Friday, January 27, 2006

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes

In a rare move, I am taking a survey. I got the survey from my friend's blog ( You should check his answers out on his blog--and you should probably read it anyway, since it's hilarious.

My answers are here, in my blog:

1. Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?
Grateful Dead, but it’s easy to have tons of their music. Some bands, like Dinosaur Jr, only have so many that you can have. I have many Dinosaur Jr, many Descendents, many Ani Difranco, many Erin McKeown (check her out!), many more of many others. But I also get so attached to specific albums that sometimes I am resistant to buy more by that band, lest it get ruined. Silly, I know, but sometimes I'm scared to love.

2. What was the last song you listened to?

“Sweet Child O’Mine” GNR, dude.

3. What's in your record/CD player right now?

In my car: Descendents Cool to Be You CD (their latest) and Descendents All (old school) in the tape player. These albums may as well be made by two different bands. One is cheesy and indulgent and the other is kick ass and gratifying. Anyone who knows anything about Descendents knows that All is obviously the good one—and compared to their other old stuff, it’s not even that good.
On my iTunes right now: “I Want You” Dylan
At my house: My record player has begun to make an awful noise (via the speakers, so it’s and awful noise in stereo)

4. What song pretty much sums you up?

Either “Scarlet Begonias” by Grateful Dead or “Talk to Me Summer” by Screeching Weasel.

5. What's your favorite local band?

These days, Rilo Kiley. Though I like The Muffs a lot, too, and they can legitimately be said to be from around here, too.

6. What was the last show you attended?

I don’t know if you can call seeing your cousin’s husband play keyboard in a country band fronted by the former Miss Washington State in a bar called “Cowgirl’s Inc” in Seattle (think: poor man’s version of Coyote Ugly) a “show.”

7. What was the greatest show you've ever been to?

The last Dead show I went to: Seattle, Summer1994—I finally got to hear “Scarlet Begonias” live. Sigh. Also:
A previous Dead show: Charlotte, Summer 1992—Mere days before my high school graduation. I went with fellow Pizza Hut workers in a rented Cadillac with my friend Greg driving (I hearted him big time) and a guy named Dallas. We were in the parking lot earlier in the day and talking about what we hoped to hear that night, Greg told me that they probably wouldn’t play “Terrapin Station” (for reasons I can no longer recall, but he knew everything (sigh) so I didn’t question) Anyway, this was the one on a long list of songs I’d mentioned I really wanted to hear—except this was the one I wanted to hear most of all. That night, they played a lot of the songs I’d mentioned—it was a great set and a great show. I was all alone, doing that little hippie girl dance and a new song began. Yep: Second note in, Greg found me—from out of nowhere and hugged me and said in my ear “You got your Terrapin!” Glub glub (that’s my heart, folks). That night we slept next to each other in sleeping bags outside of a hotel parking lot. You know what: I was also going to mention the 1994(?) Phish/DMB show in Lexington, VA where ALL of my college friends and I went (even the punk rock ones) and camped out and something about that night made it all perfect and great; how shocked I was to love that Rush concert in 11th grade (making it one of my faves); the good times that was the Sugarcubes/PIL/New Order show (all in one show!!!) in 9th grade; just how great Violent Femmes are live after all; the first time I was in a mosh pit (Olympia, college, Summer 1994 once again); seeing Rancid before they were big time for the minute they were big time and thinking “Who were they?” in the most revelatory was possible, but I won’t, because THIS show—Charlotte, 1992, with Greg K and Terrapin Station—was my favorite.

8. What's the worst band you've ever seen in concert?

REM, The Green Tour, circa 1990. B-O-R-I-N-G. And if a suburban, always-looking-for-something/anything-fun-to-do 10th grader is saying that—which I was at time—that’s bad.

9. What band do you love musically but hate the members of?

Hmmm, how about this instead: Based on interviews, I can guess that I love Tom Petty. But that still won’t make me buy his music.

10. What is the most musically involved you have ever been?

I tried to play bass for a spell. I wrote a little song and used F and A and G a lot and called it “Effigy.” Because it’s true that saying F and A and G together slowly it spells a word a don’t really like but if you say the letters together really fast, it sounds like a word—a word that kinda described the song better anyway. (This is me being snobby about “my music.” Dig it.) Actually, it turns out that I am not that musical, but I am politically correct.

