Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On thinking I have any place at all to discuss fashion.

While I'm not the most fashionable person in the world, I can claim at least a moderately developed ability to dress myself properly on a daily basis.

I'm also a hypocrite. When I was a teenager, I swore I would never wear bell bottoms. Well, they rose back to power in the late 1990s and I was forced to give in to trends and wear them. I still wear flares to this day. (They look the best with my legs and hips - sue me.) Then, about four years ago, I swore I would never wear those ugly-ass jersey gauchos. Guess what? Owned about six pairs of them at one point. I wore them recently and realized they looked ridiculous on me. And must have definitely looked just as bad then. No, they did look stupid.

Things that looked stupid the first time and are reincarnated as the same thing - because gauchos will always be fucking gauchos - look stupid the next time, too. "These aren't your mother's bell bottoms!" Yes. Yes, they are. It's why you brought them back. I've seen completely contradictory copy: "The new and improved design is a better take on the free-wheeling look of decades past." Two spreads later: "Like pictures in an old photo album, this retro-reliable look never got old." Fuck you. I'm not an idiot.

Now leggings are back. I really, really swore I'd never wear them. The last time I'd worn them was in seventh grade (1992-1993), when they were going out of style and the only appropriate thing to wear them with were babydoll dresses and/or denim shorts. I wasn't bold enough to wear either; I was more concerned with not being noticed by people so they wouldn't bark at me or call me horrible names. (I ended up wearing both a couple of years later when, naturally, they went out of style.)

When I started seeing girls wearing them at Hofstra two years ago, I had to remind myself that those girls were maybe five when they were in style the first time. They never had to contend with the baggy knees, the perfect slouch socks and requisite Keds sneakers (sometimes imitators with blue tabs drawn on the back with a Bic pen), and making sure your sweater/sweatshirt/flannel was long enough to cover your butt. And by the way - don't have chicken legs. Like I did.

But this time around, leggings were different. That's what the claim was. Banish the thought of baggy socks - leggings were meant to cover legs while showing them off, so wear them with sandals, heels and flats. And as opposed to the mushroom look we were going for in the '80s and '90s, it was "tunics" and fitted dresses going over these supposedly "different" leggings. True, it was an entirely different look. But still - leggings?

Apparently, the baggy knee thing has been resolved with different designs and materials. No, really.

Well, first I said "NEVER." Then I said "Only as tights during the winter, with boots." You can see where this is going...

I'm a whore for trends. I will resist for a while, but don't you worry. By the time they go out of style, I will catch on.

My name is Jamie, and I own two pairs of leggings.

Labels: , , ,

Read more

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Bones" progress finally made.

I finally - finally - started writing my Zacksplanation script this weekend, albeit last night. Saturday was spent in East Hampton rehearsing with my scene partner from acting class (who actualy lives in Phildelphia - so, two people with preposterous commutes to NYC) and Sunday was gray, wet and loud, so I did some housecleaning and found my piano.

After dinner, I finally got over the "white page shakes" and went on to write 28 pages of a 60-page script. Had I started that afternoon, I could have easily finished. I'll probably get the chance tomorrow night to do just that, completing my first draft, then going over it to make sure it doesn't completely blow.

I never heard back from any forensic experts. I'm disappointed but not surprised, what with them having actual jobs of importance and time sensitivity. (BTW, the professor from my previous post apologized to me after I sent him a tersely worded response. Now I'm wondering if I should also apologize for being such a bitch.)

But it's making good progress. The second half of my script deals with the actual Zacksplanation and the character Zack Addy, and this is the part I have the most confidence in. Writing for characters that fans of the show love so much, namely Booth and Brennan, is a bit daunting. I don't know if fans will be reading this expecting a completely typical, consistent episode or if they'll be excited to read an episode-formatted version of my Zack theory.

I guess we'll find out. Headlines of the future: "Bones" Fan, Writer, Burned At Stake.

Labels: , , , ,

Read more

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Asshole of the Day!

In writing my script for Operation: Zacksplanation, I have been running scared from the scientific aspects about which I have only very crude knowledge. Wendy was kind enough to point me to a directory of registered forensic anthropologists that included email addresses for pretty much all of them. At the bottom of the page was an option to send an email to everyone on the list, plus a fun graphic of a skeleton and the apparent promise that "someone will bite!"

