Sunday, August 31, 2008

See CH Break 2 Bones Pt. 3 of 6 - Wednesday

Oh, I did I mention that Brian is also sick? 

CH took him to the hospital the Saturday before the accident, and he was diagnosed with some respiratory illness and tongue ulcers. He was on a steady diet of meds, but by Tuesday night, he was still refusing to eat and had started wheezing through his mouth on top of everything else, even after we cleaned out his gunked-up nose. Plus, he smelled horrible, because he was unable to clean himself. Poor Brian.

So Wednesday morning, I got up early and took him to the Gateway Animal Clinic, which though first come, first serve, was still way faster and efficient than any human medical center I have ever visited. I actually found myself thinking, "Lucky dog."

The vet, who I had never met before (CH usu. handles the vet visits) was really lovely. He petted Brian, even though he smelled horribly, all through the consultation. And I felt reassured after he took Brian away to get rehydrated and told me to pick him up at 5pm.

When I came back out to the lobby, there was a family, waiting there: A mom, a dad and two small daughters. The mom's eyes were red from crying, and the youngest daughter was being comforted by her father. The oldest daughter (she was about 7) though spent a few minutes trying to peek into my cat carrier, until finally she asked, "What's in there." 

"It used to be my cat," I answered, "But he's inside get fixed up. He's sick."

She nodded and sat back in her seat. A few minutes later, the mom asked her if she wanted to go back and say goodbye to their cat before they put her to sleep. "It's your cat," the daughter answered. The mom nodded and didn't say anything else.

I know kids are what they are, and most of the things they say cannot be held against them. But I wish that little girl had been nicer. My actual Alec Baldwinesque, sleep-deprived thought was, "You're a little shit, and I can already see that you lack compassion, that you're going to become one of those horrible adults that lack compassion." 

I was tired. I hope that isn't true. I hope she grows up into a perfectly nice woman who doesn't remember saying to her mother, "It's your cat." Just like I don't remember half the mean stuff I said to my mother. It's easier that way. Cycle of life and all that.

I was reassured by my visit the doctor's office, but overwhelmed. I already had to go home, get CH showered and dressed, drive him to work, get the rest of my work done and then get back over to Atwater to pick up Brian. 

I thought I appreciated everything CH did beforehand, but much like my love after he nearly got hit by that car, my appreciation of his efforts seemed to super-quantify* that day. 

I didn't understand how I had managed by myself all that time before him. I didn't understand how single mothers do what they do.

This is one of the many reasons I am such an avid supporter of gay marriage. Some of us are naturally independent, but most of us need another person in our lives, to help, to love, to balance us out -- to pick up the slack when the other one falls. 

Pairing up is a basic human right. And I seriously don't see how any of us could deny that right to any other human being. It's the equivalent to saying, "It's your cat" to your crying mother. That's all.

*yeah, i'm not sure this remotely means what i want it to mean in that sentence. but it sounds so perfect. please forgive.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

See CH Break 2 Bones Pt. 2 of 6 - Tuesday

So the good news is that Monday's blog was by far the longest installment. The bad news was that it was just one of 6. 

Here's goes Tuesday:

There are some people who suffer nobly, gritting their teeth against pain, silently suffering through the inconvenience of it all. But as many of you know, I'm not like that.

Not only do I tend towards noisy, hyperbolic language the one time of the year that I come down with a 4 day flu or lately, a sinus infection, but I also like to put it out there (I think reasonably) that I might be dying. I sprained my ankle once back when I was still playing with the Derby Doll. I still refer to the two weeks that I was on crutches as The Dark Times. And though, I've never actually broken anything on my upper body, I know that not being able to write with both of my hands would probably send me into an incredibly whiny cycle of complete and utter despair.

So in many ways I don't feel I deserve a husband who is the complete opposite of me when it comes to whining.

The first day he was in a lot of pain, but he insisted that I drive him to work, because "he could still point."

What annoyed him most was not being able to do anything for himself. And when I came back later to drive him to his doctor's appointment, the JKL paramedic had taken off the bulky arm cast and replaced it with a much more efficient finger brace and wrap. 

A paramedic is not a doctor, and I would've been annoyed, but it was CH. Really, it just goes against his nature to stay that incapacitated if he felt he didn't have, too. And at least he was a little sheepish as he got into the car.

Tuesday was also the day that I found out that people who are on the Motion Picture Health Plan are luckier than the rest of us. 

I've heard that most government workers get crazy-nice insurance that covers everything, and this isn't quite that. But the MPHP offices in Toluca Lake seemed nicer and more efficient than any medical office that I had ever visited. There are black and white pictures of old Hollywood stars lining the walls, and people in the waiting room range from actors to crew to agents. The doctors were smilier, more capable and reassuring -- just like the actors that play doctors on TV, but you know, with actual medical degrees.

There are tons of other perks, including access to alternative medicines, and a clear set path into an MPHP retirement home if you work enough hours. It makes you mad at regular insurance. I mean, if government and the entertainment industry can come up with such wonderful programs for themselves, why can't we come up with a good national healthcare option?

Anyway, here's hoping that we're all lucky enough to see a day when every one in America has access to great health care, not just our government and entertainment industry workers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8:12 and I Am Still Crying

I have almost never been one to lay my political feelings out on this blog. I privately believe myself to be an optimist, but in writing, I am most often cynical and sarcastic. But I need to say this:

There has never been anything I thought I couldn't do because I am a woman. The most successful, dynamic, and beautiful people I know are women. And I will tell you on any day and on any occasion that I am a feminist, not because I wish to be equal to men, but because I love women, and want us all to know that we are worthy of, that we are capable of, that we have to ability to achieve EVERYTHING. If anything, I expect more of myself because I am a woman.

But I need to tell you this, guys. I need to tell you this: There have been so many things that I have thought that I could not do, because I am black.

And that stopped tonight. I never thought that I would see this moment. I never thought that I could believe in a country the way I believe in America tonight.

I feel like a child again, and I realize that I still have my whole life ahead of me, that my future children still have their whole lives in front of them.

You do, too. And we can do anything. All of us. We can do anything. And we can do it together.

I will always remember how I felt right now. And no matter what happens, I will try to hold on to it.

