Thursday, January 31, 2008

good SWAG


i love this.
great film . . . good swag.

sundance 2008 celeb report


while i was working at our venue, i heard that Bono, The Edge, and Bob (Robert Redford) were having drinks and dinner just down the path. one of our crew members saw them and didn't even recognize them (she'd overheard someone saying, "hey, it's . . . " . . .). argh. yes, it's not cool to give it a thought, but it is cool to be near that much celebrity power (especially given Bono's turn and Reford's ethos re: goodness and giving and worrying global affairs).

and on day one, the Director's Lunch was taking place. all festival directors are invited. Tarantino was there, just across the lake, w/ the Coen brothers, Guillermo del Toro, . . . all that creative energy in one place. i could feel it. and it was wonderful.

i was working, "serving" (this is my my way of enobling the work so i don't become bitter and envious and horrible).

note: my mother always called me "poor Joan" (highlighting my martyrdom as silly and self-indulgent. ha).

secrecy

an outstanding documentary by Peter Galison (Harvard) and Rob Moss. about government secrets, how documents are/become classified, and why the process is so terribly problematic.

see the trailer.

sundance 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

best of fest, sundance 2008

saw Man on Wire (Winner: World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary and World Cinema Audience Award, Documentary) and King of Ping Pong (World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic, and World Cinema Cinematography Award) last night. both fabulous.

Man on Wire had my hands sweating so much that my supercool fingerless gloves were soaked!

Man on Wire tells the story/stories of Philippe Petit (what an awesome name) who, in 1974, walked . . . more accurately, performed upon a highwire between the WTC Twin Towers.

espionage. suspense. fear. passion. t-o-t-a-l-l-y captivating.

an interview w/ director James Marsh and Philippe Petit:


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

i just met Patti Smith . . .


that's all. amazing. inspiring. see Patti Smith: Dream of Life, Steven Sebring's loving and beautiful film.

[anecdote, anecdote . . .] and then Patti said to me, "ah, don't hate yourself."

i'm all inspired and moved . . .

Saturday, January 19, 2008

celeb report NOW

so, Morgan Spurlock is here watching Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. all of our volunteers were/are freaking out. we love him. he's very cool.

we had some seriously famous Palestinian rappers in our venue for Slingshot Hip Hop (google it and check it out; who knew?). they performed, were amazing.

busy, crazy energy here today.

Durakovo: Village of Fools (brief review)

If you thought things were retrogressing in Russia, you. Have. No. Idea.

See Durakovo: Les Village des Fous (Village of Fools), Nino Kirtadze's fiercely brave film (brave, as in: "how did you manage to *be* in that presence, to get that footage?" . . . "weren't you terrified?" . . . quick and simple answer to the latter: "Yes." Kirtadze tells me that it was her most "joyless shoot" ever).

Durakovo is a village owned by Mikhail Morozov, who sees himself as a kind of savior, helping "the willing" to see the follies of Western Democracy and helping them return to tsarist-regime-life (and loving it!). He is the sole authority. He thinks for them, doles out their roles (the film opens on a scene of two villagers bailing shit while one asks his friend to sing him a "patriotic song") and "helps" them to determine their fate. We see dogs (in pens, to be sure, although i kept wondering when the "performance" might end and the dogs released), a gated wall, and inside, a sort of lovely, fairy-tale castle-type village. Kirtadze is lucky to be present when Oleg arrives. Oleg is brought by his mother, and he is clearly unhappy and uncertain but agrees to go inside for a meeting w/ Morozov. We discover that Oleg is university educated, has a law degree and experience but has become disenchanted and confused. he carries a kerchief and frequently seems to be on the verge of tears, wiping at the corner of his eyes. Morozov persuades him to come and join the community, and Oleg's consent is heartbreaking to see. However, Kirtadze's camera is privy to a glimmer of resentment in Oleg's eye at a town-hall-type meeting in which Morozov speaks on the failings (evils) of Western Democracy and ends the meeting with the classic 12-step serenity prayer (which is, from my perspective, a rhetorically wicked, "easy," and, well, unoriginal shot at control).

