Friday, February 29, 2008

regarding Armisen and Obama

So apparently there's been a huge brouhaha about Armisen playing Obama because he's "white" and Obama is "black."

OK. FIRST OF ALL, neither of those is, genetically, quite accurate. Both are of mixed-race backgrounds (Armisen's Japanese among other things). Second of all, Armisen does a great Obama.

So while people have every right to be irritated by the lack of diversity on SNL, there is no connective tissue between the two. I can't think of a single African-American actor on SNL since its inception who would have done it as well (Tim Meadows might have been okay, but Maya Rudolph would have been better than any man). Women play men and men play women, and actors have played other races before. That just shouldn't be an issue.

However, there should definitely be more women on SNL, and not everyone should be "white."

And I say this finding Fred Armisen to be one of the creepiest human beings alive.

Thursday, February 28, 2008



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

upcoming shows from the 8 year-old creators of "My Dad is Better than Your Dad"

My Fire Truck Makes Better Fire Truck Noises than Your Fire Truck Can
My Little Sister Can Skip Rope Circles Round Your Sister, Who Looks Like a Walrus, But Uglier
My Allowance is Higher Because My Parents are both Richer and More Generous than Your Parents
My Snot Tastes More Like Pizza Than Your Snot
My Grandmother's Angina is More Severe than Your Grandmother's Angina, But She Still Smells Better
The Teacher Said I'm Her Number One Favorite Which Means I'm the Smartest and You're a Stupidhead
Yo Mama

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck (and apparently half of Hollywood) make sweet, sweet music

I didn't think there was any way Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck could top the Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon video.

But, oh, did they. OH DID THEY. It helped of course that they managed to Huey Lewis, Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt (amaaaaaazing), Robin Williams, ETC. ETC. to join in. In any event it's amazing. But v. NSFW.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

have you seen this short?

Seriously wow.

80 pretty good

So with the exception of Tilda, I predicted all the major awards and some of the non-majors (I'm looking at you Sound Editing), and with the exception of Cody's win, I'm pretty happy. And Jon Stewart did SO much better this year.

But I think we all know whose Oscars it really was.

That's right. Frances McDormand, a total joyous wreck over her husband, Joel, and Ethan's sweep. Hoorah for her.

o so oscary

I'ma gonna clear things up. When I said Las Vegas was dead, I meant the show on NBC. The actual city, for all I know, is alive.

Am reading things for other people. Finished up an application for a fellowship that I didn't realize was due Thursday. Luckily I'll be dropping the application at a post office literally on the same street (but on the other side of the 5) as the studio.

Yesterday I got my hair cut. It was a very adult thing for me to do. I find it something of a challenge to be consistently adult. A daily challenge, actually.

I love Trader Joe's frozen pizza. So far I like it more than any other pizza served in the Valley. Also, it's much cheaper.

I'm not particularly interested in the Oscars tonight. I'm in the same town as all this, and I'm just not interested. I haven't seen There Will Be Blood, and I have all this animosity towards Juno that I'm sure is partly just me being jealous, but mostly upsetting because so many people don't understand how postured it is. And I'm not one of those rabidly anti-McSweeney's people either who resent a certain kind of humor because they don't get it or because they think it's a bunch of self-absorbed Brooklynites succeeding too young. I can't really explain it. Some things just rub you wrong, I guess.

Anyhow, I'm of the No Country for Old Men school, and I hope it wins Best Supporting Actor, Film and Director. Though I did love Tom Wilkinson's work. I didn't see The Savages or Elizabeth: The Golden Age, but Marion Cotillard was pretty amazing in La Vie En Rose. Best Supporting Actress should go to Ronan, but it won't. I love Cate Blanchett, so I'm not too sad she's probably going to win for a truly unpleasant film. If Ruby Dee wins, I'll be annoyed. Best Actor is tougher. I'm sad Josh Brolin and Denzel got overlooked. Eastern Promises was just absurd in its portrayal of Russians. But Daniel Day-Lewis is a lock, so good for him. He scares the crap out of me, let's keep him happy.