I am so sad that my mother couldn't have been here to see this. "Not in our lifetime," she answered with a practical shrug when I asked her if there would ever be a black president.

She would have loved this. She almost never cried, but I believe she would have done so tonight.

This is so important to everyone that ever thought that there was something about themselves that would hold them back forever. It can't and hopefully it won't.

It is 8:36 and I have finally stopped crying.

Now, I'm just smiling. Obama '08.

100% Love,

Because no one was hurt...

No one actually had to walk a plank or anything, so this article about modern-day pirates robbing a party yacht full of rich people is kind of hilarious. They made off with over$180,000 in booty -- I mean cash.

Read the full New York Post story here. I don't actually read the post, but the folks over at do, and they referred me. Just stating that for the record...



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Oh Why?

Why oh why haven't these bands released album on I-Tunes. I don't believe in downloading things illegally, but man, part of the problem with getting music suggestions from Perez Hilton, is that half the stuff isn't available in the States. Here are songs that I love, which haven't actually gotten a Stateside release yet. Ranh.

Adam Tensta - "My Cool": Who knew Swedish hip-hop was so much fun?

My Cool - Adam Tensta

Dragonette - I don't understand why can I find deep cuts from Nickelback on I-Tunes -- but only one soundtrack song from this (actually good) Canadian band. Anyway, download "I Get Around" if you haven't already, and check out their super-cheeky song, "Competition" below:

Competition - Dragonette

Also, Madison! How much do I love this California blonde take on Lil Wayne's "Lollipop?" It's so bad girl.
lollipop.mp3 - Madison

And perhaps, most egregious. "We've Got Some Breaking Up To Do" by the Danish group, Private. This song is perfectly 80's and unfortunately, perfectly unavailable in The States. Check out the awesome video below:

October 13, 2008

So the more I listen to this new Keane single, "Spiralling," the more that I can't frickin' wait until their new album comes out on October 13th. I just find this track really listenable.

If you haven't heard it yet, check it out below:

Spiralling - Keane

Terrence Ho

Still trying to decide how I feel about this Terrence Howard song. On one hand T-Ho can't really, you know... sing. On the other hand, I like the pretty video, production and lyrics. I aslo like that he's at least coming with something different, which you don't often see from actors-turned-musicians. So cool points for bravery. But then cool points subtracted for actually pretending to conduct the orchestra towards the end -- that was annoying. Anyway, I'm all torn. Feel free to weigh in with your opinions. Here's the vid:

Lucky You Guys!

Just in case you've been dragging your feet about downloading the much hyped about (by me) band, The Black Kids. Get thee over to I-Tunes now, because my favorite track is their Free Single of the Week. Can't beat that price with a stick. Lucky you guys!

I Might Actually Have to Watch This

Okay, as many of you know, I'm kind of resigned to being a fan of America's Next Top Model. Yes, it goes against almost every notion of womanhood and feminism that I believe in. Yes, it panders to the lowest common denominator, and yes, Tyra, is bat-shit ridiculous (in a really-smart-laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank sort of way). But what can I say...
Two or three girls
Has he
That he likes as well as me
But I love him
I dont know why I should
He isnt true
He beats me, too
What can I do?
-- Billie Holliday, "My Man"

Anyway, this all to say, that the obvious ratings bait that is the tranny contestant will probably sucker me in for yet another season. See her intro below. She's cute, but girlfriend needs to work on her ennunciation. I spent much of the 50 seconds, trying to figure out if she had a) braces, b) marbles in her mouth or c) that's just the way she talks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Start Counting Down to September 7th!

Haven't forgotten about you, I promise. In fact I have a launch date for Fierce and Nerdy, which I've been working extra hard on for the past few days. 

Mark your calendars for September 7th, and think about how cool it will be when I'm turning around blog posts every weekday and in a timely manner. Plus contributors! So many cool people are on board for this. I really can't wait for you guys to see the new site. 

In fact, I'm going to try to find one of those ticker widgets, so that I can be just super-obnoxious about counting down to September 7th -- you know how I do.

That all said. A new (probably music) blog post is coming Wednesday. 2 -6 of the immensely popular CH breaking his arm saga will be here by the end of the week -- so stop asking me! :)  

Until then, here's your moment of FaN (aka Fierce and Nerdy):

Saturday, August 23, 2008

See CH Break 2 Bones Pt. 1 of 6

So apparently, I was wrong, b/c according to the several email messages, comments, and Facebook Pings that I got following Wednesday's blog, most of you don't "already know all about" CH's bone-breaking accident. So here's a condensed (as I'm capable of writing given my love for the sound of my own typing) version of what happened ... in six parts. 

Starting with Monday:

After hitting all my work-related writing goals for the day, I dutifully updated my Facebook status to let everyone know that "Ernessa is getting rehydrated for the bike ride home." Said hydration, led to a quick restroom pit stop before I left for the day, which was fortunate, because when I returned to my office to pick up my pink helmet, the red "message" button was lit up on my phone. 

I thought about not answering. Having already talked to my boss several times that day, I couldn't really imagine an emergency that would actually keep me in the office a minute longer, when I had a new novel waiting for me on my I-Pod -- don't ask me what it was, I'm too embarrassed to tell you.

But as many of you know, I have an almost O.C.-level  thing about checking messages, so I pressed the message button. It was CH, saying that he had just missed being hit by a car, braked hard on his bike, and tipped, because he couldn't get his clip-on bike shoes out of the pedals in time to prevent a fall. He thought that he might have broken his arm.  He sounded chagrinned. 

I called him back in a panic, which immediately stopped when he said that he needed to be taken to the emergency room, but none of the nearby friends he had called were answering their phones. I'm not the best decision maker in the world or even a person that most people would call in a crisis, but one of the side effects of being a (hopefully) good writer, is the ability to disconnect from your emotions and decide What Needs To Happen Next.

I was an hour's bike ride away. Everyone I knew who could give me a ride home had already left for the day -- also it would take to long to get there if CH needed attention now. There was nothing left to do but call down my list of Silverlake-Los Feliz friends. It was 5pm, which would mean most people were just getting off of work in most places. But in L.A. with our constantly changing entertainment work hours, you can usually find someone to help you out in a pinch (as long as it doesn't involve holding the boom mic for your no-budget short) -- one of the many benefits to living in our great city.

