Sunday, February 29, 2004

hang tough

i've had a productive day, for a sunday. i printed out a copy of the (completed) 2nd draft of my screenplay and handed it off for the next someone to read. i had brunch w/ addie then played nine men's morris, hex, and go, once she taught me how. and then we saw audrey's breathtaking one woman show. so much talent, so much courage, so much will is required to put on a show like that, i can barely comprehend it. certainly it was one of the best performances i've seen since i've been here and one of the ones i feel most should be taken outside, beyond.

it's hard to shake off. the oscars! yes, and. this is the last week before spring break. i can't quite think about what happens afterwards. instead. here's a poem i wrote, thinking into the future as far as i could.

there will be a table,
lions inscribed in china, paws up to
three glinting glasses
There will be napkins drawn through
rings as though in magic: each
produces a lap! wine dripping from fingers
like shower-water

there has been a revolution
Now the table has no head
and our bourgeois shame sits heavy
on the pillows, eats leadened bread,
looses wine on the china with real grief
We will stagger through
the story, graceless and spurting, propelled
by the need to pass from one end
of the night to the other
and the next.
it's rough, it hasn't been edited yet (that's what rough means). if you have suggestions, please.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

top five time!

list of things i'm most afraid of:

5) my closet. if you saw my closet, you'd understand. beyond my particular closet though lies a more generalized, inexplicable fear of Closets, similar to my fear of Bathrooms. no, i don't believe in psychoanalysis.
4) norman bates [coming out of my closet, dressed as his mother, wielding a knife]. this is horror movie week for my film theory class: lots of watching celluloid women crumple bloody and dead. theory on the subject is actually interesting but it doesn't make up for 3 nights in a row of me sleeping with the light on.
3) honors. people keep giving me inspirational speeches and all i want to hear is "congratulations, it's over."
2) george bush and mel gibson. though i agree with her, i wish maureen dowd would try being wise without being "witty," cuz the "wit" falls flatter than kim novak in vertigo and threatens to obscure her point.
1) thin envelopes in my mailbox. any envelopes in my mailbox. the mail room. being twenty feet from the mail room. living above the mail room. etc.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

in case you like links

reviews for il passiono:
new yorker*
washington post
boston globe
the onion
more ...

and an interesting "guide to the Passion pundits" at tnr. it features our friend kyle's rabbi of choice, danny lapin.

* if you can get your hands on the print copy of the magazine, the cartoon that accompanies david denby's review is priceless.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

it's fat tuesday! eat more fries!

in honor of today, which precedes a frightening tomorrow, i am prepared with your permission to ignore politics. here you will find neither rants re: nader nor rhetoric re: bush, regardless of how upset news about them has made me. honestly, what else can you expect from either?

so, right. how about that pop culture? the oscars are coming up! (vote here for the blanches) i saw the dreamers on friday: lyrical, naked, complex, and featuring the kind of blood rarely visible on screen! isn't "the o.c." the best show on television, especially now that sex and the city has floated off the air!

i was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends during the SATC finale who shrieked and groaned and laughed appropriately. i loved miranda and samantha's storylines. charlotte's was more predictable, although she did have the episode's biggest laugh (harry moans about their adoption troubles and c. replies: "we're jews. we've been through worse than this.") and i was glad at least that carrie came back to new york where she belonged even if mr "his name is JOHN?" big has to shepherd her. she deserves no better.

aw. i'll miss that show. i felt very connected to Women's Culture; i could feel the Power of Sisterhood whizzing through me as i sat on my couch, laughing at yet another dirty double entendre. aw. but really. the good-natured raunch, the good-looking men, the witty dialogue, occasional bursts of feminism. i'll miss it.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

dear kyle,

after reading your thoughtful post on jonah's livejournal, i can't say i'm convinced of your position. i mean, i'm sure you're not an evil propoganda-spouting spam robot, but you sure do sound like one! for instance:
Some people, not really representative of Jewish people, but rather self appointed Jewish spokespeople, such as Abraham Foxman from the Anti-Defamation League, seem to have been attempting to denounce this film for months as being anti-Semitic. The news reported that they even stole the script last year! But here's what some Jews say (Jews who don't make it their job to tear apart other people): Protesting Gibson's Passion Lacks Moral Legitimacy by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.
that's silly! i have no desire to "tear apart other people," kyle; i'm just offended by your film.

here are my two reasons: one: passion plays are an old european genre of drama intended to evoke strong emotional response in audiences. overwhelmed with love of jesus and empathy for his suffering, medieval christians wiped their eyes and killed some jews. even if mel gibson doesn't intend his passion play to have this effect, it's astounding to me that he can ignore the history and dismiss legitimate sensitivity concerns.
two: the other day, i saw a movie about nazis. it was a very good movie and very affecting, which meant i walked out thinking "i hate germans." i am a rational, well-educated, tolerant, leftish, western female vegetarian. had a german crossed my path, i would have kicked hir in the knee. or at least glowered.
the passion has been described as a similarly intense emotional experience. in the film, jewish mobs cry for jesus's blood. pontius pilate reluctantly spills it and only agrees to finally crucify jesus when the jews won't stand for anything less. penultimately, the high priest of the jews calls down a curse on his people, declaring them guilty of deicide. i mean, wow! people aren't going to leave that movie with a high opinion of "the jews," are they?

besides all that, kyle, it's hard enough for those of us who are trying very, very hard to have love in our hearts & to ignore the barrage of publicity leading up to the passion's ash wednesday debut without you smearing your chirpy thoughts ("To sum up my impression of The Passion: it's a work of art") on our friends pages. i wasn't even planning on writing this rant until i read your comment. but i hope at least i have shared with you my viewpoint, and maybe you can take it back to mel.

sincerely, &c. &c.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

want to cry?

on a sunny saturday, who doesn't?

here is why you should raise your child to be a judge and not a president or a governor. i'm so impressed with new mexico. who expected the barely-blue state to be next? i was thinking maybe miami and indeed it would be fun watching jeb's face contort in impotent gubernatorial rage.

i was talking to a queer friend about all of this, a radical in many respects who is fascinated by queer family and marriage at the moment. she is as excited as i am by the coverage. she also reads it to happy-cry. what an unusual february this is. it's light and dry and history, instead of dozing backstage until black history month surrenders the microphone, is actually being made before our eyes.

i have made two important decisions this february. i am not going to quit honors; i am going to stick it out and scrape by. and i am not going to skip a week of skool in order to join my b.lovd in europe. if you see these as signs of responsibility, fiscal or otherwise, don't get too excited: i still don't do my own taxes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

love is love is love

first, hail mary.

when i got back from my film screening on italian neorealist classic roma, citta aperta, about the resistance in occupied rome, i was so full of hate i had to eat crackers. after two crackers, i could breathe regularly and without snorting. after four, i could realize that a whole different generation of people inhabits germany so hating "germans" is not productive or fair. after several more, i could think rationally that even during wwII, not all germans agreed with nazi policy and other people from other countries were just as vile.

it took a lot of chewing, followed by a lot of reading about glorious san francisco, to return to my resting state of not hating anybody in particular. people really have to stop showing me movies about nazis though. instead of becoming desensitized over time, i've gotten increasingly angry at each i see.

enough about nazis! san francisco, san francisco, bless you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

anni-day, for real

i know it's real, because my anni-day co-celebrant woke me up this morning with a long distance phone call. i stumbled directly from my dream, in which i watched irish women throw white flowers off a balcony, into the fuzzy voice of my darling, who is not shaving while in europe because razors are too expensive.

i felt somewhat like a dorothy parker protagonist, one of the young ladies who receives a ten minute phone call from her sweetheart overseas before he ships off to fight the war some more. in my case, my soldier is fighting against the deflated dollar. in a strained thin voice, he exhorted me, eat grapes for me.

