Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best of 2009 - Movie Edition

Best movie to make me question my mortality: The Road
Best movie to make me question John Cusak's mortality: 2012

Best movie adapted from a book about physical monsters: Where the Wild Things Are
Best movie adapted from a book about emotional monsters: He's Just Not That Into You

Best movie starring Zoe Saldana as a human: Star Trek 
Best movie starring Zoe Saldana as an alien: Avatar

Best movie I didn't know I would like: District 9
Best movie I thought I would like and hated: I Love You, Beth Cooper (book was hilarious!)

Best movie to remind me why I love George Clooney: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Best movie to remind me why I love George Clooney a couple of months later: Up in the Air

Best movie to remind me why it's awesome to have best friends: I Love You, Man!
Best movie to remind me to check on camera for evidence of what my best friends do while I'm not around: The Hangover

Best heartbreaking romantic comedy: 500 Days of Summer
Best heartbreaking romantic comedy that wasn't trying to be a heartbreaking romantic comedy but the acting was so bad that it was heartbreakingly comedic: Twilight- New Moon

Best 80s TV icon cameo in a movie: Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man!)
Best 80s movie icon cameo in a movie: Bill Murray (Zombieland)

Best movie we wish we could have seen in 2009: Actual, non-rehearsal concert footage of This is It
Best movie we won't have to see in 2009: Tiger in the Sack- A Tiger Woods Story

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Extras.Dolly.Finale Pt 3

6:15pm- Dolly track is being constructed. My extras, consisting of some Work Jerks and some actual coworkers, lounge in the conference room. They’ve shown up for me and I’m very appreciative.
6:45pm- To hell with the dolly track!
7:15pm- I play host to the extras while their scene is being set up. Who’s up for a game of numbers?
7:25pm- They are over the numbers game.
7:45pm- Tom takes over the extras. Begins placing them around the office.
8:05pm- Extras scene begins. A lot of “Action so-and-so!” “Action so-and-so!” Being shouted. They walk. It’s a cut and wrap. They are awesome.
9:00pm- Extras part. I hug my friends and wave good bye. My night is nowhere near over.
9:30pm- Food break! My brain is telling me there’s something up with the food, my stomach is saying “to hell with it! Eat!” So I eat (and have a stomach bug the next day, but that’s another story.)
10:00pm- My stomach is starting to hurt but I try my best not to show it. A real actress hides pain, and I’m trying to be one so…
10:30pm- Camera is aimed at my computer. I’m trying to type but I can’t get a line across the screen without having to backtrack. Someone from the crew gives it a try…and fails as well. Jesse steps up; self-proclaimed typing hero. And fails. We laugh. Then he tries very slowly and makes it. We cheer.
11:45pm- This is still fun but my bed is winning the war of “places I’d love to be right now.”
12:30am- I’ve started napping between scenes. I feel a soft snap of light. Ah! Someone took a picture of me.
1:10am- Wonder if dying would be easier than staying awake. (I’ve become melodramatic, signs of a true actress!)
1:15am- Last scene begins. Although I’m clearly exhausted between scenes, I wake up for takes and I’m praised for my determination. I’m coaxed with words like “We’re almost done!”
1:25am- And then we are done.
1:45am- We all gather our belongings and head out of the building.
1:47am- I hug everyone. They are no longer strangers. They are my battle buddies. Majority have never been on such a long shoot before. Although I cannot wait to see my bed, I am sad to part with them.
2:25am- I am in a car headed home. It’s snowing. Badly. Of all nights. I just want to be home!
2:45am- I’m in bed. Almost 24 hours from the last time I felt my pillow against my head. This may have been the longest day of my life but it was also one of the most amazing. It has renewed the feeling that always lies in the pit of my stomach but that I often ignore. I shouldn’t be scared of this, because as hard as it is for me to admit, it’s what I’m meant to do.

Sidebar- the final cut of the video will be released in early January. I will be posting it then.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Madison Ave.Lights.Cameras -Part 2

December 08. We pick up right after 12:30pm when my director (Dan Beers) tells me I'm supposed to wear the doggycam in front of my work building on Madison Avenue, amidst lunch time traffic...

12:45pm- Standing in front of building with crew. People are already starting to look. You ready Lauren? I nod and lift my arms. Wiggle into the harness and smile expectantly. There's no method to my acting. I just "do."
12:55pm- We've moved across the street. Time to walk. Down a city block and around a corner. Some people stop and look, but the best part? The people that don't.
1:15pm- We stop on a corner and Dan (DP, not director) has an idea. He wants a 360 shot. I'm down for anything at this point. He clears the way and I spin a circle 5 feet wide thanks to the suspended cam. Fun.
1:25pm- Harness comes off for the last time. Phew! Done with the weird stares.
1:26pm- Find out what the next scene is. No, not done after all.
1:30pm- Adam, an older man costumed as a homeless person, makes his fake setup on the sidewalk. He's totally into his character. Asking for money from strangers. Dan sets up me. "Don't react to Adam no matter what he does," he tells me. Sure, no problem. 
1:31pm- Action! I start to walk past Adam. As soon as I pass he jumps up and starts screaming maniacally. I keep walking as if I've heard nothing. Dan's pleased. People in the street? Not so much. I think a child is crying somewhere. 
1:45pm- I receive a text from my coworker who is about 20 stories above me. "We can hear him screaming up here." I'm laughing but wondering at what point are we getting arrested for this? 
2:15pm- We don't get arrested. We're on to the next site. 
2:45pm- The two Dans and I make a quick run into Union Square station. Quick up and downs on the stairs. Starting to think this is a candid boot camp. 
2:55pm- At the Moxie office. Mike and Danny are setting up the elevator for the next scene. I take a break on the couches with Susie, Kris and Christian. We all look pretty tired already. Oh right, we've been doing this for nearly 8 hours. 
3:10pm- Elevator is ready, as is my costar in this scene. A guy named Larry. Won't give away too much by telling you how Larry was costumed. Just know that even the non-costumed version of Larry was...creepy. 
3:15pm- Light effects in the elevator. Larry is staring at me. Light effects stop. Larry is still staring at me...and asking me if I want to be in his off (way off) Broadway show (aka the subway theater.) I smile awkwardly then look pleadingly at Dan. Help!
4:00pm-Crew heads back to midtown. Two Dans, Christian, Jesse and I hit the 6 train.
4:30pm-NYC rule: no cameras on the subway. Rule? What rule? Dan takes out the cam.
4:45pm-Jesse's wearing his mask again. Most people ignore him. Except a child. Who's completely terrified.
5:15pm-By now we've swapped seats at least 5 times and we've hit 86th street.
5:35pm-Train reaches 59th street. Motion. Slow motion. Sleep motion. *Snap* oh we're here!
5:45pm-Hoof it to my office. Jokes are had. I don't know how we have energy to laugh.
5:50pm-Christian asks Dan how many shots we still have to shoot. "Something like 30." Well then, maybe I should have packed my sleeping bag.

