Monday, June 28, 2010

Tom Hanks

I should call this blog 'The Celebrity Observer' already!  One day I met a rep for lunch at The Ivy On the Shore.  In those days, it was THE place to go to see celebrities.  And sure enough, tucked way in the corner was Tom Hanks and some agent/manager suit-type.  Tom looked really bad, gaunt almost.  I realized some months later that he was filming "Philadelphia".

The rep and I were both jaded hollywood lowlifes so we left him in peace while we pretended to talked business and stole glances at him when he wasn't looking. 

In the middle of the restaurant, the waiters were putting together tables for an obviously large party.  They wandered in.  It was a big, boisterous family and they were celebrating something.

The rep and I were on dessert when the patriarch of the large family - the grandfather stood up and walked over to Tom Hank's table.  The grandad was obviously not from L.A. because if you are, you know to leave the celebrities alone.  I cringed at this gentleman's faux pas, but of course, I had to listen in on the conversation.

The family had flown in from all parts of the US for their daughter/niece/granddaughter's graduation from college.  Grandad ask Mr. Hanks to come over to their table and congratulate his granddaughter.  I cringed again.  I was sure the manager/agent was going to say something.

But what do you know, Mr. Hanks stood up, went over with Grandad to the table, shook hands with everybody, posed for pictures and congratulated the ecstatic teenager.  What a terrific guy. 

I feel 'kinda' bad telling this story because you readers are probably going to bug him at lunch/dinner/cocktails because I told you what a nice guy he was.  Good thing there are only four (oh wait!) five of you.

A few years later I ran into him again, and he was nice again. But I better save that story for another time because I'm going to run out soon!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The day I ran into $9.6 billion

Continuing on with my 'celebrity' theme, I was walking back from the cafeteria one day with a co-worker at Studio X.  Our building was at the opposite end of the lot from the cafeteria and was the newest and nicest on the lot.

We were chattering away about something, probably my Tom Cruise sighting (see Tuesday's post) and weren't paying attention to the fact that a meeting was letting out from the boardroom. 

I ran smack dab into an older gentleman in a non-descript grey suit.  I apologized, but instantly, two gentlemen in dark suits and  dark sunglasses were upon me, pushing me away from the gentleman.

Seeing that I was in no way a threat, the older gentleman waived the others away.  I gave the two men in black my dirtiest stare and got into the elevator with my coworker and headed back to work.

"Did you see who that  was?" my co-worker asked. 

"Who?  Did you see somebody?" I asked, clueless.

"It was Mr. Greenrock, idiot," my co-worker replied.  Mr. Greenrock was the owner of the studio.  At the time, he was worth $9.6 billion ($2.4 billion today), and I had run him down. 
Too bad wealth doesn't rub off on people or I'd have somebody writing this blog for me!

-- Sunny

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Administrative note

Changed the layout a bit because the margins on either side were too wide and it made my posts look really long when they aren't and the words in the first paragraph were getting cut off in weird places.  Let me know if you like this layout better. 


Foodie Taco Trucks

So I added a new word to my vocabulary -- 'Foodie'-- an amateur who appreciates food for consumption.  As opposed to a 'Gourmet' who have refined tastes and may or may not be professionals.  I mean, come on, who doesn't appreciate food for consumption?  Unless you have no taste buds...

Anyway, I was a good girl and brought lunch from home for the first week of my job.  But getting up at 6am and going to bed late takes its toll so I stopped after exactly 6 days of bologna sandwiches. 

Looking out through one of the office windows, I would see taco truck after taco truck hang a left hand turn into an alley.  Yesterday,  I decided to go see what all the trucks were doing and discover a 'Foodie' jackpot!  About fifteen to twenty taco trucks all lined up and open for business.  And these are not your normal gross greasy food trucks either.  They were each different specializing in things like fries, crepes, Korean BBQ, pizza, etc.  It is my aim to try every one through the course of the summer.

Yesterday I tried the sushi truck.  You heard me, sushi truck.  Now I was a little suspect about getting sushi from a taco truck but I kept walking by people and two of every three were carrying trays of sushi.  I figured it must be good.  I got the sampler since I didn't know what all to order.
Plus a diet coke was $9.75.  Not cheap for street food. 

