Wednesday, December 31, 2008

YES MAN

YES MAN starring Jim Carey was GREAT!  I just adored it, and completely recommend it. Tonight we are ringing in the New Year in a hot tub, outside in the brisk Portland air, even though it is raining.  YES MAN reminded me of how fun it is to say Yes to life! Happy 2009 friends!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

SAG postponing Strike Authorization vote.

According to Variety, SAG's postponement of its strike authorization vote may signal that its leaders are tilting in a more moderate direction -- so much so that the divisive vote may be called off.

It's still unclear what direction the national board will take at its emergency meeting on Jan. 12-13, scheduled ostensibly by national exec director Doug Allen and president Alan Rosenberg to persuade the fractured 71-member panel to present a united front and convince members to vote up a strike authorization. But the timing of the Monday night announcement was telling. It came a few hours after Allen and Rosenberg met with leaders of the Unite for Strength faction, a group of Hollywood moderates who gained five board seats in the fall after campaigning on a platform that asserted that Rosenberg and his allies had bungled the contract negotiations strategy.

Unite for Strength spokesman Ned Vaughn told Daily Variety that he and his colleagues expressed concerns about going ahead with the vote, given the growing numbers of SAG members - particularly high-profile stars such as George Clooney and Tom Hanks - coming on the "no" side. "We felt that in light of what's been happening that it would have been reckless for the national board to proceed without having the chance to reconsider," Vaughn said. "We appreciate that they've taken our concerns seriously."

The victory by Unite for Strength wrested away control of the national board from the more assertive Membership First faction for the first time in three years and gave the moderates - comprised largely of New York and regional reps -- a narrow ruling margin . It's unclear whether the emergency board meeting will lead to the withdrawal of the authorization vote or replacing the SAG negotiating committee, which remains dominated by Membership First. Vaughn would not comment as to what steps the board might take but he expressed concern that scheduling the confab as a "face to face" meeting in Los Angeles on a Monday and Tuesday will make it more difficult for New York and regional branch members to attend. Similar concerns arose earlier this month when Rosenberg scheduled an emergency meeting for Dec. 19, but then called it off a few days later.

SAG's insisted it needs a strike authorization vote, which requires the approval of 75% of members who cast ballots, to force the congloms to improve their final offer and has spent the past year blasting the moguls and the deals they signed with the town's other unions,
particularly in new-media residuals and jurisdiction. The guild's also contended that signing the final offer will hasten the disappearance of residuals as TV programming migrates to the Web. But the majors have insisted that they won't change the terms of the deal and they've blasted SAG repeatedly for insisting it deserves better terms amid a full-blown recession.

Monday, December 22, 2008

POTA is CA nonprofit!

Well, we're 1/2 way there! Today POTA officially received tax-exempt status in California! We expected it would not be until January or February until we heard. So this is great news! Now we are just awaiting federal approval and we are done! It feels good to move forward.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

House Update

Sorry I have not had a chance to write lately. Things have been so hectic with buying the new house right in the middle of the holidays! On Monday we had our home inspection in the pouring rain, and discovered a rook leak right in the middle of the living room. Our amazing realtor Tom Sardo (who is the best realtor EVER) said we were lucky this happened before we bought the house and not after. Just like magic, later that same night bank interest rates dropped to under 4.5% for a 30-year-fixed... which means that if the seller can't pay to fix the roof, we now can pull out extra money to pay for it, and have the same monthly payments as planned. Amazing! Sometimes I feel so lucky...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SAG faces dissension from NY board

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A faction of the Screen Actors Guild on Friday called for the union to suspend an upcoming vote to authorize a strike amid stalled negotiations with Hollywood producers. The announcement represents a major split between the union's Hollywood leadership and a more moderate group based in New York. The group hopes its opposition will force the union to rethink the timing of its vote scheduled for January."Our members and our industry are struggling through the worst economic crisis in memory," the New York board said in a statement. "While issuing a strike authorization may have been a sensible strategy in October, we believe it is irresponsible to do so now.

"The New York division's 14 board members also called for the 71-member national board to hold an emergency meeting to appoint new negotiators to work with the American Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major studios."With a fresh team, the AMPTP will return to the table, and we can get a fair deal," the New York board wrote. "A deal that will not cost careers, homes, lives. We want our members to understand that while strikes are sometimes unavoidable, we will do everything in our power to avoid this one." 

SAG President Alan Rosenberg said he was surprised by the announcement because the group did not approach him first. He said he agreed to call an emergency meeting to discuss "this extraordinarily destructive and subversive action." He would not say when the meeting would be held or what effect the board's opposition may have on the scheduled vote. SAG plans to send strike authorization ballots to more than 100,000 union members on Jan. 2, a date that puts Oscar night within reach of a potential boycott. Votes will be counted on Jan. 23, ahead of the Feb. 22 Academy Awards, the most important date on the Hollywood awards calendar. Approval by 75 percent of voting members is required to pass the measure. 

If it is approved, the SAG national board can call a strike.Studios and the actors union have been negotiating a new deal since before the previous contract expired June 30.SAG wants union coverage for all Internet-only productions regardless of budget and residual payments for Internet productions replayed online, as well as continued actor protections during work stoppages. Directors, writers, stagehands and another actors union settled for lesser terms
and the studios said it was unreasonable for SAG to demand a better deal, especially now that the economy has worsened.AMPTP spokesman Jesse Hiestand declined to comment on the board's announcement. Meanwhile, the guild has been sending e-mails, fact sheets and Web video testimonials by famous actors urging members to vote yes on the strike. 

