Sunday, April 30, 2006

comme il pleut dans ma coeur

Thank golly gosh it's raining. Needed a psychic break.

(To the world outside my tears I refuse to explain/I wish it would rain [oh how I wish that it would rain] . . . Til it rains, I'm gonna stay inside/Let it rain, Let it rain . . . I'm not feeling that soggy at all, but the Temps are very wise.)

* I have been trying to write a Joyce Kilmer parody ever since I ordered from Manny's Deli on Wednesday ("only God can make a k-nish") but it just hasn't come together.

* Query: WHY are Canadian home design shows so much better than American? Hmmm? Significantly so.

* Diner was on last night. I really luv that movie - there isn't a bad performance in it --anybody--and that includes MICKEY ROURKE and STEVE GEFREAKIN GUTTENBERG. Especially the latter. They are GOOD. Barry Levinson's self-satisfied melancholy hack-dom shows only in the slightly sapped-up ending, but even that gets relieved a bit by the credits. Tim Daly is good-lookin but also wary and kinda creepy, S Guttenberg is so HAPLESS and sincere, Mickey Rourke totally convincing as this guy over his head, even Kevin Bacon great in unusual ways as a not-entirely-likeble talented fuckup and same with David Stern who generally excises any unpleasantness in favor of folksy charm--the scene where he yells at Ellen Barkin for screwing up his album storage is totally gross and convincing. Even small parts like whoosits like the guy who plays Bagel is totally believable and the woman who plays Guttenberg's mother is one of the great lil parts ever on film. It's also believably sexist, this film. I dunno - I think it's one of the more convincing period films out there because it doesn't try too hard. It's thorough, but keeps it's paws off. Except, of course, musically--OY. Always the first thing to go. It's all period music, it's just used very hamfistedly. The whole movie could use a little less PPI in a few crucial places in general to be totally perfect. Not to mention - I have always wanted to name a pet "Modell" after the Modell character in that film. It's a perfect name to yell.

* On TV simultaneously tonight: Pearl Harbor and the TV movie about Flight 93.
What a freakin trip. I turned the TV on in time to watch the last 1/2 hr. only of both, flipping back and forth as planes themselves crashed and crashed other things, people hugged and those watching the situations had no idea what was going on (that hasn't changed, advances in technology aside). The Pearl Harbor movie ended with a pilot, his wife and son frolicking in Hawaii (very odd--that's exactly my family), partially because as I understand it from my grandmother, wives didn't see their pilot husbands for months after 12/7--they were constantly out scouting. Anyhow.

If I had watched the whole thing of both maybe I'd have something of import to say, but as it is, (crying, of course) I found my mind trawling down tired corridors of how/if we know who our enemies are, technology being turned against us, etc., etc. I even felt confused about war we're fighting now - maybe it's the same one. I dunno.

Someday I'll get this essay in me about the military written. It's gonna be the murkiest bit of prose to ever hit paper, but how else do you nail down phantoms.

(I feel very much like a parrot when I talk about Bush, but it is SO hard, has been so hard from the very beginning, to listen to his hawkish war-mongering when the man never had to serve himself. All roads lead to rantyBushrants, okay - )

* I finally realized that the real joy in watching "Dog the Bounty Hunter" is that Dog is Marlin Perkins to his sons' Jim Fowlerness. They and his wife with the big bosoms and blonde hair god bless her run around doing the real work and Dog spends most of his time fluffing his biceps and getting all teary-eyed listening to criminals' sob stories while he runs around in his boots w/ 6" lifts. Hilarious. What a marshmallow! Plus the fact that he's constantly trying to mint aphorisms with the camera rolling is hilarn. Just doesn't always work.

I have been thinking recently watching Dog (today's journal theme: Hawaii) about the fact that the criminals are usual natives. The occasional whitefolk, but still--pliz scuze bleeding heart--it is a very short mental hop from all these brown faces being arrested to the very recent history of islands being taken over, colonized, turned upside down...pineapple plantations and missionary positions and years of queenly monarchy smashed to bits. People living in tents on the ocean doing meth vs. heroic second home real estate in Maui. I dunno, not sure you can own paradise.

Probably been thinking about Hawaii a lot just since talking to my grandmother about her experiences at Pearl Harbor last week (always fascinating). She reminded me of all the huge flying bugs there, so maybe there really is no such thing as Paradise.

* PLAN ACCORDINGLY: May is BETTE DAVIS month on Turner Classic Movies. Quit school, leave your job, whatever. It's going to be a bumpy night.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am of an age (this is lame) wherein a Thursday night doesn't feel quite right without a TV show I really want to watch. Perhaps that's why some really bad shows succeed now on Thursday--viewers' need to fill that gap with something, anything. But still--I'm never home to watch TV Mon-Wed, so it feels all the more like....Entertain Me! Pliz. God knows cable doesn't always help with that--just more steaming piles of who-cares. Like now.

