Friday, May 11, 2012

Slow Migration to New Site

I'm very slowly moving this site to its new domain:

The archives are moving. I'm moving. Future posts will be there. Hopefully, you will be too!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Television Shout-Outs

You know how you can tell when you and your friends are on the same wavelength? When you have the following conversation by text:
F1: Did you see the Castle finale?
F2: OMG!
F1: Right?!
F2: Seriously!
F1: OMG!
F2: I miss that.
And even though no specifics were given, you both know exactly what you are talking about in great, sigh-worthy detail.
I’m on to you guys. I know there are at least three really big fans ofTHE X-FILES currently working as writers on television shows. Why?
These are magic, and they make me laugh. Keep them coming, folks! Someday, I hope to join your ranks and add my own shout-outs to that wonderful world.
It’s almost Friday. You can do it. Take a deep breath. Take another one. The weekend is very nearly here. Escape is imminent.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dating Profile

In my research into the mating habits of the average Angeleno, the subject of online dating is consistently broached. While I’m still hoping for miracles in the form of blind dates, I have acknowledged that this option does exist.  If I decide to go with a traditional online site (which already sounds like an oxymoron), I’ll need a killer dating profile picture in order to truly capture the attention of my would-be suitors. This has provided me endless hours of distress (ok, maybe it was only seconds before I dismissed it as being too difficult and moved on something easier like determining the meaning of life).

But at long last, I believe I’ve settled on a photo that really allows for my essence to shine. It’s the perfect combination of “don’t F with me,” and “sometimes I sing in the shower.”  It’s the kind of photo that will make men sit up and take notice.  It’s… it’s… it’s….


It’s Pride and Prejudice meets Mad Max. And I think this one is going to work for me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

When the Moon in the Sky...

Saturday night saw the rise of two anticipated events:  Super Moon and pizza/game night.  The Super Moon you probably read about, but pizza/game night wasn't just an "eat pizza while playing games" kind of experience.  No! We actually made our own pizzas.

Now I can't cook. Scratch that. I don't cook often. I find that I get half way through the process and my attention wanders. This leads to burning things (like pans), and inedible debris. I also find myself very excited about the creation at minute one, but by minute nine, I'm over it and no I'm longer hungry.  So, I had my reservations about this process.  But I approached it with a great willingness to create a mess.  In fact, that is an excellent representation of what happened, though I found my pizza quite tasty. My compatriots were far more skilled-- in fact one gentleman's efforts earned him applause from the entire group. Perhaps with more practice I'll get there (but I wouldn't count on it).

My friends and I enjoy kismet-y things, so when we found out that Super Moon was the same night as the gathering, we immediately set our alarms so we wouldn't miss it. At 8:30, all of us headed for the lawn to start taking pictures of the incredibly bright moon. We take so much for granted day-to-day that it thrilled me to see eight adults excited like school kids over the moon. Sure, some might say that serenading the neighbors with Blue Moon was slightly over the top, but I think it was inspired (and brief enough that no police were involved).

Sadly, my camera wasn't powerful enough to bring in any truly award-worthy pics.  However, I thought the moonlight shimmering in the slightly spooky nighttime mist deserved capturing no matter the equipment.

Did you take any great pics?  Share!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Dance Red

Many, many years ago I took a dance class led by a guest teacher.  He was quite talented and entertaining, but he definitely taught with a flourish that tended toward grand pronouncements.  I made the unfortunate error of wearing a red leotard to class that day.  He looked at me and said, “The great Anna Sokolow, with whom I trained, once told me, ‘If you wear red, you must dance red.’”

He looked at me in anticipation.

I looked at him with trepidation.

I’m sure class was fine—though I don’t particularly remember dancing red.  What I do remember is that I never wore red to class again—even though he was only a guest instructor, and I never actually had him for class after that day.  The only way you could get me into red for years was if it was a costume, and I had no choice.  In fact, every time I see something red those words come back to me. I have a feeling that my wardrobe is awash in blues, black and earthtones because I’ve never once heard someone say, “If you wear tan, you must dance tan.”  Though if they did, I could probably pull that off.

I bought a red dress a couple of years ago. I’ve worn it twice: once to a screening of a film I produced and once to The X-Files: I Want to Believe premiere. It was actually a pretty daring night for me, so maybe I was dancing red down the carpet. I retired the dress.

