Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And Angels in America

Forgot Angels in America. Sigh. Let's just make it a top 13 list.


Dear California license plate, HVNZENT,
First of all, it took me a mile to get your plate. Second, you're a douche. Unless, of course, no one took HVNSENT and you decided to use the Z anyhow. Then your douchiness is so far above all others, it's kind of awesome.

Note: Why isn't precautious a word? If I'm taking a precaution, aren't I being precautious? Food for thought.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

two glaring omissions

I realize I made a major mistake in my top 10 TV list. Band of Brothers and Planet Earth--event television in every sense of the word--should have made it in and could quite easily knock half the other shows out. If you've never seen Band of Brothers, go buy it. Don't rent it. Just buy it. You'll want to have it as a possession. If The Pacific, which is coming out next year, is only half as good, it'll still probably be the best thing on the air next year, minus the Lost finale, natch.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Payback is my book of 2009. A masterwork analysis of debt--anthropological, literary, ecological, psychological, sociological, and so on. To call it thought-provoking would be the smallest praise. Should be required reading.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ten best TV shows of the decade, and then some

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (started in the '90s, but still)
West Wing
The Wire
The Office (UK/US)
Arrested Development
30 Rock
Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart and Colbert Report

also great: Friday Night Lights, Big Bang Theory, Brothers and Sisters, Carnivale, Chuck, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Damages, Deadwood, Weeds, Six Feet Under, Californication, Alias, Will and Grace, Friends (more '90s, really), How I Met Your Mother, New Adventures of Old Christine, and the hardly-seen, gone-too-soon shows The Winner and Privileged and Pushing Daisies

I think for the next decade Community and Modern Family could make it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

belated photos from Buenos Aires

I finally have some time off, so I'll post these photos from Buenos Aires while I hunker down in my parents' house for the storm's duration. I was in NY the last few days, and the cold was such that it made my nipples stand up and ask, "Hey, you got any ice that needs sculpting?"

All the pictures were taken from my phone--I didn't have a real camera there.

This is the Ateneo on Avenida Santa Fe, the ultimate bookstore in Argentina--and it used to be a theatre.

This is the Floralis Generica at the United Nations Plaza.

Photos from the Recoleta Cemetery.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

best movies of my decade

Everyone's doing it, so I'll jump in.

To be fair, this only really works if you've seen all the movies made in the last decade. I haven't. But I've probably seen more than your average Joe. I don't like a dark, spare film, so take heed. Any films coming out now-ish are not in the mix.

in no particular order...

Monsoon Wedding
No Country for Old Men
City of God
Spirited Away
Kill Bill
Zoolander (whatever you think, I don't know if I have ever laughed harder, not even at The Hangover)
Night Watch (despite choppy editing and confusion--helps to read the book)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Pan's Labyrinth
Monster House 3D

Most underrated film of the decade: The Darjeeling Limited

Most awesome contributor to film this decade: Clint Eastwood, specifically for Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River (despite the heinous accents) and, perhaps, Invictus, which looks great.

Other great films: District 9, Wedding Crashers, Wall-E, Memento, Monsters, Inc, Little Miss Sunshine, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Cooler, Coraline, Almost Famous, The Emperor's New Groove, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Spider Man, Dirty Pretty Things, The Triplets of Belleville, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

There were certainly other great movies, but either my ardor has cooled for them over time (Slumdog and Crash I still love, but I have other movies I prefer to fight for) or the minor flaws have just become too large in my mind (Leo's overacting in The Departed). Other movies I realize I loved only because of an actor's performance, not the film as a whole (re: Helen Mirren, Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Amy Adams). And Milk would be on here if its structure was a little different.

So take it as you like it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

End-of-the-year movies I want to see

The Young Victoria. I want to hate Emily Blunt, but I don't.

Sherlock Holmes.
For all the reasons any 26-year-old girl has for wanting to see it. Also, I quite liked Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Also, I read most if not all the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was a kid. And I used to live off Baker Street when I was in London.

A Single Man. Oh, Colin Firth.

Up in the Air. Though all the fawning is giving me the Juno jitters.

An Education. Sarsgaard is good at being creepy and fey and still somehow sexy all at the same time. I imagine some might find him icky.

The Princess and the Frog. Initially thought it looked, well, not racist, but maybe not of its time? But I love that kind of animation--I'm a child of Disney, after all.

Julie & Julia. I know it's on DVD now. Still want to see it, so I can move on from that whole weird phenomenon.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? Actually looked funnier than anything either SJP or Grant has done in a while.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I'm thinking I won't like it, but it's a must-see for obvious reasons surely.

There are other movies, but these are the ones that I would actually try to see.

It's Complicated because Nancy Meyers and Meryl Streep together is just too much. Old people smoking pot comedy is so boring. In fact, after I see Julie & Julia, I'm going on a self-imposed Meryl Streep strike.

Avatar. It's the blue. I'm sorry. And I have never been on the James Cameron train.

Nein. Looks self-indulgent, and I've also never really been on the Daniel Day-Lewis train either. Might watch it on DVD someday.

There are other movies I really don't want to see, ones starring chipmunks and Jeff Bridges pretending to be Mickey Rourke or something, but they're hardly worth mentioning.

My favorite books of 2009

I'm hoping to read a few more before December comes to a close, specifically Shah of Shahs and I'm Dying Up Here, at the least, but since everyone's already listing the best books they read this year, so shall I.

So shall I.

1. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre. Being something of a post-Cold War, baby, it's historical fiction for me, but it's also a spy story that holds up well, even after overexposure to all the twists and curveballs that have come since.\

2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Dense and weird, but completely absorbing. Whatever you're expecting, it's not it.

3. Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau. Funny, surprising, little French book about a girl with a passion and a mouth and the cadre of irrational adults around her. Made me rethink my feelings on French literature.

It's a short list. I could add some other books, but these were the three that I would recommend to anyone without reservation.

Merry my sister's 23rd birthday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

great morning

Had a fantastic morning in my lovely Sherman Oaks. Walked to Maxson's to drop off Christmas cards, went to the grocery store to get whipped cream for the chocolate coconut cream pie I made last night and saw Nick Lachey and his g/f, and then I went to Nola Ice for some crazy yummy hot chocolate and met former publicist Jillian DeFrehn, one of the owners, who was really friendly and gave me some great advice on how to get a job. If you go, and you should, I suggest getting the mint and milk chocolate combo with a toasted coconut marshmallow.

Now I am carbed out. I literally have nothing healthy to eat in the house. Must go back out for lunch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

nightmare last night

I don't usually have straight-up nightmares anymore, but, dear Lord, last night I had this dream about Christmas and my mom deciding not to do a turkey dinner that morphed into us discovering that this guy in our presence, who looked a lot like James Franco, was a lunatic serial killer. First, a Latino friend of ours tried to take him out and was immediately stabbed (I'm so glad my nightmares follow the movie who dies rule). Then we ran to the lake in front of the house and discovered about 20 or so bodies in the lake (that's where he was keeping them), and rather than fight, this older man, who may have been my father, decided to stay in the center of the lake, which was volcanic or something, and die. He was holding an African-American child he had adopted. Finally, I was the only one left and JF was chasing me through the trees, and I could apparently climb trees like a koala and hop from trunk to trunk. Just as I thought he was gonna catch me, a helicopter with a searchlight appeared overhead and scared him off.

Then I hid briefly in a movie theater where I watched a trailer for a movie where Nia Vardalos and her friend had been dorks in school and then became fashion gurus. Or something.

Then I knew I had to go back to my car and that he'd probably be waiting inside. When I saw that my car had been vandalized, I was sure, and then I found him hiding underneath the middle seat. I pulled him out and brought him to the police at the garage and handed him over. The bureaucracy that followed was kind of annoying.

Anyhow, now I'm scared of James Franco.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

new things I love/hate


Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Chinese Chicken Salad
Pej Vahdat (the episode of Bones where he comes clean about his background was great)


the Leeds mattress and FOX/Adam West commercials (obnoxious? you betcha)
the City of LA (when I pay you what I owe you on time, how about you not F up my credit score?)

Friday, November 20, 2009

smile now, mama

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

every time...

