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Hipstercrite: July 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Make a Movie

My boyfriend is a writer/director. He's been making films for over ten years and his first feature, Mars, debuted at SXSW in 2010. Mars is a love story that takes place in space and stars Mark Duplass, Kinky Friedman, Howe Gelb, James Kolchalka, and Don Hertzfeldt. Geoff shot the entire movie live action, then animated the living shit over the entire movie with a program he created. If that is not badass, then I don't know what is! The film has traveled all over the world in the festival circuit. Geoff is also currently one of the filmmakers remaking Richard Linklater's indie classic Slacker and was selected as one of Filmmaker's 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

I am not a director. I'd like to think of myself a writer though? Last year, I made a movie in my head that starred David Byrne, Danny Elfman, Bryan Ferry, Robert Palmer, and Peter Gabriel. I one time remade the intro to Twilight Zone by putting on a suit and burning a cork to draw thick Jewish eyebrows on my face in order to look like Rod Serling. I once made a science experiment that involved Ecto-Cooler and dirt.

With our qualifications combined, Geoff and I created a script titled Loves Her Gun, that he's planning on shooting this summer. We started talking about movie ideas one day (Geoff had been itching to start a new project), touched on the subject of young twenty-something women and the anxieties and real dangers they face (ahem), and decided we were going to make a movie! BAM! THERE YA GO! THAT'S HOW YOU MAKE A MOVIE!

Loves Her Gun is a "cautionary tale of transformation, crime, guns, and hipsters". I've never been good at the elevator pitch, so I'll try to tell you what it's about:  So there is this girl, right? She lives in Brooklyn and she dates douchebags and she gets robbed one night. And then she decides she wants out of NYC so she heads to Austin and....OH, F THIS! I'm just going to copy and paste what Geoff wrote:

Q: How far will a well educated, underpaid, twenty something Brooklyn hipster go to sleep through the night again?


The narrative film follows Allie as she leaves Brooklyn, New York running away from a violent attack and an uneasy social life. She hooks up with an absurd band of karate rock musicians from Austin and embarks on a fast paced road trip across the south. Once she settles into the slower paced slacker lifestyle of central Texas, she finds new friends, work with her hands, a crummy place to live on the east side, cool water to tube in, and several new love interests. Despite all this some of the same old problems follow her. After the BBQ’s and skinny dipping parties, there is still crime, and possible violence against women is a legitimate fear anywhere. As Allie struggles to find new ways to feel strong and in control here in her new environment, she walks the fine line between reasonable self preservation and paranoid withdrawal. As she spends more time on the shooting range than she does in her apartment, can she maintain healthy relationships, or will the weapons she uses to protect herself actually cause new problems worse than the ones she was fleeing?

We're really excited about the project and already have a team of people on board. We put the film on US Artists late last night (kind of like Kickstarter for filmmakers) and already seeing some dough trickle in. It's super low budget in the traditional Austin mumblecore filmmaking way and should be tons of fun! It's kind of cool to not be on the personal assistant side of filmmaking for once.

(not really sure how to format the video below, but you can also watch it here)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Like Lists! Except When They Suck Ass.

I peruse the Internet a lot and because of this I'm only able to enjoy rudimentary things like lists. 
I especially like self-help/how-to lists, the sort that give you tips on how to become a better blogger or lover or lover to your blogger (we need a lot of attention).
If there is anything that I've learned from self-help/how-to lists it's that the people who write them are not really qualified to tell you how to improve your life. Most of the time their advice is simple and ideas rehashed from other articles written by people who are also not qualified to tell you how to improve your life.
I spend most of my time trying to unlearn everything I've read from lists I enjoy reading on the Internet daily.

I constantly fall victim to thinking that these lists will hold some magic key words that will suddenly make me fearless, entrepreneurial, balanced and wealthy. I mean, don't we all? Don't lie. You know you love the lists. YOU LOOOOOVE THE LISTS!!! I figure I drift through life, utilizing only 25% of my brain's capacity just waiting for a list to open the doors of enlightenment. WRONG! Instead I start believing that twenty-something journalism interns know more than I do about the world and I become ill-informed about everything.

