Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I can't sleep = Lame sports team names? ... with snarky comments!


It's almost 3:00 a.m., and I can't sleep. My sister, for possibly the 4th or 5th night in a row, came home past 1:30 a.m. And because of this, *both* dogs have been sleeping with me. And they have this incredibly annoying habit of barking at the sound of a would-be intruder. I know, I know - it's what dogs do. But this inevitably results in me being rudely awaken, pissed and tired, forced to fight for those illusive fucking sheep, one more fucking time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Clearly I've been watching too much Xena]

Anyway. At 2:35 a.m. my sister returned home from a midnight showing of Eclipse. While I could write an incredibly lengthy and venomous post about the evils of Stephany Mejier and her kingdom of misogynist emotional abuse - I will refrain, as I'm sure the amount of expletives I'd use would be exponentially higher, given that I'm a) cranky, b) sleep deprived, and c) hate, hate, HATE Stephany Mejier's writing/fiction/characters/irresponsibility in regard to teen girls/promotion of abusive relationships, On top of which, there was an incredibly loud and raging party at a house down the block, so loud that I went outside, in my boxer shorts, and told some drunken kids to shut the fuck up!

Okay, that last part is a lie. I didn't tell them to shut the fuck up. I stood in my boxer shorts, arms crossed, staring passively aggressively under the security lights of our house, hoping they'd see me and shut up out of guilt, shame, or both. They didn't. And so I went back inside. I showed THEM! (Is it just me? or am I getting old??)

Oddly, as I was lying on my stomach, trying to wrestle myself back into a nest-like comfortability (and failing miserably), I started thinking of really lame sports teams - although more specifically, the lame names sports teams have. Given that I'm a native of Orange County, and presumably because Orange County is typically a pretty lame place, we have two really lame team names - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - and The Anaheim Ducks, formally, The Anaheim Mighty Ducks. A baseball team based on (theoretically) mythological Christian messengers of God, and a hockey team that was formed because of a cheesy Walt Disney franchise.

Makes you want to move here, no?

Now don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of both the Angels and the Ducks (as I've more than proven on this blog). I'm as loyal to my OC teams as the screaming panoply of tweens that profess undying devotion to "Team Edward" (lay off! I'm tired!!). And then some! But even I can admit that our lameness in name choices is ridiculous. This may be due to the fact that both teams are results of their respective sports leagues' expansions, but aren't expansions meant to make these professional sports cooler, and not lamer? My strongest, most logical argument in defense of this ridiculousness, is that Orange County is a family county - we're the largely gentrified suburb to the South of LA. We do families, Republicans, and house wives like no where else on earth. Angels are so unoffensive - who can argue with an Angel? He'll just save your ass after you kick his. And Ducks - well - in other places, Ducks are hunted. In Orange County, they just live in swimming pools and man-made ponds. They also make good stuffed animals.

In short, Angels + Ducks = Fun for the whole family!

[Trust me, this makes sense in my head.]

Yet, I would argue that neither the Ducks nor the Angels are the lamest team names currently active in sports. What's that? you want examples?? Oh, okay. If you insist.

The Colorado Rockies = Really? You're a baseball playing mountain range??
San Diego Padres = Less powerful and holy than Angels. Fail.
Philadelphia Phillies = Can we be any less original?
Minnesota Twins = I guess those twins in The Shining were pretty scary...
The Toronto Blue Jays = Pretty birds play baseball??
The Milwaukee Brewers = I love me some beer. I love me some baseball. I love me some beer at baseball games. But why are the makers of my beer out there playing?? Watch out! They'll ferment you!!
The Houston Astros = Sadly, this is a better name than what they previously had - the Houston Colt .45's. Astronauts, guns, or astronauts with guns. I'll take "Get me out of here" for $1,000, Alex.
The New York Metropolitans = For the first league expansion in 1962, that's all they could come up with?

The Dallas Stars = It's almost as impossible to see stars at night in Dallas as it is in Los Angeles.
The Pittsburgh Penguins = Pittsburgh is one of the most blue-collar, gritty rep cities we have in the US - and you went with penguins??
The NY Islanders = Not entirely something to be proud of.
The Washington Capitals = I don't think I need to say anything.
The Columbus Blue Jackets = Essentially, they're the Midwestern equivalent to a Civil War Yankee, but instead of a fighter, went with the article of clothing motif. 'Nuff said.
The Nashville Predators = Not the worst name out there, but certainly the most vague. Anything is a predator of something else - even Bunnies prey on grass, carrots, and strawberry tops.

The Atlanta Thrashers = You get points for sounding tough, but what the hell IS this thing?? ------------->
[NOTE: Apparently, the Thrasher is a small bird that lives in the Gulf states, as well as the Caribbean. I had to look it up on Wikipedia. If you have to look a mascot up on Wikipedia, you have more issues than bad branding.]

The Lakers = When you moved to LA from Minnesota, you didn't take the lakes with you! Morons.
The Seattle Super Sonics = I love you Seattle. But what the fuck is a Super Sonic? And don't you give me that bullshit about the Space Needle being the mascot.
The Salt Lake City Jazz = Since when is SLC known for it's mind-blowing music - of ANY kind??
The Denver Nuggets = Yep, gold nuggets sure are known for their excellent speed and rebounding ability.
The Orlando Magic = Don't tell me - you were owned by Disney too??
The Washington Wizards = I love the nerdy factor. But I don't think you could roll a +10 crit rating on a 12 sided die if your life depended on it.
Oklahoma City Thunder = ROAR!! We're loud and boomy and stuff!!
The Indiana Pacers = A basketball team based on stock car and harness racing. Welcome to Indiana! Wait...where are you going?

