Monday, October 16, 2006

Dado & The Jacarandas

In June in Los Angeles, they are everywhere. The bright violet blooms of the Jacaranda trees. They smell fragrantly, and when they cover walkways like rose petals on a wedding aisle, they provide a slippery surface for the bottom of your shoes. But they’re gorgeous.

Dado and I played a game “count the jacaranda trees.” How many could I count on the way to Hughes market? Six? Eight? When I’d spot one from a distance down the street I would get excited and feel proud, and have to remember as I approached the tree and its vibrant blooms, that I already counted that one from far away.

I miss her. Every time I see a jacaranda tree I think of her, and right now, in June in L.A., they are blooming all over the city. It’s never like I actually forget her because I think of her all the time, but when the trees are blooming, I can't escape thoughts of her and I feel her presence even more intimately when I see those trees. In Burbank as I leave the Warner Bros Ranch where my office is, I see the trees and I see her. They frame the road next to Starbuck’s and remind all the network and studio employees to take time out to enjoy the changing of the season.

At Kiko’s apartment, I feel her. There’s a huge jacaranda tree on the property of his apartment building that scatters the otherwise drab driveway with glorious purple petals. Most of the tenants just drive over the beautiful blooms, smashing them deeper into the ground so they spread out like flowers in a press, without even realizing how gorgeous they make the black asphalt. Thank you, oblivious drivers for leaving small signs of Dado on the driveway for me to feel close to her.

I want to gather all of the fallen purple petals I see, put them in a zip lock bag and preserve them in the freezer. I want to make a quilt of these jacaranda buds made of a color so vibrant it would feel like spring all year round, and cover me in her warmth. I’d scatter them across a white table cloth for pops of color, or use them to spruce up bath water if they smelled fragrant or seemed clean.

Some people can’t stand the mess they make on the sidewalk and sweep up the gorgeous lilac blooms the minute they drop from the tree. Others go about their daily routines, practically not paying any attention to nature’s wondrous rouge coloring the skyline and the sidewalks. But I notice. And Dado notices. She always noticed, which means I will never forget to notice and remember…

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Panty Conventions


"Susan, you got like a panty convention goin' on in here..." said my friend Tyrone as we stopped off in the laundry room of my old apartment while giving him a tour of the place. Four years later, and when ever I do my laundry, I still have "panty conventions" as Tyrone called them, and I revel in every single minute of these conventions...

I love doing laundry. There is something methodic and soothing about sorting all of my dirty clothes. It is very orderly. Darks in one pile; whites in another; medium colors and everything in between in yet a third grouping. Sometimes you have to make tricky decisions, like to which pile should a t-shirt with multi-colored stripes go? Many of the colors are dark enough to make them qualify for the all-dark cold-water load, but there might be just enough white or light pink in the garment to make it a perfectly viable contender for the medium load. Most of the time, there is only one lucid choice. And sometimes in life, that's a relief. Knowing there is really only once place for something feels better sometimes than having too many options...(Does this mean that when it comes to laundry, communism is good?)

I tend to wash almost all my clothes on the delicate cycle. There is just something comforting in knowing that my clothes are getting a little extra TLC, even if maybe they don't need it. My undergarments, or silkies as Steph used to call them, make the prettiest displays when I dry them. While they are on the drying rack, they are still sorted by color, thus creating the foundation for a panty convention, which is a bunch of panties (10 pair at least) all laying down side by side in color coordinated rows, or rainbows of different colors, all drying together. They must be laid flat, and of course they must be clean to be eligible for the convention. Full-back bikini briefs get their own section, and g-strings occupy their own space, and they never comingle.

Perhaps the best thing about doing laundry is the memories that flood from the past weeks or days when sorting through the clothes. Even smelly sweatshirts seem beautiful when I remember that the reason the sweatshirt got sweaty and dirty was because I took a long beautiful hike in the hills surrounding San Francisco with a friend. Or, those extra strands of dog hair on my jogging suit are welcomed souvenirs of some good snuggles with my parents' dogs. Dirty clothes mean I've been living my life and doing things outside to get me dirty or make me sweat...and I like the idea of that.

