Monday, February 28, 2005


I can't help it. I'm probably a second-and-a-half wave feminist. So when I watch the Oscars last night, I have to wonder what Harvard president Lawrence Summers would think about the paucity of female writers and directors nominated on the fiction feature film side of the Oscars. And wonder wouldn't it have been interesting (and talkworthy) if Chris Rock, so good at noticing other emperors and their lack of clothes, had talked about it. Don't get me wrong: I'm really glad old white guys are working and directing, because, you know, they're fantastic, especially Sidney Lumet when he's cranking, and Clint Eastwood is just awesome. But maybe that "can't do big science" gene is wrapper around the "can't write and direct and big feature films" gene in girls. Can't wait for the map on that one, so we call all just rest easy. Tina (I got nominated but I did not win) Fey, are you listening?

Saturday, February 26, 2005


postcardx. Random acts of postcard sending. I love it.


Listening to "On the Media," maybe my favorite regular program, which is, of course, waking Hunter Thompson. And they played a clip of...Johnny Depp playing Hunter Thompson, complete with rumbling, boozy tones. Just yesterday, I heard a clip of Depp playing J.M. Barrie, all Scottish pixe dust. Complete vocal transformation. Art to aspire to.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Maybe I've been watching too much TV, between Bush's European spring break and The Apprentice and the media's little blips of anxiety over what Chris Rock will say at the Oscars. (Funny stuff, I hope.)

So inevitably I began to think about Paris Hilton, because you can't really get away from her, can you? And I realized that the highly overexposed Ms. Hilton does have a tragic secret: she doesn't hire well. Or maybe pay well. In any event, the sad fact of Paris Hilton's life is this: even though she was born into a family that made its fortune in the hospitality business, Paris never figured out how to hire a personal assistant who could...well, keep her video from the Internet, keep track of her dog, or keep her Sidekick locked up and unhacked. If she has "people," and I'm sure she does, they are not doing their jobs.

Should it surprise us? No. Nobody wants to be an assistant anymore, or maybe only as long as it takes to get the dirt to write a tell-all. The service industry as a whole is in terrible shape in this country because nobody wants to, to use the Bob Dylan lyric, "serve somebody." Nobody actually wants to be "an apprentice." They want to be "The Apprentice," which is an entirely different thing. And don't get me started on posses. A posse or an entourage is just a stepping stone to--I don't know, having your own clothing line. Nobody's in the moment. Everybody's just trying to figure out how to get famous--which means that you may not have your eye on the ball--or the Sidekick.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

THE L WORD--an appreciation...PART 1

Husband, dog and I have fallen for The L Word. Thanks to James Wolcott's nifty essay in Vanity Fair about, among other things, how the show seemed to fly under the moral valuators' radar, I rented (and rented and rented) the show. And man, did we get hooked.

How many ways do I love this show? Well, along with the fantastic looking ladies, the dark/bright view of L.A., there is...the abundant casting of women over 40, starting with Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter art queen/control freak/our last best hope for contemporary art, Pam Grier as her r & b recovery babe half-sister Kit, and in smaller, smoky roles, Holland Taylor! Bosom Buddies begone! as a batty/brilliant benefactress, Roseanna Arquette as a perverse yet tragic Hollywood wife, Anne Archer burning on all nine million cylinders as an actress who's committed the sin of aging, Lolita Davidovich as pure evil in an Armani skirt.

Thank you, Ilene Chaiken. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the most wrenching cat death on TV! "Six Feet Under," eat your heart out. It's Trollope with Tribe 8, filtered through Clare B. Luce, with a couple of nods to "Bent" and "Querelle," and a passing acquaintaince with Godard. And any show with multiple manatees...well, I am so there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I suspect for a lot of people, if Hunter Thompson existed at all, he existed as a cartoon character in Doonesbury. But if you were a writer/radical of a certain age, Hunter Thompson blew your mind with his political reporting in Rolling Stone, which was heavily fueled with drugs, outrage, and a non-stop BS detector. He was the Lord of Excess, but he was also all there--all angry, all noticing, and fun fun fun to read. Susie Bright's take in her blog captures the loss and the love we feel for the man who invented Gonzo Journalism: Susie Bright's Journal : Hunter Takes Out the Bear.

