Monday, November 29, 2010

"Ellen Feeds off Your Energy"

I am simultaneously exhausted and ecstatic. Literally dragging my feet on air (if that's possible). I just got home from one of the longest and yet most amazing days of my life. Thanks to our friend Nicky being a total flake (which is why we love you!), I got to go to a live taping of the Ellen Degeneres show with my partner in crime (and by crime I mean obsessively quoting How I Met Your Mother among other things), Kelly Bean.

The queen of all things delightful!

I haven't watched the show very much to be honest. I'm not usually around during the day, and if I am, I haven't had even basic network television for almost two years now. But I love Ellen with all my heart and soul. She is a goddess. I worship at the altar of her witty yet relatively clean standup ("Gloria Estefan is the copper plumbing of the music industry!"). Her performance as Dory made Finding Nemo one of the few computer animated I absolutely adore. And of course there's her courage, kindness, and all around kick-assness that cannot be denied. Naturally I was so there it was insane. Not to mention I am a film geek and will look for any chance even to be in the same vicinity as the people who make movies and television. I would have been happy just to sit in the parking lot (which we did a lot of today...).

After waking up absurdly early to beat the surprisingly non-existent traffic to the Valley, I picked up Kelly Bean and headed out to Burbank towards the Promised Land (aka Warner Brothers). It was tough, with Kelly's bitch of a GPS guide (not so lovingly named Karen), mumbling orders seconds before they had to be executed, but we made it there before 9 am. We got our tickets, 287 and 288, and prepared to sit for 5 or 6 hours until the show started. Luckily the nice, perky show wrangler Kathryn (who looks startlingly like Rachel from Glee), told us we could skedaddle until check-in at 1:30pm. So we returned to Studio City to watch Arrested Development and eat pasta salad. Riveting, I know.

Later, we headed back to Warner Brothers where Abercrombie Chad, the nice, cute, possibly gay wrangler helped us to get checked in. Meanwhile I grilled the security guard (who went to film school like me) how he liked working for the WB. Always networking, that's my occasional motto. Kelly and I played Crazy 8s and Go Fish with the tiny cards I always keep with me for just such occasions, while hoards upon hoards of people arrived. We got to see a few episodes of Ellen while we waited, which was ever so pleasant, and heightened the anticipation of seeing the Great One in the flesh. But as time wore on and announcements were made, it became clear that we might not actually get into the taping. They overbook the show like crazy, so most standby ticketholders end up watching the show from the aptly named Riff Raff Room.

Since awesome things like this rarely work out for me, I assumed that we would end up among the Riff Raff. I hate getting my hopes up just to be disappointed. "I bet they cut it off right in front of us," I wagered to Kelly Bean. I bet her the enormous sum of $3, which of course she now owes me. Yes. I was the very first person in line in the Riff Raff Room. We started the process before 9 in the morning, and here it was 2 in the afternoon and we weren't going to get in, despite Kathryn/Glee Rachel playing with our hopes. When the seats had all been filled, she looked at me and said "We have room for one more." Seriously? Well Kelly was the whole reason I was there, I couldn't just abandon her because I'd arbitrarily grabbed 287 and not 288. So she called for a single rider and someone else took the very last spot in the Cathedral of Degeneres.

While some mediocre comedian warmed up the crowd in the next room, Kathryn attempted to console the unwashed, unchosen masses with a raffle. Oooh lord knows I'd take a good raffle over meeting one of my idols any day of the week. But sure enough she called out '287,' obviously unaware that I never win anything. Part of me thinks she took pity on me being first in line and rigged it. But in any case, the winners were led into a corner to claim our prize. Which turned out to be "12 tickets." At least that's what I heard. I had no idea what that meant. Like twelve tickets to twelve different shows? Cool, I guess, but some of us (ideally) have work. But all the shrieking middle aged, big haired ladies informed us that she meant the "Twelve Days of Christmas" series of the Ellen Show. Apparently the first couple weeks of Christmas, Ellen gives everyone in the audience thousands of dollars worth of gifts. FUCK YES!! (Though I just know something is going to come up that will prevent me from getting my gifts and actually seeing the show being taped.)

At last it was time for the show to start. Eva Mendes was first. Eh. Then Flo Rida performed "Club Can't Even Handle Me" completely off-key but that song is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. And it was awesome when he removed his comically oversized gold glitter bling necklace and bestowed it upon a lucky audience member. All this we watched from the next room by the Ellen gift shop, close enough to hear the audience clapping, laughing, hooting, uproariously. Kind of depressing, even though I scored with the Twelve Days tickets.

The last guest on the show was Mindy Kaling, who is another one of my idols. We didn't know who the guests were going to be until we got there, and I think I was the only one ridiculously stoked about her. For those not aware, Mindy is Kelly Kapoor from the Office, but she also happens to be one of the main writers (the genius who created Jim and Pam's epic wedding episodes), as well as an executive producer. Plus I follow her twitter and she is hi-larious! Mindy even has the honor of being mentioned in my inaugural Sporadic Sporkitudes blog. That's how much I adore her. Sadly, her segment wasn't terribly good, but she is still one of my role models.
Mindy along with fellow
writer/producer BJ (tee hee) Novak

During one of the commercial breaks, the lights turned up in the Riff Raff Room. Kathryn made everyone stand and turn towards the main staircase. Everyone was buzzing, "She's coming! She's coming! Oh my god, she's coming!" Which sounds kind of foreboding, but as I saw a shadow coming down the hall, I knew it was her. Ellen came down the stairs, not six feet from me, smiling and waving to the peasant folk below. She was so beautiful, with her brilliant blue eyes sparkling, and her smile genuine and gracious. Sort of like a lesbian Grace Kelly. Even if I hadn't won the raffle, that moment right there would have been worth the hours of waiting on the drafty parking lot bench area, and the disappointment of just barely missing the Cathedral.

The show was ending, and Kelly and I bolted to the door to beat the traffic of Ellen-sheep. But Kathryn halted us. There was more? Sometimes they film segments from different shows when they can and SURPRISE! Ben Affleck was there! Kathryn pulled me aside and said they had one seat to fill. I looked at Kelly, then asked, "It's only this segment, right?" So I headed up the stairs, totally pumping my fist the whole way. I got lost at first, but then they led me to a seat in the second row! I was in heaven. There was the set, the cameras, the real audience, everything! I tried to take it all in, but was overwhelmed.


Ellen came out in a new outfit, and introduced Ben Affleck. My 7th grade self was delighted to observe that in real life Ben is super tall (a particular fetish of mine), with super nice teeth, just as studly as he is in the movies. (Now that he's starting to take himself and his work more seriously, I can respect him again.) So I got to be an audience member for about 15 minutes. I thought it would be awesome to dance around and get my groove on. But let me tell you, it was AWKWARD. Especially since I was all by myself, kinda tired, and slightly self-conscious that I looked kind of rumpled with greasy long-day face (after I had applied my make up so carefully and selected the perfect outfit for my television debut). The comedian kept making us clap and shout way longer than was natural, and it was hard. Woe is me!

