Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 July 2004

REVIEW: Garden State

I saw my favorite movie of the year so far. It is called Garden State, and it was directed by Zach Braff who is on a TV show called "Scrubs", I guess.
The movie stars Mr. Braff, Natalie Portman, the always great Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm. (Look for a cameo by George C. Wolfe, as well). I am not sure if I know how to accurately describe Garden State. It is about a young man who returns home from Los Angeles to New Jersey for his mother's funeral. It is, however, not a realistic movie, by any means, and I think has more in common with P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love and Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind than anything else. But it is a simple story of friendship and new love and learning to forgive.
I wish I could describe what the movie meant to me. I saw it with my friends Justin and Elizabeth, and I don't think they liked it quite as much as I did, but it meant something else to me. It grabbed me in a very different way. It captures something about people in their early twenties. The protagonists are twenty-six, and there is something about these people my age who are struggling to find meaning, to find a goal. The movie is just incredible. I'm going again, and I'm going to take as many of my friends as I can. There is some chord in this film: the music, the surrealism, the numbness that just got me and meant more than anything I've seen so far this year.

Go see it. This is an extraordinary film that just... feels like home.

30 July 2004

Review: The Bourne Supremacy

Yeah, my boss is an idiot. I could've stayed late to help him out. Nope.
I went to the movies. He called me with a question as the movie started. I pressed "ignore," and I meant it. He wants passwords to the computer. These are passwords he should already have. He shouldn't be bugging on my time off.
We had a computer guy at work setting shit up today. He was actually just fixing some network hookups that Steve fucked up.
Steve let the guy go early, though, because he figured out that I could do everything that was left.
Not that I did any of it. I went to the fucking movies.
My roommate is leaving until Monday. I will be doing some repairs to the condo since he ain't gonna be here.

The Bourne Supremacy fucking rocked. Anyone who says the camera was hard to follow doesn't watch enough movies. The real problem with the film was the editing. It's too fast in general, but especially in the Munich fight sequence and the Indian car chase. The editing is so fast that you can't get a hold on what's going on. The fight in Munich looked real, too, so it was weird that they chopped it up so bad. It could have looked so much better. Paul Greengrass's work is great; I also really loved Bloody Sunday, but he should have watched Kill Bill: Vol. 1 before he chopped the Munich sequence.
The Bourne Supremacy has the best car chase sequence I have ever seen, bar none. This beats The French Connection, Ronin, The Bourne Identity, The Italian Job (2003), all of them. I promise. The chase is fucking brilliant. My mouth was literally hanging open. It's amazing.
Matt Damon is very cool. Very very cool. But he's not a likeable guy. I think I like him because of guilt. I feel like it's our (America's) fault that he's out there getting shit done to him. And he is cool, but he's not really very nice to anyone. I mean, I wouldn't want to be involved in a relationship with him, or even grab a burger or anything. And forget riding in a car with that guy. I rooted for him and all, but I didn't really like him. (That said, it was kinda cool when he scared the shit out of Julia Stiles's ass.)
The assassin who goes to kill Damon is the hottest guy! And I was trying to figure out where I knew him from until I saw his name: Karl Urban.

What a hottie! He has slimmed down like crazy for The Bourne Supremacy and he looks even hotter than he did in The Two Towers.

27 July 2004

In the Cool of the Evening

I have been cooking from about 6:00p to 8:00p or so.  I made eggplant moussaka.  It hasn't come out of the oven yet, but it's gonna be so yummy.

I think I will go to the cinema tonight.  I'm gonna go see Maria Full of Grace at the Laemmle's Playhouse 7 at 10:00p.  Anyone who wants to come with me is invited.  Call me and come over.

I feel great.  I think it's the cooking... or maybe it was Ted Kennedy's speech. 

26 July 2004

2004 Movie #28

Tonight I watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.  I rented it for Diego Luna, who gets hotter and hotter every single day.  This movie sucked so incredibly bad.  Of the twenty-eight movies I've seen this year, this one has so far sucked the worst.  Romola Garai is ugly.  Ugly.  I know she is white and she can kind of dance, but that is no reason that anyone as cute as Diego Luna should fall for her. 

So Romola Garai and her family move to Cuba right before the revolution, and she is this well-meaning, overdressed, Jane Austen-reading square when they move there.  All sweaters and clunky shoes (this is the 1950's after all.)  This girl dresses like Donna Reed (but ugly, did I mention that?) and in Cuba, where, we all assume, it's freaking hot.  Everyone else is sweating.  Romola Garai is wearing sweaters.  She realizes that she's square pretty quickly.  She never ever becomes cool, really, but she does figure out that she is dressing a tad to warmly.  So she gets one of the staff at her hotel to lend her a dress.  I'm fine with it so far, but from then on in the film, she is never out of fashion.  Ever.  She has cute strappy shoes and low-cut tops and flowing skirts.  Just speaking logistically this is a huge problem.  How did she afford these clothes?  Where did she find them in 1950's Cuba?  Even if she knew where to get them, who picked them out?  She didn't get taste overnight, right?  Lame.

And there is scene after scene of stupidity.  Everything that we're used to in these movies happens: Romola Garai knows the Odyssey better than the other white students at their white school.  Her white boyfriend (Jonathan Jackson: also hot) tries to have his way with her but she doesn't tell anyone because it might jeopardize her dad's job.  (What??)  Patrick Swayze is in Cuba for some reason giving himself botox injections.  One minute the Cubans are "those people" to Romola's family, and then next minute everyone's getting down at the local Cuban nightclub.  The music is sometimes cool, but most of the time just plain anachronistic.  I'm sorry, but hip hop was not invented in Cuba in the 1950's.  It just wasn't... and strappy shoes weren't in either.  I like Heather Headley, and I can do with the Black Eyed Peas, but Mya?  Why is she in Cuba (looking not the least bit Cuban)?

This movie was painful to watch.  The worst part was Romola Garai herself, who was in nearly every scene fugging it up.  She can't act either.  She just looks earnest in every scene.  As though everything she does is new and painful but she's pretending to like it.

Straight to the bottom.  Worst movies of 2004 so far:

Worst: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Runner up: The Dreamers

Second Runner Up: The Mother

Loose Ends

My Disneyland pass lapsed without ceremony on July 3. Kind of mean of the mouse people not to send me a notice warning of my pass's expiration. I don't think I will re-up the thing, though. I love Disneyland, but hardly anyone I know has a pass. Jill is never here. Kim never goes either (You don't: don't lie.) Plus, it's so far from where I live now. I think I should wisely spend the two hundred bucks on theatre tickets or symphony tickets (!) Oh yeah, that's exactly what I'm gonna do... head down and hear some good classical music.

Hanging over

Guess who drank way too much last night!  Me.  I never do that.  This has been a weekend of nuts-o behavior.  First I stay out until 4:00a on Friday and then I go and get plastered on a Sunday night when I obviously have to get up this morning and go to work.

This morning does not feel good.

Last night Chris and Jai and I went out to Don José's in Montclair.  The three of us had a great time (as usual).  We three, for some reason, never fight.  Honestly.  It's funny because Jai and I have certainly known Julie a lot longer, but for a while now I have felt that Chris is really more my speed.  The three of us have talked about moving together several times now.  We really get along that well.  Eh.

I have to go to work now.

