I “white knuckled” my way to London and so far it’s been fun, challenging and a little bit like group sex.
It’s just a hunch, this group sex thing, as I’ve never actually done that.
There’s so many of us crammed into a little office in Soho. Elbows are flying, tea is spilling, a few people are yelling, more than a few are crying but even more are laughing.
Liberty has been visited and I still have a little niceness left in me.
I’ve watched the hair and makeup department shuffle chairs around for 20 minutes. Make it 30, they’re still talking about where to sit.
We’re pretty sure this place is haunted.
The last location we filmed in Baltimore definitely had some ghostly residents. Several crew got stuck in an elevator and heard voices of children, when there were none. Spooky.
I’m counting the days until I go home. Happy to report that Mac made it to his camping trip without incident and all his clothes were labelled properly.
The Middle School applications are done. Watson’s birthday party is almost planned and I’ve made a dent in the Christmas shopping.
Veep is having a great week. We got both a Producer’s Guild and Writer’s Guild nomination for Best Comedy Series.
I’ve already started online dress shopping. Did I hear anyone say “shoes”?
This place might be haunted but damn they have a great cafe tucked into the basement. The lavender orange pound cake will haunt me forever.
I’ve just witnessed Dana drag out a bottle of cayenne pepper and cinnamon and use it on her latte. She’s a “Gary”.
Let’s roll sound everybody.
All sorts of things bother me about this photo.
Happy Thanksgiving Bitches
I “put my pretty on” while having my ex husband for dinner.
It was at times awkward, annoying, boring and insightful. Yet at times, it was also sincere, heartwarming and fun (for my kids).
It also included a rare nap and much like my marriage, I woke up startled and didn’t know where I was or who I was.
Mostly it was dysfunctional.
I tried very hard to stay in the moment (napkins down, no time for seconds, clean up this mess, Thanksgiving is over) but, my mind is on the future.
Next week’s future to be exact and that future is giving me anxiety.
Here’s how I’m coping:
I did a Soul Cycle 90 min. Turkey Burn ride that nearly killed me, in a good way.
Drank wine, the “Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider” kind, with my kids.
Drank more wine, this time the “Pinot Noir” kind, not with my kids.
Blew off a Turkey Burn due to a hangover from all the “kinds.” Plus, I’m sore as hell from yesterday’s class.
Pretend I’m not London bound for Veep in less than 48 hrs. and that I won’t be gone for 12 days.
Pretend that Middle School applications aren’t actually due while I’m in London. This feels like they pick a school, any school, but affects his future and is less than 5% in my control. I hate that.
Pretend that Mac’s 5th Grade Camping Trip isn’t next week.
Pretend that if the camping trip was next week, that Mac already has all 25 items required for said trip. I’m thankful for Zappos free overnight shipping.
Pretend Watson’s birthday party is already planned and Evites sent. It’s December 13th? You didn’t get yours?
Squeeze in one last ride before a 13 day withdrawal from Soul Cycle commences.
Conveniently forget that I ate bread, and lots of it. Except the size of my “bob” (aka stomach – nickname courtesy of Dana) won’t let me forget it.
Have complete amnesia attack regarding pumpkin pie, three berry pie, pecan pie and of course the lemon tart that Patterson and I slaved over.
Forgive my diabetic mother for buying really gross things to feed my kids while I’m gone. If you call dinner a plate full of delicious chemicals then yummy, you’re in luck and have found yourself a new personal chef, I mean shopper.
Slather on Rodin Face Oil and climb in bed, assume the fetal position and ignore everyone. Not really. I’ve never done this. I like talking too much.
Wake up from the above fantasies. “Put my pretty on” & keep moving forward.
No more pretending. It’s time to pack. This trip is real.
So is my level of maintenance. I like to pretend I’m in the low to mid maintenance range but that’s just bullshit.
It’s too late to ship ahead so my secret is out. I am full on, in your face with too many shoes in my suitcase HIGH MAINTENANCE.
And I’ll come back with more shoes.
And I really hate leaving my Little Laing’s.
Twinkie anyone? Yes, they still sell them and yes, my mother buys them and no, they don’t help with stress.
This photo was taken over the summer. The “cake” was from a co-worker’s birthday lunch. They bought it at a popular grocery store. Watson left it in my car. I found it like this, 6 weeks later.
42 days and the “never rotting” cake still looked the same.
