Sunday, September 30, 2007

Like, Californication, dude, for sure.

Besides my simmering anger (kind of like the gas is on, but I forgot to light it) that "Californication" stole its title from the brill RHCP song, I have little to hold against the Showtime series. Courtesy a free preview weekend, I got to catch up on my "Weeds," which I did not for the life of me think could worm its way out of last season's messy finale (but did) and watch the first seven episodes of David Duchovny's new series. I figure I had to see the guy imitating Adam on a Showtime promo poster on the Hollywood First National building every day on my way to work, I might as well see if he can pull it off.

And yeah, "Californication" is a ridiculous romp, a fantasy of the sex life a writer might have if he lived in Venice (Santa Monica? hard to tell) and had no other way to spend his days then picking up his fellow traffic-congested on the PCH. I'm willing to indulge. Because he's not a total monster. He'd give his whoring ways up for good (we believe) if his daughter's mother would only take him back, and he's a pretty damn good father. Better than mine. So that's where you keep the female audience, because while he's knocking boots with anyone out of booties, he's got ethics, he doesn't cheat, and when some self-conscious beauties ask him to evaluate their bodies, he tells them not to change a Goddamn thing. We have a sympathetic anti-hero, and even though he loves himself (or at least exalts himself) a bit too much (v. NY, by the way), that's OK -- his daughter and the occasional guitar-thief or redheaded-adulteress will present themselves to take him down a notch. And Madeline Zima's really embracing her inner Alicia Silverstone, which is both titillating and disturbing at the same time, a fine Showtime balance.
After seven episodes, though, we need something new to happen, someone to grow, change. Right now, we have a flirt of a show, not a seductress. Banter's all well and good, but it gets stale quick when the banter's half the substance. It should really just be the style.

Went to the WeHo book fair for a bit today. Bought a tote bag from the WeHo library to carry groceries in and support a good cause. Didn't buy any travel books from Distant Lands (a Pasadena travel book shop) booth, though sorely tempted. Went to a blogging panel and ogled the smart and sexy Mark Sarvas. Felt bad my blog's pink (really, the other choices aren't better). Saw Wil Wheaton at the Star Trek panel, but didn't listen (don't care much about manga, honestly, though he's a good writer).

No Coldwater Canyon. That'll be next weekend.

Downloaded My Morning Jacket's version of "Rocket Man." Like it because it sounds like they're recording in a grotto, or some kind of cold empty cave, and you're listening to the track with your ear to the wall. Dig it.

Also, I'd like to retract my vote for most annoying song currently on the air and give it to "Ay Bay Bay" by Hurricane Chris. Here's just a little taste of this grating, awful song (stop singing about being in the club! ugh!).
You wanna know wat we say in da club (ay bay bay)
Whites folks gangsta and dem thugz (ay bay bay)
Stuntin wit a stack of dem dubz (ay bay bay)
Ridin in a lac wit a mug (ay bay bay)

What the hell? That's not music. That's a reason to have your ears hacked off and become a nun. All men should be ashamed for their gender. Right now. Go ahead. Be ashamed. This is almost as bad as being responsible for 98% of all murders.

I gotta go take a shower. Typing those lyrics made me feel dirty.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trail review, "Dose the happiness"

Quentin Blake (my favorite illustrator after my great-grandmother and Maurice Sendak... and only partly because I worship Roald Dahl) article in The Guardian. Love the name Quentin. Despite Tarantino. The quote above comes from the article.

Went on the Dixie Canyon trail today. Very steep, slender trail and unhappily short. Maybe 400-500 meters? But nice and shady, secluded, and two does sauntered across my path. Good workout for those with not alot of time. Park just below Dixie Canyon Place to add another .2 miles to the hike and walk past some giant houses that look like swank apartments (but aren't).
Will probably do Coldwater Canyon hike tomorrow.

Friday, September 28, 2007

baring and braying

Saw Lars and the Real Girl last night, but am going to hold off on a review until closer to the wide release.

Going to the WeHo book fair Sunday. Thought it had already happened, I'm not sure how, maybe my brain has been Journeymandered or something.

Tomorrow, some canyone hiking, get an oil change, beaucoup d'ecrire, un peu de lire.