It’s not that I haven’t been tempted. I have two red shirts in my closet—I’ve even worn one of them... once.  But every time I see them I hear that echo—and on an average Wednesday, I haven’t really felt like walking red, much less dancing it.

Given this history, I’m not sure what happened here:

That’s my leg. My legs are in red jeans. I’m wearing red jeans, and they aren’t a costume. I’ve turned a corner.  I’m telling you: dangerous things are afoot (or aleg).

Who knows what is going to happen next?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Friday’s Recommendation

I highly recommend reading the piece Divorce Envy written by Eleanore S. Wells (author of The Spinsterlicious Life) in today's Huffington Post ( I cannot tell you how many times I've had this very conversation with friends. It's truly remarkable—particularly since the vast majority of the people I know are "never marrieds." Still the social capital behind having been "chosen" remains, along with the social stigma of "spinsterhood."
Her dating scenario certainly caught my attention. I can absolutely picture the "deer in headlights" look that would come with the status admission. It intrigues me that my continued status as a singleton would be perceived as including more baggage and not less. Perhaps the man worth dating is actually the one who says "what was wrong with the men?" rather than "what was wrong with you?" If a man is in his 40s and has never married, I don't assume there is something deranged about him. In fact, if a man told me that he hadn't settled down because he'd been focused on his career and hadn't been ready to put in the time to make the commitment, it wouldn't bother me at all. Then again, I can relate to workaholics, so maybe that's why. Honestly, it wouldn't even have to be that specific. People have relationships that don't end in marriage (this I know quite well). Why does that translate as having the mark of the beast bestowed on you?
Anyway, read the article. Like the article. Tweet the article.
Enjoy the weekend—yes, even you spinsters.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Acting Techniques for Everyday Life

It will come as a shock to absolutely no one who has ever read this blog that I have difficulties being in public situations without shrinking. If I could make myself disappear, I would. Since I can’t, I try to make myself as small a target as possible to help relieve some of the panic. Being the center of attention during work, giving presentations, introducing myself or socializing at large parties, etc has always made me cringe. Strangers intimidate me. It’s not that I think I’m not worthy of attention, it’s that I don’t want it. Generally, I have confidence in my own thoughts and ideas, but I’m never going to interrupt the conversation (or lives) of others in order to share them. Big potted plants are my friends. And when I don’t have a choice, the stress of that reality tends to dominate me. None of these behaviors are going to help me career-wise in a town built on relationships. And let’s face it; the behaviors aren’t going to help get the attention of a possible suitor, either.

Given these realities, when it was suggested that I read Acting Techniques for Everyday Life by Jane Marla Robbins, I was intrigued. The book uses examples and exercises designed to help you combat nerves and other less than helpful reactions to intimidating public (and one-on-one) encounters. While she offers a plethora of suggestions (substitution, sense memory, animal exercises, the incorporation of props and personalization, among others), the one I embraced the most involved playing a character. For me, it really is as simple as choosing someone I admire for their handling of public situations, or creating the vision of someone who would be successful in that environment, and incorporating imitation. The book breaks down this idea into exercises to determine how this successful person stands, walks into a room, smiles, holds their hands, etc. I have an imagination; I can create a character for me to imitate. And, in a way, it also gives me the potted plant protection without the plant. In my mind, the person taking the risks is just removed enough from who I am to make me bolder and more confident. Right now, I'm thinking of channeling a Lauren Bacall type in ... well, everything... but specifically Key Largo.

She also talks about how costumes can not only help actors really feel the part they are playing, but how clothing may help a shy person get into the character of a more confident and outgoing person. I know this is true. Just think back to the blogs I’ve written about feeling out of place—whether it was at the recent film festival or elsewhere. Part of that displacement was a lack in confidence in my appearance. Since the latest socializing hiccup, I’ve had a friend put together some “go to” outfits for meetings, film festivals and social situations. Those outfits, or costumes, have given me just slightly more confidence because in them I feel like I’m playing a person who does belong. It also keeps me from obsessing over what to wear because she literally has a file of photos with suggestions for me about when to wear each one. It’s like the adult version of Garanimals.

Ideally, if I play at being a confident character often enough, I will eventually just become more confident. Rather than it being an exercise, I will someday automatically relax and respond usefully (and appropriately) because the practice runs have removed at least some of the fear I currently have. Acting Techniques for Everyday Life is about “changes you can make in yourself so that there can be changes in your life.” And I’m ready for them (most of the time)! If you think you might be, the book is worth a read: