So that’s why my website is called that (or is it a blog? Who calls it a blog any more? Ugh. Anyway I’m told blogs are over. The kids are all about the YouTube now.)
People need to stop saying “Netflix & chill” immediately.
Nice guys do NOT always finish first. Bad guys are mean and sneaky and sometimes they get all the stuff, but as I like to say in my humble Smartest Woman In The World way, “their punishment is having to be them.” I would not want to live in the head of a bad guy. It’s ugly in there. Even when they get all the stuff, it’s not enough. Look at the guy in the White House. There’s a head that is full of bees if I ever saw one.
Straight Guys! This one is for you. When you are getting to know a lady via text, here are some things TO DO and NOT TO DO.
- do not send too many emojis. A signature emoji is acceptable. The occasional funny use of emoji, also acceptable. A smile is okay, so we know when your semi-hostile teasing is at least meant to be funny. A lady also enjoys a heart from time to time. But a blue heart is just plain hostile.
- oh. And you have to know semi-hostile teasing is a risky game. Proceed at your own peril.
- when a woman texts a fact about herself, pretend you digested it. Maybe even ask a question about said fact. This gives the impression that you are paying attention.
- when a woman expresses a preference for texting over phone calls, she is probably trying to get an impression of what you’re like before you go to that next step. If this makes you feel semi-hostile because you prefer the phone, that is your right and your feeling. But many women, especially younger women I imagine, feel safer in the text domain. If things are going well over text and you’re feeling the groove — try the phone trial balloon (this might be a time to employ that rare appropriate emoji. Balloon!) But don’t take it personally if you don’t get a green light right away. Lots of people barely use the phone at all. Ed Sheeran doesn’t even own one. This is a useful fact if you are one of those middle aged guys who needs to date a too-young hot thing because she’s hot and young, but also because you just realized you’re going to die. Anyway — if texting is going well it might be the moment for “this is fun, let’s make a plan for…coffee, tea, a beer…” In short, semi-hostile teasing about her preference for texting is an almost sure way to get you no sex.
- other not-as-smart-but-sort-of-smart people have said this — but a lady likes when you suggest a specific plan. Like “this is fun. let’s make a plan for coffee? I like Alfred (don’t say ‘Alfred’ unless you want her to know you’re a little not straight) on Melrose Place. Can do most mornings. What’s good for you?” That, my male friend, will get you closer to heaven.
- Don’t get needy before you even know the lady. Like, don’t. Meaning, don’t send a lot of “????” when you don’t get a response right away. Her cat might have died. Her boss might have called her in to a 4 hour meeting. She might be having sex with 5 yoked gymbros. It is to soon for ??? You’re not dating. You’re barely even communicating. Get over yourself and she might add you to the dude pile.
- If you get her confused with a DIFFERENT woman you are texting, or going to Alfred for “sort of not straight” lattes, or doing unspeakable kinky acts to — you’re probably DOA. But the only resort here is to admit it, or make up a passable lie. “Oh my God that was a joke for my sister! We make have this weird fake sex joke thing…” On second thought, don’t do that one. That one is creepy.
MORE TO COME. BUT I WANTED YOU TO HAVE THIS PERFECT ADVICE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND.
Sometimes getting to YES on a project means you have to do other stuff first that opens the door. In my case, it was a long process of mixing “one for them” and “one for me” –I wrote a lot of scripts that paid for alimony and private school and the team of people it takes to raise me and my kids and give me time to actually be with said kids when I’m not furiously trying to make stuff now that I get more YES than NO. Then I would wait until an idea for something more personal would burn inside me until I couldn’t stand it and finally, I’d have to write it. That’s how To The Bone happened, also a spec called Box City that nobody would make but got people thinking of me as a writer who could do more than doctors and vampires.
This is a great article about just that. Don’t abandon the projects you love that nobody else gets. Keep them simmering in your heart and mind. If they do, they may just find YES after all.
Going to Sundance, perhaps? Or anyplace cold or where you’ll be for a long time? Or even just a place where you want to be prepared for eventualities, lots of them? Here are some things you do/pack when you are the SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD.
BEFORE THE TRIP/AT THE AIRPORT/ETC.
