Friday, November 11, 2011

It Goes to Eleven

Anyone who was reading this blog about this time last year (which was almost the last time I posted. Oops?) may recall that I'm a big fan of birthdays. Particularly my birthday.

Which is -- ahem -- today. And not only is it 11/11, but of course this year it's 11/11/11, making it even more super special cool.

I share my birthday with Fyodor Dostoevsky, Kurt Vonnegut, Leonardo DiCaprio, Calista Flockhart, Demi Moore, Carson Kressley and Stanley Tucci. Oh, and Jessica Sierra! From American Idol Season Four! An impressive crew, no?

Today also would have been the fourth birthday of someone very special: a beautiful little girl named Madeline Spohr, who died suddenly in April of 2009 from a respiratory infection -- a consequence of her having been born eleven weeks early. Her parents have established a wonderful charity called Friends of Maddie that supports families with preemies in the NICU.

The Spohrs have recently recorded a sweet song that Maddie's dad wrote and are making it available for download --for just .99! -- with all the proceeds going to Friends of Maddie. Read more about the project here. If you would consider spending 99 cents for a really good cause, and/or making a larger donation to Friends of Maddie, it would totally make my day. And more importantly, it will make the day of a family with a new baby going through a difficult time. And that would be really super special cool.



Thanks, friends!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dude, Where's My Car?


A week ago today I woke up to discover that we had been (involuntarily) relieved of my trusty ten-year old Volvo station wagon. The previous evening, there had been a rash of car break-ins throughout our neighborhood, and some upstanding individual had managed to make off with our family car, strewn with granola bar wrappers, stuffed with the kids' library books and with their beloved Bop It in tow. I've been joking that justice will be served when the thief sees what's under the carseats, but that joke is wearing thin. We want our car back.

I'm telling you this because I just read this story, about a woman in Boulder, CO whose stolen bike was recovered a mere four hours after she posted about it on Twitter and her blog. It can happen, and I'm confident that our car can be found in much the same way.

Because the car didn't just disappear.

It's somewhere in Baltimore right this very second. We suspect, based on the pattern of other thefts from our neighborhood, that it is somewhere in the vicinity of the Reisterstown Road Plaza, in the neighborhood that stretches towards the intersection of Park Heights and Seven Mile Lane. (When our other car was stolen in '07, my husband had the unbelievable good -- or bad -- luck to see the thief driving our stolen car to run errands at the Plaza Home Depot. A chase ensued, but the thief managed to get away, only to abandon our car a week later.)

So, have you seen our silver 2001 Volvo V-70 wagon?


  • The license plate starts 8AD.
  • If the driver is using a blinker, the right one is fast blinking due to a burned out bulb.
  • There's a campaign '08 bumper sticker on the left rear bumper.
If you spot my car being driven in Baltimore, or see it abandoned somewhere, please call the police. And anything you can do to spread the word would be so appreciated. Because my three year old would really like his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine umbrella back. And his mother would like to be able to teach him that sometimes the good guys win.

Thank you.

Update 6/2/11: Due to an error on the part of the police dispatcher, the car was not reported stolen -- as in, entered into the database -- till yesterday. What this means for its possible recovery, we're not sure. But we're, uh, not very happy about it. Next time, I'm calling Bunk and McNulty.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Did Someone Say "3 Backyards"?

So it got to the point this spring that I was talking about my brother's latest film so much on Twitter that a follower in North Carolina -- a place that the film has yet to play -- actually dreamed about seeing it. I guess I'm not a bad publicist, huh?

But it occurs to me that while I was quite wrapped up in talking about the film on Twitter and Facebook (Disclosure: I actually run the social media for the film) that I hadn't said a word about it here since this post from last year.

And much has happened since Eric was named Best Director at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, making him the only person in history to do that twice. (Sorry. I had to get that in there.)

Namely, the film was released! In actual theaters! With popcorn! My brother, whom I adore, if that isn't totally obvious, was profiled in the Arts and Leisure Section, among many other places.

And major critics like those in The New York Times and the New Yorker really liked the film. No, no, they really liked it. They used words like "exquisite" and "American independent filmmaking at its best."

But the good news is it's not too late! 3 Backyards continues to play arthouse theaters around the country, with more bookings continually being added. Check this list to see if it's coming to you. You can also buy 3 Backyards on DVD beginning 6/28. Haven't seen the trailer? Well, it's your lucky day!



Which brings me to something fun.

Right after I saw 3 Backyards at Sundance last year, I told Eric it reminded me of a quirky little film called "Winter of the Witch" that we used to watch in elementary school, a film we always just called "the happy pancake movie."

But oddly enough, after seeing the film's New York premiere, actor Stephen Wallem, who co-stars with Eric's best friend Edie Falco on Nurse Jackie, told Eric that 3 Backyards reminded him of ... the happy pancake movie.

Which got me thinking about the happy pancake movie and why it stayed with so many people.

Which led me to write a story about the happy pancake movie and why it stayed with so many people.

A story that appears in this Sunday's New York Times. Hope you like it.

And here's your chance to enjoy 22 minutes of blissful Me-generation nostalgia.



Are you one of the witch faithful? Please let me know!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello? Is This Thing On?

So, um, yes. It's been a little ... quiet in these parts.

I thought it was time to make an appearance and say hello to anyone -- that means both of you! -- who may read this space but who aren't on Facebook or Twitter, where I'm alive and well and sharing brilliant nuggets of wisdom on a regular basis. I also give out toasters and tote bags. Join the fun, won't you?

I wanted to use this opportunity to say something rather shocking. I hope you're prepared.

I do not care about this season of American Idol.

At.

All.

I don't know what's wrong with me. Is it them? Is it me? Is this something I need to discuss with a professional? Or is it that I discovered that I enjoyed the brilliant recaps of P.F. Tompkins more than the show itself?

I don't know. I just...can't watch.

I can't watch that Scotty McCreery. He skeers me, with his man-child freakiness and his eerie resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman and that sideways tilt thing he does with head and the microphone.

I can't watch Jacob Lusk, who shrieks at me, and always seems dangerously close to having a religious epiphany or an aneurysm during every performance.

I can't watch Haley Reinhart, in those dresses they put her in that always seem to make her look like an office temp in 1987.

Not a fan of James, even with his precious back story and his tail thingies. And Lauren? The one I think is probably the most commercially viable and strongest voice? I find myself captivated not by her performances but by the fabulousness of her eyebrows and by the insane amounts of mascara she wears.

I get about everything I need from the recap in the last two minutes, when they show a 20 second highlight of each performance and flash the 866 numbers on the screen. I sometimes fast forward and hear a snippet of the judges, but Good Lord, are the judges boring this season or what? As Time's James Poniewozik said on Twitter, the judging is "like a dial that goes from 'great' to 'awesome.'" (I would add the all-important stop at "I love you, man!" from Steven Tyler.)

Hey! Speaking of which, did you know that I'm the newest "Top Cop" for the Us Weekly Fashion Police? Well, I am. And fittingly, one of my first jokes -- in this week's issue, with the royal wedding on the cover -- is about J. Lo and Steven Tyler. Proving that maybe I have been paying attention. Just a little.