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December 31, 2002

Change Is... Well, Change

What was it that Garth said in Wayne's World? Something like, "We fear change," while pummeling a robotic arm with a mallet. Then there was the greatness of Roseanne, in which Darlene had a new boyfriend. Roseanne's take, "Change bad! No new people!"

Yeah, I get that.

But then I look at the things in life that have come about as a result of some painful nudge in the change direction and I am truly happy.

It's been a tough year for many people around me, and for me at times too. But wow, what a great year it has been! How is that? *shrug* Not a clue. But I'm not alone. I'm seeing a lot of people who could say, easily, that this was a horrid year, saying instead that they have blessings beyond their anticipation. Maybe it's that joy-filled glass-half-full way of looking at life that makes any of us continue on, ever.

Well, one thing that won't change, for me, is the incessant need to cite pop culture (and mostly television... and mostly Beverly Hills, 90210: The Brenda Years) in making my points. Get used to that. If that somehow feels offensive to you, please take a look at the attempted Pop Culture Challenge Chip and some friends took once upon a time.

Not pleasant.

Okay, so one of the changes that I'm embracing today is my new Atkins lifestyle. Yes, I know, I hear all about how controversial Atkins eating can be. I know that many people find the "discard the recommended food pyramid" idea to be scary and even crazy. Hell, my government has mislead me before... perhaps their plan to fill me with grains is wrong. Who knows?

But I've been doing Atkins induction since December 15th. So far; down ten pounds and 13.5 inches (four of them from my waist). Say what you will about the wisdom of this lifestyle... I'm losing weight and my energy level is outrageously high (and not manic, either). I'll take it!

I'm not going to spend my time Blogging about my diet. That's pretty boring, and only a fraction of what my life is, really. What I'm going to do here is give you my take on the world, and that will include all manner of things. Enjoy! Or not.

Posted by bonnie at 2:19 PM

Happy Happy Happy

Celebrating so many, many, many things tonight. Thank you all for being a part of it! What a happy year!

Posted by bonnie at 12:30 PM

December 27, 2002

Self-Esteem Killer

Didja ever notice how many dang weight-loss commercials start airing between Christmas and New Year's Day? I swear, they must blow a huge part of their annual advertising budget during that six-day period. And does it work?

I don't know. I've never started any sort of weight-loss diet or exercise programs in conjunction with the new year. I always start stuff up in the fall, it seems. Y'know... that whole October thing.

Anyway, that's my bit for the moment. Still pet-sitting Helmüt, my favorite pug. We're having a great day in a gorgeous house!

Posted by bonnie at 3:23 PM

December 26, 2002

Big News

Just learned that Casting Qs has made it to Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Please feel free to [*ahem*] go write a review if you are so moved.

Wow. It's really real.

I. Published. A. Book.


Thank you so much for joining me on the journey.

More greatness: "Speaking of which, I am against advertising prescription meds to patients. The Purple Pill is not my business anymore than Bebe shirts are." - Stephanie W., on SpyNotebook, Nov. 2002

Posted by bonnie at 5:29 PM

December 24, 2002

It's Like This...

And another Blog is born.

From here I'll share the view, random as it may be, and answer questions about life as I see it. Do with that what you will.

:: ...

Posted by bonnie at 4:41 AM | Comments (0)

Heads Up

I hear from the greatness that is Chip that our little SpyNotebook may be enduring some growing pains during a little server shuffle. So, regular BonBlogs readers, be prepared that this may not always be around here in the next couple of weeks (I notice, already, that the Archives have gone wonky).

Know I will still be making notes...and will expect you all to catch up on them at a later date. Quiz pending.

Posted by bonnie at 2:32 AM

December 23, 2002

It's a Dark Day

Joe Strummer, dead at 50.

That is all.

Posted by bonnie at 9:35 AM

December 21, 2002

Dreaming about Chip

So...I just woke up from a pretty involved dream about Chipper (my former beau, coworker, and all around dang cool guy with great toys and the best family on the planet). Decided I'd better get on up and share the dang thing in case any of this means anything to anybody (including me, later in life).

The dream is in italics, so's no one gets confused when skimming this (especially me).

