February 28, 2006
I happen to really like this episode-naming-pattern post over at TV Squad.
And this. A bunch of ol' white guys sitting in front of Chip's initials. Yes, one of them is Darren Star.
I think I will attempt sleep now, seeing as I have a big ol' couple o' busy-ass days stretched out here in front of me, one of which begins in about three hours. Happy faT to the Uesday. All of my audition sides are now officially über-organized. Yes... I will do anything to avoid starting on taxes. Ugh!
PS--on Friday, someone who lives in my house will be 40. Hint: it's KEITH. Oh, wait. That's not a very good hint, is it? Hmm... okay, I'll see if I can come up with a better hint after I get some sleep. *zzzz*
February 27, 2006
Two Days of Driving
Well, actually it's two days of guest-speaking, but there's also the driving to get there.
That's from mi casa to Moorpark College. It's way far. Way. But it's not the far I dislike. It's the traffic. I'm going super early and taking my iPod and a script I'm supposed to have read by now, in case I'm so ahead of traffic that I have to park and chill 'til showtime.
And that's from mi casa to UCLA. Dude. I could walk in as much time as it'll take for me to drive to Moorpark. Oh don't worry... I WON'T... but I could. ;)
If you want to receive emails about when I'm out and speaking and such, sign up for the Cricket Feet mailing list and you'll be all set. OH! By the way... WOW! Am I getting a buttload of email about this (and last) week's column! Woo! Controversy, baby! Woo! LOVE IT! BRING IT ON, BITCHCAKES!
Avoid message boards unless you have a major dilemma. A lot of the people on message boards have serious complications and they will inevitably scare you to death.*giggle* Totally out of context, I really like that. I've been limiting my message board time lately and I'm definitely healthier for it.
Enjoy the rain! Be safe! Rainy days and Mondays always get me off (no, that is not a typo). I LOVE 'EM!
February 26, 2006
My Wish for You
Is that you will, at some time in your life, know the joy that is coming up on a movie theatre and seeing the title of a film you helped create "up in lights."
I also wish that you will see your book in the window at the biggest bookstore in Manhattan. And that you will sing, speak, and/or anything else you really love to do and be met with standing ovations, even flowers. If it's the kind of thing that gets you off, I also wish for you to be stopped in the street by fans asking for an autograph.
And I hope that, like me, you realize that all of these things are really cool while you're still young enough to enjoy them all--and you're not at all bitter about any of the road you walked (or people you encountered or risks you took or choices you made) to get those things to come true for you.
And if you've not had a dream come true for you yet in your life, get to it. From the greatness of 90210, remember what Val said to David on the cliff at the Santa Monica bluffs (yes, where we got married), "Either get busy living, or get busy dying."
I have some personal goals for the rest of age 35. My professional goals continue to be met, and bettered, and met again. I'm gonna work on me for a bit more right now. And that excites the hell out of me.
Two more things, before I sign off and get some sleep for a bit (jeebus I scared myself, thinking it was MONDAY 3am instead of SUNDAY 3am just then... phew! I still have a day! Phew! Okay, anyway):
1. Do you like great music? Do you like great music by British guys who write great witty blogs and help edit books about actors written by online friends on other continents? Yeah. Me too. Go listen to "Boathouse Row" and learn the greatness that is Cliff.
2. That was some way long blog entry I wrote a few days ago, no? Eesh! Anyone finish reading it yet? Keith said it was "too scary." Pff. Actors!
EDITED TO ADD: OMG! Have you seen this blog entry about a guy who lost out on a job b/c of his blog/hobby? OMG! That's a HOOT! And sad. Thanks for posting that, Chip. I find that just FUNNY! And sad. And FUNNY! Poor guy. *giggle*
February 23, 2006
Before I really get into the meat of this post, let me begin by saying this: I am giving myself three gifts, as a part of composing this apologia.^1 I will take a long time to compose this post. It's too important to rush through. After that, I will finish a long overdue email to the greatness that is Nate (who is giving and caring, and who has a HAWT wife). Finally, I will post a similarly long overdue series of comments about 90210 and other important issues of our day to my NBF's blog. These are my gifts to me and I deserve them. If it should come to pass that I am too exhausted after writing this to do those other things, those things will come FIRST after sleep. Yes, that's before work. Period.
Now, on to the post wherein I describe how embracing inefficiency has vastly improved my life. Warning: This shall be a long read, should you dare to read it all, yo.
Zed's Dead, Baby. Zed's Dead.
Well, y'know my computer crashed not too long ago. I see this experience as the forcing of a hard reset on MY operating system. Sure, I had the recent backup of many of my active files, but things I would never think about backing up became "new issues," as I rebuilt. As I began only loading software onto my computer AS I NEEDED IT, I realized that I was keeping around a whole mess of software I never used. Why? Did I think I might, someday, go back to something that only launches on OS9 when I've been using OSX exclusively for several years now? Much as I hung onto that AuthorWare Manual for years beyond its relevance or Charlsie kept a set of encyclopedias from when the solar system didn't include Pluto, I had become a packrat for relics in the software realm. And not just software! My goodness, there were all manner of things living on my computer that, when forced to reassemble the damn thing, I realized were not at all necessary.
Am I crushed that my dozens of bookmarks to handy lists on gluten-free foods are suddenly gone? Crushed? No. Bummed. Mildly. And it's a big Internets. I'm sure I'll finds 'em all again. Or not.
What about all of those posts I had bookmarked? Things I was going to reply to "someday" on message boards or at Yahoo groups? Man, maybe it's like that sweater at the back of your closet. You haven't worn it in three years? You ain't gonna start wearing it this season, sister!
So, just as I packed up bags and bags and bags of clothes for clothes-swaps with dear friends (and off to Goodwill with the rest of them) at the time of our move to Santa Monica, I see my computer's crash as a bit of closet-cleaning.
