Monday, April 28, 2008

home design

see, i'm never going to have this fabulous set-up, the variously cool-hued objets de verre dangling ambivalently about my antique verre biseauté windows. it's not. going. to happen.

but i can have the image taped to my wall. just like i can have the slightly frumpy-chic bedroom in dusty white fabric and metal with pops of orange and cerullean in tiny, chic fabric bits, here and there. it's there, on my living room wall, a luscious, dreamy landscape of idyllic scenes i inhabit in my imaginary (real) home. or this. who could dream of such a living room?

and as i frame up my images before tearing or cutting (usually, tearing) them out of their shiny catalog-homes, i work especially hard to maintain the textual descriptions, item numbers, and other identifying hieroglyphics, for they manifest a secret lexicon that magically creates the discursive web of my interior architecture. and it's, spectacular, really.

really. you should see it.

"formulaic is not a 4-letter word . . ."

. . . they say, using a formula (cliché) to make their simple point.

(and yes, it is).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

cannes info

latest updates . . . competition and other films, jury members, etc.


maybe this year i'll make it to Cannes . . . i know someone who knows someone (really, i do!) who works in the American Pavillion, and she says that he says it's Hell, but i anticipate something far more fabulous, even if the whole experience requires a sedative. but so while i'm dreaming, i'll enjoy the newly stylized logo, which i was able to download (so i'm assuming it's okay), said ability not at all like my failed attempt at downloading this year's "official poster," which is (no surprise) all retro noir and Marilyn.

also no surprise is seeing Clint Eastwood's film, Changeling, in the competitive lineup. Angelina Jolie is in the film, and as i searched the site for the links i'm providing here (you're welcome), i discovered a puzzling neglect. i'm confused by Ms. Jolie's headshot at (Ms. Jolie, you need a new publicist to manage these affairs. That is to say, this is a lovely photo, but you are now well beyond Gone in Sixty Seconds. call me). but Eastwood: everyone seems to love what Clint does, and he is very talented, to be sure. but i'm sort of not in that loop. it's not that i'm *not* a fan, but more that i don't feel compelled to speak of him in hushed tones, as is the convention. maybe, just maybe, it's *working with Mr. Eastwood* that inspires such reverence, and i. have not. had. the honor.

so but for now, put me down in Wim Wenders' camp; he is also in competition -- for the 15th time -- with his film, The Palermo Shooting. mad for Wim Wenders . . . and Milla Jovovich, who is the film as "herself." Also in the film as "selves" are Patti Smith (i met her at Sundance this year, and she and changed my life, again. not massive, soul-shaking change, but a small adjustments that needed tending to. thank-you, Ms. Smith. see Stephen Sebring's loving and ghostly-beautiful tribute, Patti Smith: Dream of Life. amazing.), and Lou Reed. Dennis Hopper, "Multi-talented and unconventional actor/director regarded by many as one of the true "enfant terribles" of Hollywood,"* (ahem), has the role of "Frank."

Gondry is involved in a short. Soderbergh's got a film on Che. see the full list, above . . .

* (

Monday, April 21, 2008

we need this . . .

"the scent is like nothing else: deeply, darkly, earthily green, old and musty in the best way, a rich and almost rotting organic green like fresh branches mixed into soil. Dirtier than vetiver, richer than basil, greener than myrrh" (Chandler Burr via The Moment).

read more

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Look at Me . . .

. . . . and Tell Me If You’ve Known Me Before: Exploring Affect After Inland Empire."

i enjoyed Kate Rennenbohm's (brief) Synoptique piece on Affect, Deleuze, and Inland Empire, so i'm sharing it here (note: there is a permanent Synoptique link, right).

brevity: the methodical precision it enacts in the context of wanting. to get after. affect.

brevity: method of choice for those desiring re-orientation following acts of Lynchian spectation, which routinely creates in (many) viewers as sense of losing oneself.


Doreen Carvajal reports in The New York Times that a French Bill wanting to ban "ana" and "mia" websites has passed the lower House. The bill also wants to disrupt *any* mass comm venue that aims to "provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss" or could lead to "excessive thinness"(A14).

On the surface, it might seem easy to deride this bill as a document overfull of absurd irony; it's coming out of France, nexus of all-things-fashion and extreme thinness. But hey, the French walk so much more than do Americans, or so we are told as a key rationale for the so-called "French paradox" promoted by Mireille Guliano in her massively high-selling French Women Don't Get Fat. The French are, apparently, smarter than we are, and they have distanced themselves from dieting and lack of portion control; they only eat fresh, locally grown foods and use the finest ingredients . . . and so on . . . and some of what she writes makes sense, but there is. a certain. snob-appeal. And but look! Guliano served for 20 years as CEO of Clicquot, Inc. --think Champagne -- and was a senior executive for France's fashion empire LVMH. so.