11. What shows are you looking forward to?

It would be Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) at the Vista Theatre next week—if it weren’t sold out. Boo. I’m not as good about going to shows as I used to be. Boo again.

12. What is your favorite band shirt?

I don’t really like my Descendents baby doll tee anymore because it shrunk to the point that my whole stomach shows—up to my ribs. And that’s just weird.

13. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

Ice Cube. Dolly Parton. Kathleen Hanna. Guided by Voices. David Crosby. Tom Petty, so long as we didn’t have to talk about his music. That would be awkward.

I wouldn’t have minded trying to make Elliott Smith laugh.

14. What musician would you like to be in love with for a day?
Eminem. Just kidding. I had a dream once in which he loved me. He was so creative and talented in the dream (and real life), that I loved him, too. I had a crush on him for a few months because of that dream. Prior to the dream (and 8 Mile), I hated him so much I had to jokingly refer to him as “My Personal Lord and Savior.” I thought it was dangerous for someone with so much charisma and influence to spout such hateful things. So…I think we’d fight in real life. Plus, I’m not as good at putting on lip liner as his wife is.

I probably would be okay with any really smart, handsome, sensitive-but-not-in-an-“ask me about my menses”-way musician being in love with me. So long as they weren’t gone half the year on tour making it with other girls and falling off stage because of all the damn booze. I mean, how am I supposed to raise a family with this kind of chaos?!

Oh. Wait, The question asks about one day…hmm, I’d probably be okay with Dwight Yoakam serenading me. Or Ryan Adams if I promised not to make Bryan Adams jokes and he weren’t being a baby.

15. Pat Benatar or Cyndi Lauper?

I wouldn’t have taken this survey if I’d know the questions would be so cruel. This is me conscientiously objecting to respond.

16. Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

I’ll take Ozzy any way you’ll give him to me.

17. Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie?

I wouldn’t have taken this survey if I’d known the questions would be so insulting: solo Lionel. I like him pure, unadulterated, and in a teacher role, calling his teenage blind students to say “Hello, I love you.”

18. Punk rock, hip hop or heavy metal?

Punk rock, often. But why isn’t AltCountry a choice?

19. Doesn't Primus suck?

Beyond “Jerry was a Race Car Driver,” which I kinda dig, I would have to agree. I think. I never liked enough of what I heard to hear more.

20. Name five flawless albums:

Now THIS is a survey question!

Joni Mitchell-Blue
Concrete Blond-Bloodletting
Built to Spill-There’s Nothing Wrong with Love
Guided by Voices-Bee Thousand
Ice Cube-Lethal Injection
Erin McKeown-Distillation
GNR-Appetite for Destruction
Bikini Kill-Pussy Whipped
Operation Ivy-self-titled
Misfits-the one we call “Plan 9” but I think is actually self-titled
Screeching Weasel-Anthem for a New Tomorrow (which I just found out is now out of print. This is criminal. Another crime is that “Sunshine” is on a different record. Hmm, maybe that’s this album’s one flaw. Let’s call this one an Honorable Mention.)

I have the horrible feeling that I am forgetting some crucial records here. To those, I apologize.

21. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

Oh, this only ONE of the ways that I am a geek.

22. What was the greatest decade for music?

This one—since we have all the music up until now. Had I been around at the right time, though, I would have loved to have seen The Doors live. And David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust phase. But see #26 for more thoughts on this one.

23. How many music-related videos/dvds do you own?

2. But technically, 3. One is a video of videos (follow me?) for an awesome Dwight Yoakam record. My brother gave it to me. (Hi Andrew!) The other one is a beta tape (that’s right) from 1989. I was a black-wearing, earth-saving, Amnesty International letter-writing (well, letter-signing—I was lazy then, too) high school freshman. So, the beta tape WAS an episode of 120 Minutes that I taped from MTV as soon as we had a Betamax AND cable. It had a Smiths video as well as videos from PIL and several other great alternative bands that I would have an easier time remembering if I hadn’t taped a Grateful Dead show over it when I was in 12th grade and a giant hippie. You’d think I could have found different beta tape to record the Dead show. I mean, how hard could it have been? But, no, the Dead were suddenly way more important than Morissey and so I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Damn my phases.

