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Archive for the ‘Hollyweird’ Category

Mindy For President!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:07 AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I never really got hooked on The Office, so I actually had zero percent idea of who Mindy Kaling was, and was really surprised when HuluPlus offered me the chance to preview an upcoming pilot episode of the new ½ hr comedy, The Mindy Project.

Who was this unknown chubby Indian girl staring at me from the show’s artwork, so happy and confident, with her REAL NAME in the show’s title? What rock had I been hiding under that I didn’t know who she was already? (The ‘mom of 3 kids’ rock, duh.)

Usually I start watching these ‘teaser’ pilots on Hulu and then stop 10 minutes (or less) after I started – because, let’s face it, most new TV shows are terrible.

Not this one.

This one?


Mindy, you are my hero.

I don’t know how she managed to do it – in one show, put all the things I’ve grown & evolved into thinking are WAY cooler than every other status quo represented in most half-decent shows on TV – and forget seeing them in any awful TV show, i.e. most of them: being a smart woman, being over 30, being non-white, not having a ‘sample-size’ body, being educated, being an OBGYN for God’s sake, believing it’s better NOT to have casual sex but instead to wait until you are not a teenager, with someone stable & ideally waiting to do it with someone you will stay married to your whole life….

I could go on and on.

Except it’s time for the next episode, so gotta run!

Until next time, readers… when I explain to you why you should also be watching The New Girl, Gossip Girl, Revenge, The Good Wife, and tell you the tale of how I finally healed from my breakup with Grey’s Anatomy (ie, watching all these new shows and not having any patience for that crazy show that jumped the shark already a season or 2 ago)…



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Had to channel my inner 12 year old for this baby. Nailed it!

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Down with the Fat Cow

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:36 AM
Monday, November 26, 2012


Can I talk to you for a second?

I know, I know – I haven’t written – blogged – for like seventeen years. And I’m telling you, I had my First Blog Back alllll planned. It was gonna reveal why I went dark for so long, and why I’m back now, and so on and so on…

But all that’s now gotta wait till next blog.

Cause right now????

Holy moly.

The other night I got home from a late movie which followed a dinner with friends at the Gordon Ramsey-owned restaurant Fat Cow. You know, that celebrity Hell’s Kitchen 4 Michelin Star chef guy, Gordon Ramsey? Well, here’s a hint:


Yes the Vodka pizza was yummy. But what is up with charging 15 dollars for a pizza and then serving it on a plate that would be dwarfed by my 3 year old’s doll dishes?

And yes the fish and chips was delicious – but also, outrageous – $20 for 2 small pieces of (yes, delicious) fish. Oh right, and about 2 gazillion skinny fries. Speaking of fries -

We ordered fries as an $8 side dish and when about 12 fries came out in a tiny tin pail, I KNEW that place was really shitty. It was like they had taken a pack of MacDonald’s fries, gave us about ½ of the pack and then charged us $8 for it.

But THAT is not even why I’m telling you not to go there. Because – although by the grace of God we had a really sweet, honest, wonderful waitress, Dara… I think seriously they’ve got something on her that forces her to work in that den of Satan’s spawn.

Because this OTHER guy who works there? (Yes, there were more than just 2 employees but the rest were just wussies who hid behind the talking head that was this other guy, Mr. Satan’s Spawn)…

Okay, I already gave it away. This guy was Evil Satan Spawn. In the flesh.

Or he was just a complete asshole.

Either way, it was late – 12:45am – when our movie let out. (Silver Linings Playbook – don’t get me started – the happy ending rocked but come on, this movie is not the best thing since sliced bread) – I was in the 5th floor of the parking garage with my 2 friends who were driving me home (my hubby had gone home after dinner), when the husband-½ of my friends realized he no longer had their car key in his pocket.

We quickly went down to Fat Cow, which was closing, and looked around. ESS (Evil Satan Spawn) and 2 other minions told my friend no key had been found, and my friend went to look in the movie theatre while the wife-½ of my friends and I entered Fat Cow and asked about a missing key.

After some hushed talk, we heard our waitress say that yes, a key had been found and they’d go look for it up in the office because she wasn’t sure where it had been left.

