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:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

For Love and Other Adventures

As I’ve been dragged into the modern digital age (slowly), the idea of online dating continues to arise. I still prefer the idea of having my friends provide introductions (and references and background checks and blood tests and …). However, I know so many people who have jumped on the online dating wagon, it’s hard to ignore—particularly since I have friends, both male and female, who have met their spouses that way. So, despite my reservations, I do recognize that it is possible to find love in what used to be an unconventional way (but is clearly here to stay for the foreseeable future). Plus, something like one in every five relationships starts online these days, so I can only live in denial for so long.

I still don’t think it’s easy. After all, many services use your photo as the first jumping off point, which means it actually puts more emphasis on looks than if you were to work with someone or even meet him at a party.  The photo you use better convey all of your personality (like this guy):

Otherwise, I think you need to be an extremely hot 22 year old if you hope to get anywhere—which may be why World Wide Lovers is becoming the front line for the truly enterprising and lovelorn.

It does make a certain amount of sense—Video lets you inject a little bit of whimsy (or gravitas, I suppose) into the process where a photo might not cut it. And speaking of wild, adventurous and unexpected, I do believe that Ashton Kutcher might just be looking for you:

I feel like I've met all of those men, and I do have a soft spot for poets (though, Nigel does look super bendy, so I suppose that could be useful for those of you who are truly looking for adventure... and are also limber and not worried about pulling hamstrings).

So click on the video and pick your man-- and then tell me about it because really my best dating has been done vicariously through you all. 

(And if all dating were as entertainingly outrageous as these videos, I might just do it.)

Sponsored by PopChips.  Material and/or financial incentives may be received as a result of my involvement with the above program. But all editorial content and opinions are those of KateDating.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Reality Show

Would you ever consider doing a reality show about you and your family? Now keep in mind that non-celeb reality shows in the first season rarely pay big bucks, so your answer can't hinge on the illusion of wealth because that might not actually happen.

I can see myself agreeing to a reality show about a job or event. While they are always edited with an eye toward drama, ultimately the work would (or should) speak louder than any artificial conflict the producers set up for the show. What I can't imagine is having cameras stationed in my home or the broadcasting of my life as entertainment.

My friend C made a point that this is the most recorded period in history. Thanks to social media, it seems we know what every human being is having for dinner, saw on the freeway or thought about their toenails—in great detail. So, I suppose in some ways, we are all agreeing to be part of a reality show already in that we are voluntarily putting pieces of ourselves out there all the time. Still, in controlling what is released to the world, I suppose we're creating the characters we want the rest of the world to see (though I suppose some of those drunken tweets I read would contradict this). A reality show seems more invasive because someone else has a hand in the content that is broadcast.

I'm trying to picture what kind of person the viewing audience would see if cameras were mounted in my living room. Does writing on the computer, watching television and occasionally making a snack count as great TV? No, those cameras would have to be in the Jeep as I took off for parts unknown—that way, if I am lulling you to sleep with my less than exciting ways, at least you'd be able to take in the scenery.


Monday, April 30, 2012


It's a Monday! No doubt, you are all eagerly skipping into work today. You are filled with anticipation knowing that this week is filled with delightful promise of exciting opportunities and paychecks. Or perhaps, one or two of you have a slightly slower spring in your step and the anticipation is closer to dread than delight. No matter: it is Monday. You are ready to go! You have coffee in hand. You've opened your email. You've closed your email and decided that reading this blog would be a terrific enhancement to a week already filled with outrageous possibilities, or that it would be a good way to procrastinate—a way of making the weekend last just a little longer.

So, to kick off your week in proper fashion, I bring to you the following question: is there one thing that you can never refuse? It could be anything: Mardy's Munchies cupcakes, champagne, a man with a hang-dog expression on his face, hot Cheetos, or a massage from your old boyfriend. Is there something that breaks your willpower consistently?

Picture it: you are walking down the street. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. You're wearing something fashionable (and if you are me, it's because your friend has made a clothing chart for you), and you have a determined look on your face. You have things to do, people to see, and you will not be deterred from your mission. And then it happens. Perhaps you've seen the food truck of your dreams. Perhaps Tiffany (or Barney's) is having a 95% off sale. Maybe the phone is ringing and the name that pops up on your phone is full of dangerous (and best avoided) promise. What is your siren call?

I have few traditional vices. I'm not compelled by drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or a raging libido. I don't spend a lot of time with fast food or tanning beds. But there are still things I respond to strongly; attachments that will always be temptations. I'll drive 40 minutes out of my way for a cupcake, but it takes an act of God to get me to the grocery store. I'm supposed to avoid certain foods, but I will cut someone who gets in between me and cheese. Chocolate and I are absurdly close. However there are certain emotional attachments that will always create havoc in ways that my other temptations do not. I will always pick up that call or answer that email. I will always be aware of him. No matter how much I should avoid the situation, I find myself flirting with disaster anyway. Emotionally or physically unavailable men—hello, catnip.

And you wonder why I advocate hermit living?



Friday, April 27, 2012

Things You May Have Missed

I was catching up on some internet reading, and I thought I'd share. These are things you may have missed, but clearly your life will not be complete until you read about them. No need to thank me—we can all be mystified, fascinated and entertained together.

