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Hipstercrite: August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And the Oscar Goes to...

Last night, as I sat staring wide-eyed, open-mouthed at Marlon Brando's solid, sculptured arms and chest in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, I tried (key word "tried") thinking of the other cinematic performances that have captivated me in such a way. Performances where the actor has utterly and completely embodied their character. Where you're watching the film and you think there is no actor, only this character. This character is real.

Here are my top 5 favorite performances by a male (in no particular order):

1.) Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE-
I don't give a lot of actors credit, but this guy....fuck!...he is so good. There is no eloquent way to put it. He WAS Stanley. The way he moved, the way he talked, the way he delivered- all looked so effortless.
Below is the famous "Stella!" scene. So sexy!

2.) Gene Wilder as Victor Frankenstein in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN-
One my all-time favorites. This film was chocked full of terrific performances (Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr) but Gene Wilder was larger-than-life as the sometimes suave, sometimes maniacal Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Oh, that hair! Swoon!
Below is the scene where Victor meets Igor for the first time.

3.) Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW-
Is it sick that I had a crush on him as a teenager? Seriously, does that mean something? Like that I dig trannies?
Below is the best scene of the movie of course! Dr. Frank-N-Furter's introduction!

4.) Peter Sellers as Chance/Chauncey Gardner in BEING THERE-
Peter Sellers was terrific in every performance he did. This movie appeared to be the beginning of a more mature, serious direction in his career. Then he died. Best part of the movie is when the "dim-witted" Chauncey realizes that his friend is dying and for the first time we see a trickle of emotion in his blank eyes. The subtly is breathe-taking.
Below is the trailer to BEING THERE.

5.) Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman in PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE-
Paul Reubens is Pee-Wee and Pee-Wee is Paul Reubens. In this movie, we see how much the creator loves his creation.
Below is the "Tequila" scene.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Night of the Acquitted B-List Actor Finale

The apartment was covered in drawing paper taped to the walls. In what looked like children's handwriting, the words "Don't give up" lined the room.

"Want a pair of my cowboy pants?"

These words broke me from my daze.

"Oh, um, sure?"

He guided me into his barren spare room that had only a tool bench and a closet full of jeans.

"I think we're the same size. You can borrow them anytime."

"Oh, ok. Thanks."

We sat down on his couch and he picked up his guitar. I couldn't look at him anymore. He was winning me over, so I tried to keep my focus on a used piece of floss lying on the coffee table.

I didn't want him to get under my skin. For all I knew, this was all an act.

Lauren, just keep reminding yourself that he did it, whether it's true or not.

Before I left that afternoon, I asked him what he had done for Thanksgiving that week.

"Oh, it was Thanksgiving? I bought a chicken from Gelson's and drove up to Ojai and ate it in the woods."

I smiled and patted him on the arm.

As I left, he said,"Maybe we can go out to dinner sometime? Grab a drink?"

That evening I went to a bar with friends. I had recently gone through a sort-of break-up of a sort-of relationship. That sort-of ex-boyfriend was there. I had had a few drinks and found myself slowly slipping into a funk. I wanted to call Mr. W.

Lauren, what is the matter with you? This man is not your friend! This man is quite possibly a murderer!

I fought the temptation. I knew something was happening. I began to care for this person and I had to nip it in the bud.

The next day I dropped by Mr. W's unexpectantly and he was taken aback. He commented on the fact that he doesn't like surprise guests. I shrugged it off and handed him an invitation to my party. On the back, I wrote, "Mr. W, it's been a pleasure getting to know you. It means a lot that you trust me and brought me into your home. You've become sort of a mentor so please don't ever it on me. Haha. Sincerely, Lauren".

Needless to say, he didn't come to the party. I never heard from Mr. W again. I called him a few times to see if he needed anything. I left him a message on Chirstmas Eve. I knew I must had offended him, but I had no choice. I couldn't let my guard down. Not with this one. He was fire and I knew better.

Sometimes I think of Mr. W.
I wonder how he is doing and get the urge to call him. I pick up the phone and force myself to remember who I am dealing with.

