Woke up around noon and due to the warm, pounding rain outside the window, stayed in bed with Tessa until 2pm which always makes for a bad blog entry, I’d imagine. It almost seemed unfair to have to go to the city at 8pm to meet Ben Feldman, Andrew Cohen and an assortment of guests for dinner
Kent mentioned that this site domain name looks a lot like a Christian (Xian) or some XTC-raver-christian-based deal, and I have to say he’s probably right. Nothing’s a bigger turn-off than being on the God Squad, but then again, a few sentences of my drippingly sarcastic prose and all thoughts of Jesus would probably evaporate into ether. Which reminds me of the bracelet I want, one that says “WWDLD” for “What Would the Dalai Lama Do?”
Of course, the Dalai Lama is currently battling stomach cancer or something equally distressing thus canceling this weekend’s Radio City Music Hall show. I would like to have gone
It’s hard for me to type right now because I just finished a 3-hour basketball marathon on Mulberry Street, in a gym that was at least 95 degrees with no breeze whatsoever. I played moderately well considering my absence from the “running game” for a month, but I did jam my thumb into someone’s back so hard that I can scarcely move it now. Still, the games were great, and we all retreated into this heatstroke-addled haze, playing confusingly well even as we sweated months of winter liquid out of our bodies.
We had a staff meeting for The Pink House today that raced along at a brisk clip; Kim Ludlow has to be one of the more efficient people I know, her skills forged in the dungeons of Microsoft. We’re planning to have an Animation Brainstorm Meeting on Sunday, and I have every expectation that it will also be a tight ship; that is, unless the animators turn out to be oogly-woogly and don’t play well with each other. It may be hard for people who normally sweat their craft alone to be thrust in a room full of slightly different versions of themselves, I don’t know. In music, it usually turns out great. Violinists, even the truly dorky ones, like nothing better than to play in quartets.
The Chix of Asset all went to see Voices on the Verge tonight whilst I was at hoops, but I met up with Erin McKeown, her manager Emily, and Tessa at Molly’s (3rd and 22nd) where we gossiped and held forth about issues generational and musical. I feel blessed to be in the company of such strong, talented women and thanks to to my own mom, raised by one as well.
The Celextant, April 18, 2002
I wonder if headaches are a common occurrence in the early days of a new SSRI; the last few have been fuckin’ doozies. I’m finding that I’m still able to think about some pretty awful things, but I’m a little less able to worry as much about them. Probably 28% less worry, which is a nice edge off.
God, I hate all our utilities (except Con Edison, who seem like honest guys and our bill is only $13). Verizon, who reside in the 9th circle of horseshit along with Time Warner Cable, have a technological standard that doesn’t allow you to send email unless YOU USE THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS in the From: line. In other words, you have to give up your old email address and use the one they give you, which in my case, is something like email@example.com. After spending all morning on the phones verifying that they were indeed that awful, I wholesale switched over to Earthlink’s DSL service, which I should have done all along. Earthlink was nice, as they have been since 1995 Verizon answers every call with the detached insouciance of the warden who takes all your stuff from your pockets when you go to jail.
In the afternoon, we grabbed the Land Rover (which still has the CHECK ENGINE SOON light on, even after Tessa spent $1.3 million on fixing it) and got Chopes from the New York Dog Spa & Hotel, where he emerged with his usual mixture of effervescence and crankiness. We took both dog and car to a Pink House music meeting that began well, but then devolved into a bit of a philosophical mess.
Afterwards, we took Michelle to Haveli on 2nd Avenue, which – by my esteemed estimation – is the best Indian food in the East Village. We spoke of Dad, Mom, Napa, Mountain View, and all the delightful memories in between. I’m becoming mindful of the limitations I have with this blog, assuming anyone bothers to read it – it’s not quite a diary (which is private, intimate, and because of its lack of publication, somewhat quixotic) and it’s not quite a newsletter. The internet always seems to hover in the liminal, never achieving true intimacy yet always hinting at it. It may be the biggest technological tease ever.
Oh yes, saw “Kissing Jessica Stein” tonight with Tessa, which I thought had an uneven ending and some groaners but was overall pretty damned satisfying. Tessa dug it wholeheartedly, but then again she’s bisexual and half her friends were in it. Maybe I should make a movie called “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me.”
Shit, that’s already been done.
