Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Off the Record

Hello, Deep Throat: Mark Felt.

Well, well, well. The eagle lands at midnight. How happy is the remake team behind "All the President's Men" right now? Probably happier if this announcement had coincided with the premier. Damn Vanity Fair.

Okay, here's a great quote on the record:

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." -Helen Keller

And another favorite, for good measure:

"You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world." - Woodrow Wilson

My S Factor teacher, Sheila Kelley was on Oprah today. Sorry about the lack of notice, but I didn't know. Actually the After the Show special had more pole dancing. Here's some pix.

AAAGGGHHH!!!! Just heard those penises at Enron are cleared!!!! Are you effing kidding me? And Martha went to jail? Oh geez, if I lost all my money to those ass apes I would be thinking biblical revenge right now...

Yes, I'm Talking to You

Thanks LDH for sending along this funniness. Read the comments, they're the best part. Woof!

And to all you ladies (and men) with long nappy hair who like to twirl it for hours in front of people's faces while sitting in a lecture audience --particularly great lectures by great superstars...


Or I'll hunt you down in the parking lot and KILL YOU WITH MY BARE RAGE.

What is wrong with people? Didn't anyone learn how to sit politely in Catholic school?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Ultimate Sexism

Okay, here's why I like comics. It's hard to tell sometimes from Hollywood's interpretation of them, but many of them have the most multifaceted, empowered women around. Yeah, they look impossibly good...but so do the men. Equal playing field. If you think I jest, go read the incredibly compelling Alias series...not the crap on TV, but the graphic novels by Brian Michael Bendis. For that matter, read ANYTHING by Wicca masters Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. All praise be to you boys, for making this a better planet for the X chromosome.

So I try not to sweat the little stuff. Because after all, this is a world where on Memorial Day Weekend, I can flip back and forth between AMC and TNT watching the Sarah Connor/Reese sex scene of Terminator, and the awesome fight back rape sequence of GI Jane. Suck my ****! Hoo-yah.

But dammit, Bravo aired this whole Ultimate Super Heroes, Vixens and Villains special last week. Fan grrrl's dream, right?

Not when they divide the countdown by gender.

Two hours of male heroes and villains, ACTUAL ROLES THEY PLAYED, mind you.

Then one hour that lumped dozens of girls into the category "vixens." Which they even say equals any girl who is strong and good-looking. Good, bad, who cares? They're not really characters anyway, just tits in a bikini.

Dozens of girls squeezed into a twenty spot count down. One of the last "winners" was the Bond girls - an excuse to show all of them.

Seriously. What. They. Did.

Men play these good or bad or antihero roles in cool comics/movies/video games, and women uh...well, they're hot! Go ahead guys, jack off now! Here's a convenient one hour package for you!



My eyes and ears are burning...

And on top of it all, they make Catwoman number one and don't explain the true sociological meaning or import of it, yet still manage to rip off my thesis and not credit me or ask me for an interview. Eff them, and Eff that traitor Suzy Colon who they DID interview, because her book made Catwoman look like a sorority bimbo choosing her favorite lip gloss. Thanks for nothing, sister.

All this a week after Padme is reduced to brushing her hair. BRUSHING HER HAIR. Let's examine our feminist progress.

1970s = Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman on the air at the same time, and a feisty Princess Leia who is the only SW character who hits 100% of her targets with a gun.

Flash forward 25 years. Xena and Nikita and Buffy are off the air. Sydney is reduced to a stream of fetish costumes every week. And effing Padme, Queen of Naboo at 12, now moons after an UGLY WHINY DICKHEAD (who she KNOWS is a mass murderer...remember Phantom Menace?) AND BRUSHES HER HAIR. Thanks, George.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Hey, someone else watched Tom on Oprah. Read this first paragraph. Yowza.

Shout out to Cosmic Twin! Thanks for catching up and commenting, girlie!

And did you guys know Defamer actually guesses about Ted Casablanca's Blind column? I feel so validated. Jake Gyllenhaal was my guess this week, too. Oh well. Guess if he's bisexual, we've all got a shot?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

In Memorium

Still haven't received Calliope's ashes, which come to think of it is rather odd. But I did put together a little photo book, and I just bought a skirt in her honor. I know, sounds strange...but look at it. Isn't that crazy? I mean really. That kitty has some good taste.

I miss her terribly. I slept with her in my bed for longer than most people sleep next to a spouse.

Memoir Title

I forgot to tell you what Michael and I came up with for mine:

Well There Goes Me Ever Being Attracted To You For Your Personality

A Little Scary

Saturday at 5 pm and I've already had my whole Memorial Day Weekend. Like seriously, I've had so much fun since yesterday at 1 pm that now I have to glue my ass to the chair and work.

What follows is an abnormally long blog entry, probably waaay boring to most of you. But it was a very fun 24 hours that I need to document for myself. Feel free to skip:

My screenwriter/director friend Michael came over yesterday at 1pm and we walked down the street to get some margaritas (no flames this time...that's gauche before 4 pm). Michael scheduled my love life for me ("My friend "blank" will be in town July - you should totally have sex with him!"), which was sweet (at least somebody cares about my love life), but probably misguided considering I'm one of those weirdos who believes in true love.

Walked to my comic store after, where Michael schooled me on all the independent comics I've missed out on. Thank God my writers' group is exchanging our comics like crazy, or I'd go broke trying to catch up. Then, I had a totally humiliating coughing fit while trying to pay. The clerks GAVE me water, like "here, now get the fuck out of my store...before an alien pops out of your chest." I don't know, Michael said the male clerk was still into me anyway. He didn't think the Bill the Cat Hairball fit I had diminished me in a comic book store.

