Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Towelhead

Believe it or not, I actually read an article in Texas Monthly about this up-and-coming movie even before the recent obsession with all things Alan Ball. (Aside: Alan Ball is the writer/creator of Six Feet Under, American Beauty, and, of course, True Blood.) Yes, I think it's okay to say 'towelhead' if it refers to the a movie/book and not an actual person that might be offended by such a reference...maybe.

Apparently, some local Islamic groups have been a little offended by the title. But being that the novel of the same name was written by a woman who refers to herself, lovingly as a, er, 'towelhead,' I don't really know what there is to be offended about. Would the African American community be offended at a book entitled...well, you know. I've heard Chris Rock and I kinda don't think so? (Which by the way, his latest routine is hilarious.)

But if you have an immediate reaction to the title, you can pretty much bet the ranch that you'll be squirming in your seat through the whole movie. Here's what you're looking at: a thirteen-year-old half American, half-Lebanese girl named Jasira is sent to live with her father after her mother discovers her (the mother's) boyfriend has relieved Jasira's 'lady parts' of all of her follicular adornments. Upon arriving in Houston to begin a new life with her newly Christian yet highly traditional Lebanese father, Jasira launches into a hysterical, tragic, and albeit controversial journey of sexual exploration, with the help of her pedophilic middle-aged white neighbor. Not exactly your typical coming of age story.

Which is of course why I'm dying to watch it! And it doesn't help that it's set in Houston, Texas, where I grew up. And it couldn't be a more perfect place to tell a story about things that are a little strange going on behind closed doors. And it demonstrates Houston/Texas as the melting pot that it really is--and a fast-paced business world where people get up, go to work in their high-rise office buildings, and go home. But then maybe they can't stand the heat. Or the traffic. I don't know.

Anyway, Towelhead (the movie) was released to select cities on September 12th, which of course means that is hasn't been seen in any of my local theatres. That being said, I think I'll pick up the book by Alicia Erian (above). Thanks, Alicia, for writing a NEW story about the Middle Easterner's experience. I'm so done with jihad, wars, mutilation and tragic death. I swear, if I have to read one more of those, I'll be depressed with suicidal tendencies. Did anyone else try to fight their way through Infidel? I'd rather get a sharp stick in the eye.
(Photos courtesy of Amazon.com and MetroActive Books.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Grown-up Fights and the End of an Era

Remember when you used to get in fights with your friends on the playground? Like, you took my favorite My Little Pony so I'm going to push you off the monkey bars? Or in the lunchroom when you friend embarrassingly throws a French fry at you and you never forgive him? Or in highschool when you're told that your girlfriend is talking about how stupid your outfit is in the bathroom? Then you three way call her with two other friends and give her a piece of your mind?

These are moments that I do not miss now that I'm a grown up. I mean, I never really partook of these choice memories as a youngster anyway, but when you're forced to socialize with other ankle-biters, sometimes you just find yourself in a mess.

Well, recently, I had my first grown up fight. It sucked. It was over money, of course, with the accountant at my former employer--who happens to also be a good friend. Ugh, it was just weird. There was a misunderstanding and then there was all of this weird email communication. Dude, so awkward.

I'd pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we'd probably never speak again. Confession: I'm not very good at apologizing, getting real, patching things up, etc. My fights are usually pretty ugly mostly because they just sort of...go away. They don't really end. Anyway, so the sad painful truth about being a grown up is that there's still grown up drama (outside of marriages and romantic relationships, of course).

She, the accountant/friend, that is, is much more grown up than I, however. After only one communication-less week, she emailed me to say that "we're friends, and friends work things out," that she was sorry for her part in the miscommunication, etc. Awww! I know. So awesome. Being a grown up kinda rocks sometimes.

In other news, that I'm sure you've already heard because this is NOT a news blog, the great Paul Newman has become the great, late Paul Newman. I've been dreading this day. I still remember the first time I watched From the Terrace with my mom and watched the saucy romance unfold with the rich brat played by his real-world, life-long spouse Joanne Woodward. Mmm-MMM. Good stuff.

Or his escapades with Liz Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as the angry, resentful Brick. He was stud-licious even as a drunk. I knew this day would come eventually, but I guess I secretly hoped it wouldn't.

