Tuesday, January 16, 2007

a new year, a new you

My last post was in August of 2006?! That's just sad. Quite unforgivable. And, to top it all off, it was a selfish plug for my lame YouTube trailer. I'm a low creature. My apologies.

Well, it's now 2007. And, as Bob Dylan would say, "The Times, They are A'Changin." That's right, kids. I've come out of my lowly valley and have emerged a new, more artistic individual. What sparked the resurgence, you may ask? Quite simply: ART. Doesn't art always have something to do with it? I know for me it does. Art is so powerful. And this weekend, I realized just how much of my life is defined by it: the way I REACT to art, the way I CREATE art, the way I DISCUSS art, and the way I FIND art in the world around me. Werd up, playa, werd up.

I spent the weekend (MLK weekend, nonetheless...coincidence? I think not! Ok, so there's no REAL tie in there, but MLK was striving for equality and that's kinda artistic, right? Ok, nevermind) --A-N-Y-W-A-Y-- I spent this weekend being very very super-dee-duper artsy-fartsy and, although I was incredibly busy, it was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Here's the lay of the land (get ready to get jealous of my AWESOME weekend...just warning you):

FRIDAY - Well, I started the day a little gas-y, which worried me. Sorry, I shouldn't start there. Let me skip ahead a little...Work ended up being a really busy day. And not just a busy day, but a busy Friday, which makes things worse - always. Scripts were coming in left and right and the office was really a-buzz. I ended up being at work with other assistants til almost 8:30 pm and then hopped in the car to head home. I returned some calls whilst cruising up Bev Glen to the hizzy. Plans for the night were still being worked out, but my options were shaping up nicely. I could 1) Stay home and be cozy. 2) Stay home and eat 3 popsicles while watching the free first season of BONES I snagged at work. 3) Stay home. or 4) Go to a Karaoke double birthday with friends. When weighing these options carefully, I opted for number 4, as to not appear like a loser and an anti-social nancy. Guys, I even carpooled to the b-day bash to make myself look like I had friends to arrive with! I know how to work this crap! The b-day was fun...er...well, it was nice to see everyone, but the singers were THE WORST SINGERS I HAVE EVER HEARD and it not only hurt by ears, but also my soul. I'm glad I went for the birthday girls but even more annoying than the lame songbirds was the idiot waitress. There was no cover to get in, but what we learned (almost immediately upon crossing the doorframe) was that there was a 2 drink minimum. This got me heated. What if I'm not thirsty? What if I don't want a bev? What if I'm the DD? And the waitress would NOT let you forget it was a 2 drink minimum. She followed each one of us around all night and kept asking "Are you ready for your next drink?" NO! I'm not. And when I am, I'll come find you. I broke down and ordered my first drink, which was a diet coke. It came in one of those thin, cylindrical glasses full of ice (so, only like 2 actual sips of the coke). For the rest of the night, I hid from this waitress. She went right, I went left. She was headed to me, I turned my back to her and casually tossed a hot wing in my mouth. Needless to say, this little game went on all night and was entertaining me, I must admit. And the end of the night, I managed to only buy the one drink. Victory, I thought, until I had to pay for the 2 sips of diet coke I DID order. "5.00, please." WHAT? That's highway robbery people. I was so steamed. BUT - I paid my 5 bones and peaced out. Honestly, I would have rather paid a cover and not been forced to engage in a cat and mouse game with that waitress all night. But, the Lord has a sense of humor. And that, my friends, I appreciate.

SATURDAY - Begin the day with a little Brainstorming and Starkbucks, that's what I always say. Today fit that bill. By 9 am I was already in Burbank standing in line at the Starbucks for my Chai Latte and Reduced fat cinnamon loaf. Both were equally tasty. After my bfast, I headed over to the LA LOVES home office for an emergency think tank for their STOP TRAFFICK campaign. Elkin, founder/producer, has a meeting on Monday with Lionsgate about their upcoming film TRADE and how we, LA LOVES, can partner up with their marketing department to raise awareness. Elkin, Deborah, Heidi, Dairek, Linda, and I sat around a table and put together a solid action plan for the meeting. We were extremely productive and the gathering got us all excited about our power to create change and make this happen. My main task, in addition to using my media contacts to help us, was to take all the information for the presentation packet for Lionsgate and graphically lay it out in an aesthetic way. I had to wait, however, until all the information was compiled. I would have to be working under the gun, most probably doing the majority of my work Sunday night - the night before the 9 am meeting on Monday. But, that's just how I roll. Under pressure like that. Waz up?

I had planned on having lunch with a friend form college who was in town but had to cancel on him because our meeting lasted way longer than expected. We rescheduled for bfast tomorrow morning. That should work out just fine. I finally made it back home at 3 pm, my brain still racing from our meeting of the minds. It was cold, but with my adrenaline pumping and my feeling of fatness, I made the executive decision to pack up my messenger bag and lap top, toss on my scarf and beanie, and hop on my 1974 purple Schwinn for a little afternoon ride, ending at Roman's where they have WI-FI and a BBQ Chicken Press Wrap that's to die for. I'm not gonna lie to you, about 10 minutes into an the ride, I was wondering if I had smoked something. I trudged on, peddling slow by steady, and finally arrived at Roman's. I whipped out the computer and got to work. I started searching online for any information I could find on the movie TRADE, as well as the Lifetime movie HUMAN TRAFFICKING. I wanted to try to get contact info for executives and filmmakers so that it would be easier for Elkin and Deborah to get in touch with the sources of these creations. I figured that they'd have to have had a reason for wanting to tell these stories. So do we! Let's talk it out! I spent way too much time at Roman's and had to hightail it out of there in a jiff, only to find out that it had dropped like 15 more degrees since being in the comforts of the restaurant. I was forced to hop back on the Schwinn and FREEZE my butt off as I zipped home. I felt like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in that scene in DUMB AND DUMBER where they are frozen to each other on the little scooter. I ran back inside and started getting toasty. I had to quickly hop in the shower because I had to meet someone for dinner @ 7 pm over the hill. Eeks! And, it was a boy.

Saturday night was a super-blast. Andrew and I went to dinner at a little Vietnamese restaurant downtown at 7:30. It was called BLOSSOM. I'd recommend it highly. And get the Ginger Limeade (hot or cold)...it'll clear out your sinuses like a nice Asian altoid. After dinner, we planned to hit up 2 downtown art shows: one hosted by the infamous BUMDOG, a "homeless" dude who loves Bob Dylan, making movies, art, and poetry and the other hosted by one of Andrew's friends, a show displaying all Austrian artists. We figured we'd double-dip in the art shows, hitting Bumbog's first then swing on by the loft and check out some sweet Austrian schnitzel. After dinner, we tried to locate the first of our two shows. We parked, got out onto the urine-smelling streets, and kept wandering around and around. Where was this silly show? I was holding my purse tight under my armpit and kept my eyes on the vagrants around me. We soon learned from a 5-0 that Bumdog's show had ben canceled at the last minute. Bummer. And, also at that moment, we were approached for the time by a dirty Hispanic street wanderer carrying a dead rat by the tail. Just a normal Saturday night in downtown LA. It was comforting. Alas, we headed on to our second art show of the night, this one promising to be indoors, away from the people drawing pictures in their own vomit on the sidewalk. That was at least a plus. The Austrian art show was really amazing. It was in this sweet loft under the 1st street bridge and it was very chill and relaxing. Andrew and I had some wine, mingled, and checked out the art. It all felt very adult, which was kinda cool (and kinda scary). One artist in particular really wowed me. She's only 23 and she's only been painting for 5 years professionally. She's amazing. Her name is Bianca Regl and you have to check her out. The amazing thing about her is that she works SUPER fast. Like 2 hours per painting. Wowzer. I met and spoke with her at length and she is very sweet and down to earth. She has just finished studying at UCLA and is headed back to Austria as we speak. She's been offered a gallery, a car, and a life as a professional artists. She's also going to be showing in Berlin, Germany as well. Good luck to you, Bianca! Being at this art show inspired me to paint more. I painted a lot when I was younger and stopped for some reason. I want to make a few pieces of art for my apartment and, after tonight, am confident that I can.

After the show, Andrew and I hung out at his place til like 4 am, drinking tea, looking at photographs, talking about film, and, toward the end, cuddling and kissing. There, I said it. It was fun, come on. Which leads me to...

SUNDAY - This day started BRIGHT AND EARLY. And, I might add, in a strange apartment. I had stayed the night at Andrew's place because 1) It was freezing. 2) I didn't want to drive to the valley @ 4 am. 3) My 9 am breakfast was right around the corner. and 4) I'm a girl and who doesn't like a little kissing and cuddling? (Totally innocent, my Christian friends. Do not judge. I'm a goodie). Anywho, at 9 am I had to bust out in the cold, wearing the same clothes I had worn the night before, and meet a friend and his friend who were in town for breakfast @ TOAST on 3rd Street. It was way to early to laugh but Brad and Jeremy certainly got me going. They are two of the funniest people I've met. It was so nice to visit and giggle over an egg burrito. We sat outside so we could comment on all the LA-ness that was going on around us. Being from the South, we found A LOT to laugh at. From the huge sunglasses being worn inside, to the cars bumping their base that pulled up curbside fpr bfast, it was definitely entertaining. After the meal, I bid them a fond farewell and headed home to the valley to shower (finally...I had mascara smeared everywhere...looked like a battered wife...ok, not appropriate). ANYWAY, I got all squeaky clean and then....NAPPED. So hardcore it's not even funny! As soon as my head hit that pillow I was OUT. I slept for a good while and was woken, a few hours later, by the sound of my friend, Dairek, rapping on my window. "EMOSS...EMOSS, i know you're there. Open the door." Ugh. Nap over. Dairek came in and he and CC and I pow-wowed on my bed. We started talking about kissing, for some reason. Maybe because I was sharing my story from the night before. We started talking about what separates a bad kisser from a good one. CC and I immediately started rattling off signs, while Dairek just listened. We were throwing out the following terms: "Firm, yet gentle" "Knows what he's doing, confident" "Slow and thoughtful" "Deliberate moves" Dairek was like "Girls really pay attention to that? Guys are just thinking about sex at that point." (Dairek here speaking about "most" guys). We responded, "Oh, yeah. Kissing can be a deal breaker for a girl. Girls talk about bad kisser their friends. You guys need to know that." Men: take note - kissing matters. Practice. Just then, our friend, Heidi came over and we continued the conversation. She agreed with us. As we laughed and joked, Dairek and I realized that time was slipping away. Crap. We have to work on the LA LOVES presentation. The meeting is at 9 am tomorrow morning! Playtime was over. We jetted out of the house, headed back to Roman's, and pounded it out for, like, 3 hours, plus an additional 4 hours at my house. We worked on the presentation from 7:00 pm to 2:00 the next morning. Phew. 7 pages of graphically layed out info and research ready to go. Now, all I have to do is email them to Elkin so she could print everything. Almost done. I climb in my bed, cozy up, and go to email the pics when...CRAPOLAFRAGILISTIC. The internet is down. It's 2:30 am. I'm sooooooo tired. No sleep the night before and, looking like, no sleep tonight. Humph. All I can force myself to do is pray that the internet will come back on and set my alarm for 6:30 am (that's 4 hours later) to get up, check, and try to resend. AMEN.

MONDAY - (MLK 2007!) 6:34 am - Yeah, so, it's not working. Elkin's meeting is in like 2.5 hours. Crap. I quickly burn a CD, thinking that I'm going to have to drive them over to her house (over the hill). In one last Hail Mary attempt I text message my 3 guy friends who have a house close to mine just HOPING that one of them is a light sleeper. Please don't be drunk...please don't be drunk. And suddenly, as if from the Lord (ok, it was from the Lord), Rob (aka Cousin Eddie) comes through. TEXT: "Yeah...sure. Come over. Door is open." SAVED. I hop in my car wearing my Hush Puppy slippers (so cold outside) and head to their house. I sent all 7 pics and was finished by 7:45 am. PHEW. Seriously, JUST enough time for her to print. I hugged Eddie with all my might and headed home, well first to Starkbucks, and the home. I did a little light reading on a book called RIGHTEOUS (PLEASE READ..whole other blog story entirely) and then fell back asleep til 12:30 pm.

When I came to, I figured I needed to be with friends so I gathered some food, went to my friend's house and hung out for a while before going to see a movie. At their house, we discussed French filmmaking, particularly Godard, as we watched the apartment scene from his film CONTEMPT. It's a great scene. So layered, so textured. The shots are so thoughtful and symbolic and Godard was not afraid to let a moment breathe. He let you be IN the moment, feel the moment. He was also not afraid to stay wide, which is rare these days. We talked about shooting a scene as an homage to this kind of filmmaking. It was a great discussion about art amongst friends. We ended the evening by seeing PAN'S LABYRINTH by Guilleromo Del Toro. Wow. Go see this film. It's one of the most interesting and visually captivating films I've seen in a while. More so than that, it's an adult fairly tale, complete with gore and adult themes, but contrasted with fairies, a young child heroine, and a talking faun. What else do you want in a movie? This film made me realize that you can still be extremely imaginative in the adult realm and be successful. It was very refreshing. We all rode home discussing the film, its themes, the emotions it evoked. Again, very fulfilling conversation.

We ended the night watching the entertainment industry hand out Golden Globes to those who had made an impression in the past year in the biz. I was really excited for Forest Whitaker, who gave one of my favorite performances of the year in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND as Ugandan leader Idi Amin. Very powerful, both the movie and his performance. I recommend it. I was also excited for director Martin Scorsese for his win for THE DEPARTED. Another great film. I was just excited to see him win, after having made such a long and lasting impression on this industry. To see that he's still going strong was inspiring. Got me jazzed about my future and the longevity and staying-power I want to have in this business.

Well, that's about that. Are you jealous of my weekend? It was flippin sweet. I hope to have many more like it this year. No more wasting my precious time. I plan on using my time to do things that make me happy and mean something to me. That's what life's really about: doing things that make you happy. (and things that are pleasing to the Lord :) Once again, AMEN.


Anton said...

Oh my goodness, I miss you.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

that's awesome, emily!

i've missed your blogging. i had actually given up on you coming back, but here you are :) so exciting! and somehow i can't seem to beat anton to finding you and leaving you a message... somehow i keep landing on the heels of his hello

oh well... i'm glad to see you back in blog-land. keep it up ;)

Anton said...

Ok, time for another...