I called down my list in order of the people who I had known the longest, lived the closest and who I thought might actually be home. The List for those of you who love the details:

1. Clark from Clarkblog and my CMU programmate, who lives within walking distance in Los Feliz.
2. J.P.,  my CMU programmate, who also lives within walking distance in Los Feliz.
3. Gudrun, my animator friend from Writing Pad, who lives right around the corner.
4. Janice, my costume designer friend who lived in nearby Glendale.

Clark went to voicemail, but J.P. picked up. I stated the situation. He said he was on it. I called CH back to let him know that J.P. was headed over. CH said, "Okay, thank you." 

"Are you in pain?" I asked, b/c he sounded so laidback.

"Yes," he answered in the same tone of voice that someone would say "Of course, my arm is broken, silly." 

So unlike me, CH is definitely the kind of person someone would want to call in a crisis, because even under the worst circumstances, he stays like crazy calm.

I hung up and biked home as fast as I could. When I got in the door 37 minutes later, there were two messages: one from J.P., saying that CH was at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. And a second one from one of CH's best friends, saying that he had gotten CH's message and was now waiting with him at the hospital.

It occurred to me as I drove to the nearby hospital that this was another stage of marriage. You realize just how much you love your husband, when he has a near-accident. 

I was incredibly grateful that CH hadn't been hit by that car. Because my mother died much sooner than expected, I have always been generally scared that other people I love would die, too. It's just one of those things. But I would've been destroyed if anything happened to CH. I thought I loved him before the wedding, but boyo, now I knew that I loved him so very, very much now.

I fluttered into the hospital on a gentle wind of love of gratitude that it was only a broken arm -- that wind was pretty much dead by the time we left the hospital almost four mind-numbing hours later. We were both tired, hungry, trying-not-to-crank and ready to go home already.

As it turned out, it was CH's shoulder that broken, not his arm. So he had been given a mostly fabric sort of double-belted sling, which is called (in a rather overdramatic turn, I think) a "Shoulder Immobilizer." CH also had a broken finger. And he was not happy, because the nurse had put a poorly-wrapped bulky cast on his left arm, only to realize that it had to go on his right. "Do I really need all of this," CH asked her. "It's just a broken finger."

"That's what the doctor ordered," the nurse answered flatly. Stepford style.

"This is coming off as soon as we get home," CH muttered as soon as she was out of earshot.

A small argument ensued, at the end of which, I had (barely) convinced him that he needed to leave the cast on until he saw his regular doctor on Tuesday, just in case the E.R. doctor was somehow right about him needing a full arm cast for a broken finger.

Later that night, another small argument bubbled up. CH refused to let me cut him out of his Obama T-shirt, which is his favorite right now, even after I pointed out that we could get him another one. "Remember how long it took to get the first one?" he reminded me.

He had a point. So that's how we learned to get him out of a T-shirt with a broken shoulder. 

The E.R. doctor had told CH that he had to sleep on his back, which interestingly enought, is how I started sleeping right after I met CH, but almost never how CH sleeps himself. I felt bad for him as I turned off the light and rolled onto my back on my side of the bed.

I imagine we both stared up into the dark for a bit before we feel asleep. 

Tuesday Preview: If you don't work in government, you should be insanely jealous of the Motion Picture Industry Health Care Plan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So What? I'm Still a Rockstar!

Okay guys, you have GOT to remind me never to skip another weekly music blog. Now I've got so much to tell you about, that I'm having a bit of trouble arranging my thoughts. But here goes...

First of all, embarrassing things that I have downloaded in the past two weeks:

1. "OVERDOSIN" -- Heidi Montag-- and no, it wasn't for work. Every so once awhile I just like something that I absolutely shouldn't for reasons I don't quite understand. Please forgive.

2. "SO WHAT" - Pink. Now this is kind of interesting, b/c I had thought that I was kind of over Pink, as I'm not in my 20's anymore. But then she hit me in both my musical Achilles heels: fucked-up love song mixed with swagger track. Now she's 99 cents richer (less I-Tunes and record company fees) because of me.

3. "FINE LINE" - Little Big Town. Confession: I ADORE Little Big Town. They are a country band I just consistently enjoy. I would probably even go to one of their concerts if given the opportunity. And this is another delightful track. See the typical country video here.

Top 10 Things I've Downloaded Since The Last Time That I Told You About The Top 5 Things That I Recently Downloaded:


1. Lykke Li - Youth Novels: Now I know that I've been gushing about Lykke Li for like a couple of months now. You're probably sick of hearing about how awesome, bittersweet, twee, and Swedish she is. In fact, even I expected to be disappointed when her album finally got released Stateside. But guys, I'm so not. If possible, I love her even more -- to the moon and back. This album captures every impossible emotion during my teenage years. And there's even a Black Kids remix of "I'm Good, I'm Gone."

I nearly fainted.

Seriously, download this yesterday. It's FANTASTIC. Key tracks if you must be like that and not get the entire album: "I'm Good, I'm Gone," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Breaking It Up," and "Everybody But Me."

2. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line: I almost never buy a complete album from somebody I've never heard of, but I like so many of the samples, when I was trying to decided which two tracks to buy, that it just got the whole cow. And man, was it worth it. Dreamy, romantic, airy, and pretty UKish for a band out of Syracuse, NY. Impressive. Makes me want to sway around my office. And remember when I said that Kate Bush was, surprisely, one of the few artists that other artists cover quite well? Wait until you hear their version of "Suspended in Gaffa." Another Ready for Primetime Track: "Can You Tell (Epoch Remix). See the video for "Dying Is Fine" here.

3. Janelle Monae - Metropolis: The Chase Suite: I like Janelle Monae, b/c she has an awesome Afro, which she often puts into awesome and unusual hairstyles. I also like Janelle Monae, b/c she is a black girl from the Midwest and she actually made a concept album about a robot that's forced to flee from her robot society when she falls in love. The only track that I don't like on this album (which is super-cheap if you download it on I-Tunes), was the "Smile" cover. If I never hear that overused song again, I could die happy. I'm talking to YOU, Jimmy Durante (even though you're dead).