A life lived well, I'd say. Scathingly handsome, blindingly talented, and deeply good. What a guy.
(Photo courtesy of LA Times, scene with Joanne Woodward from From the Terrace.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bookshelf Finds and WTF Romo?

Sorry I spaced for a week or so guys. It has been one HECK of a crazy week. I blame the insane number of concurrent projects and due dates or maybe it was the watching of True Blood over and over on OnDemand? Not really sure...

Any way, a new episode of True Blood comes on TONIGHT! and I'm so excited. In fact, can hardly contain myself.

Truthfully, what started the whole fascination with the show was a promotional diddy that HBO did on vampire mythology and how it's evolved through literature and film. If you haven't seen it yet, it's time to cue up your cable. It blew my socks off--mostly because I haven't had a quasi-intellectual conversation about books of any kind since my senior year of college--but mostly because I'd never really given the vampire genre a fair shot.

Who knew that Bram Stoker's Dracula was the first real vampire story? And the idea of the suave, charming and well-dressed vampire didn't come along until years later via Hollywood? Well, and according to the wealth of religious, mythology, and anthropology experts commenting on the topic, the whole genre is the study of the 'other'--the abnormal--and Anne Rice is the 20th century Stoker in terms of her contribution to the vampire myth--a tragic hero, tortured by his remnant humanity and the reality of his savage-like nature. Their words, not mine.

Mostly, I couldn't believe that I had missed the apparent obsession with vampires. It's so true! We have a cultural obsession with vampires more so than any other mythical monster--why that obsession has endured I do not know. But there are even people out there that really believe they're vampires--like with teeth, and they even, like, drink blood. I know.

With that, I decided to dive in. So I picked up this omnipresent Twilight --pretty much everyone and their mom is reading it. So I figured it had to be good. It's basically about a stand-offish highschool girl that falls in love with a school mate--that happens to be a vampire. I'm telling you, I cannot put it down! It's apparently for a teen audience so it does get a little tedious at times. If you're expecting the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of True Blood, you won't get it here. A little Harlequin-y for my taste. But it is a quick, delightful weekend read. And you can get it in hardback for about eight bucks. Nice.

Nevertheless, I think I'll pick up one of Charlaine Harris's books next--the series on which True Blood is based. Or I might even bite off a big one and go for Stoker...WHO KNOWS. You just never know WHAT I'm going to do, I'm a wild woman.

Speaking of which, I was a wild woman today and in PUBLIC--at the local sports bar because Cali TV stations are the antichrist and will not air a Dallas game if it means the locals don't get to watch the 49ers lose...again. But then I think that Tony Romo must be getting his tips from San Francisco because Dallas totally blew it today. Why can't he play the whole game the way he plays in the last two minutes? Get it together, mon. Ugh, it was kinda painful.

Monday, September 22, 2008

HBO Does It Again

I'm a little embarrassed. I joined the ranks of the Starbucks Crazies this morning. Standing in line to get my pound of beans and complimentary coffee, I saw a girl carrying a copy of Twilight, you know that vampire series that's selling like hotcakes? I could feel the lunacy coming on but I just couldn't stop myself.

She had that look in her eye like she just wanted me to go away. But the fact is: I just had to tell someone! I'd be doing her a great disservice if I didn't tell her about my new discovery, which happens to be the greatest thing since Carrie Bradshaw...

Okay, that might be stretching it, Carrie's a pretty special lady. But I'm sorry y'all, True Blood--HBO's latest contribution to humanity--is a thin slice of heaven. Before you roll your eyes, I've got to tell you I was in complete resistance to it, I don't really do the vampire thing. Even Brad Pitt couldn't entice me. Never did the Anne Rice thing. I've never even worn black lipstick, y'all. But I'll be straight with you, after one episode of True Blood, I was a total goner. Give me some Louisiana rednecks, a few blood-thirsty vampires, a telepathic heroine and I'm in. They 'had me at "hello"' so to speak.