Lauren, he's not the man you saw up on the screen.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Gossip Girl" and Bow-ties

I've never seen "Gossip Girl". I'm not sure I really care to.
However, there is one thing that interests me about the show- the clothing.
I have to say. Those "OMFG" and "Mind-blowingly inappropriate" posters got my attention.
Not because of the stupid kids copulating in them, but because of a single bow-tie.

The character behind the bow-tie is quite cute (in fact, he reminds me of a gentlemen I occasionally see who will never ever date me....sigh). While waiting at the stop light at Lincoln and Venice today, staring at the 20th "Gossip Girl" poster I've seen that morning, I asked myself, "Are you actually attracted to the man or to the bow-tie?" It sounds like a silly question, but I've found myself so intrigued by the picture that I want to WEAR the bow-tie. It's not just the bow-tie either, it's the whole look. The suspenders, the white loafers, the scarves, the modern-day Gatsby in the Hamptons look.

Can a person just be attracted to clothing? What is it about the bow-tie that intrigues me so much? Non-penis envy answers are welcomed...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Way of the Music Industry According to David Byrne

Since it's always a David Byrne kind of day, I wanted to share this article I stumbled across while trying to figure out what DB song was playing on KCRW. Entitled "David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars", this article appeared in a Dec. '07 issue of Wired Magazine. It's a very informative, laymen's article regarding the present day music industry and what the future holds for musicians.

I wish he were my Dad. Except I have a pretty fucking cool father already.

Read it here!


Buffalo the new New York?

It's a good day. Work is busy. David Byrne is playing on KCRW. I'm about to have a burrito from Trader Joe's.

Found this interesting article on Huffington Post. It's from NY Mag. They're saying that Buffalo, NY is the new NYC. Cool for Buffalo considering they're usually the butt of a lot of Upstate jokes. Read somewhere recently that Buffalo is still one of the good places to buy real estate too.

Read it here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Night of the Acquitted B-list Actor Pt. 4

"So what time do you want to meet on Saturday?"

"Same time, Mr. W. I wasn't expecting to hear from you. What made you-"


I show up, same spot, same time, same tiny man in Wayfarers standing at the entrance.

The walls were lower now. For hours, he told me stories about his childhood, about standing in front of Paramount at three years-old dancing for the executives that walked in and out of the front gate. He told me how his parents would lock him in a closet. He spoke of abuse both at home and on the set. Back then child protection laws did not exist on films. He told me that his mentors were Bogart and Mitchum, how Brando and he despised each other, and how for a long time he was on dope and angry. And I realized that I heard all of this before.
Mr. W had told all these stories before in interviews. I realized then that he was indeed a very good actor which later made me question every single maneuver he made with me.

After breakfast we drove to Beverly Hills while he reminisced about his early days in Hollywood. As we drove by a park where a young family played with their little daughter, Mr. W slowed down and watched with near tears welling up in his eyes. He screamed at cars that honked at him. He was not going to let anything come in the way of this moment.

We continued on through L.A. looking for garage sales. You see, Mr. W lost a very large civil lawsuit and he is broke. Zilch. Mr. W lost or sold everything that he owned, but he'd occasionally pick up a new piece of treasure at a yard sale.

If he didn't sell it or lose it, then he gave it away. He explained how he gave a complete stranger his guitar that he used in both his Oscar-nominated film and hit TV show. I asked him why he did that.

"What's the point of holding onto these things that once I'm dead and gone, people are going to fight over? This way somebody who really appreciates it will hold onto it and cherish it."

"People" meant his family. He wouldn't refer to his children as family. He told me in the beginning that he had no children, when in fact he had three.

He gave away his Emmys, his scripts, and his film and television mementos.

And when I entered his apartment, I saw that he indeed had nothing. A couch to sit on, a bed to sleep on, a TV to watch, and some gym equipment he fastened together from trash, were all the large pieces he had.

For character, cowboy boots, cowboy shirts, and cowboy hats hung up on the walls.

There was only one sign that a man who once had money, fame, a family, and legions of people who looked up to him lived there. All over the apartment were pictures of the former Mr. W. Young Mr. W. Smiling Mr. W. Handsome Mr. W. All before the switch was flipped. I was drawn into the photos. I couldn't stop staring at him. Who is this strapping, vivacious young man in the picture and who is that frail, sad, old man sitting on the couch?

To be continued...