I like Gin Better

I AM SO FUCKING DRUNK OFF MY ASS! Seriously, my friends should never have let me drive home, and yet I'm here and safe, so maybe they should have.


Off my ass.



Fucking drunk.

Story to come tomorrow, I guess.

Peace Out.

25 July 2004

Some Came Running; Some Didn't Come

Jill didn't come to my show last night. I don't get her sometimes. She has been in California for over a month and she has spent two evenings of that time with me. This is the girl who calls me "her favorite" all the time. She was dying to see Thoroughly Modern Millie so what do I do? I get tickets. She drives down the mountain for the show but can't make it in time for dinner. So she gets here at 7:00p and we head down to the Ahmanson. Then she leaves for Lake Arrowhead as soon as the show is over so she can get up for a meeting or some shit. She comes down the mountain to have lunch with another girlfriend on Saturday but instead of coming to Shrew, she goes home.

For someone who is always saying she misses me and how much she loves me she sure doesn't spend much time with me. It's easy to say that she's busy working, etc. I work too, but I cleared this whole weekend out for her. She was supposed to spend the weekend with me... I figured she could just drive down and spend the night here and we could have fun and shit. Nope. Three hours with me to see Millie and then straight back up the mountain. Ridiculous. She left me this message expecting me to be really pissed off.

I'm not mad; I just think that something doesn't jive. Either she wants to see my work or she doesn't. Either I'm her favorite or I'm not. I feel a little like a boy who does everything he can but the girlfriend just never gives any head.

I rewatched Trois Couleurs: Bleu this afternoon. Goddamn! That is a great fucking movie. Zbigniew Presnier's score is out of this world.

Tonight, Jaime, John, Xiomara, Derek, Tim&Jim, Samantha, and my lovely friend Wahima all came to the show.  The show was okay, but mostly, I think, the actors are and look tired.  They seem to all miss me too, which is good, I suppose.  I think I remember being really excited when the director would come back and watch the show.  Maybe on Thursday I'll spend the show backstage with the actors.  I will definitely go down on Thursday and talk to them.  They need it, I think.  Matt (once again) did some silly jokes that he came up all by himself.  They weren't funny (again).  Grr.  He makes me mad.  I can't tell him not to do jokes I haven't approved every night.  Dammit that makes me mad.  Ah well.  Brittney and Michael get better and better, quite honestly.  I think Mike Steger really is quite a star in this show.

It's funny, I wish all of my friends had come a couple weeks ago when the show was still mine.  Now it is the actors' show, and it seems weird to have my friends coming to see it.

After the show, I decided not to go see The Bourne Supremacy.  I went home and made myself one of the best gin and tonics I've ever had.  (Sometimes I am brilliant with the liquor.)  The roommate headed out almost exactly when I got there, so I sat in my living room and watched Billy Crystal's movie Mr. Saturday Night.  It's no good, unfortunately.  It's like a two hour Tracey Ullman sketch with Crystal in the Tracey Ullman role.  It would have been a much better movie if Woody Allen had directed it, I think... or if Milton Berle had played Crystal's part.  Ah well.  It was a nice quiet evening.

I started work on Pterodactyls today.  Officially.  This show is going to be really tough, and so much fun.  Next week I will make some calls about it, I think.  YAY.

Forget about the boy.

Forget about the boy.

Forget about the boy.

There is no boy.  I'm full of shit.

24 July 2004

Sometimes I'm a Dick

I arrive at places in my enormous mood sine-curve where I have no idea how to behave properly. So last night, I was bored at one point, and instead of being polite and listening to the dead conversation (which persisted and would not stop), I got up and moved to another side of the room and started a new conversation. The thing is, everyone in the room knew what was going on, and so I was a dick.

THEN, I was a dick later, too, because for some reason Matt J and I were leaving at the same time, and I realized that we were never going to leave if I kept politely waiting for him to finish, so I seriously walked out in the middle of something he was saying. It was rude, but there you have it. Sometimes I just can't help myself, and I feel pathetic when I'm around Matt J for some reason. I think because I'm not really anyone's friend except for Ashley's and I know Becca and Danny like me, but I feel like I'm some kind of outer-fringe type of person... mostly because I'm older and live far away, I guess... no, I suppose I've always felt like an outer-fringe type of person.

Plus whenever I'm even a little bit attracted to a guy, I assume that the whole room is aware of my attraction (even if I only think he's sort of attractive). So, I behave as though I'm this weird-o desperate guy who hasn't had a real date in a year.

I really want to go to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It looks so pretty. Jill and I walked down there last night to look at it. It's so fucking amazing!

Why Jeanine Tesori Is My New Favorite Person

I haven't stayed up until 4:00a in, like, at least a year.  I think the last time I did something crazy like that was the last time I came home from Vancouver.  At least I didn't have to wake up today.  I was supposed to go to a baby shower for Gareth and Guin at 2:00p, but Jill got us out of it (God Bless America!), and Nancy is throwing a first birthday party for Christian, but dammit I don't feel like going.  That's at 2:30p, so I could technically make it if I wanted to.  Last night I stayed up partying—I don't know what's gotten into me lately—and at a house party, no less.  The craziest part was that I was one of the last to leave.  I just didn't feel like letting the night end.  So most of my friends left, but I stayed on.  It was a fun party, and I saw people I don't see all that often... especially my friend Elizabeth, since she got back from KY.

She and Justin liked the show, but I'm hearing that from everyone now.  Jaime, Wahima, Samantha, John, Derek, Ryan and Derek's friends Tim & Jim are all coming to the show tonight.  That will be pretty much it for people seeing the show.

Debbye Eggeman called me last night.  She said she was testing me to see if I would call her back.     ?        Whatever.

Last night I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Ahmanson Theatre.  SOOOO good!  Oh my god I loved this show.  It follows the movie's plot almost exactly.  There is even a little tip to "the elevator that only works when you tap-dance."  But even though the plot is old, there are some truly inspired, lovely moments.  At one point there are men singing in Chinese and then there are supertitles!  My absolute favorite, though, was Millie and Jimmy dancing on the edge of the high-rise.  It was lovely, and I could have watched it for at least another 2 minutes.  The cast was phenomenal and the songs are fabulous.

23 July 2004

Augusten Burroughs

I just finished Running with Scissors, which is a very funny, but never poignant book about this little boy's life at the home of his mother's psychiatrist.  His mother, who can't seem to care for him, has little Augusten adopted into the home of her shrink, Dr. Finch.  At this house, where roaches cover the kitchen and crazy patients live upstairs, it is not uncommon for an infant to run around peeing on everything, or for the hunch-backed matriarch to snack on Kibble.

Running with Scissors is hysterically funny, but not that well-written, I must confess.  I own its sequel, Dry., so I'm going to start to read that fairly soon (Jai and I have to trade).

In other news, I actually love it when people call me.  I know I'm horrible about calling people, but it's so nice to hear affection on the other end of the line.  I got a few of these calls today, and I think I needed them all.

Reason number #86 why I hate old people.  They don't give a fuck: just like teenagers.  I was reading my book today at the local Baja Fresh Mexican Grill when an overweight sixty-year-old belched at a restaurant-arresting level.  This burp was no joke.  This was a release of air meant to awaken the entire eatery.  My first thought was "How rude!" but that thought immediately faded when I looked at the man.  More accurately, I whipped my head around in astonishment to glare at this fiend in my vicinity.  This man showed no signs of having done anything at all inappropriate.  Instead, he pushed back his tray, got up, and waddled toward the fountain drinks.

