Saturday, August 25, 2007

Is She Smarter Than a 5th Grader? This Scares Me (and makes my day)

So last night as we're making dinner, we flip through the channels and see that Miss Teen USA is on the boobie tubie. I generally wouldn't be that interested in it but Greg and Paul (our new roommate who is moving in while I am away) thought it would be fun to check out the 'teens'. I think the exact quote was, "Hey Paul, Miss Teen USA is on. They do swimsuit even." Yeah, I know...but it was a Friday night and I've learned you gotta let some things go! Nothing about this little competition interested me in the least....until we got to the question portion. For the love of all that is holy....check out Miss Teen South Carolina's answer.

I've never been so grateful for Tivo in all my life. We rewinded it at least 5 times - mostly to figure out what in the world she was trying to say. I still don't understand. That poor child is never EVER going to live this down. EVER. Because of Tivo and YouTube and blogs like mine, this 30 second snippet of stupidity will haunt her FOREVER. I actually do feel bad for her. We've all said stupid things and fortunately there isn't a video trail of it. But her answer is so stupid that if she doesn't one day win the Nobel Peace Prize for geographical wizardry, she will not redeem herself. "Many US Americans...don't have maps....such as..." It's just...too much.

Whew. I'm tired from laughing. I know it's not right but I can't help it. Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Still Here....

Yep, I'm still here. Sorry it's been so long between posts. I'm assuming it's just my family (and by family, i mean my mother and grandmother) who check to see if I've updated, but still....

It's been a pretty stressful month and it's about to get even more stressful. I think I'm having a physical aversion to this deployment! I've had severe headaches the last few days; Greg says it's because I'm thinking too much. He may be right.

The fact is I thought I would have been long gone by now. I was supposed to be gone the first week in August according to the information I got when I first found out I was being deployed. I finished work, went home to visit the fam, said my goodbyes to them, and came back to LA to spend a good solid week with Greg and Gumata before gearing up to leave. Only thing is we kept waiting and waiting...and waiting...and waiting....and heard nothing for weeks. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE and appreciate the extra time in the beautiful California sun with my family, but life isn't free and I wasn't working. It was hard to truly enjoy that time, without stress, when we had no idea when I was leaving. So I did a little Army stuff, booked an INSANE freelance VH1 shoot with Janice Dickinson (more on that later), then went back to work at Susan Davis International. All of that work was a godsend. Susan Davis is a gem. Take note.

Then finally, last Tuesday (8/21) I got the call that we had simultaneously been waiting for and dreading: I have to report to Fort Benning, Georgia no later than 1500 (3pm) on September 1st (next Saturday) for an 8 day training period. From there, I assume I go to Kuwait. By this time next month, I will be in Iraq to join the unit that has been there since the weekend of our wedding. I've cried more recently (usually when I am alone) than I have since I found out. There is a unique difference in knowing you are leaving and actually having a date. It's painful, and I've had a constant knot in my throat. The only thing I keep telling myself is that thousands, if not millions, of soldiers have done it and have survived. Of course, I realize how dramatic this sounds....I get it....but the fear of goodbye is so real to me now that it's turned in to a true physical pain. Even the simplist thing makes me tear up. Uh, feeding the fish..yep, almost makes me cry. Putting gas in my car? Tears. Picking up Gumata's poo? Tears. I'll be the first to admit it's laughable.

Speaking of laughable, let's lighten things up a bit and talk about my shoot with Ms. Janice Dickinson for VH1. HOLY WACKY CRAZY INSANE BOTOXED TRAINWRECK. To refresh your memory, this is Janice: I did Ms. Thing a favor by posting a relatively flattering picture of her. She is so nutty that in many of her pictures she is either exposing her underwear, making a crazy face, or grabbing men's name it. Google her name, you'll see. Okay back to the story. Here's the deal: the shoot was for VH1's Fabulous Life series...this particular episode is about "cougars" (women who date younger men) and women over 40 who keep it sexy. Apparently the producers at VH1 think Janice fits the mold. It also doesn't hurt that she is crazy and will do most anything on camera (which makes for a better episode for them). She realizes this, believe me. They aren't exploiting anyone who doesn't know it. Janice isn't a dummy; she understands that the way she stays relevant these days is to be the star of her own mini circus. Welcome to Janice's Circus. Exhibit A, just for fun: (smaller pic, easier on the eyes).