Catch Ellen's show on Wednesday to try and find me during the Ben Affleck segment. I'm sure I looked awesome. Even more awesome about getting to watch this small part, was that I got to win the stuff Ellen gave away! The Riff Raff Room does not get presents, it turns out. But I was entitled to a Flo Rida CD (woo?) and a $100 gift card to Victoria Secret. Personally, I'd rather just have $100. I'm not big on the frilly things, and I'm too big to actually wear anything from there. So I gave it to Kelly Bean so she wouldn't hate me as much for getting to see the set. Fair tradeoff? Sort of? Well she's my guest for the Twelve Day's show, so we'll both score then, hopefully. (I want a new tv, a laptop, and a pony Ellen!). They called me right when I got home today and we are scheduled for December 14th. Even without the gifts, I'll just be stoked to see a whole show. It is such a high, even though this is is really only the second live taping I've seen in my life. The first being a sitcom pilot that never got picked up though I enjoyed it immensely.

What else could explain her
youthful appearance and demeanor?

Sorry this is such a Russian novel, but one of the funniest things I noted was the oft-repeated wrangler phrase, "Ellen feeds off your energy." Meaning, dance, cheer, clap, etc. But the way they said it made it seem like Ellen is some kind of demon who literally feeds on your soul. The more you applaud, the stronger she grows. Soon she'll be UNSTOPPABLE! Why else do you think she dances so much? But if any one person has to take over the world, I'm glad it's going to be Ellen. But I am utterly exhausted, so I think she really did drain my energy and use it to stay so young at heart...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Joy of Blogging: Julie & Julia

I just finished re-watching the movie "Julie & Julia" after finishing the book by Julie Powell in the last 2 days. I had bought the book for my mother last Christmas, but didn't even think about reading it myself until my persistent sister-in-law practically shoved it down my throat. I liked the movie well enough. Amy Adams may be the most adorable creature on the planet now that Meg Ryan's face has slowly been shifting like fleshy tectonic plates. And Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep. But I watched it on a four inch screen en route to Australia, so my mind wasn't really on the film. (I was imagining all the gorgeous, tall, tanned, sexy accent speaking man candies that awaited me Down Under.)

Wow, this picture is big. But aren't they just fabulous?

I do remember thinking about Julie and her blog upon this first viewing. I've always been curious as to how cooking can possibly be interesting enough to blog about. There are countless cooking blogs out there, Julie's being one of the most famous. But how exciting can it be to describe melting butter and burning stew? The answer is, not very. But after devouring Julie and Julia (the book, not the people. If I had to go cannibal, I'd probably go for Ben & Jerry first), I humbly apologize for my judgmental and narrow-minded thinking. For one thing, just because I don't give two shits about cooking, it doesn't mean there isn't a vast and varied audience who thrill over the latest kitchen appliance or method to zest a lemon. But I reached a more important realization as I raced through the pages, laughing hysterically, tearing up a bit, and relating to this 30 year old married woman obsessed with butter (not a butter fan, myself, if I can see the fat I'm consuming, I'm not interested) and Julia Child (a pop culture icon that I am familiar with, but never really glommed onto). It doesn't matter what you write about, as long as you have a passion for it and a unique voice.

The thing I loved most about Julie's book was how she captured the joy of blogging. Putting bits of your soul out into the universe and just hoping that someone will spare a few minutes to humor your narcissistic ramblings. Obsessively checking pageviews. That thrill when you get your first appreciative comment from a total stranger. The validation that you aren't completely wasting your time. Having something to look forward to even if you don't have a lot going on in your life. Maybe your job isn't as satisfying as you always dreamed it should be. Maybe you have problems with family or friends or significant others. Just knowing that you can lose yourself in a seemingly pointless yet oh-so-satisfying blog eases that frustration immensely. And reading other bloggers you've stumbled upon and developing friendships via the beloved comment section, that's just awesome.

Good on you, Julie Powell. Livin' the dream.

Like Julie Powell, I have a hard time following through. As with most bloggers, I fancy myself a writer. But I rarely finish things if I start them at all. I have such ADD that I can only focus long enough to spit out a couple paragraphs about Stan, karaoke, or my running toilet. At least Julie stuck with a running theme and did it for an entire year. Now she has a book published, another one on the way, and a movie roughly based on her life with the most adorable creature playing herself. It's the dream. I was stoked that I just made it over the $10 mark on my ads (meaning hopefully I'll get a check and take myself out to Subway like I promised myself I would). I like that I write about different things every time. Keeps the bit from getting stale (one hopes). It just means that Amy Adams will never play me in a movie based on my life. If anyone plays me it would probably be Phyllis from the Office.

This is more my destiny.

So the long-winded point I've been trying to make is that even if you don't care about cooking or Julia Child, read this book, then watch the movie. I personally find cooking boring, time-consuming, tedious, too much work when you can just zap a frozen burrito, and causes an excess of dishes, my least favorite chore. Like baseball, if it's not any fun to do, how can it be fun to watch and/or read about? But Julie has such an effervescent yet down-to-earth voice. I can just hear her breaking down over a ruined roast chicken, or chattering excitedly about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of the few interests we actually share). I now plan on tracking down her blog and seeing if it's just as good as the book. Blogging gave her a sense of purpose, a "regimen" as she calls it. An exercise in writing, and in sharing your passions with the world. Or the few people kind enough to stop by. So this has given me renewed inspiration, especially since it was hard to keep up my work out while lounging about at home in front of the fire, playing with cute babies. Bonus.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Rant

I have been attempting so far to blog every day, but being home when there are so many fun things to do and awesome people to see (including meeting my four month old niece Sadie for the first time, yay!), it's kind of hard to even check my facebook once a day, much less keep up with a stringent blogging schedule. When I get back to L.A. I will try to maintain with my original goal. Anyway, on to the ranting.

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I love it more than Halloween (which I actually hate because it requires too much effort, I am terrified of haunted houses, and I can never think of good costumes). I love it more than Easter (when you're too old for egg hunts and usually don't even bother going home, and are vehemently non-religious, it's kind of pointless other than eating festive candy like Cadbury eggs...mmm... what was I talking about?). I even love it more than Christmas (too stressful, expensive, and on some level always disappointing after it's over no matter how awesome it was).