Is it inefficient to begin paying the bills and then to suddenly realize that I no longer have the bookmarks, logins, or passwords to any of my accounts? Sure. But y'know what? None of that stuff "went away." It's still out there. I just have to find it. And until I have the time to bother with that, I'll pull out the good ol' fashioned checkbook and pretend I'm a husband from the '50s, in the den chewing on my pipe with my brandy after dinner, telling my wife to scamper off, as I'm doing "men's business" and taking care of the family.
Lost phone numbers? So what! Y'know, I couldn't find a phone number for a producer who wants to hire me to cast a film (and who has been trying to reach me for days). BIG EFFIN' DEAL. Y'know what I finally did, after *almost* panicking that this guy's number could NOT be Googled, figured out from our Caller ID, or found in any stored email exchange (much less on any scrap of paper somewhere in the house)? I called the people who referred him and THEY gave me his number. Holy cow! There are ways to do things that have roots in very sensible, old-school behaviors. Totally inefficient to spend ten minutes on the phone with someone to whom I otherwise have little business to relay (And in the middle of a work day!) just to get a phone number that AN EFFICIENT BONNIE WOULD BE ABLE TO FIND, right? Sure. But we had a great chat and may have advanced ANOTHER project in the process. Pff! Bless my inefficiency and the rebuilding of the computer's brain.
"Getting to Empty" Isn't for Everyone. Especially me.
Now, my lovely friend and mentor CoCo has written about GTD and this bizarrely elusive "getting to empty" concept. This reminds me of a book I bought when I was beginning recovery for my decade-long prescription drug addiction. It was called "Step Zero" or something like that (and no, I'm not looking it up and linking to it because I don't remember that that's what it was called and I don't think I ever really read the whole thing anyway). I seem to recall something about the theory that you cannot even begin your recovery (at Step One, ala so many 12-step programs) until you've completed Step Zero. This isn't the same as reaching Rock Bottom, though they do seem to happen within moments of one another.
Every time I read posts on GTD and 43 Folders and all of those other things that would normally make an organizational nut like me as happy as being given a bottomless shopping cart in an office supply store, I get frustrated that I'm not more excited about it all. I think I've figured out why: I've not reached Rock Bottom with my GTD-related issues. And why would I? I am amazingly skilled at getting things done when left to my own devices. Why would I rebel against a system that already works (and quite well, thank you) just so that I could begin again, using a system created for those who find their "order" more in "chaos" than my "chaos" even ever becomes?
So, in honor of the fact that I have no plan to reach Step Zero on this issue, I embrace the inefficiency of MY system. It may not be so very quantifiable and definable as to spawn its own cult (although some would say that ONE of my "systems" has, in fact, done exactly that), but I am not here to inspire anyone on how to be as organized as I am. Nor do I need to aspire to be as organized as someone else, if it means I have to "get to empty" in order to do that. Why throw out what works in order to start over with something that may or may not work as well for me? Embracing the inefficiency of my "system" is a better step, anyway.
So Long, Multitasking, You Unhealthy Bitch.
Another way in which I am embracing inefficiency is in working against my Cancer-the-crab-like tendencies. As any good astrologer will tell you, Cancers not only love love love LOVE their own space, their cozy little homes, and their creature-comforts, they also carry everything around with them in their very efficient all-in-one shell suitcase. Yup. Totally me. But I wasn't always like this. My family loves to tell the story of my fascination with bath time (not mine, my brother's). When I, a toddler, would hear the water running in our one full bathroom's bathtub, I'd stop whatever I was doing, runrunrunrunrun into my bedroom, throw open the toy box, grab a favorite doll or stuffed animal in each hand, and then runrunrunrunrun into the bathroom, tossing each into the tub. My brother (an adult home from college for the weekend) would have started the water running and gone back upstairs to gather his clothes, shaving kit, etc. Meanwhile, as the water inched up in the tub, I would runrunrunrunrun back and forth, back and forth, two little hands clutching Lambie Pie or Bearie, legs going runrunrunrunrun, eventually filling the tub with a population of dozens of animals and toys, which would result in my brother's cry, "MUH-THURRRRR!!! She did it again!" At which point, I would plop down on the floor of the bathroom and laughlaughlaughlaughlaugh until I was forced to leave the room so that he could drain the tub, scoop out the toys, and begin his process again.
Nowadays, I couldn't imagine making so many trips. Not for any amount of laughter or silliness or (gasp!) even productivity. I am efficient, dammit! I make ONE trip, and I always make sure I've planned it just so. When I run errands, I have my route mapped out so that I am using the best roads at the best times, getting parking at the best spots, moving with the flow of activity rather than against it, and making as few left turns as possible. If I have three loads of bags to carry up from the car, I will--oh yes, I will, and don't you think I won't do it--manage to get ALL three loads of bags attached to my body SOMEHOW and all of the "stuff" WILL get inside at the same time. This makes Keith crazy. He totally doesn't understand it.
Well, in having a VERY willing-to-make-many-trips partner, I've developed a "queen of all that I survey" personality. I spend my days high atop the Couch Catalina and when I need a refilled water bottle, my Keith goes and gets it for me. When I am hungry, my Keith brings me food that he has lovingly prepared for me, the certified kitchenphobe. When I am finished eating, my Keith takes my plate away. "Hand me the phone, honey." "Can you get that fax for me?" I've even taught him to do the things that I always did for my mother, growing up (anyone who was raised southern will know this one). As you get up to get yourself something, you ask, "Do you need anything?" Yup. My Royal Subjects serve me quite well. Never do I need to cross a room to get a drink at the bar. I have become a total Queen of Sloth, only rising from my throne when my bladder or bowels require I visit the other one.
No more! I realized that I could DOUBLE, no, even TRIPLE my in-house level of activity and break this sedentary lifestyle up a bit simply by filling up my own damn water bottle, "bussing my own table," and otherwise doing a very childlike-glee-inducing thing from my own life: one hand = one item, as many trips as possible, and runrunrunrunrun. I AM LOVING THIS INEFFICIENCY! Oh my, there is so much movement to be HAD, if we just think of ONE thing we need to do at a time.