I've come across a lot of list misnomers that I would like to criticize on my blog right now:

1.) If You Don't Like Your Job Then Quit!
Duh! It's as simple as that! Didn't you know? My favorite lists to come across typically start with the sentence, "Tips to Quit your Day Job and Finally Make it On Your Own" or some bullshit like that.
I like this link at the Grindstone, titled, "Lies We Tell Ourselves to Stay In Jobs We Hate", where it states that when worried about money when quitting your job that you hate, that "(needing money) is a fact of life that is completely unavoidable. However, it doesn't mean you should sit on a job you hate just to get a paycheck. The world is full of different industries and career paths- and guess what? They all pay." Haha. They all pay. BUT DO THEY ALL FUCKING HIRE?! I love that this author thinks it's as simple as quitting your job and finding a new one that you're going to love so much more than the other. What if you hate that one to? And the one after? I also dig this link at Brazen Careerist titled "How Long Should You Really Stick With a Job You Hate?" that says, "a break (from your job) can actually help your career- especially if you use your time off to acquire new skills, recharge your batteries, gain perspective, volunteer or travel- all on your trust fund, er, I mean, all with Mommy and Daddy's money, oh wait, I mean, 'cause obviously most twenty-somethings can quit their job and gallivant the world because, duh, they don't have college loans and credit cards to pay!

2.) To Become a Better Blogger Go For a Walk
Now I'm pot calling the kettle black here because I believe that in one of my post's regarding how to become a better blogger, I state that taking a walk helps. Well, let me tell you something, it's bullshit. Walking around does not help you get that creative burst you're waiting for. Like what could possibly happen when you walk outside for five minutes? A squirrel takes a dump on your head and the runs over to tell it's buddies? You should be so lucky. The only good that stepping away from the computer does is prevent you from having a fat ass. This post over at Copyblogger titled "Get Off Your Computer and Become a Better Blogger" definitely has a point that sitting at your computer for hours upon hours kills any inspirational mojo, but they all make it sound so simple. Like that going outside and interacting with people will suddenly make for awesome content. But what if your life is boring? What if the people you meet are boring? What if reading these god forsaken self-help/how-to lists all the time has made you into a hermit who no longer knows how to talk to or relate to other human beings?! Is there a self-help/how-to list for reading self-help/how-to lists?! Huh? HUH?!

3.) To Get More Followers Write Great Content
This rule is typically #1 on "How to Get More Blog Followers" lists. LIKE WE DON'T KNOW THAT ALREADY! I was planning on writing absolute shit on my blog. This eHow beautifully states that I should "pick a topic that I already know a lot about" to discuss on my blog. Really? I was thinking of writing about Aerospace Farming Bioscience Technology. I'm pretty sure that is not even a thing, but just a bunch of words I strung together, but I think I'm going to write about it anyways! So I guess writing great content will automatically get me zillions and zillions of followers? Really, cause I'm pretty sure having a fashion blog where you write absolutely nothing and post pictures of yourself and things that you like is what gets you lots of followers. ZING! Where did that come from, Lauren?

Friday, July 22, 2011

And One Day She Stopped

I have a boyfriend.

This may be nothing amazing in developments for Mankind, but for anyone who knows me, it is nothing short of incredible.
Or maybe it's not.
Maybe it's just mind-blowing to me.

You see, I haven't had a boyfriend in a very long time. Instead, I mostly dated a string of assholes or, now that I'm older and have more objectivity I can say, "gentlemen who were not interested in me enough to date me and/or not at a place in their life where they were able to satisfy my dating needs or any other person's dating needs".

I dated the sort of guys that kind of said they "didn't want to date anyone right now" but that didn't stop them for getting all up in your grill like they were super interested in you, then disappearing, confusing the living shit out of you even though you should have been wise enough to decipher that "they don't want to date anyone right now" really meant "THEY DON'T WANT TO DATE ANYONE RIGHT NOW" and that's why they disappeared, duh.

I was twenty-something and they were twenty-something and I've learned to chalk it up as two twenty-somethings being twenty-something. However, a part of me thinks it all seemed obvious, but for some reason I was completely dim-witted about the sort of guys I went after time and time again. After seeing my younger girl friends going through the same issue (and some a few older), I'm happy to understand that it wasn't just me. That I wasn't the sole relatively smart girl that was making dumbass mistakes in dating. I even wrote an article about this recently titled 'Girls Are Crazy Until They Reach the Age of 26' where I discuss how the modern young lady can act kind of desperate when it comes to dating. Why do smart, pretty, and interesting girls date losers that treat them like poo?