We walked back to my house and gossiped until 7 pm. Seriously, Michael was like "we're going to have to talk more frequently because I can't talk to you ALL DAY again." We gossiped about everything, including his wild Comicon orgy experiences with costumed superheroes. I'm so boringly straight. I just go to Comicon to buy crap.

He left. I watched Blade 3, which was confusingly bad considering David Goyer also wrote Dark City and the other Blades, and the upcoming Batman for pity's sake. Ohhh, that movie better not suck. But I did appreciate the vampire pomeranian in Blade 3. I'll never look at Hero the same.

My friend Christina came over and took me to downtown LA, where we stormed our way into a film festival party for invitees only (we weren't invited). The party was a bust, but we were approached by two cool chicks who were great to meet. One is an assistant fashion magazine editor, also a Christine, visiting for the first time from NYC. She just went through bone cancer with her dad, and her best friend Keith Cavill stars in the killer documentary Murderball about quadriplegic rugby (look for it July 8th).

Her friend Jazmine is an assistant to a huge Hollywood legend who has had his finger in the pie of dozens of the best films ever. We exchanged contact info and she offered to read my script and have me read some of her production company's scripts. It was fun to talk to these ladies and have them be so cool...I'm finding now that I'm older that the women I meet are much more about the laid back helpful than the bitchy cut throat thing I experienced in college. Which is fabulous, because I love being able to be friendly with people and have it returned so generously.

Some cute guys showed up and talked to us, so rare for me because though I'm a loud girl in general, I'm deathly shy around cute guys and know damn well I'm 3 clothing sizes bigger than any other girls in the room. The party ended and we four single ladies met up at Bliss, where we were stood up by the three cute guys. After we'd already figured out who was going after who. How dumb are they?

Christina got me into the club again without paying, simply by strutting up to the bodyguard "like we know what we're doing." I just pretended I was in S Factor in my six inch heels and followed her - feeling like a toddler in my mom's dress up clothes - but sure as shit, they let her right in and I trailed fast behind. It helps that she's tall, can put on attitude, and looks like Katie Holmes sans face herpes.

The club was kind of a drag, but we four girls danced anyway and stayed until closing. On the way out some Russia mafia guys were trying to get in, and Christina knew enough Russian to tell one of their armcandies off as she pushed past us. Not kidding.

But no, that's not enough...came back to my house and we drank orange vodka and replayed Tom Cruise on Oprah, examining every frame and being snarky. So fun. At 6 am, I finally told her to go to bed and she finally listened. Then I woke up today to Mom saying to Christina, "Really, it's 1 pm...Saturday!" Christina couldn't believe it. After sitting on Mom's bed and filling her in, we dressed Hero up in a scarf and went to Mel's on Sunset. We ate hamburgers and fed Hero too many fries and pickles. Yum.

On the way home, we found Neil Diamond on the radio and cranked it up. We were at the stoplight at Fairfax and Sunset screaming "Coming to America - TODAY!" These guys next to us in a bulletproofish SUV were cracking up at us, trying to get us to follow them. Brought Mom home her shake/burger/onion rings and filled her in again, to which she replied "You two together are A LITTLE SCARY."

Too true. What are you going to do with two crazy chicks who think Neil Diamond is fun and don't care what people think?

We finally found a picture of Katie Holmes with her face outbreak to show Mom (Mom couldn't believe it. Poor Katie better get an Oscar for this.), then surfed My Cat Hates You, I Hate My Flatmate, Ted Casablanca, Defamer and Go Fug Yourself. Then Christina went home and I blogged instead of screenwriting.

Ahhh, what a great two days. I haven't had that much fun in forever.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ammendment to Creative Visualization

'k, I don't consider myself a straight to video writer. I know someone who is in tune with what that population wants, and it ain't me. I can't tell you the first thing about what twelve year old stoner boys want to watch at 3 am. I'd really be reaching. Although, ironically because of a lifetime of comic collecting, there probably is a 12 year old boy niche I could write for...it's just the men would be wearing spandex, not the women.

When I say low budget, I'm thinking indie films for smartiepants women, or MOW and TV for cable channels like HERE and Oxygen. That's more the crowd that gets me.

I'm just saying, willing to start small...I'm not one of those jackholes who thinks they deserve to break into big budget feature films with their first spec. I'll pay dues, and my goals are small. Working writer. That's about it.


So I got flummoxed the other day because Big Bro was grilling me about what exactly I wanted to have happen with screenwriting. And it was hard not to say "ANYTHING! Anybody pay me to write anything...preferably in the next two months before Mom and I explode from anxiety!"

But truly, this is a reasonable question. And considering the freaky-ass powers of manifestation I have when I put my mind to it, a valuable thought to refine.

I want to option one of my scripts by July 15th, even if it's just for a $1 to one of my producer friends.

I want to be hired on a low-budget feature rewrite by August 15th, focusing on dialogue. Straight to video is fine by me.

Here me, Universe? That's pretty specific. After that, would loooove to be a staff writer on a low profile TV show. Preferably something not in the top 50, cable, like a Nickelodeon kids' show or scifi show. Somewhere with a laid back attitude, cool people, and an environment where I have time to absorb and learn.

In general, my writing specialty is dialogue, followed next by character development (those years of professional acting lessons paid off). I've developed a reputation for that in the Professional Program, and would be happy as a clam to be paid for doing that, especially anonymously, the rest of my life. But I hear that's a top notch job, so perhaps that is a visualization for the next decade.

And I publicly commit to writing every day, and having two of my seven scripts in polished, circulation-ready form by July 1st. And yes, you can all bug me about it. Please do.