It said Mel Gibson, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Martin Sheen and other actors were among the first signers of SAG's "Statement of Support."The actors union, however, appears to be in transition. In guild elections in September, an upstart group called Unite For Strength broke up the majority control of the national board that had been held by Rosenberg's supporters. But the Unite group has not clarified its position on the strike vote.The guild plans a town hall meeting in New York on Monday and one in Hollywood on Dec. 17.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you believe this?

Who would have thought that after gas prices reached $4/gallon only two months ago, we'd see these prices EVER again?  Not me. Amazing...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

On Project Closer

Now that we are buying a new house, all I can do is think about it! There's no pantry or laundry cabinets, but Matt came up with a great idea to remodel a hallway!  Not only would it create a dream pantry and lots of space, but it will also create a large supply cabinet that connects to my office! Inspired by the new house, I entered the One Project Closer December Giveaway". This month's prize is a gift certificate to Home Depot!  What a perfect housewarming that would make!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homeward Bound

Matt and I have been on pins and needles for a few days now. Our realtor said the house we bid on was listed at a CRAZY LOW price and it would probably go up by atleast $50,000 in bids. So we did not have our hopes up, but I have to say...I had "that" magical feeling! Since many people were away for the Thanksgiving weekend, it was a particularly slow time for showing houses. There were still 5 bidders by the end, and it was neck-in-neck between us and one other applicant. But a good plan combined with a GREAT real estate agent & bank lender and a heaping spoonful of luck all came together in just the right way and made it so that WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Less Trash is Easy


My friend Karen's cousin was on ABC news giving helpful hints about creating less trash! Look how simple she and her friend make it all look!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Offer

Today Matt and I put in a bid to buy a HOUSE!  I'd been feeling very stagnant and stifled lately. But after Jenn and I went to Agape on Sunday I felt suddenly inspired again.  It's as if this giant weight had been lifted and I remembered my true nature.  The theme was about moving forward --just "doing it".   Yes!  Yes to life!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Life is Beautiful

This is a fire rainbow - the rarest of all naturally occurring atmospheric phenomena! The picture was captured this week on the Idaho - Washington border. The event lasted about 1 hour. Clouds have to be cirrus, at least 20k feet in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals and the sun has to hit the clouds at precisely 58 degrees.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Petition against the SAG strike

Here is a non-partisan online petition seeking alternative solutions WITHOUT striking.  PLEASE take a moment to sign at
http://www.petitiononline.com/DealNow/petition.html
We CAN NOT afford another costly strike...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's Official: SAG Wants Strike.

I just received the following email. I have only one word: unbelievable. After holding firm on deal points that AFTRA and all the other unions agreed upon, and after a federal mediator did not rule in favor of SAG, and in this horrific economy --SAG wants to strike.  But they don't want to put out ballots to vote for a strike until they have "educated " the membership. My greatest education was when I became a producer.  I spent 7 YEARS of my life working  to make a movie, promote the movie and find distribution. My biggest SAG actor worked a total of no more than 12 DAYS.  And yet if any check comes in, it's only the SAG actors who'd get paid. Don't get me wrong.  I'm a SAG actress, and I'd love to earn more money.  But I see the bigger picture. DISTRIBUTORS should be paying these upgrades, not the producers. That's where the money lies, and therein lies the problem. I can't imagine that with any amount of "education" this strike authorization will pass, but regardless, I wish that these officials would try their hand at producing and get a bit of an education as well. These are very scary times.  According to the Associated Press, the recent writer's strike cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated $2.5 billion. 

November 22, 2008
Dear Screen Actors Guild Member,

The National TV/Theatrical Negotiating team was optimistic that federal mediation would help to move our negotiations forward, but despite the Guild's extraordinary efforts to reach agreement, the mediation was adjourned shortly before 1:00 a.m. today.

Management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept on behalf of our members. As previously authorized by the National Board of Directors, we will now launch a full-scale education campaign in support of a strike authorization referendum. We will further inform SAG members about the core, critical issues unique to actors that remain in dispute.

We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt to reach agreement. Now it's time for SAG members to stand united and empower the national negotiating committee to bargain with the strength of a possible work stoppage behind them.

We remain committed to avoiding a strike but now more than ever we cannot allow our employers to experiment with our careers. The WGA has already learned that the new media terms they agreed to with the AMPTP are not being honored. We cannot allow our employers to undermine the futures of SAG members and their families.

No timeline has been set for the mailing or return of the strike authorization ballots.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shiba Inu Puppy Cam


I am addicted to watching the live stream of these puppies! I keep them on my computer in the background while I'm working.  Apparently, I'm not the only one. Often when I tune in I am joined by over 20,000 other people! You can learn more about them here: www.ustream.tv/channel/shiba-inu-puppy-cam

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I Love Living in LA














Last night I had the honor of being in the SAME ROOM as Meryl Streep. Ummm. WOW!  I don't usually get star-struck, but Meryl Streep!  Life doesn't get much better than this.  Her new movie DOUBT (which opens December 12) is wonderful!  We saw a special pre-release screening at the Director's Guild along with (pictured right to left): writer/director John Patrick Shanley, and actors Viola Davis, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and the moderator.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are you Ready?