Who the HELL knew that multitasking, combined with very seriously-busy-ness and a live-in enabler, could make a person UNHEALTHY?!?
Another bit of progress in my campaign to embrace inefficiency has to do with something I read, well, over at 43 Folders, b'gosh! Now, I'll say that many of the tips suggested in more
comprehensive intimidating articles on the subject have LONG been in place in my Entourage. Comes with having so many email addresses and so many different clients, projects, and 7500 contacts in my address book. So, items like system rules I've created for email routing and in-box traffic control, color coding for easy reference, messages automatically linked to contacts for retrieval after they've been archived, and a hard-archive system for older-than-a-year stuff were already in place. In the past year (when my inbox went from 1000 un-dealt-with-but-replies-are-due messages to 2000, and now, to 4801 [and yes, that's an inbox that has several subdirectories whose messages I'm NOT counting AND one which gets archived and deleted from REGULARLY]), I began using the flag (and "flagged" folder) for certain messages, immediately filing messages that didn't require a reply but that needed to exist locally for potential future reference, and deleting ANYTHING I printed out or saved to a project file elsewhere on my system.
It's only since reading this quick article and surviving my Zed's Dead computer fiasco that I changed the interval of auto-check from eight minutes to 28 minutes (and I'm toying with the idea of going to 68 minutes next). I also began deleting with more reckless (and non-OCD/fairness-based) criteria. I used to think, if I deleted an email that came in today that met X criteria, I should also apply that "filter" to yesterday's mail.^2 That sort of thinking forced me to keep emails I otherwise KNEW I should just toss, seeing as: "It's not fair to the email I kept from yesterday for me to toss this one today. Who am I to decide whose email is of more value than another's?" Who? I'M THE ONE RUNNING THIS G4, BABY, THAT'S WHO!
Delete. Delete. Delete.
AND... Merlin Mann is right. There is very little that I miss in the 20 extra minutes of focused time I get, while my system is not sending me emails that interrupt me faster than I can even get started on another task.
When I really want to be productive, I quit out of email altogether or "work offline" so that I can get many replies written without the constant influx of replies to those replies which force me to get further behind on my older, flagged emails. (Remember those days? Before the high-speed Internet connection? When your email life was budgeted by the amount of hours you had left before you reached your account's dial-up limits? More productive, otherwise, right? Thought so!)
I no longer write my column each week with the regular interruption of the email "mail's in" sound. I write my column with my headphones on, iTunes churning happily away, getting up to refill water as needed, and staying mindful of my column's topic, rather than constantly having to stop and get refocused after fielding an email about a casting gig, showcase, or any other non-column-writing issue. Oh, and since doing that, I've been told SEVERAL TIMES that my columns are GREAT. Now, I'm not talking about the standard, "Hey, love your columns," stuff that happens. I'm getting really specific feedback about the quality of my work. And this couldn't be more important right now. If "the deal" goes through, we're talking major syndication, baby. EFFIN' RIGHT! No email is going to interrupt THIS writer today. Oh, hells no!
As for other rules of the email variety, here's one for people who send emails to all of their friends at once without using BCC. These Darwin Award Winners have a special "rule" to which their emails adhere. Those are routed directly into the "Addresses" subfolder. Yup. You have a friend who sends out email without masking the addresses of all recipients? If that email gets to me, I'm keeping your address. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but it'll either go on MY mailing list or someday, if I'm looking for extra money to buy something really silly, instead of rolling pennies, I'll sell email addresses to Spammers. For whatever reason, I'm keeping these addresses--some people save string--and disregarding whatever the email was about. Ha!
Imperfection Is Gorgeous.
Okay, so another aspect of embracing inefficiency has to do with embracing imperfections. I remember writing a poem in high school called "Perfection." The first two lines were:
"Perfection. My best friend.Yeah, I was way tortured (in a Cure song--not a Smiths song--kind of way). Point is, I've always known that perfection both drives me and tortures me. Part of why I do so many things so very well is because I expect perfection and come pretty dang close to achieving it pretty much most of the time. And... that'd be why I am so very demanding and unforgiving (mostly of myself, but also of others). I have a very low tolerance for imperfection. And that can't be healthy. Life IS imperfect. Humanity IS imperfect. An absolutely lovely reminder of that came to me in the mail this week.
Perfection. My worst enemy."
The amazing, beautiful, wise, and courageous Pamela Jansen is someone I met online, then met in person, then cast in a film. She is featured in the book Fearless Women: Midlife Portraits, which I talked about receiving in a post over at TalentPIMP.com.^3 A few weeks ago, she called to let me know that a special envelope was on its way to me, please look for it. It took awhile, but it finally showed up last week, while I was so sick. It had been a bit damaged in the mail (which I totally understand, lately^4), but I believe the item inside was no worse for the wear. It was (it is) a stunning blue and silver beaded bracelet. Absolutely breathtaking. Perfect for me. In Pamela's letter, she said:
"Don't look too close, 'cause you'll see a few flaws, but then again, you wouldn't know for sure that it's an original."Right on. Inefficiency is imperfect. And, it too, is beautiful.
More Music, Less TV.
Having to start over on my computer (in many aspects, though certainly not entirely, thank the mighty backup drive), I found myself having to re-import all of my CDs into my iTunes. Now, this certainly isn't as important as rediscovering old bookmarks to bank accounts and casting logins, right? Well, maybe it is. See, I had (before the crash) decided to turn off the TV and listen to music. So, that meant getting the music back into my computer for the times when Keith needed to have the TV on or when doing the XML through the TV was otherwise impractical. Of course, I had done a lot of customizing, rating, and artwork/lyrics importing in the years since first setting up my iTunes. This time? Had to start from scratch and there's something really nice about that. I had no time to pick and choose which tracks to import, so I just tossed all of our CDs onto my iTunes and now, as I listen to each song, I go in and give it a rating AS WE GO and, if I don't like that song, I delete it. Totally inefficient to have imported it in the first place, right? Pff! Whatever! I am loving a project that should seem ridiculously tedious. What does that tell ya?