I "follow" someone on Twitter, I get that song from Sister Act stuck in my head. Blogging is, as such, a safer "art" form.

Lately, in part as a form of procrastinating not working on things I should be working on, I've been outlining and writing a "children's" novel, which, at the end of the day, may be more or less YA. Or not at all. But there are volcanoes and garbage collectors and astronomy programs gone to hell, so it's a fun time.

I'm in the middle of two short story collections written by women, and they're fantastic. I'm not, generally, a serious fan of short stories, but these are quite good, though in entirely different ways.

I know people hate Amazon for a lot of excellent reasons, but buying music from them is a pleasure and, by and large, far cheaper than buying music from the iTunes store. That 30 cents means something to me, okay?

I don't care if raw cookie dough will kill me. I'm eating it anyway.

Friday, November 6, 2009

geeky Friday night in Hollywood

So finally went to Umami Burger in Hollywood tonight with my roommate. Had the truffle burger, Mexican coke, and a Cake Monkey cakewich (and shared fries). All delish, though I don't feel a driving need to ever go back.

Then we went to the All Space Considered lecture at the Griffith Observatory. Totally fascinating and informative. The main speaker was Dr. Don Lincoln, an expert on the LHC, who just wrote a book about it called The Quantum Frontier--very articulate and just as patient with the physics lunkheads in the crowd as with the know-it-all douches sitting next to me. The lecture curators were also really well-spoken and talked us through a recent ARES test launch and the "ribbon" at the edge of the solar system. Also, there was an almost painfully cute baby in the crowd.

And now I leave you with this amazing rap video about everything going on at CERN. As the French would say, incroyable.

CERN Rap from Will Barras on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

my celebrity playlist

When I'm famous, this may be what I put on iTunes.

Fiona Apple's Across the Universe
The Temptations' Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Nancy Sinatra's Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
Peter Gabriel's The Book of Love
Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto's Desafinado
The Beach Boys' Wouldn't It Be Nice
My Morning Jacket's Rocket Man
Alice Russell's Hurry on Now
Echo and the Bunnymen's The Killing Moon
The Psychedelic Furs' Love My Way
Remy Zero's Over the Rails & Hollywood High
The Pipettes' Pull Shapes
Duke Ellington's Ocht O'Clock Rock
Magnetic Fields' Strange Powers
Harry Nilsson's Without You
The Pretenders' 2000 Miles
K-OS's The Rain

I know, a lot of covers.


Poor little, neglected blog. I wish I had something to write on you, but I have nothing to share except that I joined a gym last night. Peer pressure, I salute you.

Oh, and my sister came, and I went to Universal Studios for the first time, and we ate at Ketchup, which is easily the best place I've dined at since coming to LA, and Nickelodeon put the fear of God in me but also gave me a yo-yo, and it got crazy windy a few days ago, and so on and so forth.

So, now I'm gonna go do some errands instead of running the Hollywood Bowl, WHICH I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL MAKE MYSELF DO THIS YEAR, PROBABLY.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Three Rivers review, and a new idea

I'm pretty easy on Three Rivers, mindful that it might be just the thing for people not of my generation.

So I have a brilliant idea. I am going to attempt to work my way through the Booker winners. I've read a handful of the more recent winners, though I never finished Possession, but I haven't read anything before then. First up, 1969's PH Newby's Something to Answer For. It might be interesting to do it by year--stack up the Booker winner v. the National Book Award or Pulitzer Prize winner from the U.S. Any thoughts? 1969 had House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (Pulitzer) and Steps by Jerry Kosinski.

I am almost immediately daunted.

Friday, October 2, 2009

reviews of Hank and The Middle

Short, not so much with the sweet.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fallon's (Jude) Law

I don't know if Jude Law's a slut from any personal experience, but I do know he gives good sword.
Okay, that was lame. Anyhow, this is funny. Look at Jimmy Fallon not ruining Late Night! Anyhow, I like Daughtry's interpretation better, but Jude Law doesn't suck either.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Earth, Wind, and Fire's favorite month...

is almost over.

I read quite a few books this summer, which was nice, went to Argentina and San Francisco, convinced my sister to come visit me (two weeks from now), got into the Nickelodeon Writer's Script Review, and took a sketch writing class at UCB. Good work, me. But I didn't finish as many pieces of writing as I would have liked, my musical stalled, and my knees are really creaky, which is indicative of me sitting on my butt too much.

So fall goals:

Read more books I own, stop taking things out of the library. Suite Francaise is just getting resentful.

Finish my film script, even if it sucks, and move onto something new.

Do stand-up.

Play tennis, hike, and/or spend a little time at the track now that it's, hopefully, not boiling hot anymore.

Try not to murder my sister when she comes or my father when I go to Vegas for Thanksgiving.

Win the lottery. Or be more frugal. I clearly don't have to do both.

Try not to lose all my new socks.

Keep my Halloween junk food consumption low. Managing to make it through September without eating any Halloween candy or treats is really an accomplishment for me. Honestly.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

big questions

Which TV show do you want canceled next?

If you could put a stop on the remake or adaptation of an already existing movie, TV show, or book/series, what would it be?

Desert island, Bible's already there (you found it in the sea cave of an erstwhile-shipwrecked missionary whose gnawed bones make you wonder whether to fear wild animals or bloodthirsty cannibals). Don't know how long you're gonna be there. What five books do you wish you had with you?

Please answer in the comments. I really wanna know!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cougar Town

Review at Slant Magazine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Century City

Seriously, I will post about Buenos Aires soon. I've just been a bit out of it.

Today, I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography, which is a fantastic space. If you like photography or like to be among lots and lots of CAA agents (the Space is in the courtyard behind CAA), I highly recommend you take a mosey on down there.

I parked at the Century City mall to avoid paying for parking (it's three hours free), and then I had lunch at 59th and Lex, which is a cafe in Bloomingdale's. It's casual, but heavy on the females dressed like the sort of people who lunch at Bloomingdale's. I was too crampy to have dessert, sadly. The chocolate gelato sounded splendid.

Then I bought socks at the Gap, came home and finished Scoop, which is silly and not bad, and am now trying to decide between reading Aristophanes and watching a DVRed episode of the Colbert Report.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

good. about time.

I am a little awesome.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Argentina, part one

One week prior to my departure for Buenos Aires, someone, somehow, wields a replica of my debit card and charges over $200 at a Walmart. Because I opened the bank account moons and moons ago in Maine, the only way my bank will issue me a temporary debit card is if I get a new, California-based account. I wonder, as my money vanishes into limbo, if this disaster in miniature is an omen or a cleansing.

My day of departure begins with a good deed. My coproducer on the musical I wrote drives to the Valley from Venice to drive me to LAX. For those of you who don’t know the geography of Los Angeles, I owe her. On the ride, we talk lyrics and the phenomenon that is District 9, a film that’s a parable of apartheid, with blacks played by aliens—yet it’s not racist like Transformers 2. We talk marketing and actors we hate and don’t hate.

My gate is next to the one departing for Kona, and two groups of Texans are chatting loudly and congenially. One, an older man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, spills chocolate ice cream on his white trousers, and everyone guffaws good-naturedly. The man vows to continue wearing white trousers despite himself.

On the flight to Mexico City is a young man who looks like Eric Bana. I immediately wish I was more attractive, sitting next to him, and able to speak better Castellano. I’m already feeling my poor grasp of the language and when, the food comes, afraid that my dislike of pork will be equally as problematic.

The cloud cover over Mexico City just before 7:00 pm is gorgeous. Volcanic white meringue as far as the eye can see. Canyons and plains and hills of soft sculpted cumulus. We dive down and it is a different story. The city is gray and it is raining. Apparently there was some nimbus to that cumulus. The avenidas are tree-lined, the buildings charming with brick red roofs. We land. I see a hangar for Aeromar with its strange half-erased font.

Over four hours in the airport waiting for a gate to be assigned to my flight to Buenos Aires. I have no idea what the peso-dollar exchange rate is and wonder how much the 117 pesos I just spent on Vanity Fair and a postcard will translate to on my credit card bill. I wander the airport, which is practically empty compared to LAX, and extremely clean. The shops are smaller than any I’ve seen before, but other than that it is one of the most appealing airports I’ve seen. Starbucks and Carl’s Jr. startle me, though I don’t know why. I listen to some recently downloaded Red Hot Chili Peppers, watch an episode of The State on my laptop, put on my blazer, and wait. And wait. And wait.