Monday, August 18, 2008

I Definitely Don't Look Like My Mom, but Rather a Large Nosed Idiot

Thanks to my favorite website Buzzfeed, I discovered this terrific website called Yearbook Yourself.
It's exactly what the title implies! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Ok, how the hell did they make a movie out of this book?
I love Bret Easton Ellis like I love my bipolar cousin, but this book- not his best. It's a collection of fucking short stories that HAVE NO POINT even more so than his novels that HAVE NO POINT. I was always amazed that someone was able to make movies out his novels (well, in LESS THAN ZERO's case, the only similiarity are the characters' names). I don't remember a single thing about THE INFORMERS! I think it's about a bunch of rich, beautiful bored people vaguely commenting on the fall of mankind in between snorts of coke. Yep, I think you can put that as the tagline for every Bret Easton Ellis novel/movie. Just add a chainsaw in one of them for AMERICAN PSYCHO. Oddly enough, as I bash him, I actually love love love Ellis. Every time I fly back to NY, I read LESS THAN ZERO and think of myself as Clay- but reversed. I didn't grow up in the debauchery of L.A. I just choose to live in it. He got out. He's a smart boy, really.

Oh but how I can't wait to see this!

P.S. LUNAR PARK and AMERICAN PSYCHO are his best books!

The Night of the Acquitted B-List Actor Pt. 3

His ideas weren't that great.

He wanted to tour with Anne Margaret or Rita Moreno and entertain the people of Peoria, IL. Mr. W had a thing for Peoria. Peoria represented life. Not the machine that is Hollywood; the machine he has drudged through since he was 3 years old. L.A. is all that he's known, but he understands that there are real people out there. People who don't get the urge to kill.

I politely and nervously told him my thoughts.

"Honestly, at this point in your career, I think you need to reach out to people like Tarantino or Lynch. Those are the guys that will take a chance on you. People are too scared right now because they know what people think."

"I know they think I killed Patty."

Change the subject, change the subject, change the subject...

I was saved by the people sitting next to us.

"Excuse me Mr. W." The mother said in hush tones. "We just want you to know that we are huge fans of your show, it was quite popular in South America and the people of our village would go every night and pray for you in the church."

Mr. W was touched, but not surprised.

Before my eyes was a small, defeated man, but inside I could see an ego the size of the moon still alive and well. I think that is the only thing that has kept him going. He had no money, no family, and no career, but his belief that he would become a star again was the only thing that kept him from killing himself.

Mr. W and I talked for five hours that day. As we parted ways, I found that I wanted to see him again.

"Let's keep brainstorming ideas for you and meet same time next week? What do you say?"

He shook his head and laughed.

"I don't think so."

"So be it."

We shook hands and each got in our respective cars. Me in my '06 Nissan Versa, he in his '96 Toyota Corolla.

I chalked up the experience as potential for a great dinner story or future blog.

Three days later I get a call from him...


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

David Lynch and The Panties

My co-worker Janna introduced me to this little gem on Youtube. It might be old news, but its new to me.

I've had the pleasure of meeting this man too. He is so sweet!

Today is a Pee-Wee Herman Kind of Day

I realized today that the last happiest moment I had was about two months ago.

We were driving west on route 10 back into L.A.
My mother was with me. We were just coming off of a two week trek up California and down through the Grand Canyon. The landscaped became freckled with the wind turbines and I knew the dinosaurs were getting close.

And then I retreated to the six year-old version of myself.

"Hey Mom! Mom! Wake up! The dinosaurs are coming up!"

I had seen the dinosaurs before, but it was like seeing them for the first time all over again.

I turned on the stereo and for the next twenty minutes my mother was forced to listen to the "Breakfast Song" and "Finale" from the PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE soundtrack.

God bless mothers. I knew she was ready to jump out of the car but her love for me made her stay put.

I kept looking for the dinosaurs in the horizon and suddenly I felt dizzy.
I was ok. Life was ok. Everything was A-OK.
Somehow, I had gotten high off of my excitement to see such a precious childhood memory for the fourth time.

We pulled into the Wheel Inn Restaurant and I turned to my mother and got quite serious, "Mom, we have to eat here and I have to order a tuna melt and milkshake."

We walk in and my mother nearly had to contain me from screaming, "Large Marge sent me!"