Gosh, thinking back on it now, I seriously want to slap the living shit out of my younger self. It seemed like the more uninterested you were in me, the more interested I was in you. There was the guy who "wanted to date other people" while dating me. There was the guy who told me not to tell his parents that I didn't graduate college and worked in Hollywood. There was the guy who said he wanted to date me, then freaked out when he thought it meant giving up his cocaine-lifestyle I didn't even know about. My Mom would say this behavior was because I had "daddy issues" since my father left home when I was young girl. I'm going to stick with this answer so I don't have to actually be held accountable for my own blockhead behavior.

But something interesting happens as you get older, one day you just stop acting that way. It's subconscious flip of the switch you didn't even know happened until you find yourself dating the most amazing person on the planet. The sort of person you never thought you'd meet. You figured you were doomed to this terrible repetitious behavior of picking out turds for the rest of your life. That you were left to writing blog posts wondering what love must feel like instead of writing blog posts gushing over your boyfriend (sorry for the saccharine, guys). 

And so this is the sort of guy I finally met: Last night I crashed hard on the couch in my boyfriend's home office, like I often do during the week. Typically it's difficult to move me, I've been told. My boyfriend will try to coax me off the couch to come to bed, I'll mumble something incoherent, then roll over. My boyfriend also knows that I often wake up later in the middle of the night with minor panic attacks. He's been very patient and understanding of this. So, last night my boyfriend laid down on the god damn bare floor next to the couch so I wouldn't be frightened when I finally decided to wake up.

Now you know why I'm pretty mind blown.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Letter to David Bowie's Crotch

Dear David Bowie's Crotch,
What can I say, man? Wow. You've haunted me since I was five. I think you've kind of terrorized everyone for a long time. You've captured the attention of many nations and not let go. There is a remote village in Africa where they worship your likeness in a potato that a small child had dug from the Earth. The potato now sits on a makeshift shrine in the center of the village. The inhabitants look to you to converse with the rain gods when they're going through a drought, but your potato does nothing but sit there and mock them.

Is that right?

Is it fair that you tease people with the idea that you hold magic powers within you? Is it fair that you drift through people's dreams, standing dormant then uncoiling towards them like a violent snake? I don't think so, man.

It's time to let people go.

It's time to go back to where you once belonged. I'm not really sure where that is, but, yeah, you go now.


I guess what has concerned me all these years, is your close proximity to other humans. I mean, look at those people above. You have them mesmerized. Completely in awe of your dangling girth. You could get them to do anything and my question to you is, would you use that power for good or for evil?

Something makes me think for evil and that is why you have to leave. Now.

I've never trusted you, David Bowie's Crotch, and I'm here to tell you that I've recently discovered my purpose on this Earth- to banish the Package Dragon to the sea.

I think my greater concern is your even closer proximity to children.

It's not right, dude. You shouldn't be near kids, even if you're enclosed in spandex. You have the ability to send rays of blinding light that will mess up their eyesight and they'll become partially, if not fully, blind by the time they're 40. I already know, like, 12 different people whose eyesight is starting to fade and they can often only see floating shapes of camel toes in their head.

Does that make you, happy? I thought so.

I knew you were up to no good, David Bowie's Crotch.

There was a time where you captivated me like the rest, but I know better now. I've learned not to look you in the eye and to not recognize your presence and I'm going to share this knowledge with the world and one day, David Bowie's Crotch, YOU WON'T MATTER.

Do you hear me?

You will become obsolete. 

And we will all be free from your tyranny of lamè and the Battle of the Bulge will end.


( inspired by Gaston123 )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Makes You a Writer?

When you try to maintain a daily blog, it is easy to lose sight of your other writing goals. Blogging takes a up a lot of time, and if you work a more than full-time job during the day, coming home and writing one blog post is hard, let alone trying to write anything else. Or even tending to normal grooming habits. My eyebrows have retreated back to their 1995 state. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I am startled by the large caterpillars crawling over my face, only to remember I forgot to pluck. Five months ago.

There are times where I begin writing the semi-makings of a book or screenplay only to have them abandoned wayside like a Gosselin child. They start piling up in the graveyard of forgotten stories, occasionally seeing a sliver of light when free time and creative spark coincide- which rarely happens these days. Free time means relaxing. Writing can often be anything but. Where some people feel it is therapeutic, I feel that writing is a constant struggle, trying to regularly get better at something, but not really knowing if I am. It's a challenge that my brain can't accept on a daily basis, though will have to learn if I want to go anywhere.

