Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kindness of Strangers, College Boys, Post Offices and Jake Gyllenhal...Um




    
Having been a student for a number of years, my son has his routine down. Leave two days before his first class without a place to live, grab a backpack with some books and travel 3000 miles to said college. He also leaves his entire wardrobe laid out neatly on his bed, dress shirts on hangers, for me to box up and send to Pennsylvania.

Son's text: Oh, Mom. Think I found a place! No need to send the hangers. Plenty here. Thanks! 

Like that was ever an option. 

Me: What about a coat? 
Son:  Nah. Coldest it gets is about 25 degrees. No worries.

Everybody on the East coast can spot the kids from California because they wear T-shirts and flip-flops in a snow blizzard.





I actually like going to the post office because I love talking to strangers. One of the reasons I enjoy traveling. The people you meet are full of surprises, often fascinating and kind to a fault; the way true friendships ought to be. Until they become complicated.

After stuffing my son's clothes into some boxes I found in the garage, I also enclosed dried mango, Emergency-C packets, a box of vegan cookies, artwork from his younger twin sisters, and a book of Einstein quotes.

Hauling in my hefty parcels, I was met with a long row of postal workers giving me the stink eye from behind their glass cages.



For a second I thought maybe I was on the TEN Most Wanted wall, but then realized what was happening.  In my efforts to recycle and fulfill my environmental duty, I had neglected to look at the actual containers which read "Liquid Contents," and "Handle with Extreme Caution."

(My twins are avid lizard and snake collectors, 20 last count. We receive weekly packages of frozen, dead mice, along with other supplies, all packed in ice.) 

Not to mention I had taped gaping holes and constructed the lid out of construction paper.




I should have consulted Pinterest Tips on Shipping. My god, these people have field days wrapping boxes! A true art. Who knew? Yet, a hobby. Who has time for that? I wish I had time like that.




I had to take everything out and repack with priority boxes that cost ten bucks a piece, plus their special tape, another eight dollars. But I met this lovely woman. She too was packing a college-bound box, for her grandson, Hillel.





Okay, so it wasn't Dr. Ruth Westheimer, but she had a similar glow. I wanted her to be my bubbe.

"Wow! You have some real goodies in there," as I inspected her perfectly shippable box.

Homemade sugar cookies, bagels, frozen blintzes, pastries, latkes. There seemed to be no end to the food.



Dried mango! Really? This is what I send my beloved son?  I needed more noshes.

“And they're all kosher. Looks like we are doing the same thing. My grandson,” Dr. Ruth said wistfully. “He’s a freshman in Wisconsin. They don't know from kosher."

Another children of the corn college. What is it with California boys needing to be surrounded by wheat fields and Christians?

"Where did you find kosher donuts?"

She looked at me and smiled. I was going to lie and tell her I was half Jewish, but I couldn't. I needed a grandmother. I was feeling completely inept as a parent with my crap box and lack of latkes.

"Oh, I'm an honorary Jew. I mean, my mother was not Jewish but all of my friends were and their moms were like my 2nd mothers so yeah. I almost had a bat-mitzvah."




"That is so sweet."
"Right?"

Dr. Ruth went on to tell me about this special bakery off of Fairfax, the Hasidic district. But I think she was just being nice, because kosher food is readily available everywhere, even Ralphs.

We bonded immediately. She told me all about Hillel, tears in my her eyes. His love for Legos, chess, how he traveled the country by rail after his senior year in high school, his summer in a kibbutz.

“They grow so quickly!”

“But they never really leave home,” I reassured. 

She put her arm around me. I started to cry. Not because I missed my son, though I did, but because no one had never sent me boxes of pastries at college or even cared enough to call. I never knew my grandmothers. Dr. Ruth was so doughy and soft. My fantasy grannie.

“Oh, dear, you're shvitzing.” She handed me a neatly folded, delicate handkerchief.

“Well, I’m about ready to plotz.” 

She held me tighter. I showed her the twin’s handiwork of gekkos in the desert, gekkos basking in the sun, gekkos in a flowery garden.

“Look at what his sisters made him. They are knitting a wool cap as we speak."




“It’s beautiful. He will be so happy. These kids are so far away. They need a touch of family.” 

Then kind of conspiratorially Dr. Ruth said, “Hillel's mother is an important businesswoman and often doesn't have time for such things, but Hillel is a special boy. I just don't like that he is so far. Is UCLA such a bad option?"




