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His parents said, ‘Not with a white girl’

By Diane Farr, Special to CNN

Actress Diane Farr poses for a family portrait with her husband, Seung Yong, and their three children.

Editor’s note: CNN’s Defining America project is exploring the stories behind the numbers to show how places are changing. This week, get to know more about your neighbors all across the country — how they live and love, what they believe in and how they came to call themselves Americans. The week will culminate with a Secret Supper in New York City, and Eatocracy invites you to participate online starting Monday July 11th at 6:30 p.m. ET. Diane Farr is most known for her work as an actress on “Californication”, “Numb3rs” and “Rescue Me.” Her second book, “Kissing Outside The Lines” has just been released.

(CNN) — I fell for “The Giant Korean” at a weekend-long destination wedding. I couldn’t yet pronounce either of his real names (Seung or Yong) and although his friends called him “Sing,” I stuck with the catch phrase my girlfriends and I had coined the first time I met him because, frankly, my nickname captured his presence better.

I had come around to a slight Americanization of his real name by the first time we exchanged “I love yous,” but it seemed of little consequence when Seung then added that I would never be welcome in his family’s home. Seung had been told, all his life, more or less, that he was not allowed to marry someone like me.

Pronunciation aside, it hadn’t occurred to me that Seung and I made a mismatched couple. Mixed-race yes, but I couldn’t fathom that my race could make me the “wrong kind of girl” for anyone.

Yes, it was white privilege that blinded me to the fact I might be the bottom of the barrel on someone else’s race card.

Momtastic

 

Ever wonder how you can balance it all as a mom? This is one interview in a series talking to moms who have found a way to make it work. Meet Diane Farr, actress, writer and mom to Beckett (4), and twins Coco and Sawyer (2).

When not hopping from city to city or doing a media blitz to promote her latest book, “Kissing Outside the Lines,” Diane Farr kicks back from the whirlwind of celebrity life by cleaning or listening to the babbling of her three little ones, only 16 months apart. That kind of old-fashioned stress relief is in sharp contrast to her glamorous Hollywood life with star roles on “Californication,” “Rescue Me,” “Numb3rs,” and MTV’s “Loveline.” These days, motherhood is her biggest challenge. Not one to let an opportunity pass, Diane has squeezed in another project – channeling her mommy frustrations and mishaps into entertaining fodder for her nationally syndicated newspaper column. With multiple balls in the air, Diane has become a master at juggling.

1. What do you love about being a mom?

The Luck of a 20-carat Engagement Ring

Kim Kardashian is keeping me up at night.  I’m not at all sure what this woman is famous for, other than having a beautiful face and ass that America got familiar with via her sex tape, while her and her sisters were also filming a reality show.  And any triumph that I might have felt that a woman with olive skin and black hair who is larger than a size eight surpassed being known for sex alone, was squandered when Kardashian became engaged this week and the circus over her “score” began.

That would be for the 20.5-carat engagement ring given to her by Kris Humphries, a forward for the New Jersey Nets. Although Kim has said she was completely “shocked” by this, Kim has also been widely quoted saying, “I knew I wanted it to be big!”

Diane Farr’s ‘Kissing Outside the Lines’ a guide to interracial romance for 21st century

By Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic

Whatever prejudices you have about actors-turned-authors, know this: Diane Farr is right there with you.

As a steadily working but not yet household name in the TV biz (Rescue Me, Californication, Numb3rs), Farr nevertheless is the first to lampoon any Hollywood phoniness — often during sidesplitting turns on the radio show Loveline, in her syndicated column on motherhood, or in magazine pieces in GQ, Esquire and Cosmopolitan.

But Farr has rejoined the actors’ writing club again for an important cause, penning a new book on interracial relationships, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After.

Crunching the data from the latest U.S. census, experts say America is entering a “pivot decade” of explosive growth in ethnic diversity.

New York Times: Bringing Home the Wrong Race

By DIANE FARR

Published: June 3, 2011

IT was the morning after our first “I love you,” and I was filled with happiness on my way to breakfast with Seung Yong Chung. I couldn’t yet pronounce any of his three names better than many of you just did, but I called him “Sing,” like all his friends did.