Classic sports teams that get a pass because they were created before telephones and good naming sense:
The Boston Red Sox
The Chicago White Sox
The Cincinnati Red Stockings (No, I'm not kidding)
The Oakland Athletics (formally of Philadelphia)
The Brooklyn (Los Angeles) Dodgers
The Montreal Canadiens/Les Habitants
The Detroit Red Wings (you don't even know how painful that was for me to type)
The Toronto Maple Leafs (sorry Monkey)
The New York Yankees (would only be great if there was ever a "Richmond Rebels" pro-baseball team)
The New York Knickerbockers (Tee hee ... makes me giggle every time!)
The Philadelphia 76ers (I suppose it's better than "The Brotherly Love")
The Baltimore Orioles (same problem as the Thrashers and the Blue Jays ... it's a small, pretty bird)
The Chicago Cubs (Cute, fluffy bear babies!!)
The St. Louis Blues (At least St. Louis is known for it's Blues music, unlike Salt Lake City...)

Classically great sports teams with great names/mascots:
Boston Bruins
Boston Celtics
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
Buffalo Sabres

Names that I can't put into any other category because their mascots are just racist:
The Atlanta Braves
The Cleveland Indians
The Chicago Blackhawks

Most Creative:
Calgary Flames (if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!! and The Miami Heat is just too obvious)
Minnesota Wild (grumble, grumble, begrudgingly I make this acknowledgement)
Tampa Bay Rays (don't mess! one of those things killed Steve Irwin!!)
Pittsburgh Pirates (There are NOT enough pirates in professional sports)
The Portland Trail Blazers (You have to have lived in Oregon to understand why this is awesome)
Toronto Raptors (Finally! A ferocious, prehistoric mascot! Too bad they're in Toronto...)
The Phoenix Suns (if you've ever been to Phoenix in August, you'll know what I'm talking about)
The Cleveland Cavaliers (A basketball team named for those loyal to King Charles I during the English Civil War...from Ohio. I like it!)
The Carolina Hurricanes (I wouldn't want to be caught in one of them...would you?)

[Oh Good! Someone's decided to throttle their incredibly loud motorcycle down the street. Fucking awesome.]

Goodnight, good morning - I probably should just stay up at this point - it's now 5:03 a.m. The Polar Bear shall SLEEP NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS - I don't like the NFL, therefore, I ignored football altogether.

Thank you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Top 10 Alternative Professions....and an award!


Last week was chalk-full of life jumping up, smacking me in the face, and saying, "Why didn't you go to school to become a therapist?? You'd be making an obscenely larger sum of money!" Which was then punctuated by one or two additional smacks, just drive to the point across. With the faux therapy hours I put in last week, at a rate of $50.00 and hour, I'd have $500. That's more than twice what I make in a week, and for significantly less hours of work.

So why didn't I become a therapist? Because I'm a theatre artist, that's why! And I'd probably come home from work sobbing uncontrollably every day - and I don't think that's very healthy. I think the gift of empathy I have, which serves me as an actor, would kill me as a licensed mental-health professional.

But that had me thinking about the other careers I might have had, other alternatives I could've taken. Then I started thinking about the "What I want to be when I grow up" question - and the historical markers that garnished my formative years with pretending that I didn't want to be in theatre (when really, I did). This required some deep thought, as several of the various career paths I've dreamed up in my life, would be completely unsuitable for my brain type/skill set.

So here - along with the age at the time of conception - are the top 10 career alternatives I've thought of in my life, that I would actually be good at.

10. Firefighter - age 7 - I liked seeing the surprised, admired, and even dumb-founded looks on the faces of boys when I said that. I was big, I was strong, I could told carry other 7 years olds in and out of buildings. I totally could have been a fire-fighter. Major set-back: I wasn't so hot on the concept of fire. And that's sort of a job requirement.

9. Large Animal Veterinarian - age 8-9 - Specifically, a horse Vet. I LOVE HORSES! Major set-back: Math, science, and again, that pesky over-developed empathy thingamajig in my brain. I couldn't watch horses die in movies - what made me think I could watch them die in real life??

8. Architect - age 10 - I was a Lego Queen! Building, creating - totally up my alley. Major set-back: Geometry, as I would come to discover in grade 10.

7. Cowboy - age 6 - Knowledge of riding horses? Check. Possession of Western Wear? Double Check. Good with animals? Triple check! Major set-back: Dying job market, and lack of knowledge concerning shooting weapons - I don't like guns.

6. Poet - on and off since I was 9 - Technically, there is no job one can possess called "Poet" - it's just something one does, if one has the proclivity. And I do. But to be a published poet - in a legit publication, well, that's something different entirely. Major set-back: if it's even conceivable, poets get paid less than actors.

5. Musician - for 6-8 months when I was 11 - I started playing the Trombone when I was 10. And I have to say, I was more gifted than many of my elementary school peers. This ambition did not last long, but I had a very strong romantic notion of playing jazz trombone in Wynton Marsalis' band. Major set-back: Practice time. Ugh.

4. HS or College Women's Basketball Coach - 13 - I knew I was never going to grow to the height necessary for my position on a pro-basketball team, nor was I ever going to miraculously learn to be a guard. But I grew up watching Pat Summitt dominate women's basketball in such a fiercely enticing way, and was dumb-struck that the most winningest (it's a word!) coach in NCAA basketball (men's AND women's) history was a woman, that I thought, "Yeah! I could do that!" Major set-back: A growing, and ever increasing disillusionment with the sport of basketball. I also think it would have helped having a female coach. Not once - in my 10 years of playing - did I *ever* have a female coach.