So I'm reading about this bill and thinking about everything I'm sold about a French ethos that is simply superior and better suited for life and sex and health and pleasure, but clearly, all is not well, and so a smart person might problematize the matter of this extreme thinness, because working models walking Parisian (and other) runways are not, simply, making smart choices. Come on. I wish it were true. I too used to lie (along with millions of others) about my "smartness" when I was all eating disordered and thin ("I just don't like to eat that" . . "I LOVE exercising!" . . . "it's not a diet; it's a lifestyle!"). And I realize that I generalize from a situation of one in this argument, here, but I've just begun to contemplate the matter for myself (but you too can find simliar statements if you visit a few "ana" or "mia" websites, where you will often find these excuses offered as ways of keeping concerned others in check, as a way of defending the eating disordered person's actual methods).

Anyone who reads me knows that I am seduced by France's ideas about itself. It's deliciously easy to become lost in the mystique, and I can and will find all kinds of ways to defend my silly dreams and ideals. But it would also be silly to read Carvajal's report and avoid thinking seriously about this bill, about how outrageous and important and confusing it is.

So, . . . outrageous! Here, I can't help thinking that it's too bad Didier Grumbach (whom I often find quite charming, surprise), President of the French Federation of Couture (even their fonts are tiny!), couldn't sidestep his routinized defense of the French ethos of supériorité and liberté! (which he co-opts in the name of his corporate interests, which of course, but . . .) in order to say something, anything about the bill's desires that might speak intelligently about -- a problem. Instead, he offers a haughty, "Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if young girl is skinny or not skinny" (qtd. in Carvajal A14). Ummmmm . . . because, what? . . . *we* do that. That's *our* job . . . we have a Board of Directeurs! . . . not, "We stand behind efforts to hinder the promotion of unhealthy extremes . . . " which would actually line up with my sense (the one i've been sold) of French gustatory inclinations, which are so precisely identifiable with French ethos via French marketing and . . . and . . . so but why not just say that there are problems??

But despite my initial disappointment, of course, Didier's enthusiasm is correct. No one should be legislating women's bodies (except, I guess, the Male-driven fashion industry??).

I'm confused. I need champagne.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100 things about me

yes, i realize that this is totally dated, but i read Liz's recently and became inspired. writing it is bizarre. hopefully, reading it, . . . not so jarring . . .

1.) I am always The Last to Know.

2.) I often build elaborate conspiracy theories, inspired by my ignorance (see # 1).

3.) When I was 10, our boat overturned in a storm, in the Gulf, in shark-infested waters. We were stranded for 24-26'ish hours.

4.) I thought I would write a book about it (see # 3) and be on Johnny Carson.

5.) I wanted to be a gold-medal winning Olympic swimmer, but my mom did not want to drive me to swim practice, so I couldn’t join a team. I often swam 600 + laps in our pool, late into the night, when, eventually, my mom would, annoyed, call me inside.

6.) Sometimes, I caught my mom watching me swim from her bedroom window.

7.) I was the (then) youngest certified scuba diver in Florida (at age 11).

8.) I only scuba’d once after getting certified; I preferred snorkeling.

9.) I am probably lactose intolerant, but I fight it and drink my skim in my lattes anyhow.

10.) In my first attempt at college, I was kicked out for flunking too many courses.

11.) I heard a band the other day called “flunk.” That’s hysterical. They remade "Blue Monday" (whyyyyy?).

12.) In my first attempt at college – well, in the context of that time – I was in a few punk bands.

13.) My first band was called "Johnny Cheddar and the Fish-Eating Cheeseballs," inspired by an ad i'd seen in the Weekly World News, for, (honest-to-God) a belt-contraption that a party host is enticed to wear. The belt/party-aid, i'ts suggested, makes the perfect "fish egg and cheeseball dispenser." There was a nice visual and everything. How I wish I could find that ad (new project).

14.) My second band was called (ugh) The Go-Gonads.

15.) I performed on stage with The Roach Motel.

16.) I won an air band contest by lip-synching The Runaways’ hit “Cherry Bomb” at a country bar in Gainesville. I think I clinched it when I spit beer at the crowd upon completion of the track. The 4 of us split the $100.00 4 ways.

17.) During the boatwreck (see #3), I saw 3 different mirages at 3 different times during the night. They were all. very. real.

18.) I had a Mohawk.