Finally, the plane. Luckily, I get a whole row to myself, but I am too tall to lie down on the three seats and be comfortable. I try to watch Australia, but I am simply too tired, and there's something a bit trippy about it. In the morning, we leave the Pacific, cross over Chile and the snow-frosted Andes, and finally taxi into Ezeiza.

I take money out of the ATM at the bank outside the terminal, then take a taxi to Palermo. My friend is staying in a doorman-fronted apartment building in a little loft with an extremely comfortable futon couch. The water pressure in the shower is strong. I cannot ask for more.

The first thing I notice in Buenos Aires is that there are no stop signs. This is not because there are stoplights at every intersection or some other kind of sign. Cabs, buses, cyclists, and Renaults vie for right of way at all non-major intersections of Buenos Aires. Pedestrians are always bottom of the food chain.

Should you dodge death when you cross the street, you are not yet safe. The sidewalks of Buenos Aires are, almost universally, topographically dangerous. Hunks of cement and tile have been torn out as if commissioned by physical therapists in want of twisted ankles to mend. Only Puerto Madero, young and underpopulated, seems immune. Nowhere, though, is fully immune to the dogs. Though seen everywhere people have residences in the city, dogs are particularly plentiful in Palermo. Buenos Aireans walk their dogs, thankfully, but they do not clean up after them. If you manage to find a stretch of flat, passable sidewalk, it is bound to have excrement willy-nilly.

So ends the negatives. For Americans, particularly city-dwellers used to exorbitant prices, Buenos Aires is quite cheap. No, you can’t get tap water, and, yes, they charge a “sitting fee” at some restaurants, but the subway is cheap and safe, the food is cheap, expected tip is 10%, museums are cheap or free, parks and gardens are free and plentiful, and the only truly costly thing here is fine leather and the occasional top-shelf hotel. The rest of the time, you feel like you’re ripping Argentina off.

I'll tell you specifically where I went and what I did in later posts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

the push for Antarctica

So in my bid to blog from Antarctica next year, I have written a column for my old school pape, the Yale Daily News, beseeching Yalies to vote for me. If you want to read my witty little plea, you can check it out here. 2009-Argentina, 2010-Antarctica.

Speaking of which, I think I am going to post some of my trip in Antarctica for your reading pleasure. Look for that in this space soon.

In case I don't post again, have a happy Labor Day weekend, y'all. And for those of you who failed to wish me a happy 26th birthday, I will never forgive you. Especially you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a little tip for hosts

Hey, hosts!
Do you have a visitor coming? Is it winter? Does your guest know your apartment/house is actually a sauna/kept at 88 degrees? Why not let her in on that? Because maybe she won't pack that long sleeved T-shirt and flannel pajama pants, which, when she wears them at night, will cause her to perspire so much that when she wakes, she will be 70% smaller and shriveled-looking for lack of water. Inform your guests that they will be sleeping in what amounts to a tropical greenhouse! It's the polite thing to do.

Kati's sweaty neck

Sunday, August 23, 2009

report from Buenos Aires not so much about Buenos Aires

I am presently in my friend's fun little loft apartment in Palermo Hollywood. I love the mild late winter weather of Buenos Aires, but I'm going to take this moment while my friend sleeps (she wears ear plugs and is a bitch to try to wake up) to talk to the literary young men out there.

Dear literary young men,
What is the deal with Philip Roth? Every one of you is madly, truly, Savage Garden-ly in love with Philip Roth. Granted, I've only read the semi-crappy Plot Against America, so all the rest of his books might, together, be as blessedly wonderful as a hot bath after a long day of walking cobble stone streets... still, I wish one guy would say that he loved something less obvious. Arundhati Roy, for example, or Chimimanda Adichie. Raymond Queneau. Pat Barker. Geraldine Brooks. Hell, Charles Dickens would be more of a surprise than Roth (or Pynchon or Foster Wallace, for that matter). So, please, literary young men, broaden your horizons. Take a risk in your reading. Because, right now, you all sound the same.

Okay, with that done, I will say a few things about Buenos Aires. Dulce de leche is in everything. Everything. Also, there is almost as much helado here as there was in Italy. Argentinian men wear the most adorable, uncool sweaters, and it is incredibly sexy. Submarinos sound more indulgent and delicious than they are. The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica. Also, this seems to be the only place in the world where I have good fashion sense.

Will update later. Chau.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

into winter

Nomads, unite!

I'll be in Mexico City by tonight (it's just after midnight on August 19) and Buenos Aires tomorrow. My first foray south of the Equator. My third continent. Three countries (Uruguay, Argentina, and Mexico) in one go. All very exciting. I may or may not post updates/photos during my trip. I am hoping to write some kind of a travel piece--anything that gets published will get a link here.

Bringing more books along than I will probably need. Have been reading a lot of travel literature lately in its various forms. Has the ability to both ignite and dampen wanderlust. Lucky that I'm not heading off to North Africa or the Middle East because my latest read would make me dread it fully.

Now am off to bed. Long flights tomorrow and the day after. Adios!

Monday, August 10, 2009

No Eric

So today on my way home from work, I was stopped at the intersection of Whitsett and Magnolia and I noticed a sign in the window of the photo lab/camera shop. A simple sign that said "No Eric."

Which begs the question, who's Eric? And why would anyone expect him to be there? Is he a celebrated, sexy former employee whose trysts with customers got him fired? Is he a guy who owes some shady North Hollywood thugs money? Is he a type of camera? Or are Erics prohibited from entering the store? Maybe the owner lost his wife/partner to a lothario named Eric or maybe his partner was named Eric or he found out that the man his mother left his father for is named Eric or some guy named Eric stole his parrot or maybe Eric was his parrot and the parrot called the store owner something unsavory?

Really, I find the "No Eric" sign sad and mysterious, but not so surprising. Erics are often too attractive for their own good. Eric Stoltz, for example, or, um... Well, wasn't the prince in The Little Mermaid named Eric? I think I've made my case. So beware, my friends. Though Eric may no longer be lurking around Whitsett and Magnolia, he is out there. And God knows what he's capable of.

Addendum: Eric Pakurar is also an
almost annoyingly good-looking and awesome human being with an equally good-looking and awesome family. I wouldn't want him in my camera shop either.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finally being nomadic again--any suggestions on Argentinean activites?

So I've been working super-hard and, combined with my friend's decision to spend the next month in Buenos Aires, I bought a ticket today. I'll be taking spectacularly inexpensive Aeromexico to Buenos Aires on the 19th (getting in the 20th) of this month, and then coming back late on the 26th (arriving on the 27th) for super-cheap thanks to my American miles (having to pay taxes on that is bull, btw), via Miami. I was tempted to spend a little more and go with LAN, which would mean a layover in Peru. But my cheapness won out.

My friend is staying in Palermo Viejo, which is exciting. I'm particularly excited about going to Colonia, which is in Uruguay and a hop, skip, and a ferry ride away from BA. Three countries in seven days (and possibly flying over the Andes?)! I could not be more excited if I tried.

If anyone has been and has suggestions of what to do, or if anyone wants to donate to the Kati goes to Buenos Aires cause, please comment below. Gracias!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

favorite things of summer

1. Twitter.

2. Menchie's at Dixie Canyon and Ventura. I walk, so it cancels out the calories.

3. Summer reading lists.

4. Inappropriately short shorts, like the ones I'm wearing right now.

5. Discovering my neighbor's hideously awesome Chevy Vega.

6. Musicals--both the one I'm producing and Spamalot at the Ahmanson.

7. Visiting Lucy in San Francisco.

8. ABC Family's 10 Things About You and Ethan Peck.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Why is ABC Family Channel's 10 Things I Hate About You so good and well-written and The Ugly Truth, written by the same people (or 2/3 the same people) so, um, much, much less good and clever? Maybe it's not just the writers' fault. Something for critics to think about. Producers and studios wield a lot of power, and sometimes they wield it like a toddler with a gun.

Friday, July 24, 2009

SF Last Day

Gingerbread pancake at Zazie. Delicieux.

