Monday, January 18, 2010


Hey everyone! I'm very happy to announce the start of my new blogging endeavor. The Doing Stuff Blog. Stop by and check me out some time.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Wish I Could Say This All In Fewer Words Because The Length of This Makes It Seem Too Dramatic

After a 10 day stretch of blog writer's block, I come to you with upsetting news: Earlier today I was emotionally moved by Julie & Julia. Those of you who know me, and those of you--whoever you are--that only know me as Hollywood Sucker, might be surprised to learn that a feel-good, please-everybody movie could have this effect on me. Well, allow me to put this in some kind of context.

I bought the movie on demand at about 4:30. Up until that point, I'd accomplished nothing all day, except for managing to cram 2 carb-intense meals into my face in the span of just 4 hours. I have a love/hate relationship with lazy days like these. Lately I've been leaning more towards the hate side of things.

So I'm sitting there watching the movie, not a thought in my brain. I get to the part where (spoiler alert--I guess? not really) Amy Adam's character, Julie, is featured in a New York Times article and suddenly every literary agent and publisher in the universe wants a piece of her. Hurrah, hurrah, she is a real writer after all.

And I, in spite of myself, start to cry. These weren't sappy happy scene tears. I was just...bothered. With myself, not with the movie. I suppose the best explanation I can offer is that it occurred to me that my writing aspirations are little more than a hobby. And that I've never devoted a good amount of attention to any hobby I've ever explored. But this Julie person found a way to fix her own shortcomings as a writer, got lucky, got published, and wound up portrayed in a major Hollywood movie by an attractive A-list actress. Now she has a new blog with an About Me section that reads, "From dead-end secretarial job to a 110 pound dog and a job writing in my pajamas." Well la-di-freaking-da.

Because I'm trying to be a better human being these days I don't want to dwell on the real Julie and her real success. So back to the story at hand: me, my couch, and this darn movie.

I finished watching the movie, trying to put my ridiculous outburst out of my mind. Fortunately Devin had dozed off somewhere along the way and missed the whole episode, so if I could just get through the end credits and on with my night, I could ignore whatever feelings were rumbling around deep inside. I could pretend this had never happened.

But of course that was a stupid plan, and by the time the movie wrapped up and Devin stirred from his nap, I was still distracted and distraught. So I took a shower for no good reason, then went out to get a hot fudge sundae for dinner, and now here we are. I think I have reached some kind of conclusion.

I believe the writer in me is still alive and well. I think I've just wound up in the wrong headspace.

When I started this blog my plan was to chronicle the life of an average, daydreaming, underwhelming girl with no money, who lived in a city of glamour, celebrity, sunshine and wealth. Sure it was a self deprecating theme, but I think --I hope--that was its charm. And then for a while I became obsessed with The Hills during what was sort of an unannounced comparison study. Who's doing it right? People like me or people like Lauren? I don't know if I ever decided on a winning team, but I'd like to think it's the one I'm on.

And then sometime after that my blog just lost steam. In the last several months, especially, I can't seem to find anything to say. I realize now that it's because I can't write this particular blog any more. I'm not feeling so lost and lame, so bored and boring. My job is going really well, I just got married and thus started an exciting new part of my life. And in general, I think some part of me just changed somewhere along the line.

For instance, last week Devin and I went to a get together at the home of one of his coworkers. It was a beautiful house, and not in a massive, elegant way. It was cozy, and warm, and every piece of furniture or artwork had a story behind it. That night, in bed, I was acting sort of despondent. Devin asked what was wrong and I told him, "I just want a house and I'm sad we don't have one." Once the words came out of my mouth, I hated myself for saying it. And for being such a brat, as I lay in a warm bed, next to someone who loves me, with a roof over my head and a belly full of yummy dinner.

So it goes when I try to write this blog. More often than not, I stop myself from publishing my post because I re-read what I've typed and I feel like I'm being a little shithead, like I'm directionless and hopeless. And while I hate to admit that the story of Julie Powell has anything to do with the story of me, I think I realized I'd rather write a blog that sets goals. That speaks to accomplishments, or at least to the pursuit of something.

