Monday, November 30, 2009

BUSTED!


So in my quest to make the best time to and from San Francisco, which I did by the way, both directions, I finally got stopped. Here is what happened.

I left SF on Saturday around 10:45- 11 am...and guess where I was at 2:15? That would be Santa Barbara, oh and I was going down the 101 as mentioned in an earlier post to avoid the riff raff on the 5. I decided to get out with my dog and walk around State Street...that sucked..waaaaay too busy and I didn't think I should have a pint at my favorite Irish pub on this side of the pond and then drive the remaining 80 miles home.

When I got back on the freeway, it was more packed than the 405 on a Monday morning. UGH...so I called a friend to have her check sigalert for me. It showed nothing, but finally a sign post said there was a 3 lane crash in Thousand Oaks.

In any case the traffic sucked and I was really hungry because I hadn't eaten yet. Finally the traffic broke! YAY! Zoom Zoom..

ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM to 90 mph, and I decided to slow it down, I was almost home why risk it.

I looked in the mirror and who do I see? Yep a cop...FUCK!...so he motioned for me to pull over and it was like a sitcom, although me being a writer probably was the only one who thought it was funny. Here is why it was funny.

My dog was in his crate in the passenger seat so I had no way of getting to my glove box to show Officer Hottie McHot..oh yeah, boy was hot....I had to get out of my car and walk around, which he didn't like, but whatever. Then I handed him expired registration and asked him, "why did you stop me?"

His reply, well, you were speeding.
Me, really? Weird, what's the speed limit?
Him, 60.. I clocked you at 98
Me in my head...oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!! Like in a Christmas Story.. that is wreckless driving, although I can assure you I was being completely safe.

Is he going to take my car, will I lose my license for a year, should I take off my shirt or just flirt? Cry? What???

Him, and you were on your cell phone.
Me, I was not!
Him, you still have the earphones on.
Me, but these are my hands free.
Him, in Ventura you can't be on the phone and how did you answer? I saw you look down and at that speed.
Me, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese don't give me a ticket. I am not working and can't afford it....*tears welling up*** I am not going to cry because that is pathetic, but pleeeeeeeeeeeeese, I promise I never do anything wrong. I just called a friend cuz the traffic gridlocked and I have been in the car all day, from San Francisco...
Him, at that speed? Not all day, I say about 11?

It was all I could do not to laugh, and I didn't tell him that I spent 45 minutes in downtown SB...LOL

He was super nice and didn't give me a moving violation, but just a talking on cell phone, which is a lot lower. Hey, I know I wasn't going that fast! (hee-hee)

I still made it home in 5 hours...:0)

I figure I was very lucky and want to thank the officer for being so cool!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Novel Cover

Potential cover for my new novel!

Why Oh Why The 5

I have driven across this country many times, and have driven through almost every state. I have driven from New York to Florida, from Tucson to Dallas, Los Angeles to Seattle, across the 90, across the 80, through Colorado and Idaho, from Wisconsin through the deep south and I have NEVER seen the complete craziness that is on the 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Seriously everytime I am on it, my IQ drops 10 more points. It is like taking the Walmart-esque crowd giving them keys to cars, some drugs and or drug money and unleashing them onto the 5.

They don't seem to know the rules of, slow driving stay to the right! If you pass them, on either side, 8 out of 10 times they will chase you down. You can see blow jobs, hand jobs, white trash at it's best on this roadway and all the while feel like you are in a game of Frogger with the Sopranos and Mario Andretti trying to survive.

I honestly don't get it. Why this stretch of freeway? Why are people like this?

The only good thing about the 5 is how quick it is, 4-5 hours to and from SF/L.A. but really? UGH

I chose to use an extra tank of gas and couple more hours to have a gorgeous view of the ocean, drive through amazing neighborhoods and just have a more peaceful day when driving back down.

If you have the time, I highly suggest the 101 as an alternative to the chaos that errupts on the 5.

Just sayin'!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Fat-Overstuff-American Day

Thanksgiving! An excuse for everyone in this country to over eat and brag about it. Makes me a little sicker every year. There are people all over the world dying because they can't eat and yet in this country we brag about over eating, spending too much on food and becoming too full to move.