24. Do you like Journey?

Yes I do like Journey.

25. Don't try to pretend you don't!

I didn’t! I came clean!

26. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Pretty in Pink: Psychedelic Furs, Suzanne Vega, OMD, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths, and more. I am so glad that I was alive and listening to good music when it originally came out.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Grease 2 soundtrack. It's soooo cooool. Like Pink Ladies Cool.

27. What was your last musical phase?

It’s safe to say that I have lately been re-romanced by Naught by Nature. On a scale of one to DAMN! They get a DAMN! Twice. (I wish I could make the song “Sunshine” just appear on your iTunes. If I see you, I’ll give you 99 cents to make it happen. This reminds me of Ice-T’s “99 Problems.” You should probably give that a listen, too. I’ll give you a $1.98 instead.) I am sad for people who don’t get to listen to KDAY (Hip Hop Today and Back in the Day--93.5 on the LA Dial).

28. What's the crappiest CD/record/etc?

I love women in rock. I love that women rock. I mean, women rock! But I have some tape compilation called Women in Rock and I’m here to tell you that it is really a compilation of the unrockingest or lamest rockingest women ever. I got it for free from some bizarre rock/artist showcase in Baltimore—an event that I still don’t know how I got roped into going. Worse, I dragged my bff—visiting from far away—there with us. The whole thing makes me uneasy to think about, really. I might need to go home and crush that tape Office Space style. Or, more likely, place it gingerly in the trash.

I think it would be awesome if each of you answered one of these questions, too. Any question you want. I changed the settings so ANYONE can leave a comment in the comments section--no special sign-in or anything. And you know who you are? ANYONE. (And by anyone, I mean Someone Special.)


Thursday, January 26, 2006

No happy endings, but...

Massage therapy school is AWESOME. As of last night (class #1), I am now 4 hours closer to becoming a certified massage technician. As I work on getting certified, I will need people to practice on. So far, anijoon has offered (shout out!) and, thus, will receive. I need others. Live in LA or come visit me. I promise that I will not try anything funny. And I'll learn how to properly drape, so the sheet's properly covering your junk.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Feel the flow

It was 19-NAUGHTY-5 on my drive in to work today. I was feelin the flow, clappin my hands, holdin my shorty, and thinking about how I got accepted into massage therapy school yesterday.

Granted, getting "accepted" into an institution whose application includes the question "Name as you'd like it to appear on your diploma" is not exactly a hard thing to do (though I hear Harvard's contains a similar question), there is a bit more to it than holding up a mirror for signs of breath (which is what my brother-in-law supposed was their method of screening). It was more like this: after they put the mirror away, I had to read a paragraph about muscles and how they work and answer questions about it. FIVE questions. Based on that and other questions about why I want to pursue bodywork, etc they accepted me on the spot into their program (whew!). Classes begin this evening.

So I bought twin bed sized flannel sheets for the practice sessions, cut my fingernails, and got my anatomy coloring book (which seems like a lot of fun until you see that it weighs about ten pounds and provides way less diagrams of genitalia than you'd hoped for). Nonetheless, I am super excited about it. It's a four month program, part-time, and will not interfere with my full-time gig.

Driving in to said full-time gig and singing "feel the flow" it occurred to me that that's what I was going to get to do in massage therapy, which is really all about energy flow and healing. Plus, this program teaches tai-chi as the basis of movement while giving a can't get much more flowy than that. My life will be one of peace and harmony and--if I keep up with the Naughty by Nature--lots more singing about poontang, tang for e'erbody!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why do people like me?

My apartment doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit. There's one coin-op washer and one coin-op dryer in the garage below the building for all of the residents to share. There are only like 8 or 9 apartments, so I would share the machine with, at the most, 20 people. But I don't roll that way.

I've lived in this building for over two months and have yet to use the "laundry facilities on the premises" (is it me, or does this read like a lease?). Anyway, like most people who aren't Paris Hilton, I do not have enough clothes (read: underwear) to go this long without doing laundry. And a laundromat--with its inevitable bad radio AND staticky TV playing noisy sports--was not an inviting alternative. I think the thing that irks me the most about laundromats are their sterility, their vacancy. Laundry, though not a relished chore, is one that smacks of home and nesting. I mean, who the hell goes out of the house to wash their dishes, to clean their bathroom? It just doesn't make sense. I mean, it's an outrage! I hadn't had to deal with no-laundry-in-unit trauma since New York in grad school and was clearly not taking too kindly to such a cruel downshift in my standard of living.