Animals Talking in All Caps

The entire site makes me smile, but this one was too priceless not to share. Bookmark this tumblr and brighten your day.


Beautiful People Travel Free ('s mission is simple. They connect attractive people with generous people for world travel, or as CNN puts it, they connect "rich people with good-looking people who want to gallivant around the world on the rich person's dime." Now, I am going through a frugal period, and the idea of world travel is looking appealing again. So, in theory, I'd love a generous person to start paying my bills. Sadly, after looking at the site, I feel that I don't quite measure up as a potential for patronage. Also, my brain automatically goes to the "danger" place. Even though the site includes safety guidelines, traveling anywhere with someone you don't know sounds like a risky prospect. Plus, though it quite specifically states that it is not an escort site, I have a hard time believing that anyone is that generous without expecting something naked in return. This is problematic for the more uptight among us (ie me). Still, something intriguing for you to check out if you have a black belt and are feeling adventurous.


Cosmetic Foot Surgery

I love the way I look in heels, but, alas, I can often look more like a little kid trying on her mother's shoes when I try to walk in them. So, I can appreciate the desire to want them to be more comfortable and for your body to feel more stable in them. However, I feel like hitting the cosmetic surgeon in order to make pretty shoes happen is taking it a bit far. Surely, in the endless universe of shoes, you can find a pair that are both appealing and not so damaging that you'll be incapable of walking (in or out of shoes) down the road.


Eat More Chocolate!

Well, you don't have to tell me twice. Out of my way! Though I did believe that chocolate kept me sane, I did not know it might also be boosting my vision. I need my vision to be boosted, so I'm actually a little disappointed in myself that I haven't already had a couple of pieces along with my vitamins (plus, according to this article, it will also help my heart, protect my skin and do other fabulous things for me). Clearly, my impulses indicate that I was a doctor in a past life, and that the wisdom has secretly stayed with me (so secretly…).


Five to One

Don't forget that this show runs from April 28th through May 1st. It looks like it's going to be highly entertaining. Plus, this way I get to claim that I went out clubbing on a Saturday night (as the show is at The Roxy). Wins for everyone!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Unrealistic Desire

There is nothing so consuming as an unrealistic desire. I'm not even sure it matters what it is: unattainable career goals, inappropriate men, getting into a size 2 again…. All of these things have the power to take the concentration off of realistic and necessary activities and put it firmly in dreamland.

I have made unrealistic desire an art form. I could justify it by saying that being a writer requires a certain dreamlike approach to living. I need fantasy to fuel the projects that will someday be written. But I have a feeling it's also been a subtle form of self-sabotage.

Wrapping myself in the strong arms of yesteryear, complete with "it's only a matter of time until we get back together" thoughts, kept me out of the deep end of the dating pool (hell, it kept me out of the foot bath) for years. It was time wasted hoping for something that was never going to happen. While the movie star/character gazing is fun, it's a distance-r, too. Deep love for Mr. Darcy is delightful, but holding out for a hero often means not looking for something real. Wanting a man you can't ever have (either because he is married, dating someone or fictional) can only keep you entertained for so long (20 years… 25 at most). And in most cases, the decision is ultimately unfulfilling.

Have you ever put something off until you've lost weight? I do this almost daily. I've put off getting photos taken, going out, dating and even going to the doctor pending some sort of miracle weight loss. Would I be happier with my body if I suddenly looked like a 22 year old swimsuit model? Sure. Does that unrealistic desire keep me from doing things that need to be done? No doubt.

Now I'm looking at my "career" and thinking that my close relationship with unrealistic desires could be reasserting itself. I'm going to need a job at some point soon, but I keep plugging away at the hope that writing will start bringing in a living wage. Sadly, with the business the way it is, this really isn't likely—at least not any time soon. Yet the determination that this be so, has made me hesitate to commit to something outside of that. Plus, I don't drink coffee and couldn't make a latte if my life depended on it.

I'm not saying that dreaming is a bad thing. It keeps people creative and innovative. But at what point does a dream become an unrealistic desire that is only detrimental? At what point do you say, "George Clooney is never going to date me (or ABC is never going to pick up my show)," and move on?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Emotional Pitfall

How do you know if you are in the midst of an emotional affair (or if your partner is)? How do you define it?

I've always had male friends and because I'm perpetually everyone's little sister, I've often been a sounding board for them. This has meant everything from listening to them vent about their on-again-off-again girlfriends to reading drafts of their books. Spending an hour on the phone with a man wouldn't raise any red flags for me. I've had real friendships with these men—but those relationships have never been sexual. In fact, there was never even a thought of it. And yet, there was at least one instance where a girlfriend of one of these men has been bothered by the relationship.

Did these situations constitute an emotional affair because I was giving them the support they needed? I never thought of it in those terms, but also I never inquired as to whether or not the men felt an attachment that would have caused concern for the girlfriends. I knew nothing was going to happen on a physical level, so I didn't worry about it. To me, they might as well have been girls, and I wouldn't think twice about supporting a female friend of mine.