We sat down and I happily squirmed in my seat.

"Do you have to go to the bathroom?" My Mother asked.

"Yes! But if the waitress comes by, tell her I want a cheese sandwich and Diet Coke."

"I thought you wanted a tuna melt and milkshake?"

It was 110 in the desert.

"That sounds so disgusting right now, doesn't it?"

That day was pretty amazing. I took photos of my mom (see above) modeling in front of the big plant-eating dinosaur with the long neck (damn! my childhood knowledge of dinosaur names has not been retained!). We talked about how asinine I was acting and that our entire trip together has been nothing short of amazing.

Today, for a fleeting moment, I thought about naming my kid Pee-Wee Herman Modery. My kid will either grow up to hate me or love me. But how many kids during roll call can say, "Pee-Wee Herman is present."


Music Is My Boyfriend

"I have incredible taste in music!", I thought as I drove into work this morning.

It's true. I listen to some good shit.

My amazingly cool parents treated me to the sweet sounds of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire while I was still in the womb.

Now, I don't have the broadest taste. I don't listen to classical or rap or country or blues or jazz or folk. But if it's anything resembling rock, pop, experimental, singer-songwriter, disco, new age (NEW AGE!? I wrote fucking NEW AGE!?! I mean NEW WAVE!), or indie between the years of 1955-1960, 1967-1969, 1971-1978, 1980-1989, 2000-current then I know it like I know every freckle on my face.

I was that strange little girl that could list Fleetwood Mac albums in chronological order at 13. I had a poster of Elton John circa 1972 hanging above my bed. Now, I upgraded- I have a David Bowie circa '72 silkscreen sitting above my bed. I made a Frank Zappa mask in my college religion class and got an A+. I try to dress like David Byrne and swore I was going to die at the last Arcade Fire concert and be ok with it.

Today, I felt it was time to finalize my top ten song list in case Itunes ever asks me to participate in their celebrity playlists. By God, I will have an answer for them.

1. This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)- Talking Heads/Stop Making Sense (live version)
2. Rebellion (No Lies)- Arcade Fire/Funeral
3. Paradise by the Dashboard Light- Meatloaf/Bat of Hell
4. Shine a Light- Wolf Parade/Apologies to the Queen Mary
5. Only a Lad- Oingo Boingo/Only a Lad
6. Harmony- Elton John/Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
7. Little Red Corvette- Prince/ 1999
8. I'm on Fire/Born to Run- Bruce Springsteen/Nebraska/Born to Run (I can't chose!)

Crap, I guess I won't have answer for them...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Night of the Acquitted B-List Actor Pt. 2

"Is this John's son's secretary?"

God, will you quit it with the "secretary"? It's not 1955 anymore, daddy-o.


"This is Mr. W. We met awhile back."

"I remember. How are you?"

"I'm good. Look, I want back in the business and need help."


"I mean I need an assistant to tell me what's new, who the agents are, who are at the studios."

"Well, I work exclusively for Mr. F, but I'd be happy to meet with and give you some ideas."

"10AM, 101 Cafe, Saturday. How does that sound?"

"Um..great. See you then."

What the hell did I just do!?!?

The rest of the week I hemmed and haughed about meeting with Mr. W. I mean how often is one faced with the predicament of conversing with an actor who was found innocent of killing someone when we're all pretty sure he did it. A new moral question came up for me- do I speak to a man who may or may not have killed his wife? Even if he did, does that mean that no one should talk to him? I needed to be informed, so I did as much research as I could before our weekend breakfast meeting. I read the entire case online. I watched Mr. W's most famous works. By the end, I knew no more or less than I did before.

I decided to go through with it.

It was the most nervous I'd been in a long time. At that point in my career I had worked for and met some of the most intimidating presences in Hollywood, but none of them compared to the 120 pound 74 year-old I was about to have breakfast with now. Did I think he was going to kill me? Of course not. I just had no idea what I was in for.

I pulled into the parking lot and headed for the door. There he was. The same tiny man in cowboy garb and hat bigger than his torso. He lowered his Wayfarers and in his unforgettable voice says, "Ms. Modery, how ya doing? Let's go inside so these people will stop staring at me."