Decide what your VIBE is. If you’re a guy going to Sundance, you’re in luck. You basically have two choices — furry or not furry. Most men in east of La Brea seem to think their talent, prowess and humor is stored in their beard hairs. So they are furry. Usually two types of furry –“barista circa turn of the century cum dandy” or “t-shirt with a band/comic book/wry statement/art snob/bar thing and jeans that should only be washed by walking into the ocean while wearing them and then lying on a rock until they dry. On the other hand, a baby face is a statement. It says, I have a face. Here it is. Also, I’m an agent.
If you’re a woman, your vibe is a much more taxing and/or delightful quandary. You have almost limitless options. If you are the smartest woman in the world, you might make a little Pinterest board of vibes. Then you should cry because what the fuck are you doing with your life?
Make your clothes look better. Jenny’s tailors on 3rd in LA is a great place. Tell her I sent you.
As far as for the cold, it’s going to be warm inside. So dress like a regular person and then put your cold stuff on top of that. There’s no reason to go all Grizzly Adams top to bottom. Hack move.
Those noise-cancelling headphones? I felt like hands got laid on me and my ears could hear anew. Even my little bud kind.
Treat your shoes. Get yourself some of that stuff you rub on them to make them snow proof. You don’t need to buy all special shoes. But do have at least one pair of shoes that keep your tootsies warm. And those packs you rub together and they get warm? Those are awesome. Buy them on Amazon or at a sporting good store.
Get some business cards made. Yes, I realize this is not the way. But think about the fast get away. No fumble, no squinting or yelling — “W or..U??” Whip that card out, bestow it and get thee hence. Plus you can get really great cards for not very much on moo.com.
If you have never flown classy, JetBlue Mint is awesome and if you get that shite ahead it is still not dirt cheap but so very sweeeeeeeeet. It is like the Target of business class.
Dress comfortably but make an effort for God’s sake. Pretend people will be looking at you because people will be looking at you. There’s a lot of looking in airports. That strange neither here nor there, “I’ll probably never see you again” thing really gets the old fantasy juices going.
Also, at the airport, and throughout your trip, be a tipper. Even if you’re the kind of tipper who needs to make sure the clerk is looking before you drop 2 bucks in the jar. (At the hotel, tip the folks at the front desk BEFORE they give you your room. Miracles can happen once you drop some sweet, sweet cash.)
Be nice. Remember that the rude person you’re talking to may actually be having the shittiest day for some real awful reason. And most of the time that thing you’re complaining/asking/crying about is NOT THEIR FAULT/POLICY/DECISION. Look them in the eye, make sure they see you seeing them and say “how is your day going?” Smile. What happens is even better sometimes than with the sweet, sweet cash. But still drop the cash. However, if somebody is just plain awful/unacceptable/offensive — try to calmly say so and then write an email to the deciders. If you must lose your shit, by all means, just remember that despite the fact that you feel like the airport is full of people you don’t know, if you’re going to Sundance you’re super wrong.
Eavesdrop. You hear the BEST SHIT at airports.
I put a little notebook and pen in my purse. Just for that. A drawing people who are looking at each other.
Don’t be an idiot. Know what one of the most common items at the airline lost and found is? Wedding rings. Check for a tan line.
Neck pillows are BULLSHIT.
Luggage tags are not.
Benedryl is the velvet hammer for sober drunks who fear flying.
That carry-on. Is it worth it? Imagine this, you turn your bag over to the Travel Gods. Now your arms are free at the airport for all the magazines and chex mix. You don’t have to bump around or stress about the overhead. Or about packing that tiny bag, Tetris-style, on the way back, when surely you have acquired an item or eleven. So go unencumbered and hope the Gods are with you.
Do they have laundry there? Whatever. You’re not going to do laundry.
I get special cute ziplock bags for packing things which need to be contained and/or might become wet. I found them online and then at Marshall’s for way less. This is compulsive. I realize this. Also, I haven’t had sex in a long time.
Roll. Roll that shit.
Shoe bags? I used to think no. Now I think, I step on weird stuff. Yes.
Other little bags. Cosmetic bags, bags for all the cords, bags for the mini shampoos, bags for the accessories and hair crap. I flipping love all the little bags. If you travel a lot, keep them packed. And if you are the smartest woman in the world and you upgrade your stuff — like you have a cool new battery charger thing but your old one is also cool but not as cool? TRAVEL BAG.
A folded duffle/shopping tote if you are on a shopping type of trip so when you come back — uh huh. Boom.
