Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Samantha

I know this blog has turned into a brag book about my nieces and nephews, but seriously how gorgeous is this kid?

That is Samantha; Larry and Michele's little girl. I don't know her as well as I probably should, but I hear she is wicked precocious. She kind of looks like she knows it, too. I hope that confidence sticks with her throughout her teens (which is years away). But it's a time in a girl's life when you have to hold onto your self esteem with a vice-like grip. Oh, and in your late 30's, too.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's Been Way Too Long...

Since my last post. I've never worked this hard in my life. Gary Unmarried is the (new) name of the show I'm working on. It premieres on Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30pm. Please watch it so I know these 70+ hour work weeks are not for nothing.

In the meantime, everyone else has been enjoying the last days of summer; no one less than my brother, Chris, and his family. Here is a shot from his summer vacation on Squam Lake. It's pictures like these that make me think: Am I working to live or living to work. Seems like the latter. I wanna jump like a mad woman off a rock.

Oh, and that's my niece, Devin, with him. She's 11. Even in her crouched jumping position you can tell she's a tall girl. I called today to see what size show she take (her birthday is in a few days and I love buying her shoes) and apparently she's a women's 9! Wow! That's one size less than me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paul's New Yorker Piece

I know I haven't posted in a while and posting someone else's work shouldn't really count as a post but I wanted to make sure everyone reads Uncle Ball's new piece in The New Yorker because there are some jokes in here that made me laugh out loud.

Shouts & Murmurs

Stump Speech

by Paul Simms July 28, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve campaigned across this great country of ours, one of my greatest pleasures has been meeting all the wonderful Americans whose voices are so rarely heard—and whose stories are so rarely told.

I’m thinking of the young woman I met in Texahoma, Texas: a single mother who has three full-time jobs—but no health insurance. Or the young man I met in Oklatexa, Oklahoma, who has tons and tons of health insurance—but no job. I’ll never forget the look in that young man’s eye when he said to me, “Also, I’m single, and I’d like to meet a woman who already has children and who preferably lives in an adjoining state.”

These are the moments when you realize that the current system has failed us, and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do to help.

I’m thinking of married couples like Jim and Sheila R., of Fort Injun, Wyoming. Jim has spent most of his fifty years laboring manually in a pebble mine. And Sheila—without any government aid—has started a foundation to enlighten Americans about the putative value of hand-mined pebbles. But despite a banner sales year, during which they sold almost six sacks of their artisanal-quality hand-mined pebbles, they still haven’t been able to scrape together enough money to buy a last name.

I’m talking about people like the wonderful Mexican gentleman I met in Hilltop Hollow, Arizona, who, when I told him of my great affection for the country of Mexico, looked me in the eye and said, “Yo soy de Nicaragua.” Which reminded me how I’ve always thought that one of the most beautiful languages in the whole world is Mexican.

Or the young man who walked up to me after a speech in Townville, South Dakota. He handed me a 1923 silver dollar and said, “This coin used to belong to my father. It was his prize possession. But I want you to have it now. And I want you to carry it with you on your travels from state to state.” And, as I was thanking him, this young man looked me right in the eye and said, “Actually, I stole it from my father five minutes ago. He’s standing right over there. No—don’t look, don’t look. Be cool. Maintain. Just put it in your pocket. I’ll be in touch.” And with that he walked away.

I’m talking about the young man—a boy, really; he couldn’t have been more than eleven or twelve years old—whom I met in an online game of Halo, who said to me, “Headshot! Suck it! Pwned! Be less gay!,” after he had killed me by camping a respawn point, which really should be illegal.

I’m talking about the mother of five in Badhampton, New York, who told me, “Between getting the kids up at 5 A.M. for gymnastics practice, then driving them to school, then taking the dogs to the vet, then picking up the kids after school and taking them to gymnastics meets, then feeding the dogs, then putting the kids to bed, then walking the dogs, then waking the kids and the dogs up for midnight gymnastics practice, I still worry that I’ll never realize my dream of assembling the world’s most awesome dogs-plus-humans gymnastics troupe.”

I’m talking about the middle-aged man from Monterey, California—a Mr. Sammy Hagar—who told me, “I can’t drive fifty-five.” To tell the truth, I never had the good fortune to meet Sammy face to face, but we did have a long and fruitful one-way conversation through my car stereo one night during a Classic Rock Block.

I’m thinking and talking about a man I met in New Carsmell, Vermont, before my campaign even began. He had inherited from his step-uncle, after much legal wrangling, the family diner. I remember as if it were yesterday asking this man for a ham-and-cheese sandwich. And he made me one. But, before he served it to me, he smooshed it down in this hot-presser thing that sort of looked like a copy machine. So, when it was done, the sandwich was like a flattened-out grilled cheese with ham, which the man claimed was an Italian delicacy. That thing was delicious. I can’t remember right now what it’s called, but more and more places are starting to serve them, so, if you ever get the chance to have one, definitely try it. I think it might have been called a “pannioli” or something. Something Italian-sounding.

But I digress.

What I’m really trying to talk about on this great occasion is women like your mother, whose decades-long struggle with morbid obesity has earned her much renown in the urban folklore of our great land. That’s right—your mother: a woman who is said to be so fat that, when she sat down on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday got bounced into the middle of next week. If I could, I would give her a medal, even though she would probably eat it, thinking there’s chocolate inside.

As I conclude my remarks here tonight, I can’t help but think of whichever one of you it was in the audience who sarcastically applauded when I said “As I conclude my remarks” a few seconds ago. It’s easier to tear down than to build up, Ma’am. And I call you “Ma’am” with the full knowledge that you’re probably actually a guy, because I just got you back.

You know, when I began this campaign, people said I was crazy. They said it couldn’t be done. They said that no one, in the entire history of American politics, had ever mounted and run and, God willing, won a national campaign to be elected King of Prussia. They said that King of Prussia is not really an elected office. They said that King of Prussia is just the funny name of a town in Pennsylvania. They said that when most people hear the phrase “King of Prussia” they think of the famous mall there, and not of the governmental position that apparently does not exist.

Well, maybe they’re right.