Starts off (I think) with me heading back to Athens to attend some big technology conference that somehow also involves small domestic and farm animals.

I am catching up with Chip and learn that he has decided to leave our dear Athens Academy and go back to school.

While I'm going around gathering items (mostly papers, files, notes) I've discovered I left behind when I left my job at the Academy in 1998, I realize that there is some interviewing going on on the lawn (like we're "Live on the White House Lawn" or something) so I have to step around the outside of the house and be careful not to get in the line of the shot.

I notice, near the porch, Aunt Missy's chicken. Apparently, it's won all sorts of awards for whatever chickens win awards for doing. I continue gathering papers, decide that some of them must come home with me, as it's likely I'll be returning to UGA for my PhD, if I can just get the student loan people to let me piggyback on the loans I already have from the Master's degree. The chicken clucks along beside me and then Charlotte scoops it up and tells me its play time is over.

I realize that Chip has gone inside and go to meet him there. Before I can get off the lawn, Susan hands me a 2003 City of Athens calendar, which has a picture on the cover of her bathing the chicken in a bathtub surrounded by a green-tiled wall. I learn that is Aunt Missy's house and think, "Hm...that means all the family members have bathed there." (Not sure what that's about.)

I head back into the house, thanking Susan for the calendar, and find Chip in a room with Mike Callinan and Ron Powell. They are all on computers, trying to get Chip registered for a class (partnered with Melissa Edwards) where they will get a set of twins at the beginning of the semester and get to try their hands at parenting for a grade. I ask Chip how registration is going and he says, "Slow. You know the system."

He then encourages me to register for classes, asking, "Do you have a way to get into the system?" I say, "I have a copy of Nifty Telnet on my iBook. Will that do?"

And that's how the dream ended.

Any thoughts??
The Book Is Here!

More greatness: "Speaking of which, I am against advertising prescription meds to patients. The Purple Pill is not my business anymore than Bebe shirts are." - Stephanie W., on SpyNotebook, Nov. 2002

Posted by bonnie at 6:44 AM


That's all I can say. Wow.

I have now experienced the shift from "feeling ill" to feeling better than I have felt in my entire life. It's really amazing. Honestly, I have not had this level of energy, this confidence, this drug-free high in years. If this is any indication of how I will feel by ending my carbohydrate and sugar addiction, it matters not to me if I lose an ounce. The feeling is better than any other reward. What great energy!

So, my metabolism learned how to burn stored fat instead of whatever I have eaten. Turns out the amount of carbs I ate yesterday was actually 11g. less than I thought (I've learned you are to deduct fiber grams from total carbs before coming up with your day's total). So, not at all a back-slide... just about 10g. over target.

After the two week induction period is up, I will begin to raise my carb intake by 5g./day per week until I stop losing weight. Once I'm at that "stall level" (up to 45g. carbs/day), I will then lower back by 5g. and continue to lose weight at a slower, more healthy pace, now that my body has learned how to more efficiently burn its own fat before heading to the foods I've just eaten.

So very very very happy. Not drinking enough water, though. Spent the morning taking care of our friends who brought their son home from the hospital. He looks great, but the amount of bone they took from his tiny six month old skull is just amazing. Parents needed some "pitching in" kind of help, which we were glad to give.

Then we went to Target to pick up new jeans for Keith and... wow... we found king flannel sheet sets for $25. We bought two. So awesome!! Then off to babysit Angus who is one of my very favorite furry clients. We stopped by Carl's Jr. and bought burgers we ended up taking the buns off of to eat... and strangely, I was satisfied. Amazing that a week ago, I'd have had a burger (and its buns), fries, and about a third of Keith's Dr. Pepper and would still be searching around for a piece of chocolate after. AH-MAY-ZING.

Got home to learn that one of the many many many letters I wrote earlier this month, begging for help with the treachery that is my misreported credit information on my credit report, has yielded a state senator who is very interested in my story and who has already contacted Experian and Fair Isaac on my behalf, the latter of which contacted me and asked for me to fax over a couple of items referenced in my ten page chronology of two and a half years worth of events which has led me to this point. He called back at 5pm, just before leaving the office, to say that I absolutely have an actionable claim (if not several) and that he will be working with me, disclosing full information about my FiCo score and the way all three credit reporting agencies are reporting my credit, in order to arm me with as much information as possible to finally set the record straight. Thank God, I may have found a way to get this crap fixed. Finally.