Something Good, Something Bad

In the bad news department, Ismail Merchant has passed away. Grrr. So many of the people I've wanted to work with are dead. Going to have to have a seance to have the career I pictured in my youth. Well, he gave us some fabulous films and will be missed.

Still coughing up green phlegm. Starting to get pretty worried, actually. I don't want to go to the doctor because a fourth round of antibiotics sounds like a bad idea. The only other time I was sick for this many months, it was mono twelve years ago. It seems to come back every day that I don't get ten hours of sleep...but many of the nights I can't sleep because of the post nasal drip, so no clue how I'm ever supposed to get better.

In the good news department (and one that is totally self-centered), I had two visitors today who read through all my old blogs. Very cool. It's hard to tell what's going on from the hit counter, but it seems like many of my first-timers are referred here by blogspot and, uh, leave instantly. So if I have two new true readers, welcome!

Saw a good movie I recommend for a rental: Enduring Love. A handful of my fav British actors, and the most psychologically disturbing opening scene I may have ever seen. So simple and truthful.

I was complaining the other day how they're isn't anything truly frightening anymore, especially once you're an adult who has experienced the sorrows/horrors of life...well, this is it. Most believable Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I've ever seen, and great relationship details. Completely believable and awful. Bravo to the filmmakers for capturing real life so well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Low

Wow - I'm visiting my own blog to click on my links! :)
It's just, they're so handy...and Dooce and Defamer are SOOO funny. And uh, this way I don't have to memorize the URLs (shut up, twenty-somethings...us fogeys have RAM to conserve).

Anyhoo, had brunch today with a new friend who isn't feeling well. Doctors aren't sure why, but she's real run down and "high maintenance" as far as when she eats, and what she eats. Kind of refreshing. I forget sometimes that at some point everyone my age has shit to deal with...whether or not they want to admit it in the perfection zone of la la land.

This year has heaped such an incredible amount of crap on my table, it's hard for me to talk to friends with any level of honesty without feeling like Debbie Downer (and I know I'm going to have to start watching that - my answer to "how are you, how's your mom" is going to have to be "fine" from now on).

But at the same time, it's refreshing to realize that the automatan expecations of our early twenties aren't there any more...my real friends aren't going to dump me because I'm not Superwoman anymore.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dr. Phil Quote of the Day

"Stable relationship - as opposed to healthy and good?"

You go, Dr. Phil. Get those pussies.

Everwood Plug

My cyber buddy Hercules over at AICN gave the Everwood season finale a great plug, so now I'm going to plug it, too: Go watch our pal Lukas! Tonight, 9pm, WB. He's the awkward boy courting the geeky little sister. Who can't relate to that?


Just received two condolence cards about Calliope...from my regular vet, and the Emergency Hospital we went to after hours. Both had handwritten sentiments, and were signed by the staff. How incredibly thoughtful and sweet.

That's more than most people doctors do when they lose a patient!

Dog and Pony Show

Did you see the farce on Oprah today? Wow, was she a willing participant in that choreagraphed fairy tale. I don't know what went down with Cruise leaving PMK, but that sister/publicist of his is not doing him any favors copying Pat's moves. It's like watching a "best of" clip show, down to modest Katie mouthing "I love you." WOWIE. Seriously, is middle America buying this? He's a smart, talented guy, but I feel like he thinks we're soooo stupid. Give us a little credit, Tom.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Calliope in "Mom's Cancer" Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Quelle Surprise

I'm sick AGAIN. Shocking no one. I do wear my heart on my sleeve. If I haven't returned your phone call, it's because my throat is too swollen to talk. Try email.

Here are my three fabulous picks for "THINGS EVERY WOMAN MUST OWN." If you are not a woman, go buy these for your woman! Trust me, she'll love it.

1. The prettiest red lipstick EVER. Shade= "Venetian."

2. The S Factor beginning classDVD or Video.

3. The S Factor Book.
Great homework assignments, and a convincing argument why staunch feminists are reclaiming the ancient art of stripping from men and those sleazy clubs.

Friday, May 20, 2005

More Fish - No Need For John Edward

Check the Comments section, I've answered everyone again!

Meanwhile, the messages from the other side keep coming...

Stripped my bedding today and realized the old bedspread Calliope and I had been sleeping on since her bad nosebleeds was an underwater print - with fish all over it.

Then I went to get my MRI. Sat down in the waiting room for an hour. Guess what was on the TV? My Dog Skip. Why is that significant?

Calliope and I had a talk yesterday before I took her to the vet about how I was going to write a script all about her, just like My Dog Skip, but for all those little kids out there who have a special cat. After the vet last night, I put buying My Dog Skip on my list of things to do today. Only I didn't have to buy it. Because it was on in the waiting room.

Had to watch the last half where Skip dies...then the movie looped around again, and somewhere in the middle of my tears and the first act, I was called back for an MRI. Used the loo, and on the wall was a poster of a fish floating in front of a mountain. Had the MRI, came out to wait for the results and had to watch the last half where Skip dies again. Poor Nurse Sis turned her back on the TV...said now Calliope had gone too far.

We get it, girlfriend. The afterlife exists. Hope there's lots and lots of fish, and someone to scratch your chin.

Hollywood Minute:
* A friend of mine from the UCLA program not only sold her script, but it is being produced this summer, starring Mr. Banzai Peter Weller. Congrats, Sharri!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish

Everyone said I would know when it was time, and tonight was the night. Nurse Sis and I loaded Calliope into her crate, after Stat and Hero came in to say goobye to her. We went over Laurel Canyon, and we were both crying so hard I asked Brenda if I was going to die on Laurel Canyon (same street where the drunk driver hit me ten years ago).