To be continued...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Dan.Crew.Me - Part I

The main portion of the contest I won and spoke of in recent posts was a full day dedicated to the film shoot revolving around my essay. The chosen production company was Moxie Pictures and the director, Dan Beers. Dan, who usually directs and writes comedy created this hilarious short starring Bill Murray back in 2007.

I didn't need to see the short ahead of time to know that Dan was super talented and shared my sense of humor. The irony, however, was that the short he envisioned for me was not a comedy. And therein lies the blank canvas that blanketed the beginning of this project. Something new for Dan. Something new for me.

It took place on December 8th. And this is how it went down...

6:00am- Alarm. The idea of getting up this early was appealing, until I actually had to do it.
6:45am- Lay on couch. Thinking I can nap just a few- buzzzzzzz! What?! It's 7 already?
7:00am- Crew arrives. Eight people make their way through my door. Steve (producer) snaps us into attention. "Make-up, asap!" He's authoritative and sounds familiar. Oh yeah, like me! Duh. Susie Sobol gets to work on my face. It may be early, but this is becoming fun again.
7:20am- Hair. Susie's finishing up my locks while Dan snaps pics for me. He's an earthy director. Has no problem taking my picture, and then promptly making fun of me.
7:25am- Kris (production designer/wardrobe) helps me sort through my wardrobe. It's cold out but a dress would look cute I say. So much for warmth.
7:30am- Three Dans and a Mike meet me in the hallway. Steve reminds us to keep library voices. Dan directs me to walk. Easy enough.
7:40am- I’m introduced to the “doggycam” also known as a “me” cam. It’s a large contraption. I’m scared. I’m told Will Smith wore this very piece. Well in that case, strap me in! I bend and twist. Oh, I think to myself as the camera points right at my face, this is…odd.
7:45am- Lauren, smile. Oh wait, never mind. Keep with the sour puss, it's more believable for morning.
8:00am- Christian snaps pics of me in the awkward contraption. Facebook! Susie I’m sweating, help! She rushes over with make-up brushes. Dan fans me. Someone feed me grapes, now! Kidding.
8:15am- All nine of us slip downstairs, hoping not to draw attention. Bump into my super in the lobby. Doh! It’s a student film… with a director that was hired. And a fully paid crew. And. Ok, yeah, it’s not a student film.
8:30am- Pile into the rented van. Susie meets me in front seat and starts touching me up while Tom asks me how to get to Lincoln. I direct as lipstick is applied.
8:35am- Dan makes my stomach hurt. Because he keeps making me laugh, not because he sucker punched me.
9:00am- Arrive in the Bronx. 241st train station. Renegade filming. Well, this should be fun!
9:15am- Down the block, Dan yells "action!" I notice. And so does everyone else on the block.
9:17am- Between takes people stop to ask me who I am and what movie I’m filming. I just smile…and run away.
9:20am- Christian buys me water and tells me to find him if I want anything to eat or drink. It’s on production’s tab. Awesome, I’ll take lobster. Oh wait. I don’t eat fish.
9:25am- There are a lot of cops around because a woman was shot in the area the morning before. Lovely.
9:45am- Up on the platform. Jesse is to my right, wearing a mask. Dan and Dan are across the platform shouting directions between trains passing. Lauren, look left. Jesse stay there behind her. Good now---skrreeeeeccchhhhhhhhhhhhh.
10:15am- Walking to the van a passerby shouts “Ducksauce!” at me. Is that a movie? A come on line? An indigenous language from Siberia? I have no idea what he meant but we’re all laughing.
10:30am- Heading to the city. Laughing.
11:15am- Stuck in cross-town traffic. Not laughing.
11:30am- Steve jumps out of the van and makes a run for it. Tries to intercept the food delivery that is happening two blocks ahead of us, which we’re about to be late for.
11:31am- Steve makes it. Food doesn’t.
12:00pm- We’re spread out in the atrium. Food has arrived and I’m talking to Jesse and Susie about the IRS and their shenanigans.
12:30pm- Dan tells me it’s time to jump into the doggycam again. I stop eating. Here? On Madison Avenue? During lunch??? Yes.

To be continued…

Friday, December 4, 2009

California Dreamin' - Finale

Sunday (11/8)

Our last full day on the California coast. Decide to take another road trip. This time we head north to Santa Barbara. 405 to the 101 and within the next hour we are driving along the coast. The mountains take up most of our Eastern view. They rise and fall like a kiddie coaster. We exit and head towards State Street. The buildings have a Spanish feel to them. Even the movie theater blends in; unlike East coast movie theaters that stand alone like stadiums. We eat, and walk, sometimes through clouds of weed smoke. Did you know nearly anyone can legally obtain pot in California as long as your doctor gives you a medical needs card? I know, to us East Coasters it sounds as real as Monopoly money, but in California it’s legit. Blew my mind. We visit the Mission; a large Franciscan church founded in 1786. Creepy and amazing to walk through such an old piece of architecture. We rush because it’s nearly 230pm and we have one last place to visit: The Circle Bar B Ranch.

Like every other little girl in all of America, I grew up loving horses. I’m not sure why, I mean, I grew up in Brooklyn where you only see horses with police on their backs during parades. Must have been something that was whispered into my ear when I was a newborn. Anyway. I’ve rode horses several times in my life, was even thrown off one once. But what honestly brought me to the ranch was the fact that it was listed as one of the top ten things to do while in the Santa Barbara area. Simple as that. Jaime agreed because he loves me. And because he doesn’t pay attention to my itineraries. In this scenario, the latter was clearly the case. As we pulled up he asked me, “So this is a spa thing right?” Obviously, when we moseyed on up to the group of cowboys and a line of stables he did a double take. I explained to one of the horse handlers that I’m a somewhat experienced rider. Jaime offered up that he had ridden a horse once. Slowly. No surprise then that my horse was a young stallion named Rocket and Jaime’s was a gargantuan mare named Dolly. Our leader, and full blown cowboy, was named Clay and, by the lucky of the horses, we were going on a solo ride (in other words they were nice enough to separate us from the family with three whiny kids.) For the next hour we were led through the mountains with Clay telling stories about where he was from (Iowa?) and asking me about Brooklyn because his brother manages a bar there (of course!) And Jaime? Well, think about the combination here: slow horse and a guy who wouldn’t disturb a fly even if it were buzzing around his head shamelessly. Clay had shown us how to kick the horses in a way that conveyed the need for speed. Jaime would give small kicks and then, when our leader would turn away, he’d lean forward (the sweet man he is) and try to convince the horse to move faster by pleading to her. Needless to say, when my horse decided to leap over a small creek (just because) Jaime missed it because he was 100 feet behind. Regardless, we all caught up at the crest of a mountain where Clay parked our horses and told us to chill out. Breathtaking isn’t strong enough of a word to portray just what it was we saw. Green mountains rose and fell, the sun was beginning to blaze pink, and the ocean was just beyond the farthest crest. I didn’t want to leave. But we were warned the cold would come as the sun set further. Picture opp! And then we were off, back down the mountain. I recognized the final trail as we approached it and frowned knowing the end of the ride was around the corner. *Sigh?* A nature girl? Me? Who woulda thunk it? (Especially after that camping debacle. Shiver.) We were helped off our horses and became immediately aware of how much sitting in that position for an hour and a half was going to hurt in just a few hours. Again, totally worth it.

