A Good Blog

February 8, 2010

My husband writes a really good blog, full of inspiration.

Please take a moment to read.  http://www.davesweeklythought.blogspot.com/

Elvis

January 8, 2010

Today is Elvis’ birthday. He would have been 75. Dave is watching a program about The King downstairs and I realize that I quite enjoy his music. Listening to him makes me think of a few Mom/Elvis stories I would like to share. 

My mom has frequently reminisced about the time she saw Elvis perform live in Tahoe. She doesn’t share much, but the story has remained consistent. So here it goes: “I saw Elvis with my friend, we were teenagers, it was before he was fat and still good looking, old ladies threw their panties at him. I thought, Yuuuck!” 

My next Elvis memory is as follows: 

I swear by remembering the day Elvis died, but that was in 1977 and I  would have only been 2 years old. I have always said I have a good memory, but I think that’s pushing it. So, I think, I must have remembered an anniversary of his death, maybe at 3 or 4 years of age. Anyway, what I remember is the report on TV saying that Elvis died of an overdose, and I asked my mom what that meant. My mom’s response to me was “They found him with his head in the toilet.” So for years, and years and years, I have this vision: Elvis is his famous white bell bottom suit, face down in the toilet. I have since reminded my mom of this conversation, she laughed and then told me, “well his head wasn’t IN the toilet he was actually ON the toilet taking a dump”  Thanks for clearing that up, I think I should stick with my first vision, at least he is wearing pants.

You may  be thinking those sound like immature responses coming from a mom. Well, for the “head in the toliet” comment she could not have been older than 24, let’s think about some of the things we were doing when we were 24. She, unlike us, was raising a child and not prepared for the tough, real life questions of a toddler.  If Sam asked me what is an overdose, I would probaby freeze, fumble over my words,  redirect his attention by saying something like “look there’s a bird.” Hey, at least she answered me. As for the “Elvis concert” story, as I mentioned before, that story has never changed, so until my mom tells me otherwise, I will still think of old ladies going commando all in the name of Elvis.

The famous white suit

I did some research on the whole “15 minutes of fame” and I came upon this definition:  15 Minutes. I had no idea that Andy Warhol coined the phrase, hmmm, neat.

So I was thinking, when will it be my turn? Then I remembered something, I ALREADY had mine. I was 11 years old, a student at Montevideo Elementary school and  the only kid at my school taking drama classes at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. The year before, my parents took me to see A Christmas Carol and I remember seeing the kids on stage and telling my mom I wanted to do that. A month later I applied for the program and was admitted. I think I got in because I went to the audition dressed to perfection wearing a red winter coat with my hair in perfect curls, just like Shirley Temple.

The girl that interviewed before me was denied, so I felt the pressure when I went into my interview, but Gayle (I still remember her name) loved me and brought my parents in the room immediately to share the good news. I enrolled in several classes and less than a year later I was invited to audition for a Christmas Carol.

I had never been on an audition before and did not realize what a big deal it was to audition for ACT’s A Christmas Carol. The process was very much like you see in the movies. The first day there were LOTS of kids in the room, many of them already practicing lines. I was just hanging out with my parents, waiting to be called into the room.I won’t go in to all the details of the audition, but it lasted several days, each day being called back and each day less and less kids, until one day there were only about 20 of us.

I came home from school one afternoon and both my parents were home. My mom told me in the kitchen, “Well, you got a part!” I was so excited, this was my first real break, I was going to be a “Carol Kid”. I was cast as the role of Daughter of Christmas Past and Want. I didn’t have any lines which I thought was a real bummer. I really wanted to be Little Fan or the first Mexican Cratchit. I started rehearsals right away and by mid-November I was put on Independent Study and did not go back to school full time until January. This was totally professional. I did 10 shows a week, had a dresser and a make-up artist. My make-up for Daughter of Christmas Past was very whimsical and beautiful, after they applied the make-up, the artist would do the final touches which include a solid 10 second blast of spray paint glitter. I am fairly sure that product was not intended to be put on the skin, but it sure did look pretty. After I went on stage for the role of Daughter of Christmas Past, I had to rush back to make-up take it all off and then reapply make-up for the role of “Want”. I was supposed to look dirty, smelly and raggedy. They would just slather different shades of brown make-up all over my body, frizzed up my hair, and dressed me in rags.

