Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One Thing Before I Go

I'm frantically doing all those last minute things you do before a trip...you know, panic, pack toiletries, check email, make sure everything is in its place, figure out what contents of the fridge won't make it to Sunday...but I also managed to fit in a screening, and boy am I glad I did.

Frost/Nixon. Wow. I was unfamiliar with the whole Frost/Nixon interview. You could say - and be right - that it was before my time. But I also have a knack for not being interested in things historical. History was always my worst subject. I used to joke that I only liked the 20s.

That changed tonight. I have a strong desire to soak up the whole background of this story. I've obviously heard about Watergate. But until today I was unaware of a woman named Rose Mary Woods who stood by her man, President Richard Milhouse Nixon, and explained away an 18 minute silence by claiming desk acrobatics. (Thanks Tory!) Then tonight...the interviews...the AMAZING performances by Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. The context of the story. I dunno. I was immediately captivated and despite a nervous stomach frozen to my seat for the entire two hours. And now here I am hungry for more information, wanting to watch the real interviews. Or at least watch All the President's Men in its entirety.

It's the second movie this week to spur some historical interest. Friday night I saw Milk. If I loved Frost/Nixon, I LOVED Milk. The 30th anniversary of Harvey Milk's death is Thursday. I was only 5 months old when he died. But watching that movie, I felt like a part of his team. I've participated in 3 rallies against prop 8. And it broke my heart to see that we are in effect still fighting his battle. Sure he made great strides, but the basic inequality still remains in the minds of a LOT of people. Sean Penn does an amazing job. Gus Van Sant. Seriously. The POVs alone are incredible. An entire shot through the reflection of a whistle on the ground? I thought I was gonna go crazy in my chair I got so excited. Nominations please. Now is this a movie for all audiences? Why shouldn't it be? I don't get why so many people fear homosexuality. And before I'm questioned AGAIN. I am straight. Yes I'm sure. No that does not mean I've tried it. I just know I like boys. You can be a 30 year old straight single female. As anyone who's ever been in a relationship can attest to, it's a hard thing to be successful at.

I had the following convo with my sister on the morning of the most recent (downtown/nationwide) rally.

Her: What are you doing?
Me: I'm getting ready to go to this rally for gay marriage.
Her: You support that?
Me: Um yeah.
Her: Is there something you wanna tell us?
Me: Uh, that I have a lot of friends that I love and support.

Yes for Kait. No on 8.

Here's another pic I took on that hot and sweaty November day.

That FDR knows his stuff.

So in closing, Milk YES, Frost/Nixon YES. Prop 8 NO.

I was able to finish reading Angela's Ashes so I feel like I'm really ready for all the midwest/western region of Ireland has to offer. I'm stoked and I'll take lots of pictures.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for life, love (even when the romantic kind doesn't go your way), and the pursuit of happiness.

Erin Go Brea.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Like Heaven

Sometimes I interview former costars on the same day. Take yesterday. I talked to Reese Witherspoon at the Four Christmases premiere and Mark Ruffalo at the junket for What Doesn't Kill You.

A little background.

Back in Toronto in September, I interviewed Mark for Blindness. When he saw me back then, he was like, "I know you." And I was like, "I don't think so." But he was sure of it. Our interview then went super well and we had a good time and his phone rang and he wanted me to have extra time and then we started talking about dining in the dark, which I did in Paris and he is interested in doing.

Fast forward to yesterday and the junket for What Doesn't Kill You. The movie is based on the life of the director and it involves crime and drugs and prison. Mark played the main character and I interviewed him and the director together.

Ok so I was sitting in the hall waiting for the interviews to start. Mark walked down the hall and was saying hi to all of the other reporters and then he got to me. He was like HEY! all excited like and grabbed my hand. He was like, "How are you?" and I was like, "You've lost so much weight! Why are you so skinny?" And the other reporters were like, "What do you have going on with Mark Ruffalo?"

Then I went into the other suite to interview Amanda Peet.

