the ‘razzi.

these stalkers were outside the store for a good 20 minutes awaiting the pic. the picture when she and voilet would exit the store and make their way to the car. and the funny thing? she wasn’t even in the store while they were outside the back door. she came in, made a purchase, walked out the front door to go to another store down the street. she left her purchases in the store to come back and pick up on the way out. and they stood there…waiting. one guy cased the block, standing in front of the store, walking by it, and even asked if jen was in the store. yeah, but she’s helping a customer at the moment…but not the jen he was looking for.


totally worth it.

i went shopping at century city tonight after getting my haircut and feeling especially sassy sporting my curls. i wasn’t expecting much, just checking to see if i could find any good deals on heels at kenneth cole or a top at banana republic to go with a skirt which seems difficult to match. but what i found sitting on a bench with his papyrus bag was madhur mittal. in case you are not familiar with the name, you might know him better as salim malik from slumdog millionaire…or you just might have seen him in the pics below at the oscar’s.
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i couldn’t believe it. he was sitting all alone, smoking a cigarette…unnoticed. i walked on by. i didn’t want to be one of those people…
one of those people who hound celebrities, even though i wanted to.
as i continued walking, i couldn’t get it out of my mind. i couldn’t believe that i–of all people–did not have a camera on me. i was so ill-prepared to see someone who i actually cared about seeing…or meeting. i went into another store, back to my original purpose. as i came out of the store–empty-handed–i saw him again.
i thought that margit would probably notice this as a sign…but i just kept walking. i phoned a few friends to tell them. and i called louis to tell him of the latest siting…in case you haven’t read, there have been quite a few these past few days (i sort of feel like i am on celebrity siting overload). when i told louis i thought of going up to him but didn’t have my camera, he said, “you totally should have. i bet he’s not big enough yet to have people constantly coming up to him. he’d probably like it.”
hmmmm….i thought to myself.

it reminded me of a conversation i had earlier today with phyllis about people encouraging you and how, typically, people don’t get enough of it. we talked about how vital encouragement is to our well-being and how we all need feedback on how we are doing–in our job, in our relationships, in our family…just in general. which just made me think that this budding actor needed to know as well. now granted, just 48 hours ago he was up on stage accepting an oscar for best picture, but wouldn’t a compliment from me mean more?

well, my chance was lost… or so i thought. until i walked out of my final store for the evening and saw him with his back to me, standing alone looking at the mall directory. this, margit would for sure agree, was definitely a sign. i couldn’t believe i had seen him now for a third time…and i couldn’t believe that i was walking right up to him. i made small talk with him, telling him how much i enjoyed–no, loved, actually–the film, how he did an outstanding job, and then congratulating him on all the awards. i was totally gushing. and he couldn’t have been more gracious…looking directly at me, thanking me at each pause, so humble and grateful for my every comment.
it was totally worth it.

and it totally made me realize that we all need to know what others think about us and how vital encouragement is to our everyday existence. it’s vital to my life, i would venture to say it’s vital to yours, and it’s vital to those who can now boast an oscar.


i called jena after watching the oscar’s not to talk about which dress(es) we liked–as it seemed everyone else was commenting on–nor to pass on any celeb gossip but to talk about the awards, who won them, and their acceptance speeches. she offered that dustin lance black, who won for best original screenplay for the film milk, was by far the best. i tried to remember but i had no recollection of that one. as she recreated the speech for me in hopes of jogging my memory, i realized i had missed it on the drive home from work. she said it was not your typical acceptance speech but one that shared why he wrote this screenplay…from a personal perspective. even yesterday, i asked her what he said again because i was intrigued to know more about it.
this morning, still being intrigued, i found it on youtube…
check it out.

quite moving, actually.
spoken with so much passion, with so much life.
spoken by a man who, it seems, has faced similar struggles and gone down similar paths.
spoken by a man who is full of hope…despite his past experiences and unhopeful future, in some regards.

and the message was clear…quite clear.
spoken to the church about accepting those unlike ourselves.
spoken to the church about love for all people.
spoken to the church about judgment, which is not ours to bestow.
spoken to the church as a reminder about who god is and who we are not.
spoken to the church as a man who has been wounded by the lack of love and acceptance by the very people that are called to do so by a god who does so willingly and freely.
spoken to those who feel the need to legislate behavior…behavior that may or may not line up with our own.
spoken to those who feel it is their responsibility to save that which they cannot.
spoken to those who are blinded to the fact that our legislation is exclusive, judgmental, and creating barriers among us.