The elderly must be stopped!

I, Not As Bas As I Look

Or maybe: I, Not As Bad As the Latest Sam Raimi Film.  Last night Wahima and I went to see I, Robot.  I wasn't planning on seeing this movie at all.  But it happened that we saw it.

It actually isn't horrible.  I mean, I liked it a lot more than I like Bad Boys 2.  Um, the trouble with the movie, I think, is that it's just, well, dumb.  It's really, really stupid.  Will Smith, though, is seriously fucking hot in this movie.  He's all buffed out like he was for Bad Boys 2, but I think even a little bigger.  I don't know who gave Bridget Moynihan this gig, but it should've gone to someone with talent, or someone prettier, or someone who doesn't look so much like Sandra Bullock.  I swear during the movie I turned to Wahima and said "What the Hell is she crying about now?"  There should have been no crying in this movie.  There were no sad moments.  This girl was crying all over the place.  Dumb.  The kicker was when she said, "Now all you are to me is an empty seat."  Oh, that was a different movie.

I have spent way too much money this week.  This is what happens when I don't work in the evenings.  Boo.

22 July 2004

Favorite Movies

Having a favorite movie of all time is a stubborn business.  There are so many great films throughout history... we've been making films now for over a hundred years.  The Academy of Motion Pictures has been in existence for over three quarters of a century, even.  There are so many movies.  Picking a top ten of all times is a tough thing.  Picking the favorite movie ever is something that we all are supposed to do: a movie we can rattle off that is our favorite film of all time.  But to do this we must be stubborn.  We must pick a movie and then stick with it.  For a long time, generally.  It is kind of arbitrary, really.  Today, this subject came up again in a conversation... and I didn't bring it up.  I promise.  So I thought I would post my favorite movie of all time and then the ten runners-up.  Just for kicks.  Feel free to insult my choices or post your own lists.  I also welcome suggestions and notes about glaring ommissions.  I will say, though, that I tend to stay away from movies released in the last five years.  I don't think I have enough perspective on those films yet.  The Hours is probably the best example of this.  You won't find it on the list, but it's a film for which I have much affection.  Anyway:

1. Network by Sidney Lumet

The rest of the list in chronological order:

The Lion in Winter by Anthony Harvey

Chinatown by Roman Polanski

Interiors by Woody Allen

The Grifters by Stephen Frears

Three Colors: Blue by Krzysztof Kieslowski

The English Patient by Anthony Minghella

The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick

Croupier by Mike Hodges

Magnolia by P. T. Anderson

Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell

21 July 2004

Bovine on a Wet Afternoon

Steve isn't here.  God Bless America.

Last night was the monthly HOA meeting.  I swear, these meetings are the most boring things ever.  It's a wonder no one goes.  These are the people who attended: the 6 board members who usually go (Margarita, Sally, Charles, Dean {hot}, John and Jim) me, Ann & Mark from my floor, this other old guy from my floor, Delgadillo (he goes every time, too) and then this lady from the first floor who wore sunglasses the entire meeting: these enormous Elton John sunglasses.  The meeting was pretty painful.  We talked about the trees and then the parking garage.  Snore.  Plus, Dean announced that he wasn't going to be president of the board anymore because he's selling his unit.  What a shame.  In addition to being really hot, he is young and as president he's been great.  Oh well.  What can you do?  This lady in the sunglasses kept nattering on and on about how she'd been in the building 18 years la la la.  Who the fuck cares, lady?  I own my piece of property same as you.  It really doesn't matter how long you've owned yours, bitch.  Shut up.  She had severe halitosis as well.  I wanted her to stop breathing as well.  Because you know the bitch had to sit just up-wind of me and send her smelly breath in my direction for two hours.

After the meeting, Kristen picked me up and we went to Bodega, this wine bar in the Paseo.  It was really nice.  I love that girl. 

No more bitching.


I wanted to tell a story about watching this Bryan Forbes movie, Séance on a Wet Afternoon.  It starred Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough.  The movie's okay.  Kim Stanley is this medium who is fucking nuts who decides she will get Richard Attenborough (her henpecked husband) to kidnap this kid of a wealthy family and then "figure out" where the kid is in one of her trances.  Then she will be a famous psychic and be in all the papers.  Nuts, right, but kind of a nice thriller.  The issue is that the whole time... I mean the whole movie, I kept thinking about COW.  I mean, Kim Stanley is seriously a dead ringer for that bitch.  Same attitude, same slight obesity, same de-voicing, same "I'm a bitch but I think I'm sexy" idea about herself, same unhinged/deranged personality.  I think we were supposed to like Kim Stanley's character, or at least pity her.  Not me, man.  All I could think of was pushing her down the stairs. 

20 July 2004

Running into Fish

The president of my Homeowner's Association is fucking hot.  Seriously.  We have done some flirting in the past, and so I know there's a bit of tension normally, but yesterday was a misstep.

I was on my way to Target, and I was slumming it.  I looked like an overweight Abercrombie model who hadn't shaved: this look is best described as frat-party-morning-after chic.  I'm riding down our elevator and hoping (while not hoping at the same time) to run into Dean.  So I'm leaning against the inside of the elevator and as the elevator door opens on the parking level, I see Dean.  He has his back to me, posting some sort of notice on the bulletin board.  He's wearing these shorts and some trackers and looks damn good.  But he's standing barely four to five feet from me, so we're quite close and as the door opens he turns his head to see who is coming out of the elevator.  I'm still leaning on the wall in the elevator, but when I see Dean and our eyes meet ever so slightly, I move from my position of repose against the wall and open my mouth to say "Hey, Dean" or something flirtier like "Hello, gorgeous," or "What's up big boy?" or "Nice ass, cowboy."  But just as I open my mouth, this woman we both know walks in from the garage and says "Hello!"  She is bustling in and appears to be in a hurry.  I respond immediately with a "hi" to this woman.  It's all rather cramped, really, in this part of the lobby, and she walks (with her bags) between me and Dean and into the elevator.  I have to let her pass and then exit to the garage.  There's no other way.  I say nothing to Dean and he says nothing to me, but the look lingered.  It hung in the air like a memory.

It's too bad I looked like shit.  Oh well.

Then at the Target in Pasadena I almost (quite literally) ran into Derek Luke.  He's fairly short.  I know they tell us that all celebrities are short, but I am always surprised to see how short they really are.  He sure as Hell isn't 5'11" like his bio says.

Ugg Boots in July?

I blame the heat for my general lack of activity.  I could also blame my sister for giving me this computerized jigsaw-puzzle game called "Pandora's Box" (which I don't recommend—it's not so much fun as it is time-consuming.)   But it's so fucking hot that I just can't seem to get up the urge to do anything.  That, I suppose, and the fact that sometimes I have no friends.  There are times in my life when there just isn't anyone to hang out with.  These times happen, generally, right after I finish a show.  The cause of these lulls in friendship is the fact that I have been busy every single weeknight for six weeks and have had no time for any of my posse.  Now, of course, I have every single weeknight free and not a soul who thinks about spending that time with me.

