Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bon jour St. Martin

This time tomorrow I will be sitting on my parent's porch (aka veranda) chilling with the rents and a mojito. There is an amazing but tiny french deli the next village over with the best baguettes. Fresh loaves (still warm) every morning. My brother found it and we would get our wine, cheese and bread from there. Too bad after 8 years of jr/high school and college French, I can't speak it. Since I started taking Italian random French words pop into my head and I can sort of read it. My parents asked me when I'm going to start taking French. I can barely handle intermediate Italian. French is going to have to wait.

I hope this year the local carolers do not show up at 1:00 a.m. Last year my siblings and I were coming home from a very long and good dinner and we saw all these people on the porch wearing Santa hats. My brother said "Isn't it late, what the f**k"? They were singing carols. Badly. All loud and off key. This could be because they were drunk. We were cracking up, basically at every house they have something to drink. I think my dad gave them some guava punch. There are not that many houses in my parents neighborhood, so they know all the carolers. The next night the carolers were back. I didn't think it was possible but they were actually worse and woke up half the house.

Christmas is on a Sunday this year, which means I will be in church at 8:00 a.m. Their United Methodist Church is the minister's first service of the day. I think he goes to Marigot or Philipsburg next. The bells start ringing at 7:30 a.m. If the bells don't wake you the wild roosters in the hills will have you up at the crack of dawn. My grandfather used to have roosters and as kids we really wanted to take them out with some rocks.

My dad rebuilt the house and they don't have any animals but there are some mango and lime trees from when my grandfather lived there. Too bad all the coconut trees were damaged after the last big hurricane to hit St. Martin in '94. My dad has planted some new trees and I think there's a banana tree too.

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day. Not sure why it's celebrated on an island that is French and Dutch. It's a British holiday. Everyone goes to the beach, then to big house parties.

I am going to ask one of my parent's neighbor where are the fun places to go. She is a single French woman and has lived on the island for years. One of my friends is coming down from New York and I'm sure she'll want to go out. I have the beaches and restaurants covered. Don't know the bars that well. Not sure if we are going to take the ferry over to Anguilla. I would like to see some of my cousins but they will probably be at one of the Boxing Day parties in St. Martin.

I am going to get my Type A mom to relax and hang out with us at the beach. It will be tough. Last year I tried to do my own laundry and she yelled at me. She wanted me to take it easy. I did cook dinner a couple of times. However, everytime she would come into the kitchen asking if she could help. The few times I have seen her not working are during church, The McNeil/Lerher (sp) Report and Young and Restless. Not sure if she still watches Bold and the Beautiful. Y&R has been her "story" for years. It was a great day in the Tri-State area when my parents got a VCR. My mom could tape her stories and watch them whenever.

I have to finish cleaning. I am packed. Got my brows done today, mani/pedi and hair twisted yesterday. My hairdresser was almost an hour late, ugh! which made me late for my nail appt. at Jessica's. My twists are really thin so they are kinda curly. Still getting used to them, they really stand out in the land of weaves. After brows, went to the foreign currency counter at the bank to get some Euros. Not looking forward to sitting at LAX for three hours but very excited about tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tomkat's creepy photo op

http://people.aol.com/people/galleries/0,19884,1141767,00.html


Someone sent the above photo to me. Okay, that just looks weird. Also what 27 year old grown ass woman wants a party at FAO Schwartz? I love the store too but come on! I hope in 2006 we will hear less about them, the tacky Federline's, Jen, Jessica/Nick's split and maybe more about how we are going to pay off the trillion dollar deficit. Or how are we going to pay for re-buidling New Orleans and Iraq without raising taxes. I guess I'm being unrealistic. As long as US, InTouch, The Star, keep selling, we will be bombarded with these stupid cover stories.

Cannot wait to get out of here tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2005

voting, christmas

Over 70 percent of Iraqis voted yesterday. This despite threats of violence and very long lines. I think for us it's less than 50 percent. We do take a lot of things for granted here. I hope we will start withdrawing troops soon.
I bet some will come home next summer, right before the mid-term elections.