4. Midnight Juggernauts - "Into the Galaxy" and "Tombstone" - This band makes me feel like I'm writing in outer space -- which is pretty frickin' cool. See the firmly awesome video for "Into The Galaxy" here.

5. Monkey: Journey to the West - OMFG, Damon Albarn, why are you so fricking wicked awesome??? I thought I loved Blur. I thought I loved the Gorillaz. But that was just a grade-school crush, compared to the deep and abiding love I have for Monkey: Journey to the West. It's basically a Electronica Chinese Opera stage adaptation of one of China's oldest and most popular tales. And Damon Albarn was brought in to do the music. Billed as a "circus opera" it premiered in England last summer, and I am so incredibly jealous that it still hasn't made it to the States. What gives? This is maybe the most unfair thing to ever happen on the planet, and my frustration mounts. Anyway, writing to the soundtrack makes you feel ancient and epic at the same time. Key Tracks: "Heavenly Peach Banquet." See the trailer for the most awesome stage work that I haven't seen yet here.


6. Matthew Perryman Jones - "Save You": I bet you 50 bucks that this song will be featured in a Grey's Anatomy episode within the first 3 months of the season. Any takers?

7. The GasLight Anthem - "The '59 Sound": If Bruce Springteen and Johnny Rotten had a female lovechild. This band would propose to her sight unseen. However, the video makes you think less of them. See it here.

8. Accidental Rhythm - "Seventeen": If Justice and Junior Senior had a female love child. This band would yearn for her.

9. Amy Kuney - "Love is Trippy": This single actually seems to feature a Phil Spector "Wall of Sound." Wonderful throwback sound. Current Lyrics. Dynamic voice. Just lovely.

10. Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire": I somehow both love and hate this song at the same time. It's kind of like when I read Death of a Salesman. Go figure.

Honorable mentions: Shearwater - "Hail, Mary" (thanks for the suggestion Yusef!). I also liked "Century Eyes" and "Whipping Boy."

Man, how long is the blog??? Again flog me if I ever try to skip a week again.

Okay, I was torn about whether to embed a video for "Growing on Me," a great older song from the brilliant-until-they-imploded-in-a-drug-fueled-supernova band that is The Darkness or the cheap(er) Pink Floyd wet dream that is the "Shadows" by today's featured band, Midnight Juggernauts.

Well, I am the wife of a lighting designer. So see "Growing on Me" here. And watch "Shadows" below:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is it sad that I actually want this?

Seriously feel free to gift me with one of these. Public Radio Listener For Life!!! -- unless they're having a pledge drive, in which case I change the channel like every other person on the planet. Dude, I would actually pay more than my usual KPCC yearly donation, just to have the option of NOT having to listen to otherwise awesome radio personalities beg me for money every 3 months.

It's kind of like when you're really good friend, starts taking those cult-like "self-improvement classes," and then she invites you along. Still the same friend, but dude, you don't want to join her cult and it makes you uncomfortable that she keeps on asking to come with her to a class, because she gets a free class if she brings someone along. Wouldn't it be cool, if you could say, "Listen, I'll give you $200 dollar towards your next 'self-improvement class' if you never bring it up or invite me to go to one again."

And in the same vein, imagine how much money your local public radio station(s) would make if they were somehow able to offer the option of paying them like 200 bucks in exchange for you NEVER having to hear a pledge drive for like a whole year. That's more than I currently give, but I'd take that offer, if that was the pay-off.

This is all to say, that I'm officially flaking out on blogging about CH's broken left shoulder and right finger for a couple of reasons:

a) I don't really have time to tell such an epic story. It's at least 2 -- maybe 3 chapters in the memoir I'm planning to write when I'm 80. And...

b) If you've talked to me since Monday, you already know all about it, and I don't want to repeat myself (for once).

Will try to put out a music blog tomorrow. The new (to us) Lykke Li is so beyond frickin' good, you deserve to hear me go on (and on) about it.

100% Love,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

etc's Hitting the 2009/2010 Best Sellers List

I mean, I've been listening to a TON of Lil Wayne, while working on the new girl gang novel. And according to Stereohyped (by way of Hip-Hop DX), Lil Wayne is the Wheaties of Champions:

Michael Phelps listens to Lil Wayne before he competes, with a little Young Jeezy and Jay-Z thrown in. Jamaican track star Dwight Thomas has added Lil Wayne to his pre-race rotation after finding out Phelps secret.
Hoo-yah! Watch out New York Times Best Seller Trade Fiction List! I make it rain -- if by "rain" you mean "cringing while I slip a couple of dollars under a male stripper's greasy thong, and then saying 'please go focus on someone else now. I'm really not into this'." -- which I'm sure is exactly what Lil Wayne intended with that line. Umbrella, baby!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sesame Street Soap Opera

Now ya'll know how I feel about Sesame Street, so how tickled was I to find this backstage romance in this week's NYT Vows column. Especially since it reads like a soap opera:
THE letter “D” is for Divorce. “P” is for Pining Away, and “R” is for Remarriage.

Don’t look for those alphabet mnemonics anytime soon on “Sesame Street,” although they are story elements in the backstage romance between Annie Evans and Martin P. Robinson...

Mr. Robinson, 54, is a puppeteer who plays Snuffy, Telly and Slimey the Worm on “Sesame Street,” where he’s worked since 1981.

When he met Ms. Evans, though, Mr. Robinson was mired in creating his own puppet extravaganza, which depicted, he said, “the entire creation of the universe, protons up to sentient beings, and its destruction.”

Days before its premiere at the O’Neill, the project was a shambles. “Puppeteers are notorious for getting lost in making their puppets, sets and costumes, but forgetting to write a strong story,” Ms. Evans said. “Marty, who I’d just met, clearly needed my help, big time.”

Over countless hours of argument and revisions, a mutual admiration blossomed. Mr. Robinson remembered being struck by her intelligence and ability to quickly unearth the core emotional truth of a scene. “Annie jumped right in, without any judgment,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is really an excellent girl.’ ”

Mr. Robinson conceded that he had been prone to mixing business with pleasure. When he met Ms. Evans, in fact, he was involved with a woman he had begun seeing during a stage production of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“Encountering someone cold, maybe at a bar, then dating? I wouldn’t know how to do that,” he said. “But in the pressure cooker of theatrical work — all the tension, laughter and intense emotions — you get to know someone really well, and can segue that into a relationship.”

