February 28, 2005

Peter! Peter! I Can See My House From Here

The Dame Edna Experience at The Vauxhall Tavern was an unexpected surprise yesterday. Odd that the plan was Notting Hill and we ended up in Vauxhall and Clapham ... the best days are the ones you don't really plan.

Adding to the spontaneity was an impromptu flight on the Eye this morning with the allegedly acrophobic, and sadly soon-to-be spirited away lodger houseguest.

:: :: ::

Can someone please explain WHY Beyonce got 3, count 'em ... THREE, songs last night? That was so not oscarlicious. And can't someone give Josh Grobin a haircut?

Anybody else thinking Ms. Swank needs to tone down the over-sincere graciousness? "I'm just a girl from a trailer park with a dream."

Helloooo? Who isn't? Where's my little statue?

And hooray for The Aviator taking a nosedive. It really was The Corrections of filmmaking (excepting, of course, for Cate ... who was stunning).


February 27, 2005

A Jewel of an Evening

"Another first," my mom often says. And we all roll our eyes.

So last night was the first party at our place in London. A flat warming, if you will. I think it was a success ... though, of course, my inner Virgo was in high form for the first hour or so, questioning everythying. Are there enough people? Is everyone having an okay time? Did we get the right food? Oh no, people brought fizz, and we don't have proper champagne glasses. Well, we do have some fancy flutes, but you can't put them down, and they scared people away. Should we have planned better?

I'll chalk it up to a good starter party here at 53. And now the people I've been hanging out with know where we live. Which may or may not be a good thing.

We ended up throwing some awfully good soirees in New York (if I do say so myself), and here we have more than twice the space, and had little less than half the normal attendance, so there was a different energy. But I must say, it was fun. Lots of laughs, lots of conversations, lots of mingling, and two very entertaining rounds of Pretty Pretty Princess, which was a royal smash.

Nothing got broken. Nobody left in a huff ... although I did see a few pouty lower lips when certain princesses-to-be got the dreaded black ring (from PPP for those of you out of the know) All the food got eaten (oh no, we didn't have enough?!?). So yes, I so suppose we achieved success.

Off to womble around Notting Hill today with Matthew, who, as I predicted, just might be staying. As much as he's hating it here (Jude is not returning his calls), it seems the weather gods are conspiring against him and a nasty noreaster is brewing across the pond, which might make for trecherous travel. Pity. Heaven forbid he should have to stay an extra month day or so, settle in from the touristy stuff and make some mac and cheese.

Maybe I'll send him out to buy champagne glasses.

February 25, 2005

Souicodilapipxecitsiligarfilacrepus

practicaly perfectThe second time around is always a little different. You know what to expect. You look for things you might have missed the first time. Maybe you watch with a more critical eye. But sometimes you end up just going along for the ride, smiling from the inside and and saying "YAY, do it again."

I saw Mary Poppins with Marcelo about a month ago and it was perfect. We sat there like two little kids, drawn in my the music and the magic, not knowing how the creatives were going to rework the movie onto the stage. They did not disappoint. Like diving into a chalk drawing on the pavement, I was totally drawn in.

Last night, the magic happened again. I knew what was coming, but Matt did not. I'd tried not to give anything away, except for the fact that he already knew that Supercali etc. was my favorite and that I want to learn the choreography.

He agrees. In fact, I undestand we're crashing the understudy rehearsal today and learning it.

Shall we go for the hat trick?

February 23, 2005

One Plus Cow?

Hmm. I didn't know Camille was coming. She wouldn't come across the river to our place in Chelsea, but she'll fly trans-Atlantic? I hope she has fun ... I'd hate for him to bring home a mad cow.

I'm really looking forward to this visit. It'll be nice to play touron a little bit, and better to just sit and catch up with my boy.

And to those of you back on the other island ... looks like I'm headed back on March 10-12. Forewarned is foreskinned forearmed.

February 22, 2005

The Terrible Twos

Happy Bloggiversary to me.

February 21, 2005

Shlagolicious

"If a song comes on and you roll your eyes, but unconsciously start tapping your foot, it's shlager," says the Time Out Stockholm that Larry brought home with him from his business trip last weekend.

Apparently it's ABBA on steroids, and since he's put up with my mood swings lately (I am *so* ready for estrogen replacement therapy ... and what's with this zit on my forehead?), I stopped into the Magic Store tonight to pick him up a little schlagin' somethin'.

They didn't have any. Sorry Lazza. No Swede-pop for you tonight.

However, the cool lady at the Aveda counter had this and this and this for me. We shared music stories (I was 'podding out to Snow Patrol, and she recommended 13 Senses) and she tossed in some free samples. Love her.

Maybe my skin will soon be scandinavian smooth, and we can record our own Eurovision single.