We got stares from every angle. If it wasn't because of his face that everyone in America got used to seeing on the nightly news, it was because of his ridiculous hat and shit-kicking boots. The waitresses new him by name and everyone seemed genuinely happy to see him. This was his haunt and one of his only havens left in town.

Before we even sat, he ordered "the same old thing" and directed me to his table in the back. The atmosphere was tense and I could tell he was just as nervous as I was. We talked about trivial things and at points his dialogue was slightly nonsensical, his focus elsewhere, shifting to what's going on around him, who was watching him, judging him. He ate more butter than toast and he was quick to explain the physical and sexual abuse he was subjected to as a child, as almost a pretense excuse to what he thought I could be thinking.

Four cups of coffee later, he stops with the small talk.

"Let's cut the bullshit. I want back in the industry and I need help. I know no one likes me, I know they all think I'm a murderer, but I'm going to win an Oscar before I die, God damnit. I have these ideas, you know, and I need your help."

I shuffled in my seat...

To be continued...


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hollywood Saves!

I worked in the thick of it.

Every day on the way to work, I had to wade through it all;

The tourists, the drunks dressed in shoddy Spiderman or Batman outfits, the evangelists vs. the Scientologists, the meth addicts, the guy with the swastika tattooed on his head, the hoards of manchildren coming out of Hollywood High, the tourists, the off the bus kids walking up and down Hollywood Blvd. looking for a job, the transvestites walking up and down Hollywood Blvd. looking for a job, the tourists.

All of them, come into my store and each of them want to tell their story.

It’s too much for one to handle. At the end of the day, I'd sludged back to my car that most likely had a parking ticket and sigh. After four years of being in L.A., how did I end working here? In the stinking, sweltering armpit of the city? Where at one time the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clark Gable would get a drink at Musso and Frank’s Grill or Marilyn would stay at the Roosevelt. Now all I see are meth-faced Marilyns eating at Baja Fresh.

The only solace I found was when I noticed a pool of yellow liquid nestled in Tom Cruise's star.

And the homeless Latino man wearing a JDate t-shirt.

Hollywood Boulevard is the equivalent of New York’s Time Square, but smaller and dirtier. Quite often the street smells like cheese. Which I guess is the combination of stale urine and abandoned McDonald's meals.

The first couple of weeks working on the boulevard was intriguing. It was an excellent character study for any artist. After about a month, it became exhausting. I don't know how many pictures taken in front of the Chinese Theatre I ended up in. Or how many times I thought I was going to die.

I’m not sure which one scared me the most- the meth addict or the guy with the swastika on his head. The meth addict came in foaming at the mouth. I asked him if he needed help and he turned to me and shouted, “Why do I need to tell you my thoughts?” I politely said I was trying to offer him help and he kept repeating, “My thoughts are good and I don’t need to tell you!!!” His visit was brief, occasionally pausing in his directionless trek to remind me about his thoughts. He even did one of those shut the door, then peak his head back in to say it one more time deals which momentarily relieved the tension by seeming somewhat cartoonish.

The guy with the swastika likes to steal, so I was put to the task to watch him. As I laid the customer service on thick, he wouldn’t respond or make eye contact with me. He was obviously perturbed that I was watching him so he stood about three feet from me, swearing at the floor and not moving. From this distance I got a good glimpse of his green teeth and matching hair. As I stood there silently challenging him, I shouted right in the guy’s face for the manager to call security. My manager coward in the back as I was left to fend for myself. I was ready at any minute for this guy to charge me and bite me with his rabid teeth and therefore turning me into a mumbling, Swastika bearing skater punk as well. Security finally came and escorted the man off the property. I was ok, but what little respect I had for my manager went out with Green Teeth.

I once dated a photographer who was doing a personal project on the homeless of Hollywood Boulevard. Original? No, but it didn’t stop me from thinking he was the coolest thing since string cheese. He invited me to go on one of his nights wandering Hollywood Blvd. for potential candidates. Our first victim of artful exploitation was a nice gentlemen living on the corner of Hollywood and Cherokee. He danced for us and told us how he wanted to become famous one day. He showed us his journals and collages. Ah, a hipster artists wet dream. We moved onto a paraplegic in front of Egyptian. He seemed nice enough, he was saying something that didn’t make sense as we both stood there smiling like two idiots. Suddenly he got very quiet and he looked straight into my eyes, his voice completely different, and I believe I heard Satan that day. The photographer and I never ran so fast in our lives. I’m not sure what we thought a paraplegic was going to do to us, but I was certain he had momentarily turned into Regan MacNeil and I wasn’t curious enough to see what would have happened next.