O.K., that’s the part where you’re all supposed to yell, “No!”

Nothing? No one?

Whatever. Fine. I’ll be in the food court if anyone wants to sign my petition or have a photo op or buy me a Burrito Supreme.

Monday, July 07, 2008

August Grimstad

When you hear the name August Grimstad you probably picture an old man in a Dickens novel who tortures kittens and orphans. Or perhaps a professor who droned on and on while you daydreamed about your unrequited high school love who went to a better college. Well, in a true case of a book not being judged by it's cover, will the real August Grimstad please stand up:
GUS!! If that face doesn't scream Gus, I don't know what does. I can't wait 'til he's old enough to drink with. That little dude looks like a good time.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My Third Career

Nate and Ivy have been here for a little more than a week. When they arrived, Nate's hair was huge. One of my favorite things to do when the kids come to visit is to cut Nate's hair. I gave him my specialty -- the number two, then cleaned up his edges with my fancy new Tweezerman scissors. They were very sharp so my lovely assistant, Ivy, held Nato's ears down so they didn't end up on the floor with the rest of his hair.

I didn't take a before picture but I did take an after:
Nate doesn't like this picture (he's holding the broom) but I think it shows my skills better than his choice:
Ginger thinks I did an awesome job.

And one last picture of Nate's fallen soldiers which we later tried to glue to Sam's head.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

For Russ

This is for my friend, Russ ,who moved to Portland last week and doesn't have TV yet. I wanted to post something he could watch 1000 times over until the cable man comes. Here you go, Russ. I hope you love your new life.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Job

I started my new job last week on Project Gary. (We're trying to figure out a better name for the show but I got nothing.) Life on a big network show is living. Now I know what all the fuss is about.

More to come...

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Other Larry Bean

When the link to the Herald article didn't work, Kerri googled Larry's name. She found the other Larry Bean.
If you're looking for "clean" entertainment, apparently, Larry's your man. Go to Bean Magic for more details.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Big News in Boston

My brother Larry made the Boston Herald! And look at this picture! WTF!! I thought I got the looks in the family. Apparently I'll have to settle for the brains.

Here's the article:

Larry Bean knows luxury.

So Boston Common magazine wasted no time in scooping up the former editor-in-chief of the Robb Report - the authority on the likes of the filthy rich.

When the Robb Report relocated its editorial operations from Acton to Malibu, Calif., where its corporate offices are based, Bean could have followed but chose to stay in Boston.

Boston Common Publisher Glen Kelley said it was an opportunity to pick up a “great player” and has hired Bean as his glossy magazine’s editor-at-large.

“We’re able to bring in an editor that already understands luxury lifestyle magazines,” Kelley said yesterday. “That’s something that is very unique.”

Bean, who started at Boston Common last week, will be working with Executive Editor Terri Stanley, who joined the publication in 2006 from Scene magazine, now North End Scene.

A Somerville native, Bean is a Harvard graduate who had worked at the Robb Report since 1998.

Kelley said he views Bean’s hire as “adding to the strength of the team.”

“As Larry is more and more involved, he’ll end up putting his personal stamp on there too, which is true for all editorial staff,” Kelley said.

For now, Bean is learning the ropes. “It’s a little bit of a learning curve for me,” Bean said.

Stanley also said Bean’s experience is a good opportunity for Boston Common, which publishes six times a year.

Stanley said she’s looking forward to collaborating with somebody who understands luxury lifestyles as well as the magazine’s concept and can help her “shape” the magazine.”


Cool, right?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vito Check In


Michael Udesky took this picture on Wednesday night. I like it for two reasons: I just had my hair did and I'm holding the shaker just right - making me look skinnier than I actually am.

I'm going in tonight for my third night in a row. Last night things got pretty raucous at the bar. The Lakers/Celtics game was on the tiny TV behind the bar directly above the cooler which holds all the martini glasses that I always seem to need at pivotal points in the game. Being that it was a very intense game 3, the noise level was at an all time high. With about 2 minutes left in the game, the TV shut off. Naturally everyone starts screaming at me like I did something. I looked around for the remote but couldn't find it. Finally, George, the lovable but extremely gruff waiter, comes behind the bar with the remote and says in a very thick Latino accent, "I want everyone to shut the f*ck up! It's too loud in here and this is a family f*cking restaurant. You don't stop screaming, I turn it off for good! Jesus f*cking Christ!" He then puts the TV back on and walks away.

Good ol' George. A true wordsmith.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A List To Catch Us Up To Speed

Since my last post I:

Have been to New York.
Watched my step daughter play Lacrosse.
Wished I could’ve played Lacrosse.
Cheered step-daughter on in the stands with my husband’s ex-wife in the pouring rain.
Accepted a ride home from ex-wife.
Spend a couple hours lost in car with step-daughter, ex-wife and ex-wife's boyfriend.
Spent $700 to get back to Los Angeles early for a job interview.
Got fired from The Game.
Delayed my trip to Boston for a day to have second interview for job.
Flew to Boston on a three hour delayed red-eye.
Took the water shuttle from airport to downtown Boston - so cool.
Heard rumors that I got hired on new show.
Couldn't get my agent to tell me if I got hired on new show.
Ate at Kelly's Roast Beef.
Got heartburn from the onion rings.
Finally found out I got hired on Project Gary.
Drove to Vermont for Rick the Pickle Man's wedding.
Was told by my husband not to wear the totally unflattering muu-muu (think Maude) to WASPy pre-wedding cook-out barn party.
Cried over being fat.
Cried more over not knowing what to wear to WASPy pre-wedding cook-out barn party.
Sucked it up knowing husband was right.
Attended my first wedding officiated by a female priest.
Partied with my step-kids at reception.
Chatted with my husband’s ex-wife at reception.
Watched my husband deftly avoid all contact with his ex-wife at reception.
Asked ex-wife's boyfriend what he did for a living, didn't understand what he said, finished cupcake and walked away.
Drove Back to Boston.
Was mean to my mother whom love more than anything else in the world.
Walked for miles along the Charles River with my husband. So beautiful.
Flew Back to L.A.
Gave up on losing weight.
Had a two day hangover.
Considered quitting Vito.
Reconsidered quitting Vito.
Had Hagie the dog groomer shave Mabel.
Think I love Mabel more due to her new haircut.
Cut my forehead open stocking Pellegrino at the bar.
Considered quitting Vito again.
Reconsidered quitting Vito again.
Have tried to think of story ideas for new show.
Have decided my head is an empty vessel good for nothing except banging against cabinet doors.
Made this list.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Computer Down