I am once again sad to call myself an American when days like this are upon us.

Yes we should be thankful for everyone and everything great in our lives and I enjoy that aspect, but like Valentine's Day (where men are forced to be romantic via the calender), why must we wait until the last Thursday in November to be thankful? We should be thankful every single day.

We should help those in need and instead of pigging out on this day, the day we raped and killed the natives, kicked them off their own land, we should give back to those less fortunate.

Tisk tisk America...this is not what we are supposed to stand for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There Is Hope



I have been going over and over and over what happened and can't make sense of it. I know the stats, I saw the film, I have read tons about this bridge, but it still sucks. I talked to her and I couldn't help her. I hope she is okay where ever she is now. I hope that it didn't hurt too much when her body slammed into the icy water 245 feet below. I wish that she had considered for a moment that her life did matter.

I had posted all over one of my Facebook profiles, but took it all off today. I am pretty messed up about it and think that I needed to talk, or type, or whatever. I am having nightmares and wonder if this is how people feel when they lose a stranger all the time. Is there always such an overwhelming feeling of guilt?

I went to the spot (79) that she was standing and ultimately jumped from today and it felt cold and dark even though the sun was shining bright.

It is so sad that people do this all the time and I hope that someday I can make a difference for someone else, because I didn't for her.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Strong, Beautiful and Tragic

How can something so strong and so beautiful be also so sad and so tragic?

In May of 2009 I went to San Francisco. I stood on the Golden Gate Bridge then it shook and I was terrified. I walked quickly across and back. Later as I looked at it from Crissy Field I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness come over me. Thus started my research into the suicides that surround this amazing place.

In Nov 2009, I started writing a novel about a girl who drives from Los Angeles to San Francisco to jump off. I am almost done with it and it has turned into one of the most precious things I have ever worked on. I have many fictional first person stories from people who jumped, I have fictional stories from people who witnessed others last moments, I have paranormal activity and all in all, it is coming out better than I thought.

Today I was in San Francisco and I looked at the live webcam and saw that the bridge wasn't covered in fog, so I drove up and was enjoying the beautiful weather, view and a happier bridge-so to speak. It was a good day.

Then I saw her. She stood at the rails with her long dark hair blowing gently in the wind and the tears running down her face. She leaned on the railing and I just knew what was in her mind. I waited about 30 minutes before I approached her, hoping, praying, waiting for someone to show up to save her. I had read in my research that if anyone is alone on the bridge for more than 30 minutes, especially in one spot that someone will come and help them, but today no one came. She was looking around and then she would lift her foot up onto the railing and grab the cables, then she would cry some more and step down. It was like she was waiting for an absolution that would never come, no one even noticed her and her fate was already decided.

I walked over to her and asked, "Are you okay?" She said nothing but tears ran down her face. I asked again, "Are you okay? You look so sad." She thanked me for asking and her mouth smiled but her eyes told the truth. I asked if I could do anything and she said nothing, but she grabbed the cables again so I backed off. I watched her for another 20 minutes from a short distance, she kept looking at me and I kept looking at her hoping yet again that someone would come, no one did, so I dialed 911.

I told them everything, they said they would send someone and thanked me, but not before they told me to walk away so I didn't cause her to jump. I did; I stupidly did. I walked away. I turned around and she was gone. There was only the empty spot that she had stood crying left.

15 minutes and my phone rang, and they were asking where she was, and I just started to cry. I walked all the way to Marin and back and in my shock I didn´t want to believe what I knew had happened. They didn't get there in time.

I walked past the spot again and there were some people looking over the edge and rumblings about a girl who jumped. When I got to the bottom of the hill past the gift shop, there were cops everywhere. The coast guard boats were in the Bay, and a helicopter circled under the bridge.

I don't know who she was. I didn't ask her name. I didn't invite her for coffee. I didn't stop her from dying in the worst possible way. I didn't do enough and tonight I sit here writing this blog and she is gone. I was the last person on earth that she spoke to and all I said was "Are you okay?" Three words that will haunt me forever.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mac Is In The Hospital!

