very berry steel-cut oats

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I had a commercial callback the other day. I arrived in full tennis regalia (natch) and as I was signing in, I could clearly hear through the wafer-thin walls that my session was underway.

There was screaming. Like lady-orgasm screaming. With fist-pumping "YES!"s and "WHOO-HOO!!"s thrown in.

Uh oh, I thought. Shit.  

See, often the commercial world works this way: When you go in for your initial audition it's run by a casting assistant who gives you a thorough explanation (sometimes too thorough) of what's happening in the scene, what's expected of you, what the director is looking for, where to stand, where to move, how big the frame is, etc... You usually get this explanation and then have several minutes to process before your actual read. They put that audition on tape and it's shown to the director and advertising executives.

If you're lucky, you get a callback (to now be seen by the director and the ad execs in person) so you think they must've liked what I did the first time around. I'm awesome!

Then you enter the waiting room for the callback and you hear orgasm screams that most certainly DID NOT occur at your first audition. But you have to wait until you get in there for your turn (in front of all the decision makers) to learn the new ropes and instantly perform. 

This annoys me. I know I'm supposed to be ready for what's thrown at me. I know that's part of my job. But I like information. Just tell me what I need to do in advance. Just give me two minutes to think about it and make some smart choices not in front of you. I just drove across town during thick rush hour in my itchy tennis outfit. Can you throw me a bone? 

No? Awesome. 

So I'm finding a way to make peace with this whole deal since I'm on deck. And as I'm wracking my brain to understand how this new shrieking fits into the scene I did last week, the girl in there before me starts going TO TOWN. It's loud. And the walls are paper-thin. And it keeps going. And going. And GOING. And then she gives it a big flourish-y finish. Show-off.

Cue fits of laughter bellowing through the walls. A "WOW!" is heard. They love her. It's awesome for her. And then when the door opens she emerges all flushed and proud-sheepish. "Thank you so much for coming in!!!!!!!!!" They yell out to her. "You were GREAT!!!!!!!"  

And then it's my turn. I walk into the room and say, "I'll have what she's having!" Polite titters ensue from the execs. The director turns to me. "Well, you have some serious competition!" He says, while shaking his thumb at the door where the loud and long girl just exited.


I just stare at him and blink a couple times.

"So, sit down." He says.

I do. Just in time to receive the long-awaited explanation given to me in non-chalant fashion by the director as if he's just giving me a quick reminder of what I've already been told to do (I haven't):

"You're just having dinner with your husband no big deal you do this all the time and then you get a text saying you just won US Open tickets and inside you lives a super-fan so it's like you're having contractions holding it in but you're so excited this fan is trying to get out but you're trying to keep it in but it starts to trickle out and then you can't hold it in any longer and you have to scream and you're so excited you're like a super-fan and you start screaming like you're having an orgasm ha ha and you stand up and get crazy do some crazy and zany stuff move around use the room and then drop to your knees and say the line."

A couple more blinks from me.  

"You ready?"

I take a crack at it. It's maybe not pretty. But I leave my body so I have no idea what actually transpires.

Him: "Ha ha ok you can't actually grab your stomach because then it looks like you're actually having contractions and like you're actually going into labor you need to use the room more you're a super-fan."

Me: "I was just excited and I grab my stomach when I'm excited."

Him: "Well, don't."

Me: "So just to clarify: when I drop down to my knees and say the line is that the zenith of the orgasm?"

Yeah, I said zenith.    

Him, irritated: "No. The orgasm is when you're standing up and excited and acting zany and using the room."

Me: "Oh. So when I go to my knees it's like the afterglow?"

He doesn't think it's funny but I get a titter or two from the higher-ups.

I take a second crack at it. It's not too shabby. I stay in my body enough to know it actually happened.

Except for two rug-burned, bruised knees and a hoarse throat I leave unscathed.

I did not get the job.

***Moral of this story: 

You never know when you're gonna need that extra energy. Eat a good breakfast.