Wading in the static of online life is what happens most of these days. Gobbling up minutes Stumbling, Tweeting, Facebook'in, and GooglePlus'in definitely leaves limited brain space for a writing piece longer than 1000 words. I can't remember the last time I wrote more than two pages of a document. Was it back in college, when I was a screenwriting major? Hell bent on writing the next great screenplay for my generation? Gosh, writing a feature-length screenplay seems so difficult now. Writing a short story even seems painful. What happened to those characters that keep floating in the back of my brain, trying to break free, hoping one day they escape through paper? They seem like ghosts now. Spirits squashed dead by the minutia of technology.

And if only I could promise myself to shut it all down, run away to the beach or wooded spot, sit there, reconnecting with the planet, finding divine inspiration from everything that is natural. But who are we kidding? Constant inundation of information is what keeps us relevant. I am still too young to write about lifetimes before, so I need that information from others. I'm 28 and I only know what I've experienced. What sort of writer would I be if I relied on that? But instead, I get older, trying to figure out how to balance it all, feeling like I'm getting closer to figuring it out, but fearing that one day I'll wake up 20 years older before I ever do.

But my life means something too. I can write about it, and I do. But sometimes I get tired of analyzing it. Dissecting it. Putting a flowery accent to it all. Sometimes I want to put on paper my new found joys of falling in love or the realization that the generations of my family our shifting into a time I never thought would come. Or sometimes I just want to live it and not be wondering if it would make a good blog post or a tweet.  Or sometimes I don't want to verbalize to myself the reality of something that causes pain. But isn't pain what makes a writer?

I've never thought myself as a writer because the only thing I've stuck with is this blog. This could be what is holding me back above all things. This precise statement, proclaiming that I'm not something, is making me write a blog post of excuses. Maybe it's not about time, or energy, or technology, or the dislike of dealing with emotions. Maybe it's the age old fear that one day I will be discovered to be a hack. Someone who can't actually write. Who relies on Who doesn't proofread nearly enough. A girl that starts her sentences with "I" too much. A girl with a blog and nothing to else to show for.

Society tells us that blogging is not writing, but I'm telling myself now, I don't believe it. If it makes us lose sight of our other writing goals, what could happen if it became the writing goal?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interesting Facts About Your Favorite B-List Celebrities

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time reading about celebrities. But not the ones plastered in the newsstand glossies. I liked the lesser known guys and gals, the supporting players, the B or C-listers. They were usually more interesting-looking or often stole the show from the main players. I wanted to know their back story. So when we first got the Internet, I spent hours reading IMDB. Then one day Wikipedia came along. I was in heaven! My Mom often said that if I spent as much time reading my school books as I did about Martin Short, I would have been valedictorian of my class. I guess I can pin all of my downfalls in life to Martin Short.

Even as a grown up, I still love reading about the underdogs. Here are some neat facts I've learned through the years about my favorite character actors. Some of these facts you may already know from reading past posts about my B-list movie star obsessions or maybe you're just a smarty pants. Either way, I stay up on your favorite B-movie actors so you don't have to.

1.) Rick Moranis left show business to raise his kids as a single dad after the death of his wife. It's true. All of you assholes who are like, "Hey, whatever happened to that little guy's career?" can go fuck themselves. Rick Moranis stopped acting six years after the death of his wife so he could raise his kids. Then when his kids were grown he decided he didn't want to get back in the biz. So he released a country album instead.

2.) John Cazale, the guy who played Fredo Corleone, was only in five movies before dying of cancer at the age of 42.  And to all of you assholes who are like, "Hey, whatever happened to that guy with the big forehead in The Godfather?" Well, you can go fuck yourself too because that guy died of cancer! Badly. Like spitting up blood and stuff. Cazale was even dying from it while shooting his last movie, The Deer Hunter, where he acted alongside his fiancee Meryl Streep who took care of him until he passed away.

3.) Phil Hartman was a graphic designer before making it famous. We all know that Phil Hartman was great at everything he did! Whether it be writing (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure) or comedy (SNL) or voice-over work (The Simpsons), Phil Hartman was the shiz-nitz. That's why it doesn't surprise me that before he was famous, he was an graphic designer sought out by the rock stars. He created the logo for Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and designed covers for the bands Poco, America, and Firesign Theater.What the hell is Firesign Theater?

