Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Got the first rejection email on Crash Test today. This is one of those events you expect to have happen but don't really believe once it does. Realistically, it's going to get rejected despite having a fabulous premise (of course I think so, but so do some other folks I trust who aren't my mom or my sister) and a fabulous agent. In the Total Fantasy realm, I'm signing a huge contract and shopping for Christmas in the Neiman Marcus specialty catalog. Not happening. Instead, I've got the no-date-for-the-prom feeling, but in this case, I've already blown the cash for the dress and hairdo. Twice (the full of Crash Test has been revised to agent specs already).

Here's how the editor kiss of death sounds: "I love the concept here, which is very original and exciting. Unfortunately, I just didn't love the execution or connect with the humor in a way that would make me its editorial champion." Okay, I'm liking the "original and exciting" bit very much. Not too crazy about the "didn't love the execution" (it's brilliant, of course!) "or connect with the humor" (argh!!) bits.

Putting on my Pollyanna hat, I have to be glad that this editor didn't say okay. If you can't be my editorial champion, then I'm better off somewhere else. Where else is the key. When else would be even more key. Soon would be good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Seattle Weather

I don't care how cool/trendy/earthy the Pacific Northwest is, I could never live in Seattle. We've had two days of gray, drizzly Seattle weather here in usually sunny Central Florida, and I am ready to hurt someone. I'd definitely need meds for Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder if something uprooted Chez mimi to the other end of the country. Plus, I don't do Starbucks. Hate coffee. Hate it. Love the smell, hate the taste. I'd last about 24 hours in the land of constant drizzle and cold. Plus, how often could you drive to and from work with the top down?

Seattle has, I have to admit, one of the coolest open-air markets ever (Pike Place--love the fresh flowers!!), but it's not enough to wrench me out of Florida. Plus, you can't swim or surf at the beach there, especially not in December. Take that!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Nick and Jessica: Like We're Surprised

DISCLAIMER: I have never seen a single episode of Newlyweds, nor do I own a single CD from either Nick or Jessica. I also know the difference between chicken and tuna.

The official word is that Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are officially separating, "respect our privacy at this difficult time," blah blah blah. Like everyone who scans tabloid headlines in the grocery aisle didn't see that coming. Agent K from Men in Black wasn't far off the mark when he said the tabloids published the best investigative journalism on the planet. Hell, they go through garbage to get the garbage.

Still, anyone with a brain could have known this would happen from the "I do," save-ourselves-until-the-wedding-night notwithstanding. Some clues:

The bondage princess look. For a minister's daughter, Miss Thing can put on the demon torturer look like nobody's business. I searched the Net in vain for my favorite scary Simpson photo, the one where she and her famous bustline are trussed up in black pleather like a Thanksgiving turkey, but had to settle for this one:

Black isn't good with all that blonde (or that spray-on tan), nor does raking her hair back from her forehead do anything to minimize the mouth-like-a-Muppet's thing she has going on. The Alice Cooper eyeliner doesn't help, either.

Accentuating the obvious: She's got a rack. We know. Her dad rhapsodizes over it (which is creepy enough in itself). But do you have to display it in such badly-fitting clothing? (Yes, the one on the right played peek-a-boo in a subsequent shot) There are some things a spaghetti strap should not be asked to do.

Her dad: I love my dad, too, but you don't hear him talking about my boobs on national television. Kinda scary that he is ordained, if you ask me.

Dessert Beauty: I want to eat my chocolate cupcake, not smell like it. Eeeew.

That car washing video: When you can make Paris Hilton's commercial for a cheeseburger look classy, you have a problem.

Diva, thy name is...: Let's be fair and toss both Nick and Jessica in on this one. Musicians by nature are egomaniacal divas. They like things their way. They throw temper tantrums. They don't do well when not being fawned over. When the balance of power (or attention) shifts, implosion is imminent. Nick seems like an okay guy--perhaps the ESPN gig will do him some good. The train's already wrecked for the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Lachey. Dukes of Hazzard, anyone?