So, with the two most obvious options utterly offensive to me, I had to get creative. The first time I was faced with the extremely dire need to wash my clothes (read: underwear), I figured out the perfect solution: inflict my tedious weekend tasks on others. I just hate laundromats so much and who wants to fight over the one machine in the building? That's what I bitched about to my friend about on the phone. I'd had plans to hike with her and her husband (also a friend) that afternoon but how could I deal with this laundry situation and still get to enjoy an afternoon hike with them? Basically, I was enough of a whiny baby about it that they insisted I do it at their place. (Well, maybe insisted is too strong a term, wearily offered is probably more accurate.) So I head over to their place, simultaneously sheepish at their kindness and triumphant about my successful avoidance of laundry facilities that require quarters and sitting around. I arrive, we chat, we throw in laundry, and head out for our hike.

It's a lovely afternoon--a hike that could best be described as "strolling in the woods"--but the conversation was stimulating and the air was crisp and nice. Following this, the afternoon was made even more lovely by our decision to stop in Santa Monica on the way back to their place. They had a quick errand to run, which reminded me that I had a thing or two I'd like to get done as well. While they were looking for a gift in a particular store, I was, too--for a friend's birthday party that night. And since we were just across the street from Aveda, I asked if there was time to get my brows waxed. It's only supposed to take 10 minutes and they had another teensy errand to take care of, so no big whoop. (Brow waxing is another activity that involves some amount of consternation for me; because I don't have a regular browsthetician, I prefer to jump on the chance when it presents itself. And since it's I right there, and since I'm getting so much accomplished today already...)

So it takes a half an hour. I pay an obscene amount to the black-clad Aveda ladies, vow to ascertain the phone number of the lady I went to once on 3rd Street Promenade who only charges $10 and does a better job, and leave to look for my pals.

I find them in their car, waiting. To their credit, they are not that bothered at my delayed exit from the salon. (I'm not sure I'd be so accommodating: inconsiderate people are the worst!) So, gift in hand; brows plucked, waxed and arched; we head to their place in order for me to finish doing laundry. While the second load is in the dryer, they cook dinner for the three of us and we eat. It was delicious.

I thought of all of this today as I loaded three washers at one time and chatted to my bff during her layover at an airport. Then I loaded all three loads from their respective washers into one mega-dryer, leaving out the shrinkables and setting it at high heat for 40 minutes. When my bff and I got off the phone, I read my book. I ignored the football game on TV--though enjoyed the convo about it amongst two middle-aged men who were maybe becoming pals before my very eyes (awww, strangers becoming friends). And the radio even played "Joey" by Concrete Blonde. In less than 2 hours, ALL of my laundry was clean and folded and ready to go. Sheets, towels, jeans, underwear. And there are still tons of quarters left over in my little "laundry money" bag for next time.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The splendor of January 19th

You know how sometimes you tease something because it is so so stupid or cheesy? This was one of my favorite past times in high school (hmm...and now, too). By senior year, my friend Jenny and I were veterans at cracking ourselves up at the existence of some totally lame things like that Kenny Rogers song "Planet Texas," the dance routine to "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston that we made up way back in 8th grade and, of course, that mousy girl who walked around school with an "Ask Me about Home Economics" balloon.

We would spend physics class writing stories in the following manner: one of us would write a few sentences, fold over the paper so only one line of what we'd written was visible--giving the other one of us very little to go on in order to write more sentences to fold over all but a line or so of before passing back to the other. We do this for about a page and half or so, giving it a proper ending, then open up the whole story, and read it aloud, cracking up as we go. These stories would inevitably have at least two or more of the following components:

1. One or the other of us being judged the "Most Beautiful Princess in All the Land" (I should mention here that about 98 percent of our stories took place in the Land of Sweetness, a "magical kingdom far far away" that, aside from a castle--naturally--had no characteristics that would actually discern it from our hometown, Burke, VA)

2. One or the other of us going on Studs (the 1991 dating show hosted by Mark DeCarlo, who has also guest starred in brilliant Boy Meets World) and being pursued by super hot hotties like "Chet" with gold chains, leather pants, no shirt and a totally hot bod!