Normally, this, too, would be okay.  I could go to the movies or watch a DVD from my lovely Netflix subscription or read a book or work on my new show.  But I don't feel the urge to do any of these things.  I am blaming the heat.  I should also blame, I think, my appearance.  I am hating it these days.  I'm getting fatter and I like very few of my clothes, and all I want to do is eat ice cream.  That's the heat's fault too!  Maybe it's that Shaquille O'Neal has defected to the Miami Heat.


I bought curtains.  The sun stayed quietly outside my room until precisely 8:00a this morning, when I got up with very little ceremony, walked over to my window, and pulled back the heavy drapes guarding me from the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind waiting outdoors.  Except that my mind isn't spotless.

Steve isn't at work yet today if you haven't already guessed that.  AND he has a dentist appointment at 11:00a, so I know that when he does come in, he's going to have to run right out again.  He might even stay away until the afternoon.  God Bless America.


userinfoambiguouslove!!!!!  Where are you this morning?  Are you doing okay, honey?

19 July 2004


It's my curtain situation that makes me get such restless sleep. Perhaps I should purchase myself some heavy drapes. I just don't want to spend the money. Maybe I will go do that in the next couple of days. The sun comes blasting into my room at 5:00a and I don't ostensibly have to get up until 8:00a. This is ridiculous... almost as ridiculous as the sanctity of marriage.

It's Not the Heat; It's the Humidity

It's just so unbearably hot! People keep suggesting Disneyland as a fun thing to do. Hell no! Kim suggested it on Friday and Jill said something about it today. Disneyland. On the weekend. In this heat. All of those fucking people. No thank you. Although, I would love to go to Disneyland... just not during the day and not on the weekend.
Kim, let's go one day during the week... like a Tuesday or a Wednesday when D-land is open until midnight. We can go, relax, eat ice cream on the train, ride 2 or 3 rides and then head out.
My friend Anna's parents are moving to northern California. She is, I think, devastated (that's the word from Jaime). Jaime and I said almost at the same time today that if our parents decided to do move up north we would be, like, "Peace out." I'm not sure that this is completely true... I would miss them and stuff, but it would be nowhere near shattering or devastating. I think it would be for Michael, but I think I would be pretty cool with it.
My weekend was not productive. The only thing I did of any substance was finish Lewis Thomas's The Lives of a Cell, which I would recommend to anyone. It's an amazing, humbling, incredible experience.
I had a very very sad conversation with my sister and two cousins about gender roles in society. They are 16-19 years old, and they all seemed to have a very defeatist attitude about feminism and the women's movement. I was very upset, and am more so the more I think about it. The gender equality movement is so vital and important, and it surprises me that these young girls are not more aware of their rights... or that they're not more interested in supporting other women. It was a depressing conversation, otherwise I'd share more of it.
These people keep talking about the "sanctity of marriage." I keep hearing this phrase. I hear it all the time. These people are serious. It's astounding! It's preposterous, really. There is no such thing as the sanctity of marriage in the United States. What an idea! Why is this part of the national dialogue? I mean, we can't really be serious. What is it now? Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce? The sanctity of marriage! I am not even sure that the word "sanctity" belongs in political dialogue. For me, that word means something religious, and if we are discussing religion, we aren't discussing politics.

17 July 2004

Buy Me Things

I feel awake for the first time in probably a week.

In other news, Suzanne from Act-1 called me twice this week. She says she has a couple of different job opportunities for me. One of them is in Monterey Park at $16-17. The other one is in Pasadena at $20. Hello! I told her I'd interview with either of them. That was quick! I am so excited. I can't wait to leave my old job. Is that awful? It's just going to be so much more money. Imagine if I could go shopping again! It has been so long.

My Friends Are Such Lunatics

As I was driving home from the official opening night gala of the show, I got a drunk call from Jaime.  She told me that she was at our high school and asked me if I could stop by.  I was just about to get on I-210 West anyway, so instead, I got on I-210 East and headed out to La Verne.  It only took about 10 minutes if you want to know the truth.  Jaime, Julie, Derek and Dyson were there as well as Dyson's roommate Mossimo (I don't care if I'm spelling his name wrong or not: he's not important).  They were drunk off their asses at our old high school for Christ's sake.  Fun.  So we talked for a little while until Jaime made herself sick.  Derek peed on the campus.  Julie and I danced.  Whatever.  It was fun. 

The opening of the show went well, I suppose.  My new opinion of the show is that I think if I hadn't directed it, I would come and see it and then say, "Well, it was funny, but I didn't really like it."  Who the Hell knows.  Mike was great today.  Jensen was also absolutely hysterical.  Greg needs to learn his lines or something.  I think Brittney is getting better and better as we go.  There is an edge to their relationship that has this violence to it... it's not just a cartoony thing.  Their dynamic is dangerous and therefore interesting and worthy of a stage.

Many many people came tonight.  Jeremy and Rob (Kelly's ex... again), Aaron, Kim, Danny, and Becca.  And the show was good, like I said.  I was glad.

It felt like a show that I owned again. 

16 July 2004

Guess Who's in a Mood.

Yesterday I drove to Long Beach for only one reason: to give a small pep-talk to my actors.  Then I told them that I was going home.  I was going to go do something fun, but I ended up doing nothing.  I was just so tired.  I get tired.  And plus, I have this feeling that De-Lovely is going to just suck and I didn't want to go watch a shitty movie after seeing something as good as The Door in the Floor the night before.

I was glad I gave the actors the pep talk, though.  They appreciated it.  Except Katie, man.  That girl is bitter like no other.  I want to smack her and say "cheer the fuck up, bitch."  How do actors become divas like that?  Like Joe Ngo or this girl Katie... What have you been so fabulous in that you are to good to do this work?  Also, if you don't look like a leading man/lady, most likely, you will not get cast as one.  This is something that the actor can change, but instead of changing it, they decide to diva themselves out and be bitter.  Not fair.  It's their own shit, and I don't stay up nights thinking about it, but it makes me not want to cast these kinds of people... I wouldn't cast Katie if I had to do it over.

15 July 2004

Film Review: The Door in the Floor

The Arclight really is a fabulous place to see a film.  You may buy your tickets online for no additional charge.  Your seats are assigned.  There is no late seating.  There are no commercials: only 4-6 minutes of trailers.  And, best of all, a nice young man addresses the audience at the beginning of the film: "Welcome to tonight's presentation of The Door in the Floor starring Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, and Jon Foster.  The film also starts Mimi Rodgers, who you might remember from The X-Files' last two seasons.  The film is written and directed by Tod Williams, and based on a book by John Irving.  Previous novels of his which have been turned into films are The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp.  If you could please take a moment to turn of your cell phones.  I would also like to remind you that there will be no talking during the movie.  I will be watching the first five minutes of the film to ensure sound and picture quality, and if you need anything, or if anyone is disrupting the film, feel free to notify me or anyone else in one of our snazzy blue uniforms."  I swear to god he said all that.  Some people even clapped when he was finished.

The Door in the Floor is an exquisitely crafted piece of cinema.  When the film opens, it has been four years since Ted and Marion Cole lost their two sons Tommy and Timmy.  Tommy and Timmy hang over The Door in the Floor with incredible power.  Their pictures haunt Ted and Marion and are a thing of intense mystery and interest to their four-year-old, Ruthie.  Ted and Marion decide to separate for the summer.  Ted is a womanizer and Marion seems so utterly consumed by grief that she is unable to be responsive to Ted, who is likable and charismatic from the get-go.  This separation seems like a fairly good plan all around.  At the behest of his publisher, Ted decides to take on an assistant, Eddie, who is a high school student.  Eddie is brought to live at their house on a beach in upstate New York for the summer to basically be a gopher for Ted.  The film's title comes from Ted's most famous children's book: a strange tale about a mysterious door in the floor and an unborn baby who is afraid of the door.

