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BY Maple

02/01 Direct Link
I had to pick my dog up from the pet sitter at the crack of ass after a night of long drinking. Once I had the pup curled up in the driverís seat, I was on a mission: Operation Get a Sesame Bagel with Dill Cream Cheese from La Brea Bagel Co. Upon arrival at the bagelryís darkened windows, I realized that I was trying to patronize the very Jewish establishment on a Saturday. Begrudgingly, I crossed the street to get breakfast from The Bagel Broker. The cream cheese there is lame and the bagels are dry. Damn that Sabbath!
02/02 Direct Link
Re-watching Freaks and Geeks makes me remember how truly well produced it is. Casting...writing...cinematography...art direction...all perfect. I was a part-time freak in high school, just like main character Lindsay Weir. I was the anomaly that straddled between the supersmart kids and the outcasts who hung out on the ďs-patio.Ē I had an incredibly grueling schedule of Łber-advanced classes but often skipped them to go smoke up in the greenhouse. Freaks and Geeks plucked so many specific moments right out of my life, especially because the show takes place in my home state of Michigan. Also, James Franco is a fox.
02/03 Direct Link
I really hate Universal Studios. The worst attraction by far is Backdraft. ďEndure the hit movie's blazing inferno of heart-pounding heat and fury in a 10,000 degree blast furnace.Ē Thatís the description! I canít believe how many people apparently enjoy the feeling of being trapped in a burning building. People pay for that experience?! They pay to endure something?! Feeling like my face is being scorched off is not my idea of fun. I guess most people werenít plagued by years of fiery nightmares--experiencing their best friendís death in a blazing plane speeding towards the unyielding ocean. But still...
02/04 Direct Link
The TWA 800 Memorial is on Smith Point County Beach in Long Island...oddly placed next to a family-style restaurant. I went there this summer, a couple days shy of the ten year anniversary of the crash. While I mourned the loss of my friend, kids were romping around in their bathing suits, playing tag and climbing on the granite walls that bore the names of the 230 victims...Frustrating and Ironic. As I took photos of her name in stone, a woman said ďOh look, she knew someone.Ē ďMy sister,Ē I wanted to say. But I was too upset to speak.
02/05 Direct Link
I usually donít get around to working on my new yearís resolutions until my birthday, which is on Friday. I had a general idea of what they were but everyone knows it doesnít count until you put them in writing. So...

