Thursday, May 31, 2007

National Geographic podcast

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but it's worth saying again. Go to iTunes and subscribe to the National Geographic podcast. Each week you get a short NatGeo video for free. And it's not just a few minutes of monitor lizard sex or insect candy making, there's also some pretty unforgettable intro (and closer) music.

Please. Go do it. Now. You'll thank me... assuming you were raised right, anyway.


I love that Spanish has the upside-down question mark at the beginning of interrogative sentences. Why don't we have that?

The Denver Post isn't really regular reading material for a temporary New England resident such as myself, but through various channels I managed to find out about this article about the next generation of great writers.

Great writers. Just for a minute, think about what that means to you.

Got it. Good. Now onto the post.

"Perhaps the favorite in the clubhouse is Chabon. Young, handsome, articulate and both a literary and a popular success with several of his books on various best-seller lists, Chabon might well go on to be read 50 or 60 years from now."

What makes Chabon a great writer, likely to be read 50 or 60 years from now? He's young (50 or 60 years from now, he'll be dead, but whatev) and handsome (ibid -- unless you find corpses hot). What do looks have to do with great writing? Sure, I think he's cute, too, but that's not why I read his books. And I certainly don't read Dickens or Dos Passos or Hoeg or any of the tons of writers whose books grace the back of my bed because I think, oh my God, he was such a hottie.

That's why we have movies, Denver.

Anyhow, I don't get this "next generation" stuff. Next to what generation? Are we talking by age, because we have people born in the 50s, 60s, and 70s on the list? By next generation, do we mean people who had big hits in the 90s or big hits now, or big hits all along, or people I've never heard of (have you read Mona Simpson)? Also, William Vollman, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace are young, apolitical writers? Huh?

I'm not even bitching about who's on the list and whether I like their work because it seems so meaningless. Anyone else get it?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

director v. writer

I always assumed the reason "X-Men 3" sucked so hard was that Brett Ratner is a terrible director. In fact when any movie is bad I tend to blame it primarily on the director, and when a movie is great, I want to find out who the writer is, tout de suite.

Of course, it's not that easy. The guy who wrote the abominable "X-Men 3" is responsible for other bad films, but he also wrote "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," which I loved. But did I love the movie for the story and dialogue, or because Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have amazing chemistry? How many rewrites, and by whom, did each of these scripts go through? What did the director add and what did he cut? These are critical questions and sometimes it's hard to tell whose work is shining and whose is lackluster because the film medium is so, SO collaborative.

Television, in this respect, is far different because the writers are also the showrunners and producers. They exercise great amounts of creative control and you can tell, over the course of the season, or a series, what the writers are doing and what everyone else is doing.

Still, would "How I Met Your Mother" still be on the air if Barney had been cast differently? Would "Friends" have lasted as long had someone other than Matthew Perry been cast as Chandler? Would television be a far lesser place without the likes of Jeremy Podeswa, Rodrigo Garcia and Jack Bender? Most certainly.

That's it. Just thinking out loud.

fri - larious

How do you strangle a giraffe? This came up in my pre-dream sleep state last night, and I almost forgot until I turned on the computer about a half hour ago. Where on the giraffe's neck would you do the most damage? I don't have any desire to harm a giraffe, I'm just thinking, practically.

I brought this up with mi amiga, Carly, and she said she didn't think it could be done in the conventional way and cutting off air supply woudl require tying the giraffe's neck up pretzel-style.

I think someone's been watching too many cartoons.

Received beaucoup de rejections today. Don't really give a crap. Loman's reading my pilot and Carly liked it. It's friggin' hilarious. So much so, it's frilarious. Yeah, I just made up a word. Feel free to spread it around.