One last stop to make on this trip. We wanted to get together with Jaime’s friend Mitch, who now resides in San Diego. No, no, no. We didn’t drive down to San Diego. I’m not that crazy. We just drove to Anaheim. I was told this was about 30 minutes South of Santa Monica. What’s 30 minutes more? I said. Then I saw the red lights. The break lights. The traffic lights. And then I realized it was 30 minutes without traffic. And, considering there is rarely NOT traffic around LA, this time assumption was completely false. So we sat in traffic for over an hour instead. I thought I might die. Until we finally reached a random mini-mall in Anaheim where we met Mitch for BBQ. Food. Stress reliever. What traffic? We munched on ribs as Mitch told us about his gig as a high school teacher. An hour later we were laughed out with our bellies full. We promised to visit San Diego on our next West coast trip. I guess that’s when we first realized we’d want to return sooner than later. This trip had not rid us of the bug to discover what else this state had to offer. Before we could even give that more thought, we had to head out. Lucky for us, our return trip happened outside of rush hour so it really did only take us about 30 minutes to reach our hotel. Ah, sleep. I dreamt of horses and Dolly Parton. Weird.

Monday (11/9)

Up before the alarm clock. Gather. Pack. Go. Stop at IHop. Eat my usual breakfast. The one thing you can count on to be the same no matter where you go: chain restaurants. Return rental car. Jump the shuttle bus. There’s a funny feeling in my stomach. Ah, it’s sadness. We check in. We’re early. Why do I always book late flights? Sit around in the terminal, get some work done. Look over the pictures we’ve taken. California’s beautiful. It’s not home. May never feel that way, but beautiful nonetheless. Board the plane. Purple lights. Pussycat Dolls music surrounds us. Comedic flight attendants. Déjà vu. Not really. Just amazed at how fast six days went. Take off. California disappears below us. Four and a half hours later. City lights. A different kind of beauty. There’s a funny feeling in my stomach. Ah, it’s the feeling of familiarity. The beaches may not be nearly as pretty, the sunsets not as magnificent but we have real NY pizza, real NY bagels, real NY skyscrapers, real NY attitudes, real NY stride. I missed this. I’m home.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 4

Saturday (11/7)

(Short and sweet)

Why stay in LA when you have a rental car? Grab an address off the web, plug into my GPS and to Laguna we head. “No traffic!” I shout/whisper to Jaime because if I were to say it any louder, cars may suddenly creep out of thin air. We make it to Laguna beach in under an hour.

It’s a solid 70 degrees outside but we head to the beach anyway. I lay in jeans and a bikini top, determined to get some visible touch of sun. Did I mention it was hardly 70 degrees out? Soon I have my tank top back on and we give up on the tanning.

Walk over to the rocks and cliffs. Kick around in the water and marvel at some crabs stuck to the stone. Interesting to look at…as long as I am several feet away. I pretend to pose at the edge of the surf and don’t see the higher water coming my way. Splash! My jeans are soaked. Jaime smiles. He caught it on film. We sit in the setting sun as my jeans dry.

A walk around the surrounding streets brings us to a line of stores. I shop. Surprised? I exit Heavenly Couture with $100 worth of cute outfits. We dine on the beach wrapped in sweatshirts and jackets. There is something beyond amazing about the West coast sun. It can’t possibly be the same of that in NY. The ride home isn’t as lucky. We sit in traffic for more than an hour.

But it was worth it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 3

Friday (11/6)

Jaime accompanies me to the lot. Takes it in. Breathes it out. I leave him at Coffee Bean while I participate in a quick meeting. Afterward I make rounds. Goodbyes are said. Some with old friends, others with new. I'm sad. Two days in this new world and I'm sad. Melodramatic. Meet Jaime back at CB. Our lot tour guide meets us there. He's spiffy and quick with words. Reminds me of less attractive version of lead guy on Glee. Oh, and he's an actor. I have yet to meet a waiter/tour guide/gas attendant in LA who is not an aspiring actor. Learn about the golden years of film. He's such a good storyteller that I imagine Humphrey Bogart will exit a sound stage at any moment. Enter sound stage 27 where Wizard of Oz was filmed. Sound stage 15 is 40 feet high. I think it could take hours to climb a ladder and touch the top. Quick stop at the backdrop painting facility. So you're telling me that's not really NY landscape outside Peter Parker’s NYC apartment window? The set of upcoming "Priest" has an open door, we creep inside. Same with Green Hornet office. Real movie sets give me chills. Far cry for Side Job sets. One day Lauren, one day. No celeb sightings but enough history talk to keep us buzzed.

Time to drive. Up and through Hollywood we go. Land at Highland and Hollywood. Park. Walk. One block. One block? Yes, that's all "Hollywood" is. Kodak, Gruman, Walk of Fame, all centers around one city block. "Actors" (I use that term more loosely every day) swarm the block dressed as Superman, Michael Jackson or a beat up, homemade version on SpongeBob (yellow tights, yellow foam head with eye cut outs and brown short shorts, so horrible I can hardly look away.) Then I realize I've lost my boyfriend. Ah! There he is, being manhandled by a Cat Woman wannabe. $5 later. Quick snaps of various stars on the sidewalk. Faves: Big Bird and Tony Danza. Up and through Kodak theater mall. Hollywood sign in the distance. Snap! Enough of this, let’s drive!

Cruise West on Sunset Blvd. Make a right and now we’re in Beverly Hills. Is the altitude making things fuzzy or do these incredible homes really exist? The kind of homes you only see on film. Well, this is LA. We can only take so much, our mouths are dry from hanging open for so long. Back down to Sunset and across to the coast. Engaging scenery and then we wiggle our way through the mountains. Endless water before us. Stop at Santa Monica pier. Like a Jersey shore boardwalk but…prettier. Parrot on my shoulder. Dance breakers doing flips. Music all around. Sunset.