The people we see in the village seem unwilling or unable to speak, slightly fearful, sad, and silent. Kirtadze's use of silence in her "interview" footage is brilliantly haunting. touches of Hitchcockian imagery aid in creating the dystopian vision (which needs no particular cinematic help. One need only show up, point, and shoot).

Kirtadze is given access to key meetings of government officials clearly desirous of return to a glorious imperial Russia. discussions include building of alliances with Venezuela, Iran, and Cuba, possibly China. the US is right out.

It is of course a film about a people who feel they have been let down by the ideals of the outside. And in this, i read in the eyes of the villagers something beyond fear. this tension . . . exploring a desire for an easier way that comes at the cost of individual autonomy . . . is important in helping us to see the film as more than a condemnation of Durakovo but as an exploration of a people trying to work it out.

An important and terrifying film. see it.

see details at the sundance site.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Power . . . Anvil

so i forewent (i made up that word) my annual massage the night before the festival in order to go w/ Mike to Park City for the free volunteer screenings. i did NOT want to go, but i hate the thought of him driving that road at night, alone. plus, someone's got to watch out for deer. we saw about 15, one right in the middle of the road. we slowed down as he was just almost across, and then he/she bolted back across the other way. i think that's how so many of them get hit :(

so Adventures of Power was shot in Utah and is a kind of Napoleon-Dynamite'ish film featuring "Power," a character who is enamored of "air-drumming." his father, played by Michael McKean, is heading up a strike at the local copper mine (from which Power is fired for air drumming while at work and causing a sort of goo-sludge to spill on the foreman). Power travels, seeks, trains, bonds -- through a variety of p-r-i-t-t-y hilarious montages featuring some impressive Big Hits (Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose," Gap Band's "Whip It", Mr. Mister's "Kyrei Elieson, and "Rush's "Tom Sawyer" is key throughout). a little love story, a little coming of age, a little quirky-thank-God-for-Mike Myers and Jared Hess for opening the genre d'quirk . . . it was very cute. talked w/ the filmmaker (Ari Gold) afterward; he was very happy w/ the response (laughter in all the right places) . . . so all's good there.

i was not a big metal fan, but my husband was our college radio's director and was known as "Metal Mike when" i met him. just as he had dragged me to many metal shows when we were dating, so too did i agree to be dragged to stay for the later film, Anvil: The Story of Anvil. i hadn't known a thing about them, but Mike had. nearly a pre-cursor to many of the big metal bands (Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, etc.), Anvil never took off in quite the same way. the doc begins by following band members in the current status as "everday joes," working everyday jobs, through their European tour (booked by a woman who emailed Lips, the lead singer, and said she'd arranged the whole tour out of "passion and love" and so he was in -- hmmmm, just like that? . . . but whatever). the tour? kind of a disaster, kind of tragic, kind of loving and cool. we could not stay until the end because i simply had to get back to the resort to sleep (early morning business call and first day of festival). in the hall, we met the producer, and he said that Lips and Robb Reiner (drummer and co-founder; 2 key characters in the doc) were around for Q & A. i knew Mike would be heartbroken if he missed it and thought about cowgirling up, but even Mike knew about their presence and agreed that we'd have to leave (plus, it was snowing again, and that back mountain road between Park City and the Sundance Resort is kind of scary). so, we left. we got buttons. we got a CD. we finally made it to Park City for some free volunteer good times.

just watched about 1/2 of Puujee. lovely. difficult. problematic (maybe more on that later). not many dry eyes.

i just read the Sundance FF 08 twitter entry: someone thrilled to have picked up Michel Gondry at the airport (i wish it had been me, but maybe my little fantasy is better :)

more later . . .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sundance fabulosity


first, the picture has little/nothing to do w/ Sundance, but it is fabulous in its own horrible way . . .

moving on then, . . . sorry to steal Kimora Lee Simmons' term, but hey, this is truly fab, "this" being that we moved up to Sundance today. we are staying at River Run (so, the loving administrators heard our pleas to keep us out of the creepy cabin!). it's so lovely here. i'll upload pictures tomorrow (but an earlier post does show some december Sundance images that are quite nice). 