19.) When I was taking courses and passing them at the U of F, I took archery. I had several colored strands of hair, and my archery teacher thought that I had decorated my hair by *attaching* archery feathers. “No,” I had to tell her, “that’s my hair.” I passed.

20.) Our house in Gainesville was dubbed “The House of Death.”

21.) After flunking out of college, I went to Bradenton Beauty Academy (BBA) and became a cosmetologist.

22.) I won 1st place in BBA’s haircutting competition (a clean bob). I totally deserved it.

23.) I won 1st place in BBA’s styling competition. I had found some black, mesh wire at a construction site. I set my mannequin’s hair the night before the competition by pulling all her hair into a pony tail, high on her head. I set all the strands in various sizes of perm rods. During the competition, I placed the mesh wire around the “base” of the hair, securing them with bobby pins, effectively covering the un-set hair with mesh. my “inspiration”? . . . hair spilling out of a garbage can. I unwound the perm rods, teased a few, gelled others, and created lovely mess.

24.) I always thought that my friend, Teresa, should have won that styling contest. I could never do a pristine “updo” (thus, my garbage can “commentary” -- an “updon’t”). Hers was precisely like the picture in our book. So, winning, I felt guilty, like I had tricked everyone, and I began to understand a thing or two about trends.

25.) To compensate for Teresa’s loss, I attended her roller skating competition and was b-o-r-e-d, but I learned the value of supporting my colleagues.

26.) I got my first job out of beauty school at the best salon in town, Les Ciseaux (The Scissors) on St. Armand's Circle. It was swank.

27.) I got fired from Les Ciseaux. I was a little nutty, eating-disordered thing at the time, and *very* thin, so I was doing a bit of local modeling (oooooh). I had (stupidly) confided in Lourdes, my co-worker and the current #2 stylist beneath Colette (the owner and best stylist I have ever seen) that I wished I didn't have to work at the salon so I could (oh, God), "focus on my modeling." But so naturally, she reported this to Colette, who took me outside one day to ask if it was true; I said "yes," but that I had been exaggerating in my whining . . . I was happy. She said she was "trying to build something here," and let me go because she could not be sure of my committment to her investment in me. I'm still not sure I deserved it, and I still haven't learned to keep things from my colleagues (can you tell?). We're people. We talk. We need to talk. Moving on . . .

28.) 2 years ago, I went home to visit my mother, who was ill. While there, I went to see Colette, my fomer boss and owner of Les Ciseaux. I did one of those 12-step'ish apologies for being such a punk employee. I'm not entirely sure that she remembered me at all, but she was her lovely, gracious, French self.

29.) I have 4 sisters. No brothers. I'm the second ("oh, that explains *everything*!").

30.) My favorite food is chicken, . . . anyway, anyhow . . . (but, I'm a little embarrassed to say, barbequed chicken might be at the top of the list).

31.) I have discovered that Cristal really is. all that.

32.) In 1994, I had a brain tumor, harrassing me from between my pituitary and hypothalmus and drawing a hefty blood supply from my optic nerve (something like that; I rememeber, probably more than anything, that my vision was threatened -- by both the tumor and the surgery).

33.) They removed it (see #32), which was good, and when I awoke after the procedure, my first words were, "You're my mother, and you're wearing red lipstick." There was my mother, at the foot of the bed, all blurry . . . but I could *see* her and her be-rouged mouth. My doctors had warned me that my vision would be blurry because of the antibiotic ointment they would put in my eyes, but somehow, because of the blurriness, I urgently n-e-e-d-e-d to push through so that I could *see*. I somehow imagined that my ability to see would be aided by my ability to *articulate* that I could see, as though saying it would make it so. Naturally, when I said what I said, my mother burst immediately into tears (I didn't mean to make you cry, mom).

34.) They got it (see #33) all out (which was good; it was killing me), but I have a couple of sh*tty systems deficiencies because of the damage left to the pituitary.

35.) No. I did not like being bald.

36.) Yes. I was scared, but only when I imagined the saw against my skull.

37.) I have a titanium plate in my skull.

38.) I have a copy of a follow-up CAT scan that reads, "no evidence of surgical needle found, although it could be hiding beneath the drainage device," or something to the effect of . . . we know we lost a needle, and we dont' *think* we sewed it back up into her head, but, um, . . .

39.) I hate the word "ointment."

40.) I was born with only one kidney, a fact I didn't know until I was 29, when my doctors discovered it during a fairly routine scan. Later, at home, I sobbed for an eternity, laying on my bed, hearing the words, "dialysis" and "transplant" over and over and over . . .

41.) *Every* time I have any sort of scan that involves looking at my kidney, x-ray technicians and radiologists come in to see if I'm actually alive; the kidney is not. pretty . . . but it works great, especially now. When I tell people that I have only one kidney, they ask, "Oh, did you donate one?" . . . and I wish I could say, "yes."