Poor Mac is at the Mac Store getting ready to be shipped off to Houston for a week or more of treatment.
I am so sad about it and hope that he is going to be okay so far away from his home.

When he returns he will be all refreshed and back to his original self and then we will spend the day putting him back together. Hopefully this experience won't be too traumatic for us and we can get through it together.

Instead of flowers feel free to send money, cards, dinners, whatever to cheer us up during this difficult time. We will also accept: cheesecakes, teddy bears, daisies or sunflowers and Butler's Irish Chocolate.

His stand-in, PC is happily taking over for a week or so, and since he had recently been rebooted to do some Flash, he was ready to take on the job! Sadly he isn't so young anymore and sometimes gets too hot too soon, but we will manage.

Thank you for your kind words and sympathy! We love you all so much!

San Francisco!


I will be going to San Francisco for the holiday and to finish my novel, which takes place, guess where? Yep SF!

As some of you know, these past few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of emotions and I think my head needs a break...the break will be playing in SF and hanging out with friends and finishing my latest writing adventure.

I am very excited about the novel, my screenplay, starting the next screenplay, writing an episode of General Hospital!!! (That is right...w00t w00t) and whatever comes next! I know that I always quote Titanic, the good and the bad, but I do believe that life is a a gift and worrying about stuff, especially the shit we can't change, is just a waste of time that could be spent enjoying life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remaking For No Reason!! GRRRRR



Brødre (2004) was an amazing film. Period..no if and or buts about it. The film staring Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, was brilliantly acted, just brilliant, beyond brilliant and I am appalled that Jim Sheridan (who I do love as a director) would even attempt to remake such a remarkable film. WHY ? WHY? WHY?

Look, I know there are remakes that are good, but when you take such an amazing film and remake it only 5 years after the release, I am baffled. Susanne Bier is one of today's best directors and so is Jim Sheridan, but I really don't understand this move.

Susanne's film was so amazing, that after just seeing the trailer I studied my Danish like crazy just so I could watch it and understand it (I was living and working in Copenhagen at the time) and I did. I can't talk enough about how amazing this film was. The acting was crazy good, and the emotions were real, you didn't know which brother to cheer for, because they were both fucked and the wife was in the darkest place of her life when she found love and comfort in someone else. This was a true love story with so many layers that I am sorry but there is no way in hell that the new film will measure up.

Since the Danish film is one of my all time favorite flicks, I will probably go see the new one just to see if it does it justice, but if I were you, I would rent the original and you can get it with subtitles, so you won't have to learn Danish, but trust me, it is worth it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Smell Wrapped Itself Around The Beautiful Writer

.....and tortured her into a slow and painful death....


OMFG!!! Yes, F......what is with people and the lack of ability to smell?...I have to rant a bit and it is my blog so I am going to...

1) Not showing for days on end and then going to an event where you are sitting close to people-NOT OKAY!

2) Wearing old and dirty clothes that could otherwise show up without you in them-NOT OKAY

3) Dipping yourself in perfume or cologne until the entire state of CA can smell you-NOT OKAY

4) FARTING in public-NOT OKAY!

5) Cooking nasty ass smelling veggies is okay, but open a window or something...

Seriously? Seriously!!!

I am just sayin'!

What Could Have Been Resumes

Yesterday on my last day of work (EEK!) at a freelance job a couple of friends and I were talking about jobs we didn't get for one reason or another and we joked about the "could have been resume" so here are a couple jobs that didn't happen, or hasn't happened yet for whatever reason. (Strikes, shows being canceled, parts being canceled, production slowing down, my not being 16 at the time, etc etc...hahahaha)

Stephanie Olivieri

Daytime Writing Fellow ABC Television
Staff Writer Grey's Anatomy ABC Television
Freelance Writer Dirty Sexy Money ABC Television
Staff Writer Traveler ABC Television

Head Writer Welcome to My Life HBO Productions
Showrunner The First Year Showtime

Animator Every Feature Film in Europe

Actress Sarah Horton Days of Our Lives
Actress Kendall Hart All My Children

Hahaha!! Jobs that I was so close to I could taste and then lost for whatever reason...I keep telling myself that everything happens the way it is supposed to....really it does...it does..:0)

I was called about an animation job in Europe recently and they were excited, I was excited until they found out I was American and then it was all over! It is the way of the creative lifestyle....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Forget About It! I love Mob Storylines!