3. One or the other of us running into Mr A--our goofy, singing (yes, singing) physics teacher (who, in real life, is my older sister's best friend's sister's husband's dad. No lie.) Anyway, we'd run into him when he was in danger of his own doing or he'd be an unlikely (read: comic and singing) hero for the lame "Ask Me about Home Economics" girl who was in trouble BIG TIME.

4. Something wildly unrealistic would happen, requiring that one of us "snapped into action immediately!"

In the end, though--every end of every story--there would be happiness and calm in all the Land of Sweetness.

After we'd made fun of our favorite things to make fun of in the story, we'd seek out more material for mocking at one of our houses after school. As mentioned, "Planet Texas" was prime. We'd taken up watching CMT (Country Music Television), largely because it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, between "Planet Texas" and "Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares" what was there NOT to make fun of? You just couldn't lose.

Imagine our delight, when CMT starting playing a Dolly Parton video for her latest hit single "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin [sic] Like That?" A sample:

why'd you come in here lookin like that/with your high-heeled boots and your painted on jeans/all dressed up like a cowgirl's dream...why'd you come in here lookin like that/when you could stop traffic in a gunny sack/why you're almost giving me a heart attack/when you waltz right in here lookin like that

The song was AWESOME--in the best, most ironic way possible. We loved it. I found myself tuning in after Jenny'd gone home--you know, just to see if the Dolly song was on. And if it wasn't, I check at night, confident that I'd catch it on CMT's Top 20 Countdown. And usually, the Dolly video was on (along with Lionel Cartwright's "Leap of Faith" and Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen" and that really good Sawyer Brown song and wait, what?!--since when did my love of mocking country music turn into my, ugh, enjoyment of country music?) That's when I learned a cruel lesson: ironic enjoyment has a shelf life. It doesn't die, it mutates. In short: that which you mock becomes that which you love.

It's a lesson I had begun to learn: first with The Bangles (entrypoint? "Eternal Flame"), followed by Boy Meets World (entrypoint? Nickelodeon), and who could forget Def Leppard? (Wait, that one was always sincere). Anyway, CMT was the experience that drove the lesson home. And no one drove it home better than Dolly.

Being a sappy teenager, I was already a fan of Steel Magnolias and, come to think of it, thought Dolly was great in it. Then she was on Oprah and sang a new song called "Eagle When She Flies." It was okay, I guess. Pretty cheesy, though, with her whisper-singing and all. A couple of years later, on a trip to or from college, I bought a Dolly's Greatest Hits cassette from the $4 music rack at a gas station. I thought, Ha! A Dolly Parton tape! Jenny would laugh so hard! Listening to this tape, though, is how I found out that Dolly wrote and sang "I Will Always Love You" long before that Whitney "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" Houston came along.

On another trip, I bought another cheap Best of Dolly Parton CD and, though several songs were different than the other one, "I Will Always Love You" was included. And this version of it made me cry. Not even pre-menstrual or post-break up tears. Nope, just the sheer beauty of Dolly's singing, nay, whisper-singing, got me RIGHT THERE. And that was it. I loved her.

I remembered back to that Oprah episode and Dolly told the audience in her sweet mountain accent, "Well I may be the fakest lookin person you'll ever meet but I'm also the realest person you'll ever meet." Recalling that and hearing the heartbreak in this version of the song, I got it. And then I went out and bought the CD with "Eagle When She Flies" on it. Then more of her music. Then her autobiography.

I once had a dream in which I met her. It was at Dollywood and I got into an elevator and she was in it already. We went up. It was just the two of us; her smiling graciously and me panicking silently. It was awesome.

