January, 2008 Archives


Still Lost

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – They say it is life affirming when people ask what you would like for your birthday and they honor your requests. It is totally validating to have your needs and wants acknowledged. It’s something else when they totally ignore you.

Today, my friends, gave me a “surprise” luncheon. Months ago, I requested a small dignified outing with a “few” close friends. They invited everyone, even people I didn’t know. Some arrived wearing funeral attire. Now I ask you, where is the love?!?

LOST_Jan31.jpgI was equally clear about what I wanted tomorrow. I requested pizza, root beer, chocolate cake and sitting with my family to watch the first LOST episode of the season. I have been told that won’t be happening either.

When I was younger, I was always told that was the best part of growing older. When you reach the 50-year-milestone, they always said, you can finally do what you want, when you want and with whom you want.

Guess I must not really be 50, yet!

Or maybe I am living my own episode of “lost” in my own life. Either way, I do appreciate those who care enough to give me a call or send me a card, even if it is attached to a toilet seat night light!



by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — At my Aunt’s funeral, my cousin hugged my sisters and then extended his hand and introduced himself to me. I looked into his eyes to see if he was jesting but, no, he wasn’t. He really did not know me.

Sister Joan & Cousin Dev

He had prepared a video presentation of his mother’s life. Memories flooded back as did feelings of belonging to something more than myself. I belonged to a family. The pictures showed moments of long ago. Family dinners, outings, vacations, birthdays, holidays. We were all there sharing our lives with each other. To be certain, there were times of sorrow, but I always sensed if the need arose, then personal issues would be set aside and as a family, united, we would support and sustain one another.

I have now spent more time away from my family of origin than I spent with them. Those I once felt to be such an integral part of my life have become strangers to me. The unknown consequences of marrying a man from a different country and culture have become very known. My “family” continued on with their weekly get-togethers. No doubt, my name was occasionally brought up in conversation. “What is Pamela Jo up to now a days?” I became a distant relative that others needed to identify through family member tag.

Mother Bonnie, Cousin Sherri Ann, Sister Carrie, Sister Joan

Being the youngest of my generation, I often felt like the little pest. Occasionally I was humored and taken on car rides or allowed in the room when they “talked,” but mostly I tried to be invisible so I wouldn’t be asked to leave. In the end, I stopped trying to be a part. I left.

Once again, I understand that you can’t really have quality without quantity. I missed out on so many shared memories. I missed birthdays and weddings and funerals and daily celebrations of life, but so did they. We missed each other and in our shared grief and shared memories, we found each other once again.


Going Home

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – I was unsettled at work today. I edited a section and I believe it improved. Then I brought it into place in the section and realized I had forgotten the overall plan. After juggling it together, I finally released it to the finisher. She promises me she will fine tune the first four sections before Saturday. I told “the finisher” that I didn’t believe her. She laughed and told me that I was justified in not believing her. After all, she told me they would be proofed as a Christmas gift for me. Now, I know that I should have asked which Christmas! Most recently, she says for my birthday. This time I have asked for clarification! This birthday?

After editing, I went and assisted with set painting for the upcoming play (THE MUSIC MAN). Fun, fun, fun! The artist told me it would be as easy as painting by numbers. I did not see any numbers on the flat. Then, she told me to shade. ARTISTS! They think everyone knows where “shading” should be. I did try to stay in the lines. That is really hard for me! I’m an out-of-the-lines kind of gal!

Then a meeting with Ciera Jo. Finally I got to come home and so I could get ready for California. I get to spend 36 hours with my sisters. We are attending a funeral for our great Aunt Rosie. The reason for our gathering is sad but I am looking forward to it. I haven’t seen my cousins in 20 years! This should be interesting. I am taking my camera … just in case!

Unsettled still, but I am going home.