After having a discussion about the Godfather, Goodfellas (two of the best films ever made, especially Goodfellas and my hard on for Scorcese!), Casino and the Sopranos I started thinking about what it is about these stories that I love and I have to add one into the mix.
Wait for it. . . General Hospital, yes a soap, a daytime drama. Can you believe it?

I have been obsessed with GH this year and I joke about Dominic Zamprogna (of Battlestar Galactica) being the reason, but good looks only get me so far.

It is the storyline of Sonny Corinthos that is so amazing. Maurice Benard does an excellent job of making this mob boss lovable. Yes he orders hits on people and yes he makes all his money through extortion, robbery and drugs, but we still love him. We, the audience care about him. Why? This character is so well written that you can't help yourself. Like Tony Soprano, Sonny is all about his family. This is a family man. There is nothing he won't do for his family and the show is written in a way that really gets that point across. As well as putting his family first, he always helps his friends and the community. He donated heaps of money to build an AIDS wing at General Hospital, and he also opened a head trauma specialist unit after his son Michael was shot and put into a coma. He has worked his whole life keeping his family as his first priority and that is why we love him. Add to the fact that he is bi-polar and struggling with his own demons makes him the mobster with the heart of gold.

The current storyline is woven around him, his ex girlfriend from high school-the son they had together who is now working undercover to bring him down and of course he doesn't know this, and the Zacchara family. What I love about the undercover storylines is that the person undercover always learns about who they are bringing down and if done well you are rooting for both sides. Examples of this are: Wiseguy (TV show) and Donnie Brasco. This GH story is so well done that it would make a great film if self contained and put on the big screen and that is why I tune in every night.

Moving on. Tony Soprano, best written character in the history of television. You take this mob boss who will kill without even thinking about it, and cheat on his wife because he loves the power, and put him in a shrink's office talking about his feelings and you realize, "omg, he is a person." The Sopranos was truly groundbreaking in the way that Tony got you the minute you meet him. He cared about animals, much like Vito Corleone did and when the audience sees that, we immediately care. It is a subtle trick, but it works. Tony puts his family first, always and they did an amazing job of taking a show about family and setting it into this dangerous, and very real world, and they made you care about him.

Now Michael Corleone, who I believe to be the "hero" so to speak of the Godfather series (1 & 2 only), got lost and lost control of his family and let the power take him over. He even ordered a hit on his own brother, but why do we still care? Because we go through it with him. The death of Vito and his rise to power when he wasn't ready was told so well that your heart breaks for Michael, over and over and over.

Henry Hill, pretty much a dickhead, but still you watch Goodfellas and you care about him. Robert De Niro as Sam Rothstein (a.ka. Ace) in Casino (Scorcese) is also someone you care about. You see his life unfold and you care until the very end.

So what is it about these mobsters that makes us love them? It's all about family and great writing~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not A Huge Fan of the Wolves/Otherwise-AWESOME!


New Moon delivers the goods on an emotional level.

Oh My God!!! Congratulations Chris Weitz for taking an otherwise boring as f*#@ book and making it a GREAT flick!! Seriously...with the exception of Breaking Dumb, er, I mean Breaking Dawn...I love the Twilight series. I can get past the sparkling Vampires and enjoy the Romeo & Juliet of it all. I love it actually. They are great fun. The first film was fun, w/ the exception of some of Edward's dialogue and stupid fx for his super fast vampire running-not his fault btw, but still...New Moon was great. I loved it.

I didn't like the CG wolves though, just like the Golden Compass, they were almost distracting from the film, and I still don't understand why some films-LOTR can handle CG and others can't. In any case, if you can get past some bad animation you should like this film, if you like the franchise all together.