I love the parade. It's cheesy, ridiculous, and often boring, but I love it. We usually put up our Christmas decorations while watching it, as my mom starts cooking and the whole house smells fantastic. I love the fall foliage in Foresthill that I so rarely see in Southern California. I love going to eat literally hundreds of pies at my grandma's or aunt's house that evening. It's a holiday soley devoted to food and family, two of my all-time favorite things. Plus it's an excuse for me to see most of my old friends who come home to stuff their faces as well. Not to mention leftovers. Thanksgiving to me is magical.

Don't blame this delicious turkey for our
jackass ancestors. He already died so that you might feast.

So why am I ranting? Because there's always that one person at dinner who brings up the Native Americans. What we did to them was real shitty. There is no denying that. But lots of great civilizations have sordid histories. It's terrible, but true. Our ancestors did it to their ancestors. No one alive today has been directly affected by those atrocities. I am not trying to justify or belittle their pain and suffering. All I am saying is, do we really have to bring it up EVERY SINGLE YEAR? It's like the one guy who always mentions 'tryptophan.' You're not revealing some startling new fact. We all know this. Can we just sit around the table, say what we are grateful for, eat our fucking delicious turkey, and not have our already formidable white guilt turn the meal that Mom worked so hard for sour in our bulging bellies?

With Facebook, this awful tradition has become global and therefore has increased exponentially. By updating your status with something about Native Americans, it doesn't make you seem intelligent and sensitive. It makes you a Debbie Downer. So please enjoy the day off from work, appreciate that you are not a culture that was shamelessly oppressed by another, and have another piece of pumpkin pie. And for that matter, anyone else who makes the oh-so-witty and original observation that Americans are gluttonous and mindless consumers should also be slapped.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Snow Can Suck It

I hate snow. I hate it more than the Lakers, more than grammatical errors online, more than Asian food of any kind. And that's a lot. It's fun when you're a kid, and you can spend hours making giant snowballs named Big Bob Pataki (true story), or make four-foot deep snow angels during freak snowstorms. It's pretty if you get to stay home and watch it turn the world around you into a magical, sparkly wonderland. But if you have somewhere to go, or someone is coming to visit, snow turns into this dark, dangerous, diabolical entity disguised as a natural phenomenon. It turns a normally blissful twenty-minute drive on the beautiful pine-tree covered Foresthill Road into an exercise in terror. Especially if you drive a car like Stan who has only one sad headlight that does little to illuminate the pitch black forest from which deer, raccoons, and other creatures could sprint out at any second.

The 450ish mile trip from L.A. to my tiny hometown halfway between Sacramento and Reno went fantastically, if only because one of my best friends, Kelly-Bean hitched a ride with me. We jibber-jabbered like lady chickens, rocking out to my cheesy girl power playlist (Pat B., Kelly C., Aretha, and the Spice Girls mostly), planning our future weddings like the super girlie girls we so aren't. So even though it was dark and raining most of the way, the hours seemed to fly by, driving into the abyss. But once I dropped Kelly off at her house, I immediately started to panic. My mom had called to warn me that it was snowing on the Hill. I could have crashed (bad choice of words) at Kelly's, which probably would have been smart. But you know how it is when you just want to get where you're going and sleep in your own bed. So I forged on into the wilderness.

Luckily the roads weren't icy and treacherous yet, but there was a half-inch of snow and Stan does not carry chains. I had to drop my speed from the 55mph limit to about 30, but eventually made it home alive. I just had to trust that Stan would deliver me home safely to my mommy, and he came through big time. I could barely see a thing between the one headlight and the thick snow flying at me, reminding me of Star Wars light speed. It's been a long time since I've driven in the snow (having lived in So-Cal for the past five years), but I forgot how cool that aspect is. I was pretty much driving blind, but imagining that I was co-captain of the Millennium Falcon alongside Han Solo helped with the fear. Yep. Major nerd moment, but at least I survived.

So now that I'm back in Foresthill for Thanksgiving, I've decided to make a list of everything I like about being home:

1. TV!!! I actually get to watch television! What a concept! Specifically, What Not to Wear, which is my biggest guilty pleasure and one of the few shows I love that I can't watch online (believe me, I've tried) And it's on a screen that is actually bigger than my laptop unlike my own TV.

2. My dog, Jesus (don't be offended, I named him that because he's gentle, loyal and friendly and protects us from burglars, bears, and squirrels and loves everyone unconditionally)

3. My cats, Piccolo and Peter. Though they can be little bitches sometimes. Like most cats I suppose.

4. This probably shouldn't be this low, but seeing my family, obviously. Especially my baby nephew Ayvind who is pretty much the cutest little boy alive. I have proof.

5. My dad gives Stan a check-up to make sure everything is all right. Currently the back windows are stuck open which isn't a problem in balmy L.A., but when it's snowing outside, that's probably not a good thing.

6. Foresthill really is beautiful. It's a crappy town to live in, with an extremely sparse population of rednecks (imagine all Southern stereotypes without the accent), and an even sparser (?) selection of food and entertainment venues. But with the trees and the canyons and rivers, and wildlife, it's what a lot of people would call paradise. Not me. But you know, if you like that sort of thing.

7. While there is never any food in my parents' house, there is a current pool and hot tub in the renovated garage with a tv so you can swim and watch movies at the same time. Sweeeeeet.

8. Getting to see old friends, going out to breakfast at Awful Annies, Waffle Barn, or 2AM sausage and applesauce at Denny's (keep your fancy restaurants, give me Denny's any time)

9. Playing a real piano. Especially since I have to practice my solo of Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" for the Sally Tomatoes winter concert. Ack! I must apologize to Rufus in advance.

10. This might sound really trivial, but the water here is frickin' delicious. Especially if you suffer from the floater-ridden off-clear murky suspect crap they pass of as H2O in L.A. I was dying of thirst the whole way home, but a) I don't believe in paying for water if I can help it. And b) I look forward to a glass of ice cold, crystal clear mountain spring tap water whenever I make the trip up to Nor-Cal.

In short, Foresthill is the kind of town you can't wait to leave, but love to come home to. As long as it's not bloody snowing.

UPDATE: Naturally as soon as I finished this post, the power went out all night which was just difficult and annoying. It is awfully pretty outside and today I'm going to the Mandarin (as in oranges not Chinese) Festival. I just hope Stan will forgive me for having the windows open and subjecting him to this frightful weather.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sally Tomatoes out on the Town

I have managed to stave off the boredom of unemployment for a few days now, celebrating my freedom instead of lamenting it. Friday night I set aside my deep abiding hatred for all things that end in 'z' when they should end in 's' and hit up Popstarz (shudder) night at the Factory in West Hollywood. This marked the second time the Sally Tomatoes have painted the town in our own special shade of red (the first being our kickass karaoke excursion last month). And WeHo will never be the same.

