Friday, April 18, 2008

'My Interview With Alicia Witt', or 'Why I Cringe At The Sound Of My Voice'

alicia-witt-miss-pasternak-two-and-a-half-menThe spring issue of Genlux magazine is on the newsstands, and my interview with Alicia Witt (88 Minutes) is the cover story. Which is exciting because the photos are beautiful, but honestly, my interview pales in comparison. (Although, in my defense they did change a word here and there.) And holy crap - my byline is like 90-point type, so there's no pretending I didn't do it.

Why is it that sometimes seeing your own words in print is as painful as hearing your own voice on tape? There you are, thinking you sound like Lauren Bacall or Angelina Jolie, but instead what comes back at you from that speaker sounds like Fran Drescher being strangled. While gargling. Inside a tin can.

For some reason I'm thinking everyone reading this interview is going to picture me as a three-foot-tall, pear-shaped housewife wearing mom-jeans and a newsboy cap.

Which, for the record, I'm not. I'm wearing a fedora.

(Click here to read text. You know, only if you want to.)

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Look Who's Talking

Awhile ago I told you we had gotten a new cat, Milkshake. Isn't he cute? We love him to death, but problem is sometimes he does bad things, things that make me threaten to make him live in the garage, or put on that humiliating, pink furry cat sweater I bought him as a joke.

Thank goodness I took that Cat Whispering class! Best five-grand I ever spent, even though it was being given by a guy who called himself 'PussyLuvr' who lived with a bunch of other middle-aged guys in a trailer. Because without his help I never would have been able to figure out what Milkshake was trying to tell me. Just look at some of the things he's said to me in the past week:

"I left you a present in your shower! I know it smells, but I MADE IT MYSELF."


"Of course I appreciate the fact that you saved me from the shelter. That's why I'm scratching the shit out of your leather couch."

"Uh, please stop trying to pull your jacket out from under me WHEN I'M TRYING TO SLEEP."

"I love you."

"I hate you."

"I WILL sleep on your stomach, bitch."

"I hope somebody feeds you 'Lamb and Rice' everyday and for every meal in your next life."

"Help! That tinfoil ball is totally trying to kill me."

"I'll stop attacking your arm when it stops looking like a big piece of tuna."

"Hey, you think YOUR poop smells like raindrops and daisies?"

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

I don't believe in dreams as prophecy, but I do think they can say a lot about the person having them. For instance, maybe they can tell us the difference between someone who is worried about school and her academic future, and someone whose biggest concern is getting jacked at McDonalds.

Kira: I had the worst nightmare last night! We had the mean substitute, Mr. D, and I had forgotten to do all of my homework. He started yelling at me and then started sending me really mean emails! It was awful!

Kiyomi: Omigod! I had an even worser nightmare! I dreamed that I got a Happy Meal and when I opened it there was only one chicken McNugget instead of six! I was freaking out!

I tend to think the McNugget dream really is scarier, but that's probably because I'm on a diet and have only had a whole-wheat cracker and a grape today.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Surreal Life: I Had Lunch With Jessica Alba Today

I spent five hours at Kira's middle school today. It was their Open House, and for two hours before classroom visits they had a World's Fair with food booths, games, jugglers and live music. I had volunteered to set up and work the PTA bake sale, so there I was in our makeshift booth made out of lunch benches, with my frosting-smeared shirt and plastic gloves hustling brownies and cupcakes for three-hours to hoards of adolescents and their parents.

But before that? I had lunch with Jessica Alba.

Slightly more exciting than selling baked goods to middle schoolers, but equally nerve wracking.

I had been asked to interview her by Genlux magazine, who had me previously interview Hayden Panettierre and recently Alicia Witt. No problem! These phone interviews had been relatively easy, chatting for forty-five-minutes about Versace and celebrity beauty secrets while I sat in my office clad in faded sweatpants and my torn Gap t-shirt, the phone receiver nestled comfortably in my unbrushed hair.

But then I was told that this one had to be in person, that I would be sitting down, one-on-one and face-to-face with Jessica Alba, she of the perfect Revlon skin and the Maxim's Hot 100 List. Did they know who I was? Were they aware that I often ventured out in public in my pajamas? My first reaction was to try and get out of doing it altogether, but halfway through my story I could tell they weren't buying my "mysterious ailment that prevented me from leaving the house" and they really got suspicious when I got to the part about my ten-pound goiter.

To make matters worse, the lunch would take place in a trendy restaurant on one of the hippest streets in L.A. Why, this is the block where some of the biggest celebrities have crashed their cars and had public meltdowns that led to immediate trips to rehab. So much pressure! I felt like I would be expected to charge up in my minivan, run over the valet and fall out into the street while simultaneously flashing my panties and chugging from a quart bottle of Vodka.

(To prove what a serious journalist I am, I'll have you know I prepared extensively for the interview. And by 'prepared' I mean getting a manicure and going to the mall to buy a killer top and a new jacket.)

But in spite of all my nervousness and worries, it went surprisingly well. While somewhat guarded, she was sweet, down to earth and surprisingly easy to talk to. And here's one thing I noticed: People are very nice to you when you're sitting with Jessica Alba. I believe at one point we had three waiters standing by our table, and halfway through our meal the owner came over to ask if I'd like my quesadilla re-made, since it had gotten cold during the course of the interview. Baskets of bread and bottles of water appeared magically at the table. I'd like to take Jessica with me to my local Starbucks and see if that snippy barista still rolls her eyes when I ask for more foam on my cappuccino.

My favorite parts of the interview were where we talked about her pregnancy, and about babies, and about raising kids in this city. I told her stories about my girls, and at the end of the interview I gave her two cards Kira and Kiyomi had made for her. She seemed genuinely touched and read both of them carefully, and brought them out to show her friend who came to pick her up when we had finished. Of course, I told the girls all of this and thought they'd be thrilled, but Kiyomi's only reaction was, "But wait - and you still didn't get us her autograph?"

I haven't even listed to the tape yet, which I have to admit I'm dreading since it will inevitably have me cringing at the sound of my voice and the inappropriate giggling. How many times did I say 'um?' Just how insincere and pandering did I sound when I said, "I love your hair!" Could I have been more dorky when I asked her friend to take a picture of us? At that creepy juncture I may as well have asked to exchange phone numbers, given her a lock of my hair and invited her over for a sleepover.

I'll let you know when the interview comes out. And if I've changed my name.

But at the end of the day, this much I know for sure - I sold a helluva lot of brownies.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Keep the Ball, Just Give Me The Peanuts and CrackerJack

MetroDad has a great post up right now about baseball. Specifically, baseball players of Asian descent, who he calls "our greatest weapons in battling mainstream media's perception of the emasculated Asian male." I say amen to that, since Asians certainly aren't getting any respect in Hollywood, where all the roles for rickshaw drivers and grocery owners have completely dried up.

I also have a post up about baseball, over on UpTake (formerly Kango.) The difference is, I don't know crap about the game - in fact, I'm probably more qualified to perform an appendectomy than I am to talk about batting averages and line drives. But I did some extensive research (I must have clicked on the Dodger Official Website like sixty freakin' times!) and I think I've greatly increased my knowledge of the game:

I’m not a season ticket holder, so I would head down to Chavez Ravine (as all us Dodger experts call it) and buy a one-day ticket. They range in price from $130 for MVP seating all the way down to $11 for what appears to be a seat in the top section inside a stall in the men’s bathroom. I’d decide to splurge for a $70 seat, which along with having a great view of the field appears to be painted a pleasing orange color that would go great with my complexion...Read More...

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