Do men secretly get annoyed when their girlfriends share their feelings and thoughts with another girl? What if her best friend was male? Even then, I'm not sure men feel as threatened by it. They might posture a little until they start feeling secure again, but unless they actually see signs of physical threat, I'm not sure they take great exception to the issue.

What do you do if you are already close with a man, and he starts dating someone? I hate when women dump their friends when they start dating someone. Is this really any different? Is that first relationship necessarily disposable in order to avoid potential romantic relationship insecurities down the road for him?

I know what you're thinking: "Have you ever dated someone with strong ties to someone else?" Yes, indeed. One of the EX's closest friends since childhood was female. I would never have demanded that he stop his friendship with her because I was suddenly on the scene. I trusted him, and I never felt shortchanged by her presence in his life. Perhaps that is the key to a successful male/female friendship once the male is romantically involved with someone—making certain that he doesn't use you as a replacement for an emotional connection he should be having with his partner. Of course, the amount of control you have over someone else's perceptions of you is debatable, so how you would actually do that remains a mystery.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blind Leading the Blind

Nothing like a traffic jam at 7:15pm on a Sunday evening to give a girl plenty of time to reflect on the fabulous possibilities that await her. And by fabulous, I mean annoying and potentially disastrous... is what the old me would have said. The new me only thinks positive thoughts. Which is why even though we have pretty much all agreed that blind dates are a bad idea, I am still willing to make this happen.

Quick question: is sexting first base or does it depend on exactly what is typed? I'm just trying to get a handle on exactly what I'm going to face since this technology didn't exist the last time I went on a first date.

I am sensing that some of my potential gentleman callers have expressed some degree of reluctance about being set up. Normally, I would assume this is because they've seen a picture of me (btw, "No, in real life she's sort of cute" is my current marketing campaign), but the new me assumes that this is just because they are nervous about how awkward set ups can be. This I understand. I too am experiencing a tad bit of trepidation about stepping from behind the curtain.

Being the crafty problem solver that I am, I'm encouraging a vetting process. I'm even seriously considering slipping a questionnaire to friends while they are vetting the potentials. It could save a lot of time. Beyond the normal status questions (single, straight, serial killer), I thought these would also be useful:

  1. How do you feel about being mocked (if I promise to be gentle on the first date)?
  2. How do you feel about spending long hours discussing Russian literature before I let you hold my hand (which still might be moving too fast)?
  3. How do you feel about being second guessed about everything? No, I mean everything. No, really.
  4. How do you deal with television sports conflicts? For instance, if your Yankees were on TV and my Indians were on TV, how would you feel about the fact that we'll be watching the Indians play?
  5. Describe your favorite first date and use the words "classical music," "picnic in the park" and "reading you 19th century romantic poetry."
  6. Describe in what ways you are most like Colin Firth.
This should go well!

Is Honesty Enough?

*This post includes spoilers for season 5 of Californication. Turn back now if you haven't seen it and don't want to be spoiled.


Does honesty absolve you of responsibility in relationships? Obviously, it doesn't in literal terms: you can't say, "I'm going to hit you now" and then hit the person without consequence using the "I warned you" defense. Can the same be said for emotional responses and consequences?

Because everything relates to fiction for me these days, look at the situation between Carrie and Hank in the fifth season of Californication (and I should preface this by saying I in no way favor the way Carrie chose to deal with her emotional issues). From what little we know of their actual relationship (which was mostly explored off-screen and presented after the fact at the beginning of the season), Hank and Carrie were together exclusively for nearly a year. They were regularly sexually involved, she had a key to his apartment, and he knew she wanted the white dress and all that comes with it. While he told her that he wanted to keep things simple, she became emotionally attached to a man who was not ever going to love her—something we, as an audience, believed, but sadly she did not until too late.

You could say that Hank acted honestly: he was always straightforward with her, and when he suspected that she was going to ask for more than he could give her, he ended it. But she accused him of "stealing" anyway. Yes, you could say her actions before and after those accusations indicate that she was unhinged, but her accusations did resonate with me (and for the sake of argument, let's pretend I am not similarly unhinged).

I would have rolled my eyes and dismissed her if they had been together only a couple of months. She was a big girl, no stranger to sexual relationships, and he told her that he didn't want anything serious. She has to take responsibility for listening to what he wanted and still thinking that she could change him. Intellectually, we all know that isn't going to happen in real life and it certainly wasn't going to happen in the case of Hank Moody. On a purely logical level, we know this.

But they were together a year. Was it really unreasonable for her to develop feelings for a man she had a relationship with and hope that he cared about her too? And make no mistake; spending a year in a relationship in your mid-30s is a bigger commitment than spending a year with someone in your 20s because if you want to have children, the clock is ticking. By her own admission, she didn't really "get it" until she saw him with someone he actually loved and realized that he was just killing time with her because he couldn't have what (or who) he really wanted. On an emotional level, was it unreasonable for her to be angry that he wasted her time?