A black sharpie. These are great for touch ups on black shoes, even light stains on black clothes. They are also good for drawing a beard on that babyfaced agent. Make it a condition of signing you.
If you take medications, don’t just pack enough for the exact number of days/nights. It’s called ZOMBIES, people. Things can get delayed.
Painters tape. Think about it.
Mini steamer, blow drier, curling or straightening ohmygodmakeitstop
A mini speaker and a wee candle for good tunes/smells and the sexy time that never seems to come. People are intimidated by the smart. It must be that.
Tissue. For the crying.
Sex kit. Whatever that means to you.
A while back I said to my assistant, “when I am done with Hollywood I think I want to be a consultant.” She said — “Cool. Like, on writing stuff?” I said “no, on EVERYTHING.”
I’m sure it’s not uncommon to think one knows better than other people. Especially if you’re a type-A do-bug like me. But the thing is, I DO KNOW BETTER. I am the smartest woman in the world. If people would only listen to me, things would just run more smoothly everywhere. Here are some thoughts for free.
- If you’re thinking of opening a juicery or a poke shop — don’t. It’s too late. These are the “pet rocks” of food fads. They will soon pass. And you’ll have a shop that smells like rancid fish and/or old wheatgrass.
- However, if you’re thinking about opening a YOGURTLAND — get on that shite. Unlike Pinkberry they are not over-expanding and still have room to grow. Plus their yogurt is freaking delicious. (I tried to tell Pinkberry they overplayed their hand but Mr. Berry didn’t listen)
- The reason there is so much “Wine Swag” lately — notice all the t-shirts celebrating getting hammered? — is women are drinking (and smoking) more than ever. Women buy things. Women buy even more things when they’re hammered, I bet. Hence, Wine Swag. If you find yourself buying a t-shirt that defends your right to be hungover, you might want to check out one of the many great “sober clubs” around your town. SEE? I’m right about this. This gorgeous wine bag manages to justify drinking too much AND make a body feel shitting for living. The lovely coral bottle keeps your wine cold for when a lady needs to DRINK WHILE DRIVING for carpool or to hell.
- The reason women are drinking and smoking more than ever is because most women are STRESSED THE FUCK OUT. For most of us working is an economic necessity. We work to provide for ourselves and our families. It’s not because we “choose” to ignore our children or because we hate staying home and binging Netflix while crafting, we work because we HAVE TO. But, last I checked, the pressure to be a size 2-4, have bouncy hair and cute nails and be really fucking agreeable has only gotten more intense. The women I know want to excel at all of this, so they are at their LIMIT. They barely have time in the day for a breath, let alone “self care.” So what becomes “self care?” WINE MOTHERFUCKERS. Preferably drunk while wearing a Pusheen Onesie and not being touched or spoken to by any other human. So indulge as you need to, or decide to let some shit fall apart. But if see above advice if you go the wine route.
- The question “how do you juggle work and family” is not just sexist, it’s classist too (see above). We juggle it all the best we can because, again, most of us HAVE TO. That said, AMBITION is not a dirty word. I am ambitious and greedy for life/adventure and I want to make a fuckload of good shit AND be a good-enough mom AND not constantly be asked how I “do it when I have kids.” Ask every hard-working, ambitious man who has children that and then maybe I’ll answer.
- I don’t think “who are you wearing” is a sexist question as long as it’s not the ONLY question and you talk about the work you do as well. You’re wearing art on your body. It’s notable.
- If, like me, you can’t have wine (I drank my life time allotment of booze in a few years so that’s that) — ice cream is a lovely substitute. There are lots of cute t-shirts with ice cream on them if you need your addiction swag.
- If you are afraid you’ll get fat from the ice cream or wine, try this trick — eat what you want. Listen to when you are actually hungry and what you’re hungry for. It’s hard at first. It takes practice. But you will eventually find that you DON’T WANT all the ice cream (fries/cakes/marshmallows/malteasers/hamburgers/sushi/lentils/etc) in the world. You get sick of feeling gross. You start to balance out. And your body settles at the lovely weight it wants to be. For the rest of your life you will likely swing within 10-5 lbs of this set-point. So keep those pants, all the pants — but put the ones not in use under your bed or in your trunk or wherever. I know this advice is actually true because SCIENCE.