I think my favorite thing about the film is its coldness.  In temperature, the film resembles for me films like Spielberg's Minority Report and more importantly Woody Allen's Interiors.  The thing about this that is superior to the Spielberg film is that there is an astonishing amount of color in this film: whole scenes, in fact, surrounding this or that color: indigo squid-ink, a gorgeous red umbrella, a pink sweater, and a hysterical sequence involving pink pants.  The film is, at turns, laugh-out-loud funny and slowly, steadily heartbreaking.  Jeff Bridges is phenomenal here: I can't overstate the ability of his performance enough.  He is achingly real: an ego-driven womanizer who wants desperately to be someone who a young man could admire.  He is a man obsessed with his own body, his own abilities, and his own cleverness: an appallingly selfish, yet extraordinarily generous character who I both loved and hated.  I think most of us can find our fathers in this man.  Kim Basinger is great too.  She gives a quiet, depressed performance.  One scene during a sexual encounter with Marion and Eddie is especially moving.  I did keep wishing that it was Michelle Pfieffer up there on the screen, though.  Jon Foster is fine as Eddie (better than Tobey Maguire in Wonder Boys), and Mimi Rodgers is very very funny as one of Ted's mistresses.  Little Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota, who we all know and love) is adorable as Ruthie.

The best part about the movie, though, is the ending.  I have thought about it since the film ended.  It is a pitch-perfect ending.  There is so much going on, and the ending reminds us that we know so very little about people.  We wait so long for the whole story, the tale that will explain everyone's behavior, and when we get it we feel satisfied and maybe even a little smug.  We understand these people: we understand them enough, maybe, even to judge them.  The end of The Door in the Floor is a fantastic reminder that we don't know anyone enough to feel superior to them.

Last Night's Movie

More full review to come...

1. Spring Summer Autumn Winter and... Spring
2. The Return
3. The Door in the Floor
4. Dogville
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
7. I'm Not Scared
8. The Twilight Samurai
9. Bon Voyage
10. Good Bye Lenin!
11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
12. Facing Windows
13. Shrek 2
14. The Terminal
15. Latter Days
The Ladykillers
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
Home on the Range
Coffee and Cigarettes
Secret Window
Spider-Man 2
The Mother
The Dreamers

14 July 2004


There are two—count them: two—good songs on the soundtrack to Georgia.  Most of the tracks are Jennifer Jason Leigh butchering covers of Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Lou Reed.  It's okay, because the two good songs are Mare Winningham and they are lovely.

I am still going to go down to the Arclight to see The Door in the Floor this evening.  No one wants to go with me?  I'll drive.  Takers?

...Is in my ears and in my eyes

Jaime and the Other Jamie from Starbucks came down to my casa and then we went to Old Town to just walk around.  We went to the 35er first and shared a pitcher of Bud Light (gross).  Then we walked around: to Penny Lane where I bought Tim Rice's Aida for $5, the score to Out of Africa for $10, and the soundtrack to Georgia (a CD I have been trying to get ever since I saw the movie... I love Mare Winningham's songs in the film) for $5.  Score!  I can't believe my luck!  Then we went to B&N where I bought an enormous book called The Soup Bible.

I'm a sucker for soup.  When I was younger, I used to visit my grandfather every single weekend.  He would come pick me up and I would go over to his house and spend the whole weekend there.  Most weekends we would make soup.  We tried all different kinds: I can remember cherry soup, pumpkin soup, watercress soup (which tastes exactly like broccoli if you wondered), seafood gumbo, and even a soup made around red cabbage.  The best soup ever was this Potato Leek soup for which I still have the recipe.  Lots of butter and lots of white pepper.  Mmm.

Jai lent me Running with Scissors.  Cool.  I will start that when I finish The Lives of a Cell which is fucking brilliant.  Thanks, Cyn.

Remember Almost Famous?  What a good fucking movie that was!

13 July 2004

The Press

I did a press interview for Taming of the Shrew today.  It was fun.  I guess it was just a little fluff piece... a bit of press before we open.  But I had a really good time answering questions about the show.  I talked about my interest in Shakespeare and how I am interested in updating old conventions and bringing things into the now.  And then I (surprisingly) said something quite brilliant to the interviewer.  I said something to the effect that we have these characters onstage and they were funny four hundred years ago, and they're up there saying four-hundred-year-old phrases and it is our job as theatre artists to change these people into people you and I recognize.  It is humanization in the same way that all acting is humanization.  That is, after all, why it is still important to do the play (if it is important): because it contains things that we can still learn about ourselves or at least laugh at.

By the way, I figured out this posting of pictures thing, as you might have noticed, so I think I'll be doing a lot more of that.  It's kind of fun, and makes my blog look a lot more colorful.  Notice also a new links section on the right-hand side of the main page!  Cheers.

Any takers to go see The Door in the Floor down at the ArcLight tomorrow evening?

Gay Marriage

Why I love Diane Feinstein!

"I really believe that this is a waste of time.  The votes are not present to submit this amendment to the states; the timing is just a few months before the election; and family law has always been left to the states."

She is so right!  This is the stupidest thing ever.  They better figure on some re-wording of their little idot amendment if they want it to pass.  Banning gay marriage outright is never going to work.  They need sixty-seven votes, and they don't even have fifty votes--they don't even have forty-five votes!  They're just doing a political stunt.  I might believe they cared about gay marriage and its threat to society if they actually wrote something they thought they could pass.  Fuckers.

12 July 2004

This evening, after getting off of work, I headed down to Beverly Hills to see One Night of Love with Grace Moore, the opera singer.  She was lovely, and she had a beautiful voice.  The film was a rather thick romantic musical with Lyle Talbot and some other guy I didn't know.  It was actually pretty much the same plot as My Fair Lady, but with singing opera instead of talking reg'lar.  I had a very nice time at the Academy, even though most of the people there are septuagenarians.  They're not so bad as long as they keep to themselves.  I even heard two very old women in front of me talking about gay marriage and why it should be legal.  (I was listening to their conversation, if you want to know, because they said something about Rudolph Valentino marrying two lesbians in a row!) 

This film series is the best thing ever!  I swear.  It's $3 a show and each of these movies is a really good print of an old classic.  Plus they show all of these little shorts and newsreels and things before the picture.  Tonight's short had Bing Crosby (heavily made up, for some reason) and Gary Cooper and Mary Pickford and Richard Cromwell.  So cool.  Bing even sang.

Quick Review

This afternoon I headed down the street to (finally) see Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes.  My cousin, Angela, gave it a good review, so I thought I would check it out.  I've been meaning to since it came out in—what: May (?).

The film is not so much a film as a collection of short films which all revolve around cigarettes and (mostly) coffee.  The good ones are about coffee and cigarettes. 