This blog is getting too long (I know, I know, I’m completely out of practice, I suck!) so I’m not going to really get into all the details about how ESS then came back forever later from the office to tell us “there was a key that had been found the day before and it was a rental car key so he’d just take our name, make of our car, and information, and they’d call us if anything turned up” – and then, stunned, how I asked Dara again if a key had been found THAT night and she was like, “yeah, right after you left, under your table, I knew it had to be yours, let me look for it,” and then ESS was like, after I accused him of lying to us about the key and told him we weren’t leaving since we couldn’t leave our car just parked up in the lot and he answered, “well, yeah, that’s why you usually want to take those things with you” in this horribly snarky tone of voice that made me want to strangle him, and I was like WHAT??? And my friend was like, WHAT??? And while he backed off that assholic comment, he  then proceeded to say, “well, we have your information, so you know, tomorrow we can ‘shake some people down’ and if anything turns up we’ll call you” and I was now ready to become an ax murderer and chop this guy up but instead I chose to open up a Pinchas Book (go, Kabbalah) and as SOON as we opened the book Dara came to us with the key that “miraculously” had just been located.

I’m telling you. This place is evil. Except Dara. She’s probably being kept against her will.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS Something is up and WordPress (my blog platform) isn’t letting me pirate images from the internet anymore. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!!??? So in the meantime, I have no choice but to resort to creating my own images. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at copyright infringement policing!

PPS Wait… um… maybe I didn’t mean that, quite how I wrote it…

PPPS ARGHHHH I’m just a terrible artist, can’t a sister catch a break??? Here goes nothing:

This is the only kind of Fat Cow that ought to be allowed.

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Marketing Shmarketing. I wish.

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:00 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I completely suck at marketing myself (she writes to the handful+ of readers she has managed to “amass” via blogging sans marketing).

Well, okay, there was that ONE BLOG where I attempted to market myself.

Sorry, folks. Just fell off my chair laughing. Oh yeah, that worked AMAZING.

Not too long ago, I tried to hire a friend at a dismally low fee to do some marketing on my behalf. She immediately took the job, exclaiming she would do it for free! (But I insisted on paying) – and then even more immediately did nothing, for an entire month, until she admitted she had no time to help me.

Everyone has time. What we don’t always have are priorities. Specifically, marketing BatSheva’s creative endeavors don’t ever seem to be mine or anyone’s priority, even if I try to throw some money at the problem.

Back when I had a band, “marketing” meant sending flyers via postcard, and later, emails, every time I had an upcoming gig. (Pre-YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Modern Word Years)

It was exhausting.

I gave it up – the marketing & the band – when I just couldn’t do it anymore. The marketing, of course, I would have loved to continue playing. Just not to the same audience of 20 friends plus random stragglers.

I worked for five years on a novel that I was SOOO proud of. Until 45 or so agents rejected me, some after asking me to just ‘rewrite the ending’ or whatever, tantalizing me then slamming the door in my face.

Yesterday, my sister urged me (yet again) to self-publish. “It’s easier than ever now to do it!” she promised. “Everyone is doing it!

I have no doubt.

No doubt, that is, that I could do it, in a heart beat. And then…

… it would languish there, on the digital/metaphysical shelves, for eternity, as yet again, its author neglected to do the one thing that would prompt people to buy & read it – market it.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS: Here’s one of my songs that COULD have been a hit… right? If only I knew how to – come on, all together now - MARKET MYSELF!
BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Cradle you – the SONG


...Me, pretending I'm "Someone"

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Flashback Friday! (Show Fun)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:49 AM
Friday, July 27, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – It’s Show Fun – the BLOG

Remember how I said I only like movies with Happy Endings? (My blog, last week. It’s okay, I’ll wait – go ahead, read it. Seriously. It’s short, just do it. Ok great, back?) Anway, I should have been more specific. I do hate movies that don’t have happy endings. However, just because a movie has a happy ending, doesn’t mean I’ll like it.

Case in point: While You Were Sleeping. This movie had all the elements of a GrownupGirl Fave: Sandra Bullock. By-the-numbers romantic comedy. Sandra Bullock.

But I didn’t get swept away – maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never found Bill Pullman or Peter Gallagher even slightly sexy.

So when I talked to my childhood friend on the phone and told him I didn’t like the movie, I was surprised when he retorted, “Sheva, that movie made 43 million at the box office last weekend.”

Wait – did I mention he was also the movie’s producer?

“I don’t care if the movie made 20 billion,” I continued. “It sucked.”

His furious reply: “It’s not called Show Fun, Sheva. It’s called Show Business.”

