Posts tagged moi
Posts tagged moi
When I first meet someone and tell him/her that I’m a TV writer, I pretty much hear two responses.
1) “I don’t watch television.”
2) “What shows do you write for?” (go here if you were curious)
Followed by a, “Cool,” or the more common “Oh.”
Every so often, however, I’ll get asked by the stranger/person I’ve just met, “Can you read my ________ ” Go ahead. Fill in that blank. If it can be written, I’ve probably read it: screenplays, bios, spec scripts, essays, etc.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, I owe a great deal to all the generous friends and mentors who’ve read and given feedback on my works-in-progress. One of my girlfriends flat-out told me the one-woman-show I was attempting to write was atrocious and that I needed to turn my stories into personal essays. I did, and those essays led to two pilot script deals (ps - THANK YOU).
It’s more the apprehension I have about being asked by a complete stranger to read his or her work. Then again, I’m not going to knock anyone for being daring and bold. Life’s not about playing it safe, right? (no, really, I’m asking…)
I can say, however, there’s at least one instance where you should NEVER ask someone (friend or not) to read your material.
A couple of years ago, a woman I’d just met asked, “So what do you do?” (see above). After I answered, she beamed and said, “I’m a writer, too!” She proceeded to tell me how she’s a songwriter and had a catalog of songs that are perfect for X or Y country artist. She then asked if I’d be willing to look at them.
All I could think was:
a) I know nothing about song writing
b) HOLY F’N *&%, I have a kid!
See, less than 24 hours prior to that, I had given birth. Un. Medicated.
The hubs and I were still staring at/in awe of this new alien being in my arms when the nurse sprang this question on me. Through my fog (and certainty that I’d somehow scarred the kid for life because I hadn’t figured out how to do a %&@* proper latch) I politely told the woman my lack of songwriting knowledge and wished her luck. Undeterred, she said she’d bring me her notebook the next time she came by.
Fortunately for me, she’d left that notebook at home.
So in case you were ever thinking, hey, that writer in that hospital bed is not going anywhere for another day or so, now would be the perfect time for me to give them my stuff.
No. No, it would not.
Why, yes, even though my bottom half is on FIRE and I can’t use the facilities unassisted, I would LOVE to read your latest masterpiece.
I have a confession to make. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve recently become a Gleek.
Oh, I’d watched an occasional “Glee” episode here and there (Sue Sylvester remaking Vogue? Hi. Larious. A mash up of Singing in the Rain/Umbrella? Genius) but they weren’t enough to make me a fan.
But then, after listening to my friends go on and on and ON about the show (as well as discovering one of the Glee kids is a neighbor but never knowing which one), I decided to see how it all began and viewed the pilot. And then proceeded to watch season one. Every. Single. Episode (darn you, Netflix).
Because of my newfound Gleekdom, all I want to do is belt out a song. Loudly. And not just in the shower. One problem:
I can’t sing.
I guess, technically, I CAN sing, it’s more that I don’t sing… WELL.
Somehow this didn’t stop me from being cast as “Marty” in Grease in high school. For those who don’t know, that character has a solo. Anyone who had to endure my vocal stylings back then, all I can say is… I hope you’ve recovered by now.
Don’t think I’m being hard on myself. I’ve got witnesses. And “magic” microphone.
Basically, it’s everything you need to do karaoke… in a microphone! Not only does it have the songs and lyric book built in, but it has some kind of numerical judging system. In. the. mic.
I first encountered this portable Simon-Cowell-type device a few years ago at a friend’s house. The hubs and I had just started dating, so I was still trying to impress him — and yet, this did not stop me from joining in on the karaoke fun. Clearly, I was suffering from some kind of “crush” delirium.
We all took our turns at the mic. And on a 1-100 point system, my friends registered a 96, a 97 and a 93 (I should’ve known they owned this thing for a reason).
Then I went.
Cringing. Wincing. Grimacing. All happened. Soon, my rating appeared onscreen. The good news: I made it into double digits.
Not one to leave me dangling, the hubs grabbed the mic and passionately belted out a power 80’s ballad. My heart melted — he was taking one for the team (while his skill far exceeds mine, let’s face it, that’s not saying much). Warm fuzzies engulfed me… until his score popped up onscreen: 98.
This meant the hubs beat not only me, but also all our friends. These are people who have been paid to sing. ON BROADWAY.
Maybe the mic wasn’t so “magical” after all. Or at least not for me. Which is why I never used it again.
Don’t worry, that hasn’t prevented me from resurrecting my solo career… mainly while I’m changing diapers (hey, it’s not my fault the kid can’t speak) or in the shower (I’m quite popular with the inanimate crowd).
So the next time you accept a ride from me, you may want to think twice. Especially if the radio’s blasting. I just might be getting my Gleek on.