I don't think this issue is uncommon (the issue itself, not the crazy way Carrie dealt with things). People stay in relationships that aren't going anywhere or aren't working for a multitude of reasons: love, access to sex, comfort, a desire to avoid confrontation, laziness and fear of being alone all come immediately to mind. But even if you aren't lying about what you want, are you being honorable in your dealings with another person if you know what they want is not something you can give?

Friday, April 20, 2012

From Zero to Sixty

Once a month I take part in probably the most fabulous wine club in the world—definitely the most fabulous in Los Angeles. Not only am I learning about wine (and thus expanding my brain and staving off my inevitable mental decline), but the group is comprised of great people (yes, I do like some people). Unfortunately, the flowing of good wine and entertaining conversation (and the occasional Meat Loaf sing-along) can lead to advanced jocularity and ill-advised decision-making.

Thus, I come to the following situation. After some lovely white Burgandy and a tiny bit of sparkling wine, I decided the best idea ever was to require all of my female friends to set me up on a blind date—at that exact moment. I had very few criteria: the man needs to be single, and he can't expect sex on the first date (or, let's face it, ever).

Two of my friends immediately sent off text messages that will no doubt alarm me greatly at a later date. But for the moment, I'm thinking positively. Sure, at best these attempts might only lead to chaste sexting using two intermediaries, but that will still count as the best date I've been on in years. Also, I've been assured that one date will be so bad, that my friend will want to tape it for YouTube. Hello, income! Finally—I mean, I am still out of work, so how can I refuse that offer?

Perhaps my calm acceptance stems for the fact that I don't actually believe any dates will result from this folly because I feel like there was mass penile shrinkage occurring simultaneously throughout the city when those texts went out creating real cases of "date avoidance." Or at least the contacted men will take every possible opportunity to avoid me for the foreseeable future. For instance, we'll see a sudden spike in the number of men in Los Angeles volunteering for immediate Peace Corps placement or long term live-in drug trials.

But the important thing to remember is that I am totally open to the idea of dating—completely open and looking forward to it. So very much. And I am in no way using right now to find the fastest, cheapest flight away from this city. Because that would be wrong. Probably.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Caption Me!

Because it was entertaining last time, here's another chance for you to add your own caption. What was I thinking at this exact moment?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Fame Thing

I have never wanted to be famous. Wealthy? Yes. Respected? Yes. Famous? No. It has never been a goal for me…until Saturday night. If I could have been a famous person on Saturday night, I would have signed on the dotted line.


I went to see In Paris starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Sinyakina on Saturday night at The Broad in Santa Monica. It's an interesting play—very avant garde, with clever staging and dialogue done in Russian and French with English subtitles. While I've seen Baryshnikov dance many times on stage, this was the first straight production I've ever seen him do (it may actually be the first play he's done it outside of workshops). He is actually on stage far longer than most of the audience realizes: He is stationed on the set taking in the audience as they reach their seats close to curtain time. It certainly sets a tone!

As it turns out, Kenneth Branagh was sitting a couple of rows behind us. We saw Emily Mortimer in the lobby. By all appearances, they were going back to meet Baryshnikov after the play concluded. They get to do that. I did not get to do that. They are famous people, and, in this one instance, I really wished I was.

I feel like I've been fascinated by Baryshnikov's story since I was a little kid. As a cold war child, I remember the talk about his defection (though I was five when he actually did it). I remember the event made out of his first performance as a citizen of the U.S. in the mid-1980s, and White Nights was a sensation. I didn't see the Oscar nominated film The Turning Point until I was older, but I made a point of seeing every stage performance I could. There was even a poster that belonged to my roommate in our senior year college apartment, and I gave the Kirov a special nod as I passed by one day.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think he's one of the few famous people I would really like to meet (despite my reluctance to ever speak to strangers). I have no idea what I'd say to the man. I'm not sure I have anything specific in mind. Knowing my luck, I'd be struck speechless. Still, as wishes go…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Year 2

I've been trying to come up with a new branding concept for year two of the great escape that is my life. I like "Year 2: Electric Boogaloo" the best. Alas, the first day of this new year seems to be off to a less than magnificent start—and it's only 8:30.

I missed my first appointment of the day. Apparently when they were working on my apartment, my alarm clock got turned on to "aux" setting—this means it won't work at all in any useful way. This means no alarm. Delightful. No problem. I just moved the appointment to Thursday. The new me is flexible and not at all thrown off my rhythm because the entire plan for my day was scheduled around it. It's fine. Look at me bending.

Of course, the second appointment of the day involves taking cable equipment back to the company—which would be fine because it's all in excellent, even dusted, condition. Except years ago I removed the back to one of the remotes that had a poor connection. It used to be by the TV. It is not by the TV now. Do you have any idea how many times I've moved furniture (and etc) in this apartment? It could be anywhere! Now the newly flexible me is tossing this apartment looking for a small, black piece of plastic so that I don't get charged the $1 million fee that will surely be attached to returning the remote without the back. Fun!

Did I mention that my allergies are going crazy, and I can't quite see out of my left eye right now?

But it's okay. None of this will throw me. It's Electric Boogaloo time.

Right after I find that little piece of plastic.

