Read "Colors Insulting to Nature"

Do it.

Cintra Wilson, sometime Salon.com contributor, pop culturist, and all-around word genius, put together a novel case study on the disease that is the quest for celebrity, replete with "the B-movie template for becoming one of life's golden winners--see page 20."

Liza Normal (it's called subtlety), the unfortunate by-product of an oversexed, self-centered, fame-addicted mother and absentee womanizing father, is doomed to follow in her mother's footsteps. Set in the suburbs of 1980s San Francisco, we observe Liza in her innummerably vain attempts to fit in while obstinately setting herself apart, falling back on the belief that she will one day be famous, saved only by her best friend Lorna and her quest for the Golden Stag.

Her older brother Ned, on the other hand, swings towards the extreme other end of the spectrum, and effectively becomes a hermit. Who said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?

Wilson, who obviously "gets it," illustrates how truly ridiculous this Neverland-disguised-as-Hollywood is:

Though everyone was unreasonably good-looking and well dressed, they seemed hollow and desperate. These were Lost Children of Easy Glamour--young people too rich and too pretty for Life to have made many demands on them. There was a clingy sense of tribalism; they seemed to travel in packs for safety and reassurance. Liza thought, in a moment of imperiousness, that none of them had substantial character; they all seemed to be adrift, flitting in the breeze, fickle and insecure, coddling themselves by burning money up their nose holes and talking frantically about themselves.

Does Liza get her just desserts? Read the book, dammit! I'll give you this much (to quote La Ria of 2004) it's "so thing." I mean, right? Actually, you can't really know this unless you've observed it up close and personal. Just take my word for it. It is, indeed, "so thing."

To put it in the proper terms, think Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Or Skookum's daughter.

Up next, I'll get wade through Wilson's collection of essays on the "grotesque, crippling disease" known as Celebrity. But first, I'm working on Mike Albo's Hornito. C'est tres funny.

And that is Book One off The Summer Reading List. Word.


Fresh Prince Gets Moat

My freshman year of college was spent in West Philadelphia. I thought I was hot shit for moving 3000 miles away to go to school. Then I got there and almost immediately changed my mind.

That city blows.

There are more pigeons than people in Philly. Pigeons that shit on everything. They're so numerous, you have to literally kick them away to move along the sidewalk. Those fuckers will not fly away!

Someone should feed them rice.

And it's creepy too. Benjamin Franklin invented discovered electricty, but they won't use any to light their streets. That's how people get stabbed! (Oh, a professor was stabbed to death on campus one night. You can bet my parents were so excited I went there instead of that nice school in Westwood upon hearing that news.)

Also, customer service is a non-existent philosophy in that town. Teenagers are assholes no matter where you go, but in Philly it's almost like they're actively trained to be rude as hell.

One thing I will give that town is its cheesesteaks. Best ones could be found at Billy Bob's on 40th and Spruce. Sadly, it burnt down not long after I left. Damn, those cheesesteaks were good.

All that is null and void now, since it could very well end up underwater. The
radioactive Schuylkill River is ready to drown that big historical mess like a modern day Atlantis.

And I thought we were having shitty weather, with that freak thunderstorm the other night and the yellow skies lately. I don't remember the last time it rained in June in LA.

But what about the pigeons? Think they can swim?


Super-Hunk, In Theaters Now

For the record, I am not a comic book fan so all the mythology and whatnot is completely lost on me. What I am is a woman, with fairly high-running hormones, so that's where I'm coming from.

(Oh, and no spoilers here because that blows.)

I would like to thank the creative geniuses over at the WB for casting pretty boy Brandon Routh. Them moviemakers really know how to pull in their female audience. The very first time you see the Super! Man he's--ta dah!--completely naked.

Yay for Warner Bros! I always liked you better than Disney (until Pirates comes out next month anyway...).

There was some really weird CGI shit throughout the movie. Which can be annoying, but that's action movies for you these days. 'Cuz then there's The 'Man and really, who am I to complain about a free advance screening with naked Superdude in it?