Quick changearoo at the hotel and back out again. Return to Santa Monica. Dinner time with Fayanne at Border Grill. Where better to have Mexican than California? A solid round of margaritas. Tales of jobs past. Laughs and tummies filled. Robert Hoffman passes by our table. Don’t know who he is? I wouldn’t know either had I not seen Step Up 2 and were he not dressed like a break dancer. Time flies. Food has been delish. Part ways with my West coast friend and head to meet another. Quick drinks with Chuck and his lady @ a lounge on Ocean Avenue. Awkward bodies dance behind me. It’s 11pm. The party pooper within me is calling. Time to call it a night. So much for showin’ ‘em how NY gets down. Unless it’s down to a pillow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 2

Thursday (11/5)

Bright and early. Have to head to the lot. Not the parking kind, the movie kind. Drive past security gate and then through a production. Completely in fear that I’ve just ruined some major blockbuster on my first day. I didn’t. Make my way into the building housing my colleagues. Like the bizarro world of my office; coworkers like that on the East coast but yet not like the East coasters. Instead of drab walls there are glass walls. Instead of broken toasters there are master chef kitchens. I like this…and yet I miss the smell and feel of NY.

Hang with Laura until I link up with one of my two bosses who parades me around like a proud dad. I blush. 15 times. I’m recognized (because my photo is on the company homepage.) Completely unnatural experience. Mini-stardom. Doubt this could ever feel normal. Walk around placing faces with phone voices. Have an ordinary chat with the co-head of the studio. Discuss things like Yonkers and why they still race horses. What did you expect? A movie pitch? :-) Meet with casting group. Head shots everywhere. Big smiles and stern looks jump at me from glossy paper. So that’s what my head shot looks like when I’m not the one looking at it. Talk about the likes of new talent. Learning session. Walk out feeling more like a producer, less like an actor. Totally ok with that.

Been around for a few hours but walking around like I stomp there daily. Out the door with Couper and Steve S to grab some lunch. There may be traffic in LA, but driving out for lunch is way more doable than…well it’s NOT doable in NY. Settle at CPK. Steve asks me all about The Work Jerks. I’m flattered and honored, because he’s a funny dude. I feel like a role model, and yet I’m not. I give all the credit to the fact that I’m surrounded by very talented people who don’t ask me to pay them (yet.) We eat and chat, frequently interrupted by my ADD BFF. I laugh. Often. This LA thing is fun.

I make it a point to stop in on my fellow assistants who I book appointments with regularly. I’m called a celebrity. I am still but an earthling, not fully in the clouds. These are my trench buddies. Hellos and hugs we share. I laugh that my 15 minutes won’t last forever. I’m then pulled away with the words “So and so wants to meet you, come on!” Damn my feet hurt! Make one last meeting with Ines, who I have never met but thanks to the homepage spotlight, have made fast friends with. I’m asked to describe NY to someone who has never been there (or maybe was only there once?) I’m stumped. Suddenly know nothing of my hometown. Am I losing myself already?

Swing back to hotel to pick up Jaime who has made Venice beach his home for the day and has a tinge of tan on the tip of his nose. My pale face stains with jealousy. Redressed, we head to Santa Monica for dinner at BOA. Immediate release of my car keys to valet. No one parks their own car in LA. Join one of my three friends who we are meeting at a table in the back. Lights low. Candles lit. And all I can think about is steak. And all I can notice is the large man sitting next to us with a hat and coat on, yet he doesn’t seem like he’s leaving. Quick glance again. Ah! He’s Brad Garrett. I inconspicuously reach for my cell phone and text the friends surrounding my table. Just as inconspicuous, they find their way of responding to my message. Then we play the game of pretending he’s not there. Food arrives! Brad who?

Filet mignon falls to pieces on my tongue. Mashed potatoes rush in after them. Brad leaves. New couple arrives. Older man. Younger woman. I think they manufacture couples like these in bulk here in LA. Minding our own business. Small commotion comes from cradle-robber table. We’re human, we look left. New woman is standing beside seated man. She says: “Funny seeing you here. Who is your friend?” Look of worry comes over man’s face. Look of “we love drama!” falls on our faces. Talk gets softer then standing woman asks if the man will step away with her for a moment. Quickly, we return to the very interesting non-existent convo we were having. Except for Couper, he makes eye contact with the girl left behind. Girl says to him: “I think that was his girlfriend.” She’s brought him in, and by default, we are now all involved. Girl continues: “This is our first date.” One of us says “Then maybe it should be your last.” Girl contemplates but man returns. Straining to hear them because my brain has been affected by wine consumption. Darn! A cookie platter is placed in front of me. Ah, sweet sugary goodness! Wait, what was I talking about?

After many laughs and reenactments by Jaime and Couper the night winded down and once again I was falling asleep standing up. Said our goodbyes and headed to valet. A Saab is parked in front of me. I recognize it as my friend’s. Were this NY, I would drive away with it as a joke. Instead, I swap tickets, grab the right car, and head to the hotel once more. Sleep finds me quickly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

California Dreamin' Part 1

The trip to, in and from California left me with a vast amount of memories which would be entirely overwhelming if I wrote it all at once. So, I’m going to write it in 5 pieces, reflecting back on each day I spent in Cali. Here it goes...

Wednesday (11/4)

640am and dragging our carry-ons onto a plane. Virgin America. Purple lights and pop music greet us. Black “leather” seats. Comedic flight attendants. Order snacks from my TV screen. Watch the Disney Channel (not afraid to admit that.) Turn on some Wifi. Rockstar. I try to sleep. Can’t. Get to writing, Jaime snores. Look out the window. Highways then greenery, then crops in Ikea rug patterns, then blue mountains with cotton colored caps, then terracotta canyons and then…Jaime snores. We begin landing.

Oh car rental, car rental where are you? Ah, it’s off-site. Well then! Small talk and smiles gets me a free upgrade. A red Chevy Impala. Gangster. Side view mirror is smashed. Darn. Exchange. Now the car is “mocha.” About to get in and drive off, killer bee on the dashboard. Yikes! Rental attendant performs a murderous rampage. Attendant= 1, Bee=0.

Shades on. Driving through the wide-lane streets and one story buildings. This reminds me of Orlando. Pull into In-N-Out Burger. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

Park @ hotel in Marina Del Rey, walk to Venice beach. Weather is lukewarm, sky is the kind of blue you want to wrap yourself in like a warm blanket, waves are gnarly (did I say that right?) Walk the Venice “canal.” Looking into people’s homes feels weird but they are beautiful. They are meant to be observed.

