Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mitch Pileggi Fundraiser

I am a horrible, horrible slacker. I haven't written for weeks. Basically, I've been ranting to myself rather than ranting to the world at large. It's fairly comical actually. If you watch closely enough, you can see me arguing with myself. So, I anticipate being locked up any time now.

But before that happens, I feel the need to share some info with the Mitch Pileggi fans who might be in the greater Los Angeles area this weekend (specifically, October 3 at 2:00pm).

You're intrigued now, aren't you? If not, I promise to start publicly complaining again really soon. If so, keep reading.


Join Actor Mitch Pileggi for Simi Valley Fundraiser

Join actor Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy) on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at PC’s Bar & Grill for a gathering of family, friends and supporters for a fundraiser to benefit Judi Ward in her battle against Leiomyosarcoma.

PC’s Bar & Grill in Simi Valley plays host to a gathering of family, friends and supporters to benefit Judi Ward in her battle against Leiomyosarcoma (“LMS”). Judi has been diagnosed with this very rare form of cancer – LMS affects 4 out of a million people. Last year, she was laid off from her job and no longer has health insurance. Event organizers hope the afternoon’s celebrations will help defray the costs of treating this aggressive disease.

While the cause is serious, the event will be a fun, relaxed affair complete with prizes, gifts and a raffle of memorabilia from Mitch Pileggi’s (The X-Files, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy) television work. Come on down and meet Mitch, have some fun, raise awareness of this disease and help support this fabulous woman.

Can’t attend the event but still want to help? Judi’s family has set up a donation website just for this purpose:

Event Details:

Date: 10/3/2009
Time: 2:00pm
Where: PC’s Bar & Grill, 4250 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063

For additional details, please contact Jennifer Johnson at

For more information on the disease, please visit: or

Friday, September 11, 2009

Medium at Paley

Pen and I went back to Paley tonight to see what was on tap for CBS. Truth be told, we went to see if Alex O'Loughlin would show up to sell his new show, "Three Rivers". Sadly, he did not, and the premiere wasn't ready, so they didn't screen it either. So, while we missed Alex in every possible way, we did happen upon the cast of Medium who seemed quite happy to be on CBS this year. Alas, I didn't get clear shots, but some "Friday night in LA" flavor follows.

Oh, and I should definitely get bonus points for going out two evenings this week. That's almost unheard of social activity for me. To show your appreciation of my newly adventurous ways, please send cash.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Glee at Paley

Pen and I wandered into the Paley Center's Fox panel tonight. And because I love you, and because I think many of you are secret Glee lovers, I bring you some shots from the reception.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Trick or Treat

When I was a little kid, I didn't know about the fight to stop child trafficking. I loved to read, so the idea that there were kids in my country who didn't have access to books or education generally, didn't occur to me as a possibility. When I was younger, I didn't know that there would be an appeal to save women and children from the fighting in Yemen—truth be told, I doubt I knew what Yemen was at 8. And I thank God that I didn't know what rape was, nor about an ongoing campaign to protect children from ever having to find out what it is.

I didn't know any of these things, but I did know that there was an organization out there that helped children all around the world—and that meant I wanted to help UNICEF, too. So, my painfully earnest self grabbed my little cardboard box and trick-or-treated for UNICEF. My collections never amounted to much; probably not more than $20 even in really industrious years. But $20 in change to a 7 year old, at least back then, looked like a fortune.

I'll admit, as I grew older, my focus changed, monies went elsewhere, and unless there was a natural disaster somewhere I wouldn't give UNICEF much of a thought. Imagine my surprise when I once again ran into UNICEF in the hands of my muse, David Duchovny. If that's not synergy, what is?

The IBG charity group has worked periodically with team Duchovny in support of their fundraising efforts. As is the custom, IBG asked if there was a particular charity David would like to be the focus of an awareness campaign as a thank you for his support. David chose UNICEF.

With that in mind, IBG is raising money for UNICEF during the month of September. You can donate via paypal here:

If you were once a supporter and fell off the bandwagon like I did, think about dropping in a donation for the campaign. If you've never donated a dime to the fund, but think that you'd like to help now, go for it! No amount is too small.