I keep tearing up - completely Pavlovian - at the slightest sign of the Flight 93 movie. 1/2 sec of the trailer makes me cry. I guess it feels...well, I certainly don't know if it's 'appropriate' or not for them to have made the movie - whatever - but this reaction isn't a flag-waving 9/11 thing, it's about how I've always wondered most about the time on the airplanes, all of them. It's those horrible *transition* times - like the nature shows I can't watch when (most of all) the lion is tearing down the zebra and the zebra's still alive. It's too much. How can we even know what that time of Knowing would have been like? That's a *long* time to know you're going to die. I hope they knew less than I think, esp those going into the towers. God. Anyhow, so the idea of living inside that hour or whatever seems excruciatingly intense, however it's played. Obviously. Argy-bargy. Can't handle it.

Trying also to make my piece with grumfy old George Ryan. I have no problem believing that the same guy could do what he did regarding the death penalty and be stupid and corrupt in other areas except...maybe I can't. In a weird way, he's been a challenge to my thinking about these things. I always *did* believe people entirely capable of both behaviors--in fact I still do--it's more that I feel a disturbing urge in me to let one go in favor of the other. I'm a fairness junkie - I don't usually work that way. The clear struggle he went through to come to the decision he did, the wholesale, moral way he went about it, changed *my* view of the death penalty and of politics. There is something biblical about it. It blocks out a lot of other things about him. He is just a goofy old pharmacist in a lots of ways (that Sneed interview with him the day after this indictment talking about power-hosing the furniture was classic), but I guess I've never had to reconcile a gesture I admire that much with anybody, whoever they are, however much additional good or bad they've demonstrated. And to do it as it happened, too, without history making it a little easier. One of his aides said that Ryan never cared about anything much administrative and was at his best only with big issues--I can see that. He probably is culpable in ways I don't wanna think about with all this indictments. But he will always been a particular kind of hero for me.

Plus - hello - I can't think of one area politician who hasn't ended his career this way (Rosty, etc.). Big huge career, end it with a horrid busted bang, then - consulting. It's the Chicago way (she says through clenched Irish teeth--it doesn't need to be said, but how fabulous IS Sean Connery in the Untouchables--way the hell fabulous).

Cold Comfort Farm on last night...oh that RUFUS SEWELL. Oy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Just had a most enjoyable surge on iTunes. Two Todd Rundgren songs, Yaz, Fugees, and my all-time favorite Scrawl album that for a long time hasn't even been available on CD (my cassette's almost worn out). God bless clickin n pointin.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Mariah Carey needs to PUT SOME FREAKIN CLOTHES ON!! I do not know where the merit in being constantly underdressed, rilly rilly naked, naked nikkid, comes from. Plus, you know, the mugging. What's the word for what she does...Vamps? Preens? There's switch. No down time. No time when she's not nekkid and mincing (there is no right verb for this) around with some kind of overt attempt at bein "sexy." Wow, it's amazing how prudish that sounds and that's NOT THE PROBLEM at all. It's the sheer monotony! Plus the sense that she is relentlessly selling herself on the cheap, sucking on her thumb and looking coy. She's never not looking at somebody up from under her lashes. (Raymond Chandler could describe this meaner and better.) It's so tedious. Although DAMMIT I really like the snare drum beat in the new Snoop thing. DAMMIT.

My friend Kim watches movies for scenes of knitting, the way some people watch movies fetishistically for scenes of bustiers or age-disparate sex or naked feet. I am discovering that I watch movies for scenes of domesticity and eating in restaurants & kitchens, but *especially* soda shops and diners. I couldn't help re-watching Now, Voyager yesterday and DAMN! I was in love with all the acoutrement of ice cream in the little soda shop scene, down to the bubble-shaped water glasses. So gorj, all that chrome and glass. I adore seeing everyday life stuff in films too - a strong reason to love Brief Encounter, even though it's nominally only about grand ideas. I like seeing the Kardomah, Boots the Chemist..

It's funny how the sex associated with certain things can fade - they are starting to re-show Monty Pythons here on Sunday nights and I am being suddenly re-reminded of how much time I spent dreaming nerdily of um, things carnal, with all of them, esp. Cleese & Palin, while a teenager. What a dork. I had all these elaborate fantasies about them...makes a certain amount of sense for a nerdy nervous smart teenager. They were so *repressed* in their own way - that probably twanged my strings. Smart and verbal and dorky and English and clearly very naughty underneath it all. Anyhow, I forgot. But then I remembered. Especially Cleese in all his thin-lipped freaky-deaky glory. I do that sometimes - run into a past object of teenage lust, long forgotten (tennis players from the 80s, Steve Martin from Let's Get Small). V. odd.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

just to make this clear

I don't care what size Oprah is anymore...I just don't want to *hear* about it. That's what you know's coming after a size change with her. Okay.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

crazy pattern quilt

Sat'rday night! Good thing this is a journalblog, and already a crucible for a whole lot of Who Cares, because tonight's a solipsistic doozy. Blah blah blah. Well, you put TV in -- something will out.