"Wow. He's so...  Jake!" 
“Oh, that. People tell me he looks like some cute actor. So, does your mom ever send your son anything?”

“Well, she wasn't your typical grandmother. She lived on a remote island and frankly I’m pretty sure she didn't even know he went away to college. She didn’t notice when I left for college. But… from time to time she would send my daughters poems and dissertations they couldn't read."




"My mom was an artist. Writer, painter, sculpter. She had two PHD's in poetry.”
"Neat. That's fantastic. You must be proud."
"Yes, she was awesome. But she got the cancer. She died last year."

Now I'm really crying, ridiculous. Grief is odd, I trusted my new bubbe.  My son went to a few raves, never a kibbutz. 

"My boy does really well in school. So smart. But I don't want to sound like one of those helicopter parents."

"It's fine to brag sometimes about your kids. The rest, I don't know, some of these parents today are meshuggah."

Dr. Ruth was putting Challah bread into my box. I let her.

"My mom and I were similar. Now I have no one to call at the most difficult of times. I miss her constantly. I need to stop crying."




"She's in your heart. Forever. Always looking down on you."

I sighed and shook off the tears. "Sorry about that. Thanks for talking to me. You are so very kind."

“Your son is going to be just fine.” Then she wrote down the address of the kosher bakery. “Even their gummy bears are kosher. It’s amazing.”



“That’s nuts!” I couldn’t think of a Yiddish word for amazing.

My shipping box was finally finished and really it was a thing of beauty. I decorated it with hearts and flowers and robots and gekkos. It cost $240.00 to mail.

As I was leaving, my new bubbe smiled and said something in Yiddish I couldn’t comprehend.  I know the word good-bye in probably eight languages, but this was tricky. I went blank. But then it came as natural as true friendship.

“Shalom!” I shouted, then, “Oh, and Mazel Tov too!”

I left feeling lighter, warmer, then noticed on the slip of paper along with the kosher food bakery  Dr. Ruth had left her phone number. Maybe my mom really was looking down on me.





Thursday, September 19, 2013

Great ways to get the kids OUTSIDE in Los Angeles









This is a repost with better links, because LA is a place that is in constant need of exploring. I wrote this piece for www.theexaminer.com, last year, where I am a contributor for all things family, but the info applies anywhere.

The bigger question is when was the last time your kids fell off the bike handles or carpet-rolled down a snowy hill?

As a parent of nine-year-old twin girls, I spend a great deal of time looking for ways to entertain them that does not involve electronics. I am not alone. Most parents, if not all, share this dilemma. We have long ago given up on trying to express relatable comparisons to the time when we were growing up.



“Well, I would leave the house at 10:00am and come home at dinner. In between, I would ride my bike until the rubber burned, create magic shows for the gullible kids willing to pay one dollar to make a pencil disappear, climb trees until my knees bled, hopscotched in the middle of the road and eat fresh strawberries off of Mrs. Pennycakes vines.” Ad nauseum.






In most cities today the kids can’t even open the front door. The script goes like this:

“Someone is here, Mom!”
 “Don’t you dare answer it!”
 “Why? It's just some guy with a clipboard.”
“Back away slowly, then hide under the kitchen table.”


Amidst this post-Armageddon bomb-shelter mentality, I remain determined to share some great stuff to do with your kids outside. Los Angeles is brimming with fun, free or low-cost activities. Before we get to that, however, you will literally have to unplug, disconnect, or disarm your kids from their "electronic pals." Not an easy task, but power through the drama. because once outside, it all changes.

"LOOK UP! IT'S THE SKY!"




Let’s start with parks. Grab your bikes, skateboards, balls, Frisbees, or nothing at all and take them to a park. They are everywhere, with real, live trees, green grass, humans, basketball courts, and swings. You can go here (www.laparks.org) and find hundreds of locations. This is a great website because it will also guide you through many activities available to kids, from soccer, to dance, to basketball, baseball, etc. Also many of these parks have pools.


The YMCA is another great destination. Quite a few have been revamped. They practically look like four star hotels; outfitted with  heated pools, warm towels, clean facilities, lifeguards, and lots of outdoor playgrounds.


Hiking. A must. We are lucky to have so many options. Lots of hiking zones also cater to dogs. Watch your children go crazy. You can find a huge list of places off the beaten path hikes.  I took the kids on a summer of local hikes, waterfalls, lions, snakes, cultural history.





Here is one experience. 


Cultural activities abound. Every month someone is celebrating something somewhere in L.A. Downtown we have the African American Museum,  Chinatown and Olvera-Street. This is merely the tip of the iceberg.


