Saturday, November 3, 2012


You're gonna read a lot about how awesome the UBC Museum of Anthropology is. BELIEVE IT. If you like totem poles, you will love this museum. If you like rattan motorcycles, stingray skin breast plates, and even more totem poles, this is the greatest place on the planet. I love it. Coolest thing about Vancouver. Also excelletn: Stanley Park. Kitsilano. Seeing a Tim Horton's on every other block instead of a Dunkin' Donuts. The Wunderbar, a candy bar you cannot get in America. Canadians. Boy, do Canadians like to talk. Some store owners will chat your ear off, but you can't help but love 'em anyhow, those adorable Canadians. Overall, Vancouver is a little more urban than I had hoped for, a little sharper around the edges than other cities of the Pac NW (Portland, Seattle), but a good place to visit, even when it's raining the whole time and you can't get a single decent photo.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Emmys 2012 hopes, dreams, whatevers

Quick best-of-all-possible-world predictions: Comedy series: Someone invents time travel, goes back in time, and nominates Parks, Community, and Louie and one of those win instead. Lead comedy actress: Amy Poehler and she gets up on stage and Will Arnett runs up from behind the curtains and says he wants to give it one more chance and the rest of the cast Arrested Development hoist the kissing lovebirds up in the air and carry them off stage. Lead comedy actor: I don't have a horse in this race. Supporting comedy actress: Don't particularly care here either. Supporting comedy actor: Bill Hader. He's a genius, and Stefon has done so much for all of us. And how fucked up is this category? No Danny Pudi? No Nick Offerman? Are you kidding me with this? Drama: Breaking Bad. Or Homeland. But probably Breaking Bad. Lead drama actress: Claire Danes. Julianna's awesome, but she doesn't have that new car smell. Lead drama actor: Cranston. Always Cranston. Sorry, Jon. Supporting drama actress: Anna Gunn finally won me over this year, but I honestly couldn't shrug less about it. Supporting drama actor: Nail biter! Last chance for Giancarlo and Jared, I guess. I haven't seen the past season of Mad Men, but I know what happens. How about a shared Emmy? Let's do that. (Seriously, though, how great are all the other guys, though? And Aaron Paul? Come on. That's never the wrong answer.) Miniseries: Sherlock or Luther. 'Cause those are the only ones I've seen anything of, except for Hatfields, which I don't get the popularity. Lead miniseries actor: Benedict or Idris. Lead miniseries actress: No horse. Supporting miniseries actress: See above. Supporting miniseries actor: Martin Freeman. I friggin' love Martin Freeman. Who's excited for The Hobbit? Variety: Ooh, tough one. Lots of deserving nominees. Stewart's got a ton, though, right? He probably doesn't need it. I'm good with either Colbert or Fallon. Reality: Uggggggghhhhhhh. Who cares? Make this not a thing. Host: See above.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things I love right now

