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I pretty much just had the greatest visually rewarding weekend ever. See, I’ve had my heart set on taking the WB Studio Tour for quite some time now and considering the fact that she forgot my birthday, it wasn’t too hard to convince my best friend, Elizabeth, to join me. (That and I agreed to go to Disneyland with her on Friday.) My last class of the week was on Wednesday night and she’s on spring break so we drove over to Burbank on Thursday ready to spend the weekend having some serious fun.

Turns out they have some hardcore rules about what you can take with you on the tour. Apparently some idiots stole plastic bread from the Friends set so we weren’t allowed to have bags or purses with us; they had to be locked underneath the tour cart’s seats. No cell phones are allowed either on account of ‘fire danger’. I have no idea why …

Our tour was late in the day – 3:30 – and our super cute guide, Derek, was pooped out. Apparently he conducts three tours a day which translates to him spending seven hours a day talking. Poor guy.

So anyway, not only was the lot not at all what I expected, but it was way better than what I thought it would be like. I’ve always lived in or near big cities so I’m quite used to the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas and I just assumed that the studio lot would be similar to the city around it. But it’s not! It was the most bizarre thing. I expected people and energy and buzzing around but the place was practically deserted! Sure, the parking spots were full of cars, there were construction people working on their things and there were people here and there riding around on bicycles but the atmosphere was completely calm – as though we’d found ourselves in a Podunk town on a Sunday afternoon. And I swear, it’s as though the walls surrounding the lot are sound proof or something. Even though the Ventura Freeway acts as a border around part of it and Olive Avenue around another part, none of the city noise is apparent once you’re inside – it’s just so calm and quiet. Strange. But after I got over the oddity of it all, it kind of grew on me. It’s this fantastic island, cut off from the rest of the LA. This city inside a city. I can’t even describe how utterly peaceful and at home I felt. Which sounds even more bizarre, I know, but the atmosphere was just so mellow and at ease. And the bicycles! I’m in love with the bicycles. They’re everywhere! These adorable wide handled bicycles with baskets in the front and workers and crew and cast members just ride around the lot on them. It’s incredibly quaint. Especially since I got the impression that they are simply WB property and not individually owned. People just pick up random bicycles and ride where they need to. There’s no ownership – no bike racks to lock them up to – they’re just free to use on the lot. I don’t know, I guess there’s something egalitarian about that, that just thrills me.

More than that, though, there’s something strangely Utopian about it all. In fact, if you ignore the huge discrepancy in paychecks, it’s almost like a mini socialistic country. I know this is incredibly idealistic of me and it doesn’t actually work that way but it was so cool to see how incredibly integral all the behind the scenes people truly are to each and every production – how diligently the artists work on their canvases – how extensive the wardrobes are – the sheer quantity of props and even just the incredible organization of it all. They are this fantastic well-oiled machine. It was incredible. Especially because all these “normal” people work side by side and co-exist on a daily basis with these huge celebrities and they are altogether very un-fazed by it. The atmosphere is one of near equality. They are all simply co-workers who contribute their own parts. And yes, there is obviously a hierarchy but it was neat to see that really, every single worker was clearly contributing, despite the relative anonymity of their jobs.

So anyway, we’d already been through the famous ER ambulance bay so I was just basking in it all, wishing I could somehow ditch my tour cart and take a stroll, vaguely listening to the random tidbits of historic information that yummy Derek was spouting off when I felt Elizabeth smack me in the leg and heard her whisper my name urgently, all the while gesturing with her eyes to my right. I swiveled my head around just in time to see the most beautiful human being I have ever laid eyes on. In fact, if she hadn’t later reassured me it was really him, I think I would have thought he was simply a figment of my very active imagination.

But no. It was real. He was real.

I really, truly saw him, with my very own eyes: Dr. Luka Kovac in the flesh; Goran Visnjic in all his Slavic wonder was standing in front of a trailer, in the company of two unknown women, and smiling such a gorgeous smile, literally inches away from me. And just as the realization of who he was began to sink in, no longer yummy Derek sped up our cart. I craned my neck the entire time, watching him, memorizing him, silently threatening to castrate now very ugly Derek if he didn’t stop the cart right now. And even as his 6″4 figure became smaller and smaller, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. Tucked into his black slacks was a lovely, long-sleeved, pale blue button down shirt, with the top three buttons undone. His dark hair, longer than it was on the last episode, was swept across his face and it looked so glossy and thick. His face was much more youthful and carefree than that of his on screen counterpart. He’s thinner than he appears on TV; very tall and svelte. In fact, as corny as it sounds, he was actually hotter in real life. I know, it’s hard to believe.