As I stand at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland envisioning the orange groves and green fields that lived here before, I turn to the man wearing the "Jesus Saves" billboard and ask, "Do you think this town can ever be saved?"

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Night of the Acquitted B-List Actor Pt. 1

When driving down Sunset Boulevard with a cigarette dangling out the window and Springsteen playing on the stereo just doesn't give me the hard-on it used to, I try to recall all the wonderful and weird encounters I've had in Los Angeles. I call a helpless friend from back home and retell the stories they've heard a million times while I momentarily re-inflate my ego. It is only then, that I'm reminded of a particular event. One that I seem to forget often, but nonetheless holds a very special place in my heart.

It's funny how life throws you curve balls. Or in this case acquitted b-list actors.

I was minding my own business when Mr. W started poking around.
Mr. W lived in your cookie cutter 90's faux-European style apartment complex in The Valley next door to my dear friends. He was the mysterious figure that dashed through the halls and it became a point of interest for all of us. I'd ask my friends, "Have you met Mr. W yet?!? What's he like? Is he nice? Is he creepy?"

However, it wasn't at the building that I would meet Mr. W.

No, coincidentally Mr. W called my office looking to speak to my boss. I was an assistant to a famous agent at the time and Mr. W had a history with the agent's cousin. Mr. W was cleaning out his storage units and found a screenplay written by the agent's now deceased cousin. Mr. W wanted to give him a copy of the script. We were all a little surprised to hear his voice on the other line. You see, Mr. W had been recently acquitted of his girlfriend's murder. I was used to my boss getting phone calls from A-list actors and heads of studios, but not obscure actors who's had more face time on Court TV than the big screen. I gave him the address of the agency to have the script mailed, so it was completely unexpected when security called one morning to tell us that a Mr. W was at the front desk.

"What should I do!?" I asked my boss.

"Just let him up."

We all waited with bated breathe. When the quiet footsteps stopped on the landing, we were surprised to see the tiniest old man in a purple cowboy shirt and ten gallon hat standing at the top of the stairs.

"Is Mr. F's secretary here?"

Though little, he had the voice and presence of John Wayne.

And an obvious lack of P.C.-ness.

Secretary? Psh.

"That's me." I said.

"Please give this to John's son."

He hands me the script and walks away.

That was it. We were left speechless.

Until 6 months later...


Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm not PC, obviously...

Cause I'm laughing my ass off right now...

From my new favorite website

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Heart Evangelists

I have a thing for evangelists.
Which is strange because I don't believe in God. At least in the way those wacky Christians do.
But for some reason, those wild eyed bible-thumpers really get my motor going.

I don't like these young, rock star evangelists on TV. No, I like my evangelists old and nutty. The tighter the suit and bigger the eye glasses the better!

I'm not sure where this infatuation came from. I've only been to church once and even then it was one of those new-agey PC churches. I didn't watch the 700 Club or PTL Club. I must have seen one of those movies where the villian is the small town, horn-rimmed preacher and I became hooked.

I don't think I'd like an evangelist if they came up to me.
In fact, I think I'd probably smack them.
But all I know, is that if I saw someone standing on the street corner yelling about God in a Southern accent wearing a tweed three-piece suit and George McFly glasses, I would be done.

Looking For Answers in Road Signs

Ever since I turned 20, it’s continually gone downhill. Granted, I’m only 24, but each year has not gotten any better. Each year is some new worry, confusion, desperation, bad decision, and new hair color. Well, 23 was definitely better than 22 after someone (that someone being my mother) gave me Zoloft. However, I’m nearing 25 now and off the medication and I’m realizing there is no relief around the bend.

It’s like this trip I recently took up the coast. The trip was a disaster but I hoped that it would put some meaning to my life.

