Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jack Ass ala Jake

Nori and I went for a hike and then I decided sledding would be much more fun so we came back with a sled and I went sledding off a cliff and somehow came away alive. But perhaps what is more impressive is that my camera survived the tumble.

As I realized that the drop off might be significant I debated whether I should bale. When I finally realized I really should bale it was too late and I was airborne. I let go of the sled and planned for the landing. Instead of letting fear defeat my self preservation skills I timed the landing, absorbed the fall by entering into an Aikido roll to come up standing. Yes, I guess that old Aikido roll I learned 17 years ago was practiced enough during that Steiner School Fifth Grade fad to have found a permanent place in my long term memory. As you can hear in the video I am exstatic and amazed at not being even remotely hurt. My knees, ankles, nothing. And I typicall have weak angles. I was expecting at best a twisted ankle and at worst... --well, thankfully I didn't get a chance to think that far ahead.

View from top of the cliff I sledded off.

Don't be a llama. Feed the llama.

The terrain was too steep and wooded for Nori to join me in my daredevil edneavors so she stood around and looked pretty and filmed.

But I wasn't done after that flying sled stunt. I sledded the whole way down what we hiked up, riding up banks and crashing periodically into trees when I wasn't able to make a turn. At the bottom I was going too fast to even turn let alone bale so I tried to go between the trees and was pretty certain I was gonna get clobbered good, but somehow managed to once again come through without injury. How many lives does this cat have? I felt extremely lucky. I was stupid but I kept my wits about me and that has made all the differenece.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Irridescent Candescence

The movie Allie did the production design for won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short. So we're all very proud of the little Hollywood bumpkin!

It takes all kinds to become a doctor... so do not prejudge. (now we're even puckshot)

Are we laughing or crying Maria?

A snowman!

Video of me going down the hill on cross country skis.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Answer to last weeks Puzzler.

Well, it snowed again Thursday night cancelling my one evening class that meets once a week: Philosophy of Self and Identity.

And now the answer to last week's puzzler. I'm sure you've all been going crazy wondering what the answer was. But in case you forgot...

The Puzzler:

The Answer:

A cat's life is not so hard.

Vlad the Impaler. Don't be so Impish Ben.

Random Pic of the day. err... night. Unidentified Flying Object. I'm afraid the Aliens have landed.

Schneedel Weiss

Hark! Who goes there!? Mysterious footprints in the snow. Oh, wait, those are ours.

Nori contemplates going for a dip.

The lonely hut on the hill.

Umm... so this is the kind of job you end up doing if you drop out of shcool? Good thing I went back to shcool.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dan creates blog

So Dan thinks he can one up me, does he? He thinks he can steal all my glory, eh? He thinks his photographic artistry and high falutin' humor is any match to my sophisticated wit and innate photographic talent? Well I have news for you buster, nobody replaces the one and only Intrepid Dr. Root's blog. Nobody. You think by becoming a real doctor you're gonna somehow be better than me now? Your blog will automatically be endowed with some sort of superiority and will be better than mine? Is that it? Everything is a competition with you, isn't it. Well, we'll just see about that. We'll just see whose blog comes out on top.

Here are some pics I lifted from Dan's newly created blog because I was jealous that he was able to get better shots than I. I mean, we were both on the same hike, weren't we? So why didn't I get the same shots? I mean for real!!

Oohhh... snow squall the next day.

Maria can't believe I fell asleep on the job....

Jason models one of his shawls he brought back from India. There's no wrong way to wear a Kashmiri shawl.

Shawnee and Bryan had mom and I over for dinner. Here Shawnee is with their new dog Cashmere. Actually, the real name is Niko (sp?) but mom thought Cashmere was a more suitable name. Soft little pluppetywup.

A snowdrift looms ominously. Okay... so it doesn't really loom ominously. I mean, it's not like I half expected it to attack me, but I thought it looked cool, okay?

Allie in the Eagle!

On the Cover page no less. Congradulations little big sis! Nice going Shawnee on the article write up.

EGREMONT — When Alethea Root settled in Los Angeles with her degree in theater and directing, she supported herself cleaning houses and working as a clown.

On this year's Oscar night on Sunday, Root could find herself in the spotlight, with friends back home cheering her on.

After four years of building her professional portfolio, the Egremont native has found her work is paying off.

Root, now a film-production designer creating movie sets in Hollywood, is on the team for a film that's been nominated for an Academy Award for best live-action short film. The film is up against four others in the category.

The short musical comedy, "West Bank Story," directed and co-written by Ari Sandel, tells the story of competing falafel stands — "Kosher King" and "Hummus Hut" — in Israel. The tale focuses on a young couple, each working at the opposing falafel joints, who are secretly in love with each other.