Ooooohhhhhh…. He got me there!

Ever heard of the term “failing upwards?” In showbiz, this is when a person produces a terrible movie, then gets promoted. Like, for example, my friend – who had impressed his bosses as an intern by producing an unwatchable comedy feature which lost money, and then promptly got promoted to junior executive status, with an assistant and all.

Maybe there is a good long term reason for allowing someone to fail upwards – in fairness, my friend has gone on to produces MANY amazing & awesome movies, as well as more crappy ones, each of which I’m sure made at least 43 million each weekend at the box office…

Still, it all kind of depresses me. I’m an artist: A writer. A singer. A Capricorn moon. Which all means I’d prefer things to be FAIR.

Of course the entertainment industry doesn’t care what I’d prefer. It exists to be a source of money, an outlet for talent & ambition, and a place for creative suckers like me to get stomped on by those with more connections and less fear.

Still, a girl can always dream, can’t she?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

...where all your dreams come true! (That is, if your dreams are about people making shitty movies and then making craploads of money off those shitty movies.)

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Flashback Friday! (Happily Ever After)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:15 AM
Friday, June 1, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Happily Ever After – the BLOG

Don’t talk to me about Blue Valentine. That movie sucked. I love Michelle Williams as much as anyone, and what girl hasn’t fallen head over heels for Ryan What’s His Name, and actually, there was so much that was so cool about the movie… BUT IT SUCKED.

Did I mention I hate unhappy endings?

What in the world do I want to go and spend 80 bucks on a babysitter, then 28 dollars for two movie tickets, plus another 15 for popcorn, drinks and candy, and we’re not even factoring in parking or dinner here…

Just to end the night feeling like shit?

Thanks, but I can stay home, surf the web, look up long-lost friends and boyfriends on Facebook then stare at my bank accounts and credit card debts all night if I want that kind of a night. For FREE.

I like happy endings. A movie can take me through just about anything. Blood, gore, destruction, gut-wrenching sadness, utter stupidity… the whole nine yards. But – if I’ve got a smile on my face at the end of the damn thing? Worth every penny. AND I’ll recommend it to everyone I see.

Moviemakers, are you taking notes?

Enough, already, of these critical darlings that leave you feeling like the world is meaningless and we are all utterly alone. I’ll take a by-the-books Romantic Comedy any day.

My kingdom for a Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant reunion! P.S. Friends, there is no better movie than Two Week’s Notice.


I feel the same way about every day life, by the way. My day can start out amazing, go along pretty well, but if, at the end of the night, I have a fight with my husband or stare into the abyss of a bank account that seems to shrink by the second? SUCKY SUCKY day.

On the other hand… I can start out with two cranky kids, a short-tempered husband, continue with a rough day at work and three surprise bills… but if I watch an amazing episode of The Good Wife, write a good blog entry, and find out someone wants to produce one of my songs? BEST DAY EVER.

Most nights, if I’m ever too worried about something to be able to fall sleep, I always get up, write a bit to ‘take the sting out’, then follow it up with anywhere from one hour to three hours of comedy (TV, internet, whatever I can find). For me, getting only two or three hours of sleep can be tough, but beats finishing off my day in a heart-wrenching panic. Not that I’d ever fall asleep in that state anyway.

Feeling better already…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

A love story my ass. A depressing break up story. Whoops, spoiler alert...

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Reality Me

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:42 AM
Monday, May 7, 2012

Blogging. Reality “TV” for those of us who can’t get a Kardashian deal?

I hate to think that. I prefer to think of myself as a would-be writer who uses blogging as a creative outlet.

But let’s get real.

It’s not exactly as if I’m writing tomes on Shakespeare, or even gossiping about fashion or celebrities. (Well, sometimes I am. But that’s different.)

I’m writing about ME. My life. My thoughts. And while I actually love to read other writers who write about their personal lives (engaging ones, anyway, like Sedaris, Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman, and the 30+ other authors of memoirs I’ve poured through), and I love to write about things ‘close to home’ (duh, ME), it IS a little disconcerting to realize that people I don’t know, or what’s actually even worse, people I DO know but don’t know that WELL, now know me… very well.

They know, for example, that I’m a bad cook. That I hate to clean. That I’m low on dough. That I’ve been on diets that have worked, and diets that haven’t. That I am a Jew who celebrates Christmas. That I changed my name. That I put safety pins in my bras to make them last longer. I’ve written about losing my virginity, for crying out loud!