anything for you, my soldier.

it was a charming way to wake up, though the image of those irish women (tearfully? joyously?) throwing white flowers lingers in my mind in a whistling way. last night i made a movie. yes, my first movie ever. yes, two minutes long, but just guess how many hours of preparation went into it. (don't guess. it's depressing.) even for all that prep, it's not perfect, since for this assignment we're not allowed to EDIT. still, i could have walked on water once i finished.

the stop-animation bit is my favorite part. also my first attempt at anything like, it's not as much terribly smooth and convincing as it is fun to watch. we also were forbidden from adding music. when you see the stop-animation dancing, you'll have to imagine the music for yourself.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

post v-day

so much sugar yesterday. i was a happy girl. selling all them roses from 12:30 to 5 (and buying and distributing a few) tired me out, as did realizing i'd missed my boy's happy v-day call from across the pond, but chipper k-ross showed up, matching me in crimsonness -- i was arrayed in pink skirt, red t-shirt and red sweatshirt; he in red pants, red polo shirt, and pink jacket -- and offering himself as my date for the evening.

at dinner, we witnessed a graphic reenactment of the valentines day massacre and, as i mentioned, ate so much sugar. if it were a choice between sugar and meat, i'd give up meat in a heartbeat. it helps that i'm vegetarian. but if it were a choice between sugar and film theory, i'd give up film theory! between sugar and beer, i'd give up beer! i'd give up mice, the 29th of february, and the british legal system for the icing off another cupcake. witness my resolve.

a choice between sugar and movies, though, that would be difficult. last night, after an exciting if neverending several hours of poker, i finally watched american splendor, the year's most egregious oscar snub for direction if nothing else. this afternoon, i finally watched witness for the prosecution. both movies have layers; i love layers.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

st. cyril and co.

roomie brigid informed me that today is not even st. valentine's day -- it's st. cyril's along with some other guy; the two of them created the cyrillic alphabet. this reminds me of the best response i got while peddling Roses for Valentines Day! for comotion: one girl shook her head, leaned in and whispered, "that's pagan."
(2nd best response: one boy walked by, shook his head, leaned in and whispered, "fuck love.")

all that said, happy valentines day. last year on this day i woke up in a hospital, the only time in my life so far that i've had the pleasure. i plan on dedicating at least an hour today to being grateful for not being sick and whatever else i can think of. for instance, that comotion sold NOT JUST the 500 roses we initially procured, but a whopping 700 !! and made a tidy sum of very necessary cash too. someone even bought me a rose. thanks, someone.

i will almost definitely feel less friendly towards our roses after i spent several hours this afternoon bundling and distributing them. on the other hand, it's not like i have anything better to do today -- or anything at all, actually, for which i am (add it to the list) grateful. i am not accustomed to days where i have to be On On On without a break. i need little breaths of alone-time fresh air. but yesterday i had to a thousand things, including my film theory seminar, a job interview, and attend an opera, one after the other.

oddly, the opera revived me. a student both directed and starred in it -- no mean feat. it wasn't too long, the stars' voices were incredible, and the story was easy to follow if a little silly because, well, it's an opera. anyway, i was very impressed. my spirits were glad to have been buoyed and were such good sports from that point on that i rewarded them by drinking nand laughing and not concentrating on a damn thing til the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

mass., here i come!

i am going to marry this woman and have her babies. this is not even a joke. if you want to laugh, though, check her entry on the grammys.

2nd choice: carrie fisher. my heart melts. and she wanted to be dorothy parker too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

mr. a. schlesinger, of kennedy administration fame, speaks here this evening. sorenson would be cooler but, off the top of my head, i'd guess he's been torn apart by alien devil wolves. i suppose this fella will have to do.

all today, i kept furrowing my brow at the calendar, trying to figure out why "february 11" started so many bells ringing between my ears. then of course i realized that four years ago on february 11th was the beginning of my highskool graduation weekend. the 13th was actual-graduation: ugly blue gowns, processions, hebrew songs, corny speeches. i spent 13 years of my life in that skool, yet i have the sense that my upcoming graduation on memorial day might matter even more.

which is to say, in ten years, when someone invites me to go yachting on memorial day, i will smile reflectively, brush away a tear, and sigh, "ah memorial day. the day my kingdom of swarthmore was torn from me ..." then i will proceed to get rollickingly drunk, in memory of my two roommates, "irish" and "lush."