Want to know what the bonus is? If you are a fan of David Duchovny, IBG is giving donors an opportunity to send David a note. It doesn't have to be about UNICEF. If you love Californication, and want him to know it, send a note along with your donation. Always a big X-Files fan? Drop in your donation, and let him know. Notes can be included with your donation in the "notes" section on your paypal donation. Or you can send your note to: with "Donation to UNICEF/Note" in the subject and attach your donation receipt. Please keep in mind that all notes will be reviewed, and he will not be told what your donation is (unless you include it in your note). Also, you aren't required to send him a note if you just want to submit a donation. Donations for US taxpayers are tax deductible.

And yes, I am making a small donation. I haven't dressed for Halloween in a very long time, and I'm pretty sure I never did it in September. But this year, I'll be channeling my inner child and sending a treat to UNICEF. The only question is whether or not my note will start with "Dear Mr. Duchovny", "Dear David", or "Dear Late Night Inspiration". Ok, fine. I'd never be that bold even in print. But I'll be thinking it.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Age of Stupid

Normally, with a title like this, the blog would be some sort of semi-scathing yet ultimately eye-rolling account of my life. Today, it's to let people know about a chance to win tickets to a screening of the film "Age of Stupid". Now I know many of my friends roll their eyes at climate change movies, etc. But I think it's important to know the issues behind the debate, and the film's approach sounds interesting to me.

So, if you are curious to know more and win free tickets to check it out, go over here:

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Best Made Plans…

… on a full moon Friday are bound to be thwarted at every turn. This is a story of one such set of plans.

Ever since a friend and I attended the BBC America party (and by attended, I mean crashed like the ninja you always suspected I was) and chatted with David Tennant (who turned out to be so lovely, I've given Doctor Who a shot), I've been feeling frisky. Both of us have been looking around for the next adventure bolstered by the confidence that an action plan and positive outlook would lead the way—ok, mostly the action plan.

I thought we'd found it: the Toronto International Film Festival. Why TIFF? I love films. I also love George Clooney (said to be attending), David Duchovny (said to be attending), Clive Owen (said to be attending), and Colin Firth (said to be attending). Plus, my new best friend David Tennant has a film opening there, and while he hasn't mentioned attending, throwing him in artistically would be fine with me. And of course, because the last adventure was such a rousing success, my brain immediately began to formulate all sorts of intricate scenarios. If I was able to chat with David Tennant over wine, surely the next adventure would top that?

So, my brain went to work.

Naturally, upon seeing "The Joneses" at TIFF, I would find myself debating film and literary themes with Duchovny as we hung out by the fire at a chalet (shhhhhhh, let's not ruin it with the whole "there probably aren't chalets in downtown Toronto" talk) while sipping a fine red wine (because even in the fantasy, I'm not eating). Of course, we would be interrupted from time to time when Mr. Clooney dropped by to inquire if I had any additional insight on Darfur, and to see if I'd ever consider returning to Think Tank work (of course, I think about returning to Brookings, George, but my place is here now). Needless to say, Clive and Colin would also wander by, chat and leave thinking, "If only we were single." Essentially I began to fantasize that our intellect and charm would be nearly as lauded as the films on display.

My positive outlook was working. All those pesky problems that could be noted as being inherent with the New Adventure Plan (NAP) just seemed to melt away.

For instance, NAP would take place in Toronto. I am not in Toronto. Toronto is deceptively far away, and I hate to fly. No matter! New Ninja Kate was willing to white-knuckle it for six hours to put NAP in play. Plus, I just watched a terrifying, yet really very helpful show on surviving a hijacking called "Surviving Disaster", and now that I know how to deal with a sucking chest wound, I feel much better about the whole thing.

The hotels are a little pricey, and my partner in crime is broke, but these are the emergencies that credit cards were made for.

We would not be stopped. Toronto was the next frontier. We would be delightful, alluring and ready to take on the world.


The festival is scheduled to run from September 10 through September 19. Not knowing what the film schedule was, I set about giving work a heads up that I'd be gone a few days during that time. At which point, they gave me the heads up that I was likely to be needed for "team building" in New York during the main week of the festival… possibly…and suggested that I should be prepared to leave the festival so that I could bond (and most assuredly play games like, "if your practice area is a color, what color would it be"). I suggested that if someone thought I would be skipping lazing about with George Clooney to build a tower out of office furniture, they could think again. Plus, I've seen that episode of "The X-Files", and unless they can guarantee that I'd be rocking Mulder in the woods, I was out.