Monday, April 16, 2012

1 Year Later

So. Here we are. A year ago today, I started an experiment to see where life could take me if I quit a job that was making me increasingly despondent and pursued an entirely different life. I had a long list of assumptions about the year and a whole world of expectations. Nice to see all of those have come true.

Or not.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can spend every day working out.

Reality: I have spent zero days working out.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can take dance classes every day.

Reality: I haven't been in a dance class in four years.


Assumption: I'm going to try a lot of different jobs by taking different internships.

Reality: Zero internships came my way—most seem to require that you are enrolled as a full-time student. Student of life does not count.


Assumption: I've always wanted to really learn how to play tennis.

Reality: Still hope to learn to play tennis.


Assumption: Maybe I'll take a cooking class?

Reality: Nope.


Assumption: Maybe now that I don't have to be up by 5am every day, I'll date.

Reality: Hilarity.


Assumption: I'm going to travel again.

Reality: I'm giving myself half points on this. I have flown more this year than I have in recent years, and I've certainly logged more time in the car than ever before. Still haven't managed anything exotic, though.


Assumption: I'm going to go to Santa Barbara on a random Tuesday if I want.

Reality: Check. Check. Check. Hell, I went up there because I wanted breakfast at a certain place.


Assumption: I will spend more time going to cultural events in Los Angeles.

Reality: Check. Even though I've always had theater tickets for major productions in town, I really have started seeing much more of the city. Some of these events have even been at night—which never used to happen before.


Assumption: If I want to go to a local lecture about art, I will.

Reality: Check. I've indulged in tours and lectures at the local museums on a number of occasions—though more in the fall than lately.


Assumption: I'll be shocked if I'm not working again by September.

Reality: Welcome to my shock. To be honest, I did work nearly right away after leaving my job—just not for money. It took quite a while to actually focus on being out of from under the old job and that schedule. In fact, there are times when I still feel attached to it. If someone came to me tomorrow and said that I had to return to my old place of business, it probably wouldn't surprise me, and I'd just pick up where I left off. I suppose that is a sign that the transition hasn't entirely settled in my mind yet.


Assumption: At the end of the year I will know exactly what I want to do and will be well on my way to achieving the new goals.

Reality: Ummm. This one is tricky. I know what I want to do: I want to make a living wage as a writer (and/or producer). That's a good thing. This is solid progress. I'm not wedded to a particular platform. I want to do it all. The one thing I have learned is that until I've signed a contract and a check has cleared, I will have no idea if I'm close to achieving the goal or miles away from it. Things just change too quickly. For someone with my personality, I'm not sure I won't end up being very cranky with this reality. In fact, I'm certain I will. And I am realistic. Eventually, I'm going to need to pay rent and need a job that takes care of that reality. But I'm not ready to give up quite yet. Next week…well, that's a different story.


Assumption: A year is a really long time.

Reality: It was over in a blink of an eye.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rare Specimen Spotted

I must preface this blog with the admission that I have only heard about this specimen sighting and was not an actual witness to these statements or sentiments (and possible rending of cloth).

My friend L has met two men who were lamenting over the fact that they can never find women to date because the women they meet just want to have sex and then move on. LAMENTING! I don't know if there were actual tears, but there may have been.

Now before you make any snap judgments about these men, you should know that they are both successful men (actors) under 45 (one is actually in his late 20s), seemingly intelligent and attractive. What I found most interesting is that they felt like women didn't take them seriously as real partners, only hook-up buddies at the end of the night. I'm not saying that they haven't taken women up on these offers, but I am saying that they appear to be looking for something different-- and they aren't finding it.

There could be many reasons for this.

1. They are looking in the wrong places. It is truly rare when a loving relationship based on shared intellectual passions and respect is born from a meeting at a club. Everyone there makes the assumption that everyone else is a player. And being actors they have both perception and fame-whores working against them. So, if these guys are searching the clubs for the future Mrs, they are probably going to be finding drunk 23 year old girls rolling the dice at STD roulette instead.

2. If they are staying home because they hate "the scene" then they aren't meeting anybody. OR they do what I do and go to places that aren't conducive to extended conversation with strangers (like movies, theater, etc).

3. Women in LA decided at some point to behave like men. They saw the only women engaging with men at all were women who adapted to the casual sex environment. The problem is, I don't know a ton of women who actually respected that "come and go" behavior when men were the only ones doing it. It can't come as a shock that many men don't either. Oh, they still have sex with those girls, but now no one seems particularly fulfilled with the choice. Don't get me wrong-- a lot of people are having sex, but I just don't see a lot of people who are happy.

4. L has not yet given them the names of the 40 awesome single women she knows not looking for players or casual anything.

I wish I had the answer. I'd like to say that if both genders valued real connection over one hour stands, then the shift would occur out of necessity. But I can't see that happening as long as people think that "keeping it simple" actually keeps anything simple or creates anything real (except for those STDs, of course-- those you get to keep).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Five to One

I received an email from Natasha Chesler (writer, producer, director and choreographer) about a live show coming to the Roxy at the end of April (April 28-May 1), and I had to share with you because material that explores the lunacy of the LA dating world always grabs me. This live show was created around the claimed statistic that in Los Angeles there are five women to every guy. I have no idea if this statistic is true, but it feels true. Plus, if you look at that one guy—the odds of him also being single, straight and regularly showering are even worse (so it's more like five women to every 1/3 of a guy).