Okay, so what does any of that have to do with the "less TV" part? Well, working from home provides many opportunities to have the TV on simply as background "noise" for the day's events. But y'know, there's a LOT of bad news out there. Even if you keep your TV tuned to "silly" stations and don't tune into local or national or international news, you're still going to get the teasers and previews and headlines that are the most shocking, gruesome, and soul-spiking (Because, of course, that makes the average viewer want to tune in for the whole story, right?) and that, somehow, must seep into your psyche and pollute you. Somewhere.
When I was in college, I was a part of a leadership honor society that was comprised basically of the "movers and the shakers" of UGA's senior class. Now, that's a lot of effin' people, so I get that it's a huge big deal that I was one of the top 40. Well, we first went on a retreat to build as a team, and then we spent the rest of the quarter attending leadership conferences and events all over the state. It was awesome.^5 One of those events was a talk put on by an expert in dealing with "Option Overload." Many of that day's college graduates were facing too many options from which to choose easily and this guy's talk was about the fact we (Americans) bombard ourselves with information and then we try to find someone to blame for our ADD, lack of focus, apathy, and lack of commitment to anything meaningful.
He's the first person I heard advise against watching the evening news. Specifically, he insisted that we NEVER watch the LATE news. His advice went something like this: "Whatever you do right before bed is with you in your early sleep. You fill your head with the thoughts you will work on overnight and these images and issues populate your dreams and impact your depth of rest and your waking state the next day. The LAST thing you need to put yourself through at the end of what may have been a fulfilling day is a 15-minute barrage of negative images, sounds, and up-to-the-second interviews about the impact of those horrific things on the people who experienced them (followed by a bit of weather and sports)." That did it for me! All I've done this time around is up the ante on that philosophy. Awesome.
And, finally, I have turned off auto-correct in my software. Yup. I no longer want my software to smarten me up. If I don't know how to spell a word, I want the little squiggly lines underneath to tell me, so that I can LEARN. Rather than having Word or Entourage automatically switch the letters that I transpose, I want to see those flaws, right there in the finished product, so that I can choose to edit (because I see what I did wrong), ask for a suggestion (because I doubt what I meant to type), or show me how it's spelled (because I simply don't know how to spell it). I think this stems from having comment-based dialogue with my NBF KiKi and his PAM (punkass mom). She praises us when we leave our typos in. There is something to be said for that kind of parenting. And as Keith has recently shared, at some point, we get to reparent ourselves to make up for where parenting was well-meaning but misguided (or worse). Inefficient to have to go through and (somewhat) "manually" correct misspellings? Sure. And I love it!
The overall effect of these changes is this: I no longer feel that I have to get it ALL done in order to get ANY of it done. Before, I wouldn't even START on a project unless I knew I could COMPLETE it (or a pre-determined, significant CHUNK of it) within the amount of time I had stretched out before me. Somehow now it's okay to be inefficient: to pull out a stack of headshots for HILMMAKS and not get through it before I have to stop, switch gears, and do something else (perhaps something else more important--gasp!) for a moment. I can put that stack aside (partially sorted) and pick it back up an hour later. Sure, that's inefficient. Sure, I wouldn't have to spend that, oh, 30 seconds reorienting myself before I plunge back in, but so what?!? The fact is, dialogue now goes like this in the Gillespie-Johnson household:
K: C'mon. Let's go for a walk.It used to go like this:
K: C'mon. Let's go for a walk.Repeat, repeat, repeat. Until finally I'm so fried and/or Keith's so tired that it's just not gonna happen. Oh, and feel free to replace "go for a walk" with "have dinner," "watch this movie and eat popcorn," "fool around," etc.
B: Not now. Gotta finish this breakdown.
*30 minutes later*
K: Finished yet?
B: Yeah, but I need to find out what National Public Television AFTRA Scale is for a one-day shoot when it follows a week of an AEA run of the same show.
K: So... when?
B: I'll letcha know.
I don't see how this embracing inefficiency can possibly be a bad idea for me. I am perhaps the MOST organized person on the planet who can still actually function in society with some manner of skill and charm. Usually people who are as organized and efficient as I am are also quite mad or antisocial, in the Rainman, Se7en, As Good As It Gets, "Is everything in here as it should be, Laura?" kind of way. To step away from some of the self-inflicted MUSTS to my daily routine is to provide a space for more flow, more sunshine, more kisses, more DISCOVERY.
If observing YotL has taught me one thing already, it's that there is nothing you can DO to MAKE the amazing, beautiful, wonderful things happen in your life. All there IS to DO is to SLOW DOWN and SEE THEM. Everything amazing, beautiful, and wonderful is already here: inefficient, flawed, imperfect, and simply gorgeous. All of it.
^1. When I took Judith Ortiz Cofer's amazing creative writing master class in grad school (where, by the way, I shared many good times with fellow SpyNotebooker and literary genius, Courtney), one of my assignments was to write an apologia on my life as a writer. [Def: ap·o·lo·gi·a: n a formal, usually written, defense or justification of a belief, theory, or policy (formal).] Basically, this was, "Why I write the way I write and how it is I write at all," written up.
I remember my English 101 class at UGA, fall quarter 1988 (nearly a decade before the Cofer class). First assignment: "Write an essay answering the following question: 'Are you a writer?'" I began timidly. I didn't want to presume I was a writer, even though I had written my first stage play at the age of seven, my first published poem at the age of ten, and had spent the better part of high school writing with the Literary Club and for the paper, yearbook, etc. But I thought that maybe I was, indeed, a writer, so I began my essay: "I write, therefore I am... a writer."
By the time I approached my apologia, I had written a script for The Simpsons, been published in more than a few local and regional newspapers, and had seen quite a few of my poems and short stories make it into fairly well-respected literary journals. I was definitely a writer, by now. But I still approached the apologia with some timidity and I think that's what taught me a connotation for "apologia" that I find appropriate.