After The Great ShakeOut Last week, Matt and I have started stocking supplies in the event of a disaster. We took a drive to Moorepark today and purchased all kinds of emergency provisions from a great store called www.quakekare.com. They have water packed in heat-resistant cartons especially made for the car, and 2000 calorie food bars which can sustain a person for an entire day. Then we took a trip to Costco and purchased a bunch of canned foods including: tuna, chicken, corned beef, chili, veggies and soup. For more info about preparing yourself for an emergency checkout www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/step1.html

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Law of Attraction in Motion

It feels good to finally get through most of my emails. Besides the usual invites to screenings and events, I received a bunch of emails from producers wanting to get together! This week I'm having lunch with (first names only:) Liz, Laurie, Tasha, Eve and Flo. And I did not initiate any of these meetings. Feels like a positive sign from the Universe.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Girl Who Silenced the UN


I loved this. What an amazing speech. What an amazing child.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

President Elect's Website

This is the incoming administration's website. it's informative, transparent, and just plain cool. Check it out because it offers multiple opportunities for us little people to talk to our president-elect and his staff about our concerns and ideas. Maybe this will be a government by the people and for the people again! Imagine that!  Together we CAN make a better world.  www.change.gov

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beautiful Julian


Today Matt and I hiked out in a little town called Julian, California (just north of San Diego). Population 160.  It was a gold rush town back in the day and is simply darling.  The little main street has rustic cafes which all feature apples.  I guess Julian is know for apples. There's a beautiful little lake there, surrounded by trees and fields.  Loved it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Grant Rant

I try not to think about Ideablob unless I absolutely have to (since I've filed complaints against them with various regulatory and consumer protection agencies). But I did yesterday when the CEO actually had the audacity to add me as a friend on my twitter feed. Hello?

My bad experience with them happened only a few months ago so it's no wonder I'm still feeling so down! As I'm sure you remember, I lost the $20K Ideablob grant when a greedy woman's notorious online forum (appropriately called "Something Awful") sabotaged my entry. I was in first place and likely would have won if she had played fairly. And when her "Something Awful" forum was discovered, this woman edited her posts to hide what she did. Hoping this was a "fluke" occurrence, I entered the grant competition and lost a second time when Ideablob favored TFA Alums with special bonus incentives. (They deny any special treatment was given, but here is evidence.) 

I'm usually a very peppy, positive, happy, upbeat person. No wonder I've been feeling depressed lately! I spent 3 months working on this grant full-time, and it was only 2 months ago. This really took a toll on me. I truly believed that Ideablob somehow did not realize (or think it through) that it was not fair to give an undisclosed $5K bonus award to TFA for TFA Alums only, and when they realized it they'd take responsibility for the error and make it up to the other finalists. I know, I know. Pretty naive. At least I take solace regarding that first woman: Jessica from Project Epiphany. If she has any conscious at all, every time she looks at her prize telescopes she is reminded of what she did to get them. She sent me an email after the voting ended saying she felt badly about what she'd done and was not going to accept the grant. My husband said it was a ploy and not to believe her. He was right. But the most hurtful part of ALL was how I never even got any sort of courtesy explanation from the CEO. I was completely invisible. No apology. Nothing. And now he's adding me as a friend on Twitter? Sorry, but no.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jones Soda Labels












This is my Jones Soda bottle label!  I was surfing the net and just found it! I had submitted a few photos to Jones Soda back in December of 2005, and later changed my email address, so I had no idea this photo was selected as the Cream Soda label for October 2006! AND it gets BETTER!!! THEN I found out our label was chosen by Jones Soda as 1 of only 36 finalists for their "2007 Photo of the Year"!  (Out of almost 143,00 photos submitted, we are in the TOP 8!) If we had only known we could have had our friends vote for it!  I can't believe how many votes it got considering they are not from anyone we know!  Matt took this photo of me back in 2001 when I was performing the role of Jill Tanner in Leonard Gershe's play "Butterflies are Free".  What an honor!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Please Nominate OtherInbox

Will you take 2 SECONDS to follow this link and nominate my brother's new company? He's going to revolutionize the way we deal with email overload! Go Josh! http://blog.otherinbox.com/

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm an Auntie!

Yesterday was historical in more ways than one.  My beautiful new niece joined us at 7:12pm (CT).  7 lbs, 6 oz.  She's still waiting for a name...  

Transcript: 'This is your victory,' says Obama

Words simply cannot express what we experienced in last night's election.  Matt and I cheered and cried.  We feel like America has reclaimed America. As each state's vote tally came in, it became more and more clear that it really was going to happen.  Obama WAS going to be elected our 44th President.  

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, after winning the race for the White House Tuesday night. 

Obama:  Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. Watch Obama's speech in its entirety »

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain. Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America. To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way. To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is an historical day!

Today is history in the making. Matt and I woke up early and made it to the little school down the street at 7am. There was a small line, and all in all it took 47 minutes to cast our votes.  I've never seen people so happy to vote.  I have to say I'm feeling very moved.  By this time tomorrow we'll know who our new president is.  And if it's Barack Obama, it truly will be a new day.  No more racial divide.  People's wounds of the past can begin to heal, and we can all be one.  There is no red America, blue America, white American, black America. There is ONE America: The United States of America.  I have never cared about politics before this election.  I have never had the hope I have today. Here is a map of predictions courtesy of http://www2.hubdub.com/election_map





Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yes on Change


My friend Onyay wrote this song and performs it here. What an amazing video! I am remembering what talented friends I have. Talented and proactive. I am humbled.

Friday, October 31, 2008

No on 8

 
POTA cofounder Jenn Mahoney wrote and edited this video. She also stars in it. She conceived the idea on Wednesday and it was completed and live on YouTube by Sunday! Go Jenn --You creative, activist! Lets keep equal rights for ALL people.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Wolves - A Cherokee Parable

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life and the battle that goes on inside people. He said: My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: Which wolf wins? The old Cherokee chief simply replied: The one you feed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

POTA Progress

I'm happy to announce that Patron of the Arts is officially a company in the state of California! We got our Articles of Incorporation back from the Secretary of State dated October 16th,2008! Today Jenn and I sent in forms 3500 and 1023, which is the application for tax exemption status in the Untied States, as well as California. It took us weeks to fill out all the paperwork. Now I just hope we've done it all flawlessly! Yay POTA!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Worst Nightmare


This made me laugh out loud! Let's not let this happen. Send your own customized video to friends!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm looking for Magic

I have a main theory in life: what you focus on expands.  2007 was a truly magical year for me, and it was also my intention.  There is so much that is "right" with my life.  I'm not sure why I let life's little problems get to me.  It's a choice and I'm ready for a change.  I am going to change me.  I am ready for magic again.  BIG magic. I am ready to reach my highest potential.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why Women Should Vote


Below is the content of an anonymous email I received, forwarded by my Grandfather's Cousin. It was a story worth repeating, and so I am sharing it with you. 