My computer is the shop. I won't have it back until next week. So until them I am stealing time on Sam's computer. Posting will be very sparse. So I guess what I'm trying to say is: there'll be no change at all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quickie

I am not weighing in today as I just got back from NYC last night and ate my head off while I was there. I will, however, give a review later of all the restaurants I went to with Paul, the NY Foodie, and of Ivy's lacrosse game.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weigh In Week 4

0

Holding steady at the 3 pound weight loss. Yes, I would have enjoyed holding steady at the 5 pound weight loss but it just wasn't in the cards.

Working all weekend at Vito has definitely been a challenge to the diet. Between drinking sink slop and eating a bite of everyone's plate, I'm doing unnecessary damage to the diet. A mouthful of Fettuccine Burino here and taste of Veal Meatball there adds up. When it was just Saturday night it I could work off whatever went down the gullet in a couple of days, but 3 nights in a row both weekends has got me behind the big fat 8 ball.

The only thing keeping my spirits up is that I know my body is firming up a bit with my "Walking With Weights" (copyright to come) workout. My upper body feels stronger and tighter. I'm up to 100 reps with the 5 pound weights. It may be time to kick it up to 7 pounds.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Weigh In Week 3

+2.

Yep, you read it right. I just had to rip the band-aid off quick and say it. I'm not too upset by it because I knew the gain was happening last night when I ate nachos made with ground bison (yuck), drank two pomegranate lime margaritas, and a row of Now & Laters. (Still the greatest candy ever made but you have to get the ones made in Mexico not in the US. The US ones are just lame and chewy like taffy the whole time. The Mexico ones are hard and crunch now and soft and chewy later -- the way God intended it.) The worse part of the night came when I finished the Now & Laters and was still hungry. The bison on the nachos tasted gamy to me so I could only eat the outside cheesy bits. So what did I do? I marched downstairs and did the unexplainable -- I made two hot dogs. HOT DOGS??!!! Yep, two delicious, salty Boar's Head hot dogs with all the fixings. I felt sick halfway through the first one and managed a bite of the second before I gave up.

Two pounds is a blessing after reviewing last night's menu. That and the fact that it's lady business time; I feel like I kind of got off easy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mapping My Workout

My friend Russ directed me to a website called Map My Run. Just point and click on their map where you went and it tells you how many miles you logged. Delicious.

2.86 miles doesn't seem like a lot but it's all hills. Here's a map for those of you playing along at home.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Working Out For Weigh Ins

I know this matters to no one but me but I feel the need to post my workouts. Inspired by my friend Stacey, I have decided to do all my working out in the outdoors -- without instructors. When you look at how much money a year you spend for spin class or a circuit training class, when there's nothing new you're learning there, it's a stupid investment. The only thing those classes really provide you with is a place to show up to and strangers to work out with. So with that in mind I've been trying to incorporate a new workout regimen into my life. It's easier now that I'm officially done with work. (The Game wrap party is tonight -- whether me or the show get asked back for a third season is in question.)

My latest thing has been to walk the hills of Ocean Park (my Santa Monica neighborhood) with 5 pound weights doing constant reps with my upper body. I did this once along the Charles River with Kitty and could barely move my arms the next day. I know from all my Pilates classes that constant reps with small weights are the way to tone and not build muscle. So knowing that while keeping my heart rate elevates on the hills has turned into my walk into an excellent workout. The only downside is I look like a crazy person. (Pictures to come.)

Yesterday I waled from my house on 2nd Street to 17th Street. Not sure of the mileage -- have to clock it in the car someday. I walked up and down the hills for 1 hour. My heart rate (Yes, I wear a heart rate monitor and there are people out there who hate my attachment to it -- Maura -- but too bad. I love assigning numbers to my workout.) I was "in zone" (meaning not to low, and not too high) for 00:20:57. My average heart rate was 172 ( I used to train for marathons at 155 - 160, so I'm working pretty hard on these hills.). My maximum heart rate was 194 (Yikes, almost died on that one.). And the total number of calories burned for that hour was 782 (Think a bottle of wine.).

All and all a good day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weigh In Week 2

To be consistent (and to give myself an extra day to try and shake off the sillies from the weekend), I have moved my weigh -ins to Tuesday. I stepped on the scale this morning to find my self...(drum roll)...

-2 lbs!

That puts the two week total at 5 lbs. Not bad, not bad at all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weigh In Week 1

Our guests left at the crack this morning so I was able to weigh in.

-3lbs.

Not bad considering Sam and I took our guests out last night for Mexican food and margaritas. I went easy on the chips knowing I had a showdown with the scale today. However, I didn't fare so well in the margarita battle which continued on after the restaurant in my living room while we played Texas Hold 'Em. But being that I'm at minus 3, I can't complain. In fact, I'll drink to that!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weigh In Postponed

I'm not trying to dodge the weigh-in, it's just we have guests staying with us and the scale is in their bathroom. They leave tomorrow so I hop on then.

Overall I think I've had a decent week. I ate well, I worked out some but, man oh man, did I fall off the wagon over the weekend. Maura and I went to Vegas and you know how they say, What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, that's true. Except for the bloat you put on while sitting by the pool all day drinking mojitos and eating nachos. I'm pretty sure that weight comes home from Vegas with you. We'll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One Reason To Love L.A.

It was absolutely gorgeous here this weekend. I think it was 90 degrees at the beach. On Saturday morning, I couldn't find my spin shoes and by the time I did, it was too late to go to Spin class. So I decided to get on my bike and do it the old fashioned way.

I needed to replicate the awesome work-out I get when I spin so just sticking to the bike path wasn't going to work. (On a beautiful weekend every weekend warrior asshole and his kid is out there swerving all over the place -- dangerous and annoying.) I decided to take the path up to Temescal Canyon and figure it out from there.