By the way, Patterson asked me where babies come from. When I tried to explain honestly, she left the room saying it was boring. Phew.
It was a mass exodus leaving Baltimore yesterday due to an impending winter storm.
I’ve never seen people pack so fast. Not sure if that storm is actually hitting but at least I’m home.
I’m home for my birthday, home for Thanksgiving and home for a few days of Veep Hiatus.
So far this birthday has been pretty fucking great.
Sunday night the cast and crew had a little party for me, Dale, our 1st AD, and Armando, who is the reason we are all here as he created Veep. Our birthdays are all close together.
Everyone started singing “Happy Birthday” and the thing is, I didn’t realize they were singing to me until they sang, “happy birthday dear Stephanie.”
It made me realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by such great friends and family.
I’ve spent many birthdays feeling like shit, lonely and miserable.
But not this one.
Monday we had cake on set. I almost caught my hair on fire before blowing out the candles.
Everyone sang to us (me, Dale and Arm) again and a few minutes later we were rushing to finish a scene and continue our chaotic departure.
A birthday = aging and that means ugh. I’m just trying to do it this ‘ugh’ with some grace and dignity.
That is challenging. But if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
My birthday vow to myself every year is to do the next year afraid. Step out of my comfort zone. Fear is good, that’s when the good stuff is happening.
I’m also convinced that the fountain of youth can be found at Soul Cycle.
I was lucky enough to start my day with my kids followed by a birthday ride with Laurie Cole.
That lady inspires me each and every class. And each class is really, really hard and I end up pushing myself further physically than I ever thought I could.
I wondered around this city I love so much and ended up at Mercer Kitchen for lunch with me, myself and I.
I’m pretending my dear friend and Soul Cycle partner, Ernesto, is here with me enjoying this turkey burger.
Next stop is Journelle. I need new matching panties and bras. Possibly too much info, I know, but everything comes down to under pinnings. Well maybe not everything, but a lot of personal things.
Later, I’ll pick my kids up from school and have some cake.
Much later when they are tucked into bed, I’ll sneak out for my adult dinner with someone very dear to me.
By the way, the male waiter serving my solo birthday lunch is wearing way too much makeup.
Emphasis on the word, ‘male’ and by too much, I mean his foundation is a funny shade of caked on orange.
Just found out it didn’t snow in Baltimore. It rained. It is however, beginning to sleet here in the city.
Also I take it back, aging does not = a birthday. There’s no ‘ugh’ in that word.
Love + fun + grateful + happy + older + wiser = a birthday.
Cue the aha, slow ballad that ends with an uplifting crescendo.
The photo is from my son Watson. I love that we have coordinating outfits.
It’s been a long week with the usual ups and downs, featuring a solid mix of fairy tales, whispered softly in my ears, to what sounds more like a jackhammer destroying them.
Plus, a few standouts from The Little Laing’s that made me weep.
Here’s a sampling.
“Oh, finally you’re home.”
“Your life would be a lot more simple, if it was, simple.”
“Why can’t we measure balancing life in averages?”
“He’s coming in hot.”
“Can I buy an inappropriate book?”
“That class is sold out.”
“Please have some salmon.”
(I don’t eat salmon, pickles, mayonnaise or avocado. And I never have.)
“We’ve hit a roadblock here.”
“This is like biting into a popcorn flavored jelly bean.”
“Birds have sex with trees. Don’t tell anyone.”
“Not to sound cold, but I only care about how this affects me.”
“Watch me moon walk.” And then he mooned me and walked.
“Can I just say two words?”
“Yes. One is fuck and the other is you.” (Said to myself in response to the above)
“You have my heart.”
“I love you infinity x infinity.”
“I’ve never seen you crack.”
“The only thing I really want to do is play poker.”
“I can’t drive and I really miss that. I’ve lived a long life but it’s not the same anymore.”
“How many hiatus days did we have last season?”
“When do we wrap?”
“When I’m 16, you’ll be 12. We have to put our money together into a retirement fund and avoid paying taxes.”
“I need to change my flight.”
“What body type is that plane?”
“You’re amazing.” (Yeah right. Pull my other leg and it plays Jingle Bells)
“I zipped my panties into my jeans.”
“You have three new followers.”
“Of course you’re leaving.”
“I know your face. Baltimore?”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have to stop this train and measure a wheel.”
“Someone stole my fruit.”
This photo is from The Color Run last Sunday. I still have blue stains on my body.
Kenny Powers puts down the baseball but never retires from being awesome.
