Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For all my bravery-

This is what I look like when I see a cockroach:

Seriously. They freak me out. I don't know why. Mice? I think are cute. Same with snakes. And lizards. And spiders. Spiders are awesome. But roaches? Ick. Maybe it's because they wear their skeleton ON THE OUTSIDE.


Roaches are evil like Skeletor!

And I'm not just saying this because I'm ashamed of the fact that I screamed like a little girl when I found some sort of Junebug on my stove the other night and forced my mom and my friends to take care of it while I hid in the bathroom.

I base this on scientific observation. Cause.... Skeletor.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anne Hathaway, 'Triple Threat' Garland?

Opened up the Variety this morning to this headline: Anne Hathaway gets 'Happy'. The actress, who nabbed an Oscar nomination this past year for her role in 'Rachel Getting Married', has been quietly gaining buzz for her voice, culminating in a live Oscar performance with Hugh Jackmen. Her name has been bandied about as a possible Elphaba in the musical version of Wicked (well okay, mostly by me), and she's set for her stage debut this coming June in 'Twelfth Night' in New York.

Even so, the news that she has tapped such a high profile role in both the stage and movie adaptation of Judy Garland's most acclaimed biography is a bit of a happy shock for me. I'm a fan of Anne, I'll admit it, but the fact that the producers have taken such a chance on Anne and her largely unproven voice (at least in film/theater - she's a gifted soprano) to helm such a challenging role of such an icon not just in the movie adaptation, but the theater run as well is a testament to how Anne's star is rising.

But it's going to be a challenge. Judy Garland is one of those Hollywood icons that defy representation. Her tragic story is told well in 'Get Happy'. I'm a loyal Judy fan and I own the biography, and man it's a downer. Most film lovers remember Judy as the young precocious Dorothy in 'The Wizard of Oz' or the gifted struggling musician of 'A Star is Born', but the MGM cultivated actress led a life that was both fascinating, tragic and uneven.

A vaudeville baby, Judy was signed by MGM at a young age. Judy had a very big voice for a very small child, but was often given 'Ugly Duckling' roles, until her big break came in both her pairing with Mickey Rooney and MGM's inability to acquire Shirley Temple for 'The Wizard of Oz'. From then on she became one of MGM's biggest draws, genius at what she did, but their habit of working their child actors to the bone, giving them uppers to keep them up and downers to put them to sleep, the constant issues with Judy's weight and her own insecurities of never being a bombshell like fellow starlets Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr took their toll. She became a problem for directors and the studio alike, and after a few too many missed days work on 'Annie Get Your Gun', she was replaced and fired from the studio. The rest of her too short life was one attempt after another to break herself from her addictions and her insecurities.

But when she was in her element, Judy Garland was incomparable. Anne Hathaway has her work cut out for her to truly embody the complicated wonder that is Judy Garland, but I'm definately excited to see what she could do.

To show you what I mean, here's a youtube link to one of Judy's more memorable numbers - from her last MGM film 'Summerstock', here's Get Happy:

Friday, March 20, 2009

In Which I think Root Canals Suck.

Root canals suck.

There. I said it. And I don't mean that they suck in a painful way, because getting two impacted wisdom teeth removed with only local anesthesia? That REALLY sucked in a painful way. Root canals suck in a different way. They suck in a way that makes you feel like a fool because you could have PREVENTED THIS. Instead, you voluntarily pay whatever your insurance doesn't cover to lie on a chair with your jaw pried open, drooling all over yourself.

And it sucks. Particularly when your eyes are open and you're staring into the focused face of your dentist, your mouth hanging open and a sucking mechanism stuck to your tongue. He nearly straddles you in his focus, and pushes needles into your dead tooth with such force you see him grimace and feel like you're being smothered. The back of your head pushes hard into the cushion of the chair you're strapped in, and you wonder, briefly, how much it would skeeve him out if you just stared at him while he worked on you.

But you'd rather not keep watching all the blood soaked utensils that keep moving in and out of your mouth. So you close your eyes, and helpless, you lie there, and you think, "I did it to myself."

Because if you had resisted that sweet. If you had remembered to floss. If you were like that woman from finance who spent ten minutes each day after lunch hunched over the bathroom sink in the ladies' room, with her toothbrush and toothpaste, this would not be happening. Because preventive care is the best care, and had you just LISTENED in health education, you wouldn't be here.

You're stuck in that chair, and unlike any other sort of surgery where you can lie there and pretend it's not happening or get knocked out and sleep through the whole thing, all you can do is lie there, glaring at the man who is picking through his collection of sharp things to find another little sharp thing to dig into your open tooth.

Then you hear the grimace, the grunt of your dentist, and your eyes scrunch at the pressure of points digging into your teethy crevices, and all objectivity fades as you realize that root canals really suck. I know I've said they're not as bad as people say they are, but I only meant in regards to pain. Because I can handle pain. But root canals, and heavy dentists nearly giving me a bloody lip trying to dig decay out a teeny weeny tooth? They SUCK.