Hideous Derek took us to one of the Gilmore Girl’s sound stages after that but not even Alexis Bledel herself could have gotten me to care. I walked around in a literal daze, my heart in my throat, trying to ascertain just how many yards away he actually was and while we walked around, I entertained thoughts of making a break for it, possibly hijacking the cart, or maybe one of the bikes. Heck, sprinting wouldn’t have been bad, as he was merely one row over.

Dumbass Derek took us to the WB museum right after that but my heart wasn’t into it. Not even flirting with Derek cheered me up. I did find out that he had to audition for his job as a guide, that he’s an aspiring stand-up comedian, that he gets paid by the hour, that he works five days a week, that even in the summer they’re required to wear pants, that he’s from Connecticut, that he’s been working as a guide for four months now, that Matt LeBlanc is an asshole, that John Stamos is apparently super nice and that eventually he’d like to go back to school to get a degree in journalism, but alas, despite my best efforts, he did not take me back to my soul mate. He did, however, inform me that it’s procedure that they speed up when celebrities are present. Pfft.

On the way back to our hotel I cursed myself for not being smart enough to accidentally fall out of the cart as I’m sure Goran would have helped me to my feet; he’s European after all and very courteous. And the fact that Elizabeth did not push me out is simply further evidence that she is a horrible friend. I mean, a birthday is one thing but a real friend would have pushed me out. Clearly. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

My only consolation is that for but a brief moment, we shared the same air.

Well, that and a little while later, while waiting for the light to change at the intersection on Mulholland Dr. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. I looked over to my right (Elizabeth was driving as I was still far too shaken to be competent behind the wheel) and was absently reminiscing, when a blonde hottie in the black SUV next to us caught my eye and smiled. I smiled in return ’cause I’m super polite like that and then he raised his eyebrows suggestively and I froze because there was something strangely familiar about that receding hair line. Then it was my turn to smack Elizabeth and point to my right all the while whispering “Who is that? I know that face. Don’t stare!”

Yeah, that’s right. Ian Ziering flirted with me.

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George did not just betray his bootylicious, hot-ass wife and sleep with Izzie, did he!? Did he!?

Shit.

Nothing against Izzie, because she’s hilarious and beautiful, but Callie is smokin’ and a Vegas wedding is still a wedding, dude. And did I mention Callie is hot?
You don’t cheat on someone like that. Ungrateful sonofabitch.

Negative points for you O’Malley.
You snooze, you lose.
I was holding back before, out of respect for your marriage and all, but that’s over now.
Callie is mine. Muahaha!

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Buddha is an incredibly verbal child. He especially loves to sing. Not a waking hour goes by that he does not spontaneously burst into song. It’s one of my favorite things about him; his unabashed merriness. As far as widely recognizable words, though, he’s largely uninterested in those. Since his first birthday, however, he’s been making considerable progress in the area of communication.

Agua – “Oooah”
All Done – “Gah Gah” + sign
Baby – “Beh beeh”
Ball – “Baah”
Book “Buh”
Bunny – “Eeeoh”
Bye bye – “Buh bah” + wave
Car – “Cgah”
Daddy – “Dah dah”
More – sign
Shoe – Ssssh
Star – sign

So far he can say/sign half a dozen words, which just absolutely thrills me to no end.
You’ll notice, however, that neither “mama” or “turtle” are on that list of words he knows. This has perplexed me for quite some time since he’s been saying ‘Dah Dah’ now for about six months and has recently (within the last two months) begun referring to Bunny as ‘Eeeoh’. I found it to be rather odd that he wouldn’t even attempt to refer to either of us, ever.
Winifred, of course, is bent on teaching him to say ‘Mama.’ She refers to herself in third person when talking to him and repeats the sounds ‘mamamamama’ with him over and over again. Well, I, obviously, have been trying to get him to call me by my name. And recently this past week he began saying, but only with a lot of prodding, the first consonant in my name when referring to me. This was supremely exciting for me and I’m not ashamed to say, really the highlight of my entire month.

Except today he called me “Maahm” and then “Maah”

Twice.
Completely out of the blue and both times specifically reaching his arms out towards me so there really was no doubt as to whom he was referring to.
Thankfully, Winifred wasn’t home when this happened but it kind of unsettled me anyway. When she did get home, I specifically exclaimed “Look! It’s mom! Mama’s home!” in hopes that he would get the queue and use his brand new word on the correct recipient.