So I guess the moral of this here tale is two-fold:

1. Today (January 19) is Dolly's 60th birthday. Think kind thoughts and, if you get a minute, download "My Tennessee Mountain Home" for sweetness and "Travelin' Man" for awesomeness

2. Lest we forget: Sometimes lifelong love takes years to grow. And sometimes that love begins as mocking.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

From tragedy to perfect in one hour or less

Why oh why was Love Monkey so tedious? I mean, adding some rock n' roll songs and a John Mayer sound-alike does not a good show make. A sad lesson here is that not all formulaic entertainment is as good as White Chicks. Also sad--at least on a personal level--is that I'll probably tune in next week. Something about how it all worked out in the end (for those of you've TiVo'ed and not yet viewed, skip over this next li'l bit)...I mean this guy speaks his mind about the importance of being in the music business for the music, damn it, and not for making a buck. He delivers such impassioned words in a meeting amongst colleagues and boss and then gets fired for such passion. So very Jerry Maguire. THEN his girlfriend, whom he's not that into, dumps him. THEN THEN, the hot new act (John Mayer sound-alike) that he wanted to sign is being wooed by his ex-employer, Goliath Records. Could things suck worse?! Heck, no! They couldn't suck worse. Praise Jah for his bff, an attractive woman who has a boyfriend but may really have a thing for our hero. Meanwhile, our wallowing hero begins to notice said bff until he meets a hottie. AND for being a decent guy to a fellow music-guy, got offered a job at that guy's label--smaller than Goliath and "about the music." Our hero is home. What's more, this smaller label--we'll call it, uh, David--just signed the John Mayer sound-alike AND the hottie he met at the bar WORKS at this label!!!

[Welcome back, TiVo folks...]

I guess another reason why I may tune into Love Monkey again is because it's like a mirror of my own life. Let's take a look at some recent events at Camp Starpower:

I woke up the other morning to yet another glorious Los Angeles day--blue sky, cool breeze, sunshine and plam trees. I noted that my hair had been kissed by the sun and was extra-lightened to a rich auburn. In fact, if I was not mistaken, my hair was even richer and wavier and auburner than its usual rich and wavy auburnness. I slathered on some fake bronzing lotion ala fellow-Irish-girl-in-tantown Lindsay Lohan and headed out into the day. If I recall correctly, I was wearing an understated tiara, rhinestone-studded "QT" baby-tee, low-rise pencil denim skirt, (for lack of a better term) "high-rise" thong, and 4 inch heels. I looked really good, you guys--but I had to, since I had a meeting at work with important clients. So after a quick peer at the ocean from my building's steps, I proceeded to my car and set off for work.

Now it was way too pretty a day to think about the world's problems so I passed on NPR and slipped in one of my fave CDs of all time, The Bangles Greatest Hits. While singing "If She Knew What She Wants" at the top of my lungs and thinking about the Big Meeting and how I was sure to wow the clients with my knowledge of the issues and totally hot butt cleavage, I looked in the mirror on the driver's-side-flippy-block-the-sun thing and noticed a total lack of mascara on one of my eyelashes. I'd only be wowing them with my complete lack of attention to detail walking into the office like that! So I immediately fished the mascara out of my purse, pulled the flippy thing down further to be at a more strategic mascara-fixing angle, when--out of NOWHERE--a car was suddenly in front of me and stopped.

Now I'd slowed a little bit before the crash--I always slow down dramatically when applying make-up of any kind, for safety--so it could have been a lot worse. Try telling that to the guy whose car I hit, though. So we pulled over (as in, he could totally still drive his car. Shees.) Still, he was soooo mad, saying it was all my fault, blah blah blah. His strong jaw clenched in anger, he demanded my phone number and insurance information. I demanded to know what time it was since I was going to be late for a meeting. He was all, "You're not the only one with meetings around here. Just because I don't have my tiara on doesn't mean I don't have big important work to do." He said this last part in a whiny baby girl voice which, as a feminist who chooses to wear tiaras, I was pissed. But I was also professional and had a meeting to get to. So, rather than fake-lament the teensy amount of damage I did to his big Earth-killing SUV, I apologized (as if it were my fault, gah), reminded him he had my info, and dashed off to work.

I park my semi-crashed car in the garage (I should have been singing "Manic Monday" with all the chaos of the morning), and set in with that little hop-run that are all heels and pencil skirts allow when you're trying to get somewhere fast and hop-run hop-run hop-run across the street, down the hall, towards the office. I am late. The meeting was scheduled to start 10 minutes before my now postponed arrival. And if I had an aeroplane, I still couldn't make it on time... So as I near the office door, expecting the worst reaction from my boss, frowns from the clients and shit! I never got to fix my mascara! Euyavuys, could it get any worse? I mean, could it? (On the way in, I think my reflection showed my auburn was even a little less rich, a little more brown. If this weren't LA and this were a made-up story, I'd totally make it start to rain at this point. Everything is terrible--what if I get fired for blowing the Big Meeting?)

