Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sometimes, A Girl Has Got To Be Happy with What Her Momma Gave Her

I obsess over many things. One of my obsessions is my body image. It has been an obsession for so long that I consider it just a natural, albeit annoying, part of my daily routine.

However, I am growing tired of obsessing about my weight, clothing size and body all of the time. It's not just my weight. It's what I eat, how much I eat, what I drink, how much water I am drinking, how often I exercise, what type of exercise I do. It's good to want to be healthy, and quite honestly, I am healthier now at a bigger size than I was in high school at a smaller size. I am healthier now because I try to eat three meals a day. Instead of a Slimfast bar for breakfast, an orange and five Saltines for lunch and whatever my mom makes for dinner, I let myself eat. I just try to be more conscious about it.

Sometimes though, I start to feel down about  my progress and I wish that I could just have a faster metabolism. That I could be as thin as whichever actress I happen to be watching on TV. Working in my field, I come across a lot of local and national celebrities, models, makeup artists and more who are so beautiful and thin that I begin to lose sight of the accomplishments that I have made and the good transformations that have taken place on my body, and I focus on a figure that I will never attain, no matter how hard I exercise and how little I eat. I am a curvy girl. Even at my smallest waist sizes, I have wide hips, bigger thighs and a booty. I need to remember that I like curves. I want to have curves and that the actresses I most admire have curves (well, Angelina Jolie used to be a bit curvier before she got so very skinny).

Tonight, I went to see my  mom and she gave me a Marilyn Monroe nightlite. It made me smile and then I remembered that according to legend, the iconic actress and model was a size 12. Us modern day women love to remind ourselves that Monroe was supposedly a size 12. A size 12 may not be the standard of today, but Marilyn Monroe has been and always will be above the standard. As I look at my nightlite, I am reminded that it's okay to not be a size 2. It's okay to be tall and to have curves. And by god, I LOVE my booty. Anyone who knows me can tell you that.

I am still going to work on losing the weight that I have gained but I am going to remind myself that I do not need to get to society's standard. I just need to get to my own standard. And for me, that standard has got some curves. While I will work to tone my arms, I will love that though my legs are not skinny, they are muscular. I am not a runway model, but my measurements now, are officially that of one of my most favorite shapes: The hourglass.

I do think Ms. Monroe would be very proud.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

David Duchovny, I Think You Love Me...

It's closing weekend of Sundance 2012, and while I have lots of good stories to tell, there is one in particular that will keep me smiling for some time to come.

When we received the program for this year's Sundance, we were asked to take a look and tell the editors of the Salt Lake Tribune, what premieres we would want to do red carpet at. I looked through the book and bypassed names such as reigning "Sexiest Man Alive," Bradley Cooper, and my heart stopped when my eye read "David Duchovny."

I have loved David Duchovny since his days as Fox Mulder on "The X-Files." That show was a weekly tradition for my dad and I. My brother got Sunday football, and I got Sunday "X-Files." Each week before the show aired, my dad would make us brownies and milk shakes and we would settle in to watch the episode. My love for Duchovny blossomed in to having his posters hanging on my wall and a birthday gift of the Mulder and Scully Barbie dolls. My best friend's mom even bought me the entire series on DVD.

So, years later, I hold a special place in my heart for David Duchovny. He was the man who brought my dad and I together, who helped me form a friendship with a girl in my school who was also an avid "X-Files" fan and who helped one of my other best friends and I connect over our love of all things Mulder and Scully.

I quickly sent my request in to do the red carpet for his film, "Goats," which was directed by Christopher Neil. Ty Burrell, who plays Phil in "Modern Family," is also in the film as is Kerri Russell and Vera Farmiga.

I got the red carpet assignment and then decided, "what the hell? I might as well ask for a one-on-one with Duchovny. The worst they can do is say no."

I was in complete shock when I received an email from his publicist saying that my one-on-one was confirmed.

The day of the one-on-one had me early for the interview, which resulted in my being a part of a round-table discussion with the cast and director. When David Duchovny approached the table, he sat right next to me and I was so excited and nervous and shocked, that I had to contain myself so as to look professional.

His voice is very unique and it was crazy to hear it in-person rather than coming from the TV. He looked super handsome and was quite charming. Since the days of "X-Files," and the start of "Californication," which is in its fifth season, Duchovny has become more famous for his sex addiction than his characters. People asked me if he was creepy or if he came on to me or if he was anything like Hank Moody, his "Californication" character, and I was kind of surprised that people think that way.

Would he really be a creeper in an interview? Maybe. But I had higher expectations for Duchovny, and he met them.

