Friday, October 31, 2008

don't get cocky

One more day. I don't trust the polls and I have a little bit more faith in what the the bookmakers are doing, but still - don't get cocky people!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

seen at the nickel...

like a cholo at Easter

My Gossipy Neighbor and I met for brunch at The Nickel the other weekend - we love that we see everybody and their mother dining there. Then I saw this guy at the cash register, paying for his to-go order. Motioning to him, I said to my Gossipy Neighbor, "Look at this guy, he's dressed like a cholo at Easter." The guy then turned around and I recognized my friend and makeup artist extraordinaire, Jayson. Oops. I laughed, then Jayson recognized me and came over to say hi.

Of course I had to tell him, "Jayson, you look like a cholo at Easter." I think Jayson knows I meant that in the best possible sense of the word. BTW, it's his birthday this Friday - Happy Birthday Jayson!

Who else have I seen at The Nickel in the past few weeks? Jayson, Gronk, Miguel Osuna, Ruel and his partner Patrick, Luke and Summer, Bert Green with a group of hot-looking men, Stella Dottir and Julie Swayze of Metropolis Books, Neon Boy and Shannon, Neon Boy (again) and The Gentrifier (and what looked like all their aunts), Eric without Isis, and D and A. Am I leaving anyone out?

Even Jonathan Gold has been in (though I didn't see him).

obama's first job and my wacky cousin

My cousins in Hawaii forwarded this link to my brother Angel - a little snippet on MSNBC about the Baskin-Robbins in Honolulu where Barack Obama once worked as a teenager (his first job!). The coconut-frond hat maker in the article? My cousin Eddie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the one where i blame my dog

wonton blogging
Photo courtesy of

My Shih Tzu, Wonton, has commandeered my laptop to update his blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

vote 4 hope

Twelve days until Election Day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

cousin angel, disco swimmer

Cousin Angel disco swimmer

During his last visit to Los Angeles, Cousin Angel forgot to pack swim trunks. So he asked my dad if he could borrow a pair. Minutes later, my dad pulls out his swim trunks from 1972 (I'm still trying to locate a picture of my dad wearing the swim trunks) and Cousin Angel is all over it. Here's Cousin Angel wearing the swim trunks and holding a disco ball aloft. Thankfully this pose doesn't show the camel toe.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

defending my neighborhood

I brought our Prius in to the downtown Toyota dealership for servicing and took advantage of their courtesy shuttle to get back home. When the car was ready, they sent the shuttle to retrieve me. I probably shouldn't have gotten into it with the other passenger, but I felt my neighborhood needed defending.

Let me back up: I opened the back door of the courtesy shuttle, climbed in and said hello to the driver and passenger. We rode in silence, but when the driver stopped at the corner before making a right turn, some water splashed onto the windshield.

Driver: Oh, look at that! Raindrops! It's raining.
Me: Good, I'm done with this heat.
Passenger: (laughs) Oh, I don't think that's rain.
Driver: No, I heard it was going to rain this weekend.
Passenger: (laughs) In this neighborhood, that could be, you know, anything coming out of these windows.
Me: (looking up at the SB Manhattan, SB Lofts, Hayward Hotel) Oh please, this neighborhood is not that bad. Bodily fluids are not being squirted out the windows onto the street.
Passenger: I used to work down the street on Spring... I'd see all sorts of things.
Me: Yeah, how long ago was that? Save it sister, I've lived downtown for seventeen years and I've seen the neighborhood go through changes. Sure, they used to throw bodies out the windows of these buildings, but that was years ago. That was probably water from someone's rooftop jacuzzi.

Ha ha, right? Late the other night, Jim and I are on Spring, walking Wonton. A guy is walking on the sidewalk ahead of us when someone dumps a large amount of water out a window of the SB Manhattan, hitting him. He jumps out of the way, missing most of the deluge. Then, seconds later, someone throws a water bottle out the window and hits the sidewalk with a huge, sickening thud. That could've landed on me, or Jim, or my precious little Wonton. Stupid motherf*#$ing neighborhood.

my two sides went to war

I sat in my Wednesday night film financing class at UCLA, listening to Big Shot Producer lecture about the many ways to lower a screenwriter's quote, how to negotiate with writers and lessen our risk, how to not pay a writer and get away with it, etc. It was nothing new to me, nothing I hadn't heard from him before, and as a fledgling producer, something I thought I had to learn. I looked around the room at the many hopeful producers-in-training as they nodded sagely and scribbled notes furiously. Depression immediately followed the realization - everyone in the room would not hesitate one second to screw me. That feeling wasn't new to me, I've been in those rooms before. But this time there were 50+ people in the room. Even I wanted to screw me. I was conflicted, I was resolute, "Patty, Anna, Patty, Anna". It was a little overwhelming.

Since that night I've been extremely irritable. Some might even say bitchy. But mostly I was depressed. That hasn't helped me with my writing deadlines. And now, in this disastrous economy, I am tasked with raising $11 million in P&A financing for our third film project. All I wanted to do was lie down until this feeling went away. Then, thanks to Kevin at LA Observed, I read "Screenwriting in Hollywood: A Modest Proposal" and felt a little better. Here's an excerpt:

Novelists, playwrights and poets are not rewritten by other writers. Even journalists do the deed pretty much alone. But screenwriters not only routinely and eagerly replace each other, they are tactical in their competitive quest for credit, credit that is not only emotionally gratifying but financially existent. Without credit, future opportunity, immediate and contingent compensation, dissolve. All that hard work to get beyond base camp, undone. Back to square none. Meaning - what do you tell your family, friends, former classmates, neighbors, and people you’ve yet to meet - that you did work on something glamorous for possibly years even, but in the end, your name didn’t scroll by?

And the other question that will not leave your mind is the calculation of cash you didn’t get and residuals you will never see.

This belief and its subsequent practice of multiple screen authorship is a unifying principle that not only does not serve its community of believers, but actually endangers its members from achieving prosperity in a scarce economy.

I've come to the realization that producing is a necessary evil for me and I need to just get over it. Conquering the written word is still what makes me truly happy, but if I have to produce to protect my work or another writer's words and vision, then I'll take that battle on. A long time ago, someone once suggested to me that, "It won't hurt if you don't clench." I didn't buy it then, I don't think I'll buy it now. I think I'll try it my way. The picture I have in my head of the kind of producer I want to be is a little bit clearer now.