Monday, February 28, 2005

Ho-hum. Yawn.

That pretty much sums up my reaction to the Academy Awards last night. Oh, sure…glad Jamie Foxx won, and I loved his speech. Happy to see Hillary Swank wasn’t a one-hit wonder. Putting nominees for lesser awards on stage for their moment of glory was inspired. But, other than that…what else is there to remember? Chris Rock’s monologue? I think not. Sure, he managed to get through the night without an F-word, but wouldn’t the show have been better if he’d slipped? Come on, people. Give us something to talk about at the water cooler, for God’s sake.

Hollywood, are you listening? Wanna a blockbuster show for next year? Here are my suggestions:

1. Ladies, ditch those skin-tight dresses. All that Oxygen depravation can’t be good for tossing off the witty bon mot.

2. Don’t put time limits on the acceptance speeches. The longer a no-name drones on, the better the chance he/she will say something stupid enough to make fun of the next day.

3. Remember the days of Bob Hope? Johnny Carson? Find a host and stick with him. Build a tradition. Only, please. No more David Letterman, ever again. In fact, here’s what I propose: all you movers and shakers drag Billy Crystal into a room and give him that “you’ll never work in this town again” speech you’re all so famous for…sign him to a life-long contract.

4. Bring back the real stars as presenters. Sean Combs??? What the hell was he doing there?

5. Always, always, remember the “old Hollywood” for as long as some of it’s still around. And, no…just because Dustin Hoffman and Babs are getting up there, they don’t qualify yet. I wanna see guys like Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas. Hell, Mickey Rooney was in the house. Couldn’t he have presented?

6.Three words: Anna Nicole Smith

7. Forget rehearsal. We like to see stars mispronouncing names and stumbling over words. Makes them human.

8. Bring back the opening production numbers. Sure, they always sucked, but they gave us something we loved to hate.

9. Ever hear of stacking the deck? Invite at least one or two stars who are sure to be controversial. Okay, I know. You gave it the old college try with Tim Robbins and Sean Penn but see, these guys are former winners—their days of offending the Academy are over. Best go with someone whose bitterness might spill over into an entertaining diatribe.

10. Take a lesson from the Golden Globes. Serve booze and lots of it. There’s nothing better than a slightly sloshed icon trying to read the teleprompter.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Crunch Time!

Ole! Only ten more days until I jet off to sunny Puerto Vallarta, leaving the third wettest season on record back in L.A. The bad news? I haven't lost an ounce in prepration for the trip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. One-piece bathing suits, here I come.

Lesson learned: Weight loss plans only work once. Guess I shot my wad losing those ten pounds for my cruise last Fall.

Unless...unless...hmmm....maybe I could drop five pounds Survivor-style--by living off the land for 10 days. Let's see...what have I got in the back yard? Can people exist on weeds? (By the way, what's up with the castaways on LOST--none of them is wasting away. Even the pregnant chick still looks pretty healthy.)

I hate to go all Bridget Jones and everything, but here's the deal: I'm making a commitment to my blog (how sad is this) to lose five pounds by a week from Wednesday. Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Paging Fred Durst

Beep. Hi, Fred. Randy here. Remember me? Sunday brunches at La Paz in Calabasas? (Hey, sorry again for wondering what a skanky looking dude like you was doing with that gorgeous model—how was I to know about Limp Bizkit?) Anyway, buzz me back, okay? I need to know where to put the phone when I’m shooting my sex video. Like, do I put it on a chair, or something? Or, do I get a third party to hold it real close? So far, I’ve only snapped pix of the LA Biltmore, and I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna get me splashed across the Internet.

Oh, one more question. Out of curiosity, does your T-Mobile work better than a videocam? (I am so techno-challenged!)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don't Do It, Chuck

On my sixth birthday, my mother gave me a sparkling “diamond” tiara, and man did I look hot. So hot, in fact, I decided right then and there to be Queen of England when I grew up.

But when I made the announcement over birthday cake and ice cream, Mommy solemnly took me aside to explain how I was already screwed.

My six-year-old ears couldn’t believe what they were hearing. How could one of life’s avenues already be a dead end just because I’d had the lousy luck to be born outside the Windsor family?

“But, my crown looks so beautiful,” I’d whined peevishly. “Isn’t there something we can do?”

“Miss America wears a crown,” my mother suggested.

