Secret Pop

Jun 28, 2005


This song always sets me off. Sets me back. And it totally shouldn't. It isn't our song or anything. If anything, it would make you think of someone completely else. Not me at all. It wouldn't be the song we would both hear while doing Christmas shopping and be simultaneously overwhelmed with a sense of the bittersweet as we stand in two totally different stores in the same shopping mall unbeknownst to us. Like some predictable little scene in a Nora Ephron movie. I don't even know why it means anything to me. It shouldn't. I didn't share it with anyone. It doesn't need to be evocative. It may be as simple as the place I was in my life when I saw the movie it came from. Or what I felt and what I knew at the time. It isn't even that great a song. Or that well-performed. Why. Why. Why. This is non-scientific.

But when I hear this song -- and, depending on how my day is going -- I think things I'm happy to think. Or things I'd like to burn out of my brain with a hot thing. But without exception, I think of you. And it makes me want to have a conversation about it or write something down. It impels me.

Music inspires action in me more than nearly anything else. Unplanned puppetry. The sharing feeling. How can anyone in the world hear something lovely or good and think, "Oh, this is lovely," or, "Oh, this is good," and not want to share it with someone else immediately? How can anyone keep such things to themselves? I sometimes fear I will have to clap my hands over my mouth to keep from telling everyone everything I think. Instead, I write it down. And sometimes I make something of it. And sometimes I don't. But when I let it get away -- when I fail to say it or write it or remember it in some way -- I get the blues about it. If you think I save a lot of tangible things, wait till you get a peek at my intellectual property.

I can write it all down for writing's sake. And by the time I've gotten it out, the song has changed, and I'm no longer forced to think anything at all.

Fucking nonsense.

Is being less fat really such a laudable accomplishmment?

When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, I saw Jared on the street. Jared, the Subway guy. The former fatso who tries to interest me in puny six-inch sub sandwiches by comparing them to actual fast food and pretending it isn't a case of apples and oranges. Forget apples and oranges. It's apples and turds, as far as I'm concerned. You just can't compare them. Is anyone surprised that a crispy chicken sandwich has more fat in it than a cold chicken sub without mayo or cheese? Maybe you would also be stunned to learn that a cheesecake has more fat in it than a string bean. And furthermore that eating a turkey leg is more fattening than eating a housefly. Oh, the hours I could fill with interesting facts you would apparently react to quizzically.

So I passed Jared on the sidewalk of Lexington Avenue, and he looked much as he does on television. Maybe shorter than I expected. But certainly no better dressed. I'm reminded of it because I just saw a Subway commercial he's in, and I find his face so unappealing. His teeth look capped or veneered, and his lips are too big and rosy and wrinkled. I just want someone to give him a pinkieful of balm. Wrinkly, full lips are just gross to look at. And he has 'em. And frankly, he's not so very thin. I realize he's not as fat as he used to be, but I'd hardly say he has a cute body. I'm just surprised that his story appeals to America at all. America is usually so fickle. So ready to abandon a once-beloved celebrity for putting on weight or beginning to show evidence of sun damage. So short-tempered when it comes to age and infirmity and carbo-loading. Why would the America that wanted Kate Winslet to skip a crumpet or two get behind this only slightly less tubby Jared and take his advice on foodstuffs? I wonder what portion of Subway's clientele wanders in actually believing they're going to board a train and go somewhere.

Jun 24, 2005

Peacock Feather

When I was in the lobby bar of the W Hotel in Manhattan, a man offered me a flower from the bouquet he was carrying. I chose a peacock feather instead. A pretty commemoration of my last night in New York. The end of a week that felt like a bubbly drink.

When I finally finished unpacking one of my bags from the trip, the feather was tucked inside. Bent. Imperfect. Not unpretty. But not so nice anymore. And the colors looked duller, unenhanced by that W Hotel blue. A fitting metaphoric closure for my return.

I heard a song today and it made me sad for missing you.

Jun 21, 2005


Hello. I adore that it adores the Steve Martin.... we can be friends? I speak of the Brazil (São Paulo City) and I wait contact. Kisses and Sorry my english.....

This was my latest Friendster message. I am in love with it. Not just because I am an "it" in the prose, but certainly that is a contributing factor.

Jun 20, 2005


Oh my God. I just accidentally watched like five minutes of Def Poetry Jam. Gross.

Don't wait for the translation.

So, my mom finally browbeat me into letting her try out that dog translator device she bought. We were sitting by the pool, after a delightful lunch of barbecued meats and fancy cupcakes on Father's Day, and she was talking about how obnoxious Audrey becomes when I'm around. It's true. She spent two weeks with my parents while I was in New York and starting my new job, and she was apparently quite nice to them. And then I come around, and she turns into a little monster again. So Sarah and my mom put the batteries in the thing, and I attached it to Audrey's collar. The device transmits to a handheld walkie-talkie-looking receiver that is supposed to tell you what your dog is "really" saying. And when my mom first pitched it to me, I rolled my eyes and assured her that it would not reveal any of the nuance she was probably aspiring to. On the outer packaging, the word "Bow-lingual" appears. So you see.