House near Zazie, possibly on Cole, that I thought was pretty.

Conservatory of Flowers.


View from the de Young.

De Young art.

San Fran Day 3

So after two days of not taking the cable car, I took the cable car to the edge of the Haight and then took a bus down Haight Street. I went to Booksmith and then to Zazie, this adorable little restaurant on Cole Street named after one of my most favorite recent reads. I ate a single gingerbread pancake with lemon curd on it that I scraped off, then I walked over to Golden Gate Park. I was going to stop myself from starving by eating chicken McNuggets at the McDonald's that kind of ruins the Haight vibe, but approximately 1,000 teens got in my way. I walked through the park to the Conservatory of Flowers, which is gorgeous, though kind of small on the inside. After that, I went to the de Young art museum, which I really enjoyed, except that everyone was there for the Tut exhibit. So I skirted them and looked at the creepy Mayan and African pieces and the view from the tower. By then I'd walked a lot and my feet, already in a crappy mood, decided that the Exploratorium just across the way was too expensive, and I was too tired to deal.
So then I took the long way through the lawn bowling part of the park back to McDonald's, ate, and grabbed another bus.
On the way back I stopped at Miette in the Hayes Valley for some macarons. Swung by Great Books Symposium, which isn't necessary if you're not taking a class there. Back in the Financial District, I bought a magazine, postcards and the most amazing chocolate ever (Michel Cluizel's champignons) at Fog City News. Then I had supper at the Millennium Tower (killer burger, sexy bartender, great friend to hang with) and then flew back to LA.

San Francisco rocks, but it turns out all that heat and exercise and long hair gave me a neck fungus, so...

No, seriously, it was awesome. You should go.

Monday, July 20, 2009

San Fran Day 2 Photos

Sorry this is so belated! I've been mad hatter busy doing freelance work, messing around with a Web site for my upcoming musical project, and trying not to die in this oppressive Valley heat.
Here you go!

The Marina.

One of several photos of the Palace of Fine Arts. I don't want to spoil it for those of you who go yourselves.

Curvaceous, but not quite booty-licious Lombard.

City Lights, the side view. Also now my cell phone wallpaper.

Cafe Kati!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

San Francisco Day 2

SF Day 2 hurt. I burned my forehead and nose off.

I got up and went with my hostess to her law firm in one of the Embarcadero buildings. She has a wicked view of the Bay. Then I grabbed a chocolate-chip scone from Boudin and walked the entire length of the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Pier 39, where I bought a painted dish you can put your spatula or spoon on while you're cooking at Chocolate Heaven, and then on to Fishermen's Wharf. I finally found a Walgreen's where they were selling Muni passes and bought one. Then I walked to Ghirardelli Square and had a s'more cupcake from Kara's. Honestly, I'd eat a tire if it had the word s'more in front of it, but this had a surprising toasted marshmallow top, which was nice and unusual.

Then I took the bus to Chestnut Street on Cow Hollow, where I stopped off and got lunch at Grove Cafe. They put tiny pickles in my grilled cheese, which was weird, but I loved the atmosphere. Then I walked over to the Palace of Fine Arts grounds, which are surprising and lovely, and walked around.

The Marina neighborhood is incredible and tres chic. I walked to the water so I could see the bridge in the distance and took a LONG walk to try to find the Wave Organ, which is practically hidden at the end of a small spit. It wasn't working, but the view was lovely.

Then I walked a long, long way back to try to find a bus up Fillmore, where I grabbed a red velvet at That Takes the Cake because it was too hot to eat anything richer and a small ice cream at the original Swensen's, which had nowhere to sit and only took cash. Their Web site is more appetizing. Then I walked it all off by climbing down steep, curvy, famous Lombard Street and heading through Chinatown to City Lights. I bought Netherland, though it wasn't the cover I wanted, and Duras' The Lover. Then I skipped through Chinatown to catch a bus back to Japantown. There I hiked up steep Washington Street to see the Spreckel Mansion, which looks like a museum hidden behind a hedge, and is where Danielle Steel presently lives. There are mansions next to it that look puny. Then I walked around Lafayette Park and down into Japantown, past a restaurant called Cafe Kati!, and to the Sundance Kabuki, where I saw Away We Go. I could barely walk at this point.

After the movie, which was okay, I took ANOTHER bus back to the Embarcadero, where Lucy and I ate at the packed Town Hall after a long wait. The chicken and halibut were delicious, but it was some slow service. And then I crashed, half-dead with sun sickness.

San Francisco photos day 1

These are taken from my cell phone camera. Bear with.

My mom thought the koi looked like a dragon.

This is the Women's Center. I tried to get a picture of the whole thing. Didn't quite work.

This is a wigwam in the cemetery at the Mission Dolores, which, if I'm not mistaken, is very odd.

This is the window of a record shop called Grooves on Market. Verb or plural noun? I'm guessing the latter, but it would be cool if it were the former.


Friday, July 10, 2009

San Francisco part 1

I think I'll break up my three-day whirlwind in 24-hour hunks (that sounds like a company that could be very lucrative).

Monday, I took freaky Virgin America to SFO, and then I took BART with total ease to Embarcadero. My friend lives at the Millennium Tower, which is nicer than most hotels I've been to--except her apartment has a very distinct Ikea-ness to it.

Tuesday I got a taste of Bay fog. Dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, I strolled over to the Ferry Building and grabbed an Acme Bread company croissant (unremarkable) for breakfast then headed out. Then I walked to SF Moma because it was the first Tuesday of the month, hence free art appreciation. There was a big Ansel Adams/Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit going on, which I promptly decided was not worth my time, and instead admired the rest of the exhibits, especially Robert Frank's photos, particularly the The Americans collection.

Is it just me or does every art museum have a Calder mobile or sculpture? I want one.

Then I walked around the Yerba Buena gardens and the underwhelming Metreon. Then on to Union Square. On the way I ducked into the Palace Hotel, which is where I would like to have a party some time. It's absolutely darling. I got in the wrong part of Union Square and left in a hurry. It seemed far nicer later in the week when I passed it in the cable car.

Then I took the Bart from Union Square to the 24th Street station and went to Mission Pie, but didn't get anything, because I am very pie-picky. And then I walked QUITE a long way through the Mission to St. Francis Fountain where I was served a nice chocolate shake and terrible cornbread that had forgotten to advertise itself as having peppers in it. Gah!

The great thing about the Mission and much of San Francisco is the murals and beautifully painted Victorian houses. I'll post pictures later.

I then stopped at Dog Eared Books, a fantastic if mildly creepy used books seller, and bought a birthday gift for my friend.

Starved, I went to Delfina Pizzeria, by far the best pizza I've had on this coast, but I was unable to finish my margherita. Tartine was right next door, and I couldn't just leave it untouched, so I bought a brownie-to-go (I didn't finish it for several days, but it was altogether too rich for my blood) and a nice little rocher with cacao nibs that was light enough to eat on the spot. Around the corner I stopped at Bell Jar and got my friend a freakish Judy Garland paper doll for her 25th birthday.

Then I dragged my exhausted bones to the Mission Dolores, which is worth the price of admission if only to sit in the honey-lit basilica where it is still and womb=like. Highly rec'd.

Then I walked up to Market and headed back to the Civic Center. On the way I stopped at Get Lost Books and picked up Sara Wheeler's Travels in a Thin Country and bought my mother's birthday gift at FLAX, a super-cool art shop.

Not yet done, I went to Citizen Cake in the Hayes Valley and bought a s'mores brownie and little chocolate cookie and creme sandwich, both of which I ate much later. The latter was just sugar, but the brownie was fantastic.

Then I walked through Civic Center, taking a stroll through the truly breathtaking San Francisco City Hall, which by that hour was empty. Under the rotunda, I looked up for the birds I could hear chirping, then realized there was a San Francisco city sounds recording playing. I walked through the other side past the library and museums and all the way to the nearest Bart, which I took back to Lucy's.

I wanted to pass out, but we went to the strangest place for dinner instead. Eddie Rickenbacker's, a bistro decked out in bikes, had a truly fantastic burger. I couldn't eat the whole thing and ended up having the other half the next night, which was almost as good nuked. It's a strange set-up, but totally worth it if you're in the Embarcadero/SOMA area and don't want to spend a million bucks or dress to the nines.

