With fingernails that shine like justice...

and a voice that is dark like tinted glass, she is fast, thorough and sharp as a tack. She is touring the facility and picking up slack...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The past few days.....


Around one o'clock, Arne and Shane (the doc guys) came to the house to interview Blaine. They were here for more than FOUR hours.

Immediately, Arne was a master at putting Blaine at ease. You'd never know that a kid that can play in front of hundreds of people might have a hard time talking, one on one, but she does. He just started talking to her...not "interviewing"at all.

First, they had her give a tour of our house(all 1400 sq. feet!). That only took about 30 seconds. Then they toured/filmed her room and all its nooks and crannies...taking close-ups of her books and her monkey collection. Then, setting her up with a mic, put her at the foot of the bed for some Q & A.

At first, I hung around...standing in the doorway, watching, listening. Then I started noticing that when she was unsure of an answer, she'd look to me. So after that, I made myself scarce by folding clothes(yeah, right) in the bedroom. I could still hear, but she couldn't see me.

Pulling a conversation out of Blaine is an art, a process...a long one. She is given to short, one word answers and shoulder shrugs. Her comfort level has to be fairly high before she lets loose with her true personality and quirky sense of humor. It was agonizing to watch, at first. I thought for sure they would give up, pack up and leave. But they persevered.

Arne has had lots of practice over the past few months talking to preteen girls. He is now quite adept at it. He finally got her on a roll, talking about her favorite kinds of books and authors. After that, everything else seemed to flow. They even got her to pick up her guitar and strum a little, which is a MIRACLE...she won't even let us listen to her practice!

After spending some time in her room chatting, they asked for a tour of the backyard. She had mentioned the trampoline earlier.

She gave them a tour. First, pointing out my lack of gardening skills and giggling. Then showing them our huge cherry tree, that she likes to climb. Then...the trampoline. They took some footage of her jumping and doing tricks. She seemed quite happy to show off for the camera.

Then they brought the show inside. Arne took a small handheld video camera out of his bag and explained, to Blaine, how to use it. After a short lesson, and some practice, he sent her on her way....told her to tape whatever she wanted in her room, outside, whatever. Told her to they would call her back when they were done talking to Mom. She took the camera and with a big grin, was already taping the animals as she walked down the hall to her room. I can't wait to see what she taped!

I figured this was when they would tell me more about the project, have me sign releases, and whatnot....

I was wrong. They wanted to interview me, too.

After putting the mic on and telling me to look at Arne, not the camera, we started. Arne talked about the project. He told me that they had played the BookWorms song on the radio. How friggin cool is that?! They asked me how we found out about camp, where we stay when we go, what kind of music do we listen to, was I musical as a kid....etc...

After a few questions, it came easily and was more like talking over coffee....Until they asked what I thought camp does for girls....

I started out okay.

"Camp empowers these girls...gives them a place to freely express themselves. They learn how to be strong women in a male dominated field. It teaches them to accept themselves and other girls AS THEY ARE....."

Then, I started to cry....DAMNIT....

"Camp teaches girls HOW TO TREAT OTHER GIRLS....teaches them that "mean girls" and the cruelty they inflict can be carried on throughout a girl's life, and that it has lasting effects...."

I asked them to stop. They were welling up, also. I was assured that I wasn't the first, and that when they started this project, they had no idea what kind of impact Camp had on girls and parents....or that it would have such an impact on them.

What started out as a film about a really cool and unusual camp for girls, had turned into a document of the empowerment and cathartic experience these girls have while attending Camp.

After drying my tears, and feeling sort of embarrassed, we finished up. About this time Hubs arrived home from work. They had us sign all the applicable forms and releases. They took some final footage of Blaine reading, stretched out on the trampoline. Then packed up all their gear and headed out to the car. We followed them out, chatting about ferry schedules and the easiest way for them to get back to the other side...

Shane never really stopped taping, the camera was like just another appendage...a part of him. While out in the driveway, he pointed the camera at the back of our Ramcharger. Its covered with stickers saying "My kid is an honor student at Punk Rock High", "Start young, Play loud!" and (my favorite) "I played the loudest at Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls!"

While waiting for Shane to finish his final shots, I looked down at the grass and saw a four leaf clover...with leaves so big, it took up my entire palm! I presented it to Arne, wishing them luck, and telling them we'd see them in a couple weeks at Camp...

We then got into our cars and gave them an escort to the ferry dock(its easier than explaining how to get there)...honked our goodbyes, and they were off...

Blaine was drained and elated, flush with her brief encounter as a celebrity. I told her to get used to it....a rock star's life is hard.

We went out to dinner to celebrate and discuss the day. Blaine seemed very nonchalant about the whole affair, but I could tell she was bubbling inside.


We woke up not really knowing what was going to happen that day. The weather was kind of shitty, and we had originally cleared the day for the interview. We were wide open to just about anything. Blaine suggested the Cultural Festival at the International District in Seattle...we had previously ruled it out because of thr interview schedule, but now were free to go.

After an excellent breakfast, made by Hubs, we were on our way. We caught the 10:00 ferry over.

After arriving, the parking gods smiled down on us, we found a spot really close to the event. For only SIX bucks! Thats CHEAP around here, folks! We locked up the car and headed out, toward the wonderful smells and sounds.

We shopped and wandered around for a couple of hours, checking out all the booths. Blaine played some games and got a crapload(thats a HUGE amount) of freebies...candies, posters, books and toys. We were having a blast. We decide to go to Uwajimaya grocery for lunch, and do some more shopping there. Whenever we are in the area, we like to go there for White Rabbit candy and rice candy. The rice candy has a prize, like Cracker Jacks. Both are delicious asian confections with rice paper wrapping that is wonderfully edible.

We were on our way back to the Festival, to see the Taiko drums, when Blaine complained of a headache. We kept walking, but she said it was getting worse....so we ended up back at the car. We decide to go home. It had been a pretty full day, anyway.

We got home late in the afternoon. Blaine seemed to be doing better, no longer complaining of a headache. I figured whatever it was that made her feel bad had passed.

A couple hours later, the phone rang and it was Arne, asking if they could come back for more . After conferring with Blaine, we said "Sure!" and plans were made for the following day....


8:00, Blaine awakens with a throat so sore she can hardly talk. She has a fever of 101...She feels like crap.

I call Arne with bad news and apologies.

Blaine is kinda pissy when ill, no matter how much Tylenol she's given. Shes one of those kids that doesn't like to be cuddled/coddled when sick....shes more like an injured animal that will bite if you approach. She wants to be left ALONE. Its not happening today.

He is quite gracious and instintively asks, "Is this really a sore throat, or is Blaine nervous, not wanting to do this?" Knowing how little girls are, I'm not offended, because that could very well be the case, if not for the fever. I tell him I will call him back...

After talking to Blaine, Hubs and I are reassured that the attention shes getting is okay with her. We let her know that she doesn't have to do this if she doesn't want to. And that she can say NO anytime. We don't want her to feel like she has to do this to please us. After some eyerolls and some and "you're so stupid" noises, we knew everything was okay.

I called Arne back, let him know that she REALLY was feeling ill, and that she still wants, very much, to continue with the project....that we will just have to do so, at camp, in a couple of weeks.

That pretty much sums up the past few days...quite an ride!

Blaine is starting to feel a bit better, more like herself, today...Tomorrow, if Blaine is up for it, Mozzy(thats my mom) wants to take us to see March of the Penguins. Blaine has been dying to see it.