42.) I still love The Smiths.

43.) I believe that my soul wants to be in France pretty much most of the time. I used to believe that my soul wanted to be in North Carolina. Now, France. My soul still isn't sure about Utah.

44.) I love carbs.

45.) I love a good pinot noir (and no, it has nothing to do with Sideways!!!).

46.) I have always been invested in how things look. I used to think that this was shallow; now, no way.

47.) I tried to get our school to offer free education to Katrina victims. I thought: I want to do something to help, but with my sh*tty conditions, I can't go wading around without access to clean water, so I tried to start a little movement at my campus and coordinated a list of colleges and universities doing similar work around the country. My teensy contribution.

48.) Back to our boatwreck (see # 3): During the night, I saw a channel marker with a flashing light on it and believed that if I could swim to it, I would magically finding an operational radio and could call for help to save my family.

49.) Back to Beauty School days . . . I won 2nd place in the Florida State Hair Cutting Contest (again, a nice, clean bob). I remember now that when I went up on stage to accept my trophy, I thanked "the Lord Jesus Christ . . . " Yep. I did that.

50.) re: #47, for me, Sean Penn is a lovely human being.

51.) I love and am also terribly sad when i watch Grey Gardens . . . the story, the fabulous Broadway show . . . When Christine Ebersole said, "this is for all the Little Edies," I wept and wept, up in the balcony . . . wept and inhibited people from exiting the theater, immobilized, sobbing for my lost dreams.

52.) I love white walls. Other people can do color in fabulous and inventive ways, but ever since the "Imagine" video, I have dreamed of a big, white house with very little furniture. Lately, I imagine that house appointed with only a few French-y pieces, silver and glass chandeliers, and an occasional piece of colored glass (apothecary bottles can be nice).

53.) I hate the customer service voicemail vorteces so much that when i'm caught in one, the top of my head gets very hot, and I worry that I will have a stroke. The top of my head gets hot more and more often, lately. And I am working on that.

54.) In my soul, I'm a very happy person, and I carry an image of myself that I associate with a salesgirl I once saw in Atlanta. She was blond, drinking a real coke (not diet) from a glass bottle, and seemed fairly well blissed out. Maybe it was drugs. I always imagined that her affect would one day inhabit my body and soul. I'm still hoping for it.

55.) I find Naomi Watts sublime. I find Philip Seymour Hoffman to be one of the very best actors alive and working today. Again, sublime (and I'll only use that term for Watts and Hoffman). I have a picture of me and PSH. I was horribly nervous to ask for it, but he was very cool and obliging. He had, a few days earlier, talked with me about his earth-shaking performance in Magnolia (specifically, the moment when he fakes lighting a cig for his hospice patient; I burst into mad tears at the compassion . . . it was soul-blasting work). I had to ask for the pic, even though I don't generally like to do so. (do you love the 1" worth of dark roots? nice!).

56.) Over time (and specifically, following what I have come to call "The Christine Lahti Incident"), i have learned not to approach celebrities.

57.) It's a good thing that I'm a Theater Manager for the Sundance Screening Room during the Sundance Film Festival, because celebrities have to come find me (and this saves me the humiliation). And I do get a tiny jolt from talking with celebrities about routine business matters (how I will introduce them, sound levels for the film, etc.) because I'm talking to a celebrity but the ordinariness of it keeps my giddy "Hi, Celebrity X . . . I loved you in _______" tendency in check.

58.) At the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, I . . . met . . . Patti Smith.

59.) I am getting ready to attend a meeting and am feeling physically ill at the thought of it.

60.) I still get stomach-crunchingly anxious over public speaking.

61.) Once I start (see #60), I'm usually fine, quite happy . . . feeling "in my element," says the closet exhibitionist, the frustrated actress.

62.) We had a German Shepherd named Toby, the family dog. When my Dad told me that "we had him put down," the words hadn't registered in my mind before tears were hurling straight out into the space in front of me, gushing, projectile, from my eyes.

63.) I used to think, Raymond Carver-like (see "
Your Dog Dies"), that I could "draw upon" this (see # 62) moment in Strasbergian sense-memory acts on the many film sets I would surely frequent as a Working Screen Actress.

64.) I am a loyal friend, but friends often seem to tire of and "drop" me. Mostly, these are my female friends, whereas my male friends are quite loyal. I am not sure what this says about me. And it makes me sad.

65.) I have expensive taste, well beyond my means, and I am unashamed of it.

66.) I do *not* see money as the "root of all evil."