3. Professor of Literature - 15 - I love to read. I love to talk about books. Bam! Major set-back: in order to be admitted into grad school for Literature, one must be proficient in a non-English language, and my handle of foreign languages is quite regrettable. Ay Dios mio!

2. High School English Teacher - 14 - I know, without a doubt, that I would be a great high school teacher. I know this, it's been told to me, encouraged for me, and is still a possible fall back if my theatre career dies a painful death at the hands of __________________________ (fill in the blank). Major set-back: Because it would be the fall-back for me, it's also the job that I REALLY don't want to do, because (for me) it would be settling. And with the educational budget cuts, lobbies, and Presidential mandates, I don't think it would be a job that would make me very happy in the long run.

1. Rock Journalist for Rolling Stone Magazine - 17 to present - In short: This is my non-theatre dream job. Major set-back: It has a less than 1% probability of ever happening - for anyone.

Do I know how to pick 'em? Or do I know how to pick 'em??

And to satiate your curiosity - the top 5 jobs I've ever dreamed of being, but would have less than a snow-balls' chance in hell of becoming (largely because I'm math/science deficient):

1. Engineer (I think I had an erector set at the time)
2. Marine Biologist (7th grade science trip to Catalina)
3. Environmental Lawyer (What? it requires law school?)
4. Pediatrician (Again with the math/science failure)
5. Social Worker (Empathy thingamajig over-kill)

It's been brought to my attention that my best friend gave me this pretty little award for leaving "ray of sunshine" comments on her blog. I don't know if this is based in reality (I don't leave many comments on her blog), or her own biased thoughts, but seeing as how I've never been given a blog award before, I'll take it.

Thanks, Trace!

So now, I have to pass this along to people who leave little "rays of sunshine" on MY blog, via comments. I choose:
Queen Fee
The Struggling Actress
Kristin Quinn
Ms. Cleaver

Would it be redundant to re-tag you, Tracy? Especially since you've left the 2nd longest comment on my blog thus far?

Thursday, June 24, 2010



This was forwarded to me by my girlfriend, a Canadian. If we ever wanted to know what Canadians think of us, here is it. Is it true? Sure it is - for at least 50% of our population.

Although, if they *really* wanted to make this accurate, they should have put a "Keep them Out!" sign around the blob where Mexico should be. And shouldn't the "Call Centers" be color coded differently than the "Evil-doers?" Oh ... and the misshapen floating blob (presumably Africa) should probably read "AIDS and Zoo Animals come from here." Or maybe even, "AIDS, Slaves, and Zoo Animals come from here."

Ah well. Those are Canadians for you - entirely too polite.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My hockey hero ...


My hockey hero just announced his retirement. I'm at a huge loss for words - and I can't say that it's completely out of the blue, but I had a very bright and shining glimmer of hope that he'd be back, after a tepid, luke-warm season - that included an Olympic Gold Medal.

This man is a Prince among men - the classiest, hardest-working, humblest man in hockey. And I will adore him for that, and for so much more, for the rest of my hockey-watching life. Which, so far as I'm concerned, is all of it.

He was the one I'd watch back before I even liked hockey. He's the most winning-est man in hockey, though you wouldn't know it by how quiet he is. He's been a huge proponent of friendly environmental habits, not just for himself, but his team as well. He grows the best playoff beard ever.

I'm really, really going to miss him.

Thank you, Scotty. Without you, there'd be no hockey in my life, no hero on my wall, no champion for me to cheer for, no Stanley Cup glories in my memory. The only thing I regret is not having your autograph on my Ducks jersey - with your name and number on it.

Long live #27. Long live Scott Niedermayer! You will always be my Captain Canada.

This one's for you Scott....

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Great and Mysterious Lesbian Code ...


See?? Your interest is already fully piqued, and you don't even know what the hell I'm talking about ... yet.

I know I have 25 awesome public readers over here ---------------------------------->

I'm not sure how many non-public subscribers I have, though I love you too, and respect your anonymity. But for you, let's make up a number - let's make my non-public readership amount 75 people (and give a HUGE ego boost for moi), or maybe 70 people, 3 dogs, 1 monkey, and 1 house cat. Either way - a total of 75. So 75 + 25 = 100.

Now - let's take 10% of 100 which would be ... class? Yes monkey, that's correct. 10.

Why 10%? Well, 10 is the standard and accepted percentage of gay folks in the world. The "they" conjecture that 1 person for every group of 10 people is a gay. Like me. And my girlfriend. And hypothetically speaking, 8 more of you out there, public readers or not. While I admit that the statistics of this fact are probably wrong - as it's more than likely that I have more than a 10% gay readership, by virtue of me (as a lesbian) knowing an exponentially higher amount of gay folks than the other 90% of straight bloggers out there - let's just keep this easy and say that 10% of my readership is, in fact, gay.

Now throw that 10% away (no offense to my rainbows out there). What do we have left? Okay, let's not see the same hands. Yes, Octopus, 90% would be the right answer. OCTOPUS?!?! Really?? Wow.

Anyway, 90% of my blog readership are (theoretically) heterosexual. Completely ignoring the likelihood that many of you are mostly:
a) liberal,
b) open-minded,
c) have many gay friends yourselves,
d) all of the above
let's assume that you are Joe or Jane the Plumber of middle america (a lesser off-shoot of Middle Earth). You don't know anyone who's gay, and if you did, you probably don't feel comfortable enough to ask them questions or learn about their life, let alone taken any college courses that would enlighten your cultural awareness to include such a relatively small minority (or even to have gone to college at all).

Do you feel comfortable in your role as the reader of this blog post now? God, I hope so. I don't do math for just ANY reason.

