Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rose is displeased. What to do?

So... I couldn't resist. We didn't use all of the footage from when Val came out to visit over Labor Day. I put some more together and I would really like to consider this a study in Valerie's facial expressions... especially her eyes when it comes to her displeasure. Keep an eye out for them. The eyes have it. That's how she rolls... (stopping now.)

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Live Blogging the EMMYS! (One Week Later.)

The Emmys this year were absolutely fantastic. Definitely the best I've ever seen the show. I jotted down my thoughts and impressions while watching last Sunday night, and am only just now getting around to posting them in a blog. So this isn't the most timely of blog entries, but I know you're dying to hear my thoughts anyway! Without any further adieu...

  • Neil Patrick Harris's opening number was incredible!!! Didn't see it? Don't worry, I've got you covered:

  • Whoever had the idea for an interesting commentator? One who does not simply droll on about how this is So-and-So's first nomination, or What's-Her-Face's second Emmy? Is a genius. John Hodgman is killing it.
  • Kristin Chenoweth had me simultaneously laughing and crying during her acceptance speech. I lurve her.
  • Supporting actress glasses- inspired. Those ladies are awesome. Strange, though, that Jane Krakowski seemed to be embarassed by the whole thing. Very odd. Kristen Wiig is hilarious, though, and Vanessa Williams = completely fierce.

  • Aww, Alec Baldwin dedicated his Emmy to Lorne Michaels! Sweetness.
  • Neil Patrick Harris should have a permanent job hosting the Emmys. He is absolutely amazing.
  • Whoa! Was that Andy Serkis? That was Andy Serkis! I KNOW that was Andy Serkis. I can spot any Lord of the Rings castmember a mile away. That was Andy Serkis.
  • I love Shoreh Aghdashlo. I haven't seen her in many things, but I love her. Her voice fascinates me. I want her to read me stories about fairies and princesses before I fall asleep.
  • Oooh! Look, it's Ian McKellan! See? LOTR-dar! Told you.
  • Dude! That Jim Parsons is a dream boat! Where have I been?
  • JIMMY FALLON!!! Not meeting and marrying him before he got married remains one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

  • Bravo to the creative team that completely revitalized the show. Every choice they've made thus far has been spot on.
  • That Variety package was amazing. Again, again!
  • The obscure IMDb finds for the presenters ("Night of the Lawyers?" "The Girl with the Crazy Brother?") are pure gold.
  • Ricky Gervais is absolutely brilliant. And that look that he and Tom Hanks shared?? Highlight of my life.

  • John Hodgeman just said that this was the Daily Show's 900th Emmy win. Hilar.
  • MICHAEL EMERSON just won for LOST! YEAH!!! What a super classy speech, y'all. Class. Y.
  • The live song over the "In Memorium" clips didn't work for the Oscars, and it doesn't work here.
  • Neil Patrick Harris. Seriously. He's just-- awesome.
  • Show's over! Time to watch it all over again....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Way back when.

When I was a kid I used to walk around and try to act like Sandy from Grease. I dressed in a pair of my mom’s wooden wedge heals that were the navy version of the exact shoes she wears at the end of the movie. I added black spandex pants and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader jacket and I was set to walk down the hall, throw down a Barbie shoe (in place of a cigarette, of course) and quip, “Tell me about it, stud.”

I invited a handful of girls over for my second grade birthday party to spend the night. We watched Grease. It was one of those awesome moments for my mom when she realized that she didn’t quite remember how mature Grease actually was. I think the piece d’ resistance was when a girl piped up later “I know what sex is.” Can’t you just picture my mom’s eyes bugging out from her head? I know I can.

When we were kids Val and I used to play library and grocery store a lot. For a long time I thought I wanted to get my masters in library science. I think I really just liked those stickers on the backs of the books in the 90’s – the one with the due dates. I would have given my right arm to get to have one of those little contraptions that dispersed the stickers.

Included in our repertoire of fun things to play was the game, Land Before Time. One of us would be Littlefoot and the other would be Cera… and we would butt heads. As in be on all fours and go towards each other from opposite sides of the room. I would pay money to watch that now, but that is not one of the moments captured on our home movies. We do, however, have a home movie of Valerie and I singing, "dancing", and over acting where Val is wearing a pink leotard with Land Before Time characters on the front. This almost makes up for it.

I’ve spent the last ten years dispelling the belief of my parent’s that I was really just a great kid. I was a good kid, just very sneaky. I didn’t do anything illegal, but I just did a lot of lying. I would hide my vitamins behind the TV, shove my carrots in the floor of the playhouse, and drink cokes (which was totally against the rules about 50 weeks out of the year) and then put the empty cans in special hiding places. Why those hiding places did not involve the trashcan I’m not certain. My mom would leave for the grocery store and give us firm instructions on how to use our time. Usually it involved cleaning our rooms, working on homework, or practicing an instrument. We would instead, watch TV. As soon as we heard that garage door open we would bolt around the house looking very busy and very determined to accomplish our tasks. I was a whiz at setting the timer with only 7 or 8 minutes left to practice my piano when she arrived. “Look at me, I’ve been practicing SO hard for 38 minutes.”

With three kids needing to practice multiple instruments throughout the day, we had to resort to practicing at odd times. There was a large chunk of my life where I practiced the piano at 6:15am on the weekdays. I can’t even speak to people before 8:00am, so you can imagine how much I loved that. I figured out a way to practice AND sleep during that time. We had a full keyboard next to one of our pianos (some dads buy cars, my dad likes pianos), and I would record myself running scales, practicing one song, or working on chords, and then I would simply play my work on loop for about half an hour while I laid on the bench. My mom once caught me laying on the bench and playing scales with just my right hand. That went over really well.