But I was saved. Work delayed our bonding session. Our adventure was back on! Of course, by the time I knew we were saved, the advanced package tickets were sold out, and we'd have to wait to buy individual tickets, but no matter. It would be fine. I began to assess my wardrobe, and contemplate how I would juggle having multiple careers as documentary filmmaker, writer and analyst.

Obviously, between finances and work, we never planned on being there the entire time. So, we prayed to the film gods to put all the films we really wanted to see into 3 days. Hurray! The bulk of our "must see" films, no doubt to be followed by "must do" evenings, were covered in three days when the schedule was released. But we forgot to be specific. One of us, not the one with the first name starting in "K", has meetings all weekend on the 12th and 13th and couldn't possibly leave (without perhaps heavy bribery) before the night of the 13th on red eye. Not a problem! The fest is long! What are the odds of the premieres being…


And then there was one.

Seeing no way to escape work commitments, partner in crime was to become long-distance cheerleader. For a week, I pondered the sense of me attending alone, knowing that under the best of circumstances I avoid interaction and that left to me, I'd just be paying a lot of money to see movies I'll eventually see when they are released to theaters. Plus, it looked like the hotels in the area were largely sold out. And I probably wouldn't be able to get tickets when they went on sale the morning of the 4th.

But there was still a whisper of hope that there was an adventure to be had, and I don't usually hesitate to do things solo. So, I did some checking. The online schedule didn't indicate that any of the films were sold out. I found a hotel quite close to the theater where most of my chosen screenings would be held. And fortune was smiling because I happened to find a completely affordable (as in, I have shoes more expensive than that) flight to Toronto. It appeared that fate was smiling on me. I was giddy for at least 20 minutes. While not entirely settled on going, there was that tiny spark of mischief igniting.

Tickets went on sale at 7am Toronto time this morning. I woke up at 4am, VISA in hand, ready to deal. I took the constant error message at the online box office as only a minor annoyance. I thought, with only mild dismay, that my work computer had an out of date browser. So, I switched computers. Twice. I couldn't get the system to work. With a determination usually reserved for getting out of going somewhere at night, I picked up that phone and got ready to make it happen. Imagine my consternation when I got an "all circuits are busy" error recording in my attempt to reach Canada. Repeatedly.


I showered. I contemplated. I waged war internally. I drove to the office. Same thing happened. No access. I told myself that I would try one more time, and if I couldn't get in, it was a sign that I was not meant to go.

You can guess what happened—I got into the system.

Joy. Rapture. Funny stomach feeling people tell me is happiness.


I got into the system to find out that 2 of the movies I wanted to see were sold out, one was moved to later in the week, and one other kept giving me a "not available" error when I clicked on "buy".

Perseverance is one thing. But rejecting all the signs along the way is quite another.

For those of you lucky enough to attend the festival, take many photos and think of me. I will be eagerly watching coverage on the TIFF website and wishing that Toronto wasn't quite so far away. You know… until my internet access goes down and my computer crashes. But, boy, those first 20 seconds are going to be gold.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Bra

The wrong bra can equal death. Don't believe me? Of course you believe me, most of you reading this are girls. You know it's true.

There are few things on this planet that are likely to be annoy me faster than when I'm wearing the wrong bra. It can be a perfectly lovely bra when it's sitting in the drawer, but for whatever reason, when it's on, it's all wrong. It can be the wrong cut, the wrong color (as in, it's showing through your white shirt and while TV characters flaunt this look, most of us can't get away with it at work without being embarrassed), the wrong support level, the damn underwire could be carving the maker's initials on your left one—you name it.

Today I am wearing a ninja bra. It snuck up on me. Under normal circumstances, it doesn't show through my clothes, keeps the breasts relatively high and dry, and doesn't try too hard to shove the girls up and out of my shirt. Today—sneak attack. I kept pulling the back down, shoving the boobs over, pulling the shirt so it's looser… In your mind's eye, you can see the struggle as it escalated, can't you? I mean, an educated, professional woman should never be yelling, "Oh, yeah! I'll show you" because she swears the straps are conspiring to act as some sort of garrote resulting in her early demise. I was literally waging war and losing to the demi-cup I accidentally wore today.

It is entirely possible that this bra will make me so insane that the next person who steps foot into my office will be killed instantly because they will have said something incendiary like, "Hello". Or I'll be institutionalized for having a fight with my (under normal circumstances) unmentionables.

Thus, the wrong bra can equal death.