Monday, May 28, 2007

On the Lot

I'm watching "On the Lot" and someone needs to give Garry Marshall a shake. So far, he has told each of the female directors that he loves woman directors and it's important that there be more and that we get more female perspectives, so on and so forth. No one would accept it if he said, "I love black directors, I think there should be more black directors" or "gay directors" or "bald directors" or "one-armed directors" because it sounds like the worst kind of affirmative action, where he can't get the person's minority status out of the way of the film. Just talk about their work and their work alone, for crying out loud.

most wonderfullest word is seeking the world (or, at least, Britain)'s favorite word, excepting those nasty Carlin words 'course, and a few I've seen marked on the Guardian post are good: skullduggery, peccadillo, boss (adj.) and guffaw, but I think of my many loves, I'm going to throw down


Just can't argue with that word.


I just read the official list, and, depressingly, not a few were misspelled. Bother.

on the predilection for daughters...

Well, at least in titles.
Joyce Carol Oates' new novel "The Gravedigger's Daughter" comes out any moment now, which got me to wondering why there are so many titles with "The (Person Id'ed by Occupation)'s Daughter" and so few with "Son." And then I realized it's because that if the novel were about a man, it would just be about the man, but in these books, it's not just about the woman, it's also about her father and, usually, the reason why she is now about to be killed or has already been killed by sociopaths in Brooks Brothers suits.

But I don't want to do too much literary/feminism theorizing since I am so bored by this reoccuring "Daughter" title (The General's Daughter, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, etc., etc.) that I don't read books with said names, though so many are bestsellers. Actually, now that I think about it, I could totally change the title of my book to "The Bankrobbers' Daughter..." assuming that hasn't already been taken.

Books I would actually read:

"The Sanitation Worker's Stepson"
"The Skull Grinder's Vegan Nephew"
"The Cardiothoracic Surgeon's Second Cousin Twice-Removed"
"The Prostitute's Grandmother on Her Father's Side"
"The Bottle Cap Collector's Long-Thought-Dead Younger Sister"
"The Landscape Architect's Adopted Parents"
"The Secretary of Agriculture's Transsexual Sibling"

and last, but not least,

"The Poultry Offal Icer's Brother by Another Mother"

Anyone care to add to the list?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Remember to remember... tomorrow

You may come from the kind of family that dragged you to craft fairs when you were younger, or you may be the kind of person who inflicts that sort of pain on your own children - I've been on the victim end of the craft fair circuit for so long that I hardly recognized my voice when I agreed to go to the Westport Craft Fair today.

But it's Westport, casa de Paul Newman and Greenwich's cooler, slightly less drunk cousin. So I figured they'd do the craft fair up right. Make scarves out of gold or something. Bobble-eyed elves whittled out of black market ivory and jade. Cool, legally questionable stuff.

But no. It was in a high school (Staples High School had banners pronouncing them State Champs of sports most high schools in Connecticut don't participate in, like skiing, curling, and skeet shooting) and had all the usual stuff. With the noticible exception of, wait for it, wait for it...

crafts. Seriously, not alot of things that could actually be considered crafts. Lots of jewelery, clothes, even some fur coats (I know it's Westport, but hello! 80 degrees outside, people!) and some arty glassware, lamps, vases, ceramic dishes, customizable frames, but nothing really random. OK, bottle caps turned into super arty magnets and car hoods turned into musical cartoon characters are cool, but a craft doesn't count as a craft if it's going for 600 dollars.

Anyhow, am reading Little Children today, almost done with Freshman, which is really funny and much weirder than I expected, though also painfully spot-on about what Yale can be like (minus the vampires... I think).

Friday, May 25, 2007

finished the pilot!

By the way, I kind of lied in that post about one actor playing multiple parts. I do have one of those in my show. But he's playing essentially the same character TYPE in every episode, so I kind of forgot...

I'm super-psyched about finishing my pilot. In fact I think it's pretty hot s--t, if I do say so my self.

Speaking of which, I watched Invincible this morning, and I love the cinematographer on that movie. I'd say definitely one of the better football films I've seen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Movies that would make better and slightly more appropriate Broadway musicals than Titanic

White Men Can't Jump
Man on Fire
Last of the Mohicans
From Dusk til Dawn
Forrest Gump
The Godfather III

I'm sure there are others

every man has many parts to play... sometimes in the same movie

Usually, I reserve my comedy philosophizing for the pages of the Yale Record alum site, Rasputin Bigbodie, but today, I'm going to do my muttering closer to home.