Not only does the show tell the stories of these five women, but the key art evokes All That Jazz. You know me. I'm not capable of walking away from that. It boasts an excellent creative team and outstanding cast. All this means you should buy tickets to see Five to One here:

And I promise not to jump up on stage and join the act (though I'm already digging the embedded song on the home page, so maybe I shouldn't guarantee that).


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Working Out Doesn’t Work Out

I have really good intentions when it comes to exercise—loads of them, really. I read all the yahoo and msn articles about working out. I glance at Shape Magazine at least once or twice before buying a home decorating magazine at the newsstands. I watch Judy Greer's Reluctantly Healthy. The problem is I rarely see results from exercise, and I put a lot of time into it.


  1. Search for work out motivation: 3 hours each day (or at least it flits through my mind every day over the course of 3 or 4 hours)
  2. Change into work out clothing: 1 minute to an hour (depending on whether or not I get lost along the way)
  3. Realization that I don't really fit into my work out clothing: 20 minutes of solid depression
  4. Stretching in preparation to work out: 3-5 seconds
  5. Walk to the refrigerator to get water: 2 minutes or more if I'm distracted (hydration is very important, so this is time well spent)
  6. Proper positioning for crunches: 1 minute (it takes a little effort to get me down on the ground these days)
  7. Getting up to find iPod: 10 minutes (it takes even longer to get up)
  8. Repositioning for crunches: 4 minutes (because I've already broken a sweat looking for iPod)
  9. Doing crunches: 30 seconds (I like to get at least 5 crunches fully completed)
  10. Water break: 2 minutes (again, it's important to hydrate)
  11. Cool down: 5 minutes prone on the floor (I don't want to unduly strain anything)
  12. Wondering if I've worked out enough to justify the pita chips in the bag I can see on the counter: 5-10 seconds (I'm a decision-maker)

So, you see, I don't think it's my routine. My routine is sound. I'm just not getting anywhere. Huh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ballerina Girl

I seem to do everything just a bit out of step with the rest of the world. I want to believe that this makes me creative and unique. In actuality, it probably makes me delusional and provides proof that I have no sense of timing.

Case in point: most girls have their first pointe class in the 12-13 year range (if they have been taking ballet class through childhood). In keeping with this tradition, I took my first pointe class at 27 after having one preliminary ballet class (I was a modern dancer in college and beyond). Naturally, this meant that I was taking class almost exclusively made up of young girls, all of whom were taller than I was. And no, that isn't awkward at all. Why do you ask?

I bring this up because I feel you won't really know me until you've seen me in a canary yellow tutu (and I expect you all to start mailing me your tutu photos). Sadly, I don't have a full-length photo of what would surely be held up as a symbol of dance as we know it. Seems like a tease, right? Do not despair. I have this photoshopped (because that poor man doesn't deserve to be blogged) half image for you. While you don't get the full effect of the tulle, you do get to enjoy the gold lamé crossing my bodice in a delightfully dreadful way.

I think it is clear here that:

a) I was dancing in Big Bird: The Early Years,

b) Dance recital costumes are never pretty, or

c) Both.

I got through the performances that year and then I immediately quit taking pointe class. It was as though I had something to prove and once I did it, I was done (or at least satisfied watching other people make their toes bleed). I feel like this impulse to prove something is shooting through me a lot these days (and then fading into a pool of lethargy somewhere around my knees). While I really doubt you'll see a repeat of that yellow number, you never can tell where that particular impulse could take me this time (hope it's somewhere green).

Monday, April 09, 2012

And the Universe Laughs Again

My year of experimentation is just days away from coming to a close. It is stunning to me how fast time has gone by and a little frightening. I had hoped that by now people would be throwing money at me because I'd already become this much sought after writer/producer/travel blogger/modern-day philosopher. I haven't given up that hope (and I do have a few days left for that to happen within the one year deadline).

But here comes the glitch… that tiny piece of temptation that the universe just loves throwing my way: a competing law firm is hiring for the job I used to do. Almost a year to the day, a job I know I can do, that would probably pay me more than I was getting paid before (and I didn't complain about my old salary), is up for grabs.

Nearly a year to the day this comes to my attention—when funds are beginning to run lower, dreams of Jimmy Choos are running through my head and opportunities for something else creatively fulfilling have not presented themselves to me.

UGH. You're killing me, universe. You're killing me.



Thursday, April 05, 2012

Randoms for Thursday

Blast from the Past

Do you ever suddenly, absolutely need to hear a song that you probably haven't heard for 15-20 years? That was me last night. I was overcome with the need to hear "The Flame" by Cheap Trick. I don't remember ever owning the song before—in fact, I don't remember owning a Cheap Trick album. And yet, I had to have this song immediately. Thank goodness for iTunes.

