Tessa flew to Los Angeles today to provide the “director’s commentary” to the DVD release of Five Wives, her award-winning documentary about her father. DVD commentary is something I’ve always wanted to do – it’s usually my favorite part of renting movies these days. Even though we could never be fully honest about our travails making The Pink House, just getting to that stage would be an incredible honor. P.T. Anderson once said he learned how to direct by listening to the audio commentary on laserdiscs, so I did the same in the months before we filmed. I didn’t actually glean much about directing, but got addicted to the meta-experience of watching the art with the artist’s commentary superimposed. Sort of like Mystery Science Theater on yourself. Ah, the glories of technical post-modernism!
In Tessa’s absence, Chopes and I puttered around the house before making an ill-timed errand visit to Manhattan around 5pm on Labor Day Friday. Sitting on the Manhattan Bridge for an hour both ways is nerve-wracking even when the country isn’t on high alert for terrorists; frankly, giant trucks hauling fish don’t particularly care which lane they’re in if they’re bigger than you, and frequently try the kind of don’t-bother-checking-your-blind-spot turns that would make the mtatu van drivers in rural Kenya proud.
Another old friend has joined us here in New York; that’s right, boys, Jiffer Bourguignon has come to study at Columbia. Jiff is one of the more colorful Pink House residents to grace us with her presence – she and Zia Zareem gave the place a well-needed jolt of supercharged estrogen. She was (and is) always game for whatever fun has been planned for the evening, and her down-home Wisconsin demeanor belies a fiery mantle inside: she’s the only girl with which I’ve had a full-on fight with two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Check her out at the bottom of the ‘about the movie’ page on the Pink House site.
Or just peruse the pictures below. A lot happened between these two shots, spanning five years. I went to LA, then to New York and got engaged – while she served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania, lived in Hamburg for a while, then moved here yesterday for grad school in International Affairs. She went from 22 to 27 years old; I went from 29 to 35 (my birthday is a little earlier in the year). Good to remain friends as long as we can in this wicked world, yes?
top, at the 1920s party in February ’97; bottom, in New York in August ’02