Calliope always meows like crazy in a car, but tonight she purred and was so calm I opened the crate and pet her the whole way. Bren went in and arranged all the money and logistics, and kept telling the worried staff she was the calm one even while she was crying in the waiting room.

She came and got me and we went right in, and the vet tech started crying (the other vet tech yesterday cried when I couldn't get an appointment...I seem to have a way with these poor people...I could never do what they do so well and sweetly).

Everyone was great to us, even the new guy who walked in scared of us and told us nineteen years was a good long life for a kitty. Then the nice lady doctor came in and explained the pink shot. Nurse Sis and I pet Calliope and told her we loved her while she went to sleep. We stayed with her until they picked her up, and it was this other female tech who looked at what a wreck I was and told me "It was just her shell. She'll be back someday. My dog came back to me." Which was such a kind thing to say, and used to be exactly what I believed in before my car accident. And somehow in that moment it was something I could believe again.

Brenda and I drove home, and talked about how we knew it was the right time, and it was so peaceful and so much better than her dying alone in the middle of the night, or drowning in her water bowl that Brenda found her collapsed in yesterday.

And I said, "Don't think I'm psycho or need wish fulfillment, but I kind of feel like Calliope's on my lap right now." And Brenda said, "Well, she watched out for you for nineteen years, so I imagine she would want to check in and make sure you're okay."

We were stopped at an intersection and I looked at the car in front of us. I pointed at the license plate frame. Brenda read it:
"So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish."

Who knew Pissy had the Fies Family wit? That's one funny cat dancing up to heaven in the moonlight.

So long, Calliope. We love you.

Double crap

There be Star Wars spoilers in the next three paragraph, so skip ahead if you didn't see it last night.


I kid you not. As that first word scrawled across the screen in that trademark text, one of my midnight companions covered her face and let out a loud "Shiiiiitttttttt." Yup. Worst fears realized. Didn't like the last Star Wars. Last hour was adequate. Bored and PO'd at all before it. Would gladly excise every Anakin/Padme scene, and am now convinced George Lucas has never been in love. Won't go as far as saying he raped my childhood, but he certainly lost my religion. I don't want to have anything to do with his new version of Jedis and the fans that cheer when Yoda fights in anger and quips trite action lines. Did any of the cheering fanboys SEE the true first trilogy? And why is it okay to market the dark side to little kids as some cute color M & Ms come in? It's the Dark Side...you know, absolute power corrupts absolutely? Hitler? Ah how cute...let's make it a Happy Meal and make the Sith much more appealing for the younglings to emulate than the Jedi! Brilliant idea.

That's all I'll say for now. Go judge for yourself. I personally wanted to run out to the parking lot right then and rip my Jedi vanity plates off my car. Damn. Damn. Damn.

On to the weird news. Have tried again for two days to put Calliope to sleep, but keep being foiled by logistics. Yesterday the vet wasn't in at all, and today Nurse Sis suddenly had jury duty, and I was too big of a pansy to do it by myself.

But I finally decided it was time when a friend argued against euthanasia. And during her painful assertion that animals know when it's right and nature has its own course, I realized how selfish I've been and that if you love someone more than you love yourself, you'll want their peace. Also, I finally got my sign...yesterday the radio alarm clock woke me up with Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." Pretty clear, even for someone who keeps lying to her kitty about believing in a kitty heaven. Personally, I've never felt any connection to anyone in my life who has died. But, doesn't mean Calliope should stay with me with this quality of life. So fingers crossed, everything will go smoothly and we will get her to the vet before closing tonight.

On to the great news, because as life would have it we have our highs and lows together: I have a screenwriting friend who is going to show one of my scripts to her manager, and wants to pitch another in the next two weeks to HBO and Here. And I really like this woman...we've similar goals and beliefs, and she's got a great head on her shoulders and a name for herself. I hope if they're interested she can be some kind of producer on the projects so I'm walking in with an ally. So fingers crossed for the career. My friends have been yelling at me that I was ready to put my work out there, and it looks like it's happening now. I may have been very blessed not to get into the MFA program.

I've been trying to prepare for all this by itemizing what state my scripts are in: 6 that are done up to the second act or more, 2 just first acts, and 16 ideas ready for treatments. Time for me to start writing fulltime!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Well, in the amount of time it took me to go to my UCLA class and hear Jay Wolpert of Pirates of the Carribean speak, Calliope blew a nose gasket and took a very bad turn. Nurse Sis took care of her while I was gone, during which time she looked like the last episode of Scrubs, sneezing buckets of blood everywhere. Nurse Sis looked pretty traumatized, which takes a lot from a critical care nurse.

By the time I got home Calliope was out in the rose garden too weak to move from where she'd faceplanted. We got her inside and stayed up most the night again with her.

To me, she looks the same as the last time I stayed up all night with her and we were going to take her to the vet to put her down. Which means I'm voting no today, because she had three great weeks after that day, and I still feel guilty for not believing in her. But Mom and Nurse Sis are pretty angry at me and think I'm being cruel not taking her in right now. I don't know what to do. She still purrs when I pet her. She still gets up to get water once an hour, and takes herself to the litter box. I don't know, I've seen Mom this sick and she always recovered. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. At what point do you not have faith in someone's inner strength? I don't want to kill her too soon, but I don't want her to suffer needlessly. What a nightmare.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


By popular demand, I'm reprinting this link from Friday's post about my life with a mild head injury: But You Don't Look Sick
If you know anyone who is chronically ill/in pain, read this link. Then buy them a spoon to show you "get it."

