Saturday, January 28, 2006

Confessions on a dance floor, CMAs

Madonna is 47?! 20 years after "Everybody", Madge, almost 50, still has a career in this one-hit-wonder culture we now live in.

I heard this CD all over St. Martin and bought it when I got back. I didn't love her last CD but this one is great. The first three tracks are my favorites.

I wasn't feeling her during her I love Britney phase. What the fuck was she doing, sucking up her? Britney is not the next Madonna, anymore more than 50 Cent is the next Chuck D, or Coldplay the next U2. Please, people get a grip.

We weren't allowed to watch too much TV growing up, esp. on school nights. We watched the local news, Mr. Cronkite and maybe one hour of prime time. Instead after homework we could read books, listen to music or play. My parents let us watch more of "the idiot box" as my dad called TV, on Saturday mornings. I can't remember which NYC station used to show Soul Train and American Bandstand back-to-back but those were good times.

When we moved to the burbs, we were older and of course watched more TV. However, we were the last family in the tri-state area to get cable, so I didn't get my MTV for a while. Some Saturday mornings I would still watch those shows. I remember sitting in the den watching this petite woman with a long row of rubber black braclets singing "Holiday". After the song Dick Clark interviewed her. The last question was:

Dick Clark: So what is your goal?
Madonna: To rule the world.


All this week been playing old-school hip hop, Led and Marley. I talk to my sister who is ten years younger than me and even she complains about most of the music out today. Yes, there has always been throwaway music but with everything that is going on in the world today, why is most of the stuff on the charts garbage?

I happened to see some of the CMA's rerun at the gym a couple weeks ago. I was fasinated that all the performers could actually sing. No backing vocals, no lip syncing. It was very weird to see a music awards show with real musicians. I knew who the artists were but I don't have a lot of country CDs. After the show, I thought I need to check Martina McBride, Big and Rich etc. Faith Hill's (other than the song "This Kiss", not a big fan, her stuff seems like watered down bad pop) duet with her husband, Tim McGraw was beautiful.

My parents loved Johnny Cash so when I go home to St. Martin for Christmas, I'll bring them the "Walk the Line" DVD. A lot of West Indians of their generation listened to country and my parents were no exception. The music didn't have the same negative cultural connotations to them that it did to many Afrian-Americans of that age. You could hear the blues and gospel influences and the lyrics dealt with love, family, friends, loss, heartache, the things that make life what it is.

When I hear a song like "Redemption Song" or a "Change is Going to Come" and the power of those lyrics, it makes me sad that now we have bullshit like the "Laffy Taffy" song. Ugh.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mi piace la mia classe ( I like my class), peace agreement on hold?

I love my new italian conversational class. We met last night in the library at the Insituto. There are 10 of us in the class. 3 of my friends are in it along with 2 of my former classmates. It was good to see everyone and our professor, Roberto, is great.

He asked (98 percent of all conversation is in italian, sometimes we will ask him to explain something in english) me to tell the class what Italian film I have seen lately. I said Romanzo Criminale. He said great tells us about the movie. Uhmm right, so I basically had to give the plot and my opinion in Italian. With a some help I was able to have an coherent conversation.

The lead news story this morning was, what is going to happen with the peace agreement with Prime Minister Sharon in the hospital and the Hamas landslide? How is this new goverment going to work? Will the EU, USA and other countries recognize Hamas as a political party? Will the current Palestinian PM who remains in office, be effective now that his party is in the minority? His party followers are not happy, the polls had indicated they would hold on to more parliment seats. What happened?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

2 down 10 to go! Project Runway

These crazy bootcamp classes must be working. Although it's hard to get up in the dark, at 6:00 a.m., I feel great after the class. I have so much energy and I can tell I am losing some inches.

I wanted to lose 12 pounds, would be happy with 9 but going for the gold. So far lost 2. I'm sure if I did the South Beach diet I would have lost more by now. However, I really don't want to gain it all back the minute I eat some pasta. Cutting out whole food groups is stupid and makes me very, very cranky. When I went to stay with my dutch relatives after college, I noticed they ate bread, cheese, butter, nutella (this is not a low calorie food item!!), whatever and were thin. It's all about portions and not eating a ton of junk food.