There has to be a term for the Oprah Phenomenon that I keep seeing myself and other women go through--I mean, why do we CARE at all by now? We should know better. SHE should know better by now, which is why she's a problem. Anyhow, I did it again last night--got sucked in and frustrated. It was a show about Class in America and I guess (this would be the real problem) had the possibility for being really fascinating. But it immediately was so...grrr. Sketchy. They didn't address the idea that class exists (or used to) separate from income until way more than halfway through (for instance).

The thing that was really interesting about this particular episode, though, was that it just couldn't exist within Oprah Constructs; because she's one of the small percentage that broke out of their "class," and one of the tiny percentage that did it to great wealth and fame, she clearly wants to believe it's possible for anybody, but there was lil Robert Reich shakin his head and saying no, yer an anomaly, over and over. The whole thing became a fascinating, direct challenge to her Living Your Best Life rhetoric. The show started by stating that Katrina showed us how class really operates in this country, but ended by more or less exposing the show's middle-class love, because despite all the talk of spirit, there is all this moneyed underpinning that didn't fit with all the talk of class but wouldn't go away. The other rich people on the show kept saying "we are lucky" and Oprah kept saying "I don't believe in luck." Oprah just didn't wanna hear Reich talk, but she couldn't disagree either. I suppose I enjoyed watching her hoisted on her own petard, frankly, a very uncommon result of the Oprah Phenom. Usually you're left just fomenting...

Then, of course, there's that weird unspoken feeling when you know she's gaining weight again and nobody's saying it. Oh OPRAH. (I hear Rita Moreno in my head warbling "you should know behhhhhtter".)

I needed to hear New Order's "Temptation" last night more than I needed sleep...another $.99-ed tune I think. I bet if you graph everybody's iTuning it'd fall under some serious demographic lines--ooh I gotta have [whatever]. That's one of those songs I thought as a DJ in college would be around me for my listening forever. Like adult life would be one big dorm full of LPs!

The sweetest, most melancholy four bars of melody: I don't want to wait in vain for your love.

I have *no* idea what the Da Vinci Code's about. The appeal from the little I see seems a little Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler...which means I'd like it, although clearly we're not Supposed To (and maybe I wouldn't). I dunno, must figure out what it's about.

Youthful lingering absurdity. Still incredibly cool and unique to me: top-split hot dog buns! They seem so...exotic. I don't think I've ever even had one.

Pharrell is so darn cute, but I'm worried he's gettin anorexic. Placin a lil bet there.

Wolfgang Puck is so hopelessly uncool in the world of cooking these days in some ways, but DAMN! He made a lentil soup with lamb meatballs and tangy yoghurt the other day on his show that got me more excited than anything I've seen made on TV in forever. He's really a good cook, and his accent is fun enough to listen to on its own--too hilarious. I don't think I would have guessed that he'd be up there with some of me favs (such a huckster), but he's dang good. Esp. when he doesn't have to forced-socialize with Letterman or whatever. And his patter has matter to it, unlike somebody like Giada or whomever, who specialize in telling us things we already know. He's really good.

I have been very un-watching the Next New Food TV Star or whatever it's called on the Food Network (yawn), but I can't help but wondering if America's really ready for a slightly femme TV chef with the dreaded he-boobies on their television. I guess so, if he's reached the finals. We'll see.

I officially (finally) realized can't stand Baz Luhrman (sP?). How anybody who uses popular music like a kinda Vegassy high-school musical gets called ground-breaking, I don't know. But I realllllllly dislike him. I couldn't believe anybody liked Moulin Rouge...nasty.

There is something realllly intense? about watching all the booty-poppin on BET's Uncut late-night videos. It's so intensely sexist, but dang - when do you ever see fat ass like that anywhere other than porn. Still catches me up short.

That Anthony Hamilton song is really making me love it...won't go away, but it's not even new anymore.

Crimes and Misdemeanors was so great last night. It's a pretty decent test of Can You Stand the Personal Life While Watchin the Art (this would be the Woody Phenom? the Picasso Phenom? The Joan Crawford Phenom? Actually, I used to call it the Bing Problem in my head for a while), since one of the characters is Woody's 14?yo niece that he just loves, this little worshipful tabula rasa whose mother (by constrast) experiences unexpectedly nasty effects from her desire to be loved (pretty scat for Woody Allen). It's not particularly comfortable, but (for me) it doesn't kill the movie. That means perhaps that my "fibers resemble coconut matting" (to quote DL Sayers)--I'm an insensitive thug--or I don't know what, but it's certainly interesting to Like It Despite All That. It's a situation/argument taken ad hominem/absurdem in the most interesting ways. It's got problems on top of all that too, but one of his best, if you ask me, which means it's awfully good. Yes.........who is asking me this, exactly? But - still. I breathe.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Oh SWEET! Crimes & Misdemeanors is on tonight. Right now not too much sounds better than Spaghetti-Os, a Pimm's and fabulous hooded-eyed Jerry Orbach in the role that blew away all his others if you ask me. Happy weekend to me.
Sometimes you forget in all the hysteria how cheap the real estate really is on cable. That is, there was a ONE HOUR special about Scotty Schwartz and his path from Christmas Story to Porn on E! last night. It really, truly, didn't need an hour. And yet--the Gulf War rarely gets that much concentrated attention (for instance).