Today the LA Times Book Section features the publisher of Mom's Cancer on the cover...Harry N. Abrams Inc. has a new, beautiful coffee table book on on The Cinema of George Lucas.

And here's my cat, Calliope with the vet trying to put her to sleep!

Friday, May 13, 2005


Okay, just a teaser because some of you have asked already. I'm in that famous Hollywood strip class that's in the news (some Desperate Housewives and others take it). So this weekend I have to go down to this skeezy part of Hollywood and buy my platform heels for next week's class (there's a weekend intensive in San Francisco next weekend, or you can buy your own pole and videotapes at the website - it sounds like it's slutty but it ISN'T - it's all Goddessy and love your body exactly the way it is and do this for yourself not a man...very granola fun meditation/chakra-ish, but with dancing to DMX music).

I'm already torn between the clear lucite and the black patent heels. All the other girls in class had their shoes already, and I was so distracted shopping by staring at their feet, I could hardly do the routine. It will be interesting to see which pair the tranny sales"girls" talk me into buying, especially considering my podiatrist would kill me if he saw me anywhere near the dang foot contraptions.

So I'll tell you more about this bizarre field trip and the AMAZING class itelf later on a day I haven't already posted a frigging novella. Gotta save something, right?

And really, REALLY, this is not some invitation for you all to think I'm some cyber slut and start linking to my page or sending me porn.., This is acutally an innocent, fairly intensive ballet class with some dangerously wicked gymnastics that just happens to be on a pole. It's the equivalent of when all you guys thought Bikram Yoga was easy, and then went and tried it and threw up on your first class. This is hard, serious, dancing. And for me there's a total disconnect between sex and dancing. I was a ten year old dressing up and doing the Time Warp and studying Bob Fosse moves three times a week. Dance for many women is JUST DANCE. Just something for me and my own childish joy.

Oh, one other cool thing...did you know Scott Glenn was still kicking around making movies? Got a new A & E movie out this month! Saw the billboard while I was driving Mom back from another Dr appointment today. I was so excited I almost stopped the car in the middle of Sunset Blvd! I was just thinking about him the other day, which usually means actors are either about to be in the paper for dying or with a new movie. So glad it's the latter. Wes Hightower/Jack Crawford = My Full Attention.

Last cool thought: a screenwriting teacher of mine, supersmart Laurie Hutzler, says Jack Crawford is the antagonist in Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal is the mentor. (No Buffalo Bill isn't the antagonist...he's just the object). THINK ABOUT IT: Jack is the one who betrays Clarice, whose advice gets her into trouble, who gets her to lie to Hannibal. Hannibal only tells her the truth, and does what a real mentor should do...steers her right so she can figure it out on her own. Cool, eh?

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

Okay, perhaps this is plagiarism. Not sure about blogging community rules. But instead of linking to the Garden State blog (my favorite movie last year, next to Finding Neverland) thought I'd post his words here for all you screenwriters. You know, Zach Braff, Mr. Independent Spirit Award/Grammy winner. And for the record, UCLA's MFA program has now rejected me four times (despite my MA from New School and current 4.0 in NYU's Education Theatre MA, dammit). Does that mean I'll have an Independent Spirit Award someday? I hope so.

"So many of you ask me about writing, just skim through the comments and you'll see thousands of stories to write about. All I did was sit down and write about what I was feeling in my own life. What bothers you, what makes you laugh, what do you obsess about, what makes your stomach turn, what do you lust over? - just sit down and write about those things. That's what's universally interesting; those are the kinds of movies I like to go see: regular people in real life situations, dealing with emotions and worries I can relate to. Also, think about starting very simply; don't overwhelm yourself trying to think about the whole movie; write a scene between two people, then write what happens after that, then what happens after that. Don't get boggled down worrying about outlines and rules, just tell a bunch of stories that happen to the same group of people. And try (for lack of a better expression) keeping it real. There's a saying I really like to think about when I'm writing: "Don't do that, they do that in movies." Anytime I find myself writing something that feels nowhere close to reality, I try to stop and reign it back to what's true for me. Blah, blah, blah. I just wanted to offer up a couple of thoughts since so many have you have asked about it.

But take it for what it's worth. This is coming from a guy who got rejected from USC, UCLA and got C's in screenwriting at Northwestern.
" - Zach Braff


I finally responded to comments...go check if you wrote me!

So much to catch up on. Random thoughts:

* Listened to Jonesy's Jukebox yesterday, where Aimee Mann was a guest. Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols (an amazing DJ - see if they're streaming on Indy 103.1 in LA) was playing acoustic with her and they were talking about musicianship. I love listiening to real musicians - such a stark contrast to corporate pop.

Anyway, he was asking her how she got started, and basically when she was 18 she could only play a few Dylan songs on her guitar, so she took a 7 week course at that Berklee music school to see if she had any writing talent. Then Jonesy asked her if she could read cleffs, and she said she wasn't great at reading or writing music. Which lead them to discuss the difference between the two, and how everyone they knew trained on classical could only read and play but couldn't write - that those skills go into a different part of your brain. Which made my jaw drop. I trained on classical piano for 12 years and was pretty good, but as soon as I really started studying, I stopped writing and improving on the piano. Totally lost that ability. Still can't pick anything up by ear, but by God I can still sight read a medium-difficult Chopin or Bach piece. Interesting.

* Saw Kathy Griffin's Allegedly last night. FUNNNNNY. Highly recommended.

* We've finally found someone to help Mom around the house. Lukas, our handyman saint/actor on Everwood is going to have his sister and her friend come over several times a week. I'm so thankful. So Brenda and I will finally have some time to work on our own chores.

