Thursday, January 24, 2008

Right now there is a Tornado Warning for Malibu, Topanga, and Pacific Palisades.

What. The. Fuck.

And yes, that is a Warning. Not a Watch. I grew up in Kansas and do know the difference. Where I am, we've been having torrential rains for the past two days. Yesterday was on and off, with some really long spells, and this one hasn't let up since around mid-afternoon.

I got on Well, sort of. It's actually the second time that I've sent him tidbits that got on the site, one of which he posted a few months ago about the passing of Brooke Astor. The last sentence in that article is mine, and that sentence is exactly why I sent it. I completely don't mind if he "borrows" phraseology. I'm sending it to him because he reaches a different audience.

The headline on the Ledger article reads exactly as I sent it, except that he left out Heath's first name, and was posted not a half hour after I emailed it to him. Though I'm mentioning it here, I asked not to be identified as the source because his site gets millions of hits each day. I'd found out about this really early, before it even broke the news. It was a fluke that I did, so I sent it to Perez, who has been a guilty pleasure of mine from time to time. Also, because he runs his own site, he's accessible unlike major news organizations where the mail would go into some folder and be forgotten. This was my email to him:

-----Original Message-----
From: annehe (domain removed to prevent spam)
Sent: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 12:28 am
Subject: Hate Church Plans to Picket Heath Ledger's Funeral

Fred Phelps and his Westboro baptist "church" (i.e. extended family) intend to picket Heath Ledger's funeral because he starred in Brokeback Mountain. I have no power by myself, but if his funeral is in Australia, perhaps those of you with a voice can persuade the government there to NOT grant them visas into the country. These people are disgusting. I grew up in Topeka and went to high school with some of their kids before they started this crap. Even then everyone knew they were "off" and avoided them. Think "Carrie" sans the supernatural powers. Talk about tortured and withdrawn. I can only hope some of them escaped. Please do not publish my name or url. And please do what you can to stop this.

Their website is, as I'm sure you know:
(removed so my blog won't directly link to his site, nor publicize it.)

Thank you. -- Anne

And this was the result, less than half an hour later. Note the headline. Good on you, Perez. Way to spread the word. By the comments the article generated, (last time I checked there were over 1200 of them) I think that my goal of spreading the word on the evil intentions of these people were met. If anyone can exact a shitstorm on these inbred lunatics, he can. It won't change them as people, but it just might prevent them from achieving their sick goal. If you want to view the photo large, click here.

The story I broke to Perez Hilton

Here is a link to the actual article.

And yes, there was a Phelps in every grade in my high school, but as I mentioned in the email, their family wasn't up to their idiocy yet so no one knew just how fucked their home life was. We just knew the Phelps kids never really mixed with anyone. You knew their names but no one really knew them. They were like ghosts floating in the hallways, clutching their books to their chests as if they provided body armor. Their moon-faced mugs are in all my yearbooks.

I hope some of them escaped this hateful lunatic.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I was driving back from lunch when I heard the news about Heath Ledger on the radio. My reaction was visible, and the man in the truck beside me looked at me curiously. I think it was because the way the newswoman delivered the news, "Heath Ledger found DEAD in his apartment." Yeah, I thought it was blunt, too.

This one got to me. I don't know Heath Ledger and never met him, but he was a talented actor who moved me with his performance in Brokeback Mountain and so "got" the part he was portraying. So much, that I wrote about a personal memory it evoked in my blog. I was looking forward to seeing him as The Joker in The Dark Knight. I still am, but it will be weird and sad in a way to see him in the film.

I don't think he meant to kill himself. However, when I heard the news I couldn't help but think of Rob. Apparently he was suffering from addiction, depression and couldn't sleep. I don't know anything about the former, but I do know of the last two and how desperate you can become to just feel normal. I think that's what got to me. He died alone and sad in a cold loft apartment that could not absorb his sorrows. I thought of the daughter that will now only know him in two dimensions.

I want to shake people sometimes, who so recklessly play chicken with their bodies. I'd love to think this is a wake-up call to others who taunt fate but it won't be. Everyone thinks it can't happen to them, that they won't be that black body bag being unceremoniously rolled out into the street. Though Heath Ledger wasn't one of them, the celebrities who flaunt their addictions and drug and drunken infused lifestyle will continue to do so. The followers who think that it’s cool will continue to follow and rely on fate instead of themselves to be their guardians. They'll do it because it makes them feel special, on the edge and the boss of who they are.

Meanwhile, life for the rest of us will continue. We'll wake up in the morning, get into the shower and let our minds drift during our warm baptism. We'll get dressed, unable to decide between the black pants or brown cords. We'll stand in line at the coffee shop, drug store, grocery store, make brief eye contact with strangers and share idle chatter with clerks. We'll smell the scents of the day hear the sounds of life on it's pace. We'll drive to here and there, and stop at lights, cars on either side of us housing their drivers in glass and steel cages. We'll go shopping, to doctor's appointments, fill up our cars with gas, read books, watch TV, hear heavy trucks as they pass by and ponder over what to fix for dinner. We'll dream, mean to do this and that but never get around to it because we aimlessly surfed the internet. We'll want those boots we saw on one of our Web excursions. Every now and then, we'll worry if we're really good at what we do for a living and then assure ourselves that we are and that we didn't get the job because people were being nice. We'll spend time with friends, strangers, and laugh with coworkers. We'll keep our goals in mind because that's what keeps us going.

But still, a man in the prime of his life died of sadness today. And despite all of the above that means something. It's not trifled because he was an actor. Were he someone like the talentless train wreck celebutards who feel that they are entitled to wake up in the morning, that would be different. No. He was merely someone who was quietly suffering and one day didn't wake up. And that is tragic.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's windy in Los Angeles, and I'm listening to the gusts push everything around from my blinds, the palm trees and fronds scraping against the sidewalk.

Things are still going well in the work department. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up with such great people in a great position. It all wouldn't have happened if I hadn't had that epiphany while temping one cold day in Baltimore. I just finally decided to come back to LA. I'm thankful for the position and the people and as I've always said when posting about this job, I hope it lasts. Especially when I hear that Warner Bros. is threatening to lay off almost a thousand people. The writers were out in force on Monday because of that, and I saw my old boss at Warner standing among them, not striking but talking. I was on my way home for lunch and saw her there. Just another life I've come in contact with here and whose story I have part knowledge of. I think her job is secure there so I'm not worried for her.

I went to Urth Caffe two weekends ago and ran into a woman who worked in accounting at The Wire. I went over and talked to her and we marveled at the small world. When she worked on The Wire, she already lived full-time in Los Angeles and was just in Baltimore for the work.

On the other side of the coast in Baltimore, my mom ran into Sonja Sohn in the Apple Store, who sent the message via my mom for her to tell me hello. I don't know Sonya that well, but ran into her a lot in the Starbucks during and after The Wire and we always ended up chatting. That, and at parties for the show. My mom had also met her before a couple times. The Wire continues to resonate in my life.

A few weeks ago I went to a movie premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theater with my friend John. Hi John! We had a great time, caught up, drank and ate and danced and talked to lots of people. It was a great after party and a really interesting movie called Crazy, about guitarist Hank Garland. There were a lot of actors and a great mix of really interesting people there, including for you Heroes fans, Ally Landry, and Cuba Gooding Jr. who was all smiles and energy. Exactly what one would expect when seeing him. John's friend was in the movie, a woman who had great positive energy and was fun. After the party, on the way out of the parking structure I heard a large scrape behind me, and saw that the noise had come from a Lamborghini that had kissed the asphalt when coming out of the lot. I winced, and when it pulled up beside me, Cuba was at the wheel. He hadn't been going fast, unlike The Douche. It was a tough exit for a low car like that. However, out of any driveway or short incline, I'd be driving it like it had training wheels.

I'm in the process of paying down some debt which feels awesome. I have a way to go because moving was expensive even with the help from my dad, a.k.a., road trip buddy, and Jack. It feels good to call up and pay off outstanding bills from Baltimore, like old tickets, or to pay a lot more than the minimum on my credit card payments. It's going to be slow going, but every time I make a payment it's a mini-closed chapter and I feel great. On the other hand, I'm continuing to update the wardrobe and am finding great bargains. It's all about patience and pacing.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What are you doing reading my blog? Get yo' ass in front of the TV and turn on The Wire. Season Premiere on HBO Tonight. 9PM.

No, I'm not on the credits in this one, as am for Season 3 and 4 as the story researcher in the writer's office. Though I was asked to come back for 5, as most of you know, I knew it was time to move back to LA. What an incredible experience to work on that show.

Watch it.

For real.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008 to you all. I woke up in 2008 having moved back to Los Angeles and having a great job that makes me happy. I don't have any words of wisdom because I'm playing this whole life thing by ear myself. I do however, have a post from Thanksgiving that I hadn't posted yet. So, as we go into 2008, here's my last post written in 2007.

On Thanksgiving Day, before going to Cathy and Reese's to gorge myself into a coma, I visited Starbucks to have my iced mocha. Upon getting out of my car, I noticed a gorgeous racing-orange Lotus Exige S in the parking lot. Since most of the stores around were closed, and it was parked so obviously in front of Starbucks, I figured the owner was somewhere inside the store.