All three of us kids have thrown up at the kitchen table. All three of us have thrown up green beans at the kitchen table. Eventually they stopped putting them on our plates. Good move.

I want to try to do some version of all of these things tomorrow, just for fun. Maybe not the green beans, but we’ll see. So, rebellious child you, what did you try to pull on your folks? Do tell.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inside the Actor's Studio

The other night I found myself watching one of my favorite shows, “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” The guests were four members of the cast of “Family Guy,” and it was a pretty entertaining hour. The actors cracked a ton of jokes and did incredible impressions and did a great job keeping me laughing.

Finally, host James Lipton came to the portion of the program where he asks his guests a series of ten questions, such as “What is your favorite sound?” It's a part of the show that I always look forward to, as the guests tend to give their answers in rapid fire and seem to be feeling particularly open and honest by this point.

The last question in the series is always, “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?” The answers usually range from the sweet (Peter Boyle: “Welcome home”) to the humorous (Conan O’Brien: “Conan, how did you do it?”).

I was very interested to hear what the “Family Guy” cast would have to say in response, but wasn’t quite prepared for show creator Seth MacFarlane’s answer to catch me off guard.

James Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?”
Seth MacFarlane: I’m really sorry about all my followers.

There was an awkward silence, and then just tepid, nervous laughter. Seth smiled broadly and chuckled, and then Lipton moved on to another actor. But my own smile at home faltered, and I've been thinking about his answer ever since.

Packs a bit of a punch, doesn’t it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Never Being Alone

Arthur: Jenny, do you ever wish you’d never been born a queen?

Guenevere: Oh, occasionally. It’s never being alone that bothers me most. Do you know that I’ve never been without someone around me in my entire life? - from Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner

For the last 2 months I have entered into new uncharted lands of community. Obviously the show gave me some great opportunities to connect with new friends. Just a few weeks ago I jumped into the Youth Department at church and I’m now leading a Sr. High Small group on Wednesday nights, as well as my previous group from a local high school that meets on Tuesday nights. I started to dread the closing of the show, the return to the cycle of work and working out, when I realized that I can’t and won’t go back from here. As much as I enjoy my alone time, I’ve loved filling my life to the brim with people. No matter how ridiculous they may be, I have so enjoyed digging in and building relationships.

The next few months are brimming with possibility. I was texting with a friend tonight about the close of the show:

“Just finished cleaning up the theatre and eating with the cast. Done and Done! Can’t believe I just did that… the show, that is.”

“Perhaps there will be more to come?”

“I think so! Either another show or taking on the world… one of those!”


Yes, why not both?

*Photo by Arthur J. Zatarski

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things Sisters Do

Ginger and I have been having a grand old time here in Arizona, and luckily for YOU, we have been taking videos of all the fun-having that has been going on. Considering the two of us can make each other laugh more than anyone else, we have far more footage than you would EVER want to see that WE find hilarious, but you? Not so much.

Fortunately we whittled the fun down to just one video for your enjoyment, so without further adieu, BAM! G and V in action:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Before I Fly

I have spent the entirety of my evening laundrying and librarying and now I need to be PACKING but that comes naturally after BLOGGING. But this will be short, because… well, the packing! It needs to be done!

Packing, Val? Yes, PACKING, virtual blogging world, who now thinks I’m crazy for essentially talking to myself. Packing because I’m hitting the road tomorrow to Houston so I can catch a flight on Friday morning out to the Valley of the Sun, where you just didn’t think it could get any hotter but OH YES, it just did: PHOENIX! Ginger and I will be having ourselves a good old “Love Actually”-style reunion at the airport, I am sure. (Except with less cheek-kissing and more sidehugging.)

So Joey and I were recently discussing which celebrities we would hang out with if we could. Our “posses,” if you will. In Joey’s words, “The two main criteria in choosing your celebrity posse are: (a) you think you could be real friends and (b) all the members of your posse should be able to get along with each other.” I’m woefully late in posting my choices, but here they are nonetheless:

Kristen Bell
: She is hilarious in real life and just very spunky and quick-witted and all around awesome. Check out this video of her and Piz (aka Chris Lowell) “interviewing” each other and just generally being really down-to-earth and again, hilarious.

Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd: Because they just go together. They are a set. Billy and Dom are completely clever and hysterical, and they are just about my favorite thing about the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Watching them in the behind-the-scenes footage and listening to them on the movie commentary really just… makes my life. I mean really:

Plus, Billy and I share the same birthday! We'd just be all flying around the world, having more champagne, because it'd be the 28th again.

Jimmy Fallon: Again with the hilarity. But I just can’t help it! He makes me absolutely giggle, and also seems really just…normal. His impressions are genius and I just find him to be all around wonderful.

This posse would go really well together, because everyone would just be cracking everybody else up, but without being all “stand up” about it. It’d just be all natural and chill, with the occasional Jimmy Stewart impression from Jimmy or prank call from Dom. You just can’t beat it.

And hey- don't go thinking I just picked my favorites actors and actresses and called it a posse! Respect the sanctity of my thought process, people. I mean, do you see Kate Winslet or Rachel McAdams or Ryan Reynolds or Lauren Graham or John Kraskinski up there? No. They didn't flow with my posse. But also: Krasinski just got engaged and I'm still a little miffed with him, so no way does that kid get to roll with us.

Okay, well I guess that’s about it, then! I need to keep moving or I will never get all my little three-ounce bottles into a clear plastic Ziploc.

I now leave you with my very own GUEST BLOG that I was so flattered to be asked to contribute to Katie while she is away in Europe. I wrote up a little something-something about Veronica Mars, so if you get a minute, I’d be honored if you’d head over to read it! Just trying to spread the V. Mars love around!

Veronica: If I ever die, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world that I loved kittens.