My least favorite part of laundry is putting the clean clothes away after they've been folded...but I suppose if I just think that putting them away makes them one step closer to being worn again, and thus to being primed to take on some memorable dirt then it's not such a bad step in the circle of my laundry after all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Finding THE Dress


You're standing there, naked, in front of a stranger. It's a female stranger, but a stranger nonetheless. You're thinking "did I get a good shave?" and "are my tan lines super scandalous?" as you step your bare feet into a cylinder of silky white heaven. The strange woman helps you step into the massive cocoon of fabric, and she slides it up your torso. Then comes the zipping, the cinching, and the sucking it in, so she can fasten the dress with her huge metal clips that look like the ends of jumper cables. How is it okay for such a beautiful garment to be touched and held together by jumper cables?

Wedding dress shopping is a wonderful event. I thought it was the most wonderful when I went to WATCH my close friends, future sister-in-law, and cousin search for their dresses...but it became an entirely new adventure when it was I who was looking for the dream dress...the perfect gown for me to wear on the day that everyone swears will be the best day of my life.

The first time I tried on a wedding gown, I wanted to cry. Not because I was so moved by how I looked in it, or because I caught a glimpse of my mom's quiet face and glistening eyes at seeing me in a white wedding dress for the first time, but more because I was simply overwhelmed by the sight. For many young women, our whole lives are filled with people speculating about when we'll get married, who we'll marry, and what our wedding day will be like. Society puts so much pressure on young girls to strive not for professional satisfaction, but for finding the ideal mate and settling down... and I guess I was not the one to question that aspect of social norms...I wanted a fulfilling career, BUT I'd also grown up staging weddings with my Barbie dolls, sketching gowns in lecture halls during college, and subscribing to wedding magazines much before I actually needed to...but only because I was "getting ideas for parties" or "scouting styles for a friend's wedding."

But the first time I saw myself in a wedding dress, I realized "this is it." I am actually getting married. No more dreams about what the lucky man will be like. No more questions as to where I'll be living and what my career will be...well, that's actually not true. Those questions are more prevalent now than before...It's here, and I am the bride-to-be.

Still, what I felt was pure shock. It felt fake, like I was trying on my mom's dress when I was 7 years old, "pretending" I would actually wear a dress like this some time. But this was very real. I could feel the fine silk skimming my skin, and it was my own hips hiding beneath A-line skirt. With a veil on my head there was no question that I was the one preparing for marriage.

With each dress I tried on, and each bridal salon I entered, I gradually became more comfortable with the sight of me in a wedding gown, and by the end, I was actually enjoying it. Did I want to feel like a princess and wear a more traditional, poofy ball gown? Or did I want to feel more like a 40s movie star, in a slinky body-skimming silk charmeuse sheath with just a hint of beading? Each dress transformed me into a different kind of bride, but many of them evoked different sides of my personality. Trying them on became a sort of addiction. I wanted to savor each experience, because each one represented so many different possibilities and brought out so many different sides of my personality.

When I finally did find "the" dress, I knew it only because it became the gown that I measured everything else up against. I would say to my mom, "well, I wish it had blank like the other gown," or "didn't you think that the way that other dress hit me at the waist was just a tad more flattering?" and I began to realize that maybe my search was over. The other dress quietly became the dress with each not-quite-right gown I tried.

This was the dress that I could actually envision myself wearing on my wedding day. When I pictured the Spanish-style mission where our ceremony will be, the arched threshold, how my dad will look in his tuxedo, I could absolutely see myself wearing that dress. My entourage sighed in big-belly gasps when I walked out in that gown, and that was the only reaction of that magnitude. (My favorite reaction from my mom in other not-right-for-me dresses was "well, it doesn't look awful..." Thanks, Mom. She's always trying to let me down gently...)

My emotional roller coaster ride trying on dresses proved to be a blast and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While modeling gowns, I was able to pretend I was a princess bride getting married at the Plaza in New York in duchess satin, a corset top, and tons of beading, and I also got to be a beach bride, in bare feet and body skimming silk. And then I found it; the one that fits me and my style (and hopefully, Kiko's...) perfectly.