[BTW - SO annoying that some of my old blogs have disappeared & MOST of the pictures/videos from my older blogs have disappeared. But since I'm as techno-stupid as they get when it comes to 'computers' - other than tapping on their keyboards to make pretty stories - I have little choice but to cringe and move on...]

So, anyway, occasionally, when I’m out and about and I run into someone whose name I don’t remember but whose face I’ve seen around, and that person gives me that knowing smile and eye-crinkle, I can only assume it is likely that he/she has read my blog.


Conundrum: I WANT more & more people to read my blog. I apparently suffer from a bit of a “Kim Kardashian Complex,” AKA I’m happy to put my private self in the public eye. (NO sex tapes, thank GOD – coming of age sexually during a pre-cell-phone video/YouTube age has its advantages!) And yet…

I feel pretty vulnerable when people give me that look.

Ok, readers: eyes averted, from now on!

Just kidding. Read, enjoy, look away. I’ve asked for it, and I’ve gotten it.


(couldn’t resist)


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Me, in front of one of those PR party-sponsorship boards, pretending to be on the red carpet. When in reality, my friend and I had snuck over after the celebrities had already entered in order to snap photos of each other.

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Flashback Friday! (Who Knew?)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:57 PM
Friday, March 23, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Who Knew? – the BLOG

Dear, gentle readers. I can’t believe it is so… but it is. Today – and only today – April 26, 2011 – a mere COUGH –years after I gave up my teenage dream to become a model…

I am thankful I never was given the opportunity.

I spend a small but meaty chunk of my life feeling pissed that I didn’t get certain opportunities. Why aren’t I a world-famous writer by now? Never was given the right opportunity. Why didn’t I make it big as an actress? Never cast in the role that would have been my gateway to the big time. Why didn’t my band ever make it past local gigs at the Knitting Factory and the Gig? The right producer never did my demo. Or the right A&R guy never heard it. OR…

You get the idea.

I’m already embarrassed to be sharing with you what a whiny complainer I can be. I KNOW – intellectually, at least – that we make our own opportunities, that life gives us only what we NEED and what we are SUPPOSED TO GET, in order to help us grow, transform, & ultimately –yes, I’ll say it – have the OPPORTUNITY to be as happy & fulfilled as we can be.

But. Intellect ain’t exactly gut-knowing, now is it?

At age fifteen, after years of dreaming of being a “famous model/actor/singer,” I made my mother take me to a ‘walk in’ at Ford in New York. The woman was nice, and told me she needed to see pictures of me. I never sent her pictures of me, and I spent years feeling bitter that my mother wasn’t a proper “stage mother” and didn’t take control over my (as of yet nonexistent) career, submit the photos for me, and never give up until her baby was a STAR! (Wait – am I confusing her with Gypsy?) There was always a piece of me that resented her role in my never having “made it”, and I equally was pissed at myself for never having really “gone for it” (thanks to a crushing insecurity that made me incapable of taking criticism).

Today, I watched the TV pilot for my boss’s new Sony TV-produced reality TV show, that, if all goes well, will air on a big network in the fall. It’s about the modeling industry – a really gritty & semi-redemptive look at what goes on behind the scenes. My job in his company doesn’t put me in the limelight of the TV show – I’m in charge of developing a wellness program for the models & interested public, and I’m in charge of the company’s interactive magazine-style website. ( if you must know, and YES we will figure out a way at some point to shorten the URL – for now just bookmark it, for God’s sake! And sign up while you’re at it – it’s free & I’ve got to get my numbers up.)


Anyway, after seeing the TV show today for the second time, it dawned on me. Thank God I never sent in those pictures. Thank God my mother never forced me into the modeling or entertainment industry any farther than I begged to go. First of all, I wasn’t interested in fashion. I loved to write! Second, I was – as I said before – insecure. More than that – vulnerable. To people’s criticisms of me, to men’s sexual attraction to me, and to people’s opinions of me in general.

I would have been eaten alive.

I still had many rough patches growing up and in my early adult life. Rough relationships, rough emotional dips, rough financial situations. Life, in other words.

And here I am, today, stronger for it all. Happier for it. Better for it.

Who knew?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

My one and only "real" modeling gig. Yeah, I was a bad ass. In my own mind. Okay, no I wasn't.

