Monday, January 19, 2009

What's in a name

The weirdest thing happened to me this past week. I had a voicemail at work from a casting agent in LA who was on the hunt for "real" Serenas. She said they were interested in talking to me about being in an ad for Gatorade opposite Serena Williams. After I stopped laughing, I packed up my things and headed home for the day. I just couldn't stop laughing, wondering who had managed to play this joke on me. When I got to work the next morning, there was an email from the same casting agent following up on her voicemail. The email contained the website for the casting agency and more details about the shoot, including the fact that it was a print ad, they would pay me $3,000, and fly me to LA.

I'm nothing if not a sucker for a good story, so I returned her phone call. Upon returning my phone call, she went into greater detail about the ad and what they wanted to convey. I tried explaining to her that I was not what they were looking for. No way in hell does Gatorade want me pimping their sport drink. Diet Coke? Maybe. Gatorade. Right. Anyway, she was persistent in that my "story" was a good one. She instructed me to email a paragraph and some pictures to the rest of the team. I sent two headshots and a full body shot and assumed that would be that.

Nope. I received a follow up call from her on Friday telling me that the producers had liked me and wanted to interview me for the ad. By this point, I've determined that the folks at Gatorade must be crazy, but again, I like a good story. So, guess who has an interview on Wednesday with the producers of an upcoming Gatorade ad. Yep. Me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday night at the oasis

Speaking of traditions, a new tradition at the La Casa de Serena is Gilmore Girls Tuesday. It is one of my secret missions in life t0 introduce a little Gilmore Girls (GG) into everyone's life. If you happen to become addicted and take a Connecticut roadtrip in search of the real Stars Hollow (*cough* Scarlet), then all the better.* It was through my constant GG references and catching snippets of the occassional episode when stopping by my apartment that I was able to build my friend Ravena's interest in the show. We decided to work our way through GG from that first day at Chilton to the final goodbye under the rain-soaked tent. Most every Tuesday, Ravena will come over and either she or I will cook. We then settle down for a few hours of our own Gilmore Girls marathon.

I like sharing GG with someone else and just being able to hang with a friend in a low key way. Whether we are catching up on our gossip or I am once again explaining that his name is Jess and not Jesse or I am yelling at her to shut up so she doesn't miss a good line**, we have a good time. Needless to say, Tuesdays are now one of my favorite nights of the week.

*Not that I can be held responsible for Scarlet's addiction. I think she was a huge fan before I learned to embrace my own fanaticism.
**Because, yes, I have seen it enough to know where they all are.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Traditions are for bucking

Every year since I can remember, our family Christmases have been about our little traditions. Even after my brother and I moved away we would find our way home sometime before Christmas Eve. We weren’t around to decorate the family tree or try to find secret present stashes while my mom and grandmother were out buying groceries, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were familiar. Christmas Eve was always spent buying last minute little trinkets to shove in stockings (which we just pinned to the wall). After the last of the family got off work, we would all gather in the living room for a dinner that usually consisted of our version of hors d'oeuvres: little smokies, pigs in a blanket, chips and dip. Once we managed to choke down enough food to quell our growling stomachs, either my mom or grandma would play Santa’s elf and begin passing out presents. We would then play games like Phase 10, Parcheesi, and Rook with my brother honing our trash-talking skills over the years. On Christmas Day, we would sleep late while my mom and grandma prepared Christmas dinner. This day was all about resting, snacking and watching our favorite Christmas movies (Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, ya’ll).

This year tradition went out the window. This is the first Christmas since my grandmother went in the nursing home, and things had to be different. Christmas Eve was just that…the day before Christmas. We spent the day at the nursing home keeping my grandma company and waiting for my brother to get off work and drive down from Austin. Once my grandma drifted off to sleep we grabbed a pizza and sat on the couch chatting with Charlie. He played computer guru and made fun of my smelly feet, and I just reveled in the good feelings of seeing him again.

When everyone else went off to the nursing home the next morning, I took over the mantle of cooking Christmas dinner. They even left me to carve the ham myself. My mom was seriously lacking in common sense because she even gave me an electric carving knife. Evidently my Iron Chef butchering of the ham scared my brother because he immediately complained to my mom about my trimming every centimeter of fat off of ‘his’ ham. Haha. After I finished cooking, my mom came back and helped me back the dinner into Tupperware containers and haul it and the presents up to the nursing home. We ate. I played elf. We unwrapped. We made sure my grandma made it back into bed before her pain meds wore completely off. It was simple, nice. And, for the first time ever, I felt like I spent Christmas as an adult. I was no longer the child sitting on the living room floor anxiously awaiting the next present handed to me.

The only tradition that really mattered was spending time with family.