Best Adapted Screenplay will probably (and deservedly) go to the Coens, though everyone should commend Sarah Polley on her awesomeness. Best Screenplay will probably go to her . But let's talk about the others. Though I enjoyed the film immensely, Michael Clayton was just a bit too long in the tooth and not so original that I would give it to them. Lars and the Real Girl was wonderfully original, but it sympathized too much with a freak for, I think, many voters. I haven't seen The Savages, but I'm sure it's amazing, deserving, and will remain under-appreciated. That leaves Ratatouille, which is pretty awesome. I know most people think it will beat Persepolis in the animated category, but I'm not so sure. It would be nice if both won something.

So the films I haven't seen and still need to AND want to The Savages, The Assassination of Jesse James, There Will Be Blood, and In the Valley of Elah and will do so as soon as the library has them in stock.

But I'm not gonna liveblog the Oscars. Other people are doing that. I don't care so much. But I do kinda wish I was in Vegas.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Las Vegas

is dead. NOOO!

I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic or not.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

dirty hands, icebox, you don't wanna know

So I'm kind of digging at least a few of the American Idol contestants. Who knew?

Watched the Heckerling straight-to-video I Could Never Be Your Woman. It's unfortunately out-of-date now, with references to Will and Grace, but since the movie is a total Paul Rudd charmathon, features next-big-thing Saoirse Ronan and the wildly talented, if underused OT Fagbenle (Quarterlife), and is supremely optimistic, it's literally impossible not to like it. It's not a classic or anything, and the You Go Girl show-within-a-show makes me want to ralph, but I think we should all support Amy Heckerling forever and always, so go rent it. K?

Unfortunately, however, I do have the White Town song of the same name threaded through my neural cortex now. Gotta say. It blows.

Also saw Becoming Jane. It's a weird movie because it can't really be a rom-com because the pair don't end up together (as anyone who knows anything about Jane Austen knows), and it's not really a biopic since it mostly concentrates on the romance. Everyone loves James McAvoy, who I think has done this amazing thing by turning a not-remarkable face into supernova-attractive through this wildly sincere charm and charisma. It's not crude and suspicious like Colin Farrell's, and that helps things considerably.
But Anne Hathaway, for all her merit, just doesn't hit the necessary intellectual notes. Maybe no one asked her to, but she's pretty unbelievable. She's just, you know, a girl in this. There's nothing brewing under the surface, which we'd all demand from a person playing Jane Austen. Maybe she's too young in this. I'm trying to think of someone younger who could have done it, but I can only see Kate Winslet or Jennifer Ehle, neither of whom are young enough I guess.

This NBC no-upfront thing is kinda wigging me out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

nor indeed any other night

The Red Shoes made me want to die inside. And not in the good way.

100% satisfaction guaranteed

Never underestimate the power of really good shredded coconut. It can change an entire day.

Tried Runyon Canyon earlier after hiking up to it from Hollywood Blvd. A little over my abilities. Will work at it. But it's a lovely trail, with lovely people and their lovely dogs.

Cesars Bizarres

Having now seen three of the major French films of the year, La Vie en Rose (aka La Mome), Persepolis, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I checked out the Cesar nominations. It might interest you to know that the Cesars have a foreign film category, and the American films they chose to honor with Cesar nods?
We Own the Night and Eastern Promises. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't We Own the Night booed at Cannes?

Also, Jean-Pierre Martins est un homme magnifique. Seriously, I didn't know they made them like that anymore.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Please, somebody save florent. When I lived in Chelsea, there was no restaurant I loved more.

old poem that won't ever get published

Me-coming Moon

I ain’t your brushfire moon,
brushfire moon
Bussin’ the sea and seein’ me pull’d
Wot cornucop wire to moon
Light ‘er, and see howl liked it to me
Be earless flighting out blue
And growing blue-to-seed-green
And green v le fly withal settle soon
Fire amasted and master, and it’s
Harvesting the clouder to swoon
Gasted a flabber, I’m a me-coming in two
Lizard-green and sniffle-o-you
I signot four candles allowed
For candles is loud to go ‘round
The sound flush’n and tranq,
Tide-size n whittled, like moon

Friday, February 15, 2008

Persepolis and the coconut

I'll admit it. I'm a tough nut to crack. I'm jealous and not easily impressed by writers I see in real life. They strike me as insincere, grasping, frauds. Whether they're poets, novelists, screenwriters, or journalists, there's but a few, even of the ones I admire as actual writers, who I don't find lacking in person.

