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.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I'm thankful already. I'm thankful that I won't be standing in security at LAX airport or shivering in temperatures not meant for human life as I wait for my mother to pick me up in a place best known for snow days this time of year. I'm thankful that I won't turn into a snowcone. Instead, I'm nice and toasty here just a few miles from the fire place (read: wildfires) where the scent of burning leaves has finally dissipated.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Above all, I've learned that despite all the difficulties and the times when I wanted to scream and give up, the fruits of labor have been sweeter than cherry pie.
Now, I have something to show for my efforts.
Now, I know the next time will be oh, so much easier.
Now, I can say officially that my first published storybook,
"Once More With Feeling" is available for purchase at two online retailers: Createspace and Amazon
Fairytales can come true and love can strike more than once. "Once More With Feeling" is a storybook romance about second chances.
"Once More With Feeling," Written by Kendra Liedle. Illustrations by Scott Vogel and Kendra Liedle.
Friday, October 10, 2008
It wasn't a real wedding, but it sure felt like one. "Rachel Getting Married," written by Jenny Lumet and directed by Jonathan Demme is the story of a family in the midst of a weekend-long wedding celebration. Like many weddings, it's full of conflict, dysfunction, unresolved family issues as well as love, family, music, connectiveness, renewal, and private moments of letting go. Rachel may be getting married, but this story centers on Kym, Rachel's unconventional sister, back from rehab in order to participate in the festivities.
Kym (played with precision by a remarkable Anne Hathaway) comes off as a rebel with a seemingly indestructible exoskeleton. However, she is so much more complex and fragile than even her family gives her credit for. Their family, in all its glorious dysfunction, tries to hold together for the sake of Rachel's wedding, but they are not exactly a tight-knit group. They're seen more like a cobweb trying to hold together during a rainstorm. Old family issues, yet unresolved, rise up like ghosts with Kym's arrival. She is a reminder, a bookmark of sorts, to a chapter the family would soon like to forget, but can't.
The film's beginning is a shaky one-- literally. Shot documentary-style and mostly hand-held in its first moments, we are introduced to a world that seems confusing, uneasy and off-kilter. This may be off-putting to some filmgoers, yet it is purposeful, for we are most definitely seeing the world through Kym's eyes.
A wedding is a momentous occasion, full of love and joy yet also full of heartbreak and anxiety. Amid constant music and the hustle and bustle of wedding preparation and out-of-town guests, Kym joins the crowd, but doesn't really feel like she's a part of it. Everyone feels like they know her 'personal business' and for someone in recovery mode, that's not an easy thing.
Kym's presence forces her sister and her parents to confront things they'd rather keep buried. This is a difficult thing, but necessary for the family to move forward. Without giving much away, the film showcases the conflict between honoring the past and letting it go, and most importantly for Kym, learning to forgive oneself.
"Rachel Getting Married" feels real because it it's loosely constructed and free-flowing. It feels like we're watching it in real time-- full of family drama, unspoken moments, and joy. It's also, by far, the coolest wedding I've ever seen on a movie screen-- apart from perhaps "Monsoon Wedding."
"Rachel Getting Married"
Starring: Anne Hathaway (Kym); Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel); Bill Irwin (Paul); Debra Winger (Abby); Tunde Adebimpe (Sidney); Mather Zickel (Kieran); Anna Deavere Smith (Carol); Anisa George (Emma)
Directed by: Jonathan Demme; written by Jenny Lumet. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Recently I received yet another forward... This one, however, wasn't laden with lame jokes. It wasn't warning me of the next computer virus or masquerading as an e-chain letter. This forward was political. Although it came arrived to my in-box titled, "Know Your Candidate,"its words stemmed out of fear, not knowledge.
I showed it to a politically charged friend of mine. He couldn't just let it go. He took it as his personal responsibility to respond...in an intelligent, articulate manner for all of those out there who nurture fear and fear change.