I decided to head up to San Francisco for the weekend. I had recently left my job and was losing the heat I once had for L.A. The town had become too familiar and uninspiring. Worst yet, everywhere I turned there was a reminder that I wasn’t able to cut it in this city. The billboards, the cars, the beautiful people that covered every square inch of the city looked at me and mouthed “failure”. I was throwing in the towel and I needed saving. I figured my salvation would come in the form of a good ol’ fashioned drive alone up to San Francisco where I would stumble upon the answers to everything.

I packed a one day’s worth of clothes, fastened my gallon of OJ in the passenger seat and was ready for the world to elevate me.

It’s roughly a 6-7 hour drive from L.A. and I was fully prepared to listen to talk radio the entire time in search of clues. In four hours I learned that eating fast food was bad, that Jesus supposedly died for my sins, and that I had to be careful where I invested my money. Ok, not bad, but I’ve heard it all before and none of the three I take much heed to. I had hopped on the 101 freeway knowing that I would get to my ultimate destination fast and safe. The whole time I was on the 101, I was thinking what it would be like to be driving up the scenic Pacfic Coast Highway. I wrestled with the idea as I passed through Santa Barbara, then San Luis Obispo, then figured what the hell, I’ll hop on the PCH. The view from PCH is amazing. You’re driving over high cliffs with seals and mysterious abandoned houses sprinkled along the way. And that is it. Only seals and the occasional abandoned house. No road back over, no gas stations, no way to get off of this fucking thing. I was stuck behind someone going twenty miles per hour and drove on empty for a half an hour expecting at any minute to become stranded in this personal hell. I had to use all my strength from turning my wheel to a sharp left. As I came up around every bend, I held my breathe hoping I will see a way to certainty, but it never came.

And I longed for the 101.

With the 101 came assurance that I would get to my destination in a timely manner. But with the PCH, after every stretch of nothingness came another stretch of nothingness and the sight no longer became beautiful to me. It made me angry. Relief came when I got to Monterey and I sped back to the 101 as fast as I could. Having extended my journey to San Francisco by another three hours, I arrive into town just as the sun is going down. Five minutes in, my child-like wonderment disipated when I realized I had no idea where I was going to go or why I was even there in the first place. It was a Saturday night and at red lights, I watched from my car window all the happy people exiting restaurants and walking in groups down the street. Laughing, holding hands, pissing in alleys. I wanted to be a part of that. I imagined rolling down the window and saying, “Excuse me guys, can you please tell me why I’m here?” I spent four hours wandering around the town then left. I was rattled with angst and frustration. At myself, at the city, at the ocean, at the happy people walking down the street, and at the damn bellied up seals lazily lying in the sun. What was I looking for and why did I waste so much time and money trying to find it?

This sums up my early 20’s right here.

Wasting time and money trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing.

As I made my way back down the 101 less than 4 hours from the last time I saw it, I concentrated on what I could have possibly gotten out of this trip. No answers rolled down from the cliffsides, came in the form of talk radio, or splayed across the road signs. Instead, I was stuck with this endless road that will bring me back to square one.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Love Boys

I was going through an old journal and this is what I came up with. Feel free to judge away!

Ok, so we all know I have Daddy issues, rights?
So please please tell me why I have crushes on young boys?
Er...I mean young men?
Just looking at Shia LaBeouf and Michael Cera makes me we...weak in the knees. Emile Hirsch is pretty delicious too, but he might be my age.

You know, I'm happy I have a huge crush on these boys, er, men, because sometimes I think I want to be a lesbian, but I don't want to be a lesbian when I think of Michael Cera. But then I think, wait, most of these boys probably can't grow facial hair let alone any other body hair, and does THAT make me a lesbian? But then, you know, I think Tom Selleck is really hot and it's like, how much more manly can you get? He's 6'4", strong, hairy, and has the #1 'stache on the planet. AND he's head of the NRA! Oh, what. That's a turn-off.

Ok, so maybe if we can put Michael Cera's comic timing, Shia LaBeouf's delivery, and Emilie Hirsch's nose IN Tom Selleck, then I think my life would be perfect!

And in closing, I must do an obligatory shout out to Steven.
You're adorable.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Salute My Shorts

Just as I was coming to terms with the fact that my childhood was over with the crash and burn of X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE, Nickelodeon debuted a comprehensive catalog of old-school Nick shows on Itunes. "Nick Rewind" contains some of the network's greatest hits; "Hey Dude", original "Doug", original "Rugrats", "Aaahhh Real Monsters", and "Rocko's Modern Life". HOWEVER, they forgot three of their most genius works ever- "Are You Afraid of the Dark?", "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" and "Salute Your Shorts". WTF?