As with any time I ever try to leave my house, I got lost on the way to pick up two of my friends, Eric and Michelle. I'm probably the only person who gets consistently lost even when I've been to the destination several times before. It was around ten when we finally pulled into the valet parking lot. Normally I'm against valet parking, and paying to park in general when it can be avoided. But in West Hollywood, you can waste half the night hunting for street parking, and then the other half walking to and from the club (in painful shoes no less). So I bit the bullet and handed over my baby to the valet guys, uncertain that they would understand how to operate a delicate automobile like Stan.

We finally entered the Factory, a hip gay club off of La Peer, 20 minutes later. Not because we had to stand in line with hoards of other sequined revelers. But because we couldn't find the damn thing. Seriously. There were at least three clubs that shared the same building. We asked at Ultra Suede and some cool nameless club with a red carpet (which I thought might be the Factory, but Eric was scared of the intimidating black folks outside and insisted that that wasn't it. Sidebar, Eric happens to be black. I'm more ghetto than he is.) So we wandered around the building, going through some sketch looking alley and another parking lot and finally found our Popstarz night.

The Factory

The organizer of our get-together had the foresight to have us sign up to be on the guest list so we could get in for free. God knows I love free. And the fruity delicious drinks like my pomegranate cosmo were only three bucks! Now this was my kinda place! (Most other clubs/bars in WeHo and LA in general are so outrageously expensive, that I tend to stay at home and mix my own vodka tonics). Armed with our pink cocktails, dangly earrings, and sparkly shoes, the Sallys (plus Eric) hit the dance floor. Normally I'm not a big fan of pop top 40 kind of music. I'd much rather listen to Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphy's, or classic CCR, etc.. But Popstarz night means they bring back all our old favorites from middle school. So there we were, eight twenty-something grown women (plus Eric), rocking out to Britney, the Spice Girls, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Destiny's Child. That's my idea of a party. And naturally because we're all choir geeks, we were singing our little hearts out, the lyrics still memorized from ten years before.

Sounds of my childhood.

Serious nostalgia, combined with deceptively strong cosmos, and the wild abandon that accompanies dancing at a gay club where you don't have to feel self-conscious or impress anyone, made for one stellar evening. Whenever a song came on that we weren't a fan of, we'd run over to the second dance floor to hear more contemporary girlie anthems from Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson. Later on, we even braved the raised platform and performed our best 90s moves (including the Running Man and the Humpty Hump) for the crowd of adoring gays and the girls that love them. Sadly though, I brought it so hard that I think I pulled something in my knee. I rocked out so hard I injured myself. The very definition of go big or go home. So I had to take it easy the rest of the night.

Promoting the new Cher/Christina Aguilera film "Burlesque" to the only audience who will appreciate it, was the group Barbie's Addiction. I didn't catch her name, but the drag queen in Ke$ha garb with wicked lip liner issues, owned her lip synch number of Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World." She pranced about surrounded by adorable, scantily-clad boy gogo dancers who seemed to worship the ground she strutted on. One of the gogo boys was especially mesmerizing. Wearing only what could be described as 'man panties,' this guy was a vision in spandex. He moved with a ballet dancer's grace and a stripper's sensibility. We think he might have been half-asian and half-black, which made him strikingly beautiful and exotic looking. Whenever he was onstage, the crowd could look at no one else. He seemed to be so lost in the music that you just wanted to lose yourself right along with him.

As the magical night wore on, however, things started to go downhill a bit. It's my theory that the club kind of wants you to leave as it gets closer and closer to 2am, the Cinderella hour. The music starts to get even more generic. The sweaty, stinky sensation from dancing hard for hours on end becomes unbearable. The crowd becomes suffocating as people push and shove their way past you with their full, icy drinks perilously perched in their unstable grasp. I can't dance if I don't have space. That's why it was so fun at the beginning. The Sallys dominated the floor, inspiring the wallflowers to join us in our revelry. But when you're packed in so tightly that you can barely move (and it hurts to move if you have a hurt knee), it's no longer fun. Not to mention, I usually go to bed around 9:30 and it was past 1am. I finally dragged Eric and Michelle away from the floor to go pick up my car from the valet.

Exhausted, in pain, freezing, hungry, and in all other ways crankypants, we limped back to the parking podium. But no, you can't pick up your car where you dropped it off. So we had to walk what felt like two excruciating blocks to the pickup station. Waiting in line in the cold, we saw a group of girls stumbling towards their car. The driver was a girl who was probably my size (read, not small) in a dress so short, her vajajay was completely hanging out. Seriously. She was wearing underwear, thank god, but we were scandalized. Women of any size should not be walking around with their junk out in the open, but this was just wrong. If you don't even notice that you're feeling a bit too free and breezy, chances are you aren't sober enough to drive. But she got into the car and drove away. We wanted to tell someone, but what can you say? Open vajajay isn't strictly proof of inebriation (at least not in this town). So we were glad that it took forever to get Stan back, just for safety's sake.

This is more my style.

I dropped off Eric and Michelle and headed back home to South Central. I was terrified that I was going to get pulled over for my busted headlight again. Unlike vaj-girl, I was completely sober, having danced all of the effects of my cosmo out hours before. But I made it back sans-fix-it ticket and all was well. So even though it started and ended kind of rocky, Popstarz night was a resounding success. Normally I'm not a big fan of clubbing. I'd much rather spend the evening as I did on Saturday, hanging out with my friends, playing rock band and holding a Freaks and Geeks marathon. But with the free entry, cheap drinks, and infectious (the good kind) atmosphere, I'd definitely hit up Popstarz again. Just leave early and beware of exposed vagina.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unemployment the Sequel

Today marks day one of my auspicious return to unemployment. After working the last twelve days straight, it's nice to finally have a break. Six hours of relaxing in my pjs, watching Buffy, and eating chocolate in bed. Sounds like heaven, but already I'm bored and feeling discouraged. I've been dutifully checking job listings, updating my resume, and making a list of anyone I've ever known who might know of a job somewhere in the entertainment field (excluding the porn industry, though if it comes to it I think I could whip out a pretty solid adult script that doesn't sacrifice story or production value).

Before Edward, Bill, and Eric, there was Angel...

However I don't know if I have it in me to do this again. Unemployment just sucks the soul out of you. It takes all the joy out of lounging around, doing nothing. Usually this is my favorite thing to do (or not do rather). But the best thing about doing nothing is that you're doing it in place of something you're supposed to be doing instead. If you have nothing better to do, then it gets old fast. Hopefully this break from the work force will allow me to be more creative. I got to work on a lot of scripts last time around, so maybe it will be a good thing. Though I'm not so good with time management if I have no structure in my life.

One of my favorite things, a good Irish pub.
O'Brien's in Santa Monica is a damn good one.

