Tuesday, December 30, 2003

where everybody knows your name

this is the second library ben and i have been in in two days and in both, the librarians have known their patrons personally. that's enough to make me want to move to small-town vermont, especially when they're cute and yuppie (but they still have cheaper gas than even rural upstate new york) and victorian and decorate with tasteful xmas lights.

til now, it's just been the two of us in my grandparents' lovely house. two friends are joining us today as should be a segment of ben's family. in the serene interval between our arrival and theirs, i've read 2.5 lemony snicket books, bought 1 audio cd (of book 3: the wide window), watched four movies, cooked, slept, walked, washed dishes, missed my grandfather and my dog, and laughed at ricki lake.

the movies, in order of sublimity, are as follows:
1) breathless. as good as everyone says it is; maybe better. this godard 1959 classic set the new age standard for sexyviolence and nihilism but unlike the vast majority of other such movies ever made it succeeds in seeming unique, beautiful, & surprising. extra plus: it features a fantastic female character who chooses independence over love.

2) caddyshack. actually funny. who knew?

3) my life as a dog. as ben sez, it's what gives foreign films a bad name. sure it's sweet and well-acted. it's also meandering, weirdly paced, long, and somewhat pointless.

4) bridge over the river kwai. speaking of long and somewhat pointless. sir alec as a self-important colonel who feels like civilization rests on his shoulders does not disappoint but the rest of this film, about the brits under sir alec's command in a japanese prison camp forced to build a bridge, would make edward said choke on his own vomit.

still left to see: shampoo, amarcord, jules & jim, & i'm blanking on the others, all courtesy of the chappaqua public library. and sometime we truly intend to get some skiing in.

Friday, December 26, 2003

a kander-and-ebb kristmas

no chinese food today, as it turned out. i did however find myself wandering around dupont circle, unsure of where exactly visions was, until i realized that all i needed to do was follow the jews.
sure enough, they led me to the free screening of cabaret. i think i liked it better this time -- the first time i saw the film i was skeptical of the ending.

then i took the metro home and participated in the following scene:

two middle-aged black women and one young white woman stand on a usually bustling street corner made eerily vacant by christmas, dark, and cold.

a vintage blue car slowly pulls up to the curb next to the three women. the older white guy inside rolls down the passenger side window and asks, "any of you ladies need a ride?"
the two older women give him a definitive No and he moves on.

several minutes later, a run-down red car pulls up to the curb next to the three women. the older white guy inside rolls down the passenger side window and asks, "can i take you ladies somewhere?"
the two older women give him a definitive No and he moves on.

the three women exchange incredulous glances. this is northwest washington, connecticut avenue -- what on earth is going on?

a minute later, a black suv pulls up to the curb next to the three women. the young white guy inside signals to the crowd. the older women open their mouths to give him a definitive No but are silenced by the young woman moving to accept the driver's invitation.
she turns around and explains, "this one's okay. it's my brother."


my parents bought me a laptop for hannukah. bless them and bless this giftgivin time. and bless vermont where i'll be for the next week. mm, vacation -- my last winter break ever.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

happy december 25th!

i overdid it on the nyquil today and ended up sleeping through christmas eve dinner. not that we celebrate yoshke day. another jewish family came over and my mother made ducklings and roast onions and i was upstairs, blissfully sleeping in pants and socks.

that, despite having recently seen 28 days later (scary) and 21 grams (sad).

i only have one grad skool application left to send out (scary? sad?). this feels somewhat like a cusp-of-the-future moment. an old friend and i were wandering around a mall and she dragged me over to kay "the k stands for kheap!" jewelers and for the first time in my life i came face to face with diamond rings.

check out the Design Your Own Ring link from that site. it's currently making the hair rise on the back of my neck. then of course there's the spending guidelines which recommend the traditional 2 months of salary. they even offer a thingy that calculates for you what that would be.

it's kind of like an online quiz, only creepier. for instance, "what shape reflects YOUR love?
The luxurious oval shaped diamond is a definite favorite. Oval shaped diamonds are guaranteed to leave an everlasting impression of luxury regardless of how they are worn. This piece is destined for lovers who demonstrate both creativity and dependability. Fun-loving women who allow their true wild-side to shine through often prefer this shape as well."