Which I never do.

So that was day one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It's a lovely hot morning here in the eastern San Fernando Valley. The sun is up, the birds are chirping (loudly, constantly), and I am huddled up inside my messy bedroom waiting till it's time for me to go to work for a few hours. I made some chocolate yogurt cakes from David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris for a little potluck.

I've been reading Christopher Potter's You Are Here, which is something of a refresher course but also provides a beautiful and clear explanation of the theory of "relativity," or invariance, as Einstein would have liked it called. I recommend the book for that sake alone.

The more I read of science now the more I realize how poor, antiquated, and deceptive pre-collegiate science curricula are. In any event...

My friend is considering going to Argentina next month, and if all goes well, I may go for a week as well. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

blogging from Antarctica next spring?

I cannot imagine anything more awesome.
Please vote for me! And ask you friends to do so too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

San Francisco

I'm going in a few weeks! The tickets are purchased. Virgin America, I hope you are awesome. I flew Virgin from England once, and it was a bit silly, but you're fairly cheap, so I decided to get on board with you. Hooray!

So I need things to do there. If anyone knows Frisco and has suggestions, please let me know. I'll be there all day the 7th and 8th of July and most of the 9th. I want to eat chocolate, go to City Lights, go to the science museum, frolic on some piers, I think, you know, the usual.

So SF, if you're planning on having an NBC summer disaster special-level sort of earthquake, please feel free to wait until the 10th. Los Angeles, if you're planning on having said earthquake, really try to do it on the 7th or 8th. In other words, leave me out of it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I feel like I did something noteworthy recently...

but I've forgotten.

Also, by noteworthy, I mean blog-worthy, which is essentially any time I go somewhere other than work, my apartment, the library, or the grocery store. Because that's 95% of my life. I need to, like, add another element to my life.

This picture of the Azores makes a nice desktop background. Also, I had no idea until this past week that Azores is pronounced with a hard a. No. I. Dea.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

the other Manhattan

Manhattan Beach lies just south of El Segundo here in sunny Southern California. I spent Tuesday night there, had dinner at the Kettle, walked the pier with my shivering friend, and then had spectacular ice cream at the Manhattan Beach Creamery. It's beautiful there and you can park in the library parking lot after 6 without any grief. I then finished the second season of Californication, fittingly, at my friend's house in Venice.

Things are going well in the early development phase of my Gothic musical short that should be going into production sometime in August, knock on wood, cross your fingers, et cetera.

Am reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I think I know a plot twist, and it's taking it's sweet time getting there. But it is a sweet time. So we'll see how it goes.

June gloom finally broke today, and it was very lovely. So I went to get my eyes examined. My left eye is practically useless. Sigh.

Started a sketch writing class. Fascinating. I do so hate not being the funniest person there. I just have to remember: 'tis a class, not a competition.

I think that satisfied my update quota. If I think of anything later, it may dissipate into the void as I am currently laptopless and am sneaking this blog in on my roommate's Mac. TTFN.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

questions of identity, updates

I've been thinking about this for some time now, about identity as ethnicity. I thought of ways of putting it that might get people up in arms, and then I realized no one reads this blog, but I think I'll attempt delicacy anyway.

Who is more Japanese? A child who is not ethnically Japanese but is, say, through adoption, raised by Japanese parents in Japan, speaks only Japanese, and has no contact with members of their original ethnicity? Or a child who is of Japanese ethnicity but is raised by non-Japanese in a place where they have no contact with Japanese culture or that ethnic group? These are the most extreme examples that come to my mind when I think about adoption, mixed-race and culture marriages, and this sort of thing. Because I think that, no matter what, first impressions are tied up entirely in what they can see genetically. Our sight comes first. Second would be language. Then environment. We would think of someone who looks Japanese as more Japanese than someone who doesn't look "Japanese" (or any other distinct ethnic group). I should go back to anthropology to study this.

Sigh. Anyhow, onto other things, I wrote a short that is going to be produced by some friends of mine. Hopefully, filming will happen in August. It's a fun little gothic musical. More details to come.

Am reading Hotel Honolulu at the moment. Pas mal. Saw Wristcutters and loved it. Very Slavic feel. Rec'd.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost recap: postscript

I guess there's another possibility: divinity working within physics. Everyone who Jacob touched is outside the norm physics-wise. They come back, safe and sound, memories intact, but everything DID change. Just not for them. They're like their own little bubbles/islands. The plane never crashed...for everyone else. The reset happens for everyone but the main, living cast--and this includes Ben because he got touched at the last second before Jacob "died."

Lost--the end begins (spoiler alert)

Ha, okay, so I stole that from Salvation, but who cares?

Okay, so how crazy was last night? I have physics issues with the way this time travel is working. I figure there are three possibilities, two of which assume time is linear. In the first assumption, there is a single line, and if you can jump back in time, you always jumped back in time, and you can't change the past because the past is immovable. However, this would set up a looping issue and preclude free will. I don't like that.

The second assumption, time is linear, but a new ray can start. From the moment, Sawyer and Juliet and the others went back, they started a new branch, an alternate future, where everything changes and they can, possibly, stop the plane crash. However, since we've been watching the non-time traveling Losties, this makes this impossible because they're on the same ray (because of the picture Sun saw). They're still following the original track where nothing in their history has altered--or maybe it has, and we just haven't been able to perceive it. I don't know. Anyhow, both seem unlikely.

The third assumption is that, like Farraday said originally, they didn't just travel in time--they traveled in space. Which seems more physics-likely. That means the past they went to wasn't the past, but a past, maybe a parallel but non-intersecting past. But the photo of them in the 70s that Sun found kind of ruins that too because it shouldn't directly affect her present unless when she and the others crashed, they crashed into that same alternative reality as the 70s Losties, but that reality's future, so she still remembers her past, but it's not the past of the reality she's in. That seems unlikely, though.

So all of those logical possibilities are tossed out the window. We haven't seen off-islanders since they went back, so maybe time and space and consequences differ between the island and the rest of the world. Maybe things change off-island, but not on, or vice-versa.

Next, Locke isn't Locke! Obviously! How did we not figure that out? The actual Locke would not want to kill Jacob. Duh. Is Jacob really dead? Is Locke the permanent realization of that guy on the island with Jacob when the Black Rock approached? What is Jacob? Clearly, he's some kind of divine entity or an extension of the island...but he seemed to bleed like your average guy.

And then, Juliet. Is she going to be like Desmond now? Was that her eye in the promo for 2010?

Let's say it does have a pure reset, which seems impossible. Are we gonna see the people from the plane who died in the first few seasons?

I have more thoughts, but...mostly I can't believe we have to wait to 2010 to see how the writers turn ALL THAT into a satisfying final season.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

blogging is so--wait, what year is it? 2009? are you serious?

Honestly, I've fallen for Twitter in a bad, hard way. It's that instant gratification thing. You have a thought and no one to speak to (and who actually engages with people in real life anymore?), and, boom, suddenly, everyone--and by everyone, I mean the 27 or so people who follow me--knows it. It's great.

Disney Fellowship opened earlier than expected (re: Friday) and will be open till the end of June. I have nothing worthy of it yet. So the next two weeks, I'm going to be buckling down. I wonder where that phrase buckling down comes from. Does it mean buckling myself down? Because that would connote some kind of a safety issue, wouldn't it? Or is buckling down like forcing yourself to stay in a seat for the duration of your task? And you're finishing will unlock you like coming to your destination?

Crap, I wouldn't give myself a job either.

Okay, back to work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

done and doner

I got a ridiculous amount of crap from service professionals today. Went to get my estimate at this teensy auto repair shop--so teensy in fact that I drove right past it. On the way back I almost jumped the curb because this place has the most absurd parking lot design I've ever seen. It's one building with two doors. In front of each side are parking spaces. In the middle is a giant tree. The driveway is where the tree is. It's absurd. The guy at the shop made fun of me and asked me if I normally have an SUV. Then when I got dinner and wanted to get my food sans mayo, I got grief about that too. Seriously, not liking mayo and having trouble parking around a frigging tree are perfectly legitimate things. Frazzak.