Yesterday, I had a phone conversation with my writing partner from my third (and his first) book. He said that he had finally (after having published that book with me, and having since written two screenplays and one pilot spec script) gotten up the nerve to say, "I am a writer," and that he was going to say so at Tuesdays@9 that very evening.
I chose to declare this post on embracing inefficiency an apologia for the same reasons Blake needed to ramp up to calling himself a writer (and for the same reasons that I was okay with calling my Cofer-assigned apologia an apologia): I've not yet mastered this. But I still want to tell you why I'm embracing inefficiency, the ways in which I'm embracing inefficiency, and how it is I'm embracing inefficiency at all. Perhaps someday, I will feel that I have mastered this as much as "they" tell me I should I feel that I have mastered writing.
^2. This is actually how my headshot files got so out of control last year. I believed, if I kept the headshot of an actor I met at a panel discussion in 2003, I had to keep the headshots of ALL of the actors I met at that panel discussion, even if I'd never seen their work, thought their credits sucked, felt they'd personally be too creepy to ever inflict on the population of a set, or knew they lived on another continent. I finally got over that, late last year. It was time to create a home office that would function like a casting office. This was when the wall of cubbies was born and, frankly, when tens of thousands of headshots went into the big bin in the alley. And no, I don't care if it's not fair that I kept ONE actor's headshot from an event but dumped the photos of all of the other actors I met at that event.
Oh, and that little part of me that always said, "But what if someday you NEED that one actor's headshot from 2003? What if you someday WISH you hadn't thrown out that ONE headshot? Doesn't that make it worth keeping them all?" Yeah, I beat that little part of me down in a fight outside, right in the alley next to the big bin with all of the dumped headshots. This was the same week we chose to toss our Yellow Pages. Why did we ever bring them off the stoop and into the house? I don't think I've consulted a paper-based copy of the Yellow Pages in nearly a decade. Yes, it's true, the Internet could go down or 411 might not understand my request for the listing... y'know what? Worth the risk. And if someone whose headshot I dumped suddenly wins an Emmy and I wasn't smart enough to hang onto that photo from years before that actor was discovered? Well, believe me, I have enough of a photographic memory (and sense of sass) that I'm sure I'll say, "Aww! How cool to see that actor getting all of that success. I used to have a headshot...." And then I will MOVE ON. I will NOT cry that I tossed it out. I'm almost sure of that.
^3. If you are not a member of TalentPIMP.com, you can follow this link and enter the promotional code HHH (that stands for Hollywood Happy Hour). You will then have free run of the place for six months. So, just do it. It's way cool. You're welcome.
^4. It seems we got some cruddy envelopes in our order. Y'know, those big, padded envelopes for mailing promo copies of Self-Management for Actors all over the place? Yeah. The number of books I sent out in padded envelopes that arrived empty has risen to NINE (that we know of). Now, someone wanted me to be pissed about this. But here's my theory: Let's imagine that the glue came unstuck and the copy of the book landed on a floor somewhere in a post office. Fine. Let's imagine that the postal worker who finds the book has been looking for a life change. And suddenly there's this book. And this postal worker has always been pretty charismatic and funny and kind of wants to try acting. He reads my book, decides to try out acting, makes his way through the process with some success, and prevents the world from losing any more people to random postal worker shooting rampages. OR! Better still! He goes on to huge successes and thanks me in his Oscar speech for having, without ever having known it, changed his life. Okay, okay, okay, so maybe he sells the book on eBay and someone else who always wanted to try acting ends up with the book at a deep discount since it's on eBay and it's out before you can buy it at Amazon.com or something. And the postal worker uses the money he earned from that sale of something he filched to buy ammo and he ends up being happy because he's living his dreams to own lots of ammo and I somehow helped that along.
It's all good karma, right? Don't you judge me, Earl!
^5. Somewhere, I have an essay that I wrote about one of the team-building experiences I had during the ropes course with Leadership UGA. I'll have to find it and share it, at some point (although I'm sure that would require finding the hard copy and retyping it, since God only knows where it is, electronically... much less whether it would even work on a computer from this lifetime). Anyway, I wrote about the fact that I froze during the ropes course and had to be "talked down" from the top of the first rope ladder, where I had taken one step out onto the high wire and then decided to "become one with the tree." Yes, I knew I could trust my harness, my belay partner, and my helmet. It wasn't rational fear. It was panic. And it gripped me hard. Of course, there were other team-building events that night, and I talked about my fear and others talked about theirs (which most of them had conquered better). The thing is, I didn't KNOW that I had a fear of heights until I was UP THERE. I had no idea!
The next morning, up with the sun, we're off to go rappelling. I am the first one off the mountain. My partner, Lance, looked stunned at my voluntary leap up, racing to get into the harness and start my trip down a 150-ft. vertical wall of granite. At the end of that day, when we did the rest of our team-building events, we were asked to share with the group what it was that we would be left with, after this weekend. Lance said something to the effect of: "Bonnie shocked me. I saw her on the ropes course. She was TERRIFIED. I knew she had unveiled a fear in herself she didn't even know existed and it scared the hell out of her. But the next day, she was the first one off the mountain, catching air like a pro. That taught me that not every fear of heights is the same. And maybe fears that I have about certain things aren't the same as the fears with which I associate them, since they SEEM the same." I laughed (through tears) and said, "Well, that little wire strung between those two trees, 50 feet up, was ITTY-BITTY. That mountain was HUGE! Of course they're different!" Yeah, I know. Leave it to me to make a joke, but in this essay I'm talking about (an essay contributed to a future issue of a short-lived Leadership UGA Alumni Magazine we called "Belay ON!"), I somehow brought it all back around to the fact that with the support of an amazing team, any fear (even one that looks like it should be the same as one that froze you) is conquerable.
Beyond the Notes.
PS--two post-footnotes notes regarding my family at Somesuch-Whatnot.
1. I know there is never a three. But this, being an apologia, follows those rules first, then somesuch's. I'm sure you understand.
