L.A. Los Angeles Times Magazine | Nov. 30, 2008
I am an optimist. And I am in good company: Winston Churchill, a favorite of my dads, said, I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else. My husband says my optimism is genetic. I think circumstances come into play. And parenting: Mine were determined to stress that life is based on hope, joy, trust, loyalty, daily happinesstherefore, the optimism.
RIGHT OF WAY
Born on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Ive lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, but I remain a big Canadian flag waver. Victoria may be the greatest city in which to grow up, but L.A. may well be the greatest city to live out your dreams. Let the love story begin
Comedian David Steinberg continues in his role as earthat is, a sounding boardto some of the funniest people working today.
I am a television comedy writer. Which means for 8 to 12 hours a day, my job is to think up jokes along with 8 to 12 brilliant, offbeat, uniquely silly writers. It is as fun as it sounds. Im pretty sure it has done irreversible damage to my personality. Working in close proximity for so many hours with similarly damagedpersonalities, of course there have to be rules. They are numerous and subtle and mostly unwritten. Until now, baby!
You Must Meet
After a marathon promotional tour for a slate of new movies, Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro pauses to reflect on the nature of celebrity and his growing fame in America. Linney, Santoros Love Actually costar, gets the story.
The big surprise in Milk, the new film about murdered gay activist Harvey Milk that opens in December, isnt that Sean Penn is totally credible as a homosexualwhen is Sean Penn ever not remarkable?but that Howard Rosenman appears in several scenes.
For a kid growing up in L.A. in the early 70s, the Fabulous Forum may as well have been Sleeping Beautys castle at Disneyland, with its snow-white columns and white-hot lights so bright you could see them from the 405. Back then, celebrities were nowhere to be found, and the crowds for the Kings hockey team were painfully thinbut that was just fine with my father, who would schlep us to the games (on school nights, no less!) just to cheer on the purple-and-gold Kings. Those nights, for me, were full of magic and promise.
"The question you're always asked is, 'Is opera still relevant?' " says handsome young tenor on the rise Joseph Kaiser. Despite his amiable temperament, he seems peeved by the frequently posed query. And why not? Singers like Kaiser and star baritone Nathan Gunn--his strapping onstage cohort in January's L.A. Opera production of Mozart's The Magic Flute--are poised to lead the pack as opera flourishes in the 21st century. Emerging as a kind of Newman and Redford of the opera world, Kaiser and Gunn first teamed last year on Charles-François Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in Kaiser's Metropolitan Opera debut. They played opposite soprano Anna Netrebko, also hailed in the press as part of opera's "face-lift." Kaiser, 30, has been lauded as a rising talent whose looks earned him a place in Men's Vogue. Gunn, 38, has been called everything from opera's newest superstar to a "barihunk."
For so many years, Ive been the awkward vegan at the festive holiday table, trying to fit in but branded with a big V on my forehead as I pile brussels sprouts and green beans onto my plate. Poor girl, I can just hear them saying, while they draw from their mounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I do my best to put on my game face, but everyone knows I am suffering as the outlier with a superabundance of bland vegetables.
Im relatively new to the idea of regifting, so I dont know exactly who came up with it. But I dont think it was a Mormonlike my motherbecause one would be unlikely to regift with no trace of alcohol or caffeine in her system. (That the Mormons did not come up with regifting shall forever be one of their most endearing qualities in my eyes. And...their only endearing quality.)
By the Glass
As Im sitting in traffic on the 405, head- ing toward Orange County, I think to myself, Why am I doing this again? Oh, yeah, thats right, Im on my way to the Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesawhere supposedly there is one of the greatest collections of champagne outside of Reims, Franceto meet Jim Duane, the stores champagne buyer, who, I hear, is more passionate about bubbly than Winston Churchill. Okay.
We Built This City
Chorizo, the spicy sausage mix that is a fixture in Mexican-American breakfasts, has come a long way in the past seven decadesin Los Angeles and beyond.
A Dog's Life
When I go to a restaurant and see kids running out of control, bothering everybody, their parents sitting by oblivious, I think, Whats the matter with these people? And yet, when an untrained younger Izzy, at 30 pounds, would jump up and paw people, I thought he was the cutest thing on earth. Thats when my husband, David, the most easygoing guy in town, stepped in and said, Enougheveryone here needs to be trained.
Any lawyer or agent representing a star athlete will tell you there is an unwritten code they hope their big clients will follow: Dont be political. Dont take unnecessary stands on serious issues. Keep your image clean, and you could be looking at an eight-figure shoe contract, a national sports-drink campaign and your own videogame. It worked for Michael Jordan. It worked for Tiger Woods. And it can work for you.
My Best Story
Its 1997 and my first year as a producer on the Golden Globes. Im joining a mission impossible team of great professionals led by the legendary Dick Clark. They all have an easy, familiar way with the many superstars who come in for rehearsal. I am doing my job in a state of awe. Ive never seen such a collection of big celebrities in one place at one time.
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