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, January 28, 2008

Me, Myself, and My SELF...

Magazines may come and go, but my SELF is here for the long-haul.

For a good many years now, I've subscribed to SELF Magazine. They've never let me down. In fact, they keep on getting better. My relationship with my SELF (the magazine) is continually helping me improve my relationship with my-SELF (i.e. ME) We're both continually evolving--and for the better!

Being in Hollywood, I would be lying if I said that I was completely unaffected by the pressure to be thin, stay thin, and the US-Weeklyness micro-management of star's eating habits. The Olsen's had sushi...[Again?] Brit, with a bag of Cheetos. Gimme More...! (Uh, no...) Please.

PUH-LEEZE... I'm an adult. Yeah, sure...we're all adults. [OMG!] But deep, deep down -- we've got one eye open so we can follow the lives of others, the bodies of others, the habits of those other than ourselves. All this so we can avoid dealing with our own issues, and by God, we've all got 'em. (Yes, you...reading this right now-- You've got issues, man.)

Don't drown your sorrows with celebrity indulgence---that's like eating one too many bags of nutritionally vacant, tasteless rice cakes.

That's why I love SELF because it's a true Womens' magazine that makes me feel good about being myself, especially during those times when I don't necessarily feel good about myself. (And come on, we all have those times...)

SELF has these great forums and blogs on their website that help me realize that the little issues that bug me are way less complicated than they really need to be (and I'm not the only one out there facing them.) SELF also acknowledges the celeb-obsession that's taken hold of the mainstream, but they approach the subject in healthy terms.

"Yeah, sure...this girl's on our cover, but she ain't all perfect. She's got her issues, too."

And they are real issues, too, not "poor ZONE-delivered meal was late due to the rain" celeb issues. SELF's interviews are revealing in personal ways, but not too personal ways. They strip away the celebrity and make that person whole again in a human reality where I, as a person and a reader, can actually relate to them in non-celebrity terms and perhaps even learn a little bit.

I loved reading their articles featuring Evangeline Lilly (pictured here), Mandy Moore, Keri Russell (cover above), and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I wouldn't even consider myself to be a huge fan of those stars. I just felt like I could relate to them, some of the issues they've battled, and some of the life lessons they've learned along the way.

Anyway, check out and their nutritionist's Eat Like Me blog if you want to see what a real meal looks like...(sometimes I forget.)

And if you're still celeb-obsessed, check out their celebrity blog, Celebrity Scoop to get perspective (and for God's sake turn off ET & The Insider, we've all got lives to lead!

(And sorry, not everyone's into "up-to-the-minute-updates on Anna Nicole's little angel...")

Not that I watch those shows...PUH-LEEZE.

Copyright © 2008 Kendra Liedle

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alas, There May Be Hope...

As We Look To The DGA~

(Announced January 17, 2008 By The Directors Guild Of America)

The DGA and the AMPTP announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on the terms of a new contract.

In addition to solid wage increases, the DGA has come up with preliminary guidelines over new-media and residuals rates-- some of the main issues in the current lockdown between the WGA and AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.)

The AMPTP released the following statement:

"We hope that this agreement with DGA will signal the beginning of the end of this extremely difficult period for our industry. Today, we invite the Writers Guild of America to engage with us in a series of informal discussions similar to the productive process that led us to a deal with the DGA to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for returning to formal bargaining."

Bargainers will submit the tentative deal with a recommendation for approval on Jan. 26. If approved, a member vote would follow.
In reaction to the DGA/AMPTP tentative agreement, the WGA released this statement:

"Now that the DGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, the terms of the deal will be carefully analyzed and evaluated by the WGA, the WGA's Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board of Directors, and the WGAE Council. We will work with the full membership of both Guilds to discuss our strategies for our own negotiations and contract goals and how they may be affected by such a deal...We hope that the DGA's tentative agreement will be a step forward in our effort to negotiate an agreement that is in the best interests of all writers."

*Please see official guild websites for full statements and breaking news about industry contract negotiations*

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Erase My Head

Last night, I had these weird dreams that I was in a kind of Manhattan Matrix sharing a strange meal with some guy named Andre. He was drinking espresso and saying how out-of-touch human beings are these days. How we're not really living.

"If you're just operating by habit," he said, " then you're not really living."

I'd heard about Andre, yet I was amazed by how transfixed I was to his intelligent conversation ~ so rare these days. Because of him, I felt inspired to pay attention to every last detail of my life, to re-awaken (And I thought I'd be bored, stuck in the same location for two hours with this guy.)

