3/16/10: Online Dating Profile

Dear Dick Wolf:

So, the guys I do radio with keep threatening to write an online dating profile for me since..you know…my eggs are drying up. Well, one of our favorite listeners, @aboynamedart, weighed in on what it should entail:

In the online dating system, relationship-based offenses are particularly heinous. In Los Angeles, the dedicated women who try to avoid these vicious failures are members of an elite squad known as the Serial Dating Unit. These are Gina’s stories.

Now, if only we can get Steven Zirnkilton to voice it. Can you help out with that? My next relationship may depend on it.

Thank you. Amen.

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Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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2/24/10: New Logo With The Wheat Things

Dear Dick Wolf:

I forgot to tell you! Our radio show is a finalist for The Shorty Awards! They’re like the Oscars of Twitter. Our category? INNOVATION! Here’s a brief overview:

Cool, huh? Now we can post a fancy logo with the wheat things on our website. You know, like they do for official film festival selections and stuff? It looks so impressive.

Now that I’m a Shorty Awards finalist, you may want to schedule me for a guest star role on Law & Order. It’s OK, my fee is still the same (scale), despite my slight rise in popularity.

I’m available at your earliest convenience.

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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1/22/10: This Ain’t No Place To Fall Behind…

Dear Dick Wolf:

I’ve fallen behind. I know. However, I’ve vowed to make 2010 The Year of the Positive. No more whining, moping, or wasting energy on negative things – or people. There’s much to accomplish this year. 

At the moment, as I’m sure you’re aware, it’s Awards Season.  Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, Writers Guild, Producers Guild, SAG Awards (I voted for Mariska!), the BAFTAS – and so many more. There’s a different ceremony every time you take a sip of your martini. (OK fine, by “you” I mean “I,” by “your” I mean “my,” and by “sip” I mean “chug.”)  Well, every year I go a bit nutso over a particular movie or performance, and cling to it like it’s my firstborn. (At the risk of sounding redundant, I substituted “firstborn” for “martini,” even though my uterus is a wasteland.) Last year it was Mickey Rourke and The Wrestler. This year, my Awards Season obsession is the movie Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges’ performance in it as washed-up country singer “Bad” Blake, and the theme song, The Weary Kind. Sure, I suppose technically you could count those as three obsessions, but I’m ruling it a package deal.

Look at those lyrics. They’re so raw, and when they hit home, boy does it pack a punch.

This ain’t no place for the weary kind…This ain’t no place to lose your mind…This ain’t no place to fall behind…

I know he’s not singing about Los Angeles specifically, it could be anywhere really, but they’re especially relevant here. If you’re weary and you fall behind ’round these parts, you may as well catch the next bus out. And it’s more than a little easy to lose your mind. I’ve done it several times. But pinky swear, when that pesky thing finally resurfaces this time, I’m going to take a staple gun to it.

The days and the nights all feel the same…

Hence the loss of the mind. It really doesn’t take something monumental. Boredom, routine and complacency will drive even the toughest spirit insane. Or at least to drink.

The whiskey has been the thorn in your side that doesn’t forgive…The highway that calls for your heart inside…

Jeff Bridges breathes all of this into “Bad” Blake with such beauty and heartbreak. A flawless performance of a very flawed man. He’s going to get the Oscar, and he deserves it.

And although I love the movie, I don’t know that it’ll get any nods. It doesn’t seem to have caught on with industry voters.

Still, if you haven’t seen it, go. If you don’t like it, you can take the cost of your ticket out of my first paycheck.

Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try… 

Have I mentioned I’ll work for scale?

Yeah, I’ll work for scale. Forever.

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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11/11/09: Thank You, Soldiers

Dear Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel:

Thank you. For your bravery, your loyalty and your patriotism. For putting yourselves in harm’s way so that we may wake up every day feeling protected and loved.  For being selfless examples of what it means to stand by and stand up for your fellow man. There truly are no words to express how deeply grateful I am for what you have done, and continue to do, for me, for my loved ones and for all Americans. I salute you. Not just today, but every single day that I live in this country, enjoying the freedoms that I have because of your sacrifices.

Thank you, thank you.

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iraq_war_veteran

Veteran1

women soldiers

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veteran

There’s pride in every American heart…

Maggies1

My Uncle Mike, a Vietnam Vet, and a hero.

With Gratitude Always,
Gina Yates
Los Angeles, CA.

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  

9/18/09: BEST SHOUT-OUT IN THE HISTORY OF SHOUT-OUTS!

Dear Dick Wolf:

Ummm…ummm…ummm…ummm…

So, yeah. Got a shout-out tonight from your Executive Producer. What can I say? It made my day.

NB

Don’t forget to tune in for our interview with Dr. Baer tomorrow! 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern.

Listen live here.

You realize we are now ONE degree of separation from each other, right? (Or is it two? I was never a math junkie.) Either way, I know. I’m excited, too.

Chat soon.

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm  Comments (1)  

9/15/09: I’m Baaaaack!!

Dear Dick Wolf:

Hello! I’m back! I know, I know, it’s been far too long since I’ve been in touch. I blame summer. And my 7-day work week. And the cats – TOTALLY HIGH-MAIN. I also blame my car breaking down, family drama, my latest nose job, the Sherman Oaks water main debacle, celebrity deaths, Afghanistan and Joe Wilson. So as you can see, I was clearly unable to write for the past few months. I’m sure you understand.

However, I return to you with the most exciting news EVER! Your buddy, Dr. Neal Baer, is going to be a guest on our radio show this Saturday! Can I get a WOO-HOO?!! You can check out the announcement on our homepage. It looks like this, only bigger:

LOLAGenX

As you can guess, I’m over the moon! I can’t wait to hear all about the upcoming season of Law & Order: SVU, and talk about Christopher Meloni, my one-night guy. Although I doubt I’ll mention that, but I will ask why he’s constantly overlooked for Emmy nominations. It’s not fair. Stabler is one of the best characters on television, and he’s repeatedly robbed. I think we’ve had this conversation before, right? Well, as you can see, I’m still pissed about it. NOBODY PUTS STABLER IN A CORNER!

Too soon? Yeah, I thought so. Sorry. For the record, I’m distraught over Patrick Swayze’s death. He was so wonderful. I first fell in love with him when he did the mini-series North and South. Oh, how I adored that show! I sat on the couch every night it was on, watching and drooling over Orry Main. I hadn’t seen The Outsiders or Red Dawn, so this was my first encounter with Patrick, and I was smitten! Ask my mom. She’ll tell you. I was a raging box of hormones at that point and he was so dreamy. Then Dirty Dancing came out and it was all over. I was a sophomore in high school and I saw it at the movie theatre with a gaggle of girlfriends. We were all love-struck. I think that movie may very well be the one that ruined my love life. I’m perpetually searching for that bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold. My very own Johnny Castle.

Johnny-Castle

I mean really. LOOK AT THAT MAN. And oh, how he danced! Note to guys: If you want to make women swoon like it’s a disease, learn to shake it like Johnny Castle.

As usual, I digress. But he will be so, so missed.

So, please be sure to tune-in to our radio show this Saturday to hear your friend, Dr. Baer! 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern. Hey, maybe you could give me a few inside stories to spring on him! Like, “So, tell us about the time you dressed up like Ice-T for the company Halloween party.” That would be fun.

OK, gotta go. I’m glad we’re back in touch. I’ve missed you. 

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 11:44 pm  Comments (4)  
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Summer Vacation

Dear Dick Wolf:

I am currently on a summer blogging hiatus. But rest assured that I am watching Law & Order episodes every night.

If you don’t believe me, tune into our radio show. I talk about it all the time apparently.

I will return soon.  Don’t worry.

XOXO

Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

6/28/09: Milestone! Addendum

HAHAHA!!!

DW15

Courtesy of @slackmistress. This is why we love her.

Dear Dick Wolf:

I’m not really a stalker.

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 10:48 am  Comments (2)  
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6/27/09: Milestone!

Dear Dick Wolf:

Check this out!

15ddw

15,000 views!

Now, I don’t know if that’s a big deal in the overall blogosphere, but I think it’s pretty cool. And I’m guessing that a lot of those visits are from you, so thanks!

I often get hits from people searching for Chris Sarandon, as you can see. But I have to say, “20 ugly hamburgers” is a new one. I’ve never seen an ugly hamburger in my life.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know, and say thanks for reading. I’ll be in New York next week if you’d like to schedule an audition. Or have coffee with me and my mom. She’d totally be up for it. Let me know.

Thank you! Amen.

Published in: on June 27, 2009 at 5:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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6/25/09: Two Legends Gone

When Kurt Cobain died, I was in Alice Springs, Australia. I was sitting outdoors at a cafe, and I remember someone saying, “Kurt Cobain killed himself!”…When Diana died, I was in the middle of a shift at The Wild River Brewery in Grants Pass, Oregon. The bossy waitress with the long blonde hair told us. I don’t remember her name…The day Johnny Cash died, I was driving to work and heard it on the radio. I immediately called my boyfriend at the time, the biggest Cash fan I’ve ever known. He had just heard also, and was in tears. During our years together, I heard him cry only four times. That was the first.

I was never much of a Nirvana fan, but Kurt’s death was a huge deal for our generation. Princess Diana had been a symbol of my childhood. Her wedding to Prince Charles was one of the biggest events of my young life. And Johnny Cash…well, what can I say? He was the Man in Black. A country music legend who was loved by everyone. I didn’t grieve for him the way my ex did, the way many people did that day. I was saddened, but at the same time I was happy that he was finally going to be with his beloved June, whom he’d lost just a few months earlier. Johnny without June just didn’t feel right – so he made it right. 

And now, Michael Jackson. Yes, I’m a Gen-Xer who grew up listening to his music (I owned Thriller on 8-track), and teaching myself to moonwalk (which I can do VERY well, btw). I bought the teen mags with his posters, because let’s face it – early 80’s Michael was HOT. I had a crush on him. My friend Bernadette had a crush on him. My cousin Erica had a crush on him. And I think if he would’ve just kept the nose he had in the Say, Say, Say video (and the hair and the skin tone), he might have even been hot until the day he died.

Which, sadly, is today.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t listen to his music much after high school. But when I was a teenager, he was there. Constantly. He ruled Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. I remember when Billie Jean was in the number one spot week, after week, after week. It was my favorite song at the time, and I cheered when Casey played it…Then there were the videos. No one danced in their videos like Michael did. Beat It, Billie Jean, Bad, Smooth Criminal – they hearken back to a day when MTV was good. And of course, Thriller. The indisputable iconic video of the 80’s (but I have to say, A-ha’s Take on Me is a close second). The first time I watched it, I just sat there, open-mouthed. IT. WAS. AWESOME. The most awesome video I’d ever seen. In fact, it probably still is, since I stopped watching videos about 20 years ago.

Yes, I mourned today for what felt like the death of my childhood. But what truly saddens me is how alone Michael seems to have been. He never found someone to share his life with. A partner. His June Carter Cash. His Ryan O’Neal*. He had his children, his fame and his legacy, but he seemed lonely. I know lonely, a lot of us do. It hurts. I can’t imagine dealing with intense loneliness yet being in the public eye every second of your life. I’m disappointed that I didn’t have more compassion for him while he was here.

I hope he’s remembered well.

MJ
(August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

*Also, R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett, whose passing today was quickly overshadowed by the news of Michael. An icon in her own right, I will strive for the rest of my life to have hair as fabulous as hers. Also, she RULED in Extremities. My thoughts to her family, friends and fans.

Farrah
(February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009)

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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6/22/09: I Blipped You!

Dear Dick Wolf:

I recently discovered BLIP. It’s a website that basically makes you a superstar DJ. You search for a song, and if it’s on Blip, you can post it to your Twitter! And guess what? The Law & Order theme song is on there! Excellent! So, I blipped you.

You’re welcome.

P.S. I also blipped Concrete Blonde, so you’re in good company.

blipfm_lg

Amen.

Published in: on June 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4/16/09: Life Lesson #141

How To Plan a Trip to NYC With Your Mother

ny11

(Via email. When she’s taking the train from one city and you’re taking a plane from another.)

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Mom: The train station is only .9 mile from our hotel! Which airport are you going to?

Me: I’m flying into JFK. I’ll get in at roughly 5:30 (pm). Just call me when you arrive and I can meet you in a cab at the train station!

Mom: I get there at 7:25. It’s close enough, I can walk.

Me: It’s a mile and it’s going to be dark! And you’ll have luggage! And you’re a first-time tourist! No way. I will meet you there.

Mom: OK, but it probably won’t be dark in July and I’m traveling light!