No such luck.

The thing is, I have made zero attempt to refer to myself as mom and in fact, have been somewhat overly zealous in trying to get him to say the real world equivalent of ‘Tortuguita’. I don’t really understand why or how he has suddenly decided to use the word on me, instead of Winifred.

The real problem is that part of me feels strangely pleased, as though, in his own Buddha way, he’s acknowledged my importance to him and has validated my role in his life.

Except the moment I’m done thinking this, that stupid, obnoxious voice that always interrupts the protagonists in cheesy movies kicks in and condescendingly exclaims –

“That is way creepy. As in totally ‘Hand that Rocks the Cradle‘ kind of creepy.” And I immediately feel incredibly evil but defend myself anyway with.

“No! I just love him, that’s all.”

“Right.”

“And besides, I spend just as many waking hours, if not more, with him than she does.”

“Creeper.”

“So why wouldn’t he think of me as his mother?”

“Yeah, okay, Peyton.”

“Shut up, that is so different. I’m not trying to sleep with Dr. Doormat or destroy Winifred out of revenge.”

“Maybe not but you wouldn’t exactly don a black veil if she croaked.”

“Just because I don’t like her very much doesn’t mean I want her to die so I can raise her kids.”

“Whatever you say, oh wicked one.”

“Go to hell.”

“After you, Empress of Evil.”

“Go away.”

“Sure thing, Corrupt Caretaker.”

“Stop.”

“Execrable employee.”

“Oh brother.”

“Sick Sinful Sitter.”

“Cut it out.”

“Malicious Mentor.”

*sigh*

“Baneful Babysitter.”

“Are you done yet?”

“One more. Nasty Nefarious Nanny.”

At which point I realize that despite her nauseating synonym savviness, my incredibly irksome alter ego has a bit of a point and I am left feeling altogether very unpleasant because not only is there a good possibility I am evil but I’m probably a little crazy too.

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“If I die, there will be no one to tell this story. There is no one but me.”
Rufina Amaya

My parents chose to live in Central America, El Salvador specifically, during the wars in the 80s. I don’t remember much about the war; the Peace Accords went into effect on my fourth birthday, but what I do remember is being surrounded by activists, soldiers, students and survivors alike and not caring or knowing the differences between them. Another kid who was similarly immersed in my pseudo-oblivious world was a little girl named Martita. While our parents discussed violence and politics, she and I would play hopscotch and jacks and try to out-do each other with handstands and cartwheels. Martita is not so little anymore. She’s in her early twenties now and a medical student studying in San Salvador. I haven’t seen her for about four years and I have to admit that the only times I’ve thought about her since then were when my eyes would occasionally drift to a little plaque that she made for me, as a gift the last time we saw one another. Two days ago, she became an orphan.

My dad, a good friend of Rufina’s, sent me a message earlier this evening to say that he had just gotten word of her death. Martita’s mother is one of the strongest women to have ever lived. Rufina Amaya was the sole survivor of the 1981 massacre of the town of El Mozote in El Salvador. Out of one thousand inhabitants, she alone managed to escape the brutal slaughter. Among the victims were four of her children and her husband. No one would have faulted her for spending her life grieving for the babies she lost, for the husband she saw murdered, for her entire life, ripped away. But instead she took a tragedy unlike any other and she derived strength from it and she not only survived but she thrived. After being nursed back to health following the ordeal, she escaped to Honduras where she lived as a refugee for seven years. She re-married and birthed one last child – Martita. Most importantly though, she never stopped sharing the truth. Over the course of decades and through various cover ups and despite misrepresentations in the media, she refused to be silenced. Even though she put her life at risk to speak the truth, she persevered.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose my mother and my heart churns for Martita, who will have to go on without hers. But I know, that if she has even a shred of the strength that her mother had, she will be okay. She will survive.

When I was little, I had no idea that I was continually in the presence of such phenomenal greatness. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve finally been able to really appreciate how truly incredible she is … and continues to be. I can’t think of another woman more deserving of commemoration on International Women’s Day, for Rufina is the epitome of strength, survival and womanhood.

May she rest in peace.

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Dance first. Think Later. It’s the natural order.
– Samuel Beckett

Bunny has the rhythm of a dead chicken; he absolutely cannot dance to save his life. At one point I made it my personal mission to try and teach him but even basic skills like keeping a beat ended in miserable failure. So, when Buddha was born I decided it was time to move on. Here was some new clay to molded. The fact that I have been singing to him daily since the day he was born has not been for naught. The kid loves music. He’s constantly singing – even while he nurses, which is hilarious and incredibly cute.