Next it was my turn for Mark and the director, Brian Goodman. I walked in and introduced myself to Brian and asked Mark if the weight loss was for a movie and he said it wasn't and asked if it was really that noticeable. And I answered yes, but maybe it was just the beard that was emphasizing it. Then I told him he looked emo. To which he said "what IS emo? that's a younger generation term." I rolled my eyes and told him we are in the same generation and that he isn't that much older than me. Then he said "yes I am." Then I said "no you're not." And then I started talking to Brian and Mark said "yes I am."

For the record, I just looked it up and Mark is 40. I am 30. I would consider that of the same generation as he's in my dating age window. Also for the record, he is married with children and we are not dating or going to date.

Ok so I interview them about the movie and they're both really emotional and the junket people are trying to wrap me, but they're still talking and I'm not going to cut them off so I let them talk and we go over time but we're in this crazy emotional conversation. It comes to a breaking point and I say something they agree with and scoot to the edge of my chair to signify the end of the interview. I then stand up (which as it works out is right in front of them) and I look at these guys and Mark's eyes are glistening and I'm like I feel like we need a group hug right now. They both opened their arms and stood up and we had a hug. And then Brian came in for an individual hug and Mark peeks over his shoulder and says "He's single."

It was a moment. And one that I needed. I was super anxious and nervous yesterday to the point where despite having things going on in my private life I was pretty sure I had to be experiencing a sixth sense signalling the Big one. That's how freaked out I was. I never, well hardly ever, get nervous before junkets anymore. And I almost puked twice yesterday morning. Needless to say, I needed that hug as much as they did. I immediately felt better after the junket. Then I went home and slept away the afternoon and felt like a champ going into the premiere last night.

By the way, I would recommend Four Christmases. I found it entertaining and relatable (despite not having divorced parents). I laughed out loud more than once. It's exactly what it needs to be. A holiday comedy. It also features a chubby Tim McGraw who you might not recognize at first. As soon as it started I was all, this is going to make me want to go to San Francisco. And it did. Until last night when I found out it was shot in Venice. (california, not italy). wunh wunh. The director is Seth Gordon, who did The King of Kong (the arcade gaming documentary), which I super love.

I see Milk tonight, and I am finally getting the internet hooked up in my house tomorrow. 5 days and some change until Ireland. I need it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Love Letter for UWink

Dear UWink,

I'm just going to say it. You're the best thing that's happened to winking since Sarah Palin. It's like you saw me coming. Supportive in my company's desire to watch Sunday football, but carrying a book for self entertainment. Not knowing what to expect, but being prepared for the typical sports bar. Then this happened:

Sports bar? Yes. HUGE screens adorn every wall-ish space...I think there were at least 7 in the room we were seated in. And they're as large as some screening room screens. Several different games can be shown at once, and they were quick to project the game we were apparently there to watch to a screen within our eye line. So service? A+.

As a fan of self checkout, I basically devoured the touch screen monitor at our table. Being able to order our drinks and our food ourselves, indicating what to hold or add. I was having way too much fun and we weren't even playing the games yet! The only issue we had with ordering was that we couldn't indicate "on the side." But we survived.

We got spinach artichoke dip and some wing-style things. Both were yummy. So food? (snackwise at least) A. The rest of the menu looked appetizing, so I'm anxious to get back when I'm hungry enough for a whole meal. The one downside? No spinach salad...but I'll forgive them, as that's a common "miss" on menus.

Finally it was game time. We were most entertained by Zillionaire, a trivia question in the vein of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? I also enjoyed group games where we played against other tables in the restaurant. Superfun. We won the game where you find the differences in the two pictures and came in 4th out of 16 tables in the word scramble (which was actually kinda hard). Needless to say, I can't wait to go back. A+ for fun.

Your new friend,

In other news, my throat hurts from all the smoke I'm breathing in. It feels and smells like someone is standing in front of you smoking and exhaling right into your face. The sky over downtown and my part of LaLa Land looks a lot better and bluer today tho. There's still flecks of ash floating around, but yesterday they looked like flurries and it's not that bad today.

What I don't understand about these fires is why they were so ferocious about burning down homes. In my time out here it seems very rare that so many homes will be burned down. It's usually a lot of acreage and some out buildings. So many people homeless. I liked what Gov Schwarzenegger said yesterday about helping everyone out. Then I kept repeating: Remember when he really is our governor?? for like 5 minutes because even tho that's been the case almost as long as I've lived here, I still can't get used to it.