I'm watching all the Thursday TV I missed, and I have to say I'm genuinely surprised by how awesome the season premiere of The Office was -- brilliant, especially how they handle the Jim-Pam relationship. I burst out laughing several times. The joke about Hinduism was awesome, the "I'm not superstitious, just a little stitious," the comment about keeping Meredith on life support, on and on. Amazing. I'm so glad NBC has FINALLY decided to air The Office online.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday night

So I didn't liveblog ABC's Wednesday night lineup half because my laptop's battery was dying and my laziness knows no bounds, half because, honestly, neither held my interest that much. Contrary to what many critics have led me to believe, Private Practice wasn't offensively bad. It was just not that interesting. The B and C-stories with the adultering corpse whose sperm both his wife and his mistress wanted went on too long and felt like an adulteration of a Grey's storyline, and the patient-counting-the-floor-tiles-b/c-her-son-died-of-brain-cancer storyline, while acted well (I do like Amy Brenneman and that guy who's not Tim Daly or Taye Diggs quite alot), was just protracted endlessly. You felt like the hour was being filled. And poor Merrin Dungey. I understand Audra Macdonald is worshipped by all, but considering the tone of the show, I don't think she makes a single positive difference.

On the other hand, Dirty Sexy Money -- kind of an absurd, silly pilot (who killed his father? please), but Peter Krause is working the primetime deal, and the cast, with a few exceptions, is pretty awesome. You couldn't for one minute believe Samaire Armstrong as a Paris Hilton-type (she was laying it on a bit thick and yet couldn't have been less convincing). I think Karen could have been cast better, or given more of a character than "in love with Nick (Peter Krause) because he's the only one who doesn't look at me and see money" but other than that, I'm willing to watch next week and see where this thing's gonna go. The parents and the brothers are all played well by their actors and have the potential to be interesting characters, especially the asshole priest brother who loathes Nick. Overall, my favorite hourlong pilot of the new fall season, though I do wish the cast weren't so appallingly white.

I won't be able to say a thing about tonight's lineup 'cause I'm going to see a preview of Lars and the Real Girl.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Music I Hate Right Now, Stephen Colbert

There's a really stellar full moon watching over the San Fernando Valley tonight (is that an oxymoron, since the moon is by nature technically NOT stellar?), set like The Birth of Venus in the cradle of loving smog clouds. Only in LA.

There are only two (or so it seems) decent non-Spanish radio stations in LA, and one of them plays Akon ninety percent of the time, which gets a bit old, so I'm primarily a 98.7 kind of girl. However, if an overplayed song like "Hey There, Delilah" (gag) by the Plain White Ts comes on for the mizzilionth time, I'll change it. Unfortunately, it inevitably leads to the other most annoying song on the air right now: I Nine's "Seven Days of Lonely," which sounds like an Avril LaVigne but with less talent song.

On the flipside, we have this fine little article about one of my fave people alive: Messr. Colbert. Here's a snippet, though I advise you to go and read it.

Last April, a Pew Center for the People and the Press report on news audiences found that Daily Show and Colbert Report viewers tied with regular readers of major newspaper Web sites as being the most knowledgeable about current events, scoring higher than daily-newspaper subscribers, evening-news viewers, and National Public Radio listeners. How's that for truthiness?

Who knew?!

May liveblog Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money later if I'm not busy translating some Russian poetry...

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Clockwork Orange (film), The Atlantic Monthly

I'm a bit more than halfway through Kubrick's film, which I'm liking far more than I thought I would. It's a bit like a circus, bit like a ballet in the beginning, which is beautiful and great, and MacDowell's perfect as Alex. I also quite like Michael Bates, who plays the Monty Pythonesque prison guard. Genius.
But here's the thing: I know women are mistreated in the book, and Kubrick's only being true to the story, but I am a bit sick of women as objects of rape and exploitative fantasy. You know what would be really different? If one of these no-holds-barred filmmakers did a movie where the woman was the one who sexualized and objectified the man. Sure, we've had it before, but only in the romantic sense. Not in the power/violence mindset. I suppose you could argue it's because women aren't like that. Well, I don't think most men are "like that" either, but there are exceptions to the rule. I'd prefer there to be none of it, period, but since the demeaning of women seems to be a favorite pasttime of these books and films (and sure, you could say, it's there to show the grotesquerie of that world, it's not really, it's there because some guy's getting off on it, and there are plenty of actresses who will fill the role; most of it's gratuitous).