It has occured to me that the use of one actor in multiple roles in a single film can be used both for good (Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove) or evil (Eddie Murphy in Norbit), but this occasional an usually successful comedic device is almost non-existent in television comedy (though Becki Newton had a small role as Ugly Ruthie in addition to her regular role of Amanda on Ugly Betty). I wonder why this is. I don't count Jaleel White playing Urkel and his alter ego Stefan, or Jeffrey Tambor as twins in Arrested Development because they HAD to be played by the same actor.

I think somebody should write a sitcom in which an actor pulls double duty as more than one character. My pilot does not have this but a play I wrote back in the day considered it optimal (mostly because of Angels in America).

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

two hours, four stars

You really have to admire the hell out of the Lost finale. The one major thing TV has over movies is how much time they get to tell a story. I think this is part of the impulse to make sequels and part threes, and what makes them so succesfully commercially, if not artistically. TV is just the better format for more in-depth and multi-layered storytelling.

The hiatus is going to be brutal. Though I'm sure Matthew Fox's (in a perfect world) inevitable (mostly because of this episode) Emmy nomination should help make up for it...


Little car accident this morning that could have been a big car accident. I was 100% not at fault, but it hardly matters because there were little kids in the car I broadsided and I spent all morning freaking out that I could have, had I not braked as quickly as I needed to, killed them. Even though the accident wasn't remotely my fault, if something had happened to those kids I never would have forgiven myself, and now I'm a jittery wreck. So, please, people. Be careful at stop signs. Especially if your view is blocked by a turning car. I don't want to hit you.

Anyhow, I have to go to the doctor in a bit and have him check my back, so I can be cleared to go back to work.

Also, if you haven't yet, please, please, please go watch the pilot of Flight of the Conchords on It's friggin hilarious, and since it's HBO, the chances of it being cancelled just as you fall in love with it are slightly less than if it were on one of the major networks.

On that note, can we hold a moment of silence for The Winner and my now DOA spec for the show?

Thanks. That really meant alot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

what's lacking

There aren't enough explosions in sitcoms...

Slowly plotting a coup d'etat of the Junkiedom of Caffeine. I think I'm just the right sort of Jittery General for the job.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I'm very happy with the pilot I started writing Thursday. I've made alot of headway today. It's an exciting, funny, very unusual sitcom... assuming the planet can still support electricity in the near future. I mean, honestly, look at what we've done to this planet.

Double frick.


So I've been thinking about catchphrases, or signature words a character might use to make him more memorable. Look at the Scrubs one I used earlier in this post. Lots of sitcoms and even some dramedies employ them. How I Met Your Mother has Barney's choice spins on "It's gonna be legen -- wait for it -- dary" and "Suit up." Grey's Anatomy has "Seriously" and the rather trite "You don't get to.../I don't get to" stuff. Joey had "How you doing?" on Friends, and the whole "We were on a break" phrasing which persisted until the very last episode. Seinfeld provided us with "Newman," which seemed to become less of a name and more of a disparaging comment, as well as "No soup for you," which I still use today. Firefly had "Shiny." Sex and the City brought us the art of sticking the f word in the middle of an adjective, such as "Fan-(curse word)- tastic." Michael on The Office employs "That's what she said" like he has Tourette's. The obsession with catchphrases and their cousins was even a major plot point on Extras, which had a show within the show where the irritating catchphrase was "Are you having a laugh? Is he having a laugh?" -- and so while writing the pilot, I can't help but think of signature phrasing.

Which is clearly dangerous. While I should be on the lookout for something with a hook, it has to come organically, otherwise it will drive people away. And just because a phrase might be something repeated often by a character doesn't mean it will attain the cache of a great catchphrase. It just might end up becoming annoying...

