Sunday, June 29, 2003

Went to see Calvin Johnson Friday night at a little hole-in-the-wall club that I'd never heard of. We saved quite a bit of money on beer, mostly because they didn't serve any. I think it was somebody's house, actually. Calvin Johnson is, of course, one half of the singing duties in the Halo Benders (see previous posts), the frontman for Dub Narcotic Sound System and formerly of the Beat Happening. Great show, especially because of the warm-up act, Sugarbush, which consisted of a pair of very tall young twins, who dressed in their best homeless chic and had haircuts that suggested 19th century Chinese in the front (ie, bald) and "hair cut with sharp rock" in back. Very interesting. Their music was alright, too -- kind of like early Oingo Boingo ala Danny Elfman's insane kid sister. Anyway, Calvin was great -- opened with "Banana Meltdown" and closed with a sarcastic/wistful beat poem.

And I got his autograph. Now gotta work on Fiona. At least I have Calista Flockhart's to console me until then.

Friday, June 27, 2003

All right, folks -- sat down earlier today and drafted a bevy of resolutions that I intend to see through to completion. Among these are losing 10 pounds, writing a lot more, moving, seeing Sunseri in concert, and, of course, seeing the Layman-Kennedy Tempest, all by the end of the year. Call it mid-year crisis, if you will, but I've been feeling lately that a change is coming soon, and readiness is all. I'll let you know how that goes.

"I've turned over enough leaves to fill an autumn..." -- Beautiful South

Meanwhile, Texas is now officially gay-friendly! (cue stifled, derisive laughter) This is probably a very temporary thing, of course -- Ari Fleischer went way out of his way today to emphasize that the President had no public comment on this issue, and I'm sure this will come up again in the Supreme Court after it's been stacked with archconservatives of the same flavor as Scalia in Bush's second term. The rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem is the Religious Right.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Kudos for Dan -- back in the directorial saddle again! It'll be like Clint in Unforgiven, where the grizzled gunslinger picks up his old guns once again to do what he does best. Kill cowboys! Go kill some of them cowboys, Dan!

And this link's for Caren, just so you know what to look for. Study these well. You must not fail! I've wired the funds to the appropriate accounts. Let me know what else will make this worth your while.

Boy, if my mom happens to log on today, how the hell do I explain that one?

Otherwise, not a whole hell of a lot going on -- smoked a cigar, looked into jobs, walked the dog, got depressed by a kid I met. Get this, for the "you think you got it bad" sermon of the month: I met a 15-year-old kid with muscular dystrophy (which basically means completely disabled by maybe 17 or 18, dead soon thereafter), his father is a 71-year-old Korean War vet with emphysema and heart disease who basically can't do anything and probably has another 6 months to live, his mother is a 40-some-odd-year-old vegetable, having burnt out on drugs. After the dad dies, he'll be a totally disabled teenager in foster care until he, himself, dies. Soon. Sad yet? Nice kid, though. Oh yeah, and his friends steal from him. Neil LaBute meets Dickens.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Hey, everybody, we're on the news! Well, our disaster area mountain community is, anyway.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

And for those of you in DC -- Fiona Freakin' Ritchie's going to be at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival sometime during its run from next Wednesday to the following Sunday (25th through the 29th). She's freakin' Scottish! Who'da thought that? If anyone goes, please get me an autograph and an audiotape of her making lewd cooing noises and sighing my name. Thanks!

Fiona Ritchie (Perthshire/Matthews, NC)
—Host/producer "The Thistle & Shamrock®" from National Public Radio. Broadcasting weekly across the United States, Ms. Ritchie is one of the best known Scottish voices on American media. She will be hosting concerts and presenting and interviewing Scottish performers at the Festival.
Attended my second writing group meeting last night, my first being about six weeks ago. I think I shied away from the group after the first time due to the fact that I seem to be the only one there under 50, which wouldn't bother me overmuch except that my writing style tends to be the kind of thing I wouldn't really want to read to someone as old as my dad. For example, the only thing I'd brought to the meeting last night was a rambling 8-or-so-page dialgoue between myself and a potential leading character in a prospective story. And somewhere in that dialogue, we were attempting to decide the basic personality of this character. The character threw out the idea of possibly being gay. I told him it wasn't a bad idea, but that I may well want to include a few sex scenes, and that I don't know how interested I'd be about writing at length about two men making love in semi-graphic detail. My character began chiding me with possible scenarios that would've embarrassed me if I hadn't been the one actually imagining them (something about being pleasured by pulsing hemorrhoids). Either way, it wasn't really something I was going to read in front of a group of polite geriatrics.

But at the end of the last meeting, I was assigned the task of tacking on the next chapter of their relay fiction -- I haven't read all of the preceding chapters yet, but it's something about a man who awakes to find a dead body that's the spitting image of himself. I think he finds that the body's his clone (or vice versa), and he's made to chop up and bury his own body. I did read the last chapter, which was written by a woman in her seventies and read like a Hardy Boys meet Tom Swift mystery. Didn't give me much to work with, and if I get really mired, I might have to throw in one of Donn Erik's old all-purpose man-with-sniper-rifle elements to help it along a bit. Hell, I might have lots of different snipers, all unconnected and with various bizarre agendas -- the only thing they have in common: sniper rifles and the will to shoot people. I call this "character purge!"

Monday, June 16, 2003

I guess it's about time I updated this. I've been fairly busy for the past while, although I'd be hard-pressed to give any details. The weekend was swell -- Janine and I drive around looking at houses in the area, as an alternative to forking over handfulls of cash each month for a rental when we could be bulding equity. Or something like that -- I need to have someone explain it to me.

Meanwhile, I'm on my way to speak with one of my committee members -- the last one I asked for professional advise was quite helpful, so we'll see how this one goes. Here I go!

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Man, I've been reading my little geek ass off the past few days -- satisfied my curiosity about Sue Grafton by reading (well, listening to) A is for Alibi, her first book from 1981 or so. Eloquent, but pretty dull. Then finished off Robert B. Parker's latest, Shrink Rap -- of course, Parker's the greatest mystery writer working, and although this wasn't his best work, I'll take him over a weenie like Patricia Cornwell anyday. Today, I whipped through Alan Moore's From Hell, which I liked quite a bit, even though I thought his choice to make Jack the Ripper into a possible celestial creature was puzzling. And now I'm on Steve Martin's brief Shopgirl, and it's strange to see Martin being straight-faced in his fiction. Promising so far, apparently a tale of a mopey, depressed, lonely girl who forms a relationship with a fifty-something businessman, and they help each other out emotionally, I predict. Kind of an odd read, though, if for no other reason than as I'm reading, I'm envisioning Steve Martin as the older man, and Christina Ricci as the shopgirl. That's just weird.