Now, I have to be honest. When Sarah started programming the thing, it wanted to know Audrey's name and what breed of dog she is and a number of other details that made me wonder if maybe this thing might actually be legit. But then my mom began antagonizing Audrey in an attempt to get her to start barking, and when Audrey barked -- viciously -- the receiver said, "I want to see the world!" And a little smiley dog face appeared. Then, when Audrey got so violent in her barking that she unintentionally bit my arm (P.S. It hurt like a son of a gun.), Sarah laughed and announced that it said, "I'm happy!" Touché, pet marketing industry. Touché.

Jun 19, 2005

Up. And also at them.

So that's it then. Two weeks of having to be up for morning meetings and apparently I get up early on my own.

I drove down to San Diego last night, tired when I began the drive and anticipating more of the same. I ducked into a liquor store before stopping by the comedy theater, so I was armed with sugar-free Red Bull and the small (but not the smallest) bottle of Bushmill's. I watched the second half of the second show and then went to C.J.'s with Krissy and Dorian and David and Janet, and we stood outside, smoking and talking until the bartender came to the window nearest me and asked me wanly to let everyone outside know it was last call. I did. And a discussion ensued with a guy who was probably trying to be clever. There were a lot of moments when I was spinning yarns and I noticed that strangers standing near us had positioned themselves as if they were in our party. Peripheral vision powered up, I could see their facial expressions registering the appropriate amusement or horror or curiosity or disbelief, but I wondered if it felt weird for them to be standing there listening to me talk about my mom without ever knowing who I was or why any of it mattered. No one really tried to make friends. Rather they stood there and acted as if they already had. Only skipping that important step of actually doing it.

I stayed out last night until C.J.'s was nearly closed. Then I drove the twenty-some miles back to my parents' house and reunited with Audrey, after having not seen her for two weeks. It was sweet to say the least. I got ready for bed and found that I couldn't get onto my parents' wireless network, so I turned in a bit earlier than blogging and messaging might normally have had me do. But still. I was not drifting off until at least three or so. And there I was, up before eight. Surprised to see that my parents hadn't yet left for church. For the many weekends I have come to visit here and stayed out till all hours with my compatriots, I have never been voluntarily awake before they left for church. Unless I had not yet gone to sleep. I'm a little disappointed. I don't like it when things fuck with my clock. I always assume I should be out of the reach of such things.

It's a beautiful day in San Diego. A beautiful day to be the daughter of my father.

Jun 18, 2005

"Three women will understand that."

I came home from my workshop to find the last bits of a documentary about Yves Saint Laurent on the Sundance Channel. He is iconic to me. His name is on the perfume I have been wearing since I was a freshman in high school. I once had a very extravagant and pretentious idea of what my wedding dress might one day look like. It was inspired by a design of his. And it involved a turban. I know. Anyway. The lithe, swan-necked figures in his drawings are what mocked me in my pudgy girlhood. Even when pudgy became voluptuous, it still felt pudgy to me. I will never be that wisp of a creature whose angular shoulders and sharp-edged hips swivel in their sockets as she strolls past with Parisian abandon. I will never be the woman he wants to dress. And I've come to terms with that. I'm just busy struggling to be the woman I want to dress. That's a movie in itself.

When I was leaving the studio today, there was a shirtless guy standing behind a van with its back doors open. He was changing. And speaking to someone on what may have been a two-way radio about the directions he was to take. "Which way do I go when I get to Vine?" He was very pretty. The kind of pretty I find to be detestable. And I don't mean because of bitterness or resentment or because I want the world normalized. I just mean that there is a certain brand of handsome that I find gross. Guys who look like Chippendale's dancers are a massive disappointment to me. And I think if all the hours they spent in the gym and having their eyebrows waxed and having those highlights put in their George-Michael-in-the-days-of-Wham! curly hair could be turned into currency or fuel or a cure for cancer...well, the world would have more money, more fuel, and less cancer. It was a very Hollywood thing to see. I am surprised by how run-of-the-mill it has become for me. Standing in hallways talking to people about auditions within earshot of people who are standing in a hallway waiting to be called in for an audition. Postcards for shows and headshot photographers stacked on every flat surface. When I used to audition for theatre in San Diego, it always felt like something somewhat removed from the reality of living in that city. A very small community of people who know how to behave in this setting. A limited number of rooms where stacks of headshots with resumes stapled to them are being organized by a woman in a black outfit with an over-serious expression on her underexperienced face.