I get my wits about me and turn the office door, nearly wincing at the impending doom. And there's nothing. Nothing but PRAISE, that is! My boss and two of the three client contacts were lined up in the entrance of our office, complimenting me on my outfit, butt cleavage, and, most of all, sheer professionalism. I was all, "But I'm late. ?" "No, no, Sam called and explained the whole thing," says Boss. I was confused, "Who's Sam?" Client contact 1 explains, "Let us give you a hint: 'I may not wear a tiara, but...'" No way. In the little girl whiny voice and everything. I brightened, "Am I getting punk'd?" "Ha! That's for famous people. You're not famous!" (Thanks, boss.) Client contact 1 pipes up again, "Well, not famous yet, that is." Client contact 2 continues, "First of all, Sam's very sorry for his mood this morning--he's not only a business man--on his way to this meeting, in fact--but he's also a producer and he'd just found out the leading lady for his new film is pregnant with Brad's, er, is pregnant and cannot take the role after all. And shooting starts tomorrow." Client contact 1 continues, "Anyway, Sam was so impressed with your calm demeanor at the accident site--though he knew you must have been angry--he figured you'd be a bang-up actress. Get it? Bang-up?" (Ahh, car crash humor.) Client contact 2 butts in, "He does think you'd make a great actress...well, after we get that mascara issue worked out." (Wince.) Boss rains on the parade, "Um, what about the work we have to do here?" Client contact 1, "It's a go! You get the contract!" "Great! But who's going to do it--Starpower's the best we got!" Client contacts 1 and 2 in unison, "And now she's the best we got!" Laughter all around.

So that's why I can watch Love Monkey. I can totally relate.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

TV crush

Well it was already pretty obvious that I have a crush on the wonder that is television. But I'm here to tell you that now I have a crush who is on television. And it is because of said crush that I can never go to sleep before midnight. Not anymore anyway. Not with my boyfriend Stephen Colbert's show coming on at 11:30 I can't. Sure I could watch the 8:30 showing of The Colbert Report instead of the exact same "late edition" three hours later but I don't. I don't have a good reason why I don't and to tell you the truth I rarely ever go to sleep before midnight anyway. So why is this different? Well now instead of like reading (stupid reading) I just turn on the TV and sigh. He's so funny. And socially aware. And remarkably generic-looking. But the more I watch, the more generic morphs into handsome as I laugh and laugh and laugh at his take on our country. He makes this Administration and the news about it a little easier to take. I heart anyone who can do that. But really I heart him.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Basic Cable Movie Review #1: White Chicks

"Don't hate me because you ain't me" is only one of a gajillion super funny things about the movie-that's-been-out-since-2004-
White Chicks.

This little gem comes to us from the genius comedic minds of the Wayans brothers and let me tell you, this shit is FUNNY. If I weren't laid up with a cold on a Friday night would I have been at home watching TV or at the tapas place with my friends about a mile from my house? Well, obviously I'd be enjoying a cheese plate among my pals and possibly even sipping some sangria (though I've kind of been on the outs with ye olde alcohol since new year's) , but Fate swept in, insisting that illness stayed with me beyond the bounds of the work week and into the weekend proper. I normally loathe such evil antics but this time, friends--despite my attempts to rest and drink OJ and take homeopathic remedies and Western medicines alike--the illness keeping its stronghold* was a good thing. You see, it brought me White Chicks. Let's go through a little checklist and see how well it did:

1. Requires MASSIVE suspension of disbelief? You bet! To think that every single person who saw man-sized Shawn and Marlon dressed as the petite hotel heiress Wilson twins thought that they were in fact the Wilson twins AND to think that Shawn and Marlon didn't make the most disturbing-looking pair of white girls ever AND to think that no one in the movie thought that they looked disturbing, but in fact wanted to get with their fine white asses? Well, suspend away, folks, because it's worth it.

2. Involves two officers of the law who can't get a break from their chief? That's right! Shawn and Marlon play FBI agents who just can't get a fair shot--especially not with that pesky other pair of agents who get all the breaks.