True Blood is everything you'd expect from the HBO crew: sexy, steamy, dramatic, and well, a little raunchy. And you can be sure you won't be bombarded with a bunch of vampiric cliches. What's wrong with cliches? Uh, they're boring, that's what. Unless they're in the form of classic southern colloquialisms, which frankly, you can't have too many of those. Gotta love a girl that says thing like, "Oh my stars!" Awesome.

As a southern belle myself, I'm bound to have an affection for any thing that lays it all out there, you know, the 'both/and' of America's South land. Both traditional values, old-fashioned charm and a dark place where some pretty twisted stuff goes down, that whole Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil thing. It's not all Sunday dress and apple pie, y'all. And Alan Ball, of American Beauty and Six Feet Under perfection, does it right.

The love affair with TV continues! Ugh, and six whole days until the fourth episode. I'm gonna lose my marbles. THAT'S why all those Starbucks people are nuts.
(Photos courtesy of www.hbo.com)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Facebook Gets Personal

You might think that Facebook is just a harmless, time-sucking, social networking hub. A place to show your 'profile' to all your friends and, consequently, the world. It's an opportunity to assert your identity, 'application' choices notwithstanding.

But these days, Facebook is getting personal in a way that is pretty hard to escape. Yes, for the most part, you can choose to participate in Facebook madness on a fairly superficial level: no "What Disney Character Am I" quizzes or paying actual money for virtual confections and other trinkets. But ever since they launched this 'Compare People' contraption, no one is safe.

Here's the rub: even if you don't spend hours comparing others on topics such as who has a better body, who's more successful, or who would you rather date--others are comparing you. I'd be fine with it, just so long as I don't have to know about it. But just wait...

Low and behold, I get these handy little updates in my email alerting me about my up-to-the-minute rankings on the sliding scale of my general sphere of influence. Let me tell you, Saint Peter himself could not resist falling down that little rabbit hole. I'll confess, y'all...I clicked.

Apparently, my strengths--according to the poll--include 'Best Singer', 'Most Kiss-able', and 'Best Shopping Companion'. (I was choir president and quite the fashionista in high school, don't judge.) But apparently, the consensus is that my weaknesses refer to my athleticism and my over all happiness! Okay, I already knew that I'm no Marion Jones. But apparently, people think I'm not happy. Period. Wha?

I'm sorry, but since when did we stop comparing people in the privacy of our subconscious and start doing so publicly via the World Wide Web? If this is not a sign of cultural decline, I don't know what is. And if anyone knows how to turn off those licentious updates, please do tell.

Is anyone else a little offended by this or am I overly sensitive?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Panic Attacks and Media Shenanigans

So far, I've done alright in the grown-up department. I've done the job thing, the married thing, the mortgage thing. But I tell you what, I hate paying bills. Hate. I hate it so much that I've been known to, well, not do it, Office Space style. I just 'forget'. Luckily, the hubster is more grown-up than myself and picks up the slack. It's a trade off: he hates doing dishes so guess what that means...

It's a little strange that I have such an aversion--both mental and intellectual aversions--to all things financial. I'm not kidding: finance related data approaches the folds of my brain and quickly flees. Yes, scientific information apparently does the same. Somewhere, I am missing a chromosome because both--count them, BOTH--of my parents are in finance! Mom--accountant. Dad--Financial Planner. How they stay sane I do not know.

So growing up with a stock broker/CFP father renders a young lady a little immune to the shrieks of the media every time the market takes a little dip. But I have to admit, when I learned that Merrill Lynch, the very firm with which my father is employed, was to be sold, and that banks and firms were literally dropping like flies, I grew a little concerned. And then when MSN.com and Wall Street Journal started using words like 'crisis' and 'depression' and 'meltdown', it was clearly time to put a phone call in to Dad.

As is to be expected, dear old Dad was relatively unconcerned. No Kate, people aren't going to be wheeling their cash around in shopping carts. No, I'm not going to lose my job. Mostly, he reminded me, yet again, that it's less about how many points are lost and more about a percentage loss. "Five hundred points in a day means nothing. Twenty five percent in a day, that's something," says Dad, financier extraordinaire.

It was a little Twilight Zone-ish because he said that the market's probably declining because everyone wants to sell just in case Obama gets elected and doubles the capital gains tax, as he's promised. (Dad is still without power/TV/internet courtesy of Hurricane Ike). I turn on 'Mad Money' or some other bogus show and BAM! That's exactly what they said. Voodoo Dad.

