I'm awake and hungry, but I'm taking the time to note that I saw Shattered Glass on the flight, and it is very nearly a perfect movie. It's the anti-President's Men. It is marvelous. If you can put up with Hayden Christiansen whining, that is.
Turns out, I can.
Finished book of Sedaris essays on the plane -- pretty early in, actually. But I'd read or heard most of them before. In effort to conserve books for the flight home (which I'm going to try and stay awake through -- goddamn jet lag) I'm holding off on the rest of my accompanying fiction and reading Caz's copy of The Shipping News.
Some nice happy light vacation reading, right there. *g*
Showered, fed, walked, and endrunkened, I now feel somewhat human. Actually, more than human. I feel pretty good.
At some point, jet lag will hit. But after a margarita at the airport, a screwdriver on the plane, a cup of coffee on the plane, a Vanilla Coke on the bus from the airport (thanks be to Caz!), a glass of wine with dinner, and a half-pint at the grotto-esque pub where Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton was known to wine and dine, my body's pretty goddamn confused about when and where it's supposed to be sleeping. I may lie down with a book at some point soon.
On the flight over, at least, I actually managed to do some journaling in the Death notebook I found at Virgin on sale months ago. I now have something resembling a travel journal. And that's what I'm doing now -- travelling.
Of course, the quality of my observations leaves something to be desired:
You know what? Adventures seem a lot more fun after a marg. EVERYTHING seems a lot more fun after a marg.
I'm a very conscientious bag watcher. Even as I write this, the hot German guy's backpack and shopping bag (both blue) are locked in my vision. I do this because I take airport security seriously. I also do this because he asked me to "put an eye on his bags."
Guys ought to love girls in handknit scarfs. Especially hot German men dressed entirely in blue.
In the safety instructions video, the oxygen masks fall from above in slow-mo. Peter Jackson would be pleased.
It's time to lie down with a book and see what happens, I think. Sleep will hopefully come soon.
There's something downright poetic about flying eastward, getting a head start on the world, beating the rest of California to Tuesday. I won't have much time to reflect on it, however, because last night was The Night of No Sleep, otherwise known as Heck, I Wanted To Finish This Scarf Anyways, Why Not Stay Up Until Five AM To Do So?
Everything's almost in place -- gotta mail a few things, drop off some paperwork for my retirement plan (gah, I have a retirement plan now), finish up some work...
And then I'm gone.
I'll be doing the best I can to keep y'all updated on my exploits. But in case I don't see you...
I normally love it when Tim Goodman and I are on the same page, but this week it just makes me sad. Because I may not want to have its babies, but I do still enjoy Wonderfalls and want to see it succeed. And Tim Goodman's right in presuming that it is not long for this world.
But Tim Minear, you see, has created this charming world of idiotic tourists and dive bars and talking inanimate objects. And the fact that this charming world centers around someone who's moody and boozy and doesn't know what she wants to do with her life... It's always nice to see yourself on television. *g*
I worry for whether or not the concept can play out over thirteen episodes -- if it really has legs. The reason cop and doctor shows last so goddamn long is because there's never a drought of stories -- there's always another criminal to catch, another patient to save. Sure, there's a lifetime's worth of cheesy soveniers out there, but how long will it hold our interests? How long until it all takes a backseat to The Love Song of Jaye and Hot Bartender Guy?
But I also worry for whether or not I'll be allowed to make up my mind on this issue. Dear Fox, please accept that everything you put on Friday nights is going to bomb, no matter what, and just leave the damn show on the air for a while. Hmmmkay?
There are extremely good reasons for this sloth -- laundry and laziness, mostly -- but the most aggravating factor is the fact that I've taken on some freelance data entry work, as well. It's easy and goes pretty fast -- I got about a fourth of the way done last night, while watching an old episode of MI-5 and Daily Show, but it's Yet Another Thing.
This weekend is full of Things. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and fit in five hours of writing, an hour or two of shopping, a shower, dinner with Das Roomie, and a friend's play. Sunday, I want to go to the gym, a used bookstore in North Hollywood, Goodwill (to drop off some old clothes), a book club meeting, and a USC networking thing -- before coming home, taking a bath, and PACKING.
As a result, I keep telling myself that I can't go out tonight. No going out for me. Nuh-uh. I'm even thinking about skipping tonight's gym expedition, so that I've got plenty of energy for my nice long evening of working.