If I have to be unemployed, I'm glad my last job ended with a bang. Between the awesome Irish pub night, stacks of free candy, amazing co-workers, and general satisfaction of doing a job I enjoy, this was a fantastic experience. Our big blowout wrap party was last night. Though it may have seemed like a typical schmooze and booze (I call trademark), a lot more was going on than just drinking absurdly pink cocktails and eating fancy schmancy hors-d'oeuvres. There was a palpable aura of relief in the air after a hectic two weeks of long days, several disgruntled and often unintelligent guests, sprinting towards the finish line. It was bittersweet, finally getting to bond with many people I never got to talk to even though we worked side by side for weeks. Good times were had, good contacts were made, musical sitcoms about a great pumpkin-sized tape ball we named Janice were conceived.

Meet Janice, forged from the tape that kept all the
cables and electrical wires in place so klutzes like me won't trip.

It was a fantastic night on the rooftop of Santa Monica place. But I'm sad to think I may not see some of those people again. It was kind of like the end of camp. Maybe we'll all be back next year, but many of us are looking for something just as awesome, but a little more permanent. So that takes us back to today. And massive amounts of Buffy while I wait for a phone call or e-mail from Lionsgate or NBC that will probably never come. Sigh. But at least we'll always have Santa Monica...

The lovely ladies of the Registration Department.
I'm the one whose face matches her shirt. Victim of Caucasian Glow.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kickass Women in Film

Today I was fortunate enough to break away from mountains of paperwork to attend an incredible seminar entitled "The Chick Flick Grows Up," programmed by the organization Women in Film. I'd been looking forward to this conference ever since I found out that the panel would include the writer/directors of some of my favorite films: Karen McCullah (10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blond, She's the Man), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are Alright, which I plan to see ASAP, Laurel Canyon), and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees). I was stoked just to be in the same room as these ladies. They could have talked about navel lint and Panamanian tadpoles and I would have been enthralled. But in an hour and a half, they covered some fairly major issues. Here comes the obligatory list:

Karen McCullah Lutz

1. What is a 'chick flick?' Does the term "ghettoize/marginalize" the creators and/or audience of female-driven content? (Yes they used the word 'ghettoize' than once. It made me giggle.)

2. Why are so many female-centric films still directed by men? Television has a much greater proportion of female directors; why has film yet to catch up? Kathryn Bigelow and the Hurt Locker. How a female director transcended her gender to win Best Picture.

3. Ageism in the media. There are so few actresses over forty who can get a project greenlit right away, if they can get cast at all.

4. Why is a female-written R-rated romantic comedy like the Ugly Truth (penned by McCullah) derided in reviews as "obscene" when Judd Apatow's films are praised for their vulgarity. (I'm not saying the Ugly Truth is as good as Knocked Up. But it does make you wonder why male writers/directors/actors can get away with with swearing like sailors and minds in the gutter, but it's inappropriate for women to be raunchy.)

5. The concept of "likeability." Impossible to define and even harder to create consistently. Prince-Bythewood told an anecdote about how studio executives didn't think Sanaa Latham was likeable enough because she wasn't smiling in the majority of the first week of dailies (most of the scenes were heavily dramatic). They were also perplexed by why she didn't seem to enjoy losing her virginity in a pivotal scene. The women in the audience had a good laugh at that one. She was chided for being too realistic.

Gina Prince-Bythewood

6. MPAA ratings and how they affect the final draft of the script. The House Bunny was supposed to be R rated. It was about a Playboy model, for god's sake. But in order to capitalize on McCullah's Legally Blonde audience, they had to tone down the naughty humor. Sacrificing tone for mainstream appeal.

7. Why everyone loves scripts by Prince-Bythewood and Cholodenko, but no one will pay for them. High quality movies that they want to see get made, but aren't willing to risk millions of dollars on primarily black casts (that haven't played well internationally), or cause controversy by addressing the subject of homosexuality in a family context.

8. How casting is often decided by a formula that determines a star's 'international worth,' rather than who is best for the role.

9. What it means to compromise during the marketing campaign and let the experts get butts in the seats. It may not always be what you want, but if it gets people to see your movie, you have to pick your battles.

10. Paying respect to male characters in female-centric movies (as opposed to the arc-less, shrew girlfriends in most male-driven fare)

Any one of those topics could make for fantastic feminist/film research papers, but I'm not willing to delve deeper for a silly little blog. If any of them strike your interest, feel free to discuss in the comments. And now for some sound bites (they may not be exact quotes, but I think I got the spirit of them):

"Men are often surprised at how funny 'Legally Blonde' is." -McCullah on the subtle sexism of lowered expectations.

"No one ever thought of it as a black book. It was just a book." -Prince-Bythewood on 'The Secret Life of Bees.'

"Don't limit yourself when writing. Let them worry about the budget." -McCullah

"It's all about the way you feel when you leave the theater." -Prince-Bythewood on why no one thought Slumdog Millionaire would ever find an audience with no stars.

"Your film's gotta have great laughs or great sex. Something that really gets the heart beating." -Cholodenko on advice she was given by male studio execs.

"Dear ____, I"m so sorry about your tiny penis." -McCullah in response to a critic who didn't appreciate the line about Joey Donner's tiny dick in 10 Things.

"Once you label yourself as something, others will label you as well." -Prince-Bythewood, on being an African-American woman who refuses to pigeonhole the stories she wants to tell.

Lisa Cholodenko

Overall it was an inspiration just to share oxygen with women who have overcome discrimination of all kinds to achieve both critical acclaim and commercial success. They were insightful and hilarious (especially Karen McCullah. I now regret dissing the Ugly Truth. It was a cute movie that took place in my under-appreciated hometown of Sacramento). The experience reignited my easily vanquished desire to write. It gave me hope that I might one day sit on that very panel and inspire some other lazy girl with a blog and a dream. It was also fun to see three women who may share an occupation and a role in reversing the marginalization of women in the film industry, but have nothing else in common and clearly can't stand each other.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Puppy Snuggles

A lot of the time I'm pretty much Little Miss Doom and Gloom. But today is unequivocally awesome. So I think I shall revel in this euphoric feeling before it passes and I return to regularly scheduled whining. Yes, I'm at work on a Sunday, and have worked every one of the last 8 days. But I honestly love my job and will genuinely miss it when it's over next week. (And not just because unemployment sucks). I think the reason today rocks so much is because it was supposed to be INSANE. But here are the reasons why I'm full of sunshine, lollipops, and puppy snuggles today:

This is me today.

1. Daylight Savings Time. I got a fantastic night's sleep thanks to good ol' DST. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. And because it's Sunday, there was no traffic. At all. It took me less than 15 minutes to get here. If you've experienced L.A. traffic, you know what a HUGE deal that is.