I got four little bites - the size of chocolates.  Little poofs of rice with a circle of salmon or other stuff on top.  And four little bites of tempura roll.  No seaweed, oh and they ran out of soy sauce -- seriously. I was still hungry afterwards.  So this foodie says thumbs down for the sushi truck.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Celebrity Encounters - More Twilight

I promised more Twilight.  It  seems appropriate since the premiere of "Eclipse" was tonight. 

I was lucky enough to win a ticket to an autograph session at the previously mentioned ComiCon 2008.  Well, the truth is I didn't win it, my friend did, but she could care less about "Twilight" so she gave it to me. 

Anyhoo, security is really tight, and we are let into a small conference room in groups of twenty.  I recognize one person right away, a co-worker from studio X days.  She doesn't know me, which is good because I feel a bit awkward being a civilian again. 

The security tells us absolutely no photographs but some girl ahead of me snaps one anyway.  She is immediately booted from the room. We're each handed one mini-poster and are told  the cast will only sign the poster. 

The first person at the long narrow table is Stephenie Meyer, the author of all the Twilight books.  I tell her how much I enjoyed the series and she seems genuinely pleased to hear it.  Next is Catherine Hardwicke who is the director of the first Twilight.  I don't have much to say to her, but she draws a cute little cat for her signature.

Kristen Stewart is next.  I compliment her performance in "Into The Wild" (being one of the few people in line old enough to have seen it).  She is very appreciative and kind.  Next is Rob who asks my name, and signs Rob 'heart' Sunny.  How cute.  Taylor is having some kind of unspoken conversation with Cam Gigandet and is distracted.  Still, he manages to take up the most space on the page with his signature.  Edi Gathegi and Rachelle Lefevre are totally professionals, focused on connecting with each of the girls (and some guys) as they try to personalize their autograph. 

One of the girls ahead of me has slipped a second piece of paper under her poster (again in defiance of the security staff direction).  To the cast's credit, everybody signs the second piece of paper without welching on her.

As I leave, I say goodbye to my former co-worker who didn't recognize me.  Probably thought I was a stalker...

-- Sunny

Thursday, June 24, 2010

No Post Yesterday

I had the best intentions but Jimmy Kimmel had a Twilight special on and I ended up watching that.  I promise another Twilight post tonight!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Celebrity Encounters 3

When I worked at the big movie studio, I worked on the same floor that housed advertising, publicity and promotions.  There were always celebrities coming up to see the publicity department.  But us ad folks (being the second lowest life form at the studio) were situated towards the back and never saw anybody.

One of the perks of the job was getting to park in the "executive lot" of the studio.  The bad news was that my unwashed mid-priced sedan looked very out of place next to the shiny SUVs, and luxury porsche, lamborghini, mercedes convertibles.

I was late getting back from lunch one day and spied one space left in the lot.  I drove towards it but it was being blocked by a big black and shiny SUV with tinted windows.  I sat patiently waiting for them to move.  And waited.  And waited some more.  I didn't want to honk because I could potentially ruin a take on a soundstage somewhere.  I was seriously like 15 minutes late at this point and getting nervous that someone was going to be looking for me.

I turned off my engine and started to get out of the car to give the other driver a piece of my mind, when the passenger side door opens and out pops Tom Cruise.  Oh my! I think to myself, good thing I didn't honk.  Now I don't care how late I am.

But there's more!  The reason he got out of the car was to change his shirt!! So right in front of me, he takes off one T-shirt and puts on another.  I wish I had the presence of mind to snap a photo with my cellphone but all I did was stare with my mouth open.

He got changed, hopped back inside, and the SUV drove by.  The driver rolled down the window and shouted 'sorry!' to which I replied 's'kay, s'fine!'


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cherry-Picking Sunday

Apparently, cherry picking season started last week.  You can drive up to Palmdale and visit one of about 15 different orchards and pick as many cherries as you'd like. 

You'll notice right away that there is one orchard that is completely commercialized with big signs, and tour buses parked outside.  We skipped this place for several of the smaller family-owned orchards.  Our reasoning was that we wouldn't be contending with picked-over trees.

At the entrance they give you a big plastic bucket, or smaller buckets made out of old coffee cans, and a stick with a hook to pull down the higher branches. The trees are all eye level so we didn't really need to use the stick.