Friday, May 18, 2007

General Chocolate, who used to be Colonel Cocoa...

had a dream last night that a building on stilts in midtown had these piano keys inside that were rigged to an explosive. the keys weren't tuned, so when one aimed at c, one hit d. finally, to prove the point, the man aimed a little under c, so it would hit the key at the right angle. then the building blew up.

i was not very happy about this and left. i went down the elevator with some people i knew vaguely, and finally i got off at the lobby which was a bar. nick antosca was at the bar and he invited me over to sit next to him and eat dinner. he ordered something and i got up and followed the waiter to the back of the lobby, which was a restaurant and seemed to be decorated in empty stansions (like the library). the waiter, who is a guy i know at the library, brought Nick a christmas cookie he ordered and proceeded to get the rest of his order, which was a diet coke and a "general chocolate" which he was afraid they didn't serve, but i think was supposed to be hot chocolate, while i looked at the menu, which seemed to contain only pulled meat in curry sauces. this was disgusting, but i was going to ask what the chicken (some weird place-adjective) was, but the waiter started to walk away without asking me wanted. nick went to get him and the waiter came back and adjusted Nick's christmas cookie, which Nick had licked the frosting off of.

then i woke up, and when i fell back to sleep, i dreamt i was back at the library telling a co-worker, Morgan, that I had dreamt about him, except he wasn't in this dream. and then i said, actually, i didn't dream about you, and i told him about the dream, and then the guy who was the waiter in the dream showed up, but the gray in his hair had been dyed and he looked completely different. this made me sad because i really dig gray hair in young guys for some weird perverse reason.

so yeah, that was what I had to deal with last night.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm writing a sitcom pilot right now, and it's awesome. I just thought I'd share that. I am not going to tell you what it's about because then it could be stolen. But -- not to exaggerate -- it's great. It's genius. I'm psyched.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Indiana Jones v. the Flower Lady??

Rain made a white fog rise up from the highway on the drive home today, so each car had this little protective shield of mist as it sped down I-91. Would have been lovely if not for the fact that it masked the brakelights of the cars ahead of me.

It's good to have lawyer-friends. I may need them some day. I don't plan on doing anything illegal, but have you ever met someone you feel is likely to end up on deathrow for a crime they didn't commit just because that's their kind of luck? Yeah, I worry that's me .

While discharging books the other day, I came across one with an amazing title. "Sand-Buried Ruins of Khotan." Fantastic. Indiana Jonesish escapades spring to mind. Speaking of which...

"Indiana Jones 4" is totally shooting at Yale the last week of June/first week of July! I'll be long gone by then, teaching in Gettysburg, but Harrison Ford will be dashing about the library where I'm currently getting headaches trying to read the tiny faded call numbers and breathing in the disintegrating paper. There's also supposed to be some chase scenes around Branford College, so on and so forth. SO much more exciting than "Mona Lisa Smile." My sister's just psyched that Shia might be around, too.

Anyhow, if I was feeling indifferent about the fourquel (I have no idea what you call numero quatro in a series of films), no longer. I'm super-psyched about watching Indy go Eli. Hoorah!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

briny shadows

Lucy's birthday tonight, so went to East Melange in New Haven. I'm not a huge fan of their food, but Lucy's into it, so I ate with her and two second-year law students. Great guys, really funny, sweet, and out-going. Was surprised. Had birthday vanilla mochie... I don't care what the NYTimes says, mochie has a weird texture, too smooth.

Finished Fires today. One page had the phrase "briny shadows," which is just a perfect phrase, and described the contents of a monster's house -- and included a Billy Collins' book, which is an extremely funny detail... and probably isn't something most people caught. Nick has amazing control, and while not alot seems to happen, that just shows how good a writer he is. I try to pack too much action in to too little a space. He gets the details in. Really nice. The ending's a little too neat for the rest of the novel, and I am annoyed at the similarities in plot, but really, they're superficial, so I got to get over it. And stop comparing myself to more succesful people, especially ones who read this blog. Hi, Nick!