Not good enough. Your rein only lasts a year, and there’s all that stupid waving involved.

Later, as I grew older, I realized that while queen was probably out, princess was still available. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Prince Charles is no Prince Charming, and he’s often seen wearing skirts in that horrible plaid pattern. Still, I couldn’t afford to be picky. Then came that devastating day when he tromped all over my dream by announcing his engagement to that skank, Diana. Once again, a roadblock.

I don’t have to tell you what happened to that storybook romance. Obviously, Charles made the wrong choice. And, dammit, history’s about to repeat. Come on, Chuck…Camilla Parker Bowles? When I’ve been saving myself all these years?

Think of it, hon. I don’t come with all that messy baggage and murky past—unlike Camilla. I can get married in a church--unlike Camilla. I could be a cool stepmom to the kids--unlike Camilla.

And, I’d look so damned hot in that crown.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Confessions of a Former Sports Fan

I liked it better when athletes didn’t have entourages
I liked it better when Chick Hearn broadcast for the Lakers
I liked it better when tennis players had personalities
I liked it better when rivalry was about respect instead of trash talk
I liked it better when performance-enhancing drugs didn’t explain a player’s sudden improvement in stats
I liked it better when teams stayed together and players spent their entire careers in one city
I liked it better when they didn’t televise every game, so you had to listen on the radio and use your imagination
I liked it better when you didn’t have to mortgage your house to take a family of four to a game
I liked it better when Jim Murray wrote for the L.A. Times
I liked it better when I could pronounce basketball players’ names—not because I object to foreigners, but because they’d be better off playing in their home countries
I liked it better when it was about winning, not money
I liked it better when basketball stars didn’t have record deals
I liked it better when winning was about team work instead of ego
I liked it better when tennis players wore all white
I liked it better when there was an even playing field for baseball players
I liked it better when the U.S. basketball team won the gold at the Olympics
I liked it better when basketball players’ shorts didn’t hang to their knees
I liked it better when they didn’t have to put asterisks next to sports records
I liked it better when medals didn’t have to be returned
I liked it better when kids finished college before entering professional sports
I liked it better when stadiums didn’t have sky boxes and fast food chains

I liked it better when kids played without interference from parents…and maybe that’s where it all went wrong.

Okay, take your best shot. What have I missed?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Poor Paris

You just can’t catch a break, can you, girl? First the sex videos, now this whole cell phone debacle. Do ya think God was trying to tell you something when He got you that gig on The Simple Life? Like, stay away from devices that hold the private phone numbers and email addresses of your 500 closest personal friends? (Oh, and those notes on your travel preferences—sure hope you didn’t say bad things about the family biz!)

I know it wasn’t your fault, dear. It was that evil hacker that stole the info off your PDA, and believe me, he should be strung up by his toes and forced to watch Anna Nicole reruns. You know, the ones where she's still a blimp? Nevertheless, you may wanna think about lying low for awhile, and I’m here to offer suggestions.

1. Dye your hair black and spend a year on a kibbutz in Israel

2. Dye your hair brown and spend a year in Calcutta with whoever took over for Mother Theresa

3. Dye your hair red and spend a year in Sri Lanka with the tsunami
victims (you heard about that, right? That whole thing about the big wave? Bummer, huh?)

Let me know what you decide. I’m a whiz at making travel arrangements, and I’m here for you.

P.S. You might wanna leave Tinkerbell at home. In some parts of the world, she might be mistaken for a snack.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Enough!!

And, no…I’m not talking about J. Lo’s movie from a couple years back. It’s this damned rain (yes, the rain I said I loved so much). But, really. A gazillion inches over the weekend? Is that fair? And did we really need to add wind to the equation?

Maybe Arnold can do something. Hey, Mr. Guvinator. Can’t you beam some sort of laser into the clouds? We’re drowning down here. Even the ducks are stumbling around looking confused and bewildered.

But, um, could you leave the new lakes? I really like those two on the way to work. Feels like I’m driving through Minnesota. I think the one on the east side of the freeway used to be a riding ring. Man, it’s so big, you could water ski across it! (Uh-huh, I know what you’re thinking…boating revenue!) And the one on the other side? That dreary-looking farmland? Hell, we’ve got plenty of room to grow lettuce somewhere else, don’t we? How about offering these guys a subsidy? Huh, Guv? Whaddya think?

