Friday, December 12, 2008

Rage Against the Metabolism

I just want to say that it isn't funny. I'm not laughing. Why is it that as I near 30 my metabolism has decided to slow down like a party girl on GHB? I used to dance in the crowd, but now I'm slumped over a chair in the dark corner of the VIP room, or worse, on the floor of the bathroom stall. I eat the same. I workout the same. But for some ungodly reason I'm expanding in all directions. I am the Big Bang Theory. So what do I do? Fight? But how? Diet pills, more lemonade and cayenne, Spin classes two times a day, give up everything that means anything to me - dark chocolate, goat cheese, Santa Fe garden burgers from Astroburger? Even my splurges are healthy, so what gives? Am I doomed to never wear my skinny jeans again? Does it only get worse from here or can I pull a Dylan Thomas and "rage, rage against the dying of the light"? I suppose I could get rich and hire a personal nutritionist and trainer. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. Or I could get really poor and not have enough food to eat. Nah, no fun. I'd probably end up eating one of the cats, which would be truly terrible. Ok, so until I get rich, rage it is. Rage Against the Metabolism... Does anyone know of a good fasting tea?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

West With the Night

"Why am I gazing at this campfire like a lost soul seeking a hope when all that I love is at my wingtips? Because I am curious. Because I am incorrigibly now, a wanderer."
-West With the Night, by Beryl Markham

Beryl, a race horse trainer turned airplane pilot in the 1920s & 30s, was raised and spent most of her life in the country she loved, Africa. Reading her memoir now I can't help but relate to every word on the page, but this quote especially stood out to me as a wonderful expression of what it means to be an eternal wanderer. It's not as if the place you stand has no value. In fact, once gone from it, nostalgia often takes over, creating lasting memories that lean toward exaggeration. What was once a pretty fun time, becomes a pinnacle of enjoyment. What was once a relaxing vacation, becomes the utmost time of Zen in your life. So, yes, there is a great deal of value in the current position, place and time. But what underlines it all is an undying urge to try something new. To explore new territory and devour new experiences. And no one did that better than Beryl. As a small girl she wanted to hunt like the Murani tribesmen, so she shadowed them every chance she could get, despite near death escapes from lions and other jungle predators. She wanted to train horses like her father, so she did, on her own at the age of seventeen in the middle of a largely unexplored, wild land. She wanted to fly planes, so she learned to fly a Gypsy Moth, over elephant herds and into villages that no cars could go. She amazes me, but what gives me pause is the question, "Would I amaze her?" Probably not. So this is what I'm going to work on. This is my New Years Resolution. To amaze Beryl Markham posthumously. It's as good a goal as any other, and definitely more rewarding than being five pounds slimmer or giving up my morning cup of coffee. If I'm going to be a wanderer, I better get my moccasins on and start moving.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun with Flan

Just a quick observation about my new neighborhood. The one difference I've noticed living in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood is that no matter what grocery store you find yourself in, there is an abundance of flan for sell. All shapes, sizes and flavors. Coffee-flavored flan at Fresh & Easy - who ever heard of such a hybrid? I never realized to what extent flan was a truly popular dessert. I thought it was just one of those cultural things that people talk about but never really eat, like fruit cake for caucasians. My last memory of flan was a flan food fight we had at my high school in the cafeteria. That stuff can really fly, and it's quite buoyant, even against wool-blended plaid skirts. Plus, it stays in its original form during air transit no matter the velocity of your throw, which is nice if you are aiming at a particular person, such as that b***h who had the nerve to invite your boyfriend to Homecoming or that dork who dressed as Xena the Warrior Princess on career day. So I guess what I'm saying is, when in Rome do as the Romans and get yourself some dragonberry flan and call it a day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tyra Has a Point?

I hate to give credit to a supermodel of any kind, but I was watching our favorite person to hate the other day, Miss Tyra Banks, and found myself actually interested in the show's topic. It was about men who were married or in relationships and outside female friendships, whether they were dangerous, disrespectful, harmless or even beneficial. In true talk show format, everyone had a different opinion.

