Friday, October 31, 2008

A Brand New Day

Last night, as I laid in bed lamenting my lackluster evening on the red carpet (it does happen) and trying in vain to get some sleep before coming back into work at 7 this morning, I had an epiphany.

One day this past June, I sat on the floor of the Caribbean. And not only did I sit there, 60 some odd feet from the surface, but I took off my mask (not once, but twice!). It was my least favorite part of scuba training (as you can imagine) but I was successful at taking it off, not panicking (too bad!) or dying, and replacing it. All too often I feel like I forget my own strength. I appreciated the memory that (like many of mine lately) was a little too easy to forget.

As I said, I came into work early this morning. The drowsy drive to work ended up being worth it tho as I turned my car to face east, right into a beautifully vibrant cloudy sunrise. ROYGBIV. It seemed every color of the rainbow spread over downtown like a spider web (pls forgive the Halloween-themed analogy). The red orange and yellow creeped over the horizon so brightly that I briefly wondered if the entire Eastern half of the state might be on fire.

I just purchased my tix to go home for the holidays. "Purchased" meaning "used frequent flier miles." The tix were gonna be way expensive. Luckily I had the miles. So note to StLans...I'll be in from Dec 19-28...done and done.

I didn't realize I was feeling this way until Pandora told me I was. That bizatch is smart.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Been a Week

What I've been up to since last I posted.

1. I interviewed Clint Eastwood. At the Changeling premiere. I hadn't seen the movie yet but I had read a fabulous LA Times piece about it. I loved that piece so much I emailed the reporter about it. It's because of her that I asked Clint intelligent questions that he appreciated.

2. I ate here. Halibut steak with a side of wine and sweet potato fries? Yes please.

3. I saw Changeling. I was glad I had read the background and knew about the story. I was glad I had met all the men in the cast and knew that in real life, they were really nice guys. It's a fantastic and amazing story, and one we almost didn't hear. Christine Collins gets the kudos on this one.

4. I took a 9.5 mile bike ride in Santa Monica. The ride included a trip to the farmer's market, a beachside view, and great time with friends. I more than once exclaimed "I feel like we're little kids riding around the neighborhood!" But let me emphasize to you that I am not a workout person. I need to be. I keep saying I'm going to get a bike, I just don't know which one to get. A cruiser or a multi speed? I rode a 3 speed cruiser and kept it on the same speed the whole time. What does that mean?? I enjoyed the ride tho. Hopefully I'll enjoy the Intro to Pilates just as much.

5. I saw the Dave Brubeck quartet perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I love the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The acoustics are the best I've ever heard. This was my second concert there and I can't wait to return for a Chamber performance. That's right, I'm 80. Well maybe I'm not, but Dave is. Over 80 in fact. And as I was shaking his frail hand backstage, I marveled at the fact that a man who could barely walk to the piano could play it so magically and nimbly. I was not used to seeing jazz performed in such a large venue, but I got used to it, got into it, and enjoyed myself immensely.

6. I interviewed Ron Howard. And Ben Stiller. And the guy who is going to play Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie. They weren't the only ones, but it was the Hollywood Film Awards carpet and it was crazy and they were the names you would recognize of the peeps I talked to.

I'm not sure what I've done since then (aside from getting a lot of random bug bites on a daily basis). My Ireland trip is as planned as I plan such jaunts. I do need to still reserve a rental. I drove on the wrong side of the road and dealt with roundabouts in Grand Cayman, so I'm not worried about that. I am slightly worried about operating a stick shift with my left hand, as manual transmissions are like $100 cheaper. Since I know how to drive a manual, I should take advantage of the talent and save a few bucks.

It rained today in LA and Corey Haim got engaged. I'm pretty sure that means the apocalypse is near.

I'm on my way out the door for the kickoff of the AFI fest. I'm happy to know that my cleaning lady came today and everything will be so fresh and so clean clean when I get home. I don't have any Halloween plans. I go back and forth as to whether I'm ok with that. I do enjoy a good Halloween party, and loved attending the WeHo celebration a few years back, but it's pretty late in the game to come up with a costume and make plans, so chances are I'll make it a Netflix night.

That was just the longest run-on sentence ever.

I wish I was a little kid and could trick or treat. But not the kind of trick or treating where it's cold and sleeting and you have to wear a coat over your costume so it really doesn't matter what you're dressed up as anyway.