For weeks, Seung and I had been spending our nights together, but in the transient city of Los Angeles, waking up next to someone (even regularly) is not a sign of commitment. Our mutual willingness to blow off work, however (or at least roll in late because we were lingering over breakfast), did make me feel certain that Seung would soon become my boyfriend.

As we entered the Santa Monica breakfast bar, I noticed a young, attractive Asian woman looking at our clasped hands with apparent displeasure. When she then looked up at Seung and scowled, I gave her a big bright smile as a gentle warning to refrain from girl-on-girl hating.

What We’re Reading: Kissing Outside the Lines

June 1, 2011 2:00 PM by Rachel Sylvester

When it comes to relationships, we’ve all been warned to keep our distance from those so-called “bad boys.” Clad in muscle tees and baggy jeans, these forbidden flames seem right in all of the wrong ways. It makes sense then that chain-smoking womanizers manage to win over our hearts, much to the dismay of our parents.

But what if your current love isn’t accepted in the eyes of your family based solely on his race? Actress-turned-author Diane Farr was faced with this issue seven years ago when she began dating a Korean. Nearly a decade has passed, leaving Farr equipped with three children and numerous life lessons on interracial love.

In Kissing Outside the Lines, Farr details her journey and the stories of others on the quest for love with no boundaries. Both witty and bold, Farr challenges readers to “kiss these people often as a well as tell anyone who sees you different from how you see yourself — to kiss your ass.”

What is the premise behind your story?
The book was born out of my experience of dating and later marrying my husband. We’re biracial — he’s Asian and I’m Caucasian. On our sixth date he said to me, “I’m not allowed to marry you, I’m supposed to marry a Korean girl.” My parents had a similar conversation with me around junior high school, giving me a list of who I was and wasn’t allowed to love. But somehow Asian just didn’t fall on the “no” list. Of course, by the time I left for college the first thing I did was go and fall in love with a black man.

Bi-Racial Couples & Mixed Race People May Not Be As Understood As the Census Suggests

As a mother of mixed race children, I was thrilled with the recently released findings of the population census - that since the choice to check more than one race became an option ten years ago the growth of the biracial population is now up more than 50% in many parts of the country.  This news felt really inclusive to me, while reading about it at my kitchen table.

But not so much when I left my house.

“Are your children adopted?” says the woman in the check out line in front of me at Target.

It’s hard to articulate just how much that sentence feels like fire on my face. My face which immediately snaps around to have a look at my children – and wonder why this person thinks they couldn’t be of my womb.

“What’s adopted mean, Mommy?” says my son, furthering my internal hysteria.

“Adoption is when you bring a person or an animal into your home and make them part of your family.  It’s a wonderful thing.  But who here lived in Mommy’s belly before moving into our house?”

Glamour: Color-blind Love: Always a Do!

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MORE Magazine: White Women Need Not Apply

‘Californication’ actress and ‘Kissing Outside the Lines’ author Diane Farr opens up about her interracial marriage.

By Diane Farr

I met Seung Yong Chung three times before I kissed him. I wanted to kiss him every time but something kept holding me back. It was not just that I couldn’t pronounce any of his names. I was introduced to him as “Sing,” which was the nickname he’d had since age three from the other American kids couldn’t pronounce his very Korean names.

When I met him, at age 34, I found him to be handsome and smart. I was unsure about making him a romantic contender though. He was different looking from me—a half-Irish, half-Italian, New Yorker through and through—but it wasn’t a looks thing.

Kissing Outside the Lines

In 2008, a writer’s strike shut down the television industry and most of the city of Los Angeles.  I was sent home from my TV show “Numb3rs” that I had been playing in for two years as Megan Reeves.  While most of us thespians feared we would never work again, I had an additional phobia about being at home.

My life had recently been overtaken by my then nine-month old son.  He was a joyous gift in my life, albeit an overwhelming one.  However when he was taking a long nap one Saturday afternoon… his sister was conceived.  Being pregnant, again, in the same year as my last pregnancy was not my plan, especially since this was still my first year of marriage.  And then this sister split herself in two – making me pregnant with twins.

