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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The story of Jonah the cat - named after the guy who was swallowed by a whale.

There is another star in heaven tonight. 08/10/10 at 10:00 pm our most awesomest cat ever - Jonah - used the 9th of his well spent, well loved 9 lives. He died on our wedding anniversary - 08/10/08 - somehow, it seems fitting that Jonah would choose today to go - so we'd never forget him - not that we ever could - he will be hugely missed in our lives. That cat was one in a million.

One night in New York City in the year 1994 - I walked from Broadway to my home in Alphabet City. I walked that night instead of taking a cab or subway because I needed time to process the preceding 12 hours. I had spent the whole day in a Broadway theatre watching all 8 hours of "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes - Millenium Approaches & Perestroika." Growing up Mormon there was a lot to process.

Walking on 7th street between 1st & Ave. A - I came upon a small crowd of people peering into a sunken grate in the sidewalk. It was the usual crowd of Lower East Side residents - (before Guilani came in and ruined it, anyway). There were a couple of hipsters, a couple of drag queens, a couple of junkies and an old lady.

I walked up behind them and asked, "What are you guys looking at?" One of the drag queens says, "There's a kitten stuck in this crevice - we're trying to get him out." I say, "Let me see". I peek in and call out, "Come here, kitty kitty."

This tiny grey kitten immediately runs out of the hole directly at me - straight up my outstretched arm - he fit perfectly in the crook of my neck. The group of east villagers stare at me and say almost in unison, "That's your cat, we've been trying to get him out for hours - he chose you."

That was Jonah. He chose me.

I named him Jonah after the prophet who didn't want to be a prophet so God sent a whale to swallow him - a bit passive aggressive, no? After a day spent enveloped in "Angels in America" - it seemed a fitting tribute. Even if you run away from your destiny - God will hunt you down and find you or something like that.

I wasn't sure I could take care of a cat - I could barely take care of myself in New York. At the time I wasn't totally succeeding, I was surviving - but I wasn't happy - I was stubborn - I should have left but I was sticking it out, like a marriage in the 50s.

But after Jonah chose me, my New York improved exponentially. Every day, no matter what time I came home, Jonah would meet me on the corner of 7th & Ave. B and walk me back to the apartment - talking - telling me about his day. The drug dealers on the corner would say to me, "That cat's a thug - smooth - he must hear your feet - we know when you're coming home, cuz he struts out to wait for you on the corner - that cat's a pimp." When you've got the 7th Street drug dealers' respect - you know you've got a super cool cat.

Born in the East Village of New York City, Jonah traveled extensively by car, plane and train with me and lived all over the United States - he lived and had many friends in Salt Lake City, Venice, Hollywood - finally settling in Silverlake for the past 10 years. He continued to meet us at the street corner every night, everywhere we lived. He loved birds especially ones he could catch. He loved his view from the window overlooking Silverlake. He loved me, unconditionally.

When my husband moved in 8 years ago, he fell in love with him instantly. I'll admit at times I was jealous of their bond but love is not an emotion to stifle.

Every story and every script I've written in the past 16 years, was aided by Jonah's excellent lap skills.

Almost every film I've screened in the past 16 years (1000s and 1000s) - all were watched with Jonah curled up on top of me - programming was his favorite time of the year - I watched every festival film submission so as not to disturb the sleeping cat - so for all the filmmakers who got into any festival I've programmed since 1994 - you can thank Jonah. He loved slow, quiet, lyrical films the best.

He had several starring roles in Shaz Bennett films but my favorite performance was in "Top of the Circle", which you can watch below if you like - it seems fitting for today. Since it's also about life, death, bacon bits, circles and breath.

Every loss echoes the ones before - we miss him so much - it's truly devastating. He never considered himself a pet, he was more like a roommate - a friend and confidente.

He died with both Jean-Pierre and I by his side. We held him and told him it was okay for him to leave, he saved us from having to make that decision. He breathed out, one last time at home with us.

It's been said that a good death was not about when or how; it was about knowing love.

Jonah was love and so very loved. People keep telling me 16 is really old for a cat but even still everyone you love dies too soon.

We love you Jonah.

One of my favorite Jean-Pierre photos of Jonah taken last year with the iphone.

TOP OF THE CIRCLE: Starring Jonah the Cat

This is the story of Jonah as told by Shaz - Jonah was working on his memoirs at the time of his death.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chatroulette... I never see Ben Folds...

For some reason Chatroulette has come up in 3 separate conversations in the last 24 hours so I figured it was as good a time as any to revisit this rad Ben Folds piano chatroulette concert ode to Merton.

And Merton the inspiration:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Snoop Dog's raps for Sookie from "True Blood"

"Oh Sookie - let me get in your head"... It's almost as good as his MILF rap for "Weeds".