I sent an email this morning, explaining that while I can't pay them, and I know they have much more pressing things to do with their time (such as being a forensic anthropologist) than help me with my fan-fic-gone-too-far, some technical advice would be really swell. I always worry a bit when I send emails like this because who am I to ask these accomplished people to spare schmucky little me some of their time and wisdom? I have no credibility, and there's no reason to respond to such a request. But I'm told again and again, the worst that could happen is they say "no."

Well, one of them flat-out scolded me for even asking:

Do you expect busy forensic anthropologists to set aside their time for your projects? Most of us work 65 - 80 hour weeks. And you offer this proposal without any comment about what you plan to pay these experts within their different research areas of forensic anthropology? Please think again about your expectations. Do you request these favors from physicians, military officers, business men and women, school teachers and other persons devoting their lives to their professions and for whom time is a critical factor?

For one thing, the subject line was "(Unpaid) Consulting for 'Bones' fan script," so that was pretty clear right off the bat. For another, I made it clear in my email that I know they have rather important jobs. And for yet another thing, I have contacted several people asking for technical advice and they actually have obliged and provided me very useful information. (Even when I would tell them what I was working on may never be published.)

And if his time is so fucking precious, why didn't he just delete my email and be done with it? He seemed to have plenty of time to condescend to me. Douchebag.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yay! I didn't sound that pretentious! My "Bones" interview

I use a lot of big words when I write and speak, so sometimes I feel like I come off as a rather pretentious bitch. But I just listened to the interview I conducted with the unofficial official podcast for my favorite show "Bones" - the Bonecast - and I didn't sound that stupid! So click here to listen to my interview and the rest of the podcast to see what's going on This Week in "Bones." The hosts are Lindsey, who runs the Anti-Boneyard and Wendy, who runs Obsessed With Bones and also happens to be my writing partner in Operation: Zacksplanation, the script project we are writing for fans of the show who were displeased with the season finale. We have starkly different theories, mainly whether or not Zack could kill and why or why not, respectively. My story stems from this obscenely long post that I wrote a few days post-finale. (Seriously, only the brave and eyestrain-immune need enter. I may have snapped the tiniest bit that day. I can tell you that for real, I couldn't cry for a month afterwards.)

So take a listen and see what you think. Namely, how bad my accent is. I'm competing with a Canadian and a Southerner, so it's quite a crew.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more

Friday, July 18, 2008

I have changed quite a bit since high school.

So, my acting class is getting interesting. Moving beyond just repeating each other, now we're adding activities, or rather very difficult tasks, that may direct our focus from our scene partners elsewhere. Last night, I was not the one performing the task; it was up to me to observe her behavior and respond. Except after doing it the typical way (with me coming into the scene with the intent to borrow an item), I was told (without my partner's knowledge) that not only did I loan her $100 (which she knew about), but she also boinked my (imaginary) boyfriend.

A digression: Having a boyfriend is so low on my priority list right now that I couldn't even come up with a guy's name, any guy's name, when asked "What's his name?" I honestly came up completely blank. So they decided on Jack for me. I'd like to think that in this little parallel, imaginary universe, my boyfriend was Jack Hodgins from "Bones." Years ago, I used to name imaginary boyfriends (in writing, lies, etc.) TJ after my first real, serious crush. Ironically, Josck Hodgins is played by TJ Thyne. And yet in my imaginary world, which I created myself, he still fucked me over.

Anyway, the scene got really heated. I've acted before, even though it was just a matter of knowing my lines and saying them with some semblance of feeling. But I know what it's like to get in a zone while performing. I've also been in one-acts that feature a lot of escalating tension which result in a bit of an outburst. But this was way beyond that. Five more minutes and I would have been crying, for real. My blood was boiling. Why? Because I got fucked over last summer. I wasn't cheated on as much as I was expediently replaced. By a skank. And I never got to yell at her. This scene was my chance to ring her figurative neck. It was awesome.

So thanks, asshole, for treating me like shit and seeing the skank. It will make for some really emotional acting for me.

ETA: Due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e., life), I wrote this one over the course of a couple of days, so my title doesn't make sense. I had meant to go into how shy I was in school, how much of a passive nerd I was then, and how I'm not one now. Point being, you grow up and learn to stop caring what other people think, and some of us grow up and want to provoke other people to feel certain things. That's why I'm a writer and why I'm trying to be an actress. I hope I'll get to do both, but right now, I'm glad I'm the person I'd wanted to be ten years ago. (For the most part.) Peace.

Labels: , ,

Read more

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How I became a "Bones" fan and then had my heart ripped out of my chest.