or -- like captain planet -- heart!: "Heart shaped diamonds beautifully and simply reflect a relationship that is meant to last "happily ever after." Although the heart is feminine and delicate, its spectacular shape captures all the attention it deserves, as this shape is very difficult to cut. The heart shape conveys the endless love that exists between two people and reinforces the genuineness and passion that only true love shares."

ew ew ew. ew. but the alternatives are also gross: she'll never know .... as seen on tv.

funny how i started off talking about christmas and ending up talking about consumerism. actually, that's a pretty hackneyed point; i apologize. i'm going to see movies with the jews tomorrow at visions. very exciting. have a happy holiday everyone and may you give/receive all the shiny objects you wish.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


that's a stab in the dark, btw. i never claimed to be a speller.

of all my weirdo pseduo-phobias -- bathrooms, driving, lighting matches -- the one i most still need to address is taking pills. curing headaches via nyquil for its painkillers seems somewhat roundabout.

i haven't been able to accomplish much recently. i'm paralyzed. my little brother has the flu and i'm so paranoid i'll get it all i do is wash my hands. but um. i am having a good break.

Friday, December 19, 2003

the return of good movies

now that i'm home, i can turn my attention to movies EVEN MORE exclusively. (i enjoy my life.)

my father and i went to a matinee of return of the king in a huge two-tier theater with a curved screen and an audience that shrieked when the lights went down and throughout at Classic Movie Moments. sometimes i clapped along with them, giddy, as a testament to the fact that for the first 2.25 hours i was swept away by this film.

i think my resting heart rate for the duration of rotk was 106. that's about what it was the last days before i heard from swarthmore and i know because my p.e. teacher made me take my pulse in front of the class. when he realized it was over 100, he looked at me like i might be crazy, or dead.

the POINT is, it's such a kickass film it feels like a workout. you break out in a sweat. you alternately tense and relax. and afterwards you feel goofy and fulfilled.

my only quibble is with the last half hour. what is with the 10 different endings, each schmaltzier and more mythical than the last?

it's so good though. isn't it? so scary, and thrilling, and well-directed and well-paced. i even thought the script was better. check plus, peter jackson. and thanks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

peddling donuts

me: would you like to buy a donut for an excellent cause?
lady: oh, i'd like to but i just can't. i'll give you some money though.
me: thank you. are you sure you wouldn't like the donut?
lady: no ... go give it to someone thin.
me: YOU'RE thin.
lady: you haven't seen me naked.

in less than two hours of selling, veronica and i sold 108 real donuts. many we sold more than once, since many soft-hearted administrators "bought" donuts, or even whole boxes, without taking them. virtually all of them were on atkins and they weren't convinced when i told them these donuts were low-card. they did, however, find veronica and me excessively cute.

i'm done w/ everything. it's a great feeling. i handed in my film final and my screenplay draft (held together w/ clothespins) to my prof at the same time. she was much more excited about the screenplay, which left me a little miffed i had bothered at all with the finals.

who cares! tomorrow i go home. top five movies to see:
#1 Return of the King
#2 Big Fish
#3 21 Grams
#4 Mystic River (finally)
#5 damn, there was a fifth. it's escaping me now. no matter! happy break, everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2003


i finished! i finished i finished i finished my first draft. 109 pages, half of which it took me a semester to write and half of which it took me this past week. ignoring that -- and many other things, including its roughness -- i am very excited to report i have a full, functional first draft.

and no, you may NOT read it, no matter how well-intentioned you are, until i have spent the requisite few weeks revising it and feeling more solid about it.

meanwhile, just celebrate with me. YEAH baby!
poor miss moore

i braved the snow this morning for blue pancakes and far from heaven with k-ross and msrabi.

that was my third retro film of the weekend. #1, on friday, over milk-godivaliquer-&-kahlua cocktails in plastic cups, was the disappointing fast times at ridgemont high. by the near end, one of my companions had wandered off, another asked if we could just stop watching, and i had been playing snood for twenty minutes.