Not holding my breath, but certainly feeling more optimistic than the eleven other times I've sent out a letter detailing these issues and been met with, "Oh, yeah. We fixed that. Sorry," and a new report generated three months later with the exact same errors.

Okay, getting late and I need sleep. Toodles, my doodles!

Posted by bonnie at 2:02 AM

December 20, 2002

My Day, the Rollercoaster


Starts out fair. I'm nauseas from the change in my diet. I have no appetite whatsoever, which normally would be a good thing...except here in Atkins land, where the goal is 2000 calories and 20g. carbs/day.

Finally get up, after Keith brings me a breakfast of bacon and eggs (again). We head out to visit a friend in the hospital but get a call as we're out the door that he's been discharged. Yay! So, we change our plans a bit and head out to run errands.

Cranky car time, as the two of us are totally feeling the emotional element of changing our diets. We snapped at each other and acted like brats over stupid stuff, but we survived it.

Did several errands, including the market, where we spent $100 on the tiniest cart of food I've ever seen for that amount. Steak is pricey. Spices and seasonings are WAY pricey. I guess I got spoiled on the low low cost of high-carb foods.

Started feeling really ill while at the market. Any time I stood still for more than a few seconds, I got nauseas. And then I started doing a big hot flash sort of sweat like some menopausal freak of nature. Keith assured me that this was an indication of my body's shifting metabolic process. Instead of burning the sugars and carbs in my stomach, my body is burning its stored fat. Let's hope so!

Anyway, came home and had a series of happy successes, making easy recipes from one of the many low-carb eating websites. I entered my meals into the amazing calorie/carb calculator on another of those great websites and felt like a goddess of low-carb living. I checked my urine with KetoStix and learned that I am, in fact, WAY in ketosis, which is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Now, all through this, I ended up being in a better mental state about feeling ill, realizing that it was just my body adjusting...which is a good thing.

Then, after a dinner time kitchen disaster that I did not let get to me (I blame it on insufficient instructions for the newbie cook that I am in the recipe itself, coupled with the fact that I am not yet intuitive enough to know how to make up for lack of info), I decided to move forward with another recipe and have a different dinner than I'd planned. Yum!

And then I entered its ingredients into the carb counter. Insert dramatic, suspenseful music. Yup. I doubled the carb count I'm to shoot for each day, during induction. Now, Keith assures me that, even with this higher carb day, I'm still at a lower carb level than I would've been on my pre-Atkins days (when I ate very little food...all of it carb-dense). So, I'm blogging now to try and remind myself of the whole day, not just that last little bit. My own "letter to myself" pep talk.

Okay, here's the thing: I've been emailed by several people who've read my blog and who want to know more about Atkins. Here are links to the sites that have been a great help to me:

Low Carb Eating
Low Carb Luxury
Calorie King (I actually like this one for looking up calorie and carb counts restaurant foods...it will floor you how much some of your "lite" favorites have)
Low Carb
Atkins Friends
Suzanne's (the cheapest place I've found for the Atkins Advantage bars)
Fit Day (home of the awesome daily counter/goal analysis tools)

There are shopping lists, recipe ideas, etc. But here's the MAIN thing for INDUCTION (first two weeks, minimum...and possibly as much as the first six months, if you can stand it): no more than 20 grams of carbs per day.

Basically, for induction: no bread, no sugar, no white anything (no potatoes, rice, flour, etc.) and no fruit. That part's hard for me, as I had become a smoothie junky in the past few months.

Anyway, there are a kajillion sites out there, but these are the ones that have helped me the most. I spent a lot of time doing research on Atkins before choosing it (three months of research...really)! And there are other low-carb plans: Carbohydrate Addict's Lifestyle Program, The Zone, Caveman-Eating, you name it. But Atkins is the grandpa of them all...and between Mr. Atkins and Mr. Pilates, I am following the old boys around faithfully.