So, to the ladies in the audience: let the boyfriend drag you to this movie. You will not dislike the scenery.

And then go buy the kids lots of Superman toys, a'ight?


Comet-Sized Epiphanies

I was about 8 years old when Haley's Comet came through town. I was a Girl Scout then too, learning to "rough it" in the quest for more of those merit badges along my sash.

We put together a time capsule that is buried who-knows-where to be opened the next time the comet comes around--in 2061. I don't remember what I sacrificed to the Girl Scouts of The Future, though I do recall there being a request for mundane items, like a toothbrush.

I always wondered what the fuck anyone would want with a toothbrush from 1986. I just now realized they probably meant a fresh, unwrapped one.

It only took me 20 years to figure that one out.


While reading the neighboring blogs today I came across references to people I hadn't thought about in several years. Turns out LA is a very tiny little place where there are less than 3 degrees of separation between me, you and the next stranger.

And also, that just because you want to believe that people cease to exist once you're done with them doesn't mean that they do.

The nerve!


Training Week #12

I was going to write the review of my first book off the Summer Reading List, but I'm in so much fucking pain today, I can't think straight.

It has been exactly 3 months since I suddenly decided I was indestructable and could easily run my ass down a 13.1 mile stretch of Long Beach. For the first 2 months I ran on my own, approaching it like it was no biggie. Then I joined a running team.

Every Sunday morning, we meet up at the Santa Monica pier at 8 am. Each week, the run is about one mile longer than the previous week. Last weekend's run was 5 miles. I let my ego get the best of me and decided to push my ass into the next pace group. I did really well time-wise, better than I thought I would.

Monday, I paid the price as my body reminded me of its unkind limits. Tuesday I figured I'd push through it and run my normal 3 miles. I have a 5k coming up on July 4th to train for, after all. That night I could barely walk up the stairs to my apartment.

[The ilio-tibial band running behind my left knee has tightened up like a vice, making it difficult to bend that leg. Since I drive a stick, this is not fun or easy to deal with. My left groin is also irritated, though a good stretch should fix that (if anyone knows of any...). The calf in my right leg feels strained, and the i-t band in that leg is beginning to protest too.]

Friday I couldn't even leave my house, my legs hurt so badly. Saturday I did some walking and that helped relieve the pain a little bit. Today I got up, per the usual routine, and hit the deck with the slowest pace I've ever run. It took 75 minutes to do 4.5 miles.

And that's okay.

I'm slowly recovering, but I am not a happy camper. I'm literally home-bound for fear of navigating the stairs in my building. So I guess I'm ordering pizza for dinner.

Mmm, healthy!

And I'm not writing this for sympathy because that's not going to help me heal any faster. I just needed to vent about my own stupidity. Frankly, the moral of the story is to fuck your ego in the ass and then lock it in the closet when you're on the path to distance running.

Or so I've learned.


CHG Confessions #5

The Curly-Haired Girl likes well enough the cutesy short bob thing she's had going on for the last 2 months. Which she really believed would have grown out a little longer by now, because of the weed factor.

But it hasn't, and once in a while the CHG finds herself nostalgic for a certain longer length.

Right now, sitting at home and watching videos instead of working out (because she's aggravated muscles in both of her legs and sprained a groin--welcome to Training Week #11!), she really wants Shakira's hair.

Just don't tell anyone. There is no point in having buyer's remorse.


The Summer Reading List

I just got home from the library, which is a place I love. I'm a communist that way. I don't own many books (or movies for that matter) because once I read (or watch) them, then what? I have limited storage space. As much as I would love to be one of those people with all the right books gathering dust in the corner...actually no, I prefer my corners dust-free.

Hence, the library. I went in to pick up some Ellroy, who I also adore (American Tabloid is a great read for a history dork like me), but couldn't find the one I wanted. So I wandered the aisles, getting lost in the colorful book jackets and quirky titles.

And since it's the first day of summer, here is the list as it stands now:

- Colors Insulting to Nature by Cintra Wilson
- A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations also by Cintra Wilson
- The Execution by Hugo Wilcken
- The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

I apparently spent all my time in the Ws.

