Tag, I’m It

A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea,
that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to
[Shortening of mimeme, from Greek mimēma, something imitated]

Well this is a first. I’ve been ‘tagged’ by a fellow blogger to participate in my first meme. That this challenge was issued by one of my favorite television writers (Jace from Televisionary) is an honor, so I enjoyed participating.

These are the only rules for the meme: share 7 facts about yourself (some random and/or weird) on your site, and then tag seven people at the end of the post by leaving links to their sites.

It was a challenge to think of seven vaguely pop culture related experiences (my choice; not a requirement) to share, but here are mine:

1. Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind
Random celebrities I’ve met in person include poet Maya Angelou, pitcher Bert Blyleven, 3rd baseman Aaron Boone & catcher Bob Boone, author Max Brooks, singer Shawn Colvin, E! reporter Giuliana DePandi, actress Vera Farmiga, actor Michael Keaton, author Doris Lessing, singer Matt Nathanson, Rosie O’Donnell, actress Lori Petty, singer Bonnie Raitt, The Apprentice season 1 winner Bill Rancic, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, actress Katey Sagal, Heroes artist Tim Sale, 1/2 of the Indigo Girls – Emily Saliers, pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and singer Suzanne Vega. I’m sure there are more from my days in Southern California, but I’m having trouble recalling right now.

2. One Time, at Band Camp…
I played the clarinet briefly.  After junior high l I thought I was too cool to be in the band, so I quit (only to realize that being part of the drama club wasn’t much of a social climb up from there). Thankfully, being on the varsity soccer team and a member of student government improved my status over the years.

3. Extra, Extra!
One summer during college, I worked as an extra on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers near Los Angeles. I had to keep 10-12 different outfits in my car every day, none of which could conflict with the 5 leads; Red, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Black and Green were not an option. I spent a good deal of time standing around as a ‘friend of the Pink Ranger’ and she (Amy Jo Johnson, who would later star on Felicity) almost ran me over once in the parking lot on set. I’m pretty sure it was inadvertent.

4. Bonds, Barry Bonds
We were at PacBell Park in 2001 when he hit homerun numbers 71 and 72, breaking the single-season homerun record. One word: electric.
5. Prom Princess
Somehow, I was elected to the Prom Court during my senior year of high school. Yes, me.  To this day I’m convinced that it was some kind of practical joke.

6. I’m (So Not) Going to Disneyland
Growing up, our house was so close to Disneyland that we heard their fireworks every night at 9:30pm. I don’t miss that or the proximity. And FYI, we never referred to where we lived as The OC.

7. Screenings at Pixar
I have attended two education fundraisers featuring screenings of The Incredibles and Cars (before they premiered in theaters) at Pixar Animation Studios, both of which rank high among the greatest pop culture experiences of my life thus far.

And now here are the 7 fellow bloggers I have chosen to tag, should they choose to accept this meme:

  1. Annie in MN (even though she just moved to NY)
  2. Brian, Pavement Runner
  3. Cinematically Correct
  4. Ex-Everything
  5. The Four Toed Foot
  6. 2TooManyHats
  7. Jorge Garcia, Dispatches From the Island

Obviously the last one is a stretch (given that I don’t actually know him and he’s a tad busy filming a small show somewhere in Hawaii at the moment), but it’s worth a shot. 

Feel free to repurpose this meme, and if you don’t have a blog of your own but want to play along, leave your 7 random facts as a comment!

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No on 8: A Personal Perspective

Less than 24 hours after the election on November 4, I will be going in for major surgery. That my partner of almost 12 years will be able to accompany me until I’m wheeled into the operating room or allowed in recovery afterward is not a given. 

When you’re married and your wife or husband is sick or hurt, you don’t have to prove your relationship; without hesitation or question you accompany them in the ambulance or at the hospital. That is not the case for us, two adults who are employed, pay taxes, own a home and are committed to one another forever. We are also daughters, sisters, aunts, co-workers, friends and even role models. And we happen to be two women.

To be frank, that is why it is essential to vote No on 8 in California.

In a nutshell, Prop 8 changes the California Constitution to eliminate the rights of same sex couples to marry; it denies equal protections and discriminates
against me and us and members of your family, your neighbors, co-workers, doctors, technicians, landscapers, teachers, etc.

I look forward to the day when gay marriage is simply referred to as marriage, when I have the opportunity to wed the love of my life and refer to her as my wife. Until that time, all I can do is educate and encourage.

So if you’re registered to vote in California…as you fill out your absentee ballot or when you get into that booth in a few weeks, all I ask is that you consider mine among the many perspectives about this proposition. 

For more information, please visit the official No on 8 site.