Part of me really loves going to the gym on Friday nights, though. It simply adores it. So I may do that. A tentative plan is forming in my mind, where I go to the gym, come home and shower, bum around in pajamas while working on the data entry and watching TV, then go out to my favorite late-night coffee shop and work on the screenplay. Last year, I spent many Friday and Saturday nights eschewing a social life and writing writing writing at Insomnia. I'd call my friends who were out having a life, and ask them trivial questions pertaining to my writing. Like, "What would an aspiring English major be reading for fun right before bed?" Or "What's a good name for a guy wearing a trucker hat?" That sort of thing.
And who knows? If I finish the screenplay tonight (which is actually possible), I can call one of my friends who is out having a life, and ask if there is alcohol where s/he is.
Because if I finish the screenplay tonight, I will most certainly deserve a drink.
So yesterday was totally, completely devoured by work and a staged screenplay reading in goddamn Silverlake. Maybe that's a bit harsh towards Silverlake, but I'm still annoyed by the way it ate up my night, leaving me with no time to work on any of the number of things I want and need to finish in the next week. Tonight's gonna be the night for getting work done, though. Tonight is gonna be FOCUSED.
Dreamcatcher is still eating my soul. Goddamn Stephen King. Before I started it, I was almost looking forward to the break from the heavy nonfiction I'd been reading. But now all I want to do is throw this goddamn tome off a bridge and dive into And The Band Played On or something. I just want to scrub the stupid out of my brain.
Do you know how depressing it is to wake up every morning and see, on the pillow next to you, a book larger than some peoples' heads? A book about alien fungus and shit-weasels? It's become an endurance race at some point. I started this thing last Wednesday, and I'll have it done tomorrow, hook or crook.
Wearing my pants on sale today, and they make me feel just a bit thinner than usual. Which is nice.
Spent most of last night reading Stephen King's Dreamcatcher right now. I'm reading it fast and with little attention to detail. Especially the details involving the aliens that fart out of people's asses. In the end, the scariest thing about the book so far is that someone read it and thought it'd make a good movie.
(Ten guesses what my next Bookslut column is about. I hope to make "What In The Hell Happened Here?" a recurring series.)
In the media-I-can-recommend section, I saw The Safety of Objects on Wednesday, and there's an awful lot to like about it. Well-adapted from a book of short stories, a great cast, and written and directed by Rose Troche (support your women directors!), it's a sweet, lyrical quality that can even make a radio station car contest timeless and ethereal, combined with a dash of American Beauty-esque warped suburbia humor that blended nicely. Some nice examples of abbreviated storytelling, with an elegant use of ellipses around action, and intercutting implemented to bring together the many disparate storylines. It all comes together nicely in the end, and the underlying theme resonates surprisingly strong, given the writing and directing's light touch. The only scene that really bugged me was The Big Emotional Climax (it seemed overly obvious and, at the same time, not quite believable) - but I was able to forgive it that one flaw.
Good drama, overall. Give it a shot.
New Wonderfalls tonight, and I'm gonna TiVo tomorrow's reairing of Century City, just so that I can see one episode before letting it go. After all, it's Future Law! Law of the Future! I'm excited for it.
Plus, Sopranos and Alias on Sunday, on top of the premiere of Deadwood, which I'm gonna give a shot. I've been in a western-digging groove of late, and whores with guns are always appealing.
Maybe I just miss Firefly. Maybe more than a little.
I drove down the 10W this evening, the sky as grey and flat as slate, and it was just another commute, hazy reports of car bombs filtering in from NPR, until I looked at one of the overpasses. Three men stood above the freeway, dangling a bedsheet over the side of the chain link fence separating them from a descent into traffic.
It's not a unique form of expression, usually political in bent. So I squinted until I got close enough to see the message clearly:
YOANNA I LOVE YOU WILL U MARRY ME?
Didn't make the car bomb stories go away. But for a few miles, I had reason to smile.
One of my all-time favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs is playing. I don't know the name, but it's all dreamy and sunset-y -- perfect for driving the PCH on a lazy afternoon. RHCP may be the most California band in the entire world. They might trump The Beach Boys. That's how bleached they are.
Bleached being metaphorical, of course.
Hey, so if you watch ER, and in a couple of months you watch somebody graduating from a school with blue and yellow banners, and the ceremony is being held in front of a pale pink brick building -- guess what? That's the same building wherein I've discussed international cinema, argued about Virginia Woolf's personal life, and stared at my superhero screenplay, realizing that it was ready to send to the guy who would become my first manager.
It's always odd, when projects shoot on campus, for I've done so much growing up here. It's strange to see your second home in the movies.