Clock says it’s only 4pm but I’ve already been up for more than 12 hours. Naps are amazing.

Get ready to meet my friend Steve R at the Red Lion Tavern on Glendale Avenue. On the phone with my bestie from westie, Couper, who warns me not to stray too far from the freeway, there are some “interesting neighborhoods” on the way there. Trooping across LA I only hope to not get a flat and end up in the middle of a gang war. Realize LAers are probably told the same thing about NY. Get to Red Lion in one piece. Beer garden with indoor/outdoor patio. Steve’s at a picnic table and our waitress is actually German. Beer name I can't pronounce. Yummy. Potato cakes and sausage. Double yummy. We talk life, love and beer. 9pm. I’m sleepy again. A huge bouncer takes our pic on the way out. Snap memory.

Hotel. Bed. Snooze.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My 15 Minutes (Part 2 of 3)

There's something amazing in having a vision and being able to realize it for someone else. What's more amazing? Sitting alongside the person(s) who are going to listen to your story and find a way to tell it for you.

Towards the end of the winners announcement, I was approached by two of the producers I'd be working with on creating my videography. What surprised me was not only how down to earth they were but how genuinely excited they appeared to be about the project. Besides the obvious reasons I should feel lucky, I was further enamored with the project after meeting them.

My first official sit-down with the producers came the very next day. We discussed my background and the project in general. We spoke of the other jobs they've worked on and I tried my hardest to keep my excitement just below the surface. A mini-movie about me. Surreal. (I’m going to use that word a lot, please forgive me now.) I’d love to give the pinpointed details about our conversation, but I’m not at liberty to say. Just know that the final videos will be online at some point for all to see.

When I returned to my office I was still wearing the same smile I’d been wearing for the last day and a half. It was just hard to get rid of. After closing up, I headed home to pack. It just so happened that weeks before the contest even began, I had scheduled a trip to Los Angeles. What originally was intended to be a quick stop into the office turned into several meetings, a lunch and a dinner. My entire packing situation had to be re-evaluated. What does one wear when meeting the head of an TV & movie studio? And, just a few days later, riding a horse? Then of course there’s the multitude of situations that fall in between. Needless to say, I threw almost every sensible outfit I own into my suitcase. Set my alarm for 430am (who chooses a 7am flight to LA, really?) and hit the sack.

Half a dream later, I was up and, soon enough, in a car on my way to the airport and the interesting trip that lie ahead.

(Part 3- The California trip. Coming soon.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My 15 Minutes (Part 1 of 3)

I'm not the kind of person that wins things. I’m the person that plays $50 on a lotto card and watches the person standing next to me who spent $1 win a million easy. That’s me. So winning the “make.believe” contest was a huge surprise. And since the majority of you don’t work with me, I figured it would be helpful to explain what exactly I was so excited about a couple of weeks ago.

Within the last month, the company I work for (Sony) opened up a contest to its US & Canada employees in support of its upcoming "make.believe" ad campaign. In an effort to showcase how Sony impacts various people in various ways, employees were asked to tell their "make.believe" stories in 150 words. After taking a few minutes to think of it, I came up with this:

Ever since I began writing short stories as a child, I had envisioned each plot, or each scene of dialogue as if it were taken from a film only I could see. For years I could not fathom the possibility of one day watching my stories, and later scripts, brought to life on film. Then, several months ago, I came across Sony’s Handycam HDR-FX1000 and was quickly aware that producing my films may not be as outrageously expensive as I had imagined. For a reasonable price and with exceptional quality, I was able to film my first web series, a sci-fi thriller titled Linked. After submitting the pilot episode to the NATPE NextTV competition, it was voted into the finalist round. I was both surprised and honored, but more so than anything, I was thankful for having been given the opportunity to show the world my vision.”

Very short version of a much longer story about how Linked was created and completed, but you get the gist. I submitted and continued with my workday. About a week later I received a call from two producers. They explained to me that my story was being considered and they wanted to hear more. Over a 15 minute conversation I explained more in depth the creation of Linked, my follow-up producer role with The Work Jerks, and how not only did purchasing the camera allow me much more creative freedom, but also opened creative doors for me within my position at Sony. They were interested. Very interested it seemed, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

The grand prize announcement was to happen on November 2nd, and on the preceding Friday I received another call. The producer told me I was in the running to win one of three grand prizes. The grand prize winners would have their story made into a video directed and produced by the same group handling the TV ad campaigns. They would also be flown to Vegas for the launch of the campaign at CES (that’s the huge annual electronics tradeshow) where the video would debut. AND they would receive an array of Sony products. Needless to say, I spent the weekend sleepless, contemplating whether or not I’d win.

That Monday I sat silently throughout the day. I had only mentioned the possibility of my win to a couple of friends. I was too afraid I’d lose. Later that afternoon, the entire building gathered into our atrium for the announcement. I stood within a small group of friends that were aware that I was a finalist but I told them to play it cool if my name wasn’t called. Sir Howard Stinger, Chairman, CEO & President of Sony Corp, walked onto the stage, introduced a great Playstation Home presentation and then announced that the event was being telecasted to Sony offices around the US and Canada. And so the pressure worsened. Until he said my name.

I was announced as the first of the three winners. I think the first thing I did was squeal, I can hardly remember. He asked me to raise my hand and as I did, watched 500+ people turn towards me. I smiled awkwardly and was relieved when the attention returned to him as he went on to read my story aloud. Completely surreal. Some of my coworkers found their way over to congratulate me. My boss, friends and boyfriend told me I never should have doubted myself. The minutes that followed were a complete blur. I could hardly text!

The other two winners were from our SCS and SCEA groups, I was the only one from SPE, which immediately led to a flurry of congratulatory emails from my colleagues all throughout NY and LA. I was so flattered and appreciative that I stayed at my desk past my usual exit time to answer each email. This was the beginning of something very special. And all I had to do…was not completely blow it.

(Part 2: I meet with the producers , Part 3: I visit LA – coming soon!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Nightmare on My Street

First off, let me start by saying this post is not about some neighborhood meltdown. No one was robbed or battered during the writing of this blog. What is it about then? A childhood fear realized in its entirety.

When I was almost four years old I was consumed by many things; Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony and chasing cute boys. (It started early, what can I say?) During one particular chase I ended up in a dark room with the only light shining from a TV in a far corner. A VHS player cranked nosily and a movie crept across the screen. I was mesmerized. By the boy I was chasing of course! But later, I was also intrigued by the screen. Something was happening. Something bad, and I couldn't turn away. A man in a red and black stripped sweater, face leaky and holed, brown Fedora draped on his skull, was creeping across the tube and he was scary. Super scary. Like scary in a way that one little 4 year old could never forget. He was Freddy Kruger. And because of him, I wouldn't sleep for the next seven years.