Because it is still early in the season, the cherries were plentiful, but they weren't all ripe yet.

Regardless, we managed to fill two bucketfuls of cherries.  But I'm sitting here now, wondering what in the world I'm going to do with all these cherries.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Celebrity Encounters 2 - Twilight

You knew it was coming.  I had to blog about Twilight at some point.  I'm surprised I lasted this long without mentioning Edward, Bella, or Jacob. 

I saw the book with the black cover and red ribbon at the bookstore and picked it up because it was thick and I needed something to read on a long flight.  I started reading the first couple chapters and couldn't put it down.  I had to go back to the store two days later and pick up the next two books because I was still a few days away from my flight.  I came back from my trip having read all three (at the time) books and a total Twilight fanatic.

Every year in July, there's the big ComiCon convention and I've gotten into the habit of going.  Not because I'm into comics that much but because I used to work for one of the big movie studios and they always go and present their upcoming movies there, kinda like an upfront (see yesterday's post).

I saw that there was this new studio and they were presenting "Twilight."  Hmm, I wondered if it was the same Twilight.  I looked into it and sure enough, it was the same Twilight.  I made a note to attend this presentation, only because I wanted to see if their interpretation of Edward Cullen could ever live up to the description in the book.

My sister and friend and I endured a two hour wait just to get into the 5000 seat auditorium.  I didn't think everybody was waiting for Twilight.  The way they set up, once you're in, you're in for the entire day.  As you leave, new people are let in.  We get in, sit through a few other studio presentations and the main event starts.  I couldn't hear a thing when they showed a clip of the movie, the screaming was so loud.  Then, the studio brought out most of the Cullens, Edward, Bella, Jacob out on stage.  I had to cover my ears to keep my eardrums in tact.

The crowd settles and the moderator starts taking the questions from the audience.  Girls who come up and ask 'Could I have a kiss?' earn boos from the rest of us. Edward, or Robert Pattinson is so embarassed he keeps trying to hide behind his hair.  I find this endearing.  To me, he looks exactly like Edward Cullen and Summit Studio has sold at least one ticket to Twilight right there and then.

Apparently, the girls behind us are not thrilled with the choice.  We keep hearing them say "But he's so ugly."  To them I respond 'Did you check out this year's People magazine's 50 most beautiful issue?'

And yes, I have my ticket to Eclipse


Friday, June 18, 2010

Celebrity Encounters - Dawson's Creek

 Every May the television networks pull out all the stops to show advertising planners and buyers what they have lined up for the all important new fall season.

One of the perks of working 100 hour weeks is to get flown out to New York to endure presentations then stay up all night buying, only to repeat the procedure the next day. By day four, you're pretty much a walking zombie.

One year on a day four, we walked the four blocks to see a breakfast presentation for this network called the WB (okay I'm totally dating myself). There weren't that many folks that had gotten up early enough to attend, but we hadn't even been to bed and were in desperate need of coffee.

The round tables were set up in a hotel ballroom and we almost filled one of the tables.  A fresh faced young man (he couldn't have been more than a freshman in college) asked if he could join us at the table. I think I grunted a 'yes' as I stuffed my face with scrambled eggs and guzzled coffee. The kid next to me didn't seem to want anything to eat or drink and he seemed awfully nervous.

The WB presentation starts and I try not to doze off as they show us why they are #1. We've sat through at least three presentations already where the network claims to be #1-- in households, in A18-49, in total viewers, or in kids with at least one tat. Everybody is #1 at something.

Finally, they start showing clips of their new shows. They're really excited about this show called "Dawson's Creek." About halfway through, I and the rest of the gang start to notice the similarities between Dawson and the kid sitting next to me. After the clip airs, they turn on the lights and the kid stands up, introduces himself, and makes a very composed and impressive speech and sits back down.

Now all of a sudden, I'm worried my hair is sticking up in the back or I have parsley stuck between my teeth. We try to make small talk but we don't have anything in common. He has clear skin and is beautiful, we all have spots and blotches from the greasy food and hours we've been suffering. He is young and eager and just out of school. We are old and tired and wished we were back at school.

