Friday, December 28, 2007

Dear Philip Seymour Hoffman:

I have seen almost every film you've made and have long thought you're one of America's finest actors, but your crackling portrayal of CIA agent Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's War is more flavorful than bacon and eggs and twice as satisfying. On behalf of smartypants Greeks everywhere, much thanks to you, Aaron Sorkin, Mike Nichols, George Crile, and, of course, Mr. Avrakotos.

Stop by some time and I'll introduce you to the bunnies.

Best to you and yours,
Litsa Dremousis

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

When I was a kid and my mom would listen to Dolly Parton, my reaction was...

...usually "Mo-ther!" Throughout my pre-pubescent years and then junior high and high school, I loved Donna Summer and Elton John and then the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Who and then the Police and R.E.M. and Bob Dylan and could not figure out what my mom heard in this big-haired lady who was even more voluptuous than either of us. (I developed at ten. Yeah, I know.) Of course, as an adult, I've come to appreciate the lilting, soulful twang of Dolly's voice and songs and the warmth of her singular persona. Much like I did with my dad regarding Frank Sinatra, I retroactively apologized to Mom regarding Dolly. (I should note here that I have one of the few moms who pushed her kids to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when they were in college and, obviously, she was spot-on with that one, too. Mom's artistic radar is finely tuned.)

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I would be fine if it were already January 2nd. It's not that I'm holiday-averse, but in recent years I've become holiday-neutral. I enjoy sending and receiving cards and reconnecting with loved ones, but I haven't put up a tree since '04 and could do without the incessant carols and forced cheerfulness. However, this brief holiday greeting from the tinseled Ms. Parton is tastier than sugar cookie icing licked straight from the bowl and should warm even the frostiest heart:

Happy holidays, all!

Much love,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If you're having a shit-laden day, I suggest reading...

...this piece on "locked-in syndrome" (total body paralysis, except for controlled eye movement) and the new breakthroughs that are turning thoughts into speech. The developments lend genuine hope, are scientifically invigorating, and shift garden variety crapitude into perspective. If I ran the world (and who's to say I won't?), Dr. Phil Kennedy, Dr. Frank Guenther, and their research peers would receive the kind of salary that (fuckwad) Alex Rodriguez apparently found insufficient.

From today's, "Scientists seek to help 'locked-in' man speak":

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Though I can think of a few he left off:

I often agree with Bill Maher's larger points--years ago in Salon he wrote one of my favorite political essays, excoriating the South for not supporting presidential candidates from the rest of the country, and telling them, essentially, to get the fuck over the Confederacy--but I think he's reflexively self-congratulatory, lacking in introspection, and seemingly, a bit of a douche. (Does anyone else remember when he mocked developmentally disabled kids on a segment of "Politically Incorrect"?)

Still, his new piece for Rolling Stone, "Dickheads of the Year: My Picks for the Biggest Assholes of 2007", should be added to school curriculums nationwide:

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Three new interviews worth your time and money:

1) Ricky Gervais talks to New York Magazine's Adam Sternbergh about the end of Extras, concocting the funny, and his loathing for those who perpetuate mediocrity:

2) In Blender's cover story, Jay-Z and Chris Norris discuss how the film, American Gangster, inspired Jay-Z's disc of the same name, why the instantaneousness of mp3s creates a disposable musical culture, and how money can blunt the power of racism:

3) My gifted and cherished friend, Eric Spitznagel, interviews Tina Fey in the current issue of Playboy, pages 47 through 54. (I'd provide the link, but it's print-only.) The result draws more blood than a drunk wielding a staple gun and unveils the kind of insight rarely seen this side of mukti.

Two of my favorite quotes:

"Will Ferrell tried to stab me once. We had been up all night writing skits for the guy from Dawson's Creek--James Van Der Beek. And you know, it was SNL, so we were all hopped up on goofballs, out of our minds on quaaludes and horse antibiotics. I foolishly made a disparaging joke about Will's skit. I was like, 'Really, dude? A hat salesman who's afraid of hats? That's the best you can come up with?' And he lunged at me with a letter opener. I remember thinking, This guy's a genius. It would be an honor to be killed by him."


"It's this weird fetish with ladies who look like erasers. Holes is holes, as I like to say, but I don't understand the cultural obsession with these weird mental children with orange skin and bleached-out Barbie hair and boyish hips and big fake choppers. They're so close to being trannies. I sometimes feel like, Who are these creatures? And they certainly don't exist only in this magazine. They're everywhere, and that's a reflection of our culture. It's like the difference in our food since the 1970s. It has become overprocessed with all the trans fats. Maybe we need to get organic with these ladies."


It's a Catch 22 whenever writers publicly discuss the impetus to write, the psychological effects of isolation, and the mechanics of the publishing industry. For the most part, those who don't write won't understand because they can't. And while I think it's wise to acknowledge the obstacles in any field, I think it's just as unwise to focus on them. So I don't agree with all the opinions expressed therein, but I'm delighted to see the The Nervous Breakdown getting the attention it deserves. Well done, Mr. Belardes!

Nick Belardes reports from Los Angeles for ABC affiliate, KERO Channel 23, on the literary site my compadres and I write for, The Nervous Breakdown:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the new allegations against Senator Larry Craig... that members of both genders seem willing to let him route around their privates. Unless he smells like lilacs and sweats money, I don't understand how this transpires.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Or if I wore a shirt that says, "HELLENIC IN A HANDBASKET":

I snagged fresh egg rolls at the QFC deli and just popped them in the oven, drizzled w/ sesame and olive oils and surrounded by a julienned red pepper.

As I was about to toss the packaging, I noticed the brand logo (see above) and that the label proclaimed said contents, "ASIANTIZERS".

Admittedly, this is an 11 on the Obvious Scale and I'm on an important deadline and a bit punchy, but there is something so delightfully ridiculous about all of this that I could only be happier if Ronzoni deemed its noodles, "ITALIANDINNER".