Below is the full text of his response to the forward, "NoBama>>Know Your Candidate"
Note: So that the response makes complete sense, you may want to scroll down and read the original "NoBama" post (Green text below) first.
Subject: "KNOW YOUR CANDIDATE" Re: NOBAMA Post
Yeah, so? Despite all the drama you attempt to inject into your bulletin, there's nothing actually there. Fluff. Air. The answers to all of these things are easy to find and rather boring. Read a book about the guy.
The real question is what are you so afraid of? Free your little mind of it's narrow ways. Even the Limbaugh Hannity fear machines have acknowledged they're grasping at straws with this stuff. You could put a little flier together about anyone and inject it with mystery and suspense to insinuate there are things we should all be very concerned about.
Barack Obama is a Christian man & always has been. So what's that make you? It doesn't matter to me what your beliefs are, but don't tell me you're a Christian, because if that's the case, you're a hypocrite & a liar. A liar to yourself first & foremost, as Jesus himself never spread fear & lies. His universal message was love one another & treat others as you would have them treat you.
You must ask yourself why you're so afraid. Is it because honesty doesn't look quite as you expected it to? Is the skin color wrong or the ideas too bold? Free yourself. This perpetual state of fear isn't what your Creator had in mind for you, and in your heart of hearts, you know you're very lost because what's feeding on you is dark and distorted & can't quite see the light. Reality isn't open to interpretation, my friend. Your eyes might see again if you'll let them.
Reality isn't "What they don't want you to know!" or "What they're hiding!" or "Their REAL motives-- Oh my!" You think Obama's going to invite Al Qaeda to tea parties at the White House? This is an intelligent and articulate man with good intentions and if you really can't see that, then I feel sorry for you. You're in a world without light. You have become the dangerous one. You are what you most fear...
To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt;
"This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
I want to tell you a bit about me. This may or may not surprise you. I'm a caucasian male, 40 years old, and I consider myself fairly conservative. As in, I believe in fundamental values, I work hard, I don't buy things I can't afford and I know what's right.
The choice in this election is obvious to anyone with a clear mind & no hidden agendas. You have two candidates who put themselves forward as Christians, yet rely on fear, distortion & character assassination to scare people into voting for them. On the other side you have two candidates who actually live by true Christian ideals; faith, solutions & helping those in need. Buddy, if you don't understand that Jesus was a liberal democrat in the truest sense of the term, then again, you're in a world of darkness. Look up those two words. Democrat: One who practices social equality; relating or appealing to the common people. Liberal: Generous, bountiful; Tolerant, not narrow in judgement.
So go ahead, vote for the Republican ticket. The upside to me is that, if McCain & Palin are elected, then in four more years there truly will be nothing left of the Republican Party. The downside is that the rest of us, and what's left of this country, have to go down with it.
NO BAMA>> "Know Your Candidate" original post
For months now, I have been sending editorials to family and friends stating, KNOW YOUR CANDIDATE. This perfect example of know YOUR Candidate. Any Candidate, All Candidates. If we don't replace some of those idiots in Congress and Senate, there is little A President can do own his own. Your questions are certainly food for thought, to all you have addressed.
The only logical conclusion is vote NOBAMA.......................................Bill
THIS MAN WANTS OUR VOTE FOR U.S. PRESIDENT - HIS FATHER WAS A KENYAN, AND A BLACK- WE SAW ALL THOSE PICTURES OF HIS NICE AFRICAN FAMILY.
HIS MOTHER IS A WHITE US CITIZEN FROM KANSAS, AND DECLARED ATHEIST. SO, WHERE ARE ALL THOSE PICTURES OF HIS NICE WHITE MOTHER AND HIS NICE WHITE KANSAS GRANDPARENTS - THE ONES WHO RAISED HIM ALL THOSE EARLY YEARS?
LET’S SEE - HIS FATHER DESERTED HIS MOTHER AND HIM WHEN HE WAS VERY YOUNG AND MOVED BACK TO LIVE WITH HIS FAMILY IN KENYA (THAT'S THE ONES IN THE MEDIA PUBLISHED PICTURES).