ETA: so schlesinger is actually a groovy old pink-shirt wearing bespectacled dude. he lost a couple points in my book for inadequate audience prep (if you're going to talk about mr. palmer of the palmer raids at swarthmore college, you have to mention that palmer is our most infamous alum). otherwise he impressed me greatly, making a solid historical case for his argument that the bush doctrine is a dangerous deviation from america's foreign policy and that dissent in wartime has always been the norm.

i wish i'd recorded some of the quotes he used from sen. taft, presidents (t) roosevelt, eisenhower, and truman, and many others. my favorite was, and yes i know i've heard it before, "war never prevents anything, except peace." also eisenhower who apparently said that if someone approached him to discuss a policy of preventative war, the president would throw that fool out of his office.

he seemed a little shaky at points (man he's OLD) and i was nervous he wouldn't make it, like the priest who died in the middle of that wedding i went to. his principles carried him through and for that as much as anything swarthmore rewarded him with a resounding standing ovation.

Monday, February 09, 2004

worth the wait

i knew that if i kept checking in periodically -- i.e., every ten minutes -- at dooce, i'd be rewarded by a heartrending, funny, beautiful essay in the style of anne lamott's operating instructions. indeed, i was not disappointed, and you will not be either (assuming you click on that link, you fool).

like operating instructions it certainly doesn't make me want to have a baby. but it reaffirms my belief that witty writers should crank them out, as long as it doesn't interfere with their witty writing, in order that i may gape at them in awe and wonder at them while laughing my ass off.

Sunday, February 08, 2004


i left the library this early-afternoon with my arms full of my 19th century fetish. wuthering heights, in video and novel form; northhanger abbey/persuasion in one volume; and quills, which i've never seen. if anyone's interested in drooling over dresses, brooding men, and/or aberrant sexualities with me, please let me know.

i had gone in looking for a b&w soviet film i need to see for my film theory seminar. but, as the wise men say, life is like a box of chocolates, &c.

besides consuming bronte and austen and way too many saltines, i've been distracting myself from the gaping newness of ben's absence with people. a delightfully bouncy Nields concert friday night, followed by a heavy-on-the-gossip, light-on-the-sleep sleepover. an epic dinner that incorporated several overlapping friend groups and locations. a truckload of inappropriate jokes i'd be embarrassed to repeat here (for example: how do you get a nun pregnant? dress her up as an altar boy! how embarrassing).
then last night the barn party which, if i'd been in the mood or dressed for it, would have been smashing. a melange of high-energy people, ranging from those i don't know to those i'd forgotten to those i only talk to when [they're] drunk. i snuck up to visit my old room at one point and was startled by the familiarity of the lavendar walls. i remember painting them -- indeed, i have pictures -- back when the barn was less intimidating because i lived there.

Friday, February 06, 2004

so here's bullshit

the washington post editorial page piously claims to endorse gay marriage but wags a finger at the "judicial arrogance" that is "forcing gay marriage down people's throats in undemocratic fashion."

first of all, i wonder, how could judges force something down people's throats in DEMOCRATIC fashion? by taking a vote? by taking turns?
that aside.

nothing makes me angrier in this debate than the argument that judges are somehow outside their rights when they make decisions based on precedent and evidence that change some detail about our society. my impression was that is exactly what they're paid and appointed to do. this kind of thing --
Given the moral and religious anxiety many people feel on the subject and the absence of clear constitutional mandates for gay marriage, judges ought to be showing more respect for elected officials trying to make this work through a political process.
-- is preposterous. judges should show respect for elected officials? i thought the legislative body was a separate and distinct entity for a reason.