After another half hour or so of uncomfortableness, we go back to our hotel suite/prison and 'Dawson' catches the subway back to wherever he's from. We buy as many Dawson's Creek ads as we can get away with without our bosses noticing.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clop, Clop, Clop

Today I broke out my wedge sandals to wear to work. I was very careful to check the dress code beforehand. Turns out it is much more lenient that the new management at the old job. Jeans are allowed everyday and the HR person is parttime and walks dogs so she's the most casually dressed of all.

Anyway, the sandals are cork, or something, but solid, no rubber soles.

Too late and 1.5 hour commute later did I remember that the floors in the office are cement (they're going for that industrial warehouse cubicle look.) So all day long I'm clopping back and forth from the printer. Of course, I'm sitting kinda far from the printer so clop, clop, clop: printer. Clop, clop, clop, kitchen. Clop, clop, clop... well, you get the picture.

I'm wearing sneakers tomorrow.
-- Sunny

Basketball stories

In honor of the NBA finals I decided to write about the time I got thrust onto working on an athletic sportwear account. When I first landed on this account, I didn't know my Kobe from my Shaq. My only experience with the sport was that I once worked on a movie called "Blue Chips" that featured a somebody name Shaq.

His former personal assistant became a magazine rep and told me hilarious stories about how her first job was working for a big sports agent who had just signed this kid named Shaq. Somehow or another, she ended up having to pick him up at the airport. Only after she collected him and his luggage did she realize there was no way he was going to fit into her VW bug.

The good-humored and good-natured Shaq somehow pretzeled himself into the car and a relationship was born.

But I digress... getting back to my real story,

I land on this sports gear account and all the AEs and everybody are totally into it, talking about KG this and KG that, telling me the Duncan board goes here, the Dwight Howard wall goes there. It was like they were speaking a foreign language. What the heck is a KG? Plus, none of the artwork was labeled and I had no clue what any of these characters looked like.

How did I overcome what I call my non-basketball handicap? A very kind sales rep took pity on me and bought me some foil covered chocolates. I don't know where he found them, but each chocolate coin had the photo of an NBA player on them. He brought them in and patiently went through each one, showing me what each player looked like. (KG was Kevin Garnett, btw).

I lined the coins up on my desk and told myself I wouldn't eat the chocolate until I memorized the name and face of the player. I think most of 'em lasted until the summer when we had an ant invasion (see 'Jerry Maguire' if you want to see the level of ant invasion I'm talking about).

Watching KG tonight reminded me of the above, and the guys who worked on this account with me who turned out to be really nice folks.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back in a cubicle

when I worked at Ogilvy & Mather it took me a year and half to make the move from cubicle to office. As my career progressed, I slowly worked my way from Agency to Agency, each time, the office would get bigger and bigger, along with my paycheck. I knew I hit the big time when I landed an office with a couch AND cable television.

I am now back in a cubicle surrounded by kids half my age.

At first, I was depressed about this. But then I remembered that I often used the couch in my office to sleep on when I worked until 3am the morning and I used the cable to watch the news on weekends or to catch a few minutes of my favorite primetime shows.

Fine, I'm back in a cube but I'm working for myself and if I work late, I get paid for it. And those young kids I'm surrounded by? I bet they're all Team Edward!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mariachi Tuesday

Today was my first day in a long succession of first days. And no, I didn't join a Mariachi band.
I was sitting in my first meeting on my first day, when all of a sudden, these two in the picture show up. Their card says 'Malibu Mariachi'. They crashed our meeting to serenade one of the AE's. Apparently it was his birthday and this was a version of a singing telegram.

Nice! Tomorrow, I'm expecting Cirque du Soleil Wednesday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


While I feel so "relevant" having my own blog, it is a lot of work for three people to read. (Thank you to the awesome three people following me). I was told that the best way to increase traffic to your blog is to comment on other people's blogs and direct them to yours.

So, in an attempt to generate more followers, I clicked on "next blog" at the top of of this page. I was directed to page after page of blogs with pictures of adorable babies, model-perfect children, dogs and their parents. It seems blogs have replaced photo albums and scrapbooks.

I truly have nothing in common with these folks and couldn't figure out anything to say other than "cute baby/kid/dog/family" which makes me seem creepy/stalker-ish.

