Monday, 10 March 2008 (nobody home)
For most of yesterday afternoon and evening before Bad Movie Night, Rhiannon and I were cracking up over this. I really have no idea why, and like Rhiannon said, we probably lost a brain cell every time we looked at it. But sometimes inexplicably hysterical laughter is good for the soul.
On my way to work this morning, I detoured by The Dark Room, where I was happy to find the power cord for my laptop right where I accidentally left it last night. Or, more likely, it fell out of my new bag, which I'm still getting used to. I considered waiting until after work, but that would have meant only getting a few hours of use out of the laptop. It had a fairly highfalutin battery, but still, it sounded too horrible to contemplate. Whew.
So I drove Phoebe and eventually parked her on 13th between the Best Buy and the freeway overpass, not historically known as the safest place in town to park, but I the lack of obvious bling inside should help. And if something does happen, it happens. I'll deal with it when I walk back to Phoebe. Otherwise, I'll probably be going straight from there to Cassandra, where Jessie has organized a writing clambke. Ennui and I aren't entirely certain what a writing clambake entails, but we're intrigued.
I've spent a lot of my free and not-so-free time recently organizing and archiving a lot of my old writing (and by "old," I mean since 2002). This passage from Alan Shaprio's essay "Why Write?" in Best American Essays 2006 feels particularly relevant:
The more we refine our abilities, the more embarrassing our older work becomes. That is, if we're truly lucky, we'll despise our early work. If we're lucky, what we're writing now won't compare with what we'll write ten years from now. That's the price we pay for getting better. The problem is, the better we get at writing, the better we get at imagining getting ever better. So the discrepancy between the writer one is and the writer one wants to be only widens as one improves. To flourish as an artist requires a tolerance for frustration, inadequacy, and a deepening sense of failure.Pretty much, yeah. I sometimes feel like my writing is improving, like I've finally developed some chops. (Not counting this diary, which has remained on the same plateau for nine years.) But I lack perspective on what I'm doing right now. It's my current romance, so of course it's shiny and new and neato. And my old writing? Man, it sucks. Was that me, really?
Sunday, 9 March 2008 (a condition of existence)
Today's Good Movie Morning feature was Be Kind Rewind (it was between that, Juno and No Country for Old Men), and tonight's Bad Movie Night feature is Commando. As someone who worked for the better part of a decade in video stores during the VHS era and who's currently involved in community productions of copyrighted materioal, I liked Be Kind Rewind. Not expecting to feel the same way about Commando.
After the movie this morning, I went to Sports Basement and got a new backpack. Laptop-friendly, of course. Then I went to Dolores Park. It's a beutiful day, and that's what you're supposed to do, right?
Saturday, 8 March 2008 (sunspots)
Last night's performance was tricky emotionally. I've never really felt like I've jelled with the others, and I lost nearly a quarter of my dialogue when another castmember blew their lines in the final act. It was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all over again, when I was deprived of my Big Funny for half the performances because someones else kept jumping their cues. I wound up having a bit of a meltdown on Erin about it later, triggered by that and all sorts of angsty high school nonsense. Nothing having to do with her, of course. She just encouraged me to talk about it, to get it off my chest, which I did. I think it was the first time I really cried since the last time I saw Vash, on New Year's Eve. Hard to believe it's been that long. I think I've been mostly numb since then.
Rimma came to the show last night. Between her and Ennui, I suspect that's about it for friends of mine attending.
Been at The Dark Room for most of the day, working. It's as good a place to be as any. Not quite private, and there's occasionally people around me who I don't want to deal with, but that's a condition of existence.
Taking advantage of the fabulous T1 line, I bought and downloaded the FLAC version of the new Nine Inch Nails album, Ghosts. Like The Fragile in '99, this one feels like it's coming out at just the right time.
Friday, 7 March 2008 (learning to question)
Last night's excuse for not going to the gym was hanging out with Ennui. We went to SF Camerawork for a show called Luminous Ambient. Robert Rich, my favorite ambient artist (and a kittypr0n fan), performed a live score to Super-8 films by Paul Clipson. They were projected onto all four walls, and it wasn't possible to watch all of them, nor was it really necessary. We sat on the ground, and spent much of the show with my head on Ennui's lap, sometimes on my back watching one screen or rolling over to see another, sometimes with my eyes closed. It was quite wonderful, one of those moments that makes everything unpleasant about living in San Francisco worth the effort. And, really, those good things outweigh the bad by an incredibly wide margin. It was also a hell of a bargain for five bucks. Afterward we ate entirely too much sushi at Sushi Boom II (which is the point), then returned to Cassandra and crashed.
It already felt a little weird to not go to the gymman, I reacclimate fastbut it was the best possible reason not to go. Ennui and I don't see each other much, and I want what we do to count. I don't want it to feel rote, or like an obligation to be fulfilled.
