So many people are asking this question (in fact many people are Googling it right now and ending up here) that I thought I would finally put all doubt to rest once and for all.
So, what is the capital of California?
It’s either Los Angeles or San Francisco because every time you talk to people from either one of these cities, they act like they are all that and a side of fries piled on a golden platter that floats in the center of the universe. So, it naturally follows that one of those cities is the capital.
Plus, I used to live in Los Angeles. And for ten years, I lived half the time in Los Angeles and half the time in my home town, a little known village in northern California called Sacramento (pronounced: Sak’-ruh-menno)
So this one time, during those ten years of crossing the border between the Northern and Southern Californias every week, I remember meeting a nasally old woman dressed in a horribly expensive gown bedecked with thousands of purple gemstones at a blogger conference in Walla Walla, Florida, and when she gave me her limp hand she said to me, “Oh, you’re the one from California… you live in the capital, right?”
And since I lived in L.A. part-time, my all-that-and-a-side-of-fries attitude probably presented itself and since nobody’s ever heard of my little village in northern California, she was undoubtedly referring to the City of Angels.
Also? It’s capital. Not capitol.
So now you can go and tell all your friends what the real answer is. In fact, go tell all of them right now and see if you don’t get a bunch of ignoramuses contradicting you. Then we’ll all find out who the real dummies are, won’t we.
I’m probably not the first one to opine that Peter Brady (or any one of the The Osmond Brothers) did a great job hosting the Oscars this weekend.
Ah, the Oscars. Fashion overload at its finest. Timely, too, because it’s Fashion Week here in Sacramento, the wardrobe capitol of…of… the greater Sacramento area.
As some of you already know, I went virtually makeup-less my entire life until recently, taking a loan out on my house to purchase face paint for a three-minute television appearance. So now that I’m an expert on the matter, I was invited to attend a big Clinton Kelly fashion event at Macy’s on Saturday.
I realize that I’m the last person to know who Clinton Kelly is, since he’s been a host on What Not to Wear for the last fifty years.
However, if I had to choose one word to describe this event, it would be: accessible. Because if a middle-aged, frumpified, doesn’t-even-know-which-channel-What-Not-To-Wear-is-on woman like myself can appreciate a Clinton Kelly visit, then anyone can.
Over 400 people, mostly giddy females, were seated (and standed!) in a makeshift fashion venue on the first floor of the Roseville Galleria Macy’s.
Kelly was instantly charming, generous, informative, and hilarious from the moment he came out on stage. Volunteers came up to be analyzed for their fashion sense and Kelly managed to educate and entertain the audience, while commenting, complimenting, and mocking the brave volunteers. And somehow, when he mocked, he mocked with love.
And since I’m a smart-ass, and Kelly is genuinely quick-witted and funny, I managed to maintain my brand and messaging framework while quoting him on Twitter, or…twoting, if you will:
At one point he briefly lost his voice but not so much that he didn’t squeak this out:
For those of you keeping track, that’s TWO Peter Brady references in one blog post, and I think I AM the first one to do that.
Also? Kelly’s tips were practical. And doable. None of that vague pompous tripe you hear from lofty wannabe fashionistas while gaunt stick figures in desperate need of sustenance slouch and glide their way down the runway.
I actually understood what was going on and I don’t know a THING about clothes. One look at my clogs-and-socks-stuffed closet will tell you that. So I left with an order of magnitude greater knowledge and advice about fashion than I showed up with.
It doesn’t matter what size you are, anyone can wear a pencil skirt. (You too, ladies).
How do you camouflage a tummy? Jackets, jackets, jackets.
Don’t hold off on buying clothes until you lose the weight. Buy clothes that fit your body now.
If your skin is one of your better features, then it’s okay to wear ivory. Otherwise, you will be engaging in a competition with ivory that you can’t win.
The purpose of jeans is to make your butt look fabulous.
And kudos to the Macy’s event’s casting folks who gave us a gamut of models on the runway who were all shapes and sizes. You don’t see that everyday and I, for one, appreciated it.
So, Clinton Kelly, I salute you.
When you’re not busy saluting yourself, that is.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.
So, the other day, my co-producer (Nichole) texted me to say we were going to be on one of the local morning TV shows to promote LTYM and after all-capping back to her: “OMG, WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR NOTHING FITS OMG OMG OMG”, I decided to enter a second level of panic because frankly, I do not get up early in the morning. Ever. That means setting four alarms to make sure I can get up three hours earlier than usual.
And then I freak out on a third level because, well, you’re supposed to wear makeup when you go on television and I’ve never worn makeup and I don’t know how to use it and do they have makeup people at the TV station or are you supposed to know how to do all that yourself?
Did I mention that I’d never been on TV before and this was going to be live? Eeek!
I don’t know whether to blame my mother or thank her, but she forbade me to wear make-up in junior high school. So by the time I got to high school I had already acquired friends with similar unmade faces and through laziness or ignorance never got into the habit of it.
I never read all the magazines that instructed you on how to paint yourself like a whore, so thirty years later, when I actually NEEDED to paint myself like a whore, I was in a pickle.
I have a friend who has worn makeup since the age of three and knows her way around a powder counter, so I immediately sent a text message to her that went along these lines:
EMERGENCY NEED HELP STOP.
PLEASE ASSIST IN PURCHASE OF MAKEUP STOP.
THEN PLEASE ASSIST IN HOW TO PAINT SELF LIKE WHORE FOR TV STOP.
The next thing I know, we are at the mall, entering a store called Bare Minerals where I am strapped down to a chair, screaming bloody murder as other customers shake their heads in pity.
The porcelain-faced women in white lab coats assault my face with any manner of weapons and teach me how to assault myself as I beg for mercy because they are telling me too many things. Primer? Really? There’s primer involved? Isn’t that for painting cars?