I continued past the van guy. I imagined he was changing on his way to his next singing telegram gig. And then I heard a whistle from across the street. Not a wolf whistle. A hey-look-over-here whistle. The kind of whistle you might use to call a pet. I don't know why I looked. I suppose there might be someone in my class who doesn't know better than to do that. Or who doesn't know my name and didn't know what else to do. Or who is just a very poor communicative whistler. So I look over and don't see anyone on the street looking in my direction. I hear, "Hi, there." And I have to scan the horizon twice to eventually find a guy sitting in the screened upstairs window of a building across the street. I don't know what the building is. Possibly a residential hotel. I assume he isn't talking to me and continue towards my car, and he calls out again, "Hey! Hi!" I look over again, and he says, "How are you today?" And while the polite me is tempted to answer, I realize that I definitely don't want to have a chat with someone across the street and one story up. I don't care who the someone is. I don't like having to yell.

Last night, I was on my way to meet Jessy and Brian at the Mountain Bar, but we changed our plans and met at Short Stop instead. We had a nice chat. I was tired but -- to the untrained eye -- effervescent. Engaging. That's a game I play well. Brian and I exchanged enthusiasm over Gibson guitars and rich neighborhoods in San Diego and Irish whiskey and the music industry. I told him about a fascinating Fresh Air interview with Les Paul I heard this past week. And the three of us gabbed about how deceptive a job interview can be. I likened a job interview to a date with someone you don't know. They present this lovely face to you and everything seems great, and then one day you're sitting at your desk and you realize, "This job has herpes." My job has not so far revealed itself to have an unpleasant venereal disease, but I am also easily distracted by a bomb ass espresso machine. We have a Miele.

When I was walking back to my car, I passed a crowd of patrons who were leaving another bar at closing, and one guy said, "I like your pants," and a girl said, "Great haircut." I thanked them both. I was appreciative, but truthfully I was feeling about as unattractive as I have felt in recent months. I'm still in that mode today for some reason. Frowny and displeased. Covetous of tapeworms. I'm not saying don't compliment me. And I'm not saying do. I'm not saying I'm ugly or pretty or anything in-between. I'm just saying that sometimes I'm oblivious because nothing exists outside of the narrow version of me I am currently judging in my brain. And that judgment never comes out in my favor. Maybe that's why I fear municipal authority as a rule. I just know that, if I were ever tried for any crime, I would be convicted. Whether by the judge or by a jury. There's just no way they wouldn't hate me. At least that's the way the script reads in my imagination.

According to this new documentary that started as I was writing this, Yves Saint Laurent got his grandmother to change her dress when he was three years-old and didn't like what she was wearing. I envy people whose lives have been such a singularity. I really do. I envy the public figures whose episode of A&E's Biography consists of testimonials from all who knew them that they were always on the path they eventually took. "It was clear that he should be an actor from the first...It was obvious that she had an attraction to and a gift for the culinary arts...He was never going to be anything other than a garbage man..." No such story could be told of me. Except that I was always talking and sometimes being asked to stop. But I wanted to be everything. A writer first. But everything else, too. A writer primarily. But on the weekends, maybe a ballerina or a paleontologist or a policeman or an astronaut or a U.N. translator or a filmmaker or a physicist. And let's face it. Ballerina was never very realistic.

I don't know how to choose what will be written on my file folder. I've been reluctant to write in permanent ink for fear that it would entrap me. I've been reluctant to have just one business card. Or to have one at all for that matter. I've wanted to be certain I would live at least three lives. Maybe as many as six. If I'm honest, twelve. I've wanted to try my hand at things. And I'm beginning to realize that at some point, your hands become old and palsied and you run out of things you can set them to with any deftness. A more organized person might have chosen to start the delicate artistic pursuits in girlhood and save the more abstract careers for later. I was never so logical. And it takes me time to catch up and settle in. I required significant adjustment cushions each time I changed the part of my hair.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I had thought to buy my dad a really huge and hopefully sexually-charged poster of Denzel Washington so I could say, "Here, Dad. This is a poster of your boyfriend. You can put it in your locker." That would be a funny joke. And perhaps less of a joke than comfortable people would allow themselves to consider. But I never found anything suitable, and my schedule this past week has left me little time for such things. It's not just the day job that sucks up my time like so much soup through a straw. I think having a day job actually makes my life fuller in some respects. At the end of the work day, I am already dressed and still to some extent prettied-up, so I can accept invitations to meet for dinner or drinks or to attend some highfalutin affair and not require a great deal of preparation time. When I was working from home, I might work all day long in my pajama pants and get to seven or eight in the evening without having had a chance for a shower. And all of a sudden the prospect of having to get ready to go out is more complicated and burdensome. And that resulted in a few more nights a week in. I was out every night last week. And every night but one the week before. I don't know if the scales will eventually change their markings for me on this topic. If being out will cease to have more value than being in. I hope so. Otherwise, my old age may be a challenge.