And now onto the Monthly's article on quirk.
The article has a point. And the point is, those who do not share my aesthetic values are annoying. Let me demean them now. And clump them together. Because comparing sly, absurd, brilliant Arrested Development with precious and coy Miranda July is wrong. I understand the quirk impulse, especially in storytelling. It has two benefits: it needs no explanation (a priori) and it makes your work a little different. Depending on who you are and what you're doing, you can use the quirk for good or evil. AD used the quirk for good. I'm not going to talk about July because I haven't read her stories, and I'm a bit predisposed to dislike her because of how she mugs for the camera, but that's not really fair, so I'll hold off.

Anyhow. Poor Wes Anderson. Amsden's article on him in NYMag gives you a glimpse into it. He's not affecting. Like AD, he's just trying to write a great and funny story that entertains and jabs at your preconceived notions the best way he knows how. He's not perfect, but he's not bullshitting us either. So while I too found Zissou dull (actually, I'm not a huge fan, overall), I'm still excited about seeing The Darjeeling Limited. I like India. His movies are pretty. And the trailer looks good. I have high hopes.

In a time dominated by the highly trivial and yet inescapably relevant Internet, an American president who's practically illiterate, and the Red Sox winning the World Series, quirk is an understandable response. If we fetishize the small and details, we can ignore just how colossally weird the world is.

Dickens was a little quirky, by the way. As was Cervantes.

I suppose my point is, any author who uses the word "fescue" in an article instead of grass can't expect to be taken seriously, unless his whole theory rests on some wacked argument that pretention is far more acceptable a gamut than quirk. I think not, my good sir.

I heart Encino and Wyoming

Seriously. I had no idea how nice it was. I went to a movie there yesterday and then to this restaurant called "More than Waffles." Had a terrible egg salad sandwich (always a risk) and watched these people at a table across from me. The men, in particular, were all extraordinarily tall and thin, their heads long -- sort of the same physical shape as aliens get in those terrible tabloid-esque specials on TV de temps en temps. Very interesting. They weren't giants, I don't think, just - oddly proportioned.

The movie in question was The Jane Austen Book Club. I know, I know. Groan. But I like Maria Bello (mostly because of The Cooler, a fantastic film) and Jimmy Smits, so really, how bad could it be? Not too bad. It sticks fairly close to the book. Hugh Dancy's actually pretty awesome, and for what it is, the film's funny and enjoyable. The ending (the one year later bit) is insanely cloying, but whatever. Not bad for a matinee with free parking.

Oh, and go Wyoming!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

poem online

The new issue of "The King's English is up and you can read my poem, "Palms," here.

The editor nominated it for a Dzanc Books "Best of the Web" anthology. I'm not sure what that means, if anything, but it's quite flattering.

Watched "From Here to Eternity" last night without having read the book. I have to keep reminding myself that it's the more current movies that stole from the older ones, not the other way around. I'm sure when the film came out, it wasn't obvious what was going to happen to Frank Sinatra's character. They didn't have "Top Gun" and "An Officer and a Gentleman" in their heads. Anyhow, it's still good. My first Burt Lancaster experience. Now there's some kind of man.

Read "The Jane Austen Book Club." Ugh. There's nothing wrong with the book, technically, but I find the "cult of Jane" that's developed to be really hideous. It makes people who love Jane Austen but don't worship her embarrassed. I've felt the same about Shakespeare and Dickens -ophiles as well. Can't you just love their work without deifying them and rehashing their work? It's (not really) like killing people in the name of Christianity. It's not what Jesus would have wanted. Jane wouldn't have wanted "The Jane Austen Book Club," I'm sure.

I only read it because I want to see the movie. And I only want to see the movie because I want an excuse to go to Encino and not work on my novel.

The Samuel French bookshop in Studio City is amazing. Love it, love it, love it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

how things are, how things will be

Go here. It depresses me that the city of my birth will be pretty much wiped out in 2100.

Also, once again. Coal is not the answer.

The EPA is such a joke under this administration.

It's remarkable how much present-day Keir Dullea looks like Keir Dullea 40 years ago did in "aging" makeup. I'm happy the man's still working.