67.) I sometimes smoke, between 10-20 times/year.

68.) I never get even 1/2-way through a pack of cigarettes before throwing them out.

69.) Sometimes, I gesticulate wildly (especially if telling a story after a glass of wine or a cocktail). When I say "wildly," I mean it.

70.) It is *always* embarrassing to think of it (the gesticulating) the next day.

71.) Sometimes, I think, even still, even in 2008, that women who make clear that they are smart (in a variety of what seem to me like ordinary ways), are vilified and generally cut off from The Pack. In Utah, double that.

72.) I want to claim a groovy 3rd wave sensibility, but lately, I see everything in terms of gender, and it's killing me (especially in Utah) . . . I am fighting it and almost over it, two days after writing this list item.

73.) I am always looking for "the perfect" pair of boots, the "the perfect" bra . . . and . . . oh, forget it.

74.) I am afraid of cats, and they know it. They terrorize me.

75.) In my deepest heart, I am politically radical; In my actual life, I have become so disenchanted with "the process" that I am politically ambivalent-to-immobile. I am not proud of this.

76.) I make documentary films as a way of engaging with a world that scares and frustrates and fascinates me.

77.) When I am editing film, I am in the mystical "zone." As Beck might say, "the skin of a robot, vibrates with pleasure" ("Lazy Flies").

I want to make a video of this song (lyrics, genius) featuring footage from 2 Werner Herzog films, particularly Fitzcarraldo, and Aguirre, Wrath of God. I can't help visualzing it every time I hear this song (and secretly wondering -- Wimsatt & Beardsley notwithstanding -- if Beck didn't just find some inspiration there).

78.) I am a great teacher.

79.) Here, I had written "I am a horrible teacher," to sort of self-deprecate in a way that would ameliorate the eye-rolling gross out that could be reading #78, but #78 is true. So there.

80.) I would love to be a person who could say "I love to cook," but I am not that person.

81.) I once caught a Great White Marlin. Prior to catching the Marlin, it seemed that everyone fishing with us was catching something worthy of "stuffing." I hadn't, so when I caught one of the millions of routine baracuda that we used to catch while fishing in the keys (prior to the boatwreck; see #3 -- ya think that thing defines me?), Dad made a big deal about this one baracuda and said "we've gotta stuff 'im." I knew what he was doing, and it made me both a little bit sad, and it also made me love my Dad a little bit more.

82.) The Great White Marlin I caught was pathetically near death. It was almost floating on the surface (not good), and it's pitiful mouth was just able to get at the ballyhoo on my hook in order to finish off the whole mess. I felt badly about the whole thing, and we did stuff it, but it was not at all glorious or joy-inducing.

83.) I find taxidermy kind of gross.

84.) I hate using capital letters. Typing this list, I've used them, as a kind of experiment, and I have been uncomfortable the whole way through.

85.) I love a ginormous salad with chicken and lots of other goodies, but it's never special when I make it for myself, at home.

86.) Re: #85 and extending the thought to other dining scenarios, I am a fool for the flourishes of presentation. All over it. Flambee? . . . please! . . . giant pepper grinder (even though I prefer fine to coarse pepper)? absolutely! . . . impressive towers of food I can't make out? why not?! . . . extra parmesean despite likely lactose intolerance (see #9)? . . . outstanding! Oh, and those little scrapers waitpeople use at fancy establishments to oh-so-precisely brush away the distasteful crumbs and mess that reveal my human-slob-status? d-i-v-i-n-e!

87.) I have recurring dreams that make me wonder about alternate universes.

88.) I watch Shark Week every year.

89.) I am offended, not a little bit, but truly, deeply offended, when people feel entitled to, and then do comment upon my choice of diet soft drinks and splenda. And soooo many people feel that this is perfectly appropriate, a sign of higher intelligence. And these are smart people, people who know things about the infinite strands of historical, personal, painful and otherwise complex information that informs a person's decisions. When will people realize that no one wants anyone to comment upon their food and drink choices? jeez.

90.) I laugh out loud when I read the posts at

91.) I *don't* believe our children are our future.

92.) Because, I mean, when "our" children are grown and running things, I'm probably going to be dead. And it's just gross to invoke "our children" or "the youth" to argue for things we actually want for ourselves, today . . . gross.

93.) I believe that Thank you for Smoking should be(come) a mandatory act of film spectation in every Writing and Rhetoric course, ever, everywhere.

94.) I have a thing for expensive handbags (but not just *any* . . . the padded Chanels and their ilk kinda gross me out) . . . more like Chloe's extra-large Paddington bag (current fav) in camel . . . ahhhhh . .