Which brings me to my next point -- do we really want anybody and everybody to know about that last haircut little 'Petey' got at the mall that made his ears look big? Isn't it TMI for the general public?
I suppose parallels could be made to myself. I did post photos of Chester and Charlie. And I did devote a whole post to the day Chester ate my purse and headphones. But if you want Chester, he's yours. Bottom line, I did it to entertain readers, not because I thought it was cute.

Needless to say, I don't have more followers, but that is fine. I will keep at it, trying to find humor in everyday life in Fairview to entertain you three.

--The Cat Lady

Pet Peeve #1 - subscription cards

There is nothing I love more after a long day at work than to lie in bed and read magazines. I catch up on who is wearing what, and who is doing whom. I can't really call it reading. It is more like looking at the pretty pictures of gowns I'll never buy (or fit), recipes I'll never make, and places I'll never go.

I know this is probably bad for your eyes, but I normally look at these magazines lying down, holding up the magazine over my head. And here comes the peeve part -- I hate it when I turn a page and a subscription card falls out and hits me on the head. Usually it hits me on the forehead or sometimes square in the eye.

Do people still subscribe using these cards? I would think most people subscribe on the web or with fancy apps these days. Think of how much paper, and thus trees, could be saved if magazines stopped doing the card thing. I know some people so ticked off by these cards that they send them back not filled out just to cost the magazine postage.

I wouldn't go that far, but I take exception to being hit in the head six times in one week!


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Terror that is Chester

Chester is the one on the left. He eats purses and electrical cords. Normally I know better and I hide purses, and put protective casings around electrical cords.

Today, however, I was a bit careless and left my new shiny patent leather handbag open and on the floor. I thought nothing of it until I was cleaning out the kitty privy and noticed some long thin black strands in the poop box. Upon closer inspection I realized they were parts of wire.
I raced to where I'd left my purse only to discover not only did he chew through the strap of my newest purse, he'd actually pulled out some ear buds from inside the purse and chewed those as well.
I keep thinking one day he's going to chew through something that is plugged in and end up fried like that cat on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Until then, you'll find me shopping for handbags and earbuds at WalMart.
--The Cat Lady

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Last 'Ladies who Lunch'

I have been unemployed since late March. While I should have been stressing out, I curiously wasn't. The main reason is probably the 'ladies who lunch'.

The main enemy I have been fighting has been boredom. After sitting home for two weeks, playing the 'how little can I spend on groceries' game, I e-mailed my neighbor who coincidentally, had quit her job four days before I got laid off.

Together, we reasoned that we cannot eat every single meal at home. And so the weekly 'ladies who lunch' project began. We started with a Indian Food place where we had curry and tikka masala, then to a place known for their juicy pork dumplings. Then on to sushi, Korean tofu house, Vietnamese cuisine, Tapas, even an In-and-Out burger run!

We talked about jobs and complained about carbs, even as we consumed massive quantities of them, then vowed to go to the gym.

Today was our last lunch for a while. Sadly, or happily, depending on how you look at it, we will both be starting new gigs soon. We ended on a high note with lunch at this dim sum place called "King Hua Restaurant" on Main Street.

We ordered a dizzying array of fried taro balls, noodles, potstickers (two kinds!), bread things filled with meats, egg custards, sesame dessert things, then rolled on home to guiltily remember the word 'calories' which I conveniently forgot earlier.

--The Cat Lady

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My start of summer

Today is my official start of summer. Why? because I started up the fountain in the backyard today. Around November last year, I drained out the water and unplugged the thing because it was raining and cold and I didn't go outside much.

In March and April I spent the days pulling the five foot tall weeds that had overtaken the back. I pulled about 75 percent of them, but in the end, it got hot, I gave up and hired the brush clearance folks to do the dirty work.

Once the brush was cleared, I noticed that there were little 'things' swimming in the water that had collected in the basin. Eeew! I went and put some clorox in it and refused to look again until today. The water was all gone and so were the critters.

So today, finally, I filled up the basin and plugged in the pump. But, of course, the pump didn't work. So I unplugged it, said a prayer, and replugged it. Viola! It worked.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little prayer (after weed pulling, brush clearance, and critter killing clorox)

-- Cat Lady of Fairview