Oh, and don’t forget. NO MORE RAIN.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Tourist In Her Own City

Okay, so technically speaking, I live in the suburbs of L.A....which means I’m no more of an “Angeleno” than someone who lives in, say, Detroit or Topeka. In fact, truth be told, I’m more familiar with New York City and Buenos Aires than I am with the place of my birth (my passport says I was born in Los Angeles).

So, it was with both awe and shame that I walked around downtown L.A. yesterday. First of all, every time I paused to look at a map, someone asked me for money. Now, I’m no stranger to the less fortunate scrabbling for enough change to snag a sandwich or a beer. But, at least in Mexico, beggars understand quid pro quo—whether it’s a packet of chicklets or a woven bracelet...whatever, it’s a market economy transaction. Everybody walks away happy. L.A. doesn’t work that way, although I must say that on the whole, these down-on-their-luck people were exceedingly polite. Even passersby who refused to give it up were sent on their way with: “Thank you, anyway. Have a nice evening.”

As I dug in my purse around the new cell phone, around the wallet filled with vacation cash and credit cards, one guy felt compelled to absolve himself of guilt. “I never meant to be in this position,” he said. “I used to be the guy giving money.” Dig, dig. “I’m making her nervous,” he says to my friend. “No,” I say. “I’m just a little disorganized.” He shifts his backpack, saying: “I understand. You think I could be a murderer or something.” Well, I hadn’t really thought that before, but now that he mentioned it....

The truth is, no one goes to “downtown L.A.” They go to Santa Monica...or Westwood...or Beverly Hills...but not the city proper...unless it’s to a wedding or a play. (Hey--the new Disney theater is simply GORGEOUS...from the outside, anyway).

For dinner, my friend and I took the Metro (rapid transit!) to Olvera Street. First, we consulted the concierge who advised us the subway was a hassle. Take a cab, he advised, even though it’s more money. But, I persevered. Dammit, I’m downtown, I wanna try the subway. Well, what I learned is this: L.A. is in desperate need of SIGNAGE. Memo to the City Council, Board of Supervisors, Mayor Hahn: spend a few bucks on SIGNAGE. We were directed to pick up the Metro at Pershing Square, but when we got there...nothing. Finally, we located a security guard who sent us across the street, we traipsed down a stairway, and then...now what? A couple of trains? trams? subways? passed before we figured out all of them went where we were trying to go. Once we got to Union Station, then what? No signs to Olvera street? Isn’t this a tourist destination? (Observation on the “new” L.A. subways: clean, empty, confusing.)

Back at the hotel, we sat in the lobby bar. No matter what anyone says, history is history. And, the L.A. Biltmore reeks of it. The ornate high ceilings, the black and white photographs of the first Academy Awards, the indoor pool with inlaid mosaic... I snapped a few pix with my new cell phone and wondered what the ghosts thought of modern technology.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

So I Swerve Off Grand Ave Into the Entry...

...and ask if I can self-park. Not at the L.A. Biltmore, I’m told, so I hand my car off to the valet. At $24 a day, parking is the least they can do for me. At $24 a day, they should return it hand-waxed and detailed. Too late, it occurs to me I could have parked for free in North Hollywood and taken the subway the last ten miles. But this is Los Angeles. Most of us have heard rumor of this subway thing; we’re just not sure it really exists.

Up in my room ten minutes later, the phone rings and a heavily-accented voice asks if my car has a kill switch.

Uh-oh.

I go tearing back down, thinking what imbecilic moron can’t start a car? Isn’t this pretty much the sum total of his job? Well, that...and getting it safely to a parking spot?

I see my lonely car blocking one of only two lanes and start getting nervous. Sliding behind the wheel, I turn the key in the ignition. Click, click, click.

Uh-oh.

“I think it’s the starter,” the imbecilic morons says to me.

A vision of my car trailing behind a tow truck sends dread through my veins. And towing it where? All the way back to my mechanic? Does my AAA policy reach that far?

“Where’s your battery?” the imbecilic moron asks.

I pop the trunk and begin shoving the debris of my life aside, praying the guy doesn’t notice the underpants I cram into a crevice. Finally, I unearth the battery, he wheels up a portable charger, and makes the proper connections. “Try it,” he says.

With my heart in my throat, I turn the ignition again, and....eureka!!! Houston, we have lift-off!