Mike and i just returned from dinner at The Foundry Grill. there were a bunch of Sundance Institute people there, including advisor/novelist/all-around-cool-guy, Walter Mosley. he gave us wine last year during the festival (which we certainly did not drink on shift), so we love him :)

Mike and i usually do a "calm before the storm" dinner, so tonight was it. we had steak (he, the ribeye, i the petit -- and mind-blowingly-delicious -- filet). some champagne from St. Domain Michelle (it's actually a simple sparkling white, but it's lovely), and a Syrah i can't recall the name of but am still enjoying a delightful buzz from ;)

The Foundry had been slipping in our opinion, but, now . . . they are fully redeemed.

it's freezing beyond belief. walking along, my thighs feel as though the blood flowing through them is seizing up, slowing down, f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g. 

so -- and here is something truly enchanting -- i will now go to use the STEAM SAUNA in the bathroom. oh yes.

we are very happy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

manifesting my destiny

don't tell me i'm foolish to read Wayne Dyer or Tony Robbins!

and thanks to those of you who sent your vibes for River Run into the ether, for that is precisely where we are being housed for Sundance 2008! i. could. not. be. happier.

yay.

Monday, January 14, 2008

sundance is following me . . .

. . . on twitter, at least. and there is this. okay.

Park City, UT . . . 15 °F

Park City, UT

15 °F
Mostly Cloudy

Feels Like: 3°F
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SW at 10 mph
via weather channel

tomorrow we go to Park City for our annual Theater Manager's (TMs) training. despite having worked the festival for many years, we still need to talk together about changes, upcoming events of concern (there was a lot of worry last year about demonstrations and riots and whatnot re: the (Dakota Fanning "rape movie"), and so on. plus, it's nice to see other TMs -- many of us started out volunteering together. we get caught up, drink coffee and eat bagels (or low carb bars or whatever) and laugh and freak out. plus, plus . . . this is (very likely) the only Park City trip Mike and i will take during the festival. we work all 4 of our the Sundance Screening Room screenings -- a 12 hour day, and that leaves little time and/or energy for heading 40 miles up the canyons into the "real" festival. but we like our quiet ambiance. and i'm p-r-i-t-t-y sure i could not manage a Park City theater during the Sundance Film Festival. no thank you. Mike and i are the only TMs who do all shifts; others work in teams, so that you might work 2 screenings and then head off to see films, go to parties, and join the insanity. once, Mike got up very early and headed to PC to watch Some Kind of Monster. so he did that. got up and made it to PC. since i've been managing at our venue, i've stayed put.

oh, and when we go tomorrow to PC, it's our official "check in," so we get our room assignment (fingers crossed. no cabin. River Run . . . remember . . . River Run . . . ) and our SWAG. for TMs, usually a be-logoed -- everything is be-logoed -- travel coffee mug. one year, our coffee mugs came with clips sort of built in to the handle, so you could hang it from your beltloop. now that's anticipating some serious consumption, which the festival usually requires. we also get a coat and vest designed and donated to the festival by Kenneth Cole -- see my comments about last year's ensemble in PRE/TEXT -- yes, i'm plugging that again. let's see. we get a little winter beanie-type cap. we used to get baseball caps, virtually useless in this freezing cold, but one year, it was cool to see a character on The Sopranos wearing that same cap. ha. oh, we maybe get a scarf, a bag to hold all the stuff in, and sometimes a nice computer/side-sling-type bag, to be worn, naturally, bandeleer style.

look for my post tomorrow on our housing situation. i know. you. cannot. wait.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

size zero

"zero is not a size; it's a warning sign."