In other LA news, I got a street cleaning ticket today. $55. W.T.F. First of all, that's just ridiculous. Second of all, not only is it RIDICULOUS, but WTF is that money being used for? They made over $300 on my block alone this morning. As someone who as of late has walked several miles of LA streets, they are in SHITTY condition, and I wanna know how my money is being spent.

In other walking in LA news, I participated in the nationwide no on 8 rally. It was so hot here. Like 90 degrees. I bailed after a few miles. I had already stood in the sun listening to speeches. Mayor Villaragoisa gave a GREAT speech and then gave it again in Spanish and then went back to the fires. Drew Barrymore said she wished she was gay in her speech. Lucy Lawless, Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur were also there. (Paging Tracy Turnblatt.) The heat SUCKED but the crowd was amazing. Several fun signs - and outfits - were spotted.

I have pictures, but still no internet at mi casa. I've come to the realization that I am going to have to swallow my pride and call Time Warner as they are the only ones who can give me what I want. Boo monopolies.

Before I go. Ben Folds. BRILLIANTLYAMAZINGSPECTACULARFANTABULOUS. He played everything I would have asked for. Old. New. Fast. Slow. GREAT crowdside manner. He taught us things. He talked to us. He let us sing. If I would have been in the front row he would have touched me. He apologized for not coming to LA more often. He did two encores. He played two and a half hours. I was in heaven the entire time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It's like Rosie Thomas is in my head. Even when I'm not in that place where I sometimes go.

For the second day in a row, her song "Sell All My Things" has come up randomly on Pandora.(and no, not on a "Rosie Thomas - Sell All My Things" channel!!)

Here are the lyrics:

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all...

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out...

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home...
There's nothing there to keep me there...
Just heartache and headache and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me...

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home...
There's nothing there to keep me there...
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here.

Again, I'm not in that place right this second, but I definitely vacation there. And that part about castles and violins in Ireland? Well I'll be there in a couple weeks.

I'm also still very much enjoying Tunde. Mostly for the couplet "Never put her roots down, Daddy always kept movin, so she did too." But also because I love that part of the movie.


Congrats to my Cousin Amanda and her husband Bill who are doing an AMAZING thing for FOUR kids. They're adopting them!! Three of the four are birth siblings and able to stay together because of the generosity of A & B. Way to go, you guys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

I leave for Ireland two weeks from today. TWO WEEKS. That's crazy! I need more sweaters! scarves! a new coat? I figure I'm just getting my Sundance shopping done early.

I'm only going to be there for 3 days really when you figure in the flying times and stuff. But I have quite a few things I want to see and do while there.


Swell Season. In a church. The reason I'm embarking on this random cross-Atlantic adventure.
2. The Cliffs of Moher. I like pretty things.

3. Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet. I'm not usually into the whole "hanging out with a whole bunch of other tourists" thing, but this sounds fun.

4. Angela's Ashes Walking Tour. I like sad things.


Buskers? Yes please. Pints and good Irish brogue convo? Done and done.

So yeah, I'm planning to stick to the west coast...Shannon, Limerick, County Clare...I'll save Dublin for another time. I'm staying at a quaint B & B and still trying to figure out how I'm going to stomach a multi-course homemade breakfast.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pictures of a (Peaceful) Protest

I walked more than 10 miles last night in support of my friends and a cause I believe in. What started as a rally turned into (mostly due to the restlessness of my group and one behind us) a march from WeHo up to Sunset all the way to CNN and then to Hollywood and Highland and back. The police, altho they looked menacing in their riot gear, were super nice and helpful and supportive. I love the energy of an event like that. My battle cries for this proposition have been "Yes for Kait, No on 8" and "If straight people can marry gay people, why can't gay people marry gay people?"

I liked it when I figured out I could replace the chant "Eat More Rice!" when I got tired of repeating "Equal Rights!" They sound the same.

The magnitude of the crowd. Numbers wise we've heard 2500, 5000, up to 10k.

Blocking the Sunset Strip.

It was like a parade. We had spectators. I liked when Kait yelled at them to join us. Even better when some of them actually did.

This is outside Hollywood and Highland.

I match the Gap Baby. When the chant switched to "What do we want?" I answered: "That baby!" "When do we want it?" "Now!"