The shoot was supposed to last 5 hours and we were going shopping with Janice at 4 or 5 different trendy shops in Hollywood; she was going to show us how she "keeps it sexy". I don't have the time or energy to relive every single detail but I'll bust out a few of the highlights. Ms. Janice is 53 years old and considers herself "the world's first supermodel". To her credit, she still looks great. She is admittedly botoxed within an inch of her life and her teeth rival Mr. Ed's but still...she looks great. She has two kids that I know of, one of which was on the shoot with her. She's 13. Keep this in mind as I bring you the highlights. First stop, Agent Provocateur. Lingerie. Sexy in the bedroom type stuff. Janice puts on one of the most provocative ensembles I have ever seen - complete with whip, garter, high heels and push up bra. She is crazy. When she comes out of the dressing room, her 13-year-old daughter leaves the store, mortified. But that doesn't stop Janice from playing up to the camera about her sexual exploits and desires. Wow. I thought I was unshockable. I'm not. The thing with Janice is she doesn't care if she appears rude to people. I think she feels absolutely entitled -- entitled to free stuff, entitled to boss people around, entitled to do as she pleases. In fact, when the camera man (Kevin, I've worked with him at Access Hollywood) and I were talking about me going back to Iraq, I was no longer "producer girl".....I immediately became Iraq girl. IRAQ GIRL!!!!! The public relations guy was PR GUY; camera guy, well CAMERA GUY. You get the point. It didn't even occur to her that it may be rude! And she SCREAMS your tag line when she needs you....."PR GUY AM I GETTING THIS STUFF FOR FREE?" "IRAQ GIRL, WHERE ARE WE GOING NEXT?" Oh my holy trainwreck. I only wish that once in your life you get to experience something like this. Every store we went in, she expected to keep everything she tried on. Didn't matter if it cost thousands of dollars or if it was one of a kind. Didn't matter. And she didn't stop there. Again, to her credit, in spite of the fact that she called me "Iraq Girl", she was very gracious about my going to Iraq. Almost too gracious. Every store we went in, with the exception of Agent Provocateur, she kept saying "can you wear this in Iraq, do you want this hat, this shirt, these pants?" When I said "no, thank you" she threw them at me and told me to keep them. We're talking $150 t-shirts. Um, can't wear Ed Hardy in Iraq. Can't wear a hoodie from Kitson. Can't wear a trench from Ted Baker (although I LOVED that trench coat!). I understand she was only trying to be nice, and her intentions were good, but the looks on the faces of the managers and employees at these stores were priceless. They were unexpectedly cast in the latest espisode of the Janice Dickinson Circus. It was crazy. For the record, I took everything she threw at me back to the stores. The free stuff is not for me to have. It's not ethical, first of all. Secondly, (News Bulletin) we only wear Government Issue in Iraq!! Besides, the detail in the trench would be lost under my Kevlar Vest and it certainly doesn't go with an M16A2 rifle. It's basic fashion awareness people. Jeez.

So anyway, we finished the shoot and although it went well, I seriously felt like I had survived a hurricane. These shoots are always chaotic; when you're dealing with famous people and egos and entitlement, there is always drama. Plus, as the producer, you are the one who has to keep egos in check, stick to the timeline, deal with publicist, managers, agents, etc. You're in charge and it's NUTS.

My life is so full of perspective. And when it's all said and done, in spite of the stresses of military life, it's provided a much healthier outlook on life for me. I would much rather be facing an enemy in Iraq than be the 13-year-old daughter of an aging, egotistical, entitled supermodel who flashes her vajayjay for the world to see....all for a little attention. The truth is Janice was nothing but nice to me, albeit in her own way. But I'm not the one she needs to be thinking about. Perhaps she can put her snatch away and think about why her daughter is running out of stores at the sight of her in a thong.

You see, the perception for most is that Hollywood is the place you come to make your dreams come true. For a lucky few, that may be true. In Janice's case, however, it's clouded her judgment in raising her daughter. Her need for fame and success overrides her daughter's need for a healthy environment and lifestyle. I may complain and get sad about my circumstances, but I'm truly happier living my life as a soldier who makes $2000 a month serving in a combat zone than as a celebrity pulling in millions a year by making a jerk of herself and her daughter. But that's just me - AKA Iraq Girl.