Friday, December 9, 2005

welcome to the tribe

So I was at Washington Mutual today, waiting in line to deposit a check, when I realized how Christmas-saturated the place was. The railings were bedecked with gold-and-burgundy tinsel, stockings printed with cheery snow tableaus hung in a row along the teller's windows, and Santa beamed down upon us blessed patrons from at least six vantage points.

The line moved, and I ended up with the last teller on the right -- a younger, bespectacled guy who looked bored. "How are you doing today?" he inquired blandly, looking vacantly at my left ear.

"Fine," I said. "So, when are you guys putting up the Hanukkah decorations?"

His eyes slid into contact with mine. "Uh, dunno," he said as he took my paper slips.

"Are you actually planning to put any up?" I tried really hard not to sound snarky, but I don't think it worked. He thought for a moment as he started entering info from my paper slips into his computer.

"Actually, no," he said, attempting to sound apologetic. He glanced up again. "I can talk to my manager, if you like." As the words came out of his mouth, his eyes slid back to the computer. I'd clearly mistaken him for someone who gave a whoop.

"Sure," I said. Try not to whine, try not to whine, try not to whine. "I mean, it's sorta depressing and all, coming in here and not seeing even one chintzy dreidel decal on the wall."

"I'll talk to my manager," he said. Eyes still on computer. "Will that be all?"

"Yup," I said. "Thanks so much, I really appreciate your help."

"Thank you for coming to Washington Mutual, have a nice day," he recited to my left ear. I smiled in what I hoped was an endearing, please-help-the-downtrodden way, realized he had entirely failed to notice, dropped the smile, and trudged back out to my car.

Being Jewish in a Pasadena Washington Mutual sucks donkey balls.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

so I took this quiz....

Your Seduction Style: Sweet Talker

Your seduction technique can be summed up with "charm"
You know that if you have the chance to talk to someone...
Well, you won't be talking for long! ;-)

You're great at telling potential lovers what they want to hear.
Partially, because you're a great reflective listener and good at complementing.
The other part of your formula? Focusing your conversation completely on the other person.

Your "sweet talking" ways have taken you far in romance - and in life.
You can finesse your way through any difficult situation, with a smile on your face.
Speeding tickets, job interviews... bring it on! You truly live a *charmed life*

What Kind of Seducer Are You?

I guess Keith will have to confirm this one for me. Personally, I'd much prefer "Sexpot," but I guess they disqualify you from the sexpot club if you want to learn the ukulele.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

how to turn on Dan Rather without touching

I discovered the hilarious world of Dan Rather today, and there is no going back. My favorites are "You talk about a ding-dong, knock-down, get-up race," which is just begging to be sampled, and "This race is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O," which is fab imagery. Mmm, Jell-O.

So, I had the weirdest hankering last night for toast and runny eggs, so I did a grocery run for organic eggs, sourdough English muffins, and (gasp!) the latest issue of Cosmo. Should I be worried? I mean, Cosmo? Good lord, what have I done?

So, Cosmo. I freaked out just now when I took it out of my bag, and realized it said "Cosmo Men" on the front, with a pic of Matthew McConaughey. Wha? After a panicked moment wherein I thought I'd blown $3.99 on a mag not meant for my demographic, I then realized that this month's issue is -- wait for this -- TWO IN ONE. Flip it one way, it's two-thirds chick mag. Flip it the other way, it's one third chap mag. I can barely contain myself. At least I now know why sex position no. 77 is as apparently mind-blowing as no. 69, which I feel has now made me a wiser, better person.

I'm steamed about a couple of things, though. First, there's an article called "Bedroom Blog." Um, I thought it had to be online to count as a blog. Otherwise, wouldn't it just be a log? What a bunch of dumbasses. Second, page 54 is supposed to have an article entitled "How to Turn Him On Without Touching" -- I turned to page 54, and found a silly, silly page with pics of celebs kissing! RIPOFF, I say! So, without further ado, here is my own replacement list:

How to Turn Him On Without Touching
1. Take clothes off.
2. Smile. Waving hello in a merry fashion isn't such a bad idea, either.

See? Am I great at this or what?