Of course he gave me all the other hem-haw about having a 'diversified portfolio,' whatever that means... But he also said that Merrill Lynch's merge with B of A is actually a good thing? Wha? It's highly possible that he's taken the whole 'bull' market Merrill theme a little too far.

Long story short, I'm pretty much done with the media's toying with our emotions. It just makes people act crazy--like tell all their friends to sell all their stocks and then say, "See! I KNEW it was going down!" The drama, really. No wonder this country has high blood pressure.

Is anyone else done with this media foofaraw? Ugh, this is a 'Just Say "NO!" to Media' situation. (Graph courtesy of http://www.wsj.com/).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rescue me, Tommy Gavin...

I curse the day that TiVo, DVR, OnDemand, DVD series, and other such life-sucking devices came into existence. I have never watched more TV in my life. I'm totally hooked. This grown-up's self control is next to nothing.

I used to pride myself on my inability to commit to a television series. Remember when Party of Five was a big hit and all your friends were watching it? Not me, I couldn't hang in there. Friends? Nope. Saved by the Bell? Nope. Just couldn't be bothered.

Really though, I think it's just because TV is so gosh-darn awesome these days. And I'm not talking about the unoriginal, degrading poo that is reality television. (Is anyone else over Survivor?) I'm talking DRAMA. Like whoa. No, The Hills does not count.

My latest afflictions are as follows: Rescue Me, Madmen, Oz, and, shamefully, Desperate Housewives. I resisted for four straight seasons only to get completely sucked in to Wisteria Lane. But seriously, where has Tommy Gavin been all my life? His psychotic, drunken antics are so addicting and I can't get enough of the 'nostalgic' sexist charm of Sterling Advertising Agency. I tell you what, my loving husband irons his own shirts and when he's hungry, he makes himself something to eat. I don't even have a decent recipe for meatloaf.

But Oz? The details of this show are not fit to print and I find myself averting my eyes during certain fleeting moments of passion among the Oz community of inmates. It's definitely a show for grown-ups, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, I can't decide if it's a picture of everything a prison shouldn't be or one of everything that's wrong/right with the justice system!A moral dilemma! About a television show.

Books are a thing of the past these days and at the rate I'm going, I'll be kicked out of my book club. A small price to pay. What are you guys watching instead of working these days?

(Photos courtesy of http://www.pe.com/ and http://www.hbo.com/.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Attacks and Target Treasures

Texas is in a post-Ike world, today. And, it would seem, that while Ike is certainly the most devastating storm to berate the Texas Gulf Coast in a while, it definitely could have been worse. The fam is yet to 'Rambo' their way through the mess and assess the damage at the home front. The word is that my home town drew the ace...again.

My mom, she's so cute. She says to me, "See, sweetie? It wasn't that bad? What were you so worried about?" That's cause she doesn't have power back yet, which means she doesn't have air conditioning or TV, which means she hasn't the barren wasteland that is Galveston--yet.

Hurricane season keeps getting worse. In fact, some insurance carriers won't even initiate new home insurance policies on the Gulf Coast. Yeah, for real. It's 'too risky.' That nasty global warming keeps those babies a 'brewin'.

Which is why I am totally psyched up to read Thomas Friedman's newest: Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--And How It Can Renew America. Sounds heavy, doesn't it? It probably is, which is why it'll probably take me about a month to read it. John and I were in Target at about 30 seconds to closing when I spotted it and almost hit the ceiling. Mostly because a hot, flat, and crowded scenario sounds like my idea of hell.

Historically, I've avoided his books like the plague. They're easy ones like From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Instead I bought them for my dad for Christmas. He did all the hard work and then just told me about them. But I'm going all in on this one.
What are you guys reading these days??

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do I look like I wanna talk?

After a bit of field research, I've concluded that highly-caffeinated people are prone to do things that err on the side of socially unacceptable. I know I've done some kooky stuff when hopped up on the big C. But for California's already chemically imbalanced and--let's face it--chemically altered population, strong coffee should be rationed. I know this could mean trouble for the Starbucks out there, but if I have to keep playing dead in order to not get sucked in by the crazies, I won't be going to Starbucks anyway.

