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.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Are You Going To Eat That?

To the buxom blonde at Ralph's, no need to sneer at me just because I saw you put that bag of Cheetos in your cart.  I'm not judging you.  People in L.A. are always so concerned with what other people think of them.

Yes, I'm slim.  I've got a dancer's body which some people may find enviable, but I work for it.  I exercise everyday, lift weights and eat well.  I also drink a ton of water-- enough water that in an emergency, I could be your flotation device.  Enough water, that my tummy made splashing, gurgling noises.  While I was on a date. 

I do, however, like to eat.  Since I often work on film sets, I have to make a conscious effort to steer clear of the craft service table.   
I have a particular weakness for trail mix, dark chocolate, and Stacy's pita chips.  I probably drink way too much coffee.  I probably eat way too much dried fruit.  Everyone has their weaknesses.  In Bon Appetit magazine last month (yes, I'm a subscriber), Julia Louis Dreyfuss said that for her it's M&Ms and tootsie rolls.  It's the long hours and sheer boredom that drive us to cave into our comfort foods. 

Recently, I working a fashion shoot and I was dying for them to break for lunch.  Usually, this happens 6 hours after call time, but that particular day, there was no indication that lunch was imminent.  Sure, the food was ready, but no one, I mean NO ONE was eating.  The craft service table was stocked with French macaroons, toffee, a cheese platter full of Brie and other yummy soft cheeses, organic granola, and a fruit and veggie tray.  But no one was snacking either except for ME and a couple of grips.  

Between handfuls of chocolate-covered pretzels, I watched the photographer snap photos of a model as she flipped her hair over and over again.  Suddenly, they stopped.  Lunch? I thought, hopefully.  No.  Two guys rigged up a wind machine and the hair flipping continued.  For me, all that hair flipping would've caused whiplash-- especially on an empty stomach.  Lunch eventually happened.  I ate like one of the guys (which usually isn't the case), but this was a fashion shoot. 
Apparently, no one eats at these. 

Not surprisingly, the model looked unhappy.  Throughout the day, all I'd seen her consume were 5 cigarettes, a Diet Coke, and a small handful of raw vegetables.  And she didn't get to even eat the cigarettes, just smoke them.  I'd like to think she had more than that-- even a water, but somehow I doubt it.

I've overheard women in Trader Joes talk about how they're not eating.  Excuse me, but aren't you inside what is essentially a grocery store?  What are you doing here?  I want to say this because I'm here to buy food.  To eat.

P.S.  I took the rest of the chocolate-covered pretzels home with me.  They were going to throw them out anyway.

Copyright © 2013 by KLiedle

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baseball Nostalgia and Jackie Robinson's Legacy

When I was younger, my dad would tell me stories of the legendary baseball players of his day.  Willie Mays, Joe Dimaggio, Bob Feller, Ted Williams, Honus Wagner,  and Jackie Robinson became familiar names in my head, even though none of them ever played baseball in my lifetime.  Baseball knowledge is not something that most little girls seek out for themselves.  I can credit my dad for that and for giving me a love of baseball: the game, the sport, the strategy, and the history of it all.

We'd go to minor league baseball games at Rosenblatt Stadium-- the noted stadium that was the home of the College World Series until just recently.  We traveled to Iowa once, not to see the Field Of Dreams, but to meet old-time ballplayer, Bob Feller.  Upon meeting Feller, my dad acted like a giddy schoolgirl.  My brother and I found it embarrassing at the time.  We didn't realize that's what happens when you meet one of your boyhood idols when you're well into your 60s.

When we were kids, my brother found a box of my dad's old baseball cards.  He went ballistic when he skimmed through the stacks and found a Jackie Robinson baseball card.  He held it up to the sky and looked astonished:  "It's autographed!"

My brother and I looked at each other, shell-shocked.  Several other cards were signed, too.  Many of them were those legendary names we'd only heard about from our dad's baseball talk.  We excitedly brought the stack of cards to dear old Dad and handed him Jackie's card.

"Oh," Dad said, looking fondly at the Robinson card, "I signed that."

Unfortunately, Dad had just been a kid collecting baseball cards way back when.  He didn't know the value those names would have someday.  As a kid, he'd signed them all.  Pretending he'd actually gotten the autographs of these big-time baseball greats.  That day, my brother had held an authentic Jackie Robinson baseball card autographed by Dad.  Awesome.  That was a memory that stuck.  

With that memory in mind, I'm looking forward to seeing 42, the big screen story of Jackie Robinson.  Robinson's widow, Rachel, now in her nineties, had been famously resistant to the idea of a movie being made about her husband.  As the years went on, however, she warmed up to the idea-- mostly because kids today don't understand the gravity of what it meant to break the color barrier in baseball-- What a triumph that was and consequently, what a hardship it was for a young married couple like the Robinsons.

In an L.A. Times article, Producer Thomas Tull mentioned that Ken Griffey, Jr had told him that teens he tutored didn't even know who Jackie Robinson was.  In the same article, Rachel Robinson noted:  "I was getting older, and I really wanted kids to know who Jack was and to think about what they can do with their own lives..."

For these reasons and more, Legendary Pictures producer, Tull, wanted to make the film. Thought racism still exists today,  it's almost unimaginable to comprehend that less than fifty years ago,  racism and segregation was a given in our society.

Apart from the baseball history and nostalgia, 42, will certainly provide for ardent baseball fans, it's also a film to be seen for the personal story behind Robinson's legacy.  May it serve as a reminder of the strides we've made in making segregation and racism a thing of the past.

Copyright ©2013 by KLiedle