Very Berry Steel-Cut Oats
serves 4

These are so good! There is a dish similar to this on the Le Pain Quotidian menu that years ago I tried to recreate. It's been so long since I had the original that I'm not sure how similar they are anymore. I do know that these are fantastic and a weekend staple at Chez Joeycake:)

4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats (I used traditional but Trader Joe's has a fantastic quick cooking version)
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1/3 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped (optional)
flax oil (for serving--optional)

Prepare the oats as directed on the package (throwing in a pinch of salt when you add the oats to the boiling water). When almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and it seems like you have about 5 minutes of cooking remaining, stir in the frozen berries. They will thaw and gently cook as the oats finish. When the oats have become hot again, add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the flax meal. Serve with the nuts and a drizzle of flax oil on top, if desired.

BTW, this refrigerates really well. You can make a big pot of it and just reheat it one portion at a time in the microwave. Add a little almond milk (or milk of your choice) if it gets too thick.


scenes from the most uncomfortable moment of the Oscars

Monday, February 27, 2012

Swooping crane shot revealing balcony-band closed in on this sound-less man. It was unclear if he was:

a. Speaking in tongues
b. Sleep-singing
c. Having a small seizure

Turns out he was singing a delightful yet totally random Hindi chant situation. Obvi.

Happy Monday!

P.S.  **note to performing singers: when you close your eyes we can still see you.

scenes from the creepy locker room floor of David's gym

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dear 24-Hour-Fitness Member (aka Mr. Thick Dick),

Kudos to you. Your commitment to enlarging every muscle by whatever means necessary is huge.

BTW, everyone knows litterbugs have small penises.


{Thanks to DP for writing this post with me and for having the balls to take this photo.}

I love love

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I wrote a 5-part love story with conversation hearts!

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

Ok.  So it's kinda cynical.  (I meant for it to be more funny than sad:))

Happy Valentine's Day! A bah-humbug attitude toward Valentine's Day has become de rigeur and I'm right there with you on the pressure to spend a ton of money on a mediocre prix fixe dinner. But what's so wrong about a day dedicated to telling people you love them? A day for love. I love it. I know it sounds so cheesy but I truly, genuinely mean this: I hope you spend some time loving yourself today too. The world would be a better place if there was self-love and acceptance running rampant.

More about Conversation Hearts.

If you're feeling a bit bitter, check out these: Bittersweets!  My favorite sayings include:


If you're feeling romantic, check out these sweet Valentine Mad-Libs.

love love love

josh's nut butter

Monday, February 13, 2012

I grew up a middle child sandwiched between tortured by two brothers.

My older brother Tyler used to pin down my shoulders with his knees and let loogies drip down from his mouth until they were .0000000002 millimeters from my face before he'd suck them back up. And worse: fart into his hand and then cup it over my nose and mouth. How I endured this kind of sick torture is beyond me. I should be way more scarred. Maybe I am and I just don't know it.

I always tell people I was really shaped by The Muppets and All Things Jim Henson but as I write this I realize most of my sick sense of humor and general oddness must certainly stem from being farted on as an adolescent. Apparently that really shapes you.

Tyler could dominate me physically but my younger brother Josh tortured me psychologically. He'd do things specifically just to get under my skin. Like pee on the toilet seat (daily) in the bathroom that we shared. That was a real treat. Sometimes I'd sit on it when it was freshly sprinkled and sometimes I'd catch it hours later. Oh, would you look at that! I just thought of another thing that shaped me: Washing sticky boy pee off my thighs. Awesome.

I'm sure I fueled the fire with both brothers by whining and tattling........I was the Goody Two Shoes of the group and what's more fun than sticking it to her? They both got away with murder though. Josh was the cute one who could charm the pants off anyone, and Tyler was the cool one and I think our parents were a little scared of him.