Museums of interest to any child would include The Science Center and Natural History Museum (at USC), Disney Hall (downtown) L.A. Tar Pits and LACMA (Mid-Wilshire). Huntington Gardens (Pasadena) is a splendor for children, as is their library.

Same is true with the amazing library downtown. In fact, any library will pique their interest. Several have readings by known authors and other educational events. For more specialized interests the Peterson Automotive Museum (Mid Wilshire across from LACMA) is a great outing and boasts games, treasure hunts, readings and more.


The Griffith Park Observatory is a must for everyone. The observatory offers hours of unique, mesmerizing, educational fun. A meteor shower, moon phases and launching Space X Dragon Capsules simply can't be seen anywhere else.

Griffith Park is sort of like the Los Angeles version of Central Park but without the ice rink. Enviable open space, nature and the freedom to explore. And at least once you need to do the nighttime horseback ride with its cowboy prepared campfire and grub. (Okay, maybe actor cowboys but cowboys still.)  The 360 views are unmatched.




I am going to throw in a few more adventures of which my own kids never grow tired: Planting trees at Tree People; visiting the Aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier (fish touching a big draw there,) bike rides and walks along the ocean. There are so many beautiful areas all you need to do is drive up the PCH until you see a spot to park.




My kids love kelp, I have no idea why. They throw it, smash it and if I allow them, make me disappear.





Loads of fun. Heh.

Regarding television, I watch very little, but what I like and approve are the following:

Modern Family. Who can’t laugh at this great program?

The Cooking Channel. My daughters basically have become gourmet chefs.

National Geographic. There is not a mammal, marsupial, lizard, snake, spider or dinosaur they cannot identify. The channel is great, depending on the show because it leads kids to …ta-da… the library in order to obtain more information on whatever Cheetah or Penguin they were going on about.

Finally, on school nights, this is where your imagination and history come into play. Pull out Life, Monopoly, Cranium, Yahtzee, Checkers, or just have a drawing contest. I always lose.

Their most fun game is charades. It involves nothing, but oddly teaches them a lot. And because they are young, and their references are often, well, young people such as Taylor Swift, I always lose. Kids love that.

Here are a few websites I will leave you with you may also find helpful.

www.eyespyla.com

http://lawithkids.com/

http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/region/los-angeles-ca-usa

This website helps guide parents by rating TV shows, movies, video games, books by age and often gender of child. It can be quite helpful.

Finally I love outdoor movies and ice cream trucks.



My favorite is Eat, See and Hear. Check the movie and times, but a great benefit of living in Los Angeles is being able to go outside almost any day or night of the year.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Miley Cyrus, Blurred Edges, Fame and No.







Here I am once again so late to the party that not only has this Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke twerking thing passed but apparently she was engaged then not engaged to some famous guy I never heard of--Liam Hemsworth. I had to look him up.  Honestly, could this get more complicated? He is the younger brother of two other famous actors I never heard of, Chris and Luke; an Australian trio of young lads who found their way to Los Angeles.



Of the three brothers, I’m slightly embarrassed by my ignorance regarding Chris Hemsworth.  He starred in Thor! Avengers! Snow White and the Huntsman!  Didn’t see any of them. But I did see Cabin in the Woods! But I can’t recall since everyone was usually covered in blood and died.



Chris, on the surface, seems really great. He built this massive career, is making a fortune, has a new baby girl and is helping his brothers out.

I can’t place Liam. I did see Hunger Games on DVD but don’t remember this guy. Or any guys. I only remember Jennifer Lawrence, hoping this role would not in any way damage her perfect career choices. It did not. I love her.




Star. Talented. Brilliant. ^ ^ ^ ^   



In any case I always have to ask my kids what the fuss is regarding any matters of pop culture. 

Though I don't want this, like an unstoppable flood, media gossip spills off the mag racks, into the street and finally into our house. 



I haven’t watched the VMA’s since Kurt Cobain was carried onto stage to get his prize. And I think it was called MTV awards.

I remember Hannah Montana because it was a TV show that I wouldn’t let my kids watch. Though many of their friends did, it seemed too mature and well, ridiculous for them. A sweet girl that no one noticed who morphs into a sexy rock star at night and everyone notices. Not a message I liked.

So they really only know Miley as this:



E:  We used to like her. We don’t like her now. She's gross and just wants attention.
A:  People try to act like her at school. Gross. As singers go, we like Adele.