The Celextant, April 17, 2002
I was informed by the fine folks at the Mr. Henry mail list, Michaela Murphy in particular, that Effexor was the drug for her. The website sure looks promising too, but then again, I’m a sucker for a good Flash interface. Could it be Celexa has a big brother that works better? Then do I re-name this section “The Effextant”? Either way, I am feeling a dull sort of goodness around me. Something’s working, which is better than spirals of anxious misery, I guess.
I did two of my least favorite things today: got up nightmarishly early and spent the day on a plane. Apart from turbulence rocking us around from Nebraska to Ohio, the Xanax took care of most of my worries, and I ended up watching “Animal Planet” for the better part of three hours. At least until “Celebrity Pets” came on fuck if I’m going to watch everyone fawn over their poodles. Why can’t rich people have Labs?
When we got home, it was 9pm and there went the day. Still, it’s balmy here in Brooklyn, about 70 degrees even in the middle of the night, and I’m getting that familiar sense of what it’s like to be hot. Up until recently, I always thought of winter really meaning three months, but here it means seven. It begs the question: why does anyone live in Duluth, Minnesota? I mean, besides family ties and gainful employment? Why did we live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for so many years? And yet we did.
I mean, Napa Valley isn’t all that expensive, and the town of Napa itself is hardly full, you know? It has the same population as Eau Claire, and yet in Napa you get a bit of culture and it’s only bad weather for a month. Living in Brooklyn (or Columbia County, for that matter) makes sense culturally, but nowhere above the 35th parallel really does. I don’t get the perverse nature of humans when it comes to their environment. At least I’m honest; whenever people asked me why I lived in Chapel Hill for so many years, “the weather” was always 3rd on the list.
The Celextant, April 16, 2002
I didn’t take my pill until the middle of the night because I was a little afraid of Xanax + Celexa = ? and I was afraid it might have amped me up instead of letting me be comatose. That said, I feel wonderful to be in Brooklyn. But could it be the weather?
Jesus, a whole blog about the weather. I’ve got to do better than this.
I had a tooth made (to replace a crown) at some point last year in Napa Valley, and since I couldn’t wait two weeks for the thing to be molded out of ceramic, the dentist said he’d mail the tooth to New York, where another dentist could affix it to my mouth. Of course, they sent the tooth to the wrong place, where it was forwarded to Skillgames at the Woolworth Building (vacated since 9/11), then forwarded up to Skillgames’ parent company in Connecticut, who found an old home address and sent it to Scott’s place in Durham, NC. I happened to pick it up there, drove it to New York, then flew with it to Napa Valley last week. Most people don’t let their teeth travel that far outside of them before they start getting used for food and language, but I thought this tooth should see a bit of the world first.
The Celextant, April 15, 2002
I have the kind of headache that would fell lesser men. It feels like a hangover, kind of buzzy and awful. As with everything, I now ask: “Is it the drug? Or am I just not very well put together?”
After a nasty little encounter with the Meadowood staff concerning our “incidentals” (croquet lessons, the Toblerone candy bar I ate, the tennis balls) we dropped by Dad’s place to walk their just-this-side-of-feral dog Dolce, who neither pooped nor peed in what I can imagine is a rare trip outside. The dog apparently isn’t bright enough to avoid poison ivy, then tracks it inside to infect everybody. She also doesn’t “sit,” “stay” or understand “no,” but I guess some dogs are late bloomers, eh?
By 3pm we made it to Summer Burkes’ place in San Francisco, where she played Tessa the “Stick You” song she wrote for Daphne and Celeste, as well as a new one that talks about “shaking your ta-ta’s.” I love Summer. She’s the only person who digs on unconscious brotherhoods as much as I do. She took us to a barbeque where Archers of Loaf posters were on the wall and Smiths wailed from the Mac G4. I thought, “truly, I am home here.”
Tessa and I ate at Betelnut, one of my fave restaurants in America, then walked around the Marina, stopping at bookstore helmed by two cute ladies listening to “Reminiscing” by the Little River Band, petting a 19-year-old cat. I thought, “truly, I am home here.”
Then we trucked over to Berkeley to see Seth and a couple of his girlfriends. I’d never been on the campus before, and though I appreciated the stateliness, it was no Chapel Hill. It felt strange to be walking around the only hotbed of liberalism left on academic lawns; signs for pro-Palestinian rallies littered the walkways. Seth, being Jewish and a little skittish, admitted to being a little freaked out by it all.