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posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:08 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If you’re one of those people who say they don’t like Karaoke, I challenge you to go out with me one night to a karaoke bar and not have fun. I mean, come on, I’m a cowboy? On a steel horse I ride! Or, Yeah, push it, p-push it real good! Or my all time fave, Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears…


Whew! Sorry, folks. I always get a little carried away when it comes to karaoke. Karried away. Hee hee hee.

Now, wait a minute, I know it’s talk like that that makes people who already hate the idea of karaoke want to run screaming for the Shania Twain-free hills. But you’ve got the wrong idea! Yes, karaoke can be terrifying for those who hate to sing in front of a crowd. And it can be equally terrifying for those with perfect pitch to have to sit and listen to those of us who do not hate to sing in front of a crowd.

But still…

Isn’t just magic, when you hear the occasional angel sing My Heart Will Go On better than the diva Dion herself? Especially when the angelic voice comes from a completely non-Britney Spears-looking person. At the karaoke dive bar where I used to go – uh – every single Saturday night, more or less, for like a year or so, there was this one old Vietnamese dude who brought down the house each time he sang Frank.

Sinatra, duh!

That place, the Smog Cutter, was everything a karaoke dive bar should be – tons of cigarette smoke, cheap alcohol, lots of opportunity to get up and sing, and (goes hand in hand with the last point), a bribe-able person in charge of the karaoke microphone. My friend Caroline (a classier, prettier, and way more beautiful singer-version of Britney) used to go with me each week, and we’d bribe the guy who had the key to our super-karaoke stardom that night with tips and Heinekens.

Yes, I know, there are the drunken frat boy karaoke singers of the world, and we can put those duds into the same category as the punk rock karaoke night that my old chef boss from back when I was a waitress hosted on New Year’s Eve. (Then again, that probably would have been fun if I hadn’t had to serve a bunch of narcissistic rock stars that didn’t tip and then have the owner steal a chunk from the rest of my tips from that night. Hmmm….)

What are you waiting for? See you in the spotlight…

Billy Ray was a preacher’s son, and when his daddy would visit, he would come along…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Karaoke in smelly yet oddly sterilized rooms with several vinyl couches cramped together is also awesome. Trust me.

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posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:07 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So, Smashed, that new TV show? RRRRRRRRRR

When it was first publicized, I was excited and intrigued. Amazing cast (I mean, hello, ANJELICA HUSTON, anyone!?), a musical (I seem to be one of the only ones who doesn’t like Glee even though I tried… but I do love me a good musical), the girl from that sitcom with the gay roommate (can you tell I’m writing this late at night & too lazy to use Google?), and Steven Spielberg exec producing?

Oh yes, I DVR’d the crap out of that show.

And then I watched it.


Couldn’t make it past the first 15 minutes or so. Just seemed kind of boring, and lame, and… whatever.

Cut to: a week later, I’m at the gym on the elliptical with Hulu Plus ready to roll on my iPhone but no more unwatched episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or Gossip Girl. What to do?

Hulu Plus’ home screen suggested Smash (go, NBC advertisers!), and I bit. I finished the episode I had begun a week earlier. And, lo and behold…

I got hooked.

Next episode was even juicier, and my husband was instantly hooked too – he had fallen head over heels for Katharine McPhee back during Idol, so this felt like he was watching his first-born fly, all growed up. And I had to concur – Kat McPhee is flawless in the show.

But on the other hand…

There’s that writing partner guy, what’s his name, the piano player, whose chin kind of melts into his long neck. I like him but he reminds me of a poor boy’s version of my more-than-excellent Yale roommate and once-best-friend, Derek, who is 5 times the looker, piano player, and person than the Smash guy will ever be!

Sidetracking here: Why in the world isn’t Derek one of the world’s premier film directors yet? He directed a film over 10 years ago that was one of the best movies I’d ever seen. Since then? No directing gigs, to my knowledge. Yet another reason to hate Hollywood: Derek should be directing and starring in Smash, not the other Yahoo.

Speaking of whom, that Yahoo’s personal assistant guy in Smash is also THE dumbest. First of all, we’re supposed to believe that girl in the shower in his apartment is his girlfriend and he’s NOT gay? I mean, WHAT? Secondly, he’s just really stupid and annoying and such an obvious “villain” in the show. It’s just weird. AND, where did his random Real Estate friend come from in last week’s episode? I mean, huh? What in the world was Anjelica doing, having drinks with them?? I thought Spielberg was behind this, not my 5 year old!