Enough with the diet stuff!

In other news, it's raining again in Hollywood. El Niño is back in action. Keith's play opened tonight and he feels really good about how it went. I'm very proud of him. He has an audition Saturday for an excellent role in what looks to be an exceptional grad film at USC...and he's almost out of his first round of headshots. Time for more! That's pretty quick. The book has been selling steadily. We're getting several sales from the website, an ad, promotional pushes we've done, and word of mouth each week. Can't wait to see what happens when the book is officially in stores next month!

The kitties are good. They're spending extra cuddle time with me, which is so sweet, seeing as I'm mopey right now. I miss Mom a bunch, but I also am healing. It's all part of the process. I've hung holiday cards and photos up on the walls as our holiday decorations. So festive! And a tradition Mom and I always did. She would wait until I came home from college, even, so that I could climb on a chair and hang cards up on the beams in the den.

Oh! Looks like Orphans' Christmas is on after all! Yay! Keith will do the turkey again this year and we'll gather (as many Christians as Jews) in a festive "LA family" kind of way that has become very special to me. I truly enjoy my time spent with the family I've chosen.

Okay, a few more things to do and then to bed. Big day tomorrow and I'm happy going into the night that will lead to it. And that's the best anyone can ask for, isn't it?

"Welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing." - Homer J. Simpson, food critic, to Lisa, his ghost writer

Posted by bonnie at 12:36 AM

December 16, 2002

Dammit, I Want a Brownie!

Day two of Atkins... ugh. Honestly, so far so good. But, MAN can I taste those delicious brownies an online friend sent over last week. Hmmmmmm.

So, I'll Blog. Why not?

Gearing up for Devin's Project which will launch in the new year. Not sure if I'm going to migrate my "Don't Get Me Started" columns or start something totally new. I have a couple of weeks to decide, I s'pose.

Rainy day today in Hollywood. I like it like that.

Well, I have even less to say than I imagined I would. Hmph. How 'bout that?



Posted by bonnie at 10:34 PM

December 14, 2002

Exciting Development

We now have a new four-way stop at the top of our hill. That means a whole new way of giving directions to our home.

Of course, so far, no one has actually stopped until they're about half-way through the intersection (which really isn't an intersection, in the traditional sense) and realize, Hey! That's a new stop sign! You'd think the big white line on the street and the big white letters STOP would do the trick, but I'm sure it'll all sink in soon.

That's what's new and exciting at this hour.

Posted by bonnie at 9:44 PM

Bye Bye, Bread

Yep. Sunday is the day we begin no-carb-ing. Ugh. But it must be. My body is suffering. I took care of the pain of losing Mom two years ago by eating. Everything. I know that's better than having chosen to resume smoking or to bring back a good ol' addiction, but it's now been (almost) two years and I've turned a coping mechanism into a habit. Time to rewire my metabolism and--after MUCH research--I've decided Atkins is the way. Dinner with Amy the other day really worked it out for me. She is the self-proclaimed poster child for Atkins. I'd learned that via email, but to see her in the flesh, looking better than she did when I met her nine years ago, really put it in perspective.

I'm told that I should expect to be extremely cranky over the next ten days. Woo hoo! Get ready, folks. (Poor, poor Keith.)

I chose Sunday as the start-day because of Michelle's party tonight. She is such an amazing chef and hostess. Well...I'm not at the party. So, my "farewell to carbs" meal is a leftover half of a BLT with avocado on sourdough from lunch and some ice water. I'm sure the spiced cider and finger foods would've been better, but this is good too.

Got Christmas presents wrapped and packaged for mailing. Next up, Christmas cards. Ho ho ho!

I was interviewed on KRLA tonight during Back Stage Live. That was really very nice of the hosts RJ and Rob. We talked about the book and my take on the whole casting director workshop issue, the new state guidelines, and whether any of that really means change. Pretty cool little gig. Loves me some radio!

Met with a super online friend for lunch today. She's going to write a section of the new book for me and also collaborate on Hollywood Happy Hour when that gears up. Very cool. She's a host for a shopping network, right now, but she is back and forth to LA for various projects. I'm pretty excited for what she's up to and what she brings to the proverbial table for our future collaborations.