I'll devour these much too quickly. Any suggestions once I'm done?


Nothing to See Here

I apologize for the lack of updating. If you've ever worked a trade show, you know how exhausting they can be. If not, SkookumJoe can educate you on the difference between "delivered" and "not-fucking-delivered." Those Australians, they ask the hard questions.

Lucky for me, we only do these shows 3 times a year, so my next blog-vacation won't be until early November.

In other news,
David N. Scott asked what exactly is a "ghetto photo girl." Well kids, you are free to come up with your own explanations on that.

And much love to one Rodger Jacobs for driving traffic my way
last week.

Have I given you enough extracurricular link-based reading there yet? No? Well, I could tell you how the keyboard on my laptop gave out in the middle of the aforebitched about trade show, but that's just not interesting. And since that's all my life has has revolved around for the last two and half weeks, I got nothing.


But the last customer left today! Which means that tomorrow life returns to normal.

*insert sigh of joyous relief*

Join me in a tequila toast, won't you?


Happy Birthday, Nameles!

My baby brother--who, as you know, is my favoritest person in the entire world--turns 25 today. YAY!!!

And even though I still bear the battle scars of our pre-adolescent fights (seriously, like 10 of them), I love him dearly and wish him the best. In fact, here's a little something that deserves some reiteration:

To know this man is to adore him. And if you don’t, it’s simply because you’re a senseless asshole with serious character flaws. End of story. He is one of the most talented, caring, fun-loving, respectful individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And that I get to claim him as not only my blood relative, but also my best friend, makes me one of the luckiest people on the planet.

I know that not everyone is as fortunate as we are to get along with their siblings, or that some of you don’t even have any. As flippant as this will come across, I’m sorry, but I’m glad I’m not you. Because my relationship with my brother is one of the single most treasured things I have in my life.

He really is the greatest little brother a girl could have wished for.

As a birthday present to him, go buy his cd already.

Have a great day, sweetheart! Watch out for Batman tonight!! ;)


During a Trade Show

You will:
- arrive early, leave late, and generally work too hard
- get back home too tired to take off your shoes before falling asleep
- find 12 hours of sleep to be insufficient
- schmooze with wacky sales people, who will indulge your tequila habit if you let them
- drink, a lot
- permit Latin Americans to fall in love with you by the pure force of your personality
- eat, too fucking much
- learn all kinds of unnecessarily nasty things about your coworkers (who needs to know that you have fleas, or that your cat can't poop???)
- never have time to sit down
- hate your shoes, even the comfy ones
- find new whores
- fall in love with the head of Strategic Sales
- make fun of policy with the head of Girls Marketing
- arrange for more free booze
- gain 10 pounds
- not spend a penny

You will not:
- run your prescribed 3 miles


Buy this CD, Dammit!

My baby brother is a rap super star. You need his cd. He also produced half the songs, because he's badass like that.

More info @ www.myspace.com/calisthenix

Don't dismiss it because you think you don't like hip-hop. This is good shit.


Getting Personal

These eHarmoney commercials irritate the crap out of me. To believe that all these nauseating couples are perfectly matched makes me want to break my television. They really need to have one of those "results not typical" tags at the bottom of the screen. Because, come on.

"Ooh, I just knew he was the one, and eHarmony took all the guesswork right out of it!" Blahblahblahbullshitcakes. And the creepy old guy pitching the whole thing? Ick.

I write a blog that broadcasts all sorts of shit about me that could serve as the world's most convoluted personal ad, but to pay for these services seems lame. And desperate.

Though a coworker and I did a search for midgets on Yahoo! Personals once. Because...well, doesn't everyone do that?

My ex apparently was on J-Date. He admitted this to me while we were together. Claimed a friend had put the profile up for him a long time ago, that he never used it, didn't even know his logon info. It still unnerved me. One, he never struck me as the type to actively search out Jewish women (full disclosure: me not Jewish!), so that was weird. And two, him having a dating profile while he was decidedly not single? That's supposed to be okay?