This could be the overkill of having three dentists appointments that involved either root canals or fillings and cleanings taking place in less than a week talking, but I'd like to think I'm entirely rational about this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mid Season Perk - Better Off Ted

I started watching the new ABC comedy 'Better Off Ted' quite by accident. My kitchen television is one of those sad souls that will need a digital tuner come June. Until then, I battle static and noise to get what few primetime channels I can.

As I sat down to my oh-so-gourmet dinner of Egg Beaters with cheese, I stumbled across the opening lines of 'Better of Ted', saw Portia De Rossi's swing into an office and chirp, "We want to make a metal that's as hard as steel but can bounce like rubber. And is edible."

I put down the remote.

In a tv season inundated with killer who-dun-its and reality shows, Better off Ted is just a fun jaunt into the corporate grays of the work force. Anyone who's worked for a big company can identify with being either the overworked nerd, the underpaid cubicle underling who steals creamer as a statement, or the straddling-the-line manager who deals with a boss who has lost his or her sense of reality along her way to success.

The show is simple. It's witty. It's stellar, and more than that, the characters and the actors behind them shine.

Definitely worth fastforwarding through yet another filler recap episode of American Idol or Dancing with the Stars for a half hour of Better Off Ted.

Part One:

Part Two | Part Three

It's more than a little scary that I find myself identifying with the perils of research and development employees at an immoral corporate company as much as I do, but at the very least I can laugh about it.

Even if I'm a little bitter that my boss never looked liked Portia De Rossi.

Veronica's Pearls of Wisdom

Ted: You need to lighten up.
Veronica: Maybe I'm too funny. Maybe I was joking about not getting your joke.

Veronica: We want to freeze Phil.

Veronica: I think you and I should have sex. If you want. Look at me. I'm so nervous I'm ... shaking like a leaf.
Ted: No ... no you're not.
Veronica: No. Is that a problem? I don't get nervous. I try, it just doesn't come out.

Veronica: Pretty girl. Although she makes a lot of non-work related calls. Which I think makes her less attractive.

Veronica: Did I surprise you? I didn't mean to surprise you. I'm just a friendly person.
Linda: I didn't think you knew my name.
Veronica: Of course I knew your name. I know a lot about you. Linda... Katherine... Zward... ning... ling.
Linda: It's Zwardling.
Veronica: Fine. You know your name better than I do. Yay.

Veronica: Ted. I can't have you sleeping with Linda.
Ted: What?
Veronica: It could embarrass me. Plus I may not be done with you yet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nature is a City Dweller

Usually bogged down in traffic, the 10 West Freeway from Santa Monica to Downtown usually only offers a view of smog, the bright lights of downtown, and the blinking crimson glow of brake lights.

Daylight savings times has brought with it a new wonder. Three days ago, I glanced up at a street light that overlooks the freeway, and nearly did a double take when I discovered what looked like the outline of a falcon perched atop it. Naturally, at the time there wasn't much of a chance to confirm or deny this, but considering I've been finding birds of prey in all sorts of unusual places lately (namely my own backyard), I figured I couldn't discount this incident. The next day, around the same exit, I glanced up again. Yet again, there was the bird. Unmistakably, a falcon. Yesterday, there it was again.

Things like this shouldn't astound as much as they do, but as much as I am a city girl at heart, I have a thing for the wild. It's for this reason that I drag my poor little pup to the canyons (or what passes for wilderness in Los Angeles) for a weekly hike. Thalia has every reason in the world to hate these hikes. She's a spoiled princess who much prefers nestling into her plush sleeping bag on the bed than a good walk. But she's also a chunky princess who needs to shed some pounds, and needs to learn how to be a dog. So, however against her will, she is dragged up to the canyon every week. Every week, the experience proves nearly traumatizing for the 7 pound pup, who freezes up in fright at even the sight of the bigger dogs that haunt the off-leash playground.

Because of her short stubby legs, she can't make it up the steepest part of the climb, so I end up taking with me a backpack with a soft dog purse stuffed into it. She ends up stuffed into it for the hardest part of the climb, and then once we're at the top, one more time she's back on her feet, on her leash, tugging and freezing at other pups on sight.

This past Sunday, I decided to do something different. At the end of the steepest part of the hill, I decided, with the help of my friends, to pull her out and try something different. She was let out of the bag, and immediately, began the old routine of freezing up and staying put. I picked her up, carried her a few feet, and set her down again. She took her time, but after a good ten minutes and a couple false starts, her ears started pricking up, her tail began to slowly levitate, and soon the little chihuahua was acting like a dog. When the time came to put her in the bag, she resisted. Instead, she headed proudly down the mountain, for the first time in a while, actually enjoying this hike like a regular (pint-sized) pooch.

I guess like dog, like owner. Even a city dog can develop an appreciation for a taste of the wilderness.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well... that's never happened to me before.