I did go to the gym on Wedesday night, after working for a few hours at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe. It was the first time I'd been since I last October, that weekend when everything started to spiral. As they would have eventually, and, really, they had been for a while.
At the gym, I read Kate Holden's In My Skin for about an hour until eleven, then switched over to the treadmills to watch The Daily Show. I'm liking In My Skin, quite a lot, and finding it more compelling reading than Colbert's book. I'd found it by browsing through the biography and nonfiction section the library, which is where I've found most of my favorite books lately. Pretty much anything with the words "a memoir" on the cover is going to grab me. It's how I discovered Janice Erlbaum (Girlbomb), Diablo Cody (Candy Girl, and I only just realized she wrote Juno), and Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors et al), and others. It's the area where I someday hope to see my name on the spine of books. It'll be nice to see it in, like, bookstores and stuff too, but for some reason I find being in libraries even more exciting.
A minor detail that I've found encouraging in both Running with Scissors and In My Skin (and probably others) is that not only do they both make references to compulsive journaling during the time periods they're writing about, and the details in their vivid physical and emotional accounts are obviously because of said journaling, occasionally they just quote directly from the journals. This is heartening because I've done it once or twice in Exchange and Descent, and I've worried that it was...I don't know. Cheating, maybe. But sometimes I just need to get as close to the source as I can, and there's no way to rewrite it into the book's voice (which is different) and retain the impact or meaning. So, it's nice to know others do it as well. I would regardless, of course, but still. If anyone ever A) reads it and then B) gives me shit about that part, I can be all but augusten burroughs did it first!
Meanwhile, from an SF Weekly writeup by Hiya Swanhuyser about a screening of the Turkish Star Wars:
It's not on the IMDb's "Bottom 100," like The Hottie and the Nottie, Baby Geniuses, and Who's Your Caddy. We're not sure if it's been featured at the Dark Room's "Bad Movie Night," where they recently polished off an Elvis series. But even without such accolades, the Turkish Star Wars, is a famously bad movie.Yay! We're an accolade!
And, from the blog of a guy who lookes like a young Leonard Cohen:
But reading a local paper the other day I noticed a 'permanent' festival of sorts: The weekly Bad Movie Night, with a changing theme every month. March is the "Lead and Testosterone Poisoning Reagan-Era Hyper-Violence", with movies starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris and Patrick Swayze (WTF?). Even if you can't make it to the movie, the website is pretty entertaining in itself, specially their two-line movie summaries.Also yay! Someone who likes my blurbs!
The second weekend of the The Ten Commandments starts tonight. It's weird not to have rehearsed or anything since last Saturday, but at least I remember my lines.
Thursday, 6 March 2008 (seeking and finding)
The Ten Commandments is reviewed in the current San Francisco Bay Times. I'm not mentioned in the article (understandable, since there's not a lot to say about my character), but I'm in the accompanying picture. It doesn't really give a sense of my ginormous matronly bosoms, though.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008 (passed by the building)
Last night's excuse for not going to the gym was...well, actually, I didn't have an excuse, and I went after I finished at The Sea Biscuit. The current draft of the essay is done. I'm not crazy about the ending, and as is so often the case, didn't properly end it so much as suture it up with "and then they all died of AIDS. The end" or something to that effect. Now that trick is to trim a thousand or so words out and see if it still holds together.
So I went back home, gathered up my stuff, and drove to the Gold's in the Castro. Got there around ten. The underground parking has about twenty spots, which isn't too shabby as these things go, especially late at night. When I signed up they gave me a decal for Phoebe's back window so she won't get towed, though the garage is so awkward and cramped I'm not sure how a tow truck would fit in there. There's no direct route from the garage to the gym, which is kinda sucky, but a reasonable tradeoff for free parking in this town.
As I'd been told, the place was largely deserted. There was nobody in the women's locker room, which was mostly a non-issue since I'd come from home and was going straight back afterward. No locker needed. There was a scale, and I did something which I intend to do only once a month: I weighed myself. I really need to not obsess over that number. How I look and feel and how things fit is what matters, right? Right. 198, for the record. I've capped out there for a while now. It's forty pounds over where I'd really like to be, where I was as recently as...um...six years ago. This was back when I was unemployed, lived three minutes away from a gym (as opposed to an empty building which still has the faded awning of the gym), and wasn't serious about writing yet. Nor was I doing plays or Bad Movie Night or dating. (I was living with Maddy, and while she definitely wanted my time, she was employed and I was not.) So, yeah. My life, and what I could fit into my schedule, was a bit different then. But does that necessarily mean I can't head that direction again? Can I start pulling myself out of bed at a quarter to four in the morning like I did a decade ago? Heck, sometimes I would get up around that time last year because Vash went to super-early classes at her gym. So I know it can be done.
Tuesday, 4 March 2008 (blue corpse)
A couple weeks ago, Annalee asked me for a list of Bad Movie Night rules for an io9 feature. I asked the other regulars, compiled and sent the responses to Annalee, and the article's up now.