1. Lose 15 pounds. Ten is the absolute least but I would like to be 15 pounds lighter by the end of March.

2. Finish my screenplay. Yes, I am writing a screenplay like every other idiot in this town.

3. Get out of debt. There is currently no end in sight but I need to make a dent.
02/06 Direct Link
Two weeks of depression, one week off. Itís back. I thought it was gone and then I went to sign the lease on my new apartment. My fifth apartment in six months. My new place is far away, noisy, hot, and slightly run-down. The worst is that the only furnishing is my mattress. Hopefully, tomorrow I will get a bed frame. That is, if I can find a credit card that isnít maxed out. Being away from the love of my life for 11 months makes me very sad, but living in an empty space pushes me over the edge.
02/07 Direct Link
My entry for the day, a lament of my sad loneliness, was almost complete when my old roommate knocked on my new door. He brought a package. My boyfriend called him with specific instructions to make sure I got it tonight. Inside was an awesome scarf that he crocheted along with a card that made me sob on the spot. Minutes later, another knock on the door...my boyfriend. He flew to L.A. from Florida to surprise me before he left for Argentina. Today we are going to get Sesame Bagels with Dill Cream Cheese from La Brea Bagel Co. Elation!!!
02/08 Direct Link
A childhood friend tracked me down yesterday on the internet. I havenít seen or talked to her since we were twelve. In her first message to me, she said she had great memories of us playing in my grandparentsí backyard. In her second message, she said she was sorry to hear about my grandpaís death...that she had always really liked him. Itís odd: while most people knew he was the sweetest man this Earth has ever seen, others made sure the last days of his life were as miserable as possible. Lawyers, family, chemicals, and money, made death come early.
02/09 Direct Link
I need to justify it. The stench of redundancy, commercialism, and derivativeness is strong. But it reminds me of those hot summer rock shows. Sweating through every inch of clothing at Tremont Hall. Getting into the Warped Tour for free just by acting like we belong there. Finding the older guys who would buy us beer but not hit on us afterwards. Being injured in so many ways after a romp in the pit (I lost a toe nail in oneóouch). Nostalgia justifies the action. Nostalgia is why I will be downloading the new Fall Out Boy album this week.
02/10 Direct Link
We spent the day reenacting a typical day from this past fall. We had the breakfast special at Birdsóscrambled eggs with feta, home fries, lavash, salsa, and melonóthen hiked around our old stomping grounds in Beachwood Canyon. At brunch we sat next to a real kooky guy who said ďI write moviesĒ in a way that suggested thatís a unique occupation in this town. When he left, his table was filled by two middle-aged men in KISS-like get-ups complete with huge platform boots. An odd choice for breakfast al fresco on Sunday... or for someone older than fifteen.
02/11 Direct Link
Iíve had enough of these life experiences to know that they pay off in the end. Knowing that doesnít make the waiting period any less painful. Taking my boyfriend to the airport today pinched the nerve that makes me want to jump on a plane home. At least I know there is an alternative to my misery. My longest period of depression due to major life change lasted nine months. I am really hoping this one is shorter. In the meantime, I am going to go get a banana split cookie and hide. Hereís to starting my diet off right!
02/12 Direct Link
Depression naps are the best. Except when you wake up of course. Talking to one of my best friends about the most mundane things gives me endless pleasure. We just spent two hours repeating the same jokes weíve told for the past four years. He is back home now but will be leaving to teach English in France soon. Itís getting harder and harder to stay in touch. I hate it. I have to make a fairly important decision this week. Iím trying my best to not think about it. How does Paul Thomas Anderson make the most amazing films?
02/13 Direct Link
I am planning a two-month travel extravaganza for this summer and it is currently the one thing that is keeping me going. I figure Iíll spend a month in South America, go on his family vacation to Bonaire (which just so happens to be one of my favorite places on the planet), and do stints with the family in Charlotte and Detroit. If I get steady work through June I should be able to pay my rent, pay off a lot of my credit cards, and still manage to pay for all the flights. Finally something to look forward to!
02/14 Direct Link
I had totally forgotten Valentineís day was upon us when he called from Argentina to wish me a happy one. We usually donít really pay attention to the day because we both think itís pretty dumbóone day is arbitrarily appointed to celebrate your relationship???óbut also because both of our birthdays and our anniversary fall within a month of February 14th. But he called this morning anyway, as did my mom and oma. The great news is that mom wants to pay for my ticket to Argentina, which means this trip could happen sooner than expected! The big decision still looms...
02/15 Direct Link
Oy. One big decision has been made. I wonít know until the end of March if I made the right choice. The second decision will be made next week. I am so not looking forward to that one. My tendency to be incredibly impulsive has rewarded me in the past. Like this summer when I moved to New York. I had moved all my things into a new apartment and then--a week into it--I decided to pack up and move to L.A. That turned out to be an excellent decision. Will this one be the same? God I hope so.
02/16 Direct Link
The summer I spent in Boston was similar to my life now: far from home and sans friends and family. Tíwas an odd summer. I'd pass time by going to the gym for at least two hours a day. I probably would have lost a lot of weight had I not been tempted by the smorgasbord of delicious foodstuffs I passed on my walk to and from the gym. One week I decided to see what would happen if I ingested nothing but an apple and diet coke every day. I lost 9 pounds in seven days. It was awesome.
02/17 Direct Link
Today is a better day. I finally got through to the boyfriend before his family hung up on me (my Spanish isnít so hot). It looks like this apartment may actually work out (knock on laptop). Being able to lie out in the park listening to RHCP in February (!) may not be so bad. Last night was fun. My dog looks so adorable when she pants in the hot weather. And I like living in a place where the number of Thai restaurants far outweighs the number of gas stations. As Larry David would say: today is pretty...pretty...pretty...pretty...pretty good.
02/18 Direct Link
The new roommate and I woke up early to scrounge up some furnishings for our place. First stop was the heap of junk our neighbors put on the sidewalk, out of which we retrieved a pair of roller skates and a turquoise hunk of wood that we are using as an end table. We also got a great coach off the side of the street and a purple art deco chest from Goodwill. At a yard sale we picked up an amazing love seat from a Miami hotel circa 1975. Yay for having furniture! Now I just need a bed...
02/19 Direct Link
Spent the day at Disneyland with some of my fav family members who happen to be in town for the week. Hanging out with them was absolutely wonderful. Disneyland, however, gets lamer and lamer every time I go. The rides are all seriously outdated and not worth the long lines and $63 entrance fee. I do love the Haunted Mansion but we didnít make it there. Space Mountain is pretty good though. I guess Iím just more of a roller coaster girl. Long day. Now I will finish eating my spicy california rolls, curl up in the bed, and sleeeeep.
02/20 Direct Link
At work I was handed a script to do coverage on and it was written by a guy I know. And last weekend I was at a bar where the walls are plastered with peopleís names written in four-leaf clovers, and I saw my cousinís (rare) name. I love when that stuff happens!