I watched Year of the Dog last night because Mike White is part of the reason Freaks and Geeks was what it was -- and he wrote School of Rock. But Year of the Dog is clearly not my kind of film. The pacing is pure Paul Thomas Anderson, and what was marketed as a comedy is not really a comedy. There's a sort of flatness to it, and the tone is such that the exaggerated horribleness of some of the characters that should have been elevated to funny, the way Office Space does, just ends up depressing you. And Molly Shannon. If ever I were going to fault a film for being too even, it's this one.

Friday, September 21, 2007

FNL, the second season premiere

OK, so I just watched the first episode of the second season (streaming on Yahoo TV), and they've definitely decided to up the stakes a little here on FNL. It's getting super-soapy, but you know, I'm with it. I'm on this ride, and if anyone can pull off what FNL's trying to pull off, I think these are the guys who can succeed. I'm glad Landry's coming into his own. He's a great character and shouldn't have to be sidelined. Poor Matt Saracen. I'm glad he and Julie are getting shook up a bit. I won't say anymore. Go watch it yourself. God love it.

Half of a Yellow Sun, 2007: An LA Odyssey

I started the Adichie book awhile ago, had to return it to the library, and just recently impulse-purchased the paperback. Good decision. It's a brilliant read.

Went to see "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the first time last night at the Aero in Santa Monica with MG. Holy God. What the hell? While the score is brilliant, the horrible sound coming from the big black "monolith-whatever-you-wanna-call-it" was the most brutal thing I've experienced since "Dogtown." I can't imagine people on acid watching that and not running away. Especially with that baby/embryo thing at the end. I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares.

So, yeah. Freaky movie. Weird pacing. But I can understand why people find it so impressive. It is.

Just saw a deer outside my office.

Perplexing tire problems. Tire light went on. Spent all morning at tire place. They say there's nothing wrong, but my front right hubcap appears a bit, how do I put this, busted? As long as I can drive and not die, I'm golden.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

un poco de funny

If you go to, the two most recent posts are as funny if not funnier than most McSweeney's lists.

I guess someone read my last post...

Paul Muldoon's a good guy. Hopefully, he'll shake things up.


Alia Shawkat (Maeby of "Arrested Development") played a little Iraqi girl in the fantastic film, "Three Kings." Who knew?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everything Old is Regurgitated Again

Oh, Miss Quinn. I suppose when a great writer dies, anything written about that person in short lines is a poem worthy of The New Yorker. You and Jean Valentine should be ashamed. Also, JD McClatchy' weedy poetry again? The man needs to learn how to prune.

Yesterday was a wreck. When I came home, I put on Eureka and didn't turn it off but only half-watched it. Mediocre and mundane. Kind of like what happened to The 4400.

I'm a little ill, a little lonesome, a little depressed. Need a posse. And a free gym. And so on.

Hoorah for Mad Men's second season pickup!


Wow. NBC has balls.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I can be political too

Despite how pink this blog is (I really find it troubling but am too inept to fix it) and how much I complain and talk about the entertainment industry, I am a serious person. I've been researching gun control and had to study the candidates' voting records and platforms while doing so.

Kucinich, believe it or not, is the only Dem candidate who is aggressively pro- gun-control in every facet. Other Dem candidates either shy away from gun control (check out Hillary's Web site -- it's not mentioned at all) because they know it's a campaign-killer, or are anti-gun-control (or at least pretending to be). Bill Richardson actually holds a conceal-carry card and is a member of the NRA. Not shocking, but still. You should know.

If you were going to vote based purely on who is most likely to get guns off our streets, Kucinich is followed closely by Obama and Clinton, in that I suspect they'd be inclined to bring back the assault weapon ban, but not actually go all the way. We have a number of supporters of the right to bear arms in this country, and I think every last hick one of them should be sent to Iraq. They like guns so much, they should get their kicks out now.

I don't really blame Obama and Clinton for not making gun control a top priority: not only is it a campaign-killer, at this point, healthcare, the war, the environment, and Britney Spears are really the hot button issues. They have plenty on their plates without putting Charlton Heston on there, too.

Still, I'm sick of people talking about the Second Amendment like it's gospel. The Founding Fathers weren't all-knowing deities. And even if they were,
And for you hunters out there, and those of you who think you need a gun to protect yourselves from the imminent Mexican-Iraqi-North Korean invasion, why don't you just a) buy a bow and arrow like a REAL man, and b) if our country gets attacked, it's going to be with a bomb not guns, you idiot, so go trade in your rifle for some bomb-proof paint.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today in "Did You Know?"