I just finished listening to the "Bones" podcast on Wendy's domain-a-rific Obsessed With Bones blog, which is recorded by Wendy and the Anti-Boneyard's Lindsey following the Monday night broadcast of the show. As I have been mentioning, I have an acting class Monday and Thursday nights, but this week was especially frustrating since "The Boy in the Time Capsule" was one of three episodes that was new to me.

I will never forget the cracked-out moment when I had watched Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, then, like a junkie, went straight to my computer and watched the first six episodes of Season 3. Then, I remembered that despite being unemployed at the time, I had a life to live. I'll watch the last three episodes the next day. The next day...

...they were gone. Wow. I cannot describe the helplessness that I felt. I may have gotten the junkie shakes. All this as the show was coming back from the strike, I was just learning about all these amazing characters and their stories - and now I had to wait for new episodes to air like everyone else. I ended up having to express myself in writing, and thus, my first Entertainment blog on Huffington Post was born.

Then came the spoilers. And they were all about my favorite character, Zack. Why had Zack become my favorite character? Well, if you don't mind me narcissistically linking to all of my own blogs, it was the Egon Factor. I like the intellectuals, the quirky ones, the nerds. Zack and Hodgins had the funniest lines, but Zack was the unexpectedly funny one. He was funny because he was always unintentionally funny - honest. So, imagine my concern when all the spoilers come out, and they're all about Zack. And they're talking about looking for a new forensic anthropologist. And Eric Millegan is not on the Season 4 cast list. What's up with that? So, I asked him, and he obviously couldn't answer me, but he was able to tell me that not being able to tell people was "horrible." (By the way, Entertainment Weekly seemed to have found my article so compelling that they wrote their own version all but two weeks later. I'm not as mad as I am frustrated that they should really just hire me.)

Anyway, with all the Gormogon speculation abound, I kind of had no idea what they were talking about. I'd seen "The Widow's Son in the Windshield" and "The Intern in the Incinerator," but not "The Knight on the Grid." And for some reason, the former two didn't get me all riled up about Gormogon, except when Hodgins at some point brought up the Armin Meiwes case, better known as the German cannibal who advertised in the paper for a "dinner guest." (Best line by Zack: "Someone responded to the ad?" As in, sure, cannibalism is weird, advertising for a victim is weird, but someone actually responding is all kinds of fucked up. I like when Zack jumps to a few logical steps ahead, but also how he will stay on discussions that ended five minutes ago. Like the beets in "The Baby in the Bough.") That case is part of every ethics 101 class offered in every university everywhere. And it's fascinating.

By the way, I will be reposting that article on the cannibal with running commentary as soon as humanly possible. It's kind of hilarious.

And also, by the way, Zack was grossed out by that. He said, "That's disturbing." I'm just saying.

So you can probably predict that when the season 3 finale finally rolled around, I wasn't too thrilled. Which is why I'm now having serious angst over a spec script that explains the whole experience away.

But in other news, "The Boy in the Time Capsule" was one of my favorite episodes ever. Because I was a nerd back in the day, and this was all about sad nerds. The victim was a nerd, one of his friends was a nerd, and as it turns out, Brennan and all the squints were also nerds. And while I'm adamantly against Booth and Brennan hooking up, there were some really, really sweet moments between them in this episode. I loved the squints turning the tables and making fun of Booth for being "one of those guys" (the jock), especially Hodgins' revenge (and comments about learning anatomy from Barbie: "I was so confused for years"). But I could relate to Brennan being humiliated by a guy in school for being "brainy." I wasn't, but I was a drama geek. More freaky than brainy. And Booth's move at the end - and his attempts to give Brennan a humiliating story of his own throughout - were just what a former nerd wants to hear.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New episode of "Bones"! (For me, at least.)

For as big of a "Bones" fan as I am, all two of you might be surprised to know that I didn't watch the show until this past March. As a result, I missed three episodes that have not appeared online until now, when they aired as reruns. This proved to be incredibly frustrating during spoiler season since so much information about the killer Gormagon was presented in next week's rerun, "The Knight on the Grid." This week was "The Boy in the Time Capsule," which I also missed, and I'll finally get to watch that one tonight.

None of this "new" evidence will convince me that Zack Addy should have ended up as Gormagon's apprentice, but the writers had noe even made the decision until after the strike, and that first returning episode was "The Verdict in the Story." Pre-"Verdict," Zack's really underused and comes off as much different than the Zack of previous seasons, reason obviously being Iraq. In last week's rerun, "The Intern in the Incinerator," a line that Wendy said supported her Zacksplanation seemed to illuminate Zack's feeling of being unnecessary:

"I was being precise. You used to appreciate that."