-- Carson Kressley

Saturday, January 12, 2008

sundance 2008 (rewind)


so while stuff like this (left) is both creepy and offensive, i am still not sure we'll be in the cabin (but strongly suspect it).

and while stuff like this (below) is just bizarre and puzzling, mike and i are going to have "fun" with the festival. still, we'll also be having some intellectually critical "fun" (more on that post-fest). for now, i'll simply hint that even though i still support much of what Sundance does, the contradictions are worth noting. in fact, the critique -- when it actualizes --may reflect disparities we experience in our own fields/lives . . . vast differences between what we attempt to project/perform and what we are actually willing to tolerate and/or ignore.


i'm glad we took these images last year, and this year, i plan to videotape rather than simply capture static images. because, really, you have to see how the mannequin looks (at me) as i cross the hallway to use the bathroom at night; it's almost certain that her head will swivel slowly, plotting her wicked-puppet-moves, tracking (. . . ). i've had nightmares. and when i go to use the downstairs bathroom, the golliwog signage, coupled with the non-insulated nature of that space in the cabin is chilling to the bone. (note: the first image you'll see at the link is the very sign of which i speak; we did not capture that image last year, but here you have it).


and what to make of these insane placards on the jack and jill bathroom doors? what horrid historical stereotypes are being played and why? is this supposed to be funny? critical? i don't know. to me, it's offensive. last year, we almost took them down (at least for our stay) and may do so this year. it's just. so. creepy.


last night, i received an email from 2 of our long time and very best volunteers. they are not going to volunteer this year. things too messed up. too much attempt at corporatizing the festival and too much failure at the human(e) connections that Sundance is (supposed to be) about. disconnect. i've asked these 2 fabulous human beings to formalize what they wrote to me so that they might pass it up the chain. people need to know what's happening. because it's not just about the films, the ideas, the filmmakers' careers, and production companies' revenues (although it is all that), it's about human(e) connection(s). and what's Good, True, and Beautiful, "the GTB," (says the rhetorician, reflecting upon times past).

but so mike and i will be, despite some crusty creepiness and uncomfortable changes, approaching Sundance 2008 with our eye on the GTB -- gotta be :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

$%$#%#$@!!!


i regret that i cannot currently write with giddy joy about our Sundance Film Festival preparations.

i was deliriously happy to imagine staying at Sundance absent the freakshow (courtesy of our cabin's "curious" contents). turns out, my projectionist friend was misinformed and is *not* staying at the cabin (see previous post) but in a cozy, modern condo. this means that mike and i will almost surely be assigned the cabin. not good.

above: one of many "curious" artifacts housed in the cabin. for similar images (and their disturbing histories, visit: The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia).

no wicked manneqins (sundance 2008)

as you'll read in my upcoming PRE/TEXT piece, last year my festival housing was in a magical . . . interesting . . . creepy cabin (i'll spare using the name so as not to put off future rentals, and, to be fair, the manager was quite nice). we wrote in our Theater Manager's Report that we didn't think the institute/festival should use the space any longer because of the 1.) scary player pianos -- 2 of them, 2.) beercan airplane collection, 3.) sleighbell collection (#'s 1 and 3 clearly willing and able to play Scott Joplin and jangle of their own accord), 4.) questionably appropriate vintage ads, and 5.) life-sized-suspended-in-a-vintage-full-sized-sleigh female mannequin (wearing uncle sam tophat and red bespangled bra and panties -- the latter covered by a quilt, for reasons you'll discover if you read the PRE/TEXT piece. shameless i am). in a summer meeting with upper-tier institute members, we talked about the report, and thus about the cabin, and we understood that we were indeed heard. still our venue's projectionist has just emailed me to say that he has been assigned the cabin. so, while they didn't want to bother mike and i with it, they aren't giving it up. which is sort of sad . . .