Duke Ellington's Ocht O'Clock Rock came up on the iPod today and I was astounded by how gorgeous a piece of music it is. In fact I think it's one of those perfect jazz songs that just gets better and better every time you hear it. Most of Chet Baker's stuff falls into that category, as far as I'm concerned, and so does Ocht O'Clock Rock, though in a different way. I just appreciate it so much. Give it a listen.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Am a bit of a tosser for not posting this weekend. Have a headache from working hard/ watching Australia's Next Top Model on YouTube. I am not ashamed. I'm mortified, but soon I will go back to watching it anyhow. I'm a bad TV junkie.

I'm reading about four books at once: Half of a Yellow Sun, Fires, by my fellow alum/acquaintance Nick Antosca, Freshman, by my fellow alum/friend Mike Gerber, and another book, which I am not readily able to admit I actually read. I can admit to watching pathetic television shows. Reading pathetic books, not so much.

Thus far Half of a Yellow Sun is all everyone says it is, and more, and a bag of chips. And not greasy gross potato chips, but, like, one-of-a-kind perfect potato chips. It's really genius. Charles Dickens genius, maybe.

Fires, thus far, is really well-written and clearly the work of a passionate and observant artist. Nick's prose is really great -- actually, I was hoping it would be awful because I'm madly jealous, but it isn't. I just wish he wasn't writing about something I already know... it's so close to home that I can't help but wonder most of the time how much of it is autobiographical, and I hate it when writers write non-fiction fiction. It's like NY writers who write about NY and people they know. I find that aggravating, but he still does what he does well, even if it's not phenomenally original. It's also enraging that his book has a fire in it (lots of fires actually) and so does mine. I feel like an ass. But my fire is the result of arson, so it's a bit different. Anyhow, if you can find it, you should buy it and read it. It's slim, it's got some good stuff in it, and he isn't one of those people who got their first book deal young because of who they know. You have to support that.

Mike sent me Freshman, and it's much funnier than I expected, as I assumed it would be a direct parody of Yale life, which, considering it felt like a parody most of the time, I feared might be more depressing than funny. But, of the bit I've read, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mike has no problem delving into the absurd, which is a particular style of writing I like. Life is so absurd, what with cows with extra noses and reality TV and Zell Miller, that any book that pretends life ISN'T absurd is, in fact, merely joining the roster of "absurd things in the world." Which is a fairly extensive roster.

I like this "first impressions" reviewing better than waiting until I finish the books because that might either be a very long time from now... or never. These books WILL be finished, but I'd rather share my thoughts now rather than later because otherwise this post would only be about how I watch Australia's Next Top Model when I should really be writing the bit of my book set in Franconia. But if I end up hating or loving one of the books more than I let on here, I will correct my opinion later.

Sound good? No? Too bad. It was a rhetorical question anyhow (Anyone get a mental image of rhinos when they write rhetorical? No? Me neither...).

Friday, May 11, 2007


The thing you can do with a novel that you can't with most poems or short stories is make discoveries. Today, while working on a character I didn't really believe in yet, I began to write his motivations and discovered his raison d'etre was not only wacky and realistic and blessedly connected to another seemingly isolated character, but also demonstrated the kind of people who populate my novels and the world around us: people who act out in direct response to not being loved enough, or the way they wanted, by the people they loved; people whose passions in life caused them pain and have to make choices; people whose families let them down and compelled them to do things to prevent them from further disappointment or neglect; people who have to become more than what their pasts would dictate. While this is the stuff of tragedy, it is also a comedy mine/minefield. I strike my pickaxe carefully and take care to avoid stepping on any pressure-sensitive bombs, as I don't want the story to fall down on my head or blow up underneath me. It's a very delicate operation, but once in a while, I dig up something shiny -- and it's all worth it.

Just so long as I don't get the black lung.

Funny or Die, I choose Funny

Because death is so final.

Love this Matthew McConaughey video.

It's no "The Landlord" but it's still pretty damn great.

And once again, I'd like to say, Hip Hip Hooray -- FNL's got a second season! Yeehaw!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Friday Night Lights! It's been renewed. Really renewed. Not just sorta kinda renewed like before. But really renewed!!!!!! There is a God! There might even be several!