Some women thought it was okay as long as the man hung out with his female friend in a larger group or when his wife/girlfriend was also there. Some thought it was okay only if it was a superficial friendship and that there was no "emotional cheating." This means basically they could drink beer together and talk about sports but under no circumstances anything truly relevant in their lives. Then others thought it was no big deal at all. Of course, the only ones who thought that were the men. But still, dissent is dissent and should be noted. Lastly, there was the "When Harry Met Sally" school of thought that says men and women can never truly be just friends. That there will always either be some type of feeling from one or both parties or that the bond between friends of the opposite sex undermines the relationships with their partners since their partner should be their best friend and "enough".

This is where Tyra firmly stood. I'm not sure I totally agree with her. We all get different things out of different friendships. Plus, I think a lot of it has to do with her own past. Girl dated a basketball player, and we all know that's bad news. Also, there's the small, no... large, matter of ego. As a wise person told me, "the girl who recognizes she is jealous is your true self. The girl who is jealous is your ego." So perhaps Tyra's ego is the reason behind her stance. Maybe she's the jealous type because of some insecurity, blah blah blah.

But then maybe, just maybe the former supermodel turned talk show diva has a point just as Billy Crystal did when he said the same thing in that famous cross country road trip with Meg Ryan. It's hard to tell, but the man also said in the same film, "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." And ain't that the truth. Besides, once Harry realized he loved Sally I guarantee he stopped making friends with cute blonds. Finally, for once in his life, he had "enough." But that's the movies. And life, like Tyra Banks the person, is far more complicated...

... F' it, I can't resist, one more quote from Billy to showcase his infinite wisdom. The following is from "City Slickers".

Mitch: "Value this time in your life kids, becaus
e this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, What happened to my twenties? Your forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering, "How come the kids don’t call? How come the kids don’t call?" By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call mama. Any questions?"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Clogged Drain

Today I dragged myself out of bed and my Benadryl induced slumber to march to the store and buy some Liquid Plumber. You see, my bathtub is stopped up, and lately I've been showering in a pool of water. I pretend I'm in the tropics in an outdoor shower, rainwater gently collecting at my feet from a summer storm. But even that's worn off, and now I just feel white trash. So as I wait for the chemicals to do their magic, I can't help but think that this situation illustrates the state I've been in lately.

You see, I've had trouble writing. It's not for want of ideas. I have a ton lurking beneath the surface. It just seems that every morning I think to myself, 'tomorrow will be a great day to write.' Or I convince myself that the next trip I embark on will provide me with the space and motivation I need to write. But it doesn't, and the putrid cycle continues. It's like I'm clogged. Something inside me is preventing me from putting my ideas and characters and plots onto paper. Ok, that's passe... onto the computer screen.

Now I just have to figure out what's clogging me up, find the tools to dislodge it and then watch as my imagination gushes out. Man, this is one disgusting analogy. Truly horrific. But i think it can apply to other areas of life... love, career, health, spiritual growth. Not to sound new age, but we all need a little Liquid Plumber now and then to get us back on the right track, or as in my case, so we can take a much needed shower.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Something To Work On...

I've decided that with my birthday rapidly approaching I need to start working on my New Year's resolutions. This week's goal: patience. Why is it so hard? Why? Tell me someone! Quick!

Patience is one of the hardest things for me to master. I want what I want and I want it now. I've even begun to mark off days of the calendar. This is a true sign of not living in the moment, as if two intersecting black lines will make a future event come that much quicker. The worst part of impatience is that it's a gateway neurosis. It leads to nervousness which leads to anxiety which leads to frustration and then, often times, anger. And no one likes an angry female. Even Rosie the Riveter had a smile on her face.

So here's the plan when impatience rears its ugly head: stop, take three deep breaths and then find something to take my mind off it... preferably something pleasurable and/or relaxing. The John Adams miniseries worked particularly well this week. Thank you, HBO. There's nothing like period costumes and proper English to calm the mind.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Wild Wild West

Back from Santa Fe with many more wild west adventures under
the belt. Wrote this on the plane:

"I dream of wild Huck Finn adventures,
Swallowed by the road.
Terminally restless,
Body young but the spirit old.
Longing to be free and follow every whim,
We swim in the desert soil
And plow the Rio Grande.
The mystery is in the adventure,
A new start everyday.

Aspens full of light and giant tents of stone,
Quiet, deserted churches and drying desert bones.
Red hot cacti blossoms catching the western wind,
Endless paths of magic becoming your truest friends.
They speak to me of lives not yet lived,
That I want to capture whole.
At times guilty for who I am,
I'm tormented and blessed by my wanderer's

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Best Weekend Eva!!!