* Speaking of stress - if you're a squeamish male, stop reading now - for the first time in my life I skipped two periods. Which completely freaked me out. Ovarian cancer? Menopause? Something worse? Saw my doctor yesterday, and she said it was sort of a bonus for getting older and still being on the pill. That a lot of women love that. Which seemed weird to me, because as a doctor's daughter I'm trained to be very wary of any sudden medical changes that you can't correlate to any prescription changes. But she did say it was my body screaming at me that there was something wrong in my life, that I should look at my weight and stress levels. To which I burst out laughing. Me have anything to be stressed about? I told my friend Charlie 16 months ago I was going to have a nervous breakdown if I didn't get a mini holiday. Guess what? Still haven't had one. Just been soldiering on.

She was also concerned that it might be from the small change in my thyroid medication. The thyroid controls so much brain chemistry, and because of my head injury my brain chemistry is all effed up and out of balance; something I'm constantly struggling with and responsible for if I want any semblance of a normal life. But I'm very happy we're going to be getting help around here, because basically I only have room in my life for three things at a time. Right now it's been Mom, UCLA screenwriting, and practicing socializing with friends. But if I want to lose weight, I have to take one of those things out to be able to add nutrition/exercise (which is a strain because really those are two categories). And if I want to get a job, it has to replace one of those three categories. So you can see my life is a constant juggling act where nothing much can ever really be accomplished.

It's so hard to explain to people how little energy I have or how just doing those three categories at a mediocre level requires 100% of my attention. People my age look at me strangely when they figure out I don't have a job or a boyfriend right now, but there's no room. Not unless I can hire someone to do the other things for me, which is what I did when I was successfully working at a corporation a few years ago. I made enough money to essentially hire an assistant to run the rest of my life, my second category was health, and my third category was nutrition and maintenance like chiropractors and neurofeedback and meditation classes to deal with the agonizing headaches from pushing myself beyond my physical limitations. And I never saw friends. Ever. I came home and went to bed and slept over the weekends. I remember my boss telling me I took work too seriously...he could never understand it was all I had in my life.

The thing about the three categories is, that might sound reasonable to some of you. But who I was before that drunk driver hit my car...I was taking 18 quarter units at UCLA, the equivalent of 18 units in acting classes outside of UCLA studying with William Alderson from the Neighborhood Playhouse, AND working stunts on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers while training on the black belt path Tae Kwondo and Hapkido with Jun Chong. That was the kind of schedule I'd maintained since I was seven, always focused towards a career in film. And I was engaged. Typical Type A overachiever, with a dogooder complex all focused on changing the world through film. Then I got in a car accident and lost EVERYTHING, including any belief in God or a universal energy field or whatever.

I'm not sure why I'm explaining all this right now. I usually don't talk about my head injury because it freaks most people out. Also, when people found out I lost 20 IQ points and am still this smart...well, they don't see how tired I am all the time or how much I have to concentrate to look normal. It's a dangerous thing to talk about. I've been let go of from jobs when they've found out I was disabled. I've lost friends over it. I've had lovers and friends and my own lawyers use it against me. It's not a pretty thing to have thrown back in my face, especially when after seven years of intensive rehab (I call it my Jedi Master training) I'm the highest functioning patient my doctors have seen (the leftover high IQ, bulldog tenacity and belief in patient responibility and reasearch and alternative therapies helps). In some respects my memory is more reliable because I'm constanly documenting meetings/conversations. All those strategies I resented so much at first.

Okay, I'm done writing now. No clue why I'm saying any of this to you all. Probably reallly dangerous to have on the internet for posterity. Guess I like living on the edge. But maybe it could help someone. At some point I imagine I will get questions from other mild head injury survivors. The main fear is that I won't be hired for a job because of being outed - but I really am capable of a high level of quality work.

***New addition at 7:45. LDH sent me this link to But You Don't Look Sick, and I've never seen what my life is like explained more beautifully. Wow. If you know anyone who is chronically ill, you've got to read this to understand. Seriously, I'm sitting at home right now instead of at a good friend's party because my day didn't go the way I planned...it took five hours to get Mom to the doctor and back, so I ran out of spoons. Don't have the energy to shower and go to my friend's party, and I'm so worried she'll be mad at me.***

How depressing. Next time I'll tell you all about my stripper class!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Zach Braff Never Calls, Never Writes...

Man, my imaginary boyfriend Zach Braff won a Webby and announced interest in playing the great Fletch in a new movie, and now he never blogs. Fair weather blogging? Et tu, J.D.?

To make it worse, Scrubs is ending its season in ten minutes. Au revoir for now, my generation's Gene Wilder. Sigh.

Participating in Democracy

Wow. They couldn't have made it a whole lot easier to write your reps. http://mygov.governmentguide.com/mygov/home/

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Oh, that's so funny. I'm trying to figure out why suddenly fellow blogspotters are seeing my site...the dashboard never made much of a difference before this weekend.

Then I saw that someone googled "suckfest" in another language...and out of all those sites, Kid Sis in Hollywood is number five! Whoo-hoo!!! My life sucks for posterity!!!!

Happy Mother's Day

Especially to all of you who have lost mothers and adopted Mom.

We three LA ladies went to see Julia Sweeney's one woman show Letting Go of God. There are only four shows left that aren't sold out, so if you're an LA reader, go get tickets fast!

It was a great show. Monologuists are my favorite (I was a huge Spaulding Gray supporter, and have already talked here about my esteem for Margaret Cho). Of all the mediums, I think personal storytelling is the most important. That's why I love what my friend Sarah does over at the V-day organization, recording people's personal histories. I believe in the power of testimony to change the world for better.

