HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am late for everything (ugly, gross, humiliating characteristic of my person that I hate very much & am trying to change) – so, I suppose it is apropos that I am writing my first piece of 2017 on January 23. Settle in with some wine and/or coffee and/or a snack, it’s a doozy.
If you follow this blog regularly, you know I haven’t dropped you a line here in a while. Thank you for loving and supporting the blog and me for the past several years of daily posts; a lot of you sent really nice emails to see if I was still alive and/or had a nervous breakdown, and I was surprised and grateful to hear from strangers across the internet, and friends in real life who I didn’t even know read the blog. For fear of sounding like Sally Field at the Oscars, (which is more accurate than I would like to admit), please just know how much I appreciate it. I took time away for a variety of reasons: To dedicate more time to what I moved to Los Angeles to do, write screenplays and act. I recently optioned a feature, the very first script I wrote when I was 19. If I can get my act together and get back on a schedule here on Heels in the Hills, I’d like to dedicate a full blog to what that feels like, for the very first screenplay I ever wrote to be the one to get traction after writing 13 other scripts since that one. I’ve performed in some shows I love very much. A good friend came to one of them and told me they were hilarious but casting directors need to see me without a wig on, too; she told me to do a play, and she is going to direct it. Tony and I are still working on our script. My friend Kim and I are planning to finally shoot the web series we’ve been working on-and-off on forever. I’m working on a 2-person show with another friend. I started writing a book because that’s what I always thought I would do until I took a screenwriting class on a whim and fell head-over-heels in love with it. I guess I’m telling all of you all of this so I can hold myself accountable and actually finish these things and bring them to life. And also justify where I’ve been for the past few months, so you know I wasn’t institutionalized.
Every successful person I’ve ever met in this industry has unanimously offered this same nugget of wisdom: “Just keep showing up.” My friend Pamella told me yesterday I need to start showing up here on this blog again, whether it’s once a week or even once a month. So, I’m adding that to my accountability list – even if once a month I just write about the 50 different shades of grey that make up 93% of my wardrobe, or whether or not the ultrasonic face device my facialist told me to buy shares any of the same technology as an ultrasound (I have not googled this yet.) Hopefully, I will also write some more meaningful posts about the meaning of life/my progress on getting a 4th dog. TBD.
To catch you up to speed, here are some of the things I’ve been doing with my life since I last wrote you a love letter or told you about how our housekeeper thinks I need to have a baby so I can have a friend. First and foremost:
The election stunned me. It broke my heart. I thought it was a joke that a reality star with no political experience was running for president, and instead I learned just how insulated the bubble I live in is. Everyone in my “coastal, liberal, elitist” bubble thought it was a joke, too. We had dinner plans the night of the election because we thought it would be over quickly, our first female president elected before happy hour was over. We canceled as the map slowly grew redder and redder. We cried. I went to SoulCycle the next morning and everyone, including the instructor, cried the whole time there too (which would be hilarious if the reason for our tears wasn’t so devastating). Driving through L.A. looked like a scene from The Walking Dead. It wrecked me to know so many people supported a sexual predator whose campaign rhetoric was one of racism, misogyny, bigotry, cruelty and mind-boggling “alternative facts.” People watched him mock a disabled person, then voted for him. He bragged to Billy Bush about grabbing women by the pussy; Billy Bush was fired from the Today show for their “locker room talk,” and Donald Trump was elected president. This is not an issue of “political disagreement” or “being a sore loser.” This is an issue of basic humanity. I wrote about this the day after the election, and was shocked to lose many friends who I never would have guessed supported Trump. Where I live at least, the only thing I can think is that people kept their support for a campaign fueled by hatred a secret, and then came out of the woodwork when they realized they were not alone. One of them posted this clip from Fox & Friends, and it made me sick because the people being mocked in that video weren’t crying because they “lost,” they were crying because so many of their fellow Americans, including the man who now leads our country, believe that they are not equal, that taking away their rights will make America great again. This piece by an autistic author, Sparrow R. Jones, sums up my feelings pretty well:
I am not mad at you that Clinton lost. I am unconcerned that we have different politics. And I don’t think less of you because you vote one way and I vote another. No… I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled person in front of a crowd and still supported him. I think less of you because you saw a man spouting clear racism and backed him. I think less of you because you listened to him advocate for war crimes, and still thought he should run this country. I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to her appearance and got on board. It isn’t your politics that I find repulsive. It is your personal willingness to support racism, sexism, and cruelty. You sided with a bully when it mattered and that is something I will never forget.