Example: the other day, I was on a serious deadline for a project. Every minute mattered. So in order to avoid the distractions of housework, husbands, dogs and phone calls that are often so attractive while at the homestead, I pack up my office and headed for the local Starbucks.

The nearest Starbucks also happens to be the Crazy Starbucks. It's where all the crazy people go. Why they can't go to New York Bagel or the stand inside Safeway next door is beyond me. And for some reason, if they're in the mood for a little chat, they set their sights on me.

A slightly disheveled gentleman enters, orders coffee and sits in the chair next to me, of course. And usually, I'm up for a little banter with strangers, friendly banter, however, and preferably not when I'm working against the clock. Not only does this guy want to interrupt my money-making, he wants to veer into serious topics: family issues, how his dad's wife is a five letter word (which he hollers), how his brother is rich but won't give him any money, the election, for crying out loud. Then he wants to use my computer to look up stock quotes. Uh, no, sorry pal.

You know when you try to be polite, and you're still shaking your head and saying 'uh huh', but you want them to get the hint pronto that you DO NOT WANT TO TALK. This guy was completely oblivious.

Example 2: Here's another one from the Crazy Starbucks chronicle. Again, working. Complete with laptop. Diamond ring accompanied by wedding band conspicuously worn on left ring finger. Alas, am approached by pimply, skinny, shorty, jewelry-wearing juvenile who while fingering bits of pastry from the bag into his mouth comes up with, "Whatcha doin'."

I was stunned. I'm usually very courteous in situations like these because I know it takes a lot of courage to approach a girl. But for all of his baggy over sized clothing, I couldn't resist. He even gave me a nice head nod to complete his one-liner, but full on irritation had already set in.

"I'm working. And married." Code for 'get lost, squirt. I don't even have the patience to let you down easy.'

Are there really so many women out there that wear 'buffer' faux wedding rings that the real deal doesn't even have the power to spare you from situations like this one? I can't stands no more. Luckily, this guy was a little more perceptive and got the hint. But really? Coffee house loner--where hast thou gone?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

That Time of Year Again: Hurricane Season

Yes, two posts in one day, but I'd say Ike is worthy of it. Fervent prayers for all on the Texas Gulf Coast (my family, everyone I know, pretty much). Get the hell outta Dodge, y'all. Here's to Ike disappearing into thin air?

That Time of Year Again

I love When Harry Met Sally... It's quite possibly the best movie Hollywood has ever made and Nora Ephron is my hero, no matter how bad her neck is. I love the part when Harry is discussing the youth of his new flame, Aunt Emily, that was revealed when he asked her 'where she was when 'Kennedy' was shot' and she said "Ted Kennedy was shot?!"

Well, I wasn't even a speck on the horizon when Kennedy was shot. But I do remember exactly where I was on this day, September 11, 2001.

I was in tutorial, the only one that morning, delivering an assignment to my crazy, senior economics teacher. She was a loon, folks. It was so quiet, all I could hear was the raspy rantings of that silly lady. Then the OTHER crazy economics teacher, 'Wild Bill', ran into the room screaming, "Turn on the T.V., they're bombing New York." Why are economics teachers so paranoid? She didn't even question who he meant by 'they'. It was if that had a common, cooky language.

She did, turn on the T.V. that is, and immediately let out this loud shriek and fell to pieces. Wild Bill ran on to share the news with his other colleagues. I'm not being mean, we called him Wild Bill to his face.

Then all day, in every class, we watched it all unfold. Except for AP Biology, where we took the regularly scheduled exam. Which I failed. Then that teacher hated me for the rest of the year because I wasn't on the doctor train. Words! Words, lady! That's what I do! Not cells and horny flies! Not that she would understand, she pronounced entropy with a 'ph'. Whatev.

Alls I'm sayin' is that in twenty, thirty, forty years, I'll still remember that day as if it were yesterday, because it was a day on which the world changed forever, even though I didn't realize it at the time.

What about you? Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Decision-making disorders

I have one. Do you? And right now, I am in a major dilemma. A pickle. A quandry, if you will.