Speaking of junk, I so want to try the new Black Cherry Vanilla coke. I see those damn billboards everywhere. I don't know where this willpower is coming from. Instead of drinking coke every weekend while reading scripts, I decided cut back to one Saturday a month. I think I'll treat myself next weekend. Also I cut way, way back on candy. There is an amazing, high end chocolate store across the street from our office that also sells Swedish Fish and Jelly Bellys. My two favorite candies. The chocolate is crazy expensive but I used to stop by that store a couple times a week and get a little candy. That adds up. Now I get a small amount on Thursdays. Doesn't take much to make me happy.

Re: Project Runway. Let this be a lesson, stealing model's is not cool. Sistergirl was wrong. She should have focused on her craft and not just competing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Koo Koo Roo, Italiano

There are a couple of local chains Angelenos love, like In-n-Out. I haven't eaten there in a while but the food is good. I don't understand the love for Koo Koo Roo. In the 7 years I've lived here I think I have bought food from there twice. After yesterday I remember why. For now on it will be a Koo Koo don't.

I am trying to eat better, so instead of getting a slice of pepperoni pizza and a coke on the avenue, I went across the street. I ordered skinless, roasted chicken and steamed veggies. First of all, the chicken tasted like cardboard and then later that day I became sick.

I thought I had just really bad cramps, which would be weird to get at the end of my cycle. When I got home (without getting too graphic) and went to the ladies room, I realized what the hell was going on. I have never had stomach pain that bad. My co-worker gave me some Aleve and Tums, which did not help. Or maybe it did and prevented me from passing out. At one point I thought if childbirth is worst than this, I don't how I will make it. Doesn't matter that I can't remember the last time I had sex, these are the things I worry about as my clock expires.

My post St. Martin depression has lifted because I booked my trip to Italy. I was going to go in the fall but need to go back earlier for some meetings on one of my projects. Since I will be there anyway might as well travel. I am renting a great apt. in Trastevere. My friend Ettore, put me in touch with a friend of his. His friend is an actor on a series that shoots in Naples, so he rents out his place in Rome. I'm paying less for the apartment because I went through the owner and not the rental agency. This trip wouldn't be possible without my parents. I am using the money they gave me for my birthday and Christmas. I could use the money to put towards a new car but I need to get out of Hell-lay.

Speaking of Italia, I started my classes on Monday. I'm a little rusty. The class is small, only 5 students and I have the same "professore" from last year. Monday night went to dinner with a producer friend's assistant. She thought we should meet. He is Roman and went to grad school at the London School of Economics, so he speaks perfect English. We spoke italian for the first 15 minutes. He said he will email me to help me practice writing the language.

The Italian Cultural Institute per several student's request is offering a conversational class for the intermediate level. Before they only offered advanced conversational classes. Three of my classmates from last year are taking it and the class starts tomorrow night. Hopefully having two classes a week, doing the homework, watching movies and listening to my pimsleur CDs will help. It's not the same as total immersion but moving to Rome is not an option right now. Non posso aspettare per il mio viaggio (I cannot wait for my trip)!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Larry fishburne is trippin'

So my friend sent me the following. Call me crazy but I think it's illegal to fire someone because they are pregnant. Between this and the B.S. list BET put together for their finest women of the past 25 years and Goldie's behavoir on Flavor of Love, things are not cool.


Laurence Fishburne's former personal assistant is suing him for allegedly firing her because she was pregnant and single, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Kristal Crews filed the lawsuit against the actor in Superior Court on Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages.
"He told her that he didn't think single women should have children," Crews' attorney Nikki Tolt said.
Fishburne's attorney, Lawrence Gartner, denied the allegations, saying in a statement that during Crews' employment "she was always treated in a fair and professional manner."
"It is unfortunate that the visibility of actors causes people to say all kinds of things about them for what we can only assume are their own purposes. We are confident that Mr. Fishburne will be vindicated in these proceedings," Gartner said in the statement issued by the actor's spokesman, Alan Nierob.
Tolt alleged that several months after Crews became pregnant and requested special accommodation for a film shoot in New Orleans, Fishburne told his assistant she would be fired.
"He told her he was going to fire her on her due date. What a sweetheart," Tolt said.
Tolt said Crews worked for Fishburne on the day she gave birth, a month early, in November 2004, and that stress forced the woman to have an emergency Caesarean section.
Crews' termination date was then extended to Jan. 17, 2005, the day she was supposed to return from her pregnancy leave, Tolt said.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

1 pound down 11 to go!