NOTE: Probably not the best idea to read this while eating. Just sayin’…
As I listen to the otherworldly sounds emanating from my dog’s stomach (afraid of what will eventually come out), I’m reminded of how, yet, again, my life centers around… waste.
Anyone who’s been a caregiver/parental figure/animal lover, feels my pain. What goes in must come out, and as anyone who’s watched Dr. Oz on Oprah knows, the end result is a barometer of one’s health (it should be an S! — if you’re unaware of this reference, consider yourself lucky).
Because of this, I’ve been known to describe — in detail — the contents collected in the post-dogwalk-baggie. The hubs thinks I’m obsessed. I say I’m observant. There’s a reason one of the most asked questions at the pediatrician’s office revolves around what one finds in a diaper. It’s this output that can help answer burning questions, like:
“Are they eating enough?”
“Do we need to start giving prunes?”
“What on earth did they get into?!”
It’s not a laughing matter. Which is a shame.
Because poop is funny.
Now, I understand many might disagree. But maybe it’s because they’ve never had the opportunity of working with comedy writers. Or, I could just have the mentality of a thirteen year-old boy.
Thanks to my colleagues, I’ve probably seen and heard almost every body function joke out there. I laughed at most of them… okay, all of them. Sometimes to the point of tears.
Farts? I’m ashamed how easily they’ll elicit a titter. Once, on vacation, I heard the man half a hall ahead of me pass gas. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t get off the ground… FOR TEN MINUTES (did I mention my juvenile sense of humor?).
So, yeah, flatulence gets me every time.
Well, except for when a fellow writer, who, sitting with his legs propped up on the table — and, who, perhaps ingested one too many beans at lunch — let one rip… with me in the chair, RIGHT. NEXT. TO. HIM.
I never jumped so far, so fast. Didn’t matter. Neither I, nor the others in the room could outrun it. The inevitable happened: we got consumed by the vapors. GAH.
A few weeks later, I exacted my revenge. Just know that I’m Asian, and I’m not afraid to consume dairy.
So now I keep vigil next to my dog, awaiting her output. I’ve got my serious and observant cap on. But I have to admit, I can’t wait until every creature in this house feels better. When I can laugh at it again. Because in the end, that’s some funny sh*t.
This Sunday marks the hubs’ first Father’s Day. While the kid and I work on his present, I can guarantee what he won’t be getting: a home cooked meal.
Trust me, it’s better this way.
My lack of culinary skills wouldn’t be so embarrassing if
a) I hadn’t worked in the food industry for ten years and
b) two of those places weren’t restaurants OWNED by my family (shout out to my Uncle Gin & Gin Chinese Restaurant www.ginrestaurant.com — order the green beans while you’re there, or the dumplings… ooh, or the beef soup!)
The hubs, on the other hand, can navigate his way around a stove quite well. He cooks breakfast for us every day. No exaggeration. I’m pretty sure he does it because if I had my druthers, we’d eat nothing but doughnuts, pancakes or french toast. The irony? I’m actually pretty good at making breakfast stuffs, it’s the other parts of the day that befuddle me.
This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried.
When we first dated, I decided to impress him by making an easy summer turkey chili that could be whipped up in thirty minutes (they lied). I even dolloped sour cream and sprinkled shredded cheese on the finished product. That’s right. I GARNISHED.
I then nervously presented my finished masterpiece. We both took our bites, and after carefully chewing, discovered that it was…
Not bad, I thought, patting myself on the back. And that’s when I noticed them: beads of perspiration. Forming at his temple. Multiplying with his every bite.
“Oh, my god,” I gasped,”are you sweating?!!”
I grabbed a towel and apologized as I dabbed, “It’s too spicy, isn’t it?”
“No, no,” he said, even as he continued to DRIP, “it’s good. Delicious.” (see why I married him?)
Unlike my friend, Cheryl (check out her mouth-watering food memoir here: http://amzn.to/eHjkzD), a tiger in the kitchen, I’m not.
The crazy thing is, I still make turkey chili (minus, the, uh, heat). It’s actually one of our favorites. And, yet, somehow, after all these years, it has NEVER tasted the same way twice.
I’m talented like that.
So, I guess my not-cooking on Sunday is really a gift in itself. In which case, Hubs, if you’re reading this… you’re welcome.
Happy Father’s Day
Apologies in advance to all my veggie/vegan/swine-loving/grammarian friends but…
I loves me some bacon.
If I could start every day with it, I would. Let me rephrase, if I could have bacon with every meal, I would. The way it sizzles in the frying pan, the way it smells (and how it wafts through the house), the way it crunches…I love it. All of it. Even the fat.
When I was younger, my Mom and I would fight over who got the fatty bits my Dad would cut off his meal, whether it be from bacon, steak, pork chop, etc. My Mom usually won. While I used to envy her devouring her spoils, I should’ve envied her metabolism. The woman ate PURE FAT, for goodness sakes, and, yet, still wore a size zero.