Like everything else with the wedding, I wanted to savor the gown shopping. My wedding day is a little more than 10 months away, and my wedding dress shopping is over. But like all other aspects of the planning, it just makes me more excited for the big day...and hopefully the dress I picked will represent all the different facets of my femininity and personality...and hopefully it won't make me want to cry the day I put it on!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First Class First Time

What's the cliche - "ignorance is bliss?"

I think that's how I felt about flying coach. I never knew what it was like on the other side of the wall, the first class side, so I was content. I didn't know what I was missing.

While preparing to board a flight from NYC back to Los Angeles, a flight attendant asked if we'd mind taking a later, direct flight to Los Angeles, and she'd bump us up to first class. Why not?

What's so great about first class? The ample leg room, the cushy seats, the cup holder on the arm rest so that you can have a drink near you without having your tray table down the entire ride are some of the plush details I was impressed with during my first first-class flight. But my favorite part about it? The warm chocolate chip cookies and glass of milk we were served about a 1/2 hour before landing.

I could get use to the jet-setting life of being a first class lady...but maybe I'll have to wait a few years.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Central Park in mid-July

loud mouthed kids
shady trees
panting dogs
not so chilled drinks from street vendors
cool breeze
sweaty strapless bra slowly sliding down your wet rib cage in the heat as you walk

Friday, July 07, 2006

So Long, WB

(DEEP BOOMING VOICE:)
TONIGHT, ON THE WB...
A young woman says goodbye to the life she's known for three years...what will be the next adventure on her journey?

This is the last post I will ever write from my office at the WB...

Today, I packed up my little corner office on the Warner Bros. Ranch. I filled boxes with a melange of my personal junk: pictures, books, my West Highland terrier desk calendar, special pens, gifts from shows, receipts, etc. and stuffed the boxes into the back of my four door sedan.

It is a bittersweet goodbye. I am not sure how I feel, but I know it's time to move on. It would be easier to not look back if I knew exactly where I was going, but I am trying to keep my chin up and realize that change is good and healthy. I am anxious to find out what's next on my career path, and am encouraged by some of the possibilities...

So, Michigan J, it's been a good three-year run with you. Within your halls, I was promoted to my first executive job and I had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals, and for this I am grateful...but now it's time to say goodbye...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Those Dog Gone Dreams

Someone once told me that if you dream that someone dies, it means is that if you lost that person, you'd be devastated. You fear that person leaving your life, and leaving you alone on earth.

Well, I wonder if that same interpretation applies to the death of a canine in a dream as well? I have recurring nightmares that my favorite four legged friend, Murphy White, is dying or dies. I wake up feeling sad and guilt-ridden because I don't get to see her nearly enough since she lives with my parents two hours away from me. My parents have 3 acres of land, and wide expanses of lawn that she loves to roll around in, as well as several porches where she enjoys sunning herself throughout the day.

Last night I dreamt that she wasn't eating, and I was trying to hand-feed her anything I could get her to swallow, and my aunt told me "Susan, it's hopeless. She's dying..." And I woke up with tears in my eyes.

I know that death is a fact of life. I know that pets don't have the life-span that humans do. I know that eventually, everything and everyone passes, and that by dwelling on this fact, it just makes you consumed with morbid thoughts and takes away from the joie de vivre...but why can't I tell myself this when I am in dream-land...how do I stop these recurring visions of Murphy's inevitable (but possibly far off) passing on?

And more importantly, how can I be sure that little Schmurphy-Murphy knows how much she is loved?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lady of Leisure



Manicures. Pedicures. 10 AM trips to the gym. Long leisurely lunches. Shopping excursions in the middle of the day. Coffee dates with friends at 4 pm on a Tuesday. Reading juicy novels for 3 hours at a time. Knitting baby booties. Wedding appointments. These are the types of appointments clouding up my weekly calendar lately. Well, this is not entirely accurate. But it's a possibility considering I am now learning to be a "lady of leisure."

What I should be is a "lady of closet-cleaning..."

It's hard to be a Lady of Leisure when you're used to being a Working Girl. You feel like suddenly, you have all the time in the world to do all the things you've always wanted to do, but all you think about is "what will my next job be?" If only it could be arranged so I was blessed with money AND time simultaneously.