2. My car, Stan, doesn't smell quite as bad as he did yesterday, so things are looking up after that fiasco.

3. Though I had no caffeine in my system, I was absolutely wired when I got to work. Like seriously, I had to reign in the impulse to perform an impromptu floor show set to a mash-up of the Hawaii 5-O theme song and Fuck You by Cee-Lo Green (the medley running through my head at a squirrel's pace and pitch). I so rarely feel naturally energetic and it was glorious.

4. I got to work in the registration room at work. Which does not sound remotely interesting or fun. Today was supposed to be our busiest, most hectic, most scream-at-each other's-incompetence day. But everyone I encountered was also in a stellar mood, super friendly, and grateful for our excellent customer service. I don't interact with new people all that often, so the chance to actually have some face time with people who do what I want to do, was exhilarating. It was fast-paced, but never overwhelming, and made the morning just fly by. Plus, someone asked me to bless their badge so they would have good luck at the Market. I placed my hand on it and cried, "BOOSH!"

5. Because today is our busiest day, we got to order room service for lunch on the company's dime. Free food is always welcome, and fancy free food that they bring right to your door is quite the novelty for me.

6. When I sat back down at my desk, I had an e-mail waiting for me from the Sassy Curmudgeon. I had e-mailed her a while ago to tell her how much her blog meant to me (and how frickin' hilarious it is, so if you haven't read it yet, check it out post haste. I'll wait...). She is super cool and was really supportive and encouraging of my little endeavor here. I felt literally star struck. She also made the incredibly kind gesture of plugging Sporadic Sporkitudes via her blogroll. So yay many times over!

7. The weather has finally cooled down, but it is still an absolutely gorgeous day in Santa Monica. We can hear the screams from the roller coaster on the pier, which sounds disconcerting, but is actually kind of fun. We can see sailboats gliding on the mid-afternoon ocean and the waves are all sparkly like something out of a beach town reality show.

8. I feel hot today. I probably don't look hot. But it's of those rare occasions when my self-esteem is actually pretty damn high. So even though I know it's all in my head, and I'll soon go back to feeling like a lumbering Russian circus bear, I like the way I look today. (Plus I got a sweet but not creepy compliment from a guy in the reg room).

9. There are hot. guys. everywhere I look. I never get to see attractive men. It seems like everyone I meet is either female, gay, married and/or old, or freshly released from prison. (Sadly I was attracted to the ex-con. He was easily 6'3'' and I have a tall-guy fetish. Plus I made him giggle. A huge, tattooed bald ex-addict with a Hollywood anklet and I made him giggle). Not only are there hot guys everywhere, but they're hot film guys. Double bonus. Plus, I met the love of my life. A be-stubbled Canadian filmmaker with a Jew fro in a plaid shirt who was a decent height and who laughed at my lame 'pen thief' joke. That's like every single one of my turn-ons.

10. Working today means I get super duper magical bonus round overtime pay. And there is not a thing wrong with that ; )

Seriously. Wow.

So to recap, I feel fantastic about life. It may be light-years from perfect, but right now I really can't complain.

UPDATE: Just as I finished this ridiculously saccharin post, I've learned that there is a Laker game tonight. Goddammit. That means I have to sit in my smelly car for an hour. Well, the euphoria was nice while it lasted.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Posthumous Playlist

I'm feeling rather morbid this evening (cleaning your own dried vomit from your foul-smelling car door will do that to a person). So naturally I got to thinking about songs I want to be played at my funeral. I don't plan on dying anytime soon, you vultures, but I do think this is a very important issue that should be planned early on (just in case). I believe that you should be in control of this one small thing, if you can't choose when and how you're going to go (in my ideal world, it would be shot down in a blaze of glory!). I want my funeral to be the shindig of a lifetime. A hootenanny to shame all other hootenannies. I want there to be brightly colored Jell-O shots, a photo booth with silly costumes, and a buffet of all my favorite foods (which no one will be allowed to consume only in moderation.)

You guys. Only you'll be wearing electric blue beehive wigs,
fake Tom Seleck mustaches, and at least three different feather boas.

The one thing that absolutely MUST take place at my funeral is karaoke. And EVERYONE must take a turn. You can go in pairs or groups, if you experience stage fright. But the only way to truly honor my memory is to give me a heavenly (or awesomely bad) rendition of one of my favorite songs:

1. Freebird and/or Tuesday's Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd
2. Gimme Shelter and/or Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones
3. Think by Aretha Franklin
4. Anything by the Spice Girls (Except Wannabe)
5. House of the Rising Sun by the Animals
6. Burning Love by Elvis (in honor of my inaugural karaoke debut)
7. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel (for my Mom)
8. Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas
9. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey (also a group singalong)
10. I'll Make a Man Out of You from Disney's Mulan (BONUS POINTS!!!)
11. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
12. Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
13. Bohemian Rhapsody and/or Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
14. Gimme Gimme Gimme by ABBA
15. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds (for John Hughes)

For the most part, these are all songs that have special meaning for me. Or they are just freaking awesome. In any case, my funeral will be off the hizz-ook (that's a phrase, right?)! I just wish I could be there to party down with y'all. Sadly I'll be residing in a happy face cookie jar urn somewhere in Canada. But I'll be watching just to make sure you eat that extra piece of cake, or take that extra Jell-o shot. And I'll know if you never make it to the stage. Or if you try to sing a song you know I hate (ie anything country). I will haunt your spiteful ass till kingdom come.

I realize that this is slightly creepier than
an actual gravestone.

PS: If I die in the near future, I apologize for the prophetic and latent eerie tone of this post. Oooooh spooky! Aw, dammit. I just jinxed myself...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vomit on the Freeway (And Why it's Kobe Bryant's Fault)

Let me just state right now, I effing HATE the Lakers. I was born in Sacramento and although I am not obligated to be a Kings fan, I have been raised to loathe those sell-out bastards and everything they stand for. I knew this would be a problem when I moved to their stomping grounds. What I did not count on was the fact that whenever they're in town (or the Clippers for that matter), they completely clog up the 10 freeway, turning my 15-30 minute commute into over an hour. On top of that mess, a Friday night rush hour commute in Los Angeles is already a colosseum-sized bitch.

Fuck the Lakers, man. Especially since they just beat the Kings.

Today, for a number of reasons, I developed a migraine. One I couldn't shake despite several rounds of tylenol, tums, and a dose of the big guns, exedrin (which is like crack to my caffeine-sensitive body. But dammit, if it doesn't work like a charm. Usually.) The migraine took its course and before I knew it, I was puking at work. Classy lady. My boss must have had a moment of clairvoyance because the second after I exited the bathroom, she called down from three floors above to see how I was feeling. I got to go home about ten minutes early, but still had to make the dastardly trek to my car in the far-off parking garage. My stomach was still disagreeing with me (it felt like the gastrointestinal equivalent of a Glenn Beck vs. Jon Stewart smackdown).