GG...GG! What will GG be sans M/M Palatino! I don't know. They've checked out in some ways already, but still. Mind boggling.

Sheer kvelling: one of me best pal's brothers won the Pulitzer last week. So exciting!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I don't wanna sound like the boring roommate on A Different World or something, but I'm finding this new MTV show Yo Momma pretty obnoxious. It's another trash-talking show like Wild n Out, but with a more obvious connection to the dozens, as the title sounds. (I couldn't remember the name of the show -- actually thought it might be called The Dozens -- so I looked it up on the TV schedule: this show is on rotation, literally, more than 50 times in the week from April 20 to 26. Good golly.) Anyhow, the contestants are kind of multi-culti, and it's hosted by Wilmer Valderama (I guess MTV's demo is quite clear, looking at their hosting roster), and well, okay -- I haven't watched a whole episode, so who knows how they're handling it all, but it seems CHEAP and tacky to me, the way they're commandeering the concept. I mean...what the hell. I've never been that righteously offended by the dozens in some ways (has ever a more meaningless phrase been uttered in life? who cares what I think about them) but there is something about a bunch of people, including white folk, telling yo momma is so fat/stupid/dumb/poor/whatever jokes, that's kinda...what the hell. Not to mention do they know its connection to slavery?? I guess it's the commodification of the whole thing that's bothering the most. Obvious. But still - blech.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The give lordeth and the take lordeth away.


I've been trying to remember this quote since last night - finally realized it's somewhere from the Lucia & Mapp books by E. F. Benson - but it's something about how "at that exact moment Nemesis licked her lips."

I'm quite sure that at the exact moment I was bitching about the Gilmore Girls my VCR WAS DYING. There was an ominous little reset sound in the machine as I hit the power on button last night when I got home...tape shredded. Tried a new tape--ate it.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More mid-night TV...

...I think there's a new hiphop show on midnight MTV. This time when I woke it was to the sounds of "Ladies First," and the right version--the radio edit with the chorus, not the LP version--and I got reallllllly happy. Freakin love that song. Love Monie Love love the Queen. One of my favorite songs. Woke up, got happy, fell back asleep. Little mid-morning lagniappes...of an insomniacal variety.

Careened through Playback last night in that spirit. Really is a kind of bad book, stands out among the seven, but even in it there is much atmosphere and style and a great feeling of being at the end of the line in Esmerelda, as it must have been in La Jolla. Read Playback, then some BPym, then a little bit of Little Me (been reading PDennis since I started last weekend), then a cookbook. Felt good. I have missed Fiction!
I thought of the perfect name for this blog. Anglophilic, short, not widely-used, a weird spelling for easy searching. We'll see.

So--the new Dixie Chicks song. Kinda dopey..not all that hot. An entire Broadway play's worth of production values in the video, but to no real end. But still. Good for them.

The world's *dumbest" news "story" about today's protest music on CNN last night--not even Fox, although it was Foxian. What's the word for more than cycnical? Supre-cynical? Uber? SuperUber? Cripplingly? Just beyond dumb. I wanna know how some people are canonized in this construct who should still be offensive by the same rules.

You know,

I think I'm really starting to hate the Lorelai character. I always just tolerated her, and used to think that disliking her was sort of inevitable/impossible, since she is so much the glue of the show--it's almost like I figured Amy Palatino didn't really like her either, they just had to keep her chattering to keep things going. And it's inevitable you'd dislike anybody who was onscreen that much.

But I was watching a rerun last night, the one in which we're supposed to hate Emily forever for bribing Chris to show up at her remarriage and make a play for Lorelai, and the way Lorelai behaved to Luke was just as horrid as Emily to anybody else. I really disliked her. She ("she"...right--not a real person) did things that made him just as uncomfortable as what Emily would do, only in a blithely blithe blithe-spirit blithely uncaring way. I wish she'd get called on it--tis most obnoxious. Emily does get called on it, and I like her.

This is my main problem with the show period, I spose, which is--Lorelai never seeming to understand that she can't outrun her past. Sometimes the writers don't even seem to think so, which is interesting because they write themselves into those situations anyhow. For instance, only a few times have they really come down on the fact that Lorelai running an inn in a perfectionistic way is only the slightest bit different from Emily running her house in her perfectionistic way--the life she's chosen isn't that different. And it doesn't quite fit with the pseudo-misanthropy. She's so emotionally stunted, Lorelai. Or maybe I'm responding to what the actors bring to the characters, which is just enough to tip Emily & Richard into charm, and L into obnoxiousness.