I jump from the car. My hero and I exchange smiles. “Just park it,” I tell him, “and I’ll deal with it on Sunday.” Knowing the problem’s not something dreadful like the starter, I can continue my weekend without too much worry.

As I write this, it’s Saturday morning. Outside, lightning flashes and thunder crashes.

Welcome to L.A., I think. Where it never, ever, rains and the sun is always shining.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Who Says Commitment Doesn't Exist in L.A.?

At this very moment, outside the window of my office in the middle of an industrial park, I’m witnessing true love. The guy is gorgeous, the gal a bit plain (so you know right off, he’s got more depth than the typical Californian). In fact, I don’t think they’re from around here, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Although they’re standing about six feet apart, something in their body language oozes devotion. He has a protective air about him, and she doesn’t seem to mind. Their roles are obviously differentiated along gender lines. Both appear to like it that way.

I’ve seen them twice before. Each time, they stayed only briefly, but I guess they felt comfortable enough to return. It’s always nice to see they’re still together.

Last time, I got a chance to see them with their kids. All eight of them. So young and fresh, they still had trouble climbing the curb when Mom marched them away. I caught a shot of them which I've posted below (Dad hovered nearby in a tree, on constant watch just in case.)








x Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Spelled C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E

…and, we could all brush up on our skills. Let’s take the following scene, shall we? First, from Sharon’s POV (point of view):

Finished loading the dishwasher, Sharon slammed the door shut and turned an icy glare on Robert. As usual, the guy hadn’t strayed from the couch in an hour. Such a lazy ass. “Aren’t you going to clean up? My parents are expecting us in fifteen minutes.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

Oh, please. “I told you about it last week. Dad wants you to go over that insurance policy.”

His eyes rolled. “Can’t we do it tomorrow? I’m bushed.”

“Tomorrow? And what’s on tomorrow’s excuse menu?”

That night, Robert camped out on the couch.

Right now, female readers are saying to themselves: “What a bastard. Sharon makes this great dinner, and all he can do is channel surf. She told him about the meeting with her parents. What’s so important about watching TV when he’s made a commitment to helping her dad?

But, wait…

From Robert’s POV:

Kobe dribbled the ball, spun, went in for a lay-up but dunked instead, leaving the Piston defender shaking his head. Robert punched his fist in the air, thoroughly jazzed. “Yeah, baby! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” First, a mouth-watering steak and baked potato, and now an NBA playoff game. After the workweek from hell, life didn’t get any better than this.

“Aren’t you going to clean up? My parents are expecting us in fifteen minutes.”

His heart sank as he dragged his eyes from Kobe to Sharon. “You’re kidding right?”

“I told you about it last week. Dad wants you to go over that insurance policy.”

Last week? He could hardly remember yesterday. “Can’t we do it tomorrow? I’m bushed.”

“Tomorrow? And, what’s on tomorrow’s excuse menu?”

That night, Robert camped out on the couch.

Same dialogue; two points of view. The next day, Sharon will tell girlfriend Brooke what a jerk Robert is—that he’s lazy, never helps her dad, and doesn’t appreciate the way she takes care of his needs. If Brooke is unavailable, and Sharon has to wait a day, it’ll escalate to “that deadbeat who hates my father and treats me like a slave.”

On the other hand, Robert will have forgotten the whole episode.

Sucks, doesn’t it?


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Must Love Pain

Nothing else explains my gym membership. Oh, I wage a pretty good battle with myself every night. The excuses begin as soon as I leave the office. It’s too cold. I didn’t eat enough fuel food. I’m behind on my writing. The President is speaking at six, and I should get home to see what he has to say. But two or three times a week, I can’t think of one damn reason to stay away, so I go.

I enter the locker room to a blast of cold air and that out-of-body music they play at day spas. The kind that makes you wanna curl up in a ball for a nap, not jump up and down. In total silence, I strip next to strangers, politely averting my eyes, as they do the same. This eerie atmosphere makes me long for the chaos of my high school locker room.

You’d think now that I’m here, it’s a done deal. But even as I slip off the pumps and stow my purse, I’m hoping for a reprieve. Hey, things happen. Like, I forget a sock. Or a top. Or my shorts. Those are the days I know I’m not “meant” to work out and, taking God’s word for it, I bebop home. But, no. Tonight I’ve even remembered my water bottle. Guess I’m here to stay.

