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December 23, 2009

2009 in Questions

(See also 2008 in Questions, 2007 in Questions, 2006 in Questions, 2005 in Questions, and 2004 in Questions.)

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Attend the world premiere of a film I cast at a festival across the country. Travel to Australia.

2. Did you keep your 2009 resolutions? Will you make more for 2010?

I actually don't make resolutions (I know, I always say that), but in 2009, I actually pledged a couple of things: "Say yes more," and, "More funny, more money." Absolutely, I said yes to lots of things I had become accustomed to saying NO to (in fear of over-committing, usually) and that opened up all sorts of worlds I'd not previously entered to such a degree. As for "more funny," no doubt. I laughed more in 2009 than I probably ever have. My friends--my family of choice--fill my days and nights with so much bliss and fun and memories that will last a lifetime (and we've only just begun). And regarding the "more money" part of things, surely, there was more of that. I need to get more specific in 2010, though. I want lots more. Like, I'm ready to build a sofa made of money. Let's do it Oprah-style, baby.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

This is weird, because this time last year, I mentioned a "bunch of pregnant friends," yet only a couple--and no one in the "inner circle"--gave birth this year, so I'm wondering who the heck I was thinking about last year when I answered these questions. Heh. Anyway. Two very dear friends are about to pop right now, so there will be babies in 2010 for sure! (And if Keith has it his way, there will be one here too.)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yeah. An elderly great-uncle I hadn't seen in 15 years, the last director I worked under as an actor before I retired nearly a decade ago, and a fellow casting director who ended her own life. Not good. But, as they say, that's life, y'know?

5. What countries did you visit?

Woo hoo! I visited Australia, baby! That was awesome!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Same answer as last year: a mortgage! But, I trust that we will buy our house when everything lines up for that to be our right and perfect house. I needn't stress about the timing, as it's not up to me anyway.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

Probably the day after my birthday, which is weird, because I usually don't do much "holiday association" as far as sentimentality goes. But July 12th, the day after my 39th birthday, was the day we gathered our dearest friends together for a blissful night filled with laughs, song, food and drink, and just pure LOVE. I realized how rich I am, as I sat up on stage, being serenaded by some of the best-looking men in this town, while a gaggle of the best-looking women--and non-singing men--danced on the dance floor below us. I've always known it's the simple things that make us truly happy people. And cultivating lasting, beautiful, lifelong friendships is a simple thing. You just constantly surround yourself with the best people on the planet and have no apologies for letting the negative nellies and poison playmates GO. That's a rich life, right there. I am so lucky.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Staring fear in the face (Does fear have a face?) and doing scary stuff anyway. Launching new ventures, building new partnerships, cutting off successful things at "easy tiers" in order to jump up to successful things at the bigger tiers, and trusting that my team is so fucking rockstar that there is no way these irons we have in the proverbial fire can't work. This is pretty dang amazing stuff we're doing. And I know we're going to look back on this year and say, "A-ha! This is when it all came together." I know that because I felt it as it happened. I continue to feel it as it's happening. I am so grateful for feeling the feelings. I've done that a lot this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I'm not big into calling "life lessons" "failures," because I truly believe we get so much benefit from the stuff that looks failure-like, in life. But, as with 2008, in 2009 I continued to be offered an opportunity to refine my picker. I s'pose I have to see this as a grand compliment to how enticing I make my world look, to the non-pro wannabes and high-end haters out there. Luckily, they are quicker and quicker to scurry away under the "discomfort" of living with transparency, which I provide a constant way to do. And the lessons cost me less and less, each time. The best benefit to all of this is the fact that I am rewarded with a monumentally more significantly important business partner, co-conspirator, and/or true friend at every turn. So, the "toll" for crossing the bridge into a higher tier is worth it. The rewards over here are much, much better. Cutting to the chase: No failure. Only lessons. And gratitude for them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Heh. Twisted my ankle on Thanksgiving while in Australia. First full day there, and I became Gimpy McGee for the duration of my time with the Australian Institute for Performing Arts. It was hilarious. And I stayed in good spirits about it all. I mean, what choice did I have?