[Not to mention (for the 900th time), there are a lot of ways in which the name "Gilmore," as a family name for me, just doesn't have that correct ring...well, duh, why would it, but it's more that I just don't think that Scottish a name can be that preppy, can it? I dunno.]

Oh, I don't know, it's a delicate balance when they walk it, which is why the show's so good when it's good (I'll say it again--at the end of last season, they worked this issue to a fever pitch of triangulation with the Rory/Logan plot), but these days it feels all over the place. Sloppy. (Nothing But) Tedious Logorrheac Ramblings of a Young Mother, Studded With Cultural References That Make You Wince Not Oooh, Really, That Are Not in Fact the Glue, But the Stuff That Makes You Run Screaming and the Not Very Cute Small-Town Characters That Make You Wince too...shuddup, Liz. They really gotta decide what to do with her.

Cesar at the diner starting to be more of a character--I'll say this for Gilmore Girls, they LET THE FAT PEOPLE BE. An enormous part of my affection for the show is based on this fact, even though Miss Patty is the rapacious sex-starved lady of story and song and a little hard to take. But so's everybody else. Even Luke, but I feel a little about him the way I felt about John Lurie in high school. I just want to see him naked. It's very...elemental.

This is all a long way of saying that my ancient VCR is at home taping the "new" episode and I am preparing to be disappointed. We'll SEE.

Feel just a lil embarrassed (not fundamentally) about GG obsession. It's not quite as hilariously fun as the 90210 years, nope. But still.

My friend Martha's friend U. thinks Tavis Smiley likes the big girls. I'm not sure about that. Other celebrites in this maybe-likes-big-girls category (if you ask me): Jamie Foxx, Vin Diesel, Ben Affleck (he can run but he can't hide), Bill Jeffy Clinton (in his earlier wolfish EOE incarnation--not as a big girl fancier per se), somebody or other at the Sopranos, Luke Perry. I'd love to know who shows up at the back of big girl dances in the Valley with sunglasses. Heh.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'm trying to work up a head of steam about Bambi II (is it like Apocalypse Now Redux?), but every time I see the ad all I can do is go...ooooo...THUMper!! Oh, Thumper.

Peggy Sue Got Married is actually one of me more favorite time-travel movies, since the characters' reactions seem...real. Sad. Upset. Weirded out. I like the lil conundrum that movie sets up with it too. Despite what I just said, I don't think I actually have favorite time-travel movies. Golly, I hope not.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A semi-spectacularly secular Oster. Feeling kind of elegiac, actually, the exact-wrong feeling for the day. I miss Frank Sinatra. And I miss my grandfather. Now that I'm old enough to understand it I want to hear from him the story of throwing out the first ball at the Yankees game.

It probably hasn't helped that every 75 minutes or so I remember we're all about to die from a nuclear bomb hitting the US and I hear a noise in my head like a big cat keening and swiveling on its back legs then hitting the floor with its front paws in its cage as it picks up the pace of pacing back and forth.

I can't get lines from A Little Night Music out of my head:
"The evening air / Doesn't feel quite right... / In the not-quite glare / Of the not-quite night"

The Church of the Fonz on Family Guy was pretty hilar tonight. Totally hilar. I can't think of a thing to write about it that wouldn't be incredibly dorky, but...v. satisfying.

Last night's weird wakin-up-w-TV moment: waking up to a 'best of' Antiques Road Show thing where they were showing a range of chintzware, not only chintzware, but the pattern I have. Very confusing. Couldn't really figure out why items from my kitchen were on TV.

Natasha Bedingfield's music is the kind of earnestly-penned stuff I used to dream of when I was 16 in my bedroom--that kind of I-want-the-world-2-b-happy feel-the-rain-on-your-skin sobby horrible crap, down to the (gag me) choir in the background. I do love Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Through This," I thought it was one of the best blue-eyed s. songs last year, but I think the rest of his are pretty sappy--not sure. So I shouldn't compare them too hard.

I get bloated just watching Giada DeLaurentiis cook with so much cheese on her show...I wish there were more French-based cooking shows these days; most everything is Mediterranean. And as long as we're talking about cooking shows: Donna Dooher of the Cooking Class show looks like she wants to leap out and tear off people's faces underneath it all...never seen a fakier smile in my life. Or such a bunch of happy know-nothings in her class. Happy happy smile smile. Since you asked.

Sleeeeeeeeeepy. Recuperative. Cinematic.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The cover photo of yesterday's Tribune kind of said everything and asked every question about the war, including why are we still there, I thought. Many more than 1K wirdz.

love's the boy that stood on the burning deck

Well, Gilmore Girls continues its more or less entropic slide...despite good premises and set-ups, the show is failing to deliver. Last Tuesday sounded like it'd be pretty good from the spoilers (clearly shouldn't read those, need no expectations at all), but no.