- Some things that people yell about being STEREOTYPES are slightly based in fact and science. Be careful with this one. But it’s sometimes true. Like — waaaaay back –women were the hunter/gathers and dudes killed things. So dudes have more of a biological thing for killing and women have more of a biological thing for gathering (shopping.) Women also used communication back in the cave days as a means of survival. “Gossip” is rooted in communication about people who were dangerous to the pack. Like this. “OOOK is a perv! Don’t let your small vagina-having one near that OOOK.” Or — “GRAAA has the spewing sick. She spewed on me a twice. Stay away from GRAAA.” So gossip can be for the passing of important information, but mostly these days it’s just mean and makes you feel bad.
- Women actually CAN’T do “anything a man can do” exactly. But we can do what WOMEN can do and that’s more than enough.
- Science and history get more interesting as you get older. Trust me on this one.
- They have it at Target for less.
- There is an app for that.
- Because so many women are working now, work/productivity stuff is getting way cuter. Bullet Journaling is an example of this. It’s way easier to look at an impossible to-do list when it’s pretty. Also, now you have to add “buy bullet journal tape” on your to-do list. Which is what THE MAN is all about.
- There actually are corporate conspiracies to get you to buy more stuff. Let’s refer to this as THE MAN (see above.) This is how THE MAN works — phase 1: “Hey, you! Lonely! Ugly! Ugly and Lonely? Yeah, you. You may not have even felt ugly and lonely until this very moment but now that I mention it — wow don’t you feel shitty? It’s too bad your skin/hair/butt/life/partner/couch/child/career is like that. Nobody gets you. You are alone.” This is phase 2: “Hey, you. It’s meeeeee. Your pal. Feeling down? Awwww. You need a beer/facial/designer bag/sundae/affair/pusheen onesie… That would make you feel better… I bet it would. Good thing your pal here has THAT ON SALE RIGHT NOW!!
- Male & Female Escort services for women are going to boom in the next 10-15 years. But they need to train escorts to give conversation that is at least as good as their head. A good slogan would be “We give great head & head“. Ha.
- Don’t start the above business unless you want to tangle with the mob.
- Women watch porn. More women should make porn.
- Paying retail for clothes is almost always stupid. But you may have to bite it if you want a brand new fancy bag.
- The High/Low fashion thing is FOR REAL. Get on that.
- Not everyone on Instagram is not actually having a great life right now.
- Getting what you always wanted is awesome but also really intense and scary and it takes a lot of work not to lose your fucking mind behind it, because it doesn’t actually fix all the broken things inside you that you thought it was going to fix. Also, nobody wants to hear about it and you can’t really blame them. If you watch The Crown (streaming now on Netflix) you already know that the solution to this quandary is to buy a castle for 1oo pounds from an old but oddly sexy Scotsman.
- Talk therapy works but you have to find a good therapist and go way longer than it seems like you should have to. And affordable healthcare SHOULD mean that everyone can get therapy who needs it. Emotional wellness should not be the domain of the upper class.
- No answer is usually the answer. If s/he/yo doesn’t respond to your text or call, that’s the answer. Don’t do the deep dive into the “why” of it unless you have the free time and want to end up feeling shitty and drink/eat/buy stuff you don’t really need. Like a sweatshirt that makes your head look like the top of an ice cream cone.
DUDES. That’s not even HALF of what I have opinions on. To be continued…
Love and peace,
While I loved a lot of LALA Land, I cringed inwardly and a little outwardly at the part where Emma Stone sang about how hard it is to be an artist and how we courageously suffer for YOU, so you can learn and grow from all of our feels. Ugh. Courage, in my mind, is the 70-year-old man who threw himself on top of a woman to save her during the shooting at the Florida airport, not me being semi-honest from the comfy safety of my Hollywood Hills Mid-Century.
The stories we tell can be very, very useful. They can comfort and sooth, they can make a person feel less alone — the island of misfit toys has more inhabitants than we thought and we take solace in that. Joss created that on Buffy, a family of oddballs, who found each other and were stronger because of it. That’s what we have on Girlfriend’s Guide, an unlikely tribe brought together by circumstance who help each other weather the ups and downs of love, money, raising kids and more.
Stories can also motivate. Art can make us aware of worlds we’ve never seen before, open our hearts and minds to new ideas and cultures.
But as they say around my “sober club” — faith without works is dead. Having the empathy/belief/inspiration is the first part — taking action is the follow-up. My brother is an amazing writer and artist. His feelings got too big to hold inside and he made this.
