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


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!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More than a lifetime ago

"I am sure you don't remember me, but you were my camp counselor at Camp Hayward in like 1988. I never forgot you!! You were such a positive influence and you were so beautiful, both inside and out. I can only see a tiny little profile picture, but it looks like you haven't changed a bit. I just wanted to let you know that you made a difference in my life and I hope that you are doing well!"  I just received this message on facebook and I'm moved beyond words. Being the obsessive documentarian that I am, I referred to my handy photo album and found that I absolutely DO remember her! 

When I pulled out the old photo album all those memories came rushing back. I wonder what ever became of the old gang. Eileen, Lori, Vicky, Simon, Duncan and the rest. When Matt and I were last in Massachusetts we drove down to Cape Cod and I showed him the camp. The whole thing has changed. New cabins, new community hall, and they have horses now!  (I guess the girls no longer have a reason to go to the boy's camp across the lake!) That was such an amazing, magical, happy and sad time of my life.  It almost seems like a dream now.  
"Ra ra Camp Hayward, Hayward. Ra ra Camp Hayward Hayward. Ra ra Hayward we love you."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Be the Change.

Kiva was my inspiration for POTA.  Will you help Kiva help others?

Friday, September 19, 2008

SAG Poll Results

Variety reports: "SAG members back guild."  AMPTP responds: "The questions were devised to give SAG negotiators only the answer they wanted to hear. The materials accompanying the postcard were hopelessly one-sided..."  Read full story.  

Although more than 87% of the 10,293 SAG members who responded in this poll said they'd like to receive better terms than those in the final offer by the AMPTP, the poll generated less than a 10% response from the total 103,630 dues-current members. Since 90% of members did not participate, and the poll was not anonymous, I find the results are in essence inconclusive.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Last night I got a special sneak peak at the talented writer/director Brian Hecker's debut feature BART GOT A ROOM. This really cute and very funny film about the stress of finding a date for prom got rave reviews when it premiered at Tribecca earlier this year.  It was especially fun for me, since I was an actress in one of Brian's short films awhile ago! The film is being released by Anchor Bay, and will out in February of 2009. I hope you see it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We'll miss you Richard Wright

Sad news:  Richard Wright, founding member and keyboard player of one of the greatest rock groups of all time --Pink Floyd, died Monday at the age of 65 after a short battle with cancer. Read story here. Thanks for the amazing music, and thanks for the memories. Shine on...

Bank Advice

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 504.48 points yesterday. This was the largest single-day drop since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers, the nation's fourth largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy amid worries about the health of other key financial institutions.  I received an email from my bank with some valuable advice that I wanted to share: 

"While we don’t have an crystal ball, we do expect the economy to remain fragile through 2009. The best course of action for our Customers is to be disciplined: avoid splurging; identify and cut out unnecessary expenses and save for what's essential; and hedge against those tough times. We can all benefit by developing good spending habits: confront and cut up credit cards; use your home as a savings vehicle - not as an ATM; and establish and contribute regularly to an IRA or 401(k)."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again.

Thanks for the lyrics Billy Joel.  Yesterday Matt left to go shoot his next film in Salt Lake City. I'll be heading there in a few weeks to join him.  I have to say, being apart these days is so much easier than years ago. iChat and webcams make a world of difference. But certainly nothing will ever come close to that feeling of actually losing yourself in someone's eyes.  Until then my dear husband, I'll meet you at the waterfall...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Book Signing with Neil Kaplan

Come have a glass of wine and meet my friend Neil Kaplan who will be signing copies of his brand new comic book "I, OF THE WOLF" (which he created and co-wrote) today at 2pm in Burbank. This comic is a re-envisioning of the Wolf/Man myth and the special preview edition issue is now available. Also signing with Neil is his artist J. Zoe Frasure, and guest artist (cover and dream sequence) JK Woodward (of Fallen Angel, Crazy Mary & CSI comic fame). The comic is $3.00 and all 3 will sign!

WHEN: Sunday September 14, 2008 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WHERE: Dark Delicacies, 4213 W.Burbank, Burbank, CA 91505

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maybe God's A Woman Too

Every time I watch Peter Bogdanovitch's THE THING CALLED LOVE (1993) I have to say I love it even more!  This film represents to me everything that I could want in a movie.  The story, the reveal of the story (long, skillful takes with great blocking, and no band-aid coverage), the music, the acting, the relationships, the characters, the pace, the tone, the journey, the heart.  It's the story of a group of young songwriters in Nashville trying to make it in the music business. This was River Phoenix's last film and he is simply brilliant.  It's also one of Sandra Bullock's earlier film, and she is a riot as Linda Lue Linden.   Dermot Mulroney rips your heart out with an honesty that's rare, and of course Samantha Mathis as the lead is a character I think most young people can relate to, no matter what dream it is that you are following. This blog entry's title is an homage to the very sweet and moving final song in the film. I just adore this piece.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kids Talk Politics

My talented filmmaker friend Ken Sheetz recently directed and produced a nonpartisan show called "Kids Talk Politics", which is featured in this great spread in the LA Times. Congrats Ken!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 (TM)

This may be a bit over-the-top at times, yet very good points, none-the-less. Especially beginning at 2:50 (1/3 into the clip). The ending rocks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kudos to American Express

Congratulations American Express. You Rock! Yesterday I received an email announcing the 25 projects that American Express has chosen for the finals in the Members Project, which awards $2.5 million to 5 projects that will make a positive difference in the world. I noticed that the nominee in second place with over 6000 votes was NOT chosen to make the finals. Weird huh?? Since I'm coincidentally doing a ton of "contest research" right now, I was very curious about this.  I did a google search to see if I could find out anything. Check this out! That entry made it to second place by being "goon-rushed" by the "Something Awful" forums. You may recall that this is the same group of people who "goon-rushed" the Ideablob contest, causing POTA to lose the $20 grant in June! (Something Awful has been disqualified from other contests for playing unfairly, cheating, "proxy" voting, etc.)  Interesting...  