Tomorrow is one year since Keith proposed to me. Wow. What a year this has been! I am happy. It's a tough month, but I'm happy. I have everything I need and want in life and more. I know my mom is proud of me. I feel her with me when I write, when I moderate a panel for a room full of actors, when I wake up to realize there are kitties sleeping on me--Mom's kitties. So sweet.

"If 1999 was the year that changed movies, 2000 was the year that reminded us why movies needed changing in the first place." [Joni, from DeadLaszlo's Oscar Picks Edition, 2001]

Posted by bonnie at 9:15 PM

December 8, 2002


Posted by bonnie at 5:54 PM | Comments (0)

December 7, 2002

Happy Update

Santa is goooooood. Keith came home with a new chenile blanket and pillow for me to curl up with while I'm in ultra-nesting mode this month. Gorgeous iced-green color and sooooo soft. Love it!

But the best gift of all came after I gave him his Santa Claus presents (Collectors Edition DVDs for "The Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones") and he decided to give me my biggie too: an autographed copy of my book. No. Really. He went to every casting director, every person I thanked in the Acknowledgments, and every person who wrote a testimonial for the book, and had them autograph their page. It's like the ultimate high school yearbook. They've said such amazing things, such kind sweet words of gratitude and respect for me and my work.


Keith is a great Santa. This was a brilliant gift and he pulled it off. Wow.


Posted by bonnie at 9:05 PM

Long Overdue, Long Blog

I'm watching The Osbornes rerunning on MTV and I am having a blast watching Ozzy battling his addictions. Me too, man. "I always try sober in the worst possible conditions." Yup. Sharon's chemotherapy treatments are in the same facility where I spent many, many hours with Dawn this year. There's Gabriel. Loved him. Oh, and the back of Angela's head... I recognize her voice. Angels, those people at the Tower Oncology Group!

We're in the month that Mom died. I'm pretty clear that I'll spend the month weepy and reserved. I have scheduled some hefty social obligations for myself this month in an attempt to keep myself from never getting out of bed. Wish me luck! Had a good time at last night's VNU Publications Holiday Party. Glad I went. Almost didn't. We walked to Hollywood Blvd. to the lovely Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre. Lovely.

Keith and Rich taped the game show Lingo yesterday. They won! So, that'll be a nice little influx of cash. The new season begins on the 9th, so we'll be looking for their episode (episode?) and certainly tape it. I'm proud of my beau. Oh, he also had a very cool encounter with Tim Curry at the market this morning. Tim was SURE he recognized Keith from some film or TV show. Keith assured him, "Not yet. But you will," and gave him his card. Greatness.

I have responses to make to other Bloggers who've stirred... well, responses in me.

I am so very sad that Glenn Quinn has died.

That's me with Glenn and a friend who used to live in LA, Heather. We met up with the "Angel" cast at karaoke one night and ended up back at David Boreanaz's house 'til 5am. He's the one who took the photograph. Anyway... I'm just really sad about Glenn.

Oh, Chip, I am so very happy that SpyNotebook is back up and running. It was a sad few Blog-free days there. Thrilled you received the book and that you already feel ready to move to Hollywood to become a famous actor. I fully support you in that goal! Seriously, I hope you like the book. Lemme hear what you think of it, okay? Oh, why isn't there an all-local Athens radio station? At least WUOG does "Sound of the City" still, right? Man, I miss my radio days.

Courtney, baby! LOVED the T'giving photos. I'll put ours up soon. Oh, you said, "I kicked myself for not swerving off the freeway the other night to take down ideas when inspiration hit." A suggestion: carry a micro cassette recorder in the car with you. I used to do that when I was doing a ton of driving, and I'd speak my story ideas into the thing so that those thoughts weren't lost due to my need to commute. Try that. Hey, what'd you think of the casting in "Thirteen Conversations about One Thing," Courtney? I interviewed the casting director for that film and will probably meet with her again when I'm in New York to promote the book (nothing scheduled yet). So glad you enjoyed the Jury Duty Blog. Pretty interesting process, eh?

