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August 25, 2009

Why I Walked Out on "District 9"

I had seen the billboards all year long.

I knew this was gonna be a great film. I mean, look at those cryptic ads! The online movement! The geek fanbase! No reason not to go. It'd be fun!

So, on a total whim, Keith and I popped in to see this District 9 last night.

Let me back up.

I've been sick. Like... in bed since Friday night sick. No, you didn't see that on Facebook or Twitter because I'm pretty dang militant about leaving everyone else out of the loop when I feel like ass. (Well, everyone other than Keith, who has to take care of me.) When folks assume I'm not posting because I'm working so dang hard that I don't have the time, I like that. That's the vibe I want out there. I'm not sick often and I'm not a good patient when I am, so I really do prefer to keep that experience in-house. (Thank you, honey.) And I *reeeeaallllly* dislike all of the, "Oh, you're sick? Poor thing. Feel better," well-meaning but overall whiny-sounding wishes. Very sweet, but really, envision me kicking ass, not getting my ass kicked. Thanks.

But Monday, I had had enough! I had just finished a call-in to LA Talk Radio (that link is an MP3; I'm in at 15 minutes) and decided I felt well enough that I had to leave the house! Had to honor the spiritual call to happy hour and a frosty vodka jalapeño passionfruit cocktail with my hubs, the old-school daiquiri drinker.

Man, that jalapeño is great for opening up "sick head" after three days! (And the cheese plate is good too.)

So, we're in this great mindspace of loving each other and having an impromptu date, celebrating my progress to being vertical for a change. The jazz trio is playing and our waitress is awesome. We're loving life, talking about all of the big plans we have for the $250M we'll win in the lottery this week. It's just a lovely night in Santa Monica. One like so many we've shared in our five years here.

As we walk back up the Promenade toward home, on a total whim, Keith and I pop in to see this District 9.

I knew it was going to be dark. But I thought maybe Ironman +2 dark. Not Ironman +200 dark. (Plus, what made the dark parts of Ironman so live-with-able for me was all the humor and the, um, yum, Robert Downey, Jr., of it all.) Even so, I can handle dark, so long as the ride is good. The story is well-told. The adventure is exciting somehow.

I never got excited. I got grossed out a couple of times. Full on covered my eyes at one point (Keith asked, "Do we need to go?" and I shook my head, sure I could soldier through it). And then I started thinking about Keith's military days and how he still has those war dreams sometimes. I realized we were watching stuff that might cause more of those. And for me too! I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. There was one particular choice that was so distasteful in my mind and heart (I won't share it here, lest spoilers exist in the sharing of it) that I turned to Keith--probably ten minutes after he asked me the question--and said, "Yeah. Can we go?" He nodded. We grabbed our stuffs. Out we went, into the welcoming, warm air and the music of the street musicians on the Promenade, tourists and homeless and locals milling happily together. Laughter. Freedom. Life.

Ahh... much better.

The last movie I walked out of before District 9 was Gone Fishin' back in grad school. I stayed put for Spice World (gleefully so) but couldn't sit through that.

Anyway, I guess I just like my cinematic journeys to be fun rides. They don't have to be HAPPY all the time. They don't have to be schmaltzy or sappy sweet. I do like the dark too. But I like the dark with just enough light that I remember it's just like life. We DO have sweetness if we choose to see it.

Oh, and because one of my fine Twitter followers asked why it is that I don't see a lot of movies, I should set the record straight.

I read a LOT of scripts. I watch a LOT of reels. I consume a LOT of TV and Internet programming. I go to a LOT of plays and showcases and comedy shows. And I attend a LOT of screenings and watch a LOT of things in less "consumer plunking down ten bucks" ways. But, yeah, it's pretty rare that I show up as a consumer and plunk down ten bucks to see a film in a theater with strangers who talk, text, smack on their popcorn, sit right in front of another patron or kick the backs of the seats in front of them, in order to "go on the ride" with an audience like that anymore. It's not as enjoyable an experience as it once was, which means if I have the option (and, because of my job and because of Keith's job, I usually do), I'll watch a screener in my laptop with a glass of wine and a pause button when needed, almost every time.