I didn't ask him much during the round-table discussion and during our one-on-one, I joked with him and asked him about the huge beard that his "Goats" character sports. We had some inside jokes and I got a picture with his sexy arm around me. I was floating on clouds.

I warned Duchovny that I would be on the red carpet that evening and promised him that I am not a stalker. He told me that I better come up with new questions and he joked that I could always ask him what he is wearing as a fallback question. I told him that I hate that question and he said, "me too. Especially because I never know what I am wearing."

Later on the red carpet, he came up to me and asked, "So, did you think of any questions." THAT was the flirtatious moment (well, in my mind). He stood wayyyyy close to me (again, in my mind) and we laughed and I asked him about growing weed (because his character does in the film) and I have no idea what he said because my mind is a blur. All I can remember is how incredibly close David Duchovny was standing to me and how if I just reached out a teenie tiny bit...

Back to reality. I asked him what he was wearing and he started laughing. A real laugh. And that is when I realized that I had a private joke with David Duchovny. My last moments with him ended all too soon. But, I will forever cherish that day up at Sundance.

Meeting David Duchovny meant that the little fan-girl from high school grew up, and stopped talking about meeting celebrities and started doing it. Some of them are let-downs. Some of them make you wish you never wanted to meet them. Some of them think they are better than everybody else. And some of them, are exactly how you hope they will be.

David Duchovny was everything I hoped he would be. And more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

With a Bad-Ass Name Like 'Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash,' What's Not to Love?

The Americana band, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash play at Bar Deluxe tonight and I had the opportunity to speak with the group's creator and frontman, Mark Stuart.

Stuart has taken the stage with some pretty legendary musicians, which include the likes of Willie Nelson and even got permission from the Man in Black himself to use the Johnny Cash name in the band's moniker.

My phone interview with Stuart was quite pleasant and I was particularly smitten with the way he began the interview by bubbling over with excitement over the fact that his first baby is on the way. Here is the article that I did for Now in Salt Lake featuring the interview with Mark Stuart. You can also read it online here.

Mark Stuart, the leading man and founder of Americana/alt-country band Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash has shared the stage with music legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, George Jones, and the list goes on. But when he calls Now in Salt Lake to talk about his successful music career, he wants to talk about the fact that he is going to become a dad for the first time.

Stuart tells me that he and his wife had spent the day before at a birthing center and shared his thoughts on becoming a dad. Let's just say that he is very excited and a little nervous.

After offering congratulations, I ask Stuart about the music that he has spent the past 15 years making. Stuart formed the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash in 1995, and was given permission to use the band's name by the late Johnny Cash himself. When asking Stuart to tell me the story behind getting Cash's permission to use the name, he said that it was a long story and that it was in his bio. While this response sounds a bit short, I realize Stuart has probably told this story many times.

When I check out his bio,I find that not only did Cash give him permission, but he also personally invited Stuart to his home in Tennessee to record albums.

Since I am persistent, I decide that if Stuart won't tell me the Johnny Cash story, then maybe he will tell me how he came up with the name.

"The inspiration behind the name was due to dreams I was having. Johnny Cash started coming to me in my dreams and started playing songs with me. When I was looking for a name to put to this music, that's what I ended up coming up with. I would meet him in my dreams and we would play songs together, and then I would wake up and go, 'That was weird,' " says Stuart.

In some way, Stuart's dreams manifested into a reality that allowed him to make playing music a full-time job.

"Music is all I have done since 1999. It can be hard work sometimes, particularly the travel, but it's also really rewarding," says Stuart.

He and his band of Bastard Sons have traveled all over the nation playing venues both big and small for country music-loving fans who are looking for a bit of what country music used to be. We discuss the days old country music, when musicians like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and the like weren't dressing up in glittery cowboy hats and fringe jackets. Stuart says that the music he and his bandmates create is one that he thinks some people may need to look up.

"The best description would be Americana, and [I would] have them look up what the definition of Americana is, which is really the blending of country, folk, Western and swing. It definitely leans closest to country music. It's closer to the bar room than the board room," says Stuart, who says that the band will occasionally add in a "... a few covers in from our heroes," to their original material. As mentioned, the "bar room" music of the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash has caught the attention of many notable figures in music along the path of his 25-year career as a musician. When I ask Stuart what it was like to take the stage with some of his heroes, he seems humbled by the experience.

"Its very rewarding when you create something and then you get to go out and share it with the people that inspire you. That's probably one of the most rewarding things. As a musician, I am inspired by my heroes, and when you get to play with them in person ... [those are] some of the most rewarding experiences that I have had," says Stuart.