I have to say that I just didn't care for the film.  The first couple of films are really great.  My personal favorite is the one with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits.  They almost get into an interesting discussion, even, about the 'coffee and cigarettes generation' versus the 'pie and coffee generation.'  There are some other interesting ones: I really liked the Steve Buscemi film and the Bill Murray film.  The Cate Blanchett film is interesting, too, and the final film with William Rice and Taylor Mead is almost transcendent compared to the rest of the picture.  But the problem with the film is that it isn't at all cohesive.  We are continually reminded that this is an extended film exercise.  There is a recurring coffee/cigarettes/checkerboard/black-and-white theme, but there isn't much else that the film itself has to say.  The truth is, if you want to know about coffee and cigarettes as a combination, the film that you need to watch is P.T. Anderson's freshman effort: Hard Eight. 

IMDb Top 100 Movies of All Time (whatever)

IMDB's Top 100 Best Movies of All Time
generate this HTML for your own page at



Didn't See It/
Started It/
Finished It/
Hated It!


Godfather, The (1972)

Finished It


Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)

Finished It


Godfather: Part II, The (1974)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)

Finished It


Casablanca (1942)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

Finished It


Schindler's List (1993)

Finished It


Shichinin no samurai (1954)


Star Wars (1977)

Finished It


Citizen Kane (1941)

Finished It


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Finished It


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Finished It


Rear Window (1954)


Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Finished It


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Finished It


Memento (2000)

Finished It


Usual Suspects, The (1995)

Finished It


Pulp Fiction (1994)

Finished It


North by Northwest (1959)


12 Angry Men (1957)

Finished It


Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)

Finished It


Psycho (1960)


Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Finished It


Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)


Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)

Finished It


It's a Wonderful Life (1946)


Goodfellas (1990)

Finished It


American Beauty (1999)

Finished It


Vertigo (1958)


Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Finished It


Matrix, The (1999)

Finished It


Apocalypse Now (1979)

Finished It


Pianist, The (2002)

Finished It


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Finished It


C'era una volta il West (1968)


Some Like It Hot (1959)

Finished It


Third Man, The (1949)


Taxi Driver (1976)

Finished It


Paths of Glory (1957)


Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)

Finished It


Fight Club (1999)

Finished It


Boot, Das (1981)

Finished It


Double Indemnity (1944)

Finished It


L.A. Confidential (1997)

Finished It


Chinatown (1974)

Finished It


Singin' in the Rain (1952)


Maltese Falcon, The (1941)

Finished It


M (1931)


Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Finished It


Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

Finished It


All About Eve (1950)

Finished It


Se7en (1995)

Finished It


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Finished It


Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Finished It


Cidade de Deus (2002)

Finished It


Raging Bull (1980)

Finished It


Rashômon (1950)

Finished It


Wizard of Oz, The (1939)

Finished It


Sting, The (1973)

Finished It


Alien (1979)

Finished It


American History X (1998)

Finished It


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Finished It


Léon (1994)


Vita è bella, La (1997)

Finished It


Touch of Evil (1958)


Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)

Finished It


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Finished It


Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)

Finished It


Great Escape, The (1963)


Wo hu cang long (2000)

Finished It


Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Finished It


Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

Finished It


Amadeus (1984)

Finished It


Modern Times (1936)


Ran (1985)

Finished It


Annie Hall (1977)

Finished It


Jaws (1975)


On the Waterfront (1954)

Finished It


Braveheart (1995)

Finished It


High Noon (1952)

Finished It


Apartment, The (1960)

Finished It


Fargo (1996)

Finished It


Sixth Sense, The (1999)

Finished It


Aliens (1986)

Finished It


Shining, The (1980)


Strangers on a Train (1951)

Finished It


Blade Runner (1982)

Finished It


Metropolis (1927)


Duck Soup (1933)


Finding Nemo (2003)

Finished It


Donnie Darko (2001)


General, The (1927)


City Lights (1931)


Princess Bride, The (1987)

Finished It


Toy Story 2 (1999)

Finished It


Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Finished It


Great Dictator, The (1940)


Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)


Lola rennt (1998)

Finished It

Which movies have you seen?

11 July 2004

If a body meet a body coming through the rye

Since my last update, the show has had its first two previews.  We have one more on Thursday (7/15) and then we open on Friday (7/16).  I wish I could say I felt more relieved.  It's funny.  I don't feel at all as though a weight has been lifted.  Perhaps I will the next three days when I have no rehearsal at all and can return to my normal life.  I will be heading down to AMPAS in Beverly Hills tomorrow around 5:30p to catch a screening of One Night of Love for $3 if anyone wants to tag along. 

One thing I didn't mention in my enormous deconstruction of Shrew that is true the more I think about it is that the show doesn't feel like something that is mine.  I have allowed this to be a show that is John Zamora's show.  I haven't taken ownership of it except for very little.  Perhaps that is why I don't mind so much that it isn't a thing that I love.  But it feels like something separate from my body of work.  Allan said that Shrew is a definite change for me.  That's a huge understatement, I think.  It is a show that is on the fringe of the kind of theatre I want to do.  It is a gig that I did for reasons other than artistic achievement.  Those reasons were right, and I am still not sorry I did it, but it isn't my show.  Ah well... The show is what it is, and I have written extensively about it at this point, so I think I will just shut the fuck up now. 

Last night I went out with Brittney, Doug, and Allan.  We had a very nice time, much to my surprise.  It is Brittney's birthday today, so I went to be nice and celebrate.  Allan and I are her favorite people, so I knew it would mean a lot for me to go.  But it was fun!  She lives on Los Robles just south of Colorado, so we parked at her and Doug's apartment and then walked into Old Town.  The walk was the best part, I think.  It was cool out and there were tons of people and it was like the night life of Vancouver, with everyone else on foot, too.  We walked all the way down to the 35er, but Brittney didn't want to go in because it was kind of a sports bar with a lot of bearded, older white men.  We had passed a tapas bar, though, so I suggested we backtrack to this place called BarCelona (unfortunate title).  Brittney and I ordered lemon drops, Doug ordered a chocolate martini, and Allan ordered a Long Island.  This bar makes great drinks.  My lemon drop was perfect, and so was Brittney's and then I ordered a gin and tonic, which was also perfect.  The four of us had a really nice time, just talking and drinking and being festive.  Then we toasted Brittney's birthday,  walked back to their place, and I drove on home.

I finished The Catcher in the Rye today.  It's one of those really good books that I had never read.  Jaime recommended it as her favorite book, so I decided I would read it (I had purchased a copy over a year ago--I'm probably on a list, now).  That Holden Caulfield is really a wonderful character.  I just want to hug him.  I don't identify with him very much, though.  What's amazing about this is that I am absolutely positive I would have identified with him six or seven years ago.  I've grown up or grown happy or both.  Now all I want to do is tell him things will be okay and not to worry.  Aside from that beautiful passage in the book about catching the kids in the rye, I think my favorite of Holden's lines is "People always clap for the wrong things."  Truer words were never spoken!  The book is masterfully written, though, and even though I don't connect with it too much emotionally, I appreciated it very much.

09 July 2004

Danger Will Shakespeare

Boy have I missed Wahima! We must have talked on the phone last night for an hour and a half! She had me rolling talking about all of the people who come to Rialto's Starbucks. Hilarity.