Friday, September 30, 2005


I saw a commercial today for Amazing Amanda, and...hoo boy. Towards the end of the spot, Amazing Amanda says to her live playmate, "I love you more than bunnies." That alone was enough to creep me out a bit, but after seeing this article, I nearly started hyperventilating. Amazing Amanda can actually ask you (amongst other things), "Do you want to see me cry?", and then do so; what on earth is this supposed to be teaching kids, other than the bizarre idea that watching a plastic person cry is an edifying activity? Who the hell wants an android for Christmas, especially one this demented?

Well, besides you, I mean.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

read this and laugh uproariously

I laughed! I cried! I almost peed my pants when I saw the awesome animated GIFs!

Turkish cinema has never looked so...uh...yeah.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

LARPing and other things I swear to god I've never done

So, um, LARPing. LARP apparently stands for Live Action Role Play, where people dress in costume and say things like "Lightning Spell, whoosh!" as they flail at other LARPers. And I believe there is swordplay involved. Whoosh.

Where in heck do people come up with this stuff? I thought it went out with playing house, you know? I mean, if you like exploring other personae, be an actor and get paid for it. Whooshing at people is not, in my book, valid adult interaction. Do so if you must, but don't expect me to keep a straight face around you.

So. The past ten days were spent with the 'rents and my younger bro, celebrating his birthday in Las Vegas. We saw Ka, the Cirque du Soleil show, which could be cooler than it is if it explored its characters more thoroughly. Sigh. Still, it's an excellent integration of projected images with moving sets, punk samurais and actual fire. There's an incredibly poetic scene towards the beginning where two characters almost drown, and it's very anime and simply stupendous. You just need to see it to believe it. Still, I prefer the show O, I think because it doesn't try to have a plot, so it's freer to take more conceptual risks and ultimately be more creative.

Or maybe I'm just weird, and like random conceptual risks. Except for LARPing, ahem.

By the way, my friend James had to get rid of his car, which is a dying-but-still-looks-great 80's Datsun 300ZX; it has a digital dashboard and a flux capacitor. (Well, okay, it just looks as if it ought to have a flux capacitor, even if it's not quite a DeLorean.) Very cool. Anyway, most people would sell their car over eBay, or junk it. James, however, gets his car accepted by a museum in Sacramento. I swear, he's the closest thing in my life to Indiana Jones. Next thing I know, he'll be moving to Malta to learn how to restore medieval-crusade-era architecture, as he keeps threatening to do. I, meanwhile, consider myself adventurous if I switch toothpastes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

sex made redundant...almost

Chocolate from Boule is so good, it oughta be illegal. Wait, no, that would be bad, because I am generally a law-abiding citizen, which would mean I couldn't have the chocolate anymore. Dammit. Okay, the chocolate from Boule is so good, it oughta have a national holiday dedicated to it. Yeah, that's more like it.

Who knew that green tea would work as a dark chocolate essence? Lordy.

Monday, September 12, 2005

musings upon the non-trivial

I knew this would happen. IknewitIknewitIknewit.

I have become a Barely Blogger, succumbing to having a life outside of blogging and therefore rarely updating this thing! Weep! Sigh! Gnashing of teeth!

Anyway, enough of that. I have read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, volume one, for the first time ever, and I am in love. Or, perhaps more accurately, very deep like. Obscenely deep like. The art! The people! The story! The Wacky Dickensian(tm) aspects! If I had known that Capt. Nemo is so dashing, I'd have read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by now. Kevin O'Neill sure understands the art of a nontrivial beard, that's for sure. And I wanna houseboat that looks like O'Neill's Nautilus. Zowie.

Thanks to Rebekah, I have discovered the stupendous joy of Urban Dictionary. Today's fave: "Ivy Lagger: A person who graduated from an Ivy League college (such as Harvard, Yale), but "lags" behind either at work or socially. Essentially a play on the word, 'Ivy Leaguer.' ex. 'What's the matter, Ivy Lagger? They didn't teach you how to read at Harvard?'"

Love it.