2. The whole time I've been writing this, I've been imagining Norm coming over here and posting the first comment: "Nuh-huh." If it weren't so far past his bedtime by the time I finished this effin' thing, I bet he would! *giggle*
February 22, 2006
I had a whole big plan stretched out in front of me. Couldn't sleep after having attempted a civil bedtime with Keith just after midnight, so I got out of bed 'round 1:20am and began doing a bit of work (I know, I know) and the rounds at the blogs and such.
Then I made a gluten-free mini-pizza.
And while I worked on it (It's a three-stage process that requires a lot of back-and-forth to the kitchen.), I composed a brilliant entry on one of my new favorite things, which I can't wait to blog about, but which is also pretty involved, therefore composing the entry will take some time. Okay, fine. Fair enough. Let's do that tonight. What a great project!
So, I begin as I always do. I search the Internet for an appropriate image file to put up. That takes awhile. Then I find a few pages I want to be sure to include (link-wise) in the blog, in case readers have questions or want to know what has inspired me so. Fine. Somewhere in there, I finish the prep on the pizza, eat it up, and watch an episode of Sex and the City (Kiki, it is the "I Have Cancer" episode ["The 'Ick' Factor," for the purists among you] and I am crying like I did the first two times I saw it. Such a happy thing, TV.), all while mentally composing this amazing blog entry on how inspired I've become by my new favorite thing.
And then fullbellyitis sets in. A sleeping kitty to my right reminds me that it is really quite late and sleeping feels so nice, especially when you're all curled up to someone warm and loving. So, I miss my husband and our warm bed. I decide to bookmark all of the places I had open in tabs, all set for quick-link-making. I delete the watched episode from my TiVo, post this little nonsense post instead of posting nothing, and head off to brush my teeth and go back to bed.
And by doing this, I am exercising EXACTLY the art I have learned to embrace (and hope to master) and that I cannot wait to share with you all: THE BLISS OF INEFFICIENCY. It has changed my life. And I'm now addicted to inefficiency.
I simply cannot wait to tell you all about it.
February 20, 2006
Let me take a moment to tell you about the Year of the Leemer.
I have this friend. He's my musical soulmate. He's a somesucher. He's a GMF and all around cool person. His last name is Leemer and I call him Leemsy. He has declared 2006 the Year of the Leemer (that's YotL, yo).
At his blog, he explained it like this:
What started out as a little mantra to myself, to make me realize what I am truly capable of, took off with a life of its own. And I love that. I mean, I really love that. The original intent was to make me get off of my ass and follow my dream, whatever that may be. However, I have found myself to be content living through the triumphs of others that are close to me who have embraced the YotL concept.And YotL is definitely embraceable.
While I've been sick in bed this past week, I've received three messages from producers wanting to hire me to cast a pilot, a play, and a film. Yup. I've also received calls about covering acting classes at several very cool studios, guest-speaking all over the place, and even a pitch for another book... from a financing writing partner type. Yup. That's on top of the super-terrific "new" (additional, not instead of; existing MAJOR publication, not new rag) venue for my weekly column that's in the works.
Best yet, while I'm catching up with what's going on in the lives of my friends and colleagues, I notice that many (perhaps MOST even) of them have seen very big advances in their professional lives already in this short year. Cooooool. Just like Leemsy, I'm thrilled to see others basking in success they've so well earned. There is nothing so exciting as celebrating successes with dear friends. To all of you, I want to explain that, without knowing it, you've embraced the spirit of the Year of the Leemer.
It rocks hard.
And so do you.
In other news...
I am starting to feel better. Thankee for all of the good vibes and love. Keith made me take today off too, which I think was probably smart, but I'm still getting lots done. (Heeeeeee!) Drinking lots of water and trying to just flush out whatever might be left in my system. OUT!
I've gone and created a Cricket Feet Mailing List , since I've been told that a few of the wonderful members of the Hollywood Happy Hour Yahoo Group really only stay subscribed so that they can keep up with announcements I might have about the industry, notes about upcoming column topics at Showfax.com, information about upcoming networking events, details on screenings of films I've cast, book signings, and various speaking engagements around the country.
Volume of mail should be relatively light. I'm thinking a weekly blurb about my column (I've been asked to do that, as a reminder when new articles are posted) and periodic announcements about events that I would normally either post at HHH or forward to Judy Kerr for her awesome mailing list.
Remember, Queen of Cactus Cove screening FREE on Thursday. You're coming, right?
Let's see... what else?
I've taken some quizzes. I'll post those results later.
I'm going to do some organizing now. I have a cool teenage helper coming over later this week (she's in town from NY for Pilot Season) to help with my headshots, scripts, and demo reels. Before that stage, though, I have to get stuff to a manageable level.
Okay, I think that's it for now.
Oh, one more: last night was seriously intense on the celeb factor at dinner. Very bizarre to see such a high concentration of industry folk at one time on one night. Dress rehearsal for upcoming Oscar parties? Maybe. Anyway, champagne and lobster always makes me smile. It was a good date. The Saturday industry "underground" thing was amazingly good fun too. *giggle*
Time for a shower. Yay!
Remember, embrace the YotL, yo.
February 18, 2006
Bye-bye BlogPatrol. You sucked too hard for too long.
Thanks, SiteMeter, for rocking just as hard, and quickly. Much mo' better!
BTW--still ill. Bleh! Um. How much NyQuil is too much?
February 17, 2006
No one can count how many hits have been here. The ones who count get it wrong and the counter I had is now counting other stuffs.
I'll count manually from here on out.
Yes, I tried to count using the other counter brand and it still didn't work. Bleh bleh bleh. There is nothing I can paste into the MT code and have it count.
Nope nope nope. All sucks. Total suckola. I count nothing.
February 16, 2006
This one was created using the most common words from the BonBlogs. Righteous!
I'm getting ever-more-healthy. Slowly. On the road to... well... ville.