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Y'know, I'm not sure I have a good answer for this. I celebrated with so many who behaved in beautiful, grace-filled ways this year. It's like the folks I used to look up to are more within my line of sight these days. I'm celebrating with the people who inspire me, more than ever before. That's pretty badass.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Eh, if I have to answer this, I'd have to say--in general--folks who live without integrity. Those who talk out of both sides of their mouths. People who promise what they can never deliver and expect to get away with it, because their excuses sound so good to them. But really, I'm less appalled or depressed by anyone, these days, as I begin to realize that no one outside of ME is responsible for how I FEEL about anything that anyone else does.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Producing the 2009 Cricket Feet Showcase. It was pretty amazing. We reached our five-year goal--in many ways--in just over two years. But what we didn't reach was our financial goal for the showcase, which meant we went out of pocket several thousand dollars and were set to have to do that again--plus raise the price--in 2010 in order to do it at all. So, the showcase is now on hiatus. We know how to do it. We changed the game. And when Cricket Feet is in a place to need to lose 30 grand a year, we'll produce totally free showcases (which was always our goal) and rock this town again.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Again, I'll say Hacienda Hot Springs, because as I this post goes live, we're either just about to head off for--or are enjoying--another of our quickie private spa getaways. There is nothing so relaxing as this place and how I am while I'm there. And that's worth getting very excited about. So I do! At least twice a year. ;)

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Black-Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling. Especially the "lipdub" version of it. Awesome. Inspiring. A never-disappoint watch, for me.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier. Always so much happier.

b) thinner or fatter?

Thinner, thinner, thinner. It's so exciting, being this close to goal. I set out, in December of 2007, to be the healthiest 40-year-old I could possibly be. I'll be 40 in just under seven months. I am going to reach my goal. That's phenomenal. I'm so proud of me!

c) richer or poorer?

Richer. Our money guy even told us we need to watch out for managing our net operating loss. I have no idea what that means. (Kidding. Of course I do. It's just funnier if I'm bumping into making more money these days.)

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Relax. Take breaks. Play. (And I played quite a bit, so I do honor and treasure that.) It's just because I work so damn hard that I'd like to add in a bit more downtime to the equation. I've earned it, and I'm reaching the age where I'd like to take a little of it. ;)

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Hurt. I had some back pain I could've lived without. My ankle too. A gut-wrenching gut ache that got really painful. That stuff is not so fun, and I'm finding ways to get in better balance so that my body doesn't have to scream at me in order to get me to take a break, once in a while. (See how this ties in with # 17?)

19. How will you be spending Christmas?

Basking in the afterglow of days filled with massages, hottubbing, saunaing, steaming, sexing, eating well, drinking well, and making our year-end list of things to welcome into our new year at the above-mentioned Hacienda Hot Springs. Our year-end getaway. So frickin' well-earned. Once we return to LA-LA Land, we'll celebrate Jewish Christmas by seeing movies and eating Chinese food with our orthodox friends. And then it's time to prep the breakdown for another casting gig. Yes. During the "break." I love it.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I am constantly falling in love. With people, with things, with places, with my life. I have it so good.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

This was the year I got hooked on So You Think You Can Dance (thank you, Kathi). Still loved Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist. Go, CBS. Yes. I'm old.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don't hate. I've got no time for that nonsense.

23. What was the best book you read?

Without a doubt, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I even did a vid about it, in January, calling it the best book of the year. It has had a profound impact on me. (And I've read a LOT of good books this year. Still finishing a few. Awesome book year. Thank you, so many wonderful friends, for recommending a year of great reads. This has been very good for me!)

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmm... I'm not sure I made one this year. Well... let's say Glee, although that's really a cheat, since it's a show. But I found myself wanting random people in public places to break into song, constantly, this year. And I think that's got to be the effect of watching Glee and believing every moment calls for a good musical number.

25. What did you want and get?

Happiness. Peace. Love. Fun. Respect. Career advancement. Time with Quinn. Just good ol' goodness.