politicians answer to the people. they can only be as radical as their consciences and purses allow. judges, however, have a responsibility to look forward, beyond the current political climate, and make strong, declarative decisions that pull our society forward. and hurrah for them. if judges in the 50s and 60s had bowed to that kind of pressure and waited to implement civil rights legislation until politicians/the country were "ready" for them, we'd still be living in a segregated country. well, a country even more segregated than the one we live in now.

like with civil rights legislation, of course there will opposition at first. that doesn't mean it's not good or just or, most importantly, the wave of the future.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

who wants to celebrate may 18 with me?

i know it's silly to be all giddy and excited, but i am giddy and excited, baby. same-sex marriage legalized in massachusetts! 1/50th of america, at least, has caught up with the most advanced parts of the world.

on the sober side of the issue, i recognize that this means the right will get inflamed and push even harder for an amendment to ban same-sex marriage. the right is in a perpetual state of near-inflamation anyway. bush has so much on his plate right now, it's conceivable he'll continue putting the issue off. for the first time since he came into office, according to cnn, his approval rating has dropped below 50% (to 49%, but still). the people whose minds have changed about him recently and who he needs to woo hardly seem to be the kind of people who would forgive all for a pandering-to-the-xtian-right move like that.

still, congratulations, massachusetts! you are, for the moment, my favorite state.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

sweeping the nation

so kerry's kerry-ing a majority of states this evening, but let's be honest about what's still on everyone's minds. now, i didn't watch the superbowl. at 9 pm, friends were forcibly restraining me from leaping in front of the dense pack of boys and changing the channel to sex and the city. but i've read enough about the boob incident to form an opinion and i feel it's one that's supported by the pictures linked to above: janet jackson's breast did not expect to be exposed right then. justin timberlake 100% pure creep. if some soon-to-be-forgotten spotlight-craving jackass twenty years my junior stripped me part-naked in front of millions of people, i'd beat him to death with my microphone.

janet jackson has chosen the more peaceful, feminine apology route. that's her right. vengeance is mine, saith the lord. i will repay.
the least she could have done is pantsed him, though. i mean come ON.

apropos of nothing, my grandmother turns 91 today. let's hear it for my grandmother. i'll bet she doesn't even know who justin timberlake is.

Sunday, February 01, 2004


no matter how much i steel myself for eating alone, returning from having eaten alone leaves me downcast. these are the times when i feel like maybe it's time to graduate, when i sit in sharples by myself looking on increasing numbers of people i don't know or know just enough that it's faintly embarassing that they're seeing me by myself.

i do need to get used to it since so many of my friends have moved off-campus and since ben, who's been my houseguest for a couple weeks and will be for one more, will be moving off, in his one way, soon. i nearly brought a book today but was waylaid by the fact that surely the only scarier thing than a stony-faced girl eating alone is that same stony-faced girl eating alone while reading dracula.

yesterday we celebrated our anni-day (3 years!), not because it was technically our anni-day but because on our technical anni-day he'll be galavanting around europe. even if manifactured, and come on, what holiday isn't?, the day was lovely. we watched fellini's 8 1/2 which was a visual ballet from start to finish, and surreal and self-referential in that way i can't get enough off. (it reminded me of one of my favorite films, all that jazz, and not coincidentally i'm sure.)

then we went into the city for mod romance: first to tritone, on 15th and south, and then across the street to bob and barbara's. since i expected something flamboyant from the latter, the quiet, quirky scene was initially a little disappointing, but the old-skool blues/jazz band buoyed my spirits. at tritone, all was sublime. candles! music! deep-fried candy bars and pabst! the food was good and warm and cheap -- our several course meal, including appetizers, main dish, side dish, drinks and dessert was less than $20 each. and we got to carve our names into the table. i reccomend it highly for your own mod romance needs.