So, the comment about how long it's been since I had walked out of a movie being an indicator that "I don't go to many movies" was more about the act of seeing movies in theaters than hitting eject on ones I don't like, when I'm watching them from home. :) I do that too.

But to fork over many-many dollars for our tickets, the popcorn, my water, and Keith's soda and then forfeit that money in exchange for our happiness just 45 minutes later is a different thing. That's saying something.

In this case, it's saying, "I like the happy."

(Bonus: Up all night sick. Both the over-extending of the physical before truly well and the emotional turmoil of the film's graphic imagery were enough to keep me doubled over most the night. Whee!)

(See why I'd rather not share when I'm sick? I'd rather it just look like I'm working my arse off. Which I'm happy to get back to, today. Once I watch Glee again, in order to really cleanse the District 9 palette.)

Posted by bonnie at 2:14 PM | Comments (11)

August 12, 2009

My Totally Fake 12 of 12 for August 2009

So, I've been a part of 12 of 12 for a few years now. New to 12 of 12? Visit Chad Darnell for all the info. Come play! It's fun!

This particular day was originally filled with all sorts of awesomeosity. But then I traveled. And apparently I've become a huge wimp for travel. So I needed to cancel most of my day today--which had loads of good photo ops in place for the coolness of 12--because I was really feeling my trip. I needed sleep. So I took it. :)

But, I took (and twittered) tons of pics during my trip--and I'm deciding that's fair game for the photo essay. As far as I'm concerned, that's still a technically-appropriate 12 of 12 and here it is. :) (Note: All times are Pacific.)

4:00pm, 4 Aug.: Page 5 weekly Variety in my right hand, page 3 daily Variety in my left. This is a casting dream come true, y'all! I've never cast a film with enough of a budget to even hint at affording ads in the trades. This is so dang cool. And the headline: "Ensemble cast from heaven," seriously. That's so amazing. Thank you.

9:17pm, 6 Aug.: First official pic of the 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival: I'm ticketed and security-cleared in record time. (Thank you, Kevin, for the ride to LAX!!) It's now, officially, cocktail hour!

9:48pm, 6 Aug.: They're offering $300 to stay in LA tonight. I have a middle seat. In coach. Please, people, smell fresh.

5:21am, 7 Aug.: I'm seriously shocked that I made the train with two minutes to spare. Our delay on the tarmac at LAX really cut it close. Still, made the train and I'm now leaving beautiful Boston, and oh, so quickly! PS--trains could teach planes a LOT about how to make passengers feel comfy. Just sayin'.

12:14pm, 7 Aug.: I've scored an early check-in (the trade-off was having to accept a smoking room. On a smoking floor. In a 100-year-old hotel. Which meant EVERYTHING smelled like smoke. But honestly, I so needed to sleep that I'd have accepted a room in which a man stood over my sleeping head, blowing smoke into my face) and after a nap, I'm trying to retrieve my pass for for the Rhode Island International Film Festival. For some reason, they've given it to producers. So I have to track them down to get it. Good thing that's easy! I'm so looking forward to time with the amazing Kathi Carey at this point. Her film has gotten amazing press!

1:01pm, 7 Aug.: This is where things get good. I've met Ernest Borgnine, Doris Roberts, and Anne Meara. Sparred comically with Jerry Stiller. Flirted with producers. Life is good. And when Anne Meara says, "Pass this pizza to that lady," I've accepted. Eff that gluten, baby! (Paying for that now. But worth it!)

3:58pm, 7 Aug.: We've been carted over in the fancy rides and now we stand in front of the poster for Another Harvest Moon at the premiere venue. Sold out. A line down the street. First time I'm seeing the poster, and phew! They spelled my name right. ;) If this is all that happens, I am so happy.

6:18pm, 7 Aug.: Another Harvest Moon premieres to a packed house and standing ovation. Next, the cast Q&A. This is where I got my moment. I will never forget it. Thank you, most amazing director Greg Swartz. Next, the after-party. Awesome! All of it. Just... I'm really feeling the moment.

6:17am, 8 Aug.: Press for Another Harvest Moon continues today. Meara and Borgnine on NBC10 this morning. Awesome.

5:31pm, 8 Aug.: WaterFire event in Providence with Kathi Carey. Loving this!