95.) Hey . . . our youth want me to have a Chole Paddington bag in camel!

96.) *Every* time Delta runs their "air safety messages" via video on the screens that pop down in front of us, Mike and I always get a Big Laugh of the guy in the aisle seat with long, curly hair. You see, he's listening to (presumably) music on his ipod. Get it? "Guys with long hair like music!" And look! He's complying by putting away his "electronic device" upon the request of the flight attendant! See, "Guys with long hair need not be threatening!" Clever, that Delta.

97.) Also, whenever we fly, we always get a laugh out of the Sky Mall Magazine, especially the (sadly, now updated) old version of the spider-sucking-vacuum-for-hard-to-reach-spiders-perched-high-on-your-wall. A mixture of totally gruesome with cleanliness possibilities . . . the image is insanely appealing (the woman in the ad wearing what i can only call "neatly pressed slacks," looking oh-so-calm) and funny and bizarre.

98.) I am using this list to publicly commit to taking my fabled trip to France during 2008. I have absolutely no idea how I will make it happen, but come on . . . tick, tock . . .

99.) I wish in my deepest heart that I could stop thinking about "the last 20 pounds." Maybe my inability to move past it has to do with the fact that I actually need to lose 50. ha.

100.) I am over this list. voilà!

We Are the Strange

i finally watched the whole film, not just YouTube clips (which are p-r-i-t-t-y illuminating and enaging in themselves). what a relief that i LOVE this film; i was tiny bit worried, given that i've made these elaborate plans (well, i've begun to make the elaborate plans) to make a documentary about M dot Strange (the filmmaker).

so but i'll wait to "comment" via my documentary. in the meantime, let me simply say that the film is like nothing else you've seen . . . and yet, like much of what you've seen -- it's 8-bit aesthetic converges with inventive technological moves that generate an oldschool charm via newschool and extreme diy tech . . . steampunk, post Gondry-level magic w/r/t using the ordinary to generate the extraordinary. vibratory pleasure and wonder and enchantment. you must. see. it.

in the meantime, enjoy this response (i did) from Film Baby, the online venue from which i purchased the dvd (note: worth it!):

Hi bonnie,


I am pleased to announce that your film has been shipped today!

We Are The Strange

Please rest assured that we've taken great care in the shipping of your DVD. We hold true to an ancient DVD shipping tradition passed down for over 5000 years. This very intensive practice is only achieved after years of training, meditation, purity of mind, and deep breathing exercises. After a rigorous 17 step process of verifying the authenticity of your DVD, we donned silk gloves and placed it into a sacred box made of magic and lined with Unicorn fur, tied the box with a strand of Gypsy hair, and wrapped the whole thing in a snazzy looking faux gold leaf paper, with elm leaf inlay from Costco. Unfortunately, by the time it gets to you, all of that fancy stuff will likely have been picked clean by the greedy postal service employees. Please don't be surprised to see just a plain cardboard box.

We hope you enjoy your DVD and that you'll come back to Film Baby real soon to browse all of the other great independently created entertainment that we have to offer.

name withheld,
President, Film Baby

P.S. We snuck a little surprise in the box for you too! [it was popcorn. yay! . . . but maybe spaceman [sic] ice cream dots would have been a better choice?].

dear 6 word memoir meme,

had i been honest and gone with my first inclination, my memoir would have read (counting the hyphenated word as one): "bowl-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse" (via Cake, "The Distance"). actually, i would have swapped out "doubt" for "guilt," but so . . .

next time, i will try harder to avoid silencing myself; if only the compulsion to silence myself weren't so "rhetorically saavy" . . . but so anyhow, here's cake:

Monday, April 14, 2008

6 word memoir

. . . but when exactly do you mean?

yes, i stole from Morrissey, from , How Soon Is Now? it is, i
n fact, so good that you must now experience it. it's relevant,
a crucial point in my audiobiography . . .

i found this meme via Chris. so now, your instructions:

1. write your own six word memoir
2. post it on your blog and include a visual illustration i you’d like
3. link to the person that tagged you in your post and to
this original post so we can track it
4. tag five more blogs with links
5. leave a comment on the tagged blogs w/ an invitation to play

i'm tagging (sorry):
john, bill, cheryl, steve, and johndan

the tournées festival grant

i've applied for a grant from FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange) to host a French Film Festival on my campus.

i've asked for some help from the Sundance Institute in the form of possibly using the Sundance Screening Room as a venue for the festival (and this will perhaps stave off weird looks when -- should i get the sabbatical -- i am seen on campus; actually, it's all about the ambiance . . . and the venue's amazing projection and sound capabilities).

this is what i love. so it makes sense. plus, should i get the grant, i will have an opportunity to
share some of the films with which i am so madly in love (and to see those i've missed). i've requested:

1.) Persepolis

2.) Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). if you've read me at all, ever, you know i'm MAD for this film, and it was distinctly gypped by the dumb Academy. dumb, dumb, dumb . . .