Been quiet recently, I know. Mostly working on the screenplays, reading, or knitting Scarf The Third (which I completely restarted last night, but hopefully for the better). Going to see Eternal Sunshine tomorrow, which'll be nice, and I'll pull one of my regular cafe-writing-and-comic-store-perusing sessions on Saturday. There are things I want to sit on the floor and read. I'm excited for them. There are also things that I want to buy. But that's less likely to happen.
The only negative to come out of this trip to England so far is that I'm going to be missing two fairly nerdy events -- the release of 1602 #8 (the final issue of the series) and the premiere of Hellboy. The latter is a bit more vexing, as I know it'll be a bitch to find someone to go see it with once I return (unless Eric wants to be my movie buddy), but the last time I was in England, I missed the premiere of X-Men. And that went all right, in the end.
Reading, writing, seeing friends, geeking out. Pretty much life as I know it.
So the weather in England has two weeks to shape up. I don't have a lot of faith in this happening, though.
Still, I signed up for a week in England. And England ain't England without some gloom.
I really really really enjoy the part where I have no real plans so far for the trip. There are a couple of things I want to do, sure, but I think most of my time is going to be spent hanging around and occasionally getting Caz and me very very drunk.
Well, not very very drunk. Maybe just a little drunk...
Oh, who am I kidding. *g*
In other news, tonight I feel like indulging in junk food. Specifically? Chocolate chip cookies a la mode. That just sounds really good right now.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, for example. I can't tell you how much I adored the season finale. The cameos alone were amazing. I nearly cried when (spoilers) Gene Wilder showed up. And the Seinfeld reaction shot! And Stephen Colbert! And that beautiful, cuddly, post-modern, self-reflexive twist! I apologize, Larry David, for all the times I didn't get it, didn't watch it, and didn't care. You have officially won me over.
I don't want to watch The Sopranos. I don't want to add another TV show to my schedule. But the second episode last night was as good as the first, and the concept of watching the show and not knowing what's coming is pretty novel.
Even Alias didn't suck last night! Alias! Granted, it was mainly because of Ricky Gervais, but still! (God, Gervais was good. "Poker's my game." Is it wrong that I want him to be the next James Bond? A slightly doughy James Bond, but still.)
According to Tim Minear, Wonderfalls tests better with men, and given the somewhat lackluster responses I've been seeing online, this doesn't surprise me. I really enjoyed it, however. Maybe it's because I'm a recent college graduate who feels underemployed and kinda resents the living hell out of everything at times. It's a possibility, at any rate.
Growing up, I tended to receive a large wall calendar every Christmas, from one family member or another. Knowing me pretty well, they tended not to get me landscapes or frolicking puppies; I remember a few years running with various incarnations of Trek, followed by a succession of X-Files calendars. I didn't really use them to keep track of events and due dates -- I've usually had an assignment book around for that sort of thing -- but it was a nice ritual, flipping over a page at the beginning of every month. If the picture featured was from a particularly good episode, or it was an especially cool picture of Wil Wheaton, I felt it meant good things for the month to follow. Superstitions dwell deep in my blood.
I was deep into my comics phase when my family gave me a Wonder Woman calendar two years ago -- I appreciated the sentiment, but wasn't entirely thrilled, due to my belief that Wonder Woman is a pretty goddamn lame superhero. (Boys tend to disagree with me on this point, but boys tend to list "super-hot-ness" as one of Wonder Woman's powers.) It didn't help when, after a few months, it became clear that whoever assembled the photos in question had a bit of a dirty mind; each month grew progressively less subtle about the sexual nature of these comics. After a while, it grew to be wonderfully surreal -- surreal enough that at the end of the year, I spent an evening cutting the Wonder Woman calendar apart and reassembling it into two large collages that dominate my room and hallway. The one in my room is fairly mild, but above the table where we put our mail, Wonder Woman wrestles sweatily with her evil twin, forbids all men from entering Aphrodite Island, brandishes her lasso of truth. The most prominent picture features Wonder Woman on her back, arms and legs tied around an A-bomb plummeting towards Metropolis. Never before has terrorism taken on such an overtly erotic angle.
The year afterwards, I forgot to ask for a new one, and ended up finding a tribute to classic film stars at a secondhand book shop. I grew to love the Wonder Woman calendar, but gorgeous black and white photos of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Sean Connery were a bit of a relief for a year.