OK... I need to go lie down now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

a bit more

I just finished Flowers for Algernon, which I guess is another book I should have read some years ago and am glad I didn't. It's nice to keep some things for when you're older. That's what I'm telling myself anyway as I read anything that isn't Proust. I'm saving Proust for when I'm an older, better person...

Anyhow, I picked up Algernon thinking that it was a book about a soldier in World War One, which may have been why I avoided it. I honestly don't know where I got the impression that such was the subject of the novel(la), but for those of you who don't know, Algernon is the purported journal of a mentally-retarded man who undergoes a procedure that turns him into a genius... and all the trouble that would go along with an extreme change in world-view and intellect. Anyhow, while there are some parts that feel repetitive and general, and the novel definitely feels dated and could not be published in this day and age, but overall, the book was fascinating and I cried at the end. I'm such a girl.

I know this writer through a friend, and while he has garnered an amazing amount of press and publication and praise (the triple crown for any writer) has become something of a minor scandalmonger. He's a bit of an anarchist, which I admire, but I find his refusal to acknowledge the meaning of some words as juvenile and pseudo-philosophical. Any one else, sure, can totally ignore the social contract we have created with one another, but when you're a writer, you can't refuse the value of a word. Even if you think a word has limitations, or it is often used incorrectly or without the angle or depth you would give to the word, you can't discount the word at its base. Unless it's a recently invented word. Like gigabyte. Though I could provide a definition, I don't really know what that word means either.

Anyhow, I've read some of this writer's work, and I'm not a fan. We're in a tough world, we writers, and while I can't help but envy anyone who has more productivity, I bridle at those whose success seems to come without warrant and who take a glib view of literature. This is holy ground. You can raise your voice and wave your hands, whatever, but don't go peeing all over place.

"This Guy" Episode 1

If you watched some of the later episodes of How I Met Your Mother, you may recall this guy, Joe Manganiello.

I think he's really funny, so he's going to be the first person in my new occasional post I like to call "This Guy," in which I comment on people who I think are talented up-and-comers.

Monday, May 7, 2007

the list

Being a book junkie, I tend to read all the online literary mumblings I can get my mouse on. In the past few weeks I have read articles bemoaning the lack of "comic" novels and "work" novels.

What I want to know is, where are all the "cardboard coaster" novels? Or all the "hidden-picture-within-a-novel" novels? Or all the "coral reef" novels? Or all the "slightly mundane in the beginning, until the middle where you realize that the novel is a metaphor on the mundanity of life, until the end where you realize the novel is a parody of those novels that try to be metaphors on the mundanity of life" novels? Or "purty-is-an-acceptable-spelling-of-the-word-pretty" novel?

Actually, I don't want to know where all these novels are because my list of books to read (and this is just the list of travel books) is already too long. But if anyone HAS read any books with cardboard coasters in it, you know, the kind with frat-wit beer company puns on'em, let me know. That's something for which I'd be happy to kick Homage to Catalonia(or whatever)off.

UPDATE: News mirrors fiction I'm writing. A bear sighting in the news, after I just decided to put a bear in my book.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

sartorial advisors and such

Watching BBC America, and I think I just heard one of the characters say,
"Ever killed a man? Doesn't seem right to do it in britches" to explain why another character would like to buy a new pair of trousers. I don't know whether I hope I misheard it, and thus can use it (which seems unlikely) or hope that it was indeed what I heard, and thus can applaud the writer.

Either way, the next time someone asks me what the hell I think I'm doing, I'll use the "Ever killed a man? Doesn't seem right to do it before dessert (or whatever thing I'm doing)" and then walk away.