From the moment I saw "A Nightmare on Elm Street" I lost my sense of cool. Everything scared the crap out of me, even my Carebear if you threw a trashy Fedora on it. At first I couldn't sleep alone at all. When dawn would arrive you'd find me in one of two places: my mother's bed or her floor (if I was kicked out of said bed.) As I grew, the fear subsided, but only by spoonfuls. I had to sleep with the TV on. Then with a night light. And, on the eve of my start to the seventh grade, I gave it my best shot and went to sleep with a hope that nothing would go bump in the night, or claw me to death from under my bed (lovely.) I made it through that night (and all the others that followed.) Until tonight. Tonight I came face to face with my fear.

I was to attend the Fearnet screening of "Fear Clinic" starring none other than Robert Englund. I had to say his name 30 times before finally realizing it wasn't actually Freddy. I floated around the party, Chardonnay in my well-past-four-year-old hand, and while looking at my Blackberry, nearly walked into the legend himself. Looking very distinguished in a grey jacket with the collar popped, Mr. Kruger didn't look so menacing. He almost looked cool. He's just a man. He's just an actor. Nine years of insomnia for what?

I crept up to him. "Excuse me, Mister Englund?"
He turned to me with a smile.
"Because of you, I lost nine years of sleep."
He smiled at me, put an arm on my shoulder and said, "Sweetheart, it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it."
Then he posed for this picture...

...and suddenly...
I'm scared ALL over again.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Electric Empire Bridge

Subject: NY

Soundtrack: Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind" and Eddy Grant "Electric Avenue"

I have a friend named Molly. She's a lot of what I am and pieces of what I want to be. When choosing a place for my bday dinner she ventures outside the city (I usually stay w/in 3 avenues of my job. Lame.). "Let's go to Dumbo (Brooklyn.)" So we end up at The Water Street Restaurant. It's the kind of places that screams "You're by the water!" the moment you enter. And that's incredibly cool.

There are mouth watering burgers and a wine selection good enough to make you lick your lips twice. Many things to talk about but we are more like vacationers in a foreign city remembering the woes of our home land. This is awesome.

Tummies full and several brain cells depleted, we are done. "Let's check out the hood," says Molly. I easily oblige. I trust this girl will find fun in anything she adds to her to-do list. We head towards Brooklyn Heights.

Up a hill and over a cobble stoned street, she stops, mouth agape. "What's wrong?" She turns to me and asks, "Can we walk the Brooklyn Bridge?" And it is then I remember I never have. I nod with childish excitement and with a skip we scratch a check onto our bucket list.

It's foggy out. Several buildings disappear into the white-grey thickness above. Captivating is not strong enough a word. Each piece of wood upon which we step reverberates 100 years of existence. I want to laugh. Just because. (What the hell was in that wine?)

We're giddy. It's ridiculous. But we pass a celebrity with a smile on her face and think, she gets it too.

New York City is called a lot of things. I think of only the positive as I gaze from halfway across the East River. I can never leave this place.

An Ipod speaker blares "I want to walk down to Electric Avenue." It's Molly. Now we're boogieing over the last few steps into Manhattan. We're laughing. It's fun.

Simply, because it's New York.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Are you a Work Jerk?

Five steps to becoming the ultimate Work Jerk:

1) Learn who they are (by watching a fabulous trailer):

2) Meet them individually and learn what makes them who they are (by clicking the banner below and being redirected to their video interviews.)

Work Jerks Character Interviews

3) Check out their website and get your Work Jerk knowledge on (by going to

4) Join the rest of the internet world by tuning in on October 7th @ 10amEST to check out the first episode of The Work Jerks! (by clicking on this banner)

Work Jerks Episodes

5) Be greatful that you had an amazing, extremely funny and very non-jerk cast and crew to work with in making this all come together :)

The Work Jerks is a 7 episode comedy webseries, executive produced by moi, written and directed by Jaime Fernandez, a product of Side Job Productions, LLC. Many thanks to all those involved. It was so much fun to produce. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a season two :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Me, Prankster? Never! Well, maybe :)

Firstly, I realize it's been way too long since I last blogged and I'm aware that I need to step up the blog game just a bit.
Secondly, I learned a valuable lesson a couple of weeks ago: the best path to honesty is a prank.

There's this part of me that often wonders what my life would be like if I chopped half my hair off. Would every day be sunny? Would people treat me different? Would I develop special powers? (Unless extending your life span due to less time spent under a hair blower is considered magic, I think the latter is highly unlikely... BOO!)

A few weekends ago, while blowing out my heavily layered hair, I pulled the bottom layer into a pony tail and let the top layer dangle just above my chin. When I walked by a mirror I did a double take. With my hair straightened and pulled back in this particular way it totally looked like I had a bob. Interesting! I thought first. Then the devilish laugh started to bubble in my stomach and soon escaped my mouth. I quickly grabbed my camera phone, took a self portrait and sent it to several friends. This was the photo:

The replies? The three girlfriends I sent it to all loved it. They were in shock but loved it as most girls would because it's ....girly. The guys though? Ha! Their replies were "WTF?" "No you didn't!" And the best response? Jaime's: "You cut your hair?" which was then followed by "It's mad short." He's defies all that is obvious time and time again, amazes me. I think he may have passed out at some point in time because there was a delay between texts.
It wasn't until I sent out this photo later on in the day that everyone realized they had been totally fooled.

(Yes.. I took it in the bathroom of a wedding hall.) I could sense a sigh of text relief from several of those that had been pranked; Jaime, the happiest of all.
So what did I learn from this prank? There is something about hair, especially when it comes to women and how they wear theirs that completely transforms how they are perceived. There are some faces that can work with short hair and transform a woman into a sex kitten i.e. Victoria Beckham. Then their are the faces, like mine, that work with short hair in a way that makes us look cute and older. Personally, I can't picture myself cutting my hair above my shoulders until I have a small child to run after and having long hair is just a hassle. Until then, I'll stick with below the shoulder locks... And I'm guessing that pleases at least one person :-)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Citifield vs. Yankee Stadium- An Non-biased POV

Before I begin my review, let me dazzle you with a bit of back story in regards to my upbringing with the Yankees and the Mets...

Back in 1982, this picture was taken:

Yeah, that’s me, a little short of being one year old, and yes, those are Yankee colors I’m wearing. Why? Well, clearly, my parents were fans and so, by no choice of my own, I was branded. Good or bad? Well, let’s continue…

When I was still very young and under the care of two working parents, I was raised by my loving aunt with whom I spent countless hours…watching Mets games. I’m old enough to remember watching the last World Series won by the Mets (1986), while secretly wearing a Mets t-shirt (“Don’t tell your dad!” my aunt said, bribing me with chocolate chip cookies.)