February 14, 2006
Queen of Cactus Cove SCREENING
The World's Shortest Film Festival website also has more information about the festival and a link to RSVP. That site ALSO has the trailer! Woo! So cool!
I am just so excited about the festival life this little film is having. It's all over the place!! Getting such great reviews everywhere it screens! And the METHOD FEST?!? Heck, that's all about performances, right? So... I'm really excited about the casting of such amazing actors in this wonderful film. Very pleased to be able to share the joy at this particular screening.
Just saw a thing about the Data Dot on the news. It helps you get your stolen computer stuffs back, with micro ID tag-like stuff.
Way cool. Okay, now bed. Or at least sofa with our Toole-brand wedding snuggle blanket and The People's Court.
Woke up at 3am unable to swallow. My throat is on fire! Bleh.
Sent Keith to Toi to pick up some Tom Kha Kai, which was way yummy. Now I shall take some NyQuil and go back to bed. Cats are happy with that. Bleh.
February 13, 2006
Click here to read what another CD says about some monologues you shouldn't do. (Guess which monologue, of those listed, I used to do.)
Click here to read about the difference between Hollywood trade publications (with blogs) and amateur bloggers who write spoilerific posts. I must admit, I feel mighty high-and-mighty, writing professionally with the backing of two journalism degrees sometimes. It's like I hold myself to a higher standard of sharing, having been schooled to journal. ;)
Today's meeting? Effin' rockstar. I'm sooooo exhausted. Can't keep my eyes open. That's what busting ass on a casting meeting and having gotten no sleep while gearing up for the meeting will do to a gal. Details later. Short story: ROCK. STAR.
Oh, also: new desk arrived. Happy Bon. G'nite!
February 12, 2006
One More Post
Winding a web of deceit comes naturally, and no one really knows the true you.
Your best movie matches: Swimming Pool, Unfaithful, The Crush
And, in honor of the fact that the above quiz-maker chose to ignore the need for subjunctive, I'll share three recent favorite "d'oh!" quotes from celebs. *shudder*
From Corey Feldman: At the height of the Corey sensation, it was very much like being in Beatlemania.
From Shanna Moakler (on prepping to pitch a pilot she wrote): I don't even want to have this meeting. I just want my agent to do her job.
From Anna Nicole Smith: It's a life-alterating experience. It really is.
Yeah. Stay in school, kids. And, actually... SCHOOL? Do better! Thanks.
So, I've been stressing out all weekend about how on Earth I'm going to get everything done for my meeting tomorrow, what with another meeting today--one that's going to take a big chunk out of my day and therefore my ability to get prepped for tomorrow's meeting--and a column due.
Then, in the style of something CoCo wrote about last month, this morning brought a cancellation for tonight's dinner meeting. Awesome.
Not that I didn't want the meeting to happen--we've actually been working to schedule this for MONTHS--but the timing will be better later. Today, I shall write my column and prep for tomorrow's casting meeting. Phew! That's plenty of work, believe me!
February 11, 2006
Valentine's Day fun from sm00bs.
|Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"|
You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.
Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)
Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic
What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays
Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get
And (also from Jodes):
|Your Job Dissatisfaction Level is 9%|
You're resepcted by your co-workers and boss.
Plus, you usually get credit for your succcesses.
Don't quit, unless you know you've got something better lined up.
Happy Saturday, all!
February 9, 2006
Y'know what makes me happy?
A last-minute "let's see if we could actually attempt to get together" get-together with two of my favorite people on the planet.
Back to work.
February 8, 2006
Wanna know the definition of suckola? I've got it for ya, right here.
7pm Tuesday: Computer (three-month old iBook G4) dies. Won't boot. Gives an error along the lines of "Invalid sibling link" and "underlying task reported failure on exit", and I only get that info by booting to the Tiger CD and attempting to run Disk Utility from the login screen.
Breathe, Bon. It's okay. You backed up everything on Saturday, so if your computer is dead-dead, at least you still have your life up through the 4th.
Well... sort of.
So, the short story is this: computer died. Fried fried fried. Keith was able to run a combination of Disk Warrior, Disk Utility, and Drive Genius on the computer until he could back up my more-recent-than-Saturday data to the external drive. Still couldn't get the computer to boot though. Ever. EVER. We had a brief conversation about what all we should back up, since we have access. "Documents folder should cover everything, right?" Sure! So, there we go.
And today, Keith goes over to the Apple Store and they confirm that Zed's Dead (OMG, I finally have a name for my computer: Zed! Yay!) and blow out its brains so that we can start from scratch.
Keith comes home and we start with system updates and such. There are a lot of those. Fine. Then we install Microsoft Office 2004, then import my documents folder, which includes my Entourage account settings (and tens of thousands of contacts and emails, plus my Palm backup--see earlier posts on that nightmare issue), and attempt to run Entourage. Woo! It works! Cool!
So, I'm not starting from scratch. I do, in fact, have the last email I received yesterday before the crash (from Ed... heh heh).
Okay, so it's now time to install Final Draft. Oops. We didn't deactivate the code on the computer before Apple blew it out, so we can't use our activation code, since the Final Draft database shows that we're already activated. Eff. We have to go to tech support. $2.50/minute. Eff. They're going to tell us it's time to upgrade anyway. That costs money too. Eff. Okay, fine. Not crucial. Just a pain.
Let's move over to installing In Design and the other great stuff from the Adobe Professional Suite. Oops. Keith lost the CDs. When? Oh, just last week when he took them on his casting job, to show off how you CAN edit PDFs. *grumble* *grumble* He SWEARS he put it back in his bag. Okay, then... where are the CDs now? Yeah, that's what I thought. Eff! Can't write a book without In Design. Can't even open the files for the books I've written in the past without it. Eff!