Creating a scene to represent the Middle East on a tight budget was a "huge undertaking, but not impossible," said Root, in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

Her challenge as production designer was creating the set in
Click Here!
the Southern California hills that resembled the West Bank.

With a small crew, she built two falafel stands from the ground up.

"The director was very specific," said Root. "We worked 24-hour days for six days with a one-month prep time."

The brutal schedule is not uncommon in the film industry, said Root, who is 28.

The Oscar nomination is a significant milestone, and she plans to keep moving in the industry.

"It gives me clout and it looks good on the résumé, but I'm still holding out for my own Oscar," she said.

Her dream is to direct her own films, and she hopes this will bring her a step closer.

She is a freelance production designer, collaborating with the directors on putting together meticulous sets for each scene.

During the last four years, she's worked on low-budget feature films, dozens of student films, commercials and music videos. She's now working on a script for a film she hopes to direct.

In the Berkshires, Root is known for other achievements such as helping found Railroad Street Youth Project, a youth advocacy organization based in Great Barrington.

A Monument Mountain Regional High School graduate, Root also worked for local theaters, directing productions with area young people.

She enjoyed working with teens to "give them a creative outlet," she said.

» At a glance ...

Academy Award nominees for 'best live-action short film': 'Binta and the Great Idea,' 'Éramos Pocos (One Too Many),' 'Helmer & Son,' 'The Saviour' and 'West Bank Story.'

* The 79th Annual Academy Awards airs on ABC at 8 p.m., Sunday. For live coverage of the awards by Laura Marshall, The Eagle's TV blogger, tune in to starting at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Julianne Boyd, artistic director of Barrington Stage Company, remembers working with Root on the play "Suburbia," about at-risk youths.

"She had such a sparkling personality and a real love for life," said Boyd. "She needed only a little encouragement to go for it. She had a great sense of confidence that she could accomplish something."

» About the film ...

Althea Root

'West Bank Story' is a musical comedy about David, an Israeli soldier, and Fatima, a Palestinian fast food cashier — an unlikely couple who fall in love amid the animosity of their families' dueling falafel stands in the West Bank.

Tensions mount when the Kosher King's new pastry machine juts onto Hummus Hut property. The Palestinians ruin the machine, and the Israelis respond by building a wall between the two eating establishments.

The couple professes their love for each other, triggering a chain of events that destroys both restaurants and forces all to find common ground in an effort to rebuild, planting a seed of hope.

— From

Root got a degree in theater and directing from Bennington (Vt.) College and then to set her goal on Hollywood.

She moved to Los Angeles with little money, and slept on friends' couches for the first couple of months, until saving enough to get her own place.

"I was basically homeless for six months, staying with friends," she said.

"The film industry demands you build up a résumé and clientele, so I worked for free on many projects and supported myself by working as a clown and cleaning houses," she said. "Now I can turn down work, and that's a nice position to be in."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bash Bish Falls: The Icecapade (highspeed internet highly recommended)

Some random pics before we get to the main event of this blog:
The brook on Mt. Washington Rd. after the Valentine's day snowstorm.

After 30 years of Lifesharing John decides it's time to learn how to weave.

Dan suits up for the big trek up the creek to the falls.

So don't even think about it.

Two intrepid trailblazers hiked up the brook instead of along the trail to reach Bash Bish Falls. Will they succeed without violating the posted sign?

We have not come alone.


Special Unit Dan.

You need someone special with you on such an expedition.

I like this photo because it's hard to tell the scale....

Dan leaps the gap.


Maybe this is not such a good idea.

Dan just doesn't quite have it in him to finish writing his name in the snow.

The Intrepid Dr. Root crosses very carefully.

Dan finds an alternate route.


More signs of instability

The way is marred with ice and snow. But the intrepid mountaineers are not girliemen and press onwards.

Special Unit Dan celebrates a succesfful negotaition of the challenge.

An elf photographs himself after collapseing through the ice.

After a minor scare of breaking through the ice, the team reaches the falls, but the adventure does not end here....

The pair attempt to climb to the top of the falls.

Above the falls.

The not so intrepid elf hopes the ice will not break through into the deep cold pool below. He keeps as close to the rock wall as possible. Unfortunately the pictures here do not do justice the clear and present danger.

Almost there.

On top of Bash Bish Falls

We'll walk back by the road.

The trees basking in the glow of the day's last rays.

Apparently there was a house on fire on Route 23 near the Egremont Country Club.

Well that was about all the excitement I could handle for one day.

Every once in awhile we have a special little ditty on the blog. Some kind of riddle or trivia or somesuch. Well, the first person to explain what is causing the hologram in this photograph will get adulation and praise from yours truly. And honestly, no flat screen tv or cash prize could be as great a reward.