Sunday, September 26, 2010

Exhausted, brain fried, overwhelmed, the Tea Party and watching bad reality TV.

I have a new manager. She's great. I love working with her. She's very proactive and doesn't play. She gave me an outrageous deadline for the rough draft of my latest spec. I met it, writing up to 17 pages a day.

With every rewrite the deadlines are shorter. Her notes have been brilliant. We talk about each draft, what's working, what's not. She asks me hard questions about the creative choices I've made.

This weekend was a killer. I wrote all day. Now I'm sitting in my apartment and I'm overwhelmed by the mess. My place is TINY. How the heck did it get so messy so quickly?

I HATE clutter. Like an almost irrational dislike for it (thanks Mom). One of my friends used to have an office with scripts everywhere. I used to get anxious sitting in her office and would wait for her by her assistant's desk.

I can't afford a cleaning lady. I know it's not that expensive but that's my grocery money.

I don't even know where to start. Dishes, ironing, sweeping? Not to mention some of the bigger jobs like switching my closet from summer to fall clothes. Since I live in Europe and have no closet space, all my fall clothes are in under the bed storage boxes.

I also need to mop my hardwood floors, clean the windows, dust everything, clear my dining table of scripts, notes, magazines etc.

I live alone in a 40 square meter apartment (approx. 430 sq feet). My commute consists of walking three feet from my bedroom to my living room/kitchen/family room/office.

As I have mentioned before, my mom somehow managed to work, commute, raise a family, cook, keep a spotless house, etc. Yes, we had chores and my dad helped (mostly outdoors stuff) but it's not like I was cooking dinner.

On the other hand, my mom didn't spend time on the Internet reading about the cast of Jersey Shore. Can I say I find it depressing that Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is going to make 5-10 million dollars this year?!

Why the hell did I go to college or work so hard again? Why is Bristol on Dancing With The Stars? Why am I still broke?

Instead of cleaning I'd rather read fashion and home design blogs. I had to take a break from the news as this election cycle is making me downright stabby. If any of the Tea Party far right lunatics get elected to the Senate or Governorship, I fear for my home country. Why is the GOP trying to act like this is a good thing for them? The Tea Party candidates are knocking out incumbents/stronger Republican candidates and giving the Democrats a better change to hold on to or to win seats. Are they scared of the Tea Party? Why? Where are the moderate Republicans?!

There are not enough words for me to describe how much I dislike Sarah Palin. I will never forgive John McCain for unleashing this ignorant hypocrite on the American people. What happened to the John McCain from the 2000 election?

I watched a new reality show on E! about an entertainment P.R. firm in L.A. That almost pushed me over the edge. This partner in the firm told a young first year associate she needed to put collagen in her top lip because it was too thin. Mind you the woman is gorgeous. She goes with an older colleague to the doctor's office and starts crying. The doctor gives her a temporary filler that lasts a few hours. Even for that she had to get shots and there was a little bleeding.

She returns to work and her boss is like you look great. The other partner could tell she was upset. Then when she said she couldn't go through the real procedure, he flipped out. He started yelling at her and berating her in front of everyone.

I wanted to reach through the screen and punch him out. This sexist Ed Hardy wearing jerk needs to look in a mirror. I doubt any real client would care about the jr. publicist's face and would be more concerned about her ability to do her damn job. The sad thing is PR is one of the most stressful jobs out there. Shows like this makes it seem like it's a fall back job for people who are shallow but can't be famous themselves so they work for celebs instead. For example, this firm asked Mario Lopez to host a party for a tanning lotion. Mario is Mexican-American and has tan skin. He doesn't use or need tanning lotion. He told them that. He did it anyway. I wonder how much he was paid.

Not all reality is mindless. Top Chef and Project Runway are very interesting.

Okay, so why did I bust out laughing when I saw the photo of Bishop Eddie Long rocking skin-tight Spandex? Why are the folks who are the most publicly homophobic the ones who keep getting busted? Why would Bishop send such a photo to anyone other than perhaps a personal trainer?