The best thing is always when Kelly Bishop is on, as it was last week--she had the two best moments in the show--one, when she called a little girl an "it," and the other when unexpectedly called Lorelai out on her emotional cowardice, which made me do a little jig. It's not like she's not handed these lines -- she didn't make them up -- but there is something about that actress that she makes them completely her own. Not entirely how it is she does that except that she's certainly not shy about havin attention on her. Her voice is a little more grating than grand, but still--everyone else could be onscreen ranting and she's the person you'd watch peeling a grape. My best pal & I have started short-handing her as "Elizabeth Bishop" when we talk about her, stumbling for her name, and there *is* something obliquely perfect about that. Not that I can exactly see her reciting In the Waiting Room--it's just kind of...honorary. Hah. I should really see A Chorus Line and try to get a different version of Kelly Bishop in my head.

Oh my, I see she changed her named from Carole to Kelly in the middle of A Chorus Line. I wonder why. I am so lacking in fan-ful Information about her. Must get more. Looks like she was the "At the Ballet" char.

The one thing that really bothers me about her stint on GG is that if there were anything realistic about that show we would know her maiden name. It's so obvious that it's really starting to bother me.

Who would have guessed that the acquisition of basic cable would required such a *commitment* to Less Than Zero? Would I have guessed after seeing it one freezing cold night in Burnsville, MN, in college that it'd never quite go away?? Good golly. Very strange to have that constant reminder of at least the aesthetics of one's youth, if not one's experiences. Um, NO. I don't mean that prissily, I mean--it's still kind of hilarious watching 19-y-os be so...wrong--hard to explain. All I know is Robert Downey, Jr., is awfully good, but I wish he'd wash his crusty mouth.

Watched a THS (oy) about Chris Farley last night. He had *beautiful* eyes, don't think I noticed. They started to glow out at you from every pic after a while.

Not sure what to make of this U2 in the Episcopal church phenom. Has a slightly inevitable quality.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Jesus H. Christ on the cross-town laserjet express (as me friend HB would say), what in holy hell am I doing awake. I'm not entirely sure if I'm still drunk or embarking on a hangover or what. Either way, in a few hours unfortunately I have to pull it together to hang around some under-10 kids. I wonder if I can pull off a Vera Charles fix me a bloody mary sonny dark sunglasses kind of thing. I do have that line from the book running through my head over and over: "pipe down, kid, your old man's hung." That is from Auntie Mame, right? The horrid Edgewater Beach father who dies... Well, not horrid -- cold. Whatever.

Last night I floated out of sleep to find the TV still on. I reached for the remote to turn things off and ended up with my fumbling fingers going back and forth between a True Hollywood Story about the girls from the Facts of Life, which wasn't even as interesting as a People profile in the end and this horrid documentary I had seen once before about Frederick West, the English serialkiller, completely with totally disturbing interviews with his kids. I kept thinking...these are my options. Same thing same thing. Le meme chose le meme chose.

My old roommate had a catchphrase from her term abroad in France that came from one of the chicks she was on the program with who was desperately afraid of getting a wacky haircut and was yelling at the hairdresser, like--please god, make sure I still have my pageboy bob I got back in Edina. "C'est la meme CHOSE...c'EST la MEME CHOSE!"My roommate and I used to chant it at each other sometimes too, but I realized the other day it's evolved into a general catchphrase in my head for that kind of thinking in any situation. Isolationist kind of thing. I don't know why, but this pleases me--the evolution of it, I mean. Just happened. I like that. Plus the way you have to say it (you hit everything but 'la' in an increasing crescendo) conveys it too.

Good hangover fud: raspberry sorbet with ginger ale poured over in a ceramic bowl, but you have to eat it with your Gorham silver baby spoon.

I took down my last post--a public apology for somethin really dumb I did--because I realized it perpetuated the stupidity as much as the first post, although it was necessary at the time. The right people have been apologized to. But it doesn't mean I'm not still sorry. Oh boy. Good golly, what a day yesterday. It was like that line in Murphy's Romance--the main line just busted. Spent more time in cabs sobbing hysterically and piss-drunk than I expected, although frankly, what the hell *did* I expect: this week has been some kind of wild learning experience and reminder that life doesn't get any more manageable just because you have more of it under your belt. Also that I am human, and that there's an equal and opposite reaction for EVERYTHING (I really do believe that applies outside of the physical world too), and ...more freshman year thoughts about the unfortunate role the ego plays in things...

Okay, back to cranky impersonal cultural ramblings. Jane Powell (?) yes - warbling away in Royal Wedding in the bedroom. God, I hate her voice. Just before that was the very end of On the Town and my favorite favorite bit -- the sleepy longshoreman who opens and closes the film with the "I feel like I'm not out of beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed yet!" little aria. It's just a little too worldly-wise, that thing--somebody who knew way too much about life had to have written it. Was it Lenny himself or the people remaking the musical for hollywood tastes? It's genius. Plus it's great fun to sing. The flourish is the guy *waking* himself up.