Me: I will meet you, crazy mom. Walk alone with luggage through Times Square at night? Would you let me do that?

Mom: Good point! I will meet you there!

Me: YAY! I love you!

Mom: The airport is 18 miles from the hotel, I just map quested it.

Me: It’s OK, mom. I’ll take a cab.

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Dear Dick Wolf:

Mom has decided to come to New York with me. I obviously need to sit her down for a Law & Order marathon before our trip. If you have any additional words of caution for her, please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm  Comments (4)  
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4/12/09: Church, Maple Bars, and Mom

Dear Dick Wolf:

Happy Easter!

easter

I don’t know if you celebrate or not, but just in case. I don’t normally celebrate anymore. Not that I shun Jesus or anything, but I’m not so much religious these days as spiritual. If I go to church on Easter, it’s more for nostalgia than anything.

You see, I grew up Catholic. I went to catholic school, wore the uniforms and everything. My mom has always wanted to provide me and my brother with the best of everything, so when we were growing up, she bartended like mad in order to earn enough money to send us to a private school, Sacred Heart Academy in Klamath Falls. She was also putting herself through college at the time. (Mom now teaches at Oregon Health & Sciences University, and still works like crazy. She also has a part-time job on the weekends working as a medical imaging technologist at an urgent care facility. She takes X-rays. As cool as this is, it proved somewhat troubling when I got bucked off that bull I told you about. She was the one who scanned me. Fun for her! But I digress…)

On Sundays, mom would take me and my brother to mass. We sang the hymns, recited the prayers, and shook hands with the people next to us and mumbled “Peace be with you” when the priest told us to offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace. This was the WORST part of church (drinking the fake wine was the highlight, even though I had to spout off the Act of Contrition first). I was shy and didn’t want to shake hands. It was especially horrifying when, as Catholic school students, we went to mass during the school day and I had to shake hands with the cute boys and stuck-up girls in my immediate vicinity. Even in church, they scared the hell out of me. I always sat next to my best friend Bernadette so, when the peace-be-with-you portion of the service came, I could shake hands with her first and try to trap her into a conversation, thus monopolizing her time and avoiding everyone  else. But Bernadette was a social butterfly and very good at the shaking hands thing. So, inevitably, she’d release my hand and move on, and I was forced to do the same. It was 30 seconds of agony.

But at Sunday mass, getting through the hand-shaking, and the rest of the service, had its reward. After leaving church, we’d walk across the street to Safeway and mom would buy maple bars for me and my brother. MAPLE BARS! They were so yummy. This was my favorite part of Sunday, and mom treated us every week. I don’t think she was intentionally bribing us to go to church, but it worked anyway. I looked forward to going. Not for the whole religious aspect of it, mind you…I mean c’mon, Catholics. No divorce? No sex before marriage? If I followed your rules I’d be a 36-year-old seriously neurotic virgin. Either that or I would’ve married the first guy my hormones went wackadoodle for and wound up stuck in the wrong relationship FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. And what’s up with confession? Do I really need to tell a priest my sins in order to be forgiven? Why does God need a middleman?…No, I looked forward to church because of the maple bars. And to this day, every time I have one – which isn’t nearly often enough – I’m transported back to Sunday mass with my family, and our weekly trips to Safeway.

If it’s any consolation, I still remember the Act of Contrition. Maybe I’ll dust off that puppy tonight, crack open a bottle of wine and have a maple bar. I mean, it is Easter.

Peace be with you, Mr. Wolf. I would totally shake your hand.

Amen.

Published in: on April 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4/6/09: I’m Coming to Town, Mr. Wolf!

Dear Dick Wolf:

Hello! Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I hope you weren’t worried. I’ve been fine, just a bit overwhelmed. I know, I know, that’s standard for me, so I really have no excuse. Please don’t be upset.

Anyway, we have a lot to catch up on! Let me start with the most exciting development of the past month – I’m a radio celebrity! OK, maybe “celebrity” isn’t quite accurate, but I do have my picture on a radio website! Look:

lagenx

I know, I’m totally washed out. I look like a banshee librarian. But hey – if you need a dead body for a Law & Order morgue scene, I’m available.