It's strange how one's life can change so quickly. Just a few months ago, I was a single girl with a great job that took up all or nearly all of my time. My job demanded my time beyond the confinements of a regular 9 to 6 job, as I always attended tapings at night, early morning breakfasts, drinks and dinners, and there rarely was a night when I didn't come home at 10:30 pm to find one or 2 scripts waiting on my door step that would need to be read before 9:30 AM the next morning. The workload was significant and the pace steady and fast, but I liked it. I was accustomed to it. I never had time to be bored, or to really think "what do I want to do right now" because I always had something I knew I should be doing...

Now all that has changed. The only pressing task on my "to do" list is to clean out my office at Warner Bros. I have about 2 weeks left of "official employment" and though it feels nice to finally know that I will not be going on to the new company, what awaits in the future is uncertain...

As a working girl, I had a great boyfriend, who I'd been dating for years, but rarely spoke to about marriage. Now, I suddenly don't have a job, but I am engaged and am planning a wedding! Wow! How did I go from being an independent working woman to becoming a lady of leisure who doesn't work but just spends her days planning a big fancy wedding? I know one day I'll look back on this time and feel blessed that it worked out that I had this time, because when I do start working again, it is clear that I won't have time to plan a wedding...so maybe all this is a blessing in disguise...maybe there is a master plan.

Just trying to have faith in the meantime that everything will work out the way it should is the hardest thing...I know I will not be lazy and just expect things "to work themselves out." I will pursue every opportunity with tenacity. And I will also do some soul searching, because perhaps everything that's happened with the CW IS all for a good reason. Maybe I am destined to do something greater than just work at a fledgling TV network. Maybe I haven't even realized what the future is really going to hold...

All I know is this...being a lady of leisure doesn't exactly suit me. I can only best relax when I feel as if I've actually DONE something productive, useful, challenging...so whether it be cleaning out my closets, or going to the gym, damn it, I am going to earn my relaxing afternoons at the beach and weekly manicures. Hey, after all, don't I need to start taking care of my hands since I am going to be a bride in less than a year? :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Waiting

The waiting is the hardest part.
Everyday you see one more card.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.


Tom Petty knew what he was talking about when he said "the waiting is the hardest part." Even if he was talking about a woman, and I am talking about a job, I am so exhausted from waiting around for an answer.

I can see why it's so appealing to be your own boss, and not have to depend on someone else to give you answers about the future of your own career.

Since January 24, I have been in limbo with the WB and the new fangled CW network...I just want the plug to be pulled already. It has been agony...I am chained by a contract and prohibited from looking for a new job. Yet any day, I could be released, and the time on my contract would still end on the same day. Time is ticking on the hour glass and I am still here...

Almost all my coworkers have been laid off or have quit. Their offices are packed up and locked. Occasionally, a few pop in with cheery faces to check email on their way back from playing tennis or before going to a yoga class. I could scream "The Star Spangled Banner" at the top of my lungs, and no one would hear me. The halls are void of people sans the occasional messenger delivering one of the last rough cuts the WB will ever receive; there are boxes of abandoned tapes of scripts stacked against every wall in the halls. It is like the Burbank City Morgue, without even an undertaker.

Outside my office door sits a pile of unopened envelopes, mostly containing agency script submissions for clients I haven't read yet, but who I will be unable to help staff because I am not involved with staffing the new shows.

I crave being able to have a new focus - a new challenge, at work. I want to work, to have a normal routine where I can feel useful and important and like my thoughts matter. I used to feel that at this job. It was invigorating most days. The pace of working in television is intense, and you get in the groove of your routine, and are constantly reading and reviewing new matieral so it's always exciting and fresh. Your days are packed yet somehow you find the time to get EVERYTHING done.

Now I am planning a wedding, which is a welcome distraction since I have a bit more free time, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I still need to get my work-life sorted out...and soon...because the waiting...

SUCKS!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Revlon Run/Walk


On Saturday, May 13, my roommate and I participated in the Revlon Run/Walk at the L.A. Coliseum to help raise money for breast and ovarian cancer research.

We joined a group of over 50,000 people who are committed to finding a cure.