Going in for the Goddesses!

I refuse to follow Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Not because I don’t enjoy his mania just as much as the other three million followers he garnered this month. In fact, I think I enjoy his hubris-filled Hamlet rendition more than most because I also work in television. I have felt beat up by a producer, here and there, throughout my career and a studio, too, on occasion. And although I have fantasized about denouncing them and calling everyone I’ve ever worked with a troll, in real life I’ve acted more like a battered wife than a batterer.

Not that I’m at all sure Charlie was actually abused by his shows creator though. The rumor around Hollywoodland is that every other cast member on 2.5 Men was treated like a member of group home — that had to be cared for just well-enough that the outside world couldn’t see their pain, while Charlie was treated like a deity.

On TV, mixed-race couples offer diversity without complexity

Too little, too late

“I think everybody’s glossing over the ‘how-did-you-get-here?’ part, because it feels like it’s racist to ask,” said Diane Farr, a white actor (Numb3rs, Rescue Me) married to a Korean man in real life, who used her own experiences to write a script on a series about interracial couples for Fox.

Farr makes it clear; she’s not talking about Fox’s decision last month not to greenlight her script, which some executives said dealt too directly with the subject matter. But she does wonder if TV is too accustomed to following the country’s cultural conversations instead of leading them.

Please Don’t Feed the Twins

Please Don’t Feed the Twins

“Yes” is the answer I find myself repeating over and over while having lunch at the mall with my daughters. Sadly, I’m not saying it to them though. I’m giving the affirmative to the slew of strangers approaching us that I have no interest in talking to.

My daughters are twins. They are two years old and cute and smart and everything else every mother thinks about their little ones, but that’s not why they get so much attention. Strangers want to talk to them simply because they are twins.

And really, these intrigued and totally uninvited guests to my family’s lunch table don’t want to talk to my daughters at all. They want to stare at them mercilessly while asking incredibly invasive questions of me. Which usually begins with a shriek, gasp or whisper that is followed up with, “Oh my God. Look at them! Are they twins?”

Death of a Lone Star and American Television

The Death of a Lone Star and American Television

I feel like I committed television manslaughter by not watching Lone Star in time.  Yes I put this critically acclaimed new Fox drama on my DVR—to watch it on my schedule—but we viewers who record are not calculated in overnight ratings.  When Lonestar was made the first cancellation of the 2010 TV schedule, immediately after it’s second viewing due to low ratings, I began to mourn it.

And not just because I missed the show. (I still have the two episodes on my DVR and keep wondering if the network has the power to suck it off my list of recorded shows?) Rather I was saddened because Lonestar is the type of show I dream of as both an actress and a writer.  It was not a formulaic procedural built around a legal, medical or police franchise—where every episode utilizes the same framework of “good guy comes to our hero with a problem, that he or she can solve in 42 minutes, yet still leaves us to wonder if the world might end at every commercial break.”

Fox To Develop Couples & Medical Drama Projects With Diane Farr & Peter Tolan

By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Wednesday September 8, 2010

Two alums from the underrated ABC comedy (and old favorite of mine) The Job, co-star Diane Farr and co-creator/executive producer Peter Tolan, have set up hourlong projects at Fox. Farr’s project is based on her upcoming semi-autobiographical book You Can’t Love One of Them, while Tolan’s is a medical drama written by Glen Mazzara (The Shield). Both have received script commitments.

Farr’s show hails from 20th Century Fox TV and production/management company Generate, which has an overall deal with the studio. Farr will write and produce the project, which revolves around several interracial couples living in the South in a post-Obama world. Farr, whose husband is of Korean decent, developed the characters after tracking couples across America for the past five years. Generate principals Pete Aronson (The Bernie Mac Show) and Jordan Levin are executive producing. In addition to her acting credits, which include Rescue Me, Californication andNumbers, the UTA-repped Farr is a writer, penning a syndicated column for Tribune Media and contributing to magazines.