I did not get those genes.
Which is why I have turkey bacon in my fridge — I have to parcel out my smokey, fatty, crunchy goodness. When I eat out, however, I let my bacon freak flag fly.
“Sausage or Bacon with your eggs?” Bacon. Always bacon.
“Would you like to add some to your burger?” Why, yes, yes, I would.
“How about topping your sundae with it?” Absolutely — Sidenote: whoever genius came up with that combination, I’d like to marry him/her (no offense to the hubs).
Now when you’re pregnant, there are tons of things you shouldn’t consume. Alcohol: not a problem. Sushi: since the only raw sushi I eat are spicy tuna rolls (I’m a wuss, I know), while I’d miss it, also no biggie. And nitrates. Ni-what? Nitrates. I believe they’re preservatives that once in your body can become nitrites which is a big bummer because blah, blah, blah. Just know, it’s not good. So where are these possibly carcinogenic (?!) nitrates/nitrites found? In processed and cured meats such as cold cuts, ham, hotdogs, pepperoni and… bacon. Um, what?
No bacon? For nine months? Morning sickness I could handle; a tiny thing dancing on my bladder, bring it; but this? THIS?
But I did it. I abstained. Considering I had been pregnant over the summer where so-called friends were throwing barbeques and cooking up bacon all willy-nilly… you feel my pain. Of course, after eight months of successfully navigating my way through a pancetta-free life, it was only then that I discovered there exists such a thing as UNCURED, NITRATE-FREE bacon.
Shut the front door.
My head still hurts knowing I could’ve been delighting in bacon yumminess from the get-go. But, being the stubborn person I was, I decided since I had already gone that long without the good stuff, what was another few weeks? I’m a masochist like that.
So in the future, when the kid’s mad at me and questions the depth of my love, I have my answer.
I’m the first to admit I’m not a fashion plate.
In high school, all of my t-shirts had some kind of writing or logo on it. Every. Single. One.
It wasn’t until college that I discovered the garments I had always called, “sweaters,” were, in fact, “sweatshirts,” and that, no, they actually weren’t the ideal go-to outfit for any occasion.
Honestly, if it weren’t for my college and LA roommates, I would’ve continued gracing the outside world with some rather tragic clothing combinations (thank you, Victoria and Brenda). But I’m not living with either of them anymore.
I live with the hubs.
Which is a pretty great thing. He has far better taste than me (okay, who doesn’t), and like his predecessors, has prevented many an eye-sore from leaving the house. Although every now and again…
Not so bad, right? Kinda cute. Until we back it waaaaay up.
WHAT THE WHAT?
Not sure what rocks the outfit most: the black ankle sock/black shoe combo, the contrasting oh-so-pale legs, or the baseball cap that matches nothing.
And, yet, the hubs let me walk around like this. IN PUBLIC.
From my goofy grin, I’m clearly none the wiser. Meanwhile, everyone else is thinking, “Bless her heart, poor thing must not be able to see anything below that belly.”
Now fast forward to a couple of days after I gave birth. Time for the newborn checkup. This meant me leaving the house for the first time since bringing the kid home.
That morning, I successfully pulled myself together, and, feeling quite proud of myself, left for the doctor’s office with my new family in tow.
When we arrived in the waiting room, we encountered another couple with their newborn. The other mom and I exchanged weary smiles and I wondered if I looked as exhilarated and refreshed as she did. That’s when the hubs whispered, “Look,” noting in awe, “she showered.”
It’s a miracle the man’s still breathing.
Only then did I realize the cute outfit I thought I had thrown on was a) a tangerine nursing tank (note to designers, why on earth would you make these form-fitting when I have no form to fit?) and b) a lavender, layered maternity skirt with some kind of charm-dangly-belt-thing.
And pulling the whole look together? A shapeless black sweater.
At least it wasn’t a sweatshirt.
Here’s the quick and dirty: my name’s a typo.
Kinda like Oprah’s. Except unlike hers, mine’s not said the way it was misspelled.
My given name? Bonnie. The typo? Pang-Ni. Just a tad bit off.
In fact, “Pang-Ni” didn’t become my legal name until we made the move from Taiwan to America. It was at that time when my name, “Bonnie” — which had only been written in Chinese characters on all my formal documents — somehow got translated into “Pang-Ni”.
When given the paperwork to sign off her approval, my Mom, unable to read English at the time, looked at my incorrectly-spelled name and said, “Okay.” Even better? My Dad didn’t notice the error until AFTER everything had been legalized.
Just to be clear, Pang-Ni is NOT how you spell Bonnie in Chinese. “邦尼” is (or at least it’s one of the ways).
So that’s the abridged version of how I ended up with a name that’s always spelled one way: “Pang-Ni,” yet, always pronounced another: “Bonnie.”
Don’t even get me started on being named after pantyhose.