It has been almost two years of wedded bliss since I married that stud-licious husband of mine. Yet the highlight of that particular evening is still hanging in a closet at my parents' house. I'm talking about my wedding dress.

If I had to choose between my husband and that dress, I would need the cold barrel of a gun at my temple to cast my vote. (Just kidding, hon.) No but really, I love, love, love that dress. I would sleep in it if I could and I miss those times leading up to the big day when I could just watch it. And pet it.

Here's the deal though, ladies. And this is serious, so I'm going to need some input on this one. They say you should spend about 30% of your budget on the dress. Well, I blew that. A lot. In fact, the dress WAS the wedding. (Hey, I made my own wedding invitations so I could have that dress. And I LIKED it.) But it's okay because it is still the most fabulous frock I ever put my little eyes on. Now that the wedding days are behind me, this little beauty sits on a hanger, in a bag, waiting to die.

To sell or not to sell the dress, that is the question. Do I release the dove into the world for some other lovely lady to bask in its...loveliness? Or do I keep it for my own selfish, sentimental, girly reasons? What's to be done in a situation like this?

FYI: The dress in question is courtesy of Anne Barge and selected with the help of Claire at Louise Blum on Post Oak in Houston, TX. Talk about service, y'all.

Photo by Aric Hoek at Solaris Studios, Houston, TX. He will make you look fabulous.

Monday, September 8, 2008

City Mouse, Country Mouse

This town kid has come a long way, folks. Once upon a time, this girl didn't like to find herself on the other side of a wall. The side where the sun shines. Unless, of course, I was on my way to the air-conditioned car. Who said people don't change?

I just spent three Utopian days in a little piece of perfection known as Yosemite National Park. One of America's better moments, I'd say. Pictures to follow. So what if you start to get a little loopy at about 10,000 feet. The nausea was totally worth it.

So I'm going to need acupuncture in order to be normal again after three nights of sleeping on the cold hard granite even while shivering my fanny off. But we did Yosemite right. We caught all of the great highlights: Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls. Although, I'd say that late summer probably isn't the best time of year for the waterfalls. The normally gushing spectacles were reduced to a trickle. Try early spring if you want some serious shock and awe.

We also brought along our most dedicated granola pals: Scott and Shelly. Who am I kidding, they brought us. These two are at least half billy goat, half compass. But that is to be expected. Scott spent four months in the wilderness of Wyoming and Montana. We're talking grizzly country, folks. And Shelly spent six months on the Appalachian Trail. I'd say these two like to be outside, but I don't want to misrepresent.

However, the poocher wasn't such a fan. Poor little Quinn, he's quite the house plant. So, it gets a little chilly at night at 10,000 feet elevation where we were camped. And Quinn is pretty much used to sprawling out on our bed under the covers. He lets us sleep with him. Despite his Quinn-sized hunting jacket (doggy clothes=vomit, I know), he spent the whole trip shivering and trying to crawl into our mummy sleeping bags with us. And for a dog that spends most of his time chasing a squeaking purple hippo in the yard, a ten mile hike was quite a trek. He spent most of the following day gingerly moping around the campsite. What a Drama Quinn.

Basically, who needs Cancun, Disneyland, or Vegas? If you want to really experience the world and have an unforgettable trip, you need to light out for the territory. Don't feel like you have the expertise to go it alone? Hire Shel and Scott Cundy to take you. That's right. They make a living taking unsuspecting travelers on outdoor adventure tours. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, South America, these folks have done it all. Don't waste your hard-earned moolah on another resort vacation. Buffets are overrated.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quickie: More web mining...

If you also find yourself obsessing a little over your favorite TV show, you simply must log in to Hulu.com. Totally awesome, has episodes of just about every show imaginable that you can watch on your computer--for F-R-E-E. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Except The Wonder Years, I don't think they have that one. Which is a bummer because I loved that show.

I'm off for a little romp in the great outdoors: headed to Yosemite for a weekend camping trip with my best hippie buddies, Shel and Scott. Yosemite: another first!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Undressed and Denis Leary's Better Half

We all have our little vices, guilty pleasures, if you will. You know, the base reality tv show in which young women insist that they have real feelings for a decaying, way-past-his-prime music legend. Or that website you visit daily that is completely void of any intellectual content. You quickly navigate away when someone enters the room. We're on the same page, here.