HIS WHITE MOTHER THEN MARRIED AN INDONESIAN MUSLIM AND TOOK HIM TO THE CITY OF JAKARTA WHERE HE WAS FIRST SCHOOLED IN A MUSLIM SCHOOL.
HIS MOTHER THEN MOVED TO HAWAII AND HER SON WAS RAISED BY HIS WHITE, MIDDLE CLASS - AMERICAN GRANDPARENTS THERE.
UMMM…NOW HERE'S THE BEGINNING OF THE HARD PART FOR ME (HELP ME OUT HERE, IF YOU CAN):
SOMEHOW, SUDDENLY - HE WENT TO THE BEST HIGH DOLLAR, UPPER CRUST PREP SCHOOLS IN AMERICA, AND NEXT HE GOT INTO A TOP IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE, AND LATER, INTO HARVARD LAW SCHOOL - HOW? WHO SPONSORED HIM? WHO PAID FOR ALL THAT SCHOOLING?
(HAVE YOU LOOKED AT TUITION EXPENSES TO ATTEND UNDERGRADUATE YALE LATELY?)
HOW ABOUT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL? (SOMEBODY PAID A LOT OF BUCKS FOR THIS KID'S IVY LEAGUE EDUCATION.)
WHO? HOW? FROM WHAT WE’VE READ HE APPARENTLY DID NOT HAVE SCHOLARSHIPS THAT PAID IT ALL.
HE ALSO DID NOT HAVE TO BORROW FOR COLLEGE, ALSO FROM WHAT WE READ. SO???
THAT BRINGS US TO THE MORE CURRENT YEARS, A U.S. SENATOR'S SALARY IS NOT THAT GREAT, BUT THIS YOUNG MAN AND HIS YOUNG WIFE JUST RECENTLY BOUGHT A $1.4 MILLION DOLLAR HOUSE THAT HE ACQUIRED THROUGH A 'DEAL' WITH A WEALTHY FUND RAISER FRIEND; A FUND RAISER FRIEND WHO APPARENTLY IS A CRIMINAL LAW BREAKER ,PER THE NEWS OF HIS RECENT CONVICTION IN CHICAGO FEDERAL COURT.
WHAT SORT OF 'DEAL'?
AND, RIGHT OUT OF HARVARD LAW, HE 'WORKED' AS A CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN CHICAGO. WHAT KIND OF PAY IS THIS, WE CAN ASSUME IT IS LITTLE OR NOTHING PAY WISE! OR IS THERE OTHER KIND OF PAY INVOLVED??
HE THEN ENTERED POLITICS AT THE STATE LEVEL WHICH CERTAINLY IS A LOW PAYING JOB, AND THEN MOVED RIGHT TO THE NATIONAL LEVEL. DID HE "FUND RAISE" TO GET THE FUNDS TO GET ELECTED? WHAT KIND OF PROMISES DID HE MAKE?
NOW, HE SCRAMBLES TODAY WITH A NICE SMILE BUT VERY MINIMAL EXPERIENCE IN ANYTHING - WHILE OTHER PEOPLE WRITE HIS RAH-RAH SPEECHES FOR HIM.
IN ALL HIS MINIMAL TIME IN THE STATE, AND NATIONAL LEGISLATURES - HE’S NEVER LAUNCHED ANY IMPORTANT LEGISLATION, NONE WHATSOEVER.
MOSTLY, OF LATE FOR SOME TWO YEARS, HE'S BEEN OUT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, USING OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.
THEN COMES THE ENDORSEMENTS FOR HIM FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, ONES THAT ARE NOT EXACTLY USA FRIENDS, LIKE THE IRAN PRES, FRENCH PRES, AND THE IRAQ MINISTER THAT WANTS THE USA OUT. HMMM…WHAT DO THEY SEE IN HIM THAT THEY LIKE?