Knowing our history, it's hard to believe that now my brothers are two of my favorite people on the planet. The amount that I love them is in direct proportion to the amount of grief they gave me when we were little. And knowing the evil they're both capable of, it's hard to believe they're both now upstanding members of society--Tyler, a business owner with a heart of gold and Josh, an entrepreneur-y business man with a razor-sharp funny bone who is also one of the best dads I know.

Who knew he was also a secret chef? Josh gave all of us giant jars of his (self-named) "Josh's Nut Butter" for Christmas after he started following The Paleo Diet. Since there's no sugar or carbs fun allowed, this concoction is a legal food choice (that happens to taste amazeballs). So he was sharing the love but mostly, I think he just loved hearing us all say we really enjoyed his nut butter.

Josh's Nut Butter
yields one quart

If you like almond butter and you like coconut, you will not believe how freaking good this is. We started enjoying it daily in protein shakes, spread on apples or unapologetically by the spoonful. Plus, if you're doing any kind of sugar-free, carb-free diet you will freak out that this is allowed.

1 16oz. jar creamy almond butter (with or without salt), at room temperature (see notes below)
1 16oz. jar coconut butter (make sure it's not coconut oil, you want the flesh in there)
2-5 packets Nu-Stevia powder to taste (Josh says it must be this exact kind.  I didn't argue.)
1/4 t - 1/2 t fine sea salt
1 T coconut extract (optional)

Place the jar of coconut butter in a pot of super hot tap water for 15-20 minutes to soften. Stir the almond butter for a couple minutes in its jar. Combine both nut butters in a blender or bowl and mix well. [I've used a blender but that said, once the blender seized and I ended up just stirring it by hand which was way easier than I thought it'd be. If your coconut butter is sufficiently warmed up this will be easy.] Mix in the contents of 4 stevia packets and 1/4 t salt. Taste and adjust as desired. If you want the flavor to lean a bit more on the coconut side, add the extract. With or without, it's delicious. Pour into a clean 1 quart (32oz.) jar and refrigerate a few hours to set. It's very viscous at first but chills to the perfect spreadable consistency. After it's set, store it at room temperature.

**Update on 5/21/12**
I've made several batches since this post and noticed that as the weather gets warmer, the nut butter gets runny due to the melting point of the coconut oil. To combat this, Josh recommends no-stir almond butter (This brand is great) which contains a bit of palm oil to keep it more stable. I've only found it in 12oz. jars which will just make your mixture a bit more heavy on the coconut (but still delicious). It also contains a bit of sugar which will require less stevia so taste as you go.


dusk walk

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It seems impossible this early but the deliciousness of the night-blooming Jasmine has begun its season in Los Angeles. At least in my neighborhood. I know I've said before the season changes are more subtle here but there is nothing subtle about that Jasmine. It slaps me across the face with its intoxication and makes me weak in the knees with nostalgia.

To me it smells like the promise and possibility of Spring, Valentine's Day, my Birthday, and all the highs and lows of Pilot Season rolled into one.

It also smells like being new to LA. I moved here 14 years ago during mid-Winter but got my settled-in groove during early Spring. After braving NYC for several years I moved into a tiny rental cottage in the middle of Hollywood. There was ivy growing on the bungalow year-round and through the bars on the windows I could see a few palm trees across the street and a sparse dirt patch hosting a couple hardy birds-of-paradise. Things were alive and green in February! LA was magic! I felt like Snow White--like songbirds would actually come light on my tapered fingers if I reached them through said window bars. Despite having merely 4 feet of hardscape between me and my neighbors on all three sides, compared to New York, I felt cradled in the arms of Mother Earth. Near the corner of Melrose and Fairfax.  

I was drunk on the Jasmine.

More RC Craziness: I'm With The Band

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hello, you lovely readers!  The wait is over!  This one is a particular favorite of mine:)

#13---------------------------------> I'm With The Band

Hope you enjoy!


P.S.  Links for all the Runyon Canyon Videos are on the right side of the blog-------------------->
or on my Joeycake channel here.  xo
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