Speaking of personal trainer, Tracy Anderson needs to STFU about her "Teeny Tiny body" claims.

Alright this post was longer than I intended. I'm procrastinating. My mind is spinning in a million different directions. I have a lot of questions but will save them for another day.

I'm going to drink a glass of wine and make some dinner. Of course this means I will have even more dishes to clean. Arrrgh

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday - Desperately Seeking Susan - Trailer

This movie came out 25 years ago? How is that possible?!

Madonna was living Downtown and was cast before her singing career blew up. She was perfect in the role. I'm not sure what happened to her acting career. Bad choices?

The City has changed a lot since the early '80s. The film captured a pretty unique moment.

This trailer cracks me up. The narration is not great.

Have an excellent weekend.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Favorite Things: Gerbera Daisies.

Yes, I watch my budget closely but decided the 4 euros I paid for these flowers was worth it. It meant one less gelato or glass of wine that week.

I put them in an old milk bottle I bought at Gelson's supermarket in L.A. I know it's kind of wacky this silly bottle made the move overseas but I love it.

When I start making money I will always have fresh flowers in my apartment. Gerbera Daisies, along with Peonies, are among my favorite flowers.

Once I do buy a house in the country, I plan to work with a fab landscape architect and plant a gorgeous flower garden. I'm being optimistic despite having no idea how I will pay rent in a few months. I continue to read home design magazines/blogs and real estate ads for houses in Piemonte and Puglia. Denial is a good thing sometimes.

I wonder if there's a flower mart in Rome, similar to the ones in NYC or L.A. If so, is it near the Center?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday - Lucy Pearl - Dance Tonight - From the Love And Basketball Soundtrack

The first job I had in the film business was on the movie Love And Basketball.

I had moved out to L.A. a few months earlier with a few names and no job prospects. Looking back, I must have been on crack. I should have moved after saving up some money. Anyway, I had to start all over again. I was the oldest assistant on set and was told to lie about my age.

Nobody in Hollywood cared about what jobs I had before. The pay cut was outrageous and I would continue to make no money for the next eight years.

It's one thing to be a broke writer like I am now. It's another thing to be working 24/7 and get paid crap. However, it's Hollywood. There's a line of people who would (and can) work for free.

I LOVED working on this movie. Some of my friends really dislike being in production. Yes, the days are long and can be tedious as you watch take after take of the same scene but I enjoy seeing a movie come together.

It's sad this movie would never get greenlit today. We're going backwards.

Okay, trying to stay positive so will end with this clip from the movie's soundtrack.

Lucy Pearl was a collaboration between Dawn Robinson from En Vogue, Raphael Saadiq from Tony!Toni!Tone! and Ali from Tribe Called Quest.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some great advice for wanna be expats from Ieishah in Barcelona

One of my favorite bloggers was responding to an American who wants to move to Spain.

While her advice was to a black woman moving to Barcelona, this advice (except the specific catcalling) is universal.

Regarding the catcalls, maybe it's because I'm old or the neighborhood I live in (I notice when I'm by Termini I hear more comments, especially from the African and South Asian men) but all I get is a "Ciao Bella", "bellissima" etc. Not once in all the times I've lived or traveled here has someone made a catcall mentioning my race. Unlike in D.C. where I would get the lovely back handed "for a chocolate girl you're cute" compliments.

I cracked up reading her advice about American privilege. I was at a dinner party during my first trip to Italy and one of the guests told me he had a hard time reconciling his love for Malcolm X and jazz with his strong dislike for America. This was five years ago at the height of the Iraq war .

I wondered why/how this young Italian man connected with Malcolm X in the first place. He's barely mentioned in American schools. Is Malcolm's popularity (like jazz) greater overseas?

Speaking of Malcolm X, the movie was on SKY Cinema yesterday. I hadn't seen it in a while. Denzel knocked it out of the park. He looks nothing like Malcolm but within five minutes you forget and believe it's him.

I digress (which I do whenever I think about Denzel). Here is the LINK to Ieishah's post "Mastering Your Expat Life: Barcelona, The Starter's Kit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A show celebrating Keith Haring in Rome featuring Jessica Stewart

The very talented Jessica was selected to be one of twenty artists paying tribute to Haring on the 20th anniversary of his death.

I met up with some friends at the opening last night in Monti. The turnout was fantastic. Congrats Jessica!

The popular artist Mr. Klevra was also included. I felt honored to have a piece of his art...temporarily.

I've linked to Jessica's RomePhotoBlog before. She has a great eye. Check it out for more info about this exhibit and to see her Flickr stream of the evening. She was able to take some photos of the art.

I remember seeing Keith's "people" all over downtown Manhattan back in the day.

Mr. Klevra at work.

Too bad I have to take a shower.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I can't believe it's been nine years.

RIP in Nigel.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashback Friday - Intolerable Cruetly Trailer

I thought this film was hilarious. The chemistry between Clooney and Zeta-Jones was fantastic.

I don't know what happened to the "leading man" in American romantic comedies. It's slim pickings. Justin Long is funny but is he a romantic lead? Did anyone see the Drew/Justin film "Going The Distance"? How was it?

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Jumping The's a wrap

First congrats to two of our stars:

Paula Patton was just cast as an operative in Mission Impossible IV. This is a big deal. I'm still over Tom Terrific but I will see the movie to support Paula.

Julie Bowen was nominated for an EMMY for her work on the hit ABC TV (in Italy the show airs on Fox Life) series MODERN FAMILY. I think it's the funniest sitcom on TV. Hilarious.

After shooting in Canada, Martha's Vineyard and New York City, our movie is in the can. The shoot went well. As of now, JTB scheduled for a May 2011 release.

Once a trailer is cut, I will post it.

It's said a film is "made" three times...the writing, the shooting, then the editing. I cannot wait to see how it all comes together.

Monday, September 06, 2010

One of my favorite things: Hotel de Russie's Garden Bar

The other week my friend Erica took me to Hotel de Russie for a Birthday Drink.

This outdoor garden is one my favorites place in Rome. Located just south of Piazza del Popolo, the garden rear ends Villa Borghese Park. You feel like you're at your rich relative's villa in the country.

The prices are at the Beverly Hills/Madison Avenue level. 19 euros for a mojito?! However, they are delicious and very, very strong.

It's a great place to people watch. Last time I was there the crowd was quite eclectic. Chic locals, wealthy businessman from the Middle East, very preppy Americans who were staying at the hotel playing cards with their children, etc. This hotel (along with The Hassler) is very popular with the Hollywood crowd and many stars and producers stay there while in town.

If I had money, I would go there at least once a week.

Hotel de Russie
Via del Babuino, 9

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rientro "aka Back to School"

Slowly, Rome is coming back to life. Thank God.

This summer even fewer of my friends were around. There was a mini-baby boom amongst my friends so many of them were at their parents/in-laws' places in the country/hills/beach for the entire month of August and some for most of the summer.

Some days it felt like I was the only non-tourist in Rome. Everyone in my building was gone.

The upside is, I got A LOT of work done. August was a productive month, despite the outrageous heat. A few days I didn't leave the apartment all day, it was too hot.

The next place I move to must have AC. I'm American, I can't take the heat. Back in early July, I went to a dinner party with my friend G. His friend has a lovely terrace but no AC and not even a fan. I'm perplexed how she lives in Rome without a fan. While I was sweating like crazy, she looked cool as a cucumber. I don't get it.

This morning there was a crispness to the air as I jogged through Villa Pamphili Park. I'm so glad the hot weather of July and August is over.

I'm looking forward to Fall. I have no idea why but I'm feeling very positive about the rest of the year.

Are you excited for Fall?