The book was a stepping stone, in my opinion, just to get us to Eclipse, where the story picks back up and to introduce the wolves fully. That said it was a bit too much exposition and not enough story. Yes we understood Bella's pain in the book, but Chris stepped it up in the film and you actually felt her absolute agony over losing Edward. Yeah, it's a bit OTT, because how can you love someone that much that you haven't known that long? But again, this is Romeo & Juliet at the core and you just have to accept certain things as rules of the film.
It was really good and I am definitely going to pay to see it again.

Melissa Rosenberg did a much better job adapting this one than she did Twilight, but I already knew that going in.

Get ready for total and utter Vampire/Wolf box office domination this holiday season!

You Want To Pay Me What??

I have complained about this before, but people still don't seem to be getting it.

Yes I am an artist and yes I can draw and you can't, so if you want me to draw something for you, you have to pay for it. Got it? Good!

A work colleague told me that she used to ask the local plumber for his rates and then when someone asked her to do an art project with no idea how much to pay, she would quote the plumber's rates, and that is a good idea.

Would you say to your local plumber, mechanic, doctor, roofer, contractor, or other; I can't pay you, but it will be great exposure? No! Especially if said professional has over 15 years experience.

Look, to my friends, I am happy to do a drawing for you on occasion, it is easy, it is fun, but you then can't expect me to do it for free all the time, or make a gazillion changes to my free drawing for you. Yes this happens to.

I get this all the time...."OOOOOHH I love your work, will you do a drawing for me? Please?" and then I do and it fucking comes back with notes? Seriously people.

Recently as I posted on my FB, I was contacted about a traditional animation job and I heard the pay was lower than normal and was asked my rates. I gave them the LOWEST rates in the industry, and I am talking LOW, so low that 5 years ago people would turn down work at these rates and even now, in desperate times, more people would rather collect EDD than work for these rates. In Africa they would be insulting, in Asia people would be shocked and in Inida they would tell you that your Karma would surely get you for paying this badly. Let's just say, they are NOT high. So, I quoted him these crazy low and insulting rates, and he came back with . . . and I could not make this stuff up. . . .

"$200! Well it is only two characters, which you will have the freedom to design ( which means, I HAVE to friggen' design them) and there is only about 2600 frames (Hello? only 2600 drawings? of TWO characters? Someone needs to do some math and realize that is a shitload of work), and you will be doing character animation, clean up and color.

?????? Yeah, again, ??????? so I suggested that maybe, just maybe we do it in Flash or limited animation, NOT that even in Flash the TWO HUNDRED dollars I was offered would be worth it, but nooooooooo he wants, "Disney" style.

I almost had no words the day that email came in, and I'm a writer, so that says a lot.

Here is the thing. I don't need exposure, however, I do need money and my time is worth a lot, so pay up.

Just sayin'!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eyebrows Taking Over My Grocery Store!

This isn't going to be a long post, but rather a very short story.

I was craving Jamba Juice on Tuesday and it was hot hot hot hot outside, so I didn't want to walk the 6 blocks to get one. I decided to drive to Pavillions in Burbank and when I got there, I saw Flash Forward trucks and Joseph running around with a gun! Needless to say, I didn't get a Jamba, but it was fun.

Only in Hollywood!! Love it!!

The Credit Card Shuffle!

I think I sold my screenplay yesterday. I say think, because in Hollywood you never know anything, and this doesn't seem to matter in what area you are working. It is all the same and a deal is never a done deal until that check is in your hand, in the bank and cleared!

So in the meantime I am perfecting, no mastering the art of making my finances work for me and doing a little dance that I affectionately call, the Credit Card Shuffle.

Here is how it works, you pay your credit cards the amount of bills and then pay your bills with your credit cards, and thus you spend way less out of pocket money. It works, example? Okay, your phone bill is 100 bucks, your credit card min is 70, so you play 100 to your credit card, and 100 to your phone with that credit card, two places get paid and you only lose the extra $30, basically you paid two bills with one payment. The credit card place is happy because you paid more than your min and then you charged it up again and your phone company is happy, because it is paid and you still have a phone to get a job!

This is the really fun part about not working full time~wait, what do they say about sarcasm?

I'm Just Sayin'!