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Point Break of the Speed Matrix

Keanu is my Mac. He helps me reach you, Interwebs.

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Today I bought floss and I thought of Pretty Woman.  The only thing less believable than the entire premise of the film is the fact that any Hollywood hooker would floss…further still, would floss mid-appointment.  “What’s with this screwy detail?  This doesn’t make any sense to me,” I whisper to no one in CVS aisle 7.   

 Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?  We are first introduced to Vivian Ward as  a gal trying to pay her rent and has to hunt down her drug addled roommate to collect the money (see Blue Banana sequence).  I get it.  She’s responsible and sober.  Clearly this is no run of the mill hood rat.    But do we buy it yet?

She picks up Richard Gere and instead of having the filithiest road trip discussion on the way to his hotel, she riddles him with…wait for it… TRIVIA.  She’s got knowledge!  Nice touch, Gary.  We ,the audience, have all but forgotten that she refers to three handjobs and letting someone watch her pee as a “slow night”.

Now how ,as a film maker, do you drive this point home?  Well she does bring a “buffet of safety”  to the hotel… but this is life and condoms are not strictly hooker territory.  Gary needs something else… something that says this is the second time she’s ever done sexing for money and before that it was just her high school sweetheart who was killed in a terrible football team bus auto collision.  But what?   *LIGHTBULB*  Oral hygeine!

I can just hear Gary Marshall’s raspy Brooklyn accent at the writer’s meeting:  “Let’s give her some sawt of characta trait so that subcawntiously the awdience knows she’s clean down theh.  Yah know, if she cares about her mouth she cares about her love burger**.  How do we show this people?  Everybody brushes their teeth.  Maw specific maw specific.  Maybe a Sonic Care treatment befaw she leaves faw the night… nah.  What’s cheap?  What can a hookah affawd?  I got it!  FLAWSS!  Write it up!”  

**I like to think that Gary mixes up his euphemisms.


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Kathryn Bigelow:

– Oscar’s first female winner for Best Director.

-beat out her ex-husband James Cameron and his juggernaut of a film Avatar for best director and best picture.

-is an unbelievable 58.

-got to have this moment (see below).











– just also happened to direct…


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Hollywood, please stop trying to convince us in your films that this woman is a Plain Jane.  Merci.

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Because she was obsessed with glamor shots and boobs that year.

This is the 6th grade photo of one of my former improv students.  She hid this little number beneath a coat on photo day at her school.  The top was cut from a dress and she wore leggings with it.  She bandaged, taped and padded her boobs for maximum cleave.   After the snap was taken her parents were called.  If I was her mother, I would have died of pride.

Being cool is just a blind belief in yourself coupled with the confidence that your ideas are the best ones.

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If someone made these for me when I was little I would have exploded.

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Meet Sunny.

The SPCA of Northern Virginia has a great “Guardian Angel” program.  You can sponsor an animal up for adoption for $10 a month.  This money makes sure that they get all their food and medical needs met while they wait for the perfect home. 

This is Sunny and as of today she’s my little “pet” project.  For the next three months.   I will get pictures and updates on Sunny from the shelter in turn for my sponsorship. 

Today is my dad’s 79th birthday and growing up in Ireland he had two dogs that were very dear to him.  His father’s hunting partner, Smuttyface, a  greyhound that met an untimely demise.  And my dad’s own loyal companion in the fields, Rex The Protector!

I have happy memories from childhood of my dad sitting on the edge of my bed telling the great story of how Rex chased the fox out of the hen house and saved the family from starvation!

My father is a quiet man but a great story teller for those close to him.  I made a nightly request of the story for bedtime.  It goes something likes this:

 “It was a dark and wintery night and the wind was HOWLING  ’round the house.  [he attempts to whistle like the wind]  There Seamus and I are tucked in our beds… [he tucks me in and stops with jolt] WHEN I HEAR A NOISE!  I whisper to Seamus, “There’s a fox in the hen house!”  [stops to make the same face Seamus had upon hearing the news] And Seamus turns to me, “Call Rex!”  So I let out a call to REX!  Seamus and I run to the window!  [points to the window above my bed]  We don’t see him at first but we hear him coming!  BA-DA-BOOMP BA-DA-BOOMP BA-DA-BOOMP!  ‘There he is Jack! ‘Seamus says.  AND HE COMES GALLOPING PAST OUR WINDOW AND STRAIGHT INTO THE HEN HOUSE!!!   And then they’re out!  And Rex is chasing that sly fox UP and DOWN the fields as far as Seamus and I can see…

Seamus and I run down to the kitchen and already there is Rex with his tail wagging.  ‘ATTA BOY, REX!,’ we shout.  And Rex gets his bone.  The end.  Time for B-E-D, Tara.  Say your prayers.”