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Point - LIve Line - the deepest children's movie ever...

I love this film so much and George Harrison is my favorite Beatle.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

David Lynch's "Lady Blue Shanghai" for Dior

The Uniform Project!

This girl can accessorize! and she's making it possible for girls to go to school in India! Amazing! What a great idea!

Uniform Project Picture Book from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Godard's new film "Film Socialisme"

43 years after Jean-Luc Godard declared "Cinema is Dead"- his new film "Film Socialisme" premieres in Cannes.

Everybody today is turning on!

Sniff, Swig, Puff - Bea Arthur & Rock Hudson!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Tron: Legacy" - Jeff Bridges rules! -Yow!

I'm kind of embarrassed to be so damn psyched to see this! I loved the original Tron a lot... Man, he's been inside that game for a long time.

And the original!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Machine - Everything old is new again.

I saw this on Ted Hope's blog and got a little nostalgic. I agree - everything old is new again. Ang Lee rules and this particular time in indie filmmaking was awesome - it seems like we're setting up to do it all again.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last Supper with scientists


Banksy Doc - "Exit Through the Gift Shop" opens Friday!

This weekend - April 16th - "Exit Through The Gift Shop" opens in New York, San Francisco and LA.
Banksy has started to release a series of exclusive videos on the film's official Youtube channel. And his art has started to show up around LA.
Check it out - one of my favorites from Sundance 2010.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nash Edgerton's "The Square" at the Nuart - go!

Dude, if you haven't seen "The Square" you are missing out! It's awesome and it's playing at The Nuart right now! We programmed his great short "Spider" a few years back - this film is so much more but you just gotta see it.

For what it's worth The New York Times review agrees with me.
And for fun here is that awesome short!

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Happy Birthday American Astronaut!

It never gets old though! Check out Stingray Sam when you go buy the collector's edition and Deluxe sticker package here!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bodysong - collector's edition DVD & Book!

BODYSONG - This is one of my all time favorite movies ever - I still think about it and reference moments and scenes from this film - all the time. It's hard to explain - you just gotta see it and let it wash over you.

Now you can buy the collector's edition DVD & Book! Do it!

You can see some more photos here, but you gotta watch the whole thing. It's so rad - you're going to thank you later.

Here's a little clip from Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)'s youtube:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And I will always love you!

This is the best rendition of this song! Except of course the original by Dolly Parton!

And I will always you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes we can.

Hell no you can't! Yes we can.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Subconcious Art of Graffitti Removal

Looking at all the Graffitti Removal all over Silverlake lately, I have been missing this awesome short film by Matt McCormick - thank god for youtube!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

A psychic told me I was Rosalind Russell...

A psychic told me I was Rosalind Russell reincarnated... sadly the math doesn't add up - as far as when she died and when I was born...

I don't really believe in psychics - I used to go to psychic fairs and go up to all the booths and say in my head, "Fuck you", I figured that the real psychics would reply, "No, fuck you" but nobody ever did, they all just look at you and ask you what you want to talk about.

Still I love Rosalind Russell! And like to think of her as my psychic advisor, I channel her whenever possible.

I love this sparkly pantsuit!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Banksy at Disneyland

This Banksy stunt is one of my favorite subversive moments of all time - rad.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cher and The Osmonds singing Stevie Wonder!

It just doesn't get any better than this... I want Cher's pantsuit and to be followed around daily by matching mormons.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Syd Mead - Conceptual Futurist.

Mark Pellington's BUZZ for MTV. Syd Mead, Hackers, Bladerunner - remember this....good times.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I love this line!

Just happened upon this line from "High Fidelity" as I'm listening to the Brian Eno. It reminded me of an awesome story I heard a couple of weeks ago at Sit N Spin by Matt Price about a sad off he had with a friend.

I gotta watch High Fidelity again - just added it to the Netflix queue - it's #496 I wonder when it will arrive.

"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"

-- Rob Gordon (John Cusack), "High Fidelity", based on a book by Nick Hornby

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pee Wee gets an iPad!

Love this!
Pee Wee is showing off his rad ipad to the Playhouse Gang.

Go see Pee Wee live in Hollywood now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Airing your Dirty Laundry at Sit n Spin!

Might just get you published. Yo! Buy this book and read my piece first! Rad!!

Dirty Laundry:
Real Life. Real Stories. Real Funny.
by Maggie Rowe and Andersen Gabrych
Audio version Read by the authors (listed below)

My piece is in great company! It's called "MORMONS VS. CATHOLICS".

ORDER HERE - There is a paperback, audio and kindle version available.