I took a right at the first light on Temescal and made my way through the Pacific Palisades. I was unfamiliar with the neighborhood but knew if I stuck to making only rights I would be nearest to the streets that hang over the PCH and the ocean. This is what I found:
And that's taken with my cell phone! Just when you think you've had enough of Los Angeles you find a little gem of a bike ride like the one I found on Saturday. So beautiful.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Maximum Density

I'm at it. For real. I have been living in the fast lane, burning candles at both ends for too long. I'm not taking proper care of myself and it shows. Big time. I'm going to be 40 in 9 months and there is no way I'm going to be fat and forty.

I had this idea in December to do a project here on the blog called "12 to 40." For twelve months I would document my progress of trying to get in decent shape by the time I turned 40. Pictures and all. Then I realized that posting pictures of myself in my underwear is something no one wants to see. Especially now. I will, however, track my progress at trying to lose twenty pounds here without pictures.

I've found that the only way I succeed at losing weight is when I am accountable somewhere - weighing in once a week sucks but it works. So last night, I put new batteries in the scale, took my head out of the sand and saw the truth. HORRIFYING!

Starting today, each and every Monday I will post my loss or, God forbid, my gain.

And no, I'm not posting my starting weight. But if you need to get an idea, just go out and weigh the nearest trash dumpster. It's about the same. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Best Toast Ever!

The ceremony was, as Al said in his comment, legendary, but the toast given by Nate was truly the highlight of the evening. Spider caught most of it.
video

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Best Wedding Ever!

Seriously, it was. I didn't have a videographer (is that a word?) at our wedding. Had I known what Maura had in store for us, I might have wanted to capture it on film because our wedding has gone down in history as the funniest ceremony ever. In fact, it was ripped off by a famous showrunner when he officiated a ceremony months later. We know he ripped it off because he did exactly what Maura did and that groom's brother was a guest at our wedding. No hard feelings. Anymore.

Spider caught what he could on his camera. Here you go. video

Happy Anniversary, Husband!

Today is Sam's and my wedding anniversary. Apparently, flowers are the proper gift for a 4th anniversary because they represent the blossoming partnership as a couple. Blossoming, just blossoming?! What the hell's been going on for the past 4 years then? A loose association? Is it in full bloom in 8 years and then falls off and dies? I don't like the sound of any of this so I think I'll stick to normal presents that mean something to me. Like the Major League Baseball package on Direct TV. Now Sam can watch all 100+ Red Sox games. And if you know Sam, you know the one thing he really loves is sports. Sports!

We are very lucky to be remembered by our parents on our special day. My mother hooked us up with a lovely bouquet. Look:

While Vard and Ruth laced us with some green for a fancy dinner. Awesome.

It's gonna be a good day.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Day

Do people still "do" April Fool's Day? I always hated this day. I was never clever enough to come up with something good and always afraid of falling for something stupid. Only once was I impressed by an April Fool's trick.

The trick was played on the Keating twins who were my classmates from 4th to 8th grade at St. Catherine's. Their mother was super cool. I think she had 5 boys. She was often lunch-mother for our class and never raised her voice (unlike my grandmother who was a lunch-mother and never stopped screaming at us). Anyway the twins were notorious for having the best snacks and desserts. To trade with one of the Keating boys you had to be holding something pretty great. One year, Mrs. Keating packed the regular awesome lunch for the her boys -- pb & j's with Oreo cookie chasers. Unbeknownst to them, Mrs. K had scraped out all the creamy filling of the twins' cookies and replaced it with toothpaste. The twins bit in and nearly puked. So cool.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Another TV Debut

Seems Prince Bunny Rabbit Tricks Are For Kids Bean Johnson Esquire is not the only Bean getting into show business. My brother Chris has been working the ropes, literally, at the Winchester Community Theater's production of Peter Pan. Apparently the people behind the scenes wanted to blow it all out this year and actually have Peter fly. It's great in theory until you realize some poor bastard has to be behind the scenes to make those little f*ckers fly. Here are the backstage magicians being interviewed. (It's 40 seconds in.)
Please note that it is a huge HUGE deal to be interviewed by Joyce Kulhawik. Or as Kay would call her Joycekul Hawik. Either way works.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bunny's TV Debut

It's been a big week here on The Game. First with The Six Million Dollar Man and now with Bunny making his screen debut. He and I will be "atmosphere" in the exterior street scene we are shooting tonight.

Bunny has been very patient. His call time was 10am and his won't shoot his scene until 8pm tonight.

He waited in my office all day.

If anyone gets any crazy emails from me, you'll know who was messing around on my computer.

Easter '08

Every year for about the past 4 or 5 years Sam & I have spend Easter with the Groels. We did so again this year and, as always, it was awesome. Delicious food, terrific cocktails, an Easter egg hunt -- all of it a blast. This year the Easter egg hunt was a little easier than usual only because we really only had one kid hunting. And he was 19 months old. Basically we just threw the eggs in a pile on the ground under the kid's nose. He was awful cute picking up the eggs, opening them and handing me the chocolate inside. (Good boy.)

I did however miss what sounds like a stupendous Easter in Boston. Along with all the usual suspects: Chris, Colleen, Devin, Hayden, Larry, Garret and Samantha; were Jimmy, his wife Cathy, their granddaughter Alexis and a couple of dogs. (Michelle was in New York again so she missed out. Please click on the link to your right named Scenes From A Notebook to read about her adventures in NYC.) It sounded like chaos when I called. The best kind of chaos. People crammed into my mother's tiny kitchen trying to help her prepare while they get a load on. Good times.

Here's a picture of my nieces Samantha and Devin and my great niece Alexis. (GREAT NIECE?! You got to be f*cking kidding me.)
It seems impossible that these three girls are related, doesn't it? I love that Alexis wants no part of that hat. She's all, "You can drag my little butt all the way up here to Boston but don't be clowning me with your silly lids." I so wish I was there to meet her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Steve Austin

Lee Majors, aka Steve Austin, aka The Six Million Dollar Man is in my episode which we are shooting today. Obviously he's a much older man now, but he definitely seems much older than his 69 years. He's had so many chemical peels that his lower eyelids look like they are melting. That said, he's a nice man who really does try hard. Today when he messed up a take the director yelled, "Where would you like to take it from?" He came back with, "From my trailer." Still a quick wit.