It wasn’t until I was in college that I thought to ask what kind of dog Rex was.  And not having told the story in a long time my dad quickly and honestly replied, “A cocker spaniel.”

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Since Oprah is not doing her “favorite things” episode this year I figured I’d chime in with my own faves. 

In no particular order:


Sod for the Fireplace – If you are lucky enough to have a proper wood burning fireplace in your home then I’d highly recommend getting some true Irish sod  to burn for special occasions.  I can’t describe the smell other than it’s more comforting than burning leaves in the Fall.  Here is a hysterical quote I pulled from a website about turf, “The ambience of the aroma will rekindle for you the romance and nostalgia of Ireland.”

Calvin Klein – All goods 40% off today and tomorrow!  I have my eye on the convertible mittens and popcorn knit scarf.

Travel Size Your Favorites – This is not ground breaking information but it really does make things a lot better when you travel if you don’t take your full sized bath items. I just went to the website and found that both Crabtree and Philsophy carry travel sized bottles of my favorite shower gels and shampoos.  It will make things a little more homey for when you travel next.


Västerbotten CheeseBuy a wedge of this, a baguette or hard crusted round loaf and a high quality cheese slicer and enjoy.  I ate this for breakfast every morning when I was visiting a friend in Sweden .  There it is considered the “king of cheeses”.

Salmon Pinwheels – I’ve written about these delights before and I shall continue their promotion.  Have you ever had one of these yummies?  It’s smoked salmon rollen around an herb cream cheese and given a wasabi dressing garnish or perhaps a basil leaf and a tooth pick.  You can make it on your own or get them in the salmon section at Whole Foods.


Funky Chunky Chocolate Popcorn – All of their products are crazy delicious but chocolate covered popcorn is the salty sweet of my heart.

Godiva Candy Cane Truffles – There would always be a box of Godiva in my house at Christmas.   I think their truffles are the best.  The champagne ones are my fave but I like to try the new seasonal ones.  If I find myself in a mall with a Godiva shop during the holidays, I’ll always buy two.


The Nook from Barnes & Noble – It’s the same deal as Kindle from Amazon but it’s called “the nook”  so I’m sold.  The mere mention of the word makes me think “snowy eve, chenile blanket, piping hot cocoa and my latest erotic fiction novel”.

Apple iPhone Walldock – Faster charging and no tangly chords.  It works for all generation iPods too.


Restoration Hardware Stocking Stuffers – There are a lot of brightly colored goodies here.  When I saw the can of “Charades” I knew I would have to get a can for my improv buds and I to play this Winter.


DC Christmas Markets – It may not be  Nuremberg but it’s ours.  Anyways, you put little white lights on tents on a chilly eve with the faint smell of crepes cooking outside and I dare anyone to complain.

Masa 14 – The new tapas place located next to Bar Pilar on 14th St. is not only delicious but cost effective.  It’s only open two months but I’ve hit this place up about three or four times.  The host and waitstaff have been extremely pleasant and accomodating whenever I needed a table during the dinner rush and we very excited to have people from Source coming by before and after shows.  My fave on the menu is the Serrano Ham Flatbread with goat cheese, cantaloupe, arugula, truffle and lime for only $8.

Washington Improv Theater (“WIT”) – My home away from home.  It serves up the best long form improv in DC and the word is finally getting out.  WIT has grown tremendously in the last few years.  The classes program has triple enrollment and there are more troupes performing than ever.  The run is still going so don’t miss a show!

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. –  Chicago’s Neo- Futurists are back with a run of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.  They have a special New Year’s Eve performance with a midnight toast that my theater nard friends and I shall be attending.  I love this space almost as much as WIT… almost.


I think it’s important to contribute to causes for which you have a personal connection.  If you do, you’re interest level will never wane and you’ll find that your eager to contribute your time/attention/money to next event.  There are a lot of worthy causes out there so if you can, just pick one that means something to you. 

I love my dad, a retired police officer, and animals… even the weird ones.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund – On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours.  I ran the Police Week 5k this past Spring in memoriam of a fallen police officer.  I felt good about completing the race but I felt even better that I did it in honor of someone else. 

Smithsonian National Zoo – I volunteered here for two years .  This zoo is our nation’s largest and in need of the most funding.  Tai Shan, the adorable panda cub that brought national interest to the zoo four years ago is set to return to China in 2010.  

Washington Humane Society – You can send donations directly to the shelter.  These donations help pay for the animals get their medical treatments and meals.  A lot of these animals were found wandering the DC streets or tied outside to an abandoned home.  All they need is some love and they could be a loyal friend for life.

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