So look at me, worshiping at the feet of the uber-cool Marjane Satrapi, author/artist of Persepolis. If you saw her on Jon Stewart, you didn't really get the full picture. This woman is smart, funny, and doesn't care what other people think. She cares about people, of course, but has a very definite, well-formed idea of goodness, sincerity, integrity, and non-judgment. Not only that, she's supremely talented too. I admire the hell out of her.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

pawing around for something new to write

Happy Ken Levine's birthday.

Did a dramatic reading of an old TV series that has been reworked to be a TV movie (and possible series) at work today, in celebration. The script sucked, the actors--stellar.

Pizza, not shaped like a heart, was also eaten.

Reading Frasier scripts. All in two acts, but simple, splendid, and suave. Something to aspire to in comedy.

I have to get off my butt, now that my spec pilot is in a good place, and start writing (yet another) spec of an existing show. Sadly, I think my 30 Rock isn't quite as amazing as my originals, so... gotta bring my A game to something else.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Having watched Dexter and Nip/Tuck, I didn't think TV could shock me anymore.

And then I watched the second episode of Breaking Bad.

The hydrochloric incident is what I'm talking about here. And that a genuinely decent person, who's dying, finds himself in a situation where he is becoming a bad person. Not just a person who sells or makes drugs. But a person who commits murder. And this is a guy with a definite sense of right and wrong. That's very different from the premises of Nip/Tuck and Dexter. This is a chemistry teacher, for crying out loud. This could be your neighbor or even your father. Very distressing show. And excellent.

I read "The Wrong Grave" by Kelly Link in The Restless Dead. She's a great short story writer. Just wish she was a bit more prolific.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

worth a lick

I am so on the Diddy Riese train. Granted it's a train I'll only board when I go to my book club meetings at the Landmark Pavilion on Pico. But $1.50 for a yummy ice cream sandwich? Hell, yeah. And I gotta say, UCLA has a much nicer campus than USC. LOVE it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I love that sundrunk, overheated feeling you get sometimes not even from being out in the sun too much, but from a sudden rise in temperature, a long drive with the window open, and not quite enough water to keep you properly hydrated. I use a citric-scented Neutrogena sunscreen, and I think it only contributes to the heady, sleepy, weariness of what probably borders on heat exhaustion. I had that Saturday after going to Long Beach, and a significant part of me enjoyed it.

Anyhow, marathon-reading Out Stealing Horses.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ultimate Recipe Showdown??????

The Food Network has gone too far.
Tutu far.

50 hour work week, not including my writing time

Worked too many hours today in the Palisades.
Finished my pilot spec and registered it with the WGA.
Met an actress with similar political ideology. We had a great talk. She liked my series idea.
Ate a Kashi bar in the morning, then nothing until about an hour and a half ago.
Did laundry.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cupid gone SO wrong

What man in his right mind would let THIS WOMAN run their love lives?
I mean, are you kidding me?

my cellular power plants want to convert what now?

I have a sudden craving for a Nutella sandwich.

In a few minutes I am sure such a thing will once again repulse me, but at the moment, that is apparently what my mitochondria crave.

Can't argue with an organelle.

the Nomad abides, but still...

Nomad Survival Rule #1: Never get too comfortable.

I'm a big follower of rules. The law and I are close as close can get. But my desire to abide and my inability to understand LA's self-contradicting and singularly quirky transit system keeps getting me in trouble.

Take today for example.
Took the subway to Long Beach. I assumed, like in London or New York or DC, switching lines inside a station was allowed. One ticket would do. I was wrong.
And I got cited, pulled off the train, and will probably have to go to Compton (ya heard me right, Compton) if I want to dispute the ticket.

The MTA official issuing the citation said this happened frequently. Wanna know why? There are no manned booths at the LA subway stations. Nor are there stiles through which one must enter and put a ticket to get into the subway. It's an honor system thing. No one's around for you to ask questions. You're just supposed to figure it out, I guess.
To which I say, "What the hell?"

So, don't get too comfortable. Don't assume because the subway system in eight other cities work identically, that the subway system in city numero 9 will follow the same rules. Because then you'll pay.