Or not, but at least I have new product. And looking good is half the battle, right?

February 18, 2005

Residual Exhaustion

I used to tell my boss that I wanted to be *on* a soap opera, not in one.

In todayís episode of Brand This! Ö

ďYouíve reached the voice mail of Fund Runnerís Investment Communicator. He is not at his desk right now, but please leave a message. For immediate help, contact Fund Runnerís Associate Communicator.Ē

So I left FRIC message and then called FRAC.

ďHi FRAC, Bob here. FRIC was supposed to be on a conference call with several of us, as he desperately wanted to give his input regarding some decisions we need to make to our critically urgent project forward. Is he around?Ē

Turns out FRIC was out for the day (despite the fact heíd previously confirmed his attendance). A shame, because we had scheduled the meeting a week or so ago but had to reschedule because he'd been ill.

ďLet me check his diary. Oh yes, I see that itís scheduled for 15 minutes ago.Ē

I asked if FRAC could fill in, since heíd been designated pinch hitter. Sadly, FRAK didnít know anything about the topic at hand. ďBut I can give him a call, Ďcause Iím supposed to be seeing him in an hour or so to go play golf. Iím really sorry. I bet he just forgot about the call. He decided late Wednesday night to take the rest of the week off because he was exhausted.Ē

Methinks FRAC needs a little lesson withholding information.

Tune in next week, when FRIC and FRAC explain how 18 holes is the perfect restorative for a rough (half) week in the corporate world.

:: :: ::

In other soap opera news, I got a residual check today from some U-5 work I did on All My Children in 1996. Bless the Disney Corporation and AFTRA for tracking me down. Iím now $7.84 richer, and it turns out my work has been aired in Romania and Israel. That's almost £4! I can buy an extra pint tonight.

I wonder which episodes were picked up? My couple days of as George the mute orderly when Stuart (or was it Adam) collapsed in the elevator? Or maybe when I was in the disgruntled juror montage and rolled my eyes at Erica Kane (which got a big laugh from the cast and crew, tyvm).

Gee, in a less than a decade Iíve gone from waiting for gaffers in Pine Valley to waiting for golfers in London. Who says Iím not moving up in the world?

:: :: ::

Addendum:

This just in ....

an email has just come in from FRIC (true story)

From: FRIC
Sent: 18 February 2005 09:36
To: Meeting Organizer
Subject: Todays Meeting

Sorry to mess you around, but I am not in the office again today so will not be able to make the meeting.

If I can shake this illness off, I'll rearrange the meeting for you on Monday.

With regards,


FRIC
--------------------------
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Didn't he mean "swing this illness off"?

February 17, 2005

Handprint on My Heart

Every now and then you get really lucky and meet someone who you immediately connect with and, as time goes on, you realize that you have made a friend who has become an inextricable part of your being.

Last year I was doubly blessed. Two people came into my life, at different times and in different countries, and my world is a richer place because of them.

Today is their birthday.

Thank you both for the laughs, the tears, and the love ... and everything in between.

Matthew and Marcelo, I wish you the happiest of birthdays.

If I were magic, I'd summon Kristen and Edina to sing you a song, but since my powers are limited, I hope these words suffice ...

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart

And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:

Because I knew you:
I have been changed for good

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
and none of it seems to matter anymore

Like a comet pulled Like a ship blown
From orbit as it Off it's mooring
Passes a sun, like By a wind off the
A stream that meets Sea, like a seed
A boulder, half-way Dropped by a
Through the wood Bird in the wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better,
Because I knew you:
I have been changed for good.

Enjoy your day, boys. You both deserve all the joy this world has to offer.


February 14, 2005

Every Now and Then I Fall Apart

"The good thing about addictions is they keep you focused."

losers_love.jpg

It was truly a total eclipse of the (valentine's) heart.

Who's Got a Heart On?

She was kind of adorable, but does she really deserve her own day?

Happy Valentine's Day to all y'all -- whether your heart is happy and healthy, cold as stone, clogged with cholesterol, or maybe just a little broken.

As Erzulie says, you are all part of the human heart.

xo

February 12, 2005

Behind the Scenes

When I was acting, I used to love the rehearsal process. In fact, the process was almost better than the performance. It was spontaneous and fun and there was no pressure and you were there to learn and to try new things. And if you tried something new and it worked, ďGreat, keep it.Ē And if it didnít work, then okay, try something different, no harm no foul.

I realized this morning that I need to incorporate more of that into my real world Ė especially in the projects Iím working on at the office and at home. Both of those theaters, if you will, involve some kind of action.