Though she, too, was smitten by his energy and sense of humor, Ms. Evans said, when she learned that Mr. Robinson was seeing another woman, she “slammed the door” to her heart. “We could be friends,” she said. “Nothing more.”

Dunh-dunh-dunh!!! See how the Sesame Street Saga turned out here

Preview: my previously stated belief that writers will date (and perhaps marry) anyone who claims to be a huge fan of their writing turns out to be true. We're compliment slutty that way.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bad-Ass Davie Jones

So today I'm on the hunt for an Afro wig and a good place to run into the setting sun.

Don't ask. All will soon be revealed.

Til then, here's your moment of Lauryn:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Night Kiefer

Sooo... I'm going to dinner and what looks like an extremely scary movie (Mirrors) with my friend Stephanie tonight. Looking forward to dinner, but kind of fearing the movie, as I haven't seen a horror film in quite awhile. What are you up to?

I Spy With My Little Eye

So apparently, my friend Kyle from Frank's Wild Lunch spotted me yesterday morning on my bike. Or as he put it, "in your pink helmet." I love when stuff like that happens!

Google Google Reader Ya'll!!!

So I'm seriously trying to figure out how I lived so long without The Google Reader. 

I finally joined up last week, and not only is it a lovely way to keep all the blogs I read and love organized all in one place, but it also allows me to procrastinate much more efficiently and (perhaps more important) lazily. Nice, right? If you're as behind the curve as me, get on board here.

Home Alone

So, the New York Times has this interesting article about when children should be left at home alone. Interesting, because, my parents started leaving me at home alone when I was eight years old, and growing up, I always found the whole babysitter thing a little hard to fathom for kids over the age of 9. And one would think in this age of cell phones that it would be even easier to step out for an hour or two without worry.

However, when I posed the question of when our hypothetical future children should be left at home alone to CH, he answered, "12 or 13 at least, depending on how responsible they are." Then as a narrow-eyed afterthought, "Why? When do you think you they should be left at home alone?"

I decided not to press my eight-years-old theory, since apparently it doesn't really fly outside wild and wooly 80's. But read about all the parents struggling with this decision themselves here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Unbearable Cuteness of Steve


We meant to get one cat, but we ended up getting two. Here's what happened. We went to get a nice older lap cat, who could also be a companion for our (literally) scaredy-cat, Cornelious.

But then as we were walking past a cage with two kittens, one of them pressed himself up so strenously against the bars, that he seemed to be saying, "Hulloo! Come over and talk to me!" 

We both immediately agreed that he was a cutie pie, and might need to come home with us, but the problem was that he was only 3 and half months old -- which is not exactly an old lap cat.

Then Brian, who was next door to the kitten, started meowing at us. And he was 2 years old. Not an old lap cat, but close enough.

We asked to see both cats in the cat room, and it turned out that the kitten was extremely affectionate, while Brian was more of a explorer. Also, the kitten, reminded us of our friend Steve Connell, because he was so wildly friendly from go. Furthermore, the Pasadena Humane Society was having an adopt 2 cats special for $85, so how could we not agree to take both of the cats that absolutely did not fit our description of the cat we originally wanted home with us -- and name the kitten Steve?

Anyway, this is all to say, that if you're looking for a cat, but are not sure whether you want one, don't got to the Pasadena Humane Society. Not only is it the nicest shelter that either of us have ever seen, with the most helpful volunteer staff, but the cats are too cute. And if you're anything like us, you will end up taking a 2yo cat home with you, and then coming back three days later to pick up the kitten after he has been altered. Just warning ya...

Along the same vein, skip "Tropic Thunder" if you don't want to laugh. CH and I went to see it last night, and we saw the black guy from "The Office" and Pineapple Express (which we had actually seen the night before!) in the audience. Good sign, right?

Well, I don't want to ruin anything for you, so I won't go into all the ways it was funny, but I will say this. Black people: Robert Downey Jr. is a lot more funny than offensive. Australians, blonds, actors, agents, movie executives, rappers, English people, SFX people, fake memoirists: The movie is a lot more funny than offensive. Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey haters: Totally understand where you're coming from, but this movie might actually make you like them again -- it's that funny.

Is it Friday yet? I'm kind of ready for it to be Friday?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Wednesday

So in the midst of watching the Olympics 24/7, I have managed to collect a few random items to discuss on this blog.

Apparently, that cute-as-a-button little girl that sang at the Olympic Opening Ceremony was a front for a not-so-cute little girl doing the real singing behind the curtain. Having played the informal and ultimately unsuccessful game of "Find An Ugly Chinese Child And Take A Picture Of Him Or Her" with my programmates while in China, I am extremely curious to see what the Chinese consider too ugly to sing in front of cameras, because as far as I know this child doesn't exist. Thanks to MKV for sending me the article about this. Read it here.

Not one, not two, but THREE  famous people sightings yesterday. While riding home, I rode past Perez Hilton and his personal trainer (BTW, Perez looks GREAT!!! Apparently, he's really been working out). Now, I'm not one to call out to celebrities -- it's just not done in L.A., but I was on my pink-and-black electric bicycle in my pink helmet and dressed in brown yoga capri pants with a printed yellow top -- in other words, I looked crazy, and probably sounded crazy when I called out, "Love your column!" -- although he has a blog. 

Later in the evening, CH and I went to the ArcLight for Every Other Tuesday Date Night (aka Need to Get Out of the House While Housekeeper Is There, So We Might As Well See a Movie and Have Dinner Night), and during the dinner part of our evening, we saw Felicity Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy, who was sporting a pretty sweet stache. Not to make stalkery observations, but they talked non-stop during dinner. And I thought it was pretty sweet that they still have so much to say to each other.

Just finished listening to The Host, the first adult novel by Stephenie Meyers, which had me in full out book thrall. I was particularly impressed, b/c her first book, Twilight, though completely compelling was not very well-written. However, she must've put in boatloads of work on her craft, because The Host kept me on the edge of my bicycle the entire time, but was also really well written. I love that. Also, the story, which is basically Invasion of the Body Snatchers from one gentle alien body snatcher's point of view, was just brilliant. Can't wait for her next adult novel. Highly recommended.

