February 26, 2005

El viaje

It was a little lonely to be a in a city with almost anything to do at my disposal and yet no one with whom to do them. However, the day at CBS City Studios was extremely interesting and quite fun.

The balcony view of the strip didn't provide for the best sleeping, but it was glorious to slide those doors open and watch the sun awaken the sleeping city.


A van carted the three of us designated to speak about the virtues of rearing our own children off to CBS City Studios where we were cordially greeted by Brooks-yes, that's his first name which he claims is a result of his southern Cajun heritage (shown here freshly shorn). His repartee was funny and relaxing, his coffee perfect.


I read carefully through the agreement I needed to sign and marked a few questions and clarifications. While reading it, I noticed that I had to accede to not appear on any other talk shows for a specified time after the taping, and verify nor had I recently appeared on any others. I commented about it, and the other mom in the room said her sister had to sign something like that when she was on "What Not to Wear." I sat bolt up. "I knew you looked familiar. Was she your twin- the punk rocker/goth girl with black hair?" She affirmed my memory. Talk about six degrees of separation! We don't even have cable or watch television. I happened to be visiting my mother-in-law last spring and we watched her favorite new show "What Not to Wear" together- the exact one that featured my cohort's twin sister. I found that incredible.

A quiet beauty from wardrobe examined my choice of clothing and pronounced it not only acceptable, but well-chosen, and complimented the combination of colors. She applied a bit of Topstick-I am going to purchase some of that magnificent magic- to make the cardigan and camisole strong enough to support the mic. While standing in the their hovel of an office, I asked them if they watched Sex and the City. With their affirmation, I recalled the time when Carrie had access to the wardrobe department of Vogue and found the Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes ("I thought these were an urban legend"). The quick witted assistant assured me I would finding nothing like that here. This elicited a chuckle from the three of us.

My fashion examination completed, I was swept off to make-up. The artist had grown-up on a ranch that her dad rented to companies for filming. She came home everyday to something new happening, and after some observation, pronounced her future career as a "make-up man." We talked about the differing constitutions of dog breeds while she brushed, sponged, curled, and sprayed. Of course, I was taking careful mental note of the products- mostly MAC.

Now considered appropriately attired and suitably coiffed for television presentation, we were walked to the studio. Remember that contract I signed? I promised to not divulge the specifics of the taping until after the episode airs. They will let me know when that is to be and I will then be free to discuss. Of course there were things I wish I had thought of while in the discussion, things I wish I had remembered to say, but I think that it was lively and we all countered one another well. I did find it interesting that the career moms didn't seem to care to return my and Kristi's attempts at congeniality or warmth.

After the taping was over, Brooks escorted Kristi to her car, and I waited in a conference room with a soap opera on the television and some sandwiches on the table. A few minutes of waiting and enduring nauseating acting prompted me to open the door to seek assistance. I asked a guy sitting at a perfectly proximated desk if I could please have the channel changed. Silas (picture below) smiled, said yes, and attempted to show me a live taping of one of those dastardly shows (sorry Jeff-I simply can't stand them). However, there seemed to be none available. A pause in the surfing showed me that a mummified Jack Wagner is still in daytime television. Silas razzed me about recognizing him, but I quickly retorted that I remembered him from 20 years ago. I had him stop at HBO to catch the last of Matchstick Men. We agreed it is a great film, that Sam Rockwell is an eclectic actor, choosing interesting roles over glitz and glam. He recommended Shattered Glass to me which I shall pick up next week. I covertly left the door open so he could feign interest in his work while actually watching soap operas all day long.

Silas. He and Sehnita actually posed together, but both attempts to capture them resulted in being better of the other, so I cropped.

At an intersection of work stations, Charlie and Sara sat playing a game of "State Names in Country Songs." Each time I passed, I heard them laughing. I once gave me offering of "All My Ex's" -which covers two states- and "Okie from Muskogee" and that propelled Charlie to recall quite a few more. Their pleasantness was contagious, and they indulged me when I asked for a picture.

Charlie and Sara.

Sehnita found me a little while later after kindly retrieving a Diet Dr. Pepper for me. We determined that something sweet was now in order, and she lead me through the cubicle labyrinth to the break room stocked with snacks, sweets, and other handy sundries. We had decided for the twentieth time to walk across the street and retrieve real food, but kept stopping to chat along the way. T invited me into her office and there I stayed for the next two and a half hours. We talked about everything under the sun-parenting, politics, how good Oprah looks, religion- all those topics one isn't supposed to be able to discuss in new company and yet it was all so intriguingly fluid. We engaged in some serious and rollicking conversation. She literally had me laughing so hard I was crying ("Johnny N."- T) I returned volley ("Rectangle") and I truly believe some bonds of friendship were formed. T is a beautiful, intelligent, animated, woman. She made the experience so enjoyable.