This isn't over.
Miles walked: More than 10
People: Thousands
Times I had to stop at a liquor store for water: 1
Number of feet that still hurt: 2
Number of times I got hit on and had to tell someone I wasn't a lesbian: 1
Thanks to all the people who honked. Or waved. Or cheered. Or stopped their cars. Or cried at the sight of our magnitude. Here's a couple of videos from the event. The first is the sit in at CNN that was sorta anticlimatic. The second is what happened when two groups came together at Hollywood and Highland.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Oh...and No on Prop 8.

Monday, November 3, 2008

F is for Fox

Being so far away while my 7 nephews and nieces grow up can be (obviously) difficult. My fear of course is that they won't remember me. That each of my visits will require one of those horrible warm-up periods that ends the day I leave.

Somehow, we've avoided that for the most part. I'm not sure if it's been my increased visits this year, or pretty consistent phone relationships or just that their parents do a good job of keeping me on their minds. Whatever it is, it's working and I appreciate it.

Which brings me to this story. I talk to my younger sister Melody every day, every other day. We've been pretty consistent communicators since I left St Louis 5 and a half years ago (!). Even when I lived in Paris, we were constantly on Skype. To the point that Hunter (shown here) - even at 2 yrs old - knew what the computer alert was for my online status, and would call my name at the computer.

So yesterday Melody calls me because when they got in the car Hunter (now 4.5) asked "Are we going to see Aunt Mary Anne?" Melody answered no but then called me and passed him the phone. The following is a remembered transcription of our convo.

Me: Hey! How was trick or treating? Did you get lots of candy?
H: I dumped it all on the ground!
Me: OMG! Your mom and I used to do the same thing! What's your favorite?
H: Swedish Fish!
Me: Swedish Fish? Really? That's a funny candy for a kid to have be his favorite. (I wasn't being as unsupportive or condescending as this sounds.)
H: It has numbers on it. (He means letters.) Are you going to be at Grandma and Grandpa's when we get there?
Me: No sweetheart I'm sorry.
H: Are you coming to my house for Chicken Day? (Melody in the background yells "Turkey Day!")
Me: (laughing) No, I'm going to Ireland.
H: WHAAAAT? (This wasn't whiney. It was hilarious. Like WTF?)
Me: I'll be there at Christmastime tho.
H: Ok I love you and miss you.

Of course then I go to Walgreens and all I see is a ginormous bag of Swedish Fish Halloween candy. Had he not just been bragging about his loot I would have stuck an address label on it then and there.

My wkend was pretty chill. It was fally and rainy here and I heard precisely third claps of thunder on Saturday. To say thunder is a rarity in the city of Los Angeles is a gross understatement. It was glorious.

I lounged on my couch Friday night and watched Paranoid Park and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Believe it or not, I had never seen the latter. I loved it. Paul, Robert, the music, the comedy, the bike riding...SO fun. Saturday I saw Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I found it entertaining and I laughed more than I thought I was going to. Saturday night we ventured to a nearby bowling alley that was neither completely ghetto nor shi-shi. I was reminded how bad I am at bowling. I mean bad. During the second game it took me like 5 frames to get my score past 6. I wish I were lying.

Yesterday it was off to try out the swap meet in my new-ish neighborhood. Walking around we discovered that we would be better off if we knew some Spanish for haggling purposes. Or at the very least, to ask "How much?"

The wkend was capped off with the hanging of the curtains. After 4 visits to Bed Bath and Beyond, I finally got everything right - the length of the curtain rod, the projection of said rod, the length of the curtains, the number of panels...who knew it was such a project to try to block out 99% of the light??

Of course laying in bed in the now pitch black room I realized how "dark" dark is. And it still took me 2 hours to fall asleep.

But I was here at work by 6h30a...woo hoo? I'm on mornings again this week. I also had a satellite intv with Anne Hathaway about her new movie Rachel Getting Married. I would have liked it (the movie, not the intv) MORE had it not made me nauseous, but I liked it. Anne was nice to me and I got her to laugh, so I feel good about it. I have another SMT (sat intv) with Paul Rudd later this week. I'm glad he won't be able to see me dazed in his attention.