In my role as Want, me and my partner, Ignorance, had to hide under the robe of the actor playing Ghost of Christmas Present and then “TADA”, there we were. We had to hide under there for a good 3 minutes, which would not have been soo bad, except my partner used to pinch the actor (on my side, so he thought I was doing it ) and he would also fart, A LOT. He was so gross. My partner had to wear the same type of make-up as I did and one day after a matinee instead of reporting to the chaperone, he went outside, down the street and begged for money. Why didn’t I think of that? Kidding. My parents always picked me up between every show and took me to lunch. I never had to hang out with chaperone.  It is truly one of my fondest childhood memories.

Every year we go and see a Christmas Carol, it would not feel like Holiday time without it. Up until a few years ago, they were using the same adaptation, same sets, songs and scripts from when I was in the 1986 show  The new version is also terrific and they have added some neat special effects. We are going to see it this weekend. I truly cannot wait until I can bring my own kids.

My life as an actor did not last too long. After a Christmas Carol I got an agent and went on several auditions. I got a few small parts in print ads, nothing huge. I really was not committed enough and thankfully my mother was the antithesis of a stage mom. One day I told her, I really like school, I don’t want to miss anymore school. She said “Fine”. Called my agent and that was it.

My 15 minutes is not exactly what I had in mind but I’ll take it. I even have an awesome supply of the headshots below. Please let me know if you would like one, I will gladly send it your way.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY HEADSHOT

It’s Been a While

November 11, 2009

I have been busy, busy,busy. Between work events, kid activities, appointments, researching swine flu vaccines pros and cons, I have no time for my blog. I have promised myself to write at least once  a week, for shits and giggles.

So before I go any further, you must all watch this: Subtle Sexuality.

The Office is one of my favorite shows and one of only two programs set in my DVR (the other is the Hills) I think the writing is fantastic and I know I am always going to get a good laugh.

After watching this webisode it made me think of the fun stuff me an my friends used to do when we were in our early 20’s. You see, we had LOTS of spare time and aside from working we did not have much going on. Soo, what did we do? Well….we did A LOT of lip syncing and skit production, of course, DUH. My favorite is Spice Girl night.

Here’s how it happened. We were watching some Spice Girls videos and we decided to play dress up and act out one of them out. Somewhere a tape exists of this night. This is such an example of what good girls we were.  While Paris, Miss California, Kim Khardasian, and all those other hoochies spent their teens and twenties making sexy time videos, me and my friends were still playing pretend.

Kristi was nominated choreographer, she was a cheerleader in high school, so that qualified her as expert dancer. She also played the role of Baby Spice, being that she was also the blonde of the group. I was scary Spice, you know because of the hair and complexion. Kelly was Posh because of her hotness, Katie was Ginger because of her boobs, and since Casey was out and about touring Europe or on a cruise ship or maybe even still in college, she was Sporty. She probably would have fought to be Posh, but since she was not around she didn’t get a vote. I know whenever we reminisce about this night, Casey is secretly pissed that she was cast as the plain girl. She does not appear in the video, we make a reference to Sporty,  saying she sustained a soccer injury and is recuperating. Our good friend Keith came over and he was the director, Gunther. (pronounced: Gooonther)

Kristi took her job as choreographer very seriously and while me an the other girls rummaged through Katie’s closet for our Spice Girl outfits, she watched the video over and over to get the steps just right. We practiced all night and had it down so well I think we convinced ourselves we were the Next Big Thing!

The next night, our guy friends came over to hang out. We of course, did not want them to know what we had been up to the night before, but one of them started watching the video. They were in awe (not in a good way) and laughing their asses off at us. We were confident and proud. Who knew there was soo much talent in one group of friends! They also told us that the Spice Girls were the best marketing gimmick out there, that any girl could identify with any member of the group, and that’s why they were so successful. As they continued their lecture in Marketing 101, I pretended to act like I cared, all the while I was humming the tune “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want”, thinking about our next skit and our new lives as superstars.