Out on the floor, I discover I’m late. That the only spot left in the “lower body blast class” is in front, next to the instructor. Being a seasoned veteran, I suck it up. I ignore the words echoing in my brain…location, location, location. After all, this is weight training, not marketing.

I look around and notice an impossibly skinny woman behind me. Worse, she’s older. And she’s using 6-lb weights to my measly 3’s. I take this as a bad omen.

Music floods the room. Loud music with a relentless rap beat, but that’s okay. I don’t like black olives either, but somehow they work with Thanksgiving dinner. So, I shift into funky mode and follow the instructor’s warm-up, my eyes darting to the mirror to check my form.

Now, like I said, this is not my normal spot. I’m usually hiding in the back row. And the first thing I notice up close like this: huge luggage under my eyes. I mean, we're talking heavy-duty Samsonite the likes of which I haven't seen in my lighted mirror at home or the bathroom mirror at work. What the hell happened? Have I aged that badly during the warm-up? (Note to self: check recovery time for latest eye-lift procedures; try to squeeze in before trip to Puerto Vallarta)

Maybe it’s the stress of this awful discovery, maybe I’m a little tired from an action-packed weekend, but my legs begin to feel like I’m carrying 10-lb sandbags on my ankles, and my heart flies way out of its target zone, and I’m not even doing aerobics. I’m only squatting and lunging, for God’s sake.

Thoughts of escape flash in neon across my brain. It’s simple when you’re in the back. You vaguely lift your water bottle in the air, trot out of the room on the pretense of filling it at the cooler, and just never return. Or, you utter a soft whimper, then limp out the door, comforted you only had to deceive the people in your immediate vicinity. At minimum, you flake out on the last set of reps.

But tonight, I don’t have that option. Any way you slice it, I’ll look like a fool. So I soldier on with the bending, lifting, squeezing, pumping…only resting resting when I slug back some water (which is every chance I get).

Finally (and I’m talking forty-five minutes of this hell later), I flop to a mat for ab work. At least here, I can fudge without everyone noticing what a slacker I am. One eye stays on the clock. Ten long minutes until cool down. I may never take this class again.

Sometimes, I fight my dread of the gym all the way to the building, do my workout, then lie on the mat awash in pride. But not today. Today, that sense of well-being never comes. I’ve truly hated every moment. And tomorrow, the only thing I’ll have to show for this hour is achy limbs and sore muscles.

It’s one day later. I’m in my office, and the clock is closing in on five. I gave my gym clothes the day off because, um, I'm pretty sure the President is speaking tonight.








Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mark Your Calendar And Save Your Pennies

Only 60 more shopping days till 43-year old Mary Kay Letourneau weds her 22-year old, er, boyfriend, Vili Fuallaau. Gee, aside from the chance to change her name to Mary Kay Letourneau Fuallaau, this young man must really have it going on. They say women tend to marry men like their fathers, but I once took a college class from Mary Kay’s pops, and guess what? That theory ain’t operating here.

So trot yourself over to the local mall, because I hear the lovely couple’s registered at Macy’s. A nice toaster oven, perhaps?

Central Park Has New Clothes

Is it me? Or, is Christo’s latest project a monumental waste of money? Granted, my art background is a little sketchy (pausing while the laughter at my pun subsides), but I fail to see the beauty in 7500 “gates” of hanging saffron-colored fabric panels.

Shrug.
Judge for yourself. http://christojeanneclaude.net At the risk of sounding pedestrian, why am I reminded of flat-footed, two-legged creatures stalking around Central Park minus their heads and torsos, wearing draperies for skirts?

Maybe not a place to take the kiddies unless you want to sit up with them through the nightmares.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Writing Update

Yes, aside from the little tidbits I’m spewing into this blog, I actually spend most of my writing time on stuff to justify that tax deduction I’ve taken the last couple of years.

To date, I’m still shopping my first manuscript around. Fit For Love, a romantic comedy, has been turned down by an assortment of ten narrow-minded agents and three dim-witted editors. Hey—just kidding, of course. I’m sure my work just happened to float by these brilliant people at a bad time. The good news: in November, the Launch a Star contest notified me that my entry had made the finals and is on its way to an editor at Pocket Books for the last round of judging. (Insert applause sound effect here). Even if I don’t win the contest, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a request of the full manuscript. That’s the point of these contests, after all. I’ll hear something about this in March. In the meantime, if you wanna see my name in lights, click here: http://www.authorsofromance.com/contest.htm

My second effort, Stealing Amy (I really need to work on these horrible titles) is another romantic comedy/lite suspense about a woman who’s the victim of identify theft. I know. There’s nothing funny about identity theft, but well…you’ll just have to read the book.