Other than that Long Beach was cool. I wanted to go to Acres of Books, but after filling up three bags worth of guide books, brochures, posters, post cards, bookmarks, key chains, magnets, and other paraphernalia at the Travel and Adventure Show at the gorgeous Long Beach Convention Center, I was plum tuckered out. I entered approximately 80 giveaway contests, and I hope I win a trip to Australia over the trip to Fresno, but I'll take the trip to Fresno over nothing at all.
Should you go to the Long Beach Convention Center, might I suggest NOT eating at the center, but moseying on over to the Pike at Rainbow Harbor. The LBCC food is wicked expensive.

Um, yeah, loved the show. Will definitely go next year if I'm still around and not in Palau.

Friday, February 8, 2008

get away from the mattresses

I think my problem is my feet are always cold. I'm an American woman, and I am tall. I am too tall for my mattress, my sheets, my blanket, really, my entire sleep life.

Last night I dreamed a rock star (I think that was the profession) was in love with me, and I was in love with him, and he gave me a blue dress. It wasn't a bad dress, but then he left while I was trying it on, and I found out he was married and had kids.

The dress wasn't really my color anyway.

In other news, Martin, the mid-90s sitcom, starring Mr. Lawrence, has no redeeming value whatsoever. I dare you to sit through an entire episode. I don't care what you think of King of Queens. Martin is by far the most offensive, unfunny, and tasteless sitcom created in my lifetime. I say this having avoided most puppetry and animation-centered series produced by Comedy Central, but I think it still abides. To be fair, it's really only Martin himself and the three other characters he plays that I despise to the point of un-Christian thoughts about Lawrence's well-being. The other actors, I'm sure, were punished enough just by being on the show.

Please, God, let me never have to watch anything worse.

Got to go to sleep. Spending a few hours on the subway tomorrow to get to and from Long Beach and not kill a half a tank of gas.

In Treatment isn't bad at all, though it's a bit genre-bending. The production costs must be incredibly low. Glad HBO's letting the impoverished of the nation watch it. And great casting. Missed Josh Charles, thrilled Blair Underwood's in nearly everything now, and though Gabriel Byrne's nearly 60, I don't think anyone blame's Melissa George's character for her erotic transference.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

but I recall no walrus

Saw Across The Universe last night at friend's in Santa Monica, ordered in Indian from Pradeep (NOT impressed with the rice).
And had some weird Julie Taymor puppet-influenced dream that I think had something to do with pizza and was torture-porn traumatic, but I can't remember the specifics.

Across the Universe
was pretty and such, and the proto-Hendrix, Martin Luther, is all that and a bag of chips, and the infallible Bono was there... but overall, the film didn't impress.
Discussed the Sturgess version of All You Need is Love v. Ewan MacGregor's in Moulin Rouge, which I hated as a movie, but own the soundtrack. I said Sturgess's was better, technically. And that's true. But this was a movie of people singing because they were supposed to do so, not because they wanted to say was so intense that they couldn't just say it, they had to sing it. Ewan's voice cracked with emotion a lot in that movie, and also because his voice, while good, isn't stellar.

I made my second attempt at pumpkin pie. It seems to have burned a bit. So at least it won't be undercooked... but I think I measured the spice wrong and didn't put enough in...
have neither ice cream or whipped cream for it.
Am a failure of a pie maker. I think it's some Lenten curse.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Narrow Kitchen

I like this phrase. I'm constructing a comedic sketch with the phrase as a title. I'd like to name a book of poetry after it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Forgive the pun, but holy corpses, Batman ('cause they all just shot themselves), just because you CAN conceive of the most horrifying premise for a movie ever... doesn't mean you should?
Check out the trailer here, and be prepared to freak.

Monday, February 4, 2008

on politics, hatred, and what to do about it all

Hillary ain't perfect, but show me someone who is. The s%$t that woman's been taking is absurd. I point you to this better-late-than-never Times piece by Mr. Fish.

Somewhere along the way Hillary's become vilified because she isn't likable. Gore and Kerry suffered similar smears on their character. Obama, luckily, seems impervious to that. He's too charming. But choosing a party candidate on likability is, to put it mildly, historically detrimental.

We do not always make the right decisions. It is those who learn from their mistakes, who do not stick to their guns when those guns threaten to go off in their laps, that make great presidents. In the past people have called it flip-flopping. If adaptation and self-improvement are flip-flopping, then I consider that the most important trait in a leader.