They have no clue who Robin Thicke is, and I actually thought this whole controversy was about Alan Thicke, an actor I vaguely remember for being on a TV show that centered around kids. But I never saw the show.  My only recollection of Alan is a friend of mine dated him the 90s’.

I actually thought this old man was twerking on stage with a naked Miley Cyrus. Yuck.

Okay, I get it, he has a kid, Robin. So, then I thought the controversy had to do with two girls making out on stage ala Madonna and Britney. No. Robin is a dude.

As a parent, you kind of need to stay slightly aware of current pop culture, because this is what may or may not be influencing your children.

Fortunately my girls don’t like anyone who is famous for being famous, don’t like girls who prance around in panties while they sing, seem to understand that it’s all for attention and finally they have great taste in music.

They would much rather listen to Lenka, The Rolling Stones and Imagine Dragons than Miley, Taylor Swift or Justin Beiber who they seem to actually loath. They do like Lady Gaga.

E: She’s seems like a pop star but is more than a pop star, has a great voice, always changing. We get she has to be over the top to stay relevant but she’s really talented. The rest are not.
A:  Plus her videos are totes mad. Taylor Swift dresses okay but her music is boring.


They love her new song Applause and I let them listen to it because she's 100 women in one, essentially lets the world know she is in on the "pop" culture joke and she's also a great singer. However, I don't let them watch that particular video.

So I finally looked at the Miley Cyrus Alan Thick Blurred Lines Video.  When I found out the song was called Blurred Lines, I felt tremendous relief because I see that phrase trending constantly and thought it had to do with fancy eyewear, like Prada announcing new lenses for people suffering from Blurred Lines.

Oh but wait! First I looked at the Robin Thicke video. How does this pass for a song? A really horrific version of an old Michael Jackson, maybe Prince track filled with offensive lyrics and naked girls strutting around suggestively in high heeled sneakers, yanking on goats and foam fingers.  I thought I had stumbled upon the porn section of You Tube. 





Robin seemed kind enough, I can see it in  his ocean blue eyes. But what the heck? This is nothing more than a continuance that "good girls" just need to be freed up with drugs and booze to get their wild sexy on.

-I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
But you're a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me-


Do men still really believe this? The old "Catholic girls are animals in bed" bullsh** once someone plies them with booze and rips off their school vest? God help us.

Then I look at Blurred Lines with Miley Cyrus. She did nothing more than throw in her twerk obsession, because you know, Miley wants the world to understand she is down with rap. 

And when will white performers stop reducing black music to twerking, grills and bitches?

How is this a number one song? Combine Thicke's archaic idea that girls really "want it" with white female musicians trying to appropriate black music through the crudest of ways made me wish I hadn't seen this at all.  

Miley naturally had to outdo the Thicke video, so she heightened the suggestive foam finger routine. At least she kept her bra on. But of course it got worse... bring out Pharrell, whoever that is:

-Nothing like that last guy
He too square for you
He won't smack that ass or tear that hair for you-

It gets worse, but you get the idea. I'm sure you've already seen this nonsense passing for entertainment.  As said, way behind pop curve.



This is also not new. MTV has been swarming with girls wearing thongs in porn videos celebrating drugs and sex as long as I can remember. But, like everything, the envelope is constantly being thrust onto an ever increasing blurry edge. When Alanis Morissette walked the subways nude, she did this to make a point. 

Now there is no point, except pure exploitation. I suspect the next big You Tube hit will be Miley singing nude while being passed around by the Duck Dynasty. 

Miley was surprised by the commotion but this is not her fault. Music companies push kids to do exactly what the song is saying.  "You want to be the next Madonna? Outdo her. Now."

I mean, look at Justin Bieber. What happened to this cute kid?




Music executives. "Okay, Justin. You can drop the sweet boy from Canada thing. This is America. We can keep you at the top of the charts. Act like a thug."




Never in my young life did I contemplate putting on skimpy underpants and high heels to go shopping on Melrose. But times have changed. I don't know if girls think this is liberating or mandatory. So I consult the twins.

E: It's disgusting. Those girls just want attention like the plastics at school but with a bigger audience. They want fame.
A: Just no.

The girls don't have access to the internet but they hear stuff at school. They see pictures. They know all about twerking. They also love to dance. We have dance parties in the living room. It's fun.  

Me: What is twerking?
E: Oh sick. Mom, don’t ever try that. It's disturbing. Plus, you’ll break your back.
A: It's so eeewww!
Me: I’m giving it a go. 