I told my sister today, it doesn't feel like Christmas at all. There is maybe one house two streets over that has lights on. Maybe in other areas of LA people get into it. I heard Donny Hathaway's This Christmas on my walkman radio at gym this morning (too cold for Runyon) and it threw me for a minute. "wait why are they playing Christmas music?" The only thing really worshiped in the biz is money. I think it's hilarious after The Passion did so well, this most secular part of the USA is trying to reach out to that audience. Hello, America is bigger than west of the 405.

I was watching some Bobby Flay special on the Food Network. It was all about Christmas in NYC. The big star on Fifth Avenue, the store windows, the tree at Rockefeller Center. I miss it. NYC seems more festive. Everyone is out and about, not stuck in traffic on the 101 cursing. You could get your holiday drink on and not worry about driving. I guess if I grew up here, I would be used to the warm weather and weird looking decorations on Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

It will be strange not having the whole family together. I better get used to it. My siblings are married now and have other obligations. It's very expensive to go home to St. Martin during high season. My ticket was $1200 and it take forever to get there from LA.

Since I'm working from home today, I will break out the Christmas music. Got my Nat King Cole, Mariah and some classical stuff like the Nutcraker. I do have Donny Hathaway's single on a CD my former assistant burned for me but have to find it. I need to start labeling these things.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

job, santino, gym and pain

After being in "the industry" for 7 years I'm shocked when people actually follow through on something. Last month my boss told me she would talk to me about my contract, which is not up until January, before the holidays. Lo and behold she did! Yesterday after the office holiday lunch, she told me the partners want to renew for the year. We will keep the same part-time/consultanting structure for now. As the company grows I might come on full time and of course they would pay me more.

This time last year the production company I was running, shut down eventhough our overhead deal with the studio wasn't up for months. We received two weeks severence(after three years of busting my ass, what a joke), no bonus and owner's wife thought it would be great for morale to turn our conference room into a gift wrap room. They should have wrapped the fucking gifts in their guest house. We did't need to see the thousands of dollars they spent while we were cleaning out our desks and worried about paying bills.

Santino, get over yourself. You do not need to win every challenge on Project Runway.

Woke up at 5:30 this morning. Did some work before going to Equinox for my 6:30 bootcamp class. I missed the class the last couple of weeks, could not drag my butt out of bed until 7:00. I am still sore from Tuesday's class. Today, Carlos was not playing. I felt sick at one point. If I'm not in too much pain tomorrow, I am going to hike in Runyon canyon.

Week from today I will be in St. Martin. Cannot freaking wait!!! This time I won't be stressed out about being unemployed.

Friday, December 09, 2005

santino, tyra and jason

Wednesday night was graduation for the girls in our Girls Empowerment Workshop at the Hollywood Boys and Girls club. I will miss them. We had 17 girls in the program and most of us grown ups have not spent that much time with 11-14 year olds since we were that age. The program was great and the girls were amazing.

Not a big reality tv fan but thanks to my friend Nicole, I started watching Project Runway towards the end of the first season. Damn her, now I'm hooked.

Season two started Wednesday. DVF was one of the special judges. Love her clothes. She just opened a store here around the corner from Marc Jacobs. This Santino guy is a trip. His ego is out of control, which of course will make for good TV. I thought his comment about not winning the second challenge was tacky.

I recently saw a couple episodes of Top Model. It's so over the top and takes itself so seriously. Please. I saw Tyra at L'Ermitage last night. Man, that is a big ass weave, lotta hair.

Maybe I should get a blond weave. kidding. With my complexion I would look ridiculous but on the other hand I would probably get more play. Sad.

Speaking of last night, after work went to drinks at Chateau where a very handsome Jason Statham smiled at my friend, then we (my friend not Jason) went to a "people of color"industry mixer at Lobby. Mike Ealy with his fine self was there and we talked for a while. I did not ask him about the Halle/preggers rumors. I thought it would be inappropiate. At 10 there was a private party, so they kick us out. The folks that got there at 9:45 were not happy.