However a few takes later when the camera was turned around on Mr. Majors, the actor who was in the scene with him was trying to play around and ad-libbed the line, "F*ck you, Lee Majors." The quick wit was thrown for a loop. He just blinked a few times like an old man who had just been slapped. Silence fell like a freezing cold blanket of snow over the whole stage. It was awkward to say the least.

If you're gonna say "F*ck you, Lee Majors" it needed to be said to the man when he looked like this:

Not this:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

StepDogger Scores 2050 On SATs

Yes, you read that right. Out of a possible score of 2400, my brilliant stepdaughter scored a 2050. I believe that score provides excellent argument for the nurture vs nature debate. Obviously my nurturing gave her those brains. If she had to go simply of nature and heredity who knows what kind of lowball score she would have gotten. Those two generations of Yalie blood coursing through her veins got nothing on me and what I've taught her about the streets. In fact I think the new section on the test is all about street smarts. I just wish they had that section on the test when I took it. I might have done better than a 790. And that's with the 200 points they give you just for getting your name right.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

444 Redux

Okay, so I thought that by writing about 444, I could shake it's steely hold on me. I was wrong.

This morning we table read my latest Game script. (A table read is when all the actors, producers, director, network executives, etc sit around a large table and listen the script being read out loud.) Anyway, we table read my script and it went very well. All the emotional highs and lows (it's a very dramatic sitcom) were on point and the jokes funny. The one big problem was that the script was a little long. Four minutes and forty four seconds long to be exact!

Weird.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

StepDogger Takes The SATs.

A few weekends ago my step-daughter, Ivy (Dogs or Dogger), took the SATs. If I remember correctly, when I took them the highest you could get was like 1600 or something. Now a perfect score is 2400. More test, more to get wrong.

I asked Dogs what the essay question was. She said she was asked to debate whether or not groups or organizations are successful when individuals pursue their own hopes and wishes. I told her I would have said that, yeah, organizations like, say, a volleyball team or something, are successful when the individual players use specific dreams/goals of personal success towards a greater (team) win.

Not bad for an answer on the fly when walking into a bar. I popped my collar and listened to what she had to say.

Apparently Dogger had other ideas. Her answer was that they were most successful and cited Abraham Lincoln following his much more radical hope than the rest of the Republican party and making the party be the most successful than its ever been and Reverend Hooper from Nathaniel Hawthorne's the Minister's Black Veil who followed his own wishes instead of just sticking to the church's.

Yeah, that's good, too.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Latest Bean Addition

My brother Jimmy is a grandfather AGAIN! Here is a picture of Alexis, his daughter Jamie's baby. Don't you want to take a bite out of her?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Want One.

Not So Generous Pour?

Well, it finally happened, Vito got hip to the ways of the drinking world and bought new martini glasses for the bar. The switcheroo from a 9 ounce to a 7 ounce glass happened the weekend I took off. At first, I couldn't figure out what the problem was. I kept over pouring my first few cocktails and then I realized: This f*cker is smaller. Mary, my co-tender, confirmed my suspicions. One morning Roberto, Vito's cheap brother, sneaked into the bar and replaced all the martini glasses in the freezer. (I wonder if he did this before or after he filled all the premium vodka bottles with the cheap stuff?)

My first thought was; is this my fault? Are me and my friends burning through so much vodka that a measly two ounces will make a difference? (When I pour for friends and family I use the good stuff -- I know which bottles are filled with rubbing alcohol and which are the real deal.)
Then I realized, yes, it is our fault but not for that reason.

Almost no one (except my friends) orders more than one martini because they are so huge. By making the glasses a little smaller, people are more likely to order a second. In trying to figure out how to get the rest of the restaurant to drink the way my friends drink, they needed to shrink the drink. A shrewd business move to milk the lightweights. I'm proud to say my friends have set the pace at Vito.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bully Tactics

I've been asked politely (and not so politely, STACEY!) to start posting again. I know I've been incommunicato for a while and I apologize. I believe I am truly suffering from writer's block. You should see that state of the pilot I should be working on but that's another story.

Today, two things inspired me to post again:

1) On stage, the script supervisor, Ellen, writes down little inspirational sayings and tapes them to her rolling podium. Today's was: "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments." I swear to god that little card was right behind me every time I turned around. I've had no discipline since going back to work. Just last week I started to incorporate working-out into my life again. And that's something I NEVER let lapse. Being back to work since the strike has been a difficult transition. The hours are long and when I do get home, I need to be a wife of some sort so I let things, important things, like writing, fall to the wayside. But I can't do that anymore. I might have to give up my nightly games of Scrabulous with Sam and Uncle Balls. (If you don't know what Scrabulous is, don't Google it. You'll lose hours of your life.)

2) The thing that really pushed me over the edge, though, was this email from my brother Chris.



Extinction occurs when a behavior (response) that had previously been reinforced is no longer effective. In the Skinner box experiment, this is the rat pushing the lever and being rewarded with a food pellet several times, and then pushing the lever again and never receiving a food pellet again. Eventually the rat would cease pushing the lever.

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I'm so grateful that people care about this blog and I will do my best to honor your loyalty.

p.s. Stacey, I ain't scared of you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hilarious

Not sure if any of you watched the Sarah Silverman video I posted here a while ago. (Yeah, I know everything was a while ago because I haven't posted in forever - but that's a discussion for another time.) Anyway, this is the video response Jimmy Kimmel had to Sarah's "Im F*ing Matt Damon" video. Stick with it. It's hysterical.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Over

The Writer's Guild strike is over. Today the membership voted unanimously to go back to work. As much as I need the paycheck, I will really miss this weird time. I told Sam today after I cast my vote to lift "the restraining order" (that's what they call a strike in the Constitution apparently), it was one of the best times of my life.