The title of this blog says it all. Nothing like an 80s party to get the creative juices flowing. I'd like to thank our muses Robert Palmer and Jem for supplying us with pure inspiration. This picture, taken by a delightful crackhead in downtown LA is priceless but not nearly as great as the pics from the roof with the neon "HOT" in the background from a skanky hotel with a few lettered lights out. I'd post them on this blog but then everyman in his right mind would want to stalk me and my friends. What can I say... Might as well face it... We're simply irresistible.

Oh, and if anyone wants or need a blowup guitar, I happen to have one sitting idle at my house.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

Saw Eddie Vedder at the Wiltern in LA last night (3rd row seats thanks to dad's fanclub status!) after a 10 mile hike in the Palisades in 90 degree heat. Utterly awesome and inspiring. The reason I bring this up is because I've been trying hard lately to figure out exactly what makes me happy so that I can follow a strick diet of fun and contentment. This idea came to me after seeing the films "Into the Wild" and "Pursuit of Happyness" and an episode of Oprah with Eckhart Tolle (stifle the laughter, please.) All three had messages of following your bliss, freedom and living in the moment. And I concluded that if I'm going to live in the now, then that "now" better be an enjoyable one. After my weekend, I can now add nature, exercise, going the cinema and live music to my list. Those are obvious choices, but my weekend spent doing solely these things reinforced the idea.

Also added to my list is mochi and read bean cakes from Little Tokyo. Hell, I really don't care where they're from as long as they're fresh and in my mouth. Sipping tea also makes me happy. Coffee, as I've unfortunately come to realize, only makes me happy for a few hours, then it's acid reflux city limits. Eating out makes me happy as long as someone else is footing the bill, it's vegan or it's a bargain. Audience work for $8 an hour on "American Gladiators" does not make me happy, but cash under the table certainly does. Skydiving makes me happy, which is something I just did for the first time with the newly founded Bite the Bullet Club. Next stop for us, Mt. Whitney. That mountian (the highest in the lower 48 states) will make a woman outta me yet.

Temp work does not make me happy. Writing treatments, believe it or not, does. My family makes me happy. My friends make me happy. Large salads make me happy. Historical mini-series make me happy and my boyfriend taking the time out to research our trip to Santa Fe makes me almost giddy. These are all insights from the last week. Stay tuned for more and start to make a list of your own. The list part, really, is easy. It's adhering to it that's the hard part, but I'm doing all I can to follow in Supertramp and Mr. Gardner's footsteps... although I don't think my list includes the Alaskan wilderness without a map or sleeping in a subway bathroom.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Freelancers' Guilt"

I'm coining a new phrase that should have self-help gurus rushing to their laptops to pen the next Oprah Book Club best seller. It's called "freelancers' guilt"...

I took a hike today up Runyon Canyon with an actress friend of mine. Here, in the middle of a work day when most of our friends and family were off slaving away in the office, we were soaking up sunshine, getting some exercise and stuffing our faces with Santa Fe Gardenburgers from Astro. You think an activity like this would make you happy. That it would relax you and simultaneously revive your spirit. But not these freaks. So we got to talking about this guilt you have as a freelancer working from job to job and often having tons of free time in between. It's as if you can't sit and enjoy yourself because you're always too busy anxiously thinking about the future.

As a writer, I feel like I have to be doing something proactive all hours of the day, and that a day spent simply enjoying myself will tip the scales of career karma and send me down a dark unemployed shaft from whence I'll never return. It's sick, isn't it? That's when it gets really bad because I start feeling guilty for feeling guilty. This is what I always wanted, right? So the fact that I'm not happy, or more appropriately, anxious and stressed out for no apparent reason, must mean I'm a bad person and deserve to never get another gig again. God, it's ugly.

So if anyone has any advice on how to relive the "freelancers' guilt" so that I can enjoy this time in my life and let the future take care of itself, please pass it on. Or, better yet, write a book about it, send it to Oprah and then have me as a special guest on one of the segments. I could really use the exposure...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Missing in Action

Haven't written in awhile because I've been holed up in Palo Alto feverishly working on one commercial treatment after another and loading up on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" episodes and running in between bouts of rain. Tomorrow Jade and I make our way over the Grapevine and back to LA. We're starting to become deficient in vitamin D so it's definitely time for some Socal sun. And who knows, now that the strike is over, perhaps I will finally hook that agent that's going to make me a screenwriting star.

