Friday, June 11, 2004


Man, it's been a looooooooong week and I am wiped out. I've been doing stuff at night that has me up late and then I don't sleep well because, well, I don't sleep well. I was discussing this with someone last night, how I go to bed and watch TV and lose consciousness and wake up at 4am to the sound of the TV that is still on and I've had enough sleep to qualify as a nap so now I'm awake and now that I've turned the TV off, I'm awake with an active and busy mind. Or, like last night, I go to bed and open a book and fall asleep almost immediately and wake up at 5am because the light is seeping into my dawning consciousness and again, I can't go back to sleep. So I'm basically functioning on about 5 hours a night which is doable when I'm not busy.

But I've been busy.

So today I'm just having passing thoughts like why are there ads in Variety and the Reporter featuring various reality shows for "your consideration"? I thought the emmys were about recognizing creative achievement? The only people in the world of reality who are creatively achieving anything are the editors! I know there's a reality category that was created last year, but my question is why? Is this the second sign of the apocalypse?

There is a very nice guy where I work who has been delivering packages to the office since I arrived. He wants to be a writer and he has just gotten a new job here that will move him closer to the "inner sanctum" that are the television production offices. He's from the south and uses terms like "generous woman" to describe a fat girl. He's very sweet, but when he comes to chat with me he takes his sunglasses and puts them in his earholes, allowing them to swing beneath his chin like a feedbag and I find this distracting and kind of annoying. I want to tell him to stop. It's gotten to the point that when he comes in the door I start counting to see how high I can get before the glasses swing down - today I made it to 15. I want to tell him to stop. I am a shallow girl.

I cannot wait until they bury Ronald Reagan. I mean seriously put him in the ground already! It's like the whole damn country has alzheimer's disease when it comes to his presidency. I think he was a really likable guy, like someone's sweet old grand-dad, and his optimism about America was welcome, but c'mon! He was riding a moral slip'n'slide when it came to social and human rights issues. Not exactly a contemporary thinker. To him the best of times were 1955 and it seemed like he was trying to continue to live in that most boring, yet prosperous of decades. His presidency gave birth to the neo-con movement that informs much of the current administration's ideas and policies. Hey you guys - the 50s are over, they were boring and the music sucked. I find it ominous that music is sucking so hugely again. Looking forward to the next revolution.

Speaking of crimes in Latin America... I'm off to Mexico tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. Got a lovely house to stay in, good food, good company. I'm feeling a little trepidation about driving down late at night because I inevitably get lost in Tijuana. Border towns pretty much suck and are not good places to be lost when it's dark. Since I don't speak Spanish I can't understand the directions given in response to my query, "donde esta Las Gaviotas?" I should probably ask in English so that it's clear that I'm not a Spanish speaker but I can't help but want to flex my very little language muscles and show off my excellent accent. So anyway, I'm feeling a little anxious because I'm tired and cranky and heading south of the border in the dark. Not a great combo. I wonder if you can drink while you drive down there? I'm too tired to take a Valium.

Last night I went to see Lawrence Kasdan speak at the Writer's Guild. He was wonderful in that he seemed firmly grounded in reality and very humble for a man who has achieved quite a level of success in Hollywood. He talked about how this is a business that works hard to keep newcomers out, because who needs the competition. This is a man whose first professional screenwriting gig was writing Raiders of the Lost Ark! It took him a long time to break in but he did with his first original script "Continental Divide" being made into a feature in 1981, the same year that he directed "Body Heat" which he also wrote. I love pretty much all of this guy's work. He first came to my attention with "Silverado" because I'm not a big fan of the western, but he wrote one that I not only enjoyed tremendously, but I've watched multiple times. And I absolutely loved his analogy of his film Wyatt Earp about a good guy who goes bad and becomes like the fascist hand of the law in the west perhaps being released a bit too early since there are some parallels between Earp and, well, our President. I have to say that the movie I love best is "The Big Chill" because there are times in my life where I have been blessed to be part of a group of friends that felt insulated and safe, like the very best dysfunctional families. Mr. K had some very insightful things to say about the process of writing as well. The one I remember the best because it is the most germane to my life right this minute is "you are either writing, or feeling badly about not writing".


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