You changed the world, Steve Jobs. Thank you.
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"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Did you know that today is Equal Pay Day? Did you also know...
1. ... that the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963? Women made 59 cents on average for every dollar made by men.
2. The definition of pay equity: evaluating and compensating jobs based on skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, and not on the people who hold the jobs.
3. In 2003, after studying 18 years worth of data, a report by the General Accounting Office found a 20% earning gap between women and men that could not be explained. The consensus? Discrimination.
4. By 2009, women were making 77 cents on average for every dollar made by men. A bit of an improvement, yes, but a narrowing of the wage gap by less than half a cent a year.
5. This wage difference costs the average American woman between $700,000 to $2 million over a working lifetime. It impacts Social Security benefits and pensions.
6. As of 2011, according to The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation report published by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women earn less than men in 107 of 111 occupations, regardless of levels of education.
What can be done? Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act which was reintroduced to Congress today. Please spread the word...
Everyone's puttin' in their two pesos on what their favorite _______s were in 2010. I've resisted because I'm not big on lists, but I've since caved. This was an interesting year in movies--or better yet, a polarizing year. There have been strong love-it/hate-it reactions to most of the films released during the holiday season (hi, Black Swan, True Grit, and Somewhere) and not too many standouts from the summer blockbuster extravaganza. I've had many a holiday party conversation about what cinema meant in 2010, and I found that few films actually touched people emotionally this year. The conversations often gravitated towards the subject of television instead, specifically long-form series' like Mad Men, Breaking Bad (my fave), and the now defunct The Wire, which has become a sensation in its DVD/download afterlife. Basically, TV shows that feel like a novel and movie combined are where it's at.
I have faith in the film industry, though. I'm hoping there's a zeitgeist around the corner. How long has it been since we've had a film movement? The internet puts opportunity in the hands of anyone who's audacious and hungry enough to seek an audience. Maybe this means the best is yet to come (or has yet to be discovered). We're living in a newer, faster, digital age, but I believe what we all continually crave is a really good story. Great stories never get old and stand alone regardless of whatever medium in which they're told.
Thus, here's a brief list of what touched (or tickled) me this year across the story spectrum. These are picture shows that appeared on film, on TV, on canvas, or on paper...
"I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance. The only difference being that a writer can do it all alone. I was struck a few years ago when a friend of ours--an actress--was having dinner here with us and a couple of other writers. It suddenly occurred to me that she was the only person in the room who couldn't plan what she was going to do. She had to wait for someone to ask her, which is a strange way to live."
Yes, folks, it's been quite awhile since I last blogged, but I'm back and ready to get this party started! I've spent the past several months cavorting with vampires, touching down in international waters (more on that later), and generally just devouring--and writing about--music and film as much as possible. Unfortunately, spitting out 140 character bursts proved easier than blogging in these hectic times, but as verbosity is my forte, I long to return to this handsome webspot to spill words by the thousands and images worthy of stealing.
Thus, please stick with me over the next few weeks as Verbose Coma goes through a bit of a redesign and I get this choo-choo back a chuggin'. Until then, a haiku for you:
The lonesome whistle
Desert train, tumbleweeds, rain
An eagle circles.
Train tracks in El Paso on a quiet Saturday morning.
SXSW wiped me out! I've got so much to say about the sunshine madness down in Texas, so please bear with my procrastination. I think I've still got too much Lone Star in my system. For now, ponder this: Ina Garten's hair.
I don't know why, but it freaks me out. Catch it in action, and you'll see. Every time I've tried to watch her show on the Food Network, the movement of that silken bob both distracts and hypnotizes me. Her food always looks really fantastic, though.
I've used the word random sparsely in conversation for the past few years. Lately, I find I'm using it a lot more.
"THAT was random."
"Look, it's 5:55. Random."
"I'm making a random band with a random album name and random cover on Facebook." (an answer to "What are you doing right now?")
Also, "Everything just feels so random right now."