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. These women were innocent and defenseless, but were jailed for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. 

Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

Some women won't vote this year because-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.  All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie. What would those women think of the way I use , or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now.

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.  It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.

We need to vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote demo cratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Disney for free on your B-day

Get free admission to Disney theme parks on your birthday for 2009.  This is good for either Disneyland or Disney World. Have fun!  http://tinyurl.com/3zjqno

Monday, October 20, 2008

SAG Requests Mediation

Yesterday the Screen Actor's Guild National Board of Directors passed the following resolution at its quarterly plenary in Los Angeles: “In hopes of moving the Theatrical and TV negotiations forward, the National Board hereby takes the following actions: SAG will formally request a federal mediator be brought into the negotiations. The Board adds four new members to the National Negotiating Committee, two from the Hollywood Division, one from the New York Division and one from the Regional Branch Division. The Board authorizes a referendum and accompanying educational information be sent to the members requesting their authorization for the National Board to call a strike in the Theatrical and TV Contract, at such time as the Negotiating Committee determines in its sole discretion that the mediation process has failed.” Adopted: 96.72% to 3.28% Approval of the strike authorization would require 75 percent approval of members who vote.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm almost done WAITING FOR FOREVER





















Well, today is my last day here in Salt Lake City. It's  been 11 days, but I'm not ready to go home tomorrow! I've had a great time hanging out on the set of  WAITING FOR FOREVER, and watching my talented husband (cinematographer Matt Irving) at work.  It was very fun to be here for some of the visual effects shots, and for the big finale of the film.  Last night we ate a delicious dinner at Cucina Toscana, and had a blast hanging out with the main gang which included Producer Trevor Albert and his beautiful family, Director James Keach, Line Producer Nick Hippisley, Production Designer Chris Demuri and the actors Rachel Bilson, Scott Mechlowicz and Tom Sturridge.  Matt still has about a week left to shoot.  See you in L.A.! In photo: Matthew Irving, Tom Sturridge, Trevor Albert, Lindsay Albert, Avery and Quinn Albert, Scott Mechlowicz, Rachel Bilson, Chris Demuri 

Palin Disappoints on SNL

Saturday Night Live made out like a bandit with it's highest ratings in years as they dragged Sarah Palin over the coals. One has to wonder what she was thinking by agreeing to appear on the show, with nothing to say, no witty skit planned, nothing...  She just stood there as SNL cast regulars and Alec Baldwin made fun of her.  Matt and I watched the NBC Internet playback with out jaws dropped to the ground when Palin appeared on "Weekend Update" and instead of actually participating in the sketch, Amy Poehlar took center stage and performed a solo political rap instead. Palin sat there and bounced her head to Amy's rap, which was a roast that Palin did not seem to understand was at her expense.  How could McCain's camp let this happen?  We sat there dumbstruck as a person dressed in a moose costume was shot and killed in front of her.  As an Obama supporter, I truly feared that if Sarah showed any charisma she would help the McCain campaign.  (I have to admit McCain was pretty spectacular at the Charity Dinner only a few days earlier.)  Had she pulled off something similar, it could have made a difference.  But never did I expect she would just sit there doing NOTHING as the cast made fun of her. I almost (almost) felt bad for her.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

States' Film Production Incentives Cause Jitters

I'm saddened by the New York Times report of this story which inaccurately ties state film tax credits to Section 181 of the Jobs Creation Act.  I guess it makes for a more dramatic story. Let's be clear: the Bailout Bill includes legislature regarding Section 181 only and NOT tax credits and rebates for film production offered by individual states, as implied by this article. Regardless, in addressing the issue of tax credits and rebates, my personal opinion is that state film tax incentives should be limmitted to films with total budgets of less than $20M. That would solve the problem completely, and give money to the smaller film productions who may not exist if these incentives were removed.

New York Times Article 10/12/08 By MICHAEL CIEPLY
LOS ANGELES — Already on the hook for billions to bail out Wall Street, taxpayers are also finding themselves stuck with a growing tab for state programs intended to increase local film production.

One of the most shocking bills has come due in Louisiana, where residents are financing a hefty share of Brad Pitt's next movie  -$27,117,737, to be exact, which the producers will receive by cashing or selling off valuable tax credits.  As the number of movies made under these plans multiplied in recent years, the state money turned into a welcome rescue plan for Hollywood at a time when private investors were fleeing the movies. But the glamour business has not always been kind to those who pick up the costs, and states are moving to rein in their largess that has allowed producers to be reimbursed for all manner of expenditures, whether the salaries of stars, the rental of studio space or meals for the crew.

Louisiana, one of the most assertive players in the subsidy game, wound up covering that outsize piece of the nearly $167 million budget of Mr. Pitt's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" — the state's biggest movie payout to date — when producers for Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers qualified the coming movie, a special-effects drama, under an incentive that has since been tightened. Separately, Louisiana's former film commissioner is set to be sentenced in January to as much as 15 years in federal prison for taking bribes to inflate film budgets (though not that of "Button") and, hence, pay higher subsidies.