Work is full of interactions (written and spoken) and having to making choices. Iíd like to start making choices and acting on them. Get them out of the way and just move on. Either they work or they donít. Iíve gotta stop putting things off because I worry about making a wrong choice, or writing a crappy report, or getting a bad reaction from the audience/critics. Oh, and it turns out Iím consistently my own worst critic; well, except for a couple of corporate busybodies colleagues in our office in Henley who seem to have become my own personal Michael Riedels. Fuck Ďem.

I do the same thing about writing stories. How many fiction-writing books have I bought and online courses have I enrolled in? And yet how many stories do I have to show for it? Um, none. I have to realize that like getting ready for a show, the ďworkĒ has to be done before something can be put up on itís feet (yes, another acting reference).

But no, part of me just want to sit down and have the story (or internal education piece on the marketing/distribution impact of UCITS III) magically go from some hidden spring of creativity, out of my fingers and on to the page (or computer screen). I suppose it doesnít work that way. I need to stop worrying about the end product and just do the work. Why do I find it so hard to let myself write a crappy first draft? Itís just a read through Ö just an early rehearsal that is in no way meant to be performed. Get the rubble out of the way, find a gem here and there and then polish it up.

Maybe I think it should be like a good improv Ö witty and clever and smart and off the cuff. Then I remind myself that the best improv comes from lots of rehearsal Ö yes, there are kajillions of improvisation classes. What you see on the stage or on TV comes from lots of practice. Shocking, right?

(and interesting how with just one little vowel, improv becomes improve ... something I noticed via a typo ... see, more process)

I believe there is some gospel according to a bumper sticker (or was it a t-shirt) that says, ďLife is not a dress rehearsal.Ē I can buy that, if the meaning behind it is get out there and do it like you mean it. However, the in best rehearsals I used to have, it wasnít about phoning it in, it was about putting yourself on the line, making new choices, trying new things, and feeling safe enough to fall flat on your face, say that didnít work, and then try it again from the top.

You canít go ďback to oneĒ in the real world, but you can learn from the process and do it better (or at least differently) next time.

:: :: ::

And as if to smack myself in the head to prove my point Ö I had some of this in my head before I sat down to write it, and yet Iíve reworked the text three or four times, added and deleted some shit, and then reworked it some more before (and after) I posted it.

Am I not a little too old to be learning absorbing all this?

February 10, 2005

Brits Keen on Keane

Keane won last night's Brit Award (which near as I can tell is kinda like an MTV / Grammy hybrid) for best album.

It's a good album, if not a little too Coldplay derivative, imho.

And is it better than Snow Patrol? We're not so sure about that one.

Scissor Sisters -- Yay
Joss Stone -- Nay
Franz Ferdinand -- Yay
"Angels" as best song ever?? -- Um, Nay

Isn't that just a little too corny (well, it is British pop we're talking about) ... but to beat out Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights?" I trust you'll have something to say about that.

:: :: ::

Speaking of corn, why do they call the little yellow kernels "sweet corn" here? Is that to differentiate between candy corn (also sweet) or pop corn (which can be sweet here, as you get your choice of salted or sweet at the movies cinema.

And "green peas" ... what other color are they? Well, grey I suppose, depending on how fresh your mushy peas are.

February 9, 2005

Clean and Jerk

New routines are hard. I'm not just talking about trying to learn the choreography for a new Britney video. No indeed. I'm talking about reprogramming your body clock and developing new habits.

My new goal is to be up at 6am, fill 3 pages of brain drain, free-writing, morning pages, whatever, have some breakfast, get to the gym, and be to work before 9am. Preferably by 8:30.

The shrink used to tell me the first step for not going to a return ticket out of the dark place was to be on a regular sleep schedule. One should always try that before medication. Of course, he put me on meds anyway, but whatever. So I'm in England now, the shrink doesn't do phone sessions, and I'm still trying to be off the happy pills (which is not as simple or easy as the judgmental know-it-alls serotonin-blessed who've ever needed them can attest ... and please, do attest).

"I don't believe in them. If you want to be happy just be happy," I was told. Well that's just great. And not many happy steps away from the fanatics who don't believe in doctors and it's better to put your health into G*d's hands rather than team up with modern science. And creationism is the way ... I did not evolve from a monkey. What's right for me should be right for everybody!

But I digress.

Accomplished all on my morning list yesterday. *bows* Well done, me. While I know that exercise in the morning is a good thing, in theory, I always feel so sluggish. Took in more than one mouthful of pool water and felt a bit like Shelly Winters for the first 10 minutes of the swim.

Gurgling underwater cries of "Manny" were lost on my fellow strokers, but at least I entertained myself.

Today though, I did the fall-back-into-bed thing (old bad habit). The new comforter is soooooo, well, comfortable. But I rallied, was up by 6:15, got my pages written (so what was that dream about me being in the 1st episode of Sex and the City -- and since when did my new best friend Carrie meet Big at a baseball stadium?), and protein smoothie made.