Thanks for ‘listening’ on the rare occasion when the personal supersedes the pop culture.

- Jo

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From A’s to Rays: My World Series 08 Team

As an Oakland A’s fan who follows the careers of ex-Athletics (no matter where Billy Beane trades them), there appears to be a clear-cut choice for who I should root for in the upcoming World Series.

I have no family ties in either Philly or Tampa Bay, so I decided to make a list of reasons why I should back the Phillies or the Rays…which made it obvious and easy.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Pitcher Joe Blanton was recently acquired from Oakland
  • MVP shortstop Jimmy Rollins is from Oakland
  • My friend & fellow pop culture blogger Cinematically Correct is a die-hard fan

Tampa Bay Rays

  • First baseman Carlos Pena was one of my favorite A’s
  • DH Jonny Gomes is a local boy (born in SF, raised in Petaluma)
  • My buddy Tom is a huge fan & Sports Producer in Tampa Bay; he’s even sporting the team mohawk (“rayshawk”)
  • I’m an American League girl; always have been, always will be
  • They emerged as divisional champs over the perennial favorite Yankees & Red Sox (whom I dislike almost as much as the Angels)
  • Rays coach Joe Maddon is a Lost fan!

So there you have it. Everyone has their own criteria. Feel free to share yours.

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A Quick Thank You!

I am now at a hotel with turtle-speed Internet access in Santa Barbara, but I wanted to send out a quick note about last night.

I want to thank the following people for attending my first ever Pop Culture Conversation event: Bonnie & Marty, Angela, Robbie, Melanie, Mark, Heather, Priscilla, Tony, Rafael, Anil, Lisa W, Maurice and Lisa C!

It was so great to finally meet you all in person, and I appreciated that you battled traffic to spend an evening among fellow Lost and pop culture fans!

And for anyone in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend 55 Degree Wine. It is in the Atwater neighborhood near Silverlake, and the tasting room in the wine cellar below the store is very cool (literally and figuratively).

I have posted a few photos from last night on my Facebook page if you’re interested, and Lost fans should definitely check out Bonnie’s custom Lost quilt!

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Los Angeles, in Lyrics

I am often asked to compile songs using a specific theme or for a certain locale. So for this trip to LA, I was inspired to create a set list for my iPod with a few tracks that either focus on or make reference to the area. Here they are, accompanied by a sample of lyrics from each.

Come a Long Way (Michelle Shocked)

The sun was sinking into the sea
But a ball of fire inside of me
Was burning my motor and driving me hard
Past the big hair on the Boulevard

Dogs of LA (Liz Phair)

The canyon air is like a breath of fresh L.A.

I was a Star Trek crew member, with my Beatle boots and my Super-8

And I raced you to the top, the camera gets a stuttered shot

Of me approaching a painted shrine

I kissed the Buddah and made him cry

Electrolite (REM)

If you ever want to fly

Mulholland Drive

Up in the sky

Stand on a cliff and look down there

Don’t be scared, you are alive

First of the Gang to Die (Morrissey)

You have never been in love,

Until you’ve seen the stars

reflect in the resevoirs

Going Back to Cali (LL Cool J)
* Guilty Pleasure Alert! Oh please – you know you had the Less Than Zero soundrack on cassette back in ’87 too.

I’m going back to Cali, rising, surprising

Advising realizing, she’s sizing me up

Her bikini – small; heels – tall

She said, she liked the ocean

She showed me a beach, gave me a peach

And pulled out the suntan lotion

Heartbreak World (Matt Nathanson)

Let’s move out of Los Angeles

Just drive until this summer gives

And forget the lies we use to live

‘Cause we’re gone

Los Angeles, I’m Yours (The Decemberists)

There is a city by the sea

A gentle company

I don’t suppose you want to

And as it tells its sorry tale

In harrowing detail

Its hollowness will haunt you

Its streets and boulevards

Orphans and oligarchs it hears

A plaintive melody

Truncated symphony

A Sorta Fairytale (Tori Amos)

Things you said that day

Up on the 101

The girl had come undone

I tried to downplay it

With a bet about us

You said that

You’d take it

As long as i could

I could not erase it

Screenwriter’s Blues (Soul Coughing)

Your Cadillac breathes

Four hundred horses

Over blue lines.

You are going

to Reseda

to make love

to a model

from Ohio

whose real name

you don’t


Why You’d Want to Live Here (Death Cab for Cutie)

I’m in Los Angeles today

Asked a gas station employee if he ever had trouble breathing

and he said, “It varies from season to season, here.”

It’s where our best are on display

Motion picture actors’ houses maps are never ever current,

So save your film and fifteen dollars.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get some rest so I can be a proper tourist before the event tomorrow night.

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