My Bucket List

by Pj in Film Production

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – Tonight we went to see THE BUCKET LIST. It was a fun movie. Lots of moments for personal reflection. What I noticed is that I kept looking at the edits. I kept trying to lose myself in the movie but I kept getting caught in the editing. So either I am becoming an edit nerd or the editing wasn’t done well. Surprisingly, I vote B! Given the footage they must have had, I thought the editing could have been better.

bucketlist.jpgAs we edit our movie, I realize that nobody will ever know or appreciate the limited choices we had in putting the film together. There were so many reaction shots we found before the scene officially began or after the director yelled “cut.” Our intention is that viewers watch the film and become so absorbed in the story that they do not notice the shots in and of themselves. I think we’re succeeding.

It is getting tighter and cleaner all the time. We are excited about the story and the reality of distributing it for others to see and experience. Kind of scary. Kind of wonderful. Kind of amazing! On my “bucket list” is finishing these films! Also on the list are three other movies: Anne and Mary, Pauline and Angelina. I’m not too sure about sky diving, but laughing until I cry needs to be on the weekly bucket list!


Sundance Blues

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – Sundance started yesterday. I am not there.pamBear.jpg Last year at this time, I was experiencing Sundance for the first time. It was an interesting experience. I had lived in Utah for several years when I was younger. Can’t beat the Utah snow! Visiting Utah as a filmmaker was a completely different experience.

I read as much as I can about what movies are being picked up. Who is up there promoting and who is up there being promoted. It is, after all, a business. With the writers strike, I have thought a lot about the current state of the industry. I would imagine that those who have independent films ready to be distributed are finding a more captive audience than in years past. Hey! That would be US! Cool.

It would be kind of cool to pop up to Park City for a couple of days for the producers seminar or a couple of documentary panels. Last year, it was quite an education as I listened to filmmakers firsthand and watched what was being produced. With the availability of information in the media, I don’t have to spend the money or time to get to Utah to get the scoop; but, I also don’t get to feel the energy, encouragement and inspiration from other filmmakers. It is always fun to hang with those who share your interests. Last year, I said I wasn’t going back until I have a film showing. So it seems that I am keeping my word. I need to just shut up!


It Is True

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – Do you have one of those days when you are on the go from the minute you wake up? I feel like my life has been like that for a year and a half. Yesterday, I realized I have a lot going on in my life and all I could do was get the most pressing thing done first before finding the next depressing thing.

It is true we are editing two films. It is true we have finished one screenplay and are in the middle of the second with two others begging for attention. hamster.jpgIt is true we are anxious as we come so close to finally finishing this project. It is true we are apprehensive in deciding who will distribute, who to trust, who to count on.

It is true my daughter has been cast in MUSIC MAN and I volunteered to be the set coordinator. It is true that I taxi her to practices, run around finding set pieces and go to meetings with “play people.” It is true I am learning the ropes and am becoming acutely aware of the differences between stage sets and movie sets. BIG differences!

It is true I am still trying to manage my home. Keep everyone’s clothes clean, have food in the fridge and the house semi-clean even with one bathroom under repair, one bathroom still being remodeled and let’s not forget about the leaky roof issue and back porch repair. We won’t even discuss the exterior paint needs or carpet issues!

It is true I am trying to keep track of my sons and their lives. I stop whatever I am doing to listen to their discussion of their day or night. It is true I am glad they share with me and it is true they drive me crazy with their teasing and tossing and tormenting, but it is true I enjoy them!

It is true I visit once a day with my college daughter and listen to her stories of being cold and missing home, but more than that, she misses me and I miss walking arm in arm knowing we walk the same and laugh the same and even, at times, think the same!

It is true. All of it. I am on the go, go, go. Someone get me off the treadmill before I fall flat on my face! Ooops too late! SPLAT!


The Cutting Room Floor

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — I spend most of my days editing. I try to get one section done every few days. Yesterday I was so pleased with my progress. cuttingroomfloor.jpgThe section I was working on was a scene where the actor actually repeated his lines pretty accurately take after take. Then I went to work today. In the morning, I like to review what I did the day before to inspire me and get me going. I was stunned with what I saw today. Yes, the dialogue was cut well, but I had failed to see the continuity in the actor’s wardrobe! He started with his suit coat buttoned and as the day and scene progressed his clothes became more and more casual, his coat went from buttoned to unbuttoned, his shirt went from smooth to wrinkled, his face grew more tired and the microphone wire was hanging out for all to see! For everyone except me! The editor. ARGHHHH. So, today, I started the same scene all over again.