4.) Charles Rocket, star of Dumb and Dumber, It's Pat, and SNL, killed himself by slitting his own throat in his backyard. A lot of people don't know who Charles Rocket was. He was the sort of guy who had a long list of credits, you recognized is face, but you never learned his name. Well, fuck you too! Because that man slit his own throat! I'm not sure why he did it and unfortunately, because he wasn't uber-famous, a lot hasn't been written on the subject. I actually met him a few months prior to his suicide and he seemed like an awesome dude. Rocket's resume boasts being part of the RISD crowd and subsequent East Village art scene in the late 70's and Max Headroom and Moonlighting.

5.) Jeff Goldblum can often be spotted around clubs in LA playing piano. Jeff Goldblum looooves his piano. Almost as much as he loves cooter. Jeff Goldblum is a real down-to-Earth and approachable guy. He also likes touching things. A lot. So it comes as no surprise that he often plays piano in little holes in the wall in LA. Or Coachella. Sometimes his Buckaroo Bonzai co-star, Peter Weller, sits in and plays the trumpet. Sometimes Jeff Goldblum touches you.

6.) Crispin Glover collects antique medical equipment. Well of course he does. Why wouldn't he? WHY WOULDN'T HE??? Supposedly he owns a "gynecological table and a wax display of twelve eye disorders." Of course, this may be the least interesting thing about Crispin Glover. He directed a movie featuring a cast with Down Syndrome, he wrote an album with songs about clowns and masturbation, he owns a castle in the Czech Republic, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't aged a day since Back to the Future due to his macrobiotic diet.

7.) John Candy was set to play Louis Tully in Ghostbusters. The original cast choices for the 1984 hit Ghostbusters was very different then what it turned out to be. Aykroyd and Ramis wrote the script with John Belushi in mind for Venkman, but he died before filming. Eddie Murphy was set to play Winston and Paul Reubens was considered for Gozer. John Candy was approached for the part as Louis Tully. Candy wanted to have Tully be a "German dude with lots of large dogs". When the director and writers nixed the idea, Candy left the project. And then he died too.

Who is your favorite character actor?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Culture Map Austin

Culture Map Austin launched today!

What is Culture Map you ask?

Well, it's going to be THE source for news, entertainment, culture, food, sports, style and events in Austin, Texas.

After the success of Culture Map Houston, the gang decided to take the site on the road to the capital city. What better fit than real-time news and opinion in the #8 most socially networked city in America?

I'm very excited about today's launch because I am also a contributor! I hope you will take the time to puruse the site today. I think you will like what you see. In the meantime, here is a snippet of my first post. You can click on the link below to read more...


"I have a N.Y. driver's license, L.A. mailing address and Austin physical address.

Please don't hold the N.Y. and L.A. parts against me. I roll my eyes just as much as you do when somebody in Austin tells me they moved here from either place.

And if you're a cop, please don't arrest me. I don't want to get rid of my N.Y. driver's license quite yet. I'm 16 in the picture and I'm not ready to let go of my childhood at this time. Even though I look like a bloated Blossom Russo in the picture, 16 was a beautiful time in my life. A time filled of firsts: first kiss, first car, and first set of badly needed tweezers.

I moved to Austin from Los Angeles three years ago for the heck of it. Austin had been popping up on 'best of' lists left and right--"best city to find a job," "best city to date," "best city to relocate to and work on your writing after becoming disillusioned with your career in Los Angeles"--and it seemed like the place for me. Doing what typically falls around #7 on every parent's list of Top Ten Fears Regarding Their Child, I quit my job, packed what I could in my little Nissan Versa and drove east on I-10 to a city where I knew no one. As I watched the skyline of Los Angeles shrink in my rear-view mirror, I daydreamed about the Six Feet Under-esque journey I was about to embark on with my Wayfarers in hand and Kings of Leon CD in the stereo. Little did I know that though the Wayfarers would be accepted where I was about to end up, Kings of Leon albums were not, and I had to promptly chuck the CD out the window once I arrived..."

Click HERE to continue.... 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All About Vaginas. Or Vaginae. Or Whatever the Plural of Vagina is Called.

The day before I came across this thing:

I have never seen or heard of a plastic cup you stick in your va-jay-jay when you have your period. This new found fact blew my mind. I stood there scrutinizing the box over and over while my boyfriend completed both shopping and check-out and patiently waited for me by the front of the store. I sniffed out the container like a dog checking out another dog's butt. Moon Cups come in two sizes- size A for pre-birth vaginas and size B for post-birth vaginas. Reading the difference between the two size cups instantaneously made my ovaries put up the "Sorry, We're Closed" sign and shut the blinds.