i, for one, got the message and was challenged by it,
as a member of the church,
as a voter,
and as a friend.


i think it has been about 12 hours since posting a previous blog about living in culture dominated by “the industry” and who parks beside me in this parking structure in beverly hills but jamie lee curtis…no kidding. and i recognized her as soon as she stepped foot out of her suv. i thought to myself, “that looks like jamie lee curtis…” but who i am kidding? i stinkin’ live in beverly hills…of course it’s jamie lee curtis, the real thing. as i was pulling out of my parking spot, i rolled down the window and offered her my spot since i still had 40 minutes remaining. she replied, “i would rather have your cupcake” (before i pulled out i had a bite of my banana sprinkles cupcake i had just picked up from the store). “yeah, it’s banana so it’s not only good but healthy” was my quirk reply. “those are my favorite banana cupcakes,” she told me, then offered, “but i can’t have cupcakes.” well maybe that is why she is 50 and in great shape…maybe i should not be able to have cupcakes.



the irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating–in work, in play, in love. the act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear who likes to dress herself up and parade around as rational hesitation. to commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.
~anne morriss, starbuck’s customer from NYC. as quoted on “the way i see it #76”

something to consider, to muse…
i like the correlation between commitment and liberation.
so many times commitment gets a bad rap.
commitment is usually seen as restrictive, a barrier to freedom, a closed door.
but is it…or should it be seen as such?
or should it be seen as inclusive, a pathway to freedom, an open door?
i’m not sure…

which makes me wonder…
i wonder if i ever dress myself up, parade around, and disguise myself as “rational hesitation”…
i wonder.

my culture.

as i sit here watching the 81st annual oscars, i realize i have just experienced a huge shift in cultures within the past 6 months.
moving from pasadena to the westside,
moving from a place of transition to a place of permanence,
moving from whom i’ve been to whom i will become,
moving from a neighborhood where everyone is from somewhere else to neighborhood where everyone seems to be from here.

i guess this realization actually started with a conversation rusty and i had the other day about the oscars. he remarked that he didn’t even know which awards were on tonight…he just couldn’t keep up with all the award shows. and i was just like him. just like him until a few months ago. embarrissingly, i admit that i would get the grammy’s and the oscar’s confused, i had no idea what the SAG awards were, nor did i know which awarded tv shows versus which awarded movies. not that i am an award guru as of late, but i am a little more informed.
and why…
i really think it has something to do with the move, the change in culture…
the culture which now seems to envelop me.

rusty, in that same conversation, remarked how the awards aren’t that big of a deal where he’s from…and i agree. it’s not that people don’t watch the award shows–they do–but it is different. i explained that the industry is huge here in LA–it seems that everyone is in the industry somehow. even at breakfast yesterday, we were surrounded by conversations about shows, films, acting, music…just as we saw christopher walken pass by, walking in his neighborhood.
it’s everywhere…just ask watchmen.
it’s on every billboard.
it’s on every bus and bus stop.
it’s on the side of every building.
it’s LA.
it’s what LA is all about.
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and moving to the westside, i am more in LA than i have been these past 3 years in california. i am immersed in this industry culture. even these past few days (and blogs) have evidenced, it is all around me…i wasn’t even looking for celebs, yet saw them everywhere i went these past few days.

i had a conversation with a girl at work who came in the store donning a UT hat on this same subject. for some reason we started talking about football (shocker!), which always seems to happen when talking to a fellow southerner. and you know why…
it’s our culture.
a culture of college football.
it’s everywhere you go.
it’s life.
it’s part of every conversation, no matter where you are.
it’s paraphernalia is sold in every store.
it’s the south.
it’s what the south is all about.

and i realize i am in the midst of both cultures…
who i’ve always been and who i am now.
of course, i love college football…i don’t think i will ever give up that love, especially my affinity towards the SEC.
it’s who i am.
it’s how i was raised.
it is me.
and yet, i am beginning to embrace a new culture as well. i have watched more movies than ever before and have an interest in shows like never before. it’s not a bad thing, just different. i am open to more than before…and enjoying this freedom, these new artistic ventures, and the culture they evidence.
i am somehow welcoming both graciously into my life, espousing the two, and making them my own…
my culture.
it’s all part of who i am…who i am becoming.