Then came high school, during which the Yankees won two World Series, and the winning game of one series actually fell on my birthday. How could I resist cheering them on after that?

And now? Let’s say I’ve been influenced enough to simply enjoy watching both teams. With my history, you can see I’m hardly biased by either team. That being said, the following review comes from someone who wanted to check out these hugely expensive architectural structures and report back on her experience. So let’s start with the place where my journey began…Citifield.

April 25, 2009 – The Mets were playing the Nationals, it was a glorious 80 something degrees and I was visiting Citifield for the first time with friends who hadn’t yet seen it either, and who happened to just be die-hard Mets fans. First, let me show you their overall opinion:

As for me? I had no “he’s not really a Met” beef with the Jackie Robinson rotunda. I thought it was a beautiful way to capture the immediate attention of those visiting the field. It had a wonderful nostalgic element from the murals down to the choice of brick. Even the placement of the escalators was artistic. From that point on, the other places we ventured through continued to capture my interest. There’s nothing more alarming than prices of souvenirs at the various shops throughout the stadium, but at least they offered cool items like throwback jerseys and mixed color uniforms. The promenade was perfectly airy and the bridge leading from the promenade to the food court gave you both a spectacular view of the field, as well as the chop shops across the street from the stadium (who doesn’t like to be reminded of the surrounding neighborhood?) The food court itself was spacious, allowed for banter over beers and had one of the best burger joints ever: Shake Shack. Just the name makes me salivate. Too bad the line was ridiculously long, ending up eating Nathan’s hot dogs. Our seats were in the Pepsi porch section of the stadium. The upside: great view of the field (we paid $37/ticket), spacious and an open-air concession stand and standing tables right behind you in case you want to take a break from the game. Downside – if it’s raining, there’s nowhere to run for cover. Lucky for us it wasn’t raining and I came home with a tan and a smile.

May 6, 2009- I was asked to visit Yankee stadium with my friend and several of her friends, all avid Yankee fans. I quickly jumped at the chance for cheap tickets ($18 for a seat in the very top terrace and 11 rows back) after hearing the stadium seats are normally high in price. Upon exiting the 4 train we were immediately met by the pristine grey walls of the new stadium. I understand grey is a Yankee color but isn't there some way to brighten that up a little? Add some dark blue maybe? Other than the color, the structure itself is dynamic, like an alien world that landed smack in the middle of the Bronx. There will always be something majestic about it. Entering through the main gate, we walked directly into a large hallway that ran from left to right. Above us hung banners of the many Yankee legends, both former and current. The Yankee museum beckoned us, but I didn't get a chance to check it out. Just the fact that it exist within this fan space is a fantastic addition. We rode the (working) escalators to our level (this is a God send to Yankee fans who before had to deal w/endless ramps to find their destinations), passed the sealed off suite level and arrived at the promenade. Much like Citifield, the Yankee promenade is open air and allows for fans to stand and catch the game from different parts of the field. Each level houses several indoor bars/lounges as well. My only qualm is once inside you can only see the game on TV since they are situated opposite of the field. From where we sat the view of the field wasn’t bad at all, and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the feeling of being so high I might as well be in space. And, when the rain started to come down, I was overjoyed by the roof that loomed above us. Despite the loss the Yankees experienced that night, I still went home happy I’d been able to check out their new digs.

After visiting both stadiums, here’s what it came down to for me...Yankee stadium does better than Citifield at providing access to its culture and history for its die-hard fans. But, I am a die-hard for neither team. So while I enjoyed my time at both stadiums, it was really gauged by the experience and feel. Yankee stadium seems to be a place for revenue, high seat/food prices, an entire level dedicated to suites I’ll never be able to get into. Citifield felt like a hang out, a place you can go to see baseball, but also a place where you can walk around and chat over a (semi-reasonably priced) beer. It felt more like home. Which means more than likely, I’ll be visiting Citifield a few more times this season. But I still have love for you Yankees! And if one of you teams could just win the World Series this year, I'd really appreciate it ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Virtual Models and Such

This is what I do while Jaime watches the All-Star Slamdunk Contest... I make an online version of myself. Who knew this could actually be fun. Although I'm semi-creeped out by how much it looks like me. The body type/shape is EXACT!

Make yours at

Ok, back to Valentine's Day fun :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Things About Me

For those of you Facebookers, you've seen this note spreading like wild fire. For those of you who are not, there is a chain note of sorts going around that asks you to list 25 random things, goals or thoughts you have or are about yourself. I decided to do it and after the end found it to be somewhat enlightening. So, for those of you who haven't seen it, enjoy. I also encourage you to make the list for yourself, even if you're the only one that will ever read it...

1.I’m doing this because several of my friends who don’t know each other tagged me in theirs and now I feel obligated.
2.My middle name is Joy (but I’m probably the least chipper person you’ll meet.)
3.I don’t know where the last 6 years of my life went. I remember turning 21 and then POOF! Suddenly I’m 27.
4.I’m capable of a lot more than people want to admit or accept.
5.I’m determined to make the people in #4 WAKE UP and smell my coffee.
6.I remember when we did these “surveys” via email, when there were no social networks yet. I bet we were all more efficient at our jobs back then.
7.When I was 11 I wrote a short story that a professional writer mistook for something that might have been done by a college student.
8.As a child I believed my Sylvester the Cat doll would protect me from all evil.
9.I believe you cannot lose hope based on one person’s opinion. If I’ve learned anything being in this [entertainment] business it’s that for everyone one person who thinks they know what everyone else wants to read, watch and listen to, there are ten people that think they are wrong.
10.Chicken soup does soothe the soul. It’s making me feel warm and fuzzy right now.
11.Certain people you work with become family. How can they not when you spend more time with them than your actual family?
12.Sushi is incredibly overrated, but that’s my opinion. So, according to #9, I’m sure a bunch of people would disagree.
13.No matter how many friends I have, it’s always the same few that know everything that’s going on in my life.
14.(In honor of V-Day) Love is knowing that no matter how many lazy hours you spend with someone on a couch watching 30 Rock/Drake & Josh/random movies, it never feels old or boring.
15.The idea of having my own children one day completely overwhelms me and I don’t know when I’ll be confident to go through with it.
16.The jury is in (or so says Jonathan and I), having an awesome sense of humor is #1 in things that attract us to potential suitors.
17.I have somewhere between 10-15 unfinished manuscripts that have accumulated since I was a child.
18.It’s time to do something about # 17.
19.#18 was a way to add more to this list. Oh wait, so is #19. (Damn it I need 6 more!)
20.If I chose to go to Applebee’s, don’t give me the Weight Watchers menu. If I wanted to diet I wouldn’t be eating there. That’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering a salad.
21.I’m fully aware that I’m better looking when I’m tan.
22.I wonder when people will stop assuming that just because I’m Puerto Rican I probably grew up in the projects. (Um, no. I actually grew up in a house with a backyard and a pool. And I’m probably a lot smarter than you if you’re making that assumption.)
23.I may never understand my parents, but I’ll love them regardless and always.
24.I wish there were more ways to cook chicken.
25.If it weren’t for Jaime, I’m not sure I ever would have found and nurtured my creativity. I'm eternally grateful :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Case Study: Those Who Love Chuck Bass