Did you know Giovanni Ribisi was on The Wonder Years?

I didn't know that. But now I do.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Emmys coverage

I would have live-blogged the Emmys, but since Seacrest was hosting instead of Hugh Laurie and FNL was pretty much snubbed, I thought, why bother? And I would have boycotted watching if I had a Nielsen box.
I was right. While I was pleased with many of the wins, particularly that of 30 Rock and Current (hoorah! 1:1, baby), the awards were a joke. I don't get all The Sopranos hoopla, and still I'd have forgiven it, if Boston Legal and James Spader weren't a complete mystery to me. WTF, people! WTF! Well, at least Ricky Gervais beat out Tony Shalhoub. And the little tete-a-tete between Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart wasn't bad. But Seacrest needs to quit it with the gay jokes. Kanye was funnier than him. Kanye of the no-sense-of-humor world was funnier.
Oh well.
And what was up with the broken camera? The Emmys won't get an Emmy nod next year, that's for sure.

Bionic Woman

So I've seen the pilot of Bionic Woman and feel compelled to warn you.

Nothing new, people. In fact, it's maddeningly dull. The production value is imitative of a 70s B-movie. Michelle Ryan is beautiful and boring. The supporting cast is forgettable. The only character who is even remotely compelling is the "first" Bionic Woman, the blonde who you see her fighting in the promos, and she's a caricature of little mystery. Exposition is either non-existent or excessive and clunky.

It just doesn't have the shock or surprises provided by Alias, which has a pilot that really blew people away and actually initiated the storyline. Bionic Woman doesn't. It makes me sleepy just thinking about it. I don't want to write about it anymore.

Mother Torture

So I've had an interesting weekend thus far. Friday I got out of work early, found a relatively secluded spot of the beach and read a bunch of Water for Elephants, which has a pretty cover and is the "book-of-the-month" for the book club I've decided to join out of sheer loneliness. It's not a great book. It won't change the world. But it's serviceable and interesting and worth reading. If you liked Carnivale, you'll find this a second-rate companion piece, but a companion nonetheless. The frame of this old man who's remembering (or, more aptly, reliving) his crazy days in the circus might actually be the better, more original part. Anyhow.

What's actually interesting is yesterday. Yesterday I was a (low-) paid audience member at a half-hour game show that will remain nameless, but let me tell you, it sucked. All these people were wannabe singers, actors, dancers -- people in the AUDIENCE. And let me tell you, these are not potential contestants. Potential contestants are pre-selected (and honestly, I'm fairly sure the ACTUAL contestants are pre-selected, but they'd deny it). Anyhow, we did two show tapings, and the person who won both I had originally been seated next to and was, at least, a sweet person who I'm glad won -- but then I was moved because the lady on the other side of this woman was belligerent.
I did meet a nice guy during the taping who had been talking to this super-short girl who had super-impossible dreams of becoming, you guessed it, a supermodel.
And they didn't feed us.
And there was almost a brawl between a grown man and a grown woman. It was like middle school. Only dumber.
$60 for laughing and clapping and pretending to listen on cue and waiting in lines and being treated like chattel for 9 hours. But gas is expensive and you'd have done it, too, if you didn't know better. What I can't understand is why in HELL there were people there who'd done this before. It has absolutely NO chance of making you famous, does not pay, and is not fun. I don't get it.

I watched Harvey on Friday. You should too. It's sweet and a little sad and Jimmy Stewart could have played a serial rapist/cannibal and have had us rooting for him. Damn.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Challahdays!

I know that pun must have been made before, but not by me. And since I'm one of those people who isn't ENTIRELY certain the rest of the world even exists outside of my mind, it's okay. More than okay. So-kay!

What do I want to talk about? Oh, this awe-awe-awesome headlining, curtsy of The Canadian National Sun (thanks Elegant Variation for the link). Touch the link. It's like touching God (or, well, the god of puns).