11:40am, 9 Aug.: At Fort Point/South Boston missing Keith something fierce! On the hunt for lobster, baby. Thank you, Julie, for the suggestions!

12:29pm, 9 Aug.: Since there's Legal Seafood at Logan, I decided to try Chau Chow City's huge ginger crab. Bring it! Oh Sweet Jesus, they weren't kidding! No tools. No cracks in the shell. No help. This was the most ridiculous lunch of my life. Served with chopsticks only. And a napkin. It totally made my day!

1:06pm, 12 Aug.: Came home to my awesome photo from the NOH8 campaign, thanks to the amazing Adam Bouska. Dayum, I look good! Of course, I wish this campaign didn't exist, but I'm so proud to be a part of the silent protest.

Thank you, Chad, for another lovely 12 of 12 experience. :) Kiss, kiss! Love, love!

Posted by bonnie at 9:50 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, TicTac!

So, I celebrate the birthday of my car.

I know, I know, it was "born" before I took it as my own on 11 August 1989, but this is its birthday, so there.

And it's its 20th birthday. 20th!!!

Baby TicTac, you have protected me from injury in accidents. You have gotten me places safely when I've been reckless. You have made me look damn fine just by letting me drive around with your top down... for 20 years.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm nearly "the 40-year-old with the convertible," and that's kind of sad and mid-life-crisis-ish, but I say that's only if it's age 40 when you buy your first convertible.

If instead, you're celebrating 20 years with it, you're still cool.

In my book anyway.

Happy birthday, Mighty TicTac. I promised you 20 years ago, I'd never let you go.

Posted by bonnie at 3:12 PM | Comments (1)

August 4, 2009

Casting Dream Come True

So, you do this job you love and you have a lot of fun with it.

You blog about the awesome moments that come when you get to "see the title of a film you helped create 'up in lights.'"

You share your excitement over a particular film's trailer being available on YouTube, for sharing and such.

You pinch yourself as you do things like book travel arrangements for a film festival at which the film you cast will premiere, and at which its star will be honored for a lifetime of awesomeosity.


And then you hold in your hands Daily Variety and Weekly Variety, each with a full-page ad for a film you cast, and you think, "Oh, man. I need to stop and feel this. Really, really feel this."

So, this is me feeling it.

It's possible my life will flow a little differently after Friday night, when Another Harvest Moon premieres. Or not! But that's the beauty of this business. That's what's so badass about what we do in this industry. Everything is always just one matching lottery number away from being "it."

And it's all so much fun, regardless of the outcome.

When I decided to start living a process-focused life, rather than an outcome-focused life, suddenly my "outcomes" got a whole lot better.

Hmm. Who knew?

So, I'm feeling it.

I'm going to "live tweet" from the RIIFF premiere and after-party on Friday. I'm trying not to freak out. But I'm enjoying that I'm riding the edge of some really amazing feelings, while teetering between panic attack and state of bliss.

May we all be so lucky not only to live our dreams, but to really feel it as it all happens!

Posted by bonnie at 5:11 PM | Comments (3)

August 2, 2009

Awesomeosity in a Bottle

You know that feeling you sometimes have? That feeling of, "I freakin' ROCK!"

I love that feeling. I wish it came over me more often. Because when it does, I cannot be stopped. I am awesome.

Well, a little over a week ago, I was talking with these fantastic, inspiring actors that I'm working with. We were talking about fear. About blocks. About letting unsafe people into our sacred circle. About feeling less than. And how to fix that.

And then I shared my tip. And now I'm going to share it with you. It's called "Awesomeosity in a Bottle."

Just visualize your perfect bottle. It doesn't have to be large. But it overflows with your awesomeosity, and when you're in need, you just grab it from the shelf (or from the cord you keep it on, around your neck) and uncork it. Sniff from it. Drink in your awesomeosity right then and there and let it wash all through you, inside and out.

We all know we've been there. We all know we have moments of being so filled with self-assuredness and self-love that it borders on the narcissistic. It feels so good but it is so very out of reach when we're low. Not anymore.

Grab your Awesomeosity in a Bottle whenever you need it. This is a powerful tip. And you are awesome.

Posted by bonnie at 2:33 PM | Comments (0)