Okay, Joe/Jane. I'm going to tell you something that's going to blow your mind. Something that the average, white, heterosexual human being has no awareness to, recognition of, conjecture towards. Are you ready for this? I'm serious - once you know, you'll never look at film, TV, or comic books in the same way ever again.

There is a hidden gay and lesbian code.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not so loud! If Karl Rove finds out, I'll be put into a camp.

Now listen, because I'm only going to say this once: The code is everywhere. It is! I know what you're thinking. It's 2010 - what use have we for codes in such a socially liberated and accepting time?! Well, sadly, it's to do with the fact that the 10% of the gay population we have is totally under-represented in Hollywood. Yes, I know Hollywood is run by "flamingly gay, liberal Jews." But how many flamingly gay liberal Jew shows do you see on television? Movies? But apparently, studio executives are paid to make money for the studio. And to do that, they need to appeal to the overwhelming television needs of the other 90%.

Enter THE LESBIAN CODE. (Forgive me, I have a giant God-like sound effect that detonates in my head whenever I say THE LESBIAN CODE. And since the blogosphere doesn't have sound effects yet, you're stuck with my all-caps over-usage.)

Now, typically, writers write in "guest star" gay characters when they want to win an Emmy or Golden Globe. Or have some kind of tortured gay character to illustrate their power boost for an Academy Award nomination (see: Brokeback Mountain, Notes on a Scandal, Boys Don't Cry, and hundreds more). I mean, let's face it. Gay characters are good enough to help win awards, but they're not good enough to have a regular show about. Unless they're used in a highly farcical way (see: Will & Grace, Nurse Betty). Gay characters can be hilarious on TV, tragic on film - but give them any complexity on a daily basis - and consider yourself cancelled before you can say the L Word. (bwuahahahaha ... little inside joke, there.)

When we do have the rare grace of being given our own show, like the L Word, the story and characters are so marginal, that most lesbians end up resenting it, because the representation is so insultingly minimal. In fact, there's now a follow up Showtime reality show called "The Real L Word," so Eileen Chaikan can prove to us that lesbians like the ones she created, actually do exist. To which I say, "If you have to prove it, Ms. Chaikan, you're not representing us. You're representing you." But I digress. The L Word made me angry for several reasons, and it's not the inspiration for this post.

So yes - we've been shafted more times than not. Lesbians are forced to feed on the scraps that Hollywood deigns to throw our way. And even that's a double-edged sword, because on some levels, television has played a huge role in our country's increasingly positive view of homosexuality. There have been books upon books written on this very topic. But how can the studios make money on a show for such a small consumership?

They split the difference...and use that classic Freudian device: SUBTEXT.

Yes folks, it's true. THE LESBIAN CODE is SUBTEXT! Is it starting to make sense now? How do I know this? Well, firstly, I'm a lesbian, so the chip in my brain is activated when there's any inkling of girl-on-girl relationships, no matter how diluted. Secondly, go google "Lesbian fanfiction." What pops up? Xena, Star Trek: Voyager, Law & Order: SVU. Now. Can any of these shows be qualified as "Lesbian" shows?? No. Not one. Not even Xena. I'm telling you - I'm now half way through the third season, and there's more girl-guy action than an episode of M*A*S*H - and M*A*S*H is pretty damn heterosexual. Gabrielle and Xena have taken at least 4-5 MALE lovers each since the first episode of the first season. Gabrielle even marries a man in Season 2. This is not the stuff that lesbian dreams are made of, people. And yet, Xena is the lesbian cult show that conventions are built around - even 8-9 years after the series ended!

So how do the writers do it? It's more simple with women, I think. Create two strong, reasonably independent women. Now have them become friends. Then have their friendship be tested under life-threatening circumstances - explosives, evil gods, and alien races are all completely acceptable vehicles. Add a few pinches of heart-felt confessions, a dollop of side-ways glances, and garnish liberally with full-body embraces. LOTS AND LOTS OF EMBRACES. Voila! You have yourself a non-lesbian-lesbian relationship, so water-tight, that your show can air on prime-time, all-access TV, appealing to a wide-variety of audience, and threatening no one. The lesbians will be happy for new fan-fiction fodder, the straight men will be happy with the prospect of girl-on-girl action but it won't seem "gay," and straight women will wish for female friendships like that, and take comfort that women can be friends without the backstabbing and ripping each other apart - like in real life. Brilliant, no??

And as I watch these episodes, remembering how at the tender age of 13, I was completely engrossed, obsessed, and very much in love with the idea of Xena, yet not knowing why - I realize that Xena was the key to my lesbian confusion, in a VERY heterosexual world. I had no one to take me aside and say, "You know Alyssa, you might like girls instead of boys, and that's okay. Just know that it's an option for what you're feeling." I didn't have anyone in my life saying anything to that, or any other effect. But I had Xena. And I saw that relationship, and knew that  that was what I wanted. And even though they couldn't come out in Ancient Greece and make-out all the time, I was blessed enough to watch a devoted, funny, healthy relationship love continually - through the explosions, wars, and impregnations of evil-god sperm - really, what more could a 13 year old want?

Besides equal rights and more kissing - not a damn thing.

So go take a look at some of these shows, or find some of your own. Reports from the field are completely welcome.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I hate the Lakers. And the Red Wings, the Yankees, the Habs, the Raiders....


I was totally going to write a post about my ardent and undying love of Xena - yes, the Warrior Princess. And I still will, because I have an ardent, undying love for her. And I'm 11 episodes into the second season, on my way through to all 6. Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong, my peeps!

But the reason why I'm not writing about this now, is that the ever-lovin' Lakers had to go and win the NBA Finals. 