[Alert: Mom, if you're reading this stop now because you've asked not to know when this next event is going to occur... Seriously, stop reading.] One thing's for sure, in two weekends my ass will be jumping from a plane just like the old farts Nicholson and Freeman in "Bucket List," a film I washed down with bubbly at the drive-in on Valentine's Day. Watching them leap sent vomit signals to my stomach, but I sucked it up and kept my eye on the prize... a total adventure worth every ounce of anxiety and 200 hard earned dollars. Until then, I'm just going to keep reminding myself that life is about taking chances and chances are, you'll have one hell of a time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tumble Weeds, Bumble Bees, E.T.s & Celebrities (Welcome to Santa Fe)

Tumbleweeds: Coming down the I5 on our way to Kingman, Arizona, dad and I ran into a bit of trouble once I took over the wheel. Giant tumbleweeds, some the size of sedans, began dodging across the interstate, threatening to ignite a pile up. It was like a game of Frogger. Dad would yell that one was coming from the right, so I'd swerve to the left. If one was coming from the left, I'd quickly change lanes to the right, avoiding fellow cars and other smaller tumbleweeds. For the next hour I'd see cars in the rear-view mirror with giant tumbleweeds stuck to their grill. That and about five rainbows that dotted the sky as the sun shone through the dark storm clouds. Life got even more bizarre once we hit some parts of Route 66 the second day. We kept driving past The Road Kill Cafe, opting out of that unique experience.

Bee: This is the name of the best taco stand in town. I've only been here three days but have eaten there twice. And it even has a drive-thru. I recommend the fish taco on a corn tortilla (skip the special sauce: I don't trust any creamy sauce that claims to be non-dairy, like what the hell is in it, anyway?) with a side of black beans and cilantro lime rice. The place is colorful, clean and they don't frown on this silly white girl when she asks for no cheese. Excellent place to go after a good snowshoeing sesh.

Last night me and the fam went to a documentary screening at their new neighborhood's community center (the pic to the right is of a bedroom in their new home), which is really just a comfy little room with plush chairs and one gigantic television set (future site of our Super Bowl viewing, I'm sure). So we settle in, meet some new folks and suddenly realize that the twenty minute documentary is on Extraterrestrials. That's right folks... Welcome to Santa Fe! When it was over, everyone took turns either sharing their UFO experiences or speaking from a more cynical viewpoint. I loved every second. And don't get me wrong, I am totally open to the idea. I mean, why the hell not? So if you're a UFO reading this right now, what's up and let's do tea sometime.

Celebrities: Well, I saw Natalie Portman in the parking lot of the grocery store, seemingly on her way to the movie theater. Same theater I saw "There Will Be Blood" in: a great movie that is more than worth you're $12/$15. (Paul Thomas Anderson, if you're reading this right now, what's up and let's make babies sometime). I guess she's filming here right now with Jake Gyllenhaal. Shirley McClain also rambles around these part. Probably looking for E.T.s with Dennis Kucinich.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Some days I'm crippled by the most intense desire and exquisite longing for places I've yet to travel, people I've yet to meet, dreams that have yet to be fulfilled and lives I have yet to live. No song has ever touched on this element of my character, which is a little darker and a bit more difficult to comprehend, than this song, "Guaranteed" from songwriter Eddie Vedder and the movie "Into the Wild." Amazing. Beautiful. And so much a part of me, it aches to hear it. I know I rarely go to such cheesy lengths, but I had to share...

"On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
All my destinations will accept the one that's me
So I can breathe...

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they'll never know
A mind full of questions, and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes...

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you...

Everyone I come across, in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering, but I'm never what they thought
I've got my indignation, but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive...

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees, they're singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite, forever orbiting
I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me

Check out the video on YouTube:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?

I'm off again to another Wild West adventure. My cat is currently curled up on my lap praying to the kitty gods that the suitcase I have open is a mere figment of her imagination brought on by an overdose of catnip. This time I'm headed to Santa Fe with a quick stop through the mighty port of San Francisco. My plan of attack while there is to finish a spec script for "House of Payne" and start brainstorming a pilot my writing partner and I are dreaming up. Two words: Psychic Half-sisters. Intrigued? You should be.