I prayed for decent traffic on the 10, so I could drive the ten miles home in relative haste. No such fucking luck. Goddamn Lakers. But tonight was bad even for Laker traffic. Five miles an hour, I swear to god. I tried to sing along to the radio, but that failed to distract me from my misery. So I called home (hoping to get some sympathy from my Mom). My Dad answered, and I told him about my current predicament. He just laughed. I didn't blame him. Finally I just asked him, "Do you think I could just stick my head out the window and let 'er rip?" To which he replied, "Go for it."

So I hung up the phone, because this was going to happen with or without my consent. I was stuck going less than ten miles an hour, with no time to merge off the freeway. So I indeed poked my head out the window and with little provocation, there was my half-digested salad and French toast lunch back for a visit from beyond the grave. I was still driving, mind you. (I am nothing if not the Queen of Multi-Tasking). Luckily I didn't veer too far out of my lane and for the first time that night I was grateful we were going so slow. I don't know if the other cars saw it happen. But I'm pretty sure one or two noticed the streak of vomit down the side of Stan's door.

I'd post a picture, but I'm pretty sure
that description is enough to make you feel queasy too.

The worst part was I didn't make it all the way out the window and basically slimed my entire sleeve and the interior of the door as well. And we were still going 5. miles. an hour, with 8 miles left to go. So I had to sit in my poor Stan, covered in regurgitated spinach (that smelled like rotten ranch dressing, just so you have the full sensory effect), for another 40 minutes at least. I called my dad back just to give him an update on the Situation, and we both had a good laugh. I was in pain, but I could still recognize how hilarious this all was. I had to drop the phone, ninja-style when I spotted a cop though. The last thing I needed after throwing up all over myself like some rookie sorority girl was a ticket for talking on my cell phone.

Finally I arrived at Crenshaw and parked. I immediately dashed into the house for some lemon-fresh Mr. Clean and paper towels. I pray that you will never have to know what it's like to scrape off stomach butter from your beloved car of seven years, whose more like a best friend than an automobile. So now I'm home, and thanks for asking, I feel remarkably better now that I've purged (in the most disgusting/amusing way possible).

This mother-fucker.

I'm thinking about suing the Lakers though for the cost of thoroughly detailing and washing my car. No, I think just make Mother-Effing Kobe clean Stan himself with his own goddamn golden toothbrush. They need to relocate the Staples Center to somewhere not directly on my way home, so I don't have to deal with their crap, especially when I'm feeling under the weather.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Never flash a Japanese businessman...

Working this event has been a lot like revisiting middle school. The company can be kind of cliquey (Everyone is absolutely wonderful. We just have our little groups and tend to stick to them); we eat in a cafeteria (and experience that moment of panic in deciding where to sit down); and we ride the bus (the shuttle to the far-away parking garage). There is also a bevy of delicious snacks!

My story tonight, after a ridiculously long and tiresome day, involves the shuttle bus and a poor, unfortunate Japanese film executive. These vans have rather small aisles so if you have any sort of girth at all, you have to turn sideways to get through. I happened to be wearing a dress today, and as I made my way to the back of the bus (where all the cool kids sit), my skirt got caught on one of the armrests. When I was no longer able to keep moving forward, I turned around to see what was impeding my progress. In this process, my dress flipped up and the Japanese businessman got quite an eyeful.

Luckily I was wearing bike shorts underneath my dress (ironically something I also used to do in elementary school. Though back then it was a fashion statement rather than an effort to keep my poor chunky thighs from viciously rubbing together.) But the experience was rather humiliating and unpleasant for all parties involved. The businessman didn't say anything, but the entire ride back to the garage he was chatting with his buddy in Japanese. Like any self-involved person, I assumed they were talking about me and my shorts. They were probably discussing a multi-million dollar business deal, but they very well could have been mocking me in a language I don't understand. Who's to say?

So the moral of the story is...I'm not sure. Just watch where you're going? And never flash a Japanese businessman. Unless he's paying you good money...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nude Nuns with Big Guns!

"This sister is one bad mother." I swear to god, Nude Nuns with Big Guns is a real movie, and no it's not a porno. The rights to distribute it worldwide are on sale at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, so come on down! I saw the ad for it while running an errand and just about flipped out in front of all the international film executives. I NEED to see this movie because:

This could be the new greatest story ever told.

1. I freaking LOVE nuns!!! As evidenced by those joyful, leaping ladies in black to your right. Why do I love nuns? I'm not really sure. It's probably because I'm not Catholic and am therefore not frightened of them. Though I was a bit unnerved by the films "Sex in a Cold Climate" and "The Magdalene Sisters." (Which I highly recommend despite such painful thematic content). Maybe I identify with nuns on some level. I'm not sure how, since I revile all religion and any philosophy that practices extreme self-discipline and denial. But nuns make me happy. In fact, whenever I see them in real life I try to sneakily take a picture. It would take years of psychoanalysis to explain it, which I can't afford. So just accept that Hutch loves nuns.
2. Nude nuns? This intrigued me. How can a nun be a nun if she's nude? How do you know she's a nun if she's naked? Does she wear a habit? A cross? How do they solve this dilemma? My curiosity has been piqued. It's just such a contradiction.
3. I am sick and love violence for some reason. Especially when it's women kicking ass in any capacity. So nuns kicking ass, HELL YEAH!!
4. That tagline is priceless. So many taglines are just plain awful. So you have to reward their stellar marketing department's efforts.
5. I swear to god I heard this project being pitched when I was an intern at a small production company in college. I was sitting outside the producer's office listening to some overly-enthusiastic guy shout about "Nuns coming in with tits and guns a-blazin'." I don't know if it's the same exact movie, but I knew then and there that I had to check that out.

To make a long and complicated list short (too late), this is the movie of my dreams. Sadly, it will probably turn out to be awful. Especially now that I've put all my hopes and dreams into it. Just like what happened with "The Nun," a horror movie about a Satanic woman of the cloth. Not good. Wasted potential. You hate to see that happen. So maybe I should never actually see "Nude Nuns with Big Guns." Because it will never be as good as the movie in my head.

And in other AFM news, I could have sworn I spotted Dustin Hoffman walking on the fifth floor of the Loews, but upon closer observation of his wasn't. Oh well. Perhaps I'll never get to confront him about not hiring me to work at his production company (though I doubt he was involved personally in that decision). So no brilliant Oscar-Winning actors today, or even underrated sitcom dads. But there is rumored to be a Thai princess arriving later this evening. I guess she's in one of the movies being sold. There's even a red carpet for her arrival. Super keen.