Last but not least, put out this interesting call for pics of people using their Kindle. 
THE KINDLE IS THE SASQUATCH OF THE BOOK WORLD: There have been dozens of alleged sightings, but have you or anyone you know actually seen either Bigfoot or a an actual person using Amazon's electronic reader? Yet, Citigroup reports that its sales are "better than expected" and predicts that "Amazon will sell up to 380,000 Kindles in 2008, up from a previous forecast of 190,000." Wishful thinking? Crackpot theory? We need non-faked photographic evidence.
As a Kindle owner, at first I was offended by this theory, but then I realized that I myself had never actually seen anyone other than myself using a Kindle. So for what it's worth, here's me on my awesome, beloved Kindle. Feel free to forward it on to Gawker.
100% Love,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life of Brian

Okay, as it turns out, I won't be able to blog about my Beijing memories b/c I'm too busy watching the actual Beijing Olympics. Blogs might be a little light this week.

But just wanted to post a picture of the newest furry member of our little family, Brian.

And just in case you're wondering, yes, Brian is named after our friend and wedding officiant, Brian Viehland, because we did not like his original name (Buddy) and needed to decide on a new name before he got microchipped (basically kitty lojacked).

"How about Brian. He kind of reminds me of Brian," CH said.

Me too, though I still can't quite put my finger on why.

Anyway, he's a complete cutie-pie and though Gibson is still missed and irreplaceable, it's nice to have a cat that's willing to be petted again. As many of you know, our other cat, Cornelious basically stalks us around the house but runs away if we try to touch him. We love him, but he's kind of creepy. Brian balances things out.

Further details coming later in the week.

Til then, here's your moment of Brian:

Monday, August 11, 2008

By Request of CH

So this week, I'm going to begin every blog with a Beijing side-note in honor of the Olympics, which I'm basically watching non-stop except for a short Venture Brothers break last night -- you gotta make time for the Venture Bros. Go Team Venture!


As many of you know, CH held the Olympic opening ceremony hostage from me, b/c he was working til late on a Friday-Saturday gig, and refused to give the Opening Ceremony anything less than his full and completely intense attention -- he was on the Salt Lake City and Athens lighting team, so he takes these things much more seriously than say, anybody else I know.

Unfortunately, this meant that I, the (self-anointed) queen of pop culture, was forced to say no, time after time, as people asked me if I had seen the apparently spec-frickin-tacular opening ceremonies.

In all fairness to CH, he did tell me that I could watch it alone, but as all people who are partnered up with a lighting designer can tell you, that's not the same.

So, I had to wait til Sunday, to see the opening ceremonies. But man oh man, was it worth the wait. I've never seen anything like it, and though I've never really desired to go back to Beijing, I have never wished more that I could witness an event in person.

It was also good that I waited for CH, b/c I kept asking how all the super-clever light effects worked, and apparently it was all stuff he had seen before, only on a much, much, much bigger scale and done with a ton more human labor.

I found the whole spectacle very inspiring and the next time I have a few million to spare, I'm going to do up our entire house in LED screens. Wait for it...

On another CH note, he requested that I update last week's music blog re: European lighting. Basically, I posted the new(ish) Yelle vid and said it was a great example of how CH says that Europeans do lighting differently, and he says that's not what he meant. Here's the update that I attached to the original blog out of context:

UPDATE: Have been informed by CH that this is not what he meant when he was talking about Europeans and lighting. Apparently, one company owns the patent rights to LED technology here in The States, which makes it prohibitively expensive for our event shows to go all out lighting-wise. Europe doesn't have that patent-problem, so it's relatively cheap for them to go really big. But apparently, the face of American award shows and the like will change as we know it, when the patent runs out in 2010. So wait for it...

Meanwhile here's an example of what CH is talking about when he says the Europeans go there with their lights:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rancho Cocoa

So favorite elfin artist and future Fierce and Nerdy contributor, Missy Kulik, has a blog. Who knew! 

Check it out like yesterday. She and her BF, Raoul are jedi masters of all things beyond cute and particularly fierce and nerdy.

Click here for the link or go to my blog roll:

Ice Princes and Princesses


I don't know how the NYT does it, but almost every single week, they manage to find some character that I'd slap if I met them in real life -- and I'm a pacifist.

A couple of weeks ago, it was the Botox Bridezilla, and this week it's the Ice Snob. This is a person, who likes her or his ice a certain way and feels that it's perfectly acceptable to BYOI to a party.

I have never had anyone bring their own ice to a party, unless I called them in a rushed fever of festivity set up and asked that they do so. But if someone did show up with a container of ice, chipped or shaped just so, purely because they couldn't deal with regular ice, I would be like, "Bitch, you is crazy, and we are no longer friends. Get out my house." Even if they were a lifelong friend, I would say it just like that.

Anyway, get the full report on Ice Snobs here.

Though in a bit of a rant reversal, I must say that these Russian-designed tetris-shaped ice trays are beyond brilliant and would make a perfect housewarming present for your favorite Fierce Nerd, if they ever get around to actually marketing them. Oh Russia.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Oh no, America!

Just woke up and found out that Bernie Mac died. I adored Bernie Mac. He was consistently funny. His signature angry bug-eyes managed to be comic without being minstrel. And, man oh man, how funny was it when he back-handed EVERYBODY as a Vice Presidential candidate in Head of State?

Everybody's been talking about this supposed Dark Knight curse, so does that mean Transformers is cursed, too, since Shia LeBouf like just rolled that car? If Josh Duhamel and Fergie call off their wedding, you heard the "More Than Meets The Eye Curse" theory here first. If Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green break up, though, that's not the curse, just the universe correcting itself. Frankly, I'm shocked that they've lasted this long. 

Anyway, this is all to say Rest in Peace, Bernie Mac. You started off with nothing, and you did the damn thing. Did it well.

UPDATE: So far I like the obit the best -- even though it doesn't specifically mention him backhanding everybody in Head of State. Read it here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Notice Anything Different?

That's right, I got a dress that you probably haven't seen before. Handmade by this lovely woman who has a stand at the Silverlake Farmer's market every Saturday.