We all have 'em. Mine just happen to be, formerly, Rock of Love, Desperate Housewives, and Kat Giantis's Undressed column on MSN.com. In general, I try to avoid getting sucked into the vortex that is celebrity gossip. But this chick is just so gosh-darn hysterical that I literally cannot control myself. My eyes glaze over and in two clicks and I'm reading her witticisms about a scantily clad Cortney Love. Today, I was digging through the archives and found this little doozy:

"No Guts, No Tori: In the chanteuse's defense, she was at Comic-Con, a safe place to let your inner kook out for a little air, although that doesn't give her license to gut an innocent beanbag chair, throw a belt around it and call it a dress. It also doesn't excuse the droopy black material surrounding Tori's calves and feet, although, curiously, not her toes. Granted, it isn't easy accessorizing a hollowed-out novelty cushion, but come on, at least try to find something resembling actual footwear, and not extra-thick leg warmers glued to a pair of sandals, or drafty moon boots, or -- and we're just spitballing here -- Batman's cross-dressing shoe of choice."

Check out the photog of Ms. Amos here. I'm quite certain that Kat and I would be besties. She's a woman after my own heart.

Speaking of addictions, when oh when is the fifth season of Rescue Me going to get rolling? That Writers' Strike managed to seriously cut into my Tommy Gavin time. I know it's horrible, UN-politically correct, and appalling--but I can't get enough of the guys from 62 Truck. I know I'm a little late on the draw on this one (after all, ever since they started selling series on DVD, my life hasn't been the same), but Denis Leary is my new fix.

But who knew that his wife, Ann Leary, was such a literary genius? She's written several books and has a killer blog on her website. She talks pretty candidly about the perks of being the wife of a famous actor, like gorgeous models flirting with your husband and being labeled 'editorial waste':

"And here’s something you might not know about red carpets: almost always, the people on the other side of it – photographers, journalists,etc are more attractive and more animated than the actual stars. You just never get to see them, but I do, because I am usually hustled off to the side so that they can photograph Denis either by himself or with another actor. I am what’s known as a waste of editorial space. Photographers will usually take photos of Denis with me, to be polite, but then will insist on some with Denis and somebody worth photographing. I hope I don’t sound bitter, because, in fact, the photographers are so gracious and good-humored about the whole thing that I’m usually thrilled to step up next to them, out of camera range. There, nestled in amongst the guys lugging the sound equipment and cameramen, I have heard some of the juiciest gossip and filthiest jokes you can imagine, and Denis usually has to drag me away."

Love! Lady writers, keep makin' me laugh. It keeps me young.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Death by Résumé

Readers, when you were in your final days as a college student, did you sort of throw up in your mouth a little every time someone asked you, "So what are you going to after graduation?" Yeah, me too. I literally had no idea what I was going to do and by the time I actually did graduate, I was really tired of the taste of my own bile. Sorry to be so graphic.

The source of the nausea was all of that glaring white space on my résumé. I did well in college and participated in class. My professors liked me and gave me good grades. But still, even I knew that my résumé--that haunting wretch of a personal summary--had all the cards. And I had nary an ace up my sleeve.

With absolutely no clue as to how I might launch the glamorous career I was destined to enjoy, I spent at least a month in my pajamas on my parents' couch eating hot dogs and watching Out of Africa. Ironically, I lost weight?

Anyway, to everything there is indeed a season. I did get a job. A good one. In California. I promptly developed a fervent disgust for the working world and quit in the name of self employment exactly 1.5 years later. But I wonder, how might my life be different if I had known of a phenomenon known as "The Résumé Writer"?

More specifically, The Resume Girl. Apparently, there is no need for résumé-induced paralysis, there is a solution. I've recently been introduced to The Résumé Girl. She knows all the tricks of the trade and can write you a killer résumé in about no time flat. A business owner like myself, she makes a living coaching young hopefuls on interviewing and career tips. You can also find awesome tools and products on her website that will help ease the pain of transitioning into the real world from the warm underbelly known as...college.

I know, I get the creeps just thinking about it.