Judy Greer

Judy always makes me smile when I see her (unless she's doing something super serious and then that would be awkward). She should be everywhere. If she were eight inches shorter, I'd have her play Kate in the series that I hope to someday make of this blog. Much to my delight, it turns out that she is in a new place I just discovered: she does a series called "Reluctantly Healthy" for Yahoo. I discovered this because I'm incapable of not clicking on a link that guarantees me a flatter belly, and kept clicking on her other pieces because her reaction to not eating sugar would also be my reaction to not eating sugar: disdain and fake vomiting. So, check out Judy and the tips here:

Context is Everything

Have you ever noticed that some things sound incredibly romantic in context, but out of context actually sound creepy and slightly stalkerish? For instance, that Cheap Trick song I mentioned earlier has really lovely lyrics in context: "Wherever you go, I'll be with you." That's charming. That's swoon-worthy—unless, of course, the person singing them to you is someone you can't stand and is in violation of a restraining order. Then… not so much. Same goes for "I will find you" by Clannad (from "The Last of the Mohicans"): "No matter where you go, I will find you…if it takes a thousand years." Sure, when Daniel Day Lewis was yelling it, it might have seemed like a good idea. Otherwise, it sounds like witness protection isn't going to be the guarantee you thought it would be.

And these are the things I think about on a Thursday morning. What are you pondering?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Someone full of wisdom recently told me about a journal called "642 Things to Write." Basically, each page has a prompt for a writing assignment. Since I'm frequently staring at a blank page desperately seeking inspiration, this item seemed like a must buy. Let's just hope it becomes something I actually use because, alas, I'm quite good at finding things that seem like they are going to be wildly useful and then never touching them again (as evidenced by my closet full of clothes with tags still on and shelves full of self-help books I'll never get around to reading).

What sold me on this particular journal? Jessica Strawser wrote a review and listed her favorite entries (, and I could not stop thinking about this one: "You can keep only one memory from your entire life. What will it be?"

It's such a simple question, and yet, despite wracking my brain for days, incredibly hard to answer. Logically, it should be a memory that includes all people I have been closest to or an astonishingly major event: a graduation, an award, an exotic vacation, a marriage (if I had one of those, which, of course, I do not). The odd thing is that the big events in my life are a little fuzzy. I only remember the small pieces of them rather than the experiences in their entirety. They've blurred by at an alarming rate and my memories of those events are really based on what other people have told me rather than any true connection to them.

I have memories that define relationships in my mind, but each one is different depending on the person sharing the moment with me. I have long ago memories of my father teaching me how to drive in the mall parking lot on a very early Sunday morning. I have memories of taking my mother to Malibu and watching her delight as she stepped into the Pacific for the first time. I remember seeing a man across a crowded theater and knowing that my life would never be the same (for better or for worse). I remember getting locked in stairwells, sneaking into a Rosie taping, a Garth Brooks concert in Central Park and meeting David Tennant using stealth clearly learned from ninjas. There are wine clubs, Soviet nights and chipping at the wall efforts before going through Checkpoint Charlie. I've met people I've admired and every once in a while there has been adventure. Christmases, birthdays and family vacations are all stored, ready to be retrieved at any nostalgic call. How could I choose only one? And without the memories of those other experiences, who would I be?

If forced by gun-toting memory stealers, I suppose, against all odds, I would choose a quiet moment: my parents and I sitting around a table putting together a jigsaw puzzle, Christmas tree in the background, Perry Como on the radio—just the three of us talking about life and sharing memories of events past as the snow fell outside. It's not a moment in a vacuum—our shared and individual histories are always at play. "Do you remember the time…?" "I can't believe that llama spit on you!" "God, it was hot that day." Keeping that memory would, in essence, be keeping our history safe.

Your turn: "You can keep only one memory from your entire life. What will it be?"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

So, What You’re Saying Is…

Undoubtedly, most of you took a gander at this article today ( while trying desperately to ignore how much you hate the sound of your boss's voice, or the inane questions of the guy who sits across from you. It didn't work, of course, but it was a temporary respite, I'm sure.

I read this in my usual post-sanity/post-employment/post-contributing member of society location: my couch (while occasionally glancing up at the window to judge whether or not I'm motivated enough to go to the park). One thing came immediately to mind: I am so screwed.

You see, if you are under 33 and miserable, this article should bring you hope. Apparently, you are not yet secure enough to truly be happy. Also, if you thought you were happy, this study would beg to differ. Still, that's all good news for you. If you are actually 33 and experiencing some mild cases of joy, but with overwhelming bouts of dissatisfaction, that's ok. You've just crossed the milestone and are poised for greatness while still having the physical ability to enjoy your life. Kudos.

And then…there are the rest of us. Poor bastards. Evidently, we hit our strides 10 years ago: we supposedly had confidence, skill and reached a sexual peak. Swell. Sadly, though, I don't remember any of that actually happening. Did you guys stride? Was I sidelined reading a book somewhere? Could be. It would be like me to miss my own peaking because I was reading about someone else's. Still, I feel like I would have noticed it.

What now? Have I missed the happy boat? I'm 10 years post-happiest age, and I don't remember content. I'm not fulfilled or secure and my accomplishments seem to be getting smaller as I gaze back at them in the rearview mirror. The biggest upside I can find is that I have great shoes.

Well…that's something, I suppose.



