Puppy Teepee (Or Ziggy the Fluffy Messiah)

OMIGOSH, it has been SO long since I talked to you about dogs… or decor. So today I’m totally talking about both.

Last weekend I went to see my long lost Gillian. She and I went to USC together and bonded over a mutual love of Twin Peaks when we were wee ones in grad school. We worked in the same office for separate non-profits when we were students, and after graduation we coincidentally worked for two producers who happened to be best friends.

We used to talk every day.

Now she is an incredibly successful producer in her own right, and she travels a lot for work.

We see each other when we can, and even though we don’t talk every day it’s as if no time has passed at all each time we do.

That’s the amazing thing about old friends. ❤

Anyway, she has this darling little dog that I used to babysit when she first adopted him. My mummy met him once, and she loved the little guy so much she referred to him as the fluffy messiah. (My mum doesn’t even like dogs….)

When you see Ziggy you’ll see why she was so taken with him.

Here he is at our Thanksgiving Dinner.

He loves meat pies.

Couldn’t you just die?

His bow tie is beyond.

His bow tie is beyond.

Do you know what else is beyond?

His dog teepee.

Chevron + Puppy Tee Pee = <3

Chevron + Puppy Tee Pee = ❤

Gillian’s interior designer found it on Etsy… and when I saw it this weekend I was like, “I need one for my bubba!”

The only problem?

This is my dog.

He is the size of a teenage boy.

He does not weigh nine pounds like Ziggy.

He is the size of a teenage boy.

His teepee would take up way too much real estate in my little place.

So, we’ll just have to wait on that for now.

If you don’t have a man-sized dog and want to get a puppy teepee, here’s the link to the Etsy store.

Come on, you know you need one….

Remembering Kathy Fogg (Or My Stark Family Mourns the Loss of Our Matriarch)

My friend Suzie* once said, “Some people are poems. Others are symphonies.” And I absolutely believe it to be true.

Both art forms can bring tears — or elation. Both can move you beyond measure. Both have the power to transform. One may be briefer than the other but that does not diminish its impact. Not in the least.

My grandfather was my symphony, maybe the most influential and inspirational I’ve ever known.

Kathy Fogg was my poem. A poem that changed my life.

Kathy was the Associate Director of the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California for 23 years, and during that time she launched (and nurtured) innumerable powerful Hollywood careers. She passed away on Friday, and upon learning this news I have been reflecting on all I have in my life because of her.

My grandfather gave me his DNA — and the family that made me the person I am today.

Kathy gave me a chance — and the industry family that has been by my side through the soaring highs and immeasurable lows of my career.

I first met Kathy in 2000 when I was applying to the Peter Stark Program. I still remember what I wore to our meeting that day. I still remember our conversation.

After telling me about the curriculum, we moved on to talking about ourselves. Amidst other small talk, she mentioned she had made a student film with George Lucas as an undergraduate. She smiled, shrugged rather nonchalantly and said, “He’s moved on since then.” Looking at the smiling faces in the family photos lining her bookshelves and her desk, I replied, “So have you.”

Not only did Kathy have her own wonderful family, but she also created the family feeling of the Peter Stark Program. (A program named for the late son of legendary producer, Ray Stark.)

I am sad to say I hadn’t seen Kathy since she retired, but I feel her impact on my life. Daily. She (and prolific producer Larry Turman) gave a girl from Michigan the chance to sit in a room with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. And she gave me the friends who have been by my side in a business not necessarily known for loyalty and integrity. The people who have given me jobs, hugs, support, and big bottles of wine — the people for whom I have done the same. The people who understand the moments of torment and triumph everyone experiences in the crucible of show business.

Kathy saw something in me. She believed in me. She made the call that changed my life that winter day when she told me I had been given one of the 25 coveted spaces in the program.

During the two years the 25 of us spent with Kathy, she made us cookies. She gave us hugs. She made us laugh. She helped us find the jobs and internships that took us to the next level.

The Producing Class of 1994 was so powerful it inspired a New York Times feature in 2002. And that powerful class? Still remembered where they came from. They hired three of us from the class of 2003. Because Family? Takes care of their own.

Some have called the graduates of the program the Stark Mafia. To that I would say, “Isn’t a mafia just a really powerful family, anyway?”

Larry Turman has often told me they select the people who would have been successful without the program, and that may very well be true. But our lives are all much richer for having each other in them.

Kathy Fogg may not have had a Film Produced By credit on any Oscar-winning films. But she has countless Careers Produced By Credits. Lives Changed By Credits.

As I remember Kathy, I am grateful for the chance she gave me, but most of all for the people she brought into my life. Because I can say with absolute certainty that without those true friends and my faith I would have left this business long ago.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the batting cages to hit something. Hard. Because I need to do something with my sadness. At least today in remembering what Kathy saw in me, remembering the friends she gave me, I feel strong enough to hit balls by myself. Strong enough to hit a home run. Even if it is with tears in my eyes.

*Suzie is one of those true friends I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Kathy. And Suzie said that when we were at SXSW with Melissa, another true friend and fellow member of the class of 2003. 

Costco, Rotisserie Chicken, and Spicy Margies (Or How to Make a Jalapeno Margarita)

So, I went to Costco on Sunday. When I was starving. After yoga.

#epicfail

I consider it a personal triumph that I didn’t walk out of the place carrying 42 crab legs, 55 pineapples, and 14 rib eyes. The fact that my only unplanned purchases were a rotisserie chicken and a pink polka dotted beach towel is nothing short of remarkable.

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Coscto is so amazing.

I’ll be honest — the whole outing was sort of a mess. I mean, I was that cranky sort of hungry that makes me violent inside. Plus everyone in the store was extra fat and slow, and they were all letting their nine-years old push the double wide cart, which never goes well for anyone. I mostly held it together, though. (I think.)

As long as I’m being all truthful, I should also probably admit that I nearly tore into that unplanned rotisserie chicken the minute I got into my car like some sort of savage, but I thought better of myself and opted for a can of V-8 instead. (Those rotisserie chickens are greasy. Truth.)

Aaaanyway, I now possess more canned tomatoes than any single person should, so I thought I’d make some chili. This turned into I-should-also-make-quesadillas-and-salsa-verde. Oh and jalapeno margaritas.

Who doesn’t love a spicy margy?

I mean…

Since I had to rush off to USC for this fabulous TWIN PEAKS retrospective, I decided to start marinating my jalapeño slices in tequila before I left. (BTW, If you don’t know about Bob and the Black Lodge, get on that s#*@ now. You can thank me later.)

Of course the SAG Awards were on campus the same day as the TWIN PEAKS screening, so it was an absolute nightmare getting to my event. Every entrance onto campus from Fig was blocked off, there were cavalcades of Escalades and town cars converging from all directions, and I had to park absolutely miles away from campus. I may have even had to run in riding boots, but I made it the theater before the first bar of Angelo Badalamenti’s moving score.

Meanwhile, my margies were marinating at home.

So that was my Sunday. Truly riveting, right?

Aaaanyway, if you like a little kick with your drink, here’s how you can make a spicy margy.

Jalapeno Margaritas

6 oz tequila
4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
4 oz triple sec
1 fresh jalapeno
Ice cubes

Slice one fresh jalapeno into thin slices.

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Jalapeno slices. Riveting.

Place the slices into tequila and allow the chiles to marinate for a least one hour. (The longer you let the chiles sit, the spicier your margy.)

Strain the tequila to remove the seeds and jalapeno slices.

Pour the tequila, fresh lime juice, and triple sec into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and serve. Garnish with jalapeño slices for a little flair.

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Drink. And repeat. But not too many times. You probably have to work in the morning.