My old virus-riddled laptop cracked at the hinges and became a desktop, so I finally had to suck it up and buy a new laptop. Got a 14-inch Acer Aspire Timeline X (or something like that), and I love it. Less than $500, and it's like an Ultrabook, but with a DVD player. The sound could be better, or I'm just not using it right, and I kind of hate Windows 8, but overall having a great experience with my new computer. Watched the HBO version of Mildred Pierce recently. So good. Sit-ups. I do those now. Cashews and Chobani yogurt (not together). I eat those now. Gavin DeGraw. Went to see him at the Greek, and he's both a very solid performer and, strangely enough, funny. Like, really funny. Not having any more payments on my car. At last, the piece of junk is all mine.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Seattle is, like, four episodes of Friends reruns from Los Angeles on Virgin America, and I finally visited there last weekend. Flew up Thursday afternoon and got to see the Space Needle from space! Well, the air. That's cool. Met my friend Lucy and took the Seattle Link from the airport, which is absolutely the best and cheapest way to go from the airport to downtown Seattle. Stayed in Belltown at Hotel Five, which is a nice, not-too-pricey boutique hotel next to Top Pot Doughnuts and a block or two from this.
We took a cab to Volunteer Park in the middle of rush hour, which was perhaps a bit stupid and certainly pricey. We climbed up to the top of the Water Tower, which has a great, if latticed, and free view of Seattle and was fairly empty. Good stairs. The first Thursdays at many museums, including the Seattle Asian Art Museum, are free, so we went inside the park branch of the museum and checked out some Uzbek robes. They were gorgeous. I bought a few cards and a dragon-reindeer ornament at the gift shop and took a picture of the Space Needle through the Black Hole Sun Chris Cornell was singing about in one of my fave songs.
Then we walked down to Pike/Pine and had dinner at Quinn's Pub. I highly recommend the halibut (though I wish it came with more gnocchi) and pretzel with Welsh rarebit. Bought a signed copy of the new Peter Carey at the Elliott Bay Book Company and we got AMAZING custard at Old School Frozen Custard. Fantastic. The next morning we had biscuits at Serious Biscuit on Westlake (Tom Douglas stop 1) and took the bus up to the Gasworks. No one there really, but just a cool view of downtown Seattle and a weird, awesome, crazy park. Love.
Then we walked to Theo and had a chocolate tour. If you want to taste chocolate but not suffer through a sometimes dull hour, just check out their store, which is a bit of a sample heaven. Can I recommend getting the milk chocolate-almond bar? Delish. The s'mores thing is a bit underwhelming, so feel free to skip that, s'mores fans. We took the bus back and walked through Pike Place. The giant poppies for sale were amazing, and I love a good peony, but the market wasn't really my thing. Lucy bought a pen, and then we had a margherita and a potato pizza at Serious Pizza, where a police horse tried to enter through the front door. After the late lunch, we took a break and just hung out in the room.
Dinner was Palace Kitchen. Very dark in the back, but good food. Saturday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at Dahlia Bakery and then wonderful hocho at Monrorail Espresso and then headed to the EMP Museum via the monorail, which is a good way to arrive there, as you'll see.
The EMP Museum is brilliant. The Icons of Sci-Fi exhibit had just opened up and had models and props from such films as The Matrix, Men in Black, Terminator, and so on, but the best part is the Sound Lab upstairs where you can learn hooks on the keyboard. Cool, playful museum for adults. Best activity in Seattle.
There's also this guitar-nado.
We had lunch at Steelhead Diner (I got poutine without gravy and pan-roasted broccoli, what?), and then we grabbed the ferry for Bainbridge. Little bait thingamajigs line the divider between tables at Steelhead. One with "jungle cock" sides was right next to me.
It's a cheap ferry ride, and the ferry itself is pretty cool. On the trip over, we had to stop while they ran a man overboard drill because apparently some drunk guy had fallen off the week before. Then this guy stood in front of us as we waited to depart.
Nice. Here's the deal: Bainbridge is cool. Ish. But the Winslow little village area is kind of dull. There's a nice bookshop and the ice cream at Mora's is good, but it's nothing to blog home about. BUT randomly at the marina there are these crazy rock sculptures everywhere.
Can you dig it? I can. On the way back, the entire Bainbridge High class of 2012 as well as a bachelorette party were on the boat, but we managed to avoid both annoying groups altogether. We had dinner at Fuji Sushi, which had really nice chicken Katsu, and walked a long way back to our hotel. At some point we went to Olympic Park, which is small, but a good place to chill and take pictures.
Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast at Dahlia Lounge, then walked to REI headquarters, which is impressive if you've never been to LL Bean in Freeport. Now THAT'S a flagship store. We had lunch at the TOTALLY GANGSTER Lunchbox Laboratory, which was quite delicious.
Then we headed back to the hotel, took the Link back to Sea-Tac, and flew out. Great trip.

