Cocoa and Caffeine Hollywood Travels

This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, June 13, 2016

#Orlando With So Many Grieving -- Let's Love Each Other

          Yesterday morning, started off like any other Sunday.  I went downstairs around 8 a.m., started the coffeemaker and puttered outside to retrieve the paper.  While the coffee was still brewing, I went to my patio to check on my plants.  [I check on them often, amazed that I've kept them alive this long.  I'm hardly a green thumb.]  It was then I noticed something peculiar-- a tiny, dead bird.  It must've fallen from the sky early in the morning, I thought.  It didn't appear to have been attacked by a cat or anything else.  It just simply (and quietly) fell from the sky and peacefully left this world.  A trail of ants had already found it.  I contemplated what to do.  Do I throw it in the trash?  Bury it? 
           I decided on neither of these things. Instead, I swept it up and took it outside.  There, out of public view, I laid it down on a soft patch of grass.  I returned to the patio, broom in hand, feeling satisfied that I'd respected its tiny life and let nature take its course.  It was then that I looked down to see something else:  a small, rainbow-colored leaf [pictured above.]  Strange, I thought.  It's not the time of year for leaves to change color, but the weather had been unseasonably cool the last few days in Southern California.  Maybe the trees were getting confused, I told myself.  But this was the only colored leaf.  We don't get many colored leaves in L.A.  I bent down to pick it up and brought it inside. 

          All of the above occurred Sunday (June 12, 2016) BEFORE I learned of the events in Orlando, early that morning.  By the time I'd poured my coffee, I'd become shockingly aware.  Like many others, I learned of the horror at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, not from the newspaper in my hand, but from social media.  The news so fresh, that it didn't make it by press time of the Los Angeles Times that morning.  That morning, newspapers on the West Coast had been printed and deliveries had been made.  Sunday morning, like always.  Except it wasn't.   

          People celebrating the weekend and each other, had lost their lives.  Countless others had been rushed to emergency rooms, some in the back of police cruisers when the city of Orlando ran out of ambulances. 

         Somewhere on the West Coast, a tiny bird fell from the sky.  A rainbow-colored leaf fluttered onto a patio.  

          Families and friends had lost loved ones and a pieces of themselves that they'll never recover, no matter how long they grieve.  Others would only learn later if their loved ones made it out in time.  Many are still waiting...  waiting for a complete casualty list to be published so they can file their fingers down the names and hope there's no one they recognize. Knowing that, chances are, they will know someone and even if they don't, their heart will be broken just the same.

          Senseless tragedy.  No matter how you look at it.  Grief so immense that it's impossible to fathom.  Most of the time I don't believe in signs or omens or superstitions, but when I think of that tiny bird, that leaf... I know the universe sometimes provides warnings, tiny details that beckon us to take notice of the beauty of our surroundings and the fragility of life.

         During routine errands this afternoon, I saw two other images that stick in my mind: 

         One, was a Caucasian man, mid-thirties, standing in line at the bank.  He had a shaved head and his neck and arms were covered in tattoos.  Then, I noticed something else.  Both of his legs were covered with large tattoos that spelled out the word S-U-R-V-I-V-O-R.  The letters were so large, anyone could read them from across the room.  

          Driving home, I found myself behind an old car, weighed down with the possessions of its occupants.  From the rearview mirror hung a large Star Of David.  Flying in the breeze and prominently anchored onto the back of the car, was a frayed American Flag.   Tattered as it was, I noticed because I hadn't seen an American flag like that on someone's car since 9/11.

          No matter your belief system, your religion, your country of origin,  your political affiliations or your sexual orientation, we are all SURVIVORS-- each and every day that we wake up.  My heart grieves for Orlando and the senseless violence that happens everywhere, around the globe, every single day.  The violence we never hear about... the violence that is happening somewhere... right now... as I type this.  