Below the plastic "Moon Cup" on the grocery store shelf, neatly colored cloth maxi pads laid in a row. Some were polka dot and some had prints that looked like a Holiday Inn comforter or a Dad shirt from the 80's. These also piqued my interest, though seemed less dangerous than the gigantic grail that one sticks in their cootch.

How had I never seen these womanly devices before? Though they actually make a little more sense than sticking a fiber glass-like tiny pillow in your vag, or replacing what looks like a shiny adult diaper in your underwear daily, I'm still not so sure I'll switch over to these new, "eco-friendly" products. Or maybe I will just so I can write a blog post about it and lose all of my male followers.

Spotting these contraptions made me think about what other vagina-centric products are out there in the world. Come to find out, there are a lot, especially on Etsy, where people seem to really love the female parts.

One of my favorite finds is the uterus pillow made by user VulvaLoveLovely. Cause everyone love giagntic vaginas, right? When you are feeling sad about that boyfriend who just dumped you, put down that bottle of red wine and razor blade, and empower yourself with a fallopian cuddle buddy.

Though I can appreciate the beauty of the vag just as much as the next person, something about this wedding dress made me throw up in my mouth a little. THAT HAS TO BE THE BIGGEST VAGINA I'VE EVER SEEN! AND ON A WEDDING DRESS NO LESS! Is this supposed to be a warning to the groom that this is what he is in for? That he may accidentally fall into his bride's cavernous vagina?

And along the same lines, this army jacket that look like someone ran up to the girl wearing it, sliced open her back with a knife, only to discover one gigantic poon hiding in there. Something about that back vag looks scary and hungry.

Why not honor the much loved camel toe in the form of a cookie? BECAUSE I WANT TO BE REMINDED OF MY CAMEL TOE WHEN I'M EATING!

May I present, The "Foetus Seat". One blimp-sized bed womb for the adult who never wants to grow up, who was forced to experience a sad "expulsion from paradise".

And last but not least, my favorite, Super Hero U! A very adorable, Clockwork Orange-esque plushie uterus. Hey, Evil-Doers, those are no Stretch Armstrong arms there, they're Fallopian Tubes, and they shoot ovaries faster than a machine gun.

For related reading, "I'm a Beaver Beacon. A Large One" over at one of my favorite blogs Humans Are Funny.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Letter to the Man Who Should Not Read My Blog, But Does Anyways

I wondered if you even existed when I would see a couple on the street.

At the rate I was going, it didn't seem like I would come to meet you.

You were an elusive figure.

Someone I was left to writing about. A stranger I was to meet on a subway in a big city and discuss metropolitan topics with such as David Byrne and top hats. You were the fictional love interest to my semi-autobiographical, slightly solitary female protagonist. Existing only in words on the paper. But one day you materialized, in the form of a sandy-colored cowboy, and instead of meeting on a subway, we met at an eastside watering hole.

We talked about David Byrne and top hats.

In our relatively small gestation period, I have come to feel that I've known you forever. Maybe it's because you were a character I constructed, or maybe it's because you and I are reassuringly similar. That the traits I've grown to understand about myself over the past 28 years are akin to the ones you share. When you randomly buy a 1980's sleeveless denim vest, I understand why and when you wear it, there is no one more beautiful. No one more confident in the person he is and the unique interests he cultivates. I hope that never changes.

Certain I was that you were not real. That at one point you'd wake from the illusion that you created about me and decide to move on. But each morning I'd wake to discover you holding my hand stronger and stronger. You've let me cry. You've let me be angry. You've let me be indecisive. You've let me be human, a woman, and myself. Those are truths you should not thank me for, you say. But I do. Something that may be a given to you is not always common in others. To accept someone for who they are is an aberrant attribute it seems.

Or maybe you just like me.

I fall asleep frequently on your extra-long, green mid-century couch, it's true. With all my anxieties of experiencing something that is new, something so once seemingly unobtainable, I drift into unconsciousness because I feel safe. Held. There is no place more comforting. I trail off to the sound of your feet walking across the concrete floor or fingers typing on the keys. A harmony that I hold onto knowing that you are there and you've shown that you are not going anywhere. Your smile is always waiting for me when I wake.

Have I given you the peace of mind that you have given me? I hope so. You should know that I will be there. That I am your fan. That I believe in you because you are the most genuine person anyone could ever meet.

I never wrote about this love thing.
At least in real life.
But here you are.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Los Angeles You Will Come to Know

It's easy to love Los Angeles. It's sunny and warm and exciting and big.