Well, he's having sex right now and I'm not, right? I guess everyone needs a back-up plan.

My friend and I used to joke about what our respective ads would say. Like when we came across a memorable quirk in an otherwise dismissable character, the response was "that's going in the personal ad!"

I'm not going the online dating route. I just can't. Also, no free time, me. But if I was to set up an online profile, what should it say?

SHF seeks sensitive, disease-free rockstar-type to play my manservant. Greek heritage, long hair, and tattoos preferred.

That pretty much sums it up. But I'm open to other ideas. Go.


Look at Me, I'm Psychic!

I was looking through some notes I made and came across a blog I wrote a while back but never posted. How creepy is this:

I Googled myself today to see if my website had popped up yet. It hasn't, but the 10th listing was a link to my industry's professional oganization's latest newsletter, with my name, company, and phone number listed oh-so-innocently.

That weirded me out a little bit. Then again, my cell phone number has been listed on the internet for years and I have yet to be hassled that way. So I guess I'm okay.

Where the internet is concerned, I have a pretty respectable pedigree. No shame in that. So in the future, should a perspective employer, boyfriend, or stalker feel the need to look me up, at least I have some solid ground to stand on.

Though I wonder how long that link to the Ivy League school is going to exist...

4 days later, I had a stalker. The lesson here: be careful what you joke about.



Training Week #9

I'm fucking exhausted.

It turns out that when you train for distance running, you need to get a lot of rest. I didn't read the fine print on that.

Last week was a short one thanks to that lovely holiday on Monday. You'd think I'd take advantage and rest. But there was a rock star in town who I adore:


So that stole two nights of my life. (Or, I freely gave them away.) Celebrating my brother's graduation from his masters program took another one. The rest of the time, I was fucking around and/or trying to raise funds for my Team in Training program.

And remember how I declared I wasn't going to drink anymore? All that partying included much tequila...I'm such an asshat sometimes.

My run time is pathetically slow. It's been two months, yo. I should have shaved those 4 lazy minutes off my mile time already. How long does that take?

Because right now, you can call me the Tortoise.

So sleepy.


Los Angeles by Degrees

Fuck it was hot today. And I had to drive all over the damn place. So I tracked the temperature, to pass the time.

8:15 - Mar Vista: 72 degrees. You know it's going to be a hot day when it starts in the 70s on the Westside.

9:30 - Tarzana: 78 degrees. The Santa Susanna mountains are reminiscent of those scorched-earth farming techniques of yore. Scary fire season!

10:15 - Burbank: 94 degrees. I can't believe I lived there all of my life. It was so fucking hot and it wasn't even noon!

11:30 - Cahuenga Pass/Mulholland: 93 degrees. Almost to Hollywood and it's no better than the Valley.

11:45 - Sunset Strip: 91 degrees. In the basin and it's STILL hotter than hell BEFORE noon? Shit.

1:30 - Beverly Hills: 93 degrees. Same as the top of the hill. There is no relief anywhere.

2:30 - Culver City: 89 degrees. The Westside is supposed to be 20 degrees cooler than the Valley, no?

4:30 - Santa Monica: 84 degrees. I still had the AC blasting in my car. The ocean air outside was not helping the situation. Though the shade was nice.

7:30 - Back in Culver City, I could finally drive with my windows down in the frosty 74-degree weather.

Thank god for air-conditioning.


May by the Numbers

This month was all about the birthdays (mostly mine), the running, and the rock stars who were finally back in LA. In other words:

21.5 miles ran
1 ugly blister on my right foot
5 more pounds lost
1 huge party planned for a 90-year-old man
350 attendees
5 birthday celebrations pour moi
22 calls from the telephone stalker
3 text messages asking me why I won't talk to him
1 menacing conversation to end that annoyance
3 whores added to the 44 Women line-up
2 Tuesdays with Rock Stars
1 Austin Saf showing good love
6 weeks till I get to return the favor

Ah memories. That was a good band...