Of course, I am completely obsessed with finding out how the trial went. It should be over by now, and I really want to know the details of the case and whether the young woman was found guilty or not. Can't find a dang peep about it online or in any newspaper. Are murder trials so very common that there is no ink wasted on their outcomes anymore?

Anyway, back to Courtney, thank you for the congrats and hurrah on the book. I am very proud and less freaked out about the fact that it's here and it's been such a huge investment on so many levels. It's very exciting to hear Keith's tales of the reactions casting directors are having, when he drops off their copies of the book. They are very pleased. I hope actors will be too, when the book is finally for sale in bookstores on January 10th.

Miss Jocelyn, thank you too for enjoying the Jury Duty Blog. As for Hello Kitty goodies, the best places to buy are the tiny little shops here in LA. Of course, any heavily-Asian-populated neighborhood should have a respectable Mom & Pop Shop filled with those hard-to-find, non-corporate, original Hello Kitty treasures. The other day on CNN I saw a story about Hello Kitty's top holiday gifts, including the toaster, CD player, purse, and the standard stationery kits. The cool part was that there was a life-sized Hello Kitty costume on some poor kid standing silently next to the reporter. "Hey, I recognize that costume! I sold mine, identical to that one, on eBay for $225 in 1998." Sometimes I miss that big ol' Kitty Head hanging out in my apartment.

Anyway, to answer your question: online tends to be a better and better place to find the steals on hard-to-find Hello Kitty goodies, if you don't have the chance to go down to Little Five Points or something nouveau trendy like that. Hey, since when does the Engine Room do late night Thanksgiving dinner? Man, that's a whole new Engine Room! Oh, you asked about the 20/20 story. I had Blogged about it before... hm, probably in the neighborhood of November 8th, which is when the report aired. Basically, it was an undercover exposé on casting director workshops, these events where actors pay to get to meet casting directors (who, BTW, are already paid by studios and production companies to meet actors). I'm looking forward to a follow-up report. There will be one, most certainly.

I went to see Ray Charles in Atlanta once. Fox Theatre. He was great! Did you enjoy the concert, Jocelyn? Oh, and I don't know whether the letters in "Alias" spell Vaughn, but I'd vote that's a good choice, if they're spelling anything at all (I'd guess they are and that there is someone online who has figured out some sort of code).

Tina, did you find it amazing that when Sean Blogs (like Nov. 19, Sept. 15, and July 6), there is ALWAYS some comment about "Reigns of Fire" in it? Maybe that's just me. I think the boy is fixated.

BrYan, "Damn Good Dog" indeed. Go Dawgs! And I hear ya on the delightful cheapness of drinks in Athens vs. anywhere else on the planet. Of course, here you can buy a cup of coffee (plain, normal, black coffee) for $4. So, I'm not even going to think about the days when I could go ALL OUT and do the town for $12 in Athens. Ah, sentimental old fool I am.

Okay, I'll try to bring my head up from under the covers every now and then to Blog a bit. I'm just sad. Miss my Mom. Sad about the friends I've lost this year, the family relationships that have completely disintegrated, and trying very hard to NOT think that it all has something to do with all that is wrong with me. After this many losses (especially the losses of choice) in a short period of time, I am inclined to believe that my faults are the ones driving people away. Faith was here yesterday for several hours and she made it absolutely clear that THAT was just not true. I love her. It's good to have a friend for 18 years.

Anyway, I try to do what Mom would do and focus on the lesson at all times. The lesson, the lesson, the lesson. And then it becomes okay that people fall away because it is all a part of some character-building exercise, leading to the complete Bonniness that I will be someday. So I have to see all the pain as a gift. Period.

Ugh. Shouldn't Blog when depressed. Worry not, readers, I'm good. This is all expected December lifestyle stuff for me. I have a project starting up next week that will give me something on which to obsess... and for once I think that will be a very very very smart use of my energy.


More genius from Rose: "Information wants to be free, as long as it's properly credited. Or even if it's not." - November, 2002, Somesuch-Whatnot

Posted by bonnie at 6:08 PM

December 6, 2002

Bon, Glenn Quinn, Heather Prete, May 2000 (photo by David Boreanaz)
I'm speechless.

Posted by bonnie at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)