Let me clarify one thing for you right now - I am NO Laker fan. I am a native of Southern California, I grew loving the Angels, the Dodgers, and in the days of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, AC Green, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, and James Worthy. You want the best basketball team of all time? Look at the Lakers of '87. Now there was a TEAM. Basketball was better then - fundamentals, passing, three-point shots, POST MOVES. Do you remember them? Man ... back in the day, a young girl about 8 years old could watch players like Kareem, Hakeem Olajuwon, and the "Mail Man" - Karl Malone - and LEARN from them. Sky hooks, drop steps, reverse fake bankshots - it was the golden age of basketball. 

And learn from them, I did. Hakeem Olajuwon was my personal favorite. I would watch him all the time, and by the time I was a freshman in high school, I had created my own move called "The Bradac Bounce" that was somewhat akin to his mid-key drop hook. Mine wasn't a full hook shot, but for girls basketball, it wasn't bad. 

The other player I watched with shock and awe and delight - Larry Bird. Larry Bird will *always* be one of my sports heroes. His quiet, yet pronounced intensity, his shot, his hustle - THAT, my friends, is a basketball player. But the best thing about the players back then, was that (for the most part) they respected each other. The Laker/Celtic rivalry was *awesome* because while it was two epic dynasties battling it out for guts and glory, they were battling with the utmost respect for each other. And the respect carried on to the fans. And you know who set that respect on their shoulders and carried it through? Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. 

Cut to now. Kobe Bryant is the star of the Laker's Show, with underrated help from Derek Fisher. The other Lakers - Gosol, Odom, Bynum, Artest - serve as sometime heroes, though are more often than not - comic relief. The Celtics of today are a little better - they, at least have a solid team, with a lot of heart from the likes of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce - and some awesome efforts from unsung heroes Glen "Big Baby" Davisand Nate Robinson are the "Shrek and Donkey" of basketball (that was the best metaphor/analogy ever!). However, the Celtics are not without their faults - and that was evident in the last two games of the series. But you know what? At least the Celtics won and lost as a team. The Lakers rode on Kobe's coattails all the way to the riots of celebration last night. 

Oh yes - I said the riots of celebration. For those of you on the other coast or even in different countries, I'm not sure what you're seeing in regard to the "celebration" in Los Angeles. Really, you shouldn't be seeing anything at all - it shouldn't be news worthy. But if I know our news system at all, and I think I do, you've probably heard some talk of some rowdiness, maybe some fires, almost certainly of policeman being injured by hooligan fans who were burning taco trucks downtown, and getting into fist-fights with each other. And yes - it's all true. 

The sad fact, is that had the Celtics won? There would have been rioting in Boston too. Don't believe me? Go google the last few championship events that ANY Boston team has won - including the BoSox, the Patriots, and yes, the Celtics of 2008. When I lived in Massachusetts in 2004, the patriots and the BoSox both won championships that year. There were riots during both events. I distinctly remember a news story of a girl who attended BU getting trampled by wild and crazed fans. 

So my question for both teams, cities, and fans is WHY? Why is this necessary? While I'm asking, I should include Montreal, New York, and Detroit in this quandary. WHY must you loot, riot, and set things on fire when your team wins?? What is celebratory about destroying your city, while trying to declare to the world that it's the best at the same time?? It makes you look like a city of assholes, thugs, and vandals. And what tourist in their right mind wants to go to a city like that? What person in their right mind wants to LIVE in a city like that? 

And the worst part. The WORST PART is that no one on any of these teams ever speaks out against it. No "star" player ever says, "Hey guys. Let's celebrate in a non-violent way! Let's NOT destroy the city we've fought for to win this major sporting event. Let's celebrate with some class and common sense, rather than bumbling, drunken criminals." 

So. very. lame. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Comic. Book. Shakespeare.


My dad, who is not necessarily a "hip" or "with it" guy, posted a link on his facebook page today that made my eyebrows jump for joy. It's a new comic book, only two issues into it's first volume, called "Kill Shakespeare."

Juliet as head of the resistance against Richard III, Hamlet out to set order in the realm, Lady MacBeth on a power-hungry binge of terror, Othello as a mercenary-for-hire. REALLY?!?!?!?! It's like I've been waiting for this all of my life!! I ordered the first two issues today, and I can't *wait* for them to arrive! The art looks fantastic, the characters are wrenched from their original plots - seemingly just before death, or their deaths weren't realized - and the story seems really interesting. I'm a little put off by the "heroes" that they chose - the premise is that Shakespeare's greatest Heroes are at war with his greatest of Villains - and Shakespeare himself is a character known as "the creator." In fact, Romeo is a Paladin-like warrior, who was trained by Shakespeare-worshiping monks in Verona.....................need I say more??

IT'S CHRISTMAS IN JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course ... then again ... if it sucks, I will be VERY. VERY. UNHAPPY. But I don't think it will... ;)

*Fist pump!* YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! find a viable comic book store in Orange County. I will *not* be thwarted!!

PS - The guys who created this little gem? CANADIAN.

Friday, June 11, 2010

10 Random Things from a Week in my Life


1. I took the bandage off of my toe yesterday. I have a giant hole where skin (and a wart) used to be. No, it doesn't hurt. It's just weird to look at.

2. Remember me blogging about my crazy, fanatical fantasy hockey exploits? I started my own fantasy baseball league. Their are 8 teams in the league. I'm in 7th place. *sigh* Epic fail.

3. I've cried three times this week. The reasons don't matter. But I've had a slight, yet constant dehydration headache. Suck.