Dr. D listens to either Stevie Wonder or Air America, both of which are excellent, but they’re not exactly varied. And generally, Winifred doesn’t play music because it just adds to her sensory stress. So, the task of exposing him to diverse forms of music has been left up to me – one which I have been more than pleased to take on.

For the past month or so we’ve been listening to a lot of rock. I knew it was time for a change when it became apparent that Buddha’s favorite song was Novocaine by Greenday. So I worked on a new mix, this one focusing on some fast beat dance rhythms.

As is our custom after lunch, Buddha and I were having one of our dance-a-thons. I was having a blast, dancing away and I was busy shaking my badonkadonk to Sean Paul’s Temperature when I realized that Buddha was not enthusiastically participating. In fact, he was staring at me with a look of grim disdain and upon catching my eye, he shook his head, declared “goh goh” and signed “all done.”

Damn.

I just got baby burned.

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The better part of valor is discretion.” – William Shakespeare

Winifred and her sister, whom I shall cleverly call WiniSister, are absolute opposites of each other. It’s a little scary actually how utterly diametric their personalities are. Further accentuating their differences is the fact that they look quite a bit alike. They’re both small and petite, have similar facial features as well as dark hair and blue eyes. They don’t exactly get along. Did I mention I happen to love WiniSister? ; )
WiniSister and her boyfriend live in Las Vegas, which is less than a day’s drive from here, and she has come to visit less than half a dozen times in the past two years. As luck would have it, I have been at the house every single time she’s shown up and so she thinks I practically live there.

I mentioned this timing phenomenon jestingly to Winifred this past month when WiniSister was in town for a few days, because like her previous visit this past summer, Buddha and I were, coincidentally, the only ones home when she arrived.

Winifred rolled her eyes and rather condescendingly admonished that “Oh she just things I’m some spoiled doctor’s wife who can’t do anything on my own.” As if it were the most ridiculous thing in the world.

I didn’t say a word.

I’m pretty sure I deserve a cookie or something.

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Okay, so I realize the show is called Grey’s Anatomy, and she is Meredith Grey. But it should really be called She’s Never Coming Back because she’s Cold, Dead and Grey – Anatomy.
This is sort of like how I used to love Dawson’s Creek but absolutely could not stand Dawson at all. Mostly because he was an asshole but also because James van der Beek’s forehead is out of control.
Well, I’ve figured it out. It’s not just Meredith – I can’t stand Ellen Pompeo either. It’s actually very simple. Hollywood isn’t that picky. Not really. All it asks of you, in exchance for stardom are good looks and the ability to speak. Ellen Pompeo has neither. It all comes down to the S.
First the obvious.

  • Too fucking skinny! Seriously. I’ve been slender and attractive. She is way beyond slender and it is so not attractive at all. She’s skinny with a capital SK for skeletal. It’s gross. The costume people realize this and try to fake the audience out but it’s not working! She’s yucky and she needs to eat.
  • She is squinty eyed. I don’t mean that in a racial sense, I mean it in the literal, she’s constantly squinting her eyes kind of way. I don’t get it. Glasses? Contacs? Lasik? What’s the deal. She has pretty eyes, she just needs to quit squinting them.
  • She snarls. No really. I don’t know, maybe it’s some botched attempt at a pout to enhance her non-existant lips but she snarls. She’s a mouth breather who snarls. Not cool.
  • Snarling is not enough, apparently, she must smirk too. A lopsided, thin lipped, snide little smirk.
  • She has a lisp. She speaks with an incredibly obnoxious sibillant S that makes me want to strangle her skinny, squinting, snarling throat.

So here’s the thing. If you’re skinny, squinty, smirky and snarly, you’re not fulfilling the good-looking portion of the requirement and if you talk with a fucking sibillant S then you’re not accomplishing the speaking part either. So if you aren’t good-looking and you can’t talk right? You shouldn’t be on my television screen!!!

If I wanted to watch ugly, selfish people with speech affectations, I’d go outside and socialize!!
Television is supposed to be a haven from the outside world. What’s with the lowered expectations Hollywood? Remember when tv stars were beautiful and, oh I don’t know could actually act talk?

Curses on you Shonda Rhimes! You got my hopes up. I really wanted her to die, damnit!