Friday, May 18, 2012

SoCal hiking

I've been supporting my roommate these last two weeks by going on long hikes while she studies for her MCAT. Last week we drove way the hell down to Crystal Cove between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach and did a 2-hour, 6+ mile hike, which was low on tree cover and high on hilliness. There was one mid-hike incline that I found particularly unpleasant, and the views weren't really worth the long drive. Today we did the Trippet Ranch to Parker Mesa Overlook hike in Topanga State Park as described at (great site, btw, for LA hikers), which was about 6.7 miles and more like an interval-training hike. There was never a very long sharp ascent, but there were a lot of small hills, so your heart rate was never up to running level, but the level it was at it generally stayed at. It took us closer to 2 1/2 hours to do this one (the whole thing was 3, but we stayed at the overlook, which had a great view of the PCH to Santa Monica and beyond--you could even see what I think was either DTLA or Century City), but there was a bit more tree cover, it's much closer to Studio City, and the overall beauty of the hike was greater. And there were little lizards (and oddly red ants). Topanga Canyon is just great, so highly recommended, but bring a hat and a good amount of water.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The type of people who wear hoodies:

High school students, college students, people who live in places where autumn happens, people who live in places where spring happens, people who experience warm winters, people who experience cold summers, sports fans, athletes, people who never exercise, construction workers, people who work in casual offices with tricky air-conditioning, and my entire family.

Friday, March 9, 2012

How I would have written Awake

Oof. Sorry, guys. Know it's been a long time. Been writing A LOT. About halfway into a (disaster porn) feature, finished a Cougar Town spec, and have been doing a lot of reading of pilots vying for slots for this coming fall.

Right now, I'm halfway through the second episode of Awake, the new show from the beleaguered but fairly brilliant Kyle Killen. At first, I thought the problem with the show was that every week it would be the same thing, nothing new, despite how high-concept it is. And now I realize the true problem--the car accident. How very Deus ex machina an event. It would be MUCH more powerful if the accident that killed one or both or neither of his wife and son weren't an accident but a Sophie's Choice situation. Some criminal with an axe to grind against our detective forces him to choose, and this is what follows. You'd have something at stake for the entire season--find the guy who made you choose. You have a bad guy. You have an arc, possibly with a Fringe-ish sci-fi element to it. You have a purpose for the show, high-concept WITH A REASON, not a mere cop drama with a split personality.

But that's just what I would have done.


Just finished the episode. Never mind. Killen probably knows what he's doing. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Favorite new things of 2011


Happy Endings (forgot about this when I was writing this list--thought it started in 2010)
Hart of Dixie
Downton Abbey (forgot about this too)

Not my favorite, but Once Upon a Time has potential.

I read a lot of great books this year, but the ones that stuck with me the most were the following non-2011 publications:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Just Kids by Patti Smith
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (rec'd to two people)
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill


I loved Attack the Block, but past that I feel like I didn't see a lot of movies this year, and, more importantly, none of them blew my brain back. I preferred Source Code, Limitless, Another Earth to Descendants, Moneyball, and Midnight in Paris, all of which I thought were good but am hard-pressed to imagine as Oscar winners.

I didn't really love anything I saw this year, but I probably enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love the most and Drive was probably the most striking. Bridesmaids was funny, but it didn't knock me out. Tower Heist, despite Brett Ratner's brazen dumbassery, was in my opinion a funnier film. The best female performance I saw this year was easily Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method.

Again, I still have a lot of 2011 films to catch up on.

My favorite music of the year came from Florence + the Machine, Adele, the Black Keys, Foster the People, AWOLNation, Mumford and Sons, and The Naked and the Famous.

Other stuff:

ice skating -- I just skated for the first time yesterday, and now it's my New Year's resolution to learn how to really skate. Excited!

Studio City -- my dream has come true. I am now a Studio City resident.

Nicholl Fellowship -- 2011 I was a QF with my first-ever completed feature film script.

Trader Joe's dark chocolate rocky road bars -- I eat an insane amount of that now.

Portland, OR

Lisbon and Sintra, Portugal; Valencia, Spain

chocolate salami

Overall, it was a decent enough year. Let's just hope 2012 is better.
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