The end.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

All in a Day's Work

I like these guys:

This one seems to like me. Or at least my question:

There seems to be some perplexing going on here:

See Role Models when it comes out November 7. Seriously. You won't be sorry. Unless you're not a fan of laughing until a little pee comes out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kodak Moments

Guess what? I'm at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. You know what that means?! Vanilla chai and sleepless nights? Yes. But also, and more importantly, a photo blog. Remember when I went back to the STL to take the kids to see Bev Hills Chihuahua? Here are some of my fave pix from that trip.

L and Baby J. Looking at me with admiration.

His bib reads "My Aunt Loves Me." It's true.

Brotherly love.

If you're a serial reader, you know that my parents bought back a house we lived in when I was little. What you don't know is that me and Melody took first day of school pictures in this exact same spot. This wasn't his first day of school, but he was wearing a backpack and I couldn't ignore the similarities. Albeit 25 years later...(!)

Four on a gourd.

I love this picture. Even tho it makes me sad that my Nedro is so grown up.

On a side note, I don't agree with Whitney Houston on a lot of things, but I do agree that children are our future and that we should teach them young and let them lead the way. And with that, I'll leave you with this.

Stay tuned for his take on the debates.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hope for the Hopeless

We can't all be wrong.

Consequently, I very much enjoyed Sarah Palin's appearance on SNL. That opening was one of the best things I've ever seen on the show. And Amy Poehler...whoa. That's one serious baby bump. But you totally rocked it with the rap.

I had the junket this wkend for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. After my last blog about the movie, my friend Lyndsay had asked for my true advice as to whether she should see the movie. I told her if she was a film buff looking for a great film, sure. If, however, she was looking for an entertaining weekend movie...not so much. It was a great talking point to kick off my junket interviews tho. (Thanks again, L!) How do you tell your friends to see a movie that will break their hearts? I posed it to everyone. They all had thoughtful answers as to why the movie is so important and relevant and bigger than its heartbreaking story line. But I most enjoyed the response from the movie's director Mark Herman. "Sometimes it's good to get your heart broken." Wow.

After the junket (which also included a fun discussion about intrauterine hiccups with Vera Farmiga) I got my eyebrows waxed and unsuccessfully hunted for a new pair of jeans.

Then it was off to the Huntington botanical Gardens with NDG and pals. It was for an event called Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey. I am not a haunted house or scary anything kind of person. (She says as she is obscenely obsessed with a book series about vampires.) But I am a literature person. And Poe was nothing if not a literary. Picture candlelit monologues of your favorite Poe works interspersed with flashlight walks through the gardens. It was super enjoyable, and beneficial, as I had apparently combined every Poe story into one crazy drama wherein someone was buried in the floor, and then bricked into the wall, and there was a Raven and a one-eyed cat...I've been set straight now.

There was a brief moment in the evening when I was sitting next to the youngest member of our party and we were discussing the challenges of growing up and the struggles of 6th and 7th grade. When she told me she was about to turn 12, I did the quick math and turned to her in horror. "Wait, so, you were born in 1996?!" I think she was in awe of my mad subtraction skills as she innocently replied "Yep." My horror continued as I told her that while she was being born I was in the middle of finals my FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE. WhuWhat? I have obviously met people younger than me and remember when several of my cousins who are now mostly grown up were born, but to sit next to someone and have them tell you they were born the year you graduated high school is a startling moment.

I had a Lazy Sunday lounging and reading and wandering around my neighborhood. Oh wait, then I bought curtains. Chocolate brown. To block out the sun in my bedroom so I can sleep past 7:30a on the weekends. I've never bought window treatments before, and I don't have a lot of confidence in my abilities to do so, but the guy who checked me out at Bed Bath and Beyonce told me I could return them if they're "all wrong." I think I might need a third panel as I'm attempting to cover the window and the door. I measured and everything, but curtains don't come in very many different widths so we'll see how it goes...
NDG and I capped off the weekend by seeing The Secret Life of Bees. I liked it. I cried tho. A lot. But not in the heartbreaking way of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This was more of a common-for-me movie cry wherein the tears run down your face and neck and don't stop until they're puddling somewhere near your belly button. Dakota Fanning brought it - and brought me to tears. A LOT. And I can't believe we never would have known about Jennifer Hudson had it not been for American Idol. That is crazy. Alicia Keys. On the cello. Great performances all around.
I read the book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, so I'm always apprehensive about movie adaptations. As I walked out of the theater, I heard the woman behind me say, "she did such a good job of adapting it." Always looking for community, I turned around and said "I was just thinking the same thing!" I was looking right into the face of Regina King. You know her from Jerry Maguire, Friday, 227...We commisserated briefly about our love for the book and then went on our separate ways.