My friend and I went to L'ermitage after. Staying out until 11:30 is a late night for me. I didn't go to the gym this morning but like clockwork, still woke up at 6:00.

I am soooo glad it's Friday. Waiting for the gas company to come over and turn on the furnance pilot so I can't leave.

Monday, December 05, 2005

valet parking, industry parties

I hate using valet parking. Coming from the East coast it's not something I grew up with. In the burbs there was plenty of parking and I sold my car before I moved back into the city. My friends who do have cars in Manhattan only use to them to get out of the city. I spent so much on valets this weekend, I could have bought groceries, books or 2 DVD's. I parked on the street near Yamashiro's Friday night and was told I had to use valet. ugh. So I'm standing at valet watching them retrieve one high end car after another, then they bring out my poor car.

When I got promoted a couple years ago my friends out here told me I needed to get a new car. I was a VP now and shouldn't drive a DOD (director of development) car. Seriously. Thank god I did not lease the BMW I wanted. I would have been screwed when the company I was working for shut down. I am all about keeping my overhead low. My Jetta might be falling apart but it's paid for. I would love to say as a New Yorker I never care about what car I drive. I don't most of the time but I avoid parking at agencies when I have meetings there. God forbid one of the agents I know sees my in my jalopy (sp).

The last two years I cut way back on going to industry parties. I have too much work to do. One of my studio exec friends was on my case, saying if I want to stay in the biz I gotta play the game. I still do lunches and drinks but I don't think after 7 years I should be at every random party. I'd rather spend my limited time with my friends. For my birthday this year I had a small party at a hotel bar, then went back east to see family and friends. Last year I went to Big Sur by myself. The other years did the big 300 people Evite party thing. When you are just starting out it's fun to have and to go to these big d-girl/boy parties. Now who wants to talk business all the time, esp. at birthday party? Plus half the people I started out with have left/been squeezed out of the biz.

Friday went to a female producers/execs holiday party. It was great and I got to see some people I haven't talked to in a while. Yes there are a couple women running studios but this is still a boys club. It's good to have a support system.

Saturday drove out to freaking Canoga Park for another party. The guys and some women were watching the fight and there was amazing Jambaliya (sp). I met up with one of my friends and it was fun to hang out. It was a diverse crowd, industry and a bunch of lawyers. The host was an attorney at a big law firm and now works in biz affairs at a studio. I saw his skiing pictures and told him he was too bougie. :) I had to leave early so I wasn't able to enjoy the gift from the lawyer who showed up with a case of Belvedere. I'm sure I will get the post party wrap up tomorrow.

The reason I had to leave early last night is because of a charity event today. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to get to the Century Plaza. The Junior League's annual holiday luncheon was today and I had to help set up.

I then went to brunch with 3 friends from Italian class. Era molto divertente (it was very fun). I received a children's picture Italian dictionary and earrings as Christmas gifts. One of my classmates just returned from Florence. She is in love. Her guy seems great. This was her second trip this fall. She's a prosecutor so it's a big deal for her to take time off. Good for her. Earlier this year we were talking about how dating sucks for black women here. My white girlfriends complain too but at least they date/get asked out. My friend had to leave the country. :) Kidding, she was going to a language school in Florence when they met. I'm so glad I signed up for classes. I would have never met two of them. One is an actress but the other two do not work in the business.

At the party last night I saw someone I haven't seen in months. She just started working again. She had quit her production company job and went to school in Spain for 4 months. I told her about my trip to Italy and my plans for next year. She suggested I go for a couple of months instead of weeks, that is the best way to learn the language. I actually need to work so that is not an option right now. I will take her advice and write it down as a goal, maybe 2007.

Speaking of work, I have to finish my weekend read. I told one of my friends last night, 2006 is going to be a great year. We are not going to spend every Friday and Saturday night at home reading scripts. This the second largest city in the country, we should be able to find something to do that is not work related. Another friend, who is not dating anyone now, told me she's going to get married. Ahh the power of positive thinking. I'm taking baby steps, a date would be a step in the right direction.