Both girls screamed!

I tried to do a handstand against the wall which I’ve done countless times in yoga.  How hard could it be? Then add a slight pelvic tilt, which btw, I do in my cardio barre classes anyway. I tried to combine this but my wrists collapsed. Yeah, not a pretty sight.


I probably should have taken off my shoes.

E: Mom, don’t do that anymore. It’s not for old people. Also anyone can do it. But why? It's stupid.
A: So lame. It’s all lame.


Rhonda Talbot reporting on Miley Cyrus and twerking.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Semester with Robert DeNiro, er Sam Rothstein.





It turns out one of the 10-year girl twins is very similar to me. Well, they both are but I was hoping they would be spared. This is about Audrey. In the short form sent from school they ask a series of questions.

Question:  What motivates your child?
Answer:  Money.

Probably not the most common answer, but it’s true. Sure she likes praise, but it has to be real and she has the same phony detector I have. She loves to earn. And she loves to be recognized for this hard work.

For the past couple years, she’s been giving me chore lists, and it grows and grows. Everyday after school she runs into my office.



A: What chores can I do right now before homework and how much can I earn?

So I tell her to empty the dishwasher, reload, sweep the floor and wipe down the counters.

A: Okay, I’m done. $15?
Me: Seems kind of high.
A: What! Come on.
Me: Okay. $10.
A: Deal. Mom, are you sure over the weekend after I wash your car I can’t perhaps paint the house? That’s a big job. How much could I make?
Me: A lot. We can discuss another time. I'm busy.



A: Technically you are not the boss of the world. And you know I’m a great artist. Look.



Me: True. It’s different painting a house. You need a scaffold.
A: What? Derp.

She stomps off. Audrey is a short-tempered entrepreneur.

Between the two girls they have amassed thousands of watercolors, drawings, oils, bracelets, bangles, entire outfits sewn with Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood fabrics. They never stop. But Audrey wants money. Her sister has no interest.

Like a true artist, she is above commerce.

E: Whatever… we share the money. Here, I know you like to keep this stuff. Whatever.

Then she’ll throw me a piece of artwork.




My Daughters Myself

By age ten, I was also well on my way.  On Halloween night, I would roam the streets of Detroit for hours until I could no longer lug my candy- stuffed pillowcase. I would wait a week, then as the more sloth-like kids ran out of their loot, I sold them mine.  We all met in the school parking lot to divvy up the goods. Almond Joys were most valuable, Mary Jane’s least. I had a system that pushed 100 bucks into my pocket each time.

Then I started putting on magic shows that were so lame some of the five- year- olds demanded their 50 cents back.

“Watch me pull a rabbit from under this picnic table.” I would yank the plastic table cloth and pull out my pet Frodo.  I made no excuses for my sheer laziness: a neighbor’s dog ate Frodo later putting the kibosh on my one and only magic trick.



I also raked leaves, went door to door and ask my neighbors what they needed. One woman had me lick stamps (for Abigail Van Buren,) another had me accompany her on visits to her diseased husbands grave. “George. Can you hear me?” Weird. 

Then by age 11, I was babysitting watching TV.  Big bucks.

By 14 I was working in a drill bit factory for $75 bucks a week, a lot of blue jeans and albums. But it was so boring, I thought there had to be a better way. So I robbed a series of banks by hooking up with an older sisters hoodlum boyfriend who cranked out fake checks in his garage. We were surrounded at the bank and caught, but they let me go.







I never understood why people don't smile in mugshots. Maybe I'm vain. ^ ^ ^ ^


When college rolled around, I had maintained straight A’s in high school, so I was eligible for nearly every scholarship. Thousands of dollars.  I even applied to scholarships for African American amputees and won. Only because no one else applied.

I was financially flush, and at 17, had a sweet cottage right on Pacific beach, a corvette and some snazzy outfits.



This is when I met Robert DeNiro, Or Sam “Ace” Rothstein or Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. Despite all my money and heavy academic workload, after I learned you could make a quick buck dealing cards, I did just that. And was their “star” dealer because I was fast and good with math. Even when the guys lost, they tipped me. I easily made 200 bucks a night.

But I also quickly learned how to play. And I made more. No one thought some teenaged girl would rake in pots, but I did.

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal was a regular and when he entered the Lady Luck, everything went quiet. Clearly he was the most important person in San Diego.  He always had this floozy older busty woman with him called Peaches, his good luck charm.  But then I started taking him down. Hand after hand. He fell in love.