As 2009 comes to a close, I think it's time to put an end to Hollywood Sucker. In the new year, one of two things will happen: Either I will start a new blog, one where every entry I type feels right, or else I will just stay focused on my other writing, the countless screenplays I've started with great fervor and then carelessly abandoned.

And now that I'm here, I don't know exactly what to say. This is harder than I thought it would be. So thanks for those of you who have been reading. See you around the internet.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas In My Neighborhood

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Everywhere you go...

There's sleazy M&M's

And giant blow up snowmen

And trees tied up with pretty red bows...

It's beginning to look a lot like Chistm-aaaaahhhh!

[record scratch]

Holy crap! What happened here?

Teddy Bear, is that you? Pull yourself together, man. You're ruining Christmas.

Oh, I see. Drunk again.

What a pity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Lately my blog's done little than amass spam comments on old posts. It's probably a sign of quitting time. But anyway. Here's some Thanksgiving stuff.

"I'd try a slice or two. Sure." That guy's my favorite.

This is unrelated but. Why not?

Oh no. Now I'm on a roll.

Speaking of rolls...mmm crescent rolls. I'll be enjoying you tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Letting Myself Go

I've heard it said that many women will let themselves go once they are married. They'll put on a little weight, spend less time on their appearance. And then one day, years later, their husbands will wonder what the hell happened.

But I'm not going to say what you think I'm going to say. I haven't let myself go since the wedding.

No, I let myself go a long long time ago. There's just something about being married, comfy and calm that gave me a chance to put things in perspective and actually see what I'd done to myself. Or, really, what I'd let life do to me.

On Saturday I was at The Grove picking something up and then doing some writing at Barnes and Noble. For those of you who don't know, The Grove is what folks like me would call "The Rich People Mall." Everyone who shops there looks fantastic and coordinated, especially the teenage girls. Do you know how troubling it is to feel like a nerd when you walk by a group of 15 year olds?

Anyway, after several hours of typing away in the B&N Starbucks, I decided it was time to head home. But first, I stopped at the bathroom. While waiting in line for a stall to open I glanced over at my reflection in the mirror.

Who IS that? Her hair is slimy and in a messy pony tail. Her face is all broken out. She looks exhausted and pale. Her belly is hanging sloppily over her jeans. She's wearing a miserable gray t-shirt with gray sweatshirt combo.

You know, I used to care. I used to put effort into my looks. I'd have "outfits" not just "a shirt...with...these pants...yeah good enough." I used to spend more time at the gym if I noticed I was pushing maximum density in my jeans.

I guess you could say my self esteem is a little low these days. I blame the people who lied to me and told me I'd lose like 10 pounds the week of the wedding. Horsecrap! I was counting on this magic, guaranteed weight loss to counteract the effects of my stress-motivated Taco Bell trips and nightly booze consumption. Then there were all of the mai-tais on the honeymoon. And now presto-blobbo, we have a problem.

And I'm pretty sure the Starbucks peppermint mocha that I'm sipping right now is NOT part of the solution.

But aside from this morning's beverage choice, I've been trying to take care of myself and get out of this mess. On Sunday I ran a 5k and I'm hoping to do a 10k soon.

And I've been eating better (sort of). We have these snazzy wooden salad bowls from our wedding registry and they are motivating me to make salad every night. We also got a bunch of incredibly sharp knives as wedding presents, which are great for slicing off a hearty chunk of my thumb. Seriously, that happened the other day when I was cutting a tomato and it was really gross. And now my thumb has healed and it has a little scoop missing from the top. This is not the sort of weight loss I had in mind, but I think it will help me type more accurately on my new phone's touch screen.

It's all uphill from here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The New Phone

I remember when I was a kid, starting in maybe 4th or 5th grade, I began to develop brand awareness. The "cool" kids wore things like Starter jackets and those t-shirts with Looney Tunes characters dressed like gang members. As I moved on to middle school there were JNCO jeans and Airwalks, by high school it was Abercrombie and Fitch. And all the while, through the ages, I knew I had to have a Jansport backpack or I may as well walk through the halls with a "Kick Me" sign on my back.

So yes I was always aware of what I was supposed to be wearing, but there was little I could do to keep up. I knew my parents would never hand over enough money to buy all of these name brand things that I wanted, and to be honest I sort of saw their point. Once I had a part time job, I realized just how many hours I had to work in order to afford some hideous sweatshirt with GAP written across it in giant letters.