. . . but. um. yay!

to be fair, it is in many ways a lovely cabin. it's just that it's so overfull of freakish memorabilia that is loses its potential. and, well, it did have an amazing array of channels to choose from (dish), and i watched a lot of cool movies after my shifts at night, trying to avoid the glare of the mannequin and her sure-to-happen-any-minute self-animating puppet-dance.

Monday, January 7, 2008

snow @ sundance & chicago, 2007



click on any image to see larger
images and to control the slideshow.

for those of you voting . . .

you'll be happy (you 57% 55%) to know that i have cut a cute bob, just above the shoulders. i like it so much i may go shorter. pics soon (i know. you. can. not. wait!).

sundance memories

i was looking again at the desription and accompanying image for Absurdistan, and i was reminded of 3 of my favorite World Cinema films i've seen at the festival (in years past): the German film Absolute Giganten (Gigantic) (1999), the Russian Luna Papa (1999) (i believe that the filmmaker, Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov, is probably the best choice to make film versions of Gabrial Garcia Marquez' work; in the Q & A, i asked about it, and Khudojnazarov said he's always wanted to do such work and had requested permission from Marquez, but Marquez had been so horrified over "Erendira" that he lost hope for making films of his work; things must have changed. we'll see about Love in the Time of Cholera). finally, i loved the 2001 Chilean film, Loco Fever (which reminded me of some of Herzog's fine work in its mood and cinematography). if you can get them at a cool video store, you'll have some magic.

here is a fun scene from Absolute Giganten; from the imdb.com plot summary, "In the port town of Hamburg, Germany, Floyd decides that he's shipping out to South Africa and Singapore now that his two-year probation for an unspecified juvenile offense has been completed. When he shares the news with his devoted friends Chubby, a mechanic, and Ricco, a fast-food cook and would-be b-boy, they can't comprehend their thoughtful friend's willingness to trade camaraderie for a wider view of the world. Overcoming their anger and bewilderment, the guys decide to spend one last night with Floyd, but the problem, as always, is how to find some fun. A succession of fast-food restaurants, parking garages, and local watering holes chronicles the inherent boredom of life in the provinces. But a run-in with a convention of dragster-racing Elvis impersonators sends the boys and their friend Telsa Julia Hummer on a series of adventures that veers from the farcical to the almost-tragic."

they take on "Snake" in a foosball tournament; they need money. i love the way the scene ends, avoiding the conventional screaming/shouting mess and opting instead for a simple, noble silence. make sure to watch to the end, where the camera angles are inventive and fun.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

more sundance 2008 picks


. . . who doesn't want to see a documentary about Patti Smith? Patti Smith: Dream of Life is described beautifully, but i can't trust you to follow the link, so i'm posting most of the catalog description, below. i've underlined what is for me a key passage:

"'Life isn’t some vertical or horizontal line. You have your own internal world, and it’s not neat.' — Patti Smith

Not vertical nor horizontal nor neat, Dream of Life is a hypnotic plunge, a breathing collage of this legendary musician/poet/painter/activist’s philosophy and artistry that feels as if it sprang directly from her soul. A punk pioneer and spiritual child of Rimbaud, Blake, and Burroughs, Patti Smith’s fierce poetry and rock music shook up New York’s 1970s underground scene, and her work continues to be stirred organically by her rigorous mind, beloved artistic touchstones, and world events.