That last one sums it all up. Maybe it's the lingering winter--the current climate so to speak--or maybe it's my age, but randomness has always fueled me and lately it has me all confused. This could be because I'm indoors all of the time. Either way, I'm randomly thinking about randomness right now. Here are 10 random things:
1. Keys open doors; ___ unlock ideas.
2. Are metal lunchboxes really going to be worth something someday?
3. Beetles under glass.
4. If the Mayans are right, the world will end in 2012.
5. Umbrellas, socks, and mittens have wanderlust.
6. Where do you go in New York City when you want to scream at the top of your lungs?
7. Bare feet on polished concrete, a ginger ale on ice, sunlight through an open window.
8. Focus means focusing, sometimes on the random.
9. Turkey or eagle?
10. Exercise in any form - either for the body or the brain - is always good.
Somebody working near me is playing that heard-it-a-million-times-in-a-movie-trailer song "Just Breathe". I think that's what it's called. Well, it's the refrain anyway. When it started playing just now I thought she was singing "Just Dream", and for that brief moment I wanted to stand up with my dreams and walk out of the door.
Thanks to the fine folks over at Gothamist, I just read this sweet story about a "mystery cat" who takes the bus regularly in London. He (or she) gets on and off at the same two stops several times a week much to the delight of the busdriver who has nicknamed the furtive feline "Macavity". Although the busdriver claims that he thought of the name in regards to T.S. Eliot's book of poetry, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, I totally think he got it from Cats, the musical. I know this because naming cats after the cast of cats from Cats is an international phenomenon I've experienced first hand.
When I went to adopt a kitty from the Humane Society, I had no idea I'd actually run into the entire tribe of Jellicle Cats from the hit Broadway musical. There was a mangy long-hair named Grizabella, a growly tabby called Rumpleteazer, and a sleeping orange furball no doubt hiding from the sticker on the window pronouncing her Jennyanydots. I couldn't get past the silly names to find a suitable kitty-friend until I bestowed my eyes upon Mr. Mistoffelees. He was, indeed, both a Mister and a "quiet and small black feline capable of performing feats of magic and sleight of hand," and with his sliced off left ear (a result of animal testing), microchip implant (ditto), and vampire teeth poking out from beneath a permanent scowl, I knew this Magical Mr. Mistoffelees was Mine.
I then took him home and changed his name to Neo. It was the era of sentient machines you see. Anyway, the name Neo never quite stuck as I took to calling him Neeki, Nietzsche, and Nico instead of the name that revealed him to be the One. At times, after he'd sped across the length of our apartment in a "flash explosion" or appeared on a shelf near the ceiling seemingly by magic, I'd wonder if, perhaps, he was actually the real Mr. Mistoffelees and that I'd robbed him of his rightful title. Maybe now, a year after his sudden passing, he's somewhere floating above us, a tiny bowler hat cocked over his half-ear, answering to a name of his own choosing. I miss you, Magical Mister, and I say, "OH! Well I never! Was there ever! A Cat so clever!"
When I first met Hamish, I told him all about Neo's time as a Cats cast member on the Humane Society stage, and he, too, remarked that he knew many cats back in England also named after the cats from the musical. We couldn't get over people's laziness at choosing these unoriginal names, and I thought about starting a campaign to SAVE THE CATS FROM CATS. It wasn't until after Neo began to show his true colors that I started to think that maybe there was something going on here. Maybe cats all over the place were putting on an act for us human-folk during the day and, by night, they'd emerge as their true, magical selves and get together at a neighborhood "Jellicle Ball". I, for one, think this Macavity fellow over in London who takes the bus in BROAD DAYLIGHT is our evidence. EVIDENCE!
Hamish, however, is still grossly offended by Macvity's unoriginal moniker and has this to say:
WHY OH WHY MUST IT BE CALLED MACAVITY?
Dentist: Oh my! You've a cat caught in your tooth!
Patient: It's Macavity.
Well, Hamish, I think Mr. Macavity has THIS to say:
When you fall on your head, do you land on your feet?
Are you tense when you sense there's a storm in the air?
Can you find your way blind when you're lost in the street?
Do you know how to go to the Heaviside Layer?
Can you ride on a broomstick to places far distant?
Familiar with candle, with book and with bell?
Were you Whittington's friend? The Pied Piper's assistant?