Yves Saint Laurent looks a surprising lot like Crispin Glover. That is an associative shame.

Jun 16, 2005


ABBA's Two for the Price of One came up in my iPod randomize-a-ma-tron, and I was sorry to be sitting in an office with earphones on. Oh, how the world would hear me singing along if there weren't such a thing as shame.

We felt the earthquake a couple of hours ago more pronouncedly than I think I have yet felt a quake in California. I actually thought someone was jogging my chair to get my attention. Then I realized the open beam and suspended architecture were all swaying and lurching. And the lamppost whose neck I can see out the front window was quavering like a weed in the wind. A lot of people in the office cried out when it happened. And then the loud murmur began. Everyone has a story to tell of a quake they've been in. And if they haven't, they can tell the story of how they've never been in a quake before. Talk talk talk. And then eventually we lose interest and go back to what we're doing. I was on the phone with one of my co-workers when it happened. We said the mandatory four or five sentences you have to say when that happens. And then we got back to business. What a resilient bunch of creatures we are. You feel fear when it's happening, and that fear comes from the anticipation -- I assume -- of injury. But once you escape unscathed, you forget that you were ever at risk. Maybe that's naive. Maybe it's pragmatic. The first people to fly on a commercial airplane after September 11 must have had to negotiate this territory. And if you play the odds at all, you know that it's far less likely to happen to you anyway. Not right after it already happened to someone else. Your brain spins through all of this in a split second. And then you realize you are a little hungry. You're not sure what you want. Maybe something sweet this time.

I miss watching Star Trek episodes while working from my couch. But I also love that I package my days differently. I'm not allowing myself nearly enough time to rest or recover. I took Tom to Ruth's Chris last night as a belated celebration of his birthday (which was in February), and we ate like bloody kings, he with his scotch and I with my whiskey, the both of us with our wine. And then we talked till the hours reverted to the wee state, and I shook my head, because I had begun the day yesterday in such a taxed and tardy state. After workshop, a few of my chums and I went to Birds, and I drank what was probably too much whiskey and for what was definitely too many hours. And I woke up very late and had to scramble to get dressed and to the office for a 9 a.m. meeting. Which I managed to arrive in time for, but not in the most put-together condition. Although, my assumption is that no one I work with was any the wiser. Except maybe Brad*. The day was packed from beginning to end, so when I headed home, I was already planning my Red Bull strike and a shower and lazy outfit choices. So anyway I do this nearly every night now. The price of a day job, I suppose. No real complaints. Just concerns about what part of my motor functions I will lose when I finally do have that stroke I'm expecting. I had a great big coffee and then a great big espresso and then a great big iced coffee. And a few pistachios. If I had to put money on it, I'd guess it will be some of my speech and the use of the right side of my face. But I'm open to your thoughts on this.

Do you think Stephen Merritt is a brilliant and stupefying genius like I do? If not, put this in your stupid pipe and smoke it: I should have forgotten you long ago, but you're in every song I know...I haven't seen you in ages, but it's not as bleak as it seems. We still dance on whirling stages in my Busby Berkeley dreams. I guess you feel pretty dumb right now. As well you should.

Earthquakes appear to make me unnecessarily combative.

*This time it was absolutely because you're reading.

Jun 13, 2005

A Hideous Cliché

I was in the women's restroom of the acting studio where my Saturday workshop is held, and I saw the following scrawled on the wall of one of the stalls: "The hard is what makes it great. -- Tom Hanks" With all those actors pacing on the sidewalk out front, going over their sides and running lines with friends or scene partners, I suppose it isn't surprising that the only graffiti in the john would be a movie quote. And one said by Tom Hanks, no less. That's actor graffiti if ever I saw it.

Outside the I.O., I admitted to Jessie, who is one of the ranks of friends of mine who likes to tease me about my apparent inability to smoke convincingly, that I am a bad enough smoker that I often manage to smoke right into my own eyeball. And Jessie encouraged me by responding, "Well, seriously though. You do have big eyeballs." That doesn't really excuse the thing I sometimes do when I use a lighter and then shake it out as if it was a match, though. I don't think there's any excuse for that.

The movie on my return flight was Racing Stripes. I could have told you that it was going to be a dung heap. I may actually have already done so. If only by reference to the trailers for it. But I can now expertly assure you that it is an awful, awful movie, and the fact that the end credits are accompanied by a Sting song written expressly for the film is not an unfitting detail. I also noticed on my return flight that, while I am not allowed to bring a pair of tweezers on the plane or a lighter or even to have matches in my checked bags, apparently the lady sitting to my left was allowed to bring a GIANT pair of aluminum knitting needles on board without any complications. I guess she must have been knitting some kind of freedom sweater.

