Friday, January 09, 2009

finding poetry

Hey, check it out, y'all: my mom is a published poet!

Time in its Flight, featured on

My friend Susan introduced me to this site, and I just love this project. I love the idea of finding poetry in surprising places, and collecting them like this. They're looking for more submissions to get the site off the ground, so be sure and send them your submissions as well!

And, yes, I do know how lucky I am to have a mom who is an artist and poet and also has great taste in music. And who shares all three of those gifts with her kids on a regular basis. Thanks, Mom!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Only in fiction

Dear Film and Television Writers everywhere,
Excuse me while a pick a nit, but this has been bothering me for years--nay, decades!--and I need to get it off my chest.

There is a phrase that I hear ALL THE TIME in movies and on my shows, that I have NEVER ONCE heard someone utter in real life. I don't know why it keeps showing up on screen, except that I think writers are watching a lot of film and TV, and their ideas about What People Actually Say are being fed by fiction in some kind of vicious, weird meta-cycle.

What is this phrase I loathe so much? The phrase that makes me wince at the uncreative weakness of the writer that wrote it and generic blandness of the actor that uttered it?

"I'd like that."

Not as in, I'm at a bakery and I see a fresh batch of jumbo chocolate chip cookies come out from the oven and placed in the case and the mere sight of them makes me drool all over the glass and lose my ability to speak politely so that when it's my turn to order all I can do is point to the cookie and say, "I'd like THAT."

No, no. It's more like, the couple has cute-met at the bakery and she spilled her coffee on him and after splitting a cookie and arguing sweetly over the merits of Scrabble, or something, he gets up the nerve to ask her on a date, and she responds, "I'd like that."

Only in fiction to people ever respond to an invitation with, "I'd like that." In real life, people say, "Sure" or "That sounds fun" or even, "I'd love that!" (Even though, "I'd love to!" is far more likely.) I've never once heard anyone I know utter the response, "I'd like that."

The first time this got under my skin was in the movie Heathers. (Oh, Heathers. You beautiful masterpiece of noir teenage comic camp. I love you so much.) The dialog in this movie was so creative and fresh that it created its own lexicon of words and phrases that are still in heavy rotation today. And then, Veronica blows up the school and her boyfriend, steals the almighty red scrunchie, plants a sooty kiss on Heather Duke's bewildered mug, invites Martha Dumptruck to hang out, and what does Martha say?

"I'd like that."

Even at 14, when I first saw this movie, I was like, ...Really? Not that Martha wouldn't want to hang out with a sooty Veronica, but who says that?? (You'll note that I easily believed that teenagers in high school said all the other crazy stuff that was in the movie's dialog; this was the only bit that rang false. You'll also note that people today will still throw out lines about Diet Coke-heads, or eating a brain tumor for breakfast, but no one, I swear, ever says the other thing.)

Now, nearly 20 years later, it has become (or still is, I don't know how far back this goes) this over-used crutch meant to indicate that the person saying it is, or has recently become, warm and receptive to the person with the invitation. Or something, I honestly don't know why it's used so over-much. All I know is, I would enjoy all the myriad movies and shows I watch a hell of a lot more if you would knock it off with the weak "I'd like that" response, and start writing the way people actually talk.

I would love that, in fact. I really would.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I actually accomplished a lot

I'm currently enjoying our New Year's Day tradition of Egg Dish and horror movies with good friends. Since I don't love horror movies, I thought I'd get caught up on the past year at the same time. To say 2008 was busy would be a ridiculous understatement. I actually accomplished a lot of the stuff I wanted to do, including:
  • Run a mile.
  • Visit the San Diego Zoo
  • Take the dogs for walks in Runyon Canyon and Fryman Canyon
  • Plant a tree in our front yard
  • Present a full-on summer season of Tiki Theater
  • Grow my hair past my shoulders
Not too many bullets off my ambitious list, but let's see what else I did, and what else happened, shall we?

Threw our most kick-ass Oscar party yet in February.

Saw the dogs get cuter, and eat the eyes out of a bee.

Rocked St. Pat's with my favorite Scorpios.

Hiked up Runyon Canyon with Amy & Chip on Easter Morning.

Went to Medieval Times for the first time.

Bought my first bike in many, many years.

Went on a fabulous Hawaiian vacation; swam laps in this body of water.

Watched the dogs get even cuter.

Celebrated the one-year anniversary of Click.

Picture 4
Became a triathlete.

Enjoyed Minnesota in summertime, visiting Amy & Chip over 4th of July weekend.

Celebrated nephew Rusty's 1st birthday in Santa Barbara with the entire McLean clan.

Watched my little family get even cuter.

Met Mia Michaels.

Went to San Diego Comic Con for the first time, followed by a trip to the San Diego Zoo. (Got Nerd Flu.)

Celebrated Kristin & Mark's marriage with good friends outside of Boston.

Reunited with my UNC Crew in Greeley Colorado; danced and danced.

Ate a delicious peach from Mom's tree in her backyard. (Also went to my first water aerobics class.)

Threw a Valley Girl Slumber Party Bridal Shower for Amanda, and had attendees do 80's makeovers for fabulous prizes.

DSC05189 DSC05361
Bridesmaided for my dear friends, once in September, once in October. Thanked God my friends have lovely taste in bridesmaid dresses.

Worked my ass off, rubbed shoulders with celebs, and pissed off Victor Garber at the Runway for Life event.

Threw the Halloween Cocktail Party I've wanted to throw, oh, forever; discovered black vodka.

Met one of the funniest women alive, Amy Sedaris.

Voted in one of the most important elections of our lifetime; wept with joy on Election Night.

Gardened! I finally populated the little garden in front of our house with herbs and flowers, I planted three rose bushes, and we had a tree planted in the front yard.

Learned how to weave a lattice pie crust and baked the world's most beautiful (and delicious) apple pie for Thanksgiving.

Bought the prettiest white winter coat just before our trip to Seattle, where we got to see some fabulous friends, and got a truckload of great business accomplished. (Also, note how long hair has gotten!)

Took formal family portraits with the McLeans at Sears.

Sent out beautiful Click holiday cards to our clients and press.

Enjoyed a lovely, low-key Christmas in Santa Barbara.

And, finally, watched the dogs get even cuter.