26. What did you want and not get?

That dang sofa made of money. Our first house. The shiba inu and puggle pups that come with our first house. Absolute financial security (heh, like anyone truly ever has that) so that we can produce our friends' great films, shoot the pilot of our great series, launch our great web distribution channel, and basically supply the world with awesomeosity on our dime, constantly.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Ooh, Good Hair. I loved it. I loved seeing it with Tanya and Ryan. I can't wait to see it again. Brilliant. I'm a big fan of documentaries anyway, but this one was remarkably funny and well-structured. Loved it. (And of course, I'll say Another Harvest Moon is right up there behind that one, as I attended its premieres in Rhode Island and in Hollywood. And I had my moment. It was awesome.)

28. What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?

Hmm. On my birthday? Remember what I said about not being terribly tied to the actual days, in any way? Um... let's see. We saw Louis & Keely the night before (my third time, I think) and hung out with Diva Zappa and her mom a bit. Ate some cheese. Shopped at the market near UCLA after the play like a couple of old folks headed home after a play. So, probably my actual birthday was spent sleeping, writing (getting prepped for having my column turned in early, as is typical when I have anything planned on a Sunday, since that's my writing day), and hanging out in deep appreciation for all I've got in the world. As Sunday, the day after my birthday, was the above-mentioned "etched in my memory" day, spent with my family of choice, celebrating my existence--and the beginning of the end of my 30s.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Have I mentioned the sofa made of money? Yeah. As usual, I have everything I could ever need or want in my life (love, friendship, fitness, health, happiness, fulfilling work, laughter, peace) and even the money thing is just a bonus. I'd really like to be able to finance not only my dreams but the dreams of others whose work I believe in. That'd be awesome. Sorry... that will be awesome. Just wait.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Ah! 2009 was the year I got hip to color! (Thank you, Jill Kirsh!) I wore more red, more blue, more purple, and less less less black. But still wore jeans and chunky sandals and cool-ass, square-toed boots. I branched out with some of my jewelry (thanks to my beautiful friends who paid attention to my attempts to branch out and bought me things just at the edge of my comfort zone) and even put more drastic layers in my hair. I'm cute. Yay, me!

31. What kept you sane?

Laughter. My friends. (Both of which are connected, deeply.) Weekly meetings with the best people on the planet, who agreed to gather with me in an effort to work out career goals, remove personal and professional blocks, and co-conspire for our collective success.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hello Kitty! I even went to her 35th birthday celebration exhibit when it made it to Los Angeles. I know, it's corny. Still... that girl is awesome!

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Prop 8. I know it was last year, but this was the year that I got motivated to put my face behind the cause. I joined the silent protest and added myself to the thousand or so others who have gone in front of Adam Bouska to do the same. To the many thousands who have submitted their own photos. Let's end this discrimination and let us all get gay married if we want to!

34. Who did you miss?

My mom, as always. But what I miss is that I could hear her saying back to me what I still feel her sharing with me. What I miss is the knowing that I get what she's guiding me to do. But if I get quiet enough, I already have all that. And I know she's not missing me, as she gets to be in on so much more of what my day-to-day is like, now.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Ryan Basham. Hands down. I've been the fairy godmother to a good many people for most of my life. It's my turn to have someone bring some magic and manifesting into my life. That's Ryan. And he happens to be one of the bestest male girlfriends a gal could ever have. I am very pleased to have welcomed him into my world, and onto Team Cricket Feet. World domination begins in 3... 2... 1...!

36. What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2009?

Say yes more. You can always pull back. Be open. Invite blessings in, and in they come.

37. What song lyrics sum up your year?

525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
525,600 minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In 525,600 minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love. Seasons of love

It's time now to sing out, tho the story never ends
Let's celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love...

Posted by bonnie at December 23, 2009 6:02 PM


Smiles. I love reading this. And I love YOU!!!

Posted by: Anna Vocino at December 23, 2009 8:44 PM

I freaking love you.

Posted by: Ryan at December 24, 2009 10:57 AM

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