I thought I was going to get sick during our bootcamp class at the gym this morning. However, I was motivated to push on through after weighing myself before class. I have to keep middle age spread in check, esp. in my business. Hello a size 6 is considered big.

I'm not on a structured diet, just trying to eat better. I actually made it through a weekend without eating popcorn. I realized I was always eating that or candy while reading scripts. Not a good habit. I can't go cold turkey so I will have one weekend in Feb. where I'll treat myself.

Now Trader Joe's is opening a store in my old neighborhood. From today's NYT's:

At 15,000 square feet, including the wine shop, the new Trader Joe's will be less than a third the size of the Whole Foods that opened last year at 4 Union Square South. Balducci's recently opened a 10,000-square-foot store at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, Garden of Eden has a store at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue, and four days a week, the city's flagship Greenmarket is in Union Square.

Man, all that great food right there. I ate more when I lived in NYC but weighed 10 lbs less. I used to walk everywhere, even during the winter. Now I can't stand being cold. How did I ever go to college in upstate New York? My brother was right, LA has made me soft.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Is it a holiday?

Today is MLK day but I have been going non stop. First the gym, laundry, italian homework, read two scripts, cleaned my apartment. The Golden Globes are today. My boss asked me if I wanted to go to the Lionsgate pre-party, I had nothing to wear so stayed home and made jerk chicken. I used the spices I bought in St. Martin. Very good but I thought the mild one was pretty spicy.

Yesterday, did some shopping and tried a new recipe I found on Foodnetwork.com. I made a lemon pound cake. I burnt the sides a little but it was sooooo good. I'm going to take the rest to work tomorrow.

I was going to go over to a friend's house to watch the Globes but she is slammed with work and will basically have the show on mute. So instead I'll watch the show at home in my PJs. For dinner I think I'll make some garlic shrimp and try not to eat too much cake. I need to lose 14 lbs.

I have a week before my Italian classes start again. I will be Intermediate, Level 1. I am so out of practice. I am trying to review a few chapters from our textbook and listen to my CDs. Our gang of 4 from class last year are going to meet for drinks in a couple weeks. We are all in different classes this year. Two are one level ahead of us. Last time we met for brunch, I couldn't understand half the conversation.

Okay back to work.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

SXM

I have finally finished unpacking. My dad asked me if I could work from St. Martin, I wish. I don't think I could live there full time right now. It's very family oriented (there seems to be no single women over 30) and too small an island. But I would love to spend a month or so there at a time. I really missed my siblings but next Christmas we will all be there.

It was interesting to be on the island with a friend who has never been there. She wanted to know if we were related to everyone on the island. It became a running joke, we kept bumping into cousins, family friends, people I didn't even know we were related to. I don't know my parents who had not live there for decades, keep track.

It is so beautiful. I love the values, no botox, fake boobs no one cares what kind of car you drive. It's about family and community. Folks are proud and quality of life is great. There is cable (my parents get the NYC local channels, along with the CNNs, HBOs etc.) so you still know what is going on in the world. Great food, music, fresh air, stunning beaches and men who flirt.

On the down side, small island so everybody knows your business, over development (esp. on the dutch side), many things have to be imported so prices are higher on those items. Not knowing french is a negative for me. My mom's french is back. My dad spoke french until his family move to Curacao in second grade. He said the dutch, spanish and papimento (local dialect of Curacao and Aruba, combo of spanish, porteguese with some hebrew mixed in) killed it. Most people do speak English but a lot of business (like paying your electric bill, grocery shopping) is in French.

We went to Le Gailion, Friar's Bay, Baie Rouge beaches. We miss Dawn Beach. I can't believe they are building such a huge hotel there. It's the same developers of the tacky Atlantis. One of the best beach bars on the island, Scavangers, had to close.

Had too many amazing meals to list from nice places like Spiga to "lolos", like Talk of the Town. That place has amazing Johnny cakes.

We went to Anguilla to see family and show my friend the sites. We stopped by the hospital and received some bad news.