Shot over 11 years, Dream of Life travels Smith’s mystical interior terrain—the ideas, losses, and memories she wrestles with—as much as tracing her outward adventures. Layered with mesmerizing recitations, music, and narration, the fluid journey incorporates performances, graveyard pilgrimages and political rallies, archival nuggets, and vérité moments with her working-class parents, children, and friends. From raw, intimate sessions in her apartment to formidable incantations delivered to roaring crowds, Smith’s expression is unmediated by pretense or artifice. Remarkably—and this may be the key to her artistic potency—she doesn’t reject death or construct polarities of good and bad. Instead, she embraces darkness and melancholy in a way that’s liberating and also life affirming. As she manifests the transcendent in life, Dream of Life reaches for the ineffable in Patti Smith."

then there is Incendiary, "[b]ased on a novel released two days before the London bombings, Incendiary is a contemporary portrait of England that deftly interweaves tragedy, sex, politics, and the grief emanating from a suicide terrorist attack on a London soccer stadium." plus, Ewan MacGregor :)

also on the serious side is Nerakhoon (The Betrayal), which follows the Communist persecution in Laos through the lens of one family (and especially one man's) struggles.

i'm happy to see Amy Redford's film in the festival (we like Amy at our venue; she comes in often and is without pretension). her film, Guitar, is described as a "whimsical fairy tale [. . .], a thoroughly engaging, almost-mythological allegory that is fueled by the exceptional performance of Saffron Burrows and executed with style by its director."

probably heartbreaking is Recycle: "Inspired by his reporting on al Zarqawi and Al Qaeda for international news agencies, Jordanian/Palestinian filmmaker Mahmoud al Massad returns to Zarqa, where he grew up, to make Recycle. With ravishing cinematography that belies the unforgiving landscape, Massad charts the daily life of a religious Islamic man trying to survive in one of Zarqa’s poorest neighborhoods."



i think i am most excited (for pleasure's sake) about Pretty Bird: "Curtis Prentiss (Billy Crudup) is the archetypal American dreamer: the rainmaker. He arrives in town with big ideas, a fervent sales pitch, and a set of blueprints in hand. Curtis also has a wealthy old acquaintance who’s susceptible to his incantations. He finds, by chance, an out-of-work aerospace engineer (Paul Giamatti), whom he recruits with a vision of building "the rocket belt," a personalized flying machine. They embark on their mutual missions—to raise capital and solve the conundrum of flight—but their relationship quickly deteriorates. When unexpectedly they find success, everything really goes out of control, and a struggle begins that will change their lives." i mean, it does sound a bit formulaic, but some formulae work, and this sounds like fun. Plus, Paul Giamatti!!

Just Another Love Story sounds like something I've (regrettably) seen starring Sandra Bullock, but this World Cinema offering may just work.

Elvis Mitchell is now a filmmaker! (we like Elvis Mitchell; he's was in our theater to watch Hustle and Flow, and he even expressed what seemed like real interest in the film i was then working on, proposition 1984. he's really unpretentious and lovely).with Black List, he enters new territory as he "presents a fascinating series of miniportraits of 20 influential African Americans."

not showing at our venue (damn it!) but in the festival and i'm dying to see it (!) is Michel Gondry (aka "God") and his Be Kind Rewind. you've maybe already seen the trailers. Jack Black and Mos Def, working in a video store, accidentally erase all the tapes and decide to "recreate" the movies they've unwittingly deleted. this will be in theaters soon, so no biggie, but i'd LLLuuuuuvvv to meet Gondry. damn.




another not screening at our venue but i wish i could see is Absurdistan, "Veit Helmer’s inventive, allegorical comedy introduces us to Absurdistan, a once beautiful, now utterly desolate, land. In a water-starved village, two childhood sweethearts, Aya and Temelko, await the date (foretold by Aya’s grandmother) that a perfect celestial alignment will bless their first night of love. An intrepid inventor, Temelko plans to repair the aging water pipe, but the apathetic older men scoff at his designs. The women, fed up with the men’s inaction, take matters into their own hands and declare a strike. No water, no sex. The gender lines are drawn, reinforced with barbed wire, and our young lovers find themselves on opposite sides of a fast-escalating feud."


sundance picks, 2008


i'm thinking this will be cool, Slingshot Hip Hop, a film about the emerging Palestinian hip-hop scene.

and this, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, a film that sheds new light on the scenes of his past.