But the icing on the cake is the stupidest storyline – SPOILER ALERT! (for anyone who isn’t watching the series yet but may rent it at some future unspecified date) – the rekindled affair between that chick from the sitcom and the guy playing DiMaggio.

I mean, COME ON!

First of all, he’s not at all good looking. He’s annoying. As is she, granted, but her husband in the show is cuter, more interesting and nicer than that married guy she’s trysting with, not to mention they have a kid together and supposedly want to adopt another.

Speaking of which, did anyone BELIEVE that ridiculous scene where she was stupid enough to kiss the DiMaggio guy outside her kid’s bedroom window? Oh, her son saw them? Really? DUHHHHHH….

Whew! Thanks for letting me vent, dear readers.

Help me, Anjelica Huston, you’re my only hope! Okay, well, you too, Kat.

Until the next episode…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Here's who should REALLY be the star of Smash. And directing it. And ruling Hollywood. Someday...

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Amazing Discovery Alert! Instant Sobriety!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:29 PM
Monday, March 12, 2012

Gentle readers – this is unbelievable. I’m telling you, I have discovered the answer that has plagued scientists, worried mothers and dorm monitors for decades… centuries!

How do you sober up a drunk person – instantly? Coffee? Bread or French fries, to soak up the alcohol? A shot of olive oil, pre-party? (Good God, please don’t try that last one. I already tried it for you, last Purim. It doesn’t work. Unless your goal is to get drunk and throw up at the end of the night and get teased by friends who saw it all coming.)

No, my friends, none of these techniques even begin to work, let alone instantly. But I – yes me, little ole me – have inadvertently found the holy grail of instant sobriety.

Someone you trust must tell you terrible, unexpected news that you are expected to immediately address.

Case in point: Purim this past Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t gotten on the Purim train, this is the (Jewish/Kabbalistic) holiday during which it is MANDATORY to dress up in costume, party with your friends, and drink until you are drunk. Oh yeah, and sit for an hour to listen to a Hebrew scroll, the Megilah.

So, as any good kabbalist (who isn’t pregnant, breast-feeding or on the AA train) would do, I started early. Who wants to sit through the entire Megilah stone cold sober? This year I was part of a group who had been planning and rehearsing a flash mob – a surprise group dance to “spontaneously” erupt right after the Megilah reading, so obviously I had even more incentive to make sure I was nice and saucy even before I stepped inside the building.

My husband and I went to a friend’s place and had some drinks. Me, the lightweight, had about one giant drink, and my husband had who knows how many shots because I left to reserve seats while he was still shooting them.

Throughout the Megilah I continued to swig from my girlfriend’s bottle of “water” (vodka), and by the time the flash mob dance was finished, I was already flying high – on the alcohol, the party, the atmosphere, and the dancing. Hurray for spiritually-approved drunkenness!

And then.

One of the younger teachers of the Kabbalah Centre sought me out in a panic.

Have you seen your husband? I hadn’t. Not since I left him doing vodka shots an hour or so prior.

You need to take him home. Now. I’ve seen normal at a party and this is not normal.


You see, two years ago on Purim, my husband had gotten so falling-down wasted from vodka drinks that I had spent the entire party cleaning up his messes, apologizing for his blunders, and mostly just trying to make sure he didn’t hurt someone or himself.

Last year was much better – he was more in control, I was more out of control, and everyone had a blast. This year… ?

Turns out, he was fine. I found my husband, and yes, he was really drunk, but he could still talk to me and listen to me and he wasn’t falling down or making a scene.

And that’s how I made my brilliant discovery. Because the second after that teacher told me I needed to take my husband home – never mind that I didn’t need to take him home – he had succeeded in tapping into a deep-seated worry and fear within me. And… POOF!

Instant sobriety!

Every single eencey beencey bit of drunkenness that I had been enjoying and experiencing… gone, without a trace.

Yes, the party was pretty much ruined for me. I tried to build back up the joy and excitement by dancing. But I didn’t even attempt to drink any more alcohol – somehow I just knew that instead of helping to get me drunk, it would only succeed to get me sick while my mind stayed paranoid-ly clear.

So there it is, folks. Use it with caution, but use it when you must. You are welcome.

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I was the "Nancy" 1/2 of Sid and Nancy for Purim. This was when I was still having fun... AKA, pre-sobriety stun gun.

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