Two hours into our meal, we were interrupted by a really humorless, creepy guy with electrified hair. He told me, in a whisper, that I had an alien child and he was not going to take care of the child any longer. He started ranting at me while I stared at his hair. I chose to not hear him. I didn't want to hear him. I tried to re-focus and concentrate on Andre who was able to continue talking as though nothing had happened. But something was happening!!!

Finally, I jumped up to escape. The electrified guy followed me as I put my coat on. I walked outside, and was transported into a weird Pleasantville. Suddenly, all my surroundings were in black-and-white. But this wasn’t Pleasantville. I didn’t see Tobey anywhere. In fact, I didn’t see any other people around. I kept hearing all these strange noises and smelling these ominous fumes from factories nearby. Concrete, Run-down buildings everywhere I looked.

The electrified hair guy followed me to my car. He handed me something, wrapped in virginally white gauze. I was skeptical. A gift? How unexpectedly weird. I don’t even know this guy.

I unwrapped it to find the alien child did exist. I shrieked.

“No, No!!! It isn’t mine!!! This is Rosemary’s. It HAS to be Rosemary’s”

The electrified hair guy said nothing and walked away. Then, the alien child looked at me, rolled its eyes into its head and stretched itself out like a tree limb, umbilical cord. Then, without warning, its insides exploded in front of me like a Cornish hen. Blood everywhere. Pencil shavings fell from the sky. I felt like I'd lost my head.

Then I woke up, and decided I seriously need to change the order of items in my Netflix queue.

“My Dinner With Andre” followed quickly by David Lynch’s weird, twisted cult horror film, “Eraserhead” was enough to make me crazy (and more than enough to make me wonder if David Lynch is ever anything less than completely odd.)

“Seriously, David? I’m a little concerned…”

At any rate, if you don’t have the money or the inclination to do LSD or some other psychedelics, you can have the experience by watching “Eraserhead.”

Had I not been sober, I probably would’ve been found shaking with espresso-induced caffination and cowering in a corner of the downstairs closet this morning, vowing never to
have sex again. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

Ah, the power of celluloid.

Copyright © 2007 Kendra Liedle
Photo Credit: Elisha Cook Jr/flickr

Anonymous Content

Hmmppfffth [A Big Eeyore Sigh]

"There are days when I wish this blog was anonymous~"

*For those of you who are particularly un-enlightened, Eeyore is the rather melancholy donkey in Winnie The Pooh

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Hairy Hollywood Situation

This whole writer’s strike business is getting hairy…really, really hairy. Now that Warner Brothers is rumored to be cutting up to 1,000 jobs and the Golden Globes have been reduced to a press conference, I don’t know what to think.

Will the Oscars be next? What’s a fashion designer to do? Some days I wonder if it will ever end. For awhile (back in November,) I was thankful for my freedom, sans WGA membership. As an unaffiliated writer, I could write to my little heart’s content while supporting the WGA union writers and their cause.

“Hey, I’ve got no guild to tie me down,
To make me fret and make me frown…”

But, like Pinocchio, I was just lying-- fooling myself that this strike would eventually go away. And now, it’s only getting hairier…literally. This month’s New Yorker has an article entitled, “Strike Beards,” in which they propose, among other things, that this business of Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s beard-growing is some symbol of solidarity for striking writers.

So yesterday, I had a hair-brained idea. Why don’t we all just grow our hair out?

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers can do their best to ignore the writers on the picket lines, the little guys losing their jobs, the awards show telecasts that are falling away like dominoes, and the strength of writers' words in all of this, but they cannot possibly ignore our hair. It’ll just keep growing and growing, like the list of casualties from this strike, now a war of pure stubbornness.

The dealmaker in my fantasy world of ending this god-awful strike? Writers and supporters alike would continually grow out their hair, chop it off, send it to the studios gates and picket locations, and start all over again.

So that’s it. That’s my hair-brained idea that's so simple and so crazy, it just might work. Send the studios hair-- Bushels and barrels and mountains of hair. Let's get all Grimm's Fairytales on them.

The Strikers could even wrangle those Teamsters into making hairy, daily shipments. (I’m sure they’d also donate some protein-rich locks for the ever-growing pile, too.)

Sure, beards are a good start, but me? I’m a girl, but I come from hearty German and Russian stock and my hair grows faster than weeds after a rain. So, beware.

At this point, and I don’t think I’m alone here, I’m willing to go to all "lengths" to get the entertainment industry back on its feet. Let the AMPTP finally give in and give the writers something workable and something fair so we can all leave this abysmal reality world and get back to the fantasy world we all love creating.

As a Writers Guild spokesman said in the above-referenced The New Yorker article:

"As long as it calls attention to the issues at stake and gets the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers back to the bargaining table...we're all for it."

Thanks to Peter in Chicago (author of the esteemed, filmmaker101 blog) for directing me toward the New Yorker article, “Strike Beards," and inspiring this post.

