Archive | February, 2009

25 Things About Me Which I Posted on Facebook

20 Feb
1) When I was five my mother warned me not to cross my eyes or they would stick– they did. I had weak optical nerves and they did, in fact “stick”. I had to wear octagon-shaped tortoise shell glasses until I was twelve when a volleyball hit my face and smashed my glasses and “corrected” my vision. Until 2000, I had perfect 20/20 vision– now I have low-prescription specs again.

2) I did not speak a lot until I was almost seven. They put me in a remedial class until my parents charged into the prinicpal’s office to show him some stories and drawings of rabbits and birds I kept in a “portfolio.” I was immediately put in the “gifted and talented” group from then on.

3) I had a full-on obsession with The Beatles my 7th and 8th grade years which included belonging to an international Beatles penpal network; I wrote my first fan letter to Paul McCartney wearing my white confirmation dress and Love’s Baby Soft perfume. Also, I knew Heather Mills was trouble from the moment I first saw her. I have since visited Strawberry Fields and the Dakota in NYC and Abbey Road Studios in London. I have yet to get to Liverpool.

4) When I was 22 I posed nude for life drawing classes at the community college more for the sense of adventure than for the whopping $14 an hour. I often wonder if I am hanging up in someone’s bedroom or been sold in a garage sale. In one session I had to use a “prop” from my purse at the instructor’s suggestion– I held absurdly difficult poses while “reading” Notes from Undergound by Dostoevsky.

5) I was very close to becoming a Zen buddhist nun at one point when I lived in a Korean Zen temple in Los Angeles. At the last minute, I chickened out realizing I would have to shave my head. I think I have a funny shaped head.

6) My mother died suddenly in her office building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1993. She was 51.

7) My great grandfather, Will Rogers (not “the” WR, but “a” WR) lead a group of settlers from Oklahoma to Mexico where they were surrounded by banditos and everyone was killed– except my GGF. They slit his throat and left him for dead. He packed his wound with mud and floted down a river until a Mexican farmer and one of his daughters found him. The youngest of seven, that girl became my great grandmother. WR took her north and settled in San Antonio.There is a statue of him in Corpus Christi.

8) I’ve been to the White House twice– once to meet Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with Liz Carpenter and Betty Friedan, and once for a brunch in the East Wing with the President Bush and Laura Bush– on Sept. 9, 2001.

9) I had one of my poems, “The Sigh” published in a literary magazine, but I don’t remember when or which one.

10) My childhood hero was Wonder Woman and I still have some memorabilia proudly displayed in my office including a shadow box my father made for me with my WW toothbrush holder, my old glasses and a note I wrote to him when I was seven which reads: “Dear Dad, I want to be WONDER WOMAN! Can you please find a siinttist (sic) so he or She can find some kind, of something that will turn me into Wonder Woman?”

11) I’ve been in one play– playing a chain-smoking, whiskey-slugging frustrated writer. What a stretch. I also performed in slam poetry competitions, but only a few times. I won twice but the stage fright almost killed me.

12) I have been on national television twice: once on America’s Funniest People barking like a dog, and the other on Oprah (as a guest of one of my clients).

13) I believe in the power of universal forces which are unexplained, mysterious and beautiful. I also believe in science, and that physics, spirituality, stars, caterpillars, comedy, love, pasta, DNA, compassion and trees come from the same source… just not sure how. I often ask for assistance, advice and encouragement from spiritual guides, angels and forces that I can deeply sense.

14) My two-year old has been consistenty asking me to please take him to the moon now. I have been telling him “no” in a variety of ways, but he is persistent. I then realized “who am I to tell him no?” So now I tell him “not yet” and “be patient” and he seems to be satisfied with that.

15) I once told Frank McCourt who wrote “Angela’s Ashes” that I was “REALLY poor” in college because I had to eat Ramen and sometimes turn on the oven for extra heat. We were drunk. I was an ass, and really embarrassed the next day.

16) I hate crab, lobster, and especially shrimp.Yuk. They are bugs. I was once terrorized by a 6 foot costumed shrimp outside of a Bubba Gump’s restaurant in New Orleans. I screamed, cried and ran away. I guess you could say my shrimp hatred was really sort of a phobia which I now have under control, though I would never actually eat it. I recuperated later at a dinner theater with drag queens where Trent Reznor and Gennifer Flowers were in the audience with us.

17) My sister has had visions of the Virgin Mary and has hundreds of polaroids in several carefully kept albums documenting these experiences. She has had these photos reviewed by local priests who once encouraged her to send them to higher sources. She has hid them away and does not speak of them anymore.

18) My husband was is a popular rock band in the early 90s and played at the Black Cat Lounge on 6th Street twice a week for three years. One night, a ceiling fan fell and sliced through his scalp. He continued to play his guitar until he saw blood and the horrified looks on the audience’s faces.