Someone out there, I love you. I'm feeling full of love right now. Maybe it's because I cooked tonight and am proud of myself. Maybe it's because I left work early. Maybe it's because I'm full of challah. And challah's alot like love. Maybe.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

UCB recap

OK, I had a really good time tonight, despite the fact that the UCB Theatre is across from the Scientology Celebrity Centre (it's like a castle). My companion was a cool kid and the show was pretty damn funny. That guy from the Sonic commercials was part of the cast and the whole group just did a fine job taking these people's absurd MySpace pages and creating longform sketches out of them. Also, David Harbour was in the crowd. He was in "The Coast of Utopia" back in NY, and even though I despised the play, I thought he was great.

According to IMDb, he's not filming anything right now. Could someone please rectify that? Thanks.

Also, been reading Chuck Lorre's vanity cards all day. They're not THAT interesting, but once you get started, it's hard to stop. He complains a lot -- for a guy who has it all.

not spoon or knife

I spend so much time in my car that I've developed a driver's tan. My left arm is significantly browner than my right. Going to have to rectify that.

Tonight, going to the UCB. Lived close to the NYC one in Chelsea, but never got around to going. I had no comedy-loving friends in NYC, believe it or not.

I feel a little sick. Maybe food poisoning. Frick.

This is, like, the most boring post ever. Fork.

(that was me putting a fork in it -- from now on, when I want to say 'Finished' or 'Done,' I'm gonna say 'Fork' instead)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Iron Man coming not-soon-enough to theaters everywhere

More than Johnny Depp, more than I don't know who else of his generation, more than any other American film actor, I would watch Robert Downey, Jr. sit on a beige carpet and eat paste. Luckily, Iron Man looks better than that.

Go to to watch it.

Here's a question though: why Gwyneth? Because Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow really put her on the comic book map? Please. The woman has less range than my cell phone in the Hills. This is what she's good at: worried. Also sulky. I heart Shakespeare in Love, but there's a reason she hasn't had an Oscar nod since.

Monday, September 10, 2007

NBC Pilots

So, you may or may not know this but you can rent 3 free pilots from your local friendly Blockbuster: Chuck, Journeyman, and Life. It says Bionic Woman is on there, too, but that's a damn lie.
Here's what you need to know:
Life stars Damian Lewis, who was stellar on Band of Brothers, and apparently now has a lisp -- that's what 12 years in jail for a crime you didn't commit will do to you, apparently. The man's British. I wish he'd just play it. There's also that hot Latina girl from The L Word. She's straight here. But not. Because she has a drug problem! Haha.
The pilot was ok, but it didn't really hook and sink me. Can zen and vengeance live together in the same, red-headed man? I don't know, and honestly, I don't think they care anymore than I do.

Journeyman is better. There's a Quantum Leap sort of problem, but he keeps going back to his real time. And his only guide as to what's happening to him may be his SPOILER ALERT not dead ex-fiancee/love-of-his-life. The last few minutes of the episode are extremely moving, and pretty consciously so. But as great as the frame is, the story within, "Neal Gaines," the guy Mr. Journeyman is tracking? Dull beans. They need to work on their stand-alone stories better.

Chuck's kind of cool, if painfully confusing and a total knock-off of Jake 2.0 with a bit of Alias and The 40-Year-Old Virgin stuck in for good measure. I didn't know Echo Park was so pretty. I didn't know that the new cool thing was shows starring "Jims" from The Office, self-aware, dorky, and still hipper-than-thou guys stuck in crap jobs. The sidekick's annoying, the reason why superspy hottie in the beginning gets killed and Chuck doesn't unclear, and the "how is this going to last for 100 episodes" overwhelming. But Chuck's affable, his spy/guardian a better actress than the posters would suggest, and there's a guy called Captain Awesome. He should get his own spin-off when this goes belly-up.

So. Just watch FNL. And 30 Rock. None of these pilots really rocked my world... though I guess they all have potential.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hannah and her Sisters

Today was eventful. Got my library card. Did a bit of walking around the old Oaks 'hood. And this evening I went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch an outdoor showing of Hannah and Her Sisters, which I've never seen. It's a good movie, very funny in unexpected places, and a great New York film. It actually made me nostalgic for Manhattan. It really shoots all over the city from Central Park to the Upper West Side, Tribeca, Midtown, Chelsea, I think, and so on. Whatever happened to Barbara Hershey? I feel like, in this day and age, she'd have a hard time getting a job, despite being awesome.