          There will always be villians and evilness in the world. But may they always be outnumbered by heroes and goodness.  Love and kindness.  Generosity and forgiveness.  Let us remember the heroes.  For heroes exist among us.  Some of them are in uniform, but the vast majority of them are just like you and I.  Dressed in plain clothes, they walk among us, and become heroes on days when they least expect it.  Days when they are least prepared for it.  Days like Sunday morning.  My love to them always.

          Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us.  Life is short.  Let's love each other.  Please.


©2016 by Kendra Liedle/@cococaffeine
Photo credit: Kendra Liedle

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sleeping In Pursuit Of Happiness And A Project Or Two

Okay, I actually haven't been sleeping, but that's a big dream of mine.  As is happiness.  I have been absent from this blog for awhile though.  This was an unintentional, yet welcome break for me that's allowed me to focus on a few other things.  Life has been rather busy. What, you may ask, have I been doing??!!

Work, lots of work.  For months it was literally all I did.  I've worked on several movies back-to-back. None of them are in theatres yet, but they will be soon.  One premiered at Cannes, directed by a filmmaker most people would know (Woody Allen.) Two films were period pieces and one is a quasi-sci-fi, not-too-far-in-the-distant-future thing.  All the time travel at work has made the contemporary world rather boring.  Odds are, my next project will be present day. This almost makes me sad.  We'll see...

 Apart from that, I'm finally getting to a place where I feel like I'm accomplishing some goals I set for myself long ago.  I still feel like an outsider alot of the time, but instead of letting this work against me,  I now "own" my awkwardness.  Sometimes, it puts me at a great advantage.  After all, outsiders tend to be more observant and are also often highly creative since we see the world in ways others don't.

I've put more time and energy into my writing.  Primarily I've been focusing on short stories, but I'm also currently working on a screenplay with a co-writer.  Rejection notices have become my friends, but lately I've gotten a few more of these neon green ACCEPTANCE notifications.  They're like little green monsters I'd be inclined to ghost-bust if I wasn't so happy to see them.  [Among those publications who have most recently published my work are Chicago Literati, The Gambler Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, and The Grief Diaries. ]

It's very easy to let show biz suck every morsel of my life, but I've tried really hard to maintain a sense of work-life balance.  There are other things I'd like to do with my life.  The work-balance thing is a constant struggle.  These days, it's become a goal unto itself.  Like happiness...

Besides my own writing, I read a lot.  This has always been the case. Even if I'm working and I have a 4AM call time, I'll get up early to have coffee, read the paper or snag a few moments with a good book.  I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Before that, it was Why (Not) Me by Mindy Kaling.  Now, it's Judd Apatow's Sick In The Head: Conversations About Life And Comedy.


- Bought a laminator (!!!) for work but ALSO to exercise my creativity and make my hand-designed greeting cards look even more professional. 
-Purchased my first major appliance!  A jet-black, General Electric Refrigerator.  (The old one, gifted to me by a neighbor 15 years ago, finally gave out.)
-Dated a bit here and there, mostly there.  I'm so confused.  It's always confusing, isn't it??!!
-Grabbing the mike at stand-up comedy open-mic nights.  (Might as well entertain people with my awkward weirdness...)
-Going to all the doctor appointments I've been putting off.
-Watching movies, TV, documentaries and stand-up comedy specials. 
- Dreamily planning vacations I can't actually afford.
-Finding ways to avoid driving my car unless absolutely necessary.  Mostly, it's been necessary.  (Thanks,  Los Angeles.)
-Visiting family, the few who are left...
-Improving my Spanish vocabulary.
-Teaching myself French from scratch thanks to Duolingo and Memrise.  (Uh-oh, now even my Spanish has a weird French accent.)
-Planning new adventures and plotting my escape (don't tell anyone...)
-Looking for work because for the 1st time in a long while, it's been S-L-O-W.
-Living life because this is all I have. 

