while it's here.

Hope you're all doing well... I'll post more soon.