Funny enough, I seem to watch most of my Woody Allen films outdoors. I saw Bullets over Broadway in Dublin at Temple Bar outdoors in 2004. I like Hannah much better. In fact it's easily my favorite Woody Allen film. Hell, it may be the only Woody Allen film I actually like. OK, I take that back. Annie Hall was a little bit of alright.

But you gotta see the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It's amazing. We're talking gorgeous heaven-on-earth kind of royalty weddings wouldn't be weird here. But right outside is absolutely scuzzy. You go around the corner and behind the Cemetery is the Paramount lot and things get nice again, but just that chunk north of the Cemetery is not nice.

You should totally attend one of these Cinespia screenings, though there's only one left of the season (next Saturday, The Exorcist) but here are the rookie mistakes I made you shouldn't make.

Gates don't open til 7. So if you arrive at 6:45, be prepared to wait in traffic outside the cemetery because they ain't letting you in. Bring 10 dollars in cash for each person going. Bring food. Bring blankets. Several. Don't park in the cemetery. Park on a nearby sidestreet like Van Ness or something. If you do park in the cemetery, which really isn't that bad, come in so you take a right into the cemetery, not a left. If you try coming in from the left, you will be fucked. Flashlights also useful. Be prepared for the possibility that while the guys behind you are toking up, the guys in front of you will be making out. Don't go alone. It's sad.

Read Michael Palin's Sahara. Killer.

Friday, September 7, 2007

OMG, Spellbinder's on YouTube

For those of you who don't know, Spellbinder was this great show on Disney back in the day starring this gorgeous young man Zbych Trofimuik (that's Polish), who also happened to be my first major crush.

That's right. That guy.
Anyhow, when it went off the air, I was crushed. But now some wonderful person has taken the show and put it on that blessed thing called YouTube.

Paired with Spellbinder was some other Australian show about some kind of mermaid-like girl. It was like SeaQuest meets The Little Mermaid. Don't really remember.

Anyhow, at the moment I'm hoping like hell my bagel-carving gash from this morning doesn't leave a terrible scar on my thumb and that something happens in my life soon that permits me to have health insurance. Or cures accident-prone behavior.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Not a great day, but a good evening

So the morning kind of ranked up there on my list of crummy mornings, but I swigged some saltwater, went to work and survived.

My awesome boss and his equally awesome girlfriend took me to this Indian Place on the Hollywood/Los Feliz border called "Electric Lotus" and we ate next to Alexis Bledel and three unknown male companions. She's just as tiny and pretty as you might expect. It was weird. Eventually, I will get used to TV people living in the real world. Even without the celebrity sighting, it would have been a very nice dinner.

Once again, go watch Current! Even if I'm only doing research for them, not writing.


I just got waitlisted for this job that would be absolutely perfect for me. They're putting off outright rejection until later.

Also, I seem to have some kind of infection in my inner cheek. I've had it for awhile and it's incredibly painful. I was kind of hoping for some medical insurance. Now I'm probably going to end up with cancer.

Sigh. This is NOT going to be a good day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

read this

Super-belatedly, Vanity Fair makes up for its many downs with this significant up of a cover story on Al Gore and how unfairly he has been treated by so many, and how the media and the nation knew very well that he was a great and intelligent man, resented him for it, wanted a "scamp" and got exactly what it had coming.

If I ever get my own show...

I will be sure to cast Fred Savage as a villainous sort of character.

Traffic report

Today I saw a car with the ambiguous yet mightily disturbing GIRLMOM license plate.
Is that supposed to be cute? Like a young hip mom? Because for me it implies either a) I was but a child when I got knocked up and am often mistaken for my baby's sister, or b) as opposed to BOYMOM.

Neither of which is something to put on a license plate.
I took a gander at the woman in the car. She looked like any other Brentwood mom.

Then, I saw a big truckish vehicle wrapped almost entirely in tentcloth.

Weirdness on Sunset.

Monday, September 3, 2007

what annoys me

Writers are by nature anthropologists. We study human behavior in certain places and times.

Today a strange phone number called. I didn't answer. The second time he left a message. I listened. Gathered it was a flower delivery person. Called back immediately -- and the guy was already on the freeway! Wouldn't come back.