At the same time, I’m working on a hen-lit called (okay, getting the hang of the title thing now) The Ladies Outta Luck Club. This one’s about three women who make a New Years pact to change their lives over the next twelve months. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “hen-lit,” picture a menopausal version of Bridget Jones’ Diary.

As I recall, the Romance Writers Report says the average time to first sale is five years. Now, I’m no genius when it comes to math, but I happen to know some people take less and others take longer. Hell, I’ve read first sale announcements by women who’ve been writing for fifteen years and completed over thirty manuscripts!

This is a highly competitive business. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Oh, speaking of hearts—Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

CELEBRITY SUNDAY

Next up on CNN—We take you to the Grammys with Janet Reno!

Huh? No, really. I’m not making it up. Saw the former AG interviewed on the red carpet just a moment ago. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

Now, I know what you’re all dying to ask. Which fab designer was the Janster wearing? Hm. She didn’t seem to know. But the camera obligingly panned down to show her lovely black taffeta skirt, then back up to her tasteful white blouse. Like she was J.Lo or something.

Turns out she’s at the awards to hobnob with her nephew because they’re making a CD together. Yes, you read that right. A CD. (More evidence of that Apocalypse thing, I think). But lest you stop reading this to hop over to Amazon for the pre-order, hold on just a sec. Sadly, Janet doesn’t plan to perform—she’s just the force behind it. It seems her nephew wants to tell the history of America through song and Janet loved the idea.

Personally, I can’t wait to hear the Ballad of Waco, Jan.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday Potpourri

Tip for the chronically single: Ladies, you’re not Bo Derek. Men, you are Dudley Moore. So get over it, and quit waiting for someone better looking, more educated, and wealthier to come along. (For you youngsters who haven’t seen the movie “10”, substitute Christina Applegate and David Faustino for the above names.) More on this subject at a later date.

Caught Sharon Tay in her new gig at MSNBC this morning, and I have some career advice: go back to the Morning Show at KTLA, Sharon, where they didn’t make you read the news so much. Either that, or learn to put the inflection in the right places. That way, instead of that incredulous shriek at the end of “Arthur Miller was married to Marilyn Monroe?” you would simply state, “Arthur Miller was married to Marilyn Monroe.” Similarly, you wouldn’t say, “Arthur Miller was 33.” That simply gives the wrong impression since we all know he was ancient when he died. So, say it with me Sharon, all in one breath: “Arthur Miller was 33 when he wrote Death of a Salesman.” Now, doesn’t that make more sense? Good. Hope you didn’t sell your home in L.A.

Apology of the Week—Kenyan Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi was forced to apologize this week for a comment he made regarding the suspension of international aid by leaders worried about corruption. The esteemed Justice, claiming his country was being penalized for something it was already handling, said it was “like raping a woman who is already willing.” Apology not accepted, Mr. Murungi.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Shhh...Don't Tell Anyone...

...but, I love the rain.

Hey, I’m born and raised in Southern California where every damn day looks like the next, so give me a break. You know how sleep deprivation makes you hallucinate? Well, too many sunny days in a row has the same effect. People need a little down time from all that relentless cheer. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had those puffy white things they call clouds. But noooooo….nothing but blue skies for days on end. Enough to drive a person nuts.

Don’t get me wrong. Southern Californians are an embarrassment when it rains. All the local TV stations go on STORM WATCH (in that James Earl Jones kinda voice), we drive too fast (or too slow) and we still dress in t-shirts and shorts. Umbrellas? Raincoats? What are they for? By the time we could dig them out from under the bellbottoms and platforms, the rain’s over so why bother?

Don’t be fooled by the Rose Bowl telecast—our weather is simply not what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, we can surf in the morning and snow ski in the afternoon, but who needs all that sun and exercise? Certainly not Southern Californians who spend half their time in the gym and the other half in the tanning salon.

Yes, rain spells relief from 365 days of pure monotony, and the only people who bitch about it are transplanted New Yorkers and homeowners with leaky roofs.