Then it was off to The Waffle for perhaps the best scrambled eggs I've ever had in my entire life. That's saying a lot because I love me some scrambled eggs and have them quite frequently. They were so fluffy and the color of perfection and super amazing.

I have a busy week ahead, but I'm mostly looking forward to it. I see Synechdoche, New York tonight. I was supposed to see "The Changeling" Weds, but now instead I'm covering the "Role Models" premiere. I super wanna see The Changeling, but I would much rather find myself face to face with this guy:

Not to mention my buddy Seann William Scott. I have high hopes for that red carpet. (If you'll remember, I luerved the movie.) I hope they're not too high (my hopes, that is...not the actors).

The title "Hope for the Hopeless" references the A Fine Frenzy I was jamming to thanks to Pandora when I began this blog. And now it's over. The end.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Insert Sad Face Here

1. I'm not a HUGE dessert person. But I like cookies. Especially these:
But apparently I won't be able to get them anymore. This cloud's silver lining is that at least I can make snickerdoodles, so I know they can't take those away from me.

2. Then in MORE say it isn't so news.....THIS happens. I love Once. I love Glen and Mar. I'm going to Ireland by myself for craps sake to see them perform in a church because I can't fathom the awesomeness. But WHY??? Why rob this little movie of what it is so perfectly by turning it into something so produced? PS I saw Dirty Dancing the Stage Show. If that's any indicator...abort mission now. Please. For the love of God. No, seriously. I'm not kidding.
3. I could have met Dave Grohl last night. But instead I was seeing this. I love pajamas. And little kids. I knew this movie would be tough based on the storyline, but I had to see it, as I'm doing the junket this weekend. (See? this job - even tho it's a lot of movies and a lot of fun - isn't ALWAYS about fun movies.) This movie BROKE MY HEART. My chest literally hurt as I drove away from the screening room. There were heaves. I'll show you the trailer and I'll never speak of it again. The performances were great, but it's tough to call a movie like this "good" and I don't feel like I wanna tell anyone to see it. I've had a lot of talks since seeing it about *why movies like this are made. All I can figure is that it gives us a different perspective on a subject we already know was horrible.

4. My housekeeper isn't working out as well as I had hoped. I don't know if I'm being picky or if she's not doing a good job. Since I've asked her repeatedly to focus on the floors and have evidence that she's not moving things before cleaning, I'm leaning toward her not doing a good job.

Instead of posting my brother's comment to my previous blog entry, I'm going to throw in something we can agree on. Taylor Swift.

There's a reason I'm not political. And this week I was reminded of why.

Speaking of my bro and politics, I have plans to see W. tonight. I also wanna see Secret Life of Bees this wkend. And I have the aforementioned junket. I've met Vera Farmiga before and enjoy her, so that's my silver lining there.

Still enjoying reading the Twilight books. I literally read until I can't keep my eyes open anymore. I'd rather be reading them than just about anything else. I like how this series - as much as Harry Potter did years ago - is encouraging young people to read. I'm not into vampires or sci fi or anything, but Stephanie Meyer taps into that adolescent romance that I relate to all too well. Another cool thing is that if you go to her website, you can check out the songs she listened to while writing. A soundtrack to the book if you will. Music AND Books and a movie to boot? YES PLEASE.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Joseph Gordon Levitt...

I couldn't have said it better.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Remember When

I talked about going apple picking and I told you that one day I would go to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and use their free internet to load them here? Well today is your day. I sit here on a patio too filled with smoke for my taste fulfilling the task. Seriously. I sat down in a corner away from everyone and moments ago was surrounded by heavy chain smokers. Best of intentions... picking...a photo essay.

Warning: This is apparently not the correct pole technique.

It was, however, successful, which is why I love this picture - and my ironic face - so much.

I did not spot Brer Rabbit. I did find some choice apples though.

At one point we took a walk up the road, and I got super parched (remember how I told you it was 90 degrees?), and there was no alternative but to "borrow" some water from this garden hose. That's how they do it in the country, right?

Um yes that is an old covered wagon. And yes I did trespass to take this picture.

As you can imagine, we were super picky about the apples that would become our cider.

Bleach water bath.

Hi little apple. I'm gonna grind you and press you and drink you all up.
Step one: Grinding.