Now, as I mentioned, Wendy and I are mostly blind to what is taking place in each other's scripts. But I'll definitely say that Zack's post-Iraq behavior is pretty consistent with PTSD. It's clear the writers wanted to address this, then, soooooo regrettably, let it fall by the wayside after the strike. Such a casualty.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more

Saturday, July 12, 2008


One of the few pitfalls I've found of having a full-time job plus a busy extra-curricular schedule that requires a looooong commute via car (as opposed to concentration-free public transportation) is that I don't get many chances to watch the news. As a result, I almost completely missed the Jesse Jackson "nuts" fun and the prudish mainstream media's attempts to dance around a word I've heard first-graders say since I was a first-grader myself. Jesse Jackson said "nuts"! He was referring to Barack Obama's testicles! Heavens to betsy! That's why, this morning, I thank Huffington Post's Roy Sekoff for just fucking saying it.

Also, my thoughts are with the family of former White House Press Secretary and Fox News commentator Tony Snow, who passed away this morning after what was truly a well-fought battle with cancer. Say what you will about his conservative leanings, opinions and support - he was well-liked by the press, and by me. He was a guy with a young family and a legitimate editorial and intellectual background, so even if you didn't like what he was saying, he knew what he was talking about. I wanted him to win, but he really never let his illness get the better of him. He continued to work and proved to all of us that a serious cancer diagnosis does not mean an automatic end to your livelihood. I liked Tony Snow, and I will miss his commentary. He was great opposition research.

Labels: , , , , ,

Read more

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sound advice: Don't use your teeth as a vice.

For my acting class, a Meisner class, we were asked to complete a task to be completed while doing the "repetition exercise." In that exercise, you're repeating whatever your scene partner says until something happens. And if that sounds vague, it should. To those of us Type A personalities who analyze, adhere to logic and yearn to go back and edit ourselves, the repetition exercise is designed to break us of our somewhat compulsive habits and teach us to live moment to moment and put 100% of our focus on everything besides us, mostly our scene partner. For example, if my scene partner says my flip flops look sloppy, I would say "Fuck you," and then he or she would say, "Someone is testy today." The point is, each line makes progress; we don't stay focused on my sloppy-ass flip flops. You know, like a real live conversation - it moves.

This week, we added a task. I decided to bring in an Erector Set. I have little patience for tiny, tiny pieces and hate doing things that need to be precise because I rarely get it right on the first try. I was told there was nothing at stake in building a thingie from an Erector set, but I honestly think I learned that it's very hard to focus on something intricate while trying to acknowledge someone else in the scene. And I also am insistent when it comes to finishing a task with a clear result. I was seriously considering leaving the room once I was done to finish what I started, but alas, my incompleted project still sits in the box at home.

Anyway, one of the more frustrating things was using what I had in front of me and nothing else. So I used my front teeth as a vice. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I'm not as damaged as Jim Carrey's famous chip above, but it's sharp and annoying, and I will have to get my big English teeth fixed. It's subtle, I don't think I'll need a cap, but still. Stupid.

Other than that, acting is fun. And I'm more resourceful than I thought.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Getting fingers to keys is the goal of the day.

I haven't talked about my writing ventures much lately, especially the really cool, semi-obsessive "Bones" project I'm doing with Wendy from Obsessed With Bones. We were both kind of disappointed in the season finale this year (probably me more than her, as demonstrated in the "Windbagger") As a result, we both came up with different (very different) theories on what went wrong with Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) that caused him to join forces with a cannibalistic serial killer. True - the logical argument was a premise that Zack could support: Killing those who would do harm to preserve the human experience as a whole. But actually following through and committing murder? Wendy believes it's possible, I do not. She's taking a psychological perspective, I'm subscribing to a cocktail of PTSD, Asperger's and forensic linguistics.

We've been emailing back and forth on our progress, our setbacks, our trepidations, and the parts of which we're the most proud. Both of us really like our stories. Now, with a July 31st deadline looming, it's a matter of execution. I expressed this morning that I feel like I'm not writing enough in character, that my "dialogue" so far is more what I want them to talk about and not what these characters would actually say. I also have a lot of expository dialogue, and it's going to be a challenge to "show" and not "tell." In a procedural drama, I would think there's a bit of leeway with this, but I'm not going to put crap out there. I feel like this is the ultimate exercise in screenwriting by getting inside the heads of existing characters, and holy crap, what if the impossible happens and someone involved with "Bones" actually reads it? I mean, it's always possible, right?