HE CLAIMS TO BE 'PROUD OF HIS AFRICAN HERITAGE'. VERY NICE, BUT IT SEEMS THAT HIS ONLY CONNECTION WITH AFRICA WAS THAT HIS DEADBEAT AFRICAN FATHER GOT A WHITE AMERICAN GIRL PREGNANT AND THEN DESERTED HER.
UMMM....WHERE IS THE OUTSPOKEN PRIDE IN HIS WHITE HERITAGE? AFTER ALL - IT WAS WHITE GRANDPARENTS THAT RAISED HIM!
FOR OVER 20 YEARS HE HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF AN 'AFROCENTRIC' CHURCH IN CHICAGO THAT BLANTANTLY PROFESSES THAT ITS MEMBERS SHOULD HATE WHITES, HATE JEWS, AND BLAME AMERICA FOR ALL THE WORLD'S FAULTS.
HE REPEATEDLY COVERED UP FOR THE PASTOR, DESCRIBED AS HIS “SPIRITUAL COUNSELLOR”, AND THAT CHURCH - SAYING THAT HE CAN SEPARATE THE RELIGION FROM THE POLITICS, WHEN HE HEARS A HATE-WHITEY SERMON.
HE CLAIMED THAT HE WAS SIMPLY UNABLE TO CONFRONT HIS RESPECTED PASTOR OF 20+ YEARS ABOUT THE PASTOR'S DEMONSTRATED UN-AMERICAN BIAS.
BUT -- HE WANTS US TO BELIEVE THAT HE CAN CONFRONT NORTH KOREA, IRAN, RUSSIA, ETC. WHEN THE TIME ARISES TO TAKE AMERICA'S SIDE.
YEAH - WITH HIS “EXTENSIVE POLITICAL BACKGROUND” AND “GLOBAL EXPERIENCE”, HE “HOPES” THAT HE COULD BE A "UNITER OF OUR GREAT NATION" AND BRING US ALL TOGETHER. (a Sheep Sheerer posing as a Shepard and gathering another man’s flock to lead them to slaughter)
BUT - WE ARE LEFT TO THINK THAT HIS REAL 'HOPE' IS THAT HE REALLY HOPES THAT NO ONE WILL PUT ALL THESE PIECES TOGETHER, AT LEAST NOT UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION.
LIKE IT OR NOT, THESE ARE REAL FACTS THAT POSE REAL QUESTIONS REGARDING A MAN THAT WANTS TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT; YOURS, MINE, OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS. PLEASE THINK…THEN GET OUT AND VOTE.
linde "Freedom From Fear," stuart63 "Fear of the Dark," amoeba84 "Hope Over Fear."
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Saturday, September 27, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Alan Ball's new film, Towelhead (aka Nothing Is Private) at Arclight Hollywood. I knew it was a coming-of-age film involving cultural differences, statutory/child rape, puberty and budding sexuality. I knew that it was a potent mixture of electrically charged topics--quite a bit for one film.
I knew that it might be difficult to watch. I knew it might be disturbing. Some people I know haven't seen the film for those very reasons. Some people who did see the film said it made them cry, it made them angry. A handful wanted to leave the theatre, but they couldn't-- they'd become transfixed in Alan Ball's all-too-real story about a Lebanese girl, Jasira Maroun (Summer Bishil) trying to find her place in the world.
The MPAA gave the film an R rating for "strong, disturbing sexual content and abuse involving a young teen, and for language."
Despite all of this, I wasn't afraid. Many times, I think the best movies are the ones that elicit the most extreme reactions from audiences. What makes you squirm? Why does it bother you so much? Have you spied on a neighbor or gossiped about them because you didn't approve of their lifestyle? Have you had feelings about something or someone that you've tried to suppress because your mind tells you it's wrong? Have you had private questions about taboo subjects, but had no one to ask?
Alan Ball poses these questions while pushing all your buttons. He likes to show the dark side of suburbia. He likes to tell stories that unfold in a way that exposes both the beauty and the ugliness of humanity. People can be ugly and racist and hypocritical. We like to put everyone in a box and slap a label on it. We try to make things simple, when in reality, everything is filled with complexity.