I wrote in my notebook last week, "It's hard to feel sad when something is almost making you happy." Nothing that was true at that time is true any longer, but the truth of it at the time makes me want to keep exercising my hands, so that when another feeling of that kind comes along, I'll be able to hold onto it.

Jun 12, 2005

I'm always awake for earthquakes.

I felt this most recent one this morning. And I was awake when I felt it. But I don't know if it was what awakened me or if I just have a weird feral sort of premonitory power that makes sure my eyes are open when things wiggle around. It could be either. I place no value on it.

I didn't go to sleep until five thirty or so. So an earthquake in the eight a.m. hour that found me awake is saying something about me and my sleeping. I did go back to sleep eventually, but only for an hour or two. I did a lot of tidying today. And my friend Jeff stopped by, toting an iced coffee for me (praise heaven), to pick up boxes for his move. And we ended up talking about art and looking through my mountain of art supplies, and Jeff even drew a little guy with my super fancy Copic markers. It looks sort of like Hitler with a very healthy blush to his cranky face. All that talk and art time made me anxious to make a painting or something. And also to go to Comic-Con again, where I can't help but buy fancy art pens and books that make me want to draw things. I am still looking forward to it. But for some reason, I don't have as much hope and thrill tied up in the anticipation as I did earlier in the year. I'm not sure why that is. I know you only want what you can't have, but I didn't realize there was an algorithm pertaining to how can't the have is on an axis of time.

My landlord had some trees removed from the front of our building. The big, frosty louvered windows in my living room are brilliant white with sunshine. Blinding, almost. When I came out of my bedroom yesterday morning, I was confused. Wondered if I'd left my door open accidentally or something. How could there be this much light in here. Today, I was not as surprised, but I was dismayed at how much dustier and lintier everything looks when the room is so well-lit. My living room is all of a sudden very, very bright. And I suppose that will be good for some picture-taking. But it also means that -- when it's hot and I want the windows open -- I will have to rethink the "liberal" flavor of my at-home attire. Especially with that neighbor across the street still planning our wedding and everything. There's no need for him to get an eyeful of anything but what squirts out of one of those trick corsages. "Honk! Honk!" is the sound I imagine happens when you squirt one of those things. Even though I'm sure there's no horn involved.

From what I can tell, you need to be in pretty good shape to look good in spacesuits.

Maybe I will go draw a tree.

"Boffo, Lenny. Socko, Lenny."

The Muppets Take Manhattan is on again. And I'm right at the part where Kermit is executing part one of his three-pronged strategy: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I will fall asleep to its familiar intonations. A long, long time ago -- before there was a, I was trying to think of a domain name that would be the essence of me. And I almost reserved the domain, which is a reference to a line of Kermit's in the aforementioned feature film. The reason I did not is that I loathed the idea of having to spell it for everyone I ever said it to. The fact I did not proves that I am kind of a jerk and a loser when it comes to saying fuck everyone on account of my whimsical dreams. I should totally have just gotten that domain and made it bomb ass. Right?

I will fall asleep with little effort, I assume. I have been tired and bedraggled all day. I drank two sugar-free Red Bulls during my workshop today, and then I went to The Improv Olympic, where I was able to catch the last batch of shows in the last day of the festival. I met up with friends from my Tuesday workshop and ran into plenty of people in my Saturday UCB workshop and plenty of people from other workshops I've taken. What a glut of conglomeration that place is. It is something I dig. I think we began having cocktails at around five. And kept on keeping on long into the night. We watched the ASSSCAT and Beer Shark Mice shows. Ian Roberts was wearing the same shirt he wore when teaching my workshop this afternoon. And Neil Flynn appeared to have been wearing the same outfit he wore when he performed in my spec script reading last year. I do not mention this to be critical. I mention it because it sometimes even surprises me how closely I pay attention to what people wear. Even when I have no reason to log the data. I remember all sorts of details about what people were wearing. I remember a disturbing amount of detail about what I was wearing. In almost every circumstance. Even well before I began documenting nearly every day's outfiture (a word I just made up) with my various cameras. It is not uncommon for me to wear at least two different ensembles in the course of a single day. And by "at least," I mean sometimes it's more. And by "more," I mean sometimes it's ridiculous. Anyway, I guess it's a mnemonic device. I mark things visually. I picture stuff. I remember things in their place. When I can't find something, I can sort of close my eyes and divine my way back to it by remembering what I was doing and where I was going when I last had it in hand. Today it happened with a lipstick. I found it right next to the DVD player in my bedroom. And I totally remember exactly how it got there.

I'm happy to be back in Los Angeles. It's not that New York isn't full of things to be excited about. But I didn't really get to experience many of them. And the weather made me happy to come home to my un-air-conditioned apartment. It may get hot here very soon. But I will remember those days on the sidewalks of the Lower East Side, and I will notice that -- as hot as it ever gets here -- it hardly ever smells so strongly of turnips. Anyway, I'm glad to be back. The weather here has been stunning and lovely, and I have been comfortable in my clothes. And even though I feel a great push and pull on me at the moment, and even though my discombobulation appears to be temporarily unfixable by Red Bull, Jameson, or starvation, I have faith that it will abate, and I'm not so impatient that I can't sit still in the meantime.