One more thing…Betcha don't know the best part about Southern California rainstorms, do ya?...Give up? Okay, I'll spill: when they're over, for at least three or four days, the L. A. River actually contains water.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I Have An Evil Willpower Gene

IT likes to lull me into thinking I’ll be able to lose weight before important events and, like a fool, I fall for ITS treachery every time. ITS most potent weapon is unpredictability. Take last year. Two months before a Caribbean cruise, IT allowed me to shun French fries with Ranch dressing, drink only rum and diet coke, and sent me to the gym four times a week. Voila! Success! I lost ten pounds in the allotted time. Maybe, I’d finally tamed the sucker.

But, no. IT was only lurking. Licking ITS chops, waiting for the holidays. As I felt IT consuming my life again, I did the only thing possible. I booked another vacation for March. Surely, that would chase IT back into submission.

This morning, I committed to grabbing cereal for breakfast at work. Uh-oh. Forgot to bring the milk. Strike one. UH-OH. A fellow employee brought in a 2-lb. bag of tortilla strips and a jar of salsa. My favorite brand. Strike two.

So far, I’ve eaten half the bag. Strike three.

Score: Evil Willpower Gene—1; Randy--0

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I'm A Reality Show Whore

I can’t help it. Something about watching ordinary people eat bovine balls for their fifteen minutes of fame keeps me glued to the couch.

Take last night, for example. First up: American Idol. Hey, I don’t know about you, but give me a big guy earning minimum wage in Poughkeepsie who weeps at the news he’s “through to the next level”—and I’m on cloud nine. Give me a gal with big boobs, huge ego, and no voice getting the thumbs down—I’m in heaven.

Following that, ah…the bliss of a finale. Amazing Race. The king of all reality shows. This season, they started in Norway, passed through Iceland, stopped in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, China, and Honolulu, and wound up in downtown Chicago. Eleven couples squabbling their way through the quest for a million bucks amid fascinating locales—what could be better? (The only drawback to Season 6: the wrong couple won. “Dating Snobs,” er, sorry, “Dating Models” Freddie and Kendra had a disparaging word for almost every culture they visited.) But, here’s an added bonus: “Married Entrepreneurs” Jonathon and Victoria (who alienated the entire planet with their abusive screeching) are gonna be on Dr. Phil next week!

Yes, as unpopular as my opinion seems to be, I can’t get enough of these shows. So, as a public service, I offer the top ten things I’ve learned from reality show programming:

10. Women with tight abs and huge boobs are skanky. (Think Fear Factor).

9. Only in America can a guy come out of the closet, run around naked, win a million bucks, then get caught for income tax evasion—like no one noticed he won the money. (Think Richard Hack—Survivor) Oops...I mean, Hatch--thanks, Steph

8. Even gorgeous-formerly-heavy-now-thin-women-with-more-money-
than-God-oh-wait-the-courts-just-changed-their-mind-again are f**ed up. (Think…well, do I even have to say?)

7. Has-been porn stars and former preachers make great roommates. (Think Ron Jeremy and Tammy Faye on Surreal Life)

6. Uh, whispered words and suppressed moans beneath the sheets don’t go over well with boyfriends back home. (Think Allison—Big Brother)

5. All the money in the world can’t make up for bad hair. (Think Donald Trump)

4. Money and a famous name don’t always add up to ratings. (Think Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, and those guys that did the first boxing show.)

3. Living off the land beats Atkins and Weight Watchers all to hell for losing weight. (Think Survivor)

2. In the end, it’s not always about the money. (Think Amazing Race)

1. Nice guys DO finish first (Think Ethan—Survivor Africa)

Okay, none of the above involved Paris and Nicole. Well, that’s because I haven’t watched their show. A girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere, right? So maybe I’m not a whore, after all. Maybe I’m just a slut.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Evidence Is In...

and it suggests I may not exist--except in the form of Occupant, Resident, Homeowner, and/or Single Person At This Address. No, really. It's true. I went an entire week without getting a piece of snailmail addressed to me by name. Not a good sign.

Day One

Five minutes ago, I was among the blogless. Had even intended to stay that way. All I meant to do was comment on someone's blog which led to the need for a username which led to...oh, hell. Now I have a blog. Somehow this feels like a very weighty responsibility indeed. What if I suck at blogging? Did I really need something else to suck at? Don't answer that.