See the film even if it isn't a popcorn flick. See it even if it makes you squirm in your seat. Although, it packs a little too much into one movie ( a bit of a detriment to the film), it's an important film because the things that are disturbing about it are disturbing because they're real. We don't want to acknowledge it, but disturbing things happen everyday.
Alicia Erian (novel)
Alan Ball (screenplay)
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Sunday, September 21, 2008
As I read the news of all that's happening within the U.S. these days, I worry about the future and wonder if there is any hope. Are we doomed to fall? Is the average American really as stupid as it seems like they are?
When I think it through, my most honest answer is yes-- on both accounts.
Yes, it is possible that the United States of America could fall, much like great civilizations of the past. I've always believed that the rise and fall of nations is a natural occurrence. America is still powerful, but let's face it; we're losing our grip. It's much like aging, we can't reverse the process completely but we can slow it down if we recognize that it's happening. (The same can be said for not only the state of our bodies and our respective nations, but for the planet itself.)
One woman says to the other, "So and so told me I should vote for McCain because he's a Democrat." Then, she hesitates..."No, not a Democrat, he's a...a...what's the other one? I forget."
The other woman (only half listening) shrugs, "Hmm...I don't know. I heard his 17-year-old daughter is pregnant!"
Every fiber in my being wants to shout to them: Republican. It's Republican, you nitwits!!!! Elizabeth Cady Stanton turns over in her grave as my thoughts carry on: "And it's Sarah Palin's daughter that's pregnant not McCain's! Do you know anything? Anything at all?
These are grown American woman with a right to vote in this country. The most dimwitted of the population are always the ones that reproduce the most so I know they're not the only ones: There many more dumb Americans out there and it's starting to feel like they outnumber the rest of us. It's because of people like this that many of us have a rather dim vision of the nation's immediate future.
Perhaps, it's time to fly the American flag at half-staff in mourning for itself.
Photo by BehindtheLenz/flickr
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Monday, September 15, 2008
"I've been set-up!!!," I scream to my laptop [again.]
As I see the unsettling spinning wheel icon pop up on-screen, I leap into the air and land on my left heel...hard-- hard enough that it takes out some of my frustration, but hard enough that it hurts enough to regret.
In the last several days, I'd spent a lot of time working on what amounted to very little... My only real accomplishment seemed to be the success of the Spinach Rice Gratin dish I made for dinner the other day-- a yummy recipe from a fave recipe blogger at 101cookbooks
and a recipe I'd been meaning to make for awhile.
"And there it spins," I mutter to myself as I crack my knuckles, "the spinning wheel of Macintosh hell..."
I've been working on the page layout and set-up of my first book, Once More, With Feeling.
Finally, miraculously... when I didn't care anymore and I was about to give up and forget about it entirely: It worked!
(Note: images need to be 300 dpi, manual page breaks are necessary where it really counts especially when graphics are involved...)
Like most worthy things, the end product will be worth the pain eventually. To be honest, I'm more relieved than excited. At this point, I can't forget the all-to-recent pain of the whole experience. (For one thing, my left heel still hurts.)
I'll report back when Once More, With Feeling becomes officially available and then, I'll be excited!
Illustrations credit: Scott Vogel, from my upcoming book, Once More, With Feeling.
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
A friend of mine just found a worm in her apple -- a sure sign that autumn and apple season is well on its way! I love September -- the cooler weather ( in my hemisphere anyway), autumnal festivals galore, and the beginnings of the grape harvest up North.
It certainly isn't Oktoberfest, but September certainly has quite a bit to offer. I've gotten a list together of some happenings around L.A. and lots of September things I'd like to do. I won't get to them all-- guaranteed-- but I can share them here. Perhaps some of you reading this can experience the things I won't have time for.
September 2008 Happenings In And Around L.A.