What a waste! Or was it?

Filmmaking is so revelatory. You watch the characters and they become your friends. You begin to relate certain characteristics to people you know or even to yourself. You experience disappointment when your favorite character lets you down or does something that doesn’t work in the scene you’re trying to cut. You adjust and forgive their weakness because you have come to know them.

If only life were as easy as editing. If people do things you don’t like, you just cut out what is bad. You make the scene work the way you want it to work. You make the characters behave the way they should. If characters disappoint, you simply hide their mistakes. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same thing in real life that we do in reel life? Just leave the parts of life that don’t work on the cutting room floor.

But, today, I was reminded that filmmaking is like life. Yesterday’s solution became today’s mistake. No matter how hard you work at it, mistakes still happen. If I had it to do over, I might cut yesterday out but then I wouldn’t be as aware of continuity while editing tomorrow.

Waste? Not.


Turning 50

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – I am turning 50 this month. I have decided to spoil myself. I pjx.jpgwalked into the phone store and bought a phone. I picked one out I liked and bought it. I then went purse shopping and bought one of those as well. I am now looking for shoes. Most who know me realize how unique this spending spree really is.

Why did it take 50 years to figure out that I deserve a phone of my choice just as my children do? Why did it take me 50 years to justify buying a purse I wanted?! Not because I needed it, which I did, but because I wanted it. What a novel idea. To live like I count just as much as those I love and cherish count. I am learning to value me. I find when I value me, others do as well.

The other day Chris told me he wanted to buy a new racquet for racquetball. I told him I wanted one too. He told me he would get a new one and I could have his old one. I told him he could get a new one and so would I. He looked at me funny. Then he smiled.

My days of hand me downs are over. I’m turning 50 this month. I’ve decided to get me a gift this year, to value me. I like it. It fits just right.


Sense Sensitivity

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – Having the “boys” home presents some unique and unexpected situations. I woke up this morning with my usual winter headache. I attributed it to carbon monoxide poisoning. Not enough fresh, clean air! The heater is on too much. My throat is dry. I get up and, after a few hours, it clears up.

Today, though, I found some extra male bodies in my basement. Apparently we had a sleep over. Wow, that room needed to be Febreezed! I told them to clean up the mess as I left for editing, but when I came home at the end of the day, their pancake mess still lies in my sink and their body odor still lingers in the air.

This afternoon, I am being invaded by a different set of humans — the dweebs. They have the karaoke machine in full use. I think this will be a “late night.” Oh boy. At least the sweet aroma of perfume, hair spray and bubble gum will replace the boy smell. At least I hope the smell will dissipate.

I am not sure which is better, the smell of young men or the constant hum of girl chatter.

Good thing it is date night!


Road Less Traveled

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – Wistie called today and told me to blog. It is difficult for me to obey my daughter. It isn’t as if I don’t have anything to say, it is that I have TOO MUCH to say. My head swirls with ideas and thoughts and those darn FEELINGS! Sometimes, I think it was easier when my heart ached from being broken but, now, everything just feels strange (strange as in alien and unknown). How weird is that?!

I have been contemplating a new story idea. It would be best described as a mid-life tale. It might be more appropriately called the story of a mid-death crisis. My working title is Knight and Day. What do you think? Make you wonder? Hope so. It really is an idea that explores the concept that it is easier to live with regret than remorse. I have taken on a lot of new things in the past few years and had some amazing adventures. But, I have found that lifelong habits are hard to break because they are so familiar and predictable. As a human in mid-life, the scariest place to be is in the unknown.

trail.jpgI’m off to travel that road less traveled. The road less traveled is my path of choice. Following this path, it is certain that our paths will not cross because this trail is mine and mine alone. The trail has room for only one and it goes in one direction, forward. Works for me because then I don’t have to hurry or wait. I can just be. Hope you find your path and relish it. It is, after all, the only one you’ve got.

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