And so it went that someone could look at me and literally see, right away, that I was not to be taken seriously. I was tragically uncool.

Thankfully this stopped bothering me somewhere around my senior year of high school, or I would've been a wreck come the North Face jacket and Tiffany chain necklace phenomenon of 2001.

What does this have to do with my new phone? Well, simply that I thought by this point in my life I'd no longer feel pressured to have the right things to fit in.

And then the blasted iPhone was invented and I realized that nothing has changed since 5th grade. We just needed the right motivation.

The iPhone began as a coveted and difficult to obtain device. But as time went on, they became readily available and everybody jumped on board. The fact that they were so popular made those of us who did not own them stick out like sore thumbs. How did I become a giant nerd again?

And iPhone owners liked to tell me, SHOW me, about their iPhone ownerness. "You gotta get one of these," they'd say, putting it in front of me. I'd look at the glassy surface, shmeared with finger prints and face grease, and watch, mildly interested, while they used their finger to pull icons across the screen. Then they'd zoom in at some corner of a webpage by moving their thumb and middle finger out away from each other in a movement that struck me as creepy. "Cool huh?"

Yeah, I guess.

"And there are all of these great apps. This one tells me how to speak Mandarin, and this one farts when you press a button, and this one helps tune a guitar."

"But I really don't need to speak Mandarin. And if I want to hear a fart, I could just fart. And I don't own a guitar. And neither do you."

"Well...look you can flip it on its side and the screen flips with it."

"Fine, you want me to say I want one? I want one. I'll get one. Now please just leave me and my real-button phone alone."

So for a few weeks I told myself I'd get an iPhone, once I had the money and the time to deal with it. This meant ignoring the fact that everyone who had an iPhone said the coverage wasn't good, and that once the iPhone was available outside of AT&T, they'd switch back. It also meant convincing myself that even though I had always liked Verizon, I'd have to leave them. And that I'd have to go through the hassle of signing a new contract.

Wait, why do I want an iPhone?

Then on Saturday, Devin and I went to Verizon to see if we could get on a family plan together to save money. Two very long hours later, we each walked out with the Blackberry Storm.

Here's something about iPhones - they aren't buy one get one free. And Blackberrys are. Score!

I haven't totally figured out how to use it, yet. And I can't get the hang of pressing non-existent buttons. In fact, I'm starting to get a fat-finger complex.

But hey, it's new. And fancier.

And just like it's owner, it's not the coolest, but it'll be just fine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

These Are The People in My Neighborhood, In My Neighborhood

Halloween is my second favorite holiday (behind Thanksgiving, of course), and even though I'm not throwing my usual ginormous Halloween party (wedding planning has sucked all of my hostess powers for at least a few months), I'm still very much in the spirit of things!

And so are my neighbors. Avid readers of this blog (all 3 of you) might remember last year's post on the extremely enthusiastic Halloween displays in my 'hood. This year, things pretty much look the same, but I'd like to show you some of the new additions.

First up is the lawn on the corner, which last year, in a tribute to capital punishment, had not only a hanging man, but also a frying one.

Well, this year I guess they had a change of heart because the poor bastard in the electric chair has been replaced by a hip rock trio I call the Bone-as Brothers.

Then up the road is the wonder house that last year provided us with, among other things, a mad bunny driving a hearse on the front lawn.

This year, they've expanded well beyond their yard, over the sidewalk and onto the street, where the hearse is now parked instead.

In addition to wondering why the City of Los Angeles is fine with its residents leaving coffins in the streets, I also wondered if the Funeral Parking Only sign was stolen from

A. A funeral these people had attended
B. The funeral of a stranger

And which of the above scenarios is worse?

At the front end of the hearse is a pair of feet sticking out from below.

The really scary thing about this portion of the display is that when I first drove by, for a second I really thought someone was hurt and lying in the street. But even more disturbing is my initial reaction of "Oh, well, er, I have to get to work, so."

And even MORE disturbing than my indifference to injured pedestrians is my choice of pants for a morning walk.

Sorry fellas, I'm taken!