If you haven't been to a Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash show then you should definitely plan to attend. After all, if the legends of country music themselves think these guys are worthy enough to carry on the name of the Man in Black, then you should see them while they are playing at venues that allow you an intimate experience.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Paul Rudd?

 Yesterday I spent the first part of my day at Ulysses Salon, where the owner and talented stylist, Andrew Valtal, freshened up the color on my locks. Before I sat down, I stopped by the table full of magazines and picked up a few. One of them was Nylon for Guysand on the cover, was the adorable and lovable Paul Rudd. 

Looking at the cover made me smile as I remembered my first time at the Sundance Film Festival last year as a full-time writer. One of the films being shown at the festival was "Our Idiot Brother," starring Paul Rudd with Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks and Rashida Jones.

I had been assigned to ask questions on the red carpet for this film and out of all the stars scheduled to grace us reporters with their presence, I was most excited to speak with Paul Rudd.

I have loved Paul Rudd since the days of "Clueless" and "Friends" and have never seen him in a role that I didn't like.

The night before the red carpet interview was to take place, I was sitting at table in the middle of a restaurant/bar in Park City called Flanagans. My editor was sitting across from me and I happened to look over towards the door right as Paul Rudd walked in. My stomach hit the floor and I started to freak out on the inside. I got my editor's attention and told her that Paul Rudd was here and I couldn't help but sneak stares at him. He looked exactly how he does on the big screen. I wanted so badly to jump up and ask him for a picture. I watched longingly as the server sat him at a table directly behind us and became insanely jealous when the people next to him seemed to recognize him and began talking to him. He didn't seem annoyed, rather, he began conversing with his restaurant neighbors and I grew green with envy as the other patrons laughed along with Paul Rudd and even got a picture with him.

I couldn't take it anymore and with my editor's permission, I got up to ask him for a picture. I hated myself as soon as I started talking to him because I was embarrassed. Here he was, trying to have a nice dinner in Park City and I was being a stupid fan. I also made the huge mistake of telling him I was a reporter, so, when I asked for a photo, he hesitated and was about to give in when the woman next to him butted in, told me very sternly that no, he was not doing photos and that I would see him on the red carpet tomorrow. Feeling embarrassed and dejected, I sulked back to my table and told my editor what had happened. I was so mad at that woman, especially when I looked over and saw other patrons getting their picture with him.

The next day on the red carpet, I was not as starstruck as the day before. I hoped that I would get a chance to talk to him but being that he is Paul Rudd and the star of the film, I didn't expect much. My position on the red carpet was such that most of the publicists were pushing their clients through into the theater. I.e., I was at the end. As I watched Paul Rudd make his way through the reporters, I noticed that the woman who was with him at the restaurant was his publicist. And it all of a sudden made perfect sense why she denied my picture: I was press. I don't get to be a fan when I am press and we both know that rule. I just let the fan-side get the best of me.

I noticed that Rudd's publicist was shutting down interviews and trying to get him in the theater. My heart sunk again as I realized that I may not get to talk to him until his publicist looked at me and recognized me. "I promised her an interview," she said to Rudd, and the next thing I knew, there he was, standing in all his comedic glory in front of me.

The few moments that I had to interview him went by in a flash and I don't remember what all I asked but I did ask him about the buzzed about beard that he had grown for "Our Idiot Brother." I asked him if there was a woodland creature living in it, what would it be. Without missing a beat, he said an elk and continued talking about the creatures that would live in his beard.

It was a fast interview but I will forever remember it. When I read the story in Nylon magazine, I was jealous of the writer who got to spend an entire afternoon with Rudd, but I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Paul Rudd is exactly how you would imagine him: Like everyone else. He is good looking but not in an intimidating way. Super intelligent and articulate, and very funny. He could be your best friend or your neighbor and the article in Nylon does an excellent job of letting that side of Rudd show through. I can't seem to find a link to the article online, but when I do, I will post it here.

In the meantime, I get to list Paul Rudd as a celebrity that I interviewed and while I hated his publicist that night at Flanagans, I love her now. And one day, I too will get my afternoon with Rudd and a fantastic article will come out of it.

So, for now, I say, until next time, Mr. Rudd.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Picks of 2011

I know that we are on day 4 of 2012, and looking back at 2011 has already become old news, but I still want to share some of my favorite moments in music. I contributed to the  Dec. 22, cover story of Now in Salt Lake with my fellow IN writers and in that story, I listed my selections of music, local bands and more, that stood out in 2011. Below you will see what my picks were and if you want to see the whole story, then check out the article here.