I got about half my list done. More than I expected.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


My first roommate from college to get married sure set the bar high. She looked amazing, married a guy she's been with for almost 8 years, had the ceremony at Grace Episcopal in Old Saybrook, followed by a sweet reception at the Water's Edge in Westbrook. The stuff of yuppie dreams. But, seriously, it was truly classy.

This is the first time travel has knocked me this hard. I feel like my head is going to crack in half. Gah.

I normally don't talk about what I work on, but we're doing this Canadian show that's their equivalent of Baywatch, but with no bathing suits that is hilarious. If only all our shows were Canadian Baywatch, I would complain loads less.

To do tomorrow: read rest of NA's manuscript, go get my car damage estimate for the second time, do about 5 hours of freelance work, see 17 Again, try to do something resembling exercise, work on a script idea, edit my own book, finish Le Clezio book, grocery shop...

Anyone want to take bets on how much of that's gonna happen?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


You could give up ice cream and long for ice cream and then the one day you permit yourself to have ice cream, you eat it's kind of lost its deliciousness. How could you lose ice cream? you ask yourself.

I'm afraid what's gonna happen when I eat pizza.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

what's with the Coldplay v. Radiohead jokes?

Okay, so I have to preface this by saying I do not watch Hannah Montana. Really, I don't. But my roommate does on occasion, and sometimes I don't have the energy to leave the room. Recently, there was an episode where Hannah's two friends had a fight that was partly about one of them loving Coldplay more than Radiohead. And guess what? Last night on My Boys, two guys fought over Coldplay v. Radiohead AGAIN!

Seriously? This is a discussion? I mean, I get it. Your average, music-loving guy doesn't want to admit they like Coldplay. Coldplay is romantic, and Coldplay was a bit cheesy back in the day. More to the point, and I've said this before, they sounded like they were U2 imitators. But let's face it. Viva la Vida proved us Coldplayer haters wrong. They're a great band. And they're nothing like Radiohead. I mean, yes, they're both from the British Isles, and yes, they're both popular and play music that could be categorized in the same genre, but it's not similar really at all, so comparing them is an exercise in lameness.

So, yeah, you can love both. Now let's move on to TV that's fascinating because it scares the Mahatma Gandhi out of you. Last night, I switched between Life After People (great concept, boring execution last night) and I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, which was just the scariest thing. I had no idea you could NOT KNOW you were pregnant, unless you were Peggy Olson and deluding yourself. As far as LAP goes, I didn't know about the chip with human DNA on the International Space Station. I didn't realize anyone thought it was important or even possible to try to recreate humanity after we wipe ourselves out. As far as I'm concerned, species get one shot. You bring something back and Jurassic Park happens. No good. It is sad to think that everything will revert, but it does make me feel better about the possibility of NOT being the most successful writer ever. Anyhow. Two shows good to scare and entrance you at the same time, like a Stephen King movie.

Btw, I'm in CT, and it's quite brisk. Gah.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

good night for SNL

So I was watching SNL last night, and it was pretty good, right? Michaela Watkins was hilarious as the woman, and I enjoyed Jon Bovi. I liked the HSM4 sketch till they brought out Walt Disney. I have to say it was (and finally) all about Jason Sudeikis. He's fantastic. And way to commit on the foot sketch.

And then there were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I love their sound AND their look. Very cool and old school. I just wish their lyrics were a bit better and they felt more original.

Tears ('cause I'm laughing so hard) for Fears

Dustin McLean, you're awesome.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Saving me from dairy depravation-induced suicide since 2009.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


You could really want to see a movie, say Watchmen, for example, but every time you make plans to see it, your plans are foiled. Foiled! Like the world wants to give your plans lots and lots of highlights! Foiled!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Showtime, you vagabond! Not picking up The End of Steve? Are you insane? Seriously, another network (yo, F/X, I'm looking at you, brother) has to pick up this show. And then I have to work on it. Because I don't want to keep listing all the things that go wrong. I want to list the things that go right.

Speaking of which, I need to get back on the writing wagon ASAP. It's like some jerk from the playground stole my writing wagon and put all his stupid action figures in it and hauled it around the Valley and won't give it back to me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mama did raise a fool, actually

I gave up dairy today. Cheese, milk, ice cream, all that stuff. Just for two months, but already I'm irritated. Actually, it's more likely my sprained ankle and probably broken toe (stupid jump roping accident, don't want to talk about it) that are bugging me, but I'm so used to dairy in everything. A burger with cheese. A salad with shredded cheese. Tacos--cheese. Sandwiches--cheese. The sheer number of calories I'm going to lose in my diet is going to be amazing. I hope. I really hope.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

if it's wrong and you know it, clap your hands

19. You could finally get your laptop back and in working condition, and, with time on the buzzer of your deadline schedule running out, your pool of creativity could go all stagnant, green and smelly.

Would someone please come and pluck the algae off my brain?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

so wrong, it's Wrong

16. Have you seen that Depeche Mode Wrong video? Oh, hell.

17. You could get all gussied up and head to Santa Monica for a party on a work night only to discover that the party is, in fact, the next night.

18. A car could hit yours and then park behind you and not leave a note, forcing you to call the police to make a report so you won't have to pay to repair the damage--the thing that's so bad about this is that you just bought dessert, and while you're waiting, it melts in the car.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Officially. It's been something of a ridiculous few weeks, and I'd like to stop having things break on me.

Spring goals: Get at least one perfect spec episode written. Finish novel and/or film script. Work seriously on new ideas. Read things I've promised to read for other people. Take GREs. Read good books. Hike more. Go to San Diego, Vegas, or San Francisco. Get a new job.

Yi-ikes. Looks like a lot, don't it?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

domestic violence

Okay, kiddos, particularly you surveyed by the Boston Herald who think Rihanna was at fault in the whole Chris Brown beating the bejeezus out of her debacle, here's something you need to know.

There are only two ways this could be Rihanna's fault. 1) Chris learned Rihanna is actually an evil robot sent from the future to kill him and was just defending himself so he could later save humanity from the scourge of machines, OR 2) Chris learned Rihanna had murdered and/or raped a family member.

Now since the two have reunited, I'm guessing neither of those scenarios took place. Hence, it was not okay, and you reading this should know that unless your significant other is either a time-traveling robot or killed/raped your mom, it's not okay to do that. If you're pissed, walk away. Stop the car and kick them out. If they won't get out, you get out. Do not slug your significant other. Do not make their face look like that. I don't care what they said or did (unless it's one of those two scenarios), it's not okay. Period.

And that's my piece.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

out of commission

is my computer.

the jack is jacked. as it were.

bought books at the dollar bookstore today. had delish yogurt at top o' the swirl.

went to disneyland yesterday. ate at the blue bayou. the chicken rocked my world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

really real thing that could go wrong

#15. You could go over to the new ZPizza for some delicious pizza for lunch during work on Sunday and park your car in the garage that's actually for "Ross customers only" and when you get back, maybe karma hates you, but your car won't turn on. So you call your coworker who has cables to come give you a jump, but when he gets there his cables aren't long enough (yes, I get this sounds like a euphemism) because the hood of your car is in a difficult place to reach (seriously not a euphemism). So he gives you a ride (okay, that is a euphemism--no, no, it isn't) and you remember you have Chevy Roadside Assistance (GOD BLESS THAT!), so you call and have to walk back over to the garage where you parked, which is over a scary-ass bridge, and the tow guy gives you a jump and tells you to keep it running when you get back to work.

BUT you accidentally turn it off when you get back to work and have to call 'em back. And this time you run it for the 1/2 hour the guy says, but when you turn it off, it dies, of course. So you have to call FOR A THIRD TIME. And this time you just drive home, which takes 20 minutes, and you leave the car running in the garage for an extra 40 minutes just for good measure. But when you turn it off IT'S DEAD AS LOUISA MAY ALCOTT.

So you get up the next morning at 6:00 AM and call CRA for a FOURTH TIME and get a jump and drive to the Chevy dealer a block from your work and give it to the dealer to fix and turns out, after 15,000 measly miles, you need a new battery.

Damn, yo.