4. I don't have a huge thing for Vampire fiction. I read the Twilight series, but for the sole purpose of proving to my sister why it was crappy, rather for my own pleasure. In fact, I was so mortified at the misogyny in book 2, that I threw it across the room, and almost didn't pick it up again, except for a burning stubbornness I had about finishing them. I wish I hadn't. Anyway, that being said, I've started reading the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. And I like them. It's also my first audio book experience. I'm not sure my auditory skills are very acute - I have to keep back-tracking.

5. Music you should buy now: The Hold Steady's latest album - "Heaven is Whenever" and Bettye LaVette's album - "Interpretations: The British Songbook." The Hold Steady's album is just a gem - I promise you won't regret it. Bettye LaVette's album takes the American Southern Blues inspired songs written by Brits under their rock interpretation, and returns the songs to the origin of their inspiration. It's genius. Get a whiff of this:

Her cover of Led Zeppelin's "All of My Love" is awe-inspiring. Seriously. Do it.

6. As an Aries, I'm not very good at being taken for granted. In fact, I really hate it. I'm also not incredibly good at being patient and waiting for things that I want. I am, usually, very good at making what I want happen, or trying my darndest to make them happen. As a result of all these facts, I've been ridiculously frustrated. Add in some hormones, and oh BOY has it been a party! This has all helped contribute to item #3. My poor, kind girlfriend has had some doozy phone calls this week. I'm sure the sound of me in tears is getting old.

7. As a fairly loyal and enthusiastic sports fan, I feel I should be really excited about the World Cup. I'm not.

8. Things that have made me increasingly happy: my dog, doing just about anything; my girlfriend, by just being who she is; great music, see above; writing the script for the impending benefit; alphabetizing my DVD collection; June gloom and heavy marine layers; HBO shows; the Chicago Blackhawks; the Boston Celtics; the upright citizen's brigade; my trip to Calgary in July.

9. I finally joined Netflix. I'm simultaneously thrilled and disgusted. I might never come out of my room.

10. I'm going to go see Shrek 4 tonight. I've been waiting to see this film since April. The amount of excitement I have over this venture should probably be embarrassing. But it's not.

I hope you all have a very awesome weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Polar Bear goes to the Podiatrist, or, You think WHAT is growing WHERE?!


Today I went to a podiatrist. For the first time. Ever.

I've known people on and off through my life who have had their own podiatrists, like kids who have allergists, or Eastern guru's who have acupuncturists. But I have never had to go to a specialist - ever. And podiatry is so off my radar, is sounds like some obscure hobby one does because they're interested in multiple-footed creatures. Like amateur botany or philatelism (stamp collecting). In fact, the last reference I ca nthink of to podiatry, prior to my investigative skills on Monday, was a joke on a Golden Girls episode. Dorothy's daughter marries a podiatrist. The joke is when Sophia jibes that he's not a real doctor, after Dorothy's effusive boasting on the matter.

"Great, Dorothy. He can't help with anything useful, but if you've got corns, he's your man!"

Why did I see a podiatrist? Well, for the past two months, I've experienced a plethora of various and changing pain on the large toe of my left foot. At first it was really tender. Then it became tear-inducing any time it was stepped on, hit, or stubbed. Then it started becoming painful to walk with closed-toed shoes on. Then a callous built on the outside of my toenail, and then became so irritated by constant toe-on-shoe rubbing that it opened up and turned into something so disgusting, that I will not describe it. However, I will say that the sight was so ghastly, I was googling everything from "Toe Fungus"  to "Toe Infections."

BAD IDEA! I am not a doctor. Google is not a doctor. Most online medical guides - you guessed it - NOT WRITTEN BY DOCTORS. So I started getting all sorts of awful of ideas in my head. Melanoma, Staph Infection, multiple types of unhealable fungi with names too long to spell - so stupid of me. It got to the point that I was so freaked out, I called Liz and described it to her, and half-joked that I might be dying. Her response?

"Hmmmm. Maybe a spider bit you and laid some eggs."

WHAT?!?!?!?! WHO SAYS THAT??? My girlfriend. Then the next day:

"Chef Lynn was in Oregon hunting for mushrooms. It made me think of your toe."

Thanks honey. I love you too. So while you're busy laughing at this unknown awfulness that *might* be killing me, I'll just pop on down to the podiatrist and wait for him to tell me I'm dying. Then who'll be laughing, missy?? (never let it be said that I don't trip the dramatic fantastic every so often) Don't worry, I did get over myself quick enough to make fun of my malady enough to have her laughing till she was crying and had an aching stomach. That'll learn her.

Then, this morning, before I left for the podiatrist, she came up with this little ditty:

spidertoe, spidertoe

friendly neighbourhood spidertoe
fits in shoes
any size
catches ants and some flies
look out
  here comes the spidertoe."

No, you can't have her; she's mine. And yes, I'm a lucky woman. My addition was: "Spidertoe, spider toe,/ doing whatever a spidertoe does/ Can it bite, no it can't, it's toe..." I know. Liz makes fun of my terrible lyrics all the time. Trust me, you wouldn't be the first.

Back to the story. So I go to the podiatrist. I fill out paperwork. I wait. I get taken back. I sit in the most awkward patient chair ever - it was tall and wide, like it was made for a giant person. I felt like I was about 2 years old - and for me, at my massive size - that's hard to do. Plus the back was at such an obtuse angle, I wasn't sure if I should be so presumptuous to lay back, or sit up correctly. Finally, the doctor comes in. He's a tall, gray haired man with watery gray eyes. He asks me what I do for a living. Here I think, oh, maybe he thinks it's a work related injury. I tell him I'm an actor/theatre artist, which, while normally slightly embarrassing, only serves to bolster my commitment to solving the mushroom-spidertoe mystery. And at hearing my occupation he looks up and says,

"Have you ever been to the festival in Cedar City?"

