Saturday, March 17, 2012


Ah! George Clooney -- So classically of the most charming men in Hollywood.

Women love him. Men want to be him. He's been People magazine's Sexiest Man or Person or whatever it is they like to call it -- probably more than once or twice.

Many people think it's really cool and sexy that George Clooney got arrested for trying to help the helpless African people two days after dining with the President of the United States. People got all up in arms, thinking maybe ole George was gonna be in the slammer for a long time. #FreeGeorge was trending on Twitter. One lady wrote, "Just when I think George Clooney can't get any hotter, he gets arrested. #sigh."

People are mesmerized by George Clooney. They swoon and sigh when he gets arrested. He looks so sexy! Even Al Sharpton was impressed. I heard him say so on MSNBC.

Mr. George has been tirelessly campaigning for years for western intervention in the Sudan. His father even said today that this has all been very hard on him.

Because of the fact that he is so handsome, and so sexy and also has a pretty good wad of cash, Mr. George has done pretty well in convincing a certain amount of white people that the people of Africa are lost without our help in solving their problems. His Sudan campaign was going along pretty good, but then that pesky economic downturn happened and American people started to worry more about their own survival a lot more than how they could team up with George Clooney in helping out the African people. 

Meanwhile, another guy named Jason Russell and some other white people came to the same conclusion as George Clooney did -- that the African people can't do without their heroic efforts to bring the U.S. military into Central Africa. So, they formed a group called Invisible Children and started a big campaign called Kony2012. Their plan is to get the U.S. Army guys with the white hats to team up with the other white hat guys led by Uganda's President Museveni, supposedly to capture a nefarious character called Joseph Kony. 

These Invisible Children people made a film about the whole Kony thing that's just been everywhere, especially on Facebook. The main guy from Facebook is one of the people the Invisible Children are trying to convince to help out with bringing the U.S. Army to Africa. Apparently, regular people in Uganda didn't like the film. They got pissed and threw rocks at the screen. Then, they left without watching it all, even though it's only 20 minutes or so.

My friend Natascha told me about the film. I watched it. I thought it was pretty crazy so I started looking up information on the whole kit and kaboodle and lo and behold! While looking for current info on Africa, who do I see but that sexy, smiling Mr. George making a "quiet visit" to the Sudan on March 13.

Looks like Mr. George 's Sudan campaign is going to get some fresh traction out of this Kony2012 thing. And now, tonight I see that everybody's getting in on the mix, including Angelina Jolie. Hee Haw! We're in for a real ride here, it seems! We've got all kinds of big stars calling for big time western intervention in Africa. It's practically an A-List Shoot 'Em Up John Wayne Extravanganza! I've gotta keep on this thing.

In a bizarre sidebar, yesterday, Invisible Children co-founder, Jason Russell, who created Kony2012, was detained in San Diego, allegedly raving drunk, out in the streets in his underwear, pounding his fists on the sidewalk, making sexual gestures, and babbling incoherently. Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, says that the past couple of weeks have really taken an emotional toll on Jason.

I totally get it too. I know whenever things get really bad for me --  like when I'm not getting any work because of the crappy contract we got last time thanks in large part to George Clooney -- I usually get really drunk and go out in my underwear to make sexual gestures and pound my fists on the sidewalk. I feel real bad for Jason and George. I'll bet Angelina's real torn up about it too. Thank God we have them to help those African people. And to help out us smaller actors too. Heck, what would any of us do without their help?

And boy, you can tell the whole thing is really heading somewhere. After his big arrest scene outside the Sudanese embassy, Mr. George stressed the importance of the "next six weeks." What a coinkidink that this timetable coincides so perfectly with the protest being called by the underwear guy, Jason Russell and his Invisible Children, set to take place on April 20th -- at night -- and worldwide.

According to various articles I read on Huffington Post, Kony, although certainly an unsavory character, has ceased to be active in the area for some five years now. But from what I've seen so far on African media, what IS heating up is the furor and outrage over the corruption of leaders like the U.S.' white hat buddy, Museveni.

More to come, no doubt.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


High heels, long nails, hot rollers, curling irons - I was never one for any of that. All my life, I've been a flat shoe'd, wash n' wear kinda gal.  You wouldn't catch me placing my foot into a position like the one used in Chinese foot binding. Yech!

But, as Marx said, material circumstances shape our ideas; and, due to my employment in the entertainment BIZ, it has been necessary to familiarize myself with various devices.  Working as an actor, a photodouble, a stand in and a background performer, I've had to tinker with all manner of wardrobe, makeup, hair-dos and finger nails. I've been primped up, loaded in, vamped up, frumped down, scooped in, lifted up and twisted around.

I didn't realize it, but all this time spent in makeup rooms, hair trailers and changing areas has slowly but surely altered my thinking.

Three days ago, it hit me big. 

Staring at the rows of shoes hanging from rack on my closet door, I realized I hardly had any. Following in my Mom's footsteps (no pun intended), I guess I'd never thought beyond the practical footwear needed to navigate the farm fields and country roads I grew up on. To top it off, the shoes I did have were all still in good shape but looking like 1992. I knew then that I would have to make some changes. No wonder Hollywood did not consider me chic!

So, as is my wont, I went about the business of slowly, carefully, and reasonably updating my archaic shoe collection...if it could be called a collection... I went down to Goodwill that very day and spent $8.00 on a beautiful burgundy pair of Alfani heels. Pretty high but somewhat comfortable - well, comfortable - for heels.

I hadn't seen anything yet.

Enter my friend Natascha.

Natascha, like many of my women friends, has a closet full of assorted shoes and boots. She's forever stylish and chic; so, when she asked me to hit a couple of Crossroads Trading Company stores to give my opinion on three pairs of shoes she'd picked out as possible purchases, I agreed.

First, we hit the Melrose store. I was expecting a quick look at the shoes she was considering, but no. Natascha floated into the store as if she was magnetized, her eyes scanning the rows of shoes above the clothing racks. She quickly honed in on a stunning pair of brown/gold/yellow and cream patent leather five inch platform stilletos. "These are awesome!," she said. "Aren't they great?," she set them down on the floor, sliding her feet inside. I don't know if her excitement was contagious or what but I was sold. They looked amazing.

She took them off and gripped them by the heels, her eyes darting left and right as she continued down the aisle. "Grab something good right away if you see it," she whispered. "One time, I saw a sweet pair, didn't take them, realized my mistake, and when I turned to get them, the woman right behind me had already picked them up. To this day, I still think about that pair."

As Natascha continued down the aisle, I began to try on a few pairs myself, at first gingerly, and then, with building excitement. By the time, Natascha called me over to check out the shoes she was thinking about, I was mesmerized. I noted her choices and made some of my own.

My senses were reeling. By the time we entered the store on Santa Monica, I was mesmerized. My mouth may have been open a good deal of the time. I suddenly wondered why I'd never noticed how many types of shoes there are or how many different looks they could make. How ornate they can be. How colorful. How splendid. I knew I needed to get home and feed my dog but I could not tear myself away from the rows and rows of mid to high end shoes - many in excellent, like-new condition. I started to feel hot.

Natascha and I ended up spending something like three hours in a fevered shoe bonanza. I had to call my neighbor to go feed my dog. When it came time to make choices, I couldn't decide what kind of advice to give Natascha or myself. I wanted to be sensible.

She tried the Santa Monica store shoes on over and again and we looked at pictures of the ones we'd taken on Melrose.  She also found several more pairs. Finally, her face was calm as looked at me and said, "I think I'm going to buy them all." She started to laugh in a giddy way, "I should, right?"

"Yes, I said, I think you should."

As for me, between the two stores, I found nine pairs. When I asked Natascha to help me pick out the best one, she looked at me very seriously and said, "I think you have to buy them all."

I was delirious. Yes! I was going to do it! All of them!

I returned home flushed and incredulous that I had actually purchased nine pairs of shoes in one day. I had never bought more than two in a day before and that happened, I think, once. The damage to the pocketbook was not at all bad. Several pairs were half price off. That is Crossroads' policy. They always want to keep their stock fresh; so, after just a few weeks, everything goes for half price. I ended up paying $120.00 for eight pairs of like-new shoes and one pair of killer boots with labels like Steve Madden, Nine West, Aldo and Miu Miu.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


After months of procrastination, the inspiration for the first post of Recession Cafe ends up being the words of a real scribe. I spotted this account on a colleague's Facebook page. It's written by Patrick Meighan, a writer for "Family Guy," who I met on the lines of my own union's struggle for a better contract a few years back.

Patrick Meighan is a real stand-up guy. He knows the meaning of solidarity. During the Screen Actor's Guild fight from 2007-2008, he was out there with us nearly every day. He marched. He chanted, He gave fiery talks on the megaphone. All in solidarity with us actors.

What happened to him, along with 291 other people, standing up to the unmitigated greed of the 1% who are making a fortune on the backs of the rest of us, is an outrage. Here's his story...

 My Occupy LA Arrest, by Patrick Meighan: My Occupy LA Arrest, by Patrick Meighan: My name is Patrick Meighan, and I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “ Family Guy ”, and a member of the Unitarian U...