Michigan, its own budget sagging, is in the middle of a hot political fight over a generous 40 percent rebate on expenditures to filmmakers that was carried out, with little opposition, only last April. Producers of films for studios like Warner Brothers and the Weinstein Company rushed to cash in, just as homegrown businesses were squeezed by a new business tax and surcharge. Rebellious legislators from both parties are now looking to put a cap on the state's annual film spending, which some have estimated could quickly hit $200 million a year.

In Rhode Island, meanwhile, the rules have toughened considerably. That happened after The Providence Journal reported in March that producers of a straight-to-DVD picture called "Hard Luck," which starred Wesley Snipes and Cybill Shepherd, had picked up $2.65 million in state tax credits on a budget of $11 million, even though it had reported paying only $1.9 million of the total to Rhode Islanders.

"With this much money involved, there's going to be a temptation to hype budgets," said Peter Dekom, a veteran entertainment business lawyer who is an adviser to New Mexico's incentive program.

The vogue for state film subsidies appears to have started in Colorado early this decade, with a briefly financed Defense Against Canada law that was devised to win production back from Vancouver and Toronto. Louisiana and New Mexico soon came on board.

By this year, about 40 states were offering significant subsidies, turning the United States into what the Incentives Office, a consulting firm in Santa Monica, Calif., has called the New Bulgaria. It is a reference to what was once the film industry's favorite low-cost production site.

Virtually all of the programs use a state tax system to reimburse producers for money spent on movies or TV shows shot in the state. Some, like Michigan's, simply refund a percentage of expenditures to the producer. Others, like Louisiana's, issue a tax credit that can reduce the taxes a production pays or be sold to someone else. Either way, the state gives up revenue that otherwise would be collected to put money in the producer's pockets.

Advocates, of course, argue that these programs create jobs.

One of the country's most successful programs is in New Mexico, which has backed movies like the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and next year's "Terminator Salvation," the latest sequel in the action series, with a reported budget of $200 million.

New Mexico officials boast of having used a 25 percent production cost rebate to build a local film industry that has attracted more than $600 million in direct spending since 2003, and an estimated $1.8 billion in total financial impact, as of last June. And in fiscal year 2008, the productions in the state generated 142,577 days of employment, up from 25,293 in 2004.

Elsewhere, however, critics have sharply challenged the notion that state subsidies for the film business can ever buy more than momentary glitter. "There's no evidence yet that this is a particularly efficient or effective way to create jobs," said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

The nonprofit center reviews budget and tax policies in Massachusetts, which is spending about $60 million a year on producer credits. Arecent study by Mr. Berger's center pointed out that the state's film credit, at 25 percent, is five times higher than that offered to those who build in designated economic opportunity areas, and more than eight times the state's standard investment tax credit.

Until two years ago, Louisiana's program offered a 15 percent credit for virtually the entire budget of a qualified film (and more for Louisiana resident wages), including money that may have been spent out of state. Things were fast and loose enough in Louisiana that Mark Smith, who oversaw the program, pleaded guilty last year to taking $67,500 in bribes to inflate budgets for a film production company that was not named by the authorities. Kathy English, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans, said the case remained open.

Louisiana's new rules offer a larger credit, but only on spending within the state. That made the incentive less attractive for big-budget movies, like "Button," which was done under old rules, and could recover parts of star salaries and other expenses that left Louisiana. But it has drawn a welter of smaller movies and TV shows, 70 of which have been shot so far in 2008, up from 56 the year before.

"All areas of the state have prospered as a result; everyone sees it," said Sherri McConnell, director of Louisiana's Office of Entertainment Industry Development. (Ms. McConnell said she did not expect to have a detailed picture of economic impact until the completion of a planned study, early next year.)

Others are not so sure. "There's no way you can say this makes money for the public" treasury, said Greg Albrecht, chief economist for Louisiana's legislative fiscal office.

In 2006, the last year for which it has complete figures, the state granted about $121 million in credits. Mr. Albrecht estimates that only about 18 percent of that is ever recovered in taxes on expanded economic activity. "It's an expensive way to create jobs," Mr. Albrecht said. But he noted that Louisiana, like New Mexico, can afford it, thanks to rising oil and gasoline revenue. "We're happy as larks right now to do this."

Not so happy are some folks up in Michigan, where a State Senate committee recently moved to cap the state's film rebates at an aggregate of $50 million a year. "It's just horrible right now," Mike Bishop, a Republican state senator, said of Michigan's financial condition. Mr. Bishop initially backed the film incentive. But he grew alarmed at outlays that he estimated could quickly exceed $110 million a year to subsidize movies like "Gran Torino," directed by Clint Eastwood, and "Youth in Revolt," a comedy by the filmmaker Miguel Arteta. Anthony Wenson, chief operating officer of the Michigan Film Office, said the actual amount of credits granted was only about $25 million so far. The annual number is impossible to reckon, he said, because plans for future projects are in flux.

In any case, Nancy Cassis, another Republican who was the only Michigan senator to oppose the incentives when they began last spring, said she expected to see them capped with bipartisan backing later this year. And she does not look for Hollywood to hang around when the money dries up. "These are not long-term jobs," Ms. Cassis said. "If just one state offers more, they'll be out of here before you can say 'lickety-split.' "

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Movie Deal deadline is today!