Now, I was so nervous at this point, that I had to stop and try to remember where Cedar City was, let alone if there was any kind of Shakespeare Festival there (there is). Finally, after about 20 seconds of me blinking and crinkling my forehead, I told him that yes, in fact I had been there, and I'd met some of the company members.

He was SO EXCITED, as he was examining my toe, he was telling me about how Shakespeare helped write some of the King James translation, that I needed to bring in a copy of the KJB with me (wait?? I'm coming back??) and he'll show me the passages, and about some lambskin land deeds that have been dated around Shakespeare's time, which he bought at auction, and then donated to the Utah Shakespearean Festival (in Cedar City), which are now hanging in their main lobby. Uhm, awesome! Meanwhile, I'm looking at my toe, smiling tersely, and blinking back panic-related thoughts with rapid diligence. Finally, he says:

"So. You know what I think this is?"

Me, incredibly nervous, "What??"

"A wart."

Me: "A what??"

"A plantar's wart, that actually goes back about half way underneath your nail. Warts are caused by a virus that infects skin cells, which is why there's calloused skin, and irritation from shoes rubbing up against it."

WHAT. THE. F$%&^?!

Me, still nervously smiling: "Ohhh. WOW."

"So what I'm going to do is cut back your nail, remove the wart with a laser. Now, there will be a hole from where it was, but that will heal. What's your schedule - are you moving any props or anything strenuous today?" (I swear that's what he said!)

"No, I work from home."

"You want to do this now?"

"Uhm ... suuuuure."

Enter my friend, local anesthesia. Cue to me, hands folded across my stomach, white knuckles in painful anticipation, and absolutely NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT. The nurse made fun of me, and said, "Ha! You look like you're ready to bolt at any minute!" Yeah ... no fucking kidding, lady. And man, do I have to give the podiatrist mad, wicked, and copious amounts of PROPS (the bro kind, not the theatre kind). After anesthesia, I'd say the whole thing took about 10 minutes. And besides the anesthesia, I didn't feel a damn thing. When he took it out, he said:

"Do you want look at the little critter?"

Me, hesitantly, with images of mushroom-spiders dancing in my head: "Suuuuure."

he plopped that not-so-little plantar's wart on the instrument tray next to me. And if you look at the size of one of your pinky-finger tips, imagine cutting it in half. Did you do that? Now, the half that you cut off - that's the size of the plantar's wart that was half-way under my big toe. I was simultaneously fascinated and disgusted. Then he asked me if I wanted to keep it. There was no hesitancy in my voice when I said, "NO."

So now I have strict instructions to keep it dry and clean, an appointment for next week (complete with King James Bible), and so much gratitude in my heart, I can't express it.

Of one thing I'm certain: I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN.

But ... if you're in need of a good podiatrist, I know a guy ...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Art, inspiration, and a $20.00 fish...


That's right, kids. Polar Bear and her Mama went to the Getty and stretched our museum legs. For those of you who have never been to the Getty, it's a super ginormous art center in NW Los Angeles. It was founded and paid for by J. Paul Getty, founder of Getty Oil. Hmmmmm....environmentally evil industry pays for culturally beneficial institution? Have I heard this plot somewhere else before?? Anyway, the Getty Center is one of LA's cultural gems. Located atop tree-and-shrubbed hillside, the Getty Center is one of LA's first green buildings, and can only be reached by tram. That's right - I said tram. Not just any tram - a super space-aged white pod-like tram that slowly and efficiently climbs and winds its way around the hillside. I'm fairly certain the tram is run on solar power, or some such business.

The Getty Oil fortune besides, it's a pretty cool place - lots of greenery, lots of art, lots of views. In fact, if the camera could pan to the right (though it can't because it's not my photo), you'd see Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. That clump of buildings you see in the background is the Wilshire District & Miracle Mile. (Lots of designing shopping there, Fee!) And as you can probably discern from the photo, the Getty is an outdoor campus, so each of those buildings hold different exhibits. In no order whatsoever, we saw:

The Old Testament in Medieval Manuscript Illumination
A Record of Emotion: The photography of Frederick H. Evans
Charles Le Brun and monumental prints in the age of Louis XIV
In Focus: Tasteful Pictures
Foundry to Finish: The Making of Bronze Sculpture
The New Gallery for Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture and Decorative Art
Urban Panoramas: Los Angeles, New York, Reykjavik (Opie, Liao, Kim)

and last ... but CERTAINLY not least ...

Leonardo DaVinci and the art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention

So here's something you may not know about me: Leonardo DaVinci is my favorite. Ever. You want to talk about a kooky, crazy, hilarious, brilliant, ahead-of-his time cat? Leo is the zenith. Leonardo DaVinci is not known for his sculpture - in fact, he didn't create many at all. But, as the exhibit proved, he sure did inspire a lot of *other* folks' sculptures, namely, Giovani Rustici.

                              (St. John the Baptist preaching to Pharisee and Levite by Rustici)

The exhibit also shows a beautiful sculpture by one of Leo's idols, Donatello (that's half of a mutant turtle clan right there!). Leo's work in the exhibit were sketches - hand-drawn sketches, most of which came from the private collection on Queen Elizabeth II.....