After I gave it a whirl, I noticed these two boys looking longingly at the process. They were more than willing to give us a hand. That's Tony looking at the camera and his brother Ivan concentrating on the grinding.

All grinded up.

Ivan and Tony's work was far from done. Get to pressin', boys. Even their father was impressed with their team work.

As were we. That's a lot of cider.

A gallon in fact. Sidenote: I don't think this guy is "dressing the part." I think this is who he is, some gentle apple giant who enjoys chopping applewood and making cider.

We didn't see any. But I enjoyed the sign.

Ah, the last shot of the day. And perhaps the most hilarious. I'm eating ribs. Which I never eat. Probably because this is what I look like when I eat ribs. I'm surrounded by bees. I'm outsided out. I'm sporting the double glasses but they've fallen from grace. It makes me laugh every time I look at it and that's why I knew I had to include it here.

Sweller than Swell

Alright so I kinda wrote this from the bottom up and it's going a bit crazy. I'll tell you that just when I thought Friday night's Swell Season/Iron and Wine show in San Diego was amazing (and it was!), the LA version at the Greek ROCKED MY SOCKS. Seriously. Here's a review. I'll spoil it and tell you that besides being an all around incredible show and having them singing everything I wanted and falling madly in love with their new stuff and covering not only Van Morrison but Neil Young, Glen brought out 80-year old Richard Sherman. He's the guy responsible for a lot of Disney music you know and love. He was spry and fun and led the sold out crowd in a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious singalong. Super surreal. And definitely an "only in LA do these kinds of things happen" moment. (Fast forward to when we got home and there had been a Mary Poppins skit on SNL. Fuhreaky.)

Here are a couple of songs from the San Diego show I found on youtube. They're of better audio quality than the ones I found online from the LA show...The first is a heartbreaker from the movie. The second is one of Mar's new ones.

I LOVE the repetitive part at the end of that new one..."every now and then on my mind" and then just "on my mind." BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait for the next cd. Seriously. OMG.

What the heck, here's more from that show...

here's another new song that i super liked (again better recorded audio than what whoever taping it at the greek got).

I'm not sure why I'm sitting here at work instead of following them around Europe right now. If I think about it for any length of time I'll be on the next Aer Lingus flight out.

They're in Paris on November 5...anyone??? Nevermind...they're playing a church in Limerick Thanksgiving weekend...that seems tailormade for an Irish jaunt, no?!? I'm seriously on Orbitz weighing my options, folks. I don't mess around. I think I have usable frequent flier miles. This is getting exciting.

I haven't even mentioned the Liz Phair Troubadour show which was also super crazy great. It was vintage. It was rocking. It was intimate, and again, she sang everything I would have written down on a list for her to play. She played Exile in Guyville all the way through and ended with Supernova and Polyester Bride. Thank you. I never dreamt a wkend chock full of concerts (one requiring a 5+ hour roundtrip drive for a 2 hour show) could so easily live up to the hype. It did.

PS That whole bailout thing went well, huh Wall Street? Guess it doesn't always pay to have the government in your pockets. Now you know how the rest of us feel.

Alright I have to get to work (on buying these tix to Ireland WHAT!) But seriously, I've only got a 4 day work week and then it's off to the StL to see Bev Hills Chihuahua and pick some pumpkins with the kiddos. Awesome.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

5 Things I Learned from Kirk Cameron

1. Marriage is universal. (Was he trying in some way to say No on Prop 8? I think so.)
2. He refuses to kiss another woman so they used his wife Chelsea Noble as a stand-in for the woman playing his wife during the movie's romantic scene.
3. First responders (police, fire) have a 75-90% divorce rate.
4. Don't follow your heart. Lead your heart. (That's the lesson he learned from the movie.)
5. Fireproof will be more helpful than Growing Pains.

(That last one came after I told him I was going to play the Growing Pains Theme Song at my wedding. Yes I did. Nobody was cutting me off and after more than 8 minutes I was over talking about Fireproof. We're lucky I resisted the STRONG urge to blurt out "Michael Aaron Seaver!")

His new movie is called "Fireproof" and it's basically a box office phenomenon.

The interview was via satellite. Which means I was on the phone and could see him, but he couldn't see me. Which means for the first couple seconds until our connection hooked up he was on screen repeating my name all sing songy like. Which means I was being honest when the first thing I said was: "I finally get the chance to interview you and it's via satellite."

He looked cute. The same. Put together. He didn't talk or act crazy. He spoke smartly and brought up the movie's title quite frequently. He was nice and answered all of my questions. There was afterglow.