3. Get one teensy break from their chief and mess it up and a bunch of wacky hijinks ensues to cover it up? I mean, all they had to do was pick up the Wilson twins from the airport. Easy, right? Especially for two great-yet-unproven-agents as Kevin (Shawn, aka the cuter one) and Marcus (Marlon, aka cute until you see Shawn)? It should be and would have been had those actual white chicks been reasonable. But they weren't. They were being spoiled like general audiences assume rich hotel heiresses to be (it's sad how misunderstood we are) and refused to go to the Hamptons for the weekend like they were supposed to. Soooooo, not wanting to be seen as failing a simple task, guess who goes in the twins' place? You guessed it!

4. While undercover, find clues to the mystery just by being in the right place at the right time? Indeed. In spades. They practically crack the case in one vomit session.

5. Includes scenes involving humor too low for Starpower to enjoy, causing her to shut her eyes in disgust? Several times. So nasty. The movie gets 1/2 a demerit for that. It would get discredited more but the rest of it is so hilarious.

6. Contains dance scenes? I just can't ruin this part.

7. Uses cruelty to animals as a plot device and for humor? Totally.

8. Involves an oversimplified love story as a side plot, complete with its own hijinks and usage of lies and deceipt to get to a woman's heart and when the lies and deceipt are revealed to the woman, he still wins her over?
Yes!!! And the lies and deceipt are HUGE! But it's Shawn Wayans and he smiles all cute and you can just tell that he means well. Plus, he does something to make up for it. Something in addition to coming clean, that is (once he's already been busted, that is).

9. Agents get busted by chief, get fired by chief, and through conviction to solve case and salvage careers, save the day? What do you think?

10. Reasons to watch the movie: Well, if I hadn't already made the case for watching it crystal clear (and/or ruined the whole movie for you), there are even more reasons why you should watch White Chicks. Seeing black men talk like white chicks. Seeing white chicks talk like white chicks. Latrell. All scenes involving the Vanessa Carlton song. Jennifer Carpenter who also plays Emily Rose in the Exorcism of...she shines in the dressing room scene. Plus she's from Louisville, KY where my mom's from and went to Sacred Heart Academy for high school--where my mom went. Hmm, I guess that's not really a selling point to get you to watch the movie but the dressing room scene should be.

If I had a talk show, I'd dedicate an episode to interviewing all the Wayans involved in this masterpiece, all of the white chicks, and their little dog, too. And you'd each find a copy of the White Chicks DVD under your chairs.

*"the illness keeping its stronghold" is perhaps a little dramatic. I mean, it's a cold, not cancer. What kind of a baby am I?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Freedom from five, aka why not start the year off with a lame blog entry?

Happy New Year! I meant to do a little highlights and lowlights of 2005 thing at the end of this past year but was too busy listening to country music while driving a blue pick up truck throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC visiting family and friends. One has to maximize one's time while at the other side of the country, seeing as many people who are important to one as possible. I'm not sure that I was able to spend as much time with anyone as I would have liked, but I am glad that I at least got to see as many of them ('them' such a nice term for loved ones) as I did. I'd say that it was a little hectic with all the driving except that I really like driving. Living in LA, this is a very good thing, since hating driving would probably equal hating LA.

I am glad to be back. In my room, in my bed. I would be driving (ahh, driving) to work right now, except that my head is so stuffed up that it's about 17 pounds (and pounding) and I have a cough and other unpleasantness. I was at work for about an hour yesterday before being sent home. Like the rest of California, there's a bit of a flu epidemic in our office; many of us were home sick or told to go home. I was glad to go not only because I was feeling so nast, but also because a person of authority told me that I should not be working. How great it is when responsibility is temporarily removed from you? Like being told you have to stay home for a snow day. Dang. Except you don't typically feel like ass on a snow day, so I guess it's really not as cool after all.

A highlight of 2006 is already apparent: I don't have to cut and paste the number five anymore when typing the year. You see, the five key has been missing from my trusty laptop since one cat was running from another cat in my bedroom two years ago. I was typing away when Miss LC jumped onto my bed, ran across my pillows, then skidded across my lap, which was holding this keyboard. By the time she cleared it, the five key and the key with the tilde symbol were popped clean off. Thanks, cat.

So I won't have to scramble for already-typed fives when typing the year. I have to say that that alone may promise that 2006 is totally going to be the best year in my whole life so far.