Did you raise your eyebrow, too? This is the scene that immediately played out in my mind [the role of the British General apparently played by James Cagney, and the Nazi officer is probably Max Von Sydow]:

British General: "Alright, you Nazi, hand over those valuable pieces of artwork! Or you get what your man Hitler got, got it?!"
Nazi SS Officer: "Art Vork? Vhat art vork?? Zees is Germany, not the Louvre!"
British General, butting his gun in the Nazi's gut: "Can it, you Aryan slug. Give me the DaVinci's NOW, or I fill you with repellent, see?"
Nazi SS Officer: "Alright, alright! Zay are en my pants!"
British General, plunging his hand down the Nazi's trousers: "I claim these in the name of Queen Elizabeth II, who isn't Queen yet, but loves DaVinci nonetheless! Yeah, see."
Indiana Jones, slamming his way into the bunker: "THOSE BELONG IN A MUSEUM!"

I mean, I don't know! How the hell do YOU think DaVinci's sketches came to be in the ownership of Queen Elizabeth II?? There must have been 20-30; this was no pittance of a collection.

So why is Leo my favorite? Is it because we share a birthday? Partly. Is it because he cut open human cadavers in order to better understand the human form, while achieving condemnation from the Catholic church? Partly. Is it because he made fun of Michelangelo's David by re-sketching him, and then drawing Poseidon's sea-horses coming from the base of the drawing? Definitely. But the number one reason he's my favorite, lies in his sketches..................................of horses:

They actually had this sketch at the exhibit. You know ... along with many others. What I found fascinating about his sketches (besides the obvious), was that on one side of paper, he'd have "doodles" of a baby angel, an old man's profile with curly hair, and then a little bi-plane invention drawing right next to them, amidst clouds of his infamous "mirror" handwriting. Then, on the reverse side, he'd have a horse, a baby holding a goat, and then plans for a backwards blowing water fountain.

I wasn't kidding about the goat-holding baby. Anyway, I won't go through exhibition by exhibition. I'll just post some highlights:

Charles Le Brun = awesome. I don't know how a man could do that much scoring! (Bwuahahahahaha!)

Medieval Old Testament Illuminations = mediocre. I always find them interesting, but you can see older manuscripts (in greater number) in Europe...

Photography of Frederick H. Evans = great, if you like photos of cathedrals - seriously, Ely Cathedral, Cadbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Westminster Abbey ... the man was church crazy.

Tasteful Pictures = weird ... reminded me of you, Gypsy and Shell! (I nicknamed this one Psychotropic Chicken!)

Urban Panoramas = interesting, yet obscure locations in all 3 cities. I particularly like Soo Kim's of Reykjavik (below). Awesome exacto-knife action (which also made me think of you, Shell!).

Lastly, the Center's standing collection is small, yet impressive. It boasts a lovely array of European impressionists: Cezanne, a Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Monet, GauginGogh'spre-Parrish painting called "Spring" by Lawrence Alma-Tadema that grabbed my attention.

But none of these gripped me the way this one did:

Belgian painter James Ensor, 1888. Entitled: Christ's Entry into Brussels.

Unfortunately, this photo doesn't do the piece justice. AT. ALL. So I won't attempt to put into words what this painting did to me. I will say that the absurdism delights, haunts, and intrigues me to no end. Some day I want to do a piece of theatre based on this painting. And to me, that's what great art does - it inspires other great art.

PS - I forgot to explain the $20.00 fish. So because I'm at the Getty with my mom, and it's a belated Mother's Day, we go to eat at the Getty's restaurant, which, as you might imagine, is pretty swanky. And we both ordered a Steelhead Trout-Salmon fillet, over asparagus and a citrus vinaigrette, with "pee-wee" potatoes (it STILL makes me giggle). It was heavenly. It was light, fresh, a perfect summer meal ... for, you guessed it.....$20.00. Was it worth it? Yes. But it did leave me with the quandary ....

What the hell is Steelhead Trout-Salmon?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I give you ...


Rufus Hagrid (Golden Retriever, 3 years): Smart, handsome

Hermione Jean (Yellow Lab, 5 years): Doofy, love-slut

I apologize for the photo quality (or lack thereof). I stupidly left my camera at Liz's, thinking I'd want it for the Folk Fest we're going to in July, completely forgetting about the puppy prospects over summer.

Apparently I lack foresight.

We acquired these beautiful beasties from the previously mentioned dog rescue. My stepmom and sister fell in love with Hermione. I fell in love Hagrid. Can you blame me? We showed up, took each one out one at a time. Hermione is quite bossy (hence the name) - she has to take the lead on walks, and cannot abide anyone petting Hagrid if she's not being petted at the same time. She's also kind of doofy - she's a little dumb, highly excitable, ridiculously happy, and in true labrador fashion, will stop anything for kibble, treats, or any morsel of food in sight. There are times when she reminds us of Lady - in fact my dad called her "Lady" on accident tonight. I told him his Freudian Slip was showing.

Hagrid, on the other hand, is crazy smart. He knew how to heal after a day, he knows he can't jump on my bed without my permission, and figured out the doggy door in about 30 minutes (it took Hermione about a day and a half). He's also super happy, loves cuddling, and has the best puppy smile. They both have issues with "Sit" and "Stay" ... and it was pretty clear when we brought them home that Hagrid was allowed to jump up on furniture with his former family. He walked right in, jumped up on the leather couch, and looked pleased as punch. Hermione, on the other hand, is a swimmer. She jumped right into the pool ... no stairs, no people, no nothin' ... she saw that water, took a running leap, and jumped with wild abandon. It was awesome. She also goes through puddles on the street, purposefully. Hagrid's attention is reserved for moving shadows that might prove to be cats, dogs, or other living creatures. He's usually wrong.

They were sent from magic ether. And as soon as we train them to believe that the bunny and kitties do NOT want to play with them back, we will have quite the happy menagerie.

Oh - and here are some shots of me.

1) Figuring out my built-in web camera:

2) Puppy-owner bliss! (Please excuse the hair)