Fine! Let's install Fetch. Oops. Where are my stored user names and passwords for the 20 or so sites to which I FTP on a semi-regular basis? Oops. Keith Googles. "Looks like those live in your LIBRARY." Okay, great. When did we last back that up? Uh... um... er... EFF!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, I need to breathe again. How 'bout let's open up iTunes so that I can at least enjoy my favorite CDs for a bit. EFFFFFFF! Every effin' CD I imported over the past three or four years... all of the rankings I gave the music... all of the work I did to download cover art and categorize crap... all of the data on how often anything had been played (hell, even the CDs that friends brought over and let me put into iTunes, since I couldn't find my copies of the CDs anymore) is all gone gone gone gone gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! EFFFFFF!
Fine!!!! Let's install Firefox. Holy hell, are you effin' kidding me?!? No bookmarks. No saved passwords. No saved user id info, for that matter. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY EFFIN' SITES I VISIT EVERY DAY AND HOW LONG IT'S BEEN SINCE I'VE SET UP A PASSWORD ANYWHERE?!? All of that info lives in my stored password file. Where's that? NOT IN THE DOCUMENTS FOLDER, THAT'S FOR DAMN SURE!
So, as we flash back to that moment at 4am, when we discussed backing up EVERYTHING and chose to just back up the documents folder, since that would be enough, we both just laugh. Because what else can you do, really? You have to laugh. It's just that effin' insane.
At this point, I believe I may begin going through my old blog entries (do not ask how many different user names and passwords I had to try just to get into my blog again) to see the things I've linked to in the past, hoping that may begin to ring some bells about the zillions of bookmarks I had and never thought about. If I somehow go missing from a site you're used to seeing me on, please let me know. It could mean I've forgotten how to get there OR that I can't log in anymore.
Have I mentioned my love for pen-and-paper recordkeeping lately?
Son of a BITCH this day is hell!
Bright side: I finally came up with a name for the computer. Zed. Yeah.
Message From Bonnie
Bon's computer died. If you emailed her since Saturday, please do so again, using her email address that is linked here at the BonBlogs.
February 7, 2006
I'm taking a moment to get out of the sun that shines on my "work seat" during this time of day and, from the floor, share some long-overdue updates. It only makes me more giddy that the actor I want THE MOST for one of the roles in HILMMAKS is on TV right now! Hee! It's a sign!
Okay, so the updates.
First, Pamela Newlands (AKA Sassy McLassie, and a contributor to SMFA2) shared this goodie with me. It's an interview with her that ran in the East Kilbride News (and that was subsequently picked up by the wire and run throughout the UK) in which she pimped out my new book.
And if that's too large for you, just click here to see the "all about Bon" part of the piece. *giggle*
Oh, and so it doesn't get buried in comments, I'll share a share from super proofer Julie-O (who has scored a righteous gig recently--ask her about it) a link to Swingline Tot50 staples, though you'd better buy in bulk, with that $8 flat shipping fee. Thanks, Julie-O! Happy stapling, proofers!
Okay, so, for the other giddy, giggle-filled info that I can't technically share with the world yet. Remember that post in which everyone tried to guess stuff about the starfucking namedropping I did? Okay, well, I can't say what, but I can add some names to the collection. Oh, but maybe that's too much. I know! I'll be a link-sharer instead of a name-dropper. How's that? Kiki, does that make me a starlinker instead? Hmm.
Okay, so the links for my *giggle* start here: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Yes, I've woven in non-names with names, plus earlier-posted names with new ones... just to make it fun. And because everyone loves a good
boost in the starmeter ratings, click this and this too. *giggle*
PS: the word of the day (per this post) is OKAY.
PPS: not telling, Ed. But it's not what you think it is. I'll tell you later. No one knows. Really. Honest.
~2 d, 23 h
February 6, 2006
Okay, the first review of the new edition of Self-Management for Actors is in!
The new book is even better than the last one! (if that's at ALL possible!!) Congrats!!!!!!
Yay! I can officially relax about having wrecked it! Phew!
~1 d, 22 h
February 5, 2006
Did your school have those fundraiser events where you had to sell candy? In elementary school, I remember we had to sell this line of candies that included a delicious "pillow" of peanut butter, sort of like peanut brittle, but not really. It was like sweet peanut butter inside a crunchy shell of gold sugar, shaped like a puffy square.
So, this memory is brought to me by the gift Jonathan brought to our book party last week. It was a cool-ass basket of candy stuffs (most of which is gluten-filled and will be regifted), including a box of Auntie May's Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle. I usually don't like peanut brittle, but this stuff tastes EXACTLY like the yummies that came from the tin of crunchy peanut pillows that I remember BEGGING Mom to let us buy JUST ONE of, each fundraising season.
~1 d, 6 h
What's Great on TV Today?
Of course I'll tune in for some Super Bowl ads starring MANY of my actor friends (wow, this is like THE YEAR for my buddies' ads), but what's great right now is the VH-1 series 100 Greatest Teen Stars.
LOVE seeing where they all are now. Hee hee. Good stuffs. It'll be on all week.
OMG, Chip So Rocks
He just totally fixed my comments. Wow. Rockstar.
Yes, I know comments are broken at the Spy Notebook again. Thank you for the head's up, my friends!
I have reported the status to the lovely god of the Spy Notebook and hopefully order will be restored before long.
Will blog something of substance later. Or somesuch.
February 3, 2006
Proofer/Contributor Party Photos
Thanks to everyone who came out last night to help us celebrate the birth of Self-Management for Actors, 2nd edition.
Time to plan: 46 hours. People who showed up: 36. Money spent at El Cholo: $380 (+$150 tip). Number of pink Swingline Tot50 staplers given away as party favors: 23. Amount of fun: infinite. Volume of love: loads. Number of laughs: lost count. The bliss that is our amazing group of friends: truly priceless.
I love y'all.
February 2, 2006
What do Scott Foley, Julia Stiles, Tracy Pollan, Judith Chapman, Leslie Charleson, Chris Coppola, Jenna Von Oy, Christopher Masterson, David Anders, Andrew Bowen, Jessica Hecht, Richard Riehle, and Harriet Sansom Harris have in common?
I CAN'T TELL YOU!
I just so so so so so so so so so so love my job.
That is all.