At The Sea Biscuit. My energy's returned today. It's nice to have it back, 'cuz I have a lot of work to do. The Breaking Up Is Harder To Do essay is appropriately due on the ides of March, and not only is it not quite finished, it's several hundred words over the limit of three thousand. So I have to finish it, then turn around and trim it down considerably. In, you know, a week and a half. I do like deadlines. They're inspring.
Due a month later are my taxes (and yours, too). Got mine filed today. Wheee.
Ran into a friend of Vash's today. Actually, it was someone I'd known before I met Vash, but they'd known Vash longer than they'd known me. That sorta thing. Anyway, it was quite pleasant. I haven't really encountered any of the sort of snubbing which occurred after I broke up with Maddy. Vash's friendseven the ones whom I met via Vashhave all been unfailingly civil, and don't seem to hold anything against me, at least not outwardly. It's a nice change of pace, considering there are people who still won't talk to me because I broke up with Maddy and/or Collette.
Monday, 3 March 2008 (below the radar)
So that was opening weekend. So weird to finally get to this point, after the rehearsal process which felt like it took forever but was in reality just under two months. Not a packed house this weekend, but respectable enough, and I'm sure the word will spread. That's how these things work.
We got a swell writeup in the SF Weekly, though:
Gimme a "G!""Bobbing for babies in the Nile with Princess Bithia!" Yay! Always nice to see one's character mentioned in a writeup, even if the writer doesn't know or care that you play the character. Speaking of which, after the dress rehearsal on Thursday, Ennui said that one of her favorite parts of the play was watching me pretend to actually like babies. She knows me better than that. Acting!
Ironically enough, we had a bigger turnout for Bad Movie Night. Of course, it's developed its own audience over the past couple of years. Still, as Jim pointed out, maybe we should just show Cobra all the time instead of staging plays. Naaaah.
Sunday morning, I went to a matinee showing of There Will Be Blood, which I really dug. Sunday mornings are the perfect time to see movies, especially movies which have dropped out of the top ten are are going to disappear soon, since the theaters are largely empty. I'm going to try to do it on a regular basis, and see No Country for Old Men next Sunday morning. If nothing else, considering that I see at least one bad movie a week, it's good to balance it out. Especially because the Sunday morning matinees are only six bucks, and I'm a cheapskate.
After the movie, I went to Fluevog in the Haight to get the insoles replaced. The insoles are the part your feet actually touch, right? They'd pretty much disintegrated from daily wear over the past year and a half. I was afraid I'd have to spend fifty bucks and go without the boots for a couple weeks, but instead they gave me a new pair to slip in for five bucks, which made me happy. Not making me quite as happy is the fact that they're discontinuing my boots, the awfully named Lucky Stud (which replaced the even more discontinued and more beloved Lucky Angel boots). Maybe they'll bring out a new similar line which is as comfy and looks as good on me, and maybe they won't.
The other suggestion I made to Ennui about her Vegas trip was to indulge in my favorite ritual: drinking a maragarita while playing video poker underneath the model of the Enterprise outside of Star Trek: The Experience at the Hilton. She obliged, and sent a picture to prove it. She rocks so much.
I've been missing Vash a lot today. Sometimes I think I feel like I got most of the grieving out of my system during our relationship's slow disintegration last year, and by the time the cord was truly cut I was prepared for it emotionally. And while I think that's true for the most part, there's still a lot of pain and sadness, and the sense that there'll always be a pang, that she's the one that I'll never really quite get over. It doesn't mean that I'll never be able to fully love anyone else. It just means that there'll always be a place for her in my heart.
Sunday, 2 March 2008 (time everlasting)
sometime after midnight
I saw both There Will Be Blood and Stallone's Cobra today. If that isn't covering the bases, I don't what is.
Saturday, 1 March 2008 (going to acapulco)
Opening night of The Ten Commandments went well. Not a huge crowd, but an enthusiastic one, though it was obvious they were friends of certain castmembers and were inclined to laugh at anything they did. And were stone cold silent through some of my parts. Alas.
I woke up this morning from a dream in which I was having an affair with one of my castmates. Not the one I have the crush on, either. Thanks, brain! Later on in the dream I had something resembling sex with someone I've never met in real life or otherwise, and I'm not thrilled about that having been the first time I had sex in a dream, but there it is. Again, brain: thanks. No, really. You're too good to me.
Ennui's flight to Las Vegas should be landing right about now. She'll be there for a few days with her family. I hope she takes me up on my suggestion to see the Liberace Museum.
At some point late on Thursday night as we were falling asleep, Ennui nudged and asked if I could roll onto my side so she could spoon from behind. I assured her that I will never say no to that.
Today's my first Saturday in a while in which I don't have to be at The Dark Room at noon for rehearsal, and my weeknights have reopened as well. Yay for the return of writing time!