Presenting the Top 25 Member Projects:
$25 Infant Incubator
6,000 Girls' Scholarships in the Developing World
Advancing Education in Rural Cambodia
Alzheimer's Disease: Early Detection Matters
ASHA - The Livelihood Programme for millions
End Human Trafficking:Sustainable Livelihoods
Feeding 1 Million Children Daily
Help 100,000 children thrive in the classroom!
Help Women and Children Survivors of War Rebuild
Helping Poor Mayans to Help Themselves
Jharkhand Tribal Project
Kids for Sight: Ending childhood blindness - India
Loans That Change Lives
Marine Conservation & Awareness- Pacific Solo Row
Mobile Pediatric Orthopaedic Education
My Little Waiting Room
New, Affordable Treatments with Existing Drugs
Project Brain Child
Protect Cocos Island - World Heritage Site
Rebuilding New Orleans Green
Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children
Solar Powered Africa-LED Lanterns Lighting the Way
Stop the traffic! (human trafficking)
The 3G Project
Using the Power of Soccer to Fight AIDS in Africa

Support your favorite project. American Express will fund the winning projects with $2.5 million:
$1,500,000 for the winning project
$500,000 for the second place project
$300,000 for the third place project
$100,000 each for the two remaining finalists
Vote for your favorite cause here:  membersproject.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MORBID CURIOSITY at Flyway Film Festival

Hi friends! Come see my short film MORBID CURIOSITY at the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin, Wisconsin on October 12th at 3pm.  Flyway marks the 26th film festival for this short film, as well as the Wisconsin Premiere! Located approximately 90 minutes southeast from downtown Minneapolis on the banks of a wide spot on the Mississippi River, Pepin, Wisconsin has become home to many artists, artisans and craftspeople. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jenn Mahoney at the Ford Theater

Check out POTA co-founder Jenn Mahoney (who is also an Emmy-award winning singer) as she performs at the Ford Amphitheater tonight as part of The Celtic Divas. This six member group sings lovely ballads with haunting harmonies. There will also be Irish step dancers and a traditional pipes and drums marching band in full uniform. It promises to be a full night of music, song and dance for the whole family to enjoy! For Ticket info click here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

SAG Poll Is Not a Secret Ballot

Okay, I just received my SAG postcard in the mail, and need to amend this post.  Based on the email I received this morning, I expected the postcard claimed our votes would be anonymous.  FYI: the postcard clearly states that there is a unique barcode associated with your postcard.  That being said, the content of the email is still relevant.  It states: the postcard "poll" you have recently received as a SAG member is NOT a secret ballot." Any vote will be recorded BY NAME and the list of who voted for and against the AMPTP contract proposal will be available to current SAG staff and leadership. For more detailed information go to: http://blog.sagwatch.net/SAG_poll, and for the latest news and member discussions on SAG contract negotiations, feel free to visit this nonpartisan site at:  http://blog.sagwatch.net

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rock Me Sexy Jesus

We finally saw HAMLET 2 this past weekend. I'd been dying to see it ever since Sundance, when I heard there were some similarities between it and ODD BRODSKY.  It was true! There are indeed some wacky similarities! But the two movies are still entirely different.  It would be fun to talk to the writers to see how they got their ideas, and compare notes.  Although I can't say I loved the movie, I did love the two ending musical numbers, which included a song called "Rock me sexy Jesus" (see above photo). The music and choreography were AMAZING!!  I would love to hire these composers for one of my projects. Wowza!  But Tracey, I think you might owe me a drink...

I Spy Another Baer

We actually heard back from the lawyers yesterday.  I was shocked by the speedy reply.  After what happened in June (I was injured, submitted evidence, and never received any explanation) part of me expected to be ignored again. Of course, none of our questions were answered satisfactorily, but at least they responded.  It's the start. Not sure if I can write about the next steps here, but I'll certainly write whatever I can legally. Personally I'm not worried about "showing my cards"on my blog because I'm not playing any games. It's very cut and dry. The thing I find the most intriguing is that one of the lawyers is named Baer!  I've never met anyone else (besides immediate family) with my last name before.  And now, of all times, here he is. I would normally be very excited about this.  I'm going to look on the family tree to see if he's there.  It's not a completed tree, but how amazing (and sad) that would be?   

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A New Beginning

For the first time in quite awhile, I feel really GOOD. I feel happy. I feel centered.  It's that feeling that comes when you take action and stand up for what's right, instead of being a marshmallow. And Matt's home from his scout in 4 hours. Yay!