From the very first day of filming, I knew this series about baseball was very special.
The thing is none of us knew anything about baseball.
I can’t speak for the guys, but the closest I came to baseball was actually softball when I was 9. I held the record for the most walks. They said I had a “good eye,” but really, I sucked.
The truth is Eastbound & Down wasn’t about baseball.
My Eastbound & Down was one kick ass montage featuring a bunch of kids, several schools, one lake, a man named Coco, beach parties, booze cruises (yes, someone jumped overboard) fish tacos, boogie boards, one Panty Dropper, one parachuting stunt, roller skating and water parks.
We crashed cars into cars and cars into boats. We staged cock fights (no cocks were harmed) had a dancing robot, a wolf and one donkey.
We had several fireworks displays, one moped, a boob double, and a butt double (Vida Guerra, Google her and you’ll have butt envy).
Of course, we had a few of those infamous mullets and too many bottles of Patron to count, all with Tower 7 queso coursing through our veins.
We started the series in Shelby, North Carolina, ventured to Mexico, did a layover in Myrtle Beach, and got a glimpse of the future in a little village in Africa.
It was hard and challenging for all the right reasons. We crossed the line in comedy, moved the line and crossed it again. And again and again.
Eastbound & Down features a soundtrack rivaled by no other TV show. Ever.
AC/DC revealed “La Flama Blanca” in season 2. We went jet skiing to Simon and Garfunkel in season 1 and let Leonard Nimoy “Put a little love in your heart” in our final season.
Just like the music, we had a very eclectic mix of guest stars from Matthew McConaughey, (the point at which every girl lost it) Jason Sudeikis, Lily Tomlin, Don Johnson, Sasha Baron Cohen, Lindsay Lohan, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott and Alexander Skarsgard (the second point at which every girl lost it. They washed their hair, put on lipstick and practiced conversational Swedish) I’m sure I’m leaving some guest stars out. Sorry.
The show behind the show featured weddings, babies, divorces and friendships formed over blood, sweat, tears and laughter.
I definitely laughed and cried my way through 4 seasons.
Laughing because it’s funny as hell. Crying, well, in full disclosure I shed a tear or two watching every episode. EBD might be a rude comedy but it has a heart.
I also cried this season when Danny and Jody told me they were making me an Executive Producer (in front of the cast and crew - you fuckers - I am a girl after all.)
I’m even tearing up as I write this on the Amtrak Acela, but lets blame that on a 20 hr Veep shoot day.
I “put my pretty on” for almost six years making Eastbound & Down and it changed my life forever.
But the time has come for me to put down the baseball too.
This chapter has ended and I can’t wait to see where the next one with the EBD guys takes me.
I’m on a similar, yet very different journey with my Veep Family, my Veeples.
There’s no baseball but there’s plenty of politicians in this sharp, funny as hell series where art imitates life and sometimes predicts it, with incredible accuracy.
Anyone see the government shut down episode?
I’ve wiped my tears and it’s back to Baltimore, bitches. Episode 306 starts filming this week.
P.S. I know I broke all social media rules by making this post so long.
To which I say, “Rules - you’re fucking out.”
This week is insane.
Wake up, shoot, go to sleep, wake up, shoot, eat a king size bag of Gummy Lifesavers, go to sleep, wake up, shoot, all on a repeat button.
Hit the pause button to schedule more Middle School tours, attend those tours, location scout for future eps, plan Thanksgiving meal, figure out how to “cable stitch” this stupid scarf (no, not knives. Not yet anyway) and plan the drive to Raleigh for my Grandmother’s 90th birthday party. Also, plan the drive back in time for the Color Run.
Finally, breathe a sigh of relief that Eastbound & Down, the final episode, has been delivered to HBO. Save the tears and laughs for when it airs this Sunday.
I’m directing Second Unit on Veep this week and I love it.
Somehow I always end up on an insert car when it’s 30 degrees or below sharing a furniture pad like a Snuggie as we drive through the city. I don’t love that.
I was so cold Tuesday,I lost all ability to form a sentence.
That condition seems to be affecting a lot of people this week.
Most of the questions I’m getting are in some sort of code I can’t decipher.
I have two replies.
I don’t have time to Google what you’re trying to say. Please translate.
Or come back later when I’ve defrosted and killed that repeat button.
Onward, cool people. Onward.
I have surrendered to the cookies and you know what, they aren’t that good anymore.
