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

24 January 2005

Kaffir Leaves and Fish Sauce


So I guess I had a relaxing weekend.

I caught up on all the movies out in my Netflix queue (e.g. The Cardinal, Infernal Affairs, and Short Cuts). I made potato salad for Brantley's birthday party yesterday, went to BevMo (Heaven), my sister taped me for the video we're giving our parents for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and then I taped her. Today I went to an Asian supermarket (I'll tell the story in a bit...) and then I made Tom Kha Gai (a Thai chicken soup with lots of chilis, some coconut milk, lemongrass and other fun stuff.) PLUS, I did laundry. And gosh, it's midnight and I need to get up for work in the mañana.

The Asian market was an odd experience, mostly because I can barely make out what everything in the market is and I have no idea how to talk to any of the employees there. Plus, everyone in the market is Asian and I looked like a crazy man (I also had on the shirt that says "I got my girlfriend pregnant and all I got is half a paycheck" which probably didn't help matters.) And Asian old people are no nicer than caucasian old people. Old people suck. As usual, the old people in the supermarket pushed me and did not ask my pardon when they needed to pass. Typical elderly behavior, I guess, and I shouldn't be surprised.

Infernal Affairs rocks, which should be no surprise to anyone. Tony Leung and Andy Lau are both great. It is a great thriller with a nice beat to it and a cool look, it boasts two very attractive men as the stars and it has a good screenplay with a gripping plot. I am surprised there isn't an American remake in the works. It will suck, of course, but Hollywood always remakes really good suspense movies. Remember Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)? It was a great Argentinian thriller that became a stupid American remake called Criminal or some such shit.

Whenever I go to Brantley and Madison's I am always introduced as a director. Always. That is my career as far as they are concerned, and it's fine when I'm there because almost everyone there works in theatre or film and introducing me as a director automatically opens channels of discussion (I guess). But I disappoint Madison. Actually neither of them wants me to go back to school. The thing is, I'm not really a director. What I mean is, I want to be an educator. My goal is no longer to be a successful director, but to be a successful teacher. That is what I want to do.
Nick DeGruccio was at the party, too. If you haven't heard of him, it's because you don't go to the theatre in Los Angeles. The man works non-stop. He directed a hugely-lauded production of Side Show a couple years ago and has worked steadily almost everywhere in the city since then. His production of The Laramie Project down at the Laguna Playhouse was nothing short of genius. The man is brilliant. At any rate, I sat with Nick the whole night and we chatted stories. He is such a great guy and I haven't seen him in, like, a year or so, so that was really cool.
When he left, though, Maddie says to me that I ought to hit Nick up for some help getting work. "Why?" I asked. "To get work," Maddie said. "I don't want to get work," I responded and meant it. Of course I could do this if I wanted to. I could call Nick up and he would hire me for very little money as his A.D. I could probably do the same thing with a couple other directors around town too if I really wanted. But I was serious when I answered Madison's question. I don't want to work. I want to teach. It isn't Madison's plan for my life, but it is my plan. I know it doesn't fit in with the whole working/Hollywood/"the business" thing (which is a fine career path: one I encourage and laud), but I believe that I am meant for a different kind of service.

It's weird to have to defend a career-choice like education. Most people, I suppose, don't want to be teachers, and for them it is Plan B, but for me it isn't.