By eleven, I had to make plans to go somewhere food would be served. So Jessie and I went to the Rustic, and Jeff met us there, and then Tim and Phil showed up a while later. Everything I tried to order could not be had, so I ended up having a burger which -- while admittedly delicious -- was not at all what I had in mind. And then I had to taxi everyone home, and that was a surprise to me. But the end result is I made it home all right, and I'm tired and ready for whatever comes next. And I have no problem falling asleep to Kermit The Frog. Partially because, when I close my eyes, I sort of pretend he's Ernie. And that makes for all the lullaby I need.

I like to wear horizontal stripes. I always have.

Jun 11, 2005

Different for Girls

Last night at Palermo, before the movie, Tammy swore off drinking because of being a little down. And I asserted, drink in hand, that I too am a little down. And she asked why. It seems that everything's going so great for me. And I said, well, you know how it goes. And she asked what was wrong, and I said, nothing nothing -- that I had had a few disappointments this week. And she smiled and said, "He's not worth it." And I laughed. Because I think it's funny how archetypal it is to assume that when a girl is feeling sad, it must be because of a guy. Does it always have to be a guy that's making me sad? Does it always have to be that? Can't it just be the weight of the world? Or the weight of me, for that matter? Or the exchange rate? But -- as with stereotypes in general -- that go-to assumption is archetypal because it is so often true. For instance, Chinese people really are bad drivers. I am a great driver. But I am an anomaly. However, I am not always an anomaly. Which is a little embarrassing. But then, nearly everything is.

Magical Mystery

After my first actually full day at my new job, I went to see Howl's Moving Castle tonight with Jeff and Tammy and Kevin. I was strangely tired and distracted and had trouble keeping my attentions from drifting. But when I was making sure to pay attention, I found the movie delightful. I really love the weird sort of fakely European world in which so many of Hayao Miyazaki's films seem to take place. They remind me of the Europe I imagined when I was reading Ursula K. LeGuin's Malafrena as a girl. A world where people eat bread and cheese for breakfast and make tea for something other than the smell. I've just gotten home from a trip out of town, but I still feel the tug of that familiar wanderlust. I still want to go further away. To places where I cannot recognize myself. To places where I can be someone else entirely and never be caught in the act.

I picked up six rolls of New York Lomos today. I have a great deal of scanning to do. And I am happy with a surprisingly thick stack of them. I like getting the hang of a camera. I like knowing what I'm doing in nearly every circumstance.

After the movie, we went to The Overlook (too loud) and then to The Dresden (too nearly closed) and then we stood outside and told stories for a while. And then I drove Jeff home with a new parking ticket on my lap.

There is a lot that goes on with me that never bears mention. There are a lot of stories that I will just plain never tell.

Jun 8, 2005

I'll be dead by Christmas.

Two hours sleep last night. Four hours the night before. Tonight, I will maybe get two and a half. I realize that I am in New York City, and that is what one does when one is here. At least when one is me. So do not misconstrue this as complaining. It is nearly five in the morning, and I've been out all night with one of my most precious friends, whom I've not seen since a brief airport rendezvous in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-six. He took me barhopping and stoop-sitting, and it was never nearly enough time. And I sometimes wish I could collapse the continent. Fold it right down the middle and bring my lovely friends closer to me whenever possible. I also managed to shatter a small candle and splash wax all over myself and him. At least he won't misremember me as someone not clumsy. Because that would be erroneous.

Today, I ate a plate of raw arugula with no dressing and a few raw oysters and yaki onigiri. I drank at least my own volume in iced coffee. And it's humid as all get out. And I wish I wasn't going to feel like I was never here when all is said and done, but there is a grave risk of that. Every time I step out onto the turnip-smelling street, I have to pause for a moment and go, "Oh, yeah. I'm in New York. Huh." Once I fully figure it out, I'll be back in Los Angeles, and convinced it never happened.

I should have packed a different wardrobe. I'm not at all pleased about my wearable options tomorrow. I like a Gershwin tune just fine. But New York in June is probably a bit lower down on my list. How about you?

Jun 7, 2005

There's no way around this being stupid.

I'm in my room at the W here in New York. It's more than quarter after five in the a.m. I have to be in the lobby in a few hours to begin my day of meetings. My alarm is set for seven thirty. That is not a lot of time between now and then. But I spent the sultry night casing the city, snapping Lomos, drinking, babbling, walking well in high heels, and wishing there was no meeting to go to. I got very little sleep yesterday to begin with. On account of it was my first day of work, and it included a flight to New York on an American Airlines jet that smelled of pee, a terrifying cab ride from the airport, a hasty change of clothes, and a realization that it's too muggy here for my hair to ever look good.