There are too many steps and do you have a pen because I need to write this down. Is there a video?
And why aren’t all the brushes labeled for each different powder and bronzer and… mineral veil? It’s really called mineral veil?
And they laugh at me and take my credit card and give me a starter kit that is usually reserved for twelve-year-olds.
The next phase requires a visit to the Lancome counter where more lab coats and more face-assaulting occurs and my friend disappears with these women as they confer at the eye shadow drawers and whisper amongst the lip liners to decide the fate of my entire face. I am a toy to them — a blank canvas on which to explore and frolic with colors and brushes.
Four hundred dollars later I walk out of the mall with my friend, heavily laden with an arsenal of little boxes and powders and creams and pencils. And many layers of experimental projects covering my countenance.
I spend the next six days practicing this routine and timing myself to figure out how much earlier I have to get up that fateful day. I can’t believe some of you go through this every day of your life – how do you people do it? How do you afford it?
This is what 400 smackers will get you.
Meanwhile, I’m also worrying about how I’m going to get to see the segment of myself on television. We don’t have a DVR.
Who doesn’t have a DVR?
We don’t. That’s who. So my husband ordered a DVR. People have been hounding us forever to get one and can’t believe we don’t already have one and blah blah blah shut up already we ordered one, okay?
The fateful morning came and I didn’t poke my eye out or anything while getting ready and I met Nichole at the KCRA 3 station and we waited in the green room, having no idea how this thing worked and by the way, no, they do NOT have makeup people just sitting around waiting to help you not be shiny on TV.
Someone came in and called us in that “The doctor will see you now” way and led us into the studio where the anchors were talking into a camera and did you know they don’t have cameramen, just a bunch of robotic machines that come right up to you and put you on TV? Did I mention this was LIVE?
Deirdre Fitzpatrick came away from the anchor desk as robots whirred and aimed at the weatherman and the traffic girl giving their reports. She sat down with us for a couple of minutes, explained how the segment would go, making us feel a little more comfortable. And then BLAM! we were on. And then BLAM! we were off. One of the crew took a picture of us on Deirdre’s cell and we were on our way.
KCRA’s Deirdre FItzpatrick, Nichole, and yours truly.
While the segment itself lasted five minutes, you see my face for maybe one of them. One minute.
Four hundred dollars for one minute.
And the DVR my husband ordered?
Arrived 3 hours AFTER the segment aired.
And they say makeup expires so now I have to find excuses to wear it because I am not paying four hundred dollars for one minute.
So I’ve decided to start a television show and star in it until all my makeup is gone. Yeah, The Nanny Goats Hunters Extreme Makeover. A reality show about the paranormal encounters of plucky backwoods goats seeking fame as runway underwear models and the dramatic challenges they face when the back-stabbing ancient alien judges undermine their efforts. I’ll be host Ryan Seacrest’s hilarious sidekick.
You’ve probably been losing sleep wondering when I was going to write you again, but never fear, a blogger’s ego never lets her go too long without screaming for the attention it so richly deserves.
The truth is, I’ve been kind of busy.
With what, you ask?
I’m so glad you asked. Because I just so happen to have some information on one of my projects that I can share with you.
I’m producing and directing a show. Well, co-producing and co-directing a show. A stage show. It’s part of a national live reading series that is appearing in 24 cities (like Austin and Chicago). And Nichole Beaudry and I are bringing it to Sacramento for the first time.
But here’s the cool part: each production’s cast across the country is made up of a diverse set of local performers. And the performers are mostly regular everyday people who have a story about motherhood (whether they are a mother or not). In other words, people like YOU. And each production donates a portion of the ticket proceeds to a local charity.
Also? Every performance is recorded and uploaded to the LTYM YouTube Channel for the whole planet to see.
The show is called “Listen to Your Mother” and it will be held on Mother’s Day at the Crest Theater. Perhaps you longtime NGIP fans remember that day I went photogging downtown with a bunch of strangers where I caught this photo of the Crest?
I’m not afraid to admit, (yes I am), that I am pee-my-pants excited at the thought of “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER” appearing on that marquis.
We have partnered with 916 Ink as our local charity. 916 Ink is a youth literacy nonprofit that works with kids to become better writers, and then publish the stories they write. They’re a bit like 816 Valencia, if you’ve ever heard of them.
Anyway, we recently announced our Call for Submissions and this is where YOU come in. If you or someone you know in the Sacramento area has a story about motherhood, and doesn’t completely throw up at the idea of standing on stage, reading a funny or poignant story from their heart, baring their soul in front of hundreds of people, send them to our call for submissions link.
ALSO!! If you or someone you know doesn’t live near Sacramento, but perhaps lives near one of the other 23 cities (like DC,NYC, or Indiana), you can send in your submission to them (if their submission window is still open; dates vary from site to site). Here’s the national LTYM page, you can look for your city there. Knowing you, you’d love it. You should totally check it out.
This whole LTYM concept was started by Ann Imig, a fellow blogger, a wonderfully creative and funny lady that I had the pleasure of meeting at a Blogher conference in Chicago a few years ago and went for a walk with in the nearly intolerable, yet pillowy, August heat where I took this picture of her:
Ann Amig, of Ann’s Rants, and national director of Listen to Your Mother.
LTYM started with one show in one city (Madison Wisconsin, Ann’s hometown) and has since grown to 24 cities this year. Nichole, my co-producer, was in San Francisco’s cast last year and she fell in love with it so much, she wanted to bring it here and ask me to co-prod. Co-prod. Hey, has someone already coined that term? I’m totally using that phrase! That’s my phrase. I’m coining it right here and now. You saw me coin it, right? Everyone saw me coin it?