In other news, Defamer summed this morsel up perfectly: Imagine's Brian Grazer will superproduce an utterly unneeded "American version" of the film Cache for Universal, from which partner Ron Howard will drain all nuance by "amp[ing] up the suspense and consequences" should he choose to direct it.
02/21 Direct Link
Don't get me wrong. I like Little Miss Sunshine. But the "Pick One Quirk From Column A, Then One From Column B" scramble really is 90 percent of the film's appeal (the other 10 being that quivering horn.) People like quirky. Quirky is good. But Little Miss Sunshine is just a watered-down (aren't they always?) remake of a better film. It's called Welcome to the Dollhouse and it came out in 1995. Fox dished out beaucoup bucks for their Oscar nominations, but does quirk plus millions of dollars equal award for best picture? I guess we're about to find out.
02/22 Direct Link
The pup and I were waiting while I got my oil changed when a guy started telling me about his Jack Russell. I cry very easily but anyone of my friends can tell you that the quickest way to make me cry is to bring up old animals. So naturally I started tearing up right there in the EZ-Lube when he told me about his JRTís cataracts. My dear pup is almost ten years old and every now and then I think I can see a little cloudiness in her eyes. I donít want my little pup to go blind!
02/23 Direct Link
Marley and Me is actually an amazingly good book. Even though it sits atop the bestseller list with the Danielle Steels and Dan Browns. I cry a lot, but the last thirty pages of that book drove me to have a mad fit. The kind where the next day your eyes are all puffed out and froggy. I happen to have a bad dog, just like the authorís Marley, and I swear itís worse to lose a bad pet than one thatís well behaved. Because you have to really love a bad animal to put up with all its shenanigans.
02/24 Direct Link
To do: get oil changed, pick up mail at Joeís, write grandma, call JD, e-mail Dad, pay rent, pay bills, clip Hayleyís nails, clean/unpack, return to Nordstrom, return to Macyís, wash H&M dress, return H&M dress, france scrapbook, set up internet, put sticker on car, shop, plan party, pay JDís sprint bill, call about Rock and Republic jeans, mail half.com book, get lamictal refill, get $20 from Sarah, ulta, write Rios, write inheritance letter, jís x-mas present, back up old e-mail, send out new address, laundry, wash car, return library books, mail netflix, e-mail Hill re:dates, call Oma, call Friedman
02/25 Direct Link
My vote for best film of the year goes to Half Nelson. Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps are insanely good. The scene where she brings him drugs in his crack den of a motel room while Broken Social Sceneís score swells, will go down in history as one of my favorite cinematic moments of all time. At my own personal Oscars, the movie also would have swept actor, actress, original screenplay, director, and original song. Supporting actor would go to Shia LaBeouf in Bobby. Supporting actress would go to Rinko Kikuchi in Babel. Best cinematography to The Science of Sleep.
02/26 Direct Link
I remember the exact point in time when I realized the Oscars were complete bullshit. An arbitrary vote based more on money, marketing, and politics than on anything else. It was when Julia Roberts won Best Actress for Erin Brokovich over Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream. Since then, I have found the awards more enjoyable because I no longer have to scratch my head when the Titanics beat out the Eternal Sunshines. By the way, the best part of the show by far was definitely when John C. Reilly said he was both in Boogie andTalladega Nights.
02/27 Direct Link
If I had that sound effects choir that performed at the Oscars at my disposal, I would have them perform a crunching car crash. I have been spending the past seven days with my aunt and uncle and my favorite cousins. We didnít do anything particularly excitingóit was just great to hang out with true family when you are so far away from home. And today they left. Getting an amazing job offer and doing a freelance job where I basically got to sit in on pre-production for The Lovely Bones also added to the excellence of the past week.
02/28 Direct Link
I really, really donít want to work today. My agency already called me with a job but, to my absolute delight, they decided I wouldnít be able to get to Century City soon enough to take it. Obviously I need to work. But I will have a decent, steady paycheck starting at the end of next week. Really what is the difference between $3,000 of debt and $3,200? So I am off to Griffith Park to lay out with my new library book on my new beach blanket that I got from my auntís Vanity Fair Oscar Party Swag Bag!