Wednesday, July 29, 2009

At the end of Seattle's 103 degree day, the warmest in the city's history:

After a lovely evening out at Star Trek (more on that next time) w/ my best friend and two of his friends, both of whom I've met before and find quite swell, I returned home to a sweltering abode and immediately disrobed.

Then the biggest moth maybe ever--seriously, this thing could be the subject of J.J. Abram's next film--flew into my goddamned hair and when I freaked and shooed it away, it made a beeline for my Marc Jacobs wool houndstooth coat hanging on the back of my bedroom door. I batted it away again and it landed on my mirror. When I returned with a paper towel to squelch its malevolence, it had flown away and now I can't find it.

So I'm faced with the prospect of trying to sleep in 88 degree weather knowing some kind of sentient dragon-type descendent is loose in what should be my sanctuary.

Right now I don't feel like fate's pawn so much as its bitch and/or fluffer.

You have won the battle, coif-hating, wool-craving moth, but sleep or no sleep, I will win the war.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hey, you know what sucks harder than giving blowjobs for pocket change at bus stations?

When you've already had a fever for nineteen months and the temperature in your city is 90 degrees and is about to top 100.

Appropriate topics for discussion at my funeral: my genteel and ladylike phrasing; my tenacious and history-inspiring rack; and assembling in my forties a reasonable combination of anti-humidity haircare products.

Good night, God bless.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The more things change:

Yesterday was utterly delightful. My best friend took me to Golden Gardens (and he helped me navigate the sand while on my cane) and then we got sandwiches at Other Coast Cafe and laughed unabatedly and told ridiculous stories new and old and it was by far the best day of what has been a rather dicey summer.

Today, perhaps unsurprisingly, I was annihilated. I checked my email at 1 p.m. and while I have no recollection of closing my eyes or reclining, next thing I knew, it was 5:30 p.m. I rallied, threw on a rather jaunty ensemble (I'm sick, not dead), achingly traversed the four blocks up the hill to the grocery store, shopped, slowly navigated the downhill return path, unpacked my quarry, made dinner, and collapsed.

This is hardly the first time this has happened in the last 18 years and, almost certainly, it won't be the last. And, as I've oft-noted, my folks and my closest friends have been saints throughout this bout of shingles, which is now in its eleventh week. And I know I'm improving: even two weeks ago, it would have been inconceivable for me to retrieve my own groceries and subsequently prepare a meal.

Also, as I know in every particle of my being, there are thousands of worse illnesses to have. Out of the nearly seven billion individuals currently inhabiting the earth, I have one of the very best lives.

Still, there is something deeply saddening when, in one's physically worse phases, even joyful events, no matter how well-planned and measured, trigger massive symptom exacerbation.

So, I guess, once again, all we can really do is continue to eat (mostly) healthily, be grateful for those in our life and for our rather fortunate professional opportunities, rest, and hope tomorrow is a bit better.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And we are reminded again...

...that difficulties present themselves in a city where protracted discussion of amateur-level skiing and hiking passes for culture.

And this, perhaps, is what no one but other chronically ill or injured individuals understand: when every fiber of your being is begging to leave and yearning to belong, even for a tiny while, in your surroundings, you are stuck. And on your very good days, you are able to take a short walk and fold your laundry and write a bit.

It is my fondest hope that I return to the level of health and writerly output I was able to sustain from the end of '04 to the end of '07 because with all the words at my disposal, I cannot adequately convey how much I miss both.

And I fear that if I must engage in one more palid conversation about kayaking, I will swallow every pill in the house.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And with no access to Cortizone cream or Percocet:

It sounds like I'm being facetious, but I genuinely feel sorry for Olympia Snowe, Tim Pawlenty, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Peggy Noonan, Alex Castellanos, Christopher Buckley, Amy Holmes (whom I know, but that's a whole other story) and other highly intelligent and well-reasoned conservatives because it's no secret that, of late, their party has been hijacked by some terrifyingly doltish individuals. (Kind of like when the Democrats ran Mondale against Reagan in '84. I respect Fritz, but you have to wonder what the fuck anyone was thinking. As Dennis Miller put it at the time, back when he was still funny, "He got stomped like a narc at a biker rally. I almost tied him and I didn't even run.")