Feel bounds and leaps better. The hay fever or whatever that attacked me really slammed me down, as is no doubt obvious by my lack of posting and, where I did post, the focus on my lack of joy with the earth and its many pollens

Friday, May 4, 2007


my head feels like it got Grindhoused or something. pulverized. so i thought my sister said she was getting liposuction on her toes, when she actually said light pink (toe polish). v. different.

can't read. eyes get all blurry and water. go sleep now.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

je suis...

sick. and i don't know what it is either. but everytime i open my mouth, i feel like i'm going to gag -- now I know how other people feel (rimshot).

also, watched old Northern Exposure today with Jack Black in it. freaking crazy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Lovely Jackson

It would be ironic if I developed carpal tunnel not because of the hours I spend on this damnable machine but from lifting books all day. My poor little right wrist is aching something fierce. Fierce, I say. (Fierce.)

Axiom I don't understand: "You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it." Don't you make your bed after you're already up for the day, and hence, you don't actually have to sleep in it. You could go to a hotel that night, or not go to sleep at all. You could fall asleep in your chair after a long night studying, book still open in your lap. You could pass out drunk on someone's futon. Who knows?

I'm a fan of New York Magazine. Well, insomuch as I peruse it online from time to time. But I think whoever wrote the little blurb on Peter Jackson anticipating a budget of 65 mil for "The Lovely Bones" knows nothing about the film industry. 65 million is perfectly reasonable for a film that is probably going to want to attract some big names and while crazy f/x aren't going to be necessary, this is Peter Jackson. As in, Peter "my movies look friggin gorgeous because I make sure my audience gets their money's worth" Jackson. You want the best, 65 million is chump change.

Especially since every woman between 30 and 80 is probably going to see this movie. And possibly me. And, if it's PJ, maybe a few guys too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

poetry month is dead; long live poetry

Happy May Day

My current job requires quite the upper body workout, daily, which is nice.

I've been distracted by a small medical drama in my family, but everyone's still alive, so I'm reasonably happy.

I don't know why people get in such a tizzy about how green Ireland is. Right now, looking outside, I am pretty bowled over with a bright, verdant green. Certainly, the New England greenery is broken up by more houses and roads and unsightly monstrosities than Ireland. But give it time. Ireland will soon blot out its luscious green hills, too.

I am often curious to see films that I don't want to support by actually paying to see them. Since piracy is illegal and you are unlikely to meet a bigger goody two-shoes than myself, I have to resort to borrowing the films from the library. This is quite the trend, and if I'm going to be honest, the residents of Wallingford don't borrow many books from our library, but they sure do pack away the DVDs.

Anyhow, I borrowed, among several books, Marie Antoinette, which is an extraordinarily beautiful film, as if Valentine's Day and spring and all that is luxurious and lovely had been boiled down and made into a perfume that Sofia Coppola snorted as she wrote the script. I don't remember being that impressed with Versailles, but then again, the place wasn't spiked on tarts and petit-fours either, and in person, extravagance doesn't really do anything for me anyway. I'm more of a Skid Row kind of gal myself, and I find a flood of gold inlay rather mundane compared to the grit of, let's say, Montmarte after dark (or hell, anytime of the day). Back to the film, it's 2 hours and it's not terribly exciting... I can imagine getting extremely restless in the theater, but despite by my general lack of enthusiasm for anyone associated with that film (though casting Rip Torn as King Louis the whateverth was nothing short of genius), there was actually nothing wrong with it. It was a good movie. I mean, why is The Squid and the Whale allowed to be lauded despite the fact that it's pretty damn dull, but not MA? I don't know. The film certainly made Marie Antoinette a sympathetic character, and we will never know for certain whether she was indeed simply the product of her circumstances or, in fact, a spoiled little bitch. I have met both sorts of people, but I have never met any Austrians, so we'll have to leave it at that.

My sister, who is more of an impulse shopper, rented Bobby, which, while mildly educational for those of us born after the RFK assassination, was only half about Bobby. OK, a quarter. The other quarter was about the other people who were shot at the Ambassador. And the other half was actually about how it is kind of important who is president. Because a man who puts the environment, race relations, and class problems at the forefront is going to do different things for a country than someone who doesn't care about any of those things. And that was 40 years ago. All in all, it's not a great film, but it's worth watching.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen