Archive for January, 2011

05 Jan 2011

What Goes On Behind The Scenes

12 Comments Career

A couple of my twitter friends shocked me the other day by saying they had no idea that I didn’t wear my own clothes on TV. At first I thought they were kidding, but they really hadn’t known! I just assumed everyone knew all the “magic” that went on behind the scenes before anyone steps in front of a camera. But they don’t. And that is why I decided to explain some of the tricks. Here is a day in the life of a television personality when said personality is working on a television show. (I’ll use myself as an example since, you know, I’m writing the blog).  I shall use Clean House as an example, but it occurs on every show.

A week or so before the show I have a wardrobe fitting. The fitting takes place at either my home, a store, the mall, or an office where producers are available to give opinions. If no producers are present, the stylist takes digital photos which are then emailed to said producers for approval.

Here are the things that have to happen at a fitting: After the stylist has tirelessly shopped for cute things, I have to like the way I look and feel in them. She also has to like them. The producer has to like them. The other wardrobe stylist has to have clothes for the other hosts that somewhat coordinate with the clothes we picked. Sometimes alterations are made. Sometimes different sizes are purchased. Then the stylist finds great jewelry, belts and other accessories to go with what we’ve picked.

Following so far?

Now let’s say we’re a few days from shooting. This is when I get all insecure about my eyebrows, my arms, my pale skin, and my zits. So I usually get a spray tan, an eyebrow wax, any hair treatments or trims or color or facials, or whatever else I need. And I try to stay away from a lot of wine and salt. I usually fail.

The day of shooting often starts out very early. I usually wake up around 5:00 AM just to get rid of any puffiness, relax with some coffe, and gear myself up for the day. When I get to set I have more coffee and usually some kind of breakfast sandwich or fruit, or both. Depending on the show, I’m either in a dressing room or a trailer with a couch, a vanity, a bathroom, and an area to get dressed. Sometimes it’s enormous and glamorous. Sometimes it’s nasty.

Then the makeup starts. Whoever has the “pleasure” of doing my makeup is usually in for it.

Think of a makeup artist as a very talented bartender, whose job it is to not only talk to you and make you enjoy your morning, but also to take your dark circles, acne scars, pale skin, and zits and turn them into something pleasant to look at… You know, instead of pouring drinks. He or she must transform you into the prettiest you you can be, all while hearing, “How much longer?” from the assistant director or production assistant, (AD or PA).

Getting my hair and makeup done usually takes anywhere from an hour to two hours. Then I put on my wardrobe and walk my fine ass onto set.

I’m trying to think of what else you would want to know. SO, here’s how we’re going to do this. If you have any questions about what goes on in the exciting (cough) world of movies and TV, ask me. I’ll do my best to answer. And if I don’t know, I’ll ask someone who does.

Kisses! (Just trying to be “Hollywood”).

03 Jan 2011

Target Bags Suck

15 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler

Okay, so today was a great day. I took G to school and he did SO WELL! Neither of us cried! I then proceeded to have an incredibly productive five hours:

I shopped at Trader Joes.

I wrote.

I did dishes.

I straightened up.

I planned a road trip with my husband.

I lovingly made some brothy, vegetable-filled chicken soup to help me with my quest to eat better. It took a long time. I nursed it all day while I was doing all these other things.

At 3:00, I tasted the soup. It was very good. But the carrots weren’t cooked enough. So I left a flame underneath the pot and left to pick up G-Man.

He was having a total blast when I got there, so I stayed with him about thirty minutes and chatted with the teachers about his day. He was playing with the new kid, and they were running back and forth pretending to be gorillas. It was cool seeing him embody something that wasn’t a dinosaur.

Then we went to Target and I gave him a blueberry sucker. We were having a great time shopping. He’s always so good at reminding me what I need to get, “Mommy, don’t forget we need milk!” We like shopping together at Target. He asks for things. I say, “No.” He reacts well to that most of the time. We were there for about 45 minutes. He was almost done with his sucker, and his lips and chin were bright blue.

We finished shopping and checked out. Remember my “Jesus Lady” at Target? Well, this was the second time I’ve gone through her line recently when she’s been PISSED! I mean, PISSED OFF, man! Remember when she was all, “I’m happy and blessed every day!”? Apparently, she is no longer happy or blessed. She’s pissed. That has nothing to do with the fact that she sort of bagged my stuff crappily. Is crappily a word? If it is, that’s how she bagged my stuff.

I had parked out front and the carts lock if you try to take them to the sidewalk, so the guard was kind enough to unlock the wheels for me. Garrett and I got the cart out to the car, and I started unloading. About half-way through the ten or so bags, one of the bags broke open. It just broke open. No reason, except for the fact that Target bags suck. They’re thin and lame and if you put anything heavier than a feather in them, they break. This particular bag had a glass bottle of maple syrup in it, and a box of Kix.

At this point, there was a puddle of syrup, glass and a box of Kix on the sidewalk by my car. I needed that syrup, and that box of Kix. So I had to go back inside and talk to a manager who told me to go back upstairs to get a new box o’ Kix and a new bottle of syrup so he could replace them for me. I was a bit frustrated at that point, when Garrett handed me what was left of his sucker. There was maybe three licks left, so I thought he wanted me to throw it out, which I did. That is NOT what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to hold it while he had a sip of water. But now it was too late. Said sucker was in the trash.

Cue loud, painful, sad, pathetic, angry-at-mom crying. He was sobbing as we went up the escalator, begging me to get the sucker out of the trash. I couldn’t believe it. Things had been going so well. We were having so much fun. Then the syrup, and the sucker in the trash, and the manager and the sweating. Did I mention the sweating? I sweat when I get nervous or frustrated. It’s attractive.

I managed to get us out of there in one piece, giving G another sucker, this one banana-flavored. I apologized for the misunderstanding, and he adorably said, “You don’t have to be sorry, Mommy.” I took a deep breath. I drove us home.

When I brought all the bags into the kitchen, something smelled weird. There was steam coming out of the pot on the stove. It had been on all this time, about two and a half hours longer than I had already cooked it. I tasted it. It had an odd aluminum flavor that wasn’t there when I had left the house. Understand, I took a long time to make this soup. It was made not only with love, but also with entirely organic ingredients: Organic chicken, organic broth, organic tomatoes, organic carrots, organic celery.. .You get the idea. So it was pricey. And it was precious to me because it was going to help get me through this initial week of not eating like shit.

Now I was trying not to cry. First I sweat, then I cry. Those are my coping mechanisms. I’ve been sweating, crying and eating a lot the last six months. Now I’m trying to just cry and sweat.  I didn’t cry, but I did bang the cabinets a lot as I was getting out the ingredients to make pasta with homemade sauce. I was pissed.

I let the soup cool and put it in a container in the fridge. I’ll try it again tomorrow. I’m just hoping whatever that taste is, isn’t something toxic or poisonous. Because I’m probably going to force myself to eat that damn soup.

My mom came for dinner, we all watched some of the Stanford game, and now G is in his awesome robe about to get into bed. All is right again. I just wanted to share with you one of those hilariously frustrating “Mom” moments that I’ve become so familiar with. And I’m blaming it all on the frigging Target bag. Did I mention they suck?

03 Jan 2011

Three Weeks

7 Comments Family, Personal Crap

Eighteen days ago, Garrett had his last day of school before Winter Break.  I was excited, but I was also wondering how the hell we were going to fill eighteen days with fun and education and food and, well frankly I was wondering how we were going to do any of it. And now it’s over and I want another three weeks! Okay, maybe I’m looking a little forward to having a routine back, but truthfully these last three weeks have been a total vacation.

We’ve been to the museum, the park, and Kidspace. We’ve had play dates and plenty of meals out. We’ve played Wii Fit and Diego’s Dinosaur Adventure. We’ve played with thousands of dinosaurs, we’ve BEEN hundreds of dinosaurs, we’ve celebrated with friends, we’ve spent time with family, we’ve napped (and napped), we’ve read stories, we’ve made up stories. And this time has flown. This morning when he said he didn’t want to go to school, I was SO close to saying, “Let’s have one more day at home!” But I know we need to get back to reality, at least a little bit.

Christmas Eve was a joy. We spent it with good friends and incredible food (an almost daily theme these three weeks). Our friend cooked a feast for her husband and the three of us, sending us home with enough for more meals. We laughed and talked and ate, and Garrett played with the awesome toys they bought him. Christmas was incredible. Our first little miracle was that G woke up at 5:55, but went back to sleep until 8:00! I guess that was his gift to us. When we all got up, he padded into the living room in his footy pj’s and gave the appropriate gasp when he saw his gifts. He methodically opened every one, stopping completely to change into his NEW footy pj’s, with dinosaurs all over them. He was grateful and so sweet. We spent the rest of the day hanging out, going to the park, napping, and playing with new toys. I’d call it perfect.

New Year’s Eve afternoon, my in-laws drove in from Oregon. That morning, G and I had a play date at an indoor kid’s wonderland and we got home to see Grandma and Grandpa waiting. He only gets to see them about twice a year, so it’s always a very big event. It’s an understatement to say he was happy. He immediately shut himself in his room with Grandma Farm (his nickname for her) and played and played.

Now, Russ and I haven’t left the house on New Year’s Eve in 10 years. We always have the party at our house. Always the same friends. It’s just the way it is, and it’s the way we like it. But this year, Grandma and Grandpa volunteered to watch G-Man so we could party ELSEWHERE! So at 7:00, we kissed our little boy goodbye and drove to Denny’s to meet the other two couples we spend NYE with, and have our “Big Tip Dinner”.  (See the end of this post). It was supposed to take place closer to Christmas, but all of us kept getting sick.

Denny’s was just as greasy as I had remembered. I ordered the Moons Over MyHammy with hash browns. Lo and Behold, our server(s) were GREAT! They were busy, so Manny started us out by getting our drinks. He was lovely, so we asked if he could serve us, but it was Vicki’s station and she’d be by soon. Vickie was equally as lovely, and they both busted their butts to give us great service all night. It was almost as if they somehow knew what we were there to do. But they didn’t. They were just hard-working, kick-ass servers.

We decided to give $50 to Manny and $100 to Vicki. They both deserved a part of the tip, but she was there with us more. First we called Manny over, slipped him the $50 and said, “Happy New Year”! He wished us the same, as he folded the money and placed it in his apron without looking. Vicki did exactly the same thing. So, as one of my friends pointed out, it was a true “mitzvah”. No reward, no reaction. Only knowing that we did something good, and hoping we made someone’s night a bit brighter.

The rest of the night was spent together at our friend’s house, drinking and laughing the night away. We stayed up until 2:30!!! Russ and I actually slept over, (we came prepared), and had our first night away from G in a very long time. (Yes, I missed him.) The next morning we had some coffee and watched the Rose Parade before bringing home some In n Out and hanging with our boy and his grandparents. That night was dinner at our favorite pizza place.

Yesterday, more food. More play time. More laughter. Our last day of vacation took us to Eagle Rock to eat at a Polish place we had all seen on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. It was fun and silly, and the perfect meal to end vacation with, because it was heavy and fattening. This morning Grandma and Grandpa Farm left, G went back to school, I grocery shopped and cleaned the kitchen, started a diet, and sat down to write.

I loved every moment with my family and friends these last few weeks. Reality’s good, but vacation is even better.

I hope your 2011 is filled with wonder and awe. I plan on having a spectacular year. I hope you do, too.

Happy New Year!