So, in the protracted fallout and endless detritus of the Republican's '08 campaign, the so-called "birthers" at the far right (and neurologically impaired) end of the party are now insisting President Obama is not a U.S. citizen. (Do they think Supreme Court Justice Roberts is in on the conspiracy? And that Bush and Cheney simply opted to look the other way?)

What the "birthers" are forgetting, perhaps as a result of their sequential lobotomies, is that John McCain was the only presidential candidate in post-colonial times who was not born in the U.S.: his father was stationed at a U.S. base in Panama and McCain was born in a hospital therein. The Democratic National Committee opted not to challenge the constitutionality of McCain's candidacy because his father served honorably, the hospital in question was on a U.S. base, and it would have been politically disastrous and yielded absolutely no practical gain.

Despite the fact President Obama's U.S. birth certificate has been produced repeatedly, along with his birth announcement in the local Hawaiian papers, the "birther" yahoos relentlessly persist.

My fondest hope? That each and every one develops an incurable case of shingles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've posted this elsewhere, but it bears repeating:

Say what you will about Dick Cheney, but by all accounts he loves his family and they love him. And while Saddam Hussein often had a fractious relationship with his oldest son, Uday, and jailed him at least once, they, along with the youngest son Qusay, presented a united front to the outside world. So how much of a cretinous toolbag does Joe Jackson have to be to be a worse father than Dick Cheney and Saddam Hussein? And why the hell doesn't Katherine sprinkle cyanide on his Cheerios?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back in the saddle again. Sort of:

If you know me or if you read my Facebook page, you're aware that I developed a particularly acute case of shingles nine weeks ago and that, in many ways, it has derailed my summer thus far.

The good news, though (and I while I'm not superstitious, I can't help but touch wood as I write this) is that I'm incrementally improving and that, last week, I interviewed Lynn Shelton, the out-of-the-park talented writer/director of the new indie comedy, Humpday, for Nerve.

I'm extraordinarily fortunate because if my folks and TJ did not graciously volunteer to do my grocery shopping, errand running, et al, there is no way I could have taken on or completed the assignment. (It should be noted I pitched this feature before I developed shingles but it wasn't assigned until the eleventh hour. 'Twas ever thus in publishing and I'm neither surprised nor complaining.)

The feature went up on Friday and so far, the feedback has been quite good. I'm including the link and, also, my original intro that was edited for space reasons because I believe the maiden venture more accurately represents both Lynn and me.

And for the love of all that is holy, get your ass to a theater. Humpday is the rare film that makes you laugh and think in equal measure and, laudably, it eschews the edgy-for-the-sake-of-it dust that coats so many flicks of all genres.

My piece with the estimable Ms. Shelton:

And my original intro:

Lynn Shelton, the 43 year-old writer/director of the new critically lauded indie comedy, Humpday, enters Seattle’s Neptune Coffee wearing a wool cap on one of the city’s on-again-off-again drizzling summer afternoons. A smash on the festival circuit, the pocket change budgeted Humpday explores events set loose when two straight college friends, the staid and married Ben (Mark Duplass) and the still peripatetic Andrew (Joshua Leonard), reconnect in their thirties and opt, on a dare of sorts, to have sex with one another in a locally sponsored amateur porn contest. (“It’s beyond gay!” Ben announces as they mull the idea at a wine-soaked party.) The film has just begun its nationwide rollout and Shelton is a bit tired, but gregarious. During the course of her career, she has jettisoned between Seattle and New York, making experimental films, music videos, acting in theater, and more recently, creating the singularly executed gems, We Go Way Back and My Effortless Brilliance, resulting in a “Someone to Watch Award” at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards. Over a pot of tea, she holds forth on the contrasts between men and women with regards to homosexuality, her unwavering desire to create real characters in genuine human relationships, and the advantages and limitations of the “mumblecore” genre in which she’s often lumped. Erudite, insightful, and possessed of a sardonic wit, Shelton’s hat comes off and her laugh is infectious.