Fabulous

October 5, 2009

I stopped by my friend’s antique shop and I saw this:

P1060190

The first thing I thought when I saw it was “Wow, where can I put it?”. I mean if you are going to have a chandelier in your home, you might as well go for it. When people see it you don’t just want them to think “Nice Chandelier” you want them to think “Nice CHANDE- FUCKIN’- LIER”. Right?

I stood there mesmerized by all its crystally beauty. I admired it for a good 5 minutes because I knew this would be the last time I was ever going to see it, there was no way I could bring it home with me. Kinda like when you see a kitten or a puppy at one of the weekend animal rescues at the local mall. (SIGH)

That night I had trouble falling asleep and I starting thinking about the chandelier. I could not think of anybody off hand that could use it, even my friends who have the homes that exceed 3,000 square feet, I didn’t think this was really their style. I guess you have to have that certain something or as the french say: je-ne-sais-quoi to own a piece like that in your home. I mean you really have to be able to back that up. Then I thought of my Aunt Barbara. She radiates “FABULOSITY”. It’s true, ask any one that knows her. She is the only person I know that can wear a cocktail dress to work and get away with it just because it’s Tuesday. It would be fitting if whenever she walked into a room this chandelier was hovering directly above her. People wouldn’t even think twice. It would just go.

Every since I can remember everybody has always luuuved my Aunt Barbara. She had many admirers when she was in high school, she always got the fancy box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, a cousin on my dad’s side would make the drive from LA just to catch a glimpse of her, one time at an A’s game, the Sesame Street gang was promoting their ice show, they stopped by our seats and Ernie would not leave her side. When I was in high school some of my guy friends would stop to visit me just to she is she was home. She has been compared to many a movie star. My friend Katie thinks comparing Barbara to Catherine Zeta Jones is an insult to Barbara.

If we could flashback to the 1950’s, Barbara would be one of those ladies whose dance ticket was always full and men would line up to light her cigarettes and bring her martini’s. If we could flashback even further to…. let’s say….. the Civil War, Barbara would most definitely be Scarlett O’Hara.

So as I tried to fall asleep, I thought about how I could get this Chandelier to its one and only suitable owner … If anybody has any ideas let me know.

Dear Mr. President,

I was very excited to see your address to our nation’s youth. I think it is fantastic that we have a President who takes time from his busy schedule to speak to the children of the good ‘ol USA. However, I am very disappointed by the end result. Where was the brainwashing? Next time you should really follow through on your promises. My approval rating of you has now dropped .01 percent.  

 Better luck next time,

 Valerie

Our vacation this summer was to the Happiest Place on Earth. I have to admit I didn’t think it was going to be as fun as it was. Back in April when we were talking about summer vacay’s I had my mind set on an elaborate trip to Vegas, sans the children, to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. I had found some great deals and was really excited about going, but Dave was not that interested

I think of Vegas as a place to pamper yourself: go to the spa, sit by the pool, eat some good meals, purchase a designer handbag  or 2 if you win big, gamble your face off. Blackjack, roulette, slot machines….I love it!

Dave has enjoyed many a good time in Vegas but it was with his boyz and they were up to all types of shenanigans and tomfoolery and survived on 2 hours of sleep and a (ahem) “liquid diet”. So I have had a little trouble convincing him that “Vegas is your friend”

I noticed a promotion for Disneyland, buy 3 days get 2 for free (hotel and park entry), I mentioned it to Dave and he booked the trip that night. Wait…..what about Vegas? DENIED! Well it’s also Sam’s 4th Birthday, so I set aside my dreams of winning big money while drinking free Bloody Mary’s and I prepared myself for Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell and $20 light up toys that every parent hates to buy. I mean seriously we buy that junk at 8:00 at night when the kids are spent, and they should really be asleep. We want so desperately for them to see the parade and enjoy it that we will buy them anything they want. Even if , when you hand over your Jackson (Andrew Jackson, that it) you feel a little like you just took it in the “A”.  Talk about getting  worked! Those toys last approximately 4 hours before they break.

Wait, wait, I digress. We had a great time and at some point, I will post some highlights from my trip. Warning: Posts will be stereotypical “My kid is so cute”, go ahead and puke now. But hey, when you are at Disneyland those are exactly the memories you are there to make!

Peace