Today is the final deadline for the Movie Deal screenplay competition, which offers a production deal to the grand prize winner, including airfare and accommodations to the set of their own film.  I was honored to be selected as a final judge. Good luck everyone! Apply online at www.withoutabox.com

Calculate your Obama vrs. McCain Tax Cut

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will cut taxes for 95% of working families, and provide at least 3 times as much tax relief for middle class families as John McCain and Sarah Palin. This calculator shows that Matt and I will save $1000 under Obama! Under Bush, Oops, I mean McCain we'd save $0. Calculate your own tax cut here: 
http://taxcut.barackobama.com/

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Greetings from Utah

Our hotel in Salt Lake City is really cute and in a great location. My time here is going by too fast!  On Saturday I hung out with Matt on the set of his latest film WAITING FOR FOREVER, and had fun watching the special effects for the train crash being filmed, complete with stunt people.  That night it began to snow, and it continued right into Sunday. It was a downright gorgeous snowfall consisting of the largest snowflakes I've ever seen!  I swear, some of these snowflakes were the size of quarters! Driving home from set the next day we saw the most beautiful and gigantic full moon sitting just atop the mountaintop vista.  It was spectacular!  Later that night we watched the Dodgers game at a bar with the director James Keach, producer Trevor Albert, cast (Nikki Blonsky, Nelson Franklin, Tom Sturridge & Scott Mechlowicz) and some crew. Now the snow has completely cleared and it is unseasonably warm again.  (Photo left: Capital Building)

I feel helpless being far from home as two fires rage out of control in the San Fernando Valley, near where we live.  Yet I feel grateful to be here, breathing in this amazingly fresh air, and away from the thick smoke which I hear engulfed the 101 freeway.  In economic news, the DJ was up by 936 yesterday.  This (the largest single-day increase in history) was expected as the government began buying up bank shares with the $750B Tax bailout.  They say this "government regulating" of private businesses is temporary, but I'll believe it when/if our taxpayer money is ever returned. Obama made an AMAZING speech yesterday that was followed by a rather empty speech by McCain. Hearing and watching the two back-to-back reinforced my feelings yet again.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Industry Strike Update

Here's a quick recap of last week in the film industry:  According to an email from the Screen Actor's Guild, SAG is moving forward to try to authorize a strike.  "The advisory motion recommends that the national board should send a strike authorization referendum to SAG members, support the passage of the strike authorization, and run a member education campaign in support of the measure." This email also speaks of "qualified" voters. I've heard rumors that SAG wants to no longer allow all dues paying members to vote, but rather allow only members who have earned a certain amount of money in the last year to be able to vote. I'm assuming this is only a rumor, as that would be absurd. I am also bothered by the "education campaign" since all prior literature thus far has been very one-sided. It doesn't seem like they realize that if producers have less money, then nobody works--including us SAG members.  On the other side of the coin, Variety reported good news. Hollywood Studios are moving forward in a leap of faith, with 40 new movies going into production at long last.  This would be a devastating blow for them if SAG actually did strike.  But in this awful economy, and presuming that more than 75% of SAG members do not want to strike, they feel that people need to go back to work.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where's Fluffy?

I'm on roll finding great movies lately!  In the past week I've seen APPALOOSA (wonderful film that was written, directed and starred the talented Ed Harris, in what I think could garner an Oscar nomination), HALF NELSON (on DVD) and now NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST.  You'll have to see NICK & NORAH for yourself to understand the reference in this blog title.  

NICK & NORAH was thoroughly enjoyable. I couldn't help but notice many similarities between it and the film GROOVE.  Both films take place in the course of one evening, focus on a search (and love) of music, depict the dawning of a new relationship, involve a party, have a minor gay side-couple, and end as the new day is dawning literally and figuratively. I'd give NICK & NORAH a solid "A", although with a few tweaks, it could have been a real classic.  If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading my review here, so you can enjoy the experience at it's fullest. Spoiler Alert:  My main criticisms: I wish the film used more effective shots to create a grander ending.  After the shot on the escalator, I wish they punched out to a WIDE establishing shot where we see them slide out of the escalator and out of frame. Then the camera could have craned back further to reveal an even WIDER shot of the band playing... Yeah baby!! One more note:  I think it would have worked better without the sex scene.  I felt this film had a somewhat innocent feel to it, and this scene was extraneous.  It's not like they put it in for nudity's sake, since there is none. I found it anticlimactic.  (No pun intended). Sex is so casual in society today, especially for kids, and this film reflects it. (And I don't think that was a conscious point).  If they had to keep it in, I wish they had a bit of dialogue about a condom or something to indicate they were using protection. Regardless, it was a great flick! 

MORBID CURIOSITY at Flyway Film Festival

My short film MORBID CURIOSITY is screening at the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin, Wisconsin today (October 12, 2008) at 3pm. Flyway is our 26th film festival, and the Wisconsin Premiere! Hope you can make it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's Easy to Make a Difference

As you know, I'm a big supporter of what American Express is doing to help make a positive difference in the world through the Member's Project.  I received a heartfelt plea from International Media Corps (below).  Considering what I went through with Ideablob, (and considering this is for 150 TIMES the prize money and impact) how could I say no to posting a blog?  I know first-hand what's it's like to work hundreds of hours in a grant contest and lose not on the merit of my project, but because someone else had a larger online community or extra support from a huge organization or company.  I love you Kiva and DonersChoose.org, but you already have my support.  Let's spread it around.  Who wants to save the lives of malnourished children? I do!
  
"Dear Cindy: I wanted to reach out to you because there are only 3 days left to help. My organization, International Medical Corps, is in the final 5 of the American Express Members Projects. "Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children" is eligible to receive up to $1.5 million to help feed hungry and malnourished children, but I really need your help to let everyone know to vote for us. We are currently in 4th place and are just a couple of hundred votes out of 3rd. The difference between 3rd and 4th place is $200k. Imagine how many children we could help with that amount?"  Okay --I'm spreading the word... Please Vote NOW.www.internationalmedicalcorps.smnr.us

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Brighter Day Will Come!

With the 2008 presidential election, Americans face a pivotal choice between not just two candidates, but two paradigms.