The untitled Glen Mazzara project, from Sony TV where Tolan is based, centers on a burnt-out doctor who joins a neighborhood medical clinic. Hawthorne executive producer/showrunner Mazzara is executive producing with Tolan. This is Tolan’s third sale this season. He landed a put pilot commitment at NBC for workplace comedy Brave New World, which he is writing. Additionally, he is exec producing an untitled half-hour from writer DJ Nash set up at ABC. Tolan and Mazzara are with CAA.

Where Have all the Good Girls Gone?

Elin Nordegren finally said her piece publicly last week, after holding her tongue for three-quarters of a year. If someone had made a cuckold-ess of me at least 10 times in less than half that many years of marriage, I fear I would not have behaved with such grace.

Yet Elin barely spoke of her own loss. She mostly used her on-air time to address what she’s been accused of. Saying she didn’t beat her husband with his clubs last November (although I was hoping she did for the iron-y,) that she did not know he was sleeping around and that all the money she has “gotten” in divorce can’t buy happiness.

Why does the wife and mother in Tiger’s lecherous tale need to defend herself? Elin’s humility inspired me to check how the public is feeling about the world’s most downgraded golfer. A poll by Harris Interactive tallied thousands of online fans to find the most popular male sports figure today is a tie between Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. Meanwhile, a Forbes Magazine poll of the most hated sports stars tallied Michael “dog killa” Vick at No. 1.

My Kids Have Weird Names, Too

It’s not as easy to find a child named after an Apostle as it used to be. Fewer Marks, Thomases, Peters and Pauls are around — which is the polar opposite of when I was growing up. One of my peers has a father, brother and husband all named John. Yet, when she gave birth to a child, she named him Kenya. Kenya is Caucasian and Jewish, and I’m pretty sure no one in his immediate family has ever even been to East Africa.

And so it is with all the kids I know. Many have location names from a place they do not hail from. Like the young New Yorker I know named Raleigh and a Mexican-American preschooler I know called Havana — and their friends London, Lima, Berlin, India and Asia. Then there are the gender-backward names for girls like James, Frankie, Parker, Michael and Elliot, as well as the growing trend in showing off your highbrow English lit or art history degree by naming your baby Daschle, Harper, Emerson, August, Matisse, Tristan or Rosalind.

Grey’s Anatomy’ Exclusive: Diane Farr checks in!

by Michael Ausiello

diane-farr-Olivia-Wilde

It’s a Grey’s Anatomy/Housecrossover…in the absolute loosest sense of the word!

Ex-Rescue Me and Numb3rs star (and current AssCastles host) Diane Farr will guest in an October episode of Grey’s Anatomy as a patient with Huntington’s disease—the same ailment that Olivia Wilde’s Thirteen is living with on House.

I warned you it was a loose connection. (Cut me some slack; it’s a summer Friday.)

Farr’s character will be under the care of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and is slated to appear in this season’s fourth episode.

Grey’s Anatomy returns on Sept. 23.

(Image Credit: Jordan Strauss/Getty Images; Inset: Fox)

Exclusive: ‘White Collar’ nabs Diane Farr

Rescue Me and Numb3rs vet Diane Farr has

signed on to guest-star in a season 2 episode of

USA Network’s White Collar, sources confirm

to Entertainment Weekly exclusively.

Farr — who memorably played against type as

the chemically dependent mother of The Fairview Strangler, “Eddie,” on Desperate Housewives last season — will portray Gina De Stefano, a waitress Mozzie (Willie Garson) has a crush on. She drops a hint early in the episode that she’s in trouble and needs his help.

White Collar‘s second season premieres July 13.

What Makes a Housewife Desperate?

One hour into my new job on “Desperate Housewives,” Felicity Huffman asks me, “You have three kids under three years old? How are you managing it all with work?” I can’t even meet her eye as I shamefully reply, “Work is the best part of my day.”

The 12-hour day I am just starting on this set will feel like a vacation compared to the 18-hour shifts I’ve been pulling at home for the last year with my three small children. Felicity may never know that she threw my entire existence a life preserver when she said, “Walk with me.”