Monday, September 5, 2005

gnu & improved

This has certainly been a weekend of novelty: blackberry soda, Santee Alley, gunmetal pearl necklaces, Run Lola Run and the like. Not "The Like," as in the band—but you knew that, right?

Cleaning my place is SO horrifically exhausting, and I'm not even close to finishing yet. How can one small apartment suddenly be so Sisyphean in terms of restoring order? Every time I clean something, I discover something else that needs to be sorted out. Grr argh. I need a housemaid. And a butler. And a chef. And a masseur. And an aromatherapist. And a fitness coach. And a secretary. And a box of Swiffer WetJet pads.

Honestly, some of us will never be satisfied....

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dr. Tran and other madness

I hung out with a popcult-savvy friend last night, and I now feel awash in media insanity. The movies! The comic books! The posters! The wacky shorts! How do people find the time to generate all this stuff, and then where do people find the time to absorb it? My mind is still reeling from the staggering output of creativity floating around out there, plus I now have an armload of popcult homework (Veronica Mars, Equilibrium, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) to work my way through. Whew.

Catching up on media literacy exhausts me.... How do normal people manage?

Monday, August 29, 2005

moderation is for twerps

It's interesting to note how action begets action, and sloth begets sloth. On the days that I work, I get a ton done, both work-related and non-work-related. However, on the days I have off, I do nothing. Nothing. It's sad, and the fact that it's so predictable makes it even sadder. I'm one of those people who, unless presented with a terrific reason to get out of bed (art, friends, bill-paying, imminent starvation), will just stay in bed forever 'n' ever, merrily doing crosswords and reading Archie comics.

Funny thing is, once I'm out of bed, I'm off to the races, living my guts out; ain't nobody gonna break my stride, nobody's gonna slow me down and so forth. I remember being forced to read As I Lay Dying in tenth grade, written by that laugh riot William Faulkner, and my English teacher was baffled by the father in the book. He, like yours truly, was a victim of inertia, never moving unless acted upon by an outside force, never stopping unless something put the brakes on for him. Live hard, laze hard. My English teacher made a huge deal out of this, saying that the father was insane and that Faulkner didn't always make sense. I happen to agree with the latter assessment, but I remember the pang of guilt I felt when I recognized a kindred spirit in this guy, only to feel the two of us being read the riot act by my teacher.

I should walk around town today, or die trying. I need paper towels, anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

marathon, man

Still recovering from a fourteen-hour lunch date. Or a 'lunch hangout,' I'm still not sure which. Either way, it was a lovely mix of tangerine sorbet, strawberry cream tea, soul-baring, pad thai, and Amoeba Records. I should listen to more Bollywood soundtracks, I think.

I just finished my party-favor-on-loan, Craig Thompson's Carnet de Voyage, and I can't escape the feeling that I've just awoken from a nap in rainy Barcelona. Of course, the fact that I'm in blistering Lost Angeles is failing to register right now, which is a testimony to Thompson's storytelling power. Half an hour on the treadmill and listening to Mitch Hedberg haven't snapped me back into wack-o-rama reality as well as I'd hoped. O, listlessness....

Friday, August 26, 2005


So, the 48 Hour Film Festival was fabulous, and guess who showed up: cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs! I got to talk to Laszlo and his wife Audrey, both of whom are superduper nice, discussing the sorry state of film schools today. Depressing, but great to pick the brain of the guy who shot Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Paper Moon, New York New York, Ghostbusters, Little Nikita, and Say Anything.

Poor Laszlo was bemoaning the fact that, because he shot one romantic comedy really well back in the 80s, he's suddenly been pigeonholed as a romantic comedy cinematographer. He said that there were a couple of studio suits hanging out on one of his sets recently, and they were both like, "Hey, this Laszlo guy can sure light interiors well. Bet he has no clue about shooting exteriors." And Laszlo was all like, "I SHOT EASY RIDER. IDIOTS!" Actually, he's Hungarian, so it came out more like "EEDIOTS!" But you get the idea.

Audrey, meanwhile, had started out pre-med, then followed architecture, and was on the board of the Gamble House in Pasadena. So cool! She was telling me about how when she and Laszlo met, it took Laszlo forever to get up the nerve to ask her out, and then they went out once, and were engaged 8 DAYS LATER. And, 21 years after the fact, they're still happily married. It was a great conversation. I didn't get the chance to talk to their daughters, but they seemed pretty nifty, too.