Romeo and Juliet: Jessica Simpson famously remarked on her wedding day that her love story with Nick was "like Romeo and Juliet." That should have been the giveaway right there. If your love story is like Romeo and Juliet's, you will end up with the following:
  • Feuding families
  • Dead best friend (Mercutio)
  • Dead favorite cousin (Tybalt)
  • Banishment (Romeo)
  • Dead almost-fiancé (Paris)
  • Dead lover #1 (Romeo, by poison)
  • Dead lover #2 (Juliet, by stabbing)
  • Dead mom (Lady Montague)
I don't know about you, but my love story doesn't involve a BODY COUNT!! (It is, after all, the TRAGEDY of Romeo and Juliet). Were these people paying attention in ninth grade English class, or were they just enraptured by the nice costumes and either a) cute Leonard Whiting and busty Olivia Hussey in the Zeffirelli version or b) cute Leonardo DiCaprio and lovely Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet? Either way, they both end up dead. Not what I'd call a happy ending.

Kind of like Nick and Jessica.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Bed List/The Dinner List


DH and I cannot wait to see Walk the Line. Aside from the fact that Johnny Cash is relentlessly cool, Walk the Line is getting raves for its performances. No surprise there--Reese Witherspoon is so Type A she does everything well, and you have Joaquin Phoenix. That's practically all you need. He's memorable in everything he does, and not just because of that insanely beautiful light eyes-dark hair-brooding thing he has going on. I've been following this guy since he was still going by "Leaf" (remember SpaceCamp?). Parenthood--odd teenager with the paper bag. To Die For--creepy teenager with a Suzanne Stone obsession. Gladiator--not many people can hold their own onscreen with Russell Crowe, but he does it in Oscar-nominated style as the slimy emporer Commodus. Signs--"Swing away, Merrill" and that aluminum foil hat! The Village--just try not to melt when he finally breaks down and tells Ivy he loves her. And now, the Man in Black himself. Quite a body of work. Quite a body, actually. Yum.


Although Wayne Brady is incredibly talented and cute, there's no way I could put him on the dinner list. WAY too close to cradle-robbing. I became acquainted with Wayne when he was still in high school, so there's no way I could go the "Don't Stand So Close to Me" route with him, even if he is a grown man with kids now. Just too Mary Kay LeTorneau, thankyouverymuch. On the other hand, I'd be happy to cook him dinner, laugh my head off as he does impressions, and do some improv.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


There are so many things to be thankful for on this day, but here are some of mine.
  • my husband and kids
  • family
  • phone calls from my brother in Iraq, especially phone calls on Thanksgiving Day with a possible end date for this tour of duty (yay!)
  • turkey dinners
  • pecan pie
  • hell, just about any kind of pie
  • naps (like you would expect anything else on Thanksgiving?)
  • football (except that)
  • top-down weather
  • laughter
  • great books
  • better friends
  • the Internet!
  • pajamas
  • Monty Python
  • dogs who love to fetch
  • ignoring the pressure to go shopping on Black Friday
There are tons more, but you get the picture. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jay 'n Dave

In the battle of late night hosts, I'm a Leno. I've tried Letterman, both the NBC and CBS versions of Late Night and even his short-lived morning show--remember it?--and he doesn't do a thing for me. The Top Ten lists are fun. So is his mom. But Paul Shaffer is, without a doubt, one of the more annoying people on the planet.

Jay, on the other hand, is funnier. Has funnier bits (love the headlines). Has a much better bandleader. He seems like someone you could hang out with on Saturdays, probably in his garage (he owns like a jillion cars and motorcycles). Dave doesn't strike me as a hang out kind of guy unless you're obsessed with basketball. He is from Indiana, after all.

Overall, Jay's the guy. After 11:30, that is. Jon Stewart's my man at 11.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

In a completely girly move, three friends and I went to see Pride and Prejudice this afternoon. My good friend Kelly and I have been addicted to the BBC Pride and Prejudice for years (who wouldn't love the Darcy-rises-from-the-bath scene, I ask you?), so we wondered if the new movie would hold up well against it.

Short version: Yes! And no.

Yes to brilliant casting--all of the Bennets are perfect. Jane is lovely, Brenda Blethyn makes a marvelously flitty Mrs. Bennet, the younger girls are the early Regency version of swoony Tiger Beat addicts (except for Mary, who's prim), and Donald Sutherland steals scenes as the droll Mr. Bennet, who's clearly put upon by all the women in his household and yet mad for all of them. Keira Knightley acquits herself beautifully as Elizabeth. She's brilliant with the starchy kiss-off line, her reaction once she sees Pemberley and realizes all she threw away is a classic. Plus, I love that she is so unashamedly flat-chested!

The men, not so good, but still way better than most big-budget remakes. We all wanted to know what was with Bingley's over-moussed hair. Mr. Collins is the pill we're all so happy Elizabeth escapes (the "please don't leave me alone with him" antics before Mr. Collins's proposal are priceless). Darcy--well, he's in a special class. I enjoyed Matthew MacFadyen's close-to-the-vest portrayal. He has a way with the very tiny gesture (a look, a hand gesture, his adorable nervousness when Elizabeth comes in the room) that made him work for me. Half of our viewing party disagreed. Didn't like him a bit. Then again, Colin Firth left huge shoes to fill.

The whole thing is busy, bright, and not stiff in the least, which is great. It's rumored that Emma Thompson did an uncredited rewrite on the screenplay, and that may show in the flashes of humor. The camera work is divine (must save money for tickets to England NOW). All in all, very satisfying.

And if the last scene with Elizabeth and her father doesn't make you tear up, you need to go to work on your hard heart. This daddy's girl loved it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Bed List/The Dinner List


Campbell Scott is the one man who can truly claim he's "American Theater Royalty"--he's the son of George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst. Big Night, the movie he co-directed with his close friend Stanley Tucci, is a favorite at Chez mimi. Great character acting, terrific casting (Campbell is a Cadillac salesman in a fun minor role), wonderful story--plus Tony Shalhoub (see below) as a temperamental Italian chef. He chooses interesting roles, which makes me think he'd be just as interesting in the bedroom. A thinking woman's hottie, that's for sure. Yum.


I've yet to meet someone who doesn't love Monk, USA's series about an obsessive-compulsive ex-detective. Tony Shalhoub makes a character who'd annoy the pants off the rest of us interesting, even lovable. That's not easy to do. He's a chameleon who can play everything from the aforementioned temperamental Italian chef to a spaceship engineer (Galaxy Quest--check out his love scene with the chick with tentacles) to an alien arms dealer (Men in Black) and make them believable. He's witty, smart, and not the least bit obsessive. I think.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Meet Inga, my new car!

(This isn't actually Inga, but close. Someone borrowed our digital camera, so I'm substituting an Internet pic for the time being.)

After eight years of hard roof, I've finally reached the point where my kids are big enough to be hauled around without car seats. Woo hoo! And since DH's car was nice enough to implode--to the tune of $1600 worth of work we didn't want to pay for--we had to go car shopping. I shop. I shop some more. The Internet becomes my best friend. I finally find what I'm looking for in Tampa. Down the road I go. I fall in lurve.

So, DH gets the Passat, and I now have Inga, my 2003 New Beetle turbo convertible. It's a five-speed. It has black leather interior. It gets up and leaves on the highway.

Why Inga? One of my favorite German gals is Teri Garr's character in Young Frankenstein. Hey, if my new friend Mary can name her Mini "Stella" (which begs the question whether she stops dead in crowded parking lots and bellows for her car like Stanley Kowalski), I can have an Inga in my driveway.

I'm in lurve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Told You So!!

People just named Matthew McConaughey the "Sexiest Man Alive." Since Mr. Naked Bongos was one of my first Bed List picks, I get to ask, "What took y'all so long?"

Yep, still Biscuit-worthy. As a side note, five of People's top 15 have also been on the Bed List: Matthew Mc, Patrick Dempsey, Viggo Mortensen, Keith Urban, and Clive Owen. The gal knows how to pick 'em.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Brittany Lessons

Chez mimi has two dogs, an ancient cocker spaniel and a Brittany. Brittanys are a new breed for me. I've had cockers all my life. The kids asked for a bigger dog, and since I didn't want to go the Lab/Golden route, we hunted elsewhere. We thought about a Weimaraner, even picked out a name (Wegman), but were dissuaded by its very high activity level. So we end up with a Brittany, the smallest member of the sporting setters, etc. etc. I blissfully ignored the "counter surfing" remarks I saw posted here and there. What do I know about counter surfing? I've owned cocker spaniels. They're lucky to get nose level with a dining room table.

Our Brittany, however, is something else entirely. As in, he just snatched the kielbasa we were going to grill to go with our black beans and rice right off the stove. That'll teach DH to leave things and walk away. Can you say, "obedience class"?

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Bed List/The Dinner List


Want to know why Julia Roberts is, unequivocally, a crazy woman? She dumped Benjamin Bratt. This man is one prime example of masculinity. He's gorgeous. He's talented. His grin could melt chocolate at a hundred yards. Hell, his eyes are melted chocolate. He's, well, meltable--at least, I know I would be.


Chris Rock's best-known comedy special is entitled Bring the Pain. It's hysterical. Better yet, it's incisive and intelligent. The best comedy usually is. Chris Rock can cut to the ridiculous heart of just about anything with a few well-chosen words (remember the Million Dollar Baby vs. White Chicks bit at the Academy Awards?). He's sharp. He's funny. He'd be a great guy to take to dinner, especially somewhere he'd make the maître d' nervous.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Crossing Over to the Dark (Pink) Side

It's been a long time since I've done this, but I broke down and did it.

I bought Mary Kay.

I have to say that I wasn't intending to do anything of the sort. RWA shared its conference space in Dallas two years ago with the annual Mary Kay gathering, and it was a mite scary for those of us who don't get the whole multi-level marketing thing. It was even scarier to get trapped in elevators with bunches of them, all dressed in their red or blue blazers and sporting more ribbons than champion Olympic equestrians. Creepy. However, a friend of mine from church is a consultant and is the nicest, lowest-pressure person I know. Since part of my annual birthday present to myself is new makeup, I invited her over to do the makeover thing. Jury's still out on the makeup, but the skin I'd forgotten how smooth and nice Mary Kay makes it, even if it is ridiculously expensive. No more expensive than hitting the Clinique counter, though (I tell myself). So, pink it is. For the face. No way I'm getting sucked into the ribbon clique.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Bed List/The Dinner List


It's practically cradle robbing to lust after Jake Gyllenhaal, but I don't care. Woof. Love the eyes, love the bod. Love the energy. Woof.


My CSI obsession continues intact--here I go picking another crime scene investigator. This time, Steppenwolf Theater Company alum Gary Sinise. I fell in love with his work a long time ago, when he played George to John Malkovich's Lennie in Of Mice and Men (English major, remember? I'm a sucker.) He acts and directs. Plus, who else could hold his own with Tom Hanks the way he did as Lieutenant Dan? Or play an iconic character like Stu Redman from Stephen King's The Stand (my favorite S.K. title)? He's not the most handsome or famous, but he's got it.

Night Owl

I should be in bed right now. I have to be at school at an ungodly early hour of the morning, and it's nearly one a.m. No sleep in sight for me.

I just finished reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo, the latest choice of the book club I belong to. Good read overall, but the eternal Pollyanna in me has to wonder why modern fiction seems to require a traumatic/depressing ending, especially if it is to win a prize? (Empire Falls won the Pulitzer in 2002.) Are happy endings that reviled in literary circles? Are we not to be happy, but only satisfied or aware of our shortcomings?

I have enough to deal with in my life right now, what with my stressful job, lack of creativity at the moment, money troubles (DH's car needs fixing to the tune of $1,600, three-quarters of what it's worth), kids who need dental work I also can't pay for easily, church drama, and my house's perpetual state of disarray. At times like these, I say "Bring on the romance novels! Pitch me some chick lit!" Hell, bring on any novel in which people manage to bump through life without having to scale the emotional heights of abuse, betrayal, or violence. Is that so wrong? Does that make me an intellectual lightweight even though I love to read Austen and Faulkner?

These are the kinds of things that keep the squirrels on the wheel and me out of bed. I don't like them much, but there they are. At least I had a good idea for a book while taking my shower this morning, but right on the heels of that developing idea was the crushing thought of, "So what happens to the book you've already got planned? Never going to get it done? Let it twist in the wind, unfinished, like so much else in your immediate circle of concern?"


Yep, enough to drive you a little crazy, those damned squirrels. Too bad they're not the kind you can silence by leaping out of bed and scrawling a reminder note for yourself on the bathroom counter. What I wouldn't give for a week's vacation and a mildly successful Fantasy Five ticket right now. Guess I'll have to settle with my mom's five-step plan. According to mom (and keep in mind this was a four-step plan until I turned 21), there is nothing in the world that cannot be fixed or improved by means of:

  1. A hot meal
  2. A hot bath
  3. A good night's sleep
  4. Brushing your teeth
  5. A good screw
I'll tackle the Crest first, then hit the sack. Who knows? I might be able to swing step five before breakfast, if I don't whack the snooze alarm too many times. Five am's going to come awfully soon...

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