I think I need to go read Auntie Mame. Been a while since I had a nice little Patrick Dennis orgy. Auntie Mame and hydrate.

Monday, April 10, 2006

pommes frites, 2006 a.d.

french fries, french fries,
why must thou ever betray me so?

poor players, that strut and fret your minute upon the stage,
gone forever
last to arrive, and first to go -
no way to successfully re-heat

much less effectively chase that dragon
and yet we do

and yet we do
chasin fireflies in the dark
then another
then another
thinking to catch that fleeting moment of glory
paws open

malt vinegar at our side.

and yet we never do.
caught in the circle that is the

oh pommes frites
why must it ever be so
last to arrive, and ever

she told me tenderly

I thought this weekend would be free from Necessary Wording, but one again it's all been about freelancing. Writing Rewriting. Whatever. It's all over Wednesday, come hell or high-water, and I like that. I am SO sick of it all the moment, but I haven't stopped caring either, so that's nasty.

I'm doing that silly thing of letting a familiar movie keep me company. Right now it's The Man Who Knew Too Much. It makes me marvel right away, like every time, at the unanswered question: did they know what they were creating? By which I mean, there isn't a better, more pointed, sharper portrait of Babbitty 50s mid-America than this film, but it's not clear those involved knew it. Hale-hearty, bluff, hand-shaking, clueless, no-French-speaking, everybody-loves-an-American, right? Hoosier angry-underneath Jimmy Stewart--and the scene where he gives Doris the's like a 90-min Playhouse or an Agee play or something. Really brill. But freaky. It sounds patronizing--did they know? But still. It's part of the weirdness. And convincingness. Hard to tell.

Before that I watched the Hefner, twice (kind of). Not really sure why it's Okay to do that! His beauty ideal is as--more--pernicious as Helen Throwup Brown or whomever you want to indict. But still--I don't hate him. Hain't rational. Weird.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stretched as thin as phylloh dough this week, barely home, coughing wheezing and red-eyed, strung out on Work, Freelance & Being Sick. Freelance being the nasty deadlined part driving the bus. Which means that my mind was going a 100 mph all week - I could have been writing in here nonstop. Floor around bed is littered with uncomprehensible notes of things I *desperately* needed to write about. We''ll see what makes it.

Firstly, another very happy birthday to BETTE DAVIS. Need to have a shrine for her too--she only gets more important to me as I get older. And I really need to see All This and Heaven Too.

I saw an AMAZING adaptation of Hound of the Baskervilles this week (insomnia). Totally absorbing, amazing, fantastical but quietly powerful--never really seen anybody bring quite that much subtlety and feeling and interest to a Sherlock Holmes. Really great. Very un-deerstalker and pipe-smoke. Watson was a revelation--quietly watchful, intelligent--they found a good way to balance his and Holmes' relationship so Watson wasn't the usual surprised buffoon to Holmes' weirdo super-knowledge. Richard E. Grant was pretty perfect as Stapleton and all the period detail was great--the gothick and quiet qualities were so convincing. Even the hound was good, I thought -- I mean, that's the trickiest part, melding the supernational/spiritualist stuff. I loved almost more than anything the moody, expository, measured, scene-setting at the Baskerville home. Nobody has the courage to let that happen these days. Great acting, just really cool.

Have a major soft spot for Hound of the Baskervilles due to a childhood experience in the car with my family, rolling up and down hills somewhere in Pennsylvania at dusk, stone houses on either side, sporadic lights against all the dark green, while we listened to a books-on-tape version of the story. It was perfect.

Frustrating to watch the news. The language in which the immigration "debate" is framing itself is so horrid and mean...hopelessly reductive. Not sure why we're so fast down to the seeds and stems with this. That horrible Tucker Carlson was practically yelling at a minister for his (measured, kindly, law-abiding) opinions then challenging him on how he'd dare have tax-exempt status and say what he does. I think it's DAMN interesting that all the freaked-out Bushies who are sparking this debate end up talking in ways so very hostile to the church. And that dude busted for soliciting children on the web...why is everyone so surprised they give their real names? Even more than the self-protection these guys feel is the compulsion to do it. They are predators in the most self-serving way. I don't know why people can't see the desperate, pitiful quality that goes with being a predator in this--these guy's do anything, can be really stupid, in serving of their compulsions. They are venal and destructive and spreading poison, but they are *dumb*. Tired of baffled anchoroids shaking their heads about it all. Not to mention--have they ever been online?

Saw a little bit about this zoo rebuilding after Hurricane Ivan--most striking thing was watching all the animals run back to their cages when they were brought back after evacuation. Very...Bettelheim? (again) Stockholm Syndrome? Trouble-Tree-ish? (that was my first reaction). I dunno, twas sad and interesting.

Thrilled to have missed Terry McMillan on Oprah this week. What a fucking self-promoting baby she is. The phrase is FOLIE A DEUX, lady.