Alas, I'd left my gym stuff at work last night (it's all not carrying excess baggage), and I really didn't need a third backpack of crap at the office, so I said no gym. Perhaps a quick run, that's a good idea (even though it's a weight day, not cardio).

Or ... we could just put in the Personal Trainers DVD I picked up the other night.

Well, I got a little exercise at least. And some motivation to lose more flab.

And made it to work with one minute to spare before my 9am.

:: :: ::

Valentine's bonus -- just bought tickets to see them. Maybe that's an anti-Valentines?

February 7, 2005

Tail of the Unexpected

Popped over to Soho last night to pick up some practically perfect theater tickets, as we'll want to entertain our upcoming house guest in the most delightful way.

Box office was closed. Undaunted, we headed over to Robot Street for "just the one." As we were finishing our second and discussing dinner plans, who should walk by but our old pal Benjy.

"I'm off to the loo, but come join us in the corner. You must meet our new friend."

Not wanting to be rude, I ordered another round and headed to the alcove, where I made the acquaintance of Monica, the tranny hooker who had us in stiches (as opposed to Stiges, where'd I rather be) for the better part of the next hour.

Who'd have thunk it? I've been bordering on the edge of the dark place for a few days now, and on a whim, ended up having unexpected laughs with new characters and pleasant conversation with people who are turning out to be real friends. And a little ribald humor to boot.

There *is* life outside your apartment flat. I guess I'll stick around awhile ... well at least till Thursday when I go to Frankfurt.

February 6, 2005

Twice as Wet

I was heading to the pool today after a very centering Body Balance class (apparently I'm unbalanced) and two red-headed women, with the exact same haircut were getting into the pool ... mirror images of each other. I find it a little disconcerting when adult twins dress and style themselves alike.

But there they were, getting into the pool with the same scary seemingly choreographed entrance. They each took a lane, and then proceded to do a lovely breast stroke, each in time with each other.

Were they practicing synchronized swimming? Or were they just creepy children of the chlorine?

Either way, it wasn't quite right. Especially when they were coming back up the lanes, towards me, both staring straight ahead, never putting their faces in the water, just 4 arms rowing through the water, all in synch, both with the same breath pattern.

I had to avert my eyes for fear their pupils would turn red and disintigrate me.

I cut my swim a little short and found the steam room much more relaxing.

February 4, 2005

The Best Defense ...

Was talking with Larry last night about some of my frustrations at work, and in life, and said, "I'm just tired of constantly having to defend myself."

"Welcome to the real world," he told me.

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think the majority of life should be about defending yourself.

Is that what the real world is all about? Discuss.

February 3, 2005

Girls Like Me

The iPod unexpectedly tossed this Mary Chapin Carpenter poem song my way this morning ... it's lovely.

Girls like me arenít hard to find
We grow like roses on the vine
We wear our hearts on our sleeves
You probably know a girl like me.

We live alone and in our heads
We eat standing up or in our beds
Guilt and fear merge easily
In the quiet souls of girls like me

And loneliness is like a cold,
Common and no cure weíre told
We take to bed, per chance to dream
In the blue light of the TV screen.

Girls like me like summer light
And cold beer on a summer night
And boys who arenít afraid of what they see
Inside the eyes of girls like me

And hopefulness is like a drug
It makes a girl believe in love
And if somehow you love us back
You think thereís something wrong with that

Girls like me arenít hard to trust
Your deepest secretís safe with us
And when itís time to set you free
You can always count on girls like me

Itís good to know a girl like me
You used to love a girl like me

*Sigh*

LRS -- you so need to sing this next time you do an open mike night.

Oh Bartender ...

After a hectic yet fairly productive week at work, all I want to do right now is have a few drinks and wander the streets looking at cute boys.

Is that so wrong?

Should the weekend not begin at noon on Thursday?

February 1, 2005

The Night Bus

I ended up at the office pretty late last night, and by the time I got to the tube station, it was almost time for the last train.

On a whim, I took the scenic route ... climbed aboard the Number 23 and sat myself upstairs in the front seat. Turns out that with no traffic it's a fairly short ride home, and I got to see all kinds of things I normally don't see on the way to work.

Rode down Fleet Street (but saw no demon barbers), which then becomes the Strand (home to several theaters). Found myself at Charing Cross Station, then rode by the The National Gallery towards Picadilly Circus, and then up Regent Street to the all-to-familiar Oxford Circus (too.many.people.) and then a short jaunt to Marble Arch, which is now home base.

A quick 25-minute ride and I was home. With several visual reminders that yes, I do in fact live in London now. And it's wicked cool.

Sometimes it's good to change your routine and get above ground.