Also, I love.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

grammar thing that could go wrong

#14. You could go to a Farmers Market, thinking you can buy vegetables or fruit, but, oh, no, they're selling farmers! Beware the missing apostrophe! Beware!

Dark Knight

Finally, finally saw The Dark Knight. A lot of people love it without reservation. I liked it a lot. It's true, Heath Ledger's performance was all that and the kitchen sink. A total transformation. I truly believed he was someone else. But let's be honest about the movie as a whole. It goes on way too long. The beginning with our dear blue-eyed Cillian Murphy was 110% unnecessary. The ending was also a drag. A long drag. The ferry thing could have been bigger, more aggressive. And why was Harvey killed off? That's a whole other movie. The problem, really, was that this was two movies in one and there were too many "big" scenes. Too much action.
Also, Batman is something of a bore. We care more about the villains. It's no good. I'm starting to grow impatient with Christian Bale's movies. He either is attracted to movies where he's allowed to be remote, or that's all he knows how to do anymore. I love him and don't care about the blow-up, but he's far from a chameleon. I'd like to see him smile and it feel genuine. That would be great. Or be a villain. I feel like he'd have a knack for that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

lots of things going crazy awry

I kind of sucked at keeping up on things that could go wrong, so here are some pop culture and personal ones.

#10 You could be asked to be engaged on national TV, and then have the guy TAKE IT BACK on national TV later.

#11 You could have a woman with Teri Hatcher's voice kidnap your parents and try to make you sew buttons in your eyes.

#12 You could have your roommate send your blood pressure through the roof because she was adamant about moving and nowhere is as nice and cheap as where you live. Luckily, she changes her mind, but not before causing irreparable damage to your chi.

#13 You could not win $200 million in the lottery.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rushdie hating on Slumdog

Okay, he's entitled to hate Slumdog and the book on which it was based because the story violates the oath all writers take so their readers will be able to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride...that oath being, of course, that the happy ending can't hinge on a multi-part Deus machina.

The thing of it is, though, is that very oath is the reason most of us give our books tragic endings. Happy endings in life ARE DEPENDENT on the Deus machina, the coincidence, good luck. The laws of probability, after all, work against happy endings. Misery is our lot, by and large.

And we, as a country, as a planet, needed a movie with an improbable happy ending. We've seen the dramas where the lovers don't get together in the end. It's called Romeo & Juliet. It's called Atonement. It's called every single drama ever. This was a fairy tale pretending to be a drama. Rushdie has a problem with that, fine. I loved the movie because it wasn't afraid to have its poor, luckless souls get a break at the end. It happens sometimes, and it gave me hope. That's a good enough standard for a movie as any I can think up. So there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Boulder in sum

Not a lot of tourist action. It was more of a working trip. Slept on a pull-out couch bed, watched the finale of Top Chef (Hosea? Really? I think they need to reconsider the way they choose the winner.), and played Chronology. I am better at history then I thought, but still not good.

Had one of the best sandwiches ever at a little place called Spicy Pickle. Read a good deal of Keep Australia on Your Left, a book about an Aussie model and an American kayak store owner's son trying to circumnavigate Australia in a sea kayak. It's interesting, but far from great prose writing.

Boulder was oddly warm. But windy as frick. The flights in and out were a bit choppy.

And now back to the grind.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Indian summer...

in Boulder.


Sunday, February 22, 2009


I'm posting a bit less because I'm busy and tired and etc. I am watching the episode of Top Chef where they vote off delovely Fabio. So depressed. I just noticed Jeff works at "Dilido." Who named that place?
I for real want to go to Cafe Firenze. Fabio for Governor!

I'm going to Boulder Tuesday for a few days for "business." Am excited...but just realized that it's going to be mad cold.

So I'm on Twitter now. My slug/alias/ID is Katerbee. If you're missing me, I'm more likely to post something quick and stupid there. I can't blog unless I have meat to give. Twitter posts are spittle.

I wanna go to New Orleans.

Also, as far as the Oscars go, I was all-around pleased. I wish Peter Gabriel had been around, but everything went as it ought. And I like the new format.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I've done it. Hurled myself off the high-dive. Not sure what's below. Could be gorgeous blue waters. Could be the toilet. And sometimes it's hard to say which is better. Sharks could be in the gorgeous blue waters. I don't know what could be in the toilet that would be good, but it's conceivable. Odds are it'll just have been into the pool in my apartment building. No change or a familiar sort of screwed.

#9 of that which might go wrong: You could learn you're a talentless hack and have to reevaluate your path in life. And what a long night that'd be, hmm?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What I want to be when I grow up

'Yes,' continued Zazie, 'I'll be a space-traveller and go and bitch up the Martians.'

--From Zazie in the Metro

#8 of things that could go wrong: You're a Martain, minding your own business, and an odd little French girl comes up and slaps your green little face for no reason whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Okay, so I loved Alias. At least for the first season or two. And I somehow managed to rope my much-higher-IQed roommates into loving it too. Their love far outdid my own and they continued to watch it when it got crazy and all the good characters had been replaced by Melissa George and her ilk. Anyhow, in the beginning, we were divided. They loved Michael Vartan, whose character's name I can't remember, and who, while cute, I found ridiculously boring. I, on the other hand, was a serious fan of Will's, aka Bradley Cooper. They said he was dirty. I said he was unkempt. To this day, I prefer an unkempt guy. Anyhow, I would just like to say that now, it's 2009, and I HAVE WON. Take that, TOP TWO GPAS IN OUR RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE! Who's dirty now? The guy hosting SNL and starring in the top movie this past weekend? If he's dirty, who the hell wants to be clean?

#7 Courtesy of Alias: you could marry a British woman two years after the love of your life dies, except that she didn't, and she shows up again, an amnesiac, and wondering why the hell you married a woman who she is pretty sure is evil and then, um, actually turns out to be evil. So, yeah, that sucks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

#5 and #6

5. You could fall for a guy who is completely inappropriate for you, is out of your league, smokes, and...sigh.

6. There could be a major earthquake while you are:

a. giving birth
b. suffering from diarrhea
c. on the ramp that brings you from the 10 West to the 405 South
d. about to win your first-ever game of Operation
e. about to receive your Oscar from (whoever you fantasize about here)
f. swimming/diving
g. on an amusement park ride, specifically roller coaster or Ferris Wheel
h. landing your plane
i. getting on an elevator
j. giving/getting a blow job
k. tripping on acid under a bridge
l. feeding the sharks at the aquarium
m. hiking in Griffith Park
n. in a gas station next to a fuel truck
o. in the shower
p. landing after jumping out of a plane
q. treetrimming/in a treehouse
r. working near/on power/phone lines
s. bungee jumping
t. taking down/putting up a circus tent
u. moshing
v. kissing your dead grandfather's forehead for the last time
w. setting off fireworks
x. in the middle of giving/getting surgery/dental cleaning/tattoo
y. five minutes before that night's episode of Lost ends
z. painting your masterpiece on a rickety easel

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

oh, and #4 of things that could go wrong

In case it wasn't clear...

You could be killed in a car wreck by some jackass who was READING while driving.


My novelist/Wall Streeter friend Nick Antosca was in California this week for "meetings" and stuff. I haven't seen him in a bit, so I met up with him and some other Yalies (re: all guys) at Sardo's in Burbank for "porn star karaoke."

The bathrooms were surprisingly nice.


Dear Guy on the 405 South in the Suzuki Esteem this morning,

First off, your car has a stupid, delusional name. Second, hey, guess what is NOT COOL to do while driving on the highway? Reading! I am a big fan of reading. Hell, I read while waiting in line at the In 'N' Out the other night. But when cars are going 60 mph on the highway, it is not cool to be READING! And talking on the phone! What the hell is wrong with you? You made all the annoying "I don't signal for nobody" jerks look sane. Cut it out!

Thank you,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


You have to be a tad bit self-centered and/or have nothing going for you in life to join Twitter. Since both apply to me, I've joined up as katerbee. If you too have a rotting soul and a mourning dove sent by Satan to wake you up 40 minutes before your alarm in the morning (assuming the upstairs neighbors' extremely loud and always-kept-on radio doesn't do it first), then you might be inclined to join Twitter and spend your day telling people in 140 characters or less "what is up" without them having to ask. Also, you can come up with irritating Twitphrases using all or part of the word "Twitter."