-- Julian Grape Stomp Festa
I've always wanted to experience true grape-stomping " I Love Lucy" style. I've never been to Julian, located roughly an hour east of San Diego, but if you're in the area in the next few days, you might want to check this out.
Sept. 6, Menghini Winery, Julian CA. julianca.com
Ahh... lemons...bitter yet sweet and a very good excuse to drive out to Ventura.
Sept. 6-7, Pacific View Mall, Ventura, lemonfest.com
--Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
The Chinese people certainly know how to put together a festival: Witness the amazing spectacle of the opening and closing ceremonies of the recent Olympic Games. Luckily, I don't have to teleport myself to China to experience the upcoming Moon Festival.
Sept. 13 Central Plaza, Chinatown (Los Angeles), chinatownla.com
--Santa Barbara Sand Castle Festival
Sandcastles are always magical to me. They represent the epitome of art that needs to be cherished in the moment since, well, sand castles don't last forever.
Sept. 13, East Beach, Santa Barbara, CA sandcastlefestival.com
--Pasadena Greek Festival
Yes, I know the L.A. Greek Festival is going on this weekend. I went to it last year and had a great time, as I do at every Greek Festival. However, this year, I want to be different so I want to see how Pasadenaean Greeks showcase their stuff.
Sept. 19-21, St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church, Pasadena CA hellenicfestival.org
--Valley Film Festival
It's not in Hollywood or Westwood or Beverly Hills-- Finally, a film festival in my neck of the woods.
Sept. 24-28. El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood CA valleyfilmfest.com
--Grand Avenue Festival
Sept. 28, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA grandavenuefestival.org
--An Academy Salute To Akira Kurosawa
Not only can you see a Kurosawa film in its full glory on the big screen, but the Academy is also hosting a rare exhibit of Kurosawa's pre-production film drawings and paintings, which I'm particularly interested in seeing.
Akira Kurosawa: Film Artist (Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences)
Kurosawa Tribute screenings throughout September including the features: Rashomon, Kagemusha, Seven Samurai, Ran, Yojimbo, and Dersu Uzala.
*Film screenings take place at either the Samuel Goldwyn Theater or the Linwood Dunn Theater. See oscars.org for more information.*
So, it looks like I shall be a busy girl in September ( or vastly disappointed with myself if I don't follow through on attending some of these gems.)
Photo credit: Bald Monk/flickr
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Flying was a unique experience. There were times when I was more enthused about getting on the airplane than I was about my final destination. I enjoyed pulling down my overhead tray when I saw the flight attendants beginning their descent down the aisle. I enjoyed observing how quickly and fanatically my fellow passengers and I would unwrap our silverware so we could pick at unidentifiable airline food. We ate it-- yet never failed to complain about how detestable the food was, still again.
I endured a series of flights on recent travels to visit my family. I dutifully removed my shoes and reminded myself how much I hate terrorists not only for all the obvious reasons, but also for how they ruined my love of flying. My sense of "flying adventure" has been compromised ever since. First, it was the shoes. Then it was the gels and liquid fiasco which infuriated me most two years ago when a TSA employee searched all my baggage and confiscated a jar of apple butter. I've written about that before. I'm also happiest when I'm fully hydrated, but carrying a bottle of water through security has become something of the past as well.
Every flight is full. The honey-roasted peanuts are a distant memory. After take-off flight attendants are nowhere to be found. Checked baggage costs more. Overhead bins are bulging which irritates those of us, like me, who always travel light and never check a bag. Throughout my flights yesterday, I was forced to check my carry-on at the jetway; they were out of room. I cannot remember the last time I'd ever had to visit baggage claim. It was something I took pride in avoiding. I wasn't exactly looking forward to revisiting that experience-- especially against my will.
During those flights yesterday, not once, did my overhead tray leave its upright position. It irritated me every time they announced that "beverages were available for purchase." I was okay with no food, but no beverage? Come on. A gentleman behind me asked for a "courtesy cup" of water. I turned around with interest to see if his wish was granted.
I wondered, "Is there courtesy left in the formerly friendly skies?"