3.) Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge (The Flight of the Red Balloon)

4.) Une Vieille Maîtresse (The Last Mistress)

5.) Die Große Stille (Into Great Silence)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

hedwig, again (naturally) . . .

at side effects, we are reminded (ahhhh . . .) of "sex and death" and see a visual rendering of the erosion of "androgyne" (Plato, Aristophanes, etc.) via Pascal Szidon's film, a lovely work that wants to animate the myth. i had to reproduce it here in my hopeful attempt to participate in this good and important work:

fab. but the piece also recalled for me one of my favs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch . . . Stephen Trask's engaging lyrics, John Cameron Mitchell's soul-quaking performance, . . . Emily Hubley's fun animation.

so but. "The Origin of Love":

btw, Hubley's feature film, The Toe Tactic is now out (i got to extra in a scene she workshopped at the Sundance Filmmaker Labs, so i'm happy & identifying like a madwoman, "as though we ourselves, had produced what we had heard" -- Longinus).

mood meme

Krystial  ( Jamison *Lanen* )

in answer to the question, "what is your current mood?"

1.) go to photobucket
2.) type your answer to the question in the “search” box.
3.) use only the first page.
4.) insert the picture into your blog

opening shots

talk of The Opening Shots Project has prompted me to visit and search the site on the occasion of re-watching (last night) TCM's screening of Lolita. so far, nothing there on Humbert Humbert's effeminately long, delicate fingers lovingly polishing the toes of a young Lolita.

but there's YouTube. there, i found the opening credit sequence i was after. serious opening shot ennui, all the longing and sadness "Hum" experiences within the intimate frame of the ordinary (albeit highly sexualized) gesture . . . the soft, gentle push of tiny cotton puffs between the tender toes . . . the precision of the strokes . . . masterful.

i suppose it's not exactly the "opening shot" in a classical sense, as this scene accompanies the opening credits. still . . .

a "lower case" problem

in response to an earlier post, anonymous writes,

"Why don't you use capital letters at the beginning of sentences?It is very unpleasant to read."

dear anonymous,

we have choices in life, and hey, you need not read my writing if it is unpleasant for you (aren't choices great?). i've included your note because i find it both funny and somewhat worth considering. oh, and notice that as i've quoted you, i've included capital lettering in order to represent you correctly. i've also included the lack of spacing between the question mark and the "It," as a way of representing you correctly. notice also that i've included your use of the passive voice, because i want to honor your choice, which is likely driven by a desire to directly express your displeasure from beneath the veil of anonymity, where you comfortably decline to include the obvious subject, "I".

i include all of these things in my representation because i respect you like that. i respect your ability to choose.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

customer service heaven . . .

From: Bonnie Kyburz []
Sent: Wed 4/9/2008 8:02 AM
To: aservice
Subject: broken item


i recently ordered two lovely mugs, but one has a tiny crack where the handle connects to the mug, and i'm afraid it will break completely.

can you explain your exchange policy?

thank you,
bonnie kyburz


On 4/9/08, aservice <> wrote:

Hi Bonnie,

I am sorry that your mug is in this condition. I have arranged to reship new mugs at no further cost to you. Because the damaged item was made of ceramic or glass, you will not have to return it to us. Please discard of the item as carefully as possible. You will receive a shipment confirmation as soon as your new order leaves our facility.

If you require additional assistance or have any other questions, please contact us at

Please include this email with your reply.

[name withheld]


To: aservice
Subject: Re: rrt
RE: broken item

How lovely of you! Thank you.

To be clear, the mug of which I speak has a butterfly and frog design in black (it is not among the ones recently shipped, the series of 4).

What a delightful experience, to be helped so graciously. No wonder I love Anthropologie.
bonnie kyburz


Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for your email.

That is the mug I am sending. Your new order number for the replacement mug is XXXXXXXX. Please note, I was unable to send only one, so you will be receiving two. Consider the extra one as a courtesy.

If you require additional assistance or have any other questions, please contact us at

Please include this email with your reply.

[name withheld]

Monday, April 7, 2008

perspective . . .

. . . not image, is everything. and you're welcome for the early morning slogan. and yes, i sort of loathe slogans too, but it is, again, early, and so i'm compressing because i really should be about getting ready to head to campus. so then . . .