Monday, April 02, 2012


You know how it is. You kind of know the URL of the website you need, but you don't quite remember it. You give it a guess. Often you are right. Once in a while, things go amusingly wrong (provided your employer has very flexible content controls).

Of course, I never really thought about this issue in relation to this site… until last week when I received the following text:

Did you know when you accidentally leave the blogspot out of your address you end up on a site for Russian mail order brides?

No. No, I did not, but it does explain some of my Twitter followers (who are, no doubt, confused as to why they ended up with a nun instead).

Now despite the potential difficulty with branding issues down the road, I actually found this to be hilarious, if for no other reason than the fact that I have an academic background in that region, so the Russian aspect brings a nice symmetry. As for the "mail order brides" part: can you think of a person less likely to be associated with this type of enterprise? Though, I suppose I can see the wisdom of arranged marriage—particularly if it gets you out of the dreadful dating process.

Anyway, think of this as a PSA. Type carefully, kids (unless you are thinking of buying a wife, that is)!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Brain Tumour Research's Wear A Hat Day

She said it:

I'm doing it in support of friends who have dealt with it (and looking adorkable):

It's not too late for you to join the fun. And if you do, post your photo (and send me a link or the photo for the site)!

Groves is doing it!

Monique is doing it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What’s the Fantasy?

With all the excitement over the $500 million Mega Millions lottery drawing, I've started thinking about how I'm going to spend my winnings (since, I think it's obvious that I will win it), and reviewing how my life will change. A girl has got to be ready for this sort of thing.

You know that the changes will not just be limited to changing my phone number and moving to a remote island (though those are clearly the first ones). For instance, perhaps Colin Firth has always had a movie script in the back of his closet that he has wanted to get made, but has never found the financing. If I call him as a pauper and offer to try to help him, I'm betting that I would not receive a return call from his agent. With $500 million sitting in the bank, someone might return my phone call. The point is, a middle-aged woman with a dream and no cash is a woman with very little power. A middle-aged woman with $500 million is a woman with a dream and the means to force other people to listen to it ad nauseam.

Money would certainly help my life right now. It would mean no need to go back to employment when my year is up. It would mean the ability to focus attention on projects (commercial and non-profit) that I think are interesting or important. My travels would become more exotic (and consistent). Also, I'd go back to Macy's and buy some of the stuff I liked, but couldn't really afford because it was not on sale, and I'd reacquaint myself with Jimmy Choo after an enforced, way-too-long absence.

There's only one tiny problem: the thing I really want, I can't buy. I can't even rent it. My biggest fantasy is to have the people I admire, admire my work. I want the people who interest me to be interested in me. You could argue that the money could buy someone's notice, but that isn't the same as respect. You could also argue that the money would mean getting my work to a wider audience, and it would increase my chances of the fantasy coming true. But higher visibility is no guarantee.

Let's be clear: I will take the money when they call my numbers. It will make my life better. It could potentially make the lives of the people around me better (the line starts behind Pen). But I have a feeling that the odds of me getting what I really want are the same whether the jackpot is mine or not (it is).

So, if you were to win the lottery (not this one, as it is mine), would it buy you what you really want?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It All Started With…


Which led to this:

Which led to this:

In public.

Here's how.

A kind friend has taken me in hand and is trying to help me put together some "taking a meeting" outfits in attempt to at least make me feel comfortable enough in my own skin (and wardrobe) to project a totally false sense of confidence. To this end, we went shopping, and found some accessories that I liked and that would work with our theme (picture #1). I liken my bracelets to Wonder Woman's bracelets which deflected bullets, only mine were designed to deflect disdain and my own self-doubts—practically the same thing. Also, they were purchased at Forever 21 which makes me giggle because apparently, I'm taking that "forever" thing quite literally.

Clad in my new bracelets and other perfectly acceptable casual clothing, I went back to the mall to exchange something and the clerk at a different store commented on how much he liked my bracelets. All of a sudden, I realized that these magical bracelets may have disabled my cloaking device and that I was secretly (very secretly) a super model with impeccable fashion sense (or at least borrowed fashion sense from M who suggested that I buy them).

Fresh off this tiny victory, I swaggered myself to lunch at a local restaurant. Taking my customary table in the corner, I set about trying to come up with a strategic plan for my future. I had no sooner gotten to "1" when I noticed a very attractive man enter the restaurant. He looked at me, and actually saw me. I know this because when he smiled at me, I smiled back and surreptitiously looked over my shoulder to make certain that no one was actually behind me. Nope. Just me. When he sat down, he looked over again. So stunned at the magic of the bracelets, I smiled back slightly bigger—and by slightly bigger, I might mean picture #2.

Unfortunately, when you smile that enthusiastically at someone, they might get the impression that: a) they know you, but can't place you, or b) you are crazy. By the look of confusion on his face, I'm guessing both of those things were true. His response led to picture #3.

I was clearly overwhelmed—no, not just whelmed, but over. These bracelets are powerful, and as Spiderman's dad told him: with great power, comes the great responsibility of not confusing attractive men in restaurants (perhaps that is a paraphrase).

I can only imagine what is going to happen when I don the shoes.