Hiked the top bit of Runyon today. Gorgeous view. You can see everything. Better than Mt. Hollywood (though not as hard). Didn't realize there were SO MANY HOUSES in the hills. Saw the hot reporter guy from Damages, which I am quite fond of. No shirt on (nice) and had a scary dog with him. Couldn't figure out where I knew him from--he was the guy who dumped Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Personally, I would have preferred to see Tate Donovan. Boy, does that man improve with age.

Anyhow, Runyon's good. Next week I'll start having three day middle-of-the-week weekends which I plan to use to write like hell, read like hell, and hike my ass off. Well, not my ass. It's one of the few parts of my body that I approve of. Also, GRE studying. I think I'm finally giving in. Fall of 2010 will be my "you haven't broken into the industry at all, so you should really be doing something valuable with your time and energy." PhD will give me a break from my current loans, time to write, and summers off. I'm okay with that... if I have to be. :)

#3 of things that could go wrong: You could get a sunburn. On your scalp.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

in a groove

#2 You can get a sunburn on your armpits by falling asleep with your arms stretched out.

I'm in a groove. I had a Story A going in my script with my main character and her friend, but the guys weren't getting much to do. And then I decided it's okay if my characters get injured. Injuries are funny. Mucus is funny. Also, the Weather Channel. Am enjoying writing my script, and that's all that matters.

Saw some truly bad stand-up last night. Also had dinner at Breadbar in Santa Monica, right across from the library. The sugared brioche (usually, brioche is too buttery for me) was divine. Also good, the dark chocolate chip baguette. And yummy lemonade. Have been bringing my lunches to the benches on Ocean Avenue, so I can eat and look at the Pacific. It's a great thing to do. Thank you, Private Practice, for the idea.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Gmail is currently encountering problem #717 on my account. That means there are at least 716 other problems, assuming the Google people count the way the rest of us do. I wonder what's going wrong. I can't think of 717 things that can go wrong in real life, let alone in an email account. But I can think of one.

#1: Your email to your roommates expressing your wish to no longer have to do all the dishes in the apartment is completely taken the wrong way and leads to a two-day-long email fight the likes of which are...bad. Really, really bad.

So that's one. I'm gonna come up with 717 things that can go bad now if it kills me. One every day. That's my new mission.

Also, read this. It would be funny if it weren't completely accurate.

I watched Penelope today finally. I've been wanting to for a while, and then it got delayed and there was bad press and it was barely out in theaters. You know what? I liked it. Probably not enough to watch it again. But I've always liked all the cast members in the movie, and, yeah, you can see where maybe there were some problems, but it's a nice movie, a nice story, certainly better than most of the crap that gets wide release. Good characters, I think. Reese Witherspoon's character seems like a throw-in, but everyone else is really nicely done. It's a fairy tale, but better than that. And God love James McAvoy. Anyhow, go rent it. Watch it with people. It's been unfairly treated.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Let's talk about our feelings now, shall we?

I gotta say, I'm a pessimist, and though I predicted a negative future, it was always just a defense mechanism. I don't think I really believed in it, that banks would fail, that our powerful nation and nations all around the world would be so prone to the natural order of things. Which is, of course, that nothing lasts forever. I think now is a time, as individuals, to consider the what ifs. The survival guide last resort what ifs. Not that the world is ending tomorrow, but that the way things are and always have been during our lifetime may not be how they remain. Recognized currency isn't a given. Government isn't a given. Grocery shopping isn't a given. What we've established as the essential aspects of our home environment and work lives are far from given. It's important to be creative in these times. Learn skills. And I'm not talking just IT stuff. Learn how to take care of yourself minus luxuries. Luxuries may be batteries, ovens, cars, refrigerators, whatever.

Anyhow, there's that. It makes what I'm working for in my life seem that much more insane. The world will probably be fine. Iceland will probably be fine. But you never know when you're gonna end up sharing a shack next to the train tracks with four other people and no running water. So.

I'm reading about five different books right now, but none have me hooked. I don't know if it's the books' fault or mine. I'm inclined to think the books, since I can sometimes become completely immersed.

25. Irritated. Lonely. Whiny. Unable to quash my resentment at perceived injustices. Lazy at times. Slovenly at times. Lascivious at times. I should just stay away from times. Need a fucking hair cut.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I didn't really think the first high five videos were good, but this one's funny and cool. Eat my palm sweat, ex-executive branch! How great is Obama thus far? So great!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Australian Open!

Safin's gonna play Federer. Holy crap! And did you see the Djokovic-Delic match? And the fight afterwards outside? Delic is amazing. He's my new fave player. I'm also excited about the Baghdatis-Fish match. They're both fun to watch. Tennis!

Also, Lost! Amazing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the lights go on

This is what groundhogs must feel like coming out of their season-long slumber to bright, disorienting light. Being proud of one's country shouldn't depend on who is running it, but hell, today my nationalism is at its zenith.

Also, Lost tonight! Who's excited? I am! I am!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

good news

I may still be coughing like my body hates my lungs and wants to deport them, but there IS good news.

First, Watchmen will be released! Hooray!

Second, interning from home seems to have released creative brain cells that were lolling away on some neurological hammock. I have a great idea for a spec for an existing show and just started writing a spec sitcom pilot. Ooh-rah!

Third, the two times I've been to the library this week, I found movies that I wanted to see but wasn't willing to pay money for just waiting to be watched. And I watched them. And it was totally worth it. Hell, it was probably worth a dollar to watch each one, but I paid nothing! Yay!

Fourth, a guy who works at Blockbuster fist bumped me the other day and told my friend that I was amazing because I knew about The Sea Inside and used it to try to explain that The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was not the best movie to rent if you're looking for something "light."

Four things is enough. Now I'm going to go to bed and piss off my roommates by rattling the walls with my bitch-ass cough.

respect your craft

I read a lot of screenplays for my internship. A LOT. And I'm not allowed to talk about them, obviously, but one thing I can say is that many, many, many of the samples I get show a very serious lack of understanding of how to use a comma. So, dear screenwriters, if you want to gain the respect of the people who might consider producing your insipid little romantic comedy, do yourself a favor. Learn where to use a comma. When a character addresses a character, like, "Hey, Joe," a comma goes in between "Hey" and "Joe". A comma is not necessary in a sentence like, "You know better than anyone what you want." There should be NO comma between "anyone" and "what". Why you think there ought to be one is beyond me. Please cut it out. My grammar is not perfect and the occasional comma error is not gonna bug anyone, but when it's every page of your script, it's annoying. Learn your punctuation, screenwriters, or I'm gonna be a lot more likely to PASS on you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

sheer grossness

Mucus coming out of my eye now. My ear hasn't popped in over 24 hours. This is the sinus infection to beat all sinus infections.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

sex-iquette lesson 111

The number is the same as my apartment, not just random.

Look, if your friend lets you spend the night at her apartment and sleep on her couch or the floor or whatever, please don't have sex on her couch. Even if it's 4:00 in the morning. You never know when a roommate's gonna wake up and go searching for her antibiotics and catch you doing it on the couch and be so grossed out that she can no longer sit on that couch, which, by the way, is the better of the two couches. For crying out loud.

Monday, January 5, 2009

where, oh, where have my white cells gone?

My immune system MUST be shot to hell because I've had like eight infections/diseases/viruses in the last month or so, and I'm tired of it. I'm also a little nervous at the sheer volume of drugs I've been taking. It's all prescribed and stuff, but I don't want to accidentally pull a Heath Ledger. My roommate says I'm paranoid, but I'd rather be paranoid and alive than the alternative...
Sigh. Need rest.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

enough is enough


"Woah" is not a word. Never has been. Never will be. It's spelled "whoa." Period. Please stop writing "woah." It's just wrong.

Thank you. That is all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

let's hope 2009 is fine

Cool. Coral is good. Art is good. Hoorah at the combination!

Things I've learned: I don't handle Vicodin or Codine well. At all.

Craig Ferguson is an extremely talented novelist. I like Steve Martin, but really, when it comes to writing fiction, he could take some pointers from the Scot.

It's good to be back in LA.
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