My awesome co-worker Brad suggested that he and I blog the shit out of this trip. So it is officially on. I've taken more photographs in the six hours I've been here than I took the last time I went to Disneyland. For serious.

I should have had a cigarette at that bar around the corner where people were smoking inside.

Jun 4, 2005


I saw both of The Pixies' shows at The Wiltern last night, stayed up drinking whiskey until almost six a.m., and then went to Disneyland today for about three hours. I guess I'm preparing for the coming weeks when -- owing to a brutal work schedule -- I likely won't be able to do anything ever again. I had the best possible spot in the house for the ten o'clock show. And I have never been so much in love with a band ever. Inspired. Inspiring. Fucking bomb ass. I cannot sing the praises of the acoustics at The Wiltern with enough zeal. That joint is the only place to see a concert you care about, as far as I'm concerned. I'll see concerts nearly anywhere. Have one in your tool shed. Will there be booze also? I'll come. Especially if your shed is not all ages. But if you really care about the way the shit sounds, go to The Wiltern. You'll get your money's worth.

Anyway, I meant to be asleep already.


I don't like a lot of anime. But I love Fullmetal Alchemist.

If I am eating a steak, and I realize I just got a mouthful of fat, I sometimes think twice before spitting it out.

I don't care for Angelina Jolie. I just don't see what all the fuss is about.

There are many things in my apartment that are lost to me.

For the rest of my life, I will always believe that Mozart really looked like Tom Hulce.

My heart races when I see police cars.

Chocolate-covered pretzels from Disneyland are easily more important to me than god or the bible.

I don't mind traffic. I like sitting in the car for long periods of time. And I also get motion sick. Even sometimes when I'm at the wheel.

I take a lot of pictures of myself, and I don't entirely know what the point is. It's sort of a project for me. But when people inquire about it or imply that I'm narcissistic or that there is something wrong with me or that they are concerned for my safety, it nags at me and I feel myself wanting their approval. Every criticism I face has the potential of changing me forever.

I still really wish dinosaurs were real.

Sometimes I think someone is not attractive at first, and then I realize that they are.

I compare myself to everyone. I don't like that I do it. But I do it constantly.

Things that used to make me cry or hurt don't always make me cry or hurt anymore. And then sometimes they still do.

I love comic books.

Part of me believes that the future really will be like Star Trek. And I can't decide which color of uniform I would most like to wear when I get there.

If harps have ladies' faces carved into them, I will always suspect them of singing.

I would rather be cold than hot. I am almost always both.

I get embarrassed easily. I am embarrassed almost all the time.

I am bonkers for my dog.

I used to think Sylvester Stallone was awesome. When I saw First Blood, I told people he was my favorite actor. I also once found a piece of notepaper with "I love David Hasselhoff" written on it, where the word "love" was actually a little heart. And I don't have any recollection of writing it, but it's totally in my handwriting. And I remember when Sarah and I watched the first episode of Knight Rider that Sarah said the guy who was the original Michael Knight was really cute, but I don't remember what he looked like at all. And I have never ever thought David Hasselhoff was cute, but apparently I loved him once. That scene with the close-up of his back and feet in the Spongebob movie almost made me barf. That's how much I don't remember ever having loved him.

I once got a detention for making fun of a kid with a broken arm.

I fantasize about reading.

I have been able to go out and have a good time without drinking. I don't like that this is true.

Sometimes I want to dance. And sometimes I don't want to. But I never want to dance when someone tells me to.

I believe I can fly.

I give a hoot. But sometimes I still pollute.

Given enough time, I will grow to hate anything I have created or performed. Sometimes, given enough additional time, I will come back around.

I don't like the taste of milk.

I always want to touch things you're not supposed to touch. And I am often tempted to poke at soft things in grocery stores. Like that crazy old lady in Tampopo.

I am irritated by the implausible cinematic representation of most computer interfaces. They are usually absolute bollocks.

I wish I had had braces as a girl. Partially because I have crooked lower teeth and partially because girls with braces were always so popular.

Very few things remain my favorite for long.

When I get angry, I cry.

It is easy as fuck to ruin my day.

I am always capable of identifying the worst case scenario.

I stopped eating onions and garlic because I was in a play wherein I had to both kiss someone and talk angrily at him at close range. That was almost nine years ago, and I am still in the habit of avoiding them. Sometimes I take consideration to apparent extremes.

I really, really, really try to be prepared for anything. It's very frustrating when I fail.

I want to be perfect. Every day is a failure.

I used to think I was a lot more awesome than I think I am now. I suspect that's what growing up is.

I am tired of waiting for Simon and Simon to come out on DVD.

I used to have a book of fractal patterns that I would color in with markers.