I'd like to take this moment to say that if you are a potential employer considering hiring me for your high-profile production company that handles A-list clients like Dustin Hoffman and John Marshall Jones, please note that I swear I will be much more discreet about those persons of interest that I encounter.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Prop 19 Soapbox by a Non-Stoner

Welcome to Election Day. Or if you're me, welcome to In N Out Burger Day at my work. I'm more excited about the prospect of free, delicious burgers than I am about voting this year. This is for three reasons. 1) Have you had In N Out? It's like a religious experience. 2) I really don't feel strongly about any of the candidates/propositions. They all kind of suck. 3) I am one of those mythical, reviled "apathetic youth" that has trouble getting riled up about politics. Yes I know I should care. And there are a few issues I feel very strongly about. These are:

1) The economy. But mostly because I personally will not have a job soon.
2) Keeping religion the hell out of government (don't even get me started).
3) Allowing homosexuals to marry, adopt children, and generally be treated like honest-to-goodness U.S. citizens (see #2)
4) Legalizing marijuana.

That is my entire political platform. If you ever see me rant about something that actually matters (unlike late 90s family sitcoms), it will probably be about one of those issues. The last of which concerns me today on this lovely November 2nd. I will now issue an important disclaimer: I am NOT a stoner. I personally couldn't care less about marijuana. I have tried it a couple times (in Amsterdam where it was legal and what a shocker, they haven't managed to burn their city to the ground yet). And while it wasn't a negative experience, I really didn't care much for it. I'd be perfectly happy if I never did it again.


So why am I so fired up about Prop 19, the proposition to legalize minimal possession of pot? Because California needs the money. I'm sick of budget cuts, bankruptcy, tuition fee hikes, tax increases, overcrowded prisons and all manner of unpleasantness. By taxing and controlling marijuana as much as possible (let's not kid ourselves that we'll be able to control all of it), we can reap the dual benefits of saving money on this ridiculous War on Mary Jane, and tax the shit out of it so we can start filling potholes again.

Kids are going to smoke marijuana, whether or not it's legal. Just like kids are going to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before they become of age. I know that's poor logic to say just because people kill other people and we can't stop them, we should just make it legal. But honestly, I'd rather have my kid light up a joint at a friend's house on occasion, than get into a car drunk, or start the lifelong addiction to nicotine that leads to cancer. But it is practically impossible, not to mention unlikely that someone will overdose or become addicted to marijuana. In fact, the only reason marijuana became illegal in the first place was because the cotton lobbyists wanted to muscle out hemp in the fabric business. It's basically a smear campaign for economic reasons. I'm not going to get into the health benefits of medical marijuana, seeing as that's already legal and for good reasons.

The main reason I believe in legalizing marijuana is because I firmly believe that the government does not have the right to tell us what to do with our own bodies. Marijuana is not a safety issue, as people are most likely to do it in their own homes just to relax. And while innocent bystanders may experience a "contact high," it is nothing compared to the dangers of second hand cigarette smoke. So if you don't believe in smoking marijuana, don't do it. I fully support that. Just like I fully support abstaining from alcohol or cigarettes for moral or health reasons. But why do you get to harsh someone else's buzz? (Is that what the kids are calling it these days? I'm not really up on my pot lingo). Please don't be like those awful Prohibition activists in the early 20th century. No one liked them, and people kept drinking anyway, with no taxation.

Awesome movie, but not exactly factual.

Decriminalize this harmless, recreational substance. Stop watching Reefer Madness, believing it to be a hard-hitting documentary. Stem the wasted tax dollars on hunting down small-time smokers, and reap the benefits of marijuana revenue. Go Prop 19! Sure, it might be flawed, and not everything we would want in legalization of marijuana, but it's a step in the right direction.

(I know, I should back up these claims with citations and research, but I have to get to work and I really don't have time. Just google it if you're curious. I could be wrong about some things, but my intentions are pure)

And one more thing "It is one thing to get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day." -Clueless. So smoke responsibly. And buy air freshener, not incense, because that shit smells.

UPDATE: Post election. Wasn't a fan of either gubernatorial candidate. Or the word 'gubernatorial.' And I really didn't expect that we would get away with Prop 19. Eh. What are you gonna do. I'm going to watch SPICE WORLD. Who needs marijuana when you have GIRL POWER!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Floyd and the Hendersons

After nearly dying twice in two separate elevators in the span of about five minutes, I was rewarded with a vision. And that vision goes by the name of Floyd Henderson, otherwise known as the dad on the short-lived but much-loved (by me) family sitcom, "Smart Guy." If you've never seen the show, which aired from 1997-99, it was about an adorable, precocious wunderkind played by the younger, more talented brother of twins Tia and Tamara Mowry (of "Sister, Sister" fame). TJ is so smart that he skips six grades and ends up in high school with his less gifted, more goofy brother Marcus, and snotty, overachieving sister Yvette. The Hendersons have their ups and downs, and their wacky hijinks, but they are all bonded together by the rock that is Floyd Henderson, their good-looking, wise-cracking single father.

The Henderson family, with their kooky friend Mo,
who is not known for his failed catch phrase, "Hello d'ere!"

It was a typical sitcom, nothing revolutionary about it. But it was just dandy. I looked forward to watching reruns of "Smart Guy" and "Boy Meets World" when I got home from school and did my homework. (I just found out today that the two shows actually used the exact same high school set, thrifty!) So when I was making the badge for John Marshall Jones to attend the film industry event I work for, I could have sworn his name sounded familiar. When I saw his picture, I immediate recognized him as Floyd, one of television's most underrated dads. There are a lot of interesting people coming to the event (I won't drop names...actually I probably will). But John Marshall Jones was the one I was most stoked about. We don't usually see the people that come to the event, being trapped downstairs in the offices with the ocean view. But just knowing that he was attending, made me feel a slight sense of unwarranted superiority.

John Marshall Jones. You so crazy.

As I said, I almost died in the elevator, twice. So when I finally arrived, breathless and heart racing, at my destination, (the registration room) who should be standing there talking to my co-worker, but FLOYD FRICKIN' HENDERSON! It took me a second to recognize him, but I flipped out internally as I waited for him to finish talking. I didn't know what to say! (Though I always wonder what you're supposed to say to celebrities when you encounter them in real life. And yes, I use the term 'celebrity' loosely here.) "Hey Floyd! I mean John...You were in that awesome but quickly cancelled tv series over 10 years ago. I kinda dug you. How's tricks?" Not bloody likely. So he left, without ever knowing that I enjoyed his performance and took great comfort in his tough but amused love approach to parenting the gifted and the goofy. I later found out that my friend got even luckier and saw Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesley from "The Office") at the Ralph's in Studio City. She wins, but still. FLOYD!

The point is, after being so close to death, (or stuck in an elevator when I had to pee really bad), it was nice to see a reminder of my childhood. And the rest of the day I couldn't get the show's awesomely awkward theme rap out of my head. "He's got a way with the ladies, and he's keepin' it real. Your favorite little study buddy, he knows the deal!" Classic.