Oh. Yeah. I meant to mention that we had to stop the show last night. John, while making the set, decided he was going to use actual wood for the "deck." There's a platform, and then he has put wood down on the platform in some sort of pattern. Instead of cutting all the wood at the edge of the platform, though, some of the little pieces of wood have maybe ten inches on the platform, and then hang over the platform three or four inches. So, of course, when people step on these little pieces of wood, they break, come unscrewed and look to cause danger to a cast mostly in bare feet and shorts. This happened during Act Two last night but Vanessa didn't stop the show! I turned around and said something to John, but he just nodded. So I went in to the booth and told Vanessa to stop the show until we could fix the problem. She still didn't stop the show! So I went into the theatre, told the actors to stop, and we waited for John to go repair the deck. This place... I swear.

08 July 2004


The Act-1 people must be a little retarded because they called here and left a message talking about an employment reference for me. So Steve and I had to have a meeting this morning about what I want and what I think I can get. I really didn't want him to know, but after we started meeting, it was kind of empowering. I kind of had him against a wall. It's not like he can fire me, you know?

Two Dreams

Dream #1
I had a date with Rufus Wainwright, but he was very cute, much cuter than he is in actual, real life. We kept looking for a coffee shop in Duarte and never finding one: just car dealerships, etc. Then we ran into the guy who plays Stanford on Sex and the City and some other gay guy who I knew. Strange. But at least I was dating again. Rufus and I didn't get on as well as I would have thought. He kept talking about the songs he wanted to put on Want Two. He wasn't too crazy about his ballads and anthems. He wanted more upbeat stuff. (Which, of course, I can usually do without.) In the end I had tickets to something at the Orpheum. It was some one-word name Cirque show or something. I don't know how I got the tickets, but we had time to get to the show and Rufus made up some excuse about having to meet his sisters (who was the chick who is the sister of the White Stripes guy--I'm bad with music guys, sorry), and I didn't want to go by myself to the Orpheum show, so I woke up.

Dream #2
There was an enormous snake and I was in this huge room/loft with 2 sides to it really. I had to keep going from side to side like in some video game where they make you keep doing the same thing for a little while to add hours to their "such-and-such hours of play" claim on the front of the game. The only person I can remember in the dream was Anthony from Shrew. Weird. There was this enormous fucking snake in this dream and it kept chasing me and Anthony, who had started to really hate one another being cooped up in this enormous room with a snake the length of a city block. Eventually we realized there were other people--5 or 6--at the top of the room on top of the wall that separated the sides. But I woke up to the sound of my alarm before anything happened of huge import. I was a bit of an action hero in this dream: never scared of the snake, just wary of its presence at all times.

Slimeballs & Hugging Basis

Jeremy: I'll vote for anyone who's a war hero.

Yours Truly: Like... John Kerry.

Jeremy: He's not a war hero.  He's a douche-bag.

In the end, the show wasn't postponed at all.  In fact, what John did was just embarrassing.  He decided that this Friday and Saturday and next Thursday would be considered "Preview" nights instead of "Performance" nights.  "Fine by me," I said.  All he's doing is playing a small game of semantics with himself.  Fine.  By.  Me.  Then when he sort of announced this to the cast he didn't even say this.  What he said to the cast was that the opening night party would be on the second Friday of the run instead of the first Friday and that tickets to the aforementioned "Preview" shows would be the normal $10.  So... all the cast heard was that the party was postponed a week, which means what it looks like is that he couldn't get all the shit together for the gala in time for Friday.  I'm betting that the reason he didn't say the whole "preview" spiel to the cast is that Mike knew all of his lines today except for the very last scene (V.II).  As I predicted.  Ah well.

Jeremy and Aaron C. came to the show tonight too.  They had some helpful tips and some not-so-helpful tips.  Jeremy can be hit or miss about these things.  Normally he's very helpful, but sometimes he can be... um... critical without being... er... constructive.  It's okay.  I'm a director.  I can usually translate this into action on my part. I am, of course, grateful for their input no matter what I say. Theatre needs to be a collaborative form.

Matt and I are not on hugging basis.  I hug Brittney; I hug Jeremy; to Matt I say, "Peace out."  I offer no analysis of this fact, only the fact itself.

I think that soon I shall post a sort-of review of my own work in the show and my opinion of each of the actors in the show while it is still fresh in my mind.  Maybe if Steve is MIA for a lot of the time, I will do it tomorrow.

John Kerry has chosen John Edwards as his running mate.  We heard this news yesterday.  Whatever.  I will feel so icky voting for this slimeball.  I'm going to do it and all, but I will feel gross.

07 July 2004

Sigh Together Now.

Woke up at 7:00a to go to my job interview at Act-1 Personnel, where thy loved me.  Went back home and back to sleep.

I've had a conversation with Nick, and one with Mike, and one with John Zamora about postponing the show for a week.  I didn't know this was in anyone's vocabulary.  Who ever heard of postponing a show for a week?  Movies, yes.  Theatre?  They keep asking me what my thoughts are.  My thoughts are that the show will be ready on Friday.  They aren't going to get me to say that I think we should postpone the show.  We shouldn't.

I will be so fucking mad if they postpone this show.  No, what I'll really be is depressed.


I'm off to rehearsal now (at 3:30p.)  I'm driving down there and waiting for Michael to get there so that we can rehearse and open on time.

I think a lot of what I write in this journal might be bullshit.  I was thinking about it today while reading Catcher in the Rye.  I feel like this Holden Caulfield cat is just so depressed all the time.  Down on everything; hating everything.  'My life just isn't like that,' I tell myself.  Is it?  I am so positive in this journal all of the time.  I am all-around positive, I guess, but I think one of the main reasons is that there really isn't anyone who can take my shit.  We really shouldn't dump on our friends anyway (one of the reasons Andrew and I fought as much as we did).  But I don't have anyone to dump on even if I wanted to.

It's times like these (when I feel like people in charge are making decisions that I hate hate hate) that depress me the most.

05 July 2004

By the way

Soooo sore from yesterday's volleyball excursion.

They make oranges HERE?

Show, as predicted, is in fine shape.  Manics 3, Depressives 1 (in case you're keeping score).  I was, however, not surprised to see that the set is nowhere near being done, the piano is still onstage, the costumes are only halfway completed, and there is no lighting to speak of.  It doesn't surprise me that the costume designer and the stage manager are angry at me either.  They're so pissed because I'm unhappy with their progress.  Guess what?  You get your shit done; You won't have to be mad at me for expecting more.  Whatevah.

Like I said, the show is in fine shape.  The only real problem now is Anthony the Vincentio, who won't be attending tomorrow's rehearsals as if he has had an overabundance of rehearsal time.  I consider this to be the producers' fault too, because I would never have cast him had I known this.  I fixed a lot today, and Mike knowing his lines fixed a lot all by itself.

Tomorrow I look forward to somewhat smooth sailing.


Today I visited Madison and Brantley in Valencia, where they now reside.  Madison and Brantley used to live just off of La Cienega and just north of Melrose in the center of WeHo.  Now they've moved to Magic Mountain?!  Weird.  It was fucking far and I was fucking tired and it was fucking hot.  They always called me a suburbanite for living in La Verne.  Valencia is the very definition of suburbia.  I was stunned.  Their house is cute and sweet and they seem very happy there, but it's suburbia.

They remind me of my parents in a lot of ways, which is probably why I visit them so infrequently.  We never do anything together.  They always want to stay in.  Boo to that.  I can stay in at my house.  If I get off my ass and drive down to West Hollywood or up to Valencia, I expect to go somewhere, not sit and watch TV.  But I love them and I hadn't seen them in ages and they were delighted to see me, so... that's good, I guess.