Gonna dust off the snowshoes as well and explore the town. I've only ever been there in summer, so I'm sure I'm in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. I'm a California girl and resent having to leave my skirts and shift dresses at home. Love snowshoeing though. Gets the heart rate pumping and the sweat freezes in your crevices creating a very fun situation when it dethaws back at the house, which is, by the way, a hotel since the movers won't be there yet with the furniture.

I'll be back come Super Bowl Sunday and am planning a very humorous blog on organized sports and accepted male butt patting. Something to look forward to. And it's the one time of year I allow myself a single Ruffles potato chip with French onion dip. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I recently received an apology from a fella that left me scratching my head. It came via text message and read, "Sorry if you felt duped." Interesting. Not "I'm sorry I duped ya," but "I'm sorry you feel duped." This man should have pursued a career in politics. I mean, what a wordsmith. It's the perfect apology for someone who doesn't desire to apologize at all but wants to appear somehow regretful. I love it. Here's some of my own generic double-talk apolo-geez I've been inspired to develop, and please feel free to use as needed:

1.) I'm sorry you're sad that I ran over your cat.
2.) I'm sorry that rash I gave you irritates your skin.
3.) Sorry you think I'm a ________. (Fill in with whatever superlative works best. I tend to prefer "asshole," an old-fashioned favorite.)
4.) Sorry you feel upset that I gambled away your college fund.
5.) I'm sorry you're hurt that I slept with your best friend.
6.) I'm sorry you feel angry since I broke into your car and stole the new Ipod Touch you got for Christmas.
7.) Sorry you didn't see me at your birthday party, but quite frankly, I forgot and went to get my nails done instead.
8.) Sorry you didn't like hearing me call your mom a fat cow.
9.) I'm sorry you felt that the end of year bonus I gave you wasn't adequate. Have you considered a Kia Spectra instead of a BMW?
10.) Sorry you felt lonely when I left you to pursue my futile music career.

Look, the list goes on and on. And don't forget, when you use them, make sure you do it in text format. It adds more emotional distance and really shows off your modern flair for literacy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Once again, I'm back in la la land, only this time I have the odd suspicion that I actually missed this place. First off, it's supposed to be in the low to mid 70s this weekend. Hello, McFly, it doesn't get any better than that in the middle of winter. As we made our way back from NorCal you could actually track the changing color of the sky from a misty gray to a red carpet ready blue. Disturbingly cliche thoughts like, "this is the life," and "my future's so bright, I gotta wear shades," pop in your head and refuse to let go with paparazzi-like stubbornness.

Then there's my home, a precious junior one bedroom gem set in the stone face of the Valley. My kitty actually hissed at me as I walked through the door - a first. Now she's stuck to me like Whitney to Bobby, demanding love at all hours of the day and night. I'm emotionally exhausted, but it is nice to lay in my own bed listening to the sounds of the Ventura drag racers zipping past at 2am with my kitty snuggled next to me and a pot of tea making steam on the kitchen window. So I suppose I'm back home for awhile or at least until the road trip with my dad to Santa Fe at the end of the month. Yes, they're moving... again. Freakin' nomads these people.

Wait, shit, major life realization: I too am a nomad. I may have a hut waiting for me in Tinseltown but when you walk into your front door and can't remember where the light switch is, you know you're becoming more and more like your father every day. And he's happy. In fact, him and my stepmom may be two of the happiest people I know. So here's to the life of the wanderer, to gas station bathrooms, busy airports, cats with abandonment issues, friends that actually miss you, suitcases that never have time to be unpacked and, most of all, for the wonderful reasons you wander in the first place. You know who you are. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Squall of the Century

Sitting here in Palo Alto, staring out at the storm from hell, I can't help but think about the squall that has been this Blackheart's life. Squalls aren't all that bad, ya see. Remember Lieutenant Dan from "Forrest Gump," on top of that mast crying out for God to give him His best shot, rain pummeling his tattered veteran's jacket, the wind threatening to throw him out to a tumultuous sea? He was rather enjoying himself despite the dire situation. Sure, his heart was as cynical and hard as mine, but life's disasters had only made him more defiant and adventurous. And that's the image I have of myself. Perhaps I should climb up to the roof and see if there's a weather vain that can hold my weight...