Last Chance to Regsiter

Register to vote while you still can at RockTheVote.com.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

22 Years Later

Thanks to the amazing internet, tonight I had dinner with my cousin Brian who I had not been in touch with since 1987!  Less than 1 week after we reconnected he had a spontaneous business trip to LA and we got to meet in person!  It's nice to have family.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Boring Debate

I was initially bummed to have to forgo watching the debate live tonight to attend cooking class.  (Although cooking class was delightful!) Little did I know how anticlimactic it would be when I later watched it back on Tivo.  Nothing new for presidential debate #2. I'm growing tired of watching McCain act so disrespectfully toward "That One". Doesn't he realize it makes him look unappealing?  He seems so angry all the time.

Vote for The Future

Monday, October 6, 2008

HALF NELSON

I dug it. I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars.  Ryan Gosling is one extremely talented actor, who absolutely deserved the 2006 oscar nomination he received for this amazing role. Ryan was also wonderful in LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. I don't know how HALF NELSON (directed and co-written by the talented Ryan Fleck) ended up in my Netflix cue, but I'm happy it did! What I loved most about this film was it's seamless feeling of being contemporary and yet classic at the same time!  It definitely felt like a modern piece with the faux documentary, hand-held-camera feel, and yet parts of the film felt like they could have been right of out the 70's.  There was a wonderful juxtaposition that kept happening with the two main characters which were skillfully crafted by little montages.  I also loved the interspersing of the kid's speeches in the classroom.  It was profound. Something about this reminded me a bit of the film GEORGE WASHINGTON, although it's completely different.  I was riveted and captivated by every moment of this film. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Indie Filmmakers Get Bailout Break

Great news for Indie Filmmakers! Somehow Section 181 of the Jobs Creation Act ended up as part of the Bailout Bill! According to Variety: "Tax incentive legislation aiding Hollywood was tucked into the mammoth $700 billion bailout plan signed into law Friday by President Bush. The legislation, originally enacted in 2004 in an effort to stem runaway production, extends and expands an existing federal domestic production tax credit that had been set to expire at the end of this year. The credit was also modified to allow the incentive to be applied as an immediate deduction of the first $15 million spent on any film or TV program produced in the United States. Previously, the incentive was only available to productions with a total cost of under $15 million. The modification is retroactive to January. The legislation also increases the single-year deduction in production costs, from $15 million to $20 million, that film and TV productions may take if the costs are incurred in designated economically depressed areas. The incentive was extended through December 2009." Read full story here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

SAG / AMPTP Negotiations Update

Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild appeared to have selected an odd day -- when media stocks were in free-fall -- to urge the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to resume negotiations. In an open letter sent to the AMPTP and the news media on Monday and published as an ad in Tuesday's Daily Variety, SAG President Alan Rosenberg and National Executive Director Doug Allen proposed that the two sides focus on three issues, one involving "force majeure" protection and the two others involving new media. The letter warned, "If your intransigence continues, however, our choices become harder and fewer."

AMPTP President Nick Counter responded, essentially tossing the "intransigence" accusation back into SAG's lap, by stating "we do not believe that it would be productive to resume negotiations at this time given SAG's continued insistence on terms which the companies have repeatedly rejected." Courtesy IMDB

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Honor of Tonight's Debate

Imagine if this were a Disney movie: Alaskan hockey mom suddenly becomes Vice President in the wackiest family comedy of the year! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Spy Cousin Bri

Thanks to the amazing internet and facebook I have reconnected with my cousin Brian who I have not seen in over 20 years!

Making a Difference





Members Project® is down to the FINAL 5 ideas that will all make a positive impact in our world!  ALL of these amazing finalists will receive at least $100,000 in funding, with the leader receiving $1.5 Million dollars! Matt and I are already supporters of two of the fulfilling organizations-- Kiva (loans that change lives) and DonersChoose.org (help 100,000 children thrive in the classroom) which allows you to directly sponsor the wishlist of a teacher in an American classroom--so we can personally recommend them. I encourage you to look at ALL the final ideas and choose the one that touches your heart most. These 5 top ideas focus on impacting health, hunger or education.  Last year Members Project® gave $1.5M to bring clean drinking water to impoverished nations.  I've heard rumors that American Express may expand this contest to 10 winners next year! I would LOVE to see an arts organization get support. 

VOTE NOW FOR YOUR FAVORITE WINNER:
Alzheimer's Disease: Early Detection Matters
Feeding 1 Million Children Daily
Help 100,000 children thrive in the classroom!
Loans That Change Lives
Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House votes down bailout plan; Dow drops 778

Yesterday was yet another historical day: the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its single worst point drop ever, taking a 777.68-point nosedive after the House voted against a proposed plan that was stitched together over the weekend by administration officials and congressional leaders to try to stabilize financial markets and unthaw frozen credit markets. Full story at USAToday

It's hard not to feel scared when newscasters paint a doomsday scenario. Even the "calm" reporters talked faster than usual, telling us not to worry, as they spoke of banks having no money to cash paychecks, people having no money for food and bills and a massive loss of jobs. I have to say it feels like a scare tactic. I don't know what to think. A bill like this is one of most important bills outside of war or impeachment that a member could ever have to vote on. I don't think it should be taken lightly. Maybe we should just CALM DOWN and take the time needed to make the BEST possible plan.  