The real question about Doris Day I've never had answered: WHEN did they put her in braces? There's definitely Ohio Doris, with the big overbite, then the Later Doris, with teeth all fixed. But when? But how?

A beautiful old man: James Garner. He was preternaturally good-lookin when younger, but he makes a fine older guy, too. Love him in Murphy's Romance. Also must note: Gilmore Girls still quite coy (if you ask me) in their use of the guy who plays Luke. I saw a rerun with him sprawled naked on the bed--he ws a felled Adonis. He has the most amazin Grecian body. It's all kind of coy, because his character is this bah-humbug grunt, and despite the fact that Lorelai's now dating him, their still not inside to his soft center. So instead you're like...does she see what's in bed next to her? I'd call it refreshingly non looks-oriented, except it seems kind of sexist, somehow. At least oblivious.

My voice still shot. Interesting parallel is that now in addition to talking badly, I *sing* badly in whole new ways. Now when I attempt something beyond me, the sound is like one of those superannuated old chorines whose vibrato you can drive a truck through--I was never able to imitate them before.

I've never been to a Cracker Barrel, dammit. Missing that part of the mittelAmerikan experience. I want to go.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Well, it's April 3, and I don't know what you've been doing so far today, but it's time to call in to work per your federally determined right, for today, of course, is DORIS DAY'S BIRTHDAY.

So far today I have: watched most of My Dream Is Yours and Love Me or Leave Me, and right now my VCR is taping crazy ol Julie as part of TCM's day-long tribute to Doris. Right now I am listening to the Golden Girl compilation of Columbia recordings (just heard that crazyass song "Sugarbush"...awful) and a few moments ago NONE OF THIS IS A JOKE lit a little candle on my altar under the photo of Doris. Thankfully most of the rest of TCM's movies are some of the really horrid ones like Glass Bottom Boat, so I won't be missing much by going to work grr.

Well, that was naked. I'm like that guy in the book of Fast Times at Ridgemont High who every year on Ozzy Osbourne's (?) birthday takes a day off school to play all of Black Sabbath's albums (or whoever it was). Actually, I always liked the idea of that kind of ritual fan obsessiveness, so why am I suprised I'm doing this now.

James Cagney is unbeLIEVable in Love Me or Leave Me--really amazing. Willing to be completely pitiful.

I'm getting tempted to buy Summer Stock, just because I'm so obsessed with Judy's version of "Mr. Monotony." Really gotta get a recording of that.

God bless ye, Doris (how old is she? 83? 84?). I'm not sure what it is that makes you so fabulous, but thanks for sharing.

I'm off to cough and write more. This is never going to end.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

oh lord jebus deadlines

I am in the last week-1/2 of freelance, so I will be very variously here/not here. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the interim I would like to kill my cats, who are really unhelping. I can't keep them off the computer, the work area, my notes. I had to jerryrig a place for my last cat when I'd write/draw--should probably do the same with these two (then sell it as the Don't Worry I'm Still Here cat center for Freelancers). It's at petting height for somebody at a computer, like a big overturned trashcan, and has a comfy cushion on the top so the cat can curl up and be nearby but not molesting your work. For two cats though, there has to be two stands (otherwise turf wars). Oy vey blechos.

* The Parent Trap with the two Lindsay Lohans is either strangely effective or a testimony to how heavily reliant American films are on the reaction shot. Cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut

* Lara Flynn Boyle (plural: Lara Flynns Boyle) is aging in the strangest way...either through art or nature. The bottom half of her face is melting into a kind of rictus, as if she were already in her sixties and had made several attempts to keep it lifted up. Gives her a Locust Valley lockjaw look far older than her years. Lips therefore more protuberant, skinniness therefore more pronounced. Cadaverous. Ghoulish.

* I am incredibly proud of my friend Hanne Blank, whose book, her project for the last 3/4 years, will be blowing up next year. I *already* knew (yes, I'm being smug) how groundbreaking the work is, how it is LEAPING into an enormous cultural void, how wise and sane and far-reaching and well-researched and fuckyou the truth is the truth it is, but it's thrilling to hear that her publisher knows it now too. I am so excited for 2007.

* It is my goal to someday be some version of Morris Buttermaker. (WM, not BBT, natch.) I know quite well that those crusty old men are not necessarily all softies on the inside, but still. Just saying. Would like to drive a tin can car and speak my mind and smoke if I want to.

* On that new frontiers of medicine program that Dana Reeve (sad) narrated on PBS this week, I heard a woman say something I think is really true, which is that a nurse saved her life after a horrible operation, not because she had a heart attack or something, but because the nurse touched her when she felt no one would, when she felt so scared and vulnerable and mangled. My goal someday is to get really rich and double nurse's salaries with a wave of my hand. Also all housekeeping staff.

Gotta find a better name for this blog. It is basically a chart of the reactions that TV engenders...the shit that comes out the other end. Luvly! Just so long as it's in French.