What I saw was unforgettable. Women, men, boys, girls, children and dogs everywhere. It was well-organized, but could have been chaotic considering how many people were there. But amidst all the people, the pets, the jog strollers and the white tents, loud speakers and music of Chaka Khan, there was an air of calmness. 100s of people walked in support of loved-ones. 100s of others walked just to walk for the cause. People walked in honor of their mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, friends, and coworkers.

Some walked in memory of loved-ones, and that's when it became more intense. But nonetheless, they walked. They walked because they couldn't just sit at home and feel sad, doing nothing to help.

We may not all be doctors or work in oncology labs doing research, but we all have something to contribute.

Only 3 days before the race, I decided to send an email to close friends and coworkers, inviting them to sponsor me. I was blown away by the response. I hate asking people for money, no matter what the cause. But I am so appreciative of everyone I know that donated to the event. It made me feel good to know they support me and my mom, and everyone else who is impacted by the disease.

I don't know how I can repay the generous people who donated. A simple thank you seems too mundane, but the strong sense of gratitude I feel inside is strong, and I hope they all know that just as I was touched by all the thousands of people supporting the cause on Saturday, I was also touched by those who gave their hard earned money to help in the fight...

https://www.revlonrunwalk.com/la/secure/mywebpage.cfm?pid=336262

Marrying Patrick Swayze



When I was 9, I believed I would never get married. I was going to be an actress AND a pediatrician, who also did veterinary work on the side. I would live in a big, Meditteranean-style mansion with my adopted daughter, and we wouldn't need a man to take care of us.

As I grew older and wiser with age, I finally at age 10 realized that perhaps having a man around wouldn't be so bad. I could marry someone like Patrick Swayze in DIRTY DANCING, and we would spend our free time dancing to Otis Redding songs; he'd raise me up high above his head in a lift just like Baby and we'd be happy always. My dad would learn to like him, and I would be committed to changing the world, just like Baby.

In junior high school, I mentally moved on from Patrick Swayze and decided I would set my sights on marrying Jason Priestly. What I now recognize is that I didn't really want to betrothe myself to the chain-smoking, race-car-driving, Canadian hockey-playing Priestly, but rather I was in love with Brandon Walsh, the character he played on the TV show, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210. I wanted to be with someone who was dedicated to always making ethical choices. He would work long hours at the Peach Pit, or wherever his place of business was located, and also make time to hang out with his friends at the beach. At Thanksgiving, he'd invite the homeless war veteran back to our house for supper, and he'd always be loyal to his sister and his parents.

Now, at 27, I have completely accepted the idea of marriage to a non-fictional character... The nine year old in me gasps for air and questions what I'm committing myself to, but the adult woman in me knows that two is better than one. The adult woman in me knows that only with a special person can you laugh like you're a child at the most inane things, and knows that it is a blessing to find someone with whom you can completely let down your guard. And that someone is not Patrick Swayze, or Brandon Walsh, but a real-life man.

About 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend of several years proposed, and my life has not been the same since he asked me "to accept the beautiful ring and say I'll be his wife."

Suddenly, I look at him differently. Now that there is a ring on my finger, he looks smarter and more mature. He smells differently, too. His normal scent of Right Guard Mountain Fresh seems even manlier and more serious - like an extra-strength clear gel that can keep you dry during ANYTHING life presents you. His eyes are deeper and more sincere, and I realize that these are the eyes I will be looking into for the rest of my life. His hands are stronger and smoother, and I know that these are the hands I want to hold forever. His hands will be the ones that help me move furniture into my first real home, and his hands will be the ones that hold my children when they cry.

And unlike Patrick or Jason, I have actually smelled Kiko. I've touched him the flesh, and he has indeed lifted me up above his head. I've held his hands and I know what they feel like around my tiny fingers and I know that they'll be reaching out to me, to everything the 9-year-old in me was, and everything that the 27-year-old me NOW is, for as long as I am lucky to be with him...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Quotes about (Wo)Man's Best Friend



"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in your car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear."
-Dave Barry

"I'd be happy to have my biography be about the stories of my dogs. To me, to live without dogs would mean accepting a form of blindness."
-Thomas McGuane

"Humankind is drawn to dogs because they are so like ourselves - bumbling, affectionate, confused, easily disappointed, eager to be amused, grateful for kindness and the least attention."
-Pam Brown

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Pathfinder - Day 1

1. Childhood visions of my future career:

When I was a child, I dreamed of being many things. First, I wanted to be a singer. I think I was in kindergarten when I dreamed the perfect life would involve lots and lots of music all day long. I loved to sing, to dance, and to perform. In first grade, I realized to be a "professional singer," as I called it, you actually had to have a good voice.