Have you been an alumnus of heaven or hell?
We can dive through the air like a flying trapeze
We can turn double somersaults, bounce on a tire
We can run up the wall, we can swing through the trees
We can balance on bars, we can walk on a wire
Jellicles can and Jellicles do
Jellicles can and Jellicles do
Jellicles can and Jellicles do
JELLICLES CAN AND JELLICLES DO!
If I didn't know better, I'd say this is 2007. The air feels different. You know who I never really got into? Joni Mitchell. I mean, I really like her hair and everything, but the music washes over me. The music and the picnic blankets and stuff. When I hear Joni Mitchell's music, I think of picnics. And butterflies, braids, organic grapes, and macrame. And sometimes I say "Joni MItchell!" in my head and smell freshly baked bread.
It's Thursday. I checked Backstage already, finished my work, and ran across the street for some soba noodles. I feel good in my outfit today. Very Victorian Cowgirl. Black ruffle-neck top, dainty gray cashmere cardigan, roughed up jeans, vintage dark brown boots, and a massive black and white plastic cameo of two people about to kiss around my neck. If I didn't have to work, I'd take my outfit on a date to Central Park right now. We'd say hello to three horses (but not their carriage masters), skip around the fountain, buy an ice cream because it's cold and we should give the ice cream guy some business, work off said ice cream with a hard run up the steps of the Met (Rocky Balboa-style, of course), and then cool down and really get to know each other better over two martinis at Bemelman's Bar. If my outfit still seemed up for it, I'd take it to see "Dreamgirls" at the Zeigfeld just before taking it home.
I just rewrote my declarations for 2007. I don't really write resolutions. Instead, I write down all of the things I want to accomplish in present tense declarations. Each one is a motto I can concentrate on or say until it sinks in, happens, and then becomes obsolete. For instance:
I TRULY ENJOY THE THRILL OF NOT BITING MY NAILS ANYMORE.
Which I can't wait to replace with: I TRULY ENJOY THE THRILL OF NOT BITING MY CUTICLES ANYMORE.
There are many others. One of them concerns this space right here: I LOVE TO TAKE PICTURES!
I'm going to start taking and posting many photos in 2007, so expect shots of bird's feet, sidewalk gum, casino chips, and a popsicle or two. One can never have enough cherry popsicles. There will be Las Vegas pictures, shots of Japan, a bowl of soup from Paris, and maybe a sunset in Los Angeles. The year 2007 will be in vivid technicolor!
Here's the crunchy-delicious snack I just ate:
It may be blurry, but I love it. Happy New Year, Everyone!!!
My heel just split open from walking too much and lotioning not enough. It's ugly and it hurts. I really wish whoever's been in the only bathroom on this floor for the past 22 minutes would hurry their stilettos up so I can wash my heel in the sink and go about my business. There's really no point in washing, though. I guarantee you this baby will split open again when I go back outside to fetch another Starbucks in the next half hour. Just in case you're wondering, this is my second trip to Starbucks today and it won't be my last. Just in case you're curious, the Grande Nonfat Unsweetened Decaf Iced Coffee with Extra Ice and an Extra Splash of Skim Milk is not for me. It's for my BossLady.
My name is Andi. Some of you know me (hi there!), and maybe some of you don't. I'm an actress and a writer in New York City trying to make it here so I can make it anywhere. Life is fast-paced and brimming with fancy parties, late nights in paid-for cabs, hair tossing, and skipping down West Village streets in my new Marc Jacobs mini-dress and ironic jelly flats. Just kidding. Kind of. The jelly flats are real.
My life is the subway from Brooklyn, dodging pedestrians in midtown, and meeting my cohorts for free drinks at the bar that sometimes employs us when the magazine operating out of the office above it doesn't. My wardrobe is H&M, second-hand, ebay-won, or just a simple Japanese t-shirt and jeans sprinkled with a rotating array of plastic, animal-themed accessories. Yes, it's precious. I run to auditions during lunch and dinner hours trying to be an actor. I sneak into fashion shows and press events pretending to be a writer. In other news, I like shrimp.
And right now, I need to recap my life thus far to figure out where the heck I'm going...