(Photo of Bright Eyes is courtesy of Kelly Badger)

Top 5 Songs [Autumn Thatcher]
1 • "Turning Page," Sleeping At Last. The fourth song on the "Breaking Dawn part 1" soundtrack is so beautiful and ethereal that it will melt the iciest of hearts. It was written specifically for the movie and the instrumentation of the song is repeatedly played throughout the wedding scene in the film. This song may not be featured all over the radio and on MTV, but it is a new favorite.
2 • "The Cave," Mumford & Sons. This Grammy-nominated 2011 breakout band can do no wrong in my opinion. Their 2009 "Sigh No More" album was repeatedly at number one in top iTunes downloads this year and is chock full of great tracks, this one gets my adrenaline pumping and makes my jogs much more enjoyable.
3 • "Rolling in the Deep," Adele. This song needs no explanation.
4 • "Lighters," Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars. I can't help it, I love Eminem and have quickly become a sucker for Bruno Mars and that seriously amazing voice of his. This song features Eminem (Evil) and an old friend of his, Royce da 5'9" (Bad).
5 • "Even if I Don't," Rachael Yamagata. the singer/songwriter released her third studio album in October and the first song on the track is a perfect representation of the growth that she has experienced. And it's really good to listen to, like so good that you replay it a lot. At least I do.
Top 5 music interviews [Autumn Thatcher]
1 • Mickey Avalon. The glam rapper had me nervous to talk to him, thinking that he would be so wild, eccentric and obscene. Instead, he was distracted and practically lifeless and because of that, he will forever remain one of my most memorable interviews.
2 • St. Vincent. The electro-indie-pop rocker had me at first glance from the cover of Spin magazine at the airport over the summer, and when I got to interview her she was so articulate and her voice was so hypnotizing that I am convinced she could have told me to do anything and I would think it was a good idea.
3 • Jackson Rathbone. The in-person interview with the "Twilight" star and multi-instrumentalist for 100 Monkeys nearly had me shaking in my boots because I was so flustered. Rathbone is well spoken, talented, well-read and damn fine. Try looking into those eyes and remember what you were supposed to say, I dare you.
4 • Bob Schneider. The Austin native wasn't thrilled to have his practice session interrupted by my phone call but once he started talking he was so charming and hilarious that he had me laughing to the point of tears. Only Bob Schneider could talk about having sex with his grandmother like it's normal.
5 • Tom DeLong and Mark Hoppus. Although the interview was a press conference, listening to the two banter back and forth and make me laugh at their ridiculous comments had the teenaged Blink 182-loving girl in me jumping for joy, especially when it was my turn to ask questions.
Top 5 concerts [Autumn Thatcher]
1 • Bright Eyes at Twilight Concert Series. My undying love for Conor Oberst has had people call me everything from obsessed to pathetic. Oberst is to me what Bob Dylan is to Baby Boomers. His show at Pioneer Park was more than I could have hoped for because he played a number of my all time favorite songs that I had not yet seen live. The concert had me on a high for weeks after and I still get twitterpated when I think about it.
2 • Maria Taylor at The State Room. Maria Taylor opened for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and she was so good that those there early begged her to play more. I have long been a fan of Taylor's but this time, I took my fianc? to see the show with me and he finally understood why I love her so much.
3 • St. Vincent at Urban Lounge. The show was sold-out, the line was incredibly long and St. Vincent did not take the stage until after midnight, but she was more than worth the wait. She is simply magical on stage.
4 • Puscifer at Capitol Theatre. It was my first-time ever seeing Puscifer live. Maynard James Keenan performed along with a hot, British sidekick, Carina Round. The show was full of political statements and Maynard was pretty much amazing.
5 • The Parlotones at Urban Lounge. This South African megaband was a contender for my list of favorite interviews . The group is huge in South Africa and is humbly trying to build a fanbase in the U.S. They put on a hell of a rock show that made it clear that these guys are super stars in their home country. And they were so nice to meet after the show.
5 local bands to watch [Autumn Thatcher]
1 • The Suicycles
2 • King Niko
3 • Fictionist
4 • Samuel Smith Band
5 • Uncle Scam

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Boots Baby

For Christmas, Daveed got me the best gift a girl could ask And with that money, I bought myself a pair of boots. I have been wanting new boots since the leaves began changing color in October and it has finally happened. As soon as I found out that I could start boot hunting, I went online and searched through many, many styles until I found the perfect pair. Even better, they are Naughty Monkey brand, which is one of my favorites.

My brand new gorgeous pair of boots was delivered to my office today. It was the best way a girl could imagine spending a Tuesday. A big cardboard box delivered to my desk and when I opened it, I found a leopard print shoe box and beloved boots. I modeled them for my colleagues and tucked them back in their box and immediately began plotting what I would wear them with tomorrow.

Ah, shopping. It's the gift that keeps on giving.