The Celextant, April 13, 2002
Could there be a slight change in my biochemistry? I admit to a slight feeling of giddiness tonight as we walked around both San Fran and Berkeley, a little like being on a buzz. I know I like the area and all, but I felt a little amped. I hope this feeling can carry me through the flight home.
I thought of the land that Celexa would take me to: Seratonia.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the hype surrounding the new Cameron Diaz film “The Sweetest Thing” is already making me puke. Billed as a female kick-ass answer to “American Pie” and the other gross-out comedies, it has writers for USA Today squeezing out breathless nuggets like “a no-holds-barred, shock-’em-till-they-scream comedy,” with headlines suggesting that we have entered a whole new realm for women in Hollywood. Further proof is offered in the guise of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Kissing Jessica Stein,” two movies that allegedly possess characters that “forget about Mr. Right and go for Mr. Right Now,” which is such an unbelievable clich that I’m amazed it is still accepted as humor currency.
Obviously USA Today is no hotbed for cultural bellwethers, either past or present, and I’ve been subjected to the schlocky editors that force their minions to come up with pieces like this. However even putting aside that “Kissing Jessica Stein” and “Bridget Jones’ Diary” had nothing to do with a woman’s emancipation from priggishness, the mere mention of “The Sweetest Thing” as some sort of victory for women has got to make even casual feminists blind with rage. From what I can gather, hijinks ensue from some actress or another getting stuck mid-fellatio, and then some sperm ends up on someone’s dress, and, well, whatever. The point is, these things are now happening to women in movies, and we’re all supposed to be psyched that chicks are finally getting to be trashy, promiscuous and uncaring in their sexual conquests, a la “Sex in the City” (cited as a major influence by every actor/writer in the piece).
Producer Cathy Konrad said that the girls they met during auditions all squealed, “Oh my God, this is how my girlfriend and I are when we hang out and we’re having a really nice night!” which is a quote about as disturbing as it is confusing. I don’t suppose it occurred to Ms. Konrad that the dim-bulb morons they were auditioning for parts in this hunk of shit would have said just about anything to get a role; hell, we had forty of New York’s finest stage actors tell us the same thing just to get into “The Pink House.”
It’s just that I don’t see any equality in a rash of new movies that portray women as being purveyors of trash rather than just victims of it; in the final analysis, the actresses get the parts because they’re hot and wear pants that show the crack of their asses. These movies also do nothing to quell the radically unfair ratio of men vs. women in movies females make up 51% of humanity, and yet movies are 85% about males. What’s worse, movies about liberated sexual women have been around since the 1940s, leading me to believe that the collective memory of America’s media is about 7 years. I mean, has anyone at USA Today seen “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” for fuck’s sake? Diane Keaton blazed through more men in that movie in 1975 than Christina Applegate will know in her lifetime.
If feminism and artistic representation have been reduced to this bullshit, then our nation’s women are really in trouble. I think if I have a daughter, I’m going to wire her with a listening device so I can hear if any of her vapid friends start swaying her in the wrong direction. I will have an IQ test for anyone entering my front door, and if they sleep over, they will be quizzed at breakfast. I am going to be Creepy Dad but she will thank me for it when she is president of NPR.
Speaking of white endeavors, Tessa and I played croquet on Meadowood’s official lawn today, with instruction from Jerry Stark, ranked 17th in the world in this rarified sport. I wonder if he has a blood feud with David Goacher, the wily Brit ranked 16th. I know I would.
The Celextant, April 12, 2002
Took the pill around noon today, per Tessa’s instruction to move it closer to morning apparently the pill made her a little wired. Still no effect. I’m beginning to tire of the difference between the English words “effect” and “affect.” I hope to affect change in this matter. One of the effects of SSRIs like Celexa is to give the patient a “flat affect,” which means that he/she doesn’t feel much of anything for anybody. I hope the smaller dose affects this effect.
God, I’m clever. I wonder what SSRIs do for “tired sarcasm”
Today we indulged further into the opulence and pampering of Meadowood with an Aruyvedic Abhyanga massage, which was recommended to us as “the rarest of treatments,” probably because it takes two therapists attacking you at once, a total of four hands racing all over your body. Youd think this would satisfy some ancient longing for group sex cultivated back in the heavy porn-watching days of one