This weekend I was one of 750,000 people who participated in the Women’s March in Los Angeles. So many of my friends flew across the country to march in Washington, D.C. – my mom’s oldest friend, who is basically my godmother/2nd mom, and her sister even drove from Colorado to D.C. just for the march there. It was a deeply moving day that was inspiring, empowering and gave me hope for our country’s future. And as a girlfriend of mine pointed out, the comedy writers came out in droves with their A-game material – my favorite signs included: The ones held by elderly women that read “I Can’t Believe I Still Have To Protest This Fucking Shit.” “If Britney Survived 2007, We Will Survive This.” “#FreeMelania.” “Melania, Blink Twice If You Need Help.” “I know signs. I make the best signs. They’re great. Everyone agrees.” “HARDLY ANYONE MARCHED. FAILURE. SAD.” “#Sad!” “Orange Is The New Fascism.” “Without Hermione, Harry Would’ve Died in Book 1.” “Trump You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This March Is About You.” “My Mama Don’t Like Trump, And She Likes Everyone.” “Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation.” “SuperCallousFacistRacistExtraBraggadocious.” “Only Warren G. Can Regulate Me.” “Trump Likes Nickelback.” “Trump Skis In Jeans.” “Make America THINK Again.” “Make Racists Afraid Again.” “We Shall Overcomb.” “Girls Just Want to Have FUNdamental Rights.” “Twitler.” “What Meryl Said.” “Don’t Forget To Set Your Clocks Back 300 Years.” “We Want A Leader, Not A Creepy Tweeter.” “You May Not Be A Racist But You Elected One.” “No Cuntry For Old Men.” And I lovelovelovelove whoever came up with “He doesn’t even have a dog!” In my book, however, I spotted the winner here in L.A.: The man in stilettos toting a sign that read “Walk a mile in HER shoes.” I applaud him, and everyone who turned out to champion not only women’s rights, but basic human rights, equality, this weekend. Millions of people across the world, from all over our country to Kenya to Antarctica, marched and stood in solidarity. Every single one was peaceful, and the pictures are overwhelming. It was a beautiful moment in history that I am so proud to have been a part of.
That alone should have been a blog, but I’m going to keep rambling anyway. I don’t really know how to smoothly transition to talking about anything else because it all seems superficial in comparison, so I am just going to abruptly switch gears. Here are the highlights of my life in the past few months since I last climbed on my soapbox that is this blog (in between working on the new projects I already talked your ear off about and the living nightmare that was this election):
I signed with a new manager. (!!!)
Tony and I went to Africa. It changed our life. I’m planning to write a 3-part blog series on each of the places we stayed, but that means sorting through the 5,000+ photos on my phone. We fell deeply in love with Rwanda, I got knocked over by a gorilla, we were woken up by a lion on our deck one morning and saw so many baby animals I thought my uterus was going to burst.
We continued (and continue) the baby discussion of our own. I’m still not ready, even though my dad’s best friend regularly sends me articles about how grandchildren help their grandparents live longer and not get dementia.
We met Mr. P.
I watched my husband on TV in lots of different things, and got butterflies every time. Tony’s Instagram followers are right: “@anniecavalero R U HIS WIFE OR HIS SISTER U R SOOOOOOOOO LUCKY I WISH I COULD KNOW @tonycavalero @tonycavalero FOLLOW ME PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE.” I am his wife not his sister, I am so lucky, I do know @tonycavalero, he does follow me and when I had a career-thing happen that made me feel awful, he covered my mirror in Post It messages of support.
We hosted Thanksgiving in our new home. Tony deep-fried the turkey and I didn’t have a panic attack.
I installed honey on my internet browser and saved a lot of money and time trolling for coupons (you just hit the “h” button next to the box-thing-area where you type in whatever website you’re going to, and it automatically scans for and applies any existing coupons.) I am not getting any money from telling you about that. It is just a #lifehack gift from me to you.
I went to Tony’s 10-year college reunion, where students have bayonets in their dorm rooms and that is okay.
I bought the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever put on my feet.
I spent a lot of time at CHLA, and helped organize a holiday show there that was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.
We enjoyed our new home that we’ve put so much time, blood, sweat and tears into renovating.
I did not get a 4th dog (yet). (Tony please.)
My friend wrote this book, and the world loved it, and it became a bestseller on all the lists, and I gave it to everyone for Christmas because it is inspiring and badass, and so is she. Get it.
We celebrated my grandma’s 85th birthday at Soho House, as one does. She loved the pizza and the view.
I went 3 days without having wine once.
I drank wine all the other days.
I ate food and breathed, and also showered sometimes.
I tried to only post my shit to Instagram, then peace out and stay off social media otherwise. It just makes me depressed. On our trip to Africa, we had little-to-no internet; whenever we had it, we posted as many photos as quickly we could, texted our families to reassure them that we had not been killed by lions, then went back to living our lives in real-time and being in the moment. We both realized that we were much, much happier not scrolling like zombies for days and missing out on what was actually in front of us. (BUT PLEASE FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM, I APPARENTLY NEED HUGE SOCIAL MEDIA NUMBERS TO GET AUDITIONS & PILOTS & JOBS & PRODUCT ENDORSEMENTS & ATTENTION & SELF-WORTH.)
I read a lot of books with the time I gained from not trolling the Facebook accounts of people I don’t like. Highly recommend: The hilarious and moving Today Will Be Different by my favorite author, Maria Semple. The spectacular The Underground Railroad, which was the National Book Award winner and impossible to put down. When Breath Becomes Air, an intensely emotional and moving book that will make you ugly-cry as you simultaneously count every single blessing you’ve ever had in your life. And The Most Dangerous Place On Earth, which you will read in one sitting and then realize it is 3am and you have to get up in 4 hours but that’s okay because it was worth it.
Lots of other things too, but it is 3:41pm and I still haven’t eaten lunch and I’m getting hangry. I should also probably work on those other things I told you about at the beginning of this novel-blog. Thank you again for caring about me and what I write.