I’m not normally one for teen dramas (outside of the time I actually was a teenager, circa the original 90210.) Don’t know where I was during My So Called Life, caught a few good episodes of Everwood, and never got into One Tree Hill (and explain to me how they are suddenly all in their mid-20s adopting teenagers?) So how did I end up addicted to Gossip Girl? Two words: Chuck Bass (or as he often likes to explain “I’m Chuck Bass.”)

During Gossip Girl’s first season, I watched an episode focused on Dan and Serena. This could easily be why I wasn’t intrigued to watch more of the show. That couple dynamic BORES me. Lowly boy loves (super) upper-class girl and that alone means they can never be, blah blah blah. (And someone please explain to me how living in a sick loft in Brooklyn is equivalent to the ‘other side of the tracks’? Do you know how much living in Dumbo BK costs?!) What I didn’t get to see was the Chuck-Blair dynamic. Lucky for me, I gave GG a second try with its season 2 premiere which revolved heavily around Chair (I’m upset there isn’t a better way to mash their names together.) Evil games, tortured souls and insane lust! Now that is what I’m talking about. That is melodramatics at its finest. That is what makes me watch television!

Although I named this blog after the character of Chuck, I have to admit that I love Blair nearly as much. I also adore their real life entities as actors much more than anyone else on the show. Leighton Meester (Blair) is by far the best actor on the show; well-rounded and doesn’t miss a beat. Although Ed Westwick (Chuck) is stuck playing the ultimate bad-ass over and over, I like him enough to be interested in seeing him try something else (something very sweet and innocent perhaps?) Regardless of what they may be capable of in worlds outside of GG, at the moment I only care about having them remain the focus of this show. One admits feelings for the other, one then publicly castrates the other, then one stops one from jumping to their death, then one runs away from the other and then…(I forget where in this vicious cycle I was!)

This leads me to the timeless question: Why do good girls love bad guys? Blair isn’t the only person in love with Chuck Bass; 95% of girls/women between 15 and 30 who I know watches the show is completely infatuated with the fictional character (5% love Nate, gag boring!) Read that carefully my friends. It’s not Ed Westwick they want to lose their virginity to in the back of a limo, it’s Chuck Bass. But he’s so…bad! Which is exactly why he’s so good; the ultimate unattainable prize. The brooding, the daddy issues, the womanizing…he’s a total mess and mortally flawed. Which is why we absolutely love him!

BUT! Do not fear, all you good boys out there! The Chuck Basses of the world may be attractive, but eventually, like the games they play, their overall effect gets tiresome. We chase the unattainable because we hope that we will be the only ones capable of nabbing the prize (Hello, Experience? Are you calling me?) However, unlike Blair, most of us come to our senses rather quickly and realize this isn’t the kind of person we want to spend our lives with. We want the guy who doesn’t humiliate us, the guy who doesn’t leave us for a Thai prostitute, and who doesn’t make us cry. So see, you good guys win after all!

And when we want our fill of a Chuck Bass experience, we just bump him up in our Netflix queue =-)

Check out Teen Vogue's interview with Ed Westwick here:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Holiday Coma

The Monday before Christmas I made a list of all the random things I could get done with the ample amount of free time I would have from 12/24 through 1/5.

The Wednesday before Christmas (Xmas Eve), I threw the list out.

Why? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that as soon as my brain became aware it would not have to exert itself as it normally does, it went into a state of hibernation. Case in point: On the night my vacation began I went to sleep at 11pm and woke up at noon the next day. (For all of you not great at math, that translates into I slept for 13 hours.) Weirded out that I had slept so long, I checked my clock to see if the time was wrong (it wasn't), took my temperature (perfectly fine), and then took an extra dose of vitamin C pills. Nonetheless, after I'd gone out and spent 3 hours doing some last minute shopping, I laid down on my couch... and promptly fell into a nap. It wasn't until Jaime called me an hour later to remind me we had a family party to get to, that I was even aware I'd been snoring gracefully. I shook myself awake and headed out.

Although I doubt bouncing a 3 year old on my lap for 15 minutes really causes any sort of fatigue, I was dead tired after midnight rolled around and everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas. Jaime's family thought I might have some kind of bug. I was whiny, I didn't want this to be the way I'd spend my entire Xmas vacation! I thought getting to bed would put the worst of it behind me. Yeah Right.

Christmas day, although we woke up at a decent time, it wasn't long before I was back asleep for a 4 hour nap. What was worse was that Jaime had now come down with whatever I had and joined me on that nap. What could it be that we were experiencing?

A couple of days later we headed to Virgina. Lots of food, lots of lounging and lots of chatter didn't change my bad sleeping habits, but those things did add to a great time with my family. Together we watched three Golden Globe nominated films: Benjamin Button (somebody explain to me what made Pitt & Blanchett's characters fall in love, I missed that somehow), Milk (very good if you're into politics, ok if you're not) and Slumdog Millionaire (awesome! especially the random dance break at the end -oops! spoiler. kidding, it happens during the credits.) We did not watch these at a theater, we were able to view them from my godmother's couch and I am not at liberty to say how :). Family time = fun.

While in Virgina, we were also able to visit a friend of mine who has an incredibly beautiful home and an even more incredible amount of land. What better way to travel over the extensive acres than by ATV?

Lauren & Jaime's ATV Adventure
Uploaded by LaydeeRiv

After 4 days of being in VA we traveled back to NY but on the way stopped to see my goddaughter Imani who is growing so quickly I think her chicken nuggets are injected with growth hormones.
As you can probably tell with the way this story has been going, NYE ended up being very low-key: just me, Jaime and a countdown with the tube. Pretty wonderful if you ask me :)
So WHAT was the cause of my ongoing coma throughout the vacation break? Well, once I returned to work, I was back to normal (i.e. not closing my eyes every few hours.) And that basically means my body just took (extreme) advantage of the downtime. Now that I'm up and running, I'm fully energized to take on 2009. This is a year of change. I can feel it.
Happy New Year :)