Being as I am an Episcopalian, I know very little about the Bible. Any story they read in a service, I'm usually inclined to view with a certain mild surprise.
"Huh, that seems unlikely, but go on."
One of the few I know is the Annunciation.
For any Episcopalians out there, the Annunciation is when the Archangel Gabriel came to 14 year old Mary and said, "Fun fact; you're going to be the mother of God's incarnation on earth." This is the story behind one of my favorite pieces of art, a triptych by Martini.
I love it because it is ridiculously beautiful and because no one has ever conveyed adolescent girl disgust better than this painter.
@vons I have a bone to pick with you. Last winter, I was leaving your store on Los Feliz when something held me back. Specifically, a nail sticking out of the wall. I don’t know what purpose it had served, but it showed a real aptitude for tearing a hole in my sweater.
I extricated myself and because it was a) sticking out of the wall, and b) in a store Frequented by many elderly people, not all of whom have a great balance and might put their hand on that wall, I went and found the manager to tell them.
She thanked me, and immediately pulled the nail out of the ball. One problem solved. My sweater was still damaged. She told me to fill out A claim, and to call and check on the claim at the main office in a few weeks. I did both these things
My in-laws in 1944. Absurdly dashing couple. Two months after this was taken, he was crawling up a beach in Normandy, carrying a 20 lb. radio transmitter. He walked across Europe with Patton's Third Army and ended up in a unit overseeing the "secret" dual-frequency FM crystals.
Those crystals were the way the Allied generals to speak to one another securely. He always played down this part, but there was a plan should he and those crystals be captured by the enemy. For the sake of his descendants, glad it didn't come to that.
My father in law was trained as a Signal Corpsman in World War II. He carried the secret FM crystals which allowed the generals to talk to each other. Because he was usually near the generals, his war career was pretty quiet.
On the other hand, he was always vague about what the protocol was if it looked as if he, and those crystals, were about to fall into enemy hands.
Best to just be grateful it didn't come to that.
My father had a double degree in Classics and Astronomy from Cornell. The year after he graduated, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This was enough of a shock that American military planes were still pretty antiquated, not ready for long-range combat.
When you were Susan Smith's assistant, you developed a thick skin for being screamed at, because it happened both predictably and randomly. This is to say, you knew she would scream at you when she arrived in the office.
She would scream because she wanted to arrive at her desk to an ice-cold Diet Coke, which meant you needed to grab it ninety seconds before she arrived, but the second you heard her come in the back door, there would be a phone call for her office.
Each morning you got to decide whether you would be screamed at for failing "a simple request like having a Diet Coke waiting for me my God, am I the ONLY PERSON WHO WORKS AROUND HERE?" or screamed at for leaving someone on hold "...ONLY PERSON WHO WORKS AROUND HERE?"
Friend of Consort's has a house on the curve of Point Dume; I have spent New Year's Eves in his backyard, staring down into the black sea below us, watching the fireworks from different beaches, all the way to Orange County.
He is a music producer, his studio in his backyard. It's a perfectly-rendered Craftsman bungalow outside; inside, the latest gear. Barbara Streisand loved working there. Sting, Tony Bennett...
As of yesterday afternoon, it's all gone. The house, the studio, everything.
Hearing a bit of "Screw 'em, they're rich," regarding the #MalibuFire. No fan of most billionaires but I think they are much like us in that they would prefer not to be burned to death. But let me explain the area a bit.
There are billionaires, they live on the beach. I actually spent one very strange New Year's Eve in one of those houses. Sneezed on a Basquiat.
Anyway yes, many of the people in Malibu have a lot of money. But not all. One of the first areas to be evacuated was a trailer park.
Granted, it's the most expensive trailer park in the world, but still. And remember how I said Malibu was the houses on the beaches and the houses in the canyons? Every canyon has its own temperament, attracts its own kind.
If you aren't from Los Angeles, let me try to explain how horrifying this is. Malibu is two parts, the houses at the ocean and the houses in the canyons. The major roads into and out of the canyons are several miles apart and are, at best, two lanes each way.
People have horses in the canyons, they are going to be driving horse trailers down winding roads as the fire heads towards them with breathtaking speed. Usually, you can exit either towards the water or away from it, but the fire is on the "away" side.
The fire trucks are going to need the "away" roads for getting in. The evacuees have two lanes. Then, you get to Pacific Coast Highway which can be brought to a standstill by a beautiful summer afternoon. PCH was built for 1930's levels of density, not 2018.
@AaronOOF After much babysitting on Susan's part, Lynn is cast in HBO's bio on Josephine Baker. Lynn is a woman of a certain age, getting the part of a lifetime; there's a lot of handholding going on. Susan is in the Lynn business 24/7, at least in part to keep her from leaving.
Lynn falls in love with her director. Got pregnant. The director is with CAA. I believe you know what happens next. EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Susan- who had her aria about how everyone always abandoned her- was shocked. Screams.
I am stuck in the assistant's shoebox, trying to find her Kathy in South Africa. The call was always weird; I could go nowhere. Susan gets on the intercom. The beep, and then the sigh.
Gather round, Gentle Readers. It is time I tell the story of the worst decision I ever made in an office. Some of you have heard this. Some have not. Whatever you do in your office today, this week, the rest of this year, you can console yourself by recalling this tale.
A long time ago, I was a talent agent. I worked for a woman named Susan Smith, who had her own small boutique agency. She was known for three things:
1. She had fantastic taste in clients. If there is someone you admire, odds are good that at some point, she was their agent,
2. She could negotiate a deal like few who have ever trod the earth. Casting would give her all the money they had budgeted for that part, plus a little more, plus promising to get her dog Barnaby groomed. She was magnificent to watch.
