Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot in Studio City

It's rainy here in the San Fernando Valley. My friend Lucy came down from San Francisco. She's never been to a taping so I rustled up some tickets to a taping of Hot in Cleveland. Tapings are fun to a certain extent, but they're long and usually during dinner, and if the show provides food, which HIC did, it's not necessarily appetizing, which it wasn't.
At a taping of a multicamera show, the audience is entertained between takes by a comedian. Thankfully, HIC doesn't employ the same guy I've seen at a bunch of other tapings. This guy was frantic but funny, and at the end he ran a little game where whoever guessed the most number of TV theme songs correctly won their choice of a HIC script signed by the cast (including Betty White) or a sliver of the Wheel of Fortune wheel signed by Sajak. I wasn't one of the first contestants, and I didn't know some of the songs, but someone finally got 30 Rock wrong, and I raised my hand, and he called on me.
And I never got a song wrong after that. Thankfully, all the songs I didn't know eventually said their name in the title, so I got lucky because I didn't answer until it came. So I won and I got the script. Because come on. They didn't get a SAG ensemble nod for nothing. Also, when the Friends song played, I did the hand clap, and the comedian then made me do it, like, two more times.

Also, we had lunch at Hatfield's. Rec'd.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

favorite things of 2010

It's been an unusually long year, and yet I've accomplished so little.

Some of my favorite things of the year.

Books: Running in the Family, Salt and Saffron, Await Your Reply, The City and the City, several plays, Elif Batuman's The Possessed, Manhood for Amateurs, The Little Stranger, and The Helmet of Horror
I'm currently reading Never Let Me Go, which might make the list.

Movies: The Kids are All Right, Black Swan, Toy Story 3, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The King's Speech and Blue Valentine were also great, performance-wise.
I liked 127 Hours but didn't find it, you know, magical.

TV: Community, Luther, Raising Hope, Huge (RIP), crazy Spartacus: Blood and Sand and The Pillars of the Earth, Curb Your Enthusiasm (thanks, TV Guide Channel)
I am not going to mention the numerous shows I liked that got canceled this year, except for the one that also just started this year.

Music: Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine, Duffy (I really got into her this year), Broken Bells, Band of Horses' Laredo. Honorable mention: Neon Trees and The Black Keys (Tighten Up is good, but there's just something about that song that feels incomplete/too similar to Cee Lo Green)

I hate that Lady Antebellum song. HATE.

places: Lake Hollywood, Larchmont Village, Toluca Lake (my new residence), San Diego (first time I've visited), Grauman's, Quality Meats, Sweetsalt, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Twitter games

et cetera: the New York TV Festival, the Norwegian Let It Be video, AFI Fest, DeLoreans, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, making my own ice cream, the Groundlings, seeing Persons Unknown cast members in my neighborhood

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

thanks to Walking Dead

I had a dream last night that a group of people and I had finally found our way to a coastal area free of zombies. Suddenly, massive amounts of survivors appeared and their loud presence attracted a literal wave of zombies. They were walking out of the ocean towards us. I started climbing this cliff, no longer afraid of heights, and, as I was waking in a panic, I thought, "Can zombies swim?"

My biggest problem with The Walking Dead, in terms of zombie development, is the explanation of zombies' motor skills. I understand they have to be able to climb stairs and ladders or else escaping zombies would be super easy, but if you start explaining the "science" of zombies, like happened in the finale of this season, you get into murky territory. I've read that, theoretically, zombies wouldn't be able to swim, but since they don't need to breathe, they can walk under water until the water has a degrading effect on the body. So my dream was accurate before my knowledge.

But that still doesn't answer a fundamental question...
Can zombies do jumping jacks?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today I found the Lake Hollywood Reservoir, the pristine gated lake hidden in the hills. You can walk partway round the Reservoir and end at the Mulholland Dam which has the goshdarn prettiest view of the Hollywood Sign there is. I parked at the North Gate, so my roundtrip walk was 4.6 miles, but if park at the East Gate (the one that's actually open), the walk's only 3.2 miles. Even with the big wire fence, I highly recommend it.

Tonight I saw a screening of David Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, which is a very layered and short-story-ish movie that I quite liked. Ryan Gosling is particularly excellent, and as soon as the soundtrack is on iTunes, I'm totally buying his version of "You Always Hurt the One You Love."
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