I gave up on that idea, and then thought maybe being an actress is the next best thing, because you can still perform, and maybe even dance, but no one has to hear your off-key singing.

I imagined I'd feel creative all day long. I'd love working. I'd spend my days writing new songs and learning to play new things on the piano or the guitar. I'd sing about all the issues that were important to me and to those around me. The first single that I actually every recorded was when I was 5, and it was a song I wrote about my Scottish Terrier, Pabbay. Pabbay was my truest friend when I was little. She used to sit at my feet when I wrote papers all through high school and lick them, and it would calm me down. She died a few days before I moved to college, and I was devasted. I couldn't speak for days, but I think it was better that it happened before I left, rather than having to get that painful call from my mother. But maybe I'll write another blog journal about that dog. Let's talk about singing...

As I grew older, and started to do well in school, and also I realized that I loved learning, I thought I should find a career that is more challenging than just being an actor or a singer. In third grade I decided I'd be a doctor: a pediatrician, no a veterinarian. Or both. Or maybe a pediatrician and an actress. I like kids and I like movies. So that's perfect.

Then in high school, I thought maybe I'd be a lawyer. I didn't love biology, but I loved learning about history, politics, and government. I still loved acting, and figured that if I was a trial lawyer, then I could "put on a show" every day in front of the judge and the jury.

When I fantasized about what I'd be when I grew up, it was easy. I always knew I'd be satisifed in my job. I never thought about money. I felt inspired, and creative, and like my unique perspective and voice came through everything I did. I imagined myself alone on stage, discovering things about myself. Maybe people would make fun of me, or maybe I'd make them cry. But I'd make them feel something. And we'd share an experience and be bonded.

2. What dreams of the future lure you away from tedious times today?

Travel. A ranch house in Montana. Country music, and home cooking. Now, I think when I dream about the future, I imagine adventure, serenity, and wide-open space. I want to be whisked away in an instant - experiencing new cultures, trying new food, meeting new people who seem very different on the outside, but actually are a lot like me. Then, I want to come home from my travels, and reflect. Sit on a rustic wooden porch, with a couple of dogs at my feet, and a man at my side, and laugh and wonder in amazement at the world. About how many people live in it, and how every person is just trying to find their way and hopefully do the best that they can. (Maybe the man isn't at my side, but maybe he's horse back riding, or swinging golf clubs in the back yard. But when the sun sets, he'll join me and we'll snuggle and plan our next vacation together.)

But the point of this exercise is my career. Dreams of the future? I dream about feeling challenged. Using my brain, and learing something new everyday. I want to teach people, too. Working in TV now, I love working with the writers. Sometimes I dream of being one of them, too. Then I wouldn't just be the network executive who swoops in and critiques their ideas. But I could acutally help birth the ideas from the ground up, and I'd learn how hard it is to write. But I'd feel that sense of satisfaction that only comes from hard work and from putting your mind to something.

Sometimes I miss doing improvisational comedy. I loved the spontaneity. I loved how I felt after a Groundlings class because I always was so surprised at the character I'd create, or the idea I came up with. I never second guessed myself in that environment. I was confident, and I got out of my head. Sometimes things worked and others laughed, and other times, they didn't. But it was such a supportive team, such a creative environment. Those people, the classmates and the teachers, are what makes the wheels tick in TV.

3. What stands out as as the most important qualities that made these fantasies so compelling?

Creativity. People. Comedy. Writing. Thoughts. Thinking. Imagination.

Jean's Addiction


Dark rinse. Distressed. Faded. Stone washed. Acid washed (I love the 80s.) White. Stretch. Low-rider. Cropped. Button-fly. American flag patches. Butterfly appliqu├ęd. Vintage. Levi 501s. Ripped ever so cleverly at the perfect place on the thigh. Whatever the style, the wash, the fit, I am addicted to buying jeans.