What is hard, is loving the Hollywood you experienced. It's so much more enjoyable to revel in the Hollywood from movies, books, and media. The Hollywood you thought you were going into when you first decided to move to Los Angeles. The industry you thought you were going to conquer, or at the very least, never give up on.

Having worked in the film business off and on in Austin and my boyfriend being a local director and film professor, I meet a steady stream of people who are en route to Los Angeles. When you've experienced LA for yourself, and you're talking to a young person who has limited concept of what the film industry in LA is actually like, it's hard not to give your two cents. It's hard not to sound jaded, regardless if your time there was good or bad. I can separate the joyous moments from the terrible that I experienced in LA and I can sum up that ultimately my time there was worthwhile. That still doesn't mean there wasn't shit and still doesn't mean I have to do everything in my might not to tell a young person about it.

There was a time in Los Angeles that I never thought I would become this person. Everyone who gave up on the city just didn't have what it took. I on the other hand did. At least I thought I did. I was determined to make it work. So determined that I was in complete denial about how miserable I was. Drinking home alone, going to a psychotherapist, yelling at my family, and alienating myself from friends at 21 should have been a clear indicator, but I refused to face it. Instead I thought that this is what adult life is all about if you wanted to be a success. In a way, I also thought it was romantic. I was a pretty little mess, right?

And so we've all heard my story before about how one day I realized I was not happy and that I needed to go somewhere else while I was still young and before it was too late and I picked Austin for the hell of it and that is where I've happily lived for the past three years. For two of those years, I missed Los Angeles terribly. At least I thought I did. Occasionally a vapid pang of regret would waft through me when I saw pictures of friends hanging with celebrities and attending film premieres and festivals (what I would come to find out is that Austin is a mini-Hollywood within itself, just without all the bureaucracy- which is both good and bad). Ultimately those aches would go away and I've settled comfortably into a life that I'm more than happy with. I get to still be involved with the business, but in a way that is more manageable to me and in a town that is more, for the lack of a better word, balanced.

Now I'm that 28 year-old who didn't make it in Hollywood, who lives in a mini-Hollywood and who wants to warn the 21 year-olds going to Los Angeles what they are in store for. I want to tell them that you might just end up working in reality TV for the rest of your life just to pay the bills. I want to tell them that you take whatever jobs you can find and may never "get around" to directing/producing/starring in that great idea you always had. I want to tell them that beautiful or powerful men and women will act interested in you, but they don't want you. In fact, they may just treat you like garbage. I want to tell them that your love life may suck ass. That your career maybe won't enable you to have a healthy relationship. I want to tell them that it might be hard to discover who your true friends are, that it may take years in a city like Los Angeles. I want to tell them that every day could be a painstaking struggle and unless you really want it that badly, life is too short to deal with bullshit. Or I could tell them that maybe it will all work out OK.

But it is not my job to break their spirits. It is not my job to take away hope from someone's dream. If you've decided that Los Angeles is a stop on your life's road map, then you need to experience it for yourself. Otherwise you will regret it. When I was offered that job to work for an A-list celebrity at 20 years of age, there was no stopping me and no one tried to. My parents knew I had to take this chance and experience it. Ultimately I made up my own mind to move on. I regret neither decision- moving to Los Angeles or leaving it. And everyone has to figure that out for themselves.

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Like Billy Joel. There, I Said It. I SAID IT! Are You Happy, Now?

I often find myself apologizing for liking Billy Joel.
Or I won't even admit that I like him at all.
I'll turn my back on Billy and jump in with the teasing about his songs being too loungy, too gauge your ears in with the closest sharp object. I'll make fun of his over-elation of using gratuitous sound effects and his transparent storytelling tactics. Cast in a dark shadow of shame, I'll sit there making fun of this musician I love more than broccoli but less than corn chowder soup. Lifting up away from my body, I look down at this insecure girl, afraid to confidentially say to the world, "Billy Joel is good. Billy Joel is great."

Well, I'm tired of that girl. I kicked her off the scooter somewhere on Pretentious Ave. and am reclaiming the child that used to write the lyrics to 'Captain Jack' in marker on her vanity mirror and cry.

Out of the light rock FM closet I'm here to confirm a couple of statements:
 -I love Billy Joel.
-I think Billy Joel's music is as treasureful as Cadbury Eggs.
-I relate to Billy Joel's music even though I'm a.) not male b.) did not grow up in Levittown during the 50's.
-Billy Joel is an excellent musician that should be respected and not made fun of.