Anguilla, british west indies, is very different from St. Martin. Quiet and laid back but popular with celebs who don't like the "sceney" St. Barths. Population is only 8,000. There are more Anguillians in the UK. It was under the radar until Brad and Jen, Beyonce, Jay z, Denzel etc. were there last christmas. It's still a pain to get to and very expensive so I don't think it will turn into Dutch Sint Maarten. There are no casinos, really nothing to do but relax. We saw David Ducovny (sp), Tea Leoni and Julianne Moore with their families when they arrive at SXM on their way to Anguilla. Saw Usher when I was leaving. Short, nice smile. Only the tourists seem to notice him.

My friend forwarded the site below to me. Nice photos of Anguilla.

http://www.d-nice.com/journal/archives/000077.php

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

match point, munich, king kong

It's awards season and I'm trying to catch up on my movies. I still need to see Walk the Line and Capote. Not enough hours in the day.

The last three movies I saw were, Match Point, Munich and King King. I'm still thinking about the first two. I wasn't emotionally invested in King Kong at all. I thought some of the special effects were amazing, Naomi was great but it didn't move me.

Jon Stewart will be hosting the Oscars this year. This should be very interesting.

Off to read.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Flavor Flav/Hell ay

Can Mike Fleiss sue? Basically Flav's show is a ghetto version of The Bachelor. My friends were talking about the show and I couldn't quite believe my eyes. The woman who was hysterically crying after not receiving a clock...was she serious? I wonder what Chuck D thinks.

"Los Angeles is 27 suburbs in search of a city." Joan Didion

I went to jr/high school in the suburbs and it doesn't even have the perks of suburban living (i.e. great public schools).

Been back only a few days and already planning my next trip out of this place. I have been here 7 years. Why do I still hate it? I thought by now it things would be better. I do things outside of the business, take classes and volunteer and yet I look forward to the day I can do my job elsewhere. It just feels souless to me. No energy or flavor. It's hard to explain.

Now with my friends leaving or wanting to leave it's actually getting worse living here. This is not a city for single older women.

However, my work is here and I need to change my attitude. I'm treated like doo-doo on a stick in LA but yet every time I leave the city it's different story. Instead of getting bummed out about this I should get over it. I have to live here and not worry about what shallow morons think.

I crack up when my male colleagues complain the women they meet only want to date men with money and nice cars and how high maintenance they are. If they stopped dating "mattresses" they wouldn't have these problems. I'll never forget being at a birthday party for a studio exec and this bland 40 year old hit on a very pretty 20 year saying his movie was opening that weekend. She couldn't care less and he was taken aback, shocked!! Maybe she didn't care about his Porsche or maybe she thought his movie was cheesy. I just thought it was bizarre that was his opening line. I have to get out. I don't want to be living here full time when I'm 45 (that would be 95 by Hollywood standards).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Miami international airport sucks!!!

So here I am at midnight typing on one of those phone/internet things. St. martin and anguilla were amazing. I miss my family already. My friend had fun despite the hospital visit to one of my relatives (long story), island time service and spending New Years watching Godfather 1 instead of fireworks.

I had a great time until I tried to leave the island. flights had to refuel in San Juan since SXM ran out of fuel. So we missed our connecting flights. Since it's not American's fault they are not obligated to pay for our hotel rooms. so I decided to stay in the airport since my stand by is at 8:00 a.m. and I should be here at least 2 hours before the flight. I am so beyond livid at how disorganized everything was. We were told to go directly to our connecting flights. 5 minutes before the plane takes off, all of us from the sxm flight were pulled off since we did not go through customs. After customs, another long ass line only to find out all flights until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow are sold out. ugh!!! This is not a good way to end a two week trip.

I hate this airport. There is always drama. Last Christmas we almost missed our connecting flights and my brother's luggage took three days to arrive. I paid $1200 for my ticket and it takes almost 9 hours of flying time plus a couple hours waiting time, connecting etc. The least they could do is give us some accurate info. I hope to be back in LA tomorrow.

I'm too tired and pissed off to write more about my trip. I'll try this weekend.

My friend notice how great her skin looked after only 2 weeks. I have been dealing with a dry patch on my left cheek since it started to get "cold" in LA. Now it's gone, skin flawless. Of course staying overnight in this stupid airport and eating Burger King (for the first time in over 15 years, it was the only thing open) might jack up my skin. I will add there is a very electic crowd in the airport.

okay, now I am going to try and find a spot and sit until 5:00 a.m. So glad to be back in America.