There are few things in life more satisfying than the feeling you get after purchasing a superlative pair of jeans. Though trying them on can be a tall task, because often times you have to go through all sorts of styles to find the pair that flatters you just right, it's always worth it. Here are the things I like consider when buying jeans:

1. Pocket placement: Do they make my butt look small, tight, and round? If the pockets are too far apart, then often times, my backside will look out of proportion from my thighs.

2. How about the length? Do I want to wear them with high heeled boots or wedges? Or will these be my Sunday afternoon comfies, that I'll slide on with tennies or flip-flips? Cropped denim is cute too, but I must be sure I like where they hit on my calves or I'll never feel good in them.

3. The SQUAT test: Can I squat down like Mike Piazza in them? If this move is difficult for me in the dressing room, then I know I'd better seek out a pair of blues with more stretch or I'll be benched in the dug out.

4. Can you see your lower back indentations? How low do they go? Personally, I have a very short torso and no waist, so I need jeans that are cut to fit low on the hip, otherwise, I look like I am borrowing Fred from I LOVE LUCY's pants and sporting them hiked half-way to my chest. There is nothing like a pair of jeans that sits at just the right place on your hips. They can't be so low that they reveal your skivvies, but they must be just low enough so that your hips might peek over the sides.

Once I find a pair that passes all the above mentioned tests, then it's all about rinse. I like to have a variety of different rinses, from bright white to indigo blue, as well as a few pair with fancy adornments on the pockets. I have one pair with copper-colored Swarovski crystals emblazoned on the back pockets and I feel like a goddess when I wear them.

Jeans are one article of clothing that I don't mind forking over some of my hard earned dough for. They can be dressed up, or dressed down, and they are always in fashion. Especially in LA, where jeans are the common uniform at most places, it is important that I always have jeans on hand, to be slipped on at any moment.

Just thinking about jeans gets me quite excited. When I find the perfect pair, that meet the above criteria, I can't wait to take them home and put them in the mountainous stack of jeans that already occupies space in my closet. I think about when I will get to wear them, and which shoes will get to carry me around in them as I strut around L.A. I feel as if I've accomplished something huge. Maybe I haven't found a solution to world hunger, and maybe I haven't put an end to the bloodshed in Iraq, but somewhere, I feel good knowing that some undereducated, mal-nourished child made these jeans especially for me; and though she was paid $0.37 an hour to make them, I know that the $178 of hard earned cash I had to give the store, in order to get them to remove the ink security tag and relinquish them to me, is being put to good use...

Ugh..suddenly, I am coming down from my jeans buzz...it's a long, hard fall onto a cold and dirty floor. (Fortunately, nearly all denim jeans are machine washable so the mud and dirt washes right out.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ashes and Snow



Imagine walking away from the Santa Monica pier and stepping into a dark, cool, and damp expansive new world. The smell of salt water and fresh wood is in the air, and you are housed inside a massive barn-like gallery, built entirely of metal crates which are stacked on top of each other in a checker-board pattern - the negative space creates depth in between the train-car-like crates.

Your mood is instantly transformed. Everything is quiet, except for the faint sounds of African music, drums and wood winds, and the gentle, slow rhythm of other visitors' feet pressing and lifting off of the wooden walkway built on the sand. Smooth gray rocks line the wooden walkway and rest underneath the photographs, and large blood-red metal pillars rise floor to 8-story tall ceiling of this new-fangled barn.

Creak, creak, creak sound your shoes as you proceed down the planks. On either side of you, works of art that change your body's composition: sepia toned photographs of the most amazing shots of man and animal suspended from wires that seem miles long, as if they are being dangled down from heaven, held in God's own hands.

On your left, there is a young African boy reading to an elephant. The elephant's posture convinces you he's hanging on every word uttered by the boy, his front legs are crossed, his eyes fixed on the little boy's face, which is completely tuned in to the words on the page. In front of him is a 1 ton elephant sitting inches the boy's 50 pound frame, but inside of him is an important story that he knows the elephant will understand.

Whatever the story is, there is peace between the photographer's subjects. There is a relationship between boy and elephant far too complex to put into words, but there are more than 1,000 I could use to try to explain what I felt when I experienced this picture and its companions.