Anyway, as an ex-Catholic, loved Julia's show. Though it's probably more inaccessible for most than And God Said Ha!, because with one in two of us bound to get Cancer, the big C is verrry accessible. Too much so, dammit.

We were feeling shy today and didn't go up to bug her afterwards. She was being approached by an official type from UCLA Extension about teaching a class there (Cool!). I didn't want to horn in to see if she got my email about us coming, or if she'd had a chance to read Mom's Cancer yet. I know how much that would mean to Brian, and even with all the cool celebrities the editor is lining up for blurbs for the dustjacket, I really want one from her because of what her monologue meant to me while Mom was in chemo/radiation.

We were all a little off today. Technically a nice Mother's Day, except everybody's grumpy and tired and overwhelmed. And we came home to angry neighbors: Hero barked the WHOLE time we were gone. Which was three hours (that Julia has STAMINA!). So our next door neighbors had a crappy Mother's Day afternoon. Oops. I don't know what we're going to do with Hero. He's become so attached to Mom, he totally freaks out when she isn't there. Between that and the peeing everywhere still, you'd think he was a puppy instead of a very grown up two year old. Aaaagh.

Speaking of overattachment mommy issues, Calliope hasn't been in the same room with me for the past 24 hours because I dared to leave her alone last night to go have dinner with my UCLA screenwriting friends. She won't even look at me, and her ears and hackles go back every time I call her name. Well, Happy Mother's Day to you, spoiled old kitty. Man, she's pissed.

Last night with the UCLA gang was fun anyway. Everyone had success at Pitchfest, and has meetings set up with agents, managers, producers, or all of the above. I'm so happy for my friends. And I met another cool female last night that Sarah and Sharri and I clicked with. It's so great to be hanging out with smart, driven women who are trying to use the power of film and TV consciously to make the world a better place. I get on a high everytime I think about it. But I keep thinking we should be banding together somehow. A production company or something.

Hello to all the new people...from my counter statistics and my comments, looks like I've got a new crop of readers in. Not sure how you found me; I wasn't expecting another wave until the Eisner awards at Comic-con this July. But welcome, and if you're confused, poke around some of my old posts. Hopefully you'll find something interesting.

And I promise to comment again in the comments section soon. I'm just a little behind. But if you wrote to me, give me a couple days and keep checking!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Take That, Picard!

An article on the real dangers of blogging. Personally, blogging makes me munchie.

I've become really jealous of other bloggers' shiny sites, with snazzy features like categorizing posts. I've been looking into it the past few hours, and it appears I would have to leave blogspot. AND pay for blogging. Sigh. Another pain in the ass I'm not going to get around to doing.

Calliope is running everywhere today. She ran past me a few minutes ago so she could go sun herself on top of our hot tub. Go speed kitty!

For some dumb reason I decided to fall asleep to Poltergeist last night. It's funny, I think the movie still totally works...but not for adults. Once you've dealt with the real horrors of life, trees and clowns and rotten food aren't so scary. But it's still a well-done film. Perfect structure, of course. "They're here" is page 17, and Carol Anne's kidnapping is the end of the first act.

I miss the 80s Spielberg. He really got kids of that era.

My scariest thought during the film involved the unabandoned coveting of the mint Star Wars toys in the boy's bedroom. What I wouldn't give for a time machine. But what kind of mother is JoBeth Williams to allow an Alien poster? No wonder the kiddies had bad dreams and possessed toys.

My second scariest thought: Craig T. Nelson is still playing dads in blockbusters twenty years later. And where is sexy JBW? Grandmaville.

Favorite scene: JBW's joy at the Poltergeist activity in the kitchen, while Carol Anne is bored of being pulled around by the TV People and Craig T Nelson is stupefied. Very well done.

What do girls watch at slumber parties nowadays? The Ring? I guess that's pretty funny and scary. But in a way, it's a little joyless. At least the lead chick is still kick ass.

Favorite Curse of Poltergeist legend. Cuh-REEEEEPY.

How funny is it that kids have no idea now what TV static is, or that channels went off the air? After the creepy Patriotic Montage? THAT still gets me. Makes me feel 5 again.

Friday, May 06, 2005

To Blog

Okay, eff it. It's too hard not to blog now (how quickly they become addicts...).

I'm not going to worry about it until July, when the next large wave of people should be finding the website. I'll readdress before then. It probably is a good idea for me to split into two blogs, but honestly I don't have the energy for it right now. For now I'm going to soldier on and think more about what I post.

Thanks so much for all your thoughts and advice. Need a little more time to process it. But for now, let's blog!

Catch up time...had a great screenwriting class this week, even though it was the only day I managed to shower and change out of pjs. I went pretending to be human, and of COURSE I forgot my new bronchitis inhaler thingie and was late and arrived wheezing. Ick! Sorry, fellow classmates! But I managed to get over my writer's block and arrive with my homework done, mostly because of a kind, encouraging note from my prof. Everyone got their pages read and I got some great things to think about. But I'm starting to feel guilty that we're reading all our pages instead of letting the Professor lecture, because I know he has valuable info for us. I'm thinking next week of volunteering out of page reading.

I came home from class after a great late night parking lot talk with my cosmic twin Sarah, and slept 14 hours. Yikes... I'm all for getting things done, but I can't believe Real Life took that much out of me. I hope I get better soon. I'm sick of being sick.