Once a false stress reliever, now a symbol of stress and I have way too much of that in my life.
Bye bye cookies. You are dead to me.
This photo was taken by my super talented friend, Eric Reid. @ereid3”.
I taught Patterson how to knit yesterday. Admittedly, I had to youtube how to ‘cast on’ but once we got started she was great. She’s making a blue scarf.
My friend and I used to knit while drinking wine and watching “The First 48” or those reenactment “whodunit” shows. (it’s always the ex)
We didn’t fit the mold of most knitting circles, so we formed our own.
It makes sense. I produce dark, sometimes offensive comedy for a reason. I love it.
I’m just not a happy ending, romantic comedy, i’s dotted with hearts and a world filled with unicorns kind of girl.
Ever wonder what Valentine’s Day the sequel would be? Hint -they all break up.
That’s not fair. I actually didn’t see that movie and I can’t imagine they would do a sequel so I have no idea. But really, I’m sure they all break up.
Maybe I’ll start a new knitting project. Does anyone have a pattern for knitted knives? No? Ok, I’ll stick with a scarf.
Elsewhere on Veep, it might snow Wednesday so we are switching all the locations around. This has caused a lot of chaos and meeting after meeting after meeting.
What do a Skylander, an Emmy, a bought from Hollywood blvd “world’s best brother” Oscar and one 8 yr old girl have in common? My life. This photo says a lot.
Just out of frame are the boys playing video games, the dog toys, my mom’s boots, the box of live crickets for the lizard, I mean Dragon, and my ex husband’s shoes that he left during the last visit.
This is my complicated, but I wouldn’t change a thing, life.
By the way, hope the next people to live in this apt like the piano. It’s never leaving.
After three moving companies failed to move it, I hired these guys called “Athletic Movers”
Five Russian guys showed up in matching track suits, did some choreographed stretching, clapped three times and then pushed and pulled that thing up three flights of steps.
It was unbelievable with the grunting, the breathing and the yelling. It was also one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
It’s great to be back in Baltimore.
Today is the first day of a three episode sprint to Thanksgiving.
I am happy to report, I did not eat a cookie at lunch.
If you read this regularly,
you’re familiar with a potential 20,000 calorie issue.
One cookie leads to another cookie and another cookie and eventually six pounds on this girl’s hips.
We’re all sort of obsessed with our workouts here, mine of course being Soul Cycle. I’m riding front row now, bitches.
We formed a Veep Team to do the 5k Color Run together which will be interesting.
Someone just told me about an On Demand Bollywood Dancing workout that continues to make me laugh.
Picture two adults dancing around their living room while their kids watch them struggling with the Bollywood moves.
I wonder what their kids thought?
I never have to wonder what mine think. They’re not shy.
They think I’m bad at singing and tell to me stop.
They think I should never, ever, ever dance.
Patterson thinks I’m complicated. She told me this last week.
Maclaren thinks I’m pretty, he tells me all the time. He also thinks I should wear skinny jeans.
Watson thinks I don’t listen to him. He has a point. He’s my third and the other two are so loud, I have a hard time hearing him. Which leads to him saying mama mama mama mom mom mom mommy MOMMY.
Somehow the Bollywood workout made me think of all my attempts at getting fit since my kids were born.
I’ve tried everything from boxing to Pilates to cleanses and juicing. I still attempt juicing but fail miserably.
Everyone around me hates me when I do this. Apparently I make the “fuck off I’m juicing” face really well.
After I had Watson the doctor thought I had a hernia. He sent me to a specialist who grabbed my stomach and said “that’s not a hernia, that’s just fat.”
He told me to imagine a bunch of guys standing on a car lot. They’re all admiring the new shiny Porsche when a beautifully reconditioned 1957 mustang pulls up.
Then he said, “which car got more attention? Which car would you be?”
I replied “the mustang?” Wait, was I the car. Was he comparing me to a car??
Then he told me I would be a great “after”. As in a “before” and “after”, on a morning makeover show.
Yep, it was just another great day in LA with the strangest doctor appointment ever.
Or maybe not, I once had Out Patient Surgery and as the anesthesiologist was about to put me under, he told me he could help my sinuses with acupuncture, for an additional $100.
Minutes later I was under the knife with needles in my nose.
See these cookies? They are always freshly baked and served warm and gooey. Everyday. I’m fucked.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Halloween was fun and the parade of costumes in my neighborhood made me think about people and the masks they hide behind, as well as the ones they unwittingly declare, sometimes loudly.