And yes, we added some bookshelves -- 3 huge floor-to-ceiling cases. It's SO nice having a proper set, now we just have to fill them up. Yeah, that's going to be kinda hard now that I have the Kindle, but I'm trying to be diligent about buying used books and plays --

What's that you say? What happened to my hair? I cut it all off! Did I not mention this before? Well, as many of probably didn't know, CH (by request) cut off my dreads on Sunday. For the first few days, I felt very, very naked -- I had forgotten how face dependent short hairstyles are. Bad face days are really bad face days. Also, I've gained weight since the last time I had a natural, and I looked so much like my mother, that I actually startled myself a few times when I caught myself in the mirror. But then I got my hair put into twists on Thursday, so eerie ghost problem solved. 

Read about my long decision process in making this big change here

The really exciting thing about this new look, is that this is just the first of several hairstyles that I plan to try out as I grow out my natural into a full-blown bodacious afro (which will take years). Next up, a braided-at-the-sides fauxhawk??? We'll see... 

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How Much Do I Love Thee?

So much, that I'm posting a blog, even though I really have no time to do so.

But I wanted to let you know that I'm posting a hair blog tomorrow, because everyone (read: two people) has been asking what I decided to do, and fielding all (read: both) of the requests has become tiresome.

XM has dedicated an entire channel to Coldplay for the entire month of August. I guess they feel that this band is just not getting enough radio play. Check out XM Channel 51 if you feel the same.

If you're in the Los Angeles area, check out 100.3 The Sound in the mornings. One of my particularly awesome former co-workers, Larry Morgan, is the morning DJ and he's not lame, plays lots of music, and is (as I mentioned before) particularly awesome.

I'm trying to shake off a sinus cold, which means I haven't been able to ride my bike into work since Monday. So not only am I suffering, but I also miss my bike, and I STILL don't know what's happened in the last few chapters of the edge-of-my-seat audiobook that I've been listening to during my bike commute. Alas.

Yes, I did decide that transitions are not necessarily necessary today. Why do you ask?

That all randomly said, here's a clever little comic remix that CH sent me courtesy of Boing Boing. It's funny b/c it's Steve Jobs, and b/c there does seem to be a formula to all the Pixar movies -- though obviously that formula works gangbusters. Click here to see it bigger and give Boing Boing some (more) web traffic.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

De Ce Doux Jeu D'amants

So did you notice it's Wednesday? Guess that means it's time for another music purge:

1. Still in love with "Viva La Vida," though it's given a spin every single time I'm in the car, often 2 or 3 times, it's like the radio gods want me to start hating it. Hopefully, I'll be able to resist their evil machinations. Meanwhile, was disappointed to find that the video was super boring, basically an extension of the I-Tunes ad with absolutely nothing added. See what I mean here.

2. I tried to pre-order the Lykke Li album which streets on August 19th last Friday, only to find out that I had already put in a pre-order. Obviously, I can't wait for this record. At least I have "Dance Dance Dance" and my absolute favorite social anxiety ditty "Everybody But Me" to tide me over. See the super-cute, super-Swedish video for "Dance Dance Dance" here.

3. Nearly dropped dead of shock when I heard the new single, "Sprialling" by Keane (aka that English band you like b/c they sound a lot like Coldplay, but who aren't in fact Coldplay). Very 80's, it sounds nothing like Coldplay this time, and I have completely fallen in love with it. Also, it's available for free at their website until 11 am on August 11th. Download it here.

4. If you like country, I-Tunes free song of the week, "In Color" by Jamey Johnson is pretty good.

5. But their other free song of the week, that's kind of hidden at the bottom of the page is much better. It's called "Infinite Night," and it's by Carrie Rodriguez.

That all said, without further ado, here are the Top 5 Things I've Downloaded since the last time I told you about the top 5 things I downloaded:


1. The Brazillian Girls - New York City:The Brazillian Girls are great writing music. In fact I'm listening to them while I write this blog!

2. The Faint - Fasciinatiion: I'd never heard of this band before, but I liked so many of their samples that I decided to download their entire album, since it was only $7.99. Also, very good writing music. In fact, I'm listening to them while I write this blog -- yes, I just abruptly switched from The Brazillian Girls, but you know what I mean. Anyway, this album is cool, because it makes me feel like I'm in a movie writing montage of feverish creativity while i'm at my computer.


3. Marching Band - "For Your Love," "Gorgeous Behavior," "Don't Go" - I know you're not supposed to judge a band by its brightly colored album cover, but I confess that I only clicked on this band's music, b/c I have the sensibilities of a bird. However, the package matched the music. These three songs are just gorgeous and I think I might complete the album next Tuesday.

4. Airborne Toxic Event - "Sometime Around Midnight" - I kept hearing this song on Indie 103 and KROQ, and kept trying to hear the name of the band, but no dice. Then, lo and behold, I stumbled across them on I-Tunes, because they also had an intriguing album cover. What a pleasant surprise! Fucked up love song. I love fucked up love songs.

5. Group1Crew - "Keys to the Kingdom" - as many of you know, I'm not a fan of most Christian rock. The old black lady in me much prefers gospel standards like "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." But this is actually pretty good, in that it's somehow awful and wonderful at the same time. It's like Evanescence meets Linkin Park, and the band looks like a We Are the World ad. 

And last but not least. Today's youtube honors goes to Yelle's fabu new video for "Ce Jeu." I'm not sure if it's possible at this point for me to love her any more than I already do. CH is always going on about how absolutely brilliant the Europeans are with lights, and I think this video proves him right. Enjoy the oh-so-Frenchie-French brilliance below:

UPDATE: Have been informed by CH that this is not what he meant when he was talking about Europeans and lighting. Apparently, one company owns the patent rights to LED technology here in The States, which makes it prohibitively expensive for our event shows to go all out lighting-wise. Europe doesn't have that patent-problem, so it's relatively cheap for them to go really big. But apparently, the face of American award shows and the like will change as we know it, when the patent runs out in 2010. So wait for it... 

Meanwhile here's an example of what CH is talking about when he says the Europeans go there with their lights: 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm Confused

So the nice thing about being a dark skinned woman, who's lived her life as a dark-skinned woman, not-so-privately policed the portrayal of dark skinned women in entertainment, and even wrote her college thesis on dark skinned women (in African American literature), is that I always form a quick (and completely right, I'm sure) opin on all matters of skin tone.