Copyright © 2007 Kendra Liedle
Illustration By: Panshipanshi/Flickr. Go to to visit artist profile.
This article was published as an op-ed at:

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Big Thank You...To A Script Goddess

A Big, Heaping HUGE thank you goes out Script Goddess (who edits the blog Script Supervisor Forum) for referencing my article on "Green Filmmaking And Studio Worm Farms" in her discussion of being a little more eco-friendly there on-set.

I'd highly recommend her site too-- [Link above]--not only for her fun, on-set stories and content, but also for her ever-growing list of fellow film and tv crew bloggers.

Need a new year's resolution? Take a tip from Scripty and reuse that on-set water bottle that you normally abandon like an orphan child every time you get distracted.

"Each day in the US more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away. Most end up in landfills or incinators, and millions litter America's streets, parks, and waterways."

*According to the Container Recycling Institute*

*Container Recycling Institute
*MSNBC: Plastic Bottles Pile Up

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rose Parade Floating - Not For The Faint Of Heart

For years, my father and I watched the Tournament Of Roses Parade on our dinky, little television, somewhere in the Midwest. According to my personal diary accounts, this tradition goes way back into my childhood. Like clockwork, I’d be there at the kitchen table, promptly at 8 a.m. on January 1, with a bowl of steaming oatmeal before me and eyes primed for floral creations beyond my wildest childhood imagination.

Years and years later, I found myself living within a short commute of Pasadena, California, long-time home of the Rose Bowl Parade.

“Such a shame,” I thought, “to be soooo close and yet never take the time to actually go there…on Parade Day…and watch it LIVE!”

Each and every successive year of my adulthood, I’d contemplate a New Year’s Eve of scouting out my chunk of Pasadenian concrete and staking my claim to a prime position for the early morning festivities of January 1. Just as predictably, every year that passed, I’d decide that “Next Year” would be my slumber-party-on-the-pavement initiation to Rose Parade Fandom. The problem though, is that, although I like the Parade, I’m only a casual fan. I’m not a Rose Bowl Parade fanatic in that I’m willing to suffer in order to establish my spot in line. No, no-- comfort (and joy) is my M.O. for the holidays and New Years alike.

So, this year…I decided to volunteer to actually work on the City of Burbank’s “Oktoberfest” Float entry for the Parade for a more hands-on Rose Bowl Experience than merely watching the floats…er, float by.

Only after getting my hands gluey--after hours and hours of painting glue onto fake, foam edeweisses like some sort of scolded Von Trapp Family Singer--did I completely understand what a phenomenal task this float-building actually is!

By Day Two, I had been upgraded to cutting flower petals, which apparently they won’t let just anyone do. I thought this would be a good thing…Flowers, Yes! No more crusty, gluey rice kernels and natural cotton stuck to hands!

But, alas, flowers meant straw flower—a rather spindly variety of dried flower. My job was to cut off all the light purple petals and collect them into a bottomless pit of a coffee can. After half a day of four of us working strictly on light purple straw flower petals, that coffee can was approximately half-full – or half-empty, depending on your view. My view was that I’d seen enough straw flower petals to tide me over for quite a few lifetimes.

People, lots of them, work like little elves trying to get this gigantically, enormous float thingy ready to go by January 1. So, do them all a favor : If you missed the Rose Bowl Parade, view the tediously beautiful work online at the official Tournament of Roses Parade website.

The City Of Burbank and its tireless volunteers certainly know all about the monumental task of planning and building a float. Me? I was just a tired volunteer, and my true contributions were minuscule. From here on out though, I will view each and every float with both awe and respect.

Burbank Rose Float
Official Tournament Of Roses Parade Site
Copyright © 2007 Kendra Liedle
Photos By Kendra

This article is also available at my page.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Diminutive Dancer: Choosing Dance Classes

After somersaulting into the living room couch a few too many times, my mother enrolled me in my first dance class. Recently, I wrote about my experiences with dance and the positive impact it's had on my life. Thinking about enrolling your child in dance? I'd highly recommend it. Don't have kids? Enroll's the New Year after all. Have fun and be good to yourself!
To read my full article, including tips on how to choose a dance class, click

"An early exposure to dance positions us for an athletic life. Confidence about our bodies can be established early with dance. Adults who were exposed to dance as children more easily embrace dance as exercise in later life. Dance not only has physical benefits, but also mental benefits as it increases memory and produces a feeling of well being and if taught correctly, a feeling of satisfaction."

~Sandy Portaro, Owner--Pasadena’s Athletic Garage

Photo caption: Diminutive dancers learn their first steps at Athletic Garage, a dance and fitness facility located in Pasadena, California.