For instance, I saw a lady wearing a “Born Chic” top in the Village yesterday. I doubt very seriously she was actually “born chic.” If she were she would not need to advertise it.
You know that friend you have who constantly reminds you that she is a “good friend”, you might want to reconsider your friendship.
It’s the same with “I never lie”. You’re lying as the words roll off your tongue, mate.
Years ago, I saw a license plate that read “Mstyrus”. I think the guy driving wanted people to think he was “mysterious”.
No. He wasn’t. He was just a douche.
Slightly off topic, I had a little run in on Friday with a guy trying to return his Citibike. He was obviously annoyed with my kids and just pushed his way through them.
I wanted to remind him that there are two words in the English language that could solve his problem, nicely. They are “excuse” and “me”.
But I did not. My kids hate when I get confrontational in front of them.
I don’t think they’ve recovered since the last time we went through immigration and I had to let loose on a guy who was trying to cut in front of us.
I told him that if he took another step, we would all be getting arrested. And I meant it. Did he not see the moveable Laing army?
Dear Kind Sir,
Don’t ever mess with a Mother after an international flight.
On a lighter note, I changed Patterson’s earrings for the first time since getting them pierced.
She now has a pair that my ex Husband gave me 15 years ago. I’m glad I saved them as they were meant for her.
Sticking with the 15 year theme, I was packing for Baltimore and decided to try on a pair of khakis that I wore 15 years ago.
They actually fit sans muffin top. Well, there’s a mini muffin top, but that doesn’t count and I’m pretty happy they even zipped up.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m rather grumpy today. While I’m happy hiatus is over and ready to film more Veep, I’m super sad to leave my kids. I’m also annoyed and tired. Musical beds were on the playlist last night and I’ve eaten too much Halloween candy.
Basically, I feel like shit.
It’s best to stay out of my way today, so please “excuse me” and my mini muffin top. Of course I’m wearing the 15 year old khaki’s.
Amtrak friends here I come.
My prepubescent son had a freak out about his hair last night.
“Why did you make me wash my hair?!! You’ve ruined my life.” A direct quote of Maclaren Laing.
“But I have so many years to ruin your life. I’m just getting started.” A direct quote of Stephanie Laing.
He got a new “cool” haircut and was excited. (He would be really mad if he knew I was writing about this, but, I’ll take the risk).
It’s short and sticks up in the front (if you use the right product) and is a huge departure from his longer shaggy haircut.
Apparently, he got a lot of attention. His friends liked it.
After the bath, the shit hit the fan.
I could not get it to stick up just right like Caroline, the lovely French lady could.
I didn’t realize I needed to add professional hairstylist to my list of job duties.
I mean, I barely brush Patterson’s hair, too many knots. I might try the Michelle Mercier, whatever the hell it’s called, no tangle magic knot brush.
We did a side by side comparison of photos, one post haircut and one post bath. I could not see the difference. He did. And so it continued.
After 15 attempts, I came close enough to convince him to go to bed.
We toured a middle school that morning, the 15th day of Veep hiatus (yes, i’m still counting) and strangely, the taxi driver asked “what is your plan for the future?”
Strangely, (I mean come on, it’s a very personal question) I replied “to raise healthy, happy children that grow into good citizens.” No, I did not say “Love, marriage and a partridge in a pear tree.”
Hours later we had the hair meltdown and I was reminded of how that plan will be challenging to pull off…
Hiatus ends in three days and we start shooting Episode 305.
Strangely, I miss my Amtrak friends and my desserts in square pots.
I’m looking forward to directing second unit next week. I’m racing to get footage before all the leaves fall from the trees.
I get to use lots of gear including a scorpion remote head and an insert camera car, which makes me feel ever so slightly like a badass.
On Banshee, I directed an underwater stunt unit with an actor whose arms and legs were fake chained and he was weighted down in a pool “dead.” That made me feel extremely badass.
My soundtrack this week is all Lou Reed. That man influenced every genre of music and therefore changed all of our lives forever. Insert a massive round of applause and a very long standing ovation.
What is it with the Brooklyn Bridge continuing theme? I chaperoned a school field trip today, which honestly is like herding cats. The students interviewed people about why they walk across that bridge. Hmmm.
By the way, Mac’s morning bed head was perfecto. I could only laugh as he checked himself out in the mirror.