I know I bitched about it while it was happening but I met some great people on that picket line. It's amazing what 3 hours of walking in circles can do for a friendship.

I report back to The Game tomorrow at 10am. It seems impossible. I pouted about it today but I need to shake out the sillies and realize that I am one of the luckiest motherf*er's on Earth. A lot of people aren't going back to work tomorrow and I should count my lucky stars that I'm not one of them.

How's that for a positive attitude?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rick - The Pickle Man


As a lot of you know, Rick of Rick's Picks (aka The Pickle Man) stayed with me & Sam this week. He was in town because his delicious product is being carried by Whole Foods now and he had to do some in store demos for the Los Angeles crowd. Rick is an eccentric dude who spent years as a television director doing, among other things, those totally addictive 100 Greatest Video shows. He then got sick of the business and decided to follow his passion: pickles. I'm not exaggerating when I say I can't open a jar of Windy City Wasabeans without eating every last green bean. (Uncle Balls can attest to that. I eat all of his every time I stay with him in New York.)

Anyway, I'm proud to say I can now buy these awesome snacks at my local Whole Foods. (But you can get them online, too. Awesome Valentine's Day pressie. I'm just saying...)

Here's some video of Rick on Martha Stewart. Oh, and did I mention how awesome the Smokra is? Today I re-purposed (Rick's word, not mine) the brine from the Smokra to make some ass-kicking pinto beans to add to my Huevos Rancheros. Delish. But I'll let Rick tell it.

Rick & Martha make some Phat Beets

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Friday, February 08, 2008

LOST


If you read any of the comments that are posted to my entries, you might have noticed someone named Meredith complaining that I haven't blogged about this season of LOST. You see, Meredith worked on the show this season. Yes, she got to live for 6 months in Hawaii coordinating one of the best shows on TV. It sounds all glamorous and whatnot until you ask her how she liked Hawaii and you realize that she saw not one inch of it. She pretty much never left the production office. It was grueling work -- long, long hours and wicked amounts of organizing, hand-holding, and track covering.

I can see all that hard work on the screen. I really can. LOST is a very complex, ambitious production. It's why I love to watch it. That said, I'm a little disappointed this year. I'm lost. I don't really understand what's going on. I also can't stand when things aren't logically connecting and "supernatural" becomes an element (or a crutch?). Once you go all sci-fi on my ass, anything can happen. Some people love this aspect of the show, I don't. I need things to make sense in order to feel connected to the story. But rest assured, I am not giving up on the show. I still love it. I'm just waiting for the light to go off in my head and I understand it all.

I interviewed for LOST once. It was before it ever aired and I was writing drama with a partner, Stephanie. Stephanie and I were scheduled to meet Damon Lindelof the Friday before Memorial Day weekend which is traditionally the last day of hiring season.

When you go on these meetings, you usually wait about a half hour to be seen. Not this time, I was shown right into Lindelof's office. Problem was, Stephanie wasn't with me. She was running late. So for about fifteen minutes (which of course felt like 6 hours) I entertained this little dude with as many stories as possible. In these kinds of meetings you can usually trot out a Paul Simms/NewsRadio/Crazy Hours story and people lap it up. Dude wasn't buying my schtick. I think the thing that really turned him on me was the fact that I was about a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than him. I felt like a monster when I was shaking his hand.

Anyway, after doing the song and dance bit, Stephanie finally showed up. Like always, Steph and I had talked previously about what we would say when we got into the room. She liked the pilot much more than I did and had lots to say. My only stipulation was that she not mention the polar bears. I didn't get that part of the show. It was a little too supernatural for me. If we got on the topic of the bears, I wasn't sure how I was gonna fake my way through that part of the interview. So what happens? Steph walks in, shakes Lindelof's hand, sits beside me on the couch and I immediately jump in with, "So what's the deal with the fucking polar bears?"

End of interview. End of partnership. End of drama writing career.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Face Pose

Awhile ago I posted this picture: It's the "chin-down, eyes-up" pose that guarantees lovely bone structure and optimum thin face in a photo. Everyone always makes fun of me for doing it. Thats what my mother and Colleen are doing in this picture -- making fun of me. I always take the ribbing in stride because I know how bad things can go in a photo when you don't prepare.

Take a look when I'm caught off guard:




Awful. Simply awful. I look like I just got caught off guard hopping off the short bus. Take your chances, ladies, but I know of what I speak.

Carrot Cake

I used to only love chocolate desserts. Now, as I get older, I'm finding a palate for other sweet things. The weekend before last when I went away to Tahoe, we made carrot cake from scratch for Kathy's birthday. I wasn't as jazzed as everyone else was about the cooking project (and it was a project -- we nearly burned down the log cabin cooking it), but in the end, I think I ate most of the cake. It was out of this world. It was the richest, densest thing I have ever eaten in my life. I ate a huge piece after dinner and then polished a few more pieces off the next day for breakfast. I wouldn't normally admit to that kind of compulsive eating but there is evidence of me doing so. With an accomplice.
Happy belated birthday, Kath.

p.s As I look at the picture more closely I see that it was taken at 12:04pm. Then it was lunch not breakfast and that makes everything okay.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I Love Sarah Silverman

I do. And it makes me crazy that I do because I pride myself on not really liking other woman. But she's so funny she's like a dude.

Stacey sent me this clip of Sarah Silverman singing a song on Jimmy Kimmel. Stick with it even if you're not a fan of hers.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Step Monster

That has to be the title of the show since that is what my step kids call me. I'm touched by the thought people have given my request and I appreciate the free ideas. My biggest problem is how do I get the kids in the same house as the stepmother. I know this seems like a totally easy thing to do but since I need to be able to write from my own experience to make it real, I need the living situation thing solved. Or maybe I don't. Long distance step-mothering? Communicating via IM, video conferencing and blog? Maybe I just keep the kids in the same city as the stepmother and not worry about being in the same house. Some times getting together when we are in the same city is just as hard as getting together when we are separated by a country.