It's been interesting watching the political stations swing things. They all do it, but Fox is simply infuriating. The accusations they make to turn the blame from Republicans to Democrats on anything and everything is astounding. I wish that reporters could be held accountable for the random and calculated accusations they make on television. I can't believe what I am watching. Fox republicans are freaking out about the new voting rule in Ohio, since Obama has such a huge following of college students there. They are making accusations about cheating, fraud, and trying to overturn the new ruling. For my sanity I'm changing the channel now... 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Richard Wright Tribute


Dave Gilmour was on a BBC program called Jools Holland Tuesday night to promote his new live CD/DVD, and instead of playing one of the songs on those CDs, he and his band performed Rick Wright's early Pink Floyd song "Remember A Day" from 1968--which has never been performed live before. It's always been a haunting favorite of Matt's. Syd Barrett plays guitar on the original--which means Gilmour has NEVER performed it before now! It was quite moving to see it on YouTube.
RIP Rick Wright

Oh, Baby!

Welcome to this crazy world Casey Billet Brennan! This adorable little guy joined us Sunday, September 28th. He's my great grandmother's sister's great grandson.  Let's see... I guess that makes him my third cousin!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Closing Night at VFF

Join us for the last night of the Valley Film Festival! Check out PRETTY UGLY PEOPLE, see which movies take home the awards, and party!

Here's to you Paul Newman

It was announced Saturday that beloved actor and humanitarian Paul Newman died of lung cancer at the age of 83. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1925, Newman first made his mark on the stage and TV but his startling good looks and undeniable presence destined him to appear on the screen. Newman often played troubled characters with streaks of nobility such as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler, Hud Bannon in Hud and the imprisoned rebel, Cool Hand Luke. But it was his role as Butch in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, opposite Robert Redford, that thrust him into superstardom. He followed it with other classic films including The Sting, The Towering Inferno, Slap Shot, and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. He was nominated for 10 Oscars in his five-decade-long career, winning the best actor accolade for his role opposite Tom Cruise in The Color Of Money in 1986. He also won two Golden Globe awards, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Cannes Film Festival award and an Emmy award.

But of all the awards Newman received in his lifetime, none seem more meaningful than his honorary 1994 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which acknowledged Newman for his extensive philanthropic work. His charitable giving, from his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, (a camp for seriously ill children) to the proceeds from Newman’s Own, are legendary. The proceeds from the Newman's Own brand have brought in more than $250 million in charity donations. And following the death of his only son Scott from an accidental drug overdose in 1978, he set up the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention.

Newman is survived by his wife of 50 years actress Joanne Woodward, their three daughters, Elinor, Melissa & Claire, and his two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, from his first marriage to Jackie Witte.
Thanks for making a difference in the world.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PRISM Awards Air This Weekend






















The 12th Annual PRISM Awards will be airing this weekend on FX Network. Check your local listings for exact times. The PRISM Awards honor movies and television that makes a positive difference in the world by accurately portraying the effects of addiction in the media. I was honored to be a judge both this year and last.

Friday, September 26, 2008

AUGUSTA GONE

This week I had lunch with Laurie, the talented and amazing producer of AUGUSTA GONE. Laurie is such a doll and she adores the script for ODD BRODSKY! The way Laurie and I met is very special. Last December my dear friend Larisa had her annual holiday feast. Well, we each brought a dish to share, and my dish was a delicious pumpkin soup.  Anyway, as I was in the kitchen stirring the soup, two women were talking nearby. I couldn't help but overhear one of them say the words "Prism Awards". Of course I turned to them and said "Did you just say Prism Awards?". It turns out that Laurie won a Prism Award in 2007 for producing AUGUSTA GONE. So here's the kismet part. Not only was I on the judging committee for the 2007 Prism Awards, but I was a judge of HER category "movie of the week"!! Of course I adored her film; it had a strong parallel to PURGATORY HOUSE with similar issues and heart.  Needless to say we hit it off immediately.  Now Laurie has moved to Burbank, so we are neighbors!  She loves ODD BRODSKY and wants to help bring it to life!  

SXSW 2009

Got my gold pass today! It will be such fun because #1) It's SXSW #2)My brother is speaking on a few panels #3)I will get to spend time with my brother & his wonderful wife & my brand new niece or nephew!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bye Bye WaMu

I came home from a mediocre film finance seminar only to learn that one of the banks Matt and I have a secondary account at has completely collapsed in what is being considered the largest bank failure in American History. In American HISTORY. Not just "since the Great Depresssion" or "in the last 50 years", but the biggest IN HISTORY.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune: Washington Mutual, the giant lender that came to symbolize the excesses of the mortgage boom, was seized by federal regulators on Thursday night in what is by far the largest bank failure in American history. Regulators simultaneously brokered an emergency sale of virtually all of Washington Mutual to J.P. Morgan Chase. The remainder of WaMu, the nation's largest savings and loan, will be operated by the government. Shareholders and some bondholders will be wiped out. WaMu depositors are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to the $100,000 per account limit.

The Great Schlep

Sarah Silverman aims to win florida for Obama by having jews visit their grandparents. Of course this is completley politically incorrect, and I'm not even a fan of Sarah Silverman's, but I had to post it.


The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Valley Film Festival Starts Tonight





Discover new films at the Valley Film Festival tonight through Sunday night in NoHo.  Opening night film (tonight) is my friend John Putch's feature ROUTE 3O.  The schedule is here. See you at the movies! 

Thanks Kroger!

Kroger has this great program that supports non-profits. They will donate money based on your grocery bill!  Just register your savings card online and pick a nonprofit to support. Then scan your savings card as usual at the check out, and your nonprofit will receive a donation every time you purchase!  The company I founded, The Mosaic Theatre Company, just received it's first check. We love you Kroger (and Ralph's supermarket).  Thanks for supporting the arts!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You are...

You are
and always will be
the love of my life.
I am so lucky because I know love.  I am so lucky because I know You.

I hope that everyone who reads this will know true love too. It is the greatest gift of all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not One But Two

Turns out there were two black widow spiders living in the garage. Luckily they were males, so no need to worry about eggs.  Bluck... Normally I don't mind spiders. But these suckers were scary!