but the next one is substituting at a local high school, and it leaves me with an open schedule. so when the casting call came out for a movie to be shot in new mexico soon, i signed up for it. i had to drive all the way down to el paso, in the desert, to get to this place where they were signing everyone up for the cast. they hauled in probably four or five volunteers, all willing to work as extras in the movie horse soldiers, set in afghanistan before 9-11. that's literally all i know about it, but it was interesting to come into contact with hollywood, such as it is, the eastern branch, centered in albuquerque, of course. they came out this way because the dry mountains are out this way. they agreed to get a hold of me when they were ready to shoot.
back to the grind, i found my e-mail backed up, papers to grade, a semester ending. i promptly got sick. it was overwhelming. the good news was, i was next to a wood stove, cooking away, and my wife was not only feeding the stove, but also making some chicken noodle soup. the kids are out of school for a week. everyone's hanging around. a dog and three cats downstairs with the teenager, two dogs up here, but one of the cats, the one-eyed cat, is moving up because the dog was threatening her down there, and my wife, who has a good eye on them and developing trouble, wanted to save her life. it's ok. we have a mouse up here now, so we need her to catch it. the one-eyed cat is quite good at that. she'll be warmer too.
the new job is down the front side of the mountain, a six-thousand foot drop that takes twenty minutes and features a large cactus, sitting there, growing right out of a rock. it doesn't appear to have any dirt at all to grow roots in, but the heck of it is, you can't quite see it because you can't stop. right at that spot in the road, there's no curb on the right; the mountain rises right from the road. the cliff falls from the left down in the valley. the cactus shines in the sun, especially in the afternoon, when the sun is going down way over the organs and brings the light off the white sands. in the morning as you're shooting down toward it, the sun is behind you and catches it there too. either way, it's wild. big honking purple cactus in the sun, standing on a rock.
the dry mountains are very attractive to those albuquerque filmmakers these days; they're all excited about the movie. they come out here; they try to find extras; they pay them, and they have top movie stars working on these things.
the teenager got a new pokemon game and now he is more oblivious than ever before, although it appears that he still eats, and exists, and he still goes to school. he was here for that last sentence; i spoke it right into the blog.
of all the things i do, grade papers, travel around, play music, write books, that idea of being an extra in a real movie really got into the imaginations of the kids. they were like WOW. we're going to tell all our friends! of course it wasn't huge news in this area. in fact one of their friends took the day off school, went down to el paso, and signed up herself. do they need a ten-year-old? she'll find out.
i thought i looked a little afghani, shaggy, fierce, wild eyebrows, and i sent them a picture accordingly. no telling what will happen though. the fact is, i'm a little overweight, and afghanis tend in the other direction. i've been eating a little too much good cookin'.