Each image amazed me in a different way. A film of a man swimming with whales almost seemed normal and common after watching it for a few moments. A shot of a woman resting with a cheetah, with her eyes shut exuded a bond I never imagined possible between female and fierce feline. Another photo with a young girl sleeping in a canoe, and a monkey holding her head, with both of their hands dangling in the still water which their canoe drifts upon seemed like something Monet might have painted, as if it was a common everyday occurence. These images portrayed peace, love, and friendship between beings not normally depicted as pairs.

The artist, Gregory Colbert (coincidentally, my friend's neighbor in the Bahamas), spent over 10 years in Africa taking pictures of humans with elephants, cheetahs, and all sorts of other animals that were in THE LION KING movie who's names I can't think of right now.

Everyone should experience this exhibit. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before. It's more thereapeutic and more soothing than a trip to your shrink's office and Burke Williams in the same day.

http://www.ashesandsnow.org/en/portfolio/

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What did Jay say today?

"I am not going to honk at her. The only way she'll ever learn her lesson is if I just ram into her car." Jay, on refusing to honk at a lady who pulled in front of him with her huge SUV.

"I think it's time we stop getting upset by office politics. Rather, we should start enjoying them, since in a few months, none of us will be working together and we might actually miss those jerks..." 3/1/06

"I don't like splitting things except for multi-million dollar jackpots," said Jay, when asked to go in with me on our office Oscar pool.

Jay on whether or not he should break up with the woman he's dating:
"I don't know. I just really don't look forward to spending time with her."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Head Pulse

Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. There is this tiny, but present pulsing on my forehead that only seems to happen when I am feeling tense. The pulsing occurs just above my left eye brow, right above the fattest part of my brow, and it's like a mini-heart beat on my head.

Pulse, pulse, pulse. it always pulses three times in a row, and then stops. Sometimes when my anxiety rises throughout the day, as if I wasn't already aware that I felt nervous and unsure of things, the mini-heart beat taps my forehead as if to remind me that there is a lot on my mind. Maybe it's my head's way of saying "hey, there's too much to think about in here. Keep the oxygen flow steady to the brain."

Or maybe it's like the human body's version of the hour-glass icon that the computer mouse becomes to signify the computer is processing something. My thinking icon is the heart beat on my head...please wait...retrieving files...

Hmm...that's something else to think about...

Monday, January 30, 2006

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

It's been months since my last blog...

Last Tuesday I found out that my company, THE WB, is now going to be merging with the illustrious network UPN, which I learned does not stand for "The Urban People's Network." The new name for now is the CW, which does have a way of just rolling of the tongue, doesn't it?

From a business perspective, this new joint venture makes sense. They are taking 2 networks that aren't doing well at all, and trying to form one big happy family TV network that targets the young demographic like the WB. But rather than the merger happening in a very "Brady Bunch" like fashion, with one fellow coming together with his boys (THE WB employees) and one lady bringing her girls (the folks of UPN),and this group of boys and girls must somehow form a family, this merger will happen more like this: Imagine if Mike and Carol Brady never got together and actually Carol stayed a single mom, and she only got to pick her favorite kids to come with her...

What I know is how I feel....and right now, I feel like I've been dumped by my boyfriend, but I am obligated to continue dating him for several months, or until he decides to set me free. It's a feeling of powerlessness, so I strive to find ways to become empowered. But then I realize this man may not be the love of my life, and maybe this breakup is for the best. I mean, I really like my job. I was not wanting to try something different, but I do believe that all things happen for a reason, and for whatever reason, my time at the WB will be coming to a close soon...

The worst part right now is that I have no idea when my last dance with the frog will be. Maybe next week? Maybe May? Maybe not until August...which is when my contract expires...ugh...but not many industries do people who fear getting laid off think "Hmm....maybe when my contract is bought out, I'll be able to take that much needed trip to Costa Rica..." So maybe, in fact I am luckier than most (potential) lay-off-ees.

So that's where I am right now...trying to make sense of what I want to do next, and trying to find out when I am going to know what my fate is for the CW. If I were a betting woman, I'd be safest not to assume I'd join the new company. Carol Brady is no friend of mine, and of course, she's going to want to keep her people.

Luckily, I have time to figure it out.