04 July 2004


I realized why I don't really go for the whole sports thing.
It's not that you get sweaty and gross (which is not so sexy a look, in my opinion). It's not that it's competitive (because it isn't now that I'm out of school). It's not that it's about proving anything (because I have nothing to prove). It's not that it's not fun (because it is). It's that physically, I just can't handle all that running around. I'm not a smoker. I'm not old. I don't have bad knees. I'm just... out of shape.


I woke up very late this morning, and when I finally did wake up I had a message from Derek, bugging me to go to the 4th of July celebration at Lisa's parents' house.  Now Jaime had been bugging me to do this all week, and I figured: free food.  Derek also mentioned vollyeball, and I've been having a bit of a craving to play some kind of sport for a while now.  (Remember the almost-played-basketball-with-Jeremy incident?)  So I thought that volleyball sounded like a lot of fun.  I was still in my underwear when D called again around 2:00p, so I decided to get dressed and go.  I am glad I did.  It was really fun.  We played volleyball for, like, four hours.  And I ended up being fairly good at it.  I hadn't seen my friends (except for Jai) in over 2 weeks, so that was good too.

So this is who was there: the Barber clan (Lisa, her mom Maggie, her dad Dave, her brother Brian, and his girlfriend Fabby (?)), the Schroeder clan (Anna, her dad Bob, her mom Sue, her brother Paul, her sister Betsy (who we all call Butts), and Betsy's husband Kevin), the Evangelista clan (Julie, Julie's mom whose name I can't remember, Julie's dad Bob, Chris, Scott, and Anita), there were also some other random family people who I didn't know and me, Jaime, and John.  Derek also brought his brother and sister.  Big schindig.  Everyone was very nice; we played a lot of volleyball, and there was a lot of food.  There was also karaoke.  Downer of the night was Kevin, Betsy's husband, who is a homophobe (I guess) picking a fight with Betsy over whatever it was.  Dick.  Seriously.  You don't do that at parties: especially family functions.  Be a dick when you get home. 

I wasn't "on," so a lot of people kept asking me what was wrong, but I was just trying to relax.  I didn't drink all day, either.  I only had a couple of Jell-o shots around 6:00 or so.

Also, Anna's sister Sarah had her baby: Kylie.  They're all so glad it's a girl.  Sarah and Joey's son Noah is only about 1, so it sounds like a handful to me.  She looks adorable, though.  (Anz brought pictures.)

Party Downtown

I am getting fat again.  Boo to that.

At some point this evening we discussed Cold Creek Manor vs. Cold Comfort Farm, but I couldn't remember when Cold Creek Manor came out.  I looked it up.  It was 2003.  On last year's film rankings, it scored a whopping 56 out of the 59 movies I saw, worsted only by Matchstick Men, The Matrix: Revolutions, and The Haunted Mansion.  Wow.  I really must've thought it sucked.  I still love Sharon Stone, though. 

Okay, tonight I went to a party for Ashley's boyfriend, Danny.  The party was held at the home of Mike OT, some cat named Brendan, and some other guy who never came home, even though we left around 1:00a.  I went with Elizabeth and Justin, who normally keep to themselves, but tonight we carpooled and ended up spending the evening together because the people at the party just weren't sociable.  That's a lie.  Danny is society himself.  He was easily the nicest, most party-aware, mixer-friendly person there.  And it was his birthday, after all, that we were celebrating.  (It was weeks ago, but who's counting?) 

The other person I knew there was Becca, who is very nice, and who I met at Harry Potter 3.  She's fun times.  Mike OT was nice to us, too, and tried to be sociable.  For the most part, though it was Ultimate Improv people who I didn't know.  (I did try to flirt with Matt Jones, but it just ended up being slightly pathetic and un-memorable.  Let's forget it happened.  Done.  Glad that's over.)

It was a little like being at a company function for a company where you don't work.  Everyone there had history... even Elizabeth and Justin, really.  I felt out of place.  I was telling Justin and Elizabeth on the way home, that normally at functions like this, I am a really good mixer.  I know how to get people to talk, and I put people at ease quickly.  Not this party, man.  Everyone there was a performer.  Sheer madness. 

Still it was fun.

03 July 2004

Flesh & Blood

It is funny how things come to us in life.  I can't really remember why I read A Home at the End of the World.   I think, perhaps, that Tony Kushner mentioned the book in an interview I once read.  Then some time later I was in a bookstore and saw it, saw that it was Michael Cunningham's first novel, and knew that Michael Cunningham had written The Hours, which had moved me so much.  I read A Home at the End of the World and loved it.  In this amazing way, it explained so much of my life.  I felt that he knew me so well, and not just me: that he taught me things about my mother that I had never before understood.  In my usual fashion, I looked for other books he had written.  There was only one other: Flesh & Blood.

I came across Flesh & Blood again today because I was getting some books together to loan to Jaime.  I decided to thumb through the pages and see what I had highlighted, and find the parts I remembered loving.  This book fills me with such emotion.  It is so powerful and moving and epic.  There are so many characters that I love so much.  And it fills me with such joy and pain and hope.

If you haven't read this book, or if this is the first you've heard of Michael Cunningham and Flesh & Blood, allow me to recommend it to you.  It's my favorite book in the world.

Saddam in Court

Check this out.  It's called Rock, Paper, Saddam! and I got it from a blog called Tottyland.

Jeremy Day.

So yesterday when I went to work and Steve wasn't there, I decided to look for new employment.  Just looking cursorily around the market, any fool could see that at almost any other accounting firm I would be making twice what I make at American Accounting.  I feel confident about this, and I am pretty strapped for cash nowadays.  I am not going to be leaving for grad school until Aug/Sep 2005, so if I don't get another job now, I'll be at American Accounting for the next year.  That's a whole year, I figure, where I could earn twice as much.  At any rate, the news is that I have an interview with an Employment Agency on Wednesday at 8:00a.  I don't have to be to work until 10:00a, so I figure that gives me enough time.  Their office is in Arcadia.  Wish me luck!

After work, I met Jeremy and Jen at Casa Del Rey in San Dimas and watched them eat, then Jer and I went to go see Spider-Man 2 at Edward's LaVerne 12.  We both hated it a lot.  After this, Jer and I went back to San Dimas to play pool at the Chapparal Lanes.  Ash called me and invited me to Ultimate Improv, but I just can't drive that far anymore after driving to Long Beach every day.  It takes too much out of me, and I was in La Verne... so Westwood seemed like an eternity away.  Sorry, Ash. 

It was a day of Jeremy... which was okay, I guess, but a little weird.  After playing several games of pool, we went to have pizza at Buca di Beppo in Claremont where Brittney works.  Justin and Elizabeth met us there, which was fun, and then we just hung out for an hour or so. And then I decided to go visit my brother Michael, since we were so close to his house.  He seemed happy to see me.  Jer and I were there only around 20 minutes.  I got home around 12:30a or so.  But it was a full day and a nice one.

Vanessa text-messaged me that I should take the weekend off and that they would do everything.  I don't see how that's really possible.  I'll call her today and see what time I can come down on Monday and see the lights.  This scares me.

I feel better about the show, I guess.  I will think about it more today.