(Having reread this post about 10 times it seems like same city, different town is the way to go. Then you can still incorporate all the technology if you wanted. You don't need to be all that separated to IM. Sam & I have video-conferenced one another from different floors of the house. But the city/suburb thing seems like a direct rip-off of the 1998 Julia Roberts/Susan Sarandon classic, StepMom? ** I'm not being ironic. I love that movie and I will watch it anytime it's on. Sort of the way I will watch Bridget Jones or Die Hard over and over again.)

Anyway, I know this is all a little boring and I apologize for trying to work something out on the blogosphere. I should probably just go back to doing my "Morning Pages" (from The Artist's Way) instead of treating my blog like a brainstorming session. But, come on, what else you got to do today?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blogger's Block

I've had a bit of blogger's block this week. Before I left for my weekend in Tahoe, I linked all y'all to my sister-in -law Michelle's blog. The things she writes about and the way she writes has blocked me a bit. I was so impressed by what she had done in a quarter of the time I've have had this blog, I was intimidated. Then I became blocked. Everything I wanted to write about seemed stupid and then I realized that I couldn't even remember the stupid things I wanted to write about.

On top of that, I went away this weekend with my friend who is also my agent. Like any good saleswoman, she pushes me to write something. In order to sell me, I need to give her something to sell. She wants a show about me being a step-mother. My problem is that I don't really feel like a stepmother. I feel like a really cool aunt. I'm not part of the kids' everyday life. Which is normal since they live in Brooklyn.

I've told Ivy I need her help with this and she is totally on board. She is acutely aware of all the teen angst around her and is always willing to offer it up. (Proper discretion is always practiced -- so I'm not putting you on blast, Dogger.) Problem is, I don't know what the story is if these kids aren't in your life everyday. I see them grow in tremendous increments because I don't seem them so often but it's the excruciating, day-to-day details of that heart ache that make a show great. (Think: My So Called Life.)

My point is: anyone who has any thoughts or ideas, please comment. Or tomorrow I'm gonna start posting my character breakdowns for my show based on my experience at Vito. (Think Cheers set in a cheesy Italian restaurant. Sells itself, right?)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tahoe

I'm off for the weekend. Going to Lake Tahoe with a group of girls for a ski weekend. (Yes, another all expense paid ski weekend. No, I don't know why your friends aren't paying for you to fly all over the country to ski. Ask them.) Only problem is, I can't ski. I threw my back out on Monday lifting a case of Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon at Vito. Kerri has given me a shot of anti-inflammatory in the ass twice this week. It helps but I'm still not right.

I look forward to sitting in the log cabin all day on Saturday while everyone else skis. Maybe I'll even write something. Maybe not.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Plugging Another Blog

My sister in law Michelle has decided to enter the blogosphere. (I know she just read that and regurgitated her coffee -- or martini, depending on the time of day.)

She started the blog as an exercise to write everyday. Some entries are straight up writing chores (you can play along at home and do them, too -- she explains the exercise at the end of each entry) and others are just funny (really funny) glimpses into her life.

Be sure to read her entries entitled "Guilty Pleasures 1-4." Here's the link to Michelle's blog:

Scenes From A Notebook

Portrait of the Birthday Boy

Michelle was kind enough to send me a new photo of Larry. This picture is from Garrett's birthday party not Larry's which if you look closely you can tell from Larry's seemingly forced smile. My guess is that he's having a nice time posing with his kids but really, he can't wait to get out of where ever they were so he can go home and watch SportsCenter.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Larry!

Today is my brother Larry's birthday. I don't know how old he is. 44 maybe? I never remember my brothers' birthdays (as I posted about once before) but my brother Jimmy commented on my 4:44 post and sent along a birthday message to Larry with the comment. (Thanks for the heads up, Jim.)

I know Larry doesn't really read my blog because as he told his wife, he reads enough unedited material everyday. (He didn't say this about my blog but about his wife's blog which by the way is awesome and if she allows me I will put up a link to it here. What says you, Michelle?)

I couldn't find a picture of him that I haven't already posted so instead I will throw up some pictures of his children celebrating Garrett's 6th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Larry!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4:44

For years now I've seen 4:44 on the clock. Night or day, I inevitably look at the clock when it's 4:44. The haunting of 4:44 has progressed beyond just digital clocks, it has now spread into house numbers and license plates. It's even been passed down a generation. Ivy now sees it all the time, too. She'll often call me just to tell me it's 4:44. I've been waiting for years to figure out it's significance. I'm hoping that Pami's baby being born at 4:44 is the end of the cycle. As I told Pami, maybe it was Gus that I was waiting for all this time.

The whole 4:44 thing began when I was in 8th grade. The boys in my class started saying "four forty four" to each other and then they would proceed to laugh their asses off. This, of course, drove the girls in the class crazy because we had no idea what it meant and assumed it had something to do with us. When the boys realized this was driving us crazy, they just increased it's usage -- working overtime to work it into their already lame conversations. The girls retaliated by claiming 2:22 as their own which I thought that was totally lame, but I didn't have a better pitch for Joanne Sallese (unofficial 8th grade girls' spokeswoman mainly because she had huge boobs and it gave her a confidence none of us had, yet).

It wasn't until Mark Gillis (or was it Mark Olivieri?) yelled "four forty four" out-loud in the middle of Ms. Meade's math class that the tried and true catchphrase was finally put to rest. The boys were not allowed to ever say it again. If they were heard saying "four forty four," they could count on detention. With the steam taken out of the phrase, Mark Olivieri (or was it Mark Gillis?) finally told me what it meant: The boys in my class had a sleepover and apparently Marc Rodney woke all of them up at 4:44am by farting incredibly loudly.

And that was the day I learned then that nothing boys talk about or laugh about ever has anything to do with girls.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Introducing August Amiram Grimstad!

For about a month now I have had a picture of my friend Pami on my laptop. In the picture she's about 7 months pregnant. I wanted to post about how great I thought it was that she was going to be a mother. She had had a hard year and having a baby is something she's wanted for as long as I've know her. (Which is about 15 years now.) Of course, I got lazy and didn't post. But on Wednesday, Pami had her baby so I thought in honor of August Amiram Grimstad's birth, I thought I'd show his before and after pictures!

BEFORE:


AFTER:

Is it me or is that little dude actually smiling?!