more successfully, #2, on saturday, following a grocery run that took several of us into philadelphia for a classy dinner at whole foods, wayne's world. so pomo it makes clueless look positively mild. and still fun to watch.

perestroika tonight, which i've never seen produced before in any form, will serve as #4. before i leave on wednesday, i should round off the retro to a round #5, i think. perhaps only if i indeed finish a draft of audacia.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

dum da dum

i've hit page 92. that means 100 will be a piece of cake -- and i'll have written 50 pages in less than a week -- and i should almost definitely go for a full draft, however long that turns out to be. oh dear oh dear. it's rather exciting.

how do people feel about flashbacks? what's the consensus? annoying or better than chronological story-telling. it's so hard to know.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

hilarity ensues

howl, howl, howl, howl, howl.

not me. the wind.

i'm on page 72, which would be excellent if it seemed like i could stop at 100 but i'm not sure i can. it is very difficult to keep the big picture in mind when writing a screenplay. individual scenes are so important, and making sure one scenes leads logically into another, and keeping the story moving.

i've seen lots theater recently -- senior company last friday, angels in america sunday (beautiful, btw; i can't wait for the next installment), the directing pieces last night -- and lots of film: thelma and louise, waiting for guffman, the tall guy, being there (i fell asleep but i could tell it was lovely). even dance: the gammalan concert, terpsichore, and k-ross's party. all this art should be having a tremendous effect on me. perhaps it's the kind of thing that would show up in an x-ray.

anyway, back to plowing ahead in the story of audacia dangereyes. maybe it'll be okay if i don't finish a whole draft so long as hit 100 pages before i go home.

Monday, December 08, 2003

out of the ________, into the _________

high pressure situation day! first i had dinner with my future, or what i hope is my future: killer indy producer and actual breathing living Member of the Academy christine vachon. (i keep thinking vachon means "pig" in french. subsequently i keep thinking this is wrong. i only just learned today that "liebstod," the only german endearment i know, means "love-death." anyway!)

christine vachon arrived in pajama pants, which looked like they once belonged to m.c. hammer, tucked into black combat boots. now THAT, my friends, is a new york filmmaker. her clothes said Fuck hollywood, as did her attitude, her lack of makeup, and, in fact, her oeuvre. damn that's hot. i wish i could be a successful creative non-sellout.

after dinner, during which i failed to make an impression on ms. christine -- to be fair, there were about 15 of us and patty's son stole the show -- i heard her speak, watched clips, and participated in a Q&A. that always means, for me, that i sat scribbling quotes into my notebook and looking intently at her JUST IN CASE she should happen to be tortured by the thought, "who IS that girl with the pigtails and the intense gaze?" and immediately sign me to my bright and glorious future.

there was no signing involved. there was nothing but me saying goodbye and thank you as i left, holding the leftover lasagne patty let me take home to feed my weeklong guest. now i'm going, braced, to the trans workshop where hopefully i will not accidentally say something offensive or expose ignorance any greater than everyone else's about the issues at hand.

christine vachon says she's fearless. i wish i could be fearless. i mean, for god's sake, christine vachon is only christine vachon and the cool kids are only the cool kids (hi cool kids!) and someday i'm really going to be somebody ... or something.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


roy h. is speaking here tonight. the zionist group is bringing him as an example of an israeli college student. allow me to say, WHAT??

for those of you who don't know, or vaguely remember, roy h. went to my high skool. i retain only a vague impression that he was hot as he graduated several years ahead of me.
his younger brother, m., however, is an infamous holy terror. m. rode the bus with me and would tell casually about his sexual escapades in the beit midrash. (dude! we had to PRAY in there!) one time he came to one of my brother's parties at our house and in trying to run from the family room to the patio didn't realize there was a GLASS DOOR in the way.

he fell on the door, shattering it the way you've never seen anything shatter in your life but only dazing himself. his mom came to pick him up soon after. my mom wondered how to break the news to her.

the ensuing conversation went as follows:
my mom: you son had an accident and shattered our glass door.
his mom: oh dear. ... i hope you have insurance.

i don't mean to imply that just cuz m. is a delinquent his brother is. but, uh, the odds are against him.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


i've taken this down in the interest of not embarrassing myself any further. thanks for the supportive comments.