I'd like to say he looked like Robert DeNiro. 



More this guy, ^ ^ ^ slightly older, with glasses, in a track suit wearing 50 pounds of gold jewelry. 

A few weeks later I moved in with Lefty. Peaches moved out.  He had a penthouse overlooking the ocean. I put my artwork and photographs on the wall to make the place homier.




Okay, so he was my grandfather’s age, but I adored him. He was so smart, funny, and feared which made him sexy. I had no clue as to his past. And he thought I was some sort of goddess. He never tried to have sex with me, which was perfect because I hated sex. Instead, we made fat free yogurt and played gin rummy when I wasn’t at school.

Lefty was an incredible numbers man, the best horse race handicapper there was. In his office was a huge cork board filled with numbers, charts, and words like Beyer figures, track base, and form cycles. I had a mind for math, and enjoyed discussing this board. In fact, he wanted my input and often used it. Then would give me my take on his share. More money.

“Go with the trifecta, 4, 7 and 12.” He would and we’d hit. Picking horses seemed obvious to me. I would factor in history, their health, the length of their neck and legs, the alertness in their eyes, their record, and more importantly their owner. How they were treated meant a lot to me.

If only they had computers back then, poor Lefty who was nearly blind needed an excel sheet. He wore these goggle glasses and shouted numbers and orders on the phone. Men in suits carrying bags and billfolds came and left.



He often went to Las Vegas and I went along a few times. Though I was now 18, I was still too young to go on the floor.  But Lefty made me an I.D., not that they would have questioned him and he taught me how to play craps. And I won at that too!

This all may explain why Casino is one of my favorite films and I've seen it 25 times. Who knew?

All the while, mixing this life with my academia. I was in film school, one of three females. I was also the best student, not out of any kind of genius but because I worked hard and needed to be the best. While we all got along, I grew tired of being in everyone’s short movies and plays because they needed a girl. Acting was not my thing.

“Pretend your entire family is being held hostage by a madman in the next room. You have to save them."
"I'm holding a plunger. This is so stupid. I don't even care about my family."
"It's acting! Come on, I need an A! Look horrified."


My horror face. ^ ^ Also how fun to learn Jennifer Aniston was in a movie about sadistic Leprechauns. She's adorable.

I loved the film department but mostly hung out with my professors. One of them also lived in Hollywood pursing his producing career so I came to LA often and met tons of producers, actors and directors. From Mick Jagger to Tom Cruise, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jack Nicholson,  Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese… heh.

In my sophomore year, I realized I had to give Lefty the boot. I needed to be with my own kind. Hollywood. And to finish school. Stop living a double life.

One day while he was at the card club, I moved out. Just disappeared. I heard he went to a dive bar and cried for seven straight days. Then Peaches moved back into his penthouse.

But I was on my way. I had sold a script to Hollywood about my double life with a gambler to Michael Douglas’ company.  It sold for $125,000. I just kept making money.

Of course I thought this would be the norm, write a script, sell it, do it again. I sold a few more, but then started working at a production company so I could make real big bucks. And actually get movies made. I met with Sherry Lansing and Sue Mengers for tips. They were incredible.

“People are a whole lot more stupid then they appear. Cover your ass, placate their egos and don’t sleep with anyone unless it’s a real thing.” 

This came from Sue. She was ending her career as the most powerful female agent in Hollywood but had much to say. We would meet in the ICM bathroom, her throwing out juicy tidbits of info while stripping off her clothes changing for a party.

“I fucking hate panty hose.”



Bad ass original ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

As I watch my little 10-year old girl running around, organizing, planning, scheming, there I am all over again. But what she has that I didn’t is a mother. And a father. We can make sure she doesn’t hook up with an old gambler, or hang out with crazy movie stars. She will get solid direction. She already has a solid foundation.

There is a tremendous difference in kids’ lives when they don’t have parents. I knew this growing up. I knew I would have to be my own parent. I knew I would have to make good, difficult decisions and I did the best I could.

But not all kids without parents are so lucky. A lot of my mentors came in the form or teachers, friends parents and older industry vets. Lots of help along the way.


Meanwhile, I think the 10’s will be just fine.  But I need to come up with some more moneymaking ideas for Audrey. Otherwise they will make good on their promise, move out and get their own apartment.


Rhonda Talbot weighing in on orphans, entrepreneurial spirit, gambling, Casino, Lefty Rosenthal, Martin Scorsese, growing up, Hollywood, mentors.