HUMOR: Every other Thursday on Santa Monica Boulevard’s Comedy Central Stage, a motley assortment of prolific Hollywood writers, actors, and comics convene to reveal the most personal—and colorful—parts of their lives. Their soul-baring monologues reveal the sources of their creative genius, from wacky families, to psycho exes, random ramblings, and unbelievable Hollywood insights.

This hilarious collection, featuring a foreword by Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely, includes some of their best confessions. It provides an inside scoop on Hollywood, including stories on mishaps at the Emmys, writing for popular shows, being put in a sleeper hold by Hulk Hogan, growing up in famous families, and what it’s like to play Jan Brady.

Funny, embarrassing, or dirty (or a combination thereof), but always brutally honest, Dirty Laundry shines a voyeuristic light on the underbellies of the people who have sold their souls to the entertainment biz.

Authors include Maggie Rowe, Andersen Gabrych, Doug Benson, Kevin Nealon, Richard Belzer, Amy Stiller, Laura Silverman, Mary Birdsong, Taylor Negron, Randy Sklar, Kelly Carlin-McCall, Jennifer Elise Cox, Tom Saunders, Eileen Conn, Carlos Kotkin, Eddie Pepitone, Mark Evan Jackson, C. Brian Smith, Davis McHenry, Matt Price, David Landsberg, David Chrisman, Keith Blaney, Andrea Abbate, Jonathan Schmock, Jen Sincero, Claudia Lonow, Jackie Kashian, Shaz Bennett, B. Mark Seabrooks, Stirling Gardner, and Drew Droege.

My last name has two T's no matter what Amazon says: Bennett like Tony.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Daily Drag Queen Affirmations!

I worked for years at the Crowbar in New York City and I miss my daily dose of drag queens! Not to fear - you can now get Daily Drag Queen Affirmations!

You're friendly, outgoing and swell!

And hey for the hell of it! Don't miss Rupaul's Drag Race Season two! starting Feb. 1!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Too much sex can be a bad thing!

This makes me think of Bob Barker and his skinny microphone on "The Price is Right". Don't forget to spay & neuter your pets!

Banksy Hybrid Doc World premieres at Sundance

The rumors are indeed true. Banksy's first film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, describes it this way, “Exit Through the Gift Shop is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self -induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience. The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real... but in the end I didn't care. I feel bad I won't be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone's hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”

“It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable,” said Banksy. “And failed.”

I can't wait to see it!

Official Site:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vic Chestnutt - The Speed Racer I know.

Not too long ago, my husband was talking about the movie "Speed Racer" - the one about the car. I thought he was talking about the documentary about Vic Chestnutt. For a minute it was a very confusing conversation. I loved this film! I have been thinking about Vic Chestnutt obviously alot since he died. I remember seeing this film at Sundance and just fell in love with it. Where can I find a DVD? Anyone?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jay Leno in 2004 - generously passing the torch to Conan.

Jay Leno in 2004 announcing his departure and passing the torch to Conan O'Brien. "I don't want to damage any friendships" - "this show is like a dynasty - you hold it and then you pass it off". hmmmm.

Gil Scott Heron's "Me and the Devil" Video

So rad! The new Gil Scott Heron album drops in February - his first album in 15 years!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Take Yo' Praise - Camille Yarborough

This has been my earworm all week - doesn't get much better than this....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blu and David Ellis Paint Awesome Wall Animation

Damn, I love these guys! As part of the Fame Festival, David Ellis and Blu spent a week painting an entire building to create this amazing 8-minute stop motion film.

"Choose Me" - RIP Teddy

I just happened to watch "Choose Me" last night and then heard this morning that Teddy Pendergrass died. So sad and random, I had been thinking about this movie recently, I loved it when it first came out and wanted to see if it held up... not so much.
Still this song rocks! RIP Teddy Pendergrass, that voice was the soundtrack to a many a makeout sessions in my youth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Deal or No Deal

I love this - Deal or No Deal - it seems as good as anyway to help you make a career choice in Hollywood these days.

The Harvard Psychedelic Club

There's an awesome new book out about the psychedelic pioneers Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Andrew Weil, Huston Smith.

I love this line from the New York Times reveiw - "These future psychedelic pioneers were still buttoned-down intellectuals and careerists, men who leaned more toward martinis than marijuana."

If I had a time machine, I would set it here to "The Harvard Psychedelic Club."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Everything you need to know about LOST for the final season.

The final season of LOST is starting up soon. In case you've missed this phenomenon altogether. I have posted two videos from YouTube that will explain it all to you.

Everything you need to know about LOST in 8:15 (Seasons 1-5)

Previously on LOST - What?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I need a Celebrity Lullaby!

It takes me about 2 hours to fall asleep - I wish Ricky Gervais would come sing me to sleep.