and i'm thinking that this could be fun -- Momma's Man, following a man who sort of refuses to leave his parents' home to return to his family.

and, no fun at all but probably interesting and important is this, Secrecy, about the governmental process of classifying documents.

i'm not yet sure if this screens at our theater, but i'd love to see this, Complete History of My Sexual Failures, in which a recently dumped boyfriend seeks to discover why he fails at love by confronting his exes.

back to serious and important is this, Dinner With the President, a filmic account of dinner with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. i can't believe filmmakers Sabiha Sumar and Satha Sathananthan's request for the event was granted. could be cool, serious, disturbing . . .

Up the Yangtze is sure to be fascinating, a study in the repercussions of the building of the Three Gorges Dam.

and who can resist a film in which "an underground class of node workers who plug their nervous systems into a global computer network that commodifies memory"? Sleep Dealer.

or Great Buck Howard, starring John Malkovich, who plays "Buck Howard, a 'mentalist' infamous for his 61 appearances on The Tonight Show, [. . . ] a bigger-than-life mix of ego, sweetness, and delusion packaged in a flamboyant style." i'm in.

more picks to come . . .

Friday, January 4, 2008

resolutions (part II)



i've got one. if you want to guess what it is (yawn), take the poll (right; to vote, you must first click "change your vote" in order to bring back the blank range of choices).

and yes, i realize that the (above) parenthetical "yawn" may disincentivize (!) you, but i wanted you to know that i recognize the silliness in this. voilà.



Wednesday, January 2, 2008

resolutions . . .


. . . be damned. i still want this. i'm like a child. and i love pink. at 44! i never did care for it growing up (but this was likely my training; i think my parents didn't think it -- frilly, pink -- would play on me). so now i'm all juicy and pink and silliness.

you will be comforted (maybe) to know that i declare my desire for an expensive, vanity-nurturing cigarette lighter as i prepare for my workout . . . for what "balance" is worth . . .

and then, i honestly want the lighter. it's beautiful. i may not actually use it to light cigarettes. maybe just candles (but argggghhh! Restoration Hardware has discontinued its sage green verbena candle! the horror! it's like when Trish McEvoy discontinued fragance #7, Basil Tonic!!! whhyyyyy?!).

so but the lighter. we'll see. (i smoke 10-20 times/year. i could do better, could do worse).

so wery silly!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

special authors ("special"?)

this is revised. started as a post renouncing twitter, but i could not do it. so i'll keep the alternate trajectories . . .
read here, especially when i head out on a labyrinthine trail of anecdotes, memories, ephemera, etc., etc.

which. here goes . . .

i spoke last night at a party to a former graduate of UVU (my school is now a University. woo-hoo) about Freud and David Foster Wallace and Pynchon. he agreed: i need to create a special authors course in at least the latter two. maybe some Vonnegut to create a sense of emergence (?).

my first publication (you did not read it) was on Pynchon's Vineland. a second or third publication was on V. A Novel. i used to be active on the Pynchon listserv until i got called a "dumpster diver" and was pretty much for nothing vilified for suggesting that some of the stuff circulating about ebonics was close to hate speech. see, Pynchon gets away with it -- vibing out with a particular cultural reference in ways that surface a kind of slapstick critique. but so listies got offended because my comment not only cut closely to Pynchon's bone but also to their own (listies often engaging in imitative play). so yeah -- Pynchon and provocative/offensive (?) imitative dialectices gets away with it. merely referencing race, i. did not. guess i got a lesson in rhetorical awareness, but at the time it felt like a beating. like sh*t. i've been there more than once. i seem not to want to learn. so but i jumped off the P-list and left Pynchon behind (the latter move being more a function of graduate school and reading of necessity in other areas). never made it through Mason and Dixon (the dialect was killing me, and not in the good way). have not touched Against the Day (well, i think i read a few pages, but i didn't have it in me to invest).