I have managed to do a crapload of research on my script while I've been sick, including reading the Silence Of The Lambs novel for the first time, reanalyzing the Twin Peaks/Galaxy Quest/SOTL scripts, and Kolchack/Night Stalker (the original influence for X-Files). I even showed Mom (also a writer, and a great sounding board) Galaxy Quest. To which she replied something along the lines of, "Are you out of your mind? That's a brilliant script that took a team of people to write it, and you're trying to do one by yourself in 8 weeks?"

Gulp. Well, when you put it like that...yeah, I'm stupid. I mean, I knew I picked the wrong script to do this quarter (Why oh why didn't I pick the tween slumber party one?) but wow! So I've drastically lowered my expectations. Now I'm just shooting for a first draft with proper grammar, and hopefully by the tenth draft I'll have something worthy of comparison to Galaxy Quest.

Now on to Calliope...this is really hard to write. Basically, we're on Kitty Death Watch Day 11 (insert Breaking News theme here). I got back in town in time to pick her up from the vet, and she had a great Friday night with me. Then Saturday we got the news that she definitely has cancer and isn't going to get better, at which point she threw up more blood than I've ever seen (all over my bed) and became really listless. Didn't move from my room and stopped eating. So Sunday I decided I was taking her to the vet Monday morning to put her to sleep. And I stayed with her every minute, and we did a prayer circle and all said goodbye and that we loved her and that it was okay to put her tired little kitty body down and move on. Sunday night I woke up with her every hour on the hour to make sure her nose wasn't bleeding again, and pet her for fiteen minutes after she got her water, and cried buckets.

Then Monday morning we called the vet, and he laughed at us and said he wouldn't put that feisty cat down. That it had taken three men to hold her down Friday, and basically that he refused to chase Calliope down the hallway trying to put her to sleep. :) So we took his advice and waited...

And by God, little by little that cat of mine has gotten better. It's damn near killed me, in my bronchitis state, to be nursing her back to health. But right now she's outside sunning herself. Last night she walked upstairs and jumped on her favorite couch. The day before that, she was strong enough to get on the bed again. Nineteen years old with incurable nose cancer, and the bitch is back. Man, I hope she becomes my guardian angel kitty. It just goes to show you, Fies women are tough to kill.

Thanks for sticking with me and being interested in my life. It's appreciated.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

To Blog or Not to Blog

Okay, I do have something to say today. Something that's been weighing on my mind all weekend.

I've been toying with taking this blog down. I've noticed recently that many of my outspoken heroines on the web (Julia Sweeney, Dooce, Margaret Cho, Cher, my own AICN persona) have been getting hate mail from some really scary people. Now normally my attitude is, fuck them. I really don't care what other people think of me.

So this all wasn't bothering me so much until I saw some ugly picketers in front of Cher's Hollywood concert saying what amounted to kill Catholics and fags. I went to their website, then I went to the republican website bothering Margaret Cho, and I thought I was going to throw up from all the hate. I have a live and let live attitude about people's beliefs and lives as long as they aren't hurting other people, which these people are and are encouraging from their followers.

The thing is, I don't know how big Mom's Cancer is going to blow up. Obviously, we're hoping it's going to be around a long time and change many lives. Brian and the publisher have taken special pains to make sure it is accessible to people of all beliefs and ages. And I guess I'm just thinking, ANYONE could read this book and then find me. And really not like me.

I'm pretty anonymous in the book. I don't think my personality is an issue. All you really get is that I'm tenacious and disabled and had something to do with the Power Rangers and would rather die than not be struggling in Hollywood. But then readers come to this blog, and suddenly I have an overabundance of personality and views that aren't my brother's or the book's.

Even though I was used in the book, I'm wondering what right I really have to use the book for an audience for my little blog. And even further, why I am I blogging at all; what purpose does that serve in my life and anyone who reads it (see Julia Sweeney's intriguing May 1st blog about this subject)?

When I first started blogging, I was exclusively writing about our family and how cancer is still impacting it. Then Big Bro encouraged me to write about Hollywood as well, because he thought I had some interesting stories for you all. And as you all know, I've gotten myself into trouble and pissed off some people and pretty much destroyed all the work I've done at UCLA since last June by being honest on this blog. So now I'm just writing about me and posting internet quizzes, which can't last for long because I am an outspoken woman.

What troubles me is, perhaps my life belongs on my own personal blog available just to friends, and the Kid Sis entity should either be taken apart or kept exclusively for occassional, innocuous cancer postings. Or hell, maybe I shouldn't be writing anything at all anywhere on the web.

Mom's Cancer readers who find out who I am aren't going to be able to project their needs on the character as a blank slate anymore, so how does that serve them? And how does it serve my family if my beliefs open us up to danger?

Comics Discussion

I've got nothing as interesting to say as the friendly comics discussion taking place under the comments section of my April 30th post about Comic Book Prejudice. Join in!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

80s Nostalgia

Courtesy of cool chic Jessica, currently struggling with her 80s nostalgia fixation, comes the Quizilla site. Go to her site to take the quiz
Which old school Nickelodeon show are you?

Here's my result:
You are CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL. She is a rad
chick with absolutely no fashion sense. If you
are a guy and chose this... you are gay.

And you can stay here and take my quiz:

Are you a Vampire/Goth/Punk/Poser/Emo/ or just a plain PREP!?

My result:
Your PUNK! You have your own style, and the ruler
of your click. Love your converse, head
banging,and possible skateboard! Your my hero!

Yes. Yes, I am punk. And I love this person's punk spelling.

Happy May Day!

Found Julia Sweeney's blog. Loved her God Said, Ha! movie, and we're planning on seeing her one woman show before it closes this month. Highly recommended for those of you touched by the big C.