Monday, February 21, 2005


So we saw The Gates today, and they were great. Jeff thought of sails and sheets, and I thought of theatre curtains. Wonderful. The day is gray and slushy, but the Gates do bring the party to our city. And they are free and orange and uncomplicated, without a label or brand in sight. Thank you Jean-Claude and Christo!

I first learned about the Gates when Gordon Davis, the NY parks commissioner at the time, turned Christo down flat, 1979? 1980? I lived in Pittsburgh, then, but longed for New York. My friend Jane adored Christo, and when I told her about the dustup, she wrote a letter of protest, and copied Christo. Christo and Jean-Claude sent her several signed posters of their work in thanks, and in turn, Jane gave me one, which I kept for almost 20 years...the sun finally bleached the poster almost white. I felt sad to let it go, but like everything else in the Christo world, it is joyously temporary.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


You know that good things are not in store." That's a line from a John Guare play, and yesterday, when it was cold enough to make a flamingo fall out of the sky, I saw John Guare walking near Trinity Church, near Ground Zero, with a friend. And I love his work so much, it just made me smile to see him. I heart New York for that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bad Sex (ual Healing)

I have the flu. Husband has the flu. Even the dog has the flu. Fortunately, Rachel Kramer Bussel's Voice column on people's bad sex cheered me up.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

HAPPY MARDI GRAS! HAPPY 200TH ENTRY (if I were a tv series, I'd be getting a bump up in my residuals)!

I'm wearing beads while I type.

No, I'm not. But in my mind, I definitely am. I make Faith wear Mardi Gras beads sometimes, but she doesn't have to take her top off for them, like the Girls Gone Wild. She just has to suffer through having an anthropomorphizing owner. Which is probably more humiliating in the dog world.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, not New Orleans, which means that, unlike Ellen Degeneres, I didn't get to watch Dixieland bands parade around my hometown just before we entered into that dark strange period before Easter/Passover.

The Last Supper was actually a Passover meal, which somehow wasn't taught in our Catholic grade school. When I was a sophomore in high school, fully a third of our religion class told Sister Mary Beth she was SO WRONG that Jesus was a Jew.

The day after Fat Tuesday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the dark period, the scary music time in the movie. And each year, I got ashes on my forehead. "Dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return," the priest would whisper, and smudge me through my bangs. And it was a spooky ritual, the Halloween rite of the Catholic Church, somehow scarier than the body and blood of Christ. Because dust...just blows away.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


It's very wild to write two (short) books in under three months, most especially when one's shoulder is hurting like hell. But I did it, and I hope that some of the words actually make sense. My editor will let me know shortly. And then I'll probably do two blogs for the books, because I think it will help. The people and the pets and the books. Hope so.

That's all. I don't really know if anyone reads this. I think, as chatty and extroverted as I am, the blog will never be my natural medium--it falls somewhere between the polished prose I hope I write most of the time, and the spoken brain churn that is me talking. Most especially because the shoulder thing was aggravated by many hours at the laptop, I think I'm shifting in my relationship to the actual physical computer. I never ever want to be a Luddite, and I maintain my suspicious of nostalgia--so much of what passes for mourning the past, I think, is really about our still scary romance with authority. So much of nostalgia can be boiled down to, "Back then, people didn't do those bad things." Which people? Which things? Usually the people didn't have the power, and the things were forbidden. And if only we stopped those people, and those things, if they would all just go back where they came from...

Equally toxic is the opposite, that the only good time is now, soon, early, faster, better. But that's another rant. I have to turn off this screen and walk my dog with my two (finally) good shoulders.