I didn't grow up to listening to Billy Joel. I grew up listening to his doughy English counterpart Elton John. Elton John was my man. In fact, he was really my man. I thought we were going to get married. I thought that his soft, white English tummy and chest hair crammed into a sequined leotard was sexy. I did not like Billy Joel. I thought he was a lesser Elton John. He wasn't sexy and he sang about real things like coal miners and trying to decide which bottle of wine to order at an Italian restaurant and not cool things like mohair suits and little tiny girls in people's hands.

I don't exactly remember the day that I started liking Billy Joel. It might have been that day in the department store when I was literally struck down by the lyrics to Billy Joel's ode to his daughter 'Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)'. I laid on the patterned carpet floor completely immobile from the severity of emotions that song brings, 'Some day we'll all be gone but lullabies go on and on, they never die that's how you and I will be.' That song is like an instant tear duct enema. Even just looking up the lyrics to that song right now caused my face to create a two second cry cringe on my face that I'm hoping no one in the office saw.

Or it might have been the day that I first heard the lyrics to Joel's 'Captain Jack'- a song I had zero relation to yet felt a kinship towards the masturbating, booger-picking Long Island junkie featured in the song. 'Captain Jack' captured, to me, everything that Bret Easton Ellis has strived for in his novels- minimalistic visual nihilism, apathy, and glam, 'So you got everything, ah, but nothing's cool. They just found your father in the swimming pool. And you guess you won't be going back to school anymore.' Sounds like East Austin.

Or maybe it was the day I finally listened to the lyrics of 'Piano Man' and clearly saw an image of my father, the piano player, sitting at his barroom piano being requested time and time and again to play this song by stoned businessmen, waitresses practicing politics, and real estate novelists and contemplating the meta of it all. 

Or maybe it was the day my high school boyfriend secretly dedicated 'She's Always a Woman' to me. Or the day I first heard the 'ssss-choo-ha!' of Joel's Pennsylvania love letter 'Allentown' and thought, "Wow, now that's annoyingly catchy!". Or the day I realized that Joel was Long Island's answer to Springsteen. Or the day I realized that Billy Joel is actually a damn fine song writer no matter how much he looks like the equivocal to a 1950's Warner Brother's cartoon of a rosy-nosed drunk.

This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to find myself a Billy Joel t-shirt and I'm going to wear it. And not in an ironic way. In a "I actually really really like Billy Joel in a non-ironic way" way. Then I'm going to tell everyone they should do the same. Then if Billy Joel goes the hipster wayside such as Michael McDonald or Hall & Oates have, I'm going to discard the t-shirt and wallow in my Billy Joel love all by myself!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Canadians Are Better Than Americans

Well, I'm spending my last hour in Vancouver trying to finish up this blog post I started on Sunday. It's been a good trip. Full of bear encounters, bald eagle encounters, and running away from raccoon encounters. I just took two Xanax because of my recently acquired fear of flying and I'm not exactly sure what I'm writing. Listen, whatever you do, don't read Wikipedia's list of famous plane crashes. That shit stays with you for years....

Nothing says 4th of July spirit than comparing our great country to the slightly better country just north of us.
For the past seven days I've been traveling through the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia and have reconfirmed what I thought back in junior high when I wanted to move to Toronto because the Kids in the Hall lived there- Canada is the shit. It's an incredible country full of nice people, pristine nature, and clean cities. Here are some observations I made while gallivanting through the Great White North.

1.) The Calgary airport smells like Christmas morning.
2.) Even the tiniest towns in the Canadian Rockies have recycling bins on most corners.
3.) Canadians are hardcore when it comes to eating (see 'Exotic Fondue')

4.) That Canadians are not pretentious enough to still listen to indie music from 2008.
5.) Canadians talk adorably.
6.) That Canadians adorable talk rubs off on you.
7.) That Vancouver looks like Tokyo to you enough though you've ever been to Tokyo but it's been a long time since you've been to New York City so maybe Vancouver looks like New York City?

8.) Shit is mo-fo'ing expensive, especially since the American dollar took a dump.
9.) On Canada Day, Mounties in the wild can be spotted.
10.) Bears walk along the side of the road and don't give a flying f about you.

11.) That though everyone says that Vancouver is a nice city, people are pretty pushy.
12.) People from Canada feel really really bad when they do bad things (boarded up windows from the recent Vancouver riots).

13.) Canada has moderately confusing but nonetheless enjoyable public art.