©2016 by K.Liedle/@cococaffeine

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Horace And Pete: Louis C.K.'s Super-Secret Show No One Saw Coming

"Basically, this is a handmade, one guy paid for it version of a thing that is usually made by a giant corporation"       --Louis C.K.  on making his new show, "Horace & Pete"

If you didn't otherwise know, Louis C.K. sent a surprise message to everyone on his email newsletter list telling them about his new super secret, no-one-knew-he-was-even-working-on-it, totally independent new series, "Horace & Pete."  The very first episode is available exclusively on his website for the good ol' C.K. $5bucks.  (Episode 2 will be $3 dollars and the rest will be $2 dollars thereafter.)  It's a business model that works for him, allows him to do whatever the fuck he wants on a shoestring budget without the interference of a studio, a network, a corporation, his parents, etc.

Because I respect the guy and I think it's a rarity to have the balls to break away and do things the hard way in exchange for creative freedom, I actually responded to his email message.  Even though it's an email newsletter sent from an info@_______ email address and most likely will never get read by anyone on his end.  I'm posting it here--not because I think anyone else gives a shit what I think, but mostly because I took the time to write it and maybe someday down the line, I'll wanna read what I wrote without having to troll through my own old emails to find it. So here ya go... And yeah, give "Horace & Pete" a shot.  It's got a great cast who are all good at keeping secrets because I don't know anyone who knew anyone that knew about this show before Louis released it to the world.  That alone, is an achievement.


Hello Louis,

Thanks for posting this!  I enjoy your email newsletters nearly as much as your shows.  You're a talented guy (goes without saying) but more importantly than that--- You do things your own way.  The best part about growing up is learning not to care what other people think.  It doesn't matter.  Pick something.  Be passionate about it. And get out there and do it! Don't let anybody say you can't. Sure, it's way harder.  Most people slug through their lives and put in their time, bitching about the stuff they wish they could do. Let's face it, that's just way easier.  Truth: most people are lazy.  Even more lack passion of any kind whatsoever.  

But you? I have nothing but respect for you. Best of luck to you and the cast & crew of "Horace & Pete."  

From another passionate person,
©2016 by KLiedle / @cococaffeine
#LouisCK #HoraceAndPete #NoNetwork

Friday, December 25, 2015

Seasons Greetings To One And All

I believe in ribbons and shiny gift wrap. I believe it's the thought that counts. I believe that presentation makes the gift, that personal touches are the most meaningful of all. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a joyous and peaceful day filled with wonder and happiness.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On Light And Darkness

The most creative of us feel things deeply and passionately and although that's an amazingly beautiful thing, it can also lead us to dark places that we have to find our way out of without a flashlight. It happens to me from time to time. Unpredictably and inconveniently, without warning... It never gets easier, but you learn to manage through it, to let it pass, to keep walking even though you don't know when (or if) you'll find enough light within yourself to escape. But you have to embrace the darkness, to let it pass through you and believe that there is more than just this. There is life waiting for you on the other side. Life and beauty and art and love. ~KLiedle/@cococaffeine

"Once my stepdad asked me, 'What does [depression] feel like?' And I said, 'It feels like I'm desperately homesick, but I'm home.' " --Sarah Silverman

‪#‎SarahSilverman‬ ‪#‎Depression‬ ‪#‎ISmileBack‬ ‪#‎HappinessOnTheOtherSide

 See below to read Sarah Silverman opening up about her own struggles with depression and her role in the film, I Smile Back. 

Sarah Silverman On Battle With Depression

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Small Act Of Rebellion: A Story

I'm pleased to announce that my short story, "A Small Act Of Rebellion" has been published in The Fiction Issue of Chicago Literati Magazine.  Honored to be a part of this quality publication!  Please enjoy the issue via the link below.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Glimpse Inside The Muppet Mindset

Here's a rare glimpse inside the "muppet mindset" from behind-the-scenes of the new Muppet show, now airing on ABC.