I forgot to ask for a new one this year, too, and have spent the past few months looking around for something good. I'm bad at making decisions, though. One of the reasons I liked getting them as presents was that it took some of the choice off my shoulders -- when you're buying a calendar for another person, it's a fairly low-maintenance gift. Go to a store, find one that matches their interests, and you're done. Buying one for yourself is trickier, because this time it's your wall we're talking about -- you know you're going to be staring at it for an entire year, and you want something just right. I wasn't having any luck at the stores I frequented, everything interesting costing more than I was willing to pay, and soon it started feeling a bit desperate. I never realized before these past few months how much I do use the wall calendar -- not to mark things down, but to keep track of the passing of time, to realize how few days there are until my bills and rent and Bookslut column are due. Not to mention the fact that flipping the calendar reminds me that another month's gone by -- and what have I done with it? Sometimes a lot, sometimes very little. But it's a way of accounting for the four weeks that have just slipped by, often without my noticing.
I knew the situation was dire when I considered the calendars on sale at the gift shop across the street -- puppies, kittens, or twelve-inch cocks being their selection. (Ah, West Hollywood.) I've got nothing against twelve-inch cocks, of course, but twelve months of them is a bit much. That's 144 inches of reminder that I need a life. That's 138 more than I need.
Thanks be to the comic book store today, though, for Audrey Hepburn no longer stares at me meancingly, and instead a half-off Sandman calendar dangles from its nail. It is dreamy and gorgeous, full of Dave McKean and Yoshitaka Amano art, Neil Gaiman words, and an awesome collection of dates. Edgar Allen Poe's birthday fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, I've learned. "Mr. Sandman" hit #1 on the charts on January 1, 1955.
I'm gonna leave January up for another week or so, then Februrary, then the last week of March with the actual month of March. And calendar time will eventually catch up with real time, and I will finally be able to look to my side and know exactly how many days remain.
See, NOW it's behaving like spring. Yay for nice weather!
I've been on an odd sort of a creative jag since last night, when I added onto my wall mural of postcards, painted the lid of an Altoids tin with old nail polish, and sketched a self-portrait into an old composition notebook. This morning, I finished updating my photo galleries to the new style and designed a possible header for a fellow Bookslut writer's blog. And this afternoon, I get to go to a yarn store and purchase more yarn! (I finished Scarf The Next on Thursday, meaning that it is time for Scarf the Third to begin. I'm gonna have to start giving these as gifts.)
Gonna work on screenplays later, as well, and continue reading about women and their hair. Not to mention going to the gym, Santa Monica, and watching Alias.
In other news, my parents are winging it to a tropical paradise. I ate dinner with them at the airport last night, bringing my mom a cheap sports watch and my dad a CD loaded with MP3s. They're both set.
England in what, 19 days? Maybe soon my passport will arrive. That'd be nice.
I was sick yesterday. I'm coughing today. It's hard to come up with good blogging material when these things are true.
Look, I know you're pissed about the ice caps melting and the destruction of the rainforest and all the other ways humanity is destroying you. But most of us are really sorry about it, and we're doing what we can to fix it. It'll take a while, planet Earth, but there are good people committed to the cause of keeping our home from being completely inhabitable. Who want nothing more than to make you happy.
So there's no need for you to act out the way you did yesterday. Really, that was quite immature. And don't be telling me that it was just your way of sticking it to those parts of the country that were snowed in. Because we both know that isn't the case.
In short, Earth, believe me when I say that we're doing what we can.
Tired. So tired. So much walking today and yesterday. So much... stuff.
And now I want to go to the gym. But I am so tired. The flesh is weak.
I finished The Professor and the Madman recently, so that's done. A somewhat dry book, but full of word-nerd fun! Now, I've started Rapunzel's Daughters, all about the history of women and their hair, which means that after being very man-heavy for so long, my reading list finally has some serious estrogen contention.
I don't think I'll read tonight, though. I think I'll go to the gym, get dinner, and watch Alias and a movie before collapsing into bed.
Yes. That sounds nice. I just need to get... up...
I got two pieces of email on my return from the cafe. Both of them had "birthday" in the subject. Both of them were good news.
Specifically -- I'm going to Coachella, and I get to see MOVIES on Saturday!
MOVIES! Any idea how long it's been since I've seen MOVIES? In a theater?
As I attempted to procrastinate writing earlier this evening, I taught myself how to do iframes. It was fun. I may do more experimentation later. I like this design, but we can always do better.
Paid for my tea tonight with silver dollars. It was almost like being in England. (I love pound coins, solid and heavy. I love putting two on a bar and getting a half pint of cider. So good.)
I wrote nine pages in an hour and a half. Nine key pages. I am now a hop, skip, and twenty pages away from finishing this fucking screenplay. That's nine months of off-and-on work, peeps, but my joy is compromised by the knowledge that this'll be followed by what'll probably be a year of off-and-on revising. Because lord help me, it needs it.