But I have no idea what to make of this Tyra Banks as Michelle Obama photospread in Harper's Bazaar. Usually, I would be annoyed that once again, they've chosen to use a light-skinned model to portray a dark-skinned woman -- anyone who's ever heard me talk at length about the pointedly dark-skinned literary character of Shug Avery being replaced by a light-skinned actress in the movie version of The Color Purple, knows how I feel about this. But then they gave Tyra's Michelle dark-skinned daughters -- in an industry where you rarely, rarely see dark-skinned little girls.

Were conversations had behind the scene? I can't imagine that Harper's Bazaar is that enlightened. Maybe they just thought the kids were cutie-pies -- which they are. Maybe they were inspired by this month's circulation-dream: Italian Vogue.

We may never know, but I can't decide whether to be happy that they put dark-skinned little girls in the spotlight (for once) or to be annoyed that HB seems to think any old black people will do to play the potential first family, and that none of the family (save Obama himself) was cast from the right color spectrum. Sigh.

But on a funnier note, go here to see the hilarious take on crazy Tyra Banks playing the completely awesome Michelle Obama on Stereohyped. They also have more pictures.

One more thing: I hate to be like this, but how dope is Tyra's dress in this picture?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Afraid to Love Again

So supposedly the BlackBerry Bold is on track to launch in September, and it's going to just kill the I-Phone sales wise

Though, it is my personal belief that each new relationship should be greeted with a heart wide open, after the July Heartbreak, I'm still feeling a little raw, a little afraid to trust again. 

However, it helps that my telephone contract runs out in September, so Blackberry actually saved me money by postponing, so I wouldn't have to break my contract with the evil, evil Sprint, in a fit of new gadget lust. So I might have recovered from the Blackberry Bold letting me down earlier this summer.

Just a little update, because I know that most of you were super-concerned about when my Blackberry Bold dreams would be achieved.

Trying to Stay Strong,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Nigerian Soccer Team

So as many of you know, I've been thinking of cutting off my dreads for a while now. There are several pros to this:

1) No more hair getting in my way. Once your hair gets as long as mine, it becomes more like a wily animal that you always have to be conscious of, so that accidents don't happen.
2) More current. Here's what's sad. I remember when dreadlocks where hip and trendy -- you know 11 years ago, when I first got them. Lately, I've been feeling like I'm settled down Elvira-style with the same hairstyle for the rest of my life.
3) More environmental. Though, I only have to wash my dreads every other week, it takes a ton of time and water to do. And though I love the overhead spray function on our newish shower, I've taken to turning off the water in between rinse-offs, because I feel so guilty about all the water it takes to wash my hair-- something I know I won't be able to do in the winters, as I can't bear being cold.
4) The ability to change up hairstyles. This goes back to #2. I don't want to be one of those people who finds a look at 23 and then sticks with it for the rest of her life.
5) Meta Reason: I got my dreads the year after my mom died. And I believe like many, that we store a lot of our history and past emotions in our hair. Maybe it's time to let go of those dark times.

But there are also a ton of cons:

1)You have to cut dreads out. I did a short natural for 3 years, and got dreads because I was sick of that hairstyle. It would take quite a while to grow out my hair again. And I kind of want a big, bodacious afro like yesterday.
2) More salon time. I was over an hour late to my own wedding, b/c my hairdresser had such poor time management. Black Salon Time -- having to spend all day someplace in order to get your hair done -- is a huge pet peeve of mine. I don't have the time or patience to spend all day on my hair, and part of the reason that I love my dreads so is that I can maintain them myself. So it would technically be a lot more time and money for me to switch now.
3) More maintenance: Once, every 2 weeks, It takes me 30 minutes to wash my hair, an hour and a half to retwist, and one night in curlers, if I want it curly. Every other hairstyle, from what I understand, needs to be maintained every single day, and yes, I may have become too damn lazy to actually run a comb through my hair every morning.
4) Compliments: I'm still averaging 2-3 compliments from strangers on my locks per month, which ain't bad. Not to be vain, but it's kind of hard to get rid of a hairstyle that literally has people stopping you on the street.
5) Meta Reason: Like I said, I got my locks put in right after my mom died, and they're infused with the memories and discoveries of the last 10 years. Do I really want to let that go?

Anyway, this is all to say that after going back and forth with myself all week, I've finally made my decision. I'll let you know what it is sometime this week.

Also, I wanted to point you to this Yahoo! Sports article. Apparently, the male Nigerian Olympic Soccer team is spending too much time on their hair, according to their coach, and he wants to make all of them cut off their locks.
Nigeria’s Olympic football coach Samson Siasia has warned his players that he expects short hair and correct clothing for the Beijing Games, a federation spokesman said on Friday.

Siasia, known as a stickler for discipline, believes that his players are devoting too much time to their elaborate hairstyles, time which he believes could be better used in fine-tuning their performances.

And the coach goes as far as to claim that players with short hair are more aerodynamic and so find it easier to find their rhythm on the pitch.
How quick would this coach get shouted down if it were the Women's Nigerian Olympic Soccer Team? These players need to fight for he right to wear their hair however they want too. Read the full article here.

Despite this, I'm getting really excited for the Olympics. What a way to break the summer TV drought.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fierce Vegetables

After loads of thought and consideration, I have decided to start eating my vegetables -- even if they're ones I don't like, like broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cucumbers... I'll stop here. The list is just too long.

I got a Lemon Pepper salmon and mixed veggie bowl today from this place called Samurai Fusion (sadly, the servers don't even pretend to be Samurais -- that would have been so much fun!) across the street today. The salmon and the rice were banging. The vegetables, which somehow ALL managed to be ones I don't like, had to be choked down. How do you people eat this stuff???

Anyway, this is obviously all to say that I'm having a hard time figuring out which header I like best for the new Fierce and Nerdy site.

I know what you're thinking: "Ernessa, how has somebody who has as many problems making a decision as you do gotten this far in life?"

Answer: No idea, dude.

Still, please weigh in with your thoughts on the below in the comment section.

Thanks and love!