How can you forget these little rainbow sprinkles on our vanila soft serve of life? I saw EVERY episode of "Salute Your Shorts". Which was like 20 episodes. I waited by that God damn TV every week hoping it wasn't the same freakin' episode where the whole camp has chicken pox and Pinsky replaces Michael.

Or what's about Artie, Nick? The strongest man in the world? You're denying him the limelight again?

Oh, oh how about that episode of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" where these kids get locked in a mall and it turns into a video game. That was the stuff that teenager nightmares were made of! Or MST3K style parodies.

Nick, what are you doing, man? Don't deny us the rest of our childhood. Show the Ug Lee!

California + Fornication = Californication

I just finished the first season of "Californication" and found myself relating to the show.

Not when the protagonist bangs a sixteen year-old.

Or when our hero snorts coke off a hooker's ass.

Frank Moody is a New Yorker who begrudgingly finds himself in L.A./I am an Upstate New Yorker who woke up one day in her 20th year in an apartment complex in Burbank that Rick James died in.
He attributes the town to tearing away his sanity and foundation./ I attribute this town to punching, stabbing, crushing, and farting on my sanity.
He lives in Venice./ I am temporarily living in Venice because I am homeless.
He hates it here but yet finds himself partaking in the machinery of it all./ I hate the machinery but try to avoid sleeping with a girl every night and drinking Whiskey for breakfast.

The show is fun. The dialogue is quick and clever and David Duchovny looks more comfortable playing the cranky, sarcastic, witty writer than the... cranky, sarcastic, witty FBI agent. This is one of those niche shows where you only fully appreciate it if you a.) live in L.A., b.) work in the business, and c.) bang fake-breasted youngens' every night. And though I didn't like that about "Entourage", it seems more interesting when it's a near fifty year-old crab instead of a bunch of snot-nosed twenty-somethings.

Duchovny is good with the delivery and appears to take a little creative license that works well. Unlike some shows, the supporting characters are equally intriguing and developed (especially Frank's baby mamma played by Natascha McElhone and Frank's agent played by Evan Handler). It took me awhile to warm up to Frank's "woman-child" daughter but after a few viewings one can strangely warm up to her dead-pan speak and vacant eyes. As a young woman, does it make me cringe to watch the over-sexed 16 year-old Mia try seduce and manipulate Frank and see all the eager and willing women that jump in Frank's sack upon walking by him on the street? Yes, yes, and yes. Does it make me wonder why Hollywood continually writes women this way? Yes. But what are you gonna do? If I get David Duchovny shirtless in return, I think I'm ok with that for now.

"Californication" can be seen on Showtime and it's available on Netflix and Itunes. It has been picked up for a second season with a TBD premiere date.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Thanks to my former co-worker and friend Becky who recalled my childlike crush on Michael Cera, here is a link to the new trailer for NICK & NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST. Based off a "young adult" novel containing abundant uses of the f word, we follow the story of two unlikely allies in the course of an evening in NYC. Nick (played by Michael Cera Arrested Development, Superbad) and his band are performing at an underground club in the city when the girl who crushed his heart walks in. Nora (played by Kat Dennings 40 Year-old Virgin) is at the show babysitting her friend and loudly judging everyone that walks by. When Nick's ex-girlfriend beelines it to him, Nick grabs the closest stranger he can find, Nora, and kisses her. This sparks the beginning of one of those adventures that only happens to make-believe people in NYC.

I read the book. Or rather tried reading the book. I LIKE young adult novels. This was not like the young adult novels I read growing up. Kids nowadays suck. They go to dive bars and wear circa '80's clothing (and they were born like in 1992) and say big words and like Iggy Pop and Velvet Underground and I hate them! They're every bit of pretentiousness I wanted to be at that age. I didn't become totally self-aware and try to subtly flaunt my quirks until I was 20! What happened to the Socs and the Greasers? Or girls named Margaret talking to God?

Thankfully, Michael Cera looks slightly more legal in this film.