A happy note to close this off and send me towards bed - on Tuesday, I was putting my groceries in my car when an SUV pulled into the empty space next to me. It lingered for a few minutes, engine still running, and when I looked inside I saw the driver in silhouette, a cell phone clearly held to his ear, and his bored five-year-old daughter sitting in the backseat, waving at me.
I waved back, then impulsively stuck my tongue out at her. She grinned and retaliated, and soon the conflict escalated to curling and twisting and eye-crossing. It's cool to meet someone with a tongue as limber as mine.
I was still sticking my tongue out at her as I drove away, while she laughed and curled hers into knots.
In regards to the burning question of what I did last night - didn't get any writing done, did watch Angel, didn't go to the comic book store. In short, was not productive, but did not spend a single dollar, and got to spend time with friends, including Das Roomie, whose schedule has not overlapped with mine of late, and will be leaving for Miami tomorrow. I hate the fact that I didn't do any writing, but it was not a pointless sacrifice.
Tonight, though, I'm holing up at Insomnia (a favorite among coffee shops) and not leaving without some real work done. That's all I got on the agenda -- writing and more writing.
Okay, maybe I'll go by the comic book store on my way there. Incentives never hurt no one. *g*
I came into work late this morning due to prearranged grappling with the State Department (namely, I needed to apply for a new passport, and the post offices had limits on when I could do this). So I'm staying later tonight, and as I see it, the evening could go one of two ways:
Leave work around 6:30
Get something to eat with the three cash dollars I've alloted myself for food for the remainder of the week. (This is not a hard task -- fried rice shall come to my rescue.)
Go see Moises Kaufman speak at the school of theater
Do some writing
Leave work around 6:30
Go home and make self a huge amount of pasta (leftovers saved for the rest of the week)
I finished The Killer Angels this weekend, so it's off my reading list at long last. Didn't suck, either. A hard read, but ultimately engrossing. Just a bit more work than I expected. Joss Whedon referenced it as an inspiration for Firefly, and the humanity of it supports that theory.
In its place, added Toni Morrison's Jazz. I liked the first chapter all right, though it hasn't grabbed me yet. I think it's because I was reading it because of the jazz element, and yet there was no jazz, just older men obsessed with younger woman. And I am SICK of that storyline. Still, the writing is good. I'll keep going.
I listened to an old Craig Armstrong CD last night, for the second time in two days. I forgot how very very good Craig Armstrong is, and wish for that to never happen ever again. Hence, I have added him to Listening.
Have been forgetting to update about Birds of Prey, a DC comic that I've gotten addicted to. Strong female superheroes with issues and vulnerabilities and fishnets. It's pretty goddamn badass, not to mention brilliantly written. Love it.
I may update Watching in a week or two, especially if Wonderfalls lives up to its promise and my weariness with Joan of Arcadia continues. It's great drama, yes, but there's only so much hugging and crying I can take. Plus, I feel like it's fallen off the horse a bit, gotten away from its concept. The family drama is good, sure, but God's hanging around, giving orders, and that used to be a much bigger deal than it is currently.
This is not a day for mondo updates. Perhaps tomorrow. Tonight, though, there is gym and grocery store and writing and kareoke. Good times.
1 pair of reasonably attractive and flattering jeans
One long-sleeved, body-hugging black t-shirt
One short-sleeved green t-shirt on top
A handknit dark green scarf
An extremely battered leather jacket
Two pairs of socks (layered)
With these supplies, you should be more than able to:
Eat a stack of pancakes at a little Melrose restaurant
Drink two cups of coffee and write five pages of screenplay at a little Melrose cafe
Sit on the floor of a little Melrose comic book store and read comic books.
Go to a friend's house and watch parts of The Player, Star Trek IV, Terminator 2, and The Oscar, a strange campy mess of a movie.
Go to Canter's, drink water, and learn about the five legal requirements for statehood
Go to a bar, dance to 80s music, and get dipped.
Return home, exhausted, sixteen hours after you left it.
And all without driving! Granted, I woke up the next morning feeling like I'd walked six miles. Probably because I had.
Saturday, in short, was a really good day. It was also incredibly exhausting. Yesterday, pretty much all I had the energy for was a trip to the gym, the manufactoring of hummus, and adding about a foot to Scarf the Next during The Most Boring Oscar Telecast Ever.
Seriously, boring. I think I have boredom hangover. Nothing will ever be interesting ever again.
Including work. Only an hour and twenty minutes left...