SIDE NOTE TO DOGGER: August was born at 4:44!!!! Can you believe that?!

More Ski Stories

THIS IS THE POST I WAS WORKING ON WHEN MY COMPUTER DIED THIS WEEK. I AM NOW WORKING OFF MY BRAND NEW MAC BOOK! I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAITED THIS LONG TO GET A NEW COMPUTER. IT'S AWESOME! UPLOADING THE PICTURE OF SAM WAS THE FINAL STRAW FOR MY OLD WORKHORSE. SAM'S JUST TOO HANDSOME FOR MY OLD HARD DRIVE.


When Sam & I were skiing in Park City it started to snow really hard. Dottie and Eric were going to meet us at the bottom of the lift after skiing their blue runs. As Sam and I slowly made our way down the mountain on our green runs, it started really dumping. When we got to the lift we waited for Dottie & Eric. We waited so long we assumed they had got down the mountain and went back up for another run. We waited some more. Finally, we got a call from Dottie. They had gotten lost. They took a wrong turn down one of the blue runs (because, due to the wicked snow, they couldn't see the signs) and ended up in a remote part of the mountain. The blizzard-y, white-out conditions spooked Dottie and they were going to head back to the condo.

In a true example of ignorance is bliss, Sam & I headed back up the mountain to take advantage of this awesome weather. Here's a picture of Sam's on the lift.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Computer Down

My computer broke the other day when I was trying to download a version of Scrabbulous in order to play Scrabble online against Paul. Now my computer won't open any version of an Internet browser. I'm dying. I was in the middle of an awesome post about our skiing trip -- dynamic pix and all when the little f*cker finally shit the bed for good. It's in the shop now. I thought I had loaded all my pictures onto a jumpdrive before I brought it into the shop, but of course, I managed to put everything else on the jump drive except my pictures. So frustrating.

So my awesome ski trip post will have to wait. As will all other posts until I get my computer back.

I'm on Sam's laptop now and I can feel him giving the back of my head the hairy eyeball as he waits.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tlapazola 1 - Ellen Bean 0

My mother came out the Saturday after Christmas and stayed for a week. I think she had a really good time. My mother is always game for anything so it doesn't really matter what I plan for her, she's happy to do it.

But one day I took her by surprise. Sam, Elzo and I were poking around for second-hand skiing gear for our impending trip to Park City. My mother loves to go to thrift stores so I knew she'd be down for the task. We didn't find anything. (We were looking for suspenders to hold up the oldy-time ski pants I had bought him.) As a reward for our unsuccessful bargain hunting, my mother and I went to a lunch at Tlapazola Grill.

The little dudes who work there know me. I often come in alone before I go in for my shift at Vito. I have their delicious salad and their even more delicious, bowl-size margarita. Lately this one waiter, Ambroscio, has taken to bringing me a second (smaller) margarita and then whether or not I finish that drink, he brings me a shot of some sort of almond-y, tequila-ish after dinner liqueur. It's too much and I have been able to stop the last shot from happening but not the day I brought my mother there for lunch.

Ambroscio pulled out all the stops for Elzo-- salsa fresca with out asking, margaritas, dessert and no just one but TWO after dinner liqueurs. My mother was stuffed to the gills and a little tipsy. I took her home so we could rest up and get ready for the dinner party we were expected to go to that night.

My mother never made it to the dinner party. Here's a picture of her after her lunch at Tlapazola.

Tlapazola 1 - Elzo 0

Friday, January 11, 2008

Park City, Utah.

As I mentioned Sam & I were treated to a trip to Park City for Sam's friend Eric's birthday. The long weekend was a present to Eric from his wife Dottie. I not sure how we lucked out but we did. I love my generous, rich friends. It was living. I'm telling you.

Eric and Dottie snowboarded while Sam & I stayed on skis. Those guys are better athletes than us so we would take the lifts up together and then separate (us, green circles - them, blue squares). We would meet again at the bottom. A couple of these paths intersected before we hit the bottom which enabled Eric to get this picture of me skiing.

I look like I'm standing still on a perfectly flat run but to my memory I was motoring down that super steep hill like Suzy Chapstick.

Back On The Line

Well, Sam and I were back on the line this week after a very, very long break from picketing. It was a WGA imposed hiatus from December 17th to January 7th. (And a skiing in Utah imposed one after that.) I think the WGA board members figured that since every single studio head is out of town for all that time, walking in circles in front of their offices would be futile. And in reality, the only place a picket line would really have an impact on those guys during the holidays would have been outside the Four Seasons in Maui.

Sony Studios, the location Sam and I had become very comfortable with, has been closed down as a picketing location and all writers have been redirected to Fox Studios. Not sure why they decided not to continue picketing Sony but Sam has a theory that I agree with: Now that the WGA is trying to make deals with smaller independent producers (like Letterman's Worldwide Pants or Tom Cruise's UA), they'd like Sony to agree to one of those contracts. Taking the heat off Sony by removing the picketing writers might be an olive branch to try and get negotiations started. Just a theory but a smart one.

Anyway, Fox is a totally different vibe. It's what I imagine being brought up to the major league from the minor's feels like. It's much bigger, more crowded and the competition is fierce. As I may have mentioned before, what I liked about Sony Gate 2 was that it was a small crowd of about 9 men. And me. Just the way I like it. I could roll out of bed, jump on the bike and start marching once I got there. To go to Fox I actually had to put make-up on. There are so many people there that I know, I can't possibly strike in my pajamas and still hold my head high. Don't even get me started about all the other chicks there...

So in honor of the glory days at Sony Gate 2, I bring to you a photo of our last day on the line there.

From left to right: half of someone, Wally Wolodarsky, Michael Oates Palmer, Lew Schneider, Matthew Carlson, Mike Schiff, Chris Ord, Sam, Bill I-forget-his-last-name, Rick Groel and me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

100th Post!

I know I haven't posted since I turned 39 but I have been busy entertaining my mother and skiing in Utah. I have lots of pictures of both adventures to show you, but in honor of my 100th post I'd like to share a little something my brother Chris created in his free time.

I don't think my husband has ever been sexier.