When we finished, Sehnita (my original contact and one of the producers for this show) and I walked over to "The Grove." The smells and sights were rich and almost intoxicating. It made me a little disheartened to have to return to the cold and dust of Utah when I was seeing, breathing, soaking in such diversity right through my skin and into my soul. We further discussed the challenges of the choices ahead of her. Sehnita is very introspective and I think that when the time comes for her, she will make the best decision and not regret it. She is quite attractive and I was impressed with her hospitality and graciousness, and found her to be generous and warm. I finally decided on a delicious crepe salad to go, and then we walked up to the mall section, stepping aside to allow a trolley to pass. We made a quick pass through Banana Republic and then strode into Barnes and Noble to grab a coffee. I also decided a slice of Italian Lemon Cream Cake to top off my salad was a necessity. We arrived back at the studio in time for me to collect my things and to say good-bye.

As I was riding in my car to LAX, I asked the driver if he could play my Garden State CD. I discerned that his ethnicity was Latino and so we spoke mostly in Spanish. He played the CD for me, even turning it up nice and loud (he had a very good system because I heard things in the music that I had been unaware were even there) while we cruised on through the city streets. I put the window down and ate my salad and cake, watching the many people, noting the architecture of the different buildings, and the plethora of ethnicities represented in the store fronts. The driver really liked the CD and I already have it burned to my computer, so I left it with him when he dropped me off at the airport.

My first word was jet. I have always had an curious interest in planes and in the past three years have had a driving desire to learn to fly one. I love the take off, especially out of LAX, going out over the Pacific coast and then banking back east. The landing is so powerful, racing along the runway at 200 miles per hour. It always gives me a kind of adrenaline rush- the good kind, the excited "this-is-a-bit-dangerous" kind.

It was a lovely way to end an engaging and surreal trip.

Posted by Rae at February 26, 2005 12:45 PM

Marvelous account; thanks, Rae.

Posted by: Greg at February 26, 2005 04:06 PM

Thanks for the recount, but now the important stuff. Did you say my name on T.V.?

Seriously, I am glad it you had a nice trip.

Posted by: Special K at February 26, 2005 04:49 PM

Rae, I am so glad you had a good time. I have alwaya wanted a fun adventure. It sounds like you had one. Glad your back home!LOve ya

Posted by: Sally at February 27, 2005 11:18 AM

Glad you're back safe and sound. You were in my prayers over the weekend. Keep us posted on the airing, that would be cool to catch.

Posted by: Joyella at February 27, 2005 05:56 PM

K- I will be calling you with details this week :D

Greg- thank you :D

Sally and Joyella- thank you. It is good to be home. It was kind of like a dream, so to watch it will be even more interesting. I will definitely post it.

Posted by: Rae at February 27, 2005 08:37 PM

Wow, exciting. But is everyone on the staff 18 yo??

Posted by: jeff at February 27, 2005 10:22 PM

They do look great, don't they, Jeff?

I don't think they are all as young as you suppose, and I did see more faces than this, but these were the people with whom I specifically interacted.

Posted by: Rae at February 28, 2005 08:55 AM


I regularly stop in and visit your blog. I've enjoyed much of what you've said. I'm glad you enjoyed your time in LA. I lived there for about 11 years and am glad to be out. But that's another story. :-) I did have a question, however. I've had a good-natured running battle with my niece and nephew, both music lovers, technically adept and in their early 20's, about fair usage and copyright laws. This comes up for them frequently because of the availability of music on the web and CD burning. I've argued with them that burning a CD and then giving the original away to a friend is not fair usage and constitutes an infraction against the copyright laws. Now you mentioned this in connection with leaving the Cabbie your original CD because you'd burned a copy. Is this an issue for you, or not really of that great importance? Just curious. Whatever the answer I enjoy your blog.

Take Care


Posted by: Brad at February 28, 2005 12:44 PM

Hi, Brad. I am glad that something prompted you to comment.

Can you first let me know about how long you have been reading my blog, maybe how you stumbled upon it, any other blogs you read, etc.

Good question and I might answer it, but first want to know a bit more about you.

Posted by: Rae at February 28, 2005 02:20 PM

Hi Rae

I think I've been reading you regularly for the last 6 months. How I found you is the same way I found a lot of other sites; some other site recommended you or an article you wrote, I read it and liked it and put you in my Blog favorites. Since then you've become a fairly regular stop for me. Here are some of the others I look at regularly.


I'm a Christian interested in books and interacting apologetically within the culture. I guess I've enjoyed the mix you present of homey material and critiques about society. Sometimes light and sometimes serious. Good balance. Is there more you'd like to know? My question was prompted by my interaction with my niece and nephew and a curiosity about how other Christians are dealing with it.

Take care Rae


Posted by: Brad at February 28, 2005 02:46 PM

Thanks, Brad. You never know who is asking what and why.

Thanks also for the thoughts about my writing.

The question: I never file share and only pay for the songs that I download from the internet (via iTunes).


Posted by: Rae at February 28, 2005 03:04 PM
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