I want to understand the mysteries of the universe. And I have a lot of opinions about quantum gravity. I was a physics major at one time. And I liked it.

Routine is hard on me.

I spent the night in a bus station in Boston once. And I had many adventures.

I once got it on in a Burger King bathroom. (And it was in no way an homage to the Humpty Dance. That guy's nose was ridiculous.)

I am afraid of stairs and steep inclines.

I love it when something I say goes over.

I hate it when I'm the last to know.

I am more afraid of humiliation than of physical injury.

When I was in grade school, we gifted and talented kids got to go to this day camp for a week, where we learned about nature and conservation and animals and stuff. And each day, there was a mystery item in a box that you were supposed to stick your hand into and guess what was in it. And I could never bring myself to do it. I was so horrified at the idea that there would be a living creature in it or that it would be something that felt too disgusting to bear. So I never once entered the guessing contest. It always turned out to be like an empty tortoise shell or the molted skin of a snake. And I was always glad to have not touched it.

I lost my virginity to a Def Leppard song.

I have gotten away with a lot of things on the basis of my reputation.

I remember things the way I first experienced them. No matter how many times the experiences recur.

I think my father passed his pyromaniac gene on to me. My mom gave me the gene for loving noodles.

I don't like that there is a name for the madonna-whore complex.

I am growing more and more tired all the time.

This could be a much, much longer list.

I pretend I don't care, but I do.

Jun 2, 2005

Start Spreading the News

Well, wait. The next line of that song says, "I'm leaving today," and that's misleading, as I am not leaving until Monday. But I will be going to New York for a few days next week. It's for work and will be exhausting and will keep me from being able to go to Tom Brosseau's record release party (boo). But it also involves an aeroplane and packing a suitcase and probably at least enough time for a hot dog and the purchase of a postcard. And I love those things.

Jun 1, 2005

Business Card

So, I'm starting a new job on Monday. I just sort of fell into it, and it's nice having a new exciting thing to let my brain harp on. Nicer still to have an additional paycheck to deposit. Although I'm sure there is the risk of becoming overwhelmed and quickly. I had a brand strategy meeting today, and it was awesome going through that process again. I think I used the word "avatar" a couple of times too many. I'm no dot com bullshit artist. Really. But I sure know how to sound like one. If inadvertently.

This is an interesting, entertainment industry-type gig, and I've been hired on account of my apparently being dialed into the pop culture scene. Me? Who knew? I'm flattered. And already thinking of ways to turn my nightlife into a tax deduction.

I will be consulting, but I will be doing it on site in Beverly Hills. And to be truthful, I am even looking forward to having to be in an office again. Despite having a meeting to get to this morning, I stayed out plenty late last night, going to workshop, meeting Mig and Melanie at The Burgundy Room and then taking them over to Cinespace for drinks and a groovy bass line. Even stopping by Canter's on the way home to buy some chicken soup. As I was climbing into bed a little before five a.m., I felt triumphant in my certainty that having a day job again for a while isn't going to curtail any of my nocturnal shenanigans. I also noticed that the clock/radio beside my bed is still a few hours off. There was a power outage a few months ago, and I never bothered to set it. Which says something about how often I feel the need to rouse myself with an alarm. So, I may have to set that clock. And I may have to try and be sensible about sleeping, but I'm going to fight the sensible part. I'm going to fight it like some people claim to fight colds. I shake my fist at bedtime. The only real scheduling issue this new job will present involves having to walk my dog. And that will be an even bigger problem if I end up having to go to New York next week.

Really, though, even when I first moved here and had a day job and was often required to be at my desk long into the night, I nearly never said no to a night out. And I nearly never went to bed before the wee hours. There's evidence of that in blog entries of old. I like to behave as if I don't need the normal sustenance of other living creatures. I like to pretend I don't need food or rest or drink that is not booze. It's not true, of course. Despite all my chatter, I do eat, and I do sleep, and I do hydrate. I just try to do all those things when no one is looking and hopefully when none of it can be proved. I don't know if it's an innate rebellion against authority, but I fight nature every step of the way. You tell me I have to breathe, but I'm always thinking there must be a way around it. You have no idea how much I've tried to prove you wrong.

I guess I'm more forlorn at the idea of not being able to watch Star Trek all day while I'm working. And not being able to go hang out at LACMA while the sun's up. But I don't know. Maybe I will find something adventurous and unusual and else. Maybe my desk will be haunted or something. I always buy too many calendars. So, at very least, I will be able to get some use out of one of the ones I never decellophaned from Christmastime. Probably the Raoul Dufy one. And the Edward Gorey desk calendar. And maybe I'll drink a lot more coffee. And maybe I will find a sandwich shop I like. Or a sushi place. Or maybe I will break into an impromptu rendition of that song from Annie. And maybe I will get fired right after that.