I am so humbled by my brother and anyone who makes art out of heartbreak, as Dame Streep said at the Golden Globes.
But the next step is action. What action can we take today to make the world a fairer, safer place? Phone your congressmen/senator today and tell them that this Russia thing WILL NOT STAND. Or plan your trip to a march. Or write/paint/sing your art and share it with the world. Decide what “courage” means for you and take the next step.
Love, Peace & Prosperity for All
Today, upon awakening, I splashed my face with my elixir of Tibetan Baby Tears, meditated with my live-in shaman, worked out with Gunther — my half-man/half-tiger personal trainer — had my farm-to-table egg white frittata lovingly prepared by my chef — then joined my conference call with the rest of the H-Wood Elite. It was a rousing conversation. How, today, can we further our agenda of making people Lesbians and babykillers? How can we insure that the incompetent take jobs away from good, hardworking people? And rapists and terrorists, where are their visas?And there’s not enough porn in schools! HaHaHa it makes us laugh.
That’s me, right? No wonder people are so angry.
What brings this on? Well…
Recently, Lisa Edelstein, star of Girlfriend’s Guide, tweeted about the death of Alan Thicke and drew the wrath of many Trump supporters. As a fellow writer, I might have given Lisa a few clarity notes, but I did know what she meant — that in 2016 we’ve lost a disproportionate number of beloved celebrities before they could feel the potentially devastating effect of Mr. Trump’s policies once he’s in office.
It would be nice if we knew what Trump’s policies really were, rather than that he’s mad at Vanity Fair and Bill Clinton and not so much with the DC swamp… And because we don’t know — it’s scary. Lisa is a deeply caring and sensitive person who, like many of us, is feeling that fear. It’s hard to keep our heads, what with the bizzaro world we find ourselves in today. Up is down, a reality star is about to be our President and many people seem to prefer often repeated lies to cold, hard facts.
What happened in response to her tweet was pretty stunning.
Because Lisa also retweeted something about my movie, To The Bone, I started to get fire from haters and get copied on responses to her. People were telling us both to die from anorexia, sending us pictures of dog shit, calling us cunts. Lisa got horrible antisemitic death threats. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through the hatestorm she dealt with, but just a small taste of it (hmm, do I detect le assaisonnement of dog poopy??) was perplexing and threatening.
It’s not the first time haters have come after me, but certainly this was the most vile batch of messages. Some may be from trolls, but some are clearly people who are furious and feel entitled to attack.
The really ugly stuff, I try to ignore. Or I attack the attackers with measured responses which don’t give them much fuel. Most kind of disappear when I stay respectful. It’s no fun to rage at somebody who is saying “I’m sorry, I’m trying to understand you”.
And I am trying to understand the justified anger of some whites in the middle class, who are feeling the heat from all sides and are especially angry about insurance premiums they can’t pay.
For context, I was raised in an upper middle class family.
My father worked for public TV and my mom was a teacher. We were better off than some, but after my parents split up, money was tight. I had jobs from the time I was a teenager. And I was completely on my own financially from the time I graduated. I worked hard. I was a waitress, an assistant, a temp… I racked up credit card debt. And in my spare time I hustled — trying to become a paid writer.
But my parents paid my tuition for college. As importantly, I knew I had a safety net. If the worst happened, I had family who would care for me. That alone puts me in the elite. Because more and more families don’t have that. There’s no reserve if something goes wrong.
And knowing you have a place to land in a time of crisis can make the difference between being willing to take a risk on a potentially lucrative creative career and not.
The thing is, you shouldn’t have to have a highly lucrative career to be able to afford a comfortable life and good insurance. The greed of companies owned by people like, say, Trump — represented by their dark money pumped into the government — has put a stranglehold on hard working people. This is factual. Just is. Not “libtard” spin.
I risked because, on some level, I could afford to. The sad part is that shouldn’t be the realm of the elite.
Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years.
Wages in the United States, after taking inflation into account, have been stagnating for more than three decades. Typical American workers and the nation’s lowest-wage workers have seen little or no growth in their real weekly wages.
Productivity has increased at a relatively consistent rate since 1948. But the wages of American workers have not, since the 1970s, kept up with this rising productivity.
Worker hourly compensation has flat-lined since the mid-1970s, increasing just 15.5 percent from 1979 to 2013, while worker productivity has increased 132.8 percent over the same time period.