On my way outside, mocha in hand, I almost let the door fall on a man behind me. I apologized and he was gracious, knowing I just hadn't seen him. He was sweet, mild mannered, wore a baseball hat and most likely gay. I took a seat at the table beside the door, and he took one at the table beside me. A few minutes later, a huge Lexus SUV drove into the lot and parked. A man whom I immediately dubbed, "The Player" got out with his Asian wife and strolled up to the door. He was probably just past sixty, she was in her late forties, or maybe older. I called him "The Player" because he was dressed in all black, casual Armani with wrap around sun glasses, and silver hair neatly gelled into place. He just had the look of the Hollywood Player. He sat at the table on the other side of the door, to my right while his wife went inside. At this Starbucks, there are several large pine trees that surround it and like many Starbucks, the patio area faces a parking lot. The three of us were enjoying a quiet beautiful day out as a gentle breeze played with the warm air around us. We were content with who we were and happy to be enjoying some quiet time off.

Enter, The Douche.

Now by the way I set that scene up, you had to know that a douche was on the horizon. In this case, it was in the form of a teenager in a circa Risky Business "There is No Substitute," "Who's the U-boat Commander" era Porsche. The kid sped into the parking lot so fast that he scraped the entire bottom of the Porsche on the pavement. That entrance is rough anyway, but to a low sitting car like that, it's murder. The noise was like a giant in dire need of a manicure scraping his fingernails on a huge chalkboard. We all jumped, and were not only pissed at the stark interruption, but at the kid for being a reckless git and driving dangerously. He sped around the parking lot, looking for a space, revving the engine as loud as he could. He thrust the car into reverse and floored it backward, stopping with the screech of tires to straighten it out and park me. I could feel my Honda rolling her eyes. For good measure, in case he hadn't stressed that poor old German girl out enough, he put the car in neutral and revved the engine one more time, as loudly as possible before killing the engine.

"Looks like Daddy gave someone the keys to his car," I said, as the teenage boy and his younger brother got out. The kid was trying to pretend that he hadn't just made a complete ass out of himself with his blunder on what was supposed to be his grand entrance in front of us mere mortals. Of course, being me, I wasn't going to let him think that it went by unnoticed.

"Yep," The Quiet Man said from my left. He had previously remarked that the kid was going way too fast, as all of us had.

I mocked the imagined father, "Son, why don't you go get yourselves Starbucks and bring me back a blended. I'll let you drive the Porsche but you have to take your little brother."

Snickers from both the men.

The Douche approached the door, little brother in tow, and put his hand on the door.

I looked up from my laptop that was balanced on my knee and said, "That bump must have hurt a little."

In an act that might have won him an Oscar, the kid looked completely clueless and said to me, "What bump?"

I pointed to the entrance and said, "That one that you took hard right there. Sounded like it hurt." The little brother was standing behind his older brother, not doing as good a job at playing dumb.

"What bump?" he said again, as if I had pointed out a stain on his shirt that he just couldn't see. I gave him a look that said he wasn't fooling anyone.

From behind me, The Quiet Man defied his demeanor and scolded, "You were going way too fast. There are kids in this lot and that's way too fast to be driving. It's dangerous." He sounded just like a dad talking to a five-year-old, and it was perfect. The papier-mache bravado disguise crumbled and blew away, revealing an embarrassed kid, who shrank into himself. The two of us had successfully emasculated The Douche, and like a last rev to shatter the silence, had done it in front of his little brother.

"Okay," The Douche said, like it had just occurred to him, and went inside.

We snickered, and The Quiet Man said, "Yeah, don't get smart, kid."

"Exactly," I said. "And you know it was because he was completely mortified," I said pointing at the entrance, "as he should have been."

"Oh, totally," The Quiet Man said.

The Player chimed in, "That Porsche isn't worth more than $500."

"After that it's worth even less," I said.

Snickers all around.

A few minutes later, avoiding eye contact, the kid ran out the door toward the car. A couple minutes later, the little brother came out with a tray of three drinks.

The Quiet Man had gone inside, so after he passed, I said to The Player, "God I'm good."

The Player looked at me quizzically, and I said. "Three Drinks." I then re-explained my theory of dad wanting a Starbucks, and cajoling The Douche to go get him one by letting him drive the car. In my discussion with The Player, I learned he owned a rare Porsche GT2.

The Quiet Man came back outside and told us goodbye, and walked straight to the yep, you guessed it, gorgeous Lotus.

He started the car, drove out of his spot and waved at me. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up, he smiled back.

Even better, The Douche was sitting in the car and saw The Quiet Man, the very one who had just ripped him a new asshole for being reckless, get into that gorgeous sports car and drive off through the parking lot. I watched as the life lesson registered on his face.

The Douche started the car, sans revving, and drove like an eighty-year-old grandmother out of the lot.