Oh, and I won a cinematography commendation, which, along with $3, might buy me a cup of coffee. But, hey, I got a gold star! Gold stars rock. I was blown away by all the filmmakers, who had the greatest spirit of fun and adventure about filmmaking, and I met lots of terrific people, and the organizers of the fest are simply splendid. All in all, a very satisying evening.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

in Moog we trust

I just found out on that Robert Moog, of synthesiser fame, passed away on Sunday from brain cancer. Why did nobody tell me this?! I'd never really followed him all that closely, but I am a massive fan of synth music, and I am really moved by what he did for our modern culture. I think I need to lie down now.

This reminds me: no one told me until a month ago that Jonathan Brandis hung himself, two whole years ago. How do these things escape my attention? I'm starting to worry about my apparent bubble of non-information.

On an unrelated note, I just wanted to say that I received a call from Central Casting, saying they needed an emergency "upscale woman with car" for Mission Impossible:3. This amuses me to no end. Alas, I had to decline, because of a potential schedule conflict, plus they had given me zero time for prep (6:12am phone call, for a 7:30 call time on set in Arcadia). We upscale women need an hour at least for prep alone, never mind for driving to Arcadia! Sigh. I sort of miss doing the background-actor thing, but joining AFTRA really ruined my opportunities. And anyway, being a DP rocks so much harder.

Another unrelated note: Amy Correia's "Hold On" and The Dresden Dolls' "Coin-Operated Boy" are fantastic. Listen to both ASAP.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

who let the cows out?

So, a film student of mine had a live cow in her kitchen as part of her shoot; dream big, as I always like to say.

In honor of today being both Can Opener Day AND Waffle Day, I had a couple of crumpets, which seem to be located somewhere (rather peripherally, perhaps) within the waffle family. Trader Joe's has very nice crumpets, although they have the most bizarre consistency before you toast them. If you've ever eaten Ethiopian cuisine, think of those tortilla-like things which come with the meal, and you'll know what I'm talking about -- somewhat latex-y, like a Nerf product you'd get for your dog. Sounds strange-o-rama, but still: toasted crumpets rock with some Knott's Blackberry Jam. And that's no lie.

ALSOALSO: I shot a short film called Threshold (dir. by John Parenteau), and it will be screening tomorrow, August 25th, at the ArcLight Hollywood, 7pm, as part of the 48 Hour Film Festival! Be there! You'll get to see my cinnamon-tography on the big screen, which will rock in all sorts of ways. And I promise I won't use idiotic terms like "cinnamon-tography" ever again. In front of you, anyway.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

no, I will not be your so-called friend, but thanks for the cookies

So, I just had to delete three friend requests today, each of which was from a music group promoting the bejeezus out of itself. Good gravy! How dare you masquerade as a 'friend,' getting my hopes up when I log in, only to reveal your hideous capitalist bloodlust for more subscribers? Gag me.

Anyway, I talked to someone yesterday about how everybody around us is getting married, but then these people continue flirting with others and sending out 'availability' vibes. He reasoned that this may be a peculiarly L.A. phenomenon, that people build careers out of connecting with others, and if it means some low-level flirtation, so be it. He wasn't condoning this behavior, only trying to explain it. True or not, it still bothers me that anyone would consider this behavior excusable. Is nothing sacred?

Monday, August 22, 2005

break my stride

So, this has definitely been a time of transitions, which I would normally embrace, if only it didn't involve losing so many friends. James has moved to San Francisco, Nicole is moving to Boston, and Sergio is moving to Ecuador. Ecuador! I've spent my whole life moving around, which has been great because I'd never really had too many friends to lose in any particular place, and each new school made me a tabula rasa, free to prove myself a hopeless nerd over and over and over. Now that I've finally grown comfortable in my own skin, my friends have decided to do the moving. Fate sure has a nasty sense of humor.

I should also cut my fingernails, they're getting rather Howard Hughes on me.