I don't think I've ever walked into my building after lunch with a bag full of frozen meat. Yes, frozen meat.

I went out for lunch, and I came back with a bag stuffed with quality frozen meat, quietly wondering to myself how on earth I was going to fit this much meat into the already crowded community freezer at work. It was a very interesting 'I Love Lucy' moment. Well, almost. There was no walk in freezer to get locked into, thank Goodness. If there were, chances are i would have already gotten locked in. I have luck like that.

Now, I don't want you to think I go around every day just purchasing frozen meat for the heck of it. but I love Omaha Steaks. It's amazing, amazing food, and if they advertise to me that I can get an assortment of some of their best meat that usually goes for around $150 for 49.99? I'm gonna get it.

Freezer hijnks or not.

Still. I had no idea it would be THAT much meat. I showed up at the store with my little coupon and my eyes grew progressively bigger when the sales rep just kept piling on boxes and boxes of... meat.

Walking back into work with a bag full of frozen expensive meat? Surreal.

The looks from the security guards, however? Priceless.

Monday, March 9, 2009

You Want Action? We'll Give You Action: Zoe Bell in Angel of Death

Any female action junkie knows the name of Zoe Bell, stuntwoman extraordinaire.

Most of the time her work is behind the scenes, sitting in for dangerous stunts for actresses like Lucy Lawless on Xena, Uma Thurman on Kill Bill, and Amy Acker on Alias. Lately, however, she's stepped up her game and been getting more face time for her trouble, in films such as Grindhouse:Deathproof and the upcoming Bitch Slap.

Now she's got a webseries in which she can be bad ass and awesome, and kick some more ass, all with a knife stuck in her head.

It's bloody and gory and awesome. And there's a new episode every day. If you liked Kill Bill, go check out Angel of Death on Crackle.

The stunts are AMAZING, the fight scenes tight and well cheoragraphed, and Zoe Bell is ... Zoe Bell. And that's a good thing. That's a very good thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Diamond Shoes Are Too Tight...

The problem with suddenly getting a life (and by a life I mean people randomly dragging you out at all hours of the night, working in your own interest), is that it completely disrupts your inner geek.

How are you supposed to spend all hours of the night hunting down zombies on Left 4 Dead or tending to your inner rock star on Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero if you're dead tired from stumbling in at 2 in the morning?

How are you supposed to look your poor puppy in the eyes when she gives you that soulful glare that lets you know she's fully aware that you missed your morning walk with her because you were too busy sleeping through your alarm?

How do you battle the curse of being a morning person when your eyes open at 5AM, determined to work out but you're too dead tired to do anything but lay pitifully in your bed?

You aren't really. Geeks and Party Girls exist in different universes, and attempting to mend the two requires more than a social experience like Beauty and the Geek and a good pair of shoes.

While I put concealer over the bags under my eyes and rub my poor aching feet and consider a solution in which I really CAN have it all, I ponder the Hawaii Chair. I wants it. To watch TV with. Then my aching feet will get a rest from weight lifting and running, and yet my core will still be astounding. No seriously. I won't look silly at all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I really need to be rich.

I realize that money won't solve everyone's problems, but I resigned myself to the fact that I have expensive tastes. I can be happy with a Cup O' Noodles, but I get damn near orgasmic over a good lobster or an American Kobe steak. I love limos. And VIP lists. And hotel suites.
And I wouldn't say I'm above marrying for money, but I'm not nearly skinny enough to have my pick (and I love food a little too much to go down THAT road again, though I do aim for a size 10 in the next couple months) of millionaires, which means that I need to do something incredibly fantastic or I need to be a limo driver (apparently they make 3 grand a night) or a stripper (and you can own a BMW and a house and send your kid to college) and I can have it made.

Fault my logic? It's true. I learned this in Las Vegas this weekend, when me and my little sister finally brought together my engaged sister and eight of her nearest and dearest for one weekend of (tasteful) debauchery and (innocent)lewd, expensive entertainment.

I didn't sleep at all.

I was also possibly the only female under thirty at the Rio Hotel who went running on Saturday morning after a night partying at Voodoo Lounge. But that's because I was a wimp and left early, only to be woken up at 4AM by two returning party animals. I really am bitter I was not born with the party girl gene.

I also discovered that it's impossible to keep to a schedule when there is alcohol, feather boas, and women involved. Hangovers and lack of sleep will always interfere with even the best-laid plans, and becoming best buds with Eddie the limo driver is the best way to avoid getting stranded anywhere.

Also? Next time I will invest in ear plugs, because if I thought I was deaf before...

But the good news? The bachelorette had a good time. The guests had a good time, and although my arms are sore from pole dancing, I'm dehydrated from alcohol, and my feet ACHE from unforgiving heels, there is something to be said for the lure of the glamour of Las Vegas.

Oh, sin city. I heart you so.

I just wish I was rich.

Because you drain me dry.