Either way, I'll be posting on it more as the deadline nears.

In the meantime, keep reading!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Double-U Review: "Wall-E" and "Wanted"

It was a washout for Will Smith Weekend (aka 4th of July weekend) on the East coast, so I spent my Saturday with my buddies at the movie theater. If you're going to sit on your ass all day, do it while seeing excellent movies.

In short, I loved both "Wanted" and "Wall-E." For those of you who don't like Angelina Jolie, she's actually not all over the movie. She's a key (and good) supporting character, but don't let all the celebrity overshadow a really fun part. The man to watch, however, is James McAvoy.

My friends and I were comparing him (mostly his character) to Topher Grace and Ewan McGregor, and I've decided that I want a boy like McAvoy. Accent optional. In short, he was excellent and kicked a great deal of ass.

What I also thought was interesting was that the premise on which the movie is based is the same exact premise used to write Eric Millegan off of "Bones" - killing those who do harm to preserve the human experience as a whole. Hmm, I wonder if Zack Addy had been killing people alongside Angelina Jolie instead of creepy old Gormagon if we all would have been as upset. But then there's the circular logic-go-round that if a secret society was formed to kill members of secret societies, then, wouldn't they all have to kill themselves?...

See "Wanted."

Then hop into another theater and see "Wall-E."

I've found that people either love or hate this movie. I am a lover. The first half or so of the movie had hardly any dialogue at all, but it couldn't have been any other way, really. Not one for cheesy romantic dialogue myself (especially not since a guy on the subway said he reminded me of the Penguin - "You know, from Batman? Ever see that movie?"), it was really sweet to watch the love story take place sheerly from one party reacting to the other and either becoming more curious, more skeptical, and eventually attracted to each other. It was really cute. I would agree with all the Charlie Chaplin comparisons.

I don't want to say too much about the latter part, except that it's a rude awakening. Pixar was kind enough to show us our descendents' destiny if we continue on the path we're currently travelling. "It's funny cuz it's true" will be your mantra.

I will also say that while "Wall-E" is indeed a four-star movie, the funniest part came courtesy of a kid in the audience who felt compelled to go "Wheeeeee!" when a robot fell from a skyscraper.


I'm going to pray that I make it through this week.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Read more

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Chuck Todd, much like light, is both a particle and a wave.

Forget Bill Braskey. NBC Political Director Chuck Todd can do everything Bill Braskey did better, and also thought of it before Bill did. Also:

Chuck Todd knows another word for "thesaurus".

God wonders whether Chuck Todd really exists.

Nostradamus wrote over 30 quatrains that many scholars believe predicted the birth of Chuck Todd.

Chuck Todd can save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance.

Do yourself a favor: Visit I have already purchased the t-shirt. So has Chuck Todd.

Labels: , , , ,

Read more

Because all potential black presidents, real or fake, look alike.

Alright, the subtle craziness that came out of Dennis Haysbert was not that he said he feels he helped pave the way for people to believe a black man could be president (he played saintly President David Palmer on "24"). I actually agree with his premise. And it wasn't even that people were asking him to run. No, it was this quote (emphasis mine):

Haysbert, 54, said he recently stopped for dinner south of Los Angeles with his daughter in Dana Point, Calif., a town he described as "very wealthy, very white and very Republican."

"I go into this little restaurant with that demographic and a lady comes up to me and says, `You know, I want to vote for you,'" he said. "I don't know if it is a joke or that people just like to say those things. But to me, for them to say it out loud means they are thinking about it."

It might be a joke, but it sounds like she thinks Dennis Haysbert is actually Barack Obama. Unless she has Alzheimer's, she's an idiot, and a little bit racist. Why didn't anyone point that out?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Welcome home, Jack Scarborough!

I'm a big fan of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, political differences aside. I think he's a great host, funny, smart and I'd wake up at 3 AM to work for him if I ever had the chance.

He and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Jack, in May, but since he was premature, he's just coming home now. As someone who wants desperately to be a mom, I can't imagine how scary this must have been, living minute by minute for Jack to get himself ready for the world. My best wishes to the whole Scarborough family, and to baby Jack!

Labels: , , , ,

Read more