We cannot elect a leader who cares more for their image than for the issues. We cannot elect a leader who cares more about impressing their party than serving their constituents. We cannot elect a leader who is not willing to say, "I was wrong." A leader must not harden his heart, must not turn a deaf ear to what the people are saying. A leader must proceed with the facts at hand provided by experts free of an agenda, free of corporate or religious bias. A leader must not leap into war, and a leader must not shuffle into peace. A leader must not ignore the health of its people or its land. A leader must see surrounding nations as brothers always and keep them as he would family. A leader must see internal crisis and put all else on hold to go and assist and govern, for if a leader's people die needlessly, (s)he has failed them. A leader owes the people of a nation no more or less than loyalty. A leader is a servant, a carpenter, a diplomat, and a forger of better days.

Division, destruction, denigration, war, murder, action without forethought -- these are not platforms to run a campaign on. Improved borders -- a Band-Aid on the proverbial heart attack. Iraq -- licking the flag pole. The flag pole didn't ask to be licked, and now we're stuck, and we're the ones hurt the most.

I would be a terrible leader, but I know a good leader surrounds himself not with friends, but with people who are smarter than he is. I know a good leader is not carried away by media attention and the potential for great power. I know a good leader exists, and I know Obama and Clinton both have what it takes to stem America's decline.

We are young, and we are imperfect. We know what we can do to help save the environment and to improve health care. We know that the tears between us and the rest of the world can be mended. They have not lasted forever and there is no need for them to continue on ad infinitum. Whatever divinity you believe in, or whatever science, there are no monsters on this planet -- merely, men who put their humanity first, and men who have let a dream or a feud or the constructs of borders and history kill the blood ties we all share.

Tomorrow, when voting, I do not ask you to be a misty-eyed optimist, as I'm sure many could accuse me of being. I ask you to be an anthropologist and a sociologist, to understand that the way things are is not how they must be, and that every time we succumb to mob mentality, every time we start naming "others" and forming cliques, baring our teeth, and hording our rations, we turn back into the animals we supposedly evolved from.
It's the 21st century. We cannot afford to revert to claws and fangs any longer. We only have each other and this one unhappy planet. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, and to whatever path of events that led to us becoming the only known sentient creatures in existence, to not f*^k it up.
So don't.
Vote pro-future. Vote Democrat. Hillary or Barack, I don't care, just choose them for what they'll do, not whose eyes you think are less crazy.
Good night, and good luck.

well, it's here (and nearly gone again) again

Monday's almost over, and not for want of trying. I feel like it's been slo-mo grabbing for the finish line all day, and nothing's more painful to watch than a prolonged ending. Except maybe Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. God, I used to watch that show religiously. Actually, more than religiously, since I didn't attend church nearly as many Sundays as I did TGIFs.

I've started up a bit on my novel again. The first draft of my mini series spec is done, and I'm fresh out of fresh ideas. It's good, though. My novel's so close, and has been for now nearly a year. It's really the small bits that take forever, but I just soldier on.

Have been watching some of the Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston. For those of you not in the know, Doctor Who's a bit like Sherlock Holmes or Bond in that about a million iterations of the character and storyline have popped up over the years, Eccleston's being the second-to-last. Sadly for us, Eccleston quit the series after 13 episodes (one longish season in Britain), apparently the day after the first episode aired back in '05 across the pond. Just goes to show how long I've been away from England.

Anyhow, the role suits him, and though I'm sure the current bloke, David Tennant, is just swell, I'm rather saddened, knowing that there's an end to the Eccleston saga. After all, he wasn't exactly put to great use on Heroes, and he doesn't appear to have much on the docket.

In the meantime it's of paramount importance that I find a little perspective in my life. I think I'm going to go buy a kaleidoscope, binoculars, and a scuba mask, see which works best.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Poor Boston; poor me

I feel bad for my city. Our athletes can't win anything without they're being some kind of suspicion.

I feel bad for me. I found an amazing apartment yesterday. Was fully stoked on it.

Didn't get it.

I did, however, get to see a screening of McDonagh's In Bruges. It's very much apiece of his theater-work, of which I am a rabid fan. McDonagh came for a Q&A, and I am here to report that he is, easily, the most perfect human being alive. Sorry to the 6 billion other people vying for the prize. McDonagh's just better than you all.

Friday, February 1, 2008

have to move

I love my apartment, but I just can't afford it anymore. Anyone know of anyplace in the Eastern part of the Valley that's less than 900 a month?
Crap. I really don't want to move.
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