19) At Christmas Eve midnight mass in Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, I briefly made eye contact with Pope John Paul II. Though I was not a practicing Catholic at the time, it was a deeply moving experience. Though his body was broken, his eyes were crystal clear, sky blue, youthful and alert. The next day, my sister and I enjoyed Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant down the street from our hotel.

20) For a living, I used to read screenplays in LA. I rejected 98% of the ones I read– including Blue Brothers 2000. They made it anyway. Another one I rejected was also eventually made into a movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Bon Jovi. I think Bon Jovi played a sexy carpenter.

21) I once tried to meet Steve Buscemi when I heard he would be at club on Sunset Blvd. My girlfriend and I went there and I was disappointed when the only celebrity I met was Matt LeBlanc from “Friends” who was trying to ditch his entourage and bum a smoke from me. I asked him if he knew if Steve Buscemi was in the club or not and he looked pissed off and walked away.

22) Notable wedding moments: My dog Felix wore a tuxedo and was the ringbearer. Our first dance was to “I’ve Got the World on a String.” And we managed to work a scene from “Raising Arizona” into our ceremony.

23) I had to break up with a selfish, unstable and negative boyfriend once so I told him to meet me at Bennigan’s. I wanted to break up in a place that I knew I would never, ever, ever visit again. It was perfect.

24) I love all things British, and I guess I would consider myself an anglophile. I love the British fairy tale and children’s literature traditions. However, I have never read a Harry Potter book all the way through. I honestly have no explanation for this.

25) The only song that I think I can sing well from start to finish is Paper Moon.

Don’t Be A Selfish Ding Dong: Charity Water

20 Feb

So why should you care about clean water? You probably waste a few gallons of it every day– like turning on the faucet to rinse a spoon that fell on the ground for, like, two seconds. I thought I was doing my part by just wiping the thing off on my shirt. But, alas, there is more we can do. Check it out:

Joaquin Phoenix: The Ego or the Artist at Play?

13 Feb

When I watched the interview with Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman last night, I immediately flashed back to high school and college. There were these kids at my school, and the “richer” schools around town, who were so privileged and “cool” that their smugness and egos could light up a few counties. They didn’t have to answer to anyone, they didn’t “care” what people thought, their bratty and self-centered behavior mystified grown-ups and enchanted wannabes and social groupies. They hated the very system that elevated them and supported their dreams of becoming artists or musicians or wandering philosophers. They took risks because they knew their brand of risk came with the stability of parents with money, or a trust fund. I did not like these people because, to be blunt, they were assholes. They abandoned manners and their unique sense of judgement could make right wing conservatives look like Mother Theresa.

But then I caught myself. I started to remember other late night antics– Andy Kaufman, maybe? Naah… I think the interview had more to do with getting some cool footage for the Casey Affleck documentary about Joaquin’s new hip hop career. Seems there is always room for the requisite “Fuck you, Dave” or “This was me hitting rock bottom” scene in any self-respecting celebrity documentary. Perhaps Joaquin orchestrated the lame interview to provide that much-needed dramatic arch to any future true story docu-drama.

Or you know what? Maybe he was just high.

Reason #1472: Why I Love Austin

11 Feb
** CORRECTS BYLINE TO CHRIS NAKASHIMA-BROWN **In this photo provided by Chris Nakashima-Brown, an electronic road sign is seen in Austin, Texas on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. Two electronic signs intended to warn motorists of construction near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards were changed yesterday by hackers.  (AP Photo/Chris Nakashima-Brown)  ** MANDATORY CREDIT **

** CORRECTS BYLINE TO CHRIS NAKASHIMA-BROWN **In this photo provided by Chris Nakashima-Brown, an electronic road sign is seen in Austin, Texas on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. Two electronic signs intended to warn motorists of construction near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards were changed yesterday by hackers. (AP Photo/Chris Nakashima-Brown) ** MANDATORY CREDIT **

Fanboys = Fantastic! Thanks, Ernie Cline

8 Feb
clineernie2
So last night was the big night… Fanboys actually opened in Austin, TX at the wonderful Alamo Ritz  after an epic trek to the big screen. I felt so proud of our friend screenwriter Ernie Cline. And to be honest, I was really hoping and praying to love this movie after everything it has been through. AND I DID! It was great.  It had heart, humor, humanity and hilarity. In other words, it was a hit. Certainly the final cut of Fanboys wasn’t the perfect vision that Ernie had once conceived, but it delivered on being a real love letter to Star Wars and Star Wars fans the world over. So if you live in New York, New Jersey, L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Houston, Austin or Seattle– SEE IT NOW!!
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