He was denied. Although, we discovered, ice is still free [for the time being.] I laughed when that same gentleman and his companion toasted their free cups of ice and held them up to their reading lights in hopes of creating water for themselves...eventually.
Without a complimentary beverage to look forward to, I was forced to watch an in-flight movie about all the other things available for purchase in the cabin and in the Sky Mall catalog. I was forced to learn how I could get an airline-endorsed credit card in which I could earn points for all these worthless purchases. That video, by the way, lasted significantly longer than the safety video and was much harder to tune out-- not that I ever tune out the safety video.
These days, I pay attention more than ever. I don't trust the airlines anymore. I secretly wish that the seat that doubles as a flotation device also contained a parachute-- not for emergencies per se, but in case I choose to escape from the suffocating experience of flying that I used to enjoy, once upon a time.
Has the complimentary ice melted yet?
*The author has had a bad experience on nearly every major U.S. airline carrier. She wishes that Air New Zealand flew domestically and hopes that seat cushion parachutes are in the future.*
Photo credit: Darren Hester/flickr
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Monday, August 11, 2008
On Saturday, I heard that Bernie Brillstein passed away. He was 77. Brillstein was an influential talent manager and producer who had led a career in show business for over fifty years. He started off, like many , in the William Morris Agency mail room. In the late 60s, he founded his first management company—Brillstein Co. In later years, he partnered with Brad Grey to form Brillstein-Grey, a personal management and production company which remains well-known in the industry.
We can thank Bernie Brillstein for his help in launching “Saturday Night Live” and “The Mumpet Show” (which I’d watched countless times throughout my childhood.)
Without him, “Happy Gilmore” and “The Cable Guy” might still be in development hell. Without him, my childhood could’ve been robbed of such goofy, yet fun-loving entertainment such as “Alf” and “Ghostbusters,” both of which Brillstein executive produced as well.
Later the same day, someone told me that Bernie Mac died. “Bernie Mac?” I vaguely knew he had been hospitalized with pneumonia, but the last snippet I’d read said that he was apparently responding to treatment. It was possible, yet unlikely. Rumors….gossip, the beginnings of an urban legend, perhaps. Losing two Bernies, both entertainment giants, in one day? With a roll of dice, the probability seemed against it until—
I turned on the news that evening to hear newscasters reporting the sudden and shocking death of actor and comedian Bernie Mac at age 50. How could a man, so full of life and spirit and talent, be extinguished so quickly? Bernie Mac came from nothing yet accomplished so much in his 50 years. People that worked with him said that he occupied a room, but was huge presence was never intimidating. On the contrary, he was approachable, fiercely funny, and loved by many.
I know this to be true. I used to work down the street from CBS Radford Studios where “The Bernie Mac Show” taped. I know Scott Vogel who occasionally did storyboards for the show. It was always a good gig for him. The cast and crew were always friendly and inviting, he told me. I believed him wholeheartedly because my experience backed that up.
This was also back in the age (not so long ago) when I was still cultivating my espresso talents at one of the local coffee joints. Several crew members from “Bernie Mac” were regulars there. I knew them by name, I knew their drinks by heart, and I also knew that they considered themselves extremely lucky to be working on “The Bernie Mac Show.” I know this to be true because I remember some of the same crew members coming in the day after they learned the show was cancelled. I could see the sadness in their eyes, the look of being lost, unsure of where they or their careers would be headed next. A fantastic chapter in their lives was ending. Those cast and crew members dispersed. Some moved away, some went on to other shows. Yet, this week, they are again united as they mourn the loss of their “Big Mac” leader—the guy that brought himself and that working experience into their lives.
Two Bernies in one day. What are the chances? A roll of the dice and even the best of us, the most spirited, the most talented, the most passionate can be extinguished at any time.
Somewhere in heaven, two Bernies are shaking hands and laughing. And in Brillstein, Bernie Mac just might have met his new agent.
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
"The Bernie Mac Show" storyboards by Scott Vogel.