"[...] perspective seals off religious art from the realm of the magical, where the work of art itself works the miracle, and from the realm of the dogmatic and symbolic, where the work bears witness to, or foretells, the miraculous. But there it opens it to something entirely new: the realm of the visionary, where the miraculous becomes a direct experience of the beholder, in that the supernatural events in a sense erupt into his own, apparently natural, visual space ans so permit him really to 'internalize' their supernaturalness" -- Erwin Panofsky (Panofsky 72).

i find Panofsky's linguistic attempt to capture the experience of religious (one might say, "all") art sort of enchanting and admirable. i have to wonder, though, if we can approximate even within our highly complex mental, cognitive, peceptual apparatus, "the direct experience of the beholder." i suppose this is where attentiveness to precision in perspectival abstraction comes into play. um, so, . . . good luck with that, artist (i don't think it was working for this woman).

*from Panofsky's 1991 Perspective as Symbolic Form.

marc jacobs chanels trish mcevoy. . .

. . . with this breathe of fresh and deliciously androgynous fragrance. when trish discontinued #7, "basil tonic," i tried for months to find one remaning bottle and deployed several labyrinthine search attempts to get at it. no luck. only tears. disappointment. a sense that the world had gone terribly wrong (all i can now find is trish's #9, a sticky bath of fruity sweetness).

but now, marc jacobs saves the day (doesn't marc always save the day?). to be sure, marc's "basil splash" isn't as heady and joyful as (was) the "tonic," but it's awfully nice (and terrifically subtle; one must get very close to sesnse it, and then, . . . a surprising pleasure . . .).

Saturday, April 5, 2008


new orleans is like vegas. you get to see yourself in all your nasty glory. this can be productive, even when it feels icky.

so attending a major professional conference in new orleans (why i'm here now, at c's) requires that i perform in very special ways. because all that internal reflection and contemplation that enables me to make it through the range of provocative, often soul-jarring sights, smells, and, um . . . "encounters" . . . it motivates me to sort of unwittingly devise new lifemaps i will need to get after internalizing. these new insights are worth remembering, and they both "get in the way" and enable the recollection of previous ways of being, sometimes inspiring new organizations that feel promising. maybe this sensation, fleeting but reliable, is what we're after in visiting other places that take us quite far from our conventional center(s) and habits. i could get fancy and talk Bordieu's "hexis," (to put it crudely, a bodily experience of social orientation) but i won't go too far in that direction, just now.

see, i often require something "in the way" (some new or recalled or reconfigured consciousness) because i can be compulsive. capturing images within these disorienting spaces seems to help me (more on this, some day). this, "bonnie's compulsiveness," will ring familiar for those of you who have seen that i sometimes post and re-post the same note several times, trying to get it just right and not always succeeding because i get some insight just after hitting "publish" (i should be smarter and more patient. but i am. apparently. not). and see, it's not all about what i'm saying but also how it appears (to say). hitting "preview" in blogger gives me a *sense* of how the post will appear, but it's an approximation that gives way to quite a different layout, once published. for me, the reposting is almost always about aesthetics. and then, it's the analog to my habit of printing a draft several times instead of simply "when it's done." i see in the printed pages things that i can't see in the screen representation. same, here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

visual literacy (?)

i'm seeing a lot of talk about visual literacy at the c's, but so much of the talk is about comics. 

i've got nothing against comics, although i've never been into them. they're fine. i recall seeing my first comic book in a Circle K (ha) and not knowing how to pronounce "The Unknown" (i was a kid and included the hard "k." what was the un"k"nown?).

but so it seems (from what i'm hearing) that comics are ideal visual literacies; i'm not so sure. maybe too easy . . . all packaged and tidy, text to tell you what it all means, lined up in pretty neat boxes (like paragraphs!).

i'm sure i'm missing it. but for now, i can't get excited about comics. Anne did some nice work (no surprise) framing up her discussion by thinking through historical discourses on how words and/vs. images operate as gendered binaries (guess how that plays out? hint: this one's easy). 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

imaging choices

here i am (a few days ago), trying to figure out which medium to use for the visual portion of my c's presentation. i'm reflecting upon a comment Anne Wysocki made to Cheryl Ball (Cheryl shared Anne's wisdom with me when i was asking for help w/ my choices).

i'm toying w/ feeling cool about my choices by trying to see how i feel about it.

merde! i still want to insist upon the film, but there's. just. no. time. so i ppt'd it. and i love it. i sort of wish i didn't.

disclaimer: in life, i am neither a.) that skinny, b.) that hip, and c.) actually so silly.

stand up straight & let me get a look at you

It's awards show Sunday, so i'm giving Margot. I'm through with the wishfulness and angst and regret, and Margot, more than an...