As some of you may know, Kid spent her senior year of high school overseas, in France. As some of you have figured out, the program in question is @SYAnews. There was a boy this past year in the program who behaved increasingly inappropriately with several students.
He finally escalated to assaulting one student while she was sleeping. She reported him to the school. He admitted to another male student he knew she hadn't consented. The girls of the program banded together and wrote a letter to the headmaster and the board of directors.
These girls were a master class in handling a complicated situation with clarity.
(Cracks knuckles, takes ibuprofen for the carpal tunnel, the Twitter elbow, the shooting pains in shoulders, gulps last of iced-tea)
Okay, let's do this. Why the OJ Simpson trial is responsible for the end of American democracy.
If you weren't around then, it's hard to explain how different the world was before that June morning when we switched on the news (something we did back then, to find out if a dinosaur had overturned on our usual commute) and saw the gate, a bit of the walkway. Cops.
Murders were a terrible, tragic, shabby thing. Terrible, tragic, shabby things didn't happen to famous people. Well, Natalie Wood had drowned a decade before but as far as we knew then, it was an accident. This, clearly, was not.
Had dinner with friends last night. Their son is in college not far from LA. He comes home most weekends, for laundry and familiarity. While we were off uhaving dinner, son was sitting on their couch, playing his guitar.
I asked if he dated.
Not really. First of all, the youngs don't actually date the way any of us born in the 20th century would recognize. Second, Title Nine.
When this young man started college, part of orientation was a deep and wide-ranging discussion of consent.
To the school's credit, these incoming freshmen cannot say they don't understand consent. If your partner isn't an enthusiastic participant at every second, you run the risk of being kicked out. Your partner can revoke consent at any time.
“Why didn’t she say something?” Conservatives say. My daughter’s overseas program last year had a student who behaved increasingly badly with the female students, eventually leading to assault. The girls - smart, self-sufficient young women- put together a timeline in a letter
Detailing his actions. And sent it to the board of directors. They approached the headmaster, the director, within days of the assault. The program did nothing. They handled it so badly he was seated next to his victim at an AP test.
The girls got no support; the young man is back in the States, in school, having learned he can get away with this. He’ll escalate. Why wouldn’t he?
Regarding #Kavanaugh. For those people not believing this could have happened without someone knowing, I offer you a story.
The Kid spent her senior year of high school in a program with a half-century of sending teenagers abroad.
In April, one of the girls was assaulted while sleeping by a fellow student. The student was a friend of the kid. The girls in the program started comparing notes and realized that he had done something iffy with about half of them.
They figured out he had been escalating all year, working on the assumption that each situation was blurry enough that the girls wouldn't tell anyone, because they would feel culpable. The last one went too far. He even admitted to another male student she hadn't given consent.
Another strange story from my childhood which just bubbled up to the front of my brain.
My parents had a dog before I was born. Ginger was the result of a purebred German Shepherd who lived in rural Agoura and a coyote who jumped the fence when she was in heat.
There was no questioning her lineage; her coloring and face were German Shepherd, the rest was pure coyote. People, as they are wont to do, Had Opinions about Ginger when my mother was pregnant.
"She'll eat the baby!" they insisted, "You must destroy your dog!"
My mother, as she was wont to do, did exactly what she wanted and kept Ginger. This was the best thing that could have happened to me as the second I was born, Ginger decided I was her job. She lay under my bassinet and, later my cradle, all day.
About 18 years ago, I gave birth. 24 hours later, sons Consort’s younger brother, his wife and their three young sons arrived to meet her.
Owing to the boys then ranging in age from 5 to 12, “meeting their new cousin” quickly evolved into “fun with medical supplies.” Owing to my post c-section pain medication, I watched them convinced they were Cirque de Soleil.
Not until I heard my brother in law say, “Oh my God,” did I turn my head. He was holding the baby, an index finger about four inches from her face, waving it slowly. “She’s tracking my finger,” he said, wonderingly, “They don’t do that at this age.”
You know what's always annoyed me about Duchess of Uncanny Valley? How she never looked like a fashion model. Sure, she's tall, but by the time she got to the US she was in her early twenties, which is old to be starting that career anywhere, but especially in Manhattan.
She was pretty enough but there was a look the successful models had and she was not that look. Add in the obvious breast implants and no booker worth their salt would have signed her for fashion work. Even catalogues wouldn't have touched her.
Back when she was just the girlfriend of a grifting blowhard, I would frown at her picture and think "Oh, I don't think so."
Fine. She was a "Model," like many other girls in big cities who eventually either marry someone rich or get out of the game.
@RealDonaldTrump Manchurian Pumpkin, remember when you were a tacky mobbed-up slumlord's son from Queens? How you bought into Manhattan real estate because then, the cool Manhattan kids couldn't make fun of you any more!
But they still did, didn't they?
But then you bought everything and yelled constantly and the eighties created millionaires just as tacky as you and you were their king! And getting rid of your first wife even after she completely reconstructed herself for you, well, that just cemented your title.
You were the hit of every young man on the wrong side of the bridge or the tunnel.
But that wasn't what you wanted.
You wanted the cool kids. You wanted in at the clubs where families had known each other forever, where the money and the people were quiet.
It's a quiet constant in this business, actors being pushed by directors to do things the actors don't think are safe. To the shock of no one, this happens more often to the women. Directors and actors, at their best, are creating the best possible art in collaboration. 1/
They are partners. But the fact is, it's not usually an equal relationship. It's the director's show and part of his (nearly always a he) job is to get the best possible product on to that screen, by whatever means necessary. If you're a decent person, it's still easy 2/
to get lost in the haze of 15-hour workdays, a limited budget of time and money and your passionate desire to create the art you see in your head. Not ever director is a decent person. Some people direct because they're manipulative bullies. Shockingly, those 3/