So, as you may have gathered from the photo, the name of our radio show is LAGenX. We’re members of Generation X, living in Los Angeles. Pretty straightforward. My partners-in-crime are Jason Burns – actor, and Jeff Phillips – musician. We have goals, dreams and ambitions. We want to make it big in the entertainment industry. And living in L.A., we’re constantly THISCLOSE to someone, at any given moment, who could help make our goals, dreams and ambitions a reality. Yet we’re standing on the outside, looking in. So, to help alert the showbiz elite to our collective talent, we’ve launched a radio show. And for me, let’s be honest – by showbiz elite, I mean you. 

We’re on LA Talk Radio live every Saturday. It’s Internet radio, so you can listen in New York! 2pm your time. And please feel free to call in. LeVar Burton called the show this past weekend! Yes, we’re THAT big already. He talked about a play he’s starring in that opens this Friday called The Caterer. He’s returning to the stage after a 25-year absence! VERY cool. And get this – LeVar also asked me about…YOU! I’m not kidding! He thinks I’d be a great love interest for Jeff Goldblum on Criminal Intent! DIE! You don’t believe me, do you? I TOTALLY SWEAR. You can listen here. He mentions you at 20:14, but you should listen to the whole interview because he’s terrific.

So yeah, I’ve got LeVar Burton’s endorsement. Kunta Kinte. Geordi La Forge. Mr. Reading Rainbow. He’s pretty big time. Oh, and he thinks you should get on Twitter! (LeVar is HUGE on Twitter.) I agree. You should. I’ll follow you.

OK – more big news. I’M COMING TO NEW YORK! YAY! For my birthday this summer. It’s been a couple of years since my last visit, so it’s time. I’m excited because I’m staying right smack dab in the middle of Times Square! (Well, you know, in a hotel.) Which means I get to walk to Broadway and see as many shows as I can cram into a weekend. SO PUMPED. Also going to try to squeeze in a weekend visit to GMA – I love Bill Weir. He’s dreamy.

So, I was thinking, maybe I could come in for an audition on Monday, July 6th. It’s the day after my birthday, and would be a swell present. Think about it, OK? I should have some snazzy new headshots by then. Also, I’m a writer. It’s actually what I do for a living. So, if you’d like me to come up with a Jeff Goldblum love interest storyline spec script, just let me know and I’ll bring it to the audition.

Thanks! Looking forward to hopefully meeting you!

And again, sorry for the delay in writing. I’ve missed you. It won’t happen again.

Amen.

3/4/09: The Incomparable Queen of Country Music

Dear Dick Wolf:

I don’t know if you’re much of a country music fan. Growing up in New York, you may not have been exposed to it much. In fact, I don’t even think there’s a country station in NYC at the moment, is there? I couldn’t find one last time I was there. And the country music station here in L.A. always boasts about being the “most listened to country station in America.” Well, we’re market number two – y’all over there in the Big Apple are number one. So, if the number two market is the biggest for country music, that would lead me to believe that the number one market simply doesn’t cater to the hick crowd.

But me, well, I grew up hick. In a very small town in Oregon called Keno (last population tally: 1,059). One bar – the Whoa Tavern (my mom tended bar there), one supermarket – the Keno Food Center, one small store – the Keno Store, and Keno Elementary School, which went up to the third grade. After that, kids were bussed to Klamath Falls, a bigger city a few miles away. There was also a church, a florist, a small cafe, a pizza parlor that served sarsaparilla, a feed store, post office, hair salon, and a baseball field (I was on a softball team for many years and we practiced there). I can remember just three stoplights, although there may have been more. The Keno Food Center had a small arcade – I played a lot of Mario Brothers, Centipede and Q-bert. And the Keno Store had AWESOME chicken salad. And Jo-Jos! Have you ever had those? They’re dee-lish. Big fat french fries. Dip them in ranch dressing and you’ll swear you’re in food heaven.

Well, when I was growing up in this small town of Keno, my parents liked to listen to KLAD, the local country station. Being a child of the 80’s, totally in love with Simon LeBon and the rest of the Duran Duran boys, I couldn’t stand all that twangy crap. I would beg dad to change the station to KTMT, which played      Top-40 hits. The Bangles, Debbie Gibson, the Thompson Twins, Tiffany, The Cars…you get the picture. The COOL music. But he liked the country songs. So, when we were in the truck, I was forced to listen.

(more…)

Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 11:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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