Don't send someone flowers on their birthday. Flower delivery is crap. Especially in big cities with apartments. No one ever gets their flowers. And I work, so I don't know when they'll be able to deliver them. A present shouldn't be stressful for the recipient.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


It's been a while since I checked in to see what boy wonder Peter Cincotti was up to, but I happened to be talking about jazz with a friend of mine at dinner tonight in Santa Monica, and I think that jarred my memory. Apparently, he has a new album coming out early next year, and one of the tracks "Goodbye Philadelphia" is already blowing up in Paris where, presumably, they can't understand the lyrics. The song is a wonderful showcase for Peter's increasingly awesome vocals, and it demonstrates, as usual, his phenomenal finesse with the piano -- but the lyrics? Um... well, I get what he's trying to do. Or what David Foster was trying to do. But it doesn't... quite... make... any sense at all.

Just pretend you're French. You'll love it.

The lyrics for "East of Angel Town" (which would be Pasadena? the desert? Barstow? Vegas?) and "Cinderella Beautiful" continue the geography theme of the album but make more sense, are more original, and by far more interesting and layered (in parts anyway -- "Cinderella Beautiful" is, in the end, just a little too cheesy for my taste). But the music doesn't quite kick it into the same gear as "Goodbye, Philadelphia."

I do love Peter, though, and he's incredibly talented. If you have the good fortune of being in NYC, Toledo, or Indianapolis this fall, go check him out. He's just a tremendous performer.

good quote from The Simpsons "Homerazzi" ep

How do you like your comeuppance? 8x10, or wallet-size?
- Homer Simpson



Thanks to my job and driving through Hollywood all the time, I had this weird dream last night in which I was having dinner with Vince Vaughn and this hot German blonde guy. Everything was going well, dinner ended, and we went to the hospital because me and whatever female friend I was with, Vince said, needed more iron. But then, somehow, I realized Vince wanted to use as drug mules without our consent or knowledge, so I ran away. As I opened the door to the emergency stairwell, who should I see but my most trusted friend and hero, Scott Baio. I embraced him and told him what I suspected Vince of doing, so Scott left to go confront Vince, though I very much doubted if Vince would admit to it. Then I woke up.

So, that's what happens when you see Billboards every day, are working on a drug mule story, and are writing a pilot partly set in a hospital.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Nines (cont'd)

To be fair the soundtrack was pretty damned lovely.
I was also a bit distracted. There was a man there, tall, beautiful brown hair, very manly guy, gorgeous, kind of like Jesus meets a cowboy. And the whole time I had The Killers "When You Were Young" lyrics "He doesn't look a thing like Jesus" (though he did) stuck in my head the whole time.

Today I ran some errands. Did my writing task. Went to CityWalk at Universal Studios -- an expensive mistake -- and Bookstar, a screwy sort of Barnes and Noble in Studio City.

Tomorrow I plan on going to Santa Monica, work on the novel when I get back, read some. Maybe go to the Samuel French bookshop and Storyopolis (which I missed today) in Studio City. I'd also like to get my hair cut.

that's like the pot calling the kettle really, really hot

In order to get my new job I have to pass a kind of comedy test. Which means, despite being in my AC-free, sauna of a bedroom with no one around, I am experiencing the most unpleasant ragingly scary level of stage fright.

Saw The Nines last night. Which is. Good. I heard it compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which, as dumbass Mancow Mueller would say, is like "comparing apples and grenades." Actually, it's like comparing an apple to a grenade painted to look like an apple. On the surface it looks like an apple, but you bite into it, and you die. I liked The Nines, particularly the bit about the koala bears, but I think the fact that the characters have trouble believing in themselves, which is part of the point of the story, actually makes it difficult for the viewer to do it, too. As a discussion of what a creator owes his creations, it's a little strained. A creator doesn't confuse himself for one of his creations, unless he's mentally ill... I don't know. The movie's worth seeing to take a gander at John's home, see Melissa McCarthy get a chance to lead a film and Ryan Reynolds prove himself to be a bit more worthy of his good fortune in the biz than I suspected, and some of the dialogue is really funny and/or poignant (Elle Fanning is cutely underacting and underwritten role and Hope Davis wigs me out). You won't be able to just yet unless you're in NY or LA. I recommend it over The Ten, but not over waiting until it's out on DVD.
Sorry, John. Still love your blog.

OK, now back to my hell.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen