Monday, 31 March 2008


Sometimes the simplest things are beautiful. Light, reflection, imperfection, the chance meeting of these things.

I guess I'm feeling all mystical today, which is nice. When good moods arrive out of the blue, meaning there is not some sort of "occasion" to feel good, it takes me quite by surprise.  God, I want them to last, but they are like birds or blossoming trees.  They do their thing and then shove off. No matter, they'll come again.  See, I'm all mystical. Maybe it's because I just meditated and it was a good one, not one of those ones where I get to sit there watching my mind ping-pong from to-do lists, old conversations, imagined future conversations and more to-do lists. I like it when I'm like this, but somehow I feel its so soppy. Like not funny, and I feel so much pressure to be funny on my blog. Whatever. It's not like I have a huge fan base.  But the readers I do have are pretty cool: Hi Lee, Hi Lisa, Hi Karyn.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


The wind does not sweep down the plain so much as blast. However I have been taking comfort in finding the little nooks and crannies that make this humble city cool, despite my strong dislike of wind and heat (which has yet to come but I am assured will be stifling). My guide is a native of OKC. We met randomly in a coffee house called The Red Cup, where there is live music every night of the week. My guide is a regular performer there. We have entered into wonderful barter: his recently deceased grandmother (no he's not giving me dead bodies) owned and operated an amazing vintage clothing store that has basically sat still for the last four or five years as her health deteriorated. I know, really sad. All those clothes and no one to wear them. Long, short, I was taken there on Saturday by my new best friend and given run of the place for about 2 or 3 hours. Not sure how long as time seemed to stand still. I filled up a large garbage bag (bin liner) of stuff, cool vintage stuff, I mean really cool vintage stuff that you can't find in thrift stores any more and have to pay over the top prices for in vintage boo-teeks, I'm talking primo goods mostly from the 30's, 4o's and 50's. Genius. But more on that later. So the exchange is a whole new wardrobe for me and a music video for him, which I will shoot and edit etc... I'm sure he has in mind to roll around on a beach with Helena Christensen. But I'm not sure she would be available on such short notice. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, or rather Rogers & Hammerstein mentioned much earlier, there are plains here. But no beaches.

Yet, if I could persuade HC to zip over to OKC and create a beach in the erstwhile Great Dustbowl I bet I could get at least another couple of bags of stuff. If anyone has a number for HC, do let me know and I'll give you a Gloria Swanson style silk peignoir!

In the meantime, I am fully ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Intelligent Speech

I must be the last one on the block to have discovered podcasting.  I always think these things are going to be much more of a challenge than they are. iTunes makes it so easy, I just click a button. Who knew? My iPod is now replete with daily content from Radio 4. I love Radio 4.  Their tagline is "Intelligent Speech" and NO ONE YELLS on any of their shows, except I think I may have heard Graham Norton hoot once. I realize that typing in all caps is the equivalent of yelling; have I been infected? Is there an antidote? Is it chronic?Even the debates show lovely English Restraint. Voices become a bit terse. BUT NO ONE YELLS! I am living in a place where people leave the TV on Fox News practically 24/7. The "break room" where I am temping has a big flat screen TV, that is supposed to be some kind of reward or perk for us workers. The TV is alternately on Fox News or some reality court show where a lot of yelling goes on. Feels more like punishment. Even the news moderators have a disconcerting cadence to their reports that seem to tell me how to feel about the news.  Isn't that my job?

Okay, I sort of see that I am being a bit complain-y.  I will endeavor to be more positive and upbeat.  I am actually preparing a really cool blog on a vintage clothing safari that I recently went on.  With oodles of pictures.

In the meantime if you would like intelligent speech visit:

Monday, 24 March 2008

Buy 1 Get 1 Free


If you are a Roman this deal is for you.  Hurry while it lasts.

Okay, I may have offended some of you, many of you, in fact,  but I just couldn't pass up an opportunity like this.

Let me say that I truly respect all faiths and I do love what Jesus stands for.  Beautiful teachings that are meaningful and universal.  But I find myself asking the question, WWJD? Somehow, I don't think this is what He had in mind.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Vive La France

"You need to dress for your own age," said an unsolicited voice.

"Well how old do you think I am?",  I replied.  

An age was surmised to which I triumphantly replied: "Ha, I'm actually 6 years older! What do you think of me now?"

Here is what I am wearing: skinny jeans, a teal American Apparel t-shirt, a vintage Tyrolean blazer (I have the matching skirt) a vintage cream belt, a wool shally scarf that my Mom wore in the 80's by Echo, and a pair of sparkly silver Converse One-Stars from Tarzhey.  (For more on my Vintage Tyrolean Blazer please watch the video on the right, called Weird Plankton.)

Now I need to point out that the entirety of this conversation took place inside my head.  It did not get there on its own.  It was planted by those infuriating spreads in magazines entitled "Dressing for Your Age." with visual pigeon holes that you are presumably supposed to shoe-horn yourself into depending on what decade block you happen to be cruising through, eg 20's, 30's 40's and 50's.  What will I do when I am in my 60's. No box is offered for that decade. Do they expect me to go naked? Maybe they assume that I won't take any interest in my appearance when I'm 60. 
They would not try and pull that shit in France, whoever "they" are.  The women in France would beget a riot of soixante-huit-ean proportions (I am so cultured and cosmo, don't "They" know I can make my own wardrobe decisions?  I can misspell en deux langues, that's two languages to you, you not so cosmo Cosmopolitan Magazine editors.)

The Feminine in France is revered and celebrated throughout its trajectory. When I was at the wedding of my French friend Astrid in 2005 I noticed many woman d'un certain age in backless, sleeveless ensembles with rather daring decolletages.  And flirting with and being flirted at by men of all ages.  These ladies bathe in their femininity, and the blokes queue up in breathless anticipation of kissing their hands. That is what I am aiming for. To feel delight in how I look at any age and to celebrate and package myself in my own way, flappy skin and an all.  Most French women don't go in for plastic surgery; they don't have to because in France just having tits is considered fabulous enough. 
Funny that this conversation never took place when I was living in London. I refuse to conform to some arbitrary notion of how I should dress, even if that conversation started in my head. But I've seen the disapproving looks.
And yes, I am wearing THESE shoes with THOSE tights.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Showbiz Suburbia

Here is a brief outline of My Life In Show Business:
about a year and a half ago I wrote a sitcom, or the beginnings of a sitcom.  It was more of an idea on a couple of sheets of paper.  By June of 2006 I had an Oscar winning producer who loved the idea and started helping me develop the script.  By the end of the summer the first draft of the script was finished, but so were my funds.  I returned to the good old USA to make some more money and to film a pilot demo.  By January 2007 I was back in London and had meeting with the producer who liked the pilot demo. In fact she said she was surprised and delighted at how well it turned out. She then set up a meeting with a director.  In February me and the director met up at The Metropolitan in Westbourn Grove.  It was a sort of professional blind date.  You show me yours, I'll show you mine.  The director liked what he saw and wanted to direct the show, with the caveat that he did the casting. (I had hoped that I could play the lead character up to that point, but really, I have no acting experience, unless you count a lifetime of "acting as if" as experience, which does not really translate well on a resume.)  I then reworked the script and the delighted producer said she wanted me to be lead writer, so far she had me earmarked as creator.  Encouraged and now myself delighted I contacted a BAFTA (US equivalent of Emmy) winning writer who also loved the script and the pilot demo and wanted to be involved.  Next thing I know I am out of money again. Big Time. Then the director got a sweet gig on a mini-series with big name stars and was out of the loop for a while.  The producer cut me loose and I ended up back in the States wondering what happened to my dreams.  My friends in the business said this was par for the course.  But I just assumed that things would go like this:

1. Write script
2. Get 2 time Academy Award winning producer
3. Get director
4. Get BAFTA Award winning co-writer
5. Make TV show
6. Get famous
7. Field offers from Hollywood and the Beeb
8. Count money
9. Go to Cannes
10. Get free stuff


So I got to step four.  Only 6 more steps to go. Or do I have to star over?

I have started over in a way.  I am now working on a third draft of the script with the help of a seasoned Hollywood writer/producer who is the big sister of a childhood friend. She is mentoring me and helping me restructure the story.  As a friend. Which feels pretty good. No promises, no pressure.  Just goodwill. She says I have "a talent that cannot be learned or bought." It's enough to keep me going. More than enough, really.

Clearly I am not ready for The Big Time, but I am doing my creative press-ups to get in maximum mental and creative shape.   I feel like I am training for the Hollywood Olympics, and I'm going for gold.

Meanwhile I have a friggin' day job and have to get up at 4:30am so that I can write.  But that makes me like Nadia Comaneci, but without the specter of being bitch-slapped by the USS of R if I take the silver.  But not so fast.  I am stuck in Oklahoma City so that is my personal specter. Hooray for OKC. I am writing for my life.

If I have made to the suburbs of show business, Downtown can't be far away. Sure there will be traffic jams, a bit of gridlock, toll bridges to cross before I reach the Manhattan of my dreams.

Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

Friday, 14 March 2008

I Am Sophistihickated

"I could really eat some brisket," said my friend Connie.
Now that is not a comment you hear just anywhere.  It is most often heard in the Southern States of the US of A. Oklahoma is in the Southwest, but it has a bit of a Southern twang about it. Part cowboy, part mid-west.  It's hard to explain unless you are here.

Brisket, for my UK audience is a skirt steak that is slowly roasted.  Slowly because this particular cut of beef is very stringy and chewy if not cooked slowly over a period of at least a day.  My mom uses Liquid Smoke to give it a sort of hickory flavor.  Others use the mesquite version.  Mostly Texans, though.  When cooked properly brisket melts in your mouth and is super tender.  It is, what I call a "hick" food.  But just because you eat or even like brisket does not make you a hick.  But it does perhaps point to one's hickey roots, as in the case of my family.  We are about 2-3 generations away from hick.  (My paternal great-grandfather was a cowboy and his wife was at one time the Sheriff of Johnson County, Wyoming while the men-folk were off fighting Indians in the Powder River War.) We are now mostly edumacated people.  

As for Connie, I don't know about her hick lineage.  She may be the granddaughter of the lost Tatiana for all I know. She has a couple of higher education degrees, has in fact just received a half million dollar grant, which she penned herself to create housing for HIV+ people.  Hicks usually don't like "queers" although some queers like brisket, but they might choose to call brisket "pot au feu." 

And then there is the whole Jewish side of the brisket.  They are not hicks.  I think Judaism, by its very nature precludes hickieness.  Yet I have met some pretty hickey Jews in Texas.

So what does that make us, those descendants of hicks who are all lettered up?  I believe it makes us sophistihicks.  We are sophitihickcated.


Try as I might, I can't seem to get the  next video to compress properly.  I have tried all sorts of combinations.  Things like big endians and little endians. MPGs, dot mov's. I am awash in a sea of undecipherable acronyms. The first one, to the right, Weird Plankton was sort of a tease.  Like free dope from a drug dealer to get me hooked.  Now I'm having to pay.

I'm not sure I like the shift in the balance of power.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

That's So Ironical

If I hear the misuse of this word one more time I think I'm going to scream. In the past I took umbrage when British people said that Americans don't understand irony. But now I am in complete agreement.  My mistake was in taking it personally and not recognizing that I am one of the exceptions to that generalization. 

It does not mean: funny, coincidental, surprising, although it may contain those elements.  And using the word incorrectly defeats the purpose of trying to make yourself sound smarterer.

*please note that this image is in no way related to the subject of this post.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Overshooting The Mark

Or maybe overachievement? I'm not really sure.

Anyhow, when I discovered this small 20th Century Oasis I thought: "life is full of surprises." I must have been in a good mood, because normally an unexpected burst of water directed at my face elicits a different response from me, to wit: "motherfucker" or something comparable that demonstrates my good breeding.

Speaking of surprises, I just had another one: about 4 years ago I got a letter from the Internal Revenue Service requesting that I pay them $53K. I did what any normal person would do, I stuck the envelope in the drawer and got on with LIFE! Eventually the persistence of memory was just too loud to be ignored and my head was feeling like Daliwood.

I decided I would try and do what grown-ups do, now that I am recognizing that I am one, and have been one for a while now, and the long and short of it is that I only owe the IRS   $4k and change. I could have kissed my accountant. But she is a grown up girl, what I believe is know as a  woman. She would never put an envelope like that in the drawer. I feel like I deserve some sort of award for being responsible. And I guess I got it. Thanks Sam.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Lisa's Hair Chalet

This remindes me that I need to get a hair cut. I don't feel reassured by the fact that this establishment has my name. And its not a chalet. It's a shop front on Main Steet in suburban Oklahoma City. Which is not Switzerland.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The Stockholm Syndrome

Day 235 of my captivity. Oklahoma City is my captor, and I am beginning to like being here. Somewhat. Life here is slow, I don’t have to be cool, in fact I am the coolest person I know here. But that's probably because I don't get out much. Yet, I am queen of cool. I don’t like that. There is no one to immitate or emmulate. I don’t want to get used to this, but for now it's perfect. The people are nice. I have a new job resizing photographs for a 1000 page catalogue of electronic components. Everything from speakers to little flibdob thingys. I create paths around each object delete the background and convert the images to eps files and CMYK color. If I were still in London I would have written colour. I miss London. I admit I am lonely here.

But Back to The Stockhom Syndrome. I was thinking about having a macchiato. A decaf macchiato. Has coffee become a sort of captor if I am having decaf? I wonder. I did not like coffee when I first tried it. It was bitter and made me buzzy. But now I have found decaf. And I look forward to its company. Whether I am in London or Oklahoma City I seek out Starbucks and order decaf.